April 11th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Home-Built Heavy Gun with Coaxial Rear Rest

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

If you’re a fan of “Heavy Artillery” here’s an impressive rifle that Forum member “Straightpipes” crafted himself nearly a decade ago. Even today, it remains a state-of-the-art engineering Tour De Force, complete with a custom-built, joy-stick REAR rest. We’re mightily impressed by the innovative design and superb metal-work displayed by this “home-built special”. ‘Straightpipes’ certainly proved that American “know-how” and creativity is still alive….

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this innovative rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position. Yes this kind of adjustable rear rest is legal in NBRSA HG and LG classes, and in IBS Heavy Gun class.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action

Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 3rd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: The M1 Garand That Came for Christmas

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
We think everyone should have a Garand in their gun collection…

In our AccurateShooter Forum, you’ll find a popular thread: “Anybody Get Gun Stuff for Christmas?”. One notable post featured a very special Christmas-week arrival — an M1 Garand barreled action. A Forum member received this CMP-sourced barreled action from a friend and then transformed it with a stunning wood stock and other components. We’d say this is a very successful and handsome holiday project. And get this — the skilled owner, who works as a volunteer armorer, assembled his new M1 Garand in record time: “Well, it took three weeks in-transit for my [Christmas] gift to myself to arrive, but I picked her up at 1400 hours yesterday. Had her built into a complete rifle by 1530….”

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

If you would like to put together a handsome M1 Garand like the Christmas rifle shown above, you’ll need to start with a barreled action. You can order these, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Below we explain how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

If you have questions about assembling a Garand, contact us and we will put you in touch with the builder of the Christmas M1 Garand rifle. He is a CMP-trained armorer who works to maintain ceremonial rifles for VFW, American Legion, and Disabled Veterans Posts throughout Kentucky.

Ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP — Qualifications

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. M1 Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions.

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has two stores where M1 Garands can be ordered over the counter and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama, Talladega, Alabama, and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

Ordering a Barrel — If you already have an M1 Garand, but the barrel has seen better days, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be properly headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308 Win) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

How to Maintain the M1 Garand

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shoooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

Recommended M1 Garand Service Manuals

Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Jim thompson m1 garand essential practical historical guide book

Do you own an M1 Garand, or have you always wanted to acquire one of these legendary semi-auto battle rifles? Well then here is a valuable new resource: The Essential M1 Garand: A Practical and Historical Guide for Shooters and Collectors. This new book by Jim Thompson covers the history of the M1 Garand, and offers practical advice for Garand owners, along with complete parts lists. The book includes annotated military and National Match manuals, a troubleshooting chart, and a section on hand-loading for the Garand. The final Section addresses common questions about the rifle and offers detailed instructions for maintaining this wartime classic. First published in February, 2020, The Essential M1 Garand is available in Print Paperback and Kindle eBook versions. View Table of Contents.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 1 Comment »
December 20th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Precision Rifles — PRS/NRL Rig Showcase

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks
PRS/NRL precision rifle of Forum member D.Stone.

This Sunday GunDay article showcases multiple PRS/NRL tactical-type precision rifles. All these impressive rigs are featured in a long-running thread in our AccurateShooter Forum. In that thread, titled Post Pics of your PRS Match Rifles, you’ll find dozens of current PRS/NRL competition rigs. These feature a wide variety of actions, stocks, optics, muzzle devices, and support bags.

Many guys who posted photos of their PRS/NRL rifles also listed the rifles’ components, optics, triggers, and other accessories. If you are thinking about building a rifle for PRS/NRL competitions, or just for fun field-style shooting and varmint hunting, definitely delve into today’s Sunday GunDay story. You’ll find good suggestions about chambering, barrel contours, and optics choices. In addition, many of the photos feature bipods, tripods, and various support bags. This is a quick way to compare accessory components.

Matt’s Duo at the Range

Forum member “Matt_3479″ posted two of his tactical rifles during load development at the range. These two rigs are quite different. The upper rifle features a Defiance Deviant action with TriggerTech special in a Manners T5A Elite stock with Mini Chassis. The barrel is a 27″ Hell’s Canyon 1:9.5″-twist chambered for the .300 Norma. Matt says he is still working on his load tune, but the cartridge is able to drive 215gr bullets at 3150-3200 FPS.

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance MPA Chassis stocks

The second rifle (below) boasts a Terminus Zeus action with TriggerTech Diamond trigger. The chassis is a Kinetic Research Group (KRG) Whiskey 3–Gen 6. The barrel is a 26″ K.S. Arms Ltd. 1:7″-twist chambered for the 25 Creedmoor cartridge. Matt says this 25 Creedmoor cartridge will drive 131gr bullets at 2890 FPS.

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance MPA Chassis stocks

Wooley’s Wicked Accurate 6mm Creedmoor

This tack-driving 6mm Creedmoor from Forum member “Wooley” shows how accurate that cartridge can be with in a good rifle with a great barrel. This Nightforce-equipped rifle produced a 0.217″ 5-shot group with Hodgdon H4350 powder. Impressive!

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance MPA Chassis stocks

Tactical .223 Ackley in Accuracy Int’l Chassis

This handsome tripod-mounted rig belongs to Forum member “Hoser”. This now features a Terminus action with barrel chambered for the .223 Ackley. Hoser is happy with his new 3-lug action: “Very happy with the switch to a 3-lug Terminus action, it feeds like butter. I have about 500-600 rounds on the action and it keeps getting smoother. I finally threw my Bighorn TL2 and 3 in the trash [due to crappy feeding] — a good call. Bighorn used to be such a top-shelf company too.”

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance MPA Chassis stocks

MPA Comp Duo — Upgrades in Progress

These two rifles belong to Forum member “GoLong”. While they both feature MPA Comp chassis systems, if you look carefully, you’ll note that each has a different butt pad and grip. Owner Golong tells us he is planning some upgrades: “I am moving the gray chassis to a different action and going with an Accuracy Int’l AI AX chassis. I also ordered up a lateral-adjustable cheek piece and … a thinner butt pad from MPA. I am also moving from the MPA mounts for both of these and replacing them with SPUHR 4002s.”

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance MPA Chassis stocks

Tactical Trio — 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .223 Rem

Here are three rifles all belonging to Forum member “300 Whisper”. They are all fitted in Manners stocks. At left is a 6.5 Creedmoor with Defiance action. In the middle is a 6mm Creedmoor with Defiance action. And on the right is a .223 Rem with factory Tikka tactical barreled action. For middle rifle optics, 300 Whisper notes: “I am debating on putting on a DMRII or another SWFA HD on the 6CM.”

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks

6.5 Creedmoor (left) — GAP built Defiance Deviant, Bartlein 24″ med Palma 1:8″-twist barrel, Manners T4A stock (mini chassis), Timney Calvin Elite trigger, metal cerakoted matte brown. Scope: SWFA HD Mil FFP.

6mm Creedmoor (middle) — Alpha Omega build Defiance Tenacity, Bartlein heavy Palma 26″ 1:8″-twist barrel, Manner T2A with Mini Chassis, TriggerTech trigger, Area 419 brake, metal Cerakoted matte black. Scope: Bushnell DMRII with G2 reticle Mil FFP.

.223 Rem — (right) Tikka Tac3 barreled action, varmint contour, 1:8″-twist, Timney trigger, Manners PRS1 stock with Mini Chassis and ARCA rail, Metal Cerakoted matte black, Surefire brake, Atlas bipod. Scope: Bushnell DMR mildot Mil FFP.

Pair of Rifles in Accuracy Int’l Stocks

Here is a nice pair of rifles belonging to Forum member “M16_4_Real”. The top rifle, in an AI AE MKII folding stock, has multiple barrel/chambering options: Gradous 6 Dasher, A-Team Precision 6 Dasher, Accurate Ordinance 6.5×47 Lapua, and Accurate Ordinance 6XC. The optic is a Premier Heritage 5-25x56mm Gen2 XR in Nigtforce UL Ti Rings. There are Area 419 Hellfire brakes on two of the barreld. The owner runs a Samb300 thumbrest plus 3D-printed data card mount. Ammo is held with a MDT 12-rd Dasher mag. The sandbag is a Waxed Canvas OG Game Changer Git Lite.

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocksThe lower rifle, in an AI AX chassis with Kelbly Atlas action, also has multiple variants: Kelbly 6 Dasher, Kelbly 6.5×47 Lapua, and PBB 6GT (new GAP cartridge). The Steiner T5Xi 5-25x56mm SCR optic rides in Nightforce UL TI rings. The 6.5 barrel has a PVA Jet Blast brake, while the 6mm barrels can use Area 419 Hellfires.

Other accessories include: MHA ARCA rail, Samb300 thumbrest, Hoptic USA 2-rd Quiver, Yow-Tech data card mount, and RDS E-Dope Card. The bags show are a SAP Lightweight rear bag, plus a Sticky Pint Size Game Changer Git Lite.

Tripod Details — Behind the two rifles is a high-tech Innorel RT90C Carbon Fiber Bowl Tripod equipped with Innorel BH-55 ball head, Bushnell Bino Mount, Kydex Timer Mount, Raush Tripod Hammock, and 6″x9″ clipboard. Gear on the tripod includes: German Precision Optics 10x50HD Binoculars, Kestrel 5700 Sportsman, and Amazon touch screen timer.

Rock Solid Chassis with Defiance Alpha 11 Action

This rig belongs to Forum member “Eric 32″. That chassis may not be familiar to many readers. It is a Rock Solid brand chassis, featuring MST vertical grip. As built by GA Precision, this rifle boasts a Defiance Alpha 11 action from Short Action Customs (SAC) with Huber 2-stage trigger. The barrel is a Bartlein 1:8″-twist chambered for 6XC and fitted with SPR barrel “bugnut” and Area 419 Hellfire brake. The Schmidt & Bender 5-26x56mm P4F scope rides in a Spuhr 4003 mount.

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks
PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks

6mm Dasher in Manners TCS Stock

We don’t know much about this cool rifle, except that it is chambered for the ultra-accurate 6mm Dasher and the action sits in a Manners TCS Stock. Maybe the proud owner, Forum member “jsimonh”, can provide some details in the comments. We just like the camo paint scheme, great ergonomics/adjustability, and suppressor with matching camo cover.

