February 28th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: “Red Rocket” .284 Win F-Open Match Rifle

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Forum member Martin Tardif (aka “Killick” in our Forum) competes with a very accurate .284 Win F-Open rig fitted with a Barnard action, Brux barrel, and Eliseo F1 chassis. Unlike some F-Class shooters, Martin has tried many disciplines over the years, including service rifle and Mid-Range and Long Range sling competition. But he told us, “After experiencing arthritis in my hands and wrists, I decided I would dabble with F-Class. And that has turned into a happy obsession.” Today’s story features the object of that happy obsession — Martin’s tack-driving .284 Win he calls the “Red Rocket”.

F-Open Match Rifle — .284 Winchester “Red Rocket”

by Martin Tardif
This is the story of the new “Red Rocket”, my new F-Open rifle. It’s chambered in .284 Winchester (.317″ neck, .220″ freebore). This rifle features Barnard P action, Barnard single-stage trigger (4 oz.), and Brux 30″ one-inch straight-taper, 1:8.5″-twist barrel fitted with Blake Tuner. The barreled action rides in a Gary Eliseo Competition Machine (CMI) F1 F-Open metal chassis with Marine Corps Red powder coat. On top is March 48x52mm fixed-power High Master scope. In a previous incarnation, this same Barnard action served in a wood-stocked F-Class rig, a Red Retromod built from a modified Anschutz stock. I still have the Barnard action (and trigger), but mostly everything else is new.

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo
Here’s the .284 Win “Red Rocket” with CMI F1 Stock, Barnard action, Brux barrel, and Blake Tuner on my SEB Mini at Burbank Rifle and Revolver Club in SoCal.

My previous F-Class rifle started out as a Palma rifle back around 2008. With a modified Anschutz prone stock, that .308 Win Palma sling gun served me well, helping me earn the 2009 California State Palma Championship. Much later I grafted more wood on and whittled that same stock into an F-Open specimen (shown below). That did get me to Long Range High Master but it definitely had limitations. For one it had annoying flex in the fore-end and the buttstock was not aligned with the barrel channel.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

I wanted to upgrade my stock to get a more consistent, better-shooting F-Open performer. So in April of 2020 I contacted Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine and ordered one of his streamlined, F1 “boom-stick” chassis units. These feature a very low Center of Gravity. I sent Gary my Barnard action and had Brux send him a barrel that I had won at the 2020 SWN raffle.

This video shows Martin shooting the “Red Rocket” in California

This rifle has been a success from the very start. At its first big match, the 2020 California State Championships, the Red Rocket tied for First Place on points but finished second overall on X-count.

Martin tells us: “The new red Eliseo stock is phenomenal and far surpasses the old red stock on my RetroMod project previously featured on the Daily Bulletin. The three things I like best about this Eliseo F1 chassis system are:

1. The lean, clean, efficient engineering and styling.
2. Easy manipulation of buttstock and cheek piece adjustments, ease of bolt removal.
3. Inherent confidence in its straightness and the durability of all the parts and finish.”

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

“I’m extremely impressed with the potential of this rig and I have still yet to fiddle with the tuner and test some of my Wolf/KVB primers. It’s all gravy now.” — Martin Tardif

I received the finished rifle in September and was impressed with its stark and consummate functionality and there is no doubt as to that function. The collinear aspect from any angle suggests a Red Rocket Car on the Bonneville Salt Flats, so that’s what I call this rig.

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Reloading Methods and Load Development
My virgin brass prep starts with a .284 neck mandrel with the occasional squirt of WD-40, then to the drill press to turn the necks to 0.014″ wall thickness with my PMA Model B turner. After a quick dip in the media tumbler I run the whole batch through my DIY cake pan annealer and they’re ready for sizing. I like the Whidden Gunworks full length bushing dies. I use a .310″ bushing and a loaded round measures .312″. After sizing, I run the cases through the tumbler for 10-15 minutes to clean them up and then they are primed. I’m using my stash of S&B primers with an RCBS benchtop primer seater with a Holland Perfect Primer Seater add-on. I do point my 180-grain Berger Hybrid bullets with a Hoover die (see below).

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Here is Martin’s reloading bench. From left to right: A&D FX-120i Force Restoration Scale with Auto-Trickler V3, Hoover Bullet-Tipping Die, Whidden .284 Win FL Sizing Die with PMA click-adjust lock ring, Hodgdon H4350 powder. Martin reports: “I’m also using some of F-Class John’s Auto Trickler Methods — using two powder cups to speed up the process, hash marks on Auto Trickler gear drive, and minimal openings on FX-120i wind guards. These all improve the powder measuring.

