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May 12th, 2012

Danny’s ‘Donut-Hole’ Modified Shooting Mat for F-Class

Danny Biggs is one of the nation’s most successful F-Class shooters. A two-time (back to back) National Champion in F-TR Class, Danny also finished third in Open Class at the 2010 National Championships. Notably, Danny’s X-count of 67Xs, the highest of all competitors, was 10 Xs higher than 2010 F-Open winner Derek Rogers.

Danny Biggs F-Class

Mat with ‘Donut-Hole’ Cut-Out for Rear Bag
Danny is a very savvy competitor, to say the least, and he brought some innovative gear with him to the Nationals. Along with his height-adjustable Sinclair wide-base bipod, Danny used a cleverly modified shooting pad and Edgewood rear sandbag. Danny’s “donut-hole” mat featured a cut-out in the middle, allowing him to place his rear sandbag directly on the ground. This helps stabilize the bag no matter what the ground surface or slope. With the bag sitting directly on the ground, it’s less likely to slide or rotate.

In addition, Danny’s rear bag is raised up via a thick rubber base or “foot”. The fat base, which appeared to be hard rubber, is secured via metal tabs that clamp on to the hard leather bottom of Danny’s Edgewood rear bag. The Edgewood bag has a lip around the bottom that provides a natural attachment point for the metal tabs.

Inexpensive MidwayUSA Shooting Mat
Danny uses an affordable shooting mat — the basic 67″ L x 26.75″ W MidwayUSA shooting pad that retails for $49.99. FYI, MidwayUSA’s larger Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is on sale right now for the same $49.99 (sale price through May 31, 2012). Sized 73.5″ long x 35.5″ wide, this deluxe, khaki-colored mat rolls up into an 8.5″ Diameter “sausage” for transport or storage. The mat has rubberized elbow and knee pads; the mat is about .535″ thick at the knee and elbow pads. By comparison, the standard MidwayUSA Shooting Mat is only 0.335″ thick on the pads. Both standard and Pro Series mats have corner grommets allowing the mat to be staked down in high winds. These mats both have a carry handle and a shoulder strap.

MidwayUSA Shooting Pad

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February 2nd, 2011

Berger SW Nationals: Litz Wins Overall, Biggs Breaks F-Open Record, Spindle Shooters Excel

The Berger SW Nationals at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix concluded this weekend. Congratulations to: Bryan Litz (Overall Champion — sling), Trudie Fay (Palma Rifle Winner, 2nd Overall), Danny Biggs (F-Open Winner), and John Hayhurst (F-TR Winner). Among sling shooters, Bryan shot a 1441-77X, Trudy scored 1432-63X, and Gary Eliseo and Leo Ahearn tied with 1430-74X, with Gary getting the 3rd place spot on a tie-breaker.

Photos Courtesy Rick Curtis. CLICK HERE for more match photos.

Bryan Litz, Trudy Fay

Bryan Litz and Gary Eliseo Loads
For the Palma matches, Bryan Litz was shooting a .308 Win with 185gr, .30-cal LRBT Berger bullets, seated .015″ off the lands in Lapua brass. The load, pushed by Hodgdon Varget and CCI BR2 primers, ran slightly over 2800 fps. For his “Any Rifle” stages, Bryan shot a straight .284 Winchester at “about 2850 fps”, using 180gr Berger Hybrid match target 7mm bullets seated about .015″ off the lands. Bryan’s .284 Win load used Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and Lapua 6.5-284 brass, necked-up to 7mm. While Bryan favored a 7mm “Any Rifle” chambering, Gary Eliseo did well with a 6mm solution. Gary told us that, except for the Palma match, he was shooting his regular Across-the-Course load: 6mm BRX, 107gr Sierra MK jumped .025″, running about 2940 fps. This is a mild load for the 6BRX and it proves the little cartridge can be competitive at 1K even in tough conditions.

SW Nationals Palma

Danny BiggsBiggs Breaks F-Class Record
In winning the F-Open Division, Danny Biggs broke Charles Ballard’s 1000-Yard F-Open National record twice with two 200-15X scores. This was an amazing performance by Danny, who finished with 1439-76X Agg, five points ahead of runner-up David Mann. Forum member TonyR, who shot in the match, reports: “The big story is really Danny’s second 200-15X. He shot that through several big switches and most of us can’t figure out how he did it. I shot the same relay he got the first one on and I wasn’t surprised that someone broke the record on that one, but I was scoring another shooter on the relay when he set the second one and I was just amazed that he did what he did under those conditions.”

