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November 26th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Cortina Interviews World-Class Shooters

Erik Cortina YouTube interview john whidden seb lambang Lonny Basham Bart Sauter Video Interview

Interview with NBRSA 3-Gun and Tackdriver Champ Bart Sauter

Bullet-maker Bart Sauter is one of the world’s best benchrest shooters. He won the 2022 NBRSA 3-Gun National Championship this year, and he also has won the multi-class Tack Driver event two years in a row. Plus he has set small-group world record at 600 yards. In this very informative interview, Bart talks about bullets, equipment selection, match preparation, and shooting techniques. We think every benchrest shooter should watch this video.

Master at Work — Sauter in Action
If you want to see how a world-class bench shooter runs his rifle, check out this short video showing Bart Sauter in action. He runs five shots in about 9 seconds.

Interview with 6-Time Nat’l Long Range Champion John Whidden


CLICK HERE for full 81-minute interview with John Whidden.

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks is one of the greatest American marksman in history. Shooting sling rifles, John has won the U.S. Long Range National Championship a remarkable six times. He has also won a Palma World Championship, and this summer John won the 2022 Smallbore Prone U.S. National Championship. While a humble individual, John has superb shooting skills and unrivaled mental toughness. In this interview, John talks about the challenges of competition and what motivates him to excel. John also talks about the products he has developed for Whidden Gunworks.

Interview with Tod Hendricks, 2021 F-Open National Champion

A member of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden, Tod Hendricks has been one of the most talented and consistent F-Open competitors for many years. He used his mental toughness and wind-reading skills to capture a National Championship in 2021. In this wide-ranging interview with his team-mate Erik Cortina, Tod reveals what it takes to win in F-Open these days, covering equipment, ammo quality, and match preparation.

NOTE: While the video title frame states Tod Hendricks was 2020 National F-Open Champion, he actually won the 2021 NRA F-Open Long-Range Championship at Camp Atterbury, IN. Tod finished 3rd at the 2020 Nat’l Championship at the Ben Avery Range, AZ.

Interview with Ken Clemens of Brux Barrels

Brux Barrels is a machine tool company located in Lodi, Wisconsin, specializing in premium, custom, cut-rifled barrels. Brux barrels have set some impressive benchrest records, and have won championships in multiple disciplines. In this video Erik Cortina interviews Ken Clemens of Brux. They discuss the production process at Brux, from the selection of top-quality steel blanks to the final hand-lapping procedures.

Interview with Lanny Bassham, Olympic Gold Medalist and Author

Erik Cortina recently interviewed noted author and Olympic Gold Medal-winning shooter Lanny Bassham. Erik asked Lanny about his book With Winning in Mind. Lanny discussed the “mental game” in the shooting sports and Lanny’s program for visualization of a winning performance. Lanny explains that after you have mastered your rifle skills, and learned to read the wind, it is important to adopt a winning mentality and to visualize success. Lanny should know. He won a shooting Gold Medal in the Olympics along with 22 world individual and team titles.

Interview with Lindsey Paul, Queen of 2 Miles

Lindsey Paul is the only women to win the King of Two Miles ELR competition, becoming the first-ever QUEEN of Two Miles, shooting a .375 CheyTac. In 2021, the talented lady Texan beat a field of top competitors, including past KO2M Champions, all guys. Lindsey had a truly outstanding performance, including 3 hits in 5 shots at the max distance, 2.0 miles (3520 yards). In this interview, Lindsey, who works in the law enforcement field, talks about the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game, and she also explains what it’s like to shoot the heavy-recoiling .375 CheyTac.

Interview with Frank Galli — Founder of Sniper’s Hide

The founder of the popular Sniper’s Hide Forum, Frank Galli is an online pioneer and living legend in the tactical shooting sports world. A former U.S. Marine Scout-Sniper, Frank (aka “Lowlight”) runs a very active Forum with over 180,000 members. Along with moderating his Forum, Frank runs training clinics and hosts regular podcasts. Frank is also the author of the book Precision Rifle Marksmanship: The Fundamentals, an excellent resource for PRS/NRL competitors as well as tactical marksmen.

BONUS Videos — Two Great Tech and Reloading Videos

How to Find Jam Point on your Barrel

Loading for F-Class

Erik Cortina produces his own line of EC Barrel Tuners and Tuner Brakes. These have been used successfully by many top shooters. View the full line of Cortina Precision products at: ShootSmallGroups.com.

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November 12th, 2022

Old Anschutz Stock Transformed into Modern F-Class Stock

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is an interesting project by one of our Forum members. Martin C. (aka “Killick”) modified an Anschutz 1411 Match 54 rimfire prone stock to become a comfortable, great-tracking F-Class Open Division Stock. No Killick didn’t sacrifice a perfectly good rimfire rifle for this project — he bought the Anschutz stock by itself on eBay, then transformed it…

Killick explains: “This project started about seven years ago. I bought the Anschutz prone stock on eBay and whittled it a bit into a Palma rifle with a Barnard action and block and a Doan Trevor cheek piece and scope rail. Then about two years ago I decided to re-task the stock/action assembly into an F-Open rig. With more whittling, gluing, sanding, body fillering, sanding, filling, sanding, more sanding…and sanding, forming, priming, sanding, painting, waiting, painting, painting…painting and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle.”

Here is the eBay-sourced Anschutz 1411 stock, with new high-gloss blue finish, as initially modified for use in Killick’s centerfire Palma rifle. Looks nice!

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Next step was the addition of a 3″-wide wood fore-end for F-Open duties with front rest:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Almost done here… just needs priming and final painting:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is Killick’s completed F-Open rifle with its much-modified Anschutz stock now finished in fire-engine red lacquer. This image shows the detail of the grip and customized cheekpiece.

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

To learn more, visit Killick’s Anschutz Stock F-Class Project Thread on our Shooters’ Forum.

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October 24th, 2022

2022 NRA F-Class National Championships Results

NRA 2022 F-Class F-Open F-TR national championship ben avery phoenix Arizona AZ

The 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships concluded on Sunday, October 23rd after 8 days of competition. Held at the Ben Avery range in Arizona, the F-Class Nationals were popular this year. There was a good turn-out for both the 600-yard Mid-Range event and the 1000-yard Long-Range competition. For the Long Range event, there were over 100 shooters in the F-Open division and over 70 competitors in the F-TR Division. We congratulate the new NRA F-Class National Champions in the two Divisions (F-TR and F-Open) and two distances (600 yards and 1000 yards). Hail to the Champs!

2022 NRA F-Class National Champions, F-TR and F-Open

Keith Trapp, F-TR 1000-Yard Champion Tim Vaught, F-Open 1000-Yard Champion
James Crofts, F-TR 600-Yard Champion Eric Wuestenhoefer, F-Open 600-Yard Champion

Among many notable showings, we were impressed by Eric Wuestenhoefer’s and James Crofts’ winning totals at 600 yards. F-Open competitor Eric finished with a superb 1795-117X Mid-Range Grand Agg, while F-TR ace James racked up a stellar 1782-100X Mid-Range final tally.

We list the Top 10 for Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships for both classes below. There were some very close competitions this year. The F-TR 1000-yard event went down to the wire with 2022 Champion Keith Trap (1572-63X) edging past Champion Ian Klemm (1572-58X) by X-count. In the F-Open Mid-Range Championships, 2022 Champ Eric Wuestenhoefer won by a single point over Pat Scully, who had the high X-Count. Get full match results on the Desert Sharpshooters Website:

CLICK HERE for Full 2022 NRA F-Class Nationals Results »

F-TR Long Range Top 10

1. Keith Trapp, 1572-63X CHAMPION
2. Ian Klemm, 1572-58X
3. Mike Francis, 1569-68X
4. Tracy Hogg, 1569-48X
5. Carl Matthews, 1564-58X
6. Edward Shelley, 1563-63X
7. Luke Ramsey, 1563-60X
8. Nancy Tompkins, 1561-60X
9. Brad Sauve, 1560-60X
10. Dale Lucy, 1559-57X

F-Open Long Range Top 10

1. Tim Vaught, 1586-87X CHAMPION
2. Tracy Harrold, 1584-78X, High Woman
3. Peter Johns, 1583-81X
4. Norman Harrold, 1582-80X
5. Eric Wuestenhoefer, 1580-80X
6. Matthew Basalla, 1580-74X
7. John Stewart, 1579-69X
8. Doug Skogman, 1578-77X, High Senior
9. David Gosnell, 1578-75X
10. William Kolodziej, 1576-75X

F-TR Mid-Range Top 10

1. James Crofts, 1782-100X CHAMPION
2. Richard Dixon, 1778-94X
3. Tracy Hogg, 1777-75X
4. Matthew Schwartzkopf, 1776-78X
5. Luke Ramsey, 1775-90X
6. Keith Trapp, 1775-76X
7. Raymond Weaver, 1768-71X
8. Henry Rockhill, 1765-73X
9. Philip Kelley Jr., 1763-75X
10. Steve Ernst, 1763-71X

F-Open Mid-Range Top 10

1. Eric Wuestenhoefer, 1794-117X CHAMPION
2. Pat Scully, 1793-121X
3. Josephy Cordeiro, 1792-116X
4. Tracy Harrold, 1791-104X
5. Jim Murphy, 1790-96X
6. John Masek, 1789-108X
7. Norman Harrold, 1788-115X
8. Jesse Ford, 1788-101X
9. Ken Dickerman, 1786-102X
10. Dan Bramley, 1786-96X

Here’s a video from John Masek who finished sixth in the F-Open 600-yard Championship. You’ll find many informative videos on John’s popular F-Class John YouTube Channel.

NRA 2022 F-Class F-Open F-TR national championship ben avery phoenix Arizona AZ sponsors

Want to see more photos? Over 800 photos from the 2022 NRA F-Class Championships are linked via our Shooter’s Forum. These hi-rez images by Forum member Turbulent Turtle cover all the F-Class Nationals matches, both individual and team. The image below captures the final Team Day on 10/22/22, with Team BulletCentral.com in the orange jerseys.

NRA 2022 F-Class F-Open F-TR national championship ben avery phoenix Arizona AZ sponsors

F-TR Team Results

1000-Yard F-TR Top Three Teams

USA F-T/R BLUE HM 1576-64X
TRACY HOGG 390-14X
BRAD SAUVE 396-19X
LUKE RAMSEY 393-9X
IAN KLEMM T 397-22X
KIMBERLY ROWE alt
**********************************
TEAM TEXAS HM 1551-43X
Capt.: SKIP BARKLEY / Coach: ALLEN TAMPKE
JENNIFFER BONDURANT 390-7X
CARL MATTHEWS 381-12X
RANDY LITTLETON 391-15X
GREG BARKLEY 389-9X
MALACHI GALLAGHER alt
**********************************
USA F-T/R RED MA 1541-45X
Capt.: PHIL KELLEY / Coach: JAMES CROFTS
EDWARD SHELLEY 379-6X
MIKE FRANCIS 389-14X
NIKLAS MONTIN 386-13X
HENRY ROCKHILL 387-12X

F-Open Team Results

1000-Yard F-Open Top Three Teams

ROLLING COAL HM 1586-85X
Capt.: NORM HARROLD / Coach: OMAR ALONZO
NORMAN HARROLD 393-20X
TIM VAUGHT 397-23X
DOUG SKOGMAN 397-17X
PETER JOHNS 399-25X
**********************************
TEAM GRIZZLY HM 1585-72
Capt.: SHIRAZ BALOLIA / Coach: TRUDIE FAY
JOSEPH CORDEIRO 397-18X
DWAYNE DRAGGOO 393-19X
SHIRAZ BALOLIA 395-15X
ERIC WUESTENHOEFER 400-20x
WILLIAM KOLODZIEJ alt
ADDISON MOHLER alt
**********************************
THE LONG SHOTS HM 1581-79X
Capt.: DAN BRAMLEY / Coach: MICHELLE GALLAGHER
KEITH WEIL 396-21X
KEN DICKERMAN 395-22X
PAT SCULLY 393-17X
DAVID GOSNEL 397-19X

F-TR Team Results

600-Yard F-TR Top Three Teams

TEAM TEXAS HM 1580-85X
Capt.: SKIP BARKLEY / Coach: ALLEN TAMPKE
RANDY LITTLETON 396-21X
GREG BARKLEY 399-22X
CARL MATTHEWS 388-18X
JENNIFFER BONDURANT 397-24X
**********************************
USA F-T/R BLUE HM 1573-72X
Capt.: CHARLES ROWE / Coach: KEITH TRAPP
ALTON JOHNSON 392-15X
TRACY HOGG 393-20X
HENRY ROCKHILL 390-16X
LUKE RAMSEY T HM 398-21X
KIMBERLY ROWE alt
**********************************
USA F-T/R RED HM 1571-63X
Capt.: PHIL KELLEY / Coach: JAMES CROFTS
NIKLAS MONTIN 393-18X
EDWARD SHELLEY 390-14X
BRAD SAUVE 396-20X
DOUG BOYER 392-11X

