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Welcome to the 8th month .......of Target Shooter
16 The GSG-5 & Mini
Rifle Competition by Vince Bottomley
6 10 12 14 18 28 34 39 52 60
Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Support your Local Gun Shop Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Website of the Month
22 HAWKE SIDEWINDER30 review by Tim Finley
AND ECLIPSE30 IRSW
41 Nikko Sterling
Diamond Sportsman 10 - 50 x 60mm scope review by Andy Dubreuil
European Practical Shotgun Championship 2009 by Tony Sanders
46 Windflags -
the How’s and the why’s by Carl Boswell
No4 T Markings - No 32 Scope by Nigel Greenaway Gun of the Month 2009 Welsh Open Championship by Hayley Platts Full Bore Ballistic Analysis Part 2 by Bryan Litz Gallery Rifle Basic Part 5 by Gwyn Roberts Club Feature Letters
54 The FT World
Championship by Stanley Shaw
74 80 94
‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 1) by Laurie Holland
95 Advertisers Index
82 84 87 89 91 92 93 UKBRA UKBR22 F Class UK Quigley Association HFT News Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager Andy Dubreuil. email; email@example.com Contributors Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Bryan Litz Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Hayley Platts Tony Sanders Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Stanley Shaw Ken Hall
Webitorial - November 2009
From the outset, Target Shooter took the decision to stay away from politics but we are now on the ‘rundown’ to the next General Election, which must take place by June next year. We will be asked to vote for MPs - many of whom have already proved to be untrustworthy with their expenses claims. As always, there are rumours that if elected, the Tories may allow our Olympic squads to once more train at home with their own pistols. If MP’s want us to trust them – they must also trust us. Let’s hope that common sense prevails for once. The UK is well known throughout the world as having some of the toughest firearm laws and I had a chuckle recently when reading an American-based shooting forum. “How come if the Brits are so restricted in what they can shoot, they whupped our butts at the F Class World Championships?” How indeed! Maybe a few of those former pistol shooters have now become very competent riflemen – I’d like to think that something good came out of that knee-jerk legislation. This month, we have another bumper issue for you and you can read a splendid report on the 2009 World Field Target Air Rifle Championships in South Africa. Yes, we had a bunch of Brits shooting out there and guess what? Not only did England win the team event but a Brit, James Woodhead, is the new World Champion. What an achievement! A group of guys go out there, under their own funding and beat the world! Course you knew that didn’t you? It was all over the newspapers – no? The NRA Journal – no? Well, Target Shooter is proud to carry this report and we congratulate James and the rest of the guys for their magnificent achievement. If you’re a fullbore rifle shooter reading this and maybe thinking that air-rifle just doesn’t cut it – let me tell you that in my experience, a good field target shooter will hold his own in any fullbore rifle company. It’s all rifle shooting guys – let’s embrace it and celebrate it. Until next month.
One last reminder - when looking at ads you can click on these to go directly to vendors websites to view products. Please mention our name when contacting them. Carl Boswell - firstname.lastname@example.org and Vince Bottomley - email@example.com and Andy Dubreuil - firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The website www.targetshooter.co.uk is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproduction is permitted unless written authorisation is provided. Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which is on or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believes are licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or individuals are not so licensed. Letters and photographs submitted by members of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless otherwise stated. Target Shooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions and experiences of writers using specific equipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the website is intended to be used as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for individuals attempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages.Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.
Shooting Sport News
xciting news from Lapua
target shooter. Also, its muzzle velocity exceeds the m/v limits of military certified ranges.
The 22-250 is a much under-rated cartridge – for two Secondly, the brass is mediocre at best – until now that is. From next year, Lapua will be making reasons. 22-250 brass. This opens up many possibilities Firstly, rifle manufacturers have insisted on for the target shooter who likes small calibres. A barrelling their 22-250 rifles with a relatively slow twist, 22-250 shooting 80 grain bullets will be an thus forcing the shooter to use light bullets in the 50- amazing round out to 600 yards - and beyond. A 1 in 55 grain range. Although this results in a very fast, 9 twist should stabilise the 80 grain bullet but the 90 flat-shooting cartridge, its range is limited and as grainer is also a possibility. Or neck it up to 6mm and such does not interest the you have 6-6.5 x 47 Lapua with a useful increase in case capacity. You could even neck it to 6.5mm. The brass will also be ideal for forming 6XC cases, though Norma do make these now. From initial pictures, it looks as though the Lapua 22-250 will have a large primer. I’m slightly surprised as Lapua initially introduced the 6.5x47 with a large primer then changed it for a small primer when it went into production. As far as I could ascertain, the reason was an increase in accuracy with the small primer.
SSF World Cup Final
The final event of the World Cup season took place this week in Wuxi, China, the world’s best shooters including Olympic champions, title defenders and World Cup Series leaders competed in the prestigious ISSF World Cup Final for Rifle & Pistol. Men’s 3 Positions The Men’s 3 Positions final took place with title defender Matt Emmons taking the gold medal. The Olympic multi-medallist outscored Korea’s Han and the talented Norwegian shooter Bakken with a total score of 1277.3 (1177-62 + 100.3). All finalist were shooting eley. Qualification leader’s Han Jinseop finished in second behind Emmons, grabbing Silver with 1274.6 points. Walking into the final in the lead with the highest qualification score of 1180 points, Han wasted his advantage by shooting twice in the eights and scoring 94.6 points in the final. The 28-year old Korean athlete climbed on the second step of the podium thanks to a fatal mistake of his Norwegian opponents Ole Magnus Bakken, who closed the final with a 5.3 and shot himself back in
third with a total of 1270.0 points (1180+90.0). Final scores from the championship can be found on the ISSF website. www.issf-sho oting.org/ news.ashx ?newsid= 1112
to report on this in a future issue. This is at least some good news that promotes In August Sport England published figures about the idea of shooting sports as a safe and a number of sports practiced in the UK, using a valuable sport to be a part of. variety of criteria. Shooting sports seems to have come of very The Sportsman Association has a lead on this well in this survey, based on the feedback of story at; 44,000 people aged from 14 upwards, who were http://www.sportsmansassociation. co.uk/?p=195 surveyed. The full story can be found on the Sport October was supposed to bring a more detailed England website at; http://www.sportengland. analysis of this survey, regarding the specific org/research/sport_satisfaction/headline_resports. This is still being developed and we hope sults.aspx
hooting Sports beat football.
The tenon thread is 1 1/16th x 18 tpi. and a spacer-nut will be available to go on your old Stolle barrels that will allow you to shoot your old barrel on the Atlas action without re-chambering. Action The Kelbly family have launched a new action called configurations are right bolt, right port or left bolt, left the Atlas. The Atlas action is basically a Remington port only. Priced at a very competitive $700.00 in the 700 clone made to benchrest standards – and with USA but we’ll have to see what it costs when it gets Kelbly’s benchrest background, that’s no idle claim. over here. The action-body is made of 416RS stainless-steel. Bolts are made of 4140 alloy steel on the body and stainless-steel on bolt-handle. The Atlas action will come standard as a single-shot with trigger-bracket for Remington-style triggers, aluminum bolt-shroud and cone bolt on the 222, PPC and 308 bolt-face and a flat bolt on .532 magnum bolt-face, all with a top safety cut-out. Several options will be available, like fluted bolt, magazine, ejector, recoil-lug, Cera-Kote to action body & bolt handle, polished finish etc. and is on schedule for production at end of October 2009. As many of you know the Kelbly actions are named after bears – Panda, Grizzly etc. The Atlas bear was the only native bear to the continent of Africa but is now sadly extinct.
ew Action from Kelbly Inc. – makers of the famous Stolle
he Scope Coat
I recently got a new scope, the Nikko Stirling 10-50x60, which you may have read about in the last issue of the magazine. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with dust caps and care of equipment is a big thing with me and a scope is one piece of equipment that can so easily be damaged simply taking it out of the gun cabinet and transporting it. Scopes can be the second most expensive piece of kit that we buy so surely it deserves care and attention. As a benchrest shooter, I visit a number of benchrest-shooting forums and had seen an advert for a ‘Scope Coat’ but had not taken that much interest in it - until I got my new scope. The Scope Coat is a jacket just for your scope and will protect it from those everyday knocks which inevitably occur. The Scope Coat was invented by Dan Evans back in 1995, for those very same reasons and he started off with just three sizes of cylindrical scope covers but today that has grown to over 50 products covering a vast array of equipment. With a large scope like the Nikko, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to help - especially as it had the side parallax-wheel but when I spoke to Lisa at Scope Coat, she was very helpful and very knowledgeable and worked out just the right kind of cover I needed. It took around a week for it arrived in the UK from
Phoenix in Arizona and I even got a Scope Coat sticker to with it. When I took it out of the packaging, the material seemed familiar from the days when I used to jet ski - it has the same texture as a wetsuit. I‘m not sure if it is made from the same material or not but they use Neoprene which is then covered in a layer of nylon on either side. The coats come in thicknesses of 2mm, 3mm 5mm and 6mm, this makes them strong but flexible and ideal for the purpose. As it is able to stretch, it fits the scope like a glove and keeps dust off the lenses and protects from accidental knocks that inevitably happen. Scope Coat have a variety of ways to protect scopes, spotting scopes and even the muzzle of your rifle and they come in a variety colours. If you have a special request they can make it to your specifications. It’s often said that the most simple ideas are the best and this certainly one of those. If you are wanting to protect the vulnerable parts of your rifle then you really should checkout Scope Coats. They are very reasonably priced and have dealers all around the world so if you are looking to purchase one in the UK then contact your local dealer who can order you one from Tim Hannam (Target Shooter advertiser).
We see at least one new ‘canister powder’ (ie blended to retain burning characteristics between manufacturing lots for handloaders) introduced each year, with 2009 and this year no exception. Last year’s hot entry, Alliant Reloder 17, has just reached our shores with the first supplies leaving the distributor, Edgar Brothers. This propellant, which unlike other Alliant ‘Reloder’ series rifle powders of Swedish origin is manufactured by Rheinmetall Nitrochemie AG in Switzerland, uses a unique new technology that has the chemicals that control the burning rate (‘deterrents’) impregnated throughout the material, not just surface coated as is normally done, giving a flatter pressure curve over the entire course of the burn. When allied to this product’s high-energy nitrocellulose plus nitro-glycerine formulation and high bulk density allowing a heavy charge to be packed into any given cartridge case volume, it produces substantially higher MVs in some cartridge designs. Particular beneficiaries are the short WSM and RSAUM magnums, .284 Winchester F-Class loads with heavy bullets, and the 6XC with 105-115gn bullets, increases typically being in the 150-200 fps range over that produced by competitors. Burning rate-wise
Meanwhile, Hodgdon in Kansas has just announced the introduction of a new fine-grained benchrest quality extruded powder with applications in small and medium sized cartridges in match, varmint-shooting and military / police sniper applications. IMR8208 XBR has a burning rate a little faster than IMR / H4895 and is suited to the same range of cartridges - .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .308 Win, 6mm BR, .22-250 Rem and similar. Its unique selling point is total imperviousness to all normal temperature changes – Hodgdon claims no pressure / velocity variations at all between minus 40 and 165-degrees F, a huge plus in warmer climates than ours where seasonal or even daily variations can affect both the velocity and accuracy of cartridges loaded with most powders. llied to its producing superlative A accuracy in the 6PPC, this has already had one interesting offshoot using pre-production batches. Lou Murdica used the powder over the 2009 US benchrest season with a single load throughout taking several wins, and Jim Carmichael took 1st place in the IBSA 2009 National Championship meeting with the powder, again sticking to a single previously worked up load. (Because of the normal sensitivity of BR loads to even modest temperature changes, and the extreme precision and grouping consistency require to win matches, top BR competitors usually vary loads slightly according to the prevailing conditions, often more than once during the course of a match.) Other beneficiaries are varmint shooters such as prairie dog shooters who see large temperature variations and military snipers whose ammunition has to perform consistently in sub-arctic to tropical and hot desert conditions. Hodgdon says that the powder is already being loaded in ammunition for snipers in some theatres. It will be released to American handloaders at the end of this year, and on past form we’ll see it here some six to twelve months later. A full range of loads data is available on the Hodgdon Reloading Data Centre section of its website: www.hodgdon.com. 8208 data is also included in the next issue of the company’s ‘annual manual’, a magazine format reloading guide (and more) that will be on sale early in 2010.
it falls between the existing Reloder 15 and 19 grades making it akin to the 4350s and a bit slow burning for .308 Winchester and similar, but it might do well in many of the high performance match sixes such as 6X47mm Lapua, 6mm Dasher and similar with heavy bullets, and Alliant lists loads for the .243 Winchester that give a 100gn PSP bullet just over 3,000 fps from a sporter-length barrel. Accuracy is said to be very good indeed in suitable applications. Loads data is available on Alliant’s website: www.alliantpowder.com
Calendar of events over the next month
24 Oct - Long Range Rifles Branch, 600yd Whitworth/Rigby Cup & Annual Dinner, Bisley
24 Oct to Sun 25 Oct Gallery Rifle - Autumn Action Weekend (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This is the last of the 2009 main Gallery Rifle Action Weekends that encourages ‘Action Shooting’ for the Gallery Rifle community who visit Bisley. This includes competitions for Gallery Rifles (centrefire and smallbore), Long Barrelled Revolvers and Pistols. There are also competitions for those of you who have an interest in Target Shotgun.
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
5 Dec Gallery Rifle Xmas Shoot and Social (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Come to the final gathering of 2009 for the Gallery Rifle community. This festive event has plenty of shooting, with a twist, and a splendid dinner and grand Prize-giving that has never failed to impress. Contact(s): Brian Thomas 6 Dec LMRA Wappenschaw (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Contact(s): LMRA 6 Dec Civilian Service Rifle competition (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Civilian Service Rifle competitions are held throughout the year. Dates so far for the winter league 24 October, 21 November, 6 December. Download an entry form and send to NSC, Bisley. Contact Mark Bradley for further information 12 Dec NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot. Targets have been booked on Melville. Open to all full members of the NRA who have completed and returned the registration form which is available by clicking on the link below. If you would like to attend you must book in at least a week in advance by contacting Heather Webb. For more information on the NRA Shooting Club - Contact(s): Charles Perry 12 Dec DTL Shotgun Training, Sywell Ranges - Contact MLAGB 13 Dec Rifle Practice, Bisley 100yd - advance booking required - Contact MLAGB
30 Oct to 01 Nov - European F Class Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) 07 Nov Start of Probationary Members Course 2009/5 (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This course is primarily a course in safe handling and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. Each course consists of four separate lessons. Course date to be allocated once entry conditions are fulfilled. All applications for Probationary Membership should be made to the NRA Membership Secretary. 14 to Sun 15 Nov Club Coach Course (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Candidates should be experienced shooters who have already completed a Club Instructor course. This course covers coaching techniques, and methods of instruction. Candidates will be formally assessed on the range and in the delivery of classroom lesson. Qualified Club Coaches may run NRA Probationary, Skills and Club Instructor Courses. 14 Nov NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. Targets have been booked on Melville and at 100, 200, 500 and 1000 yards. All disciplines welcome. 10 Target Shooter
If you have any events or matches in the Winter that you would like to advertise FREE here, then please contact us at;
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Shortly afterwards he developed a Two part replacement Cylinder, for the Remington Army Revolver, which uses Shotgun primers and Nitro powder. This was followed by the Nitro .38 Conversion, where the barrel is replaced for a stainless steel Cal.38 Barrel and the replacement cylinder is made to use .38 Wadcutter bullets. This being as close as you are going to get to the S&W 38 we all love and lost. Using this system Alan now converts Remington Army, Rogers and Spencer and Ruger old Army Revolvers. There is also a .38 S&W Spl Long Pistol, based on a Remington Army Revolver. Using the two part cylinder chambered for .38 spl. In 2004 Alan produced the first .22 Britarms Long Pistol and after a lengthy battle with the Home Office ( Details are on the Westlake Engineering website) was able to put it into the marketplace. This then paved the way for the Buckmark .22 Long Pistol Conversion, As Browning were by
Alan starts to strip a Buckmark
Westlake Engineering, Run by Alan Westlake specialise in Target Pistols. In 1985 Alan purchased “Britarms” and brought the .22 Britarms UIT Target Pistol back into production. Up until the Pistol ban in 1997 Alan made Britarms and converted S&W Revolvers for UIT type shooting and for PPC and 1500 He also made a name as one of the foremost Browning 9mm “Tuners” setting them up for Service Pistol Shooting. In 1996 Alan set up a Machine shop so that he could do all his own machining without having to borrow other peoples machines or buy in machined parts. While getting out of the Kit car business that was the other half of the work he did. This proved to be a bad career move, as the Pistol Ban closed his business down, not helped by the Home Office, taking twelve months to start to process his claim for compensation for all the pistols and parts handed in. However, eventually Alan decided to start making Black Powder Muzzle Loading Pistols, producing the Phoenix, followed by the Clubmaster, a simplified and cheaper pistol using the same superb trigger system as the Phoenix.
Nitro .38 Ruger Old Army
then, able to supply the base rifles for conversion. These now form the bulk of the Long pistols supplied, as they are half the price of a Britarms which have now been taken out of production. Alan will also modify pistols such as the Ruger Redhawk, fitting Balance rods and shortening the barrels back to 12 inches, or changing the Taurus wrist brace to a straight balance rod and weight. The latest product developed is the .357 Taurus Muzzle Loading Revolver. This is a conversion of the .357magnum Taurus Long Barrelled Revolver. Which has the Cylinder removed and the crane modified to accept a new Muzzle loading Cylinder, then the wrist brace is removed and the Barrel shortened. A conversion for the .44 Magnum will be available in the not too distant future. http://westlakeengineering.com/
Standard weight Buckmark 12 Target Shooter
Email; firstname.lastname@example.org/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com
The Taurus ML Revolver is converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver. The cylinder is removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contains the spring loaded plunger that frees the action when the yoke is closed. As this extension cannot be removed, it prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel is shortened to approximately 5 ¼ inches and the wristbrace is removed. A new cylinder is made which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear with a small flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead wadcutter bullets. The conversion of your pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00 each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.
Welcome to GT Shooting. The premier shooting sports shop in Surrey
Fullbore & .22LR Black Power Air Rifles and Pistols Used rifles and Pistols
Our premises are located at
Optics Ammunition Reloading equipment and more...
