December 2011 Issue

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December 2011 Issue
Page 6

The 2011 European F Class Championships Bisley England. With 180 entries, organiser Mik Maksimovic can confidently claim that this was the world’s largest F Class competition. It was a true international event, worthy of the ‘European’ title, with almost half the entry from overseas...
Page 34

The 8th MLAIC Long Range World Championshops. Long Range Shooting. Unlike Continental Europe, where grand shooting festivals had been held since at least the 14th century, target shooting as a sport never had a strong following in Great Britain until the mid 19th century.
Page 46

2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders. The International Practical Shooting Confederation 2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships - Rhodes, Greece by Tony Saunders. 900+ competitors shoot over 800,000 rounds of ammunition over 5 days!

Page 54

The 2011 Palma Match in Australia. “The Victorious Great Britain Team for the Palma World Long Range Championship” The ‘Palma’ is the oldest and most prestigious long-range rifle shooting competition in the world.

Contents Continued
December 2011 Issue

Page 108

Accurising he TSC/GSG 1911. The Tunnel Services GSG 1911 LBP (long barrel pistol) has certainly created something of an “I want one” culture amongst pistoldeprived UK shooters – sorry, make that ‘GB deprived’ – Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man still have their pistols of course...

Page 80

NEW .300 AAC Blackout Cartridge. There has been some chatter on the internet forums regarding a new cartridge for the AR15/M16 platform. Our ballistics guru Laurie Holland finds out more...

Page 86

This Smallbore Business. Dry fire and trigger release techniques. Part 2. A realm of the subconscious mind? You had better believe it! Trigger release without moving the rifle depends on both the operator and the fit on the rifle of the trigger hand... MINI PROJECT RIFLE: THE REMINGTON 700 SPS TACTICAL PART 4 By Laurie Holland. When we last looked at the .223 Remington 700 SPS Tactical a couple of issues back, its looks and operation had just been transformed by a Third Eye Tactical bolt handle and Manners MCS-T5 stock fitted and supplied by Valkyrie Rifles and South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies respectively.

& more...
Page 106 Page 78


Page 96


Page 90 ABT RIFLE SYSTEMS Page 102




Welcome to the new look December 2011 edition of Target Shooter Magazine

Webitorial December 2011
This month, a large proportion of Target Shooter is given over to four match reports – the prestigious Palma Trophy in Australia, the amazing European F Class Championship at Bisley, the World Muzzle Loading Championships, also held at Bisley and finally, the World IPSC Handgun Championships from Greece . We make no apology for this – this is what we are – a target shooting magazine. For some of us, competition shooting is what we live for and we are indeed fortunate to have a small team of contributors who not only write and photograph but also endeavour to shoot at the highest level, bringing you reports straight from the firing-point. With this in mind, we are always keen to receive major match reports - from anywhere in the world from anyone who is prepared to take the trouble to write for us and, who knows, we might even pay you! Our new website and downloads continue to challenge some of you and I get indignant e-mails from readers threatening to no longer read our free magazine unless we change this, that or the other! We cannot and will not stand still in this fast moving world of the internet and digital technology but we pledge that Target Shooter will remain free to read on-line as always. Please persevere! Amongst the brick-bats however, nice things also happen - I was walking across the car park at my local range the other day when a shooter approached me and thrust some money into my hand. “I’ve been reading Target Shooter all year and it hasn’t cost me a penny – please add this to your funds.” Wow, shooters are such nice people! We are humbled by your warmth and generosity. Finally, our tiny staff of three wish our readers, contributors and advertisers a very Happy Christmas and thank you sincerely for your continued support. As always, we will do our very best to bring in the New Year with our January edition on the first day of 2012!

Vince, Yvonne and Steve
Vince Bottomley - Yvonne -


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Editor - Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager - Yvonne Wilcock. Compiled, Designed & Web Production by Steve Thornton. Contributors - Vince Bottomley - Laurie Holland - Chris Parkin - Ken Hall - Don Brooke Alan Whittle - Tony Saunders & Chris Risebrook.

The website is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproduction is permitted unless written authorisation is provided. Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which is on or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believes are licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or individuals are not so licensed. Letters and photographs submitted by members of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless otherwise stated. Target Shooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions and experiences of writers using specific equipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the website is intended to be used as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for individuals attempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages. Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.





The 2011 European F Class Championships Bisley England


The world’s largest F Class competition
Photograph by Steve Thornton



As last year, we will divide our report into three sections – Mik’s take on things (the event was so big this year that Mik had to

The 2011 European F Class Championships Bisley England.
With 180 entries, organiser Mik Maksimovic can confidently claim that this was the world’s largest F Class competition. It was a true international event, worthy of the ‘European’ title, with almost half the entry from overseas.

sacrifice his own shoot and concentrate on running the event), Laurie’s version of the F/TR section of the competition and, as I shot Open Class for a change, I’ll cover that part. In addition to the photographs here, which are mainly the work of professional photographer Steve Thornton from www.thorntonconnect. com who also is the GB F Class webmaster, there are plenty more on the F Class website (click Photos) together with full results and equipment lists.


Mik’s bit - organising Where do I start - AGAIN! Well we have already booked the ranges and the Markers for 2012, spoken to the Range Officers and other staff involved to ensure that they are happy to help next year and that they have the dates.
Next, I go through the hundreds of e-mails I am currently receiving from the GB F Class Committee to see what, if anything, we can improve on for the following year. The event gets bigger every year and we must keep planning for the expected growth, to ensure that we have enough target space and butt markers. Then, about three days after the last event we start organising the other bits that go with it! This time, we are planning an extended Europeans for 2012, as we seem to be getting more and more overseas F Class shooters attending. They all seem to want to practice on Stickledown prior to the competition. So, we are looking at starting organised practice sessions from the Tuesday prior to the Europeans, for anyone who wishes to attend. All this will be explained on the entry forms for 2012, which will be on the GBFCA website in Aug 2012, it will also be e-mailed out to all those on my F Class e-mail list. This promises to be the biggest F Class gathering in the world and we expect 200 plus competitors. But don’t worry, the main competitions will still be Friday to Sunday, so you won’t have to take a week off work to compete - unless you really fancy a week-long range shooting session?


It will all start in earnest in January 2012, when we send out the application forms for overseas visitors permits etc. The range layout has already been done and medal lists etc. drawn-up for ordering in early 2012. I am fortunate that I am a Bisley-based shooter and fairly well known on Camp, so normally a trip round the clubs manages to sort out most things - mainly making them aware that they will be busy on the weekend of the F Class Europeans. I did make one boo-boo this year and forgot to inform the cafe in the clay shooting pavilion - hence they ran out of everything, so for those who went hungry, I apologise! I also forgot to do that last year as well! In the run up to the event, things get chaotic - from e-mails and phone calls asking questions like “How many rounds do I need?” (Please read the paperwork on the entry form) to “Any idea what the weather is going to be like?”. Then, all the paperwork has to be printed, collated and transported to Bisley. The whole thing takes months of organising and a week at Bisley in the run-up to ensure everything is happening as it should do.



We do everything from score-cards to organising the prizegiving - we always try and book someone famous for that, but end up with a member of the GBFC Association! The event itself - once we have got through the practice day and everyone has started shooting tends to get a little easier. We still get asked lots of really important questions like “Any idea what the wind’s going to be like tomorrow?” or “Did anyone else have vertical problems?”. Even “Do you think we could start a little later tomorrow as my wife wants me to take her to the shops first?” We even had a “ How can you justify £15 a year GBFCA membership?” from one shooter, whilst he had just eaten his body-weight in free biscuits, whilst drinking his free coffee! Thankfully, we have very few protests and the like to deal with, as our Chief Range Officer copes with most of these, on the spot, in a fair manner - basically you’re wrong unless you can convince him otherwise - a fair system which we don’t intend to change. Despite almost 50% of the entry from overseas, there is no real language problem, as most shooters use the universal language of ‘shout and point’ and seem to bumble along quite well. Still, I always feel much better when the last detail is down and shooting – it’s nearly over! Stats are down to Karen Robertson, who has a little caravan on the range near the clock tower and has the results out very quickly after each match. So that’s easy, we just leave Karen to it, passing her the odd pizza under the door - which we keep locked! We tell Karen this is to stop people bothering her, little does she know! As always, we have a Shoot Dinner on the Saturday evening and again this year, we went to the Army Clubhouse for a hot buffet and a few drinks. It was extremely good - as was the firework display on Stickledown afterwards, ably set-off by Colin Shorthouse - he’s the only one mad enough to do it thanks Colin.

Sunday, and only the Teams Match to go now and that falls into place fairly easily and just sort of happens. This year we had extra teams on the day, which proved logistically challenging but, as always, we coped and managed to start on time. It was encouraging to see over 14 Rutland (4 man teams) competing and I know everyone enjoyed themselves at the Teams Match but I will let Laurie expand on that. So there you have it, in a nutshell, what it takes to organise a major F Class event – possibly the largest F Class event in the world. The event has grown from 43 competitors back in November 2005 to 180 and hopefully over 200 next year. If you have any aspirations to shoot F Class, why not come along and have a go? It’s the friendliest big competition in the world and you will be made very welcome. I will finish by saying thank you to everyone involved, especially the 39 Staff who worked very hard in butt marking, Range Officering, stats, etc. etc. to make our Europeans the shooting and social event of the year! See you next season?

Vince shoots Open Class In my six matches, I only shot with one Englishspeaking shooter – no, that’s not fair – they all spoke English - to a high standard - even though it was not their native language. It was a great international atmosphere and I almost felt as though I was the one shooting abroad! So thank you Dieter, Klaus, Marco, Helmut, Hans and of course Barry, for your company on – and off - the firing-point.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to shoot with any of the Ukraine team – these guys really made their mark, with Vyacheslav Kovalshii featuring in a nail-biting last-detail shoot for victory in the fading afternoon light with closest rival and current World Champion Gary Costello watching every shot. The two of them had never been more than a couple of points apart all weekend. But, that’s what happened on Saturday afternoon – the competition actually started on Friday morning at 8.30am. The forecast for the weekend was not good and I wasn’t surprised to be donning the waterproofs





for the first detail. It really poured-down and I was glad to get it over with and get off the point but, in reality, conditions wind-wise were good and those who could ignore the rain turned in some excellent scores – Greg Thompson with an astonishing 75.11v – the best for the 800 yard stage, even though the rain abated for the other two relays. The light tail-wind picked up slightly but no one else matched Greg’s score. Moral – if rain is accompanied by light winds, seize the opportunity!



Open winner Vyacheslav Kovalshii receiving awards above and shooting below.




Miraculously, despite forecasts to the contrary, it stayed dry for the rest of the weekend.


At the end of day one, Ukraine shooter Vyacheslav Kovalshii had already laid down his marker and lead the Open Class field - by just four V bulls - from Gary Costello. Here’s the top six:


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Vyacheslav Kovalshii Gary Costello Rudolph Eckbauer Dmytro Hyrmalyuk Peter Hobson Tony Marsh

221.21v 221.17v 220.20v 220.15v 219.17v 219.15v

Close! In fact, only five points covered the whole of the top twenty. Individual stage winners for Day 1:
800 yards 900 yards 1000 yards Greg Thompson 75.11v Dmytro Hrymalyuk 75.02v Vyacheslav Kovalskii 74.5v (Gary Costello also shot a 74.5v)





In spite of a forecast of rain, Saturday was fine, with a light mist delaying the first detail a little. Today, the wind had turned to face us and was, if anything, a little stronger. My 73.9v at 800 yards was only good enough for 34th place but how disappointed would I have been to come off the line with a 75.4v as Spaniard Joan Morell did – only to find himself down in 17th! The standard in both Open and F/TR is so very high but of course it will be – we shoot against the two current World Champions at every GB League shoot!



Gary and Vyacheslav dropped a point apiece at 800 yards – clearly V bulls would be important and Gary now trailed by six Vs. At 900 yards, the wind wasn’t too bad. My 73.7v was good enough for a top twenty spot but again, three

shooters ‘cleaned’ it – including Vyacheslav - whilst Gary dropped two points and three more V bulls. The final 1000 yard stage was a 2 sighters and twenty to count – 100 points at stake – all the previous five matches being 2 and 15. Gary had to shoot well now -



with a deficit of just two points but with less V bulls - a good score was needed. Irishman Liam Fenlon took a great win at 1000 yards with an astounding 98.9v. Gary shot a respectable 95.6v so, if Vyacheslav shot a 93, he would equal Gary’s total but win on V bull count.

So, there we were, in the low afternoon sunlight – spotting scopes and binoculars trained on target number 30. Vyacheslav didn’t buckle under the pressure and shot a great 96.6v to take a comfortable win and become the 2011 European F Class Open




Champion by three points and 9 V bulls – the first nonGB shooter to win the title.


Here’s the final top ten: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Vyacheslav Kovalshii Gary Costello Dmytro Hrymalyuk Simon Rogers Marco Been Liam Fenlon Olaf Jones Rudolf Eckbauer Vitaly Bragar Mark Daish 466.45v 463.36 463.33 461.45 461.39 461.39 461.33 460.34 460.33 459.43
better last year’s top 20 placement but things didn’t work out that way at all. Anyway... perusing my squadding details revealed I was assigned to the all-F/TR group and we weren’t on until the third and final relay in Friday morning’s Match 1 at 800. A nice leisurely start to the proceedings, but my fellow competitors rushed down to Stickledown to look at the wind or something and got soaked for their troubles alongside the unfortunates shooting on Relay 1! I drove onto the range just as the second relay got underway in improving weather and against the backdrop of an impressive rainbow over the Danger Area. By the time it was my turn to move forward onto No. 50 firing point – right up against the tree line and very scenic – the cloud had broken up giving surprisingly warm sunny intervals. As a ‘November only’ Bisley visitor, this provided me with a novel condition in the form of a nice readable mirage at the far end of the range. It supported flag indications that just a smidgeon of left windage was needed, but almost as soon as we started in earnest, the 7 o’clock left wind rose to two minutes and ran between that and three for most of the match. So far so good, feel confident, start with a couple of solid fives ..... then .... score shot 3, a near perfect wind call but a full 1½-MOA drop compared to its predecessor onto the three/four score line, and worse scored the lower value. Two points gone in a match that I was sure would see a barrel-full of 75s! Leave the elevation setting untouched, cross fingers mentally, shot 4 has perfect elevation, just a shame I missed a wind let-off and dropped another point. After that I lost another trio, a couple to poor elevation and another through a second unseen wind let-off for a distinctly mediocre 69.1v. Nevertheless, many other scores weren’t as high as I’d supposed with only Ukraine’s Sergey Gorban and Altcar’s Mick Longbottom getting possibles with eight Vs to seven. Another couple of ‘GB Shooters’, Messrs Donaldson and Opperman were only just behind on 74s split by Germany’s Reinhard Lang on V-count.

Just a few years ago, you wouldn’t have seen a single foreign name in that list, now 50% are from overseas. Next year, we could see GB shooters in the minority for the first time! You can see how important those V bulls are (places 4 to 7) – remember, that V bull is just five inches (125mm) in diameter – about the size of a CD. It’s fitting that the winner also has the highest V bull count – though Simon Rogers equalled it. Always the sign of an accurate rifle, I like to think.

Here are the stage winners for Day 2: 800 yards Ulrich Kwade 75.11v (V.Taveggia, S.Rogers & C.Caselli also shot a 75.11v) 900 yards Volke Zeitz 75.09v (V.Kovalskii also shot a 75.9v) 1000 yards Liam Fenlon 98.9v
Have a look at the equipment list further on in this artilce or go to the GB F Class website to see what the top ten shooters were using. If you are thinking of entering F Class Open, this is maybe where you should start with your choice of components, cartridge and gunsmith. As always, only an elite few are in contention for medals. For the rest of us, it’s a chance to shoot with and measure ourselves against the best shooters in the world and, when we aren’t shooting, have a meal, a beer or two and, as our Irish friends say - enjoy the craich.

F/TR - Laurie’s bit This was my third ‘Europeans’, always as an F/TR competitor and my second year out with the 223 Rem. Savage. My objective was to hold onto, preferably 21

Russell Simmonds and Stuart Anselm were part of a larger group on 73s that included another Ukrainian we’d soon watch closely - Alexandr Nicolaev. Of the others at the top of the GB F/TR league rankings, John Cross and Adam Bagnall were down on relatively lowly 71s, not a good start for Adam who needed first place and 20 points to equal Russell Simmonds’ League total of 79 points. Match 2 at 900 saw a thicker overcast with the wind still running at two to three minutes left, but producing a noticeable kick up to nearly four minutes mid match alongside a series of half to three-quarter minute changes, all too easy to lose points to. My match plot can only be described as a mess – the elevation spread had deteriorated further overall


aggravated by another early shot that really went out of the group – high this time but fortunately just staying in the Four-ring at 12 o’ clock. However, much damage was done by a series of shots mid match where I got totally out of sync with the wind variations, the sole consolation being a recovery towards the end. 61.2v – nearly bottom of the field. Ouch! Most people dropped more points than in Match 1 with one notable exception, my good friend and fellow Diggle shooter Ian Dixon who improved by four points to seize the match medal on an excellent 73.4v seeing off Alexandr Nicolaev and George Barnard as the only competitors with 72s. Alexandr’s 72 was accompanied by 10 Vs though, a real feat considering only two



other competitors in a field of 76 did better than five and there were cartloads of nil to two counts! Russell Simmonds and Adam Bagnall nearly tied here on 71.6v & 71.5v respectively and most of the top Brits were in the 69 to 71 points band alongside visitors Paul Eggerman (Germany). Maksim Semonovykh (Ukraine), John Hennessy (Ireland), Alejandro Hildago and Enrique Orti (Spain).

their eyes and judgement said about the flags – and they shot way off to the right too! Anyway, this was really dandy on a personal level – three shots into the match, seven points dropped! Actually, I made a good recovery with a couple of fives, got restarted mentally and had nearly as good a shoot after that as I’d get all weekend ending up on 64.2v for a top 20 place, ‘One’ or no ‘One’. The wind generally ran at a higher level after its dramatic lift, never dropping below 4½-MOA and peaking at 6-MOA left on my plot. Surprise, surprise, scores dropped – Ireland’s John Hennessy got the medal on 70.0v, and Alexandr Nicolaev (him again!) had the only 69 – with the equal highest V-count of five too. This man is good! Russell Simmonds, wind reader extraordinaire, was third on the sole 68 with one V and relative league newcomer, Altcar’s Richard Jones, followed up with Paul Eggerman on 67s, Richard being the only other competitor to find the V five times. Of the other leading League contenders, Stuart Anselm and George Barnard shared 66s, Paul Harkins had shot 65, while Adam Bagnall, Ian Dixon, and Steve Donaldson were down on 63s, John Cross on 62. Around 30 competitors were down in the 50s too – suddenly I didn’t feel too bad after all. To inject a bit of European lingo, Schadenfreude (pleasure in others’ misfortunes) can be a most enjoyable sensation but it can work both ways as we’ll see.

Bad Start! The afternoon’s 1000 yard match was straight after the lunch break for my relay, a 1.30 pm start. The wind was still running from 7 o’clock, the overcast was thicker but the light was good and it still hadn’t rained on me – things could be much worse, and they soon were.
The wind was running pretty well as before, at least initially with the extra 100 yard taking it up to 3½ to 4-MOA left of my scope zero. My wind calls for sighter 2 and score shot 1 were for once good, the first just below the Bull line. Put a quarter minute on the elevation, add an extra quarter minute left wind on too ... and score a ‘three’ at precisely 12 o’clock, barely in the ring too! Damnation! Despite my experiences in the previous two matches, I foolishly took three-quarter MOA off the elevation (lack of food clouding judgement, had to be) and paid for this folly with a low four. Two shots on and three possible points gone, but things now went from bad to really bad. Put the elevation back on and shot 2 was fine now in that regard, only it disappeared off to the right – a ONE. I looked again at the flags (no visible change), looked again at the target (still a ‘One’) and couldn’t believe it. As neighbouring targets rose, groans and curses erupted on either side – I wasn’t alone even if the 308s had mostly just stayed in the black for a ‘two’. Our partners faced a dilemma: the flags looked the same as for their last shot but they’d just seen evidence of a near two minute wind rise. Which should they believe? There was what seemed a very long silence along the firing line and I suspect most went for what






Anyway, here’s how the top of the F/TR leader board looked when stats keeper Karen Robertson posted them on the big notice boards in the trade marquee at the end of day one: 1. Alexandr Nicolaev 2. Russell Simmonds 3. George Barnard 4. John Hennessey 5. Stuart Anselm 6. Maksim Semonovykh 7. Paul Eggerman 8. Alejandro Hildago 9. Steve Donaldson 10.Ross Opperman 214.21v 212.14v 210.11v 210.5v 209.13v 209.12 209.9v 207.`2v 206.10v 206.10v


Dodging Headwinds Saturday morning: dark, dreary, fogbound Bisley. No wind as I drove to Stickledown but surprisingly warm for the time of year. The main F/TR group was now on the first detail, 08.30 for blow-offs then 2+15 at 800. The weather forecast said rain moving in from the east - or not if we were lucky as it might reach London and stick there. One thing the forecasters did get spot-on was a near 180-degrees wind switch, giving a headwind with a touch of direction from the right if the flags were to be believed.
Too dark to see the blow-off strikes on the sand so it’s 1-MOA right on the scope for sighter 1 scoring ‘three’ at four o’clock, a minute too far right. Zero wind on sighter 2 and plus half-MOA elevation and it’s a ‘four’ at two o’clock, nearly a half-minute left needed. Check the flags – they definitely seem to run from right to left, my partner agrees. Take the half MOA elevation off, shade left a little and get a line-cutter ‘four’ between 10 and 11 o’clock, wind OK but the rifle’s mucking me about with elevation again. Shade off to the right for the next couple of shots and glory be - a couple of ‘fives’ with good elevation. Perhaps the rifle’s settled down? Then ... shot 4, right on the three/four line between five and six o’clock, same place as the day before and yet again scoring the lower value! Leave elevation settings alone and shot 5 is back up, a smidgeon below the V. Thankfully, shots just stayed within 1-MOA elevation after that and I kept them all within the five-ring, albeit barely for shots 12 (low) and 14 (high) for 72.3v. Winds were light and from shot number 4 needed left windage on my zero, never mind what the flags said, varying from a shade to nearly a minute towards the end.

Adam Bagnall was in 15th place on 205.10v - an overall win and 20 League points (needed to snatch the 2011 League from Russell Simmonds) now looking distinctly dubious but there was another full day of shooting to come. Moreover, Russell was having serious rifle problems by the end of Friday and had to retire his number one rifle. He’d brought a back-up but was obviously unhappy about the change and his prospects in Saturday’s matches.



Such were this meeting’s standards that 72.3v was only good enough for 40th match place! Nevertheless, despite the light winds, there were ‘only’ three 75s (compared to 19 in ‘Open’), Spaniard Dario Sanchez Ibarguren leading Diggle’s Stuart Anselm and Ukraine’s Alexandr Nicolaev with nine, seven and six Vs respectively. Ireland’s David Comerford was first in a pack of no fewer than 13 shooters on 74 with a superb 10 V-count, highest equal in the match with Sergey Gorban. Standby rifle or not, Russell Simmonds was well up on 74.9v and 5th place. Adam Bagnall was at the other end of the 74-pack with a relatively low match place but only dropping one point against F/TR leader Alexandr Nicolaev and none against Russell.

Although the winds were light, the fishtailing tendency and some near-MOA changes between shots made it likely everybody would leak out at some point or other and sure enough there were no 75s or 74s. Five competitors shared 73, Reinhard Lang of Germany took first on a good nine Vs, Enrique Orti and Stuart Anselm second and third places with eight and seven respectively. The others were Ireland’s David Comerford and Paul Eggerman, so that makes it two Germans and one each from Spain, Ireland and the host country for that leading group – our continental neighbours have really improved their game. With this the penultimate match, how did the other rivals for the European F/TR top slot fare? Adam Bagnall and Steve Donaldson scored 70s, Russell Simmonds was further back on 67.4v, Alexandr Nicolaev similarly placed on 67.2v, and George Barnard still lower on 66.3v.

Fishtail It’s late morning and time for the dreaded 900 yards but the headwinds seem mild and still look as if they need some right windage on. The clouds are low, it’s dull, and the odd spot of drizzle spatters onto the firing line but the rain has held off. I prefer these light Bisley headwinds to the seasonal prevailing 7 o’clock version but I’m in a minority on this.
Start on zero wind and it’s a central ‘four’ at four o’clock for the first sighter – nearly half-MOA left still needed despite what the flags say. Shade left for sighter 2, a quarter MOA extra elevation and it’s a solid ‘five’ at six o’clock – the only sighter I converted over the two days. Then ... ‘it’ started again, only worse as the rifle simply strung shots up and down the fourring plus yet another early on-its-own shot way up at the top of the three-ring for 2½-MOA total variation. The good news was I only made one poor wind call throughout so things could have been very much worse. On my wind zero, the plot showed four shots needed something left, one zero and the remaining nine right from a mere shade up to three-quarters-MOA. So, it’s 65.1v and an even lower 59th match place but I’m happy having read the wind so much better than on the previous day’s 900.

Magpie Alley So, it’s mid Saturday afternoon and time to take part in the final individual match, 2+20 at 1000 yards, also the day’s final relay. It’s very dull now but still dry and the wind is milling around from what looks like 12 to 1 o’clock. This was the sole 20 round match, conditions look tricky and F/TR gets hard at this distance, so there were major opportunities and risks for the competitors at the top of the leader board. If my arithmetic is right, Stuart Anselm had moved up four places and was now in a one point lead pushing Alexandr Nicolaev and Russell Simmonds into the 2nd and 3rd slots but with only four points across them. Other big climbers after Match 5 were Paul Eggerman (7th to 4th), Adrian Casey (11th to 5th), and Adam Bagnall (15th to 8th).
Stuart stayed on top form winning Match 6 and the F/TR European Championship with a superb 95.8v. Richard Jones, who’d already put in some excellent scores got 2nd with 94.4v and Les Dawson had his best match of the event for 3rd on 93.5v. Adam Bagnall, Steve Donaldson, and George Barnard all had a good match too, sharing 93 with lower V-counts. Another good result was that of the popular NRA lady Heather Webb with 92.5v for 7th. Richard Jones’ result gave him a great 10th overall but didn’t affect the top few, likewise Les’s third so Adam, Steve and George could move up significantly depending on how Alexandr Nicolaev and Russell Simmonds had done. Both


struggled for different reasons in this match, Russell in an uncharacteristically lowly 46th with 84.4v, while Alexandr’s overall standing fell from second to ninth place thanks to 82.3v. How about me? Physically, I was almost back where I started on the firing line, target No. 48 against the trees. As my partner and I went forward to replace a couple of Relay 2 ‘Open’ competitors, their faces didn’t suggest high scores! Recognizing me, one suddenly cheers up but it’s only more Schadenfreude. “Ho! Ho!” says he. “You WILL have fun shooting a two-two-three with the verticals out there!” Now that’s encouraging! My partner is a long-time Bisley shooter, a lovely fellow called Anthony Fraser. Will the trees protect us from right wind gusts I ask, suspecting the answer but hoping to hear otherwise. Unfortunately not, I’m told – the wind curls over the trees and affects our verticals unpredictably and the tree line ends at around 600 yards anyway with sloping ground to the right that sees wind gusts from that side push bullets up. For those readers outside of the UK, the ‘Magpie Alley’ nickname that is unofficially applied to the far right group of Stickledown firing-points has nothing to do with birds, rather the old-fashioned name for a hit scoring ‘three’ – or a Magpie. I don’t know if it was the tree line effect but I again, needed left windage on despite the flag aspects and it turned out to be a fishtailing wind for most of the match – eight shots on the wind plot needing left, two zero, and five right up to and including shot No.14; all to the left after that. There were three notable reversals, the biggest at the three quarter mark when a small right value suddenly became 2-MOA left, a switch that I never saw on any flag and gave me a low ‘two’ at four o’ clock. However, yet again, it was the verticals that did the worst damage, nine points lost in another near 2-MOA spread helping me to a pretty miserable 78.2v. I didn’t know how that split between the rifle and the conditions but noted that my partner’s verticals were very good for the first 10 then went downhill badly during the second half. As the results went up in a commendably short time, it became apparent how Saturday’s matches had turned things around in F/TR and how stunning Stuart’s victory was. In a sport that usually sees tiny points spreads across the top half dozen competitors, his

aggregate of 452.33v was quite something, a clear 10 points ahead of second place man Adam Bagnall who headed up a group of seven covered by only two points from 442 down to 440. Stuart had the highest V-count too leading only three F/TR competitors with 30 or more, Alexandr Nicolaev (32) and Russell Simmonds (31).

Here are the final top ten placings in F/TR; 1 - Stuart Anslem (GB) 452.33v 2 - Adam Bagnall (GB) 442.24v 3 - Steve Donaldson (GB) 442.23v 4 - Maksim Semonovykh 441.25v 5 - George Barnard (GB) 441.24v 6 - Paul Eggerman (Ger) 441.19v 7 - Enrique Cabera Orti (Sp) 440.28v 8 - Adrian Casey (Ireland) 440.25v 9 - Alexandr Nicolaev (UKr) 438.32v 10- Richard Jones (GB) 438.19v
Finally, what kit did people use? We’ve put a table together for the top 10 in each class, see the following pages or go to the GB F Class website to see how this looks... No great surprises on actions and scopes, except I thought there would be more than one Sightron scope. Four Broughton barrels surprised me a little – no True-Flites either. All ammunition is .308 Win (I was the only .223 Rem shooter I believe) and Lapua brass, Berger bullets, and Viht powders rule these particular roosts, particularly Bergers with nine out of ten using them, only Enrique Cabrera Orti loading Australian Dyer HBC 155s as an alternative. (No Sierra MatchKing users!) 155gn is still the favourite weight but the heavies have a following and there will be 200-230gn Berger Hybrids around for next year’s Europeans. I was unsurprised to see Stuart’s performance with the 185gn Berger BTLR, still the best all-rounder for .308 Win in my view but underestimated by many GB F/TR shooters for some reason – it’s very different in the USA! Also of note on the ammunition side is a marked move back to ‘single-base’ powders with half of the group using Viht N140 or Hodgdon VarGet, the remainder on the hotter burning double-base Viht N540/N550 or Alliant Reloder 17 propellants. So far as builders are concerned, Stuart Anselm (Osprey Rifles) and Mik Maksimovic (Dolphin Gun Co.) are the people to speak to, although the winner’s rifle was ‘smithed by our very own editor Vince Bottomley.



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THE 2011 EUROPEAN F CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS BISLEY - ENGLAND The Teams Shoot If two days of intense competition and a day of practice leaves you wanting, then you can enter the Teams shoot on the Sunday. The shoot is for national teams of eight shooters in both Open and F/TR Classes and is excellent training for those planning to visit the World Championships in Raton USA in 2013.
Team shooting is a whole different experience, in so far as shooters are coached and shoot individually and plotters and record keepers must be employed. To operate as the proverbial ‘well oiled machine’ takes practice and organisation. For those not selected for their national team, adhoc four-man teams may be formed to shoot for the Rutland Cup. Conditions for Sunday morning were again favourable and an enjoyable shoot ensued which rounded off a great weekend. Mik Maksimovic - Main organiser of the European Championships and the GB F Class league

Results - National: Open Class: 1st Great Britain Blue 2nd Great Britain Red 3rd BDMP Germany 4th Spain F/TR Class: 1st Great Britain 2nd Ukraine 3rd Republic of Ireland 4th Spain

The Italian team.

Rutland Cup: 1st Ukraine (Open) 2nd Dill 3rd Sixes & Sevens 4th Northern Lights 5th CPC France Rutland Cup: 1st BDMP Germany (F/TR) 2nd Grumpy Old People Finally... Shoots of this magnitude don’t run themselves – even though to shooters on the point it might seem so. Let’s thank Mik’s army of helpers: the butt crews who did a fabulous job of marking, the Range Officers - who braved the cold and rain and were on range without a break for longer than any competitor and finally, the lovely ladies who supplied us all with tea and coffee throughout the weekend, raising funds for the Association. Well done to everyone.

The Ukraine team.

The GB F Class winning open team.



Just some of the Great Britain winners... See GB F Class website for over 100 photos...

Gary Costello, 2011 GBFCA League Open Champion

Russell Simmonds, 2011 GBFCA League FTR Champion

Stuart Anselm, 2011 European FTR Champion

Just some of the winning FTR shooters from the 2011 GBFCA League. Lastly, an enormous ‘thank you’ to all our sponsors, namely Sightron Scopes, ( Aimfield Sports, ( Dolphin Gun Company, ( Osprey Rifles ( and Target Shooter ( We thank all sponsors most sincerely for their generous support and we hope that all competitors will support those who support us.


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships Bisley England


Long Range Shooting
Unlike Continental Europe, where grand shooting festivals had been held since at least the 14th century, target shooting as a sport never had a strong following in Great Britain until the mid 19th century. With the establishment of the Volunteer Force in 1859 and the subsequent founding of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the mass appeal of the sporting aspects of rifle shooting was to grow throughout the mid-late Victorian era.
From their inaugural meeting on Wimbledon Common in 1860, the NRA held competitions at ranges up to 1000 yards. During the latter part of the 19th Century, there was great public interest generated in longrange shooting with the famous international matches held at Creedmoor (USA), Dollymount (Ireland) and Wimbledon. During the initial years, rifles used at long-range were generally of military configuration. This class of muzzle-loading match rifle evolved through the 1860s into a highly specialised form, typically incorporating a heavy barrel of .45 bore, finely adjustable sights and a pistol grip stock. Such rifles dominated in longrange target shooting competition until the end of the 1870s when breech-loading rifles began to replace the muzzle-loader in the hands of long-range marksmen.

The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall Modern Revival
The modern revival of long-range shooting with muzzle-loading rifles began in the 1960s amongst members of the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain (MLAGB). Long-range shooting has become an established discipline within the MLAGB and National Championship matches are held at distances of up to 1000 yards. A group of enthusiasts within the Association also formed their own Branch to further expand their long-range shooting opportunities and, on occasion, shoot out to 1200 yards. The world governing body for muzzle-loading shooting is the Muzzle Loaders Associations International Committee (MLAIC). Founded in 1971, the MLAIC held their first World Championship in 1972 in Spain. In 1984 Zone Championships were introduced with the European Championships held in the Netherlands and the Pacific Zone Championships held in the USA. Subsequent to that World and Zone Championships have been held on alternate years. Until 1999, muzzle-loading competitions were held at short range - 25m for pistol and revolver, 50m for musket and rifle, 100m for rifle, plus clay pigeon events for shotgun. Worldwide interest in long-range muzzle-loading grew to such an extent that in 1999 the MLAIC held their first Long Range World Championships at Bisley, Surrey. Following on from the success of this, the Championship was again held at Bisley in 2000, then South Africa 2001, USA 2003, Great Britain 2005, South Africa 2007, and USA 2009. This year, the 8th MLAIC Long Range World Championship was held at Bisley from 11 – 17th September. It was managed by the MLAGB as the national governing body for muzzle-loading and this year was the largest Championship held to date, with 68 competitors from 12 nations;

Australia - Austria - France - Germany - Great Britain - Netherlands - New Zealand - Norway South Africa - Sweden - Switzerland & United States.


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

Dave Gullo and Lee Shaver (USA) conferring during the 300 yard training.


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall Programme
The World Championships comprise a series of individual matches fired at 300, 500, 600, 900 and 1000 yards. Additionally, there are international competitions for teams of four, fired at mid-range (300, 500 and 600 yards) and long range (900 and 1000 yards). Matches at 300, 500 and 600 yards comprise three convertible sighters and ten match shots. The 900 and 1000 yard matches are five convertible sighters and 15 match shots. Shooting commenced with a training day which is essentially shooter’s opportunity to check that all equipment is functioning correctly and to verify sight settings. The week’s programme was;

The integrity of arms entered for the original rifle class is checked to ensure that, for instance, barrels have not been relined or bedded using modern materials. Modern-made reproductions of original firearms, with sights, lock assembly, stock and barrel in the original style are permitted. Original parts may be used to build reproductions, such that a new barrel can be exchanged with an original that is no longer suitable for shooting. A typical specification for a muzzle loading rifle used for long range shooting is; .45 cal percussion rifle. 34-36” barrel with 1:18 twist rifling. Weight 12lbs (in the 19th century weight was restricted to 10lb). Aperture sights with vernier scale adjustment and spirit level foresight. 530 – 560 grain paper patched or grease grooved bullet. Charge of 85 - 95 grains Swiss No. 3 or 90-100 grains of Swiss No. 4 black powder.

Sunday - 11 September - Equipment Control. Monday - 12 September - Training 300, 500 & 600yds. Tuesday - 13 September - Individual Matches 300 & 500 yards. Wednesday - 14 September (am) Individual Matches 600 yards (pm) Mid-Range Team (commences) 300 yards. Thursday 15 September (am) Mid-Range Team (concludes) 500 & 600 yards (pm) Training 900 & 1000 yards. Friday 16 September (am) Individual Matches 900 yards (am) Individual Matches 1000 yards. Saturday 17 September (am) Long Range Team 900 & 1000 yards (pm) Prize Giving followed by evening closing banquet. Equipment Control
The preliminaries of the event commenced with equipment control. As with ISSF target shooting disciplines, the MLAIC have rules governing clothing and firearms. In general, clothing permitted in ISSF disciplines is permitted under MLAIC rules. Given the range of firearms that can be used for MLAIC events and variations between period gun makers, it is not possible to define exacting specifications for them. Equipment control is therefore carried out by a panel of experts with detailed knowledge of muzzle-loading firearms. Events are held in two classes: Original and Reproduction.

World Championships
The Championship was formally opened on Sunday evening with brief speeches by Match Director George Arnold, MLAGB Chairman Ken Hocking and MLAIC Secretary General David Brigden. There were initial concerns about the weather conditions and potential disruption to the first few days of the Championship. A severe weather-warning forecasting gales combined with heavy rain had been issued as the tail of Hurricane Katia approached the UK. In the event, Monday’s practice session began in somewhat gloomy damp weather but only one competition was disrupted with a brief but heavy rain squall. Winds reduced through the week, although the improving conditions and clearing skies brought a tricky mirage for some of the long range shooting. Targets used are the standard NRA full-bore rifle targets and the tiny 5.5 inch diameter bulls-eye at 300 yards is a challenge for muzzle loaders. Nonetheless, in the opening match John Whittaker (Great Britain) and Corena de Beer (South Africa) each won their classes, Original and Reproduction respectively, with a score of 45 in strong and blustery wind conditions.


Fired the same day was the 500 yard match. Laurent Smaniotto (France) won the Original class and Josef Ruoss (Switzerland) the Reproduction class. The top three in Original scored 42 and had to be separated by v-bull and count-back. This was a similar story in Reproduction where the top three each scored 45. Wednesday morning concluded the mid-range individual matches with the 600 yard event. This brought another gold medal for Great Britain in Original class, which was won by Jersey’s Mike Alexandre scoring 40. Norway’s Arne Riis won Reproduction with 43. Germany got off to a strong start in the 300 yard element of the Mid-Range Team match on Wednesday afternoon. Their team score of 150 was however closely followed by Sweden (148) and South Africa (147). Conditions on Thursday morning for the 500 and 600 yard shooting in the team match were perhaps the best of the week - clear and calm. Competition was keen and everyone was striving to make the most of the conditions. Germany made an outstanding team score of 178 at 500 yards. This included Harold Ruediger’s 50.5. This is the first maximum score fired in an MLAIC Long Range World Championship and the first known to the author at all at this range and is a remarkable achievement. USA made a strong finish at 600 yards with top team score at that distance but could not close the gap on the leading nations. Germany retained their early lead for first place, followed by Sweden and South Africa. Thursday’s shooting was concluded in the afternoon with 900 and 1000 yard practice in hot weather and an entertaining mirage. The long-range individual matches were held on Friday, 900 yards in the morning and 1000 yards in the afternoon. Competitors by now had several days shooting to be sure that both they and their equipment were performing at their best; long-range is however where all the rifleman’s skills in reading the wind and understanding the atmospheric conditions comes to the fore. South African shooters have obviously been putting much work into their long range training, shooting consistently well throughout the Championships. At long-range they took gold medals at all distances and

The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall
in both Original and Reproduction classes. Kobus de Villiers shooting an Original Gibbs-Metford match rifle won at both 900 and 1000 yards, scoring 63.2 and 64.2 respectively, whilst in the Reproduction class Tertius Smit won 900 (score 65.3) and 1000 yards (score 64.3). Saturday morning concluded the Championships with what for many is regarding as the premier event, the four man long-range team match. Eight nations competed for this. Given South Africa’s strong performance in the individual long range events, with strength in depth, it is unsurprising to find that they won the team match. The outcome was not quite so certain though after the 900 yard stage where USA had established a strong lead on 243, followed by South Africa 224 and France 218. Moving back to 1000 yards saw some significant changes in fortune with South Africa drawing on their consistent team to score 217 at the distance, followed by USA 191 and Great Britain 185. The 1000 yard results mirrored the final order for medallists with South Africa gaining gold (441), USA silver (434) and Great Britain bronze (396). The weather had remained kind to the shooters during this concluding event; the afternoon however saw a torrential downpour of rain and hail. By then though, shooting had finished and competitors were left to bask in their glory or ponder their strategy for medal success in forthcoming events. An awards ceremony was held late afternoon at the MLAGB’s Club House, the Exhibition Hut, which was full to capacity. With national flags flying outside, the magnificent medals and trophies on display and competitors in their uniforms, this was a splendid occasion which ran smoothly. Following the closing speeches, competitors, family and friends mingled at the Club House before re-grouping for the closing banquet in the evening. Held in the Army Rifle Association Officers’ Mess all enjoyed a carvery and each others’ company before parting.


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

The 600 yard stage of the Mid-Range Team match


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

The Exhibition Hut, Bisley. Club House of the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain.


The Championships were an outstanding success for Match Director George Arnold and his volunteer helpers on the range and in the MLAGB’s Bisley Club House. Competition was friendly and keen with some outstanding scores being achieved. Notable are new World Records at 1000 yards in both Original and Reproduction rifle classes:

The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

Original - J de Villiers (South Africa) : 64.1 Reproduction - T Smit (South Africa) : 64.3

Original match rifles are becoming scarcer on the range; they do however remain competitive as the above 1000 yard world records demonstrate. It is also notable that the Grand Aggregate winner in Original class had a higher score than Reproduction class. These are, above all, a friendly championship. Shooters are competing in a challenging discipline and there is great camaraderie both on and off the range. Plans are already in place for the 9th MLAIC World Championships which will be hosted by South Africa in 2013.


The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

Petra Leonhardt (Germany) shooting an original military match rifle by Thomas Turner at 900 yards.


Full results and links to a photograph gallery and historical records of the MLAIC Long Range World Championships can be found at; Associations and Other Contacts The Muzzle Loaders Associations International Committee; Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain; Long Range Rifles Branch of the MLAGB;

The Eighth MLAIC Long Range World Championships
Bisley England by David Minshall

Further Information Those with an interest in long range shooting with muzzle loading and black powder breech loading rifles can find more information on the sport and its history on the Research Press web site at: www. There is an internet discussion list, Long Range Muzzle Loader at; Acknowledgements to Roger Fenton for all photographs.

The Bronze medal winning Great Britain Long Range Rifle Team. Andrew Russell, Mike Alexandre (Coach), John Whittaker, David Brigden, Mike Hall.


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders

2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships

The International Practical Shooting Confederation

2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders

The International Practical Shooting Confederation 2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships Rhodes, Greece
by Tony Saunders

900+ competitors shoot over 800,000 rounds of ammunition over 5 days!
The 2011 IPSC World Shoot XVI Practical Handgun Championships were held in Rhodes, Greece. The World Shoot (WS) takes place every three years and was held at the Kalamonas Shooting Range, south of Rhodes town. The competition was organised by the Greek IPSC Region, with the assistance from the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and the International Range Officers Association (IROA), which ensured that the range complex was ready for the event.


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders


The increasing popularity of IPSC shooting around the globe has lead to Continental and World Championships being designed to take 900 plus competitors in these matches. For the WS, 1080 allocations were issued for the match. This high demand is in part due to many new IPSC regions being formed in many of the emerging eastern European countries. A total of 64 IPSC Regions participated in the match.
The event started on October 2nd with the Opening Ceremony. Over 160 competitors took part in the Pre Match for all the range officers and match officials. Administrative meetings and the IPSC General Assembly where also held during this week. Representing the UKPSA at these meeting were Vanessa Duffy, Rob Adam, Neil Beverly and Bob Chittleborough. The Opening Ceremony took place on the Sunday afternoon. Teams and representatives of the 64 participating nations converged and paraded behind their respective countries flags into a Greek amphitheatre. The Main Match started on the Monday morning of October 3rd and consisted of 30 stages, shot six per day over five half days. The competitors were grouped into 72 squads of up to 15 shooters, which shot for half a day alternating between mornings and afternoons 7.30 am to 13.00 pm and 13.30pm until 7.00 pm. The way the match was organised meant that 30 squads shot in the morning and another 30 squads shot in the afternoon and 12 squads had the day off. Each stage was ranged officered by two IROA officials. The Greek Army also provided a lot of man power to assist with the running of the event.

2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders
The 30 stages consisted of 15 short stages of 9 to 12 rounds; ten medium stages of 13 to 21 rounds and five long stages of 29 to 32 rounds for a minimum round count of 464 rounds for the match. As well as static full-sized and partial versions, the IPSC Classic targets consisted of moving, bobbing and drop and turn versions placed between two and 35 metres from the competitors. Twenty-eight of the 30 stages also included moving targets and steel pepper poppers and/or plates. Eric Grauffel retained his crown as World Open Division Champion for the fifth successive time. The USA’s JJ Racaza and Kamille Eusibio were in second and third place with 96.71% and 96.00 %. In women’s Open Division Australia’s Karla Blowers took the woman’s top slot. The USA’s Megan Francisco and Jessica Harrison took the next two places. In the open junior class Shane Coley from the USA came in first place. Rhys Arthur from Australia came second and the USA’s Ben Thompson was close behind in third place. In Modified Division Zdenek Henes from the Czech Republic took the top spot, with Jerome Jovanne Morales from the Philippines less than 3% behind him and the USA’s Rob Leatham was in third place. Production Division was a tight match this year and it was a one, two and three for the USA, with Robert Vogel, Ben Stoeger and Matthew Mink taking the top three places. Women’s Production Division was won by Russia’s Mira Gushchina and less than 0.5% separated the USA’s Julie Goloski-Golob and Sara Dunivin in second and third place. The battle for Standard Division took place between JC Jamie Diaz, Blake Miguez, Ted Puente, Petr Znamenacek, Travis Tomasie and Gyorgy Batki. Congratulations to Blake Miguez for winning Standard at the WS. Spain’s JC was second and Ted Puente from the USA in third place. Ricardo Lopez from Ecuador


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders

GB Shooters in Rhodes, Greece.


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders


2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships by Tony Saunders

won Revolver Division. Jerry Miculek and Matthew Griffin from the USA were in second and third place. Appreciation is due to our hosts in Rhodes and to the Greek people - both those who were involved in the match and the general public who made us all feel very welcome on the island of Rhodes. The IPSC World Shoot XVII will take place in 2014 in Frostproof, Florida, USA.

Lifetime Achievement Awards What are they all about? – “The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the furtherance of IPSC excellence through their passionate and enduring dedication as an outstanding competitor, official, or administrator.”
This year, the short list came down to two truly outstanding candidates so IPSC decided to honor them both. Both candidate competitors have unquestionably dominated IPSC for decades. True champions are not those who merely win the greatest number of competitions. True champions are those who conduct themselves with dignity, with integrity and with the highest of level sportsmanship both on and off the range. These two gentlemen have a combined tally of seven World Titles, over 40 National Titles, and countless other championships far too numerous to mention.

We salute the Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Mr. Rob Leatham and Mr. Jerry Miculek.
For Further Information :


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

“The Victorious Great Britain Team for the Palma World Long Range Championship”
The ‘Palma’ is the oldest and most prestigious long-range rifle shooting competition in the world. Dating back to 1876, the first one was held in the USA at the Creedmoor Range, New York. It is now held every four years and generally contested by the USA and Commonwealth countries, though many nations have taken part over its long history. The competition is for single-shot, iron-sighted rifles chambered for the 7.62/308 Win cartridge and using a 155 grain bullet.
We offer our congratulations to John Webster, GB Team Captain and his shooters for their fine performance and we thank John for taking the trouble to provide Target Shooter with this report, which makes for a fascinating read.


After almost three years of planning, fundraising and training, the GB Palma team made its way to Brisbane for what promised to be a most challenging 15 days of competition, culminating in the Palma Match for the Long Range World Team Championship.

The 2011 Palma Match Australia
The team of 26 was highly experienced (all had toured with GB before) but for four individuals it was their first Palma Team and, for ten of the team, it was their first GB tour to Australia. Each had won their place at the end of a gruelling selection process, which had at its heart a philosophy that sought to maximise teamwork between coach and shooter. I was also pleased to welcome Ed Jeens as our travelling reserve, who could have stepped in if there were any last minute withdrawals and Erica McMullan as the team physiotherapist, who would cater to a significant number of muscular aches and pains throughout the tour, as well as leading a daily warm-up of stretching exercises that she had developed specifically for the team.
Photograph by James Watson


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

“The team in action during the Australia Match”


The 2011 Palma Match Australia
Getting from Bisley to Brisbane involved a number of logistical issues. Most alarming of these was the last minute need to get permission to take rifles through Indian airspace, but once successfully overcome, the journey, although very long, went off well. Customs at both ends were well organised, as were Singapore Airways who provided an extra luggage allowance and exit row seats at our request. After a stopover in Singapore, we arrived in Brisbane after some 27 hours and settled into the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside our base for the next three weeks.

The Belmont Shooting Complex
Only a 15 minute drive from the hotel, the Belmont ranges are a major centre for shooting in Queensland and Australia as a whole, with a 1000 yard target rifle range and a separate 1200 yard match rifle range, in addition to a host of other facilities for small bore, pistol, shotgun and air rifle shooting. Benefitting from commercial activities such as providing landfill, the facility is superbly maintained with some of the best firing points to be found anywhere in the world. We were also very graciously given the run of the Natives Rifle Club as our range base. This had a large veranda and cooking / BBQ facility, which we made use of each day as well as for a couple of post-shooting on-range get-togethers.

The NRAA National Queen’s Meeting
The first week of competition shooting comprised the NRAA National Queen’s meeting made up of the President’s, the Queen’s and the Kaltenberg Cup, the combination of which comprised the Grand Aggregate. Importantly for us, the Australia Match (and its obligatory practice day) was held during this week between the President’s and the Queen’s. The President’s was a six range shoot (2 and 10 at each of 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yards) shot over a day and a half and the NRAA Queen’s Prize is a similar competition, with eight ranges including additional
Photograph by Nick Brasier


The 2011 Palma Match Australia
600 and 900 yard details but with no ‘stages’ as we have at Bisley. The only ‘final’ is the Kaltenberg Cup for the top 30 in the President’s and Queen’s combined. It is a competition in its own right but the scores of the final 30 are included in the Grand Aggregate final standings. In addition to overall badges and medals, there were range prizes and daily aggregate prizes. In the President’s, two of the team picked up range medals (Gaz Morris at 300 yards with a 50.9, Chris Watson at 500 yards with a 50.10) but otherwise we were out of the medals with Kelvin Ramsey our best overall, coming tenth on 297.24 behind winner Johannes du Toit of South Africa on 299.41. In the Queen’s Prize, two more of the team picked up range medals (Jon Underwood at 500 yards with a 50.9 and at 1000 yards with a 50.8 and David Luckman at 800 yards with a 50.8) but the spoils went to John Whidden of the USA with a score of 399.46 (ex 400), David Luckman being our highest finisher at eleventh, two points behind after unluckily dropping two at the final distance when in the lead. Five of the team qualified for the Kaltenberg Final at 1000 yards and, as some consolation for David, he won this outright with a fine 75.10; Nigel Ball was second with the only other 75. In the final analysis, the Grand Aggregate was won by Jim Bailey from Australia on 770.81. Our best placings were Nigel Ball (5th), Jane Messer (10th), Jon Underwood (12th), David Luckman (14th) and Richard Jeens (24th).

Photograph by James Watson

The Australia Match
With this match in the middle of the first full week of competition, I was grateful that we had a full day’s practice beforehand to give everyone a coached shoot and a chance to press a claim for a place on the team. The conditions for the warm-up State / Province / Country match on the first day of competition had been altered to two shoots at 300 yards due to the persistent rain. Despite Jane Messer’s target team winning this match with a hugely impressive full


“Captain, John Webster consults with his coaching team, Jane Messer, Martin Townsend and Matthew Ensor”

The 2011 Palma Match Australia


The 2011 Palma Match Australia
score of 600.82 ex 600, I felt we needed to evaluate everyone’s form across both short and long range, as many had been struggling individually with the conditions. The fact that everyone on the team scored between 199 and 195 showed that all were on good form and highly motivated to make the final team. This made selection very difficult but it had to be done and I went with what I felt to be the right combination, as it was clear from the outset that this was going to be a close match. GB had failed to win the Australia Match in its last two visits to Australia and arguably this year’s match was the most competitive field since the match in South Africa in 1999. The day of the match was warm and sunny, with a very tricky rear fishtail wind. We got off to a great start at 300 yards dropping only one point but notably, the teams from the USA, South Africa and Australia all got more V-bulls than us, despite being respectively one, two and two points behind us. It was truly ‘game on’! At 600 yards, we had a great start and had only dropped one point three-quarters of the way through the detail. Alas, we then dropped five more in our last three shooters to finish seven off, only two 1st points up on the USA, who had a number of 2nd 3rd V-Bulls more than us. 4th 5th 6th After lunch, the wind continued to be tricky and the temperature was hotting up both literally (as in degrees Celsius) as well as figuratively. We struggled at this range while others prospered. We dropped 13 points as we battled with the wind on a difficult position on the range, whereas South Africa put in a great performance and dropped only six, Australia nine and the USA ten. This meant that, going into the final 1000 yard range, the USA led on V-Bulls from South Africa and we were now third, one point behind and only two ahead of Australia; a truly tight match with only three points covering the top four teams. At the start of 1000 yards, we made a key tactical decision not to start for 20 minutes, reasoning that it was better to fire our shots in the last hour of the

time allotted rather than during the first hour, given that the wind was likely to subside after 3.30pm in the afternoon. It also meant that our early firers would not run the risk of roasting on the firing-point if we had to call a stop because the wind was playing up. The tension was palpable by this stage as the other teams appeared to be making a good start despite the four to eight minute wind bracket, while our targets remained inactive. The South Africans lost only two points in their first four shooters, while Australia and the USA lost only three and four points respectively. When we started, we matched the South Africans and then, as the wind subsided, we managed the transition successfully, such that we had a four point lead with our last two firers to go. All other teams had finished and our closers, Chris Watson and Jon Underwood, and the coaching team made the most of the easier conditions and nervelessly produced a pair of 50’s to win the match as all the other teams looked on. It had been an enthralling match. Brian Litz of the USA equalled the individual match record (held by Tom Rylands) of 200.26, coached by Steve Hardin and narrowly edging out David Luckman on 200.24 (coached by Matthew Ensor). Remarkably this was David’s third full score in an Australia Match!

2011 Australia Match Result
Great Britain South Africa USA Australia Canada New Zealand 499.58 497.61 498.62 498.62 494.48 484.40 494.46 490.50 493.56 488.52 491.49 488.37 487.51 494.47 490.41 491.49 486.43 487.36 489.48 484.31 481.36 480.40 481.39 479.25 1969.203 1965.189 1962.195 1957.203 1952.179 1938.138

The World Individual Long Range Championship
With such a full entry, the programme for the World Individual was changed to take place over four days by eliminating the practices on the first day. This gave some comfort to the organisers as they would have time ‘up their sleeve’ if the weather did not cooperate. As it was, there were only two short hold-ups for the rain, although conditions were not at all kind. After the cloudless, hot first day, the wind was generally a strong front fishtail, mainly from around 11 o’clock but with a tendency to square or fine in an instant. One’s


position on the range or in one’s target order could mean a huge difference in conditions and ultimately score. With wind brackets of anywhere from 4 right to 12 left, the need to be patient and shoot in ‘known’ conditions was paramount, although even then the changes were so quick that one could easily get caught out whilst on aim. I witnessed one of the team get swept clean off the target in such circumstances! Scoring was therefore generally lower than expected and no-one I knew cut a bull-five sighter at 800 yards, which most would have done in preceding championships. Paul Sykes got off to an excellent start, winning the Gold Medal for his outstanding 75.11 in the first 1000 yards shoot, and then a second Gold for the Stage 1 three range aggregate with a 224.23. David Luckman was just out of the medals in fourth and making a very fine defence of his title. At the ‘halfway’ stage after five ranges, GB had four in the top 11 places – Richard Jeens, David Luckman, Jane Messer and Nick Tremlett (poor Paul Sykes, like many others, got clobbered at 900 yards in Stage 2). We had further success in the last three shoots (Stage 3). James Lewis won Gold for his 75.6 at 900 yards – a fantastic shoot in difficult conditions – and Parag Patel made the best of an advantageous draw to win the Gold in the 1000 yards shoot with a 75.7 (the only full score on the range). Richard Jeens picked up the Bronze medal for his 73.7 at the same distance. As we approached the last ranges in Stage 3, it was clear that the lead had changed hands several times. Going into the final 1000 yards shoot, 2003 Champion Sherri Gallagher from the USA was leading and seemed set to qualify for the ‘10 man’ final but copped a detail as difficult as any and fell out of the reckoning altogether. When the dust had settled, our own Jane Messer was the leader, three points clear of André du Toit of South Africa and David Luckman. Richard Jeens was fifth, a further point back. Rounding out the final were three Americans, another South African and two Australians; also notable was the fact that this final 10 included three women and a father and son combination (Johannes du Toit joining son André). If Sherri had had a bit more luck, she might well have made it a mother/daughter combination in the final as well. Nick Tremlett was the ‘best of the rest’ in eleventh place, just missing the final.

The 2011 Palma Match Australia
The winds for the final were moderate by recent standards but shifted rapidly in strength and angle. Most of the shooters shot fairly quickly, with David Luckman finishing first with a 70.3 and Richard Jeens a few minutes later with a very strong 73.4. Jane was more deliberate and unfortunately for her, fell just out of the medals into fourth. Nevertheless, she did not leave entirely empty handed as her strong shooting overall won her the Silver medal for the aggregate of the three 1000 yard ranges and her strong finish won her the Bronze medal for Stage 3. When all the finalists had finished, Richard’s total was enough to secure the Gold as the World Individual Long Range Rifle Champion, a richly deserved success for a lot of hard work and some very consistent shooting, particularly during the mounting pressure as the competition progressed to its climax. David Luckman and South African André du Toit were tied two points behind and, in the ensuing tie shoot, the South African prevailed to take the Silver medal, leaving defending champion David with the Bronze in what had been an admirable defence of his title despite his obvious disappointment. Richard Jeens was chaired into prize giving to the traditional music and the applause of the assembled company as the world’s best long range marksman.

The Palma Match
After enjoying Richard’s success, it was down to the serious business of winning the Team World Championship. Although expectations were high, the pressure was clearly on us as we were trying to become the first team in modern times to win the Palma Match for the third successive time. Having made the difficult selection decisions around the 16 firers, we spent the practice day shooting as little as possible. Having performed all the tasks required, I gave the team the afternoon off to rest up and get prepared for the two days ahead.


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

“Richard Jeens, winner of the World Individual Long Range Championship”

Photograph by James Watson

We got off to a good start on Day 1, in challenging conditions, dropping nine points at 800 yards, with the next best team, the USA, dropping 15 and then came South Africa on 19 off. At 900 yards, we again topscored the range but this time only one point ahead of the Australians as the US team came unstuck. Both we and Australia were on the left hand side of the range, which had been the easier side all week as the trees afforded some protection from the prevailing wind. We needed to take advantage as we were destined to be on the more difficult right hand side of the range at 1000 yards. After 900, we had a 13 point lead on Australia, with South Africa third, a further five points behind.

At 1000 yards after lunch, we were indeed on the extreme right hand side of the range while the US and the South Africans were on the left. Looking back on events, I can confidently say that what ensued was one of two key moments in the match for the team. The GB coaching crew had what can only be described as a ‘blinder’, one of the best performances that I have witnessed in my shooting career. We chose when to shoot and when not to shoot with real care and uncanny precision and, when we used sighters out of turn, they were well executed which kept confidence levels high. So much so that we dropped almost 30 points less than Australia immediately next to us and, somewhat against the odds, even shaded the USA and


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

South Africa to top score the range and ‘go in at half time’ at the end of the first day with a 25 point lead. Day 2 dawned more overcast and, though the wind looked to be less than the previous day, it still looked tricky. We were surprised to find ourselves on the left hand side of the range first thing, as this meant that we would again be on the right had side at 1000 yards for a second day. Against this, we would have a set of flags immediately upwind of us for all three ranges. 800 yards was highly competitive. Again we won the range dropping just five points, closely followed by South Africa a point behind, with the US dropping seven.

At 900 yards, we put in the second of two decisive performances. The three closest teams to us – the US, South Africa and Australia – were all to our right and therefore at the more difficult end of the range, and we had two sets of wind flags upwind of us, including a row immediately upwind. If there was ever a time for us to make an advantage count, this was it, and the team duly delivered. Our coaches were full of confidence, and our shooters held magnificent elevations, which meant that on the occasions that the fickle wind caught us out, we rarely if ever dropped more than one point at a time. We produced a new 900 yard range match record to win the range handsomely and go into the final range with a 40 point lead.


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

“David Luckman (right) and Nigel Ball (left), 1st and 2nd in the Kaltenberg Cup”
Photograph by Jon Underwood

History tells us that, since the Palma Match has been held over 2 days, no team has ‘won’ both days. Going to the right hand side of the range at 1000 for the second time, I momentarily felt that history could repeat itself, as only one of our first eight sighters hit the bulls-eye. After this nervy start, we called a stop to regroup. We knew we had work to do as the South Africans were again on the left hand side of the range. After the wait, the ensuing pilot shot was absolutely dead-centre. This settled nerves and we got down to business, with the luxury of being able to correct on the occasional sideways shot and continue, given our

40 point lead. In the final analysis, the South Africans won the range with 54 off but we did well to drop only 59 and win the match by 35 points, and becoming the first team to ‘win’ both days. In total we dropped 173 points, beating the previous record of 200 points dropped. South Africa were second, just eight points off the old record, and the USA were third a further 12 points behind South Africa. A great result and a great feeling after more than three years in the making! To cap it all, Nigel Ball, coached by Jane Messer, won the Fulton Trophy for the highest individual score in the match with 446.44 ex 450.


The 2011 Palma Match Australia

2011 Palma Match Result
1st - GREAT BRITAIN 1191-141 1172-108 2nd SOUTH AFRICA 1181-135 1164-095 3rd USA 1185-123 1153-103 1146-062 1139-084 1143-078 1117-065 1121-077 1114-059 1195-147 1194-141 1193-142 1191-138 1187-128 1189-114 1182-109 1141-084 1168-115 1146-081 7027-651 6692.651 6980-655 6966-603 6911-563 6894-533

1169-117 1137-092 1168-098 1139-078 1167-098 1129-076 1172-100 1100-068

4th AUSTRALIA 1180-123 1171-101 5th CANADA 1173-106 1134-078 6th NEW ZEALAND 1174-109 1145-083

Post Script
To win both the Palma and the Australia Matches and to have a team member become the Individual World Champion was a result beyond my expectations and a great credit to all the team members who put in a lot of hard work to make it happen. One telling statistic is that our 1000 yards aggregate score for the two days of the Palma Match is the highest ever achieved. This is not only a credit to the coaches and shooters but also a testament to the quality of our preparation, our ammunition, our equipment and our team work. There are too many people to thank to mention here but they and I know who they are and I will always be in their debt.


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Black Powder
by Chris Risebrook

from Chris Risebrook

First thing was a trip to the zero range and, here I must admit to a moment of pure nostalgia. It was like going back in time. I have a photo, taken some time in the 1950s, of me zeroing a Marlin 1894 22 and the place has not changed a bit - except that in the photograph I am wearing a jacket and tie and a Tyrolean hat (the last word in sartorial elegance sixty years ago)! Oh yes, the targets are now four quid (4 GBP) each and they used to be one and six (less than 10 pence)! It didn’t take long to get zeroed for 1000 yards, so we repaired to Stickledown range and of course, it was raining! Not the usual ‘coming down like stair rods’ rain but persistent, gusty drizzle, which drives into every nook and cranny and with it, lousy visibility. But look on the bright side, at least there was no heat haze! To my amazement, the 303 was right on the money and kept every shot on the target, just using a twopoint webbing sling, aperture sights and homeloads. No great score but when you think about it, at this range the rifle was really designed to keep the enemy’s heads down and that’s exactly what it would have done. To its credit, it was easily outshooting some very fancy machinery, firing factory ammuninition through stainless steel fluted barrels, off bipods, and with scope sights for which you would need a second mortgage. As for the homeloads, I used 174 grain boat-tail bullets over 43gr. of Reloder 15. (I could not bring myself to load up the full recommended load). With this load, it opened and ejected easily with no signs of pressure whatsoever but the usual caveat applies - this load is safe in my rifle but is not necessarily safe in yours and so no responsibility is taken for this data. Always load from the manual, and start ten per cent down. The only problem was the recoil. I had purchased a rather unpleasant looking rubber butt shoe, which looks vaguely obscene. I will leave this to your imagination but possibly an elephant contemplating birth-control might find a use for it. The combination of a short butt, long arms and an even longer nose meant a thump in the

Having acquired and shot a muzzle-loading rifle in the shape of the Swiss Beuret, the next item number on my ‘list of things to do before shuffling off mortal coil’ was to shoot a rifle at 1000 yards. Hitherto, I have never shot beyond 600 yards and that was nigh on sixty years ago. So I took my gorgeous blonder to Bisley.


hooter every time but it was worth it! Been there, done that - box ticked. My last outing with the Beuret started out very well, shooting off hand at 50 metres. The first five shots were two 8s,a 9 and a 10 - with one flyer. Then disaster struck - a stuck ball. The trouble with MLAGB comps is that you only have 30 minutes to fire 13 shots, the best ten to count, with no sighters. I shifted the ball eventually by endlessly unscrewing the nipple, trickling a few grains of fresh powder into the breach and replacing the nipple but by the time it eventually went ‘bang’ most of my 30 minutes had gone and I was considering taking up tiddlewinks instead. So I have put it away for a few weeks until I have recovered my composure.

Black Powder
by Chris Risebrook

old stock. The result is a well balanced and - to my mind - very attractive rifle, especially with its tigerstripe walnut stock (wood like that that would cost a few bob today). The barrel is excellent and the overall condition is very good. Although officially a ‘short’ rifle, it is actually exactly the same size as the Swiss Beuret (above), but only just over half the weight. Having no 577 Minie bullets to hand and being impatient, I found some 550 round ball which I patched copiously and loaded with 40 grains of Triple 7. Not surprisingly, accuracy was not spectacular but ignition was superb, with none of the ‘hang-ups’ I experience with the Beuret. Disassembly is by way of two barrel-bands and one bolt at the tang. As it came, all the screws were

Instead, I have been trying the rifle shown above. It is a delightful hybrid, being a 577 Ordnance issue Pattern 1856/58 muzzle-loading short rifle for issue to native troops, built on a New Zealand naval brigade issue Snider stock and using a three-groove P56 ordnance barrel. Phew! This was built out of surplus naval Snider rifles and Pattern 1856 barrels for issue to native units in India and other parts of the British Empire. The conversion involved the filling of the breach cut-out for the Snider block (I can’t see the join) and the retro-fitting of a threegroove 1856 short rifle barrel. When the army adopted the Martini Henry, the Sniders were rendered obsolete but, of course, armies never throw anything away, they just put them into store. Since the government was understandably nervous of issuing colonial troops with breach loaders after the Indian mutiny, this idea of ‘back-engineering’ got round the problem nicely and used up some (very)

locked solid but once freed and greased, stripping for cleaning is easy and, to my relief, the bands do not mark the stock when slid forward. Cleaning, using near boiling water and Henry Kranks black powder solvent only took a few minutes and now I have a dedicated bucket with funnel, solvent and hedging gloves, I have this down to a fine art. Far less trouble than cleaning a revolver. Can’t wait for the Minie bullets to arrive.


Black Powder
by Chris Risebrook
It even comes with its own penknife! (previous page). Now that is what you call a pencil sharpener! Compare it with the anemic effort supplied with the Beuret (below).

was adopted by most armies, with varying degrees of recurve. Supposedly, this shape made it more handy in use, but, personally I can’t see it, although I have no knowledge whatsoever of sword fighting. There is, of course, the obvious advantage of having a curved

The bayonet, which is more like a short sword is a Yataghan bayonet, apparantly invented by the French in the 1840s and named after the swords used by North African tribesmen. Eventually, its general shape

blade in that one’s bullet will not ricochet off one’s bayonet but that’s about it. It was more likely a matter of following military fashion but whatever the reason, it certainly makes a formidable weapon in its own right, unlike the Beuret’s pig-sticker which does not even have a proper handle.

To my mind, the two rifles make a handsome and useable pair, the Beuret for off-hand shooting and the P58 for prone. Hopefully, some shooting results next time.


Although the 100/1000 yard benchrest season is over until next April, our first round of the 600 yard BR winter series started in November. Yes, it’s a lot colder for outdoor shooting – even under cover but, we change the format slightly so that no one is outside for longer than they need to be. The 600 yard covered firing-point is close to Diggle’s centralheated Range House so, shoot your groups and go for a cuppa! The rules for 600 yard benchrest are identical to 1000 yard BR and many use the same rifle, though the smaller cartridges like the 6BR and 6.5x47 really come into their own at 600 yards. A good crowd braved the elements and there were some impressive groups for our opening shoot – particularly Toni Young’s 2.66 incher with her out-of-the-box 308 Remington, which not only took the Factory Sporter small group award but helped Toni secure second place in Light Gun Class.

Results: Light Gun 1st Steve Dunn 2nd Tony Young 3rd Steve Barrett Small group: Factory Sporter 1st Toni Young 2nd Phil Gibon 3rd Darrel Evans Small group: UKBRA AGM

3.463 in. (av. of four, 5-shot groups) 3.860 4.063 Steve Dunn 2.316 inches 3.860 inches 4.075 4.386 Toni Young

2.663 inches

As usual, the AGM in October was a quiet affair with all current Officials re-elected and very little controversy. However, we did make one rule change. At 100 yards, we currently run two classes – Heavy Varmint and Factory Sporter. Heavy Varmint rifles are the true custom benchrest rifles, chambered for the 6PPC cartridge and capable of great accuracy. No other rifle will match the accuracy of a 6PPC benchgun. The Factory Sporter Class, by contrast is for non-custom, un-modified, out-of-the-box rifles. A decade ago, the Factory Class had a healthy following but of recently, it has dwindled to a handful of shooters. We have noticed, via the internet forums, that there appear to be a large number of rifles out there which, whilst not full-house 6PPC bench guns, are much more accurate than the average factory rifle. The trend now is for shooters to ‘up-grade’ their factory rifles in the never ending search for accuracy. Next season therefore, we will abandon the absolutely standard Factory Class and replace it with an ‘Any Rifle’ Class. In other words, ‘any rifle’ that is not a 6PPC Heavy Varmint bench gun.



This is Don Burrows – a Kiwi by birth - he celebrated his 80th birthday at the November shoot We know you are all accuracy nuts – whatever you use your rifle for and we hope that this new class will encourage a few field shooters to come along and have a go at the odd competition and find out what your rifles are really capable of..............Don’t be shy – you just might like it!

Ferris Pindell & Lou Palmisano RIP I’m sure that most ‘accuracy nuts’ will be aware that the PP in the 6PPC cartridge stands for Pindell and Palmisano. These two guys were responsible for developing the world’s most inherently accurate cartridge out to 300 yards.
I will not trot out the story of how Dr Lou Palmisano found by chance a dusty box of 220 Russian cartridges in a gunshop and got his gunsmith buddy Ferris to build him a benchrest rifle to shoot a blown-out version of this round (22PPC) and proceeded to ‘blow everyone into the weeds’ at the famous Super Shoot around 35 years ago – but I just did! Ferris passed away in April and Lou just last month in October. I had the honour of meeting Ferris at the Benchrest World Championships in the USA in 2005. Would you believe it, he was showing everyone a bullet-pointing die he was working on. “Yeh Ferris, but why would anyone want to do that..............”

New stuff
Last month, Target Shooter featured the latest version of the SEB NEO joystick front rest. It is very good but it isn’t cheap. The American Farley is also a great joystick rest but even more expensive when shipping is factored in. Here’s another joystick from Italian manufacturer Varide Cicognani. Varide’s rest is close to the Farley in appearance and, although I haven’t used one, I did get to look at Geoff Kolbe’s (of Border Barrels) at Bisley recently. Geoff has replaced the bearings, which has improved smoothness and he has also added a counter-balance weight. Check out the Cicognani website at The price is 700 Euros plus shipping. It should work out about the same as a SEB NEO.



There has been some chatter on the internet forums regarding a new cartridge for the AR15/M16 platform. Our ballistics guru Laurie Holland finds out more...
Read up on US military smallarms development since smokeless cartridges replaced the big-boomer 45-70 Government and you’ll soon be confused. For much of the last century, American policymakers had a love-affair with big, full-power thirty calibre numbers starting with the 30-40 ‘Krag’, seeing a couple of world wars and several generations of soldiers through with the famous .3006 Springfield and finishing up with 7.62X51mm NATO or .308 Winchester.
Twice the establishment killed off smaller calibres in lighter cartridges and rifles. The first time was in the 1930s when US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Douglas Macarthur told Springfield Armory and John C. Garand that the new M1 self loading rifle would be chambered in 30-06, not 276 Pedersen (7X51mm) as envisaged by the boffins and more progressive soldiers. Then just after WW2, the US Army ordnance establishment killed off the AngloCanadian-Belgian 280/300 British (7X43mm) project as the basis of the proposed NATO standard assault rifle and cartridge.

by Laurie Holland
The alternative US T65E3 which became the 7.62mm NATO/308 Win was much larger and more powerful than its contemporary Soviet 7.62X39mm M43 rival that allowed the Russians to develop and manufacture the world’s most successful assault rifle by far, the AK47 and its derivatives. As a result, NATO forces were stuck with long, heavy rifles that had to be permanently locked on the semi-auto fire setting as the 7.62’s recoil and heat production were excessive for full-automatic. Then came the 1960s, Vietnam and Gene Stoner and within an amazingly short period of time, the USA performed a perfect U-turn adopting the 22 calibre (5.56X45mm or 223 Rem in civilian guise) AR15 as the M16A1 and terminating its 7.62mm M14 rifle procurement programme in mid flow. Within a few more years, the USA had decided to standardise on the M16 in an improved A2 model optimised for a heavy (62gn) bullet version of the 5.56mm cartridge and a host of specialised spin-offs such as the M4 Carbine have since appeared. Her NATO partners were dragooned into replacing their self-loading 7.62s for a new expensive generation of 5.56m assault rifles and squad support weapons (light and GP machineguns). In its 61.7gn twin-core bullet M855 guise, the 5.56mm cartridge has more than enough effective range for all normal infantry engagements, but there has been a long running undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the small calibre bullet’s lethality or knock-down ability. This particularly applies to shorter barrel weapons such as the M4 Carbine and specialised quasi submachineguns used by special forces. Lethality was fine, frighteningly so in fact, in the short range heavy cover fire-fights US forces saw in Vietnam but the open spaces of Afghanistan and Iraq have provided very different experiences for a later generation of soldiers and marines, especially with short barrel, hence reduced velocity, carbines in specialised



Left to right: 300 AAC Blackout in Accutip bulleted form; 125gn OTM loading; 220gn subsonic loading; 223 Rem / 5.56X45mm and 7.62X39mm M43 ball cartridges for comparison. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)


SPC & Grendel
In recent years, there have been experiments with the 6.8mm Remington SPC and 6.5 Grendel rounds, the former seeing limited adoption for US special forces use, as well as being registered with SAAMI and produced commercially by Hornady and Remington. The objective was to get a larger calibre, heavier bullet that mimicked the very effective 7.62X39mm M43’s ballistics, but the 6.8 doesn’t cut the mustard either it seems. Why not simply adopt the 7.62X39mm design as the M16 platform will just accept it? Well, apart from the loss of face in adopting a creation of

the derided and hated former USSR, there are a lot of expensive changes and new parts required, that also add to the logistic services’ inventories and workloads. Any cartridge change obviously requires a new barrel, but 7.62X39mm needs a new bolt and magazines too and some work to adapt the receiver to accept the AK style banana magazine needed to make the M43 feed – and even then feed reliability is said to be suboptimal. The 6.8 SPC also needs a new bolt, although it can retain the M16 magazine shell. Having incompatible bolts and magazine assemblies for one weapon is anathema to the military for very sound reasons, so



35mm) reformed with a short larger calibre neck to hold a standard 30 Cal (0.308” dia.) bullet. There is only a vestigial shoulder when you do this to such a skinny case but it’s still adequate for headspacing in the rifle chamber in the normal way. The military standard ball round utilises either a 115gn UMC type (FMJ) or 125gn OTM (Open Tip Match) design, both flat-based, in the cartridge’s supersonic loadings. For sound-moderated carbines, it uses a 220gn OTM bullet at just over 1000 fps MV. Hang on a second! Those who know their cartridges will recognise this as the .300 Whisper wildcat developed by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries around 20 years ago and popular amongst US handgun hunters in weapons like the Thompson/Center Encore. This was based on a necked-up 221 Remington Fireball case which in turn is a truncated 222 Rem. This is exactly what the new 300 BLK is but regularized and specified in the SAAMI database, also with loadings sorted out that will feed reliably through a rebarrelled AR15/M16 and operate the gas-powered action reliably without overstressing the moving parts, including very short barrel carbine formats – as little as nine inches. Whilst the Whisper user can adopt any bullet/COAL that his single-shot pistol’s barrel has been throated for and any load that both pushes the bullet clear of the muzzle or without creating excessive chamber pressures, the BLK must run at around 2.25” COAL, 2.26” maximum and be tuned for gas-operated selective-fire assault rifle operation. That’s what AAC has done and sold the idea to Remington and the US military.

this is a big minus. Moreover, there are engineering downsides to adapting the M16 bolt for the 6.8 and 7.62X39mm cartridges. Stoner originally designed his AR15 around the .222 Remington and its small 0.378” dia. case-head; the cartridge grew into the larger capacity 223 version but retained the original case’s diameters. The AR / M16 bolt can be opened out to accept the 6.8’s 0.422” and the 7.62mm M43’s 0.447” case-heads, but it leaves precious little metal at the base of the locking lugs to support them. 7.62X39mm/22PPC AR bolts used by civilian Service Rifle competitors are known to have a finite life and are more likely to crack or fail in use than in the original 223 Rem form.

The ideal alternative calibre M16/M4 cartridge meets the following criterion:
• Allows use of standard bolts and magazines. Conversion to be limited to new barrel. • Provides 7.62X39mm M43 ball external ballistics in supersonic versions. (123gn FMC flat-base bullet at 2,350 fps MV from a 20” barrel – SAAMI spec.) • Offers a heavy bullet subsonic version for short-barrel sound moderated special forces carbines and SMGs. • Optimised for efficient muzzle flash suppressor operation.

• Operates standard M16/M4 actions reliably in The nominal ballistics are: both semi and full-auto operation. 9” barrel: 115gn UMC 2,120 fps MV 1,136 ft/lb ME • Provides good barrier penetration (buildings, 16” barrel: 115gn UMC 2,295 fps MV 1,344 ft/lb ME vehicle bodies, personal armour etc). 9” barrel: 125gn OTM 2,030 fps MV 1,143 ft/lb ME 16” barrel: 125gn OTM 2,215 fps MV 1,360 ft/lb ME 9” barrel 220gn OTM 1,010 fps MV 498 ft/lb ME Enter the 300 AAC Blackout earlier this year, developed by the Advanced Armaments Corporation Effective ranges are quoted as 500 metres for the with manufacturing / technical support by Remington supersonic ball versions and 200 metres for the Arms’ ammunition division. The ‘Blackout’ has 220gn heavy bullet moderated weapon type. The been registered with SAAMI and given an official benchmark for the latter is much lower performance abbreviation as the 300 BLK. Basically it’s a cutsubsonic 200gn 9mm Para pistol cartridges currently down 222/223 Remington case (43/45mm reduced to used in MP-5 type carbines.

Whisper it Quietly!


Remington has put the 300 BLK into production for the civilian market as well as any military orders that come along. It’s allegedly available in Remy’s Premier Match range loaded with a new Sierra 125gn OTM MatchKing, a flat-based ‘pointed’ or ‘tipped’ bullet (like the newer 155gn 0.308” SMK #2156). It offers very good BCs for this form and weight ranging from G1 0.310 to 0.349 depending on velocity. Sierra has already put the bullet onto the handloading market under a p/n of 2121 and it’s on sale in the USA. If you fancy a light, shortrange match bullet for mild loads in your .308 Win etc rifle, this could be one for you.
However, there are some slightly strange aspects to all this. First, there is no mention of the bullet or ammunition on either company’s websites and product listings. Then, Remington has not only

The company’s website describes it as “The worlds (sic) only 30-caliber biggame cartridge for the light weight AR15 platform.” It’s a fatter-cased, more powerful cartridge than the 300 AAC BLK giving a 125gn bullet a claimed 2,800 fps MV, but even so, one wonders if this trio isn’t one cartridge too many, if not two? Whether the US military will pick it up is another issue too. The history of military smallarms and ammunition is liberally sprinkled with good ideas at the time, that didn’t turn out to be so good after all when put to the test in wars. So, it’s a case of watch this space to see what if anything happens. What is certain is, that just as with its 300 Whisper wildcat predecessor, the 300 AAC Blackout is a stunningly efficient and accurate little cartridge and is an experimenter’s / handloading nut’s dream. So, let’s hope it does survive and prosper – it could form the basis of a really good short-range UK tactical discipline with straight-pull ARs for instance.


Don’t Miss the UK’s Premier Shooting & Gun Show

enthusiastically adopted the 6.8mm Remington SPC and put it on sale to the civilian target shooting and hunting fraternities but it (or rather the conglomerate that owns it) took over Bushmaster Arms the civilian AR specialist manufacturers a few years back, put a tarted-up Bushmaster AR15 onto the market as the Remington R5 and also launched a new 30 calibre sporting round for it called the 30 Remington AR in 2008.

4 t h FA N TA S T I C Y E A R


Sat 25th & Sun 26th Feb 2012 - Newark - NG24 2NY


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This SMALLBORE Business

This Smallbore Business
Dry fire and trigger release techniques Part 2

by Don Brooke

Trigger release without moving the rifle depends on both the operator and the fit on the rifle of the trigger hand. I have waxed lyrical on this subject, in these pages for quite some time now…. The trigger hand fit is critical, in so far as being able to operate the trigger correctly, that is, in a direct line parallel to the bore of the barrel in both planes. (See photograph in these pages.) In the last segment I was quite profuse in the writing about releasing a shot without moving the rifle. In small bore, there is nothing in the techniques that matters as much. The initial dry fire training is a totally physical requirement in terms of techniques, and this must be mastered if you hope to be able to develop the trigger release to optimum ability and so reap the benefit of the integration of mind and body. Last month I wrote about the techniques of visualisation and imagery, and how you can go to all ends on earth to achieve this. (Remember the photograph of the range

A realm of the subconscious mind? You had better believe it!


projected onto the wall?) Well, this is the first step in learning to integrate the mind into your techniques, and is always the preamble to an intense training program. The steps to a top level match performance can be set down and followed once you find out just what works for you! These articles in this series are actual routines that emanated from my own experience, as I have found that I can (or could!) come from zero training to world record levels in seven weeks of training as I followed my own methods. Part of this routine are my goals. Set out, written goals, and these are relative to both training method programs, and the overall big apple goal, the competition performance at the end of the work.

This SMALLBORE Business
The aiming process is crucial in achieving the really deep concentration levels that clears the way for the introduction of the subconscious mind into the basic techniques.

Remember, you never do anything really well until you cease to think about the manner of doing it!
In the first instance it is incredibly important that you learn to aim in the EXACT dead centre of the foresight ring. Absolutely ! Nothing any less, EVER , in your early dry fire training. I cannot stress this aspect more, learn to aim correctly, dead centre in the foresight ring, and follow the dry shot through, so you can check for rifle movement on trigger release. These aspects are critical if you want to achieve the cross over point of the subconscious mind. The trigger release should break instantly when you achieve the correct dead centre aim you are watching for. This should just “happen” without any thought what so ever of the trigger operation in your techniques.

You see, the most important thing about goals is….. HAVING THEM!
I have always worked with goals in mind, even to the actual shots themselves within the performance. In the case of trigger release, I vividly remember when it suddenly became apparent that I was on the verge of the “mind stuff” I was so fervently chasing. So much so that when I arrived at that point, a whole new ball game opened up for me. More to the point I suddenly realised that dry fire was the key to the door. The pathway to performances that I had only dreamed about. I had to reset my mental goals! I had to chase the mental aspects, to experiment with the open commands that dictate the actions of the subconscious mind. I now could relate to my often used statement that the most important measurement in shooting is directly between the shooters ears!

I put it to you, now, that if you are thinking of the trigger as you release the shot, then you are hardly watching and concentrating on the aiming picture, are you?
As your techniques develop, you will be surprised at how deeply the concentration becomes, so much so that when the final legs are in place, and the match is approaching, you will become quite confident that your goals are getting there. You will find that the mental training you are now increasing into that training are relative to the areas that develop the mental strength of a top flight competitor. I have said hundreds of times that shooting is a mind sport, and how well you learn to integrate the mind and body within your training is purely a matter of training and maintaining the focus in a pre arranged plan.

What a breakthrough! I now knew which way was UP !
In analysis of this revelation, I knew I had to ignore the trigger release feelings, the sensations of shot release, and it took me a long time to work out that the sighting and aiming of the rifle was the key. For me, it was difficult at first, and this may be the case for my readers out there as well, for you see, this aspect depends entirely on the depth of concentration you can achieve, and maintain, with the sighting, and aiming of the rifle.

You see, a goal without a plan, just becomes a wish…..


This SMALLBORE Business
Once the dry fire techniques are becoming second nature, the time approaches to move into live firing on the range. But understand that the dry fire techniques that you have installed in the earlier regions of your training program have laid the foundation, because you now know that the shots are about to be fired with everything you have in the armoury of skills. You are quite confident that you can stick them in the ten ring, one after the other. Even after that initial training has installed the skills of releasing a shot under very accurate aiming, and your mental program is well established in terms of the subconscious demands, you will be surprised at just how well the overall program works. The energy required to shoot really well over the time it takes to nail an English Match will not tax the endurance factor. “So what, it is only 60 shots, I can do that easily!” You see, all of your preparation, both physical and mental, are structured within your training program to be able to produce the result when you need it to happen.

Remember, the only person you can affect is yourself! Your goals also may change, as I have said above, even within the actual performance itself.
For instance, you are moving through the match, and a nine ring shot appears, either out of nowhere, or as a performance problem relative to techniques. When we go through the next article in this series, you will have all of the mental processes in place. The confidence, the ability to rise up and do the job, the accolades you will receive when your goal is achieved, the final result of seven weeks (in my case) of hard work, are firmly planted on the results list.

Remember what Aristotle said?
We are what we repeatedly do….Excellence then becomes not just an act, it becomes a habit.

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Regional News

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As an interim step, I, as one of the Trustees, am fulfilling that role, and have put in place a series of initiatives to make the organisation ‘fit for purpose’. Clearly, with the merging of the two organisations, I have had to look hard at the senior layers of management in order to cut cost and flatten the structure. It is therefore with regret that I have decided to make both the MD, NSC, Jeremy Staples, and the Secretary General, Glynn Alger, redundant. In the future, leadership of both the Association and the NSC lies with the Group Chief Executive role, which will also embody the role of Secretary General. It goes without saying that I and the rest of the Trustees want to express our gratitude to both men for the contribution they have made in the last six or seven years, and we wish them both every success in the future.

Defence Training Estates. I had hoped to bring you some news of next years range hire charges but unfortunately they have not yet been agreed by Defence Training Estates.
DTE has reduced its Regional Commands from nine to six UK regions and has centralised their Booking Cells to fit the new structure. All clubs should have by now received information and contact details from their Booking Cell. The NRA has been assured that clubs will not suffer any decrease in service. The NRA is still awaiting a reply from the Defence Land Ranges Safety Committee about their ruling on the use of Long Barrelled Pistols and Revolvers on MoD ranges.

Update on activities at the NRA
Secretary General As you will be aware, the NRA has experienced turbulent financial performance recent times, with a £630K loss in 2010. Once the true state of our finances was clarified with our 2010 accounts being signed off in June, the Trustees determined to set in train plans to address this unsustainable situation. Essentially, we have decided to end the organisational division between the NRA and the NSC, flatten the structure, reduce cost and shift our focus to the things that matter most to our Members. Whilst the split of the NRA and NSC was done for what I am sure were good reasons at the time, in practice it has proven unhelpful. However NSC remains as an accounting vehicle for our commercial activities. As part of this process, we have created the new role of Group Chief Executive, whose responsibility spans both the NRA and the NSC, ending organisational inefficiencies.

Security As you know, we have put in place night-time security at Bisley. This has already highlighted some longrunning security issues which we have been able to tackle. These have included fly-tipping and people sleeping rough; the security guards have actually been shot at on two occasions. We have also put in place two new speed bumps on the entrance to Camp, together with appropriate signage. We have had multiple incidents where cars have come into Camp at up to 40 mph when the limit is 15 mph.
In the next couple of weeks, we will erect a barrier at the entrance gate. Should you require access late in the evening when the barrier is down and the guard is on patrol, you can call him on a mobile which he will carry at all times. The number will be on the gate itself. He will then return to the gate and allow you access. In the event that you do not have a mobile with you then we have timed his various patrol routes and it is unlikely that you will be detained for long.


With all of this, we are introducing it gradually and will adjust as we gain more experience. It is our intention to move to 24 hour security as soon as funds allow. In tandem with this gate, will be a ‘one-way’ ramp on the Exit road. This is easily crossed as you drive out, but will present any vehicle trying to drive up the Exit road with a set of angled spikes which will prevent access and damage tyres. This new obstacle will also be signed. Needless to say, any damage inflicted as a consequence of drivers ignoring these signs and obstacles will be their own concern and the NRA will not accept any responsibility.

Muzzle Energies including bullet weights of all the Pistol/Revolver calibres that we currently use in LBP/ LBR’s. We also sent them photographs of the various makes of LBP/LBR’s. So far we have not had a reply from them despite numerous phone calls and emails. DTE have taken up our requests and will report back as soon as possible.

Event Fees If your club hires DTE ranges to run a competition and invites other clubs to attend, remember that Landmarc can and sometimes do charge an ‘Event Fee’. This will probably be a percentage of the cost of the number of targets that you book. Regional Meeting The Northern NRA Representative, Guy Trembath chaired a meeting of NRA Clubs in the Northern Region. Sixteen out of thirty three clubs attended which is significantly better than the last attempt to hold a meeting. The Meeting seems to have been a success for those who attended.
Chris Webb Regional Manager 01483 797777 x156

Returned Sighters We have 19K returned sighters from the Imperial. Normally we release these to members over the counter at 65p. This year we are doing something slightly different. We retain a small number for use at open days and also our new events for wounded servicemen from Headley Court who shoot for free with us once a month. We will give a number directly to the Cadet Force for the GB U19 team. As for the rest; We will sell 1,000 in batches of 60 at 65p per round, to shooters over 65, first come, first served. We will release 5,000 at 65p per round, with a maximum of 500 per person, first come, first served. We will offer the remaining 6,500 to cadet forces and university clubs at 40p per round, maximum 500, first come first served. Such clubs should contact Fred James in the Range Office.
Glynn Alger Secretary General

From DLRSC “The Committee agreed that where the firearm is used fitted with a shoulder stock under Gallery Rifle conditions and firing pistol calibre ammunition, there is sufficient data available for firing to be permitted. Conversely, due to the lack of data, Committee decided that they could not authorise the use of this firearm as a pistol on MoD ranges, thus it remains banned until further notice. “ The NRA responded immediately on receipt of the above and sent “data” including: Muzzle Velocities/ 91

NRA’s New Brokers Bannerman Rendell is a Lloyd’s Broker that traces its history back to 1966. A company with a strong family ethos, they have developed expertise across a wide range of insurances. They have built a team of talented professionals who pride themselves on their expertise and ability to provide a first class level of service to their clients.
As Lloyd’s Brokers, they are able to provide their clients with access to a large number of syndicates and underwriters providing niche products to meet their specific requirements. In addition to Lloyd’s they are able to access all the major insurance companies within the company market. As part of the NRA’s continuing commitment to provide members with value for money benefits the NRA, Bannerman Rendell Limited and well respected insurer Amlin UK on behalf of Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001


at L

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Probationary training NRA members only (Modular course)
Course 2012 /1: Course starts: 28 Jan Option Modules: 11/12 Feb, 25/26 Feb, 3 /4 March & 18 Mar. Course 2012 /2: Course starts: 12 Mar Option Modules; 31 Mar/1 Apr, 14/15 Apr, 28/29 Apr & 20 May Course 2012/3: Course starts: 19 May Option Modules: 9/10 Jun, 16/17 Jun, 30 Jun/1 Jul & 21 Jul. Course 2012/4: Course starts: 1 Sept Option Modules: 22/23 Sept, 29/30 Sept, 6/7 Oct & 4 Nov Course 2012 /5: Course starts: 3 Nov Option Modules: 17/18 Nov, 24.25 Nov, 1/2 Dec & 15 Dec.

have developed a new insurance scheme for individual members of the National Rifle Association to ensure that they are properly protected whilst engaging in shooting activities which have been approved by the NRA.

Firearms Liaison The Firearms Liaison Officer works part-time providing firearms law advice and firearm certificate renewal services to members, and running Visitor firearm permits for our overseas guests. Geoff Doe retired from the post in August. His replacement is Iain Robertson, recently retired from the RAF. Iain has been firearms liaison officer for the RAF Target Rifle Club for over 20 years, holding personal and Club FACs and a RFD licence. In addition to his first degree in Engineering, Iain holds a law degree from the Open University. Iain shoots Target Rifle to international level, dabbles in other forms of rifle shooting, and shot .22” pistol until 1997.
Iain has detailed knowledge of the Firearms Acts and related legislation. Most questions about firearms law can be answered by reading the right bit of legislation, and Iain has the knowledge to show you where to look. Iain is also the first point of contact for more complex questions that may require the Association to approach authorities on behalf of members, or may require formal legal advice. Iain has flexible working hours and can be contacted at all reasonable times by telephone or email (preferred). Iain Robertson Firearms Liaison 07738 730419 - Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year from all the staff at the NRA NRA Training courses are open to NRA members and the members of affiliated clubs except where indicated.

Skills Enhancement Courses Hand loading course: 4-5 February (NRA members only) Advanced TR skills: 12/13 May Wind coaching course: 6-7 October Club Instructor Courses General skills Instructor 10-11 March General skills Instructor 20/21 October Club Instructor (TR) 12-13 May Club Coach Training (NRA members only) MOI: 2 September Course: 27-28 October RCO courses 18-19 February 24-25 March 21-22 April 26-27 May 15-16 September 13/14 October 10-11 November 8-9 December RCO (HME) Course 6 May 16 December

Acting Chief Executive Derrick Mabbott 01483 797777 ext 133


founders of Target Shooter magazine and keen rimfire benchrest shooter, won a Gold medal at the World Rimfire Championships earlier this year in the USA.Carl’s achievement

Carl Boswell, one of the original


Valmont Firearms
Valmont Firearms are now agents for the fabulous rifles and have an M98 as a demonstrator. At the other end of the scale, they now have the Ruger BX-25 banana mags in stock and the 50 round Puma drum magazine.

Carl receives his gold medal, surrounded by the American team – a lone Brit who upset the form book! has now been recognised outside of the shooting world and he was recently voted Sussex Sports Personality of the Year. This is a massive achievement for anyone but even more so for a shooter. I’m sure you will join Target Shooter in sending Carl our warmest congratulations.

BX-25 £38.00. Puma 50 rnd drum £95.00
The NV range starts with the Kestrel 2500, with wind speed, temperature and pressure measurements. The top of the range model is the Kestrel 4500 with Horus Vision, which combines all critical environmental data including crosswind and wind direction with an integrated targeting software solution using Horus ATrag advanced proprietary algorithms. Compatible with other ballistics packages data can be wirelessly transferred via Bluetooth to a PDA.

Make the Shot Count Every Time....
If accurate shooting is the goal then it is necessary to have all the data. Crosswind is one of the most fundamental influences on a shot taken at long range. Even medium crosswind velocities (~5 m/sec) along the flight path of a bullet can cause 1 metre deviations at 500 metres. Temperature, humidity and density altitude also play a part in ballistics performance, and are incorporated in to most advanced portable targeting computer applications. A Kestrel Hand Held Weather Meter offers real time, min, max and average readings for all these parameters. With the Night Vision (NV) range developed specifically for the military one of these instruments would make a great Christmas gift for any serious shooter.

For details go to, email, or call (01590) 679755


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PART 4 By Laurie Holland
The rifle in its final .223 Rem form with the 26 inch Armalon barrel and Sightron Series III LRMOA scope.

When we last looked at the .223 Remington 700 SPS Tactical a couple of issues back, its looks and operation had just been transformed by a Third Eye Tactical bolt handle and Manners MCS-T5 stock fitted and supplied by Valkyrie Rifles and South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies respectively. The rifle retained its 20 inch semi-heavy factory barrel with a 1 in 9 twist-rate and kept its stubby carbine look, this also limiting the bullet weights that could be used. I hadn’t intended to replace the barrel at this stage, the plan being to spend some time working up handloads with a range of sporting and match bullets up to the 70 to 75gn weight bracket. Re-barrelling would only take place at a later stage and it would be in a different cartridge and calibre – the 20 Tactical wildcat.

This shot of the rifle shows up the radical design nature of the Manners stock’s thumbhole grip – it works out superbly on the range.


Fluted and Threaded

However, Peter Sarony, owner of Armalon Limited contacted us and generously offered to supply one of his new hammer-forged barrels for the project - a 26 inch heavy, fast-twist (1-7.874), fluted job. As the Remy barrel had been threaded at the muzzle for a sound moderator, Armalon provided this feature on the replacement as well. Peter fitted it to our Remmy action and arranged proof-testing too, so in due course the barrelled action reappeared and very nice it looked too with an attractive profile, superb deep black finish and exceptionally crisp flutes with nice sharp edges. Put it back in the stock and the rifle took another big step forward in the looks department. The extra six-inches of barrel also changes its whole character too. It might have been a tad ‘over-barrelled’ if the skinny OEM Hogue stock were still in use but this length and weight of barrel complements the chunkier, heavier and longer Manners component perfectly. The faster twist will allow the use of heavier bullets too, 75 to 82gn and should still do fine with all but the most lightly constructed 40-52gn numbers – I’ll see when I get around to handloading for it.


In January 1984 we rolled Practisport into a new company, Armalon Ltd. There were many innovations and patents, including originating tritium illuminated handgun sights (which I called Lynx sights), my Perfector (a drop-in dual recoil spring guide/accuriser and buffer assembly for the 1911 pistol and derivatives) and quick-fit wide match triggers etc. I also carried out a lot of experimentation with muzzle brakes on pistols as a result of which we developed the vertical multi-baffle design that is now used for our muzzle brakes for rifles. At the same time, we became involved with rifles - more particularly self-loading rifles - as a small group of UKPSA practical pistoleers and I actually started what is now the international sporting discipline of Practical Rifle. My club, the London Practical Shooting Club, held the first International Championships over the early May Bank Holiday weekend in 1980 (PR ’80), which continued as an annual championship for the next 25 years. PR ’80 was an amazing event, written up in several magazines, including Guns & Ammo, held on two separate MoD gallery [xriflex] ranges, an Electric Target Range, the 1000 yards range at Stickledown plus an MoD Field Firing Range! I developed a bullet-drop compensating tactical telescopic sight, which we had manufactured by what was then a medium sized family-owned optical sight manufacturer in Germany. We paid for the tooling and production on these scopes and the MoD asked for samples to try. They liked them and we discovered the GSOR for a new British sniper rifle system. We asked if we could submit our scopes for that tender but were told that the requirement was for the complete system - rifle and scope! I teamed up with a fellow small-arms engineer Baron Derk von Hulse (a practical pistol shooter), and we developed the BGR ‘British German Rifle’ - or as Derk christened it the ‘Bloody Good Rifle’! We were then advised that the tender date had closed and

But first, a bit more about Peter Sarony and Armalon. I’ll let Peter tell us his story in his own words...
“I started out as a competition shooter from Cadet Pairs etc. shooting at school and then eventually onto handguns when I moved to Central London in the early 1960s after completing my architectural studies. John Cooke, an Olympic Free Pistol shooter, was the range officer at Marylebone RPC in the City and he gave me some invaluable coaching in the art of handgunning. I was involved with every discipline from Free Pistol, through Standard Pistol, CF Precision, Police and Service Pistol and then became a founder life member of the UKPSA when Practical Pistol was launched into the UK. I eventually designed and built my own competition pistol plus one for a shooting colleague and when shooters started asking for similar handguns to be built or customised for them, that was the start of my career in the gun trade, originally from around 1978 as part of H&H Supplies and then as Practisport.


we couldn’t submit our equipment. Malcolm Cooper, owner of Accuracy International, approached our German optical manufacturers to obtain our 6 x 42 telescopic sights for their submission and was initially advised that would not be possible as the design of the scope belonged to Peter Sarony and his company. When Malcolm then explained to Hans that his company would be getting the MoD order, he relented and provided our optics to Accuracy International for the tender and also diverted our distributorship to them! He apologised to me saying that we didn’t have them sufficiently ‘tied up’ contractually to stop them! That relatively modest concern, on the success of the Accuracy International sniper rifle system, including the sniper scope we had conceived and developed, became the hugely successful supplier of tactical type scopes that it is today, namely Schmidt & Bender. After Hungerford (a 1988 shooting massacre carried out by a maniac using legally held semiautomatic AK 47 and M1 carbine rifles plus a Beretta 9mm pistol), we lost our selfloading rifles and reverted to bolt-action repeating rifles to continue our sport, which is when we began manufacturing our Remington based ‘PR’ turn-bolts with large- capacity detachable magazines. The BGR was too costly to manufacture in small quantities and the Remington 700 was far more economic as a base platform, that being the most successful bolt-action in production then and now! I had, in any event, been focussing on the inherent weaknesses and problems with existing bolt-action full-bore rifles and had developed my own completely

original concept and designs. I really didn’t want to risk these being launched onto the marketplace and plagiarised as had my other product designs thus far, despite my costly US & UK Patents and Copyright etc! I decided that we had to set up our own in house manufacturing facilities so that we could produce the new rifles and then hit the market hard when we rolled out the new designs, having filed the patents immediately before that unveiling. We acquired CNC machining centres and lathes etc but that left the problem of how to manufacture the barrels, a most vital element in the whole system. Having researched the options, it became evident that cold hammer forged barrels, were the best for delivering enduring high accuracy, provided every stage of manufacture was properly implemented, which is why the major brands, including SIG Hammerli, Enfield, FN, Beretta, SteyrMannlicher, Sako, Tikka, H&K and Remington etc have adopted this method for their barrel production. The barrel has been beautifully fluted and blued. When Parker-Hale Ltd were closing down, we took the opportunity to negotiate with the auctioneers who had in fact purchased all their inventory and managed to acquire all the equipment and tooling associated with the barrel manufacture prior to the auction. We subsequently also managed to acquire from BAE’s Royal Ordnance Nottingham SmallArms Division our pick of further barrel production equipment from that factory which they were also closing and that included the vital specialist vertical honing machinery that Parker-Hale never had in house! Unfortunately, what we had understood to have been an agreement with the new property owners to rent the end section of the Parker-Hale factory space that housed the barrel plant, proved not to be the


case and we were left with an ultimatum to remove 135 tons of wired-in and embedded plant from the old Parker-Hale works to somewhere else within 48 hours, or have it ‘locked in’! That, coupled with having to find room also for the further 30 tons of equipment from Royal Ordnance Nottingham, was the start of a nightmare decade of trying to secure a suitable new home for the plant in a civilised and accessible region of the country and also to arrange the necessary financial arrangements to re-commission the plant. That story would require many chapters of a book to relate, however, eventually I managed to find our current ex MoD (RAF Bampton Castle) secure site and nuclear blastproof property at Bampton, in Oxfordshire, where we spent three years rebuilding and re-commissioning the equipment and learning quirks of the art of precision barrel manufacture before we were able to commence full barrel production last year! Our equipment includes two hammer forging machines plus a broaching machine, together with four gun drill spindles and four reaming spindles, CNC special purpose lathes, bespoke carousel type plus precision finish chambering machinery, barrel viewers and straightening machinery, bore-scopes, plus automatic cut-off saws, vapour blasting equipment, linishers and polishing lathe, hydraulic barrel vice and a host of other conventional manual and CNC production plus inspection equipment. We are equipped with scores of barrel forging mandrels plus broaching tooling to produce a very wide range of rifling bores, forms and twist rates, from .22 to .577 and encompassing most popular sporting, target and military calibres both classic and modern. We have programs on our CNC lathes to cater for most profiles and thread forms and simply write additional programmes for others as required. The majority of our standard production has been up to 28 inch length finished barrels but we are able to lift the honing heads and change the tooling to produce even longer barrels when required. Currently, with two gun-drill spindles in operation,

our single shift capacity is approximately 1000 barrels per month. Once we bring the other two gun-drilling spindles back on line, our capacity will effectively double. We aim to manufacture top quality new and replacement barrels for OEMs, Police, Military and other volume end users, as well as for individual dealers and shooters. We use

Armalon added muzzle threading and a neat protective cap. traditional best quality barrel materials such as AISI 4140/708M40/ EN19, or AISI 416R stainless steel, as well as 4340/817M40/EN24 type for GPMG, 50BMG and similar barrels and we can also supply in 6150 or other chrome vanadium type alloys where required. For most target shooting disciplines we supply chrome-moly barrels such as the most popular .224 with 1 in 200mm twist, 30/308 calibre 1 in 10 twist or 1 in 12 or even slower twists. For 260/6.5 calibres, 1 in 200mm twist, 303 1 in 10 twist etc. For special rifling patterns, sizes and twist rates we can produce almost anything but, the forging mandrels cost around £3000 each and thus there would need to be significant quantities ordered to make it financially viable. Button broaching mandrels are far cheaper to produce, though that process is different at almost every stage to the hammer forging procedure. We try to hold stocks of blanks in most of the popular bore sizes and twist rates so that we can more readily complete small orders with a minimum delay.



element. Further CNC lathes may be used to cut threads with manual lathes to finish muzzle crowns etc. We also use special chamber reaming machinery with a multi-tool horizontal rotary capstan head for sequential reaming with floating reamer-holders and special cutting oil pumped from the muzzle end to clear all swarf and debris away from the bore and chamber. Our further processing includes polishing lathes and vapour blast cabinets as well as a CNC machining centre equipped for our deep-fluting option etc. In addition to barrels, we also manufacture our own range of muzzle-brakes, Picatinny scope mounts and rings, bolt knobs etc.” A very interesting story I’m sure you’ll agree. We wish Peter every success with his venture and look forward to working with him in the future.

Although deemed a ‘tactical’ model with larger turrets and no protective caps, Laurie considers this a superb F Class riflescope and that’s the use this Sightron will see next year. I am aware that many shooters and specialists have views about hammer forged barrels, usually based upon hearsay and incorrect information promoted by the manufacturers of cut and button rifled barrels. After selecting and cutting to length our special bar stock, the barrels are faced-off and gun-drilled, reamed, CNC pre-turned and processed through the three-stage vertical honing stage prior to forging just to produce the barrel blank. Working off the bore centreline at both ends, we then turn a variety of profiles on our special purpose CNC lathes, where programmed hydraulic steadies are an essential

Super Scope

Whilst the Armalon barrel change was unplanned, I’d ordered one of Sightron’s new Series III 8-32X56 LRMOA scopes from UK importers Aim Field Sports months before, after looking through a ‘demo’ example at the British Shooting and Countryman Show at Newark in February. LRMOA stands for Long Range Minute of Angle [reticle], a small central dot / fine crosshairs target type with the addition of stadia markings exactly 2-MOA apart at the full 32-power setting. The scope went to editor Vince Bottomley first for testing and review, as covered in his three-scope test in the last issue, before it reached me and the Remy. There’s no sense in describing it again, so will only reiterate that Vince was very impressed by its spec and performance and now that I’ve got my sticky paws on it, so am I. I’m so impressed I’ve decided this is far too good a piece of glass to grace a short-range quasi-tactical 223 that’ll get most use in testing handloads! Come the start of the 2012 F Class season, it’ll be transferred to my long-range .308 Win Barnard tube gun for use in GB F/TR League rounds. I still had to mount the 30mm bodied Sightron on the rifle of course and, as the old target Tasco it replaced had a one-inch body, I couldn’t snitch its Leupold QRW (Quick-Release Weaver) lever-rings. (I’d fitted a Warne

Burris 30mm Xtreme Tactical mounts for Picatinny (Mil-STD-1913) rails – an excellent buy found on eBay UK.


Picatinny rail to the rifle back when it was new.) I always use quick-release mounts and normally choose the Leupolds – they’re high quality, take mere seconds to remove or replace the scope, hold their zero very well indeed on refitting, the issue that worries many people. However, they’re relatively expensive and, as a chunky steel design, are on the heavy side. Whilst this is not an issue on the Remy Tactical, it is very much so on an F/TR rifle where I increasingly think like benchrest competitors - looking to save every odd ounce in things like mounts provided strength and quality are not compromised – ounces that are better employed elsewhere, that is barrel or bi-pod. So, it was onto eBay to see what I could find and afford. After sifting through endless pages of £515 airgun scope mounts I lucked onto a British retailer offering the 30mm Burris Xtreme Tactical product in various heights at just under £50 per set including carriage. This a light but substantial aluminium alloy 6-screw design attached to the rail using a sliding side-clamp as per the Leupold arrangement, but tensioned with a 13mm hex nut instead of thumb-levers. I’ve only got to remember to keep a small T-bar and socket in the shooting box or drag bag pocket. Thanks to the F Class ‘Europeans’ getting in the way, there hasn’t been time to handload any ammunition and see how well the rifle performs with its new Armalon barrel and Sightron, just a quick sighting/ running-in session at 100 yard using Remington 60gn OTM ‘Premier Match’ cartridges as we went to press. This ammunition hardly produced stellar performance in the rifle’s original barrel running from one to three inches or even more.

There was no sign of copper fouling at all in the first few rounds from the hammer-forged barrel and the sight-in group was a lot smaller than I ever got before with this fodder, so I’m hopeful. This is as far as I’ll go with the rifle in 223 form and have been impressed by how much you can improve a basic factory offering – now, it neither looks like, nor feels like the original SPS Tactical. So much so in fact that the brief sighting/running-in range session astonished me again as to how little resemblance the rifle feel and handling retains to its original form, I simply can’t overstate the degree of improvement! The sightingin target group shows promise despite the use of lacklustre factory ammunition. To get there with your own factory Remmy, all you need do is talk to people who know what they’re about ..... and spend money, of course! I’ve upgraded the rifle and spent the money in a fairly short period, under a year but, I see this as being more about how the impecunious shooter can get started with a budget Remy and upgrade it, one step at a time, over a much longer time span - as and when finances allow. Although the outlay has not been inconsiderable, it has still worked out at less than having a custom tactical rile built, and I don’t feel I’ve lost much – if anything – by going down this route so far. I’ll eventually cover 223 handloading in depth using the rifle in both Remington and Armalon barrelled forms but, as that’ll be some time off, I promise to return in two or three issues time with some test targets and maybe a McQueen competition result.


ABT Rifle Systems New Rifle from ABT Rifle Systems

By Vince Bottomley

A couple of issues ago, we published a pic of a new rifle from ABT Rifles Systems and promised more later.

The ABT stock is beautifully CNC’d from billet aluminium and, as you can see from the pics, a folding version is also available. At the moment, the stock is attempting to be ‘all things’ and has yet to make up its mind as to whether it is a true tactical stock – note the magazine well – or a Target Rifle or even an F Class stock.

