February 28th, 2020

2020 Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge in West Virginia

Rimfire Tactical Challenge Eley Peacemaker SoCal

In 2020, Lapua will again be the title sponsor for the Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge (LPRC). Modeled after PRS competition, the LPRC features practical-style matches shot with .22 LR bolt-action and self-loading rimfire rifles with optics. There will be four series matches, leading up to the series Finale in October 2020. Shooters will compete for glory plus an impressive table of prizes.

The Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge Series (LPRC) will be held at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. The LPRC is designed to test the .22 LR rifle shooter, ammunition, and optics out to 300 yards. While most stages involve long-range positional shooting, shooters will encounter stages set in natural terrain, stages with movement, Olympic stages of fire, and/or smallbore-style stages. Shooters can select from the semi-auto or bolt action division.

Registration for the LRPC is now open, with matches starting in March 2020. For more information on the LPRC visit Peacemakernational.com/prc.

CLICK HERE for Rules & Registration

LPRC Match Dates
Match 1: March 21-22
Match 2: May 25-26
Match 3: June 22 – 23
Match 4: July 27- 28
Series Finale: October 5

rimfire tactical practical rifle challenge ELEY

LPRC Matches Will Feature Multiple Positions and Movement
LPRC series matches are positional shooting events in field conditions out to 300 yards. You can use either a bolt-action or semi-auto .22 LR rimfire rifle. Much like PRS (Precision Rifle Series), competitors will shoot from a variety of positions: prone, strong/weak shoulders, standing, sitting, and kneeling. There will be shots from barricades, and movement from position to position during stages.

LPRC rules will, to a large degree, mirror PRS rules. However, shooters will see some different type of stages than what is normally seen at a PRS match. For example, there may be unsupported standing or unsupported kneeling shots in some stages. Peacemaker’s goal is not to replicate PRS in Rimfire, but rather to create the ultimate challenge for shooters on the rimfire rifle platform.

Rimfire Tactical Matches Aren’t Really New

We’re pleased to see this LPRC shooting discipline — it sounds like fun. However, the concept of a rimfire tactical/practical match is not new — at least on the West Coast. California shooting clubs have been running “Rimfire Tactical” matches for more than a decade. CLICK HERE to read our comprehensive Rimfire Tactical report from way back in 2008. This article includes free targets, ballistics charts, and a complete run-down on suitable rimfire rifles.

Rimfire Tactical Challenge Eley Peacemaker SoCal

The Concept Behind the Rimfire Tactical Match by Bill Erwin
Many guys who shoot long-range tactical matches practice with .22 LR rifles of similar configuration. Rimfire ammo is way more affordable than centerfire, you do not need a big range facility, and shooting rimfire saves wear and tear on your centerfire rifle. Further, for learning how to read the wind, there really is no better training tool than a 22 LR, even as close as 50 yards. Check out this table showing how a .22 LR ballistics compare to .308 Win:

22 LR vs. .308, Distances for Equal 10 MPH Wind Drift
This table shows the corresponding distances at which a 10 mph full-value crosswind pushes a .22 LR bullet and .308 projectile the same amount. Values are based on 0.130 BC for a 40gr .22 LR bullet, and 0.496 BC for 175gr .308 bullet.
22 LR
40gr
1050 fps
50 yd Wind
1.0″
75 yd Wind
2.2″
100 yd Wind
3.8″
125 yd Wind
5.8″
150 yd Wind
8.2″
175 yd Wind
11.0″
200 yd Wind
14.3″
.308 Win
175gr
2650 fps
130 yd Wind
1.07″
180 yd Wind
2.15″
230 yd Wind
3.68″
280 yd Wind
5.63″
330 yd Wind
7.98″
380 yd Wind
10.71″
440 yd Wind
14.56″

This table shows how the .22 LR can be an effective substitute for a .308 Win during training. Because the smaller bullet drifts more in the wind, a 22 rimfire shooter will experience roughly the same crosswind effects as if he was shooting a 175gr .308 twice as far out. So, rimfire work can teach you to dope the wind like a .308, but at less than half the distance. Shooting a .22 LR at 100 yards is like shooting a .308 (with 175 SMK) at 230 yards

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

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February 25th, 2020

Winter Range Cowboy Action Event in Phoenix This Week

SASS Winter Range Ben Avery Phoenix Cowboy action mounted shooting

Earlier this month the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix hosted America’s top long-range shooters at the Berger SW Nationals. This week, Feb. 24 – March 1, 2020, over 1000 cowboys and cowgirls take over Ben Avery during Winter Range, the SASS National Championship for Cowboy Action Shooting. Winter Range is the second largest Cowboy Action event of the year, after End of Trail, the Single Action Shooting Society World Championship held each year in Edgewood, New Mexico.

SASS Winter Range Ben Avery Phoenix Cowboy action mounted shooting

If you want to check out the action at Winter Range, admission is free. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located on Carefree Highway, west of Interstate 17. For more information, visit WinterRange.com.

This video, produced by the Arizona Fish and Game Commission, covers the full Winter Range experience, including the main shooting competitions, the side matches, the Western costumes, the socializing, and more. Worth watching if you like action shooting or are a fan of the Wild West.

Hundreds of cowboy action shooters, ages 12-80, will compete in multiple classifications based on age, and type/caliber of firearms. In addition, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters will hold a two-day mounted shooting event February 29 through March 1, in nearby Queen Creek, Arizona.

winter range ben avery phoenix

Cowboy Action Shooting requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns. Participants each have a registered cowboy shooting alias (such as “Deadeye Dave”), used in SASS events. Competitors, organized in “Posses”, shoot a series of multi-gun stages. In addition to the primary competitions, Winter Range 2020 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast-draw contest, and nearly 100 vendors selling vintage-style clothing and “sundries”.

winter range ben avery phoenix

winter range ben avery phoenix

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February 24th, 2020

SSSF College Scholarships for HS Senior Shooting Sports Athletes

SSSF high school scholarship college collegiate athlete

Do you have a talented high school student in your family or community who needs help with future college expenses? Then here is an opportunity.

SSSF to Award $1,000 and $500 Scholarships To High School Senior Athletes
The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF), is offering financial awards to deserving, graduating High School seniors in the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP). The main objective is to award as many scholarships as possible to qualifying SCTP/SASP graduating seniors. This is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship for college tuition.

