TARGET SHOOTER MAGAZINE

May 2012 Issue

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77 COuNTRIeS eVeRY MONTH

Contents
MaY 2012 Issue
The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin. After running the MDT TAC21 chassis-system on a Remington 700 action last month, Chris Parkin reflects on a similar looking rifle that is a true `factory` build with a specification to match. Having visited the factory and watched the rifles built, does he like what he sees? Page 6

Contents Continued
May 2012 Issue

Page 72

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals by Michelle Gallagher. In early Feb, over 200 people came from all over North America to Phoenix, Arizona for the third annual Southwest Long Range Nationals, sponsored by Berger Bullets.

Page 48

Page 20 Busman’s Holiday - Part 1 by Carl Boswell. What better way for a benchrest shooter to spend a holiday than a trip round Finland – the home of Lapua, Vihtavuori and some great benchrest shooters.

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE? by Laurie Holland. The phrase we often hear to describe F Class - from the wannabes who populate the internet forums, is ‘It’s arms race’. “Why can’t I have a Class for my tactical rifle/ target rifle/hunting rifle” – or what have you? No matter what your shooting discipline, the best competitors will always want the best equipment – but is it really necessary? Can you be competitive in F Class with an ordinary rifle?

The Long View by Les Holgate. The 2012 GB F Class League season kicked off again with our short-range shoot at Diggle ranges over the weekend of the 14/15th April. With the shoot being 500 and 600 yards, I thought that the entry may be small but, for the second year running, the entry list was full with 70 competitors. That may not be a large turn out for Bisley but it was a lot for Diggle.

Page 28

Page 44

This Smallbore Business by Don Brook. Can you aim where you want to place the shot? This is a tough ask for many shooters, as they have grown up with centre aiming. This particularly applies to fullbore shooters, as it is also a tough ask to aim off centre when faced with 1000 yards. BUT, it can be done!

The March-FX – A 40 Power First Focal Plane Marvel. It seems that there is no better way to galvanise opinion in the shooting community Page 82 than to suggest that a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope is better than a Second Focal Plane (SFP). The difference in operation is visual; a FFP reticle grows in size as the scope magnification is adjusted higher while a SFP reticle remains constant at all magnifications (only the target appears to change size). The FFP supporters point to consistency across ranges while the SFP group points to thinner crosshairs and more precise aiming.

Page 94

UKPSA By Tony Saunders. Well, the weather may be giving us a hard time at the moment, but the shooting season has seen a flurry of matches for IPSC Shotgun, Handgun and LBR/LBP.

Regulars
& more
UKPSA
Page 16 ULTIMATE BENCH REST Page 60 Page 78

LATEST NEWS

Page 62

FROM THE BENCH

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Welcome to the new look May 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 May 2012
London is currently readying itself for the Olympic Games and, at the end of April, Target Shooter was able to visit the ISSF World Cup, which was held at the new temporary Olympic shooting facility at Woolwich Barracks, as part of the London Prepares programme. The Olympic facility is actually about half a mile away from the Barracks - in a field. Although the actual shooting ranges and spectator viewing areas were fine and I enjoyed some exciting finals (which would make great television), it is a soulless place – all tents and portacabins, resembling a building site with a few strange ‘moderne’ pods built from scaffolding and fabric. I do hope the venue can be made a bit more user-friendly in time for the Games, otherwise the athletes will miss out on one of the most important aspects of international competition – meeting and socialising with your fellow competitors. What a pity that the opportunity to use the excellent Bisley facility was missed. Following the Games, the whole lot will be demolished and shooting will received nothing in the way of the much vaunted Olympic ‘legacy’ and GB shooters will be left with nothing more than a bitter taste in the mouth. Shameful! On a brighter note, just before going to press, we were invited to the Edgar Brothers Media Day - a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy Britain still in recession. Edgar Brothers are the UK’s leading importer and distributor of sporting arms and accessories and if their record is anything to go by, shooting is in good health and can hopefully ride out the recession. We at Target Shooter look forward to an exciting season of competition and, if you want to look at the results for the London ISSF World Cup, visit www.issf-sports.org
1 Click 0.05 Mil Turrets

NEW
Side Focus 10 yards ~ Infinity

The Choice of Champions
Push Button Illumination

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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The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

After running the MDT TAC21 chassis-system on a Remington 700 action last month, Chris Parkin reflects on a similar looking rifle that is a true `factory` build with a specification to match. Having visited the factory and watched the rifles built, does he like what he sees?

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The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

Savage listen to shooters
Savage Arms are one of the few factory rifle makers who seem to have an ear to the ground, listening to what shooters want and need - rather than what `they` think we want and need. From the introduction of the Accutrigger and Accustock along with specific builds such as the Model 12 FTR, they have shown an aptitude to offer shooters a competitive competition platform, allowing entry to specific shooting disciplines where the rifle requirements often dictated a full custom build.
I was fortunate to visit the Savage Arms factory in Westfield, Massachusetts last year and this `corporate humility` (the words used by Savage’s own marketing manager) has now been turned in the direction of Tactical and Precision rifle shooters. So what is on offer? Amongst a plethora of guns and calibres for both target and hunting uses, rifles of both single and multi-shot capability, incorporating right-bolt/right-port, rightbolt/left-port actions and a multitude of other features normally only seen on custom offerings.

The Model 10 BA is a straightforward concept of a bolt-action, magazine-fed rifle in the`Jack of all Trades` 308 Win. chambering. Its robust build shows great ergonomic adjustability to the end-user, be he a police sniper or long-range steel-plate or paper puncher.
Savage manufacture all their rifle actions and barrels in-house, which has led to an accuracy reputation second to none amongst the large US manufacturers. We start off with a 24 inch button-rifled, fluted barrel with a 1 in 10 twist suitable for bullet weights up to 200 grains. Tapering to 0.875 inches in diameter at the muzzle, the barrel supports a laterally ported muzzlebrake with six vents to cut recoil and muzzle-jump. Working back towards the action, we find Savage’s usual barrel locking-nut, which simplifies both manufacture and later barrel swaps. With a `go` and `no-go` gauge, a little knowledge, a Savage barrelnut spanner and a simple barrel-vice, a new barrel can easily be fitted. I watched the barrels being fitted and headspaced in the factory and, judging by the accurate torque settings used and careful assembly, I don’t think the average shooter will need the strength of a gorilla either! The delicacy with which this was done was delightful to see in a huge manufacturing plant which, in some locations, seemed like a step back in to Victorian times with great plumes of smoke and gas (thankfully being drawn into vast extraction hoods). Savage’s two-lug bolt features a plunger-ejector and sliding extractor plus that unique replaceable bolt-head, which can be swapped in minutes without special tools thus allowing say a 223 or even a magnum barrel-swap. This design, although somewhat of a manufacturing compromise in my mind, does allow very close tolerances on headspace to be maintained and, although accuracy was not the intention, that floating bolt-head is likely responsible for the extrordinary accuracy that many Savage rifles exhibit. Target Shooter’s Laurie Holland won the UKBRA championship a couple of years ago with an ‘out of the box’ Savage LRPV rifle chambered in 204 Ruger, shooting several quarter MOA groups in the process!

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

A huge range of adjustability although a cramped grip to trigger region.

No bedding issues here, the small silver wedge locks the recoil lug in both directions.

An excellent mag well for the AI range.

Im not sure you would want to, but a barrel locknut spanner was provided.

Bolt face showing spring ejector and Sako style extractor.

The matt coating on the action feels gritty and wears quickly.

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The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin
The bolt-release lever is on the right-hand side of the action and the safety catch is a three-position, thumboperated design recessed into the rear tang and offering fire, safe with bolt operation and fully locked. A large, bolt-knob offers easy use but looks pig-ugly and is finished like the rest of the gun in a grainy, sandblast finish and matt-black coating. Overall, the action is a beefy, slightly brutal design with a small but adequately-sized ejection-port allowing a solid top section to stiffen the action and reduce flex in use. The action alone supports the barrel and it is always a bonus when the ejection port is proportioned minimally rather than Remington’s gaping port which drastically reduces stiffness and ends up being obscured by the scope rail anyway.

A full-contact, machined aluminium bedding-area with two action-bolts and a third bolt pre-tensioning a small recoil-lug lock, securely surrounds the action. The fore-end is a large aluminium channel offering a substantial degree of free-float to the barrel. Internally, it is hollow to aid cooling and is fitted with three sling/bi-pod studs at the tip. Behind the previously mentioned pistol-grip fitted with a palmshelf, the all-metal chassis supports a steel tube that extends rearwards to hold the plastic butt section. Adjustable cheekpiece height and length of pull to the recoil-pad offers huge versatility and I have to admit, it is one very easy to set-up rifle as all adjustments are controlled by finger-accessible turn screws. If 12.5 – 14 inches of reach is not enough, a second recoilpad is included to add an extra half-inch on top of the stock’s adjustment. Further sling attachment points are available all over the rear of the gun. The rifle came with it’s own Picatinny rail system, attached to the action via four bolts. This CNC machined aluminium rail sensibly incorporates 20 minutes of angle (MOA) and runs the full length of the action and then projects almost to the tip of the forend. Versatile Weaver/Picatinny scope mounting is easy to achieve with virtually limitless eye-relief or scope length versatility. Trading off the `tactical` theme, we are seen to ‘need’ Picatinny rails everywhere and these are also mounted lengthways down the sides of the action/stock. They add weight and are of little use in non-military environments on a rifle unlikely to be used for night-vision equipped vermin control but they do look cool! At 45 ½ inches long and 13.4lbs all-up weight, the gun is large and realistically can only be shot prone or from a well-supported position. I fitted a Harris 6-9 inch bipod and Swarovski 6-24X scope mounted in the robust Third Eye Tactical Unimount which perfectly suited the military look of the Savage. Running both Hornady and Remington 168gr Match Ammunition out to 800 yards, along with my own pet 155gn. Sierra Matchking/Viht N140 handload, the results were in line with expectations. Accuracy straight from the box - after a gentle run-in - hovered around the ¾ to 1 MOA mark with factory ammo and stayed solidly around ¾ MOA with the everyday handloads.

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin
This is the most photographed employee at Savage, anyone care to guess why. Yes he hand straightens and checks every barrel!

It’s raining AI mags!
Sensibly, Savage have chosen to use the excellent ‘tried and tested’ Accuracy International (AI) compatible 10-round magazine which is easily ejected using the lever in front of the trigger guard. The trigger, as previously mentioned, is the Accutrigger model, offering a small secondary internal blade to further enhance safety by blocking the sear. If this blade is not fully depressed - as would be done during normal firing - the trigger will disengage/click but not fire - an additional safety mechanism. The Accutrigger is colour-coded with the red model being the lightest. Our black version is user-adjustable with concise instructions included in the manual and broke in use with a crisp 3lb. pull.

AR-15 compatible?
The new and distinctive part of this rifle is the stock - or chassis. Described in the catalogue as an aluminium Accustock, it closely resembles the Magpul PRS G3 butt and the pistol-grip is virtually identical to the Heckler and Koch PSG-1 and both are, as you would suspect by now, compatible with all AR-15 variants.

When I got the time I started to play around, precisely tailoring my reloads to this rifle and the Lapua 155gn. Scenar was soon dropping into the magic half MOA zone driven by Hodgdon’s H4895 powder. Velocities were, as expected for a 24 inch tube, 2750 fps with the 168gn. and 2825 fps with the Sierra 155gn. The 155gn. Scenars were running at 2875 fps with the H4895 which I thought reasonably firm but not over the top and, although I was cratering primers a little, I had no hard bolt lift or extraction and on reloading the Lapua cases, found no slackening of primer-pockets or case web diameter growth. Factory guns are often prone to a little cratering due to firing-pin holes being slightly oversized. These m/v figures allow comfortable supersonic flight to 1000 yards but, like all shorter barrelled 308s, further performance requires careful bullet selection to either remain fully supersonic to the magic 1200, or at least selecting a projectile more comfortable with the drift through the transonic region - such as

the forgiving Sierra Matchkings but, this is Laurie’s territory so I will leave that one! The precise headspacing and chambering of the barrels seemed close to perfect as the maximum COAL on an AI magazine system seems to hover around the 2.840 to 2.855 inch region and I was able to seat at 2.850 inches with the Scenar only jumping 0.010 inches into the lands. The Scenar is more ‘jump tolerant’ than the Berger VLDs but, as both designs are quite long for their 155gr weight, it’s always a balance between mag. feeding and powder capacity with any 308 ammunition. Unlike some factory rifles, I was also able to load with the bullets both ‘kissing’ the lands or with some jump without having to deal with the bullet almost dropping out of the case-neck. Savage’s slightly ugly barrel locking-nut, although seeming to be a somewhat clunky shortcut to barrel/action assembly, does allow tolerances to be held more tightly to SAAMI

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The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin

This purposeful gun shot on the money straight from the box...

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The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin
specifications and this is the trade-off in a massproduction environment. Trying to prevent tolerances stacking up on chambering, throat/leade design, barrel-tenon shoulder, recoil-lug thickness and bolt-

Underneath the butt of the gun, the contoured plastic cover rides well in a sandbag and the radiused lower edge offers an excellent profile to the supporting fist of the non-firing hand, although a lack of any longitudinal taper does hamper fine elevation control with a rear bag. The matt black finish of the gun leaves all items warm to the touch in summer but I doubt offers much corrosion resistance as it only coats a chrome-moly steel alloy - not stainless - and in use, the bolt could be smoother. Wear and tear in areas of mechanical motion quickly began to show abrasion, which may not bode well for a lifetime of harsh use. I enjoyed shooting the gun and it shows Savage’s desire to venture into new areas but to be honest, I would look at one of their more conventional offerings

plate challenge in Wales and the muzzle-brake was so devastatingly effective I was able to spot my own bullet splash as close as 300 yards in the sand traps. I only normally expect to do this at perhaps 600 yards or further.

