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December 29th, 2023

Shooting Sports USA — 2023 Cover Stories

shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA magazine covers a wide spectrum of competitive shooting sports: F-Class, High Power, Palma, Shotgun (Trap/Skeet), Air Rifle 3P/Prone, Rimfire 3P/Prone, Target Pistol, and major Action Pistol events. Each month Shooting Sports USA releases a new issue with reports on major competitions for a wide range of disciplines. Along with the print magazines, the leading stories are posted on the SSUSA.org websites. In addition, every month the full magazine is released in digital format.

Shooting Sports USA recently released a web-based article featuring its twelve 2023 cover stories.

CLICK HERE to see all 12 Shooting Sports USA 2023 cover stories.

Below are four of our favorite Shooting Sports USA cover stories from 2023. Click each cover to read the full story via the Shooting Sports USA digital archive. Note, if this is your first visit, you will first see an NRA webpage requesting that you verify your age before reading the stories.

shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

Sighting In New Shooters and Eye Dominance

March 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by Field Editor Chris Christian.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

2023 F-Class World Championships in South Africa

June 2023, photo by U.S. F-Open Team. READ the cover story by John Parker.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

2023 NRA National Matches and 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship Update

July 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by John Parker.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

Record Breaker: Jerry Miculek Sets Two NRA World Records

November 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by John Parker.


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December 21st, 2023

Forster Co-Ax Press Review and Great Co-Ax Accessories

Co-ax Forster press
Forster Co-Ax Press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. Here we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The red-framed Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It boasts dual guide rods and a central handle. You don’t screw in dies — you slide the die lock ring into a slot. This allows dies to float during operation.

Erik does a good job of demonstrating the Co-Ax’s unique features. At 1:00 he shows how to slide the dies into the press. It’s slick and easy. At the two-minute mark, Erik shows how sliding jaws clasp the case rim (rather than a conventional shell-holder). The jaws close as the ram is raised, then open as it is lowered. This makes it easy to place and remove your cases.

At the 5:20 mark, Erik shows how spent primers run straight down into a capture cup. This smart system helps keep your press and bench area clean of primer debris and residues.

While many Co-Ax users prime their cases by hand, the Co-Ax can prime cases very reliably. The priming station is on top of the press. Erik demonstrates the priming operation starting at 4:20.

Co-ax Forster press

Smart Accessories for the Co-Ax from Inline Fabrications
Forum member Kevin Thomas also owns a Co-Ax press, which he has hot-rodded with accessories from Inline Fabrication. Kevin tells us: “Check out the add-ons available from Inline Fabrication for the Co-Ax. I recently picked up a riser mount and a set of linkages for mine and love the results. The linkages are curved. When you replace the original straight links with these, the work area opens up substantially and the the press becomes much easier to feed.” CLICK HERE for Co-Ax Accessories.

Inline Fabrications Forster Co-Ax Accessories

Forster Co-Ax Curved Side Linkage
(For Better Access)

CLICK HERE

Forster Co-Ax Ultramount
(Riser plus Bin Support)

CLICK HERE

Co-Ax Roller Lever (Short)

CLICK HERE

Dual LED Lighting Kit for Co-Ax

CLICK HERE

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November 17th, 2023

Team Lapua Brux Borden Wins 2023 F-Open LR National Title

F-Class 2023 F-Open Lapua brux borden National Championship Champion Erik Cortina

Congratulations to Team Lapua-Brux-Borden (“Team Lapua”) winning the F-Open Grand Aggregate Team Award at the 2023 F-Class Long-Range Championships with a superb score of 1593-95X. Team Lapua members are Tod Hendricks, Ted Wedell, Jeremy Smith, David Christian, and Jay Christopherson, with Bob Sebold as coach and Erik Cortina as Team Captain.

In Match 1 of the F-Open Team Championship, Team Lapua also set a new National record of 800-53X, breaking the previous record by 11 Xs (set by Team Long Shots in 2014). In the 2023 Match 1 four Team Lapua members fired 20 rounds for record at 1000 yards, not dropping a single point.

