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October 6th, 2012

.50 Caliber Shooters Association Photo Galleries Unveiled

Are you a died-in-the-wool .50 BMG fan? Got a hankerin’ for heavy artillery? Then visit the FCSA Photo Gallery page. There you’ll find hundreds of photos from Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA) matches and fun shoots in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington. To access the photos from the Gallery Page, click on the colored tabs which indicate match location and date (such as NV2011-08).

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Photo sets go all the way back to 2002, so you can see the evolution of the hardware over the years. Sample multiple archives to see the differences in terrain from one range to another — from Raton’s alpine setting to the hot, dry Nevada desert. This Gallery is really a treasure-trove of .50-Cal history. It’s worth a visit. Here are a few sample images.

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
September 22nd, 2012

David Bailey and James Crofts Win 2012 F-Class Nationals

The 2012 F-Class Nationals have concluded and the event was a great success. Nearly 200 shooters competed at Raton this year.

Congrats to the new F-Class National Champions: David Bailey (F-Open) and James Crofts (F-TR). Bailey amassed a 1283-59X score to edge F-Open runner-up Bob Sebold (1282-59X) by a single point. Note that Jim and Bob, both AccurateShooter Forum members, had the same X-count. Bob’s excellent X-count placed him ahead of Jim Murphy (1282-50X), who captured third place along with F-Open High Senior Title. High Lady Shooter was Michelle Gallagher with a 1274-51, while Danny Biggs, a past National Champion, was High Senior with 1273-46X.

Forum member James (‘Jim’) Crofts took the F-TR crown with a truly dominating performance. Jim’s 1272-47X was a full six points and 11 Xs ahead of runner-up (and 2011 champ) Jeff Rorer, who finished with 1266-36X. In third-place overall, was High Senior Daniel Pohlable (1264-42X). In fourth overall, was the High Lady shooter Trudie Fay (1259-45X).

james croft f-tr f/tr national champsionship f-class

Jim Crofts really deserves praise for his marksmanship at Raton. Jim’s F-TR Score of 1272-47X would have ranked him 13th in the F-Open division, ahead of dozens of skilled shooters running ballistically-superior cartridges. In his .308 Win, Jim ran Berger 200gr Match Hybrids at 2600 fps with Hodgdon Varget. Jim’s winning F-TR rifle featured a 30″ Brux barrel and Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T) stock. And take note — Jim’s barrel had over 3000 rounds though it by the end of the match. Jim wants to thank Ray Bowman at PR&T for smithing a great rifle and providing sponsorship.

CLICK HERE for Complete F-Class Nationals Results with Match by Match Scores

James Crofts F-TR ChampionInterview with Jim Crofts
We had a chance to talk to Jim by telephone this morning, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us….

AccurateShooter: Is this your first big win? How did you feel receiving the trophy as National F-TR Champion?

Jim: I won the Berger SW Nationals earlier this year, but this is my first-ever National Championship. I was very relieved once it was over because there were many great shooters right behind me.

AccurateShooter: Did you run any new hardware at the Nationals? Did you alter your load any?

Jim: This is the same combination that I’ve used all year long. I went back to my old faithful PR&T-built rifle and my old faithful load and everything works. I still anneal my cases every firing. You will find this helps maintain consistent bullet seating and it helps lower your extreme spread.

AccurateShooter: Shooters from your neck of the woods have now won the F-TR division two years running — Whats the secret?

Yes, with my win we’ve had back to back F-TR National championships for North State X-Men club members. Jeff Rorer, last year’s F-TR champ [and 2012 runner-up] shoots with us at a local level. That’s who I’ve been chasing since last year’s National Championship. When you shoot against quality competition every week, it makes you strive for perfection.

AccurateShooter: How were conditions during the week? Raton can be windy…

Jim: Actually, conditions were moderate most of the week. However, on the last day, it was calm during the first match, but in the second match it got to be very tricky. There were changes in velocity and angles — I had a hard time keeping up with the velocity changes in the last match.

AccurateShooter: How has the FTR game changed in the last couple years? Is it more competitive than ever before?

Jim: The sport is growing and it’s getting tougher, that’s for sure. This year we had 91 competitors in F-TR. It went up from about 60 last year to 91 this year — a 50% increase. And the competition is really getting tight in F-TR. Not only are the numbers of shooters growing, but the quality of the competition is getting higher every year.


