June 13th, 2018

Home-Built F-Open Rifle and Dual-Belt-Drive Front Rest

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

We like Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. It takes initiative, creativity, and dedication to make your own hardware, and that’s worth acknowledging. For you dedicated DIY guys, here’s a great project that should inspire. Here is an owner designed and crafted F-Open rig, complete with home-built, belt-drive front rest.

Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did a couple seasons back. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below for large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle … and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to 0.001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
October 19th, 2017

Paul Hill Wins European F-Open Championship with 7mm RSAUM

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Shooter Profile by Des Parr, UK
We have a new European F-Open Champion: Paul Hill from the UK. If he looks familiar, it’s because Paul appeared here 12 months ago when he set a new F-Open record score of 100-17X at 900 yards at last year’s European Championships. There are some factors which make Paul’s victory all the more significant. First, he didn’t employ a top gunsmith to do his work — he’s a real working-class here who did it all himself. To keep costs down he taught himself to do all his own machining and bedding. Paul acquired a lathe, learned how to run it, and then carefully did all his own chambering and fitting. He then taught himself how to bed the rifle too. You have to admire a man who teaches himself how to build Championship-winning rifles.

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Another unusual factor is Paul’s choice of components. Paul used the Lapua Scenar 180-grain bullet, the same bullet used to set his 2016 record. The 180gr Scenar is a fairly “old-fashioned” shape, but Paul points them using a “shooting shed” pointing tool. For seating, he uses his own home-made die with a Wilson top. Whatever the Lapuas may lack in BC, they more than compensate for in consistency, and that’s the key to success. As an aside, they compare very favourably in tests on the Juenke ICC machine, indicating that they’re very well made indeed.

7mm RSAUMPaul Hill Equipment List
Paul shot in the F-Open class firing the 7mm RSAUM cartridge, a short magnum. He ran a 30″ Krieger 1:9″-twist barrel mated to a Barnard Model P action bedded in a Joe West laminated stock. His pushed those Lapu8a Scenar with the relatively new Reload Swiss RS70 powder. Paul rates this RS70 propellant very highly. It may be unfamiliar to shooters in the USA, but RS70 is REACH compliant and is likely to become more popular when many other powders are forbidden from the EU next year. Paul is also a big fan of the Russian KVB-7 primer, a very mild and consistent primer — marketed under “Wolf” in the USA.

It is not just about having the right equipment though, it is also all about the application of skills and techniques and Paul was very keen to acknowledge his debt of thanks to Erik Cortina for his reloading techniques and Brian Litz for his writings on range mind set and diet. There is another, until now, secret factor that may have helped Paul. He is an Apiarist (bee-keeper) and he swears by the beneficial effects of his daily honey on toast. Who knows? Perhaps he’s on to something — nothing sells like success, so Paul’s honey sales may take off now just like his shooting career.

Here’s a good video showing F-Class Shooters at Bisley (FieldSports Channel 2015)

2016 Wasn’t So Bad Either
Paul Hill’s 2017 Championship win followed an impressive performance last year. At the 2016 European F-Class Championships at the Bisley Ranges, Paul set a record score at 900 yards: 100-17V! That’s 17 shots placed in a five-inch circle the size of a CD (compact disc) at over half a mile. [NOTE: At Bisley, the maximum score is FIVE points, not ten points. So the maximum score for 20 shots is 100. Also what Americans call an “X” is called a “V” at Bisley.]

Paul Hill Bisley Europe

Record Set with Slower Pair Firing Method
The style of shooting in Great Britain is pair-firing. Under this procedure, each of two competitors shoots alternately, taking turns from shot to shot. Each shooter has 45 seconds to take his shot. Allowing for the target pullers to do their jobs, this means that each shot can take up to one minute. As Paul was pair firing, he had to concentrate for up to 40 minutes to get all 20 shots off! You can imagine how many times the wind changed course in those 40 minutes –pick-ups, let-offs, changes of angle and direction. Paul had to counter each change and still managed to put 17 shots in that 5-inch circle!

Permalink Competition, News, Reloading No Comments »
September 19th, 2017

Eight-Year-Old English Schoolgirl Shines at 1000-Yard Benchrest

Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Kales Scope Light Gun Record
Emily has won many awards — including a screamer at 1000 yards — and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. At a recent UK Shooting Show, Emily was presented with a Kahles 10-50x56mm scope by UK Importers RUAG which will come in very useful for the UK winter 600-yard benchrest series. She also received a one-off Hausken suppressor in her favorite color — pink!

English Emily and Her Record-Breaking 6mmBR Stolle

Report by Vince Bottomley
Turning back the clock a decade or so to 2006 and Accurateshooter’s Gun of the Week #71 you will see my smiling face and my 7mm WSM BAT which had just set a new UK Light Gun record for 1000-yard benchrest with a 5-shot group measuring 2.67 inches. That record has now been broken — sadly not by me but by Emily’s Grandfather with a gun I built for this talented schoolgirl. Here’s the story of the precocious Emily and her record-setting rifle…

In 2006, when I set the record, young Emily Lenton wasn’t even born but, a couple years later she arrived – into the shooting-mad Lenton family. Both father Bruce Lenton and Granddad Tony have represented their Country at European and World Benchrest Championships and it was no surprise to see Emily, at just eight years old, shooting in her first 1000-yard benchrest competition.

