July 27th, 2019

IBS Enlists Blake Wilson as New IBS Editor

IBS 1000-yard benchrest

IBS Brings New Editor Onboard
International Benchrest Shooters is pleased to announce that Blake Wilson of Macon, Georgia is the new IBS Editor. In that role, Blake will help prepare Match Reports and short features on gear and notable competitors.

IBS President Jeff Stover reports: “We welcome Blake to our management team. He is a young and energetic long-range shooter with benchrest interest across the board. Over the past several years, he has been shooting mostly 1000-yard IBS matches with a few 600-yard competitions mixed in. He has competed at IBS ranges across the country, and calls the Hawk’s Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, NC his home range.”

In his role as IBS Editor, Blake will work closely with AccurateShooter.com, interviewing competitors from all disciplines, communicating with match organizers, receiving match reports and equipment lists, and managing digital images. Blake will also help with some special IBS features and equipment articles, providing insights about the Benchrest shooting sports.

Blake is married with two adult children. He is a huge University of Georgia football fan who also enjoys hunting and fishing.

IBS 1000-yard benchrest

IBS 1000-yard benchrest

IBS benchrest

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July 17th, 2019

Amazing 1K Shooting — 1000-Yard Multi-Match Records Broken

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

The bar is raised yet again — the standards for long-range accuracy keep improving. Two talented Montana shooters have both gone sub-four inches for a 1K 10-Match Aggregate. What that means is that over TEN matches, these guys have averaged under 0.4 MOA at 1000 yards. Think about that. Most shooters will be happy with half-MOA at ONE HUNDRED yards. These guys are beating that by a significant margin at ONE THOUSAND yards, and they have done it for a whole season.

1000 Yard Multi-Match IBS Records Fall at Deep Creek
David Torgerson and Tom Mousel both broke the 10-match Light Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) record. Tom also broke the 6-Match Light Gun Group Agg record. Prior to these brilliant performances, the existing IBS 10-Match Agg record was 4.3155″. David crushed that with a 3.7946″, as did Tom with a 3.8734″. The existing IBS 6-Match Agg Record was 3.072″ and Tom shot a 2.954″, which will be a new record.

This is the first time in history that anyone has Agg’d in the threes for the 10-Match and in the twos for the 6-Match! For those not familiar with 1000-yard IBS matches, the Season Aggregate is based on ten matches. All ten are averaged for the 10-match Agg and the best six are averaged for the 6-Match Agg.

Shooters Established New Records with Multiple Guns and Multiple Barrels
David shot the majority of his targets with a Bat B action and Broughton 5C barrel. But he also shot his BAT SV and Borden BRM with Krieger and Lilja barrels. David’s 1K rifles feature Deep Creek Tracker stocks and March scopes. He shot Vapor Trail 103gr bullets in the all the rigs, and all his barrels are chambered in 6BRA — a 40° wildcat based on the 6mmBR Norma. The 6BRA retains the long neck of the parent case, but has more case capacity. Some people say the 6BRA is a bit easier to tune than the 6mm Dasher, but it still achieves that ultra-accurate 2920-2960 FPS velocity node.

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

Tom Mousel shot his 6- and 10-match Aggs with two rifles, splitting time between his BAT Neuvo LR and Borden BRM. Both are chambered in 6BRA and he shot multiple Krieger barrels. Tom told us: “Thanks everyone. David was pretty steady all year, while I took more of an up-and-down route. At one point early on I thought there’s no way this would be salvaged.”

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

The Neuvo-actioned gun (shown below) features a McMillan/Wheeler LRB stock, with a March scope on top. In that rifle, Tom shot 103gr Vapor Trails. Mousel’s Borden BRM gun features a Deep Creek Tracker stock and Sightron scope. In that 6BRA rifle he shot 103gr Roy Hunter bullets.

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek
Tom Mousel Rifle with BAT Neuvo LR action. This action is a Left-loading Drop Port — cartridges eject out the bottom of the action.

COMMENT by Alex Wheeler
If this doesn’t make you give up the idea you need that one hummer barrel to win I don’t know what will. Yes, you need the best equipment, but you also need the best tune and knowledge to stay on top of it. These two guys are some of the most dedicated tuners and testers I know. Well done! And well deserved!

It IS noteworthy that multiple rigs were used. Posting on Facebook, Alex H. said: “Holy ****! Tom did it not only with multiple barrels, but with two rifles AND multiple barrels? That is some outstanding performance! And Glenn K observed: “It was an awesome season to watch unfold. Congrats guys!”

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July 14th, 2019

Save Time and Bullets — Fire-Form with your Fouler Shots

Fire-forming fouler barrel life fouling shots

PPC Fire-formingHere’s a tip for guys who shoot the 6 PPC, 6 Dasher, 6 BRA, .284 Shehane, or other wildcat cartridges that require fire-forming. Use your fouler shots to fire-form new cases. That way your fouler shots do “double-duty” and you get your brass fire-formed without putting extra rounds through your expensive barrel.

This procedure is recommended by Joel Kendrick, the 2004 IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year. After he cleans his barrel, Joel knows it takes two or three shots to foul in the bore before accuracy returns. When shooting his PPC, Joel uses those fouler shots to fire-form his new brass. Joel explains: “I like to have relatively new brass always ready. By fire-forming a couple cases after each barrel-cleaning during a match, by the end of the weekend I’ve got a dozen or more freshly fire-formed cases to put into the rotation. If you do this with your fouler shots you get your fire-forming accomplished without using up any extra barrel life.”

This not only saves barrel wear, but it saves you trips to the range for the purpose of fire-forming. We thank Joel for this smart suggestion. For those who do not have a dedicated barrel for fire-forming, this should help keep your round-count down. Note: With this fouler fire-forming routine, you should ALWAYS do the fire-forming with the SAME POWDER you load for your match ammo. Joel currently works as the Supplier Quality Process Engineer for MMI-TruTec, a company that offers barrel surface coatings that can further extend your barrel life.

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June 22nd, 2019

The Most Incredible Accuracy in History — But It’s Not a Record

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
Want to see the details? CLICK HERE to view full-screen photo.

Five targets, each with FIVE shots in essentially one hole. The events of this story happened two years ago. We are reprising our report because this five-target Aggregate arguably represents the most impressive feat of 100-yard accuracy in the history of marksmanship on this planet.

Check out those five targets. The Aggregate (average) of all five targets is a tiny 0.0840 inches! These were shot by Gary Ocock at 100 yards in a California benchrest match on August 6, 2017. Though Gary’s 0.0840 Agg beats existing records, this was not a “sanctioned” match, so Gary’s killer Agg will NOT be submitted for IBS or NBRSA records. So, sadly, the Agg won’t appear in the record books, but this remains a spectacular, verified feat of rifle accuracy, accomplished in competition.

The argument can be made that this is the Most Accurate Gun Ever Built. As far as we can determine, no one has ever shot a smaller 5-target Agg anywhere, at any time.

The Unlimited Benchrest Record That Will Never Be (Official)

Report by Boyd Allen
Gary Ocock’s stunning unlimited Aggregate is beyond amazing. That’s an average of five, 5-shot groups of .0840. Shot under sanctioned match rules, but at an unsanctioned 100-yard fun match, this Aggregate is well under the current 100-yard official records of the IBS (.1386), and the NBRSA (.1242). The fourth of the five groups measured a minuscule .018, less than half the size of the existing NBRSA Unlimited record of .049 (also shot by Gary). Check it out:

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
When the top 15 shooters all post teen Aggs, conditions must be pretty favorable. However there were some light switchy winds — Gary said that he shot better in the left to right condition.

GUN SPECIFICATIONS
Ocock’s red Jay Young Unlimited Railgun features one major difference from Young’s typical Railgun designs. The bottom of the barrel block is integral with the top (moving part), of the gun. The barrel is Ocock’s usual 1:13.5″-twist Krieger chambered for the 6 PPC. The BAT Neuvo action* is unusual in that its lugs are horizontal at lock-up instead of the usual vertical. With horizontal lugs, both lugs maintain contact with their abutments when the action is cocked. In the more normal configuration when cocked the top lug is forced off of its seat by a combination of the angle of the trigger cocking piece interface, the pressure of the striker spring, and bolt clearance at the rear of the action.

LOAD SPECIFICATIONS
Gary shot this remarkable Agg with well-used brass, Vihtavuori N133 powder, and self-made 66gr BT bullets** seated at “jam”. This amazing Agg was shot on the second day of a 2-day Unlimited Benchrest match. On Day 1 Gary had experimented with various loads using both surplus IMR 8208 and Vihtavuori N133, but was not satisfied with the results. For his first group on Day 2, Gary tried a light load of N133. After seeing the result, however, he decided to go to the other extreme — a super stout N133 load — with the same powder. As you can see, Gary’s willingness to experiment paid off.

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Notably, Gary used light neck tension. Ocock found that for these bullets and this barrel, light neck tension worked best (contrary to “normal” N133 benchrest practice). Ocock used a bushing that only produces .001″ difference between the diameters of sized and loaded case necks.

Comment on Ocock’s Achievement
Congratulations to Gary Ocock for superb shooting (and smart loading). Even though the match was not sanctioned (so the Agg will never be a record), Ocock has raised the bar very high, and given us a new standard of ultimate accuracy.

Though this 0.0840 Aggregate and 0.018 group will never go into the record group, they are still noteworthy. There’s virtually no doubt that they would have survived inspection by any record committee. Except for the lack of fixed backers, an IBS requirement (for detecting cross-fires), all other conditions were met for an officially-sanctioned match.

*The new BAT Neuvo actions are the result of a collaboration between Dwight Scott, and Bruce Thom, featuring Dwight’s ideas and BAT’s proven manufacturing expertise.

** Ocock shot his own, boat-tail match bullets, made with George Ulrich-crafted dies using Hood cores. Although he said that it had been a while since he had weighed any, his best guess was that they weigh something around 66.5 grains.

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June 2nd, 2019

.284 Shehane — Winning Wildcat 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 H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.

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.”

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 Shines in 1K Benchrest Competition Too
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

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.”


*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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May 29th, 2019

Super Shoot Top 20 GEAR — BATs, Kriegers, and Lots of Tuners

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC
Firing line at 2019 Super Shoot. Photo courtesy Armeria Regina.

What components do world-class, short-range group benchrest shooters use? BAT actions, Krieger barrels, and Bix’n Andy triggers (and Jewells) are the components of choice. And barrel tuners are now widely used by the top shooters. As for powder, Vitavuori N133 is still the choice of virtually all top competitors. And yes the 6PPC definitely rules the roost. Every Top 20 shooter at the 2019 Super Shoot shot a 6PPC. Every one. Read on to learn more about the Top 20 Equipment used at this year’s Super Shoot.

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC
Click Image to view FULL-SIZE Equipment List.

We recently reviewed the Top 20 Equipment List for the 2019 Super Shoot at the Kelbly’s Range in Ohio. This Top 20 List reveals the gear choices for the 13.5-lb Heavy Varmint Class and the 10.5-lb Light Varmint/Sporter Class (20 entries for each division). Here are notable gear choices for Top 20 Competitors (both divisions) at the 2019 Super Shoot:

Actions: 14 of 20 HV and 16 of 20 LV/SP shooters used BAT actions. So there were 75% BATs for both classes combined.
Barrels: 10 of 13 listed HV barrels and 9 of 12 listed LV/SP barrels were Kriegers. Overall, of the barrels identified in the Top 20 Equipment lists, 76% were Krieger. That’s dominance! [Note: We have been informed that entries with no barrel-maker listed may have been Bartlein barrels.]
Triggers: Notably 10 of 20 HV triggers were Bix’n Andy — 50%. For the other class, 7 of 19 listed triggers were Bix ‘N Andy. All others were Jewells.
Tuners: In HV Class, 12 of 20 shooters used tuners, mostly Bukys. 11 of 20 LV/SP shooters had tuners. Overall that is 57.5% tuner usage for both classes combined.

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

Cartridge: For both classes, every single Top 20 competitor shot the 6PPC. ‘Nuf said.
Powders: 19 of 20 HV Shooters used Vihtavuori N133. Likewise 19 of 20 LV/SP shooters used VV N133, with one not reporting. That is total dominance for N133.

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC

Bullets: There was a wide selection of bullets used in both classes. Custom bullets by “boutique” bullet makers were certainly favored by Top 20 shooters. Sta Moy 65s were popular, as were Hottenstein 68s and Bart’s bullets among others.

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May 2nd, 2019

Loading at the Range — Why It Works for the Benchrest Game

Benchrest IBS Shooting Reloading Chargemaster tuning load
Shown are funnel with ultra-long drop tube (which helps get more kernels in the cases), RCBS Chargemaster (in wood box), and Hood Press (similar to Harrell’s Combo press).

Loading at the range remains important in the Benchrest for Group discipline. In a Special Report below, IBS President Jeff Stover explains how loading methods (and hardware) have evolved over the years. The advent of accurate, affordable electronic powder dispensers, such as the RCBS ChargeMaster and Frankford’s new Intellidropper, have changed the game and made it easier to load efficiently at the range. And quality manual powder measures are fast and can be very consistent, with a little practice. Loading at the range permits competitors to tune their load to the conditions, change seating depths, or even choose different bullets to suit the barrel’s preferences on any given day.

IBS Benchrest

Although pre-loading is not uncommon, most 100/200-yard group shooters usually load at the match, often between relays. The goal is to shoot smaller groups by staying “in tune”. In a game where 5-shot groups “in the 1s and Zeros” is the goal, tuning loads for the conditions helps deliver match-winning accuracy. Nearly all competitors in this short-range discipline shoot the 6mm PPC cartridge, or a PPC variant.

IBS Benchrest loading at range Jeff Stover

Loading at the Range — Then and Now

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

In benchrest shooting for group, loading at the range has been de rigueur for decades. In the Score discipline, preloading is usually the custom. The main reason is that, in Score competition, only one Aggregate (warm-up match and five record targets) per day is usually shot. That would be less than 50 shots, assuming a few sighter shots. Also, the 30BR, the dominant Benchrest-for-Score cartridge, is very amenable to pre-loading.

By contrast, the Group discipline includes 21 targets (two warm-ups and twenty record targets) over a weekend, usually shot with 6PPC-chambered rifles. Many times, the 6PPC shooters may tweak their loads through the day given changing atmospheric conditions or simply trying to find the correct tune to “dot up”. This term, “Dot up”, means the shots are essentially going through the same hole, or closely so.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Loading at the range was a bit different when benchrest competition was in its infancy. The 1951 book, Modern Accuracy by Bob Wallack, is the best of the early benchrest books. Copies can be found, from time to time, on eBay or Alibris. It is a fascinating survey of benchrest as it existed more than six decades ago. There’s even coverage of a controversial target that was argued over at the time. In it, there is a photo of Wallack using the rear bumper of a car at the bench to clamp his reloading tools. Things have come a long way compared to the range loading set-ups of modern shooters. Here you can see Bob Wallack way back in 1950:

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Modern loading bench set-ups shown in this Special Report belong to top shooters Howie Levy, Bob Hamister, and Kent Harshman.
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March 22nd, 2019

Montana Magic — 6BR Ackley Shoots Sub-Quarter-MOA at 1000

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler
Looking 1000 yards downrange at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana.

On Facebook recently, we saw an eye-catching rifle. Owned by top 1000-yard competitor (and past IBS Champ) Tom Mousel, this rifle was smithed by Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy. This rig features the McMillan-crafted Wheeler LRB stock with adjustable keel. It also has BAT Machine’s very impressive new Neuvo LR (aka “Neuvo M”) action, serial number LR0001. The Neuvo LR has some important design features — horizontal lug orientation, full-diameter bolt body, and advanced fire control system. More about those features below.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

This gun is a shooter. Tom has already shot a 1.5″ four-shot group at 1000 yards. How does he do that? First you need a great barrel, great bullets, and superior hand-loading skills. But then it comes down to great gun-handling. You can see that in the video below. NOTE to ALL Long-Range Benchrest shooters — Watch this video! You’ll definitely learn from watching Tom shoot — he’s one of the best in the business.

Tom Mousel shoots 1000-yard ladder test with first-released Neuvo LR action, SN LR0001.
Rifle chambering is 6BR Ackley (6BRA) in 28″ Krieger barrel.

Rifle Components and Build INFO:
This rifle has a BAT Neuvo LR (aka Neuvo “M”) action glued and screwed into the LRB stock using a special bedding block, a Boyd Allen concept that Tom has requested to use on every future build. The 28″ Krieger 1:8″-twist HV barrel was indexed using a little different method than most use. It is “panning out well” says Alex, who adds: “So far it has shot [multiple low ones] with two barrels and three different bullet types. This rifle is definitely one of the better shooters I have seen.” We’d agree — owner Tom Mousel has had a 1.5″ 4-shot group at 1000 yards in testing, plus some “zero” 3-shot groups at 100 yards.

Chambering is the 6mmBR Ackley (6BRA). The stock is a Wheeler/McMillan LRB stock with vivid orange and black paint job. It features an adjustable keel in the rear. Trigger is a Bix N Andy unit from Bullets.com.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler
This BAT Neuvo LR action is a Left-loading Drop Port. Cartridges eject out the bottom of the action.

BAT Machine Neuvo Long Range “M” Action
This is the “Long Range” version of the BAT Neuvo. Dwight Scott and Chris Harris were the original inspiration. I worked with Chris to come up with a version for long range. The main differences for the LR Neuvo (compared to the shorter Neuvo) are this has integral lug and rail, with flat bottom and sides for better bedding. The BAT Neuvo LR is available in drop port, dual port, and single port as well as magnum.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

Take a look at the bolt. Notice the lug orientation and full diameter bolt body. There are no bolt raceways in the action and the two lugs sit HORIZONTALLY when the bolt is closed — that’s different than the vast majority of other two-lug actions.

Alex Wheeler says the Neuvo is a winner. He thinks some of the action’s design features really do contribute to enhanced accuracy: “The … fire control (firing pin assembly) carries a lot of energy and has a very “clean” release. This is an excellent design with many small details that combine to deliver superior function. In addition, the full-diameter bolt can be fitted tighter than one with lugways. Also the horizontal lugs may be why we see less vertical stringing in the groups. They are timed perfectly as well.”

