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 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 6th, 2021

Advice for Long-Range Shooters — Six Tips from Bryan Litz

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

Berger SW Nationals Bryan LitzThe 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships at Camp Atterbury, Indiana kick off soon. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals run July 22-26, 2021, while the Long Range F-Class Nationals take place July 27-30, 2021. SEE Nat’l Matches INFO Handout.

For those headed to the Nationals, we are sharing some smart tips from a past F-Class 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.

Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals Ben Avery Bryan Litz
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.

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

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

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June 14th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Concludes in Tennessee

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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June 11th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Underway in Tennesee

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

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

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

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

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page


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

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

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

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

V² Finale Bracket Match Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Map for Dead Zero Shooting Park

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May 31st, 2021

First Report — New SEB JoyPod-X Shines in Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leg Height Adjustment System
on New 2021 JoyPod-X

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

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

JoyPod-X Is Shipping Now
in Six Bright Colors

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

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May 6th, 2021

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

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

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

Training Targets for 300-yard F-Class

F-Class Reduced Target Centers

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

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

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

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

F-Class Target Paste Center

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April 10th, 2021

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 current 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.

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April 8th, 2021

Thunder Downunder — New Zealand North Island Rifle Match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target RifleNew Zealand is a beautiful country with rich, verdant green hills, snowcapped Southern Alps, thousands of miles of coastline, and abundant, unspoiled nature. Here’s quick look at what it’s like to shoot in New Zealand, aka Aoteoroa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand has a long, proud heritage of Marksmanship, and the little island country has hosted major international matches in recent years. This report is from a regional club match hosted at the Clevedon Rifle Club in the North Island, south of Auckland. The club website says: “At Clevedon we shoot from 300 yards back to 1000 yards, mainly with single-shot target rifles in any caliber up to 8mm. There are several styles of target shooting, Target Rifle with open sights and supporting the rifle with a sling, F-Class where a rest and telescopic sights are used and Hunter Class where standard hunting rifles with a support are used. The shooting season goes from September until May. The range is situated on a working farm so changes to the club program happen around hay making [and other farm activities].”

Clevedon New Zealand club match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

These photos are from the Clevedon Rifle Club in Clevedon NZ (North Island), south of the Auckland metropolitan zone. The range is on a working farm near the Clevedon Scenic Reserve and Hanua Ranges Regional Park. These images were posted on the New Zealand NRA Facebook page.

Sunshine Down Under with Competition at 300, 500, and 600 Yards
The Kiwi club reports: “Round 5 of the Clevedon Club Championships was completed today over 300, 500, and 600 yards in fine, sunny conditions. This is the finish of the short ranges with the Long Range [matches set for] next Saturday. Being Easter weekend we had a great turn out with 28 shooters, still managed to get people shooting on the wrong target. The four divisions were F-Open, F-TR, FPR (Field Precision Rifle), and Target Rifle. Next Saturday, 10 April, shooting is over 800, 900 and 1000 yards, last round of the Club Champs, set up from 8:15 and shooting to start at 9am At 800 yards.”

What is FPR Class?
The FPR (Field Precision Rifle) class is for shooters with muzzle brakes or suppressors (not allowed in normal F-Class rules), and are generally bolt-action rifles purchased from retail stores. Commonly used are the Ruger RPR, Remington 700, and Savage variants. EDITOR: We would like to see the FPR Class get started here is the USA. It seems like a good way to expand participation with more affordable rifles.

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

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January 29th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Full Article on Target Shooter Magazine Website.

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November 8th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Nat’l Champ .308 Win

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Story based on Report by Bryan Blake, Blake Machine Company
Here’s the gold medal-winning .308 Win rifle of the 2020 F-TR National Mid-Range Champion, Andy Cyr. Arizona native Cyr won the F-TR Mid-Range Championship with an impressive score of 1761-72X out of a possible 1800 points. At this three-day Mid-Range event at Ben Avery in Phoenix, all 180 rounds were shot at 600 yards. Andrew delivered a convincing victory, winning by NINE points over runner-up James Crofts, a past national champion himself. We congratulate Andrew on his impressive win. And today’s Sunday GunDay feature examines the details of Andrew’s impressive .308 Win F-TR rifle.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Cyr Overcame Incredibly Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
After Day One of the Mid-Range Nationals, Andy was in 5th place. Andy made up some serious ground on the next two days despite winds that were well into the 20 MPH+ range. In fact, many experienced shooters took misses (not hitting the scoring ring) because the winds were so fierce. Interestingly, Andy’s 1761-72X score beat all but eight F-Open shooters.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Andrew Cyr’s .308 Win F-TR rifle during load development and accuracy testing.

F-TR Mid-Range Championship-Winning .308 Win Rifle Specifications:
Blake Barrel and Rifle 32″ .30 Caliber, 1:11″-twist barrel with custom specs
McMillan XIT Stock (lightened with ports on butt area)
Borden BRM Action
Kahles K1050 10-50x56mm Scope
Phoenix Bipod with F-Class Products lowering kit and skeleton legs

Andrew Cyr’s Championship-winning F-TR rifle was built by Phoenix-based Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) in 2018. Interestingly, this rifle was originally built for Andy’s daughter Jessica. The rifle was used by Andy a few months later. The rifle features a severely-lightened XIT stock with the grip smoothed out. Andy was actually the first customer of Blake Barrel and Rifle back in 2018. He has always been willing to try out new rifling profiles, twist rates, and barrel configurations as recommended by BBR.

Bryan Blake tells us: “Many customers demand exact specs and there is no way of changing their mind, even if it is factual-based. With Andy he was always willing to try new things, some things didn’t work well, but some things worked very well, just like the barrel used to win the Nationals.” Andy preferred a heavier barrel in the chamber area than most TR shooters. The shank diameter is 1.350″ rather than 1.250″. What this does is keep as much material around the chamber, which is the hottest area of the barrel. That way the barrel is less affected by heat over a string of fire, since the heat can be dissipated into a larger area.

Andy used a 32″ barrel, a length not commonly used in F-TR anymore. Most are running 30″ or even 28″ now. Many folks think a shorter barrel is more accurate so these competitors do not use a 32″ barrel. Well as you can see by his results, Andrew’s 32″ tube shot great. The extra length was NOT a handicap. We should remember that longer barrels can normally produce higher velocities than shorter barrels or deliver equivalent speeds with less pressure.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Many people also believe that a 1:9-10″ twist is needed to shoot 200-grain class bullets out of a .308 Win accurately. However, Andy took the advice of Blake Barrel and Rifle, and went with a 1:11″-twist Blake cut-rifled barrel. Many would say this twist is too slow, and some online calculators say a 1:11″-twist won’t fully stabilize 200-grain bullets. Obviously this is also not the case. Andy’s 11-twist and Berger 200-grain Hybrid bullets (NOT 200.20X bullets) work very well with this combination. NOTE: Andy uses an F-Class Products barrel tuner to tune his load. He will sometimes even alter tune between relays to compensate for changing barometric conditions.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Winning .308 Win Load — Lapua Palma Brass, VV N550, CCI 450s, Berger 200gr Hybrids
Andy Cyr took the Mid-Range title loading Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, Berger 200gr Hybrids, and Lapua .308 Win Palma brass. Andy does not push his bullets very fast and finds a big accuracy node at the mid-2600 FPS range. He jumps his bullets .015″ off the lands. One thing Andy consistently does is test, test, test. He will test different powders, charge weights, seating depths nearly every time he is at the range. He will shoot a different load for each string to see what works best.

Profile of 2020 F-TR Mid-Range National Champion — Andrew Cyr
Father and Daughter Compete Together

Andy started shooting F-Class in 2012 to help him shoot better in the PRS series. He hoped to learn to read the wind better and get more experience in long-range shooting in general. After shooting F-Class he was hooked and found he enjoyed it more than PRS. Andy and his daughter Jessica have shot many state matches together, with both of them shooting F-TR. Jessica owned the Mid-Range 20-shot woman’s Aggregate record for years with a score of 200-11X. Interestingly Andy shot his very first clean at 1000 yards at the Nationals in Raton, NM in 2018 with a score of 200-11X also. This year Andy started using a spotting scope to help read mirage and it has helped him tremendously he reports.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

The “Master” Beat the “High Masters”
Andy is currently classified in Mid-Range as a Master for F-Class, not yet High Master. Even after winning the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals, the most prestigious F-Class match of the year, he is still classified as a Master. Andy’s 1761-72X score works out to 97.8% of a perfect 1800. But the requirement for F-Class High Master is 98%. That just shows you how tough the conditions were at Ben Avery this year. But still the Master beat ALL the High Masters — if you look at the score sheet above, all the other Top 10 F-TR competitors were High Masters. Impressive. And we believe Andy is the first Arizona resident to ever win a national F-Class Championship in either F-Open or F-TR.