PRS NRL precision rifle showcase GAP Defiance 6mm Creedmoor Manners stocks

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, News, Tactical No Comments »
November 22nd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Jonathan Ocab’s Vudoo/MPA .22 LR for NRL22

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Today we feature a top-flight tactical .22 LR rig belonging to Jonathan Ocab. A talented Highpower marksman with the Distinguished Rifleman Badge, Jonathan also enjoys rimfire tactical disciplines which he features on his Youtube Channel. Jonathan now runs a monthly NRL22 match in California. His interest in the NRL22 game started with a CZ 455, but soon he stepped up to the impressive rig you see here. This boasts all top-tier components: Vudoo V-22 mag-fed action, Bartlein barrel, MPA Chassis, and Kahles K525i scope. Jonathan carefully selected all this hardware and assembled the rifle himself.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

My Vudoo/MPA Rifle for NRL22 and Long Range Rimfire
Report by Jonathan Ocab, Ocabj.net.
I became interested in rimfire shooting due to not having as much access to longer distance ranges, and the emergence of NRL22 matches. Back in 2017 I had acquired a CZ 455 and ran it in NRL22 club matches. It worked well, but as I started spending most of my time on my club’s rimfire range, I focused on getting a Vudoo Gun Works V-22. The Vudoo V-22 appeared to offer a true repeater that had the feel of a full-sized centerfire rifle along with high accuracy/precision potential.

After a lot of research, I decided to put in an order for a barreled action and acquired a Vudoo Gun Works V-22 action with a 20″ Bartlein barrel, 1-16″ twist, and MTU contour, all in Flat Dark Earth Cerakote (along with a +30 MOA base). I then acquired the TriggerTech Diamond Trigger Pro Curved, Masterpiece Arms BA Comp chassis (in Flat Dark Earth), American Rifle Company M10 34mm rings (28mm height), and Kahles K525i 5-25x56mm SKMR3 LSW scope.

CZ as a Starter NRL22 Option — The CZ 450-series is a solid family of .22 LR rifles, but I wanted to see what existed beyond the CZ level of rimfire rifles. One of my complaints with the CZ 455 is that the trigger leaves much to be desired even with the trigger kits available. Since the Vudoo V-22 action has a Remington 700 footprint and can accept most Rem 700-compatible triggers, I can actually run a top-tier trigger that would exceed anything available for the CZ.

Component Selection for the Ultimate NRL22 Competition Rifle
My choices in components were biased due to my prior experience — I went with quality hardware I knew and trusted…

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Barrel Choice — I chose the Bartlein barrel over Vudoo’s in-house Ace barrels because I run a Bartlein barrel on my 6mm Creedmoor rifle and I have become a big Bartlein fan. Secondly, I chose the Masterpiece Arms BA Competition chassis because I also run the MPA BA Comp on my 6mm Creedmoor rifle. You can see the two rifles side-by-side below:

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS
You are not seeing double. There are two rifles, both with an MPA Comp BA chassis, and both weighing about 15 pounds. In front is the featured Vudoo-action .22 LR rimfire rig with 20″ barrel, while behind is Ocab’s ARC Mausingfield 6mm Creedmoor PRS/NRL centerfire rig with 24″ barrel.

After running this rifle build for over a year now, I can say that I am more than happy with this platform as I have it configured. Having a .22 LR rifle in the same chassis as my 6mm Creedmoor rifle makes me feel right at home behind either rimfire or centerfire platform. My Vudoo V-22 weighs 15.2 lbs with Atlas CAL bipod while my 6mm Creedmoor rifle build weighs right at 15.0 lbs with the same Atlas CAL bipod. The “feel” and handling of my Vudoo V-22 MPA is as close to a centerfire gun as you can get.

Scope and Rings — I chose the 5-25x56mm Kahles K525i SKMR3 LSW because I was interested in running the Kahles after handling a few K624i and K525i scopes and hearing about how great they tracked. I run ARC M10 rings on several rifles because I think they are superbly designed.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Trigger Choice — I chose the TriggerTech Diamond because I already have a TriggerTech on one of my centerfire platforms and I wanted to try their Diamond trigger on a gun.

Outstanding Accuracy with Multiple .22 LR Ammo Types — Lapua and SK
My .22 LR ammo of choice is Lapua Center-X. This is the most commonly-chosen ammunition among Vudoo V-22 shooters. I also had good results with SK Rifle Match and Lapua Midas+ in casual 50-yard and 100-yard testing but have stayed with Lapua Center-X because my rifle shot all the lots of Center-X I put into it equally well out to 200 yards.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

SUMMARY — The Vudoo V-22 and MPA Package Is Outstanding
I can hands down recommend the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 for anyone who is interested in getting one. The “full-sized” rimfire rifle segment is not a one-horse race anymore and there are other options out there, but I feel very few will regret going with a Vudoo V-22 over another alternative. If you do not have a centerfire rifle designed for NRL/PRS style of shooting, you could probably just opt to go with a CZ 457 or Tikka T1x and have a lot of room to modify and tailor those rifles to your own tastes and still have an accurate rifle for NRL22. But if you also run a precision centerfire rifle, you should seriously consider a Vudoo V-22 or other 700-pattern rimfire action if purchasing a new .22 LR rimfire rig.

My Vudoo Gun Works V-22 build is an all-purpose gun for me. It is setup for NRL22-style matches but can be utilized for (extreme) long range .22 LR shooting (300 yards and beyond). For that rimfire ELR Game, I am seriously considering getting a Vudoo V-22S (single-shot) action to put in an F-Class stock to have a dedicated ELR .22 LR gun. While I built my Vudoo Gun Works V-22 with NRL22 in mind, I realized this gun could do more so I took it out to shoot 300 yards. After that, I stretched it out to 400 yards and then 500 yards in subsequent range visits. Now I am intrigued by extreme long range .22 LR shooting and often shoot 400 yards and beyond with the Vudoo V-22 when I can.

Long Range .22 LR Rimfire — Out to 500 Yards

Jonathan shoots his competition rifle in Long Range Rimfire matches with targets out to 500 yards. That’s definitely Extreme Long Range for the little .22 LR cartridge, requiring 27.8 MILs of up elevation! Jonathan notes: “I originally had a +30 MOA base on my rifle and it worked fine to 400 yards, but I ran out of adjustment on the K525i to get to 500 and had to hold over. I ended up getting a +40 MOA base.”

NRL22 Competition — Tactical Rimfire Matches
The NRL22 match format is a great shooting discipline. NRL22 offers a high fun factor at relatively low cost. You don’t have to reload match ammo. A couple of 50-round boxes of .22 LR ammo will get you through the match. While some people bring lots of gear to matches, that’s by choice and not by necessity. You can keep it simple and still be competitive (and win).

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Tips for NRL22 Competitors
I am a match director at my gun club and run our local NRL22 matches. People often ask me for tips for competing in NRL22. First, I recommend getting the course of fire for the month in advance and practicing those stages at the range. Here are other specific tips that should help NRL22 competitors improve their gun-handling and match results.

1. Dry Fire Practice — If you are not able to do live fire practice at the range, I encourage shooters to practice their shooting positions at home via dry fire. Setup props or barricades with pasters or other faux targets on a wall in the garage or inside the house and run through each stage.

2. Scope Magnification Level — The most common issue I see with newer shooters in NRL22 is the tendency to maximize their scope magnification. The timer will start, and the shooter gets into position on a target, but the scope is set to 15x or higher and the shooter can’t find the target. The shooter lowers the magnification, locates the target, and then increases the magnification again, takes the shot, transitions to another target, and repeats the process of decreasing magnification, locating target, etc. Novice NRL22 shooters should try using the mid-range magnification. Try shooting 7x-12x and learn to balance field of view and target image.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS
The author at NRL22 Match at West End Gun Club in San Bernardino, CA.

3. Support Side Shooting — NRL22 matches often include support-side shooting stages. This requires you to shoot with your opposite (non-dominant) hand and eye. I often hear people complain about shooting support-side. My only real tip for this is to actually spend time at the range shooting this way. Practice makes perfect. It’s all a question of learning how to shoot again and using fundamentals. Learn to get a consistent cheek weld and consistent eye relief. If necessary, figure out if you need to set your scope’s diopter for your opposite eye and mark it on the scope.

4. Tripod Practice — Even though tripods are not used in the NRL22 courses of fire, I practice shooting off of a tripod often. I will often setup targets at various distances and spaced far apart to run drills firing shots on each target with the goal of speeding up transitions and target acquisitions. Target acquisition after transition from target to target is where time is lost, so it is good to become efficient in this area.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

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November 15th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: French 6-6.5×47 F-Classer for Aliénore

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Today’s Sunday GunDay Story is a unique and beautiful F-Class rifle from France. This handsome rifle was first featured in our Gun of the Week Archives. This rifle was a gift from husband to wife. Because this is such a unique rifle, with a great back-story, we are reprising this “French Connection” rifle once again.

Europe has a number of capable custom arms makers, and in this article we feature one of them, Christian Salva of Toulouse, France. Here we spotlight an ultra-accurate and handsome 6-6.5×47 Lapua F-Class rifle. Built for a lady, the rifle exhibits flawless craftmanship to match its superior performance.


Alie Gets Her Gun — Thanks to Husband Aurélien

Photos and text by LONASSAC, translation by T.J.E., NRA UK
Aliénore, a charming young French lady, shares her passion for short- and long-range shooting with her husband, Aurélien. Aurélien already owns a 6mmBR PGM Ultima Ratio rifle and decided to have a rifle built for his wife so that they could shoot together. They therefore turned for help to the Christian Salva workshop, located in Toulouse in the south of France, close to their home.

SALVA Walnut Stock–Gorgeous Wood, and Great Ergonomics
Aliénore chose a superb, perfectly-grained French walnut blank for the stock. The stock is a single, solid piece of walnut, with a waxed finish to show off its fine figuring. The stock design is optimized for F-Class, prone and Bench Rest shooting. The fore-end is flat and 3.35″ (85mm) wide, slightly wider than the common 3″ used on most benchrest rifles. On the underside of the forearm is a rail to take a Parker-Hall or a Versa Pod-type bipod. The trigger guard is a custom, light alloy SALVA design. The butt plate is Anschütz-type. It adjusts vertically and can be rotated on its horizontal axis. The cheek piece is adjustable for height only — all that is needed.