Load Development and Accuracy Testing in Competition
I started load testing in November 2020. I tried both H4831sc and H4350 at 100 yards. I usually have excellent results with H4831sc but the Brux tube stubbornly preferred H4350. So I took a preliminary recipe (52.2 grains) to the California Long Range Championship and tied for First Place on points but got beat on Xs. Having seen a little too much vertical at the state match, I went with a lighter load that looked good for vertical at 100 yards (51.8 grains — see photo below). That load got me an overall win at our 1000-yard club match.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

I wanted to fine tune that load so I started a seating depth test. I did a final head to head test, comparing .015″ jump (away from first lands contact) and .018″ jump at 1000 yards. The .015″ jump load was the clear winner. This 15-round group was shot at 1000 yards with no flags on an overcast day with no mirage.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The ShotMarker screenshot above shows 15 shots at 1000 yards with bullets seated .015″ out, switching winds and no flags, just watching the mirage. I added .25 MOA up after the first round ‘9’ (me fighting a clean barrel on first shot) and went to town.

Advice for New F-Class Shooters — by Martin Tardif

1. Watch a Top Competitor — Find a good shooter that you respect and watch and take note of their equipment, how they set up to shoot, how they shoot, what conditions they shoot in or don’t. Ideally you should ask to be squadded with them (if possible) so you can score for them. That way you’re not dividing your attention from the shooter you’re supposed to be scoring for. Be mindful not to pester them while they are setting up. Best to wait until they have finished shooting and try to ask questions off the firing line, others still shooting need to concentrate.

2. Cartridge Selection for F-Open– Go to Accurate Shooter’s 7mm Cartridge Guide and scroll to the .284 Winchester section by Charles Ballard. You can read further about the 7mm WSM and 7mm SAUM but for a caliber that’s not fussy you should stick with the .284 Win.

3. Reloading Equipment — To win, you really need ammo as perfect as you can make it. You should be able to find out everything you need to know about reloading equipment via the Accurateshooter Forum’s Reloading and Competition areas. It’s a one-stop shopping brain trust for everything F-Class, Sling, and Benchrest. And the Forum Marketplace is literally a never ending ‘Gun Show’ of For Sale items. It’s a great place to buy quality used stuff for newbies.

As a final bit of advice — BELIEVE the wind — it’s smarter than you are!

Commentary on Metal Chassis vs Wood Stock
I previously had a wood F-Class stock so flexible you could easily pinch the barrel to the fore-end with one hand and hold it there. My Eliseo metal chassis is MUCH more rigid. I don’t think there is any argument that a metal stock is more rigid than wood. I also think a metal stock with its monolithic properties has a more consistent cross-sectional density along its length than a wood stock would have due to the vagaries of grain structure. However I have no experimental data to support that theory, or how that might positively affect shot to shot consistency. I CAN say that the gun shoots better, with smaller groups and higher scores, than the previous wood stock version.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The CMI F1 chassis has three main sections: rear assembly, main assembly, and fore-end. The main assembly is a 27″-long solid billet section with milled cavities for the rear assembly and trigger group. This also supports the action V-Block which cradles the full length of the action. The V-Block is mated to the top of the billet in a milled channel but doesn’t touch the sides to avoid uneven harmonics. The rear assembly hold the LOP-adjustable butt pad/bag rider and “easy off” cheek piece. The 3-piece fore-end is fitted to the main section with screws. The complete F1 chassis with grip and cheek piece weighs 6 pounds.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo
Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

F1 Chassis Maker Gary Eliseo Talks about His Design
The F1 was designed to incorporate the most important features needed in an F-Open rifle system. Top priority was placed on how the rifle tracked. The chassis had to be perfectly straight, and immune to weather so it will stay straight. On the F1, the fore-end is designed to keep the centerline of the barreled action as low as possible. This super-low center of gravity, along with the tall vertical sides, keep torque to a minimum, so the gun doesn’t twist or hop, but instead comes straight back.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The F1 chassis can be fitted with bedding blocks to accommodate any action. These action bedding blocks are carefully epoxy-bedded to the chassis so the customer’s barreled action is perfectly in line with the central axis of the chassis. In addition to optimizing tracking, I also took a look at how the shooter interfaced with the rifle. I wanted the cheek piece to be narrow so that the shooter would not be forced into applying side pressure on the stock to get their eye behind the scope. The cheek piece is also easy to remove for those who shoot without one. This also facilitates bolt removal.

