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











September 26th, 2021

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

Ian Klemm and Tod Hendricks Are 2021 F-Class LR Champions

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

Breaking News from Camp Atterbury, Indiana…

The final individual match results have been tallied and there are two new NRA Long Range F-Class National Champions: Ian Klemm in F-TR and Tod Hendricks in F-Open. Congrats to both of these men for their outstanding performances. Ian, a multi-time Champion, has really dominated the F-TR field in recent years. This is now his FOURTH F-TR National Championship, having previously won in 2020, 2018, and 2017. That is dominance! And Tod has long been a top competitor, including past F-Open team (Grand Agg) and individual (Mid-Range) wins at the Berger SW Nationals.

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

Finishing second in F-Open was Forum member Keith Glasscock, host of the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel. Second in F-TR was Matt Schwartzkopf, a great guy who also supervises the Berger SW Nationals at Ben Avery. Matt is a double amputee below the knee, but he has never let that issue hold him back in competition.

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks


View Complete 2021 F-Class National Championship Results »

Comments from F-Open Winner Tod Hendricks
Tod told us: “The heat and humidity were very challenging, but everyone had to deal with that. I struggled a bit on the first two relays on Day One, actually shooting an 8 due to a mental mistake on relay one. Both those relays were cleanable and I dropped 6 points. Being able to refocus myself and only drop 3 points in the last six relays is something that I will forever use as a mental tool. I’ve been close to winning a few big matches. I never felt like I choked at the end, but after a while you start to question yourself a little. Of course, this win got that monkey off my back.

I’d like to thank my sponsors Lapua, Brux barrels, Borden Accuracy, and Kahles, as well as my teammates on Team LBB — they were pulling for me and I felt it. Shout out to X-Ring Rifle Stocks — the owner Jason and I developed a new F-Open stock a couple years ago. He’s a very smart and hard working guy who took the time to listen to a few unconventional ideas.”

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks
Matt Schwartzkopf (center, dark blue shirt) with Michelle Gallagher at 2021 F-Class Nationals. Photo by Forum member Turbulent Turtle.

Here is one of Keith Glasscock’s fine videos from his Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel:

Keith, who finished second overall in F-Open, offered these insights about the F-Class LR Nationals: “The key to performing well in Atterbury revolved around keeping yourself healthy in the heat and humidity. It is difficult to make good decisions when overheated or dehydrated. Winds were only marginally readable, but changes were not ‘sharp’ in nature. With so many excellent competitors at the event, the chances of getting target service in less than 7 seconds was better than even. For the record, the draw of these events is the opportunity to spend time with my F-Class family doing the thing we love.”

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

F-Class LR Team Championship — Team Indiana & Team USA Blue

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Kelly McMillanThe NRA F-Class Team Championship was held July 29, 2021. Congrats to the winning squads, Team Indiana (F-Open) and Team USA Blue (F-TR). Conditions were fairly difficult with plenty of rapid wind switches to challenge the wind callers. It was great to see a large number of teams on the firing line, both in F-TR and F-Open.

Second place was very close in both divisions. F-TR was decided on X-count. In F-0pen, Team Kelly McMillan finished second by just one point, but with a huge edge in X-count. Team Kelly McMillan had 83 Xs compared to 66 Xs for Team Indiana. Tim Vaught and Norm Harrold both drilled 23 Xs while Doug Skogman had 20 Xs. Kelly, who sadly passed away recently, would have been proud of this team. His team’s outstanding performance honored his memory.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-OPEN Team Aggregate Results

In F-TR division, Team USA Blue’s Luke Ramsey shot brilliantly to score 396-21X to lead his team. Ian Klemm, currently in first place in the individual F-TR competition, also shot great to tally 392-16X.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-TR Team Aggregate Results

Getting the Band Back Together

Ray Gross joined six good friends to squad up as Team Creedmoor, which finished a very close second in the F-TR division. The top two squads had the same 1559 Aggregate point total with Team USA Blue earning Gold with 57Xs vs. 44Xs for Team Creedmoor.

Ray was proud of his team’s performance: “After a 3-year hiatus, we got the band back together to finish Silver (by Xs) at the U.S. F-Class Long Range Nationals. It was a fairly tough day, living off the flags, with a lot of quick switches. I’ll coach you guys anytime!”

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Team Creedmoor team-mates (L to R): Daniel Pohlabel, Paul Phillips, Ray Gross, Brad Sauve, John Droelle, and Jeff Rorer.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 29th, 2021

Images From Camp Atterbury — Report by Paul Phillips

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips KO2M camp atterburyPaul Phillips is now best known as an Extreme Long Range (ELR) ace shooting large caliber “boomers”. He was the King of Two Miles in 2019. But Paul has also competed in F-Class and other disciplines. This week he is at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, participating in the NRA F-Class National Championships in F-TR division. He is currently in fourth place, with the final invidual competition to take place this Friday, July 30, 2021 (today 7/29/21 is Team Competition). SEE Current F-TR Standings.

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul has good skills with a camera as well as a rifle. On his Facebook Page, Paul recently posted images from the F-Class Nationals. He observed: “My First National Match string since 2018. Feels like a .22 rimfire compared to the big bruisers. Lots of fun.”

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Mid-Range Team Match at 600 Yards

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips
This photo from the Mid-Range Team Match by Forum member “Turbulent Turtle”.

Paul Phillips also shot the 600-yard Team Match on July 26, 2021. Shown below are score-cards for Paul Phillips and his team-mate Jeff Rorer. Both shot “clean” (not dropping a point), in this particular event, Team Match 6311. Paul’s 200-13X was the second highest score among all competitors on the line, but he didn’t want to take full credit: “I’m just a trigger-puller. Dan Pohlabel was making the wind calls.”

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul wanted to credit his sponsors: Creedmoor Sports, Manson Precision Reamers, Nightforce Optics, Berger Bullets, Lapua, Vihtavuori, CROSSTAC, Kestrel Ballistics, Labradar, Longshot Cameras, Applied Ballistics LLC, Bullet Central, Bix’n Andy, and Ryan Pierce.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 28th, 2021

2021 Mid-Range Champions: Mayhall F-Open and Rutherford F-TR

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

The 2021 NRA Mid-Range F-Class Championships are complete, with the Long-Range competition running right now. We commend the new Mid-Range Champions who both shot spectacular matches. Roger Mayhall didn’t drop a point in F-0pen, finishing with 1800-131X to win F-Open. That’s a brilliant performance.

In F-TR division, Drew Rutherford topped a competitive field with 1791-96X. Hail the new Champions!

Roger Mayhall Wins F-Open Mid-Range with Stunning 1800-131X

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury6mm Dasher Rifle Takes F-Open Title
Roger shot a 6mm Dasher, a wildcat based on the 6mmBR cartridge. Roger said his rifle was a tack-driver: “I think I owe my gunsmith a beverage or two!” Roger did a superb job of wind-reading to finish 3 days without dropping a point.

On the F-Class Competition Facebook Group, other shooters praised Roger’s amazing 1800-131X performance:

“I’ve known Roger for over 5 years. Great man, always willing to help a fellow shooter. Shooting clean all three days with an incredible X-count. Well done! So much for the claim that a 6mm can’t win an Aggregate!” — Jason Simes

“Good job buddy — I told you those Dashers could shoot. Just outstanding shooting.” — Chris Ford

“Awesome shooting Roger! Chalk up a national championship to the 6mm.” — Dan Bramley

About Roger Mayhall’s Championship-Winning Dasher
Posting on Facebook, Roger wrote: “I’ve had a few people ask about the equipment I used in the Mid-Range at Nationals. Here are the particulars:

The gun was a 6 Dasher, supported by a Defiance Deviant action, Bix ‘N Andy trigger, Alex Wheeler LBR F-Class stock, Sightron SV ED 10-50x60mm scope, Dan Bramley tuner on a 30″ Krieger [1:8″-twist] barrel. Also used were a SEB NEO front rest, Dima Rifle Systems Rear Bag with a Dead Bottom Bag. My load consisted of the 105gr Berger Hybrid in a fire-formed 6BR Lapua case propelled by Varget powder and a CCI 450 primer. Barrel work was done by Dan Bramley[.]”

