TARGET SHOOTER MAGAZINE

June 2012 Issue

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Contents
June 2012 Issue
AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE (Part 2) by Laurie Holland. Many claim that F Class is becoming an ‘arms race’ but last month, I outlined the ‘affordable F/TR rifle’ concept, also describing the first of a threesome being prepared to demonstrate potential approaches.

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Contents Continued & More...
June 2012 Issue

Page 58

Rimfire Tuners - Finding the Elusive ‘Sweet Spot’ - by Ray Cockayne. OK, so like me you have pawned the wife’s jewellery and bought yourself a tuner for your beloved target rifle, it’s fitted on the rifle and you are now ready to ‘tune’ it. How do you find the ‘Sweet Spot’ that elusive point that magically brings the group size to one small hole at 50m?

UKPSA NEWS THE UKPSA JUBILEE GRADED PRACTICAL PISTOL COMPETITION. By David Thompson. At the start of June 2012, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the ascension to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Events will take place across the globe to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 year reign. The UKPSA organised a graded practical pistol competition to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee.

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THE HANDLOADING BENCH by Laurie Holland. THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO. This is our third - and we promise last - look at a combined electronic scales and powder dispensing device. Vince Bottomley reviewed the Hornady L-N-L Autocharge in the November 2011 issue and Chris Parkin has had a look at the Lyman 1200 DPS III.

The Great Diggle Egg Shoot - May 2012. The threat of bad weather curbed the entry slightly for this year’s shoot but thankfully the rain more or less held off and we had a good day’s shooting with light winds.

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Regulars
THE LONG VIEW by Les Holgate. The second of the GBFCA League shoots took place at the fabulous Blair Atholl range in May. I didn’t manage to get there but Laurie Holland did, so here’s his take on the event. GBFCA LEAGUE ROUND 2 - BLAIR ATHOLL.

& more
Page 62 - 78 Page 18

LATEST NEWS FROM THE BENCH
Page 60

QUIGLY NEWS ISSF WORLD CUP
Page 80

The Double Alpha Academy Race Master Holster. The New IPSC Competition Holster. By David Thompson. Over the 20 years I have been shooting IPSC, I have used a variety of holsters from different manufacturers in competitive events. I have used Hellweg, Rescomp and borrowed a Guga Ribas to try in a few matches. For the past number of years I have been using the Ghost competition holster in Production and Standard Divisions. This year a new holster hit the IPSC competition circuit – the Race Master, made by Double Alpha Academy (DAA).

TARGET SHOTGUN
Page 82
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Page 102 Page 44

Busman’s Holiday – Pt 2 by Carl Boswell. UK and international rimfire benchrest shooter Carl Boswell completes his dream holiday saga in Finland, visiting and shooting with Scandinavia’s leading shooters and looking at one or two innovative ideas – like a front rest made from wood!

BROOKSIE AND LOTS MORE...

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Welcome to the new look June 2012 edition of Target Shooter Magazine

The Choice of Champions

March SCOPES
Tactical Turrets

This scope has the largest zoom ratio of any FFP scope ever made, additional feature is the 0.05 Mil centre dot, this was designed not to obscure the target on higher magnification.
A feature of First Focal Plane (FFP) design, also known as Front Focal Plane, is the reticle scale value does not change over the entire zoom range of the rifle scope. Also the POA does not change over the entire zoom range. This simplifies use of the reticle for ranging and holdover in conjunction with ballistic charts.

Webitorial June 2012
Looking at this month’s magazine, you wouldn’t think we were without pistols in not so Great Britain! Clearly, the sport is thriving in Northern Ireland and of course, residents of the Isle of Man are still trusted to own and shoot pistols. Members of the UKPSA manage to take part in overseas pistol events, whilst we on the UK mainland are stuck with our strange long-barrel pistols and muzzle loaders, though we do have news of an exciting development from pistol stalwart, Alan Westlake. What really has been achieved by this ban? Last month I visited the London Prepares ISSF World Cup at the new Olympic facility near the Woolwich Barracks. I witnessed pistol shooters enjoying their sport from many countries including Oman, Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea, Ukraine, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Bahrain, Kasakhstan, Qatar, Hong Kong, Belarus, Iran, Serbia, Turkey, Bolivia and most countries of Europe. My question is: How come the governments of all these nations have managed to nurture a population who can be trusted with firearms when the British Government cannot? Would any British MP care to explain? On a brighter note – I tried a new shooting discipline this month – Practical Shotgun. After ‘dipping my toe in the water’ last month, I took the plunge, dusted off the old Remmy 1100 and entered my first competition. I was way out of my Benchrest/F Class comfort zone and yes, I dolloped mightily but still enjoyed it immensely! Clanging those steels with a kicking semi-auto was great fun – give it a go sometime!

1 Click 0.05 Mil Turrets

NEW
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The Choice of Champions
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March FX 5 - 40 x 56. The worlds most powerful first focal plane scope...

For UK & EU: marchscopes.co.uk - Call 01293 606901 or info@marchscopes.co.uk For  Australia & NZ:  BRT Shooters Supply - PO Box 1124 - Springwood - 4127 Queensland, Australia. Phone. 07-3808 4862 - www.marchscopes.com.au

Editor - Vince Bottomley vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk Advertising and Office Manager - Yvonne Wilcock. yvonne@targetshooter.co.uk Compiled, Designed & Web Production by Steve Thornton. www.thorntonconnect.com Contributors - Vince Bottomley - Laurie Holland - Ken Hall - Don Brooke
Michelle Gallagher - Chris Parkin - Tony Saunders - Les Holgate - George Coleman Ken Hall - Carl Boswell - Richard Wild

Cover Photograph by Steve Thornton
Disclaimer

Vince, Yvonne & Steve
Vince Bottomley - vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk Yvonne - yvonne@targetshooter.co.uk Steve - steve@stevethornton.co.uk

The website www.targetshooteronline.com 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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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

Many claim that F Class is becoming an ‘arms race’ but last month, I outlined the ‘affordable F/TR rifle’ concept, also describing the first of a threesome being prepared to demonstrate potential approaches. But first, let’s forget rifles for a while and look at ‘bolt-ons’, by which I mean almost everything else needed to get started – riflescope, bi-pod, shooting mat and rear bag. I set a budget ceiling of £500 last month, almost certainly too tight but, we’ll see what we can do. Starting with the bi-pod, F/TR critics rail against what they see as ‘unnatural’, expensive models and argue for a folding-leg rule. Some also demand that the ‘pod should fit inside a frame, these moves designed to ensure that ‘Harris type’ designs are mandatory.

Why F/TR shooters need a large bi-pod elevation range – Diggle and its steeply terraced firing points.

AN AFFORDABLE FTR RIFLE
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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

Actually, appearance and supposed ‘purity’ aside, the cheaper wide-foot designs are not that much more expensive than a Harris, and I’d recommend anybody starting up in F/TR and planning to shoot 308 Win to buy one. Osprey Rifles (www.ospreyrifles.com) sells its Spanish made Fito ‘Light-Foot’ and ‘Big-Foot’ models for £140 and the Dolphin Gun Company’s ‘Trakker’ costs £165 or £175 depending on model (www.dolphinguncompany.co.uk). By comparison, the lowest price I’ve found for a Harris 9-13” Swivel model is around £100. Note, I said ‘Swivel’ as the cheaper ‘fixed’ (rigid, no-cant) models are far too restrictive on the firing line. However, you really need a ‘Pod-Lok’ or similar friction lock handle that provides more purchase and leverage for doing up the swivel tension – it really does need to be tight – and if you’re going to attach a Harris to an accessory rail, you’ll need an adaptor, so any initial savings are partly lost. Note however, that the Fito models need an accessory rail on the rifle forend, so they’re unsuitable for my sporter-based rifles, the Savage and Howa, fine though on the ex-TR Paramount. Dolphin’s ‘Trakker’ models can be had with either sling swivel stud or rail mounting.

incorporate friction-locks to tighten everything up and stop the rifle flopping around under its own weight. The Versa-Pod comes with a ‘universal adaptor’ (the mounting block and spigot attached to the rifle forend) that locks onto a sling swivel stud and is contoured for a curved forend but alternatives are available at £34 a throw including those that fit Freelander or Anschutz accessory rails, flat-bottom fore-ends and so on. Should you use a Versa-Pod on more than one rifle, additional adaptors let you swap it between them in seconds. Note that with any folding bi-pod, a single leg length range may not cope with the topography of different rifle ranges, or in Diggle’s case, its marked firing-point height variations which need very different amounts of muzzle elevation according to both match distance and the target you’re squadded on. As well as providing a more stable platform than the ‘folders’, the larger triangular F/TR bi-pods supply a bit more adjustment. Although we’re trying to get started on a tight budget, avoid cheap Harris and Versa-Pod copies that show up on scores of E-Bay subscribers’ and other Internet sellers’ pages. They’re cheap for a reason, being insufficiently robust to support 15lb plus of rifle and ‘scope and stand up to the battering that full-house 308 Win loads impart. Having recommended a purpose-built F/TR job to the 308 Win shooter, the light recoiling 223 Rem works fine with a ‘folder’ and I use two different height Versa-Pods in my ‘mouse gun’ shooting. Once aligned on the target, the rifle is pushed forward with the shoulder to ‘load’ the bi-pod and stop it moving under recoil. An added benefit is that slight changes in shoulder pressure fine-tune the elevation setting

Harris BR-S (short swivel model) bi-pod showing the factory tension nut, the knurled cylinder on the front of the chassis with the Pod-Lok parts alongside.

Two different length Versa-Pods are employed to cope with varying firing point elevations. The Dolphin ‘Trakker’ F/TR bi-pod. This example has an Anschutz rail mount, but a version that locks onto a sling swivel stud is also available.

KFS Industries of Atlanta, Georgia now owns the design and manufactures still further improved versions in North America (www.versapod.com) with our importer Beechwood Sport Ltd (www. beechwoodsport.com) operating an online sales facility. Aluminium alloy ‘locking’ models retail for just under £100, half as much again for the all-steel version. There is again a cheaper (non-locking) version but avoid it for this application. Both types offer full pan/ tilt and cant facilities but the ‘locking’ versions

Versa-Pod
Anyway, purpose-built wide-set F Class models aren’t exactly practical for tactical competitors and field shooters, so you may well prefer a folding-leg type on a multi-use rifle, at least initially. Whilst the Harris is the best known and most widely available design, I prefer the Versa-Pod spigot-mount system. It originated back in the 1930s on the British Army’s BREN light machine-gun and was subsequently updated by Parker-Hale Limited for police and military sniper rifles.

The Pod-Lok installed – a two minute job after you’ve eventually found a quarter-inch socket to remove the Harris version’s keeper nut.

The Versa-Pod system locks onto and swivels around a spigot, also providing pan and tilt through a second movable joint. The knurled knobs facing the camera adjust the tightness of the two joints.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

replaced with a lighter fastener if there is a need to save a few ounces to get under the 8.25 Kg ceiling.

as the legs angle backwards slightly under load, so a small increase drops the muzzle fractionally, easing off raises it. My battered Versa-Pods have seen hard use on a variety of rifles over many years and incorporate steel and aluminium alloy components, mostly the former. This doesn’t make for a light package with weights around 0.7 and 0.8 Kg (1lb 10 oz / 1lb 12 oz) for the short and medium length models respectively including adaptor – current alloy versions are claimed to weigh 0.54 Kg. The adaptor is heavier than it need be for this application incorporating a sling swivel / large knurled steel fastener assembly. This can be

Riflescopes
Moving onto optics, we can easily blow our entire budget here. Some ‘Open’ shooters have moved onto the March 10-80 power models that cost £2000 or more but, variables with either 32X or 42X top magnifications are still the norm in F/TR in GBFCA National League matches. Have a look at what shooters use in these as well as club competitions and you’ll see more Nightforce NXS side-focus variables than anything else, this model having been the standard for precision target shooting for some years. The cheaper NF Bench Rest model is also seen on F/ TR rifles but its front parallax adjustment and greater

weight make it less popular, although many ‘Open’ shooters use it. Both turn up in 8-32 and 12-42 power variants and there is keen debate over reticle types. Neither is cheap, NXS models retailing for over £1500 and you’ll likely pay the wrong side of a grand for a second-hand example. Rather cheaper, and increasingly seen on the ranges is the Sightron Series III side-focus scope available in 8-32 and 10-50 power versions with a large 56mm dia. objective lens and costing £850-900, let’s say £600700 for a used example if you can find one (www. aimfieldsports.com). They have superb optics, track very accurately and are also much lighter than the NXS, which is important once you decide you need a heavy profile 30 inch barrel on your rifle. Top-end, high magnification (5-25X and 12-50X56) Schmidt & Bender PMIIs (www.yorkguns.com) turn up surprisingly frequently in club matches usually on multi-use tactical and varmint rifles. They’re large,

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

heavy and expensive. Lighter and superb quality Leupold target ‘scopes are only rarely seen in UK matches almost certainly because while costing more than Series III Sightrons, have lower top end power and objective lens diameters, the VX-3 8.5-25X50 top of the range in this category. In any event, all of the aforementioned scopes are well above our budget, so what else is available, suitable and cheap? Fixed power, one-inch tube target models provide an option, especially as many are much developed, high quality products for short-range benchrest competition. They’re also much lighter than the variables, which can be a big plus when overall weight problems surface.

Triangle-form F/TR bi-pods at Blair Atholl. Keith Snow has the Fito-Force ‘Light Foot’ model on his Barnard. The riflescope is a Sightron SIII 8-32X56.

One-inch fixed-power target ‘scopes (sunshades attached). Bottom to top: Sightron Series II 36X42 BRD; Opti-Mate 24X44; Weaver T36. Note the small turrets on the Sightron and Opti-Mate – not F-Class friendly.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

Until recently, Edgar Brothers distributed Japanese target and varmint scopes under its Opti-Mate brand name including excellent 24X and 36X models in

Big boys – 30mm target scopes (sunshades removed). In price order bottom to top: Fox 8-32X50; Sightron Series III 8-32X56 LRTD; Nightforce NF BR 8-32X56; Schmidt & Bender PMII 12-50X56 (34mm body). Missing from this line-up are the Nightforce NXS and the Rolls-Royce of F-Class scopes, the March is illustrated on page 13.

the BRD designation hints, such one-inch tube, fixedpower models are better suited to benchrest-type shooting.

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

March 5-40x56 rifle scope

Relatively small (40-44mm) objective lens diameters allied to a high magnification produce low ‘exit-pupil’ values - 1.16mm in the case of a 36X42 which is OK in clear bright conditions but will see you struggle to pick out the essential scoring-rings on a target situated 500 or 600, never mind 1000 yards away on a dark, rainy day. (By contrast, an 8-32X56 ‘scope has an exit pupil of 1.75mm on its maximum power setting and you can turn the magnification down in really poor conditions, 20X producing 2.8mm tripling the amount of light that reaches your eye compared to a fixed power 36X.

misreading scope settings - especially if you ‘wind clicks on and off’ rather than stick to an average windage setting and aim-off - is very undesirable. Variables have advantages over high-magnification fixed power models too - it’s useful to be able to turn the power down to view adjacent targets to pick up on wind shifts, reduce mirage effect on the sight-picture and help set the rifle up on the firing point and align it with the target. So that leaves the second-hand market and budget models from Tasco, Nikko Stirling, Fox Firearms, and others, all made in China. Tasco only has one model The Savage LRPV ‘affordable rifle’ on the shorter VersaPod with an Opti-Mate 24X44 1” scope on top. Note the bi-pod legs’ angle when ‘loaded’.

A 30mm tube design also loses less light in internal transmission than a one-inch model, assuming the lens glass and coatings are of the same quality). They mostly have small turrets with hard to read markings and use eighth-MOA ‘clicks’ which some people like but I regard as a distraction compared to more commonly found quarter-MOA increments. When you’re down behind the rifle trying to cope with a tricky wind, anything that increases the chances of fixed and variable power versions, all with 44mm objectives. They retailed for under £250 the last time I looked but, I found they’ve been discontinued and the same specification Weaver Classic Target 24 and 36 power models (T24/T36 in shooter-speak) which have replaced them are priced well above our budget. Sightron importer Aim Field Sports sells the excellent fixed-power Sightron Series II 36X42 BRD (Bench Rest, crosshairs + Dot reticle) for £390, which is excellent value but would still break our accessories budget by a large margin when other bits are added. Moreover, as Right - This is my Savage 12 LRPV heavy-barrel varmint rifle rebarrelled to 223 Rem. with a fast (1-7.5) rifling twist rate to suit 80 and 90gn bullets. I’ll report on its first competition outing at the end of this feature.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

with magnification above 24X and everything in the range uses one-inch tubes, so they’re not ideal. Nikko Stirling has some powerful 30mm body side-focus variables that go up to 60-power. Prices are attractive - an online budget optics supplier listing the 8-32X60 Platinum Nite Eater IR for £220 + P&P as I write this but, I have no knowledge of this scope range’s features, weights, and general suitability for F/TR. The cheapo’ models I do know well are Brian Fox’s Chinese made 30mm ZOS target models that retail for a ludicrously low £115 or thereabouts and are available as side-focus 8-32, 10-40 or 10-50 power models with a 50mm objective lens. I own no fewer than three older 8-32 examples, one having stood up to the recoil of several hundred .300 Magnum rounds. They’re available with Mil-Dot or fine crosshair + dot reticles, the latter being my choice. Generally speaking, it’s wise to avoid very powerful budget riflescopes, so I’ll buy another 8-32X50 for this project as soon as Fox Firearms receives another

shipment. You’ll say that there must be compromises or deficiencies in such a low priced product and you’d be partly correct – while the optical quality and mechanical features are good, fantastic considering the price, these scopes are heavy compared to a Sightron SIII or Nightforce NXS. Whilst the latest 8-32 Sightron offers 72-MOA of elevation adjustment, the 8-32X Fox has around 55, the 10-50X version less I’d imagine. Whilst saving ounces to stay within the 8.25 Kg overall weight limit isn’t a critical issue with my Savage LRPV or Howa 1500 ‘Varmint’ project rifles, cost is so, the Fox it’ll be. I suspect that the heavier Paramount TR rifle will prove problematic weight-wise with this scope. Meanwhile, I had thought that the Opti-Mate 24X44 would be suitable for shorter-range F Class and that’s what was initially mounted on the savage LRPV and sighted-in for my 90gn Berger BT/Viht N150 load.

here, another £10 for those with a leather base / body topped with ‘Cordura’ fabric ears. ‘Cordura’ is a better bet for outdoor shooting in our wet climate, much less sticky than leather when damp. So, we’re talking somewhere around £150 for the two items, but many club shooters happily survive on kit that costs half that.

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

First Outing
So, how did the 223 Savage LRPV do in its first outing, a 200yd Diggle match held in late April? Let’s look at the conditions – musing on the competition programme beforehand had conjured up an idyllic image of a bright, balmy spring day,

nearly 30 mph on the firing point. Still, we were only assaulted by an occasional flurry of sleet or burst of hail, so things could have been MUCH worse! It’s been a long time since I competed at 200 yards and I became convinced some seriously sick masochist had got at the target in the interim. The 200 yard F Class target is so small it’s now printed on a sheet of A4 paper - a white target with a black one-inch diameter V-Bull/aiming mark and thin black half MOA scoring-

Other Bits
Of course, you’ll need a shooting-mat to lie on and an eared sand-bag to support the buttstock. You can economise with these items but, starting out with kit that’ll last for years is a good idea. There are lots of shooting mats on the market, but the Aim Field Sports model is the most widely seen in F Class matches at all levels and is ideally suited to the discipline. It’s wide and provides a more stable base for a bag-supported rifle than the thicker ‘spongy’ models that prone TR and similar shooters use. It costs £89 + P&P. Most gunshops stock rabbit-ear leather or fabric rear bags nowadays, mostly Chinese made I imagine, but I’d advise spending a bit more on a good American model from Edgewood or Protektor or even Fox Firearms bags from Seb – they’ll last longer and provide a more stable platform. Prices cover a wide range depending on make or model and can be anything from £35 to over £100. Basic benchrest models with a stiff leather base cost around £50 with leather ears by the time they get

Protektor bunny-ear all-leather rear bag. The white stuff is Sinclair bag wax (powdered carnuba wax) that reduces friction and is unaffected by water.

pleasantly warm after a long miserable winter and with light to moderate, if still challenging winds. The reality on the day was very cold, very dark and with the worst of Diggle’s winds, a freezing North-Easterly from 10 o’clock continuously gusting between 12 and

‘A learning process’ – the first outing with the .223 Rem Savage LRPV on a cold, dark and windy April day gave promising but not outstanding results.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE
Part 2 by Laurie Holland

Super Moly Tumble Coat Bullet Finishing Kit
Compounding that was the 24X44 scope which didn’t allow precise enough aiming on the F Class target, aggravated by the poor light conditions. (Ian told me where each of my shots had gone before the markers pulled the target, seeing 22 calibre holes clearly through his Nightforce NXS, while I could only just see his 30 cal. holes in the ‘white’ but rarely picked my own shots up). So, lessons from this outing? Unsurprisingly, a folding bi-pod is less stable than custom F/TR models but Ian also commented on wind disturbance to his aim despite using the lowest, widest bi-pod on the GB league circuit. As expected, the Versa-Pod had no trouble coping with the Savage LRPV in 223 Rem. form and the rifle/ cartridge performed sweetly – a real pleasure to shoot. In several years of using this bi-pod, I’d never experienced such problems before and am happy to discount them on the basis of it being an exceptionally rough day. The scope specification is another matter. Until that match I would have said that while not ideal, 24 power is adequate for F Class. I’d now revise that and say you really should look for a 32 power 30mm body scope unless your F Class shooting is on larger nonregulation targets. If you’re going to push the budget anywhere, do it on the optics and get a Sightron 8-32 from the off. If you can stand the extra weight, the Chinese manufactured budget Nikko Stirling and Fox Firearms ZOS are the only suitable alternatives, if the money won’t stretch to the US models. The Savage’s Opti-Mate will be replaced by one of the latter models before its next match and we’ll see how it performs at 500 or 600 yards.

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rings. I got myself partnered with National League competitor Ian Dixon who can read Diggle’s winds as well as anybody I know and whose home-‘smithed 308 F/TR rifle shooting 185gn Bergers is as accurate and ballistically efficient as you’ll get. To cut to the chase, I shot 90.6v which would have been 92 if I’d had a known scope elevation setting for this distance. The high ‘three’ as first score shot was the first lesson of the day – 223 Rem, with 90s anyway, needs two fouling shots from a clean barrel before velocities and elevations ‘settle’. Despite dropping the elevation setting five ‘clicks’ (5/8 MOA) from Sighter 2, score shot 1 actually landed slightly higher for a linecutter ‘three’. Another half-MOA off and elevation was OK for the rest of the match. I said 90.6v (or 92 on ‘might-have-been’ scoring) and you’d likely think that was a good result in the rough conditions? Not so! My partner, Ian, put in an amazing 98 and when we got off the firing line, it turned out he’d been outdone by our TS photographer and webmaster Steve Thornton, who’d only dropped one point, also shooting F/TR! It seems that the bullets were less affected by the howling wind than expected with their flat short-range trajectories in the sheltered downwind side of the hill. Ian and Steve found that their 308s just held the two-inch diameter ‘five’ ring with nil or marginal aim-offs for wind changes, albeit with a fair number of ‘line-cutters’ and low V counts. I doubt if the 223 would have replicated that ballistic performance producing a few ‘just-out fours’ using that aiming tactic but that wasn’t the problem. A combination of fierce gusts hitting the firing point and folding bi-pod support made it difficult to hold the rifle steady in the aim. Shot 12 was marked as a particularly egregious leftwards wobble as the firingpin dropped and was lucky to stay within the four-ring.

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cont...

Competitions
I always seem to be moaning about the weather but, for once, we had almost perfect conditions for our 1000 yard BR shoot on the Sunday of the May Bank Holiday weekend and we didn’t waste it! Almost from the off, small groups started to appear – a ‘seven’ from Peter Regan with his 338 Lapua Magnum and then a ‘five’ from Andy Fellerman, followed by two more ‘fives’ from Mal Roberts. Amazingly, the weather held for the afternoon and Mal stuck in two six-inch groups to set a new UK Light Gun agg. of 5.728 inches. But, this wouldn’t be the only record to fall. Sean Broxham shoots an absolutely standard ‘out of the box’ 6.5 -284 Savage and, his string of four, single-figure groups set a new Factory Sporter agg. record of 7.481 Record breaker. Sean Broxham with his 6.5-284 factory Savage inches and one of Sean’s groups, measuring just 4.385 inches broke the existing Factory Sporter small group record. Remember, this is with an absolutely standard factory rifle! No less than 25 shooters recorded single-figure groups and, after losing my Light Gun agg. record to Mal, it was some consolation to shoot small group of the day with a 3.42 incher. Results: Light Gun 1st Mal Roberts
record)

In our 100 yard shoot the day before, Jeanette Whitney continued her run of form by taking another win. However, despite shooting a tiny 0.118 incher, it was Mike Perdeaux who took the small group award with a 0.111 incher. Gary Stewart took a comfortable win in the new Sporter Class with his 22 BR, beating an on-form Darrel Evans who shot two fabulous groups – a 0.233 and a 0.235 in. at least taking the small group award. Results Heavy Varmint: 1st Jeanette Whitney 2nd Bruce Lenton 3rd Mike Perdeaux Small group Mike Perdeaux Sporter Class: 1st 2nd 3rd Small group

6PPC Stolle 6PPC RGR Lawton 6PPC Stolle 0.111 inches

0.2202 inches (av. of five, 5-shot groups) 0.3122 0.3216

Gary Stewart Darrel Evans Darren Grundle Darrel Evans

22BR Walker BAT 6.5x47 Acc Intl. 6BR GBR

0.3786 inches 0.406 0.429 0.233 inches

Me? Well, they said I wouldn’t be mentioning it in Target Shooter so I suppose I better had – whilst holding third spot after three Matches, I shot on the wrong target! That incurs a five-inch penalty – no way back from that! That’s what we at Diggle call a ‘dollop’.

6.5-284 BAT 6.5-284 Savage 243AI Stolle 6mm Xtreme

5.728in. (av. of four, 5-shot groups – new UK 7.481 7.516 3.420 inches

The Diggle Egg Shoot
We had a full three days of accuracy shoots over the Bank Holiday weekend, with our Egg Shoot on the Bank Holiday Monday – read all about it elsewhere in this issue.

2nd 3rd Small group

Sean Broxham Graham Francis Vince Bottomley

Forthcoming Events
Our next benchrest weekend at Diggle will take place at the end of June – 30th June/1st July to be exact. We’ve had a few new shooters try benchrest at 100 and 1000 yards this year and I think it’s fair to say – they are hooked! Shooting a five-inch group at 1000 yards with your rifle is pretty special but that’s exactly what Andy Fellerman did at his second ever benchrest shoot! Why not come and give it a try? Just turn up on the day and we’ll get you started. More info from vinceb@targetshooteronline.com

Factory Sporter: 1st Sean Broxham 2nd Alan Seagrave 3rd Garry Green Small group Sean Broxham

6.5-284 Savage 6.5x55 Tikka 300 WMag. Winchester

7.481 inches 10.308 10.946 4.385 inches - New

UK record
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Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell

Busman’s Holiday - Part 2

by Carl Boswell

UK and international rimfire benchrest shooter Carl Boswell completes his dream holiday saga in Finland, visiting and shooting with Scandinavia’s leading shooters and looking at one or two innovative ideas – like a front rest made from wood!
This month, we will revisit the wooden front rest that Jens Lagas wrote about a few months ago. I actually get to look at the different phases of the design and to actually test them. This was very exciting

Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell
as we - Jens and myself - worked on the final design. (However, as I was leaving Finland the rest took another developmental step!). Nevertheless, we were there to shoot and test and that is what we did, in a number of venues, indoor and outdoor, with centerfire and rimfire rifles. It was pretty thorough, if not empirical it was hardy in nature. I guess the hardy aspect was the fact that we attempted one of the final tests in minus twelve conditions, with a metre of snow around us!

My hosts and your scribe ice fishing on a frozen lake...

The Mk IV version

Basically, with this being a wooden rest the main question is does it work? What about material expansion? What about movement? What about tolerances not being that accurate? I could go on but I imagine that these are the questions you would have when considering a wooden rest.

Tests

The tests of the rests took several forms - although these were very much ‘taste’ tests. Testing for stability, ease of use, precision movement, component parts, resilience and achievable accuracy. These were tested in a number of venues, using the Mark III and IV designs.

Scores out of 5
Stability Ease of Use Precision Movement Component Parts Resilience Achievable Accuracy

Mark III 3 Mark IV

3 4

3 5

3 4

4 4

4 4

4 5

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Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell

Indoor Rimfire at 50m

Outdoor Rimfire at 50m

The indoor test waited until our visit to Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Land in the Arctic Circle. Yes, indoor testing on the Arctic Circle - I guess they need the indoor ranges in the winter! This test was of the Mark III. Although not completely finished the rest did the job - providing the stability needed to shoot accurately. The component parts were the initial prototypes and have now been succeeded by those on the Mark IV. So to be simplistic about things and in retrospect I just really wanted to know if the rest was usable to shoot accurately from, as the Mark IV rest is better made and the R&D is better. In essence yes the rest worked and was stable. I hit what I aimed at. However, functionality has now been surpassed by the later model. Enough said!

Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell
So functionality may not be as good on this earlier model, but it still does the job, as seen from the target. Jens is an inventor! Never stopping and always seeing the next step. If this rest was to go onto the market which he does not have the time to do - I guess that the ‘client’ would get very good customer service as the product would just get better with additional ‘add ons’! I wonder if a metal version will ever surface - but that’s just me! The rest works, especially the Mark IV, end of story. I would like to see a fully painted and finished version. Jens has developed this rest during different stages of the year, testing in different weather conditions as he goes along. The sub-zero temperature tests could be compared to the full summer temperature tests - if we get any - and I think this would be the final circumstances where we know the diversity of the product. Long term use would also be something worth investigating further. However, we have to face facts and in an article like this it is rare to use a product over a full season or even a whole year. This rest is designed specifically for the movements we deal with in rimfire. The recoil associated with centerfire shooting does not occur in rimfire benchrest - less so with air rifle! I guess we were just trying to make the rest fall apart or break to the point where it would not work. There are features I would like to see in the design but that is not the point - this is designed and made as cheap but functional rest, with many features you would see in more expensive designs. If we keep adding to or using more expensive materials the price inevitably goes up. Still, the design has possibilities for some entrepreneur who is willing to make it into a marketable product.

Jens has his own private outdoor range near his summerhouse. The range is just behind the building which creates and interesting shooting environment with wind blowing in from the frozen sea behind the bench at forty five degrees. The building should act as a baffle for the first fifteen or so metres but swirling winds develop from forty-five degrees, which makes life interesting. After this initial difficulty we are then

Outdoor Centerfire at 100m
The outdoor test took place in Vika, forty kilometres North West of Rovaniemi, in very much Arctic conditions. The lowest temperature we had was in open space again with those sometimes drastic winds coming directly off the frozen sea. This test was of the Mark IV, which is more stable than its predecessor and easier to use. I think this was due to better working component parts and very precise tolerances - which I saw machined before we used it. The rest worked exceptionally well and this is my favourite. The front bag lifts more easily and is stable. Movement is fast a secure when zeroed on the diagram. Movements can be precise and the accuracy, due to good stability, was very positive. Even in these relatively extreme conditions holdingoff was not a problem and I felt confident about the bullet hitting where I wanted it to. Resilience? Well I gave this a score of 4 like the other but to be fair the proof would really be revealed in long term use which I would like to experiment with a little more.

minus thirty. The day we tested it was late afternoon and the temperature slowly lowered to minus twelve the last time I looked - but my feet were telling me something different, even wrapped up in multiple layers of thermal wear and boots. This test was again using the Mark III, using Juhani’s 6 PPC, so thanks to him for its use. This test was basically about how hardy this rest could be in the ‘Arctic conditions’ already described. Using the

centerfire rifle also allowed us to see if the thing would fall apart - which it did not. Looking at the photographs of the target at 100 metres shows the accuracy attainable using this very cheap rest. There are five bullets passing through that hole, the same achieved with the Farley we had at the range on the same day.

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Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell
Anyone wanting to have the plans to manufacture this rest for themselves should contact Jens via his email jens.lagas@netikka.fi The plans he offers to make this rest were in the second phase as I left, having just edited them for him. I am guessing that as this goes to press they will probably be in the final stages. The newer elements to the design are a more robust forend stop, probably with two posts to guide the rifle, a more precise front bag lifting system, guided by two columns and using materials that are a bit more ‘slick’ when attempting movement. The rear speed-screw has also been redesigned and functions better. If nothing else, at this price - about 100 euros - it would make good club rest for shooters starting off in the sport. Remember, the R & D work is free - all you have to do is make it. Another aspect to this article is an additional test of a new front rest prototype in Finland. This is designed and made by Tapani Nousiainen. He and Jens had spoken about the design of Jens own rest, with the parameters Jens was trying to incorporate. This is where two minds think alike but come up with two different and distinct ideas!!

The rest by Tapani allows quick movement in the same way as Jens, but the mechanics are in reverse order to some extent. It is clever in concept and at first glance it looks very simplistic. It is based on two central pivots, one for sideways movement and one for vertical movements. Both are controlled by the extending arm and sliding ‘handle’. The arm acts as a slider for the handle which can be moved from side to side and slid on the arm to increase/decrease elevation. This handle has to move on a ‘slick’ surface, such as glass in this case, or a Delrin/PFTE base as a suggestion. Really, this needs to be integral within the design. I can certainly see the glass not being practical for travelling and I believe Tapani has now integrated this ‘slick’ plate into the redesigned base of the rest. An interesting feature of this could be different plates in the base, offering just height adjustment or height with side adjustment for different needs. The handle which slides on the arm works extremely well for fast movement. In one test, I shot five target diagrams in about twelve seconds - all bulls. Yes, this was indoors, so no wind as such to worry about, only the small thermals created in the room but the speed of movement was quite significant. It obviously depends how you personally shoot but, on occasion, it is necessary to shoot in quick succession if you can. This could be because conditions necessitate this or that during a match you find yourself just running out of time! Dealing with a variety of windage and elevation knobs to facilitate movement is not conducive to a speedy process.

Busman’s Holiday - Part 2
by Carl Boswell
I suppose in some ways this is why rests have developed to provide movement easily, speedily and effectively, such as with coaxial rests. The rest on test is a lot faster than a coaxial! That is its selling point. Tipani’s rest went through a similar testing regime as I describe above. After testing we suggested a few ideas to Tapani that are just personal preferences, logistical improvements or where the rest may have potential issues. Potential areas for further development are; a larger footprint on the ‘handle’ for stability (the reason why it achieved 3 marks), a locking mechanism on the ‘handle’, integration of the floor plate into the rest, different floor plates for different needs - shooting distances, potential for interchangeable tops, plus a few other minor things. I believe he is incorporating some of these thoughts into the next prototype and I cannot wait to see and test these improvements. There is a lot of potential in this little rest and I like it a lot. Like everything, this potential will cost if more materials or manufacturing time are used. If you are interested in hearing about the latest development you can contact Tipani at tapani4@luukku.com In essence, these were interesting if not full tests, as they were completed over a short period of time - I do like to ‘play’ with products like these for a good few weeks of shooting. By the end of this you can usually tell what issues may arise, if they were being used in a match. Let’s face it, in this game we rely on a good rest, like all our other equipment.

As with all of these ‘Busman’ articles, what I am trying to show is the extent of which the sport is developing in Finland, where ingenuity is being utilised to enable shooters to engage with the sport.

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GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

The long View
by Les Holgate News from the GB F-Class Association
Photography - SteveThornton Photography by Steve Thornton

GBFCA LEAGUE ROUND 2 - BLAIR ATHOLL

After April’s chilly Diggle round, the GBFCA league took competitors nearly 300 miles further north a mere three weeks later for Round two at Blair Atholl in the first weekend of May.
The ‘merry month of May’ conjures up pleasant images of a warming world, lovebirds cooing, the flora busily exploding in fresh bright green .... and all that stuff. But, hey this is a GB F Class Association round and it’s Blair Atholl man, some thousand feet above sea level in the Scottish Highlands.

The second of the GBFCA League shoots took place at the fabulous Blair Atholl range in May. I didn’t manage to get there but Laurie Holland did, so here’s his take on the event.
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GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

The regional forecast said north-west winds, night air frost, low daytime temperatures and a 20% probability of ‘wintry showers’ for day one, Saturday 5th May. WINTRY – that’s a chilling word, even before the first snowflake hits you in the eye! The not so bad news was that wind speeds were predicted to be low, single figure mph but those who know West Atholl RC’s Glen Tilt Range also know that ... weather girl speak with forked tongue ... to misquote the Lone Ranger’s faithful Indian companion and, anything other than the predicted conditions can and likely will arise! Interestingly, two of last season’s top ‘Open’ shooters decided to switch calibres for Blair, presumably with one eye on those forecasts – Grant Taylor up-gunned from his usual 284 Shehane to 7mm WSM while Simon Rodgers took the opposite route and downsized from his 7mmSAUM to 6x47 Lapua. There was a capacity entry spread over four details, with a small bias to ‘Open’ competitors at 26 to F/TR’s 22. Some League regulars were missing and, there was a welcome infusion of new faces in F/TR, some having chosen Blair for their first ever long-range match. (Brave or foolish? You decide!)

GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

I understand the entry was oversubscribed and reigning F/TR League Champion Russell Simmonds nearly missed this round, being posted a ‘reserve’ before taking the place of someone who dropped out at the last minute. There were five matches scheduled, all at 1000 yards (actually 984 yards on this range), all 2 sighters and 15 to count, split three to two over Saturday & Sunday. Wind and String Saturday turned out dry with frequent sunny spells but chilly in the freezing north wind. Incidentally, unlike the soggy south, the range was bone dry and dusty, the River Tilt running at low summer levels, more boulders than water visible in its channel. Match Director Des Parr decided not to erect the usual protective ‘gazebos’ on the firing-point, giving everybody more room and making it easier and quicker to move gear around as the relays changed over.

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GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

This was a good thing, as time turned out to be at a premium for various reasons, the first being the switch from the usual ‘shoot in pairs’ to ‘string shooting’ as practised in the USA. This is part of preparing GB Team members for next year’s F Class World Championships in Raton, New Mexico. For those unfamiliar with the concept, two shooters get down on the point and set their gear up as usual but only one shoots within a 20 minute overall time limit at whatever rate suits – no 45 second rule applying. His (or her) partner keeps score and they swap roles when the first competitor has finished, the rifle cleared, score totalled and signed off. To make things simple, Des had circulated a colourcoded squadding sheet beforehand with each relay or detail split into ‘a’ and ‘b’ sub-categories so everybody knew their relay, target, and shooting order. I’ve reproduced part of it for Stages 1 and 2 on Saturday and you can see that the F/TR entrants started the proceedings on the day. Richard Jones and Tony Donnachie were allocated to Target 6 (extreme lefthand). Richard would shoot first being in Detail 1(a). Most people shoot quickly in string mode, only slowing or pausing if there is a major conditions change but, with each sub-detail starting together, it was the slowest time of the sextet shooting that

determined how much of the 20 minutes allotment was needed, hence the start time of the next group. With three minutes ‘preparation time’ for each subdetail preceding firing, you can see that a full detail of 12 could need 46 minutes plus whatever time is needed for changeovers. So, if significant numbers use their 20 minutes, or anything close, a Stage (four details) would take an hour and three-quarters but the first of each day longer still, as shooters on each of the eight sub-details were also allowed a few extra minutes for ‘blow-off’ shots onto the backstop. Should any problems arise that slowed shooting further, we’d be in trouble – and we soon were! Several ‘Open’ guys had experience of string shooting in American events but it was a novelty for most F/TR competitors and it is VERY different from our usual way of doing things. There was a lot of discussion in ‘The Bothy’ [bar] about tactics on Friday evening but things often looked very different once we were on the firing line and had to deal with the conditions we’d been dealt. Put crudely, the extremes are to shoot at ‘normal’ speed, read the flags and conditions on a shot by shot basis and keep a full paper plot, graphing wind and suchlike. Or - shoot really fast, ‘chasing the spotter’ and hope sheer

speed produces nil or only minor condition changes between shots. Blair’s electronic targets produce an immediate result on the monitor and with only one shooter’s hits on the screen, a visual pattern appeared as the match progressed. Obviously, conditions affected tactics – a big change might see an otherwise fast shooter pause for quite a long time hoping for a return to the earlier condition. The risk in not keeping estimated versus real windage and elevation plots is that if everything does change mid match and the shooter eventually has to run with the new conditions, the first shots after restarting are almost ‘sighters’.

GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

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GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

route, Steve Donaldson loading the new 230gn Berger Hybrid figuring you can never have too high a BC at Blair!

There were two main conditions on Saturday, both headwinds. The first and dominant one was a fairly strong, very variable wind from around 10-11 o’clock whose strength and angle never seemed to stabilise. It affected elevation as well as lateral movement, the classic Blair 45-degree (high left, low right) pattern appearing on the monitors with a good smattering of threes, twos and worse on many F/TR shooter’s plots. Less bad for the ‘Open’ shooters’ and their ballistically superior cartridges but still very easy to get a three in a gust or let-off. The other condition appeared erratically and might last for a few shots only, or if lucky, long enough to get most or all of the 15 shots off. It appeared to be closer to a true headwind in this mode with the flags showing an apparent right to left direction but a small amount of left windage was still needed on the scope. It was lighter too with a reasonably consistent strength and direction. However, failing to notice a transition between conditions was underway would produce a disastrous result, no score all too easily obtained! If lucky enough to get the lighter winds, the game plan was to shoot as fast as possible while they lasted and let the plot go hang! Many F/TR competitors had brought 155gn ammunition, reckoning they could shoot faster with light bullets and reduced recoil. For instance, the F/TR shooters on the first stage’s detail 2(b) fell lucky with the wind and this was the tactic Paul Crosbie used, banging off his quota of 155.5gn Bergers in three minutes for a very respectable 66 (ex 75). While this was happening I watched an inexperienced competitor take his time letting the condition slip away with only half the match shot, and paying for this with a much lower average shot value after the wind returned to the much more difficult left condition. Not everybody went down the light bullet

Spies and Battalions However, it was Stuart Anselm who took the stage in F/TR on 69.3v using his usual 185gn Berger BTs and keeping a full paper plot – as he did all weekend. Richard Jones was a point behind, same V-count. While we thought Paul was fast, he was soon overshadowed by Grant ‘Speedy’ Taylor who managed to get fifteen 7mmWSM shots off in two minutes 20 seconds (sighters ‘converted’) for 71.5v beating off Paul Sandie by four Vs. I asked Grant afterwards if the group had opened at all or the elevation moved as the barrel heated but no, everything had stayed really consistent. You’ve got to wonder what ‘fifteen rounds rapid’ with a 7mm magnum averaging a shot every 9.3 seconds, does for barrel life! Not a lot, we reckoned in the bar afterwards.
Stage 2 saw stronger and more variable winds, at least when it started early in the afternoon. Nevertheless, the winners’ scores saw no drop-off with one Grant Taylor taking the medal on 72.1v ahead of reigning F Class league champion Gary Costello on 71.5v. The top two F/TR slots went to a pair of Altcar Range’s 101 RC finest sharing 69s, Billy McIntyre’s five Vs seeing off Adam Bagnall’s two. The range of scores being handed in was huge, especially in F/TR but all sorts of problems were affecting people in addition to reading the wind and getting to grips with strings! Seeing as how there is some great Shakespeare celebration under way, on the Beeb at any rate and you can’t avoid daily doses of the Bard’s life, times and works this spring, why should I miss out? So here’s a quote from Hamlet: “When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions”. Poor Des Parr and some competitors must have had thoughts on these lines assuming they’re of a

literary bent. Target 5 in particular seemed to have had Macbeth’s three witches put a hex on it - the first two shooters out on the target, Keith Snow and Paul Harkins, suffering major problems, ammunition and trigger respectively. Then the target started producing weird results after only a few shots, soon followed by none at all, every shot marked a miss! Attempts to cure the problem, shutting the monitors down and rebooting the system, failed. Keith and Paul had to restart on whichever other target became free first and the timetable was obviously going to come under pressure thanks to the loss of range capacity. Moreover, the problem worsened with whatever was ailing the target gradually spreading to its neighbours, so only 1 and 2 were still working reliably by mid afternoon despite several stops in shooting for parties to disappear down to the butts to try various remedies. Stage 3 was cancelled and competitors were fed into the surviving lanes, volunteers now scorekeeping, so a shooter started within seconds of his predecessor finishing. Even so, it took until 6pm to get through

GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

Stage 2’s final detail and that wasn’t the end of the day for Des and a volunteer group who stayed behind to disassemble the wiring in the butts, inspect, clean and check everything, while others stayed on the firing point receiving instructions by mobile phone to take test shots. Everything bar target 5 was eventually restored to use but in the absence of any obvious cause of the problems, it was decided to reduce Sunday’s two 15-round stages to a single 2 & 20 on the assumption that some targets would fail again. Sunday The day was cloudier with a distinct whiff of the notorious ‘wintry showers’ in the sky and around the slopes of the ‘Monroes’ off to the north of Glen Tilt, so the protective ‘gazebos’ reappeared on the firing point. One match only now and a different wind direction, from behind with a ‘bit of left’ normally needed on the sights but fishtailing around on occasions.

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GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

The most useful wind flag in these conditions, a tall number well down the range, was unfortunately absent presumably blown down during the winter and awaiting re-erection. Scores improved in the lighter wind nevertheless and guess who took the ‘Open’ stage medal and the overall winner’s glassware? It was the unstoppable Grant Taylor on a hat trick with a great 97.6v leading Lee Tomlinson by three Vs – what a fantastic, consistent performance especially given the range of different and difficult conditions over the two days! Russell Simmonds had his first really good match of the season in F/TR to take the stage on a superb 94.4v just leading Adam Bagnall’s 93.3v.

You didn’t need to think hard about who was the overall ‘Open’ winner, Grant’s aggregate 240.12v (ex a possible 250.50v) keeping him well clear of Gary Costello, Paul Sandie and Lee Tomlinson who were the only others to break 230. F/TR was much closer, for the overall lead anyway, with Adam Bagnall and Paul Crosbie tied on 222.6v. Adam got the silverware on count-back, his last shot of the weekend a five to Paul’s four. Paul never quite got a medal winning top-two stage score but had been just behind in all three matches to get the equal highest score on sheer consistency. Fewer than half of the F/TR shooters broke 200 and V-counts were low, Richard Jones hit the coveted 5-inch circle nine times in F/TR, Gary Costello 13 in ‘Open’ - one of only six shooters to achieve a double-figure total.

So, it was an interesting and for many a frustrating and difficult round. The target problems were a rare but real disappointment. Des has since updated me on the cause. Each target has a thick rubber membrane nearly covering the whole frame. That on 5 collapsed so the sensors couldn’t identify the position of the bullet strikes and fed false data back to the firing point, crucially destabilising the other targets in the process. Still, it does give some of us a novel excuse to add to the existing large suite – “I’m sure that 2 – 1 - no score hit in Match whatever was really a ‘V’ and the equipment got it wrong”.

GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

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GB F Class 2nd Round

Top 10 Results
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. F Class Grant Taylor Gary Costello Paul Sandie Lee Tomlinson Mark Daish Gordon Waugh Peter Hobson Dan Brough Mik Maksimovic John Campbell 240.12v 235.13v 232.7v 231.9v 226.12v 225.7v 225.5v 224.6v 222.6v 221.5v F/TR Adam Bagnall Paul Crosbie Richard Jones Steve Donaldson Stuart Anselm Russell Simmonds Billy McIntyre Steve Lynch Russell Howard Tony Donnachie 222.6v 222.6v 220.9v 218.8v 216.8v 216.7v 205.7v 202.7v 201.6v 200.4v

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

GB F Class 2nd Round

Blair Atholl
MAY 2012

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This SMALLBORE Business

I proved that with Gus, in the paragraph above. The readers need to think on this aspect for a while…. If you doubt this, get under a 20x telescopic sight with a fine cross hair/lee dot reticule and have a good look at just where you can put the aiming picture when you can see it through 20x of magnification! This would demonstrate exactly what I am on about. You see, I make the point that not many would venture to vary their aiming picture, just as Gus would not have done above. The one thing they have not considered is that a small bore rifle - still in the gun case, or standing in the corner - will never fire a shot. It will only do this when YOU pick it up to shoot with it! I make the point, that at every stage YOU are now in control of what you do…. You are the boss! Last month I wrote, about an aiming picture variation as a method of wind combat, or weather conditions on the range. You will remember the aiming diagram I illustrated the article with which clearly showed an aim favouring the ten o’clock side of the foresight ring to offset the effects of an increase in wind velocity. I also wrote about the method of teaching yourself to shade the aim around the clock face of the target, just by favouring the hour from 12 to 12 right around it with the fore-sight ring. This is not rocket science, it just takes some work. I can assure you, that you will fire a number of shots that will not be successful and that this method is not easy to work through. So, let me tell you what I came up with, that made this task extremely interesting and actually introduces some ‘mind stuff’ techniques that DO work. OK, any maths expert will tell you that circles have a centre. I can also tell you that most people can place their finger very accurately in the exact centre of a bread and butter plate. (Try this, get hold of a plate out of the cupboard, and put your finger-tip right in the middle of it…) See what I mean?

This SMALLBORE Business
So it follows along that your fore-sight ring has a centre as well, does it not? Therefore, if you can imagine (mind stuff I mentioned above) that your fore-sight ring has cross hairs, you can determine very accurately just where the exact centre of that ring actually is. This then makes it quite easy to place the cross-hairs where ever you want to in the aiming picture. As I said with Gus above, even a 6mm aiming error will result in a shot not fired but actually still in the ten ring as a result. Have a look at this diagram with the imaginary cross hairs implemented – fig. 1

This Smallbore Business
by Don Brooke
Teaching yourself to shade the aim – Part 2
Last month, I started the first of the series of different aiming techniques as a method of wind combat. Learning to ‘shade the aim’ has a number of pitfalls, particularly for those who are just starting. It is even worse for full bore NRA long range shooters due to the variation in the target dimensions as you move back to 1000 yards. But, as I said, this can be done!
Before I start this let me regale you with yet another story from my diaries. It should be noted however, as the basis of this story, that very few have even the slightest idea of how accurately a shooter can aim. This applies to almost any shooter of any grade. I was working on my shading techniques, when my brother in law, himself a good shooter, came to me and asked “How the hell can you do this?” Like many, he was brought up in the ‘old school’ of never departing from a dead-centre aiming picture. To demonstrate for him, I asked him to take the bolt out of his Anschutz and then get into position and start to aim like he could. I then walked down to the 50m target and physically moved the whole target board just 6mm to the right. “Would you fire that shot Gus?” I asked... “Not in a million years “ came the reply. Walking back to him, I explained that the aiming deviation would not have lost the 10 ring would it yet he would not fire it! He was astounded! The point that I am getting at is that a shooter can aim with an accuracy factor that takes a bit of belief….

Fig 1 Every circle has a centre and if you can imagine crosshairs in the fore-sight ring, it helps to find the centre, thus making it easier to centre the dot to where you want to aim. (see text) This illustrates a deadcentre aim This aiming picture, if fired in still conditions would result in a 10.9 in any example given. A shot hole absolutely smack in the middle! So then, it once more follows on that if you can imagine these cross hairs placed on the inside of the ten ring at 10 o’clock you stand an excellent chance of placing that shot exactly where you aimed it. Like this... fig.2. (Next page)

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This SMALLBORE Business

It also gives you all a very good idea of what is in front of the excellent F Class full bore and small bore shooters that are able to use their scope sights to place their shots where ever they need. Funny what happens when you are looking through 20, 30 and even 36 power telescopic sights! I also did a lot of work with my 20x Lyman and the magnification gave me a very good idea of both the hold and just where I could aim to battle with the wind. Once you understand that the hold was well inside the ten ring and did not lose it under recoil, the confidence to learn how to shade the aim took on a whole new perspective.

This SMALLBORE Business

Fig 2 illustrates an off-centre aim towards 10 o’clock using a mental picture with crosshairs in the fore-sight ring, much the same as an imagined telescopic sight (See text) Then, all you have to do is to employ your mind, and the imaginary cross hairs to produce the training aiming you need to reproduce the shots on the inside of the ten ring which we are trying to learn. Like I said, it is not rocket science but a very handy resource to have when the weather cuts up out there! Eventually you will recognise the wind effect and make the aiming adjustment almost automatically. Remember a while back I mentioned shooting next to Ernie Van De Zande in Linz in Austria where he won the match with 600 points? He shot this score quite quickly and, after he told me he fired just five centre aimed shots out of the whole 60 of that English Match! In terms of wind and weather combat, this article is huge mate! It also gives you an idea of just how well the ‘human bench rest’ (as EVZ is often called) applied this method. For my part, second place, eight points behind in Linz and the only two shooters over 590 points, I had a real wake up call!

Note the increase of the wind shown as a lifting wind flag. Fig 4 then shows the shaded aim to produce a ten-ring shot, with the imagined crosshairs off centre to 10 o’clock in the fore-sight ring (see text) so negating the effect of the wind increase that the whole of the ten ring still registers ten points, giving you a little room for error. Finally for this month, I will leave you with a ‘rule of thumb’ that applies to all attempts to read the wind. The plane of wind-effect across a reasonably flat range, is NOT 9 to 3 o’clock as most full bore shooters adhere to. Due to the rotational effect of the projectile, the plane of wind effect is actually 10, to 4 o’clock, (see fig.5) and any variation of this is more than likely due to either shooter error, or the topography of the range proper. This does apply to 90% of the ranges I have fired small bore over in my experience and certainly with many of the NRA type full bore ranges. This is also the case with the 300m disciplines. I will leave you to think about that and you can easily check this with a good telescopic sight. The statement may cause a lot of thought, believe me! It will most certainly alter most thinking, particularly when you are perfecting your shade aiming techniques. I can assure you all, many may struggle

This also helped me to apply the mind stuff concerned with the imaginary cross hairs through the ring foresight. So, in my imagery process, I could

Fig 5 illustrates the plane of wind-effect across the range. It is not 9 to 3 o’clock as so many think but actually 10 to 4 o’clock due to the rotation of the projectile. Wind from the left takes the projectile down to 4 o’clock whilst wind-effect from the right lifts the projectile towards 10 o’clock. Both have an effect on elevation (see text). You need to be aware! with not aiming centre all the time but, the results in the wind will prove this is why so many really good small-bore shooters have diligently worked to learn how to shade the aim so accurately. As a method of wind and weather combat, it is fast, accurate and well worth the effort. Have you ever wondered why 90% of the matches are consistently won by 10% of the shooters?

Fig 3 Showing a still, down the pole wind flag, which would result in aiming right in the middle of the foresight ring to produce a centre shot. This would bring about an exact centre zero for no wind affecting the projectile. (See text) It does help to imagine the crosshairs in the sight-picture determine the centre of the ring quite comfortably. If you consider fig.3 which shows the aim, (with the imagined cross hairs) on a dead centre hold, due to nil wind out there, whilst fig.4 indicates a hold held to 10.o’clock in an effort to alleviate the increased velocity on the wind flag. Both aimed shots would result in a ten ring shot hole and please understand

More in this series next month.

Remember what I said earlier… A faint heart never won a fair fight!
Brooksie

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

THE RCBS CHARGE MASTER 1500 COMBO

The ChargeMaster is the most expensive and, if the views expressed on US based shooting forums are to be believed, the best of the bunch. Most expensive? You’ll get precious little change out of £400, so this RCBS signature-green gizmo needs to be pretty special to earn its place in this particular Big Boys’ Toy Box!
Actually, how would you justify the cost of any member of the trio, especially if you already own a mechanical powder measure and beam scales? I’m reminded of a Diggle regular with whom I had a discussion many years ago about suitable powders for some application or other and to whom I recommended Accurate 4350, an excellent and cheap, but very long-grained propellant. Cutting me off short, I was informed that if he couldn’t use charges straight from the powder measure, it was no use to him, as “life is far too short to weigh individual powder charges.” So, now you can have your cake and eat it - that is have each charge weighed with only minimal outlay of time and effort, provided you are prepared to pay…
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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

The 1500 scales unit which can be removed from the dispenser.

Scale-centric

Vince described the Hornady contender thus: “Strip away all the hype and this impressive expensive device is nothing more than a motorised powder trickler housed in a fancy box.” Whilst I can’t disagree with that statement, I’d turn it round to start with the scales part. Everything depends on those (electronic) scales and, over the years, I’ve seen just too many examples of the breed that are inaccurate, prone to ‘wander’ and are as generally useful and docile as a sack-full of alley cats.

This is our third - and we promise last - look at a combined electronic scales and powder dispensing device. Vince Bottomley reviewed the Hornady L-N-L Autocharge in the November 2011 issue and Chris Parkin has had a look at the Lyman 1200 DPS III.

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

To get the best out of it, I switch it on an hour before use and, if required, warm the room up in advance. The room door and windows are kept closed during use to avoid draughts, a curtain drawn if needed to stop sunlight falling on the device (not much of problem recently!) and I operate it in a mobile/DECT phone, fluorescent lighting-free zone, likewise clear of other electrical equipment that might produce electromagnetic emissions. The other thing I always do, as with any ammunition whose charges rely on electronic scales, is to take each round as it’s charged and has the bullet seated and place it into the ammunition box in the same sequence as I’ll take it out and use it in a match, in my case cartridges running from right to left in each row of 10 starting with that at the very front/right. Therefore, if there is a gradual movement in charge weights due to scale drift over the course of loading 50 rounds, the resulting effect on long-range ‘elevations’ will be gradual during a match, allowing minor sight corrections to be applied.

THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.
scale accuracy and problems and onto the specifics of operating the ChargeMaster 1500. Basic usage is simplicity itself. Switch it on using the appropriate button in the scale control panel and it goes through an automatic countdown and internal check sequence that only takes a few seconds followed by a loud ‘bleep’ and the display showing 0.0gn to confirm it’s ready for use and weighing in grains (grams are available too). Remove the pan from the platen and press ‘CAL’ on the scale control panel to calibrate the device in a simple three-step process involving zero weight (platen empty) 50 and 100 grams using the supplied calibration weights. On completion, the scale automatically re-zeroes on the empty platen. Replace the pan, press ‘ZERO’, and you’re ready to enter a charge weight.

Key the charge weight into the dispenser control panel and it appears on the scale display. been several short articles on the subject in the AccurateShooter website’s Daily Bulletin: http:// bulletin.accurateshooter.com/?s=electronic+scales&s ubmit=Search

The dispenser unit control panel. Note the two 50-gram calibration weights visible in their pockets on the rear of the scale.

Not a fan then?
Well I can be BUT, the point is that if the scales aren’t accurate and consistent, the rest of the machine, its trickler speeds and controls, auto-start/discharge facility, programmable memory holding 40 or 400 pet loads is simply an expensive useless waste of space. So, I’ll reassure you by saying straight off that the ChargeMaster has so far turned out to be docile and accurate over its four months in my care and the production of many hundreds of charges from a goodly range of powders, the sole type not tried being the fine grained ball form. Well, it was quite docile and well-behaved - until I carried out this test for Target Shooter! In any event, I wouldn’t expect 100% consistency as the 1500’s accuracy, like that of any electronic scale, is affected by how long it has been switched on and external factors, principally ambient temperatures. Looking down the powder reservoir shows the dispenser is an oversized powder trickler. I’ll also recalibrate the scales before I start on the next box, or if I change the powder/load. If you want to scare yourself by learning about the things that can affect electronic scale reliability, there have

This is done on the larger, more complicated looking What I simply won’t do is rely 100% on such scales and dispenser unit control panel, but the ten numeric have my old fashioned but reliable RCBS 10-10 beam digits and ‘point’ (.) used to enter the desired weight scales available to check charges if needed as well as a aside, there are only three or four ‘buttons’ I ever use, set of Lyman check-weights. There is another check I primarily: ‘ENTER’ (to enter the weight value into the regularly make – the Charge Master’s scale pan weight reading. My Acculab laboratory The three powders tried in the tests. quality electronic scales that read to ±0.02gn (yes, that’s a fiftieth of a grain, equivalent to a single kernel of Viht N140) say that the pan weighs 143.76gn. After starting the ChargeMaster up and calibrating / zeroing its scale, it normally shows the pan as 143.7gn, but I have seen it read as high over 144.0gn, usually shortly after switching it on and in a still cold room.

Simple Operation
Anyway, enough about electronic

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

The test set-up: Acculab VIC123 scale, ChargeMaster and charges returned to the powder bottle after weighing. In normal use, the charge would go straight into a case and have the bullet seated using a press just out of view on the right.

The test set-up: Acculab VIC123 scale, ChargeMaster and charges returned to the powder bottle after weighing. In normal use, the charge would go straight into a case and have the bullet seated using a press just out of view on the right.

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

audible in the later stages of dispensing a charge when the motor/trickler has ceased continuous operation. So, you’ve warmed it up, calibrated the scale-unit, zeroed it on the empty pan and of course, poured a suitable quantity of powder into the dispenser reservoir, what now? Three things only: double-check it’s the powder you think it is, say Viht N160 and not much faster burning N140; key the charge weight into the dispenser unit’s control panel including the point and figure zero if it’s a round number and double-check the value which is now showing on the scale-unit’s display panel; hit ‘ENTER’ to confirm the value and put it into the machine’s memory, followed by ‘DISP’ and the motor whirrs into high-speed life feeding powder down the trickler tube and into the pan. The display panel changes from the weight setting to ‘W’ followed by rapidly escalating figures as the pan weight rises and you very soon notice a change in the sound and speed of the motor/rate of powder feed. In fact, the Charge Master uses four speeds, three in continuous running: full, half and quarter speeds, to get to just short of the desired charge, then it pauses and makes a short series of small fraction of a revolution turns to feed the last few kernels into the pan, pausing long enough between them for the CPU to be sure the scales have stabilised on a reading before comparing it to the target value and adding more as required. Finally, after another short pause, the device lets out another (irritating) bleep to let you know that charge is complete, the display changes to ‘CT=’ (count) followed by whatever number of charges at that weight have been dispensed and after holding that for maybe five seconds returns to the weight reading. This is a crucial point – don’t remove the pan and its contents until you get the second weight reading and even leave it there for another second or two. If it reads or changes to something different from what you want - and this occasionally happens (nearly

always high), you can now either adjust the charge or better still dump it back into the reservoir and start again. ‘Starting again’ offers a choice of mode – manual (hit ‘DISP’ again), or auto (simply place the empty pan back on the platen and as soon as it re-zeroes, it starts dispensing the next charge). I normally use auto, replacing the pan as soon as I’ve poured the previous charge in the case and the next charge magically appears while I’m seating a bullet over its predecessor. Vibration is always bad news for electronic scale consistency, but my Forster Co-Ax press operates so smoothly and my ammunition’s neck tension levels are so low, bullet seating doesn’t apparently create enough vibes to affect the Charge Master’s reliability – in any case any minor disturbance occurs during the early high-speed dispensing stage, not the critical final top-ups. What I do have to remember is keep a count of cartridges loaded with a particular charge weight when producing load development ammunition and to cancel the input using CANCEL/STOP when I’ve got my three or five rounds. More than once, I’ve run off a charge too many in a particular weight thanks to the auto-dispense facility and sometimes even poured it into the case and seated the bullet before I’ve twigged what I’ve done.

THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.
‘clumping’ just inside the trickler tube mouth and another eighth or quarter turn sees half a dozen or more fall into the pan not the desired two or three. The frequency depends partly on the powder’s grain formulation, partly on the actual charge weight input. I’ve commonly found during load development sessions that involve five weights rising by anywhere between 0.2 and 0.5gn steps as required, that two or three create no problems at all, one sees a couple of over-weight examples and one takes ten attempts to provide five charges. The answer lies in the use of a short section of ‘soda’ (drinks) straw, those provided in McDonald’s (sic) outlets supposed to be an ideal fit, pressed into the outlet end of the trickler tube and extending a little beyond it. Creating a sharply serrated mouth on the straw with dressmakers’ pinking shears improves matters further - it’s claimed! Unfortunately, UK McDonald’s fast-food outlets use a smaller diameter straw than US ones and need a little packing – I’m told, as I’ve not personally tried these remedies. On top of that, the Charge Master obviously involves some rather sophisticated computing power and programming and you can make various changes to its default settings if you really want to become anal about the issue. Useful ones kill off the f**[Bleep]**ing ‘bleep’, or as mentioned switch between manual and automatic dispensing start-up but you can download instructions on changing the trickler motor speed times to vary the pattern to suit a particular powder formulation and charge weight. See http://www.accurateshooter.com/gear-reviews/ speed-up-your-rcbs-chargemaster/ ‘Clumping’ aside, any other problems, downsides, or things to watch? Powder discharge at the end of a session is through a port on the right hand body side, opened by turning it 180-degrees after placing the powder bottle and a funnel or a tray underneath.

short-term memory); ‘DISP’ (Dispense) to start the trickler up and dispense the charge; ‘CANCEL / STOP’ to cancel that weight out and return the device to the awaiting instructions mode – or to shut dispensing down if something awful has happened and you’re pumping powder out onto the scales unit/bench and not into the pan for some reason. There is a ‘Trickle’ button too that turns the trickler tube slowly as long as you keep the digit down, but I’ve found its operation too coarse to make small additions to a charge sitting in the pan should you have an underweight amount for any reason. The other controls are mostly to do with entering, recovering and amending charge weights held in the long-term memory – features I ignore as I don’t see any value for them in my usage. However, if you only load a small number of combinations and there is never going to be any doubt that Memory Load #01 is whatever charge weight of Viht N140 you put under a 155.5gn Berger in 308 Win say, fair enough – I look at the label on the ammunition box instead. The ChargeMaster has the same ergonomic fore/ aft layout as the physically smaller Hornady Auto Charge allowing uncluttered access by both hands but, unlike its bright red competitor, comprises two separate machines literally bolted together. The scale-unit can be bought as a standalone set and the dispenser added later, or should you want to weigh cartridges cases or bullets and don’t want the trickler tube hampering operations, you can separate the pair. They’re held together by two flat bars underneath secured by six finger-bolts, rubber facing on their undersides doubling up as the combo’s feet. There is a multi-circuit connector sticking out of the back of the scale-unit too that slots into a female socket in the dispenser-housing for the two devices to communicate with each other when in use – and communicate they do, a low warbling whistle just

Soda Straws and Programming
The ChargeMaster is fast! 16 to 24 seconds total cycle time is the norm, most of the charge dispensed in only three or four seconds with the trickler in its highestspeed mode. The last grain of weight takes up a large part of the discharge time as the Charge Master drops a kernel or two at a time and waits for the scale to settle before making another addition if required. I mentioned waiting until the ‘Count’ display clears and the weight is again shown to check it’s what you’ve input and a certain percentage now usually show the weight as being ‘over’, 0.1gn the norm but sometimes up to 0.3gn. This is due to powder kernels

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

A discharge port on the right side allows most of the powder to be drained off quickly after use. Remember to close it though!

THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.

This gets the bulk of the powder out and RCBS supplies a long-handled artists’ brush to sweep any recalcitrant kernels off the reservoir sides and machine interior. You need to replace the pan, enter a 50.0gn charge weight value and set the machine into the dispense mode to empty the trickler tube, closing the

the IMR-4831 results are not the best I’d had with the machine, in fact I’ll go further and say they’re unsatisfactory. I couldn’t understand why this was and things got no better when I moved onto Viht N550 with charges running half a grain too high from the off, which I knew from past experience with this load was quite out of character. Recalibration was undertaken without producing any improvement; a collection of Lyman check-weights adding up to 46.5gn was weighed and the Charge Master scale reading was spot-on. I checked the Acculab too in case it was playing up and it also read exactly what it should – to two decimal places even! At that point, I wondered if the Charge Master had been switched on too long. Normally, I use it within 30-60 minutes but I’d intended to carry out these tests the previous day and hadn’t been able to for various reasons. As a result, the machine had now

IMR-4831’s coarse grains build up inside the trickler tube mouth making fine adjustment problematic. a prelude to recalibration. As soon as the scale settles on zero, it WILL dispense powder and it’ll run all over the scale body and bench. This all sounds hard work, but it’s not at all – the machine is ridiculously easy to use.

