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All the latest information at your fingertips

May 2010 Issue

Black
Powder
Pistols

Association
Reports

Event reports

The MAS - 36
Hayley’s Profile Military Rifle
features,
more of ‘This F Class and
Smallbore Centerfire Benchrest
Business’ News

PELLET PREPARATION • WW1 British and Canadian SniperTarget


RiflesShooter 1
• and lots more..
2 Target Shooter
With FL lens.

Without FL lens.

The Ultimate
Visual Experience

Cutting-Edge Long-Range
Hunting Optics
The new reference class by Carl Zeiss provides demanding hun-
ters with the perfect optical base for accurate shooting over long
distances. Thanks to the unique FL concept, the Victory FL Diavari
riflescopes offer razor-sharp details and bright images which
are free of chromatic aberrations even with high magnifications.
The innovative ballistic concepts ASV and RAPID-Z® allow for
Victory FL Diavari 4-16x50 T* – the most compact long-range
riflescope of its class – tailored to demanding stalking at home defined and accurate aiming via holdover point or indexed hol-
or abroad. dover lines.

New: Victory FL Diavari 4 –16 x 50 T*


www.zeiss.de/sportsoptics

Target Shooter 3
Welcome to the May Issue......................

.......of Target Shooter


Sections
18 The MAS-36 Military
Rifle by David Voisey 6 Shooting Sport News

9 Shooters Calendar

11 Support your Local Gun


Shop
25 Harrel Barrel Tuner
13 Peli 1720 rifle case by Carl
by Carl Boswell
Boswell

22 Shooting Black Powder


Pistol by Chris Risebrook

47 Handloading ‘Old Faithful’


32 Pellet Preperation the .308 by Laurie Holland
by Tim Finley
57 More from the IWA by
Vince Bottomley

63 Custom Rifle Build - the
39 The Unique Stock by Andy Dubreuil
Alpine TPG – 1 by
Vince Bottomley 70 SEBSF National review by
Nick Schoonwinkle

74 Fermoy Irish International


64 WW1 British by Andy Dubreuil
and Canadian
Sniper Rifles 78 This Smallbore Business
by Don Brook
by Nigel Greenaway
83 Dan River profile 2010 by
Hayley Platts
86 Springers for FT Part 2
by Stanley Shaw
90 Gallery Rifle
Basics - the 107 Advertisers Index
Browning
Buckmark
by Gwyn Roberts

4 Target Shooter
Association Pages
97 UKBRA

99 UKBR22 Editor(s).
Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley
100 F- Class Advertising and Office Manager
Andy Dubreuil. email; admin@targetshooter.co.uk
103 Quigley Association Contributors
Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Tim Finley
105 Gallery Rifle Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell
Don Brook Chris Farr Nigel Greenaway
106 UKPSA Gwyn Roberts Ken Hall Les Holgate
Hayley Platts Stanley Shaw
Webitorial - May 2010

The winter weather is thankfully behind us but, just when we thought it was safe to come out of hibernation
and start shooting again, an Icelandic volcano erupts and grounds all European flights - which put paid to
my intended excursion to Ireland for the international friendly benchrest shoot. At least some of the UK team
made it - by ferry and did very well. Such is life!

Although we at Target Shooter prefer to maintain a non-political stance, we cannot really ignore the
impending General Election which is almost upon us. I wish we had some friends in Westminster and I could
suggest who to vote for but none of the main Parties give two hoots for our sport and Labour have treated
us diabolically with regard to the London Olympics and an ongoing legacy for shooting.

Although we do have certain shooting organisations like BASC and the Sportsmans Association who involve
themselves in political lobbying on behalf of their members, I can’t help feeling that we would be better
served by one ‘umbrella’ organisation. Yes, there was an attempt to do this recently by combining the NRA,
CPA and the NSRA but the initiative appears to have fallen flat.

I do envy the Americans and their National Rifle Association, representing the whole of shooting. In this
country, our NRA seems elitist and remote to the majority of club shooters but whose fault is that? Ideally,
every shooter should be a member of the NRA no matter what they shoot – including hunters, stalkers and
shotgunners. Of course, it would mean reducing the annual NRA fee to something nominal but, with the right
organisation, I guarantee that membership would increase dramatically.

Most club shooters I talk to would love to belong to a body that supported all forms of shooting throughout
the country and was, in turn, supported by the gun trade. Can you imagine our political influence if every
shooter was a member of the NRA – that’s over 700,000 of us. With the serious air-rifle shooters on board
we could top a million! Could any political party ignore that number of voters?

Until next month. Vince, Carl & Andy


Carl Boswell - carl@targetshooter.co.uk and Vince Bottomley - vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk and
Andy Dubreuil - admin@targetshooter.co.uk Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd

Disclaimer
The website www.targetshooter.co.uk 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.

Target Shooter 5
Shooting Sport News

New British Bolt Action from GBR Later in the year, a stainless action body will be
available.
GBR England is a partnership of British
companies that have been co-operating for As one would expect, all components have been
some time in the production of rifles and parts. CAD designed, and produced on sophisticated
equipment to ensure minimal tolerances. There
GBR sees its future in manufacturing and are no castings or forgings employed.
stocking as many rifle components as possible, The only marking on the body is the GBR motif
for no-delay supply to custom rifle builders, and set in an oval relief (the serial numbers are
the new company is pleased to announce the inside the ejection port), so, whilst tough
availability of its own, 100% British-made, bolt enough for a tactical rifle, the GBR has a refined
actions, ‘scope rails, recoil lugs, det-mag bottom appearance that lends itself to a fine sporting
metals, and trigger guards for target rifles. classic.

The new GBR is a turn-bolt action, similarly GBR’s bottom metal is machined aluminium,
dimensioned to the Remington 700; as are the anodised, and fitted with a heat-blued steel
majority of custom actions, so a vast assortment release catch. All contours are smooth and
of stocks and triggers are compatible. stylish, and it is currently made to accept AI
magazines, and compatible with Remington
Currently available right-handed, short-action, clones.
with 308 bolt-face, and in magazine repeater Several rifles have already been built with GBR
format, with single shot versions, and 223 parts, and reviews will soon be published.
bolt-faces to follow.
GBR intends its motto, ‘Quality, Value,
The first run comprises action bodies in 4140 Availability’ will ring true with Great British
Chrome-moly steel, with a helically fluted 416 Riflesmiths, and looks forward to supplying the
Stainless bolt, incorporating a Sako-style trade.
extractor; the handle threaded to take, and GBR may be contacted at gbr.England@hot-
supplied with, a choice of anodised aluminium mail.co.uk , or by ‘phone, 01606 79029, from
bolt-knobs, which are also available separately. whom a full specification sheet may be had.

6 Target Shooter
Another new joystick rest – and this one’s
British!

Just when we thought it was safe to buy the latest


joystick rest from SEB, along comes another and
best of all, it’s British made!
As you can see from the picture, it’s very similar to
the SEB and I hope to have one for review by next
month.
General features: Double-post design (two 20mm
stainless steel, precision ground columns) with rack
and pinion adjustment with a vertical movement
of approximately 110mm with a non-slip adjusting
fastened) pre-filled with heavy black sand.
knob.
- 2 built-in precision bubble levels.
- Accommodates stock widths between 1.4
- Reversible joystick movement (either joystick
and 3 inches
up = table down or joystick up=table up)
- Available in light aluminium or heavy steel
- Regulated front fore-end stop made of 20mm
base variants (total rest weights of approx 7 a n d 1 2
diameter POM
kg respectively). All bases powder coated in black.
- Sturdy M10 stainless steel levelling screws
- Machined from high grade PA-6 Aluminium
with a vertical movement of approx. 60mm with
(black hard anodized finish) and POM, features a
counter locking screws (optional 70 mm diameter F-
side bag adjusting system.
Class feet).
- Precise, reliable smooth action thanks to
- Base footprint of 13.6” x 15” with comfortable
2 high quality, maintenance-free plain spherical
carry handle
bearings with teflon linings and precision ground
- Minimum rest table top height 5”
stainless steel guide rods wedged between POM
- Maximum rest table top height 11”
sliding plates (eliminate skewing of plates and table).
Extras:
- Windage & elevation rest top movement
- Fully adjustable “Easy-reach” loading block
equates to approximately 18 MOA or 52 cm at 100
available for every caliber (will hold 18 cartridges)
meters (18 inches at 100 yards).
- F-class feet
- Precise 3-point joystick tension adjustment.
- Customised paint schemes
- Delivered with premium leather or tight
- Hardened tip levelling screws
woven, non-stretch nylon bags (side bags are Velcro

Mini torque wrench from Brock & Norris you measure it?
Here’s a useful bit of Kit from Brock & Norris. This neat little torque wrench will allow you to do
Following our maintenance article last year I got it and it operates over a limited range designed
a couple of e-mails asking me how tight should to suit most rifles. It’s easy to use and comes will
we do up the action-screws when replacing a full instructions and, if I remember correctly, the
barrelled-action in the stock. Even if I gave you price was about £38.00. Brock & Norris are in
a torque figure (which will vary from rifle to rifle Telford tel: 01952-670198
depending on stock and bedding) how could

Target Shooter 7
benchrest, having enough air for
the sighters and records shots
within a match.
As this rifle is a prototype it is
still in the testing stages and has
the potential for modification - it
would be nice to see a discrete
benchrest specific stock for
instance.

Specifications
Total Length - 1.110-1.160mm
Barrel Length - 450mm
Barrel Ø - 16mm
Caliber - .177
Total Weight - 4860 grams
Trigger Pull - 50 - 250 grams
Steyr Sportswaffen developing a new
Benchrest Air Rifle From information I have received, this rifle would
Although in its prototype stage, an interesting be able to adjust from 6ft pounds to 12 ft lbs,
development from Steyr Sportswaffen shown at so potentially meeting all class specifications in
the recent IWA show was the new Benchrest Air terms of power limits.
Rifle model. (Equally, the imminent release of The weight is just over the 10.5 pound class,
the left hand cocking model is just as interesting so it would be interesting to see if this develops
for benchrest shooters, as this is a common further and what sort of rifle comes out as a final
feature in some rimfire benchrest shooting). product. What should be ensured is the Styer
ability to produce a rifle that shoots extremely
The new benchrest model sports an elongated well.
frame/ stock - 15cm - and an extended air
cylinder for more shots during a match. Very We hope to get one of these to test as soon as
useful as this is one of the issues with air rifle they are out, so watch this space.

Press Release - Knowing your measure environmental conditions accurately,


conditions helps to keep your aim even as they’re changing, can allow shooters/
you? to compensate for tough situations when
true.
the shot counts. So stay ahead of the game:
buy a Kestrel weather meter today!
The Kestrel handheld weather
The range starts with the Kestrel 1000 at £88.13
meters offer a range of eleven
(incl VAT & delivery).
units which report on every
For more information, please go to www.r-p-r.
environmental parameter a
co.uk/kestrel
shooter could wish for. They
are easy to operate and al-
low you to factor in all relevant
atmospheric conditions that
impact the accuracy of your
shot.

New for 2010, accurate weather data can now


be wirelessly transmitted over a range of 30
feet to your ballistics calculator or PDA using
Bluetooth.
Weather can seem to go out of its way to affect
long-range marksmanship. The ability to quickly

8 Target Shooter
Calendar of events over the next few months
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
3 May NRA Open Day (National Shooting 7 June Highpower Rifle Association Match
Centre (NSC), Bisley) The NSC is hosting, on (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley)
behalf of the NRA, another series of pre ticketed 80 round XTC. Details can be found by clicking
Open Day events. Visitors will be able to try on the links below.
shotgun, archery, air rifle, fullbore rifle, sporting http://www.highpowerrifle.co.uk
rifle, laser clays, precision snap, practical and
historical rifles to name but a few, all with one-to-
5-6 June WEST MIDLANDS REGIONAL
one coaching. Contact Libby Gendall at the NRA
TARGET SHOOTING SQUAD
West Midlands 10m Airgun Championships
10 May to 11 May The English Eight Club, Nation- 3 x 60-shot matches, finals, standard and 5
al Rifle Club of Scotland & Welsh Rifle Association target pistol. WMRTSC Wolverhampton
Spring Meeting (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Karen Morris Phone (Ian): 07970 166457
Bisley) Email: kazmorris@orange.net
Match Rifle (F-Class Rifles may be used if desired
but cannot take any of the prizes except for the 7 June to 9 June Scottish Open Championships
Cash Sweep) (Barry Buddon (Scotland))
2+15 at 1000, 1100 & 1200 yards on each day This years Scottish Open Prize Meeting will be
Contact English VIII Secretary held at Barry Ranges, Carnoustie near Dundee on
Saturday 7 June to Monday 9 June 2008.
10 May to 11 May NRA 300 Metres Whether TR or F Class, expert or beginner,
Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), everyone is welcome at this hugely enjoyable
Bisley) meeting.
The NRA Open and British Championships. Further information and entry forms may be
Contact Martin Farnan obtained from Allan Mabon or by clicking below.
http://www.scottishrifleassociation.org.uk
23 May to 26 May Phoenix Meeting (Gallery 7 June to 8 June Greshams and Norfolk Open
Rifle) (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Meeting (Thetford (England))
Bisley) This is the highlight of the Gallery http://www.ncra.co.uk/fb%20entry%20form.htm
Rifle year (although there are many events for
other disciplines!). Contact Brian Thomas at the
11 to 13th June British International 50 Metre
NRA
Championships
Email: info@nsra.co.uk
22/23 May Cumberland News Rifle Club - Carlisle Location: Lord Roberts Centre, Bisley
Air Guns Open Championship - 2x 60 shot
details at: www.cnrc.org.uk/open.htm 12-13 June : Hungarian FT Open 2010
contact: David Erskine: “urkers@aol.com” Field Target air rifle National Championship +
Open.
24 May to 25 May Irish Open Meeting (Ballykinler more details: http://www.fieldtarget.hu/ftob2010
(N Ireland)) The 97th Irish Open Meeting hosted more info: fieldtarget@fieldtarget.hu
by Ulster Rifle Association. Contact Trevor Steele
26th June - 6th August Rimfire and Air Rifle
1 June NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shoot- Benchrest European Championships 2010. Plzen
ing Centre (NSC), Bisley) in the Czech Republic - http://www.erabsf.org
Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. Targets
have been booked on Melville and at 100, 200, 26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle)
900 and 1000 yards. All disciplines welcome. Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email.
Open to all full members of the NRA who have julian.withey@btinternet.com
completed and returned the registration form
which is available by clicking on the link below. 1-3 October: Field Target World Championship,
Hungary more details: http://www.fieldtarget.hu/
Contact Heather Webb at the NRA ftob2010
more info:fieldtarget@fieldtarget.hu

Target Shooter 9
Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd
295 London Road
North End
Portsmouth
PO2 9HF
Opening Times Tel 02392 660574
Mon 9.30 - 5.30 Fax 02392 644666
Tues Closed
Wed Closed E-mail sales@portsmouthguncentre.com
Thur 9.30 - 5.30 Website www.portsmouthguncentre.com
Fri 9.30 - 5.30
Sat 9.30 - 5.30
We stock a full range of Rifles, Pistols, Air Guns, Shotguns, Ammunition,
Reloading Equipment and Accessories. All major brands stocked including BSA,
CZ, Air Arms, Marlin, Ruger, Umarex, Uberti, Cometa, Pedersoli, Berreta, Lincoln,
Webley, Pedersoli, etc.

Welcome to GT Shooting.
The premier shooting sports shop in Surrey

Fullbore & .22LR Optics


Black Power Ammunition
Air Rifles and Pistols Reloading equipment
Used rifles and Pistols and more...

Our premises are located at


53 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RB
www.gtshooting.co.uk

Tel: 020 8660 6843


Fax: 020 8660 6843

10 TargetWe are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25.


Shooter
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
‘Support your local gun shop’
10 Tech Shooting

Green Leopard Ltd is ten years old in May 2010. a security system for vessels of all sizes to aid crew
Happily individual, corporate and government security.
users keep coming back to us each year and this
has helped us ride out the recession. Key products: Over the last two years Green
Leopard has also begun to diversify its product range
Claire and Haydon Aldersey started the company offered to customers by representing some highly
with the idea of supplying clients with high quality
products and services; since its inception the
directors have drawn on their varied experiences to
pragmatically provide customer’s solutions. Having
served as full time fire fighters rounded out with
military service we have experience of what does
and doesn’t work in extreme conditions. Combine
this experience with advanced sailing and diving
qualifications, we are equipped to give our clients
the best advice we can.

The first product line actively marketed by Green


Leopard was our custom hearing protection.
We now have nine solid years of successfully
manufacturing custom in-ear products for
individuals, police, MOD and business.

Security & Investigation: Green Leopard Ltd is an


SIA licensed contractor providing protective security
services. Little known aspects of our business are
the security consultancy, private investigation and
training services we offer. These services include
Executive or VIP protection, which requires Security
Industry Authority licensing to carry out. We also
provide private investigation services for clients.

Maritime Security: The Marine industry has specific


needs, which we respected brands. We have decided that there is not
seek to meet with much to be gained offering poorly made products to
Maritime Security clients; so the products we represent are made to
consultancy. This high standards, backed by warranties and support
offers security and which look after our client’s interests.
anti-piracy training
to crews of yachts At present we represent the following brands:
and larger vessels
that may be Swiss One Safety: Industrial and Sporting eyewear
transiting trouble offering high levels of protection, clarity and in
spots around adult and children’s styles. Prescription inserts are
the globe. Later available in some models.
this year we are
planning to release ENTEL Radio: Entel brings exacting standards of
Target Shooter 11
innovation, quality and excellence to to 30th - Bisley: Green Leopard will be
its professional radio communications at the Phoenix again marking our ninth
equipment for land based, marine and year attending the event. We will have
radio telemetry applications. Green Peli cases, torches and lighting systems
Leopard can offer solutions from radio available for purchase; Entel radios will
hire, individual purchase through to full be on display so take the opportunity
communications systems. to see these highly specified radios. As
usual we will be taking custom hearing
Peli Products: This famous brand has protection orders for clients that require
been supplying the world with rugged it.
cases for 35 years. Since acquiring
Hardigg cases in 2009 their range CLA 2010 – July 23rd to 25th: Visit the
has expanded greatly. If you need to E.J. Churchill stand where staff from
protect, store or transport anything Green Leopard will be on hand to assist
there is probably a solution in this clients. For the first time since 2006 you
range. They also make a wide variety can access Green Leopard products at
of lighting systems and torches to suit the CLA from E.J. Churchill, which is a
all uses. leading supplier of our products.