Drew Rutherford Wins F-TR Mid-Range Championship

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp AtterburyDrew Rutherford put on a strong performance to win the F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Rutherford was using Eliseo R1 Tubeguns fitted with SEB JoyPod coaxial bipod. Chassis-maker Gary Eliseo noted: “Congratulations to Drew Rutherford, national midrange FTR champion! Drew used his .223 Rem and .308 Win R1 rifles to win the Mid-Range Championship, well done Drew!”

The Competition Machine (Eliseo) R1 Chassis is a very versatile system. As fitted with rear bag-riders and SEB JoyPods, Drew used his R1s with great success. But the same chassis, less bag-rider and bipod, can be used for “hard-holding” Palma Matches, or even High Power competition.

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

2021 NRA F-Open Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship
2021 NRA F-TR Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship


F-Open Mid-Range Full Results | F-TR Mid-Range Full Results



Solomon Sets New Nat’l F-Open 1-Day Record with 600-53X

Finishing second in the F-Open Mid-Range Championship was Bret Solomon with 1798-135X. That was notable because Bret posted the high X-Count, AND set a single-day National Record in the process. Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez posted: “Congratulations to my friend Bret Solomon on shooting a 200-20X and then setting a new [1-Day] 600-yard National Record of 600-53X at the U.S. F-Class Nationals. Bret was shooting the Lil’ Red Devil in 7mm RSAUM with a new Bartlein 4-groove barrel I forced him to shoot!”

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Here are photos of Bret Solomon’s Lil’ Red Devil rifle as previously featured in our Daily Bulletin.

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Christened the “Little Red Devil” by Speedy, this ruby red, flame maple-stocked beauty is chambered in .284 Winchester. It features a Melonited BAT 3LL action with two bolts (regular and magnum bolt face). The stock is crafted by Will McCloskey using advanced CNC machines, allowing ultra-precise tolerances for improved tracking and perfect geometry.

Torrefied Wood from Yamaha, CNC-Milled to Perfection
This wood is very special — the flame maple was sourced from Yamaha which used a torrefaction process to stabilize the wood and prevent warping. Yamaha’s proprietary ARE process was developed by Yamaha for musical instruments. Speedy explained that Yamaha uses heat and pressure (we think) to stabilize the wood and dampen vibrations. During torrefaction, the sap in the wood actually crystallizes.

F-Open rifle Bret solomon

For this rifle build, the torrefied wood blank was CNC-milled by Will McCloskey to “best-in-industry” tolerances. A special red-tone polyester finish Lee Garver, a noted guitar painter. This very hard, yet glossy finish makes the stock “pretty nearly scratch-proof” according to Speedy.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News 1 Comment »
July 23rd, 2021

F-Class NRA Championships at Camp Atterbury Are Underway

NRA F-Class 2021 Camp Atterbury

America’s top F-Class shooters are in position with targets in sight right now. The shooting phase of the 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships commenced today, July 23rd, with the first scored relays of the Mid-Range Championship, held at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. The Mid-Range event runs through July 26 with the Mid-Range Team Match. The Long Range F-Class National Championship then commences on July 27th, and runs through July 30, with the Team Match on July 29, 2021.

NRA F-Class 2021 Camp Atterbury

F-Class National Championship event schedule from the NRA National Match Calendar:

NRA F-Class national championship

F-Class National Championships Camp Atterbury Indiana
The 2021 NRA F-Class Nat’l Championships at Camp Atterbury are underway. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals run July 22-26, 2021, while the Long Range F-Class Nationals take place July 27-30, 2021.

Camp atterbury indiana satellite map

Lodging Options at Camp Atterbury — Summer 2021
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently released information on the NRA Championships at Camp Perry. The SSUSA article states: “As for lodging, there are several options. The most convenient are on-base, with Camp Atterbury offering hotel-style buildings with suites, along with standard rooms, and ‘open military squad bay’-style quarters available by reservation. Camp Atterbury also offers a limited number of RV spots, plus the MWR campground and cabins. NOTE: Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not the NRA.

Click Photo for Large Map of Camp Atterbury, Indiana
NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

Smallbore F-Class National Championship

It is not well-known, but the NRA recognizes a .22 LR Rimfire F-Class discipline. And this year Camp Atterbury hosted the F-Class Smallbore Championship. Turnout was fairly meager for this event, with only 17 competitors. But every match needs a start, and we expect smallbore F-Class to become considerably more popular in years to come. The match involved three stages, with targets at 50 yards, 50 meters, and 100 yards. The 2021 Smallbore F-Class Championships, part of the NRA National Matches, were held July 12-16 at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Indiana.

.22 LR Rimfire F-Class NRA Championship 2021
Cole McCullough photo from SSUSA.org

.22 LR Rimfire F-Class NRA Championship 2021Shane Collier won the 2021 NRA Smallbore F-Class National Championship with a 6363-479X Score, also winning High Civilian honors. William Treder finished second with a score of 6359-473X. Treder was High Senior. The High Women was Barbara C. Hampson with 6287-349X. Since 2019, the Marianne Jensen Driver Memorial Trophy has been awarded to the NRA Smallbore F-Class National Champion.

The Smallbore F-Class Nationals were fired over four days at distances of 50 yards, 50 meters and 100 yards. The event was shot at the new, modern covered ranges at Atterbury, which were also used for the NRA position-shooting smallbore championship.

FULL RESULTS for Smallbore F-Class Nat’l Championship

MORE PHOTOS from All NRA Smallbore Nat’l Championships

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
June 26th, 2021

First Time at 1000 — Verdant Visions from DownUnder

Zac Cameron Queensland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

For those of us in the Western USA facing drought, heat waves, and forest fires, it is a bit amazing to see a shooting range with verdant green fields, and lush vegetation. Well that is the environment in far-away Queensland, Australia. Here is a photo essay from Aussie Zac Link Cameron who hails from Cairns, Queensland, up near the Great Barrier Reef. On June 20, 2021, Zac was at a scenic range, shooting out to 1000 yards. He posted on Facebook: “Beautiful morning for it at a beautiful range!”

Zac Cameron Queensland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

Zac was competing at 1000 yards with his lovely “missus” Morgan Crisp at the Atherton Rifle Club range, situated west of Cairns in Queensland. Zac and Morgan are members of the Cairns Rifle Club, which also has an 800m range north of Cairns, located inland from Wangetti Beach (see map below). Posting on Facebook, Zac wrote: “First time at 1000 yards for the Missus today with her factory Howa 1500 in .223 Remington. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect other then the swirling wind not making up its mind! But the little .223 did bloody good for its first outing past 800m. 1000 yards today and my gosh Atherton is a beautiful range!”

Zac Cameron Queensland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class
Zac wrote: “Dropped 2 points on my first target and didn’t drop any on my second. I definitely need to work on my wind reading though.”

Zac Cameron: “Beautiful morning for it at a beautiful range!”

Zac Cameron Queensland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

Indeed, this is a beautiful range. It’s great to see all that greenery. Here is a fly-over video from the Atherton Tableland Gun Club Range, west of Cairns, another popular Queensland shooting venue. You can see other Queensland shooting ranges on Zac Cameron’s Long Range Australia FNQ Facebook page.

Zac Cameron Queenland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

Australia Rifle Competition Disciplines

As stated on the Cairns Rifle Club website, there are multiple disciplines sanctioned by the National Rifle Association of Australia (NRAA) which are shot by Cairns Rifle Club:

Target Rifle: This discipline is shot with a .308 or .223 caliber rifle, and held by the shooter using peep sights and a sling. Target Rifle has been actively contested since before World War I. The Cairns Rifle Club has operated continuously since 1893 — 128 years.