F-Class 2023 F-Open Lapua brux borden National Championship Champion Erik Cortina

“We noticed in the forecast that the wind conditions were going to be mild, and there was a chance to set a new National record”, commented Team Captain Erik Cortina. “The previous record was an 800-42X, so we knew we all had to shoot perfect scores to claim the record. It felt great when the 80th shot came up an X! We managed to score 800-53X, beating the old record by 11 Xs.”

Additionally, team members Jay Christopherson, David Christian, and Erik Cortina finished in the top 10 of the individual F-Open LR championship. Along with its record-breaking Long Range 2023 win, Team Lapua finished 3rd place overall in the Mid-Range F-Open team championships, adding an exclamation point to Lapua’s dominating results.

The 2023 United States F-Class Long Range National Championships were hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters and held November 1-5, 2023 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The Long Range National Team Championship consists of eight (8) 20-shot strings fired at 1000 yards. There are 160 shots total with a max score of 10-1X per shot.

LR F-Class Nationals

About Lapua

For 100 years, Lapua has been producing superb small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com

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November 4th, 2023

Saturday at the Movies: F-Class Showcase for Nationals Week

F-Open Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona F-class video saturday showcase erik cortina f-class john masek bisley f-tr

The 2023 NRA F-Class National Championships are underway right now at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. There are two divisions: F-Open and F-TR. The F-Class Championships have two segments, Mid-Range and Long Range. The Mid-Range Championships ran from October 29 through November 1st, while the Long Range Championships commenced on November 2, and conclude on Sunday, November 5. See details of the 2023 F-Class Championships, including the course of fire, on the Desert Sharpshooters 2023 F-Class Nationals Program page.

» 2023 NRA F-Class Nationals Results Page (F-Open & F-TR)

For this Saturday Video Showcase, we feature five F-Class videos. These segments cover F-Class equipment, reloading, load testing, marksmanship, wind-reading and competition.

F-Class Competition — On the Firing Line at 2020 Nationals

This 12-minute video by F-Open ace Erik Cortina shows the action at the 2020 F-Class Nationals held at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix. Erik, who shoots with F-0pen Team Lapua, explains how team competition differs from the individual matches. Wind calls are made by the team’s wind coach. The shooter focuses on the trigger pulling.

Erik Cortina SW Nationals F-Open

Reloading for F-Class — Tools and Techniques

In this video, Erik Cortina, the 2023 SW Nationals F-Open Champion, and member of Team Lapua, provides a break down of the process he goes through to reload his match ammo for competition. Eric covers all phases of reloading: bullet sorting, case prep, priming, powder measuring, and bullet seating.

Load Development Procedures for F-Class — Seating Depth


F-Open Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona F-class video saturday showcase erik cortina f-class john masek bisley f-tr

In this video, 2023 NRA Mid-Range National Champion John Masek (aka “F-Class John”) explains how he does load development in an efficient and reliable manner. He specifically focuses on testing for optimal seating depth. With 229,000 views, this is the most-watched video on F-Class John’s popular YouTube channel. Viewers have praised this video: “This was a great video, really appreciate the explanation about how you bracketed the jump and why you chose the closest.”

F-Class Competition at Bisley Range in the UK


Bisley England UK f-class

Every wondered what F-Class competition is like in England? There are different staging rules and different targets with “V” for a center hit vs. “X” at USA F-Class matches. This video covers the 2015 F-Class Championship held at the famed Bisley Range in England, UK. To learn more about F-Class in the UK, For more on F-Class, visit NRA.org.uk.

Wind-Reading for Long-Range Competition

In this excellent video Keith Glasscock explains how to read the wind and even predict wind changes in cycling conditions. Keith notes that you should look at environmental features and mirage, not just wind flags. Keith is one of America’s best wind gurus — he was a team wind coach and he has finished second three times in F-Open division at the F-Class National Championships.


Bryan Litz F-Class F-TR 2015
Here is the sleek, carbon-stocked .308 Win rifle Bryan Litz used to win both the 2015 Mid-Range AND
Long-Range F-TR Championship at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, Arizona.

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September 8th, 2023

Quit Neck-Sizing — Why You Should Full-Length Size Your Cases

Full-Length Sizing Erik Cortina Neck Sizing Video

Why It’s Smart to Full-Length Size Your Brass

Commentary by Erik Cortina

Should You Full-Length Size Your Cartridge Brass?

Absolutely. Let Me Explain Why…

I have seen it time and time again, shooters on the line wrestling with their rifle trying to get the bolt closed while the wind is switching. They were too focused trying to get their bolt to close and getting their rifle settled back on the bags that they missed the wind switch. Bang… Eight! The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was at the 2017 Canadian Nationals. I was paired up with a young girl and she would try really hard to close the bolt on her rifle. The majority of the time she would get it to close, but often times she could not even get the round to chamber. She was focused on her rifle the entire time rather than on the conditions. When we completed our strings, she had five rounds that did not chamber our of 15! That is way too many!. I told her she needed to think about Full-length sizing with 0.002″ shoulder bump, or Controlled Full-length Sizing like I call it. I told her not to worry about losing accuracy. I told her that I full-length size all my rounds and asked if she noticed how smooth my bolt was and noticed my score. She said yes, they were both great!

Controlled Full-length Sizing Does NOT Harm Accuracy
I have found that Controlled Full-length Sizing does NOT hurt accuracy or shorten brass life. I find that I can focus much more on the conditions when I don’t have to think about chambering a round nor extracting it. It has become second nature. After firing, I keep my head welded to the stock, I open the bolt by placing my thumb on top of stock and rotating hand upwards. I reach in and retrieve spent case, place it back in ammo box, and pick up another loaded round and put in chamber. I verify conditions and when ready, I push the bolt in and close it with my index and middle finger.

With Controlled Full-length Sizing you “bump” the shoulder around .002″ for bolt guns.*
full length sizing
Image courtesy Sinclair International which carries a variety of Full-length dies.

Full-Length Sizing Erik Cortina Neck Sizing Video

Whidden Gunworks DiesWhidden Full-Length Sizing Dies
by AccurateShooter.com Editor
For proper full-length sizing, you want a quality die that’s a very good match to your chamber. For our project rifles we usually turn to Whidden Gunworks which offers both bushing and non-bushing FL dies. And if you want the hot new option, check out Whidden’s patent-pending, click-adjustable FL-sizing die. This gives instant, precise control over shoulder bump. It works great.

*With gas guns, such as the AR10, you may want to increase shoulder bump to .003″ or more. With some benchrest cartridges, .0015″ bump may prove optimal. But .002″ is a good starting point.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
August 12th, 2023

Saturday Movies: The Art and Science of Case Trimming

powder manual case trimming cartridge length trimming henderson wilson lyman giraud gavin gear erik cortina ultimate reloader

A good case trimmer is an essential tool for precision hand-loading. To ensure consistent loads, you want your cases to be the exact same length. Today’s Saturday Showcase features five trimming tools, both powered and manually operated, that can trim your sized brass with great precision. In addition, some of these tools will also chamfer case necks inside and out. The powered case trimmers will save you considerable time (and effort) when working will large batches of brass.

Lead photo shows the Henderson Gen 2 trimmer from Panhandle Precision video review.

Henderson Gen 3 Power Trimmer — Ultimate Reloader Review

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has tested the impressive Henderson Gen 3 (V3) Trimmer. You’ll find a full write-up on Gavin’s website, and you can watch Gavin’s 18.7-minute video review above.

Gavin states: “The Henderson Gen 3 case trimmer is built on an adjustable tri-trim 3-way cutter with different pilots to accommodate different case necks. Three-way cutters trim to length and chamfer the inside and outside all at once. This trimmer has a 1700 RPM spindle and a custom DC motor made in the USA. The Henderson trimmer works much like a milling machine. You do not need much torque because of the way the taper works. The Henderson Gen 3 trimmer delivered outstanding cartridge length consistency after trimming. This trimmer is fast and easy to use and most importantly, returns consistent results.”

CLICK HERE for Henderson Gen 2 Trimmer video review, which shows how to how to set trim length and change cutter heads, using 6.5×47 Lapua, .260 Remington, and .300 Winchester Magnum cases.

Giraud Power Case Trimmer — Full Review by Erik Cortina

In this video, Erik Cortina of CortinaPrecision.com offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud powered case trimmer. The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency.

Erik Cortina power case trimmer Giraud

In the video, Erik trims 5 pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

Lyman Powered Case Trimmer Review

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress is an efficient, precise unit that allows easy adjustment of trim length with a click-adjustable collar. The trimmer comes with a set of cartridge-specific bushings that index off the case shoulder. One nice feature is a variable speed control. For the price, $146.20 on Amazon, this trimmer delivers excellent performance. To see more details, check out F-Class John’s video review of the Lyman Case Trim Xpress which shows set-up and operation.

Frankford Arsenal Universal Case Trimmer (for Power Drills)

This video features a handy tool that attaches to a portable drill. Used with various diameter collets, this can trim most popular sizes of shouldered brass. The universal collet system indexes on case shoulders for precise and consistent trimming (this does NOT work with straight-walled cartridges). The built-in depth micrometer allows for quick and precise micro-adjustments. There is a handy brass shaving ejection port. The system works well, particularly if you can stabilize your power drill in one position. This Frankford Arsenal trimmer, under $65.00 on Amazon, is an affordable alternative to the top-end powered case trimmers. It comes with a handy plastic case that holds the trimmer and collets.

L.E. Wilson Manual Case Trimmer

L.E. Wilson, makers of hand dies, case trimmers and other precision reloading tools, has videos whoe Wilson stainless steel case trimmer with micrometer adjustment (photo below). The first video explains the operation of the Wilson trimmer and shows how to initially assemble the tool, attach the handle, and set the cut length.

This second video shows how to set up the stainless Wilson trimmer with micrometer cut-length control. The micrometer feature allows you to set the cartridge overall trim length with great precision. If you are trimming a variety of different cartridge types, the micrometer cut length control comes in very handy.

BONUS Video: How Important is Consistent Case Length?

This Primal Rights video explains why it is important to maintain precise case lengths if you want best accuracy and most consistent ES/SD. You’ll want to size your cases BEFORE trimming if your trimmer indexes off the case shoulders.

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July 25th, 2023

Improve Bullet Seating Consistency — Lap Your Seating Stems

Erik Cortina bullet seating stem polish lap lathe

Here’s a simple task you can do that will give your seater die a more perfect fit to your match bullets. You can lap the inside of the seater stem so that it matches the exact profile of the bullet. This spreads out the seating force over a larger area of the bullet jacket. That allows smoother, more consistent seating, without putting dents, creases, or sharp rings in your bullets.

Erik Cortina bullet seating stem polish lap lathe

This process is demonstrated here by our friend Erik Cortina of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden. Erik, one of the nation’s top F-Class shooters and a skilled machinist, explains: “Here I’m lapping my new seater die stem with lapping compound. I chuck up a bullet in the lathe and lap the inside of the seating stem. I put lapping compound on the bullet and also in the stem. You can do the same with a hand drill and bore paste. You can see in the piture below how much contact area the stem has on the bullet after being lapped. This bullet is a Berger 7mm 180-grain Hybrid. ”

Erik Cortina bullet seating stem polish lap lathe

READ Related Article on Polishing Seating Die Stems »

Q1: Is Lapping Seating Stems really necessary?

It can be helpful but it’s not necessary to make your seating stem an exact match to a bullet, particularly if you’re loading hunting or varmint rounds. But it is helpful to do some mild internal stem polishing. This should eliminate any ring (or dent) that forms on the bullet jacket during seating.

bullet seating stem lapping Erik Cortina
Photo credit Sierra Bullets.

Sharp edges on a seating stem can cause a ring to be pressed into the bullet jacket — especially with compressed loads that resist downward bullet movement.

Q2: Is there any down-side to the process?

Not really. However, if you shoot many different bullet types for a particular cartridge, you may not want to conform the stem aggressively to one particular bullet design. Lightly lap the inside of the stem to remove burrs/sharp edges but leave it at that. A light lap will prevent a ring forming when seating bullets.

bullet seating stem lapping Erik Cortina
Photo credit Sierra Bullets.

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June 5th, 2023

SSUSA Report on 2023 F-Class World Championships

F-Class World Championships south africa f-open f-tr

There’s a good report on the F-Class World Championships, held earlier this year in South Africa. The current issue of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), available for free online, features a detailed 6-page report on the F-Class Worlds. This major event features individual and team competitions. F-Open Team USA, shown above, won the F-Open World Championship, while the American F-TR team finished second to F-TR Team South Africa.

CLICK Image Below to Read F-Class World Championships Report:
F-Class World Championships south africa f-open f-tr

F-Class World Championships south africa f-open f-trTeam USA won Gold and Silver at the 2023 F-Class World Championships in South Africa. With a strong, come-from-behind performance on the last day of the team match, The U.S.A. F-Open Team topped South Africa to win the F-Open Team Championship with a 3540-366V score (South Africa finished with 3535-374V — a “V” is like an “X” in the USA).

SSUSA Editor John Parker notes: “In March for this year’s F-Class World Championships held in Bloemfontein, South Africa, the United States sent a united F-T/R and F-Open team, shooting different guns, but with the shared goal of returning to America with as many team medals as possible. Our F-Open rifle shooters defeated South Africa on its home range for the first time in over two decades, capturing the F-Open Team Aggregate gold medal in a historic victory. Preceding the F-Class World Championships in Bloemfontein was the 2023 South African National Championship, where U.S. rifle shooter Erik Cortina [led] the F-Open leaderboard with a score of 687-65V. See Cortina, along with his 7mm PRCW rifle, on the cover.”

F-Class World Championships south africa f-open f-tr

CLICK HERE for World Championship F-Open Team Results »

CLICK HERE for World Championship F-TR Team Results »

The F-Class World Championships were held March 26 – April 1, 2023 at the Genl De Wet Shooting Range outside Bloemfontein, South Africa. The multi-day individual matches had some tough conditions with strong, twitchy winds and rain delays. And the winds were challenging for the team matches as well.

Both F-Open and F-TR team matches were shot at multiple metric distances: 700m, 800m, 900m. The high-scoring American F-Open shooter was B. Kolodziej with 448-50V. His team-mate Todd Hendricks (444-53V) had the most Vs with 53.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 23rd, 2023

Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammunition Shoots Great in PRS Rifle

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Is factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition good enough to win a PRS or NRL competition? The answer is a resounding “YES” if we’re talking about Berger ammunition. Produced with Berger match bullets and premium Lapua brass, this Berger 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition demonstrated excellent accuracy, impressive velocity, and very good ES/SD numbers. When tested at 1000 yards with an MPA-stocked PRS rig with Rem 700 action, this ammo showed just half-MOA of vertical, and produced a group that would have been a 50-1X in F-Class competition. That’s quite impressive for a PRS rig.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

This ammo test was performed by our friend Erik Cortina from Texas. The reigning SW Nationals F-Open champion, Erik is a top F-Class competitor who also shoots tactical matches (for fun and glory). A couple seasons back, Erik built a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a Remington 700 action. Though this rifle sports a top-shelf MPA chassis and premium Kahles scope, Erik calls this his “budget build” because it has a plain Rem 700 factory action rather than the elite Borden actions he normally runs. Erik’s actions of choice are the Borden Mountaineer for PRS and Borden BRM-XD for F-Class.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik posted: “Shot my budget 6.5 Creedmoor … with Berger Bullets factory ammo. I shot five rounds over the chrono to get speed. I used BC info from the box and it all lined up properly. I adjusted my ECTuner to tune load and it took just 15 shots to get it shooting well. It’s simple with good components.”

This Berger factory ammo features Berger 130gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets. The Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases have a large rifle primer. You can see this ammo displays good velocity with Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation rivaling good hand-loads.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brassCortina says the very accurate Brux barrel and razor-sharp 6-24x56mm Kahles scope help achieve this kind of outstanding performance at 1000 yards. Here are the key components for Erik’s latest PRS rig:

Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis
Brux Heavy Varmint 26-inch, 1:8″-twist barrel
Remington 700 Action (custom bolt knob)
EC Tuner (by Erik Cortina)
Kahles 6-24x56mm MIL Scope
MPA 1-piece 30mm Scope Mount

Barrel Tuner by Erik Cortina — Fits Behind Muzzle Brake
This rifle features a barrel tuner designed and crafted by Erik Cortina. You can the EC Barrel Tuner alone, or, as you can see, the EC Tuner can be fitted BEHIND a muzzle brake. Erik tells us: “The EC Tuner allowed me to tune the barrel to my ammo rather than tuning the ammo for barrel as is done when reloading. With the tuner, there is no need to try different brands of ammo as they can all be tuned to shoot as good as possible in my rifle.”