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

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January 29th, 2019

Dasher Fever — Match-Winning 6mm Dasher Rig on a Budget

Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March Madness

With the 6mm Dasher wildcat cartridge now becoming popular with PRS competitors as well as the benchrest crowd, we thought it was time to re-visit a special rifle chambered for the 6mm Dasher wildcat. This gun has a great story behind it. Forum member Bob A. (aka “Killshot”) used his “Forum Classifieds Special” to beat all comers in the F-Class Division in the American-Canadian Match and the Long Range Regional Match in 2013 in Sacramento, CA. Bob’s 6mm Dasher sports a blue-printed Rem 700 action. Who says you need a high-dollar custom action to run with the big dogs? In fact, this same gun, built with components sourced from AccurateShooter Forum Classified Ads, set a Sacramento F-Class range record of 200-17X a few years back. In this story, Bob talks about the build, and he explains his methods for loading ultra-accurate Dasher ammo.

Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March Madness

Bob’s Budget-Build Dasher F-Classer
I wanted to build a proper rifle for F-Open but needed to keep it simple and, well, cheap. I found a solid “base” to build on in the form of a Dave Bruno-built, “pre-owned” 6-6.5×47 Lapua that I located in the AccurateShooter Forum classifieds in late 2011. The base action was a trued and blue-printed Remington 700 receiver circa 1971 with a spiral-fluted bolt. It was in a Shehane ST1000 stock painted sky blue and had a Jewell 1.5-oz BR trigger. I sent the bolt to Greg Tannel (Gretanrifles.com) to have the firing pin hole bushed and sleeved, the ejector removed and the hole filled and the face trued. I upgraded to Tannel’s Light Steel firing pin assembly while it was out.

Having the working bits completed, I needed a barrel. So I went to the AccurateShooter classifieds again and found a 1:8″-twist, 30″ x 1.25″ (diam.) Bartlein with a 0.236″-land bore. I called Dave Kiff and explained my pursuit and he recommended his PT&G “world record” 6 Dasher reamer (.2704″ no-turn neck and .104″ freebore). A month or so later the reamer and gauges arrived.

I had the barrel chambered by Marc Soulie of Spartan Precision Rifles (510-755-5293, Concord, CA). Marc is a great builder and I’m pleased to call him a friend.

Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March Madness

The rifle got its good looks from a Pennsylvania artist named Kenny Prahl. His Prahl Designs shop (724-478-2538) added the white ghost-flames over the existing sky blue metallic paint.

Looks Great, Shoots Better
Fire-forming showed great promise — ten-shot groups of half an inch at 200 yards were typical. I lost only one case to a split neck and the “blow lengths” are good and consistent. This was followed up with load development which saw 100-yard, five-shot groups in the .1s and .2s as the rifle showed its preference for Reloder 15 over Varget powder, and for CCI 450s over all other primers. The bullet of choice was the ever-popular Berger 105gr Hybrid Target.

Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March Madness

In February 2012 I began shooting the Dasher in monthly club matches at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, the home range of a number of excellent F-Class, Benchrest and High Power shooters. Using a Farley Coaxial rest up front (also picked up from a WTB ad on AccurateShooter’s Forum) and an Edgewood bag in the back, I gradually improved my gun-handling to the point where I could shoot a respectable score. This was very different from the bipod shooting I’d done in the past in F/TR.

Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March Madness


Bob A. 6mm Dasher Sacramento F-Class March MadnessDasher Loading Tips
My chamber is set up for blue box Lapua 6mmBR brass. My case preparation is straight-forward. I fire-form with virgin cases right out of the box. I don’t size them but I will give the primer holes a good look and clean up the flash hole with a .058″ bit in a pin vise. To fire-form, I seat a Berger 108gr BT .030″ into the lands over a standard 6mmBR load of Varget.

For match loads, I use Alliant Reloder 15. While Varget is less sensitive to temp changes, RL15 has given me lower extreme spreads and better long range control. [Bob acknowledges that every barrel is unique, so a different powder, such as H4895 might work better for you.]

I clean my fired cases with stainless steel media in a Thumler’s rotary tumbler after every firing. I anneal after every other firing using a Bench-Source machine which is very well made and easy to operate. I use a Whidden full length bushing die with Redding bushings for sizing.

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December 18th, 2018

The Real Deal — Sources for Official Shooting Targets

Official Target Printer Vendor Source

NRA Target IBS Hunter Rifle Target

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets:

ALCO Target Company

American Target Company

Kruger Premium Targets

National Target Company

Pistoleer.com

U.S. Target Company

AccurateShooter.com offers dozens of FREE, printable targets for target practice, load development, and fun shooting. We also offer a few of the most popular NRA Bullseye targets. One or more of these printable targets should work for most training purposes. However, some readers have asked: “Where can we get the real targets… exactly like the ones used in NRA, IBS, and NBRSA shooting matches?”

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. Germany’s Kruger Targets sells all the important NRA targets, and international (ISSF) air rifle and smallbore targets too.

Available Official Competition Targets
Vendor NRA High Power F-Class NRA Smallbore Air Rifle/Pistol IBS NBRSA Other
ALCO Target
Company
Yes, All No Yes Yes No No Archery, IDPA, IPSC, Police, Realistic, Shoot-N-C, Silhouette, Fun Targets, Pasters.
American Target
Company
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No USBR, Sight-in, Muzzle-Loading, Police Silhouette
Kruger Premium
Targets
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No IDPA, IPSC, Animal Shapes, ISSF, Sight-in, Fun Targets
National Target
Company
Yes, Nearly All Yes Yes, All Yes Yes* No IDPA, IPSC, FBI, Police Silhouette, Sight-in, Target Backers, Pasters
Pistoleer.com Yes Yes Yes, most and color training Yes Yes No Bianchi, FBI, IBS, IDPA, IPSC, Silhouette, Archery, Pasters
U.S. Target, Inc. Yes Yes Yes, All Yes No No Bianchi, FBI, Police Silhouette, IPSC, Realistic Silhouette, Varmint

Official Target Printer Vendor Source

Orrville Printing currently sells IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Call (307) 655-7415 to order for the season.

CMP Western games target source
At Western CMP Games, veteran rifle competitors Leon Rutherford, left, and Don Rutherford, demonstrate how to score targets at the GSM new shooter clinic. Note the use of a separate Target Center, which is available from many of the vendors listed above.

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December 12th, 2018

Tuning Barrels for Enhanced Precision and Accuracy

Anschutz Tuner

When a shot is fired through it, a barrel will exhibit harmonics. Tuning these harmonics (the “waves” that propagate through the barrel) can alter point of impact and, if you’re lucky, reduce group size. Barrel tuners have been used successfully in rimfire benchrest for many years (see photo above). While there are competing theories as to how and why barrel tuners work on rimfire rifles, there is no question that the accuracy of some rimfire barrels can be improved with the addition of a tuner. By changing the position of weights at the end of the barrel, we’ve seen shooters shrink their average group size as well as adjust the “sweet spot” for different lots of rimfire ammo. On the other hand, tuners can be the source of great frustration; some installations may yield little or no benefit. A shooter may have to experiment with a variety of different tuner designs (and weights) to find the optimal configuration.

Gene Bukys Barrel Tuner 333smittyCenterfire Tuners–Still a Work in Progress
In centerfire benchrest competition, the vast majority of competitors do not use tuners, though a few short-range shooters such as Gene Bukys and Jackie Schmidt have enjoyed considerable success. Gene has won major championships with tuned rifles. In 2011 Gene won both the Super Shoot and World Benchrest Championship (WBC), and Gene recently set a new NBRSA Sporter Class Grand Agg Record.

Centerfire benchrest guns typically employ shorter barrels with a much fatter contour (larger diameter) than rimfire rifles. Because centerfire rounds produce much higher pressures and velocities that a 22LR, a centerfire barrel also exhibits much different vibration characteristics than a typical rimfire barrel. Nonetheless, there are pioneers working with centerfire tuners who believe that tuning may be the “next leap forward” in centerfire accuracy.

Shown below is a switch-barrel benchrest rifle built by Forum member Eddie W. of Texas. It features a dual-port Hall “M” action with a ShadeTree Engineering Tuner crafted by Butch Lambert. The gun is designed to take both a 6PPC barrel for group shooting and a 30BR barrel for score shooting. The gun was barreled by Wayne Shaw, and Eddie did the stock work himself. Eddie reports: “It is a very accurate rifle.”

Lambert Tuner

Will we see more tuners on centerfire rifles? Only time will tell. Some folks believe that, since one can easily adjust the loads shot by centerfire guns (by tinkering with the powder charge and seating depth), tuners have limited utility. On the other hand, tuner advocates such as Gene Beggs believe tuners can help keep your group sizes small even as conditions (temperature, humidity) change. Gene believes that, with an appropriate tuner, you can spend less time fiddling with the load specs (changing your powder charge) and instead “dial in” your sweet spot using the tuner.

Lambert Tuner

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December 3rd, 2018

2018 IBS 100/200 Score Nationals in North Carolina

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

IBS Score Nationals  North Carolina  2018Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Over the weekend of October 27-28, 2018 forty-four shooters competed at the IBS 2018 Score Nationals held at the Ashe County Wildlife Club in Laurel Springs, North Carolina. The match had been rescheduled from its original, earlier date because of Hurricane Florence. Forty-three shooters shot Varmint for Score, and two of those also shot Varmint Hunter. One competitor strictly shot in Varmint Hunter class, for a total of three in that category.

Despite challenging winds and weather, there were some impressive performances. Brud Sheats won the VFS Grand Aggregate with 499-35X, with Richard Sissel second, 499-24X. Brud also topped the 200-yard VFS field, while Chris Gibby was the leading 100-yard VFS shooter.

IBS Score Nationals  North Carolina  2018
This photo was taken on the cold and damp Saturday morning. Ashe County Wildlife Club’s 30 benches are generously proportioned and extremely well-built.

The Weather/Conditions
According to my source, Saturday morning was cool and cloudy, after a morning low of 40 degrees the day would only get up to a high of 48. As you can see from the picture of the firing line there was a little rain. The wind light and shooting conditions generally good, but on Sunday things changed. The wind became a more significant factor. According to my good friend Lee Martin, who shot the match and was kind enough to send me many good pictures, “Sunday brought 20 mph gusts that switched constantly.” Weather records show that the temperature ranged from an early morning low of 39 degrees with an eventual high of 56 and just a .01” of rain.

IBS Score Nationals  North Carolina  2018

IBS Score Nationals  North Carolina  2018

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

Photos by Clint Johnson and Lee Martin.

The Ashe County Wildlife Club
This impressive rural facility is far more than just a benchrest range. It has a Trout Pond, Skeet Field, Sporting Clays, 5-Stand Sporting, Wobble tower, Trap field, 300-yard Rifle range with 30 covered benches, and a 50-yard Pistol / Rimfire range. The 300-yard benchrest range has a newly constructed firing line and loading/multipurpose building that any club would be proud of. The firing line runs along the north east wall of the building and is covered by its extended eave.

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

Top Shooters, Results, and Equipment List

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

The above photo includes most of the “top guns” at the 2018 IBS Score Nationals. Shown, from left to right: Dean Breeden – 1st 100 Hunter, High X-Count Hunter & 2 Gun Grand Agg Hunter; Wayne France – 5th 200 & 4th Grand Agg; Dewey Hancock – 2nd 100; Chris Gibby – 1st 100 & 5th Grand Agg; John Cascarino – 4th 200 & 5th Grand Agg; Rick Hudak – 3rd 100 plus 2017 defending Grand Agg Winner; Brud Sheats – 1st 200 & 2018 Grand Agg Winner; Nick Breeden – 1st youth; David Richardson – 3rd 200; Orland Bunker – 1st 200 Hunter & 1st Grand Agg Hunter; K.L. Miller – 2nd 100 Hunter; Richard Sissel – 2nd 200 & 2nd Grand Agg. (Anything not designated as Hunter refers to VFS.)

CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results and Equipment List »

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018
Brud Sheats, 1st @ 200 & 2018 VFS Grand Agg Winner; Right — Richard Sissel, Grand Agg Runner-Up.

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018
IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

See More Match Photos from the 100/200 Score Nationals
If you want to see more photos from the Score Nationals, here are links to two web photo albums with many more images from the event:

Clint Johnson’s Photo Archive | Lee Martin’s Photo Archive

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

IBS Score Nationals North Carolina 2018

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October 24th, 2018

12-Year-Old Hunter Hall Wins NC 1000-Yard LG Group BR Title

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

It’s always newsworthy when a novice shooter wins a major event. But it’s even more remarkable when that new shooter is just 12 years old! Proving that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, young Hunter Hall, son of past IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year Samuel Hall, recently won the LG Group title at the North Carolina State 1000-Yard IBS Benchrest Championship. And this was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match (and the first time he had even shot at 1000 yards)! The young man took the LG group title in spectacular fashion, with some great shooting. In fact, Hunter won his first-ever 1000-yard relay with a 4.312-inch group and a perfect 50 score! Father Sam noted: “It takes most new shooters several months, or even years, to shoot that good (me included)!”

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

Gun and Load — 6BR Ackley with Berger 105 Hybrids
Hunter was shooting one of Sam’s old 600-yard rifles off a SEB Max rest in front and Protektor DR bag in the rear. The rifle features a BAT MB 1.55″-diameter round dual port action, McMillan ST-1000 stock with 4″-wide aluminum rail-plate on the fore-end, Jewell trigger, and March 40X scope with 1/16 dot reticle. The barrel was a Krieger HV barrel Sam had recently rechambered from a Dasher to his favorite 6BR-AI (what some call the 6BRA). The load was Berger 105gr Hybrids about 0.010″ in the lands, pushed by H4895 powder and CCI BR4 primers.

Report from Proud Father Samuel Hall:

I’m proud to report that my son, Hunter Hall, won the Light Gun (LG) Group trophy in the 2018 North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard State shoot. On his first-ever 1K target he shot a 4.312″ group with 50 score. That relay had some great shooters in it including Mike Wilson, past IBS 1000-Yard Shooter of the Year and Nationals winner. Hunter went on to win the shoot-off for the LG Group NC State Championship in some very windy conditions.

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

I must say, I was very worried just before he was shooting. Winds had picked up to 10-20 mph and were switching quickly. Even for seasoned veterans it is hard to shoot in those conditions! Hunter never appeared nervous and ran his five record rounds off in mere seconds, never raising his head while shooting — just as I taught him the day before the match.

This was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match, and first time he’d even shot at 1000 yards. Hunter has occasionally helped me sight in my long-range Benchrest rifles since he was six. He just expressed interest in shooting a match the Monday before the match. After scrambling to get him two rifles to shoot that week, I taught him how to “speed shoot” in case it was windy, and how to handle the rifle without upsetting it in the bags while cycling the bolt. I showed him how to put his thumb on the tang to help keep the gun level during recoil. His hands have just gotten large enough to do that.

Hunter says now he wants to shoot all the Hawks Ridge matches next year! I may take him to a 600-yard match next year and see how he likes that. I told Hunter that if he continues to beat me like he did Saturday, I may just become his caddy! I was ten times more excited for him to win than me winning! Benchrest needs more shooters. This is the kind of thing that can help grow the sport. — Samuel Hall

Other Winners at NC State 1000-Yard IBS Championships
Along with young Hunter Hall, there were other notable performances at the NC State 1K Championship. Mike Hanes won the Heavy Gun (HG) Score Title while Mike Wilson won the HG Group Title. Barry Splawn was a double winner, finishing as NC State LG Score Champion as well as Factory Gun Champion.

Match Director Dave Mathews reports this was a very successful event: “We had a fantastic turn out … with 50 Light Gun shooters, 40 Heavy Gun competitors, and 9 Factory Class shooters. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event. Now it’s time to head south to the Georgia Long Range Extravaganza. Hope to see you there…”

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October 6th, 2018

Prize Rifle for IBS Shooters in the Southeast Region

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope
If you’ve never been to a benchrest match, visit the IBS website to find an affiliated club in your area. You’ll find schedules for upcoming events where you can learn about the sport.

This article describes an impressive complete benchrest rifle that will be awarded next month to an IBS competitor in the IBS Southeastern Region. This premium benchrest rig was a collaborative effort, with components and build labor donated by many companies. The rifle and scope prize will be awarded at a Banquet on November 10, 2018. The winner will be chosen from shooters who have accumulated “tickets” (essentially prize credits) over the course of the year. Tickets are earned through match attendance and shooting performance: 1 ticket for each match attended in the SE region ranges listed above (AFTER attending five matches). Shooters get additional tickets for a perfect 2,500 score, plus 10 additional tickets for attending at least one match at each and every participating range.

A Magnificent Prize
by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Coming up with prizes for shooting events is always a challenge, and results can vary considerably from match to match. This rifle is at the apex of the prize pyramid. Few complete rifles are seen on prize tables, because of their cost, and because they are generally built to order from select components, produced by multiple manufacturers. There are no off-the-shelf benchrest rifles, and if there were, the price of one, complete with a quality scope, would be too great to ask of a single source, given the size of the typical businesses that serve this sport.

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope

Any score shooter would be glad to have this rifle and feel quite fortunate to win it. It is a fine example of its type, made of top components, and stocked with a “Indian Blanket” pattern Obeche laminate that will not be seen again once the supply runs out, because the factory that produced it burned down. As you would expect for this type of competition, it is chambered for the 30 BR.

This prize rifle was built to increase interest and participation in centerfire score shooting in the Southeast Region of the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS), as well as to encourage competitors to visit more ranges and attend more IBS matches. Ranges participating in this prize campaign are:

Bluegrass Sportsmen’s League (Wilmore, KY), Buck Creek Gun Club (Somerset, KY), Georgia Mountain Shooting Association (Eastanollee, GA), Mid-Carolina Gun Club (Orangeburg, SC), Piedmont Gun Club (Rutherfordton, NC), and Palmetto Gun Club (Ridgeville, SC).