F-Class: This discipline is contested with optical sights (scopes) and the use of bipods or rests. Three categories of F-Class exist. Two are shot from an adjustable rest being F-Standard which is limited to either .308 Win or .223 Rem caliber rifles and F-Open which is unlimited up to a maximum of 8mm. The other discipline is F-TR which is shot from a bipod and limited to .308 Win caliber. [Editor’s Note — This is different than in the USA which has F-TR (bipod .223 Rem or .308 Win) and F-Open (front rest, open caliber) only.]

Sporting/Hunting Class: The most recent addition to the disciplines is the Sporting/Hunting Class.

The disciplines are contested at distances from 300m through to 800m at Wangetti and up to 1000 yards elsewhere. Here is a MAP for Wangetti, 40km north of Cairns.

Zac Cameron Queensland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class
Zac Cameron Queenland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

Zac and Morgan are members of the Cairns Rifle Club, an organization with a rich history, going back to 1893. Here are Cairns Rifle Club members in 1903:

Zac Cameron Queenland Cairns Oz Australia F-Class

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
June 14th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Concludes in Tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The first Annual V² Finale, held this weekend in Tennessee, has concluded. This new-format match pitted F-Class competitors against each other in a bracket-style double elimination match. This was a very elite field, selected via a Points series. All targets were placed at 1000 yards, with a Euro-Style 5V target. In something unusual for an American F-Class match, ALL shooting was done via PAIR FIRING, with shooters going head-to-head with alternating shots, 15 per shooter in the brackets and then 10 per shooter in the final two-man showdowns for F-TR and F-Open divisions.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The competition was fierce but we have final results of this tough F-Class tournament. Congratulations to the V² Finale 2021 winners who earned fame, glory, and large cash pay-outs: Tracy Hogg (F-TR) and William (Bill) Kolodziej (F-Open). Additional top finishers are listed below, with links for FULL RESULTS below the table.


F-TR Winner – Tracy Hogg | F-Open Winner – Bill Kolodziej

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

F-TR Final Full Results | F-Open Final Full Results

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The event, hosted at the modern Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, was sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics. Along with helping to defray the range costs, these sponsors provided prizes to top shooters. In 2021 shooters qualified for the event through a nationwide points series, with 32 slots for F-Open and 32 slots for F-TR. The match organizers encourage F-Class competitors to shoot points series matches in the future, to qualify for next year’s event: “Earn some points so you can be part of V² Finale II in 2022.”

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page

Big Pay-Outs for Participants
The V² Finale was first and foremost a money match. This event offered the highest payout ever for F-Class competition. Cash awards are distributed to the top 8 shooters for each equipment category, as a percentage of the overall match fee pool. The actual amounts will depend on match fees and attendance. We don’t have final numbers yet but payouts for positions 1-8 in each class were estimated to be:

1st Place: $3840 (40%)
2nd Place: $1920 (20%)
3rd Place: $960 (10%)
4th Place: $450 (4.6%)

5th Place: $300 (3.125%)
6th Place: $300 (3.125%)
7th Place: $300 (3.125%)
8th Place: $300 (3.125%)

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee
Erik Cortina with Bryan Blake. Note the innovative, new spotting scope support Bryan crafted.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 11th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Underway in Tennesee

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Double Elimination Tournament at 1000 Yards
A new kind of F-Class Tournament is being held in Tennessee over the next three days. The V² (“V-Squared”) Finale, sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics, is a double-elimination shooting match, conducted much like a basketball tournament. There are 32 competitor places each in F-Open Division and F-TR — for 64 places total. In each round there is “pair firing”. Two shooters compete head-to-head with three, 15-round strings, all at 1000 yards. The winner of each two-person match-up proceeds, while the loser goes into a loser’s bracket… so everyone has a second change to win some of the prizes. This event is about more than trophies and glory — it is also about winning big piles of cash — $28,000 in total.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

64 shooters, who earned entry with points garnered in previous matches, have been invited to compete for $28,000 in prize monies. The V² Finale is held at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, an impressive, modern facility. The Dead Zero 1000-yard range is equipped with ShotMarker electronic targets. That means that scoring is quick, there is no waiting for targets to be marked, and, importantly, no pit duties for the competitors.

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page


This video, created last year explains the V² Finale Rules and Course of Fire.

The V² Finale itself is conducted over three (3) days. It’s a double-elimination tournament — this means that everybody has the opportunity to shoot at least two matchups. A loss in the primary bracket will seed you into the elimination bracket, where you will have the opportunity to continue on and potentially work your way back to shoot for the overall Championship.

The V² Finale is a pair-fire, best two of three format, with 15-shot strings (45 rounds max per person per bracket). If one shooter wins the first TWO strings, the third string is not fired. The idea behind this pair-firing is to have both competitors for each stage shooting at the exact same time, in the exact same conditions, on the exact same target. The only person you are competing against is the person next to you. The competitors who wins two out of three matches in the matchup will advance.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Bracket Match Results

READ THIS!! You can scroll UP and Down with your mouse, and thereby see the Loser’s bracket for both F-Open and F-TR.
READ THIS!! You can use the BRACKET Pull-Down Menu (Upper Right) to select Winner’s and Loser’s Brackets, or choose Top 16 and Top 8.
READ THIS!! You can pull box to left to see more on the right side, using mouse (or finger on smartphone).
READ THIS!! The boxes below are live feeds from the Match Website. Click links below to view Bracket Results on FULL SCREEN.
READ THIS!! This is NOT a static image, it will change as results are filled in. You can come back to this page and see more results as the event progresses.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

F-Open Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

F-TR Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

The V² Finale match, sponsored by Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, takes place June 11-13 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee. This is a limited-field event for the top 32 F-Open and 32 F-TR competitors who have accrued the most points for the 2020-2021 season. The match will be a double-elimination bracket system (e.g. NCAA March Madness) where shooters are matched up against a single opponent for each round. As opposed to a typical match where you shoot against the entire field, this type of competition allows for two shooters to go head to head pair-fire style, competing under the exact same conditions. No wind alibis. No relay roulette. No excuses. Keep advancing and you will find yourself in the finals where you’ll have a chance to win the prestige of being the best F-Open or F-TR shooter in the country plus some serious prize money and awards.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park
The V² Finale firing line on 6/11 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park.

Thanks to the generous support from Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, more than 85% of the entry fees are awarded back to the shooters in the form of cash prizes, awarded all the way down to 8th place for each category. The creators of the V² points series noted: “This type of reward for performance is one of the core reasons why we created the V² Finale and why you won’t find any prize tables.”

For more details see the V² Series Information Packet or visit the V² Series Facebook Page.

Vihtavouri Supports Innovative V² Finale Match Format
“Vihtavuori is honored to partner with Vortex Optics for the inaugural V2 F-Class Point Series Finale. We’re excited to be onsite and support the world’s best long range shooters who will compete in a match they designed themselves,” stated Geoff Esterline, Marketing Director for Capstone Precision Group.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

Why Was the F-Class Points Series Created? (Official Statement)
Everyone in the F-Class world knows about their local, state and regional matches and many of those shooters attend the Southwest Nationals and F-Class National Championship each year. These matches are often challenging and feature some of the best shooters in the country at any given time. As great and exciting as those matches are, they have some key limitations – they don’t answer the question of consistency over peak performance. They allow for random chance to play a role in results, in the form of target service, conditions, or “relay roulette”, among other factors. Basically, they don’t allow for a true measure of shooter performance over time, and more specifically, in a true test of head-to-head competition. It was partly with this in mind that we created the F-Class Points Series to collect and award points with the ultimate goal of putting on a one-of-a-kind, limited-field, matchup-style event that will give competitors a format to prove that the best indicator of skill is reliable consistency, not peak performance. A points system will allow us to track consistent performance over the course of a yearlong FPS season, culminating in an invitation to join the limited field of the V² Finale for the top 64 qualifying competitors.

Map for Dead Zero Shooting Park

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 31st, 2021

First Report — New SEB JoyPod-X Shines in Competition

SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR

Posting on the F-Class Competition Shooting Facebook Group Page, F-TR competitor Tony H. said he was very impressed with the new JoyPod-X coaxial bipod made by SEB Rests. The upgraded JoyPod-X features an enhanced head unit and new rapid height adjustment for the legs. The new JoyPod-X is also offered now in a variety of colors: Blue (as shown), Red, Green, Purple, Black, and Bronze.

Click to Zoom Photo
SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR
CLICK HERE to view larger side-view image.

Tony H. stated: “First match today [shot] with the brand new JoyPod-X. What a GREAT bipod — thank you Sebastian Lambang for the outstanding product! Also want to thank Ernie Bishop for the awesome service he provides! Even getting used to the new setup made made that 597-38X even sweeter!”

SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR

2021 JoyPod-X bipod seb lambang coaxial bipod F-Class F-TR joystick

Leg Height Adjustment System
on New 2021 JoyPod-X

JoyPod-X designer Sebastian Lambang tells us: “Now height adjustment of the JoyPod-X can be much easier quicker and more precise. With a simple, adjustable brake and improved ratchet system. Thanks to Bob Bock for the design suggestions”.

Watch the video to see how this works. You can adjust each leg individually in seconds. You can do individual clicks up and down, with ratcheted steps. Or slide the entire leg unit rapidly up and down for gross elevation changes. So you have the choice of small, precise increments or big movements — whichever you want. This is very slick.

JoyPod-X Is Shipping Now
in Six Bright Colors

The new 2021 JoyPod-X has started shipping with the first units arriving in the USA in late May 2021 (as you can see). The new JoyPod-X is available in blue, red, green, purple, black, and bronze colors.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
May 30th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: More Pride & Joy Rifles from our Forum

pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
Forum member Rardoin’s handsome F-Open rig features the new Borden BRM-XD action.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

Bill Goad’s 6PPC Hunter “Ranch Rifle”

pride joy Bill Goad Hunter 6mm PPC benchrest

Forum member Grimstod tells us: “This is the personal rifle of Bill Goad. He has been experimenting with it on several levels. It is shooting great and has several matches on it now. Please enjoy these photos. More can be found on the website www.PremierAccuracy.com. We like the subtle barbed wire effect on the stock.

Twin-Upper AR with Custom Wood Furniture

pride joy AR Sporting Rifle Maple Walnut Furniture AR Platform

This very unique AR belongs to Forum member Nuto-BR. He tells us: “Here are the two uppers I built. The top one is am X-caliber in 20 Practical with 24-inch, 1:11″-twist barrel. The bottom one is a WOA in .223 Rem, with 20″, 1-12″ twist barrel. They both shoot 1/2 MOA or better. Both stocks are laminated Maple and Walnut. I reversed the order of the two woods to tell them apart.”

Two Dashers and a Rimfire for Fun

pride joy 6mm Dasher Anshutz

Courtesy Forum member Dan H., here are two red-stocked Dashers plus an Anschutz 54.30 (Benchrest Stock) to make it a trio. Dan says: “The Anschutz provides good practice in trigger-pulling. It’s amazing what you can learn from a rifle that is as sensitive as this one.”

Dream Hunting Rifle with Custom Camo

pride joy Hunting stock camo custom paint 6.5-280 Ackley Improved

Here is Forum member TyDaws’s “Dream Hunting Rifle” in 6.5-280 Ackley Improved. We love the custom paint work by by Melodie Yarbrough. Smithed by West Texas Ordnance, this rifle features a Rem 700 action with fluted bolt, PT&G tapered recoil lug, and Timney 510 2-lb trigger. The barrel is a fluted 26″ 1:8″-twist Bartlein 5R #3 contour. On top is a Huskemaw Blue Diamond 4-16x42mm optic in Warne Maxima rings. That’s an Atlas bipod up front.

Three Guns for Mr. Big

pride joy .243 Win Stiller Rem 700 Tactical Farley 6.5x47 Lapua 6PPC

Forum Member Mr. Big offered up another trio of rifles — two bench guns and a tactical rig. Mr. Big says: “Here are the rifles I shoot most: Farley 6mm PPC, Stiller .243 Win, and Rem 6.5×47 Lapua. They will do just about anything I ask them to…” Challenge: Can you identify the makers of the three different stocks shown in this picture (and the different materials used in each)?

Classic M1917 Enfield Action in Hand-Carved Maple Stock

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles wheelgun Ruger Revolver hunter

This impressive rifle features an “antique” 1917 Enfield action chambered for the .338 Win Magnum cartridge. The lovely Maple stock was hand-carved by Forum member Spitfire_ER. He tells us: “I found this piece of wood as a return at a lumber yard about [many] years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was, ‘That would make a nice stock’.”

6mm Dasher in Robertson Spider Web Stock

pride joy 6mm Dasher Robertson Stock

Here is Forum member Vahena’s 6mm Dasher. It has a no-turn-neck chamber in a 28″, 1:8″-twist barrel with 1.25″ straight contour. This has an original Robertson fiberglass stock with spider web graphics. This rifle was originally built as a 6.5×284 with a fluted barrel. Now it sports a bigger barrel for a smaller cartridge. The front rest is a SEB Neo with counterweight up front.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 27th, 2021

The “Mental Game” — Mantras for Competitive Shooting Success

shooting training applied ballistics bryan litz

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics“Shoot Like a Champion”. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, says he often sees notes like this tucked in shooter’s gear (or taped to an ammo box) at matches. What “marksmanship mantras” do you use? Do you have a favorite quote that you keep in mind during competition?

On the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page, Bryan invited other shooters to post the motivating words (and little reminders) they use in competition. Here are some of the best responses:


    “Shoot 10s and No One Can Catch You…” — James Crofts

    “You Can’t Miss Fast Enough to Win.” — G. Smith

    “Forget the last shot. Shoot what you see!” — P. Kelley

    “Breathe, relax, you’ve got this, just don’t [mess] up.” — S. Wolf

    “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” — J. McEwen

    “Keep calm and shoot V-Bull.” — R. Fortier

    “Be still and know that I am God[.]” (PS 46:10) — D.J. Meyer

    “Work Hard, Stay Humble.” — J. Snyder

    “Shoot with your mind.” — K. Skarphedinsson

    “The flags are lying.” — R. Cumbus

    “Relax and Breathe.” — T. Fox

    “Zero Excuses.” — M. Johnson

    “SLOW DOWN!” — T. Shelton

    “Aim Small.” — K. Buster

    “Don’t Forget the Ammo!” (Taped on Gun Case) — Anonymous

PARTING SHOT: It’s not really a mantra, but Rick Jensen said his favorite quote was by gunsmith Stick Starks: “Them boys drove a long ways to suck”. Rick adds: “I don’t want to be that guy”, i.e. the subject of that remark.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
May 6th, 2021

Train for F-Class at 300 Yards with Reduced Size Targets

F-Class Target center NRA training reduced size
Ben Avery Match Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Here’s a handy training option for F-Class shooters. Forum member SleepyGator is an F-Class competitor, but there are no long-distance ranges close to his home. Accordingly, he wanted some “reduced-distance” targets he could use at 300 yards for practice. There IS an official reduced-distanced standard for 300-yard F-Class matches. This utilizes the NRA No. MR-63FC – F-Class Target Center which is pasted over the MR-63 target. It provides a 1.42″ X-Ring, 2.85″ 10-Ring, and 5.85″ Nine-Ring. We offer some free targets you can print out for use at 300 yards. The dimensions of F-Class targets are found in the NRA High Power Rules, Sec. 22, part 4, page 70-71 — see sample below.

Training Targets for 300-yard F-Class

F-Class Reduced Target Centers

CLICK HERE to Download F-Class 300-yard Target Centers (.Zip archive with three targets)

To duplicate the 300-yard target, SleepyGator made a printable version of the MR-63FC Target Center, along with a pair of training targets with two bulls and five bulls. The two-bull and five-bull targets mirror the scoring rings on the MR-63FC, but they display only the innermost three rings and two rings respectively. All three targets are Adobe PDF files that can be easily printed.