53 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RB www.gtshooting.co.uk Tel: 020 8660 6843 Fax: 020 8660 6843
We are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25.Shooter Target Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 1
by Chris Risebrook
Let’s get the boring but essential legal bit out of the Single-shot pistols are usually either flintlock or way first. Any muzzle-loading pistol made before percussion, (although Pedersoli do now make 1939 and kept as a curio or relic is presumed to be a replica of the Japanese matchlock) and are an antique and requires no permit. However, if you are lucky enough to own such an artefact and want to shoot it, then you will have to have your Firearm Certificate varied accordingly. If you cease using it, you can have it removed from your ticket, take it out of the gun cabinet and hang it on the wall! Daft but true. Incidentally, if you do wish to use an original, do make sure it has been proofed and is still in proof, or have it re-proofed. Unfortunately, the cost of original antiques now puts them out of the reach of most of us but, Italian manufacturers in particular, now produce near exact copies of many of the better known revolvers and single-shot pistols at a fraction of the price. For example, a genuine 1851 Colt Navy in good shooting condition could set you back about £2500. A modern replica could be a tenth of that price. Antique pistols have proved to be a very good investment over recent years but are getting a bit expensive to use on a regular basis.
usually reproductions of well known makes of target or duelling pistol, or examples of a generic type of pistol. Thus, there are replicas of pistols by the well-known 18/19th century makers such as Le Page, Keuchenreuter, Charles Moore, Nock, Mortimer etc. Revolvers, with the exception of the Ruger Old Army, are usually copies of Colt and Remington examples, although copies of lesser-known makes such as Starr, Le Mat and Rogers & Spencer are also produced. Competition shooting with all muzzle-loading pistols is governed in this country by the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain (MLAGB) who run postal and live competitions for all genres of pistol. They are very helpful people and will happily supply details of their competitions and the rules governing each type of weapon. To compete under their rules, pistols must either be original or in the spirit of the original. Basically, this means the replica must offer no advantage to shooting over the original. Thus, it may be made of
bugbear of cleaning. No doubt about it, it’s a chore to clean a muzzle-loading revolver but you can reduce this to a minimum. Firstly, consider a stainless-steel model. It may not be authentic, or as aesthetically pleasing but it is permitted in competition and there is no need to clean it immediately after shooting. However, pistols should be cleaned as soon as possible after use and this is important. Although percussion-caps are now non-corrosive, black powder is hydroscopic and rust will form quite quickly. This can be halted or delayed by the use of Forest Foam. It’s expensive, but you can leave the gun for a considerable time by filling it with the foam. Secondly, try using a black-powder substitute. The best I have found is Triple Seven. This is cleaner burning than black, uses 15% by volume, and does not require an Explosive Permit.
stainless steel but it must not have adjustable sights or oversize grips if these were not on the original. At live competitions, weapons are checked for authenticity. Of course, if you are just going to shoot on your home range, you can have any modification you wish; indeed, some manufacturers offer Remington revolvers with adjustable sights, although these were never available on the original. One weakness of original revolvers was their ancillary springs, namely the cylinder hand spring and the combined bolt and trigger return spring. Making flat springs is a black art and one fortunate spin-off of the replica market is that, if you do own an original revolver, these springs are usually interchangeable with a little fettling.
This latter point is very useful. To buy black powder, you have to apply to the police for an explosive permit and, if you keep it in any quantity, then you have to keep the powder in a special container. You are also supposed to have an additional (free) permit to transport the stuff out of the shop! These are not insurmountable problems but they do create additional hassle which can be avoided as these rules do not apply to the blackpowder substitutes. Personally, I am all for the simple Most shooters’ main objection to muzzle-loading is the life.
The GSG-5 & Mini Rifle Competition
Well, here I am about to write a series of articles I’m using a 4X Burris scope on the GSG-5 to about something of which I know nothing! Not the test ammunition etc first time I’ve been accused of that of course but PP was the large-capacity compensated semisomething I don’t like to make a habit of. auto. The sport involved real-life scenarios, large round-counts, mag. changes, rapid fire, double taps I love my shooting and, when we ‘lost’ pistols, I made – how could that be replaced? a vow to do as much shooting as I possibly could and try every possible discipline – whilst I still could! Before long, Mini Rifle was up and running, using With pistols, I dabbled and plinked but never really high-capacity semi-auto 22 rimfire rifles – often got around to entering a proper competition – what based on the Ruger 10/22. Targets and scenarios or a wasted opportunity. Now, I rarely take a gun out of ‘stages’ can be very similar to the PP courses of fire the cabinet unless it is to shoot in competition and I and large-capacity mags. and the like are all there. shoot just about everything – Benchrest, F Class, Classic ilitary, lack-powder, actical nd mallbore. Last month, Target Shooter contributor Tim Finley M B T a S Yes, I’m lucky to live close to a magnificent fullbore rifle range and I realise that if you are not so fortunate then your available disciplines may be limited. Maybe you just have access to an indoor range or a 50 yard outdoor range which seriously limits what you can shoot but, you can get plenty of enjoyment from your shooting, particularly if you are prepared to get involved. reviewed the GSG AK47 – a 22 rimfire semiauto AK look-alike – by shooting it in a Mini Rifle competition. I don’t know about you but to me it sounded like a whole lot of fun and cheap fun at that! My local range has included some Mini Rifle shoots for next year and a few members have visited other ranges and taken part in Mini Rifle competition to find out what it’s all about. We have a lot to learn – rules, targets, course of fire and the essential safety procedures. The idea of this series of articles is to hopefully encourage other clubs to at least think about shooting Mini Rifle and if you follow me through the winter we can hopefully learn together and you can avoid making the same mistakes as me!
By Vince Bottomley
In my editorial a couple of months ago, I bemoaned the dozens of clubs out there that never seem to get around to running proper competitions for their members. One of the objects of Target Shooter is to promote target shooting in all its forms and part of that is to encourage clubs to put on shoots for their members. The first step I have taken is to acquire a suitable rifle. Ideally we need a rifle that is semi-auto, takes So, if you are a small club with limited facilities, what high-capacity mags., has some sort of sighting sort of competitions can you run? One discipline I’ve system and is light enough to ‘handle’ in a variety never tried is Mini Rifle. What is Mini Rifle? of shooting scenarios. If you Google Mini Rifle, Seemingly, it was born out of the pistol ban. you will soon get an idea of what it’s all about and Practical-pistol shooters were one of the most the favoured type of firearm. We are all aware of passionate prior to the ban - pushing the limits of the Ruger 10/22, which is something of a legend pistol development – until they were suddenly on both sides of the Atlantic and there are more deprived of their sport. The favoured tool for
Here’s the bracket from Stockade that links two magazines together
best sight for Mini Rifle – another thing to find out. I had hoped to pick up an extra magazine from York Guns but unfortunately there were none in stock so when I got home I resorted to Google. Up popped www.stockadeproducts.co.uk and I soon had one ordered and a little bracket which clips two mags. together. The internet is great for this though it doesn’t have the personal touch of your local gunshop, so it was nice when I got a personal e-mail from Mike at Stockade thanking me for my order. Well done Stockade, it makes all the difference and I’m pleased to be able to give you a plug. Less than a week later and I had the mag. and bracket – excellent service. Of course, like a kid with a new toy, I was eager to try out the GSG-5, mount the sight and get it zeroed. I had intended getting a zero at about 25 yards but the range was already in use so I couldn’t go forward and had to shoot at 100 yards. I charged the 20 round magazine, turned on the sight and took aim at a small object on the sand backstop. I couldn’t believe it when I hit it with the first round! I’m no expert on 22 rimfire ammo. but I had a variety of oddments accumulated over the years from various tests. Maybe it was just because the rifle was nice and clean but the little GSG was happy to digest anything I stuffed in the magazine but I settled on some CCI high velocity ‘Mini Mag.’ being all too conscious of the significant trajectory-drop of sub-sonic rimfire ammo. Next month, we will get to grips with the GSG-5 and try and get it ‘competition ready’. Meanwhile, how about stirring a bit of interest in Mini Rifle in your own club? If you are already shooting Mini Rifle then feel free to get in touch if you can offer a few tips - not just for me as a raw beginner but also for clubs wishing to start shooting Mini Rifle. email@example.com
accessories, gizmos and tune-ups available for this rifle than any other. It’s cheap to buy and functions well and naturally they are popular with Mini Rifle shooters. If you have a Ruger, Roger Francis of South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies can offer all the desirable ‘whistles & bells’. www.rimfiremagic.co.uk OK, here’s where maybe I’ve made my first mistake. I haven’t gone down the Ruger 10/22 route. At the IWA show in Germany last year, I was bewildered by the sheer number of 22 semi-auto ‘fun guns’ and the old Ruger started to look a bit dated and that GSG (German Sport Guns) version of the AK47 as used by Tim Finley got me looking in that direction. Tim is already shooting Mini Rifle with some success and he uses the GSG-5 – an MP5 look-alike. I must admit, the GSG-5 appealed to me more than a Ruger 10/22 and it also comes with quite a few useful bits and pieces, like Picatinny rail, large-capacity magazines etc. so it was off to UK importers, York Guns, for a closer look. Stuart Wilson was able to show me the latest version of the GSG-5, which comes with a larger diameter faux moderator than the earlier model but I quite liked the look and feel of the earlier version so that’s what I came away with – plus a very neat ‘red-dot’ sight which also incorporated a laser. This is a beautiful piece of kit for a very reasonable price and my term The GSG ‘red dot’ is perhaps an over would function simplification but hopefully you with several different know what I mean. At this stage types of ammo, but I however, I’m not sure as to the settled on CCI Mini-Mag
Shooting Website of the Month
Mini Rifle as we call it in the UK is developing fast in the country. We had the review if the GSG rifle last month, by Tim Finley – who by the way seems to be winning a lot of these competitions as well. Anyway, in line with these developments and current competitions I thought we would look at the US based website Tactical .22.net. This combines an informative website, shop, forum, news pages etc. I have not seen anything like this website in the UK and it is an invaluable resource for anyone starting up this type of sport. We obviously have the practical/ gallery rifle side of things, but this mini rifle seems to be going a slightly different road. Tactical .22.net has some good review sections for the variety of rifles used in this sport, many of which we have access to in the UK, which is a first. The normal Remingtons, Rugers and AR 15 clones are mentioned. The new GSG’s also
have a good write up. This seems to be a developing sport in the USA as there of lots of matches that have started to come up on the web, with resources like Tactical .22.net being produced to support it. We might even get inventive over here and do the same?? The new section keeps people up to date – it looks like the GSG 5 may not be available for much longer – whether that is in the US or here, time will tell. One thing that is good is the technical information like trigger jobs and magazine information. Overall a good start to an informative website. Like all the others we have reviewed it will inevitably grow and get even better.
We are now building custom rifles based on these top quality US made rifle actions. We are sole UK distributors for these fine actions and are happy to supply the Trade.
SURGEON and LAWTON ACTIONS
Please click onto our website to view our latest news! We are so short of time that we are reducing our written magazine advertisements to spend more time updating our web based information....including of course the very page you're viewing right now! This has become necessary as we strive to keep pace with the orders for our rimfire and centrefire custom rifles. We refuse to lower our high standards by rushing orders which has meant an increase in waiting time for which we apologise. We have invested a large sum of money in the production of UK manufactured rifle parts over the past two years but now we are able to complete the building of our rifles completely in house, from chambering and fitting barrels, action bedding etc right through to the final finishing stages such as bead blasting and Duracoat finishing.
Most models of pistol calibre Marlins in stock! These are offered with the action checked and a Wolff reduced power hammer spring fitted. Alternatively we have them competition ready with a tuned and slicked action and trigger pull of around 2 lbs We have plenty of scope bases and Trigger Happy kits available, also one piece stainless steel firing pins.
We are proud to announce our new stainless steel Rimfire Magic action. This is now offered as an alternative to our own Rimfire Magic aluminium action which has proved so popular that we are currently engraving and proofing our second batch of fifty! The new stainless steel receiver is a similar shape to the Ruger 10/22 action which allows it to accept any 10/22 style scope base or of course it may be used in the Nordic Components kit to provide a .22 AR-15 style rifle with the associated reliability of the 10/22 system. We offer the stainless receiver with a bead blasted finish or Duracoated with the latest Duracoat SL which contains PTFE and other chemicals to give a high lubricity finish (shown above in semi-gloss black) Tel: 01226 756332 Fax: 01226 751321 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.rimfiremagic.co.uk
Everill Gate Farm Broomhill, Wombwell Barnsley S73 0YQ
19 Our retail shop is open Thursday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm toTargetus time in the workshop. allow Shooter
aunching the brand new airgun marque of Prestige Airguns, the Kub family comes in a trio of exciting carbine-format models - the SB (side-bolt), RB (rear-bolt) and SL (side-lever) - each available in .177 or .22 and with ambidextrous thumbhole or sporter woodwork in walnut. The Kubs weigh-in at just 6.5 lbs., yet are stacked with features - including an adjustable butt pad, plug-in charging, on-board air gauge, adjustable two-stage trigger, re-settable safety, threaded muzzle and a 10-shot rotary magazine. Notwithstanding its compact dimensions, a Prestige Kub also returns upwards of 100 full-power shots per air-fill thanks to its self-regulating firing valve. Against feather, fur, metal or paper targets, the new Prestige Kubs are the connoisseur’s choice for handling and performance. A pride born to make your shooting more rewarding.
HAWKE SIDEWINDER30 AND ECLIPSE30 IRSW
By Tim Finley
The 3 to 12 Sidewinder 30
very pleasantly surprised with its features and performance. The scope I had heard of was the Sidewinder from Hawke. From the outset it was designed to have all the features expected of a modern telescopic sight as well as a few new ones. The model sent for testing was the lowest magnification specification in the range. They make a 3-12, 4-16, 6-24 and 8-32. The first two have 50mm diameter objective lenses and the last two 56mm. All have Hawke’s new adjustment turret system, this is a very well designed affair were the turrets are kept in a locked down position and cannot be rotated, either accidentally or otherwise until the top of the dial has been lifted up. They have this on both the elevation and windage turrets. To reset the turret to a zero position an Allen key on the top has to be undone and the indexing top section lifted clear of the internal spindle. When set to your required position, normally “0” after you have zeroed your rifle for windage and at your chosen range, the top section can be pushed back down to engage the spindle and the Allen screw tightened back up. It has ¼ minute of angle click values at 100yards. Another quality feature of the Sidewinder is the fact it has a coil spring behind the erector tube rather than the normal leaf type. All the Sidewinder scopes have reticles in the second focal plane, meaning with a Mildot reticle fitted, as in the test scope, it
Sidewinder 30 I am more used to testing Hawke scopes with one of their specialized reticles, be it the MAP (Multi Aim Point, versions 6 or 8) or SR (Specialized Reticles, versions 6 or 12) in fact the past five reviews I have done on Hawke scopes have all had one or the other. So it is nice to cover two Hawke scopes that have fairly standard reticles. One of the scopes I had heard of and was keen to test and the other one I had no real idea of it’s existence but was
will only be a true Mildot on the magnification it has been designed to be true at. As with 90% of Mildot second focal plane scopes it has been set to ten times magnification. All the Mildot scopes in the range have been set to be true on 10 times mag. The 3-12 scope on test came in the most impressive packaging I have seen on a scope, you get more bling and wow factor than when you buy a Schmidt and Bender scope. The scope is set in a cut-out in the box with the additional 100mm long sunshade, an optional 100mm diameter sidewheel
Green mildot of Sidewinder 30
Sidewinder Flip up scope Sidewinder Flip up scope caps come with it too caps come with it too
and a scope body indexing pointer for the larger sidewheel also set into cuts outs. Going back to S&B these scopes don’t even come with a body pointer for their large sidewheel FT scopes. The larger wheel on the Hawke has yardage markings of 10,15,25,50,100,200,500yards and infinity. It has a tough rubber insert cut to the shape of the scope bodies sidewheel to ensure a snug, firm fit and that it will not damage the wheel. Three small allen screws tighten behind the rubber to grip the scopes small wheel. The Sidewinder is Hawke’s premier scope and really shows in all aspects of these models. Taking the scope out of the impressive box and getting to grips with it, there were other features that set it apart. The reticle can be illuminated in either red or green with 5 brightness settings available for both
The larger sidewheel has yard markings too
colours. The switch for these The sidewheel parallax settings is actually positioned also has red and green on the end of the sidewheel illumination parallax turret, making it very handy, it’s a much better position than the more normal one on the back of the scope body near the variable magnification ring or on the eye bell. Speaking of which the eye bell has a fast focus system which can be locked off once you have set the reticle to be in focus with your own eyes, this locking ring is then covered up by flip up scope lens covers which are fitted as standard and
The turret in its down locked position
mil between each dot. Not very useful if you really need or indeed want a true Mildot scope. In HFT for instance we need a true Mildot paced reticle to be able to accurately rangefind the distance to the targets. Scope manufactures are keen NOT to tell you their scopes reticle is not a true Mildot one. You can trust Hawke as a top firm not to do such a thing. The reticle itself is very crisp and well defined with four Mildot’s positioned off each of the four legs off the center crosshair. There is another thing that you can trust Hawke not to do, some firms who sell 30mm bodied scopes actually fit lenses made for 25mm bodied scopes into them, not very fair. Hawke 30mm bodied scopes have true 30mm multi coated lenses and it can be seen when viewing through the scope, which I did next. I fitted the scope to a test rifle and as I had heard on the grapevine the optical quality was excellent. This scope with its massive focus range is at home mounted on either an air rifle, rimfire or indeed a centerfire. In fact I really fancy one of the larger magnification Sidewinder 30’s with the SR12 rimfire reticle for my .22lr Ruger K77/22, I can then use it for pest control on eight times magnification with the SR12 reticle and also
supplied for the objective lens as well. The magnification ring is described as “ High torque” in Hawke’s catalogue and they do seem very well constructed to tight tolerances as the ring does take some force to glide in around when adjusting, speaking of which I found the parallax a bit tough to turn without the optional larger sidewheel fitted. I checked the spacing of the Mildot on one of my test charts at 15 yards, which was no problem as the scope is designed for short ranges and comes down to 10 yards. The reticle was indeed at true Mildot spacing’s when set on ten times magnification, don’t think I am strange in checking this as a lot of scopes made in China come with Mildot style reticles which are not true Mildot dot so cannot be used as true Mildot reticles can. Some have one and a quarter Mildot spacing or more commonly two and even four
30 Eclipse also comes with lans cloth and a spare battery
50mm objective lenses and I was testing the high mag version. They also have a slant on the European market as they can be bought in imperial or metric, the imperial has ¼ minute of angle clicks at 100yards and the metric one 1 centimetre clicks at 100m. They are only available with Mildot reticles, which like the Sidewinders are set to a true mil spacing on ten times magnification and
30Red illumination is on the center dot
turn it up to 32 times to compete in club competitions. The 3-12 Mildot scope is a very well built and very versatile scope, to be honest I do not know how Hawke have made such scope for less than two hundred and fifty quid. The Mildot makes it ideal for HFT as does the fact that it can be parallaxed down to 20yards. The Sidewinder 30 3-12*50 also comes fitted with an SR6 reticle if you want to go down that route. Eclipse 30IR The second scope of this double test I had never heard of, the Eclipse 30IR is a 30mm bodied scope as is the Sidewinder, but it is considerable cheaper and has two scopes in the range, a 4-16 and 6-24. Both have
Up to 24 times mag - Magnifcation is read out on the side GENIUS!