Aliénore selected the F-Class Target Rifle from Christian Salva’s range of rifles, which is the one best suited to the type of shooting she wanted to do. Their club’s rifle range, near their home, goes out to 600 meters (See photos above). Unfortunately, as is usual in France, the range does not have a target pit. Members shoot prone using front benchrest-style rests, as in F-Class. The problem is that, without a proper target trench, it’s not possible have individual shots spotted and marked (as would be done in American High Power matches). However, with a good scope, in good light, shot-holes can be seen at 400m, and sometimes even at 600m — but this is rare.

When this rifle was crafted, Christian Salva was one of the few gunsmiths in France who manufactures complete rifles from front sight to butt-plate. With the sole exception of the barrel, he constructs the whole rifle, including action, bolt, trigger and stock. He also does all the bedding and chambering himself. Everything is done to his customer’s specification which, of course, can only be achieved in a small and highly specialized business.

General Rifle Specifications
The rifle was built on a SALVA hexagonal long range action with a flat base, which is set in a highly-figured French walnut stock using a bedding block. The gun is 49″ (125 cm) overall, and weighs 9 kg (about 20 lbs.), including scope. The barrel is 29″ (74cm) long, and a straight 1.22″ (31mm) in diameter. Given the weight and size of the barrel, the decision was made to secure the barreled action into the stock with a bedding block. On top of the action is an angled Picatinny rail with 20-MOA built-in to allow long-range shooting without using up the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle is currently fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scope held in alloy rings.

Details of SALVA Action
The rifle features a light Dural alloy right bolt, right port, single-shot action treated and coated with a champagne-color surface hardener. The action is hexagonal in shape (normal for a French action), with a flat base for improved bedding. On this particular gun, however, the action is floated, with the barreled action secured by the long barrel block. Take a good look at the photo below. Yes, the action on is fully-floated — the barrel block secures the barreled action into the wood stock. This is similar to some Benchreast heavy guns.

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Christian Salva produces his actions from scratch, employing high-tech machinery, including CNC multi-axis mills. The advanced design allows the action to be very strong as well as light. The SALVA action is very thick and sturdy, in spite of its weight being reduced to a minimum. It can chamber cartridges from the 6mmBR size up to magnum calibers such as the 300 Win Mag. A treated steel insert is screwed into the front of the action. This is threaded to receive the barrel and machined to receive the locking lugs of the bolt. The threaded section is especially long (36mm with a 1.5mm thread) so as to ensure proper rigidity for the unit. Where the bolt lever closes, a steel insert, screwed into place with a BTR screw, prevents the steel bolt lever from wearing the softer Dural alloy of the action.

Tri-Lug Bolt with Extractor and Ejector in Lugs
The cylindrical all-steel bolt has a diameter of 0.906″ (23mm) and three (3) front locking lugs. The bolt design has BOTH extractor and ejector placed in locking lugs. Salva’s goal, in engineering the position and operation of both extractor and ejector, was to reduce side pressure on the cartridge. The extractor is designed to hold a cartridge case in place with minimal lateral displacement. The ejector is also built into one of the three lugs. [Editor’s Note: Many modern benchrest actions, such as the Stolle Panda, Stiller Viper, and some BATs employ an extractor in the lug. This is also a feature on Savage bolts and push-feed Model 70 Winchesters. However, these bolts do not have the ejector in a lug as well.]

Remarkably, the ejector has no spring, unlike most bolt designs. It should be noted that this springless ejector is designed to eliminate side pressure when chambering a round, thus keeping the round concentric in the chamber. The ejector is mechanical and will eject the case if the shooter pulls the bolt all the way back. If the shooter prefers to extract the case by hand, one simply pulls the bolt part way back. The 1.5″ (38mm) bolt lever is fairly short, but it has an oversize 30mm polymer knob to facilitate the opening and closing of the bolt.

French Gun, German Barrel — a 29″ Lothar Walther
On Aliénore’s rifle, the barrel is the only component not manufactured by SALVA in Toulouse. For the barrel, Christian Salva chose a stainless Lothar Walther, 6-groove barrel, with a 1:8″-twist for handling 105gr bullets. The muzzle is milled with an 11º slope so as to handle boat-tail VLD bullets. This German-made Walther tube has a 1.22″ (31mm) straight contour and is 29″ (74mm) in length. This long, non-tapered barrel is heavy enough that Salva decided to mount it with an alloy bedding block, about 8″ long (20 cm). Ten Allen-head screws clamp the block to the barrel, while the lower section of the bedding block is secured to the wood stock with eight screws and bedding compound.

Proprietary SALVA Trigger
The trigger is also manufactured by SALVA in its entirety, from Christian’s own design. Overall trigger pull weight adjusts from 50-250 grams (1.8 oz. – 8.8 oz.). The SALVA trigger can also adjust for: Longitudinal trigger position (Length of Pull); Over-travel; Main travel; Second-stage pressure; and Sear engagement.

Cartridge and Load Info
The rifle is chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua. Aurélien starts with Lapua 6.5×47 cases. These are then necked-down to 6mm and neck-sized with a .265″ bushing. The necks are turned very slightly, to ensure neckwall uniformity, and achieve a consistent grip on the bullet. Aurélien loads Berger 105gr VLD bullets, pushed by Vihtavuori N160 powder and small magnum primers. His preferred load is 38.2 grains of N160 with a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 2.732″ (69.40 mm). With this load, muzzle velocity is 2854 fps (870 meters per second) chronographed one meter from the muzzle. [Editor’s note–this is a very mild load. The 6-6.5×47 can drive 105-grainers over 3100 fps.]

How the Rifle Shoots

Smooth Function + Great Accuracy
When firing using a front rest, the recoil of a 9 kg, 6-6.5×47 Lapua rifle is minimal and ideal for a lady. The operation of the rifle is trouble-free, even if a few rounds were initially a bit stiff on loading for the first time. Thereafter everything sorted itself out very nicely. The action of the bolt is solid and one can feel that everything is very snug and that the tolerances are properly tight.

The versatile trigger rivals the best benchrest triggers, with the additional bonus of a single- or two-stage operation. That said, with a minimum pull-weight of 50 grams (1.8 oz.) perhaps the term “two-stage” is not the best description, since it is difficult to detect a let-off point at that weight. The trigger can be set to be a very light, single-stage let-off.

The rifle is fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR model scope. This high-magnification optic enables the shooter to see his/her bullet holes at 400 meters in good light. This is very useful when it comes to adjusting for wind. The stock’s adjustability and ergonomics allow the shooter to feel comfortable using this rifle. The Anschütz butt-plate and easily-adjustable height of the cheek piece help in that regard.

This rifle has demonstrated some impressive accuracy. Below is a group shot by Aurélien at 400 meters (437.4 yards) on C200 targets. Using OnTarget group measuring software, we calculated this 5-shot group at 0.555″ or 0.121 MOA. That’s remarkable for a gun shooting long, VLD-style bullets. At 100 meters the rifle has yielded “one-ragged hole” groups.

alie rifle 6-6.5x47 accuracy

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August 16th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Patriot 1000-Yard Rifles for Williamsport

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

Report by Andrew Murtagh
I’ve been a long range shooter for the past 17 years. Like most shooters in this game I’ve built, bought, and sold numerous rifles during my tenure. Here’s my tale of two special rifles, a Heavy Gun and a Light Gun, both sporting Patriotic stock graphics. I shoot both of these rifles in competition at Reade Range and The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Club, aka “Williamsport”, where I serve as Club Vice-President.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

My two Patriots were both acquired second-hand from a fellow shooter, Mike Bonchack. As purchased, they were very different from what they are now. I first decided to rechamber them using my reamers. The Light Gun (LG) is now chambered in 6×47 Lapua with 0.267″ neck, while the Heavy Gun (HG) is a 6mm Dasher with 0.266″ neck. After re-chambering the barrels, next I decided to get both guns up to maximum weight. The LG already had an adjustable weight system so it was easy to get it to 17 pounds. For the HG, I added an additional 25 pounds of lead/epoxy fill which was milled into the barrel channel and butt stock.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

The Story Behind the Patriotic Graphics
I was initially going to have the LG painted until a close friend and fellow shooter, Tom Murtiff, suggested hydrographics. I landed on the patriotic theme because I’m a right-wing leaning Constitutionalist who still believes in the principles upon which our Founding Fathers built this nation. I wanted to express my support of our country’s Constitution and its Amendments. The search for the perfect patriot print was on.

This was my first hydrographic print experience and I was overwhelmed with the sheer number and variety of prints available. I spent a few days searching when I found the Amendment print. I then contacted Rick Schuh, owner of Boyzhid Hydrographics. He then prepped, hydro-dipped, and clear-coated the LG. Late in 2017 I purchased the HG and through a lengthy process in 2018 the metal work and stock additions were completed. I was now back in search of the perfect print. This was also lengthy, and I couldn’t find anything that spoke to me except for a suggestion to have “twin” rifles. I liked the idea — a pair of “Patriots!”