F-TR Team Results

600-Yard F-Open Top Three Teams

ROLLING COAL 1591-95X
Capt.: NORM HARROLD / Coach: OMAR ALONZO
TIM VAUGHT 398-23X
NORMAN HARROLD 397-27X
DOUG SKOGMAN 398-22X
PETER JOHNS 398-23X
CHRIS FEW alt
**********************************
THE LONG SHOTS HM 1588-100X
Capt.: DAN BRAMLEY / Coach: MICHELLE GALLAGHER
DAVID GOSNELL 397-26X
KEN DICKERMAN 397-26X
PAT SCULLY 395-21X
KEITH WEIL 399-27X
**********************************
LAPUA BRUX BORDEN 1585-78X
Capt.: ERIK CORTINA / Coach: BOB SEBOLD
DAVID CHRISTIAN 397-15X
JEREMY SMITH 394-18X
JAY CHRISTOPHERSON 397-24X
TED WEDELL 397-21X
TOD HENDRICKS alt

NRA 2022 F-Class F-Open F-TR national championship ben avery phoenix Arizona AZ sponsors

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October 22nd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: F-Class Showcase — Events, Gear, Loads

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR

The 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships have been underway at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona this past week. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals ran October 16-19, and the Long Range (1000-yard) event started on October 20 and concludes on Sunday, October 23, 2022. Many of the nation’s leading F-TR and F-Open shooters are battling it out at Ben Avery right now. The week of competition will conclude on Sunday October 23, 2022 with the final 1000-yard relays followed by award ceremonies.

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR
Looking down-range with F-TR rifle at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

F-Class Shooting at Bisley Range in the United Kingdom


F-Class Bisley England UK European Championships

F-Class competition is popular around the world, and the UK is a major center of F-Class shooting in Europe. The Bisley range is justly famous, with a long heritage of shooting competitions. This video features the European F-Class Championship held at Bisley in 2015.

Highlights from Day 1 of 2021 F-Class Nationals

In 2021 the NRA F-Class National Championships were held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Here is interesting footage from Day 1 of the Long-Range 1000-yard match. The video is narrated by our friend Erik Cortina, a top F-class shooter and member of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden. Erik has a popular YouTube Channel featuring interviews with many top shooters as well as reloading and tech tips.

WICKED WINDS — At Ben Avery with 18-30 mph Winds

Long-range F-Class shooters will tell you that the winds can be the biggest challenge in a match. And things can get pretty wild at times as the Ben Avery range in Phoenix, site of the 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships. In this video, shooters fight through extremely strong 18-30 mph winds at 600 yards. In these kind of extreme conditions, a major unexpected gust can send your bullet off-target.

F-Class F-Open stock Ben Avery
F-0pen rifle at the Berger SW Nationals at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ.

Front Rest Options for F-Open (and Benchrest) Competition

If you are shopping for a front rest, definitely watch this comprehensive 42-minute video from start to finish. This is probably the most informative video about premium shooting rests available on YouTube. Top F-Class shooter and video-maker F-Class John covers a wide selection of front rests, with some observations about coaxial bipods as well. John covers the impressive new SEB NEO-X, the easy-to-transport SEB Mini-X, the excellent Rodzilla Rest, the innovative 21st Century Hybrid Rest, the sleek Italian Lenzi Rest. And at the end of the video John reviews the very affordable Caldwell Fire Control Rest ($204.99 on Amazon), explaining how it can be a decent choice for shooters on a limited budget.

Newbie Perspective — First Time Shooting F-Class

Saturday movies F-Class Australia Bribane Tikka T3 F-Open F-TRJust getting started in F-Class? Then you would appreciate this video, which covers the experience of an F-Class novice from Australia. The host of the video shot his first F-Class match at 600 yards with the Brisbane Mariners Rifle Club (BMRC) in Brisbane, Australia. He was using a Tikka T3 factory rifle with a $40 bipod. He enjoyed the challenge and had a good experience. This video shows that club-level F-Class can be fun, even with a modestly-priced factory rig. NOTE: This video is filmed indoors after the match, NOT on the lovely BMRC range shown above.

Reloading for F-Class — Interview with Erik Cortina

In this Precision Rifle Network video, Erik Cortina of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden covers the reloading process for his F-Class rifle. All phases of reloading are noted — brass prep, annealing, primer seating, precision powder measuring (to the kernel), and bullet seating. Erik also talk about load testing and use of barrel tuners. Erik produces the EC Barrel Tuner which is used by many top competitors.

Building a Modern F-Open Stock for Competition

In this video, our friend F-Class John explains the process for building two custom laminated stocks for his F-Open rifles. John selected handsome, highly-figured African hardwoods, which were then laminated into layers with purple-tinted heart-wood and dark Wenge wood stringers in the middle. The stock-maker then sliced the wood into layers (1:02) and then glued the layers together (1:40). After final cutting, the stocks are shown at 2:00, and then the video shows how the stocks received their final finish. Both stocks are fitted with the R.A.D. recoil-reduction system. See the bedding at 19:00 and the fully finished rifles at 19:12 with barreled actions fitted.

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR
Here is another beautiful F-Open stock, on the firing line at Ben Avery with a SEB Mini front rest. Note the metal side-bars on the front of the forearm. These metal fittings extend the stock’s “wheelbase” while also lowering the rifle’s center of gravity.

BONUS Video

Crazy Small F-Class Group — Five Shots in 1.3″ at 1000 Yards

This video might just make you slap your forehead and say “that’s amazing!” During a practice session, Erik Cortina had a camera set up on the firing line along with a ShotMarker system on the target 1000 yards away. Erik recorded himself nailing a 1.3″ five-shot group, with four of the shots all touching in just 0.3″. The full group size, 1.3″, works out to 0.124 MOA — amazing accuracy for a big 7mm cartridge! And the four touching shots in 0.3″ represent an insane 0.029 MOA cluster! (1 MOA at 1000 yards is 10.47″.) As this was not shot in a competition, Erik’s 1.3″ group doesn’t count as a record, but it just shows how accurate a modern F-Open rifle can be when all the stars align for a talented trigger-puller.