Results
So how accurate and consistent is the Charge Master? I’ve found it varies somewhat depending on how long it’s been switched on and the room environment. On some occasions, I’ve found it produces charges very, very close to those set; on others there can be a small but noticeable variance from the weight input. There may be other factors at work such as exactly where I’ve positioned the machine on the loading bench as it sits at the back when not in use and I move it forward. I suppose I should check it’s level each time I do this and pack something under the feet if required but never do. Three very different extruded powders and typical charge weights were tried for this report with 25 charges thrown and weighed on my Acculab VIC123 scales that read to ±0.02gn – 24.0gn of very fine-

grained Swiss TR140, a likely .223 Rem 70-80gn bullet load; 46.3gn Viht N550 a load used in my 308 Win F/TR rifle with its previous barrel and chamber; 68.0gn IMR4831, a traditional long-grained ‘log’ powder in a 300 Magnum load. All three saw charges dispensed within an 18-24 second time range, N550 taking marginally longer than the much heavier 4831 samples much to my surprise. The number of weighings rejected and returned to the dispenser reservoir varied dramatically - the IMR powder unsurprisingly the worst with ‘overs’ ranging from 68.1-68.4gn on waiting for the second showing of the weight on the scales display. All such were returned to the device’s reservoir, but in real life I’d have used those shown as only 0.1gn too heavy and all of them would have been fine for a typical sporting rifle load. In my first test session, the weights dispensed slowly reduced for both TR140 and 4831 (1) over a 25-charge sequence especially with IMR-4831 which saw the heaviest charge (69.0gn) the first thrown and the lightest (68.36gn) the last. I’ve got to say that the TR140 and even more so

Small over-charges are a problem with some combinations and 68gn IMR-4831 was particularly bad.

discharge port first or some more power will appear and spill out. I’ve usually found that a cotton bud is needed to get the last few kernels out of the tube before finally reopening the discharge port above the powder bottle/poly funnel to recover the last few kernels trapped inside. Then... remember to CLOSE THE DISCHARGE PORT! Everybody forgets at least once and the next time you pour powder into the reservoir it promptly runs straight out all over the bench. If you’re in autodispense mode, remember to press CANCEL/STOP if you decide to remove the pan and zero the scale as

RCBS supplies the long-handled brush for use inside the machine. The paintbrush is kept handy to sweep spilt kernels up on the bench – and you will spill some.

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THE RCBS CHARGEMASTER 1500 COMBO
by Laurie Holland.
been switched on for around 24 hours, so I turned it off for a couple of hours, allowed the room to cool a little and started again from scratch with N550. The results are as shown – absolutely superb. It was late evening now, so the Charge Master was again switched off and the 68gn 4831 load tried again the following day, the results shown in the table as IMR4831(2). Yes, that’s a bit more like it, very good indeed in fact! That Standard Deviation value says that two thirds of charges will lie within the arithmetic mean plus or minus 0.05gn - a fiftieth of a grain weight.

What the rerun didn’t improve was the number of loads that were marginally overweight thanks to the ‘clumping’ issue. Incidentally, it’s not just the large kernels but the relationship between the exact weight set and the machine’s operating pattern. Changing the desired weight by 0.2 or 0.3gn either way would likely have reduced the problem dramatically. Had I rerun the TR140 test, I’m sure it would have improved the machine’s accuracy to be in line with the other two powders – as always, it’s about becoming completely familiar with the quirks and behaviours of the kit. However, as I said at the beginning of this report, electronic scales exhibit more than any other part of the handloading mix and the worrying thing is that if I hadn’t check-weighed the results on the Acculab scale, I’d have been ignorant of these discrepancies

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Test results (25 charges each excluding rejects)

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ULTIMATE BENCHREST

Rimf ire Tuners F inding the Elusive Sweet Spot...
By Ray Cockayne

All bullet manufactures of top ammunition go to extreme lengths to ensure that their ammo. is consistent i.e. the variance in velocity is very small, so if we just use one batch of ammo. it’s going to be quite difficult to detect the sweet spot - especially when shooting using a sling. By introducing a second batch which has a slightly higher average velocity the difference in impact points between each batch at 50m will be marked. I use a batch that is no more than 10 fps faster - for those of you that are not aware the average velocity for batches of Tenex is printed on the end of the box, very useful, because that makes our task much easier. As you are aware, I now have a BeeSting tuner and this is how I brought it to tune. On the 50m range, starting with the weight about half of its movement forward from the barrel, probably about mid-point on the graph, I shot alternate fast, then slow rounds two of each and noted the impact points. The result was normal - that is the two slower rounds impacted about 10mm below the two faster rounds. I then wound the weight forward by a full turn again a similar result. Another full turn and although the slower rounds were still below the faster by comparison to the first diagram the group was smaller. This was giving me an indication that I was moving the weight in the right direction. Another turn forward and the group was noticeably coming together, another turn and they seemed to

ULTIMATE BENCHREST
be just one small group. I was now very close to the sweet spot and it was just a matter of fine tuning. Had I gone noticeably further forward then the slower

OK, so like me you have pawned the wife’s jewellery and bought yourself a tuner for your beloved target rifle, it’s fitted on the rifle and you are now ready to ‘tune’ it. How do you find the ‘Sweet Spot’ that elusive point that magically brings the group size to one small hole at 50m? Well, there are three methods. The first needs a benchrest set up, together with a high powered scope and a chronograph. If you don’t already have this kit already having pawned the wife’s jewellery to get this far, you are now going to have to re-mortgage the house. The second method is BG-o-BG (by guess or by god). Simply start with the weight in any arbitrary position shoot a group, move the weight, shoot another group and so on until you run out of ammo or, by pure luck, see a noticeable closing of the group. The third method, which I have found to be effective, uses two different batches of ammunition and usually

gets a result having expended no more than a box of ammo. in total. Before I describe how, let’s just consider a couple of pieces of information first. In simple terms, when a tuner is working, it throws lower-velocity bullets higher so that they share the same impact point as slightly higher-velocity bullets, which have a flatter trajectory. The second piece of information I would like you to consider is the graph I produced last year using ELEY’s test facility. Although I used the Starik tuner to do this I believe the graph will be pertinent to any similar tuner. With the tuning weight fully back toward the barrel it has no effect - in fact it makes group sizes larger than normal. Moving forward groups diminish then start to increase as the tuner takes effect. At a point further forward is the ‘sweet spot’ - where the group size is very tight.

rounds would have grouped above the faster. Job done, simple, it didn’t cost a fortune the house is safe, and all I need do now is get the jewellery back out of the pawn shop before she notices. Additionally, I was shooting with my friend who bought a BeeSting and asked him if he had tried this method. He hadn’t, he’d used the BG-o-BG method. So as my ammo. was 10 fps faster than his, I gave him some of my ammo. to try. Surprisingly his slower ammo. shot 10mm above my faster ammo. indicating that he had over tuned. As we didn’t have sufficient to do a proper job and as time was pressing we had to stop. He has now picked up a faster batch of Tenex from Bisley and will tune using this method shortly. Remember once tuned for a set distance if you move to another, from 50m to 100 yards perhaps, you will need to retune. If you change ammo. manufacturer or the velocity changes significantly, then you will need to make minor adjustments.

Supporting the Disabled Shooting Project

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Thousands of firearms and airguns filled shelves accompanied by every item you can imagine from Nosler rifle brass and bullets through Hornady reloading components to clothing and scopes from Weaver. Around the country, Edgar’s

meant no searching for clay pigeons emerging from a tree line. These plush surroundings are frequented by a large number of Premiership footballers; apparently every other vehicle in the car park is a

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provided to view our groups. This particular Savage rifle was the model 25 Lightweight Varminter showing a smart laminate stock supporting an action scaled perfectly for Hornet or 223 sized cases. The Accutrigger with the internal safety blade broke reasonably cleanly and although a few shooters were fiddly with it, I found no problem cycling the smooth three-lug bolt and shooting the smoothly-feeding ammo. The four-round magazines had to be loaded correctly without allowing the rimmed cases to overlap but nothing that wasn’t expected from this otherwise neat little case. Spotting my fall of shot, indicated a group as good as my position had allowed the rifle to be held and aimed and I came away with the feeling the rifle/ calibre just quietly worked and sparked no complaints. The rifle was handy and well balanced with a medium

Edgars Brothers Media Open Day by Chris Parkin
A new micro-pet for the reloader? Edgar Brothers in Macclesfield are the largest importers/distributors of firearms and associated sporting goods in this country and, as well as handling Hornady, their association with Savage rifles means the invite to see and shoot the new Savage 17 Hornet rifle at the end of April was impossible to turn down. As well as the Hornet, other new products and attractions Edgar’s wanted to showcase included the Zoli range of shotguns as well as Firebird targets and The editor with a shotgun, whatever next?

A very neat 3 lug bolt. are in the process of working with their dealers to create ‘reloading centres’ carrying a full range of kit and components with advice to feed the booming reloading market, which has grown by around 40% over the last few years. For lunch, we were invited to the local Cloudside Shooting Ground where a buffet had been laid on. More like a London `Club` than a clay pigeon ground, we were treated to a fantastic lunch in a splendid

Just a few of the brands distributed by Edgar Brothers, Ferrari or Lamborghini in the off-season! We had the opportunity to test the new Firebird targets, thrown like clays and exploding with a bright orange flame and cloud of smoke when hit, quite addictive! Other models of Firebird were in use on the air rifle range in both loud and ‘quiet’ varieties but I did manage to drag myself to the rifle range to have a play with what was the day’s star attraction for me - the 17 Hornet. There is only one way to test a scope, look through it! profile barrel and although it was not moderated, it was about as noisy as the unmoderated 17HMR shot alongside it. I’m itching to get one out into the field on test and see how the bullets perform. 20 grain V-max flying at an advertised ‘Superformance’ driven 3650 fps generate 592 ft/lbs of energy and shows trajectory with a 200 yard zero to be +1.1” at 100 yards to – 6.4” at 300 yards. I suspect wind will be the controlling factor to determine range and effective uses but on for the keen micro calibre reloader or vermin controller, I think we have a winner.

No Vince, there isn’t a bi-pod – you have to hold it! let us `journos` know what this company are injecting back into the sport in their 65th anniversary. A welcoming tea and coffee at the Edgar Brothers plush office complex started the day along with a short presentation by Derek Edgar, Ian his father and other members of the sales and marketing team. Guests then split into groups to tour the site and find out a few more details. Recent expansion has seen the bursting warehouse swallow up the old offices, now sited in a new complex next door. Model 25 Lightweight varmint was a gun built exactly to scale for cartridges no larger than .223. clubhouse featuring trophies and taxidermy from around the world including eagles, native deer species and a few African trophies and Club members made us feel very welcome. And now we are forced to go and do some shooting, oh a hard life it is! The view across the rolling landscape of Cheshire was quite spectacular and

Benchrest, but not as we know it I wouldn’t call it a perfect test opportunity - with a standing shooting position leaning over a bench but, as this rifle had arrived literally overnight from Germany, it was great to be able to finally see possibly the most exciting new calibre to hit these shores since it’s 17 HMR brother 7 or 8 years ago.
Targets were laid out approximately 100 yards down hill for us to plink at, a Weaver spotting scope was

Keep your eyes open for more equipment flowing from the Edgar Brother stable in Target Shooter. Thanks to: Edgar Brothers 01625 660673 Website: www.edgarbrothers.com

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If you were around at the time when the British government stole our pistols then you will already know that Alan Westlake lost more than his pistols - he also lost his livelihood! Incredibly, Alan bounced back – not only resurrecting his business but trying to restore some form of pistol shooting to we Brits and most UK readers will know of Alan’s superbly engineered ‘muzzle-loading’ revolvers. If you haven’t seen a Westlake pistol then let me say that these are not replicas of nineteenth century revolvers – they are built on a modern Taurus revolver frame and use nitro powder but a new cylinder is fitted to take shotgun primers rather than a metallic cartridge. This is a remarkable concept but the one drawback was the cost. Taurus would only supply complete guns, which meant that Alan had to throw away the bits he didn’t use which all adds to the cost – topping £1000 and too dear for many shooters. The UK is a tiny market and Taurus refused to sell Alan part-built pistols but, a recent breakthrough with firearm manufacturers Armscor, means than Alan can now buy just the parts he needs, meaning that the price has been significantly reduced, bringing the Westlake more in line with what we would now be paying for a modern ‘cartridge’ revolver. Target Shooter will be the first magazine to review the Armscor Westlake so please – watch this space!

New products
I know many of you have an iPad and protective cases for iPads are now big business. As a shooter, I wanted something that was a bit ‘military’ looking and with plenty of padding that would protect the iPad when I drag it on-range for ballistics info. etc.
The cheapest dedicated iPad case I could find was nearly £50 but I found exactly what I wanted on the 511 stand at IWA – a pistol case. Mine is a nice drab green, well padded and exactly the right size for the Apple iPad. It even has room for my iPhone and small camera and has a separate zipped pocket – all for £25. I got mine from UK 511 stockist Nightgear www.nightgear.co.uk. It was delivered in about three days and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

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PROPERTY FOR SALE
Ultimate premises for an arms dealer to live at and work from.
Available for sale; A manor house in almost 7 acres of land, 30 miles from Central London, that has been owned by an international arms dealer for the last 20 years and consequently is uniquely suitable for use by someone in the same trade. Briefly comprises – in addition to extensive domestic quarters, six fully equipped workshops, three armouries, underground shooting/test range etc. Viewing only possible after security checks have been completed for obvious reasons. e-mail brian.reacher@hotmail.co.uk Click (here) to view the full spec on this unique property.

Browning Buckmark Long Pistol

GB Pistol Shooting

Buckmark Long Pistol with Lightweight Barrel £714.00 and Fox Red Dot sight £40.00.

The new revolver from Alan Westlake

Available from Westlake Engineering
Tel. 01722 782432 ags.westlake@virgin.net

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Lyman Case Prep. Express: The Lyman offering features five spindles where you can mount the various supplied case-prep. tools and you can very quickly chamfer inside/outside necks, uniform or clean primer pockets and clean or lube the inside of the neck. I like to use an old Pro Shot bronze bore cleaning brush for cleaning the inside of used case-necks and you can mount one of these on the Lyman if you like. Lyman also give you a little container of inside-neck lube (in the form of a powder) which you can use with the nylon-bristle brushes. The Lyman is a substantial heavyweight bit of kit and hopefully this means it will be robust and give years of service. From Hannam’s Reloading. www.hannamsreloading.com (Left) Hornady Case Prep. Assistant. (below) Lyman Case Prep. Express:

Quigley Shooting Association
by Ken Hall
The Annual QSA ‘Tightgroup’ Competition
Saturday 19th May and the annual QSA Tightgroup competition got under way with a reduced field, probably due to holidays and the recent run of lousy weather. Run on the lines of a UKBRA benchrest-style competition, the format generally followed that of benchrest but with some minor allowances due to the unique nature of these 19th century long guns and, as the only wind indicators on the prairie were grass and dust, wind flags were not permitted. Each shooter was to fire four separate groups of five rounds at 100 yards on a standard 25 yard pistol target. A time limit of 10 minutes per group was allowed, which gave time to wipe the bore between shots. The resulting group sizes were recorded then added together and divided by 4, to give an average group size. As per benchrest rules, firers were allowed to rest the rifles front and rear and, although not used to this position, most soon got the hang of it and some very reasonable groups began to appear. However, as it turned out, almost everyone shot at least one group larger than we would have liked, due to the odd flier. It soon became apparent that a ‘battle royal’ for smallest group was brewing, with several groups below 50mm. Richard Healey took an early lead with a group measured at 34.5mm (1.35in) this was countered by Dennis Richardson with groups of 27.13mm (1.06in) and 34.04mm (1.34in). However Richard replied with a magnificent group measuring 16.35mm (0.64in) beating his own record, using his

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With the possible exception of our Laurie, I don’t think I’ve met anyone who actually likes reloading! I don’t mind it – it’s a ‘necessary evil’ but I don’t love it and if I can find anything to make it easier – or quicker – then why not? Most reloaders will regard prepping their brass as one of the most important aspects of the reloading process. With a brand-new unfired brass case – even beautiful Lapua ones – we need to fettle ‘em a little. Lube and run through re-size die (Optional) - Trim to length - Chamfer inside of case-mouth - Chamfer outside of case-mouth - De-burr flash hole - Uniform primer pocket . Once our brass has been fired, we can skip most the above but we need to add a couple more: Clean the inside (and outside) of the neck - Clean the primer pocket - Lube and re-size. These processes require specialist tools and dies and most of us will have a box-full. Most can be handoperated but some benefit from using with a power screw-driver to make the job easier and quicker. However, if you are new to reloading, it’s worth considering one of these powered devices. The first one is from Hornady and it’s simply an electric motor (that you can permanently mount on your reloading bench if you like) which takes the inside/outside neck chamfer tools. It works very well and does the job exactly how it should. It comes with the two tools and it may be possible to use other prep. or case cleaning tools with it. It’s good value too.

recently self modified Sharps with a (very) heavy barrel. (Not too shabby considering a bullet diameter of .459in) Overall, the results were encouraging and show that firers are getting to grips with the ‘dark stuff’. Thanks to everyone who entered - we should continue to strive towards achieving smaller groups at this distance, otherwise decent scores at longer ranges will continue to elude us.