Rick was again employed to dip the Heavy Gun. That became a real undertaking because the stock alone (no metal attached) now weighed 35 pounds. He had to manufacture reinforced hangers to apply the graphics without flaw. The stock came out perfect to my eye, but not to his. On the bottom, which is rarely seen on any HG, he airbrushed a small flag to cover an area that stretched the print. Rick also made a jeweled plate for the toe of the butt.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

I’m including this image so everyone can see Rick’s extra effort to make the HG perfect. I often joke with him about the added work no one would see. Well now the world can view his workmanship.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

1000-Yard Heavy Gun Specifications:

Kelbly Stolle F-Class Panda dual-port, right eject with Kelbly Picatinny rail
Modified Ryan Miller HG stock bedded/pillared/weighted by David Powley
Bartlein 1:8.5-8″ gain-twist 0.236″ bore barrel
— chambered in 6mm Dasher 0.266″ neck by David Powley
Ryan Miller barrel-block fitted with nylon bushing by David Powley
Harrell’s muzzle brake
Jewell trigger
Optic One: NightForce 12-42x56mm NXS in Vortex rings
Optic Two: Leupold 7-35x56mm Mark 5 HD in Leupold rings

1000-Yard Light Gun Specifications:

BAT Machine B Action RB/LP/RE
McMillan MBR stock bedded by David Powley
Bartlein 1:8″-twist 0.237″ bore 30″ barrel
— chambered in 6×47 Lapua 0.267″ neck by David Powley
Harrell’s radial muzzle brake
Jewell trigger
NightForce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope in Harrell’s rings

Stock Graphics: Both rifles share a Patriot Constitution Hydrographic print (and clear-coat) by Rick Schuh of BoyzHid Hygrogaphics.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

How to Succeed in the 1K Benchrest Games — Q & A with Andrew

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

Q: How Do You Choose a Chambering/Cartridge for a particular Match or Relay?

Andrew: Cartridge choice depends on the wind forecast. I always have several rifles with particular cartridge/loads for each depending on the forecast. If it’s a light wind day, say 4 to 8 mph with light gusts, I’ll be shooting either a 6×47 Lapua or a 6mm Dasher. If it’s blowing around 10 to 12 mph, I’ll campaign a 6×47 on its high node to get it down range flat. But if it’s really blowing or constantly changing direction, I shoot a big .300 WSM with either 200gr or 210gr bullet.

Q: What Is Your Load Development Method?

Andrew: Initial load development is always done over the chronograph at 100 yards until I get low ES/SD for 5 shots utilizing the same 10 pieces of absolutely perfect brass. Once I’m satisfied with the raw data I move to 1000 yards with a set of match brass and shoot 5-shot strings to find the best-performing exact powder charge. I have found this is usually within 0.20 grains of what performs well over the chronograph.

Q: What Brass, Primers, Powders, and Bullets Do You Use?

Andrew: I use Lapua brass for all things 6mm and Norma brass for my big .30 Cal stuff. I never change primers and shoot CCI BR2s or BR4s. I’m a Varget and H4350 fan. I’ve tried other powders, but they never were fruitful at 1K. Currently the only bullets I shoot are Sierra Match Kings. In the 6mm Dasher and 6×47 Lapua I use the 6mm 107gr SMK. In my .300 WSM I use .308-cal 200gr and 210gr SMKs.

Q: What Advice Do You Have for Novice 1000-Yard Competitors?

Andrew: Leave your ego at home and be willing to learn each and every time you come to the range. The discipline evolves rapidly and so must the shooter. It won’t take long to get left behind and become extremely frustrated with the game if you are not willing to learn and adapt. Find a tutor who is a great shooter and who is willing to mentor you. John Hoover and Tom Murtiff helped me and are very dear friends and great 1000-yard shooters. Believe me, having a good mentor takes years off the learning curve. Lastly, enroll in the Benchrest Shooting School offered by The Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club. I’m an instructor there and I, along with all the cadre, will help new shooters rapidly advance their skills.

Q: What’s the Secret to Judging the Wind? (In this discipline there are no target markers after each shot.)

Andrew: That’s the million-dollar question. What I do is find the condition that seems to hold. Once I’m committed into the record string, I follow it to the end. At Williamsport the wind flags can change at every distance so you simply need to pick one flag and hope it’s the one that remains truthful.

Long Range Competition Advice from a Leading 1K Benchrest Competitor

FIVE Key points to remember when shooting 1000-Yard benchrest

1. Be positive and have a clear state of mind when competing.

2. Bench set-up and shooting mechanics must always be the same — every shot. Then follow the shot through your optic.

3. Shoot two (2) shots before making a scope adjustment unless you’re under a minute of the sighter period.

4. Trust yourself and your equipment. You never want to second guess anything you put on the line.

5. Once you commit to shooting your record string, DO NOT STOP.

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

Invitation to Join Andrew at Williamsport in Pennsylvania
I currently serve as Vice President of The Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club, PA1000yard.com. Situated near the municipality of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, it has become known as the “Williamsport Club”. We would like to invite any shooting enthusiast to come out and visit our club during a match weekend. My rifles are only a sampling of the beauty and craftsmanship that is often on display at Williamsport’s 1000-yard line. Please stop by and visit with us.

Here are UPCOMING EVENTS at our club this summer and in 2021:

Light Gun and Heavy Gun Match #5, August 22/23, 2020
Light Gun and Heavy Gun Match Match #6, September 12/13, 2020
Light Gun and Heavy Gun Match Match #7, September 26/27, 2020

Long Range Benchrest School June, 2021
Annual 1000-Yard World Open Match July, 2021

Andrew wanted to give credit to the many talented guys who have helped with his rifle builds and his reloading equipment. In alphabetical order, these are Mike Bonchack, John Hoover, Tom Murtiff, David Powley, and Rich Schuh (Boyzhid Hydrographics).

Original Pennsyvlanvia 1000 Yard Club Williamsport Andrew Any Murtagh 1K Heavy Gun Light Gun 6mm Dasher 6x47 Lapua

(more…)

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July 26th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Sharpshootin’ Shannon — Talented 11-Year-Old

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

11-year-old Shannon Moriarty is one of the youngest High Power Service Rifle competitors in the USA, having just started High Power competition last year. She shoots almost weekly with her dad, Christopher Moriarty, at matches in Maryland, her home state, as well as neighboring states. She also shoots .22 LR smallbore with an Anschutz M64 1903, and has recently started competitive air rifle shooting with a Walther LG 400. She is truly a young “phenom”. Before even reaching her teen years, she has earned NRA Across-the-Course Master and CMP Master Classifications in High Power divisions.

Shannon shot this 100-5X today in a team match at Reade Range in PA. Way to Go Girl!
Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

A year and a half after her first-ever High Power match, Shannon Moriarty of Maryland has made significant strides in her scores, experiences, and level of competition. At only 11 years old, she is an inspiration for young shooters. Shannon has gathered success from a combination of natural talent and hard work through dry-fire training and now cross-training with air rifle.

CMP Profile on Shannon Here: Training with Maryland Junior Shannon Moriarty

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
Just 11 years old, Shannon already shows great standing form in Service Rifle competition.

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
Here is Shannon shooting smallbore prone with her Anschutz M64 1903 Target.

Two Talented Ladies — Champion Shooter and Future Champion?

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Shannon says that SSG Amanda Elsenboss, of the USAMU (former) and All-Guard (current) Teams, is her marksmanship inspiration and role model. Elsenboss was the 2019 NRA High Power Long Range Champion. Elsenboss helped Shannon progress in Service Rifle competition by giving Shannon an expensive match trigger that Amanda had won in a competition. Elsenboss was Shannon’s original Small Arms Firing School Coach at the CMP Eastern Games when Shannon first started shooting High Power. She is the person Shannon looks up to most in the shooting world.

“Amanda Elsenboss was scoring me”, Shannon said. “After I finished the match, I was putting away my gear at the truck. Amanda walked over and gave me a brand new Geissele trigger which she won during the NTI for High Woman in 2015″. Elsenboss then told Shannon: “You can have this trigger which I got for winning high woman. Once you win yourself one, you can give this one back to me”.

Shannon has set several goals for her marksmanship career. These include a spot on the President’s 100 at the National Matches, High Master classification, and earning a Distinguished Badge. She also wants to fire a perfect score at 600 yards, something she watched Elsenboss do.

Dry Fire Training with SCATT System

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

To improve her position shooting, Shannon uses the SCATT Dry Fire Training system. This tracks muzzle movement during the entire aiming cycle. A trace appears on a screen. Shannon’s father Chris posted: “Shannon [often does] SCATT training first thing in the morning. She’s holding the aiming black so far. Can’t think of too many 11-year-olds that would be excited to practice — this is absolutely a lot of work!”

Shannon Shoots with Father Christopher Moriarty as a Team

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Shannon got her start in shooting watching her father Christopher at matches. Now she often shoots side-by-side in matches. He also coaches her in team matches. Above you can see Shannon competing with her father in a two-person Vintage Sniper Match. Dad posted: “This pic is cool — we’re shooting a Springfield 1903 A4 USMC sniper rifle, 2X scope, .30-06 at 600 yards in Vermont. We’ll be doing this again!”

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
Father and daughter “Pair Firing” at 200 yards.

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

CLICK HERE to see Shannon shoot a 300-yard rapid fire prone relay at the 2019 CMP New England Games, CMP Cup match in Jericho, Vermont. NOTE: You will be directed to Facebook to watch.

Triple-Threat Shannon — HP Service Rifle, Smallbore, Air Rifle

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Shannon also competes in rimfire matches with an Anschutz M64 1903 Target Rifle, and has recently started training with a Walther LG 400 Alutec Expert Air Rifle. She says the Air Rifle work has improved her hold and trigger control.

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Chris notes: “Here is Shannon with her Precision Air Rifle. This should take her through the next few years in 10 Meter Air. It is a Walther LG 400 Alutec Expert with inside/outside sights. I’m very excited for her to begin training with it. I’m also really looking forward to watching her progress in this discipline. I wonder what she’ll name it? Her service rifle is named ‘Cameron’….”

Mom Frames Shannon’s First Clean 300-Yard High Power Target

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

Shannon’s mother framed Shannon’s first 300-Yard Rapid Fire CLEAN — 100-5X! This will get hung in her room. This was shot at Camp Butner, NC using her new Krieger barrel from Krieger Direct. And guess what, Shannon shot another 100-5X at 300 yards today, July 25, 2020. Look at the top of the page. Not many 11-year-olds can shoot like this!

Krieger Barrels is Now Sponsoring Shannon Moriarty
Shannon Moriarty is now sponsored by Krieger Barrels. Chris Moriarty stated: “Krieger marketing reached out to [us] to offer their assistance and sponsorship to Shannon in her High Power rifle journey! Thank you so much Krieger and Mr. Todd House.”

Krieger sponsor Shannon Moriarty

Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
Gary Andersen, DCM Emeritus, knows a few things about marksmanship. Here he congratulates young Shannon Moriarty at a CMP Match.