Eight-year-old Emily shoots 6mm BR Heavy Gun at 1000 yards.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Light Gun Record

Recoil is always going to be a problem for an 8-year-old, so Emily’s first bench-gun was Granddad’s 1000-yard Heavy Gun chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. It hardly moves when Emily pulls the trigger and she soon became a serious contender.

Under her father Bruce Lenton’s careful supervision, Emily loads all her own ammunition.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

Of course, she wanted her own gun and who better to ask to build it than the current record holder — me of course! Emily chose a Stolle action RBLP as this was to be a 17-lb Light Gun, bedded into a UK-made Joe West laminate stock. The barrel was a heavy-profile 1:8″-twist Krieger chambered in 6mm BR Norma (6BR) with a ‘no-turn’ neck (reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge) and fitted with a UK Tier One muzzle-brake.

Emily’s Light Gun begins to take shape…
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Emily buckles down to some winter load-development (note the fleece coat and wool gloves).
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

It was down to Granddad to help Emily with load-development and of course, he could also shoot it in competition — after all Emily had just about shot-out Granddad’s Heavy Gun with a full season of rapid-fire 10-shot groups!

Granddad Tony gets ready to shoot Emily’s gun.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl vince bottomly 6mmBR 6BR Light Gun Record

Then something happened – Granddad went and broke my ten-year old record with Emily’s gun! Well, I suppose there was some consolation — at least I’d built the record-breaking gun. The new UK Light Gun 1000-yard five-shot record now stands at 2.462 inches. For those who like load details, Emily uses Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, and Berger 105 grain VLD bullets loaded with Wilson hand-dies.

Tony Lenton with Emily’s gun just after he broke my 1000-yard record. I’m doing my best to smile!
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6BR 6mmBR Vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Next Stop… New Zealand! 2017 World Benchrest Championships Down Under
Emily has now got her own 6PPC gun for short-range benchrest and she will be travelling to New Zealand this fall with her family. She’ll be helping her father and Granddad who are part of the United Kingdom squad competing at the 2017 World Benchrest Shooting Championships to be held at the Packers Creek Range in Nelson, NZ. How long will it be before Emily makes her own ‘World’ debut?

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing, News 6 Comments »
February 12th, 2016

Getting Started in F-Class Competition (F-TR and F-Open)

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK has written an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:

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Permalink - Articles, Competition 4 Comments »
December 3rd, 2015

Get Info for 3900 Bullets in FREE Online Database

ShooterForum Bullet Database

Here’s a valuable web resource our readers should bookmark for easy access in the future. ShootForum.com offers a vast Bullet Database, which includes roughly 3900 bullet designs in all. We counted nearly 200 different 6mm bullets! The bullet info comes from the makers of QuickLOAD Software. Access to the online database is FREE. Most database entries include Caliber, Manufacturer, Stated Bullet Weight, True Bullet Weight, Length, Sectional Density (SD), and Ballistic Coefficient.* In many cases multiple BCs are provided for different velocity ranges.

The coverage of the Bullet Database is amazing. Manufacturers in the database include: A-Square, Barnaul, Barnes, Berger, Brenneke, Calhoon, CDP, CheyTac, ColoradoBonded, CT, DAG, David Tubb, Delsing, DEWC, DKT, DTK, DYN, Federal, Fiocchi, FMJ, FN, Fortek, FP, Freedom, Frontier, GECO, Gian-Marchet, GPA, GS-Custom, H&N, Hawk, HeviShot, Hirtenberger, Hornady, HP, Igman, IMI, IMI-Samson, Impala, JDJ, JLK, Klimovsk, Lapua, LEADEx, LEE, Lehigh, LIMA, LostRiver, LYM, MEN, Mil, Norinco, Norma, NorthFork, Nosler, PMC, PMP, Powell, PrviPartizan, Rainier, RCBS, Reichenberg, Remington, RN, RNFP, RUAG, RWS, Sako, Sellier-Bellot, Shilen, Sierra, Sinterfire, Speer, Stoklossa, SWC, Swift, Swiss, The Gun Haus, TMJ, WestCoast, Winchester, WM-Bullets and Woodleigh.

The database is great if you’re looking for an unusual caliber, or you want a non-standard bullet diameter to fit a barrel that is tighter or looser than spec. You’ll find the popular jacketed bullets from major makers, plus solids, plated bullets, and even cast bullets. For those who don’t already own QuickLOAD software, this is a great resource, providing access to a wealth of bullet information.