The Savage Model 10 BA Tactical Rifle by Chris Parkin
Pros A forward looking design ethos Versatile stock adjustability Excellent 10 shot mag system 20 MOA scope mounting solution Solid stock bedding and recoil-lug setup Cons Mixed results with the Accutrigger Cramped trigger-hand position Too much Picatinny rail? Overall Finally, an ‘off the peg’ rifle for the tactical and precision long-range shooter

6.5 is the new 7.62?
My Savage factory visit coincided with a visit to the Hornady factory visit and some of the latest designs coming online from Savage are chambered in the new and exciting 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge developed by the Nebraska-based ammunition giant. This particular chambering will hold a ballistic edge over the 308 and, although I’m a 260 Rem. lover, I can see this new offering gaining some serious ground, especially in the US as they are switched-on to providing loading data on the factory ammo boxes. This is unashamedly inviting the home-loader to precisely duplicate the proven factory loads and means they can’t rely on proprietary powder blends to support excessive performance claims. Factory loads in 6.5x47 Lapua for example are notoriously mild when compared to most shooters’ handloads and I suspect there is an honest reason for this. Working pressures are being pushed/ignored and I see a lot of brass discarded after only 3-4 firings with seriously ‘baggy’ primer pockets! For those of you wanting a modestly-priced factory rifle with serious long-range use in mind may well like to consider the .338 Lapua Magnum version of this particular rifle which, like the 308, has become well loved because of its relative barrel friendliness and well justified long-shot capabilities. Next on my ‘wish list’ of rifles to test is a 6.5 Creedmoor Savage; I think they could be on to a factory gun winner, suitable for everything in the tactical and precision or varminting worlds with realistic velocities using the delightfully effective 108123gr 6.5mm pills. Savage has a gun build ethos with its eyes wide-open looking for a killing, not relying on old-school customer-loyalty alone to brand `X`

The minimal ejection port keeps the action stiff. nose clearance is a process that is vastly simplified by the `nut` system designing out a couple of variables and in doing so, allowing throat/leade tolerances to remain tight. Magazine-feed in use was boringly reliable as can be expected with the AI system, feeding all rounds from the offset single column without bullet marking BUT, I was delighted to find that the gun would also single load, i.e. you could throw a round into the ejection port and just close the bolt - not always guaranteed with AI mag. fed rifles. One element that contradicted the gun’s overall comfort was the reach to the trigger-blade from the very closely mounted grip. The blade was well onto the second pad of the index finger and it compromised trigger-control. When shot prone, the cheekpiece offered a great head position and although the brake performed flawlessly - cutting recoil to 223 levels - the adjustability in the LOP of the stock aided consistent recoil-control on its own. Operation of the large bolt-handle made up for its ugly appearance, offering a very fast cyclic rate on reload, although on two occasions, the firing-pin did not engage on the sear as the bolt was closed, leading to a dead trigger-pull. Not a dead man’s click or slam-fire but as good as one in competition.

The new golden ticket for US factory guns. with a composite or laminate stock. Although I liked the adjustability of this design, the `black rifle` concept and it’s imitators are aesthetically lost on me. I didn’t love the look or feel of the gun, never mind the dead `ring` felt every time it was discharged. On the other hand, the action, barrel, trigger and chambering options that Savage offer elsewhere in their range are a breath of fresh air to the sometimes glacial speed at which the U.S. `big boys` seem to creep towards some of the latest innovations in both barrels, actions and calibres. It was very docile to use with little recoil and muzzle jump but, on intermediate calibres like 308 Win, often used in the close presence of other shooters, I feel a radial `pepperpot` brake is often a little less disruptive even if it means the shooter wearing glasses to avoid any blast from the muzzle tickling up the surface dust on the firing-point. In total contrast to that comment, I shot the gun out to 1200 yards at the WMS steel

Specification Savage Model 10 BA Price: £2058 Calibres: 308 Win., 338 Lapua Magnum (Model 110 BA) Capacity: 10 rounds Barrel: 24 inches Overall length: 45.5 inches Weight: 13.4 lbs Scope mount: 20 MOA Picatinny rail Stock: Aluminium/Plastic Accustock. Fully adjustable Accessories: Muzzle Brake, toolkit, barrel spanner Contact Edgar Brothers (Trade only) 01625 613177 Thanks to: Third Eye Tactical ; Evo Engineering 01924 404312 Hornady and Remington Ammunition ; Edgar Brothers 01625 613177 Sierra Bullets ; Henry Krank, 0113 256 9163 Lapua & Vihtavouri; Hannam’s Reloading 01977 681639

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FROM THE BENCH
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA AND ACCURACY RELATED ITEMS

FROM THE BENCH

cont...

Competitions
Our 2012 season opened with a 100 and 1000 yard matches at Diggle over the Easter weekend and obviously we had all missed our BR shooting over the winter for we had great turn-outs for both events. However, the weather was rather cool with plenty of wind to make life interesting! Our new rule change (any non-6PPC Heavy Varmint rifle is now classed as ‘Sporter’ no matter how it has been modified) brought along a couple of new shooters with their custom rifles and one of them, Gary Stewart, shooting a very nice Walker Rifles 22BR BAT, took the Class win and finished a creditable ninth overall. Winner of the HV Class was Jeanette Whitney but Ian Dixon’s ‘screamer’ was small group of the day. Jeanette Whitney watches the flags on her way to the first 100 yard BR win of the season

Factory Sporter 1st Rachel Sullivan 2nd John Rhodes 3rd Alan Seagrave Small group: inches

308 Tikka 338 DTA 6.5x55 Tikka Rachel Sullivan

13.5 14.28 14.398 5.75

Another sub. 1.5 inch 1000 yard group!
Last month, Ron Boyd shot a 1.462 inch five-shot Light Gun group at 1000 yards in an IBS benchrest match at the MidWest Benchrest Club in Yukon, Missouri, USA. Ron shot a 6mm Dasher with Bartlein barrel and PR&T stock. Ron’s 1.462 inch group is 0.065in. off the existing IBS 1000yard Light Gun record. Ron’s group also happens to be 0.011 in. smaller than the current NBRSA 1K Light Gun record, 1.473 in. shot by Bill Schrader in 2002. (But this is not counted by the NBRSA since Ron shot in an IBS match.) Ron’s group was shot in the first relay of the day, in good conditions. The group had three (3) shots clustered in under one-third inch (0.03 MOA)!

Results: Heavy Varmint 1st Jeanette Whitney 2nd Ian Dixon 3rd Vince Bottomley Small group: Sporter Class 1st Gary Stewart 2nd Darrel Evans 3rd Gary Wrighton Small group:

6PPC Stolle 6PPC BAT 6PPC TGP BAT Ian Dixon

0.2178 in. (av. of five, 5-shot groups) 0.2398 0.26 0.098 inches

Jeanette Whitney watches the flags on her way to the first 100 yard BR win of the season

22BR Walker BAT 6.5x47 Accuracy Intl. 6mm Stolle Darrel Evans

0.356in. 0.5254 0.6404 0.249 inches

This is truly a spectacular achievement and probably the smallest five-shot group ever shot at 1000 yards with a 6mm cartridge. At 1000 yards, 1 MOA is 10.47 inches. This means that Ron’s group measured in at 0.1396 MOA!

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Load
Ron loaded a stout charge of Long Range Match surplus powder with Spencer 103gr bullets seated about ten thou. OFF the lands. The bullets were “right out of the box”, NOT pointed. This powder has burn-rate characteristics very similar to Alliant Reloader 15 and Ron used his regular RL15 charge, adjusted by half a grain or so. Ron was using no-neck-turn ‘brown-box’ Lapua 6BR brass, formed into the 40° improved 6mm Dasher case. The un-turned, loaded case-necks measure about 0.2695in., yielding .0015 in. total clearance in a 0.271 in. chamber. The brass used for the 1.462 inch group had seven previous firings. Ron anneals his brass after every firing using a Benchsource annealing machine. Ron says “The Benchsource is the greatest annealing machine there is, as far as I’m concerned.” 17

The following day, for our 1000 yard shoot, we were swamped with a record entry of shooters and it was late in the afternoon before we could declare Phil Sammons the winner of Light Gun Class, with Rachel Sullivan taking the Factory Sporter win. Both the winners also shot their Class small-groups in the process – a 4.173 incher for Phil and a 5.75 incher for Rachel.

Results: Light Gun 1st Phil Sammons 2nd Russ Gall 3rd Ian Dixon Small group:

6.5-284 Stolle 284 Gall 7mmWSM Stolle Phil Sammons

8.124 inches 9.082 9.186 4.173

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FROM THE BENCH

cont...

Ron ultrasonically cleans his brass and then tumbles his brass after the ultrasound process. He does NOT use an internal neck lubricant. He does NOT uniform his primer pockets and he does NOT ream his flash-holes. Ron believes this load was running “right around 3000 fps” but he has not chronographed it yet in the new Bartlein barrel.

A bullet pointing die is a die used to make a sharper point on a bullet. By doing this, we have made the bullet fly more efficiently resulting in less drop and wind drift. Who can benefit from this? Pretty much every rifle shooter who shoots at longer ranges can. Developed and tested where it matters, in competition, by state and national long range champion John Whidden, the Bullet Pointing Die is winning followers all over the shooting world. With a proven 5% gain in accuracy, the only thing left is to try it and see the results for yourself The most inconsistent surface on a bullet is the tip (called the meplat). Again, the 1000 yard benchrest shooters have developed a solution. It has become popular to trim the meplats in recent years so that each bullet has exactly the same shape at the meplat. Undoubtedly this has made the bullets more consistent and therefore the groups have gotten smaller. The down side is that by trimming the meplat, we have also made it larger. This causes a lower BC and increases drop and wind drift. Generally speaking, for typical bullets used in long range competition, trimming means you give up about five percent more wind drift as compared to bullets right out of the box. With our bullet pointing die, we can make the meplat smaller rather than bigger. Consider that a little pointing will do a lot of good. Typically with the bullet pointing die, we can close the meplat up to about half of its original diameter. Here’s the kicker-by closing it to half of the diameter, the surface area is only one fourth of its original amount. This is the reason the pointing die is so effective.

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Light Gun
Ron’s 17-lb Light Gun featured a BAT SV Action, Bartlein 30 inch 1:8 twist, 0.237 land barrel and Precision Rifle & Tool ‘Hammerhead’ benchrest stock with 5 inch-wide fore-end. This stock weighs 4 lbs 1 oz. with an aluminium butt plate and is about 36.5 inches long with integrated rails on the bottom of the fore-end ‘wings’. Ron’s friends Rich Griffin and Jerry Kloeppel did the chambering and bedding. Ron recently put the Bartlein barrel on the gun. Ron estimates that the barrel had only 40 rounds through it when it produced the 1.462 inch group. Ron tells us “This new barrel is great and the 5 inch-wide PR&T stock really works. Luckily pulled the trigger at the right time.” Ron told us that this rifle shot in the high ‘ones’/low ‘twos’ at 100 yards during testing. (We thank the www.6mmBR.com website for allowing us to use this story).

New Stuff
Just had notification from Spud – the guy who makes the extended rest legs and feet – to say that he is now the stockist for stainlessBefore tumbling... After tumbling... steel tumbling media. This stuff is by far the best media for cleaning dirty brass – see www.1967spud.com for more details. Incidentally, even if you don’t need any stainless-steel media, Spud’s website is full of interesting stuff and well worth a visit.

Egg Shoot
Our next Diggle BR weekend is May 5/6th and then on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th we have our Egg Shoot. Although not a benchrest shoot, the Egg Shoot is a great favourite with all accuracy nuts. If you fancy a go at breaking an egg at 500 yards and winning £100 just turn up at Diggle ranges around 9.00am and I can promise you a challenging day’s shooting. E-mail me if you need more info. vinceb@targetshooteronline.com

Pointing Die, Pointing Die Sleeve, Pointing Die Insert Meplat trimmer (requires Wilson trimmer) all available from:

HANNAM’S RELOADING LTD
email: sales@hannamsreloading.com www.hannamsreloading.com

Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road, Leeds LS25 5LJ Tel 01977 681639, Fax 01977 684272,

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Busman’s Holiday - Part 1
by Carl Boswell

What better way for a benchrest shooter to spend a holiday than a trip round Finland – the home of Lapua, Vihtavuori and some great benchrest shooters.
Visiting Finland for the first time has been an experience! Possibly a once in a lifetime event, with the wonderful hospitality provided by hosts Jen Lagas and Juhani Tulppo. However, I hunger for more! (Sorry, in-joke with all the fish and game we ate over there - all caught or shot for our plate. If a hunting paradise is what you crave, this would be it).
Although a lot of this visit was for pleasure, quite a number of events did take place that related to shooting - particularly the chance to test a number of new products, some ammunition and participate in some shooting - well it’s fun isn’t it? On arrival, the plane took a couple of attempts at landing due to a snow storm. I say storm, as by UK standards that’s what it was. By Finnish standards it was probably just a shower. Staying in the west of the country the temperatures ranged from a good -4 to -12 degrees C, so not that bad for a ‘Brit’ tourist, or ‘roast beef’ as my wife calls me. This extended later in the visit to temperatures of minus 29 degrees as we travelled further north. During our stay we experienced things well outside the range of normal holidays. In some respects,

Busman’s Holiday - Part 1
by Carl Boswell
writing this article, I am unsure where to start as there is such a lot to talk about. I suppose it does not really matter in some respects as we will get onto the Lapua factory visit, the range visit, etc. all in good time. However, I think it would be good to start with the way rimfire and air rifle benchrest has started to develop in Finland. It is quite phenomenal in the last two years. In 2008 there were only one or two people shooters but now, this has expanded dramatically with new competitors coming into the fold on a monthly basis. Their first ‘nationals’ were held just last year. This is in no small way to the passion of Jens Lagas, my host, who sees a bright future for the sport. Jens has a wide range of experience, being the former president of the centerfire benchrest organisation in Finland. I later shot some 6mm PPC with him and I am not too embarrassed to say I was..... let’s say ‘humbled’!

Busman’s Holiday - Part 1

by Carl Boswell

Lohtaja range stand view

My hosts and your scribe ice fishing on a frozen lake...
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Regional Air Rifle Match 1

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Busman’s Holiday - Part 1
by Carl Boswell
With a number of matches to entice new members, including air rifle shooters, being staged throughout the year, the sport will grow steadily. Finland has a number of clubs set up for benchrest already so the infrastructure is already present. This is something we could consider in the UK, as not many clubs have

of the Santa Clause Village. (So lots for the family to do while shooting). There is also land to shoot outdoors in the summer months. At present, there are five selection matches between June and August this year to arrange the Finnish team for the Championships in Plzen next year. There are of course other matches being developed. Jens is capably aided in this development by all the Finnish shooters themselves and a small, but affective management team – Antti Ikäheimo and Tapani Nousiainen. Air rifle benchrest is very new to the Finland team and is something that Jens is trying to foster to keep them competitive at international level. This has taken a great deal of effort and like many countries around the world, a good number of Field Target shooters are starting to gain an interest in the sport. So much so that they are looking at fielding a full air rifle team for Plzen next year!

