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January 30th, 2023

This .009″ 5-Shot Group Set a Record That Stood for 40 Years

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009″ — The Record That Stood for 40 Years.
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*
Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
October 2nd, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Matt’s Screamin’ Yellow .243 Ackley Improved

.243 Win Ackley Improved ST1000 stock varmint rifle 1000-yard benchrest

.243 Ackley Improved for Long-Range Varminting and Benchrest Competition
Whenever Matt Bianchini brings his bright yellow .243 Ackley to the firing line, heads turn. This is one truly handsome rig–as good-looking as it is accurate. Built to smoke varmints at long-range as well as compete in 1000-yard benchrest matches, this rifle is proof that competition improves the breed. Fitted with a Farley action, Jewell trigger, Leupold LRT scope, and Lilja or Krieger barrel, the Yellow Ackley is a “no compromise” match rifle that can run with the big dogs in 1K Benchrest competition. And with the Ackley’s ability to toss 106gr Clinch Rivers at 3350 fps, this is one flat-shooting, hard-hitting varmint rifle.

.243 Win Ackley Improved ST1000 stock varmint rifle 1000-yard benchrest

Ultra-Fast, Ultra-Smooth Farley Action…and One Wicked Paint Job
The heart of Matt’s rifle is a Farley action. Farleys have found favor with Benchrest competitors, because the bolt can be worked so fast. And the Farley is as smooth as it is speedy. The difference is quite noticeable if you compare it to a blue-printed Rem 700, or even a recent Stolle Panda. Farleys were true customs, built one at a time by the Farley family in Oklahoma. Unlike a BAT action which is machined from billet steel, a Farley starts with a stainless investment casting, much like Ruger pistol frames. It uses a cone bolt for smooth, yet solid lock-up.

One of the unique features of the Farley is the ejector–it can be switched on or off, depending on the shooter’s preference. So, if you’re load testing some hot rounds, you can turn the ejector off. In a match you can turn the ejector “on” to function normally. Matt is now a confirmed Farley fanatic. He tells us: “I’ve got quite a few other very nice actions, including Nesikas. But none of them are as slick as that Farley. When you work the bolt it feels like it’s on ball-bearings.”

Matt’s Screamin’ Yellow Ackley–The Need for Speed

.243 Win Ackley Improved ST1000 stock varmint rifle 1000-yard benchrest

.243 Ackley Improved Speed Demon
In a long-range varmint rifle, speed kills. Ultra-high velocities will deliver flatter trajectories and more explosive hits on critters. That’s where the .243 Ackley Improved really shines.

.243 Win Ackley Improved ST1000 stock varmint rifle 1000-yard benchrest

Matt has explored the upper limits of .243 Ackley Improved (AI) performance with his yellow long-range rig, fitted with a 29″ Lilja 3-groove, 1:8″-twist barrel. Using a stout load of Alliant Reloder 25, Matt’s “Screamin’ Yellow Ackley” has topped 3340 fps with Clinch River 106s. That’s serious speed for heavy 6mm bullets. This shows a well-built .243 AI leaves Dashers and 6XCs in the dust when it comes to pure velocity.

.243 Win Ackley Improved ST1000 stock varmint rifle 1000-yard benchrestUltimate Evolution of the .243 Winchester
Matt’s show-stopping rifle is a .243 Ackley Improved (40-degree shoulder, .271″ neck), chambered with a Manson reamer. On top of the stainless Farley “S” action, in Farley 30mm rings, sits a Leupold LRT (1/16 MOA dot) boosted to 18X-40X by Premier Reticles. Matt has SIX barrels for the gun, three Lilja 3-grooves, a couple Kriegers, and a Shilen.

Matt’s gun currently sports an 8-twist 29″ Lilja 3-groove HV taper that Matt says cleans up like a dream. The stock is a Shehane ST-1000 Tracker made in fiberglass by McMillan, with a BAT trigger guard and Shehane polished billet aluminum buttplate. Prior to final finishing, Matt worked over the flats and some of the angles. That’s why the facets are so well-defined on this rifle compared to some ‘glass Trackers you may have seen. The gun was chambered by Dave Bruno of Cheswick, PA.

Matt bedded the stock and applied the stunning Sikken “Viper” yellow paint job himself. That flawless, smooth-as-glass Screamin’ Yellow finish is no ordinary paint-job, but then Matt Bianchini is no ordinary do-it-yourself painter. His family runs an automotive body-shop, so he had access to premium paints and a quarter-million-dollar spray booth with all the latest technology. Still, Matt spent many hours on this stock to get everything right, trying a couple colors before he settled on a Sikken automotive “Viper Race Yellow” formulated for the Dodge Viper sports car. After careful prep work, Matt sprayed two coats of Viper Yellow, and then added three coats of high-grade automotive clear, which was then baked-on in a heat chamber. Matt also painted the Sinclair front rest to match the stock, and even polished the surfaces of the Hoehn windage top. A lot of effort, Matt told us, was required to achieve the results you see here.

3300 fps for 1000 Yards
Though Matt’s Ackley has harvested its share of varmints, the gun was built with 1000-yard benchrest competition in mind. At left is the firing line at Thunder Valley, Ohio. Yep those targets (upper right) are 1000 yards away. Now you know why Matt has a 40-power scope.

.243 Win Ackley Improved AI varmint rifle

.243 Win Ackley Improved AI varmint rifle

The Yellow Ackley weighs just under 17 pounds to meet IBS and NBRSA “Light Gun” weight limits. While Matt says his bullets don’t “go to sleep” for a couple hundred yards, this gun can still shoot 1/4″ groups at 100 yards and hold that accuracy much, much farther. Matt reports, “my best-ever group was five shots in .397″ at 400 yards. Yep, I got lucky with the conditions, but this is a very accurate rifle.”

