December 15th, 2020

Holiday Season Deer Hunting with Specialty Pistols

specialty pistol hunting hunt deer wyoming Ernie Bishop handguns

Our friend Ernie Bishop (SEB Rests USA) has been busy in the Wyoming backcountry. Bishop is a big fan of specialty pistols, and one of his favorite XP-100 bolt-action pistols showed its capabilities recently, harvesting a whitetail doe that will provide meat for the Bishop family and friends.

Ernie reports: “Dan Ekstrom and I did some whitetail hunting earlier this week, and tonight our families enjoyed some smoked backstrap and grilled sausage, a bunch of other fixings. We were in the foothills of the Big Horn mountains, outside of Story, Wyoming. Yes, we have whitetail here.”

specialty pistol hunting hunt deer wyoming Ernie Bishop handguns

Ernie’s Remington XP-100 bolt-action pistol features a 14.5″ HS Precision barrel chambered in .308 Winchester, fitted with a Mac’s Gunworks muzzle brake. The scope is a Burris 3-15x50mm XTR2. The field support consists of a BOG Tripod, with the original BOG PSR top and Holland’s small field bag. Ernie reports that, unfortunately, the PSR Top has been discontinued.

The Story of the Successful Whitetail Hunt — Report from the Field
Report by Ernie Bishop
My center-grip .308 Winchester XP-100 drew first blood Friday afternoon (12/11/2020). It was a hurried, double-kneeling short shot at around 50-60 yards, using my BOG tripod with PSR top. I was doing the sneaky sneak on my way to place where I was going to sit for the rest of the day (no artificial blind). The doe was either just coming out of cover or was just inside cover. We seemed to discover each other at about the same time. I was in the open though.

Even though I had the XP-100 in one hand and my BOG tripod in the other, I could not get set up quickly enough to make a shot. She turned around and walked back into cover, and then threw up her flag and waved it a few times going away for me and to the left. Now, I need to get about another hundred yards so I can try to get set up on a two-track that’s going to my right and wait there, hoping that she will cross and give me a shot opportunity. As I was walking faster to get to that spot to set up, I look to my right and there she was (or a different one, I’m not quite sure) just inside cover — basically broadside.

specialty pistol hunting hunt deer wyoming Ernie Bishop handguns

Given the spookiness of these deer here this year, I didn’t think I was going to get a shot opportunity. But you don’t know unless you try, so I kneeled, spread the tripod legs and centered up as quick as I could and took the shot. I didn’t range distance before or check afterwards. The whitetail doe dropped on the spot. The 168 grain Hornady A-MAX TAP Precision .308 Win ammo performed admirably.

specialty pistol hunting hunt deer wyoming Ernie Bishop handguns

Ernie’s Tips for Wyoming Whitetail Hunters
There are two different ways that I hunt this area of Wymoming. First is doing the slow sneaky sneak, which has given some good results, but it also ends up with the “just wasn’t able get it done” before they move into cover (which happened more than one time on Thursday and Friday morning). The second way, is to put yourself in a place to where you have a reasonable view, of where you can tell they have crossed, in semi-open areas. I usually am sitting with my back against a tree.

specialty pistol hunting hunt deer wyoming Ernie Bishop handgunsAbout Ernie Bishop — Specialty Pistol Guru
Ernie tells us: “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 are similar to a pistol-grip rifle, but without a conventional buttstock. 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. Sadly, some of these are no longer made.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
November 24th, 2020

10 Shots in 0.289 MOA — Can Your Rifle Beat this XP-100 Pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun — a very nice bolt-action XP-100 pistol! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

Report by Boyd Allen
This story goes back a few seasons… this remarkable XP-100 pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest
ACAD drawing by Peter Gnanapragasam CC by SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Title Added.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
February 10th, 2019

The “Batman” Pistol — Wicked XP-100 in 6-6.5×47 Lapua

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher
Click Photo to View Larger Image

Here is Ernie Bishop’s pride and joy, a specialty pistol nicknamed “Batman” because the black carbon-fiber stock looks like the Batmobile. This is one sophisticated handgun. Complete with scope, the Batman pistol weighs under 7.5 pounds, thanks to the ultra-light stock. The carbon stock is 6 inches wide at the fore-end, yet weighs just one pound. Ernie tells us: “This gun shoots amazing and is easy to shoot especially with my SEB MAX Rest.” Ernie adds, “The gun will soon also have a field-usable rear-grip stock so I can shoot it prone from a bipod as well.”

The Batman pistol is chambered for the 6mm “Long Dasher”, a 6mm 40°-shouldered variant of the 6.5×47 Lapua. Ernie loads Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets pushed by Hodgdon H-4350 powder.

Gun Specifications
6.5x47 Lapua Dasher 40 degree improvedThe gun, crafted by Eric Wallance of Nawaka Firearms, features an XP-100 action, Jewell trigger, and 15″-long, Brux 1:8″-twist barrel with aluminum muzzle brake. Interestingly, this gun does not have a traditional recoil lug. Instead, gunsmith Wallace milled out a lug from the bottom of the XP-100 action to save weight. On top of the action, the rig carries a Sightron Inc S-III 6-24X56mm scope in Kelbly rings on a custom +20 MOA rail.

Long Dasher Wildcat
Shown at right is a “Long Dasher” 40° wildcat created by Forum member Sunbuilder. This is very similar to Ernie Bishop’s chambering, though there may be small variations related to reamer design (such as freebore). Sunbuilder’s 6-6.5×47 Improved (aka “Long Dasher”) reamer was made by Dave Kiff of Pacific, Tool & Gauge. This wildcat cartridge adds about 2.0 grains capacity to the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm. The case certainly is impressive with that 40° shoulder. We’re just waiting for the tactical guys to starting run this improved cartridge with its original 6.5mm bore.

Here are three FIVE-shot groups at 500 yards, shot by Ernie’s Batman pistol. The first is marked with pink dots, the second with green dots, and the third is being measured with calipers:

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns 3 Comments »
June 1st, 2016

Teaching the Next Generation of Shooters

Ernie Bishop 6.5-284 shooter training
Click for Full-screen Photo

Ernie Bishop, USA dealer for SEB Rests, offered this story about teaching a young boy how to shoot — passing on the heritage of marksmanship to the next generation. Ernie was working with an 8-year-old novice. With Ernie showing him the ropes, the young man was able to make hits at 1440 yards!

Teaching a Young Man about Long-Range Shooting, by Ernie Bishop
I was able to do some coaching with an eight-year-old boy shooting distance with a Savage 6.5-284 rifle (factory 1:9″-twist barrel), 3-12X Huskemaw scope, and MAC brake. Chuck McIntosh was helping as well. I can’t wait to see how this young man develops as a shooter. It was a real pleasure coaching him.

We ended the day’s shooting session with the young man making multiple connections at 1440 yards with the Savage rifle (top photo). We were very proud of this young man. During our session, the young shooter also fired a suppressed 300 Remington Ultra Magnum. The boy made managed a first-shot connection at 500 yards on a 5″ square target.

Click for Full-screen Photo
Ernie Bishop 6.5-284 shooter training

The next day I brought a couple of Specialty Pistols for our young marksman to play with. The photo shows a rear grip XP-100 with McRee chassis, chambered in .284 Winchester for 168gr SMKs. The young man went out to 850 yards with this after he got bored with 10″ targets at 400 and 500 yards (he never missed at 400 and 500!).

Click for Full-screen Photo
Ernie Bishop 6.5-284 shooter training

We ended up having switchy winds, which made things more difficult, but still fun. We also shot at 750 yards with the 6.5-284 bench pistol.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
March 28th, 2015

That’s Precision: 10 Shots in 0.29 MOA — with a Pistol!

Report by Boyd Allen
This pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
How does Dan’s XP-100 pistol shoot? Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest
ACAD drawing by Peter Gnanapragasam CC by SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Title Added.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Handguns 5 Comments »