June 3rd, 2012

New Elesio H1 Rimfire Tubegun Kit from Competition Machine

Gary Elesio of Competition Machine has come up with a new product for smallbore shooters. Gary has a new H1 Tubegun Chassis for the Hall custom rimfire action, a very high-quality, single-shot action that can be fitted with a Jewell trigger. The new H1 Chassis, like other Elesio tubegun kits, features a fully-adjustable skeleton-style stock, and a tubular forearm. The forearm can be rotated so a sling-shooter can “dial in” the best angle for his hand-stop. We think this new H1 action should be popular with rimfire prone and position shooters who are looking for an affordable, all-American alternative to expensive European match rifles. Below is a “sneak peek” at Elesio’s new H1. This shows the H1 receiver housing fitted with a Picatinny-style rail. MSRP for the H1 has yet to be announced.

Elesio H1 rimfire chassis

About the Hall Action
The $1075.00 Hall action is a high-quality, custom-crafted design built to benchrest standards. The action is 1 3/8″ diameter by 7 ” long and is made of 416 stainless steel, with heat-treated, tool steel locking lugs. The action features an Anschutz-type feed ramp, and it comes with a trigger housing which uses 40X Remington-type triggers (Jewell Remington triggers will work). The Hall action is currently available with either right or left port, but only right bolt.

Hall rimfire Action

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 25th, 2009

600-Yard Shooter of the Year Sam Hall Compares Berger 108s and 105 VLDs

Sam Hall of Boonville, North Carolina is “King of the Hill” when it comes to the 600-yard benchrest game. He is the 2009 IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, and he won the IBS 600-yard Nationals two years in a row. When Sam talks, people listen… if they’re smart. Sam was recently asked to compare the performance of Berger’s 6mm 108gr boattail vs. Berger’s 105gr VLD bullet. As Sam explains, both bullets have the potential to shoot really well, so your barrel and the conditions may dictate which projectile works best.

Berger 105gr VLDs vs. Berger 108gr BT by Sam Hall
I shot the 108gr Bergers (and 108 BT BIBs for a few matches) all last year in my Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) in 600-yard IBS competition, but switched to Berger VLDs during the Nationals because of the extreme winds in South Dakota.

Sam Hall IBS champion

When I started loading for the 108s, I quickly learned they are much easier to tune than VLDs. In the two barrels in which I shot the 108s, they did not seem to be sensitive to seating depth or powder charge like the 105 VLDs. I could not see much difference in groups at 600 yards during tuning. But, with the 108s, you will need to drop about one grain in powder compared to the VLDs due to longer bearing surface and extra weight. It seemed that the 108s show a consistent round-pattern group, where the VLDs many times have flyers. By this I mean, if both the 108s and 105 VLDs shoot a two-inch, 5-shot group at 600, the 108s will be evenly distributed in the two-inch circle. Conversely, the time the VLD’s will often have 3 or 4 shots in one inch but 1 or 2 flyers expanding the group to two inches. But when the VLDs don’t have a flyer, look out! That’s when most of the World Records have been set and VLD shooters have come from behind and won the match. (Yes, I am talking to you Mike Davis).

Berger 108 boattail bulletMike Davis and I talked about the Berger 108s vs. 105s last year. The 108gr BTs are great until the wind gets up. They seem to get blown around more than the VLDs. A half-inch extra at 600 yards these days means the difference between winning or ending up middle of the pack. So, ideally, a shooter would have two loads. One would use the 108s for mild days, and the second would use the 105gr VLDs for those windy days.

If you don’t have time to tune the 105gr VLDs (tuning them can be difficult and time-consuming), I suggest you stick to the 108s. They will save you a lot of headaches and will stick close to the VLDs in most conditions.

How Temp and Humidity Affect Performance
I almost forgot to mention. As the temperature and humidity got up in the summertime last year in North Carolina, the 108s did not perform for me as well as they did during the cooler, less humid months. I tried developing a new, hot-weather load for the 108s, but I never got the 108s to perform as well in the summer as I did in the winter and spring — even when there was no wind. I don’t know why the 108s prefer cooler, less humid conditions, except maybe because they have more drag than the 105gr VLDs. High humidity may have had more of an effect on the 108s than we’d expect from the slight BC difference between the two bullets. The VLDs seem to drill through the wind and humidity better than the 108gr Bergers. NOTE: These findings are my own opinion based on many, many groups shot tuning and in competiton, while using several barrels of various manufacturers.

I hope this helps and does not further complicate your load development process. Try both bullets before you buy a large quantity of bullets. Your rifle will let you know which projectile it prefers. We have often found that a particular barrel will shoot one bullet design well but not the other. A few barrels will shoot BOTH bullet types really well.”

