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December 2009 Issue
Club Features Support Your local Gunshop Event reports Second part feature Rimfire, Air Rifle and article—.308 Centerfire Benchrest Winchester Target Shooter 1 Imperial Meeting ammunition • Quigley Report • New Products • and lots more…..
NOW ALMOST 3 TIMES THE SIZE FOR 2010
The UK’s Total
Even more to do, more to see and more to buy!
...... A massive 112,000 sq ft, dry, weatherproof, indoor arena
Just some of the guns on show and for sale...
Even bigger , even better – with added features for 2010
Thousands of guns & accessories at the UK’s premier shooting show.
The British Shooting Show will provide a packed weekend of interest for all shooting enthusiasts. The eight main halls, including Gunmakers Halls, Airgun City, Arms Heritage, Gamekeeping and Gun Dogs now covers over 112,000 sq ft! Clay coaching line for novices & young shots Clay competitions, including 50 bird sporting with £1500 in trophies & prizes Browning rabbit mania Pool shoot & ZZ birds Airgun ‘try before you buy’ Airgun competitions for guns & trophies “Olympic” 10 m match airgun Laser clays and laser rifle Shotgun simulators.
Gunmakers Halls just get bigger and bigger.
4 huge halls packed with gun manufacturers stands, retailers, specialist services and accessories, including; custom rifle builders ammunition and reloading gun retailers shooting aids scopes and optics field cutlery wildfowling decoying stalking shooting grounds shotgun simulators range days safaris shooting associations and even master craftsmen and gunsmiths at work.
Handle and evaluate a truly vast selection of shotgun and rifles.
PLUS A PACKED PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES...
AIRGUN EXTRAVAGANZA - THE BIG AIRGUN EXPERIENCE Now a massive 5 times bigger for 2010. 18,000 sq ft of manufacturers stands, airgun retailers, accessories, optics, clubs and associations & gun clinics. Plus 39 lane rifle & pistol shooting range, including Olympic 10 metre match, big prize 30 – 50 metre shooting competition and ‘try before you buy’. The UK’s premier airgun event packed with interest for the airgun enthusiast.
FREE PRIZE DRAWS AT THE SHOW FOR GUNS & OPTICS...
Win a Browning 525 Sporter worth over £1400. Plus a Sako Quad rifle worth £875. Plus a Webley 912S Sporter shotgun worth over £800. Plus a Webley Venom Sidewinder PCP Airgun Worth £775 and more from Deben, Armex & Brocock.
Save £££££’s -on special show only offers...
Main Show Sponsor;
An integral part of The British Shooting Show
See the fascinating world of antique, classic & modern arms collecting including gun collections, valuations, advice and retail sales stands.
Hall will provide hospitality Newark Showground, Newark, Notts, NG24 2NY and an insight into specialist Opening times - 9am to 4.30pm Both Days products and services for this important industry sector. Officially Supported by The; Tel; +44 (0) 1472 241439 email@example.com BUY TICKETS ONLINE - FAST TRACK ENTRY & SPECIAL PARKING Target Shooter 3 Tickets on the day; Adults £12.00, 8 to 15yrs £5.00 Under 8’s Free. Buy online & save: Visit the website for more information or tel 01472 241439.
Hosted by the BASC and sponsored by Marsdens Game Feeds, Gamekeepers
Sat 27th & Sun 28th Feb 2010
Welcome to the First Christmas issue .......of Target Shooter
12 Westlake Muzzle
Loading Revolver by Carl Boswell
6 10 18
Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Christmas Gadget Gallery Support your Local Gun Shop Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Mini Rifle and theBradley Arms AR15 Rifle F Class Special - European Championship 2009 Website of the Month Weihrauch HW45 by Tim Finley Gun of the Month Shooting from the Chair by Andy Dubreuil Weaver T36 Scope by Carl Boswell Match Report S. Africa vs Malta by Stanley Shaw Smallbore Business by Don Brook
F/TR Class by Vince Bottomley
26 44 Building a Rifle for 29 32
58 2009 Imperial Meeting
Ammunition Examination by Chris White
36 42 51 67
62 No4T Sniper
rifle part 4 by Nigel Greenaway 69
‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 2) by Laurie Holland
Part 6 by Gwyn Roberts
94 Reloading School Gallery Rifle Basics 100 Club Feature 114 Letters 115 Advertisers Index
103 105 107 109 110 111 UKBRA UKBR22 Quigley Association HFT News Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager Andy Dubreuil. email; firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Chris White Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Tony Sanders Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Chris Farr Stanley Shaw Ken Hall Les Holgate
Webitorial - December 2009
The internet is a great thing – a shop window for the whole world. Put something on the net and it sort of becomes public property – like it or not! Clearly, in the case of the music industry, they do not like it but honestly I hadn’t given much thought to it – until we found some enterprising shyster was selling Target Shooter and a host of other free on-line magazines at $2.00 a pop! We didn’t know whether to be flattered or offended but anyway, we told him to stop – but he’s in Taiwan and we’re in the UK! Target Shooter was of course born from the ashes of Target Sports magazine which unfortunately closed as a stand-alone publication and became a small part of Sporting Rifle. This was a shame as we all loved and supported the UK’s only magazine for the target shooter. Blaze Publishing also publishes Gun Trade News - a sort of ‘tabloid’ for the gun trade and this month, publisher Wes Stanton takes a friendly pop at us: “Though the content is on the button and as good as you might expect from enthusiastic technical folk, the entire thing is obscured by amateurism.” Well Wes, as with our Taiwanese scallywag, we don’t know whether to be offended or flattered! It’s great to at least be recognised by the ‘trade’ and with regard to our ‘amateurism’ – yes, you’re right but please, don’t confuse amateurism with ignorance. Our writers are the equal of any and know their subject inside out and all we seek to do is pass that knowledge on to our readers – for free – with as much energy and passion as we can muster. Maybe we will never be successful as a business – if success means money but, if success could be measured in customer satisfaction, then I would proffer that we are already more successful than any other UK shooting publication – thanks to you, our loyal readers. Finally, a very happy Christmas to everyone and don’t forget, it might be New Year’s Day but our first issue of 2010 will be on-line on the first day of January – beat that Wes! Until next month. Andy, Carl & Vince
A 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 - email@example.com and Vince Bottomley - firstname.lastname@example.org and Andy Dubreuil - email@example.com 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
ir Gun Auctions A new website that has just been launched recently is Air Gun Auctions. This has been developed to start where other online auction houses left off, helping the sporting and target shooter to sell their surplus items online. The new UK based auctions site is dedicated to hunting and shooting goods. It sounds very professional and like all new things needs your support to make it work. There will be other features to this new website, as it develops and grows in the coming months. At present they are offering free listings to all users, with the prospect of fees being as low as £1 for a standard listing in the future. Presently there are no intentions to introduce selling fees, so better than some that are out there already. The website itself is well designed and easy to navigate, so all customers should be able to use it easily.
Distribution giants Sportsmarketing have just released their new, 2010 catalogue - a quality 164-page publication that’s packed full of essential shooting kit. Featuring over 100 brand new SMK releases alongside more than a thousand other exciting products - from optics to luggage, targets to decoys, hunting hides to night vision - the catalogue is beautifully illustrated throughout and the perfect browse, whether you shoot shotguns, firearms or airguns. Sportsmarketing are giving shooters the opportunity to get hold of a copy of this outstanding publication - normally £4.95 - absolutely FREE. To claim one and receive details of your nearest SMK stockist, simply ring Sportsmarketing on 01206 795 333 or contact them via email at sales@sportsmk. co.uk
Well it’s nearly Christmas and we thought we would keep some good news for this month. We have upgraded our service to you the readers yetagain, by buying into a dedicated server for the website, online viewing and downloads for Target Shooter magazine. Now we won’t go into the technical details, otherwise you will nod off into your coffee. What it means for you, our readers, is that you will be able to access the magazine online faster, download it faster to your own desktop and use the new software we have purchased for better viewing. There is even a nice little sound
effect as you turn the pages. What this means for us is that we have far greater control over the magazine, it is safer as it is all backed up and we can focus on providing you with an even better service. We will still be uploading to Scribd, as this brings in lots of ‘passing trade’ - a bit like a well known high street news agents. However the best viewing can be obtained through the Target Shooter website. So we hope you enjoy and let us know how it goes.
strength to strength. Now established as the UK’s total shooting show it is in fact now the largest show of its kind in Europe. It has grown three times in size from a modest 45,000 sq ft to now over an 112,000 sq ft indoor arena packed with rifles, shotguns, optics and shooting accessories – something for every shooting discipline. Rifles at the show – a major element of The British Shooting Show 2010. You’ll see a fantastic range of rifles from many of the most well known and respected manufacturers, including; DSR, Sniper Systems, Pfeifer-Waffen, Mauser, Titan, Kimber, Keppeler, Unique, Cooper, Anschutz, Tikka, Sako, Howa, Remington, Browning,
he British Shooting Show at Newark goes from Norman Clark, Riflecraft, Hellis, Westley Richards,
Kelby’s. Mossberg, Merkel, Winchester and Thompson Center etc. Rifle specialists, importers, customisers and retailers. A great chance to talk technical with a host of other companies including; GMK, Alan Rhone, North West Custom, Osprey Rifles, Global Rifle, Brock & Norris, Riflecraft, Ruag Ammotec, Fox Firearms, Westlake Engineering, Jager Sporting Rifles, Norman Clark, Browning, Open Season, Viking Arms, Euroguns, Cheshire Guns, Jackson Rifles, Fawcetts and Francis Lovel etc. Win a Sako Quad Rifle worth £875.00: just go to the GMK stand n ain unmakers all nd nter he ree rize raw i m G H a e t f p d Airguns at The British Shooting Show 2010.
Competitions for a massive £3000 worth of guns and accessories etc. Airgun City has alone grown to five times the size and now covers over 18,000 sq ft! Guns from all the major manufacturers will be on display and for sale. A huge 37 lane shooting range extends from the side of The Airgun City arena, where you will be able to try guns, enter competitions and win great prizes worth over £3000! Plus the NSRA Olympic Experience. The NSRA will be running a 10 metre match pistol and rifle range, manned by NRSA coaches. Optics at the show. A great chance to talk to the specialists and retailers. See a range of scopes from, Sightron, Hawke, Carl Zeiss, MTC, Nightforce, Bushnell, Khales, Fox, Hakko,
Leupold, Meopta, Nikko, Jahtjakt, Schmidt & Bender, Leica, Lynx & Shepherd etc. The British Shooting Show will be held at the Newark Showground, Newark, Notts, NG24 2NY, 27th - 28th February 2010. Please visit www.theshootingshow.co.uk or tel: 01472 241439 for further information.
A perennial question is about the difference if any between 7.62X51mm and .308 Winchester (or 5.45X45mm and .223 Remington). And while there are small differences primarily in the chamber and barrel throat forms, they are so nearly indistinguishable that the UK national police firearms licensing computer uses both terminologies together either side of an oblique to avoid problems if an FAC variation is for one, but the firearm is marked and proof-tested for the other. This applies particularly to British and Commonwealth TR (‘Target Rifle’) rifles that were classed as 7.62mm until recently, although current builds or recently rebarrelled examples now bear the .308 Winchester description.
.56 and 7.62mm ‘Outlawed’
Don’t try and take anything marked 7.62mm abroad or you’ll be regarded as an international arms smuggler
None of this would be of any great import if it weren’t for the United Nations having started a crusade against international movements of military smallarms and ammunition except on a government to government basis. The problem is that 5.56 and 7.62mm are classified as ‘military’ period, no matter that it’s a single-shot target rifle and your pride and joy. This is a particular problem for anybody travelling across international boundaries as an early result has been airlines, through their international regulator IATA, accepting these rules and refusing to carry anything so marked or documented, even if on a dual basis as in ‘7.62mm / .308 Winchester’. The next worry is that as countries sign up to the various UN accords on this issue, we’ll suddenly discover that somebody has done
this for the UK and unwittingly made ownership of every .308 Win rifle in the country illegal as our FACs invariable use the dual title in listing the weapons held. In any event ICFRA, the international target shooting body which regulates fullbore rifle including our ‘Target Rifle’ and F-Class, has deleted all reference to the metric versions of the two cartridges in its rules and documentation, and I imagine that applies to our NRA too. Firearms law researcher and writer Colin Greenwood has been investigating this UN process and his findings must be deeply unsettling for all sporting and recreational firearms users. The sub-committees tasked with producing reports and recommendations that are often accepted by the UN with little or no debate are secretive, refusing to disclose their membership or the remits they are working to. They will not divulge the basis of ‘facts’ contained in their reports, how research was carried out and where, who was interviewed and so on. One fact that is clear are that they will NOT make any distinction between civilian sporting arms, (even shotguns), and military weapons, and that they believe that arms ownership is a bad thing per se. Greenwood is convinced that this is a movement towards international civilian arms control via the back door under the cloak of keeping AKs and RPGs out of the hands of African child soldiers or guerrillas. Things may get ‘worse’ too in that the proposed conventions seek to ban the manufacture of arms and ammunition of any type and any calibre, except by government licensed concerns which must be closely regulated. Quite right too you might think, but remember that your gunsmith is an ‘arms constructor’, and you are an ‘ammunition manufacturer’ if you handload. Until now, the US government has been a bastion against this sort of undemocratic backdoor control by routinely telling the UN to naff off! Not so now under Barak Obama, the State Department allegedly signalling a change of policy here, its first move being to announce that export licenses will not be issued for any barrel chambered for 5.56 or 7.62 NATO destined for a commercial end-user.
Sav e to 2 up 0%*
Don´t miss out on the ZEISS autumn offers with a price discount of up to 20%.
*This promotional offer refers to the actual prices of the current price list, is valid while stock lasts and ends on December 31st, 2009.
All Classic Diavari Riflescopes
All Classic Diatal Riflescopes
30, 40, 45 and 50 Conquest T* Binoculars
Victory Diascope 65 T* FL and 85 T* FL
Autumn Offers until December 31st, 2009
For further information please telephone Carl Zeiss Sports Optics on 01707 871350 www.zeiss.co.uk
Carl Zeiss has compiled a unique offer just for you: Purchase one of the ZEISS products displayed above now and save up to 20%. Your participating ZEISS dealer will be pleased to provide Target Shooter you with more information.
Calendar of events over the next few months
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
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
13 Jan 2010 Grand Prix of Plsen The competition runs from 13th to 17th January Location: Plsen, CZE 27 Jan 2010 Munich Airgun International, GER The match runs from 27th to 30th January 2010. Location: Munich, GER 20 Feb Target Shotgun Festival (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Calling all Section One shotgun owners. The Target Shotgun Festival has unique and challenging competition stages that are engaged with solid slug, SG/buckshot and birdshot ammunition. Contact(s): Brian Thomas 27 to 28 Feb The British Shooting and Countryman Show - Telephone 01472 241439 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.shootingshow.co.uk/ 27 Mar to 28 Mar Gallery Rifle - Spring Action Weekend (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley). Contact(s): Brian Thomas 3 to Mon 5 Apr Bisley Clubs Easter Meeting (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This year the Easter Meeting will be run by the City Rifle Club. Contact(s): Pat Drummy 25 Apr Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. email@example.com 26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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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Original Case Trimmer
The Original, Forster Case Trimmer is the right choice for most calibers with bullet diameters from .171" to .459" . It is actually a fine miniature lathe with a superior shell holder . The staggered tooth, high alloy shell cutter shaft cuts smoothly and Forster Outside evenly. The exclusive design trues up and Neck Turner cuts perfectly square case mouths. The Case Trimmer fine adjustment screw allows for fine tun- The Outside Neck Turner Accessory is used with any Forster Case Trimmer. Unlike hand Power Adapter ing of case lengths to .001” or less. held neck turners which are centered only on Turns any Forster the pilot, the Forster Outside Neck Turner hand trimmer into a turns your case neck concentric to its true axis. power trimmer. It produces neck walls of uniform thickness and exact outside neck diameter. Properly adjusted, it will turn necks to within a tolerance of .0001”.
Hornady Comparator Set With 6 Bullet Inserts
The bullet comparator measures rounds from a reliable surface on the bullet, the ogive, to provide consistent precise measurements of your rounds. which is essential when seating bullets out to, or near, the lands.
Tel: 01977 681639 TIM HANNAM Fax: 01977 684272 Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road, Leeds, LS25 5LJ Email: email@example.com www.timhannam.com
Target Shooter 11
The Westlake Taurus .357 Muzzle Loading Revolver
By Carl Boswell
When we lost pistols to the handgun ban of 1997, we thought we had lost it all but the fight continued in a variety of ways over the years, both lobbying and legal actions. For the benefit of non-GB readers, shooters in Northern Ireland were allowed to retain pistols and so were residents of the isle of Man. In the rest of Great Britain, pistols were forbidden to ordinary citizens – or should that be ‘ subjects’ – with the exception of vets and in some cases stalkers, for humane dispatch of wounded game. Some took another route and began the
above - Alan in his workshop
development of pistols that ‘fitted into’ the legislation contained in the 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act, enacted after the pistol ban. Pistols with a minimum barrel-length of 12 inches and an overall length of two feet, or muzzleloading pistols were not prohibited and these long-barrel and modified propellant based muzzle-loading pistols and revolvers have come a long way in the last decade or so. Gunmakers like Alan Westlake and others have worked tirelessly to give us back some semblance of the pistol shooting we thought we had lost forever. However, our Olympic pistol squads are still unable to train in the UK but we hope that they will eventually be allowed to do so and thus compete in their home Olympic Games in 2012. Alan Westlake of Westlake Engineering was featured in last month’s ‘Gunshop of the Month’. Alan has worked on some interesting developments over the years, but they have been hard fought for with the authorities. His recent innovation, a Taurus revolver odified o uzzle-loading m t am revolver, is now accepted under the current laws that govern firearm
The revolver ready for loading 12 Target Shooter
The revolver with before and after cylinders
ownership in the UK. Good news indeed, as this at least brings back the ‘feel’ of shooting a modern revolver using modern propellants rather than black-powder. Alan has developed traditional reproduction black-powder revolvers into ‘nitro’ burners in the past but this is the first muzzle-
loader based on a modern revolver design. The Taurus revolver looks and feels exactly like any modern revolver, the balance being the same as any other five-inch barrelled pistol. Just handling the Westlake Taurus brought back memories of my own Taurus which was sadly
Details of modifications
taken from me in the 1997 hand-in. I do currently have a Taurus long-barrel revolver which is great as the feeling of shooting a revolver is something that most of us enjoyed. It’s not quite the same as shooting a proper revolver with no arm-brace and shorter barrel so this latest offering from Alan really does bring back the memories. A fellow shooter, Colin Renwick, recently acquired one of Alan’s converted Taurus muzzle loaders. (You may know Colin as the UK air rifle benchrest champion and his talents do not stop there as he shoots pistol at county level as well). Colin also has another of Alan’s pistols, the 22LR
Powder is prepared and seperated ready for use at the range
simply shortening the barrel. The old cylinder is discarded 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 thus prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. Obviously this a key point in making the revolver legal in the UK. To make this into a muzzle-loader, Alan makes a completely new cylinder, which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear .
Priming each cylinder with powder
Browning Buckmark but more on this in the new year. The muzzle-loading Taurus is actually a conversion from a Taurus .357 Magnum long-barrelled revolver. This revolver complies with current legislation for a section 1 pistol and the muzzle-loader has to be converted from this model, as a standard Taurus 357 Magnum revolver would be classed as a section 5 revolver due to barrel-length and overall length. Of course, the conversion is more complicated than
Using the loading press to force the wadcutter bullers into each cylinder
Priming each cylinder with shotgun primers
The pockets have a small flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead wadcutter bullets of the type favoured for target shooting applications. The barrel is shortened to approximately five inches and the defunct wrist-brace is removed. Loading is similar to that of many historic muzzle-loading revolvers. The cylinder is removed from the revolver and placed in a special loading press (supplied) to seat the bullets in the revolver chambers after powder-charging. Colin uses 2 grains of Bullseye powder as the charge for target purposes. (Please refer to the manufacturers guidelines for charges as although this load is safe in Colin’s revolver it should not be used in conventional historic or reproduction muzzle-loading pistols. Alan suggests charging the Taurus with Herco powder - as per .38 S&W Special data - conatct Alan for more imformation). Once the chambers are charged, shotgun primers are inserted into the primer pockets at the rear of the cylinderThe loaded cylinder is then slid back into the revolver and the pistol is ready to fire. Easy and a lot less messy than charging a conventional black-powder revolver. One interesting tip that Colin gave me was using old 38 brass cases (obviously without primer but with the base sealed) as storage for the measured powdercharges. The powder can thus be measured at home ready to charge the cylinder at the range. A bullet is placed gently in the cartridge case to retain the powder for safe transportation to the range – a neat idea. On test, the accuracy was very good. The load is low but just right for target-shooting and is the
result of testing over a number of months to get it just right. Firing the revolver is just like firing the target revolvers of old – same recoil, same balance, same feel – brilliant! A welcome alternative to the traditional muzzle-loading pistols that shooters are compelled to use these days – boy does it bring back memories. Something to consider if you are looking to own one of these conversions – either on your own existing LBR or on one supplied by Alan - order well in advance as he is very much a one-man band but this means that all work on your pistol will be done by Alan himself. Coupled with the fact that these and the other products that Alan makes are becoming more popular – as they should be – so please allow time for delivery. So there you have it. An excellent product which, if you long for the old pistol-shooting days, is just about as near as you can get. Alternatively, maybe you never got the chance to shoot a proper revolver but always wanted to try it, if so, the Westlake Taurus could well fit your requirements. The conversion of your own pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00 each. If you do not
The test target at 25 metres
have a pistol this can be ordered for you from the Importers. A Taurus .357 Magnum LBR currently costs around £675.00. Your FAC should have a variation for a .357/.38 Muzzle-loading revolver and if you want any extra cylinders,
your FAC will need to be varied accordingly. Contact Alan Westlake at; Website; http://westlakeengineering.com/ Phone; 01722 782432
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 16 Target Shooter each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.
Christmas Gadgets Gallery
pecial Uberti Zippo Lighters .
models to celebrate 50 years of Uberti Firearms and feature their first model , the 1851 Navy Revolver . The brushed Brass finish is a very small production run , only 50 have been made . Each one is numbered so buyers should phone to reserve a number . Cost for this model including postage is £34.50. The brushed Chrome finish is not numbered but already nearly 30% of the first delivery have been pre sold . Cost for this model including postage is £32.00 . Contact Merseyside Armoury on 07702 277791
These lighters make great gifts for collectors. They are special
Nightforce optical cleaning kit is designed especially for use on their * High performance optics with 8x scopes; it includes an ultra optical magnification brush, microfiber cloth and * Quick, precise laser rangefinder anti-fog cleaning solution. * Ballistic Information System (BIS) These products are designed precisely displaying the correct to give the scope a perfect holdover value. clean without the risk of * Innovative 'one touch' principle damage. * Hard-wearing, rugged rubber coated Available through your local body gunshop. Imported via RAUG RRP: £20.50 Tel: 01707 871350 Pocket Size SRP £510
eiss 8x26 PRF - Precision in This
Colour: Black £40.00 This popular outdoor jacket is part of the ELEY clothing range worn by sponsored shooters including Olympic medal winners. The beathable, windproof and water resistant jacket made in a soft shell fabric is available in men’s and ladies fit sizes XS – XXL. To place an order call 0121 313 4529 or email KateWhite@eley.co.uk New online shop coming soon with a fall range of ELEY apparel and merchandise.
LEY Soft shell Jacket
Quick clean Pull throughs use a tear proof cord for safe use and a high quality bronze brush built in to the cord for gentle but effective cleaning. Let the brass weight gently glide through the barrel and then pull Quick Clean through slowly and steadily - that's it - you're done! They are also small and lightweight so you can take the pull through with you wherever you go. They are fully washable and available in a variety of sizes to suit every gun. Available through your local gunshop. RRP: £18.00
uick clean Pull through
Colour: Black£1.00 ELEY has developed a new insert called a “Podium” which fits underneath the draw of the new Tenex box to lift the bullets, making the removal of cartridges quick and easy leaving the shooter free to concentrate on their target. The Podium was designed to fit with the new Tenex box but shooters have used the solid plastic podium in the other ELEY boxes. To place an order call 0121 313 4529 or email KateWhite@eley.co.uk New online shop coming soon with a fall range of ELEY apparel and merchandise.
portsmatch Spirit Level
The New Sportsmatch side mounted spirit level is designed to be visible without moving your eye away from the scope and it fits all Sportsmatch mounts with M5 side clamp screws. Perfect stocking filler this Christmas. Available through your local gunshop. RRP: £25.30
optical booster lens for generic or specific scopes associated with those that are used in both centerfire and rimfire benchrest. The website for the company is; http:// www.bulzeyepro.com/ and the cost of the optic starts at $40 or £24 for the entry model. This will depend on the model, coating and magnification you get.
ulzeyepro is an
oodoo Tactical Roll Up Mat
The VOODOO TACTICAL Roll Up Shooter's Mat provides lightweight padded protection with fold-out elbow wings and easy roll-up. Includes sewn-in data book pocket ith pen holder, removable tool pouch, ammo pouch and bullet slots for easy, pLULA universal magazine pistol loader quick access. Adjustable straps with Description:- Loads them all from 9mm to 45acp single or dual quick release buckles. Extra male end stack. The ideal gift this festive season "E" buckles to attach to your pack. Purchase online from our site www.gunsmalta.com Measures 69" x 48" at the widest Cost 32 Euro point. Rolls up to a compact 8" x 20". £85.www.nwcustomparts.com/
ude Fat Dog Xmas upgrade for your 10/22 ! -The new KID Cocking Handle kit comprises the
cushioned handle, guide rod and three separatecolour coded springs for use with differing velocity ammunition. GBP 37.95 from www.rudefatdog.com/
North West Custom has produced a 2010 Calendar of its favourite weapons which we are donating copies to our Troops in Afghanistan support them in their work. You can get you copy posted direct to your door for only £10.95 (postage included) www.nwcustomparts.com/
orth West Custom Parts Calendar 2010
akley Customisable Radar, Shooting Specific - from £129.99 (depending on lens choice) The Shooting Specific Radar utilises the G26 Range lens option to help increase the viewing area and decrease outside distractions. The G26 lens is perfect for target shooting, but if this doesn't quite suit the conditions then a wide selection of lenses are available. www.oakley.co.uk/custom
Action & chamber cleaning tool from Pro-shot. This is an essential bit of kit for every shooter yet how many have any means of cleaning the chamber and action? All the Pro-shot products are well designed for the serious shooter and this cleaning kit is no exception. From Tim Hannam - www.timhannam.co.uk/ £23.99
The Nikon Sports Optics will shortly introduce the Nikon riflescope ProStaff series. Nikon’s new Prostaff series consist of six models, the 3-9x40 Duplex, 3-9x40 BDC, 3-9x50 Duplex, 3-9x50 BDC, 2-7x32 Duplex, and the 4x32 Duplex. Each model has its own unique features and brings the user the benefits of high cost performance with a variety of lens specifications and reticles to suit diverse requirements. From £139.99 - contact Highland Outdoors at www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk/ Key features •Multicoated lenses for light transmission up to 90%•Generous eye relief•Versatile magnification range for various hunting situations•Windage and elevation reticle adjustments with precise 1/4 MOA click-reticle adjustment•Nitrogen gas-filled and O-ring sealed for waterproofing and fog-proofing• Eco glass lenses• ED glass for chromatic aberration compensation.
Free Pistol Price: ~ £1200.00 - FAC Required From the NSRA at www.nsra.co.uk/
he popular Morini CM84E ISSF ‘Longarm’
www.midwayuk.com sell these excellent grips for about £39. The grip features interchangeable frontstraps and backstraps for a truly custom fit. Full kit includes pistol grip, 3 backstraps, 4 frontstraps (including one with an enhanced integral trigger- Laser Bore Sight guard), core insert plug that holds 3 rounds of .223. (York Guns) Price: from £54.95 This one is cartridgespecific .It couldn’t be simpler to use. Pin up a tar get about 50 yards away and set your rifle on a rest . Chamber the laser – no need to actually close the bolt fully – and adjust your rifle until the laser dot is on target. Then, look through your scope and twiddle the adjusters until the red dot is in the centre of your crosshair. A couple of shots on target to fine-tune and job done. Nice thing is, you could mount your scope and do the laser bit in your garden but don’t frighten the neighbours! www.yorkguns. com/
R-15 Magpul MIAD Modular Grip
EBLEY ALECTO ™, MULTI-STROKE PNEUMATIC AIR PISTOL.177 CALIBRE, RRP £169.99 This ultra-easy to cock pistol goes way beyond traditional single-stroke pneumatics, with the introduction of a patent pending multi-stroke technology that allows muzzle velocity to be set at 120 metres per second (“mps”) with a single stroke, increasing to 160 mps with a second ”no sweat” cocking action. A third stroke achieves maximum muzzle energy limited to 5.8 ft-lb’s.
The new “Alecto ™ is ergonomically perfect, available with either right or left handed dedicated grips (left-handed grips available January 2010) each incorporating a comfortable palm and thumb rest, and is available from all good gun shops now. www.webley.co.uk/
o-Ax Case And Cartridge Inspector One tool to perform three vital measurements; • Neck wall thickness • Case neck concentricity • Bullet runout. Measurements are in increments of one-thousandth of an inch so accuracy is superb. The Inspector is unique because it checks both the bullet and case alignment in relation to the centerline (axis) of theentire cartridge or case. £85.74 from www.timhannam.co.uk/
ightron SIII SS 8-32x56 LRD
Top of Sightron's S III range. Finished in an elegant slate grey and based on a one-piece 30 mm alloy tube, the big Sightron has crystal clear, bright optics right up to the edge with plenty of contrast and colour saturation. The unique ExacTrack adjustment system ensures gratifyingly precise and reliable adjustments to be made shot after shot without losing the original zero. It boasts 70 M.o.A. of adjustment in windage and elevation (35 M.o.A. either side of centre) compared to the Nightforce 12-42x56 NXS which has 65 M.o.A. of elevation and 45 M.o.A. of windage. Sightron range offer a no-quibble Lifetime Warranty on all their products. The Sightron SIII SS 8-32x56 LRD costs £ 820 with free P&P during December. To order or for further information, contact Aim Field Sports on 01606 860678.
amination i.e. beach, zebrano, black walnut, multi colour laminate from £250. Rose wood laminate, black walnut laminate & any other exotic laminate from £300. Aluminium butt plates £40, trigger guards from £60. Lacquering & polish £100. The company also makes sporting rifle stocks, f class stocks & F/TR stocks. For further information contact Steve on 07958077365 or 01937842017 Peli’s latest addition to their successful travel vault/ fire arms cases. The 1770 is the longest Peli case with generous volume. This case should satisfy the needs of anyone with longer firearms and equipment. Interior dimensions: 138.6 x 39.6 x 21.9 cm (54.58" x 15.58" x 8.63" ) Available online at www.greenleopard.co.uk Price: £587.50 inc VAT
armoor Custom Gun Stocks. The price for western red cedar stocks are from £195 in hard wood
The Tiablo A10 takes gun mounted or hand-held lamps to a whole new level. The performance of the A10 is unrivalled in a unit so compact. Operating for up to 3.5 hours on full power this lamp is even suitable for centrefire users. Find out more at www. allcocksoutdoorstore.co.uk or call 01299 822212
‘Support your local gun shop’
Richard in the main shop
Newavon Arms is situated 5 minutes off junction 19 of the M5 in the South West of England and has a great selection f ew nd econd and eapons nd ore. on a s h w a m Richard Reeve, owner of Newavon Arms, has been in the gun trade for over 30 years and started off supplying the film industry. Eight years ago he purchased Newavon Arms which was based in the Bedminster area of Bristol before moving to his new premises in Pill, just outside bristol in July this year. The new shop was originally a convenience store and Richard gutted the whole building, re- wired and layed new floors and amongst other things, put in a ramp in to allow easy access to the upper level. It’s easy to find your way around the shop as Richard has divided it into three sections - a clothing section where you can try-on garments, an upper level for accessories and then the gun showroom. Regular customer or new, you will always get a warm welcome and Richard and his staff are always happy to help or advise on your needs. Richard has not finished with the shop just yet and he is looking to build a 15 yard range in part of the building so that customers will have the opportunity to try out air rifles and air pistols. This is a very new concept as most air-gun buyers never get the chance to shoot it before purchase. This means you will get the rifle that suits you and your pocket before leaving the shop. Newavon Arms keep a great selection accessories, scopes, ammo and rifles and no matter whether you are a novice or an experience shooter, if you are looking for something a little bit special in a firearm then they can source it for you. Newavon Arms customers come from all over the country and, being close to the motorway, it’s very easy to get to the shop. Richard has full workshop facilities and can offer customers maintenance and servicing, re-stocking and custom work on rifles and most other arms. For the future, Newavon rms are looking to get more A involved target-shooting and welcome customers who are looking to get started in the sport – rimfire or centrefire - or simply looking to upgrade their rifle. Newavon Arms will soon have a new website to compliment the shop but until then you can visit the shop Monday to Saturday. (Late night Thursday, early closing Wednesday and Saturday) Newavon Arms, 13-15 Lodway, Pill Nr Bristol BS20 0DH
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Webley (International) Ltd Universe House, Key Industrial Park, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3YA, England Tel: +44 (0) 1902 722 144 Fax: +44 (0) 1902 722 880 E-mail: Target Shooter email@example.com www.webley.co.uk
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 2
by Chris Risebrook
This month we will look at single shot pistols in more detail. Apart from the matchlock, these will be either flintlock or percussion. Flintlock replicas are either of a generic type - usually military - or copies of 18th and 19th century dueling and target pistols.
Above - Modern copy of flintlock Kentucky pistol
facing upwards and that the patch is still central. With a small wooden mallet, tap the ball into the muzzle. If the patching is tight, it may be necessary to follow this with a short starter to seat the ball just below the muzzle. Then with the ramrod try and push the ball firmly down onto the powder, in one smooth motion. Again, there should be a witness mark on the ramrod to show that the ball is fully seated.
The military pistols are good fun, but not really competitive. However, the target pistols are capable of surprising accuracy, even though to compete under MLAGB rules they must be smoothbore. Larger bores seem to work best, with heavy charges and tightly patched balls. Whilst it is virtually impossible to blow-up a pistol with black-powder, any air gap between the The problem with flintlocks is ignition - or rather lack powder and the ball has a nasty habit of converting a of it! From my own experience, about one in four propellant into an explosive. Next, sprinkle a little shots is a ‘flash in the pan’. The loading sequence powder into the pan close to the touch hole, close requires a definite system and concentration from the pan, pull the trigger and hope for the best. In the the shooter. Personally, I start with a measuring rod happy event that it actually fires, you will be caught which I drop down the barrel to the witness mark to out by the long lock-time and the disconcerting flash prove the barrel is empty (it is surprisingly easy to of the priming powder - not to mention the awe and double load). Next, use a long drop tube and load wonder of the inevitable spectators. If it does not fire, the powder, from a phial please - not from a flask. hold the gun pointing down range for about a minute, Take a pre-lubed patch and place it over the just in case it is a hang fire. Then open the pan, brush muzzle followed by the ball, making sure any sprue is away any powder, prick the touch hole to make sure
Modern copy of a Mortimer flintlock
The real McCoy! A best English double barrel Bourne.
it is clear, re-prime and have another go. Needless to say, these misfires do nothing to improve your target shooting, and are a good test of your technique - or lack of it. You will soon discover if you flinch! Under MLAGB rules, you have 30 minutes to fire 13 shots, and you may well need every one of them. One potential worry with single shots in general and flintlocks in particular, is that of a stuck ball. Most replicas come with a screw to remove a stuck patch, but a stuck ball is another matter. If it just won’t go off, the only recourse is to draw the charge. Easy enough with a percussion - unscrew the nipple, sprinkle a few grains of powder down the touch hole, screw in the nipple, recap, point downrange and fire. There will be enough pressure to push the ball out of the barrel. With a flintlock, a worm has to be screwed onto the cleaning-rod which is then screwed into the ball to enable it to be pulled out. Easier said than done! An engineer friend kindly made me a steel rod with interchangeable drill bit and worm and a collar which exactly fits the bore. With this, a hole can be drilled centrally into the ball before screwing in the worm, and those with a mechanical bent may wish to make up such a device - if only for peace of mind. Fortunately, I have not, so far, had to use this
gadget, but it takes away the niggling worry of ‘what if’. Under MLAGB rules, percussion pistols can be rifled, and work well with modest charges in smaller calibers - .36 is a favorite. Once again there are various copies of military style pistols but the target/dueling copies are incredibly accurate with fast lock-times. The loading sequence is as for the flintlock, except that instead of priming, a percussion cap just has to be placed over the nipple. Patch lubricant is a subject all to itself. Presently I am using neatsfoot oil, but I have tried tallow, washing-up liquid and spit - and they all work. Our Club Secretary used a concoction of soap, lard and his wife’s perfume. It worked, but the smell was appalling! Last month, we touched on the subject of cleaning. Countless different products are made especially for this purpose and they all work but the easiest - and cheapest way of cleaning - is simply boiling water. Remove the stock and nipple - or touch-hole for flintlock - hold the barrel in a pair of wooden tongs, pour boiling water down the barrel, with a little washing-up liquid and scrub with patches in a piston motion until the patch comes out clean. The barrel will become very hot and any water will quickly evaporate. When dry, oil in the usual way. Incidentally, it is best to carry out this cleaning outside to avoid any domestic opposition! If you are contemplating buying a pistol, do buy one with a hook breach; it makes cleaning so much easier. It is only necessary to push out the fore-end key, and lift the barrel from the breach. All of the gadgets mentioned above and more, are available from Henry Krank of Pudsey, West Yorkshire. Next time we will look at percussion revolvers.
English pocket pistol by Towlson converted from flintlock 30 Target Shooter
The Bradley Arms AR15 Mini Rifle
By Vince Bottomley
In this, the second part of our winter series of Above and below - The real thing – this is no replica. Note safety just above the grip. articles designed to get you and your club involved in competition shooting, I was intending to put my GSG 5 through its paces but, a slight change of plan. Following part 1 in last month’s Target Shooter, Mark Bradley got in touch and offered us one of his rim-fires for review. If you shoot Practical Rifle or Highpower, Mark will already be known to you and you may even be shooting one of his rifles. As well as being a keen competitor, Mark is also something of an AR specialist and will build you a bespoke centrefire AR15 and he also offers a semi-auto rimfire version of this popular ‘straight-pull’ rifle. Now, my GSG might look like Heckler & Koch’s MP5 but that’s as far as it goes – it’s just a semi-auto rimfire made of plastic and Dinky Toy metal with no parts common to the real MP5. The barrel is a weedy tube and the moderator is a ‘pretend’. On the other hand, Mark’s rimfire no only looks like an AR15 – it is an AR15 and shares many common parts with the real thing - it just happens to be chambered for the 22lr cartridge. In fact, if you already own an AR15, you could easily convert it to a 22lr simply by dropping an ‘upper’ onto your centrefire ‘lower’ but of course, you already knew that didn’t you? There are other cheaper ways to covert your centrefire AR and you may have heard of those
Very similar rifles handling-wise. Note my new fore-end on the GSG
conversion kits - basically a 22lr ‘chamber’ which optics are concerned so maybe we can both learn drops into the centrefire chamber. I have to something. I’m currently ammo-testing with a four emphasise that our rifle is not so converted and it is power Burris on the GSG so the Schmidt will be ideal a true 22lr fitted with a heavy Border match barrel. for comparable test purposes. I expected the S&B to This rifle is therefore no cheaper than its centrefire have a duplex reticle but it’s fitted with a fancy but counterpart, so expect to pay around three times super-fine crosshair, so even better. what you would pay for my H&K look-alike. I asked Mark for an ammo. recommendation when As you can see from the photographs, the AR really I collected the rifle but he was non-committal – “It’ll looks ‘the part’ and this example is nicely tricked out shoot anything.” So, I’ll treat it the same as the GSG with pic-rails and contrasting furniture. The standard and try the CCI Mini Mag that I’ve now settled on for AR 223 magazine is nicely reproduced to take the the GSG. 22lr cartridge and, once in place, you would struggle to tell it from the real The Black Dog mags. are the thing. Is this important? Should we be same size as the ‘real’ one attempting to make our ‘pretend’ rimfires and really tough look like ‘proper’ guns? Well, it certainly won’t make it shoot better but on the other hand, an awful lot of research has gone into the ergonomics and handling of guns like the MP5 and AR15 and it makes sense to copy this with a replica – if you are allowed to - I’ve heard a little whisper that H&K are none too pleased with GSG’s replica and they may not be on sale for ever, so now might be the time to grab one! Mark’s rifle has a 1 - 4 Schmidt & Bender scope up top but he also gave me a red-dot sight. In a future issue, I’ll compare this with the red-dot I got from York Guns. I’m a novice where these
Rested, Mark’s rifle is one accurate piece of kit but then, the GSG is no slouch. Indoors at 25 yards there is very little to choose between the two and with care, I could lay down some very impressive three-shot ‘clover-leafs’ with either rifle though under proper ‘benchrest’ conditions, the AR would definitely have the edge. This impressed me as I know the super-sonic rimfire ammo. doesn’t usually give results comparable to the sub-sonic target variety. At eight and a half pounds (less sight) the AR is a good bit heavier than the GSG’s six and a half That Magpul retractable pounds so it’s easier to benchrest. Also, the GSG’s stock is really good (Shown mag. tends to get in the way when trying to rest the fore-end but off-hand, either rifle will do the job and in fully retracted position) with practice, it’s possible to shoot three-shot groups Of course, this is a bonus in competition as you can around half an inch. immediately see how many rounds remain whereas If we are comparing the two, I found that the the AR gives no indication, though it does hold the lighter GSG was a bit easier to handle. The GSG’s bolt open following the last round. left-side forward-mounted cocking-handle is more user-friendly than the AR’s rear-mounted charging Both magazines snap in and out easily though the handle but, of course, if you already have an AR15 GSG must be pulled out – they won’t just drop to the you will be familiar with such features. On the floor when you release the catch like the AR mags. other hand, the trigger was far superior on Mark’s do. However, this is not a problem – the GSG is AR and this made it nicer to shoot off-hand. With the designed so that you can easily do it one-handed by GSG’s heavier trigger and lighter weight, there is a gripping the mag. and operating the release-catch tendency to pull the shot but the internet is bristling with your thumb. The AR releases exactly the same with modifications for these guns and shortly, I will as on all ARs - i.e. the release-catch is operated with the trigger-finger. have to tackle the trigger. The Black Dog AR magazines are a superb piece of kit. Externally, you just can’t tell it from the real thing and it’s so strongly made you could drive a 4x4 over it no problem. However, filling the mag. is painfully slow compared to the GSG, which is very thoughtfully designed with a small catch which allows you to pull down on the follower, releasing the spring tension. The GSG mag. is also a reasonable replica of the H&K but because the sides are open, your visible weedy rimfire rounds are a give-away. From the photographs, you will see that my GSG is now sporting a new fore-end made up of three Pic. rails, with a grip mounted on the lower one. This greatly assists holding the rifle when shooting from the standing position and the AR is similarly equipped. The AR also sports a neat Magpul retractable stock which I really liked. You can buy a retractable or folder for the GSG but I’ve not seen one as good as the AR’s Magpul – but I’ll keep looking and maybe try modifying a Magpul. Finally, I would guess that many shooters who buy one of Mark’s ARs – either as a complete rifle or as an ‘upper’ – use it for indoor practice in the off-season to keep competition-sharp. The GSG on the other hand is the plinker’s favourite – you only have to look it up on You-Tube – but I’m hoping it will still make a reasonable beginner’s gun for Mini Rifle competition as well. Next month, Tim Finley will be reviewing his latest toy (above)- a Mini Rilfe from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies – it looks ‘the dogs’ and Tim has already taken his first win with it!
Tim Finley’s Mini Rifle from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies 34 Target Shooter
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The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association
The 2009 European F Class Championships Special
The ‘Europeans’ are also the fifth and final round of the GBFCA League Championship and, following in the wake of the World Championships, I did wonder whether the turn out would be down from the usual 100 plus competitors. Thankfully, it wasn’t and no fewer than 116 competitors had booked-in from all over Europe with most GB regulars in attendance plus an increased showing from Europe with the Spanish and Ukrainian shooters attending for the first time. Including the four countries of the UK, no less than eleven nations were in attendance – a true international event. With Bisley being probably the only range in the country that can easily cope with this number, it would clearly make for a great shoot and even the weather forecast looked promising. To make things run smoothly – essential with a turn out of this magnitude - we had dedicated R.O’s and match organisers who did an excellent job. The trend towards the F/TR class continued and clearly this class appears to have a great potential for growth and the field was now split almost 50/50 between Open and F/TR. F/TR also had the highest percentage of new faces with many of the Continentals opting for this route, not to mention a large contingent of shooters from Altcar’s 101 Rifle Club sporting Fox Firearms clothing.
Fox Firearms were in attendance – flying the Sportsmans Ass. flag and selling a few goodies.
As you would expect with a competition of this size, many shooters arrived at Bisley on the Thursday to take advantage of some free practice time – remember, many of the
conditions with little prospect of rain, we hadn’t reckoned on an Autumn mist which shrouded the targets and put paid to the planned two hour practice session. Diggle’s bad weather appeared to have migrated south! The practice was therefore abandoned but, when the mist lifted - at around 9.30am – shooters would dress back to 900 yards and have just have a few minutes practice before the competition proper got under way. Conditions were calm and for most, it was probably sufficient and at least we zeroed at the range we were now to shoot at. Shooting in pairs, there were three details over twenty targets. The details were split into one Open Class, one F/TR and a mixed detail. Details and squadding can be important at Bisley and some targets are less favourable than others but resident boffin Des Parr had written a computer programme so that the squadding was as random as it could be, hopefully giving everyone a fair shoot. At least no one could complain about drawing a bad lane, it was just pure luck. As well as picking the lane, the squadding would also move you to the left or the right and make sure you shot with a different partner over each of the five matches. All clever stuff.
New European Champion is young Adam Brough
Continental guys never shoot beyond 300 metres on their home ranges. For those who couldn’t manage Thursday, organiser Mik Maksimovic had allowed a few hours on the Friday before the comp started, to zero at 800 yards. But, best laid plans of mice and men etc…………….
With the competition now underway at 900 yards, the wind was fairly light but it was fish tailing a bit and there was little room for error on a five-ring which is just ten-inches in diameter. Current European Champion, Andy Wyspianski, proved that his win last year was Yes, although Friday dawned to dry, calm no fluke and posted a superb 75.12v shooting
This is one of our Ukrainian friends, shooting a McRees stocked Remington
Organiser Mik Maksimovic grabs a shoot when he can
his Walker Rifles BAT chambered in 7mmWSM. He was closely followed by Cliff Warwick and Jim De Kort on 74.7v with Cliff taking second place on count back. There were some good performances in F/TR with Irishman Liam Fenlon’s excellent 72.5v beating Andy Gent on count-back with Adam Bagnall close behind on 72.4v. Following the mandatory Bisley lunch break we dressed back to 1000 yards and this clearly proved more testing with a lot of scores tumbling. Andy Wyspianski could manage only 12th and the Brough brother topped the list with Adam
just ahead of Dan on V bull count. 1000 yards is a long way for a 308 and although the scores were down, Russell Simmonds’ 88.6v was a great performance with Kate Fitton in second place on 87.4v and Paul Dobson third with 86.1v. With Day one over, the scores looked like this: Open Class Adam Brough Dan Brough Grant Taylor F/TR 171.12 170.9 168.6
Liam Fenlon 158.5 Russell Simmonds 156.9
Wot you lookin’ at? John Dean of Aimfield Sports once again provided the winners with bags, mats and Sightron scopes 38 Target Shooter
shots in that tiny white disc! Fine shooting with phenomenally accurate rifles. Gary won on count For day two, Saturday, it was once again dry back and third place went to Paul Sandie with and mild and we were at 800 yards for the first 98.9v. distance for a 2 sighters and 15 to count. Jan de Kok came off the line with a 75.6v so could In F/TR big points can easily be dropped rightly feel pleased – until he saw that this was at 1000 yards especially with a 20 only good enough for 21st place! To make round-count – remember, a two MOA wind-reading the top you needed a 75 with twelve V bulls error will push you towards the ‘one’ ring! – and three shooters managed this feat! On Andy Gent prevailed with a great 93.9v with count-back, the stage win went to Mark Daish Mark Gray in second on 92.4v and Paul with Jim de Kort second and Paul Hill third. Eggemann third, also with 91.4v after count back. Russell Simmonds has dominated the League Interestingly enough, scorer of the highest again this year but would his 91.4v be enough V bull count with 13 was Lee Tomlinson but to take the win and his second Championship? unfortunately for him, like several others, one shot had slipped into the four ring. It was a Here’s how it all finished in the Open: similar story in F/TR and two shooters cleaned the target with Stuart Anselm’s 75.7v narrowly 1st Adam Brough 414.31v beating Adam Bagnall into second place with 2nd Grant Taylor 414.28 75.6v. 3rd Dan Brough 413.31 4th Mark Daish 411.45 The weather continued warm and dry for the 5th Andy Wyspianski 411.42 900 yard stage and another five Open class 6th Gary Costello 411.41 shooters managed to get a maximum75. The 7th Paul Sandie 411.34 top three were Mark Daish with 75.11v , Lee Tomlinson on 75.10v and Shaun Baker, Christer So, Adam is our new European Jacobsson and Grant Taylor all on 75.5v. Shaun Champion. The scores of the top seven were took 3rd on count back. amazingly close with some massive V bull counts. Not too many overseas shooters find themselves near the top of the score sheet so it’s worth noting that this was the second straight 75 today for Christer Jacobsson from Sweden. Yes, others had done it but not with a 6mmXC like Christer was using. In F/TR it finished like this:
1st Russell Simmonds 395.30v 2nd Liam Fenlon 391.21 3rd Adam Bagnall 388.23 4th Stuart Anselm 387.22 In F/TR, only one shooter managed a 75 and that 5th Steve Rigby 384.20 was current World Champion, Russ Simmonds. 6th Paul Eggerman 382.18 Adam Bagnall and Liam Fenlon were close 7th Andy Gent 381.29 behind on 73.7v with Adam getting second place on count-back. Full results can be accessed via the GBFCA website www.f-class.org.uk The final distance of the Individual European Championships would be the usual 1000 yard So, Russell Simmonds is now World Champion, two and twenty shoot. The weather was good European Champion and GB League Champion but the wind was definitely up and that extra all in the same year! It is possible that this may 100 yards makes all the difference – especially never happen again, unless he does it of course! to the F/TR guys. The scores did come down Clearly, this man has something that the rest of us in Open class with the field being spread out aspire to but Russell is willing to share his secrets more but amazingly two shooters, current World and is planning to run a course for budding ‘effers’ Champion Gary Costello and David Kent, which will include reloading, rifle maintenance, etc. posted an incredible 99.10v. Think about that for a moment please. The V bull is just five inches We already know that Russell is the 2009 in diameter and these guys put ten of their 20 GB F/TR League Champion but what about
the Open class? Grant Taylor won the very first League shoot of 2009 at Diggle and his second place finish today was enough to secure the League Championship for 2009 and a very popular victory it was. Grant built his own rifle and is one of the few to shoot a ‘straight’ 284Win and make it work as well as a WSM. So that was it for the 2009 GB League. The meeting was rounded off with the Shoot Dinner in the London and Middlesex Club but prize giving would have to wait until the Sunday, following the Team shoots. After three days of great weather, heavy rain and high winds were forecast for Sunday and for once, the forecasters got it spot on. We did get started
but after an hour or so the match was abandoned. Not only were the targets almost impossible to see but water in actions can have a detrimental effect and in the interests of safety and common sense, the shoot was reluctantly abandoned. So some of us can now go back to our clubs for six months of cold wet shooting until the GB League starts up again, with the opening shoot at Diggle in April 2010. By request, this will be a short range shoot - 5/600 yards, so ideal maybe for your first foray into the F Class League. Meanwhile, you can keep in touch with F Class via this column and the GBFCA website.
2009 League winner, Grant Taylor
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Shooting Website of the Month
We thought it fitting with the news that Russell Simmonds is the new European champion, as well as the current world (won a couple of months ago) and UK champion, we would focus the website of the month on F class in the UK. F Class has really become popular over the last few years and has readily developed into a true international sport. The suitably named F Class UK can be found at the following address; http://fclassuk.webs.com/ As with most association websites that have been developed in the last few years, there is a sense of serious fun when reading about this sport. This website has been going since 2006 and provides a lot of detail about what is going on in the UK regarding news, shoots, matches, overseas information, sales, etc. The website is easy to navigate with all sections in
the right vertical. Navigation is therefore easy. Information on the website is for shooters in the sport and for those aspiring to get involved. What’s great about this website are the articles, as these are full on and complete. It’s not just a website with tit-bits of information, you get to know the shooters, the matches and what is going on in the world of F Class. Obviously there is a lot to celebrate for the UK F Class association at the moment and this comes through from the theme of the site. I don’t blame them, when the top two of the major international championships are held by team and /or individual UK shooters. A fine website that gets to the point and supports shooters who are into this sport.
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: email@example.com website: www.rimfiremagic.co.uk
Everill Gate Farm Broomhill, Wombwell Barnsley S73 0YQ
43 Our retail shop is open Thursday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm toTargetus time in the workshop. allow Shooter
Building a Rifle for F/TR Class
By Vince Bottomley
Without delving into the extensive rules governing F Class, we are basically looking at rested rifles capable of half MOA accuracy out to 1000 yards – the V bull at this range remember is just five-inches in diameter. Not surprisingly, a competitive F Class rifle would hold its own at any 1000 yard benchrest event – except for the fact that the maximum all-up weight limit is 22lbs., compared o 7 bs. or he ight un lass n enchrest. t 1 l f t L G c i b shoot and given the gunsmith a few more options other than a bag full of lead-shot to juggle with. The 6.5-284 Norma, 284 Win, 7mmWSM and the 7mmBooBoo are the popular Open class cartridges. Although the ‘sevens’ will do the job admirably, we quickly found out that barrel-life can be frighteningly short – especially with a three-figure round-count at big matches. I’ve found (in 1000 yard benchrest) that my 7mmWSM will deliver outstanding accuracy for the first 250 rounds, very good accuracy for the next 250 and then – well, don’t expect to find that five-inch V bull very often! In other words, reckon on a couple of barrels per season.
Twenty-two pounds? I’m of the opinion that someone didn’t properly think this one out. Almost any barrel/ stock/action/scope may be used and even then, a butt-full of lead shot will be needed to bring the rifle up to weight. Benchresters have proved that a 17 lb. rifle can be phenomenally For many shooters, this is just too much – not accurate at 1000 yards and a 17 lb. weight- only the cost but the length of time it can take to limit would have made the rifle more challenging to get a new barrel fitted. Not surprisingly, some
The beautifully finished Robertson stock with Barnard bedding-block 44 Target Shooter
The official GB F/TR Team was chosen directly from the 2008 GB League results and a variety of equipment proved capable of doing the job. The League winner, Russell Simmonds, used a Barnard ‘S’ action and True-Flite barrel in a Choate stock. Stuart Anselm used a very standard-looking Savage in the factory laminate stock but fitted with a 32 inch Pacnor barrel, whilst yet another used a scoped-up Swing Target Rifle. Can an ‘out of the box’ rifle cut it in The Barnard P action with top level competition? Steve factory trigger. Note recoil peg Rigby and Paul Dobson used in underside of action their German Keppelers to great effect and don’t forget, a couple of the Gold Medal competitors began to turn to the F/TR class – for rifles restricted to the 308 Win. cartridge. American winning American F/TR Team used an ‘out of the shooters like Brad Sauve, Darrell Buell and box’ Savage F/TR at the Worlds last July. others have lead the way over the last few years and revived the 308 as a competitive long-range So, with a couple of season’s F/TR experience, we target-round and we Brits have followed suit. In 2007, have a fair idea of what works and what doesn’t. Of the GB F Class League ran a separate Championship course, the initial cost of building a competitive F/ for a dozen or so F/TR shooters - by the end of the TR rifle is not necessarily cheaper than an Open 2008 season, a third of the field were shooting F/TR. class rifle - as similar components could be used - At the last Diggle League shoot a couple of months the saving is in barrel-life. The borescope reveals ago, there were an equal number of F/TR and Open that 308 barrels tend to wear out rather than burn class shooters and it was very close in the recent out like the big ‘sevens’ and we have seen 308’s ‘Europeans’. So what constitutes a competitive F/TR delivering outstanding accuracy well beyond 3000 rounds. rifle?
The bedding-block is a close fit in the stock. If you like, you can order the stock with the bedding-block already glued in place Target Shooter 45
for the 2009 World F Class Championships. Stuart had made his choice of components. The action will be a Barnard ‘P’ with lightbolt, left-port. This action is of slightly heavier proportions than the Barnard ‘S’ used by World Champion Russell Simmonds and comes with the excellent Barnard trigger, which is fully adjustable. The barrel will be cut from a 33 inch button-rifled True-flite blank in ‘Heavy Palma’ profile with a 1 in 14 twist. Some may think this twist-rate is marginal but we had already proved that it would stabilize the 155 grain Scenar with Stuart’s Savage. The stock is a Canadian Robertson H &H pattern in fibreglass – also supplied by Fox Firearms. Barnard offer an aluminium ‘bedding-block’ system to suit their actions and the Robertson can be ordered ready-inletted for the bedding-block. This obviates the need for a full Devcon bed and makes life very easy for the gunsmith. This was Stuart’s choice as it would also permit easy in and out of the barrelledaction should the need arise (i.e. trigger failure) and, we always have the option of a Devcon bed if it doesn’t ‘cut it’ accuracy-wise. Not only is the F/TR Class limited to the 308 Winchester cartridge (and the Most GB League shoots are at 800 – 1000 yards and on the bullet front, most have settled on the 155 223 Rem. but don’t go there!), the all-up weight grainer. Steve Donaldson and George Barnard favour the 200 grain bullet and have had some A winning combination – Lapua Scenar bullets, good results with it. Much experimentation will VitN540, Lapua brass and Forster dies no doubt take place over the winter with 175 – 200 grain 308 bullets. Although factory actions like Remington and Savage are capable of good accuracy, the custom action is preferred and, with the current weak pound, American actions are out and the New Zealand Barnard is flavour of the month. Similarly, the NZ True-Flite barrel has proven itself in competition and with a sub. £300 price-tag and a delivery in weeks rather than months, it’s no wonder they are popular. Target Shooter advertisers, Fox Firearms, are the importer of Barnard and True-flite – see www.foxfirearmsuk.com Stuart Anselm of Osprey Rifles won that first GB F/TR Championship in 2007 with his re-barrelled Savage and finished in the top four in 2008, so earning a place on the GB F/TR team and was subsequently chosen to be Captain. We had re-barrelled Stuart’s factory 12BVSS Savage in 2007 and he approached me with a few ideas for his new rifle
Running-in. Note the Australian Larkin bi-pod
Ian Dixon’s carbon-fibre & aluminium bi-pod – you won’t see a lighter more stable bi-pod than this
of the rifle is reduced from the Open Class’s whopping 22lbs., to a more reasonable 18lb. 2oz. Furthermore, rifles may only be supported by a simple bi-pod – which is included in the weight of the rifle. A back-bag may also be used but this is not added to the weight. Although 18 lbs. may sound generous, most shooters will hope to use something better than a Harris bi-pod to support the rifle, so our real target-weight including scope, is more like 15-16 lbs. The Harris is a great product at less than a pound in weight but more elaborate bi-pods, like the Sinclair or Australian Larkin typically weigh 2 – 3 lbs.
Barrel-length - 30 or 32 inches? Is it important? Yes, with a 308 it could be. If that 155 grain bullet is to stay supersonic all the way out to 1000 yards, it must have a muzzle-velocity of at least 2950 fps. In our cold climate, an m/v nearer 3000 fps is preferred. That extra two inches of barrel can make all the difference – or does it? An inch of barrel weighs around 4 ounces – two-inches is a useful half- pound weight saving! With our weight restriction, I decided to find out if that extra two inches is worth having.
Obviously, lopping two-inches off Stuart’s barrel and then finding out that we’d made a fundamental An 18 lb. F/TR rifle will typically break down as follows: error was not an option but I did have an identical barrel, chambered with the same reamer. Using a Action 2 to 3lbs. ‘control’ round of commercial ammunition - which Stock 3 to 5 lbs was fairly ‘soft’ – the m/v over five shots averaged 30 – 32 inch barrel 6 to 8 lbs 2810 fps out of the 32 inch barrel. Back in the Scope 1 to 2 lbs lathe and two-inches exactly were lopped off. Back Sundries (trigger, guard, screws, mounts) ½ lb. on range a couple of days later – I didn’t take the Bi-pod 1 to 3lbs temperature but it was miserably cold again and my average m/v from the 30 inch tube was 2750 If we were to pick the heaviest option - a wood- fps. Stuart will keep his barrel at 32 inches – laminate stock, heavy 32 inch barrel, Nightforce unfortunately, I can’t put the two inches back on mine! scope and a decent bi-pod we would be up around 20 lbs. Compromises need to be made. Do we go for All the components are now with us and our the heavy barrel and settle for a Harris and one pound reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge is ground Weaver 36 power scope or go for a lighter ‘Palma’ specifically to suit a 155 grain Lapua Scenar profile on the barrel, an 8-32 Nightforce and a Sinclair bullet seated to a depth of 7mm into our Lapua 308 bi-pod? Each shooter will have to make that choice. case. If the chamber is cut with a reamer ground to suit the 155 gn. Sierra Palma Match bullet and
Shooting the Barnard - off a Sinclair bi-pod
then the shooter opts to use the Scenar, the bullet will need to be seated much deeper and powdercapacity will be compromised - you don’t get 3100 fps from a 308 without using all its case-capacity! grade’ barrels. I have them on my 600 yard and 1000 yard benchguns and they are performing very well. They also cut beautifully, so gunsmiths will like them and they are readily available and competitively priced compared to American Yes, some competitors are exceeding 3100 fps equivalents. Now the barrel is threaded and – I know this because of the recently introduced chambered and mated to the action, we can start on muzzle-energy limits for civilian shooters using the stock-work. military ranges (including Bisley). Potentially ‘high energy’ ammunition (HME) must be The aluminium bedding-block is a very close fit in chronographed and the rifle ‘zeroed’ prior to the start of the recess pre-machined in the stock. It’s too tight shooting. A 155 grain bullet travelling at anything to allow the use of a thick bedding compound like over 3100fps will exceed the HME limit of4500 joules Devcon or Marine-tex so we opted to simply glue it and I have seen the chrono read well over this figure! in place with a two-pack epoxy adhesive (Araldite). Anticipating that a certain amount of the epoxy The victorious American F/TR Team (GB finished would ooze out, we took the precaution of applying second in the Worlds) used the new 155.5 grain a release agent – wax polish – to the whole of the Berger bullet and there is also a new Sierra 155 action nd unged-up crew-holes tc. ith lastecine. a b s e w p grain bullet. The Scenar, the Berger and the new Sierra have a very similar BC (ballistic coefficient) The beauty of this process is that it can be and any of these bullets would be suitable. At the accomplished by those who might otherwise baulk time we chose the Scenar and had the reamer at the prospect of a full bedding-job but I’ve just ground to suit simply on availability. Supplies of found out that Fox can supply the Robertson stock the new Sierra and the Berger were not as reliable with the block already glued in place - if you don’t but the Berger is now imported by Tim Hannam, feel confident in attempting it yourself. Now it’s Norman Clark & Fox Firearms and HPS carry the just a matter of some minor milling on the stock to new Sierra. Target Shooter scribe, Laurie Holland, clear the ejection-port, bolt-release and bolt-handle. is currently carrying out extensive testing with the Bergers in his F/TR gun so look out for a report soon. Is the bedding-block system as good as a proper bedding-job? I don’t really see how it can be. For those of you who aren’t familiar with True- Admittedly, the perfectly round Barnard action Flite barrels, I can only say that they appear to and the bedding block are CNC machined so the be made to the standard that we have come to fit should be perfect but a circular action in a 90 expect from American stainless-steel ‘match- degree ‘V’ means that the contact surfaces are
minute. With a conventional bedding job, we are seeking 100% contact. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” as they say - we’ll soon find out. Certainly, the build was very quick and simple - just two days. The Robertson stock is beautifully finished and needs no work at all - apart from touching-up the milled-out ejection port etc. A colour-matched paint sample is supplied for this purpose. The stock-work could therefore be accomplished by anyone who is competent with hand- tools. Fox also import ‘pre-fit’ True-Flite barrels for the Barnard actions - the actions are so consistently accurately that no further fitting or headspacing is needed. Many shooters find this route is the quickest and cheapest way to obtain a semi-custom rifle. We did all the barrel-work on a Tuesday and glued in the bedding-block. On Wednesday, we removed the barrelled-action and carried out minor finishing work on the stock and mounted the scope. By Thursday, Stuart was on the range breaking in the barrel and sorting out a load. Break-in procedure followed the familiar one-shot and clean for the first five shots, then half a dozen three-shot groups, thoroughly cleaning and decoppering between groups, then a couple of ten-shot strings to finish. Initial load-development was done at the same time and all loading was carried out using Forster dies (from Tim Hannam) – I’ve found that their Benchrest Ultra-Seater is about as good as it gets for screw-in dies when it comes to loading straight rounds. Vihtavuori N140 is a popular choice with 308 shooters but the ‘5’ series double-base powders have proved to be an effective alternative. Superior muzzlevelocities can be obtained with N540 with no increase in pressure. Stuart also tried N550 but it gave a consistently lower m/v with the 155 grain bullet. The Lapua Scenar bullet will be seated about five thou. (0.005 inches) off the rifling. With F Class competition there is always a possibility of a “Cease-fire, remove bolts” so it’s best not to load into the rifling and risk pulling a bullet and filling the action with powder! The starting load was 45 grains and we had a chronograph set up. The first round hit a healthy 2930 fps and, as Stuart increased the load - by 0.3 grain at a time - we soon hit 3000 fps with no pressure signs. When he started to shoot groups, Stuart was relieved to see that anything between 46 and 47 grains would group around half MOA (off the bi-pod) and he settled on 46.5 grains, giving a muzzle velocity of 3050 fps with no pressure signs. There may well be more to come but this will do for now. At the weekend, Stuart debuted the rifle in an 800 yard competition to give
it a real test and, for the record, took second place. Weight-wise, we are comfortably under – by about half a pound. Having said that, the scope is a Weaver T36 which weighs just 17 ounces. A variable scope is preferred by F Class competitors as it can be turned-down if the mirage runs and it also allows a shooter to more easily keep an eye on adjacent targets. This can be useful with a 308 at extreme ranges – at 1000 yards the targets are just seven MOA wide and it’s all too easy to miss with the first sighter-shot. If you do miss, a glance at your competitors’ targets may at least tell you which side you likely missed on! An 8-32 Nightforce NSX would be the dream choice but at 2lbs. it’s a luxury we can’t afford but the 8-32 Sightron is every bit as good as a Nightforce in my opinion for half the cost and Stuart ditched the Weaver in favour of a Sightron for the Worlds. The subject of bi-pods for F/TR could occupy a whole article. The simple but sturdy Harris has served us well but you won’t see many on competitive F/TR rigs – although it is light! Stuart prefers the Australian Larkin bi-pod or the latest Sinclair offering, both of which weigh around two and a half pounds. At the World Championships, custom built bi-pods using aluminium and carbon-fibre were in abundance. Ian Dixon’s is definitely worth a look. The rifle has since proved itself in top level competition over the 2009 season and Stuart finished second in the GB F/TR League (Russell Simmonds won – again!) and fourth in last month’s European Championships (Russell won that one as well!) Stuart is pleased with his choice of components and has already put together a few similar rifles for F/TR shooters. Check out www.ospreyrifles. com and www.foxfirearms.co.uk For Sightron www. aimfieldsports.com if you need further information.
when using advertising in the magazine To ADVERTISE in this space contact us at customer.services@ targetshooter.co.uk
Target Shooter 49
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.
Weihrauch HW45 Air Pistol
By Tim Finley
There are few firearms that are iconic as the Colt this is all air pistol. In fact it is without equal in terms 45, and in the world of spring piston air pistols the of power levels in the spring piston pistol world. It Weihrauch HW45 is at the top of the tree. It was shamelessly designed to resemble the famous Colt The end of the barrel inside the top 45, with it’s square section top slide cocking lever cocking section housing the barrel of the pistol. Cleverly it can even accept any custom grips designed to fit the actual Colt 45 firearm. The air pistol has been around for twenty years. That does not take away the fact that a genius design is a genius design. Do not let the age of the pistol give you impression it’s “old hat”. It still outperforms any other spring piston air pistol on the market today. It weighs about the same as a Colt 45 and from what I remember of shooting a real 45 it has the same “feel“. However, make no mistake
The Silver Star and my HW45
made it’s debut in 1985, being launched by Weihrauch in Germany as the HW45 and in America as the Beeman P1. The HW45 uses the same barrel over cylinder system as the old Webley air pistols. Both differ radically from the more normal low powered break barrel spring piston pistols, which are more common. The HW45 is a big pistol really, needing a two handed supported shooting stance to get the best out of it. The correct firing sequence for the HW45 is as follows, first the safety catch is applied. hen top slide is T
A 45ACP round next to a 177 pellet
unlocked by pulling back on the exposed hammer/latch at the back of the pistol near the rear sight, the slide can then be pulled upwards to compress the spring. I found it easier to press the top of the slide down in order o ore asily isengage he t m e d t hammer/latch. On the .177 versions the HW45 has two cocked positions. The first position swings the top section through 90 degrees to the main body of the action gives a lower power setting for indoor plinking/target work. If the top section is then pulled all the way out to 135 degrees from the
is small, but you get the hang of it after a while. Once cocked and loaded the lever can be shut, again, it’s made easier by pulling back the hammer/ latch, pushing the top down to it’s lowest level and then letting the hammer forward to engage the latch. When ready to fire the safety catch can be disengaged by pushing the small safety lever forward. The safety catch situated behind the trigger, it’s a small ribbed lever. It has an S for
The safety catch
The standard HW45 front sight
action this sets the pistol to it’s highest power for longer range outdoor work. The pellet can then be loaded directly into the end of the barrel, which is housed in the top section/cocking lever. The barrel sits inside the top section/lever with a space behind the barrel for the raised transfer port and “o” ring seal where the barrel mates with when the top slide is closed. I found it a bit fiddly to load at first with my large fingers, the space behind the barrel
safe and a red dot and F for the unsafe or ready to fire position. Note however, there is only a red dot warning you it’s ready to fire on the left hand side of the action, perhaps there are no left handed shooters in Germany? Weihrauch quote a 5.9 foot pounds power level in their advertising for the HW45. The pistol also comes in .22/5.5mm calibre, but that model does not have the variable power setting option of the smaller .177/4.5mm calibre. The standard black model HW45 is fitted with notch and post type open sights. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, via screwdriver type screws heads. But it also has a scope/red dot sight mounting dovetail on the front half of the top cocking lever, which extends all the way to the front of the gun, even past the front sight post. The wooden slab grips are styled upon the Colt firearm the HW45 is modelled upon. They have checkered panels to ensure a firm hold. Over the chronograph the pistol gave me 3.2 foot-pounds on the first cocked position and a very
healthy 5.2 foot pounds on the fully cocked position. The trigger is very good for a pistol and plays a part in making the HW45 such an accurate gun. I wanted to see if the differing powers had an effect on the trigger weight. I suspected the trigger weight on the higher power setting would be higher due to the increased pressure on the trigger sears caused by the increased main spring tension. Testing the weight with my electronic trigger scale I The laser mounted on was correct, the average weight the trigger guard of the low power setting was 1.260kg (2lb 11oz) compared to 1.365kg (3lb) when running at the HW45 and after a long plinking session, you full power. The adjustment screws are both situated know about shooting the HW45. But that really is the on the front face of the ribbed trigger blade and can only down side to the gun. It comes supplied with a be accessed via a hole in the trigger guard. The top comprehensive instruction guide and spare “o” screw alters the second stage position, shorter turn ring for the transfer port. It also has an Allen key which fit’s the trigger adjustment I replaced the wood grips with a rubber one screw, but believe me you do not need to alter it from the factory settings. I bought the HW45 myself in 2006, or rather my wife bought it for my birthday, on a trip to the gun trade show IWA I bought a set of Hogue rubber grips for a Colt 45 and as mentioned at the start of the piece they fit the HW45. I also fitted a laser on the front of the trigger guard and a Hawke Picatinny rail on the pistols dovetail rail. Onto this I fitted a small Barska reflex/red dot sight it needed the Picatinny rail as 99% of the small reflex sights are all made to fit Weaver/ to the right, longer turn to the left. The bottom screw Picatinny style rails. Coupled with the laser the gun is the weight, turning in will harden or increase the is capable of hitting 1inch discs out to 30 yards. In trigger weight and turn to the left to lighten or soften this set up my HW45 is a very, useable gun, it looks the trigger. I left the trigger as factory set, for my good and it very accurate. initial tests. I first zeroed the gun in my 6 yard loft The latest version of the HW45 is the Silver Star, range, where it comfortably grouped within 10mm recently launched by Weihrauch, on paper this using a two handed grip. Both with Vogel Match new version of the HW45 just looks to have had a pellets and #7 Crosman Premiers. Another feature cosmetic makeover to bring it more up to date. On of the HW45 is the optional extra of a shoulder stock, opening the box it looks a little like the older STL this makes the very most of the guns long range version of the HW45 but that initial look was way accuracy and means you can fit a normal rifle scope off the mark. This new model is so much more than to the dovetails. There is also a .20 calibre spare that. It has several new features that set it apart barrel if you want a change of calibre from the from all the previous HW45 marks. The new feature, normal .177 or .22. which is a major advance over the old models for I do find it hard work to continually shoot the pistol me, is the fitting of coloured fibre optic strands to without a break. It does take a bit of effort to cock
measured its power over the chronograph at two and a half foot pounds with .177/4.5mm 7.9 grain Crosman pellets. Pulling top section all the way out the power went up a full two foot pounds to just over four and a half, this was with a brand new gun with less than 20 shots through it. Once worn in the power should match my old model. The power gain of the second setting is for only a further 17mm of movement on the piston. Initial tests in my loft range at six yards gave me an 8mm center-to-center five shot group shot with wadcutter match pellets, with a power of four and a half to five foot-pounds the Silver Star is wasted at six yards. I took off to my FT club to the rear notch and front post open sights. This aid to sighting I have used on many other weapons and the see what is could do a FT pistol ranges. Out of doors difference the system makes to open sights is the fibre optic sight came into it’s own, the front monumental. You cannot fail to recognise the new model as the words Silver Star are engraved in flowing script behind the HW45 logo on the left hand side of the action. The grips too have had a major make-over and been replaced with a laminated wood set which are target style and look really stunning. The layered wood in differing shaded of grey is well sculptured and has a stippled finish to the bottom portion of the grip. This bottom half also swells out to a large section butt cap. The The Silver Stars laminated craftsmanship finish on the wooden grip wood is as you expect from Weihrauch on their Special Marks, superb. Getting down to the nitty gritty, the pistols mechanism is basically the sight has a red filament and the rear a looped green same as my standard mark on this latest model I section. These give two outer green dots and a center red dot when on the aim. With a zero card set at fifteen yards, my FT pistol zero range I set about seeing what the Silver Star could do. We use a two handed grip in FT pistol and the new laminated wood grip is the best I have ever used on a spring powered air pistol. It is comfortable as a single handed shooting stance too. It is not perfect for both left and right-handed shooters as it has been designed to be ambidextrous, but as a right-hander it still felt good to me. The compromise in The trigger adjustment dedicated right or left-handed screws shooters design is minimal and
The Silver Stars front sight
sight and Deben for the Picatinny rail.
Shooting the Silver Star
whoever did design it wants a pat on the back. You can tell they spent time on it, the way the angle of the front top section of the grip follows the angle of the safety catch when in the safe model is just one example of their deft touch. It really is a comfortable gun to shoot compared to the plain grips of the standard model, as I wrote earlier I should know I own a standard HW45. At fifteen yards with a standard two handed outstretched arm grip I shot a 20.7mm five shot group, this is with open sights remember. It was more remarkable when I measured it more closely, three shots were within 7.6mm, four within 14.1mm, so I must have spoilt the group with my fifth and last shot going high to spread it out to almost 21mm. I then ventured over to the FT pistol course, the first target was a 20 yarder. Aiming just at the top of the target I dropped it with my first shot, deciding then to go through the ten targets as an actual course I missed only three due to me not really knowing the Silver Stars close in trajectory. Fitted with a scope or red dot sight of some kind it would be fantastic, but I would be loathed to do so on the Silver Star, the new fibre optic elements really makes open sights work and what’s the point of rendering such a great feature on a great gun unusable by fitting a scope. I decided to keep the Silver Star and add it to my ever-growing collection of The air pistols, yes I have a standard HW45 already but this new model is so much more, it may be expensive as true quality always is. My old standard model is tricked up with rubber grips, a laser and optical sight but the Silver Star I shall leave as it is, open sights do have a part to play in target shooting and shooting this gun it deserves a gold not a silver star. Thanks to Karl and Pat of Guns International and Dave at Hull Cartridge for the pistols, SYSS for the Barska
Specification Manufacturer WEIHRAUCH Distributor Hull Cartridge 01482 34257 Model HW45 Type Spring Piston Barrel length 170mm Calibre .177 or .22 (.177 on test) (Spare .20 barrel available) Action Over lever Sights Notch - adjustable (with dovetail optical sight ramp) Trigger Two stage adjustable Overall length 280mm 1.1 Kg £270 rrp
Model HW45 Silver Star Type Spring Piston Barrel length 170mm Calibre .177 or .22 (.177 on test) Action Over lever Sights Rear notch – adjustable, with fibre optic elements front and rear (with dovetail optical sight ramp) Trigger Two-stage adjustable Grips Laminated Gray wood target style stippled for grip Overall length 280mm Weight 1.1 Kg Price £294 rrp Barska sight £75 from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies Hawke HK 17013 11mm to Picatinny rail £22 from Deben
superb Barska sight
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A critical examination of the 2009 Imperial Meeting Ammunition – Part One.
By Chris White
The NRA Imperial Meeting, the largest Target Rifle competition in the UK, has always imposed ‘issued ammunition’ on competitors, relying until this year on military RG ammunition producer, British Aerospace. Unfortunately, BA will no longer supply ammunition to independent associations like the NRA, so they had no option but to go elsewhere. After various ‘trials’, ammunition supplied by RWS was chosen. Target Rifle shooter Chris White shot in the Imperial and now he looks a little closer into the RWS product. Whilst the title may be a bit of a mouthful, it hopefully reflects the nature of this article. Target Rifle shooters are prone (pun intended) to pontificate on the basis of gut feel and old wives tales. Facts which are stated boldly behind firing-points up and down the country often have very little in the way of hard facts to support them. Most of the competitors I spoke to at this year’s Imperial Meeting were blissfully happy with the issue RWS ammunition. One or two reckoned they had had shoots ruined by off-call shots. So was the ammunition the cat’s whisker? Was it just reasonably good commercial ammunition or was all the hype unjustified? I could make a statement here as to my opinion and make this a very short article. That opinion, however, would be just as subjective as any shooters’ scuttlebutt. Of course to be really scientific about this we should have taken reasonably large batches of a variety of different ammunition types and shot them off a bench in ideal weather conditions to see which batch produced the tightest groups. I do have neither the financial nor the time resource to do this and neither am I a bench shooter, furthermore when
the chips are down I have do the best I can, ‘sling’ shooting my rifle from the shoulder in whatever weather condition prevails at the time and exercising all the skill, luck and low cunning available to beget a better score than all the other guys (and gals) who are in exactly the same boat. As Captain Mainwaring would say ‘We needed to do the exercise under combat conditions’!
Both the Army Target Shooting Club and the English XX Club run open meetings over the May Bank Holiday weekends. These meetings require the entrants to shoot issued ammunition which, in both these cases this year, was HPS Target Master - the current ammunition of choice for many clubs and TR shooters who do not reload. Both the British Commonwealth Open in July and The NRA Imperial What follows is not going to be a treatise on either Meeting in July issued RWS “NRA Target” ammunition. ammunition manufacture or statistics. Suffice it to say that because the sample sizes are relatively low and the The Welsh Rifle Association Open Meeting over the samples are not chosen randomly, any conclusions have August Bank Holiday weekend allows the use of any no statistical validity whatsoever. The sort of statistical ammunition, furthermore it provides TR shooters to invalidity which pertained when I asked my MP if there shoot alongside the Match Rifle shooters on Monday was a connection between the banning of handguns morning at 1,000, 1,100 and 1,200 yards. To say that and a five fold increase in crimes involving handguns! this is a severe test of shooter, rifle and ammunition is If, as Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies and something of an understatement! statistics” the facts can speak for themselves and readers can draw their conclusions but, I will dare bet that This then gave me the opportunity to critically if we could have gone on testing until the cows came home appraise the performance of the RWS ammunition in the end result would have been pretty much the same. comparison with commercially produced handloads of accepted quality (HPS) and my own ammunition. Finally, whilst we are still in the realm of disclaimers, any handload mentioned in this article was perfectly Before we get into looking at results, a word about safe in the author’s rifle using his reloading equipment my own ammunition (VMS). This was originally and techniques. That does not mean it will be safe in developed as a commercial product and, as a result, your rifle using your equipment and techniques. had to perform in a variety of rifles. Consequently Always refer to a reputable loading manual. Neither the little load development has been done other than author, the editor nor the publishers accept any liability ensuring that it meets these criteria and that it would for readers misusing this information. Data on cartridge significantly outperform ‘good’ RG. (British Aerospace length must not be construed as a recommendation! ammunition produced at their Radway Green facility).
My ammunition is loaded with Sierra 155 Matchking bullets (as was both the HPS and RWS) over 45.6 grains of Vihtavouri N140 in MEN cases and ignited by Federal Gold Medal primers. Bullets are seated with an LE Wilson benchrest seating die.
engages the rifling. My comparator has a .299 inch diameter hole for .30 calibre. In all the cases studied values for each brand showed very little variation from round to round so the values quoted are typical. Various batches of Target Grade 155 grain RG were measured for comparison purposes. There were some significant differences from round to round so three rounds drawn at random from each batch were checked.
Exceptions to this generic load are that the loads for my short-range rifle were set at 10 thou. off the rifling and for the long range rifle, as a result of a little bit of load development, 3 thou off. In both cases the ammunition used was neck-sized only and the finished rounds batched by total loaded-weight. In the case The results appear in table 1. of the long-range ammunition, only live round showing less than 3 thou of total ] indicated bullet run-out were used for scoring shots. (We’ll come back to this point later). Please bear in mind that all we can establish is the relative performance of these three different brands of ammunition in the author’s rifles. Different rifles may produce different results and better shooters may produce tighter groups. To try to rule out external effects I have taken as my examples the tightest elevation spreads displayed by the respective brands at 300, 600 900 and 1,000 yards.
The rifle used at short range is a Barnard with a 1 in 14 twist 30 inch Krieger barrel which has currently had 4,000 rounds fired through it and at long range a Steyr SSG (rear locking) with a 30 inch 1 in 12 Krieger which has now shot 6,500 rounds. Next month, we will look more closely at how the Both rifles are pillar bedded in Anschutz Supermatch ammunition performed in competition. walnut stocks and have height adjustable foresights. As a physical comparison I checked cartridge ogival length with a comparator. This picks up on the bullet ogive and is more meaningful than using cartridge overall length. It should be noted that the comparator does not, necessarily, sit on the part of the bullet which
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No.4(T) Sniper Rifle
By Nigel Greenaway
Having covered the development of the No.4(T) sniper rifle and its telescopic sight, it is now time to give some useful tips on shooting and reloading for these fine rifles. Some of the best explanations on how to use both rifles and sights were in the training literature of the day. Training Literature Several pamphlets and booklets were printed and these have become very collectable. The first publications were privately printed by Gale and Polden in 1940. Fieldcraft Sniping and Intelligence was written by Lt-Colonel N.A.D. Armstrong. A Canadian explorer and big game hunter who got involved with sniping during the WW1 and ran one of the Canadian Sniping Schools before becoming an instructor at the Sniping Wing, Small Arms School Hythe and Bisley, 194042 and ultimately Commandant of the Royal Marine Sniper’s School at which he is pictured in the group photograph, front row, second from the left. His book was obviously Right -: 1st Sniper’s Special course 1943 Right -: Three No.32 scopes – a Mk1, a Mk2 in the middle and lower a Mk3. popular because it ran to five editions. A similar book, also by an ex-WW1 sniping officer only ran to one edition – Sniping, Scouting and Patrolling. The first official pamphlet was Military Training pamphlet No.44 Notes on the Training of Snipers,
A number of WW2 privately printed and official literature on sniping
printed in 1940 which has a WW1 flavour and does not mention the No.4(T). The next publication was Small Arms Training Vol 1 Pamphlet No.3 Rifle 1942 which does mention the No.4(T) and the correct use of the M1907 sling on the last 7 pages. A rare set of amendments for this pamphlet were printed in June 1945 which, for the first time, gave instructions on how to zero the No.32 Mk3 scope. In April 1944 Army Training Instruction No.9 The Organization, Training and Employment of Snipers was published - just in time to issue to troops for D-Day. It was not until 1946 that the first really comprehensive 65 page pamphlet was produced - Small Arms Training Vol 1 Pamphlet No.28 SNIPING – because of its comprehensive coverage on how to zero all three marks of scope I have had some reprints made which current users find very useful. The last publication - Infantry Platoon Weapons Pamphlet No.10 SNIPING 1951 was all of 142 pages and came in handy for the Korean War. How to get the best out of your rifle Apart from all the obvious points about sound bedding, good barrel and muzzle, correct head spacing, tight king or bedding screw, etc there are one or two key things you need to check before shooting your No.4. Numerous tests, during and after the war, proved that the original method of bedding was the best. This resulted in the,
otherwise free floating, barrel touching the last couple of inches of the fore-end with a downward pressure. It should require 3-5 lbs of upward pressure to lift the barrel off its contact at the tip of the forend. When released the barrel should go straight back down on the middle of the bearing surface, not contacting the sides of the forend. Some No.4’s have subsequently been centre bedded for civilian target shooting which results in the barrel appearing to be free floating at the muzzle-end. This method is not correct for a No.4(T). The other thing to check is that the top hand guard, nearest to the foresight protector, has not moved forward under recoil. I have seen many No.4’s where the metal tip of the hand guard is actually touching the foresight protector which will result in inconsistent barrel flip and consequent lack of accuracy. On the subject of accuracy - the required wartime standard for a No.4(T) was a five round group within 3x3 inches at 100 yards. The training literature stated that 2.5 inches or better was possible at this range and because of the Lee-Enfield’s “compensating” action, accuracy was often better at longer ranges. I have shot my No.4(T) at 1000 yards in a Practical Rifle competition. The four targets were 18 inch wide Fig 11’s spaced equally apart on the ten foot wide backer, 4 shots, one on each target
There should be about a 1.5mm gap between forend and foresight protector
in 30 seconds. I had already shot the competition with an Enfield Enforcer, so I had some idea of the wind and the affect of the extreme cold on people’s elevation. I asked to shoot my No.4(T) just to see what the old girl was capable of – much to the amusement of some onlookers armed with some very modern.. ..rifles with powerful scopes. I was not given any zeroing shots, so I cranked the elevation drum to the number “10” and added 2 minutes for the excessive cold, applied some windage, before shooting four times within about 20 seconds using Greek HXP military specification ammunition. When the targets reappeared there were four chest shots and the doubters said I couldn’t do it again – so I did, amused comments ceased forthwith to be replaced with a certain respect for the old sniper rifle. Reloading for the No.4(T) If you really want to experience the full accuracy potential of a No.4(T) you need to consider reloading. Sierra produce a really nice boat-tailed 174 grain Match King bullet which can be made to shoot to just over a minute of angle in a well bedded rifle with a good barrel. I stress this because in a cordite worn barrel, characterised by wear in the lead of the rifling, boat tail bullets will not shoot well whilst the barrel may still shoot well with the original flat based bullets. The flat base helps prevent gas bleeding past the bullet before proper set up in the rifling. Powders that work well are Vihtavuori 140 and Reloder 15. I prefer the latter and anything starting around the 41.0 – 41.3 grain level will give slightly under the service velocity of 2440 feet per second (this will vary from rifle to rifle). I use Greek HXP brass which I sort by rifle and neck resize thereafter but Privy Partisan brass is probably even better. Overall cartridge length will be determined by the type of shooting, magazine fed or single shot – mine are 3.075 inch OAL. All the usual caveats apply as I have found this to be a safe load in my rifle but readers should start at least 10% below this load, especially if using different brass or bullets. Another tip is to neck size the brass for as long as possible before full length resizing. This will extend the life of your brass and also make it more accurate but you will need to segregate your brass if shooting more than one rifle in .303 calibre. I use standard factory loaded HXP for rapid fire or snap competitions at 200 yards because it is perfectly up to the job of hitting the 12 inch square bull – I then neck resize for the longer range competitions. Neck resized ammunition can get a bit tight to chamber so is best NOT used in rapid fire events.