I will eventually run out of space so I will focus on specific areas in future issues. Plus I arrived only a day before writing this article, so pretty shattered after 4000k of driving, plus the flights. So this little visit to Finland has proffered a number of articles that will be coming over the next few months. Some of these are related to rimfire and air rifle benchrest, some general in nature. (To be honest, the fun part for me was shooting a custom 6mm PPC, a Sako TRG .338 Lapua Magnum and the Finnish Valmet M78 - the Finnish army AK47 derivative - on a very cold afternoon in the heart of the countryside. However, more on that another time).

Busman’s Holiday - Part 1
by Carl Boswell
The family Murisoja getting Bronze in 2010 in their first outing in Rimfire Benchrest

Regional Air Rifle Match 2 more than five benches. Building a good and wide club infrastructure is paramount to further success. On our travels we visited a club range in Lohtaja, Houraatin Ampumarata, about thirty five kilometres north of Kokkola. Although well in the countryside the facilities to hold a large match are excellent. Another fascinating aspect to my visit was further north, as I came across the beginnings of a shooting This obviously takes a great effort to develop further knowledge of air rifles and really develop some shooter knowledge of how they work. If anything the Finnish have moved a great deal quicker than most of us, as they are playing catch-up ……. and succeeding. I found their ideas, especially related to designing new products and rifles, quite fascinating and it is good to see this level of determination and thought. As the population of Finland is only five million it makes you think... The Finnish team and individuals have had some success, being ‘placed’ in the last three international championships. They also pulled off an individual Silver and team Bronze in their first international outing in 2010. So the only way is up - like all of us, new equipment must be purchased, designed, made, etc - as they get prepared. I am quite sure that we will see more Finnish shooters on the leader boards in the future. Regional Air Rifle Match 3 school led by Juhani Tulppo. Juhani shoots both centerfire and rimfire benchrest and has had success in a number of Finnish and Scandanavian tournaments. He is in the initial stages of developing this shooting school in the city of Rovaniemi, with a 50m indoor range. This is just inside the Artic Circle and also home Individuals, groups and the associations are making every effort to develop both equipment and knowledge of the sport. If anything, these shooters have proved their competitiveness already and the future can only be seen as bright, having listened to their discussions and seen some of the designs/ideas they have. Here are just a few snippets about the sport in Finland.

Rest and ammo testing in interesting winds coming directly off the sea.

The first Finnish Nationals 2011

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

The long View
News from the GB F-Class Association by Les Holgate

Photography by Steve Thornton

The Long View by Les Holgate
The 2012 GB F Class League season kicked off again with our short-range shoot at Diggle ranges over the weekend of the 14/15th April. With the shoot being 500 and 600 yards, I thought that the entry may be small but, for the second year running, the entry list was full with 70 competitors. That may not be a large turn out for Bisley but it was a lot for Diggle. However, we only had one overseas competitor, Henke Lubbers, who came all the way from Holland.

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

The field was split roughly 60/40 with the largest part of the group being Open class shooters, slightly reversing the trend of recent shoots towards F/TR. The first to shoot on the Saturday were the Open guys, shooting in pairs with 2 sighters and twenty to count at each yardage. The forecast, as ever in the Saddleworth area, was always going to be changeable and the east wind blowing down the gully to the left of the range, usually means harder conditions. This weekend was to be no different.

The squadding was based on the previous season’s results so that those in competition get to shoot in similar conditions and they got off to a good start with the top eleven shooters scoring 98 or above and the top three an impressive 99.9v. On count-back, the stage winner was Mark Daish. Next up was F/TR and amazingly they proved that the disadvantage of calibre meant little at short range as the top 3 also scored well on 98 but out in front with highest V bull count was the GB F/TR Team Captain, Stuart Anselm on 98.10v.

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

In the afternoon all shooters dressed back to 600 yards and the weather also started to change for the worse. However, it didn’t seem to affect Open shooter Grant Taylor who posted a remarkable 99.5v to easily win the stage medal with the next nearest score being Mark Daish on 96.6v. It was during the third detail that the typical Diggle ‘four seasons in one day’ weather came in and we had sun, sleet, wind and rain all in one detail!

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Conditions continued to deteriorate and the wind got gusty as the the F/TR shooters started their final shoot of the day. Two shooters finished on an impressive 92, Keith Snow and Alan Baldry, but Alan just pipped it for the medal with 3 V bulls to Keith’s 1.

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges
A full results listing is available via the GBFCA website www.gbfclass.co.uk

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Conditions continued to deteriorate and the wind got gusty as the the F/TR shooters started their final shoot of the day. Two shooters finished on an impressive 92, Keith Snow and Alan Baldry, but Alan just pipped it for the medal with 3 V bulls to Keith’s 1. After the day’s shooting was over, it was time for the GBF Class Association AGM. Thanks to the Chairman Des Parr holding a brief meeting - a system started by previous Chairman Mik Maksimovic, - this didn’t extend an already long day by too much, giving people time to go and rest for the following days shoot... or quickly get changed to go out for the customary beer and curry! The following day the 500 yard stage was reduced to a 2 and 15 to count with F/TR shooting first and amazingly recording the first ‘clean’ of the weekend – a quite magnificent 75.5v from John Cross with Bill McIntyre (another Altcar 101 Club shooter) not far behind on 73.7. John’s score would also prove to be the highest of any F/TR or Open shooter. The weather conditions remained similar for the Open details with the highest score posted by Tony Marsh with a 75.3v which was the only other ‘cleaned’ target of the weekend. The final distance was again at 600 yards with 2 sighters and 20 to count. Conditions deteriorated and scores for F/TR certainly dropped at this distance, with the top shot again being John Cross with 93.2v. Some Open shooters appeared to get the hang of it slightly better with three shooters on 97 or higher. Yet again Grant Taylor took the awards with another superb 98.8v. With the weekend’s shooting completed, it was just down to see who the trophies would go to and this year, the GBF Class Association had extended the stage winner medals to the runner-up place as well due to the increase in shooter numbers.

The first shoot is over and now we look forward to the fabulous Blair Atholl round in just three weeks time and the entry is already full - a good sign for the future of F Class shooting in the UK. Blair is followed by a return to Diggle in June for their first long-range shoot of the season and, as I write this, I already have a half full entry! Clearly, F Class shooting with the GB League is going from strength to strength and if these articles wet your appetite why not give it a try? But don’t wait too long – download entry forms from the GBFCA website and get that entry sent in. http://www.gbfclass.co.uk/index.php?option=com_co ntent&view=article&id=61&Itemid=110

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GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

GB F Class Championships
14th & 15th APRIL 2102

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Round 1 Diggle Ranges

Results F/TR;
John Cross Adam Bagnall Stuart Anselm Bill McIntyre Paul Harkins Richard Jones 354.19v 350.17 346.27 345.17 343.21 343.15

Open Class;
Grant Taylor Mark Daish David Lloyd Tony Marsh Paul Sandie Ian Boxall 367.25v 364.27 358.21 357.18 356.14 355.23

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This SMALLBORE Business

This Smallbore Business
Can you aim where you want to place the shot?
This is a tough ask for many shooters, as they have grown up with centre aiming. This particularly applies to fullbore shooters, as it is also a tough ask to aim off centre when faced with 1000 yards. BUT, it can be done!
Smallbore and 300m shooters, as a method of wind combat, have mastered this aspect and I have seen many counts of the intelligence of their method, and wind reading. An example of this was with Raymond Debevec when he won the Sydney Olympic Final and Gold Medal with it.

by Don Brooke

There are many things that dictate this and, one of the ones with the greatest influence, is the time clock. Not much fun when you see the instance outlined above with Ray Debevec but, the point I would like to make is that he did something about it! His wind reading gave the indication that with a good shot fired he would lose it to the eight ring anyway, so what is the difference with an eight on the right, compared to an eight on the left? At least he did not want to shoot an eight on the right as so many did that day and figured that if he was wrong, his eight on the left would be exactly the same value on the score sheet. Had he fired that clean shot, with the wind change out there, he would shoot exactly the same shot value as everyone else did on that firing point. Raymond simply watched his neighbour’s target machine, noted where the shot went, and corrected his aim accordingly. Brilliance personified! It did not make a lot of difference to Stenvaag either, as he still medalled anyway. I can relate another instance that happened to me during a fullbore Queen’s prize in my early days, that shows you what thinking can do. A great deal of my instance was good luck but, I managed to take advantage of this. We were shooting an 800 yards shoot-off for the range prize and I was belting my shots away fast as there was a huge storm approaching from the right - I shot my sighters and got four shots away very quickly (all bulls). I loaded up my fifth shot and started to get the aiming right when this fierce gale hit us. The flags stood out like they were starched! Even the poles were bending! Just as the wind hit, my next door shooter, (who went on to win the Queens incidentally) got one away. He gave a grunt and my plate went down…. I told him he fired on my plate, to which he refuted angrily. My target came up with an outer on the right at two o’clock. Wondering just how much was in the wind, I put the butt on the mound, worrying...

This SMALLBORE Business

Suddenly it hit me...
I wound down a point, went five left on the wind arm, aimed at his target, and hit mine smack in the middle! This won the shoot off and many asked how the hell I had picked the wind. I just smiled and smacked my backside…..! I eventually told the Queens winner what I had done - to which he laughed! Funny how things worked out too, as I eventually worked with his grandson on Malabar range as a State team coach. This happened many years ago but it shows what thinking can do. So how do you train to learn how to aim where you want to put the shot? To me, this was an extremely valuable exercise and the only way is to try to do this. I became familiar with this with the mighty Jack Writer standing behind Lanny Bassham in Thun, Switzerland in 1974. Jack and Marg Murdock were standing behind Bassham (who was shooting really well just then) and I heard him say…. “C’mon Bassham hold it at ten and shoot the damn thing.” (This, I must add, was standing smallbore). Bassham shot a four o’clock nine, to which Margaret said, “He didn’t listen eh?” But Lanny then fired four solid tens in a row without moving the rear sight. Lanny Bassham went on to dominate those World Championships, winning a stack of gold medals and it was here that I came to know and admire the Americans. My good friend David Kimes was among them and we still correspond regularly. Shading the aim is a matter of denying the dead centre aiming picture. In fact forgetting it existed, and learning to read the wind and weather. The advantage is that it saves a great deal of time and obviously the less time you are shooting for record shots, the less time you have to battle the wind out there.

Faced with an unprecedented wind change out there, for the last shot in his final, he was very quick to get a look at where Harald Stenvaag’s shot went when Harald got one away smack in the strength of what was out there. From my position as commentator for the USA media machine some 20 feet away from him, I watched the muzzle of his rifle move to 10 o’clock and the shot released. He shot a tight ten with that shot, while the other seven struggled to hold the eight ring! Big grin, as you would expect from the world record holder and I gave him 10 points for thinking. He obviously trusted Harald’s shot release!

So, how do you learn to shade the aim, or even further in graduation, aim the shot off?

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This SMALLBORE Business
I trained myself by shooting early in the morning. Or on days when the wind was either non-existent or mild. In the early morning I would get the zero dead centre with aiming correctly and then , once I was shooting holes right in the middle, I would try to aim so that I shot holes on the ten ring line at what ever ‘time’ I nominated. Soon, after a learning time, I found I could shoot a string of shot holes all around the ten ring. My method was simple enough, as I would aim a shot at 9 o’clock and shoot that edge ten at nine. Then I would aim the next shot at 3 o’clock and shoot an edge ten at three. Then 12, then 6 and then around the ten ring each with opposite times on the ten ring. I soon learned to shoot solid 100s like this. Then I expanded on the method, learning to aim on the nine ring and followed the same method. I can tell you this period of my training (prone) was very interesting. Of course, this early stage demanded very accurate zeros for your shots in still weather conditions. I can also tell you that I do not know of a champion smallbore shooter who has not worked really hard on learning to aim the shots wherever he / she wanted to put them.

The shade in the aim would become immediately apparent, so that if you shaded the aim at the ten o’clock side of the ten ring (which you have done countless times) and fired a well controlled shot, you will shoot a solid ten because you have done something about that wind change. Like I said, if you have the conviction to realise that if you fired the shot with a wind increase out there, you will probably lose that shot right where you expected it to be! If you shade it at ten, the wind is negated and the score is registered. Now, if you look at fig. 1 and have a foresight picture like this, in a no wind situation, the shot should go into the ten ring, would you agree? Note the still wind flags down range and, with the aiming mark in the dead centre of the ring and the shot is released very well. If you held a foresight picture as good as this, you would expect a solid ten, if not a 10.9 smack in the middle! (as it should be….) In fig. 2, the wind increases in velocity over the range, which you would realise the wind would move the shot into the nine ring and so lose a point. But, if you aim the shot ‘uphill’ and fire, that shot stands a good chance of staying in the ten ring, does it not? Of course it does! Then you would understand what I am saying about doing something positive about it. If you continue with the aim as in fig. 1, detailed above, you almost surely register that nine, due to the wind change out there… I ask you, what have you got to lose? Just because of making a decision. Well, a faint heart never won a fair fight did it? Also if you place the shot exactly where you aimed, that shot still counts nine points, which would be the same scenario as the shot loss on the right and you still have all the ten ring to play with…. Then you will have learned for the next time you are faced with the wind out there.

This illustration shows the foresight ring around the aiming mark, for a dead centre shot, based on a no wind zero. (See text) With an aim like this, the shot should be smack in the middle!

Pick a wind that gives you some form of zero conditions and learn to shoot accurately quite fast. Say we have a wind coming across the range from left to the right. You have already zero’d in on the mean so that when that condition is out there (based on your estimation), you fire a dead centre sight picture and that is where the hole prints on the target, well inside the ten ring. You need to be fully aware of when those ZERO conditions appear out there and fire a shot smack in the middle. This reinforces your aiming decision, and adds to your confidence.

This episode is the first of a series on shading the aim and all it takes is continuous training, all of you can do this, it is not rocket science is it? You will be surprised at how accurately you can aim if you look at the photograph of that shot fired at 50m which was nominated as ‘little high, towards 12’( see picture.) This shot scored a 10.8….. And… I saw where it went!

Brooksie. 46 47

Telephone - 0161 620 2190

Once you have this system in place, then it is a simple matter to get out there and try to perfect a wind combat method.

This illustration shows an increase in wind velocity from the left. The aim is now favouring the ten o’clock side to combat the wind change on the range. (See text) Shading the aim is probably the fastest method available to a small bore shooter.

I have won a lot of matches by keeping a logical open mind and the confidence to aim exactly where I wanted to place the shot. If I misjudged the wind and the shot is lost, knowing exactly where you aimed is of huge value.

Telephone - 0161 620 2190

Then you estimate the wind velocity has increased, so that if you fired a dead centre sight picture your shot stood a chance of missing the ten ring at four o’clock.

This SMALLBORE Business

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

The phrase we often hear to describe F Class - from the wannabes who populate the internet forums, is ‘It’s arms race’. “Why can’t I have a Class for my tactical rifle/target rifle/hunting rifle” – or what have you? No matter what your shooting discipline, the best competitors will always want the best equipment – but is it really necessary? Can you be competitive in F Class with an ordinary rifle?

You don’t need to own a custom long-range rifle to compete in national league rounds. This .223 Rem AR-15 straight-pull user did very well at Diggle in Round 1.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

If you want to be competitive at 1000 yards at national level, where you’re shooting against some of the best competitors on the planet, you’ll almost certainly have to budget for the lower figure. It’s a sad fact of life that competing at this level isn’t for the impoverished - given travel and accommodation costs, entry fees and more just to show your face in a UKwide series of two and three day events. This applies to most sports, irrespective of whether your passion is shooting or crown green bowling! However, far more shooters aspire to shoot F/TR in club and regional competitions and, in most cases, the maximum range involved will be 600 yards. My club shooting is PSSA (Pennine Shooting Sports Association) fixtures at Diggle that run from 200 to 1000 yards. Nevertheless, the Club’s well supported F-Class and F/TR championships will be decided by an individual’s best eight results out of 27 scheduled matches in 2012 - 19 of which fall within the 200 to 600 yard envelope. So, kit needed to produce the external ballistics and precision that go the extra mile - or more precisely 200 yards as 800 yards forms the .223Rem/308Win ballistic ‘fault-line’, keeping bullets comfortably supersonic and grouping within a one-MOA (10.47 inches dia.) 1000yd five-ring isn’t so essential as in national League shooting.
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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1
TOP- The Remington 700 Police rifle is used as the cost baseline in the ‘affordable’ F/TR rifle concept. This one careful (law enforcement) owner used example is virtually ready to go in club F/TR with Harris bi-pod, Leupold VX-II scope and hard case. MIDDLE -Savage single-shot PTA models: Model 12 F Class in foreground; .204 Ruger cal. Model 12 LRPV in bench rest mode behind. BOTTOM - The Savage LRPV after rebarrelling to .223 Rem and in F/TR trim with VersaPod Locking bi-pod, Protecktor rear bag, and an old Edgar Brothers Opti-Mate 24X42 target scope.

Elsewhere in this issue, Les Holgate’s ‘The Long View’ covers round 1 of the 2012 GB F Class League series and, I’ve no doubt that Steve Thornton’s photographs will include beautiful long-range single shot custom rifles costing thousands of pounds, some topped by glassware that has added another couple of grand and most sitting on huge gleaming joystick front-rests. Even the F/TR rifles will be equipped with those marvels of lightweight structural engineering that represent the state of the art bi-pod. But do you need to spend £5,0006,000, or let’s say a still stiff £2,500-3,000, on hardware to compete in F/TR?

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

Sadly though, the perception has got around that ANY F Class involvement is ruinously expensive thanks to an unrestrained equipment race. I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve heard shooters say, or seen them write on internet shooting forums, that “F/TR has gone the same way as F-Open” or “Money buys points” and similar comments - the implication being that you shouldn’t contemplate having a go unless you can afford a custom rifle, top-end optics and £500 bipod.

Filthy Lucre!
Well, I’ve seen some impressive results put up by people shooting ‘out of the box’ heavy-barrel sporting rifles, or rather more expensive jobs such as the Sako TRG and Accuracy International AE/AW series, the latter purchased second-hand in most cases. These are people who know how to handload precision ammunition and have mastered the art of good shooting and wind reading of course.

Laurie tries the LRPV in F/TR mode in a 300yd practice session, finding it accurate and easy to handle.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

get a lot of shooting in with the concomitant levels of ammunition consumption. Having said that, HPS TargetMaster and the NRA’s RUAG (RWS) 308 Win offerings are more than good enough to get started but, if you want to go down the 223 Rem. route I’d recommend handloads from the off.

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

Avenues
To re-state what most readers already know - F/ TR rifles are restricted to 308 Winchester and 223 Remington chamberings, an all-up weight of 8.25Kg (18lb 2oz) including sights and bi-pod and can be supported on a rear bag and front bi-pod (and/or sling if preferred). No part of the rifle - other than the bipod feet - can touch the ground, so the buttstock, any mono-pod, pistol grip or other gizmo fitted has to remain above turf level. Muzzle brakes are not allowed but sound moderators are accommodated within the UK domestic scene. Stocks, barrel profile and length, sights (iron or optical), bi-pod design are ‘free’ but are in practice constrained by the overall weight limit. Any manually operated type and make of action can be used but the rifle must be single-loaded even if there is a magazine. Unlike ‘Target Rifle’, there is no minimum trigger-pull weight - as long as the rifle functions safely. F/TR, in fact F Class itself, is an offshoot of Target/ Fullbore/Palma Rifle, the original objective being to allow older shooters - whose eyesight and the ability to ‘hold’ were fading - to continue in a modified version of their beloved discipline. The international regulations for the rifles used in these disciplines were amended to incorporate bi-pod support and optical sights, the maximum 6.5Kg rifle weight increased by what was regarded as a reasonable allowance for the target scopes and mainstream makes of folding-leg bipods available 15 years ago.

barrel in good condition. This will almost certainly have been specified with slightly undersize bore and groove dimensions, a so-called ‘tight-barrel’, to get a bit of extra velocity out of ‘issued’ ammunition and will have been throated to suit 155gn Radway Green sniper ammo/original model Sierra MatchKing bullets. Putting the RUAG 155gn factory stuff down it should produce a very usable 2,950 fps MV, maybe even more – we’ll see. While the asking price was £750, Brian Fox’s desire to help with this project produced a generous discount. Let’s say the rifle would likely have cost a casual customer, one who never accepts a dealer’s original price ticket at face value, £700 or a smidgeon less. The base rifle cost is well under target even after providing what may prove to be a custom scope rail. The rifle has now gone to Osprey Rifles for this work to be done, the original iron sights having been removed. Had rebarrelling been required this would have added another £600-650, and we’d be on our ceiling even though the initial rifle price would hopefully have been lower in such circumstances. Whilst the ‘ex-TR rifle approach’ may seem the easiest way to get into F/TR, it is now rarely used - probably because of the weight penalty imposed by a typical TR rifle’s generously proportioned timber stock, especially once we move on from the relatively skinny, whippy ‘standard Palma’ profile barrel found on most of these rifles and try to put something fatter and heavier on. These issues and how they affect scope and bi-pod options will be addressed in a future issue when I look at this rifle.

Pickering RC stalwart Don Garland (left) cleans his Paramount TR rifle after a match. This make is to be tried as one option for getting into F/TR on a budget. Their rifles are often multi-purpose and see use in other disciplines, maybe deerstalking and fox control too. So, I thought I’d see what I could do in club competitions with reasonably priced kit and also look at the options for how one might go about it. With help from Brian Fox of Fox Firearms UK, TS editor Vince Bottomley and GB F/TR Rifle Team Captain/ Osprey Rifles’ proprietor Stuart Anselm (various gunsmithing jobs) and True-Flite Barrels who’re most generously chipping in with a new 30 inch 308 barrel blank, I’ll eventually field three ‘affordable’ rifles that come from different approaches. Irrespective of starting point, the objective is to keep the cost of the base rifle - including any work required at or below that of a heavy-barrel factory sporter purchased new, specifically Remington’s 700 PSS / VS models. Looking around, prices for the Remmy range from an advertised bargain £1100 to more commonly seen figures between £1250 and £1500 for the PSS. I’ve set a target ceiling of £500 for the other bits and pieces – shooting mat, riflescope and mounts, bi-pod and rear bag – to stay within an overall budget of £1,750. That £500 optics and accessories ceiling will likely prove to be overly challenging but can be stretched upwards if we can keep the rifle price down. If not already owned, handloading tools and components are a significant additional outlay too but the activity is virtually sine qua non for any centrefire rifle shooter who wants good results and also plans to

The Target Rifle option
So, an obvious approach is to start with a second-hand 308 Win Target Rifle, throw away the iron sights and handstop/sling swivel and replace them with a scope and bi-pod. I found a typical example in Fox Firearms’ stock - a well cared for Paramount (successor to the Swing and predecessor of the RPA) with a TR riflestandard 30 inch length 1-13 twist stainless match

Factory Sporter route
A second approach is to start with a factory heavybarrel sporter and this is also being tried. I’m in the process of buying a second-hand but low roundcount 308 Howa 1500 with its original heavy 26 inch stainless barrel and laminated thumbhole stock. The previous owner had the muzzle threaded, a ‘bedding job’ done and fitted a Warne 20-MOA sloped Picatinny rail. It was advertised for sale at £600 in the members’ classified sales section of a popular shooting forum

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

(UK Varminting.com) complete with Ken Farrell 30mm scope rings and a Reflex T8 sound moderator, so represents only half of our original rifle budget and the top quality rings thrown in mean that little more than a suitable riflescope is needed to get started.

action and a heavy laminated timber stock. The single-shot Model 10 BVSS is the best of this breed and they all shoot very well despite usually being much cheaper than equivalent Remington VS/PSS/ VLS models. In 223 Rem, all suffer from the 1-9 rifling twist limitation though. There are many features I like about the Savage Model 12 LRPV but, in its basics, it’s similar to the Remington 700 Police (PSS) and VS (Varmint Synthetic) models, all using a H-S Precision synthetic stock with a moulded-in aluminium bedding block. Anything the Savage can do, a rebarrelled second-hand 223 Rem. or 204 Ruger PSS or VS should do too – well, almost anything, see the bit on heavy barrels below. However, an Internet search for second-hand Remy 700 223 Rem. HB rifles in British gunshops didn’t come up with many examples and prices were in the £700-800 bracket - too steep considering rebarrelling will be needed. As with my Howa, a private purchase seems a better option, including keeping an eye out for one in the various rifle shooting forums’ classifieds sections. Nevertheless, unless you fall lucky and get a suitable heavy barrel 223 Rem Varmint rifle cheap, trying the ‘mouse gun’ cartridge may be an initially more expensive option than going for 308 Win – unless you’re willing to accept the 1-9 twist rate limitations for a season or two.

AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

Mouse Guns?
I was very keen to include rifles chambered for both F/TR-legal cartridges, the 223 Rem. being in my view ideal for the 100-600 yard competitor on a budget. Ideal that is, provided the barrel rifling twist rate stabilises heavy - at least 77/80gn - bullets. Unfortunately, that presents us with a major problem. Only three factory rifles meet this criterion: Tikka T3 Tactical (1-8 twist), Savage 12 LRPV (Long-Range Precision Varmint) and F/TR (both 1-7 twist). Equivalent Remington PSS and SPS Tactical models, likewise the Howa 1500, other heavy barrel Tikka T3s and even Savage’s more commonly found ‘varmint’ rifles have 1-9, often 1-12 rates. 1-9 limits you to lower BC 70gn bullets, the 75gn Hornady A-Max at a pinch and, whilst usable, they’ll put you at a disadvantage against 308W users beyond 200 or 300 yards in all but the most stable wind conditions. Of this potentially suitable trio, the Tikka is pretty well ruled out by its 20 inch barrel. The Savage F/ TR looks promising with its 30 1-7” twist barrel but the .223 model (as opposed to the original popular 308W version) is as commonly found as a hen’s tooth. Moreover, a new example costs around £1700 - well above budget. Whilst not quite so rare, second-hand even new - Savage LRPV sporters are only occasionally seen for sale in any calibre. Equally problematic, the 223 Rem. version is offered in 1-7 and 1-9 rifling twists and the faster-twist variant also falls into the ‘hen’s tooth’ category - our importers apparently unconvinced of any demand for this ‘over-fast’ twistrate in a sporting rifle. There are more commonly found Savage ‘varmint’ rifles on the used rifle market too, these using the less rigid Model 10 two-screw 56

.223 Rem bullets and cartridge lengths. Left to right: 69gn Sierra MK; 80gn Sierra MK; 90gn Berger BT; 90gn Berger VLD; .308 Win (for comparison).

The target version of Savage’s patented AccuTrigger. A hidden adjuster screw above the pencil point is turned with a supplied key to change trigger pull weight.

LRPV + Bartlein option
As luck would have it, I already own a Savage LRPV originally in 204 Ruger calibre, a cartridge usually seen as only suitable for pest control. This was a superaccurate rifle out of the box and with the addition of a Ken Farrell scope rail, Sightron 36X42 BRD scope and Sinclair International ‘forend stabilizer’ (to ride a three-inch wide front-rest bag) won me the UK Benchrest Association 100 yard Factory Sporter title a couple of seasons back. Since then it has been looking for a role since I only punch paper and it could have been tailor made for the budget F/TR rifle project. I like the three-screw single-shot PTA (Precision Target Action) Savages a lot and this LRPV’s right bolt, left port example is a particularly sweet one. It also comes with the target version of the AccuTrigger that is owner-adjustable down to around 8 ounces

A barrel that handles 80s, better still 90s is essential for competitiveness.

The Savage bolt-head is pinned to the bolt-body and floats giving very good results. It also allows an easy, cheap swap between .223R and .308W case-head diameters for calibre changes if required.

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AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?
by Laurie Holland. PART 1

2,950 fps MV). The bullet should still be supersonic at 1000yd but I see this little rifle as having been built for 600yd shooting, 800 tops. The barrel weight and length issue is very pertinent to any discussion on F/TR rifle specifications and options but particularly so when the starting point is a sporting rifle. Whilst these relatively light pieces provide the latitude to hang a 30 inch 9lb monstrosity on whilst staying under the 8.25 kg ceiling, relatively flimsy factory actions - especially repeaters like the Remy 700 - are placed under excessive stress. Their short threaded tenon sections aren’t suited to over-heavy barrels either. Likewise, the stock and bedding arrangements are easily overloaded and the rifle usually ends up far too muzzle-heavy, risking handling issues during shooting. The Savage PTA is a huge improvement in this respect but I still prefer to go for a modest profile barrel, the ‘Heavy Palma’ (6½ lbs for 30” length) being my usual choice. The Bartlein on the LRPV is lighter still and was cropped at 26 inches to keep the rifle looking and handling the same as in original factory guise. Although this doesn’t apply to me, this approach has pluses for many would-be club F/TR shooters who want to use their rifles in tactical and McQueens competitions; maybe have the muzzle threaded for a moderator to use the rifle for ‘foxing’ too. I’ve used the first of the trio, the Savage LRPV, for illustrating concepts this month and I’ll hopefully be able to update you on its first match outing (at a mere 200yd) in the next issue. I’ll also move onto the ‘bolt-ons’ (riflescope and that most controversial of F/ TR issues to the discipline’s critics - the bi-pod), plus other accessories. I should have the 308 Howa by then too, so we’ll see how it measures up.