If you’re interested in an F1 F-Open Chassis, contact Gary via the Competition Machine eMail page. The current price for an F1 Chassis with Cerakote finish (any color) is $1150.00. Lead time is about 12 weeks.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Martin Tardif Eliseo Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Hollands Gunsmithing Perfect Primer Seater

Green Tools for Red Rocket — Martin uses an RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press on an Inline Fabrication UltraMount. Primers are seated with an RCBS Bench Primer fitted with Holland’s Gunsmithing Perfect Primer Seater Adapter. This provides ultra-consistent primer seating.

F-Class Match Strategies for California Ranges
My strategy for a match clearly depends on the specific location. For instance, at my home range, the Burbank Rifle and Revolver Club, which has several cuts and gullies crossing the canyon, the wind comes primarily from NNE and since the range faces slightly NNE the predominant condition will be a head or right wind so I’m looking for R to L mirage and left angled flags.

By contrast, Coalinga CA is a much more open/exposed range which can make it much more challenging. When you see all the flags going against the mirage for the majority of the string (after you’ve gone for record of course) that can be tough. So I like to watch the wind while I’m scoring and for a few minutes during sighters and shoot them in a few ‘looks’ if I can get them. But sometimes you have to go with your gut if your sighters whisper “go-for-record-you-knucklehead” and so it’s off to the races. It often seems like I should have just chased the spotter when I’m waiting out a fishtail or let-up there.

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February 28th, 2021

Experiment with Fore and Aft Rifle Position on Rest and Bag

Benchrest stock

To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6mmBR rifle has a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

front rest Sally benchrest IBS
This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs.

Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

Joel Kendrick

Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

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February 27th, 2021

Fundamentals of Marksmanship — Learn from a Champion

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has produced an excellent series of videos covering the Basic Rifleman’s Course. If you are getting started in High Power shooting, or want to improve your position shooting skills, this series is well worth watching. And these videos are not just for service rifle shooters — even bench shooters can benefit from these videos, particularly Part 5, which explains how to estimate wind speed and direction. The lead instructor for these videos is SFC Brandon Green, three-time National High Power Champion, and 2017 Service Rifle Champion. When SFC Green talks, you should listen.

SFC Brandon Green is a shooting superstar. Green won his third NRA National High Power Rifle Championship in 2018 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He dominated the HP Championship cycle, finishing eight points and ten Xs ahead of his nearest competitor. Brandon also won High Power National Championships in 2015 and 2013. One of the greatest marksmen in the nation’s history, SFC Green excels at all positions, both rapid-fire and slow-fire.

Part 5 — Wind and Weather Estimation (Very Useful for All Shooters)


Note: This video includes a hit location “target analysis” in the first 6 minutes.

Part 4 — Minute of Angle Explained

Part 3 — Ballistics and Zeroing

Part 2 — Positions, Sight Alignment, and Natural Point of Aim (Very Useful)

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

Part 1 — Aiming and Sight Picture

SFC Brandon Green 2017 CMP Camp Perry USAMU Service Rifle
SFC Brandon Green (left above) has set multiple National Records at Camp Perry.

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February 27th, 2021

Indoor Range Etiquette — Safe Gun Practices Indoors

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

There has been a long, cold winter in many parts of the USA. So if you want to maintain your shooting skills, shooting indoors may be the only convenient option. When shooting indoors you should always be extra careful and follow all key gun safety practices and adhere to proper range “Etiquette”.

The NSSF (NSSF) offers a useful Range Safety and Etiquette video. This 8.5-minute video explains safe practices, especially at indoor ranges. In the video, the moderator list the basic rules of gun safety, before covering key range etiquette topics such as range officer commands, how to uncase your firearm on the range when you first arrive, and what to do if a firearm is accidentally dropped. There are also safety tips specific to handling both semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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February 24th, 2021

Allen Offers New AR500 Hardrock Steel Targets at Good Prices

Allen AR500 Hard rock steel Targets gong squares rack rimfire pistol

Allen Company has introduced Hardrock AR500 Targets, a new series of affordable steel targets suitable for rimfire rifles and pistols as well as centerfire pistols. Note, these targets are NOT designed for centerfire rifles (you can damage the targets with repeated impacts). Most Hardrock targets are supplied with frames with front legs that slide into the ground for added stability.

