As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











May 10th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: English Emily’s 6mmBR Benchrest Rifle

Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Kales Scope Light Gun Record
Emily was just 8 years old when this photo was taken back in 2017. She’s now 11 but still enjoying shooting. Emily has won many awards — including a screamer at 1000 yards — and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized.

English Emily and Her Record-Breaking 6mmBR Stolle

Report by Vince Bottomley
Turning back the clock a decade or so to 2006 and Accurateshooter’s Gun of the Week #71 you will see my smiling face and my 7mm WSM BAT which had just set a new UK Light Gun record for 1000-yard benchrest with a 5-shot group measuring 2.67 inches. That record has now been broken — sadly not by me but by Emily’s Grandfather with a gun I built for this talented schoolgirl. Here’s the story of the precocious Emily and her record-setting rifle…

In 2006, when I set the record, young Emily Lenton wasn’t even born but, a couple years later she arrived – into the shooting-mad Lenton family. Both father Bruce Lenton and Granddad Tony have represented their Country at European and World Benchrest Championships and it was no surprise to see Emily, at just eight years old in 2017, shooting in her first 1000-yard benchrest competition.

Emily Shoots 6mmBR Heavy Gun at 1000 Yards.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Light Gun Record

Recoil is always going to be a problem for a very young shooter, so Emily’s first bench-gun was Granddad’s 1000-yard Heavy Gun chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. It hardly moves when Emily pulls the trigger and she soon became a serious contender. [Emily was 8 when she started, and is now 11 years old.]

Under her father Bruce Lenton’s careful supervision, Emily loads all her own ammunition.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

Of course, she wanted her own gun and who better to ask to build it than the current record holder — me of course! Emily chose a Stolle action RBLP as this was to be a 17-lb Light Gun, bedded into a UK-made Joe West laminate stock. The barrel was a heavy-profile 1:8″-twist Krieger chambered in 6mm BR Norma (6BR) with a ‘no-turn’ neck (reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge) and fitted with a UK Tier One muzzle-brake.

Emily’s Light Gun begins to take shape…
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

It was down to Granddad to help Emily with load-development and of course, he could also shoot it in competition — after all Emily had just about shot-out Granddad’s Heavy Gun with a full season of rapid-fire 10-shot groups!

Granddad Tony gets ready to shoot Emily’s gun.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl vince bottomly 6mmBR 6BR Light Gun Record

Then something happened – Granddad went and broke my ten-year old record with Emily’s gun! Well, I suppose there was some consolation — at least I’d built the record-breaking gun. The new UK Light Gun 1000-yard five-shot record now stands at 2.462 inches. For those who like load details, Emily uses Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, and Berger 105 grain VLD bullets loaded with Wilson hand dies.

Tony Lenton with Emily’s gun just after he broke my 1000-yard record. I’m doing my best to smile!
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6BR 6mmBR Vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Emily in New Zealand at 2017 World Benchrest Championships Down Under
Emily traveled down under to New Zealand in 2017 with her family. She helped her father and Granddad who were part of the United Kingdom squad competing at the 2017 World Benchrest Shooting Championships in Nelson, NZ.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Vince Bottomley reports: “Emily was a huge hit over in NZ — she was given the honor of hoisting the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony, she drove the target changer’s buggy, did some impressive shirt-swapping”. Here she is wearing a Team Canada Jersey — a bit big for pint-size Emily.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review 2 Comments »
April 21st, 2020

Action Timing — Process and Benefits Demonstrated

Alex Wheeler Accuracy gunsmith Panda Kelbly Stolle action timing receiver benchrest video

Kelbly makes outstanding actions, including the Stolle Pandas. In the past 20 years, Pandas have probably won more benchrest matches than any other action (though BATs and Bordens are increasingly in the winning circle). Recently gunsmith Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy worked his magic on an aluminum Panda, optimizing the “ignition timing” of the action. This involves many small mods to bolt, camming surfaces, trigger, and firing pin: “The whole cam helix and detent shelf is re-cut. The firing pin and cocking piece are modified as well.” When executed properly, Ignition Timing has a number of benefits, including a smoother bolt opening/closing, improved firing pin fall, and enhanced accuracy (though the accuracy improvements can be subtle).

