October 15th, 2019

Wind Wisdom from Experts Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

This is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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October 15th, 2019

Creedmoor Sports Celebrates 40 Years with 40-Day Giveaway

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway
Since 1979, Creedmoor Sports has served the rifle shooting community. Over that time, the company has been dedicated to manufacturing the best products to help shooters succeed at every level of competition.

2019 Marks the 40th Year in Business for Creedmoor Sports. To celebrate this 40-Year milestone, Creedmoor is running a 40-Day Giveaway, with new prizes each day for 40 days. Sign up once a day for 40 chances to win! Daily prize packages are worth up to $500. Prize packages may include tools, shooting accessories, and/or reloading components from top companies such as Anschutz, Lapua, Berger, Dillon Precision, Forster, Redding, LabRadar, and Whidden Gunworks. (Full list below.)

How to Enter Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway
Starting October 15, 2019, go to Creedmoorsports.com and click on the 40-Day Giveaway Banner. Click each day to see the prizes and sign up. Overall you will have 40 chances to win. CLICK Contest Banner.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

“We wanted to do something HUGE to celebrate and thank our customers and partners for all of their support over the years. Jim Hill started Creedmoor Armory (now Creedmoor Sports) back in 1979 — it’s awesome to see how far we’ve come. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of our customers and suppliers. We’re excited to continue to innovate the shooting sports and help shooters hit the 10-ring for another 40 years.” — Brent Books Creedmoor Sports GM

Alphabetical List of Partners Providing Prizes for Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway:

Anschutz
Berger Bullets
Civilian Marksmanship Program
Dewey Manufacturing
Dillon Precision
Fields Slings
Forster Products
Hornady
ITC Marksmanship
Kelbly’s
LabRadar
LAM Firearms
Lanny Basham/Mental Management
Lapua
Lyman
MISO
Redding
RFP Sports
Ron Brown Slings
Shooter’s Puzzle Book
SK
Tec-Hro
Technical Marketing
VihtaVuori
Whidden Gunworks
Zanders Sporting Goods

Noteworthy New Products at Creedmoor Sports
While you are visiting the Creedmoor Sports website at www.creedmoorsports.com, check out Creedmoor’s new Deluxe Long-Range Rifle Case. This is just what you need for that long-barreled F-Class or Palma rifle. Available in both 55″ and 60″ sizes, this deluxe padded case features large, external zippered pockets that can hold ammo, accessories, Kestrel, shooting logs and more.

Another innovative product is Creedmoor’s new DOPE Roller — the world’s first Quick-Detach Ballistic Data Turret. The DOPE Roller displays windage/elevation data without requiring shooters to break position from behind the rifle. Display ballistic data by wrapping a simple adhesive label around the DOPE Roller. The DOPE Roller mounts to quick-detach sling swivel studs, offering mounting points for Picatinny rails, MLOK rails, and Keymod rails, and many chassis designs.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Hot Deals, New Product, News No Comments »
October 13th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Seb Succeeds at WARA Match in Australia

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

It’s not often when a gun accessory designer/builder shoots a high-level international competition and finishes on the podium. Well Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang did just that recently, earning the Silver Medal for finishing second overall (F-TR) at the West Australian Rifle Association (WARA) Queens Prize Meeting at the Pinjar Range in Western Australia. Seb shot in F-TR division, piloting a handsome new .308 Win rifle supplied by Seb’s Aussie friend Jason Mayers, the F-TR Match winner. Here is Seb’s account of his visit to Perth, Australia to shoot the WARA Queens Match. SEE Match Results HERE.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

WARA Queens Prize Meeting in Western Australia
Report by Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang
My wife Lily and I arrived in Perth, Australia, on September 23, two days before the competition began. At first, I wanted to attend the Australian Nationals in Brisbane which I have participated in before. I thought that would be bigger and more exciting than the WARA Queens. However, I received a recommendation from Jason Mayers to participate in the Queens instead. I was told that more shooters would come to this match because there would be a State team match and pre-qualification for the World Championship.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

About the Pinjar Shooting Range in Perth, Australia
The Pinjar shooting range near Perth (on Australia’s West Coast) is excellent both in its facilities and management. Ranging from ample parking space, clean toilets, spacious hall and canteen, wailing walls, water reservoir, very nice electronic targets etc, they have it all. It even offers a special preparation area for fouling shots on the far right side of the range.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

The Target boards downrange are at 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 meters from right to left. One interesting thing about Pinjar is that all the firing stations are along the same horizontal track. Shooters only need to move sideways to change the shooting distance — e.g. from 300 to 500 or from 600 to 800.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

Twin Rifles for Seb and F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers
My rifle is one of the two identical builds put together by Jason Mayers with the help of some local gunsmiths and shooters. This rifle, loaded with moly-coated Berger 200gr Hybrids, shot like a laser.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Both Seb and F-TR match winner Jason Mayers used the new, prototype ski-feet on their Joy-pods.

The stock was designed over a period of time with local stock maker Robert Eager based in Goulbourn, NSW, Australia. Jason worked with Bob over several years trialing various shapes until they settled on the design seen in the photos. The stocks are made from Spalted Blackbean wood.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

For the twin rifles, Barnard actions were chosen and Bartlein 1:10″-twist .308 barrels were fitted to both by Matt Parroz of LRP Solutions. The barrels are chambered for Berger 200gr Hybrids. Both rifles are running moly-coated projectiles. Huntsman Tuners, made in Brisbane, are fitted to both rifles.

Impressive F-TR Second Place for Seb at 2019 WARA Queens Match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Here F-TR Silver Medal Winner Seb Lambang (466.22V) stands with F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers (469.38V). They shot identical .308 Win rifles!

“Thank you my brother Jason Mayers who took care of everything for me, and shared your knowledge[.] Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to place 2nd in the WARA Queens F-TR! Congratulations on your 1st place Jason, it was absolutely outstanding! I am sure this is the toughest and biggest F-TR match in Australia ever held so far … with the best Australian shooters qualifying for the Worlds. Congratulations to all winners in the WARA Queens! See you again next time!” — Seb Lambang

About SEB Products — Coaxial Rests, Joystick Bipods, Accessories

Seb told AccurateShooter: “I always try to make my products better over time, not just keeping them ‘as is’. Quality has and always been my top priority. I am grateful that many friends around the world always willing to help through their input, suggestions, and field testing. I am also grateful for what we have achieved today. Yes there have been some who copied my rests and bipod but people know which one has the best value for them. My thanks to all our loyal customers around the world!”

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Max rest set for 1200 yards in Coonabarrabran, Australia (Jenni Hausler photo).

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review 3 Comments »
October 12th, 2019

Oklahoma CMP Games Are Underway This Weekend

CMP Oklahoma Games

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Oklahoma Games are happening this weekend at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Events started on October 7th and run through Sunday the 13th with the final event — the popular Vintage Sniper Team Match. If you’re anywhere near OK City you might want to check out the action. There are Vintage Military Matches today, along with Rimfire Sporter competition and EIC pistol matches. The CMP’s Oklahoma Games are not just for seasoned competitors. There will be a Small Arms Firing School plus a New Shooter Clinic for those who have never fired in a CMP Games match.

CMP Games - Oklahoma

Oklahoma CMP Games Resources

Previously held in April, the CMP Oklahoma Games will feature the popular M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Springfield, Vintage/Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, and Vintage Sniper Rifle matches. Pistol matches, such as the As-Issued 1911, Military & Police Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol will also be held throughout the week. The CMP Cup Matches will again be held at this Travel Games event. This include two days of invididual competition, followed by a 4-Man Team Match, and EIC Service Rifle Match.

Electronic Targets Allow Faster Relays and No Pit Duty!
High Power competitions will be fired on CMP Targets, an electronic target system that plots shot placement in real time, and eliminates the need for pit duty — allowing quicker matches with less physical labor. Shot locations/scores appear on remote monitors placed at each shooting location.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Along with competitive matches, a rifle Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) was held. Both beginning and experienced marksmen were trained in the classroom and on the firing line, with the help of CMP staff and certified instructors. SAFS attendees learned rifle handling, shot technique and safety, followed by firing in an actual M16 EIC match.