CLICK HERE for SSSF Scholarship Program Application »

NOTE: Application Deadline (for the entire application packet) is Midnight, April 19th, 2020. All materials must be received together as one packet by deadline — No Exceptions!

Since 2013, the SSSF has awarded over $450,000 in scholarship funds benefiting over 450 student-athletes in the Scholastic Clay Target and Scholastic Action Shooting programs. In 2019, the Scholarship Program awarded over $100,000 to qualifying applicants in $500 or $1,000 amounts.

SSSF high school scholarship college collegiate athlete

Applicants must be a current and paid member of the SCTP or SASP national organization at the time of application submission and a graduating senior within the year of the awarded scholarship. Awardees must be registered for college before the scholarship is awarded.

SSSF Scholarship

Program Requirements for NSSF Scholarship:

Shooting Sports Athlete — Applicants must have participated during 2019-2020 in one of their SCTP / SASP State Championships, National Championships, or regional events in Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, Olympic Bunker, Olympic Skeet Championships, Pistol, or Rifle.

Good Academic Standing — Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average through the most recent grading period ending on or before April 1, 2020.

Pursuing Full-time College Education — Each prospective recipient must be registered as a full-time college student before the scholarship is awarded.

Needs-Based Eligibility — Applicants may not already have secured any “full” scholarship support (e.g. athletics, military academy, academic, etc.).

Download SSSF Scholarship Program Application Here (PDF)

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February 23rd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: The Klemm Clan — Father and Son F-TR Aces

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion
Ian Klemm won back-to-back 2017/2018 USA F-TR National Championships. His next big challenge will be the 2021 World Championships, where his father Ken Klemm will be one of his teammates on Team USA.

Over the last 30 years, a family saga has been playing out in rural Wisconsin: a father fosters within his son the joy of competitive target shooting. It started in a basement shooting range of a small-town elementary school, shooting single-shot rimfire target rifles while cementing the fundamentals of sight alignment, breathing, trigger control, and safety. With a background of competitive smallbore shooting in school and the U.S. Navy, Ken Klemm coached his son, Ian, in a father/son indoor winter shooting league. Ian was determined to shoot as well or better than his Dad and would pursue that goal for the next 30 years. Even after his engineering career took him to the Washington DC area for defense-related work, Ian continued to compete with his Dad by mailing “postal match” targets back and forth for many years.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion
Ian and Ken Klemm have shot successfully together as members of Team X-Men.

Ken even came to visit Ian out east, with rifle in tow, where they entered the Virginia State 1000-yard Benchrest Championship on a whim with their entry-level (factory) F-Class rifles. Ken’s record target measured 0.003″ smaller than his son’s but Ian was getting closer to matching his Dad. Ian eventually moved back to Wisconsin after taking a design job with Vortex Optics, only a few miles from his hometown, and now he and his Dad could compete in earnest, both against each other and as teammates on the X-Men F-Class club team.

ian klemm rifle

Ian’s trigger time increased significantly with his new vocation and he was lucky enough to design a new competition scope, the Vortex Golden Eagle, for both to use. Armed with two nearly identical new rifles and their new optics, Ian and Ken began traveling cross-country together to compete alongside their X-Men teammates, winning multiple National F-Class Championships together.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion

Matched F-TR Rifles with Kelbly Actions, McMillan X-It Stocks, Bartlein Barrels
Both Ken’s and Ian’s match rifles are built using the same winning hardware — Kelbly actions, McMillan X-It stocks, and Bartlein barrels. Also, Ian and Ken both run similar loads: Lapua .308 Win Palma brass, Vihtavuori N150 Powder, and Berger 200-20X bullets. In addition to the components listed below, they use some special equipment: bipod lowering kits from FClassProducts.com, large rear bigfoot bags from Seb Lambang (SebRests.com), and “Dri-Gun” rain protection from BarrelCool.com.

Gun Specifications
Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm scopes
Kelbly Panda actions
McMillan X-It stocks
Bartlein 1:10″-twist, 30″ barrels
Phoenix Precision Bipods
Load Specifications
Lapua .308 Win Palma (small primer) Brass
VihtaVuori N150 Powder
CCI BR-4 Primers
Berger 200-20X Bullets
Seating: 0.015″ jump

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion

Father and Son Share their Winning Strategies
Having each other to share tips and techniques and confirm winning strategies with has certainly helped Ken and Ian compete successfully together over the last few years. Common between them are the strategies of bracketing wind conditions with sighters as well as using the Golden Eagle’s aperture stop ring (ASR) to more effectively observe mirage and ultimately quantify wind value. They both try to shoot in a building wind condition as it more slowly increases in velocity while challenging each other to stop during a string at the first sign of a potential “let off” or sudden decrease in wind velocity.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion
Ian and Ken competed successfully as teammates on Team X-Men. They shared winning strategies, such as bracketing wind conditions with sighters.

The only significant difference in how each of them wins is in their gun handling. Ken maintains the most consistent form and smallest groups by assuming very light shoulder pressure and virtually no grip contact with his rifle. In contrast, Ian is most competitive with a medium-firm pressure on both the grip and forearm of the McMillan X-It stock as well as medium shoulder pressure. Both techniques have proven themselves during competition when employed consistently.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion

Unlike many F-TR shooters, two-time F-TR National Champion Ian Klemm grips the fore-end of this rifle when he shoots. Ian explains:

“I use a piece of Kydex thermoplastic (commonly used in holsters) that I formed around the forearm (see photo above). I index off it when gripping the stock with my weak hand to ensure that I’m always contacting [the stock] in the same spot. I grip this while shooting, for every shot. It was quickly assigned to my subconscious since I was so used to gripping the fore-end after years of hunting. It felt unnatural to me to not be doing anything with my off-hand. By letting my subconscious do what comes naturally, I am able to achieve a higher level of consistency that if my conscious mind was ‘trying’ to accomplish something with that other hand. The relatively stiff McMillan X-IT stock feels like it benefits from more contact in terms of vibration during the shot as well.”

Father and Son Will Shoot for Team USA in 2021 World Championships
The United States F-Class Rifle team has just completed a 2-year tryout period consisting of multiple tests and scored drills designed to determine which developmental candidates would be named to the final travel team ultimately representing our country against the rest of the world during the next quadrennial World F-Class Championship in South Africa, April 2021. Ken and Ian were just recently informed that they had both been named as shooters on that Final Team USA Selection. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a father and son have shared that honor as teammates on a USA Rifle Team.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion
Here are Ken and Ian on the 2019 FCNC Team. Both father and son have been selected to shoot with the 2021 USA National F-TR Team which will compete at the World F-Class Championships South Africa.

The level of competition from the leading countries around the world is expected to be even stronger this cycle than in previous ones, with correspondingly slimmer margins of victory. Along with the rest of their US teammates and coaches, they will practice and prepare as a dedicated team over the next year to build a sense of confidence and trust in one another. Ken and Ian are thankful for the opportunity to share this experience of a lifetime together and for the 30-year long practice session leading up to it.

Ian Klemm Ken Klemm F-TR Rifle Father Son USA Team F-Class champion
Ian Klemm and Ken Klemm at 2017 Berger SW Nationals.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Optics 1 Comment »
February 23rd, 2020

Become a Range Safety Officer — The World Needs More RSOs

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

A few good men (and women) — that’s what the shooting sports need these days. We need skilled, trained personnel to serve as Range Safety Officers (RS0s). Without RSOs, there would be no shooting matches — no F-Class, no High Power, no Smallbore Matches — you get the idea. Thankfully there are now ways to get requisite RSO training without costly travel far from home.

The NRA now offers an online training course for its Range Safety Officer (RSO) program. The online course teaches the skills needs to conduct and supervise safe shooting activities and range operations. Online RSO Course students can access the electronic course materials for 90 days. You can complete the course in multiple sessions. The program will save your progress so you can return later.

NRA RSO Course OnlineThe Online RSO Course consists of SIX LESSONS:

• Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course
• The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and
Range Standard Operating Procedures
• Range Inspection and Range Rules
• Range Safety Briefing
• Emergency Procedures
• Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions

Who Can Take the Course?: The Online RSO Course is available to anyone who currently possess a valid NRA Firearms Instructor certification or NRA Coach appointment. Course cost is $125.00. Individuals without a trainer rating must attend the in-person Range Safety Officer course consisting of both classroom time and practical exercises on a range.

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

NRA RSO Course OnlineCertification Procedure: Students must complete all six lessons and a short electronically administered test in order to become a certified Range Safety Officer. Once the test has been passed, newly certified Range Safety Officers will receive an electronic completion certificate that can be printed or saved to a computer.

The NRA RSO program was developed in response to the demand for a nationally-recognized range safety officer certification. More than 54,000 NRA Range Safety Officers are involved in aspects of target shooting, training, and range supervision around the USA.

Berger SW Nationals
Range Safety Officer supervises the line at Berger SW Nationals. Without dedicated RSOs, we could not have matches like these.

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February 21st, 2020

CMP Marksmanship 101 Rifle and Pistol Training Programs

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer hands-on rifle and pistol training programs in 2020 at locations around the nation. Marksmanship 101, formerly known as the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) On The Road, is designed to train beginners on rifle or pistol essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers, and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).

Participants learn through classroom work and active training on the range. Near the conclusion of training, students participate in a true M16 rifle or M9 pistol match, fired under close supervision of trainers on the line. Registration opened February 19, 2020. Classes are limited, so you should sign up well ahead of time. No walk-ins will be permitted in PA, IN or IL. CLICK HERE to REGISTER.

No previous knowledge in marksmanship is required for the course. All experience levels are welcome to attend. Rifles and ammo are provided. Personal shooting jackets and gloves are permitted. Hearing protection and eye protection is also required.

Courses on the Marksmanship 101 2020 schedule include:

RIFLE Marksmanship 101 Training Programs 2020:

March 14, 2020: Western CMP Games – Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Phoenix, AZ
April 24, 2020: Eastern CMP Games – Camp Butner, Butner, NC
May 16-17, 2020: Ridgway Rifle Club – Ridgway, PA
May 29, 2020: Camp Atterbury – Edinburgh, IN
July 25-26, 2020: National Matches, RIFLE SAFS – Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
September 24, 2020: New England CMP Games – Camp Ethan Allen, Jericho, VT
September 25-26, 2020: Illinois State Rifle Association – Bonfield, IL
Oct. 15, 2020: Oklahoma CMP Games – Oklahoma City Gun Club, Oklahoma City, OK
November 17, 2020: Talladega 600 Matches – CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, AL

CMP Marksmanship 101 Programs utilize the Small Arms Firing School format.
cmp marksmanship 101 training program

PISTOL Marksmanship 101 Training Programs 2020:

July 7, 2020: National Matches, PISTOL SAFS – Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
September 18, 2020: New England CMP Games – Camp Ethan Allen, Jericho, VT

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

How to Register for CMP Marksmanship Training Programs

Visit the CMP Marksmanship 101 website for Registration Links and other information. Once on the website, click your desired date and location to be sent to the CMP Competition Tracker page to complete registration. Questions regarding Marksmanship 101 may be directed to Amy Cantu at 419-635-2141 ext. 602 or acantu@thecmp.org.

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

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February 21st, 2020

‘Sights, Wind and Mirage’ in Shooting Sports USA Archives

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

Vand Zande wind readingIn the digital archives of Shooting Sports USA, we’ve found some great features that deserve a second look. A few years back, Shooting Sports USA published Sights, Wind and Mirage, an outstanding article that explains how to judge wind speed/direction and adjust your sights accordingly. Authored by highly respected shooter Ernest (Ernie) Vande Zande, this article is a definite “must-read” for all competitive rifle shooters — even those who shoot with a scope rather than irons. Vande Zande’s discussion of mirage alone makes the article well worth reading. Highly recommended.

CLICK HERE to Read “Sights, Wind and Mirage”
by Ernie Vande Zande

Invaluable Insights from a World-Class Shooter
The article covers a wide variety of topics including Wind Reading, Mirage, Effects of Sight Canting, Quadrant Shooting, and Sight Adjustment Sequencing. Vande Zande offers many jewels of insight from his decades of experience shooting and coaching in top level tournaments. U.S. Shooting Team Leader at the 1996 Olympics, Vande Zande has set more than 200 records in National and International competition. He was the Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion at Camp Perry in 1980. An International Distinguished shooter, Ernie has been on nine Dewar teams and he was a member of the USAR Shooting Team from 1982. No matter what your discipline, if you are a competitive rifle shooter, you should CLICK HERE to read Sights, Wind, and Mirage.

