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August 17th, 2021

IBS 2021 1000-Yd Benchrest National Championship in Montana

IBS 1000 yard championship long range deep creek missoula montana mt light gun heavy dasher 6bra
Photo by Forum member Dave Way.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship
The IBS 1000-Yard Benchrest National Championship took place this past weekend, August 14-15, at the scenic Deep Creek Shooting Range outside Missoula, Montana. The Match was well attended, with 66 shooters in the Light Gun (LG) division, and 62 in Heavy Gun (HG). The venue was beautiful (as always), but conditions were challenging at times. One shooter noted: “The wind was brutal the last relay. Many shooters DQ’d”.*

Despite the tough conditions, there were some very impressive performances. Jason Walker took the Overall title, based on combined LG and HG standings. Shooting well in both classes, Jason (aka “LRPV” in our Shooters’ Forum) finished 3rd in LG and 6th in HG. Jason’s LG group size Agg was an impressive 4.357″. Nick Howlett was second Overall. Steve Simons won the LG division while James Bradley topped the HG field.

IBS 2021 1000-Yard Nat’l Championship Two-Gun Overall Results (LG + HG)
IBS 2021 1000-Yard Nat’l Championship Light Gun Overall Results
IBS 2021 1000-Yard Nat’l Championship Heavy Gun Overall Results**

Top Five Two-Gun Overall

Jason Walker
Nick Howlett
James Bradley
Richard Jette
Dave Way

Top Five LG Overall

Steve Simons
David Torgerson
Jason Walker
Todd Zaun
Richard Jette

Top Five HG Overall

James Bradley
Jason Walker
Nick Howlett
Jason Peterson
Tom Mousel

IBS 1000 yard championship long range deep creek missoula montana mt light gun heavy dasher 6bra
Winners photo courtesy Jason Walker, 2021 IBS 1000-Yard Two-Gun Champion.

IBS 1000 yard championship long range deep creek missoula montana mt light gun heavy dasher 6bra

Gunsmith Alex Wheeler, who built many of the top-finishing rifles, noted: “Congratulations to the winners, you pulled your way to the top in some pretty tricky conditions. It was good to see every one again as well as meeting some in person for the first time.”

Equipment Used by Light Gun and Heavy Gun Competitors

The equipment lists, for both Light Gun and Heavy Gun, were heavily dominated by Krieger barrels. The Overall Winner and both LG and HG class winners used Kriegers. There were also many Bartlein barrels and Lilja barrels. But surprisingly, the equipment lists only showed 5 Brux barrels in Light Gun and 3 Brux barrels in Heavy Gun. BAT actions were the most common in both divisions, followed by Borden actions.

IBS 1000-Yd Light Gun Equipment List | IBS 1000-Yd Heavy Gun Equipment List

The vast majority of the shooters ran a 6mm cartridge in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun divisions. These were overwhelmingly 6mm Dashers and 6 BRAs. The 6 BRA (aka 6mmBR Ackley Improved) has a 40-degree shoulder like the Dasher, but with a longer neck. There were a half-dozen .300 WSMs in Heavy Gun division, and a couple 7mm RSAUMs, but the 6 Dashers and 6 BRAs dominated the field, even in HG.

6mm Dasher 6BRA BRA cartridge

Overall Winner Jason Walker was shooting two 6mm Dasher rifles. Both guns had BAT actions, Krieger barrels, and Nightforce scopes. Jason’s Heavy Gun had a Maxi-Tracker stock while his Light Gun had a PR&T LowBoy stock. In both rifles, he ran a 6mm Dasher loaded with Vapor Trail bullets pushed by Hodgdon Varget powder and CCI BR4 primers. Jay Cutright did the barrel work while Gordy Gritters worked on the PR&T stock. (NOTE: Jason changed to the LowBoy stock after the LG equipment list was submitted.)

Light Gun Overall winner Steve Simons was running a 6 BRA in Light Gun. Steve’s LG, smithed by Alex Wheeler, had a BAT action, Krieger barrel, Wheeler LRB stock, and Vortex scope. He loaded his 6 BRA cases with Vapor Trail bullets, Hodgdon H4895 powder, and CCI 450 Primers.

