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March 29th, 2010

Conversation with 2010 F-Open Champ, Derek Rodgers

2010 F-Open Class Champion Derek Rodgers, a young shooter from Albuquerque, New Mexico, proved that youth and skill can triumph over age and experience. Though Derek had placed third in F-TR class at the 2009 Nationals, this was Derek’s very first year competing in Open Class at the Nationals, and his NRA Classification was “Sharpshooter”. Derek’s win was a great victory for an unheralded newcomer. On the last day of the competition, Derek put together three superb 1000-yard matches, out-shooting High Masters and past National Champions to secure the Open Class title. Derek finished with 1330-57X, five points ahead of runner-up Ken Dickerman (1325-57X).

F-Class Open Champion

Ironically, Derek only decided to shoot in Open Class only because his favorite F-TR rifle is currently being upgraded by his gunsmith, and so the rifle wasn’t ready for the Nationals. (We suspect some F-Open competitors wish that gunsmith had finished Derek’s F-TR rifle a bit sooner).

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Derek brought a 300 WSM to the Nationals, a “big boomer” by F-Class standards. A fan of “heavy bullets”, Derek loads his 300 WSM with high-BC, 210gr JLK bullets. In Derek’s home state of New Mexico, strong winds are the norm. Shooting in those conditions has shown Derek the effectiveness of heavy 30-caliber bullets at long range. Derek’s load certainly shot well in the windy conditions during the final 1000-yard match on Sunday. While some of Derek’s success can be attributed to his wind-bucking WSM (built by Score High Gunsmithing in New Mexico), he also is a careful reloader who “goes the whole nine yards” to produce the best possible ammo. Derek anneals, weight-sorts and neck-turns his Remington brass. He weight-sorts and ogive-sorts his 210gr JLK bullets, and he points up the tips for uniformity. He spared no effort in loading for the Nationals because he knew “those other guys are really, really good.”

The Sierra Cup (at left) is presented each year to the U.S. F-Open Class National Champion. This year Derek Rodgers’ name will be placed on the trophy alongside other F-Open Champions including John Brewer (2004), Jeff Cochran (2005), Eric Bair (2006), Robert Bock (2007), and Charles Ballard (2008, 2009).

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March 29th, 2010

2010 F-Class Nationals: Rodgers Wins F-Open, Buxton Wins F-TR

The 2010 U.S. F-Class Nationals concluded yesterday. It was a big success, drawing nearly 120 individual competitors and 18 teams. Young Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter Class, 1330-57X) from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the new Open Class Champion, and Californian Lane Buxton (1302-42X) won the F-TR division using a .308 Win Palma Rifle with Sierra #2156 bullets. Forum member Ken Dickerman finished second in F-Open posting a 1325-57X. Past multi-time F-TR Champ Danny Biggs shot F-Open this year, finishing third with a 1324-67X. While we are still waiting to receive ALL the final official results, it appears Danny set the high X-count for the match, while shooting with a Sinclair bipod equipped with a vertical adjustment knob. (The Open-class guns work amazingly well off the wide-base bipods.) Charles Ballard, the reigning (back to back) F-Open champ, finished seventh in F-Open.

New F-Open Champ Derek Rodgers was shooting a 300 WSM with 210-grain bullets. This heavy bullet/short magnum combo performed well in the windy afternoon conditions during Sunday’s afternoon matches. Most of the other top F-Open competitors were shooting a .284 Win or some other 7mm. Charles Ballard told us told us: “with so many guys shooting 7mms this year, the competition is tougher than ever. If I had a caliber advantage before… that’s gone. With the winds we had in the afternoons, I’m not surprised Derek Rogers did well with his 300 WSM and the heavy bullets. I want to congratulate Derek on his well-deserved win.”

The team event was hotly contested, with 18 teams on the line, most of which were in F-TR Class. In Open Class, the North American Shooters Team, coached by Bryan Litz won the Berger Trophy for the 600 + 1000-yard combined Aggregate, as well as the 1000-yard Team Match. The Sierra Spindle Shooters team took first place in the 600-yard Team Match. In F-TR Team shooting, Savage Shooters pulled off a clean sweep, winning the 600-yard match, the 1000-yard match, AND the Team Aggregate. Congrats to Savage Shooters!

NAS Team shooters (left to right): David Mann, Dean Morris, Bryan Litz (coach), Rick Jenson, Larry Tait.

F-Open Class Results
Winner: Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter) – 1330-57X Nat’l Champion
Second: Ken Dickerman (High Master) – 1325-57X
Third: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X – High X Count?
Fourth: Jeff Cochran – 1324-28X
Fifth: Jeff Traylor – 1323-51X
High Woman: Brenda Hill – 1302-31X
High Senior: Larry Bartholome – 1321-51X
High Grand Senior: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X

F-TR Class Results
Winner: Lane Buxton – 1302-42X – National Champion
Second: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
Third: John Hayhurst – 1293-37X
Fourth: Jeffery Rorer – 1293-28X
High Senior: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
High Grand Senior: Peter Church – 1279-31X

Complete Results for Download
Check the attachments for all the scores. FCNAT2010OPEN.doc has all the F Open scores and FCNAT2010TR.doc has all the F-TR scores.

Download All F-Open Scores/Standings | Download All F-TR Scores/Standings

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