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IWA 2012. What’s new? Continued...

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IWA 2012

With that one out of the way, let’s wander over to the massive Smith & Wesson stand. What can they possibly bring out that we haven’t seen before? Remember when Dirty Harry said those immortal words “I know what you’re thinking – did he fire six shots or only five?” Maybe if they do a re-make of the film, Clint might be asking “Now did I fire seven or eight shots...” Laminate stocks are very popular with rifle shooters and it looks as if shooters have been asking for a matching pistol……. And here’s my favorite (left) – still yet to make an appearance in the UK – if only Mr Smith – or even Mr Wesson - would just weld a little six-inch piece of stainless-steel on the back, it would be just perfect for the British market with that 12 inch compensated barrel... Here’s another neat little minuature 1911 chambered for the 22LR but this time on the Browning stand. What a lovely little pistol. (left) Remember when all pistol grips were made of wood, then plastic and rubber? CNC has changed all that – or at least CZ have! CZ have some really cute accessories beautifully CNC machined and anodized in a variety of bright colours. Now you can make your PP gun look really flash! Of course, there were lots, lots more pistols and we at Target Shooter will do our best to keep readers updated on new pistol trends, even though we are based in the UK where we are no longer trusted to hold such items.

What’s new?
Previously, we had a look at what was new in the world of telescopic sights at the Nurnberg IWA Show. This month, we’ll have a look at pistols.
OK, let’s get this one out of the way right from the start. Yes, I’m talking about the Arsenal Firearms ‘concept’ 1911 double pistol. This Russian pistol was just about the most incredible firearm I’ve ever put my hands on. Yes, a proper working ‘double’ 1911 pistol – built as a double from the ground up and not two 1911s stuck together! News and pictures of this pistol rippled around the internet forums with many shooters thinking it was ‘for real’ – i.e. they were intending to sell it for use! Silly questions and comments were rife – which was of course the whole idea – to create interest and make sure that you visited the Arsenal stand - to look at some of their less exotic firearms. I have had a good look at the double 1911, I can tell you that it is beautifully made, fully functioning and, according to those on the Arsenal stand, not only capable of being fired but actually fired – though not by me, as I struggled to pull back the slide to cock it! There were several examples – stainless, blued and a beautiful ‘presentation’ model in a glass and gold-framed case, plus a working half-size replica chambered for the 22LR cartridge! Absolutely stunning – how will they top that for next year? Arsenal Firearms ‘concept’ 1911 double pistol.

Smith & Wesson

Next month, we’ll have a look at rifles.

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of a false start due to the foot and mouth outbreak which curtailed access to the ground for a significant period. The plans went through Borders Council, and the Army were designated the final authority, so Paul Crosbie liaised with them on the design. What sort of range? Restricted Range Danger Area (RDA) for a prone gallery type range or a bigger RDA template in line with field firing? What would fit the topography? Ultimately the design was for the latter with the more kite shaped RDA, four lanes gallery configured within the template and firing points between 100 and 500 metres. What range marking is

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Home on the range! Steve Baldry.
Sadly, these days, we are more likely to hear of rifle ranges closing down, so it’s good to hear of a new one opening.
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time – and it certainly turned out to be a great one - eventually! Back at the turn of the millennium a bunch of British Deer Society members were bemoaning the lack of suitable and economic range time to practice. There were plenty of 300 to 1000 yard opportunities for the target rifle boys and yes, any practice at these longer ranges helps – but what about zeroing with expanding ammunition, prone, sitting and standing off sticks at the right ranges for deer stalkers! So, Gig Wilson started to canvas BDS members and others in South East Scotland whether there was any interest in developing a basic range with sporting shooters in mind. Gig convened a meeting in Lauder in 2000 the conclusion being that there was an appetite and Lothian & Borders Rifle Club was born. The initial objective was to feel our way to finding out what would be involved – quite a lot as we discovered. Finding suitable ground for a start and boy were we lucky that Gary Wright introduced us to Facombe Estates. Gary’s ‘behind the scenes’ negotiations secured the land and the estate were happy to get behind us and help by providing access to their ground in the Lammermuirs at Tollis Hill Estate. Time spent filling sand in the bullet catcher, checking radio communications for range sentries on a snowy day in February.

Aitken helped us with his advice on many occasions. Many, many people chipped in with time and know how. I was particularly ‘tickled’ by how much material and equipment appeared on site (as if by magic!) by our ‘procurement’ team. It was great to see a like minded group of people working together towards the one goal.” Several work parties later we were ready for approval in Spring 2005 at which point in time Peter Lane duly gave us our range certificate, possibly the last civilian range so accredited. We continue to develop and value the help that Chris Webb of the NRA gave in re-adjusting the requirement for sentries to a more reasonable and workable number. We have now been up and running into our seventh year, with a 200 metre firing point added (see below) and developing a camera system to support scoring from the 500 metre firing point in particular. All in all, a lot of hard work. We were very lucky to have Gig’s enthusiasm to get us started and then have Paul get the bit between his teeth and drive this through to become a ‘happy hunting ground’ for the sporting fraternity here in South East Scotland.

Since the range is based in grouse moorland we shoot outside the grouse season between March and July. OK, so with the access to ground established around which to plan, the membership contributed small sums to fund the initial club registration and planning work. Who else did we need to talk to - obviously the local police, the Scottish Executive as the club registration authority, local authorities for planning, the NRA, National Air Traffic Services, Power Systems for lines traversing the area, Ordnance Survey for mapping, not to mention all existing farming and forestry users who might be affected. Prime of course was the then range accrediting authorities, the Army through Landmarc. A daunting list to say the least. They could not have been more helpful, in particular Captain Macdonald and subsequently Peter Lane of Landmarc. We had a bit necessary? Warning notices around the boundaries, danger flags, boundary posts? What was it going to cost and where was the money coming from? Paul as the club secretary had really got the bit between his teeth, we ran a clay shoot to raise funds and Bob Aitken of the SRA suggested that we raise advance funds through debentures. 2004 – approved plans in place and funds available so down to the real business. Ground works commissioned to create two firing points at 500 and 100 metres plus the bullet catcher.Notices, boundary posts and warning flag poles to be deployed. As Paul recollects, “Again Gary provided fantastic help, he organized plant and materials for us FOC! Bob

Contact details for the Lothian & Borders Rifle Club: Chairman - Calum Abernethy calum.abernethy@blueyonder.co.uk Secretary - Tom Burnett thomas.burnett@sky.com Treasurer - Steve Baldry s.baldry@btinternet.com

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Disabled Shooting continued...
many disabled shooters within its standard rules and again, there have been disabled shooters in British representative teams. For those who cannot comply with the standard rules of their chosen (or sometimes of any) discipline, there is a limited range of opportunity, and we’d like to see that change.

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Even more encouraging is the appearance of fully integrated international competition, in the shape of ISCH at Hannover, which took this remarkable step in 2011. This year’s match has just taken place, with a record 700 competitors from 35 nations. It is organised by the Lower Saxony Shooting Federation, which is rightly proud of what it is achieving: “The ISCH becomes a pioneer of integration in sport. For the first time abled and disabled athletes start together in the Olympic Shooting Disciplines. At ISCH we would like to demonstrate the exceptional possibilities that our sport of shooting allows. It is no longer a future issue … “ We agree! Surely this is a field in which Britain should be leading the way. Although the Woolwich facilities will be gone by the end of this year, we do still have the international-standard ranges built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and Glasgow is preparing to host the 2014 Games. That provides opportunities for international competitions to be staged in Britain, hopefully as regular annual fixtures. Are there any volunteers?

Disabled Shooting

The Disabled Shooting Project is keen to promote the development of what is known nowadays as a ‘talent pathway’ for every disabled shooter who aspires to represent Great Britain. What is available for the ambitious and talented shooters who are not eligible for the Paralympic family? Some disciplines are working hard on getting themselves into the Paralympics. The current front runner is clay target, following the recent signing of an agreement between the IPC and ISSF to enter into negotiations. The Italian governing body, FITAV, is tasked with implementing ‘a project to develop shotgun events for disabled shooters, based on ISSF shotgun regulations’. There are hopes that clay target will be included in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, even if it is only as a demonstration event.

International Developments
By Liz Woodall, Co-ordinator, Disabled Shooting Project In September 2012 the eyes of the world will be focussed on the London Paralympics and Team GBR’s profile for the shooting events is high, largely thanks to Matt Skelhon’s achievements and personality.

The DSP has been covering the British shooters’ performances in the World Cups leading up to selection of the Further down the field is blind/visually Paralympic team and there has been impaired (VI) air rifle, which is in the a good deal of internet coverage of Michael Whapples at the European very odd position of having an IPC their efforts by such august bodies as Blind/VI Championships 2011, at classification category (SH3) but no the IPC and Parasport. Like everyone accepted definition of it! The first ever Nitra, Slovakia else, we’re hoping to hear God Save British representation at an international the Queen played at lots of medal ceremonies in match for acoustic shooting was Michael Whapples Woolwich. at the 2011 European Championships run by IBSA. As a visit to the shooting pages of the IBSA website All this is great for national prestige but, the shows, organisation of the European and World Paralympics only offer this ultra-elite level of championships is rather haphazard and seems to be competition to a very limited range of disciplines – rather interest/demand led. There is little possibility even fewer than in the Olympics. For those who do of more international competition until the technical not or cannot shoot the IPC air and 22 rifle and pistol and classification rules have been finalised. disciplines, the Paralympics has nothing to offer. Similarly, the Paralympic doors are closed to those There are disciplines for which some disabilities are whose disabilities do not fit into the IPC classification no bar, as demonstrated by Andy Dubreuil’s success system – and that is a lot of shooters. Don’t forget at benchrest, in which he has represented GBR that this is the case not just here, but for the whole at European and World Championships alongside world. non-disabled shooters. F Class is a fast-growing international full-bore option that accommodates

Mathew Goodwin takes silver at Lonato Grand Prix 2012 It is encouraging to see the recent development of international matches for those shooters; for example, the clay target Grand Prix initiated in 2011 at Lonato, Italy and run again in May this year. That event has taken place alongside an ISSF clay target World Cup, which shows that in some quarters substantial efforts are being made to raise the international profile of disabled CT. British shooters took part last year and this month, bringing home medals each time.

More information: Disabled Shooting Project: www.disabledshooting.org.uk International Paralympic Committee, Shooting: www.ipc-shooting.org International Blind Sport Federation, Shooting: www.ibsa.es/eng/deportes/shooting International Shooting Competition, Hannover: www.i-s-c-h.de Clay Target Grand Prix, Lonato: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFKzJ7ZfQzM

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Thirdly – adjustment - easy adjustment. Adjusting some bi-pods will require you to come out of the prone position – not good if you need to do it during your shoot. If adjustment is difficult, the shooter may be tempted to effect adjustment by shuffling the back-bag. Ski-type feet are popular and much preferred to the rubber feet of a Harris but I do know one or two shooters who ‘spike’ their bi-pod into the firing-point! Finally, the bi-pod mustn’t be too heavy – much better sense to put that extra pound into the barrel rather than the bi-pod. One of the first bi-pods which filled all the criteria demanded by the F/TR shooter was the Canadian Remple bi-pod (pictured top, page 75). The Remple has it all – sturdy, wide range of adjustment, easy to adjust from prone position, skis etc. Unfortunately, it weighs over three pounds... pity. The design however was absolutely spot-on. The Remple has it all – especially weight! John has however done a redesign of the Censhot which addresses these concerns but, to date, I’ve not had chance to try one myself. Good news is – the weight remains unchanged! Rigidity in a bi-pod gives the shooter a good, solid reassuring ‘feel’ and this is why the Fito Fusion and Dolphin Gun Co. bi-pods have proved to be popular. Heavier than the Censhot at about 24 ounces, they are still light enough for most shooters and they are rigid and offer a good range of adjustment. However, the adjustment is not so simple as with the Censhot/Remple method, which use a capstan wheel to quickly raise and lower the bi-pod.

NEW BIPODS...
More new bi-pods for F/TR Competition – from EVO Leisure & Mystic Precision.
Where did it all start – this bi-pod thing? Remember when we thought the Harris bi-pod was as good as it got? Don’t get me wrong – the Harris is still a great product but, if you are a serious F/TR shooter, you will have already moved on from the Harris.

John Weil was part of the 2009 World The Sinclair bi-pod. Good but heavy and fiddly to adjust from the prone position. A new Championship winning version addresses some of these concerns. American F/TR Team and also recognized the Remple to be of excellent design So what do we need from an F/TR bi-pod? Firstly, it but John knew – as a top F/TR shooter – that a threemust offer a very stable shooting platform. Secondly, pound bi-pod was never going to find a place on a it must have sufficient adjustment to cope with a wide competitive F/TR rifle – just too many compromises range of shooting scenarios which will be encountered would have to be made, so John did a re-make of the – i.e shooting uphill/downhill, sloping firing-points, Remple - in carbon-fibre and aluminium. different surfaces.

This is John’s first Censhot. The later version is still super-light but a bit more solid. The result – the Censhot - was stunning and, what’s more, it weighed just 19 ounces! Yes, that’s correct, one pound three ounces. John’s bi-pod should’ve taken the F/TR world by storm but, it didn’t. Why not? Difficult to say, I’ve used one myself and it more or less does everything you could ask. Yes, it’s expensive – over £300 here in the UK (only $300 in the USA) but some shooters have found them to be – how shall we say - a little ‘flexible’.

The EVO Leisure Bi-pod. Evo Leisure already make the excellent ‘Third Eye’ scope rings, muzzle-brakes and moderators. Osprey Rifles proprietor Stuart Anselm has as much experience as anyone when it comes to F/TR competition – Stuart Captained the GB F/TR Team at the last ‘Worlds’ and is the current European F/TR Champion and will captain the GB F/TR Team to America for the 2013 World Championships at Raton, New Mexico.
Like the rest of the F/TR crowd, Stuart is always looking for the perfect bi-pod. If no one makes it, why not make it yourself? In consultation with Stuart, EVO Leisure did just that.

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Using a mechanical design in the fashion of the Remple/Censhot bi-pod, the quest was to make a similar bi-pod but weighing considerably less than the Remple and offering superior stiffness to the Censhot but retaining ease of adjustment. CNC machined from aircraft-quality aluminium, it tips the scales at 1lb. 12 ounces. It is truly a work of art – almost too nice to put on a rifle – and it comes in a matt silver or black anodized finish. The bi-pod is designed to work with an accessory-rail and attaches with a single screw (a swivel-fixing option is also available). I’ve had an opportunity to shoot my Open F Class gun off this bi-pod and it does feel very, very solid and the ease of adjustment makes it a real pleasure to use. The ski-feet work well on a grassy firing-point, allowing the rifle to recoil properly.

NEW BIPODS Continued...

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NEW BIPODS Continued...

Wide flat skis are used on the feet and a quick-release single fixing lever attaches the rifle to your accessory rail or, as an alternative, a fixing is available to attach to a sling-swivel or even a Picatinny rail for a tactical rifle. For storage and transportation, the legs can be removed by un-screwing the two clamp-screws.

The Mystic Precision MTR Bi-pod. (Above)
Mystic Precision are based in Canada and their bi-pod takes a fresh approach to the problem with some creative thinking which results in an attractive, rigid and very light unit. The bi-pod is made from aircraft quality aluminium and is hard anodized in either black or red. As you can see from the photograph above, the Mystic Precision bi-pod uses individual leg adjustment, which is less convenient than the Remple-style capstan wheel of the EVO bi-pod. However, when I tell you that this bi-pod weighs only 13 ounces, I’m sure I’ve got your full attention... Although extremely light – in fact, it’s the lightest F/TR bi-pod I’ve yet seen, similar weight to a Harris - its design and construction results in a very stable support and I like the way the rifle ‘sits in’ the bi-pod rather than balancing on top of it. This in itself is a great help in reducing the torque-effect of the rifle. The widest fore-end that can be accommodated is 2.55 inches, which should suit most F/TR stocks but a wider fore-end can be custom-ordered, as can longer legs.

The Dolphin bi-pod – two versions are offered. The large one (middle) weighing 24 ounces is the best for serious F/TR. At the rear, the excellent Fito Fusion, again about 24 ounces.

The bi-pod is available now and the initial retail price is £275 (trade enquiries welcome) and further details can be obtained from www.ospreyrifles.com or www. foxfirearmsuk.com for UK orders or, for overseas e-mail Stuart direct on stuart@ospreyrifles.com

I’ve had a very brief shoot with the bi-pod using Savage F/TR rifle and despite its light weight it felt just so solid. I can see this bi-pod becoming very popular with F/TR shooters. At $200 (£200 in the UK) this bi-pod is great value - check out the Mystic Precision website at www. mysticprecision.com for ordering details or contact www.foxfirearms.com in the UK for British and European orders.

The Evo Leisure bipod. The Evo Leisure bipod in action...

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70% of all .22 World Cup and European Championship medals were won with ELEY Ammunition
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Sheree Cox
Sheree Cox is one of our Olympic hopefuls but funding her Olympic qualifying campaign is expensive. We hope that Target Shooter readers will enjoy reading about Sheree’s progress and maybe even contribute a little to her quest.

