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Welcome to the November Issue................Target Shooter
13 European Benchrest
Championship by Bruce Lenton

Sections
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Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Duracoat process by Chris Parkin Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook

35 Basic Rimfire and
Air Rifle Benchrest technique by Carl Boswell

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44 Brocock Aim X
Pistols by Tim Finley

25 9th World Military & Police Sniper Championship - Part 1 by Rob Hunter 28 51 2010 Diggle Fly Shoot by Vince Bottomley

Iron Plate Action Shooting the 1911 by Vince Bottomley Website of the Month This Smallbore Business

59 Hanloading Bench
by Laurie Holland

57 73

Association Pages
82 NRA UKBRA UKBR22 F- Class Quigley Gallery Rifle UKPSA

69 IPC Shooting World
Cup 2010 by Don Brooke

86 88 91

77 Getting started

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in Gallery Rifle - the 96 Ruger 10/22 100 by Gwyn Roberts

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Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager email; admin@targetshooter.co.uk Contributors Vince Bottomley Tony Saunders Chris Parkin Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Alan Whittle Gwyn Roberts Les Holgate Andy Dubreuil Tim Finley

Webitorial - November 2010
If, like me, you were expecting a televised feast of shooting from the Commonwealth Games in India, then, like me, you were disappointed. Shooting is one of the main events for India, so I’m sure it was well covered TV-wise but, as usual, the BBC chose not to show us much. This was a great pity as UK athletes acquitted themselves very well - our total UK shooting medal haul was 40 – including 13 golds. The total gold medal haul for the whole England Team was 39, with 9 of these won by shooters. Scottish shooters accounted for almost half of their Team’s 26 medals, including four golds. Our smallbore shooters acquitted themselves very well with 14 medals – including four golds. Prone Rifle shooter, Jen MacIntosh of Scotland accounted for two of these (one in a pairs event with Kay Copland). Well done ladies. UK Clay shooters accounted for another nine medals including four golds. Our England fullbore guys really excelled with fourteen medals (again counting ‘pairs’ medals as one) with no less than four golds – all down to Parag Patel who made a clean-sweep of the fullbore singles events. I wonder if this makes Parag the most successful 2010 UK Commonwealth Games athlete? As well as four golds, he also had four bronze medals! England pistol shooter Mike Gault has achieved this honour in past Games – with of course little recognition from the UK media. This year, Mick was hoping for a single gold medal to make him the most successful Commonwealth Games athlete of all time but it wasn’t to be, with just a bronze and a silver but is it any wonder, with the abominable restrictions placed on our pistol shooters. Elsewhere, we have listed the achievements of UK shooters in full, plus a little bit of controversy which marred the fullbore event.

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.

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Shooting Sport News

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hooting at the 2010 Commonwealth Games – New Delhi, India brings success for the UK teams but bad feeling at the Fullbore event Unfortunately, Target Shooter couldn’t afford to send a representative to India but we are listing below, the medals won by UK shooters. They have done us proud but they will get little recognition from our media so the least Target Shooter can do is list their names and achievements. I stress that these results are ‘provisional’ as some results have been difficult to obtain at times. Please take the trouble to read through this list of names – our shooters at least deserve that. Fullbore 300 yards Gold – Parag Patel – England Pairs Fullbore 300 yards Silver – Angus McLeod & Ian Shaw – Scotland Bronze – Jon Underwood & Parag Patel – England Fullbore 500 yards Gold – Parag Patel – England Bronze – David Calvert – N. Ireland Pairs Fullbore 500 yards Silver – Angus McLeod & Ian Shaw - Scotland Bronze – Parag patel & Jon Underwood – England Fullbore 600 yards Gold Parag Patel – England Pairs Fullbore 600 yds Silver – Angus McLeod & Ian Shaw – Scotland Bronze – Jon Underwood & Parag Patel – England Fullbore 900 yards Gold – Parag Patel – England Bronze – David Calvert – N.Ireland Pairs Fullbore 900 yards Silver – Angus McLeod & Ian Shaw – Scotland Bronze – Parag Patel & Jon Underwood – England Pairs 10m Air Pistol Men Silver – Nick Baxter & Mick Gault – England 10m Air Rifle Men Bronze – Kenny Parr – England

Pairs 10m Air Rifle Men Silver – James Huckle & Kenny Parr – England Pairs 25m Pistol Women Gold – Julia Lydell & Gorgs Geikie – England Pairs 25m Pistol Men Bronze – Mick Gault & Iqbal Ubhi – England 50m Rifle Prone Women Gold – Jen McIntosh – Scotland 50m Rifle Prone Men Gold – Jon Hammond – Scotland Bronze – Matthew Hoyle – N.Ireland Pairs 50m Rifle Prone Women Gold – Jen McIntosh & Kay Copland – Scotland Silver – Michelle Smith & Sharon Lee – England 50m Rifle 3 Position Men Silver – Jon Hammond – Scotland Bronze – James Huckle – England Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Position Women Bronze – Kay Copland & Jen McIntosh – Scotland Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Position Men Silver – James Huckle & Kenny Parr – England Bronze – Jon Hammond & Neil Stirton – Scotland Pairs 50m Rifle Prone Men Gold - Neil Stirton & Jon Hammond – Scotland Silver – Mike Babb & Richard Wilson – England Pairs Trap Women Silver – Abbey Burton & Anita North – England Pairs Trap Men Bronze – Aaron Heading & Dave Kirk – England Singles Trap Women Gold – Anita North – England Silver – Shona North – Scotland Singles Trap Men Gold - Aaron Heading – England Pairs Skeet Men Bronze – Richard Brickell & Clive Bramley – England

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Double Trap Men Gold – Steven Walton – England Bronze – James Kneale – IOM Single Skeet Men Gold – Richard Brickell – England There was little information on the shooting events in the UK press but clearly there was trouble at the Fullbore event and I did find one or two choice comments from a fullbore competitior in the leading Indian newspaper, the Hindustan Times. Quote: A leading Australian fullbore shooter, here for the Commonwealth Games, has termed the competition at the Kadarpur Ranges a ‘farce’. As reported by Hindustan Times on October 14, the event was marred by angry protests with many aggrieved shooters holding up the competition, forcing the Chief of the appeal jury and other officials to rush to the range to bring sanity.

meeting with CSF Chairman Graeme Hudson and told him there were a lot of deficiencies. When we arrived at the Games Village on October 1st we were shocked to discover that the contractors had failed to rectify the target system during the six-month rest. A managers’ meeting was called. It was agreed that in the event of unusual, missed or unexplained shots, the shooters would be given another round to fire as a provisional shot. After five days of practice, a few targets were deemed to be terminally malfunctioning. We commenced the competition with much apprehension. On the fourth day, both Geoff and I were leading in the Pairs match and were placed first and second in the individual match. The fifth day can only be described as hell. At the longest range, the 900 yards competition, targets started to fail and so did tempers and the ability to control order. Geoff’s target malfunctioned so badly that at one stage he was battling to record a hit.”

James Corbett, 51, arguably the best fullbore Both Australian shooters saw their scores plummet marksman in Australia with over three decades of and they were not alone. Almost all teams bore the experience, has written to the Hindustan Times brunt. saying: “Rules were not being applied evenly for all “We are devastated by the ineptitude of the countries and written protests started to circulate.” promoting body (National Rifle Association of He said. India and Commonwealth Shooting Federation) T S Dhillon, sports manager at Kadarpur said in providing a clear set of rules. Our reputation “Australians are bad losers. They are crying foul and sport was brought into disrepute by a few because they finished below the Indians.” The individuals who had no integrity of the competition. hosts finished eleventh whilst the Australians The host nation must take responsibility and came 14th in the Pairs. therefore I humbly ask the Indian Prime Minister for a written apology to every one of the 42 shooters He conceded there were protests but claimed there who participated in the fullbore competition.” was nothing in writing. “There were 42 shooters, we cannot appease everyone.” He said. (Target Corbett, who was accompanied by fellow shooter Shooter has it on good authority that written Geoff Grenfell, said that the hard work put in over protests were made). the last four years had come to naught. “We came through an extremely tough elimination series to determine the two best shooters to represent Australia. In April, we travelled to New Delhi for the CSF Championships (a pre-event for the Commonwealth Games) at Kardapur. However, it was apparent from day one that the target system was faulty with some of the earlier 300m shooters having to fire over 20 rounds to have ten counting shots recorded on the monitor. The contractors for the targets, Suis Ascor, were having great difficulty in ensuring reliability of the system. The software engineer revealed that the operating system was 30 years old. We held a End of quote. Clearly, the electronic targets just weren’t up to the job and seemingly little was done by the organisers to try to rectify things. In fact, according to comments on various internet forums, it sounds as though they tried to cover up any problems rather than solve them. Nonetheless, it didn’t seem to affect England’s Parag Patel, who will hopefully give us a full account of things via the NRA Journal in due course. Unless of course you’d like to write it up for Target Shooter Parag?

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No doubt about it, internet forums are now a part of all our lives and very useful they are too – as a source of information and a great way to meet or keep in touch with like-minded shooters. Most are quite specialised, based around a specific shooting discipline or even a particular weapon. Best of all, they are free, informative and readily accessible to all. A new forum has just appeared aimed at the UK-based 22 rimfire benchrest shooter. The moderator is young Jake Healey, who has already made his mark on the

nternet Forums

international competition scene at the tender age of fourteen. Check out Jake’s forum at www.northernarea22benchrest.webs.com Another brand-new forum, which ambitiously seeks to cover the whole of the target shooting scene is The Target Range forum started by our very own Andy Dubreuil – one third of Trinity Digital Publishing – as if he didn’t have enough to do! We must stress this forum is not in any way connected to Target Shooter magazine and this is purely Andy’s personal venture. You can access Andy’s forum at www.targetrange.webs.com

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John Nosler inventor of the famous Nosler ‘Partition’ sporting bullet and founder of the eponymous and very successful bullet manufacturing company died on 10th October at the ripe old age of 97. Mr Nosler was born in California where he grew up on a farm, became familiar with machinery from an early age, and initially put his considerable mechanical and business acumen to good use in the garage trade rising rapidly from being a depression era teenage school-leaver who persuaded a local Ford garage to take him on as a virtually unpaid cleaner to being its foreman in a couple of years, then getting his own Ford agency in his early twenties. It was this venture that took him to Oregon where a one-vehicle sideline trucking fresh fruit and vegetables from his native California turned into a substantial and highly successful long-distance haulage business during World War 2. As an avid target and sporting shooter, his business success allowed him to indulge these pastimes including an annual fortnight long trip to British Columbia to shoot moose, an adventurous and expensive undertaking in those days. It was one of these trips in 1946 that produced the incident that ultimately gave the shooting world today’s Nosler Inc, best known for making bullets but also supplying high quality brass and rifles under its name. John Nosler had treated himself to a Winchester Model 70 in .300 H&H calibre, then an exotic big game cartridge, but found the .30 calibre soft-point bullets of the time were overly fragile for its velocities, often breaking up instead of penetrating – or perversely, over-penetrating and failing to expand. Early and excessive expansion was a particular problem with BC moose which liked to roll around in swamps then dry out in the sun, already tough hides acquiring a thick coat of hard dried clay. One such bull took four shots before it even showed a hit, then several more to finish the job. Nosler was depressed in having a state of the art rifle whose bullets weren’t up to the job and decided he’d do something about it himself rather than simply complain, or move back to the old low power .30-40 Krag cartridge. The original partition bullet was devised on a piece of scrap paper in the trucking company office and manufactured in its workshop by machining cavities into sections of copper rod and pouring molten lead into them in the absence of core casting and swaging equipment . Fred Huntington, founder of another young Oregon business, RCBS was involved and helped by supplying expertise, dies, and presses to reduce the time and effort involved in producing

ohn Nosler 1913-2010

these near handmade bullets and improving the results. During the 1947 British Columbia moose hunting expedition, one shot became one kill with the Partition bullet, same results on smaller Oregon species. Friends wanted copies, the word got about ..... ultimately, the hobby became a business and the trucking outfit was sold to finance a bullet manufacturing operation in the attractive town of Bend. The rest as they say is history. Today, Nosler Inc. is that rare beast in the corporate world, a large firearms related company that remains family owned, John’s son Bob Nosler now in charge. Although Mr Nosler officially retired in 1988 at the age of 75 when he sold the business to his son and daughter in law, he continued to go into the office on a daily basis until shortly before his death. He also continued to shoot at both targets and game until a very advanced age. Readers interested in his life story, shooting and manufacturing tales can indulge themselves by buying a copy of his biography: John Nosler Going Ballistic by John Nosler as told to Gary Lewis, published by Gary Lewis Outdoors in 2005 and available from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon. com. We can confirm that this 220 page book is a ‘darn good read’, as well as being a testament to a talented individual and the American ‘Can Do’ spirit.

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Our look at South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies’ operations in the September issue mentioned that Dave ‘Baldie’ Wylde SYSS’ gunsmith Dave ‘Baldie’ Wylde was in proudly displays his record the breaking 500yd Fly Shoot process of going group shot with a .338 independent as a full Lapua Magnum Surgeon time gunsmith and custom rifle builder. rifle that he built This has now happened with the creation of his own operation, Valkyrie Rifles which remains situated alongside SYSS at Everill Gate Farm, on the edge of the village of Broomhill in South Yorkshire. Dave and SYSS proprietor Roger Francis haven’t formally announced the new arrangements at the time of writing, but the giveaway was Dave’s new website http://www.valkyrierifles.net a professional looking and comprehensive effort which lists the services provided, contact details etc. A chat with Dave confirmed that yes, he is now up and running as an independent rifle builder, but he

alkyrie Rifles New Gunsmithing and Custom Rifle Building Venture

and Roger will delay the official announcement until 1st January 2011. Both remain on good terms and continue to collaborate on many aspects of their activities, only Dave will now trade independently. Valkyrie Rifles provides a full range of gunsmithing services – rebarrelling, restocking, threading muzzles for sound moderators etc as well as continuing to undertaking semi-custom ‘tune-up’ work on Remingtons for both parties – but will increasingly see Dave expand his bespoke custom rifle building activities, also experiment in new areas such as semi and full-custom modification of Tikka rifles. He will continue to provide his excellent Duracoating finishing work and other services. We in TargetShooter wish this likeable and really competent new gunsmith well – the demand for top quality services is this line of work still far outstrips the availability of skilled and experienced people offering such services. And ..... anybody who shoots a five-shot 500 yard 1.152” group with a self-built .338 Lapua Magnum rifle (Diggle Fly Shoot, August 2010), really does deserve to succeed! Dave will work at his Everill Gate Farm workshop Tuesday to Saturday most weeks, but visiting is by appointment only. There is contact and location information on the Valkyrie Rifles website including an ‘online contact form’. Telephone: 07889 388378; email: dave@valkyrierifles.net

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There hardly seems to be a week go by that doesn’t see an announcement from Berger Bullets that it has introduced yet another new bullet, to the point where a particular weight in a given calibre has two or three models, some available in Moly-coated form. The result has become a bulging, some would say confusing, product range, especially with many models available in both ‘Hunting’ and ‘Match’ versions. The inevitable has now happened with the company announcing that a number of older models that no longer sell well are to be withdrawn. In the target bullet field this involves its 50gn and 62gn 0.224”; 62gn and 70gn 6mm; 85gn 6.5mm; 182mm XBT 7mm; and 155gn 0.308” models. There are alternatives available in each case, usually newer and more efficient designs, such as the 155.5gn BT FULLBORE which replaces the original and lower BC 155gn match bullet. A couple of varmint bullets have gone too. What is perhaps equally interesting is a statement by Berger marketing manager Michelle Gallagher announcing an end to the provision of Moly-coating on several models. She notes the company watched the rise in popularity of this treatment after its initial introduction, followed by a decline, and now a considerable revival. However, while the materials are cheap, applying them is a time consuming and

erger Bullets Rationalises Its Product therefore expensive business for a manufacturer, and most Moly fanciers now use DIY treatment kits. So, Range

a list of bullets which are no longer available in Moly coated form has also been published, and although Ms Gallagher’s statements don’t make this plain, a look at (the yet to be updated) products list on Berger’s website appears to show a clean sweep. So, if you like your Bergers factory-Moly’d or want to stick with some older and to be withdrawn uncoated models, it would be a good idea to check the link below and ring the company’s UK importers to see if there are any still in stock. For further information, visit Berger Bullets’ Blog (‘The Berger Bulletin’) which also contains a lot of interesting material on Berger’s products and getting the best out of them, such as ‘tuning’ VLD bullets to your barrel: http://02b0516.netsolhost.com/blog1 and Berger Bullets’ main website address (http://www. bergerbullets.com). These bullets are imported into the UK and also retailed by Norman Clark Gunsmiths Ltd., Rugby, and Tim Hannam in North Yorkshire.

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Calendar of events over the next few months
5 Nov to 7 Nov European F Class Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Contact(s): Mik Maksimovic 6 Nov Start of Probationary Members Course 2010/5 (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This course is primarily a course in safe handling and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. Each course consists of five separate lessons. Course date to be allocated once entry conditions are fulfilled. All applications for Probationary Membership should be made to the NRA Membership Secretary. 13 Nov to 14 Nov Range Conducting Officer Course Two day course - successful candidates will be qualified to conduct live firing on MoD or TAVRA ranges. Contact Maureen Peach - NRA 13 Nov NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. All disciplines welcome. Open to all full members of the NRA - contact Charles Perry

If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
20 Nov Day 2 of Probationary Members Course that started on 6 Nov (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This course is primarily a course in safe handling and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. Each course consists of five separate lessons. Course date to be allocated once entry conditions are fulfilled. All applications for Probationary Membership should be made to the NRA Membership Secretary. Heather Webb 20 Nov Saturday, 20 November 2010 To Sunday, 21 November 2010 Fees include NSRA registration costs, course attendance and assessments where necessary. They do not include meals and accommodation. Email: tony.king@gbtsf.co.uk 27 Nov Day 3 of Probationary Members Course that started on 6 Nov (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This course is primarily a course in safe handling and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. All applications for Probationary Membership should be made to the NRA Membership Secretary. Heather Webb

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

Fullbore & .22LR Black Power Air Rifles and Pistols Used rifles and Pistols
Our premises are located at

Optics Ammunition Reloading equipment and more...

