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July 24th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: TX Lady’s Krieger-Barreled .308 Win F-TR Rifle

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Texas action pistol and 3-Gun competitor Tracy Slayton Self has taken up the F-Class game. Last summer On Facebook Tracy posted a nice training session with her Krieger-barreled .308 Winchester F-TR rifle. You can watch her shooting video HERE on her Facebook page. She used a battery-powered, Chamber Chiller fan unit to cool the barrel.

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

On her Facebook page, Tracy posted: “Very, very windy day today but pulled off a 444/450 18X which is a High Master score. My Krieger barrel is the bomb and my Kahles scope allows me to see that target at 600 yards clearly. My Chamber Chiller really cools my barrel down in between matches and my Stiller action is as smooth as butter.”

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Click Photo for short video of Tracy’s shooting session, with shots called on audio:

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Match-Winning F-TR .308 Win Load INFO

Texan Tracy Slayton (featured above) did not supply her .308 Win load data for this article. However, we’ve got something even better! For our readers who compete in F-TR, we obtained .308 Win F-TR load information from top F-TR shooter, Peter Johns. A U.S. Navy veteran, Peter won the 2020 Berger SW Nationals F-TR title, after finishing second at that same event in 2019. Here is Peter’s load profile, a very good place to start for any .308 Win F-TR shooter…

F-TR .308 Win Match Load and Reloading Methodology

Loading for .308 Win F-TR — Do What Matters
Peter told us: “My loading technique has evolved almost full circle from where I started. I went from the basics to doing every step a person could conceive. Then I decided to start testing all the different steps to see what didn’t matter or made things worse. I am now back to almost no steps in my reloading process.

I don’t clean brass anymore. I just wipe the case off, lube, size, prime, and load. I anneal when I feel the necks getting inconsistent when seating the bullets. I pre-load all my ammo for matches. I tried seating them at the match but I didn’t find it to matter on the score card and it takes my focus away from conditions.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Peter’s 2020 SWN-winning .308 Win load consists of Berger 200.20X bullets, Lapua Palma brass, Federal 205M primers, and Varget powder. Peter revealed: “The Berger 200-grainers are running in the mid-2600 fps range. I have tried them much faster but found the best consistency at this speed.”

Peter measures powder to the kernel and also weighs/sorts other components. He runs Berger 200.20X bullets slightly off the lands in a 0.170 freebore chamber. Notably he tests a variety of powders, ascertaining each barrel’s particular preference: “In the last few years I have tried N140, N150, H4895, and Varget. I think they are all good powders for F-TR and the 200.20X bullet. This year I was using Varget. At the 2018 SWN I placed 4th with H4895, in 2019 SWN I got 2nd with N140. I find what powder my particular barrel likes best. I also test CCI BR4 and Fed 205M to see which my rifle likes best. This year I was using Fed 205M. I have been using Lapua Palma brass and it seems to last forever.” Peter full-length sizes with a Redding bushing FL die. He seats his Berger bullets with a Wilson inline seater.

.308 Berger Bullets Available Now at Midsouth Shooters

Top-Tier .308 caliber match bullets remain is short supply. But thankfully there are some good options at decent prices. Recently Midsouth Shooters received a large selection of Berger match bullets, and you’ll find many .308 caliber options for Palma rifles and F-TR rigs. Here are some of the deals available currently (as of 7/24/2022):

Berger .308 Caliber 30 F-TR match hybrid bullets midsouth available

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May 29th, 2022

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.

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May 22nd, 2022

Sunday GunDay: .284 Shehanes for F-Open Competition

7mm .285 shehane improved f-class f-open caliber cartridge chambering

High-BC 7mm Bullets7mm (.284) remains the caliber to beat in F-Class Open Division (though some shooters have had success with .30-Cal short magnums.) With a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr and 184gr bullets to competitive velocities.

The straight .284 Win is an excellent cartridge, quite capable of winning F-class matches. However, in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850 fps. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play.

The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with 30-32″ barrels using H4831sc, Vihtavuori N560, or Alliant Reloder 16. (That’s with a reasonably fast barrel. Some barrels are faster than others.)