The author shooting at 1000 yards
Zeroing the No.32 telescopic sight If a shot strikes to the left of the target, turn the deflection/windage drum anti-clockwise and vice versa. Mk1 scopes have 2 minute windage adjustment and 50 yard clicks for elevation whilst the Mk’s 2 & 3 have one minute adjustment in both windage and elevation. Once zeroed correctly for elevation, military ammunition would shoot correctly to whatever range setting you dialed with the numbers 1-10 corresponding to 100-1,000 yards – hence these scopes are refered to as Bullet Drop Compensating. Zeroing the Mk 1 & 2 sights can be purgatory because you need three hands! Zero at 100 yards, making adjustments so that you are striking the two inch square aiming mark. To zero the drums you have to hold the drum stationary whilst loosening the clamping ring but whilst not moving the central pin. You then have to keep the central rectangular shaped pin stationary whilst rotating the drum so that it either reads zero for windage or the number ‘1’ for 100 yards (if that is the range you are shooting at). You then have to hold the drum and central pin stationary whilst retightening the clamping ring. There were two different types of tool used to help achieve this feat but both were not very good! The Mk3 scope or the modified Mk2/1 scope (a Mk2 scope retrofitted with Mk3 drums) were much easier to zero and this is why these are the most sought after scopes. They had a slipping scale with a recessed projection which was designed to accept the tip of a bullet. All you had to do was hold the drum tight whilst using the tip of the bullet in the recessed projection to push the slipping scale around to the correct reading – very simple and soldier proof! Well that is the end of this series on the No4(T) sniper rifle – probably the best sniper rifle of WW2 when considering its all round attributes of accuracy, robustness, one minute of angle adjustment of scope plus overall ease of use. German optics were better but they had no windage adjustment on the scope and some of the mounting systems were not very robust. It speaks volumes for the basic package of rifle and scope when you consider that from the 1970’s onwards original No.4T) rifles were converted to 7.62mm calibre to produce the L42A1, which served for another 20 years. No.4(T)sniper rifles have proved to be one of the best investments for collectors and shooters with prices touching £5,000 at this year’s Trafalgar Meeting Trade Fair – find the right one and it will continue to appreciate in value for years to come and provide a lot of enjoyment for the owner at the same time. Sources: The Armourer Militaria Magazine, Issue 57 May/
Sierra’s excellent MatchKing bullets
June 2003 – WW2 Sniping Rifles by Roger Payne International Arms & Militaria Collector – Magazine No.20, 2002 – Roger Payne and David Tomkinson article on the No.4(T) An Armourer’s Perspective .303 No.4(T) Sniper Rifle – ISBN 1 85367 144 4. Peter Laidler’s bible on the history of these rifles. Telescope Sighting No.32 – An insider view of the Snipers Rifle Telescope - Peter Laidler - last reprinted in 1993 - a very comprehensive booklet on these scopes and how to strip and reassemble them (if you are very brave)
Reloads can result in sub one inch groups at 100 yards
Have a good Christmas and see you in the New Year
Gun of the Month
Have a look at the photograph – what makes our Gun of the Month worthy of the title? Yes, that’s just a ‘common or garden’ A5 McMillan stock, stainless steel action and barrel – just like dozens of other F Class guns on the Stickledown firing-point at the recent Bisley ‘Europeans’ where this shot was taken. Was it the winning rifle? Has it set any records? No, it didn’t win but it was still a ‘first’ in that this was the first competitive outing for an all-new British-made action from Russell Gall Rifles in Scotland. Way back in spring, Target Shooter carried a report of the prototype of the Gall action. Yes, we’ve seen prototypes before but the gap between making one action and putting them into production can be a void too great to cross for many would-be entrepreneurs. I’m very please to be able to report that Russell has now made that leap and the Gall action will be available very soon.
the very best in proven design and materials. Next month, we hope to have shot our Gun of the Month, examined the action in detail and brought you, the readers of Target Shooter, another great scoop! Don’t miss it! Meanwhile, you can contact Russ on www.rgrifles.com
If you have a rifle of the month to submit, from any shooting discipline, please contact us via So, apart from being British made, what makes customer services. Articles should be no more the Gall action special. For me, the answer than 400 words and supported by one picture to that question is simple – Russell hasn’t of 300dpi quality. attempted to make his action special - or revolutionary in any way, he has wisely used email@example.com his experience (as a gunsmith and benchrest shooter) to produce an action which employs
Target Shooter 67
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Shooting from the chair
By Andy Dubreuil
The title may seem strange but bare with me, I have been wheelchair bound since 1995 due to a spinal injury and for anyone that suddenly has a disability, and it’s hard to get over and to adjust to. I was always active in everything I did but your life can change overnight. Disability doesn’t change the person but it can with those around them, it can take you to some very dark places as reality sets in. I take a comment for a young soldier who said one moment he was 6ft tall and in a flash he was 4ft tall caused by and IED, he lost both legs and an arm in the explosion, but when one door closes another opens as they say and he is still working for the Army and is into sports that he would never of got into if it had not been a single life changing situation and that is what it’s like for most disabled people. My step son was in the Marine Cadets and turned round to me one day and said he would love to be able to get extra practice at shooting as this is something that he did with them, so I said ok we will find a club to join so you can get some extra practice. When I went down to the local club which is Portishead near Bristol I was face with my old problem of having to get out of the chair bum down the steps to get into the club, no big deal as I always make the effort. As I watch someone asked me if I wanted to have ago with an air rifle. The last time I shot was when I was in the army many years ago, but I thought I would give it a go, well I found that I had not lost my touch for shooting. After a couple of visits a bought a couple of air rifles and it was good as I had found something to be able to do with my step son. Trouble is that he was reaching the age were girls had come to his mind and when he found one I found myself the only one going to the club, but I had got hooked on the idea of being able to compete in postal competitions and when I won my first medal that was it, I was in at the deep end. I got through some different air rifles and then I had a go at Rimfire, that was so much fun, but then I was trying 3.57 and black powder. The 3.57 and black powder was great fun but was almost knocking me out of my chair and I do take safety seriously and stick with in my limits. I got myself a Ruger with a match barrel and it wasn’t long championship before I starting adding mod’s to it to make it even better and I was winning medals with that. I had seen guys doing prone shooting and wished I had been able to do that but my body would just not take that kind of stress, but then one day I saw our club secretary on the outdoor range shooting off a table and it intrigued me at what he was doing, it was benchrest shooting and once I had ago I know it was for me. Since then I have made it my one and only sport due to the amount of money I have spent and there just isn’t the time to do all the different competitions that we
Andy at practice during the world 2008
Andy ‘on the line’ at the world championship in 2008
A bit of fun in Italy shooting pistol during a day off from competition
70 Target Shooter
have at our club. My first rifle cost me £250 and I got a Caldwell BR1000 rest, that year was the first nationals and I just had to go even though I had only been shooting benchrest for about 3 months and I wasn’t expecting o ick p ny edals, ut idn’t nish ast. t p u a m b Id fi l I am one of 3 in the UK that are wheelchair bound that shoot benchrest, what I have learn over the years is that even if you are disabled you can compete against able bodied shooters and even give them a run for their money. My guys as I call them at my club are fantastic, they treat me just like one of the them and are always pulling each other’s leg’s, just I can’t feel it when they pull mine! I don’t have to bum down the steps anymore as they have put in a ramp now but I was happy to do that come rain, snow or sunshine. I have been a member of the British Squad for 3 years now and even they treat me just one of the guys. Target shooting has open a whole new world to me and that is because I became disabled, as my life was very different back before then. The transformation from being able bodied to disabled was a hard one, emotionally as well as physically, you have to learn things all over again but in a different way, shooting can also be like that in some way. If you spent a lot of time shooting one discipline and then move into
Andy at the European Championship 2007
another one, it can be difficult to leave some of the things that you did behind with the new one, call them old habits but they just don’t work. And being disabled can be like that, we adapt quicker to new challenges and obstacles that are put in front of us. I have travelled Europe and have taken part in European and World matches because of benchrest shooting and I have earn my place with the team just like any other team member, there is no special class for disabled and there doesn’t have to be and everyone is seated, you could say the sport was made for isabled hooters ut t’s ot, t’s here or veryone. d s b i n i t f e More and more shooters that have done prone shooting for years are now looking at taking up benchrest shooting as they have the right rifle and just need to put a scope on it and buy a benchrest and they are ready to go. Around the world there are different benchrest competitions from Air Rifle, Rimfire and Centrefire going on and it’s a growing sport and even younger people are taking it up, which is fantastic as they are the next generation. Benchrest is a very technical sport, there are some that spend their time trying to work out the physics of it all to try to make what is commonly called ‘killer rifles’, I think they have addiction bad, but like all shooting sports we do it for fun because we enjoy it for one reason or another. We all know someone in our lives that have been made disabled or are disabled so why not invite them to come to your club and let them have a go. There are disabled athletes all around the world, they didn’t just knock on someone’s door and asked to have ago, they have been encouraged by friends
and family, finding new things and ideas to make life seem normal in some way can be a great medicine. For me I have my step son to thank but also those friends I have made at my club that made me feel welcome, they have been there for me when I have been ill and at times when I have had to go into hospital, they don’t look at me any differently to anyone else. I have also through the sport made great friends around the world, sometime it’s like a dream. I have always been of the view for a long time that you can turn a negative into a positive and I have tried to live my life like that, I was asked not long ago would it be hard to give up shooting, and the answer to that is yes in some way but more for the people that I have made great friends with, there isn’t a day that doesn’t go past without some friend asking how is my shooting going, what gear have I bought and even for advise and a training. It would more the lost of contact with friends than the shooting. It is because of this sport of shooting that I got involved in this magazine, again it has been a new door that opened for me, I never intended to write for the magazine and work more behind the scenes with the advertisers you see in this magazine who are a great bunch of people to work with. I was not sure what we were about to take on was going to work, but you the readers have helped to make this magazine what it is today, I get a lot of satisfaction from reading the comments that you send in about what we do. 14 years ago I was stuck in a flat with hardly seeing soul or talking to anyone for days if not weeks, spending most of my time with hospital and
physiotherapy, we never know what life is going to through at us, or how things can turn.
The United Kingdom Team 2008
I had always had it my mind that I would never be able to travel when I became disabled but with good friends and team mates I am able to do it. First time round was scary as I travelled alone and was in a hotel by myself as the team had not sorted itself out with everyone going together, we were a bit new to it all, but once there it was great, the worries just disappear and you get on with job of competing. Here in the UK the NSRA have started a disabled shooting project and it’s good to see one of our national associations looking to help as much as they in this area. The great thing is there are people and organisation out there willing to help. You can find details on the NSRA website under News about their project or if you are looking at benchrest shooting then get in contact with the UK Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting, just Google them! My life couldn’t be fuller than it is and I feel that I am
able to give something instead of just taking it. I have always had a saying ‘if you can see past the metal work you will see the person’ we are all different one way or another, but sport can bring us all together from all walks of life, it’s a great thing to be part of.
View through the scope at “sport can bring us all together from all walks of life, it’s a great thing to be part of” 50m
☆ 2007 WC Milan 3x20 Silver Medalist ☆ 2008 Olympian 3x20 Fifth Place ☆ 5-Time NRA Camp Perry 3x20 Junior National Champion ☆ Multiple Women’s NRA Camp Perry National Champion
☆ 2007 Pan American Games 3x20 Gold Medalist
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To all our readers and Advertisers, the best of Seasons greetings and a hope for an great new year. From all of the team at Target Shooter.
Target Shooter 73
The Weaver T36 scope
By Carl Boswell
The Weaver T36 has been around for quite a above-custom Anschutz with an alternative number of years and has been reviewed by a silver finish to those T36’s tested great many people during its lifetime. I bring it up again here, as it is one of the few scopes that has on the objective lens. I must say that I have an spanned the last two decades and is still used opposite position to this thought, since moving quite extensively by a variety of shooters around onto a scope with parallax adjustment being on the globe for long-range shooting such as F-Class the side turret, but I have used scopes with this and all forms of benchrest shooting. This longevity configuration before. (I just find it easier on the as a product in the day and age of ‘fixed product side turret so I don’t have to lean over and life-cycle’ suggests the Weaver has something to adjust the scope when practicing – that’s me, I offer everyone. The official importers of Weaver am lazy and once comfortable in my chair I like to scopes into the UK are Edgar Brothers, although remain in position until the end of my detail. ‘To the two I have came directly from the States. each their own’ I guess! I found the adjustable Opening the box and, as I like presents I do like objective moved very smoothly and easily locked opening something new, my first impressions are into position when it needed to be. Overall the positive. As you would expect the scope is well layout is as you would expect, ergonomic and made, slim with a one inch body, but sturdy. The easy to use. one-inch tube seems small in comparison to the 30mm Leupold I use predominantly but does the The T36 has two reticles to choose from, either job. The markings are clear and precise. The one the eighth MOA dot or the fine crosshair. My thing that has been pointed out to me as a boon personal preference is the latter, as I tend to shoot on this scope is the parallax adjustment being rimfire and air rifle benchrest I have always opted for this type of reticle. It depends what you really require but, each one is as effective as the other. My first view through the scope, I tend to view the reticle and see how good the glass is. (The T36 has multicoated lenses to reduce flare – as you would expect). I achieve this by looking at the brightest light I can, (but not the sun for obvious reasons). This allows me to see Parallax adjustment on the Objective lens the edges of the glass
believe are made in Japan and the scope assembled in the USA. The weight of this scope will also be a deciding factor for some shooters trying to make weight for their chosen discipline. At seventeen ounces, it is on a par with its nearest competitor, the
T36 on the LG100 with view at 25 metres
and view any imperfections or foggy edges you might encounter with cheaper glass, however there were none so this test was confirmed. (In some Weaver tests I have seen there has been suggestion of fogginess at the edges of the glass – but see my previous comment). The optics I
36X Sightron (also 17oz). This can make all the difference when fitting for rig into a weighed class. The fact that it comes with sunshield as standard is also another bonus, as often this has to be purchased separately. The screw-on lens caps are a very positive aspect to this product, like a number of other manufacturers they are supplied to protect, but also aid protection during cleaning. This is especially beneficial during all forms of benchrest matches where you could be cleaning up to six or seven times during a match. The scopes, both dot and fine crosshair, were tested on both rimfire and air rifles. I used Pro Mounts on both scopes during this process, as they were the ones I had available with my Cicogani ones out of commission. The rimfire rifle being an Anschutz 2013 customized benchrest model, the air rifle being a Steyr
T36 on the custom Anschutz with view at 50 metres 76 Target Shooter
LG100 customized for benchrest. As I shoot both, I wanted to get the feel of the scope on both of these rifles as they are used for different disciplines. (Air rifle benchrest shooters also tend to use scopes that are not necessarily meant for benchrest, although this is changing). Although both rifles are designed to be used for benchrest, the practicality of shooting the two can differ in the techniques used. I used a Leupold magnetic boresighter to sight in the scopes so they were ready to fire onto test targets. (This tool is again a massive boon for rimfire shooters – the official importer for the UK is GMK. I have seen a rimfire laser bore-sighter recently and hope to get this for testing in the near future).
Weaver is half or two thirds the cost of some others I would say the clarity was exceptional for the price. It is worth having a look at some of the other scope reviews in Target Shooter to compare comments – some are a similar price to the Weaver and some are quite a bit more expensive. The scope has one-eighth MOA clicks which is great for benchrest shooting in any form. These were decisive and clear when adjusting. One issue that has been commented on is that of tracking. Some Weaver T36 models have been known to over ‘adjust’ well over the clicks that were dialed in on adjustment. This was not encountered during the tests, but if it does happen my personal experience is that Weaver are happy to repair/ replace the scope with no hassle. The tests themselves consisted of series of 50m A 50 metre test to show how the scope managed tests with the rimfire and series of 25m tests with to track around the standard rimfire and air rifle the air rifle. This was attempted over a number benchrest target was carried out. Each click of months with different conditions to ascertain produced a new point of impact, as I strung up the general use and feel of the T36. An eye test and clockwise around the target, coming back to was first, using newsprint to check the clarity of the original setting and point of impact. The large smaller numbers and lines until it was too small turrets are clearly marked and easy to read, being to read plus of course, a rimfire benchrest are etched in gold and move with a very positive click. target. Both provided appropriate data that the Next was an accuracy test, with both rifles. From clarity was very good, out to the maximum test the target diagrams you can see a couple of distance of 50 metres. We could comment on examples of both the 25 metre and 50 metre how this compares with other scopes but, as the targets (all five shot groups, all outdoors and during the summer months). These were pretty similar to the others conducted in the varying conditions during this summer period. The conclusion from this is that they were holding a good pattern, even in windy conditions, as I could ‘hold off’ with confidence. After all this testing and having the T36 for ‘a while’ I have decided this is a cracking scope for the money, especially when combined with the Davis optical booster from BulzeyePro. The booster I used brings the magnification up to about X45, which is more than adequate for any type of shooting. As the Weaver T36 is used by a number of the top shooters, and currently at least 2 world champions in rimfire and air rifle benchrest, then it is apparent that it is good Turrets are marked clearly and give postive clicks investment. Coupled with this - if it takes your fancy - is that the
it, some of the world’s best are using them and winning! Overall this is good purchase even as a starter scope, as the T36 costs around £400 depending on the retailer. Although there are other good scopes out there around this sort of price, I think the Weaver T36 is a bargain! Until next time! Specification Magnification Power, Objective : 36x40 AO Exit Pupil (in millimeters) : 1.16 Field of View (feet @ 100 yds): 3 Eye Relief (inches): 3 Overall Length (inches):15.4 Weight (ounces): 17 Reticle: Fine Crosshair/ MOA Dot Colour: Silver or Matt Black Distributor: Edgar Brothers Cost: Approximately £395.00 for the Matt Black version, but this may differ with currency fluctuations. The Silver model may be more expensive depending on the retailer. Davis optical booster can be found via this website; http://www.bulzeyepro.com/ Edgar Brothers can be contatced via this website; http://www.edgar-brothers.co.uk/
A range of test targets - top rimfire at 50m and bottom air rifle at 25 m. Weaver T36 is available in both silver and matt black. Therefore the aesthetics of your rig can be developed by you the shooter. The ones on test had a fine matt black finish that did not mark or scuff during testing. The T36 is an older model scope and there are newer ones out there - for me it comes down to a coin toss at the end of the day, as this scope is value for money. Let’s face
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Head to Head Benchrest Match South Africa verses Malta
By Stanley Shaw
The Malta Allied Airgunners Club (MAAC) started air rifle benchrest in May 2008 when they were still part of another club. This was after initial contacts with Carlo Caricato (former ERABSF president) and Carl Boswell. Later that year in ugust, MAAC was officially A formed nd ssued ith arget hooting lub icense. a i w aT S C L Currently, MAAC is seeking the required experience to compete with the rest of the world. For the first time since 2008, MAAC participated in the World Air Rifle Postal that was set up by the Free State Benchrest Shooting Association (FSBSA). The date for the head to head was set for Monday 28th September 2009 and we all eagerly awaited the moment. Later on New Zealand also showed interest in participating in this event and hence the Tri – Nation title for this event. Monday 28th September 2009, following the WFTF Worlds, it was time to shoot the Tri-Nation. South Africa, New Zealand and Malta in a head to head duel for the first time. Unfortunately New Zealand had to pull out at the last moment due to some unforeseen reason but this did not spoil the broth. Most of us only knew of each other through e-mails or Facebook but the WFTF Worlds had brought us together a few days earlier. The event was set up at the Krokodilspuit Range in Pretoria. When we arrived, the South African shooters were already preparing the range with wind-markers and the necessary hardware for the match. The weather could not be better for head to head bench rest match. The wind was a strong force 4-5 with gusts up to 6 and increasing as the day progressed. We Maltese had to prove ourselves to our South African hosts head to head, with the same conditions for all shooters. We did not expect to beat South Africa but we needed to prove our postal scores. Nick opened the event by offering a prayer for the occasion granted to meet and shoot together. The first match was for air rifle at 25 metres followed in the afternoon by a rimfire match, also at 25 metres. The Match Director and referees
South Africa are very well set up for rimfire, air rifle & centerfire benchrest
The first relay commenced and shooters started to shower their first score card with pellets whilst the rest of us chatted about air rifles or followed the progress of their colleagues. Between relays, shooters exchanged opinions and experiences. There was time for a quick snack between the AR and RF matches. The wind was chilly and everyone needed some energy to warm up. Now it was time for the rimfire match and the South African shooters helped out the Maltese shooters with their setup and gave hints on rimfire Windy days down in South Africa BR and wind deviation effects. South African shooters also were selected, ID tags were distributed and shooters gave us a target of at least 230 points per score card. got busy preparing their equipment. The Maltese team shared the four PCP air rifles that were used during the WFTF worlds - a Styer LG110, Air Arms The match started and everyone was thoroughly EV2, HW 100 and an Air Arms S400 all in 0.177 enjoying it and getting to grips with the rifles and conditions . Whist the relays were in progress, Match caliber and under 12 ft lbs. Most of the South African Director Nick Schoonwinkle and his team were busy shooters used Air Arms S400 and MPRs. scoring the AR BR match and the first incoming The topography at the Krokodilespuit range causes cards from the RF match. The wind continued to the wind to flow in a crazy way. In that 25 metre flurry and a storm was clearly on the way. We could stretch between shooter and target, the flags and already see lightning over the ridge ahead of us. wind markers were busy spinning and turning in all When the event was over, special medals and possible directions.
