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September 14th, 2007

Report from Raton–Cochran and Miller Lead after Day 1

The 600-yard stage of the U.S. F-Class Nationals, at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM was completed on the 13th. Many top F-Class shooters who have been featured on this site are competing, including recent champions John Brewer and Jeff Cochran. So far, the competition has been fierce. In F-Open, Cochran leads by a single point over Dean Morris. Today and tomorrow, competitors shoot at 1000 yards. Official results, as available, will be posted on the Bald Eagles Rifle Club website.

First Day F-Class Nationals Leaderboard

1. Jeff Cochran – 443-20X
2. Dean Morris – 442-16X
3. John Brewer – 440-17X
1. Mike Miller – 430-10X
2. Darrell Buell – 428-11X
3. Mark Pharr – 427-12X

Raton F-Class nationals whittington

Forum member Monte Milanuk offered this late-breaking report: “Conditions at 600 were squirrely at best. With a shortage of target pullers, we only had 18 targets, and 90+ shooters, so the order of the day was 5 relays. One relay might get an easy relay w/ either little wind, or at least readable wind, and the next might get one w/ complete 180° switches and huge pick-ups and let-offs. To some degree it averaged out over the course of three stages, but some people faired better than others. I’m pretty sure everybody got hosed at least once but some got it a couple times.

The rest of the Nationals is at 1000 yards, and if I’ve picked up anything over the last 6 days shooting here in Raton, it is that the 1K yard line is probably going to be bloody….”

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September 14th, 2007

Monitor Ammo/Barrel Heat Levels with Temp-Sensitive Strips

Keeping your loaded cases at a controlled temperature is vital for maintaining good ES and case life. At a late summer varmint match we observed pressure signs with cases that had been sitting in direct sunlight for about 15 minutes. As we were running a “moderate” RL15 load, the pressure indications were surprising. Testing over a chronograph, cases that had been sitting in direct sunlight showed velocities up to 70 fps higher than those that had been kept in the shade. Using QuickLoad’s temperature function, we calculated from the rise in velocities that case pressures had increased by over 4,000 psi–just from 15-20 minutes in direct sunlight!

Bar-L shooting temp strips

We will now keep a temp strip in our ammo boxes at all times. offers Bar-L Benchrest temp strips that visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees (our cases got warm to the touch so they were probably about 110-120° F). Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers. With adhesive backing, they can also be used to monitor barrel heating. Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. There is also a “general purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (bottom row). The Benchrest strip is in the middle.

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September 14th, 2007

Shilen Swap Meet in October

The Third Annual Shilen Swap Meet will be held on October 27, 8am to 3pm in Shilen’s parking lot at 205 Metro Park Blvd., Ennis, Texas. All buyers and sellers are invited–and you’re welcome to just come and mingle or take a tour of the factory. Anyone can set up a table or just drop your tailgate. There are no fees and the Swap Meet will go forward rain or shine (Shilen rents a tent). Shilen will also provide complementary chili, frito pie and soft drinks. Shilen’s organizers noted: “Please call (972) 875-5318 if you plan on attending so we can have a rough head count. If you want to put up a table please call, fax or email us and let us know. We will add you to the list of vendors”

As an added incentive, Shilen Rifles will offer discounted “Swap Meet Barrels”. Shilen’s Mike Hull reports: “Last year was the first year we offered our ‘Swap Meet Barrels’ and they will be BACK this YEAR by popular demand. These are barrels that we have from customers who ordered a certain contour, or caliber and then changed their mind and wanted something else. In the name of customer service we let the customer change their order and then placed the barrel back in stock. Those barrels that are still left at Swap Meet time are offered at discounted prices! All warranties still apply; these are NOT of lower quality or factory seconds.”

Shilen Swap Meet

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