As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











May 9th, 2022

How to Shoot in Standing Position — Carl Bernosky Explains

Carl Bernosky High Power

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 very best standing shooters in the history of High Power shooting. 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.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 7th, 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, July 7, 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, July 7, 2021, 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.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Handguns, Shooting Skills No Comments »
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.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
March 30th, 2019

F-Open Thumbhole Stock Crafted by Carl Bernosky

F-Class F-Open Rifle stock

Many F-Open shooters favor low-profile benchrest-type stocks. They shoot these with minimal hand and cheek contact. Not “free recoil” mind you, but pretty close. With practice and a high-quality front rest and rear bag, that “minimal hold” style can work very well.

F-Class F-Open Rifle stock
Modern F-Open Rifle designed for “minimalist” grip/hold. Note the complete abscence of cheekpiece.

However, other successful F-Open and F-TR shooters prefer to hold their rifles, with a firm grip and solid cheek weld. If you come from a “hard-holding” Palma rifle background this may seem more natural. In addition, this shooting style may work best for folks who also shoot PRS or tactical matches using a vertical pistol grip and solid hold.

Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpieceFor guys who want to shoot their F-Open rig as they do their prone, tactical or hunting rifles, here is a modern F-Open stock designed for this kind of shooting. And this stock was crafted by a fellow with a pretty good shooting resume — Carl Bernosky.

Most of you know as a great marksman and 10-time National High Power Champion. But you may not realize that Carl is also a superb stock-maker. A true craftsman, Carl produces outstanding laminated and fancy wood stocks for hunters and competitive shooters. Visit CarlBernosky.com to see a selection of Carl’s competition and hunting stocks.

Her is Carl’s thumbhole F-Class stock. Designed for F-Open shooters, this stock features a flat, 3″-wide fore-end, ergonomic grip, and adjustable cheekpiece. The laminated Bernosky stock featured here was crafted for Chesebro Rifles, which offers a turn-key stock package for the Barnard ‘P’ action, one of our favorite custom actions. This particular build features a MT Guns Vee Block Bedding System, MT Guns 3-Way Adjustable Butt Plate, and B&D Precision removable cheek piece.

Click Photo to view full-size image of stock.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

As you see it, complete with all hardware (including short fore-end rail for bipod) this stock runs $1275.00 ready to ship. Just attach your Barnard barreled action and you’re ready to compete. The stock (by itself) weighs 6.5 pounds. Contact Chesebro Rifles, (661) 557-2442, for more information.

Cheek-piece close-up shows high-quality adjustment hardware.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Cheek-piece is relieved to allow full bolt travel.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Short accessory rail on the underside of the fore-end can be used to mount bipod.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Stock tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
October 1st, 2018

Three Champs — Bernosky, Tubb, Whidden — Talk Wind Reading

wind reading John Whidden, David Tubb, Carl Bernosky

In this article, three great champions reveal their wind-calling secrets in video interviews. We first published this “Three Champions” story a few years ago. If you are a competitive shooter, and you want to learn more about reading the wind, you should watch all three of these interviews. These guys are among the best shooters to ever shoulder a rifle, and they have much wisdom to share.

At the 2010 SHOT Show, we had the unique opportunity to corner three “superstars” of High Power shooting, and solicit their wind-reading secrets. In the three videos below (in alphabetical order), Carl Bernosky (10-Time Nat’l High Power Champion), David Tubb (11-time Nat’l High Power Champion and 7-time Nat’l Long-Range Champion), and John Whidden (5-Time Nat’l High Power Long-Range Champion) shared some of the wind-doping strategies that have carried them to victory in the nation’s most competitive shooting matches. This is GOLD folks… no matter what your discipline — be it short-range Benchrest or Long-Range High Power — watch these videos for valuable insights that can help you shoot more accurately, and post higher scores, in all wind conditions.