Sidewheel PA on the Eclipse
Scope caps come on the Eclipse too
are in the second focal plane. There are two side focus scopes in the Eclipse range being the aforementioned 4-16 and this 6-24 model. They parallax down to 10 yards and in excess of 500 yards. In fact the 4-16*50 model has just won a Gold medal in the Civilian Service Rifle competition held at Bisley held at 300 and 500 yards up against German and American scopes costing many times more, so the credentials of this scope have already been proven in competition. The Mildot reticle can be illuminated red or green with the controls being a rotating knob between the fast focus eye bell and the variable magnification ring. This ring has a fantastic feature, which I thought I would never see on a production scope. The indexing mark for reading off what magnification the scope is set on is not on the top of the scope where you would normally expect to see it. It is on the left hand side of the scope so you can see it without lifting your head off the cheek piece. It makes sense to me also because the sidewheel parallax is read off on the left hand side so you can view the target on maximum mag set the parallax then wind down to ten mag to use the true Mildot reticle for extra rangefinding or aiming off. Getting back to the illumination it has five
brightness settings in either colour powered by a single CR2032 3 volt battery. The illuminated portion of the reticle is the center dot, which you do not find on other Mildot scopes. I must say I like it for pure target work that’s really all you need illuminating. The target turrets are protected by screw on/off caps, and the objective and eye bell lenses can be protected by the flip up scope covers supplied with the scope. This is a seriously cheap scope for what it is, so if you are on a tight budget the Eclipse 30 IR sidewheel needs a serious coat of looking at. Both scopes consolidate the reputation of Hawke as builders of value for money quality products with many features expected of scopes costing much, much more. SPECIFICATION Model Hawke Model Sidewinder 30 Magnification 3 to 12 Parallax Sidewheel down to 10 yards Objective Dia 50mm Body Tube 30mm Finish Matt Black Field of view @ 100m 9.4-1.2m Eye relief 101.6mm Exit pupil 4.2 - 16.6mm Overall length 340mm Weight 665grams Price £239.00 Distributor Deben 0870 4422600 Make Model Magnification Parallax Objective Dia Body Tube Finish Field of view @ 100m Eye relief Exit pupil Overall length Weight Price Distributor Hawke Eclipse 30 IR Sidewheel 6 to 24 Sidewheel down to 10 yards 50mm 30mm Matt Black 4.8-5.1m 97mm 2.1 - 8.3mm 405mm 773grams £199 Deben 0870 4422600
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European Shotgun Championships 2009
By Tony Saunders
On Monday 14th September 2009, in the leafy Above - man versus man shoot-offs central park at the heart of the small town of Pisek in the Czech Republic, under leaden skies, the hundreds of people from 24 nations together to official opening ceremony of the Level IV European formally open the four days of practical shotgun Shotgun Championships 2009 (ESC 09) brought shooting.
Ladies Team member, Sharon Sell shooting well with her Remington 1187
As the music swelled and the dance troupe’s batons twirled in the damp air, the procession of competitors lined before an open auditorium, flags aloft as the town dignitaries and organisers addressed the crowds. Our own Neil Beverley, chairman of the arbitration committee then delivered a warm speech thanking the assembled throngs and the hosts of the event for their dedication, hard work and warm welcome to us all. It was a moving occasion and testament to the international good will and camaraderie among shooters and public alike. For those who are not familiar with practical shotgun (PSG) in the UK, it is a target shooting discipline shot against the clock using high-capacity pump-action or semi-automatic 12g (or 20g) shotguns. Competitors shoot courses of fire designed to test the three core elements of practical shooting; Accuracy, Power and Speed. These three qualities (Diligentia Vis Celeritas) or DVC for short, are emblemized in the motto of the world governing body for practical shooting, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and also in the UK governing ody, he nited ingdom ractical hooting b t U K P S Association (UKPSA). PSG competitions are held all across the UK, both at club level and also a series of sanctioned Level 3 competitions to determine a national grade. If you’ve never shot PSG before, it’s hard to describe the thrill and exhilaration moving, loading and shooting through a series of clever and innovative stages, from a variety of positions. Both static and moving targets are employed - often together with activation targets to trigger doors or moving metal and paper targets. Ammunition varies from birdshot, through to buckshot and solid slug.
A Level IV European competition has been held four times since the first one held in the UK. Italy was a major event in 2003, Kavala in Greece saw the championships in 2006 followed this year by ESC 09 at the excellent range facilities in Operany (pronounced OP-err-AJ-nee), a series of bermed and extended pistol bays sitting comfortably along a dip in a rolling farmed and copsed landscape. Sat approximately 20 miles equidistant between Pisek and the town of Tabor to the West, it is an inspiring place to shoot. Both Pisek and Tabor are tourist gems, boasting unassuming architectural treasures amidst the post-war Eastern block structures and chiseled facades. Pisek has the oldest stone bridge in Europe, in style almost identical but smaller to the famous Charles Bridge, its’ better known cousin in the capital Prague, 70 miles to the North. ESC 09 drew teams from as far as Thailand and the US, as well as the major representations from Italy, Czech Republic, Russia and of course, a sizeable number of teams and individual shooters from the United Kingdom for the 22 stage match. Each of the registered 294 shooters needed a minimum of 336 rounds of ammunition (birdshot, buckshot and slug) in order to shoot the match. Over fifty IROA Range Officers were hand-picked to oversee the stages to ensure that safe gun handling and strict adherence to the rules was assured. ost hot he re-match tages long ith he M s t P s a w t other organisers who are of course shooters at heart. On Tuesday the main match commenced. The competitors were split into 18 squads and all shot three out of the four days - with a rest day allowing them to take a well earned breather from the competition and a chance to watch other shooters and discuss tactics.
The duanting Stage 1, required six classic poppers to be shot down at 45 metres with slug ammunition. The yellow are no shoots. You had to know where your ammunition was shooting at this distance
Super Senior and super pumper George Granycome shooting targets through an aperture at the start of a stagee
The stage designs were of the snappy, multiple-position format familiar to pistol shooters, with lots of high / low apertures and a high proportion of fast moving bobber-type paper targets activated by a variety of ingenious but simple mechanisms. Cunning target placement and numbers meant that Standard Manual and Auto shooters (who start with no more than 9 rounds in their guns maximum) had to carefully consider their loading strategy to take maximum advantage of timings and position. This was not “running and gunning” but a choreograph of optimum load/shoot sequencing, almost always weighing up opposing strategies in the five short minutes each squad has to look closely at the stage. But this is exactly what lends PSG such an edge! Accuracy and Speed are paramount, but loading and strategy make the crucial difference to success and failure on a stage, and indeed on the match. It means too that slower shooters can win if they can find sweet spots that others have missed and perhaps shoot from the weak shoulder with as much confidence as they can their strong stance. Reducing the number of shooting positions means less time, less opportunity for error and thus faster stage times. Practice! Practice! Practice! is the byword and in PSG nothing applies more to this dictum than the need to refine ones’ ability to load on the move. By the end of the first day’s shooting, all the teams had either shot or watched the stages being shot and it was apparent that there were some very fast and consistent shooters emerging in the Italian, Serbian and Russian teams. The UK ladies team was performing well having got into their stride early and shooting a careful but accurate match. The loading techniques were the main variance from country to country. Thailand shooters had long interchangeable magazine tubes extending the gun’s length to around five feet long and holding around 25 standard 12g rounds making them heavy as well as somewhat unwieldy. The Germans and many others favoured chest plate rigs holding cartridges such that the gun could be inverted and two or four cartridges at a time could be loaded very fast in a grab-force down motion. Many, particularly the Serbian modified team used the older plastic “Prodec” clips and proved particularly adept at fast loading on the move even though the gun is taken from the shoulder and inverted to load like this. The British teams favoured box (or stripper) loaders with four cartridges grabbed using the weak hand and loading with the gun still mounted in the shoulder or dropped slightly to cut sight acquisition times down between loading and shooting. The thoughtful stage layouts and squad rotation ensured a keen momentum as the days progressed. It would take too long to describe all of the 22 stages, but several do deserve special mention here... One was a fast slug stage with a line of six IPSC card targets requiring one hit on each spaced about 2 foot apart at a distance of around 12 meters. What made it difficult was the fact that only the two outer targets were stationary. The four central targets were on fast moving bobbers (a mechanism like a windscreen washer arm that has a target mounted on the end). These were behind a wall of tyres such that they disappeared at the end of each stroke so you couldn’t sight on them at rest and had to take the shot while they were in motion. This was coupled with the additional problem that each arm also had a no-shoot target mounted on it as well - so a miss might incur
Keith Wilson reloading as he shoots targets through a low aperture on the long Stage 5
a significant penalty. The final complication was the start position - holding the shotgun in the weak hand, in Option 2 (magazine loaded - no rounds in the chamber), with a bottle of water held in the strong hand. On the start signal, the bottle was dropped into a box to activate the release mechanism; the gun had to be brought to the strong shoulder, racked to chamber a round before engaging the targets. At 12 metres it’s not always easy to see a hit on a moving target causing many to shoot more than required, or miss but think they’d scored. The fastest shooters were doing this stage in around 7 seconds - amazing performance that drew much vocal admiration from the watching crowds. Stage 4 was a fast 8 plate shoot through an aperture with a screen of water obscuring the view. To make it harder, a no-shoot target was also included to prevent a wild blag and requiring accurate fast shot placement. This was from a fully loaded (Option 1) start position - the best shooters completing this stage in just over four seconds! Shooting matches of this level for days is tiring and when Friday arrived, I think all competitors were glad to have completed the competition. “I’m bushed
but would do it all again next week” said one of the shooters as he packed his gun away after a final slug stage. The weather had been favourable apart from one morning of rain - not too hot and always with a hint of breeze. The club facilities were fantastic and I know I speak for all who attended when I say how well the competition was run by Roman Sedy and his team. Hot food was always available with large eating areas. A webcam allowed those back home to see us which was a thoughtful touch. Ammunition and accessories for on sale, stalls catering for shooters had plenty of room and even scrutineering was carried out in a slick fashion. For those lucky enough to have qualified to a certain level, there was still a day of shoot-offs on the Saturday. These are simple man v man stages incorporating a compulsory reload and were shot at a separate range near Pisek. A host of UK team members took part in these tense, quick-fire events before returning to Pisek that evening for the final closing speeches and awards ceremony. The final ceremony was another blaze of celebration in the historic and spacious Pisek House of Culture. Pisek nestles along the banks of the Otava
shooter. Other Team winners were as follows: Modified Division : 1st: Italy, 2nd: Russia, 3rd: Finland Open Division: 1st: Czech Republic, 2nd: Italy,
The UK contingent at the Opening Ceremony
river, shadowed by the remains of the 13th century castle founded by Bohemian kings lured by the rich promises of gold mining and river borne trade. The area is much rebuilt having seen fighting and style changes over the centuries. Now, Gothic and Baroque meets post-war concrete and cobbled streets abound. Packed into the house of culture, over 400 shooters, organizers, friends and patrons enjoyed a wonderful evening as the parade of winners took their places on the stage to accept medals and trophies. As the third, second and first place winners in each category stood proudly bearing their national flags, the winning nation’s anthem rang out to standing ovation.
3rd: Slovakia Standard (Auto) Division: 1st: Finland, 2nd: Slovenia, 3rd: Russia Standard (Manual) Division: 1st : Italy. 2nd: Germany, 3rd: Slovenia
After the event, I asked IPSC Arbitrator Neil Beverley how he felt about the success of the competition. Neil had visited the range several times before the event Without wishing to repeat all the details covered and spent an immense amount of time ensuring the in last month’s ESC Short Article, it was the British stage designs were fair, safe and true to IPSC stanLadies team that took Gold medal for the Ladies dards. “I have had a wonderful time”, he said as he category, easily beating Finland into second place. surveyed the crowds at the closing ceremony. “The amount of work put in by the Czech hosts has been unbelievable – so much effort behind the scenes. But I would also like to thank all the IROA Range Officers, Range Master Barry Pollard, Match Director Roman Sedy and his assistants Jiri Sedina and Kvido Klecanda, Jiri Marek and Radovan Lisy and the build and support teams for making this such an unforgettable match… and”, he added with a nod The triumphant Ladies Team with their team manager after to the packed room, “…to receiving their medals and trophies. the shooters themselves Vanessa Duffy, Josie Adam, Andrew Duffy, Sharon Sell and who really do get better Caroline Norman each ESC. I think we all learn new lessons from shooting cross-nation as Vanessa Duffy, current chair of the UKPSA also we do.” stepped up to take a gold medal as European Ladies Champion 2009. It was a proud moment for Back now as the nights draw in and the leaves begin to fall, the UK shooters are looking to the final match the whole UK Team. Barry Sullivan(GBR) won 3rd place Senior in of the UK Level 3 season at Harlow in Essex on 24th Standard Auto. Jim Starley (GBR) was highest October to put some of those lessons into practice, placed junior shooter. Pete Starley (GBR) was and of course, to have a last chance this year for highest placed senior Modified shooter and Mike some excellent and enjoyable practical shooting. Scarlett (GBR) was highest placed super-senior
No.4(T) Sniper Rifle – The Number 32 Scope
By Nigel Greenaway
Following on from last month’s article, that highlighted the features and markings that distinguish a No.4(T), it is now time to turn the spotlight on the telescopic sight or Telescope Sighting No.32 plus the other equipment that makes up the Complete Equipment Schedule for a No.4(T) sniper rifle. No.32 Scopes The original No.32 Mk1 scopes went in to production in 1941 with a sliding brass ocular sun shade which, given the reasonably stout recoil of a .303 and a nice smooth butt plate, seemed ideally designed to cut chunks out of your eyebrows. Mk1 scopes had elevation adjustments in 50 yard increments and ranges marked in 100 yards from 100 to 1,000 yards to match the trajectory of the .303 MkVII round. Deflection or windage
Right -: Three No.32 scopes – a Mk1, a Mk2 in the middle and lower a Mk3.
adjustments were in 2 minutes of angle increments (2 inches per 100 yards) allowing for 16 minutes of windage left and right for 32 minutes in total. These adjustments are a bit course, especially at the longer ranges, so a Mk2 scope was introduced in April 1943 which had one minute adjustments for both elevation
and windage – much better! Unfortunately both these early scopes were a pig to zero and you really needed three hands to do it. To overcome this problem a new Mk3 scope was introduced in October 1944 which had slipping scale rings for both elevation and deflection. The scales had a raised projection which enabled the tip of a round to be inserted to push or slip the scale round to the correct zero whilst holding the drum steady with the other hand. Once zeroed at a specific range, say 300 yards, the elevation would read ‘3’ and windage ‘0’. Thereafter the bullet drop compensating elevation scale would cater for all ranges up to 1,000 yards. It worked well and many Mk2 scopes were retrofitted with the Mk3 drums in a refurbishment programme authorised in November 1944 but largely implemented during the 1950’s. Officially this variation was designated as Mk2/1 and a few scopes were re-engraved but many were not. There were about 1,000 Mk2/1 scopes manufactured from scratch by Vickers U.I.Co. in 1944. Production of the Mk1 amounted to about 8,620 with Mk2’s reaching 7,880 and Mk3’s reaching 12,500 for a grand total of about 30,000 scopes. This number is greater than the number of rifles converted but many Mk3 scopes were retrofitted to early rifles when the Mk1 scopes were withdrawn from front line service by September 1951. You can see how this official upgrading during Base Workshop overhaul begins to make a mockery of what is a ‘correct’ No.4(T) plus scope. The Mk3 scope was so good that it, and a very few Mk2/1, were converted in to the L1A1 scope for fitting to the L42A1 sniper ifle introduced in 1970 - itself a conversion of the No.4(T). No.32 Mk3 and Mk2/1 scopes have a reputation for the drums seizing up. This is because the grease inside eventually hardens like a glue. Careful stripping and replacement of the grease will cure this. Do not try using penetrating oil – read Peter Laidler’s book instead which has full stripping instructions. The later scopes will have either have one or both markings - a red W (waterproof) and/or a blue B (bloomed to enhance light transmission) painted on the scope tube. Each of the eight No.32 scope manufacturers Target Shooter 35
Top and middle are brackets by Rose Brothers, lower bracket is by Dalglish had its own way of engraving the scopes, mostly with their logo but sometimes not, but all using the Government code of OS466A for the Mk1, OS1650A for the Mk2, OS2039A for the MK3 and the very rare OS1400GA for the Mk2/1. Dalglish of lasgow ho arked heirs 92. ther G w m t N O markings will be successive numbers, like 18 and 19 or 202 and 203, on the side of the cradle cramps or scope rings as we would call them today. Some of the early scopes having single letter prefixes or suffixes. The reason for these No.32 scope manufacturers numbers is to prevent the cramps being put back UIC – United Instrument Company (Vickers) on the wrong cradle. After 1950 the bracket had WW – William Watson the rifle number stamped on it, usually beneath H.B.M. Co – Houghton Butcher Manufacturing the rear cradle. Original brackets without a Company number will have been sold out of service before AK&S – Alex Kershaw & Son 1950. Sometimes you will find brackets with two CT&S – Cooke Troughton & Simms or three different rifle numbers stamped on them TH&Co – Taylor Hobson & Co with the previous numbers struck through as KL – Kodak Ltd armourers maybe salvaged them to use on REL – Research Enterprises Ltd. other rifles ( a decision that would not be taken lightly due to potential collimation problems). The Scope Brackets Canadian REL made brackets always had the There were two British and one Canadian rifle serial number engraved on them in the manufacturer of the brackets that held middle between the two cradles. the scope to the rifle. Rose Brothers of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire marked their Roger Payne has, over the years, made brackets with either JG or KD and they have batches of 100 brackets, cast out of malleable a more rounded profile compared to the iron and machined just like the originals. We squarer and slightly thicker ones made by have worked together on what is the 5th batch 36 Target Shooter
A reproduction bracket
and they are now ready. They are made to tight tolerances to ensure that they collimate within acceptable limits when fitted to genuine rifles. Experience and minor tweaks have made each successive batch better and the quality is so high that, to quote the noted authority on the subject, Peter Laidler, when answering a question on one of the internet collector forums “…about 50 or so of Roger Payne’s brackets were utilised on the latter rebuilds of the L42’s destined for War Reserve stocks and they were indeed perfect. It’s ironic that some of the L42 owners out there who would probably shudder at a repro anything, probably have an MoD fitted repro bracket. Does that make it a repro? The owners of those rifles can at least be assured that they have one of the dedicated War Reserve Stocks held at xxxxxxxx in Berkshire. The steel stock and quality assessment was done at the material labs at Shrivenham and even that was the same horrible black-heart (or was it white-heart...?) malleable cast! It’s such an old formula that I can’t find the mix in Machinery’s handbook any more!” They are difficult to distinguish from an original Dalglish made bracket and have helped pair up a scope with a suitable rifle which would otherwise have continued to gather dust in a corner. The value of a complete rifle, even if the rifle and scope are mismatched, is far greater than the sum of its parts so the brackets are a great investment.