Nick Schoonwinkle of South Africa providing some advice
awarded medals out of 12 contestants. 1st Natali Terblanche (RSA) 1473-59X 2nd Pieter Van Der Merwe (RSA) 1470-43X 3rd Niel Terblanche (RSA) 145540X 4th David Giardina (Malta) 142628X 5th Nazzarenu Scorfna (Malta) 1420-29X Other Match Statistics. Air Rifle highest score card for Malta : Stanley Shaw 238-6X Air Rifle highest score card RSA: Pieter Van Der Merwe 246-3X Rim Fire highest score card for Malta : David Giardina 249-8X Rim Fire highest score card for RSA: Tionette Bernard JR 250-19X Air Rifle highest number of X on 3 cards Malta: James Bugeja -13X Air Rifle highest number of X on 3 cards RSA: Natali Terblanche - 15X Rim Fire highest number of X on 3 cards Malta: Dr.Mario Spiteri and Nazzarenu Scorfna - 23X Rim Fire highest number of X on 3 cards RSA : Tionette Bernard JR - 52X Combined highest number of X Malta : Stanley Shaw - 30X Combined highest number of X RSA : Natali Terblanche - 59X The storm was on us by now as FSBSA and MAAC members socialized around the traditional braai. This concluded his wonderful day and a match that will be permanently etched in every shooter’s memory.
The air rifle match
patches were distributed among the winners of each category. Special trophies from Malta were presented to the top South African Shooter in the air rifle , rimfire and overall classification. A special trophy was also presented by MAAC to FSBSA for this memorable day for our two countries. FSBSA was so happy with this trophy that Nick and his team decided to make this trophy into a special floating trophy that will be awarded during a yearly commemorative shoot. Results and statistics: In the Air Rifle section medals were awarded to the top 6 out of 17 competitors. 1st Natali Treblanche 726-15X (RSA) 2nd Renier Mosert 725-15X (RSA) 3rd Pieter Van Der Merwe 722 – 7X (RSA) 4th Johnathan Piezer 715 – 13X (RSA) 5th Niel Terblanche 711 – 7X (RSA) 6th Stefan Pretorius 708 – 4 X (RSA) (Malta placed 8th with David Giardina 703-7X and 9th James Bugeja 702-13X) In the Rim Fire section medals were again awarded to the top 6 out of 16 competitors. 1st Tionette Bernard JR 749-52X (RSA) 2nd Pieter Van Der Merwe 748 – 36X (RSA) 3rd Natali Terblanche 747 – 44X (RSA) 4th Luandri Bernard JR 744-41X (RSA) 5th Niel Terblanche 744-33 (RSA) 6th Dr. Mario Spiteri 739-23X (Malta) (Malta placed 7th with Nazzareno Scorfna 738-23X). In the Overall Class the top 5 were
Shooters on the line, South Africa have had quite a few international matches in 2009
Target Shooter 81
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"Phoenix A, X & A Class.” Two British Record Scores at Gallery Rifle National Championships 2009
This Smallbore Business
By Don Brook
It is nice to resurrect this column for a magazine World records and Olympic Gold were just a part that reaches so many. of these. In my opinion, those three men listed above - each had their own fields – but with all The primary function of these articles is to give three, I regard them as the best team I ever saw. the new chum coming into this fascinating sport an insight into what is needed, particularly if you A great deal of my own techniques came from want to go a long way in the rifle game. these guys, so now it is my turn to put something back. So what does a new chum need to get For starters, the British Isles has a long history started? in smallbore three-position matches and this writer was privileged to be accepted as a Well, we will address the target rifles first and in competitor with the British shooters in their my opinion, though the options are many and undisputed heyday. Great shooters such as the varied, there are probably two rifles that stand incredible Malcolm and Sarah Cooper, Alistair out. (Jock) Allan and Barry Dagger did the British The Anschutz series Team proud with a very long list of successes. Made in Germany, Anschutz also has a long
Anschutz Model 1913 with stock 1907
Anschutz Model 2007/660 Small Bore Rifle in stock 2313 Alu Color
and proud association with the sport and hold many records, together with Gold Medals. These were the rifles that I used in my career and at one time the Anschutz completely dominated the firing-line at every international competition you could name.
shooter in the world at present, an Australian friend of mine, Warren Potent.
It is interesting to note that Bleiker generally uses American stainless-steel barrels - either Hart or Lilja but I know there are also very good Swiss barrels made and that can be discussed with They are available in different forms, from pure Bleiker depending on your preference. prone rifles to the three-position thumb-hole stocks. In later years, Anschutz developed their Bleiker also has the distinction of offering to aluminium stock and these are now preferred discuss requirements with the shooter and will over the timber variety. Some shooters still build the rifle accordingly. I have no doubts, that prefer the timber versions such as Sergei in spite of my lifetime with Anschutz, I would Martynov from Russia, quite arguably rated as choose the Bleiker rifles were they around in my one of the better prone shooters around. day. A word though, even with the very best gear, you still have to shoot them! You will find them on It is important to understand that the new chum www.bleiker.com.ch and well worth a look! to three-position needs to choose a free rifle, (nothing to do with the price!) as these are Generally, there are many different types of rifle the ones with stocks having a multitude of available and the secondhand market usually has adjustments. These are very necessary to ensure a plethora of them. For the new chum, you do the ultimate body fit that is so necessary to shoot not have to go to extremes of finance, as often really well in all the three positions of a match. you will find that secondhand rifles are well up to standard. All of the available rifles have this system and the shooter would do well to jump onto the It is worth noting that very rarely have I seen computer and search Google so that all avenues a smallbore shooter with a rifle that is not well are covered, according to personal preference. cared for. Most secondhand rifles are well looked You need to pay particular attention to the after and still shoot really well. Occasionally you accessories, which I will deal with in later articles. may find a Walther (Germany) free rifle on the You can view the excellent Anschutz catalogue market. These were favoured by Cooper, and I on the web site www.anschuetz-sport.com have a 1952 model Finish Lion that still shoots extremely well (see photo above) and there is The Bleiker rifles no way I would ever sell it from my stable. It is These rifles without doubt, are moving steadily extremely accurate. into the market. Like most stuff from Switzerland, they are extremely well made, precise, So, initially let’s look at 3 Position shooting and innovative n esign nd xtremely ccurate. These what is required. i d a e a are the rifles currently favoured by the best prone
BLEIKER ‘Challenger’ Smallbore Rifle .22 LR (ISSF)
Prone shooting In many countries, including Australia, this is usually where the shooter starts out, due to the fact that the prone events are what most countries focus on. I had to make it as a prone shooter before I could concentrate on my preferred event, the 3 position matches. Prone events are generally easier, simply due to the steadiness of the prone position and you can get to be pretty capable in a relatively short time. As you advance, prone shooting becomes quite a science with mental attitude making a very big difference. This too I will attend to in later articles. Standing shooting This is the most unstable of the positions due to the small support-platform under the rifle and there is specialised clothing and boots to consider as well. Good standing shooting is an art form and it does involve quite a long process of training if the shooter wants to reach the top. The air rifle events are all shot standing, so an ideal training model for an aspiring smallbore 3P shooter. More on this later. Kneeling shooting - A specialised event In my opinion this is the most difficult of the three positions due to two things. Firstly, the positions enerally re ramped nd nusual or he g a c a u f t shooter to master. Secondly, a good kneeling
shooter expects to and often does exceed his prone standard, such are the score expectations demanded. I will also address this position down the track a little in later articles. Finally in this article comes the first step for a new shooter. It is imperative, in my opinion that you find an excellent techniques coach right from the start of your campaign to become a British representative in your chosen field. Smallbore, is an Olympic event, and I could not find a better reason for my goals. A really good coach can save you heaps of time and in England you have one of the very best available. I speak of Barry Dagger from Manchester. Barry is a gifted coach. I would look him up right at the outset, and listen to what he has to say. As an Australian, in my era, it was very difficult to gain any subjective information relative to improvement. So, make your choice carefully when choosing a coach and listen - try things out under instruction. This could save you major time! The other thing with all smallbore events – remember this example of psychology (which I will also address later on) that I leave you with: ‘Practice does not necessarily make perfect…. perfect practice makes perfect’.
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HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 2)
By Laurie Holland
Let’s move onto components in our look at .308 Above - Many British .308 Win users will use Win. Making a choice can be as simple or as hard Lapua brass and bullets with Vihtavuori powders as you like: if you live in Britain or Europe, the ‘simple route’ is to specify Lapua brass, a most mid burning rate powders, a quick survey ‘benchrest’ primer such as the CCI-BR2 or finding just over 20 fully suitable grades from five Federal 210M, 155gn Lapua Scenar or new Sierra manufacturers available in the UK, most of them Matchking bullet and subject to personal suitable for ‘mainstream’ (155-210gn) bullet weights. A quick count of suitable bullets threw preference, Vihtavuori N140 / 540 / 150 powder. Hodgdon VarGet is the powder of choice for .308W Palma and Take a deep breath when Fullbore Rifle on the western side of the Atlantic with American you buy the gear though as brass and bullets. Alliant Reloder 15 is the choice of some a couple of hundred cases, 500 Scenars, 1,000 primers, and couple of kilos of N140 add up to £437.36 using the importers’ recommended retail prices, although you can reduce unit prices somewhat by buying bulk (1,000-piece) bullet packs and a 3.5Kg bottle of powder. If you’re American, you might choose Lapua brass too, but are more likely to select home-produced Winchester or Remington, a Sierra or Berger 155gn bullet and Hodgdon VarGet. One of the beauties of handloading .308 Win is the range of top quality components that is available not to mention this design’s excellent performance with
How do you get your cases? Once-fired or other secondhand brass from different makers and production lots and fired in other people’s rifles is not ideal up 36 HPBT or FMJBT match examples within this weight range, again from five manufacturers. Brass But, let’s start with the case, a component which is all too often the last thing to be considered, and then largely in terms of: “Which is cheapest?” Alright, if you’re going to use an ancient 7.62mm TR rifle or superannuated sporter to shoot at large targets at modest ranges, expensive brass won’t affect the results overmuch. Just after the first Gulf War I acquired hundreds of 7.62X51mm cartridges from people who’d bought them for under £10 / 100, then complained they “wouldn’t shoot”! They had Farsi headstamps, came from different manufacturing lots, and were dirty with a mixture of grit and oil. Oh yes, they were still in strips of five in metal disintegrating-belt clips, presumably having been in 5 ball; 1 tracer machinegun belts – I’m pretty Buying new Lapua, Norma or RWS brass is the proper starting point for precision .308W handloads. The R-P cases seen on the left are good quality too, but cost more than Lapua at the moment! sure they were the former property of one Saddam Hussein and had been recovered from some bit of Kuwaiti or Iraqi real estate. The case to bullet crimp was so crude some mouths were almost square
and dismantling them revealed poorly made, often damaged bullets alongside three powders each with a different charge weight. A few cases had flaws in the brass walls and had to be discarded for safety – it doesn’t come worse than that! Yet cleaning them up and truing / resizing the necks produced very serviceable short-medium range ammunition when reloaded with 150gn Lapuas – a Ruger 77V heavy-barrel sporter had no trouble keeping them in the NRA TR target centre at 500 yards. Match Quality However ....... if you have any aspirations to produce match quality .308W ammo, you start with brand new (NOT ‘once-fired’) good quality brass, and the best comes from Lapua, Norma, and RWS. Unlike American brass, this trio have machined primer pockets and drilled flash-holes, and usually exhibit smaller variations in their neck wall thickness, and overall weights. Norma is rarely found here as new unprimed cases, most examples Lapua is not only very consistent, but very strong coming from fired factory sporting ammunition while with the best brass hardness gradation control in the business. Note the dark shoulder/neck RWS cases can be obtained if you hunt around, but areas from the final annealing operation are very psi away from your eyes. It’s not as simple as that though as we need degrees of brass hardness / toughness that vary – hard at the rear in the head / web area so it doesn’t distort under pressure and the primer pocket doesn’t expand, hopefully not under repeated firings either as we don’t want to throw the cases away after two or three loadings. As we go up the case, the brass has to be softer as well as thinner so that it expands against the chamber walls without splitting. Finally, the shoulder / neck section has to be very soft in relative terms to grip the bullet without splitting and to take the expansion and contraction of firing followed by Super thin-walled 1980s Norma 160gn .308 cases have a thin, weak web-body junction and will separate in short order if headspace is not kept small and/or heavy loads are used in weaker actions
The Sinclair case sorter allows quick and easy case-neck measurement for batching and culling brass expensive. Lapua is widely available, and considering the quality, not that much dearer than the Remchester equivalents – In fact, checking with Lapua importer Tim Hannam, it’s currently cheaper than its ‘Relcom’ (Remington) equivalent at £47.95 per 100 compared to £52.98! Winchester is cheaper though t 36.40 rom ilson ilson ieldsports td. a£ f W &W F L So what’s special about Lapua? Firstly, strength – very important as the back end of the case is the plug that that seals the rear of the chamber and keeps gas at thousands of degrees and 60,000
The final thing we’re interested in is capacity, the amount of space inside, specifically a few microseconds after ignition has taken place and pressure has built up enough to expand the case to fit the chamber – that’s the actual working combustion chamber volume which has a significant effect on the ultimate pressures produced as the powder burn peaks, and in turn affects performance and safety. We measure the capacity by weighing the amount of water that fills a fired but unsized case to the top of its mouth. Weigh a selection of fired cases, choose an average example noting its empty weight, fill it with water level with the Above - Laurie isn’t a fan of battery powered electronic mouth, then reweigh to obtain the scales for measuring powder charges, but they’re a boon water’s weight by simple arithmetic. for weighing and sorting cases. This Lapua .223 Rem case We don’t do this for every case in a is being weighed empty prior to filling with water to obtain box, but it’s useful for comparing the the capacity capacity of different makes, sometimes even different lots of one resizing down for the next loading. It does work make, and nearly essential if you have the harden though, and it’s this that will likely define QuickLOAD internal ballistics program and want the case’s life, either that or the primer pocket to use it properly as inputting the finding(s) generexpanding under repeated heavy loads. Lapua’s ally provides more accurate results than using the materials control, cold-drawing stages (which default value. What we’d like is for every case in hardens the brass as well as being part of a box to have an identical capacity, but we can’t the forming process) and multiple targeted really find that out, so we do the next best thing annealing processes (to soften the metal in the and weigh every one (empty) and segregate them appropriate places) as it turns a brass disc or ‘coin’ accordingly. The idea is that if a case is lighter into a finished case are reckoned to be amongst than its fellows, its walls are thinner so it likely has the best in the world. The result is a really strong more capacity; less if it’s the other way around and component that Lapua says will survive at least is at the heavier end of the range. We’re looking 10 loadings, and in military ammunition has a 20 for a 1% maximum variation – 1.7gn if a typical year shelf life without case-neck deterioration. example weighs 170gn, or around 0.8gn either side of the median. What are we actually likely to find in The other thing we’re looking for is consistent wall a box of virgin brass? It varies depending on make, thickness, this seen by measuring necks at three cartridge, and manufacturing lot. Our ‘good trio’ or four points around their circumference. We want usually produce small variations – I’ve seen Lapua two types of consistency – between cases, so that .308 brass where every example in a 100-piece box every case in the box has more or less identical was within a 1gn range equating to around 0.6% dimensions; also within individual cases so that variation, but three-quarters or more vary by less brass that averages 15 thou’ neck thickness say, than half a grain. I’ve encountered other makes doesn’t throw up readings of 14 thou’ on one side where there was four or five grains difference over and 16 on the other. We can neck-turn these 100 cases. Incidentally, this weighing process and inconsistencies out, can’t we? Yes, but that’s any batching or culling should be done after any extra workload needing expensive tools, also case preparation processes that involve removing inconsistent neck wall thickness is a symptom of metal: trimming; primer pocket cutting / uniforming; the whole case being out of kilter. These things mouth chamfering; and neck-turning. are bad for precision ammo as they (a) generate inconsistencies between cartridges, and accuracy What did I mean by ‘cartridge’ within the list of is about every cartridge behaving the same way variables? Well, even within the Lapua range, in the rifle, and (b) produce small concentricity I reckon there is ‘Lapua Quality’ and ‘Lapua variations, so cartridges don’t lie straight in the Quality’ – that is, .220 Russian, 6mm BR Norma chamber and/or bullets aren’t lined up with the bore. and 6.5X47mm Lapua cases are usually superb out of the box, as they’re going to the pickiest
This is one reason why bullet and powder manufacturers are a bit cautious in their loads data. If you read the wordy bits at the beginning of reloading manuals as you should, you might notice a ‘health warning’ about maximum loads only being safe with the exact combination of components listed in the cartridge data, but the producers know that many customers will ignore this and use any old case they can get hold of, preferably for free! You also used Weighing good quality brass from a single production lot like these Lapua to see warnings in 308W examples will usually produce a classic ‘distribution bell-curve’ with tables of .30-06 and most weights in the middle tapering off to a few very light and heavy .308W data to reduce examples at either end of the range maximum loads with ‘arsenal brass’ by a customers in the shooting fraternity. .308W is a less couple of grains as heavy military cases often have pricey ‘bread and butter’ product produced in larger less room inside and generate more pressure for a quantities and some of it ending up loaded with FMJs given bullet and powder charge. for military customers, so it’s not guaranteed to be quite as good, displaying greater variability between Makes lots, but at its best is still really, really consistent. What have I been using in my test loads and competition shooting? The primary make is Lapua, We’re not just interested in consistency amongst all cases of recent manufacture but bought in three cases from one maker, but in comparing weights bites, hence different lots. I also have hundreds of and capacities of brass from different sources. 1980s era Norma cases that are light, thin-walled and ‘roomy’. Recent Relcom (R-P RG Bisley Match 7.62mm cases are heavy with reduced headstamped cases from Remington) internal capacity while the German MEN brass used in HPS and Winchester cases were purchased target master ammunition is on a par with good quality too. As examples of military type brass, commercial products I tried 25-case samples of American WCC80 and German MEN, the latter obtained from firing HPS Target Master ammo. Finally, for comparison, I weighed and measured the water capacity of an RG 2004 7.62mm case from 155gn‘Bisley Match’ cartridges, also fired in my rifle and fireformed to its chamber. Cases were weighed, had their neck thickness measured, and the water capacity identified – the results are shown in Table 1. The Lapua brass displayed its usual exceptional weight and length consistency, but this particular lot had more neck thickness variation than some ranging from 14 to 17 thou’. I should stress that these extremes were never found in any
is the famous, perhaps that should be notorious, ‘160gn Norma’ which was seized on by the Bisley Match Rifle shooters, but turned out to be overly thin-walled and weak in the web-body junction leading to failures with the very stiff loads these shooters use. Some of my cases measure only 1213 thou’ in their necks, although 14 is more common. Capacity wise, I got a range of water weights from 54.8gn for the RG military example up to 57.2gn for the old thin-walled Norma representing smallest and largest capacities. The table also lists these weights and shows the peak pressures and MVs that QuickLOAD calculates for a 155gn Lapua Scenar seated to an OAL of 2.850” over 45.0gn of Vihtavuori N140, showing how capacity affects pressure. Putting it another way, if you had worked up a maximum load of this powder that is right on the CIP allowed maximum of Case wall consistency is a key factor alongside the press, dies 60,191 psi in the Norma case, then and loading techniques in producing cartridges with minimum used that charge in the Lapua or RG bullet runout – unlike these American factory examples case without reducing it, you’d be 3,550 psi and 7,150 psi over the CIP single case ,and moreover only applied to a very few examples. Around half the 100 cases measured PMax levels respectively! exactly 15, and that right around their necks too, give or take a half-thou’. This is where a Sinclair I’ll look at case preparation next month, asking if case-sorting tool is a boon letting you measure it’s worth the expense and effort, then move onto necks quickly and segregate those outside of the next main group of components, bullets, where whatever you decide are acceptable limits. The we not only have a big choice of makes, weights Relcom (R-P) brass was more consistent than I and types, but a split between long and short-range expected with less extreme overall neck thickness models that many shooters fail to appreciate. variation than the Lapua, no measurement falling Pmax values marked with a * exceed CIP maximum outside 0.015 to 0.0165”, but actually had far fewer allowed (60,191 psi). NB pressures and MVs are individual cases with Table 1 Case Weights and Neck Thickness a one-thou or less Weights (gn) Neck Thickness Capacity PMax (psi) MV (fps) variance in their necks. Av. 159.5gn Av. 0.013” 57.2gn H2O 55,686 2,890 This make also had Norma Winchester 156.3 – 158.7 0.014 – 0.017” 56.9gn H2O 56,403 2,896 a good overall weight 164.1 – 165.4 0.015 – 0.0165” 56.6gn H2O 57,141 2,902 spread of only 1.3gn. Remington To my surprise MEN 171.1 – 172.0 0.0145 – 0.016” 56.3gn H2O 57,901 2,908 as I think of it as Lapua 171.1 – 171.9 0.014 – 0.017” 55.6gn H2O 59,763 2,922 military rather than WCC80 (Mil) 173.9 – 177.0 0.013 – 0.0175” 55.3gn H2O 60,602* 2,929 match brass, the RG04 (Mil) 172.3gn 0.0155 – 0.0175” 54.8gn H2O 62,059* 2,940 ex-HPS MEN stuff was very good too. Winchester, in my lot at least, was the poorest of the estimates from a computer model, and actual commercial makes and also had the worst finish, pressures may be higher or lower in a particular hardly a case-mouth round as they came out of firearm. The loading data is purely for illustration, the packet. It wouldn’t be fair to comment on the not necessarily recommended for use. Norma cases which produced a lot of variation, because it’s not recent manufacture, and my holdings comprise everal anufacturing ots ixed. his rass s m l m T b
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Target Shooter 93
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covered, as Russell believes that this is all part of maintaining an accurate rifle. The advanced course will be aimed at those who currently make their own ammunition but would like to tune and develop their loads to a much higher standard in an effort to try and extract the maximum accuracy from their rifle. This course will delve deeper into powder, primer and bullet choice, bullet-seating depth, load development and again, barrel cleaning. Both courses will be run over a whole day and during this time students will actually load their own ammunition under the close supervision of Russell, who will limit these courses to no more than three students per instructor. All reloading kit will be provided for your use whilst on the course and the cost of each course will be £95.00 this will include light refreshments. For participants booking for both courses at the same time the cost will be £170, saving £20. Remember, reloading isn’t only for the target shooter, pest control and stalkers will also benefit from making a more accurate load than they can buy, tailored to their exact requirements. All course participants must hold valid firearms certificates.
Russell Simmonds, the new F Class F/TR World Champion, who also retained the European and GBFC League Championships for the 2nd year running, is looking to share his techniques and experience he has gained over the last few seasons. This will take the form of two ammunition reloading courses, one aimed at shooters who would like to start reloading and another for those currently reloading but want to take their skills to the next level. The Level One course is aimed at those who would like to start reloading but need advice on the basic equipment and techniques to make a start. The Level Two course will be aimed at those who are already competent reloaders and wish to take the next step to making top quality ammunition for serious competition use. The basic course therefore will take shooters from their current ‘factory’ ammunition to competently producing their own equivalent ammunition and how to make that ammunition superior to bought ammunition. Russell will cover the basics of safe reloading and include health & safety requirements, case preparation, choice of primers, powders and bullets, bullet-seating and load development. Advice will also be given on choice of reloading equipment, plus barrel cleaning and preparation will also be
By Gwyn Roberts
Most new shooters entering into our Gallery Rifle competitions will usually start off by shooting some of the smaller (low round count) ones such as the Timed & Precision 1 or Multi Target matches. Most clubs offer their own “informal” competitions for novice shooters whilst others may also be involved in one of the many postal league competitions that are available throughout the country. These two matches are by far the most popular of the “shorts” events that people take part in, and this is probably due to the fact that they are both shot from the Strong shoulder only, in the “standing unsupported position.” This “just stand there and shoot it” position doesn’t mean that they are easy matches to score well in however, as you will probably find out after shooting your first match!
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your eyes closed, bring the rifle slowly back up into the aim again until your cheek contacts your usual reference point on the stock. Once you have adopted what feels like a natural hold, open your eyes and check to see where your scope is pointing. If the crosshairs are actually pointing somewhere on your target then things are looking good but if they are off to the side of it somewhere, you will need to adjust your feet slightly and carry out the test procedure again until the correct alignment is achieved! Once a good body/target alignment has been achieved, a good tip to adopting the correct position again quickly during your practice session is to simply draw around your feet on the floor using To be a good “shorts” shooter or probably more some chalk. This way, all you will have to do is simply importantly, a consistent one, you will first of all step into the shapes each time you go on to the line need to work on achieving a quick and consistent which ay ave ou ot f ime nd rouble o tart ith! m s y al o t a t t s w target acquisition as there can be up to 30+ targets closely situated together on some of the ranges that After alignment, the next thing to master is we shoot on, and it can be very easy to cross shoot bringing the sights up consistently onto the centre of onto someone else’s target in these circumstances! the target each time and this can only be achieved To be able to do this it is essential that your body by keeping your head still, whilst keeping your position in relation to the target is correct to start with eyes focused on the centre of the target. Simple and this can be done by a simple alignment check. repetition of bringing the rifle slowly up and First of all, put a target up at 25m and then take aim down from the aiming position will develop your at it in your normal standing position. The next thing muscle memory and hand/eye co-ordination and will you need to do is then close your eyes and bring the eventually help get you onto the target in around rifle down into the 45º “ready” position and hold it a second or less, but only if you practice! Just for a few seconds. Then still making sure you keep remember that you should always shoot with your head
A pretty simple course of fire but not that easy to score well in!
in an upright position and that the rifle always moves this match is at 15m and requires one shot to be towards your head, and not the other way around! fired in 2 seconds, for a total of 12 shots in all. This particular one causes many of the newer shooters all Once you can get yourself up quickly onto the sorts of problems and many of them tend to bring the centre of your target the next thing to look at is rifle up as quickly as possible and just pull the trigger timing, as this is a very important part of shooting the as soon as they see any part of the target in their “shorts” matches. Shooting too fast will produce poor sights. This approach is obviously not going to score accuracy whilst taking too long will result in late shots them the maximum number of points available on and misses on the target so you must find the right the day! To shoot this stage well you should first of all balance and build up to it slowly. The first practice in just practice bringing the rifle up slowly into the aim the Timed & Precision 1 match allows you 2 minutes until the sights are in the middle of the X or 10 ring to shoot 12 rounds at 25m. This sounds easy and before slowly releasing each shot. If it takes you 3 it is really as long as you don’t rush your shots and or 4 seconds to do this at first it’s no big deal, as remember to use a timer. You must also remember you must first work on your accuracy and not your to breathe in between your shots and don’t hold the speed. Once you have practiced a little and start to rifle up for too long otherwise your arms will start to place your shots pretty much all around the middle get tired and your performance will suffer. You have part of the target you can then start to decrease plenty of time to shoot this practice in so don’t be afraid to lower the rifle down every now and then Whatever your standard, there is always room for a little improvement! to help relax your muscles! The second practice in
your times slightly. You must however work on remaining calm and focused and maintain your accuracy bove ll lse. nce our echnique nd iming a a e O y t a t improve you should work gradually towards releasing your shots off within the 2 second interval and simply repeating the timing to yourself can help you a lot! When I shoot this match as the targets start to turn towards me, I just repeat to myself “up…. aim…. fire” and simply release each shot as I say “fire.” Obviously to get the timing just right you will have to watch the targets turning towards you but with a little bit of practice it certainly becomes a lot easier! Dry firing s robably he asiest ay o o t t rst, nd ake i p t e w t d i a fi a m sure that your scope magnification is not set too high to start with as this will only make the process harder! Shooting 2 or more shot strings with an underlever is certainly a lot easier if you tune up your action to start with, whilst using a slow and smooth technique when operating the lever will also help to keep the crosshairs in the middle of the target. This will obviously help make your follow up shots a lot easier and allow you to place your shots more consistently on the target! A lot of people for some reason tend to lift their heads up off the stock when racking an underlever making it much harder for them selves and this should be avoided at all costs. Learning to shoot with your thumb “up” on the side of the grip
as opposed to wrapping it back over again before squeezing the trigger each time will help you to produce a smoother racking action and is well worth spending a bit of time practicing on. The two shots in 3 seconds stage at 10m also causes some people problems and again it shouldn’t really as long as you always think about what you are doing at the time. You must always make sure that when you practice, the emphasis is on putting the second (or 3rd or 4th) shot into the middle of the target and not on the speed that you release it in. When shooting the two shots in 3 seconds stage in Timed & Precision 1 at 10m I simply repeat to myself “up…. and one (fire)…. and two (fire). I do rack the action fast but my technique always keeps the rifle flat and controlled and I never take my eye off the target/crosshair. Releasing each shot as I reach “one and “two” always gives me the confidence to take that little extra bit of time to just tweak the sights over into the middle of the X ring and helps me to remain calm and focused. The 6 shots in 15 seconds at 25m and 6 shots (3 on each target) at 20m stages in the Multi Target match usually causes a lot of people to needlessly natch heir hots s hey ry o hoot oo ast s t s a t t t s t f instead of paying attention to their sight picture and shot release. Whenever you release a shot you must always shoot “through” your target so that you see
Don’t guess what time you have left, use a timer if allowed! Target Shooter 97
Wrapping your thumb back around the grip will waste valuable time, so learn to shoot with your thumb “up” on the side of the grip!
exactly where the crosshair is on the target when you feel the recoil caused by the fired round. This is also referred to as “follow through” and if you don’t, then the chances are you will have closed your eyes in anticipation of hearing the “bang” and pulled the rifle off line as it were. Snatching at the trigger is also a common mistake that people make when trying to shoot quicker than they are capable of, so always take that fraction of a second longer to release your shots smoothly as it will usually produce much better results. Remaining calm whilst trying to shoot more quickly is obviously a lot easier said than done but once you have gained the confidence to do it, it will definitely help take your shooting to the next level! The competitor will fire 12 shots, starting loaded with 6 rounds and reloading with 6 rounds within the 2 minutes. Practice 2 - 15m The target will make 6 appearances of 2 seconds each, with intervals of 5 seconds. One shot is to be fired at each appearance. The competitor must return to the ready position between appearances. This practice will be shot twice. Practice 3 - 10m The target will make 3 appearances of 3 seconds each, with intervals of 5 seconds. Two shots are to be fired at each appearance and the competitor must return to the ready position between appearances.
Starting with the easier of the two, here are the The Range Commands (for all three) at the start of courses of fire for the two matches. Note that each practice will be: “With 6 rounds load and make all magazines are limited to 6 rounds in each: ready.” After an appropriate amount of time this will then be followed by “Are you ready?” If there are no Timed & Precision 1 match problems this will be followed by “Stand by” and the Targets: 1 x DP2 (GCRF, LBP & LBR) or 1 x DP2a targets will turn away. Once the targets turn to face (GRSB) you, you may commence firing. Position: Standing unsupported - Ready position: 45 degrees If you are not ready, shout out “not ready” and Practice 1 - 25m the R.O will acknowledge “Not ready called” and The target will make one appearance of 2 minutes. you will be given up to 30 seconds to prepare
yourself. The R.O will then again call “Are you ready?” and if all is well call “Stand by” and the targets will turn away. At the end of the practice the command “Unload and show clear” will be given. At this point you must (keeping the muzzle pointed downrange at the targets) unload your rifle (remove the magazine and lock the bolt open for semi autos, or rack the lever 3 times and leave the action/ lever open for underlevers) and remain still on the firing point until it is proven clear by a Range Officer. Scoring: A fresh full target or centre is used for each practice and all targets are scored on the frames. They may be scored by the range crew or by the competitors themselves (provided no competitor scores his own target) and ALL targets on which maximum points are scored (regardless of number of Xs) will be re-scored using outward gauging. This score should also be recorded (by practice) on the scorecard and will be used for tie-breaking if required. Multi Target match: Targets: 2 x DP1 (GRCF, LBP & LBR), 2 x DP1a (GRSB) Position: Standing unsupported - Ready position: 45
The Galleryrifle.com website has everything from National Classifications and rules, to score cards and courses of fire for you to download for freeso make sure that you visit it soon!
degrees. Practice 1 - 25m The targets will make one appearance of 15 seconds, during which the competitor will fire 6 shots on the left hand target. Practice 2 - 20m The targets will make one appearance of 10 seconds, during which the competitor will fire 3 shots on each target. Practice 3 - 15m The targets will make 3 appearances of 3 seconds each, with intervals of 5 seconds. At each appearance 2 shots are to be fired on the right hand target. The competitor must return to the ready position between appearances. Practice 4 - 10m The targets will make one appearance of 8 seconds, during which the competitor will fire 3 shots on each target. The Range Commands for each practice will be the same as for the Timed & Precision 1 match. In complete contrast to these “short” matches, we’ll take a look next month at one of the “Action” competitions and the 192 round Bianchi match that is made up of 4 separate stages, with each one requiring a different skill to be mastered in order to score well in it!
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Keighley Rifle and Pistol Club
KRPC is a long established shooting club situated not far from the center of the West Yorkshire town of Keighley, most well know for being the terminus for the Worth Valley Railway which featured in the film ’The Railway Children’. The club has excellent facilities including its own outdoor range with 18 covered firing points and shooting distances of 50 meters, 50 and 100 yards. Indoors there are 6 lanes with target holders at 10 meters, 6, 20 and 25 yards plus a comfortable club room and kitchen. The club has active rimfire and air-weapons sections which between them cover the majority of small-bore disciplines. Most popular amongst rimfire shooters is prone target rifle with many members competing in the Yorkshire and Leeds postal leagues as well as NSRA run national competitions. The club also takes a large contingent to the NSRA Bisley meeting every year in August and in 2009 one member won the
Unrestricted and Benchrest events as well as the D class Double English Match. A number of members also compete in the area, county and national benchrest competitions as well as various lightweight rifle events. Amongst air-weapons the most popular event is 20 yard sporting air rifle but some members also shoot 10m match air rifle/pistol and benchrest. Membership fees are very reasonably priced with full membership at £175 per year for rimfire and air rifle or £75 per year just for air weapons with no additional range fees to pay. For those new to shooting, probationary membership is only £25 for
Air weapons meet on Tuesday and Friday evenings with rimfire shooting on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, or at other times by arrangement so long as at least 2 members are present. Like most shooting clubs the atmosphere is relaxed
Paul Barker, gold medalist in the recent world air rifle benchrest postal and medalist in the UK nationals and friendly with most members happy to offer advice and coaching to those who want to learn. People are quite welcome to just shoot for fun but for those who wish to compete, air rifle and rimfire events are shot at club, county and national level with a couple of members past and present even going on to shoot internationally. For more information the club has an extensive website at http://www.keighleyrifleclub.co.uk
The club room the first 6 months during which time probationers can try either. The club has its own pre-charged air rifles including an Air Arms s200 suitable for juniors and a number of rimfire rifles which can be used by probationers on club premises. An arial photo come map of the range
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VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA
Competitions I’ve just got back from shooting the European F Class Championships at Bisley – you can read a full write-up in Les Holgate’s column, ‘The Long View’ elsewhere in this issue. I’ve long banged-on about the accuracy of F Class rifles compared to 1000 yard benchguns and this was ably demonstrated at the Europeans. Current F Class World Champion Gary Costello and fellow competitor David Kent, shot themselves into the GBFCA record book with a stunning 1000 yard shoot in which both scored 99.10v with their 7mmWSM’s. Now consider that the V bull is just five-inches across and these guys actually put 10 shots into it - on a day which was by no means easy wind-wise. This really is benchrest performance shot under conditions which were inferior to a benchrest competition – shooting off grass is no match for a solid concrete bench under cover. Great shooting guys – for the record, GB League winner Grant Taylor also put 10 rounds in the V bull with his fifth place 97.10v score. Back to proper benchrest now and the first of our 600 yard shoots took place on Sunday November 15th. The weather was fine and we had a great turn-out – helped no doubt by the offer of free venison burgers supplied and cooked by Jack Searle and Eddy Robinson. The BBQ certainly kept the cold at bay and got our winter series off to a great start. In Factory Sporter, it was another battle of the 6.5-284 Savages with Lenton, Watts and Kellett moving their fight from the 1000 yard benches to 600 yards but it was Welshman Darrel Evans with his Accuracy International now fitted with a 6.5x47 barrel who took the win. Darrel also
Second placeman Jack Searle, who also shoots and cooks some great venison! Target Shooter 103
posted a stunning 2.225 inch group which looked like being small group of the day until Brian Webb shot a super 2.035 incher with his Rhino Rifles Howa chambered in 6BR. This was Brian’s first BR shoot but it won’t be his last! Young Luke Wadsworth has aspirations to be a gunsmith and his Light Gun win shooting his home-smithed 22 BR is a great testimonial to his abilities. His 3.128 agg. was almost an inch less than second place man, Jack Searle. Results: Light Gun
1st Luke Wadsworth Wadsworth 22BR 3.128 inches (av. of four 5-shot groups) 2nd Jack Searle TGP 243AI Stolle 4.019 3rd Vince Bottomley TGP 22 Dasher 4.179
Full results on the UKBRA website at www.ukbra. co.uk Our next 600 yard shoot is on the first Sunday after Christmas December 27th and the guys have promised us another BBQ! Further information e-mail email@example.com The UKBRAawards for the 2009 season will be presented at the Diggle Christmas shoot on Sunday 20th December so be there if you’ve won anything.