CMP Oklahoma Games

VINTAGE SNIPER MATCH — Sunday October 13th
The last event of the 2019 Oklahoma Games is the Vintage Sniper Team Match. Competitors must use Korean War or earlier, as-issued military sniper rifles or replicas of those rifles. Optics must also be original issue or replica scopes from the same period. The CMP Games Rules lists the approved rifles and optics.

Camp Perry Vintage Sniper match Oklahoma

The course of fire is designed to reproduce the conditions under which skilled long-range military riflemen operated. Two riflemen work together as a team. During the match, each team member functions alternately as a shooter or a spotter. After one team member finishes firing, they switch roles and the other team member fires. Firing is done at distances of 300 and 600 yards from the prone position. Shooters may use either a sling or sand bag support, but not both. Wind doping is critical and firing must be done quickly; targets are exposed for each shot for only 20 seconds and then withdrawn for 20 seconds.

About the CMP Travel Games
The CMP Travel Games are regional competitions held in different corners of the country throughout the year, featuring exclusive CMP rifle and pistol outdoor events. A common part of the CMP schedule for the last decade, the Games are centered around recreation-oriented competition and educational activities that are designed to accommodate experienced marksmen as well as those just beginning the sport.

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October 10th, 2019

How to Succeed at Club Matches — Six Tips

During shooting season, there are probably 400 or more club “fun matches” conducted around the country. One of the good things about these club shoots is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to have fun. But we’ve seen that many club shooters handicap themselves with a few common equipment oversights or lack of attention to detail while reloading. Here are SIX TIPS that can help you avoid these common mistakes, and build more accurate ammo for your club matches.

Benchrest rear bag1. Align Front Rest and Rear Bags. We see many shooters whose rear bag is angled left or right relative to the bore axis. This can happen when you rush your set-up. But even if you set the gun up carefully, the rear bag can twist due to recoil or the way your arm contacts the bag. After every shot, make sure your rear bag is aligned properly (this is especially important for bag squeezers who may actually pull the bag out of alignment as they squeeze).

Forum member ArtB adds: “To align my front rest and rear bag with the target, I use an old golf club shaft. I run it from my front rest stop through a line that crosses over my speed screw and into the slot between the two ears. I stand behind that set-up and make sure I see a straight line pointing at the target. I also tape a spot on the  golf shaft that indicates how far the back end of the rear bag should be placed from the front rest stop. If you don’t have a golf shaft, use a wood dowel.

2. Avoid Contact Interference. We see three common kinds of contact or mechanical interference that can really hurt accuracy. First, if your stock has front and/or rear sling swivels make sure these do NOT contact the front or rear bags at any point of the gun’s travel. When a sling swivel digs into the front bag that can cause a shot to pop high or low. To avoid this, reposition the rifle so the swivels don’t contact the bags or simply remove the swivels before your match. Second, watch out for the rear of the stock grip area. Make sure this is not resting on the bag as you fire and that it can’t come back to contact the bag during recoil. That lip or edge at the bottom of the grip can cause problems when it contacts the rear bag. Third, watch out for the stud or arm on the front rest that limits forward stock travel. With some rests this is high enough that it can actually contact the barrel. We encountered one shooter recently who was complaining about “vertical flyers” during his match. It turns out his barrel was actually hitting the front stop! With most front rests you can either lower the stop or twist the arm to the left or right so it won’t contact the barrel.

3. Weigh Your Charges — Every One. This may sound obvious, but many folks still rely on a powder measure. Yes we know that most short-range BR shooters throw their charges without weighing, but if you’re going to pre-load for a club match there is no reason NOT to weigh your charges. You may be surprised at how inconsistent your powder measure actually is. One of our testers was recently throwing H4198 charges from a Harrell’s measure for his 30BR. Each charge was then weighed twice with a Denver Instrument lab scale. Our tester found that thrown charges varied by up to 0.7 grains! And that’s with a premium measure.

4. Measure Your Loaded Ammo — After Bullet Seating. Even if you’ve checked your brass and bullets prior to assembling your ammo, we recommend that you weigh your loaded rounds and measure them from base of case to bullet ogive using a comparator. If you find a round that is “way off” in weight or more than .005″ off your intended base to ogive length, set it aside and use that round for a fouler. (Note: if the weight is off by more than 6 or 7 grains you may want to disassemble the round and check your powder charge.) With premium, pre-sorted bullets, we’ve found that we can keep 95% of loaded rounds within a range of .002″, measuring from base (of case) to ogive. Now, with some lots of bullets, you just can’t keep things within .002″, but you should still measure each loaded match round to ensure you don’t have some cases that are way too short or way too long.

Scope Ring5. Check Your Fasteners. Before a match you need to double-check your scope rings or iron sight mounts to ensure everything is tight. Likewise, you should check the tension on the screws/bolts that hold the action in place. Even on a low-recoiling rimfire rifle, action screws or scope rings can come loose during normal firing.

6. Make a Checklist and Pack the Night Before. Ever drive 50 miles to a match then discover you have the wrong ammo or that you forgot your bolt? Well, mistakes like that happen to the best of us. You can avoid these oversights (and reduce stress at matches) by making a checklist of all the stuff you need. Organize your firearms, range kit, ammo box, and shooting accessories the night before the match. And, like a good Boy Scout, “be prepared”. Bring a jacket and hat if it might be cold. If you have windflags, bring them (even if you’re not sure the rules allow them). Bring spare batteries, and it’s wise to bring a spare rifle and ammo for it. If you have just one gun, a simple mechanical breakdown (such as a broken firing pin) can ruin your whole weekend.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
October 9th, 2019

New High-BC 85.5 grain .224-Caliber Bullet from Berger

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

This could be big news for F-TR and Palma competition, where cartridge options are limited to .223 Rem and .308 Win. Berger is introducing a NEW, very high-BC, 22-caliber Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet. Stated Ballistic Coefficents (BCs) are: 0.524 G1 and 0.268 G7. That’s near the top among .22-cal bullets and makes this 85.5 grain projectile a very viable long-range option. Want to try some? These should be available very soon. Pre-order now from Creedmoor Sports, MidwayUSA, and other vendors.

» SEE Full Report with Test Targets on Berger Site

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

This new 85.5gr bullets boast smaller, more uniform meplats, giving them a higher long-range BC. The meplat enhancement is achieved with “Meplat Reduction Technology” (MRT). Berger Engineer Garett Stoddard, who spearheaded the MRT project, explains: “Every bullet nose is formed with optimal swage pressure determined by force instead of length. In addition to reducing a projectile’s drag by shrinking its meplat diameter, this technique takes the inherent meplat inconsistencies that plague OTM style projectiles and brings them closer to the rotational axis. This is a key factor to the consistent balance of the bullet in flight.” The new 85.5s, like all other Berger projectiles, are made with precise Berger/J-4 bullet jackets which boast +/- .0003″ jacket TIR (total indicated runout).

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

7-Twist Barrels Recommend for new 85.5gr MRT Berger
The 85.5gr Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet’s G7 BC of .268 is achieved with optimal stability from a 1:7″-twist barrel. Berger says “Excellent accuracy may also be attained with 1:8″-twist rifle barrels, resulting in a slightly decreased BC value”.

Initial Test Results Are Very Positive
A third party tester, shooting the new 85.5-grainer in Arizona, reported excellent performance at 1000 yards: “The projectile performed extremely well at 1000 yard in spite of only being driven to ~2800 to 2850 fps. This projectile is clearly competitive at 1000 yards in a Palma rifle as tested. With a slightly longer throat and a faster-twist barrel, I am confident the 85.5 Hybrid would be a viable option for those looking to shoot .223 Rem in Long Range competitions.”