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October 14th, 2022

Avoid Having a ‘Train Wreck’ at the 2022 F-Class Nationals

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

The 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships commence this weekend at the Ben Avery range in Phoenix, Arizona. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals commence this Sunday, October 16, with practice on Saturday, October 15. The 1000-yard Long Range match starts on October 20th.

2022 NRA F-Class Nationals Ben Avery AZ train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

How to Avoid “Train Wrecks” In Competition

In any shooting competition, you must try to avoid major screw-ups that can ruin your day (or your match). In this article, past F-TR National Mid-Range and Long Range Champion Bryan Litz talks about “Train Wrecks”, i.e. those big disasters (such as equipment failures) that can ruin a whole match. Bryan illustrates the types of “train wrecks” that commonly befall competitors, and he explains how to avoid these “unmitigated disasters”.

Urban Dictionary “Train Wreck” Definition: “A total @#$&! disaster … the kind that makes you want to shake your head.”

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballisticsTrain Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)
by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC.

Success in long range competition depends on many things. Those who aspire to be competitive are usually detail-oriented, and focused on all the small things that might give them an edge. Unfortunately it’s common for shooters lose sight of the big picture — missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Consistency is one of the universal principles of successful shooting. The tournament champion is the shooter with the highest average performance over several days, often times not winning a single match. While you can win tournaments without an isolated stellar performance, you cannot win tournaments if you have a single train wreck performance. And this is why it’s important for the detail-oriented shooter to keep an eye out for potential “big picture” problems that can derail the train of success!

Train wrecks can be defined differently by shooters of various skill levels and categories. Anything from problems causing a miss, to problems causing a 3/4-MOA shift in wind zero can manifest as a train wreck, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

Below is a list of common Shooting Match Train Wrecks, and suggestions for avoiding them.

1. Cross-Firing. The fastest and most common way to destroy your score (and any hopes of winning a tournament) is to cross-fire. The cure is obviously basic awareness of your target number on each shot, but you can stack the odds in your favor if you’re smart. For sling shooters, establish your Natural Point of Aim (NPA) and monitor that it doesn’t shift during your course of fire. If you’re doing this right, you’ll always come back on your target naturally, without deliberately checking each time. You should be doing this anyway, but avoiding cross-fires is another incentive for monitoring this important fundamental. In F-Class shooting, pay attention to how the rifle recoils, and where the crosshairs settle. If the crosshairs always settle to the right, either make an adjustment to your bipod, hold, or simply make sure to move back each shot. Also consider your scope. Running super high magnification can leave the number board out of the scope’s field view. That can really increase the risk of cross-firing.

2. Equipment Failure. There are a wide variety of equipment failures you may encounter at a match, from loose sight fasteners, to broken bipods, to high-round-count barrels that that suddenly “go south” (just to mention a few possibilities). Mechanical components can and do fail. The best policy is to put some thought into what the critical failure points are, monitor wear of these parts, and have spares ready. This is where an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of train wreck. On this note, if you like running hot loads, consider whether that extra 20 fps is worth blowing up a bullet (10 points), sticking a bolt (DNF), or worse yet, causing injury to yourself or someone nearby.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

[Editor’s Note: The 2016 F-Class Nationals will employ electronic targets so conventional pit duties won’t be required. However, the following advice does apply for matches with conventional targets.]

3. Scoring/Pit Malfunction. Although not related to your shooting technique, doing things to insure you get at least fair treatment from your scorer and pit puller is a good idea. Try to meet the others on your target so they can associate a face with the shooter for whom they’re pulling. If you learn your scorer is a Democrat, it’s probably best not to tell Obama jokes before you go for record. If your pit puller is elderly, it may be unwise to shoot very rapidly and risk a shot being missed (by the pit worker), or having to call for a mark. Slowing down a second or two between shots might prevent a 5-minute delay and possibly an undeserved miss.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics4. Wind Issues. Tricky winds derail many trains. A lot can be written about wind strategies, but here’s a simple tip about how to take the edge off a worse case scenario. You don’t have to start blazing away on the command of “Commence fire”. If the wind is blowing like a bastard when your time starts, just wait! You’re allotted 30 minutes to fire your string in long range slow fire. With average pit service, it might take you 10 minutes if you hustle, less in F-Class. Point being, you have about three times longer than you need. So let everyone else shoot through the storm and look for a window (or windows) of time which are not so adverse. Of course this is a risk, conditions might get worse if you wait. This is where judgment comes in. Just know you have options for managing time and keep an eye on the clock. Saving rounds in a slow fire match is a costly and embarrassing train wreck.

5. Mind Your Physical Health. While traveling for shooting matches, most shooters break their normal patterns of diet, sleep, alcohol consumption, etc. These disruptions to the norm can have detrimental effects on your body and your ability to shoot and even think clearly. If you’re used to an indoor job and eating salads in air-conditioned break rooms and you travel to a week-long rifle match which keeps you on your feet all day in 90-degree heat and high humidity, while eating greasy restaurant food, drinking beer and getting little sleep, then you might as well plan on daily train wrecks. If the match is four hours away, rather than leaving at 3:00 am and drinking five cups of coffee on the morning drive, arrive the night before and get a good night’s sleep.”

Keep focused on the important stuff. You never want to lose sight of the big picture. Keep the important, common sense things in mind as well as the minutia of meplat trimming, weighing powder to the kernel, and cleaning your barrel ’til it’s squeaky clean. Remember, all the little enhancements can’t make up for one big train wreck!

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October 11th, 2022

2022 F-Class Nationals October 16-23 at Ben Avery in Arizona

2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

The 2022 United States F-Class National Championships commence Sunday, October 16, 2022 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility (BASF) in Phoenix. There’s a “hybrid” format this year. (The range should be open for practice on Saturday 10/15/2022). For 2022, the Nationals combine both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions in one extended mega-match. The Mid-Range U.S. F-Class Nationals take place October 16-19, 2022, with all shooting at 600-yard targets. The Long Range F-Class National Championships then run Thursday, October 20 through Sunday October 23, 2022. All Long Range matches are at 1000 yards. The competitions will have two different divisions: F-Open and F-TR (Target Rifle). Registration is now closed for both Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships.*

CLICK HERE for 2022 F-Class Nationals Match Program »

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

Located on 1,650 acres in north Phoenix, Ben Avery is one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facilities. A City of Phoenix “Point of Pride,” the facility has received a five-star rating from the National Association of Shooting Ranges. A camping area is available for competitors. Contact Ben Avery Shooting Range Camping to reserve a camping spot.