About Blake Barrel and Rifle
Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) has been in business since 2018. BBR built the rifle that Brian Bowling used to win the 2019 F-Open National Championship. And now another ultra-accurate BBR-built rifle has won the 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Bryan Blake tells us that Blake Barrel and Rifle has recently upgraded BBR’s rifle barrel building equipment. There are advanced CNC lapping machines, CNC bore-honing machines, and all-new, proprietary rifling cutter designs that no one else in the barrel business uses.

Blake Barrel and Rifle produces cut-rifled, 6-groove barrels with a unique rifling profile no other barrel manufacturer is using. Blake barrels have an impressive winning record in recent major competitions — earning National Championships, plus many match wins and podium performances. Bryan Blake tells us that “The time and quality control spend on Blake barrels is second to none and the proof in the results.” For more information, visit Blakebarrel.com.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action


Blake Barrel and Rifle | Blake Machine Company

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November 2nd, 2020

2020 F-Class National LR Championships — Hail the Champions

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

The 2020 NRA F-Class National Championships are now complete. We hail the new Champions Pat Scully (F-Open), and Ian Klemm (F-TR). We also give congratulations to all the competitors who dueled often-tough conditions at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, with periods of very high winds. CLICK HERE to see all 2020 F-Class Nationals Results for all participants.

F-Open Individual Results | F-Open Team Results | F-TR Individual Results | F-TR Team Results

Top-Ranked Shooters at 2020 NRA F-Class National Championships
F-Open Top Competitors

1. Pat Scully, F-0pen Champion, 1575-73X
2. Keith Glasscock, 1575-60X
3. Tod Hendricks, 1574-83X
4. Eric Wuestenhoefer, 1572-59X
5. Tim Vaught, 1565-76X
6. Patrick Fulghum, 1564-60X
7. Ken Dickerman, 1563-64X, High Senior
8. Bret Solomon, 1562-58X
9. Emil Kovan, 1562-53X
10. Erik Cortina, 1561-70X

Christine Harris, 1543-60X, High Lady
Kaycie Blankenship, 1517-35X, High Junior
Larry Bartholome, 1541-53X, High Gr. Senior

F-TR Top Competitors

1. Ian Klemm, F-TR Champion, 1561-56X
2. Keith Trapp, 1555-47X
3. Brad Sauve, 1553-40X, High Senior
4. Luke Ramsey, 1551-42X
5. Scott Harris, 1551-39X
6. Nancy Tompkins, 1550-44X, High Lady
7. James Crofts, 1546-52X
8. Henry Rockhill, 1543-37X
9. Brian Harder, 1539-37X
10. Nick Abbott, 1535-45X

Morgan Abbott, 1495-34X, High Junior
Raymond Weaver, 1534-30X, High Gr. Senior

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship
Pat Scully (right) is 2020 F-Open National Champion while fellow team-mate Tod Hendricks (left) finished third overall, just one point back.

In tough conditions, the top shooters put on impressive performances. Competition was tight and it went down to the wire. After multiple days of shooting, F-Open Champion Pat Scully and runner-up Keith Glasscock ended up tied on points (both scored 1575), but Scully did have a huge edge in X-count with 73X vs. 60X for Keith. In F-TR, LR Champion Ian Klemm posted an impressive 6-point win. Ian also recorded high X-Count (56X) among all F-TR shooters. Phil Kelley posted: “Ian is now only the second 3-Time F-TR National LR Champ and he has won 3 of the last 4 years — an amazing run.” Phil also observed that his fellow Team USA shooters took 7 out of the top 10 F-TR places.