BEFORE Action Timing — Stiff and Clunky

Alex reports: “Normally Panda actions have plenty of firing pin fall. For one reason or another this one was very low. Before timing, firing pin fall was .210 with a Bix’N Andy (BNA) trigger. After trigger timing firing pin fall is .244 with zero cock on close.” Here is how the action functioned before timing work:

CLICK Photo to start VIDEO

Alex notes: “As you can see, after the cocking piece rides out of the detent notch it then
falls to the trigger and is then re-cocked. This is normal on most un-timed actions.”

AFTER Action Timing — Smooth and Refined

Alex explains the modifications he made for this Panda action: “Moving the trigger back adds cock on close. The whole cam helix and detent shelf is re-cut. The firing pin and cocking piece are modified as well. I do love a timed Panda. In fact, I like aluminum actions, I think there is something to them. But yes, I also recommend Borden as my first choice.’

CLICK Photo to start VIDEO

Fix for Right-Bolt Actions Only
After seeing these videos on Facebook, one poster asked: “I do like my Panda but this is exactly why I bought a Borden action and I love it. It’s good to know you can make a Panda better. Alex, can you time a left bolt Panda?”

Alex replied: “No, the tooling I built is all for right hand actions sorry….”

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
December 26th, 2011

Bottomley Builds a Winner — 2011 Euro F-TR Champ Gun

Ace UK shooter Vince Bottomley decided he wanted to build a new F-TR rifle for the 2011 season. Vince selected all the best components: Stolle Action, Bartlein Barrel, Precision Rifle & Tool Stock. The build came together superbly, producing a .308 Win rifle that shoots bugholes at 100 yards, and holds sub-half-MOA (or better) to 1000. After building the rifle, Vince decided to shoot Open Class at the 2011 European Championship. So, he graciously loaned his purple F-TR rig to his friend, Stuart Anselm. The rest, as they say, “is history”. Despite having just one day’s practice with the gun, Stuart drove Vince’s rifle to victory, winning the 2011 European F-Class Championship (F-TR division) by a sizable margin.

READ Full Story about European Championship-Winning F-TR Rifle.

Vince Bottomley F-TR European championship rifle .308 Win bipod Leupold

Superb Accuracy with VV N150 and Berger 185gr Bullets
This 2011 Euro Championship-winning F-TR rifle is the star of our latest Gun of the Week Feature Story. In that article, Vince explains how he modified the long PR&T stock to make weight, and how he developed an accurate load with Vihtavuori N150 and Berger 185gr Target Long-Range Bullets. Vince notes that many UK F-Class shooters are moving back to single-base powders, after trying out double-base powders such as VV N550 and Reloder 17. What’s the reason? Barrel life. Vince feels that the single-base powders can give somewhat better barrel life, even if you lose a little velocity.

Bottomley F-TR .308 Win

New F-TR Champion Reviews Bottomley’s Stolle-Action Rifle
Stuart Anselm tells us: “I only shot the rifle a couple of days before the Europeans — two sighters and then five rounds at 800 yards which went into a 3.75-inch group. That gave me a lot of confidence in the rifle. The bi-pod is very light and looked a bit flimsy but it’s well-engineered, so it worked well. That long Precision Rifle & Tool stock is definitely the way to go and helps the rifle to track nicely under recoil. Of course, the Stolle action was perfect with the right-bolt, left-port set-up and the 10-60X March is just about the ultimate F-Class scope.”

Winning Performance: Scoring 452 points out of a possible 475, Stuart won the F-TR Euro Championship convincingly, finishing 10 points ahead of F-TR runner-up Adam Bagnall (also from Great Britain). Stuart also had the highest V-Bull count with 33.

Stuart Anselm F-TR European championship rifle .308 Win target accuracy

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »