February 12th, 2015

Thoughts on Competitive Shooting — Top Guns Talk

At the Berger Southwest Nationals we had a chance to meet with many friends, including past and current champions. Here are some of the interesting comments from some top F-Class and Sling Shooters.

John Whidden
James Crofts talks wind with Erik Cortina at the Berger SWN. At Wednesday’s 600-yard match, James topped the F-TR field while Eric won the F-Open Division.

James Crofts
“The thing that has helped my shooting the most this past year was not fretting so much about the ammo — getting out of the reloading room. I’m putting more focus on shooting the gun and calling the wind. What advice would I give other shooters? Buy high-quality gear and cry once. For example, the Nightforce competition scope — it’s a great scope and we do use the full 55 power at times.”

Erik Cortina
“I shot a .284 Shehane today with 180gr Scenars. I’m glad I had that BC working for me, even at 600 yards. Do 6mm Dashers have a place in F-Open? Not on a day like today. If I was able to hold a 10 with my .284, the Dasher guys were over in the nine ring. If I shot a 9, they might shoot an 8. When conditions are tough, you want the heavy bullet.”

Larry Bartholome
“What trends do I see in F-Open? Well, for 600 yards, maybe more guys will start using the Dasher, now that Norma Dasher brass will be available thanks to Shiraz. Personally, for mid-range I’m shooting a .284 Shehane with 180 Bergers. I’ll stick with my 7mm/270 WSM for 800 [and longer].”

John Whidden

John Whidden
“It’s good to see so many old friends here. But I can’t say Ben Avery has been friendly today. This certainly gives me a chance to practice my wind calling — that should come in handy later this year at the Fullbore world championships at Camp Perry. On the business front we’re expanding our range of cartridge dies. I know a lot of guys at this match are now using our dies. That makes me proud.”

John Whidden

Carl Bernosky
“What with the back surgery, I haven’t had a sling on in nearly two years. Today was tough — my rifle felt like a log. The Southwest Nationals is a great match mind you, but it’s all on the ground and I miss standing up… I like to shoot standing.”

Mid Tompkins
“Electronic targets, you want electronic targets? That would change the whole game. Sure I can see my own shot locations on a monitor, but what about the other guys’ shots? I learn a lot looking at where other shooters’ shots end up [displayed by the shot markers]. Take that away and things are completely different. Looking at shots from other shooters on the line is a big part of the game today.”

John Whidden

John Whidden

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