We were very fortunate to have these three extraordinarily gifted champions reveal their “winning ways”. These guys REALLY know their stuff. I thought to myself: “Wow, this is how a baseball fan might feel if he could assemble Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams in the same room, and have them each reveal their hitting secrets.” Editor’s Note: These interviews were conducted before all three men won their most recent National Championships so the introductions may list a lower number of titles won. For example, John Whidden won back-to-back LR Championships in 2016 and 2017/

Top photo courtesy Rifleman’s Journal.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 9th, 2018

National High Power Championships at Camp Atterbury

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
2018 National Matches photo from NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook Page.

National High Power Matches, July 5-24, 2018 at Camp Atterbury Indiana
The NRA National High Power Matches are now underway at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. The Rifle National Matches, running July 5-24, will include the High Power Championship, the Long Range Championship, and the Mid-Range Championship, along with other special events. We are now in the thick of the NRA High Power Rifle Championship, which runs through Wednesday, July 11. Good luck to all the competitors! The Long Range Individual Championship runs the 16th through the 19th, followed by Long Range Palma, and Mid-Range individual and Team Matches.

Carl Bernosky high power rifle

National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 2018 Schedule:

Friday, July 6: Whistler Boy JR. Team, 2nd Amend. Team Match, Awards Ceremony, Competitor Meeting
Saturday, July 7 – Wednesday, July 11: NRA High Power Rifle (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Thursday, July 12: Long Range Packet Pickup and Competitor Meeting
Friday, July 13 – Monday, July 16: NRA Long Range (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Tuesday, July 17: NRA Long Range Palma, Palma Team Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21: NRA Mid Range Individual
Sunday, July 22: NRA Mid Range Teams, Mid Range Awards Ceremony
Monday, July 23: Range Clean Up/Clear Out

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
Click Calendar to See Large, Full-Screen Version.

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
There is on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. To book a room, or for any questions about lodging, please call (812) 526-1128. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.

With the CMP hosting important matches this year at Camp Perry, many rifle competitors will be “commuting” between the two venues this summers, driving 4.5 hours from Indiana to Ohio.

Map Camp Perry Camp Atterbury Ohio Indiana

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 31st, 2016

Anatomy of the Modern F-Open Rifle

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Emil Kovan is one of the top F-Class shooters in the world. He won the 2014 United States F-Open Championship. Earlier this month Emil finished second in F-Open Division at the 2016 Canadian National F-Class Championship in Ontario. Emil actually tied Open-class winner Shiraz Balolia for overall score AND “V”-count, but Emil was awarded second on the tie-breaker.

The Anatomy of a Modern F-Class Open Rifle

Report by Emil Kovan
Kovan Match Rifles LLC, www.matchrifles.com

“What are the best components for an F-Open class rifle, and why?” That’s a question that I get asked all the time and will try to answer in this article. Two months ago, I was contacted by Duane, a gentleman I met at the 2015 F-Class Nationals. He was interested in building a rifle with the new Master Class Low Profile F-Open Stock, created by Carl Bernosky and Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks.

I have known Alex Sitman for many years, and use his stocks exclusively, but was not very familiar with his new Low Profile F-Open stock. After a brief conversation with Alex, I placed an order, and had the stock inletted and bedded at my shop in a month. My first impression was “Wow that’s a long stock” — the forearm is significantly longer than on the original Master Class F-Class prone stock. I bolted the barreled action in, and squeezed the end of the forearm and barrel together, the stock flexed a little bit, but not as much as other designs that I have tested. I think that’s due to having “more meat” in the receiver area. The full stock depth continues farther forward that on some other “low profile” designs. That makes the stock stiffer in the vertical plane, reducing the hinging effect forward of the action. The stock was finished in gloss black per the customer’s request. Interestingly, I found that the multiple layers of paint and clearcoat stiffened the stock up quite a bit.

CLICK IMAGE below for full-screen version
.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Low Center of Gravity Tames Torque
Compared to the original Master Class F-Open stock, the barrel sits about an inch lower. Lower center of gravity equals less torque, and that is very important when shooting heavy bullets in fast twist barrels. Another significant improvement is that the toe of the stock is flat and parallel to the forearm. I added a 3/4″ track rail in the rear, and milled the underside of the fore-end to create two parallel “rails” in the front to help the stock track better.