Vand Zande wind reading

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February 20th, 2020

Where You Can Shoot F-Class Matches — 100+ Ranges Listed

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

F-Class shooting (both F-Open and F-TR) is one of the fastest-growing forms of rifle competition. Each season many new shooters hit the line and attendance at the major F-Class matches increases every year. But if you’re new to the game, you may ask “Where can I shoot an F-Class match?”. Well, Forum member Rod V. (aka Nodak7mm) has compiled a useful list of 112 ranges throughout the USA where F-Class matches are held. With venues from Alabama to Wyoming — you should find an F-Class program not too far from home. The list, in Excel spreadsheet format, provides range locations and weblinks (where available). Click the link below to download the F-Class Range List (.xls file):

Download F-Class Range List, Revision 20 (12/24/2015) (.XLS file, right click to “save as”)

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

Note — this list, now in its 20th Revision, is augmented regularly, but info is still being gathered. No claim is made that the list is comprehensive. But it still covers the the lion’s share of the important F-Class venues nationwide. If you know of a range that should be added to the list, please post the location on our F-Class Range List Forum thread. Rod will update the list as new range info is received. Rod writes: “Range information is wanted and welcomed. I would like your help on collecting specific info on Clubs/Ranges where known F-Class matches are held.” Here’s a partial sample from Rod’s list:

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

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February 17th, 2020

Team Lapua-Brux-Borden — Big Winners at Berger SW Nationals

Lapua brux borden Team Berger SW southwest Nationals SWN Jay Christopherson Tod Hendricks

Dominators — that’s what these blue-shirted guys were at the 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). For the third straight year, Team Lapua-Brux-Borden won the coveted F-Open Team Grand Aggregate award at the Berger Southwest Nationals, finishing with a score of 2584-160X (out of a possible 2600). And Team Member Jay Christopherson (AccurateShooter’s System Admin) won the F-Open Overall title, while Team Member Tod Hendricks won the 600-yard Mid-Range Event. Mighty impressive…

Lapua brux borden Team Berger SW southwest Nationals SWN Jay Christopherson Tod Hendricks

Team members are Jay Christopherson, David Christian, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Jeremy Smith (alternate), with Bob Sebold serving as Coach and Erik Cortina as Captain. Remarkably Jay (1247-83X), Pat (1247-72X), and Tod (1245-81X) placed first, second, and third respectively in the F-Open Grand Aggregate individual awards. That’s right, three team-mates secured ALL the podium places. And all three were separated by only two points!

Record-Setting Performances by Team
Notably Team Lapua-Brux-Borden established a new Ben Avery range record along the way to winning the Palma Team Match with a score of 1791-113 (out of a possible 1800). We’re told that the Team’s 793-47X LR score was also a new match record. Jay set a LR Aggregate Record with 799-50X, while Tod set a LR individual relay record of 200-18X.

Berger SW Nationals 2020
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team Lapua-Brux-Borden — Winning “Team First” Philosophy
Commentary by Jay Christopherson
For Team Lapua-Borden-Brux, winning gold is the entire focus. To that end, ego is the only enemy. Sure, we all have egos as individual shooters, but as a team, ego is subsumed into that one overriding goal. If you can’t do that, then you can’t shoot on Lapua-Borden-Brux. No matter how good you think your rifle is or how well you are shooting individually, the coach is the only arbiter — no exceptions. Every job on the team is focused towards that single goal of gold and no job is more or less important than another. Our plotter saves points by spotting high or low trends and calling that out, and ensuring we don’t lose points when a scorer misses a shot. Our back-coach saves points by spotting upcoming condition changes or making observations. Our target-puller strives to provide an example of the best possible target service. And our scorer focuses on providing attentive service to the team next to us. A failure in one job is a failure in all and we either win or lose together as a team. That is only possible when each individual understands that there is only one goal.

The Berger Southwest Nationals, hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club, took place February 5-9, 2020 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ with a sold-out roster of 400 competitors. America’s biggest rifle match west of the Mississippi, the Southwest Nationals is a “must-attend” event for long-range shooters competing in F-Open, F-TR, and Sling disciplines. Competitors from at least nine different countries were in attendance. The Grand Aggregate is the total score from firing points of 600, 800, 900, and 1,000 yards.

Lapua brux borden Team Berger SW southwest Nationals SWN Jay Christopherson Tod HendricksPraise from Team Captain
“I am very proud of the team”, stated Team Captain, Erik Cortina: “From setting a new range record to placing first in the F-Open Grand Aggregate, our success is directly attributed to Lapua’s premium components.”

About Lapua — Premium Brass, Bullets, and Ammunition
Lapua produces the highest-quality small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com.

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February 16th, 2020

Target Dots — Buy ‘Em by the Thousand and Save

target dots sticker avery label flourescent dot labeloutfitters

Sometimes simpler is better when it comes to targets for fun shooting and load testing. While we normally use test targets from our Downloadable Target Page, it’s sometimes easier to just use brightly-colored “Hi-Viz” adhesive target dots.

Hi-Viz Stick-On Dots in Assorted Colors and Diameters
You can order 1″ target dots in bulk from Labeloutfitters.com. Many colors are available including fluorescent (hi-viz) Red, Green, Orange, and Yellow. These are bright and easy to see even in fading afternoon light. A pack of twenty (20) sheets (1260 dots total) costs just $5.97 (that works out to $4.74 per thousand). For the 1″-diameter stick-on dots you get 63 dots per sheet. Larger, 1.5″-diameter fluorescent dots are also available in 20-sheet packs for $5.97, with 24 large dots per sheet (480 dots total). If you want even bigger, 2″-diameter dots, sheets with 20 Hi-Viz dots per sheet are on sale for $5.97 per 20-pack (400 dots total).

Our friend Danny Reever really likes the bright dots from Label-Outfitters: “Ordered some of the 1″ dots from LabelOutfitters.com and received them in two days Priority Mail! Bought the fluorescent red,green, and yellow and they are really nice — especially for the price.”

If you prefer smaller, 3/4″-diameter circles, Amazon.com sells Avery packs with 1008 adhesive dots for just $4 to $7 per pack. Colors include Neon Red/Orange (item 5467), Neon Yellow (item 5470), Neon Green (item 5468), and Bright Blue (item 5461). We recommend the Neon Red/Orange for most uses, or the Neon Yellow dots for use on a black background. There is even a dispenser-box option with 1000 3/4″ dots on a roll in a box. Amazon.com also offers 3/4″ and 1″-diameter target pasters in 1000-dot rolls for $7-$10 per roll.

target dots sticker avery label flourescent dot labeloutfitters

Half-Inch Fluorescent Dots for 100-200 Yards
For close-range work, you may prefer 1/2″-diameter dots. Forum member Steve found a source for very small 1/2″ dots: Uline.com. The 1/2″ dots are available in a wide variety of colors including fluorescent Red, Pink, Yellow, and Green. Price is $12 for a roll of 1000 dots (item S-2063). Steve notes: “A 1/2″ circle at 300 yards is not quite entirely covered by Nightforce crosshairs at 42-power (I’d say 70% coverage). I.e., it seems easier to line up repeatedly than with the bigger (3/4″) circles, which I used to use. Note that, for me, neon green and neon orange work best on brown cardboard targets. Neon orange works well on white paper.”

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February 13th, 2020

Brain Trust — Bryan Litz, Emil Praslick, and the AMP Team

Ultimate Reloader Video interview Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Berger Bullets Emil Praslick III AMP Annealing

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com was a busy man at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas. He visited many leading vendors, and he also interviewed some of the most knowledgeable experts in the world of precision shooting. Today we present three important video interviews hosted by Gavin — the SHOT Show Brain Trust series.

First up is Bryan Litz, world-renowned ballistics expert and founder of Applied Ballistics LLC. The software developed by Bryan’s company is used by top competitive shooters and military marksmen. The second member of the Brain Trust is Emil Praslick III. Former Coach of the USAMU rifle team, Emil is considered to be one of the best wind-readers on the planet. Finally, we showcase a father and son team from New Zealand, Alex and Matt Finlay, developers of the Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) electrical induction annealing system.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC.

This interview with Bryan Litz is a “must-watch” for any serious long-range shooter. Bryan, founder of Applied Ballistics LLC., explains many important ballistics concepts. In addition Bryan discusses bullet design qualities that can reduce drag, increase BC, and improve bullet-to-bullet consistency.

Emil Praslick (U.S. Army Ret.) of Capstone Precision Group

Emil Praslick III, former coach of USAMU and USA Long Range teams, has been hailed as a “wind guru” — a master of wind reading. Emil now works for Capstone Precision Group, Parent of Berger Bullets, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK. In this wide-ranging interview, Emil talks about wind-reading strategies, modern bullet designs, and ballistics challenges in Long Range shooting.

Alex and Matt Finlay of Annealing Made Perfect (AMP)

Father Alex and son Matt Finlay have brought break-through technology to the world of precision hand-loading. Their innovative AMP annealing machines are true “game-changers” that extend useful case life and improve loading consistency. The computer-controlled AMP MK 2 annealing system is the most advanced and precise annealer available for the general consumer.

Comment from Interviewer Gavin Gear
It’s an absolute privilege to have access to the “best in the business”. I have so much respect for these innovators: Bryan Litz and Applied Ballistics, Emil Praslick: King of 2 Mile winning team member (2017), and the Annealing Made Perfect team (Alex and Matt). In each case, there’s very interesting innovation happening, and I’ve applied much of what I’ve learned from these people into my daily work on UltimateReloader.com.

Credit: In top photo, brain graphic Designed by Yo_Han / Freepik.

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February 13th, 2020

CMP Western Games Return to Arizona in March

CMP rimfire sporter match western Games

The annual Western Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Travel Games (Western Games) will return in 2020 for another round of marksmanship events at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The week-long series of recreational vintage and modern rifle competitions will be held March 13-22, 2020 and is open to competitors of all ages and experience levels. NOTE: This is a major scheduling change — in recent years, the CMP Western Games were conducted in October. The new Spring schedule should allow cooler temperatures.

CMP rimfire sporter match western Games

Notably, Western Games matches on the High Power range will be fired on CMP electronic targets. That means less time in the pits, and faster cycling of relays.

Western CMP Games Program | Western Games Entry Form | Online Registration

Vintage Sniper Matches have become very popular
CMP rimfire sporter match western Games

The Western Games lineup is comprised of CMP Games matches such as the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, M1 Carbine, and Vintage Sniper matches as well as a series of CMP High Power (HP) Rifle Matches, which include three days of 80-Shot Aggregate competitions, a 4-Man Team event, and a Service Rifle EIC Match.

M1 Carbine Match at Western CMP Games
CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

There Is Always a Big Turn-out for Rimfire Sporter Matches
CMP rimfire sporter match western Games

Rifle Marksmanship 101 Training Class
For beginners and enthusiasts wanting to sharpen their marksmanship skills, a Rifle Marksmanship 101 class will also give participants insight into the fundamentals of safety and competition shooting. Participants work one-on-one with experienced CMP Rifle Master Instructors for classroom and hands-on training. Rifles and ammunition will be provided for the class. At the conclusion of training, students in the school will fire in a true M16 EIC Match, observed by instructors on the line.

CMP Western Games March Ben Avery Arizona

A CMP HP Clinic, conducted by experienced instructors, will be held for those wanting a closer, more detailed look at the sport. The clinic will include training that utilizes live-fire education on the firing line. Additionally, the scheduled M1 Maintenance Clinic is the perfect place to learn more about the inner workings of the classic rifle and ways to ensure its preservation.

electronic TargetsElectronic Targets for High Power Matches
High Power competitors at Ben Avery will have the opportunity to fire on the CMP’s modern traveling electronic target system. This Kongsberg system features special targets programmed with precision software that register the shot locations and score. In addition, beside each competitor on the firing line is a remote monitor that instantly displays shot scores.

The CMP electronic target system eliminates the need for doing pit duty — that saves time and aggravation for the shooters. The more efficient schedules allowed by the electronic targets give Western Games shooters more opportunities to fire additional disciplines because relays run much more quickly.

The CMP adds: “Trained CMP staff members will be present at all times to ensure safety and a great experience for all who attend the event. Join us for a week of competition, new experiences and fun!”

More information about the Western CMP Games and registration forms can be found by on the CMP website. The match is just one month away. If you’re interested you should Download the Entry Form and/or REGISTER ONLINE soon.