Heavy Gun Overall winner James Bradley was also running a 6 BRA in Heavy Gun. Again this had a BAT Action, Krieger barrel, Wheeler LRB stock, and Vortex scope. The rig was smithed by North Ridge Rifles. James shot Vapor Trail bullets, H4895 powder, and Federal 205M primers.

Krieger barrels

deep creek range missoula MT
Looking back at the firing line from the target berm.

Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.

Here is an aerial view of the Deep Creek Range (Drone video by David Gosnell):

* One shooter at the match reported that: “Our last HV gun relay of the Match produced 11 DQs out of 13 competitors.” We have not confirmed this, but even if there were just a handful of DQs is is unfortunate for those HG competitors.
** This is the Heavy Gun Overall, as designated on the right top. However, the columns are erroneously titled “Light Gun”. If you compare the two linked results pages, you will see that they are NOT the same.

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June 12th, 2021

TEN Shots (100-6X) in 4.554″ at 1000 — Watch This on Video!

Scott Nix Dasher Record

6mm DasherHow well can the little 6mm Dasher perform at 1000 yards when the conditions are good, and the shooter is riding a hot streak? Well here’s a shot-by-shot record of Scott Nix’s 4.554″ ten-shot group shot at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana at the Northwest 1000-yard Championship a few years back. All 10 shots were centered for a 100-6X score. That’s about as good as it gets. If Scott had stopped after 5 shots, his group would have been under three inches.

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy
Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them! This video was recorded from the pits at the 1000-yard line, during record fire.

Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.

Here is an aerial view of the Deep Creek Range (Drone video by David Gosnell):

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June 21st, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Father & Son Compete at 1000 Yards Together

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards
Young Trystan Williams with father Shawn Williams competing at recent 1000-yard Match at Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana.

For Father’s Day 2020, we feature a father and son duo who showed their skills at 1000 yards at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. Representing the younger generation, Trystan Williams drilled a 3.205″, 46 score 5-shot group on his first-ever target shot in his first-ever match. That represents 0.305 MOA at 1000 yards! Trystan’s 6mm Dasher IBS Light Gun was built by his father, Shawn Williams of North Ridge Rifles. Both father and son were competing at an IBS match held June 13-14, 2020.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Deep Creek 1000-Yard IBS Match — June 13-14, 2020
Report by Alex Wheeler
We are back to shooting after the draconian measures taking by our state have been lifted for the most part. Our regular match 7 and 8 where held as scheduled as well as a make-up match for match #2 which was canceled in March. Conditions for the weekend where variable, ranging from very good, low winds and mirage, to extreme wind and thunderstorm warnings. Surprisingly, as conditions worsened on Sunday and scores went down, some still managed very respectable groups.

One of the main highlights of the weekend was the shooting by 11-year-old Trystan Williams. This was Trystan’s very first time shooting in a match. His first 1000-yard Light Gun target ever was a 3.205″ 46 score. Trystan backed that up with a couple more excellent targets, a 3.143″ 46, and a 3.819″ 47. Trystan shot his own tuning targets Friday before the match and helped his Father Shawn Williams load the ammunition for the match. Shooting talent runs in the family, with father Shawn shooting back to back 4″, 10-shot groups in Heavy Fun class and Uncle Jim shooting three, 50-point scores in a row in LG class. An interesting note, Trystan shot some of the new Alpha Dasher brass on some targets, using his 6mm Dasher. Internal volumes are different than Lapua, requiring different powder charges, but accuracy seems to be on par.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Ultra-Accurate 6mm Dasher Built by Dad
Trystan’s rifle features a 1.550″ BAT B dual-port action and Krieger 1:8″-twist HV barrel chambered in 6mm Dasher. The action is pillar-bedded in a wood laminate Deep Creek Tracker stock. Trystan shot off of a SEB NEO coaxial rest. Father Shawn Williams, a talented gunsmith, built Trystan’s rifle. Shawn is the owner of North Ridge Rifles in Helena, Montana.