53 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RB www.gtshooting.co.uk Tel: 020 8660 6843 Fax: 020 8660 6843
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We are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25. Target Shooter

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm

European Benchrest Championships 2010 – Holles, Austria

The reloading tent – our home for the next four days Having shot benchrest for just a couple of years, you can imagine when I was asked if I fancied going to the ‘Europeans’ as part of the UK Team, I was thrilled. Of course I said ‘yes’ but this was way back in December of last year so, for the last few months I had been trying to figure out how it all works. It’s now late August so with bags packed and more reloading gear than I could shake a stick at, Dad and I set off for Austria. We knew it was going to be a long slog - a night ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, then 1200 km through Holland, Germany and into Austria. 30 hours later we arrived at a lovely hotel about 30 miles from Vienna and about 20 minutes drive from the range. The hotel was kindly booked for us by fellow benchrest shooter, Jack Searle who unfortunately had to withdraw from the Team at the last minute. (Many thanks Jack – a top choice). We had Monday to relax and see a bit of Austria, then we met up with our other team members, Tom Morris (who had also driven) and Martin Miles, (who elected to fly) for a spot of dinner. Over dinner we were introduced to several other benchrest shooters from all over Europe, who made us feel truly welcome. Tuesday morning and it was off to the Holles range. It’s a military range and we were greeted by a small army of helpers who were setting up the targets and a large reloading-tent. By this stage, the heavens had opened and it was just like normal Diggle weather…… a lot different to the 30 degree heat we had enjoyed the past few days.

by Bruce Lenton

We set up our wind-flags, reloading and cleaning gear and chatted to the masses of other shooters who were steadily streaming in. The one thing that struck me as a newcomer was the friendliness of everyone - they would all come up, shake your hand, introduce themselves and start having a chat. It was like one large benchrest family coming together. The rain finally abated and we got chance for some informal practice. Someone told me the wind at Holles was not as bad as Diggle! Don’t make me laugh - the range has a bank at either side, with various gaps in it and then a big baffle about 10 yards in front of the firing point. It was soon apparent that, although the wind wasn’t howling, it was ‘interesting’ to say the least. Practice over, it was back to the hotel, some food and an early night - getting psyc’d up for tomorrow……. 100 meters Light Varmint. Wednesday dawns and sun is shining - a complete opposite to yesterday. The local Mayor was in attendance at the opening ceremony, along with the regional army chief, oh and someone by the name of Ian Kelbly of the famous American Kelbly (Stolle) dynasty. He was to be our Range Master for the duration of the competition. Finally, it’s time for Ian Kelbly to say those immortal words “Relay One to the benches!” We are off, the Championship is underway. The UK Team was not shooting until Relay 4 so we had a bit of time to see what was going on; this was really useful and I learnt a lot. It also steadied my nerves a bit, as I saw all the groups appearing on the ‘wailing wall’ - some small, some average Target Shooter 13

The mass of wind-flags! Unfortunately, they weren’t always this benign and some not so small. I am now thinking to myself ’watch the flags, watch the flags’. Relay Three is half way through their detail - I better get my rifle and ammo. Sat at the bench, the first thing that strikes me is the mass of wind-flags in front of me, I have never seen so many in my life and I have to keep remembering which set of flags to watch! My thanks must go to the Deletangs from Monaco, whose flags we used mostly as they were also squadded to the same benches. They had no less than 25 wind-flags with them, not to mention all their gear and their dog - aptly named ‘Benchy’. It was now 30 degrees in the reloading-tent and with shooting, cleaning and reloading plus the obligatory trip to the ‘wailing wall’ the time between relays flew by. Soon it was lunch and what a joy to have catering on site - Austrian sausage, bread, cheese, pastries you name it. The range and organisation was perfect, the speed at which they managed to change all the targets, and reset the moving-backers was The aptly named ‘wailing wall’ astonishing. However, they did have a dedicated team of at least half a dozen young soldiers. It was the end of day one and we were down to the wailing-wall to collect our targets and see how we had done. The one thing that quickly became apparent was that a very small mistake could cost you dearly and you could drop 20 places without even making a serious dollop. If you were lucky, the reverse could happen and you could go up 20 places. At the end of day one, Team UK were hovering around mid-pack. Now it was off for another fine Austrian meal with our newfound friends. It was a great spirit in our wee group - there were folks from France, Monaco, Germany and even Botswana and Siberia! Day 2 was identical to day one, glorious sunshine and clear skies. Today was the 100 meters Heavy Varmint. The UK Team were shooting the same rifles for the entire competition but others had brought dedicated ‘heavy’ rifles for the HV stage. The temperature was soon well into the twenties and by mid-morning had passed 30 degrees in the reloading-tent. This morning’s hot topic was

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the Belgian shooter who was shooting next to UK Team member Tony Lenton. He shot a tiny group of 1.37mm in the Warm-up Match - that is 0.049 inches in real money! There was a small debate as to whether or not this was a new world record; in the end it wasn’t but he was still a very happy chappie. We had another great day, plenty of good fun on the benches and in the reloading-tent. We soon established a cleaning and reloading regime on our somewhat rickety table that allowed us all to co-exist in perfect harmony. It is considerably harder to clean, reload etc. on a small folding bench than you would think - without upsetting Martin’s scales or Tom’s powder-thrower! The glorious sunshine held but that wind was

tricky, the baffle and the gaps in the banks provided some really interesting conditions. The bench-rotation was also fun as we never shot from the same bench twice, which made the change-over between relays a rapid exercise. Note to self - next time, take some kind of cart to move gear up and down the line. It’s often said that you don’t win benchrest matches, you lose them - by inconsistent shooting. Today was testament to that, the Belgian who shot the magical group in the Warm-up only finished in the twenties. For once, I managed a very consistent shoot with only 50 thou. between best and worst groups. I was going to be happy no matter where I came based on this but at the end of day two Team UK were still mid-pack.

Those three shots are well under a quarter UK shooters Tom Morris and of an BruceThis is one inch. Lenton prepare to do battle! accurate rifle! Target Shooter 15

Sixth place but no smile from Martin Miles!

Now the targets are moved back to 200 meters. This whole process took less than two hours and my goodness, they were slick. We need some target-changers like these guys! A fantastic Chinese meal was in store this evening for our little group, I have no idea what we ate, maybe I don’t want to know, but my word it was good, thanks to the Chinese wife of Philip Octo, a French shooter. She did the menu selection and we all ate till we could eat no more. When you next see Tom Morris - ask him about the sauce! Friday dawned and it was the start of the 200 metre shooting (Heavy Varmint). I had never previously shot my 6PPC at more than 100 yards but with a bit of help from our crowd they told me how much elevation I needed. Stage one successfully passed! We all quickly moved the Deletang’s wind-flags and reset them. No language barrier here when you have aircraftcarrier like hand-signals to work with! At 200 meters the groups naturally got bigger. We had vertical stringing, horizontal stringing, diagonal stringing….. it’s a whole different ball game! The weather forecast was predicting rain and wind for today but my shorts were still on and I didn’t think it was going to come. As Relay 3 was shooting their third match, the wind started to pick up and almost everyone’s groups started to grow. By the time the UK shooters took to the benches, the rain was lashing down and the wind was howling…… normal Diggle conditions at last – yippee! I was having a reasonable day and Dad said “Just shoot one good group and you will be OK”. So for Match 4 I hold it together and shoot 16 Target Shooter

17mm - that will do when others are getting 50mm groups. Match 5 and the rain is now bouncing down, the road resembles a river and the sky was jet black and the wind was really up. The Finn and the Italian either side of me did not know what to do and I just said it’s like being back at home! I could hardly see where my shots were going as the target was so wet but, as I put the fifth shot in, I saw a small group in the bottom of the mothball……. 13mm - I will take that - yes please - especially when the wailing-wall was littered with 70mm plus groups. Just after the shooting finished guess what? The wind and rain stopped…. typical. We covered up all our gear in the reloading tent with tarpaulins to stop dripping condensation, given the amount of water in the atmosphere by now. The tent became packed when the rain came as the Belgians and Italians had previously happily cleaned outside. It was the end of day three and Team UK were still languishing mid-field. Another good night out followed but, by this stage, I think it would be fair to say that we were all getting a little weary. Saturday dawned, the majority of the rain had passed but it was noticeably cooler. Again it was 200 meters, but this time Light Varmint. Today was Martin Miles’ day, he shot some amazing groups and ended up 6th overall on the day…. well done Martin. The rain mainly held off but the wind was up and down all day, which made for some really mixed conditions. No Warm-up match today as we had to get packed up sharpish so that we would be in time for the prize-giving dinner. Tony Lenton

had some good groups today - due to work commitments Tony had only managed to shoot benchrest twice this year before the Europeans and was thrown-in ‘at the deep end’ so to speak when, for various reasons, other shooters had to cancel but by the end of the event he was really getting into the swing of it. So it was back to our hotels to freshen-up and don our team shirts. We had a wonderful dinner with speeches and a plentiful Austrian buffet, it was like an Olympic awards ceremony with national anthems played for all the various winners and medals presented. A final chance to unwind and chat about the four wonderful days that had just flown by. We may not have won any prizes for shooting, but I think we definitely had the best team kit - many thanks to Martin Miles for organising this. The ‘Europeans’ is essentially a Team event and each country is allowed to send just one four-man team. For the record, the UK Team didn’t win any medals this year – Italy won the Gold, Germany Silver and France the Bronze. However, there is an individual European Champion and for 2010 it is Jean-Louis Espinet of France.

I must at this point thank everyone who helped to make this event such a success. I have competed in international events in the past in other sports but the Austrian Benchrest Shooting Association put on possibly the best run international event I have ever attended, from the registration process to the target-crew and prize-giving - all were superb. Also, many thanks to Ian Kelbly the Range Master who ran a great range and was always happy to help out whenever needed and give advice to all. On a personal note, I have made a huge number of friends through going to this event and I will definitely attend some more overseas events in the future. Shooters will do anything for you and will always help out. All that was left now was the long drive home……… Interested in benchrest? Check out the UKBRA website at www.ukbra.co.uk

Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd 295 London Road North End Portsmouth PO2 9HF
Opening Times Mon 9.30 - 5.30 Tues Closed Wed Closed Thur 9.30 - 5.30 Fri 9.30 - 5.30 Sat 9.30 - 5.30

Tel 02392 660574 Fax 02392 644666 E-mail sales@portsmouthguncentre.com Website www.portsmouthguncentre.com

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.

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17

The DuraCoat© process - by Chris Parkin
The gun is completely stripped and masked where necessary prior to sand-blasting We have serialised Chris Parkin’s tactical rifle that it was too much to do before the Diggle Egg build in the August and September issues of Shoot so I shot the gun 100% functional but ugly. Target Shooter magazine and, following one or After the competition, I took the gun back to two queries regarding the DuraCoat process, Valkyrie Rifles (www.valkyrierifles.net) in South we have asked Chris to write a further piece Yorkshire to have the coating done by proprietor specifically on this subject. I’ll let Chris take Dave Wylde. Dave’s work is first class and he is rapidly becoming the ‘industry standard’ for the up the story............ Well, the gun was finished, the first shooting DuraCoat process in the UK. He was more than results were excellent but more work was still happy to let me hang around for the morning to to be done. The stock needed its final sanding allow me to get a better understanding of the process and photograph the various stages and oiling and I had decided I didn’t like the involved. DuraCoat is available in over 140 look of the stainless barrel on a blued action. I colours, so like Henry Ford, I chose black - flat looked into some coatings but as ever, advice matt-black. and examples were close at hand so I decided to try the DuraCoat finish to improve the looks Of course gloss finishes are also available and of the metal work. like many colour coatings, an infinite number of colour blends can be achieved if the customer I had seen DuraCoated guns before but never wishes. DuraCoat themselves produce and paid too much attention to them so, like a lot of supply a multitude of ‘peel-and-coat’ camouflage things in life, I decided to ‘dip my toe in the water’ stencils from which everything from DPM to and see for myself. I spoke about this from the digital camouflage can be created but Dave start of the rifle build but, as time was tight and has had his own masking patterns cut to his the gun ideally needed to be bedded into the own design. These are thinner than the usual stock before the coating was applied, I realised commercially available stencils and this helps 18 Target Shooter

Sand-blasting the components

prevent a build-up of paint which can give a ‘stepped’ finish between the camo. colours. If you wish, you truly can create your own work of art but obviously it all adds to the price. The coating process The gun is dismantled fully into its component parts and everything to be coated is then de-greased and lightly sand-blasted. The sand-blasting ensures an even surface finish and of course helps to give a good ‘mechanical key’ for the paint to adhere to. The barrel, recoil-lug and action are then de-greased again and re-assembled - ensuring all the witness marks exactly re-align prior to coating. I was also having the bolt, its shroud along with the 20 MOA Weaver scope rail and bottom metal coated for a fully homogenous finish. In a similar way to normal painting, areas are masked off to avoid over-spray both during sand-blasting and the painting process itself. Dave’s attention to detail was impressive, little things like protecting the proof marks prior to sand-blasting to avoid them getting dulled and polishing up the bolt head and non-load bearing sections of the lugs. Of course critical areas

like the chamber are sealed, the tenon threads masked and the crown protected. Like any good painting or coating process, all the work is in the preparation and this part of the job takes several hours to ensure a good end-product, with both aesthetic finish and adhesion being of equal importance. DuraCoat is not just a pretty paint job, it is also a metal protector and I was getting the latest ‘SL’ version which contains Teflon for ‘self lubrication’ purposes. I have to say whilst watching the process, looking at previously finished items and talking to Dave, I realised all these factors, which I had never appreciated before, added up to the fact the coating was far more than just a visual improvement! The DuraCoat is applied with an airbrush and is mixed with a hardener - the amount varying depending on ambient air temperatures and equipment used for spraying. Several coats are applied depending on the exact gun component, its location and of course, if you want a multi-coloured finish such as a camouflage pattern, several colours as well. The finish at a minimum is literally microns thick but can be Target Shooter 19

The bottom-metal freshly sandblasted and degreased ready for coating. Good preparation work is essential built up in areas subject to heavy wear - such as the bolt handle - to aid long term durability. Being 100% non-artistic and terrible at painting of any type, I foolishly asked Dave how long it had taken him to master the airbrushing techniques and the associated equipment used. He very dryly said the last 20 years of custom painting motorbikes had given him a leg up. When the painting was finished, I set off home and agreed to come back to pick up the gun later when it had cured and the bolt and bottom-metal fully reassembled. The following morning I received a text saying it was all done and being the impatient bugger I am, I went to fetch it and was delighted with the results. The gun looked a perfectly uniform satin black from carefully masked crown to bolt-shroud with the Weaver rail and bottom-metal all suitably sombre to match. I couldn’t wait to get it in the stock. Although the DuraCoat becomes touch-dry in 20 minutes and can be handled within an hour, the hardness and durability of the coating takes 4-6 weeks to fully develop. After the paint is air-dry however, Dave bakes the parts to speed up the hardening process in a controlled-temperature 20 Target Shooter oven. DuraCoat themselves like to compare it with a fine wine - it improves with age! It boasts flexibility - to promote toughness as much as hardness - helping to avoid the chipping associated with some competitor’s ultra-hard yet correspondingly brittle finishes. After two months of use and three or four trips in and out of the stock, I can report no marking whatsoever. To be fair, I only gave it five days before I re-assembled the gun and shot it. Dave did tell me a little trick though, something that would not have been noticed until it is too late……………. when a Remington 700 ejects the brass it tends to spin the fired case backwards and the case hits the rear right hand receiver bridge in the same spot every time. It happens so fast you can hardly see it. Over the course of a few thousand rounds this will mark the DuraCoat. The cure - a tiny piece of matching protective tape applied to the spot and hey presto, no marking. To complete the job, I spent several more hours sanding, buffing and Tru-oiling the stock over the course of those five days and got it looking superb. When re-assembled with the

The DuraCoat process starts – note masked bolt-head

DuraCoated barrelled action, it was finally And for more information on DuraCoat: finished and I was very pleased with the end www.duracoat-firearm-finishes.com result. The trusty old 308 action had come back to life. Thanks to: Valkyrie Rifles: www.valkyrierifles.net The completed rifle

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21

Email; ags.westlake@virgin.net/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com

Tel/Fax 01722782432

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.

Now open and accepting membership applications. Multi discipline ranges with 10m, 25m & 50m Indoor ranges. Air, Rimfire, Centre fire Gallery and black powder welcome. Open six days a week. Pre-booking recommended. Winter competitions to follow. Café and Shop on site.

22

Target Shooter

www.thetunnel.co.uk or 01297 560049

Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 10 - John Maslin Cooper

by Chris Risebrook
Compared to an Arms Fair the choice is more limited, but the prices should be nearer trade Pic 1 than retail. I had spent hours poring over the catalogue and making copius notes - for all the good that did me. For a start, viewing is limited, in that everyone else wants to examine the lots, and there just is not the time to give each item the careful scrutiny you would like. Just to confuse the issue, there are a number of lots not illustrated in the catalogue, some of which sound very tempting. In fact, these items are not illustrated Apologies for the jump in article numbers last for a very good reason. Catalogue space is issue - editors eyes. Now back to normal......... limited, and the auctioneer is obviously only or as good as it gets!! going to illustrate the best items. This does not I made two mistakes last week. The first was going to an auction, and the second was not keeping my hands in my pockets! At the checkout, I was informed I had purchased five pistols, which just shows what happens when you don’t pay attention. This was my first experience of an auction, and it was an experience - an expensive one! I wanted to compare it to an Arms Fair, and the object was to observe rather than bid - fat chance!

Pic 2

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Pic 3

mean the rest are all turkeys, but there are some horrors, as I found out to my cost! We have all seen the interminable auction programmes on TV, with dealers bidding whilst hiding behind pillars, trying to blend into the wallpaper. In fact, this auction was quite civilized, and once I had broken the ice by making the first bid, it was all too easy to get carried away. On the first lot of interest, I resolutely stuck to my limit, and was promptly outbid - by £10! I then made the cardinal error of bidding on the next lot, which I had not inspected properly, and of course, got saddled with it; serves me right. The rest of the auction varied between bottom-numbing boredom, while endless uninteresting lots passed by; boxes and bags of books, buttons and bayonets, interspersed with periods of frenetic activity, trying to keep track of the interesting bits. The trouble is there is no time to consider the current bid; an instant decision has to be made, and that’s when it can all go pear-shaped. I was not even sure if I had won some bids, such was the speed of the turnover, so the result was a bit of a shock. However, when a dealer in front of me at the checkout had to enquire whether or not he had bought a blunderbus, I did not feel quite such an idiot. Convinced I had bought a collection of real dogs, I deliberately did not look in the bag until the next day. Actually, it was not as depressing as I thought. The result was five revolvers, two rimfires and three percussion. The percussions are all a bit of a mystery to me, a Manhattan, 24 Target Shooter

a Cooper, and a James Harper, of which I presently know very little, even less, and absolutely nothing whatever respectively. So, hopefully, some research will provide the basis for a future article. In the meanwhile, I will describe the two rimfires, simply because they are easy. Photo 1 shows the two revolvers, which are both by Forehand & Wadsworth. These came from the fertile mind of Ethan Allen, a maker of cutlery and shoe making tools in Grafton Massachusetts. Although I have seen him described as the same person as the famous Ethan Allen of the American Revolution, this is quite wrong. Our Allen was born in 1808, and his namesake died in 1789. A Doctor Lambert had designed a shotgun walking stick and engaged Allen to manufacture it for him. This work persuaded Allen to get into the gunmaking business for himself, and in 1836 he went into business with his brother in law Thomas Wheelock and made several thousand underhammer single shot pistols, known as the Allen Pocket Rifle. In 1837 Allen was granted a patent for the first double action pistol in America. Combining this with another patent enabled him to expand his business into making the pepperbox revolvers for which he is best known, and which formed the core of his business for many years. In 1837 he formed a partnership with another brother in law, Charles Thurber, and the firm, now known as Allen & Thurber moved to larger premises in Norwich Connecticut in 1842. By 1854, he had moved

Pic 4

to an even larger site in Worcester, Mass, and Wheelock finally became a full partner but died in 1864, Thurber retired in 1856. With the westward expansion, the Gold Rush and the Civil War, there was a considerable market for Allen’s products. Allen had daughters, but no sons, and on Wheelock’s death he formed a new partnership with his sons in law Henry Wadsworth and Sullivan Forehand. Allen died in 1871, aged 63. Wadsworth retired in 1890 and the company was remaned Forehand and Co. Forehand died in 1890, and the company was sold to Hopkins & Allen in 1902. In 1917 this company was taken over by Marlin to make components for the Browning Automatic Rife, and of course Marlin is now owned by Remington. Phew! That’s the history bit done. Now to the revolvers. Photo 2 shows the .41. This is a six shot with a 3” octagonal barrel and a non fluted cylinder. It has a spur or sheathed trigger, which to me never looks quite right on a revolver, but the first Smith & Wessons, Marlins,the Colt New Line and all the Saturday Night Specials all used this system, and it was a standard feature on derringers. It is chambered for the same .41 rf short cartridge as used in derringers. It is marked with patent dates of 1861 and 1871. Note that the locking bolt stops are in the front in the cylinder rather than the rear. There is a loading cut-out on the right, and unloading is by pulling

out the rod under the barrel and poking out the empties. A finger nail would probably work better, but if you needed to reload in a hurry, you were probably in the wrong gun fight anyway. The second revolver shown in Photo 3 is a .32 six shot with a 2.25” round barrel with a conventional trigger guard and a double action mechanism, and is marked with patent dates of 1871 and 1873. This time, the bolt stops are at the rear of the cylinder. Allen did not normally number his guns, so it is difficult to know exactly when each was made, but, to me, the 32 looks so much more modern than the 41. The walnut birds head grips I find very pleasing. In Photo 4 I have shown the .32 together with the Harrington & Richardson described in a previous article for comparison. Both are nickel plated with surprisingly little wear for their age, but the H&R has retained its shine, whereas the F&W has gone dull. The F&W is plated overall, whereas the H&R has a blued hammer, trigger and trigger guard. It is estimated that at least half a million pistols were made by Allen and his various companies, all for private sale - he never received a government contract. Interestingly, he does not seem to have been a successful rifle maker. Now, the next time I go to an auction, I will stick to my chosen lots, and not bid on anything else - and pigs might fly! Target Shooter 25

• • • • •

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26

Target Shooter

Quality Shooting Sports Accessories
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Designed for the sportsmen on the move, the SPUD6 features loads of storage room along with molded- in bungee hook receiver so you can strap it down tight to anything, from a fishing boat to an ATV. The SPUD 7's spacious design offers a whopping 2,073 cubic inches of dry storage. It can carry items up to 14 inches tall. It also comes with a nylon shoulder strap for hands free carrying. Load one up for the range and then use it for a chair once you get there!

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Fax: 01977 684272 www.timhannam.com
27

Ninth World Police & Military Sniper Championships Budapest Hungary 2010 Part1- I need a rifle!

by By Rob Hunter
In 2008 I was invited to the ‘World Police and Military Sniper Competition’ in Budapest, which in the sniper/tactical circles is billed as the ‘best of the best’ with teams attending from around the world. Although I’ve attended many similar competitions, the skills required to compete at this level meant that it was something of a ‘baptism of fire’ but I had a great time, made some good friends and vowed to go back the following year. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving back in the UK, I left to take up a post in Afghanistan, so in 2009 I missed out but this year I managed to pull some strings to get my R&R rotations to fall in the last week of May - just in time to coincide with the competition dates. Having attended the competition before, I knew that a good level of psychical fitness was going to help, so after several months serious training in the 45 degrees heat of an Afghan summer, I felt I was at least fit enough. Although it was difficult to co-ordinate things

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from Afghanistan, I managed to sort the flight, organise a shooting partner and order various parts for an unfinished project – a 6.5x47 tactical rifle - just in time for my return to the UK in early May. As soon as I had recovered from the three-day trip back to the UK courtesy of the RAF, I headed off to York Guns to pick up the new Schmidt & Bender in 12-50x56. This is a custom-built scope which is fitted with a new reticule that I had worked on for the last eight months with the technicians at Schmidt & Bender to make the P4 reticule a little finer. I felt that this was necessary in order to make the really precise shots that would needed and also ‘hollow out’ the heavy black side-bars in the reticle so they become ‘see-through’ so to speak. This would assist spotting moving targets entering the field of view. S&B also made the turrets to ¼ MOA clicks and turn anti-clockwise for more elevation and the same with the windage to match a Leupold and other US built scopes that I am most familiar with.

only usable if the weather conditions permit but it also does away with the need for a separate spotting-scope. I have to admit, the quality of the S&B product range is outstanding in the field of optics. The focus at all magnifications snapped-in quickly - and more importantly clearly - into view. The turret clicks are very solid clicks, almost to the point of being hard to turn! After mounting it on the rifle, I used a grid pattern at 100 yards to verify that the scope tracked consistently - which it did - making solid adjustments in both windage and elevation. (See Oct 2009 Target Shooter for full review)

The scope is quite heavy at 1150 grams (2lb. 8oz). This is a bi-product of the ‘mil spec.’ build using a very thick body-tube but I’m more than happy to carry some extra weight in the knowledge that it will not fail at the first hard knock in the field. This was particularly relevant as, whilst I was working on it, I dropped the rifle and it landed on the rear eyepiece! This shattered the flip-up cover but the scope was otherwise un-marked I’ve never owned a Schmidt before - due to the and more importantly, function was un-affected. fact the top-end of the magnification range was only 25 power and, I also prefer a wider zoom The fit of the scope to the rifle is just as critical range. Yes, the 20 - 40 high-end magnification is as any other aspect of the project and indeed Target Shooter 29

skimping on rings would negate the quality of the whole build, so the rings I choose for this job were a new offering from US Optics, made from a combination of steel and aluminium and with a super-large bearing surface of ¾ inch, ensuring the scope would not be going anywhere under recoil. The second component I had to collect was a sound moderator. I have used a mod. on most of my rifles for the last eight years and find it much easier to shoot with one rather than without. Also, it’s big help in ‘health and safety’ department whilst surrounded by other shooters on the range. The reduced muzzle-flip helps you to see your round going into the target and helps speed up the follow-up shot. Both of these factors are relevant on land and in on-range competition. Lastly and maybe most importantly, it helps with my shooting technique. The reduction of felt recoil, noise and riflejump all help to overcome the dreaded

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Target Shooter

‘flinch’. The moderator in the photographs is a relatively new offering from SYSS (South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies). They have taken some of the best ideas in moderators and brought them together into one unit to give the best all round performance in all of the above areas. The mod follows the best of the present designs principles and comes in four parts: 1 The ‘spider’. This is the internal part of the unit (usually unseen except when stripped) that screws onto the end of your rifle and comes back over the barrel, this is also known as the ‘secondary’ expansion-chamber. It also holds the threaded bush that screws onto your rifle barrel and provides extra strength and support. 2 The ‘primary’ expansion-chamber tube. This is a tube that fits inside the moderator body-tube and locates the baffles. This also helps to strengthen the moderator body at a crucial pressure-point. The stainless-steel baffle stack. Five in total and all identical so they can be rotated if required. The end cap. This comes with a thoughtful gadget – a ‘key’ to help remove the end cap.

5

The aluminium external tube - or body - of the moderator. Another nice touch here was to knurl the exterior of the tube allowing extra grip with cold, wet or gloved hands.

3

4

Finally, moving onto the rifle itself, I have got to say after using the 6.5x47 Lapua built by Vince Bottomley for me in 2008, I am completely hooked on this small, low recoil, flat shooting little cartridge. So, with a 1 in 8.5 barrel blank from Bartlein Barrels USA and a new Surgeon action from SYSS, I set off to see gunsmith Andy Massingham. Andy is also a good friend and keen shooter and he has been building his own rifles as well as commissioned projects for several years and I’ve shot with him many times so I have seen what his handywork can do. So, I had no reservations in handing the build project to him. A few weeks later the barrelled-action, complete with a threaded crown and invisible thread protector, was ready for me. The stock was also a ‘no-brainer’. McMillan, in my opinion, produce probably the best stocks bar none and are used world-wide by police, military and civilians alike. The A5 Tactical I chose for this rifle is a multi layered fibreglass construction with a foam-filled core which makes sure there is no vibration or noise transmitted through the stock. The products used in the manufacturing process by McMillan mean that if some alterations are required for fitting the action to the stock or adjustments in the magazine well, they can be done easily with some basic tools. I fitted some

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31

quick-release sling swivel cups, these are great little gadgets that allow the sling to on and off in seconds just by pressing the plunger on the swivel, (also available from McMillan). The stock comes pre-inleted for the action and the trigger floorplate so the bottom-metal aftermarket floor-plate (another product from SYSS) drops straight in. This enables me to use the Accuracy International five and ten-shot magazines. So with all the work done and the parts assembled, I used titanium Devcon to bed the rifle action and the trigger floor-plate into the stock. Once done, this in effect welds the three parts (action, stock and floorplate) into one solid

part, ensuring that once the two action-screws are torqued to the correct foot-pounds, nothing will move. Due to the lack of time, the only thing that I wasn’t able to do was have the rifle painted but I will be paying a visit to Dave Wylde at SYSS to get the whole rifle finished in ether a Kryolon or a Duracoat overcoat when I get home next time but for now, having barely had time to obtain a decent load and zero the Schmidt & Bender, it’s off to Budapest and the Ninth Police & Military Sniper World Cup. More next month.

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Target Shooter

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

Introducing the first hunting and tactical scopes with 10 times power ratio on a variable scope. March 1x-10x-24mm and 2.5x-25x-42mm. 1/4” clicks and 25 MOA per revolution. All lenses in scopes are cemented in place, and do not rely on O rings to hold point of aim. Argon gas purged.
Kelbly 179mmX130mm 6/16/10 7:16 AM Page 1

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

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

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34 Target Shooter

Basic Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest Techniques

By Carl Boswell
I role an article like this out every so often to help remind myself most of all, but also others who are willing to read. It is particularly hard to write such an article as shooting technique for rimfire and air rifle benchrest can be quite individual. However the basics remain the same and this can be brought down to one key factor, which in essence is the same for most forms of shooting; be consistent in all that you do in preparation and while you are shooting – work always in the way you train and shoot. The notes below are ‘gleaned’ from a variety of shooters; some that have been researched and some who contributed ideas for this article. Can I thank them now for their time and effort. If I repeat myself here, in terms of things I have said before, I apologise now. Do have a think about what I am suggesting again! Preparing Equipment & Setting up the Rests • Set up your wind flags – Sometimes in competition we only have about fifteen minutes

Without windflags you may as well throw the bullets down the range Target Shooter 35

Think about your bag and rest - prepare them for the job at hand

to do this, and set up rifles, so training is paramount here to get it right! Flags will basically allow you to view that state

Bag alignment for good tracking is vital, seen her with a variety of rests

of the wind at any moment you are shooting. Have as many of these as you can use and spread them out at different distances between you and your target, either as a ‘tunnel’ or in the way you feel is best for you; these must be at the same height as your rifle and the same position each time so you get used to reading them in the same way for different conditions. Train as you would shoot in a competition. • The sand in the front rest should be evenly distributed in the bag; you can use a small piece of dowel to flatten it. This should to be checked every so often as the sand or medium will move. Both front and rear bags should be compact and tight. (Bang it down a few times to make sure that it is flat; possibly by gently slamming onto a wooden bench!) Some bags, often the cheaper ones, can become convex shapes at the base, so forcing the sand to flatten is imperative. I tend to use SEB bags now as they are one of the best out there and are a very good price. They fit all the requirements for benchrest shooting and can be obtained via Fox Firearms. • Bag alignment is really, really important!!! The rear bag must be in line and as straight as possible with the front bag at all times. I often use a cleaning rod to

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Placing your rifle in the bags is very important for good tracking
help me set up alignment, as this quickens the process and in quite accurate. Bag alignment will need to follow the centreline of the rifle stock, as the rifle recoil will follow the bag setup. The rear bag’s ears should be in alignment with the front rest’s rear leg and pointed at the target. Also make sure bags are placed on the bench in a comfortable position for you. Gently pat the legs of the front rest to ensure points are firm and stable.

Try to make sure this is as close to the front of the bench as possible. Use the level on the front rest to guide your setup; the front rest should be completely level on the bench. • The front bag needs to be adjusted to fit the rifle comfortably. This depends on if you have a bag or an adjustable rest. Whichever you have the front of the rifle should sit comfortably and track easily. The front bag should not be so tight that the rifle does not move as it is illegal in most rules but will also disadvantage accuracy. So while setting up the rests, you need to ensure the rifle will move in a straight line backwards and forwards; so use a very light tension when tightening the front bag adjustment screws, to allow easy indexing or tracking (The movement backwards and forwards in the set up rest and bags). This again needs a bit of experimentation until you get what you want. • You can use talcum powder, unscented, on leather bags or silicon spray on condura bags before placing the rifle in the rests; this allows a smoother slide back and forth and acts as a lubricant. The same can be A level on your rifle and achieved using Teflon tape attached to the your rest really helps front and rear of the stock – often called with setup. stock tape, funnily enough!!! • The rifle can now pressed down into the rear and front bags, which can be moulded

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This mariners wheel has now - not shown - been extended for better access and speedier use.

or shaped to take the form of the rifle. The front of the rifle should protrude about two inches from the front rest; the forend laying against the stop – this is important for consistency testing while you are shooting, so the rifle is always in the same place!! The rifle butt should be placed in the rear bag so it is level with the back of the rear bag, sitting comfortably in the whole of the rear bag. Again, experiment with these methods until you are happy with you setup. Remember, ‘everything works until it

doesn’t’! • Try not to place the rear bag too close to the pistol grip of the stock as this may cause vertical groups; the closer to the butt of the stock the better – for me it is at the very rear of the rifle. Positioning can be experimented and you will find what works for you. • The very end of the forend of the stock is possibly not a good place to put the front rest, as this can be a place on the stock that vibrates the most. The thing here is knowing your rifle

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 38 Target Shooter www.benchrest22.org

The speedscrew is a real must
so you can tune the best place to place the both bags. • I tend to use a bubble level on the rifle, as well as the rest, to indicate that the rifle is level and near the same aiming point when indexing or it has been subjected to recoil. • The stock can now be pushed and pulled through the bags testing for fit and indexing. The rear bag can be moved to line up the target if it is not in position. Index the rifle backwards and forwards until you are happy with the fact that the sights, and therefore the rifle, are returning to the same aiming point – take your time with this is you can! • As the bags and rest are now set up, they should not be moved again. If they do go out of alignment for any reason, then the procedure above should be followed; unless the match has started! Good tracking of the rifle is easy to observe and the easiest way is to view the crosshairs in the scope which should move in a vertical line up and down whilst indexing the rifle in the bags. Push and pull with your hands only and make sure the forend is against the stop on the rest each time you go to shoot! • Vertical movement is achieved with the mariners wheel and final adjustments with the rear leg screw or speedscrew; if you have one. My own rest now has the mariners wheel extended as this aids quick movement. The speedscrew for quick elevation is a must. (Some people use a range of joystick rests, like the SEB, but I have never got on with these – but they are good products). Set the rear front rest leg screw to a central position and adjust the mariner screw so the rifle is aligned with the center of the target. This will allow you to have a good range of movement on the rear leg screw or speedscrew up and down for fine adjustments. Remember after each shot the rifle is again slid forward and then backwards to check alignment, after loading the rifle is then pushed against the stop. • Once you have moved the mountain, as it were, and set all this up; stand behind your bench to confirm for yourself that everything looks aligned and the setup is centred. Also make sure handles are tight on the front rest. If you think of it you could use a marker pen to mark placements to hasten the setting up process and to ensure that if anything does move you can see where the original position was and move it back. • Try and attach a level to the rifle so that a check can be made each time you shoot that the rifle is vertical. Any cant will push the shot out into the black. Sequence of Shooting • Adjust the rear bag to ensure a straight smooth track of the cross-hair on the target from top to bottom. Look through the scope and adjust the

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Making sure you cross hair is aligned and returns to POA is imperative. Tracking and consistent placement of the rifle will help. Don’t forget to place the rifle against the rest stop front rest for elevation with the mariners wheel or smoothly from one row to another. It should not rear leg screw (speedscrew). Once on centre of be necessary to make left or right adjustments target lock the front post. with the rear leg of the front rest for the gun to • Index the rifle into the bags by sliding the gun track properly if it was set up first on the center back and forth. If the gun is properly aligned of the target, but if needs be this can be done. At the cross-hairs will be perpendicular to the 50m there is so little movement from side to side target (not canted) and the rifle will move (approx 6mm each way) on the overall target

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40 Target Shooter

Jamie Beyerle

Lots and lots of sighters on this 50m target. the more the better to get the ultimate score.
that it should not disrupt the alignment. If necessary to do this slide the gun back and forth while looking through the scope. Move the rest’s rear leg left or right until you are satisfied with the guns tracking correctly again. • Ensure you always place the forend of the rifle against the rest stop. • Place sight crosshairs on the sighter ten ring and adjust the rear screw or “speed screw” up and down. If the gun is setup properly the crosshairs will also track in a straight line when the rear speed screw is used. If it doesn’t minute left or right adjustment of the rear leg may be necessary. The second check on tracking is that when the rifle is moved back and forth on the bags, the crosshairs should return very closely to the original aiming point. • The basics are that the rifle should, when shot or tracked, “return to the point of aim” (POA). It should also do this in a straight line, with little jittering. You won’t get completely consistent return to POA with sandbags, but it won’t be far off, and if the bags are properly set up, it won’t take much to get you back to the aiming point. • Both tracking and bag/rest alignment should be checked before firing, but should remain true when firing. If they aren’t happening, check the position of the rear bag. When setting up a rear bag, lift the rifle so it will clear the ears, and wiggle it slowly left and right. The centered position, where you feel the least resistance, should be right over the groove in the rear bag. Lastly. Are you comfortable, with chair the right height, are you warm enough, etc; Being confident in yourself is also about how you feel, so don’t forget this and don’t rush it. Shooting from the Benchrest • Lots and lots of sighters; as you have a least five sighter blocks on most targets. I took lots of sighters in the recent European Championship, as I needed this to read the conditions. Some shooters spend a large amount of the 30 minutes available shooting sighters, watching conditions so they can emulate a good sighter into a good record shot. This works for me also! Also think about shooting a sighter every time you move from one row to the next! This takes a lot of discipline and practice. • Use a smooth trigger action - a deliberate

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stock even though it does ‘brush’ it ( add talcum to your right cheek as a precaution if you want to). During set up, try to make sure that the rifle will point back at the POA after recoil/tracking forward. You may wish to use the rear bag to adjust aiming point, but some people feel that there was too much room for error, even though rear bag-squeezing is traditional and used by many it is also much faster others say not to touch it at all. • Your setup, bags, rest and rifle will move; Light hold or free recoil - the choice is yours!!! and this is exaggerated by the scope when someone moves or if you are unlucky enough to practice next to someone shooting blackpowder for instance. Even small movements will be noticeable. A tighter front bag may help, but good tracking may be given up for this solution. If you have to contact with your shoulder and cheek use only the lightest touch, so that no pressure is exerted on the rifle. Another tip is use a bag of some sort to support your trigger hand so tiredness and excess movement does not transfer to the rifle. Ignoring all movement and sounds while shooting is vital. squeezing action not pulling. Technique is everything here, but work out what is best for Any minor movements because you are you and do it the same each time. Personally I startled, even by your own muzzle blast, will go for virtually no contact of the rifle apart from affect your shot. Try not to move any part of your body except your trigger finger when firing. As the trigger – lots of practice needed here. • Most resources on the web and a lot of someone said to me recently; lacking a pulse shooters will tell you to shoot ‘free-recoil’. This also helps as no movement is transferred to the means that everything is set up on the bags rifle. If you can pull this one off and shoot well and the only thing you touch when shooting is then you are lucky! the trigger. (The main drawback for this is you • After all this practice....... practice......... and need a very light trigger pull). Another method is again practice. Consistency with everything the light hold and is usually described as a little produces those elusive 10X’s… thumb pressure with the trigger hand, applied If I have missed anything out, I apologise. Again straight down. This can be hard to do with both this is meant to be the basics, as things can get consistent pressure and good trigger control, a lot more complicated when you start to read until practiced. In theory, from those in the wind, mirage, flags, ‘shooting off’, etc, etc. Not know, you shoot 10.5lb or Unlimited free recoil. all can be explained here, as it would be a book, In Sporter class you can allow your shoulder to probably written by better shooters than me. touch the stock, and wrap your fingers around Maybe in the next year we may have something the pistol grip. You just have to be consistent in along those lines as groups of people are talking about writing one at the moment. For the time what you do to be successful. • Other alternatives are to hold the rifle with your being good luck with your shooting and never non trigger hand; at the front or back to add ending experimentation. ‘weight’. This can cause poor shoots if you let These basic techniques do work, not only for me you non trigger hand steer the rifle instead of just but many other shooters. However you do have adding weight. Again a lot of practice if you do to decide what works for you. If you are getting high scores then stay with the technique that is this. • Touch only the trigger with the pad of your helping you achieve that. More importantly you trigger finger keeping your cheek off the can share it with the rest of us.

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Knowing your conditions Helps to keep your aim true

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BROCOCK AIM X PISTOLS

Tim as ever seriously putting products throught their paces.

by Tim Finley

Having been a fan of pistol shooting since I shot air powered pistols and even used them to win my first push in barrel pistol many, many years the odd FT and HFT pistol events, plus a few ago I have amassed a quite large collection of medals at Bisley with my Buckmark LBP rimfire

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pistol. Brocock are now an established name in the world of airgun manufacture. They have now come up with a series of precharged pneumatic air guns based upon a common power plant and basic design. This is nothing new as the old firm called Titan did it first back in the 1990’s, but Brocock have done it today with much more finesse. Titan then became Falcon which is still doing the same thing too. Back to Brocock and from a standard design of a rear end of a precharged pneumatic airgun action a whole range of air rifles and even pistols can be made. All share the same trigger unit and cylinder dia

with the length of the air reservoir being altered to suit each application, long for rifles and short for pistols, turning the trigger blade upside down is the trick used to get over the differing trigger positions needed with rifles and pistols. The breech block can be changed again to suit the rifle or pistol application. I first saw the prototype of the Brocock Aim X pistol back at the IWA show in Germany three years ago, the production models are now more refined and in this test I’ll be looking at the long and short versions of the Aim X. The short version is called the Atomic and as it name intimates at, it is a small pistol but mighty

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powerful. It is amongst the smallest PCP pistol made. I have a Titan MP six inch barrelled PCP air pistol and the Atomic about the same size. The long version is called the Grand Prix and is a real handful compared to the Atomic, this is despite being only 100 grams heavier and less than two inches longer. Both share the same wooden furniture, the stock/grip is held on by one screw in front of the trigger guard CHQ. The pistol grip itself is ambidextrous and has some laser cut checkering for a sure hold, with a nice fleur-de-lys pattern at its bottom of the panel CHQ. The walnut stock is shaped to form the trigger guard too, the stock has nice flowing lines and is comfortable on the aim. The air reservoir is in the normal place for PCP’s i.e. underneath the barrel. The end of

the compressed air cylinder has a screw off cap under which is a push fit quick fill coupling. There is a nice design touch followed on several parts of the Aim X. A spiral grove pattern has been machined around the dust cap for the quick fill and this pattern is also cut into the cocking bolt knob and the thread cap on the end of the barrel. Moving on to the cocking procedure, there is a small pressed steel lever on the rear right hand side of the breech block. Pushing this down releases the cocking bolt, which is under spring tension. It flicks back some 29mm to exit the pellet probe from the barrel. If needed a pellet can be loaded at this point before the weapon is actually cocked, which is a nice feature as long as you always remember you have loaded a pellet without cocking the action. The pistol does

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not have any other safety features, it can be de-cocked by holding back the bolt and pulling the trigger. The Atomic comes fitted with open sights, the rear of the breech block differs from the Grand Prix as it is machined higher than the front 11mm dovetail with the rear adjustable open sight screwed onto the top of it. On the Grand Prix it has a full 11mm scope dovetail along the top of the breech block and the rear open sight is clamped onto the back section of the rail. The Grand Prix can be bought without open sights and I can see any potential buyers of the Grand Prix for pistol events in Field Target and Hunter Field Target going for the none open sight option. For the chronograph tests on both pistols I filled them to 190 bar, the instruction manual states 200 bar is the maximum fill pressure but from experience I know if you fill to that max fill level the first dozen or so shots will be at a lower feet per second value, with a simple knock open valve system on a PCP you have to find the optimum fill pressure in order to get the first shots you get at the same relative speed as the ones twenty or thirty shots down the charge. Filling to the maximum fill pressure will only cause this dip in the first run of shots. You have to experiment with each individual PCP to find its own fill pressure to deliver the most number of shots with the least variation. It’s called finding the power curve of the compressed air powered airgun. Both of the guns on test were .177 calibre, the Atomic gave me 50 good shots within feet per second with

10.5 grain Bisley Magnum pellets. These were at the 4 and a half foot pounds mark Dropping the fill pressure down to 185 bar on the longer cylindered Grand Prix gave a better power curve with 20 feet per second variation and still at a pokey 5.5 foot pounds of power. The much smaller Atomic gave the same 50 shots but half a foot pounds or so down in power compared to the Grand Prix. For a .177 calibre pellet firing pistol it is not as efficient at .22 but the 50 shots for such a small gun is still very impressive. I have a Titan and a Daystate PCP pistol and the Atomic gives me more shots on its power curve than either of them. The two pistols on test did differ in one big way when it came to the barrels, on the Atomic the barrel is completely free floating ( meaning it is only held on to the gun by it’s fixing into the breech block. The Grand Prix has a barrel clamp, which also serves as the front post sights for the open sights. The barrel on the Atomic is a bigger diameter than the Grand Prix. This means the system for fitting a muzzle brake or moderator is totally different on both pistols. The Grand Prix has an external 10mm thread machined onto the outside of the barrel. It then has a ½ UNF adaptor which screws onto the barrel. The Atomic has a female thread turned into the end of the barrel, this is a ½ UNF female thread so a moderator with a male thread can just be screwed straight into the gun. If you have a more normal female threaded muzzle brake or moderator then Brocock have a ½ UNF female Target Shooter 47

Aim X Atomic at 10 yards

to male adaptor, this has the familiar angled slot pattern CNC’d around it’s diameter. When it came to range testing I took the two precharged pneumatic pistols out to my rimfire range rather then going up to my six yard loft range first. To shoot two such powerful pistols at six yards is no real test for them. I wanted to shoot them both at 10 yards, which is the range I zero my Field Target and Hunter Field Target pistols in at. On whose two disciplines targets can go out to 30 yards. With always a few 25 yard targets thrown in on every course of fire. I tested the Atomic first with its open sights, the front red fibre optic sight is protected by a hood, you may think this is a mistake as the point of a fibre optic sight is that it gathers the available light and shows a bright red (depending upon the colour of the fibre optic rod) dot to the shooter. Brocock have already thought of this by opening out the sides of the metal hood with long slots on either side of the hood. It did work very well and I was able to shoot a 18.9mm center-to-center five shot group at ten yards with the Atomic using 6.8 grain Hobby flat headed match pellets. I fitted a Hawke red dot sight then and found as I expected the group sizes come down markedly. The Grand Prix gave me 17.2mm center-tocenter five shot groups with Bisley Magnum 10.5 grain pellets. Fitting the red dot optical sight brought it down to a very respectable 12mm at 10 yards. The better groups with the Grand Prix were most likely down to a few factors. The 48 Target Shooter

Grand Prix has a longer barrel, this may or may not aid accuracy but the longer sight base for the open sights most certainly does help with accuracy. The Atomic is still an accurate pistol and its shorter action is easy to handle over long shooting sessions. All the shooting I did was with a two handed grip, I found the stocks\grips very comfortable and a left-handed shooting mate of mine confirmed they are ambidextrous. He also found a new grip with the butt of the pistol grip in the palm of his hand and a supporting finger on the flat underside of the trigger guard section of the wooden stock. Brocock also sent one of their new Wraith moderators this has the same pattern of radial slanted slots which form a common theme on of the AimX pistol range. I found it a very good moderator indeed, it has been designed by Brocock themselves and has a very clever baffle system. Why should you need a moderator on a target pistol, well for at least two reasons. You can practice in your garden or in my case my loft range without annoying anyone with the crack of the air discharge. Also the added weight at the front is favoured by some pistol shooters as an aid to holding a very stable sight picture while on the aim. The factory set trigger pull on the Grand Prix was more than the Atomic but both trigger let off’s were very predictable. I can see the plain trigger blade of the AimX’s being replaced by brass one’s. I will get Pete Dutton to come up with a flat blade with which I can adjust the angle to the pad of

Aim X Grand Prix open and red dot sights

my finger. Both pistols have a black alloy blade which has four holes machined into it’s face, I presume to give a texture to the blades surface or I could be wrong and it may be a small attempt at weight saving. Of the two marks there is very little to choose in terms of accuracy, I myself decided to buy an Atomic as it’s diminutive dimensions appeal to me and the power levels of 4 ½ foot pounds is more than adequate for FT/HFT events. I can shoot it with the very good open sights or fit a red dot. I fitted a short plastic Sound Biter moderator to mine, again to try and keep the size and overall weight of the pistol down. If a high shot count is what you are after then a Grand Prix in .22 calibre would be the way to go. For FT and HFT then a .177 is the best bet, again the Grand Prix will have the slight edge on the shot count but it is a bigger gun. Brocock have come up with a winning combination in the two pistols, either way you will have a top quality PCP pistol. Specification Distributor - Brocock 01527 527800 Model - Aim X Atomic Type - Precharged Pneumatic pistol Barrel length - 200mm (8 ”) Calibre - .177 or .22 ( .177 on test ) Action - Single shot, bolt cocking Sights - Open, adjustable. Front fibre optic Trigger - Two stage adjustable Trigger pull weight - 594g ( 1lb 5oz)

Overall length - 315mm ( 12 3/8”) Weight - 1.3Kg (2lb 13oz) Price - £ 250 rrp Model - Aim X Grand Prix Type - Precharged Pneumatic pistol Barrel length - 250mm (9 3/4 ”) Calibre - .177 or .22 ( .177 on test ) Action - Single shot, bolt cocking Sights [- Open, adjustable. Trigger - Two stage adjustable Trigger pull weight - 998g ( 2lb 3oz) Overall length - 365mm ( 12 3/8”) Weight - 1.4Kg (3lb) Price - £ 270 rrp (£295 when fitted with open sights)

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Iron Plate Action Shooting – Action Air Shooting’s 1911 Pistol

by Vince Bottomley
The 1911 Colt is a design masterpiece and Umarex and AAS do it full justice Last month, we had a look at the discipline of delays, it arrived. Iron Plate Action Shooting which came about as a result of an e-mail from Mark at Action Air Wow, was I impressed on opening that parcel. Shooting. Would we like to try a hopped-up 1911 The 1911 was uncannily similar to the one stolen from me (by the Government) in 1995 pistol? The pistol that Mark described in his e-mail – right down to the matt-black finish, polished sounded too good to be true – especially to slide, beavertail grip-safety, red-dot sight etc. someone who thinks the Colt 1911 to be the etc. Weight-wise, it was bob-on and it was most perfect semi-auto pistol ever designed! great to feel a 1911 in my hands again. The A package was soon negotiating its way to my red-dot mount was far better than my old one, home address via the fiasco which masquerades with a mount that incorporated a well-placed as the Post Office but eventually, after a few thumb-rest on the left, which provided a really steady grip with the standard Colt synthetic grips. The box also contained another strange item which wasn’t at all familiar – a holster. But it didn’t look anything like a holster – not my old holster anyway! There were also some magazines, a box of 177 pellets and a bag of Co2 canisters. One thing the box didn’t contain was a set of instructions but I suppose I’m flattered that Andy assumed I’d figure it out on my own! I soon sussed out how to Target Shooter 51

Could be 1995 again!

The 8-shot magazines resemble a tiny revolver cylinder and work in much the same way

charge the tiny rotary eight-round magazines and it only took me a few seconds to access the breech – press the 1911 slide-release catch and the slide snaps forward to open the breech. Each magazine is similar in operation to a tiny revolver cylinder and easily drops in place. I was a bit ‘fumbly’ at first but I would guess that the IPAS guys and gals will do a mag. change in about five seconds! Now we need some ‘air’. I found a ‘door’ - where the base of the magazine would be – it opens but although I knew it was something to do with the Co2 cylinder, I didn’t know what. Eventually, I found that the grip had to be removed to insert the cylinder. Once inserted, the cylinder is held tight against the valve with a thumb-screw so that when the ‘door’ is closed it pierces the cylinder. We are ready to go! The pistol is designed to be shot ‘double-action’ and the grip and trigger was so good that it wasn’t difficult to do this and I was surprised by

my grouping on a target at 15m. Of course, there is no recoil but the pistol makes a satisfying ‘bop’ on firing so no need for muffs but eye-protection must be worn as pellets do fly back towards the shooter occasionally. By this time, a few interested club members had gathered so it was time to let a few others have a go. How long would the air last? Mark recommended changing cylinders every 25 shots but we were able to play much longer but eventually we noticed that the pellets weren’t properly penetrating the paper target. One member produced his own Co2 target pistol – single-shot, iron sights – the ‘dogs’ but amazingly, I was unable to better my grouping with the 1911 – and that was shooting rapid-fire double-action! This is one user-friendly pistol and I can imagine that those who enjoy this discipline can put in some fast and accurate shooting. You-tube video - http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=07hscQq-ha4&feature=related & pop in the mag.

Open the slide.... 52 Target Shooter

Changing Co2 cylinders involves flipping off the right-hand grip and opening the ‘door’ on the base of the grip. Closing the door pierces the cylinder.

Of course, Iron Plate Action Shooting is exactly what it says – dinging steel plates against the clock – far more satisfying than punching paper. Unfortunately my little rimfire range didn’t have any steel plates but I did and it was great to shoot this little gun at home, in my garden, unencumbered by the rules and regulations surrounding firearms. In November – Sunday the 21st to be precise – the National IPAS Championships will be taking place at Sywell Range, Northampton Shooting

Ground, just off the A43, post code NN6 9TE. If you have any aspirations to try this fascinating new sport, a visit to these Championships would be a good starting point. Now, although there is a vast array of Co2 pistols out there, this one is a bit special. Umarex of Germany are one of the better makes and in addition to being a very authentic replica both in terms of weight and appearance (it’s made under license with the blessing of Colt), it has

Up to this point I hadn’t tried the Ghost holster and belt and to be honest, this needed more sussing-out than the pistol. It’s clearly ‘sate of the art’ for action shooting but apart from posing for the pic, I decided that far more practice was needed before I could make proper use of this in a ‘quick-draw’ mode – the last thing I wanted to do was drop the 1911! Target Shooter 53

The target on the left was shot by me at 15m – eight shots, double action in about 20 seconds! The right-hand target was shot using a dedicated single-shot Co2 target pistol.

also had the benefit of an Action Air tune-up. This involves completely stripping the pistol and reworking many of the parts and fitting various custom-made bits to turn the gun into a matchwinning competition race-gun. You can see some of the new parts from the pictures - the compensator, beaver-tail grip-safety, over-size Co2 release, red-dot sight mount etc. Other bits you can’t see improve the gas flow and trigger

and general functioning of the pistol. Air Action Shooting only supply complete guns and do not do tune-ups on existing guns, preferring to work with a brand-new guns to avoid existing issues in old guns that may be present. Check out the sales flyer for both the Colt and the Smith revolver, it details the work AAS do plus prices etc - from Action Air Shooting Tel:+4420 8808 4847

OK, OK – I’m not wearing eye protection and I should be – even if I am just posing for the camera! 54 Target Shooter

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Website of the Month

Shoot Review is a community run website that allows you, the reader, to write a review about your array of manufacturers and models to select from, favourite shooting grounds and guns – what a first!! with details of each model provided for the viewer. The club side of things needs to be worked There is an online database of shooting clubs, all on a little, but this is down to all of us to submit types of firearms and accessories to fit any ones information to this steadily growing resource. We needs. The website even lets you comment on know what it is like trying to get clubs to submit articles that have been written and for you to supply information for this magazine. So come one and your own comments – nice one!! Links are also come all and help fellow shooters out! Regional supplied to the websites pages on Facebook maps have now been incorporated into the and Twitter pages – oh how the world of digital process of selecting clubs which is an excellent media has grown over the last few years to help feature. the shooter. There are a number of resources on this website which you would have to pay for, especially thinking The website is well thought out, supported by of some CD’s that are on the market. What’s more appropriate advertisers and ‘does what it says on important is you can leave your own views on the the tin.’ Obviously it needs our support as target reviews that are written for the website – nice feature. shooters so this is your chance to support a good Mark the owner of the site has done a superb job digital product that genuinely has our interests at this year in developing this website and it is very heart. much worth a look. Again it is about supporting what Readers can search for firearms and there is a vast is out there, so let’s have a look. Until next month.

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HANDLOADING BENCH - 90gn BULLETS IN THE .223 REMINGTON (Part 1)

By Laurie Holland

Above - Can .223 Rem hack it against .308W in long-range F/TR matches as here on Bisley’s famous Stickledown Range during last year’s European F-Class Championship meeting? I’ve long been fond of the little Remington number an 11.8” (300mm) long 0.25” (6.35mm) dia. steel and am now on my third and fourth rifles rod with a short smaller diameter section on the chambered for it, with number five coming along end that is pushed into the action. It comes with soon. The quartet’s past and present members two stepped steel collars that are locked into embrace four barrel twist rates – one inch in 12”, position on the rod with thumbscrews, and a 9”, 8” and 7” for very different bullet weights and two-inch (50mm) long 0.7” (18mm) dia. Delrin lengths. The fastest twist-rate belongs to the body that fits most receivers (other sizes available Savage 12 PT, McRees stocked F/TR rifle built for smaller dia. actions such as some Sako/ to handle inch and a quarter length 90gn Berger Tikka models). Operation is simple and quick VLDs, and whose concept and build were requiring the rifle with bolt removed, bullet, described over the August to October issues fired case with spent primer still in situ, and a of TargetShooter. I had intended to cover cleaning rod (to knock the bullet out of the leade). handloading the cartridge in all its guises in a The bullet is dropped nose first through the action major series starting next year using three rifles and chamber to lodge in the leade, use of a and loading bullets as varied as the 36gn Barnes cleaning rod guide recommended to set it in ‘Varmint Grenade’ and 90gn Berger VLD, but such straight. The tool body is then inserted into the has been the interest aroused by the Savage F/ rear of the action and its locating pin turned down TR rifle’s long-range performance that I’ve been into the bolt handle recess. The rod is inserted prevailed upon to do an early report on loading through the body, small diameter section leading the 90s. and pushed forward until it contacts the bullet base, and a collar slid along the rod until it contacts More COAL the rear face of the tool body to be locked into But first, I promised last month that I’d look at the position. The assembly is now removed from the Sinclair International Seating Depth Gauge to rifle, the bullet knocked out, and replaced by the finish off my look at these tools. This neat device fired case. The gauge is reinserted into the action uses the same principle as Vince Bottomley’s after sliding the second collar onto the rod in front cleaning rod plus collars, but works from the rear of its partner. The rod is pushed up against the end of the barrelled action. The tool consists of case-head, held there, and that collar also locked

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The Sinclair Seating Depth gauge, a simple but effective tool for identifying the COAL that puts a bullet into the lands down abutting the gauge body. You now take Onto .223R two measurements with callipers – the distance So let’s make a start with the mouse-gun cartridge between the collars and the bullet length – and in this extreme form covering rationale, metallic add them together to get the COAL of that bullet components and loading methods this month; when seated into the lands, adding or subtracting component sorting and preparation, propellants, a little to take it out of the leade on a loaded round, powder weighing, loads and results next. I or seated to be jammed a little deeper in when covered the rationale in Part 1 of ‘Breaking The using VLDs. I tried it out on the Savage F/TR rifle Mould’ three issues back, but I’ll summarise and compared it to the results from recalculating it as attempting to obtain .308 Winchester the COAL using the Hornady / Stoney-Point long-range ballistics (wind drift values and retained gauge and modified case method described last 1,000yd velocity) while only producing a quarter month. This gave an in-the-lands COAL of 2.709” of the larger F/TR contender’s recoil and torque. for a Berger 90gn VLD against a reading for that Setting ballistics objectives was easy as the two same bullet of 2.696” from the Stoney-Point tool. 90gn Berger bullets have readily identifiable high The 0.013” difference most likely arises two ways: performing 0.308” match bullet equivalents. dropping the bullet into the leade through the rod Bryan Litz calculates average G7 BCs of guide likely sees it seat itself a few thou’ deeper 0.262 and 0.281 for the twenty-two calibre BT into the rifling than pushing it in gently with the Long-Range and VLD models respectively, values Stoney-Point’s pushrod, and the difference that closely match those of two recently introduced between the length of the fireformed case high-performance Berger BT Long-Range 0.308s measured by the Sinclair tool and that of an in 175gn and 185gn weights with BCs of 0.264 unfired modified SAAMI spec case in the and 0.287. So, with the 90gn 0.224” VLD’s BC a Hornady / Stoney-Point gauge, making the mere 2% lower than that of the thirty calibre 185gn former a bit more accurate. Incidentally, with 1,089 – a difference that may be accounted for by the rounds through the barrel, it was more than time accuracy parameters of the test methods anyway to recalculate seating depths to counter throat – we can assume that their relative performance erosion, this measured as 0.021” from new – on the range depends upon the MVs that the smaller than expected given an almost exclusive cartridges can give them. Why thirty calibre, and diet of 90gn bullets and maximum loads of why focus on the 185gn Berger BT L-R? F/TR double-base powders, and pretty well in line with is limited to .223R and .308W, the latter used by that expected from a .308 Win TR rifle on a diet of all bar one (me) of the 46 registered GB F-Class 155gn 2,950 fps loads. Association shooters who have submitted an F/ TR score in a national league round this year. 60 Target Shooter

High BC 0.224” match bullets against ballistically equivalent 0.308s. Left: 80gn Berger VLD paired with the 155.5gn BT FULLBORE – .22 Cal 80s can only compete marginally with the best .308W 155gn loads, and that at shorter ranges. Centre: 90gn Berger VLD and 185gn Berger BT L-R – well matched in the two cartridges if .223R can produce high enough velocities. Right: Berger 210gn 0.308” VLD – there is no ballistically equivalent 0.224” bullet
The 0.308” Berger 185gn BT L-R is currently the most popular choice amongst the top contenders making it an excellent baseline in any comparison. My own .308W 185gn BT L-R load runs at just under 2,800 fps with excellent accuracy, but I have heard of MVs approaching 2,900 fps from others, so the target MV from the 90gn VLD in .223 Rem is defined as being in the 2,750 to 2,900 fps range – as always subject to good accuracy (0.4-MOA or smaller five round groups) and small velocity spreads (20 fps or less). How does .223R/90 compare to the .308W with various bullet weights and models? Table 1 lists comparative BCs for the two 90gn Bergers against a few outstanding 0.308” designs. To summarise, .223/90 beats any .308/155 load hands down ballistically, can realistically be expected to match .308W loads using mid weight bullets, but will fall behind the .308W loaded with new generation high-BC 208-210gn VLD type bullets in maximum loads that give 2,550 fps and higher M|Vs. However, these very heavy models incur penalties, particularly additional recoil and torque, so as always it’s about getting the optimum mix that suits rifle and shooter, and this is not necessarily the same for everybody. Pros & Cons Table 2 lists my estimation of ‘pros and cons’ of ultra-heavy bullet .223R against .308W. The economy argument is mixed as Lapua .223R brass is more expensive than .308W (£57.83 per 100 v £47.95) and may not last as many firings in equivalently heavy loads. American shooters mostly use Winchester brass and my previous experience of this cheaper make is fairly good, but recent Lapua ‘Match’ headstamped examples re o utstandingly onsistent, ’ll trongly a s o c I s recommend you buy them if that’s at all possible. They probably have stronger case-heads and web areas too than most American makes, so will take more abuse before primer pockets slacken. Bullets and powder provide a good saving, although the former depends on make and model of course. The RRP for the two 90gn Bergers is £32 / 100 compared to £47 for heavier Berger 0.308s, but competing Sierra and

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40% reduction and potentially significant for the high volume competitor. The big question mark is barrel life both for the cartridge’s utility and per-round cost. Based on early .223/90 experience involving the 90gn Sierra MK and its recommended 1-6.5” twist, plus the chambers used in US Service Rifle AR15s, barrels went ‘sour’ at low round-counts as soon as the throat saw significant wear and tear. The problem is the high length to calibre ratio of these projectiles, the 90gn VLD running at an exceptional 5.6 calibres length compared to 4.4 for the 0.308” 185gn BT L-R, or 3.7 for the original 155gn Sierra Palma MK. The argument goes that the higher the length to calibre ratio, the more important the throat configuration and condition in ‘setting the bullet up’ in the rifling and the greater the sensitivity to any problem in this area. Note though that the longest of the thirty cal 210gn VLDs has a length to calibre ratio of five, so this may be an issue with the most ballistically efficient .308W loads There are only three 90gn 0.224” bullets too. Both cartridges are run with very ‘hot’ loads currently available in the UK. Left to right: anyway in long-range F/TR, which when allied to Sierra MK, Berger BT Long-Range, and target ring sizes half the diameter of those used Berger VLD in Fullbore and Target Rifle disciplines sees much Hornady models are not as expensive. .223R shorter barrel ‘accuracy life’ than traditionally uses around 20gn less powder per cartridge, a expected with either cartridge.

It is important to use Lapua .223 Rem brass that is sold as ‘match’ to get the high-capacity version of the case as well as match quality case to case consistency

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These are both ‘Match’ cases, the recently manufactured version on the left is headstamped as such and seems to have slightly greater capacity
The reference to small bullet holes refers to target marking problems especially if the target centre becomes badly shot up and heavily patched. I had my last shot in a 30-round regional ‘Open’ match marked as a ‘miss’ recently. Well, maybe I did miss, or the bullet broke up in flight, or whatever! Actually no, as the marker (a friend and very reliable individual) told me afterwards that he saw the bullet strike the backstop sand and it was ‘right in the group’ so confidently expected to find the shot in the four-ring at least – but neither he nor the Butts Officer could find it and no hole equals no score. This is a fact of life in shooting small calibre rounds in competition, and you have to come to terms with it happening occasionally, trusting competition organisers to provide a generous supply of target centres to the markers, which they should do for F-Class competitions as a matter of course anyway. The final issue is getting the .223 to shoot well and produce small MV spreads. This applies to

Luvverly brass – Lapua’s .223R is more expensive than its .308W, but is better made in the writer’s opinion

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finicky than .308W. A downside of small powder charges is that any variation has a considerable effect on pressures and velocities, charges running at ±0.1gn consistency likely producing a 25 fps MV spread from this cause alone and a 0.3gn total weight spread running at 1.2% of my long-range match load charge weight in the cartridge compared to 0.65% in my equivalent .308W/185 load. Metal Bits Let’s put bullets out of the way. There are only three 90gn 0.224s available in the UK at the moment: a Sierra MK and the aforementioned Bergers. The SMK has a slightly lower BC than the Berger BT Long-Range model at 0.256 (G7), but more significantly has a reputation for breaking up in flight if driven at the sorts of speeds we’re aiming for. For various reasons, it appears to be very barrel throat sensitive affecting accuracy and whether it stays in one piece all the way to the target. Both Berger models appear to be exceptionally well made with very little bearing surface length variation Forster bushing-bump die set with Ultra seen when measured in callipers fitted with Competition micrometer seater (for the .308W ‘comparators’, produce small weight variations, as it happens) and have nicely and consistently formed noses / tips with small meplat (hollow-point) the cartridge when loaded with any of the heavier match bullets and not just 90s. I reckon it takes diameters. The other manufacturer which much more time and effort to get everything just produces a 90-grainer in this calibre is right for F/TR competition, .223R being more Swampworks with its JLK bullet range http://www. swampworks.com/jlk/ with a single VLD design.

The bushing-bump die sizes the neck and also resets the shoulder position, this determined by using a Hornady L-N-L / Stoney-point headspace gauge on a fully fireformed case and setting it back 0.001-0.002”

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Using two .22 calibre ‘bullet comparators’ to measure a 90gn Berger VLD’s bearing section length. Out of the box consistency is exceptional in these bullets – a bonus for long-range shooting
Looking at the manufacturer’s list of dimensions, it is a little shorter overall than the Berger equivalent with a marginally longer bearing section, both having 18-cal radius nose sections, so should perform similarly. I know that someone in the trade is hoping to import JLK match bullets in various calibres, so this model may become available here in the future. (Norman Clark has imported some in the past and has the odd JLK model still in stock too.) I’ve already said I use Lapua brass throughout, starting with some older examples previously fired once or twice in another rifle and left pretty well as Lapua made them. They are only employed in initial load development with recently purchased examples which have been fully ‘prepped’ and sorted used exclusively in final testing and matches. One has to be a little careful with this manufacturer’s .223R cases as it used to make a thick-walled military specification version for handloaders which had a significantly smaller capacity which increases pressures substantially as well as restricting usable powder charges and velocities. It then switched to a thinner-wall, higher-capacity version dubbed ‘Match’, but this word only initially appeared on the carton. Current brass is headstamped ‘Match’, so if you’re offered any Lapua .223R cases without this word on the case-head ask to see the box, and if this isn’t possible be wary. My long-range match-round cases come from three recent manufacturing lots which vary slightly in their neck thickness, but are extremely consistent within each lot in most of their key features. After fireforming in my chamber, they have an ‘overflow water capacity weight’ of 30.6gn which according to the 6mmBR. com ‘.223 Info Page’ section on handloading the cartridge puts them right at the top of a list produced some years back of .223R case capacity by make (http://www.6mmbr. com/223Rem.html). These recent ‘Match’ headstamped cases also have a slightly higher capacity than I found on the earlier ‘Match’ but not so headstamped examples, so appear to be particularly thin-walled lots. This may seem arcane and academic, but is very important in loading this small capacity cartridge to the limit with such heavy bullets – and avoiding problems caused by excessive pressure. The other metallic component is the primer, and small rifle magnum or benchrest types are essential in any reasonably warm .223 Rem load, not just in 1,000yd 90gn examples. Standard Small Rifle primers use 0.020” thick brass cups, while Magnum and BR versions are 0.025”. You will crater or even pierce standard primers such as the CCI-400 and Remington 6½ in .223 Rem with loads that produce normal working through

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Like many small cased cartridges, .223R is primer-sensitive. Laurie has had good results from PMC and CCI Magnum primers, but the CCI-BR4 seems too ‘hot’ for the powder charge size
maximum pressures (55,000-60,000 psi). These thin-walled models were designed for early small calibre centrefire cartridges such as the .22 Hornet and .218 Bee that employ low pressures by today’s standards. You might get away with them in the .222 Rem, but not anything hotter. I’ve used Russian made PMC SR Magnums and the CCI-450 equivalent throughout. (The PMC is marketed as ‘Wolf’ in North America and is no longer available in the UK, sadly.) I’ve found this pair to give very similar results and regard them as virtually interchangeable. Conversely, comparative primers tests in .223/90 with the CCI-BR4 benchrest model gave noticeably different results – 50 fps + MV rise, significantly larger MV spreads and bigger groups even after powder charges were adjusted to reduce velocities. I believe that the BR4, in my lot at any rate, is ‘too hot’ for the .223R and its 24-27gn powder charges and should be restricted to larger cartridges such as the PPCs, BRs and 6.5X47 Lapua. Priming was done throughout with hand tools for their sensitivity, initially the Lee Auto-Prime, more recently the excellent 21st Century Shooting model described in the News section in last month’s issue that really lets you ‘feel the primer in’ with a little extra pressure to tension its anvil. Tools I’ll defer describing case sorting and preparation tasks to next month’s issue when I cover loads and results and briefly describe my loading practices and tools. My older load development brass was initially full-length sized in a Hornady New Dimensions sizing die set so that shoulders were only just pushed back enough to give easy chambering before trimming them back to 1.750” in an L. E. Wilson ‘lathe-type’ tool. Firing this cartridge with full pressure loads and full-length

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after FL sizing, not as they come out of the rifle – important as the latter often deceives. After sizing, they fitted the Savage’s minimum-SAAMI 90gn 0.224” Bullets’ Ballistics Comparison with 0.308” Models  chamber well with only a little resistance to final bolt opening and primary extraction from being marginally oversize in the web area – but no 0.224” 90gn Berger BT Long‐Range (0.262 G7 / 0.512 G1)  problem for this application. Lapua 155gn Scenar (0.236 / 0.462)  New ‘Match’ headstamped cases were inspected Sierra 175gn MK (0.243 / 0.475)  and found to be in excellent condition, not a dent, scratch, or nick to be seen, so were not full-length Berger 175gn VLD (0.255 / 0.498)  sized. Checking lengths showed them to be at the bottom of the allowable 1.750-1.760” range Berger 175gn BT L‐R (0.264 / 0.515)  with tiny (0.001”) case to case variations, so   trimming was not needed. They were sized before use however, with the die that has been used on them throughout, a Forster Bushing-Bump 0.224” 90gn Berger VLD (0.281 / 0.551)  model, a neck-sizer type that employs interchangeable bushings available in 0.001” diameter increments and also regulates the Lapua 155gn Scenar (0.236 / 0.462)  case-shoulder position, in this case adjusted in Berger 185gn VLD (0.281 / 0.549)  the press to set shoulders back by 0.001” from hard contact with the front of the chamber – Berger 185gn BT L‐R (0.287 / 0.560)  not as though this is an issue with new brass it usually having six to eight thou’ headspace in my Sierra 190gn MK (0.270 / 0.527)  chamber before fireforming. Necks were sized down a little more than needed, then expanded Sierra 200gn MK (0.285 / 0.557)  back out using a Sinclair E22 mandrel in that Sierra 210gn MK (0.316 / 0.619)  company’s expander die body ready for neck sizing each time – as I had to do for my turning, but also giving near ideal tension on the   straight-pull Southern Gun Co. SSR-15 – sees bullet for the first loading. cases grow rapidly with trimming needed every two or three cycles. Always measure your cases To be continued next month.
Table 1 

Table 2  .223 Rem – Pros and Cons v .308W         Pro  Very light recoil and torque (around a  quarter of .308W’s)  Economical – cheaper bullets, less  powder  Lighter barrel profile acceptable  (increasing weight allowance available  for scope and bi‐pod etc)  Equal accuracy to .308W  More development potential to come?  (ie .223R development as a Palma / F‐ Class long‐range cartridge is recent and  limited compared to that of .308W.)  Exceptionally consistent and efficient  Berger bullets.        Con  Finicky to load. Difficulty getting MV  spreads down  Query over barrel accuracy life due to  super‐long bullets  Small holes in target  Small case capacity requires great care in  load development and handloading to  avoid overloading   Cannot match ultimate .308W loads’  ballistic capabilities (210gn VLDs)  Less bullet choice (only two models at  present) 

    

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The IPC Shooting World Cup at Stoke Mandeville October 2010

by Olivia Delamere
The Great Brain team achieved outstanding The first event was a Falling Target competition, success at the recent IPC Shooting World Cup similar to the shooting discipline in Biathlon, at Stoke Mandeville. where the competitor has 2.5 minutes to hit five

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discs. In the SH1 Category, Matt Skelhon won the first gold of the day and Karen Butler took the bronze medal. Lotta Helsinger of Sweden was the silver medallist. Matt Skelhon said, “it’s a great feeling to win the first medal at a disability shooting event held in Britain. The fact that it’s a gold makes it even more satisfying. I hope that this will be the first of many at this event for the Great Britain Team.” The GB Disability team had more success on Friday. Di Coates won the gold in the R2 Air Rifle Standing event for women with Lotta Helsinger (SWE) in second place and Monica Lillehagen (NOR) taking the bronze. Di, who has competed in seven Paralympic Games said, “I am fully focused in my attempt to compete in my 8th Paralympics in 2012. This event has given all of the GB team a taste of what it will be like to compete in a top level event on home soil”. In the R1 10m Air Rifle Standing competition for men, Nathan Milgate came first with Werner Muller (AUS) and Norbert Gau (GER) in second and third place respectively. The final British medal of the day was yet another gold, this time won by Rob McLeary in the R4 10m Air Rifle standing (mixed). He beat Victoria Wedin (SWE) and Tanong Chanan (THA). On day three, in the 10m Air Rifle Prone R3 mixed SH1, Matt Skelhon took the gold for Britain with Monica Lillehagen (NOR) taking the silver and Kazimier Mechula (DEN) coming third. Matt, gold medal winner in this category for

the Beijing Olympics said, “Its a great feeling to win my third R3 gold of the year. It makes it even more sweet to win in my home country, in front of my family. I am as motivated as ever in my shooting and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to defend my title on home soil at the Paralympic Games London 2012.” Another medal was won for Great Britain in the 10m Air Rifle Prone R5 Mixed SH2 with Adam Fontain taking the bronze. Jonas Andersen (DEN) taking the gold and Viktoria Wedin (SWE) taking the silver medal. Adam, 20 from Basildon, said “I’m delighted to win a medal at this world cup and play a part in the success of the GB team. Our medal hall proved that Britain is a force to be reckoned with. ” The IPC Shooting World Cup reached its conclusion on Sunday 3rd October with the Air Pistol Competitions. In the in the P1 event, the Gold medal was won by Bordin Sornsriwickai of Thailand won the gold medal, with Poland’s Filip Rodzik in 2nd place and Gyula Gurisatti of Hungary in the bronze medal position. Team GB had two competitors in the Final, Chris Summerscales and Adrian Bunclark. In the Women’s P2 Air Pistol competition there was further success for the Great Britain team, with Jean Guild getting the silver medal and Pam Grainger taking Bronze. This took the GB medal haul to a total of 14 for the whole competition (6 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze).

