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February 23rd, 2024

2024 Southwest Nationals (SWN) Match Results From Phoenix

southwest nationals jay christopherson f-open phoenix arizona

The 2024 Southwest Nationals (SWN) concluded Sunday, February 18, 2024. It was a great event this year, with very close competition and some spectacular scores being shot in all divisions. We congratulate the new SWN Long Range Champions: Jay Christopherson (F-Open), Brad Sauve (F-TR), and Philip Crowe (Sling). We also congratulate the talented 600-Yard Champs: Tod Hendricks (F-Open), Tom Hubbard (F-TR), and Jarrod McGaffic (Sling).

southwest nationals jay christopherson f-open phoenix arizonaThis is Jay’s second SWN Long Range Championship — the talented F-Open shooter also won in 2020 (SEE Jay 2020 Report). Jay was on a roll through the competition, not dropping a point until the last day and finishing with 1248-79X, just two points from a 1250 “clean”. F-Open runner-up Tim Vaught finished just one point back at 1247-83X, and Tim had the highest X-count among all F-Open LR competitors.

Tod Hendricks, a team-mate of Jay C. on Team Lapua-Brux-Borden, won the F-Open 600-yard competition with 600-52X. Notably, the Top Ten F-Open Shooters at 600 all finished “clean” with 600 points, so the rankings were decided on X-Count.

Senior F-TR ace Brad Sauve (1245-71X) also shot a brilliant Long Range match, finishing a full five points ahead of second place Tom Hubbard (1240-67X). Sauve also notched the highest X-Count among all F-TR shooters. Very impressive performance by Brad this year. And we should note that Tom Hubbard won the F-TR 600-yard competition held earlier in the week, nailing an excellent 599-38X.

F-Open Champion Commentary
We had a chance to talk with 2024 SWB F-Open Champion Jay Christopherson. Jay stated that, for most of the match, conditions were very good. But Jay also noted that the general level of accuracy for F-Open improves with each season.

Observations by F-Open Winner Jay Christopherson — Wind Wisdom and More…

1. The wind was pretty mild all week. I personally never held more than 4 lines of wind (mostly on the left), with zero wind dialed on my scope.

2. A solid wind zero was absolutely key. I saw and heard plenty of people talking about conditions that just didn’t exist. In most cases, my guess would have been a bad wind zero, which would have had you chasing your tail or thinking that the mirage or flags were lying.

3. I’ve never seen so many cleans (i.e. no dropped points, all ten scores) at long range in my life. In my opinion, E-Targets are the catalyst for this. The data and instant feedback you get help set the bar extremely high. It’s much easier to really understand what a good load looks like using an E-Target.

4. I had a plan for the wind coming in to each relay (usually developed during prep time). Most of the time, my plan worked out pretty well, but being ready to stop and execute a backup plan is a really useful skill to develop. It worked out for me on the last relay.

5. Even though I won the F-Open class, I still learned a few things watching the shooters around me — there’s always something nifty to learn if you are paying attention.

southwest nationals brad sauve F-TR f-class f-open phoenix arizona

Great Performance by 2024 F-TR Champion Brad Sauve
Brad Sauve shot superbly to secure the overall F-TR Aggregate win at the 2024 SWN. Brad dropped only one point during the Palma match, was clean during the first day of the LR Aggregate, and finished with a 1245-71X, setting at least three new National Records in the process (one a 200-18X at 1000 yards). We commend Brad on his remarkable 2024 performance.

F-Open 1K Results | F-TR 1K Results | Sling Division 1K Results

2024 SWN F-Open, F-TR, Sling Long Range Top 10
F-Open LR Top Ten
Jay Christopherson 1248-79X
Tim Vaught 1247-83X
William Kolodziej 1247-74X
Johnny Ingram 1246-82X
Norman Harrold 1246-69X
David Christian 1245-74X
Peter Johns 1245-73X
Erik Cortina 1244-76X
Brandon Zwahr 1244-73X
Jim Murphy 1241-71X
F-TR LR Top Ten
Brad Sauve 1245-71X
Tom Hubbard 1240-67X
Alan Barnhart 1237-55X
Brad Traynor 1234-47X
Eric Bisson 1233-58X
Joaquin Bolsa 1231-56X
Carl Matthews 1231-52X
Robin Retzloff 1231-52X
Robert Garibay 1231-39X
Michael Walters 1230-41X
Phillip Crowe, 1243-60X
Justin Skaret, 1242-74X
Verne Conant 1241-59X
Nate Guernsey 1240-66X
Trudie Fay 1240-61X
Jarrod McGaffic 1239-62X
Oliver Milanovic 1237-75X
Justin Utley 1237-59X
Nicole Rossignol 1236-66X
Benjamin Lucchesi 1236-62X
All F-Open Long Range All F-TR Long Range All Sling Long Range