Looking back at the firing line from behind the 1000-Yard Targets at Deep Creek.
Deep Creek Montana

Top-Performing Bullet Options for the 1000-Yard Game
V-Tac 103gr bullets from Vapor Trail have been performing very well this year. Trystan was shooting them, as well as Jim Williams and James Bradley. James shot the smallest group of the weekend, a 2.551″ 50 score with sorted V-Tacs in his 3-lug BAT action. James says they sort like a good lot of Bergers and they can’t be beat for the price. Even with the excellent custom bullets we have, you can still compete with a good lot of Bergers. Chris Bosse shot a 3.986″ 100 score in HG with his 6.5×47 Lapua on a Borden action and custom stock. He was jumping 140gr Berger Hybrids. Eight of those ten shots on the target went into a mid-two-inch cluster. That’s impressive.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards Tom Mousel

Tom Mousel (shown above) had a very good weekend, winning group in each class he entered. Sweeping all three Lignt Guns matches. Tom was part of the development process of Roy Hunter’s impressive 103A bullet and Tom used them in all three of his rifles this weekend. Tom reports that tuning is key. Tom does full load development with every barrel, even if they are chambered the same. This weekend all three of Tom’s barrels were running a different powder charge, seating depth, and primer. Lesson here — every barrel is unique, so each needs its own load development process.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

It was great to see some good groups and scores, as well as see some new shooters and out of state shooters travel to the match. We’re all Looking forward to the next match at Deep Creek. CLICK HERE for Match Results (ZIP file).

Deep Creek Montana 1000 yard range
Deep Creek 1000-yard line: 46°55’35.03” N 114°14’45.40” W, elevation 3355′.

New Long Range Benchrest Trend — Loading at the Range
Loading at the range has become common practice at Deep Creek. While that load method is the norm for short-range Benchrest, it’s still uncommon in long range disciplines. Montana has very drastic weather changes on a daily basis and it’s unrealistic to expect a rifle to stay in tune though those changes. It’s tough to come pre-loaded and beat the guys loading at the range. You are relying on luck that the tune will not change. It does take a little more effort to bring all your gear. But in my opinion, the pay-off is worth the effort. Like many things in life, you get out what you put in. Loading at the range does provide a step forward in accuracy and that’s what Benchrest competition is all about. — Alex Wheeler

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Here is a birds-eye view video of the Deep Creek Range, taken with an aerial drone.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

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January 1st, 2020

2020 Gun Video Fest — Eight Great Videos for a New Decade

AccurateShooter video 2020 gun youtube Erik Cortina Borden PRS Mike Bryant
Image courtesy Nightforce Optics.

It’s 2020! Welcome the new year and a new decade. We know many of our readers will be spending the winter day indoors. If you need a break from the bowl games on TV, here are eight interesting and informative videos that are worth watching. The subject matter runs the gamut from benchrest gunsmithing to long-range varmint silhouette competition. There are also reviews of some of the best precision rifle options for PRS and NRL22 disciplines. Enjoy our New Year 2020 Video Fest.

1. UltimateReloader — 14 Reloading Presses Compared

Epic Reloading Hardware Test — 14 Single-Stage Presses. In this remarkable video, Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com reviews fourteen (14) single-stage reloading presses. This is the most comprehensive reloading press comparison test ever done by anyone, anywhere. The presses range from compact units to large-frame exotics from Europe. If you are in the market for a single-stage press in 2020 this is a MUST-watch video. Brands include Forster, Hornady, Lyman, MEC, RCBS, Redding, Turban (Prazipress).

2. Precision Riflesmith — Profile of Benchrest Smith Mike Bryant

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant is a talented benchrest shooter and a highly respected builder of competition and hunting rifles. In this wide-ranging interview, Mike talks about benchrest competition, the key factors that contribute to rifle accuracy, and about his career as a gunsmith.

3. Erik Cortina — Mag-Feed Testing Borden Action with 6BR


Click the Speaker Icon (lower right) to HEAR AUDIO

Our friend Erik Cortina has built a new PRS/NRL rifle based on the new Borden Super Short 6 Action. This video show Erik’s first mag-feeding test with ten 6BR loaded rounds. You’ll see there is NO problem speed-feeding the short 6BR case. Erik tells us: “I removed the firing pin from bolt for safety. The magazine has not been modified in any way. I would say there is no need to do anything to it, she’s ready to run!” Impressive indeed.

4. Shooting USA — Texas Varmint Benchrest Match

Varmint Benchrest silhouette TexasThis episode of Shooting USA TV features long-range varmint silhouette competition in Texas. This discipline combine the pure accuracy of benchrest competition with the fun of knocking down critter targets. These are smaller than standard silhouettes, so it’s quite a challenge to hit them at 300 yards and beyond.