Musician’s Products: We also offer Trafalgar 2010 – October 23rd to 24th –


a range of Musicians earplugs and Bisley: Green Leopard will be exhibiting
monitors as a part of our range. at the Arms Fair held In Bisley Pavilion.
Shooters with a historical Inclination
For 2010 Green Leopard products will will turn towards the Trafalgar Meeting
be available at the following events. as memories of the Imperial fade. We
Otherwise please visit the website or will be exhibiting as for the Phoenix
call us to discuss your needs. and look forward to seeing the muzzle
loading and classic military users.
Phoenix 2010 – May bank holiday, 28th

12 Target Shooter
The Peli 1720 Case

by Carl Boswell

Above - The 1720 with cut foam to accomodate a Steyr LG110 air rifle and a custom
Anschutz 2013 rimfire benchrest rifle - with lots of room to spare
Over the next few months I want to have a look at http://www.peliproducts.co.uk
as a few rifle cases that provide that extra bit of On receiving the case I have to say it looked bomb
protection. I’m thinking about the international proof. As the military, police forces, etc, use these
matches that I have attended over the last few years cases it is easy to see why. The exterior of the
and the ones that I will be going to this year. My case is hard and resistant to pressure and severe
thoughts have therefore turned to added security bangs – basically due to the type of polymer used in
and protection for that essential piece of equipment construction.
– the rifle. Having banged around with this case for quite a
Having seen the way the baggage is transported while it is easy to see that whatever is inside is going
around airports, believe me when I say there is a to be protected. The fact that the foam can be cut to
need for a secure rugged rifle-case. (On one visit the fit rifles and equipment so they sit snug is great – the
rifle even turned up on the main baggage conveyer high density foam can be cut at factory for standard
– much to the annoyance of the local customs and firearms, but it is just as easy to cut this yourself for
myself). custom designs.
Peli is a well known brand and I asked Peli Another feature for airline travel is the fact that
Products UK if they could supply a 1720 case for the case closes and equalises pressure after
review. My thanks to them and they can be contact atmospheric changes – nice feature.
Below - Stock picures of the front and back views of the 1720 case

Target Shooter 13
Above - The Peli 1720 before the foam is cut for the transport of rifles - a choice can be made
of different foams and this should be rquested when purchasing
The reason why I want such a large case is the case that ultimately protects – for travelling or not -
need to transport at least two rifles to competitions. this case would be amongst the ones that I would
From the photo’s you can see both and air rifle and suggest.
rimfire packaged neatly inside the case
with lots of room to spare. This is a The dimensions of the 1720 case are;
massive boon for those wanting just
one case. Base Base Base Lid Lid
The case does not come with fitted Length Width Depth Length Width Lid Total
locks, but a secure padlock by the (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) Depth (F) Depth
same company can be purchased. 1065 344 90 1065 344 44 134
These are very strong and lot
better than the locks on the case that External Dimensions (MM)
I have used over the last two years. Length Width Height
The final piece of good design is the
1127 406 155
strong plastic wheels for pulling the
case when transporting. When filled
with rifles this case is going to weigh
Weight With Foam 8.60kg
anything up to 29 kilo’s, so a bit heavy.
Weight Without Foam 7.60kg 
The wheels are therefore a necessity.
Buoyancy maximum 73.00 kg 
At the end of the day this case weighs
One folding front handle and two folding side handles 
quite a bit more than your standard
Polyurethane wheels with stainless steel ball bearings
range hardcase. It will therefore
3 piece foam set (not pick 'n' pluck)
probably costs a few pounds more
in baggage payments if you are
travelling by plane – depending on the weight of the Price at Peli Products UK - £307.58 + VAT
rifle you are taking in the first place.
However for the sake of having a securely shipped
rifle I would say the extra cost would not be an issue,
as the rifle will arrive in one piece. Like all Peli cases
it has a lifetime garauntee. So if you are wanting a

14 Target Shooter
TIM HANNAM Retail & Trade
EnquiriesWelcome
The Reloading Specialists
Peckfield Lodge,
Great North Road ,
Leeds, LS25 5LJ
Tel: 01977 681639 Fax: 01977 684272
New
3 in 1 Case
Mouth Cutter

Reloading Presses
We stock a full range of presses by Lee, Lyman, Hornady and Forster

Reloading Dies
We stock a wide range of die sets and individual dies by Lee, Lyman ,
Hornady and Forster

Scales
We stock both electronic and beam scales from Lee, Lyman , Hornady.

Brass Cases
From the most popular to the fairly obscure Manufacturers include
Lapua, Remington, Winchester, Starline and IMI

Smokeless Powders
We carry a wide range of powders from Vihtavouri, Hodgdon, IMR
and Alliant

Case Preparation Accessories


We stock a wide range of equipment, tools and kits.

Bullets
Including Match, Varmint and Target bullets from Lapua, Hornady
Remington and Winchester. We carry a wide range of pistol bullets in
both jacketed and lead.

Primers
For both Rifle and Pistol calibers from Remington, Winchester,
CCI and Federal

plus lots more inc Pro-shot, Birchwood Casey, G96

Target Shooter 15
Website Review

Rimfire Accuracy is a new forum and website based in so long as he follows the rules. Whatever anyone puts
the USA, starting off only a few months ago. So with out there is open to scrutiny. The super moderators
the magazines primary goal we aim to assist them with have the authority to delete anything put out there if it
a short article supporting this new venture. breaks the rules. We try to be fair to everybody.
Primarily aimed at the rimfire shooter – the title name
suggests the focus – the aim of the website is to We don’t want people to think they can’t be loose; they
provide information to new and old about rimfire can. Joking is acceptable; a few people seem to think
shooting sports. Whether this is technical or topical it’s not. Pretty much one rule. No personal attacks, but
debates, this is the place to be. Rimfire benchrest, that goes for direct, indirect, singular, or in-mass.
Silouette , Gunsmithing, Projects and a Newbie
Section are a few of the areas people can use. Some Our other primary goal is to help the new shooter.
areas like articles and the classifieds are still yet to We want new shooters to feel free to use the Newbie
get going, but this will come with time as the website forum or any other forum. We’re not trying to keep
becomes more recognised. It is nice to see people them off any particular forum, it’s just that they will be
going to the effort of supporting these sports with more noticed if they post in the Newbie section. While we
information and conversation. can’t control who may answer with what, we try to get a
“The basic history of the site goes back a couple of knowledgeable person with a known reputation to
years. Several people talked about other sites that answer.
contained no real information. So we decided to
register a site and it took about two months to get Finally, it’s under construction and we’re open to
up and running and is still in development. The idea suggestion. Eventually, there will be some level of
is a place that people can discuss and even argue advertising but not so much as to get in the way.”
(heated arguments if they want) so long as there are no
personal attacks. People post whatever they choose

16 Target Shooter
Tel/Fax 01722782432
Email; ags.westlake@virgin.net/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com

The Taurus ML Revolver is converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver.
The cylinder is removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contains the spring loaded
plunger that frees the action when the yoke is closed. As this extension cannot be removed,
it prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel is shortened to approximately 5
¼ inches and the wristbrace is removed.
A new cylinder is made which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear with a small
flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead
wadcutter bullets. The conversion of your pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00
each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.

www.FoxFirearmsUK.com
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464
PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST

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F-CLASS, AND BENCH-REST—WE ARE NOW SELLING A FULL RANGE OF HARRELL PRODUCTS
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WE ALSO STOCK PROFESSIONAL BORESCOPES (from £533) AND A RANGE OF HIGH-POWER SCOPES
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EVERYTHING WE IMPORT IS BY FAR THE BEST VALUE IN THEShooter
Target UK 17
The MAS-36 Military Rifle

by David Voisey
Your local fullbore club will usually offering a Above - The The MAS-36
smattering of military surplus rifles. The most cartridge wouldn’t work effectively in machineguns
popular are usually Lee Enfields in one form or and the Lebel was fed from an 8 round tube
another, with maybe a Mauser or the odd Mosin magazine, where you fed the rounds in through the
Nagant to supplement the mix. However there are open breech. As you can imagine, this is fine on the
a few hidden gems lurking out there which make a range, but introduce some mud and debris and the
change from the usual stuff. whole system goes to pot - not to mention the fact
that reloading took a day and an age compared to its
For me, this came in the form of the MAS Mle.1936 contemporary charger-loaded rifles.
or MAS-36 for short. A rifle best known for its
odd looks and the fact it was the last new design With all of this in mind, the French set about to build
bolt-action rifle to be standard issue to front-line a new rifle to suit the new rimless 7.5x54mm model
troops. 1924 cartridge (updated in 1929) that was already
being used in the army’s light machine-guns. After
The MAS-36 came about following the experiences attempts to reuse already existing stocks of Lebel
of French infantrymen during the First World War and Berthier rifles proved unsuccessful, the French
with their Lebel Model 1886 rifles. The Lebel was authorities decided that a new rifle was needed. The
the latest thing in military rifle technology in 1886, MAS-36 was finally put into production in 1936 and
however by the time of the First World War, it was carried on until June 1940 where it was stopped by
in dire need of a replacement. Its rimmed 8mm the German invasion. Production then carried on

The The MAS-36 in comparison with an


Enfield

18 Target Shooter
Top view of the breech and bolt

from where it ceased in 1945 and continued in one The MAS itself was designed to be user friendly and
form or another until 1962. ‘squaddy proof’. It feeds from an integral five-round
double-stack magazine which, in future models
During its service life, the MAS saw action all across produced or refurbished after the War, used the
the globe, from Europe to the French colonies in follower as a bolt-stop. The bolt is large and is
Asia and Africa. It was issued to frontline troops much like that of the Lee Enfield with two rearward
during the battle for France in 1940 but due the locking-lugs, however they are opposing each other
usual Government cuts to military spending, the MAS and the bolt cocks on opening rather than closing.
was issued alongside its ancestors, the Berthier and The bolt-handle itself looks rather odd in the way that
Lebel. The next major saga in the life of the MAS it sweeps forward. This may look strange, but works
was to be played in the French colonies, namely well to operate the action and allows for a smoother
Algeria and Indochina. opening than the stubby Mauser Kar 98K handles.

The bolt open exposing the breech

Target Shooter 19
The fore sight

The MAS isn’t the prettiest rifle in the world and On The Range
holds nothing in comparison to the No.5 Lee The MAS is a nice, short handy rifle. The
Enfield in a beauty competition. Maybe this is due to its 7.5x54 round performs well and its ballistics are
two-part stock with the slab-sided receiver comparable to that of the 7.62x51 NATO round.
separating the two halves – which makes the MAS Recoil is not as fierce as expected with other rifles
look plain and mechanical. The bayonet is located of a similar length (painful memories of a Mosin
underneath the barrel in a reversed position for Nagant M44 come to mind) and this makes it a
storage and when fixed, the bayonet itself is a thin pleasure to shoot. The angled bolt handle allows for
cruciform section, though not as impressive as the smooth and rapid operation (OK, it’s no Lee-Enfield
SMLE’s P1907 bayonet. Like most things on this but is a vast improvement on the Lebel) which sadly
rifle the sights are basic with a rear aperture and a is let down by a limited five-round magazine. The
large front-post protected by a sturdy sight hood. sights are fine for plinking and are surprisingly good
The sights are graduated from 200m to 1200m in considering the lack of fine adjustment on the rear
100 metre increments. Size wise the MAS is a shy sight and the thickness of the foresight. You don’t
over 40 inches in length and is shorter than both the have the same level of adjustment as you get with
SMLE and Mauser Kar 98K. the No.4’s micrometer, but this was designed as a
military rifle first and foremost and the sights are still
The major drawback to the MAS-36 these days adequate for most Classic rifle competitions. The
for the military rifle shooter is the problem of trigger is a standard two-stage military trigger that is
ammunition. The only commonly available factory heavy, but crisp.
ammunition is Prvi Partizan which, as is usual with
this ammunition, shoots very well. However, I have Specification
found that some batches of Prvi have inconsistent
loads, some of which are weak causing fired cases Calibre 7.5x54mm
to be covered in soot with bulged primers. French Weight (Empty) 3.7Kg (8lb 3oz)
Military Surplus is virtually non-existent so any MAS Overall Length 1020mm (40.1in)
owner will have to start hand-loading at some point. Barrel Length 575mm (22.6in)
Magazine 5 rounds
Overall the MAS-36 is a much underrated and to Muzzle Velocity 853.6m/s (2800ft/s)
many an unheard of rifle but it really is worth looking
at as an addition to any classic rifle collection.

20 Target Shooter
Target Shooter 21
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol
Part 6

by Chris Risebrook
This month I will try and give a blow by blow account people blow down the barrel from the muzzle end,
of loading the single shot pistol. Photo 1 shows the but I cannot bring myself to put a pistol in my mouth!
“makings” for shooting a flintlock pistol. Left to right So, a scrap of dowel rod, a drawer knob and a bit
the items are: 1. measuring stick,2. loading of red tape is my preferred method. If the tape is
phials,3. Drop tube,4. Pre-greased patches,5. just visible, the barrel is empty. It is all to easy to
ball,6.,mallet,7.short starter,8.ramrod,9.tools. load twice! Item 2 can be purchased from Henry
Dealing with these in order; I mentioned in a Krank; I have acquired both glass and plastic over
previous article that I, personally, like to check there the years. I put a sticker on the base of each one
is nothing in the barrel before I start. I have seen and mark the load and powder type. The block was

22 Target Shooter
I don’t like the idea
of using a steel
ramrod in a steel
barrel, so I made up a
brass rod and handle
with a nylon tip. This
protects the muzzle,
and there is no
possibility of a
spark. Item 9 is an
invaluable collection
bought as a set
from Kranks. It
consists of a pan
brush, touch-hole
prickers, and mini
tommy bars to fit the
top jaws of flintlocks.
In the common
occurence of a
a left-over piece of iroko from a sun lounge and a
misfire with a flintlock, after waiting a sensible time,
little box made from scrap ply. The drop tube is from
open the frizzen and brush out any unburnt powder
Kranks; I give it a good clean both inside and out
or residue.
after use, to keep it looking smart and to stop
Then, clear the touch-hole with the pricker and
powder grains sticking
re-charge the pan. It seems to work best with
to the inside. Having emptied the phial, I then give
just a little powder, and not too close to the
the barrel a good slap to make sure no powder
touch-hole. If there is not enough spark, use the
is sticking. Item 4; patches can be purchased from
relevant bar to loosen the top jaw of the
Kranks, but, being a tight-wallet, I cut mine from 4x2
cock and ease the flint forward slightly, and
using a 2p piece and lube them with neatsfoot oil.
re-tighten. To get a firm grip on the flint, I use a strip
Item 5. Ball can be purchased either cast or swaged,
of leather, but thin lead can also be used.
but I usually cast my own from near pure lead,
unlike bullet for breech loaders. Item 6, the mallet is
Photo 2 shows a homemade “possibles” bag ,(A
another block of iroko , some dowel rod and a knob,
scrap of vynide, some eyelets, a bootlace, thread
and is faced with cork floor tile. I use this to tap the
and a lot of bad language). This holds various
patches ball level with the barrel mouth. Item 7, the
bags for ball, spare flints, and cleaning patches.
short starter is useful after the first few shots when
I raid boot sales in the summer for leather pouches
the fouling starts to build up. Item 8; the ramrod.
to take the various size balls I
need. A packet of keyrings with
the size marked on the fob makes
life easy.

Photo 3 shows my bullet puller is


referred to in a previous article.
I have never had to use it, but it
inspires confidence. It keeps the
rod central to the bore while a
hole is drilled in the stuck ball. It
then similarly centres the worm
in the hole to give a really good
grip. Of course, you still have to
pull the ball out, and there was I
advocating tight patching.

Next time we will try and put this


lot together - it might even go
Bang!
Target Shooter 23
24 Target Shooter
The Harrel Barrel Tuner

By Carl Boswell
I have commented on barrel tuners before - the
pros and cons of using them and the various types. Above - Harrel Tuner being dialled in.....
They are one of the add-on products for rimfire
Harrel is now readily available to us, whereas five
benchrest where discussions about them will go
years ago it was not. The Harrel is now becoming
on and on. Whatever your thoughts, those who
slightly more popular in the UK and Europe and
have used them for many years swear by barrel
we notice a few more of them being used in postal
tunesr! It is an aid to accuracy, both tuning the
and ‘head to head’ matches. Certainly the shooters
ammunition and rifle to find that ‘sweet spot’ for
who take this sport seriously have moved to
ultimate accuracy.
using this style of tuner. Hence the reason I am
The Harrel barrel tuner - or stabilizer - is well
writing this article, to inform about extending
known in USA rimfire benchrest circles. As this is
perceptions and choices when starting to develop
one of the few truly commercial tuners available,
your equipment for rimfire benchrest.
most shooters will go this way and buy ‘off
The Harrel tuner is a development from the
the shelf’ rather than going the whole hog of a
Hoehn barrel tuner and the vast majority of tuners
custom-built tuner. This helps us in the UK as the

Harrel tuner an over


sized bloop tube

Target Shooter 25
Harrel tuner, weight system and
bloop tube

manufactured in Europe are also direct redesigns


low at the time and the Cicognani model was easy
of the Hoehn. There is a little bit of ‘political bite’
to purchase - again off the shelf.
regarding who came up with the idea but the How things have changed, with Brian Fox of
Harrel is the direct descendent of the Hoehn in
Fox Firearms now bringing in a steady supply of
shape and form, with design permission sought the Harrel tuners from the US. The price is very
for this. The Italian Cicognani model I have used
realistic - around £99 at the time of writing. This is
over many years is used extensively on this side of
substantially less than European models - with the
the pond – mainly due to the ease of purchase in
Euro being very strong against the pound at the
the initial years of this sport being developed in the
moment. For me, it is always about getting hold
United Kingdom. Plus the fact that the Euro was
of things easily, as seven years ago this just was
Below - Harrel tuner an over sized bloop tube not the case. When we first started developing
side by side this sport, getting hold of equipment was nigh on
impossible. I am happy to see retailers and
manufacturers starting to get on board to bring us
the best products from around the world.
I was hoping to get other add-ons for the
Harrel, as there are a number of them around that
I have mentioned in previous articles. The Pappas
Noodle is one of these and I think there are about
three of them in the UK at the moment. It would
have been interesting to test this for this article -
possibly at a later date.
If we have a closer look at the Harrel, the first
thing that I would say is that it is extremely well
engineered and finished. I have had tuners in the
past that need to be reamed before I could use
them, the internal bore being scored with tooling
marks - not conducive with accuracy. The Harrel
Below - Weight system and bloop tube is all you would want it to be out of the box –
superbly made and ready to use. One thing I did
ask Brian to make for me is a test bloop-tube
extension for the Harrel, as I have this extension
on the Cicognani model I use at the moment.
(Brian has elected to provide these commercially
at around £15, so well worth the buy!)
When comparing the Harrel to my current tuner
which weighs-in at over eleven ounces, the Harrel
weighs considerably less at just under nine
ounces. This is beneficial if you are building a
Light Varmint rifle where every ounce counts. It
allows for alternative choices like scope selection
and additional elements like a mid-barrel tuner,
26 Target Shooter
Comparison of the weight system with shortened bloop tube
(Left) and extended bloop tube (Right)

bloop-tube, etc. A good range of tuning can besystem can be used to extend this. (These again
attained with the Harrel but if you need even are available from Brian Fox). The Harrel comes
more range of weight distribution, then a weight-
with threaded collars for both the addition of
weights and
extension tubes
Fixing to the barrel is achieved by these screws compressing the collar shooters may
against the barrel wall wish to use at a
later stage. The
advantage of
using the Harrel
tuner is that
it becomes a
system in its
own right that
can be built on
as and when you
desire it. Having
the chance to
buy entry-level
equipment
that can be
developed
further is a
must for this
sport. Too many
times we buy
equipment,

Target Shooter 27
When setting up the tuner
Reamed collar to your barrel specs with both the weight-system/
bloop-tube or with extended
bloop-tube alone, I tended
to stay with the same weight
distribution. So in fact the
extended bloop-tube has
the same distribution as the
smaller tube and weight
together. This was only for
ease of testing and with your
rifle you may do things slightly
differently, depending on your
requirements and the class
your rifle is used for.
For me, having the bloop tube
was paramount to this test, as
I have used one for the last
two years. The effect – as with
the prone shooter – is to help
stabilize the bullet as it is exits
then see a new development and our original part the muzzle in relatively still air
is then obsolete as it cannot be built on. Some for the first few inches. Does this work? Another
manufacturers see this as a way of getting more discussion!!!
money, rather than supporting the shooter – sorry, This is the beauty of the Harrel – you can develop
rant over. it in the way that you see fit – alone, with weights,
Having an extended weight-system also allows with bloop-tube, noodle and other additions that
you to use the one tuner for several barrels/actions will no doubt develop in the future.
– if you can keep a record of the individual settings Let’s have a look at setting up your Harrel Tuner -
for each. courtesy of American shooter Dan Killough
The Harrel tuner is fitted to the barrel via a
compression sleeve that needs to be reamed HOPEWELL METHOD with 3 Lots of Ammo
by Brian before he sends it to you. Obviously be Use 3 different velocities of ammunition for this
prepared to know the diameter of your barrel at test: 1 slow (1040’s), 1 fast (1070’s), and 1 lot that
the muzzle. In the US some prefer to thread the you know the rifle/ barrel likes. If you do not know
barrel for security and better alignment. Personally what the rifle/ barrel likes just use something in the
I like to remove a tuner after use to clean the crown 1055-1065 fps range. If you are using ammo that
area of the barrel and remove condensation from does not have a speed, then choose 3 different
that area which can destroy the barrel-crown. The lots.
two screws that compress the sleeve of the Harrel 1. Set you tuner to ‘0’ and fire three shots. 1 shot
tuner are easy to use and the tuner is easy to put from each lot. Do not change your point of aim.
on and take off, so therefore I like this system. Turn tuner one complete revolution (25 clicks)
and fire three shots, 1 shot from each lot. Do not
change your point of aim. Repeat for ‘50’, ‘75’, and
‘100’. You now have a 15 shot group, all shot at the
same POA.
2. Repeat step one from ‘100’ to ‘200’

3. Repeat Step one from ‘200’ to ‘300’.

4. Repeat Step one from ‘300’ to ‘400’.

5. Repeat Step one from ‘400’ to ‘500’. You now


have five 15-shot groups.
Locking screw for setting the tuner One of the 15-shot groups will show the smallest
vertical stringing.
28 Target Shooter
at 235, 240, 245, 250, 255,
Threaded Harrel tuner for weight system 260, and 265.
and Bloop tube extensions
10. Look for the best group.
For example 245 was the
best group. Now do 6 shot
groups at 243,244, 245,
246, 247, and 248.

11. Find the best group and


set the tuner.

12. I rarely adjust the tuner


after this. If I move it, it is no
more than 3 clicks in either
direction. Using the
different speeds of ammo

Let’s say that you find that the 200 to 300 group
shows the least vertical stringing. seems to really help
6. Starting at 200, shoot 2 six shot groups. 2 shots find the best tuner
from each lot. Shift to a different POA for each setting. Also, now if
group. you change ammo,
your point of impact
7. Repeat at 225, 250, 275 and 300 will not change.
Using the locking
8. One of these settings will show a decrease in screw on the side
group size. of the Harrel, sets
the tuner so it will
Example: 250 showed the smallest group. not move while
transporting or
9. Now, start at 235 and shoot a six shot group shooting.

The tuner is
now set

Target Shooter 29
The Pappas Noodle - not tested for this article but another addition to this varied tuning system

I used two methods of setting up the on the higher settings. I only went through to high
tuner. settings to show the disparity of the correct setting
The one above as research for this article and I against ones that just clearly did not work with my
also cheated a little. Having my Cicognani set up rifle. It may be different with your rifle but goes to
and tuned to my rifle already I produced a jig to show with a short experiment that a barrel tuner
balance the Harrel tuner to the same equilibrium does have some impact on accuracy at 50 metres.
as the Cicognani. This allowed me to determine The Harrel tuner is a very good buy. It is
and record the setting that I knew would work and reasonably priced, easy to set up and well
compare it to the process outlined above. Within engineered. Thus it is accessible by all shooters
a few click tolerance they were the same – so the for these reasons. The fact that we can get these
Hopewell method works. (As it should as it has in the UK easily as they are now imported has to
been developed over years of practice in the USA). be a step forward. For those that want to take this
Having gone through the process, I quickly all important plunge, contact Brian at Fox Firearms
realised the best groups were being achieved with http://www.foxfirearmsuk.com
lower settings – see diagram - with worst groups You will not be disappointed.

www.FoxFirearmsUK.com
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464
PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST
For all your F Class, Centerfire and Rimfire Benchrest needs
Harrel Barrel Tuner for
Rimfire Benchrest Rifle

SEB Co-axial
Custom Rest

Cooper TRP-3 Rimfire


Benchrest Rifle
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SEE THE VERY BEST VALUE CUSTOM PRECISION RIFLES FOR TR, MATCH,
F-CLASS, AND BENCH-REST— http://www.foxfirearmsuk.com/
WE STOCK HUNTING RIFLES BY COOPER, KIMBER AND PFEIFER AND COMPETITION-WINNING RIFLES
FROM KELBLY AND KEPPELER, AND ARE TRADE AGENTS FOR THE
30 SUPERB BARNARDShooter
Target ACTIONS, AND RECORD-BREAKING TRUE-FLITE AND BARTLEIN BARRELS
Target Shooter 31
PELLET PREPARATION

by Tim Finley
the basic cleaning kit them down a Bic disposable pen body to pick
out “slack” Bisley Magnum’s, to re-sizing and
applying a special lubricant.
There processes for pellet preparation fall into
one of four categories.
1) Washing
2) Sorting/Grading
3) Re-sizing
4) Re-lubrication.
As always let’s start with number one, pellets
must be washed before any of the other
remaining processes can be done. It does two
things; it removes the lubrication or the mould/
die release agents from the pellets surface
and cleans off any additional flecks or loose
Once you have bought your tin or box
of pellets it really is not the end of the just a dab of liquid
process to obtain accuracy and real
consistency out of the projectiles.
The airgun shooter can apply very
simple processes to alter the pellets
properties from as they were
manufactured and/or to grade/sort the
pellets themselves. As a Field Target
shooter in the 1980’s I was soon onto
pellet preparation.
There are many, many different
processes and technique to pellet
preparation. I have tried most if not
all of them, from individually weighing
each and every pellet, to dropping

32 Target Shooter
mesh sieve is better at removing the loose particles;
with warm water added
you do not want too fine a sieve mesh, plastic ones
tend to be too fine. Try not to do this process in the
kitchen sink lead is a toxic substance and it should
be prevented from contaminating food preparation
surfaces etc. Once they have been washed it’s time
to dry them out. I tip the pellets out onto a pile of
disposable kitchen towel, envelope them in the towel
in cupped hands and give them a shake to remove
excess water. Then tip them out onto a fresh pile of
kitchen roll placed on a tea tray and spread out into
one layer (The tea tray just makes it easier to carry
them about the house). The tray is placed next to
particles of lead/alloy which are stuck the pellets. If
you weighed pellets straight out of the tin without first
then a gentle swirl
washing them you would find if you weighed them
afterwards they would not weight the same, due to
the additional lead stuck to them which is not an
integral part of the intended pellet design. To wash
pellets most FT/HFT shooters use the same system.
You need a sealable plastic food container with a
lid and preferably a rounded bottom. The pellets go
in the bottom with a dash of washing up detergent.
This is to remove the aforementioned factory applied
lubrication; this substance has not been initially
designed to make the pellet more accurate when
fired through an air rifle/pistol barrel. Its primary
function is to facilitate the actual manufacturing
process of the pellets, by stopping the pellets getting a radiator to air dry the pellets. Some shooters put
fouled in the machines producing them. After adding them in the oven on a foil tray at 150 degrees for half
the small amount of detergent the pellets are then an hour, or use a hair dryer. Once dry the next part
covered with some hot water from the tap, you do of the process is sorting and grading. This is needed
not need to use boiling water for two reasons, it will because the pellet manufacturing process is not a
not get the pellets any cleaner, and it is unsafe as lengthy one. Lead alloy wire is extruded at rates in
you could scald yourself or others. Make sure the the meters per second and the stamping/die process
pellets are covers by at least an inch of water and produces many hundreds of pellets per minute.
put the lid on to seal the container Next gently swirl Given these simple facts certain inconsistencies in
the container around for a few minutes, hold onto the the wire length or thickness, die pressure or alloy
lid at this point, I have found to my cost if you do not content will mean not all the pellets have the same
it can come off. Do not shake the container up and dimensions or properties. So their pellet to pellet
down as this may damage the delicate skirts of the weight will vary as well as head and skirt diameters.
pellets. Pour the pellets into a sieve and run clean At the cheaper end of the market not all the pellets
cold water over the pellets as they are swirled around in one tin are even from the same pressing/die
(again gently) inside the sieve. I have found a metal machine or roll of wire. A simple rule of thumb is the
more expensive the pellet the better the factories
straight from the sieve wrap them in a what was left after the
paper towel in your hand standard wash

Target Shooter 33
the skirts were ok from than in a “sleeve” of ten tins. It’s more common for
the standard wash them to buy a carton of 25,000 pellets. Even when
buying in batches of a set head size some sorting/
grading is needed. Some shooters still weigh
every single pellet. Weighing does give you an
opportunity to inspect each pellet for damage and
deformity. You can use manual balance type scales
which are really cheap or electronic scales which
can be expensive, I used to use the former but
now use the same ones I use for re-loading my
full-bore rifle if I need to check the weight on any
pellets. The heads of pellet as you weigh them is one
place to look, it is damage here which will adversely
affect accuracy. The skirt of a pellet can potentially
quality control and grading processes are. It may sustain a lot of damage before it ruins the accuracy.
seem strange but there is not a dedicated mega The flexible rear of the pellet is designed to be blown
expensive round headed FT/HFT pellet in the same out air pressure to form a tight seal in the barrels
way there are dedicated flat headed 10m indoor
paper punching match pellets. JSB hold the dry on paper towels
current dominance in FT and HFT. The Americans
made the Crosman Premier in the 1990‘s, with the
round headed 7.9 pellet designed to run at sub 12
ft-lb’s for optimum outdoor shooting performance. An
example of mega expensive pellets for the 6ft/lb
10m indoor shooting competition is the flat headed
R10 Match Plus pellet, sold in plastic boxes of 100
pellets, where each pellet is in its individual hole in
a plastic tray of 50. Each pellet is optically inspected
and the price for this additional grading process
before it leaves the factory is reflected in the price,
at about twenty five pounds a box of 100 they are
for serious competition users only. In FT/HFT we rifling. This is called obturation, to test this theory
use round headed Diablo shaped pellets rather than in the past I have purposely squashed the skirts of
the flat headed wadcutter shape used in 10m indoor pellets before on the practice range to see what
target shooting. These have a better ballistic effect it would have, which is little or none out to
co-efficient (are more slippery in the air) so have 35 yards than only dropping out of a 40mm disc at
a flatter trajectory. The only aspect of 10m pellets 55 yards if really squashed. This may have been
to cross over to us outdoor target shooters are something to do with the pellet I have been using for
the choice of differing pellet head sizes. Current 12 years, the Crosman Premier. I wanted to make
favourite .177 FT/HFT pellets are normally sure the same happened with the current top pellet
manufactured in 4.50, 4.51, 4.52 and 4.53mm the JSB types. I took a tin of JSB’s out to the practice
diameter head sizes from JSB made for various range and set about a little test at 55 yards to see
firms, Air Arms, Webley and Daystate to name a few what effect damaging the skirt on Prem’s and JSB
and also under their own brand name. Top FT/HFT had at 55 yards. Fifteen shots as a test, with the first
shooters tend to buy pellets in batches, in never less

1st for me ultrasonicing - see pellets in the what was left after the ultrasonic clean
ultrasonic cleaner

34 Target Shooter
of the see through pen body with a black marker
I put them into 3 test batches where the pellet stopped. You tap the pellet back
out of the pen body the way it came in. Then sliding
individual pellets in the body you can see if they fall
on the line stop short or fall way past. I used to discard
all the smaller diameter ones and keep those which
fell on the line or just above it. You could go down the
route of re-sizing the pellet skirts, I have a 4.50mm
diameter sizer I used on my RWS Superdomes in the
late 1980’s. I do not know many shooters who now
size pellets, buying the correct head size for your rifles
barrel or even Bic’ing would be a better option. Nick
Jenkinson a multiple ex world FT champion swears
five shots of the 15 with the none damaged pellets. by rolling
The results were startling. The JSB’s dropped two pellets down an inclined glass sheet. This sorts out
and a half times more than the Prem’s. I had to the ones which ones do not roll the same as the
really almost squash the rear skirt of a Prem flat to majority. Back to weight and you need to keep pellets
get it to drop out of the group and potentially out weighing within a grain in batches. Top HFT shooter
of a 40mm disc at 55 yards. Slight damage on the Pete Dutton grades his JSB between 8.4 and 8.5 to
JSB’s sent them all over the place. This must be due use in matches and then uses the rest from 8.2 to
to the Premier having a shorter rear skirt and the 8.3 for practice. The match pellets work out at about
inside body of the pellet being a large flat area at the
back of the pellet, when I measured them the rear two .177 match sizers
flat of the Crosman was only 1.72mm from the back
of the pellet, with the JSB skirt going back to 2.5mm
inside the body of the pellet. The JSB’s rear skirt is
longer, thinner and does not have a strengthening
inside section as the Crosman does. Damage to the
JSB skirt adversely affects the accuracy whereas
the same amount of damage does not affect the
Crosman Premier. I’ll quickly explain Bic’ing, it
took off in a big way in the 1990’s. The point is to
select pellets of the same rear skirt size, without
having to actually resize the pellet. A Bic disposable
pen body has an internal taper which could have
been made for the measuring of .177 pellets, the
pens internals and end cap must be removed and do
not get a solid coloured pen body as you will not see half a tin of 500, a pellet or two will still come in out
the pellet inside the plastic tube. I could not find my at 8.1 and these he discards.
old Bic body but I found a generic brand disposable Once sorting grading and re-sizing have been
pen worked just as well. I measured a few JSB rear covered it’s down to re-lubrication. The holy grail
skirts and came up with an average. Putting in a of pellet prep is the substance which lubricates the
pellet with this average diameter I marked the body pellet to increase its accuracy. The real truth is that
lubrication is needed to look after the barrel, which
you dont have to spend a lot on scales will in turn maintain accuracy of the pellets. Dry
un-lubricated pellets will form a layer of lead on/in
the barrels rifling. Which if left to build up will make
the barrel very inaccurate no matter what pellets you
use. Lubrication will slow the process of lead build up
and lengthen the intervals between when you need
to clean the barrel out. There have been many lubes
on the market from wax based aerosols to so called
“secret formula” ones. Many shooters mix their own
blends using a few types or brands of lube. Again
the fact that you use a lube is more important than
what you use. For over fifteen years I have been
using oil which is in fact the cheapest you can get.
The so called multipurpose comes in small 125ml

Target Shooter 35
seal the bag

ready for the lube

just a few drops in the bag will do it

bottles and can be bought anywhere from budget


motorist discount shops to supermarkets. It is cheap
oil because it is made from re-cycled oil’s, making
it very “thin”. This very light oil is perfect for pellet
lubrication purposes. I squirt a few drops in the box

Napier has alot of fans

My secret lube

of Crosman Premiers I use and gently shake to coat


all the pellets. Another way to re-lube is to place the
pellets with some oil in a small clear plastic bag and
work the bag in your fingers to coat the pellets. I have
tested many brands of lubes specifically made for
lead pellets but have found no significant difference
with the lube I use, my trophy cabinet tells no lie’s,
the cheap stuff works for me. With any re-lubrication
the golden rule is not to over lubricate, too much oil
in the back of the pellet will potentially add weight
to the pellet and therefore make it drop lower. I over
lubed a batch of 7.9 Crosman’s some years ago and
paid the price, I missed a 55 yarder, hitting low under
the disc. Upon examining the pellets after the shoot

36 Target Shooter
not sort any of my pellets now, I only wash and
the best way to lube is in a small plastic re-lube them, but if I feel a slack pellet as it goes into
bag the barrel I can fire it off. I look at the skirt of each
pellet too before I put it in the barrel, checking for over
lubrication or damage. Once you have lubricated
your pellets it’s important to protect them, why spend
all that time washing, weighing, grading, sorting,
sizing and lubricating to dump your match winning
pellets in an unlined tin or fluff filled pocket. I like
a lot of other shooters keep pellets protected until I
need to use them. I am fortunate to use old Crosman
Premiers as these come in a cardboard box which
has a foam pad inside the top and bottom. I decant
what pellets I need then into a purposely designed
and made cloth neck pouch which as a zip to keep
I saw the massive amounts of lube held in the rear it closed and has plastic sheet layers to keep oil of
skirts, this extra weight took that pellet down, I tried clothing. Shooters also use small wooden boxes and
it at the range and a overly lubed pellet did go low. leather neck pouches in order to protect pellets.
Now . I always check the back of my pellets now As part of this article I decided to test if the one
process I do to a pellet before that final visual
gently roll the pellets around in the bag inspection as I select it to put in the breech prior to
with your fingers taking a shot in competition I has any affect. The test
pellet would be the new Accuracy Plus from Falcon,
these are eight pounds for a tin of 500 so are at the
leading edge of current outdoor airgun competition
shooting. I split the pin into three sections, one I
would do nothing to, the next I would wash and the
next I would clean with the ultrasonic cleaner only,
I would then split the two washed batches into two
and lube one with my own cheapo lube and the other
with an expensive lube made for airgun pellets. So,
with a control batch of pellets straight out of the tin I
would have four other batches in the test. The range
test would be with my Steyr LG-110 at 50 yards.
Shot by me in the FT shooting position. I have shot
before I put them into the breeches of my two Steyr a 42mm group at 100 yards using the same gun and
LG-110’s. Having to hand load the pellets into the shooting position so I was confident that would not
breech as on the Steyr’s gives you more of the feel be a factor in the tests. Ten shot groups would be
of the fit of the pellet in the barrel than if you were shot as that is the real test for any pellet.
using a pellet tray and bolt/probe system. I do Next month’s issue will feature the test results for the
lubing processes.
the test pellets
A lot of the benefit of shooters
spending so much time and
effort on pellet preparation may
just be all in the mind. That is ok
because if you believe it gives
you better groups then that in
itself will make you a better shot,
regardless of if it really improves
the accuracy of an already good
pellet or not and if you miss you
know it was NOT due to a bad
pellet.

Target Shooter 37
38 Target Shooter
The Unique Alpine TPG – 1

by Vince Bottomley
Above - The Baverian made Unique Alpine with woodland camo. stock
Many readers will be familiar with the Unique Alpine 300 Win. Ultra Mag. 243 Win.
as they are a familiar sight on UK rifle ranges but 338 Lapua Magnum 7-08
it’s some years since we reviewed one (in the old 22PPC 308 Win.
Target Sports) so maybe time for an update. Also, 6BR Norma 6.5x55 Swede
York Guns are now the sole UK agents for these
rifles and they have kindly supplied our test rifle. But Two of those barrels – the 6BR and the 6.5x55
what makes it so special? What makes it unique? Swede would cover you for everything target-wise
Our rifle has several features which you may well from 100 out to 1000 yards. Most of the barrels are
see on other rifles but rarely all on the same rifle. finished at 650mm and are of heavy profile and
fluted as standard (the 338 is finished at 700mm). All
The barrel are stainless-steel and all but the 223 and 243 are
It was this bit of the rifle which first attracted me to muzzle-brake friendly. If you are going for a magnum
the Unique. Most of my rifles have more than one cartridge, a new bolt would be needed and the larger
barrel – it’s a waste just to have only one barrel magnum magazine is accommodated by removing
for a rifle surely? I love to play with different the mag. well and replacing it with a larger one.
cartridges and with competition shooting, it’s a case
of ‘horses for courses’. You wouldn’t use a 338 Lapua Yes, we can commission an additional barrel for
Magnum at 100 yards anymore than you would shoot almost any rifle but swapping barrels is another
a 22PPC at 1000 yards. The Unique is offered with a matter. If your rifle has a recoil-lug, then it becomes
fantastic choice of cartridges and I will list them here. a more difficult exercise. The barrelled-action must
They are clearly the choice of someone who is pretty come out of the stock for barrels to be switched
clued-up shooting-wise: and you will need a bench-mounted barrel-vice and
223 Rem 300 Win. Mag. action-wrench. Even then, the recoil-lug can give

Removing the brake reveals a neat 11 The breech end showing the barrel-stub
degree crown

Target Shooter 39
The brake is a fair lump of metal
but it does the job

problems if not pinned. bit confused by it at first. The hole through a brake is
normally only slightly larger than the calibre, yet this
If the barrel shoulders up to the action without a brake looked as if it was off a 338! When I removed
recoil-lug then it’s a little easier and the barrelled the brake for cleaning, the design became clearer.
action can be left in the stock but we still need a Inside the brake is a tapered tube and although larger
bench-mounted vice and action wrench. Here’s at the outlet, is only slightly over calibre at the inlet.
where the Unique comes into its own. No need The brake is very effective – unless you are shooting
for a barrel-vice or action-wrench. All we need are alongside..............! The brake is not screwed to the
two (supplied) Allen keys and the swap could be muzzle, it is located and retained by a couple of
done on-range if required. This is possible because Allen screws and can easily be removed for
the barrel does not screw into the action in the cleaning.
conventional way, it first screws into a ‘stub’ – which
incorporates the bolt locking-lugs. The stub then slots The stock
into the action and is retained by a clamp-system. It’s The Unique’s stock is another masterpiece of
very cleverly thought-out but there is nothing special design and ingenuity. Rifles are quite long, unwieldy
about the barrel itself – if you wanted a cartridge not things when you have to transport them – especially
offered by Unique, or you wanted a longer barrel, on public transport where it’s pretty obvious you
then it would be no more work for your gunsmith to are carrying a rifle. Yes, I know you could pop the
make up a replacement barrel than with any other barrelled action out of the stock but we don’t do
rifle. It would be threaded and chambered exactly we? I’ve been abroad with a benchgun on several
like a conventional barrel. The clever bit is the stub. occasions and I could easily have the barrel off but
Ideally, you would have a stub fitted to each of your I don’t and I still lug a four-foot long box around the
barrels if you intend to swap them about regularly. airport.

The muzzle brake With just one Allen key and one screw we can have
The Unique’s brake is a massive lump and I was a the Unique down from 50 inches to just 40 inches so
that the whole rifle will fit into
A metre long case will hold the Alpine a metre long box and it can
be assembled and ready
to shoot in seconds - if we
leave the scope in place
on the action. Features like
this may not be important
to you but I’m sure you can
envisage a scenario where it
would be.

The stock comes in two

40 Target Shooter
The aluminium chassis with mag. well. You can replace
the mag. well with a single-loading sled if you prefer

main pieces. The main chassis is machined from a awkward. Unique have incorporated an awful lot of
solid billet of aluminium and carries the action which features into their butt, yet it is very user-friendly.
is held in place with four Allen screws. The fore-end The best feature is the adjustable mono-pod, which
plastic side-plates have a non-slip finish and are will ensure a stable shooting platform on most
fixed to the chassis with three small Allen screws. surfaces when coupled with a front bi-pod. I found
The butt is formed from a high-strength plastic which that if the mono-pod housing was gripped with
is attached to the chassis via a substantial ‘dovetail’ the non-trigger hand, a very solid, stable shooting
joint held in place with just one Allen screw. The platform results. By clenching the fist, the crosshair
aluminium chassis section holds the action very is raised or lowered slightly, making quick, precise
snugly in a deep recess and there is a thin plastic aiming very easy. Some may not like the thumb-hole
‘cushion’ sandwiched between the two - probably to grip but for my hands it was very comfortable,
deaden any metal-to-metal vibrations. The two-inch placing the pad of index-finger nicely on the trigger.
wide fore-end has a flat underside and contains The butt-plate can be extended, raised, lowered
an accessory rail for bi-pod mounting and there is and angled and of course, there is an adjustable
a threaded hole at the front of the fore-end if you cheek-piece.
wanted to use a Parker Hale style bi-pod.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem ‘adapting’ to a
It is possible to over-engineer the stock of a tactical stock – but then you could call me ‘Mr Average’ when
rifle and the latest Blaser LRS 2 is – in my opinion – it comes to build. If you are a dwarf or a giant, the
a good example of this. It looks and feels Unique’s stock will adapt to your shape! Throughout

A Russian
policeman
demonstrates his
firepower

Target Shooter 41
There’s something of
interest at every turn – this
guy is engraving a knife
blade

the test, I never altered the stock, save for raising The action
the butt-plate - I like a low shooting position and the
butt can end up underneath my armpit. Pull-length The action is another part of this rifle which is unique
and cheek-piece were fine. If I have a criticism it was – with a small ‘u’. The body is CNC machined from a
bolt removal – it can’t be done with the cheek-piece solid billet of aluminium – though the Picatinny rail is
in place but it’s easy enough to remove the whole separate. It is substantial in proportion and has a flat
butt (one Allen screw). Bolt removal is a constant bottom and slab-sides offering superb bedding and
requirement for range use – and cleaning. A simple massive rigidity. Of course, there are no locking lugs
mod. to the cheek-piece would solve this at a stroke in the action – they are in the barrel-stub – so the
and I did notice a fellow shooter had done this with action is a relatively simple affair. A tiny steel
his own Unique. insert at the bolt’s camming-point prevents wear of
the aluminium.

The 338 Savage looks the part should be a The detachable magazine is single-stack and holds
bargain just five rounds - which is a bit mean for competition

42 Target Shooter
Benchresting the Alpine
produced half MOA groups
with ease
use. Furthermore, loading single rounds is a bit bolt-face spring-loaded ejector are tried and tested
fiddly – you can’t just chuck ‘em in. To make the components which ensure reliable functioning.
rifle more ‘competititon friendly’ I made up a single-
loading ‘sled’ which looked like a dummy magazine. Lets go and shoot
It worked perfectly but Unique do actually offer a I always like to start off by shooting a few groups
single-load adapter but it must be fitted permanently off the bench to see what a rifle will do and get a
in place. feel for the trigger. With home-loads, I wasn’t
disappointed – I was soon slamming in half-inch
The bolt is a really nice piece of work. Again a groups, which is exactly what I expected. The fully
substantial item, its outside diameter is almost an adjustable trigger was superb, offering a very clean
inch and incorporates three locking-lugs and the break which always helps to get the best out of any
body has nine narrow flutes and three gas-vents. rifle under these conditions but, this is no benchgun,
That strange bit at the rear which looks like the this is a tactical rifle through and through, built for
hammer of a pistol is the safety – very easy to use the professional shooter. It might well fulfil the
and visually check. The all-black finish matches requirements of a police firearms unit so how would
the overall finish of the action and clearly this is a it perform under these conditions?
very tough coating as it was still intact on the rear
of the lugs after firing over 100 rounds. The bolt is My local range had a McQueen competition coming
released by depressing a catch on the left rear of up. If you’re not familiar, this is a nice little stress-fire
the action and field-stripping reveals a conventional competition, shot prone off the bi-pod outdoors at
firing-pin and spring and the sliding extractor and 200 yards. The McQueen is based on a First World
The rear of the McQueen wall with our butts Shooter’s view of the wall – just above the
man presenting the target in one of the muzzle brake
‘windows’ for a three-second exposure

Target Shooter 43
The McQueen fig.14 target – it’s been in use The Unique put eight shots in 1.7inches at
for 90 years 200 yards!
War sniper training exercise and gets its name from July.
McQueen of Galashiels – the people who print
most of our targets in the UK. Soldiers returning to The fig.14 target is mounted on a stick and appears
competition-shooting at Bisley after the end of the for three seconds in anyone of the eight windows in
war, demanded that a competition based on their the wall. Ten exposures are given and the shooter
sniper training was set up. McQueen were asked to is required to place one shot on the target at each
print the now famous fig.14 targets and they liked the exposure. The target carries a four-inch diameter
idea so much they offered a magnificent trophy, the ring which scores five points. Shots outside the
Silver Eagle, which is still awarded to the winner of ring but on the head score four points. The shoot is
the McQueen at the Bisley Imperial meeting every very popular at my club and some of the McQueen
Here’s the Unique in F/TR trim – no brake or cheek-piece and a lighter Leupold scope. My
shooting companion is NRA Membership Secretary Heather Webb and yes, that pink rifle
is the one that Chris Evans shot

44 Target Shooter
‘specialists’ will score a full 50 points on occasion.

Today, there was a very cold blustery wind blowing


– I doubt there would be any perfect scores. Yes,
I’ve been shooting this comp. for around twenty
years and I was expecting that the Unique would
be an ideal tool and it was. Mounted on a Harris
bi-pod and gripping the rear mono-pod, the rifle felt
so ‘solid’ to shoot and, thanks to the ‘brake, recoil was
comparable to my own McQueen gun chambered
for the tiny 6mm Swiss Match cartridge. The single-
stage trigger was perfect - very crisp and light and
the Schmidt & Bender 5-25 scope (set on 12 power
to take in the full width of the wall) gave me a superb
clear image.

Like I said, I’ve been shooting this comp. for a


couple of decades and I’d had some practice with
the Unique already but what if a less experienced
shooter were to shoot it for the first time? How would
they adapt to the rifle in a stress-fire situation? This
could be exactly the situation a police marksman
might find himself in – difficult wind, factory
ammunition, three seconds to locate a small target
and get off the shot, then reload quickly in case a
follow-up shot was needed.

I offered the rifle to a lady shooter to try. She is an


experienced shot but had never even seen the
Unique before she settled down behind the stock
– which fitted her without any further adjustment.
She chambered a round and waited for the first
appearance of the target. I watched the rifle when
she pulled the trigger – thanks to the weight and
the muzzle-brake, it hardly moved. She struggled at
first opening the bolt but was ready for the second
exposure. At the end of ten shots she, like me, was
impressed by how ‘solid’ the Unique felt. She liked
it. Her target is shown in the picture - 49 scored with
eight of the ten shots in a 1.7 inch group. Remember,
windy conditions, off a bi-pod – gripping the rear
mono-pod (but not resting on it as this is against the
rules), HPS Target Master ammo. at 200 yards with
ten, three-second exposures. Not bad and better
than my score! For the record, no one beat it.

The rifle is very heavy at around 7kg without scope


and this certainly helps when you are shooting it In
addition to tactical stuff, it could be suitable for F
Class and particularly the F/TR Class for 308 rifles
but could it make weight? (8.25kg including scope
and bi-pod). That brake would have to go and if I
swapped the scope for something lighter – like my
Loopy 35X – we can save two pounds and just scrape
under the weight limit, which is handy as the first of
the GB F Class League shoots was taking place at
my home range at Diggle the very next weekend.

Target Shooter 45
These shoots are all two-day affairs but I opted to would be difficult to suggest any improvements for
shoot just one day, conscious of the high round-count the police or military user and for the civilian shooter,
I was putting through a new barrel. Although most the shortcomings regarding bolt removal are easily
competitors opt for something more stable than overcome but a ten-round magazine would be nice!
the simple Harris bi-pod, I had little choice and a Its substantial weight and muzzle-brake will find
proper rear benchrest bag was also out, due to the favour with experienced and novice shooters alike
design of the butt and I ended up gripping the rear and the stock is readily adaptable ergonomically to
mono-pod exactly as I had done for the McQueen both sexes, large or small. The latest up-date is a
shoot. I had also shot all my HPS Targetmaster folding stock, which will overcome my objections
ammunition so I cobbled together 40-odd rounds regarding bolt-removal.
using Vit N540 powder, Berger 155.5 grain bullets
and some used Lapua cases. The Unique has never fallen into the ‘budget’
category and it’s right up there with the Accuracy
It was a typical cold blustery day at Diggle and with International as a serious piece of professional kit
no time for testing it was a case of bore-sighting the which may well be out of the price-range of the
Leupold on the 500 yard firing-point minutes before average amateur. At around £4000 - depending on
the ‘off’ and praying for a first round hit. specification - the Unique Alpine is expensive but
our test rifle has a few extras like the muzzle-brake
Thanks to its weight, the Unique was a pussy cat and multi-coloured stock where you could save a
to shoot even without the brake and I had a very little money.
enjoyable comp. over the two distances of 500
and 600 yards. I ended up with a creditable tenth In conclusion, this is a very accurate, ‘shootable’
place in the Sunday aggregate out of a field of 27 rifle, right out of the box and, although initially
F/TR shooters which included six of the GB Team expensive, it could easily be two rifles - if you were
members who won the silver medal last July in the to buy an extra barrel. For me, this would be the
World Championships. appeal for the civilian shooter. York Guns are now
the sole UK importer for Unique Alpine and Schmidt
In conclusion, the Unique Alpine is a very well & Bender and we thank them for the loan of our test
thought-out, robust, professional-level tactical rifle. It rifle. www.yorkguns.com

46 Target Shooter
HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’
THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 7)

By Laurie Holland

Above - British shooters have a choice of around thirty .30 calibre match bullets from six
manufacturers, although Speer and Nosler primarily make sporting models and see little
range use here.
I’ll carry on looking at bullets this month, drawing known thirty-calibre match bullet of all time, the
heavily on Bryan Litz’s experimentally obtained data 168gn Sierra MatchKing (SMK) introduced as the
published in his book ‘Applied Ballistics For Long Sierra International half a century ago for 300 Metre
Range Shooting’ and reproduced with his generous shooting and still going strong. It is no coincidence
agreement. Yes, boring isn’t it ...... but your choices that when the FBI published tender specifications a
here can affect performance at all but the shortest few years ago for a bolt-action rifle for its specialist
ranges. Let’s make one thing clear now. Although teams, the required precision was five shots in 0.5-
I’ll put bullets under various headings this month MOA or better at 100yd using Federal Gold Match
and next, it’s not about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – nobody ammunition loaded with this bullet. The steeply
makes poor 0.308”match bullets these days. The angled tail section either does not harm short-range
issue is about choosing an appropriate model for (up to 300M) precision, or maybe even helps it
the rifle and shooting purpose, in particular the through seeing the bullet stabilise quickly after
ranges shot over. I’ve already noted that there are leaving the muzzle. Despite the many new bullets
eight HPBT match bullets, mostly 168s, that are not introduced in recent years, this load plus its Black
suitable for very long-ranges because they have overly Hills equivalent remain the ‘gold standard’ for most
steep boat-tail angles in the 12.6 to 13.5° range. This law enforcement users, also many target shooters
sees air turbulence induced around the back of the who don’t handload. Federal’s nominal MV for the
bullet’s body, ultimately leading to dynamic instability 168gn GM Match is 2,600 fps, and while the Black
beyond 800 yards at .308 Win MVs. Hills equivalent is warmer at 2,650 fps, both are
well down on the 2,882 fps equivalent value to our
Such bullets mostly draw upon the design features ‘standard load’ (a 155 at 3,000 fps producing 3,098
of one of the oldest, and almost certainly the best ft/lbs ME). The primary reason is factory ammunition
Next page - Four models that are superb short-range bullets and will still perform adequately at
600yd. Left to right: 168gn SMK, 168gn Hornady Match, 168gn Speer Gold Match, 180gn SMK.
Short, sharply angled boat-tail bases give them high i7 and low BC values and they should not be
used for long range shooting.
Target Shooter 47
600yd is enough distance to allow optimal bullet choices and
ballistic combinations to give the canny handloader an edge
in the wind.
48 Target Shooter
Left - Not all 168s are
short-range bullets.
168gn Berger VLD
on the left alongside
the much shorter and
blunter SMK.

the SAAMI standard


for 165/168gn .308Win
is 2,670 fps producing
2,660 ft/lbs, and this is
what I’ve used as the
baseline for obtaining
comparable MVs with
other bullet weights. I’ve
also assumed heavy-
barrel 650mm (25.5”)
or 26” barrel ‘varmint’
and ‘tactical’ rifles
such as the Remington
700VS/PSS, Accuracy
International AE and
AW, and Sako TRG will
produce another 60-80
fps, adding 75 to most
computed MVs where
appropriate.

300 and 600


So we need to have
a look at 300-600yd
external ballistics for
such rifles. Terminal
velocities are not an
MVs being quoted for a 24” barrel, while our 3,098
issue, all being well above 1.3 Mach (1,460 fps)
ft/lbs comes from a 30-32” length match rifle
and therefore clear of transonic speeds, so the key
example accounting for another 200+ fps. Even so,

Sierra MKs from 155 to 200gn with the new


155gn Palma MK (#2156) and 210gn (VLD
form) separate on the right.

Target Shooter 49
Varmint and tactical rifle users can improve the ballistic odds in their favour by using heavier
high-BC bullets like the Berger 185gn BT Long-Range and 190gn SMK on the right against
long-barrel target rifle competitors who stick to 155s, older SMK and Lapua Scenar on the left.
metric is wind drift. Table 2 lists it for a selection of bination could win any major long-distance match
bullets over 600 yards. I ran the numbers for 300yd, today.
but the difference between the best and worst Anyway, the disappointing wind drift figure saw me
examples is so relatively small that we can effectively run the older Sierra models through the Berger
discount ballistics efficiency rankings here – two Bullets PC Ballistics program at comparable MVs
inches difference in drift in the full 10 mph crosswind, (producing 2,660 ft/lb ME) and group them together
reducing to a quarter-inch in the simulated missed in Table 2, adding two recently introduced and very
wind-call scenario. How about the extra velocity low-drag Bergers, but note neither a VLD model.
from the 38-50mm longer barrels in the varmint and These seven models are visibly members of the
tactical rifles? It reduced the 300yd 10 mph drift of same design family, tangent ogive with 7-calibres
the most wind-affected bullet by only 0.34” and the radius curves, but in three groups according to
1.5 mph wind at 4 o’ clock by 0.05”– a miniscule their rear end shapes. The 168 and 180gn models
twentieth of an inch or 1.27mm. have the steeply angled form at 12.7 and 13.0°
respectively, and are also short at 0.135-0.140” long.
At 600yd, we see a significant difference between The 155 and 175 have a shallower 9° form, at the
the best and worst ballistic combinations, 10 inches top end of the ideal range, but still relatively short
or 1.6-MOA in the uncorrected 10 mph crosswind, so the bullet body tapers from 0.308” to 0.255” dia.
and 1.4”, a little under a quarter-MOA, in the and the 190, 200, and 220gn models have a long
simulated misread wind change. That’s potentially (nearly quarter-inch) 9.1° angle section that reduces
a lot on F-Class targets with 0.5-MOA score rings. the base diameter to 0.235”. Think on how the
Some results surprised me, especially that for the boat-tail works – it reduces bullet base-drag directly
175gn Sierra MK which produced the largest wind in line with the reduction in base area. The 155 / 175
drift figure. I’d thought this an excellent design shape produces a 31% area reduction over a 0.3080”
giving the precision of the 168gn MK, but with a much flat-base form, the three heavier models 42%.
improved long range capability thanks to its 9.1°
angle boat-tail. It was used by Brad Sauve to take Studying the 600yd wind effect in a notional 24”
the 2004 US National F/TR Championship running barrel rifle, the 168 and 175gn MKs actually produce
at a modest 2,610 fps, right in line with the value more drift than the older 155gn Palma model and it’s
used in Table 2. This says two things – firstly just only when we get up to 180gn that we see a small
how good a shooter Brad is; secondly, how much F/ reduction, this followed by a step change on reach-
TR has changed in six years, as I doubt if this com- ing the long-boat-tail trio with the 190gn SMK. The

50 Target Shooter
The ‘best’ of the 155s. Left to right: New model SMK (#2156); Lapua Scenar; Berger
155.5gn BT Fullbore. For the full story on 155gn 30s, see Bryan Litz’s detailed ballistic
evaluation in the October and November 2009 issues of Target Shooter – available free
from the archive section.
200 and 220gn models produce relatively small efit in using VLD designs at these ranges given the
further improvements thereafter and we should well-known problems in tuning the loads and the crucial
bear in mind there is a price to be paid in increased importance of finding tolerant combinations that
recoil and barrel wear. Also, many factory rifles will produce small groups in a range of conditions.
not be suitably ‘throated’ to suit optimum COALs for
cartridges loaded with these bullets and may also
have too slow a rifling twist to stabilise them if the Talking about small groups, let me remind you
manufacturer chose the industry standard 1-12” again that all of this dissection of external ballistics
rate. Readers may question why all I didn’t choose performance has been carried out in isolation, and
any VLD examples for the Table. Two reasons – the rifle-ammunition grouping capability may well
the 155.5, 175, and 185gn Berger BT Fullbore and make a larger difference to shot dispersion at these
Long-Range models are actually more efficient ranges. A load that groups into 1-MOA spreads its
than same weight VLDs, also I see little or no ben- hits over three more inches of paper at 600yd than
Target Shooter 51
an extra 250 fps over that
attainable from a 24”
barrel. The 185gn Berger
Target BT Long-Range at
2,800 fps MV sees 24.5”
and 3.2” 600yd drift in the
10 mph and 1.5 mph wind
scenarios respectively,
that’s a full third less than
those of the worst per-
former in Table 2, the
175gn SMK. Since we
must assume such a rig
and load will group into
less than a half MOA
too, it’s obvious that the
varmint or tactical rifle
owner is at a real
disadvantage even at
this range unless loads
are carefully chosen and
optimised for both
accuracy and wind drift
minimisation. However, if
we look at an optimised
short-barrel load against
an out and out target rifle
combination where the
latter is either limited to
155s by a slow rifling twist
or its owner has stuck to
them out of custom and
practice, things are not so
bleak. I’ve put figures for
the ‘old’ Sierra 155 and the
widely used Lapua Scenar
at 3,000 fps on the back
of Table 2, and we can
see that assuming both
types of rifle-ammunition
combinations produce
equal accuracy, the 24”
tactical rifle owner can
match the former and
All key data was sourced from this book. It contains far more than
almost reach the Scenar’s
just bullet evaluation and is a must-have for any competitor who performance using
wants to understand the ballistics that underpin his performance the 185gn Berger BT
and identify ways to improve them. Long-Range or Sierra
one that manages 0.5-MOA. Also, since we shoot 190gn MK. With the PSS
into rings not squares, a high or low shot that would / AI type 650-660mm barrel rifles and an extra 60-
be only just contained by the five ring needs hardly 80 fps, it’s even possible to ‘beat’ the 155gn in an
any wind or aiming-induced sideways movement to out and out target rifle too. Taking these examples
be pushed out and lose a point, so a poorly grouping out to 1,000yd range (Table 3) shows that the canny
combination affects scores in multiple ways. So a handloader with a shorter barrel rifle can still match
really good-shooting load with the ‘poorest’ bullet or even ‘beat’ the long-barrel target rifle owner in this
still trumps a poor performer using a ‘ballistic star’ scenario, especially if we’re talking about a 660mm
at this range. However, let’s see how a long-barrel (26”) barrel version with suitable bullet selection. Of
F/TR or TR rifle manages with a high-BC bullet with course, as soon as the target rifle owner switches

52 Target Shooter
Table 1
0.308” Match Bullets available in the UK

Weight/Model Type/Ogive G7 BC Weight/Model Type/Ogive G7 BC Weight/Model Type/Ogive G7 BC

Berger Sierra Hornady


155gn BT Tangent 0.224 155gn Palma  Tangent 0.214 155gn A‐Max Secant/S‐BT 0.212
(2155)

155gn VLD Secant 0.225 155gn Palma  Tangent‐ 0.229 168gn A‐Max Secant/S‐BT 0.23


(2156) Long

155.5gn BT  Tangent ‐  0.237 168gn MK Tangent/S‐ 0.218 168gn Match Tangent / S‐BT 0.222


Fullbore Long BT
168gn BT Tangent 0.231 175gn MK Tangent 0.243 178gn A‐Max Secant/S‐BT 0.24

168gn VLD Secant 0.242 180gn MK Tangent/S‐ 0.247 208gn A‐Max Secant/S‐BT 0.324


BT
175gn BT L‐R Tangent ‐  0.264 190gn MK Tangent 0.27
Long
175gn VLD Secant 0.255 200gn MK Tangent 0.285 Lapua
185gn BT L‐R Tangent ‐  0.283 210gn MK Secant (VLD  0.316 155gn Scenar Secant 0.236
Long type)
185gn VLD Secant 0.281 220gn MK Tangent 0.31 167gn Scenar Tangent 0.216

190gn VLD Secant 0.283 240gn MK Tangent 0.332 185gn Scenar Tangent 0.247

210gn BT L‐R Tangent ‐  0.32 185gn D46 FMJBT Tangent 0.258


Long
210gn VLD Secant 0.323
Speer Nosler
168gn Gold  Tangent/S‐ c.218‐.222 168gn Custom  Tangent/S‐BT 0.218
Match BT Competition

to heavier, higher BC bullets, the tables are turned. evaluating their inherent efficiency.
Next month, I’ll finally finish bullet evaluation and Notes
selection looking at their form factors as a way of L-R = Long-Range model.

