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July 2nd, 2010

Anschütz and BSA Martini Benchrest Rigs from MT Guns

We recently tested some interesting “club benchrest” rifles created by MT Guns. Recognizing the demand for highly accurate “club-level” smallbore BR guns, Mac Tilton and his crew at MT Guns have started producing two new types of affordable rimfire benchrest rifles. One line of rifles employs Anschütz actions refitted with modern SS barrels and benchrest stocks. As its second line of rimfire BR guns, MT Guns is offering highly-modified BSA Martinis, tricked out with bag-riders and premium barrels fitted with tuners. With the hot-rod Anschütz running about $2000.00 and the modified BSA costing about $1500.00, these guns should provide an affordable alternative for club-level rimfire benchrest shooters. Plus you won’t have to wait months or years to get a “big-name” smith to build you a rifle.

Anschütz 54 Benchrest MT Guns

Anschütz Modified for Serious Accuracy
For Anschütz fans, MT Guns has fitted high grade Benchmark barrels to the legendary Model 54-type action. These re-barreled Anschütz actions are placed in Don Stith laminated benchrest stocks. With a modern low-profile, wide-forearm stock, MT Gun’s Anschütz BR guns track beautifully. So far, MT Guns has created two of these Anschütz-based bench guns, both built from model 19XX donor rifles — which also provided superb 5018 triggers. Barrels on both guns are Benchmark — one a 2-groove, the other a 3-groove. In the Stith stocks, complete with aluminum butt plates and weighted tuners, both rifles tip the scales at about 10 pounds. Price for the Anschütz bench guns is $1995.00 with unfinished Stith stock. A fitted Hoehn barrel tuner adds $200 to the price, while a Picatinny rail is a $125.00 option.

Anschütz 54 Benchrest MT Guns

BSA MartiniBSA Martini — Classic Design with 21st Century Upgrades
If you want to get noticed at your club’s next smallbore rimfire match, then a modified BSA Martini may be the gun for you. These rifles, originally built for prone target shooting, earned a well-deserved reputation for accuracy. MT Guns has done some basic modifications allowing the unique BSA Martinis to be surprisingly competitive in the benchrest game. The factory barrels were “retired” in favor of a 2-groove or 3-groove reverse taper Benchmark barrel — the type of tube that has won big matches and set records. To improve the rifle’s “bench manners” MT Guns fits a custom-made low-friction polymer sled in the front. Fitted with this 3″-wide bag-rider, the gun is extremely stable. An optional Hoehn tuner allows you to tune barrel harmonics for maximum accuracy.

Speaking of which, readers may be asking “How accurate can this BSA Frankengun really be?” Amazingly accurate. Watch the slide show below. In the last frame you’ll see two very impressive 5-shot groups shot by the BSA Martini Int’l Mark III at 50 yards. The ammo was Lapua X-Act.

In the video below, Bruce Duncan of MT Guns explains the distinctive mechanical design of the lever-activated, tilting-block BSA Martini. Bruce also discusses the history of the BSA Martini marque, reviewing the many BSA Martini models produced in the last century. The BSA Martini International MK III is perhaps the most desirable in the long evolution of target Martinis built by BSA from the Great War era to the early 80s. These MK IIIs, dating from the 1960s, feature Benchmark 28 3/4″ reverse-taper barrels, Hoehn barrel tuners, and special bolt-on Picatinny rails fabricated by MT Guns. Bruce noted: “The MT Guns bag rider attaches to the rifle’s fore-end rail. During testing, we noted that the fore-and-aft position of the bag rider on the rail affected the rifle’s tune.” For more info, visit or call the shop at (805) 720-7720.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 12 Comments »
July 2nd, 2010

Fierce Competition at Oklahoma Spring Balloon Shoot

Balloon Shoot OKOn June 19, the 4R Rifle Club in Alex, Oklahoma hosted its Spring Balloon Shoot. This challenging “fun shoot” drew nearly 50 competitors from five states. In this multi-yardage event, shooters try to break four balloons, one each at 100, 250, 400, and 500 yards. A total of 18 rounds were allowed. The balloons were worth 10, 20, 30, and 45 points respectively. Shooters attacked the balloons in 12 relays. Even with challenging winds, some impressive scores were fired. When the smoke cleared and all the competitors had tried their luck, only two had perfect scores of 420. Jim Fowler turned in a pair of 410s to win the Two-Gun award, youth winner Dalton Ernst shot a 390, and factory gun champ Don Johnson managed a 365 with his Savage 6BR.

Exciting Shoot-off Decides Match Winner
The top six shooters of the day returned to the bench with clean scorecards for the Shoot-off. They would repeat the same course as earlier in the day — one balloon each at 100, 250, 400, and 500 yards, with 18 rounds. Two competitors, Don Johnson and Rick Jensen, emerged from the Shoot-off tied, having both shot clean scores of 420. The balloons were set up again, only this time, Don and Rick were allowed just 8 rounds. Hard choices had to be made. Both men elected to start at 400 yards, breaking all four balloons before moving to 500, where both Don and Rick broke three. As a final tie-breaker, each man fired a single shot at a distance of 300 yards. When the targets were retrieved, Don Johnson prevailed as the Overall Champion, with Rick Jensen in second. Don was shooting a .243 Win, while Rick had a .284 Win; both guns featured Surgeon actions. Finishing 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively were: Shane Herman, Jim Fowler (2-Gun Champ), and Arthur McMeans.

Balloon Shoot OK
Top Ten Shooters’ Equipment List (in alphabetical order)
Balloon Shoot OK

Match organizers offer special thanks to the many match sponsors who filled a rich prize table, and thanks to the Reeves family for hosting yet another great match at the 4R Rifle Club.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »