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October 6th, 2020

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals at Vapor Trail Valley Range in Missouri

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

2020 IBS 1K Nationals at Vapor Trail Range in Missouri

Report by Jim Bauer
“COVID Nationals” — That’s an unusual description for the IBS 1000-Yard Nationals, but it has been a very unusual year. On September 5th and 6th, 2020, Vapor Trail Valley Range held the IBS 1000-Yard National Benchrest competition. This year 63 shooters attended the event. While down from last year, that’s a good number considering the last-minute venue change. The IBS has worked hard this year to secure ranges where members can shoot and compete.

Vapor Trail Steps Up to Host 1K Nationals
When it appeared that holding the IBS 1K National event in North Carolina wasn’t going to be possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, Tom Jacobs, owner/operator of the Vapor Trail Valley Range in Spickard, Missouri stepped up. Along with Sara and Rory Jacobs, the Vapor Trail team accept the challenge of running a major National event. With only two months to prepare, the Jacobs hosted an outstanding event.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

CLICK for IBS 2020 1000-Yard Nationals Full Match RESULTS »

The precision with which this event was handled was impressive. Vapor Trail installed additional target frames to accommodate the larger attendance. A large TV screen streamed the scores, groups, relay winners and shooter positions as targets were measured. The Target Crew, managed by Sary and Rory Jacobs, had complete relay target changes done in less than five minutes. Tom Jacobs orchestrated the match from his newly constructed “Command Center” in the middle of the Firing Line and not once was there any confusion or time lost due to Shooter or Management Issues. Vapor Trail also supplied a BBQ lunch for all on Saturday and a ribeye steak lunch on Sunday. Nobody worried about going hungry.

Click then Scroll DOWN to View Light Gun and Heavy Gun Equipment Lists »

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri
This monitor showed immediate updates as the relays were scored. Jim Bauer notes: “it was really nice to see the scoring as it happened”.

Impressive Line-Up of 1000-Yard Competitors
The competition at this match was as tough as it gets. Competitors included IBS Long Range record-holders Mike Wilson, Tom Mousel, Bart Sauter, and Andy Ferguson. Past National Champions on hand included Glen Sterling Jr., Richard Schatz, Jason Walker, Glenn Hiett, and Carrol Lance. If you won a championship this year, you earned it. New IBS National 2-Gun 1000-Yard Champion Allan Carmichael can be very proud of his accomplishment this year.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

Match Started with Good Conditions, But Then Got Tough on Day 2
Day one started off with good weather and mild wind conditions, allowing some impressive groups and scores. Then, in typical Vapor Trail fashion, the wind started to shape the results. At the end of Day One, two of the three Light Gun (LG) relays had been shot and one of three Heavy Gun (HG) relays were completed. The second day menu was to start with a HG relay, finish the Light, followed by the third and final Heavy Gun relay.

30 to 40 MPH winds at End of Day 2
On Day Two, the first HG session had relatively nice conditions, but then things got interesting. The south wind, a head wind at Vapor Trail, had a steady increase all day. By the time the Light Guns started to shoot again the wind was 15 mph plus with a switch from head on to a quarter in from the southwest. Groups and Scores opened up and the leader board had many unpredictable changes.

After the Light Guns were done, the Heavies stepped up for the final Relay sequence. The wind started to howl with peak velocities in the 30-40 mph range. If you were one of the unlucky Heavy Gun shooters in that final HG Relay on Day Two, it was tough. Over half of the shooters on the line DQ’d in a couple of target sequences (sub-sets of final relay). The shooters watched the wind flip over clay targets, laying on the berm, used in the sighter period. When all was said and done, due to the high winds, approximately 40% of the competitors DQ’d during the match at some point.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri
Top Competitors, left to right: Jason Boersma (HG Score + Overall), Glenn Hiett (HG Group), Allan Carmichael (2-Gun Champion), Jim Bauer (LG Group, Score, + Overall), and two of Jim’s grandsons.