Table 2
External Ballistics Performance at 600yd for 24” barrel Rifles
Bullet BC (G7) MV ME V600 D600 (1) D600 (2)

Sierra 155gn MK (#2155) 0.214 2,780 2,660 1,629 35.1” 4.5” 


Sierra 168gn MK 0.218 2,670 2,660 1,564 36.5” 4.75”
Sierra 175gn MK 0.243 2,615 2,660 1,522 37.8” 4.9”
Sierra 180gn MK 0.247 2,580 2,660 1,608 32.8” 4.3”
Sierra 190gn MK 0.27 2,510 2,660 1,626 30.7 4.0”
Sierra 200gn MK 0.285 2,445 2,660 1,615 29.9” 3.9”
Sierra 220 MK 0.31 2,335 2,660 1,585 29.0” 3.8”
Berger 175gn BT Long‐Range 0.264 2,615 2,660 1,692 29.6” 3.8”
Berger 185gn BT Long‐Range 0.287 2,545 2,660 1,691 28.3” 3.7”
30” Barrel TR / FTR with 155s for comparison
155gn Old Sierra (#2155) 0.214 3,000 3,098 1,796 31.1” 4.0”
155gn Lapua Scenar 0.236 3,000 3,098 1,894 29.0” 3.8”

Target Shooter 53
Table 3
26” Barrel Rifle v Palma / TR Rifle 1,000 yd Ballistics Performance 
Bullet BC (G7) MV V1,000 D1,000 (1) D1,000 (2)
26” Barrel Tactical Rifle 
Sierra 175gn MK 0.243 2,690 1,138* 105.9” 13.7”
Berger 175gn BT Long‐Range 0.264 2,690 1,236 93.4” 12.1”
Berger 185gn BT Long‐Range 0.283 2,615 1,263 88.6” 11.5”
Sierra 190gn MK 0.27 2,580 1,188 97.1” 12.6”
TR / Palma, or F/TR Rifle
155gn Old Sierra (#2155) 0.214 3,000 1,165 106.8” 13.9”
155gn Lapua Scenar 0.236 3,000 1,299 91.7” 11.9”
Secant ogive = long, sharp form mostly used on VLD Notes for Tables 2 and 3
type bullets – can be fussy over seating depths and
relationship to the rifling leade. MV: Muzzle Velocity in fps; ME: Muzzle Energy in
Tangent ogive = rounded form that is generally ft/lbs
tolerant of loads and seating depth. V600 / V1,000: retained velocity at 600 / 1000yd
Tangent (L) ogive = long radius stretched nose Velocities marked * are either subsonic or likely to
design to reduce drag. see some shots fall into this category.
S-BT = short, steep-angle boat-tail base. Unsuited to D600 (1) / D1,000(1): Wind drift at 600 / 1,000yd in
ranges beyond 600yd. 10mph 90-degree crosswind
G7 BCs from Bryan Litz’s book “Applied Ballistics for D600(2) / D1,000(2): wind drift at 600 / 1,000yd for
Long Range Shooting” and used with the author’s simulated misread wind change equivalent to 1.5
generous permission. mph gust from 4 o’clock.

UK Gunworks
UK Gunworks was established by rifle builder Chris Blackburn
to manufacture specialist weapons for discerning shooters.
We take huge pride in what we do, and as a family business
our priority is to ensure our clients are happy with our products and services.

Custom Rifles - Semi Custom Rifles - Gunsmithing - Accessories - Reloading

Visit us at the Kelmarsh Game Fair and the CLA


Website: www.ukgunworks.co.uk
Email: chris@ukgunworks.co.uk
54 Target Shooter Tel: 01604 585055
Mobile: 07789 690386
Target Shooter 55
56 Target Shooter
More from IWA 2010

by Vince Bottomley
Last month, I tried to give you a general impression A small network of gunsmith partners have
of the IWA shooting show which takes place every contributed to the project from England, Scotland,
year in Nurnberg, Germany. This month, we’ll have Australia and Germany and all have provided
a look at some of the more interesting stuff for the input, ranging from metallurgy to CAD design and
target shooter. blueprinting. Again, like the Gall and the GBR, the
This year, a lot of the major manufacturers seemed action design is clearly based on the Remington
to be ‘marking time’ - no doubt due to the recession 700 but utilising the most up to date engineering
and were showing minor modifications to existing processes such as Electron Beam Welding to make
products rather than startling new kit. The R & an action that should be amongst the very best
D department is often the first to go when hard available in the world and most importantly it’s
times strike but fortunately, the small firms need to British.
innovate to stay alive. Impala are currently testing a new diamond coating
which will negate the need to harden the bolt but at
Impala Rifles is one such firm and proprietor Gavin the same time remove 90% of the friction associated
Haywood has achieved a remarkable amount in a with working a bolt. Eventually, a titanium action will
very short time and I enjoyed an interesting chat with be offered which should appeal to those building
Gavin. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of him, rifles to a weight limit and titanium is already used
especially as Gavin has been shooting competitively for Impala’s moderators, another line which will be
for over 20 years, most recently Civilian Service Rifle available shortly.
and Highpower Rifle. Gavin also had a very nice looking carbon-fibre stock
Gavin is about to launch a new rifle action plus a few on display which was as well-finished as any I have
other exciting products for the target shooter. The seen. Says Gavin “It has taken a huge amount of
rationale behind the venture was similar to that of work to get right and it’s not actually quite finished
the Gall action and the GBR action - the difficulties yet as we want to find a way to use different barrel
encountered in obtaining quality actions from USA in profiles without laying the stock up by hand each
terms of export controls and cost. time as we currently do, so the design will change

Target Shooter 57
somewhat but it will become lighter and stiffer project develops in the future.
and we look to establish a new benchmark in For now, Impala will ‘listen rather than tell’ to provide
performance from a lightweight stock system”. a range of products that meet the needs of the most
Exciting stuff, I look forward to seeing how this performance-hungry shooter without compromising

BCM’s beautiful benchrest loading


blocks are carved from billet aluminium

58 Target Shooter
on quality or functionality. new and at the right price. I spotted this useful little
“To date, support and interest from the UK gun trade kit for levelling your scope – without going to the
has been quite astonishing” says Gavin. “The IWA range. I’ve made an almost identical device using
Show was an opportunity to meet and talk to people spirit levels from B&Q but this little kit will save you
who I’ve got a huge amount of respect for but the trouble. Norman Clark of Rugby is a stockist of
have never met and it was great to be so positively the Tipton range.
received and to receive so much positive support Smart Reloader is a tiny Swiss company and has
and sage advice”. a lot of innovative products for the reloader and
I’m sure Target Shooter readers are equally excited shooter. Their products are finished in an eye-
and I look forward to having a closer look at the catching orange and some items bear a similarity to
Impala action in due course. those more usually seen in green! They offer good
After that, almost anything else would be an value and in the UK, Henry Krank of Pudsey, West
anti-climax but I was soon re-invigorated by a visit to Yorkshire is the importer. One item I hadn’t seen
the stand of my old friend Dr Vittorio Taveggia who before was their F Class ‘feet’. These feet screw
trades under the name of BCM Europearms – see onto the adjusting screws of a front rest to prevent it
www.bcmeuropearms.it sinking into soft firing-points. Most ‘effers use them
Vittorio is an amazing engineer and firearms but they will cost you about £60 for a set of three
designer. He thinks ‘outside the box’ and his rifles from Sinclair. I think the Smart Reloader ones will be
are like no other that you will see. He has a passion a bit cheaper.
for ultra long-range shooting and is currently playing
with some extreme cartridges. All his stuff is RCBS have an enviable reputation as makers of
beautifully engineered and he thinks nothing of quality reloading equipment and there’s not much
carving a stock from a solid billet of aluminium. He they don’t offer. This year, I noticed they were
always has some nice little bits and pieces on the even doing their own neck-turner. Personally, I
stand including bolt-knobs, pic-rails, muzzle breaks wouldn’t neck-turn for anything other than benchrest
and the like and he kindly presented me with one of competition but, if you do need a neck-turner, have a
his benchrest loading-blocks. look at this one, it’s sure to be competitively priced.
Tipton can always be relied on to have something

Target Shooter 59
Hornady are another firm who can sometimes fail can buy on Ebay for less!
to see the wood for the trees. The 7mm bullets is Savage Arms are one of the smaller rifle
very popular thanks to calibres like the 284Win and manufacturers but a few years ago, they ‘saw the
7mmWSM yet Hornady have somehow failed to light’ and came out from behind their desks to see
notice this and still only offer ONE measly 7mm what the real world was shooting. The result was
match bullet! They did however have a couple their F/TR rifle and their 6.5-284 Benchrest/F Class
of new products in the form of an automatic Open rifle based on their solid-bottom target action.
powder-dispenser like those offered by RCBS, Both these rifles represent exceptional value and
Lyman and Smart Reloader for that matter, plus a I’ve been very impressed by the performance of
little Chinese made sonic case-cleaner – which you the 6.5-284 in benchrest matches. Obviously not a

60 Target Shooter
firm to rest on its laurels, Savage have now noticed manufacturer but, save for their dedicated benchrest
that tactical shooting is popular - pity their UK scope, they don’t have anything more powerful than
importer hasn’t also noticed, for I have yet to see one an 8-25. Time you got out more Mr Leupold! The
of their new tactical rifles in the UK. This year, they world is shooting 50 power scopes and (gulp) March
were showing their new 338 tactical rifle. There is a have just brought out an 8-80 – enough to give said
renewed interest in this calibre for some reason and Mr Leupold a coronary! However, I did really like
this rifle should be good value – if we ever get them the military version of the 8-25 with its Horus reticle,
over here! press-button turret ‘safety’ and desert tan colour –
stunning!
Leupold are probably the world’s largest scope
Schmidt & Bender also had their head
Leupold’s new ‘military’ under the duvet until a couple of years
8-25 with press-button ago when they upped the magnification
safety turret of their PM series from 16 to 25 and
then to 50! For some reason, there are
more Schmidt & Benders on my home
range than ever before - long-range
target shooters want MAGNIFICATION
guys! And now, like Leupold, you can
have it in desert tan!

Kahles make some great scopes and


for the last couple of years they’ve had
a neat-looking tactical scope on display
but again, they need to get out more
and see what the world is using. We
need more power Mr Kahles! Their
competition and tactical scopes are
phenomenal in every way – lenses,
turrets, reticles etc. and European scope
makers are in danger of going the same
way as the British motorcycle industry
when Honda came on the scene. Hey
Mr Kahles have a look at March!

Sightron fortunately appear to be


in-touch with target shooters and their
10-50 power scope will be a winner. UK
importer, Aimfield Sports have already
set the price at under a grand and for
value and magnification there is nothing
out there to touch it. These Japanese
built scopes are proving to be very
popular with F Classers in the UK and
I’ve just had their 10-50 on my 600 yard
benchgun. Look out for a full report next
month in Target Shooter.

Remington had nothing new for the

Target Shooter 61
Schmidt & Bender also
went for a new paint-job
– and has the ‘lighthouse’
turret gone?

target shooter and I did hope they would be showing of years and were exhibiting some very interesting
their exciting new MSR (Modular Sniping Rifle) If you new products. Once again, a link up with a CNC
want to see it, go to www.remingtonmilitary.com/ engineering company has produced some
MSR it’s the dogs! innovative kit.

Roedale Precision, who advertise with us, have The best of these for me is a one-piece aluminium
come on in leaps and bounds over the last couple chassis on the lines of the original Accuracy

Sightron’s new 10-50 power (bottom)


next to my 8-32 Nightforce NXS

62 Target Shooter
International design. This is inletted to suit a inventory of McMillan and Robertson stocks and he
number of ‘drop-in’ actions and proprietor, Peter was showing the new McMillan folder. He currently
Lincoln is also producing his own side-panels has a great selection of BAT actions in stock. In my
featuring a pistol-grip rather than the AI humble opinion, you can’t get better than a BAT
thumb-hole – which appears to attract some criticism whatever your passion for shooting. Some of Peter’s
from shooters. In addition, their Raptor tactical stock BAT’s are repeaters and would form the basis of the
is also worth a look. ultimate tactical rig – I’m tempted! Peter’s main item
is of course sound moderators and his IWA stand
is permanently besieged for the whole of the Show
such is the interest in such things. Check out www.
jacksonrifles.com

Looks a bit like an A5 That’s about it from IWA 2010 but I shall be following
but it’s made in the UK! up on the Impala stuff and I’d like to see a bit more
of that British made stock on Peter Lincoln’s stand
and of course, Peter’s own version of the AI stock so
Peter also had a very nice bi-pod on display which keep reading Target Shooter.
is very similar to the Sako TRG bi-pod which
offers far better stability than the Harris type.
He also has his own muzzle-brakes, scope rails
and bolt-knobs. Although based in Germany,
Peter is English so no language problems, export
problems or VAT to contend with.

Finally, Peter was exhibiting a British made


synthetic stock which looked very well made
and was similar in design to the McMillan A5.
I hope to find out a bit more about this stock,
especially with the current waiting time from
McMillan. Have a look at the website at www.
roedaleprecision.com

Jackson Rifles is always worth a visit,


particularly if you don’t want to join McMillan’s
waiting list for a stock. Peter always has a good
Target Shooter 63
WW1 British and Canadian Sniper Rifles

By Nigel Greenaway
In the previous article I described the various Above - WW1 Canadian Snipers
patterns of Aldis sniper scopes – the second most
possible that some of these Canadian Winchester
prolific WW1 British sniper scope, with a production
A5’s were acquired through Canadian channels
run of 3,196. This month it is the turn of the
of supply, in addition to those supplied to them by
Winchester A5 sniper scope – the third most
the British on SMLE rifles. Canadian armourers
common with 907 fitted to SMLE rifles. The first
were adept at fitting PPCo, Aldis and Winchester
contract for 200 was awarded to Whitehead
A5 scopes on to Ross rifles, many of which were
Brothers on 07.10.15 with the final contract for 500
sporterized with cut down fore-ends and foresights
to the same company on 14.02.16. Hence it would
removed – as can be seen from the photograph of
be possible to have 1915 and 1916 dated SMLE
the Canadian Sniper section. The front row far left
No.1 MkIII rifles and 1916 dated SMLE No.1 MkIII*
sniper is holding a sporterized Ross with overhead
rifles fitted with these scopes. The Canadians also
Winchester A5, whilst the other snipers have PPCo
favoured the Winchester A5 mounted but fitted in
mounted SMLE’s. The other photograph shows a
the overhead position on the Ross rifle. It is entirely

A Winchester A5 and its leather case – note large


red rifle serial number engraved on tube.

64 Target Shooter
A Winchester A5 mounted on a Parker Hale base, reproduction
Whitehead mounts are shown underneath

Ross Sniper rifle with Winchester A5 from Simon The Winchester A5 scope was introduced in America
Deakin’s collection. Looking at records of sniper in 1909 and remained in production until 1928 –
rifles and scopes held by the four Canadian a long term favourite of target rifle shooters. It is
divisions in January 1918 – there were at least two sixteen inches long, 0.75 inches in diameter with a
dozen Winchester A5’s – a figure regarded as being steel tube, 5 power magnification and external half
erroneously low. There were still 32 of the Warner & minute elevation/windage adjustments. The British
Swasey scopes in store, no longer fitted to rifles and specified a cross hair reticule but a few post with
as it was a Canadian and American issue it is not single cross hair examples are known to exist
covered in this article. along with a handful of the slightly shorter 4 x
magnification, Winchester B4 scopes. The scopes

Target Shooter 65
Winchester A5 zeroing instructions from WW1 Pamphlet SS195

sometimes had the rifle’s serial number engraved Whitehead Brothers fitted the Winchesters in the
on the side of the steel tube, often highlighted with usual fashion, a side mounted system on the left
a red coloured filler in quite large font sizes about of the SMLE rifle’s receiver wall, the front base
8mm tall – as shown in the picture of the scope and screwed to the left side of the rear sight protector
its leather case. Others have the broad arrow and ears - as stipulated by the official contract – the rifle
Enfield examiner’s acceptance marks stamped on fitted with Whitehead mounts is from Simon Deakin’s
the mount rings near the base on the opposite side collection.
of the clamping screws, as in the photograph – but I As previously discussed this stipulation to fit side
have yet to see both types of identification used on mounted scopes was not conducive to accuracy or
the same scope. easy handling. Hence the Canadians, not prone to
obeying stupid rules, were quick to adopt overhead
The Winchester A5’s drawbacks, when compared mounts. There is some speculation that the British
to the other British sniper scopes, were that it was adopted overhead mounts but nobody is now sure
somewhat fragile - it could easily be knocked out what they might have looked like or who might have
of zero, it had a narrow field of view, lower light fitted them. However, an intriguing advert in Parker
gathering capability which restricted its use at dawn Hale’s 1940 Sporting Section Catalogue, page 56,
and dusk and a requirement to pull it back into shows what such an overhead combination might
battery after each shot because the scope moved have looked like – This bracket was designed by
forward in recoil. Lastly, the external surface of the us during the War as a ready means of adapting
tube had to be kept scrupulously clean in order the Telescope Sight to the SMLE Rifle. Did it see
for the external adjustments to work properly and active service during WW1 – who knows? The
consistently. However, despite these faults, it was picture shows a Winchester A% mounted on a
a popular and accurate scope - praised for its easy Parker Hale rail with a set of reproduction Whitehead
windage and elevation adjustments. In fact, it was mounts underneath.
the only British WW1 sniper scope where windage
adjustments could be made instantly with the rifle in Zeroing the Winchester A5
the shoulder – as long as you had enough light to To quote from Pamphlet SS195, Scouting and
see as there were no click adjustments. Patrolling:

66 Target Shooter
“ 300 “ 400 “ “ 8

“ 400 “ 500 “ “ 10

“ 500 “ 600 “ “ 12
and so on progressively.

There were other makes of


scopes officially fitted to SMLE’s
and collectively they made up
another 855 sights, some like
the Watts (160+) being fitted
Above - Very rare Evans scope and overhead mount bases on by three different companies
with three different mounting
SMLE
systems.
If shots are going low, raise the rear of the telescope The next most common was the Evans with about
by unscrewing the elevation screw, and vice versa if 120 being fitted. Space does not allow a full
the shots are going high. description of these scopes and their mounting
If going to the right, move the telescope to the left systems so a picture of Roger Payne’s incredibly
by tightening the lateral adjustment screw, and vice rare Evans scope and over head mounts will have
versa if shots are going to the left. to suffice.
Both screws are graduated in half minutes, one
complete turn giving 12.5 minutes. The standards P14 Mk1*(T)
on which these drums operate are marked off with In last months article a brief mention was made of
divisions; each division equals 12.5 minutes, or one the Aldis scopes fitted in overhead mounts on the
complete turn of the screw. P14 rifle. The first of these were fitted as early as
Test the rifle carefully at 100 yards range, find out August 1917 and sample P14 rifles fitted with Aldis
the correct elevation and lateral adjustments, then scopes were taken to France to obtain opinion on
make a note of the scale readings and use them as the relative merits of the overhead mount fittings.
a zero for the longer ranges, in accordance with the These rifles must have seen action because one
following range table. was captured – it emerged years later in a British
auction house having been sent by a German arms
From 100 yds to 200 yds unscrew 5 (half minutes.) dealer along with its official capture papers! It is
“ 200 “ 300 “ “ 7 “

P14(F) Fine Adjustment sight

Target Shooter 67
that these are more accurate than
scoped SMLE’s, having shot in a
team, all equipped with P14(F)’s,
where we never missed the Huns
Head targets at 400 yards and beat
many teams with modern scoped
rifles. Ultimately, 2000 P14(F)
rifles were converted by the
Periscopic Prism Company, fitted
with Model 1918 scope sights in
an overhead mount to become the
P14 Mk1*W (T).