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April 22nd, 2023

Saturday at the Movies: Erik Cortina Video Showcase

Erik Cortina saturday video f-open F-class reloading interviews

Erik Cortina is one of the world’s top F-Class shooters. Erik won the 2023 Southwest Nationals in F-Open Division, and he was a member of Team USA which won the F-Open World Championship in South Africa. And Erik also won the individual F-Open title at the South African National Championship which preceded the 2023 F-Class Worlds. Erik also has competed successfully in Long-Range and Precision Rifle matches. Along with his shooting skills, Erik is a respected video host. His Erik Cortina Video Channel now boasts nearly 500 videos, covering a wide range of shooting disciplines, along with reloading, load tuning, and other gun tech topics.

This Saturday we are featuring nine of Erik’s informative videos. These cover reloading techniques, marksmanship tips, and more. We start with two vertical-format “shorts”, both worth watching. In the first video you can see Erik nail five straight targets at 500 yards, with the last one a tiny square.

Two “Shorts” — Precision Steel and Advanced Reloading

500-Yard “Know Your Limits”
Cortina with 6mmBR Nails ‘Em All

Loading Cartridge with
SuperTrickler and AMP Press

Barrel Break-in — Don’t Waste Barrel Life

A factory barrel can benefit from a break-in regimen. Some custom barrels shoot great from the get-go and don’t require elaborate break-in rituals. In this popular video, Erik explains how he determines the appropriate break-in procedure for his barrels: “Deciding if you need to break-in a barrel is not as easy as many think. In this video, I discuss the thought process I go through in deciding if I need to break in a barrel or not.”

Smallest 1000-yard Group Ever Caught on Camera

This 1000-yard group was NOT shot in a match, so it is not a record. But Erik shot a truly spectacular group during practice. This shows what modern F-class rifles can do with ideal conditions. Erik drilled five shots in 1.3″ inches, with 4 shots in under 1/2″ (see 1:15 – 2:20 time). And the first 3 shots landed right on top of each other (about 1/4″). Erik notes: “While shooting, I decided to set up my camera and record the screen on my phone so I could see the shots on my Electronic Target. To my surprise, the shots kept stacking up on top of each other. I had a 3-shot group under 1/4 inch! Most shooters would be happy with that at 100 yards, but this is at 1,000 yards!”

Common Sense Reloading

All novice reloaders should watch this video. Erik explains the three key items when reloading for accurate rifles. Erik explains: “We as humans have a tendency to complicate things, and reloading is no different. For some reason, we think that the more complicated it is, the better the end product will be. It doesn’t have to be that way, today I explain the three different things that must be in check to ensure you have a consistent and efficient load. Once you get these three things corrected, you’ll always have a good load.”

Team USA F-Open World Champions

The 2023 F-Class World Championships were recently held in South Africa. There were talented teams from many countries. With a strong, come-from-behind performance on the last day of the team match, The U.S.A. F-Open Team topped South Africa to win the F-Open Team Championship with a 3540-366V score (South Africa finished with 3535-374V — a “V” is like an “X” in the USA). Congratulations to the 2023 USA F-Open team, the new World Champions! Erik Cortina was a member of Team USA.

Stop Neck-Sizing Brass

With over 400,000 views, this is one of Erik’s most popular videos. Erik explains why it is NOT smart to neck-size only. For almost all rifle applications, you’ll get better case life and more consistent loads if you full-length size your cases. Full-length sizing also provides vital shoulder bumping, which is essential for proper case-feeding and smooth bolt closure. Proper full-length sizing will also help optimize ES and SD.

Erik Cortina precision swn winner f-open f-class EC tuner saturday movies

Precision Reloading Class at PRS Expo 2022

This 8-minute video records a seminar Erik conducted at the 2022 PRS Expo. In this segment, Erik explains the key elements of accuracy. He advises that the bullets are the most expensive element of each cartridge, and are critical to accuracy, so competitors should always buy the best — never attempt to cut costs on projectiles. CLICK HERE for PART TWO of Erik’s presentatiion.