.243 Ackley Improved–More Velocity, Less Case Stretch

by Bob Blaine, Sinclair International

Parker Ackley reluctantly developed the .243 Ackley Improved (“AI”). Ackley finally gave in to his customers’ requests to develop the .243 AI. He had always felt that the .243 Winchester was already an improved configuration, but he did say that the best thing to be gained by improving the .243 Winchester was to substantially reduce the case-stretching problems. The .243 Winchester parent case has always stretched brass, almost as bad as the Swift. Even though you get more velocity with the improved .243, I’ve also found that the improved version gives a bit more throat life than the parent case does.

The .243 AI delivers more velocity by virtue of enhanced case capacity–roughly five grains more H20 capacity than a standard .243 Winchester. The .243 AI has a water capacity of approximately 57 to 58 grains, compared to 52-53 grains for the standard .243 Winchester.

Loading for Long-Range
For long-range shooting, Matt loads 106gr Clinch Rivers with 47.5gr of Alliant Reloder 25 for his Krieger barrels, a little more powder with the Lilja 3-grooves. The Lilja load runs 3342 fps, with a 3.228″ OAL. Cases are neck-turned Lapua .243 Winchester. He uses Wilson inline seater and Wilson eck-sizer dies (.267″ bushing), and a custom, reamer-cut FL sizing die.

Not Just for BR, This Gun Can Hunt
While Matt has a big stable of varmint rifles, the Yellow Ackley has seen plenty of duty in the ‘Hog fields. Matt is from a farming family and he can shoot practically right out his back door (see top photo at the farm). He has nailed some big ground-hogs at 800 yards and beyond. The .243 AI does kick a bit compared to other varmint cartridges, but even with 105-106gr bullets, it’s not bad. He has considered adding a muzzle brake at some point to one of the barrels, just so he can see impacts better.

Screamin’ Yellow Dasher?

Matt originally thought of building the gun up as a 6BR or a 6BR Improved. He has a Manson reamer similar to a 6mm Dasher, with a 40-degree shoulder and .008″ body taper. He actually chambered a couple barrels with that 6BR Improved reamer, but he hasn’t shot them yet. He was so pleased with how the gun performed in .243 AI, that he saw no reason to change. And it may be a while before he slaps a Dasher-chambered barrel on the rig: “I really like the way it shoots as a .243 AI. I’m so impressed with it that I don’t want to mess with anything. And I don’t think I’ll be running out of Ackley barrels anytime soon.”

Millender’s .243 Ackley Improved Page

matt .243 Ackley Improved yellow rifle

.243 Win Dies and Reloading Gear

Since the .243 Win is such a popular cartridge, all the major die-makers offer reloading dies. It’s hard to go wrong with a Redding Type ‘S’ Full-length bushing die–item 77114 for the standard .243 Win and item 77420 for .243 AI. Whidden Gunworks also makes great .243 Win sizing dies (and custom .243 Win AI dies on request). These will both resize the case (and bump the shoulder) as necessary, and allow you to adjust neck tension with bushings. Alternatively, you can go with a body die, and a separate neck bushing die.

If you load primarily one brand of bullets, another slick set-up is to buy a Forster or Whidden full-length, non-bushing .243 Win sizing die, and then have Forster or Whidden hone the neck for your desired amount of tension. This elegant one-pass sizing solution produces very straight rounds with low run-out.

For bullet seating, both the Redding Competition Seater (item 55114) and the Forster Ultra-Seater (item U00034) work great for the standard .243 Win case. If you shoot a .243 Ackley, Redding’s .243 AI Comp Seater (item 55420) costs quite a bit more than the standard version Forster doesn’t list a .243 AI seater in their catalog. However, you can just run your chambering reamer into the inner sleeve of either seating die to fit the .243 Ackley Improved case.

If you want the “Cadillac” of production seater dies for the .243 Win, order the Wilson Stainless Micrometer seater (item 50-1114S) from Sinclair International. Costing only a few dollars more than a Redding Comp seater, this die is a joy to use, providing very positive control over bullet seating depth. When used with a quality arbor press, the Wilson offers unrivaled “feel” for bullet-seating force. This can help you monitor neck tension, one of the most critical factors in maintaining low ES and SD for long-range accuracy.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
March 27th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: 25 BR Peppermint — “Tweener” Caliber Works

Darrel Jones 25 br peppermint rifle

They say that a man can never have too much money or too much time. Darrell Jones would add that a man can never have too many BR-based rifles. Darrell had a fleet of BRs, in 22BR, 6mm BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and 30 BR. But he was intrigued by the potential of a rifle in the .257 caliber. Could it shoot as well as a 6mm BR? Could it challenge the more popular calibers in the highly competitive 600-yard benchrest game? Through careful research and component selection, Darrell created a 25 BR rifle that proves the viability of the 25 BR as a competition round. Pushing 115gr high-BC Berger bullets at 2837 fps, Darrell’s 25 BR “Peppermint” won first place in its very first match.

The Barely Bigger BR — Exploring the .25 Caliber Option

Rifle Report by Darrell Jones
I decided to build a 25 BR after several weeks of deliberation and ruling out a .257 Ackley Improved. Part of my dilemma was that I wanted to shoot F-Class competition at 600 yards, and I was unsure about the accuracy potential of the 25 BR. However, I currently have several BRs chambered in 22 BR, 6BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and 30 BR and they all shoot exceptionally well at 600 yards. This lead me to believe a 25 BR should deliver fine accuracy, just like its other BR siblings. Why wouldn’t a 25 BR shoot accurately provided that I built it with the right components? The feasibility saga began. I began searching diligently for custom 25-caliber bullets. Unfortunately, there are not many 25-caliber custom bullet makers. I actually found only two custom bulletsmiths who produce the 25s. I did look at Fowlers and then looked at Bergers. Both Jeff Fowler and Berger made 110-grain flat-base bullets when I was looking. [Editor — this 110gr bullet is no longer listed by Berger]. The Berger 110gr FB bullets (.414 ballistic coefficient) shot very well out of my 12-twist 25-06 Ackley. However, I wanted to shoot a heavier bullet if possible. Berger makes a 25-caliber 115gr VLD boat-tail with a high ballistic coefficient. This needs a 10-twist barrel.

Panda Action, McMillan Stock, Weaver T-36
As you can see, I went with a Panda polished action and a weighted McMillan BR stock painted metallic silver with red candy cane stripes thus the name “Peppermint”. This gun actually does double duty now as a 25 BR and 6 PPC switch barrel. When I want to run the gun as a 6 PPC for short range, I simply screw on the PPC barrel, then swap in a bolt (fitting the PPC bolt face) from another Panda action I own. That’s one advantage of owning custom Kelbly actions! Don’t even think about exchanging bolts between factory guns. Kelbly rings and a Weaver T-36 fixed-power scope handle the optical duties while a Jewell trigger set at one ounce takes care of the firing mechanism.

Chambering for the .25 Caliber BR Wildcat

I wanted a chamber that would let me shoot both the 110s and the 115s. I took some time surfing the net looking for rental reamers that had suitable throat dimensions. I found that Elk Ridge Reamer Rentals had a 25 BR pilot reamer available. I called and Elk Ridge faxed me a reamer diagram that indicated it was designed to tight SAMMI specs. I asked how often was the reamer used and was told “not very often”.

I did want a minimum no-turn neck optimized for Lapua brass. The drawing indicated that the reamer would cut a .281″ neck and a throat of 1.0315″. This was very close to ideal, though I did have to turn two thousandths off the necks of Lapua 6BR brass after I necked it up. I resized using a .277″ bushing and the loaded rounds came out to be .279″. Realizing that this was in the ball park, I decided to go with the Elk Ridge Reamer and build a 25 BR that could shoot 110gr or 115gr bullets. Now the question was where to get a match-grade 25-caliber barrel. I called quite a few of the custom barrel-makers, including BlackStar Barrels in Texas (no longer operating). I have had wonderful success with the BlackStar barrel on my 6BR “Chantilly” — it delivered great accuracy and impressive velocities. Since the 25 BR was so similar, I went with another BlackStar. I ordered a 10-twist, 6-groove, 1.250″-diameter straight-contour tube.

After chambering, the barrel finished at 1.245″ diameter and 27.5″ inches with an 11° crown. I actually had the throat lengthened to accept both Berger 110gr and 115gr bullets. The bases of the FB 110-grainers sit flush with the neck-shoulder junction, when they are seated .010″ into the lands. With the longer 115gr VLDs, the bottom of the bearing surface (i.e. start of boat-tail) is just about even with the neck-shoulder junction.

Accurate Load Development
The barrel broke in easily with just 10 shots, using a “shoot one and clean” process. The load I started with was 31.5 grains of Varget with CCI 450 primers. The Berger 110s and Berger 115s had the same Point of Impact (POI) at 100 yards. However, the 115s impacted two inches higher at 600 yards with the same load. That shows the benefits of a higher BC. Pushed by the CCI 450s and 31.5 grains of Varget, the 115-grainers were running about 2837 FPS. I boosted the load up to 32.0 grains but I noticed primer cratering, so I backed off, settling on 31.5 grains for the 115gr Berger VLD.

Peppermint Wins at 600 Yards

Darrell Jones 25 BR peppermintFor her debut in competition, I took “Peppermint” to our local 600 yard F-class match. Shooting the Berger 115s with 31.5 grains Varget, she won with a perfect score of 200 with 14 Xs. At my club, we use a SR3 target. The X-Ring measures 3″ in diameter and the 10-Ring measures 7″. At the match there were some very good shooters with top-flight custom rifles in accurate calibers such as 6.5-284 and 22 Dasher. I was very fortunate to come out on top, but I give the credit to Peppermint’s good bench manners and outstanding accuracy.

As you can see from the target, “Peppermint” is a very accurate rifle that has proven herself in competition. It takes a good gun to finish “on top” in her very first match. So far, I’m very happy with the project, and more than satisfied with the accuracy of the 25 BR. This is definitely a worthy cartridge for Egg Shoots, 500m varmint matches, and the 600-yard F-Class game.

BR-Based Cartridge Comparison
CALIBER 22 BR 6mm BR 25 BR 6.5 BR 7 BR 30 BR
Bullet 80gr SMK 107gr SMK 115gr Berger 107gr SMK 130gr SMK 118gr BIB
BC .420 .527 .522 .420 .391 na
Load Grains 31.0 H4350 30.0 Varget 31.5 Varget 32.0 Varget 34.0 AA2460 34.0 H4198
Barrel Length 27″ 27″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 28″ 24″
Velocity 3100 fps 2880 fps 2837 fps 2851 fps 2719 fps 2970 fps

Comparing the BR-Based Variants

Now that I have several calibers in the BR cartridge family, (22 BR, 6mm BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and a 30 BR), it is my humble opinion that they each have their own place. A varmint hunter’s dream, the 22 BR can push a bullet faster and more accurately than the 22-250. With an 8-Twist barrel, the 22 BR can send an 80gr SMK to 600 yards with extreme accuracy.

The 6 BR can do it all. The 6mm caliber offers a wide variety of quality bullets suitable for any shooting situation. All the major custom barrel makers produce outstanding 6mm barrels in a full range of twists. Moreover, since the 6 BR cartridge is so popular, there is a great store of knowledge about reloading for the 6 BR. It is easy to find a load that will shoot superbly in any bullet weight.

The 25 BR has proved to be easily tuneable, proficient and not fickle. You can obtain extreme accuracy without great effort in load development. The 115gr Berger offers a good high-BC projectile for this caliber, making the 25 BR a viable alternative to the 6 BR. As I’ve shown, it is competitive with a 6 BR in head to head competition.

Compared to the 25 BR, the 6.5 BR has a small edge in ballistics. However, there are not many light bullet choices available, especially from custom makers. The 123gr Lapua Scenar is an excellent bullet with a .547 stated BC, but it may be a bit heavy for the case capacity.

The 7 BR was designed for silhouette shooting, and it excels at that task. The 7 BR can push a 130 grain bullet fast enough to knock over the steel silhouettes at 500 meters with real consistency.

The 30 BR is nothing less than outstanding. The 30 BR is now the dominant cartridge on the benchrest Score-shooting circuit. It is also highly accurate for group shooting at 200 yards and very capable of winning a 600-yard F-Class match. Barrel life of over 6,000 rounds is realistic.

I like all the “flavors” of BR derived from the 6mm BR Norma case. However, if I could only have one BR in my safe, give me my 8-Twist, 6 BR “Chantilly” and I will be a happy camper. The final point I would make is if a cartridge is stamped BR on the case, it will shoot extremely accurately if you can.

dj's brass darrell jones

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November 10th, 2020

New Single-Shot Actions & Target Rifles from Vudoo Gun Works

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Here’s big news for .22 LR rimfire benchrest competitors and smallbore F-Class shooters. Vudoo Gun Works is now offering precision single-shot rimfire actions, and complete Benchrest/F-Class style target rifles. Vudoo will be selling the new V-22S Single Shot Action, the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS 0.7-2.8 oz. trigger, and complete single-shot target rifles with benchrest and F-Class-style modern low-profile stocks. With a Rem 700 footprint, the V22-S action can also be used for smallbore silhouette and prone rigs. That’s good news for .22 LR competitors in many disciplines.

About The Vudoo V-22S Single-Shot Action
The all-new V-22S action was designed for optimal function in single-shot applications. The action has a three-lug bolt, six o’clock ignition, and the bolt can be dis-assembled without tools. Vudoo claims the action’s 60-degree bolt lift is “the smoothest and lightest of any three-lug [rimfire] design on the market”. The V-22S will be offered in various configurations: right bolt/right port, right bolt/left port, left bolt/left port and left bolt/right port. There is an integral 11mm dovetail mount and optional 0, 20, 30, or 40-MOA Picatinny rails. Another first for this type of action is a complete color-coded mainspring kit with mainsprings ranging from 13 to 18-pound force. The action is currently priced at $1405.00 MSRP.

Vudoo Gun Works V-22S Action Features
Rem 700 Short Action Footprint
Rem 700 Pinned Trigger Interface
Three Lug, 60-Degree Bolt Throw
Six O’Clock Ignition — Vertical Sear Fire Control
Tool-less Bolt Assembly/Disassembly
Color-Coded Mainspring Kit (13-18 lbs.)
Integral 11mm Dovetail Mount
Picatinny Rail 0, 20, 30 or 40 MOA

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Trigger Options — Flavio Fare BR-VS or your Choice of Rem-Compatible Triggers
A newly-designed fire control system yields precise, consistent ignition thanks to the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS Trigger. Vudoo Gun Works teamed up with Flavio Fare to co-develop a trigger for the new fire control system. The BR-VS Trigger adjusts from .7 to 2.8 ounces with heavier pull weight ranges coming soon. [Editor: We have talked to folks who have tried this new trigger and they say it is outstanding.] If you prefer a different trigger, a 60-degree cocking piece will be available as an option.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Complete Rifles Starting at $2800.00
Vudoo Gun Works will offer complete single-shot target rifles with three different match stocks: McMillan Kestros, McMillan Edge, Grayboe Renegade SS. These rifles will be fitted with the new BR-VS trigger, or other trigger of your choice. Complete rifle price ranges from $2800 to $3450 depending on options.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallboreVudoo Designer Talks about V22-S Action
Mike Bush, Design Engineer and Co-Founder of Vudoo Gun Works told us: “The V-22S is a ground-up Gen 3 design, which is where the tool-less bolt assembly/disassembly started. We rolled this design backwards into what are our current Gen 2 Repeater actions and we couldn’t wait to get the new Single-Shot out and in the hands of competitors, target shooters and those with a general passion for rimfire”.

Mike says the design really works: “I’ve not seen a system that offers better concentric alignment, repeatability and smoothness of operation… add to this, the six o’clock ignition and our new Vudoo/Flavio Trigger, and I think you’re going to see big differences downrange.”

More Details about the V22-S Action
Some folks have asked whether Vudoo’s new action is devived from the Remington 40X rimfire action. Vudoo states: “The V22-S departs from the 40X in that the 40X was a full size center fire receiver converted to handle the diminutive .22LR cartridge. The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint. The V-22 has a very unique control-round-feed protocol. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. [So] the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that would damage it in any way. We all know how susceptible the soft lead of the .22 LR is to accuracy degrading damage and minor nicks during the chambering process. It is eliminated in the V-22’s geometry.”

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August 9th, 2020

Mac McMillan’s Legendary .009″ Group — Lookee Here

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009” Group Record Stood for 40 Years
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s NBRSA record .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*

Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
May 2nd, 2020

Major McMillan Fiberglass Stocks SALE This Weekend

McMillan Stock Sale

Are you looking for a very high-quality, premium fiberglass stock for your next hunting rifle or tactical rifle project? Now’s a great time to buy — McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is running a Major Stock Sale with substantial savings — up to 33%. McMillan posted: “[Here’s our] first sale of the year and it’s a big one! McMillan has decided to empty out the stocks on our online retail store. Browse the stocks on the site for a chance to grab one at major discounts.” NOTE: Don’t delay — this sale ends Monday, May 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Here are some of the stocks on sale. A dozen other types are available at McMillanUSA.com.

McMillan Stock Sale

McMillan Stock Sale

McMillan Stock Sale

McMillan Stock Sale

McMillan Stock Sale

McMillan Stock Sale

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
July 11th, 2019

Upcoming NRL Matches In Colorado and South Dakota

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match
Look carefully at this Colorado double rainbow. Note that the color spectra are reversed — sort of a mirror image. This is true of ALL double rainbows.

A great practical/tactical shooting match is happening this weekend in scenic Colorado. The High Country Precison Mile-High Shootout will be held July 12-14 at the Rio Ro Mo Ranch outside of Craig, Colorado. The match will include a mix of long-range and positional shooting on natural terrain. A 200- to 250-round course of fire can be expected for the competition.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

The Mile-High Shootout starts on Friday, July 12 with check-in and open targets out to 1,300 yards. Saturday will be an all-day match. Sunday, the competition shooting will conclude mid-day, followed by an awards ceremony after lunch.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks will co-sponsor the Mile-High Shootout, the 12th match of the 2019 National Rifle League series. McMillan supports the National Rifle League in the goal of expanding practical rifle competition. McMillan notes: “Events such as these are important to help bring new shooters into the long-range shooting sports and are activities that are enjoyed by the entire family.”

This 2018 Mile-High Shootout Teaser Is Really Worth Watching — Plenty of Action!

South Dakota Steel Classic, August 16-18

NRL PRS south dakota steel classic tactical Match

Another great NRL Match is set for mid-August in South Dakota. The 2-day South Dakota Steel Classic will take place August 16-18, 2019 in St. Orient, South Dakota. This is a very popular match, and all 110 competitor slots have sold out. But check with Match Director Michael Kane for last-minute openings.

The South Dakota Steel Classic features multi-position precision shooting with targets from 25-1300 yards. Nearly all of the shots are practical in nature having a hunting or military-type application. CLICK HERE to learn more about this major NRL match in August.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
July 2nd, 2019

Paul Phillips Crowned 2019 King of 2 Miles in New Mexico

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Hail the King — Paul Phillips wears crown as the new 2019 King of Two Miles.

Paul Phillips, Captain of Team Global Precision Group (GPG), is the 2019 King of 2 Miles. Hail the new King! Paul won the event with a score of 48350, beating runner-up Robert Brantley who scored 46306. Fellow GPG shooter and 2017 K02M winner Derek Rodgers finished third with 38747. Phillips secured his K02M crown with good shooting in Raton, NM on both Day 1 and Day 2. On the final day, Paul had two hits at 2728 yards and one at 3166 yards. No competitor scored more than one hit at 3166 yards (1.799 miles), and no competitor scored even a single hit at the farthest target, placed at 3525 yards (2.0028 miles). So the actual 2-Mile target was never hit during the event.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are the target locations and yardages for K02M Day 2 Finals.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Team GPG members Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips (center), and Mark Lonsdale with KO2M-winning rifle, K02M Trophy, $5000 Winner’s Prize from McMillan, and Nightforce Certificate.

Team Global Precision Dominates with Three of Top Four Places
Team Global Precision Group was top team overall with Paul Phillips in First Place, Derek Rodgers in Third, and Mark Lonsdale in Fourth. Team GPG, in its first world-level match together, dominated the field of 80 of the best ELR shooters in the world. First, Third, and Fourth — that’s mighty impressive gentlemen!

2019 KO2M Top 20 Results. Click on the table to see full-screen version:
Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul Phillips, who recently competed in the European K02M match in France, gave credit to his sponsors and team-mates: “Team GPG is honored to be … King of 2 Mile Champions. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be carried around on the King chair. I am humbled to be added to the list of great shooters that have been crowned before me.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul added: “Big shout-out to all our sponsors, the match organizers, Eduardo, FCSA, and the volunteers who work so hard to make these ELR matches a major success. We’ll definitely be back in 2020!”

“Paul Phillips your win in this match is yet another example of the value of hard work paying off. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who works harder at ELR competition and promotion than you do. You deserve this win!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics

Equipment List for .416 Barrett 2019 KO2M-Winning Rifle

Paul’s massive KO2M rig features a BAT EX .50-Cal action with a 38″ Bartlein 1:9″-twist 5R barrel chambered for the standard .416 Barrett cartridge. The stock is a McMillan Beast One model. To tame recoil, Paul runs a T5 Terminator muzzle brake. The scope is a Nightforce 7-35x56mm ATACR F1 with MOAR Reticle. Up front is a Phoenix Precision Bipod, with an Edgewood Mini-Gator Bag in the rear. Paul is running a Bix’N Andy Comp Trigger with a 4-ounce, single-stage pull.

