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December 5th, 2009

Benchrest Basics by Peter Cronhelm

If you’re not familiar with the short-range benchrest game, and want to learn more about this most precise of all shooting disciplines, Canada’s Peter Cronhelm has prepared an excellent summary of Benchrest Basics. Cronhelm covers everything from the origins of the PPC cartridge, to the special lingo used at short-range benchrest matches.

Bughole: Very small group.
Mothball: The 10-ring on the standard Benchrest Target.
Tomato Stake: A worn out or otherwise inaccurate rifle barrel.
Screamer: A group measuring less than 0.100″ at 100 yards or less than 0.250” at 200 yards.
Weather Report: A Group “scattered” as a result of poor wind doping.
Wailing Wall: Place where targets that have been scored can be viewed by competitors.
Dope the Wind: Ccompensate for the effects of wind by shifting aiming points on the target.

PPC Viper Benchrest Rifle
‘Ultimate PPC’ by Speedy with engraved Stiller Viper action.

Competition — Benchrest for Group
Matches are usually shot at 100 and 200 yards with some including the 300-yard distance. Individual scores are determined by measuring the actual size of the 5-round group[.] Aggregate scores are the average of all the groups shot over the course of the match. [In short-range benchrest for group] the placing of the group on the record target is not considered, only the size of the group.

Borden Benchrest Rifle

At the top levels, 5-round groups are usually a single ragged hole in the target. To ensure that the competitors fire 5 rounds into the target, a moving backer paper is installed behind the record target. This way it is easy for the match officials to see that all 5 rounds were fired. For each target, there is normally no limit to the number of sighting rounds a competitor may fire, but there is a time limit for record fire.

A total of 5 groups (per class) are fired in a typical Benchrest match. Winning aggregate scores are commonly in the 2s (less than 0.3 inches), with individual groups in the 1s now common, and individual groups in the zeros (less than 0.1 inches) becoming more common.

Benchrest Targets

How is it possible to fire a group measuring only 0.1 inches across with a bullet that is 0.243 inches in diameter? Group sizes are measured from center to center of the two widest bullet holes. As a result bullet size is removed from the equation and groups from different caliber rifles can be compared on equal terms.

Canada NFA crest
If you want to learn about “point-blank” BR, give Peter’s well-written article a read. Found on the Canadian National Firearms Assn. website, Peter’s fact-filled summary provides a quick but thorough explanation of the rules, gear, and shooting styles used in the short-range benchrest game.

Black Rifle and Targets photos courtesy Jim Borden,

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November 8th, 2009

NEW Product: Borden 'Tubegun Special' Action

This gear review is by respected prone shooter German Salazar. German recently received the first production version (Serial No. 0001) of the NEW Borden Action espressly designed for Tubeguns. German reports this is “really a great piece of equipment” and it’s affordable at $800 for the single-shot version or $850.00 for the repeater.

NEW Action for the Tubegun Revolution by German Salazar
If you’re a High Power shooter then you know that the Tubegun Revolution is in full swing both in across-the-course and prone matches. For many reasons, including accuracy, availability, cost, delivery time, ergonomics, familiar feel (for AR15 shooters) and more, the Tubeguns are becoming the norm in High Power. I recently built a 30-06 Tubegun for prone matches and have been extremely satisfied with the results, but I had a desire for a better action for it, now that desire is a reality.

Borden Tubegun special action

While most Tubegun stocks are made to take Remington 700 actions or clone, it has become difficult to get bare Remington actions and bargain priced 700s are non-existent these days. Buying a complete rifle to strip, then blueprinting the action leaves you with about the cost of a custom action invested in the Remington — not the most economically sensible outcome.

Seeing the need for a custom action to fit the Tubeguns at a moderate price, Jim Borden of Borden Rifles is now making a Tubegun Special (TGS) action –- actually six variants of it. The TGS action is made to fit the Tubegun stocks without alteration and has been designed in cooperation with Gary Eliseo (Competition Shooting Stuff) to ensure compatibility and functionality.

Special Features Optimized for Tubegun Installations
The TGS is a full round action, without the scallops of the Borden Alpine/Timberline series and without the flattened rear bridge of the Remington 700. This full round surface presents a much larger surface area for epoxy if you intend to glue-in the action, and simply a better fit if you intend to bolt the action into the tube. Additionally, the TGS has no scope mounting holes or bolt stop since these are not required in a Tubegun stock and their elimination reduces machining costs, helping to keep the retail price competitive with a blueprinted Remington.

Borden Tubegun special action

Beyond the action profile, there are a few choices in the TGS. You can order it right-handed or left-handed, long action or short action, single-shot or repeater. The single-shot models have a coned bolt as shown in the photos, which helps feeding from the action trough, whereas the repeaters have a flat-faced bolt like a Remington to ensure reliable feeding from a magazine.

The TGS has the familiar Remington-type plunger ejector and a claw extractor similar to the Sako. I have put over 4,000 rounds through my 6BR Borden Alpine with 100% reliability from the extractor. It’s a solid, reliable design. The bolt is nicely fluted in a spiral pattern and the fit and finish of every bit of the action and bolt are first class. It’s almost a shame to epoxy it into the tube, but that’s what it’s meant for!

Borden Accuracy is now a distributor for the CG triggers ( and can time the action to the trigger before delivery. Other triggers are available from Borden as well and the action takes any Remington-type trigger. Finally, Gary and Jim have standardized locations for the serial number and manufacturer information and the CSS stocks have small windows in the main sleeve to allow those to be seen at all times.

Borden Tubegun special action

If you’re planning to build a Tubegun, you should take a close look at the Borden Tubegun Special action, it’s a very practical and cost-effective approach with the single-shot actions priced at $800 and the repeaters at $850 as of this writing.

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