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pull but I’ve left it at the factory 12oz setting and been 100% satisfied with it. (Some people really hate this trigger and if that’s the case there are aftermarket alternatives, the Rifle Basix model being a particularly good one – but that an extra outlay of course.) Since the aforementioned Mr Fox imports Bartlein and True-Flite barrels, I found myself knocking on his shop-door again to see what he had in stock in the way of fast-twist 0.224 match barrels. There was a one-off Bartlein Palma profile tube in 1-7.5 twist in stock, ideal for 80gn VLDs, just capable of handling Berger’s two 90gn projectiles, so that was purchased. TS editor Vince Bottomley fitted it for me last winter, chambering it with the same ‘minimum SAAMI spec. ’ long-throat reamer that PT&G had made up for 90 grainers in my current long-range 223 Rem. custom F/ TR rifle. While designed for those longest of 0.224 match bullets, the freebore is such that most 80gn BT and VLD bullets can be seated shallow in the case-neck to be ‘on the leade’. I had intended to use Berger’s new 80.5gn BT ‘FULLBORE’ bullet, the little brother of the well known 155.5gn 308 model used by many F/TR competitors but soon found that the barrel preferred the Berger 90gn BT Long-Range bullet and would put five of them into a quarter-inch group at 100 yards when shot off the bench. This is in a prepped Lapua Match case over a modest 23.9gn. charge of Viht N150 fired up by a CCI-450 SR Magnum primer and giving a little under 2650 fps MV. (Whilst a moderate load in this long-freebore chamber, I’ll stress it might not be in other shorter examples set up for 80gn or lighter bullets.) Whilst a 2650 fps MV may seem anaemic, the 90gn BT’s high BC (0.262 G7) puts the combination in the same ballistic ballpark as NRA’s issue RUAG 308 Win. ammunition with the original 155gn Sierra Palma MatchKing bullet, in fact outperforms it. (600yd = 1697 fps / 4¾-MOA drift in a 10 mph crosswind v 1758 fps / 5-MOA for the .308W; 800yd = 1,430 fps / 6¾-MOA drift v 1,428 fps / 7½-MOA for the .308W, in both cases assuming the larger cartridge achieves

Need a posh ammo box !!! These will be available through Osprey Rifles very soon...Photo by Steve Thornton

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ULTIMATE BENCHREST
New shooter or seasoned pro will love this new score game - they need only try it once to find that out. Give it a try and you will too! A varmint rig with bi-pod or a full blown benchrest set up - doesn’t matter, just show up and shoot! Visit http://ultimatebenchrest.com for more info on rules and how to purchase targets from Danny. I hope to see more of UBR on the pages of Target Shooter magazine.

ULTIMATE BENCHREST

Ultimate Benchrest
by George Coleman
America is the home of benchrest. Yes, the World Benchrest Shooting Federation may have 29 Countries on its books but America can probably field as many benchrest shooters as the rest of the world put together! Not only that, they also shoot a thing called Benchrest for Score – rather than group shooting. In the UK we did try shooting for score but it didn’t catch on – in America, it’s a different story but, I’ll let George take up the story… The whole UBR idea was an answer to the problem with - lets call it the (big 2) - score game here in the US. The problem being, if you were not shooting a 30 calibre you are handicapping yourself. Reason? The 30 makes a bigger hole in the target and, it’s ‘inward scoring’ so the 30 cal. is hard to beat. If you shoot a 22 or 6mm that big fat 30 will beat you in the end so most 6BR, 6PPC, 22 PPC and all the other variants just stay home! Size matters as they say. My buddy, Danny Hensley, took it upon himself to try to fix at least part of this problem. So with some math, a hard head and fortitude Danny’s baby – UBR was born. Danny’s solution? Different size targets for different sizes of caliber – a level playing field – no 30 cal advantage. Templates were made, refined and made again and targets printed and a very pretty and well thought out target it is!

So, Danny calls around some willing ranges and UBR was up and running in no time at all! Part of the real beauty of this game is it lends itself to new shooters with factory and modified rifles. Many shooters want to try benchrest but it’s hard for the common man to drop 3000 US dollars or more in a good rifle and scope – as you will need to compete in ‘group’ benchrest competition but almost anyone can go buy a nice varmint 223 or the like but anyway, most shooters already have one in the closet just waiting to be shot. My club in Buck Creek, Kentucky held one of the first matches and yes, I was there. Wow a lot of shooters showed up with factory guns - even Danny himself! I shot in modified class with my Remington 40x in 6BR and did just fine! I was hooked Lol. We shoot both 100 and 200 yard aggs in a day with ease. The 200 yard targets are twice as big so they should be twice as easy to hit right ? Lol! After shooting the ‘big 2’ for a few years, it was wonderful to see new people having fun with this new game and not once did I hear “If it had been a 30 it would have been a X!” Now I think a 30BR did win custom class that day but heck that’s a killer round any day anywhere in the benchrest world. In 2011, UBR had it’s first National event at Buck Creek, Kentucky and wow, what a turn out ! Man we had a good time and good eats off the grill! (Here’s a pic or 2 of that day). We have a full schedule in four US States and growing!

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ANZAC Rifle Range, Sydney Australia
The fight for the future of this fabulous and significant range continues. Clive Halnan sets out the story so far…… This is a fight that must be won by shooters – next time, it could be your range that faces closure. Please spend a few minutes reading this article and then find out how you can help by visiting the website http://www.nswra.org.au/ Anzac Rifle Range is New South Wales Rifle Association [NSWRA] HQ. Built to last, as Chairman Lt Col E A Green was assured in Secretary Defence White’s order to move from Anzac Range Liverpool 1962-68: “Never have to move again”. The main and four club rows of buildings constructed at Members expense to use the Army range for Volunteer Reserve origin of NRA of NSW since 1859-60. In 1913, Anzac Range, Long Bay was the training centre for the original Anzacs. The range is a precious memorial of the spirit of heroes where last they stood on home soil. Timing is the crux of historic acts that determines how future generations revere wisdom or otherwise. To determine to close, erase the link, ending The Memorial is surely otherwise. In the days prior to Anzac Day, 25 April 2011, the Department served notice to quit - effective the end of October. Anzac Day is when perception attaches the Birth of the Nation. The two Licensees closest to the Diggers, Anzacs were treated in suspense, left to misapprehension, still today clouded in mystery are NSWRA and NSW Smallbore – comprising some twenty clubs of the former and half a dozen of the latter. The story of Australian Nationhood is the Volunteer Rifle Clubs, the National Rifle Association of New South Wales then NSWRA 1970. Rifle Club members took the lead for defence of the nation before

Government, as early as 1850. The first Sydney range was Randwick Race Course 1860, Paddington & Randwick1886 and WW I Long Bay now Anzac Malabar. At the end of the Great War, Anzac Range Liverpool was the HQ named as The Memorial to 600 club members lost. There are histories: 96 Years of Progress : Howard Cromack and History of Anzac Range Malabar: Nathan Scudder from which this article drew background. The move from Liverpool to Long Bay is critical. Brain child of Secretary for Defence White, the rare vision to the future is about to turn to ashes. It is as well placed a location now as then - issues of safety, danger, template, environment noise do not arise as evidence fifty years in operation. So how has it got to this critical point? NSWRA peak for Commonwealth Games, Small-bore for Olympics were located to head development of ‘Long Bay as an Olympic and International prestige venue. Club shooting was directed by the Army in Defence. Both were ordered to centre HQs on Anzac Range Malabar. The Army saw to upkeep of ranges, Associations to targets and accommodation. They had title Permissive Occupancy, notionally forever. From 196872, they conducted competitions and administration offices on Anzac, under Army command. All was well to the Bicentennial year 1988, in spite of portents to an ignominious end, the 1986 budget, Treasurer Keating, listed the land for sale. The Army, ordered out, closed the range without notice. NSWRA Chair John Holt pleaded for stay but it was soon clear only the Courts would keep the range open. That was the change of attitude to volunteers - no longer to be respected only exploited. To skip details: In 1990 Justice Waddell decided NSWRA Permissive Occupancy [PO] entitled use of the range, setting three years to find a way ahead. Shooting could go on until 1993 the Department of Finance issued eviction notices. It was back to court. Since it had taken twenty years to complete the upgrade three was a mite short.

John Roberts, now Chairman, led NSWRA & Smallbore joined, before HH John Bryson. In court in 1994 Sir Maurice Byers quoted: Defence Act, asserting Government to be bound to support and encourage Rifle Clubs. He Added only Government could construct a Rifle Range under modern planning laws. The judgement was for landlord in August, noting the Shooters had tasted of the sweet but now could not take the sour! Again Government refused to negotiate. Shooting was driven to appeal. As time passed for the appeal, an election was due. Underpinned by Sir Maurice reasoning representations to the Liberal opposition got sympathetic understanding. In February 1996, as election policy, the leader John Howard wrote to John Roberts promising if elected “The Association should not have to leave until Holsworthy or another suitable place was available for use”. Liberals were elected, JH kept his promise. However, odd was that someone got an expedited appeal in July, surely irrelevant? September 1998 Ministers John Fahey, Finance, Andrew Thomson, Sport, came before a packed auditorium of shooters on the range. A press release announced a place for the future, $9M in the Federation Fund enabling never for any other use the sun seemed to shine. Contracts prepared by Blake Dawson Waldron were drawn up for six user groups, revised then signed in 2000 backdated to 1999. The hard copy reiterated John Howards promise . The licences for big-bore and small-bore meant they would shoot on Anzac Malabar only expecting to move seamlessly to a ready to use new location. From 2000 the Commonwealth worked with NSWRA towards relocation. In 2002 a study by Fitzwalter Associates concluded Anzac Range Malabar was the only place to keep the promise. That would have catered for small-bore meeting the terms of the licences at low to no cost. It was realistic as land averaging twenty-five meters deep in unclassified contaminated fill would not be suitable for change of purpose use. The knot was, no one knew so, looking at the wide green acres eyed for high profit housing – all that glisters? The trail went cold by 2004 soon followed by shifts in the political scene, the users wrongly thought it

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was to the good. Local papers, local politics started a slogan: The land should be returned to the Australian people. It seemed to overlook who the Anzacs were. It followed about 2008 NSWRA and Small-bore were told the land would go to the State of NSW. Ten years after the announcement, twenty after the Army left, the landlord had let the roads, buildings, structures rot. In January 2010, a Director of the estate was part of briefing assuring users the handover would take four or more years, agreements would be respected, the road and other upkeep attended, some works needed would begin, these might interrupt shooting when work was carried out. Again masterly inactivity ensued until in November a meeting was convened at Sydney Police HQ, the Director present. It had formed the view there were safety issues, it wanted resolutions, the users were the view was misplaced. However, this lead to changes in safety approval of organisational aspects imposed, which opened the way to shut down the range. Who initiated the November meeting? Why it had no briefing agenda? Why there was no concluding minute? These are questions let go unanswered. This was to be the way events unfolded after March 2010. However, shooting, user activities were not interrupted. In July, a visit to the area was arranged to explain the intentions of the Government. From the general and local residents, through to the users, the explanations were rejected and the aims seen as unacceptable. The next day a phone call from a person, who later disappeared, claimed that whilst in the danger area – trespassing – she, sitting on a rock heard a ‘whizz’. A safety officer with little thought and no hard data said: “It must have been a ricochet!” The reporting, thoughtless assumption, coupled to absence of police procedure to verify the claim speak to the conclusion that to close the range on such feckless ground is beyond belief. NSWRA tried to have it reversed but was unsuccessful. Too late, the Queens shoot was cancelled. By the time shooting

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News from Russia by Pavel Kasyanenko
This month, we are pleased to feature an interesting article from Russia by Pavel Kasyanenko who is the President of the Valdivostok Sporting Shooters Association of Airgun Clubs (VASPO). Anyone who is involved with scoring rimfire or airgun benchrest targets will find this very interesting. On Sunday, April 1st in Vladivostok, VASPO held an airgun benchrest shooting competition held under the American BR50 rules. What makes this shoot interesting is the system used to score the targets - the world’s first fully digital automated scoring system! This unique system was designed by computer programmers in the VASPO sports club. It significantly reduces the time for processing the results also excludes the ‘human factor’ in making

The program scans the target and creates a new file, which can be printed for demonstration. An the same time, the program produces a table of results in BB Code. But first,what exactly is VASPO? Says Maxim Pavlov “ The club is open to allcomers, irrespective of age, sex or social situation. On tournament days, there is always warm, friendly atmosphere and we encourage an exchange of opinions and experience amongst participants.

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Was there already a computer program in existence which we could use? Firstly I explored the Internet in search of something suitable but there wasn’t any existing program which would suit our needs. There was no alternative but to create my own program which eventually gave a birth to ASSA (Auto Scoring Software for Accushooters). Now, by just having a scanner, or a digital camera and a computer, a target scorer can relax! So, it was something of an historical event in the world of shooting which took place on 1st April in Vladivostok. The Sports Club, in co-operation with the local authorities of Vladivostok held The Open City 25 meter Shooting Tournament for air rifle according to the international rules ERABSF and BR50 where ASSA was used for the first time. Twenty-two participants took part in the tournament. They shot 3 targets each, every of which has 25 bulls which need to be examined – in other words, 1650 bullet-holes need to be carefully scored. The actual time of processing and printing the protocols is 50 minutes - so 40 seconds for one target! (The table of results is here http://vaspo.ru/viewtopic. php?f=3&t=1815)

ANZAC Rifle Range, Sydney Australia Cont;
was possible again, four users were evicted, one shooting user could not get insurance due to assumed risks, mooted not proven and small-bore was fenced out. In late October 2011, NSWRA agreed to incorporate additional surveillance during shooting to monitor the trespassers. The authorities have ignored the law when it comes to venturing of shooting ranges. Any trespasser can pass safe from prosecution whilst the licensed users are deprived of their rightful recreation. In retrospect, never during one hundred years and more of shooting on Malabar headland, has there been any other incident or complaint or breech of safety. The additional provisions may be understood by the patient responsible shooters as mollifying but what proof in this clever country? At this, the Department of Finance and Deregulation assumes a path for eviction, seemingly without negotiation, abrogating the intent declared by the Commonwealth in the licences it created in 1998. Achieving that aim will end the NSWRA an insult to the memory of the Diggers. Incongruous in extreme, there are figures who strut the public stage of Remembrance assuming high dignity at the Memorials whilst bent to demolish every remnant of the most relevant real Memorial to the deeply moving, never to forget, sacrifice of heroes. NSWRA is driven to seek a fair go in Court by policy to destroy it. Above all it shows the writer of the contract promising agreed terms who uses every means to deny the agreement can never be relied upon to be fair, equitable, true. The postulate to justify the action goes: “This land is for the Australian People” the Anzacs wonder who are the ‘Australian People’ where is Anzac Rifle Range our Memorial?