600 Yard Results (All Divisions) | TEAM Results (All Divisions)

2024 SWN F-Open, F-TR, Sling 600 Yard Top 10
F-OPEN 600 Top Ten
Tod Hendricks 600-52X
Johnny Ingram 600-46X
Erick Cortina 600-42X
Ted Wedell 600-42X
Barry Holcomb 600-42X
Jim Murphy 600-41X
Dan Di Leva 600-40X
Roger Mayhall 600-40X
Lou Murdica 600-38X
David Christian 600-36X
F-TR 600 Top Ten
Tom Hubbard 599-38X
David Park 599-28X
Mike Sowa 598-39X
Brad Sauve 598-34X
John Moreali 598-26X
Chrstopher Faloon 597-41X
Oleg Savelyev 597-36X
Jeremy Newell 596-36X
Eric Bisson 596-36X
Brad Traynor 596-35X
SLING 600 Top Ten
Jarrod McGaffic 600-42X
Trudie Fay 600-39X
Nicole Rossignol 600-35X
Tom Whitaker 600-28X
Oliver Milanovic 599-45X
Adam Fitzpatrick 599-43X
Zevin Linse 599-39X
Benjamin Lucchesi 599-38X
Kimberly Rowe 599-37X
Justin Utley 598-37X
2024 SWN F-Open, F-TR, Sling TEAM Matches Top Five
F-OPEN Team Match
Team Vihtavuori 2589-156X
Bayou Boys 2580-155X
Team Grizzly 2577-128X
Team Lapua-Brux-Borden 2576-162X
Team Canada Red 2571-131X
F-TR Team Match
USA F-TR KWS 2561-112X
Team Texas 2558-100X
Canadian Gun Runners 2554-126X
USA F-TR Blue 2554-112X
USA F-TR Red 2550-118X
Sling Team Match
U.S. Palma MRNAK 2580-150
Brits Abroad 2573-112X
U.S. Palma Gross 2567-128X
Canada Red 2563-127X
USAMU 2554-146X

SEB MINI Rest — Good for Gold (Twice), Silver, and Bronze

southwest nationals jay christopherson seb mini f-open phoenix arizonaYou don’t necessarily need the newest or most expensive equipment to succeed in Long Range competition. Jay Christopherson won the F-Open division using an older MINI STANDARD rest with a standard front bag. See the unit at right. Jay says it works great, and is easier to transport that some of the very large heavy, benchrest-style front rests. Jay has now won the SWN match twice with this rest, finished second in 2017, and third in 2018.

Jay sent a message to Sebastian Lambang, creator of the SEB MINI: “Hi Seb, I thought you might like to see a picture of the rest that took Silver in 2017, Bronze in 2018, Gold in 2020, and Gold again in 2024. A little older, a little more wear and a lot more mileage, but still winning when it counts. Thank you for such an amazingly reliable rest. I always enjoy the fact that the original MINI still gets it done. Winning the 2024 SWN still using the original one-piece bag generated a bit of a conversation on the line. I think my rifle rest setup was the easiest one to inspect by far for Matt [Schwartzkopf] and his team.

southwest nationals jay christopherson f-open phoenix arizona

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Modern F-TR rifle looking down-range at Ben Avery Shooting Facility.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Top competitors show focus and concentration in mid-range match 2022.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Stunning F-Open rifle with SEB Mini front rest with Blake Machine accessories.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Working in the pits is part of the Berger SWN experience.