Values for Changed Bullet Designs
Some of our readers have noted some variances with BCs and OALs with recently changed bullet designs. In general the database is very useful and accurate. However, as with any data resource this extensive, there will be a few items that need to be updated. Manufacturers can and do modify bullet shapes. Kevin Adams, one of the creators of the database, explains: “Thanks for mentioning this database. It took us a long time to collate this information and have agreement to publish it. Please keep in mind that individual batches of bullets will differ from the manufacturers’ stated standards. This is more a reflection on the manufacturers’ tolerances than the database ‘accuracy’. We will continue to add to the database as more manufacturers’ figures come available.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
November 19th, 2015

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class stand for “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken earlier this year at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure”. That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 15 Comments »
July 10th, 2015

Brits Build Wicked Tikka T3 Tactical Rifle

Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo

Tikkas are boring, nondescript hunting rifles right? Wrong. Check out this Tikka T3 tactical with “attitude”. For the British Shooting Show in 2014, the folks at Osprey Rifles placed a Tikka T3 action into a modern modular chassis: “A standard factory Tikka T3 was fully Cerakoted and dropped into a Third Eye Tactical chassis stock which also had the Cerakote treatment. It certainly pulled a crowd and was sold on the Show’s first day! We have been commissioned to do another one straight away.”

Click Photos to see larger version.
Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo

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Permalink New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
April 14th, 2015

New Trends: Civilian Service Rifle Competition — UK Style

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Report by John Morgan-Hosey
Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) is a shooting sport in the United Kingdom shot with bolt action rifles and ‘Straight-Pull’ derivatives of semi-auto centerfire rifles. Why do the UK shooters use manual-operating versions of popular self-loaders? Well, that’s because of legal restrictions. Civilian ownership of semi-auto centerfire rifles was banned in the United Kingdom in 1987.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Give credit to the ingenuity of competitive shooters in the UK. The ban on semi-autos has not stopped shooters from adapting modern rifles such as the AR15. In fact, CSR is the UK NRA’s fastest growing shooting discipline. There are four classes for competitors:

1. Historic Class — Vintage Rifles, mostly Lee Enfields with iron sights.
2. Iron Sights Class — all non-Historic Rifles with Iron (open) sights.
3. Practical Optic Class — Rifles with bipods (and scopes 4.5X or greater magnification).
4. Service Optic Class — Rifles without bipods (and scopes with no more than 4.5X power).

Surprisingly, shooters in the Service Optic Class dominate these matches. So you don’t need a high-magnification scope or a bipod to do well. The most popular rifles are modified AR-platform rifles. These are set-up in the UK with no gas system to ensure they comply with our laws. Side-charger cocking handles are fitted to allow the rifles to be operated easily while in the shooting position. You can see in the photo above a modified AR with the Union Jack on the buttstock. Notice the bolt handle on the right. This opens and closes the bolt.

This video clip shows the side-charging ARs in use.

Note the side bolt handle that cycles the action on this non-semi-auto AR.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Here shooters advance 100 yards to engage the targets at the next firing line.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Competitor uses classic Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Dave Wylde Sets Impressive Record at the Civilian Service Rifle League Match.
The last matches in the 2014/15 CSR League took place on Sunday, 5 April. With final places in all four classes up for grabs, the fine weather and light winds made for some impressive scores, none more so than Dave Wylde in Service Optic Division. Dave scored a mighty impressive 246 (of a possible 250) in the PM Match. Breaking 235 is tough enough and scoring over 240 a rarity with the match includes standing snap shooting at 100 yards, a sitting rapid at 200 yards, and prone snap shooting at 300 yards with and two run downs to raise the shooters heart rate.

The most popular class, Service Optic, had Peter Cottrell retaining the trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a score of 993. Adam Chapman pushed him hard all season to finish a close second on 987 points, with Bill Ellis, one of the most consistent CSR shooters, third with 972.

Civilian Service Rifle Grows in Popularity
As CSR continues to grow in popularity, the sale of ‘Straight-Pull’ AR-platform rifles is increasing year after year. Accordingly, the United Kingdom NRA is allocation more range space at the Bisley National Shooting Centre to accomodate the increasing number of competitors.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Permalink - Videos, Competition 13 Comments »
April 19th, 2014

Forum Member Rigs Video Display for Balance Beam Scale

Balance Beam Scale Video DisplayAccurateShooter Forum member Allan, aka “1066”, has improved the performance of his RCBS balance-beam scale with some simple hardware modifications. In addition, Allan has cleverly fitted an inexpensive video camera to one end of his scale. This camera outputs a signal to Allan’s laptop computer, giving Allan a magnified, “big-screen” view of the pointer tip of his scale. That lets Allan observe ultra-small movements of the beam. With the hardware upgrades and video display, Allan has crafted a system with usable sensitivity to a single grain of Varget powder.

Hardware “Mods” Enhance Scale Reliability and Sensitivity
To upgrade his scale, Allan first fabricated a new U-shaped pan suspension hanger on the end of the scale. This allowed the pan to center more reliably and consistently. Next Allan extended the pointer arm at the opposite end, and attached a very fine graduated vertical scale to provide a more precise visual read-out. This scale has marks corresponding to 0.1 grains (one-tenth of a grain).

To improve the function of the beam itself, Allan “cleaned-up” the knife edges on which the beam moves, and Allan also fabricated a simple “approach to weight” fixture (with foam cushion) that gives the beam a smoother transition as it nears max travel.

Inexpensive Video Camera Displays on Laptop Screen
Allan’s real genius was in fitting an inexpensive video camera to display a magnified image of the pointer at the end of the beam. Seeing the “big picture” really helps get the best precision from the scale. Allan acquired a cheap web-cam and attached it via a simple bracket to the RCBS scale. A USB cable delivers the video output to Allan’s laptop. Allan says the web-cam cost less than $20.00 on eBay and required no special software. It was a “plug and go” installation. With the video camera running, the onscreen image is “super-sized” so Allan can track the smallest movements of the pointer tip. You can see how the whole system works in the video below. To dispense powder, Allan uses a slick automated trickler, explained next.