Small group Brian Webb Rhino 6BR Howa 2.035 inches Factory Sporter
1st Darrel Evans 6.5x47 Accuracy Intl. 4 . 6 5 6 inches 2nd Bruce Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 5.483 3rd Graham Watts 6.5-284 Savage 5.603
Small group Darrel Evans 2.225 inches
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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
104 Target Shooter
In association with
• How did WRABF come about and why? The WRABF was formed as a result of The First World Rimfire & Air Rifle Championships held in Milan - Italy 2008. It has been set up to promote & encourage Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest all over the World through events such as World Postal Championships, World Cups & every 4 years World
Interview with Bill, WRABF then make it easier to build a momentum to try & get the disciplines entered in both Commowealth President
Championships. The first European championship led to Milan in 2008. Everything has been a roll-acoaster from there to be honest, as the sport has grown in popularity – 4 new countries in the last few months. • What countries are involved and how do others get involved in WRABF? Many countries from all over the world are involved but only one representative association from each country is eligble to join. You can join through weblinks on the website (http://www.wrabf.com/) & enquiries to myself or Secretary Carl Boswell @ www.wrabf.com • Who is part of the committee? President is Bill Collaros (Australia), Vice President is Ladilav Ninger (CZ), Secretary is Carl Boswell (UK), Treasure is Nick Shoonwinkle (SA), & committee is Markus Feldmann (GER) & Craig Young (USA) • What does the WRABF want for the future of the sport of benchrest? We would like to see that there is only one peak World Body that runs Rimfire Benchrest & Air Rifle Benchrest, this would
& Olympic Games. In the meantime we will keep things going with our World Championships & other events endeavouring to foster goodwill in our disciplines throughout our members world wide. • How hard or easy was to get all the countries to agree to the rules that the WRABF has set up? This process took over 12 months with a representative from each country having a say, with so many different ideas & rules all over the world I wont lie it was not easy. Many grey hairs & late night emails were exchanged. We came up with the original ules ased n ajority otes hese ules ave r b o m v &t r h been recently upgraded by the WRABF Committee. • As the president of the federation maybe some info about yourself on how you got into benchrest and why you decided to take up the position? I have been shooting for 4 years & I was Captain of The Australian Team in Italy for 2008 World Championships. I was also ranked number 1 in Australia last year & this year was the first rimfire benchrest shooter in Australia to receive a major sponsorship from Eley Ammunition in the UK. I decided to take up the position in the WRABF after I was nominated for it as I thought that I could assist with my non aligned views political or country) and my genuine passion to encourage the sport world wide. I have also had experience for the role of President through being on many Boards that I sit on in my business life. • How does the World Postal’s fit in with the WRABF? We work hand in hand with Doug Weeter in the USA who uns his vent t s ully upported by he RABF. r t e &i i f s t W • Who is holding the next World Championship and were? We are negotiating with colleagues in the USA to hold the 2011 World Championship. The first venue seems to have fallen through, but there are two others that are in discussions at this time. • How will the federation finance itself? This is to be determined at the next meeting in 2011 World Championships, but it would be similar to most orgnaisations around the world where a nominal annual fee will be paid by the representative association from each country. • Are you looking at sponsorship for the championships and how do sponsors that are
interested contact the WRABF? Yes we are looking for sponsors, as would any big event, it is early in this process, but we are drawing up a list of companies that are involved in both rimfire and air rifle benchrest. We hope to take on board the sponsorship that was involved in the last world championship and make this grow even further. Obviously we need to work with colleagues around the world to make this happen and build on other sponsorship that has happened this year for such things as the world postal championships, where Steyr Sportwaffen became involved. • How do you see the future of benchrest shooting? My dream would be to see it at Olympic Level. World Rimfire Benchrest Postal Championship There have been a number of international rimfire and air rifle postal matches this year, to keep all the countries shooting together whilst preparing for the two major ‘head to head’ internationals in the next two years. The World Postal Championships have Air Rifle World Postal Championship
chrest22.org/scores.htm As part of the World Postal Championship, we have a report from Australia about two of their matches. 2nd Match 2009 NSW CHAMPIONSHIPS SYDNEY. This event held at Woollahra Rifle club right above the cliffs & coastline of Malabar. The Australian A Team comprised of Jim Smith, Peter Wrigley & Bill Collaros came in as reserve for his daughter Simone who was not well & unable to shoot. The form of many shooters leading up to this event was white hot, only 1 problem we had one of the windiest & dustiest months of all time in Sydney & we encountered gale force gusts of wind on this day. I take my hat off to the small group of shooters that had the guts to turn up even though it was obvious their World Postal Scores were not going to be pretty. As always it was going to come down to who could handle the conditions the best & that was the in form Peter rmstrong, Peter has had a stellar year & trained A hard for it also, he is at present the best in form shooter down here & it is great to watch the marrying of a great shooter, a great rifle & great ammo all come together. You know it’s windy when targets start to blow off the frames, u n f o r t u n a t e l y the Team did not do well at all & the scores reflect the conditions. Top 5 Scores:
Rimfire World Postal Championship
been shot over the last four years and brought in lots of countries again this year. It has become very popular, with a number of shooters saying they would like this type of competition on a more regular asis. his ompetition s hot t ajor atches b T c i s am m throughout the world and specific to the unlimited class rifles at 50 metres for rimfire and 25 metres for air rifle. This is predominantly a team event, with teams registered one month in advance of the match. Individual shooters get a world ranking for this year. Rimfire World Postal Championship places go to; Air Rifle World Postal Championship places go to; All these matches were hard fought with the UK teams and individuals doing us proud. Full score from; http://www.wrabf.com/ The International Rimfire Benchrest League This was again popular but incorporated different classes at a both distances of 25 and 50 metres. This championship was predominantly individual, with a team division. The final results for this were reported last month. scores from; http://www.ben-
Peter Armstrong 734.31 Richard Lightfoot 727.31 Martin Lee 726.20 Bill Collaros 723.29 Geoff Knight 719.2 3rd Match RBA Nationals Sydney The RBA Nationals were held @ The Sydney International Shooting Centre, again as all year there was tricky wind & some rain but it was certainly shootable. The competition for the top 10 came own o he ast arget any ositions ere on d t t l t &m p w w or lost on X Rings. The Top 3 for Nationals were John Patzwald 1482.73, Peter Armstrong 1482.70 & Jeanette Mitchell 1477. 81 Our trio in the World Postal went well coming in 3 place at present Clinton Sondergold 743.39, Brian Mitchell 742.36, Brett Wilson 720.32 = 2205.107 It’s been a long & hard year down under with mother nature giving us plenty to think about at most of the big competitions. Well done to all the winners & good luck to the remaining World Postal Teams world wide. Looking forward to it again in 2010. Bill Collaros
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
NOVEMBER QUIGLEY AND A NEW John Ellin and Eric Todd looking for the buff QUIGLEY CHAMPION. Despite warnings of foul weather, it was decided to forgo the shelter of the covered firing so that we would be able to make the most of the limited daylight and also to allow those who have a long journey home to get away earlier. Unfortunately the rain soon appeared, but as we are getting quite used to it this year we settled down to some serious shooting. Despite an horrendous fishtailing wind some respectable scores were achieved. Stage 1 at 400yds was fired at the unforgiving bucket target which scores 5 points per hit, with only one point for the nearest of misses. The stage completed, we retired for lunch with four firers, Richard Healey, Dennis Richardson, Dave Coleman and Ian Hull all scoring over 50 points. The 600yds stage promised to be
exciting, and it was. With the light beginning to go, and the persistent rain making the buffalo target even more difficult to see and hit, Dave Malpas won the stage with 40pts, with Richard and Ian close on his heels. Back into the clubhouse and A familiar scene a rapid tally to determine today’s winner and the season’s Champion shot. Richard Healey won today’s comp with a score of 85 points, with Ian Hull as runner-up by 1 point with 84 points. The QSA Championship is based on a firers best 3 scores, this gives all members a good chance to win, allowing you to drop your worst scores, or to miss a couple of shoots without forfeit. When the arithmetic was completed, the championship went thus……. 1st. Dennis Richardson 304pts 2nd.Richard Healey 291pts 3rd.Ian Hull 281pt 4th. ave Coleman D 254pts
Quigley champion Dennis Richardson
Each year, the shooter who achieves the highest score on Stage 1, is awarded the ‘Quigley Bucket’. The shooter with the highest score on Stage 2, wins the ‘Quigley Buffalo Ian, Dennis and Richard Trophy’, both unique trophies hand crafted by our own Doug Herod. This year, Dennis completed the ‘Grand Slam’ and took both these as well, deservedly so, as proof of his consistent performance. Please feel free to email with questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Season’s greetings to all, see you in the New Year.
Hunter Field Target News
December marks the end of the open season and the big summer series of shoots… Congratulations to all the winners and roll on 2010. However, the winter is the time to take a good hard look at your kit and all aspects of your shooting and make any changes you need to. The plan is to improve your shooting in the closed season in time for the start of the open season of big shoots in the spring. All the top shots leave it until the closed season to are using, a scope making wakes in the HFT world has to be the Bushnell 2.5-16*42 6500 mildot. The winner of the 2009 series used one as well as many other top shooters. If you shop around you can get one for £480. Winter too is the perfect time to test new batches of pellets, or even completely new makes to the ones you currently use. I will be trying out the new 7.9grain Falcon pellets, the 7.9 grain Crosman Premier’s I use now are ‘‘running out ( I only have a few Pete Sparks with this ‘boxes left) so I will have to change seasons rifle pellets within the next couple of years. They are the same weight as my old pellets so my impact points should not change by any large degree. I am loathed to try the 8.4 grain pellets that everyone else uses as the ballistics would alter too much and it will take a few months to relearn the aim points. Plus the one’s I have tested deflect more in the wind than the lighter 7.9 types, they are heaver and are ‘travelling slower than the Premiers so that is only to be expected. As well as the rifle and scope look at the rest of your shooting gear, it is make any changes, one example is Pete Sparks. time to buy a truly waterproof prone mat or a new He has already changed his rifle after winning the pair of boots or coat. The worse thing in the world 2009 series with the Walther he has gone back to is to turn up at the first big shoot of the year with a new Daystate electronic regulated precharged a brand new coat or boots. You will spend more pneumatic rifle. He has not deemed to change time thinking about how different it feels when you his scope and that is a major tip. It is far easier are shooting than concentrating on your actual to make a change in the rifle than the scope when shooting. I know it’s always a bit frightening to HFT shooting. That’s not to say you must not make make a change to any aspect of kit but the winter a swap, if moving to a new scope will improve your is the best time to do it. Also there are still shoots scores than it is worth a try. Scope specifications to attend over the winter in order to test any vary greatly these days and ones with smaller changes you make over the winter. Many regions objective lenses will have a smaller exit pupils and have leagues in the winter be it FT you can still therefore less potential parallax error than ones shoot them SFT or HFT style if they allow it and with 50 or say 55mm objectives. 42mm must be the Midlands have a dedicated Hunter series in the maximum size scope objective lens to go for. the winter which is attended by shooters from Hawke have listened to the HFT shooters and just NEFTA and even Wales and the South. brought out a 38mm objective scope fitted with an HFT .177 calibre friendly SR6 multi aim point Next month I’ll go into greater detail as to rifle reticle. I can see a few shooters moving to this set up and things you need to consider including scope over the winter. Hawke are sending me one the dreaded subject of crossover and optically of the first batch to test, I’ll cover it as always here in Target Shooter. Look at what scope the top shots centering an outfit.
Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
Whenever you go to an open meeting, especially at the National Shooting Centre, you’re bound to run across some of the top GR&P competitors in the country. You’ll also see their names in the lists of national team members but you’ll also see some names you may not know. As the years pass, some names drop out and some new ones come in. Currently, there are teams for England, Wales and Scotland competing in the short events and the Great Britain Team which competes in the GRCF 1500. We hope that, in time, there will also be teams from the regions too giving the opportunity for top level competition in all parts of the country. These teams are open to anyone who meets the selection criteria and if you want to join in, now’s the time to start your preparation for next season. The selection process is under way right now and the selectors are looking at everyone’s performance in the 2009 season. This is made possible by the National Rifle Association’s GR&P database. Provided the events are run under national rules and are open to all competitors, scores from any open meeting in this country or, indeed, abroad are sent in by the organisers and stats crews (those people who waste a perfectly good weekend sitting in a shed in front of a computer) and logged. The data are then made available to the selectors. What you have to do depends on which team you want to get into but there are some common features. You need to prove your ability by putting in the best possible scores at as many of the open meetings as possible. Generally speaking, turning out for a couple a year does not really show commitment and won’t get you selected. Some teams run selection/qualification days. These are compulsory if you want to be considered. Each team is authorised by it’s own National Governing Body and membership of this body is essential if you want to be in the team. For the GB Team, it’s the NRA, for Scotland it’s the Scottish Pistol Association, for Wales it’s the Welsh Gallery Rifle Club and for England it’s the English Twenty Club. If you’re invited to join, you will have to agree to varying conditions of membership. For example, agreeing to attend nominated meetings and training days, appearing at prize giving ceremonies, wearing the team strip etc. In short, being part of the team. Some travel will also be involved around the country and, for the GB Team, abroad as well.
If you’re out on the competition circuit already it’s just carrying on as usual with a bit more added in and plenty of practice. If you want more information about any of the teams just contact email@example.com. Still a couple of Christmas shoots in December below and some more dates for 2010. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but if your club would like to put on an open meeting and want some advice or help, email gallery@ nra.org.uk and we’ll do our best. It gives your club members a chance to get a taste of open competition without leaving the comfort zone of their home range and visiting competitors a look what you have on offer. COMPETITION CALENDAR December 5 Gallery Rifle Christmas Shoot and Social, National Shooting Centre, Bisley December 30 Christmas Shoot Shield Shooting Centre, Dorset DATES FOR 2010 March 27-28 Spring Action Weekend NSC Bisley April 17-18 Basildon 1500 Basildon May 2 Mattersey Ten Mattersey May 28-30 The Phoenix Meeting NSC Bisley June 26-27 Derby 1500 Derby July 18 Derby Steel Shoot Derby July10-24 The Imperial Meeting NSC Bisley July 25-26 Frome Three Gun Shield Dorset August 28-29 Gallery Rifle National Championships NSC Bisley September 19 Mattersey Bianchi mattersey October 23-24 The Trafalgar Meeting NSC Bisley October 30-30 Autumn Action Weekend NSC Bisley (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.galleryrifle.com for entry forms.) GR&P = Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF), Gallery Rifle Small Bore (GRSB), Long Barrelled Pistol (LBP) and Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) Please go to the Gallery Rifle website www.galleryrifle. com for more news and information.
As 2009 comes to end with only the British Open LBR Championships to be shot on the 13th December, we are already putting next year’s shooting Calendar. Here are some dates for your Diary. 13th December LBR 17th January AGM 21st February LBR 6/7th March PSG 17th April DPOA 21/22nd May PSG 11/12/13th June PSG 3/4th July PSG 28th July PSG 4/5th September PSG September Handgun 8/9th October PSG L2 L2 L3 L1 L3 L3 L3 L4 L3 L4 L3 Leicester Bisley Bedford. Shield Shield Harlow Shield Carlisle USA Borders Serbia Harlow
The dense wooded glade half a mile off the A414 echoed with the babble of the sixty or so competitors arriving on the damp weekend of the 25th October 2009 for the final level III Practical Shotgun match of the year. With the excitement of the European Shotgun Championships in Operany, Czech Republic in September now over, it was time to return to more typical English weather conditions the Brits are used to, with the squelch of mud and the constant drips from the recent heavy rains creating a patter on the autumnal leaves of Harlow Town RPC’s main shotgun range. The venue is a series of clearings in the two acres or so of 30 year old sycamores and hawthorn, with rolling ploughed fields providing a broad safety area that would be the envy of many clay shooting clubs. For those that have followed this series of articles on Practical Shotgun (PSG) this year, this thrilling target sport will need no introduction. For those who are unfamiliar with the discipline, it is a power and accuracy event using 12g or 20g shotguns, shot against the clock and utilising birdshot, buckshot and solid slug (depending on range clearances) A
There many other match dates listed on the UKPSA members Forum. The AGM will be held at Canada House at Bisley. Harlow Home Countries Practical Shotgun Match 2009 Level III Match by Tony Saunders Photographs © Iain Corrigan
Alison Hatchard shooting a low aperture on Stage 5 At Harlow
Neil Berverley tackling Stage 2
match will consist of a series of carefully thought out stages that represent a considered shooting challenge involving speed, ingenuity and imagination. Designed by the club members and sanctioned by the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association (UKPSA), a Level III match usually has 8-12 stages and is open to shooters both from the United Kingdom and also those willing to travel from any of the other IPSC regions. Attending this match were members of the Serbian National Shotgun team Branslav Raketic and Igor Jankovic – two extremely competent shooters. Stages will encourage moving between shooting points; shooting through apertures (high and low) but quite often challenging, or positions that force shooting from prone, kneeling, crouching, and standing. Often, a stage may force the competitors to stand on a beam or to shoot moving and bobbing targets from both strong and weak shoulder. All against the clock and almost always requiring much thought as to the shooting and loading sequence. If you’ve not tried PSG you’re missing a fantastically challenging shooting experience. Safety is the UKPSA byword and every stage has a qualified Range Officer (RO) with the shooter all the way through the stage. The RO is there to ensure that safe gun handling is maintained at all times. Finger must be off the trigger when moving at the risk of immediate disqualification. Muzzle angles are clearly stated and must not be infringed. All competitors will have also satisfactorily completed a mandatory two-day safety course before they can
shoot a match. This ensures that basic gun handling is ingrained and all competitors know that every other person shooting has attained the same grounding in safe shooting practices. The Level III match calendar in 2009 has consisted of four separate matches. The Midland Championships held at Harlow, followed by the Northern Championships at Carlisle, then the British Open Championships at Border Guns in Shropshire and now, finally, the Home Countries Championship at Harlow. The National grade for each competitor is determined by taking the average of the best three out of these four matches. Different divisions are recognized, being: Standard (using a semi-auto shotgun with a maximum starting capacity of 9 rounds), Standard Manual (Like Standard division but using a pump-action or lever action shotgun), Modified Division (allows for longer magazine capacity and more rounds in the gun at the start, also the gun may be ported to allow better muzzle control) and finally Open Division – which is under represented in the UK but allows shotguns with red-dot sights, and unlimited magazine capacity as well as any other bells and whistles the shooter thinks may give an advantage. This match saw the return of the “Harlow skateboard” – a securely fastened plank. The challenge was then to shoot eight steel targets on the ground about 7 metres away, with a no-shoot target placed in the middle to incur penalties if accuracy was lacking.
Tony Saunders tackling targets around a red no shoot on stage 7
A cunning stage created entirely from used pallets formed a stepped, multi-height platform with two shooting apertures, separated by a small wooden wall to obstruct easy movement between the apertures. At the start of the stage, the gun could be placed either end of the stage confines but the start position had to be at the opposite side to the gun. The stage wasn’t symmetrical (with one side being lower so involving a step up) so the dilemma was down to whether the competitor felt it was quicker to move left to right or right to left. Having shot a stage like this, almost all shooters wish they could reshoot it in the opposing manner to find out whether their decision was correct. All agreed though it was a good stage to shoot and hurled friendly insults in the direction of the Harlow crew! Harlow recently introduced high and low level clay targets to their heady mix of crafty stages. Thin metal poles holding a single clay target at a height of about ten feet off the ground interspersed with lower targets. These are fiendishly difficult to spot in the dappled woodland and therefore very easy to forget to shoot them. A non-engaged target incurs a penalty, plus a further penalty for the miss and of course the loss of the five points for a hit. This is a general issue when shooting in woodland. Steel plates meld into the background very easily and part of the technique is to ensure you commit to memory the minimal shooting positions to shoot all targets clearly. It all adds to the challenge and fun of practical shooting. By 4.00pm the last of the shooters finished the nine
stages and headed to welcome delights of hot tea and bacon butties at the Harlow trailer as the scores were calculated. In no particular order: Modified Division: Branislav Raketic in first place, followed by UK’s own James Harris in a close second, with Ian Richards in third place. Open Division: Nicholas Hockley in first place, followed by Stephen Unwin in second place and David Kiddle in third place. Standard (Semi-Auto) Division: Igor Jankovic beat our own Mike Darby into second place with Barry Sullivan in third position. Standard Manual (pump) Division: Iain Guy won a well deserved first place beating Neil Smith into second place and Jon Holloway in third place. The Home Countries match was the last UKPSA level III match in the 2009 PSG calendar. 2010 sees the return of Shield Shooting Centre in Dorset adding to the sanctioned match calendar, likely starting in March with the traditional Hardy Shoot as it is known, and followed later in the summer by the Shield Summer Challenge match. These will be a welcome addition to the level III circuit and have always provided some fantastic stages from Steve Pike and his crew. In the meantime, the PSG shooters will be attending local club shoots in order to hone skills and technique ready for the new season. With the increase in Standard Manual shooters over this past two years it is likely that several will be hoping that Santa perhaps struggles down the chimney with a new Benelli SuperNova along with their socks and aftershave. By Tony Saunders
Hi, first of all thanks for the magazine…an inspired approach…which I have only recently discovered. As a recent “convert” to the joys and woes of small bore target rifle shooting (prone) I have found a real problem trying to get objective advice on suitable jackets. Experienced club members advice often seems to be at odds with the “salesmen” who refer to old school not understanding the benefits of modern jacket materials and technology/design. To make it even harder it appears that it is impossible to know if a jacket is really suitable until it is broken in which is too late if a bad decision has been made… at the same time I am told that the right jacket can transform results.. I wondered if you or your contributors were aware of any source of impartial advice / comparisons between various types / makes of jacket? Thanks again for an interesting and innovative magazine.. Les Gibons
Hi Les, I have bought many jackets inc made to measure over the years, I have never been a small bore shooter and not sure of the specifics required for prone, although if he was doing 3p the jacket would be set up mainly for standing and adjustments for prone with undone buttons I believe. The rule of thumb for standing jackets was always that when buttoned up (adhering to overlap rules) place both arms at waist height straight and horizontally, then bend the elbows so the wrists are face height and if you can bring both elbows together to touch you will get no benefit from the jacket as it does not provide the necessary support over the shoulder area. Not sure of any comparison sites but my best advice would be to take advice from as many jacket retailers as possible to see what information pops up time and time again along with listening to the experience of the club shooters, but bearing in mind that there have been major advances in shooting clothing in the last 20 years and a correctly fitting jacket will serve you admirably for years and certainly give your shooting scores a boost, as well as helping protect the body. Hayley
Many thanks for producing a well balanced magazine and for free too. I have found the recent Lee Enfield articles of great interest since I have a No4 Mk1 myself, and the reloading articles are also inspiring as I reload both my .308 and .303 ammunition. Admittedly your are not the only magazine I read, but you are the only magazine that has articles out numbering adverts, hence each issue is eagerly awaited. Keep up the work and keep encouraging readers to produce the excellent articles which we are growing accustomed to. Thanks again. Richard.
Our thanks for this letter Richard. We aim to develop articles each month to include as many of the target shooting disciplines as possible. The ads we carry each month help us to pay for our contributors, so at the end of the day we need these and to show readers what is out there from vendors. Bit of a symbiotic process to be honest. Even when advertising increases in particular months, we will continue to offer the same high standard articles you have come to expect. Our thanks, Carl
Hello, I was searching for information for a Sheldon metal lathe when some how a link to your site was in the listing , as a target shooter from USA I was very impressed with the layout and the information that you offer to your readers , so much that I down loaded everyone of your back issue , I will go back read them over our holiday break here in the US . Thanks so much for having this magazine available to all to learn and enjoy . Jesse Jenkins. USA
Our thanks Jesse. To you and all our readers, have a great Christmas and may the New Year hold the answers to all our dreams.
If you have an issue, question or comment then please send letters via customer support on the website.
Well what a year! It has been a bit of roll - a - coaster, but fun at the same time. Who knew that this little experiment would take off as well as it has. We thank out loyal readers and advertisers, wishing you all our best at Christmas and into the New Year. Lets hope that the 2010 brings us prosperity, peace and thanks for what we have. Have a good one!
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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57 21 82 73 41 31 86 25 82 78 68 41 102 17 35 61 102 73 98 102 56 27
North West Custom NSRA Phoenix League Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd Prestige Airguns Rhino Rifles RUAG Ammotec Rude Fat Dog Shooting Bags South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies Steyr UK Stockade Products Ltd Targets Direct The Outdoorsman Limited Tim Hannam UKBR22 - Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest UKS Total Shooting Show Viking Arms LTD Webley Westlake Engineering W tl k E i i Zeiss Optics
102 86 31 68 50 57 24 100 82 43 74 82 86 27 11 104 3 2 28 16 9
Next time in.....
Next month we welcome you to the new year, bringing in 2010 from the first of January - so watch out for the next issue on the first day of the new year. Seasons greetings from the team at Target Shooter.
January 2010 Issue
On Test Features Feature articles
116 Target Shooter
...and lots more
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