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World Cup Success 2010
- 12/12 Gold medals in 50m events - Warren Potent equals world record in Prone with ELEY Tenex - Total of 37 medals won using ELEY in World Cups 1, 2 and 3

Champions shoot Tenex
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This Smallbore Business

By Don Brook
Continuing on from the original article, where I addressed the relaxation resulting from progressive muscle relaxation being a home based exercise, the next segment still under relaxation response is that of relaxation by imagery. You must understand that even those with highly developed superior intelligence, are still only using a fraction of the power within the human mind. Rifle shooting, and particularly small bore, have a dependence on mind control to register the really high scores that consistently win a prone rifle match. Relaxation by imagery is just one of the mind facets that a small bore shooter can develop to benefit the fight against any form of competition anxiety. Once this problem is recognised within the structure of the match, a prone rifle shooter is able to employ the methods to alleviate any form of developing anxiety. In the case of the sudden realisation that “Hey, I can win this match !” whereupon the anxiety register can elevate drastically…. So badly that it becomes a physical problem with a hold that suddenly reaches .7 on the Richter scale. The pulse rate also goes through the roof, and this exacerbates the hold problems, combined with the Fear of Failure (FOF) as the mind elements go berserk.. Learning the mental skills that deals with this problem, is totally controlled by mental gymnastics that are very closely related to relaxation. You simply relax by thinking about this! In my own case, I learned this skill once again from my Sports Psychologist, and I reckon that this skill opened the door to the really big stuff in my small bore prone shooting. I developed a “key” to relaxation by imagery when the spots psyche indicated that every shooter has the ability to relax firmly already set into the mind simply by recalling something from their lifetime that facilitated the ability to relax. There are many available, in what ever is assembled by imagery, and this applies to all. In my own case, I was standing on the banks of Lake Porirua in New Zealand, when I saw a quite large Pelican glide past. This Pelican seemed to be etched in space about 30cm above the mirror smooth surface of this magnificent scenery, as he glided past me. The only thing moving on this Pelican was the fletch feathers on his outstretched wings as he majestically flew past me. He just swished past, reflected in the smooth surface of the lake, and then put his webbed feet into the water, and with hardly a ripple settled onto the surface. I was moved by this, as he paddled off. I have been able to re run this “mind stuff” at will, and often use the image when the anxious moments develop in a performance. I just calm down, relax, and “see” the way through a dilemma. “Percy” Pelican has long been a part of what I do! Like I said above there are many examples. Some like to use the imagery of standing in the cool water of a stream, or in the eddies of the surf at the seaside. Some imagine the effects of oil flowing, warming the legs as it slips down to the feet. Or the coolness of falling snow, the quiet stare in the eyes of the family cat, or dog, be it whatever contributes to relaxation. Many also bring to mind family members, the image of a favourite Son, or Daughter. Imagery plays a huge part in the formation of a successful shooter, and is developed further when the goals are also encased in their own imagery segments of “Mind Stuff”. This is what I mean when I say that you win the matches in the preceding weeks, then go out the match day and prove you have done the work. AND, NO, it is not that simple! It does take a controlled patience, and practice, and the sooner the shooter learns to develop

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imagery techniques, the better. The better examples of this is in sports such as weight lifting and diving. You see the athletes developing their mind when faced with a weight on the end of the bar they have not yet reached in their standard, yet, up it goes as the technique of lifting the thing is played in the fore front of the athletes mind. I have seen many examples of this…. I used this to great effect in my time at the top, and often visualised being relaxed, and setting my goals for the upcoming match. In mind stuff, I could “see” the whole shooting process. Of being relaxed as I shot the match, sometimes overcoming some imaginary glitch in the performance, even to the point of standing on the presentation dias with the gold gong around my neck. The effect of imagery and relaxation is endless if you learn to apply the single most effective process in the body, the human mind. Above in the text I mentioned about winning the match through the week, then going out on match day and proving you have done the work. In relaxation and any form of imagery, you need to understand that the techniques are carried out perfectly. There is never a poor shot released, and you simply become used to the excellence of your own performance. In effect, you expect to hit it hard!

Stuff”. In the preceding training weeks, I spent a fair bit of time with relaxation by imagery with my pet Pelican, “Percy”, and worked out a great deal of the method of the match based on contingency planning if something did go wrong at some point. These factors are also exercised in your mind, purely as having things in place to combat a problem if it did transpire. In effect when you arrive at your allocated firing point, you are completely set up to excel. Anxiety often develops if the performance is suddenly out of your comfort zone, and I will leave you in this article with this thought.

You are shooting standing with a comfort zone of 95x 100 for a ten shot string, (380 points aggregate) when you suddenly become aware that you have fired nine straight 10’s. What are you going to do? Shoot a five so you can feel more comfortable ? I have seen this, even in my own shooting, and being familiar with my pet Pelican, resulted in the first 100 I shot standing in a competition. This was fired in an Oceania championships in New Zealand, and I was thankful for my techniques with Percy to alleviate the colly wobbles afterwards. The pay back came when my Kiwi Mates said to me, “ Brooksie, NO ONE shoots a 100 on their feet.” I was Within the competition environment, there is always a not impressed with their thinking, because I had seen 10 minute preparation time, and on match day the time that great British shooter Mal Cooper shoot quite a few spent rehearsing your own standard of excellence of them! as you wait behind the firing line, or even down into your position, is time that is serious business for a The mind stuff I put together that day was based on competition shooter. The only thing not ready as being relaxed, staying relaxed, and reaching for a you have already set up your gear, is the mentality score outside my comfort zone level. Every SINGLE confronting a performance. After training for months, shot I fired that time was a product of preparation. I (sometimes years depending on the goals) the final learned a great deal about myself that day……. preparation time is devoted to relaxing, and getting your mind up to the level you need. The wind study, Think about it, this works! getting things in place for wind combat methods, or Brooksie. performance goals is all a contributory factor of “Mind

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After reading some of the negative comments posted by obvious “experts” on one of the UK shooting forums recently it made me wonder just how many people might be getting put off taking up Gallery Rifle because they are being led to believe that you simply must shell out the best part of nearly £1500 on a “custom” rimfire rifle and scope just to get started in our sport. The same idiots also state that the standard 10 round magazines are completely unreliable and that the only part worth keeping if you buy a Ruger 10/22 rifle is the receiver. Err….Really? Usually I would just dismiss stupid comments like these but when they are made by people who arrange to meet up at the Phoenix Meeting one morning just for a quick coffee and a look around the trade show for an hour or two and then bugger off home again rather than actually competing in any of the events, it tends to light

By Gwyn Roberts

my fuse if you know what I mean. In order for us to be able to attract more new people into our sport it’s obviously very important that the initial start up costs are kept as reasonable as possible whilst still allowing the newcomer to be competitive with their equipment on the line. Now I’m no expert either but you don’t need to be Einstein to know that you don’t need to own an expensive “custom” rifle just to be able to shoot a decent score, and with the previously mentioned expert’s opinions still ringing in my ears I decided to go out and buy a standard Ruger 10/22 to help show anyone thinking of taking up Gallery Rifle what can be achieved with just a basic rifle that’s had a few simple tweaks done to it. Once again though, this idea ended up being a last minute decision and after seeing some of the cheaper used/

The new finish on the action and barrel does seem pretty durable but I’m still not sold on the colour. It still does its job though!

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on the floor by accident. Some people of course think it is a cost cutting exercise and the real answer probably lies somewhere in between the two, but there’s no point in debating about it because at the end of the day this is exactly how they are going to arrive in the future. Now the three main issues raised were you had to spend out a lot of money, the standard magazines don’t work and everything else on the rifle is useless apart from the receiver so I’ll look at them in that order. A second hand standard 10/22 will set you back somewhere in the region of Although the housing is now polymer it shouldn’t £175 to £275 depending on its condition make any difference to any inside tuning work. whilst there are of course, more expensive ones for sale because the owners have abused examples that were available locally I decided to opt for a new one instead as there fitted some cheap useless (for GR) scope and/or wouldn’t be much difference in price but the a moderator but you won’t need these so make quality would definitely be a lot better. A quick sure you negotiate them off the asking price. If phone call to the ever helpful Jeremy at Viking looks is more important than function and you Arms had a silver one on its way and it arrived on feel you would rather have a nice shiny new rifle the doorstep 2 days later. Now that’s what I call instead, you should find that a new one will cost good service! Now to me a black one would be you somewhere in the region of £295 for one black, and a silver one would be silver i.e. shiny with a blue/metal finish to around £350 - £375 stainless steel looking but not anymore as on for a new type silver/grey one. So far the initial opening the box, I was greeted by a brand new outlay for either a new or used rifle doesn’t look grey one! The finish on the latest 10/22 barrels too frightening although I would steer towards and receivers is not the usual metal finish but is a used one if the price was right, when for now more of a duracoat painted type of finish comparison just a “custom” receiver and bolt on which does take some getting used to, but that’s their own could set you back between £290 & progress I suppose. Another major change is that £375 depending on where you bought it from. the trigger housing is now made out of polymer (as is the barrel band) and this has apparently been done to prevent breakages as some of the old cast units were prone to cracking if dropped Looking at this particular rifle then, as time was running short the first thing I wanted to do was take it down to the range and put four or five hundred rounds through it to see how good the

Here’s the standard Weaver/airgun mount which I’ve started to modify to fit into a Ransom rest type block for future accuracy testing at 50m. 78 Target Shooter

Once the trigger’s been lightened and the stock fits properly I’ll be able to compare the scores against those that I usually shoot

reliability was and lead up the barrel a bit before testing it for any sort of accuracy. Before I did this though, I decided to tap out the holes on top of the receiver to a much more versatile and stronger 4mm thread size compared to the smaller American sized thread that it comes with as standard, which equates to somewhere around the 3mm mark. This would also make it much easier to mount the spare rail that I had in my shooting box as the one that’s supplied with the rifle is very shallow and has a raised dovetail section in the center which is designed to take the much narrower air gun type scope rings. This shape makes it nigh on impossible to mount any normal type rings onto it but then there’s lots of other standard rail/ring combinations that don’t fit together properly either, so you must always make sure that you use a combination that fits together perfectly. I always machine my own canted scope rails to fit the contour of the

Warne type rings as this ensures a perfect fit regardless of which scope I decide to fit onto my rifle or pistol. I recently managed to acquire two second hand scopes for £75 each which were in excellent condition saving me at least around £85 on the retail prices and this will certainly help to keep the overall cost of this project down. The first was a Simmons 6.5-24 x 50 but the one I decided to fit onto this rifle was the excellent Edgar Brothers’ 5-20 x 50 Optimate scope. Once the scope and rail were attached I then sighted the rifle in at my local range for 25m and continued to put around 400 rounds of both SK and CCI Standard ammunition through it onto some Multi Target small bore targets. I managed to hold the vast majority of the shots inside either the X or 5 ring with maybe 10% of them dropping into the 4 ring but I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my result considering the stock didn’t fit me properly, and the trigger pull weight was somewhere between 8lbs and towing a bus. The trigger action and pull weight on the 10/22 is by far its weakest point but it just requires time rather than Left and next page - Removing the barrel band and releasing some tension on the action screw made quite a difference to the 10/22’s accuracy. You can see how much pressure was exerted by the high point on the fore end against the underneath of the barrel. Making sure it is free floating will improve both the accuracy and functioning of the rifle. Target Shooter 79

huge amounts of money being spent on it in order to make it good enough for most people to will help produce decent results shoot in a competition with it. The most pleasing thing about this rifle to me was its reliability straight out of the box. Even though nothing had been run in as it were, I experienced no malfunctions whatsoever throughout the test session which is a definite improvement on what I’ve been experiencing lately that’s for sure. I’m still convinced that the rather loose chamber (compared to a Bentz or Match) dimension is the biggest contributing factor to the reliability of a standard 10/22 rifle as most of the problems people seem to be having with them is with an aftermarket barrel fitted. A not so tight chamber obviously isn’t ideal if your goal is achieving the ultimate in accuracy, but I for one would prefer to shoot a rifle that works 100% reliably rather than one that you just know is going to jam up on you at least once during a match. When ordering the rifle I specifically asked for one with a simple wooden stock instead of the normal black synthetic option because I’ve never found a stock that has fitted me properly straight out of the box anyway, and they have all had to be modified in some way and this would Using decent ammo……..

be much easier to accomplish with a wooden rather than a plastic one. It will certainly take a bit of time and effort to change the profile of the stock so that it fits me properly but it won’t cost much money and it will certainly help to improve my performance with it when it’s done. As for the magazines, I have around 25 standard factory ones and have very, very rarely had any problems with any of them over the last 14 years that I’ve been using them, and the same goes for most of the other shooters out there on the circuit too. I strip and clean every single one of them before a big competition and as long as they are not full of sand or mud there is no reason at all why they shouldn’t work properly. One thing worth mentioning is that Ruger advise .....for example!!

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1½ turns of tension on the magazine spring/plate but I put 3 complete turns on mine. I find that if you shoot a lot of matches over a long weekend in all sorts of dirty and wet conditions the extra tension always seems to ensure the last round is pushed up to the top properly, whereas a weaker spring tension might not always do this, but see what works best for you at the end of the day. I’m not really sure how many rounds this barrel will require through it before it settles down and gives its best accuracy results but I put a few groups down range anyway just resting it on top of my gun bag to see what could be achieved on the day. At first I wasn’t that impressed to be honest as I was getting some vertical stringing along with the odd flyer here and there but a quick cure for most of this was done by simply removing the barrel band. This certainly helped to tighten the groups up and things were later improved on again by loosening off the action retaining screw as the barrel was definitely binding up inside the fore end and was nowhere near free floating. In fairness though many of the

aftermarket stocks that I have used in the past also needed some relieving inside the barrel channel and this issue will be addressed in the near future. I may get the barrel shortened and re-crowned as I don’t need the screw cut thread or sight post on the end of it, and this might help increase the accuracy of the barrel at the same time, although I think the groups achieved both free hand and off the bench would be more than adequate to achieve a good score with in any of the shorts events. Once the trigger group has been sorted out properly I really can’t see any reason for not being able to shoot straight 300’s with it all day long in a T&P1 match, providing you do your bit right of course. Unfortunately due to me moving house this month I just haven’t had time to start any of the modification work that can be done to this rifle so this will have to be resumed next month when I’ll cover some of the things that you can do to make the stock, ABR, trigger unit, magazine release, bolt and some other bits and pieces work a little better.

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Target Shooter 81

Autumn has spread her glorious colours over Bisley ranges although all the signs are for a hard winter. The bushes are dripping with berries and the sweet chestnuts are big enough to be mistaken for conkers. Bumper crop indeed for both people and squirrels alike, however those chestnut trees ought to come with natural warning signs about the spiky case combined with gravity – especially in our car park!

interesting bit was:

“We’re guided by the feedback that we receive and to that end I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important I’m sure that you, like me, tried to keep up to documents that can help shape decisions about speed with the commonwealth games shooting future programming and content.” events whenever they were on. You, like me, were probably disappointed by the lack of TV Does this mean that if they get lots of complaints coverage given to our medal winning athletes. they will listen? Hmmm…… The catchup programmes weren’t too bad and I did see a nice interview with Mick Gault when he However, despite poor coverage, our guys did announced his retirement. However, compared a magnificent job gaining 10 gold, 9 silver and to the amount of time given over to people going 13 bronze (at least that’s all I could find from the down with ‘Delhi Belly’ it was pretty poor. One official site!). Parag Patel also broke the games of my colleagues wrote and complained about it record in the Fullbore Queens Prize Open, to the BBC and got quite a good response. The scoring 396.42v with David Calvert taking the

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bronze medal with 393.35v. Parag also got a bronze medal in the pairs with Jon Underwood. The European long range championships took place over the weekend of the 16/17th October.

This was primarily a team competition and attracted ntries rom ngland, cotland, hannel e f E S C Islands, Wales Germany and Ireland. They shot at 800, 900 and 1000yds on Saturday followed

Parag, Jon & Jeremy

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by 900 and 1000 on Sunday. All distances were 2 sighters and 15 to count. England were in the lead from Scotland by 5 points at the end of play on Saturday and forged even further ahead on Sunday to win by 13 points even though they had 12 fewer V bulls. The final scores were England 4317.338, Scotland 4304.350, Channel Islands 4254.301, Wales 4136.256, Germany 4124.235 and Ireland 4084.265. George Gilpin won the Individual Championship with 73.6. ...................... Secretary General, Glynn Alger’s Notes NRA Finance As you may now be aware the Association has announced a deficit for the end of 2010. As expected our critics are forecasting gloom and a return to the old failings of the NRA prior to 2001.

line with our charitable objectives when put up against the financial forecasts given to us. The basic mistake that we made was that in our enthusiasm to be charitable we made the mistake of giving benefit to shooters based upon forecasts rather than known income. This is not a mistake we will make again. In the meantime we have to cut our cloth appropriately by looking at cutting costs and increasing income to put us back into the black in 2011. Cumbria The NRA gave evidence to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee (HAC) based upon our submission which was in line with that agreed with the British Shooting Sports Council. The evidence was given to the HAC by Geoff Doe our Firearms Liaison Representative in the initial meeting in September.