YouTube Preview Image

TargetMaster Automatic trickler Uses “Electric-Eye” for Automatic Shut-off
The final element in Allan’s high-tech balance beam scale system is a Targetmaster automatic trickler. This unique UK-made trickler is very advanced. It has two components — a dispenser, and a remote sensor that “watches” the movement of the balance beam. Allan pushes a button to start the powder flowing. As the load in the pan approaches the correct weight, an electric eye senses the position of the balance beam. Once the beam “hits the mark” for a correct load, the remote sensor shuts off the trickler. It sounds complicated but it works perfectly.

TargetMaster Trickler Components and Operation
The TargetMaster automated Trickler is a pretty impressive piece of kit that can be adapted to a wide variety of balance beam scales. The components and functions of the TargetMaster automated trickler are shown in the video below, provided by the manufacturer in the UK. To learn more about this reloading accessory, visit TargetMasterUK.com.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 6 Comments »
March 19th, 2014

Scottish Shooters Visit California for American-Canadian Matches

A large contingent of the Scottish rifle team came to Sacramento, California last week for the 23rd Annual American-Canadian and Long Range matches. A great time was had by all. Members of the U.S. Long Range Rifle team say: “Thank you for making the journey over and we hope to see you all again this fall at Camp Perry and/or Canada Nationals.”

Click Photo for Full-screen View

Congratulations to Scottish Team member Ian Shaw for winning the American-Canadian Full Bore Match! Here is Ian celebrating his victory with his winning mug. We met with Ian in February after the Berger Southwest Nationals. At the Phoenix airport, this Editor shared a quick meal with Ian and two of his Team London-Scottish comrades before the trio jetted home across the Atlantic.

As we chatted, I quickly learned how serious and dedicated these guys are. It’s no surprise to me that Ian took the top prize at the American-Canadian match. During our airport interview, Ian talked about target rifle shooting in the UK, and he invited American full-bore shooters to attend the Queen’s Prize Match held each year during the Imperial Meeting at the Bisley Range. Ian said, “Tell your American readers to come. This is a big match every year, with 900 competitors, about 700 of whom are from the UK.” Here’s a video explaining the history of the Queen’s Prize Match.

History of the Queen’s Prize Match (BBC, 1986)

H.M. The Queen’s Prize
The Queen’s Prize Match was first shot in 1860 when the Sovereign (Queen Victoria) gave a prize of £250 for the winner. This amount has remained unchanged to this day although in the original days, it was a considerable sum. The winner earns the right to have the initials ‘GM’ after his or her name. As detailed in the section below, there are three stages to the competition, the winners of the second stage earn the initials ‘SM’. The final stage is shot on the last Saturday of the NRA Imperial meeting held in July.

Photos from U.S. Long Range Rifle Team.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 5 Comments »
February 2nd, 2013

Green Beret Petition Calls for Wisdom in National Gun Debate

More than 1,100 current and retired U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers have signed a petition that advocates a rational, reasoned response to the events in Newtown, Connecticut. The Green Beret Petition cautions against “knee-jerk” legislation which would threaten the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. The Petition asks national leaders to recognize that the causative factors involved in mass shootings are complex. Hence banning certain types of firearms may not “solve the problem” at all.

The Petition makes important fact-based arguments. For example, the petition points out that sweeping gun bans adopted in the United Kingdom did not reduce overall gun-related crime — in fact UK gun violence increased after the gun bans. By contrast, gun violence has actually dropped in the USA despite a growth in gun ownership: “Overall, gun-related crime [in the UK] had increased 65% since the Dunblane massacre and implementation of the toughest gun control laws in the developed world. In contrast, in 2009 (5 years after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired) total firearm related homicides in the U.S. declined by 9% from the 2005 high.”

READ Full Petition (PDF file):
Protecting the Second Amendment — Why all Americans Should Be Concerned

The Green Beret Petition cautions that many current anti-gun legislative proposals may have no practical effect: “[I]f stricter gun control laws are not likely to reduce gun-related crime, why are we having this debate? Other than making us and our elected representatives feel better because we think that we are doing something to protect our children, these actions will have no effect and will only provide us with a false sense of security.”

Noting that reactionary gun ban legislation will not solve a complex problem, the Green Beret Petition suggests that national leaders must look more carefully at many factors:

Green Beret Petition Recommendations

So, what do we believe will be effective? First, it is important that we recognize that this is not a gun control problem; it is a complex sociological problem. No single course of action will solve the problem. Therefore, it is our recommendation that a series of diverse steps be undertaken, the implementation of which will require patience and diligence to realize an effect. These are as follows:

1. First and foremost we support our Second Amendment right in that “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

2. We support State and Local School Boards in their efforts to establish security protocols in whatever manner and form that they deem necessary and adequate. One of the great strengths of our Republic is that State and Local governments can be creative in solving problems. Things that work can be shared. Our point is that no one knows what will work and there is no one single solution, so let‟s allow the State and Local governments with the input of the citizens to make the decisions. Most recently the Cleburne Independent School District will become the first district in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns. We do not opine as to the appropriateness of this decision, but we do support their right to make this decision for themselves.