Training with the SCATT System — How It Works

This text from Training with Maryland Junior Shannon Moriarty:

Shannon has followed a strict training regimen[.] She attributes a lot of her success to her heavy usage of the SCATT system – an electronic training tool that uses computer software to monitor hold, follow-through, focus, and other shot elements. Shannon shoots 30 shots standing, plus sighters, with a SCATT trainer three times a week, every week. She sometimes practices prone shooting too.

“There’s a feature in SCATT system for acoustic signaling for blind shooting and biofeedback. When using this feature, there is a very high frequency tone when you go into one of the rings”. Shannon and her father, Chris, set this tone to sound when they are holding in the ten ring. “The goal is to shoot a 10 or an X and then keep it there for three seconds”, Shannon says. “And the tone should still be on for those three seconds.”

Though it is easier to shoot with the tone, the reason for using it is to help improve and learn trigger squeeze and follow-through. Shannon usually shoots 10 shots without the tone, preceded and followed by a 10-shot string with the tone.

The use of the SCATT system makes it possible for Shannon to train during the winter months and during the school year, when it can be hard to get to a range. The system allows her to continue to train at home but with more information than dry-firing alone provides.

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June 14th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Handsome F-TR Rig Built for James Crofts

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

A multi-time F-TR National Champion, James “Jimmy” Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class competitors. And now this F-TR ace has a stunning new rifle in his arsenal. AccurateShooter Forum member CigarCop, head honcho of KW Precision LLC, recently completed a new F-TR rig for Crofts. This handsome, state-of-the-art rifle features top-tier components: Borden action, twin Brux barrels, Cerus RifleWorks F-TR Stock, and Jewell trigger, all resting on a wide-base Phoenix Bipod.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

James Jim Crofts f-class f-tr rifle brux borden cerus
James Crofts photo by Kent Reeve.

Have a good look at these photos below. Yes, envy is the appropriate reaction. With the smooth operation of the Borden action and the predictable accuracy of Brux barrels, we bet James’s new rig will shoot as good as it looks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

CigarCop actually chambered two barrels for James, with different fluting patterns — conventional linear flutes for one tube, and lines of staggered ovals for the other. Finished length for both barrels is 30″. Yes it looks cool, but the fluting was done mainly to save weight with the 30″-long lengths. CigarCop tells us the complete rifle, without scope and rings, weighs just under 15 pounds. Max allowed weight for an F-TR rifle, with scope, is 18.18 pounds (8.25 kg).

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

To learn more about this impressive F-TR rifle build by CigarCop, visit our AccurateShooter Forum and read KW Precision’s F-TR Gun-Building Thread. The stock was created on an automated CNC milling machine by Cerus Rifleworks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

When James Crofts is not shooting his .308 Win F-TR rig,
he often trains with a .22 LR Rimfire rifle. Read on…

Rimfire Training for F-Class Competitors

2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”

Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skills by James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.

Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR
This Rimfire rifle features a CMP-sourced Rem 40X barreled action, PR&T Low Boy stock, Jewell trigger, and Phoenix bipod. The gun was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool. James Crofts told us: “The project turned out awesome — the rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.”

Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen, you can still get a 500-round brick of very good .22 LR match ammo for around $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. The top match-grade, .308-cal centerfire bullets can cost around $60 per hundred. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder. Finally you have to consider your precious centerfire barrel life lost to practice.

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June 7th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Barrel-Block F-Open Beast from Ireland

Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

Today’s Sunday GunDay story features a beautiful F-Open rifle from Ireland. This was crafted a few years back, but it’s still one of our favorites. It has a handsome thumbhole custom stock, and it boasts an unusual chambering — the .300 Blaser Magnum. This impressive rig carries its barreled action in a massive barrel block — not often found in F-Class rigs.

.300 Blaser Magnum Cartridge F-ClassHere’s a very impressive F-Class project from Enda Walsh of Custom & Precision Rifles in Ireland. This rifle features a free-floated BAT Machines ‘M’ action with a Benchmark barrel chambered in .300 Blaser Magnum (300 BM). The barreled action is secured with a large barrel block. This handsome, long-wheelbase F-Class rig demonstrated some stunning accuracy at 1000 yards when it was brand new. Enda tells us: “I couldn’t wait until the rifle was fully polished before testing. I went to MNSCI (Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland) to shoot my new barrel block rifle. I came home with a huge smile on my face after shooting a five-shot group with 1.5″ vertical and 3″ horizontal at 1000 yards in an 8 mph wind.”

Click Photo for full-screen version
Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

AUDIO FILE: Enda Walsh Talks about his New .300 BM Barrel Block F-Open Rifle.

Below you can see the barrel block in the handsome Padouk wood and carbon fiber stock. Enda uses high-spec epoxy layered between the barrel and the aluminum barrel block. Yes, those three “super-sized” cartridges are .300 Blaser Magnums loaded with with 230gr Berger Hybrids. The smaller cartridge is a .308 Win (with 150gr bullet), provided for comparison. This .300 BM drives the 230s at 3140 FPS.

Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

CLICK HERE for Horizontal Version of above photo.

.300 Blaser Magnum Cartridge F-Class.300 BM Runs 230-grainers at 3140 FPS!
Enda tells us: “I wanted something to beat the 300 WSM. After studying the .300 Blaser Magnum, I decided this was the [chambering] that could deliver high accuracy consistently and be able to shoot the 230gr Bergers at 3140 FPS. Using H1000 powder, they do very well but the case life is short at these speeds. We have backed them off a little and retained the accuracy and extended case life considerably.”

Enda says the 230gr Hybrids at 3140 fps drift much less in the wind than do 7mm 180gr Hybrids launched from a 7mm WSM. A quick run through JBM Ballistics for a 10 mph, full-value crosswind at 1000 yards (sea-level) tells the tale. JBM predicts 4.2 MOA horizontal deflection for the .30-caliber 230s at 3140 fps vs. 5.0 MOA for the 7mm 180s at 3050 fps. That 0.8 MOA difference represents more than 8 inches at 1000 yards. When you consider the small size of the F-Open X-Ring, you can see how the enhanced ballistics could be a game-changer in the wind.

Note the metal bag-rider “keel” on the underside of the buttstock.
Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

Barrel Block Acts as Heat Sink
Enda needed a way to beat the heat, with this big case. He explains: “Because of the large case volume (roughly 82 grains of usable capacity) there are two issues. Firstly, throat wear, and secondly heat. To combat this I have a new reamer on order with slight alterations which will help the throat wear. To combat the heat affecting a 34″ barrel I decided to build a barrel block rifle. It was previously mounted in a standard stock, and when the barrel got too hot accuracy was an issue. The barrel block acts as a heat sink and also shortens the overhanging barrel considerably, which has greatly improved accuracy over a complete string. The block is made from aircraft grade aluminium.” As a final note, Enda wanted to thank Pacific Tool & Gauge for the special-order reamers.

More .300 Blaser Magnum F-Classers from Enda Walsh in Ireland
Here are three more .300 Blaser Magnum F-Class rifles Enda built for the 2014 European Championships at the Bisley Range in the UK. The color scheme comes from the Irish Flag.

Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

And here is Enda Walsh himself shooting of of these rifles in Ireland:

Enda Walsh F-Class Ireland

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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.

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April 26th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Joe’s Tack-Driving 6mmBR Eliseo Tubegun

Eliseo 6mmbr 6BR R5 Tubegun factory ammo

This story first ran ten years ago. But to mark our long-standing friendships with shooter Joe Friedrich and chassis builder Gary Eliseo, we wanted to reprise the article for a new decade. Joe’s Eliseo-chassis 6BR rifle delivered some of the most stunning factory ammo accuracy we’ve ever seen, in any rifle, in any caliber.

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 TubegunAmazing Accuracy from 6mmBR Tubegun
What kind of accuracy do you think a tubegun can deliver with factory ammo — during barrel break-in? Perhaps 0.6″ at 100 yards, half-MOA if the conditions are perfect? Well you may want to change your preconceptions about tubeguns — and factory ammo. This Eliseo R5 repeater, smithed by John Pierce with a Pierce CM action and Broughton 5C barrel, shot the Lapua 90gr factory ammo into flat ONEs during the break-in session. A day later, in tricky 8-14 mph winds, the gun nailed a witnessed and software-measured 0.174″ 5-shot group using the 105gr factory ammo. That would be impressive for a “full-race” benchgun with precision handloads. For an across-the-course rifle shooting factory ammo, it’s pretty amazing.

Eliseo Tubegun Shoots in the Ones
This accurate rifle belongs to our friend (and designated expert trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. During the initial break-in session, since his reloading dies had not yet arrived, Joe decided to start with some Lapua factory-loaded 6BR ammo he had on hand. After doing a few two-shot-and-clean cycles (with patches and nylon brush), Joe decided to try a 3-round group just to see if the Broughton barrel had some potential. To his astonishment, the Eliseo R5 put three rounds in 0.100″ (photo below left). Joe then cleaned the barrel again, shot a couple foulers and tried a 4-shot group. The results were just as stunning — 4 shots in a mere 0.104″ but three in virtually one hole (photo below right).

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 Tubegun

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 TubegunEliseo 6mmbr R5 Tubegun

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 Tubegun

Joe’s Halloween 6BR Tubegun SPECS
Chassis: Eliseo R5 Repeater, fitted with Eliseo Front Sled and Rear Bag-Rider.
Gunsmithing: Pierce Engineering Ltd..
Chambering: 6mmBR Norma, .272″ No-turn Neck, approx. 0.090″ freebore.
Action: Pierce Engineering, Rem 700 footprint, Chrome-Moly, fluted bolt.
Barrel: Broughton 5C (Canted Land), 27.5″, 1:8″ twist, Medium Palma contour.
Trigger: CG X-Treme Two-Stage.
Optics: March (Kelbly’s) 10-60x52mm.
Ammunition: Lapua 6mmbr 90gr Scenar BT (#4316045, non-moly), 105gr Scenar BT (#4316046, non-moly ).

