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September 18th, 2010

Matt Kline Shoots 2.815″ Record at 1000 Yards with 300 WSM

1000-yard Matt Kline recordSeptember 12th at the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) range Matt Kline set a new 10-shot Heavy Gun World Record with a 2.815″, 100-4X.

Breaking the 3″ mark (for 10 shots) is big news in the 1K benchrest game. The existing IBS 10-shot, 1000-yard record is 3.044″ set by Joel Pendergraft in 2009, while the NBRSA 10-Shot, 1000-yard record is 4.322″ set by Dave Tooley in 2006. Counting this 100-4X target, Matt also set a new 6-Match Heavy Gun Score Aggregate of 99.000. With Williamsport Match 10 still to shoot, Matt could push the HG Score Agg even higher.

Record Set with 300 WSM and 210-grainers
Matt Kline shot a 300 WSM with 210gr Berger VLD bullets. This confirms the accuracy of the short magnum, which may prove to be the new “go-to” cartridge of choice for those who want to shoot the high-BC, heavy 30-caliber bullets. Matt’s gun featured a BAT action, 30″ Broughton barrel, and a Nightforce 8-32x56mm BR scope. The rifle was smithed by Mark King Rifles.

Matt shared some details of his reloading process with Assist. Editor Jason Baney. This may surprise you. Matt anneals his 300 WSM brass after every firing. The necks are turned to .0135″ wall thickness for a .338″-neck chamber. Interestingly, Matt does not meplat-trim or point his Berger bullets. However, he pre-sorts the bullets very thoroughly, segregating them by .001″ variance in both bearing surface and overall bullet length. You need extremely consistent bullet-to-bullet BCs to shoot record groups like Matt did.

1000-yard Matt Kline record

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July 26th, 2010

Frank Weber Sets New LG 1000-Yard Score Record with Dasher

Shooting at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport), Frank Weber, set a new Light Gun Williamsport Record Score and World Record Score this past weekend, a 100-6X (4.237″) for ten (10) shots. Our Assistant Editor Jason Baney witnessed the new record while working the pits. Jason reports: “Frank’s 100-6X beats my Williamsport Record and Andy Murtaugh’s World Record. It was an incredible group. Frank almost got a group record as well — nine of Frank’s ten shots measured about 3.4″, all falling well inside the 4″x4″ white square. This was a great achievement for Frank. He has been shooting at Williamsport since 1968, and this is his first-ever Light Gun group under 7 inches.”

Frank Webber record score 1000 yards

Weber’s Record-Setting Light Gun
Frank Weber set his 1K record with a BAT-actioned 6mm Dasher smithed by Mark King. The Broughton 1:8″ twist, 28″ barrel has a 0.266″-necked Dasher chamber, with 0.155″ freebore. The Broughton barrel is nearly new — it had roughly 100 rounds through it when the record was shot. For optics, Weber used a Nightforce 8-32x56mm NXS scope.

Frank Webber record score 1000 yards

Record Recipe: Varget, BR4s, and Custom 105gr Bullets Jumped .010″
Weber’s record-setting load was fairly typical for a Dasher, except for the projectile. Frank loaded 33.5 grains of Hodgdon Varget and CCI BR4 primers behind a custom 105gr bullet, seated 0.010″ OFF the lands (i.e. he was jumping the bullets ten thousandths). Ironically, Frank was using this relay to test seating depths. It certainly seems that he found a load that worked! Later, in the shoot-off, Frank tried IMR 8208 XBR powder.

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July 11th, 2010

Williamsport 1000-yard World Open Concludes Today

Williamsport World OpenAs this is being written, the final relays are going to the firing line at the 2010 Williamsport World Open, one of the most prestigious long-range benchrest matches in the country. Many of the nation’s best 1000-yard shooters, including our Asst. Editor Jason Baney, are competing for a wealth of prizes donated by dozens of sponsors.

Held Saturday July 10th and Sunday July 11th, at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, the World Open is a four-target Aggregate match consisting of two separate, two-target Aggs for in the Light Gun and Heavy Gun classes. Competitors can shoot either or both classes, both days. There will be prizes for the Overall Two-Gun Champion, plus the 2-day Group and Score Agg winners in each class. In addition there will be separate awards for Top Junior Shooter, Top Female Shooter, plus small group and high score in each match.

Williamsport World Open

Complete World Open results should be posted on the Williamsport website, late Sunday or early Monday, after all targets are scored, and the scores are tabulated. We hope to post names of the big winners later today, if we can get hold of Jason after the event wraps up.