About Erik Cortina Precision Products
Cortina Precision makes some of the best barrel tuners on the market. The EC Tuner was developed over a decade ago and has many championships under its belt. The EC Tuner was recently revamped and released as the EC Tuner V2. The V2 model employs a spring to maintain load on the tuner at all times and eliminate backlash. That helps with consistency. The EC Tuner V2 works well for centerfire, rimfire, and even air rifles.

Cortina Precision also offers the EC Tuner Brake. The Tuner Brake combines a barrel tuner with a muzzle brake. The EC Tuner brake greatly reduces recoil and allows you to tune your rifle to your load. These Tuner Brakes are a good choice for hunters and PRS/NRL competitors, as they work equally well with handloads and factory loads. For more information, visit ShootSmallGroups.com. – Erik Cortina

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March 31st, 2023

Erik Cortina Wins South African F-Open Title in Prelude to F-Class World Championships

F-class f-open world championships south africa

Congratulations to Erik Cortina winning the 2023 South African F-Open Target Rifle Championship with a Grand Aggregate score of 687-65X. This match was the domestic South African F-Class Championship, which preceded the 2023 F-Class World Championships which conclude on April 1, 2023.

The 86th South African Open Target Rifle Championships were held March 10-18th at the Genl De Wet Shooting Range in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The multi-day individual match had some tough conditions with twitchy, strong winds and rain delays.

Cortina, fresh off his first-place finish at the Southwest Nationals, used Lapua 6.5 PRC cases necked up to 7mm in his 7mm PRCW. He also took second in the President’s Cup, fourth in the Jack Mitchely Cup, and 11th in the Dalrymple Cup. Cortina is sponsored by Lapua.

“Traveling ten thousand miles and competing on an unfamiliar range is always nerve racking, but it’s comforting when the preparation pays off and things fall into place,” said Erik Cortina.

Cortina is currently in South Africa with the U.S. F-Class team competing in the 2023 F-Class World Championships. Eric Cortina finished 14th in the F-Open Division at the Worlds, which was won by B.J. Engelbrecht of South Africa. Visit 2021fcwc.com/fcwc-2023-results to stay up-to-date on Team USA’s accomplishments in the two divisions. The Team competition concludes tomorrow, April 1, 2023.

F-class f-open world championships south africa
Team USA during practice day at F-Class World Championships in South Africa.

World F-Class Championships
The 2023 World F-Class Championships began on March 26, 2023 (after the South African Championships). The individual F-TR and F-0pen competitions are now complete. Team competition continues.

Shown below are the Individual F-Open and F-TR Grand Aggregate scores for the World F-Class Championships. There are links to the full results, along with tables of the Top 20 for each division. There were 116 F-Open competitors and 131 F-TR shooters. South African marksmen dominated the event.


Full F-Open Individual F-Class World Championships Results »

F-class f-open world championships south africa

F-Open: 1. Champion B.J. Englebrecht; 2. JHC Louw; 3. R. Davies; 4. Bill Kolodziej (USA)
https://2021fcwc.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/MATCH-14-F-OPEN-CHAMPIONSHIPS.pdf

Full F-TR Individual F-Class World Championships Results »

F-class f-open world championships south africa

F-TR: 1. Champion H. Rolfes; 2. J.D. Cilliers; 3. D.R. Labuschagne; 4. A.J. Marx
https://2021fcwc.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/MATCH-14-FTR-CHAMPIONSHPS.pdf

F-class f-open world championships south africa

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February 22nd, 2023

2023 Southwest Nationals Match Report: F-Open, F-TR, Sling

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

The 2023 Southwest Nationals (SWN) have concluded. Though there were very challenging wind/weather conditions this year, the 2023 SWN was a very successful mid-range and long-range event. There was some great shooting in F-Open, F-TR, and Sling divisions. We congratulate the 2023 Long-Range SWN Champions: Erik Cortina (F-Open, 1241-60X); Jeremy Newell (F-TR, 1221-49X); and Justin Skaret (Sling, 1233-50X). Notably, Skaret won Sling Division by 11 points — a big margin. SEE ALL 2023 Results.