Meplat Reduction Technology Enhances Shot-to-Shot Consistency
Berger says: “Utilizing advanced and proprietary manufacturing processes, Berger’s innovative Meplat Reduction Technology (MRT) System applies controlled pressure along the projectile nose, producing a homogeneous and repeatable bullet profile for the industry’s most consistent Ballistic Coefficients (BC). While a high BC is desirable to competitive shooters, shot-to-shot BC consistency is critical when engaging targets to 1000 yards and beyond.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, New Product 3 Comments »
October 9th, 2019

New Toy for PRS Boys — MPA Matrix Chassis

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has a new chassis system — the “MPA Matrix”. Derived from the MPA BA Chassis, the MPA Matrix Chassis offers a “multitude of configurations in grips, thumb rests, and trigger finger supports”. MPA claims the grip and hand area has over 100 different variations. The MPA Matrix has a fore-end two inches longer than the standard BA or BA Competition Chassis. Overall, the Matrix is fairly heavy, at 6.4 pounds, and pretty expensive, with a $1250-$1450 MSRP (depending on options). By contrast the MPA BA Hybrid Chassis costs $925.00 and weighs 3.5 pounds (without recoil pad).

CLICK Image for large MPA Matrix Photo:
MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

There are significant design differences between the MPA Matrix and MPA BA Hybrid (below). The Matrix, at 6.4 pounds, is also much heavier than the 3.5-lb BA Hybrid. Given that many PRS/NRL competitors favor heavier rifles for greater stability (and less felt recoil), the Matrix’s extra mass is probably a good thing.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The MPA Matrix features five different grip options (3 swept and 2 vertical), three different thumb-rest designs and four different trigger finger supports. That’s great for shooters who like to keep their thumb forward on the bolt side of the action. However, looking at the chassis, we’re really not sure we like the way the Matrix encircles the grip area. You’ve got hard metal behind the grip. The Matrix appears set up for resting the thumb of the trigger hand alongside the action. That can work for sure, but we think some shooters will prefer a more conventional vertical grip you can wrap your thumb around. A conventional grip will also have recoil cushioning for the web of the hand. See the BA Hybrid chassis for comparison. This Matrix is really VERY different in the grip area. But if you don’t like the Matrix, there are certainly other stock options available.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The new Matrix Chassis is designed for Remington Short Actions and Rem clones. The Matrix does offer good adjustability — the buttstock has an adjustable cheek riser and length of pull adjusts from 13.5 to 14.75 inches. Plus, the recoil pad adjusts for height and cant. You can get either an adjustable rear monopod or a bag-rider configuration. As you’d expect, the MPA Matrix has M-LOK slots along the fore-end sides and barricade stop holes along the bottom.

What was the concept behind the Matrix chassis? MPA’s President, Phil Cashin, states: “One of the things that we have seen in precision rifle shooting over the past couple of years is how many different methods a shooter used to engage a stock or chassis. Due to variations in hand size, finger thickness and length, as well as shooter preference on how they want to engage the chassis or stock, we’ve seen a lot of inconsistencies among the shooters in how they engage the rifle and where they position the pad of the trigger finger with the shoe of the trigger. This inspired us to create a system that would provide a more custom fit procedure for our customers by creating a chassis with more customized configurations.”

The MPA Matrix Chassis (MSRP $1250-$1450) is available in eight Cerakote colors: Graphite Black, Flat Dark Earth, Burnt Bronze, Tungsten, Gunmetal, Sniper Green, NRA Blue, and USMC Red. Custom H Series Cerakote colors are an additional $135, while camo patterns are $450 extra.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
October 8th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 1000-Yard Nationals at Hawk’s Ridge

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
Over 100 Top Shooters Competed at the 2019 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals.

Match Report by Blake Wilson, IBS Match Editor
The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) 1000-Yard Nationals were, once again, a success. The Hawk’s Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, North Carolina, hosted a flawless event over Labor Day Weekend. Over 100 of the nation’s top shooters, from 19 states, gathered to compete for the crown of “National Champion”. Events such as this take an army to make work and the 2019 IBS Nationals were no different. But the event was a big success, despite some challenging conditions on Day One. We congratulate Glenn Hiett, who shot superbly to win BOTH the Two-Gun Overall AND Light Gun Overall 2019 Championships. Well done Glenn! We also recognize IBS Heavy Gun Overall Champion Sam Edwards.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

Ideal Conditions Change Quickly on Saturday
Hawk’s Ridge is a very beautiful range. But “The Ridge” can sometimes have very tricky, unfriendly winds. Labor Day weekend 2019 was no different. Conditions started near perfect early Saturday morning — the day began with mild temps and wind flags hanging low. Things then changed for the worse. The great conditions only lasted a handful of relays as winds became unpredictable, showing the competitors how tough Hawk’s Ridge can be. Tiny groups and high scores quickly become scarce and shooters began to feel the effects of switching, hard-to-read winds.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

2019 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships Top Competitors

Two-Gun Overall Champion: Glenn Hiett
Light Gun Overall Champion: Glenn Hiett
Heavy Gun Overall Champion: Sam Edwards
Highest-Placing Female: Donna Matthews
Junior Champion: Hunter Hall

Light Gun Group Winner: Scotty Powell
Light Gun Score Winner: Robert Banner
Heavy Gun Group Winner: Sam Edwards
Heavy Gun Score Winner: Tod Soeby

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest1000-Yard Nationals Course of Fire
IBS 1000-Yard Nationals is a 6-target Aggregate event over a two-day period for Light Gun and Heavy Gun. Light Guns must not exceed 17 lbs. weight and shoot 5 rounds per target. Heavy Guns have no weight limit and shoot 10 rounds per target. At the Nationals each shooter gets three Light Gun targets and three Heavy Gun targets. The results are aggregated together to determine Two-Gun Overall, Light Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Overall. There are also separate awards for Light Gun Group and Score and Heavy Gun Group and Score.

Day 1 included a Light Gun target, Heavy Gun target and ended with a second Light Gun target. After two Light Gun targets, several shooters were feeling great about their chances — Robert Banner, Brian Buttrick, and Dan Pantinski all had 99 scores, just one from perfect. Jerry Powers had the best Day 1 Light Gun Agg, a 3.472″ average (0.33 MOA). Justin Morrow shot the smallest Light Gun Group — 2.604″. That works out to a very impressive 0.249 MOA at 1000 Yards!

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
Donna Matthews shot this excellent 50-2X, 3.257″ LG target on Saturday.

Participants Rewarded with Famous Hawk’s Ridge BBQ
As Saturday came to an end, the smell of chicken had taken over the range. Range owner Mike McNeil is known for his famous secret sauce BBQ chicken. From the comments of the crowd as they sunk their teeth into chicken, potato salad, fresh baked desserts — they had no complaints whatsoever. Bellies full, guns cleaned, everyone headed to their rooms for some much anticipated rest.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

More Readable and Consistent Conditions on Day 2
Feeling refreshed and excited for the challenge and anticipation for the final day, shooters showed up raving about the BBQ chicken and ready to shoot. For the most part, Day 2 was much more forgiving and calm than Day 1. The format was the opposite of Saturday — Heavy Gun relays were conducted first and last with Light Gun in the middle.

Perfect scores, small groups and everything in between was shot. Shooters made adjustments and for the most part they worked. But some made the wrong choices and the price was paid.

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Equipment List (CLICK to Zoom):
IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
CLICK PHOTO to view LARGE Equipment List.

Editor’s Comment: Looking at the Two-Gun Top 20 Equipment List above, we see the Light Gun Ranks were dominated by 6mm Dashers, and 6 BRAs (BR Ackleys), most using Hodgdon H4895 powder. There were quite a few 300 WSMs among the top Heavy Guns. Krieger, with 10 selections, was the most popular barrel choice, followed by Bartlein (4), and Brux (3).

More than Marksmanship — Competitors Appreciate the Camaraderie
These events are always a pleasure to attend. You get to put faces with the names you’ve heard, compete against the best across the country, and see how you stack up to them. It’s fun to shake hands with the likes of Tom Jacobs (Vapor Trail Bullets past National Champion), Bart Sauter (Bart’s Bullets and current holder of 600-yard records), Mike Wilson (Current Light Gun Group and score record holder), the Hornady Team and many more.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

This wonderful sport has no shortage of great men and women from many different states and cultures. Match director David Matthews, as well as Robert Smithey and the entire Hawk’s Ridge Gun Club staff, definitely showed how to put on a nearly flawless event. We cannot forget Kent Bratten for his tireless efforts in finding prize donations for the match. The IBS gives a special thanks to all our great sponsors who make the prize tables so abundant. Thanks for your generosity!