One of the biggest reasons why I like Master Class stocks, is the pistol grip. I don’t shoot “free recoil” and a comfortable pistol grip is super important to me when selecting a stock. The new Master Class Low Profile stock shares the same grip as the old model. This allows the stock to accommodate either a “hard hold” style or a more free-recoil style of shooting — whatever the rifle’s owner prefers. This design versatility is one reason I recommend Master Class stocks. Shooters may experiment with either shooting style to find what suits them best.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Cartridge Choice — A 40° .284 Win Improved
Duane decided to have the barrel chambered for my 284 KMR IMP (Improved) wildcat. What is .284 KMR IMP and why choose it over the straight .284 Winchester? Improved by definition means “made better”, I took a great cartridge, and modified it to increase capacity, reduce pressure, and increase brass life.

There are many “improved” variants of the original .284 Winchester: 7mm Walker, .284 Shehane, .284 Ackley and so on. My version, the 284 KMR IMP, shares the .010″ blown-out sidewalls of the .284 Shehane, but I have further increased the case capacity by changing the shoulder angle from 35 to 40 degrees. The 284 KMR IMP allows you to almost match magnum cartridge velocity in a standard-bolt-face action. If you want to run 180gr-class 7mm bullets over 2900 FPS, it is cheaper and more convenient to have a barrel chambered in 284 KMR IMP than to spend $650 for a magnum bolt.

Tuning Loads for the .284 Win Improved Cartridges
The 284 KMR IMP seems to have two nodes, one around 2820 fps and other at 2940 fps. My match load clocks at 2935 fps with single-digit ES. Note –I selected that load based on accuracy, NOT raw speed. A lot of novice (or hard-headed) shooters make the mistake to push their cartridges to the max, and disregard more accurate loads at lower velocity.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

The sport of F-Class is rapidly growing, and the equipment used is improving constantly. I remember that only few years ago, an F-Open rifle that could shoot sub-one-inch of vertical at 300 yards was considered competitive. Now, we are pursuing sub-one-inch vertical at 600 yards! It takes a great rifle to approach that goal, but it is also up to the shooter to learn and experiment as much as possible in order to achieve success.

Dies for an Improved .284 Win Cartridge
One of the biggest challenges in campaigning a wildcat cartridge has been obtaining great dies. When searching for custom dies, it almost seems like that the odds are stacked against us. The most common problem is wait-time — custom die orders can take months to be completed. Also, most custom die makers want you to send them two or three cases, each fire-formed three times. I find that funny because if could somehow properly size the cases for three fire-forming cycles, I would not need a sizing die.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Custom-made dies should size the case just right, but sometimes the die’s internal dimensions are slightly off, and this leads to problem number two: dies sizing too much (or even worse) too little. I had a one “custom” die that would not size the bottom of the case enough. This made the extraction of fired cases very difficult. I feel that the best option (if available) for shooters interested in wildcat chambers is to have their gunsmiths make the dies. I offer that die-making service in addition to barrel chambering.

BAT Machine “M” Action
Duane decided to use a BAT M action for this rifle, and I think that he could not have made a better choice. We are blessed with many good match-quality receivers: Barnard, BAT, Borden, Kelbly, Nesika, and Stiller just to mention a few. These are all very well-made and suitable for F-Class. Among BAT Machine Co.actions, I like BAT models M, MB, and 3LL best. I prefer these because because of their size (large bedding footprint) smoothness, timing, options available, and last but not least visual appearance.

Trigger: I recommend and use Jewell triggers. Other good options are: Kelbly, CG Jackson (good 2-Stage) Anschutz (best 2-Stage for Bat and Kelbly actions), Bix’N Andy, and David Tubb.

Barrel: Duane made another good choice here. He decided to go with a Brux 1:8.5″-twist, 4-groove cut-rifled barrel. If you look at the F-Class and Long Range benchrest equipment lists, you will see that cut-rifled barrels are currently dominating. Many records have been shot with both button-rifled, and cut-rifled barrels. I have shot both, and prefer cut-rifled barrels. I am not saying that button-rifled barrels are not capable of shooting as well as cut-rifled barrels, but on average, in my experience, four out of five cut-rifled barrels (from top makers) will shoot well, vs. three out of five buttoned barrels. YMMV, but this is what I’ve observed.