The complete rifle weighs 40 pounds. Bartlein did the .416 Barrett chambering using a Dave Manson reamer. Alex Sitman bedded the action in the McMillan stock as he did for the other GPG rifles. In fact, all three Team GPG rifles are essentially identical.

Load Details: Standard .416 Barrett cartridge, running .416 Caliber 550gr solid Cutting Edge Bullets at 3000 fps. The powder is Vihtavuori 20N29 ignited by RWS .50 Caliber primers. The cartridge brass is Barrett brand, produced by RUAG.

Support Gear: Ballistics are calculated with Applied Ballistics Software using velocity data from a LabRadar chronograph. Swarovski provided Team GPG with two big BTX 95 binocular spotting scopes. Phillips says “these BTX 95s really help us follow trace, spot impacts, and get on target quickly.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are Team Applied Ballistics competitors at the 2019 KO2M event in Raton, NM. Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick posted: “[There were] some unique challenges this year, but I managed to finish in 5th place running a sub-25 pound rifle. That’s the result of a lot of our ESSO research.”

$5000 KO2M Winner’s Prize from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is a strong supporter of the shooting sports. Here Kelly McMillan presents Paul Phillips with a $5,000 check from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks for winning the 2019 King of 2 Mile while shooting a McMillan stock. Teammates Derek Rodgers and Mark Lonsdale also used McMillan stocks in the 2019 K02M Finals. Along with the McMillan check, Paul Phillips received $5000 from Nightforce Optics, and $1200 from Cutting Edge Bullets. Paul told us he will divide all the winnings with his team-mates because: “I won with my team — we won together.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips Derek Love Team Manners Litz ELR
Derek Love competed with Team Manners Composite Stocks and took many photos. You’ll find some great 2019 K02M images on Derek’s Facebook Page.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 6 Comments »
March 14th, 2019

XIT Strategy — Candy Apple Red McMillan-Stocked F-TR Rig

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

On Facebook recently we saw an F-TR rig belonging to Team Michigan F-TR Shooter Dale Lucy. This features a Pierce action and a McMillan XIT stock, customized with an eye-catching Candy Apple Red paint finish. Kelly McMillan observed: “I like seeing what a shooter does to make his stock fit his personality. Dale sanded off the texture and then gave his stock a high-gloss Candy Apple Red paint job — beautiful.”

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

Dale wrote: “I recently purchased a second XIT stock so that I would have an exact copy as my backup rifle, I painted this one candy red over a black and gold marble base coat.” Dale praised McMillan for helping his team: “Thank you for your sponsorship of the Michigan F-TR team, we really appreciate it. I can attest that since I started to use your stock (XIT), my scores have improved significantly. I placed 10th at the Nationals last fall, and was the 8th place Master at the 2019 Berger SWN. In contrast I finished 10th from the bottom at the 2017 BSWN.” — Dale Lucy, SW Michigan

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

Gear Upgrade for F-TR Bipods

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

Here’s a smart upgrade that can improve the tracking and stability of your F-TR competition rifle. And better tracking can translate to higher scores. Kreativ Solutions offers a $55.00 Pivoting Feet Kit for the Phoenix Bipod. Kreativ’s pivoting feet are also offered for the SEB Joystick Bipod for $125.00.

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

F-TR McMillan Fiberglass stocks Michigan Phoenix Bipod SEB Joy-Pod

Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
January 8th, 2019

6.5×47 Tactical Tack-Driver — The Non-Creedmoor ‘Six-Five’

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

A couple seasons back we published our comprehensive 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide, researched by the 6.5 Guys. In case you’ve been wondering what kind of accuracy is possible for a tactical-type rifle chambered for this mid-sized cartridge, check out this tack-driver built by gunsmith Ryan Pierce. That’s a mighty impressive 0.206″ five-shot group fired with Berger 140gr Hybrids using a Brux cut-rifled barrel. The powder was Hodgdon H4350, a very good choice for this cartridge.

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Ryan reports: “Here is a 6.5×47 I built for a customer. It features a trued Rem 700 action, Brux 1:8″ Rem varmint-contour barrel, Mcmillan thumbhole stock, Surgeon bottom metal, and 3-port muzzle brake. The customer’s preferred load is the same that has worked in the last couple dozen 6.5x47s I’ve built: 41.1-41.3 grains of H4350 with 140 hybrids .050″ off the lands. This should run about 2810-2815 fps from a 26″ barrel. The 3.128″ refers to length of a loaded round from the base to ogive including the Hornady ogive comparator tool.”

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Yep, It Measures Up…
Lest anyone dispute Ryan’s measurement of this group (the internet is full of nay-sayers), 0.206″ is EXACTLY what we got when we measured this group using OnTarget software. See for yourself:

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tactical 5 Comments »
December 27th, 2018

Save 15% Now on All McMillan Fiberglass Stocks

McMillan 15% Off stock fiberglass sale december 29 2018

Here’s a great deal if you need a high-quality tactical, F-Class, benchrest, high power, silhouette, ELR, or hunting stock. Right now McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is discounting ALL its stocks 15% (fifteen percent). That’s right, EVERY McMillan rifle stock in inventory is on sale NOW for fifteen percent (15%) Off. But you must act quickly! This special 15% Off Sale concludes at 11:59 pm MST on December 29, 2018. So you have two more days to shop. Remember, this sale applies to ALL McMillan stocks, but the sale ends at 11:59 PM on 12/29/2018. Use Code STOCK2019 during check-out to save 15%.