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

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October 6th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Chris Nichols’s 600-Yard Light and Heavy Guns

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris Nichols with potential world record (1.297″ 4-Target Agg) Heavy Gun Targets!

Report by Bart Sauter, Bart’s Custom Bullets
Chris Nichols is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the game. This 2019 season he compiled one of the most impressive mid-range benchrest seasons ever. Check out the stats — Chris’s nine-match, Two-Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) for the year is 1.983″! That’s under two inches average at 600 for 72 record targets fired in competition. Many 600-yard shooters aspire to shoot a single, 4-target Agg that measures 1.983″, but doing that for 72 targets is amazing!

And of the nine matches Chris shot, he took SIX Overall Two-Gun wins — a 67% win ratio. And in the process Chris also shot what is possibly the smallest 4-target Heavy Gun Agg ever recorded — 1.297 inches. Hey readers — that Agg works out to 0.206 MOA average group size — well under quarter-MOA for four, 5-shot groups at 0.34 MILES (600 yards)!

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris with 0.665″ group at 600 yards. This is the smallest HG group fired in the IBS in 2019.

The Equipment: 6mm Dasher Light Gun and Heavy Gun
Chris likes to run 1.550 stainless steel Bat “B” actions, Jewell triggers, Brux or Bartlein barrels. He prefers wooden stocks as he feels they produce a better resonance for Long Range rifles. Chris has his own stock design crafted by Johnny Byers. Imagine a Wheeler LRB stock front half mated with an McMillan ST 1000 rear section and you have Chris’ stock! It features a Wheeler-type, 4″-wide fore-end with an ST 1000 low-comb profile in the back. Both Light Gun and Heavy Gun sport Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scopes mounted with Harrell’s double screw tall rings. Chris does NOT use either muzzle brake or tuner.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Here is Chris at his home range with his Light Gun (17 lbs. max).

Chris Nichols’s Heavy Gun is a true heavy coming in at around 42 pounds. It was responsible for the HG Agg of 1.297″ (potential new world record). His season-long aggregate with his Heavy Gun was 1.861″ for 36 targets! This rifle has similar components as his Light Gun, except the barreled action rides in a barrel block in a McMillan HBR 50 BMG stock.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Both rifles ride a top of a Sinclair competition rest with a Protector DR Flat Top rear bag. When Chris goes to HG gun he simply switches tops (made by Daniel Greenlaw) on his front rest to accommodate the larger forend. As Chris says ,” This keeps things simple and exactly the same. ” Just the way he likes it.

Reloading for the 6mm Dasher
Chris’s load choice for both LG and HG is Hodgdon Varget pushing 105gr Berger VLDs. He uses CCI 450 primers, seated with an old Lee hand primer. When it comes to reloading, Chris likes to keep things as simple as possible. “If people saw me reloading they’d probably laugh!” Chris revealed that he doesn’t anneal or clean his cases. He just sprays them down with Hornady One Shot Case Lube, resizes, then runs a brush down the necks, and cleans the primer pockets. The only cleaning his cases get is when he wipes the lube off of them. Chris WILL trim and chamfer as needed.

Chris says seating consistency is critical — he uses a K&M Arbor press with force dial indicator. I asked if there were certain numbers he looks for when seating. Chris replied, “I’m only concerned with consistency and not a certain number, 5 pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. I take what the brass gives me.”

Tuning the 6mm Dasher for Record-Setting Accuracy
I asked Chris what was special about his Dasher and how he kept it tuned and so competitive? His reply is something all shooters should pay careful attention to: “[Success] starts with having a good reamer, bullets and barrels. But more than that, it’s KNOWING your Cartridge, KNOWING your bullets, and KNOWING your barrels! I’ve shot it so much I just know what to do. I’m comfortable with it. I know how to get it to shoot and when it’s not, I have a pretty good idea how to get it back in tune. Once you know your equipment, then you can learn how to get the most out of it.”

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Chris has a range at his house and he tunes at 300 yards. He looks for consistent, 300-yard 5-shot groups of 0.600″ or less! He wants to see nice round groups! Not groups with four in and one out or vertical strings. Chris starts by finding “touch” (to the lands) then he moves the bullets .002″ off the lands and begins tuning. Chris has found that usually somewhere around .008-.012″ off the lands is where his Berger 105gr VLDs shot best. I asked Chris what’s the biggest factor contributing to his success? He said, one big thing was that he can do his own work. That’s a huge advantage.

Look for Accuracy First, Velocity Second
Early on Chris had it in his mind that for a 6mm Dasher to shoot best he needed to achieve a certain velocity range — 2990 to 3030 FPS. The problem was he wasn’t paying attention to what the target was telling him. He’d get to the speed he was looking for but the accuracy wasn’t there. Once he started slowing the speeds down and giving the barrel what it wanted, then the accuracy came! Also with the slower speeds came better consistency.

Chris Nichols’s Tuning Tips for 6mm Dasher:

• Take consistency over speed.
• Only change one thing at a time and run it to the ground.
• Every barrel is a little different, so give it what it wants.
• Pay attention to what your target is telling you.
• Don’t be afraid to REDUCE your powder load.

Chris Nichols’s Advice for New Shooters
Chris says the best thing a new shooter can do is align themselves with knowledgeable people, and if they will talk, listen! Next, be ready to buy the best equipment or be ready to buy it twice. Chris also says: “Don’t cheap-out on sighters. Sighters need to be just as good as your record rounds.”

In the Beginning — Learning the 600-yard Benchrest Game
Chris’s shooting career began in 2012. His first win came in 2014. He was shooting beside guys like Sam Hall, Larry Isenhour, Mike Hanes, Jeff Godfrey James Coffey, and Chad Jenkins, who are very tough competition indeed. He said when he won he was ecstatic and he’ll never forget it! That first trophy had him feeling like he’d just won the Nationals! Chris shot a 6BR for the first two years of his career, before switching to the 6 Dasher. I asked him why he switched? He said, “guys were starting to shoot the Dasher and winning with it!”

I asked Chris if he had a mentor and he said, “not really”. He learned by watching the guys who consistently finished Top 5 at matches and occasionally asked them a question. Not two questions, just one! Chris didn’t want to push his luck by asking too much. Then Chris would take that information and test it and apply it to his own shooting. Chris says, “he learned mainly by the ‘school of hard-knocks’. The good thing about learning that way is it sticks with you!”

Chris Nichols 2019 600-Yard Win List and Statistics

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October 5th, 2019

New Precision Series Centerfire and Rimfire Rifles from Savage

Savage Precision Elite 110 PRS NRL GAP Grind rifle MDT Chassis Modular Driven

Yesterday at the 2019 GAP Grind PRS match in Tennesee, Savage Arms unveiled three new Precision Series rifles — one centerfire rig, and two rimfire rifles. Aimed at PRS/NRL factory class shooters, these new rifles feature tweaked Savage actions in Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) chassis systems. The new Precision Series includes one centerfire rifle, the model 110 Elite Precision, and two rimfire rifles: the B Series bolt action, and the A22 Series semi-auto. All three new models utilize MDT chassis systems.

Savage Precision Elite 110 PRS NRL GAP Grind rifle MDT Chassis Modular Driven

New Savage 110 Elite Precision
The new 110 Elite Precision is designed for PRS and NRL tactical-style competitions. Optimized for PRS/NRL Factory Class, this rifle boasts a blue-printed, black flash-nitrided 110 target action with gold-tone, titanium-nitrided bolt body. The fully-adjustable MDT ACC aluminum chassis features an ARCA Rail along its entire fore-arm, MDT Vertical Grip, and AICS mag compatibility. The Accu-Trigger adjusts from 1.5 to 4 pounds. Up front, Savage supplies a self-timing, taper-aligned muzzle brake. The 110 Elite Precision will be offered in eight (8) chamberings at two prices: .223 Rem., .308 Win., 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor for $1,999; and .300 Win. Magnum, .300 Norma, .300 PRC, and .338 Lapua Magnum at $2,149.