I always try to take an active part in life of our club: I contact to the press, I write announcements, reports on competitions and I make videos about what we do in VASPO. As an experienced shooter, I always try and share my skills and give advice to beginners”. But, back to our target scoring system. Anyone who is involved with the tedious job of scoring benchrest targets will appreciate that this is a thankless and demanding task and deciding if a bullet has cut or touched the line will always be the subject of controversy. It is a boring job but, as head of VASPO I’m aware that it is my responsibility. I ran 35 shooting tournaments, measuring paper targets and I eventually realized that if I could save the time that I spent scoring targets I could give more time to running the competition and liaising with shooters, guests etc. Furthermore, could I remove the human element? There are always those who think that they have been treated unfairly and of course, a scorer must be meticulously accurate for there is someone who doubts the correctness of the results.

‘line’ judgements. Typically, the error in determining the placement of bullet holes is not greater than 0.1 mm horizontally and not more than 0.12 mm vertically on used targets which may be in less than perfect condition. Target paper weight is about 280 gr/m2. The thicker the paper - the more accurate the results of the calculation. If you use cardboard, then the accuracy is very high. Of course, you can always double-check everything by hand - as usual you do!

Well, that was quick! It was the first tournament where I had any spare time and that was unusual. As a rule I would be sat buried in targets with my gauge and magnifier examining all those tiny bullet holes.

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Sample output The ASSA! AutoScoring Software for Accushooters Version 0.9b Mar 29 2012 Copyright (c) Pavel G. Kasyanenko Input Target: scan1.TIF, type: BR50, Output to scan1out.jpg X 9 10 10 9 10 9 10 10 9 10 9 9 10 10 10 9 9 X X X 10 10 10 X Final Score 242, X’s 5, FM: 2 Total time elapsed : 8.60 sec

JLK Bullets Are Back! By Laurie Holland
VLD (Very Low Drag) form match bullets have been around for so many years now that they are a fixture in long-range precision shooting scene - almost oldfashioned in some shooter’s eyes. Most shooters associate them with Berger Bullets and probably reckon Bryan Litz designed them, should they ever give this matter any thought. Not so, the concept was thought up by an American shooter called Jimmy Knox and legend in his own lifetime, US Army ballistician Bill Davis Jnr., around three decades

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ago, initially for 6mm bullets. It involved the use of a longer gilding-metal jacket than would normally be applied to a given core weight, the extra length formed into a long streamlined nose section. The other - and more controversial change from conventional designs - was the adoption of a secantangle ogive form that made the bullets much more fussy about seating / jump settings, most VLD bullet / barrel combinations preferring a ‘jammed’ position with the ogive pressed 15 or 20 thou’ into the rifling leade when the cartridge is chambered. Jimmy Knox produced a range of Davis designed VLDs and manufactured them under the JLK name - his initials, until he retired a few years ago. Even when available, supplies to this country were fitful which didn’t help customer awareness or sales, Norman Clark being the sole supplier of whatever models and quantities he could secure, until production ceased and he (Norman) switched to importing the rapidly growing Berger range. Meanwhile, back in the US, Steve ‘Swampy’ Milholland had bought the JLK name, designs and bullet making equipment and, after some false starts, got them back into production under the Swampworks Inc. company name, still marketed as JLKs. It took another while before production was high enough to satisfy American demand and to resume exports to us but, we’re finally seeing these bullets

News from Russia by Pavel Kasyanenko Cont;
With the new ASSA system, scanning takes the major part of time – the scanner MUST be A3 USB PRO. It scans 16 MB about 40 seconds. The calculations and record of file-protocols in net take 13-16 seconds. Yes, you waste time scanning but other tasks can be carried out whilst this is taking place. It makes our life easy - there is no disputable issue about shot holes and no difficult ‘in or out’ decisions to be made as with a gauge and magnifier.

More pictures from VASPO.ru http://vaspo.ru/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1815

How does this program work? The ASSA program accepts the black-and-white scan of the paper target. It counts up result of firing and generates own file as the protocol of the work. Black circles in the caliber of 5.6mm are noted bullet holes. Also in the protocol the hit assessment in each zone, the general result, quantity of X’s and the first miss (FM), date and time of processing, the program version is put down.

Review at regional TV: http://ptr-vlad.ru/news/ptrnews/60235vladivostokskie-strelki-predstavili-unikalnuyusistemu-podscheta-ochkov.html Direct link on video: http://ptr-vlad.ru/uploads/files/1333329885_ beloborodova-strelba.mp4 More pictures from VASPO.ru about ASSA! in progress: http://vaspo.ru/viewtopic.php?p=24380#p24380

Five JLK thirty calibre VLDs. Left to right: 155gn, 180gn LBT, 190gn, 210gn, 210gn LBT

Product Code 2275 2277CO 2280 2290 24105 24115 25108 26130 26140 28180 30155 30175 30180LBT 308190 308310 308210LB

Calibre 0.224” 0.224” 0.224” 0.224” 0.243” 0.243” 0.257” 0.264” 0.264” 0.284” 0.308” 0.308” 0.308” 0.308” 0.308” 0.308”

Grain 75gn 77gn 80gn 90gn 105gn 115gn 108gn 130gn 140gn 180gn 155gn 175gn 180gn 190gn 210gn 210gn

BC (G1) 0.425 n/a 0.510 0.580 0.560 n/a 0.500 0.620 0.630 0.735 0.467 0.545 0.575 0.602 0.665 0.680

Optimum Twist 1-8.5” 1-8” 1-8” 1-6.5” 1-9” 1-7.5” 1-10” 1-8” 1-8” 1-9” 1-13” 1-12” 1-12” 1-12” 1-10” 1-10”

Comments Available Non-VLD (conventional ogive). Available Available Available Available Available Available Coming soon. Long BT section (0.230”) Available Available. Long BT section (0.245”) Available Available Available. Long BT section (0.245”)

Price/100 £28 £28 £28 £34 £39 £38 £39 £41 £42 £42 £43 £43

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LATEST NEWS...

st N te La

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Disabled Shooting Project Cont;
A couple of months later I had a long meeting with Tim and his newly-appointed colleague Nigel Burton. With some sage advice from the NSRA’s Brian Woodall, we produced a plan. This covers recruitment of more interested dwarfs, sorting out the technical requirements for the games events, sourcing suitable equipment, finding coaches and setting up a squad to train for the big event. Quite a large agenda. So how far have we got? There have been two recruitment and development days, one hosted by Blackburn Rifle & Pistol Club, and the other at Aldersley. Another is planned for the south east, and there may be one more in the west country. These are certainly generating interest – the article about them on our website has far and away the most hits of any item on the site! Brian and I have worked our way through the proposed rules drafted by the Americans who are the World Games hosts, and we are trying to get some points clarified. The main thing we are working on is equipment. It brought me up short to realise just how all of us take

LATEST NEWS...
butts can be shortened easily enough, but that leaves a rifle massively front-heavy. Metal stocks are full of mechanics and you can’t just saw a large lump off them! Pistol grips can be cut down, but only so far because of the metalwork inside them. Trigger levers can be moved backwards, but not far enough. Nevertheless, some excellent suggestions have been made, particularly by John Lloyd of Blackburn who found the small-gripped Pardini Kid air pistol that looks like being a very good option with little or no modification. We’re hoping to persuade a group of engineers and gunsmiths to put their heads together and come up with a workable modification for lightweight air rifles. We’re also asking people who have small target air rifles with damaged or broken stocks to donate them for experimentation purposes. On the coaching front, Barry Dagger (an obvious choice and delighted to help) came to help with positions, and we’re hoping he’ll be back once suitable rifles have been acquired. On the same day there was an introductory session on the good old marksmanship principles of keeping still, trigger control and follow-through, which resulted in massive improvements in group size and scores, so everyone went home very happy with their day’s work.

Disabled Shooting Project
Helping Dwarfs into Shooting By Liz Woodall, Coordinator DSP.
At the end of 2011 the Disabled Shooting Project unintentionally started an initiative that will last the best part of two years and hopefully will lead to British success in the World Dwarf Games 2013. News of the National Dwarf Games at Aldersley a year ago reached us in a very roundabout way and curiosity prompted some internet research. This produced the interesting information that airgun shooting had been included in the games for a few years, and was becoming increasingly popular. We tracked down the Dwarf Sports Association (DSAuk) and asked if they would like any help. The result was an invitation to attend a training day at the West Midland Regional Shooting Centre in November. When I set off for Aldersley that day I had no idea what to expect. Even on the way home after several hours spent with the most cheerful bunch of shooters I’d ever encountered, I didn’t suspect what lay ahead! I found that whilst one or two of the DSAUK people were quite experienced (one is a member of DTSGB and has an IPC classification), most of them were shooting at a very basic level. However, what was lacking on the technical front was more than made up for in enthusiasm! Everyone was mad keen to get more involved in the sport, and some had already started looking for a club to join. Their Development Officer, Tim Shephard, told me that it had recently been announced that target shooting was to be included in the World Games for the first time in August 2013 and, as they had also just been informed that they were getting some Sport England development funding, they were determined to do well at the games. They had their goal – could the DSP help them to reach it?

JLK Bullets Are Back! Cont;

Boat-tail sections. Standard 210gn model (0.180” BT length, 7.5° angle) on the left; 210gn LBT model (0.245” BT length, 7.5° angle) on the right. again thanks to that well known Northern shooting entrepreneur Brian Fox (Fox Firearms UK) who intends to supply the entire JLK range of no less than 16 bullets in six calibres: 0.224”, 0.243”/6mm, 0.257”, 0.264”/6.5mm, 0.284”/7mm and 0.308”. All JLK designs are of the VLD type bar one, the 0.224” 77gn model designed for 223 Rem. Service Rifle shooters to load to magazine length and accept a long jump to the rifling. Alongside its 77gn competitors from Sierra, Lapua, and Berger it has a conventional tangent ogive. The JLK range is as follows with those now available from Fox Firearms and their prices shown. Brian says that the 180gn 7mm model will be available ‘very shortly’. We’ll look at the five 308 models now available more closely in next month’s issue in our Handloading Bench section. http://www.swampworks.com/jlk www.foxfirearmsuk.com Telephone: 0161 430 8278 Mobile: 07941 958464

6th May will see us back at Aldersley again for the National Dwarf Games.
It’s a real joy to work with all the DSAuk people; despite the many hurdles we are trying to help them over there is never a grumble, and their cheerful delight in tackling a new sport is very infectious! I sincerely hope that they will reach their goal and bring home medals from the USA next year.

for granted the fact that we can pick up a whole range of different rifles and pistols and fire them. I speedily discovered that pistol grips are too big for dwarf hands, rifle butts are far too long for dwarf arms, and triggers are out of reach of dwarf fingers. Of course none of these problems is simple to remedy! Wooden

More information: http://dsauk.org/ and www. disabledshooting.org.uk

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GALLERY RIFLE & PISTOL NEWS

70% of all .22 World Cup and European Championship medals were won with ELEY Ammunition
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Champions shoot Tenex
Raymond DEBEVEC (SLO) Won his 7th Olympic quota place with ELEY Tenex

To introduce ourselves we are the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and World events. Visit our website for news about national and international competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion shooter, everyone is welcome www.benchrest22.org 71

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher.

In early Feb, over 200 people came from all over North America to Phoenix, Arizona for the third annual Southwest Long Range Nationals, sponsored by Berger Bullets. The match is held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix and run by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club. AZ Game and Fish and the Desert Sharpshooters both worked hard all year to turn the range into a truly world-class facility, with 98 firing points, newly leveled firing lines and additional flags. Berger provides awards to the winners, including $500 cash to each of the division winners and over 30,000 bullets to the match and class winners.

Competitors during the 600 yd match.

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Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
We realize that many people cannot take an entire week off of work to come shoot, so the Grand Aggregate runs from Friday through Sunday to include as many people as possible. Because of this, the 600 yard match on Wednesday is a stand-alone. We weren’t expecting a huge turn-out for a ‘fun’ match but we ended up with 145 people! It was a beautiful 70 degree day, with light but switching winds. Leo Ahearn (CO) won the sling division, David Bailey (TX) won the F-Open and Chris Ozolins (NY) won the F-TR. Thursday was the first team match, a 4-man Palma course team match (shot at 800, 900 and 1000 yards). We were thrilled to see 27 teams competing! The day started out calm enough but the wind gradually picked up and became very difficult to keep up with the changes by the end of the afternoon. Friday started the Grand Aggregate with an individual Palma match. Saturday consisted of two 20-shot individual matches at 1000 yards, followed by a 20-shot team match also at 1000 yards.
by Michelle Gallagher Berger gives away over 30,000 bullets during the matches. Shooters can also visit the tent for snacks, cold drinks, and promotional treats donated from Berger and other companies (pens, shirts, etc).

The week kicked off on Tuesday with the long range wind clinic. Over 85 people showed up for the clinic (doubling the class size from 2011). The morning started with equipment/position tips and techniques for the different disciplines (prone shooting by Nancy Tompkins, F-TR by Darrell Buell and F-Open by Larry Bartholome). Then, Mid Tompkins gave a short lesson on reading the wind, followed by several live-fire drills. The wind co-operated with us this year and certainly gave the students something to work with! We brought in Subway sandwiches for lunch and everyone enjoyed a picnic on the line. After lunch, Bryan taught a ballistics class and then Mid finished off with a final drill on the firing line.

The final stage of the wind reading class involved the students becoming coaches. They gave wind calls to Jim Murphy and Darrell Buell. Jim shot his 7mm F-Open rifle and Darrel used a .308 F-TR rifle, demonstrating the the difference in wind drift between the two calibers.