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 TubegunYou Can’t Believe How This Gun Shoots
Joe called your Editor and said “You can’t believe how this gun shoots with factory ammo!”. So we arranged a photo session for the next afternoon, where I could verify the rifle’s accuracy. Well it turned out the conditions were way more challenging than when Joe broke in the barrel the day before. Winds were running 8-14 mph and were swinging through 180 degrees half-way down the range. Joe fired a few 90s through the Oehler chronograph at my request, then opened a box of Lapua 105gr factory ammo. It took about four rounds for the barrel to settle in after being cleaned the night before. Then Joe got serious, and with your Editor looking over his shoulder, he drilled a 0.174″ five-shot group in switching winds, doping every shot. Joe felt the gun could have shot tighter but he missed one wind call.

Serious Accuracy with a Multi-Purpose Rifle
So there you have it — a tubegun that shoots in the ones with factory ammo. Joe says that, at least with the 90s, the Elesio R5 shoots as well as his 6 PPC. Joe stressed that “steering the tubegun is hard work. You really have to concentrate compared to a purpose-built bench gun like my PPC. With the tubegun, everything has to be perfect on every shot — hand position, cheek position, stock position in the bag. If you’re off just a little bit, it’s easy to steer the gun the wrong way and send a shot out of the group.”

Accuracy Great But Fouling Heavy and ES Could Be Better
Have there been any negatives to Joe’s 6BR tubegun experiment so far? Well, the Broughton 5C barrel, while phenomenally accurate, shows signs of being a bad fouler. Copper built up pretty quickly over the first 25 rounds or so. We saw best accuracy with a recently-cleaned barrel. Hopefully the fouling will lessen as the barrel polishes in with use. And the canted land barrel is slower than average with the factory ammo. Lapua rates its 90gr naked-bullet ammo at 2950 fps with a 26″ tube. In Joe’s 27.5″ barrel we only averaged 2901 fps. With the 105gr factory ammo, which is rated at 2790 fps, we averaged just 2694 fps. That’s quite disappointing. Also the ES on the factory ammo, slightly over 50 fps for both bullet types, wasn’t particularly good. Still, the overall results were stunning. This gun shoots better than many long-range benchrest rifles running carefully-developed handloads — and it does that with factory ammo, right out of the box.

Eliseo 6mmbr R5 Tubegun
Joe Friedrich is a superb benchrest shooter, who has won many matches and set National Records in ARA rimfire benchrest competition. Here is Joe with “Sweet Pea”, his favorite .22 LR rimfire rig. With over 100,000 rounds through the Benchmark barrel, this well-worn rifle set an ARA 4-target Aggregate record! READ about Sweat Pea Record HERE.

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April 12th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Ernie Bishop’s Bolt-Action Specialty Pistols

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

Specialty Pistols — Report from Ernie Bishop in Wyoming

For those who know of me in the shooting world, you would probably know me in one of two ways: Dealer for SEB Rests or someone who does most of his competing, varminting, and or hunting with specialty pistols. These are typically bolt-action, single-shot rigs that can be used with a bipod. They can seem very similar to a pistol-grip rifle, but without a conventional buttstock.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

My interest in all things specialty pistols (Remington XP-100, TC Contender, MOA Maximum, Pachmayr Dominator, H-S Precision HSP, etc.) goes back to the early 1980s. Most of the specialty pistols listed are no longer made, so when I discovered that Kauger Arms was making two, I was excited. I have not had much time to shoot my new Kauger “Black Widow” chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. But so far, the experience has been fun, even though I have not taken it prairie dog shooting yet or hunted big game with it. For this report, I went to my friend Dan’s place as one can load in the house, and simply shoot off his back porch.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

When thinking of a precision shooting platform, most of you would not consider a wood back porch as ideal. But we managed a 0.179″ 3-shot group at 100 yards using a Harris bipod and a small leather bag. Yes the Black Widow can shoot! My load was Lapua brass, Federal 205M primers, Varget powder, and the Hornady 123gr A-Max, with a MV of 2514 fps. I selected the Hornady 123s with prairie dogs in mind. As shown in the top photo, the scope on the Black Widow is a Sightron S-III 6-24 with a Holland’s scope level. The Black Widow also sports a Holland’s Radial Baffle brake.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP
Here is the Black Widow with a different scope base and scope, ready to go on Dan’s porch.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSPThe day we planned to shoot prairie dogs was windy, so we headed to public land nearby and set up steel to get ballistics drop info and simply to play at distance. We had 5″ steel at 220 yards, 10″ steel (diamond) at 510 yards, and 10″ steel (square) at 650 yards. Wind was from 8 mph to just over 20 mph, so the little 123 grainer was getting tossed about, while keeping us humble all at the same time. Regardless of the gusty winds, I considered the session a success!

Kauger Arms has been making parts for a number of companies in the firearm industry for over 20 years. In 2014 when things slowed down for them, they decided to start building rifles and decided to make their own actions. Good decision — these actions, which are machined in a single process to keep everything true to the bore, are great. Bolt manipulation with Kauger’s action is the smoothest I have ever experienced.

Tim Kauger explained features of his actions to me. The Kauger cock-on-opening action has a Rem 700 footprint for action holes and trigger shoe. The semi-coned bolt features a floating bolt head which is slightly smaller than the bolt body. The firing pin assembly is 1/4-turn removable. There are user-changeable bolt body and knob options. There is a side bolt release above the stock line. All moving surfaces are nitrided. This can be ordered single shot, feed rails or DBM cut. Also the long action will accept up to a .338 Lapua/.300 Norma Mag if ordered that way (with 1.25″ barrel cylinder).

Kauger Arms offers a right-hand or left-hand grip, which is very comfortable. I shot the Black Widow both right-handed and left-handed with no problems whatsoever. Kauger Arms can build the Black Widow in many more chamberings than the two that are listed on the KaugerArms.com website.

New left-bolt/left port action from Kauger Arms — To the specialty pistol shooters reading and to those considering entering the SP world, Kauger Arms has listened to your requests and is working on a left bolt/left port short action that will be offered either as a single-shot action or with bottom metal. You grip the pistol with your right hand, then run the bolt with your left-hand.

Specialty Pistol 2 — The Camo .223 Remington HSP

Here is another one of Ernie Bishop’s specialty pistols. This eye-catching camo-stocked rig was crafted by H-S Precision. Sadly, H-S Precision is not making these HSP pistols anymore. This .223 Remington features a 1:7″-twist, 15-inch-long H-S barrel fitted with the “H” Brake. On top is a Burris XTR-III 5.5-30x56mm scope with SCR 2 MIL reticle and Burris rings.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSPGreat Results with Varget + 77gr Sierra TMKs
Ernie tells us: “For a load, I have been running Lapua brass, Rem 7.5 primers, Varget, and the 77 grain Sierra TMK. Muzzle Velocity is 2675 FPS. As you can see, it shoots pretty well. Shown at right is a measured 0.265″ 3-shot group at 100 yards, shot from Harris bipod and small field bag.

Previous to this, I was shooting Federal Match ammo with the 77 grain SMK (MV was 2500 fps), with prairie dog kills past 600 yards, and have played on steel out to 1000 yards. This H-S specialty pistol is great for young or old alike, for novice shooters or experienced shooters. Everyone needs a fast twist .223 Remington!”

Here is my friend Dan shooting the .223 Rem HSP with factory ammo during a prairie dog trip.
.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Handguns, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
March 22nd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Desert Tech SRS-A1 7mm RSAUM Bullpup

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum
Here is the view from 9500 feet ASL. The SRS in 7mm Rem SAUM almost outran the Swarovski laser…

7mm RSAUM in a bolt-action bullpup? Yes it works. A talented shooter, who calls himself “ColdboreMiracle” in social media, has a Desert Tech SRS-A1 rifle chambered for the 7mm RSAUM, and it hammers. The 7mm Remington SAUM (Short Action Ultra Magnum) is popular with F-Open competition shooters. It can also work well for long-range hunting and tactical tasks. Learn more about the 7mm Remington SAUM in our 7mm Cartridge Guide.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

ColdboreMiracle owns the SRS-A1 “covert” model, which has a shorter handguard than the standard SRS-A1 model shown below. Desert Tech now offers an SRS-A2 model which has an M-LOK handguard and some refinements to the chassis.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

Here is a detailed video review of a Desert Tech SRS chambered in .308 Win. You can see a close-up of a 100-yard 5-shot group at time-mark 6:25:

Here is a review of the newer SRS-A2 Covert (shorter model), after 1000 rounds. The reviewer believe the SRS bullpup’s shorter length offers some advantages for precision shooters:

ColdboreMiracle says the bullpup design has many advantages: “The Stealth Recon Scout (SRS) rifle from Desert Tech is a bullpup-configured precision rifle with a shorter length than many carbines. The SRS has a multitude of barrel options that can be swapped in under a minute — all of them come with a 1/2-MOA accuracy guarantee and return to zero. The SRS’s bullpup design puts the rifle’s COG closer to the shoulder, making the rifle balance better off-hand. The straight-line geometry of the SRS makes recoil seem lighter, and barrel hop is reduced, allowing the shooter to stay on target better. It takes a little getting used to, when converting from a traditionally-configured bolt gun. But once you do, you won’t go back.” To learn more about this rifle (and other Desert Tech arms), visit ColdboreMiracle’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

The 7mm RSAUM — Why It Was Chosen for this SRS

ColdboreMiracle explains how he selected the 7mm Rem SAUM chambering for his Desert Tech SRS Bullpup: “I just did a comparison between barrel life, velocity, brass, etc. and came to the SAUM. I can tell you this, if you go with one for your SRS, make sure you use long bullets like the 183 or 195, and seat them long. That will aid in smooth cycling.”

Mr. ColdboreMiracle tested the new generation 183gr Sierra MatchKings (item # 1983). These impressive projectiles are “tipped” at the factory. Claimed G1 BC is a lofty 0.707 (at 2300 fps and above). We have heard other reports that these bullets “hold waterline” exceptionally well at 1000 yards. That indicates the bullet-to-bullet BC is very consistent. No doubt the factory uniforming/pointing of the bullet tips helps in that regard.

As you can see, these 183-grainers shoot well in ColdboreMiracle’s SRS rifle. Here are five shots at 100 yards. That’s very impressive for a tactical-style rifle shot from a field-type bipod.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

ColdboreMiracle says: “This is the only reason I need to shoot Sierra bullets. On the right (above) you can see the results of the 183gr SMK from my 7mm SAUM. Five shots at 100. A huge thanks to Mark at Short Action Customs, LLC for [chambering this barrel] for my Desert Tech SRS.”