Sierra Spindle Shooters Top F-Open Team Events
In the team events, the Sierra Spindle Shooters’ Team did very well, winning both the Palma Match and the 1000-yard Team Match, and scoring 2558-102X overall. Team Berger (2550-97X) finished second in the Team Aggs, with Team Berger member Larry Bartholome posting a 645-24X, the best individual performance in the Team comps. In the photo below (left to right), are Spindle Shooters team members Jeff Cochran, Bret Solomon, Shawn Ahrens and Jeff Traylor. Jeff reports: “The medals are for winning the F-Open Team Agg. In the last few years we’ve won the F-Class Nationals with Nancy Tompkins or Emil Praslick coaching. At this match both of them had other obligations so Bret and Shawn co-coached. They did a great job working together beating out several teams with world class coaches. We hold both the 600 and 1K F-Open team records with and had a good shot at the Palma record in this match but came up a bit short. I think if Nancy wasn’t tied up with the U.S. Palma team we might have beat the record. She’ll be with us again soon at the Nationals this fall in Lodi, Wisconsin.”

Sierra Spindle Shooters
Photo courtesy Jeff Cochran.

F-Open Rifle

Three Shots under 1″ at 1000 yards
As a demonstration of the potential accuracy of these long-range rifles, Dennis Selfridge fired a three shot group under an inch at 1K yards with his 6.5X47 in conditions! Check it out:

Dennis Selfridge 6.5x47

Complete Match Results
Sling Class Individual Aggregate
Sling Class Team Aggregate
F-Open Class Individual Aggregate
F-TR Class Individual Aggregate
F-Open Team Aggregate

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September 24th, 2010

Multiple National Records Set at 2010 Spirit of America Match

We recently reported that Trudie Fay of Raton, NM, shooting on her home range, was the Fullbore winner at the Spirit of America Match. Trudie and many other shooters set new National records during the course of the match. Trudie fired an aggregate score of 1781-104x, which was an Open, Civilian, and Woman’s National Record. Second place, with a Senior National Record, was Tom Whitaker. High Grand Senior was Johnie Franklin, high Junior was Kyle Doney, high Service was Emily Windmassinger.

Trudie Fay 2010 Spirit of AmericaThere were also new records set in F-Class competition, in both F-Open and F-TR classes. High F-Open shooter was Danny Biggs with a score of 1777-88x. Danny’s score was an Open, Civilian and Grand Senior National Record. High Senior was Jim Murphy firing 1766-90x.

Michelle Gallagher was the high F-TR shooter firing a score of 1717-62x. Michellle’s score was an Open, Civilian and Woman’s National Record. Daniel Borwiecki of the Marine Corps Rifle Team was the high Service shooter. Robert Depp was the high Senior and Alan Canavan was high Grand Senior.

Trudie Rides in Style
The winners were “chaired,” holding their rifle and hoisted in the air by the competitors. Trudie Fay, wearing white gloves, was carried in Raton’s timber sedan chair by the Fullbore competitors. Danny Biggs, the F-Class winner, was carried in a rocking chair by the F-Class competitors. Michelle Gallagher, the F-TR winner, was carried in a captain’s chair. All were carried off the 1000-yard line to the Bald Eagles Clubhouse while bagpipe music was played.

Report courtesy Jan Raab and the NRA Blog.

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October 4th, 2009

Ballard and Biggs Win 2009 F-Class Nationals

As the trophy presentation concluded, our correspondent, John Whidden, filed this report from the 2009 F-Class Nationals at Camp Butner, NC. John reports that Charles Ballard (1328-62X) successfully defended his 2008 F-Open Title, edging Jim Murphy (1327-59X) by just one point. Both men were shooting 7mms — Ballard a straight .284 and Murphy a 7mm short magnum. The duel between Ballard and Murphy went down to the wire, but Ballard is now the F-Open Champ for the second year in a row. In F-TR class, Danny Biggs also won his second straight National Championship, finishing first with 1288-38X, four points ahead of Jeff Rorer (1284-34X). Congratulations to Charles and Danny on their back-to-back victories, and all the shooters who competed at the Nationals!

F-Class National Championships, 2009 Final Results
1st Charles Ballard: 1328-62X
2nd Jim Murphy: 1327-59X
3rd Brian Otey: 1321-47X
1st Danny Biggs: 1288-38X
2nd Jeff Rorer: 1284-34X
3rd Derek Rogers: 1283-33X

Milder Winds on Saturday, but Challenges Remained
Whidden reported that conditions were better on Saturday (Oct. 3) than on Friday: “On Friday it was tricky — winds were whipping everyone’s tail.” On Saturday, John said: “Winds were generally lighter, predominantly from the left, and a good deal more readable. We didn’t see the fishtailing winds as before. Saturday was a warm day, with highs about 85° and lots of sunshine.”

Even with milder weather, shooting at Butner can be challenging. John told us: “Having shot the Butner range before is definitely an advantage — experience helps. There are a few nuances you have to learn. For example, there is some vertical that comes off the berms, particularly if you have headwinds or tailwinds.” However, John added, “this vertical treated everyone pretty much the same. One side of the range wasn’t worse than another.” John noted that squading changes on Saturday (shifting from 4 relays to 6, with fewer firing points) created some initial confusion and made for a longer day. After shooting about half the match with six relays, shooters were re-organized back to four squads. Overall, however, everything went pretty smoothly.

2009 F-Class Nationals, Camp Butner, NC
Image courtesy

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