Norm Harrold Won 2018 F-Class Open Division Nationals with .284 Shehane Rifle
F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Norm Harrold (above) won the 2018 USA F-Class Nationals shooting a .284 Shehane. Norm’s F-Open rig features a McMillan Kestros ZR stock and Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane, which has a bit more case capacity than a standard .284 Winchester. Norm loaded Berger 184gr 7mm bullets in Lapua brass. Norm revealed his load in an Erik Cortina YouTube Video.

F-Class shooter Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long-range round there is — bar none. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal Magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight .284, the .300 WSM, and the .300 Win Mag with less recoil. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

Amazing Accuracy When Fire-Forming .284 Shehane

7mm .285 shehane improved f-class f-open caliber cartridge chambering

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel! Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains: “Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fireforming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.”

Scotland’s Grant Taylor. who used the .284 Shehane to finish third at the 2009 F-Class Worlds in England says the .284 Shehane is “very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. [This] caliber… has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

.284 Shehane Showcase — Two Special F-Open Rifles

.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine
Jason Cohen’s “We the People” patriotic .284 Shehane F-Class rifle. This rig scored second place in its very first match, a 3×20 at 1000 yards in Wyoming.

Here’s another handsome .284 Shehane F-Open rifle. Owner Jason Cohen explained why he chose the .284 Shehane chambering: “The .284 Shehane has a proven record of accomplishments and that is why I have chosen it. I use Lapua brass (6.5-284 necked-up), CCI BR-2 primers, Hodgdon H4350 powder, and Berger 184gr bullets. All these components have been a successful combination that has worked flawlessly[.]”

The barrel is a Blake Machine 1:8″-twist finished at 32 inches. It was fitted to my action by Dale Woolum of Woolum Accuracy. Dale also threaded the barrel for a Woolum Accuracy tuner. This has proven to be a valuable tool in my load development.

The rifle began its life as a Will McClosky Cerus stock. This was sent that to Bryan Blake at Blake Machine. Jason noticed that Bryan had been adding aluminum rails to the front of Cerus stocks to lower the center of gravity and improve tracking. Jason asked Bryan to fit the stock with forearm rails, shown in the photo below. Bryan did all the stock work and fitted the action, rails, and RAD recoil pad.

.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine
.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine

The .284 Shehane — Accurate and Forgiving Wildcat
Jason explains why he selected the .284 Shehane chambering: “The .284 Shehane is amazing, very forgiving and not temperamental. Straight .284 or Shehane — you cannot go wrong. I run a 184gr Berger at about 2850 FPS and get great brass life in my other rifles. I usually start to consider tossing the brass around 15 firings. Primer pockets start to get a little looser and the brass seems to need more sizing than the newer brass with less firings.”

.284 Shehane Load Development
Load development for me starts with each new barrel. I screw on the new barrel, fire 25 rounds of whatever I have left over and then clean it. I push out to 600 yards and do a ladder test in round-robin format. I start 0.6 grains lower than my last charge that worked. I work up from that reduced charge weight in increments of 0.3 grains. The paper tells the rest of the story. Once I get something that works well at 600 yards I go back in work around that by 0.1 grains. After that I play a little with seating depth and look for a change. I will occasionally mess with the tuner and tighten things up if possible.

.284 Shehane Raffle Prize Rifle for Team USA

Blake machine Team USA Under-25 Katie Blakenship F-Class F-Open prize raffle rifle tickets Borden action

This stunning .284 Shehane rifle was constructed as a raffle prize to benefit Team USA members preparing for the F-Class World Championship. This eye-catching F-Open rifle was crafted by Blake Barrel and Rifle in Arizona. This prize rifle features all top-of-the-line components: Borden BRMXD Action, Cerus multi-laminate stock with forearm extension, R.A.D. recoil reduction system (hydraulic-damped buttpad), Bix ‘N Andy trigger, and Nightforce Competition scope. The stainless Blake barrel is chambered for the .284 Shehane wildcat, and sports an F-Class Products tuner on the end.