In this episode, host John Scoutten competes with his 6.5 Creedmoor PRS rifle. Most shooters use benchrest-grade rifles with premium front rests. NOTE: This video shows some top-flight benchrest rifles, and also covers the origins of benchrest varmint silhouette in Pennsylvania. There are even some AccurateShooter Forum members on screen.

5. Vickers Tactical — .308 Win Bolt Gun Vs. .308 Win Gas Gun

This interesting video from Vickers tactical compares and contrasts two tactical style rifles both chambered for the .308 Winchester. The test team compares functionality, accuracy, ergonomics, and versatility. Each platform has its advantages, as the video reveals.

6. Outdoor Life — The Best New Affordable Precision Rifles

This video showcases three modern tactical-style rifles suitable for the PRS Production (Factory) Class which is limited to $2000 for rifle alone, not counting optics (Rule 2.3.1). Outdoor Life Shooting Editor John Snow puts three capable rifles through their paces: Patriot Valley Arms John Hancock, BadRock Precision SouthFork, and Seekins Precision Havoc Bravo.

7. Aerial View of Deep Creek Shooting Range in Montana

The Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana, is one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. Many long-range benchrest records have been set in this scenic, tree-lined facility. Now, thanks to Forum member David Gosnell (aka “Zilla”), you can see Deep Creek from the air. David flew a camera drone over the Deep Creek Range, soaring from firing line to the target bay and back again. This video gives you a “birds-eye view” of one of America’s elite ranges.

8. Nat’l Rifle League — Intro to NRL22 Rimfire Tactical Matches

NRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are Five (5) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1050.00 (so you could spend $550 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable. Open, Youth, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on Rifle and Optic. Visit NRL22.org to find an NRL22 match near you.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product, Reloading, Tactical 1 Comment »
July 18th, 2011

Leo Anderson Smashes 1000-Yard Score Aggregate Records

Leo Anderson 1000 yard recordMontana 1K benchrest shooter Leo Anderson has set a pair of astounding multi-match Light Gun Score Agg records. These are “records for the ages”. This season, Leo’s 6-match Score Aggregate was 99.5 (99,99,99,100,100,100), while his 10-match Score Aggregate was 96.8 (84,94,95,98,99,99,99,100,100,100). That’s amazing consistency. Given how hard it is to shoot a single 100 score at 1000 yards, Leo’s Aggs are jaw-dropping. It will be a long time before these Agg records are broken (if they ever are). Leo set his 99.5 (6-match) and 96.8 (10-match) records shooting a 17-lb rifle chambered for the 6mm Dasher. The Lawrence barrel was chambered by Montana gunsmith John King and Leo did the stock work himself (starting with a Shehane MBR Tracker).

Leo Anderson 1000 yard record

99.5 Six-Match Agg and 96.5 Ten-Match Agg at 1000 Yards
Leo set these multi-match Agg records at the Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana. Tom Mousel, another record-holding Montana shooter reports: “Our Agg season is now complete here in Montana. Leo ‘Legend’ Anderson has broken both the 6-match and 10-match score aggregate records. He hasn’t just broken them, he has smashed them, with a couple Aggs that are truly remarkable. As a fellow 1000-yard competitor, I fully understand what it takes to grind out a quality Aggregate. What Leo has done this year is the most impressive thing I think we might ever see in the 1000-yard benchrest game. Leo is one of the best of the ‘good guys’, and also, in my opinion, Leo is the best 1000-yard shooter to ever grace our sport. You’d have to check with Leo, but I believe these are his 14th and 15th world records in his career. Leo also holds our Club record for Light Gun group and score, when he drilled a 3.476″/100 back in August of 2008″. (See photo below)

Leo Anderson 1000 yard record

Record-Breaking 6mm Dasher Light Gun Specs
There’s nothing really exotic about the 17-lb Light Gun with which Leo set his score records. The stock is a laminated Shehane MBR Tracker with some modifications by Leo to make it track better. Leo altered the angle of the toe to match the forearm and modified the taper of the sides of the buttstock to ride better in the bags. Pillar-bedded into the stock is a Stiller Viper Drop Port. Leo loves this action. He says it is very fast to operate and the flat bottom makes it easy to install in the stock. In addition, the Viper action works well with his preferred CCI 400 primers: “I can run stout loads of H4895 with the Viper without cratering the primers. Some guys with other factory and custom actions have problems with the CCI 400s which are not as hard as the 450s.”