To Save 15% Use Promo Code STOCK2019 at Check-Out »

McMillan 15% Off stock fiberglass sale december 29 2018

Note — Along with the 15% Savings, Free Shipping applies to orders over $50, standard ground delivery in the Continental USA. Shipping charges on previous orders will not be reimbursed. This offer cannot be combined with other promotions or offers. Offer expires December 29th at 11:59 pm MST.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
December 5th, 2018

New Products for 2019 in Shooting Industry Magazine

shooting industry magazine preview edition

Shooting Industry Magazine just released its December 2018 issue, which you can read for free online. This December issue includes a SHOT Show Preview, but more importantly, there is also a 24-page New Product Showcase. Here you can see a variety of new products, including those from some of our favorite manufacturers: McMillan (MC3), Leupold, Warne, Vault Pro, Champion and more…

McMillan fiberglass stocks Mc3 McCubed tactical legend
McMillan fiberglass stocks Mc3 McCubed tactical legend

warne rings sight mounts bipod

Vault Pro locable Handgun pistol transport safe

Champion digital electronic hearing ear muffs protection

MDT PRS tactical chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

Leupold Stevens spotting scope

There are dozens of other NEW PRODUCTS HERE »

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
November 30th, 2018

How McMillan Companies Sponsor Competitive Shooting

McMillan fiberglass stocks McMillan USA sponsor sponsorship Team Xit F-TR USA F-Open

The shooting world is lucky to have McMillan Fiberglass Stocks and MC3. Some companies talk about supporting competitive shooting. Maybe they bankroll a couple “rock stars” at pistol matches. But REAL commitment involves a LOT more. The kind of support that McMillan USA has shown to top shooters and top teams is truly exceptional. You won’t find a company that is more committed to supporting serious rifle competition than McMillan. The bossman, Kelly McMillan, loves the sport and is a capable marksman and hunter himself. McMillan has been a strong ally of AccurateShooter.com for many years. But more importantly, McMillan supports shooters and teams in many disciplines and McMillan donates prizes (and cash) in dozens of competitions.

McMillan fiberglass stocks McMillan USA sponsor sponsorship Team Xit F-TR USA F-Open
Shown are some of the 2018 National Record holders who shoot McMillan equipment.

McMillan is a company that really supports both individual shooters and talented teams of competitors. Here is the story behind McMillan’s commitment to our sport and our Champion shooters (and rising stars).

Why We Support Competitive Shooting — McMillan’s Commitment

by Kelly McMillan
Anyone who knows the history of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, knows that our roots are firmly planted in competitive shooting, and specifically short-range benchrest. We were in business several years before we made a stock other than a competition stock. It is where we made our reputation for high quality stocks and first rate customer service. For several years while I was running McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, I let the focus of the stock company drift a bit. I wasn’t donating to as many matches or events and was not sponsoring any shooters. When I sold the rifle company it was made clear to me almost immediately that there were competitors of mine that were taking advantage of my loss of focus, and making huge inroads into the field that used to be dominated by McMillan.

Kelly and the Talented Xit Strategy Ladies Team:
McMillan fiberglass stocks Xit Strategy McMillan USA sponsor sponsorship Team Xit F-TR USA F-Open

It has always been obvious to us that if we want this business to prosper for generations to come, we need to do everything we can to get young shooters and women shooters involved in the shooting sports. I personally have been sponsoring youth shooting sports, e.g. The Scholastic Clay Targets program, Boy Scouts, NRA U-25 USA team and many individual shooters. I also sponsor a Texas junior girls F-Class team as well as many individual youth and female shooters. Team Xit Strategy is an F-TR team comprised of both adult and junior female shooters. It is the only exclusively female team in the National F-Class circuit. The team includes Laura Perry 2017 (World Champion 8-person Team member), Jen Bondurant, a top level F-TR competitor, as well as Claudette Joe, one of the top juniors in F-Class currently.

McMillan fiberglass stocks McMillan USA sponsor sponsorship Team Xit F-TR USA F-Open

Dollars and Sense — How McMillan Supports the Shooting Sports

Below is a list of the matches, teams, and shooters that McMillan has supported over the last year. Kelly notes that McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has donated $63,000 while McCubed (Mc3) has donated $6700 in gift certificates and products to various matches and conservation efforts. Kelly adds: “We have also contributed over $15,000 cash to various events. In addition, we have contributed $30,000 in cash to Team Sponsorships as well as 60 stocks of assorted types for team members.” Take note those numbers are for just ONE YEAR — yes, all that support in product and cash for just one year’s worth of sponsorship.

Match Sponsorships

All NRL matches
All Guardian matches
Arizona Elk Society
Sportsman’s Challenge
Lone Survivor Foundation
Berger SW Nationals
Boy Scouts Troops
Various PRS matches
NRA ELR Nationals
GAP Grind
Rocky Mountain Big Horn Society
AZ Mule Deer
Hillsdale College
FClass Championships
Cactus Classic
King of 2 Mile
King of 2 Mile Television Show
JC Steel Challenge Matches
France’s PRS Match
World’s Long Shot Challenge
Bushnell Elite Tactical Sniper Challenge
WTRC/Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championship and
WYSHOT

Team Sponsorships

Team Michigan
Team USA U-25 (2021 Open)
Team Xit
US Rifle Team
US Navy Marksman Team
Team Xit Strategy
Team Savage

Shooter Sponsorships

Regina Milkovich
Tim Milkovich
Andy Puzsman
Randy Galvan
Texas Youth Girls F-Class
Cody Hartsock
Derek Rodgers
Paul Phillips
Daniel J. Pohlabel
Jeff Rorer
Mark V. Lonsdale
David Mann
Rick Jensen
Stan Pate
Mike Miller
Warren Dean
Monte Milanuk
Dan Lentz
Austin Elbert

McMillan Also Sponsors Team Savage
McMillan fiberglass stocks McMillan USA sponsor sponsorship Team Xit F-TR USA F-Open

Grow the Sport By Helping Shooters Improve Their Performance
Kelly explains McMillan’s mission in supporting the shooting sports: “In competitive shooting it is fairly simple. If people who use your product win matches, and more importantly, improve their own personal scores, it shows potential customers that they can expect the same type of improvement. It sounds more simple than it is. Getting some of the best shooters in the world to shoot your stock requires more than just giving it to them. Remember these guys (and ladies) are at the top of their game so when you offer them something they have to be shown that it will actually improve their scores and if it doesn’t, no way they are changing to your product. Finally, I am sure I have forgotten some shooters and if so I apologize to each individual.”