Schedule for Major CMP Events in 2020:

(Mark Your Calendars)

Western CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches
March 13-22, 2020, Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Phoenix, AZ

Eastern CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches
April 24 – May 3, 2020, Camp Butner, Butner, NC

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry
July 6 – August 8, 2020, Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH

New England CMP HP Rifle & CMP Games Matches
September 14-20, 2020, Camp Ethan Allen, Jericho, VT

Oklahoma CMP HP Rifle & CMP Games Matches
October 12-18, 2020, Oklahoma City, OK

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February 12th, 2020

Six Tips for Better Results at Local Fun Shooting Matches

tip advice training prep club varmint groundhog match

Every summer weekend, 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.

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February 11th, 2020

Shooting USA TV Features 2019 Bianchi Cup This Week

2019 NRA Bianchi Cup Columbia MO Action Pistol Championship
Jessie Harrison is a multi-time Bianchi Cup Ladies’ Division Champion.

Bianchi Cup Pistol MatchThis week’s edition of Shooting USA, which airs Wednesday, February 12, features the NRA Bianchi Cup. This competition is one of the most prestigious and popular events in the world of handgun shooting. Officially, the annual competition in Columbia, Missouri is known as the National Championship of NRA Action Pistol. But to everybody, world-wide, it’s the Bianchi Cup, the trophy named for one of the founders, John Bianchi. In the past 30 years the match has become the richest handgun tournament in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire. Shooting USA will spotlight top male and female Bianchi Cup competitors in both wheelgun and and semi-auto pistol divisions. Along with North American shooters, the Bianchi Cup draws top handgun competitors from around the globe. Shooting USA airs Wednesday nights, on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, and 10:00 pm Central.

CLICK HERE to Preview Shooting USA Episodes »

John Scoutten and his team report the action from the Bianchi Cup. This year shooters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan traveled to Columbia, Missouri in search of the perfect 1920 match score. Each round is the aggregate of the four (4) fired events: Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate, and Moving Target Events. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017

27 Years ago Doug Koening set the standard with a 1920. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017
Here are the top four women shooting the Practical Event during the Colt Championship Final in 2017. From top: 2017 Bianchi Women’s Champion Cherie Blake, third place SFC Katie Bahten, second place Anita Mackiewicz, and fourth place Jessie Duff. Shooting Sports USA Photo

In this video, 18-Time Bianchi Cup Winner Doug Koenig demonstrates Fast Follow-up Shots

Bianchi Cup — Classic Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

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February 11th, 2020

Short-Range Benchrest Techniques Showcased in Finland

Benchrest Shooting Finland free recoilIn these two videos from the Rekyyli Ja Riista (Recoil and Game) YouTube Channel, you can see how a modern, short-range benchrest rifle is shot. Note how the gun tracks superbly, returning right on target, shot after shot. As a result, the shooter doesn’t have to adjust the rifle position after firing (other than pushing the gun forward), so he can quickly load and fire within seconds of the previous shot. Good rests and consistent, smooth bolt actuation keep the gun from rocking.

It does take practice to perfect the right technique for shooting free recoil (or nearly free recoil — with just a pinch on the trigger guard). And, of course, you must have a very good bag/rest set-up and the stock geometry and rifle balance must be perfect. The ammo caddy also helps by placing the cartridge up high, right next to the left-aide loading port. Hats off to Forum member Boyd Allen for finding these videos. Boyd told us: “Watch carefully — Now this is how it’s done.” [Work Warning: Loud gunshot noises — Turn Down Volume before playback.]

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February 10th, 2020

Berger SW Nationals 2020 Results — Hail the Winners

Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

The 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals are complete. As expected, it was a hugely successful match that challenged the nation’s top Sling and F-Class shooters. We want to praise all the competitors and congratulate the 2020 SWN Champions in all three classes. The competition was fierce through-out the match. John Whidden won the Sling Division with a 1245-75X score, just one point ahead of runner-up Oliver Milanovic (1244-72X). Bobby Gill was third with 1240-58X.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 Berger SWN Complete Scores »

Jay Christopherson Berger SWN F-Open win In the F-TR Division, Peter Johns had a dominant performance with 1242-58X, twelve points ahead of second-place Wade Fillingame (1230-50X) and third-place Ian Klemm (1230-46X). Ian also shot on the winning USA Independence F-TR Team.

Jay Christopherson Wins F-Open
We cheered the F-Open news. AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, our Systems Administrator, took the 2020 F-Open title with a brilliant 1247-83X score, 11 “Xs” ahead of runner-up Pat Scully (1247-72X). In third place was Tod Hendricks (1245-81X). Jay (photo right) was shooting a Brux-barreled straight .284 Win with Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets. Up front he uses a SEB Mini coaxial tripod rest. Jay also helped carry Team Lapua-Brux-Borden to an F-Open Team victory. Here’s a short video of Jay shooting when he finished second in F-Open division at the SWN a couple seasons back. You can view Jay’s smooth gun-handling and patience waiting for his condition:

Jay Christopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Admin, won the F-Open division. Jay’s Brux-barreled .284 Win was superbly accurate all week long. This video was from a past Berger SWN Event.

Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks won Sling division with a 1245-75X score. John really likes this match: “For most of us it’s the first match of the year, a chance to shake off the cobwebs.” John said conditions were “pretty nice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — most of the changes came slow and conditions were readable from the mirage.” John, a 5-time National Long Range Champion, is always a threat to win at the SWN. John shot a .308 Win in the Palma Class, and then his .243 Win in the Any Rifle division. Both with Berger bullets and Vihtavuori powders. Here’s John at Ben Avery in 2018:

JOhn Whidden Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

Peter Johns Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

Above is Peter Johns, F-TR Class winner. Peter posted: “I just accomplished one of my goals of winning a national-level F-Class shooting match! I was only able to do with the support of my wife and family. Also I would like to thank Alonzo Custom Rifles for building a great shooting rifle, Kelly McMillan for the best rifle stock for F-TR (Kestros BR) and Vortex for the best riflecope (Golden Eagle) for F-Class.”

Top SWN Team Performances

A new team record was set at Ben Avery this year. In the F-TR Division, Team USA Independence finished with a 2563-113X score. We are told this is the highest-ever F-TR score. Congratulations to Top Scorer Ian Klemm (645-28X) and the other shooters Wade Fillingame, Fritz Braun, and Luke Ramsey. Keith Trap coached and Kent Reeve was Captain.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

In F-Open Team Lapua-Brux-Borden continued its dominance, with a fine performance on the final day. The Team finished at 2584-160X, six points ahead of runner-up Team McMillan F-Open (2578-135X).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden


F-Open Rifle with Barrel-Cool Device on SEB Neo front rest.