Also at the F-Class Nationals this year, some Eliseo Tubeguns made an appearance. Shown below are Linda Shehan (Team Australia) and Warren Dean (Team USA) with their GC-1 FTR rigs at the nationals. These tubeguns feature actions by Rod Shehan, with an Adam Davies bipod on the left, and Sinclair F-Class bipod on the right.

Eliseo Tubegun

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September 21st, 2012

F-Class Nationals at Raton — Reports from Shooters

Breaking News: We’re informed that Forum Member James Crofts (aka “VA Jim”) has won the F-TR division of the F-Class Nationals, shooting a .308 Win rifle with Precision Rifle & Tool stock. Read more about Jim Crofts HERE.

The F-Class Nationals are underway right now at the Whittington Range in Raton, NM. Conditions have been fairly challenging. On Day 1 of the individual championship, forum member Steven B (aka “Sleepygator”) reports that: “The winds later in the day were a little tougher. The tailwind caused some vertical to those unfortunate enough to shoot the third match at the little end.” F-TR shooter James Crofts shot amazing well on Day 1, recording 446-17X. Crofts outscored not only all other F-TR shooters, but he beat all but one of the F-Open “hot rod” shooters, Mark Walker (who posted a 446-19X). When an F-TR outshoots nearly the entire F-Open field, that’s newsworthy. Well-done James. Forum member Mark H. (aka “Hunsucker”) observed: “I personally know for a fact how much Jim [Crofts] practices and how hard he works.”

On Day 2, conditions became trickier at the end according to Forum member Greg Taylor: “Day 2 started out very like Day 1, except a bit warmer. Winds were relatively forgiving, especially for Raton. That is until the third match. The last match of the day, winds were absolutely wicked, ranging from 1-2 mph, up to 10-11 mph, from SE/S. Scores for many dropped predictably.”

Close Competition in F-Open
F-Open leaders after Day 2 are: F-Open Leaders after Day 2: Bob Sebold with 886-39X, David Bailey with 885-44X, and Mark Walker with 885-37X. This is a tight battle — the top ten places in F-Open are separated by 6 points.

CLICK HERE for Official Scores from F-Class Nationals

Team Sinclair Secures F-TR Team Win
In F-Class Team competition earlier this week, Team Sinclair secured a victory in the F-TR division with a combined score of 1561-48X. The team is coached by Raymond Gross, and shooters are Paul Phillips, Derek Rodgers (Captain/shooter), Jeff Rorer and Brad Sauve. Phillips declared: “Ray did a great job coaching for both spirit of America and nationals. Brads rifle shot half the national record and jeff and mine were the other half. Great work from the whole team. Very tough competition. FTR is getting very very competitive now.”

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September 14th, 2012

Match Report: Day 3 at Spirit of America in Raton

Report by Bryan Litz
Day 3 of the Spirit of America Individual Aggregate (Thursday, 9/13/2012) started out cold and misty. Everyone was pretty much wearing every shred of clothing they had to get thru the morning, but the afternoon warmed up nicely. Short range was typical; constant and relatively calm at 300 and 500, but the wind kicked up about the time we started shooting 600 and some points started falling. After lunch we shot 900 yards and the points really started falling! As expected, the chaos shook up the standings quite a bit.

Controversy in Sling Class
In the sling class, Noma Mayo was the high shooter at 4 points down. Noma shot a miss at 600 yards, challenged it, and lost the challenge. She finished the range, then later went to the stat house and had the miss removed from her score card. A formal protest was filed, but her amended score stood (without a miss). Needless to say, the result is somewhat controversial, especially considering that Noma is in contention to win the tournament. The current standings in the individual sling aggregate are: Nancy Tompkins at 6 points down, Noma Mayo at 8 points down, and Bryan Litz at 9 points down.

Spirit of America Raton

Trudie Fay Continues to Lead F-TR
In F-TR, Trudie Fay continues her dominant performance at 13 points down to win the day. Trudie is also leading the F-TR aggregate with one day to go. Tomorrow is the Raton 8-man team match.

Larry Bartholome won the F-Open class at 7 points down for the day (Aggregate standings were not posted as of when we left the range so it’s difficult to calculate those full standings).