Brux Barrels is not the only company that produces very accurate cut-rifled barrels. We know that Krieger, Bartlein, Satern, and Hawk Hill Custom all make fine cut-rifled barrels as well.

Scope: Duane’s rifle was fitted with a Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope with DDR-2 reticle. This optic is ultra clear, reasonably lightweight (28 oz.), super reliable, and has 1/8 MOA clicks — what you want for long range F-Class competition. In this 15-55X NF model, I like the DDR-2 reticle best, because fine cross hairs (FCH) are hard to see in heavy mirage. The DDR-2 has a heavier horizontal line, with a center dot. March scopes are also very popular and very well-made.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Thanks for reading, and keep ‘em in the middle…

Emil Kovan F-Class competition bio photoEmil Kovan Competition History:

– 2014 F-Class Open National Champion

– 2016 F-Class Open Canadian Championship, Silver Medal (tied for first on score)

– 2015 F-Class Open National Championship, Silver Medal

– F-Class Open National Championship Teams, 2015, 2014, 2013, Shooting Team Member

– Over 15 wins in Regional and State Championships in Palma, F-TR, F-Open

– 2013 U.S. National Team Member

– 2017 U.S. National Development Team Member

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
April 14th, 2016

Master Class Low-Profile F-Open Stock by Bernosky

Master Class F-Open low profile Stock Carl Bernosky

Most shooters know Carl Bernosky as a 10-time National High Power Rifle champion. But you may not realize that Carl is also a very talented stock-maker and rifle-builder. Carl crafts a wide variety of wood and wood laminate stocks for competition as well as hunting. He also crafts many stocks for Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks.

Master Class Low-Profile F-Open Stock
Here is a new Master Class Low-Profile F-Open Stock crafted by Carl Bernosky. It is made from a Cherry/Maple wood laminate. This design features a railed fore-end along with a flat, parallel toe for improved tracking and stability on the bags. The front section of the fore-arm has a low profile. This allows the barrel bore axis to ride lower. That helps reduce hop and helps the gun recoil straight back. For more information on this low-profile F-Open stock design, visit Carl Bernosky’s Facebook Page and MasterClassStocks.com.

Master Class F-Open low profile Stock Carl Bernosky

Note that the stock maintains full depth under the action and quite a few inches forward of the action. This smart design feature is very important. We have seen other low-profile stock designs that can flex or “hinge” forward of the action because there’s not enough wood material there. In fact, the only part of the stock that needs a cut-down profile is the front 10″ or so, where the stock actually rides the front bag.

Master Class F-Open low profile Stock Carl Bernosky

This particular stock features a “pop-off” magnetic cheekpiece, as well as a buttplate that adjusts for Length of Pull (LOP) via spacers. The action is by Pierce Engineering. This and other Master Class Stock designs can be customized with other features on request.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
February 11th, 2016

Three National Champions Reveal How to Read the Wind

Blast from the Past: As we get set up in Phoenix for the 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals, we thought we’d revisit one of our more interesting features from a few years back. At the 2010 SHOT Show, we had the unique opportunity to corner three “superstars” of High Power shooting, and solicit their wind-reading secrets. Carl Bernosky, David Tubb, and John Whidden all shared some championship-caliber wind wisdom in video interviews. If you shoot competitively, you’ll want to watch these videos. David’s video is worth watching twice because some of the key points he makes go by pretty quickly.

In the three videos below (in alphabetical order), Carl Bernosky (10-Time Nat’l High Power Champion), David Tubb (11-time Nat’l High Power Champion and 7-time Nat’l Long-Range Champion), and John Whidden (2-Time Nat’l High Power Long-Range Champion) shared some of the wind-doping strategies that have carried them to victory in the nation’s most competitive shooting matches. This is GOLD folks… no matter what your discipline — be it short-range Benchrest or Long-Range High Power — watch these videos for valuable insights that can help you shoot more accurately, and post higher scores, in all wind conditions.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

We were very fortunate to have these three extraordinarily gifted champions reveal their “winning ways”. These guys REALLY know their stuff. I thought to myself: “Wow, this is how a baseball fan might feel if he could assemble Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams in the same room, and have them each reveal their hitting secrets.” Editor’s Note: These interviews were conducted before Bernosky and Tubb won their most recent National Championships.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 30th, 2015

High Power Champ Carl Bernosky Explains How to Shoot Standing

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.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
May 24th, 2015

Doug Koenig Wins 16th Career Bianchi Cup Title

Bianchi Cup Doug Koenig Carl Bernosky 2015 Columbia Missouri

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com.