Hundreds of Competitors from the USA and Many Other Countries
Along with top American F-Class and sling shooters, the Southwest Nationals attracts competitors from around the world.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Photo by Nancy Tompkins near Ben Avery Shooting Facility in 2022. Nancy posted: “Thank you to all of the sponsors, volunteers, and shooters who have traveled from all over… to make this match so special.”

See you next year!

This article Copyright 2024 Any republication on a different website is unauthorized.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
February 23rd, 2024

Good Guide for NRL22 Competitors — Rimfire Revolution Book

17 HM2 Mach 2 rimfire

Do you shoot NRL22 matches, or are you thinking of getting started in that rapidly-growing discipline? Then grab a copy of Rimfire Revolution: A Complete Guide to Modern .22 Rifles. Released in summer 2021, this book covers rimfire rifles and shooting disciplines. Order the print version for $20.99 from Gun Digest, $30.29 from Amazon Direct or $26.29 from Amazon Third Parties. Or get a digital Kindle Edition for $17.99 from Amazon.

This Gun Digest book has become a “go-to” resource for NRL22 and PRS Rimfire shooters. Key topics included in this 2021 Edition full-color Gun Digest book include: rimfire semi-autos and how they work; bolt-action accuracy; match shooting skills; DIY precision gunsmithing; hunting with rimfires; and the future of the rimfire market.

With the growth of rimfire tactical competition, the .22-Caliber rimfire rifle is more popular than ever. Every major gun manufacturer has brought at least one new .22 LR rimfire rifle to the market in the last two years. Gun Digest’s Rimfire Revolution has extensive coverage of new models from major manufacturers.

The .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR) is the planet’s most popular ammunition type and firearm chambering. The .22 LR is used in the Olympics by 3P marksmen, but it also serves benchrest competitors, NRL22 shooters, backyard plinkers, small-game hunters, and tactical trainers. With the expansion of NRL22 matches (and the PRS equivalent), the humble .22 LR is undergoing a major resurgence in the USA. And with centerfire reloading components being so costly and difficult to find, many folks are shooting less centerfire, but way more rimfire.

This 272-page book also covers .17-caliber rimfire cartridges: 17 HM2 (Mach 2), 17 HMR, and 17 WSM. These are all excellent varmint rounds, with the 17 WSM effective out to 250 yards. The 17 HM2 will run in a normal .22 LR action and feed from standard .22 LR magazines. So, for most rifles, all you need to do a .22 LR to 17 HM2 conversion is a barrel switch. That gives your rimfire rig twice the versatility. Shoot .22s and .17s with the same gun.

17 HM2 Mach 2 rimfire

NRL22 — Challenging Practical Competition with .22 LR Rifles

The USA has seen a big growth in rimfire tactical matches over the last five years. Right now there are probably ten times as many rimfire tactical matches as sanctioned PRS and NRL centerfire matches. The reason is simple — rimfire ammo is much less costly, and clubs can run challenging rimfire tactical matches at nearly any outdoor gun range that allows shooting out to 200+ yards.

NRL22 Competition — Tactical Rimfire Matches
The NRL22 match format is a great shooting discipline. NRL22 offers a high fun factor at relatively low cost. You don’t have to reload match ammo. A couple of 50-round boxes of .22 LR ammo will get you through the match. While some people bring lots of gear to matches, that’s by choice and not by necessity. You can keep it simple and still be competitive (and win).

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Tips for NRL22 Competitors
by Jonathan Ocab
I am a match director at my gun club and run our local NRL22 matches. People often ask me for tips for competing in NRL22. First, I recommend getting the course of fire for the month in advance and practicing those stages at the range. Here are other specific tips that should help NRL22 competitors improve their gun-handling and match results.

1. Dry Fire Practice — If you are not able to do live fire practice at the range, I encourage shooters to practice their shooting positions at home via dry fire. Setup props or barricades with pasters or other faux targets on a wall in the garage or inside the house and run through each stage.

2. Scope Magnification Level — The most common issue I see with newer shooters in NRL22 is the tendency to maximize their scope magnification. The timer will start, and the shooter gets into position on a target, but the scope is set to 15x or higher and the shooter can’t find the target. The shooter lowers the magnification, locates the target, and then increases the magnification again, takes the shot, transitions to another target, and repeats the process of decreasing magnification, locating target, etc. Novice NRL22 shooters should try using the mid-range magnification. Try shooting 7x-12x and learn to balance field of view and target image.