Good luck to everyone for the remainder of the 2018 season. NOTE: There are more detailed rules than we can reproduce here (for space reasons). If you intend on taking a serious run at this prize, take the time to inquire about all of the specifics.

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope
Left to Right: Jim Cline, Doyle Anglin, and Ronnie Milford.

Background of the IBS Rifle Prize
Ronnie Milford explained: “Near the completion of the Southeastern Regional, I [asked] some of our fellow shooters about increasing participation. One of them suggested that we have one big prize that would be participation-based. I ran the idea of building a complete rifle by my personal gunsmith Doyle Anglin. He warned me that he had seen others try to do the same thing, and that it would be hard to get people to donate products. That lit a fire. First phone call was to Jim Kelbly who offered to donate the action. For the trigger Jim recommended a Bix & Andy from Chris at Bullet Central. I then called Jim Cline, and he got Brux to donate the barrel. Then, I talked to my NightForce contacts, Allen Stillwell and Wayne Dayberry. They donated a competition scope.

My next phone call was back to Doyle Anglin and I told him what had been donated. He then talked about ‘fitting and chambering, pillar bedding, and stock by Dixie Guns’. When Dave Short heard what we were doing, he donated a trigger guard, chamber cleaning kit, and a barrel tuner. Jim called Linwood Harrell who donated our scope rings. We were almost complete, and I told them that I would spray the finish on the stock. When this news got out, it caused a great deal of excitement.”

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope

Prize Rifle Eligibility and Award Procedures
This custom rifle will be given away at the awards banquet on November 10, 2018 in Orangeburg, SC. The winner will be chosen using tickets earned during the season. A shooter will “earn” 1 prize chance ticket for each match attended in the SE region ranges listed above, AFTER attending five (5) matches. (If you attend four matches or less you will receive 0 tickets for attendance.) You can get 5 additional tickets for a perfect 2,500 score and 10 additional tickets for attending one match minimum at each participating range. We will keep track of the tickets earned and they will be passed out at the banquet for you to personally place them in the container.

Prize Rifle Being Constructed at Doyle Anglin and Ronnie Milford shops:

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope

IBS International Benchrest shooters 30 BR prize rifle Kelbly action Brux barrel Nightforce scope

Support the Sponsors — This is a very impressive prize. Keep the generosity of all who donated to the project in mind the next time that you are in the market for products they make or sell. In the future we may offer a follow-up story about the rifle winner and his/her first competition with this 30 BR benchrest rifle. In any case, on November 10, 2018, someone is going to be very happy with their valuable prize.

Built to Shoot — Remember this rifle was created by donations, to grow the sport, and promote shooting, not to sell for monetary gain. If you do not plan on shooting this rifle, please donate it to an upcoming shooter. Ronnie Milford, and Jim Cline worked hard to make this dream become a reality. Let’s not let down the sponsors who continue to support us.

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September 25th, 2018

IBS 1000-Yard Benchrest Nationals Featured on Shooting USA

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

Get a video view of 1000-yard Benchrest competition tomorrow on Shooting USA television. This week’s Wednesday episode of Shooting USA features the 2017 IBS 1000-Yard National Championship held at the Whitehorse Shooting Center in Peeltree, West Virginia. This Shooting USA episode takes you to the Whitehorse 1K Range in September 2017. You can see the action on the firing line and the Shooting USA team also interviews many competitors. Watch this episode on the Outdoor Channel at these times: 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

If you want to learn about the 1000-yard Benchrest game, definitely tune in to Shooting USA on September 26, 2018 (tomorrow) to watch last year’s IBS action. There were nearly 120 shooters competing (118 in Light Gun, 107 in Heavy Gun).

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

To learn more about on this event, read our detailed 2017 IBS 1K Nationals Match Report. At the 2017 Nationals, conditions were challenging to say the least, with rain storms, spiraling winds, and fog. In fact, rain and fog on Saturday (with cancelled relays) caused the Nationals to be extended by one day through Monday. What’s more, of the 107 shooters listed in the Two-Gun Overall results who actually shot both guns, there were dozens of DQs. (Yes, the wind was very tricky at this year’s Nationals.)

Read 2017 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Report HERE »

Top Guns at the 2017 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals were Edward Kenzakoski (Two-Gun Overall Champion), Mike Gaizauskas (Light Gun Overall, plus LG Score Agg), and Mike Brennan (Heavy Gun Overall, plus HG Score Agg). Group Agg winners were Richard Schatz for LG, and Charlie Lentz for Heavy. Two ladies also deserve mention. Sally Bauer shot the smallest group of the match, a 1.923″ 5-shot group in LG — that’s 0.184 MOA! Ruth Edwards drilled a 2.104″, also mighty impressive. Here’s Sally below with her very patriotic Heavy Gun…

IBS Heavy Gun Sally Bauer benchrest HG 1000 yard

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September 21st, 2018

IBS Match Report: 2018 200/300-Yard Score Nationals

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Photos by Hillary Martinez
Many of the nation’s best Score Benchrest shooters came to Maryland last month for the IBS 200/300-Yard Score Nationals. This is a one-shot-per-bullseye discipline dominated by accurate 30-caliber cartridges such as the 30 BR. Over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of August, 42 shooters participated in the 2018 IBS 200/300-Yard Score Nationals, held at the Thurmont Conservaton & Sportsman’s Club, in Thurmont, Maryland. Forty-one competitors shot Varmint for Score (VFS). Between the two 6X disciplines there were six competitors, equally divided between Hunter (H) and Varmint Hunter (VH). Dewey Hancock was “Top Gun” for the match, winning the VFS 200/300 Grand Agg with 500-23X, a possible new record.

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

VIEW Complete Match Results on IBS WEBSITE »

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC
There are six bullseyes on an IBS Score target. Competitors take one shot per bull for five scored shots. The sixth (bottom right) bullseye is reserved for sighter shots.

Rising River After Rain
This match had some unique challenges — caused by a river that overflowed after a rain. Thankfully, the match proceeded without major problems once needed equipment was moved. It rained nearly half an inch the Friday night before the match, as it had for several days. Given the flooding, there was a slight delay Saturday morning. The scoring trailer had to be moved because it been parked (before the rain) in a low area adjacent to where Big Hunter Creek empties into the Monocacy River. (In the satellite view, the firing line cover is in the middle, about one-third up from the bottom.)

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Hot and Humid in Maryland — The match director described the weather as very hot and humid. On Saturday, the temperature varied from 66 to 81 degrees, the humidity from 62 to 100 %, and the wind speed from 0 to 9 mph. On Sunday, things warmed up a bit, the humidity was reported as a little lower, as was the wind speed.

The Green Fields of Thurmont — With recent rains at Thurmont, lush green grass stretched from firing line to targets. This elicits envy from a shooter who has spent all of his time on ranges that do not have a single blade of green anywhere, except for a few weeks during a short rainy season. To my eyes, this range is beautiful.

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Thurmont shooters are blessed with a truly outstanding facility that serves all types of shooting. There are fifteen covered benches of mixed construction under a sturdy cover, with plenty of parking both for vehicles and RVs. Learn more about the Thurmont Club at TCandSC.org.

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

TOP TEN Match Results, and Equipment List

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC
Can anyone identify that big gold-tone coaxial rest on the right?

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPCThe VFS Grand Aggregate Top Five were: Dewey Hancock (1st Place), John Bosley (2nd), Ronnie Milford (3rd), Brian Fitch (4th), and Jim Cline (5th). VFS winner Dewey Hancock shot a possible new 200/300 yard record with a 500-23X.

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC
Top shooters left to right: Dewey Hancock, Nick Breeden, Brian Fitch, Glen Olenick, Robert Brooks, Steve Cameron, Dean Breeden (arms raised), KL Miller, Jim Cline, Ronnie Milford, John Bosley.

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC
Wayne France — with the “I just won a Nightforce” smile!

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC
Steve Eller smiling — BIB Bullets from Randy Robinette are always a good choice.

Dean Breeden, Match Director and Competitor

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

Match directors do not get the appreciation they deserve. The match calendar would be blank without them. Score Nationals Match director Dean Breeden ran a great show here. In addition to rescuing a trailer from flood waters, and running the 200/300 Score Nationals, Dean also himself competed at the Nationals, shooting two rifles. He did well, with Top Ten finishes at both distances, in both VFS and Hunter classes (3rd in Hunter at 300 yards).

While Dean may be under-appreciated as a match director, Dean is widely recognized as one of the best IBS score shooters out there. Dean holds six (6) current IBS Score Shooting records.

In his Match Report, Dean acknowledged and thanked the generous match sponsors:

BIB Bullets
Brunos Shooter Supply
Brux Barrels
Dave Short Customs
Eddie Harren
Krieger Barrels
Nightforce
PMA Tool
Redding Reloading
ShadeTree Engineering
Wilson Dies

Parting Shot — Down by the Riverside…

Thurmont Conservation club IBS International Benchrest Score Championship Nationals Maryland VFS 30 BR PPC

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September 5th, 2018

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Report from Montana

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Photos by Gordie Gritters and Alex Wheeler
The 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals event was hosted by the Montana NW 1000 Yard BR Club, which has an active and well-run 1K benchrest shooting program. Over eighty shooters from as far away as Indonesia participated, 82 in Light Gun, and 85 in Heavy Gun. By all accounts it was a very well-run match, that was enjoyed by all who attended.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
The Deep Creek Range is a beautiful place to shoot, with normally favorable conditions. But the winds were challenging at the 2018 IBS 1000-yard Nationals.