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

7mm Remington SAUM — Key Considerations

7mm RSAUM short action ultra magnum mag remingtoIn some respects, the 7mm SAUM cartridge may be better than the 7mm WSM. The 7mm SAUM holds less powder — but that’s a good thing, since the capacity is more than adequate to do the job. You can drive the 180s at 3000 fps with a SAUM using less powder than with a WSM. Additionally, the SAUM case has a slightly longer neck. This gives you greater flexibility in bullet seating. With a long neck you can set the throat so the long 180+ graing bullets are above the neck shoulder junction, yet you can still seat shorter hunting bullets close to the lands. Additionally, long case necks, some believe, cause less throat erosion than shorter necks. That’s not “hard science” but it is certainly a view shared by many experienced shooters. The long neck is one reason many varminters favor the 6mm Remington over the .243 Winchester.

7mm RSAUM Is More Efficient than 7mm WSM
7mm RSAUM shooter Steven Ikeeda tells us: “I decided that some type of 7mm was the ticket for doing well at 1000-yard matches, especially if one could drive the high-BC bullets at 2900+ fps. Looking over various 7mm cartridges that could produce those velocities (and didn’t require case-forming), I was impressed by the 7mm SAUM and the 7mm WSM. According to the load manuals, the 7mm WSM offered a bit more velocity than the 7mm SAUM. However, to achieve its small velocity advantage, the larger 7mm WSM had to burn 7-10% more powder than the 7mm SAUM. (The 7mm WSM has 81.0 grains of capacity vs. 73.6 grains for the 7mm SAUM.) The SAUM is a very efficient case. It looks like a 6.5×47 Lapua on steroids.”

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

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January 10th, 2020

Firearms Fashion — T-Shirts for Gun Guys and Gals

Some of our Shooters’ Forum members have asked for t-shirts with AccurateShooter.com logos. Sorry folks, we don’t offer those for sale, but we have searched the internet and found ten great t-shirts for gun guys and gun gals. Most of these shirts are available is multiple sizes, and many offer color choices. You’ll find over 100 more gun-themed shirts at the Etsy.com online store.

Click on each shirt image for more specs and purchase options:

Here’s one for 1911 fans…

This may offend your golfing buddies.

Yes, shooting can be therapeutic…

All too true these days…

Here is one for the Ladies…

Beware the gal wearing pink.

Daily routine of dedicated shooters.

Two Firing Pins say “I’d hit that”.

Look carefully, that’s not a steer’s skull.

This is certain to annoy Starbucks liberals.

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November 10th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: From Russia with Love — Amazing Mosin Nagant


One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

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August 11th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — Eye-Catching Rifles from America and the UK

sunday gunday Rem 700 .270 winchester win tye sims
Here is Tye Sim’s .270 Win Mountain Rifle: “This is off a trued and blue-printed Rem 700 action. I love it.”

For today’s Sunday GunDay feature, we thought we’d present a selection of rifles featuring both cool gear and scenic venues. We’ve got quite a mix — hunting rifles and competition rigs, full customs as well as factory rifles. And there are some interesting calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, .308 Win, plus a couple WSM variants. Enjoy our Sunday lineup!

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland F-Open F-Class .300 WSM

To begin, here is the beautiful Blair Atholl range in Scotland. Owner Gary Costello posted: “Great day today, weather was interesting but not as bad as we thought!” Gary, a top F-Class shooter in the UK who often runs a .300 WSM, has been featured in a previous Sunday GunDay spotlight story HERE

F-class F-Open Andrew Stone .284 Win Labradar

Andrew Stone is an F-Class shooter from the Southern USA. Here his F-Open rig is set up for load testing from the bench at his beautiful, tree-lined home range. Targets are at 600 yards. Andrew is using a SEB front coaxial rest and LabRadar chronograph mounted on an aftermarket tripod.

F-TR Brian Harder rifle F-TR

In the photo above is Brian Harder’s handsome .308 Win F-TR rifle. This features a Kelbly action, McMillan stock, and Vortex scope with level. Up front is a SEB Joystick Bipod (Joy-Pod) with accessory ski-type feet. Note that Brian runs a front scope extension tube (sunshade), and a mirage shield on the barrel. These items do make a difference, particularly on hot summer days!

F-Class 7mm 270 WSM hydro-dip Bartlein

Here’s another British Beauty. This is the 7mm-270 WSM F-Classer belonging to Forum member Ian B. (aka “Elwood”). It features a Stolle Panda F-Class action, 32″ straight-contour Bartlein barrel, and a custom Joe West stock, modified by Ian and then hydro-dipped in brilliant blue by Hydro Graphics in the UK.

Bergara B14 6.5 Creedmoor HMR

Factory rifles can be interesting too. That’s pretty impressive accuracy shown by Steven Castleman’s Bergara B14 HMR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. On this day Steve was shooting Hornady factory ammo loaded with 147-grain ELD Match bullets.

Savage Stealth 10 BA Rifle hog hunting

Here’s a stunning silhouette of a Savage 6.5 Creedmoor. Ed Whipple posted: “Borrowing a Savage 10 BA Stealth from my buddy Ron. He wanted a 100-yard head shot on a hog. I’m not listening to Ron any more. Federal Fusion bullet ain’t messing around.”

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June 30th, 2019

Sunday Gunday: Bart’s 6PPC Drills Five Shots in .088″ at 200!

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This would be an amazing group at 100 yards. But this 5-shot bughole was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards in competition by Bart Sauter of Bart’s Custom Bullets. And he did it with a borrowed barrel!

Be amazed. This five-shot group was shot at 200 yards in competition by bullet-maker Bart Sauter. Bart shot this astounding group with his 10.5-lb Light Varmint benchrest rifle at the recent East-West Match in St. Louis, Missouri. Had Bart been shooting an IBS match, this would have been a new IBS World Record, beating the .091″ by David Farrar in 2006. This .088″ group missed the NBRSA 200-yard 5-shot group record by a whisker — .013″ (thirteen thousandths). The listed NBRSA LV 200-yard Group record is 0.075″ shot by Johnnie Stewart a decade ago.

New record or not, this is one remarkably impressive group, shot by one very talented shooter and bullet-maker. Bart tells us he initially “held center” for the first three shots in the group. Then, watching his wind flags he noticed slight increase in the left-to-right condition, so he held 0.200″ to the left on shot 4 and it worked. Before shot 5, Bart detected another slight change, so he held 0.300″ left for the fifth and final shot. He explained: “If I had not held off for those last two shots, this group would have been about a flat four (0.400″).” Well done Bart!

“First three … bang bang bang … all went in one hole. Then I held left on shot 4 and it worked. On the last shot I held a little more, got lucky and it went in.” — Bart Sauter

In our Shooter’s Forum, Bart posted “This is my personal best-ever 5-shot group at 200 yards. I knew it was small, but was shocked to see it was a Zero! This will be a range record and record for the East/West match. Last group of the day! A nice way to end the match!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets .088 6PPC one-hole group 200 yards amazing

Here is the 6PPC LV rifle that shot the .088″ group. Yes that’s a concrete shooting bench inside a pretty nice cabin with hunting trophies on the walls. Bart explained: “We reload and shoot out of the Monkey Hut, especially during the winter. Most of the time we shoot outside at 100/200 from a a three-bench range.

Amazing Group Shot with Borrowed Krieger Barrel!
There’s a very interesting side-note to this story. You see Bart doesn’t even own the Krieger barrel that delivered this amazing .088″ 200-yard group. That’s right this superb barrel was a “loaner” — borrowed from Bart’s buddy Gary Sullivan. [Editor: Oh that we could all be so lucky with borrowed components.] With Sullivan’s blessing, Bart has since loaned the barrel yet again to ace Billy Stevens, who will be using it at the World Benchrest Championship in Canada, July 14-21, 2019.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This photo shots Bart on the right and his good friend Billy Stevens on the left. Bart notes: “Billy is a 2-time Super Shoot Winner and 3-time USA World Benchrest Team member!”

Bart Sauter’s LV 6PPC Rifle Specifications

Chambering/Caliber: 6PPC
Gunsmith: Stevens Accuracy
Action: BAT DS RBLP Right Eject
Trigger: Jewell
Stock: Scarborough Carbon Fiber over Wood Skeleton
Barrel: Krieger — and it was borrowed!
Tuner: Bukys TSI Tuner

Bullet: Bart’s Avenger 68 grain BT
Powder: Accurate LT30
Charge: Stout load running 3407 FPS

Optic: 40x45mm IOR-Valdada 30mm tube
Rings: Benchsource Double Rings
Front Rest: Farley Joystick
Rear Bag: Edgewood Bunny Ear, very soft, gray leather — special order from Bruno’s.
Front Bag: Edgewood — same soft gray leather.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Here is Bart’s target with a bullet removed. Bart was shooting his own 6mm 68gr Avenger bullets, a double-radius ogive design. The Avengers were seated about .004″ away from the lands: “I tried going into the lands and that didn’t seem to work, then I backed it off four thousandths [from contact] and the rifle liked that.” Bart drove those 68gr Avengers with a stout load of Accurate LT30 powder running 3407 FPS.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Bart’s Comments on His Components and Accessories

OPTICS — Bart likes his new 40x45mm IOR-Valdada Benchrest Scope. He says that, so far, it has proved very reliable and holds zero exceptionally well. This new design features a worm drive side-focus, oversized ocular with true +/- diopter adjustment, long eye relief, and fast-focusing reticle. The 40X Valdada also boasts superb HD “double-compressed” Schott glass from Germany.

TUNER — Bart says the Bukys TSI Tuner definitely helps. He notes that once he finds the “sweet spot” for his barrel he can normally leave it alone: “With that type of tuner, I have to be in a very dire straight to move it. Normally I will set it for the lifetime of the barrel.”

REAR BAG — Bart’s rear bag is an unusual Edgewood with softer gray leather. He says this was a special order by Bruno Shooters Supply. Bart likes how the rear bag works with his carbon-stocked 10.5-lb rifle: “With PPCs we ‘ride on the ears’ — this older bag just seems to work really well for that style.”

