September 26th, 2012

David Bailey and Team Long Shots are F-Open Champions

Congratulations to David Bailey, the 2012 F-Open National Champion. Shooting at Raton last week, David scored 1283-59X, to finish one point ahead of fellow Forum member Bob Sebold (1282-59X). Past F-Open Champion Jeff Cochran tells us: “David did a masterful job. He had one of the best, if not the best, rifles on the line for the morning trigger-pulling contests. He also showed great patience choosing his shots wisely in some of the nasty, switchy afternoon conditions. Not only spitting them downrange when the conditions called for it, but he was smart enough to put on the brakes and not get burned. All in all, David had a great performance in a wide range of conditions.”

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012

Bailey Shot a .280 Remington with Berger 7mm Hybrids
David was shooting a 7mm cartridge, but not the 7mm you might expect. David’s Bat-actioned F-Open rifle has a 32″ Bartlein, 9-twist barrel chambered for a no-turn-neck .280 Remington. David’s winning load consisted of 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets pushed at 2860 FPS by Russian primers and Hodgdon 4831SC powder. Bullets are seated about 0.015″-.020″ away from the lands (this happens to be Berger’s suggested “starting point” seating depth for these Hybrids). David says he does “very little brass prep” other than sorting his Remington brass. (That’s right — Remington!) He does use an expander ball during reloading to push out any neck-wall-thickness variations.

The pretty green stock is a Robertson Composites ‘Speedy F-Class’ model, with adjustable cheek-piece. David added 4.5 pounds of lead in the buttstock to bring the gun up to max F-Open weight. David’s rifle was originally smithed by Richard King of King’s Armory in Arlington, Texas, (817) 265-0118, rking3005 [at] The current .280 Rem barrel was chambered and fitted on the gun by David himself.

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012We had a chance to chat with David Bailey after the Nationals. When asked how he felt about the big win, David replied: “It took a while to sink in… I was extremely happy that two of my teammates finished in top 10 — Mark (Walker) and Michelle (Gallagher) — [as a team] we had a very good week overall.” David wanted to give credit to his past/present team-mates, “both the Spindle Shooters and Long Shots — they have been a tremendous help.” David added, “In particular I want to say thanks to Jeff Cochran. And I can’t forget my gunsmith Richard King, he’s been a tremendous asset.”

For those who have been following David’s shooting, it was no surprise that he did well at Raton. David noted: “I’ve been shooting well for the last couple of years, but this time it all came together. I will say my wind reading has gotten a lot better the last couple of years.”

Asked if he had any advice for new F-Class shooters, David replied: “Practice — shoot as much as you can. And as for hardware and reloading — don’t get hung up on the gimmicks.”

Team Long Shots Wins F-Open Team Title
As captain of Team Long Shots, David Bailey helped lead the Long Shots Open Team to their second consecutive national title. The Long Shots compiled a 1583-83X score to finish first, ahead of second-place Team Spindle Shooters (1576-65X). Long Shots Team Members are: David Gosnell, Mark Walker, Ken Dickerman, team captain David Bailey, and coach Michelle Gallagher. This year, the Long Shots turned in a great performance, emerging victorious over what may be the largest number of F-Open teams ever at the F-Class Nationals.

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012 Team Long Shots

For the equipment junkies, it’s interesting to note that Michelle Gallagher used a rifle with a new stock David Bailey designed and built. Texas gunsmith Richard King barreled Michelle’s rifle in .280 Remington, and also built other guns for Long Shots Team members. Richard built Mark Walker’s rifle and Ken Dickerman’s rifle and stocked David Gosnell’s gun. Jeff Cochran reports that Richard King also smithed two rifles used by the Sierra Spindle Shooters team (Cochran’s own gun and Jeff Traylor’s rifle). Overall Richard King worked on six rifles for the top two F-Open teams — that’s a pretty strong endorsement of King’s gun-building skills.