Overall, the “top guns” in both divisions performed amazingly well given some very tough conditions. Forum member ShootDots noted:

“On the last day I was on the line with Keith Glasscock [Second Overall] on my immediate left. I was scoring for Pat Scully [F-Open Champion]. With wind conditions that would make a brass monkey flinch, these two gents made it look easy! I have shot with some REALLY good shooters over the years [but] these two are at a different level altogether!

I do not know Ian Klemm BUT I do know how he shoots! When you are surrounded by the finest, you get a first hand view of what REAL shooting is all about. My hat is off to the winners and to those who came within a hairsbreath of them! A B-I-G hearty CONGRATULATIONS to them!”

Our Forum tech staffer Praveen (who shot F-Open) concurred, praising the top-finishing Open-class competitors, noting that 3rd-place Tod Hendricks amassed an amazing 83 Xs. Praveen posted: “Congratulations… I witnessed some really fine shooting this year while experiencing some very tough wind conditions. Pat, Keith, and Tod — hats off to you. And Tod — so many Xs!” Forum member RonatSpokane also noted Tod’s stunning X-Count: “Sheesh Tod, you’re … bogarting those Xs. With 83 Xs, more than 50% of your shots were under 1/2 MOA. In those kinds of conditions, that’s nothing short of stunning.”

Forum member Carlsbad noted that the final day was very tough: “What a match. Every day had different challenges. The last day was challenging. We had one guy clean the afternoon string on Friday and then shoot 180 in the afternoon string on Sunday. That was tough. I don’t know how guys shot high 190s in those conditions. Congratulations to Ian Klemm and Pat Scully.”

Three National Titles in Four Years for 2020 F-TR Champ Ian Klemm
Ian Klemm F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

Ian Klemm has now won three National F-TR Championships in four years. Ian captured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, winning at Lodi, WI in 2017, and Raton, NM in 2018. Ian also finished second at the 2019 Nationals. Ian put on another great performance to win in 2020 under very challenging conditions.

Ian Klemm F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

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November 1st, 2020

Report from F-Class Nationals in Arizona — LR Team Results

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Yesterday was the 1000-yard Team Match Day at the F-Class Nationals in Phoeniz Arizona. It was also Halloween, and there were some very creative costumes on display at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. First, for the serious stuff, we want to congratulate the two winning teams — Team Lapua/Brux/Borden in F-0pen and Team Texas in F-TR. CLICK HERE for updated F-Class Nationals Results.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) (1590-84X) took the F-Open title by six points (and 4 Xs) over runner-up The Long Shots (1584-80X), with Team Grizzly (1580-58X) third.

In F-TR, Team Texas topped the field with 1572-63X, winning by an impressive 17 points (and 5 Xs) over Team USA Independence (1555-58X). Team USA Freedom was third with 1553-44X. Team Texas’s Randy Littleton turned in a stunning individual performance in the first match, shooting 200-14X, best among F-TR shooters. F-Open competitor Jeff Cochran of Team Spindle Shooters also drilled a 200-14X in that first match, the top F-Open individual 20-shot performance.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona
“Team Texas (center) had plenty of silver and bronze medals in previous national championships, but today earned their first gold medal. Very talented USA teams finished second and third.” — Skip Barkley

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Halloween Long Range Team Day at Ben Avery

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix ArizonaF-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

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October 29th, 2020

Report: Wicked Conditions at Mid-Range F-Class Nationals

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

Mid-Range Competitors Battle Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
Report by F-Class John (competing at the Nationals)
The Mid-Range Nationals at Ben Avery in Arizona have been completed, and many competitors are breathing a sigh of relief. Winds were howling and conditions were VERY tough. We congratulate all the competitors who battled the high winds. This year all shooting at the Mid-Range Nationals was done at 600 yards (the simplified course of fire was adopted in 2019). I think I can safely say everyone is excited and ready to move on to Long-Range portion of the championships.

The Top 10 in each division are listed below. New F-Open Mid-range Champion Tim Vaught put together a very impressive performance, dropping just 14 points in very challenging conditions.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

The fact that F-Open winner Tim Vaught dropped just 14 points across nine 20-shot relays is INSANE given the incredibly tough conditions. He deserved his title without a doubt. F-TR Mid-Range Champion Andrew Cyr also had an impressive performance, winning by 9 points over a very tough field, including past National F-TR Champions and Nancy Tompkins, past NRA High Power and Long Range Champion.

The F-TR division was won by Andrew Cyr. His gunsmith, Bryan Blake, said this rig has some unusual features, including barrel twist rate. Stay tuned for a full tech report…
F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

Challenging Conditions at F-Class Mid-Range Nationals
Conditions were pretty incredible and by no means typical for Ben Avery for the Mid-Range portion of the USA F-Class National Championships. We started on Sunday with dead calm conditions on relay one and by the end of shooting, it was challenging but certainly not anything outside the normal for most of the people. We woke up Monday to crazy strong winds that just tore apart those who were ‘lucky enough’ to be on the first relay and it throughout the day it went from horrible to manageable and it was just dumb luck if your relay got hit or spared. The uncharacteristically strong winds met us Tuesday morning again for the final day of Mid-Range.

Video has highlights from three days of Mid-Range competition.

Before the first relay I measured gusts that were almost 24 mph with the constant wind hovering in the high teens. It calmed down from there but still remained very challenging until the end. Overall it was quite the fight for first with Tim Vaught earning the F-Open win with Dan Bramley and Tod Hendricks taking a respective second and third place out of a field of 66 High Masters and 13 Masters. These guys all shot superbly in some of the most challenging conditions ever witnessed at the Ben Avery range in Arizona. Mighty impressive…

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October 22nd, 2020

2020 F-Class National Championships in Arizona NOTICE

2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

The 2020 United States F-Class National Championships commence Sunday October 25, 2020 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. There’s a “hybrid” format this year. For 2020, the Nationals combine both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions in one exended mega-match. The Mid-Range U.S. F-Class Nationals take place 25-28 October 2020, with all shooting at 600-yard targets. The Long Range National Championships then run October 29 through November 1st with all matches at 1000 yards. The competition consists of two different divisions: F-Open and F-TR (Target Rifle).

CLICK HERE for 2020 F-Class Nationals Match Program »

For health reasons, F-Class Nationals competitors will be required to follow a number of important health and safety protocols. This is to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Here are the 2020 protocols as issued by the host Desert Sharpshooters club:

2020 NRA F-Class National Championships — Safety Protocols

We have had to implement several measures for the 2020 F-Class Nationals due to COVID-19. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a state government agency. Therefore, all state and local guidelines and measures regarding COVID-19 must be followed on the property. Unfortunately, the local guidelines include a mask mandate, among other measures. We were hoping for the measures to be relaxed as the Nationals grew closer, but that is not the case. The COVID-19 measures that must be implemented during the match are below.

COVID-19 measures for the 2020 F-Class Nationals include:

– Reduce the total number of entries to 180.
– Use every other target for a total of 45 targets.
– Food and drinks, including water, will NOT be provided or for sale.
– Only one person pulling a target.
– Wearing mask/face cover is required when 6 feet distancing cannot be obtained. This includes:

    Using the restroom.
    During all team matches, except the shooters. Only the shooter and coach will be permitted on the firing line. All other team members must be 6 feet from the shooter and coach.
    On the people movers traveling to and from the pits.
    Walking up/down the ramps/stairs at the 1000 yard line, or traveling to or from one’s assigned firing point.

– No banquet dinners.
– Award ceremony will be held each day on the firing line, with shooters in the parking lot social distancing.
– While scoring, the scorer will be at least 6 feet from the shooter.
– Shooters on the firing line will set up on each side of their assigned target marker with 6 feet separating them.
– Shooters not pulling targets, scoring, or shooting must remain off of the firing line and in their vehicles or socially distancing in the parking lot.
– Only the scoring and shooting relays will be permitted on the firing line. During pit changes, the previous scoring and shooting relays must vacate the firing line before the next scoring and shooting relays approach the firing line.
– All scores and squadding will be posted online. Those with no access to the internet can obtain their squadding on the bulletin boards on the east and west side of the building. Only one person will be permitted to be at the bulletin board at a time.
– No one is permitted to enter the Berger Building.
– Refunds will be given to those that wish to not participate in the event.