SUPER FEET — Bart told us he uses Benchsource Super Feet for his front rest: “The bench tops at St Louis are very slick. Before I set up I’ll use a spray bottle with water and wet the bench where the Super feet and rear bag will go. This really helps to keep things from sliding around!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
May 5th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Costello Battles Storm Hannah with .300 WSM

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary Costello recently won the Great Britain National League 600-yard Championship in F-Open class. Gary managed that impressive win despite Storm Hannah which caused torrential rain and 40 mph winds during the match, held at the Diggle ranges. Gary, a Forum member, reports that conditions were hellacious: “The weather was terrible, with horizontal rain and winds in excess of 40 mph. In fact, some shooters got blown clean off the target and many complete misses occurred.”

There’s a special story here, as Gary had been battling a life-threatening illness for many months. Gary told us: “This was my first National Competition since September 2018. I contracted a serious heart virus in October 2018. I was critically ill until January 2019. After undergoing treatment and 100% rest I recovered slowly, my focus was the 600-Yard Shoot in April. I am now 70% there and hopefully in another 4-6 months I hope to make a full recovery.” [Editor: Gary, we are glad you are on the road to recovery.]

In today’s Sunday GunDay story, we feature Gary’s American-crafted .300 WSM F-Open rifle. Note that Gary’s rifle has a Ezell barrel tuner and a recoil-reduction system in the buttstock. The .300 WSM does generate quite a kick with those big .30-caliber bullets.

Gary Costello’s .300 WSM F-Open Rifle

BAT M Action and Cerus Stock
This rifle was purchased from Jim Fowler (FalconPilot on the AccurateShooter Forum). This SG Rifles gun, crafted by smith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez, is a .300 WSM with BAT ‘M’ action (with nitrided bolt) and Cerus riflestock. Gary owns two other Speedy-built rifles.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary tells us: “My BAT ‘M’ action is a multi-port so I feed with my left and it ejects on the right. Speedy has worked on the firing control and timing, and I fitted the roller-cocking piece to aid smoothness and speed.” The fluted shroud is Speedy’s signature for fire control work.

Stunning Lenzi Co-Axial Front Rest
Gary tells us this impressive joy-stick rest “is a superb piece of engineering .. made by my good friend Alberto Lenzi.” Note the large stable base, and the deluxe counter-balance weight on the front end. Gary also uses a very nice leather rear sandbag crafted by Lenzi.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Riflescope — Prototype March 10-60×56 High Master
Gary Costello’s company is the European distributor for March Scopes. Gary was testing this scope as it has a new temperature-tolerant lens system to be released later this year

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

.300 WSM Load Details — H4350 with Berger 215gr Hybrids
Gary was shooting pointed Berger 215gr Hybrid bullets in Norma .300 WSM cartridge brass. The powder was Hodgdon H4350 with Muron KVB7 primers. Gary say his load runs around 2850 fps, and is very accurate. To demonstrate, here is a three-round, 100-yard test target, with a group measuring in the ones. Pretty impressive for a big bullet and a short magnum cartridge.

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

The UK has some wonderful places to shoot. This photo was taken at Blair Atholl in the Highlands of Scotland. Gary says “This is one of my favorite ranges and probably the hardest range to shoot in the UK. Due to the topography of the range you have to alter elevation as well as wind for pick-up and let-off. They say ‘Diggle Ranges Bark’ but Blair Atholl Bites!”

Blast from the Past — At Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland Ranges

One of Europe’s very best F-Class competitors, Gary is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Here he is at the Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland after a major victory a few seasons back. Gary says: “Blair Atholl, in the Estate of Blair Castle, is very scenic. The range is very tricky and is known as the hardest range in the UK to shoot due to the location of the targets cut into the hillside and valley. When the wind is at full value you often have to add one-half MOA elevation to every 1 MOA of wind. So thinking wind and elevation every shot is very difficult. I won this match some time ago and I do not recall the score. However it was a decisive win, and all matches in the competition were held at 1000 yards.” Gary was using a different rifle, but it also was a .300 WSM with a BAT action. His load was Hodgdon H4831 with Berger 215gr Hybrids, Murom primers, and Norma brass.

GB 600-Yard Championship — Gary’s Shot-by-Shot Report

The event was the first GB National League event of the year, our only short range (600-yard) match. This is actually one month later than usual in hope the weather would be better, sadly that wasn’t the case!

I won the Championship, five points clear of runner-up Ian Boxall. My final score was 241-18V out of a maximum of 250. The course of fire was reduced due to Storm Hannah on Saturday. It was decided by our committee that for safety we should shoot under cover (Diggle has a 600-yard covered firing point). The goal was to get at least one match to allow the competition to continue on the Sunday.

When I saw the condition and the flags I decided I needed to shoot as quick as possible as wind speed and direction were changing in seconds….

So I shot like stink only watching one flag and the other targets and my shot indication on the target screen. My first sighter was a score One left (a FIVE on the U.S F-Class target). But after adjusting, my second sighter was a One right — so there were pick-ups and let offs of about FIVE MOA!

I split the difference and went for score, my first shot was a Four (Nine on USA target) which I then adjusted on and held accordingly for the rest of the string using the other targets as indication and the one flag I had identified, it went pretty well.

Day Two (Sunday) weather was completely different, much better with no rain. We were first up at 0900 and the winds were light with subtle changes. This was a two sighters and 20-shot match, I started well with two V sighters which were converted, my partner Richard Sharman also had a good start and we proceeded through the string shooting Vs and Fives until Richard’s shots started to not register, this happened three times so it was decided I would continue and Richard would shoot again on another target. This caused a lot of delay and disruption. I had lost my path and wind, due to the delay I was allowed a non-convertible sighter which was a Three. It took two further shots to get back into the swing and I then recovered and ended the shoot with a 97-10V.

For the Final Match, the wind had picked up and was causing quite a few lost points and curses. I knew I was three points clear going into this Final Match so I had to play it real safe not to drop shots and lose critical points. I favored a left 4-5 Ring hold so not to get caught on the pick-ups. I use the March MTR-2 reticle, on 40X this reticle is subtended at exactly one-half MOA and brackets the F-class target perfectly. I was not concerned about the V bull at this time, the plan paid off and I dropped two points only.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
April 7th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: State-of-the-Art .284 Win F-Open Rifle

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

We know our readers like accurate rifles — the more accurate the better. You guys also love really great craftsmanship and state-of-the art componentry. To satisfy that lust for amazing, accurate rifles, we’re starting a new feature — Sunday GunDay. We’ll try to do this a couple Sundays a month, provided we have some great candidates. For our first Sunday GunDay feature, we are presenting a stunning .284 Win F-Open match rifle owned by David Christian of Team Borden/Brux/Lapua. This impressive rig is as good as it gets in the F-Open game. The write-up is by David’s friend, Forum member F-Class John.

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

Tips For Competitors from David Christian

1. Tracking is Really Important. I learned this lesson from Bill Brown. Make sure your rifle is tracking exactly on your bags. If you slide the gun back and forth and it does not line up on your original aim point, something is out of alignment with you rear bag or mat and needs to be adjusted.

2. Wind Calls — Be Brave. Don’t be timid with your wind calls. It is better to err with a slight over-correction, rather than miss a change entirely.

3. More Data is Good. Keep track of as much data as you can so that you can learn from it. For example I shoot as much as I can with my chrono and track my load speeds so that I can tell if I am drifting out of my node.

David Christian’s .284 Win F-Open Rig

Report by F-Class John
Here’s match rifle that’s as handsome as it is effective (and accurate!). In its first-ever tournament, this impressive rig took 8th place overall in F-Open at the 2019 Berger Southwest Nationals. This .284 Win hammer was wielded by David Christian, the newest member of Team Borden/Brux/Lapua. David built this .284 Winchester around a Borden BRMXD action with black PVD coating and a Jewell BR trigger. What I found fascinating is that David had built all of this before ever being approached for the team. When I asked him how that worked out, he simply said he picked the components he liked the best and knew would do the job. It was just the universe in action that he’s now on the team that matches his gear and he’s certainly not complaining that he gets to represent them now.

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

David uses a custom-contour 32″-long Brux 1:8.5″-twist barrel that tapers from 1.35” to 1.25” because he likes the extra stability and weight it brings. It’s all mounted in an amazingly-crafted Cerus Stock (Speedy Gonzales “Spear of Destiny” design). While Will McCloskey built the stock, it was finished to perfection by Devin Wiggett and mounted by Terry Wright of Right Rifle in Oregon. You might also notice that the buttstock features a R.A.D. recoil system which adds the final touch to the system.

Stunning Laminated Maple/Cherry/Walnut/Wenge Cerus Stock
When asked what people comment on when they see his gun, David says it’s the stock, hands down. Having handled this gun myself, I have to agree and believe me when I say the pictures don’t do it justice. The exterior forearms are torrified Maple while the core is made up of Brazilian Cherry, Walnut, and African Wenge wood. It makes for an ultra-strong stock with stunning beauty to match.

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

David currently tops this beauty with a Kahles K1050 10-50x56mm scope featuring the MOAK reticle. David really likes the 20 MOA per revolution dial as well as the top-mounted parallax adjustment. This is especially helpful for him as David shoots left-handed. Most scopes have a left-side parallax knob which is difficult for him to use during a match.

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

You can’t have a rifle this good-looking and functional without riding on the right gear. David uses a Protektor DR Bag and a SEB Special Edition NEO coaxial front rest. All told it took nearly six months to get all the parts delivered and assembled but he looks at that as a short term loss and a long term gain. Using Erik Cortina’s load development methods with Berger 180gr Hybrid Target or 184gr Hybrid Target bullets and quality Lapua brass, David has achieved some amazing results. Here’s a representative target from a recent match. That’s mighty fine shooting!

David Christian F-Class F-Open .284 Win winchester competition match rifle John Masek Borden action Brux Barrel

If you want to “hit the ground running” in the F-Open game, this wouldn’t be bad setup to emulate and if you see David at a match, he’s always more than happy to talk to you about it.

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