One man, Carroll Lance, dominated the match, taking the 2-Gun Overall Aggregate, while also winning HG Score Agg, HG Group Agg, and HG Overall Agg. It was a masterful performance — Carroll shot his Light Gun in both classes, beating dozens of bigger, heavier, and much more expensive rifles. Carroll’s name will be placed on four IBS perpetual trophies. Here’s Carroll with his line-up of trophies.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Winning Form — Carroll Lance Talks Technique
When asked for his advice to a new shooter, Big Winner Carroll Lance said: “Shooters should concentrate on being smooth, so as not to disturb the rifle in the bags. Speed will come naturally. The common mistake is to try to run the shots faster than can be done smoothly.”

Aerial Drone Video Shows Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. Worth Watching!

Challenging Conditions at Match
While Deep Creek is renown for often having good, “readable” conditions, this was a tough year according to Deep Creek veterans. As proof, there were five DQs on a single relay.

Tom Mosul (who ran the firing line for most of the event) noted that conditions were not extreme but could be tricky, with max wind speed s10-15 mph. It varied enough that being on some relays could effectively put a competitor out of the tournament. Tom also mentioned that indicators that he normally could depend on were not reliable this year.

Leo Anderson, who has been present at nearly all the 1000-yard matches ever held at Deep Creek, said this 2018 match had some of the trickiest conditions he has seen in 20 years of competition. Leo said you could not see the conditions causing POI changes. Alex Wheeler agreed, and added that although it was pretty calm at the benches, that the scorer who was running targets (from the pits to the firing line) said there was a strong cross wind half way down range that could not be felt at the pits or firing line…typical for Deep Creek, tough to read when it does decide to be nasty.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Summary of IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Results

For those who are unfamiliar with long range benchrest results, there are seven categories of winners, with seven corresponding traveling trophies (the big ones that bear the names of each year’s winners). For each of the two rifle classes (Light Gun and Heavy Guun) there are group, score, and overall aggregate winners (every target is both measured for group size and scored.) Finally, there is a 2-Gun winner for both rifle classes combined, based on group AND score.

With over eighty competitors, the PDF of the complete results, including those of every relay plus a very detailed list of the equipment used by every competitor for both classes, is a whopping 52 pages long. Links Below:

CLICK HERE for full Results PDF | CLICK HERE for Category Results Plus Equipment Lists

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Equipment List Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes
The seven travelling trophies went to just three shooters. Cody Finch won the LG Group aggregate. Tim Gonnerman won the LG Score aggregate and LG Overall aggregate. Carroll Lance won everything else — HG Score aggregate, HG Group aggregate, HG Overall aggregate, and the 2-Gun Overall.

Big winner Carroll Lance shot his 6mm Dasher Light Gun for both classes. The rifle, smithed by Jay Cutright, features a Borden BRM drop port action, Krieger barrel, Wheeler LRB stock, and Nightforce scope. Carroll’s match-winning load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, in front of H4895 powder and CCI primers.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Cody Finch’s Light Gun was a 6BR Ackley (6BRA) with Lederer barrel, BAT action, Nightforce scope, and a DCT stock. His load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, Hodgdon powder, and CCI primers. Alex Wheeler smithed the rifle.

Tim Gonnerman’s Light Gun, smithed by Mike Bigelow, featured a Krieger barrel (6mm Dasher), BAT action, Nightforce scope, and McMillan stock. The load consists of Vapor Trail bullets, H4895 powder, and CCI 450 primers.

Equipment List by Class Based on Two-Gun Overall Agg Rankings
Light Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Heavy Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

CLICK HERE for Full Equipment List for All Classes

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Top Guns Talk — What the Winners Revealed

I called the major Aggregate winners (Carroll Lance, Cody Finch, and Tim Gonnerman), and asked them about the 1K Nationals. My questions fell into five major categories: 1) how the wind compared to other matches (including other locations); 2) how each handles his rifle and equipment; 3) how they shot the match; 4) how they clean their barrels (and what their barrel accuracy life is); and 5) How they reload.

They all described the conditions as challenging. This was not a match to use for spotting small differences in accuracy between similar calibers. Even with the rotations of relays and benches, there was an inescapable luck factor, with some relays having significantly more challenging conditions than others. Changes could be rapid, with reversals that could be extreme.

Gun-Handling: On the subject of how the rifle is handled, Cody Finch shoots with only trigger contact, while Tim Gonnerman and Carroll Lance have light stock contact. Tim said that he is so focused on shooting that he is really not aware of the details of how he handles the rifle. Carroll said that he makes light contact with his trigger hand and has the butt touching his shoulder so lightly that he can barely feel it, but solidly enough that it only recoils about a quarter inch.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Shooting Strategies: Cody uses his sighter period to investigate how differences in mirage affect bullet impact location and then holds off shot by shot during his record string. Tim and Carroll do not, they adjust their scopes using the last sighter shot (which they can see because there is target service like an high power match with spotter disks) and then hold center for their record, trying to do as little with their rest adjustments as possible. Carroll mentioned that he only made one adjustment for the whole weekend and that his usual practice is to make small corrections with hand pressure.

Barrel Cleaning: Tim shot the whole weekend, without cleaning. When he does clean he uses Pro Shot Copper Solvent, patches, a nylon brush, and does a lot of soaking. Periodically he uses IOSSO with a patch on a nylon brush. He breaks in his barrels with the common one-shot-and-clean progressing to three and then five, and, sees a velocity increase at about 120 rounds from new. Tim cleans with patches and bronze brushes. I smiled when he told me what he cleans with, CLR, ThorroClean (Bullet Central) and IOSSO. CLR has been the topic of some discussion on the internet, and a friend found that it did a good job on carbon. It has been a controversial topic. Of note, Tim shot the smallest group for the tournament.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Barrel Life: All three Top Guns said that accurate barrel life varied from barrel to barrel. I got the general impression that most were done or close to done by 1,500 rounds, at least for the Dasher, with the BRA being too new to tell if it would stretch that far, but that it might.

Reloading Methods: On the reloading side, none of them anneal regularly, if at all. Carroll’s cases had 15-20 firings on them, and had only been annealed once, early on, but they still felt good when he was seating bullets. Last year he tried to anneal after every event.

Most of his competition has been at 600 yards, where Varget did a good job, with bullets seated .010 to .012 into the lands, but it did not perform well at 1K so he switched to H4895, which likes its bullets .005 into the lands. The chamber has a .268 neck. Case necks were turned to .0105 for a loaded round clearance of about .003. He used a .263 bushing.

Starting with a fired case, he sizes in a FL bushing die, tumbles in corn cob media to remove the lube, and just before seating bullets applies graphite to the insides of case necks with a Q-Tip.

Course of Fire at 1K Nationals (as explained by Tom Mosul):
“Relays were rotated along with bench assignment within each relay. The match is a three-target Aggregate, so what we did was divide the total number of relays and benches by 3, and then rounded down. Due to the number of benches (13) and shooters there were seven relays per target. Saturday morning started with LG target #1, followed by HG target #1, finishing the day with LG target #2. Sunday morning began with HG target #2, then LG target #3, and finished with HG target #3. For each relay six minutes are allowed for sighter shots, followed by a cease fire, and within a minute after that, a ten-minute record period.”

True Treasure Trove of Prizes at Deep Creek

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
There was a very rich prize table, including BAT, Borden, Curtis Custom, and Defiance actions; McMillan, McMillan/Wheeler and Shehane stocks; Kahles, Nightforce, Swarovski, and Vortex Scopes; SEB NEO Rest; Benchsource Annealing machine; Bartlein, Brux, Lilja, Krieger, and Rock Creek barrels; Zeiss Binoculars; many gift certificates (incl. Kelbly’s and McMillan) and much more.

The Top Guns got the pick of the prizes. Carroll Lance chose a Kahles 10-50 rifle scope, Tim Gonnerman chose a BAT Neuvo action, and Cody Finch chose a Borden BRM action.

