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March 16th, 2023

Shoot Like a Champion — How to Drill Tiny 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.
Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 16th, 2023

Save Big Buck$ with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, here are some money-saving codes. Brownells is currently offering $200 Off a $1000+ purchase, $125 Off a $500+ purchase, $50 Off a $200+ purchase, 10% (or $15) Off a $150+ purchase, and $10 Off a $100 purchase. It’s simple to get these discounts — there are no buyers’ clubs to join, no forms to fill out. Just use the appropriate Discount Code during online check-out.

Listed below are the Codes to use. Simply use the appropriate Code for your purchase at NOTE: Most of these codes have no listed expiration date, so Brownells could terminate them at any time. Accordingly, we recommend you do your shopping soon. Also if the highest value code no longer works, try a lesser value CODE.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: MARCH200 — $200 Off Orders $1000+
(Excludes Firearms)
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: MARCH125 — $125 Off Orders $500+
(Excludes Firearms)
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: MARCH50 — $50 Off Orders $200+
(Excludes Firearms)
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: CART30 — $30 off $200
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: TRIGGERED — 10% Off $150+
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: TA10 — 10% Off $150+
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: BACK15 — $15 Off $150+
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: SMSAVE — $10 off $100+
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: HOME10 — $10 OFF $100
Expiration date: Unknown

Free Shipping with EDGE Program
NOTE: None of the above codes include FREE or Discounted Shipping. But if you join the Brownells EDGE Program for $49.95 (12 months) you’ll get FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING on most orrders. There is also discounted overnight shipping for many items.

With a $49.95 EDGE Membership, orders ship directly free of charge — every order, no matter how many. Most orders qualify for FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING. Your membership will pay for itself after only a few orders! Also Brownells typically charges a $10 processing fee on orders containing FFL items. However, with an Edge membership, the $10 FFL processing fee is waived every time.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Permalink Hot Deals, News No Comments »
March 16th, 2023

Cold-Weather Coyote Load-Out from Vortex

Vortex scope rangefinder coyote load-out gear blog Bill Krivanek

The Vortex Blog contains an interesting article featuring recommended gear for a coyote hunting trip in late winter/early spring. This Vortex article covers all the items you’ll need: rifle, optics, shooting sticks, insulated clothing, Laser Rangefinder, game calls, carry packs and more.

In the article intro, Vortex notes: “Winter snow and cold temps don’t get Vortex’s Bill Krivanek down. In fact, quite the opposite. This time of year, he’s fired up about calling coyotes and putting a little fur on the ground. “There’s so much to love about these crafty critters”, said Bill. “They nearly always have the advantage. When you get one to come in to shooting range, you’ve really accomplished something. It’s as exciting as hunting gets.” Click the links below for more information about the Vortex Scope and Rangefinder used by Krivanek.

Complete Gear List for Cold Weather Hunting

A. Gloves
B. Milwaukee 2103 Headlamp
C. King’s Camo Snow Shadow®, Insulated Bibs
D. King’s Camo Snow Shadow®, Insulated Jacket
E. Vanguard Scout B62 Bipod
F. Knit Hat
G. Vortex Viper HD3000 Laser Rangefinder
H. FOXPRO® Shockwave Electronic Game Call

I. Open Reed & Closed Reed Mouth Calls
J. Red Rock Outdoor Gear Pack
K. HS Strut Deluxe 2-Way Strut Seat
L. Hornady 55gr V-Max Varmint Express
M. Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44mm Scope
N. Aero Precision AR-15
O. Banish 30 Silencer Central Suppressor

CLICK HERE to read the FULL Article with a complete description of each item, shown in the lead photo above. Here are three gear commentaries:

Aero Precision AR Rifle: Bill primarily hunts the Midwest where harsh winters are the norm. You can tell that from the custom rattle-can, snow-camo paint job on his well-worn AR-15. Chambered in .223 Rem, he likes the practical functionality and fast follow-up shots the AR-platform offers — particularly when you call in multiples. His AR is from Aero precision and been an absolute workhorse. Brand of AR-15 doesn’t matter much to Bill, but it does need to be accurate and reliable.

Shooting Sticks: In coyote country, you often need to bring your own rest. A set of shooting sticks is a necessity for Bill. He runs the Vanguard Scout B62 Bipod. These B62 units are fast to deploy, stabilize the rifle, and are easy to adjust when that dog comes in from a spot you didn’t anticipate. They have a swivel head for smooth panning when tracking a moving dog in your scope and easy turns to get on target fast with minimal movement.

Riflescope: Shots are shorter in the Midwest, with a general max of 300 yards. Most are much closer. Bill’s riflescope is the tried-and-true Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10x44mm. The low end of 2.5 with its wide field of view is just as important as the high end of 10. It’s incredibly durable and the optics speak for themselves.

Vortex scope rangefinder coyote load-out gear blog Bill Krivanek

Winter Solace in the Backcountry

There is a nice thread in our Forum appropriately entitled “Winter Time”. You’ll find some great backcountry images taken by our Forum members. Winter is a special time in the outdoors. Forum member JDP explains: “Winter is the best time to shoot! One of the few of life’s ironies that works in my favor. The range is empty and barrels keep cool, no bugs, no waiting on people, no mirage. Yup, this world needs more thin blooded snow birds. This cool weather is terrible and dangerous, tell your friends! Do people get lonely while shooting or something? It’s the true holiday season in multiple ways.”

Winter hunting snow photography outdoors
Forum member DNorton posted: “I live way up north where our white sandy beaches look like this!”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »