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July 29th, 2019

Jack Neary Shoots WBC Record 0.110″ at 200 Yards in Canada

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championship benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

No, that’s not two shots — it is FIVE shots, with basically four in one hole and a fifth very slightly over. If that’s not impressive enough, consider this stunning 0.110″ group was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards — the length of two football fields. This amazing group was shot by Jack Neary at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship (WBC) held in Calgary, Alberta earlier this month.

Neary’s 0.110″ 200-yard group establishes a new WBC world record in the Light Varmint (LV) rifle class (10.5-lb max rifle weight). Jack was competing with Team USA “C Squad”, which also captured the WBC 2-Gun Gold Medal in the 4-man Team Championship.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta CanadaWorld Benchrest Championships
The World Benchrest Championships are held every two years and attract competitors from over 20 countries. Jack Neary’s .110″ group is now a confirmed WBC 200-yard World Record for smallest 5-shot group. Neary was shooting a 6mm PPC hand-loaded with Vihtavuori N133 powder.

NOTE: This is a record for WBC competition. However, it is slightly larger than current NBRSA and IBS 200-yard Light Varmint (LV) records. The NBRSA LV 200-yard record is 0.075″ set by Johnnie Stewart in 2009. The IBS LV 200-yard record is 0.091″ by David Farrar in 2006. Still, Neary’s 0.110″ 5-shot group is a great accomplishment, set at the highest level of competition, at a match which had very challenging conditions.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Jack stated, “Vihtavuori’s temperature stability and cleaning burning attributes have been instrumental for competitors to achieve world record accuracy in the furthest corners of the world.”

Vihtavuori powders (predominently N133) were used by nearly every competitor (over 90%) during the World Benchrest Championship. VV N133 continues to dominate the short-range benchrest game. Notably, Vihtavuori powders have also been successful in the Extreme Long Range game, with VV powders used by recent KO2M winners. The next World Benchrest Championship will be held in Fall of 2021 in South Africa.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Neary Helps Team USA Win Gold at World Championship

Team Lapua’s Jack Neary, along with his Team USA “C Squad” teammates Harley Baker, Gary Bristow, and Jeff Graves, won the 4-Man Team Gold Medal at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this past week. Neary’s squad had the best overall Grand Aggregate, 0.2598, for the WBC combined 2-Gun Championship. Team USA “A Squad” took second place with a 0.2646 2-Gun Aggregate. CLICK HERE for WBC Team Championship Results.

All Team USA Gold Medalists used Lapua cartridge cases exclusively at the WBC. Lapua cartridge cases are known for superb quality of construction, using only the finest raw materials and superior annealing processes. Each case is machined to exacting dimensions. Lapua brass is renown for its superior consistency and longevity. The best brass also lasts the longest.

Neary stated, “Lapua cases are the foundation [for] our competition hand-loads[.] When competing at the highest levels against the most talented shooters in the world, we need the absolute best components available. There’s no doubt Lapua helped secure the Gold for Team USA.”

Lapua vihtavuori CapstoneAbout Lapua and Vihtavuori
Lapua produces the highest-quality small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Vihtavuori is renowned for smokeless powders with superb lot-to-lot consistency that deliver superior accuracy Lapua and Vihtavuori are part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com and Vihtavuori.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 25th, 2019

Oh Canada! 2019 World Benchrest Championship in Alberta

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

The most accurate shooters on the planet competed in Canada last week at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship. Conducted at the beautiful Rosebud Silhouette and Benchrest Club in Alberta, Canada, this major event drew shooters from 20+ nations. After some practice days, shooters assembled with National Flags for the Opening Ceremony on the 17th. The matches ran from the 17th through Sunday the 21st. Then competitors assembled at the McPhail Center, Canada Olympic Park, for the individual and team awards. Overall, it was a great event, but with one sad loss — Faye Boyer passed away this week after being hospitalized during the match.

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

Don’t be deceived by some of these beautiful photos — conditions were often very tough at this event, with stormy clouds and unpredictable winds. Joel Nader mastered those difficult conditions with a strong performance, securing the overall Two-Gun Title. Congratulations to Joel Nader the 2019 Two-Gun World Champion. Bill Mitchell was second overall in the Two-Gun. Team USA C (Harvey Baker, Gary Bristow, Jeff Graves, Jack Neary) won overall Two-Gun team honors, with Team USA A (Walt Berger, Wayne Campbell, Joel Nader, Bob Scarbrough Jr.) taking second. In third place was Australia Team A (Brendan Atkinson, Darren Parsons, Ean Parsons, Steve Sori). You can find complete day-by-day results, Overall Results, and Team Results on the WBC Website.

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

Here is the Top 20 Equipment List (Click Image for full-size PDF):

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

As you might expect, the top shooters favored BAT Actions, and cut-rifled barrels from Krieger and Bartlein. Vihtavuori N133 powder was used by almost all, as were Federal 205m primers. However, shooters employed a huge variety of bullet types. Two-Gun Winner Joel Nader shot his own Nader 68-grainers. About half of the Top 20 competitors in each class (HV and LV) used tuners.

Here are some of the 83 competitors at the 2019 World Benchrest Championships in Alberta, Canada.

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

Sad Loss of Faye Boyer after WBC
During the course of the WBC, Fay Boyer, a respected Hall of Fame competitor, and beloved wife of benchrest legend Tony Boyer, experienced a medical emergency. She was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, her condition worsened and she passed away on July 25th. All of us in the shooting community mourn her loss, and give our condolences to Tony and the Boyer family. IBS President Jeff Stover posted: “This is terrible news. Faye was a wonderful lady, and one of the nicest persons you would ever meet. So sorry for Tony and his family.”

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette
Faye and Tony Boyer, in younger days

Because of his wife’s medical emergency, Tony Boyer had to leave the competition. Filling in for Tony on one of the USA 4-man teams was Walt Berger (below), founder of Berger Bullets. Competing with borrowed equipment, Walt, now 90, did a great job, finishing 17th out of a field of 83 of the best in the world. On the last day, Walt concluded the event with a teen Agg at 200!

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

World Benchrest Championship XV Alberta Canada Rosebud Silhouette

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News 2 Comments »
August 23rd, 2018

Insanely Small Groups — World Champion Reveals His Techniques

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

With the recent IBS 100/200 Group Nationals in Pennsylvania, we thought our readers might like to learn more about the short-range Benchrest game. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
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September 23rd, 2015

World Benchrest Championships Commence in St. Louis, MO

World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Vince Bottomley

Report by Vince Bottomley, Target Shooter Magazine
The 2015 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) kicked off yesterday at the St. Louis Benchrest Club Range (located in Wright City, northwest of St. Louis). The World Benchrest Championships, the premier event in the short-range Benchrest universe, is held every two years on a different continent. This is the third time that the USA has hosted the event.

Competitors from 24 Countries Vie for Benchrest Honors
This is a true “World Championship” — teams from 24 nations are competing at the WBC this week. Although America can claim to have invented the sport of Benchrest shooting it is perhaps the most ‘worldly’ of centerfire shooting disciplines with 30 countries now affiliated to the World Benchrest Shooting Federation.

World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Vince Bottomley

Countries may enter more than one Team and the ‘big’ Benchrest nations such the USA and Australia will send three teams (of four shooters). Although a team event, there is no wind coaching and members shoot as individuals. As well as team medals there are individual awards — the World Benchrest Shooting Champion will be crowned.

Light Varmint and Heavy Varmint Rifles
The WBC is a group-shooting competition contested over two yardages: 100 and 200 yards and with two weights of rifle – the Light Varmint weighing 10.5 pounds and the Heavy Varmint at 13.5 pounds. Years ago, the heavy guns were the more accurate but now there is little if any difference and many competitors will just use a Light Gun for both Classes, though some will switch to a heavy barrel.

Day One Results — An Aussie Leads with 0.1597 Agg
The St Louis range is impressive to say the least but two days of practice have confirmed that wind and mirage are waiting to catch the unwary.

After an 8:00 am start on Day One for the 100-yard Light Varmint (LV) class, veteran Aussie shooter Paul Sullivan took the individual win with a fantastic 0.1597 Aggregate (the average of five, 5-shot groups). Nipping at Sullivan’s heels were two American Hall-of-Famers, Tony Boyer and Gene Bukys. Here are the Top Five so far:

1. Paul Sullivan (Australia): 0.1597
2. Tony Boyer (USA): 0.1748
3. Gene Bukys (USA): 0.1765
4. Murray Hicks (Australia): 0.1811
5. Alain Beaumont (France): 0.1887

Next up, on September 23, the Heavy Varmint guns come out – still at 100 yards. The WBC continues through Saturday, September 26, with team events Wednesday through Friday and the Individual World Championship on Saturday, followed by award presentations.

With so many competitors, the Loading Room was crowded…
World Benchrest Championship St. Louis Vince Bottomley

Map to St. Louis Benchrest Club Range in Wright City, MO.

Bench Rest Rifle Club of St. Louis
2280 Kohn Rd.
Wright City, MO 63390

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
April 16th, 2015

“Little Bitty Dots” — World-Beating Texan Shows How It’s Done

Here’s an example of world-class benchrest shooting. Charles Huckeba of Texas was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 4 Comments »
August 30th, 2011

More Results from World Benchrest Championship

2011 WBC benchrestHere’s a follow-up on the World Benchrest Championship held last week in Volmerange-Les-Mines, France. As you may know by now, Gene Bukys was the two-gun overall winner, finishing just .001 MOA (0.028mm) ahead of fellow American Mike Ratigan. Tony Boyer finished third in the Two-Gun Aggregate. At least three new world records were set at the event:

LV 100m: 1.51mm (Steven Williams, South Africa)
LV 200m: 2.27mm (Carlos Pacheco, France)
HV 200m: 4.21mm (Larry DaCosta, USA)

Team USA ‘A’ won the team two-gun aggregate with a 5.881 mm (0.212 MOA) Aggregate. The next four teams in order were: Team USA ‘B’, Italy, Australia, and France.

For each class and yardage, here are the event winners and runners-up:

100m Light Varmint
Vera Carter, 4.912 mm (0.193 inches) | Carlos Costavich, 5.160 mm
200m Light Varmint
Mike Ratigan, 8.872 mm (0.349 inches) | Andy Shifflett, 10.948 mm
100m Heavy Varmint
Jack Neary, 4.064 mm (0.160 inches) | Cristian Rando, 4.518 mm
200m Heavy Varmint
Tony Boyer, 9.764 mm ( 0.384 inches) | Gene Bukys, 9.990 mm

2011 WBC benchrest

To learn more about the 2011 WBC, visit the Federation Francaise de Tir website. There you’ll find Complete WBC Results and an extensive WBC Photo Gallery.

Story tip by Luc K., and photos courtesy Federation Francaise de Tir, © Crédit FFTir GDumery.
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August 22nd, 2011

World Benchrest Championship (WBC) Starts August 23 in France

World Benchrest Championship France

The centerfire World Benchrest Championship (WBC) is being hosted in Volmerange-Les-Mines, France this year. Matches commence on Tuesday, the 23rd of August. Practice has been underway since August 18. The official WBC website includes an event schedule plus a list of this year’s WBC competitors. It appears that the number of shooters is down slightly this year, compared to the 170 participants who attended the 2007 WBC in Austria. However, it looks like there will be a record number of countries represented at this year’s Championship event, with first-ever attendees from nations such as Colombia and Ukraine. The WBC has truly become a “world” competition, attracting the “best of the best” from around the globe. The match will be held at the modern Eurostand facility, one of Europe’s best-equipped indoor/outdoor shooting ranges.

The three American squads attending the 2011 WBC will include many Benchrest legends:

Team USA ‘A': Tony Boyer, Larry Costa, Gene Bukys, Chris Harris
Team USA ‘B': Mike Ratigan, Jack Neary, Andy Shifflett, Wayne Campbell
Team USA ‘C': Larry Baggett, Robert Hammack, Dave Coots, Tim Oltersdorf

World Benchrest Championship France

World Benchrest Championship France

Story tip by Fergus Bailey. Photos courtesy Association Bench Rest France.
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