Give Credit to the Match Directors and Staff
Emil Praslick III of Capstone Precision Group offered this perspective on the 2020 Berger SW Nationals: “Wrapping up the Southwest Nationals which was amazingly well run by the Desert Sharpshooters. Matthew Schwartzkopf, Michelle Gallagher, Nancy Tompkins, Melesia Cisneros, Scott Fulmer, Mid Tompkins, and everyone else behind the scenes literally work for at least six months to make the event the well-oiled machine that it is.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN

Moving and managing close to 400 shooters is a Herculean task, and anyone who thinks they can do better should… offer to come down to help out. I shot awful, but it was a pleasure to see the joy of the shooters as they experienced this one-of-a-kind match. Imagine cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 400 relatives with individual dietary needs on a motel hot plate, and you’ll get an idea of the scale involved. Again, thank you Matt and the gang, and we’ll see you next year!”

2020 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN report

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February 10th, 2020

Blast from the Past — Setting Prize-Winning Record in 1955


Barney M. Auston of Tulsa, OK with rifle he built to break NBRSA record and win $250 cash award from Sierra Bullets. (From cover of Precision Shooting magazine. May 1956).

Way back in 1955 Sierra Bullets offered a $1000 prize for anyone setting a new Aggregate benchrest record with a 6mm (or larger) bullet. At the time the .222 Remington ruled the roost, and Sierra wanted to promote the larger caliber. Sierra also offered a $250.00 prize for a record-breaking performance with any size caliber (including the .22s). Here is the story of how a Tulsa shooter claimed the $250.00 award with a world-record-setting Aggregate involving 10-shot groups at 100 and 200 yards.

Barney Auston’s record-setting rifle was built on an FN Mauser action with double set trigger, with a Hart stainless steel barrel, 30″ x 1 1/8″, chambered for the .222 Remington cartridge. The stock, made by Auston, has a hydraulic bedder as made by L. F. Landwehr of Jefferson City, MO. The scope is a 24X, 2″ inch Unertl. Mr. Auston shot 50gr bullets, custom made by W. M. Brown of Augusta, Ohio, with .705″ Sierra cups and soft swedged. His powder charge was 21 grains of 4198. The rifle rests, both front and rear, were also made by Auston.

Record-Setting Performance
On August 20, 1955, shooting at night in a registered shoot on the John Zink range near Tulsa, Oklahoma, Barney M. Auston of Tulsa broke the existing National Match Course aggregate record. As the first person to do that in 1955, Auston won the Sierra Bullets $250 cash award. Here is the original Sierra Bullets prize offer from 1955:

10-Shot Groups at 100 and 200
Mr. Auston’s winning Aggregate for the National Match Course (five 10-shot groups at 100 yards and five 10-shot groups at 200 yards) was .4512 MOA. He also broke the 200-yard aggregate with an average of .4624 MOA, beating the .4801 match MOA record set by L.E. Wilson only a month earlier.

Barney Auston was a custom rifle maker in Tulsa who fabricated the rifles used by many of the leading benchrest competitors in the Mid-Continent and Guild Coast Regions. Auston was himself one of the top benchrest shooters in those regions during his shooting career.

Editor’s Note: Both of Mr. Auston’s records were broken before the end of the 1955 shooting season, but Auston was the first to win the Sierra Prize. Interestingly, in setting his record, Austin broke the existing Agg record by L.E. Wilson of Cashmere, Washington — yes, the same L.E. Wilson that now makes dies.

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February 9th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Seb’s Hammerhead Dual-Discipline Rifle

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

We first ran this story a few seasons back. Since then we’ve received many questions about this gun, so we thought we’d give readers another chance to learn about this truly innovative, switch-barrel “convertible” rifle. This gun works for both short-range (100/200) and long-range (500-1000 yd) benchrest matches.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

You interested in a truly innovative bench gun that can shoot both short-range and long-range matches? Check out Seb Lambang’s original “do-it-all” rifle. This switch-barrel rifle combined two very different chamberings: 6 PPC and .284 Winchester. With that caliber combo, Seb’s covered from 100 yards (LV/HV mode) all the way out to 1000 (LR Light Gun mode). But the dual chambering is not the rifle’s only trick feature. Exploiting the long-range benchrest rules on stock designs, Seb has fitted a 3″-wide, flat rear metal keel to the buttstock. That counter-balances his 30″-long 7mm barrel, improves tracking, and adds stability. Seb built the stock and smithing was done by Australian gunsmith David Kerr.

Detachable Hammerhead Wing Section Plus Fat-Bottom Keel
To further reduce torque and improve tracking, the stock features an 8″-wide, detachable fore-end fixture. This “hammerhead” fore-end section has extended “wings” on both sides, making the rifle super-stable. The hammerhead unit can be removed, leaving the stock 3″ wide for use in registered benchrest matches where 3″ is the maximum width. The photos below show Seb’s gun in .284 Win Long-Range (LR) Light Gun mode, complete with front wings and rear keel.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

Yes This Rig Shoots … In Both Configurations, Long-Range and Short
Seb has already used his switch-caliber, switch-barrel rig successfully in competition. Seb tells us: “The gun shot and tracked real well either in 6 PPC LV/HV mode or in .284 Win LG mode. I love it! Back in 2015, with this gun I placed Top 10 for the Two-Gun at the Harry Madden Championship in Brisbane, Australia just a few days ago and took the silver medal for the 500m Flyshoot with the .284 Win on the next day. So who says a switch-barrel rifle can’t (or doesn’t) work?” And get this, Seb finished the stock just four days before the Brisbane match. He glued-in the action the evening before the match and shot it the next day in competition. Pretty impressive we’d say….

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC

6 PPC and .284 Win Convertible Rifle Specifications
Action: Stolle Panda Short Action (glue-in plus front/rear alum. pillars), Right Bolt, Right Port, Right Eject, .473 bolt face.
LV/HV Weight: Rifle weighs 10.4 lbs in 6 PPC mode (no keel, no front wings).
LV/HV Barrel: Krieger 21.5″ OAL, 6mm (6 PPC, .270″ neck), 1:14″ twist.
Light Gun Weight: 15.5 lbs in .284 Mode with 3″ rear aluminum keel and 8″ fore-end attachment.
Light Gun Barrel: Maddco 30″ OAL, 7mm (.284 Win, .316″ neck), 1:9″ twist.
Metal: Home-made, one-piece scope base with +15 MOA scope rings.