3. We recommend that Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) laws be passed in every State. AOT is formerly known as Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) and allows the courts to order certain individuals with mental disorders to comply with treatment while living in the community. In each of the mass shooting incidents the perpetrator was mentally unstable. We also believe that people who have been adjudicated as incompetent should be simultaneously examined to determine whether they should be allowed the right to retain/purchase firearms.

4. We support the return of firearm safety programs to schools along the lines of the successful “Eddie the Eagle” program, which can be taught in schools by Peace Officers or other trained professionals.

5. Recent social psychology research clearly indicates that there is a direct relationship between gratuitously violent movies/video games and desensitization to real violence and increased aggressive behavior particularly in children and young adults (See Nicholas L. Carnagey, et al. 2007. “The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence” and the references therein. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43:489-496). Therefore, we strongly recommend that gratuitous violence in movies and video games be discouraged. War and war-like behavior should not be glorified. Hollywood and video game producers are exploiting something they know nothing about. General Sherman famously said “War is Hell!” Leave war to the Professionals. War is not a game and should not be “sold” as entertainment to our children.

6. We support repeal of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it obviously isn‟t working. It is our opinion that “Gun-Free Zones” anywhere are too tempting of an environment for the mentally disturbed individual to inflict their brand of horror with little fear of interference. While governmental and non-governmental organizations, businesses, and individuals should be free to implement a Gun-Free Zone if they so choose, they should also assume Tort liability for that decision.

7. We believe that border states should take responsibility for implementation of border control laws to prevent illegal shipments of firearms and drugs. Drugs have been illegal in this country for a long, long time yet the Federal Government manages to seize only an estimated 10% of this contraband at our borders. Given this dismal performance record that is misguided and inept (“Fast and Furious”), we believe that border States will be far more competent at this mission.

8. This is our country, these are our rights. We believe that it is time that we take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than abdicate that responsibility to someone else under the illusion that we have done something that will make us all safer. We have a responsibility to stand by our principles and act in accordance with them. Our children are watching and they will follow the example we set.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
August 12th, 2012

International Teams at Camp Perry for Long Range Matches

Story based on Report by Lars Dalseide for NRAblog.
This year the Long Range Championships at Camp Perry have attracted top shooters from around the globe. At Camp Perry this year are teams from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom (UK). “We have 81 international shooters for F-Class and Long Range in the competition right now,” said NRA’s High Power Rifle Match Director Sherri Judd. “A good portion of those competitors will be shooting in this year’s America Match.” The Long Range High Power Championship matches precede the America Match, an international team event. For many, the NRA Long-Range Championships will serve as a warm-up for the America Match.

All Photos by NRAblog.

A biennial team event, this is the first time the America Match will be conducted at Camp Perry. To take part in the event, each country sent eight shooters here to the United States. Categories include an F-Class division, an Under-25 division, and an Open division. The Under-25 section is open to all age-qualified 4-man rifle teams, the Open section allows 8-man rifle teams (multiple teams per country may compete), and the F-Class section is limited to one, 8-man rifle team per country. NOTE: Photos were selected to illustrate international competitors from particular nations. They may or may not be members of specific national squads competing in the America Match following the NRA Long Range Championships.


F-Class at Camp Perry

Some folks were surprised to see “belly benchresters”, i.e. F-Class shooters on the firing line during the Long Range Nationals. In fact, many of the long-range events are open to F-Classers this year. Forum member Nate G. explains:

F-class will be shot alongside the LR matches, 11-16 August, with the same course of fire as the sling shooters. On Saturday (8/11), there are two individual matches: unlimited sighters + 20 for record in each. Then, for the high score for each rifle class on each relay, there’s a shoot off for each match. (3 sighters + 10 for record, continuing in blocks of 5 shots in the case of a tie)

On Sunday and Monday, there’s an individual match in the morning and a team match following. After the team match, there’s the shoot-off from the day’s individual match.

From the NRA Blog: “The NRA Freedom Match 703 and 707 are shot with an F-Class Rifle and competitors have the option of supporting the rifle with a rear and/or front rest or with a bipod and/or sling and rear rest. On Sunday, David Bailey took the win in the Open 703 Match after a shoot-off performance of 99-4X. A tie-breaking shoot-off was required in the T/R 707 match after Daniel Polabel and Nikolos Taylor both shot 97-2X scores. [Polabel won] the tie-breaker.”

Tuesday is the individual Palma match (unlimited and 15 at 800, 2+15 at 900 and 1000), with divisions for Palma, Any, Service, and F-Class. [It’s not clear whether F-Class will shoot on Tuesday]

Wednesday is the Palma team match, which for this year is the America’s Match. With the exception of the Palma individual and team matches (or, this year, the America’s Match), all the matches (individual and team) are 20 shots for record with individual matches having unlimited sighters and team matches limited to two sighters.