Blake machine Team USA Under-25 Katie Blakenship F-Class F-Open prize raffle rifle tickets Borden action

.284 Shehane Also Shines in 1K Benchrest Competition

The .284 Shehane has won in Benchrest as well as F-Class competition. In 2013, Henry Pasquet won the IBS 1000-Yard Nationals shooting a .284 Shehane. Henry’s Championship-winning rig is shown below. Note the 5″-wide fore-end which is not legal for F-Class. Henry also runs a combo tuner/muzzle-brake.

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship


*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s”.

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April 29th, 2022

Team Competition — How to Make and Use a Wind Plot

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship
CLICK HERE to see full-screen version of Wind Plot.

Team shooting is very different than individual competition. Typically a team coach makes the wind calls for the shooters. In some cases (where the rules allow), the wind coach even dials elevation and windage changes for the active shooter. For the wind coach to do his job effectively, he must follow the changes in the wind and determine what the correct wind call should have been for each shot. (In other words — what was the “right call”)

Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics and Past USA F-TR National Champion, served as wind coach for the winning 4-man F-TR Team at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships, which preceded the F-Class World Championships also held in Canada. Here Bryan explains how he has used a Wind Plot to make better wind calls, helping his team-mates maximize their scores.

wind calling plot log technique

Wind Plot Methodology by Bryan Litz

The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information. This kind of plot IS NOT showing where the bullet hit, and is NOT showing what you held. It’s showing what you should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot. Here are some key points:

1. I always look for blocks of stable conditions to shoot in and wait out the rest.

2. If the wind plot shows drastic changes, either I’m not picking the right time to shoot or it’s just a really unstable wind condition.

3. When you see many shots using the same hold (e.g. Robby’s 700m and 900m strings on plot), it can indicate very fast shooting and fast pit service.

Q. What are the numbers and Markings on this Wind Plot?
Litz: The wind plot represents the rings on the target. Left 2 for example, is the 5 line on the international target, while Left 2 is the 10 line on the USA target. F-Class shooters and coaches talk about wind holds in relation to these rings. A Left 2 hold isn’t left 2 MOA or 2 MILS, it’s the second ring from center. The vertical lines on the plot represent the rings going out from center, 4 or 5 in each direction. A left or right 5 hold is edge of black on the int’l target.

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship

Q: What Does this Specific Plot Reveal?
Litz: Looking at the plot, from left to right is 700m, 800m, and 900m that we shot progressively through the day. Top to bottom shows each shooter in sequence (shooters names are shown by their blocks). To the right I note what was on the gun for that shooter, and note when it changes. Often times we run the same wind on the gun for several shooters but if it changes, I note what the new windage is and continue on. For example if we’re settled into a condition where we’re shooting Vs with a right 3 hold, I might adjust the scope 1 MOA right because a right 3 hold is equal to 1 MOA. So we can move the scope and start shooting with a center hold.

Q. Are you Plotting Where the Bullet Hits?
Litz: Not exactly. This kind of plot IS NOT specifically showing where the bullet hit, and IS NOT showing what the shooter held. It’s showing what the shooter should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot.

On each shot, the shooter or coach takes a guess about where to hold, and fires the shot. If the bullet hits the center, you plot the point right where you held because it was the correct hold. However, if you miss the call, you plot what hold was required to put that shot in the center. For example if you shoot a right 3 and hit where you held, the correct call would have been “center”. In this way, you’re building a history of what you should have done, which may or may not be what you actually did. This shows you the trends, and brackets which can be used to make future decisions.

Q: Is this Type of Wind Plot Something New?
Litz: I didn’t invent this method, it’s been around a long time. Vertical can be plotted the same way. In team matches, we have a plotter who is advising on elevation trends and suggesting corrections. But, as wind coach, my job is the horizontal so I only keep the wind plot. I have learned lots of strategies from my coaches Emil Praslick and Steve Hardin.

There are many ways to plot and many standard work sheets for this. They’re all tools and the key is to find something that works for you in different situations. I don’t keep a plot when I am personally behind the trigger string firing because I lose more points when I take the time to do it vs. just shooting fast. When pair firing or coaching, I can keep the wind plot without compromising the shooting.

2013 F-Class World Championships
Here Team Australia used plots and communication gear linking coaches. This helped the Aussies win the 2013 F-Open Team World Championship held at Raton, NM.