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September 18th, 2009

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in Pierre, SD — Hall, Davis, & Schatz Battle

Sam Hall did it again. The 2008 IBS National Champion and 2008 Shooter of the Year captured his second straight National Championship, winning the 2-Gun Grand Agg shooting a standard 6BR in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes. It was an impressive victory in challenging conditions at the Varmint Hunter Assn. (VHA) range in Pierre, South Dakota. But this was a very close match. Mike Davis, runner-up in the Grand Agg, tied Sam in 2-Gun points, but Sam was awarded the title based on 2-Gun Small Group tie-breaker. Richard Schatz was just one point behind Sam and Mike. All three men shot superbly and any of the three could have won it all. Davis won the HG Overall Agg (with Hall second), while Schatz won the LG Overall Agg, with Hall again placing second. Both Davis and Schatz shot 6BR Improved cartridges in both LG and HG — Davis shooting the 30°-shoulder BRX, while Schatz campaigned a 40° Dasher. Rodney Wagner (6BRX) and John Griswold (6 Dasher) tied with 27 points in the 2-Gun overall, with Wagner earning 4th place overall on the tie-breaker.

Horrendous Conditions on Friday — Many DQs
Sam Hall said the conditions on Friday were “horrendous” with 25 to 35-mph gusts. Conditions were among the worst ever seen by the VHA rangemasters, and a third of HG competitors (17 of 48) DQ’d because the wind blew shots off paper. Luckily, conditions moderated for the Saturday relays, with mild 10 mph winds. Regulars at the VHA range said Saturday’s conditions were “about as good at it gets in Pierre.”

Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion

Complete Results are posted under Long Range Match Results on the IBS Website.

Equipment — Still dominated by 6BR and 6BR Improved
A quick look at the equipment lists for both LG and HG classes showed the 6mm as the preferred caliber, with a 6mm Dasher or 6mm BRX the most popular cartridge (though Hall won it all with his standard 6BR). Despite the windy conditions, the mid-sized cases such as the 6-6.5×47 Lapua couldn’t outshoot their smaller brothers. Notably, Sam Hall used a plain vanilla 6BR to win LG Agg with a 2.852″. Shooting a 6BRX, Mike Davis won HG Agg with a 2.492″, with Hall’s 6BR only .054″ behind.

LG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

HG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

Calibers: 17 of the top 20 in LG shot 6mms, mostly Dashers (but Hall won LG with a standard 6BR). There was one .22 and two 6.5s. In HG it was pretty much the same story, 16 of 20 using 6mms, with a couple 6.5s, a .308 Baer and a 30 BooBoo (not “39” as stated in equipment list).

Barrels: Sam Hall won LG Group Agg with a Broughton button-rifled barrel, but otherwise cut-rifled barrels from Brux, Krieger, and Bartlein dominated the Top 20 in both classes. In HG, Mike Davis shot a Brux to finish #1. NOTE: Sam Hall had a Lilja barrel on his second-place, 28-lb Heavy Gun, not a Brux as shown on the official equipment list.

Bullets: Sam Hall used Spencers in LG, and Steve Shelp shot BIBs in his 30 BooBoo Heavy Gun. Otherwise it was “all yellow box”, with Berger filling the Top 10 equipment rankings for both LG and HG. It’s fair to say Berger Bullets dominated the match.

Powder/Primers: Alliant Reloder 15 and CCI 450s (usually pushing Berger 6mm bullets) composed the preferred combo in both LG and HG. Sam Hall did use CCI BR4s, however. Rodney Wagner was the only Dasher shooter to use Hodgdon Varget, but he finished fourth overall in the 2-Gun Aggregate.

Optics: While ace shooters Sam Hall and Mike Davis both used Leupold Competition Scopes in both LG and HG classes, Nightforce scopes, (mostly 12-42 BR models) dominated the Equipment Top 20 lists. To our surprise, there were only a couple March Scopes in the Equipment Top 20 in HG, and just one in LG.

Stocks: Shehane (D & B Supply) stocks were used by 8 of the Top 10-ranked LG Shooters, and 5 of the Top 10 in HG rankings. The Trackers, both ST 1000 and MBR Tracker, remain hard to beat. We did see some “true maxies” in this match.

IBS 600-yard Championship

Hall Reveals Shooting Secrets in Home-Made Video
If you’re interested in 600-yard competition, or just want to shoot more accurately and consistently from the bench, you should watch a video Sam Hall put together last year. Because of wind noise, the audio is pretty bad at first, but be patient. Sam delivers some invaluable advice in the video. His tips on body positioning, gun-handling, and follow-through can earn you some points in your next match.

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