Doug Koenig secured his 16th NRA Action Pistol title this week at the 2015 NRA Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Missouri. Koenig’s final score was a perfect 1920 with 180 tie-breaking Xs. Koenig needed all those Xs to win — runner-up Jeremy Newell (1920-166X) also racked up a perfect 1920 score, but with 14 fewer Xs. Carl Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle Champion, placed third overall with 1918-180X. Australian shooter Anita Mackiewicz set a new record for a female shooter with a 1916-166X.

Koenig’s success at the Bianchi Cup is unparalleled. Doug’s 16 titles account for nearly half of the 37 total Bianchi championships held. Bruce Piatt has the next best career Bianchi Cup record, with five Bianchi titles, less than one-third of Koenig’s total.

(more…)

Permalink Competition, Handguns 1 Comment »
September 5th, 2014

How Joe Hendricks Won the 2014 High Power Championship

Joe Hendricks of Team Remington is the 2014 NRA High Power National Champion. This is Joe’s first National High Power championship, and he accomplished it through a gutsy, come-from-behind victory on the final day. This was no easy win for Joe, aka “Joesr” on our AccurateShooter Forum.

Here’s the story of Joe’s 2014 victory at Camp Perry. One thing that made Joe’s victory even more memorable was that both Joe’s father and Joe’s son were there to witness the win. Three generations of Hendricks men were at Camp Perry to see his achievement. That’s a great thing for a family.

Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Down by Too Many Points and Too Many Xs
By Joe Hendricks, Nat’l High Power Champion (2014)
On the last day of the High Power Championship, believe it or not I felt no pressure — because I really didn’t think I had a chance to win it all. I knew the leaders would clean the day and my only hope was that possibly one or two would falter enough to allow me third place. All I was trying to do was shoot Xs, so that I could move past two of the people in front of me and (maybe) secure 3rd place. I started the day tied for third on points with two other competitor, but in fifth place when you figured in X-count.

Yes I was watching the board going into the final day and so many people say “Don’t watch the board!”. However, for me, looking at the board motivates me.

The best I could do at 300 yards was a 200-6X, with nice groups, but not centered. That was not enough Xs and I knew I wasn’t moving up the leader board. I knew that simply shooting a 200 score wasn’t going to cut it and I still had work to do to get onto the podium (i.e. earn third place). At that point I figured I was still tied for third (disregarding X-count).

So I went to the 600-yard line with goal of getting on to the podium. I was shooting for third at that point. I figured maybe with two cleans I could grab third place.

Understand I know my competition and I know I’m shooting against the best High Power marksmen in the world. There were two people who have won this match before and several deserving champions just behind. So at this point, I’m wasn’t giving myself a chance to win — I was hoping to place third.

The first string at 600 yards went well with nothing less than a 10. I shot a normal 200-10X, meaning 10s and Xs were mixed up with no wide shots. Apparently others faltered when I shot clean (all 10s or Xs) — I didn’t know that after the first string at 600 I was actually in the lead….

Click Image to See Full-Size Photo
Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Pulling it Together: Five Xs for the Final Five Shots
The second string at 600 yards was strange. I shot five Xs in my first 6 or 7 shots and then ran a string of 10s that were either wide or corner shots. So, after 15 shots, I wasn’t getting better, I was getting worse. I needed to get my act together (and right quickly).

I took a moment to regroup and said to myself: “Stop this. We are not doing this today…” (i.e. we are NOT going to break down with just five shots to go). That’s something I heard Ken Roxburgh said to my son during their team match.