When the match was over and the wind quit blowing us around, the winners were announced. For the prestigious 2-Gun title Allan Carmichael is our new IBS 1K Champion. Allan is from Carter Lake, Iowa. Allan has been an active shooter at Vapor Trail for years but wasn’t able to compete last year due to the Midwest flooding that happened last year. Not bad shooting for a guy that hasn’t been able to compete for almost 2 years. Allan used the same gun in both Light and Heavy classes. Allan campaigned a 6 Dasher built with a BAT SV action, Krieger barrel, and Jewell trigger in a stock that Alex Wheeler trued for him. Allan was shooting Berger 105gr VLDs with Varget and CCI 450s. Allan deserves credit — h did some great shooting under tough conditions for sure.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

The Heavy Gun Overall Champion and HG Score winner was Jason Boersma from Sioux Falls, SD. Jason is a fierce competitor who has been winning since 2010. Jason is currently leading the IBS 1K Shooter of the Year race. Jason’s Heavy Gun is a .300 WSM with a Defiance action, 8″-wide forearm stock similar to a Maxi-Tracker, Krieger barrel, and Jewell trigger. He was shooting 215gr Berger Hybrids in Hornady .300 WSM brass filled with H4350 and Federal 210Ms.

Jason told us: “My Heavy Gun choice was pretty lucky, I brought both my HGs with me and on Thursday I shot them both and the WSM shot much better than my 6.5 Outlaw HG, so I decided to go with it. That’s why on the equipment list it has my 6.5 written down. I just finished my .300 WSM one week before the match and wasn’t even sure about bringing it along, but I’m glad I did. In Light Gun I was just trying to focus on not making a mistake and hope the conditions held each time. On Sunday the winds got pretty bad and strong gusts and I was just trying to get all the shots off quickly and hope they stayed on paper. The strong winds caused many DQs, but overall it was a great Nationals and a great time spent shooting with friends. You are only as good as the people you shoot against and the best were there that weekend.”

Jason’s Light Gun features a Borden action, Bix ‘N Andy trigger, and a stock he crafted himself. His LG cartridge was a wildcat, the 6.5 Outlaw. Jason said the case is essentially a 6.5×47 Lapua AI. The velocity is 2850 fps using 140gr Berger Hybrids, H4350, and CCI BR4 primers.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

Jim Bauer was was Light Gun Score, Group, and Overall champion [Editor: Mighty impressive trifecta Jim!] Jim’s rifle featured a BAT B action, Krieger barrel, Bix ‘N Andy trigger. The stock is a modified ST-1000 with truing and modifications by Gordy Gritters who has been Jim and Sally’s gunsmith for 15+ years. Jim’s cartridge is the 6 Dasher loaded with Varget powder and 103gr Vapor Trail bullets. Notably Jim was using CCI 550 Magnum PISTOL primers (yes FIVE-Fifty). Jim says some of the Deep Creek, Montana 1K shooters have also tried these CCI 550 pistol primers with success.

Glen Hiett was the Heavy Gun Group champion this year. A great competitor, Glen was the 2-Gun champion at Hawk’s Ridge last year AND he was also the 2019 IBS 1K Shooter of the Year. Remarkably, Hiett earned those major achievements in his rookie year. I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of Glenn in the winner’s circle. Glenn ran the 6 BRA cartridge (6mm BR improved). His rifle featured a BAT B action, Jewell trigger, Brux barrel, and Alex Sitman stock. He was using Vapor Trail 103gr bullets with Alliant Reloder 15 powder and CCI 450s.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri
Ladies Champion Donna Matthews with Vapor Trail Range Owner Tom Jacobs (left).

The 2020 Ladies Champion is Donna Matthews from North Carolina. Donna was the Ladies Champion in 2019 as well. Along with her husband David, they are the IBS goodwill ambassadors.