Seb Lambang — Indonesian Innovator
Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang is the designer/builder of the innovative SEB Coaxial rests, some of the best joystick rests on the market. The SEB Mini is a remarkable design — very compact but solid enough to win F-Class matches. And the SEB Neo Rest has become the go-to choice for short-range and long-range benchrest. The NEO folds flat for transport, yet offers extended vertical and horizontal travel and a rest top that can adjust from roughly 2″ wide to over 6″ in width. This Editor uses a SEB Neo for both bench and F-Class shooting and it is my favorite joystick rest. Here’s a video review of the SEB Mini, filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix:

Seb is actually in the USA right now, competing at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). No he’s not shooting his radical Hammerhead at Ben Avery this year — he’s got a more conventional F-TR rig. He is shooting with the Int’l Pickup F-TR team coached by Dean Wheeler. In the 2/6/2020 Team Palma match, Seb finished with high score for his team, 438-9X.

ADDENDUM — Seb Succeeds at SWN in Sharpshooter Division:
Seb just posted this report from the Berger SW Nationals in Phoenix: “Proud to get first place in Sharpshooter Class in the Long Range Day 1 Aggregate. Super tough F-CLASS match against lots of the best shooters in the USA and some other countries. Thanks a bunch to my gunsmith Alex Wheeler who did a really great job, [providing a] super-smooth timed action. Thanks also to Tom Mousel who did a great job with the super-accurate ammo! Thanks to Will McCloskey for the best laminate wood rifle stock on the market. The rifle shoots GREAT. I really enjoy this match!”. Here is Seb on the firing line at Ben Avery. The rifle rests on the SEB Joy-Pod joystick bipod he created.

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC .308 Win F-TR SWN

[NOTE: The NRA has multiple divisions: High Master, Master, Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. The most elite level is High Master.]

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February 7th, 2020

Report from Berger SWN — Wednesday and Thursday Highlights

Berger 2020 SWN Southwest Nationals

Thursday 2/6/2020 was the first Team Day at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Dozens of squads competed in F-TR, F-Open, and Sling Divisions. This 4-Man Palma Team Match had 15 shots for record each at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. This is a real test of wind-reading and marksmanship. Phil Kelley reports: “Tricky conditions challenged great teams throughout the day.” We first want to congratulate Team Lapua Brux Borden (LBB), with a convincing Thursday win in the F-Open Division. We were especially proud of this performance because Team LBB member Jay Christopherson serves as AccurateShooter.com’s system administrator. Congrats to Jay (far right below) and his team-mates including David Christian, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, Erik Cortina (Captain), and Bob Sebold (Coach).

Team Lapua Brux Borden
Team Lapua Brux Borden Archive Photo from 2019 at last year’s Berger SWN.

Berger SW Nationals team match

F-TR Berger SWN

In the F-TR division, Team USA Independence took top honors with a 1773-83X total for four shooters: Ian Klemm, Wade Fillingame, Fritz Braun, and Luke Ramsey.

Berger SW Nationals team match

Berger SWN Palma Team

In the Sling Division, Team USNRT Milanovic took top honors with 1782-82X, finishing three points ahead of Team USNRT Gill. Captain/Coach Oliver Milanovic lead the team with 449-30X.

Berger SW Nationals team match

CLICK HERE for ALL Available Berger SWN Scores »

In team competition, the shooter relies on his coach and spotter.
Berger SW Nationals team match

Berger SWN 600-Yard Mid-Range Match Results

SWN Berger Southwest Mid-Range 600 yard

In the Mid-Range match, Tod Hendricks topped the F-Open field with 598-37X, a dominant performance. Jim Fowler finished second with 596-20X, and our own Product Tester John Masek was third with 595-33X. John, aka “F-Class John” in our Forum, prepares our Deals of the Week, and does product reviews. Here is his latest Teslong Borescope Review.

In the F-TR Division, the top three shooters all finished with 584 points. However, Mid-Range Champion Scott Harris (584-30X) tallied a huge X-Count advantage over second-place Doug Boyer (584-21X), and third-place Ian Klemm (584-20X). Congrats to all three men.

In the Sling Division, Randy Teissedre won with 597-33X, followed by Mike Kelley with 593-30X, and Larry Sollars with 592-32X.

CLICK HERE for Full 600-Yard Results »

High Winds for Mid-Range Match on Wednesday
It was windy and cold to start the day for the 600-Yard, Mid-Range Match on Wednesday at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix. Capstone’s Adam Braverman posted: “Nice full value wind to start the Mid-Range portion of the SW Nationals sponsored by Capstone Precision Group. 38 degrees felt like 27!”

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February 6th, 2020

Reading the Wind — Good Guidebook from M.Sgt. Jim Owens

Reading the Wind Jim Owens book CD DVD Creedmoor Sports

Readers often ask for a good, authoritative resource on doping the wind and reading mirage. Many of our Forum members recommended M.Sgt. Jim Owens’ Wind-Reading Book. With 22 sets of wind charts, this 166-page resource is offered for $14.95 in print format or $12.95 in CD format.

Owens’ Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques clearly explains how to gauge wind speeds and angles. Owens, a well-known High Power coach and creator of Jarheadtop.com, offers a simple system for ascertaining wind value based on speed and angle. The CD also explains how to read mirage — a vital skill for long-range shooters. In many situations, reading the mirage may be just as important as watching the wind flags. Owens’ $12.95 CD provides wind-reading strategies that can be applied by coaches as well as individual shooters.

As a separate product, Owens offers a Reading the Wind DVD for $29.95.

NOTE: The Wind DVD product is completely different than Owens’ $12.95 CD. The DVD is like an interactive class, while the CD is basically an eBook.

Played straight through, the DVD offers about 75 minutes of instruction. M.Sgt. Owens says “You will learn more in an hour and fifteen minutes than the host learned in fifteen years in the Marine Corps shooting program. This is a wind class you can attend again and again. [It provides] a simple system for judging the speed, direction and value of the wind.” The DVD also covers mirage reading, wind strategies, bullet BC and more.

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