Savage Precision Elite 110 PRS NRL GAP Grind rifle MDT Chassis Modular Driven

Savage Elite 110 Precision Rifle Features:

Savage factory blue-printed 110 action
Stainless steel, flash-nitrided receiver
1.5-4 lb. user-adjustable AccuTrigger
Titanium Nitride bolt body

MDT ACC aluminum chassis, fully adjustable
Self-timing, taper-aligned muzzlebrake
MDT Vertical Grip and AICS magazine
ARCA Rail along entire fore-arm

Savage A22 Precision

Savage A22 Precision Elite rimfire

The A22 Precision rimfire rifle employs Savage’s popular A22 delayed blow-back semi-auto action. Optimized for the NRL22 rimfire series and rimfire cross-training, this little self-loader features a custom MDT chassis similar to the B Series, adjustable length-of-pull from 13.5 to 14.5 inches, and an oversized charging handle. The A22 Precision weights 7.28 pounds. The company describes it as “the showcase to Savage’s love affair with the .22 LR.” The A22 is available in .22 LR for $599.

Savage B Series Precision

The new B Series bolt-action Precision rimfire rifle features an MDT aluminum chassis that adjusts for length-of-pull and comb height. The rifle ships with an 18-inch heavy barrel threaded at the muzzle, with a Picatinny rail on the action. This modestly-priced bolt-action rimfire also has a crisp Accutrigger. The B Series Precision comes in three rimfire chamberings, all for $599: .22 LR, .17 HMR and .22 WMR.

Learn more at SavageArms.com

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October 5th, 2019

Precision Rifle Matches Featured on Doug Koenig TV Show

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

Doug Koenig’s Championship Season returns to Pursuit Channel celebrating its 9th season. The latest show features long range precision rifle competition. Doug travels to the 2019 Masterpiece Arms (MPA) Spring Shootout in Georgia, campaigning his 6mm Creedmoor bolt-action Ruger Precision Rifle. Doug has been a top competitor in Production Division (factory class), having posted multiple first-place Factory Class finishes in recent months.

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

Each week, Doug Koenig’s Championship Season airs on the Pursuit Channel three times: Wednesday at 5:30 pm (EST), Friday at 9:00 pm (Eastern Primetime), and Saturday at 1:00 am (EST). View past seasons and previously-aired episodes at PursuitTV.com. You can also see previews and get competition news on Doug Koenig’s Facebook Page.

Koenig said, “I’m relatively new to long range precision rifle competitions, but it’s the combination of shooting from fixed or uneven barricades, to the variety of shooting positions and distances that has captured my excitement for this sport.”

Koenig secured a Production Division win at the 2019 MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

factory production PRS doug koenig

Precision Rifle matches offer a variety of challenges not found in benchrest or High Power matches. Over the course of multiple stages, competitors must shoot a wide variety of positions, standing, prone, and from barricade, while the clock is ticking. Some PRS/NRL matches even have moving targets. These matches test shooting fundamentals, while demanding good wind reading skills, and the ability to shoot at multiple distances in a stage. That demands good “dope” and the ability to hold-over and hold-off.

Koening Goes Hunting for Argentine Stag
Doug Koenig is also an avid hunter. In this Championship Season episode from 2016, Doug takes viewers into the field on an Argentine Stage Hunt. There is also some shotgun shooting footage:

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September 30th, 2019

Raton Remembrances — Photos from the F-Class Nationals

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher is one of the nation’s top rifle shooters and team coaches. A past Long Range National Champion, Michelle is part of America’s “First Family” of Shooting, being raised by Mid Tompkins and Nancy Tompkins, both rifle champions in their own right.

Michelle, who works for Sierra Bullets, was at the 2019 F-Class National Championships in Raton, New Mexico. At the event, Michelle captured some great photos of the competitors and the New Mexico countryside at the NRA Whittington Center. This year’s Nationals were very challenging competition, with truly brutal winds on some days. Here is Michelle’s Photo Essay on the 2019 F-Class Nationals.

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR
Father Ken Klemm and Son Ian Klemm shot together in F-TR Team Matches. Individually, Ian was second overall in the 1K F-TR Nationals, while Ken finished as High Grand Senior.

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR
Three talented lady shooters: Michelle Gallagher (L), Nancy Tompkins, and Madison Bramley.

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September 27th, 2019

CMP High Power Clinics at 2019 National Matches in Ohio

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry

While the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) National Rifle Matches are most well-known for the President’s Rifle Match and other prestigious National Trophy Individual Rifle matches, the CMP offers several training programs for shooters of all levels.

In addition to the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), tailored to new shooters, the CMP offers excellent High Power Clinics. Junior competitors (20 years or younger) can sign up for the USMC Junior High Power Clinic. Experienced adults as well as top juniors can select Team CMP’s Advanced High Power Clinic.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
Benjamin D. of New York attended the clinic for the first time, focusing on position shoting with the AR-15.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) Junior High Power Rifle Clinic offers personalized training, dry-fire and live-fire practice and an opportunity to confirm zeroes. Many juniors attend the USMC clinic year after year, using the opportunity to sharpen their skills before the bigger matches, to reconnect with friends and to meet new juniors and to learn from members of the USMC Shooting Team.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
The 2019 USMC Junior Clinic started out with presentation on optics.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
CMP 2019 Advanced High Power Clinic participants and instructors.

Team CMP conducts the Advanced High Power Clinic each summer and this year added a live-fire portion for the first time. The Advanced Clinic begins with a classroom Q and A session before dry-fire practice and position work on Petrarca Range. To learn more about the CMP High Power Clinics, CLICK HERE.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry AiR-15 air rifleThis year Team CMP split the students into rotating groups: mental management, wind reading, and live-fire standing practice. Live-fire practice was conducted in the Gary Anderson Competition Center with AiR-15 air rifles (photo right). This added a new dimension to the clinic that allowed for near immediate application of what students learned earlier in the class.

While most juniors attend the USMC Junior Clinic, some sign up for the Team CMP Advanced High Power Clinic. James Friend, 19, of the Illinois Hard Dogs Junior Team, has been shooting High Power since 2013 and attended Team CMP’s clinic for the second time this year. Friend, who focused on rebuilding his prone position and improving mental skills, says the clinic is a great way to “move to the next level. I’d definitely go again — you can always pick up different tips and tricks from different people.”

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September 26th, 2019

NRL22 Rimfire Tactical Matches are Fun and Affordable

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful and the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 150 rimfire competitors. Get more info at NRL22.org.

NRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are Five (5) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1050.00 (so you could spend $550 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable. Open, Youth, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on Rifle and Optic. Visit NRL22.org to find an NRL22 match near you.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The two videos above from Long Range Shooters of Utah feature footage from the January 2019 course of fire from the NRL22 Rimfire Competition Series. Note the snow-capped hills in the lower video. Useful commentary explains how competitors establish their shooting positions.

NRL22 Publishes Monthly Courses of Fire
This video from a Utah NRL22 Match features shooters from each of the four rimfire classes. With the NRL22 program, scores from from local matches like this are ranked against scores from other matches nationwide. In advance of match dates, NRL22.org publishes 5 courses of fire to be used in that month. Each course of fire will always include 2 prone stages, 1 positional, 1 barricade, and a fifth that can be any of those. Details of the course of fire, including target distances, target sizes, time limits, and barricade profiles, are listed at NRL22.org.

Official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Package
This video reviews the official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Kit. Crafted by JC Steel Targets from AR500 steel, this kit from JC Steel Targets includes 8 hanging targets, 4 KYL (Know Your Limits) targets, plus all needed Hangers. That’s lot of steel and hardware for $329.99.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 started with four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-18 age). Air Rifle is the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significant growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

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September 25th, 2019

F-Class National Championships in Raton, NM

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Mid-range team day. Team jerseys and tons of additional gear adorned the firing line. Most of the top teams had headsets so they could communicate in private.

The 2019 F-Class National Championships took place September 16-22 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. The Mid-Range Championships ran Sept. 16-18, while the Long-Range Championship finished the week, running Sept. 19-22. This year’s F-Class Championships were well-attended and memorable — as there were some of the most challenging winds many competitors had ever witnessed. Winds were strong, gusty, and shifty — with rapid and unpredictable direction and speed changes. Some seasoned, “world-class” F-TR and F-Open competitors dropped 20 points or more on a single relay — conditions were that bad at times.