NOTE: You may need to adjust the scale (sizing) on your printer to get the dimensions exactly correct. As noted above, when printed, the 10-Ring on all three targets should measure 2.85″. This should provide some handy practice targets you can use between matches. Thanks to SleepyGator for providing these targets. You can download all three as a .Zip archive. After downloading the .Zip file, just click on the .Zip archive to extract the individual targets.

CLICK HERE to Download NRA High Power Rules with F-Class Target Dimensions (Page 70-71)

F-Class Target Paste Center

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 26th, 2021

What’s Wrong with This Picture — Look Carefully

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class refer to “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken in 2015 at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure’.”

“That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

Permalink Competition, News, Optics, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
March 15th, 2021

Trigger Technique — Become a Better Trigger-Puller

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

Do you occasionally get completely unexplained flyers, or have a shot land straight down at 6 O’Clock, right below your point of aim? That could be caused by poor or inconsistent trigger technique. How you pull the trigger can and does affect your accuracy.

Many gun enthusiasts start with pistols. When they later start shooting rifles they may carry over some not-so-good practices acquired from shooting handguns with heavy 4 to 6-pound trigger pulls. You may want to “re-learn” your trigger techniques to get better rifle results.

Shooting Sports USA has a good article on trigger technique that offers many useful tips. That article also has many helpful illustrations, including the one shown above. Another illustration shows different types of trigger shoes (straight vs. curved) and explains how each makes a difference: “With a lightly curved trigger, the shooter’s finger can contact the trigger either high or low according to preference. Higher contact will increase the resistance.” READ ARTICLE HERE.

The article analyzes common errors, such as pulling the trigger with the very tip of the finger rather than the pad of the index finger: “Using the tip of the finger can lead to lateral pressure on the trigger, which throws off the shot.”

The article also explains that you should check your trigger regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and is not out of adjustment: “Just like any other moving part, the trigger can suffer from wear. In such a precise mechanism, tiny amounts of wear can cause major problems.”

Gary Eliseo tubegun prone rifle
The ergonomics of the Eliseo Tubegun allow a nice, straight trigger pull.

Trigger Tips

Six Suggestions for Making your Trigger Control More Consistent.

1. If your triggers are adjustable, set the pull weight appropriate to the discipline. For a hunting rifle, you don’t want an ultra-light trigger pull. For High Power, you may want a two-stage pull, while on a Benchrest rifle you may prefer a very light trigger.

2. If you have a two-stage trigger, experiment with different combinations of First Stage and Second Stage.

3. Have a friend watch you as you pull the trigger, and maybe even take a close-up video as you pull the trigger. This can reveal a variety of flaws.

4. Practice dry-firing to see if flaws in trigger technique are causing gun movement.

5. As an experiment, try pulling the trigger with your middle finger. Ergonomically, the middle finger has a more straight alignment with the tendons in your hand. This exercise can help you identify alignment issues with your index finger.

6. For stocks with adjustable Length of Pull you may want to set the LOP differently for bench shooting vs. prone or F-Class shooting.

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

When Only the Best Will Do…
German-made Bix’N Andy triggers, available from BulletCentral.com, are among the very best you can buy. Available in both single-stage and two-stage, Bix’N Andy triggers are extremely precise, repeatable and smooth. The unique internal, friction-reducing roller ball system allows for extremely low reset force, yielding an ultra-crisp let-off. Bix’N Andy triggers can be fitted with a variety of trigger shoes according to shooter preference.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 7th, 2021

2021 NRA National Championships Schedule for Camp Atterbury

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

NRA Competitive Shooting has released the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals at Camp Atterbury start with registration for the Smallbore Championships on Tuesday, July 6. The Smallbore Nationals continue through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20, with the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals starting July 22 (registration/practice), with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Finally, the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21. The last week of the month, August 22-27 is slated for OTC competition.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
OTC Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See full 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 28th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: “Red Rocket” .284 Win F-Open Match Rifle

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Forum member Martin Tardif (aka “Killick” in our Forum) competes with a very accurate .284 Win F-Open rig fitted with a Barnard action, Brux barrel, and Eliseo F1 chassis. Unlike some F-Class shooters, Martin has tried many disciplines over the years, including service rifle and Mid-Range and Long Range sling competition. But he told us, “After experiencing arthritis in my hands and wrists, I decided I would dabble with F-Class. And that has turned into a happy obsession.” Today’s story features the object of that happy obsession — Martin’s tack-driving .284 Win he calls the “Red Rocket”.

F-Open Match Rifle — .284 Winchester “Red Rocket”

by Martin Tardif
This is the story of the new “Red Rocket”, my new F-Open rifle. It’s chambered in .284 Winchester (.317″ neck, .220″ freebore). This rifle features Barnard P action, Barnard single-stage trigger (4 oz.), and Brux 30″ one-inch straight-taper, 1:8.5″-twist barrel fitted with Blake Tuner. The barreled action rides in a Gary Eliseo Competition Machine (CMI) F1 F-Open metal chassis with Marine Corps Red powder coat. On top is March 48x52mm fixed-power High Master scope. In a previous incarnation, this same Barnard action served in a wood-stocked F-Class rig, a Red Retromod built from a modified Anschutz stock. I still have the Barnard action (and trigger), but mostly everything else is new.

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo
Here’s the .284 Win “Red Rocket” with CMI F1 Stock, Barnard action, Brux barrel, and Blake Tuner on my SEB Mini at Burbank Rifle and Revolver Club in SoCal.

My previous F-Class rifle started out as a Palma rifle back around 2008. With a modified Anschutz prone stock, that .308 Win Palma sling gun served me well, helping me earn the 2009 California State Palma Championship. Much later I grafted more wood on and whittled that same stock into an F-Open specimen (shown below). That did get me to Long Range High Master but it definitely had limitations. For one it had annoying flex in the fore-end and the buttstock was not aligned with the barrel channel.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

I wanted to upgrade my stock to get a more consistent, better-shooting F-Open performer. So in April of 2020 I contacted Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine and ordered one of his streamlined, F1 “boom-stick” chassis units. These feature a very low Center of Gravity. I sent Gary my Barnard action and had Brux send him a barrel that I had won at the 2020 SWN raffle.

This video shows Martin shooting the “Red Rocket” in California

This rifle has been a success from the very start. At its first big match, the 2020 California State Championships, the Red Rocket tied for First Place on points but finished second overall on X-count.

Martin tells us: “The new red Eliseo stock is phenomenal and far surpasses the old red stock on my RetroMod project previously featured on the Daily Bulletin. The three things I like best about this Eliseo F1 chassis system are:

1. The lean, clean, efficient engineering and styling.
2. Easy manipulation of buttstock and cheek piece adjustments, ease of bolt removal.
3. Inherent confidence in its straightness and the durability of all the parts and finish.”

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

“I’m extremely impressed with the potential of this rig and I have still yet to fiddle with the tuner and test some of my Wolf/KVB primers. It’s all gravy now.” — Martin Tardif

I received the finished rifle in September and was impressed with its stark and consummate functionality and there is no doubt as to that function. The collinear aspect from any angle suggests a Red Rocket Car on the Bonneville Salt Flats, so that’s what I call this rig.

Martin Tardif  Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Reloading Methods and Load Development
My virgin brass prep starts with a .284 neck mandrel with the occasional squirt of WD-40, then to the drill press to turn the necks to 0.014″ wall thickness with my PMA Model B turner. After a quick dip in the media tumbler I run the whole batch through my DIY cake pan annealer and they’re ready for sizing. I like the Whidden Gunworks full length bushing dies. I use a .310″ bushing and a loaded round measures .312″. After sizing, I run the cases through the tumbler for 10-15 minutes to clean them up and then they are primed. I’m using my stash of S&B primers with an RCBS benchtop primer seater with a Holland Perfect Primer Seater add-on. I do point my 180-grain Berger Hybrid bullets with a Hoover die (see below).

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Here is Martin’s reloading bench. From left to right: A&D FX-120i Force Restoration Scale with Auto-Trickler V3, Hoover Bullet-Tipping Die, Whidden .284 Win FL Sizing Die with PMA click-adjust lock ring, Hodgdon H4350 powder. Martin reports: “I’m also using some of F-Class John’s Auto Trickler Methods — using two powder cups to speed up the process, hash marks on Auto Trickler gear drive, and minimal openings on FX-120i wind guards. These all improve the powder measuring.

Load Development and Accuracy Testing in Competition
I started load testing in November 2020. I tried both H4831sc and H4350 at 100 yards. I usually have excellent results with H4831sc but the Brux tube stubbornly preferred H4350. So I took a preliminary recipe (52.2 grains) to the California Long Range Championship and tied for First Place on points but got beat on Xs. Having seen a little too much vertical at the state match, I went with a lighter load that looked good for vertical at 100 yards (51.8 grains — see photo below). That load got me an overall win at our 1000-yard club match.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

I wanted to fine tune that load so I started a seating depth test. I did a final head to head test, comparing .015″ jump (away from first lands contact) and .018″ jump at 1000 yards. The .015″ jump load was the clear winner. This 15-round group was shot at 1000 yards with no flags on an overcast day with no mirage.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The ShotMarker screenshot above shows 15 shots at 1000 yards with bullets seated .015″ out, switching winds and no flags, just watching the mirage. I added .25 MOA up after the first round ‘9’ (me fighting a clean barrel on first shot) and went to town.

Advice for New F-Class Shooters — by Martin Tardif

1. Watch a Top Competitor — Find a good shooter that you respect and watch and take note of their equipment, how they set up to shoot, how they shoot, what conditions they shoot in or don’t. Ideally you should ask to be squadded with them (if possible) so you can score for them. That way you’re not dividing your attention from the shooter you’re supposed to be scoring for. Be mindful not to pester them while they are setting up. Best to wait until they have finished shooting and try to ask questions off the firing line, others still shooting need to concentrate.

2. Cartridge Selection for F-Open– Go to Accurate Shooter’s 7mm Cartridge Guide and scroll to the .284 Winchester section by Charles Ballard. You can read further about the 7mm WSM and 7mm SAUM but for a caliber that’s not fussy you should stick with the .284 Win.

3. Reloading Equipment — To win, you really need ammo as perfect as you can make it. You should be able to find out everything you need to know about reloading equipment via the Accurateshooter Forum’s Reloading and Competition areas. It’s a one-stop shopping brain trust for everything F-Class, Sling, and Benchrest. And the Forum Marketplace is literally a never ending ‘Gun Show’ of For Sale items. It’s a great place to buy quality used stuff for newbies.

As a final bit of advice — BELIEVE the wind — it’s smarter than you are!

Commentary on Metal Chassis vs Wood Stock
I previously had a wood F-Class stock so flexible you could easily pinch the barrel to the fore-end with one hand and hold it there. My Eliseo metal chassis is MUCH more rigid. I don’t think there is any argument that a metal stock is more rigid than wood. I also think a metal stock with its monolithic properties has a more consistent cross-sectional density along its length than a wood stock would have due to the vagaries of grain structure. However I have no experimental data to support that theory, or how that might positively affect shot to shot consistency. I CAN say that the gun shoots better, with smaller groups and higher scores, than the previous wood stock version.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The CMI F1 chassis has three main sections: rear assembly, main assembly, and fore-end. The main assembly is a 27″-long solid billet section with milled cavities for the rear assembly and trigger group. This also supports the action V-Block which cradles the full length of the action. The V-Block is mated to the top of the billet in a milled channel but doesn’t touch the sides to avoid uneven harmonics. The rear assembly hold the LOP-adjustable butt pad/bag rider and “easy off” cheek piece. The 3-piece fore-end is fitted to the main section with screws. The complete F1 chassis with grip and cheek piece weighs 6 pounds.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo
Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

F1 Chassis Maker Gary Eliseo Talks about His Design
The F1 was designed to incorporate the most important features needed in an F-Open rifle system. Top priority was placed on how the rifle tracked. The chassis had to be perfectly straight, and immune to weather so it will stay straight. On the F1, the fore-end is designed to keep the centerline of the barreled action as low as possible. This super-low center of gravity, along with the tall vertical sides, keep torque to a minimum, so the gun doesn’t twist or hop, but instead comes straight back.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

The F1 chassis can be fitted with bedding blocks to accommodate any action. These action bedding blocks are carefully epoxy-bedded to the chassis so the customer’s barreled action is perfectly in line with the central axis of the chassis. In addition to optimizing tracking, I also took a look at how the shooter interfaced with the rifle. I wanted the cheek piece to be narrow so that the shooter would not be forced into applying side pressure on the stock to get their eye behind the scope. The cheek piece is also easy to remove for those who shoot without one. This also facilitates bolt removal.

If you’re interested in an F1 F-Open Chassis, contact Gary via the Competition Machine eMail page. The current price for an F1 Chassis with Cerakote finish (any color) is $1150.00. Lead time is about 12 weeks.

Martin Tardif Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Chassis Gary Eliseo

Martin Tardif Eliseo Competition Machine F1 Stock F-Class F-Open Hollands Gunsmithing Perfect Primer Seater

Green Tools for Red Rocket — Martin uses an RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press on an Inline Fabrication UltraMount. Primers are seated with an RCBS Bench Primer fitted with Holland’s Gunsmithing Perfect Primer Seater Adapter. This provides ultra-consistent primer seating.

F-Class Match Strategies for California Ranges
My strategy for a match clearly depends on the specific location. For instance, at my home range, the Burbank Rifle and Revolver Club, which has several cuts and gullies crossing the canyon, the wind comes primarily from NNE and since the range faces slightly NNE the predominant condition will be a head or right wind so I’m looking for R to L mirage and left angled flags.

By contrast, Coalinga CA is a much more open/exposed range which can make it much more challenging. When you see all the flags going against the mirage for the majority of the string (after you’ve gone for record of course) that can be tough. So I like to watch the wind while I’m scoring and for a few minutes during sighters and shoot them in a few ‘looks’ if I can get them. But sometimes you have to go with your gut if your sighters whisper “go-for-record-you-knucklehead” and so it’s off to the races. It often seems like I should have just chased the spotter when I’m waiting out a fishtail or let-up there.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 25th, 2021

Shiraz Balolia Book Recounts Remarkable Business Success Story

Shiraz Balolia biography book Grizzly Industrial F-Class

If you are a F-Class competitor or use machine tools, chances are you know Shiraz Balolia. Shiraz is one of America’s top F-Class shooters, an all-star competitor who has won major titles, including three straight Canadian F-Open National Championships. Shiraz also owns Grizzly Industrial Inc., a large, successful enterprise he founded in 1983. For 38 years, Grizzly has provided quality tools to wood-workers and metal workers. Grizzly’s catalog is now over 700 pages.

Shiraz’s life story is an interesting one. He came to the USA from Kenya, and then became a very successful businessman, building Grizzly Industrial into a major player in the tools/parts/machinery business. Shiraz also founded Bullets.com, which sold firearms accessories and reloading components for some years. Shiraz’s effort to start Bullets.com was an outgrowth of his desire to “give back” to the shooting sports, the hobby he loves.

To cover his noteworthy business career and life, Shiraz has written an impressive 288-page autobiography, entitled A Bad Case of Capitalism (referring to his love for the world of selling products). This book covers Shiraz’s early years though the present, providing a “tale of travel through war-torn countries, courtroom battles, success, failure, and everything in between.” It explains the challenges of starting direct-to-consumer businesses, first via mail-order and then adapting to the new online world.

We enjoyed the book because it provides a clear inside look at the challenges of starting a business. And we are grateful that Shiraz, through his businesses, has been a strong supporter of AccurateShooter.com for more than a decade. Balolia’s autobiography has been described as “equal parts business primer, history, and collection of life lessons”. The book shows how vision and determination can create a true American success story.

