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July 11th, 2008

New Binocular Spotting Scope

A new, high-end spotting scope with dual, binocular-style eyepieces is being offered by John Rigby & Co., of Paso Robles, California. Early examples have exhibited exceptional optical quality and resolution. The dual eyepieces reduce eyestrain and improve perceived brightness and contrast. Along with delivering better effective resolution, the twin-eyepiece system is much less fatiguing. The military has long known that viewers can resolve small objects at long range much easier with binoculars vs. single-eyepiece spotters. Attend a big 1000-yard match, such as the Williamsport World Open, and you’ll see many custom scope brackets that mount a pair of single-eyepiece spotting scopes together. Those guys wouldn’t go to the trouble and expense of mounting twin scopes if it didn’t provide a better view.

Rigby Bincular Spotting Scope

This scope has a huge 120 mm objective lens, 20% bigger than any major-brand spotting scope on the market. Robert Whitley has been testing a Rigby Binocular Spotter. He reports: “The optics on this scope are incredible. The other evening I set the scope up on a deck at my home and amazed myself watching ants climbing up and down the bark on the trunk of a tree about 150 yards away — very clear and sharp image resolution for sure. There is no question this is an exceptional piece of equipment. Nothing like older eyes to give one an appreciation of great optics.”

Rigby Bincular Spotting Scope

The scope itself comes with a high-quality hard case and two matched eyepieces. Available power levels are 20x (30mm) and 30x (21mm). Higher magnification eyepieces are under development. The head containing the two eyepieces rotates on the scope body, allowing viewing from a variety of angles. These Rigby Binocular spotting scopes will be sold directly to the customers. Pricing is subject to change, but the builders expect the unit to retail for $1799.00 including twin eyepieces. For more info, visit or call 1 + (805) 227-4236, ask for Geoff Miller.

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July 11th, 2008

6mmAR Turbo: Ultimate AR15 Cartridge?

Robert Whitley has developed the very accurate “6mmAR” cartridge based on Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass necked down to 6mm. This round is optimized for the AR15 platform, and provides excellent performance with 105-108gr bullets, with ballistics that beat both the .223 Rem and the 6.5 Grendel.

Not content with the success of the plain 6mmAR, Robert has created a new wildcat, the “6mmAR Turbo”. By moving the shoulder forward (while retaining its 30° angle), Robert has designed a case that delivers more velocity: 2850-2900 fps with 105-grainers.

6mmAR Turbo Whitley

In driving the 105s to 2900 fps, the Turbo rivals the performance of the larger 6mmBR cartridge, in a round better suited for the AR platform, with less bolt thrust and better feeding from the magazine.

6mmAR Turbo Chronograph

Jerry Tierney (2008 NBRSA 600-yard Champion) recently started testing his own Whitley-built 6mmAR Turbo upper. He tells us: “This round is impressive. I am getting 6BR velocities with Berger 105s — no question. And the accuracy is there. Case forming is easy. Since you start with the 6.5 Grendel you just neck down with a die set short, and you have a false shoulder that provides a perfect ‘crush fit’ in the chamber. Bottom line it works. Really well. This thing gives the AR15 long-range bolt-gun performance. I hope the military is paying attention.”

Whitley explains: “The Turbo definitely has a good bit more speed than the 6mmAR. For a guy wanting to shoot plain bullets out of an AR-15, it appears somewhere between 2850-2900 fps for a bullets like the Berger 105 VLD is a realistic number. With moly bullets, probably a bit more is possible. For the chrono work, all bullets were plain (no moly) and I pushed it to see where was a realistic upper end. I think about 2900 fps with naked 105 Bergers is a ‘practical max’.”

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July 11th, 2008

Updated Website for U.S. F-Class Team

The website for the U.S. F-Class Open Team has been completed revamped and updated. It now includes many new features, including a “Gallery of Guns”, F-Class FAQ, and a summary of F-Class Rules. Team bios will be added in the fall after the final team selection is made for the 2008 World Championships. The next F-Class World Championship will be held in Bisley, England in July, 2009. This is a true international event that has numerous countries from all over the world with close to 350 shooters participating.

Current Team Officers are: Bob Bock, Team Captain; Shiraz Balolia, Vice Captain; and Roger Whitney, Adjutant. The team is coached by some of the best wind gurus in the business: SSGT Emil Praslick (Head Coach), Bob Mead, Mid Tompkins, and Nancy Tompkins.

The U.S. F-Class Team competes in Open Class, using rifles up to 22 pounds with benchrest-style front rests. The other class shot at F-Class matches is F-TR, which stands for F-Class “Target Rifle”. F-TR is limited to .223 or .308 calibers, and is normally shot prone with bipod support.

Caliber limit of .35 and under.
Rifle weight of 10 kg (approx. 22 lbs.)
Adjustable front rest and rear bag allowed.
Rail guns not allowed.
3″ wide fore-end (max).

Caliber limited to .223 or .308 (unmodified).
Sling and/or bipod allowed.
Rifle weight limit of 8.25 kg (approx. 18.18 lbs)

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