Firing line at 2015 F-Class Nationals at Ben Avery Shooting Facility.
2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

You’ll see some serious hardware on the firing line at Ben Avery. Here’s a modern F-Open rig with a handsome maple stock. The gun, belonging to David Mann of Texas, shoots as good as it looks.

Ben Avery F-Class Nationals Championship Phoenix Arizona


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NRA 2022 F-Class Nationals Key Guidelines:

RULES: Current NRA F-Class Rules shall apply.
TARGETS: MR-1FC at 600 yards and LRFC at 1000 yards.
TARGET SERVICE: Competitors will pull their own targets.
SCORING: Competitors will score. Any competitor failing to perform his scoring duties may be disqualified.
SQUADDING: All matches will be squadded. Squadding tickets for individual matches will be issued at the Stat. Office starting at 6:30 AM Sunday 16 October. Any competitor who fails to obtain his squadding ticket by 7:30 AM will only be squadded to fill up vacancies.
CLASSIFICATION: NRA F-Class Classifications will be used. Those competitors unclassified or without proof of a lower classification, will be required to compete in the Master class. Please indicate classification on the registration and entry form.
EMPTY CHAMBER INDICATOR (ECI): Approved NRA empty chamber indicators are required to be used at all times except during the preparation period time and firing.

Ben Avery F-Class Nationals Championship Phoenix Arizona


* Registration officially ended on Monday, October 10, 2022. Entries after this time are considered late entries and may be accepted to fill vacancies on existing relays only. An additional $20.00 will be charged for late entries.

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September 15th, 2022

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the reigning F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
September 4th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: The Beauty of Wood — Custom Stocks

doan trevor figured wood walnut stock custom wood laminate sunday gunday

As a Labor Day Weekend bonus readers, we thought we’d celebrate the beauty of highly-figured wood with a collection of custom rifles. In our Shooters’ Forum, there is a long-running Gun Glamour thread that showcases many beautiful wood-stocked rifles. Today we feature some very handsome rifles from that Forum Thread as well as other rifles we’ve featured in the Daily Bulletin.

Two F-Open Beauties with Walnut Laminates

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action

Cerus-stocked Special from Cigarcop
Forum member Keith W. (aka “Cigarcop”) of KW Precision LLC is a talented riflesmith whose projects display outstanding finish work and attention to detail. Keith does some of the best bedding work we’ve ever seen. Back in 2018, Keith built a stunning .284 Win F-Class rig for a shooter in Delaware. It’s a beauty, that’s for sure.

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action

Check out the stunning Cerus F-Open stock. This features multiple laminations with highly-figured Walnut on the sides. This certainly ain’t your “off-the-shelf” laminated stock. This just shows the beauty that can be achieved with carefully-chosen lamination layers (plus 12 coats of clear).

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action
This beautiful F-Open rig features a laminated wood stock with stunning figured walnut on the outside.

doan trevor figured wood walnut stock custom wood laminate sunday gunday

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

A Beauty for the Boss (of Grizzly.com)
This F-Class rifle belongs to Shiraz Balolia, Chairman/CEO of Grizzly Industrial. Shiraz finished the stock himself: “I installed the bottom wider track for my rear bag and also carved out the finger grooves in the grip. The blank was quite long so I cut off approximately two inches from the front end of each stock and also deepened the large tracking cavity under the fore-end. I went ahead and inlaid my name in Mother-of-Pearl on the Walnut stock.” The stock was then sent to Sims Guitar Finishing for clear coating with “wet look” finish. This rifle is chambered for the .300 Shiraz wildcat, an improved .300 WSM.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
F-0pen Stock made of highly-figured Walnut with Curly Maple inner laminations.

Beautiful Rifles from our Forum Gun Glamour Thread

Here are a variety of handsome wood-stocked rifles from our Forum Gun Glamour thread. In that thread, member Kurz posted a dream gun owned by a friend in England. Kurz included a quote from a book created by the rifle’s owner: “There, with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I shall take that ‘step forward’ and order a perfect machine based on the Mauser ’98 action, built from metal and wood by master craftsmen who truly understand that ‘reliable’ and ‘mechanical integrity’ have as much relevance today as they did all those years ago.”

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

A gun can “shoot dots” and still be handsome. Here is a short-range benchrest rifle with a stunning, exhibition-grade Walnut stock. Forum member Josh B found this beauty.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Forum member JRS submitted a stunner from Europe. This beauty features a truly exquisite piece of wood with elaborately engraved receiver. It also has escutcheons and special metal work on the grip.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Lever-action Falling Block rifles can be beautiful too. This one features a color case-hardened receiver and handsome two-piece fancy wood stock. This was submitted by Forum member Kurz who notes: “Besides exhibition grade walnut, I like the variations available in spalted maple for rifle stocks.”

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Here is member Oldduc’s Stevens 44 1/2, .38-55 Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, with an extra .218 Mashburn Bee barrel. Very nice blueing along with the figured wood stocks and fore-arms.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

A competition rifle must be “performance first”. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be handsome too. Forum member XTR’s rifle, an F-TR rig, features Maple wood with Bubinga tips.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Here is “something completely different” — a classic lever-activated Martini Martini Cadet chambered in .20 Vartarg (rimmed). Look at the figure on that fore-end. Remarkable!

Martini Cadet 20 Rimmed VarTarg shot

And wood can work for Benchrest rifles too, when cleverly fashioned in thin carbon-reinforced laminates. Photo from member mdman352.

Martini Cadet 20 Rimmed VarTarg shot

“Wood is Good” — as demonstrated by all the rifles showcased above. In the photo below, master stock-builder Doan Trevor handcrafts a highly-figured wood stock.

doan trevor wood stock stockmaker

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
August 28th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: SEB Wins in Australia with New NEO-X Rest

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang, the brilliant designer/builder of SEB Shooting Rests, is also one darn good shooter, as demonstrated at a recent major rifle competition in Australia. Shooting at multiple yardages from 300 to 1000 yards, Seb won the Queens Series F-Open title, and finished third overall in the Duncan & Queens Series Grand Agg. That’s mighty good marksmanship considering it was done with an F-Open rifle Seb had just acquired and never shot before! Congrats to Seb for his outstanding performance!