Click Links for Day 3 Full Results: F-Class Individual | Sling Individual

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September 18th, 2011

2011 Spirit of America Results from Raton, NM

September 11-17, the Bald Eagles Rifle Club hosted the 2011 Spirit Of America rifle match, at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. This match serves as U.S. National Fullbore Championships, but there are also F-Class divisions. The match consists of conventional sling (TR) class, as well as F-Open and F-TR, and the event is shot at distances of 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. Approximately 80 shooters, including about 20 F-classer attended the event.

Bryan Litz won the Fullbore TR (sling) competition with a 1782-105X overall score, with runner-up Andrew Wilde (1780-101X), just two points behind. Sean Morris finished third with 1776-85X, and Jim O’Connell shot 1772-81X to claim the High Senior title.

F-Class SOA Bryan Litz Fullbore
Photo by Randy Pike

In F-Open Class, familiar names topped the leaderboard. Larry Bartholome earned his chair ride as F-Open winner, shooting an impressive 1776-98X. Second in F-Open, five points back at 1771-96X, was past F-Class National Champion Danny Biggs. In the F-TR division, Michael Smith topped the field with a 1738-69X, followed by John Killen, who shot a 1720-52X. NOTE: F-Open and F-TR competitors shoot a target with smaller-diameter scoring rings than the Fullbore Target.

F-Class SOA larry Bartholome michael smith

Conditions Were Mild… Then Wild
Bryan Litz tells us the conditions weren’t so bad … until the final day: “We dodged some rain throughout the week, but wind conditions were easy to moderate for the most part. That is until the last 1000-yard string of the last day when Raton finally showed its evil side! The most wind I had used all week was just over 3 MOA. That last relay on Saturday, it was running between 7 and 12 MOA with very quick changes. There were many misses, and just keeping all shots in the black was an accomplishment.” Rick Hunt concurred that the conditions were arduous on the final 1K stage: “At 1000 yards, there was a 9:00 o’clock wind running between 9 1/2 and 13 1/2 MOA. As seen by the scores, two shooters really nailed it. Other than that, it was pretty disastrous for most shooters with the really fast velocity changes.”

Raton New Mexico

When the smoke had cleared, the standings were all jumbled up compared to what they were the rest of the week. Litz added: “An experience like that really drives home the importance of wind shooting skills. To be honest, I had no particular strategy going in other than to stay calm and positive no matter what. A big part of shooting in adverse conditions is managing yourself mentally. I dropped 10 points that last relay, more than I’d lost in the entire tournament up to that point. But given the conditions, I felt good about it, knowing I’d done my best.”

Berger 155gr Hybrids Work Well in Fullbore Competition
Bryan Litz credits his 155gr Berger .308-cal Hybrids for his strong performance: “I was shooting the new Berger 155 grain Hybrid bullets which played a part in saving some points in that nasty wind (on the last day). Due to their length, these bullets require a 1:12″ twist to stabilize and have a higher BC than any other .30 caliber 155 grain bullet. The hybrid ogive makes them length tolerant (insensitive to seating depth) and as the results of this tournament show, they are very effective”.

Complete Final Scores On SOA Blog
You’ll find complete interim and final SOA Match Scores linked from the Bald Eagles Match Blog.

Saturday and Final TR (Fullbore Sling) Class (PDF).

Saturday and Final F-Open and F-TR Class Results (PDF).

At the match the USA Young Eagles unveiled the new uniforms the American team will wear at the World Fullbore Championships in Australia next month. On opposite sleeves, the uniforms feature logos from both major bullet sponsors — Berger and Sierra. Bryan Litz observerd: “Historically teams have been sponsored by ‘one or the other’, but there’s no reason a team can’t enjoy sponsorship by multiple brands, and this is a very positive step in that direction.”

