March 4th, 2008

Murdica Tops Field at Cactus Classic

Lou Murdica captured the Two-Gun title at this weekend’s Cactus Classic benchrest match in Phoenix, AZ. Lou’s Two-Gun .2715 Aggregate placed him ahead of runner-up Mike Ratigan (.3177). Lou also won the Heavy Varmint (HV) Grand Agg (with a .2209), and won the HV 200 on Sunday in wicked conditions described as “horrendous” and “a tornado”. In the HV 200, Lou shot an impressive .2209. The next best score was Larry Costa’s .3457. Match Director Gary Ocock called Lou’s HV 200 performance a “Monster Blow Out Win–it was like Lou was shooting on another range.”

Mike Ratigan also did very well in Phoenix. Mike finished second in the Two-Gun, while winning the Light Varmint (LV) Grand with a .3076. Mike also won the LV 200 on Sunday with a .3976. (This was a 4-target Agg because the LV 200 match was cut short by wind and time problems). Larry Costa finished third in Two-Gun with a .3303, and won the HV 100 on Saturday with an impressive .1972 average.

Lou Murdica

Don Nielson reports: “Lou did not shoot a tuner on either of his guns. He shot a prototype, modified BAT 3-lug action in a Larson wood stock in Light Gun, and a Grizzley in a John Maxon walnut stock in HG.” Both of Lou’s rifles had Bartlein cut-rifled barrels chambered by Don Nielson. One was a 14-twist, while the other had a 1:13.5″ twist. Lou used Bart’s .790 jacket, 65gr boat-tail bullets.

As did most of the top shooters, Lou used March scopes on both his rifles. Lou ran a 40X on the HV, and a 50X on the LV. Both scopes featured a special raised reticle. This has the intersection of the crosshairs well above center. This allows Lou to see more flags in his scope while he’s aiming. Lou noted: “That reticle gives me a quick edge I think. I can see four flags in the scope. When a flag moved, I could pick that up instantly. That really helped me do well on Sunday.”

DaveB, posting on Benchrest Central, noted: “I can’t express how impressed I was with the preformance Lou put on for both Saturday and Sunday. He had time to talk with whomever wanted to ‘chat’ … and still keep his focus to shoot small in every condition imaginable. This was no turkey shoot guys. The best and toughest competitors were there. Lou not only kicked our butt, but made it look easy and was gracious about it.”

Here are Overall Match results, courtesy Gary Ocock:

HV Grand LV Grand Two-Gun
1. Lou Murdica .2209
2. Larry Costa .2715
3. Bart Sauter .3067
4. Herman Hefta .3242
5. Mike Ratigan .3278
1. Mike Ratigan .3076
2. Bill Summers .3092
3. Gary Sinclair .3190
4. Lou Murdica .3221
5. Roy Damron .3383
1. Lou Murdica .2715
2. Mike Ratigan .3177
3. Larry Costa .3303
4. Bill Summers .3426
5. Gary Sinclair .3431

Lou Murdica

Interestingly, in our Jan. 29th Bulletin, we published Lou Murdica’s advice on Benchrest shooting along with the results of Lou’s testing of turned vs. no-turn necks. Lou certainly demonstrated he’s on top of the game right now. Lou told us:

“Since 1991 when I was on the winning team at the 1st World Shoot in France, I started to experiment and shoot every weird thing I could find or build. I tried more crap, bought and built more guns and while doing this I tried to shoot every shoot I could across the country. I took Tony Boyer’s class three years back, and the first thing he told me was pick a couple of guns out of all of them and shoot 6 PPC and nothing else for the next couple years. He told me to spend my money on barrels for those guns. Well, I did as he suggested and boy, it made a difference in my shooting.

What I’m trying to say to all the guys that have been shooting benchrest for a while and are starting to travel to the bigger matches is, stick with proven goods that have dominated for years, like the 6 PPC, with turned necks. You can try the weird stuff in practice.”

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