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August 26th, 2013

Squads Battle Wild Winds at F-Class Team World Championships

F-class world championshipsTop marksmen from around the world battled for national honors today during Day 1 of the F-Class Team World Championships. F-Open and F-TR teams from many countries were decked out in their national colors. We saw squads from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, and the USA. Other nations were represented as well.

Along with the basic two divisions, F-Open and F-TR, there are separate classifications for 4-man squads and the big 8-member National Teams. One Junior team from the USA is also competing. Right now the 8-man USA F-TR squad has a commanding lead. The talent-laden USA 8-man F-Open squad sits in second place, just three points behind the surprisingly strong Australian squad. But there are hundreds of record rounds left to fire tomorrow, and USA F-Open team members hope to move into the top slot on Day 2. Scroll down the page for a video interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia.

F-Class World Championship

More than once in today’s matches dust devils appeared on the range. During the 1000-yard match a large swirling dust cloud formed dead center on the range. We heard coach Mid Tompkins call to his shooters: “Whoa – Whoa, stop firing, stop everything”. Mid told us: “When you have dust devils like that, you have to stop — you can’t out-guess it and you may not even be able to see the target.”

F-Class World Championships

Interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

Brazil F-Class World Championship

Many of the top teams are using “comm packages” with microphones and headsets. This allows the coaches to communicate with each other, conferring on observations and wind calls. Wireless communicators are not allowed, so cords are strung between the coaching stations.

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
August 26th, 2013

K&M Ported Expander Mandrel Riser and Neck-Turner Grip

K&M PrecisionK&M Precision Shooting Products has two very handy products you may not know about yet. The first, a brilliantly simple device that lets you see your case necks as you expand them, can be used by anyone who necks-up brass (with a compatible expander die body). The second new product is a specialized “fat grip” holder that will make neck-turning easier for those of you out there who use K&M neck-turners.

K&M Expand Mandrel Window Riser
This is a simple threaded extension placed between your expander die body (K&M Expand Iron) and the top of your press. It carries the expander mandrel higher, above the press, and has a cut-out view port so you can see the mandrel as it passes through the neck. Smart, eh? This provides visual feedback during the process of expanding your brass. The patent-pending view riser costs $20.00. Will it expand necks faster, or reduce run-out? We doubt it, but we still would like to have one, if only to eyeball the mandrel to control the neck-entry rate more consistently from case to case.

K&M Expander Riser

Installation: Thread the Expand Mandrel Window Riser into the top of your loading press, then thread the K&M Expand-Iron (Expander Die Body) fully into the top of the window riser and adjust each so you can stroke out the press completely without driving the case mouth into the press adapter. This allows you to view the expanding operation which is typically blind under the press. The riser also eliminates the need for the stop screw in the expander mandrel. LINK: Expand Window Riser Instructions (PDF).

Ergo Holder K&MErgo Holder for K&M Neck-Turning Tool
K&M’s rounded, oversized Ergo Holder lets you hold the K&M neck-turning body more securely (and with less hand cramping). Priced at $35.00, it is an expensive accessory, but we suspect many guys with K&M neck-turners will spring for an Ergo holder just because it gives you a more secure and comfortable grip on the small, square-edged K&M neck-turner.

Customer Feedback Inspired K&M’s Ergo Holder
The folks at K&M told us that their new Ergo Holder was produced in response to customer requests: “[Customers reported that] the neck turner can be hard to hold due to its compact size, especially in high-volume use. The Ergo Holder is machined from aluminum, providing a fatigue-proof grasp of the neck turner. Its mass works like a heat sink to help dissipate heat from the pilot during the turning process. The neck-turner body easily assembles into the Ergo Holder and is held in place with one set screw. The Ergo holder is also designed with the dial indicator in mind and actually makes its use more convenient”.
LINK: Ergo Holder Installation/Use Instructions (PDF).

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
August 26th, 2013

Spy Photos: New 7-42X Leupold VX-6 Scope Revealed at Raton

Leupold 7-42X scopeHere’s a shocker — Leupold has built a 7-42X long range scope. This new scope has a 34mm tube, and target turrets with a zero stop for BOTH windage and elevation. That’s right, there’s a zero stop on the windage turret.

We were shown this new 7-42X Leupold by USA F-TR Team Vice Captain Mike Miller. Mike literally grabbed this editor’s arm and said “You’ve got to see this new Leupold — it’s fantastic.”

First Field Tests Show Great Promise
Mike has compared this new Leupold 7-42X scope on his rifles with high-magnification scopez from Nightforce and March and he told us: “You’re going to love this Leupold. It’s bright, really, really sharp and it has a great field of view”. Mike said that the new Leupold, when compared to a Nightforce at similar magnification, has a wider field of view: “I can see more of the range, more flags, with the Leupold.” Mike also praised the new, unique Windage Zero Stop: “With a stop on the Windage, I can just move back to my baseline and never worry that I’m off a full turn — that’s important for competition.”

How the Windage Control Works
Mike Miller explained that, while Leupold has used the terminology of “windage zero stop”, the feature is more an adjustable windage center. You can still go both ways (left and right) after setting the stop. However you have the ability to adjust the horizontal turret markings so the zero indicator on the windage dial is at true horizontal center — for your gun and barrel. That way you can dial to zero on the windage dial and know that your horizontal POI will be dead center for a no-wind condition. But you do have the ability to adjust both left and right. It is not an end-of-travel “zero stop” as that term is used for elevation turrets.