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August 3rd, 2012

Young Brit Peter Wilson Wins Gold Medal in Double Trap

Peter Wilson25-year-old Peter Wilson of Great Britain earned the gold medal in front of the home country shooting a 188 out of 200. He is now Britain’s first shooting medalist since Richard Faulds won gold in the same event in Sydney 12 years ago. Sweden’s Hakan Dahlby finished second while Russian Vasily Mosin won bronze after a shoot-off with Kuwaiti Fehaid Aldeehani.

CLICK HERE for more photos of Peter Wilson

Though not well-known in North America, Wilson is a world-record-holder who was one of the favorites heading into the event. In Tucson (AZ) earlier this year, at the ISSF World Cup, Wilson set a new world record, hitting 198 out of 200. Peter, a farmer’s son from Dorset, was the youngest Olympic Double Trap finalist by 13 years and only started shooting at school following a sporting accident which prevented him from playing cricket and squash. He left school a National Shooting Champion and was ranked world No.1 earlier this year before the Double Trap Olympic final.

Practice Makes Perfect
In an interview with The Telegraph, Wilson revealed: “I shoot at 80,000 targets a year. That’s what you do, get the movements ingrained, so when you’re faced with two targets to go in an Olympic final, you’re completely comfortable about what you have to do.”

During his rise to the top, Wilson got a little help from the 2004 Olympic Double Trap Gold Medalist, Ahmad Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai royal family. After Wilson’s support funding from UK Sport was cut in 2008, the Dubai Royal stepped in to help, providing free coaching help for the young Brit. As the result of budget-cutting by UK Sport, Wilson lost his training stipend. Somehow he had to come up with £10,000 a year to cover his shooting expenses. He tried to work in a pub as a barman, but found that the night shifts conflicted with his shooting practice. His parents instead funded him for a year while he tried to secure further funding. He has also raised funds, along with the rest of the British shooting team, by running fundraising events.

Watch Peter Wilson Video Interview from London

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August 1st, 2012

Read FREE August Issue of Target Shooter Magazine

Target Shooter Magazine AugustTarget Shooter Magazine has just released its August edition, which you can read for FREE online. The 110-page August 2012 issue includes target shooting news from around the world, along with articles of interest to all shooters. The online “eZine” version of Target Shooter Magazine offers a handy index, plus full two-page spreads, and flip-page viewing — just like a print magazine.

August issue highlights include: a report on GB F-Class competition at the Bisley Ranges, along with coverage of the 2012 CZ Extreme European Open Practical Pistol Competition. Chris Parkin reviews the Zeiss Victory Diavari FL 6-25 x 72mm scope, and our friend Vince Bottomley tests a UK-compliant Armscor 38 Special Revolver. Regular readers will appreciate the final installment of Laurie Holland’s series on building an affordable FT-R rifle. The latest issue of Target Shooter Magzine of course includes UKPSA News.

CLICK HERE to Read August Target Shooter eZine

Target Shooter Magazine August

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April 1st, 2012

UK Olympic Pistol Shooters Allowed to Practice with Mock Pistols

UK Olympic pistol shootersBecause of draconian restrictions on handguns in the United Kingdom, Olympic smallbore pistol shooters from the UK have been forced to conduct their training in neighboring countries, such as Belgium and France. Obviously, the need to travel overseas to practice their sport has been a major handicap for UK shooters who will compete with Team GB* at the upcoming London Olympics. Said one smallbore pistol shooter: “Our goal is to win a medal for mother England, the 2012 host nation. But it is hard to compete on a world-class level when we can’t even train at home. Going overseas every time we need to practice wastes precious time and money. Other Olympic shooters don’t face these kind of obstacles.”

With the 2012 London Olympics soon approaching, UK Olympic officials have been looking at ways that Team GB pistol shooters can avoid the need to travel abroad just to practice shooting. Now, through a special act of Parliament, it appears that UK Olympic pistol shooters may finally be able to hone their marksmanship skills at home. A new law will allow qualified Olympic-level pistol shooters on Team Great Britain to import a new, non-lethal training device recently introduced in the United States. With the aid of the American-made Trigger Trainer, UK Olympic shooters can now practice their trigger-pulling skills without risking a trip to prison. The Trigger-Trainer is a plastic device with a pistol grip, and spring-loaded “trigger”. However, it is incapable of firing a projectile because it lacks a barrel, magazine, firing pin, and sights.

UK Olympic pistol shooters

Some of Team GB’s shooters have expressed doubts about the usefulness of the rather primitive Trigger Trainer. (As it lacks front and rear sights, the Trigger Trainer is difficult to align precisely on the target). But top British Olympic decision-makers believe that the shooters’ complaints are unjustified. British Olympic Association official Nigel Wensleydale observed: “Complaints? That’s just idle whinging if you ask me… nothing’s perfect you know. Perhaps the Trigger Trainers do leave something to be desired as they come out of the box. But our Olympic shooters are clever lads. I think, with a little imagination and some sticky tape, these Trigger Trainers will be tip-top. Goodness, you could simply tape a drinking straw on top and sight through that. I mean how much precision do these chaps really need — the target’s only 10m away for goodness sake.”