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Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher

Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals
by Michelle Gallagher

Saturday night was the barbeque dinner and awards ceremony for the team matches. Cash awards were given for the individual team matches and plaques and medals were awarded to the Grand Aggregate team winners in each division. The US National Rifle Team won the sling Team Agg. The team was coached by Phil Hayes and firing members were Justin Skaret, Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz and Peter Church. The F-Open winners were Team Berger/Norma – Captain Bob Bock, Coach Mid Tompkins, Larry Bartholome, Jim Murphy, John Brewer and Danny Biggs. The Desert Sharpshooters won the F-TR division. Team members were John Chilton, Warren Dean, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar, with the four men sharing the coaching duties. We encourage other companies in the firearms industry to donate prizes to the match and we gave away those prizes at the dinner. We want to send as many people as possible home with something, and Berger provides the awards for the winners of the match. We also know that most of the top shooters already have top level equipment, so whilst this is a random prize drawing, we focus the first prizes towards newer shooters who are less likely to have the best equipment. We have to give a very big thank you to Nightforce, Sierra, Lapua, Krieger, Redding and all the others who send donations for our shooters! Sunday was the final day of shooting, with three 20shot matches at 1000 yards, followed by an awards ceremony for the winners. Trudie Fay (NM) won the sling Grand Aggregate, shooting a Palma rifle through the entire match. Bryan Litz (MI) was high ‘Any Rifle and second overall. Jim Murphy won the F-Open division by an impressive margin of 7 points, and James Crofts won the F-TR division by 4 X’s. We were so excited to have such a great turn out this year, with 201 shooters from 32 states in the US and 4 provinces in Canada. In just three years, we have doubled in size and hope to have even more people next year. The tentative dates for 2013 are Feb 5-10th. We hope to see you there!

For more information on this match, please send an email to Michelle.Gallagher@bergerbullets.com. Results: (Additional results can be found by visiting our website at www.bergerbullets.com\SW_Nationals\ index.html )

Grand Aggregate:
Sling 1st – Trudie Fay (High Palma Rifle) 2nd – Bryan Litz (high Match Rifle) 3rd – Phil Hayes F-Open 1st – Jim Murphy 2nd – John Myers 3rd – Mark Walker F-TR 1st – James Crofts 2nd – Chris Ozolins 3rd – German Salazar
F-Open Grand Agg winners. This match was also sponsored by Applied Ballistics, so Bryan and his sister Jennifer were on hand to present the winners with belt buckles. (L to R – Jennifer Litz, Mike Krei, Mark Walker, John Myers, Jim Murphy).

Sling Team Aggregate winners – US National Rifle Team. The team match winners received a plaque, medal, and bullets. (L to R – Peter Church, Trudie Fay, Justin Skaret, Bryan Litz, and Phil Hayes).

Team Aggregate:
Sling 1st – US National Rifle Team 2nd – AzTxCo 3rd – 2 Badgers and 2 Mud Ducks F-Open 1st – Team Berger/Norma 2nd – Team Kelbly 3rd – The Long Shots F-TR 1st – Desert Sharpshooters 2nd – North State X Men 3rd – US F-T/R Development Team
F-TR Grand Agg winners (L to R – German Salazar, Chris Ozolins, James Crofts, with Mike Krei from the NRA presenting awards).

The sheer size of the US makes shooting together a challenge, so it’s always good to see old friends when the opportunity arises. Sierra Scott and Richard King spent a few minutes visiting after the match, while Jim Murphy and Darrell Buell prepare to head home as well.

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PRACTICAL PISTOL COMPETITION AT NITSA BUSKHILL RANGE
A practical pistol competition will take place at the NITSA Buskhill Range on Saturday 28th April. The range is located just off the A1 Dual Carriageway, on the Buskhill Road, between Banbridge and Newry. The match will consist of four stages. Three of these stages will be the UKPSA Postal League Stages. The competitors’ results from these three stages will be totalled and added to the UKPSA Postal League Competition. The start time is 10.00am and the entry fee is £10.00. Bring a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition. Anyone who would like to participate in this competition at the NITSA Range and who is not a member of NITSA, can they PLEASE e mail me at handgun@ukpsa.org to indicate that they wish to take part so that you can be entered into this event. Please do not turn up without first contacting me. Those of you who have already contacted me do not need to do so again.

UKPSA NEWS

United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association News by Tony Saunders
Well, the weather may be giving us a hard time at the moment, but the shooting season has seen a flurry of matches for IPSC Shotgun, Handgun and LBR/LBP.
UKPSA HANDGUN COMMISSION UPDATE LEVEL II GRADED COMPETITION AT USASC RANGE KILKEEL
Following the success of the first UKPSA IPSC Level 1 Match at the USASC Range in Kilkeel on Saturday 21st April, the UKPSA Handgun Commission is pleased to announce the next IPSC Match, which is again at USASC - Kilkeel. This will be an IPSC Level 2 Match and will take place on Saturday 12th May. The match details and entry form are available on the UKPSA Forum (www.ukpsa.co.uk) This is the first Graded IPSC Pistol Competition to take place in the United Kingdom in four years! The competition is being organised and run by the UKPSA with the assistance of the USASC at their range in Kilkeel, County Down. The USASC membership welcomes the participation of all IPSC competitors from all IPSC Regions. The results will be published and the prize giving will take place at the conclusion of the competition. This is the first of a series of Graded IPSC Level 2 Matches being provided for UKPSA members plus practical pistol competitors from other IPSC Regions to participate in. The Handgun Commission, working in co-operation with ITS, have set up this series of Graded IPSC matches that will take place at the USASC Range and the Dunnyboe Range for the benefit of all and they are open to all current IPSC members. Results from these Level 2 Matches will determine the UK 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 slots to European Handgun Championships that will take place in Portugal in 2013. We remind you that you will need to renew your UKPSA membership to enable you to enter and participate in all IPSC Matches at Level 2 or higher. A number of UKPSA members from Northern Ireland are also travelling abroad to participate in yet more IPSC matches. Please ensure you contact Vanessa Duffy (UKPSA Regional Director) to ensure you are properly signed off to allow your participation in graded IPSC competitions outside the United Kingdom. You can contact Vanessa at rd@ukpsa.org. The UKPSA Handgun Commission is already looking ahead to 2013. As well as IPSC Level 2 matches, it is planned to also run two Level 3 Championship Matches. These matches are planned to not only give practical shooters a true taste of testing-but-fun IPSC shooting, but also to prepare our UKPSA members who will be participating in the 2013 European Handgun Championships in Portugal. This preparation will also include participating in UKPSA National Squad Training Dates. The dates for both Graded Matches and National Squad Training Dates for 2013 will be released as soon as they become known.

BLUE TEAM & LITTLE CHALFONT MATCH

The unseasonably hot weather in March heralded the start of the UKPSA Championship rounds in both Long Barrel Firearms and IPSC Shotgun. The Blue Team and Little Chalfont put on the Southern LBF Championships at Little Chalfont’s range in Buckinghamshire.
The location had been used in the past for many practical pistol matches and it very welcoming to see practical shooting return there again. MD Rob Adam and his team posed some very interesting stages, presenting a variety of ways of being shot, and used many turners, bobbers and incorporating electronic trips to trigger them. The match was well subscribed and for the first time the largest division was Long Barrel Pistol. It is anticipated that these will be the most popular guns being used in practical Long Barrel Firearm matches during 2012.

IPSC RANGE OFFICER TRAINING COURSE
Following the success of our UKPSA - IPSC Handgun Range Officer Training Course in March the UKPSA has agreed to run another course in the future. Anyone who is interested in being properly trained as a IPSC Range Officer can you please contact me so that I can add your name to the list for the next Range Officer Training Course.

IPSC LEVEL III COMPETITIONS IN EUROPE
UKPSA members from Northern Ireland will be taking part in Level III Championship matches in several European countries throughout the 2013 IPSC Competition Season. Anyone who is interested in participating in any of these matches and wants to find out more can email david@practicalhandgun.com

The winners were: Graham Guest for Standard LBR Pete Starley for Open LBR. Nick Towndrow for Standard LBP James Harris for Open LBP Andy Duffy for Standard Gallery rifle Alan Wragg took the honours in Open Gallery Rifle.
The next Championship round will be the Scottish Championships taking place in late June near Dumfries.

Fred Hanna. UKPSA Handgun Commission Secretary. E mail - handgun@ukpsa.org Web Site - http://www.ukpsa.co.uk/handgunni.html 79

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UKPSA NEWS

Northern PSG League.
A number of practical clubs in the North of England have banded together to form the Northern PSG league. A series of L1 IPSC matches will be held throughout the year at various locations. All the matches are open to any shooters. The first round begins at Carlisle on Sunday 6th May. Any one interested in taking part should contact the match organiser Vanessa Duffy via rd@ukpsa.org .

UKPSA NEWS

Hadrian L3 IPSC Shotgun Match
A week after the Little Chalfont match, practical shooters moved north to Cumbria to take part in the IPSC PSG L3 Hadrian match. Again this was a challenging but fun course of fire put on by Carlisle Small Arms Club (CSAC). Bizarre weather conditions were experienced... Hot sunshine when building the match... cold rain and wind for the RO’s shoot. Then a benign but cloudy day for the main competitors, all three days in a row. The challenge of the 12 stages that made up the match resulted in some unexpected winners. Dan Boswell was a hairsbreadth in front of Dave Dowding to take Standard Division. Less than one half of a point out of 700 separated them. Mick Flatley won Standard Manual and Keith Wilson took Modified. Josie Adam was top lady on the day. Top team was The Blue Team. The next L3 Championship PSG match will be held at Harlow in late May.

The first AGM for the new Target Shotgun Association will be held at the Phoenix Meeting in June.
Articles and Pictures courtesy of David Thompson and Vanessa Duffy

“Grim determination as this shooter squeezes off a round”

“Shooter under watchful eye of R.O”

UKPSA Postal Leagues.
Following the success of last year’s Postal leagues for shotgun, the UKPSA have expanded the leagues to include LBF, Action Air and for practical handgun shooters in Northern Ireland. The Postal Leagues are intended as an entry level for club members to try out practical shooting in their club environment. Each league is made up of four rounds and consists of three or four stages. Each round can be shot at any time within a two month period. The stages, which are designed to be simple to set up, can be shot either on a club shoot or part of a club competition. The league is free to enter and results from each of the rounds are published and emailed out to all participants. To find out more details about all the Postal Leagues visit the UKPSA web site. http://www.ukpsa.co.uk/ postalleagues.html

“A fine day for the Kilkeel Level 1 match”

“Steely eyed, with perfect control and stance”

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

The March-FX
A 40 Power First Focal Plane Marvel...
It seems that there is no better way to galvanise opinion in the shooting community than to suggest that a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope is better than a Second Focal Plane (SFP). The difference in operation is visual; a FFP reticle grows in size as the scope magnification is adjusted higher while a SFP reticle remains constant at all magnifications (only the target appears to change size). The FFP supporters point to consistency across ranges while the SFP group points to thinner crosshairs and more precise aiming.

The challenge for FFP scope makers has always been to fabricate a reticle pattern that works well at all magnifications and does not obscure the target at its highest setting. This technology challenge has kept magnification much lower than SFP scopes where 40 to 80 powers is now seen as standard.

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

The March-FX Technical Specifications
At the heart of all March scopes lie two very important things; quality of manufacture and lens quality.
The Deon factory is not a high volume assembly line. One engineer can only assemble two March scopes a day due to the amount of hand fitting required to assemble each unit. But when you look at the components used, the level of precision manufacturing becomes clearer. The base frame for the March-FX is the 8 – 80 model. This has a 34mm tube, which offers the designers the extra internal capacity in the scope to get the massive 5 – 40 zoom range. The FX model is shorter than the 80-power version (387mm) but slighter heavier; this is the trade off when changing from second focal plane to first. There is no plastic used in the construction of the March. The scope body, for example, is machined from a single piece of aluminium bar stock and all the lenses are glued in. This makes for a structurally solid piece of equipment that is much stronger than possible through other methods of manufacture. But the offset is, of course, a considerably more costly manufacturing process. March scopes also use a heat treated, flat-type erector tube spring as the design engineers work on the guiding principle that coil springs tend have a memory problem, regardless of the material. All this heat treating means that parts need to be carefully hand fitted. For example, the focusing group tube unit (eye piece assembly) needs to be hand lapped to fit the focusing tube liner body. Finally, all March scopes are purged with argon gas, which is heavier than the nitrogen usually used in scope manufacture and does not leak. Gas purging is used to minimise internal corrosion and prevent internal fogging during quick temperature or humidity changes. The heart of the scope, at least from the shooter’s perspective, is the lens. March scopes use an Extralow Dispersion (ED) lens. March’s product notes that ED lenses have a smaller refractive index than a typical optical lens in the blue to red wavelength. This enables superior sharpness and colour correction by reducing chromatic aberration. These specialty lenses are often used in microscopes, telescopes, semiconductor steppers, or high-end camera lenses. Chromatic aberration is the failure of a lens to focus all colours to the same point (the opposite to

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

Enter Deon Optical Design Corporation and their desire to break new ground in optical equipment through their March range of rifle scopes. After demonstrating that high magnification, high zoom ratio worked well in Second Focal Plane models such as the 10 – 60 and the 8 – 80 models, they took on the challenge set by March’s Australian dealer, Stuart Elliott of BRT Shooters Supply, to build a FFP scope that exceeds the performance of all other FFP scopes on the market.
At the time of writing, five March-FX’s had been produced and the scope under review was the second to be assembled. The March-FX 5 – 40 x 56mm FFP is more than a technology demonstrator. It looks like it will set a new benchmark for FFP scopes in the market because it does what a shooter wants of it; but with understated ease.

For all normal long range shooting conditions and judging by the superb performance at night, I would hazard some less than normal, sighting was very good to excellent and provided all the detail needed but without any lens induced distortion. I also used it for night shooting to see how the 56mm objective lens and 34mm body would handle low light conditions. The performance of the ED lens remained clear and bright as the sun set and the light faded. The ED lens’ colour correction came started to show through with the contrast between the target’s red lines and yellow background keeping the image clearly visible after other brands had lost clarity. Under lights, the illuminated reticle presented a clear sight picture even at the higher power settings. One of the overlooked offsets with a FFP scope relates to the lack of movement of the reticle when changing the magnification setting. SFP scopes will change the apparent zero as the zoom setting changes; the more expensive models change will be less obvious than cheaper options but a change

a rainbow). It occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light (the dispersion of the lens). The refractive index decreases with increasing wavelength. Chromatic aberration is easy to test for in a scope, if you can see “fringes” of colour along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image you have found it. It occurs in poor quality scopes because each colour in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point on the optical axis. I pushed the March hard on this, both on a range of targets and distances – Full Bore and Benchrest and against a Zeiss lens test sheet in order to find out when the blue and red wavelength got confused.

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

in point of aim will occur. By way of background, the industry standard is 1/2 MOA. Removing that variable increases the probability of a first round hit even more.

Metric versus Imperial
The March-FX is only available with the FML-1 reticle pattern. The reticle adjustment is in milradians (MIL), which is a decimal approach to measuring angles as a ratio. To be truly technical here, we need to understand that there is 2000π (Pi) milradians in a circle, which makes a milradian just under 1/6283 of a circle or 3.438 Minutes of Angle. But to put it more simply, the easier thing to remember is that one MIL covers one metre at 1000 metres or 10cm at 100 metres. This means the MarchFX; with its 0.05 MIL adjustment will move the point of impact by 0.5 cm at 100m. By way of contrast a quarter MoA adjustment is 0.64 cm. Total elevation range is 24 MIL (equivalent to approximately 82 MoA). The floating centre dot in the FML-1 reticle is also 0.05 MIL. The big difference between this reticle pattern and a SFP floating dot is apparent when you change the power as the dot changes in size. But the key difference highlights the more practical aspects of FFP scopes – the dot will always cover the same 0.05 MIL regardless of the power setting.

There are a number of programmes available to download these days with iSnipe being a useful starting point as it uses G7 ballistic coefficients for bullets to smooth out the downrange performance. Another free application is iStrelok and, while slightly less intuitive; it provides a range chart based on the hash marks in the reticle of your scope using your cartridge data and zero setting. The March-FX reticle is already programmed in their database and is ready to use. The data provides a good guide for zero setting but will need to be tested and confirmed through practice in order to develop the confidence in both the scope and the application’s results. Keeping all this records in the one book is a great way to learn how little things affect the accuracy of the rifle.

A Scope designed for an Outcome
With practical/tactical shooting starting to take off in Australia, more and more shooters are pushing themselves and their equipment to find the best set up to be successful in this fast paced and time pressured discipline. Big adjustment knobs are important as they offer not only more adjustment range but also less visual clutter, especially as elevation is added. Going back to 900 metres with a 100 metre zero requires a come up of about 8.00 MIL for the 6.5 x 47, and this is less than two turns of the turret. Each revolution is clearly marked with a horizontal line and should be obvious even under stressful situations.

The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild
Having a zero stop feature on the elevation turret helps this. The zero stop is a great addition for disciplines that require a lot of scope adjustments and means the elevation zero should never be lost. When properly set up, minimum ranges are set (usually 100 metres for tactical shooting) at the bottom of the elevation, so all elevation come ups will always be counted from this zero setting. I set the March up for a 100 metre zero and was able to accurately adjust for all ranges out to 900 metres by changing my handheld ballistics programme from MoA to MIL measurements. With the illuminated reticle version, if the light conditions fail, the scope reticle can be lit up, so there should never be a reason to lose sight of the

Testing Times
The March-FX was set up on two rifles that cover both ends of the current target-shooting spectrum. For practical/tactical shooting a 6.5 x 47 Lapua set up in an AICS with Atlas bipod and rear spigot has proven capable of handling all shooting situations out to 1000 yards. At a whisker over 18lbs, the rifle is heavy but the stock design and muzzle brake means this is a pussycat to shoot and will cheerfully put 142 Sierra Matchkings into a sub-MoA group at 300 metres. Despite the weight, it is also a superb positional rifle for standing and sitting shooting. From the bench, I used Kelbly 34mm rings on my Stolle Panda in 7mm Boo Boo. The Boo Boo is an improved 6.5 x 68S and it can push a 7mm 180 grain Berger out at 3050fps. Having used this rifle out to 1500 yards, it is a flat shooting and consistent grouper when the range gets long or the conditions get tricky.

Conventional wisdom says that a high magnification First Focal Plane scope has no role in target shooting because the reticle covers too much of the target to be useful. The March-FX at 40 powers defies that wisdom and, even though it aimed at the tactical market, it works equally well on a bench gun.

Range Cards
Developing a range card is a valuable reference tool for F-Class shooting but it is a non-negotiable “must have” for practical shooting. The best starting point for developing a range card is to use a handheld ballistics programme but to do this properly the shooter needs to enter the actual muzzle velocity and have a solid and tested 100 metre zero to work from.

Tactical Turrets on the x40 FFP scope...

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

With a 34mm tube, the March-FX needs some big rings to fit it on a rifle. Kelblys makes a ring set for bench guns but Picatinny rails need something different. Ken Farrell’s 34mm rings are CNC machined from solid stock and dwarf a standard one-inch Weaver ring. The MarchFX’s elevation and windage knobs are big and, with five MILs (approx 17 MoA) per rotation cover a lot of distance across each rotation. Stepped elevation marks and a zero stop contribute to accurate elevation adjustments.

crosshairs. The challenge for colour blind shooters is to see the red light and this should be tested before purchase. There are standard and low illumination switch modules. Both modules provide four levels of the reticle glow (red) intensity, which can be cycled through by pressing the switch repeatedly. Both modules are interchangeable. The scope under review had the low power light option, which was not powerful enough for daytime use. However, the standard lighting option is easily able to serve as a red dot alternative when using the MarchFX at five powers. This demonstrates the versatility of the low power setting for snap shooting or close range target work as many practical rifle competitions overseas are incorporating a very short range component - often as close as three metres. With the focus adjustable down to nine metres this scope offers a greater chance of success across a broad range of events. Tests at three metres showed that a clear sight picture was possible at five power and an accurate sight picture was achievable at 10 power.

With testing taking place in an Australian summer, the 800m target was dancing in the mirage, but the March-FX’s lens produced a sharp image and a number of Canberra shooters saw the target rings clearly for the first time that day. The greatest challenge on the day was zeroing the rifle with the newly installed scope using the MIL adjustments. The mental shift from MoA to MIL was helped with a handheld ballistics programme and confidence in the equipment. This meant the first shot cut paper and Xs soon followed.

The March-FX
scenarios and multiple distances.

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

A lower zoom setting is required when speed is of the essence. At five power, I found that the reticle tree sits nicely in a clay pigeon at 100 metres and acts in similar way to a red dot sight. Nevertheless, 10 power is a good selection for more precise shooting. Target acquisition was fast and shot placement was accurate.

Speed Drills
Speed drills are great practice for the practical shooter and serve to test the equipment under pressure situations and they help to identify where weaknesses exist in magazines, triggers, techniques and loads. With time and practice, a shooter using a bolt action rifle can accurately hit targets across a range of

Unknown Distance Shooting
As Captain Shore noted in With British Snipers to the Reich, the known distance range shooter, he terms them the Bisley shot, will always struggle when faced with an unknown distance and no wind flags. Laser range finders have removed the need for doing the mildot math to range an object at an unknown

Known Distance Shooting
Shooting the March-FX on a rifle range during F-Class competition was an eye opener. After reading all the criticisms of high magnification FFP scopes on the Internet, I was prepared mentally for an obscured sight picture at 40 power and difficulty with aiming off for the wind. Instead, what I got was a clear target with a floating dot that sat within the X ring of the Australian ICFRA target. Usefully, the horizontal and vertical stadia brackets the five ring so windage and elevation can be judged against the rings. And because this is a FFP, the dot and stadia will always be in the same ratio; regardless of distance. This was tested at 800m and 300m and this mathematical standardisation contributed to a consistent sight picture that was always the same; also regardless of the distance.

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.

1 Click 0.05 Mil Turrets

NEW
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The Choice of Champions
Push Button Illumination

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

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild
distance. MILs and the metric system make the math easier: Target size (in meters) x 1000 / Mils read = meters to target. The challenge set here is to push the shooter and the scope to the limits in order to prove that the scope can be used instead of a spotting scope, thereby saving weight and reducing the numbers of items needing to be carried. This style of shooting calls for mid range power setting. The 25x magnification proved to be perfect for the majority of prone bipod shooting.

The test here though was to use the March-FX to detect, identify and then range several objects scattered randomly around then use a ballistics programme to determine either the elevation adjustment or the aim off to potentially hit the object.

The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

In the interests of maths, a Fig 12 target, measuring 0.45m wide, was ranged at random distances out to 900 metres. Having a choice of seven basic MIL markings from 0.04 MIL to 1 MIL contributes to more accurate target measurements and ranging. Targets were ranged and checked against the readings from a laser range finder and the results were pleasingly close; even on the more distant targets. Sitting on top of a tactical rifle, the March-FX is set to 25 power and, with the portable ballistics table handy, it is ready to take on targets when they appear at different ranges.

March’s F 3 – 24 x 42 FFP scope has now become the little brother to the FX 5 – 40 x 56. This model should benefit from the development of the higher power scope.

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The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

The March-FX on a Kelbly Atlas in 300 Win Mag enjoying a quiet afternoon in the Australian countryside.

The March-FX

40 Power First Focal Plane Review By Richard Wild

Reticle shots at five power and …

...at 40 power. The target is clear across the power range and the floating dot allows for precise aiming even in the rain.

Conclusion
So is it possible to say yet that this is a great scope? Trawling the Internet to identify what people are concerned about, I am pleased to say that the design team at Deon has anticipated these concerns about reticle size, functionality and durability. The original design called for a scope to meet the needs of the growing tactical market, but the model that has emerged easily fits into a broad range of shooting disciplines and this untapped potential will become more apparent as more and more shooters use the March-FX. While the scope is expensive, it will serve all your shooting needs for the next 20 years at least. How successful this model is will be measured by other companies building high power FFP scopes in the next 12 to 18 months.

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PRACTICAL Shotgun
My home club – Diggle – has always shot a form of Practical Shotgun which we called ‘action shotgun’ but, of late, a few members have branched out and started to shoot ‘proper’ PSG with the UKPSA at various ranges, mainly in the north of England. The resulting number of applications for s.1 shotgun variations from Diggle members prompted our local police force – Greater Manchester Police – to enquire if the Club was affiliated to the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association (UKPSA). We weren’t but, for a measly sum of money – about £40 - it sounded a good idea to support the national governing body for PSG (and other forms of practical shooting) so we affiliated. I should say at this stage that there is

PRACTICAL Shotgun

Practical Shotgun has been around for a couple of decades to my knowledge but, in terms of practical shooting, Practical Pistol was always the more popular discipline. Sadly, we all know what happened to Practical Pistol!
Yes, following the pistol ban, PP shooters were understandably devastated. Some gave up shooting all together, others tried mini-rifle and even CO2 pistol and a few had a look at Practical Shotgun.

Trainees line up for another exercise mentored by Ross Burrough and Paul Harper

another PSG organization in the UK called 4 Islands – www.four4islands.org After affiliating with the UKPSA, a safety course was suggested – compulsory if you wish to enter any UKPSA sanctioned shoot but clearly a good idea even if you don’t intend to – when done properly, safety training is never wasted in my opinion and safety was always at the fore-front of PP.
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UKPSA’s Andy Duffy supervises Diggle’s Ian Lord

PRACTICAL Shotgun
Yes, I do have a s1 shotgun and took it along ‘just in case’ and, in a quieter moment on one of the stages, the RO coerced me into having a ‘run’. Everyone kept telling me what good fun PSG is and yes, I could instantly see the appeal – shooting a semi-auto ‘anything’ is very satisfying but, unlike mini-rifle, at least you feel that you are shooting something with a bit of – well, what’s the word I’m looking for? You know what I mean guys...! And, in common with mini-rifle – no need to reload your ammo! Targets are steels, so easy to manage and score – it either goes down or it doesn’t! All this makes for a very satisfying day’s shooting which gives the same warm feeling as handling a recoiling semi-auto pistol used to do in the good old days. Although I mentioned Diggle’s 660 acres, of course you can run PSG on very compact ranges as most targets will be at less than 25 yards but, this is where the UKPSA training comes in – in designing safe, challenging and fun stages.

PRACTICAL Shotgun

Thus it came to pass that 20 or so Diggle members and a few ‘outsiders’ assembled for a UKPSA weekend ‘boot camp’. Now, I must say at this stage, that I didn’t personally take the course having just returned from IWA (my excuse!) but I was on hand to observe and take photographs on both days. From what I could glean from the side-lines, trainees were subjected to a wide variety of scenarios likely to be encountered in PSG competition and taught how to deal with them safely. A ‘classroom’ theory session also took place. If I had to use one word to describe the course it would be ‘thorough’ – though others may choose a different one! At the end of two rigorous days, a tired but smiling group of PSG trainees were awarded their pass certificates. The overwhelming opinion was one of praise for the instructors and course-content and, to a man, everyone admitted that they had thoroughly enjoyed it and learned an awful lot. Members now trained and equipped, the next job was to run our own Club competition. Diggle’s 660 rugged acres offer plenty of opportunity for challenging and varied courses of fire so five stages, using mainly steel-plate targetry and bird-shot, were set up to challenge and entertain. The weather was kind – cold but fine and sunny and, as a bystander, I was impressed at the level of discipline exercised by competitors and the general slick but good-humored way in which the event was run. With competitors split into groups, there was no waiting around as the groups ‘rotated’ from stage to stage.

Steve Hodge shoots whilst Ross Burrough works the timer.

If you, or your club are interested in PSG you could do worse than to get in touch with the UKPSA at; www.ukpsa.co.uk or Four Islands at; www.four4islands.org
A happy bunch of trainees with their pass certificates and UKPSA instructors Wow he’s quick! – Eventual winner, Mike Siva Jothy – note the two ejected cases still above the gun!

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Lincolnshire Countryside Sports Association invites you to attend...
Adults - Ladies & Young Shots Day at Riseholme Campus, University of Lincoln on Saturday 12th May 2012. 10.00am 3.00pm Download your application and more information leaflets (here).

Check out our NEW app for the iPad - iPhone or iPod Touch...
Apps and things! Have you had chance to have a look at Target Shooter via our new Apple app? If you already have an iPad, iPhone or iPad Touch, please give it a go. The app itself is free to download from the iTunes website . The app has lots of great features which make Target Shooter far more pleasant to read than from your computer screen and everything tends to work better and quicker. It’s easy to jump to any page and a ‘click’ brings up an advertisers website in an instance and we are hoping that this will be a real attraction for our advertisers. Yes, you will always be able to read Target Shooter online but we feel that the iPad is the way forward for magazines and newspapers and, in a very short time, I predict that this will become the acceptable way to read a magazine or book.

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