Know Your Goal — Keep It Simple
Know your goal of plotting. The simplest plot is where you write the shot number where it hit on a target face. This kind of plotting is useful for evaluating shooter performance because it shows how big the group is (in particular the vertical dispersion). However keeping a plot like this does little to help you figure out the wind. It just shows you what shots you messed up on. It does nothing to help you find the center. [Editor: That’s a whole different matter with many variables.] The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information.

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April 25th, 2022

What Level of Accuracy is “Good Enough” for Your Discipline?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different Shooting Disciplines Demand Different Levels of Precision/Accuracy
In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, recently answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

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April 23rd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Five Great Videos for Accurate Shooters

AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Saturday Movies Videos Barrel cleaning neck turning autotrickler reloading components

Every Saturday we present interesting, informative videos for our Daily Bulletin readers. Here we feature five YouTube videos that offer a ton of useful information for serious shooters. We start with a great video about setting up rifle, rest, and bag on the bench. Then Hall-of-Fame benchrest shooter Speedy Gonzalez shows smart methods for cleaning barrels. Next F-Class Ace Keith Glasscock explains how to optimize your rifle after travel. In the fourth video, AutoTrickler inventor Adam MacDonald shows how to optimize the AutoTrickler V4. Next the truly outstanding 21st Century Power Neck-Turning lathe is showcased.

How to Set Up Your Rifle, Rest, and Bag on the Bench

To get the best results in benchrest shooting, you need to set up all the gear on your bench properly. That includes front rest placement, rear bag position, spotting scope set-up, and placement of cartridge holder/caddy, and possibly an elbow/forearm rest. When setting up the hardware, you need to align the front rest and rear bag properly to get optimal tracking. In addition you want to make sure the rear bag doesn’t slide or rotate a bit from shot to shot. And you also want to set your seat height/location so the shooter’s position is optimal and comfortable. This helpful video shows how to set up your rifle and gear for a benchrest match or load development/practice at the range. Credit to Boyd Allen for finding video.

Cleaning Barrels with Speedy — Smart Techniques

There are many effective methods to clean barrels. But some are more efficient that others and can help you do the job more quickly, with less effort. Here respected gunsmith and Hall-of-Fame benchrest shooter Speedy Gonzalez shows his procedures for cleaning competition barrels. He uses Sharpshoot-R Liquid Patch-Out and Wipe-Out Accelerator as primary solvents. Watch carefully — Speedy has some clever techniques for starting a patch in the rifling, and he is also careful about exiting the muzzle when brushing. Speedy also explains the importance of keeping your rods clean. And he prefers nylon brushes because, as the barrel starts to get wear in the throat, “the bronze bristles will actually start eating into that and you’ll see little grooves if you have a good borescope.” (See video 00:38-01:35)

Getting Rifle Ready After Traveling — Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s top F-Class shooters, having finished Second at the National Championships multiple times. Keith, who has an engineering background, runs the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube channel. There you’ll find great advice on wind reading, load tuning, precision reloading and many other topics. In this video, Keith offers very smart advice on how to re-assemble your rifle after you have traveled to a match or practice destination. Keith explains how to check the fasteners on the gun and set up the scope properly if you removed it while traveling.

Adjusting AutoTrickler V4 with its Inventor, Adam MacDonald

Adam MacDonald is the brilliant Canadian engineer who created the AutoTrickler series of automated powder dispensing systems. These work with advanced scales to dispense powder rapidly, but with a precise final trickle accurate to a single kernel. In this video, Adam explains how best to adjust and calibrate the AutoTrickler V4 when using powders that flow at different rates.

21st Century Power Neck-Turning Lathe — Great Tool

Turning case-necks can be tedious and tough on older hands if you’re using hand-held tools. Quite a few years ago 21st Century released a great compact, neck-turning lathe that delivers superb, consistent results. This Editor uses that original lathe with hand crank and I can affirm that it works great. It is easy to use, fast, and the turned necks come out smooth with consistent rim thickness. But you still had to turn a crank. Well, in 2018, 21st Century created an upgraded Power Neck-Turning Lathe with an electric motor and lever to advance the cases to the cutter. The power head glides on stainless steel guide rails. Power is controlled with a red button in the feed handle.