At the Bisley Europeans, I got to see the rifle ‘in the flesh’ – but not shoot it. We did however get a good look and some photographs and it is certainly an interesting project.

The butt incorporates all the usual adjustments which would be welcome to an ‘off the elbows’ Target Shooter but would be too fussy for a tactical rifle and too heavy for an F/TR rifle. However, as I said, it’s very much a ‘work in progress’ and I’m sure ABT would welcome feedback or website


ABT Rifle Systems

By Vince Bottomley

But, although the stock is an impressive piece of work, it’s the action which really bristles with innovation. For me, there is no finer action than the BAT Model M. If I were making my own action, this would be my starting point – simple two-lug design, rugged, and arguably the most beautiful action on the planet – am I biased? You bet but, I do have three! However, if you’ve never seen the BAT, you might well be influenced by other designs and, in the case of ABT, if I had to name those influences, I would be thinking Unique Alpine, Accuracy International, RPA – to name but three. The ABT is however like none of these but the multi-lug bolt, Bellville washer-stack and the overall appearance inevitably draw comparison. The action actually clamps into the stock, which, in theory eliminates bedding problems though it can be made with a flat underside for those wishing to use a conventional stock and bedding methods. The ultra-short throw on the firing-pin is designed to reduce lock-time to an absolute minimum – a desirable feature on any rifle but less so on a rested rifle. Wisely, the ABT will take a Jewel or similar Remington pattern trigger – a great selling-point often overlooked by innovators but essential to discerning shooters. Although the rifle in the photographs is ready to shoot, it perhaps needs to make up its mind which discipline it is aimed at – the stock fore-end is too short for F Class, for Target Rifle it would need some decent aperture sights and as magazine-fed tactical rifle, the stock would need sorting and a more appropriate barrel fitting. In summation, it is an impressive project and I hope that ABT will soon take it to the next level and we will see a complete rifle, which will hopefully fall into a specific category and allow Target Shooter to evaluate it properly.


Contact us today to see what we can do for you and make your products work to their full potential, in a way that is the future of magazines and advertising. With over 10,000 readers a month, in the UK and around the world.

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November’s Quigley Shoot and a new Quigley Champion
Blessed with an un-seasonal sunny and mild day that allowed us to forgo the shelter of the covered firing-point, we were able to get an early start and make the most of the limited autumn daylight. The lack of wind promised some respectable scores, however most firers couldn’t capitalise on the conditions and so they proved elusive - perhaps we were just not used to shooting in good weather! Stage 1 at 400 yards was fired on the new, even more unforgiving, bucket target which scores 5 points per hit, with only one point for the nearest of misses. The stage completed, we retired for lunch with Richard Healey in a commanding lead with 51 points and Ian Hull, Gary Allsopp and Steve Maris each scoring 35 points.

The QSA Championship is based on a firer’s best three scores, this gives all members a good chance to win, allowing you to drop your worst scores, or to miss a couple of shoots without forfeit. When the arithmetic was completed, the 2011 Championship went thus:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th= 5th=

Richard Healey David Malpas Gary Allsopp Ken Hall Dennis Richardson Jake Healey

290pts 284pts 278pts 266pts 255pts 255pts

Each year, the shooter who achieves the highest score on Stage 1, is awarded the ‘Quigley Bucket’. The shooter with the highest score on Stage 2 wins the ‘Quigley Buffalo Trophy’, both unique trophies hand crafted by our own Doug Herod. This year, Gary Allsopp takes home the Bucket trophy, and Ian Hull the Buffalo trophy. A fitting end to the season which has seen average scores drop off slightly since the introduction of the new target but next year…..who knows?

Stage 2 at 600 yards promised to be a challenge - and it was. The changing light making the buffalo target more difficult to see and hit. Steve Maris won the stage with 57 points, with Richard close on his heels with 56 points. Back into the clubhouse and a rapid tally to determine not just today’s winner but the season’s Champion shot. Richard Healey won today’s comp with a score of 107 points, with Steve Maris as runner-up with 92 points. 105

United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association News by Tony Saunders
The Christmas season is upon us again and it doesn’t seem like five minutes since I sat writing this last year. It’s been an exciting and full year for UKPSA/ IPSC shooters in the UK, with a full calendar of UK matches and both a European Shotgun Championships held at Debrecen, Hungary and the recent World Handgun Championships XV1 held in Rhodes, Greece. (Report elsewhere in this issue).
Next year we see the first IPSC Shotgun World Shoot ever held – a level 5 match that will attract the cream of the world’s shotgun shooters to Debrecen for this mammoth showdown. The UKPSA has sent teams to both the matches this year and also is selecting and training a series of teams for the World Shotgun match next year. Many of us are looking forward to what should prove a superb event. It’s good to see Target Shooter online magazine going from strength to strength and we wish Vince, Yvonne and Steve all the best for 2012.(Thank you Tony and best wishes to you also – Ed) It only remains to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the UKPSA, and we hope to see many of you next year at the many matches taking place around the country. If you would like to know more, please contact the UKPSA at

Home Countries Level 3 IPSC Shotgun Match
Yet again, Harlow Town RPC staged an excellent match at their wooded range near Harlow, Essex. 10 stages requiring approximately 120 rounds of birdshot ammunition provided some new and challenging fun for the 62 competitors that braved the autumnal fog. Thanks to the Harlow RPC team that made it all possible.
Winners were; Open Division1st 100.00% STROWGER, KEVIN : GBR 2nd 90.87% SCARLETT, MICHAEL JOHN : GBR 3rd 89.73% HOCKLEY, NICHOLAS JAMES : GBR
Modified Division 1st 100.00% HARRIS, JAMES STUART : GBR 2nd 88.25% STARLEY, PETER JULIAN : GBR 3rd 84.15% ALDEN, COLIN : GBR Standard Manual (Pump) Division 1st 100.00% GUY, IAIN JOHN : GBR 2nd 80.72% HILL, GRAHAM : GBR 3rd 77.91% FOX, BRADLEY : GBR Standard Division 1st 100.00% DARBY, MICHAEL WILLIA : GBR 2nd 93.20% STARLEY, JAMES GREGORY : GBR 3rd 92.25% DOWDING, DAVID ALLEN : GBR


Match Announcements
Border Guns L1 IPSC Shotgun Match at Border Guns PSG Club, Shropshire on 11 Dec 2011. CSAC L1 IPSC Shotgun Match at CSAC Club, Carlisle on 11 Dec 2011. L1 2-Gun Christmas Shoot – Carlisle (CSAC) on 18 Dec 2011. L1 Christmas Shoot – Thurnsco on 27th Dec 2011 For details, see the UKPSA forum (members), or contact the UKPSA via the website


The Level II Graded Matches will be held in May and August. The Level I Club Matches will take place in April and July. This news will also be of interest to practical pistol competitors in the UKPSA’s two neighbouring IPSC regions in the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland, who will also be able to participate in these events. As well as the competitors who will take part complying properly with IPSC rules and regulations, the events will also to be run properly as well. To ensure this the UKPSA have confirmed dates for a two day Range Officer training course – which will be 23rd and 24 March 2012 respectively. There are also a number of current UKPSA members and former members who live in Northern Ireland who were previously RO qualified. The UKPSA will also run a one day training course that will enable current members and former members who rejoin, to requalify as Range Officers. This will take place on 25th March 2012 If you were previously a member and rejoin in the month of March 2012, you will not have any back dues to pay. You will get your original UKPSA number back. Your membership will run to the 1st April 2013. The membership fee is currently at £42 and will most likely be the same for 2012. You can enter the L1 club match in April without rejoining, but do need to be a member to take part in the graded L2 matches. You can do an assessment get your Competition Licence back. This assessment can be carried out at your own club range, or can be carried during the L1 competition. An instructor can travel to any club to conduct a two day basic safety course and also to carry out any re-assessments. For those who want to be kept informed of UKPSA competitions, training courses, re-joining the UKPSA, doing the RO course or re-qualifying as an RO and when competition entry forms will be available send an email to :

UKPSA Handgun Commission News
Good news for practical pistol competitors in Northern Ireland. In 2012 the UKPSA will assist in organising a series of events. The UKPSA has set up a Handgun Commission to promote both club level and graded competitions, which will be run to IPSC rules. The will be similar to the Shotgun Commission that was set up to promote practical shotgun competition. There is now a very healthy calendar of practical shotgun events across the UK. The intension is to use the same approach to develop practical pistol competition. This will commence with two Level II Graded Matches and two Level I Club Matches. These will be the first graded IPSC events in Northern Ireland since 2008
In Northern Ireland around 150 people compete in club level matches and UKPSA members their have wished for the re-establishment of graded competitions. This wish will be reality in 2012 with the UKPSA organising a series club level and graded IPSC competitions run to IPSC rules.


Accurising the TSC/GSG 1911 By Vince Bottomley

Accurising he TSC/GSG 1911

The Tunnel Services GSG 1911 LBP (long barrel pistol) has certainly created something of an “I want one” culture amongst pistol-deprived UK shooters – sorry, make that ‘GB deprived’ – Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man still have their pistols of course...
Anyway – enough of that. If you have recently bought a TSC 1911, you will probably have noticed that one thing is missing – accuracy! OK, they were never meant to be target pistols but the ‘real’ 1911 can be made into an accurate pistol, so why not the GSG?

I’m certainly no expert but from memory, accurising a 1911 involved fitting a ‘match’ barrel with matching barrel-bushing and improving the ‘slide to barrel’ fit. OK, there were a whole series of other ‘hop-ups’, too involved to discuss here – even if I had the knowledge but take a look at the Valmont Firearms website at www.valmontfirearms. and you will see a vast array of goodies to customise your 1911. Hopefully, a whole new discipline will be built around these little pistols but first, we gotta get ‘em to shoot! This month, we will look at what I perceive to be the biggest problem and what we can do to fix it. I’m talking about that barrel-bushing – or to be more accurate the ‘bushing to barrel’ fit.

You can see how big the barrel/bushing clearance is! On a well-tuned 1911, the clearance between these two components will be minimal – a ‘working’ clearance only. On my GSG 1911 this gap measures an alarming 0.03 inches - or 30 thousandths of an inch! Yours may be different but I’m betting it will still be excessive.


Accurising the TSC/GSG 1911
Valmont Firearms but, expect to pay a little more. Check out , and To order the correct bushing, simply measure the diameter of your barrel, add one thou. and that’s your bushing size! This ‘bushing within a bushing’ looks like a small wedding ring, for it is made of bronze with a carbide insert. It’s easily installed in the housing by pushing it in sideways and then rotating it. It is free to move a little – thus ensuring perfect alignment. My bushing gives me two thou. clearance and personally, I think this is plenty close enough as the GSG barrel doesn’t ‘float’ like a proper 1911 barrel.

The barrel diameter is 0.549 inches and the bushing 0.581inches – a clearance of 32 thou. We need to reduce this to a couple of thou. With a proper 1911 tune-up, this clearance would be a gunsmith operation – matching the bushing to the barrel but now, we can actually buy a barrel-bushing kit in a choice of sizes, thanks to a clever bit of thinking.

The Briley Bushing Kit

To be honest, I’m out of touch with 1911 bits & bobs and I was about to try to make my own tighter bushing - until I got an e-mail from Target

Installing the Briley bushing – first, fit the outer bushing then insert and rotate the carbide bushing – simple! Briley also consider the other fit – the ‘bushing to slide’ fit. The bushing housing is supplied slightly oversize, allowing you to turn it down (providing you have a lathe) to exactly fit the slide. To make this job easier, a threaded mandrel is supplied with the kit enabling you to hold the bushing easily in the lathe chuck. Do this properly and you have as good a job as most gunsmiths will accomplish – at minimal cost. The GSG ‘bushing to slide’ clearance was about 15 thou. The oversize Briley bushing is supplied just too big to fit the slide, so that it can be turned down to an exact fit. I turned about three thou. off it. However, when I put the pistol back together, the slide was ‘binding’ slightly. I couldn’t do anything about the two-thou. clearance on the barrel-bushing insert so, I decided to skim another couple of thou. off the ‘bushing to slide’ fit – giving me about 5 thou. clearance - still ten thou. closer than the original - it cured the binding.

The kit contains a new barrel-bushing and, here’s the clever bit – a second ‘spherical’ bushing that fits inside the barrel-bushing. Shooter reader James Bennett. James told me about the Briley bushing kit, which is a really clever solution to the problem. Not only did James tell me about the Briley – he actually sent me one! The kit is of course American and costs around £40. You can order direct or get one via Midway UK or the aforementioned


Accurising the TSC/GSG 1911
Incidentally, stripping the GSG to fit the bushing can be accomplished without tools – except for the tiny Allen key which should be supplied with your pistol. However a front-bushing key is nice to have and can be got from Valmont Firearms for a paltry £8.00. Before re-assembling, I lightly stoned all the ‘slide to frame’ mating surfaces to remove any high-spots or

Here are a couple of my targets shot before and after installing the Briley bushing. Left: before and right, after installing the bushing kit. Both groups shot rested. The right-hand group measures about twoinches but there are seven shots in around an inch.

I ended up with a five thou. clearance between bushing and slide – ten though tighter than the original burrs and applied a little light lubricant. The whole assembly was now running free as a ‘greased pig’ but with minimal clearance. Next job – test it.

Skimming a few thou. off the bushing


Prior to fitting the bushing, I was getting a five-shot group measuring about two inches with the pistol rested at 25 yards. Ten-shot groups would end up at around twice that size as flyers would always spoil the group.
Well, I have to report that we still haven’t created an Olympic standard target pistol but we have cut out the flyers and now I can land all ten shots in a twoinch group and I even nailed a five-shotter measuring around an inch. We can also begin to get some reasonable ‘snake-eyes’ double-taps, so definitely an improvement. My ammunition was CCI Mini Mag – hardly target ammo. but it cycles faultlessly in the GSG – in fact, I don’t think I’ve had a single hang-up or miss-feed to date so I’m inclined to stick with it for now – unless someone out there knows better. To be honest, with my sixty year old eyes, my sightpicture was abysmal in low artificial light so I may even try a red-dot to seek further improvement. I’m also looking at what I can do to improve the heavy trigger, as this could be the limiting factor to further accuracy – especially when shooting off-hand. Or, could the faux silencer be affecting accuracy? I may try a few groups without the silencer and see if it improves matters.

Accurising the TSC/GSG 1911

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Finally, my thanks to James for drawing our attention to this excellent product. Have you carried out any mods on your GSG? If so, let’s hear about them please.

World Class Athletes World Class Ammunition World Class Results

Champions shoot Tenex



Kelbly 179mmX130mm


7:16 AM

Page 1

Introducing Kelbly’s Tactical Rifles. bringing benchrest precision to the tactical market. With loads of options to choose from, and pricing that shatters the competitors.

Introducing the first hunting and tactical scopes with 10 times power ratio on a variable scope. March 1x-10x-24mm and 2.5x-25x-42mm. 1/4” clicks and 25 MOA per revolution. All lenses in scopes are cemented in place, and do not rely on O rings to hold point of aim. Argon gas purged.

Dolphin F/TR & Tactical Rifles available soon!
NEW - Dolpin Rifles - Available soon... Dolphin are excited to announce their new F/TR & Tactical rifles. Made with our own stocks(see below) Barnard or RPA Actions, Timmney or Jewel Triggers. Bartein, Lilja or Krieger barrels. With a choice of calibres.

Dolphin Hand Made Rifle Stocks
The NEW Dolphin Rifle Stocks Available shortly! Dolphin rifle stocks are available either in alloy or a composite lightweight blend of synthetics and carbon fibre. Sold either as single action or magazine with adjustable cheek plate. Optional colours & extras are also available. Please call for prices. (Trade Enquiries Welcome)

The NEW Trakker Bipod - Now shipping Dolphin are excited to announce their new rifle rest. Made from high quality materials and weighing only 600 grammes. It has been extensively tested by top shooters. The ideal F/TR bipod and only just heavier (60 gr) than the lightest competitor on the market. Two sizes & a selection of colours available. Retail price from £165.00 (Trade Enquiries Welcome) Dolphin Gun Company - Southwold - Donington on Bain - Lincolnshire - LN11 9TR - England Telephone - +44 (0) 1507 343898

Out 1st January

Photograph by Steve Thornton



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