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April 28th, 2008

Tierney Wins NBRSA 600-yard Nationals with Eliseo Tubegun

From April 25-27, three dozen of the nation’s top 600-yard shooters vied for honors at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals in Sacramento. The tightly-contested match came down to the last relay on the last day. Jerry Tierney earned top honors for the match, under a scoring system that totals a shooters’ rankings for Light Gun Score, Light Gun Group, Heavy Gun Score, and Heavy Gun Group. Tierney, shooting an Eliseo Tube Gun chambered in 6 Dasher, captured the 2008 Championship with a total of 10 rank points. Peter White of Modesto, CA, shot a great match with his 6 BRX to finish second with 17 points. Craig St. Claire was not far behind, finishing third with 21 points.

Amid a field of exotic benchrest rifles, Tierney’s Tubegun (basically a modified High Power rifle) looked out of place. Jerry shot the same Eliseo R5 Tubegun in both light and heavy classes. The tubegun kit for this rifle was actually donated to by Gary Eliseo for a fund-raiser and Tierney was the high bidder on our auction.

Just before the match Jerry did some bullet comparison testing, settling on the Berger 108s. “I’m glad I tried the 108s”, Jerry told us, “they shot awesome, with very little vertical.” Tierney used a load of 33.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget, CCI BR4 primers, with the Berger 108s jumped about 0.015″ from the lands. Fitted with a Delrin front sled and a bag-riding arm in the rear, the Eliseo R5 handled extremely well. Jerry says “with a couple modifications, this Cross the Course gun worked great as a bench rifle. It tracked as well as any bench gun I’ve ever used.” Jerry’s light Palma contour Krieger barrel had about 500 rounds through it before the Nationals. Jerry says “there’s never been a brush in this barrel. At the Nationals, I cleaned at the end of each day, but I simply ran a couple wet patches through the bore. That’s it. I just wanted to get the loose carbon out.”

Challenging Winds–Big Angle and Velocity Changes
On all three days the wind started light but variable, then got stronger and more switchy as the day progressed. On Sunday, during the third and last relay the wind was clocking 45-60 degrees, and varying in velocity from 1-10 mph. You needed to watch the big flags to the left of the firing line to see the major switches according to Overall Winner Tierney. Jerry told us: “I used some local knowledge in that last relay. Conditions were tough, but I know when the wind is clocking like that you have to pay attention. I was seeing a full 2 MOA shift on the target.”


In the above video you can see Jerry shooting on Sunday’s third relay. Note how Jerry was looking over to the left at the flags after every shot and how he keeps his ammo covered, out of the sun. In the middle of the video Jerry has a fail to extract and has to clear an empty. Jerry explained: “I was trying to have the cases land on the towel just below the rifle by moving the bolt very slowly. Sometimes the fired case did not eject and stayed on top of the follower. With normal bolt operation the case would eject fine, but land off the bench.” Remarkably, Jerry stayed cool in the process. His performance in the third relay on Sunday, in very challenging winds, put him in the lead for the match. Jerry says “that third relay won me the match.”

Match Results
Overall Standings
1. Jerry Tierney 10 pts (6 Dasher Light & Heavy)
2. Peter White 17 pts (6 BRX Light & Heavy)
3. Craig St. Claire 21 pts (n/a)
4. Ron Tilley 23 pts (260AI Light & Heavy)
5. Robert Hoppe 31 pts (6 Dasher Light & Heavy)

Light Gun
Group Agg: Bob Dorton 3.155″, Don Nielson 3.349″
Score Agg: Craig St. Claire 271-3X, Jerry Tierney 263-2x
1-Target Small Group: Don Nielson 1.482″, Ray Meketa 1.682″, Jerry Tierney 1.799″
1-Target High Score: Robert Hoppe 49-3x, Ray Meketa 49-3x

Heavy Gun
Group Agg: Peter White 4.506″, Robert Hoppe 4.789″
Score Agg: Jerry Tierney 546-3X, Peter White 543-3X
1-Target Small Group: Rick Duncan 2.505″, Henry Pickney 2.641″
1-Target High Score: Robert Hoppe 98-2X, Rick Duncan 96-1X

We will be working on an in-depth report on the match this week. Watch the home page for a feature story soon. There was some fantastic hardware on the line, such as Warren Stallings’ barrel-block Heavy Gun shown below.

As usual, Ed Eckhoff ran a great match, and the scoring was fast and flawless. Craig St. Claire and his girlfriend catered a couple lunches for the shooters and Don Nielson supplied a huge Perpetual trophy for this match.

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April 28th, 2008

ATK Acquires Weaver Optics

Following on the heels of Leupold’s recent acquisition of the Redfield Optics brand, ATK has announced its acquisition of Weaver® Optics from Meade Instruments effective April 24, 2008. So, in the same month, two legendary American scope brands have changed hands. In the case of Weaver, we think this is a good thing, as customer service has declined under Meade’s control. ATK, which produces CCI, Federal, and Alliant products, has the resources to improve the Weaver line and maintain a higher standard of customer service. ATK is a giant aerospace and munitions manufacturer with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and over $4.1 billion in revenue.

The Weaver acquisition, coupled with the 2007 launch of Nitrex Optics™, establishes ATK as a major player in the sport optics field. Mark DeYoung, President of ATK Armament Systems and ATK Commercial Products, stated that “The opportunity to add Weaver Optics into our growing portfolio of quality brands supports our strategy for growth. Our company has a solid history with the Weaver brand and we are pleased to add Weaver optics back into our winning lineup.”

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