Failure of individuals to follow any of the above guidelines may result in disqualification and being asked to leave. If we do not comply with these regulations, we risk the Ben Avery Shooting Facility canceling the event without prior notice.

We would also like to remind shooters that if they are feeling sick or have any symptoms to please not come to the range, and notify us immediately at fclassnationals@gmail.com.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

Located on 1,650 acres in north Phoenix, BASF 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.

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


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September 15th, 2020

Great Book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting II

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

If you buy one book about Long Range Shooting, this should be it. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, the latest treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($39.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

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August 12th, 2020

Go Low: Extreme Low-Profile F-TR Rifles from Pierce Engineering

F-TR Scoville Stock F-Class Rifle

One recent trend in F-TR competition is the use of low-profile, benchrest-type stocks shot with a light hand-hold and little or no face contact. For this method of F-TR shooting to work, you need the right equipment, and practice a “minimalist” shooting technique. One of the pioneers in this style of F-TR shooting is action-maker John Pierce of Pierce Engineering. Above you can see John shooting one of his F-TR rifles at the 2015 Canadian F-Class Championships. Note the straight-line stock and see how the adjustable bipod is set quite low to the ground (in fact the bipod’s arms are almost straight out).

F-TR Scoville Stock F-Class Rifle

Members of the Michigan F-TR Team, including Bryan Litz, have used similar rigs with success. Bryan said it took a while to adapt his shooting technique to this kind of rig, but there is a pay-off. Armed with a Pierce-built F-TR rifle, Bryan won his first-ever F-TR Match. Bryan explains the technique he uses when shooting this kind of rifle:

“Coming over from sling shooting, I knew there would be unique challenges to F-TR which I wanted to learn prior to (not during) a major tournament. I learned a new shooting position which doesn’t involve drawing the right knee up. For F-TR I get more straight behind the gun rather than at an angle. I found that the rifle shoots best with very light cheek, shoulder and grip pressure, approaching free recoil. This is how Eric Stecker shot his similar rifle into second place in the SW Nationals [with high X-Count by a large margin]. I learned the rifle’s sensitivity to different bipod and rear bag supports, and found the best buttplate position to allow the rifle to track and stay on target after recoil. This set-up shot best with a mostly free-recoil approach, that means ‘hovering’ over the comb, rather than resting your head on the stock. This took some ‘getting used to’ in terms of neck and back muscle tone. These are the kind of details I think it’s important to focus on when entering a new discipline.”

Bryan’s Pierce-built F-TR rig is a tack-driver: “I can certainly vouch for this set-up! In [a 2015] mid-range State Championship in Midland, MI, I shot my Pierce rifle into first place with a 598-44X (20 shots at 300, 500 and 600). Once you get used to the positioning and way of shooting these rifles, they just pour shots through the center of the target.”

Pierce F-TR Rifles with Scoville Stocks
Shown below are three complete Pierce F-TR rifles, along with a barreled action for comparison. The carbon-fiber/composite stocks are built by Bob Scoville. These Scoville stocks are very light, yet very strong and very stiff.

F-TR Scoville Stock F-Class Rifle

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August 9th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Texas Precision — Mike’s 6mm GT Rifle

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

The 6mm GT (aka 6GT) cartridge was conceived as a “bigger Dasher” for PRS and NRL competition. The 6mm GT’s creators wanted 6mm Dasher accuracy and moderate recoil delivered via a cartridge with a slightly longer case body for better mag-feeding, longer neck for seating flexibility, and more moderate pressures. So far the 6GT has performed very well in PRS competition. Today’s story is a bit different — this is about an experiment — running a 6mm GT in an F-TR type rifle. Understand that, under current NRA rules, you may only shoot .223 Rem (5.56×45) or .308 Win (7.62×51), in official, sanctioned F-TR competition, but the 6GT is fine for F-Open. Mike McCasland wanted to see the potential of the cartridge for long-range target shooting, so he put a 6mm GT-chambered Bartlein barrel on a nice custom rifle with McMillan XIT stock and Kelbly F-Class Panda action. The results were impressive.