It was and is a very accurate


rifle – probably slightly more
accurate than an average No.4(T).
In 2004 I was demonstrating and
coaching in the use of the P14(T)
and other wartime sniper rifles at the
British Army’s Sniper’s
Above - P14(T) with Model 1918 scope Symposium.
A Dutch sniper team representing
certainly true that the P14 Mk1* W (F) when
the KCT (Korps Commandotroepen – a special
fitted with a modified fine adjustment rear sight was
forces unit) took a particular interest and were
used at the Sniping schools and recommended for
shocked to discover that they could achieve head
issue on a scale of three per battalion – 3,500 were
shots on a Fig11 target at 600 metres – not bad for
made. The W stands for Winchester because only
an 86 year old rifle! How may P14(T)’s actually saw
Winchester made rifles were selected for
service in WW1 is debatable as the new rifle was
conversion. The sight was modified to accept an
only approved for service on 11th April 1918 and its
elevation screw marked on the head with three lines,
specification was not finalised until 31st December
each line representing one minute of angle.
1918. It became the inter war sniper rifle of the
However, it is easy to adjust the sight in quarter or
British army – a fact prompted by the decision in
half minutes and some very accurate shooting can
August 1921 to keep the P14(T) for the Regulars
be made. Many years ago I was lucky enough to
and the P14(F) for the Territorials – all the other
find a couple of dozen of these sights in a large
SMLE sniper rifles were broken up for spares and
ammunition tin holding about 5,000 P14 rear sights.
most of the scopes were sold off to the trade. P14(T)
By the law of averages I figured that I must find a
rifles were also used by the Australians and New
few of the (F) sights and I did! I can attest to the fact
Zealanders.
They saw good use on Timor
by the Australian Independent
companies fighting against the
Japanese using guerrilla type
tactics where these WW1 sniper
rifles came in to their own
between 1942 and 1943. It was
the swansong for the WW1 sniper
rifle which thereafter was replaced
in British service by the No.4(T).

My thanks to fellow collectors


who have sent in pictures and
particularly Roger Payne, a far
more knowledgeable guru on
WW1 and WW2 British sniper
rifles than I will ever be.

68 Target Shooter
☆ 2007 Pan American Games
3x20 Gold Medalist
☆ 2007 WC Milan 3x20 Silver Medalist
☆ 2008 Olympian 3x20 Fifth Place
☆ 5-Time NRA Camp Perry
3x20 Junior National Champion
☆ Multiple Women’s NRA Camp Perry
National Champion
If you want to shoot like
a champion, choose Lilja!
www.riflebarrels.com
Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels, Inc
PO Box 372 • Plains, MT 59859
Tel: 406-826-3084 • Fax: 406-826-3083

Jamie Beyerle

Target Shooter 69
The tenth annual SABSF Nationals

by Nick Schoonwinkle
The tenth annual SABSF Nationals took place at disciplines.
Krokodilspruit just north of Pretoria from the 7th to
the 10th of April 2010. The South Africa associations are Gauteng
Krokodilspruit means Crocodile River, but no Province, North West Province, Free State
crocodiles can be found of late. Province and Western Province.

Teams from all of the South Africa associations The following disciplines where contested.
(and from Namibia), participate in all the benchrest 100 and 200 meters Hunter rifle

70 Target Shooter
100 and 200 meters Varmint for Score On day two the 200 meters separated the shooters
100 and 200 meters LV and HV grouping and Kapok Botha was the winner of the Hunter
50 meters International Sporter class with a score of 477 and 11 X’s. The Namibian
50 meters LV/HV Rimfire team Captain Kallie Venzke won the VFS class with
25 meters LV/HV Air Rifle a score of 498 and 20 X’s.

On day one the 100 meter score shooting took Day three started with the International Sporter
place and the Hunter class was a close contest and class and was a one-man show with Pieter
three shooters scores were 245 and only separated Grundlingh winning with a score of 242 and 10x’s.
by the X count. In the VFS class the same trend
was followed as in the Hunter class, with 4 shooters After the International -Sporter class the rimfire
with a full score and the X count was again 2 gun LV/HV class followed and again Pieter
separating them. Grundlingh made his mark with a score of 985 and

Target Shooter 71
36 X’s 2Gun LV/HV Grouping see http://www.world-ben-
chrest.com/index.php
The man Pieter Grundlingh had no end to his Rimfire and Air Rifle see http://www.wrabf.com
excellent form and bagged his hat-trick by winning
the LV/HV 100m and 200m grouping with a 2 gun The African Regional will take place from 20-24
grand aggregate of .3154” September 2010 where all the discipline will be
shot. Any country can enter individuals and/or 1
Air Rifle 2gun LV/HV class 25 meter was closely team in each of the disciplines. Four members per
contested with Natali Terblanche winning with a Center-Fire team and .22 Rimfire and Air Rifle three
score of 967 and 18 X’s winning by 1 X. members to a team.
The venue of the shoot is Krokodilspruit, Pretoria.
Gauteng Province won the main team class. This is the same venue as WBC10 was held in
2009.
For more info on the different shooting disciplines: For more information contact: The Secretary
Hunter and Varmint for Score see http://interna- SABSF, Erik de Clerk, erik@air-it.co.za
tionalbenchrest.com/index.php

72 Target Shooter
Target Shooter 73
The Fermoy Rifle Club BR
International Competition

by Andy Dubreuil
Ireland held what was meant to be an international ain - the only internationals who made the event. I
event on the weekend of April 17/18th but the manage to catch up with Ken Stockham to find out
volcanic ash cloud from Iceland put a stop to all about the weekend and how the event went.
flights and only one family from the mainland Ken and his family are keen shooters with Glen his
managed to make it across by ferry. wife and one his daughters Christine making up
Organiser Gavin Murphy from Ireland was stuck in the team. They had already decided that they were
the USA in New York and couldn’t make the event going to go by ferry even before the ash storm due to
himself and at the point of writing this I think he is still the large amount of kit that they needed to take with
there! Nonetheless, the guys went ahead with the them. The ferry trip was not straight forward for as
event anyway and everyone had a great time with soon as the ship left dock, three of the four engines
what became known as team Stockham from Brit- broke down and ended up making the 2 ½ hour trip

74 Target Shooter
into a 7 hour trip. Once off the ferry, they made their what Ireland did.
way to Fermoy to their hotel arriving after midnight Results:
thanks to their satnav driving them into a field! International Sporter Men
Eventually they got there, tired but in one piece. 1st Noel Kennedy 478 11x
The event was over three days with practice on the 2nd Matt Condon 469 13x
Friday, the Sporting Rifle and Light Varmint on the 3rd Paul Cassidy 468 9x
Saturday and then Heavy Varmint on the Sunday. Light Varmint Juniors
Conditions were sunny but the wind came from 1st Christine Stockham 474 9x
every direction and Fermoy Rifle Club is well Light Varmint Ladies
known for being one of the most challenging and 1st Christine Stockham 474 9x’s
interesting ranges to shoot on due to the 2nd Alison O’Neill 463 10x
ever-changing wind conditions. Ken has shot in 3rd Glenn Stockham 454 13x
Milan twice before as part of the England squad and Light Varmint Men
for those who remember what Milan was like, Ken 1st John O’Sullivan 481 16x
said this was three-times worse! The highest score 2nd Pat Cullen 480 16x
ever attained here is a 249 shot by Patsy Tyrell of 3rd Ken Stockham 475 14x
Ireland. Heavy Varmint Juniors
On practice day, Ken was getting a little concerned 1st Christine Stockham 481 10x
as his average was in the 235 area but the matches 2nd Ian Nolan 472 11x
were not high-scoring due to the challenging winds 3rd Daire Kinsella 465 10x
but that is all part of the game. Heavy Varmint Ladies
Around 40 competitors took part in the event with 1st Christine Stockham 481 10x
most coming from all parts of Ireland. Fermoy has 2nd Alison O’Neill 467 12x
a 20 lanes and concrete slab type benches that are 3rd Glenn Stockham 466 15x
half-mooned so it did not matter if you were left or Heavy Varmint Men’s
right-handed. 1st Anthony Dunne 485 18x
Everyone involved in running the event did a great 2nd Paul Hayes 485 14x
job and it was a shame that more international 3rd Ken Stockham 483 15x
shooters could not make the event but, that
weekend, we were ‘in the lap of the gods’ and you I have to say, looking at the scores, this was one
just have to make the most of it and that is exactly close contest so congratulations to all who took part

Target Shooter 75
and to the winners. the UK.
Putting on events like this is difficult enough having
to deal with all the paperwork for overseas firearms The next big competition will be the Europeans in
permits and the like and without those who are July in Czech Republic, which will see shooters from
willing to go to all the trouble, events like this just all over the world taking part and, as always Target
can’t happen and the UK needs more ‘shoulder to Shooter will be the first with reports from that event.
shoulder’ shooting. Ireland put on a great event Following the Europeans, the UKBR22 Nationals
with just two cards per a competition and kept it will be held in the north at Paul Lane Club near
to one distance of 50 metres and having three Wakefield which is on the August Bank Holiday
different classes. Maybe others who wish to stage weekend, for details checkout the UKBR22 website.
similar events will look at this format for future within

76 Target Shooter
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This Smallbore Business

By Don Brook
Some sling faults that do compromise scores. creep in, and often cause major malfunction of an
otherwise reasonably correct position in the forward
As I said last month, the single point slings, if used geometry. Sometimes you may even get away with
incorrectly, often have a tendency to cause fault that the problems, depending on when they creep into
does cost you points. More on the issue though, is the course of fire.
that the shooter may not be even remotely aware
the points are lost because of the sling. The issues Last month I explained what is necessary for a

A. Showing the elbow placement approx 70mm left of the rifle. The “Vee” of the sling is
visible. Note the sling keeper on the sleeve and the apparent tension on the sling straps.

78 Target Shooter
B This is a common fault. A sling that is too tight, can often draw the left elbow under the
rifle. The tell tale of this fault is the “Benediction” recoil pattern. (see text) The problem
with this fault as that It can often feel quite comfortable, and leads the shooter into false
security.

single point sling to function correctly, even down Dagger from an outstanding British Team a while
to where I recommended the position of the buckle ago, shoot with a sling that is very firm. On the
is to be. other end of the scale there is my own sling
If the shooter is very aware of the forward position tensions which are regarded as rock solid. It is a
requirements that allow the rifle to be totally matter of finding the pressures that work for the
controlled under relaxation, then the sling position individual’s needs, and sustainability. This is not an
is functioning well. easy subject to promote recommendations, apart
Ideally, as I said last month, the sling should line up from being very solid….
directly down the left arm in a straight line, with the I do however stipulate the examples given in last
two sides of the upper arm loop in equal tensions. month’s article concerning the upper sling loop
The forward hand is under firm contact with the and individual strap tensions allowing the Biceps/
hand stop in the web of the thumb and the fore Triceps muscle combination to “breathe.”
finger. The sling is held around the back of the The buckle position is extremely important as
hand, and develops around the wrist bones. This explained again above, and the forward hand
is why I say that the buckle needs to be well away into the hand stop is imperative for a correct, and
from the bones of the wrist. If it is in contact with the consistent left arm. (RH shooter.) Given that all of
two wrist bones, it can be a source of intense pain! the immediate above are OK, then the sling needs
to as tight as a violin string, but adjusted so as to
The actual force of the sling tensions is very have the left arm in the forward position geometry
different for each shooter, (dependent on physical retain the straight line from the left hand down the
dimensions of the shooter) but I have never seen left side of the body in a straight line. This line
a top level score fired with a loose sling. My own should be from the left hand, left elbow, left shoulder,
sling is very tight in adjustment, and monitored left hip, left knee to the left foot. (See photo“A” and
constantly to remain consistent of pressures and explaining caption.)
most importantly placement.
So, what are some of the pitfalls of sling positions?
The sling forces, do vary from shooter to shooter,
and even the small competitors such as Barry The most destructive problem associated with

Target Shooter 79
C .The sling keeper attached to the arm can be a source of problems. Note how the sleeve
is being pulled down the arm. This results in a loose sling over the latter stages, as the
adjustment is lost. The real fault is not with the sling, but with the fit of the coat.

a tight sling, is when the sling exerts enough (Just think on the movement a little, and you will
pressures to actually pull the left arm in under the see why I call it the “Benediction” recoil pattern.)
rifle. (See photo “B”)
A position that develops this fault allows two If the position of the left arm is not corrected, then
problems that can destroy a score, even to the point this recoil pattern can actually loosen the sling so
of dramatic! that it falls further down the arm. This exacerbates
The problem with this fault is that it can actually the problem, resulting in the left arm being under
feel quite good to a shooter’s forward position, so extreme duress just to hold the rifle up. This
the blame for points loss is often directed at some eventually leads to complete destruction of the
other source, even imaginary! The shooter is often forward geometry if the shooters are not aware.
puzzled at why the shots are falling either both I cannot stress just how important this is to have the
left and right of the ten ring, and often the shooter position of the left arm and sling correct.
blames the wind for a result that cannot be seen Be aware that the position of the left elbow needs
as a wind read problem. This then leads to error to at least 70mm to the left of the rifle, and that the
chasing, or moving the mean point of impact (MPI) sling straps coincide directly over the elbow joint.
of the wind zero on the sights. In short order, if
this problem is not recognised, you can lose six or There can also be sling position problems
seven points very quickly…..The shooter gets emanating from the arm sling keeper.
up from the point with a score destroyed, lacks
confidence, and normally is thoroughly confused. This is an area that often denigrates a score, also
without the shooter being aware that problems
Within this problem, there is a very accurate tell tale exist. There are two reasons that this can be a
that something is wrong, BUT it must be recognised problem, as both the strap adjustment and the coat
immediately, and attended to as soon as you can be at fault.
become aware, If the sling keeper strap attached to the coat is not
adjusted correctly, the strap position can vary to
You see, nearly always, when the left arm is pulled quite large degrees as the shoot progresses. A coat
under the rifle, it produces a recoil pattern that I that does not fit correctly, particularly in the area
call the “Benediction” recoil where the recoil strike across the back, and the looseness of the sleeves
goes UP, then down, the jiggles quite quickly to can allow the sleeve to slide down the arm, which
the left, then right. It is consistent in that specific effectively allows the sling to become slack, and
movement. have inconsistent pressures.

80 Target Shooter
This is an example of a composite sling breakdown. This sling should be discarded, and
replaced immediately.

I have seen leather or Canvas shooting coats and I would not swap it for anything.
that are large fitting on a shooter, and this alone,
because of the amount of slop in fitting create huge Composite material slings, also need looking
problems. after, and you should always keep an eye on wear
Generally the international shooters I have and tear. Take notice of the condition of the eyelet
mixed with over the years all pay a great deal of holes, buckles, straps, and the upper arm
attention to their shooting clothing, and insist on condition, and the sling attachment itself. Some of
exactly the same specific items, even to under these have a tendency to let go, and cause the rifle
garments. The new shooter reading this would to fall forward, in some cases over the front of the
do well to pay a great deal of attention to details point! If the sling has parts that are riveted together,
concerning this aspect. Photo “C” will illustrate this, continually check the condition of the rivets.
together with the caption.
Photo “D” shows a sling that needs replacing,
The sling itself, design and construction are also where the straps have separated, This sling should
important. be discarded.

Many shooters reading this may well have grown Finally this month, the shooters do need to
up using leather slings, so let me set you straight experiment and find out which system will suit their
right away. needs, but bear in mind they do need to be quite
These days there is very little use for leather slings tight within your position. The general rule is to
of any description. make sure the sling is firm, then take it up a notch!
Leather is a material that has a tendency to stretch,
and with the pressure exerted on a sling in this day However, remember the KISS principle. Keep It
and age, it can stretch remarkably in even the 60 Simple Stupid always works……
shots of an English Match. There are alternatives
available, and I would earnestly recommend a
composite material that are made by a number of
accessory firms.
As I said previously, my own sling is a Kurt Thune,

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Profile on DAN RIVERS

By Hayley Platts
Dan’s shooting career began as simply as this - in his Dan began to venture from training cards to some
own words “It started with a sleepover when I was 13 .177 air rifle target shooting postal competitions, and
years old. My friend was a member of the Wantage soon got a feel for competitive shooting. Eric is a
Shooting Club and I went along with him” Dan then well known and respected figure in the sport and
at a later date took his youth proficiency test which was well placed as he saw the talented youngster
taught him all the rules and safety within the sport progress to encourage him to put himself forward
as well as benefiting from the knowledge of plenty in a trial with the Great Britain Junior Development
of other members at the Club and Eric Dougliss who Squad. Dan was successful in gaining a place in
runs Wantage Shooting Club. the squad and was fully introduced to ISSF shooting.

Target Shooter 83
South Africa Tour

Along the way Dan recognised in order to improve In 2008 Dan became British Junior Airgun Champion
further he needed to invest in some equipment. His which was the start of his national success and
first purchase was an Airarms S200 air rifle, followed international shooting career. The following year he
by jacket. Dan gradually acquired more second represented Great Britain as a Junior in Oldenburg,
hand kit, which lasted for the next two years. At Germany, an event which is a favourite starting
this point at age 16, and sure of his commitment to ground for newcomers to the international scene, and
continue and improve in shooting, Dan’s grandad later in the year competed in South Africa, returning
funded a brand new full kit. Sensible and prudent with an amazing medal haul of 18 - 10 of which were
always to ensure young shooters in the sport have gold and 8 silver. In December 2009 Dan became
demonstrated dedication and effort before making Captain of the Great Britain Junior Squad. I am sure
such a considerable financial outlay. Dan’s grandad is very proud of these achievements
and has seen his faith and kindness in that kit
Dan is still a member of the Wantage Club training investment paid back in spades. Dan is certainly
there at least three times a week, and his training very aware and extremely grateful and appreciative
schedule pans out to be pretty busy when you of his grandad who has continued working into his
consider he spends one weekend per month under 70’s to help fund his grandson’s shooting.
the guidance of the Great Britain Squad and as a
member of the TENS (Team England National Future shooting plans include the Oldenburg
Squad) he also trains weekends with them international in May, and the English Small Bore
throughout the year. Of particular value during his Shooting Union English Championships at Bisley in
time in the TENS Academy Dan feels he has been the same month where he has targeted the event
able to improve the quality of his training by setting as one he hopes to medal. In 2011 Dan hopes to
meaningful goals , and through them found that to be selected for more international matches as long
compete internationally he would need to compete he continues to improve as he has done so far, and
in all three disciplines - prone, standing and 3P. As prior to that, goals include shooting selection scores
soon as Dan turned 17 he applied for his Firearms in all three disciplines.
Certificate ready to buy his first small-bore rifle. He
trained for 6 months throughout the winter before Dan certainly does not forget who has helped him
shooting his first outdoor season. By the end of that come all this way with his shooting and wants to
inaugural season Dan had broken the 590 barrier thank Eric and members of the Wantage Shooting
on four occasions and had accomplished a personal Club, James at Ford Ranges, the Great Britain junior
best score of 599 at the Hampshire Open. squad coaches and the TENS Academy staff.

84 Target Shooter
In February this year Dan triumphed again and
lifted the Junior Mens Air Rifle British Championship
title in a hard fought and exciting Final. L Flack and
Dan shared the 60 shot score of 574 but it was Dan The Place to
who produced the 101.5 under pressure compared
to 99.0 giving him the win with an overall score of Shop at Bisley
675.5. This shows the grit and character of Dan
who in just a few years has proved he is a gifted
and competitive force to be reckoned with. We may
The NSRA,
also be seeing another ‘Rivers’ on our result sheets
as younger brother Jack at just age 12 is already Lord Roberts Centre
a member of the Great Britain Junior Squad and in
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Dan’s words is “rapidly improving so you may see
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his 80’s!

When Dan does find some spare time away from the
Price: ~ £1210.00
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FAC Required
is also beneficial to his shooting, and follows the
fortunes of Reading FC (which may be good for GEHMANN Shooting
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I look forward to keeping an eye on Dan’s progress
in the world of competitive shooting and it is lovely
to come across a hardworking and dedicated young
man who appreciates the efforts of his support
network of family and coaches which these days is a
very refreshing change.

A wide range of pistols and rifles available,


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With many more items too numerous to mention so
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Target Shooter 85
Setting up your field target air rifle for FT
competition. Scope Calibration
– Part 2

by Stanley Shaw
Calibrating your scope is quite a long task that needs can be downloaded from several links.
to be performed properly without any rush and when A quick search on Google will get you there
you have the time to do it. You can calibrate a scope but for a quick link I suggest this http://www.
in a day or split the task in steps to best ‘ssuit one bfta.net/jsite3/index.php?option=com_
needs. During scope calibration we will be accurately content&view=article&id=154:bfta-tech-
calibrating our parallax to correctly range-find our nical-skills-manual&catid=59:on-line-
target. Most scopes with a side wheel normally have documents&Itemid=61
indication marks but, as you will notice, they may not
correspond to the actual distance or even not to your Before you start to perform your calibration process
favoured unit of measurement. Most of the time, the you must also prepare some materials beforehand.
marks do not cover all the ranges you require. You will need an image test-card to correctly focus
your lens so as to calibrate your range more
By fitting an aftermarket large diameter side-wheel, accurately. Many use a newspaper instead of a proper
you will have more spread and more spacing test-card to obtain the correct focus. I don’t like the
between the ranged distances. Combined with this, newspaper method and I prefer a mixture of text,
a large diameter elevation turret is easier to mark for shapes and images to judge my focusing. I found this
each ranged point of impact. Before you start this test-card on the internet and tried it out. I found it very
dialing and calibration setup, you must have already suitable for judging a correct focus point .It’s a matter
have mounted your scope correctly and already of taste, you can download and print in high resolution
zeroed it at a desired position. We discussed the on A4 card from http://fungi.yuggoth.org/testpat-
correct way for mounting a scope in other articles tern/testpattern-hd-1080.png
and, in my opinion, the most accurate way to set
up your scope, is to follow the scope set-up manual A measuring tape, preferably 50 metres, is perfect
provided by BFTA. I think it is a standard document for the job and quite inexpensive to buy and carry as
that every FT shooter world-wide follows. The manual part of your kit. Try getting a complete 50 metre tape-

86 Target Shooter
utilize materials like masking tape or white
stickers cut to the appropriated size. Use
a pencil first so that you can rub off any
mistakes before you permanently write
on your wheel and turret. It’s also a good
idea to cover this with Scotch tape once
all marking has been done permanently so
as to protect from the elements such as
rain or dirt.

Now we need to calibrate your scope. The


exercise involves calibration of your side
wheel to know distances, zeroing your
elevation turret for each known distance
and reconfirming the calibrated distances
and the POI. Sometimes, finding the
perfect day is difficult but the exercise can
be planned in steps. Ideally it should be
done without wind influence but windage
for me is not an option at this stage since
the scope was already zeroed in terms of
elevation and windage before. Our goal is
to range-find accurately and to mark the
correct turret position for the POI of our
desired range.

In this article we are assuming that your


scope is already zeroed at 35m and you
were making use of mil-dots and hold-over
measure so that you will cover the total FT shooting to knockdown your targets. We assume
range area. You will reduce your mistake errors in that you wish to range-find your targets accurately
measuring over a longer distances with the shorter by means of a calibrated large side-wheel and want
standard tapes. Ideally, do this work at your range to dial your oversized turret. Both large side-wheel
because you will require a full stretch of 50 meters. and oversize turret will help in spacing out of the
Please follow the instructions of your range officer, measurements and click positions of your scope at
since this exercise requires a lot of cruising down one metre intervals.
range to set up the targets etc.
To begin, set up the rifle on the benchrest. Fix and
You also need target-paper for adjusting your point locate the start of the measuring tape from the front
of impact for all your ranges. I personally use the tip of your rifle muzzle and try to keep it square to
POI target found on the Chairgun target generator. I your shooting table. Run out the tape to your 50
prepare a set of papers covering all the distances metre mark and fix it securely to keep it flat and
from 10m to 50 metres in one meter intervals and stick tight. Do not stretch the tape otherwise you alter the
them to a board that can be moved down range over dimensions. Now place the target stand with the
the extended measuring tape. I set up the board with test-card and the target cards at the 35m point on the
the test-card and the target-cards. tape. This is the zone that you previously set up your
scope, so it’s like your datum or starting point. Set
You need to rest your rifle and keep it steady during your scope magnification at maximum. With high
the range finding exercise. I use a normal standard magnification you will be more accurate on ranging
benchrest. This is needed only during focusing but because the depth of field is shallower.
should not be used completely to zero a spring air
rifle. Springers bounce on rests and its better to shoot Now start looking through your scope. Focus your
of hand with some support than directly over the rest. side-wheel until you can identify the test card and
Have a chair or stool so that your are comfortable fine-tune the wheel until the card is fully focused.
during the focusing exercise. Check text and graphics on the card to determine your
best focal position of the side wheel and mark the side
You need to cover the circumference of your large wheel.
side-wheel and oversized turret with a suitable
surface to write on and mark your positions. You can Now rotate the wheel a quarter turn in any direction

Target Shooter 87
and re-focus on the group then calculate if this is above or below your
your test card again. desired point of impact. Windage should not be altered
When in focus, look if wind is present, especially if it was already set. Just
at the marker to concentrate on the elevation. Make sure you dial up
check if you found or down until your shots are falling on the desired point
exactly the same of impact. Always use groups of 3 shots before doing
marked spot. If any adjustment. Take your adjustments not more then
exactly on the same 5 clicks at a time and less to fine tune. Make sure you
spot, mark it with a are using your quality brand of pellets and inspect the
heavy line and write pellet skirts before loading. Once your pellets strike
35m. If not exactly the desired point of impact mark the turret location for
on the same spot the 35m.
mark a second light
line. Rotate the Now move your board to the maximum range of 50m
side wheel in the and repeat the same procedure. You will notice that
arc between the between 35 meters and 50m some intervals will be
two marks and find very close together but at shorter ranges, the spacing
a middle position. between one meter steps is easier to identify. At each
Now mark a heavy distance mark the side wheel and the turret. Move
line there and mark with 35m. one meter closer each time and follow the procedure
every time.
Your first range has now been calibrated on your
large side-wheel. Now you can proceed with other 1 Focus on test card and mark lightly.
ranges, or calibrate the large turret for the POI at 35 2 Re-focus on test card and confirm.
metres. Also at this stage, make a permanent mark If same, mark permanently and mark
distance. If not exactly the
same, mark lightly. Find mid way
between marks and mark heavy
and distance.
3 Place 3 shots on that distance.
4 Calculate center to center
and determine your elevation
adjustment. Use not more then 5
clicks at a time on your elevation
turret and less to fine-tune until
you strike your desired point of
impact.
5 Once found, mark the
elevation turret for that distance.
6 Move to the next meterage.

Continue up to 10 metres, some


shooters go down to 7 meters
since in the next WFTF Worlds in
2010 Hungary will be shot from 7
metres to 50 metres, according to
the rules of the hosting country.
on the large side-wheel and on the scope side-wheel At ranges below 10 metres, it might not be possible
focusing turret so that when you remove and remount to focus your objective lens because of your scope’s
the wheel you will have a reference mark to ensure parallax limits but it is wise to at least identify the
the same mounting position. 7 to 10 metre POI. Some also mark the half-meter
distances at those zones at which your scope is still
We decided to calibrate the turret for the 35 metre capable of distinguishing. It’s a matter of choice.
mark, so now we load the rifle with a pellet. Support Once done and correctly done, it will be time to test on
your rifle on hand and shoot at your 35m crosshair. metal knock-over targets. Set out some targets,
Do not shoot a spring air rifle even if tuned directly spread them around at random, range them and shoot
resting over your shooting rest. Its better that you them, taking note of their ranged distance. To verify
shoot if off-hand since springers are more sensitive to take the measuring tape and confirm - you should be
hold. Fire three shots and calculate center to center of spot on.

88 Target Shooter
Target Shooter 89
By Gwyn Roberts

This month I’ll take a look at how to strip down slide. These can be really tight to get out
and put the Buckmark pistol/rifle back together sometimes but you must make sure that you lift
again before moving on to cover any it up evenly, rather than force it out at an angle
improvements and equipment that will help from one end otherwise damage may occur.
make both you and your pistol more
competitive in the Gallery Rifle competitions.
Before working on any firearm you must
always make sure that it is unloaded, and that
there is no ammunition or loaded magazines
within your work area. It’s always a good idea
when dismantling firearms to place all of the
parts into a plastic container or a tin box to
ensure you eventually end up putting the
correct number of parts back into your gun.

To start with you will need a 9/64 allen key


to remove the 3 bolts that hold down the
top strap/scope rail. You really should use
some spring washers or similar on these
bolts to make sure that they remain in place
otherwise you will have all sorts of problems
if this rail, complete with your scope on top
becomes loose halfway through a practice
session or competition!

Once it’s removed, you will then need


to push the slide rearwards slightly before Smoothing down and polishing the mating sides
lifting it up and off the frame. of the block and slide will make subsequent
removal a lot easier, so you may well want to
The black plastic firing pin block can be taken do this before putting everything back together
out for cleaning purposes etc and this is best again.
done by using a metal scraper or pick to get
underneath it as there is a bit of space Remove the left side hand grip next using a
between the bottom of the block and the metal suitably sized screwdriver so that it doesn’t
chew up the end of the screw and you will
find that the slide release lever will just lift
straight out.

Once this is done you should then remove


the right hand grip which will enable you
to remove the disconnector bar and “v”
spring, along with the magazine release
plunger and “t” shaped spring. This is
an earlier Buckmark model that doesn’t

90 Target Shooter
workshop. When working with springs
like these you should make sure that you
wear safety glasses as the consequences
are simply just not worth the risk!

Once the spring has been retained, the


hammer can then be eased forward and
the sear spring pin can be pushed through,
followed by the sear pin (from left to right).

have a magazine “safety bar” installed.

The small safety click plate located behind


the safety catch is the next thing to be
removed and pushing the sear pin into the
frame slightly will make this a lot easier.

The sear and spring can then be removed,


followed by the hammer by pulling out the
hammer pin with the spring attached to the
end of it.

Once this pin is removed, the safety catch


can then be rotated anti clockwise until

Once this has been done, you can then


gently lift the left side of the plate over
the hammer pin using a small punch or
screwdriver and slide it out to the left.

The main spring can now be compressed


by pushing down on the hammer and then
inserting a punch through the hole as
shown.

the hammer pin hole is at the 7 o’clock


position. This will then allow you to then
maneuver the catch out of the frame.

I find the safest way to remove the hammer

Whatever you use to retain the spring


tension with, make sure that it will be
strong enough as well as long enough for
its intended purpose as you do not want
a bolt this size flying around inside your
Target Shooter 91
I always leave the trigger blade in the frame
as it can easily be cleaned in situ but if
you do find yourself having to take it out
for some reason, then make sure that you

push the pin that connects the trigger to the


disconnector out first, from left to right. Once
this has been done, the trigger pin can then

be pushed through the frame (again from


left to right) and the trigger will drop out. I
wouldn’t recommend removing the trigger
unless you really have to because the
proper replacement of the trigger /
disconnector pin is crucial! Pushing it in a
little too far could result in the pin slipping
out of the end of the disconnector bar,
whilst not pushing it in far enough could
result in the pin binding up against the
spring is to insert an allen key through the top side of the grip. It could of course end
of the frame so that the ball end locates
into the head of the bolt. Using my left
hand to support the frame and apply
downward pressure onto the bolt, I then use
my right hand to remove the punch then
slowly release the tension on the spring.

Once this has been done the bolt and


spring can then be removed from the frame.

92 Target Shooter
up acting as a cross bolt safety if the pin
was pushed in way too far as it would
lock up inside the hole on the opposite
side of the frame, so be warned if you do
decide to take it out just for the sake of it!

To re-assemble the Buckmark again, insert


the hammer spring and bolt into its locating
hole and using an allen key or similar,
compress the head of the bolt downwards
then insert a punch through the side of the
frame to captivate it. Relocate the safety
catch back into the frame and insert the
hammer pin until it is flush with the inside
edge of the lever.

The hammer can then be positioned back


into the frame making sure that the “tail”
locates into the top of the bolt head. This
can be a bit tricky sometimes and I find that
canting the top of the hammer over to the
left slightly allows the tail to drop down into
a vertical position which makes it easier to
locate into the top of the bolt. Once located
properly, the pin can be pushed all the way
through to secure the hammer and you can
then start to install the sear. When doing
this you must make sure that the small lever
on top of the sear locates into the notch cut
out of the frame, and that the sear pin is the
one with the reduced diameter at one end.

This smaller end of the pin pushes through The larger hole in the plate can then be
first from right to left, but only push it far enough positioned so that it locates over the end of the
so that it remains flush with the hole in the hammer pin.
opposite side of the frame.
The next thing to do is ease the tension on the
This will then allow you to slide the safety click hammer spring by pressing down on the top of
plate back in behind the safety lever before the hammer and then remove the punch.
pushing the sear pin fully home. Make sure that
the end of it locates securely into the hole in the A lighter trigger release can be obtained by
plate. installing the sear spring back into the frame
the opposite way around so this is how I will
re-fit this one. Looking into the rear of
the frame you will see a small hole in the
end of a grub screw and this is where
the end of the sear spring must locate.

Looking towards the rear of the frame, the


shorter leg of the spring should be on the
left side with the longer one on the right.

Insert the longer leg of the spring down

Target Shooter 93
frame turned over
to the other side.

All that’s left to do


here is replace
the slide release
lever making sure
that the small
bent end of the
spring locates
underneath the sear then push the spring into the hole
downwards until it is resting on the base of the otherwise the
frame. Then, using a small pair of needle nose slide may not lock
pliers, grip the coils of the spring and lift upwards back properly,
until you can insert a punch through the side of and then replace
the frame and into the middle of the spring. the grip.

The firing pin


block and guide
rod can now be
fitted back into
the top of the
slide, along with
the nylon guide
plate on the end
of it. The whole
assembly can then be placed over the rear pillar
You can then insert the proper sear pin whilst and back on top of the frame.
the punch holds the spring in place. Once this is
done, make sure you double check that the long A punch should
leg of the spring is located in the notch in the then be used to
middle of the sear and that it hasn’t slipped over push the guide
down the side of the hammer. rod forwards and
down slightly until
the pointed end
relocates into
the small hole
in the pillar. The
slide can then be
pulled rearwards
which will allow
the guide rod to
fall back into its
proper position.
On the right hand side of the frame, you can
now replace the magazine release plunger and Once the slide
“t” spring over the top of it making sure that the assembly is in
concave part of the spring is on the outside. place all that is
left to do is fix
Then, insert the “v” spring with the open end at on the top strap/
the top and fit the disconnector bar so that the scope rail making
leg of the sear fits into the notch on top of it. The sure that the
right hand grip can now be fitted and then the longest of the
94 Target Shooter
three bolts screws
into the rear
pillar. Don’t forget
to use some
spring washers
if they were not
already fitted in
the first place.
After working
on a firearm it is
important that
you test every
operation (safety,
trigger release,
bolt hold open
etc) before you
commence any
live firing so
please make sure
that you do this,
every time!
at the end of this month so next time I’ll take
We obviously a look at everything (well, those that can be
have the largest reported anyway) that went on at Bisley
Gallery Rifle event including the International 1500 Match being
of the year, the held on the Bank Holiday Monday, and the
Phoenix Meeting newest group of shooters to join our sport
hailing from South Africa. If
for some unearthly reason
you haven’t entered this
Premier Gallery Rifle event
yet then make sure you get
you entries in now to avoid
any disappointment.

It’s an excellent opportunity


to have lots of fun, make new
friends, learn something new
and have the odd beer or two
(after shooting of course)
with hundreds of like minded
people. It doesn’t matter
how good or bad you are as
long as you are safe, and it’s
irrelevant whether or not you
have ever shot in a competition
before, as everyone there will
be willing to help you out and
advise you on things as you
go along. Every competition
has a classification system
as well to make sure that
you only compete against

Target Shooter 95
shooters of the same ability,
so you won’t be shooting
against the top boys (or
girls), just yet! It’s also very
generously sponsored by
Peter Starley of Midway UK
and other members of the
shooting trade, and there will
be pretty much everything
you could ever want to
buy available throughout
the trade stands over the
weekend so make sure that
you’re there!

Rude Fat Dog


Custom Firearms
RFD 621 Devon & Cornwall
Section 5

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technical expertise to help you become more competitive in your
Gallery Rifle competitions

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 Marlin underlevers modified for smoother and easier cycling
 Accessories and advice to give you the leading edge in your competitions
 Reloading equipment, hard cast bullets and brass
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96 Tel: +44(0)1271
Target Shooter 865865 Fax: +44(0)1271 865830
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY
ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO
DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA

Competitions Factory Sporter 100 yards


Easter was a big weekend in terms of benchrest with 1st Darrel Evans 6PPC Sako 0.5142 inches
100 yard, 600 yard and 1000 yard competitions over 2nd Andy Woolley 6PPC Sako 0.6602
the Easter period. I didn’t think it was possible to ‘o/d’ 3rd Andy Baxter 308 Remington 1.198
on benchrest but it is – by the Monday evening I was
shattered. Small group Darrel Evans 0.386 inches

Saturday was our first 100 yard shoot of the new 1000 yard - Sunday
season and it was great to see Diggle’s 100 yard Considering the holidays, it was not a bad turn out

covered firing point buzzing with shooters and but though fine, the wind was fierce. This was one
accurate rifles. As always, the wind was tricky but of those days where you didn’t need a fancy custom
the forecast rain was largely absent. Ian Dixon rifle but you did need an impeccable technique –
carried on where he had left off in 2009 with get ‘em off damn quick! If the wind caught you, an
another emphatic win in Heavy Varmint and embarrassingly large group was the result. Take
small-group award as well. In Factory Sporter, Darrel for example Les Prior (shooting Heavy Gun) – his
Evans took an easy win now that last year’s UKBRA second group was a 5.8 incher – his third and fourth,
Champion Laurie Holland has moved up to HV class. 17 and 19 inches respectively. Anyone could shoot a
big ‘un today – and most of us did!
Results:
Heavy varmint 100 yards Mal Roberts stayed between 6 and 12 inches
1st Ian Dixon 6PPC Walker BAT 0.2366 and took the win with a ten inch agg. His 6.018
inches (av. of five, 5-shot groups) inch group was also good enough for Light Gun
2nd Steve Dunn 6PPC Tooley BAT 0.2958 small-group award. In Factory Sporter the battle of
3rd Vince Bottomley 6PPC TGP BAT 0.309 the 6.5-284 Savages resumed from where it left off
last year. 2009 Champion, Ian Kellet took the win
and the small-group award but it would have been
Small group Ian Dixon 0.118 inches closer but for a penalty incurred by Phil Gibbon when
one of his shots was blown off target – he wasn’t the

Target Shooter 97
only one! Phil Gibbon made up for his disappointment the
previous day with an easy Factory Sporter win and
Results: small-group award.
Light Gun 1000 yards
1st Mal Roberts 6.5-284 BAT 10.767 inches Results:
(av. of four, 5-shot groups) Light Gun 600 yards
2nd Phil Sammons 6.5-284 Stolle 11.913 1st Jeanette Whitney 6mm RGR 4.619
3rd Russ Gall 7mm RGR Stolle 12.011 (av. of four, 5-shot groups)
2nd Jack Gibb 6.5-284 Barnard 4.898
Small group Mal Roberts 6.018 inches 3rd Mal Roberts 6.5-284 BAT 4.998

Factroy Sporter 1000 yards Small group Jeanette Whitney 2.17 inches
1st Ian Kellett 6.5-284 Savage 13.681 inches
2nd Phil Gibbon 6.5-284 Savage 17.005 Factory Sporter 600 yards
3rd Toni Young 308 Remington 18.73 1st Phil Gibbon 6.5-284 Savage 6.238
2nd Andy McGuigan 308 Remington 8.324
Small group Ian Kellett 8.727 inches 3rd Darrel Evans 6.5x47 Accuracy Intl. 8.956

600 yard – Monday Small group Phil Gibbon 4.169 inches


This was my third early start and third benchrest
shoot in three days! Once again we were faced with
sunny but blustery conditions and a decent entry, After that lot, I could do with a break from benchrest
considering it was Easter Monday. Russ Gall left his but our next 100/1000 yard shoot is the weekend of
latest rifle with me to try. It’s built around his new May 1st/2nd with our final 600 yard shoot on May
action and chambered in 6mm Smack. I’d already 30th, followed by a 100/1000 yard weekend on
mounted the new 10-50 Sightron on my 22 Dasher 19/20th June. For more details see www.ukbra.
for its first test so I let another shooter use it – big co.uk
mistake! She trounced us all and took small group
as well with a stunning 2.17 incher.