The 600-yard champions were: Louis Buatt (F-Open, 600-39X), Luke Ramsey (F-TR, 596-31X), and Randy Teissedre (Sling, 597-33X). Buatt shoot a remarkable “clean” 600-yard match, not dropping a single point while amassing 39 “X”s. Superb performance by Louis!

Shown below is F-Open Long-Range (1000-yard) Winner Erik Cortina. Erik’s purple F-Open rifle was chambered for the new wildcat cartridge based on the 6.5 PRC necked up to 7mm. This drives high-BC 7mm Berger bullets at 2950 fps.

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

Our friend Gary Eliseo, maker of Competition Machine rifle chassis systems, said this was a tough match this year: “The 2023 SWN is in the books. This year we faced extremely challenging conditions with very strong erratic winds and cold temps but it was great catching up with so many friends from around the country, thank you all….”

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

The F-Class Worlds will be held in South Africa this year. The 2023 SWN offered good practice conditions for Team USA, which posted: “The USA F-Open team had two very successful days of practice for the upcoming World Championship in South Africa. We were also blessed to have five USA rifle team members in the top 10, with Erik Cortina taking the win and Bill Kolodziej taking silver.”

Here are the Long-Range TOP TEN for each of the three divisions. CLICK HERE for ALL results:

2023 Southwest Nationals Top 10 Long Range Competitors by Division
F-Open Class

Erik Cortina, 1241-60X
William Kolodziej, 1239-60X
Tim Vaught, 1236-59X
Noman Harrold, 1234-63X
Johnny Ingram, 1234-59X
Matthew Basalla, 1234-54X
Ken Dickerman, 1234-49X
Tod Hendricks, 1232-58X
Dan Bramley, 1232-49X
Doug Skogman, 1231-58X

F-TR Class

Jeremy Newell, 1221-49X
Luke Ramsey, 1218-47X
James Crofts, 1217-57X
Mark Fairbairn, 1217-47X
Allen Tampke, 1214-38X
Scott Fulmer, 1213-44X
Jennifer Bondurant, 1213-36X
Randy Littleton, 1211-39X
Alton Johnson, 1210-39X
Greg Barkley, 1206-44X

Sling Class

Justin Skaret, 1233-50X
John Friguglietti, 1222-37X
Amanda Elsenboss, 1220-55X
Curtis Bohlman, 1220-53X
Stephan Bunde, 1218-56X
Justin Utley, 1218-56X
Jon Rhynard, 1218-46X
Kent Shomber, 1217-46X
Joe Blacksmith, 1217-43X
Nate Guernsey, 1216-47X

The SWN was made possible this year through the participation of three dozen sponsors including Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, Applied Ballistics, SEB Rests, Lilja Barrels, F-Class Products, Forster Products, Sightron, PMA Tool, K&M, Creedmoor Sorts, McMillan Stocks, Nancy Tompkins, and many other companies.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Click the links below for full results, including Grand Aggs and day-by-day performances. You can also find further results plus a large collection of photos at SouthwestNationals.net.


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

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

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
The Berger SW Nationals is one of the few American events where sling shooters compete on the same firing line as F-Class competitors (though in separate groups).

Team competitions were closely fought. In the F-TR Division, Team USA Blue (2505-70X) edged Team Texas (2504-76X) to win by one point. In F-0pen, Team Rollin Coal (2558-129X) finished three points ahead of runner-up Team Grizzly (2555-102X). In the Sling Division, U.S. Palma Gold Team (2555-104X) took first-place, ahead of U.S. NRT Gold (2504-104X).

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2023 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Reading the wind can be challenging at Ben Avery. What’s your wind call here?

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

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

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

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

Hundreds of Competitors from the USA and 8 Other Countries
Along with top American F-Class and sling shooters, the Southwest Nationals attracts competitors from around the world. Last year, on Day 1 of the 2022 SW Nationals, Nancy Tompkins posted: “We started the day off with National anthems for Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the USA.”

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

See you next year!

This article Copyright 2023 AccurateShooter.com. Any republication on a different website is unauthorized.

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