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April 13th, 2010

Sign Up Now for Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School

From April 30 – May 2, the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Club will host a multi-day, long-range benchrest school at its Williamsport range. For $250, up to 36 students will enjoy 1 night and 2 days of training under the tutelage of some of the nations’ top 1000-yard shooters. There are still some spots available for the Spring class, so get your applications in before the April 25th sign-up deadline.

Williamsport BR Club SchoolOn Friday night (April 30), students will meet their mentors. Saturday (May 1), the class moves to the range for a full day of hands-on technical training. Topics include precision reloading, load development, gun handling, use of chronograph, analysis of shooting results, gun cleaning, and target analysis. The Williamsport Club will provide the rifles and all reloading components. Saturday’s sessions are followed by a steak dinner, included in the $250 seminar price.

On Sunday (May 2), after an early training session covering bench set-up and match strategies, students will shoot a 1000-yard match, spending time both behind the trigger and in the pits. The program wraps up before 4:00 pm on Sunday. The 1000-yard Benchrest School is limited to 36 students (with less than 3 students per advisor). Intructors include Gunsmiths Bruce Baer and Mark King, our Asst. Editor Jason Baney, and many Williamsport Hall of Fame shooters. For more info, email School Director Frank Grappone, frankgrappone [at]

Williamsport Benchrest School

1000-Yard Benchrest School Slide Show
Sebastian Reist attended the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. A talented professional photographer, Sebastian captured the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend in the slideshow below, provided courtesy

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August 10th, 2009

Williamsport 2009 World Open Wrap-Up


The 2009 Williamsport World Open, held in mid-July, enjoyed a record turnout. The club welcomed 164 shooters from nine states all over the eastern half of the country, and from as far away as 1000 miles (Georgia). Even with new rules being applied for 2009, the match ran smoothly and was a great success.

Original Pennsylvania Williamsport Benchrest

New, Less-Restrictive Rules Attract More Shooters
The new rules in the Heavy-Gun class, which now allow muzzle brakes and have fewer restrictions, seemed to encourage more shooters to participate in both classes. The few remaining limits prohibit “return to battery guns” and rifle/rest features that obstruct upward or rearward movement. Restrictions were eased in the 17-lb Light Gun class as well. Now there are no limits on stock shape or attachments. This may have also encouraged shooters from other clubs to attend, resulting in the largest field of shooters in World Open history.

Joel Pendergraft Williamsport Benchrest

The weather was not typical for a Williamsport World Open weekend and had its share of very nice and very tough shooting conditions. Saturday was nearly totally overcast with no mirage and moderate temps that topped out at about 74 degrees. Wind was light at times and gusty at times, but definitely more cooperative in the afternoon for the Heavy Gun match. That is rare for a match at Williamsport. It often looked like we were going to get rained on, but it held off just long enough to get the match finished.

Mark King Williamsport BenchrestSunday was a much more typical Williamsport match day. It was sunny and topped out in the low 80s with a few passing clouds and low humidity. Mirage conditions were much worse than Saturday but did settle down for the last few relays of the day. The wind was a bit trickier on Sunday and hit some relays pretty hard.

Mark King Crowned 2-Gun Champion
The 17-lb Light Gun (LG) class had 153 shooters, while the Heavy Gun (HG) class had 147. Of those shooters, we had 13 women and 5 juniors. Pennsylvania Gunsmith Mark King shot great to earn “Top Gun” honors as the 2009 World Open Two-Gun Combined Champion. Mark shot a 6mm Dasher in both classes. Kathy Salt won the HG Overall, while Tilden Kuhns won the LG Overall. Matt Dienes finished first in HG Group, while Joe Salt topped HG Score. In LG, Paul Chackan won Group and Tilden Kuhns had the best overall Score.

Superlatives of Note
Even though there were some nice conditions at times, only two perfect ‘100’ scores were fired all weekend: Dan Stonebraker did it with a 6.5-284 in LG and Ed Nazy nailed a ‘100’ in HG class. The ten shots that scored Nazy’s 100 pointer also proved to be the smallest HG group at 4.355 inches. The smallest group in LG class, measuring 4.803 inches, was fired by Lacy Baney with a straight 6mmBR. Even with the weather, 6mm chamberings accounted for the smallest LG groups. The top 10 LG scores were also dominated by 6mms, with a 30 Cal and 6.5 Cal thrown in. The big 30 Cals produced most of the smallest HG groups and top HG scores, with a couple 6mms and a 6.5mms in the mix. Mark King, the Two-Gun Overall Champion, won “all the marbles” shooting the small 6mm Dasher in both LG and HG.

Original Pennsylvania Williamsport Benchrest

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