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February 20th, 2024

How To Deal With Pesky Flyers During Load Development

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

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February 18th, 2024

Sunday GunDay: Railgun May Be the Most Accurate Gun on Earth

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited railgun Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
Want to see the details? CLICK HERE to view full-screen photo.

Gary Ocock railgun aggregateCheck out those five targets. The Aggregate (average) of all five targets is a tiny 0.0840 inches! These were shot by Gary Ocock at 100 yards in a California benchrest match on August 6, 2017. Though Gary’s 0.0840 Agg beats existing records, this was not a “sanctioned” match, so Gary’s killer Agg was NOT submitted for IBS or NBRSA records. So, sadly, the Agg won’t appear in the record books, but this remains a spectacular, verified feat of rifle accuracy, accomplished in competition.

Gary’s red railgun is arguably the Most Accurate Gun Ever Built. As far as we can determine, no one has ever shot a smaller 5-target Agg anywhere, at any time. FYI, the NBRSA Unlimited Class 5×5 Aggregate World Record is 0.1242″ shot by Jerry Lahr in 2012. Gary’s 0.0840″ Agg is much smaller.

The Unlimited Benchrest Record That Will Never Be (Official)

Report by Boyd Allen
Gary Ocock’s stunning unlimited Aggregate is beyond amazing. That’s an average of five, 5-shot groups of .0840. Shot under sanctioned match rules, but at an unsanctioned 100-yard fun match, this Aggregate is well under the current 100-yard official records of the IBS (.1386), and the NBRSA (.1242). The fourth of the five groups measured a minuscule .018, less than half the size of the existing NBRSA Unlimited record of .049 (also shot by Gary). Check it out:

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
When the top 15 shooters all post teen Aggs, conditions must be pretty favorable. However there were some light switchy winds — Gary said that he shot better in the left to right condition.

Ocock’s red Jay Young Unlimited Railgun features one major difference from Young’s typical Railgun designs. The bottom of the barrel block is integral with the top (moving part), of the gun. The barrel is Ocock’s usual 1:13.5″-twist Krieger chambered for the 6 PPC. The BAT Neuvo action* is unusual in that its lugs are horizontal at lock-up instead of the usual vertical. With horizontal lugs, both lugs maintain contact with their abutments when the action is cocked. In the more normal configuration when cocked the top lug is forced off of its seat by a combination of the angle of the trigger cocking piece interface, the pressure of the striker spring, and bolt clearance at the rear of the action.

Gary shot this remarkable Agg with well-used brass, Vihtavuori N133 powder, and self-made 66gr BT bullets** seated at “jam”. This amazing Agg was shot on the second day of a 2-day Unlimited Benchrest match. On Day 1 Gary had experimented with various loads using both surplus IMR 8208 and Vihtavuori N133, but was not satisfied with the results. For his first group on Day 2, Gary tried a light load of N133. After seeing the result, however, he decided to go to the other extreme — a super stout N133 load — with the same powder. As you can see, Gary’s willingness to experiment paid off.

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Notably, Gary used light neck tension. Ocock found that for these bullets and this barrel, light neck tension worked best (contrary to “normal” N133 benchrest practice). Ocock used a bushing that only produces .001″ difference between the diameters of sized and loaded case necks.

This video shows a line-up of Rail-Guns. One of Gary Ocock’s Rails appears at the 0:35 time-mark.

Comment on Ocock’s Achievement
Congratulations to Gary Ocock for superb shooting (and smart loading). Even though the match was not sanctioned (so the Agg will never be a record), Ocock has raised the bar very high, and given us a new standard of ultimate accuracy.

Though this 0.0840 Aggregate and 0.018 group will never go into the record group, they are still noteworthy. There’s virtually no doubt that they would have survived inspection by any record committee. Except for the lack of fixed backers, an IBS requirement (for detecting cross-fires), all other conditions were met for an officially-sanctioned match.