Scope Tins and Canvas Cases There were two types of tin or Case Sighting Telescope No.8. The early ones had rounded corners, which were quite expensive to make, so a simpler square cornered version was made. Manufacturers were Belling & Co of Enfield, marked B&Co and Berrys Electrical Company, marked B.E.Ltd. The Canadians also made rounded cornered tins plus the canvas case. In November 1944 the Case Sighting Telescope No.8 Mk2 was introduced. This canvas case was initially made by Mills Equipment Co. but there were five other manufacturers – they are quite scarce today. During the refurbishment of No.4(T)’s in the 1950’s more of the rounded corner tins were made by S.G.C. and could be dated 1954, 1955 or 1956. During the conversions to the L42A1 sniper rifle in the 1970’s and 1980’s more rounded tins were produced by Pressed Steel Metal Work Co, marked PSMW and dated 1973 or Cooke & Perkins, marked C&P and dated 1983. Chest, Small-Arms, No.15 Mk1 Introduced in February 1942 the basic design was copied from the Bren Gun chest but with repositioned leather handles on the sides and new fixing blocks to hold the rifle and the scope tin plus the Scout Reg. spotting scope. These chests are now very scarce. Leather Slings and Lens Caps The American 1903A1 Springfield Rifle two part Target Shooter 37
Top to bottom, an early round cornered No.8 Mk1, middle is a square cornered No.8 Mk1 and then the Canvas Cased No.8 Mk2 , lastly reverting to the round cornered tin for the L1A1 scopes for the L42A1 sniper rifle of the 1970’s
leather M1907 sling was used. These tend to with a few other tips on how to get the best be the early WW1 made ones with brass claws. accuracy out of these fine old rifles. Although it could be used as a single point sling this method seems to have been taught in the early training literature but not the later publications. This explains why Leather lens caps with the metal stud were used an additional sling swivel was throughout the life of the No.32 scope, but the variation fitted forward of the magazine with the retaining ring was also quite common so that it could be used as a two point sling. Later in the war an experimental webbing sling was made, based on the ’37 pattern Bren sling attached to a separate 15 inch section in the style of the 1907 leather sling – arriving too late in the war, it never went in to large scale production. Two types of leather lens cap were used, one with a retaining loop and the other without – see photograph. Next month - the concluding article will examine some of the training literature produced between 1940-1951 plus I’ll explain how to zero the scopes 38 Target Shooter
Gun of the Month
This month we have had deadline issues so the rifle we wanted is not the one you get this month. So with that I turn to my own rifle, as it and I have had a relatively good season. Sad I know that I am the last resort, but I have wanted to write about my Anschutz for a while and this gives me a perfect chance. (By the way sorry about the pic). The rifle is based on the Anschutz 2013 action and for some this is not the best choice for rimfire benchrest, preferring the 1913 or older actions. For me it has worked, but I am much happier with the rifle since changing to a Lilja barrel halfway through this year. The Lilja has brought new life to the rifle and this is proved with successive wins this year. Cicognani of Italy originally built this for me, topping off with the original select Anschutz barrel, a custom ‘edge’ style stock which has a rear receiver to add extra weight to the rig, barrel tuner with shroud and
l i g h t weight scope rings. The action itself is pillar/ glass bedded. On top we have a Leupold x45 competition scope and this has serviced me well over the three years I have had it. The whole rifle was built to my specifications, regarding weight, length and overall features. As the Euro has gone up a lot in the three years since I have bought this, so it does not come cheap. At a recent batch test at Eley, the rifle and new barrel worked really well, going onto the rimfire benchrest championships the day after and winning both 50m titles, with aggregate cup. We will see how my scores hold up in the world postal, but the 50m unlimited class in the international league is mine already. There are a few independent developments for the 2013 action, such as the 6 o’clock firing pin adaption, which I would like to look into. Unfortunately these are not made commercially. If anyone out there does this I think it would possibly be the only modification this rifle would need.
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Nikko Sterling Diamond Sportsman 10 - 50 x 60mm scope
By Andy Dubreuil
I had my first Nikko Diamond scope back in 2007. It was one of the first budget scopes on the market with the side parallax wheel and the idea was as great then as it is now. Trying to change the parallax on the front of a scope seemed clumsy - trying to look through the scope while reaching forward to focus-in. The side wheel is easier to control and easier to get hold of without stretching. A s with any good scope, you try to take care of it and I did love those Nikko-supplied screw-on lens-caps ormally nly een n copes ith uch -n o s o s w am higher price-tag - I thought that was a nice touch. As a benchrest shooter, I need a scope with high magnification and good light transmission and,
The scope about on my Anschutz - it weighs a fair bit but worth it.
as a mid-range scope, the Nikko did the job. A couple of weeks ago however, I noticed a ‘fogging’ began to appear when it was a warm day. A scopes should be able to withstand hot humid days unless there is a problem with the nitrogen gas seal. I contacted Highland Outdoors - the sole distributers of Nikko scopes - to see what they had to say. They told me to send it back to them for inspection. I have to say that Highland Outdoors were fantastic at turning things around for me, not only with sourcing the problem but also sending me a new replacement scope within 72 hours - that’s what I call service. When they rang me however, they explained that this model is no longer available and it had been superseded by the 2008 Diamond Sportsman. This scope has the same magnification but far superior optics but they only had the choice of the mil dot or NATO RF reticle. On the old scope I had the fine cross hair – not as fine as I would have liked but I got on with it. So, to help make the decision between the mil dot or NATO RF I checked-out the Nikko Stirling website.
Nikko 60mm objective lens
High visiblity turrets for ease of use
Unfortunately, the pictures were rather poor in quality to help me to make a decision. I have passed this on to Highland Outdoors in the hope that they will pass this on to Nikko and decided to go with the NATO RF as it did seem more on the
Mag ring details
lines of what I was looking for. Since getting the scope, I have seen Blackpool Air Arms website and they have really good pictures of what the reticle should look like, for future reference. The scope arrived in a huge box with plenty of packaging which is reassuring as I have worked in the transport business in the past I know how things can get thrown around! Better the packaging the more chance it’s going to arrive in perfect condition. The first thing I noticed however - no screw-on dust caps but I will get to that later. I took it outside for a first look and wow, what an image. Nikko have been working on improving their optics for some time now and they have done a fantastic job on producing quality lenses. Nikko say that they have redesigned the internals and have added an additional lens to the scope and this can certainly be appreciated when looking through the scope.
Parallax adjustment is easy using this hefty side wheel
When looking through a new scope, it should be possible to see a sharp picture edge to edge and if you see a blurring of any kind then take the scope back to the dealer and ask for a replacement – remember, the customer is always right. The NATO RF appears very sharp and clear and the eye-relief is very good and easy on the eye and they have made changes here with a rubber zoom-ring but, you can’t buy a screw-on lens-cap even if you want one which is a bit disappointing. Another enhancement is the elevation adjustment, which has been increased by another 25% and they also now have screw-on covers for the turrets - not available on the older model. What I do love is that the turrets have an angled edge and the ‘up’ and ‘down’ and ‘left’ and ‘right’ are incised on the edge, so in clear view from the shooting position - no more having to turn the rifle over to see which way to turn (if you can’t remember!). Another great touch is the gold lettering for the turrets contrasted against the green colour, which for me, was a little easier to see when zeroing-in. If you regularly shoot different distances as I do, having quick and easy turrets to navigate from is a useful bonus and a saving on time and ammo - nice touch Nikko.
The new design of lens combination allows for better light-transmission, especially in low light or artificial light. This was something that was missing in the older model and I always struggled after a while to see the target without it blurring on me but not with new model, the image is bright and crisp. Dealing with mirage was always a problem for me to work out and now I know why - I was seeing the mirage clear enough through the older version of the scope but with the 2008 version and the new lenses, I could actually see how the mirage was moving, making it easier to work out where to shoot. Having a 50 power magnification is great when you need to go up to the maximum but when shooting UKBR22 targets, I normally stick to around 40 – 42 power simply because I find that I shoot better at that magnification. The magnification goes up in 10 point increments and uses the same rubber-style grip to move up or down. As I mentioned, the large parallax wheel is great but if you find that it’s too much, then you can easily take it off. It’s held on by two socket-head screws and removing it does help to reduce rifle’s weight, as the scope weighs-in at 37.4 ounces but I think this is slightly lighter than
its predecessor. The parallax adjustment is very smooth so easy to make really fine adjustments to get that sharp picture either with or without the wheel and again, gold lettering is used. Like most scopes, the Diamond Sportsman has a 30mm tube but with a 60mm objective I found it difficult to find mounts high enough for the scope. You can get the Bisley high mounts but you will find that the scope only just clears the barrel. Adding riser-blocks in my view is not the way to go and can cause more problems than they’re worth. The mounts I have are John Morrison’s offset mounts details of which you can find in an article in July’s Target Shooter. Some Nikko models do include a sun-shade but not with this scope. I was hoping that my old shade would just screw on to the new scope but sadly this is not the case. Nikko say this was not possible with all the new design features incorporated so you do need to buy a new shade if you need one. Highland Outdoor say the new shade will come with a screw-on dust cap, so you will be able to protect the main lens from dust which is a bit of a plus Overall this is a fantastic scope for the competition shooter with its new optics, crisper image and better transmission of light and some great detail in the finer points. If you shop
around you can get it for just under £600 which you may think is a lot of money but you do get what you pay for and it’s a sound investment. If you’re in the market for a new scope then do checkout the new line in scopes from Nikko Stirling. I think you may be surprised by their new range. Specification Model MFN 10-50 parallax yards ~10 Field of view At 100yds 7.8 - 1.3 Click value 1/8 MOA Eye Relief 90 - 110mm Ocular Lens Effective Diameter 35mm Objective Bell 69mm Diameter Overall Length 16.9 inches Ocular Dia 42.5mm Weight 37.4 ounces
The mildot and Nato reticle View through the scope at 50m
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Windflags - the why’s and how’s
By Carl Boswell
This was an article I wrote some time ago, but I’ve above - wind flags at a competition in the USA reworked it for Target Shooter. We have to remember, that with 22 rimfire rifle Shooting rimfire or air rifle target rifle is hard enough shooting specifically, the wind deflection of a but when you figure-in the wind with all of the bullet is related to the amount of delay in the probabilities for its movements, the whole process flight caused by air resistance. Not the bullet’s gets a lot more complicated. Be it rain or shine, time in flight! Bullets shot from higher velocity .22 the wind will be there – to a more or lesser effect. rimfire ammunition - around the speed of sound - do suffer from more air resistance. There is To help counter this in competition shooting, we therefore potentially more wind deflection on tend to use ribbons or funnels or cloth flags to higher velocity rather than lower velocity show the strength and direction of the wind to aid rimfire ammunition. This result is attributed to the the shooter. Rimfire rifle and air rifle benchrest extremely rapid rate at which air resistance shooting takes place over a distance ranging from increases with the increase in bullet speed in the region close to the speed of sound. A good 25 yards to 50 meters. explanation of this can be found in the NRA Firearms Fact Book, a book which I find invaluable at times. Set of Caldwell flags The aim of this article therefore is to offer other alternatives to rimfire shooters and specifically rimfire and air rifle benchrest shooters, in the UK. We now compete with a large number of countries from around the world and we need to learn from them and more importantly compete with them on an equal footing. Shooters in some countries have been shooting this discipline for a good twenty years or so and have vast knowledge. We can also learn from the extreme accuracy shooters in centerfire
provide them with the opportunity to increase accuracy in shot placement. This is why we need wind flags – to attempt to indicate the amount of deflection that the wind will subject the bullet to, which will of course, depend on the wind’s speed and direction. Anything out there, between you and the target, that will indicate the speed and direction of the wind will clearly give you a better opportunity of hitting your aim-point – providing you can interpret the ‘condition’. If we adopt the Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli’s theories for shooting, we begin to see what effect the wind has on a .22 calibre rimfire bullet, over specific distances. The diagram to the left is a metric adaption of one produced by Joe Haller. A wind blowing from 3 o’clock with a velocity of around 9-10 mph, will cause the bullet to impact approximately 25 to 26mm to the left and about 6mm high. From the 9 o’clock direction it would impact approximately 25 to 26mm right and 6mm low. This change in elevation is down to the ‘Bernoulli Effect’ and the fact that most modern target rifles have a barrel with a right-hand twist.
benchrest and even F-classers shooting at greater distances. The wind flag is capable of imparting a Obviously, a 1 mph wind from the right will move lot of information to the shooter which can and will the bullet a tenth as far. A similar strength wind from the 4 or 5 o’clock direction will drive the bullet less to the left but still slightly high. A wind from the 6 o’clock direction will raise the bullet impact slightly and a 12 o’clock ‘headwind’ will drive the bullet slightly low. The table below lists the constraints for 9-10 mph winds and could theoretically be used. Just remember the wind always does what you expect it to - until it doesn’t! Sorry but there it is! Wind deflection is all about reading the flags and the information listed below are at best quite good ‘estimates’. When actually shooting however, you will need to consider other issues like barometric pressure and temperature.
If you have time to practice and ascertain what the conditions of the day are, you can correct your shooting accordingly. Each range and day will have its own features that will increase or decrease muzzle velocity and energy - depending if it is hot or not, for instance. This increase or decrease may not be that much, but it could be significant enough to alter figures on the wind deflection grid below. Shooting rimfire and air rifle benchrest is a lot about looking at what the wind is doing and trying to interpret that via an ‘indicator’ of some sort such as a flag. Clearly, we all get caught out, otherwise there would be lots of perfect scores around!
Carbon River wind flag
Benchrest windflags have evolved over the years in attempt to indicate both speed and direction. There are a variety of models which can be purchased or reproduced reasonably easily by anyone of modest ability. ‘Flag’ is a very loose word to describe the ones we use in benchrest. They tend to be very brightly coloured - for visual acuity and made from light, rigid plastic often looking more like a child’s toy than the cloth flags we are used to. Our flags must be ultra-sensative, as we want to see instantly what the wind is doing when firing 25 accurate shots in 30 minutes – or five shots in 15 seconds if you are a centrefire BR shooter. Flag designs or ‘windicators’ vary from the basic plastic propeller type that might have one, two or even three veins, to 180 degree (showing the speed from left to right), and 360 degree ‘windicators’ (showing wind-speed and direction at all angles). There are many variants of these models but they all attempt to do the same job and we have limited space for pictures of all models available. The flags and ‘windicators’ are used in a variety of ways, as can be seen from the picture showing flags used at a match.
Killough 180 degree wind indicator 48 Target Shooter
Other designs to consider are the dual vain flags that allow the shooter to better
flags (www.carbonriverwindflags.com), Killough Shooting Sports (http://www.killoughshootingsports.com/) do have a selection of designs to look at. The alternative is to make your own, which is something I have done over the years I have been shooting Benchrest and with some recent success. I was sent a wind flag design by a friend in the US, Doug Weeter, who is a bit of a mean shot himself. I have found this model very useful in recent years and it has improved my understanding of the wind and with it my shooting. Doug’s design indicates both the direction of the wind via the main vain, with a ribbon to supplement this. The red paddle at the top indicates wind strength as it is pushed by the wind and calibrated with a weight at the bottom for different conditions. Therefore I can change the way this works if I am shooting in light or heavy winds. At present it is calibrated for winds up to 10 miles per hour. (To be honest if I was shooting in winds above this speed then I would be in difficulty unless they were constant). As this type of flag shows wind speed from all angles it is slightly easier to interpret when shooting.
My homemade 360 degree speed and direction flag, design courtesy of Doug Weeter
see the angle the wind is blowing at. Some will use several of the same type of flag and others will have a variety of types within the same match. If you would like some plans to make a number That choice is yours, as is the number you use. of types of windflags or windicators then go to the I tend to just use between three and eight. For better or worse, it’s all I can concentrate on at any one time! In practise, I tend to look at 3 or 4 main flags with others in my peripheral vision. Using Homemade 180 degree wind indicator more may just come down to training and each shooter will work in their own way. I know a few shooters in the US that use up to 15 at anyone time in the same match! Does this work? For them yes - it all depends on what you need to inform you of what is going on between the rifle and the target. There seems to be a small cottage industry making flags in the US, with a number of models available from people who started off developing them for their own shooting and have then developed products for the needs of other shooters. There are a few major suppliers out there like Caldwell, who also make the cheaper rests and bags. They do have flags that are readily available via Midway UK and obviously make them in large quantities. They are a standard prop type and are reasonably priced for a set of three. If you want to go for other models that are of a more custom design then again, you need to look at the USA as a supplier. Carbon River Wind-
Suggestions for a wind meter - based on individual weight calibrations
following website; http://team40x.com/wind/build/ index.html There are a number of designs and all have been used successfully in competition. I would just give credit to the owner! If the DIY is the way you want to go there are lots of others out there and I know a few from Portishead Club near Bristol have experimented a little with making their own. Lets face the fact that it will be cheaper, but may involve a little research and development on your part. Last, but not least, reading windflags is a skill in itself. Just having them is not always enough? Knowing what the flags are trying to tell you is the difference that will split shooters scoring high or not in a match. We all get caught out at some time or another! However trying to read the wind is another story that might take a lot longer to explain. Good shooting.
My flag set in situe, although I now go for a different pattern in their setup 50 Target Shooter
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Welsh Open 2009
By Hayley Platts
With my foot in plaster having recently undergoing surgery to break and pin the joint I was extremely disappointed that for the first time in many, many years I was not able to compete at the Welsh airgun Open. This year the event took place a month earlier than usual on 3rd & 4th October at the Welsh Institute for Sport and once again attracted a good entry to the beautiful city venue of Cardiff. I have tapped into the ‘eyes and ears’ of key organiser of the Welsh Open, Karen Morris, who for months prior to the event collates the entries and works tirelessly during the event in Stats along with her family, and the many volunteers during the weekend who give up their time to ensure the event is well staffed
Welsh main hall
and runs smoothly (not to mention after the event as well). Having been in contact with Karen for an update, here are her observations on the weekend. You are able to shoot up to four times at the Welsh Open, and people were making the most of that this year. Even on the day, people were asking if they could have another shoot. Brilliant! With three weeks to go, the Open was fully booked. I hate turning people away, but there were simply no more spaces. I offered to put those who weren’t able to shoot onto a waiting list,
in case there were last-minute cancellations. However, the WAA Secretary, Ian Harris, kindly offered to run an extra squad on the Friday. He organised this extra squad for Friday afternoon with a limited number of firing points to accommodate the people who had made it onto the waiting list. They shot whilst the rest of the range was assembled. This extra squad won’t be available next year; it was just due to the overwhelming number of people being unable to have a shoot. There were more first time entrants than ever before. It’s great to see people venturing out from the comfort of their own club and seeing what a national shoot is all about. Whilst sticking to the ‘spirit’ of ISSF as much as possible, we also try to make the Open as relaxed and friendly as possible. Some of the shooters had never been through equipment control before, however, Harry Preston and Iqbal Ubhi were on hand to sort out any problems these first-timers had. There were various trade stands selling a variety of products and happily offering advice. There was some good shooting over the weekend. Victoria Mullin was a junior pistol shooter who won X class with a score of 572. She started out in A class and was just so good that she had to be re-classified to X class! In all credit, she was a junior, but elected to shoot in the finals as a senior & shot brilliantly. (You can see from the finals results just how close the scores were!) There was a three-way tie for eighth place in the pistol finals and there had to be a shoot off between Chris Mason, Jim Newsome and Peter Friend. Five shots, with the highest score going through to the finals. Chris Mason just took it with the narrowest of margins of 0.1 of a point!! All the finals, and the shoot off, were shot on Megalink targets. This meant that everyone
could see the scores as they were shot. A very exciting event. You can see the recorded finals results on the WAA website, along with the full list of results. www.welsh-airgun.org.uk Approximately 11,000 targets were shot over the weekend. With only four scoring machines, and over forty different competitions going on, it makes such a difference when someone contributes an hour or so of their time to help out. A massive thank you to everyone involved for making the day such a wonderful success. Welsh Open Pistol Champion 2009 is Stewart Nangle with a score of 572. Welsh Open Rifle Champion 2009 is Chris Hector with a score of 593 Welsh Open Junior Pistol Champion 2009 is Craig Auden with a score of 558 Welsh Open Junior Rifle Champion 2009 is James Huckle with a score of 588 Welsh Open Ladies Pistol Champion 2009 is Georgina Geikie with a score of 379 (tied with Victoria Mullin but a final string of 96 versus 95 took the victory) Welsh Open Ladies Rifle Champion 2009 is Sharon Lee with a score of 393. Welsh Closed Pistol Champion 2009 is Al Green with a score of 561 Welsh Closed Rifle Champion 2009 is Rhian Floyd with a score of 581 Hopefully I shall have two good feet which will enable me to shoot at next year’s event! and very much look forward to returning to what is always a buzzing Open shoot which attracts a large entry of shooters to pit yourself against. At this time, no date has been set for the Welsh Open 2010.
World Field Target Federation 2009 World Championships – The South African Experience
By Stanley Shaw
Pretoria, South Africa was the venue for this year’s of the experience. For those present, the South edition of the WFTF World Championships on 26- African WFTF World Championships will remain an 29th September 2009. experience etched in our memory for life. This international event was superbly hosted by the South African FTAA within the Mutango Lodge complex. The area is situated about 35km north west of Pretoria in typical South African bush country. Here, Field Target shooters from England, Wales, Norway, USA, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Malta and South Africa had to survive a grueling three days of tasks set by the South African organisers. The dedication, hard work, time and creativity of the organisers pushed the course set-up to the highest limits. The majority of experienced and veteran Field Target shooters present described this as the toughest course ever and everyone enjoyed each and every second SAFTAA designed the course-layout over a distance of approximately 2km. The course started from the marsh lands and slowly worked its way up to the ‘baboon’ territory on the mountain top behind Mutango Lodge. There were three courses, color-coded blue, green and black, each with 50 targets and various grades of difficulties spread out in five zones. Reducers were ample on some courses while others had a degree of difficulty in positional-shots at long ranges. Zone 1, nicknamed ‘Valley of Death’ by South African shooters, was set inside a depression behind the marsh. Full of burned-down tree trunks, this zone was a perfect match for its name. Most targets here were a low inclination from the shooting lanes. The wind in this area was killing even for the most experienced shooters, hence the nickname. Zone 2 was situated on the low flat-lands behind the marsh and targets were set at medium ranges. The wind in this area could easily give you a bad guess as certain reed walls were playing some tricks in wind deviation. Wild life was abundant, the constant noise of frogs in the nearby marsh and hovering birds of prey was a lovely sight.
54 Target Shooter
Lynn and Natali at their shoot off
Zone 3 was further up and situated at the flat-land in front of a small dam, just before the uphill climb to the mountain-top zones. The targets were situated in the opening between the ravine walls and also on the facing edges. official start and SAFTAA officials were busy finalising the finishing touches. The sighting-in range at Mutango was officially opened for all the competitors. Most of the foreign teams were already present, having arrived in South Africa some days before. All were busy and had spent long hours Zone 4 was on the way uphill, with shooting from one in the previous days tuning and setting up their side of the ravine to the opposing side over the dam. equipment on various ranges around the area. Some Most of the targets here were long-distance shots, shooters experienced POI shifts and lower muzzle some seemed further than 50m but they were not. velocities ue o hanges n he tmospheric nd ltitude d t c i t a a a conditions, which differ from their own country. Zone 5 had some intricate shots at the top of the ravine cliff edges or deep down inside the ravine. Of course it’s possible that some problems might The view here was beautiful. have occurred due to careless baggage handling Zone 6 took us up the crest of the mountain and most of the targets were situated in the bush, shrubs and trees. Distances were relatively close and the use of reducers was a must. Most targets going up hill were inclination shots or the shooting post was placed in such a way to render an easy shot difficult. However the trees and bush protected most of the targets from the winds that persisted throughout the three day event. Thursday 26th September 2009, the day before the
It be hot our there!!!! Shooter on the line
3, 4 and 5 shootoff
but most of the teams cleared their issues or had no choice but to live with it and make the best of it. Mutango was now becoming crowded as many South African FT shooters began to arrive with their families and campers. The atmosphere was that of a warm welcome and fraternity between the nations present for the event. The weather prediction for Friday 26th September 2009 was typical for England. Thunderstorms and heavy rain hit the area that evening, sending most of the shooters to their quarters early for a good night’s rest to be ready for the next day. final adjustments. The wind was picking up already. Once you were happy with your set-up, it was time to take the chronograph test and register. Shooters then started to line up in groups with everything running as smooth as silk. By 9.00 am, all the participants were seated in the Main Hall awaiting the official opening by the Chief Safety Officer. The expected safety standards and course set up was explained in detail, then participants were asked to collect their score cards and find their buddy. There was some confusion at first but this was soon settled and better organized in the coming days. Once you’ve found your shooting buddy, grab your equipment and start moving towards the zone and lane according to the particular course assigned.
Friday 27th September. The morning was chilly, heavy overcast clouds and a drizzly rainfall. The sighting-in range opened at 7.00 am and shooters At 11 am and on time came the signal to commence. were pouring in the area to warm-up and make their The World Championship was on. I happened to
1 and 2 shootoff
start in zone 4 and one could immediately hear the roaring echoes of air rifles blazing away at the targets inside the ravine. As the day went on and shooters met along the paths, one could hear comments like “ This is practice day – that’s why I’m not knocking down targets”. Some faces were long, others were smiling, most were having a good time.
finding as mirages tend to fool scope readings. Some shooters start to experience equipment faults and failures. Shooters try to catch their breath before attempting shots. Fatigue could be seen in shooter’s faces and this reflected in the overall results. he ighest core or he econd ay as hat f T h s f t s d w t o Petrus Johanne Breedt (RSA) with 40 / 50. Following close behind, Mark Basset (Wales) with 39 / 50 and By 3.00 pm, shooters had completed their course two promising Brits, James Woodhead and John and were handing in their signed-up score-cards in Costello both with 38 / 50. the main hall. Every one was trying to find out the highest score of the day while lunch was served. Sunday 29th September is the last day of the The top shooters of the day were James Woodhead Worlds every one is trying to make it to the end. As (Eng) with 46 x50, followed by Hennie Breytenbach usual, everything is running to schedule (shooting (RSA) 44 / 50 and John Costello (Eng) 43 / 50. started one hour earlier today) and co-ordination is Everyone was surprised with the overall results - no perfect. The start signal comes at 10.00 am and the 50 / 50 this time ! The South African Worlds would be cracking sound of air rifles fills the air around tough even for the top shooters. Mutango. Shooters with probable chances to rank in the top 10 positions of their category are That evening shooters and their families got together eager to know how they are comparing with their for a traditional South African Braai sharing their FT counterparts. Nothing can be taken for granted here. experiences, culture and thoughts. Fatigue, heat and thousands of flies and other Saturday 28th September. Today is a fine, hot day flying insects can set you off course quite easily. and the sun is shining. Shooters flock to the sighting Equipment could fail when you most need it, range before or after breakfast to warm up for the anything can happen. By 2.30 pm, most of the cards day ahead. Punctual at 9.00 am, the SAFTAA Chief were in and shooting was over. Now we must await Safety Officer briefed the participants and warned the final results. The highest score today was a everyone to carry lots of water. The temperature is 42 / 50 by John Costello. There was tension in the air expected to reach 38 degrees Celsius and humidity as the organizers wanted to reveal a surprise result is a bit higher than usual due to evaporation from the but instead, shoot-offs revealed the winners. soil and vegetation of the previous day. At around 3.30 pm, the shooters from various The score-card collection and buddy-system now categories were called for the shoot offs. A target is running smoothly . The shooters move to their was set up at a distance of about 20 meters, this assigned zones and await the 11.00 am start included a 20mm reducer. Sudden-death decides signal. Fifty gruesome targets await all of us. The who wins or looses in this final step. The crowd wind picks up. The heat picks up - on everyone and gathered around to watch these ‘gladiators’ deliver everything. Some shooters struggle with range their winning shots. The first to go into the arena was
South African Team at the award ceremony
Target Shooter 57
Lyn Strydom and Natalie Terblanche both from RSA for the 2nd and 3rd place in the Ladies category. For her first standing shot Lyn smashed down the target and the crowed roared. Natali was next, she missed but still the crowed roared their applause for Natali.
Lynn Strydom (RSA) 90/150 Natali Terblanche (RSA) 90/150.
Springer category 1st Scean Orsmond (RSA) 77/150 2nd Paul James (Eng) 76/150 Then came three shooters all with a total of 113/150 3rd Dale Anthony Foster (Eng) 71/150 for the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. After a lengthy duel Mark Basset (Wales) placed 3rd whilst David Veteran section Combrink (RSA) and Hennri Breytenbach (RSA) 1st Alan Keyser (RSA) 88/150 placed 4th and 5th respectively. The last to go into 2nd Ron Carlson (USA) 78/150 the arena were two Brits, James Woodhead and 3rd David Gauge (Wales) 77/150 John Costello, who showed from day one that it was their intention to be World Champion. James Team results managed to knock down the target after several 1st England 469 points
James Woodhead - 2009 FT World Champion
attempts from a kneeling position and so earned 2nd South Africa 448 himself the title of WFTF 2009 World Champion. 3rd Germany 381 Then the party started with everyone celebrating with the winners. A spectacular event was brought to a close with a spectacular ceremony. Mr. Johan Jansen, It is only fair to mention the top three shooters in all President of SAFTAA and the efforts of his team was the categories for record and honor. greatly appreciated by all the shooters present at this amazing World Championship. SAFTAA hard work sets the standards for future FT World Juniors Championships. The next stop is Hungary in 2010 – 1st Francois Du Toit (RSA) 92/150 can’t wait! 2nd Divan Loretz (RSA) 66/150 3rd Jaco Classen (RSA) 65/150. Ladies 1st Erica Fourie (RSA) 95/150
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"Phoenix A, X & A Class.” Two British Record Scores at Gallery Rifle National Championships 2009
Fullbore Bullet Ballistic Analysis Part 2
By Bryan Litz
Let’s revisit our bullet characteristics Above - 1,000yd F-Class targets at Diggle in and performance table (Figure 3), now Lancashire – a hard test for any bullet fired from updated to show how the various models a .308W rifle, especially in this upland range’s stack up at long-range, before going on to strong, constantly varying winds model how these results might affect scores. The other metric we need for shooting at 1,000yd Remember, the key comparative performance with the .308 Winchester cartridge is retained measure is wind deflection, which as per the usual velocity. Ideally, our bullet which starts at 3,000 convention has been calculated for a 10 mph 90° fps remains comfortably supersonic (defined as crosswind, and shown for 600 and 1,000 yards. travelling bove ,120 ps n a 1 f i
The sheltered 300yd Pickering range in North Yorkshire is well-suited to .308W and any of the eight 155gn bullets provided handloads are accurate
standard conditions) at this range as it may encounter turbulence on entering the transonic velocity zone – a little above the actual speed of sound. (Figure 3) For the top trio, 1,000yd wind deflection is predicted at 91.0”, 91.6”, and 91.6” respectively, practically identical ballistically, and they are still travelling at a healthy ~1300 fps velocity. At the other end of the ‘performance league’,
the ‘old’ Sierra Palma MK (#2155) and the Hornady A-Max move another 15 to 17 inches sideways in the wind and struggle to remain supersonic, close enough to 1,120 fps to see the Left to right - Berger 155.5, Lapua 155 Scenar, HBC BJD, New Sierra, Berger VLD, PMP, latter have some bullets in a string risk dropping below Old Sierra, Hornady A-Max this velocity at the bottom end of a typical MV spread Wind allied to slightly more Wind Retained onerous atmospheric Deflection Deflection Velocity Average conditions, such as lower (600yd) Bullet i7 temperature and/or higher (1,000yd) (1,000yd) G7 BC pressure. Note that Inches / Inches / MOA performance variations in fps MOA the hypothetical 10mph crosswind are much reduced at 600yd, the 0.988 0.237 1,302 27.3 / 4.4 91.0 / 8.67 difference between the Berger 155.5 Fullbore ‘best’ and ‘worst’ 0.988 0.236 1,298 27.4 / 4.4 91.6 / 8.73 equating to just over a Lapua 155 Scenar half-MOA compared to three times that amount at 1,000yd, so having the 0.989 0.236 1,297 27.4 / 4.4 91.6 / 8.73 155 HBC BJD optimal bullet in ballistics terms confers much less (Australia) advantage to the shorterrange shooter. So now that we have these results, how do we know what to make of 1.039 0.225 1,228 29.2 / 4.6 98.5 / 9.42 them? The sterile wind Berger 155 VLD deflection in a constant 10 mph crosswind performance metric is kind 1.041 0.224 1,227 29.3 / 4.6 99.2 / 9.45 of useful, but what does 155 PMP (South Africa) it mean in terms of points in a match? Is there a real, practical difference 1.092 0.214 1,161 31.1 / 4.9 106.7 / 10.17 between say 91” and 95.9” Sierra 155 Palma (2155) of wind deflection (the 1st and 4th bullets respectively in the list), or is that just lost 1.100 0.212 1,152 31.4 / 5.0 108.3 / 10.32 in the noise? To attempt to Hornady 155 A-Max shed light on this question, Figure 3. Ballistic performance comparison for 8 Fullbore bullets starting out at 3,000 I’ll turn to modelling. The results of a model are only fps MV under standard sea level atmospheric conditions (59°F, 29.53 inches mercury as accurate as their inputs. The bullet performance can pressure). be modelled accurately, but
Sierra 155 Palma (2156)
28.5 / 4.5
95.9 / 9.14
wind. Running this simulation multiple times can reveal how much difference a certain performance advantage can make to a shooter’s score. The model assumes our hypothetical shooter is able to hold X-ring (VBull in British shooting terminology) elevation, and in order to generate equal conditions for the various bullets, it applies a crosswind uncertainty of +/- 2 mph. (Specifically, the standard deviation of the shooters/ coach’s ability to call wind is 1 mph.) In other words, the crosswind uncertainty is modelled to be less than 2 mph for 19/20 shots. Figure 4 shows a visual representation of a ‘virtual group’ produced by the computer model using the aforementioned conditions and uncertainties. The table underneath provides the numeric values for the series of runs of the model, that is 100 simulated 20-shot 1,000 yard matches using the American NRA ‘Fullbore’ target. It shows the minimum and maximum simulated scores (in individual ‘matches’), plus the average score for the entire series for each of the eight bullets. Some apparently strange features of the results are related to the statistical nature of the simulation. For example, notice that the highest individual ‘match score’ with the new Sierra and the Berger VLD is one point higher than those for the three higher BC bullets at the top of the list. This shows that over the course of 100 matches, it’s possible to shoot a higher score with a
how do you model a shooter, and the effects of bullet performance on score? The way I’ve chosen to approach this is statistically. A ballistics program was looped to run for 20 shots. On each shot a different wind uncertainty is applied to represent the effect of an imperfect wind judgment by the shooter or coach. The idea is that the better performing bullets should result in fewer lost points because they’re deflected less by a given
replicated on the rifle range. The moral is that a slight BC advantage does not in itself guarantee a superior score! Just look at the simulated ‘match score’ spread for any given bullet – up to 17 points difference (out of a possible 200), yet the difference between the best and worst ballistic performers is only 4 points over 100 ‘matches’ when scores are averaged. The take away from this exercise is that although the higher BC bullets do stand to produce slightly higher scores on average, they don’t radically alter the limitations intrinsic to TR and Fullbore shooting – 155gn 0.308” bullets at around 3,000 fps MV. Let’s look at performance from a different but complementary angle. If the wind uncertainty is modelled as +/- 1.5 mph instead of +/- 2.0 mph, the average score for every bullet goes up four points. In other words, if the shooter or coach can refine his or her ability to read the wind by only 0.5 mph that makes as much difference to the average score as switching from the lowest BC bullet to the highest. F/TR Class The above analysis was geared specifically to the US NRA LR prone target with a 10” X-ring, 20” 10 ring, etc, but the F-class target has smaller inner rings. It’s obvious that their reduced size increases sensitivity to small errors. For example, a shot that’s a solid 10 on the prone target may be a 9 on the F-class target. So the question is; how much more sensitive is the F-class target to a difference in ballistic performance compared to the prone target? Common sense suggests that you should be able to resolve a bigger advantage in score for a given ballistic performance advantage, but how much? Again, I’ll turn to modelling (Figure 5). For this simulation, we’ll consider the shooter/coach to have the same
slightly inferior bullet because of the statistical nature of error. Also note that average scores drop from 192 to 191, then 190 for the best performers in descending order as you’d expect, but then apparently perversely go back up to 191 for the PMP bullet, before falling again to 188 for the two ‘poorest’ designs. This is another symptom of the statistical nature of the uncertainties we encounter in target shooting, and is likely to be
shooter and equipment are capable of producing ~5” (half-MOA) 1,000yd groups in the absence of any wind, which is extremely good. The results in Figure 5 show the same information as Figure 4 (prone target), but the first thing to notice is that the average score has dropped by 12 points. This is expected, but what may come as a surprise is that the advantage conferred by a higher BC bullet isn’t much more profound. Only four points separated the best and worst on the prone target, while this has now only risen to five in F-Class. Why is that? Well, think about how a target works. It measures accuracy using scoring rings, so increasing the number of rings improves its ability to resolve a difference in accuracy / ballistic performance. To look at it another way, an accuracy improvement is more likely to register on a target with more rings because the area of the target is broken up into finer segments. The F-class target has one more ring than the prone version, so it’s only slightly better at resolving differences in accuracy, especially outside of the additional ring, or 10-inches or more from the centre. Beyond the 20” circle, the rings are the same size, only worth one point less. That’s why the average score goes down so much, but the difference between best and worst performers only increases a little. (The difference between British F-Class and NRA TR target ring-sizes/ positions is greater – Editor)
wind reading ability as in the prone scenario (95% of crosswind calls within +/- 2 mph), but we’ll tighten up the precision a bit for the F-class shooter. We’ll assume both
The notoriously difficult Blair Athol range in the Scottish Highlands provides a real challenge to the TR and F/TR shooter’s ability to read the wind
Of course, these results/conclusions are determined by the model’s parameters. The variables used see shots scattered across the target face, and the effect of having an additional inner ring therefore wasn’t overly large. What happens if the simulation is re-run with less wind uncertainty seeing shots scattered from 9 ring to 9 ring instead of out to the 7? Figure 6 contains the results of the F-class simulation being run at half the original wind uncertainty (+/- 1 mph of wind compared to +/- 2 mph). As you can see, average scores increase, but the relative advantage of a high BC bullet is still far from being overwhelming. In fact, the difference now reduces to four points again. This final analysis reinforces the earlier conclusion that superior ballistic performance is helpful, results in higher average scores over a long run of matches, but the difference between the highest BC option and a mediocre BC is certainly not a decisive element in itself, irrespective of the shooting conditions encountered. Barrel Twist Rates The accepted standard rifling twist rate for Palma / Fullbore rifles has been 1-13” for decades. Do these new, longer bullets require more twist for good stability? The short answer is ‘No’. However, while the older (shorter) bullets could get away with a 1-14” twist barrel in most conditions, the current crop of longer models need every bit of the ‘standard’ 1-13” rate. In fact, the longest design is the 155gn Lapua Scenar, which according to stability predictions, could use a 1-12” or 1-12.5” twist barrel, although it does work well from a 1-13” in most conditions. (Many British TR and F/TR top competitors happily use this bullet in barrels with the ‘old’ 1-14” twist rate – Editor.)