Kelly McMillan sponsor McMillan stocks

Kelly McMillan is also an avid hunter. Here’s Kelly with Derek Rodgers (front) and Paul Phillips (top), two of his sponsored competitors. Derek is the reigning F-TR World Champion and previous King of Two Miles.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2018

Check Out the Legendary .009″ Group By Mac McMillan

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009″ — The Record That Stood for 40 Years.
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*
Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 10 Comments »
February 9th, 2018

Berger Southwest Nationals 2018 — Report from Ben Avery

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open
Thursday was Team Day at the Berger SWN. The rules called for four shooters. But one Aussie Team had a special mascot shooter to add team spirit.

Today, Friday, marks the third day of competition at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), with individual matches on the schedule. Today’s match will have a Palma format, with shooters competing individually at three yardages: 800, 900, and 1000. This is when it really gets tough — no wind coaches. Each shooter is on his or her own. Yesterday, Thursday, was a Team Day at Ben Avery, with four-person teams shooting at 800, 900, and 1000. We saw some familiar squads on the firing line, such as Team Berger Bullets, The X-Men, and Da Bulls, as well as new squads.

Individual Long-Range Competition starts today, Friday, at the Berger Southwest Nationals. The firing line is full — this match “sold out” early. Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.
Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

Click Image to see full-screen Panorama of 1000-yard firing line at Ben Avery.
Berger SW Nationals panorama Mid Tompkins range match

Full interim results for Thursday’s Team match are posted on the McMillan Fiberglass Stocks Facebook Page.

Thursday’s conditions were much calmer than the Wednesday (when winds were howling in the afternoon). It was very calm in the early morning but then the wind increased gradually during the day, becoming switchy. Many shooters told us the mirage was difficult to read. The sling division was tightly fought, with Scottish HPS Team and U.S. National Mrnak Team tied on points at 1779 at day’s end. The Scots finished first by X-count, 92 to 85. Finishing third was U.S.A. National Hayes Team, 1776-114X.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

In F-Open, the “Old Gentlemen” of Team Berger lead the way on Thursday, with a score of 1784-92X, followed by Team Lapua/Brux/Borden in second with 1782-101X. Tied on points in third place, but with fewer Xs, was Team Defiance at 1782-82X. This was a bit of a family affair as Scott Harris coached wife Christine and son Adrian, along with shooters John Moreali and Ben Steinsholdt. Larry Bartholome had top individual score, not dropping a point to finish “clean” at 450-21X. Next best was AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, with 449-31X.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

In F-TR, Team “Da Bulls” topped the field with 1762-66X, barely edging second-place Team McMillan which scored 1762-64X. The McMillan team was a powerhouse including current F-TR World Champion Derek Rodgers, and, as coach, former USA F-TR Team Captain Ray Gross.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open
The powerhouse Team McMillan F-TR squads featured serious talent. Left to right here, in their red jerseys, are Captain Paul Phillips, Derek Rodgers, and Coach Ray Gross.

One team featured a Father-Daughter Duo, with father Scott coaching Morgan, his talented daughter. Morgan tells us that competitive shooting has unlocked a new world for her. She has traveled to South Africa with her father to shoot in international matches. Shooting at the SWN is a highlight of her year: “I love the warm weather here — It’s snowing back home in New York”.

SWN VIDEO: Father coaches daughter in Thursday’s Team Match:

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

View from the pits at the Mid Tompkins Range at Ben Avery. Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.
Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

Kelly McMillan showed us a new F-Open competition stock, the Kestros with “Z-Rail”. This features a box-section aluminum extension on the fore-end. This allows a longer “wheelbase” on the stock, as well as a lower center of gravity. Kelly says his company is working may adapting this extension to include an bipod attachment rail. That way you could shoot the same stock in both F-TR and F-Open divisions.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

SWN VIDEO: Kelly McMillan talks about new McMillan and MCubed (M3) stocks in this video. Kelly plans to host his Taking Stock Radio Show on Friday, February 9, live from the Berger SWN. CLICK HERE for Kelly McMillan’s SWN Radio Show.

Listen to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Radio Show from Berger Southwest Nationals

Rekindle Old Friendships and Meet New Friends
Some shooters come to to the SW Nationals for the swag (the prize table is amazing). Others come for the sunshine (think warm 80-85° weather). And even more folks come to try out their shiny new toys and to test their skills against the nation’s best shooters.

But we’d say the number one reason most folks make the pilgrimage to Ben Avery every year is the camaraderie — the chance to connect with friends, rekindling connections that may go back decades. Fundamentally, then, the Berger SWN is about the people. For many of us, this is the only time of the year when we get a chance to meet fellow shooters from distant corners of the USA (and other nations).

Team Berger
Old Guys Rule — Team Berger topped the F-Open field in Thursday Team competition. NOTE: this photo shows 2017 team members.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 2 Comments »