That thought process changed my attitude, and it seemed to relieve the pressure, so I was able to concentrate on every shot. I was re-focused and ready to roll. I know Perry, I know the wind at Perry and I had confidence in my 6CM cartridge to shoot 10s through the final five shots.

That confidence paid off — in the final five shots I broke every shot dead center and every shot came up an X!

I don’t care where you place at Perry, if your final shot is an X you have something to take back for next year. Running five Xs in a row to end Perry is special. But, ironically, I can not say that running five Xs in a row to win Perry is a feeling I can actually remember, because, at the time, I thought I had finished third, not first….

After finishing the last string, I had a 1798 point total. I packed up my stuff, went over to the Remington golf cart, and told Ken Roxburgh that I was fairly sure I had placed third overall.

“Down 13… How About You?”
I then walked down the line and I saw Brandon Green from the USAMU congratulating Norm Houle on winning. I paused for a moment and then walked over to Norm and asked him: “What did you shoot?” Norm replied: “I was down 13, how about you?” I then answered “Down 11″. Norm gave me a huge handshake and then it hit me. I had won.

I was a feet away from my father. I went to him and said I think I won. Pricelessly, Dad said “Won what?” Then it hit him. Literally in tears, He called my mother to report the good news.

At that point I realized this Championship wasn’t my life’s work, it was his. THANK YOU DAD!

My son Joe Hendricks Jr. was in the pits and didn’t yet know about my first-place finish. He is 18 and has his own hopes for a rifle championship someday. When he came back from the pits, I said to him: “You don’t know…” He looked at me and said “Know what?”. I said “I won”, and he asked “Won what?”. Then I told him: “The whole thing.” I have never seen him smile the way he did at that moment.

Next we call my wife on the phone (she was staying in Port Clinton, but wasn’t at the range that day). I tell her I won, and she says “Won what?” Again, I reply “The whole thing … I won the whole thing.” I hear only silence on the phone, then she says “Are you serious?” I reply, “Yes I am” and then there is a long pause, after which she says: “Joe, you aren’t messing with me are you?” I tell her: “No, I’m serious, come out here, you’ll see…” She pauses then says, “OK I will… but if you are messing with me YOU WILL PAY.” My girls say she almost wrecked the car driving out to the range.

So my wife finally shows up at the Remington Team trailer. As she was getting out of the car she says “If you are [fooling] with me I will kill you. Did you really win?” In fact, she asked me three times before she believed it had actually happened.

By this time Ken Roxburgh of Remington (my coach) had also called Carl Bernosky. Carl Bernosky has been a huge part of my shooting since I young. Having Carl be so excited about my win means nearly as much to me as the win itself. What a great day!

Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Joe wanted to thank his sponsors Remington and Berger Bullets. The 6CM Cartridge he shoots is a wildcat based on the .243 Winchester. Joes uses slow-burning H1000 powder and he shot Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrids at Camp Perry this year.

Permalink - Articles, Competition 2 Comments »
August 14th, 2014

Thumbhole F-Class Stock by Carl Bernosky

Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpieceMost of you know Carl Bernosky as a great marksman and 10-time National High Power Champion. But you may not realize that Carl is also a superb stock-maker. A true craftsman, Carl produces outstanding laminated and fancy wood stocks for hunters and competitive shooters. Visit CarlBernosky.com to see a selection of Carl’s competition and hunting stocks.

One of Carl’s latest creations is a thumbhole F-Class stock. Designed for F-Open shooters, this stock features a flat, 3″-wide fore-end, ergonomic grip, and adjustable cheekpiece. The laminated Bernosky stock featured here was crafted for Chesebro Rifles, which offers a turn-key stock package for the Barnard ‘P’ action, one of our favorite custom actions. This particular build features a MT Guns Vee Block Bedding System, MT Guns 3-Way Adjustable Butt Plate, and B&D Precision removable cheek piece.

Click Photo to view full-size image of stock.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

As you see it, complete with all hardware (including short fore-end rail for bipod) this stock runs $1275.00 ready to ship. Just attach your Barnard barreled action and you’re ready to compete. The stock (by itself) weighs 6.5 pounds. Contact Chesebro Rifles, (661) 557-2442, for more information.