This advanced, powered mini-lathe is absolutely superb. It works brilliantly and makes the task of turning case-necks fast and VERY easy. And there is even a 3-Way trimmer upgrade that will trim cases to length at the same time as the necks are turned.

BONUS — How to Spot Fake Online Sellers of Components

With the shortage of premium reloading components, particularly powder and primers, many handloaders are desperate to find components when even big companies such as Midsouth and MidwayUSA are completely sold out. Enter the scammers. There are criminals, many based overseas, who have created entire websites designed to steal your money. You might find such a site when searching for “Varget powder in stock” or “CCI BR4 primers”. These sites look like regular business webstores, with product photos and modern shopping cart systems. But it’s all a scam.

Key giveaways are: 1) The site does NOT take Visa, Mastercard, or Discover but requires payment with Zelle, Venmo, Bitcoin, or AppleCash only; and 2) The site has hard-to-find powders, such as Varget and H4350, that nobody else has, and you can put thousands of pounds in the shopping cart.

Bottom line here — if the site allows you to order vast amounts of powder and/or primers, and does not take ANY major Credit Card types, it is almost surely a scam. If you see links to pay with Crypto-Currency (such as Bitcoin) run away!

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April 7th, 2022

Reading the Wind — Terrain Effects, Mirage, and Anomalies

Steven Blair F-Class Wind Tips

At the request of our Shooters’s Forum members, we’re repeating an excellent article by Steven Blair on wind reading. Steven, a top F-Class shooter, talks about mirage, topography effects, tail winds, and other subtle factors that can cause frustration for shooters. Steve explains that wind effects can be complex — there’s more going on than just velocity and angle. You need to notice things like berm locations and effects of temp changes over the course of the day.

Wind Reading Tips for Competitive Shooters
by Steven Blair, Past California State Long Range F-Open Champion

Assess the Terrain and How the Wind Will Interact with It
Before you begin a match, take a few minutes to look around the range at the terrain, any obstructions, range topography (berms and backstop), and trees, buildings or structures that could affect wind flow over the range. Imagine what might happen if the wind was from the left or right, headwind or tailwind. Depending upon the direction, significant effects may be seen on range. A head or tail wind may ripple across the berms, causing elevation changes, both high and low. A tall side berm, like the east side berm at Ben Avery, may cause turbulence when the wind comes from that direction. Blocking features might shield most of the wind but a break along the range can funnel strong gusts through the gap with no other indications. Take a few notes about the effects of different wind directions and refer to them if the prevailing direction changes. (Tip courtesy Tony Robertson.)

Steven Blair F-Class Wind Tips

Use a Spotting Scope, Even When Shooting a Scoped Rifle
A good spotting scope can “see” mirage much more clearly than even an expensive rifle scope. Take your spotting scope to the line and position it as sling shooters do, close enough to use without much movement. Focus the scope approximately 1/3 of the way down range or where the most significant wind effects are likely to occur. Take a quick look while waiting for pit service, glance at the flags and compare to your scope sight picture. I often see ambiguous indications at the target through the rifle scope, but see a clear indication of wind direction and speed through the spotting scope at the shorter distance. When shooting the Arizona Palma Championship at Ben Avery last weekend, I was scoring while the wind was coming from the east. Shooters up and down the line were out to the left, losing points. Mirage at the target looked moderate and the flags weren’t indicating strong wind. As I focused the spotting scope back, the mirage suddenly looked like it was flowing twice as fast around 500 yards than it was closer or farther. It wasn’t until I realized that the access road cut through the berm there that I understood what was happening. (Tip courtesy Gary Eliseo.)

Steven Blair F-Class Wind Tips

Don’t Over-React to Something That May Be an Anomaly
On ranges with sizable berms, a headwind or tailwind can cause significant elevation problems. It is generally not possible to see or predict when this will occur. When the conditions exist that cause elevation changes and other competitors are experiencing the same problem, the best strategy is to ignore it. Certainly, avoid shooting when the head or tail wind is gusting, the same as you would in a crosswind. But, if you react to random, range-induced elevation changes, the only likely result is to make it worse. Whether the problem is caused by range or ammunition, maintain your waterline hold until you have evidence that something has fundamentally changed.