Allen Hardrock Steel Target Systems
Allen’s Hardrock family of targets are constructed from heavy-duty 1/4″-thick AR500 hardened steel. They are all finished with a high-visibility cross/bulleye pattern that makes aiming easier. After a bit of shooting, however, you will need to paint the targets, and/or supply your own pasters. However we do like the red ring/black diamond/orange center graphics supplied on these Hardrock targets out of the box.

Allen AR500 Hard rock steel Targets gong squares rack frame silhouette

Allen AR500 Hardrock Steel Target Products:

Circular gong targets 4″, 8″, 10″ diameter
Note: These must be hung with chains or straps you supply*
MSRP $19.99 to $44.99

Circular centerfire spinner dual targets 3-4″ dual on frame or 4-5″ dual on frame
Comps with metal support frame
MSRP $31.99 to $37.99

Square plate centerfire spinner targets 4-5″ dual on frame or 7″ single on frame
Comps with metal support frame
MSRP $37.99 to $42.99

IPSC 1/2 Silhouette Large target
MSRP $48.99

Allen AR500 Hard rock steel Targets gong squares rack rimfire pistol

Allen Self-Healing Polymer Targets — Reactive Movement without the “Clang” of Steel

Along with its new AR500 targets, Allen offers some unique “self-healing” orange polymer reactive targets. These will move when hit, but the bullet hole will then close up, as the rubbery, orange polymer heals itself. There are 10 different EZ-Aim Self-Healing Targets including ground rollers, Spinners, and Silhouette-style “critter” targets. Here are three versions:

Allen Self-Healing Polymer Targets Reactive plastic orange

*To mount the Hardrock Gongs, Allen offers a Quick-set Steel Target Stand and a Rubber Strap Gong Hanging Kit, priced at $62.99 and $16.99 respectively.

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February 24th, 2021

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA TV Today

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA This Week
This week, Shooting USA TV features a show that should interest PRS/NRL fans, tactical marksmen, and long range hunters. Run in Utah’s backcountry, the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge is a unique long range competition with serious wind and elevation changes.

This was a big match with 177 competitors at Hornady’s private 250,000 acre ranch property outside of Evanston, Wyoming, across the state line in Utah.

This isn’t a typical PRS Pro Series match by any means. Participants in this challenging Precision Rifle match encounter tough conditions not typically seen in other tactical matches.

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

This video is great — lots of equipment closeups, stage set-ups, plus drone footage of range.

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

This Shooting USA episode airs Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 9:00 PM Eastern (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. If you miss that, it runs again on Thursday afternoon. In addition, you can watch all episodes of Shooting USA on the VIMEO channel by subscription. Each episode is just $0.99.

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February 23rd, 2021

Practical Tactical — Training Video Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy.

You need to think about a system of how you’re going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

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February 20th, 2021

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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February 19th, 2021

Long Range Grad School Podcast with Bryan Litz & Emil Praslick

Long Range Grad School Podcast Guns magazine Bryan Litz Emil Praslick III Wind coaching ballistics

Applied Ballistics Founder Bryan Litz and Former USAMU and Team USA coach Emil Praslick III share their wisdom in an informative Guns Magazine Podcast. Along with being a true ballistics guru, Bryan Litz is an outstanding competitive shooter, having won F-TR National Championships, and both Sling and F-TR divisions at the Berger SW Nationals, along with many other matches. Emil is considered one of the world’s great wind-readers and team coaches, having coached 20+ championship teams.

Guns Magazine podcast host Brent Wheat asks Bryan and Emil about multiple topics including: exterior ballistics, bullet design, wind reading, ballistic solvers, BC myths, and more.

Brent reports: “Together, Bryan and Emil understand what happens from the time a bullet leaves the muzzle until it impacts the target, including the atmospheric affects along the way. Grab a pencil, listen in, and get ready to take notes.”

This Long Range Grad School podcast features Berger’s Chief Ballistician, Bryan Litz, and Berger’s Emil Praslick. Both have extensive long range competitive shooting experience, with championship titles (as shooter and/or coach) in a multitude of long range disciplines. CLICK arrow below to start podcast audio:

Long Range Grad School Podcast Guns magazine Bryan Litz Emil Praslick III Wind coaching ballistics

Emil Praslick (left) confers with Bryan Litz (right) at King of 2 Miles ELR Event.
Bryan Litz KO2M ELR podcast wind reading

In this Video Emil Praslick explains his methods for determining wind direction.