One of the factors in Seb’s success was an all-new front rest that Seb designed and crafted himself. This new SEB NEO-X rest has many advanced features including a swivel-adjusting head, a wide footprint, and the ability to fold-up for easier transport. We have a full report on the impressive NEO-X rest in this story, with bench testing videos by F-Class John.

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

The 2022 QRA Duncan & Queens Series in Australia

Report by Sebastian Lambang
This was my first overseas travel since the Berger Southwest Nationals in early 2020 [right before the COVID-19 shutdowns]. Three years ago I participated in the WARA Queens 2019 in Perth shooting the F-TR, and this was my second F-Open match in Australia. Usually I shoot the F-TR division. However this year I was invited to shoot the F-Open in the QRA Queens 2022 by Jason Mayers, my Australian dealer. Jason has been my “Little Big Brother” and my best friend in Australia. So why not? Let’s just do it!

Jason has two, twin F-Open guns. I bought one and used it during this match. Chambered for 7mm RSAUM, this F-Open rifle features a Barnard action, Marty Lobert trigger, Bartlein barrel with a large tuner in the front, McMillan Kestros ZR stock, and a Nightforce scope. I was shooting 7mm 180gr Berger bullets.

Jason did all of the load development, provided the ammunition and all equipment needed to shoot. The rifle shot and tracked very well — I loved it! Yes, I used a NEO-X prototype unit during the Queens match, i.e. the one that Jason used during the Duncan matches. The second unit just came in the day before the Queens started, it is set for left-handed shooter like him. I used his NEO rest during the Duncan Series.

We had various conditions during the match, from sunny, misty and rainy, to dead calm conditions and switchy wind. I was very fortunate to be able to pick the right time and shot well in the final 900 and 1000-yard stages, winning both yardages! With those results at 900/1000 I finished first in the Queens Match in F-Open. I then finished third overall in the Duncan & Queens Series F-Open Grand Aggregate.

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test
Jason Mayers (L) and Seb Lambang (R). Seb had never shot this F-Open rifle before he piloted it to victory in the 2022 QRA Queens match.

Overcoming Challenges — Rifle Suffers Trigger Failure
I had a trigger failure which caused my score to drop by at least 2 points in the 1000-yard session just before the final day. I dropped 4 points in a good condition and it made me really upset! But huge thanks must go to Mark Fairbairn. Mark helped me to fix the rifle and loaned me a trigger so I still had a few minutes to finish the string!

After that trigger problem I chose to not give up! I hoped for a miracle, to be able to choose the right time to start to shoot (wind wise), to be good enough in reading the current conditions and to get the best possible scores! Jason’s encouragement in the morning that I could still win the match really helped boost my motivation! I do not know why or how but I retained confidence to shoot well and to win the match.

Thanks to Family, Friends, and Fellow Competitors
My sincere thanks to my lovely wife Lily who always supports and loves me as what I am all the time! Thanks again to my Little Big Brother Jason Mayers who has always helped and supported me genuinely! Without his help and support I wouldn’t have been able to win the match so it’s a more about him than me. My Thanks to QRA and all of the Match Organizers, Range Officers, Staffers, and Volunteers during the championship. My thanks also to all competitors and for the warmth and generous welcome!

Thoughts about the New NE0-X from its Inventor

I am really happy that the NEO-X works as expected, too. I think my effort to make even a better rest has been paid off. The New NEO-X combines the best features from the NEO rest and Mini rest in one package with a few extra features. The new NEO-X is designed for those who seek a light-compact rest and want the best one!

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Great Scores Shot by Seb Lambang with new NEO-X Front Rest

Seb shot superbly to win the Queens Series in F-Open Division and take third overall in the combined Duncan and Queens Series Grand Aggregate. Here are two of Seb’s targets, as electronically logged — 1000 yards on the left, 600 yards on the right. NOTE: In Australia, the maximum numerical ring points value is 6, not 10 as in North America. But the center-most ring does register “X” as here. The match included targets shot at 300, 500, 600, 900, and 1000 yards.

Click Photo for Seb Lambang Results Page, then click “eye” icons on right to see more targets
F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

QRA Queens Series 2022 Results LINK
QRA Duncan Series 2022 Results LINK

Duncan & Queens Series Grand Aggregate Results LINK
Sebastian Lambang Individual Scores (All Yardages)

Bench Testing with SEB NEO-X Prototype — VERY Impressive

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Our friend F-Class John recently received one of the very first NEO-X prototypes sent to North America. John assembled the impressive new rest and took it to the range for testing. John was very impressed with the new rest to say the least. He told us: “This really is state-of-the art. I’m very impressed with how it folds compactly for transport, yet is extremely stable, with a nice open platform in the rear.” John noted that the swivel top allows precise alignment with your targets, even if the rest is not positioned perfectly on the ground. That helps when a shooter needs to set up quickly at a new yardage during a match.

When testing with his 7mm F-Open rifle, John noted that the rest is very solid on the bench and does not bump or wobble. See his observations in this exclusive test video:

Commentary by F-Class John
Here’s my quick review after shooting off the NEO-X prototype a couple times. It’s AMAZINGLY STABLE. The way it unfolds not only makes for a wide and stable footprint, but it also leaves lots of room for the shooter to work with, while controlling the joystick.

Another cool thing is that you don’t, technically, even have to lock the bridge down. The bridge is 100% stable after moving it up or down and the lock is more academic than anything.

The swivel head is a feature people will have seen on other rests but the way you can shoose to leave it swiveled or locked down is great. This new NEO-X is going to change things, I have no doubt.

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Unboxing SEB NE0-X Prototype

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

John noted: “The way the NEO-X folds up is amazing, perfect for transporting. It weighs under 20 pounds fully loaded with all parts, joystick, and control arm.”

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product, News 3 Comments »
August 19th, 2022

Pickleforks — Bolt-On Bagrider Rails for Eliseo Tubeguns

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Do you have an Eliseo Tubegun that you use for sling-shooting competitions, but would like to try your hand at F-Class Open matches? Well here is a low-cost, yet very effective add-on that can transform your TubeGun into a serious F-Open rifle. The bolt-on rails also work great for load development if you want to use a front rest with 3″-wide front bag for greater stability and repeatability.

Competition Machine’s Gary Eliseo is a very smart designer as well as a talented shooter. The inventor/builder of the popular Competition Machine Tubegun chassis systems, Gary offers a bolt-on bag-rider accessory. Gary call this his PickleFork fore-end extension. The Pickleforks are rails that fit to the sides of the tubular fore-end/handguard on his chassis systems. This allows you to use a pedestal-style front rest for F-Class competition.