The 29.5″, 5-groove, 0.237″ land, HV-counter barrel was crafted by Lawrence Barrels. Based in Lewiston, Montana, Lawrence Barrels currently makes mostly AR barrels, but Leo says they make great cut-rifled tubes: “I currently have Lawrence barrels on both my Light Gun and my Heavy Gun. These Lawrence barrels both shoot great. I think they are the equal of the best examples from top barrel-makers such as Krieger and Bartlein.” Leo has tried straight-contour barrels, but he prefers some taper (similar to a Krieger #17 contour): “In my experience, tapered barrels seem to shoot better, at least in a 17-pounder. The gun is less nose-heavy and tracks better.” The barrel on Leo’s record-setting Light Gun currently has about 900 rounds through it.

For optics, Leo runs a 12-42x56mm Nightforce BR model with NP2DD reticle. Leo tells us: “the NP2DD reticle is my favorite and I have great confidence in the Nightforce. We tried it side-by-side with a big name European-made high magnification scope, and the Nightforce was visibly better. At 1000 yards it had better clarity, better sharpness, better resolution.”

Record Setting Dasher Recipe: Berger 105gr VLD, Hodgdon H4895, CCI 400, Lapua Brass
While many top 6mmBR and Dasher shooters use Varget or Reloder 15, Leo prefers Hodgdon H4895, which has a slightly faster burn rate. Leo tells us: “Right now, the H4895 and CCI combo is giving the best accuracy, and it’s a clean combination. I’ve shot a lot of Reloder 15, but the H4895 burns so much cleaner.” Leo’s load is running around 3050 fps, but “he’s not too concerned with what the chronograph says — when we tune our loads we go by what shows up on the target.” Leo is loading a bit more than 32 grains of H4895. (Editor’s NOTE: This load is for fully fire-formed Dasher cases ONLY. It is NOT safe to use in a 6mmbr with 105s.) Leo’s favorite projectiles are the “thin-jacket” Berger 105gr VLDs, pointed with a Whidden pointing tool. Leo turns his necks with a K&M neck turner.

To save on barrel life, Leo fire-forms his brass using a separate barrel. He prepares the brass with a false shoulder, then fires the cases loaded with pistol powder, cream of wheat and low-density plug in the end. He tried forming case with pistol powder alone, but that required much more powder and didn’t produce results as good as the cream of wheat method.

Shooting Fast — the Importance of Smooth Tracking
Leo tells us that you need a great-tracking rig to be competitive in the 1K game these days: “Some guys are getting 10 shots downrange in 20 seconds or less. It takes me about 30 seconds.” To shoot that fast, the gun needs to track perfectly so you can just slide it back and stay on target. “If you want to shoot fast, everything’s got to be working right — and your stock really needs to track well. If you’re chasing the knobs on your rest, you’re not getting [your bullets] down range.” Leo says the stock’s geometry must be “near perfect” in order for the gun to come back to the same spot shot after shot.

Leo Anderson’s Advice for New Long-Range Shooters.

We asked Leo if he had any advice for shooters new to the long-range benchrest game. Here are some of his thoughts:

1. Pick a Winning Cartridge – Leo thinks the Dasher is just about perfect for a 17-lb rifle: “Any more cartridge than that, you have too much gun movement. Something in the Dasher range is the perfect size. We shoot the Dashers around the 3050 fps node. Even with the 6-6.5×47 you’re just burning more powder, and at the higher node, the gun starts rocking and things start getting away from you.”

2. Get Good Equipment Right from the Start – “Go ahead and bite the bullet and buy good stuff right off. Too many guys try to get off cheap in the beginning. They end up buying two or three guns as they upgrade. You save money in the long run by buying good stuff in the beginning.”

3. Practice, Practice, Practice – “We get a lot of practice in the process of tuning and load development. We put in the time — on things like bullet sorting, case prep, load tuning.”

4. Keep Pushing for Perfection – “A lot of guys get a load that seems pretty good, and then they get lazy. Don’t be content when you get a 6-inch group at 1000, because the gun might shoot a LOT better. I’ve got Aggs in the five-inch range.”

Leo Anderson 1000 yard record
Leo reports: “Here’s our ‘secret’ 1000-yard range out in the sticks where we do some spring tuning”.

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