Steven Blair F-Class Wind Tips

My .284 Shehane will usually require a click or two down during a string as the barrel warms. That is normal and manageable. But, if your shots are just bouncing up and down in the 10 ring, leave it alone. The same is also true of an occasional gust pushing a shot into the 9 ring. If the conditions have not changed and one shot just went out, it may be the result of a random occurrence that was not predictable. (Tip courtesy “School of Hard Knocks”.)

Adjust Spotting Scope Focus and Magnification as Needed to View Mirage vs. Target Details
In F-Class we only need to see mirage, spotters, and scoring disks. That does not take a lot of magnification. My scope is a Nikon 25-75x82mm ED. It is a superb scope for the money and makes it trivial to see minor variations in mirage. It is good to have the high magnification available, and it can always be reduced if necessary. I use different power settings for different situations.

Steven Blair F-Class Wind TipsSetting Magnification Levels
During a match, in very good viewing conditions, I set my spotting scope at 75X, full power. The mirage is more subtle in the morning and greater magnification is needed.

During a match with heavy mirage I set my spotting scope at about 40X. I have no problem seeing mirage, even at this magnification.

When practicing at 300 yards or closer I set my spotting scope at max power (75X) so I can see the little 6mm holes from my 6BR rifle. I usually need to focus back and forth between shots to see both bullet holes and mirage.

Steven Blair, 2012 California State Long Range F-Open Champion, has been shooting since childhood and competing for over 30 years. Before retiring, Steve spent 16 years in Engineering and IT with General Atomics. He has held Engineering and Marketing positions with several firearms companies and worked on projects from pistols to 155mm howitzers.

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March 19th, 2022

Dad Develops .223 Rem F-TR Load for his Daughter

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Jeremy Rowland decided to put together an F-TR rifle for his eldest daughter, who enjoys competitive shooting. For his daughter, Rowland chose the .223 Rem option because it has less recoil and components are less costly than the .308 Win. Here is Rowland’s account of how he developed a .223 Rem load. For more details (with data charts), read Jeremy’s FULL STORY on Sierra Bullets Blog.

Journey to Find a .223 Rem F-Class Load

by Jeremy Rowland, Reloading Podcast
My oldest daughter has been to several matches with me, and has even competed in several, using her .243. [A few seasons back] I decided, she would compete with a .223 Rem in FT/R. Looking for a good starter rifle, I settled on the Savage Axis Heavy Barrel since it has a 1:9″ twist. This would be a great little rifle for her to learn on. The rifle was shot unmodified, as it came from the factory. A Sinclair F-Class Bipod w/micro elevation adjustment was fitted to the front.

Next came finding the components I wanted to use for her match loads. After spending hours and hours running numbers on JBM stability calculator as well as in my iPhone Ballistic AE app, the 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) looked really good. So that’s what I decided to go with. I jumped in head first and ordered a bulk pack of the Sierra 69 gr TMKs. I had settled on Hodgdon CFE 223 powder since it shows good velocity. I decided to go with once-fired Lake City brass with CCI BR4 primers.

Next came the testing. I decided to run a ladder test (one shot per charge from min to max looking for the accuracy node). The ladder test ranged from 23.5 grains to 25.6 grains, in 0.3 grain increments.

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Ladder Test Conditions: Temp: 59.4° | Humidity: 63% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-12 mph

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Bullet: 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing®
Case: Lake City (mixed years, sorted by case capacity)
Primer:CCI BR4
Powder: Hodgdon CFE 223 (one round each from 23.5 to 25.6 grains)
Cartridge OAL: 2.378″
Base to Ogive: 1.933″ (.020″ off lands)

After his ladder test, Rowland settled on a load of 25.2 grains of Hodgdon CFE 223. He then fine-tuned his load with different seating depths: “I loaded up 5 rounds each at .020″ off lands, .015″ off lands, .010″ off lands, and .005″ off the lands. Here are the results from the best group for OAL/Ogive fine tuning. As you can see, I think I’ve found a winner in these 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKings.”