Praise and Thanks for Vapor Trail Range and IBS Sponsors
There are lots of stories to be told from this year’s 1K Nationals. As confirmed in AccurateShooter Forum threads, the match ran flawlessly. Everyone was thankful that we had a place to shoot a game that we love. The food, the friendships, the camaraderie, all made for a fun, inviting environment. We thank the Jacobs family clan for hosting us. Give credit also to Mike McBride for the scoring program that he created for the 600-yard discipline and the modified version he built for this event. Thanks to all within the IBS who worked hard so that we could still hold this event in this Pandemic year.

We want to thank all of our sponsors that made the match and ample Prize Table possible. We certainly realize that 2020 has been a challenging year. We thank the guys from Hornady — Craig Anderson, John Potratz, Justin Morrow, Trampas Kluender, and Chad Donscheski. They have supported Vapor Trail Range for years and their contributions are appreciated. We also want to thank AMP annealing, Bench Source, 21st Century Shooting, Krieger Barrels, Hawkhill, Bart’s Bullets, and SEB Rests.

IBS international benchrest shooters 1000-yard 1K Nationals championship Vapor Trail range Missouri

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October 6th, 2020

New SEB Premium Bigfoot Rear Bag — Impressive Design

SEB coax lambang rear bag sandbag benchrest

Benchrest and F-Class shooters know that you need a very good rear bag to achieve optimal (and repeatable) accuracy with your rifle. The rear sandbag does more than just support the weight of the rifle in the rear. It also aligns the stock with the front rest, absorbs vibration/shock, and perhaps most importantly, guides the rearward travel of the stock during the recoil cycle.

A premium bag will be stable from shot to shot, not move on recoil, and also be a good match to the angles and width of the keel (bottom) of your stock. Modern rear sandbags also employ various types of synthetics on the contact surfaces. The idea is to reduce friction which still providing a stable “grip” on the stock.

We’ve learned that our friend Sebastian Lambang, inventor of SEB coaxial rests, has come up with an improved, second-generation Bigfoot Rear bag. The design looks very well thought-out and the craftsmanship is excellent. Seb welcomes comments on his Facebook Page. These will be available soon from SEB dealers worldwide.

Seb explains: “Here is the new/premium SEB Bigfoot Rear Bag. The photos show our Prototype bag model shown with nylon seat belt material on the ears.” Note that the bags sit perfectly flat — there is no bulge on the bottom even though the bags are “packed to the brim with sand”.

SEB coax lambang rear bag sandbag benchrest

SEB coax lambang rear bag sandbag benchrest

Dimensions: Standard spacings between ears: 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, and 1″; standard height: 4″.
Customizing: Other spacing, bag height, for right- or left-handed available on request.
Accessories: The SEB doughnut (bag base/surround unit) is also available (sold separately).

SEB coax lambang rear bag sandbag benchrest

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October 6th, 2020

Mr. and Mrs. King Share a Martini — Mark III Variety

rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife
Here is gunsmith Richard King, with his updated Martini Mark III smallbore rifle.

This is the kind of family-friendly, “feel-good” story we like. A few years back, Texan Richard King created a rimfire benchrest rifle using a classic Martini Mark III smallbore action. He fitted the gun with a new flat, wide forearm and a new buttstock, allowing the gun to sit steady on the bags and track smoothly. The narrow action was also fitted with a cantilevered top rail to hold a high-magnification scope.

Here is Vicki King, with Martini Mark III and her trophy.
rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife

But here’s the best part. Back in 2014, Richard provided this updated classic to his wife Vicki, who proceeded to win a rimfire benchrest match (Vintage class) with the old Martini. Richard reports: “Here is my lovely wife with her High Overall Vintage trophy. That is a Martini Mark III that I re-stocked in walnut for 50-yard, .22-caliber benchrest matches. It’s great to have her shooting with me again.”

rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife

Bravo Richard — kudos to you AND to your lovely bride. It’s great to see a couple shooting together. It’s also great to see a classic rifle brought back to the winner’s circle with some inspired stock-work, new optics mount, and other smart upgrades. Old rifles never die… at least if they find their way to a great smith like Richard King.

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