We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.
Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match
Viewer Comments on the Video:
“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr
“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP
“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao
“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt
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Many of you may not have seen how Jerry Stiller’s innovative Drop-Port works with a 6BR, PPC, or Dasher case. Stiller Precision has created one slick system. Just retract the bolt and your case exits, nose-first, through a small port, coming to rest right under the gun. It works by gravity alone so you don’t need a conventional ejector, with the case alignment issues an ejector can create. (An ejector pushes on one side of the rim — this can push the case out of “perfect” alignment.) While Drop-port technology could, potentially, work with nearly any size cartridge, at this time, Drop-ports are only offered for PPC, 6BR, and Dasher-sized cases. Your Editor has a Drop-Port Viper action used with the 6mm BRDX cartridge, which is similar to a Dasher but with a slightly longer neck. It works flawlessly. Our Belgian friend David Bergen was kind enough to video his Viper Drop-Port in action:
Currently, the Drop-port system is available with the Viper action (both aluminum and stainless), and the round-profile Diamondback actions (but expect to wait a LONG time if you want the flat-bottomed Viper action). Because of the nature of Drop-port geometry, this system is optimized for short-length benchrest cartridges such as the 220 Russian, 22 and 6mm PPC, 6mmBR, and the 6mmBR Improved (Dasher, BRX, BRDX). If you plan to use a Drop-port with a Dasher or other improved case, you should tell Stiller Precision when you order. Also, if your gunsmith has not built a Drop-port rifle before, he should first consult with Stiller Precision, (972) 429-5000, to ensure the exit port is placed and inletted correctly in the stock. Getting the geometry exactly right is critical with this system.
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There’s a very cool rifle for sale in our Forum Marketplace. Rick F. (aka “Greyfox”) just posted a listing for his Gene Beggs-built skeleton-style benchrest rifle. What makes this rig so highly desirable is the Cobra Drop Port action. A shorter version of Jerry Stiller’s popular Viper action, the Cobra drop port is highly coveted, and very hard-to-find (people have been waiting for years for new Vipers and Cobras). The gun employs a skeleton design, with the rear triangle attached directly to the action and an aluminum bag-rider secured to the barrel. It may seem radical, but this Editor has shot a Gene Beggs benchgun of this design. I can tell you it was extremely accurate and handled great on the bags. Here is the description of Greyfox’s rifle:
Stiller Cobra Drop Port, Right Bolt. Chambered in 220 Beggs .250 NK, 1:14″ twist, Jewell trigger, Beggs skeleton stock, Beggs Tuner. Built by Gene Beggs. Will shoot in .1s and .2s (can be verified). Includes 125 pieces of formed, fired brass, and sizing die. Scope and rings in photos are not included. $1900 insured & shipped in CONUS.CLICK HERE for details.
Even if you are not a benchrest competitor, this would make a wicked Prairie dog rifle to be shot off a portable bench. Having shot a Beggs “Tinkertoy” rifle with Gene himself, this Editor can tell you the “stockless” concept can work, and the Drop Port action is a joy to use (I own a Viper-action benchgun myself). The Greyfox rifle is a .220 Beggs so it is ultra-easy to form brass from the parent .220 Russian case. Whoever buys this unique, easy-to-shoot rifle will get a heck of a lot of accuracy for $1900.00.
See this Rifle in Action at the 2013 UBR Nationals
Note How Cartridge Drops Out Bottom of Action When Bolt is Retracted:
220 Beggs Simple, Accurate, Efficient
We were impressed with the 220 Beggs cartridge. It’s basically a plain 220 Russian with a sharper radius at the neck-shoulder junction. Gene Beggs has commissioned a 220 Beggs reamer with matching seating and full-length sizing dies. The little cartridge achieves 3600+ fps with a 52gr bullet, pushed by Benchmark powder.
From what we could tell during our visit with Gene Beggs in Texas, the 220 Beggs is easy to load for, and performs exceptionally well with either turned (.250″) or no-turn necks. The recoil was noticeably less than a 6mm PPC, making the gun a joy to shoot. This round, we felt, could also be an outstanding varmint cartridge. The velocity is there, and we don’t think any other 22-caliber varmint cartridge is going to beat it for inherent accuracy.
Having heard many good things about Vortex spotting scopes from our readers and Forum members, on Day 1 of SHOT Show we headed over to the Vortex Optics booth. On display was the entire line-up of Vortex Viper and Razor spotting scopes (both HD and non-HD), with objective diameters ranging from 50mm to 85mm. We know that the 85mm Razor HD has been very popular with our readers, as it offers excellent “bang for the buck”. This spotter runs $1599.00 complete with 20-60 power eyepiece. That’s about half the cost of the big name Euro-brand spotting scopes with comparable objectives. Making the Razor HD even more attractive this year is the availability of a new 18X/23X long-eye-relief eyepiece for Vortex’s flagship spotting scope.
For 2013, Vortex has added much-requested 65mm and 50mm models to its Razor HD line of spotting scopes. This is good news for guys who prefer a lighter, more compact spotting scope, or who don’t need the extra light-gathering power of a big 85mm objective. The 65mm and 50mm Vortex Razor HD models should be available by mid-spring 2013, and they will be priced quite a bit lower than their 85mm big brother shown above.