Pickleforks also provide a much more stable platform for load testing, varmint hunting, or any kind of rest-assisted precision shooting. These PickleForks transform a Tubegun into an ultra-stable, straight-tracking rig when used with a competition-style front rest.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Gary explains: “Now you can have the same super low-boreline, long ‘wheelbase’ and vertical sides of our innovative F1 F-Class chassis system for your tube chassis. The new PickleForks attach directly to the sides of the F-Class/Tactical fore-ends, no modifications are required. They are very rigid with no flex or twist and make the rifle track like it’s on rails.” The new Eliseo Competition Machine PickleForks are offered for a very reasonable $70.00 per pair, with Cerakote finish. (You get two metal units, one for each side of the fore-arm). For more information, visit www.GotXRing.com or call (928) 649-0742.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review 1 Comment »
August 18th, 2022

F-Class Training at 300 Yards with Reduced-Sized 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

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July 14th, 2022

Long Range Shooting Tips from Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Berger SW Nationals Bryan LitzThe 2022 NRA Long Range National Matches and Palma Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana kick off soon. The NRA’s Long Range matches will run July 24-29, 2022. In addition, the CMP’s National Long Range Matches will run August 9-13, 2022 at Camp Perry in Ohio.

Today we share some smart tips from a past F-Class and Sling Champion who is both a great shooter AND a ballistics wizard. In 2015, Bryan Litz won the F-TR Mid-Range AND Long-Range National Championships hosted at Ben Avery. And at the 2014 Berger SW Nationals (SWN), Bryan took top honors among all sling shooters. If you only know Bryan Litz from his Applied Ballistics Books and DVDs, you may not realize that this guy is a also great marksman along with being an actual rocket scientist!

Given his impressive track record in both F-Class and Palma (Fullbore) out to 1000 yards, we asked Bryan if he had any advice for other long-range competitors.

First Bryan provided three tips concerning Ballistics, his special area of expertise. Next Bryan offered three more general tips about long-range competition — how to analyze your shooting, how to choose your ‘wind strategy’, and how to avoid the most costly mistakes, i.e. how to avoid the “train-wrecks”.

Bryan Litz won the 2015 F-TR Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships with this sleek rig:
NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Litz Ballistics Tips

Ballistics TIP ONE. If you’re having trouble getting your ballistic software to match actual drops, you need to look at a number of possible reasons. Here are some common issues that can cause problems.

Click Values Are Not Exact. Scopes and iron sights don’t always produce accurate adjustments. In other words, if your ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop, and you dial 30 MOA but hit low, it might be that your sight actually only moved 28 MOA (for example). To see if your sight is adjusting accurately, shoot a tall target at 100 yards and measure group separation when dialing your sight.

Barometric vs. Station Pressure. This is a commonly misunderstood input to ballistics programs. You can avoid this pitfall by remembering the following: station pressure is the actual measured pressure at your location, and you don’t need to tell the program your altitude when using station pressure. Barometric pressure is corrected for sea level. If you’re using barometric pressure, you also have to input your altitude.

Muzzle Velocity. Chronographs are not always as accurate as shooters think they are — your true MV may be off by 10-20 fps (or more). If your drop is different than predicted at long range, it might be because your muzzle velocity input is wrong.

Mixing Up BC (G1 vs. G7). Knowledgeable long range shooters know that the G7 standard is a more representative standard for modern LR bullets. However, using G7 BCs isn’t just a matter of clicking the ‘G7′ option in the program. The numeric value of the BC is different for G1 and G7. For example, the G1 BC of the Berger 155.5 grain Fullbore bullet is .464 but the G7 BC is .237. If you were to enter .464 but click on G7, the results would be way off.

Ballistics TIP TWO. A properly installed level is absolutely essential for long range shooting. Without a good level reference, your long range wind zero will be off due to minor canting of the rifle from side to side. You can verify that your level is installed correctly on a 100-yard ‘tall target’. Draw a plumb line straight up the target and verify that your groups track straight up this line as you go up in elevation.

Ballistics TIP THREE. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

CMP Long range camp Perry Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Electronic High Power Targets for 2022 at Camp Atterbury
This year, for the first time, electronic targets will be used at Camp Atterbury during the NRA High Power National Championships. NRA Competitive Shooting Deputy Director Aaron Farmer posted: “We will have up to 40 targets using Silver Mountain electronic target systems. Competitors will be squadded on a target and then continue to shoot on the same target all week. The only thing that will change is the starting relay for the day. We will be running three relays. No pit duty!”

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

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June 26th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Pride & Joy Guns of Summer from Our Forum

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open KW Precision wood stock

One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized firearms. Here are some of our favorite “Pride and Joy” rifles recently showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list. The photo above shows multiple wood-stocked Palma rifles belonging to Forum member SParker.

We hope these “pride and joy” rifles may provide inspiration for our readers, whetting their appetite for their next competition, varminting, or hunting rifle project.

22 BR Savage Varminter — Accuracy on a Budget

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy 22 BR savage varmint rifle ground hog 6mmBR
AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy 22 BR savage varmint rifle ground hog 6mmBR

This 22 BR Savage, with upgrades from Sharpshooter Supply, is the “pride and joy” of Forum member Maynard. Note the heavy-contour custom barrel with brake. That 22 BR cartridge is a very effective choice for varmint work, as the ground hog in the photo proves. The 22 BR and 22 Dasher are capable of outstanding accuracy with a large variety of bullets and powders. A 22 Dasher can rival the ballistics of a 6mmBR out to 500+ yards, but with reduced recoil.

Daughter’s First Rifle — Built by Dad

Pride Joy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Above is a nice field rifle built up by a father for his daughter. Forum member FrankZ explains: “This is my favorite rifle and it will become my daughter’s first centerfire. The action is from the first rifle I purchased with my own money 21 years ago (700VSS).” The rifle now sports a 24″ Brux barrel chambered in 6mm Creedmoor, with aftermarket PT&G Bolt and DBM metal.

6BR Ackley Improved from Alex Wheeler

Pride Joy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles wheelgun Ruger Revolver hunter

Here is a 6BR Ackley Improved (6BRA) built by Alex Wheeler. This blue marble-painted beauty features a BAT “B” action timed by Alex, fitted with Jewell trigger, and Borden trigger guard. The barrel is a Hawk Hill HV contour finished at 28 inches. The stock is a Deep Creek Tracker with 4″ forearm and rudder system (the toe of the stock adjusts for angle, allowing better tracking). This scope is a Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle riding in Burris Signature Zee rings.