F-Class Nationals Long Range Results | F-Class Nationals Mid-Range Results

Nonetheless, through skill, patience, and perseverance there were some outstanding performances at both the 2019 Mid-Range and Long-Range Nationals. Brian Bowling won the F-Open Long Range Championship with a 1573-78X score, ahead of second-place Keith Glasscock (1570-72X). Shiraz Balolia was F-Open High Senior, while Cindi Baudhuin was the top female shooter. In the other division, Jade Delcambre (Master Classification), won the F-TR Championship with a 1549-53X. Ian Klemm was a close second in F-TR with a 1548-44X. Skip Barkley was F-TR High Senior, while Jennifer Bondur was High Lady competitor.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
F-Open “Top Shots”. Brian Bowling, F-Open LR National Champion, is the chap with the beard.

In LR Team Competition, Team Lapua-Borden-Brux won F-Open, scoring 1585-86X to beat runner-up Team Roadrunners by 9 points and a bunch of Xs. In the F-TR Team Match, Team USA Freedom (1555-58X) took first, ahead of second-place Team USA Independence (1546-55X).

Here are some quotes from competitors, posted in our Shooters Forum:

“Today was, in a word, brutal.” — Turbulent Turtle

“I was on relay 1 and I don’t think I have ever shot in these types of conditions! I came off the second string and had dropped 14 points and people were saying “good shooting”!! Playing ping pong with the 7 ring was common. There was no chasing the spotter as every shot was a new condition.” — Shiraz Balolia

“Some relays were very easy wind-wise, and some were monsters! Relay 1 today got hosed like I’ve never seen! 35 mph winds, gusty and switching had most the top shooters doing their best to just stay in paper!” — Falconpilot

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Report from Mid-Range F-Class Nationals

The Mid-Range Nationals were closely fought also. Congratulations to Timothy Vaught, 2019 Mid-Range F-Open Champion, and to Luke Ramsey, 2019 Mid-Range F-TR Champion. Both victors took their titles by a single point, although Luke had a huge ‘X’-count edge, with 101 Xs compared to 77 Xs for runner-up Tracy Hogg. Here are Top Five Mid-Range individual Results.

Mid-Range F-OPEN Top 5
TIMOTHY VAUGHT 1794-119X NAT’L CHAMPION
TOD HENDRICKS 1793-111X SILVER
DAVID GOSNELL 1789-103X BRONZE
PATRICK SCULLY 1789-99X 2ND BRONZE
JOHN MYERS 1787-107X 3RD BRONZE
Mid-Range F-TR Top 5
LUKE RAMSEY 1784-101X NAT’L CHAMPION
TRACY HOGG 1783-77X SILVER
RANDY LITTLETON 1781-100X BRONZE
ALLEN TAMPKE 1779-88X 2ND BRONZE
JEREMY NEWELL 1779-79X 3RD BRONZE

In the Mid-Range Team Competition, Team Roadrunners, coached by Scott Harris, won the F-Open Team Division (1592-87X), edging Team Berger-Bartlein-SEB-Kelbly (1591-94X) by one point. The winning F-TR Mid-Range Team was Team Independence (1585-88X), coached by past Nat’l Champ James Crofts. Team Texas (1581-85X) finished second in the Mid-Range F-TR event.

The F-Class Nationals Experience — Report from Raton

By John Masek (aka F-Class John, AccurateShooter Weekly Deals Editor)

“The winds were by far the most challenging I have ever encountered, but I learned so much from that. I definitely came home a better shooter after the 2019 Nationals.”

Four of us from Tri-County Gun Club in Sherwood, Oregon loaded up and headed down to shoot two weeks of Spirit of America (SOA) plus the F-Class Mid-Range and Long Range Nationals. The first week of SOA was pretty straight-forward although the nearly 7,000-foot altitude had an immediate effect on our bodies, forcing us to hydrate like never before. We were going through upwards of 10 bottles a day of water and sports drinks to quench our thirst.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Here is a view of the 1000-yard range seen from the Founders Cabins up on the opposing hill. Raton is truly one of the most spectacular places you could ever shoot a match like this.

SOA is a Fullbore match so you shoot two to a mound and only have 45 seconds to take a shot. That requires you to make quick decisions based on ever changing conditions. I was fortunate enough to shoot for two days with Scott Harris who was an amazing partner. Scott even shared some of his amazing wind-calling wisdom with me. I was fortunate enough to win a couple medals during SOA and missed out on a second gold because of a stupid mistake — cross-firing on a target. That was heartbreaking to say the least. The final day of SOA brought whipping, switchy winds that played havoc with the last Long Range match and foreshadowed what what to come the following week.

Mid-Range started on Sunday and while it wasn’t a cakewalk, most shooters managed to work their way through the conditions. Raton has a funny way of keeping most everyone humbled one way or another. But nothing could prepare us for what was coming.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Here is a panorama image of the firing line for the start of the Mid-Range Nationals.

Long Range Nationals started on Thursday and everything seemed pretty normal. The ace shooters worked their way to the top as you would expect and we all went to bed expecting a normal day to follow, we had no idea what was in store for us. Friday started like any other day and the first relay went off without a hitch but as it ended we noticed the weather was starting to turn. As I headed to the pits the winds picked up and flags began going every which way. By the time targets went up for live fire we knew something bad was about to happen. Sighter shots came down and while not unusual to see low scoring shots for sighters, there were a lot of them. This was a 2 + 20 string so as soon as the two sighters were done we knew record shots were coming. When they did points started dropping like prices on Black Friday.

We saw people ping-ponging 7s, a few misses and everything in between. After two relays the dust settled and it was our turn to line up and shoot. During the switch over at the buses everyone was shaking their heads in disbelief of what happened to them and somehow seemed almost relieved to be heading to the pits. The conditions only got worse and by the end of the third relay people were rejoicing if they dropped anything less than 20 points.

Some of the biggest names in the game had dropped in excess of 20 points and there were reports of some people dropping as many as 40-50 points. Just imagine how bad the conditions had to be for the top 93 High Masters in the country to be dropping that many points. By the end of the day people we in stunned disbelief and many were considering getting shirts made that said “I survived Raton 2019″.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Every evening we would complete our nightly ritual of pushing bullets back. We initially loaded all our ammo set to the lands and then pushed the bullets back based on our testing each night.

Watching Brian Bowling Shoot To Victory in F-Open
As an F-Open shooter I was fortunate enough to be shooting a few lanes down from Brian Bowling and he was on fire all three days and was a pleasure to watch. Even in the worst of conditions he managed to skillfully hunt and peck his way to some amazing scores which led to him winning the National Championship. Keith Glasscock and David Christian gave a good chase over the three days but came up just a little short, earning Silver and Bronze places respectively.

Success for the Boys from Oregon
Below are me and my buddies from Oregon (L to R: Devin Wiggett, David Christian, Bill Brown, John Masek). As a group we won a total of 34 medals and trophies during the Spirit of America and the Nationals. Overall, the eight days of Nationals included some the most amazing shooting I’ve experienced, in some of the most scenic terrain in the country. I think I speak for many when I say that no matter how good or bad the shooting was, there was always a chance to learn and you couldn’t help but walk away a better shooter in the end.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Headed Home — Securely Packed
f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Q: How do you transport an F-Open Rifle, spotting scope, tripods, stand and lots of gear?
A: Get yourself some very big, sturdy cases, with lots of padding.

Here is my load-out for Raton. For the match I brought one stock and TWO complete barreled actions, with Kahles scopes fitted on each. I also had a separate large square case for my SEB NEO front rest, 21st Century Arbor Press, and 450 rounds of pre-loaded ammo.

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September 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Joe Hendricks Jr.’s CMP Cup-Winning Tubegun

 alt=
Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

This story is about a great shooter, Joe Hendricks Jr., and his Eliseo RTS Tubegun, chambered in 6mm Competition Match. With this versatile rifle, Joe Hendricks Jr. won the 2019 CMP Cup Aggregate Title for Match Rifles. Joe comes from a long line of talented marksmen. His father AND his grandfather are elite competitive shooters. His dad has been a National Champion, and all three generations have shot together, shoulder to shoulder, on the Remington Rifle Team. Like grandfather, like father, like son.