The previous £2 million plus debt was accumulated with little comment over an The key recommendations are: extended period, due to a lack of business planning and financial management. The excuse • The Firearms Acts of 1968 – 1997 should used by many at the time was we went into debt be consolidated into a single Act due the Commonwealth Games. In reality the • No wholesale review of firearms short-fall from the Games was approximately law should take place in the current £250,000. I will let you do the maths. emotionally charged climate • Any new firearms legislation should be This time it is different. The Association has divided into two acts; criminal justice notified all of the membership in an open and matters and licensing administration honest manner that it is going into the red, on • Appeals against police licensing decisions the basis that this something we can fix by next should be dealt with by tribunal year. • Airgun control laws should not be devolved to Scotland Why did this happen you ask? In truth we • The current regime for licensing rifles got our budget forecasts wrong. As a result should not be extended to shotguns having made assumptions about our income we believed we could be more positive going During the course of the evidence being given forward. We employed more staff to try to it became apparent to those present that the improve service, driving costs up. At the same HAC members had little or no knowledge of time having listened to members we invested firearms use or the law, in particular the various in new toilet blocks at Bisley, supported teams, hoops that shooters have to leap through to get discounted prices to young shooters, in an effort a Firearms Certificate. This being the case we to bring them into the sport, sold high quality must be wary that the Committee through a lack ammunition to members at a very low price of understanding or knowledge do not propose compared with its real retail value and gave inappropriate legislation that could further interest free loans to clubs nationally allowing damage our sport. them to buy their ranges or to improve facilities. The paradox of any such efforts by the authorities All of these decisions made sense and were in to go down the route of even greater restriction is 84 Target Shooter

that they would not have stopped the tragedies in Cumbria or Northumberland. In an effort to ensure that the HAC are better informed and to create an appropriate relationship, the NRA, NSRA and the CPSA have arranged the opportunity for the members of the Committee and their staff to come to Bisley to shoot, rifle, pistol and shotgun so that they have a positive experience and are able to get a view on the current legislation in an informal setting. It is hoped that at some stage the Committee will come to Bisley a second time to take evidence for their enquiry. In the meantime the NRA will continue to take part in, monitor and comment on any evidence sessions as they occur. The other worrying issue, particularly following Cumbria, is the failure of the police to date to report on the circumstances surrounding the obvious operational failure to manage and minimise Derek Bird’s tragic rampage around Cumbria. Traditionally the police will try and offset some of the blame to the shooting community by recommending the introduction of yet more bureaucracy. This will be resisted. ………………………….. To help us continue our work you might like to consider NRA membership which is a very good buy at the moment. £50 will get you through to the end of 2011, normally £95!! For more information and an application pack see our website, www.nra.org.uk, or email Nick Halford on memassist@nra.org.uk. All full memberships include a substantial insurance package as well as many other privileges. Heather Webb Membership Secretary

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From The Bench
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA

Competitions

1st Darrel Evans 6PPC Sako 0.4446 in. The last of our 100 and 1000 yard benchrest 2nd Andy Wolley 6PPC Sako competitions were scheduled to take place at 0.7168 the beginning of October and indeed our 100 yard benchrest shoot did go ahead in unusually Small group warm mild conditions. For our 1000 yard shoot the following day, it was a different story with Darrel Evans 0.349 inches torrential rain and gale-force winds forcing a cancellation – the shoot is now re-scheduled for It has been another great year with the UKBRA Saturday October 30th - which was to have been Championships, attracting no less than 80 our first 600 yard shoot of the winter series. Best shooters. However, this is somewhat down on laid plans......... previous years and maybe reflects the general recession. Although benchrest is no more Despite the favourable conditions for the 100 expensive than any other shooting discipline, yard shoot, aggs were not great but Ian Dixon the cost of travelling and where necessary, took his fourth win of the year and with it, the overnight accommodation can make it so. UKBRA 100 yard Heavy Varmint Championship. Diggle is the only facility shooting 600 yard and Darrel Evans also wrapped up the Factory 1000 yard benchrest, so some shooters must Sporter Championship – with best four out of travel considerable distances to compete. 100 five straight wins to count, he couldn’t be beaten. yard benchrest can also be shot at Bisley with the British Benchrest Club, who are affiliated to Results: the UKBRA. 100 yards Heavy Varmint: Our Champions for 2010 are therefore: st 1 Ian Dixon 6PPC Walker BAT 0.2902 in. (av. of five 5-shot groups) 100 yards Heavy Varmint nd 2 Martin Miles 6PPC RGR Stolle 0.2918 1st Ian Dixon rd nd 3 Vince Bottomley 6PPC TGP BAT 2 Vince Bottomley rd 0.2922 3 Jack Searle Small group: Martin Miles Factory Sporter: 86 Target Shooter 0.171 inches Factory Sporter 1st Darrel Evans 2nd Andy Woolley rd 3 Darren Grundle

Darrel Evans has once again dominated the 100 yard Factory Sporter Class with his 6PPC Sako

Smallest group of the year: Jeanette Whitney 0.113 inches 600 yards Light Gun 1st Jack Gibb 2nd Jeanette Whitney 3rd Vince Bottomley Factory Sporter st 1 Phil Gibbon 2nd Darrel Evans 3rd Bruce Lenton Small group of the year: Brian Webb 2.035 inches

some competitions rather than group – similar to what the 22 rimfire guys do. You can use exactly the same rifle and equipment and classes will be the same. Keep an eye on Target Shooter and our shooting calendar at www.ukbra.co.uk for more details.

The UKBRA AGM was held following the October shoot. Next year, we are planning to hold more 100 yard shoots and, in the hope of attracting more shooters, we will be shooting for ‘score’ at

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In association with

As our own championships draw to a close lets hear from downunder about their recent nationals, with a detailed analysis and a personal view from Rebecca Richards. Australian RBA Nationals 2010 The 2010 Australian RBA Nationals was recently contested at the Jim Smith Smallbore rifle range in Brisbane, Queensland, with the event run by the Clifton Benchrest Union. This event, held over two days from Saturday July 31st to August 1st, was well attended, with 54 shooters competing for prizes donated by generous sponsors. For some, this event would contribute towards qualification and selection to the Australian Benchrest Shooting Team, heading over to the US next year for the Rimfire Worlds. The first dayʼs competition started with a cold, but quiet and gentle breeze, to ease all the shooters into familiar routines and lull the senses, where holding off on the edge of the 10 ring was usual. However, by the start of the second round, the breeze had picked up significantly, was nervous and shifty, the strength indicators were horizontal, and picking each shot was the order of the day. Many people

suffered with big point losses during this round, but the top shooters seemed to cope with the breeze better, so didnʼt hemorrhage as many points. After partaking of a salad and cold-cuts lunch, we proceeded to shoot the third and final card for the day, with the breeze moderating somewhat, but its shiftiness was still evident, with some wild shots experienced by many. This last round was a chance to catch up on competitors, rebuild the confidence, and round out the day with great scores. The final dayʼs shooting started with similar conditions to the previous day, with very still and quiet conditions. The best scores of the day occurred during the first round, but even these scores were tricky to achieve, as the soft breeze threw up unexpected verticals, so a nice string of 10ʼs would be rudely interrupted by a 9 at 12:00. None-the-less, smiles from a lot of competitors were seen, as the scores reflected the gentle conditions. As the day warmed up, and the thermals blew through, the breeze grew stronger, but never reached the strength of the Saturday. The second round of the day was tricky, but high scores were achieved with a bit of patience, planning, and watching the time.

Australian shooters on the line at the RBA Nationals 88 Target Shooter

Bill Collaros with his trusty Feinwerkbau
The last round of the competition was shot after lunch. Only a few points separated the leaders, and in some cases, only a few centres. As a result, it was a nervous firing line for some. Just like the last round on Saturday, the breeze dropped, but the flags were nervous, and needed full attention in order to avoid silly shots. After two days of competition, the overall results were: John Patzwald scored 1474 (63x) to be crowned 2010 RBA Nationals Champion Mitchell Taller scored 1471 (82x) placed second and was crowned Junior Champion Robin Cox placed 3rd with 1471 (64x), and was crowned Senior Champion Les Flood placed 4th with 1470 (58x) Brett Wilson placed 5th with 1469 (56x) Rebecca Richards placed 6th with 1464 (68x) and was crowned Womens Champion Kathy Larkin placed 7th with 1462 (68x) Stuart Elliott placed 8th with 1461 (66x) Stuart Neale placed 9th with 1461 (62x) Bill Collaros placed 10th with 1461 (60x) Well done to all competitors! Rebecca’s perosnal diary of the event. After driving twelve hours or so from a balmy Brisbane winter (about 26 degrees C), through peak hour traffic, construction zones on freeways, rain, bitingly cold wind, sleet, and even some snow, to a cold, wet Sydney night, I parked the car, and began to unload the gear into the garage. My brother-in-law met me inside, took one look at the RBA cards, and said matter of factly, “gee, anyone could hit those targets, even I could!”. So that marked the end of the 2010 Australian RBA Nationals for me, held over 3 days from 30th July to 1st August, in the Jim Smith Smallbore complex within the Belmont rifle range, just outside of Brisbane, Queensland, organised and run by the Clifton Benchrest Union. I drove up to Brisbane on the Thursday, taking about 12 hours or so, and thankfully, the trip was quite uneventful (though rather long, even though I took a shortcut). Along for the ride was my trusty custom FWB rifle, about 500 rounds of Lapua eXact ammo, a Caldwell Rock BR front rest, and my sister (for moral and emotional support). Doing the maths a few days beforehand, I thought Iʼd only consume about 250 rounds, but in the end, I came away with about 60 rounds spare! Friday 30th was the first “unofficial” day of the competition, being the practice day. This was the time to look around the complex, find which benches Iʼd be shooting from, lay out some flags, oogle over the myriad other rifles (there were 54 competitors at the event), and get used to the idiosyncrasies of the range itself. One piece of advice given out by the locals was to never shoot in the dead lulls - the POI would always be low at 6:00. I tested this out during practice, and found it to be rather true! Iʼd only ever competed in one other local RBA shoot, which was held a few weeks prior. The RBA targets are much harder than the targets I normally shoot (which are based on the ISSF smallbore target rifle dimensions), as the target area is smaller - the 10-ring is smaller at 7mm diameter, and the centre X is about 1mm diameter. We were due to shoot 6 cards of 25 scoring shots per card plus unlimited sighters over the following two days, so a perfect score would be 1500(150x). Friday was devoted to tweaking the barrel tuner, getting the “game face” on, psyching out the competition, and (more importantly) socialising. I didnʼt begin to feel the nerves until the next morning, the first day of competition shooting. We were split into three details (myself in the

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second detail), 30 minutes per detail, would be shooting three of the 6 cards, and would have to rotate amongst the 18 benches. This meant that the details were noisy, busy affairs. The breeze started off quite mildly from the right, almost at 3:00, but by the time the second detail was underway, the breeze had ratcheted up quite a bit, the propellers on the flags were a blur of colour, and the tails were horizontal! Iʼd never shot in a breeze this strong before, and was holding off in the 7-ring to drift the round across into the 10, or so I led myself to believe. The sighters looked like theyʼd been hit by a shotgun blast, sweat was streaming into my eyes, and I was panicked! What to do? After 10 minutes of blazing away into the sighters, with nary a group forming, I stopped, looked at my timer, and wondered whether the comp was gonna be over for me. Nineteen minutes to do 25 scoring shots. So I moved to the next sighter, shot 3 quick rounds, they magically formed a nice tight group, I wound on about a MOA of windage, and a tad of elevation, moved to the first scoring target, and shot a 10. With a heightened sense of confidence, I proceeded to drop 12 points over the remaining 24 shots, and stepped back off the firing line with 5 minutes to go. When the tails on the flags were horizontal, I scored 10ʼs. When they werenʼt, well, …. The saving grace was that everyone else shot as badly as I did, which kept me in the game. Luckily, after lunch, the breeze calmed down, but kept shifting and turning enough to keep us all constantly on our toes. Put a round in the chamber, close the bolt, look down the scope, aim, quick glance at the flag, aim off a tad on the edge of the 10-ring at 3:00, squeeze the trigger, and watch horrified as the impact is low in the 9 ring, and the flags had changed

from 3:00 to 12:00. At the end of the day, there were smiles all round, the rifles were cleaned and packed away, and people relaxed around a beer, a coffee, or a soft drink, while waiting for the scorers to compile the results and post them up. The weather report for the second (and final) day was encouraging. The day started cold, clear, and blessedly still. The breeze didnʼt really begin to wake up until the second detail, so I was able to put in a very nice 249(14x). The lady I was chasing (Kathy Larkin) in the aggregate scoring also shot a 249(18x), which ended up being the highest card for the day. When the breeze finally woke up, it was very shifty, and nervous. I had been suffering shots the day before where theyʼd go into the 8-ring at 1:30, and was discussing it later when Mitchell Taller gave me a gem of advice. The flags were showing breeze from the right, but the bottles (indicating the wind strength) were lifting back towards the breeze, pushing my shots out towards the 1:30. No more problems of that nature this day! Another 3 rounds, another 3 shifts of benches, it came time to firing the last shots of the competition, and then a sigh of relief at surviving another event with nerves intact. It took me about two minutes to fire that last shot, a 10 to finish the event. After much deliberation by the scorers, the protest period passed without incident, they finally placed the dayʼs final result and the aggregate scores on the boards for all to see - (see first article).

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The Long View

News from the GB F-Class Association by Les Holgate

The final round of the 2010 F Class League numbers expected to be in excess of 160, this will be shot at Bisley in the first weekend in will be the largest F Class shoot ever held in November. the UK - and possibly the world - with more countries represented than even the last World For a few shooters, the effort, time and money Championships. Target Shooter scribes Vince they put have put into their shooting throughout Bottomley and Laurie Holland are both shooting the year will be rewarded with trophies and – in the F/TR Class - so you can rely on a full prizes but for most of us it will be time to reflect report in the December issue of Target Shooter. and think how we can improve over the winter months to be in the top group of shooters next It isn’t just Target Shooter scribes who have year. I know which one I will be in - I am not switched to shooting F/TR - this time I am also planning on buying any silver polish! giving it a go – a change from my more usual Open Class. I haven’t jumped ship - or gone The final round also coincides with the European over to the ‘dark side’ - as people keep telling F Class Championships and this year, we have me - I just wanted to give it a go, seeing as my a record entry of overseas competitors. It is also 284 Win. Open Class rifle is currently being Bonfire Night over the weekend of the shoot re-barrelled by Pete Walker of Walker Custom and in addition to the Shoot Buffet we have a Rifles. firework display laid on (not sure what some of the foreign shooters will make of this but it The 284 has served me well, giving significantly should be a good night) - as if organiser Mik better barrel life than the 6.5-284 and only Maksimovic didn’t have enough to do! slightly inferior ballistics to the all-conquering 7mmWSM. To save time and effort however, The shoot takes place over the Friday and the new barrel will have a ‘no-turn’ neck – I’m not Saturday with the ‘individuals’ and Sunday convinced that a ‘tight’ neck is really necessary devoted to a team shoot and with the numbers – or wise - for F Class competition. attending there could be a lot of teams shooting on the Sunday, not just the National teams. With But that isn’t the only reason I am giving F/TR a

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go. As many predicted, F/TR certainly seems to be the growth discipline and in my home club, Diggle, it now accounts for the vast majority of F Class shooters. In most League Shoots this year, F/TR shooters have outnumbered Open Class competitors.

(30-32 inches) heavy (but remember that 18lb weight limit) and of ‘match’ quality - if you want to have any chance of regularly finding that half MOA V bull! It isn’t just rifle that’s evolving, it is also the bullets we use. When F/TR first stared, almost all shooters were using the 155 grain bullet. Now, there is a move towards the heavier bullets – 175, 185 and even 210 grainers. It seems to be a route that is yet to be confirmed as a ‘must do’ and Laurie Holland is currently ‘tipping the apple cart’ – if not exactly overturning it – with his little 223, shooting 90 grain bullets!

One thing I won’t miss is carrying around that heavy front-rest - it must be worth trying F/TR just to avoid that! Maybe less to carry but it is certainly no easier to shoot, as I am finding out! The F/TR guys have really pushed the performance of the 308Win. cartridge over the last two years and the best of the F/TR shooters regularly secure top ten placings in the Open class! Whether it’s Open or F/TR you want to shoot, you don’t have to have to have a limitless budget Although the F/TR Class was started to cater to compete. When it comes down to it, it’s just for shooters with ‘standard’ 308 rifles and Harris you, that little bullet and the wind. They are the bi-pods, the top shooters have now gone the main factors and despite all the other excuses custom route and the humble Harris is a thing we use and hear - and they are countless (barrel of the past with some weird and wonderful shot-out, bullet blew up, bad relay, poor marking, contraptions appearing, which offer far better powder different to last batch, socks too tight!!) stability. The latest offering - imported from the wind will always be your main opposition, America by Fox Firearms – is a fantastic regardless of your budget. Come and try it! aluminium and carbon-fibre affair weighing www.f-class.org.uk just 19 ounces but costing almost as much as a proper Open Class front rest! (Look out for a review in Target Shooter very soon). Any hope that the F/TR class would be a cheaper ‘entry-level’ class has evaporated, though of course the barrel-life of a 308 is maybe five or six times that of a 7mmWSM, so that does represent a significant saving. Whilst on the subject of F/TR barrels, they should be long 92 Target Shooter

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

QUIGLEY SHOOTING ASSOCIATION, END OF TRAIL SHOOT Oct 9th 2010.

Ken Hall and Hi-Wall

Dave Malpas, Uberti Remington

a horrendous full-on wind meant that everything had to be weighted down to prevent it becoming airborne. The long run of wet and blustery weather The black powder cartridge rifle and preceding the Quigley Shooting Association’s muzzle loading rifle or musket comps were second End of Trail event of the year, led the shot at 100yds, and 25yds for muzzle loading organiser, Ken Hall, to plan the shoots so that revolver. advantage could be made of the covered firing Event 1, for muzzle loading pistol, point. As things turned out, the day was dry, but Greg Hoskin checks Mike Davenport’s target Ken Jones, Ruger Old Army

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Paul Seymour, Win ‘76 and Dennis Richardson Win’66

consisted of a benchrest type Tightgroup shoot, in which each firer shot four separate groups at 25 yds on a standard pistol target, group sizes were added together and an average taken to determine the winner. This was won in fine style by Mike Davenport using a Euroarms .44 cal Rogers & Spencer to achieve an average of 2.37in. (His smallest group measuring a fantastic 1.83in). Runner-up was Dave Malpas, using his Uberti Remington in .44 cal, with an average of 4.9in.

Event 5, also for breech loading black powder rifles consisted of 5 shots at a reduced silhouette of a mounted Indian. Event 6, also for breech loading black powder rifles consisted of 5 shots at a modified turkey target, Ken Hall managed to win these three with his Uberti Hi-Wall in .38-55.

Black powder competitions always seem to bring out the best in shooters, and all who attended had a really relaxed and light-hearted day. Event 2 was for muzzle loading rifle and _____________________________________ consisted of ten shots at a racetrack target at 100yds. Dennis Richardson won this with a THE QUIGLEY SHOOTING ASSOCIATION. score of 89 achieved with a .50in Lyman Tryon Rifle borrowed from Ken Jones. Ken Jones SEPT QUIGLEY COMPETITION. came second with a score of 86. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) The penultimate Quigley shoot of the season got under way on Saturday 25th September with, at Event 3 for breech loading black powder last, a dry outlook for the day with a fairly light, rifles, consisted of five shots at a “V” notch target but nonetheless tricky, wind to cope with. at 100yds. Dave Malpas hit nearest the “V” to As usual, Stage 1 at 400 yds consisted of two win this one using his .45/70 Sharps. sighters and fifteen shots to score at the Quigley bucket at 400 yds. It never fails to amaze me Event 4 was 5 shots at a reduced buffalo that, with the talent on show, we seldom get target at 50yds with breech loading black powder more than eleven hits on the bucket, a testament rifles to the difficult conditions at Diggle even on a mild day. As we broke for lunch the field was 94 Target Shooter

John Ellin with his original Alexander Henry in .45-100.

pretty close, Dennis Richardson led with a creditable 59 points being chased by Ian Hull Richard calculates the sight setting while Gary and Richard Healey, spots the shot each with 51 points. Resuming after lunch, stage 2 was the buffalo silhouette at 600 yds and top scorer on this stage was Ian Hull with 57 points followed by Eric Todd with 51 points and Richard Healey with 50 points. Unusually for Dennis, he could only manage 39 points at 600yds leaving the way open for Ian and Richard. It was interesting to see one of our members, John Ellin shooting paper patched bullets through an original Alexander Henry falling block rifle in .45/100. The final scores were as follows. Pos. Shooter. Score. 1. Ian Hull Sharps 45/90 108 2. Richard Healey Sharps 45/90 101 3. Dennis Richardson Br Hi Wall 45/70 98 4. Ken Hall Uberti Hi Wall 40/65 89 5=. Eric Todd Sharps 45/90 88 5=. Gary Allsopp Remington 45/90 88 Details from khall6548@aol.com Winner and runner up - Ian and Richard

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Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
Gallery Rifle Update The clocks go back over the last weekend in October, signalling the end to the Gallery Rifle season, or nearly. addition to all the regular favourites the Timed and Precision Three Match for LBR and LBP is available. To add to the diversity there are also 200 metre rifle in three classes, the McQueen and, growing in popularity, target shotgun events. Your last chance to post a good score if you are bucking for inclusion in your Home International or the GB Squads. The weekend of the 23rd and 24th October sees the Trafalgar Historic Arms Meeting and there are gallery rifle matches for the classic enthusiasts. I am going along to try my hand and I will let you know how I got on next time, but first I thought it worth devoting a few paragraphs to Classic Gallery Rifle for those who are wondering what it’s all about.