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Seating Depth Test Conditions: Temp: 36.3° | Humidity: 73.8% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-7 mph

This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

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March 18th, 2022

Improve Your Trigger Technique for Better Scores and Accuracy

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.

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March 6th, 2022

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.

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February 8th, 2022

Berger Southwest Nationals — Equipment List from 2020

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

The Berger SW Nationals competition is back! After being cancelled in 2021 due to Covid concerns, one of America’s best shooting matches returns in 2022. The match kicks off tomorrow, February 9, 2022, and continues through Sunday February 13, 2022 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is a unique match that combines F-Class competition with High Power (Palma) prone sling shooting. The nation’s top F-Open and F-TR shooters will be in Phoenix, along with top “hard-holders” with their bolt-action long-range target rifles.

If you’re curious about the equipment favored by Berger SWN competitors, here are the equipment lists from the last SWN match in 2020. This list was compiled by the match directors from info supplied by 2020 F-Class and High Power competitors. This covers hardware (actions, barrels, stocks), optics (riflescopes, spotting scopes), and cartridges (brass, bullets, powders). As you’d expect, .284 Win (and variants) dominated the F-Open ranks. Though some guys did try the .223 Rem for F-TR, the .308 Win was still used by the vast majority of F-TR shooters.

Matt Schwartzkopf, USA F-TR Team member (and Ben Avery Range Supervisor), collected comprehensive gear reports during the 2020 Berger SW Nationals. Matt then created charts showing competitors’ choices for Actions, Barrels, Stocks, Riflescopes and Spotting Scopes. In addition, Matt compiled bullet choice and powder preferences for all classes along with cartridge rankings for F-Open Division.

ACTIONS Listed by Division (Sling, F-TR, F-Open)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

ACTIONS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

BARRELS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

BULLETS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

CARTRIDGE BRASS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

POWDER by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

STOCKS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

RIFLESCOPES by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

SPOTTING SCOPES Listed by Class (Sling, F-TR, F-Open)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

The best F-Class and Sling shooters in the nation compete each year at the Berger Southwest Nationals at the Ben Avery range in Arizona. Walk down the firing line and you’ll see the absolute “best of the best” in equipment — from $3500 optics to $2000 stocks and $400 triggers. Berger SWN shooters have some of the best equipment you can buy. In this game, where just 1 or 2 points can separate first from third place (considering X-Count), it’s important to have top-flight equipment. That means a custom action, custom barrel, and high-end stock or chassis system.

Cartridge Selection in F-Open Division

In addition, Matt produced an interesting listing of cartridge/caliber types for the F-Open division. This is helpful because cartridge choice is unrestricted in the F-Open class. By contrast, the F-TR division is limited to .223 Remington (5.56×45) or .308 Winchester (7.62×51). You can see that the .284 Winchester (and variants) currently dominate F-Open.

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

Shooters’ Forum Thread about SWN Gear Selection

There was a discussion of the 2020 SWN Gear Selection in our Shooters’ Forum. CLICK HERE to view that Forum thread. Many top SWN shooters, including past F-Open National Champion Larry Bartholome, contributed to this Forum discussion about gear options.

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January 8th, 2022

Getting Started in F-Class — Guide for F-TR and F-Open Newbies

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 8-32x56mm SIII. It’s a great scope for the money and at under $1000 (in the USA) it’s half the price of some of its competitors. 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.

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December 11th, 2021

Lights, Camera, ACTIONS — See Kelbly’s Actions Being Made

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

Want to see new-born Pandas? No, not the furry kind — rather Stolle Panda actions produced with state-of-the-art CNC machinery. If you’ve ever wondered how precision benchrest, long-range, and tactical rifles are built, check out video from Kelbly’s. You’ll see actions finished, barrels chambered and crowned, pillars installed in stocks, barreled actions bedded, plus a host of other services performed by Kelbly’s gunsmiths and machinists.

If you’re a fan of fine machine-work, this video should be both informative and entertaining. You can see how precision gun work is done with 21st-Century technology. Tip of the hat to Ian Kelbly and crew for producing this excellent video visit to the Kelbly’s production center.

Click Volume Control to Activate Sound for Kelbly’s Video:

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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