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Joe says: “I think it’s pretty cool that there have now been two major Across the Course Championships won by a Hendricks using a Gary Eliseo chassis, one by me this year, and one in 2014 when my father (Joe Hendricks Sr.) won the NRA National Championship.”

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

Joe Hendricks Jr.’s Rifle — Eliseo RTS Chassis, Rem 40X Action, Krieger Barrel
Joe’s rifle is built on a Competition Machine RTS Target Model chassis. This Tubegun features a Remington 40X action with Pacific Tool & Gauge Bolt and Jewell trigger. The scope is a Leupold 6-18x40mm. The barrel is a Krieger chambered in 6mm Competition Match. Joe explains: “The 6mm Competition Match is a cartridge that my dad came up with. It is basically a .243 Winchester with a 31° shoulder.”

If you look carefully in the photo below, you’ll note the silver-toned, adjustable butt-plate. That’s an upgrade Joe added: “I did a small modification to the stock, where I put on an Anschutz buttplate instead of the standard one Gary Eliseo uses. This Anschutz hardware provides a little bit more adjustability.”

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Here Joe Hendricks Jr. fires at 200 yards from the standing position.

The Standing Position — Why It’s Critical to Match Success
Joe told us: “As far as shooting strategies and training methods go, I shoot a lot of standing practice — at least 50 shots per session. I still train the other positions of course, but I believe if you start your day off with a great standing score, it really makes the rest of the day easy because then you don’t feel like you’re playing catch-up the whole time.”

Joe explains: “When I’m shooting standing, I shoot in a manner very similar to the way that Carl Bernosky does. He’s written a few articles about the standing position. He always talks about making sure the shot goes off inside his hold, and I’m the same way. I don’t try to do too much. I just let the gun do its thing and when/if it stops in the Ten Ring, I shoot the shot. If it doesn’t, I don’t.”

About the CMP Cup Two-Day Course of Fire
The CMP Cup is a two-day match comprised of two, 1000-point Aggregates, for a 2000-point Grand Agg. Each day, the competitors fire 100 shots total from the 200, 300, and 600 yard lines. The match starts with 20 shots slow fire standing at 200 yards. Next are two, 10-shot, rapid fire strings in 60 seconds from the sitting position. Next are two, 10-shot strings in 70 seconds prone at 300 yards (rapid fire prone). Each day’s course of fire concludes with two, 20-shot sequences of slow-fire prone at 600 yards.

Joe Hendricks Jr. CMP Cup Eliseo tubegun RTS 6 Competition High Power

6mm Competition Match Cartridge — Slower Powder Yields Better Barrel Life
My dad was shooting a 6XC for a while and was getting tired of going through almost two barrels a year. So, he came up with the 6mm Competition Match. Like I said, it is a .243 Winchester with a 31-degree shoulder. This delivers the same (if not better) velocity as the other popular 6mm cartridges, but we get almost double the barrel life because we increased the case capacity, so we can shoot a slower burning powder. The barrel I took to Camp Perry that won the CMP Cup had over 3700 rounds on it when I was finished. [EDITOR: Take note readers! Most 6mm barrels are toast after 2500 rounds.] Granted it definitely needed to come off at that point, but it obviously was still shooting well enough to win!

Accurate Load with Peterson Brass, Berger Bullets, and Vihtavuori N165
The two loads I shot all week were Berger 108gr BT behind Vihtavuori N165 in Peterson Cartridge Company brass for 200 and 300 yards, and then Berger 115 VLD behind N165 in Peterson brass for 600 yards. Both loads are easily going over 3000 FPS. I try to only use the best components for reloading, so that’s why I go with Berger, Vihtavuori, and Peterson. Obviously Berger and Vihtavuori quality are pretty known, but I believe Peterson is right up there with Lapua[.] I’ve visited the Petersen factory many times. I’m always blown away by the time and effort Peterson puts into everything.

Winning Marksmanship — the Mental Game
The other big thing I’ve been focusing on lately is my mental game. In order to be at the top of a sport, regardless of the sport, the athlete has to have a solid mental approach. For me, I’ve learned that my key is confidence. A good shooting buddy, who was with me the first day of the CMP Cup, suggested I was arrogant because I kept telling him I was going to win. Then I told him it was confidence not arrogance. If I was confident in my ability, I did not think there was any way I could lose. [Editor: To help build confidence and visualize success, we recommend With Winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold-medal winning marksman.]

All in the Family — Three Generations of Hendricks Marksmen

Joe’s father, Joseph Hendricks Sr., has been a National Champion rifle shooter. Joe’s grandfather, Gary Hendricks, is also a talented marksman. In fact, all three men — grandfather, father, and son — shot together on the Remington Rifle Team. Joe says that the shooting sports have helped build strong family bonds. He and his father enjoy shooting together, and competing against one another: “I learn so much just by watching my dad… shoot. Even though I have been competing for 10 years now, I’m still incredibly new to the shooting sports compared to my dad. My father is always there to help.”

“I feel very privileged to have grown up in the family that I did, with not only my father as a competitive shooter, but my grandfather as well. I definitely would not be the person I am today, let alone the shooter, without either of them. At one point, all three of us were on the Remington Rifle Team. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot team matches with all three of us on one team, as recently as this past summer.”

“Initially when I began shooting competitively, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to be as good a shooter as my dad and grandfather. I was trying so hard that it was really affecting my scores negatively. Then one year, I told myself I was just going to have fun, and not worry about match scores. That year was the year I really started to win things, and shoot some good scores.”

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“When my father won the NRA National Championship in 2014, I was so proud, but along with being proud, all it did was make me more motivated. Ever since I started shooting, I wanted to win a National Championship, but after he won, it just fueled my fire more. There is a bit of father/son rivalry. It’s a lot of fun if we are shooting right next to each other at the same time. We just give each other crap about shooting a bad a shot, or shooting a lower score by a point or an X.”

“My dad started shooting when he was around 10, so he has a vast amount of knowledge compared to most people, especially me. He is always there to help whenever I have a question on anything firearm or shooting related. To this day, whenever I’m done with a match, I always talk to my dad. He always has time to listen to what I have to say.”

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September 21st, 2019

3GN Nationals Coming to Florida October 12-13, 2019

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida
3-Gun competitors must be wicked fast (and accurate) with rifle, pistol, and shotgun.

What’s the most exciting, physically challenging shooting sport? An argument can be made that three-gun shooting (also called “multi-gun”) tops the list. To succeed in the 3-Gun world, competitors must be fast and accurate with rifle, pistol, and shotgun. They must exhibit blazing speed in the short-range stages plus serious accuracy during long-range stages.

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida

America’s top 3-Gun shooters held to Florida next month. The 2019 3-Gun Nation (3GN) Nationals take place October 12-13 at Southern Tactical Range in Holt, Florida. There will be plenty of fast action, plus some long-range accuracy stages. Watch the video below for a preview of the event:

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida

If you’d like to try your hand at 3-Gun shooting, you can still register for the 3GN Nationals, by visiting 3GunNation.com. This match will feature a minimum of 8 stages of fire over a 2-Day Format. Southern Tactical Range offers a mixture of natural terrain and bay stages, featuring a long range area with targets up to 1000 yards.

Blast from the Past — 3-Gun Nation Championship Shoot-Off 2013
In this video 2019 3GN Champion Dan Horner wins a dramatic shoot-off at 2013 3GN Nationals. Horner, after leaving the USAMU, now shoots for Team SIG Sauer.

Hardware for 3-Gun Competition — Guns & Gear

3GN 3-gun nation nationals

In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig.

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September 19th, 2019

Why All Shooters Need SERIOUS Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection DB sound level ear plug muff

“Science tells us that exposure to continuous noise of 85 dB for eight hours is enough to cause permanent hearing loss, and worse, spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly.”
Source: NRA Blog.