6mm GT — New Cartridge with Multi-Discipline Potential

Story by Mike McCasland, Texas Precision
The 6mm GT began garnering attention within PRS circles in early 2019. It promised to shoot 105-110gr 6mm bullets at 2950-3000 FPS, yet not suffer from mag-feed issues sometimes found with 6mmBR variants such as the 6 Dasher, 6BRX, and 6BRA. Moreover, since it burned less powder, the 6mm GT promised increased barrel life compared to the 6mm Creedmoor or 6XC. The 6mm GT case size should still work with the accurate powders in the Varget burn-range. I found the 6GT also worked great with H4350.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassAs someone who aspired to building a repeater and jumping into the PRS game, and had a spare F-TR rifle sitting around, I thought it would be fun to build up a 6mm GT to see if there was any merit to the hype. My smith, Wes Ripley of RIP Precision in Texas, builds a lot of PRS rigs, and already had the reamer on hand (a 0.120″ freebore variant).

Whidden Gunworks had some 6mm GT FL bushing die kits in stock, so I figured why not see what all the fuss was about? At the very least I could play around with the 6mm GT in F-Open Class at local club matches to see how it compared to the 6BRA, 6 Dasher, and other popular 6mm cartridges.

How the Project Got Started with Backup F-TR Rig
My 6mm GT build really started as a project spawned purely from COVID-19 Isolation boredom. This rifle primarily serves as a backup F-TR gun, and it had been relegated to performing some load development on .308 barrels, so I could spin new ones on my main match rifle. The only problem was, I had run out of .308 barrels that needed load development. So, I basically had an ideal test platform just collecting dust in the safe. All I needed was a 6mm GT-chambered barrel, since (like the 6mmBR) the 6mm GT works in a short action with a .308 Win-sized bolt-face.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

6mm GT Rifle Specifications:

Action: Kelbly Panda F-Class SA RB/RP
Stock: McMillan XIT with RAD 2A
Barrel: 30″ 5R Bartlein 1:7.5″-Twist, HV Contour

Scope: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Trigger: Jewell Benchrest, about 2 ounces
Bipod: Phoenix Precision

About the 6mm GT Cartridge

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassBRASS — The first thing you’ll find is cartridge brass choices for the 6mmGT are rather limited currently. At present, the only commercial options are Hornady and Alpha Munitions. For the die-hard Lapua fans, you can technically make 6mm GT brass from 6.5×47 Lapua, however that process is very labor-intensive.

I have used both Hornady and Alpha brass in this rifle and haven’t noticed much difference between the two. I will say that my batch of Alpha brass was slightly softer than Alpha brass I’ve used in other calibers; you could feel a difference when neck turning cases. I’m unsure if that’s a batch issue, or something specific to their 6mm GT brass as a whole. As far as performance, there was little discernable difference. Oddly enough, the Hornady brass seemed to have slightly less case capacity than the Alpha; with most other cartridges it’s the other way around.

POWDERS — The 6mm GT was designed with Hodgdon Varget in mind, and that popular powder works exceedingly well in this platform. That said, the 6mm GT can work with a wide variety of powders, some yielding better performance than Varget.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

I’ve tried a multitude of powders during my initial 6mm GT load development: Varget, Shooters World Precision, RL16, VV N140, H4350, and RL-15 to name a few. In my barrel, Hodgdon H4350 seems to deliver the best velocity/accuracy combination. SD and ES also seemed to be the lowest with H4350.

Load Development for the 6mm GT — Many Powders Tested
mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

BULLETS — The most common 0.120″ freebore chamber allows for the majority of high-BC 6mm projectiles found in both F-Class and PRS. I had good luck with the pointed 107gr Sierra Match Kings (SMK), as well as the 110gr Hornady A-Tips in my rifle. For those looking to run the heavier 112-115 grain 6mm offerings, I believe GAP designed a 0.160″ freebore reamer that gets those bullets out of the neck/shoulder junction. Shown below is the 0.120″ freebore JGS reamer print:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassSUMMARY — Good Cartridge with Much Potential
Generally speaking, I think the 6mm GT is a good little round. Some may not subscribe to this theory, but I believe some cartridges are inherently easier to tune than others. I’m not sure the 6mm GT is as easy-to-tune as a 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, or 6 BRA, but I don’t think it lags that far behind.