Ocock Did Set Single-Group IBS World Record with Red Railgun

Gary Ocock red railgun HB IBS visalia record
Photo credit: Ben Zentner

Here is Gary with his Red Railgun at a Visalia event in October 2017. Ocock let the event’s youngest competitor, 12-year-old Gavin Lichtenwalter, shoot Gary’s new Railgun for the last three matches on Sunday afternoon. The day before, 10/21/17, Gary shot an IBS Heavy Benchrest World Record putting five shots in just 0.045 inches, as certified by the IBS record committee. Here is that group, as first measured at the range at 0.039 inches. Gary also holds the Unlimited 5-Shot NBRSA 100-Yard Record with an 0.049 inch single group shot on 10/17/2009.

Gary Ocock red railgun HB IBS visalia record

*The new BAT Neuvo actions are the result of a collaboration between Dwight Scott, and Bruce Thom, featuring Dwight’s ideas and BAT’s proven manufacturing expertise.

** Ocock shot his own, boat-tail match bullets, made with George Ulrich-crafted dies using Hood cores. Although he said that it had been a while since he had weighed any, his best guess was that they weigh something around 66.5 grains.

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February 15th, 2024

Bird’s Eye View via Aerial Drone — Hitting Steel at 1122 Yards

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Many of our readers have never had a chance to shoot much past 600 yards. How far away does a 1000-yard+ target really seem to the naked eye? Well this short video answers that question. Gorilla Ammo, the video’s producers, used a camera-carrying aerial drone to fly downrange from the firing line all the way out to 1122 yards (and back again). Watch the drone footage at 0:00-0:07 and especially 0:48-1:03. The “bird’s-eye view” really gives you a sense of the distance. The “fly-back” at 0:48-1:03 time-mark is what makes this video worth watching.

The video features prone shooting at steel targets placed at 750 and 1122 yards. We do apologize for the lame, “oh so serious” voice-over which attempts to make this rather ordinary range session seem like some kind of life-changing experience. (Frankly, you may just want to turn the sound off — it’s that annoying.) It’s really not that big a deal to hit steel at 750 yards with a quality AR-15, chambered in .223 Rem, shooting Sierra 77 grain MatchKings.

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Hitting Steel at 1122 Yards with 2540 FPS Ammo Can Be Challenging
The 1122-yard hits are a bit more impressive. Gorilla Ammo lists a relatively sedate 2540 fps Muzzle Velocity for its .223 Rem 77gr SMK ammunition. According to JBM Ballistics, at 1125 yards, that 2540 fps load has 68.3 MOA of drop from a 100-yard zero (firing at sea level and 80° F ambient). Moreover the bullet goes trans-sonic around 750 yards (losing stability) and is traveling just 933 fps at impact. And the wind’s the killer — at 1125 yards, with this bullet/load, a mere 2 mph, full-value wind change can move the Point of Impact over three feet!

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February 14th, 2024

Valentine’s Day Trick Shot by Kirsten Joy Weiss

Happy Valentine’s Day
Today is February 14th, Valentine’s Day. To celebrate this romantic holiday, talented shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss has devised a cool trick shot with her .22 LR Volquartsen semi-auto rifle.

Kirsten wants to create a heart on a paper card. Braving winter weather, Kirsten drills three shots into a heart shape on her target. This trick shot is performed, Kirsten adds, “for the love of shooting”.

See more cool trick shots on Kirsten’s popular YouTube Channel which now boasts 339,000 subscribers. Learn more about Kirsten’s shooting background on her website,

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February 12th, 2024

Jumbo Cool-Looking Playing Card Targets — FREE Download

NRA Playing Card targets

Let’s face it, shooting the same bullseye or grid targets over and over again can get boring. Here’s a unique set of Playing Card Targets, courtesy of the NRA. With very cool graphics and a page-filling design, these eye-catching targets can work both indoors and outdoors.

At 100 yards, these are fun scoped rifle targets — you can aim at the small circles or dots on each target. Indoors, with a pistol, just aim for the larger graphic elements, such as the red hearts or black diamonds. If you have access to a color printer, these targets look great.

The NRA Blog published this nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.

On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. That should provide extra challenge for those of you with very accurate rifles. Enjoy these targets.

Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:

NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
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February 10th, 2024

Short-Range Benchrest Competition Captured on Video

Benchrest IBS 100 yards 6PPC Video

We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.

Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match

Viewer Comments on the Video:

“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr

“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP

“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao

“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt

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February 9th, 2024

CMP Purple Heart and Veterans Discounts and Awards in 2024

Cmp veteran purple heart discount benefits 2024 marksmanship program

Report by Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has announced redesigned discounts for Purple Heart recipients and Veterans at select competitions throughout the year.

Those who earned a Purple Heart during their military service will receive 50 percent off CMP administered events like the CMP Travel Games, CMP Highpower Warm-Up Events and the National Matches, while Veterans will receive 10 percent off entry fees.

To receive a discount, individuals must provide a one-time verification such as a Veteran (Retired) Military I.D. or a copy of military records. Once proof is given, the CMP will update each individual’s file for future reference. Those eligible for a discount may register for applicable events online through Competition Tracker but must call the office to apply payment information. Refunds for discounts will not be issued after registration and payment has been made.

Cmp veteran purple heart discount benefits 2024 marksmanship program

Cmp veteran purple heart discount benefits 2024 marksmanship programTo further express gratitude toward those with military backgrounds, the CMP has added new Veteran awards to the National Matches within the 2400 Rifle Aggregate, M1 Garand Match, National Trophy Individual Match for rifle and pistol along with the 2700 Pistol Aggregate — with the highest scoring veteran in each match earning special recognition.

For questions on CMP Veteran and Purple Heart discounts, please contact Christina Roguski at or 419-635-2141 ext. 714. Learn about upcoming CMP events by visiting

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior
At the 2013 Western CMP Games, SGT Robert Evans attained what many shooters seek their entire shooting careers — a Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Evans earned his DR badge with just one hand, after losing his right hand while serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

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February 8th, 2024

Build 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 4th, 2024

How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values — Box Test

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

click values scope Mrad moa scope test

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC.

Bryan also uses a Tall Target Test to determine true click values. CLICK HERE to read a detailed, explanatory article about Litz’s Tall Target Test.

This article, as published in, contains copyrighted content. It shall not be republished in whole or in part without advanced permission in writing. The act of republishing constitutes legal consent to licensing fees.

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February 1st, 2024

Improve Your F-Class Shooting with 300-Yard Training Targets

F-Class Target center NRA training reduced size
Ben Avery Match Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

The Southwest Nationals (SWN), one of the biggest F-Class competitions in the USA, is coming up soon in Phoenix, Arizona. Hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, the 2024 SWN takes place February 14-18, 2024. CLICK HERE for SWN Match Program.

F-Class Target center NRA training reduced size

Practice at 300 Yards with Reduced Size Target Centers
If you’re headed to Phoenix in a couple weeks but want to practice for the big F-Class match, here’s a handy training option. Forum member SleepyGator is an F-Class competitor, but there are no long-distance ranges close to his home. Accordingly, he wanted some “reduced-distance” targets he could use at 300 yards for practice. There IS an official reduced-distanced standard for 300-yard F-Class matches. This utilizes the NRA No. MR-63FC – F-Class Target Center which is pasted over the MR-63 target. It provides a 1.42″ X-Ring, 2.85″ 10-Ring, and 5.85″ Nine-Ring. We offer some free targets you can print out for use at 300 yards. The dimensions of F-Class targets are found in the NRA High Power Rules, Sec. 22, part 4, page 70-71 — see sample below.

Training Targets for 300-yard F-Class

F-Class Reduced Target Centers

CLICK HERE to Download F-Class 300-yard Target Centers (.Zip archive with three targets)

To duplicate the 300-yard target, SleepyGator made a printable version of the MR-63FC Target Center, along with a pair of training targets with two bulls and five bulls. The two-bull and five-bull targets mirror the scoring rings on the MR-63FC, but they display only the innermost three rings and two rings respectively. All three targets are Adobe PDF files that can be easily printed.

NOTE: You may need to adjust the scale (sizing) on your printer to get the dimensions exactly correct. As noted above, when printed, the 10-Ring on all three targets should measure 2.85″. This should provide some handy practice targets you can use between matches. Thanks to SleepyGator for providing these targets. You can download all three as a .Zip archive. After downloading the .Zip file, just click on the .Zip archive to extract the individual targets.

CLICK HERE to Download NRA High Power Rules with F-Class Target Dimensions (Page 70-71)

F-Class Target Paste Center

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