July 8th, 2020

IBS 2020 1000-Yard National Championships Moved to Missouri

Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

Important news for 1000-yard benchrest competitors! The 2020 IBS 1000-yard National Championships will be held September 5 and 6, 2020 at the Vapor Trail Valley Range in Missouri. Take note — the IBS 1K Nationals were originally going to be held at the Hawks Ridge Range in North Carolina. So the event has moved from NC to Missouri, and will be held later in the year. This change was done because of uncertainties over COVID-19 public health policies/retrictions in North Carolina. Also, moving the Nationals to early fall gives more time to organizers to plan the event.

Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

Forum member David 0306 from North Carolina observed: “As many of you have probably already heard, the 2020 1000-yard IBS Nationals has been cancelled for Hawks Ridge Gun Club in North Carolina. [Due to] uncertainty of what phase the NC Governor will have the state in, and the possibilities of going back into a stay-at-home order, the board at Hawks Ridge decided it was in the best interest of the shooters to cancel and allow another club to host the Nationals if possible. This will also help with travel plans, and getting time off from work. What I do know is Vapor Trail Valley has stepped up to the plate and has agreed to host the Nationals. Thank You Vapor Trail Valley and IBS shooters for your help and support through these difficult times.”

Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

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July 8th, 2020

How to Shoot DOTS — Insanely Small Groups at 200 Yards

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
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July 8th, 2020

Develop Loads Faster with Box to Bench Precision Targets

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put up one BIG target that would handle a myriad of important tasks at the range: Zeroing, Load Development, Click Value Verification, and Click Tracking Repeatability Tests. Well the team at Box to Bench Precision (B2B) has developed what may be the most versatile (and biggest) precision targets ever developed. With precise grid geometry, and razor-sharp printing, B2B’s targets are probably the most advanced shooting targets ever created.

B2B’s 100 Yard Long Range Load Development and Scope Tracking Target will perform many functions. This big, 30″ x 23.5″ target has specific aiming points for various tasks. In the upper left, there are 11 small orange circles for precision load testing. Over on the upper right are 7 more small, orange circles for doing a Seating Depth Comparison test.

The bottom half of the target has larger black-on-white circles that serve multiple functions. Use the corner circles to do a “Box Test” to confirm scope tracking. On the bottom row is one B/W circle to confirm zero and another to use for velocity testing. There’s another great feature on this target — running up the center of the target is a tall line that shows elevation in both MILs and MOA. That helps you confirm the TRUE click values of your optic. You’d be surprised how many scopes are slightly off — not exactly 1/4 MOA, 1/8 MOA, or 1/10 Mil as advertised. That’s why Long Range shooters absolutely need to verify their click values.

Click Tracking Grid Target
Need to test the click tracking of your optics? B2B developed an advanced target just for that task. The Rex Grid Target (shown below) provides a highly precise grid for testing elevation and windage clicks. The unique grid design has small tics denoting 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA, and 3/4 MOA. 1 MOA is marked with a “+” and the 5, 10, 15, 20, & 25 MOA elevation lines are bolded for better visibility. There are aiming points at 5 MOA intervals over the full grid.

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

B2B Precision also makes adhesive, stick-on targets. This 5-Sheet Pack offers 145 Hi-Viz Target circles with precision Milrad dimensions. There are both 100-yard and 100-meter calibrated versions (120 dots for 100m pack).

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Buyers Praise the B2B Targets
We’ve handled the B2B Targets, which are printed on high-quality, tear-resistant card stock. We can attest the printing is very precise — with accurate elevation and windage values. These aren’t your ordinary targets — they are LARGE — nearly three feet tall. Verified buyers praise these targets, one noting how the B2B target revealed his scope was not tracking properly:

“Thank you for talking to me about the MIL and MOA markers on your targets. They are very accurate. While using the Long Range 100-Yard Load Development/Scope Tracking target and my new scope, it helped me realize that my scope wasn’t tracking correctly (both turrets). So, I sent the scope to the manufacturer. When it came back, and using your target as my known constant… the scope is now ‘spot-on’ accurate. These targets are a great tool to gain a better understanding of your rifle, scope, turrets etc., all on one sheet.” — Stan, 2018

“Almost too nice to put holes in. I was in the printing industry for thirty-five years and these are really well done. Quality paper and precise printing, should be able to see bullet holes easily with these!” — Dan, 2018

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

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