The last event this year is actually the third of the International Gallery Rifle 1500 Matches which is held at Leitmar in Germany on the 13th and 14th November. Captain, Ashley Dagger, is taking the GB Squad to compete with Germany and Ireland. The match is an open event so if you fancy joining in details are available on www.galleryrifle.com. Good luck Team GB, I will report your progress next time. Working backwards the Autumn Action Weekend at Bisley is on 30th and 31st October. The spring and autumn meeting have traditionally been Classic Gallery Rifle used to trial new events and those events that take a little more time or range space, so in This year the NRA Gallery Rifle Sub-Committee Plate 1

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any rifle (of qualifying calibre) with any sighting system, except those which project dot onto the target. The usual style of rifle found in the open class is the box magazine rifle with straight pull actions and more recently the lever release rifles that have become available from Southern Gun Company. Finally Classic Rifle is for rifles that qualify for the historic arms events of the Imperial and Trafalgar Meeting. I have been having a go at the classics this year and the research I have done may help you get started. The Rifle Plate 2 decided to reorganise the centre-fire gallery rifle events into three classes. The standard class is designed for traditional lever action rifles that have become the mainstay of GR with any type of sighting system. It is shot in five skill classes D to A plus X (for expert), each of the main events has separate classifications and once you have shot a qualifying score for a particular class you are included in that class for any national meetings thereafter. The qualifying date for “classic” is 1919; any rifle designed on or before this date is eligible. The actual rifle you use need not have been manufactured before the end of 1919, for example the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) adopted by the British Army in 1907 obviously qualifies, but the rifle continued in production until well into the 1940 in Britain and even later in the Empire. All SMLE rifle qualify as classic as long as they are chambered in the original .303” calibre, so the Indian 7.62 SMLE are not eligible.

For GR this is good news as the usual Winchester or Marlin models 94s pre-date the key date The other two classes are shot as open events by 25 years. Hold on I hear you say the rifle without handicapping. The open class is for may be OK but the .357” Magnum dates from

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Plate 1

bead foresight were missing and a scope rail had been fitted. Discarding the rail I started to look at rear sight options and I have tried three. The first is the excellent Marbles tang sight (figure 1). Marbles started making sights of this type in the late 1860s and a similar product made by Lyman is shown in their 1889 catalogue (figure 2). I have not seen the Lyman version but I am told it lacks windage adjustment so the only option is drifting the front sight over, the Marble version features both elevation and windage adjustment. The Lyman is slightly cheaper but they come in at around the £130 mark – so classic rifle isn’t cheap.

1935 and the 44” Magnum from 1955 so they are out, aren’t they? Well logic prevails and the Historic Breechloading Smallarms Association, the guiding body for historic shooting, has decided that 357s and 44s are allowed as long as they are loaded only to 38 and 44 special velocities, 38 and 44 specials both dating from the first decade of the 20th century are therefore The only disadvantage I have found with the permitted. tang style sight is during rapid fire stages it gets Implementation of the rules rely on shooters in the way of the thumb of the lever/trigger hand, integrity in ensuring that they stick to the “spirit but I have still managed to get all the shots off of the original” and a competitor must be in a in a Bianchi Match so you can live with it. The position to justify his choice of rifle/calibre by tang sights come with a replacement butt stock historic precedent if challenged by a match screw but they also require another hole to be drilled and tapped in the top tang. A local official or fellow competitor. precision engineering firm with the correct taps So we all have a suitable under lever but surely did the job in ten minutes for £12 so not a big you don’t expect me to shoot it with the factory problem. Tang sights don’t have any graduation marked on them but do have definite clicks, so sights! I have put a paint blob on the adjusting knob to ensure I can accurately return to zero and make Sighting Systems adjustments. The rule here is that sights must be of contemporary design and I am not sure whether this means available at the time of first manufacture of the rifle or before 1919, so I have taken the widest interpretation and picked the latter. I picked up a well run in Marlin 44 Cowboy and feed it with my normal GR load, which performs well (if I do my part) and the felt recoil Marlin Competition Special in minimal. When I bought the rifle the original semi-buckhorn rear sight and blade with gold 98 Target Shooter If the tang sight is not to your liking then there are receiver sights that screw directly into the holes designed for the scope base, I presume on originals a little gunsmithing was necessary and my old Cowboy even has holes in the side of the receiver for the Lyman version of receiver sights. The Lyman 1909 catalogue shows a vernier style receiver sight so I think they are in the spirit. In addition to Lyman the Williams Company make receiver sights that fit Marlins and Winchesters (figure 3). Although Williams

sights are similar in style to classic designs they to cover the target with the aiming mark and pull are made from aluminium to reduce cost so the trigger. we will see at the Trafalgar whether they pass muster. I obtained a Lyman tunnel sight for £30 and it came with seven different elements (figure 5) I have even found another receiver sight made and a yellow plastic filter (don’t think the classic by a cottage industry in the good old USA. Tim boys would like the plastic filter). There are three Skinner makes fully adjustable sights (figure 4) blades and four ring sights, the rings are most that fit the top receiver holes of Marlin rifles, I suitable for the roundel style precision targets. got one mail order and they are well made but The only difficulty I have found with the tunnel the elevation adjustment is quite limited and sight is that the front elements are not distinct in not contusive to quick adjustment. Otherwise a low light or on covered ranges, now this might great and different product, which although only be my aging eyes but it may be worth trying one recently manufactured the simple design would out before you invest your hard earned. have been well within the scope of late 19th and early 20th century engineering so I think only And finally an absolute purist would challenge this type of sight. If you go with the tang/tunnel option you can see that your investment will be about £160 on Both tang and receiver sights feature top of the cost your rifle, about the same as an exchangeable apertures but be warned very economy scope set up, so it’s not much cheaper small apertures may appear tempting but don’t than standard class shooting. let much light through, I have found this a particular problem with the all black 1500 targets But do you need to do all this before you try is where picking up an aiming point can be difficult. out, well maybe not. Phil Cowling shoots an iron The Lyman type 66A receiver sight retails at just sighted Marlin still fitted with the factory sights below £100, the Williams at about £60 and the that came with the gun and he seems to give Skinner I got for just £45 including postage and me a run for my money – well mostly pips me at customs charges from the states. the post! So that’s the back sight sorted, what about leaving the original blade and gold bead up front? You can do but you may wish to consider a tunnel front sight. The idea of aperture sights is the “ring within a ring” concept, where your eye naturally lines up the rear aperture with the tunnel surrounding the foresight just leaving you Next time I will report on the Trafalgar GR events and we can look at the scores shooters have been achieving with x1 magnification. www.galleryrifle.com

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UKPSA Association News

UKPSA sanctioned matches have recently been held around the UK. Thanks to Bob and Denise Dunkley, Roye West, Ian Chamberlain and Steve Sheasby for an The Home Countries Level III Shotgun Match excellent and entertaining match. was held at Harlow Town Rifle and Pistol Club, at harlow in Essex on the 8th and 9th of October. LBR/LBF/Mini-Rifle and Gallery Level II results: Geoff Smith was match director for the 9 Stage, 110 round (birdshot only) match. LBO Results 1st Place Peter Starley 100% The weather was kind to us, and it was good to 2nd Place Ronnie Graham 34.60% see attendance from Serbia again for this match. Unavoidably absent for the first time in more LBS Results years than anyone can recall was Pete Starley 1st Place Bob Dunkley 100% of MidwayUK who shoots Modified and always 2nd Place Graham Guest 97.20% performs well. 3rd Place Ian Chamberlain 92.42% Thanks to Geoff, Ken and the build and support MRS Results team at Harlow for making us all feel welcome. 1st Place Vanessa Duffy Home Countries Level II Shotgun results: Standard Manual Division (Pump) 1st Place Martin Davies (GBR) 100% 2nd Place Neil Smith 95.16% 3rd Place Iain Guy 93.92% Standard Auto Division 1st Place Mike Darby (GBR) 100% 2nd Place James Starley 95.05% 3rd Place David Dowding 92.91% Modified Division 1st Place James Harris (GBR) 100% 2nd Place Branislav Raketic 96.93% 3rd Place Howard Roberts 70.06% Open Division 1st Place Iain Corrigan 2nd Place Michael Scarlett 3rd Place Nicholas Hockley 100% 94.01% 90.99% Match Announcements There is another UKPSA sanctioned Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) Level II match coming up at Leicester Shooting Centre on Sunday November 21st. It is a 10 Stage match with a round count of about 130 rounds. You will need a UKPSA LBR competition licence, plus FAC conditioned Long Barrelled Pistol. If you have a PSG Competition Licence you may enter the Lever Action / Gallery or Mini-Rifle Division. Please contact Leicester Shooting Centre for more details. Entry is via the downloadable form on the UKPSA forum. UKPSA Welsh Championships Level III Practical Shotgun match September 2010 Welcome back back... 100%

match Hosted by Leicester Shooting Club at Tall Trees Gun Club, Middlesborough in September.

Last month we used the UKPSA Welsh Championship Level III shotgun match to The LBR/LBF/Mini-rifle & Gallery Rifle Level II illustrate some basic theory about the importance 100 Target Shooter

of strategy when shooting a stage in IPSC PSG (Practical Shotgun) matches. Although we generically refer to our sport as Practical Shotgun (PSG), it is in fact officially “IPSC Shotgun”, as the UKPSA is the UK region of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and we shoot to their rules and conditions. This is important to ensure that the same rules are used across the world, and when we shooting internationally, we all know what to expect. I promised we would continue this theme with

a look at one of the stages from the Welsh Championships this year, and use it to illustrate the various shooting strategies employed. I’ve chosen a fairly simple stage with only six targets as the example, rather than one of the much longer stages. This is to try to keep it simple enough for a short article, but you have to remember that almost all larger stages can be broken down into smaller “chunks”. In other words, a 24 target stage can be broken into three or four smaller shooting challenges of 6-8 targets each, and the competitor then uses the Target Shooter 101

time between moving from one shooting position IPSC has an unenviable reputation for safety, not to another as an opportunity to reload the gun. least because we all adopt simple checks into everything we do, and the shooter always has It doesn’t always break down an RO with him/her from the moment they come that cleanly, but you get the idea. onto the stage with the gun, until they leave. I will introduce some terminology first, just Competitors are allowed a few minutes to to prevent me losing flow later on trying peruse the stage after the brief. They may not to explain mid-sentence. Please don’t fall touch targets, but can ask to see any moving asleep on me – I promise I will be brief... targets or mechanisms being activated by the A match consists of a number of stages- each RO. The time is to allow you to work out the best of which represents a shooting challenge. shooting strategy, where you need to load (if Each stage is run by one or required) etc. You may not use a gun or other more Range Officers (RO). “prop”, so you will usually see everyone doing A stage always starts with a stage brief an elaborate and often comical little dance read by the Range Officer, covering the around the stage pretending to shoot and conditions, requirements and safety aspects load the gun with outstretched arms. This is to for that stage, as well as telling you how try to “fix” your shooting plan into your head. many targets, how many rounds in the gun at the start, any particular conditions governing Once the time to look at the stage is up, the the start of the stage (i.e. how to hold the range is cleared and the competitors will shoot shotgun – sometimes you may not have it in the stage in a pre-agreed order. The start of your hands when starting – it may be resting, the stage is controlled by an electronic timer unloaded, on a tyre in front of you for example.) that emits a loud beep signalling the start, and it records the time of each shot taken (hence Safety s, f ourse, he umber ne onsideration. why you will see the RO literally right behind i oc t n o c

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the competitor as they move through the stage holding a small box. He/she is also there to ensure that there are always “2 brains per gun” – and can step in or stop the stage instantly in the event of a perceived or real problem). The time for the stage will be from the start beep to the last shot fired – and is recorded to 100th of a second accuracy. There are three basic Start options for the shotgun under IPSC: • An OPTION 1 Start: Where the gun has a round chambered, and the magazine is filled to the maximum rounds allowed for your division. Safety MUST be ON. • An OPTION 2 Start: Where the gun has an EMPTY chamber, and the magazine is filled to the maximum rounds allowed for your division. Safety does NOT HAVE to be ON (as there’s no round in the chamber!) • An OPTION 3 Start: Where the gun is completely empty. Safety does NOT HAVE to be ON You may not touch your ammunition until the start buzzer COF : Course Of Fire (the match stage you are about to shoot). COMSTOCK Stage: This means you may load as many additional rounds as you feel you need

in order to shoot all targets. There are other types which are VIRGINIA COUNT – where you must ONLY shoot as many rounds are there are targets and only one shot at each target. So if there are 8 targets you will be penalised if you have to shoot MORE than eight rounds in order to hit all targets. In other words, don’t miss! There is also the FIXED TIME stage – where you may use and load as many rounds as you wish, but there is a fixed time in which to shoot all the targets. Only targets shot in that time frame count. NO-SHOOT – This is a penalty target, usually coloured ED, ELLOW r HITE. f ou hoot his R Y oW Iy s t target and it falls – you will incur a 10 point penalty. FAULT LINE – A Painted RED strip of wood or barrier that must not be crossed and the gun fired while shooting. It is used to define a shooting area, or ensure that a competitor does not cut through any area the stage designer wants to keep you out of. It is acceptable to cross these lines and come back over WITHOUT firing a shot, but if you cross a line and shoot you may be penalised for every shot fired from that point and certainly will get a minimum 10 point penalty! – you really don’t want to do this. (note: I’m not going into divisions too much here – but they are Standard Manual (Pump), Standard Auto, Modified and Open.) Target Shooter 103

Diagram 1 shows the stage we will be looking at. It is a simple top-down diagram and shows the key elements. Stage Designers increasingly use a software program to do this, as the stage must be sanctioned for graded matches to ensure it presents an appropriately safe, consistent, repeatable shooting challenge and does not bias tall / short or left/right hand people. Note the tyres around the stage confine. Downrange is to the top of the diagram. Start position is standing at position indicated by the “S” with one foot touching a post. Here, for comparison is a photo of the actual stage: The start post is the white stick at the back of the red shooting area defined by Fault Lines (this restricts the shooting area if you’ve read the terminology bit.) Now, the photo is better because it’s in three dimensions. It is very difficult (almost impossible) to plan a strategy off the submitted stage diagram. It is used to illustrate the challenge – not include the nuances. It should present a shooting challenge – a stage that test the shooter’s accuracy and speed. What is to be avoided is an obvious “stand-in-themiddle”, straight blast-as-fast as the competitor can muster, hence why the no-shoots are used, and how they are positioned. A shotgun is a lot more accurate than people often think, but you really have to aim carefully to avoid hitting them. Paraphrasing the actual Stage Brief with some comment thrown in for clarity... ”This stage is a COMSTOCK stage (use as many rounds as you need) consisting of SIX METAL TARGETS and FOUR NO-SHOOT TARGETS. The Stage is worth a total of 30 points. (Each target is worth FIVE points. Penalty for hitting a NO-SHOOT is TEN points). Start Position is standing erect with the OPTION 3 (unloaded) gun held in both hands, with the butt touching the hip and muzzle pointing downrange. One foot must be touching the white post. On the start signal, shoot all the targets from within the confines of the shooting area (defined by the red box).” So, the first thing is that you are starting with an empty gun. One of the first concerns therefore is putting in at least six rounds to shoot the six 104 Target Shooter

targets. The distance from the start position to the front of the shooting area is about eight feet. It is better to be closer to the targets so the natural thing to do is get as close to the front as possible. As you have an unloaded gun, you can use this walking time to load the shotgun. Had the start condition been a loaded gun, it would present an additional angle of “do I shoot from the start position” and balance the necessary extra accuracy against the time taken to move forward. As it was, this first test was how quick can you load the shotgun. There were two basic strategies that emerged from this at the completion, that are illustrated in the following diagrams. First (Diagram 1: Multiple Shooting Positions) was to load four rounds as you moved from the Start to say, position A where a fairly clear view of at least three targets was visible. Shoot those three, then load an additional 2 rounds as you moved to position B to shoot the remaining three targets. This was the most popular method chosen, even though you had to make two load sequences and two getting the gun into the shoulder to aim, plus the moving time. An alternative (Diagram 1: Single Shooting Position) was to simply move to point B (or A if you wished), loading six rounds and carefully (more accurately) trying to hit all targets from the same position. Three were easier, three meant having to literally graze a visible edge of a target that was largely behind a no-shoot. This meant less walking, one loading sequence (as quick as possible) and only one aiming position, but was slower and riskier because the margin for error was reduced. If you were really good, you could load six rounds as you moved to, say Position A. Then walk to position B shooting as you moved. This would technically be the fastest way to shoot the stage, but it is notoriously difficult to aim carefully as you move and take each step. What you are actually doing is firing a round at each step, taking your finger from the trigger as you take the next step, then firing... and so on. This is because you cannot keep your finger on the trigger as you move. What it breaks down to is a succession of one step shooting positions and is extremely difficult to do smoothly, accurately and fast.

Here is Martin Davies adopting the multiple shooting position approach. Picture 2 sequence shows him at position A, loading as he moves to position B and then shooting again at position B. Martin uses a Benelli SuperNova 12g Pump Shotgun. His time on this stage was 11.77 seconds from start to completion.

would blow the score if you hit a no shoot! The question is, in hindsight, which strategy would I follow if I shot it again. I would probably go with the first one and move between both firing positions. If nothing else, I would do it for interest to see if it would improve my time and score. Therein lies the dilemma and the challenge. I decided to shoot this using the opposing Multiple strategies almost always present strategy, and managed a time of 13.03 seconds. themselves. After watching an experienced squad of competitors go through you generally see a predominant approach start to appear. However, I have watched and shot with the top shooters in the UK and then tried something different that has proved to work better (not often though). But it may just have suited me better because I am better, for example, at weak-shoulder shooting , or can load more efficiently when crouching .. or some other factor. This is what makes it so much fun. If you haven’t tried Practical Shotgun, I would urge you to come along and have a go with us. You need a Section 1 shotgun on your own FAC to shoot competitively, but can come along with a three shot pump or semi-auto shotgun on a Section 2 (Shotgun) licence, or borrow a Section 2 under supervision from a fellow shooter. If you would like to know more, please look on the website www.ukpsa.co.uk for more information, or contact your local club. I will be covering PSG clubs over coming issues in more depth. In he eantime, s he elsh hampionships as t m a t W C w held t order uns SG lub, ere re heir etails: aB G P c h a t d Border Guns PSG : Contact Martin and Jo Davies, or Neil Evans Website address: www.bordergunspsg.co.uk Email:info@borderguns.co.uk Telephone: 01588 640002 The club is situated at Two Crosses, Valley View, Newcastle upon Clun, craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 8QX and welcomes new members. It is a Practical Shotgun only club, and hosts regular This doesn’t necessarily mean the strategy shoot days. was slower. I did have to load an extra round as I was too cautious on one target that only presented about 20cm of target area. Martin is a better shooter then I am and he is quick loading his gun, but on reflection, I did find the single position strategy required painstaking accuracy. One NO-SHOOT would take 10 points from the maximum points available of 30 – it really Target Shooter 105

Next time in.....
The December issue will be out on the at the beginning of the month. Lots of follow up articles, new reviews, news and as ever packed with the articles you want to read.
Our 2nd Christmas issue—and looking forward to the New Year

December 2010 Issue

On Test
Regular Columns

Reviews

Features
106 Target Shooter

...and lots more

See you next month.......................................

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