Watch Video to See Vortex Spotting Scopes and NEW 2.5-10X FFP Tactical Scope
Watch Factory Video on Vortex Razor 85mm HD Spotting Scope
After reviewing Vortex’s spotting scopes, we checked out an all-new, compact first focal plane scope from Vortex that we predict will be very popular with three-gun and tactical shooters. The New Vortex Viper PSD 2.5-10x32mm tactical scope features an FFP design. This enables rapid ranging with the provided reticles at all magnification levels. This scope with be offered with mil-based clicks and EBR-1 milrad reticle, or with MOA-based clicks and a EBR-1 reticle with MOA-based subtensions. We were also pleased to learn that Vortex will add a 6-24x50mm model to its Viper HS riflescope line.
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Camera Land’s One-Penny Tripod Promo Camera Land is offering a Vortex $129.99 Ball-head Tripod for just one penny ($0.01) if you purchase a Vortex spotting scope from the product list below. Cameraland’s marketing team states: “We thought it would be a nice thing to offer a special deal to all those forum members who support us so we came up with a wonderful offer. If you buy any new Vortex Viper Spotter from the list below, for an extra $.01 we’ll include a Vortex Dakota Tripod (PN#-DKA) with a Ball Head.”
Get a Tripod for a Penny More
If you purchase a Vortex Viper or Vortex Razor Spotting scope from the about list, Camera Land will include a Vortex Dakota Tripod (PN#-DKA) with a Ball Head for just one penny more. The Dakota ball-head tripod currently sells for $129.99.
Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Forum Member Rod V (aka Nodak7mm) commissioned a full-bling “Extreme Make-Over” of his Bald Eagle Slingshot Front Rest. The visual change was dramatic — a benchrest version of “Pimp My Ride”. But Rod’s old Bald Eagle was also fitted out with new controls and new, large-diameter F-Class foot pads. Those hardware additions add more than flash — they improve function too.
Plain Jane Rest Becomes Black and Gold Beauty
The whole rest body was powder-coated black and the controls were finished in gold-tone. This has got to be the best-looking Bald Eagle in the galaxy. Rod says: “I had Bob Pastor of Viper Rests make me some F-Class feet for my Bald Eagle Slingshot rest. Since Bob does powder coating and such, I gave him the go ahead to make it look sweet. And he sure did!”
Rod adds: “Man do I have a ‘kick-butt’, hot looking rest for F-class now! Pastor did a great job and I really owe him a thanks for exceeding my expectations and for his craftsmanship. Bob is a great guy to work with. He is a top-shelf shooter too, so he knows what he wants in a rest and why.”
What’s involved in an “Extreme Make-Over” by Bob Pastor?
Here’s the description on Bob’s Website, www.ViperBench-rest.com:
Each rest is customized for the individual shooter. All the brass knobs and handles are melted down rifle cases from my foundry.
(Aluminum knobs and handles can be substituted of weight is a concern.)
Each knob and handle is individually knurled and turned on my lathe.
All threaded stainless steel rods, knob screws and knob extensions are used. These are all highly polished before installation.
The Viper Double-Edge F-Class Feet are 4″ wide, with a large tapered spike turned concentric to the center hole.
All corner stainless steel rods are ½ x 13 threads per inch for added stability.
All corner stainless steel rods have concentric points turned on the ends for use on a shooting bench.
All corner holes in base are drilled and tapped for ½ x 13 tpi., from 3/8 x 16 tpi. For better stability.
The base is stripped of any paint and all sharp edges and burrs are removed prior to powder coating.
The entire rest is either powder-coated or painted according to the material.
All threaded rods are burnished to remove any small burrs, before applying synthetic grease and assembly.
All brass is highly polished, unless a matte finish is desired.
Each rest is then packed in liquid hardening foam for safety during shipping.
To order an “Extreme-Makeover” visit www.ViperBench-rest.com, call Bob Pastor at (269) 521-3671, or email robpas [at] btc-bci.com . Bob says the Make-Over price “depends on the customer’s desires and is quoted before the rest is shipped to me.”
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Stiller’s Precision Firearms has been chosen to supply the action (receiver) for the new, updated MK 13, .300 Win Magnum sniper rifle for Crane Naval Weapons Center. The contract, valued at $2,000,000, calls for Stiller’s Precision to produce long actions for the latest version of the MK 13. The Navy could not simply upgrade its M40 sniper rifles from 7.62×51 to the larger, harder-hitting .300 Win Mag cartridge, because the M40 has a short action. The new MK 13 will employ a Rem-style long action in a modified Accuracy International Chassis. Current MK 13s feature an AICS stock, and a Knights forward rail mount or a MARS rail, with a Nightforce scope. Suppressors from various manufacturers are being tested for the latest MK 13.
MK 13 Action Will Eventually Be Offered to Civilian Market
Jerry Stiller tells us: “[For the MK 13 contract], we submitted samples and won out over the competition in a field type of test using all the submitted actions for consideration. The Navy is putting our action on new AI Chassis systems with new high-quality barrels. Hopefully, when we complete the first phase of the contract for them this year, we will make the same action available to the general public. We will keep everyone informed of what is available as it happens.”
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