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August 18th, 2011

New 2-Man Team Challenge in New Mexico This Fall

This fall, November 4-6, 2011, a new two-man tactical challenge match will be held at the Blue Steel Ranch in Logan, NM (site of the popular Steel Safari match). Sponsored by Competition Dynamics and Thunder Beast Arms, the 2011 Thunder Beast Team Challenge (TBTC) is a 3-day, 8-stage test of practical field rifle shooting and related skills. This will be a physically-demanding match! Two-man teams must navigate rugged desert terrain, recognize, locate, range, and engage multiple rifle targets from challenging shooting positions, and complete the 8-stage course under daily time constraints. Most targets will be steel plates, set at distances from 100 to 800 yards.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Team Challenge

Skills used at the TBTC will include target recognition, range estimation, wind doping, trail skills, and marksmanship. The competition is designed to test a 2-man team’s skills shooting rifle and carbine to their effective ranges at practical targets in the natural terrain using what gear they can carry. One team member will use a precision bolt gun and while the other carries a tactical-style carbine. Targets for the carbine range from 20 to 400 yards, with some “move and shoot” assault-style stages. Bolt-gun targets are generally positioned at 150-800 yards

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Team ChallengeThe TBTC is being run by Competition Dynamics, whose staff has a proven 10-year track record as practical field match organizers. Zak Smith is Match Director. The TBTC will be held at the Blue Steel Ranch, a private ranch near Logan, New Mexico. The Blue Steel Ranch, which also hosts the Steel Safari, offers some of the best geography for field shooting available anywhere.

The Thunder Beast Team Challenge costs $585.00 per team. To register, or to learn more about the match, visit the 2011 Team Challenge webpage. Or, email thunderbeastarms [at] gmail.com.

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May 26th, 2011

Challenging Steel Safari Match in New Mexico, June 3-5

The kickoff of the 2011 Steel Safari is just a week away, and things are heating up! Temperatures at this long-range field match are always right around 100-degrees, but this year there will be more competitors than ever (38) and a better prize table than ever before. Match organizers expect strong competition this year, as there will be many seasoned Steel Safari “alumni” competing, including recent Steel Safari Top-5 finishers. The Steel Safari takes place this year on June 3rd, 4th, and 5th at the Blue Steel Ranch located near Logan, NM. Zak Smith is the match director. You can learn more about match details and courses of fire at www.SteelSafari.com.


A true field match with no “square-range” in sight, competitors may need to use improvised and non-standard shoot positions to make shots.

The match showcases practical rifle shooting in the field. Competitors locate small and medium-sized steel targets (often hidden), range them, and engage with one shot only, under a challenging time limit. Some movement on the clock is required, and shoot positions are always improvised, the best you can do while on a reverse incline, over a rock face, shooting down a gully, or leaning out the side of a truck. To add to the challenge, these shooting stations are distributed over two different 3-mile courses in rugged desert terrain. Despite this simple general description, there are a host of individual skills that a competitor must master to place well at this match.

Besides being a test of rifle shooting skill, it also stresses rifle and gear setup and reliability, and individual concentration and mettle. After hiking around in the desert for six hours, it takes talent, determination, and good field skills to find six targets out in the terrain, range them accurately, and then quickly make the shot from sometimes very difficult shooting positions.


Rugged precision bolt rifles such as this Accuracy International are typical at the Steel Safari. The .260 Remington is one of the most common cartridges in the Winner’s Circle.

A variety of rifles, calibers, and scopes will be used at the match, but most competitors employ more or less similar gear. First, an accurate rifle is critical. Bench-rest accuracy is not required; one MOA is sufficient, but one-half-MOA is preferred. Almost everyone shoots their own hand-loads with premium bullets from Sierra, Berger, or Lapua. Ballistic data, or “dope,” completes the triad with the rifle and ammunition. Most shooters laminate a small card and tie it to their rifle or scope, or use a retractable “pathfinder” available from Allison Machine Tool or Leupold. Long-range ballistic data isn’t useful unless the target distances can be determined, and the best tool for that is a laser range-finder. Since many laser range-finders are monocular units with limited field of view, a good set of binoculars can be a life-saver when trying to find that hidden target.

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September 24th, 2010

U.S. Border Patrol Dominates Nat’l Police Shooting Championship

U.S. Border PatrolIt’s comforting to know that our U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) personnel are not only competent with firearms — some of them are among the finest shooters in the entire law enforcement community. At the recent National Police Shooting Championship held in Albuquerque, NM, USBP agents dominated the individual and team competition, outshooting LEO competitors from around the country.

Vadasz Wins Second NPSC Title
Senior U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz topped the field of over 400 competitors to secure his second National Police Shooting Individual Championship in three years. Vadasz dropped a mere 19 shots throughout the tournament, finishing with a 2981-221x score. Finishing second was Customs & Border Protection agent Doug Goff, with 2976-199x. U.S. Border Patrolman Kevin Worrell finished thrid with 2973-193x.

U.S. Border Patrol“It’s an honor to be here, again,” said Vadasz. “Your gun jams, it slips off the post, your foot cramps, or your ammunition betrays you; there are a lot of things that can go wrong. This year, everything came together, and it feels great.”

In team competition, U.S. Border Patrol squads turned in great performances. USBP Teams finished first and second in the Open Class Revolver 4-Officer Event, with USBP Blue Team scoring 2372-163X, and USBP Gold Team finishing second with 2356-131X. In the Open Class Semi-Auto 4-Officer Team event, the USBP Blue Team scored 2357-147X to finish a close second to the winning CBP Blue Team, which took the title with a 2360-134X tally.

U.S. Border Patrol

Photos courtesy the NRA Blog.

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July 22nd, 2010

Womens’ “Dream Team” Sets New National Palma Record

A “Dream Team” composed of four of America’s top lady shooters set a new national long-range Palma record at the Rocky Mountain Palma Championships at Raton, NM last week. The four-woman squad of Trudie Fay (Captain), Michelle Gallagher, Noma Mayo, and Nancy Tompkins shot brilliantly to establish a new National Palma record of 1796-112X, breaking the existing 1791-102X record held by the USAMU (Praslick) team.

Officially listed as “The U.S. National Team”, but dubbed “Team Estrogen” by one of the gals, this squad of four female High Masters was coached by Steve Conico, a veteran long range shooter from New Mexico. Michelle told us that Coach Conico did a great job calling the wind, and all the team members performed well: “Our strategy was simple: lay down, shoot, let Steve think for everybody. Steve’s a fantastic coach. We all just had a good day. All four trigger-pullers were on top of our game. The combination of good conditions (for Raton), great coaching, and good shooting allowed a memorable team performance. That combination is rare. It’s not going to happen again any time soon.”

SCORES: T. Fay: 448-39X | M. Gallagher: 450-35X | N. Mayo: 449-26X | N. Tompkins: 449-22X

U.S. National Palma Womens Team

For Michelle, competing in this match with a team of female all-stars (who are all close friends) was a dream come true: “We’ve been planning to have a womens’ team for 10 years and it finally happened. It’s fun getting everyone together. We’re all delighted it worked out so well. And I loved being able to shoot with my mom.” Michelle shot a perfect 450 in the match, not dropping a single point.

Michelle Gallagher Nancy TompkinsRecord-Setting Equipment
All four Dream-Teamers were shooting conventional single-shot .308 Winchester Palma rifles — no tube-guns in this arsenal. Nancy Tompkins’ rifle featured a wood stock, Stolle Panda action, and 30″ Krieger barrel. Michelle’s rifle was similarly configured but she used a fiberglass McMillan stock. Nancy and Michelle shot ammo loaded with Hodgdon Varget powder, Wolf (Russian) primers, and the 155.5gr Berger Palma bullet. The other two team members, Noma and Trudie, may have been using Sierra #2156 155gr Palma bullets but that’s not confirmed.

Loading for the 155.5gr Berger Palma Bullet
Michelle observed that the 155.5gr Berger Palma bullet doesn’t require any special tuning: “With the 155.5, it’s pretty easy to swap out any load you’ve used successfully with any of the other 155s. The 155.5 doesn’t require a lot of extra load development. As far as seating depth goes, some people are successful jumping them, some people are successful jammin’ them in. Personally I’ve always soft seated. I haven’t found them to be very finicky.” Editor’s note: “Soft Seating” refers to deliberately loading the bullets long, with fairly light neck tension, and then allowing the bullet to find it’s position as one closes the bolt. The potential benefit is that the bullet ogive is always in the same position relative to the start of the rifling.

Good Conditions Aid Record-Setting Team Performance
During the July 10 team match, the weather gods smiled, providing good conditions (by Raton standards) for the female Dream Team’s record-setting performance. Michelle observed: “Have you ever shot at Raton? It can be the devil. Raton can be really nasty, but it was a pretty benign day by Raton standards. The wind was switchy but not what I’d call ‘blow you off the paper’ wind. We were all able to concentrate on the mechanics — just ‘lay down and squeeze’. Steve did all the work.”