F-Open Rifle with Borden Action + McMillan Kestros ZR Stock

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open borden action mcmillan kestros ZR
AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open borden action mcmillan kestros ZR

This state-of-the-art .284 Shehane F-Open rifle belongs to Forum member Willow. This has a McMillan Kestros ZR stock fitted with a RAD (spring-loaded buttpad) system with custom spring. Other components are: Borden BRMXD LBRP DLC-coated action, Bartlein 32″, 4 groove, 1:8.5″-twist 400MOD steel barrel, and TriggerTech Diamond trigger. On top is a March HM 10-60x56mm scope in March Gen 3 rings. Below is a video by Editor F-Class John, showing the features of the Kestros ZR stock.

6BRX in the Country

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Forum member Grimstod posted this nice 6BRX in a scenic setting: “Bill Goad at Premier Accuracy crated this fantastic 6BRX. It shoots better then I do.” The rifle features a single-feed Alpin action, with Hart 26″ 1:8″-twist barrel, chambered for the 6BRX (6mmBR wildcat) with .269 neck. Grimstod currently runs 95gr Berger VLDs in Lapua brass. On top is a Leupold 40x45mm scope on a Picatinny rail that Grimstod machined himself. The stock is an HS Precision painted by Premier Accuracy.

6mm Dasher for Benchrest Silhouette Matches

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Here’s a gorgeous green 6mm Dasher. Forum Member Gunnermhr states: “This is my new 12-lb Dasher for the 1000 Yard Benchrest silhouette matches. My good friend at CRS Custom Rifle Stocks in Aaronsburg, PA made and painted the stock. It’s similar to a Tooley MBR with a few modifications. It still supported on a 3″ forearm and is full length. Hard to imagine it still makes weight with a wood stock and a 36 power Leopold. Crossed the scale at 11.7lbs. The rifle features a BAT “B” Action. The paint is Candy Apple Green, the forearm has a white base-coat, center section is gray base coat and the buttstock is black base coat, all covered with five coats of clear. It’s the new pride of the fleet as it shoots as good as it looks. This gun hammers with 105gr Berger Hybrids.”

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.”

1917 Enfield Upgraded with Hand-Carved Figured 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 7-8 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’.”

New 6PPC with Borden Action, Lederer Barrel, Loker Tuner

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger
Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Here’s a modern, low-profile, short-range Benchrest rifle, finished proudly in bright red. Forum Member JimmyMac posted: “Picked up my new 6 PPC today. This red rig features a Borden B action (Jewell trigger) fitted with a Lederer 1:14″-twist barrel with a Loker tuner. The barrel action rides in a Roy Hunter stock. On top is a Nightforce 42x44mm Competition scope in BAT rings. The rifle was smithed by Dave Bruno.”

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June 4th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Great Tech Advice from Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s greatest F-Class shooters, as well as a highly respected wind coach. A High Master, Keith finished second overall at the 2021 NRA F-Class Long Range Championship in F-Open division. He also finished second at the 2020 Nationals, tied with F-Open winner Pat Scully on points, but with fewer Xs. And he took second also at the 2019 Nationals. His consistency is unrivaled, which means he definitely knows the secrets of long range wind calling and loading ultra-accurate ammo.

Keith has a popular YouTube Channel with new content every week. On Keith’s Winning in the Wind channel, Keith offers 60+ informative videos on a wide range of topics including wind reading, reloading, component selection, load development, and training. For today’s Video Showcase, we offer four of our favorite Keith Glasscock videos. Each video has important points that can benefit any competitive rifle shooter, whether you shoot in local 100-yard fun matches or compete at the National Level in F-Class, LR Benchrest, Palma, or High Power.

How to Prepare for a Match

In this informative video, Keith explains how to prepare for a major medium- or long-range rifle competition, with a particular focus on F-Class. Keith explains how to prepare for weather conditions and “get the lay of the land” before the match. Even the day of the match, your can look and learn. As one viewer noted: “I’ve noticed some guys playing on their phones during matches. This is an important time to get in sync with wind patterns and fine tune your wind strategy.”

How to Find (and Fine-Tune) Seating Depth

This is Keith’s most popular video. Keith definitely knows how to maximize accuracy by finding the optimal seating depth for each particular barrel. He is achieving groups in the high Ones for three shots. That would be good for a short-range benchrest cartridge, but Keith is achieving that with a .284 Winchester which has much more recoil. If you shoot F-TR or F-Open or even PRS, you should watch this video.

How to Lower your ES/SD and Reduce Vertical at Long Range

This is Keith’s first video in a series on how to improve long range groups, precision, and accuracy by reducing velocity Extreme Spread (ES) and Standard Deviation (SD). To achieve the lowest ES you need to look at multiple processes, including precision powder weighing, careful seating, brass annealing, and primer selection. Another factor is bullet selection. Not all bullets of the same nominal caliber and weight class have exactly the same bullet diameter or shape. Sometimes you can get better accuracy AND lower ES by trying a different brand of bullet. We have found bullet diameters, of the same stated caliber, can vary by up to .0008″ (eight ten-thousandths). Some barrels like the fatter bullets, while other barrels may favor the skinny bullets.

How to Find Bullet-to-Rifling Touch Point

Before you even start to load for a new rifle you need to know the point at which the bullet in a loaded round will first touch the rifling. (This will be a base to ogive measurement on your round). Beyond that point you are “in the lands”. If you load shorter than that base-to-ogive length you are “jumping” your bullets. Some cartridge/bullet combos typically shoot best in the lands, while with other bullets and cartridges, jumping is the way to go. Additionally, with some disciplines it is wise to jump your bullets since you may have to unload a chambered round while on the firing line. In this video Keith shows a number of methods to determine “length to lands” with repeatable precision.

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

While gear reviews are not the primary focus of Keith’s YouTube Channel, Keith does talk about products he likes and uses. In this video. Keith reviews the SEB Mini-X, the newest coaxial tripod rest from SEB Rests. The Mini-X offers fast, precise windage and elevation adjustment with the joystick control. The unit is much easier to pack and transport than a large, heavy front rest such as a SEB NEO or Farley. The latest Mini-X also has upgraded foot controls that make it easier to level the rest on uneven ground. For more info, see our SEB Mini-X Report.

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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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