Sheree Cox
Britain’s Ed Ling smokes another clay - just missing out on the Bronze in a thrilling shoot-off for the Men’s Trap

Three strange fabric ‘pods’ house the rifle and pistol ranges

London Prepares – the ISSF World Cup
Mid April, the London World Cup competitors started to arrive at the London airports from where official transport took their rifles and pistols straight to the Woolwich Barracks range to be signed into the temporary armouries set up on site and kit bags dropped of at the baggage storage. Then onwards to numerous hotels across the Woolwich, Greenwich and Tower bridge area. The Royal Artillery Barracks, where the temporary ranges have been constructed, will provide a fitting location for the Shooting event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with a heritage dating back to 1716, when a Royal Warrant authorised the formation of two artillery companies. The Barracks’ beautiful 18th century architecture offers a stunning backdrop to the temporary shooting ranges and grandstands, showing off London’s history to the 216 visiting nations. At this ISSF World Cup, a total of fifteen events took place with over 800 competitors taking part, with Russia, Italy, Germany and Korea taking atop of the London World Cup’s medal standings. “We had more than twice the participants than we will have at the Olympic Games, when 390 shooters will be competing here at the RAB venue.” The ISSF Secretary General said at the end of the competition.

The Olympic Rifle Range

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Sheree Cox
“If everything worked well at this test event, there should be no problem at the Games”. The transformation since we tested the targets two weeks prior to the event was incredible! Athlete’s lounges had been erected, more seating for the spectators had been added and what had been more of a building sight was slowly but surely being polished up. Between now and the Olympics the finishing touches will be added, such as permanent roads and paths being laid, more spectator seating added and posters and signs displayed. Three temporary indoor ranges for pistol and rifle shooting have been constructed. Namely a 25m range, a combined 50m/10m range - one of the first ranges to be built to double up on two distances/disciplines and a ‘finals’ range. These all include large spectator seating areas and screens so the spectators can follow the shot by shot progress of their favorite athletes.

The structures housing the temporary ranges have been creatively designed using 18,000 square metres of PVC membrane that gives the outer structures their unique appearance. The vivid coloured circular openings on the white backdrops help create tension in the membrane and provide natural ventilation and light. In addition, there are three outdoor shotgun ranges for Double Trap, Trap and Skeet events, again with ample spectator grandstands.

where official transport will take them to and from the venue each day. For the competitors, large tents provide athlete lounges and there is one next to each range with refreshments and physio beds for athletes to start their preparations before their matches without the pressure from crowds and the media. Owing to the typical British weather of winds and rain for both weeks of the competition, these were warm havens where heaters took the chill from the shooters who would be training and competing in the outdoor elements. For me, I shot 390 in the air-rifle and in the 3 x 20 elimination round, I shot a personal best of 575 ex 600 taking me through to the next round where I was top British girl and shot 567 ex 600 in ferocious winds and rain. Winds of up to 30mph swept through the range and it was a test of nerve and patience on how long

Sheree Cox
you waited before firing your next shot. After waiting for 15 minutes to fire the last 4 shots my patience paid off. I eventually placed 38th overall, which is the highest ranking in World Cups this year for Great Britain women. It was a truely brilliant match and the facilities were brilliant. I really enjoyed it as well as improving my Personal Best by 2 points which was fantastic. Please visit my website www.shereecox.co.uk for more information on my sporting career and how to donate to my shooting fund via Paypal.

Sheree on her way to 36th place in the Women’s Three Position Rifle

Britain’s Jonathon Hammond took a great ninth place in the final of the Men’s 3 Position Rifle

The men’s rapid fire pistol final – Russia’s Alexei Klimov won Gold but the two Chinese athletes Ding and Zhang battle it out for the Silver.

Unlike some previous Olympic Games, the shooting competitors will be able to stay close to the heart of the action, enabling athletes to stay with their teammates in the Olympic Village on the other side of the river, from

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The Double Alpha Academy Race Master Holster

Ralf Jensen, JC Jamie Diaz, Emile Obriot, Saul Kirsch and Gregory Midgley of the STI European Team use the Race Master holster with their STI Open and Standard Division competition pistols.

IPSA NEWS

The Double Alpha Academy Race Master Holster
The New IPSC Competition Holster
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The New IPSC Competition Holster

IPSA NEWS

IPSA NEWS

The Double Alpha Academy Race Master Holster
The New IPSC Competition Holster By David Thompson

With the Race Master Saul Kirsch has taken IPSC holster design to a new level.

Over the 20 years I have been shooting IPSC, I have used a variety of holsters from different manufacturers in competitive events. I have used Hellweg, Rescomp and borrowed a Guga Ribas to try in a few matches. For the past number of years I have been using the Ghost competition holster in Production and Standard Divisions. This year a new holster hit the IPSC competition circuit – the Race Master, made by Double Alpha Academy ( DAA ). The Race Master Competition Holster was designed by Saul Kirsch with valuable input from Angus Hobdell, so a lot of top level competitive experience contributed to its design. Saul spent nearly two years in developing the Race Master with the following goals in mind:• To develop an advanced release system • To develop a wide range of position adjustments that do not work loose • To develop both a fully locked safety feature and tension adjustment capabilities • To allow the user to change gun types without having to buy a new holster I decided to give one a test and see how it compared with what I had previously used. This review is based on using the holster over five months, when I have used it for personal practice, running training courses, taking part in local matches and International events, which have included the SVI in Philippsburg, Czech Extreme and Hungarian MFS Level 3 competitions.

Saul Kirsch spent nearly two years developing the Race Master to provide what he though was required in a competition holster.

Pistol Retention
The Race Master ( RM ) does not use a platform to locate the muzzle ( similar in form to the Ghost, Guga Ribas and Limcat ). It includes a positive holster lock and a tension adjustment knob, a feature not found on other holsters. The large stainless steel tension adjustment knob rotates several turns, increasing or decreasing the resistance of the draw. This gives you a wide range of possibilities, from totally resistant free to stages that have a more dynamic starting position when you will want a bit more resistance to the draw. The RM has an adjustment and positioning system based on a ball joint and also has adjustments for angle and distance from the body. The belt hanger will be a stable fit on the popular 1.5 inch wide belts used on the IPSC circuit. When the pistol is holstered you can engage the locking mechanism, by flicking it down with your finger or thumb. This is also a useful feature to have after you unload and show clear. You can go a look at the other stages, or have a coffee, knowing that your

The Race Master uses a sliding block machined to be a precise fit around the front of the trigger guard in order to securely locate the pistol.

pistol will not unintentionally drop out of your holster. You can disengage it with your second finger as your hand wraps around the grip. The safety lever has serrations to catch your finger as you close your hand around the grip. I did not find these serrations to be an issue, but a safety lever without serrations is also available as an aftermarket part from DAA. You could also grind the serrations off yourself if you wanted to. To date I have not felt the need to engage the safety lever before making a draw. Several makes of holster offer the ability to use the same holster with different types of firearms, which involves changing some of the parts. The RM uses an interchangeable insert block to secure different makes of pistol. You can buy one holster and then purchase an insert block for each additional make of pistol you want to use with it. With this design you do not need to remove the holster from one belt and add it to another, or own a complete second rig. If you use the DAA magazine

The Race Master is adjustable to suit the requirements of the user. Ralf Jensen on the left has the muzzle slightly forward, while Gregory Midgley has the pistol in a vertical position.

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IPSA NEWS

Juan Carlos Jamie Diaz has used the Race Master to good effect so far this year in winning Standard Division in Europe’s “big three” IPSC matches; the Med Cup, SVI Infinity and Czech Extreme.

IPSA NEWS

pouches that can be adjusted to be used with different types of magazine, you can do it all with the one rig. This is a very useful feature. The holster is CNC machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and are hard anodized to offer a long lasting surface finish in black, blue, red, or titanium grey. The pistol specific inserts are machined form Delrin. The tension adjustment knob is made from stainless steel. These machining processes are expensive, but they result in a more precise and better quality product. Double Alpha Academy has its own in-house four axis HAAS CNC machine, although this is used primarily for development and small runs of special gun type inserts. DAA out sources the production of most of the RM parts to a top quality, ISO 9002 certified machine shop. An IPSC competitor always wants to know that their holster will securely retain the pistol when engaged in the various physical activities that will occur during a match. Obviously you want to achieve adequate retention without hindering the draw. It is in this area were you notice the difference between the different styles of holster that are used on the IPSC circuit. I first checked how securely the RM retains the pistol. With the retention screw set at its lowest setting and a magazine of dummy rounds loaded into the pistol I went through all of the starting positions that are normally encountered in a match. I then tried the starting positions encountered when I started competing in IPSC. These involved more dynamic movements of running, turning, climbing onto and jumping off objects. During these retention tests I could not get the RM to unintentionally release the pistol. This holster has the best retention of any competition holster that I have used or tried out. The second think I checked was how the RM’s draw feels when you have its position and tension configured in the way that it is actually going to be used in a match. As the feel of the draw is determined

The locking mechanism lever is in the engaged (horizontal) position. You can see the serrations on the lever. A smooth version can be ordered from DAA.

by the design, all of the holsters that I have used in the past each have a different feel to them. Usually the more resistance in the retention mechanism, the more drag you can feel as you have to pull the pistol out of the holster. During the retention tests I could not get the RM to inadvertently dump the pistol, but when I performed the draw the RM simply ‘lets go’ of the pistol It feels almost as if the pistol is just sitting on ‘fresh air’ instead of being retained by the holster’s lock system. You will find that drawing the RM to be a very smooth unhindered draw. During these initial trials the RM has shown itself to have all the features that you would want in a competition holster.

New Retention System
Other brands of holster use a combination of a muzzle support and trigger guard support to hold the gun steady, or just locate the pistol around the trigger guard holsters which allows the gun to move around a bit when holstered. The RM holds the pistol steady, with a seamless fit. When you want to the pistol will draw upwards smoothly with almost no resistance. This smooth draw is achieved by the use of a new locking system that offers a smooth clean release of the pistol when you draw and a solid grip on the pistol when it is holstered. This locking is achieved by means of a sliding block, formed precisely around the front end of the trigger

The stainless steel tension adjustment knob lets you alter the retention setting, which will increase or decrease the resistance to the draw.

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IPSA NEWS

guard. This fitting is the reason for the pistol’s stability in the holster. As the pistol is drawn, the block, which resides in an angled track, slides out to the side, releasing the trigger guard and allowing the gun to be drawn with only 6 to 8 mm ( 0.25 to 0.30 inches ) of upward movement required to clear the holster. The holster and its component parts are very accurately manufactured and I had no issues in disassembling and reassembling the RM when swapping over the inserts between different makes of pistol. Now after five months of use I have not got any nicks or cuts on my hands, so there are no sharp edges to worry about.

Yael Dagan demonstrates how the Race Master allows you to execute a clean, rapid draw and present the pistol neatly towards the target.

IPSA NEWS

Belt Attachment
The belt hanger on this holster is quite interesting. The 1.5 belt fits into a slot on the hanger and two spring steel flat clasps are screw tightened on the inside of the hanger to hold the belt in place. Once the two retaining straps are tightened down, the holster will not budge on your belt. On the DAA belt I was using the hanger is a very neat fit. This means there is no movement of the holster during the draw. As the inside of hanger only consists of two spring steel clasps this also allows the outer belt to make contact with the inner belt, which allows the Velcro to grip in this crucial area. This means that you will not have to attach a strip of Velcro on the inside of the hanger to offer additional adhesion to the inner belt. This design allows you to assemble your holster on your belt at the designated position without struggling to slide a tight fitting belt hanger the length of your belt. The lack of any bulk on the inner side makes this hanger more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Could we also see this option being made available for magazine pouches? The pistol retention part of the holster is secured to the belt hanger part of the holster by means of a ball and socket design, which means that the holster can be adjusted in a number of different angles and directions. The RM uses two Allen head screws to secure the ball in place. Take your time when adjusting and tightening these screws to ensure that the holster is correctly adjusted to suit yourself. Do this correctly and you should only need to do it once, when you make the initial purchase. The adjustment in the RM allows it to be positioned to suit your own body. This is very important so that when you make the draw the pistol will lift cleanly from the RM. If your draw is not clean, but slightly off

Yael has adjusted her RM so that her SVI sits vertically.

Emile Obriot, one of Europe’s top Open Division competitors draws from his race master holster and guns his way through a stage at the Czech Extreme.

The safety lever is unlocked and the tension adjustment screw can be finger adjusted. The two small screws visible locate the pistol specific insert to the holster body. angle a pistol can bind and drag or stick. This was a serious issue with earlier competition holsters. I spent some time making sure that the RM was properly set up to suit me and all my draws result in a clean lift. Once you are satisfied with the holster’s position tighten all the screws down and you are good to go.

Pistol Compatibility
The Race Master holster and the pistol specific insert block is currently available for the following pistol makes: CZ SP01, Glock, STI 2011 plastic and aluminum grip, SVI Infinity Hi Cap with plastic, aluminum or steel grip, Tanfoglio (square trigger

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IPSA NEWS

guard), 1911 Para-Ordnance, BUL M5 (round trigger guard) SIG Sauer X-Five, Caspian and Sphinx 3000. The trigger blocks for the Heckler & Koch USP, the Smith and Wesson M & P pistol and the Smith and Wesson 686 revolver are currently in preparation. DAA has just introduced the left hand version of the RM, which is available in the black finish. It uses the same insert blocks as the right hand version, so all the current pistol types are immediately available. I have been using the Race Master holster for my own practice sessions, when running training courses and when participating in International competition with complete satisfaction. I also used it at the IPSC European Handgun Championships in Belgrade, Serbia and the IPSC World Shoot XVI in Rhodes, Greece. The Double Alpha Academy Race Master has advanced IPSC holster design to a new level.

The 1.5 inch belt fits into a slot on the hanger and two spring steel flat clasps are screw tightened on the inside of the hanger to hold the belt in place. This also allows the outer belt to make contact with the inner belt, which allows the Velcro to grip in this crucial area.

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The pistol specific inserts, here a CZ SP01 and STI, can be easily swapped over. The manufacturing accuracy is such that I had no problems in switching parts back and forwards.

Gregory Midgley executes a draw for his Race Master at the Czech Extreme match.

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The Great Diggle EGG Shoot

The Great Diggle EGG Shoot

The Great Diggle Egg Shoot - May 2012
The threat of bad weather curbed the entry slightly for this year’s shoot but thankfully the rain more or less held off and we had a good day’s shooting with light winds.
Photoraphy by Steve Thornton

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The Great Diggle EGG Shoot If you’ve never heard of the Egg Shoot, let me explain. It is a simple (but demanding) test of field marksmanship that puts wind-reading skills to the test and, when the ultimate target is a hen’s egg at 500 yards, then clearly a pretty accurate rifle is also a great help.
Beyond that, there are few rules – any rifle, any scope, any rest - as long as you can carry it single-handed to the firing-point, anything goes. Over the years, we’ve had a few stunts pulled so now we also add – one rifle throughout the competition and no rifle sharing – remember, there are absolutely no sighters allowed on the day of the competition. Finally, although the majority will shoot a custom rifle of some sort, we do give an award for the best performance with a standard ‘out of the box’ factory rifle. But, it’s not just a case of shooting an egg. We start off with the Groundhog shoot. This involves three shots at 100 yards, three shots at 300 yards and three shots at 500 yards on the Groundhog target (see above & insert photograph of the winning shooters target, Chris Parkin). We also give an award for small group at each distance.
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The Great Diggle EGG Shoot

The Great Diggle EGG Shoot
At 100 yards, most shooters will go for the ‘head’ bull. A clean hit carries 15 points but cut the line and that drops to just nine points. No one max’d the 45 points but here’s how it went: 1st - Chris Parkin & Les Prior 2nd - Bruce Lenton 3rd - Steve Thornton & Gary Stewart Small group - Darren Grundle 39 points 33 points 32 points 0.381 inches At 300 yards, only the very brave will go for the head bull again. Most will go for the larger ‘body’ bull, which scores 10 points for a clean hit – giving a possible maximum of 30 points. Not surprisingly, we all hit the target at 100 yards but at 300 yards, with a gusty wind blowing, we did have a couple of no-scores and quite a few single-figure scores – mine included - an embarrassing 2! Still, I was using my 6mm 1000 yard benchgun and I had a 100 yard zero and a 1000 yard zero – my 300 and 500 yard zeros came from my JBM ballistic programme! Fortunately, I could see my first 300 yard shot in the white on the right of the groundhog but I over-compensated and scored a miserable two hits on the body. Chris (using his 260 Rem. tactical rifle) was again looking good at 300 yards: 1st - Chris Parkin 2nd - Andy Massingham 3rd - Les Prior Small group - Bruce Lenton 19 points 16 points 15 points 0.961 inches

The Great Diggle EGG Shoot

Chris Parkin is one of our writers and Steve Thornton is our webman and photographer so pretty good going for Target Shooter magazine!

Now it gets interesting. This is a very small target at 500 yards and we can expect about half the field to miss it completely! Just half a minute either way and you’re off the target. The wind had settled slightly

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The Great Diggle EGG Shoot
and again, I relied on the JBM prog. for my elevation settings. At 300 yards you can see shot holes in the white with any half decent scope and you can spot shots in the black with a good scope but at 500 yards... I took a chance and wound-off most of my windage (which was showing about three-quarters of a minute at 300 yards). Sure enough, I couldn’t see any shotholes on my target – were they in the black or had I missed completely? This time, the JBM was spot-on, with a lovely little three-shot group just below the body bull. Not a great score but the best at 500 yards so good enough to win the stage - yet another good result for team Target Shooter with Chris again getting a decent score. 1st - Vince Bottomley 2nd - Andy Massingham 3rd - Chris Parkin Small group - Vince Bottomley 15 points 10 points 9 points 1.015 inches breaking the egg. This is only the second time in the 15 years we have held the competition that no one has broken the egg!