Bryan Litz coaching Team USA in Canada using a WIND PLOT.

Bryan Litz at 2011 World Long Range (Palma) Championships in Brisbane, Australia
Long Range Grad School Podcast Guns magazine Bryan Litz Emil Praslick III Wind coaching ballistics

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February 17th, 2021

FREE Fun & Games Printable Color Targets

shooting paper printable billiard cue ball stripes solids target

Good news folks — most states have lifted restrictions on shooting ranges. Subject to “social distancing” and safety requirements (masks etc.) many public ranges and private shooting facilities are now open for business. If the weather permits, we encourage readers to head to local ranges which are permitted to operate. Use the opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air, and dust off those skills. To help you have fun on your range trips, here are 12 FREE printable targets.

NSSF Free Fun targetsFREE FUN Targets from NSSF
The Billiards Table Target above offers 15 brightly-colored numbered balls with the cue ball at the bottom. Aim for the numbers, shooting 1-15 in sequence, or alternate between stripes and solids. You can also draw an “X” on the white cue ball (or attach a paster), and use that to set your zero. This target is fun for shooting outdoors with rifles at 50 or 100 yards or indoors with pistols. This billiards target is part of a set of 12 Fun Targets from the NSSF. These were issued a couple seasons back for National Shooting Sports Month, held in August of each year.

FREE NSSF Fun Targets — Dartboard, Golf, Billiards, Bowling, Baseball and More…

HERE are a dozen FREE Targets. Along with Bullseye targets, there are some very cool specialty targets here, including a Golf Course Target, Baseball Diamond Target, Billiards Target, Light Bulb Target, Bowling Pin Target, and even a Windmill Target. Enjoy the myriad possibilities with these 12 fun targets.


» CLICK HERE to Get All 12 NSSF Targets in .ZIP Archive

August National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration NSSF

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February 10th, 2021

Firearm Science: Eye Dominance, Eye Protection, Irons vs. Optics

firearm science NRA Jessie Duff Harrison

NRA Media offers a series of 40 informative videos about the Science of Shooting, covering a wide range of topics, from eye dominance to long-range ballistics. These videos feature high production values, with super-slow motion segments, as well as helpful computer graphics to illustrate the principles covered.

The videos are narrated by Jessie Duff, a top action pistol shooter (and the first women ever to achieve USPSA Grand Master status). Jessie is assisted by talented shooters such as Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng. There are forty videos in the Firearm Science Video Series. Here are five NRA videos, with links to others below. You’ll find all 40 NRA Firearm Science Videos HERE.

Eye Dominance — How to Determine Which Eye is Dominant

Host Jessie Duff and longtime shooter Krystie Messenger demonstrate how eye dominance affects aim and teach you how to determine your dominant eye in this edition of Firearm Science. There are very simple tests you can do to determine your eye dominance. This Editor is right-handed but left-eye dominant. All competitive shooters should check for eye dominance. If you are cross-dominant, you can alter your head position or put a paper patch on one frame of your shooting glasses.

Eye Protection — Effect of Different Color Lenses

No matter what you’re shooting, eye protection should always be worn. But with so many choices, what should you wear? In this edition of Firearm Science, two-time Olympic trap shooter Corey Cogdell explains lens color options for protective eyewear. Different colors may be selected according to the light conditions and the sport. For most rifle shooters using magnified scopes, clear lenses are probably the best choice, except on very bright summer days.

Iron Sights vs. Optics

Host Jessie Duff and shooter Krystie Messenger demonstrate the benefits and drawbacks of using iron sights and optics in this edition of Firearm Science. For AR-type rifles, choosing the right option depends on the intended use of the rifle and the rules of competition. For example, a “Standard military Rifle” for CMP competition must have iron sights. But current NRA service rifle competition (and CMP unlimited military rifle class) allows scopes. Olympic smallbore shooters and Palma shooters have shown that extreme accuracy IS possible with sophisticated target sights. Below is the iron-sights Palma rifle with which John Whidden (Whidden Gunworks) won NRA Long-Range National Championships.

John Whidden .308 Win Palma rifle

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February 9th, 2021

Reading Mirage to Determine Wind Speed and Angle

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

How to Read Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Note: This article was written by Glen Zediker. Sadly, Glen passed away in October of 2020. However, you can still order his books from Midsouth and read his articles in the Midsouth Blog.

Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are multiple resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen, who passed away in 2020, was an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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February 8th, 2021

CMP Junior Rifle Summer Camps Return in 2021

CMP Summer training camp junior marksmanship air rifle smallbore

After going virtual in 2020, the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Junior Rifle Summer Camps are returning to a live, in-person format in 2021. Running from May through August, the 10-week schedule includes 19 camps and clinics for high-school age (9-12 grade) junior athletes. The camps cover intermediate and advanced marksmanship skills through various exercises and demonstrations. While the vast majority of the camps focus on Air Rifle shooting, the 2021 CMP Summer Camp lineup will also include the three smallbore camps, to be held in Florida, Ohio, and Minnesota.

CMP Summer training camp junior marksmanship air rifle smallbore

For program dates and detailed camp information, visit the CMP Junior Rifle Camps page at https://thecmp.org/camps. Registration for all of the 2021 Summer Camps and Clinics opens February 8 and closes April 30, 2021. Classes fill quickly, so sign up early! Fees range from $175-$285 depending on the program type and duration.

About the 2021 Summer CMP Junior Rifle Camps
CMP Summer Camp participants are coached by student-athletes from top NCAA rifle teams. During the week-long camp sessions, the junior participants will work on their technique, hold, positions, and metal focus. The campers will work on: Positioning, Goal setting, Optimizing equipment performance, and Building self-confidence on the firing line.

CMP Summer training camp junior marksmanship air rifle smallbore
Counselors, who are collegiate team shooters, will work one-on-one with juniors during the camp sessions.

CLICK HERE to Register or for more information. You can also visit the CMP Summer Camps Facebook Page. For questions contact Chance Cover, CMP Junior Rifle Camp Director at 419-635-2141 ext. 603, or ccover@thecmp.org.

CMP Summer training camp junior marksmanship air rifle smallbore
CMP Summer training camp junior marksmanship air rifle smallbore

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February 7th, 2021

New Mexico Law Would Ban Under-12 Youth Firearms Training

New Mexico Sedillo Lopez youth firearms training SB 224

Well it’s come to this… Democratic Party legislators in New Mexico are seeking to make it a crime if parents teach their younger children how to shoot. These anti-gun politicians will stop at nothing to undermine gun rights and the Second Amendment, and their goal here is clearly to stop the next generation from becoming trained shooters.

As reported in GunsAmerica Digest, a new bill, SB 224, has been introduced in New Mexico that would “criminalize parents and other adults for allowing children under the age of 12 to use [the adults’] firearms at a gun range.” SB 224 was introduced by New Mexico State Sen. Sedillo Lopez, a far-left Democratic Legislator who has been endorsed by the anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety.

This Bill would effectively ban all organized gun training for young persons under 12 in New Mexico. This could eliminate 4H and Boy Scouts marksmanship training activities for boys and girls under 12. So much for that Marksmanship Merit Badge.

New Mexico Sedillo Lopez youth firearms training SB 224

Bill Attacked for Demonizing Firearms Training
SB 224 has been slammed by The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) which calls the proposed bill “an uneducated attempt to demonize firearms.”

According to the NSMMA, the bill “would make it a crime for a child to handle your firearm unless the child was 12 or older and had previously completed a firearms safety class. You would become a criminal for taking your child to go shooting if they had not previously taken some kind of formal class.”

Sen. Lopez and her anti-gun allies assert that SB 224 is merely a “safe storage” law. However SB 224 creates an “authorized user” category, defined as “an individual who has been specifically granted permission to have access to the firearm”. This authorized user restriction is how training will be forbidden. Minors can only be authorized users if they are at least 12 years old AND have successfully passed a firearm safety training course.” Any gun contact by a boy or girl under 12 is outlawed. The bill further requires that weapons remain in “direct control” of the owner or authorized user if they are not in a locked container. SB 224 defines “direct control” as having the firearm “within an arm’s length of the firearm’s owner or other authorized person”. Violation of the law could result in fines or prison.

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February 6th, 2021

Better Pistol Shooting — Keep Both Eyes Open

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video
Photo courtesy DougKoenig.com and Leupold.

One eye or two? That’s the question that confounds some pistol shooters, particularly during slow fire. When shooting one-handed, some bullseye pistol shooters use a piece of tape or paper on one lens of their shooting glasses to obscure their non-dominant eye. That way they can get a more precise sight picture. However, when shooting two-handed, it’s almost always better to shoot with both eyes open. And if you are doing a “move and shoot” session/match, you’ll surely want to have both eyes open.

Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig says he always shoots handguns with both eyes open: “To me it’s very simple — I wouldn’t drive my car with one eye closed. I wouldn’t walk around the house with one eye closed. To me, it’s all about your vision, your depth perception.” Doug adds that you definitely need both eyes open to transition quickly from target to target.

With both eyes open you’ll have better depth perception and peripheral vision. You will also be able to transition from target to target more quickly. In a timed, multi-target stage, you’ll want to move your head/eyes to the next target right after you break a shot. You’ll find that you will then reflexively move the handgun on to the new target when you swing your vision on to it. Don’t linger on the target you just shot — move to the next.

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video

Here are two other helpful videos from Doug Koenig and the NSSF:

Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

Trigger Press and Trigger Control

Doug Koenig’s List of Championships:
10-time World Champion
18-time Bianchi Cup winner
2016 NRA World Shooting Champion
More than 70 National Championships
6-time World Action Pistol Championship Winner
3-time World Speed Shooting Champion/Steel Challenge

Watch Doug Koenig’s Championship Season TV show on the Pursuit Channel: Wednesday 5:30 pm (Eastern); Friday 9:00 pm (Eastern); Saturday 1:30 am (Eastern) West Coast prime-time.

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February 5th, 2021

CMP Spring Classic Event at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Spring Classic

TALLADEGA SPRING CLASSIC (March 16-21, 2021)
The show goes on at Talladega! Next month the CMP will host a series of rifle and pistol matches at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The March 2021 Spring Classic event at Talladega includes a mix of both new and traditional rifle matches, along with pistol competitions, and training courses. There will be many new events not previously held at Talladega. CLICK HERE for full details.


Spring Classic Match Program | CMP Online Match Registration

NEW EVENTS include First-Ever Benchrest Garand Match
The Talladega Spring Classic will feature traditional matches plus innovative NEW EVENTS. Debuting this year (for the first time at Talladega) will be a Benchrest Garand Match, Mid-Range 3×600 Rifle Match, and Pistol 2700 Match. Along with the new events, there will be CMP staple events including Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC, Service Pistol EIC, and GSMM (Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military) Rifle matches.

Talladega Spring Classic

There will also be multiple training sessions including: Long Range Rifle Clinic, Team CMP 600-Yard Clinic, Rifle Marksmanship 101 Course/M16 Match, and Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course/M9 Match. These classes allow participants the opportunity to learn marksmanship from skilled, certified instructors.

COOL VIDEO — This 22-second drone video shows the Talladega Rifle Range — Worth watching!

Electronic Targets + No Pit Duty = More Fun
Competitors will be firing all matches on electronic targets for pistol and rifle matches. Each firing point of the 500-acre facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art, KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. Located beside the shooter, on the firing line, each monitor allows the competitor to see his/her shot value in a matter of seconds. Spectators can view the results in real time on large monitors.

Talladega Spring Classic

Off of the firing line, the Club House holds a fully-stocked Pro Shop that includes a collection of rifles, ammunition, marksmanship accessories and CMP memorabilia.

CMP Western Games Cancelled 2021 Phoenix Arizona Ben Avery Shooting Facility

NOTE Regarding Health and Safety: Although it is CMP’s hope to hold our upcoming events, please keep in mind that we may have to cancel due to COVID-19 issues. For those events that we do conduct, we will follow the appropriate state’s guidelines and recommendations. We continue to monitor the venue states’ guidelines and adjust our procedures based on those guidelines and common sense. As always, the safety of our customers and employees is our priority.

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February 5th, 2021

Fundamentals — Sight Alignment and Trigger Control

Marksmanship Fundamentals iron sights USAMU

This video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit focuses on two key fundamentals of marksmanship: 1) Sight Alignment; and 2) Trigger Squeeze. This video can assist any Service Rifle or metallic sights shooter. The USAMU instructor explains: “You’ve probably heard a lot about fundamentals — Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze… Well that gives a shooter a lot to think about. Here we teach two main firing tasks: 1) align the sights, and 2) squeeze the trigger without moving the rifle. This allows the shooter a much more simplified format.”

The following tips are transcribed from the video:

Task One: Sight Alignment
Sight alignment is the process of putting the tip of the front sight post, the rear aperture, and the shooter’s eyeball all on the same plane. It’s very important to maintain the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear aperture. Just .002″ of deviation can cause a miss at 300 meters. Allow your eye to do its job. While firing, the focus should remain on the tip of the front sight.