UK Olympic pistol shooters

*Great Britain is the name under which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland competes at the Olympic Games. Great Britain was one of 14 teams to compete in the first Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics, and has competed at every Games. Great Britain is the only team to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games.
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February 10th, 2012

Evans Sets UK Benchrest Records with Accuracy Int’l Tactical Rifle

Forum member Darrel Evans from the UK pulled off a remarkable feat recently. He set multiple 600-yard UK benchrest records shooting a true, military-type tactical rifle, an Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. The gun had a custom 24″ fluted Border barrel, and bag-riding accessories, but other than that, Darrel’s gun was very much “as-issued” by the factory. Darrel pulled off this fine display of precision shooting at the December 27th 600-yard benchrest comp at England’s Diggle Ranges. (The Diggle, as you may know, is notorious for difficult conditions.)

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Report by Darrel Evans
Just thought that you all might like to know how I have been getting on with my Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. To make a long story short, I broke three UK records: smallest group of the day — 1.8″ at 600; smallest Agg for the day — 2.8″; and smallest Agg for the Light Gun class — 2.8″. All these records can be viewed on the UKBRA and TargetShooter websites.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

To say that I was ‘over the moon’ would be an understatement. I was happy that all of my hard work had paid off. I was delighted to set records on the rifle’s first outing since [adding bag riders]. The 600-yard benchrest comps over here are run as a winter competition and the winds at the Diggle are not very forgiving. I knew that the group was small as the markers were over lapping each other when the target board came back up. But when they told me that it was 1.823″ I knew that I had got a record, as the last record of 2.225″ was set by myself in 2009 on the first Comp with the 6.5×47 barrel on, this was then broken with a 2.18″ on a calm day later that year. Later I received an email from Vince Bottomley telling me that I also had the best factory Agg record and the Agg record for Light Gun class.

About Darrel’s 6.5×47 Accuracy International
My Accuracy International AW (AI-AW), a military rifle system, started life as a .308 Winchester when I first bought it. But after a lot of reading I decided to buy a 6.5×47 Lapua barrel for it. As you know the AI-AW rifle system is a very good switch-barrel design, so after a phone call to Graeham Clark at Sporting Services I bought a Border Barrels 24″ fluted barrel in 6.5×47 Lapua. My .308 barrel is now in my gun safe. After seeing how the 6.5×47 barrel shoots, I doubt the .308 tube will ever go on again.

The rifle falls in the Factory Class for our 600-yard BR comps. This also qualifies in the Light Gun class. Most folks say that a factory rifle will never beat the custom lads in the Light Gun class…. Well, sometimes it’s nice to see this happen. To help the rifle’s bench manners, I made a plate for the front so that it would sit on my compact front rest with a Farley joystick top. I also made a bar to fit on the bottom of the buttstock for the rear sandbag.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
Accuracy International 6.5x47After a lot of testing with different powder and bullet combos, I settled on 38.2 grains of Hodgdon Varget, with 130gr JLK bullets and CCI 450m primers. Velocity is 2914 fps. Seems that this is where it likes to be. In the photo below, you can see the results of a few different powders, but all with the fantastic JLK 130gr bullets. The 38.3 Varget load had all four rounds in nearly one hole and I pulled the fifth, so this was pretty much the load that I went with for my 600-yard Comp. The JLKs are really good, consistent bullets, and I think that the next barrel that I buy will be set up for these bullets and no other — they are that good. I seat the bullets at 2.157″ OAL, just kissing the lands. I could not go any further out as the bearing surface is short.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Wrapping up his success story, Darrel added: “I hope that this is of some help to people who have a 6.5×47 or are thinking of building one. All the best for 2012.”

Accuracy International 6.5x47

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January 3rd, 2012

View January Issue of Target Shooter Magazine Online

Target Shooter Magazine has released its web-based January 2012 Issue. The FREE January Issue features handy reloading guides (written by Laurie Holland) for two very popular cartridges: 6mmBR Norma, and .308 Winchester. If you shoot either of these chamberings, you should read these latest installments of Laurie Holland’s Handloading Bench series. For the January issue, Laurie also authored Sorting a Savage Part 1 which covers the Savage-actioned .223 Rem that Laurie shot in the European F-Class Championship. Savage shooters will find useful tuning tips.

Gear and Optics Reviews
Other good articles in January’s Target Shooter Magazine include a comprehensive review of the Lyman DPS 1200 III powder dispenser, and an excellent article about riflescopes by Gwyn Roberts. Gwyn explains the many choices in reticle design, and he discusses the pros and cons of adjustable front objectives vs. side-focus scopes.

If you haven’t sampled Target Shooter Magazine yet, you should. The hardware photography is high quality and there is something for everyone — from Benchresters to Tactical shooters. You can view the 92-page December issue for FREE at www.targetshooter.co.uk. Target shooter also has an iPad/iPhone friendly version that can be downloaded.

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December 5th, 2011

Check Out December Target Shooter Magazine Online

Target Shooter Magazine has released its web-based December Issue, and it’s chock full of tech info and match reports from around the world. The FREE December Issue features in-depth reports on four great competitions: the European F-Class Championships, the prestigious World Long-Range Rifle Championship (Palma Match) from Australia, the World Handgun (Practical Pistol) Championship from Greece, and the World Muzzle-Loading Championships (MLAIC) from Bisley, England.