Cheek-piece close-up shows high-quality adjustment hardware.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Cheek-piece is relieved to allow full bolt travel.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Short accessory rail on the underside of the fore-end can be used to mount bipod.
Carl Bernosky Thumbhole Laminate F-Class Barnard Rifle Stock long range adjustable cheekpiece

Stock tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
August 1st, 2014

Bernosky Undergoes Back Surgery Today — Good Luck Carl

At the 2014 National High Power Championships, Joe Hendricks recorded an inspirational come-from-behind victory that will long be remembered. But during this year’s competition, a 10-time past champion was noticeably absent from the firing line at Camp Perry. “Where’s Carl?” was the question many asked as the High Power Championships began.

Health concerns kept Carl Bernosky from competing at Camp Perry this year — serious health concerns. In fact, Carl is scheduled for back surgery today to deal with chronic pain and related neuro-muscular issues. Carl tells us: “I have had back problems for years but this March my bulging discs and sciatica flared with a vengeance. It was a very difficult time. It made functioning even with everyday tasks hard and shooting impossible. If you include something in your Bulletin please make sure that my friends and shooting competitors know how much I appreciate their kind words, thoughts and prayers. Thank you for thinking of me and hopefully I’ll be back on my feet soon. Please don’t let this in anyway overshadow Joe Hendricks’s well-deserved Championship. Joe shot superbly and I congratulate him on a great performance.”

Carl Bernosky High Power Champion Surgery Back

We know that our Daily Bulletin readers wish Carl well and send their hopes that the surgery is 100% successful and that the healing process goes well. We all want to see Carl pain-free and back on the firing line. Carl is a great marksman — one of the best ever — and an equally great human being. We echo what one of his friends posted yesterday: “Carl is an absolute class act… humble, gracious, and a true gentleman. Heal up fast, Carl.”

In this exclusive interview filmed earlier this year (at SHOT Show), Carl talks about his approach to competition, and Carl offers helpful advice for fellow High Power competitors.

Permalink News 7 Comments »
January 15th, 2014

Ten-Time Champ Carl Bernosky Talks about the High-Power Game

Carl Bernosky Interview SHOT Show Brandon GreenIt’s a rare thing when you can talk with a living legend about the sport he loves. We had just that opportunity yesterday at SHOT Show when we chatted with Carl Bernosky, TEN-TIME National High Power Champion. We covered a lot of ground in the interview, discussing the future of the High Power game and the changes in hardware Carl has seen during his storied career. Carl also offers some “rock solid” advice for younger High Power shooters hoping to improve their skill sets. We also talked about Carl’s plans for 2014 and his epic battle with SSG Brandon Green at the 2013 High Power Championships at Camp Perry. Carl and Brandon battled to the last shot of the last relay of the last day. After four complete days of shooting, the two men remained tied on points and tied on X-count. Apply a tie-breaker rule based on X-count at long-range, Green was named the 2013 Champion, with Carl named runner-up. That 2013 event was a true “Battle of the Titans” between two immensely talented marksmen.

We asked Carl about trends in the High Power game. He said that more and more shooters are moving to the AR15 platform. The accuracy is there, and there are advantages to the self-loading actions particularly during rapid-fire. Carl also felt that it takes more training time to master cycling a bolt while shooting in the standing position. Because he does not have to manipulate a bolt, Carl says his self-feeding AR helps him when standing (Carl is considered one of the best standing shooters ever).

Watch Interview with Carl Bernosky, 10-Time National High Power Champion

Though most readers will recognize Carl from reports of his many National Championships, you may not realize that Carl is also a very skilled stock-maker. Carl produces high quality laminated-wood stocks at his shop in Pennsylvania. He offers a full range of stocks for Prone, Palma, F-TR, F-Open, Long Range Benchrest competition, and he also builds fine tactical stocks and hunting stocks. You can see examples of Carl’s stocks at CarlBernosky.com. Carl recently acquired a CNC machine for inletting. This can create ultra-precise inlets for a wide variety of actions.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 2 Comments »