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June 27th, 2010

Results of 2010 National Junior Air Gun Championships

The 2010 National Junior Air Gun Championships in Albuquerque, NM concluded yesterday. The new champions were crowned last evening at an awards ceremony. Here are the top three individual and team winners from both the Sporter and Precision classes. Note: these results are preliminary, and are not final until the challenge period has ended.

National Junior Air Rifle New Mexico 2010

Precision Rifle Division

Individual Aggregate (1200 possible points):

1. Landon Shankles, LaCueva HS, MCJROTC, 1179
2. Abigail Stanec, Ohio Rifle & Pistol Assn., 1177
3. Dan Lowe, Washington State Rifle & Pistol Assn., 1172

Team Aggregate (4800 possible points):

1. Ohio Rifle & Pistol Association, 4667
2. LaCueva HS, MCJROTC, 4634
3. Washington State Rifle & Pistol Assn., 4633

A record number of JROTC teams competed in this year’s championship.

Sporter Rifle Division

Individual Aggregate (1200 possible points):

1. John White, Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Assn., 1106
2. Dahkota Hayes, Montana Rifle & Pistol Assn., 1094
3. Shaley Clements, Ohio Rifle & Pistol Assn., 1085

Team Aggregate (4800 possible points):

1. Montana Rifle & Pistol Assn., 4267
2. Venture Crew 123 Aloha Council BSA, 4223
3. Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Assn., 4156

This was the second year in a row than the Montana Rifle & Pistol Assn. won a team championship.

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June 23rd, 2010

Hot Temps and Hot Shooting at 2010 Steel Safari in New Mexico

2010 Steel SafariOne of the best hike-and-shoot, field-style long-range rifle challenges is the Steel Safari match — a 3-day event conducted in New Mexico’s high desert. The Steel Safari is a contest that examines “practical hunting skills, including target recognition, range estimation, wind doping, trail skills, and marksmanship”, according to the match entry form. Competitors locate small and medium-sized steel targets, range them, and engage with one shot only, under a challenging time limit. Some movement on the clock is required, and shoot positions are always improvised. Shooters may have to go prone on a rock slab, shoot a steep angle down a gully, or lean out the side of a truck. Both the North course and the South course are approximately 3.3 miles in length starting and ending at the “front range”, and looping around the rim of different parts of elevated terrain features.

2010 Steel SafariThe 2010 Steel Safari, held June 4-6, can be characterized by one word: HOT. Temperatures started ramping up on Friday for the Long-Range Side Match, reaching about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and peaked on Saturday with a high of 109. The shooting was hot too, with winning scores higher than ever before. Among the 36 competitors, Steve Mann finished first with an impressive 95 score. Close behind, with a 93, was B.J. Bailey. Jimmy Holdsworth and Tom Freeman, both scored 88s, but Holdsworth prevailed on the tie-breaker for third place. In the Long-Range Side Match, Jon Beanland took first with a 111 score, followed by Jim Jensen (109) and Brian Whalen (99).

2010 Steel Safari

Equipment List — Two-Thirds of Competitors Use 6.5s or 6mms
The most popular rifle/action make was Surgeon (28%), followed by Remington (22%), then Accuracy International and Stiller (11% each), then Savage (8%), Big Horn Arms (6%), and one each of Barrett, Borden, DTA, GAP Templar, and Howa. The 6.5mm caliber totally dominated with 39% of all rifles; 6mm was next with 28%, then .30 (22%), and then 7mm (11%). Chamberings of choice were: .260 Remington (25%), .308 Winchester (17%), 6.5×47 Lapua (11%), 6% for each of 6XC, 7mm WSM, 7mm RSAUM, .260AI, and then 3% each for .300 WM, 6mm-250, .30-06, 6.5-284, 6 Dasher, .243 Winchester, and 6CM/243.

2010 Steel Safari

Scopes: Nightforce (28%), U.S. Optics (25%), Schmidt & Bender (17%), followed by Leupold (14%), Vortex (6%), and 3% each for Hensoldt, Burris, Pentax, and Premier. Laser range-finders were dominated by Leica (50%), followed by Swarovski (19%), Zeiss (17%), Vector (8%), and 3% each Leupold and Newcon. Bipods were mostly Harris (78%), followed by Atlas, AI, Caldwell, and Sinclair.

Propellants: Hodgdon powders totally dominated (80%) with Alliant second (20%). Of the Hodgdon powders, H4350, H4831SC, and Varget were the most popular, while RL17 was the most popular Alliant powder by far. The most notable trend in powder choice is that RL17 has replaced H4350 and H4831SC for many shooters.

Bullets, Brass, Ammo: Sierra (31%), Berger (25%), Lapua (25%), and DTAC 6mm (11%). Winchester and Lapua cases dominated with 33% each, followed by Remington (16%), and then Black Hills, Norma, and Lake City (3%). Only 2 shooters used factory ammo: one was Federal GMM (.308) and the other was M118LR (7.62×51 NATO).

CLICK HERE for full, 6-page report on 2010 Steel Safari

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
June 14th, 2010

New Mexico Hosts Nat’l Jr. Air Gun Championships June 23-26

The 2010 NRA National Junior Air Gun Championships and Training Summit will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico from June 23-26, 2010. The competition will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The event is open to ALL junior shooters under the age of 21, who are placed in Sub-Junior, Intermediate Junior, or Junior classes according to age. There are three equipment divisions: Sporter Air Rifle, Precision Air Rifle, and Air Pistol. Participants may shoot as individuals or as part of a four-person team. There are four team categories: School Team, Military Scholastic, Local club, or State Association. CLICK HERE for Rifle Match Program and Schedule.

National Junior Air Rifle Champsionship

This year 150 junior shooters from 15 states will travel to Albuquerque to compete and participate in the Training Summit. Open to shooters, coaches, and parents, the Training Summit offers informational seminars on a variety of topics including mental and physical conditioning, sports nutrition, position training, and collegiate shooting opportunities. “We’re excited to bring this year’s National Junior Air Gun Championship and Training Summit to Albuquerque,” said Jessica McClain, NRA Air Gun Coordinator. “We have competitors traveling from all across the country to see how they measure up to other air gun shooters on a national level.”

National Junior Air Rifle Champsionship

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June 6th, 2010

19-Year-Old New Mexico Co-Ed Has Bright Future in F-Class

Increasing the number of women who are knowledgeable about firearms is vital for the future of hunting and the shooting sports. Thankfully, there are many talented women shooters who can help inspire other females to get involved in the shooting sports. One such capable young lady is Susannah Clary from New Mexico. An avid hunter and competitive shooter, Susannah has distinguished herself in long-range F-Class competition, and she hopes to shoot in the Creedmoor matches next year. Here is a profile of 19-year-old Susannah, penned by her proud father, Dr. Jim Clary.

Susanna Clary

Susannah Clary — Pride of New Mexico by Jim Clary
Susannah L. Clary, my daughter, now age 19 and beginning her junior year in college, shoots F-Class High Power. Who says female shooters can’t be good looking? She shoots a Savage Model 12 rifle custom-chambered in 6.5 x 284 Norma by Alan Warner in the US. She uses Lapua brass with a 139gr Lapua Scenar bullet with 49.4 grains of H4350 powder. It gets out there pretty good at 2,950 fps. The scope is a Nightforce 12-42x56mm NXS with NP-R2 reticle. Alan Warner and his son Dan worked over the Savage action and used their reamer on the chamber. Now the action is incredibly smooth and the rifle is very accurate. Susannah loves her Nightforce scope. CLICK HERE to read a detailed NXS Review written by Susannah. We use Gerald Perry’s Exbal/Nightforce ballistics program to generate the necessary data for shooting.

Susanna Clary

Susannah hopes to compete at the Creedmoor matches in Ireland in 2011, either for the Irish team or as an individual competitor. Her connection with Ireland is that her dad (me) is an Irish-American, and because she has never shot for any national team (a prime requirement), and has a direct and verifiable heritage to Ireland, she is eligible to shoot for the Irish team — if they wish to have her. Susannah also plans to shoot in the 2013 World Championships as an individual. She would like to shoot for the U.S. Team, but given her college responsibilities, she has no time for the team-selection prelims across the US.

Susannah has completed the NRA rifle and pistol instructor’s courses, and must now wait until she is 21 to be fully certified. In the meantime, she works part-time at a gunshop/shooting range, the Calibers Shooting Sports Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She does hold at least one National Record — she set a 1000-yard Junior High Power record at the 2007 US Nationals in Raton, NM (Whittington Center).