Readers have enjoyed the book and the lessons it offers on how to build a business:

“As someone who loves to create things with his hands, I was immediately drawn to this book, as Mr. Balolia is basically the father of machinery for woodworkers like me. It’s a great read that opens your eyes to a place and time I’d never heard of before, and it paints a great picture of determination and grit…. This book is certainly a motivating tale, and it shows that with a supportive family and vision (and a ton of hard work) you can do anything you dream.” — Jameson H.

“This is as much a story of Mr. Balolia as it is of Grizzly Industrial. In this book, and probably real life, the two are inseparable. From humble beginnings to a substantial empire of industrial equipment you have to admire and applaud the success story and this chronicle of hard work and perseverance. Impressive, very impressive.” — Own One

Shiraz Balolia biography book Grizzly

Shiraz Balolia biography book Grizzly

Grizzly Lathes for Gunsmiths

In this video, Shiraz talks about Gunsmithing Lathes sold by Grizzly.com:

Shiraz Uses the Machines That He Sells
Shiraz is not just a talented business leader and ace marksman. He is also a very skilled fabricator and woodworker. He has crafted guitars, and worked on his own gunstocks. This shows an F-Class Stock Shiraz upgraded using Grizzly Industrial machinery. The modified stock has a significantly lower Center of Gravity, riding 1/2″ lower in the front bag. Shiraz says the modified stock performed great.

Shiraz Balolia biography book

Shiraz Balolia lathe press tools stock

Shiraz Balolia (left) and Norma Managing Director Paul-Erik Toivo.
Shiraz Balolia

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 29th, 2021

Getting Started in F-Class — F-TR vs. F-Open and Gear Options

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

A while back, our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK wrote an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:

Getting Started in F-Class by Vince Bottomley
As membership secretary of a large club, one of the questions I’m frequently asked – “What’s the best way to get started in F-Class?” My club has an F-Class shoot every couple of weeks at ranges from 300 to 1000 yards and, not surprisingly, it’s very popular.

F-TR or Open Class?
From a shaky start way back in 2004, the F-TR Class is now proving as popular as Open Class and, at GBFCA League shoots and club shoots, many shooters choose to start with a 308, shooting off a bi-pod – in other words F-TR. In Open Class, the 7mm WSM soon established itself as the “must have” cartridge – if you wanted to win but, the WSM’s appetite for barrels eventually brought another 7mm cartridge into play – the 284 Winchester. This 50-year-old stalwart was revived a decade or so ago as the 6.5-284 and indeed this cartridge found some favor with F-Class pioneers – before the potency of the WSM was discovered. If you don’t mind shelling out for a couple of barrels per year (barrel life is about 750 rounds with the WSM) go for the 7mm WSM but, if you require a decent round-count, then opt for the .284 Win and learn to read the wind a bit better!

F-TR f-class rifle match ben avery AZ
F-TR Rifle at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Scopes for F-Class
If you will be shooting 1000 yards then I would recommend at least 32 power and preferably a variable – like the 8-32. The cheapest “usable” scope in this range is the Sightron. It’s a great scope for the money and at under $900 (in the USA) it’s half the price of its nearest competitor. It’s also light – at 1.5 lbs – and there are some great reticles for the F-Class shooter – like the LRMOA.

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Read Full Article on Target Shooter Magazine Website.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 6th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: .300 WSM F-Open Rig from Australia

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

Today’s featured rifle comes from the land Down-Under — Australia. This impressive .300 WSM F-Open rig has top-tier components/accessories from multiple countries. From the USA comes the Borden BRMXD action, Krieger barrel, McMillan Kestros ZR stock, and R.A.D. 2 recoil system. The 10-60x56mm March scope comes from Japan. The Lenzi rear bag is from Italy, and the SEB front rest is from Indonesia, with a Rodzilla top from America. This rifle is brand new, and just had its first competitive test this weekend, emerging with the top 600m Aggregate. By all indication, this .300 WSM F-Open beast is a winner.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

Impressive .300 WSM F-Open Rifle from Australia

This rifle belongs to Kris Wilson, aka “Willow” on our AccurateShooter Forum. Just last week Kris posted in the Pride and Joy Rifle thread: “Got my latest build up and running — a .300 WSM F-Open rifle. Never shot a .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) before today and I have to say that, while the recoil is on the sharp side, it’s entirely manageable thanks to the stock design and front rest.” Kris resides in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and shoots at the Hornsby RSL Rifle Club. He is his club’s current F-Open Champion, even with some very tough competition — his club boasts two Australian F-Open championship-winning club members. Kris loves the F-Class game: “I started rifle shooting in 2015 when I was introduced to the world of F-class through shopping for a riflescope. Once I saw what F-class was all about, I was hooked.”

Kris produced this video on December 5, 2020. He reports: “Here is my first real outing with my new .300 WSM. I had previously sighted in at 50 meters at an indoor range to establish a wind zero. Had a rough idea of velocity so I threw together two loads to run at 600 meters. Our Aussie targets have a max numerical ring value of 6 (equivalent to “10” on USA targets). On Stage One I shot a 60.8X (60.10X max possible), grouping about 3.7 inches. On Stage Two, shown in this video, I shot a a 66.9X (66.11X max possible) with a 3-inch grouping. I took first place in both stages and won the overall Aggregate for the day. That earned me a Christmas ham and turkey for my trouble!”

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

.300 WSM Rifle Hardware, Cartridge Choice, and Reloading

Report by Kris Wilson, NSW, Australia

Stock: McMillan Kestros ZR with R.A.D. 2 system. 70% black, 15% grey, 15% red.
Action: Borden Rimrock BRMXD, left bolt, right port, left eject. The action is fully DLC coated and fitted with a +20 MOA rail
Trigger: TriggerTech Diamond
Barrel: Krieger 1:10″-twist, 4 groove finished at 31″ and fitted with an Ezell tuner.
Scope: March High Master 10-60x56mm with MTR-1 reticle, illuminated
Rings: ARC M10 High Rings
Front Rest: SEB Mini Rest, with Rodzilla Rest Top system
Rest Feet: Bryan Blake (F-Class Products) adjustable stainless feet
Rear Support: Lenzi (Italy) LR Rear bag, with custom metal base plate

Cartridge Selection — Why the .300 WSM Was Chosen over a 7mm Cartridge
I set out with the goal of building my ultimate F-Open rifle. Now “ultimate” is of course subjective, but I did not want to leave any stone unturned when it came to building a .300 WSM. When researching the equipment for my new build I had a couple of ideas in mind. I was already shooting a 7mm, in the form of a 280AI which had served me well, but I already had plans to switch to a .284 Shehane with the introduction of Peterson .284 Win brass, coupled with the fact Norma stopped making 280AI brass (Note: Peterson now makes 280AI brass). While I was reasonably well-covered with my .284 Shehane, I wanted something with a bit more horsepower to hold up at long range in choppy conditions. A lot of the top guys here shoot 7mm SAUMs but I wasn’t keen on going down that path. Why? For every accurate SAUM I’ve seen, I’ve seen others struggle and given that the 7mm SAUM seems to be particularly hard on barrels, I wanted something that could match the 7mm SAUM ballistically, but have better barrel life.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

After plenty of research on AccurateShooter.com, and speaking with some shooters, both locally and in the USA, I decided to give the .300 WSM a go. This cartridge is not particularly popular in Australia for F-Open, primarily because most states enforce muzzle energy restrictions, so pushing the .300 WSM to its potential simply isn’t viable for many shooters here. It IS viable in my home state however, along with the ACT, so I can at least use it in major competitions in two Australian states without having to run at lower nodes where it would otherwise be trumped by the 7 SAUM shooters. I was also attracted to the cartridge through its general design, having a 35-degree shoulder angle similar to the inherently accurate .284 Winchester. I also think the .300 WSM resembles a super-sized Dasher, another devastatingly accurate cartridge. Most .300 WSM shooters report ease of tuning, another key factor I considered.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