NOTE: Prizes that manufacturers and vendors contribute are an important part of any successful match. I am sure that everyone who was connected with this event is grateful to all the generous sponsors who donated prizes and gift certificates. Sebastian Lambang (shown below), creator of SEB Rests, shot the match and donated a SEB NEO rest.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

More Photos — Hundreds of Photos
Here are links to ALL pictures that Gordy Gritters and Alex Wheeler were kind enough to take at the 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. There are 359 images altogether:

Match Photos by Gordy Gritters (279 photos) | Match Photos by Alex Wheeler (80 photos)

Parting Shot — How to “Make Weight” in a hurry:

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
This shows Tom Jacobs of Vapor Trail Bullets holding his match rifle while Gordy Gritters drills a couple of ounces out of the butt. We’re told Tom knew he was an ounce heavy when he got there.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 22nd, 2018

IBS Match Report: 2018 Group Nationals at Weikert, PA

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

Many of the nation’s top 100/200-yard Benchrest Shooters came to central Pennsylvania this month for the IBS Group Nationals, held August 13-18 at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club. This major event encompassed six days of shooting, making this one of the lengthiest benchrest matches of the year. There were nearly 90 registered competitors, plus competitors’ spouses and kids were able to shoot in a fun match on Wednesday afternoon. This is a prestigious match — with National titles up for grabs in four classes: Sporter, Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, and Heavy Bench. CLICK HERE for Full Results.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals 2018

Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
The Range and Conditions
This year’s venue was a return to one of the premier benchrest rifle ranges in the country. Union County Sportsmen’s Club is located near the center of Pennsylvania. It gets its name from the nearby village of Weikert. The range faces east, not ideal, but that is what the topography dealt the club. This week of competition had the usual prevailing conditions: mostly from the west, meaning from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock. A switch green to orange and back again, with changing velocities. Sometimes readable. Many times, however, conditions are confounding.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

The Course of Fire
The IBS Group Nationals event is a bit of an endurance test as it spans six days for those shooting. The sequence of competition groups has 100-yard targets shot the first three days followed by three days at 200 yards. It is done this way to require only one change of wind flags. Nationals competition requires “full rotation”. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship
Hall of Famer Jeff Gaidos taking aim. Note both eyes are open. Jeff picked up two more HOF points at Weikert this year.

Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, Sporter, and Heavy Bench Equipment
It takes thirty targets of five shots each and ten targets of 10-shot groups to win a “4 Gun Nationals”. That would be the classes of Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, Sporter, and Heavy Bench. For all practical purposes, the first three are known as “bag guns” while the Heavy Bench rifles are “rail guns”. In fact, most competitors shooting a bag gun opt for a single rifle, which has been the benchrest standard for decades: a 10.5-pound rifle chambered in 6 PPC.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

Peinhardt Wins 2-Gun & 3-Gun, Costa Wins 4-Gun, and Mitchell Smashes HB Record
Jeff Peinhardt won the 2-Gun and 3-Gun to dominate the “bag guns” (Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, and Sporter). Larry Costa won the 4-Gun, with the top combined Agg for all four classes. Paul Mitchell turned in the notable railgun performance in the Heavy Bench division. Mitchell posted a 200-yard Agg of 0.1687 MOA. That should smash the old record of .2224 MOA set by Ed Watson way back in 1990! Note those figures are for MOA at 200 yards. Mitchell’s average 10-shot group size was 0.3374” (MOA x 2). That is only slightly larger than the Aggregate record for 5-shot groups with a rail gun. Mitchell said his rail has a superb Krieger barrel: “My rail gun was originally built by Bud Welch in the early ’90s. I took about ten years off from shooting from the late ’90s until 2008. When I got back I had Bruce LaChapelle take the action out of a sleeve and clamp the barrel in a Delrin sleeve. Dwight Scott chambered this Krieger barrel in January of 2017 and let me know that he thought it could be one of the hummers we all dream of and don’t waste it. This is the fourth 10-Shot teen Agg I have shot with it. It will be a sad day when it’s shot out!”

Click links below for Day-by-Day Results. Complete results may be found at the IBS Match Report Page.

Monday HB 100 | Tues LV/SP 100 | Wed HV 100 | Thurs LV/SP 200 | Friday HV 200| Saturday HB 200

Multi-Gun Results:
There are awards for combined results in multiple classes. Jeff Peinhardt won the both the 2-Gun (HV-LV) and 3-Gun (LV-HV-SP). Long time top shooter Larry Costa won the overall 4-Gun. Both Costa and Wayne Campbell (4-gun runner-up) are Hall of Famers. 4-Gun 3rd-place finisher Hugh Williamson, a Canadian, is also a barrel-maker.

The 3-Gun Top Three (from left): Jeff Peinhardt, Larry Costa, and Ronald Burdick:
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

IBS Score Benchrest Nationals Multi-Gun Results
2-Gun Top Three 3-Gun Top Three 4-Gun Top Three
1. Jeff Peinhardt
2. Ronald Burdick
3. Larry Costa
.2104
.2138
.2148
1. Jeff Peinhardt
2. Larry Costa
3. Ronald Burdick
.2035
.2040
.2164
1. Larry Costa
2. Wayne Campbell
3. Hugh Williamson
.2191
.2238
.2331

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship
On Wednesday Afternoon first timers/novices (including spouses and children) were allowed to shot a group with the assistance of a coach. Here is PowderPuff winner Dena Wise with Coach David Halblom. Note Dena’s impressive 0.148 group. Dena is sister to Dale and Russ Boop.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

Benchrest State of the Art — Equipment

Want to know what the Top Guns were shooting at Weikert? Here is a complete Top Ten Equipment list for all four classes: Sporter, LV, HV, and Heavy Bench (Railgun):

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

Thanks to the Hard Working Team at Weikert
The IBS is indebted to Nancy Scarbrough who did a fabulous job as match director. Mark Trutt, once again, devoted a full week as range officer and getting the range and grounds ready. The target crew was very efficient under the experienced direction of Steve Dodge.

Target Analysis from the “Wailing Wall”

This photo shows 200-yard targets for one of the relays in the Sporter Class (10.5-lb riles, all 6 PPC). At the match, the scored, 5-shot targets are put up on a board, euphemistically called the “Wailing Wall”. These groups are revealing. Note that almost all the groups are located below and to the right of the moth ball (the 10 Ring in the center). The second set of target rings denoted by an “S” are for sighters, and are not scored.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship
Click photo to view large image

These targets were shot in a left to right drift (flags showing GREEN due to convention) drift. The targets show that most of the shooters sighted in during dead calm with point of impact at or below the 10 ring (mothball) for easier holding. So in a “green” condition the groups will move to the right of dead calm. These targets also demonstrate what modern benchrest bag guns can do at 200 yards! Some of those would be 100-yard ‘wallet groups’ for non-benchrest shooters. Remember these are 10.5-lb rifles, not heavy, “unlimited” rail guns. Mighty impressive precision.

IBS Shooter Profile — Bill Brawand

by Jeff Stover
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun ChampionshipThere are few “characters” left in the benchrest world, but Bill Brawand is one of them. He is still competing at age 84. He started in the game way back in 1973 and has been a stalwart on both the IBS and NBRSA circuits ever since.

He grew up on a dairy farm in north central PA near the town Wilcox. In the early days he earned $100 per week. That was not near enough to support a family and a competitive benchrest habit. That was one reason he got into bullet making. If he wanted to attend a match he had to do extra farm and dairy work to justify being gone for a weekend. Those chores were in addition to making bullets to both shoot and sell. He has worked hard his entire life and earned everything he has achieved.

Some time ago, oil and gas were discovered on the large Brawand farm. With production underway, many years ago the dairy was closed so Bill could focus on real estate and managing his wells. The oil/gas boom resulted in a dramatic change in his economic fortunes but Bill did not change at all. Before he finally got a small RV, he was known to sleep on a clubhouse couch.

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Weikert Pennsylvania National Group 4-Gun Championship

Benchrest is now a family affair for Bill. One of Bill’s daughters, Sam, usually meets him at the shoots to assist him as needed. His knee problems keep him in a motorized scooter to get around the range. Sam memorialized Bill’s shooting accomplishments by sewing his many patches earned in shooting onto both a quilt and his shooting jacket (above). Check it out — that represents many decades of trigger pulling!

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August 1st, 2018

2018 IBS New York State Group Benchrest Championship

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Report By Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Huge credit to Ken Frehm for all of the photos and most of the information.
On July 14th and 15th, at the Camillus Sportsmen’s Club, Camillus, NY, thirty-two shooters vied to win the Two Gun (and Class titles) at the NY State IBS Championship & 19th Annual Pro-Am Group Shoot. The Pro-Am is a cash match. Twenty-five of thirty-two shooters participated in the cash option — five dollars per gun per day. They were the Professionals. The remaining seven were the Amateurs.

GET N.Y. State Group Championship Results + Equipment Lists »

The weather was balmy and mild, the prize table and cash awards were generous, and the new range improvements were extensive, expensive, and well executed. Overall temperatures were seasonally moderate and the wind, while not difficult, was challenging enough that there were no Teen Aggregates shot in any class.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

IBS Competitors Talk about their Sport
Definitely check out this video — it is excellent, and well worth your time. It shows the Camillus Club Range and features informative interviews with many shooters:

The Two-Gun Overall match winner was Bob Brushingham, with Don Francis in second place, and Bob White in third. Don, who finished with a .2600 Grand Agg, edged Bob (.2601) by a mere .0001! That’s close! (SEE Full Two-Gun Results).

Camillus IBS Match NY two gun winners
Two Gun top finishers (L to R): Bob White (3rd), Bob Brushingham (1st), Don Francis (2nd)

Camillus IBS Match NY two gun winners
Click image for large version.

Below are the LV and HV Class winners, Class Top Ten results, and respective equipment lists.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Light Varmint top finishers were (above, L to R): Bob Brushingham (2nd LV 100), Henry Miller (1st LV 200), Don Francis (1st LV 100, 3rd LV Grand), Leonard Burdick (2nd LV 200, 2nd LV Grand), Don Jeffers (3rd LV 100, 1st LV Grand).