The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true … or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

hearing protection ear muffs NRR earplugs osha deafness

Highest Protection NRR 34dB-Rated Ear Muffs

AccurateShooter Deals of Week NRR 34 muffs ear protection 34dB

For under $15.00 you can buy quality ANSI-approved muffs with a 34dB Noise Reduction Rating — the best you can get. Chose the Bright Yellow TR Industrial Muffs at $13.48, or the dark green Walker EXT Range Muffs for $13.99. Both products have padded head-bands which retract. Another dual-shell design with a 34dB NRR rating is the new FNova Muffs priced at just $12.88.

Many hunters and competitive shooters prefer low-profile ear muffs. As these typically have a lower Noise Reduction Rating, perhaps NRR 22-24, we recommend running earplugs under muffs, particularly when you are at a busy range or shooting a match. If you use low-profile electronic muffs, such as Howard Leight Impact Sport Muffs, you should still be able to hear range commands even with plugs underneath.

Howard Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, Just $7.98 for 50 Pairs.

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 3-4 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot. This Editor just bought a 50-pack myself. And, yep, I got 50 pairs for $7.98 delivered, less than a pint of premium beer costs at my local pub:

Howard Leight ear protection plugs earplugs sale Amazon discount 50 pairs

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September 18th, 2019

Lapua Teams Up with Vudoo Gun Works at WSC This Week

vudoo .22 LR rimfire lapua center-X

The NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) starts today in West Virginia. The event runs September 18-21 at the the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. At the WSC, top professional and amateur shooters compete in a wide variety of shooting disciplines, including pistol, rifle, shotgun, and combined firearm sports.

As a key part of this event, Lapua will team up with Vudoo Gun Works on a special “tactical rimfire” stage. This allows shooters to enjoy the fun of PRS-style shooting with a rimfire cartridge. Lapua’s Center-X ammunition will be paired with a state-of-the-art Vudoo .22 LR rifle. On this stage, competitors will engage challenging targets at multiple ranges.

vudoo .22 LR rimfire lapua center-X

Even if you can’t make it to the World Shooting Championship, rimfire shooting with a Vudoo rig (or similar rifle) is a great way to cross-train for PRS/NRL with lower cost ammo. Factory loaded centerfire can easily cost $1.50 per round. Rimfire .22 LR ammo is a fraction of that cost. You can get good SK and Lapua ammo starting at about $6.50 per 50ct box. That’s just 13 cents per round.

“We are excited to return to the NRA World Shooting Championship at Peacemaker. As we did for the past two years, we are teaming with Vudoo to display the accuracy capabilities of Lapua ammunition. I think the shooters will be thrilled with the performance of Lapua Midas+ and Center-X ammunition in the Vudoo rifles. This event is a great test for shooter and equipment,” stated Adam Braverman, Lapua Director of Sales and Marketing.

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September 17th, 2019

Old Benchrest Rifle Gets New Life as 6BR Ackley with Tuner

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Updating a 20+ Year-Old Benchrest Rifle

by James Mock
After owning three different rifles with BAT actions, I have become a loyal fan of BAT Machine quality and customer service. Back in 2009, I traded my BAT/Scoville for the BAT/Leonard that I currently shoot. This rifle has a long history and Terry Leonard told me that “Old 87″ (as I have named it) was one of the earlier BATs that he stocked. He wrapped the stock in fiberglass and used 2-part epoxy back then. I must say that this rifle has held up remarkably well since it dates back to the 1990s. The action is a RB/LP/RE octagon Model B with .308 bolt-face.

Rifle Has Multiple Barrels for Multiple Disciplines
With this gun, I have shot several barrels of different calibers (.22 PPC, .22 PPC-short .095, 6mm PPC, 6XC, 6mm Dasher, .30BR, and will soon have a 6 BR-AI). It has been an exceptionally accurate rifle in several disciplines. In the hands of previous owners, it earned several Hall-of-Fame (HOF) points, and a “middle-of-the-pack” shooter (me) even received a HOF point with this rifle.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

For most of its life, Old 87 served as a short range benchrest rifle, but I have used it for the last few years as a 600-yard rifle with the 6mm Dasher barrel. I was lucky enough to earn the Shooter of the Year award at the Prince Memorial Range in Louisiana for 2016.

After shooting my two Dasher barrels for last eight years, I have noticed a drop-off in accuracy at 600 yards. A decision had to be made — get a new barrel or sell the rifle and retire from competition. I will be 74 years old in six months and my competition days are limited due mainly to a chronic neck problem. After mulling over the decision to retire or not, I decided to give Old 87 one more year. Here is the story of how we upgraded the old war-horse.

Old 87 REBORN — Upgrading with New Components

I prefer cut-rifled barrels with four lands and grooves and have had success with .236 bore diameters and 1:8″ twist in long range rifles. I searched for barrels meeting those parameters and found a suitable BRUX at Bugholes.com (Southern Precision Rifles).

The 6BR-AI Option — Easy Fire Forming
I thought about having Billy Stevens chamber it for the Dasher, but decided to try something new. There seems to be a lot of interest in the 6BR-AI and I said, “Why not?” Well, I bought a shortened Dasher die from Harrell’s and will use my Wilson Dasher seating die. Bart Sauter was kind enough to let me use his reamer for chambering.

Fitting a New Roller-Type Cocking Piece on Older BAT Action
Since I was into the project this deep, I called Mike Ezell and ordered one of his Tungsten powder-dampened tuners. Since Old 87 had thousands of rounds since the firing pin spring has been replaced, I decided that it was probably needed. Well, I got to thinking (very dangerous) and asked Daryle Thom if it would be feasible to put a roller-type cocking piece and a new firing pin spring on such an old action.

The folks at BAT are very accommodating and they said that it would be no problem with such a conversion. While my bolt was in Idaho, the barrel with Ezell tuner arrived and I could not shoot it. However, my friend Jeff Turner loaned me his BAT bolt to see if it would work. Although the rifles differ in age by 15 or more years, the borrowed bolt worked perfectly in my rifle. This is a testimony to the great machine work performed at BAT Machine.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

New Bolt Roller Tail-Piece Makes a Big Difference in Cocking Effort
With the borrowed bolt I managed to fire-form 50 rounds and get them ready for our 600-yard match on September 16. The folks at BAT quickly fixed my bolt by replacing the mainspring and ejector spring, polishing the ejector, and replacing the tail-piece with their roller type. Pictured below is this tail piece that makes a remarkable difference in the force needed to cock the action. It is amazing what this little wheel can do… even when placed in a 20+ year old action.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Working with the Ezell Barrel Tuner — Small Increments Work Best
Also, I would like to congratulate Mike Ezell on his new tuner which contains powdered Tungsten. It is easy to set up and Mike will help a buyer get maximum effectiveness from the unit. Just give him a call. Below is a picture of the tuner. I was lucky enough to have some time to “play” with it before the match.

Talking about the tuner, Mike writes: “Our new barrel tuners…
PDT stands for particle dampening technology. The science is there, we just applied it to a barrel tuner. The advantages are a wider tune window and more efficient control of barrel harmonics…in a tuner design that actually looks good.”

Mike advised me to set the tuner by turning it all the way into the shoulder and then come out to zero or the second time zero comes up if there is not at least half of a turn between the shoulder and the first zero. It is best to start with a proven load and adjust the tuner from that load. As unlikely as it seems, a rifle can go from a good tune to a very poor tune with only 5 marks (.005”) and vice versa.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Mike cautions those who use his tuner to NOT make adjustments which are too large. As a matter of fact, he recommends adjustments of .001 inch at a time. Ezell’s tuners are screwed onto the barrel with .900” by 32 threads per inch and has 32 marks on the circumference of the tuner. Therefore, each mark moves the tuner in or out by .001 inch. There are three set screws with Teflon tips which provide friction for the tuner on the threads. Do not tighten the screws so tight as they damage the fine threads.

If you want the smoothest bolt possible for your BAT, call or e-mail Daryle or Bruce Thom at BAT Machine and discuss your needs with them. I am sure glad that I did. If you want a state-of-the-Art tuner for your barrel, give Mike Ezell a call or visit his Ezell Custom Rifles Facebook Page.
— Good shooting, James Mock

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