Choice of Stock, Action, and Barrel
My gunsmith, Matt Paroz (aka MattP on the AccurateShooter Forum) is one of Australia’s top gunsmiths as well as one of Australia’s top F-Open shooters. He knows what it takes to build match-winning rifles. Matt is also an agent for McMillan stocks and I was sold on the Kestros ZR after seeing how it well it tracked — the lower center of gravity it offers cannot be underestimated once you start stepping up in caliber size. I had previously seen a couple of rifles that Matt built for an Australian F-Open team member and I was blown away not only by the quality of the builds, but how well the components worked with one another. I already own a Barnard action, a match-winning action in its own right, but I was desperate to get my hands on a Borden. I liked the fact that Jim Borden times his actions as they leave his factory, so I ordered a BRMXD, left bolt, right port, left eject. I ordered my BRMXD fully DLC-coated, for both longevity and aesthetics.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

I opted for a TriggerTech Diamond trigger which has been timed to the action and offers a level of crispness the factory Barnard trigger cannot replicate. The synergy between action and trigger is just superb. I managed to get my hands on a 10-twist, 4-groove Krieger barrel that looks like a winner so far. Finished at 31″, this barrel has been super-easy to tune so far, with Berger 215gr hybrids showing very good promise. NOTE — Overall the rifle comes in 500 grams (1.1 lbs.) below F-Open max weight, so the next barrel will probably finish at 32″.

The barrel sports an Ezell tuner. I don’t touch the tuner until I’ve sorted my load and bullet seating depth. The tuner just affords me that extra flexibility in tightening up an already good grouping. At the end of the day, like any competitive shooter, I’m chasing tight vertical and horizontal, something which will run inside 1 MOA at 1000 yards. If I drop a shot, I want it to be my fault, not the rifle’s.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

About my optics choice — when the chance to own a March High Master came up, I didn’t think twice. I have used March previously and got a sneak peek through an original High Master prototype which was doing the rounds in Australia. With superb image quality, it left a lasting impression. March has built up an excellent following and reputation in Australia, and so far I have to say it was money well spent. The March is held in place with a set of beefy ARC M10 rings.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

The rest of my F-Open setup includes a modified SEB Mini up front, with a Rodzilla Rest top and Bryan Blake adjustable feet. I chose the SEB Mini because it has a wide, stable footprint but relatively light weight. That makes the Mini easier to transport. At the rear I use an extremely well-crafted Lenzi LR bag which sits on a custom rear plate. This heavy combination keeps things nice and planted. That aids in straight tracking.

Reloading for the .300 WSM — Process and Die Choice
When it comes to reloading, I keep it simple and don’t over-think things. I use Norma .300 WSM brass. I ensure case mouths are always deburred on the inside and out but I do not neck turn. I am set up to turn necks with a 21st Century unit, but after neck turning previously for a 6mm SLR, I just didn’t see a noticeable benefit in doing so. I always full length re-size after firing and prefer bushings, generally opting for .002″ of neck tension on anything I shoot. So far it seems to be working. With my .300 WSM I run a Redding Type-S full-length bushing die with a .335 bushing. A loaded round comes in at 0.337″ across the neck and I opted for a no-neck turn reamer which comes in at 0.343″, so there’s plenty of clearance. I use a Forster micrometer seating die. I prefer the feel of the Forster and I use Redding dry lube media to assist in smooth bullet seating.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday
Reloading room with MEC single-stage press on left and AutoTrickler with Force Restoration Scale on right. Note there are plenty of bullets — Kris got his supplies before the shortage.

I use an AMP Annealer and anneal after every firing. Powder charges are measured and dropped with a V3 AutoTrickler and A&D FZ500i scale. The 215gr Berger Hybrid seemed like a pretty good place to start as far as bullet selection. I point them with a Whidden bullet pointing die. Powder options can sometimes be a contentious choice and if you’re lucky you’ll get a couple of powders which will work well in any given barrel. For my .300 WSM I use Alliant Reloder 23. It is very temp-stable. My primer of choice is S&B Standard Large Rifle Primers. How does it all come together? The first nine shots through the barrel while zeroing the scope resulted in an ES of 17 and SD of 6 — promising signs for a light initial load of 63 grains.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

First Test in Competition — Kris Earns Victory at 600m with his .300 WSM
The first real test came after only 19 rounds had gone down the barrel. My local range and district had its annual Christmas shoot with Christmas hams and turkeys awarded to discipline winners. I was up against a decent field with two members from the Australian F-Open team running against me — one sporting a .284 Win and the other a 7mm SAUM. I ran two different loads using Reloder 23. I was hoping to be in the vicinity of 2920 fps with my pointed Berger 215gr hybrids. What made this a bit harder was not being able to run my LabRadar prior to the shoot. Based on user comments on the 215gr hybrids, I jumped them 20 thousandths, hoping they would hold together and not end up with a shotgun grouping on target.

My first sighting shot at 600 meters was a 4 which landed high, but windage was good. I wound down 1 MOA and the second sighter was a 5. My first scoring shot was an X. I proceeded to shoot clean, scoring a 60.8X (100.8X on a USA target), with the group measuring 3.7 inches. Quite a good start for shots 20-31 through the barrel! For Stage 2, we were only allowed one sighter with 11 shots to count (66.11 max possible). I knew my second load was a touch higher so I came down several clicks, and my first sighter was an X. This second stage load grouped tighter, shooting clean again with a 66.9X, with 11 shots in 3 inches. That was good enough to take first place in both stages and win the overall Aggregate for the day. See HEXTA target screen capture below. American readers take note — a SIX in Australia is the same as a TEN in your USA system.

Australia F-Class F-Open .300 WSM Win Short Mag sunday Gunday

Suffice to say I was very pleased with how things turned out! Despite the bigger bang this rifle makes, the Kestros ZR and R.A.D. 2 system made it remarkably compliant. The recoil is sharp but the R.A.D. system just takes all the sting out of it — it reminded me of shooting my old 280AI in terms of felt recoil. I was able to get back on target with a minimum of fuss and didn’t find the rifle fatiguing at all, so it gets a massive thumbs up from me. This just illustrates how important component selection and rifle set-up is to the overall experience. Going home with a Christmas ham and Turkey was an added bonus!

CONCLUSION — The .300 WSM is Very Effective for F-Open
With recent trends in F-Open equipment, such as rifle stock technology making a lower center of gravity possible, bigger F-Open options such as the .300 WSM are now quite manageable. That’s not to say this caliber is a pussy cat — it definitely kicks more than the .284s out there. But with my choice of components, the recoil is manageable and the R.A.D. 2 system takes the sting out, so I’m not left nursing a sore shoulder at the end of a stage. The rifle is off to a very positive start so far but I know it’s capable of more. The lead up to Christmas will keep me busy fine-tuning a load in time for the NSW State Title match to be held in late January 2021. With COVID-19 halting most competitive shooting in Australia in 2020, this 2021 NSW competition is sure to prove popular. I intend to have my .300 WSM rifle humming in time for it.

Kris Wilson (NSW, Australia) Talks About Competitive Shooting
When I was introduced to F-Class shooting, I was fascinated with the level of accuracy shooters were obtaining with their rifles and it was something that just drew me in. Since then it has been a gradual learning curve, not to mention the fact everyone I have met has been super friendly and willing to share their knowledge. The shooting fraternity is a great community to be part of…. Mixing it with Australia’s best is what drives me right now.

For the past two years I have taken competition more seriously as I hope to represent Australia in the future. In my first Nationals match in 2019, I finished 15th out of 30 F-Open shooters. I then finished 7th in the 2019 NSW State Championships, with every shooter above me having been a state or national championship winner, including current F-Open world champion Rod Davies. 2020 has been different due to COVID-19 — unfortunately many of Australia’s state championships and prize shoots were cancelled. But I’ve been working hard to maintain my skills and the new rifle is motivation. As reloading equipment and rifle components continue to improve, it’s a great sport which encourages learning and provides many opportunities to keep improving your shooting.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Optics 1 Comment »