Target Shooter Online Magazine

If you haven’t sampled Target Shooter Magazine yet, you should. The hardware photography is high quality and there is something for everyone — from Benchresters to Tactical shooters. You can view the 116-page December issue for FREE at www.targetshooter.co.uk. Target shooter also has an iPad/iPhone friendly version that can be downloaded.

Target Shooter Online Magazine

Target Shooter Online Magazine

Definitely check out the latest edition of Target Shooter Magazine. It offers outstanding match reports (with big, screen-filling images), and some of the most competent gear reviews on the web. When contributors such as Vince Bottomley or Laurie Holland review a product, they deliver intelligent conclusions you can “take to the bank”.

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August 4th, 2011

Lasers Replace Pistols for Modern Pentathlon at London Olympics

UIPM logo PentathlonThe Modern Pentathlon is a 5-discipline Olympic event that combines Horse Riding, Running, Swimming, Fencing, and Shooting. However it looks like there won’t be real shooting anymore, at least at the 2012 London Games.

Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) President Klaus Schormann declared that laser guns will be used instead of air pistols in the Modern Pentathlon at the 2012 London Olympics. Schormann claimed the lasers would enhance safety and allow “competitions in parks and even shooting malls”. Last year, UIPM officials argued for the use of lasers to reduce the environmental impact of lead pellets from air pistols. Schormann stated: “The decision to introduce non-air pistol shooting … is a significant development in terms of lowering the environmental impact of the sport.” That’s nonsense — Pentathlon air pistols fire tiny 7-grain pellets that are easily captured by bullet traps, so there is virtually no environmental risk.

UIPM logo PentathlonSebastian, creator of the Snowflakes in Hell Blog, observed: “The reasoning of the [UIPM] committee is disturbing. I hope this doesn’t portend bad things to come with other Olympic shooting sports, whose environmental footprint is arguably worse.” One Snowflakes Blog reader astutely commented: “It would have been trivially easy to mandate lead-free pellets, if the ‘lead poisoning’ argument were the real reason behind this change. Replacing air pistols with lasers instead of a much simpler requirement to use nontoxic shot suggests that it was the ‘gun-ishness’ of the air pistols, and not the environmental impact, that may have been the primary driver here.”

Technical Problems with Laser Systems
British pentathlete Sam Weale recently challenged the use of lasers in Modern Pentathlon. According to the Inside the Games website, Weale claims persistent technical problems with the laser shooting system have rendered Modern Pentathlon a “lottery” which threatens the integrity of the sport. Olympians can not trust the electronic scoring systems, Weale argues. “It can’t go on, it is embarrassing,” said Weale, who, along with four other atheletes, lodged a protest over malfunctioning targets at the recent European Championships.

Read Full Story on Modern Pentathlon Protest by UK Pentathlete Sam Weale.

UIPM Decision Criticized by USA Shooting & ISSF
The Outdoor Wire’s Jim Shepherd polled leading shooting sports officials and found widespread criticism of the UIPM decision to replace pistols with laser devices. According to Shepherd: “USA Shooting and International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) dislike the change. Their position is simple, the laser gun takes much out of the ‘shooting’ element of external conditions (pistol and pellet accuracy) and turns shooting ‘into an arcade game’. They view it as a possible threat to shooting, moving away from what is ‘shooting sport’.”

EDITOR’s Comment: One wonders if the UIPM’s next move will be to replace fencing foils and sabres with Wii computer-game controllers — in the interest of safety. And shouldn’t the UIPM replace Pentathletes’ four-legged equine mounts with hobby-horses to reduce solid waste and methane emissions?

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June 3rd, 2011

Target Shooting Magazine Offers iPad Edition

Our friend Vince Bottomley of Target Shooter Magazine, www.targetshooteronline.com, let us know about an exciting new development for the quality UK-based shooting eZine. Starting this month, June 2011, the latest monthly edition of Target Shooter will be available as a digital App for Apple iPads. Each monthly edition can be downloaded from the iTunes store for just $0.99. That’s a good value when you consider Target Shooter has at least 6-8 feature articles every month, plus gear reviews and match reports. Here are some highlight from this month’s June edition of Target Shooter:

  • New Optics for 2011 from Leupold, IOR, March, Schmidt & Bender, Sightron (informative report by Vince Bottomley).
  • Handloading for the 6mmBR (Part 2), by Laurie Holland (Great article — a “must read”.)
  • Visit to Savage Arms Factory (in Massachusetts) by Yvonne Wilcock.
  • New Valkyrie Tactical .308 (in Folding Stock), by Chris Parkin.
  • Reading Mirage for Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest, by Carl Boswell.
  • Review of Bryan Litz’s Applied Ballistics (2d. Ed) book.
  • Target Shooter Magazine

If you prefer to read Target Shooter on the web, or you don’t have an iPad content reader, don’t worry, Target Shooter will still be available for free through Target Shooter’s website. Just log on to www.targetshooteronline.com. But if you want to see the latest and greatest version of Target Shooter, consider the iTunes download. Vince tells us: “the magazine is so much nicer to read with an iPad — it’s almost better than a paper magazine.” To download Target Shooter, just go to the iTunes Webstore and search iPad apps for “Target Shooter” or “targetshooteronline”.

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