Task Two: Trigger Control
Your second firing task is [to] fire the rifle without moving it. This is done through proper trigger control. You’ve probably heard a lot of words about trigger control — “surprise break”, “snatch”, “pull”, “squeeze”… well we teach one thing here: “smooth”. No matter the speed at which I engage the trigger, it’s always going to be smooth. Imagine trying to pull the trigger straight through the rear of the buttstock, holding it to the rear while the gun recoils. It’s important to constantly engage the trigger, never letting your trigger finger disengage from the trigger while firing. This is achieved through natural trigger finger placement.

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February 4th, 2021

CMP Introduces New Audio Podcast Series

podcast 2021 Marksmanship training CMP

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) now offers Podcasts! The CMP will release a series of informative Audio Podcasts throughout 2021 (and beyond). This is part of the effort to help shooters improve their skills and learn more about the shooting sports.

Podcast episodes will cover a variety of topics, including CMP facilities and upcoming competitions. There will also be interviews with top shooters and shooting sports industry professionals. The first Podcast was released on 1/23/2021. In that episode, Brad Donoho, CMP smallbore manager, talks about the history of CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition and how the program has evolved. Click below to listen. The next Podcast (Coming Soon) will cover the Talladega Marksmanship Park.

podcast 2021 Marksmanship training CMP

CMP Podcasts can be accessed via the CMP website or through the CMP Buzzsprout link at CMPPodcasts.buzzsprout.com. Completed podcasts will also be hosted on YouTube, as shown below:

PODCAST TOPICS Wanted – If you have topics you would like to see covered on the CMP podcasts, or specific questions answered, contact Ashley at abrugnone@thecmp.org. She will pass on your comments to the programming team.

podcast 2021 Marksmanship training CMP
Among other topics, Marksmanship training will be covered on the podcasts

One of the most important responsibilities of the CMP is to train and educate citizens. Since 1996, the CMP has implemented new ways of fulfilling this purpose through additional programs, competitions and publications. For 2021, the CMP introduces the new CMP Podcast series, with the goal of increasing Marksmanship knowledge through the USA.

podcast 2021 Marksmanship training CMP
The CMP runs pistol competitions as well as rifle events.

About the Civilian Marksmanship Program
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition. For more information about CMP programs, visit TheCMP.org.

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February 3rd, 2021

High Power Rifle Competition on Shooting USA Today

Shooting Usa service high power cmp rifles

This week’s Shooting USA TV episode features CMP High Power competition. High Power Rifle, sometimes called XTC from “Across the Course”, is a shooting sport using centerfire (aka “fullbore”) target rifles. Major High Power matches are run by the CMP and NRA, as well as state rifle groups. The sport is divided into classes by equipment, and popular classifications include Service Rifle, and Open Class. This episode of Shooting USA focuses on High Power competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.

This episode of Shooting USA airs Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com.

This week Shooting USA TV features CMP High Power competition from the Talladega Marksmanship facility in Alabama. High Power is a challenging discipline that requires high accuracy in the rifle and great marksmanship skills in three positions — standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone. The CMP competition involves slow- and rapid-fire at 200, 300, and 600 yards in all three positions. There are separate Service Rifle and Open divisions.

Service Rifle High Power

Young 15-year-old Tyler Fisher from Arizona shot superbly at the 2020 CMP Western Games Match in Phoenix (Ben Avery). His impressive marksmanship secured second place overall (and High Junior) at the Western Games EIC Match shooting Service Rifle, a subclass of High Power.

High Power highpower cmp shooting use rifle

Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing
High Power Open division Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.

HIGHPOWER CLINICS
The CMP conducts a number of High Power clinics each year. The CMP offers a pair of High Power clinics in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Rifle Team and members of the Remington-Bushmaster rifle team. There is a Junior Clinic as well as an advanced High Power clinic. Both focus on service rifle disciplines.

USAMU PRO TIP: Bullseye Pistol Competition

In addition to the High Power rifle feature, this week’s Shooting USA episode has a good USAMU Pro Tips segment about bullseye pistols. Staff Sergeant Ryan Franks with the USAMU Service Pistol Team shows the fundamentals of bullseye shooting, the classic pistol competition shot from a one-handed standing position. In this Pro Tip, SSG Franks focuses on proper stance and grip.

Shooting usa usamu bullseye pistol competition grip stance handgun


Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA will air Wednesday, February 3, 2020, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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February 2nd, 2021

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

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