Susanna Clary

Though Susannah has said she ‘wants to be a sniper’, she is studying for a bachelors’ degree in Nursing. She is a bright, hard-working young lady. She has five published scientific papers and she even holds a patent. She managed all that before even starting college. I’m very proud of her.” — Dr. Jim Clary

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March 29th, 2010

2010 F-Class Nationals: Rodgers Wins F-Open, Buxton Wins F-TR

The 2010 U.S. F-Class Nationals concluded yesterday. It was a big success, drawing nearly 120 individual competitors and 18 teams. Young Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter Class, 1330-57X) from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the new Open Class Champion, and Californian Lane Buxton (1302-42X) won the F-TR division using a .308 Win Palma Rifle with Sierra #2156 bullets. Forum member Ken Dickerman finished second in F-Open posting a 1325-57X. Past multi-time F-TR Champ Danny Biggs shot F-Open this year, finishing third with a 1324-67X. While we are still waiting to receive ALL the final official results, it appears Danny set the high X-count for the match, while shooting with a Sinclair bipod equipped with a vertical adjustment knob. (The Open-class guns work amazingly well off the wide-base bipods.) Charles Ballard, the reigning (back to back) F-Open champ, finished seventh in F-Open.

New F-Open Champ Derek Rodgers was shooting a 300 WSM with 210-grain bullets. This heavy bullet/short magnum combo performed well in the windy afternoon conditions during Sunday’s afternoon matches. Most of the other top F-Open competitors were shooting a .284 Win or some other 7mm. Charles Ballard told us told us: “with so many guys shooting 7mms this year, the competition is tougher than ever. If I had a caliber advantage before… that’s gone. With the winds we had in the afternoons, I’m not surprised Derek Rogers did well with his 300 WSM and the heavy bullets. I want to congratulate Derek on his well-deserved win.”

The team event was hotly contested, with 18 teams on the line, most of which were in F-TR Class. In Open Class, the North American Shooters Team, coached by Bryan Litz won the Berger Trophy for the 600 + 1000-yard combined Aggregate, as well as the 1000-yard Team Match. The Sierra Spindle Shooters team took first place in the 600-yard Team Match. In F-TR Team shooting, Savage Shooters pulled off a clean sweep, winning the 600-yard match, the 1000-yard match, AND the Team Aggregate. Congrats to Savage Shooters!


NAS Team shooters (left to right): David Mann, Dean Morris, Bryan Litz (coach), Rick Jenson, Larry Tait.

F-Open Class Results
Winner: Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter) – 1330-57X Nat’l Champion
Second: Ken Dickerman (High Master) – 1325-57X
Third: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X – High X Count?
Fourth: Jeff Cochran – 1324-28X
Fifth: Jeff Traylor – 1323-51X
High Woman: Brenda Hill – 1302-31X
High Senior: Larry Bartholome – 1321-51X
High Grand Senior: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X

F-TR Class Results
Winner: Lane Buxton – 1302-42X – National Champion
Second: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
Third: John Hayhurst – 1293-37X
Fourth: Jeffery Rorer – 1293-28X
High Senior: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
High Grand Senior: Peter Church – 1279-31X

Complete Results for Download
Check the attachments for all the scores. FCNAT2010OPEN.doc has all the F Open scores and FCNAT2010TR.doc has all the F-TR scores.

Download All F-Open Scores/Standings | Download All F-TR Scores/Standings

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March 24th, 2010

Cowboy Action Championship and Lady Shooters on Shooting USA

This week’s episode of Shooting USA covers END of TRAIL, the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. The episode was filmed last June at the 2009 Championship. Based on the number of shooters, End of Trail is the second largest rifle/pistol competition in North America, topped only by the NRA National Championships at Camp Perry, OH. End of Trail is held each year at Founders Ranch, located near Albuquerque, NM. The next End of Trail will be held June 21-27, 2010.

End of Trail Cowboy Action SASS

The first part of Shooting USA will cover the SASS Championship, while the second-half Sighting-In segment will feature The Women of SASS. While most shooting sports are dominated by men, none seems to be as female-friendly as Cowboy Action Shooting.

Shooting USA’s SASS Special airs today, Wednesday March 24, on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

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