Click image for large version.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Heavy Varmint top finishers were (above, L to R): Bruce Lachapelle (1st HV 100), Robert Blanchard (3rd HV 100), Bob Brushingham (2nd HV 200, 1st HV Grand), Don Francis (2nd HV 200), Ron Burdick (2nd HV 100, 3rd HV Grand), and Bob White ( 1st HV 100, 2nd HV Grand).


Click image for large version.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match
Here is the winning Pro-Am Team: Jennaro (Jerry) Corigliano (1st Amateur), Bruce Lachapello (1st Pro).

IBS 100/200-Yard Benchrest Competition

As with all Registered IBS 100/200-yard Group Matches, the N.Y. Championships at Camillus employed moving backers. This system ensures that a completed group includes the requisite five shots. With extremely small groups in the “ones” and “zeros” it may be impossible to distinguish five holes.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Although pre-loading is not uncommon, most 100/200-yard group shooters typically load at the match, often between relays. This enables them to tune their loads for the current conditions. Nearly all competitors in this short-range discipline shoot the 6mm PPC cartridge, or a PPC variant.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

With group sizes so small, and group dimensions listed to the thousandth of an inch, precise measurement is an important part of the process.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

The Camillus Sportsmen’s Club Range

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC matchThis is not just a benchrest club, but a complete, multi-discipline shooting sports facility. To my California eyes, the Camillus range is a thing of beauty, with a vast expanse of well-trimmed grass between the firing line and the berms, and a substantial wooded hill beyond. The club has just completed a host of brand new improvements that required a significant investment and, I am sure, a lot of hard work. I believe that this was the first time that an event was held after they were finished. The improvements include a new shooting pavilion (firing line cover), with the latest safety features, new all masonry benches, new berms, new target boards, and may others that are too numerous to mention.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

To see more images of the range, visit the Camillus Sportsmen’s Club website, and do a Google image search for “Camillus Club NY”.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Backing up the range berm is a 120-foot high wooded hill. Behind the firing line, running northwest along the club’s western boundary, is the old, abandoned Erie Canal. The Club’s land is relatively flat, which has allowed it to be well-utilized for multiple shooting sports. See Google Map.

Parting Shot…
I had to smile at this picture of the target crew. Evidently the club has excellent relations with the Syracuse Police Department.

IBS Camillus Sportsmens club Benchrest Group championship group PPC match

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition 1 Comment »
July 23rd, 2018

0.1 MOA at 1K — Amazing 1.068″ 50-5X Group at 1000 Yards

Mike Wilson IBS Hawks Ridge 1000-yard benchrest 1000 record 1.086 inches

Story based on report by Sam Hall
Look at that target by Mike Wilson. This is one of the most remarkable displays of accuracy (and precision) in the history of long range shooting. This past weekend, Mike (aka “GA. Dawg” in our Forum) drilled a truly spectacular 1.068-inch, 5-shot group at 1000 yards, all centered up in the X-Ring. Yes, you read that right, a group barely over an inch at 1000, shot in competition at an official IBS benchrest match on July 21, 2018.

How small is that in angular measurement? Well 1 MOA at 1000 yards is 10.47 inches, so Mike’s 50-5X masterpiece is 0.102 MOA! Yes that will be pending IBS group size (and score) World Records. This best-ever 1K group* was shot at an IBS registered 1000-yard match at Hawks Ridge Gun Club in North Carolina. Other records have been shot at Hawks Ridge in the past, but this is the most jaw-dropping.

Sam Hall, past IBS National Champion and IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year, was stunned by Wilson’s accomplishment: “This is a truely awesome marksmanship feat — one of the best in history. I think I would trade all 14 of my 600-yard records for that one!”. Mike’s amazing target will be submitted for approval as new Group Size and Score IBS World Records. Official approval is pretty much a certainty. The previous 5-shot, 1000-yard IBS record is 1.397″ (50 score) by Tom Sarver in 2007. (The NBRSA 1000-Yard 5-shot LG record is 1.473″ by Bill Schrader in 2002.)

Mike Wilson IBS Hawks Ridge 1000-yard benchrest 1000 record 1.086 inches

Mike Wilson IBS Hawks Ridge 1000-yard benchrest 1000 record 1.086 inches

Posting on our Shooters’ Forum, Mike wrote: “Thanks everyone for the kind words. As humbling as this game is, when it comes together makes it all worthwhile! A very special THANK YOU to my traveling buddy, my son, Blake, and my wife Debra for allowing me to enjoy this crazy game.” Mike also wanted to thank his smiths and component suppliers.

Mike Wilson IBS 1000-Yard Light Gun Specifications

Action: BAT ‘B’ 1.550 Melonited Action with Jewell Trigger
Barrel: Brux HV 28″ Finished Length, 1:8″ Twist Rate
Chambering: 6BRAW (6mmBR Ackley Improved Wilson), Chambered by Darrell Jones
Chamber Specs: 0.272″ No-turn Neck with 0.135″ Freebore
Stock: Shehane ST 1000 Fiberglass Stock (with stock work by Larry “Bullet” Archer)
Optics: Nightforce 12-42x56mm Benchrest NP-2 DD

Mike Wilson IBS Hawks Ridge 1000-yard benchrest 1000 record 1.086 inches
Leonard Baity front rest with Protektor Bag. Italian Lenzi bag in rear.

World Record-Setting Cartridge and Load
Mike was shooting a 40-degree Improved version of the 6mmBR Norma cartridge. Long popular with Benchrest and 300M shooters, the 6mmBR was the original inspiration for this website. Yep, we started as www.6mmBR.com. The Improved version has extra capacity, allowing about 100 FPS more velocity when chambered with a long throat. For his record group, Mike shot Vapor Trail 103-grain bullets in Lapua brass. He loaded Hodgdon H4895 powder with CCI 450 (small rifle magnum) primers.

Praise from Fellow Competitors
Here are some reactions to Mike’s amazing group by our Forum members:

“Amazing target Mike Wilson! Your group might last forever as ‘the goal’ of 1000-yard Benchrest! Heck that’s a great target even at 600 yards.” — Mike J.

“Unbelievable!! Doing that under chosen prime conditions is an amazing feat but to do that in competition and to have everything to come together is just unbelievable. Amazing how far skill, precision, knowledge, and the products of this sport have come. Never thought we would see a group this small and well placed especially in the hills of North Carolina where the wind always blows. Congratulations. A true lifetime achievement.” — Yote Hunter

“I think that one will stand for a while. Hard work does pay off, but it don’t hurt to be one of the givers in the sport. Mike, you are ‘The Man’!” — Bill Shehane

“Awesome, awesome, awesome. Now the goal is to shoot UNDER an inch!” — Alex Wheeler

For more comments, read this AccurateShooter Forum Thread.

The 6mmBR Ackley Improved
Mike Wilson shot his spectacular group with a 40° Improved version of the 6mmBR cartridge with less body taper than a standard 6BR — the design is 0.463 at the body/shoulder junction (vs. 0.460 for standard 6BR). Mike calls his version of the 6BR Ackley a 6BRAW (“W” for Wilson). Sam Hall explained: “The 6BRAW is pretty much the same as a 6BRA or 6BR-AI (Ackley Improved). I sold the reamer to Mike last year. This has a 0.272 ‘No-Turn’ chamber with a 0.135 Freebore”.

6mmBR Ackley Improved 6BRA 6BRAI 6BRAW Mike wilson Tom Mousel

This photo shows a 40° 6mmBR Ackley Improved (6BRA), as used by Tom Mousel in Deep Creek, Montana. Mike Wilson’s 6BRAW may be very slightly different. For Mousel’s 6BRA with 28″ Krieger barrel, the accuracy node is about 2980-2990 fps, so this gives up only 30-50 fps compared to typical Dasher velocities. Mike Wilson’s load runs about 2980 fps also.

In the past couple of years, the 6BR Ackley-type cartridges have been hugely successful in 600-yard and 1000-yard Benchrest. Sam Hall notes: “This year the little 6BR-AI has shot the smallest groups ever fired in 600-yard and 1000-yard competition. Back in April 2018, Bart Sauter, using a 6BRA, shot a 0.282″ 5-Shot group at 600 yards.” Bart’s stunning 0.04 MOA group is a pending 600-yard IBS World Record. (Read Sauter Story). Now Mike Wilson has a pending 1000-yard World Record with his 6BRAW.

Mike Wilson IBS Hawks Ridge 1000-yard benchrest 1000 record 1.086 inches
Mike used an Italian Lenzi rear bag. Mike says the super-slick nylon on the ears of this high quality rear bag make for better tracking. The ears provide support but don’t “grab” the stock, reports Mike.


* There are two North American sanctioning bodies for 1000-Yard Benchrest, the IBS and the NBRSA. The previous 5-shot, 1000-yard IBS record is 1.397″ (50 score) by Tom Sarver in 2007. The existing NBRSA 1000-Yard 5-shot Light Gun record is 1.473″, shot by Bill Schrader in 2002.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News, Shooting Skills 12 Comments »