As with most modern well made match bullets, it wouldn’t hurt accuracy to shoot these recent Fullbore designs in barrels with twist rates ‘faster’ than 1-13” – many top US competitors achieve success with 1-10”, 11”, or 12” tubes. Using such rates also gives you the option of using heavier bullets in matches that have no weight limit. In Summary Many readers will be surprised at and a bit disappointed that the new generation of high-BC Fullbore bullets produce such modest improvements in scores in the modelling exercise. We have to remember that they are still .30 calibre, weigh 155 grains, and leave the muzzle at 3,000 fps. These parameters determine the overwhelmingly greater part of the ballistic performance of the eight models tested. Improving a bullet’s BC through profiling its shape to achieve lower drag is worthwhile, and yields benefits in the long run, but doesn’t turn night into day. Overall performance is maximized by optimising each component in the system, so the optimal approach is to shoot high BC bullets and work on improving wind reading skills. As with many endeavours, striving for balance is key. Success is achieved when you take a well rounded approach, with a true understanding of the relative importance of each factor, not by considering one element to be all important to the exclusion of the others.
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HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 1)
By Laurie Holland
No matter how much new cartridges beguile, I Above - There is a large choice of match always find myself returning to .308 Winchester quality commercial .308 Win ammunition, these – with its large choice of superb components, examples employing 167, 168, and 190gn HPBT tolerance of propellants, and intrinsic accuracy, Match bullets. Not cheap though! it is a handloader’s dream cartridge. Thanks to and increasingly look to precision handloading. F/TR my .308 round-count has rocketed over Disciplines like F/TR require every element of the the last couple of years but there’s nothing new rifle-ammunition ‘system’ to be optimised, here – I recently added up the 7.62mm / .308W especially at GBFCA League level whose rounds are rifles I’ve owned, and the tally came to no fewer overwhelmingly conducted over the 800-1,000yd than 12. I also get more requests for information range mark. about this cartridge than any other, these rising now that milspec 7.62mm ammunition has all but Beginnings disappeared, and with 7.62mm/.308W the most It’s no coincidence that .308W started life as a widely used cartridge at all levels of fullbore military number, a background that guarantees shooting in this country. My original intention was to look 7.62mm/.308W rifles are seen in profusion in club shoots across at preparing the cartridge for the land, this quartet sharing a target at Strensall split between long-range F/TR, but decid.308W and .223R users ed to expand the focus given this background. So, I’ll look at the .308’s background this month before getting onto components and loads in future issues. While many users have had an economy mindset for years – budget secondhand TR rifles and the cheapest military surplus 7.62 available – a growing number want to get the best performance they can, enhance their personal skills,
Military surplus supplies have dried up, and even newly manufactured 7.62mm cartridges are unobtainable. Note nickel washed steel bullet jackets on these German DAG cartridges dating from 1993
a sound and flexible workhorse thanks to large dollops of taxpayer funded R&D. Such cartridges are invariably popular too amongst the world’s numerically largest group of recreational shooters, US citizens, promoting a huge choice of factory ammunition and handloading components. Our subject dates from the late 1940s / early 1950s when the NATO alliance countries were looking for a common cartridge to replace the ragbag of
mostly 19th century designs then in service. The British, Belgians and Canadians made a strong play for a series of modest sized 7mm rounds developed in the UK, but the Americans would have none of it – .30-calibre and something approaching .30-06 M2 performance (152gn bullet at 2,805 fps) was de rigueur, so we got the 7.62X51mm, or 7.62 NATO, initially developed as the T65 series of experimental cartridges. Despite it being regularly stated that the 7.62mm, or to be precise its finalised T65E3 progenitor, is a shortened .30-06, that’s not how the US Army and Winchester designers did it. Its parentage was actually the .300 Savage, sensibly enough as Savage had designed its cartridge with the same objective 30 years earlier – a short cased round that would match .30-06 performance with 150gn bullets. However, the .300 Savage based T65 case couldn’t supply enough velocity to satisfy the US Army, and was progressively lengthened to hold more powder, ending up giving a 144-147gn bullet 2,800fps MV. One significant difference from earlier British and American military numbers was the adoption of a boat-tailed bullet to give
.308 v 7.62 case-heads, the latter using far heavier / thicker primers. Note the NATO-compliance symbol in the RG headstamp (a cross within a circle)
became popular amongst British deerstalkers, but it took the end of 0.303” Mk7 ammunition production at the Radway Green factory in the early 1960s for the NRA to start planning a replacement for Service Rifle, Target Rifle (TR) that started up during 1967/8 and used military specification 7.62mm. 7.62mm v .308W I’ve used ‘7.62’ and ‘308’ interchangeably, which to some extent the cartridges are, but they, and their rifles, are not identical. The former has a slightly lower specified peak chamber pressure, its chamber is a little bit roomier and longer with a greater acceptable headspace variation to ensure reliable operation with dirty or damaged ammo. There are differences in throat specifications, but the most significant variation is in bullet and barrel dimensions. The NATO bullet is 144-147gn (although the Americans preferred slightly heavier Three bullets compared. Left to right: 145gn models), and usually a marginally smaller standard RG 7.62mm from1980, note the diameter than found in commercial 0.308” crimping groove; 155gn 2004 RG 155gn ‘Bisley Match’; bullets – sometimes as low as 0.3072” while 155gn Sierra Palma MatchKing (older model), a far superior product improved long-range performance. Actually, the .308W version appeared first in 1952, Winchester having been involved in T65 development and recognising its commercial potential. The military had to wait for new weapons to arrive – Britain didn’t adopt the L1A1 ‘SLR’ rifle until 1957. Nevertheless, civilian shooters didn’t rush to the new cartridge even in the USA. American deerhunters were initially unconvinced this ‘little’ cartridge could provide enough performance, and the country’s target shooters were critical of its ‘over-short’ neck, erroneously believing the .308 was less accurate than the tried and trusted ‘Oh-Six’ for some years. It soon
Bullet bases compared – left: 155gn RG; right: 155gn Sierra. The RG FMJ has an open base and deep cavity – undesirable accuracy-wise as gasses overtaking the bullet at the muzzle can catch it and influence bullet behaviour randomly
The 7.62mm rifle our NRA turned its collective nose up at, a short-barrelled version of the famous FN FAL adopted in modified form by Britain as the Rifle, L1A1
or staked into the pocket to stop them backing out in generously headspaced machine-guns, and have thick cups to avoid slamfires. Oh yes, they have to cost next to nothing too. Although all NATO countries’ production is compatible to allow battlefield interchangeability, there is one major difference between US and European 7.62 that has had an influence on civilian practice – ‘theirs’ is Boxer-primed and easily reloadable, ‘ours’ Berdan, hence usually treated as use once and discard. Approaches The advent of 7.62mm self-loading rifles had different effects on NRA regulated shooting development on either side of the Atlantic. Our pre-7.62mm ‘Service Rifle’ was already a prone slowfire discipline covering 200-1,000yd shooting, while the US Above - American military sniper / Service Rifle competition bullets. equivalent involved three Left to right: a 174gn M1 FMJBT bullet similar to the 173gn LC match positions, rapid fire, and / sniper design; 168gn Sierra MK, the mainstay of SR rounds for the compulsory in-stage reloads, M14; 175gn long-range Sierra MK used in competition handloads and to a maximum range of the current US 7.62mm M118LR sniper cartridge 600yd, specialist long range 308s can run up to 0.3085”. That difference sees SR competitions aside. 7.62 cartridges usually provide mediocre accuracy Americans were already using a self-loading in .308W rifles, as they’re under the optimal size for service rifle – the WW2 era .30-06 M1 Garand – a .308W barrel’s land and groove diameters – also so adopting the 7.62mm M14 and its civilian M1A why British TR rifle builders specified ‘tight’ barrels sibling required few changes in attitudes or range until the introduction of the 155gn ‘Bisley Match’ practices. Our NRA looked at the L1A1, averted its version. Commercial .308W ammunition using gaze, and adopted the single-shot long-barrelled full-diameter bullets can generate over-high Target Rifle while sticking with the service rifle pressures if loaded right up to the CIP / SAAMI cartridge, even enforcing the use of low grade maximum and fired in a 7.62mm rifle, especially milspec ammo in major competitions. one of our early tight-bore TR examples built on the relatively weak Enfield No. 4 action. Long before 7.62mm arrived on the scene, American shooters had a match version of the .30There are other less obvious, but cumulatively 06 using Lake City Arsenal designed 173gn FMJBT important differences. As a military cartridge, bullets, but often pulled them and substituted the 7.62 has to be able to take a lot of abuse, so has 168gn Sierra MatchKing for important matches – thick-walled cases and a heavy case-mouth crimp allowed within their SR competition rules. This into a marked cannelure or crimp-groove. It has practice continued into the 7.62mm era, but soon to be waterproof, so asphalt sealant is generously all serious competitors handloaded their ammuniapplied between case and bullet, likewise lacquer tion, again with 168s, often using selected and faon the primer annulus. Primers are usually crimped voured lots of ‘arsenal brass’, such as Lake City
A typical modern 7.62mm TR rifle – David Archer’s Norman Clark built Barnard. David was impressed by the RUAG ammunition’s long-range performance in this year’s ‘Imperial’
match numbers from certain years. Eventually, the US Army caught up and commissioned Sierra to design a bullet with the 173gn model’s excellent ballistic properties allied to the 168gn SMK’s superb accuracy – result the current 175gn MatchKing used by handloaders, commercial ammunition producers, and loaded in the military 7.62mm M118LR sniper / target cartridge. So, we have the interesting situation that US shooters in their primary NRA controlled rifle discipline used military rifles, albeit much enhanced in the accuracy influencing bits, but put quality commercial match ammo or handloads through them, while we used increasingly specialised and expensive custom built single-shot precision rifles, but limited their performance by insisting on cheap ammunition best restricted to belt-fed machineguns!
with the base cavity topped up with a little lead and weighing 146gn. Variations between production lots were significant, and even those selected after range-testing by the NRA could produce unpredictable fliers in prestigious events like the ‘Imperial’. Rifles were tailored to the ammunition with tight-bores, not only to suit the bullet diameter but to maximise MV, the light projectile unable to stay supersonic at long range, and a key feature was the use of a slow 1-14” rifling twist to suit the short bullet and reduce the rate of spin to the lowest level that still stabilised it to reduce dispersion.
155gn Eventually, somebody in the MoD discovered ‘Palma Rifle’, a long-range civilian discipline restricted to .308 Win and employing the ballistically efficient Sierra 155gn HPBT ‘Palma MatchKing’ bullet that far outperformed the NATO projectile. The then government owned Radway Green facility was commissioned to design an FMJBT version for use in a new sniper round to let the L96A1 (Accuracy International Model PM) rifle achieve its potential, defined as a high probability rst hot it t 00 etres. he esulting G fi s h a 8 m T r R ‘Bisley Match’ round became the mainstay of UK TR shooting for several years, and while a huge So what did we use? ‘Selected’ batches of run improvement over its 146gn ‘Green Spot’ of the mill military 7.62 followed by the ‘superior’ predecessor, was still inferior accuracy-wise, and (for that read ‘less bad’) RG ‘Green Spot’ sniper to a certain extent ballistically to commercial or round that used the light military FMJBT bullet handloaded cartridges using Sierra or other HPBT Palma match Many shooters handload precision .308W ammunition for their 7.62mm bullets. This era tactical rifles. Simon Rodgers used this Accuracy International Model AE ended abruptly last successfully in early F-Class year when RG’s post privatisation owner BAe withdrew from the civilian market, and the MoD terminated the l o n g s t a n d i n g practice of paying for military use of the Bisley ranges through ammunition supplies. After a year-long testing and tendering process, the NRA awarded a contract
NATO involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has seen a resurgence in 7.62mm use including the low level sniper role by American forces, originally carried out with resurrected M21 sniper rifles or scoped M14s as seen here, more recently the M110 ‘SASS’ rifle. (Courtesy of US Army image archives.)
or unrestricted. F/TR is restricted to .223R and .308W but places no restrictions on bullet weights in the UK or USA (unlike British Commonwealth countries where the ‘less than 156gn’ rule applies), so there is an ongoing debate about the ideal bullet for 1,000yd F/TR matches – an important subject as having the optimal combination makes a difference to the cartridge’s performance at this range, especially on the small F-Class target in difficult conditions. (Keeping shots in the four-ring or higher needs 18” or less dispersion at this range, in practice 13” for a rifle that groups into a half-MOA.)
to Swiss company RUAG Ammotec for this year’s supply finally providing competitors in the UK’s most prestigious TR event with ammunition of a quality long taken for granted in Europe and the USA. These cartridges are loaded with the original 155gn Sierra Palma MK (#2155) a mere quartercentury after its introduction. The downside is of course much increased cost, as you get what you pay for. Recent Developments The difference between .308 and 7.62mm bullet diameters has reduced, so recently built TR, and commercially produced tactical and sniper rifles have barrel specs that are only a little on the ‘tight’ side or use standard .308 dimensions. Measuring a sample 155gn bullet pulled from a ‘Bisley Match’ round produced a diameter precisely on 0.308” compared to 0.3077” for older 145gn bullets, and 0.3082-0.3083” for Lapua and Sierra match examples. Note too that while still heavily ‘gunged’ with sealant, it lacks a crimp-groove, and has a much longer bearing surface than the older type. Modern tactical rifles such as the Sako TRG and Accuracy International police and civilian models shoot very well with good .308W ammunition despite having ‘military’ chambers – one former Accuracy AE owner who did very well it did tell me however that it was important to fireform cases for the long chamber then ensure the resizing operation retained close headspace. American CLR (conventional prone long-range) shooters looked at our TR, liked what they saw and adopted it as ‘Fullbore Rifle’. In the USA, Fullbore and Palma are invariably shot using handloads and are run under two sets of ammunition rules at the organiser’s discretion – ‘International’ which sees bullet weight restricted to ‘less than 156gn’,
Resurgent One cannot look at the cartridge without noting its rebirth as a military tool. With NATO’s blanket adoption of the improved 5.56mm during the 1980s, there were strong pressures from military bureaucrats to withdraw 7.62mm weapons, sniper rifles aside, in the cause of standardisation and ‘logistics’. However, the guys who actually put their lives on the line had a less than flattering view of the 5.56’s longer-range capabilities, especially the British ‘squaddie’ saddled with the unreliable L86A1 ‘LSW’ light machinegun version of the SA80 rifle. While 5.56 performed well – in obtaining hits and its terminal effectiveness – in short-range jungle wars, serious questions about its performance arose in the Balkans, even more so Iraq and Afghanistan where fighting ranges are much increased. The result has been retention, in fact much increased use, of 7.62mm ‘general-purpose’ MGs such as the US M60 and UK L7A1 ‘Gimpy’ alongside the newer 5.56mm FN ‘Minimi’ gun. Moreover, the Americans became concerned about the inability of the average GI or Marine to neutralise opponents with the 5.56mm M16 at any range above 300 metres resulting in the adoption of a new rifle – the Knights Armaments SR25 based M110 7.62mm semi-auto sniper rifle firing M118LR 175g bullet cartridges – issued to considerable numbers of selected and specially trained rifle-squad ‘marksmen’ who can hit targets at 500-600m as a supplement to the small numbers of highly specialised two-man scout / sniper teams. So the 7.62’s role and likely future have seen a huge turnaround in western armies, the outlook moving from poor to assured. Next month – brass and bullets.
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By Gwyn Roberts
I don’t know anyone who has never had a light strike, misfeed, stovepipe or Ruger/Marlin moment at some time or other whilst shooting in a competition, yet I still regularly see of shooters of all standards stepping up to the line carrying no spare ammunition with them whatsoever! Imagine being in this position and getting a stovepipe with your 10/22 rounds of a 1500 competition at Bisley, with your spare ammunition 25m behind you. It wouldn’t be the best situation to find your self in that’s for sure! Simply carrying a spare magazine or a couple of extra centrefire rounds in your belt will at least give you a chance to clear a malfunction and quickly reload again rather than just throw away some of your hard earned points just for being lazy. I always carry at least 2 spare mags and a minimum of six extra .44 rounds at every distance I shoot at, as you never know what may happen on the day. I can remember one occasion a few years ago when I was having a lot of jamming problems with my old 10/22 when I needed to use 7 magazines in one stage, which only required 18 rounds to be fired in total. Luckily I always count my rounds as I fire them from each position, and although it proved to be very entertaining for the R.O behind me, at least I eventually managed to get all of the shots off within the time limit! With this in mind I always carry out the intial load with a spare magazine or loose rounds from either my shooting box or pocket, so that my ammo belt is always full to capacity.