To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of


Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True
Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire
shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of
the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle
benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and
World events.
Visit our website for news about national and international
competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion
shooter, everyone is welcome
www.benchrest22.org

98 Target Shooter
In association with

European Championship and World Cup 2010

As we all know the European Rimfire and Air Rifle


Benchrest Championship will take place this year. This
is being held at the Plzen range in the Czech Republic
from the 26th July and the 7th August 2010. The
Championship itself will take about eight days, with
room for alternative shooting during that period.
A world cup event will also be held during this
championship, as a few countries outside Europe will
be attending, including South Africa and Australia. This
is good news and I know that Ladislav Ninger, the
Secretary of the ERABSF is excited to get this event
going. Those in the UK that have qualified for the
matches at this event, via the recent UK nationals,
regional matches, etc, have been informed and we
have started to draw up the teams.
The UK team comprises the following people, in no
particular order.
Name Club Shooting Disciplines
G Kingaby Buxted Air Rifle and Rimfire
R Brown Buxted Air Rifle
C Boswell N/Magnum Air Rifle and Rimfire Members of the UK team Above - Scott Grayson,
A Grayson Buxted Air Rifle and Rimfire one of our juniors Below - Colin Rose
R Harding Cheshunt RPC Air Rifle
G Freeman Buxted Air Rifle
G Morrison Buxted Air Rifle
P Barker Keighley Air Rifle and Rimfire
C Hanson Paul Lane Air Rifle and Rimfire
B Kelly St Giles Rimfire
J Farrell Paul Lane Rimfire
G Readhead Paul Lane Rimfire
Colin Rose St Giles Rimfire
J Healy (J) Paul Lane Air rifle and Rimfire
S Grayson  (J) Buxted Air rifle and Rimfire
E Barker (J) Keighley Air rifle and Rimfire

Plzen is about 80km outside Prague and the team are this event.
travelling via plane, with some by road. At the end of
the day we would wish our best to the team in all their Lastly
endeavours. Some sponsorship has been obtained, I have heard that Brian Fox at Fox Firearms will have
but we are always seeking more to contribute to team two new Turbo action rifles in very shortly. These are
costs. So if there are any nice philanthropists out there, built by Kelby in the USA with Lilja Barrels, so sound
your help would be much appreciated. very promising. Knowing Brian these will be very
Lastly, Prague is a beautiful city and this time I hope to reasonably priced – so watch this space to find out
at least see some of it instead of shooting every day. more.
We will see, as it would be nice to have a day off during
Target Shooter 99
The Long View
News from the GB
F-Class Association
by Les Holgate

GB F Class League Shoot – Round One, Diggle worries, it proved to be as popular as the long-range
April 2010 events with 54 shooters turning out which was just
about the maximum we could cope with.
On the weekend of 9th/10th April the 2010 GB F Class
League kicked-off at Diggle Ranges. In previous years
Day one proved to be very much a sun-tan lotion day.
The sun was shining with temperatures in the high
When the sun shines, there is no finer range fifties, waterproofs were ditched and a few T shirts
appeared on the firing-point. After the customary one
minute blow-off period was conclude the first distance
was to be 2&20 shots at 500 yards with the first detail
being entirely made up of Open Class shooters. The
final detail was F/TR and the middle detail, a mixture
of the two.

The benign warm sunny conditions turned that first


relay into something of a trigger-pulling exercise and
several shooters came of the line with incredible
scores, the best being that of Joe Melia (who travels
all the way from Eire) with a 100.18v. That is some
when we had shot at Diggle in April we either basked shooting – remember, that V bull is only three-
in warm sunshine or shivered in the snow! So, a good inches in diameter. Even the F/TR guys had some very
tip for Diggle is after you have packed your rifle and impressive scores with a 98.11v from Paul Harkins. So,
ammo, pack your sun-tan lotion and an overcoat! the F/ TR scores were approaching those of the Open
Class scores, a trend that would be repeated over the
This competition would be a ‘first’ on two accounts. weekend.
Firstly, it was to be a short range shoot (requested
by members at the 2009 GBFCA AGM) in contrast to The final Saturday distance was to be shot at 600
our usual 800 to 1000 yard competitions. Secondly, it yards and again 2 sighters and 20 to score. We knew
would be the first League shoot where the F/TR entries
would be larger than those for F Open. Open Class shooters at 500 yards

Currently, there is no official NRA short range F Class


target readily available so the plan was to use a target
that Diggle has used for the last decade or so for short
range F Class competition. The target falls in line with
F Class thinking in that the bull is one MOA in diameter
and the black V bull centre just half MOA. The
predominantly white target is then marked with black
scoring rings increasing in half MOA increments. It
would prove to be a challenging target which would
test the best.

With this being our first short range shoot, it was a


bit of an unknown quantity as far as the entry was
concerned – would it attract the usual numbers? No

100 Target Shooter


Joe Melia shot an incredible 100.18v at 500 yards

the calm conditions wouldn’t hold beyond mid-morning Championships.


and when the Open shooters got underway, the wind Even though we committed a substantial chunk of the
was now fish-tailing and it was clearly not going to be Association’s funds to the 2009 World Championships,
so straight forward. Each detail at least encountered we are still relatively sound financially, so we have
similar conditions and some mastered it better than splashed-out on some really nice medals for our Stage
others with David Kent having the highest score in winners. For me, these are just about the finest medals
Open with 94.7v and Adam Bagnall having the highest I’ve seen outside the Olympics and shooters will be well
F/TR score with a 90.4v. chuffed to win one. Finally, Chairman Mik Maksimovic
With day one over it meant Adam Bagnall was leading thanked Sightron, Aimfield Sports and Fox Firearms for
F/TR and Mark Daish topped their generous sponsorship throughout the year.
the Open Class list.
Evening festivities always feature in our shoot
Shooting over, it was time for the GB F Class weekends and a group of us visited the local curry

Laurie Holland (centre) finally got the tube gun working to win the 600 yard stage and finish
third overall in F/TR

Association AGM which for the first time was held establishment for some light refreshment and the odd
outside in the still warm evening conditions. With our beer before an early night to prepare for the following
Open Team being the current World Champions and day’s competition..............
the F/TR Team in Silver Medal position, we are clearly
doing something right and no big changes are needed When day two dawned, the weather couldn’t have
to our format. been more different. Yes, it was still sunny but the
temperature had dropped by 20 degrees and the T
This year, we have seven, rather than the usual six shirts gave way to several layers of jumpers and winter
competitions but it was agreed that a shooter’s best coats and yes, the wind had picked up!
four results would still count towards the League The order of shooting was reversed so today the first

Target Shooter 101


Eventual winner, Mark Daish with his Swift Precision Rifles gun

detail was F/TR. The idea being to give everyone Open with 93.9v.
a crack at the early morning calm weather we
experienced on day one but, as per usual, this had The final leader board was:
backfired. The wind had increased and was varying
in strength and direction (Why can’t it just blow in one Open 1st Mark Daish 358.35v
2nd Des Parr 354.31v
3rd Grant Taylor 353.33v
4th David Kent 352.26v
5th Daniel Brough 350.26v
6th Gary Costello 350.21v

F/TR 1st Adam Bagnall 347.26v


2nd Russell Simmonds 344.23
3rd Laurie Holland 338.22v
4th Stuart Anselm 330.20v
5th Paul Harkins 329.26v
6th Steve Rigby 328.21v
F/TR winner Adam Bagnall and Mark Daish
(Open) receive their awards and York Guns So, our short range experiment had proved to be
vouchers from Diggle Club Chairman popular and also clearly proved that the top F/TR guys
Mike Weatherhead whilst I stand looking can, on occasion, hold their own with the Open Class
confused................... shooters at this distance with Adam Bagnall’s final
score being good enough for eighth place in Open
constant direction at Diggle?). Class!.

First distance shot was again 500 yards and this When it came to trophy presentations it was great
time it was 2 & 15 to count. Several shooters in both to see another major retailer kindly making a gener-
Open and F/TR got the hang of it though with the best ous donation. York Guns had donated gift vouchers
from each category being the current Open and F/TR for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in both Open and F TR,
World Champions. In F/TR, Russell Simmonds shot a they had also kindly donated 6 Schmidt & Bender
phenomenal 74.7v (which actually beat every Open lens-cleaning kits which were handed out to the lowest
Class shooter) with Gary Costello shooting a 74.6v in scoring three shooters in Open and F/TR (competitors
Open Class. names withheld to protect the innocent!).

For the final distance of the weekend would dressed So Round 1 was over and now we look forward to
back to the 600 yard point for 20 shots with the usual round 2 at Blair Athol in one month’s time. Just enough
2 sighters. Again the wind was gusting and fish-tailing time to clean the rifle, load some ammo and refuel the
and with the 2-ring only one MOA away from the bull car before another weekend of highs for some and not
on this tight little target, several twos and even ones so highs for others. Which ever category you are in, I
started to appear on the score-cards. As usual, some can guarantee a great weekend of fun in the heather!
managed to read it and that was certainly true for Laurie Visit our website for further details www.f-class.org.
Holland who topped F/TR with 87.5v and Mark Daish in uk

102 Target Shooter


A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date
with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.

QUIGLEY SHOOTING Dave Malpas and Mike Davenport


ASSOCIATION
300YD MINI BILLY
DIXON SHOOT.

This year’s comp


almost didn’t happen, originally
scheduled for Sat 27th Feb and
having been cancelled due to
severe snow and mist we were
able to slot in alongside our TR

friends on Sunday March 21st.

The competition consisted of two


stages, stage 1 being ten sighters at a Bisley
bullseye target each shot being indicated, and
stage 2 being ten rounds at the mounted Indian
figure target. Traditional crossed-stick rests or kit
rolls were permitted as the only aid, iron sights
only no optic sights, spotting scopes were allowed
in order to see the shot markers.

The winner is determined by the number of


hits on the Indian, followed by hits on the horse, one
point being awarded for hits on the backing which
miss the silhouette, to be used as a countdown in
case of a tie.

The infamous Diggle “breeze” blew and


managed to keep the range free of mist, however
at a cost, especially among the smaller calibres,
with only “Kentucky” windage available to the
shooters.
Mini Billy Dixon winner, Ken Jones
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, as the Diggle
boys are very experienced with this type of firearm,

Target Shooter 103


QUIGLEY 2010

This year’s Quigley Championship got


under way on the 3rd April, sandwiched between
some of the worst days so far this year, the first
Quigley match was blessed with dry (for Diggle)
conditions and occasional sun. Some very good
scores were achieved at 400 yds, although a few
struggled somewhat at 600.

After the first round, Ian Hull led
John Noble with his original 43 Egyptian with 67 points, with Gary Allsopp on 62 and Dave
Rolling Block Coleman, Eric Todd, Richard Healey and Dennis
Richardson all close behind with scores in the
the wind did not stop most shooters from scoring 50s. The wind became harder to read as the day
hits on the figure once its initial effect had been progressed and in stage 2 scores in the 30s and
calculated on the bullseye target. 40s were the norm. Top scorer in stage 2 was
Dave Simmons with 54 points, however Ian kept
Sadly, the number of firers was less than up the pressure and scored 50 points to clinch the
usual, partly due to the weather and partly due to match.
being on a Sunday. However it was noted that of
the popular short range calibres of .38 special and Results.
.357 only one firer opted for .357 all others used 1. Ian Hull Sharps .45/90
2. Gary Allsopp Remington 45/90
Look! Shadows on the grass 3. Dennis Richardson Browning Hi Wall
.45/70
4. Dave Simmons Sharps .45/70
5. Dave Coleman Sharps .45/70

.45 Colt, .44 Magnum, and .44/40. No firer had


any real difficulty with elevation, most still having a
notch or two left on their ramp sights.

Congrats to Ken who is the first keeper of


the new ‘Mini Billy Dixon Trophy’.


Results

1. Ken Jones Uberti .44/40


2. Greg Hoskin Marlin .44Mag
3. Mike Davenport Spencer .44/40
4. Dave Bownass UbertI .45Colt
5. Ken Hall Winchester .45Colt Winner Greg Hoskin and Runner-up
Paul Seymour
Quigley winner, Ian Hull

104 Target Shooter


Gallery Rifle & Pistol News

Have you noticed how the average age of GR&P the range. Entries on the day may be possible at the
shooters is creeping up? Of course we do have Phoenix but you’re taking a chance on missing out.
younger shooters (that includes quite a large age The same at a club range can cause lots of problems
range for me!) but nowhere near enough. We don’t with only a few people doing everything.
have the same system that Target Rifle has with a
progression through schools and cadets through DATES FOR 2010
universities and on to clubs. We rely entirely on the
clubs around the country to bring on young shooters May 2 Mattersey Ten Mattersey
and encourage them to come out into open May 8 Frome Western Winner Bristol
competition. May 9 Shield Practical GR&P Dorset
You must have some in your club who just need a May 28-30 The Phoenix Meeting NSC
bit of support and the confidence that comes from Bisley
going, say, to Bisley with people you know. There are June 5 Open WCSA Gallery Rifle
discounts for under 25s and free event incentives for Warminster Wilts
introducing a new competitor. We all compete on a June 26-27 Derby 1500 Derby
level playing field through the classification system July 10-11 Fermoy International GR
and whether it’s at a club or at the NSC they’ll be Ireland
certain of a good welcome and lots of advice and July10-24 The Imperial Meeting NSC
assistance. They are the future of the sport – neglect Bisley
them at your peril. July 18 Mattersey Steel Shoot
May is quite a full month for the competition circuit Mattersey
with plenty of variety. First up is the Mattersey Ten July 24-25 Frome Three Gun Shield
with lots of different events for all four GR&P guns Dorset
plus shotguns at their excellent range complex. August 7-8 Stourport 1500 and Shorts
Then its down to the West Country for a last chance Stourport
to shoot a 1500 before the Phoenix just outside August 28-29 Gallery Rifle National
Bristol. This is a smaller range but good facilities and Championships NSC Bisley
a friendly shoot . September 19 Mattersey Bianchi and Shorts
Then a complete change for some of Steve’s Mattersey
challenging stages at the Shield Practical in deepest October 17 Shield Steel Challenge GR&P
Dorset. Good fun and plenty to test your skills. Dorset
Finally, the premier GR&P meeting of the year at October 23-24 The Trafalgar Meeting NSC
the National Shooting Centre, the Phoenix. Now in Bisley
its fourteenth year and still growing. You can bring October 30-30 Autumn Action Weekend NSC
almost any gun you own and get a shoot here from Bisley
10m to 1000m all over the ranges. Everything from November 12-14 Leitmar International GR
speed shooting through precision to long range with Germany
rifles and pistols. Plus traders selling things you didn’t December 30 Shield Christmas Shoot
know you wanted and a chance to meet lots of people Dorset
you know and some you don’t. Everyone’s welcome
form complete beginners to our GB Team who will (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.
compete in the International on the last day. Don’t galleryrifle.com for entry forms.)
miss it and bring at least one gun – there will always
be something you can enter on the day. GR&P = Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF), Gallery
Here is the calendar for the rest of the season and last Rifle Small Bore (GRSB), Long Barrelled Pistol (LBP)
of all a plea from the Meeting Directors. and Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR)
Please enter in advance so that the people who work
so hard in the clubs putting on these meetings have Please go to the Gallery Rifle website www.galleryri-
an idea that they’re not going to be the only ones on fle.com for more news and information.

Target Shooter 105


Carlisle Challenge Long Barrel Match targets, they were able to complete the stage
with the minimum of reloads. Jim Starley was
On the same day that snooker veteran Steve the fastest competitor on the day for this stage,
Davies won through to the quarter finals of the almost 5 seconds faster than his father Pete
World Snooker Championships, a veteran of Starley who came a close second. Jim was
practical pistol stepped up to prove he is still the shooting Standard division whilst Pete was in
master when it comes to shooting handguns Open division with their LBR’s.
(albeit a Long Barrel Revolver). Bob Dunkley
was the overall winner at the Carlisle Challenge Later in the day the bobber was used in another
Long Barrel match, hosted by Carlisle stage where it became a shoot target, again the
Shooting Club at their range complex near door was used to activate the bobber in a short
Brampton, Cumbria on 24th April 2010. stage. The stage was made up of three targets,
requiring a minimum of two hits on each. With
As well as the old (sorry Bob), this match also the bobber being some 15 yards away it’s not
saw the new. This was the first match in which always guaranteed that you are going to hit it.
Gallery Rifle was recognised by the UKPSA For the LBR Standard shooters who are only
as a division to be shot alongside LBR’s, Long allowed to take six shots before they reload,
Barrel Pistols, and Mini Rifle. they needed to be accurate or have to carry
out a reload and therefore take longer the to
The match was completed in a single day and complete the stage, otherwise incur miss
consisted of nine excellent stages. Four were penalties.
shot on the indoor range, with the remainder
on the outdoor range. Thankfully this year the At the end of the day it’s consistency across
sun shone down on the competitors, some the stages that counts. Bob Dunkley was
of whom kept a suspicious eye on the skies finished in the top three in eight of the nine
after last year’s miserable time in the rain. The stages and it was this that saw him the outright
stages are designed to test various shooting winner of LBR Standard with Ian Chamberlain
skills, but the old adage, ‘shoot fast, don’t miss’ second. Pete Starley won LBR Open with Scott
still Thompson second. Andrew Duffy triumphed in
applies. The long stage was a 30 round affair, Gallery Rifle Standard.
with five shooting areas. A number of reloads There is a break until the next planned
were required which is not always easy for the Level 2 match. This again returns to Carlisle,
Gallery Rifle competitors. Anyone who has but will make up part of the first ever UKPSA
tried to fumble .357 rounds into the recalcitrant sanctioned 2 Gun tournament. Over the
loading gate of a Marlin 1894c will know this weekend of 22nd & 23rd August, one day will
feeling, but their times will come down in future be dedicated to Long Barrel and the other to
with more practice at this skill. PSG. As well as both being Level 2 matches
One of the shooting areas required the in their own right, competitors who compete
opening of a door, which set off a swinging in both are eligible to an overall prize in each
no-shoot, (also known as a ‘Bobber’). This category. More details will be released to
required good timing to ensure you hit the two members in eDVC and on the UKPSA
targets behind the bobber without hitting the member’s Forum.
no-shoot itself and incurring penalties. The
set up of the targets, some areas requiring a
minimum of 8 shots, looked unfavourable to the Vanessa Duffy
Revolver shooters. But for those who worked Match Director.
out the correct order in which to shoot the

106 Target Shooter


News
Next month we continue with reviews and bringing you updates on what is happening in the
target shooting world. Hopefully by them the porr weather we are having will have gone and people
can come out of hibernation - starting to prepare and shoot in the spring weather. Until then, good
shooting and keep warm.
customer.services@targetshooter.co.uk
Happy reading and we hope you enjoy the magazine. The team at Target Shooter.
If you have any letters or news that you would like to air on a national basis then please contact us
at the magazine. This could be for those budding writers out there that would like to submit a full
article on specific firearms, competitions, shooting sports, etc.
The aim of the magazine is to include you the shooters in the United Kingdom and further afield.
So having a regular letters page or even a question and answer section would be really useful for
a lot of people out there. Let us know what you think!?
We would also like to have a gun of the month section - so send us your pic and spec and we’ll
include it in ‘gun of the month’.
Any news that your club or association thinks is worth viewing can also be sent in for selection.
What we would like is to get a letters page started with your views, news and perceptions about
all all the aspects of target shooting. So lets see those letters coming in and we will read your
thoughts in these pages.

Advertisers Index
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AIM Field Sports Website Roedale Precision 56
Bratton Sound Gunsafes 82 RUAG Ammotec 38
Bulzeye Pro 72 Rude Fat Dog 92
Eley LTD 77 SEB Rest 89
Fox Firearms 17, 30 & Website Shooting Bags 77
G T Shooting 10 South Yorkshire Gun Supplies 55
Green Leopard 13 Stockade Products Ltd 21
Indelfa industrial electronics 54 Tech Wood Designs Ltd 24
Lilja 69 Tim Hannam 15
Low Mill Range 69 & Website UK gunworks 54
March Scopes 46 UKBR22 - Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest 98
Merseyside Armoury 77 Viking Arms LTD 2
NSRA 85 Westlake Engineering 17
Phoenix League 21 York Guns 45
Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd 10 Zeiss Optics 3

Target Shooter 107


Next time in.....

The June issue will be out as normal on the 1st of the month. Lots of follow up articles, new
reviews, news and as ever packed with the articles you want to read.
All the latest information at your fingertips

June 2010 Issue

On Test Reviews
Regular
Columns

Features ...and lots more


108 Target Shooter