Final results:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 6th 8th 9th 10th Chris Parkin Les Proir Andy Massingham Bruce Lenton Vince Bottomley Steve Thornton Gary Stewart Darren Grundle Mike Riley Chris Vaux 69 points 56 48 43 43 42 42 41 37 36

Best factory rifle shooter: Martin Pearns Full results can be seen on the UKBRA website at www.freewebs.com/ukbra/

Now, we shoot the egg. But, not until all the targets have been scored and everyone has had lunch. After a break of an hour or so, the wind had... Well, what had it done? Picked up by about half a minute actually but, no one spotted it and, although there were some near misses, no one won £100 – the reward for

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

Enter the Egg Shoot with any calibre...

Email Yvonne Wilcock at admin@targetshooter.co.uk

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Target Shotgun in the UK
A brief history of the discipline
by Steve Boulter
included in the Spring Action meeting staged by the NRA the following month. It soon became apparent that, instead of developing new courses of fire, there was an easier and almost ‘ready-made’ solution...the old (and much missed) pistol courses of fire. Police Pistol 1(PP1) and Service Pistol A could easily be used with minimal changes. So, Police Pistol 1 became Timed and Precision and the old Service Pistol ‘A’ discipline became Multi Target. The old ‘exposure’ and ‘away’ target timings were tinkered with and, the distances each practise was shot at, altered slightly to produce a challenging Target Shotgun version. Once this was achieved, Target Shotgun became an accepted shooting discipline and the number of competitors taking part rose steadily. Soon, other courses of fire were discovered - Embassy Cup from the BDMP in Germany and the Long Distance event (shot at the Phoenix meeting at 100 and 200 yards) began to be shot for the first time in the UK. UK records were being established (and then quickly broken) as these events gathered momentum and shooters got to grips with the nuances of slug shooting. This early work developing Target Shotgun in the UK was undertaken by members of The Blue Team Club, ably assisted by members of Little Chalfont Rifle & Pistol Club. A team of qualified Range Officers was put together and they have regularly run and officiated at virtually all of the Target Shotgun events at the National Shooting Centre ever since. However, it soon became apparent that the inherent Home Office rules concerning Section1 shotguns precluded a number of shooters from participating Although still in its infancy, Target Shotgun has been around as a formal shooting discipline in the UK since January 2004 and is now formally recognised by the National Rifle Association. Target Shotgun is one of the ‘main-stay’ disciplines shot during the NRA’s Action Weekends (which take place four times a year), with the Spring and Autumn Shotgun Festivals and the Police Shooting Championships, offering shooters in the UK a minimum of seven established competitions held at the National Shooting Centre every year.

in these Target Shotgun disciplines. In quick order, further courses of fire were developed and with assistance from the UKPSA, a number of these were developed to allow the use of Section 2 shotguns with both birdshot and buckshot ammunition. The UKPSA continues to promote both Practical and Target Shotgun shooting at the NRA’s Open Day events using these courses of fire.

TARGET SHOTGUN

So what happened next?
Evolution - It was natural for those closely involved in Target Shotgun to want to include some more dynamic shooting events more akin to Practical Shotgun at the National Shooting Centre. However, as many of you reading this will know, NRA policy does not generally allow any movement with a loaded firearm and so most Practical shooting events are precluded from Bisley. Step forward the ever inventive Blue Team members who quickly came up with a solution. Not all International Practical Shooting Confederation type shooting is undertaken with movement... So why not include all of the competitive shooting skills usually associated with Practical shooting, but from a static position, whilst testing shooter’s skills across a number of different stages? Hence the event known simply as ‘TBT’ was born. The name was coined from the initials of the club whose members came up with the idea and it is now established as the main event at the NRA’s Shotgun Festivals along with smaller competitions such as ‘Snooker’, ‘Man v Man’ and the ‘Ten Pin Bowling’ event. Enough of the history lesson, what’s happening now? One person’s name has become synonymous with Target Shotgun in the U.K. – Andy Duffy. He has been involved from the very beginning and was subsequently seconded to the NRA Shooting Committee to help develop the discipline and once Target Shotgun had received official recognition, he became the NRA Target Shotgun Representative.

200 Yards...

So, how did it all start?
Target Shotgun grew out of UK Practical Shotgunner’s needs to become more accurate at firing a solid lump of lead downrange out of a smooth bore shotgun. More and more of the Practical Shotgun matches (especially those held abroad) included slug stages and the lack of opportunities to get ‘slugged-up’ in the UK was keenly felt by those trying to compete. The first dedicated UK Target Shotgun match took place at Bisley in January 2003 on the morning of the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association’s AGM. The match was extremely well supported with over 40 competitors taking part and it quickly became apparent that what started out as a ‘practise’ event was in fact “...the most fun you could have with your clothes on...” (to quote one participant). After this inaugural match, enthusiasm grew and the potential to develop the discipline with differing courses of fire was realised. So much so, that it was

Bob Sand

EMB Cup

Left hand

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TARGET SHOTGUN

TARGET SHOTGUN

It was Andy that pushed for the use of reactive metal targets and actually helped conduct the test sanctioning and use of such targets with bird shot ammunition at short ranges at the NSC. He has worked tirelessly on developing and getting the rules adopted and is developing a training programme for beginners to enable them to acquire their Safe Shooter Certification in the discipline. If that wasn’t enough, he is also currently working on qualification packages for both range officers and for trainers. Looking to develop Target Shotgun in the UK even further, he has taken the discipline forward (or perhaps backwards) by now introducing ‘classic divisions’ which use double barrel and single barrel shotguns. It is no mean feat to maintain accuracy against the clock in a Timed and Precision event with a double barrel shotgun but, proving that he can ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’ Andy set the record of 282 ex 300 with a 241/2 inch Baikal Hammer gun in the double-barrel classic event shot at the last NRA Action Weekend. Target Shotgun has now developed a regular (and very enthusiastic) following amongst NRA and UKPSA members and regular events are well established. However, it was felt by a number of these regular shooters that it was time to form a national body to facilitate further development of this now popular NRA discipline. Consequently, the Target Shotgun Association (UK) was formed following a meeting held at the NSC during the recent Spring Shotgun Festival. Acting Officials were selected, members were signed-up and a constitution identified for adaptation. The new Association will be promoting and supporting the discipline and endeavouring to expand interest and participation across the whole country.

Multi target

Rob Adam

Prone position

Load & MR Sling Shot The reckoning The Association has a website www.targetshotgun. co.uk and here you can find more information on the discipline, courses of fire, past events, records and upcoming events and, for anyone wishing to join, membership details. We hope that Target Shotgun Association articles will become a regular feature of Target Shooter magazine, giving reports and results plus advice on equipment, ammunition reloading etc... If, after reading this article, you would like more information on Target Shotgun please contact Andy Duffy at target.shotgun@nra.org.uk or via the Association’s web site www.targetshotgun.co.uk

Recoil It will hold its first AGM at the Phoenix meeting in June, where a constitution will be adopted and officers elected. (Members will be informed of the date, time and location very soon).

A ONE-OFF...

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UKPSA NEWS

At the start of June 2012, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the ascension to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Events will take place across the globe to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 year reign. The UKPSA organised a graded practical pistol competition to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee.

UKPSA NEWS

THE UKPSA JUBILEE GRADED PRACTICAL PISTOL COMPETITION
By David Thompson

On the 12th May 2012, the UKPSA Jubilee Match, the first graded practical pistol competition to take place in the United Kingdom in four years, was held at the Ulster Small Arms Shooting Club in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. The USASC range is situated with the majestic back drop of the Mountains of Mourne towering above the range in south County Down. UKPSA members had been asking for the return of graded practical pistol competition that was properly run to IPSC rules. The UKPSA responded by putting together a Handgun Commission, which was tasked with carrying out the necessary organisation to both plan and run a graded competition. A properly run graded IPSC competition requires trained and qualified match officials to ensure the smooth running of the event. With this in mind, the UKPSA organised an IPSC Range Officer Training Seminar in March that was conducted by UKPSA Trainers Martyn Spence and Jim Gibney. They put a group of 12 new range officers through the IPSC two day training course, which is a blend of both classroom work and practical training in situations that they will encounter in a competition. Martyn and Jim also re-qualified UKPSA members who were previously range officer qualified. In the run up to the match date, the USASC designed, built and assembled all the targets and props required for the stages of the match. The competition consisted of seven stages. These consisted of two long stages of up to 31 rounds, two medium stages of up to 22 rounds and three short stages of up to 12 rounds.

Classic Division is a new IPSC Division and is limited to the M1911 pistol as used here by UKPSA Chairman Rob Adam.

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UKPSA NEWS

The stages used a blend of shoot and no-shoot targets and reduced size targets to increase the difficulty. The use of walls and barriers with apertures at different heights increased the difficulty of the stages. Each stage had both full size targets, which allowed you to speed up your shots and a combination of partial targets, with many obscured by no-shoot targets and reduced size targets, which meant that you had to slow it down to ensure that you got the hits and avoided getting misses or hitting the no-shoots. The degree of difficulty in shooting these stages was comparable to the degree of difficulty that you would experience in an IPSC Level III competition on the European IPSC competition circuit. The newly qualified range officers ran the stages under the control of Range Master Jim Gibney. As the score sheets were being processed through out the competition, the prize giving took place very quickly after the last competitors shot their last stages. At any graded practical pistol competition the IPSC Divisions of Production and Standard are always the most popular and this competition was no different. A series of commemorative plaques and prizes were present to the winners in the respective IPSC Divisions. In Standard Division, IPSC Ireland member Andrew Pedlow took first place. Paul Kirkpatrick was only 1.56% behind in second place and Robert McKee took third. In Production Division, David Thompson came in first place, with David Cumming and Colin Beattie in second and third places. As well as Standard and Production Divisions, two other IPSC Divisions, Classic and Open, were also represented. Jim McEwan took the top spot in Open Division and Rob Adam took the honours in Classic Division. As well as attracting UKPSA members from Northern Ireland, UKPSA members from Great Britain also travelled over to participate in the competition.

We also had a group of competitors from our neighbouring IPSC Region in the Republic of Ireland who also participated in the match. This is the first of a series of graded IPSC Practical Pistol Competitions that will take place in Northern Ireland in both 2012 and beyond. Another two Level II graded IPSC practical pistol competitions will take place in July and August at the USASC range. Many thanks to all the competitors who attended the match and to all the range staff for their hard work and enthusiasm that was put into running the competition. Results from these Graded Level II Matches will determine the 2012 United Kingdom Champions for the IPSC Handgun Divisions and results will be used for selection to the UKPSA National Handgun Squad and will be taken into consideration for the allocation of places for the IPSC European Handgun Championships that will take place in Portugal in 2013. Later this year the club will start the construction work to add additional shooting bays to their range and in 2013 the club will host a United Kingdom Open Level III Championship IPSC Competition. UKPSA Range Safety Training Courses The UKPSA will be running a two-day Practical Shotgun Safety Training Course in Northern Ireland in November 2012. Three UKPSA qualified Practical Shotgun Instructors will run this training course. This will enable Northern Ireland UKPSA members to organise a series of Practical Shotgun Graded IPSC Competitions to take place in Northern Ireland. These matches will be held through out 2013. Also in 2013, organised trips will enable UKPSA members from Northern Ireland to participate in the Graded IPSC Practical Shotgun Competition Circuit in Great Britain. As the Practical Shotgun Safety Training Course will be held in November 2012, this will give participants the time to ensure that they are properly equipped and organised to participate in the PSG safety training course. Open Division competitor Jim McEwan engages targets through a low aperture.

UKPSA NEWS

All the stages had a series of full sized or partial targets at long range or with difficult angles in which the competitor had to engage the targets above, through, below or around the various props used.

Competing in Production Division Stefan Kirkpatrick takes aim at a series of steel pepper popper targets.

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Also being held in 2012 will be a series of two-day Practical Pistol Safety Training Courses at different venues. This will enable those who are new to IPSC competition shooting to participate in the series of graded practical pistol competitions that will take place in Northern Ireland in 2012 and beyond and will also enable them to participate in graded competitions in other IPSC Regions.

UKPSA NEWS

For more information on both the Practical Pistol and Practical Shotgun Safety Training Courses email handgun@ukpsa.org

remaining events that will make up the 2012 UK and Irish IPSC Handgun Championships. The dates and venues for the competitions are as follows:
21st July and 18th August 2012 UKPSA graded competitions in Kilkeel, County Down GPS N 54.08013 W 6.00991 30th June and 1st September 2012 ITS graded competitions in Dunnyboe, County Tyrone GPS 54.8241219261,-7.31351025431

UKPSA NEWS

United Kingdom and Irish IPSC 2012 Handgun Championships
The competition on the 12th May was the first in a series of five graded IPSC practical pistol competitions that will take place in 2012. The UKPSA and ITS IPSC Regions are pleased to announce details of the

Both the UKPSA and ITS are delighted to announce the dates and locations for the series of 2012 IPSC Handgun Competitions. This series is culmination of a lot of hard work by both IPSC Regions and the respective clubs and co-ordinators to put together an exciting series of matches on the Island for both UK and Irish competitors. The championships will take place over the summer months with valuable slots for the 2013 IPSC European Handgun Championships up for grabs for the ITS members as well as the coveted titles of Irish or United Kingdom Champion for members of the respective associations .

IPSC Ireland member Andrew Pedlow took first place in Standard Division.

Engaging targets through an upper aperture Paul Kirkpatrick was second in Standard Division, only 1.56% behind Andrew.

UKPSA Regional Director Vanessa Duffy was one of the contingent of UKPSA members who travelled over from GB to participate in the competition. UKPSA Regional Director Vanessa Duffy was one of the contingent of UKPSA members who travelled over from GB to participate in the competition.

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UKPSA NEWS

IRISH IPSC HANDGUN CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2012

“On behalf of IPSC Ireland I am delighted that with the help and co-operation of our good friends in the UKPSA we will be able to run our Championships this year. A lot of people have worked very hard to make this happen and they all have put in long hours over the last few months getting all the details sorted out. IPSC President, Nick Alexakos has being instrumental in getting both regions together and helping us to forge new partnerships. I look forward to a great series of matches and some exciting shooting. ITS will take the results of three of the matches in selecting the teams for Portugal 2013. One of your three matches must be an ITS match your other two best results can be from any of the other matches.”
John FitzGerald Regional Director IPSC Ireland. Web- www.irishtargetsports.ie Email- secretary@irishtargetsports.ie

USASC, Kilkeel. Your third result will be from your best performance at any of the other three competitions. The results from these five graded competitions will also be used, alongside other results and performances, in the selection process for the United Kingdom National Squad and Teams for the 2013 IPSC European Handgun Championships that will be held in Portugal. As Regional Director for the UKPSA, one of the tasks that IPSC President Nick Alexakos set me when we met in 2011, was the re-introduction of properly run graded IPSC pistol competition shooting in Northern Ireland. Since the 2011 World Shoot XVI in Rhodes, Greece, ITS and the UKPSA have worked along with each other to achieve this goal. I thank those involved in the UKPSA Handgun Commission and of course our friends and neighbours in ITS for bringing about this series of Level 2 graded IPSC matches for the benefit of the members of both IPSC Regions” Vanessa Duffy Regional Director UKPSA Web www.ukpsa.co.uk Email rdukpsa@aol.com

UKPSA NEWS

“The UKPSA Handgun Commission and ITS are working together to bring about another series of graded IPSC practical pistol competitions for 2013. More announcements will be made in due course. Plans are already underway to extend this series of matches to include two IPSC Level III Championship matches during 2013. This will be great preparation for those members from both the ITS and UKPSA IPSC Regions who will be attending the 2013 IPSC European Handgun Championships and 2014 IPSC World Shoot. Anyone who wants to compete in any of the UKPSA competitions can contact me at handgun@ukpsa.org ” Fred Hanna UKPSA Handgun Commission Secretary Web http://www.ukpsa.co.uk/handgunni.html Email handgun@ukpsa.org

Range Master Jim Gibney ensured that we had a smooth running competition.

UKPSA IPSC HANDGUN CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2012
“On behalf of the UKPSA I am delighted to announce a series of graded practical pistol competitions that will be taking place at the Dunnyboe Rifle and Pistol Club, Strabane, County Tyrone and the Ulster Small Arms Shooting Club, Kilkeel, County Down. The results from the five competitions will be used to determine the UKPSA’s United Kingdom Champions for the respective IPSC Divisions. The UKPSA will take their members results from all five graded competitions and use the best three results to decide the United Kingdom Champions. Of your three results that will be used two of your results will be from the UKPSA competitions held at

UKPSA Trainer Jim Gibney presents Range Officer certificates to Jeffrey McComb, Fred Hanna, Robert McKee and Richard Martin. A total of 15 students completed the IPSC Pistol Range Officers training course organised by the UKPSA, which took place earlier this year.

The CZ75 SP01 Shadow is the most popular pistol used in Production Division. David Cumming used his to finish in second place.

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