Having plenty of ammunition with you is one thing, but carrying magazines/ammunition Carry it on your chest…….. in your pockets or bumbags etc is not ideal as you will waste valuable time turning them the right way around if you don’t grab them correctly first time. They can also be a pain or a light strike with your Marlin during the final 6 (literally) when adopting or shooting from a kneeling or sitting position! or on a belt? Do what works best for you! Both ideas are home Carrying loose centrefire rounds made and enable you to change calibres quickly if needed also! in this manner can also cause you to load either too few or too many rounds if you loose count half way through the loading sequence, which will cost you dearly on your scorecard! It is well worth spending a little time and effort when deciding on the type of holders you will use, and especially where to locate them to ensure that the magazines/rounds can be accessed easily from every position that you will have to shoot from, and
clothing or other “overhanging” parts of the body when changing positions and it will also make it much quicker and easier to access your ammunition. If you find that your current holders hold your ammunition too close to your body a simple fix is to zip tie or tape some 2” diameter Place your ammo to use in different positions! insulating foam to the inside of your belt to pack it out a bit. not just the standing position! Reloading in the sitting Some more resourceful shooters have taken this position for example is very awkward if your ammunition is located on the front of your belt as idea one step further and have actually fixed the you won’t be able to see it easily, or even reach it in round foam to the outside of their belts, drilled the correct sized holes where needed, and then use some cases! the whole thing as one large holder. They’re very Most shooters carry their spare ammunition simple, cheap, and they certainly work well too! attached to a waist belt, although there are a few who prefer to carry their centrefire ammunition either in a bandolier across their chest, or use an elasticated wrist or armband type holder. Wherever you decide to place your ammunition it is important that the holders are either held or angled slightly away from your body. This should ensure that no rounds/ magazines are knocked out onto the floor by bulky Making your own holders is pretty easy to do (and a lot cheaper also) and they can be made out of anything such as wood, plastic, rubber, leather or elasticated material. I’ve made my own holders out of aluminium and nylon which allow me to quickly swap between rimfire and centrefire ammunition and they hold the rounds at least 3 inches away from my body which
This home made holder and the one on the following page, keep the ammunition away from the body and also allow the shooter to quickly change between calibres when required! Target Shooter 75
makes it easy to reload whatever top I’m wearing at the time. The centrefire rounds contact a wiper blade inside the nylon block which holds them in place with just enough tension so that the rounds remain retained when moving around but are easily released when required. They also allow about half the length of a .44 round to protrude out so that I can always get a good grip on each one, whilst the rimfire ones simply use a spring clip to retain them so that they too are very quick and easy to get hold of. If you are going to use a leather or elasticated type holder, you should always make sure that you don’t push your centrefire ammo in too deep as this will make it much harder and slower to retrieve them. It’s also a good idea if possible to arrange them into groups of 6 rounds (or 5’s when needed) and simply leaving an empty loop inbetween each group of rounds, or pushing the 7th round all the way down when using a high capacity holder will make it much easier to see or feel when you have loaded the correct number of rounds needed. Reloading an Underlever type rifle is pretty straight forwards but there are a few shooters out there who struggle with it because of the way in which they are trying to hold their rifles. Holding it out in front of you and trying to rest the butt against your stomach, hip or thigh will cause two major problems! The first is instability as the rifle will swing like a pendulem as it’s creating a pivot point, and the second is that the hand will move far more than is necessary each time it has to transfer a round between the ammunition holder and the loading gate. Both of these problems will not allow you to achieve a smooth and fast
reload so stability and economy of motion is what you should be aiming for, and this can only be achieved by keeping the rifle close to your body. The easiest way for a right handed shooter to reload an underlever rifle is to slide your left hand backwards along the fore end as you start to bring the rifle down from the aiming position, until it’s close to the action. Then rotate the rifle slightly so that you can clearly see the loading gate and pull the rifle inwards until your left arm and the rear of the stock lock up against your lower body. Controlling he ifle ith he eft and nd t r w t l h a working/reloading the action with your strong hand will always provide you with a very safe and stable platform to reload from, and will (providing you have placed your ammunition olders n ood ocation) rovide ou ith h i ag l p y w the shortest round to loading gate transfer possible. To reload quickly and smoothly you must limit every action to its minimum and standing back and thinking things through sometimes can pay dividends. Take for example part of match 4 in
A good technique, used by a good shooter
This guy has no problems reloading his Marlin left handed!
way I save some time is to rack out the empty case on the way down and leave the action open. Once the rifle is locked up against my body, I pick up 2 rounds out of my holder and drop the lower one directly into the open action then quickly close the lever with my third and fourth digit. This action hen ligns y and ith he t a m h w t loading gate and I simply proceed to load the second round directly into the loading gate. I use both methods depending on the type of match that I am shooting and find there is little difference time wise, so just do which ever method you find to be the easiest. A lot of left handed shooters have big problems loading an underlever quickly because they try to hold the rifle in their left hand, and use their right (weak) hand to load the rounds with! This generally causes the rifle to swing away from the shooter as they try to push the rounds into the loading gate making it a slow process, and above all, a very frustrating one! The fastest and easiest way for a left handed shooter to reload an underlever is to rotate the rifle as it is being brought down out of the shoulder until it is completely upside down. The right hand should then slide back to grip underneath the scope or action (or both if possible) and then pull inwards to anchor the rifle against the body. The left hand can then be used to load the rounds giving the shooter much more control and a
a 1500 match which requires 12 shots to be fired within 35 seconds (6, reload, 6). Many novice shooters will rack out the 6th empty case, then close the action again as they bring the rifle down. They then feed 6 new rounds into the loading gate causing them to have to rack the lever again to chamber the first round. One way to save your self a few valuable seconds is to simply leave the action closed when bringing the rifle off aim and leave the empty case in the chamber. Then load the next 6 rounds into the loading gate and rack the first new round into the chamber either on the way back up to, or once the rifle is mounted back into the shoulder again. Another
Magazine release speed levers do just that….. Target Shooter 77
......and this blade type will allow you to lock open the bolt quickly also!
much smoother round transfer into the loading gate! When reloading with a 10/22 in the majority of the Gallery Rifle disciplines, right handed shooters will also generally pull the rifle into the side of the body and support it in the same way as they would with an underlever so that the rifle is “controlled” with the left hand and the action is “worked” (drop the magazine & lock open the action if needed) with the right! Adding a speed release lever of some description to your trigger unit will help produce a more efficient reload and there are two types of lever readily available. The first type sweeps backwards underneath the whole length of the trigger unit and the magazine is released by simply extending one digit forward. This type however does not allow you to lock open the bolt as well meaning that you will waste a bit of time hunting around trying to find the bolt release lever. The straight blade type ones drop the magazine when pushed forward and allows you to lock back the bolt by pulling both it and the lever rearwards in one sweeping action making it a very fast and easy motion saving you some valuable seconds in time. It does mean that you have to take your hand off the grip though to drop the magazine out so some people have modified them so that the lever extends under the trigger guard giving them the advantages of both designs, and are well worth fitting to your rifle! Left handers however may find that when shooting a 10/22 from the strong shoulder, as the bolt handle is on the right hand side of the action it is much easier to keep the rifle held in the left hand whilst sandwiching the butt against the left hip. This way, working” he ction nd eloading ith he ight and an “ t a a r w t r h c produce a very slick reload! I always make sure that my magazines are placed in my holders in such a way that the bullet is always at the end of the magazine nearest to where my index finger will be when I take them out of the holder. I use the recess on the bottom front edge of my Ruger mags as a reference point for my index finger so that I achieve a consistent grip on them every time, and canting the rifle slightly ensures that only a small rotation of the wrist is needed to transfer the magazine from the holder to the mag well. Carrying an adequate supply of ammunition at all times during a competition and holding it in the correct place for each type of reload that is needed will help you perform to your potential and improve your all round marksmanship skills. Make sure that you take the time to practice your reloading drills with empty magazines or dummy (no powder/ primer) centrefire rounds in every shooting position and this will help you to be both smoother and more proficient on the range. This in turn will give you more time to actually fire each shot as well as helping ou o eep alm nd ocussed f ou ver ave y t k c a f iy e h a malfunction or are under tight time restraints during a stage. Next month I’ll cover some of the pre match preperations you should be thinking about, along with some ips n ow o hoot ome f he Shorts” atches! t o h t s s ot “ m
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Target Shooter 79
Mirfield Rifle Club and Paul Lane Rifle and Pistol Club
Above - Pennine cup shot at Diggle 2009
The Mirfield Rifle Club was formed in the early 1950’s. The original ‘Gun License Exemption Certificate’ was issued on 3rd February 1955 and home Office approval was granted on 24th March 1960. Unfortunately during the 1960’s MOD defense cuts closed Mirfield Drill Hall. The club eventually found range time on the Air Training cadet range in a cellar underneath the ATC building in the Fitzwilliam Street Huddersfield. This was not the best of ranges. During heavy rainfall, wellington boots were required to walk down the range to change targets. Once again fate intervened and in the late 1960’s the Fitzwilliam Range was lost in a ring road development. Attempts were made to obtain range time at other local ranges without success, so Mirfield became a club without a range. At one of many EGM’s a decision was made to try and find a plot of land on which a new range could be built. This took place in 1969 and building commenced. Most of this was DIY and the club progressed in the 1970’s and 1980’s to what we have today. Recently a few members wanted to try the new sport of .22 benchrest and with the help of Mirfield Rifle Ranges and the Paul lane R.P.C committee, fourmembers joined the UKBR22 and started shooting postal leagues. There are about 20 members of the club now shooting with the UKBR22, including four ladies and 5 juniors. The club has been successful and won many trophies in rimfire benchest. Members shoot on the 1st and 3rd Saturday mornings of each month and if there are other clubs or individual shooters that would like to give rimfire benchest a try; they are welcome to come along.
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Competitions Our October competitions were the final rounds of our 100 and 1000 yard Championships and although they were held on the same weekend, the two days couldn’t have been more different. award. Ian Dixon had to be content with third place but it was enough to secure the 2009 Championship, for the second year in succession. In Factory Sporter it was another whitewash by Target Shooter scribe Laurie Holland who, with four wins to his credit already, couldn’t be beaten. How Laurie coped with the 204 Savage and its tiny 40 grain bullet in that wind beggars belief, as does his small-group of 0.246 inches!
For our 100 yard shoot on the Saturday, the weather was horrendous – wet with strong switchy winds which were impossible to read. The shoot is usually won with an agg. around 0.25 inches but today, half inch groups were common and the winning agg. was a ‘four’. This has never happened Results: before and all credit to the winner Bruce Lenton, who has improved steadily all year. Heavy Varmint 1st Bruce Lenton We were joined by a group of shooters from the 0.4078 inches Bisley-based British Benchrest Club, who in the 2nd Russ Gall main acquitted themselves very well considering the 0.409 conditions, with Graham Rolle taking the small group 3rd Ian Dixon
6PPC Stolle 6PPC RGR Stolle 6PPC Walker BAT
Good technique and CocaCola helped Ian Kellett and his 6.5-284 Savage to win the 1000 yard UKBRA 2009 Factory Sporter Championship. 82 Target Shooter
0.4188 Small group Graham Rolle 0.235 inches
inches 11.358 13.874 14.558 6 . 9 0 3
Factory Sporter 1st Ian Kellett 6.5-284 Savage Factory Sporter inches 1st Laurie Holland 204 Savage LRPV 0.5376 2nd Alan Seagrave 308 Tikka inches 3rd Phil Gibbon 6.5-284 Savage 2nd Don Burrows 223 savage 0.6224 Small group Ian Kellett Small group Laurie Holland 0.246 inches inches 1000 yard BR On Sunday, it was a total contrast - a lovely autumn day – warm with light winds. It didn’t take long for the small groups to appear with Mal Roberts putting in a ‘four’ in the first Match. Steve Dunn followed that with a ‘five’ and his agg. of 8.007 inches for the four Matches was enough to win the comp. outright and clinch the 2009 UKBRA Championship. In Factory Sporter, the battle of the 6.5-284 Savages continued with Ian Kellett and Phil Gibbon already having two wins apiece. This time Ian came out on top to take his third win of the season and with it the Championship. Ian’s six-inch group was also good enough for the Factory small-group award. Results: Light Gun 1st Steve Dunn 7mm Dunn BAT inches 2nd Mal Roberts 6.5-284 BAT 3rd Martin Miles 6mm RGR Stolle Small group Mal Roberts 8.007 8.697 9.482 4.249 2009 Season Round-up
It’s been a great season once again with over 80 shooters taking part in our competitions. Although we haven’t seen any new records, we have seen some great shooting and I must highlight Laurie Holland’s performance in the Factory Sporter Class with the little 204 Savage. Similarly, in the Factory class at 1000 yards, Ian Kellett has improved and refined his technique and he well deserves his Championship win. The four guys shooting the 6.5-284 Savages were a head and shoulders above anyone else, such is the superiority of these rifles, so all credit to Toni Young, taking third place in the Championship with her ‘out of the box’ 308 Remington. Steve Dunn has won the 1000 yard Light Gun Championship more times than anyone but there are some good shooters out there and this is illustrated by the fact that each of our six rounds has had a different winner. Mal Roberts served his apprenticeship with a dog of a 308 but it taught him how to get the best out of a 1000 yard benchgun and once he got a decent rifle the results started to appear. He has won a round and he well deserves his second place in the Championship.
Ian Dixon is the UKBRA HV Champion for the second consecutive year Target Shooter 83
Ian Dixon has continued to dominate the 100 yard HV class and he wins the Championship for a second successive year but a few other shooters, like Bruce Lenton, are steadily improving and hopefully we can find some competition for Ian next year. Laurie Holland has just acquired a 6PPC rifle so he will be moving up to HV Class next year.
600 yard Factory Sporter Championship
1st Phil Gibbon 2nd Darrel Evans Our 600 yard Championship, which runs over the 3rd Toni Young winter, has probably had the best attendances of any of our shoots. Maybe one of the reasons is Small group of the year that the need for specialist equipment is less of a requirement. The classes are identical to 1000 yard Darrel Evans 2.684 inches BR but smaller cartridges like the 6BR are very effective. Phil Gibbon won the Factory Class with 1000 yard Light Gun Championship his 6.5-284 Savage and I managed to win the Light Gun Class with my little 22 Dasher. Toni Young again 1st Steve Dunn took third place in Factory Sporter with that 308 Remington, proving that her 1000 yard third place 2nd Mal Roberts was no fluke. 3rd Vince Bottomley Here are the final results of the 2009 UKBRA Championships but you can see a full listing at www. Small group of the year ukbra.co.uk Phil Sammons 3.525 inches 100 yard Heavy Varmint Championship 1st 2nd 3rd Ian Dixon Bruce Lenton Vince Bottomley 1000 yard Factory Sporter Championship 1st 2nd 3rd Ian Kellett Phil Gibbon Toni Young
Small group of the year Russ Gall 0.101 inches
Small group of the year Bruce Lenton 6.794 inches
100 yard Factory Sporter Championship 1st 2nd 3rd Laurie Holland Darrel Evans Andy Wooley
Congratulations, not just to the winners but to everyone who took part and helped out to make our shoots a great success. We look forward to seeing you all next year. Yes, we can put our guns away for now but remember, our 600 yard winter series starts on Sunday November 15th. All are welcome to attend. E-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Small group of the year Darrel Evans 0.161 inches
600 yard Light Gun Championship 1st 2nd 3rd Vince Bottomley Simon Rogers Ross Burrough
Small group of the year
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36 25 16
Gold Silver 1
everyone can feel that they are attaining their goals. Whats great about the postal is that you can shoot at your own club with other BR shooters alongside you. However a number of people are now asking for regional ‘Head to Head’ competitions and this does make perfect sense and I hope to see this develop next year - it will be good to shoot alongside different faces each month. I am at the stage where I have had a few weeks off from shooting, with a few weeks left to go of my rest period. It gives me time to reflect and think about what I an going to do for the following year, plan training, build up and repair resouces I will need for the following year, etc. An interesting question I would like to pose to you. How do you achieve ‘downtime’ and prepare youself for a new season. Emails to; ukbr22web@yahoo. co.uk
Paul Lane RPC
Paul Barker Keighley 1 2 Terry Grey Oundle 3 Alan Evans N Walsham 12 Rosie Evans (J) N Walsham Rimfire: - 25m/yd Sporter (7.5lb) 1 John Richardson Paul Lane RPC 2 Morris Turkington Paul Lane RPC 3 Tom Thomson Galloway Rimfire: - 25m/yd International Sporter (8.5lb) Mike Welsh East Bristol 1 2 Jim Alcock TDSA 3 Mark Golloghly Buxted Rimfire: - 25m/yd Light Varmint (10.5lb)
1 2 3 8
UK UK UK
1247 1244 1243 1229 1226 1220 1189 1239 1229 1220 1244 1238 1221
47 27 40 38 20 20 18 45 33 35 62 37 30
Gold Silver 1 Gold Silver 1 Junior Gold Gold Silver 0 Gold Silver 1
UK UK UK
UK UK UK UK UK UK
Jim Darrell Tim
Alcock McIlreavy Barrett
John Richardson Paul Lane RPC 1 2 John Armstrong St Giles Yarners 3 Gus de Vries FSBSA Rimfire: - 25m/yd Unlimited (13.5lb >)
1 2 3 7 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
TDSA Galloway Galloway Portishead
UK UK UK UK UK UK SA
1250 1249 1248 1245 1233 1225 1198
89 90 72 63 40 42 35
Gold Silver 1 Junior Gold Gold Silver 1
Patsy Tyrrell Wellwood McCall Jim Alcock
Paul Lane RPC
Ireland UK UK
1250 1250 1250 1249 1249 1249 1248 1243 1243 1243 1238 1235
109 83 61 81 78 54 67
Gold Silver 1 Junior Gold Gold Silver
British Airways N Walsham Paul Lane RPC
Paul Lane RPC
UK UK UK
Paul Lane RPC
The UK Nationals are now over and the Summer International Postal Championship has drawn to a close. The top scores for rimfire and air rifle are on the following two pages. This year has been hard fought, as you can see by the scores. Lots of names that you see each time, but each class has been divided into divisions so
World Postal The ‘World’ Postal is another 1 event shot with three cards at a national or similiar event. The UK 57 Gold shot their cards at the nationals. 57 Silver 54 1 This event will be coming to a close in November so we hope to have 58 Gold a full report next month. This 44 Silver championship is shot with even more countries internationally. The Winter Season. The winter season starts in October and by now some of you will have shot your first card. Just a reminder to get these in within the first few weeks of November. A further reminder that ‘subs’ will be due
Air Rifle: - 25m/yd Sporter (12x 12ftlb) 1 2 3 Paul
Gould Kingaby Simpson
UK UK UK
1 Scott Grayson Buxted 2 Graham Readhead Paul Lane 3 Stuart Gould Buxted Air Rifle: - 25m/yd International Sporter (6.5x 6ftlb) Retori SSC 1 Enrico 2 Elio Liuzzo SSC 3 Marco Buono SSC Air Rifle: - 25m/yd Hunter (10.5lb 12 1 2 3 1 2 3 Ron Gary Graham
1238 1237 1229 1225 1214 1212 1191 1174 1165
40 36 26 39 29 36 16 19 16
Gold Silver 1 Gold Silver 0 Gold Silver 1
Italy Italy Italy
Bill Collaros - has had a good 2009 Season in January so get saving now. More International News. Some of you will know Bill Collaros from his role of President of the WRABF. I have just received a bit of news that he has has just won the New South Wales Rimfire BR championship with a score of 599 ex 600. The other person that won the prone championship was Warren Potent with a score of 104.4. Well done to Bill, who has also won the New South Wales Winter League with a score of 1000 ex 1000.
1241 1238 1238 1220 1219 1218 1196 1196 1194 1192 1186 1176
49 51 38 36 33 30 24 22 23 26 19 22
Gold Silver 1 Gold Silver 1 Gold Silver 0 Gold Silver 1
Liuzzo SSC 1 Elio 2 Peter Cotton Cheshunt RPC 3 Fred White Portishead Air Rifle: - 25m/yd Unlimited A (13.5lb 6ftlb) 1 Benedetta Contini (L) SSC 2 Filippo Fantoni SSC 3 Maurizio Mazzantini SSC Air Rifle: - 25m/yd Unlimited B (13.5lb 12ftlb)
1 2 3 1 2 3
Buxted Buxted Buxted
UK UK UK Italy UK
UK Italy Italy Italy
Gary Andy Gary Enrico Alan
Buxted Buxted SSC
UK UK Italy
1247 1241 1240 1233 1222 1216
55 53 42 37 32 28
Gold Silver 1 Gold Silver 1
To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and World events. Visit our website for news about national and international competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion shooter, everyone is welcome www.benchrest22.org
86 Target Shooter
The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association
Les Holgate keeps us up to date with F Class compete and win the 2009 World matters and the activities of the GB F Class Championships. So, mission accomplished but Association that’s not the end of the GB F Class League, more the beginning. We now have the support, With the ‘Europeans’ taking place at the same time infrastructure and ranges to stage great as the November issue of Target Shooter goes competitions and build even stronger teams to on-line, it means that my planned event report will take on the best that the rest of the world can have to be held over until the next issue. It seems offer. With that in mind, here’s what we have lined crazy to say it but that will be the Christmas issue! up for you in 2010: I had planned to do a ‘What’s happening next year’ write-up for the December issue but it looks like I’ll have to swap things around so, here’s what the GB F Class League have in store for all you ‘effers’ next year. March (Date to be confirmed) – Training weekend at Bisley. Prior to the Worlds, several GB squad training weekends were held but other shooters have expressed an interest so it seems only fair to offer it to all. It will actually more of an introduction to F Class and will be a The F Class World Championships and the useful refresher or ideal for someone who has
You owe yourself a visit to Blair Athol
Europeans are now history and you might think you can take it easy and return to a normal life. Don’t even think about it! The GB League was originally founded to develop F Class shooting in the UK and to build a team to
yet to try F Class. The full agenda is yet to be finalised but will include: wind reading, F Class rules and muzzle energy limits, plotting, reloading, basic equipment and obviously shooting! Hopefully, Diggle will also run a similar
event for northern-based shooters but this will be understand where it all went wrong on the day, midweek. Look out for actual dates in this column there will be plenty of experts in the bar to help or on the GB F Class website www.f-class.org.uk you! April 10/11th - Round 1 of the GB League will be at Diggle and following a request for some shorter range shoots, the distances covered will be no more than 600 yards. If you are worried about the weather at Diggle this early in the year, don’t be - at short range, if we have to, we can shoot from undercover! May (DATE TO BE CONFIRMED) - Round 2 Blair Athol – A welcome return to Scotland for the F Class road-show. This is definitely one of the most picturesque and challenging ranges in the UK. I like to think of it as Diggle on steroids! If you are a keen long-range shooter you owe it to yourself to visit Blair at least once. This will also be the first long-range shoot of the year and we get to shoot on the excellent electronic targets again. Always a great weekend of shooting and socialising north of the border. June 12/13th Round 3 Diggle – The first long-range shoot of the year at Diggle, book early as places are strictly on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Diggle, as with Blair Athol, has limited firing points - you have been warned. September 11/12th Round 6 Diggle – Last trip of the year to the Pennines and don’t forget as it is Diggle, the weather could be doing anything. Make sure you take waterproofs and sun tan cream just in case! For the last two September shoots, the weather has been gorgeous! October 22-24th Round 7 Bisley – The Europeans. This is the last League shoot of the year and also the biggest with over 100 shooters, so not to be missed. The individual competition is Friday and Saturday, followed by the four-man team shoot on the Sunday. If you can make a team before you come then great, if not put a team together over the weekend. (Best four from seven shoots to count for League placing) November (TO BE CONFIRMED) Bisley Fun Shoot – Basically a wind-down to the year with some fun competitions and other stuff to be decided closer to the time.
So now, when you are thinking about what July 3/4th Round 4 Bisley – This competition to put on your Xmas list to Santa, why not could take place during the Match Rifle include a satnav - you might need one if you weekend and had previously involved shoots out are a follower of the GB F Class League! to 1200 yards, which was very interesting. It is astounding what that extra 200 yards does to If all that isn’t enough F Class shooting for you even the best of ammunition! and you fancy a trip abroad with your gear, keep your eye on the GB F Class website. One trip to August (DATE TO BE CONFIRMED) Round Canada and America is already on the cards and 5 Blair Athol – Remember to see the organiser a few shooters are also planning to do the US so you can stop in the Athol Arms Hotel. This Nationals. really makes the trip as most competitors stay here and we generally take the hotel over for the weekend. When you need to try to
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
END OF TRAIL SHOOT Oct 10th 2009. In the early days of the American mid west, it was customary at the end of the hunting or trapping season for the trappers to gather where the riverboat was to land in order to meet the traders and deal for the best prices for their hides and pelts. Whilst waiting for the trading to begin, some sort of entertainment was needed to keep things sociable, especially once the liquor tents arrived. It was natural for these hunters and mountain men to want to show their prowess with tall tales and examples of their skills and marksmanship. Friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) competitions would be organised, usually with some items of kit or provisions as prizes. Axe and knife throwing, offhand shooting with muzzleloading flint and caplock rifles and pistols, as well as the occasional wrestling contest would keep the men occupied as they awaited the riverboat’s whistle. These meetings or ‘rendezvous’ as they became known, gradually attracted many famous hunters and trappers and were
Ken Jones at full recoil
eagerly awaited by competitor and opportunist alike. With the expansion west came the days of the cattle trails, as enormous herds of longhorns were driven eastward to feed the ever-growing population. At the end of these cattle drives, the men would continue the ‘rendezvous’ tradition and organise ‘end of trail’ events, along the same lines as their predecessors. The Quigley Shooting Association organises its own annual End of Trail event in the old prairie town of Diggle, nestled in the Pennine foothills. The event this year consisted of a deliberate pistol competition, an offhand muzzle-loading rifle competition and an offhand breech-loading black powder cartridge rifle comp. Event 1, for muzzle loading pistol, consisted of 24 shots at a standard pistol target from 25 yards. This was won by Ken Hall using a Euroarms .44 cal
Steve Hodge with his lever-action
At 600 yards we shoot at the buffalo silhouette and John Ellin managed to sort his sight setting to score 51 points, with Carl on 50 points and Ian Hull with 45 points.
When the scores were totalled, Carl Hanson had his first win of the season and Richard Healey had done enough to come in second place.
Dave Bownass, Dave Malpas & Dennis Richardson
Remington 1858, with a score of 179. Runner-up was Ken ones, sing is uger ld rmy n 44 al, ith 76. Name J u h R O A i . c w 1
Sharps .45/90 Event 2 was for muzzle loading rifle and consisted of 1. Carl Hanson 2. Richard Healey Sharps .45/70 five shots at a modified turkey target at 100yds. Ken Sharps .45/90 Jones ook his ne ith is yman lains ifle n 50 al. 3. Ian Hull t t o w h L P R i . c 4. Dave Coleman Sharps .45/70 5. John Ellin Sharps .45/70 Event 3, also for muzzle loading rifle, consisted of five shots at a ‘V’ notch target at 100yds. Ken Hall hit nearest the ‘V’ to win this with his .50 cal Ardessa Our final Quigley shoot of the season takes place on 21st November at Diggle Ranges. Please Hawken. come along for a shoot or just maybe a look, Event 4 consisted of 10 shots at a reduced buffalo if you are interested in this form of shooting. target at 100yds with breech loading black powder rifles, Dave Bownass won this with his trusty ’66 ‘Yellowboy’ in .45LC. Event 5, also for breech loading black powder rifles consisted of 10 shots at a reduced silhouette of a mounted Indian, Dave Malpas won this using his Hi-wall in .45/70. SEPTEMBER QUIGLEY COMPETITION. The year’s penultimate Quigley Competition was held 26th September. Although the weather was kind enough not to rain, the usual Diggle wind prevailed. The scores generally reflected this and were about average for this competition. At 400 yards, we shoot at the Quigley ‘bucket’ and Carl Hanson took the lead with 59 points, with Dave Coleman close behind with 58 points Quigley winners Carl Hanson and Richard Healey and Richard Healey in third place with 55 points.
Hunter Field Target News
Again for November Mr Peter Sparkes takes up the scribing, with a few comments form me. He gives us the low down on the last shoot of the UKAHFT series where one of three shooters could win the 2009 title. sounding as we shot but we all knew what we had to do. I missed 2 back to back shots early on, with the wind catching me out, both Dave and Ross started on fire, whispers of how each shooter were doing was going around and as always never take any notice as there were different reports every five minutes. As I stated above the wind would play a major role as shooters all over the place were shaking their head as at times it was difficult to read, string blowing one way the leaves another. A good old Yorkshire tester if ever there was one. As it was coming to the end of the course, I had held it together to finished on 58, only missing those 2 at the start, Dave Ramshead came in with a 56, Ross had 3 lanes to go and still only 1 down, this meant if he got all 3 he would be crowned champion, he got his next one, but his last but one target was a nasty 40 plus yarder high on a bank and the wind just took it and Ross finished on a 58, so this meant I took my 4th title 2002,2006,2007 & now the 2009. On a personal note well done to Pete for proving there is life in the old dog yet but I still want him to explain to me why he wants to change rifles again after winning the series with the Walther? And it’s great to see Jane Sparkes back to her wining ways, I suppose it’s because I was not there to hinder, I mean help her with her standing shots. Full results for the end of the series will be on the UKAHFT web site. Also well done to the Emley lads for putting on the course and for stepping in to hold the Gathering in three weeks time. Scores for the final round were:- 6 shooters finished on 58 and after a shoot off, with Nick Thomas just missing out 1st Kieran Turner 58 2nd Vince Blackman 58 3rd Ross Hudson 58 4th Richard Woods 58 5th Pete Sparkes 58 The days other results Ladies Class 1st Jane Sparkes 54 Juniors 14-16
Well the final round of the championship was finally here, with 3 possible winners, I had been at the top of the table since round 2, Ross Hudson & Dave Ramshead hot on my heels. Both Ross & Dave needed
a top score and 100% on the day to overtake me, but if I got 100% their score would be irrelevant. The pressure was on Dave on Ross as Pete had been there before. Emley Moor has a new ground and this was the first time most of the UKAHFT shooters have been there. With its tall trees and wide gullies and hills it is a real testing ground. The weather looked like is was going to be interesting with the forecast predicting 20mph winds with 35mph gusts and for once they seemed to have got it right!! All 3 of us were spaced out around the course so there would be no added pressure, I started on lane 19, Dave on 27 and Ross on peg 6. It wouldn’t stop the jungle drums
1st Kyle Hampton 55 Juniors 9-13 1st Larissa Sykes 54 Recoiling Class 1st Steve Oultram 49 .22” Class 1st Johnny Smith 51
Gallery Rifle News
This is the time of year when meeting organisers are getting to work on next year’s competitions. If your club is thinking about putting on an open meeting and would like some advice and assistance the GR&P section of the NRA will do what they can to help. Just drop an email to email@example.com. If more clubs put on open meetings we will be able to create informal regional competition circuits which will benefit everyone. The clubs may make a little money and competitors will find it easier (and cheaper) to travel locally. New competitors will gain valuable match experience which will encourage them to travel further to more venues. Club members will learn what it takes to organise and run a meeting and improve their skills as Range Officers. A well run meeting always has an effect on the competitors and they take back a positive message to their clubs. They also take back what they have learnt about how to improve their shooting and best practice in safety standards.
We are now near the need of the competition season so now is the time to change your ammunition, sights etc – not just before a competition, as so many of us do to our cost! Plenty of practice time and a couple of Christmas shoots in December which are now part of the regular calendar. Also a few dates for 2010 so you can start planning your year. Entry forms will be starting to come out in January. COMPETITION CALENDAR November 14-15 International 1500 and Short Events BDMP Range, Leitmar Germany GRSB, GRCF & 30M1 carbine
December 5 Gallery Rifle Christmas Shoot and Social National Shooting Centre, Some of you may have been following what has Bisley become a fairly hot topic and that is what is the definition of Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF). It seemed December 30 Christmas Shoot fairly straightforward ten years ago but we have moved Shield Shooting Centre, Dorset on and it is time to revisit it. The new definition, which is in the draft stage at the moment, will address the new NATIONAL SHOOTING CENTRE DATES FOR 2010 developments in rifle design and also the continuing interest in classic and historic rifles. Three gun types March 27-28 Spring Action Weekend are proposed as follows. May 28-30 The Phoenix Meeting July10-24 The Imperial Meeting GRCF (“Standard”) allows any lever action rifle which August 28-29 Gallery Rifle National has an integral tube magazine. There is no list of Championships calibres but, as is currently the case, downloaded full October 23-24 The Trafalgar Meeting bore rifle calibres are not allowed. October 30-30 Autumn Action Weekend GRCF Classic covers rifles that are eligible to compete in the Trafalgar and Imperial Historic Arms (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.galMeetings. leryrifle.com for entry forms.) GRCF Open is for anything else – rifles with different GR&P = Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF), Gallery Rifle actions, detachable magazines etc. Small Bore (GRSB), Long Barrelled Pistol (LBP) and Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) The idea is to keep it as simple as possible while allowing as many competitors as possible to take part Please go to the Gallery Rifle website www.galleryrifle. on an equal footing. com for more news and information.
The 2009 practical season draws to a close with the completion of the last PSG Championship round at Harlow on the 24th October. The British Open LBR match will be held at Leicester on 13th December. Entry form and match details are available on the UKPSA Member’s Forum. A full report from the Home Countries PSG Championships will be given in next month’s edition of Target Shooter but brief details from the challenging 9 stage match are as follows. Again we saw our Serbian friends doing well. ESC09 Modified Champion Igor Jankovic switched to Standard Auto, but the limited rounds in his shotgun didn’t hold him back to allow him to take first place. Top Senior was Barry Sullivan, with Vanessa Duffy top Lady. Winner of Modified was Branislav Raketic, he was also top Senior with Les Bailey winning the Super Senior title. Top Open shooter was Nick Hockley. Iain Guy was winner in the Standard Manual division, with George Granycome picking up the top Senior prize. This match completes the UKPSA PSG Championships. Best three scores from all four Championship rounds will determine this year’s Champions. The results are being crunched and will be announced on the Forum. Our Champions will be presented with their trophies at the AGM in January. The AGM will be held at Canada House, Bisley Camp on Sunday 17th January. Reports and elections are highlights that all members should not miss. New for next year will be the introduction of centre fire, under lever Gallery Rifle as new divisions, it is planned to run these along side LBR and LBF at L2 matches. More details will be released outlining the types of rifles permitted. Next year’s Shooting Calendar is being compiled and 2010 will see the introduction of some grand tournaments at both L1 and L2, combining LBR, PSG and PR. Early dates for your diaries are Feb 20th L1
Shotgun Festival at Bisley. Feb 21st L2 LBR match at Bedford. March 6th & 7th Shield Hardy PSG match. April 3rd & 4th L2 PSG and LBR Grand Tournament at Carlisle. May 21st & 22nd L3 PSG at Harlow. For any member wanting to become a range officer there is Range Officer’s Seminar provisionally booked for the weekend of 27th & 28th February at Carlisle. This will hopefully run along side a basic safety course. A new source of cardboard IPSC targets will soon be available, Multiplex will be supplying our new cheaper approved target ready for the 2010 season. Arrangements are also being finalised for the new Association polo shirt, jacket and baseball cap to be available for purchase. As always up to date information can be found on the member’s Forum. Any one wanting to learn more about practical shooting and the UKPSA can visit our website. www.ukpsa.co.uk.
Carl, I trust you may remember me from our previous conversations. I was and still persevere to introduce BR to my local club. While I am making progress. The uptake is regretably slow. This, as I am sure you have experianced, is due to specialised cost of the front rests etc. We currently improvise with a kind of affordable “Logrest” approach. To the point of this communication. I am intending to persue the conversion of my Steyr LG110 air rifle to BR. Having read your informative article (and realising it would be an imposition). I am wondering, since I am local to you. if it might be possible to afford me the opportunity to look over and take basic measurements your featured woodwork. I am quite well known in the local and Bisley communities and can give any security referances you may require. I make this request of you since I am not familiar with the regulations or the desirable features neccessary to perfect this project. I am a competant stockmaker of many years experiance and so have the craft, but this exercise requires some expert technical and class rule knowledge which I do not posess. Thanks in anticipation of your kind indulgence. Rod Hi Rod. Yes starting up in benchrest can be expensive and your approach is novel but worrking in the right direction - you are starting which is half the job. I made up some wooden rests when I first stated. You don’t have to buy expensive to start with as there are cheap Hoppes and Caldwell rests out there, starting from around forty pounds and bags around twenty pounds. This is not that pricey and is in the realms of getting club gear to start you all off - if your club will help all the better. I know how hard it is, as rimfire and air rifle benchrest did not even exist in this country when I first started. Its funny that I am about to help make a second stock for an LG series rifle. The template is there to measure, although I would say that mine was very much a prototype. You now have my email so by all means contact me for further data. If you have any other questions or need for help, please contact me, as if I don’t know I know lots that will. Cheers, Carl
Hi Target Shooter, I can’t find a torque setting for the 2 pallor screws for my 1422 anschutz 22 rifle. Does anyone know these figures as the manual doesn’t have the settings? I would appreciate it very much. This would be the 2 screws that attach the stock to the receiver. Thanks Cregg Hi Cregg. Torque is one of those things that I would work up to, depending on a lot of factors such as if you have bedding, what type of bedding, the condition of the stock, etc. Personally I would start at a low setting and see what groups you are getting. I tend to work with newton meters to be honest, shooting a 2013 action set at 5nm, with pillar bedding in a wood stock. If you prefer there are a number of online convertors to change newton meter data into inch pound data or visa versa; http://www.asknumbers.com/TorqueConversion. aspx I believe the 1422 is a 54 action and the absolute limits for this would be about 38 to 40 inch pounds, but be very careful on the upper limits. Again this depends on the quality of your setup. Personally I would start at about 24 inch pounds and work up to what suits the rifle accuracy the best. Each rifle will be different so saying that everyone will shoot the same at the same torque setting may the answer you want, but it depends on your own beliefs. For better answers than I can give on older models, a good place to visit would be rimfire central forums. I would start here first. There is an Anschutz forum that has its own section and a lot of answers can be found here for a variety of subjects or by posting you own question. Let us know how you get on. http://rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php Carl
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Our Thanks for the feedback you have provided to us. Christmas is nearly with us and the TV ads have started already.The last 6 months have been a bit of a rollacoaster, but it has been fun. Our readers, approximately 10,000 average per month continues and this is great. Hopefully the next 6 months will get even better. Our thanks.
Happy reading and we hope you enjoy the magazine. The team at Target Shooter. If you have any letters or news that you would like to air on a national basis then please contact us at the magazine. This could be for those budding writers out there that would like to submit a full article on specific firearms, competitions, shooting sports, etc. The aim of the magazine is to include you the shooters in the United Kingdom and further afield. So having a regular letters page or even a question and answer section would be really useful for a lot of people out there. Let us know what you think!? We would also like to have a gun of the month section - so send us your pic and spec and we’ll include it in ‘gun of the month’. Any news that your club or association thinks is worth viewing can also be sent in for selection. What we would like is to get a letters page started with your views, news and perceptions about all all the aspects of target shooting. So lets see those letters coming in and we will read your thoughts in these pages.
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Next time in.....
It was our intention to use the picture below for the front cover of the magazine this month. News of a new European Champion superseded this. Nigel will be continuing with his No4 T articles next month, so will be glossing the front cover.