With relatively little trouble, I was able to find loads with both Varget and H4350 that would consistently shoot very well — 0.2 to 0.3 MOA. Moreover, I found the 6GT cartridge lives up to the velocity claims made by G.A. Precision. I was easily able to push the 110gr A-Tips to 2950 FPS, and the 107gr SMKs to low 3000 FPS range without any pressure signs, or unnecessary wear and tear on the brass.

As a fun test, I ran my 6mm GT rifle in a local 1000-yard F-Class match with the 110gr A-Tips, just to see just how well they would perform. Although wind conditions of the day and some E-Target issues prevented my 6mm GT rig from getting the better of the larger 7mm and .30-Cal rifles, the 6mm GT proved itself an accurate little round at distance. Here is a 1000-yard ShotMarker target:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

After putting several hundred rounds through my 6mm GT rifle, I anticipate building another 6GT on a repeater action to give PRS a try. I think if you are looking for a dual-purpose rifle that can run tactical matches (with 100% feeding reliability), and can also be used for mid-range, F-Open Class competition, the 6mm GT would be a very good option.

About the author, Mike McCasland:
Mike McCasland is an avid shooter who competes regularly in F-Class matches. Based in Texas, Mike is the creator of the Texas Precision YouTube Channel. There you’ll find many videos covering reloading, gun projects, and marksmanship. Mike has done some notable product reviews including a comparison test of Micrometer Competition Seating Dies. To access Mike’s YouTube Channel, CLICK HERE.

6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass mike mccasland PRS F-TR

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June 14th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Handsome F-TR Rig Built for James Crofts

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

A multi-time F-TR National Champion, James “Jimmy” Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class competitors. And now this F-TR ace has a stunning new rifle in his arsenal. AccurateShooter Forum member CigarCop, head honcho of KW Precision LLC, recently completed a new F-TR rig for Crofts. This handsome, state-of-the-art rifle features top-tier components: Borden action, twin Brux barrels, Cerus RifleWorks F-TR Stock, and Jewell trigger, all resting on a wide-base Phoenix Bipod.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

James Jim Crofts f-class f-tr rifle brux borden cerus
James Crofts photo by Kent Reeve.

Have a good look at these photos below. Yes, envy is the appropriate reaction. With the smooth operation of the Borden action and the predictable accuracy of Brux barrels, we bet James’s new rig will shoot as good as it looks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

CigarCop actually chambered two barrels for James, with different fluting patterns — conventional linear flutes for one tube, and lines of staggered ovals for the other. Finished length for both barrels is 30″. Yes it looks cool, but the fluting was done mainly to save weight with the 30″-long lengths. CigarCop tells us the complete rifle, without scope and rings, weighs just under 15 pounds. Max allowed weight for an F-TR rifle, with scope, is 18.18 pounds (8.25 kg).

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

To learn more about this impressive F-TR rifle build by CigarCop, visit our AccurateShooter Forum and read KW Precision’s F-TR Gun-Building Thread. The stock was created on an automated CNC milling machine by Cerus Rifleworks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

When James Crofts is not shooting his .308 Win F-TR rig,
he often trains with a .22 LR Rimfire rifle. Read on…

Rimfire Training for F-Class Competitors

2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”

Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skills by James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.

Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR
This Rimfire rifle features a CMP-sourced Rem 40X barreled action, PR&T Low Boy stock, Jewell trigger, and Phoenix bipod. The gun was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool. James Crofts told us: “The project turned out awesome — the rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.”

Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen, you can still get a 500-round brick of very good .22 LR match ammo for around $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. The top match-grade, .308-cal centerfire bullets can cost around $60 per hundred. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder. Finally you have to consider your precious centerfire barrel life lost to practice.

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May 23rd, 2020

2020 Berger Southwest Nationals Equipment Lists

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.

Matt Schwartzkopf, a range supervisor at Ben Avery, and member of the USA F-TR Team, has collected comprehensive gear reports from the 2020 Berger SW Nationals. Matt has created charts showing competitors’ choices for Actions, Barrels, Stocks, Riflescopes and Spotting Scopes. In addition, Matt has compiled bullet choice data for all classes and Cartridge rankings for F-Open Division.

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

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

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

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