The new 7-42X is not in production yet. Mike reports: “Leupold has built just six (6) of these new scope and we’ll be testing a couple here at Raton.” We don’t know the exact weight of the new scope — Leupold has not provided detailed specifications. However, we couldn’t help but notice the big 34mm tube. Mike says there is over 50 MOA of elevation available. As for price — your guess is as good as ours. This is still a prototype, so we have no idea what the scope will cost, or when it will hit the market. But we can say that Leupold now has a scope to compete directly with the high-magnification scopes from March and Nightforce. We presume that the new 7-42X Leupold will eventually sell for less than the Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope. Stay tuned for more information.

There’s a new Leupold VX-6 Long-Range Scope to compete with the Nightforce Benchrest and NXS Models. In a surprise unveiling, Leupold send a couple prototype 7-42X scopes to Raton.

Leupold 7-42X scope

leupold 7-42x scope

Leupold 7-42X

leupold 7-42x scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 12 Comments »
August 26th, 2013

Americans Adams and Taylor Crowned F-Class World Champions

F-class world championship Kenny AdamsCongratulations to American shooters Kenny Adams (F-Open) and Nikolas Taylor (F-TR), newly crowned F-Class World Champions.

The Individual half of the F-Class World Championships (FCWC) has concluded and Americans dominated the Top Ten Standings in both classes (see Agg Charts below). Conditions were very difficult on both days of the competition, which included a thunderstorm on Day One. On Day Two, winds were switchy with velocities that seemed to change by the minute. The men and women who performed well in these conditions certainly deserved their trophies.

As F-Open Champ Kenny Adams told us: “You might look at the scores and think it was easy. But actually conditions were very, very challenging. And with the quality of this field, if you dropped just one point you could fall way down in the standings.”

F-Open World Champion Kenny Adams Talks About His Hard-Fought Victory

Kenny won the F-Open Title is an tough battle with Australian shooter Marty Lobert that went down to the wire on Sunday. Both men finished with identical scores of 466, but Adams had the edge in V-Count, 51 Vs compared to 43 Vs for Lobert. We talked with Marty after the match, and he told us: “It was tight, but Kenny deserved the win — eight more Vs.” Still Marty said that a tight finish like this causes one to think about the “what ifs”: “Losing on Vs — well it makes you think — what if I got one more point in that first relay on Day One, what if I’d held off a little further on just one shot.”

Kenny Adams Martin Lobert F-Open 2013 World Championship

Nikolas Taylor Wins F-TR Championship, Simmonds Second, Buell Third
In F-TR Class, Nikolas Taylor (450-33V) edged the UK’s Russell Simmonds (449-31V) by one point. Simmonds, a past F-TR world champion, shot great on Sunday, picking up five points on Taylor, but that left Russell just one point short. Taylor had built a six-point margin over Simmonds on Day One, and that was enough to secure the victory. F-TR Team USA shooter Darrell Buell finished third with a 445-29V score.

F-TR F T/R world championships

FCWC — Two-Day Grand Aggregate, F-Open and F-TR
FCWC Individual Results August 24 — F-Open and F-TR
FCWC Individual Results August 25 — F-Open and F-TR

Competitor | DAY-1 | DAY-2 | GRAND AGG

KENNY ADAMS: 221-26V 245-25V 466-51V — World Champion
MARTIN LOBERT: 222-17V 244-26V 466-43V
BOB MEAD: 222-24V 243-29V 465-53V
HERBERT EDWARDS: 220-27V 244-19V 464-46V
KEN DICKERMAN: 216-20V 245-29V 461-49V
FREDDY HALTOM: 216-20V 245-26V 461-46V
ALAN FRASER: 214-17V 246-28V 46-45V
BOB SEBOLD: 220-18V 239-22V 459-40V
WILLIAM WITTMAN: 217-15V 242-19V 459-34V
DON NAGEL: 217-13V 242-19V 459-32V

Competitor | DAY-1 | DAY-2 | GRAND AGG

NIKOLAS TAYLOR: 221-18V 229-15V 450-33V – World Champion
RUSSELL SIMMONDS: 215-16V 234-15V 449-31V
DARRELL BUELL: 214-14V 231-15V 445-29V
HILIP KELLEY: 210-11V 235-17V 445-28V
JAMES CROFTS: 215-19V 228-12V 443-31V
BRAD SAUVE: 208-14V 233-15V 441-29V
TRUDIE FAY 215-16V 226-10V 441-26V
KEVIN CHOU: 208 9V 233 11V 441 20V
DEREK RODGERS: 215-12V 226-8V 441-20V
DARYL BARLOW: 207-9V 232-11V 439-20V

F-Open Silver Medalist Talks About the .284 Winchester

F-Class world championship

Permalink Competition 4 Comments »
August 26th, 2013

Guns & Gear TV Reviews Varmageddon Ammo This Week.

This week, the popular Guns & Gear TV show reviews one of our favorite types of varmint ammo — the Varmageddon line-up from Nosler. In addition, this week’s show features the Ruger M77 Hawkeye, Smith & Wesson’s legendary Model 41 .22LR pistol, plus 9mm XDs from Springfield Armory. Watch show segments, learn more about the products, and get the latest news at

nosler varmageddon ammo

Guns & Gear TV, now in its fifth season, showcases new gun products every week. Each episode delivers in-studio interviews, field and range demonstrations, and tips from top shooting instructors. Guns & Gear TV airs on Pursuit Channel on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. ET, Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, Fridays at 10:30 p.m. ET and Sundays at 1:30 a.m. ET.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »