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January 2010 Issue
Club Features Support Your local Gunshop Event reports Gallery Rifle Third part feature article—.308 Winchester F Class and Centerfire Benchrest News
Target Shooter 1
SGC 9mm Review • Lilja Barrels • New Products • and lots more…..
NOW ALMOST 3 TIMES THE SIZE FOR 2010 !
...... A massive 112,000 sq ft, dry, weatherproof, indoor arena
The UK’s Total
Gunmaker’s Halls just get bigger and bigger...
Handle and evaluate a truly vast selection of shotgun and rifles. 5 huge halls packed with gun manufacturers stands, retailers, specialist services and accessories, including; custom rifle builders ammunition and reloading gun retailers shooting aids huge range of scopes and optics field cutlery wildfowling decoying stalking shooting grounds shotgun simulators range days safaris shooting associations and even master craftsmen engravers, stock cutters & gunsmiths at work.
Even more to do, more to see and more to buy!
Just some of the guns on show and for sale...
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.
PLUS A PACKED PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES...
Now a massive 5 times bigger for 2010. 18,000 sq ft of manufacturers
FREE PRIZE DRAWS AND COMPETITITONS FOR GUNS & ACCESSORIES WORTH OVER £6000.
eg; Sako Quad rifle from GMK, B525 Sporter from Browning, 912S shotgun from Webley plus much more... from Deben, Armex & Brocock etc.
packed with interest for the airgun enthusiast.
AIRGUN EXTRAVAGANZA - THE BIG AIRGUN EXPERIENCE
stands, airgun retailers, accessories, optics, clubs and associations. 39 lane rifle & pistol shooting range, including Olympic 10 metre match, and ‘try before you buy’. The UK’s premier airgun event
Save £££££’s -on special show only offers...
Main Show Sponsor;
See the fascinating world of antique & classic arms.
Sponsored by Marsdens Game Feeds, Gamekeepers
Hall will provide hospitality and an insight into specialist products and services.
Newark Showground, Newark, Notts, NG24 2NY
Opening times - 9am to 4.30pm Both Days
Sat 27th & Sun 28th Feb 2010
Officially Supported by The;
Tel; +44 (0) 1472 241439 firstname.lastname@example.org BUY TICKETS ONLINE - GET FAST TRACK ENTRY & SPECIAL PARKING Target Shooter 3 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.
Welcome to the First 2010 Issue .......of Target Shooter
23 SYSS Mini Rifle
by Tim Finley
6 10 12
Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Mind Games by Carl Boswell Gadget Gallery Support your Local Gun Shop Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Quigley Association Special Report Website of the Month 2009 Imperial Meeting Ammunition by Chris White
The Fabulous sixes 20 by Vince Bottomley
29 32 38 51 57 63 75 79 90 91
40 Wildcats -
46 The SGC 9mm Lever Release Rifle
by Gwyn Roberts
62 Lilja Barrels by
Rifle and Range Bags by Nigel Greenaway Gun of the Month Smallbore Business by Don Brook Alfa CO2 Target Pistol Review by Hayley Platts Special - Fieldsports TV Bianchi by Gwyn Roberts Club Feature
70 Field Target USA
Style by Paul Cray
‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 3) by Laurie Holland
112 Letters 113 Advertisers Index
101 103 105 107 110 111 UKBRA UKBR22 F- Class HFT News Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager Andy Dubreuil. email; email@example.com Contributors Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Chris White Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Chris Farr Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Paul Cray Ken Hall Les Holgate Hayley Platts
Webitorial - January 2010
The web is a fantastic place. It’s where I first learnt about rimfire benchrest all those years ago, found Brownells - ordered far too much and met people of like-mind from all over the world. Vince was one of the first that I contacted in the UK about rimfire BR, as he was pushing the idea at the time. It all starts somewhere and the web has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years. When the web really started to become user-friendly, there was a wealth of information out there and the vast majority of it free. More than that, it was fun! Things change and the ‘dot com’ boom has been and gone. Companies take the world wide web as a serious element of their commercial business. We all know this from the constant ads that pop up as we ‘surf’. We also know that we have to pay for most of what we get. Information is easy to access but more often than not, there is a charge. What is nice, is that recently the format of Target Shooter – being a digital magazine – has been taken on board by others in the UK shooting fraternity. Air Gunner and Airgun World have recently released their digital editions. You still have to pay for a subscription, which is fair enough as these magazines do not pay for themselves. However, this recent innovation does suggest this is the future for magazines in general and for shooting it is a step forward. Although Target Shooter was the first online shooting magazine in the UK, it was preceded by other magazines in the USA. The NRA of America has a monthly digital magazine which we reviewed a short time ago. Again, like Target Shooter, this magazine is free – going back to the general aims of the internet when it first started. I suppose what I am trying to say is that with a magazine that is free to view, the only income we derive to pay for our contributors is our advertising revenue. So please, if you see a product be sure to tell the person you are buying it from where you saw it. This way, we can keep Target Shooter free to all. The new year starts with lots going on, such as the Shooting Show at Newark in February. We will be there, not on a stand mind you, as this means you have to come to us. We will be in the thick of it with you guys, finding out about new products, what’s going on, etc. So if you see us with the Target Shooter logo across our chests, please stop and say hello. To all of you, have a fantastic 2010. Until next month. Andy, Carl & Vince
Carl Boswell - firstname.lastname@example.org and Vince Bottomley - email@example.com and Andy Dubreuil - firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The website www.targetshooter.co.uk is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproduction is permitted unless written authorisation is provided. Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which is on or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believes are licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or individuals are not so licensed. Letters and photographs submitted by members of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless otherwise stated. Target Shooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions and experiences of writers using specific equipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the website is intended to be used as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for individuals attempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages.Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.
Shooting Sport News
It is nice to let our readers know that the contributors can “walk the walk”. Our very own Nigel Greenaway has won a number of events in 2009. In his words; ‘Following my experiment in building a single AR15 lower but with two different uppers to shoot either Practical Rifle or Civilian Service Rifle - as detailed in the June issue under “AR15 Combinations” - I’ve managed to do the double! In the summer I won the Service Optic class in the National Civilian Service Rifle competitions and I have also won this year’s Practical Rifle League (best 5 comps to count out of 8). If the truth be known I have found that my Southern Gun Company SSR-15
with lighter profile H-Bar barrel topped with a Nightforce 2.5-10x24 NXS did the job in both disciplines’.
The Cheshire shooting products outfit headed by keen shooter John Dean and his wife has raised the profile of the American Sightron riflescope range markedly since it took on import and distribution on a year ago, achieving healthy sales despite the recession. Aim Field Sports has now added Sightron binoculars to its optical products range alongside the ‘scopes, supplying a selection of models. As with the rifle scopes, Sightron produces its Binoculars in Series I, II, and III, specification and price rising in line with the series number. We’ve had a chance to look at a pair in the middle SII range, the ‘Blue Sky’ 10X42 model, and been impressed. These roof prism glasses feature fully and phase-coated lens using blue-green coatings which seem to be a feature of the marque. There is obviously some good optical design inside as their performance has so far proven impressive in a range of light conditions. As with the Sightron 8-32X56 target riflescope which Vince Bottomley reviewed for TargetShooter (July 2009 issue), resolution, contrast and light gathering are excellent. At 0.65Kg (1lb 7 ounces), 5½” (145mm) long and just under 5” (175mm) maximum width, they’re compact and light for their performance. A black rubberized coating makes for a good grip and pleasant touch in any weather conditions, and speaking of which they’re waterproof of course. Focus adjustment is the usual barrel type adjuster between the optical tubes which
im Field Binoculars
New from Aim Field Sports, Sightron binoculars
operates the lens smoothly. An unusual touch is the right lens fine-adjuster used to compensate for differences in the user’s eyesight and which employs a little lever at the front of the main adjuster barrel. As usual, you get a nylon carry case, lens caps and carrying strap for your money. The 10X42 model retails for £325, the Series II Blue Sky sister 8X42 model for £20 less – good value for the build quality, finish and performance. Contact Aim Field Sports Ltd on www.aimfieldsports. com email: email@example.com Telephone 01606 860678
If you’re serious about handloading and want to experiment, or you’re having a new rifle built for a cartridge you’ve never loaded for, and for which there is only limited or even no loads data, you need the QuickLOAD PC internal ballistics program. This has recently been updated with a large number of new cartridges, bullets and powders in its V3.5 form that runs on Microsoft 2000, XP and Vista operating systems. (Its designer and producer, H.G. Broemel of Babenhausen in Germany is very switched on, so one imagines a Windows 7 version will appear in short order.) QuickLOAD is a very clever and flexible computer modelling program that includes huge databases of standard barrel dimensions, cartridge, case and bullet dimensions, capacities etc. The propellants database runs to somewhere around three figures including many makes and grades we don’t see here. This latest version is pretty up to date including 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5X47 Lapua cartridges, but the database doesn’t just hold currently manufactured factory cartridges such as this pair, with data for scores if not hundreds of wildcats. Taking cartridges with ‘6mm’ in their names (but excluding .243 which are listed separately) I counted 47 listed alphabetically / numerically from 6XC to 6-284 6mm/284 Shehane, around three-quarters of which I’d never heard of, many being European wildcats or proprietary designs. As well as standard case and cartridge dimensions, the water capacity in both grains and CCs
uickLOAD, QuickTARGET and QuickTARGET Unlimited Version 3.5
has been measured for a typical case for each cartridge (or possibly computer generated in many examples). Select your bullet and COAL (if different from the SAAMI / CIP standard) and the program calculates the usable internal case volume. Finally select barrel length, powder and charge and click on the ‘Apply & Calculate’ icon and QuickLOAD will use its internal ballistics algorithms to calculate pressure and MV, barrel time, the percentage of the powder charge that will be burned and a few other things too if you want. You can see a pressure / MV graph, or specify other displays including a very useful text file that gives a range of results from small steps either side of your base powder charge weight with ‘Hot Load’ and ‘Dangerous Load’ warnings (that exceed CIP / SAAMI PMax allowed levels). How accurate is it? It’s a model, not a real firearm and makes assumptions about barrel and bullet dimensions as well as powder characteristics, so there are lots of health warnings. One should check results against published data (assuming there is any), as well as starting low and working charges up as always. However, it’s the only way you’re likely to get a load for the new Alliant Reloder 17 for the very old 6mm Lee Navy to take a silly example! It’s accurate enough for the bullet companies to use it as the starting point for load development whenever they’re working data up for a new product or cartridge. The UK supplier for the QuickLOAD suite is Julian Savory who trades as JMS Arms, website: www.soundmoderators-UK.com Email:Julian@jsavory.free-online. co.uk Telephone: 01444 400126
have just launched an online magazine that can be downloaded and subscribed too for free. Perdersoli is one of thje main companies that manufacture reproduction Black Powder firearms and accessories - but you knew that already. To download the catalogue go to; Click here To Subscribe, go to; Click here Perdersoli is distributed in the UK by Viking Arms Ltd.
- they have gotten hold of the great Smith & Wesson M&P 15 22lrs along with the long awaited Sig sauer 522s and colt umarex semi auto 22 lrs If your into your 22 rimfires with the military look and feel to them then we have 3 new options for you to compliment the already popular Spikes tactical and tactical solutions 22 M4 carbines we import Check out the website for all the details of these great new rifles for uk shooters www.nwcustomparts.com or give us a ring on 0161 408 1155 the first batch should be in the UK by the time you read this.
nother first for the UK market North West Custom Parts
items for a specialised market, that the company will treat them as premium products and price up Nammo Lapua Oy has confirmed it will launch a accordingly. small primer (SP) version of its .308 Winchester SP cases will be headstamped “Lapua Palma case at the US SHOT Show which takes place in .308” with the US Palma Team’s permission as the Las Vegas starting on 19th January. Tom Whitaker, legal title owner of the name, but will go on general US Palma rifle team Vice-President (West Coast) sale. They won’t replace the standard large-primer asked the company in 2007 if it would consider version which continues in production. Dan producing such cases and this led to the team Simpson (Palma Team Vice-President, East Coast) being supplied with 1,000 sample cases for and Tom Whitaker confirm that results from the new evaluation over the 2009 season. Changes are not brass are excellent both in testing and in actual limited to primer pocket dimensions, but also see a competition over the season. Lapua has move to the small flash-hole diameter used in .220 naturally carried out intensive tests of its own too Russian (PPC), 6mm BR Norma, and 6.5X47mm before putting this version into production, and has Lapua cases (0.061” compared to the usual 0.080”). obviously been satisfied with the results. Small Otherwise, the SP case is identical to existing Lapua primer cases may not provide improved .308W brass with normal dimensions and wall accuracy (smaller groups), but are proven to thickness – it is not a special thin-walled BR version as deliver reduced velocity spreads which is what produced by Remington many years ago. Lapua says Palma Team members were looking for – Dan cases will not be loose-packed as normal, but come Simpson and Tom Whitaker report a 30% extreme in new segmented plastic cases in Lapua Blue that spread MV reduction, sometimes more, is double up as loaded ammunition boxes. This achievable. This results in less vertical hit dispersion suggests, allied to their being low-volume production on the target at extreme ranges all other things being equal. The new Lapua Small Primer ‘Palma’ cases will have the same case-head, primer pocket and flash-hole dimensions as its 6.5X47L and 6BR brass (right). A Large Primer Lapua .308W case is shown on the left for comparison
EW LAPUA PALMA .308 SMALL-PRIMER CASES
All competences in one hand
Accurate distance in mtrs or yds
Holdover value correction in cm or ins
Bright, fast and accurate
56 mm lenses: Observation from dawn to dusk.
The new Victory RF binoculars with 56 high-performance lenses provide bright, high-contrast and sharp images at an incredibly low weight. The integrated laser rangefinder displays the target distance with lightening speed and accuracy. Combined with the calculation of the correct holdover value through the Ballistic Information System (BIS®), the RF 56 sets new standards in terms of safety and precision.
Victory 8 /10 x 56 T* RF
Calendar of events over the next few months
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 19 Jan Highpower Rifle Association Match (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Reduced distance 80 round XTC. http://www.highpowerrifle.co.uk 27 Jan Civilian Service Rifle Competition (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Entry forms for the event being held on Sunday 27 January are now available via the NRA website Contact(s): Martin Farnan 19 Feb British Airgun Championships The championships run from 19th - 21st February. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 21 Feb Cumberland News Rifle Club - Carlisle LSR - Air Pistol & Air Rifle Open Shoot - details at: www.cnrc.org.uk/open.htm contact: Bob Nicholson: “email@example.com” 23 Feb Target Shotgun Festival (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) After proving popular at the Gallery Rifle Action Weekends we now have a dedicated event! This Target Shotgun Festival will consist of an eightstage match and a Snooker Match. These have a variety of targets (static and moving), firing positions and distances to test your shooting prowess. Contact(s): Brian Thomas
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
27 to 28 Feb The British Shooting and Countryman Show - Telephone 01472 241439 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.shootingshow.co.uk/ 7 Mar European Airgun Championships The Championships run from 7th to 14th March. Location: Meraker, NOR 27 Mar to 28 Mar Gallery Rifle - Spring Action Weekend (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley). Contact(s): Brian Thomas 3 to 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 22/23 May Cumberland News Rifle Club - Carlisle Air Guns Open Championship - 2x 60 shot details at: www.cnrc.org.uk/open.htm contact: David Erskine: “firstname.lastname@example.org” 26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. email@example.com
If you have any events or matches in the Winter that you would like to advertise FREE here, then please contact us at;
10 Target Shooter
Bench Rest® Powder Measure
The superior design of our Bench Rest® Powder Measure throws uniform charges. The charge arm/operating handle meters the powder and dispenses a flow of powder that is free from extremes in variation while minimizing powder shearing. The powder hopper's built- in baffle feeds powder into the charge arm very uniformly. Convenient and simple to use. Shown on Stand (sold separately) £21.67
Case Neck Graphiter
The smart way to clean and lubricate you case necks
Without proper lubrication, pulling the expander button through the case neck, can cause stretching and distortion. But oil-based case lubes are not recommended because of the possibility of contaminating the powder. The case neck graphiter brushes the inside of the case neck clean whilst leaving a thin film of motor mica, that
A real carbide cutter makes the difference in this Outside Neck Turner. Pilots in 29 different caliber offerings, including .50 BMG! In terms of improved accuracy, no single reloading function provides a greater return on your time investment than turning eccentric case necks to a consistent wall thickness. At the point of ignition, your brass must expand to allow bullet release. If the brass is thicker on one side of the case than the other, the thin side releases the bullet first and causes a slight bullet-to-bore misalignment that can seriously impair accuracy. The Forster Hand Outside Neck Turner features precision ground pilots, micrometer adjustment knob, and the industry's only Carbide Neck Thickness Cutter. A larger Caseholder (part #HOT100-102) is required for cases that are .593" TO .812" in diameter at the base of the case .
Hand Held Outside Neck Turner
Deburring Tool Base
This special base for our Inside-Outside Deburring Tool makes cha mfering and deburring arge numbers of cases effortless. The Forster deburring tool slots in either way round and the Forster Power Adaptor can be added to make the who le operation even easier.
Deburring Tool £17.15 Power Adaptor £13.16
Tel: 01977 681639 TIM HANNAM Fax: 01977 684272 Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road, Leeds, LS25 5LJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.timhannam.com
Target Shooter 11
By Carl Boswell
A while ago, I wrote an article for another magazine asking the question “How do you train?”. A pretty open question to be honest! This article is not simply a reprint but another look at the same question. For some, training will mean going to the range each weekend, or possibly twice or even three times a week if you are lucky and shooting on whatever target is appropriate to your particular discipline. This is the basic option we all hopefully have but, I often extend the question into what is my objective – in other words what am I expecting to achieve each time I go up to the range and shoot. If we are already ‘good shots’, how do we become better, improve for the next weekend shoot or even become national or world class?. It’s something to think about if you are serious about shooting, or even if you are just shooting for the fun of it - let’s face it, most of us do the latter.
Whilst I write this, I think about my A shooters diary - an easy and inexpensive tool for own skills in shooting, what my training. strengths are and what perceived areas for improvement I have in other fields. As an ex-pistol shooter I know that certain physical skills are no longer honed to the extent I would like, where some aspects of my rifle shooting are honed to a reasonably good level. The key factor in all of this is ‘mind preparation’ - having mental strength is paramount to success. I am in no way an expert on this issue, not being a psychologist but they do say that shooting is ‘90% mental’. Although I offer no empirical evidence to confirm this, I have to say that from my own experience and from observing others, I would confer that it is! Preparing a ‘mental program’ to stimulate development is all about setting short and long term goals. If you are serious about
Imagery above courtesy of Mental Managment Systems
answers: “My rifle is tuned to perfection, my ammunition is tuned to my rifle, the techniques I use are perfect” etc. These answers are undoubtedly true. Some may also claim that they have ultimate confidence in themselves because they have trained both mind and body. These answers are achievable because a person has the mental skills to perceive when anything is wrong, be it equipment or how they are using their physical skills. This is often on a subconscious level, as a good shooter will have trained themselves so well that they do not think on a conscious level. Some do this naturally. I know of one world champion who can take months off, go to a match and beat most if not all people attending. “Lucky Devil” I hear you shout – he is very good at what he does. For most, we struggle with confidence and the mental skills to remain constantly stable to perform what essentially is a very difficult task to the best of our ability. If it was easy to shoot every bullet through the same hole, it would be pointless dong it as everyone would be achieving world champion scores. Having self confidence is not as easy as it sounds and in reality it can be difficult to accomplish unless you access some sort of help.
An excellent book for any shooter or sportsman - I found this an invaluable starting point Personally, I have to work and struggle at everything I do. Everything has a payment in time or energy competition then it’s something that you should that I have to build into a daily routine. I say daily as consider doing. It can start by having a shooting I practice at something everyday – not necessarily notebook - a positive action. Various notes can shooting. This is in my mindset at the moment as I be used for later evaluation, from ammunition have taken two months ‘off’ to have a bit of fun and development to shooting techniques. now the daily routine is starting to establish itself The notebook can help you answer some simple again, building up to the national and international questions: matches next year– this process is not a grind as I look forward to it and I see it as a positive process! What did I do to prepare for that last competition? What was successful? Having knowledge of one’s self is a key factor. If How well did I do? you think you are brilliant but your shooting does What aspects can I improve on? not live up to what you think about yourself, then How will I improve them? you may be ‘over confident’ and technique is really something you should develop. On the reverse No doubt you can think of other questions. side of the coin, you may lack confidence and your shooting ability suffers as a result. This is a Notice the questions are not in a negative form simplistic view and it does get a lot more complex. - such as “What did I do wrong? Why did I not win?” Questioning yourself in a negative way can I know those, including myself, who read lots of actually reinforce any negative actions. development literature, shooting sport related books, listen to lots of visualisation tapes, If you ask top shooters what may be one of their hopefully building both confidence and attitude secrets to success, you could get a variety of Target Shooter 13
towards the objectives or goals that are set. Some good books about the technical side of training are Successful Rifle Shooting (some good training exercises) and The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy (some good technical information). There are also a lot of on-line materials that you can also access. Watching other shooters compete and talk positively about their shooting helps, even if your are attempting another type of shooting. Then try applying the constructive things learnt and looking at your performance in the short term and the long term - a positive move forward. So how can we start to mentally prepare? Firstly, we can start with ourselves and consider the needs that we, as individuals, require to pursue our sport at the highest level. Each of us will be different of course and at some point you should enlist the help of a colleague (or coach, if you are fortunate) to view the way you shoot on a technical or even a psychological level. Simplistically, coaching relates to these two elements, the technical and the psychological. Having the level of confidence in your training (thus your capability) and the correct mental attitude will be effective in achieving higher scores, as both mind and body are working together on an ‘automatic level’. Now we can go into area where some of you may This title and others are good extensions for feel less comfortable, as we start to get into the developing mental skills ‘Zen’ of shooting. Lanny was an Olympic gold medallist in the 70’s and many times world champion. Having used There are a many help manuals and courses some of Lanny’s work, the books and digital out there. These range from the Neuro Linguistic resources are very much worth the effort as there are Programming (NLP) to Accelerated Learning to processes and ideas that you can put into place Life Coaching to Self Hypnosis Therapy to the very easily to help you self-coach. What’s nice Psychological Coaching that most people would about these resources is that they come in feel comfortable with. starter formats like ‘Winning in Mind’ book/ CD Whatever your ‘bag’, I would say great, as long as and go onto more sophisticated material like the you are getting something from it and it is providing Performance Coaching works and the Mental confidence and helps to your strengthen mental Management for Shooting Sports. These specific abilities. materials I have found invaluable over this last year particularly and they have paid off with recent Personally I have read a number of literatures both achievements. A variety of exercises are about he sychology f hooting nd hose ersonal included in each product, but I would start off with t p os a t p improvement techniques named above. Some are the simpler book first. used in industry, education and a number of other sports. All of them will work to a greater or lesser Another book that I have read recently is available degree depending on the type of learner you are. from the NSRA is Mental Training in Shooting by Anne Grethe Jeppesen and nne Marte Pensgaard. A One series of books and tapes on self help for This book – although focusing on prone and 3 training in shooting are written by Lanny Bassham position shooting - book offers a lot in terms of – these are amongst my personal favourites. the exercises that can be accomplished easily by
This specific book is realtively new and based on extensive research. A lot of very good strategies
the reader. It is laid out in practical fashion and suggests how these exercises work and how they do work. The authors even relate some of Bashams work. This is a relatively new book, published in 2006 but recently available in the UK, where the Bassham products have been around for a while – he even has an e-zine that you can subscribe too. On a personal level I would suggest accessing a number of starter NLP books – too numerous in number to mention - that confirms at lot of the strategies from the resources noted above and even build on them. When looking at this or other material, you do have to know what you are doing in the first place. Shooting by yourself is not always conducive to developing new skills and it sometimes takes working with others, taking on suggestions and, always but always, asking why, what and how! Why
does the bullet do that on a rainy day? How can other people read the wind better? How do they know when it is right to take the shot? What will happen if the wind is moving from this particular direction? Etc. Whatever form of training you take on, be it reading material I have mentioned here, coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Accelerated Learning, hypnosis etc., I guess what I am saying is don’t leave it to chance. Ask around, even a colleague at the club. But ask in the right way!!! Consider thinking about phrasing things positively to suggest “How can I shoot better in windy conditions?” Asking “What am I doing wrong?” reinforces the negative and will probably make you do the things you don’t want to do, even more. If you have a good coach, then use their skills. If you want to self-coach then take this route by reading lots of information or even going as far as taking a basic
coaching course, which most big associations offer.
As I said in my previous article - some of you out there reading this may have access to a coach of some level. If so, this is excellent as you will have access to a wide variety of materials and other training that is not available to others. This is a privilege that I hope you grab with both hands to Shooting colleagues at the range may take the take advantage of, to achieve success in your sport. ‘Michael’ at times, they have with me when I say I use a well know game’s console to improve There are some online materials I have used numeracy skills that I can use on the range – it in the last year or so that are listed below. works for me so why not? However, when you Unfortunately a lot of online material you now do start bringing home the cups and the medals have to pay for, it’s the nature of the web! this tends to stop or at the very worst turns into The list is not exhaustive by any stretch of the mild teasing. It’s just a case of thinking how can I imagination and I am always looking for new improve and doing something about it, both information to help me become better than physical and mental. If you start here, then in the I am. Currently I am using a lot of selected long term all you can do is get better at what you techniques, strategies and materials from a do. Try setting goals for the next few weekends, number of sources, as I start down a new road, write them down, evaluate them and build on aiming towards the next European and World them. You never know you might surprise yourself. Championships. Until next time http://www.sports-coach.net/prewp/schomepsycho.html http://www.mentalmanagement.com/ http://www.pilkguns.com/menu_coaching.shtml
At the end of the day this article is not meant to preach, although I have gone on a bit – sorry! It is really meant to get you into the frame of mind where you are thinking about how to take your shooting to the next level and more specifically the ‘mental skills’ you need.
Email; email@example.com/ 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.
New\ Year Gadgets Gallery
orth West Custom Parts Calendar 2010 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/
Peli products available from Green Leopard Ltd Peli i1015 Case for iPhone and iPod touch:Price: around £40.00 inc VAT Just released the new i1015 case is a water resistant, dustproof and crushproof case. It is designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch and includes an external 3.5mm socket for your headphones and carabiner for attaching it to your gear. Available for pre-order online at www.greenleopard.co.uk/ Lyman 1200 Pro Tumbler Excellent value for money with the capacity to clean up to a maximum of 350 .38spl cases. Special features include ‘built in’ sifter lid to enable easy separation of cases and of course media is included. £55.99 from Tim Hannam www.timhannam.co.uk/
Kestrel 1000 Pocket Anemometer
Functions: Current air speed, maximum air speed, average air speed and data hold. Supplied with hard cover, lanyard and battery. Price:£75.00 Ex VAT www.r-p-r.co.uk/ Target Shooter 17
The AIM Tactical Dragbag The best designed drag bag on the market in terms of protection and versatility, the Aim Tactical Dragbag is designed to carry everything you need for a day’s shooting and leave you with your hands free. Inside your rifle is securely harnessed by adjustable straps within an extra thick, closed cell padded, 1000 denier Cordura bag. Pockets are easily big enough to carry ear plugs, muzzle brakes, all the accessories you need. The bag can be comfortably backpacked or carried by the webbing handle. The Aim bag comes in three sizes - the AIM 40, 50 or 60. www. aimfieldsports.com or 01606 860678.
Hornady OAL gauge. You just can’t load accurate rounds with some method of measuring your COAL (cartridge overall length) There are various way to do it but this Hornady kit is as good as any. Not cheap at RRP of £42 but well made to last a lifetime. from Tim Hannam www.timhannam.co.uk/
‘Support your local gun shop’
Aim Field Sports
This month we look at another internet gunshop in the form of Aimfield Sports. John and wife Karen are the proprietors and, as John is a keen shooter, I get to enjoy his company most weekends. John shoots just about everything from F Class through to air-rifle and he also enjoys his field shooting. The business was built around the now famous Aimfield Sports drag-bag when John saw a gap in the market for a proper gun bag with all the features of the American style drag-bags and more. The Aimfield bag is just about perfect as John has gradually ‘tuned’ the design over the last few years and it comes in a range of really great colours. I was fortunate enough to have one of the first and I have used it virtually every weekend for the last few years and not a zip, stitch or strap has failed. Its cavernous pockets carry absolutely everything I need for an F/TR Class shoot and the rucksack-style straps make carrying a cinch. Keen to capitalise on the success of the bag, John next switched his attention to the shooting mat. The Aimfield mat is wider than all the others, totally waterproof with pockets for score-cards etc and available in the same range of colours as the bags. It’s a very comfortable mat but not ‘bouncy’ so ideal for F Class where you need a stable platform for your back bag. It’s amazing what can happen when a shooter designs something for other shooters!
John has always supported the shooting sports and regularly gives his products as prizes and the GB F Class Association particularly have benefited from his generosity, which is marvellous for a relatively small outfit and it is a great pity that a few more of our major dealers and importers aren’t so minded. Last year, John picked up the US Sightron Optics agency. This was a great coup as these scopes have proved to be the equivalent of any - yet are realistically priced. Again, these were given as prizes in the World and European F Class Championships. If you’ve not had chance to look at the Sightron range, I suggest you do so if you are on the look out for a new scope. The 8-32 is proving very popular with the F Class guys and the fixed 36 power took me to a win first time out with my benchgun. Have a look at the Aimfield Sports website at www.aimfieldsports.com and have a word with Karen or John – you’ll see him at most of the major F Class shoots. Support those who support us!
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464 PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST
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The SYSS Mini Rifle
by Tim Finley
Popular wisdom says the Ruger 10/22 is the semi auto rimfire calibre rifle to have for speed shooting events. However, the current model with it’s increased use of plastic components has not endeared itself to the shooting world. Couple this with the increase in price and the growing problems of getting anything out of America if it is anything to do with shooting and it was on the cards that the UK’s oldest Ruger 10/22 customiser in the business would start producing their own actions. South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies headed by Roger Francis had long had the plan to have his own actions made but the aforementioned circumstances gave him the impetus he needed. Starting from the bottom up he looked at the shortcomings of the venerable Ruger 10/22 action and those of the Volquartsen semi auto rifle actions, both of which he has built many rifles upon. One has tolerances which are a bit too large to consistently make an accurate action and the other is so tight on the tolerances it needs tender loving care and a lot of cleaning to keep it running jam free. Going for the middle ground as far as tolerances go and using high grade aluminium Roger designed an action he thought would be the best of both worlds. He went for an integral scope rail as Volquartsen
Above and below - Your scribe using the Rimfire Magic mini rifle
has, it adds strength to the action as well as making it easier to precisely align the scope. The actions are made on CNC machines in deepest Yorkshire. I was looking for a new rifle for speed shooting events, namely Mini Rifle. It has taken off at our club in a big way and I have been fortunate enough to win all the events I have shot with my GSG-5, apart form one with a GSG-AK47 I had on test. From this experience I knew what I wanted in a Mini Rifle gun.
It had to feed without jamming. Be accurate and also look the part. I put together a spec with the new Rimfire Magic action in mind. I even had Rogers arm up his back to get him to build my gun on his first action number one, RM0001. Having a rifle built on the number one action it was going to have to be something special. As well as the action Roger is also having trigger housings CNC machined, this is due to as I have already mentioned Ruger going to plastic trigger housings. He uses Power Custom hammers and sears and come the New Year these will be the only parts Roger buys in for his rifle builds, everything else will be made in the UK. Yet another first for SYSS. I wanted a Tapco T6 Intrafuse stock as I liked both how it looked and how it handled. It is also dirt cheap at £115. It has two different rear stock mounting rods, an angled one if you want to use open sights or a straight one if you want to use optical devices. The barrel would be my choice and I wanted a standard Stainless steel Ruger
Below - The custom Rimfire Magic 10/22 action
Above and below - Stock at standard setting and extended
barrel cut down to 12 inches and threaded for one of SYSS’s own muzzle brakes. Also a standard barrel would fit the current T6 stocks and a large diameter heavier match barrel would not. I did not want a match chambered barrel anyway as if you have a jam in a speed event you are out of the running, it’s better to have a slightly less accurate rifle that always feeds as opposed to a mega accurate gun which can jam. That’s not to say I knew a standard barrel with is slacker chamber would not be accurate, I have tested a few Ruger barrels which when cut down have been very good indeed, that is that I was counting upon. To match the olive drab green plastic Tapco T6 Intrafuse stock I wanted the action barrel and muzzle brake in the same colour. SYSS no do all their own Duracoat spraying and what a fine job Dave Wylde makes of it too. With all that spec sorted it was down to Roger to build it and Dave to paint it. Another thing to note on SYSS’s own bolt is that the firing pin is held in the optimum position by a cleverly placed pin. This ensures the optimum strike by the
pin on the cartridge base. Another custom part I wanted on my rifle was the bolt handle I wanted the big titanium Power Custom model, again to aid and stoppages I might have in speed events, the standard blot handle it just too small and fiddly for my big olde Yorkshire hands. Roger put the rifle tougher with Dave and I was over the moon with how it looked. The only modification I had to do was to move the pistol grip back to place the pad of my trigger finger in the correct comfortable position on the curved trigger blade, When fitted as Tapco suggest the joint of my trigger finger was on the blade when my hand was in a relaxed comfortable position, It only took five minutes to re-drill the stock and move the grip back with its one securing screw. Another thing to note is that due to the shortened barrel the screws for attaching the rear stock rod have to be loctied and center-popped in order to permanently fix the rear stock on the rifle. If you unscrewed it and took it off it would make the rifle less then 600mm long and therefore illegal. I had the rifle back in time to take it down to the Autumn Action weekend at Bisley. I had never shot a rimfire rifle in any competitions down there so it would be a very good test for both the rifle and myself. Sight wise I only had time to throw on an AGS 3-12*44 compact scope. I reasoned the specification it had would be good for Mini Rifle. It parallaxes down to 10 yards it has a sidewheel parallax adjustment and target style turrets. I did not have time to get any scope turret settings other than a 17 yards zero. Not what I really wanted, I planned to have dials for 10,15,20,25,30 and 50m. For ammunition I started using CCI Mini -Mag from the start, a re-think on what I used for Mini-Rifle with the GSG. These seemed a bit ammo fussy and I had seen more jam with Mini-Mag of the four guns in regular use at the club. The Rimfire Magic actions I had tried all felt very, very slick and I thought fast ammo like the Mini-Mag would make the best of the ultra smooth action. Dave’s Duracoat finish to the internals of the action helped with the cycling of the action. The action was engraved with the words RIMFIRE MAGIC after the painting process and it really stands out very nicely silver against the O/D green. I bought two Tactical Innovations TI25 composite magazines from SYSS, these are 25 round mag’s, although it’s advisable I find to not put the full 25 .22 LR rounds in
Above and below - Pistol Grip of the Rimfire Magic mini rifle and the trigger guard
for Mini-Rifle comps as when loaded that way on a closed bolt during a mag change the full mag will no engage fully into the action. The magazines have four screws which adjust to tailor the magazines to each individual action for faultless feeding of ammo My Rimfire Magic rifle worked perfectly without even
adjusting the mag’s to the correct settings, but it’s a good idea to follow the instructions on their web site www.tacticalinc.com to get the best out of them on a standard Ruger 10/22. I would not be using the big 25 round magazines at Bisley as they are just not needed. It’s a maximum of ten rounds per stage anyway. I bought sis standard mag’s for SYSS, as a side note SYSS “tune” all standard Ruger magazines they supply with their guns and
I must say again I have had not problems at all. I also fitted a front grip on the Tapco’s Picatinny rails under the forend. This is until I get around to fitting a Yankee Hill machine grip from SYSS. The grip I wanted to fit would not clamp correctly on the Tapco stock for some reason, probably a slightly undersize moulding on the accessory rail. Rimfire Magic’s trigger cluster was a revelation, I did not want a Kidd or any other expensive match type trigger as for speed events you just do not need it, what you want is a crisp predictable, consistent trigger, all these things it was with spades, the pull weight was only 2lb 8oz (1.128grm) but it feels much , much lighter. We, and when I say we I mean “Team Len” Dave Wylde SYSS’s custom full-bore rifle builder and Ross Borough my rimfire clubs comp sec and overall great guy and my good self, were shooting Advancing Target and Multi Target at Bisley. As I said, I have never shot these events with a rifle before. I was nervous as I shot the Advancing Target for the first time and the rifle never missed a beat, in fact it has never missed a beat at any shoot I have shot with it so far. I was lucky enough to win a Silver award in the Advancing target as well as not finishing below 3rd in class in any event I shot over the AAW event at Bisley. A few weeks later I shot a practice Mini Rifle event at my club with the TI25 magazines and put all my shots but one into the “A” or top scoring section, my only miss being when I missed counted and only fired one shot at the missed target. The Rimfire Magic rifle continues to impress me. Roger is building my spec Mini-Rifle into his standard build list, in fact he has just built one for a mate of mine who was very taken with my gun. A Rimfire Magic action with bolt assembly, recoil buffer and standard bolt handle. Rimfire Magic trigger unit with auto bolt release, extended mag release Duracoated in
black or silver, fitted with a Ruger barrel cut down to 12 ½ inches and fitted with a brake like mine in a T6 stock with one mag will set you back £695 inc vat. When the last of Rogers Ruger 10/22 actions have been sold he is not going to be using them any more. When you have shot a Rimfire Magic action you can see why at only £20 more than having to use a Ruger action there really is no comparison. A 10/22 it is not and a whole lot better for that it is too. TEST ACTION Model Country of Origin Calibre Action Features Rimfire Magic South Yorkshire .22 Rimfire long rifle 10 shot Semi Auto blow back Integral Weaver scope rail, choice of colours
Can use any stock/magazines made for Ruger 10/22 Price Supplier Action only is NOT supplied Action £290 Inc SYSS’s own bolt Trigger £150 Barrel £90 ( Screw cut) Muzzle brake £50 ( Only when part of a SYSS build) Plus cost of stock and barrel to customers specification, see SYSS build list for options. South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies 01226-756332 E mail firstname.lastname@example.org Web site www.rimfiremagic.co.uk
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 3
by Chris Risebrook
Having discussed the basics and described some versions which never existed in period. single shot pistols, this time we will look at revolvers. The Colt dismantles quite easily by knocking out the barrel key, putting it on half-cock so that the The variety of Italian-made replica revolvers is rammer falls between two chambers, and then bewildering. Because of their historical/romantic pushing down the rammer, which will ease the associations, most are copies of the Remington barrel from the frame. This makes cleaning easier 1858 and the various Colt revolvers. In general, the and enables the barrel to be cleaned from the breech. copies are quite accurate, such that some parts are interchangeable with the originals and they certainly The downside is that the rear sight is merely a notch represent excellent value for money compared to the in the hammer. In practice, although it gives a poor cost of an original. sight picture, it appears to have no detrimental affect on accuracy. Spent caps have a habit of falling They are produced in vast quantities, mainly for down in front of the hammer and thus jamming the the American market, which keeps the price down. revolver; not a serious problem unless the Probably the most popular are the Colt 1851 and Commanches are charging! The Colt design 1860 models. Originally, these would have been uses no top strap and is thus weaker than the in .36 and .44 respectively but the copies are now Remington, and the brass frames on some of the produced in both calibres, together with some spurious copies could ‘spring’ over time, but I have never know this to happen in The Remington BP revolver - practice.
tried and tested is one of the most popular models used in the UK
For competitive targetshooting, the Remington is generally preferred because of its solid frame and conventional rear sight groove in the top-strap. If you prefer originality, a genuine Remington is generally about £1000 cheaper to buy than an original Colt - romantic names cost money! Loading and cleaning a Remington is easier that a Colt - there is no barrel key to lose. Drop the loading-lever, pull the barrel-spindle forward and remove the cylinder. The barrel has to be
Chris using a home made loading stand while charging the cylinders
cleaned from the muzzle and a nylon cleaning-rod guide is available to avoid damaging the crown. In addition to these two principal revolvers, the In the heat of battle, trying to load any muzzleloading Italians are now making copies of other lesser known revolver would have been virtually impossible and in makes and models, even including the weird Le Mat practice, troopers carried as many as eight of these with its nine chambers and a shot gun barrel as a revolvers festooned about their horse and person. cylinder spindle - difficult to think of a competition for To load any revolver, it is easiest to use a loading that one!. One of the best revolvers was the Rogers stand. These can be bought or easily made to hold and Spencer, produced just too late to see action in the pistol firmly barrel upward. Load each chamber the American Civil War but it handles beautifully and from a phial, insert the ball - sprue upward - and copies are used successfully in competition. push down hard with the rammer. A felt wad can be loaded under the ball, or grease applied to the Cleaning revolvers is much harder work than single chamber mouth when the ball is seated. Do no use shots, since each nipple needs to be unscrewed and both methods. Do make sure the ball is seated firmly cleaned and there are six chambers to clean as well onto the powder or wad, and that there is no air gap as the barrel. A stainless-steel revolver helps and so does cleaning as soon as possible after between the powder and ball. Do not use patches. shooting. ood crub ith oiling water nd Ag s w b a a toothbrush around the nipples should see Seating the ‘balls’ the whole operation over in a few can be strenuous minutes. After a few sessions, it is a good specially in cold idea to strip the gun and clean the lockwork of weather fouling. Since the method of complete stripping varies from one gun to another, this will have to be left to a future article. Do remember stainless-steel is not really stainless, just stain resistant, and some internal parts - particularly springs - are made from carbon steel. Try and keep water out of the action when cleaning, oil well and check the gun the next day just to make sure you have not missed anything and that no rust has formed.
When all chambers are loaded, point down range and cap each nipple, which is the fiddly bit. In most guns, fingers seem to work better than fancy cappers. The wad or grease is not to prevent a chain fire, but to lubricate the ball and keep the fouling soft. With a tight fitting ball, chain fire is very unlikely. When loading the ball, the rammer should leave a thin ring of lead behind. Most .44 Colts use .451 and Remingtons .454. Just to be awkward, the Ruger Old Army uses .457. Obviously, manufacturing tolerances will differ and it is important to have a tight fit. Bullet can be used but round ball seem to give the best accuracy.
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
QUIGLEY SHOOTING ASSOCIATION NEWCOMERS GUIDE TO SHOOTING THE BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE RIFLE. PART FOUR.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hoping Santa brought you all you wished for…… In the previous entry to this series, I wrote a little about some of the choices available when selecting a suitable calibre for the black powder centrefire cartridge and promised some more
A 45-70 case with 70gn Swiss No3 32 Target Shooter
info on loading the .45-70, I hope the following will help to answer some of the common queries which crop up when you start to reload for this superb cartridge. In 1873 the US Army introduced its new round for the Trapdoor Springfield Rifle, the 45-70-405 (.45 cal with 70 grains of black powder behind a bullet weighing 405 grains). This remained in service with front line troops, although with a later upgrade to a 500 grain bullet, along with its’ more user-friendly 55 grain charge for the carbine until the adoption of the .30-40 Krag in the 1890s, and well into the 20th Century with the National Guard. With a suitable bullet and load this calibre is capable of scoring well on targets at ranges up to 1000yds. First, let’s look at the case. .45-70 brass is readily available at around £40 to £60 per 100 from manufacturers such as Winchester, Remington, Star-Line and Federal with most dealers keeping a stock of this calibre which means you can usually get your hands on some without a wait. When it comes to choice, all these cases are up to the job, although many shooters have their own favourite make. It is to be noted, however, that Starline and Remington use thicker brass which does have some effect on case capacity, which we will deal with later. Secondly, the bullet. There are a bewildering number of bullet shapes and sizes out there, ready made ones tend to be around 405 grains or less and are cast of a hard alloy, with a hard lube designed for use with nitro powders. These are less than ideal when used with black powder at long ranges. A heavier bullet, 500 to 540 grains, cast of a 20:1 or 30:1 lead/tin mix, with deep lube grooves filled with a natural, softer lube to keep fouling to a
L to R Lyman 535gn Postell, Lyman 500gn Gov’t, Lyman 510gn Bore Rider, Saeco 525gn Semi Spitzer, Lee 500gn Spitzer, Lee 405gn Hollow Base
minimum, is what is required. For this you will need to cast your own. Moulds are made by many commercial suppliers like Lee, RCBS, Saeco, Lyman, Redding etc, as well as by several custom makers in the USA such as Hoch, Magma Eng, NEI Handtools, and Paul Jones among others, a quick Google search will reveal more. As for bullet shape, those with a Postell shape or rounded nose tend to be favoured among most of today’s marksmen using single shot rifles. For my standard Quigley load I use Lyman’s 457125 mould, this is the original 500 grain Government round nosed bullet introduced in the 1880s, if it worked then, well why not now? Of course, if loading for a repeater with a tubular magazine, then only flat nosed bullets must B&M Powder measure be used for safety reasons. Many shooters believe that a perfect base is preferable to a perfect nose and so most custom moulds are of the nose pour type, as opposed to most commercial offerings which are of the base pour design which can leave an irregular base after the sprue is cut off. Again, this becomes a personal choice as custom moulds are also much more expensive than their commercial counterparts. Bullets can also be swaged from a soft lead core, but as these generally emerge without lube grooves they are used mainly for paper patching, which may be covered in a later article. When it comes to choice of powder it’s probably best to start with whatever is available locally or what is recommended by an experienced shooter, again, there are a few suppliers and several brands and grades, but some powders are going to work better than others in your rifle and it can take a lot of
Home made powder compressor
Drop Tube in use
experimenting to find the one that suits best. After much trial and error, I have found that 70 grains of Swiss No 3 (ffg grade) works well for my handloads. All cartridges need a source of ignition, this is achieved by a relatively inexpensive, simple and yet extremely reliable item known as the primer. These come in various standard sizes determined by the case they are designed for. For our purposes, the size is known as “Large Rifle”, they can be purchased as “standard” or “magnum”, the latter are often quoted as essential for reliable ignition of black powder, but I have to confess that over the years,
L to R charged case, veg fibre and home made wax wads, a case with wad and powder, a lubed bullet, and a completed round 34 Target Shooter
I have found no discernable evidence to corroborate this, and indeed many shooters I have spoken to in the USA are having great success using “Large Pistol” primers. I am making no recommendations here, merely stating opinions. Let’s look at assembling a round of ammunition. I will assume that the handloader
has already purchased the equipment necessary and is familiar with its use. First, case preparation, we start with a clean case, if it is new and unfired, it will first be necessary to full length size the case and ideally trim it to length. The flash hole can be de-burred at this stage if required with a simple tool costing only a few pounds, the next
Lyman 45 lubrisizer, oldie but goodie
MTM Case Guard RF22
stage is to expand the neck sufficient to allow the seating of the bullet without damaging it on the case rim. Finally a suitable primer is inserted into the pocket in the base. Once the case has been fired then it is not necessary to resize at all, providing that the case is only to be used in the same rifle, this will also help to prolong the case life. The next stage is to charge the case with powder, but before we do that, we need to determine how much powder to use. What is very important with the black powder cartridge, is that when it is assembled there is no air space left in the case, so, while it is virtually impossible to use too much powder, it is very possible to use too little. To work out a suitable charge then, we need to determine how much volume is left in the case when the bullet is seated to its optimum depth. A simple way to do this is to place our chosen bullet in the chamber and slowly push it towards the muzzle, using a suitable dowel or pencil, until it just touches the lands of the rifling. If we then measure from the base of the bullet to the rear of the chamber and reduce this distance by a few thou to allow a little clearance, this will give us the amount of space behind the bullet which needs to be filled with powder. Mark a prepared case and then weigh it, using a drop tube, fill it to the mark with your selected powder and weigh it again, this will give you the minimum charge required. Because the chamber on my Pedersoli Sharps allows me to seat the bullet well forward in the case, 70 grains only just comes up to the mark, once the fibre wad is added it is only necessary to compress the powder by the thickness of the wad, in my case
.060in. Now is a good time to tell you about a superb piece of kit, which can be made very simply from materials you already have. Once your cases are fire formed, you will have no need for the neck expanding die from your set, so take the die and remove the internal button by loosening the collet nut. Using a lathe and some brass or aluminium rod, turn a simple insert, one end of which will just fit inside the case and the other in the collet. This will be your powder compressing tool; it is used in your press and is set so that the bottom of the insert is level with the bottom of the bullet. Any measure designed for black powder metering can be used to dispense the charge, I use an old Belding & Mull powder measure, these are very safe, efficient, and throw a consistent charge, and they can still be sourced on the internet. Earlier, I mentioned the use of a drop tube, this is a really handy piece of kit which is commercially available but is also easy to make yourself. I already have a 36 inch long brass powder funnel which I use for my muzzle loading rifle, although a shorter one around 24 inch will suffice, this is fitted to a simple wooden frame and allows me to trickle the powder into the case which settles it more evenly allowing me to get more powder in the same space. Using this method I have no problem getting 70 grains of Swiss No 3 into the case, despite many ‘experts’ saying this is impossible. Next I put a .060in thick vegetable fibre wad over the powder to protect the base of the bullet and also to prevent the soft lube from leeching onto the powder. An alternative to the fibre wad can be cut from waxed milk or fruit juice cartons with a 7/16 in wad punch. Then the case is raised into the powder compression die to the level determined earlier. At this stage it will be noted that more resistance will be felt if using Starline or Remington cases because the thicker brass slightly reduces the internal volume. Next; a little about preparing the bullet.
Ideally the bullet should be sized and lubed; bullets do not always emerge from the mould at exactly the same weight or diameter, so to compensate for this we can do two things. First, the bullets are weighed and batched, they can then be passed through a sizing die which will size them to exactly the required diameter (which can be found by slugging the barrel) and at the same time inject the appropriate lube into the grease grooves. I have a couple of old Lyman 45 lubrisizers, these are well up to the job, dies are simple and quick to change, and they are still to be found at very reasonable prices on the net. There are several specialist black powder lubes on the market including SPG, Ox-Yoke Wonderlube, Lyman’s Black Powder Gold and my current favourite White label BPCR, which can be imported from the USA at a very reasonable price. RCBS, Lyman and Redding make sturdy lubrisizers, they are not cheap but they can be recommended. Lee makes a very inexpensive lube and size kit, but this is designed for bullets tumbled in alox and is not suitable for filling the deep grooves with the soft lube required on our bullets, but the sizing die can be used if the bullet is first lubed by hand. All that remains now is to
seat the bullet which can be pushed by hand into a fire formed case, or seated with the die into a new and sized case. A note on bullet seating, if the compression die was not used in the previous step then the powder will have to be compressed by the bullet, this may cause the bullet nose to be deformed so take care. In single shot rifles I prefer not to crimp the bullet in the case, but if you wanted to I would not recommend using the roll crimp normally supplied with the die set, but purchase a taper crimp or factory crimp die, or even just run the loaded round a little way into the case sizing die providing the bullet profile allows it. The completed round is best stored in one of those dedicated plastic flip top ammunition boxes made by MTM, I prefer the Case-Guard RF22, which holds 22 rounds and allows the round to sit with the bullet upwards, ideal when the bullet is not crimped in place. This is just one person’s method of reloading this grand old round, it works in my rifle but it is not guaranteed to work in everyone else’s. Please feel free to email with questions and comments to email@example.com
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As it is so close we thought at we would feature the British Shooting and Countryman Show website. It’s a case of use it or lose it. The show started off extremely well last year and this year promises to be even better, with even more stands featuring your favourite retailers, distributors and manufacturers. So have a think and join in the fun, as it certainly looks like it will be a great weekend. As you would expect from a commercial venture there is lots of information on the website to help you book, get to the show and the about the show itself. What great is there is something for everyone, whether you are into shotguns or pure target shooting. Maybe we are helping to promote this hear again but we, collectively, need shows like this to help promote shooting in the UK as the great sport that it is. This is in the same way we need magazines like Target Shooter to do the same thing. As we said elsewhere in this magazine – we will be there, so we hope to see you too.
Wildcats I have known and loved – the fabulous sixes
By Vince Bottomley
From left – 6PPC, 6BR, Dasher, Swiss Match, 6-6.5x47 Lapua, 6XC, 243Win, 243Win.Imp, 6mm Xtreme, 6-284 An occasional series in which Vince Bottomley box of 220 Russian brass gathering dust on the and Richard Wild look at their favourite wildcat shelves of a rural gunshop. The 220 Russian cartridges. In this article, Vince looks at was already a wildcat – formed from the ten 6mm cartridges that are firm favourites with accuracy nuts. When we think of shooting at extreme ranges - i.e. out to 1000 yards, most shooters will not even consider a ‘six’. Yet in 1996, American benchrest shooter Bill Shehane, captured the 1000 yard world record with a 3.142 inch, 5-shot group using his 6-284. Prone high-power shooter David Tubb has won a number of ‘across the course’ championships and at least one long-range championship at Camp Perry (America’s biggest long-range rifle match) with his 6XC and, more recently, Jason Baney won the 2006 Williamsport World Open 1000 yard Benchrest Championships with his 6BR. But, let’s start off with the most famous 6mm wildcat of them all, the legendary 6PPC. Benchrest shooters have always searched for the perfect cartridge and the 222 Remington reigned for many years, so did the 6x47 ( – no, not Lapua’s 6-6.5x47, this was the 222 Rem.Mag. case necked up to 6mm – both these cartridges being the creation of Remington’s Mike Walker). Then, quite by chance, a certain Dr Louis Palmisano found a 40 Target Shooter
Left, Ferris Pindell and far right, Walt Berger – I was honoured to meet these legends at the World Benchrest Championships in America in 2008
Left, the 7.62x39 AK47 cartridge, the Lapua 220 Russian and right, the 6PPC note steeper shoulder and less body taper
Yes, it is the world’s most inherently accurate cartridge out to 300 yards and every 6PPC shooter forms his brass from that strange little 220 Russian case, which is now made by Lapua. But please, if you are building the ultimate foxing rifle, don’t mess with the 6PPC - the 6mmBR will do the job just as well and offer you a greater choice of bullet. But surely the 6BR isn’t a wildcat - how come it’s on the list?
7.62x39 Kalashnikov case and first appeared in the hands of a Russian Shooting Team at the World Championships in Egypt in 1963. Palmisano knew he had something special with the 220 Russian brass and the Doctor’s gunsmith friend, Ferris Pindell, built a benchrest rifle for Palmisano chambered for the 22PPC. Palmisano was relatively unknown in the benchrest world but he blew the doors off the opposition at the 1975 Super Shoot – the biggest benchrest competition in the world! The 22PPC was soon necked-up to become the 6PPC and benchrest would never be the same again – the search for the perfect cartridge was over. Thirty years on and it still dominates 100/200 yard benchrest competition all over the planet. Every benchrest world champion and world championship winning team has used the 6PPC.
If the 6PPC has a fault, it is the case-head diameter – slightly smaller than the 308 case-head by about 28 thou. There are thousands of factory rifles with a 308 bolt-face but unfortunately, if you re-barrel with a 6PPC chamber, you could have extractor problems. This prompted Mike Walker of Remington to develop a version of the 6PPC but with a 308 case-head, which could be used in a factory rifle with a 308 bolt-face. Both calibres were initially tested – a 22 and a 6mm but only the 6mm made it into production and it became known as the 6mm Benchrest Remington. The 6BR Norma came later and to all intents is the same cartridge but if you are building a 6BR, make sure your gunsmith uses a reamer to suit Lapua’s excellent 6BR Norma case rather than the Remington brass. Even though the 6mmBR is an almost perfectly ‘balanced’ cartridge, the wildcatters still can’t resist trying to make it better. They lengthened the body (6mm BRX), made the shoulder angle steeper (6mm BR-DX) or a combination of both (6mm Dasher). Do any of these modifications make for a better Target Shooter 41
The Swiss Match, 6-6.5x47 Lapua & 6XC are very similar
accuracy gain with any of the a f o r e m e n t i o n e d wildcats. If you want more capacity, just go for the 6-6.5x47 Lapua and save yourself all the case forming – unless, like me you are a shooting masochist! You can cram about 36 grains of powder into the Dasher case, whereas the 6-6.5x47 Lapua will hold around 42 grains. But let’s go back to the beginning of this article and look at big Bill’s 6-284. Bill ‘discovered’ the almost obsolete 284 (7mm) Winchester case and necked it down to 6mm to create his record-breaking cartridge. Really, I should say ‘re-discovered’ for American varmint shooters were using the 6-284 wildcat around 30 years before Bill set his World Record. Compared to the Lapua 6.5-284 brass we now use, the Winchester stuff was abysmal – I know, I had a 6-284 about ten years ago. After necking-down, neck-turning and fire-forming, cases had to be weighed, gauged for body thickness and any ‘out of spec’ cases – of which there were many – rejected, or at least reserved for sighters. I never matched Bill’s group but I did get down to five inches which, in the UK at that time, was pretty respectable.
cartridge? Well, the increase in case-capacity is always helpful when you are trying to push 105 grain bullets over 3000 fps. In addition to a minute powder-capacity increase, the steeper shoulder is reckoned to help the powder burn more ‘consistently’. The theory is there but does it work in practice?
Jason Baney (of 6mmBR.com fame) used a ‘straight’ 6BR to win his 2006, 1000 yard Benchrest Championship – no tight-necks or custom bullets – Jason also used ‘off the shelf’ Lapua Scenar bullets. There is absolutely nothing The 6-284 quickly morphed into the 6.5-284 wrong with the 6BR as it stands and if you do and was adopted by Norma. It has achieved build a custom rifle, there is no ‘guaranteed’ even more success in this format, especially 42 Target Shooter
The pre-production Lapua 6.5x47 had a large primer – as does the Tubb 6XC and the Swiss Match. When Lapua went into production, the primer had changed to a small one – far left. The reason? Better accuracy. Interestingly, Lapua are about to offer a 308 case with a small primer pocket. with F Class shooters, though I still prefer be burning a few grains less powder and the 6mm version for out and out long-range furthermore, the brass would be about half the benchrest accuracy. Barrel-life is however price of the 6.5-284 brass. The first problem is abysmal in 6mm form – around 500 rounds but fireforming. Every case must be fireformed, so as a 6.5 you can expect at least double that. that’s 100 rounds down our barrel before we’ve The case capacity is about 60 grains and we fired a single round in competition! Sadly, the don’t fill the case – be it a 6mm or 6.5. so, I barrel didn’t last any longer! Neither did the shortened my last 6-284 case by 50 thou. and brass, so the saving was minimal and I didn’t called it the 6mm Xtreme. This also gives a win the Championship, so not really worth it. I longer neck and it is a very effective cartridge. did have some reasonable groups but it was We also have another advantage that Bill definitely not up to the standard of the Xtreme. didn’t have – Tubb’s excellent 115 grain 6mm DTAC bullets, which leave the muzzle at – well, We’ve now ticked-off six of our ten fabulous respect your range velocity limits and keep it sixes. Let’s have a look at the Swiss Match, down to 3250 fps! The 6mm Xtreme does not 6-6.5x47 Lapua and the Tubb 6XC. These three give better barrel-life than the normal 6-284 cartridges are very similar (see picture) and there but it was good enough to secure me the 2008 is very little to choose between them. If I was UKBRA 1000 yard Championship, so I can’t looking at mainly long-range performance out to ask more than that! The Lapua brass as always 1000 yards then it has to be the 6XC – now that is superb and I no longer select or gauge my Norma brass is available – as it holds marginally brass – just neck it down, neck turn and shoot in more powder than the other two. Having said competition – barrel-life is so short you can’t afford that, this is the only one of the ten cartridges to waste it fireforming! The 6-284 is also pretty that I haven’t actually had a rifle chambered hard on brass and primer-pockets are loose after a for, so I can’t speak from actual experience. couple of firings - after five firings they are scrap. The 6.5-284 brass is now very expensive and if Tubb initially wildcatted his 6XC cases from the you work on 500 rounds per barrel, that’s 100 22-250 case but sadly, Lapua don’t make 22cases and 500 bullets, primers and powder. That 250 brass* Remember, no matter what you do works out at about £2.00 a bang! Frightening! to a case to ‘improve’ it – unless you start off with good brass, you are wasting your time! Although I’m no ‘penny-pincher’, I did think about David initially commissioned his own brass a way to save a bit of money and decided to but now that the round has established itself, replace the 6mm Xtreme with a 243Win. Norma offer the 6XC case so it makes this Improved. I reckoned I could still drive the 115 cartridge a real contender for the long-range grain DTAC bullets at 3200 fps and maybe rifleman. the barrel would also last longer - as I would Target Shooter 43
In addition to good brass, we also need good bullets and here’s where Tubb did long-range shooters another favour, with his superb 115 grain DTAC bullets. These heavy 6mm bullets are made by Sierra and the long, needle-like projectiles need a barrel with a fast twist to stabilise them. Tubb recommends a 1 in 7 for his DTAC bullets in the 6XC which will push ‘em out at 2900 fps but they will stabilise in a 1 in 8 if you can keep the velocity over 3000 fps. Remember, never spin a bullet faster than you need to – the faster we spin ‘em, the more any defects will show up.
round a 6.5mm. It will deliver the same velocity with a 123 grain bullet that the Swiss Match will deliver from a 105 grainer and if you want less recoil, go for Lapua’s 6.5mm 108 grain Scenar and even more velocity. But, I digress, this article is in praise of the ‘sixes’ not the six-five!
Before we leave the Swiss Match, I must mention the 6mm Smack. The Swiss Match Ackley will hold about the same amount of powder as the 6XC and is very impressive at long-range. There are few Smacks about but UK shooter, Martin Miles has done very well with his, both in 1000 yard BR and F Class competition, finishing a Can the 6XC really cut it at long-range? Run splendid 18th out of 146 competitors in the F Class these figures through your ballistic programme. Worlds at Bisley last July – all those placed above Consider a 155 grain 308 bullet with a BC of him were using the 7mmWSM or the 6.5-284. around 0.508 travelling at around 2950 fps or the 140 grain Sierra Matchking, BC 0.535 Are there any other sixes we should be including from the 6.5-284 at similar velocity. The DTAC in this article? Well, the bog-standard 243 with its 0.585 BC, also leaving the muzzle of a Winchester is included in my top ten. 6XC at 2950 fps., will retain significantly more Although it was introduced as a factory round by velocity at 1000 yards and buck the wind far Winchester way back in 1955 by simply better. Not only will the little six outperform many necking-down the 308 case, the late great larger cartridges – and here’s where we begin Warren Page (author of The Accurate Rifle) had to see the true beauty of these little sixes – they already done the ‘wildcatting’. The cartridge is are so nice to shoot, with negligible recoil. Don’t so ‘overbore’ that Parker Ackley – of ‘Ackley forget, recoil is not just a thump in the shoulder, Improved’ fame apparently refused to further it’s also rifle upset and accuracy-killing vibration. ‘improve’ it. There are thousands of factory rifles chambered for this cartridge and although it has That leaves just the Swiss Match and the a reputation as a ‘deer-slayer’ no one regards it Lapua 6-6.5x47. The Swiss Match is a as an ‘accuracy’ cartridge. Most factory rifles are beautiful little case – made by RWS so the quality is offered with a 1 in 12 twist to handle a stubby excellent and I got quite excited when I first expanding hunting bullet but to shoot ‘discovered’ the case in America of all places match-grade 105 grain bullets, we really need a and I just couldn’t wait to build a rifle. Obtaining 1 in 8. Take Parker’s and Warren’s advice – use it brass was a small hurdle – Ruag UK refused to straight with good, reasonably priced brass from sell me any brass so I had to get it direct from Lapua, dies from any of the major manufacturers Europe – minimum order 1000 pieces – £660 have a great long-range target round which just for the brass! The rifle’s accuracy exceeded should equal the 6XC. Barrel-life? Don’t even ask! expectations and barrel-life is not too bad (I’m still shooting it) and when Lapua brought out *The 22-250 case will be offered by Lapua in 2010. the 6.5x47 it solved the brass problem – run the Please mention 6.5x47 through the Swiss Match full-length body die and out pops a 6mm Swiss Match case! Is the Swiss Match any better than the 6-6.5x47 Lapua? No – the shoulder angle is the same at 30 degrees and the marginally longer neck offers no accuracy gain. Stick with the 6-6.5x47 and its small primer - which appears to handle the pressure better. Having said that, I think Lapua got it exactly right when they made their new 44 Target Shooter when using advertising in the magazine To ADVERTISE in this space contact us at customer.services@ targetshooter.co.uk
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By Gwyn Roberts
Bob Clark’s Southern Gun Company has been at the forefront of Custom Gun building in the UK for the past 40 years and I was fortunate enough recently to try out their latest creation, the 9mm Lever Release Rifle which is directly aimed at the Gallery Rifle market. The particular rifle that I tested belongs to a good friend of mine Dave Emery, who has been known to tinker with all sorts of firearms in his spare time over the years, but having a family and working full time as a firefighter certainly doesn’t leave him with many hours left in the week to do this! For the test, we arranged to meet up at John Scott’s excellent Two Rivers Shooting Club in Hartland, North Devon so I could see for myself what all the fuss has My first offhand target been about over the last 12 months or so, wasn’t too bad, but it did waiting for this new rifle to finally emerge. end up being one of the
S&B 115gr 10 shots @ 50m How good would this rifle shoot worst that I shot at 25m with some developed To perform well in any of the GR during the test! loads? competitions you must have a rifle that is former, I just wasn’t sure to be honest if a 9mm both accurate and reliable, and starting with the round could be accurate when shot through a carbine length barrel. There was only one The excellent A.R.M.S quick release mounts enable way to find out however so I started by taking you to instantly change from one type of scope to off the red dot that had been fitted and another without any loss of zero! replaced it with the 4-16x mildot scope that Dave had also brought with him, then continued to walk the bullet holes across the target until they were printing point of aim. Happy that they were “there about” I first of all put some 147gr fmj S&B’s through it off the bench to see how they went and although the groups were ok, they were certainly nothing to write home about with the groups printing at around 1½ - 2in for 10 shots. Dave then handed me some 115gr fmj’s from the same manufacturer to try which surprisingly, instantly transformed the next group I shot into a single ragged hole! The two 46 Target Shooter
following groups produced exactly the same one hole results so I enthusiastically put up a DP1 target at 25m to see how well I could shoot the rifle offhand. Considering the rifle didn’t exactly fit me properly (more of that later) and I certainly wasn’t used to the trigger, I was more than pleased with my first target of the day! Only 3 tens with the rest being X’s wasn’t the end of the world, and the scores got even better as I became more familiar with the rifle and had a bit more practice with it. At 15 & 10m every shot went repeatedly put into the X ring so shooting straight 300’s with the X count around 27 or above is certainly achievable if you play your part right. The barrel definitely seems to prefer the lighter weight bullets between 115 & 125 grains, and the accuracy of the 9mm round through a 15” barrel certainly surprised me, making this rifle more than capable of winning any of the GR matches that we compete in, straight out of the box! at SGC over the years to make sure that their 9mm rifle fully satisfies the requirements of both the Home Office and Police Authorities to finally get this rifle into production, and what a good job they did of it too! The basic design of the rifle is that of a blow back action and the bolt is locked back to the rear after every shot is fired. The shooter then releases the bolt forwards again (stripping the next round off the top of the magazine in the process) by pressing the release lever located on the left side of the lower. This is usually where the safety catch is on the AR and it’s simply been relocated onto the other side of the action. Once the bolt is fully forward, the shooter can then depress the trigger to release the next shot and the cycle continues again. This reloading action does make it easier for the shooter to stay on target and should help avoid any cross shooting during a 1500 or Multi Target match when you can have 20 – 30 targets nestled quite close together. The rifle also A lot of time and effort, as well as countless hours highlighted its excellent handling qualities at the of R&D work has been done by Bob and the team end of the day when we refitted the red dot and went over to shoot the BiMore than accurate enough for anchi steels with the limited amount Gallery Rifle competitions! of ammunition that we had left. Tracking cross the frame from target to target was much easier than having to rack the action each time and this allowed you to take slightly more time on each plate to release the shot which may help you improve your score on the day.
Whilst shooting I liked to keep my thumb resting lightly on the lever and this caused no problems at all, but care must be taken not to try and release the bolt too early in the reloading cycle otherwise it will smash into the working parts. If this is done a couple of times by accident it shouldn’t cause a problem, but if it is done repeatedly you “Weak” shoulder operation and will be faced with an shooting is made very easy! expensive bill to fix it ammunition along with some Magtech lead bullets which will certainly not be covered by the warranty so be warned! Although as well should you need them, and I’m sure there SGC recommend using commercial ammunition are plenty of other “sources” around the country in the rifle, they do accept that owners may also that will be able to get you some too if you look want to use home loads to help keep the costs around. down etc, and this is fine providing that quality ammunition is made and used. Be aware that The feeding reliability of the rifle was extremely bulging the barrel or cracking the receiver by using good on the day and should never become an under or over powered reloads will not be issue as long as you keep your magazines in accepted under warranty conditions, as it good order. As with any magazine fed firearm you quite rightly wouldn’t be by any other firearms must always make sure that the lips are checked manufacturer either! On the ammunition side of regularly to make sure they are not bent out of things I know that Pete Starley at Midway UK will shape, as dropping them onto a hard surface be able to supply you with plenty of Wolf 9mm during a mag change etc will sometimes cause this to happen. SGC machine all of their major components in house and as standard, this rifle is fitted with the SGC Mk6 lower with the forward assist plunger and is machined from a 6lb billet of aircraft grade alloy to eventually give you a 1¼lb part. When you have to pay £4000 per ton for the alloy, and get just £350 per ton when you sell it back as scrap, it gives you a much clearer idea about just how much these parts cost to produce in the first place. The upper used on this rifle is their The release lever sits right above the grip, and own dedicated 9mm Dave’s rifle has been fitted with one of SGC’s version which features a left hand cocking uppers from the .223 smaller ejection port as version for R&D purposes, so he says…..! standard as is equipped
or 10/22 clone either. You can pay anywhere from £70 to £350 for a replacement stock for your Ruger, but who sells them for an underlever? To shoot to your potential you must have a rifle that fits you properly and the good thing about this rifle is that you can customize everything from the size, width or shape of the fore end or butt, down to the type of grips that you will use. They even sell one grip with the usual “T” bar cocking handle on the top. that comes complete with The 15” fully floating barrel with a 1 in 16 twist rate various sized moldings and spacers so that you is fitted with an A2 muzzle break and is covered can achieve the proper grip to trigger reach for with one of the short round fore ends that is found on their V22 rifle. The opposite end is complimented with a TDI collapsible butt which is very quick and easy Grips......…. to adjust and will fit most of the shooters out there. As I mentioned earlier, an any size hands. Try finding a set of those for your AR type rifle does not usually fit your average 6’3” Marlin! A quick scan on the SGC website or any + person, but neither does a Marlin, Winchester other for that matter will show you just how customisable these rifles are so making one fit you perfectly shouldn’t be much of a problem at all.
Here’s part of the second batch of 50 Mk 6 lowers waiting to be hand finished!
.........more accessories are made for the AR than any other rifle….
As the new lever release rifle is obviously magazine fed, it will currently fall into the “open” Gallery Rifle class along with the Marlin shooters who choose to use speed loader tubes to compete with. This point is probably irrelevant to most of the shooters that will buy this rifle anyway, as all of the straight pull / bolt action owners that I have spoken to over the years say that they shoot the “alternative” types of rifles purely for the fun factor. There is no
Quickly adjustable TDI butts are fitted as standard on the 9mm denying that anyone who is lucky enough to shoot one of these rifles will enjoy the experience, and this would certainly be apparent in a 3 Gun or Steel type match. They are just the ticket for this type of shooting and if you held a match that combined them with a shotgun and an LBR or LBP then you would probably hold the most exciting and talked about match in the country! I’m sure a couple of people I know are already “on the case” as it were and I look forward to seeing what matches will be held in the New Year as I really do think this could be the start of something very exciting in the sport. If only we still had our “Steel / Team Challenge” targets that we used to have at Minsterley……!
up before they even touched the shelves and the 2nd batch are now either sold or being delivered. A third batch is planned for March/April so contact Bob now if you would like to reserve one. Cost wise a 9mm Lever Release Rifle built on a Mk6 lower will cost £1250 although this will drop down to £1150 for one with a “forged” lower when they finally become available again from the States. For a rifle that you can shoot any type of competition with I think this is reasonable, and if it does help kick start the formation of a UK 3 Gun style of competition like I hope it will, then you will just simply have to have one to do the job properly!
Below is Bobs own rifle and when you own the company, you canobviously have any The first batch of SGC 9mm rifles were snapped configuration that you like!
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A critical examination of the 2009 Imperial Meeting Ammunition – Part Two.
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 British military ammunition producer, Radway Green. Unfortunately, Radway 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 looks a little closer into the RWS product. In part one of this article we looked at the physical aspects of the ammunition and how it compares with offerings from Radway Green, HPS and my own homeloads. For the benefit of those who missed part one, I will re-state that any handload mentioned in this article was perfectly safe in the author’s rifle using his reloading equipment and techniques. That does not mean it will be safe in your rifle using your equipment and techniques. Always refer to a reputable loading manual. Neither the author, the editor nor the publishers accept any liability for readers misusing this information. Data on cartridge length must not be construed as a recommendation! Since it was not possible to measure muzzle-velocity, a comparison was made of the mean elevation settings used on the author’s rifles for the whole of the samples. This should give a reasonable indication of the comparative downrange ballistic performance of each brand. The results are tabulated in Table 2. For comparison purposes elevations for the 2008 Imperial Meeting issue RG are also shown. Now to the nitty gritty. With only two exceptions, the tightest elevations shot
9 of the targets shot - up to 900 yrds on these My reference earlier to Captain Mainwaring reminds me examples - with the variety of ammunition of one of my (many) Dad’s Army favourites. In ‘Sons of the Sea’ Mainwaring acquires a boat and decides that on test
at each distance were shot with a dirty barrel. The exceptions being ‘The Association’ shot at 300 yards with HPS ammunition in the English XX Meeting and the 900 yards shoot in the Welsh meeting. The latter was the only opportunity to shoot VMS ammunition at 900 yards. The following twelve diagrams show the plots for the “best of the bunch” for each brand. What matters here is the elevation plot. Declared bad shots are ringed on the plot. Reference to the wind plots will indicate that some of these shoots, particularly at long range were conducted in somewhat tiresome wind conditions. Having to make big wind changes, particularly across zero, can have a loosening effect on ones groups as can the need to get shots away quickly before a transitory condition changes. The results are tabulated in table 3. Experienced shooters will know that weekend meetings at Bisley are pretty intensive affairs with little time to leave the range, whereas the Imperial consists of bursts of activity with long periods of potential boredom. It is necessary to chill out and whilst sitting round the barbie in an evening scoffing steak and supping full bodied wine may be OK, it certainly isn’t OK through the day. We need some light relief.
a rapid response river unit would be a good idea. The platoon gets lost in the fog, drifts out to sea and then get washed ashore to hear carousing in a dance hall. We know these are French Canadians but Mainwaring thinks they have landed in France. The platoon board a freight train and Mainwaring orders them to throw their rifle bolts from the train to prevent their P14s being used by the enemy. As the train begins to slow he asks Sergeant Wilson, “What’s the French for ‘what is this station’?” Wilson replies, “Ou est la gare?” The train comes to a halt and the van door is gingerly opened to reveal a gent in a bowler hat, complete with rolled umbrella and briefcase. Mainwaring says, “Ou est la gare?”. Gent with umbrella, “Eh?” Mainwaring cups his hands to his mouth and shouts, “Ou est la gare?!” Brief pause, “Oh! La gare est Eastbourne actually!” Moral of the story: compliant with security requirements your bolt should never be far away from your rifle. Now, back to business. To try to relate these results to actual ammunition performance, rather than shooter performance I looked for an event where equipment limitations would mean that, in the rifle/ shooter/ammunition interface the biggest influence on the end result was likely to be the shooter.
In June, I had occasion to shoot in a club competition Having waded through this dusty stuff so far you at Thorpe Cloud. The conditions require a rifle of probably need some light relief and, having researched pre-1945 design, firing a contemporary cartridge to be and written it, so do I! shot at 300 yards on a 300 metre UIT target. Target
sights are permitted. This competition is immediately preceded by a 20-shot shoot at the same target with an NRA Target Rifle. Experience indicates that most shooters perform better on this target than they do on an NRA target. They have to! Despite being fairly tired I was able to hold exactly one minute of elevation. In addition to this I was concerned that the Steyr, with over 6,000 rounds through its barrel, could be seen as a limiting factor. With my own ammunition this rifle produced an elevation spread of 0.66 minutes at 1,200 yards in the Welsh. Before we leave the topic of purely subjective testing, here’s another firework I want to throw into the embers. I experienced a drastic, fatal and inexplicable wind zero failure on the Steyr during the final at 1,000 yards in the Scottish Open at Blair Atholl in June. Fortunately Altcar Rifle Club have Thursday evening long-range shoots at this time of year and, to try to establish if the problem was transitory, I shot there on two consecu-
bull being angularly the smallest over the commonly shot at ranges, tight groups are essential. Similarly at 1,000 yards where again RWS appeared to be 14% worse than HPS and 20% worse than my own ammunition - in fact no better than ammunition which I considered inadequate. It has to be said, however that this ‘inadequate’ ammunition produced a 49 at 1,000 yards at Altcar, with the dropped point being down to an over ambitious twiddle of the wind-knob. The rifle’s performance at 1200 yards in the Welsh is an unarguable pointer to its ability to keep the 155 bullet stable at long ranges. Despite this, RWS out performed HPS at 600 and 900 yards and matched my own ammunition at 900 (albeit on a sample of one). On this basis then, one could say there is not much to choose between the two brands. One cannot expect commercially produced ammunition to equal the quality of hand crafted ammunition - nor did I.
tive weeks at 900 and 1,000 yards respectively. The ammuntion shot was a collection of dog ends of batches of my hand loads all of which had escaped being shot previously because total indicated run out was in excess of 5 thou. This produced a total spread of 0.86 minutes at 900 yards and 1.0 minute at 1,000 yards. After all this what conclusions can we draw? Not surprisingly my own ammunition outperformed both HPS and RWS. The best I could squeeze out of the RWS at 300 yards was not as good as I squeezed out of my M17 in one shoot; which is, perhaps, disappointing. The best RWS elevation at 300 yards was 32% bigger than the best HPS elevation and 38% bigger than my own ammunition. With the 300 yard
The evidence shown in table 2 would indicate that ballistic performance i.e. wind bucking ability, is near enough identical between the three brands. Both HPS and RWS, at their best, showed good enough performance in my rifles for me to have scored ‘possibles’ at all the ranges concerned - providing I had shot straight and got the wind right. Shooters and Associations will probably make their decisions based on price. Either way competitors should have no grouse if they have to shoot either of these products. Finally the completely subjective opinion. Did RWS show an improvement over RG. I’d say absolutely!
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Rifle and Range Bags
By Nigel Greenaway
My previous articles on Practical Rifle (PR) and Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) shooting concentrated on the differences in the courses of fire and the rifles required for these exciting competitions. Space did not allow for more than a cursory look at the other equipment needed and the rifle bags and range bags required to carry everything. This article will cover the latter requirement in some depth because if you are going to spend £1,500 plus on a modern rifle and telescopic sight it would seem a false economy to skimp on the quality of the rifle bag required to protect your investment and carry it comfortably. The rifle and range bags described will suit any rifle discipline so it would be a good idea to remind ourselves about the specialist requirements of PR and CSR, particularly the need to carry comparatively large quantities of ammunition and kit to and from the firing point and the butts. This can happen twice in one day and some of the worst accidents I’ve seen inflicted on rifles have occurred in the butts. A chamber safety flag might allow you to carry your rifle safely slung from your shoulder but as soon as you enter the butts the fun and games start. If firing has commenced and you have not reached your target number you Right : The kit you have to take with you on a shoot! Above - BlackHawk Long Gun - the Rolls Royce of bags will be required to walk between the target frames and the area underneath the mantlet, often having to step sharply to one side as people rush to bring targets down for marking. The sickening crash you then hear behind you is your rifle or scope as it strikes the hard metal edge of the target frame. If you pass this test then propping your rifle up against the wall by your bench or resting it on its bipod under the bench is also a recipe for disaster as the press of bodies and shuffling feet wreck havoc with your unprotected kit. So having decided that you need to buy a rifle bag,
range tables, course of fire, etc. The green bag that swallows all this kit is the Warrior Grab Bag, UK distributor - www.uktactical.com. This type of bag was not available a few years ago but the demands of security personnel serving as bodyguards in Iraq resulted in the grab bag – retailing for about £56 depending which pouches are added. It is ideal for our kit car-
you now need to give serious consideration as to whether you split the load in to a rifle bag and a separate range bag or carrying everything in the same bag as your rifle? The picture shows the plethora of kit you may need to lug about: ammo boxes 150-250 ounds), pare agazines, ( r s m binoculars (required in the Methuen The Warrior Grab Bag with extra pouches above team CSR), knee pads (gravel firing point), gloves, waterproof trousers and jacket, grass clippers, digital wind gauge, first-aid kit, rifle and scope rying needs. The bag has three separate internal cleaning kit, rifle bipod, drink and lunch box, pen, compartments with various elasticated loops or
Operational Tactical Drag Bag from AIM Fieldsports
Velcro backing for customised fitting. On the outside it has the popular Molle straps which allow various pouches to be attached for a completely customised package. As standard it comes with three double mag pouches for 6x30 round AR15magazines, a small pouch on the side which will take a 20 round mag plus smaller pistol mag pouches that will accommodate my grass clippers (vital when you find long grass obscuring your view a foot or two forward of the firing point). Single open top mag pouches
I-SHOT S.E.R.T Target Shooter 59
BlackHawk Long Gun Pack Mat
can be ordered to fix to the front or side so that you have an upright mag, free of mud or gritty gravel, within easy reach for a quick reload. Over all this is a large flap, the inside of which has a clear plastic map pouch which is great for holding the course of fire for a quick reminder without having to worry about the rain. It is a very well designed bag, made from high quality and hard wearing materials. I have used one of these bags for the best part of two years and would be lost without it – I’ve discovered that its height also makes it an ideal rifle rest. UK Tactical recently sent me some extra pouches including a couple of magazine dump pouches. The latter are used by the military to dump empty mags in to for refilling when they have a quiet moment! For civilians they can be used in the same way but are particularly useful for collecting empty brass – especially important if you reload your own ammo. The picture shows the large dump pouch fitted to the front of the Grab Bag and their large admin panel attached to its front – courtesy of the Molle system. With its Velcro front it is a great spot to attach my stopwatch and store my Kestrel wind gauge – supplied to me many years ago by Richard Paul Russell Ltd www.r-p-r.co.uk It is another one of those invaluable gadgets, now commonplace amongst military snipers, which can save much embarrassment if your day’s shooting starts on the 500 or 600 yard
firing point and the target is a Fig11 on a pole with no backer for your two sighting shots. The other pictures show the variety of Warrior pouches available – in the bottom left of the group is a foldable dump pouch in its folded state and the single pouch pictured is the foldable dump pouch in its deployed position. UK Tactical provide fantastic customer service and do a great job supplying our lads abroad with those soldier proof bits of kit that can prove invaluable. A good choice for a rifle bag to accompany the Warrior Grab Bag is a new Operational Tactical Drag Bag from AIM Fieldsports www.aimfieldsports.com, designed to accommodate conventional bolt action scoped rifles up to 49 inches in length. It differs from their well known AIM50 and AIM60 Drag Bags in that it lacks the latter’s large external pockets and hence the price drops from £139 to £99 but it is still made with 1000 denier cordura and the usual extra thick closed cell foam padding. Given the quality of the bag this is exceptional value for money whilst still incorporating the stowaway rucksack type shoulder straps of its more expensive brother. Another feature that I like is the full length pocket for a rifle cleaning rod running along the length of the spine of the bag. The number of times I’ve heard the cry from the firing point for a cleaning rod to clear a jammed round only to hear every one say “I’ve got a rod in
The Blackhawk Sniper Drag Bag on your scribe’s back
barrelled AR15. These rectangular shaped bags are regarded as discreet bags because their shape does not shout rifle bag. Their shape actually allows them to hold two or even three rifles/ carbines – two in the main compartment if not scoped and one, with a folding stock, in the external large pocket. A particularly useful feature is that both compartments employ the MOLLE or PALS system to allow securing straps to be positioned to suit different rifles plus magazine pouches. I tend to use the large external pocket to hold a double mag pouch and other Warrior pouches plus all my waterproof clothing, gloves, etc. They are very well made, using 1000 Denier Cordura with two sets of external D-Rings to allow versatility of shoulder strap placement, heavy duty steel hardware and lockable zippers. What really sets these bags apart is the very high level of protection
the car” which is often a round trip of 1000 yards! The bag has a system The Blackhawk that allows internal securing Sniper Drag Bag straps to be positioned to hold any open type/shape of rifle, including the comparatively short AR15’s (there is now a shorter AIM40 bag but I’ve not had a chance to test one yet). I-SHOT’s S.E.R.T. system Tac Carbine/Rifle Case (TCC), imported from America by Stockade Products www.stockadeproducts.co.uk, was designed specifically to hold the M16 / AR15 / M4 range of rifles and carbines. They available in lengths of 30-46 inches to suit, 42 inches being the popular length for a 20 inch
offered. Not only do they have the usual padding but there are also large hard plastic rectangular sheets zippered in to the inside. These are designed to help the bag stay semi-rigid and will not allow the outline shape of the rifle to become visible from the outside whilst increasing the level of protection from, for example, a sharp object falling and cutting through the conventional soft padding. The American Marine Recon units have selected S.E.R.T bags for their demanding applications – enough said! Tacfire ystems ww.rifle-cases.co.uk kindly upplied S w s what must be regarded as the Rolls Royce of the combination bag/shooting mats – the BlackHawk Long Gun Pack Mat. Again made with 1000 denier Nytaneon® this high quality piece of kit can be used as a rifle carrying case, a backpack, a drag bag and as a shooting mat complete with Velcro removable pouches, one for a notebook and one for ammo – a very nice feature which allows you to set up the mat to suit left or right handers. In addition there is a weapons cleaning kit pouch and separate bolt pouch. Perhaps less useful is the Hydrastorm® hydration system pouch for your water but it is just the right size to stuff your waterproof trousers and jacket! Full wrap around carry handles or concealable back pack harness straps (fully padded) & waist belt can be used for transportation. The bag opens up with two fold out sections – one for the rifle butt and another with extra protection for the rifle muzzle with a hard plastic crown protective cover lined with closed cell foam and three sets of securing straps to hold the rifle securely. Suddenly a bag that previously measured 28 inches long (71 cms) by 13 inches wide (33 cms) lengthens to accommodate most rifles up to 50” in length (127 cms). When opened up as a mat it is 27.5 inches wide (70 cms) by 50 inches long (127 cms) – plenty wide enough but just stops short of your knees when shooting prone. The closed cell foam insulation and padding does a remarkable job of providing comfort. I was
worried that all the various securing/shoulder straps, which lie underneath the mat, would intrude when lying topside. However, I found that my stomach lay on a flat portion, where there were no straps underneath, whilst my elbows rested forward of the underlying shoulder strap section which kept my chest clear, thanks to my elbows. On this section there is a generous full width portion of grippy HawkTex for your elbows. Obviously a lot of serious thinking has gone in to the design of this bag - it is packed ith eatures hich eflect ts 175 sking rice. w f w r i £ a p The final rifle bag is at the Rolls Royce end of the spectrum and is priced accordingly at around £240. The Blackhawk Sniper Drag Bag oozes quality and is a full blown sniper drag bag with stowable rucksack shoulder straps and two large external pockets. There is also an internal pocket which is ideal for ammo boxes or even a silencer. Internal straps secure the rifle but there are also securing straps in each of the large pockets – useful for holding a spotting scope. The case is fully padded with closed cell foam and has extra heavy-duty zippers with dual sliders, which allow the bag to be opened completely and used as a shooting mat. Along the spine is a long pouch to hold a cleaning rod. Overall Length 51”, front cargo pouch is 9.5” x 23” x 2” and the rear cargo pouch is 9.5” x 12” x 2”. This bag really can carry a hell of a lot of kit and it was in constant use by me when I used my Parker Hale M85 in PR events. Blackhawk products are stocked by both www.uktactical.com and www.rifle-cases.co.uk . My thanks to UK Tactical, AIM Field Sports, Tacfire Systems, Stockade Products and Richard Paul Russel Ltd for supplying the equipment and bags featured in this article – judging by the speed, efficiency and helpfulness exhibited by all of these companies I have no doubt that their prospective customers will receive the same service.
Gun of the Month
This month’s gun is a bit special – it comes from the Pete Walker stable. For those of you who are not familiar with Walker Custom Rifles, please visit the website at www.walkerrifles.co.uk There are many gunsmiths who claim to work to ‘benchrest’ standards. Most of them have never even attended a benchrest match, let alone built a benchrest rifle. That cannot be said of Pete Walker – he really does build the very best and his rifles have claimed many accolades in the heat of benchrest and F Class competition. Mike Weatherhead commissioned his rifle to be ‘the ultimate’ F Class Open rifle and the ‘heart’ of the rifle is the fabulous BAT ‘M’ action. In my opinion, there is no finer action and, as the BAT advertisement says “Buy the best and cry once!” I couldn’t agree more – I have three BATs and they are all they are crackedup to be and more. Yes, there are several fine custom ctions on the market, most built to the closest tolerances but the BAT is also the most handsome and guarantees a custom rifle that will be something special. F Class is a relatively new discipline and the perfect stock has yet to be designed – or at least manufactured but this McMillan comes pretty close. In F Class, we are shooting a rested rifle so we are looking for a stock which is close to a benchrest
stock and adjustable butt plates and cheek-pieces are not required. McMillan have also realised that a ‘lower’ fore-end also reduces the ‘torque action’ when shooting larger calibres. This stock is probably the best fibreglass stock currently available for F Class. Pete tends to work mainly with BAT actions and he also prefers Bartlein barrels and I can’t fault that. In a few short years, the Bartlein has become the favourite of many a competition shooter and it would certainly be high on my list and it’s what Mike chose for the BAT. So, that’s our rifle – but what did Mike choose for the cartridge? Without doubt, the 7mm has proved itself in F Class competition but at the expense of the barrel – expect a scant 5-700 rounds from the 7mmWSM! The 284 Win. is a sensible option which should easily offer double the barrel-life and as Grant Taylor has ably demonstrated in 2009 (see The Long View) it can almost equal the performance of the 7mmWSM so this was Mike’s choice and it is proving to be very effective at all ranges out to 1000 yards.
Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd 295 London Road North End Portsmouth PO2 9HF
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Tel 02392 660574 Fax 02392 644666 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.portsmouthguncentre.com
We stock a full range of Rifles, Pistols, Air Guns, Shotguns, Ammunition, Reloading Equipment and Accessories. All major brands stocked including BSA, CZ, Air Arms, Marlin, Ruger, Umarex, Uberti, Cometa, Pedersoli, Berreta, Lincoln, Webley, Pedersoli, etc.
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great Shoot great Look
Lilja Barrels - USA
By Andy Dubreuil
Lilja barrels have Above - Matt Emmons win Gold and Silver Medals at the 2008 Beijing been around for Olympics using Lilja Anschutz model 2007/13 drop-in barrels! 24 years now and barrel making and Dan got interested in what he was celebrate the 25th anniversary this month and are one of the leading doing and how he was doing it, but after a couple barrel makers in the USA and exporting all around of year his friend lost interest in the business and the world, and I thought I would catch with Dan Lilja turn to Dan to see if he want to buy all the tooling on the phone to find out about the man and the Lilja machines, then in 1985 Lilja barrels was born when Dan setup business and started by himself making name. When you speak to Dan he comes across a nice centrefire barrels in a town called Plains in Montana. quite spoken man you may think he never steps out Today Dan has a much larger premise as they of the office and may even play golf! Well you would moved into a new building back in 2005 and be wrong, Dan loves the outdoors and with his employs 9 people within the company. Lilja have family they love to hunt camp and ride their horses. invested in the very best of equipment and have Dan was shooting benchrest back in the 70’s two rebuilt and design ball-screw-driven Pratt & and loved the sport and has always been Whitney controlled gundrills, a Hass TM-3P CNC interested rifles and what make them tick, and then milling machine used for fluting, octagon work and in the early eighties a friend of his got started in rifle milling work on their drop-in barrels and other applications. Lilja today make barrels for all kinds of competitive shooters from .22lr Rimfire and Centrefire and up to 50cal barrels. Over the years many shooter have won with Lilja barrels, the list is huge but back in 1991 Steve Turner won the BR-50 three times in a row with a Lilja barrel, in 1995 K.C. Young shot 2 World records in I/R 50/50 that was taken over the year after with Steve Arnold shot 5 World records and the list goes on with 14 new Precision Rifle Barrels in all calibers World records set 1998. rimfire and centrefire But Lilja have even had their success in
.22 Rimfire Precision Barrels - these come in a variety of configurations and some are even ‘drop in’
the Olympics, back in 2004 in Athens with Matt Emmons winning gold in the 50 meter free rifle prone and Ashley Adams of Australia winning silver in the Paralympics. And only last year in the Beijing Olympics Matt and Katarina Emmons won gold and silver medals using Lilja Anschtz model 2007/13 and Warren Potent won a bronze with a custom Blieker which was furnished by Lilja. Lilja barrels have done many testing’s over the
years to perfect the barrels that shooters used to day and it’s this kind of dedication that makes Lilja one of the top barrel makers in the world and specially within the rimfire fraternity. I asked Dan on his thoughts about running in new barrels as some shooters views are that you have to put a number of rounds down to run a barrel in, but Dan is very confident that Lilja barrels should be able to be shot straight out of the box, he says you just need to put enough through to build the wax from the rounds for it to settle in and you should be there. Since Dan knows his barrels inside out I thought I would ask him how would he clean a lilja barrel and this what he had to say “for a competitive Rimfire barrel I would clean it every 300 rounds and I would take a patch and I like Butchers Bore Shine and I would wet that patch
Dan’s shop - impressive
66 Target Shooter
and run it through a few times. Then I would run a copper wire brush fitting, I like a loose fitting maybe like worn out brush and give that a few strokes down the barrel then another couple of wet patches with the Butchers Bore Shine, and then one dry patch and then fire a couple of shots to build up some wax in the barrel and that should be it”. To keep a rifle shooting well and to get back to that constancy, Dan believes it down to the cleaning process and the one he has described is one of the best and since he makes the barrels I would take his word for it. Exporting barrels over the last year has got more expensive and Lilja have to conform to the export licensing prices that are incurred, it used to be around $75 to sort all the paperwork out but now it cost around $350. So it would be better to go through the major importer for your country to find out when a shipment is coming through and see if your gun dealer can get one of those at the time. You can find details on Lilja website of all the major importers around the world to get in contact with. Dan hasn’t shot for some years, but his sons
are growing up fast and he hopes to get back on the range again soon which I am sure for a lot of our American readers would be a pleasure to see him behind a rifle again. To think that Dan’s business only happened when someone decide sell up that he took the plunge and it has paid off to be one the successes in the rifle barrel industry. Dan will continue to push the boundaries to make his barrels the best he can and will continue testing so shooters can have a barrel they can depend on shot after shot.
The latest CAD/ CAM equipment is used
Target Shooter 67
☆ 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 ☆ 2007 WC Milan 3x20 Silver Medalist
If you want to shoot like a champion, choose Lilja! www.riflebarrels.com
Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels, Inc PO Box 372 • Plains, MT 59859
Tel: 406-826-3084 • Fax: 406-826-3083
Ha ppy new year to all. Lets hope this one is a good one for shooting Sports
68 Target Shooter
Field Target USA style
By Paul Cray
Paul is an American shooter who picked up on Target Shooter via the internet, saw that we carried field target reports and was kind enough to pen this article on FT on the other side of the pond and a report on the 2009 US National Match. I sometimes moan about the 250 mile drive to Bisley – I won’t do again! As far as we can tell, the first Field arget match that was T held in the USA took place in 1984. The location was California. What’s important about this date is that it’s only four years after the actual birth of FT in England! Consider at that time there was no internet and the level of global communication was no where near what we have now and you get an idea of how far and fast the game travelled in that short period of time. In my opinion, this is a testament to how wonderful and unique the game of FT is. Two short years later, the first National match took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. The governing body of FT in America is AAFTA http://www.aafta.org/ and it’s main purpose is to promote Field Target clubs in the United States and oversee and maintain a set of rules that everyone can compete under. Currently, there are
The Nationals group picture
70 Target Shooter
Me shooting in the match
over 45 AAFTA affiliated clubs shooting in the US. difference but it’s very slight and nowhere near half as some people may think. And any slight advantage There are two main differences between FT here with trajectory is equalized by the fact that in American in the USA and in Britain. First is rifle power and FT you will see a 1” KZ at 50+ yards and ¾” KZ’s out the second is the shooting harness. With the sport to 40+. So shooters must do their home work and starting in England where air rifles are restricted make sure that scope clicks are bang on. And again, to 12ftlbs of energy at the muzzle, the format when you encounter target at very close ranges, for and course layout evolved from that view point. example, between 10-15 yards, you’ll see KZ’s ¼” Although, one can purchase a rifle with greater power, and 3/8th” and as we know, there are lots of clicks a FAC is required in the UK. So it’s reasonable on your scope this close in so you’d better be ready. to assume that a greater number of people can access to 12ftlb rifles and that’s what gets used. The harness is another difference. I’ve never used one, and personally feel it goes against the spirit of There are no such restrictions on air rifles in the the game in so far as it really removes a lot of the skill US so consequently, the air rifles folks had here in getting into position and holding while one waits to were mostly above 12ftlbs. Indeed, in it’s infancy, release the shot. It’s in the rules and that’s that and I shooters were encouraged to come and shoot do support anyone that uses one, but I’d rather have with whatever rifles they had in order to boost the satisfaction of training my body into being stable participation and this practice was very successful without it. Thankfully and they must be commended in doing so. AAFTA now dictates a muzzle-energy here for their forward thinking, the AAFTA has created of no more than 20ftlbs and this was initially put a division for competitors that want to compete the in place to prevent damage to the targets. Most way - the way the rest of the FT world does! So we shooters run their rifles at 19ftlbs or close to it. have a WFTF (World Field Target Federation) division with a 12ftlb limit and no harnesses that means the When I shot American rules FT, I ran my rifle with small but growing group of guys and gals that want JSB heavy pellets (10.2 grains) at 880 fps which to shoot this way compete on a level playing field. translates to 17.5ftlbs of energy at the muzzle. There is not the huge advantage in pellet trajectory and wind I shot my first Field Target match in January 2002. hold-off that one might think shooting 20ftlbs versus After spending the ungodly amount of $20 on a BB 12ftlb. In my experience anyway, my windage pistol and some paper targets some years prior, was basically the same whether I shot 11ftlbs or I got hooked on target shooting and found myself 17.5ftlbs! When I say basically, I mean there is a constantly shooting, or at least, thinking about
2200 mile round trip to get there! Since then I’ve gone on to win two National Titles in Piston division and in ‘07 made the switch to PCP and won the Nationals in that division too. Also that year, the World Field Target Championships were held in the USA (Tennessee) and I had the good fortune of winning that also! And now I find myself in Texas for the AAFTA National Championships, hosted by the Yegua airgun club http://www. yeguafieldtarget.com/. From my home in up-state New York, it took me a two hour drive to the airport, two flights, then a two hour drive to get to my hotel in Somerville, X. T
The pond shooting lane
shooting. After spending countless hours on the internet checking out airguns etc, I came across the sport of FT and thought I should give it a go. I National matches are generally two-day affairs discovered FT and was lucky enough to learn that there and this was no different. Two courses with was an actual FT club only 10 minutes from my house. competitors broken into two groups and each group shoots one course each day. I had upgraded from that cheap pistol to a TX200 When I left NY it was snowing but in Texas it was spring rifle and was content to plink at targets in my beautiful with temperatures around 85F and hardly a back yard but after calling and finding out there was an cloud in the sky. The match took place on Saturday up-coming match I decided to give it a shot. After tying and Sunday the 16th and 17th of October respectively, for third and then winning the shoot off, I was thrilled with Friday 15th reserved for checking your gear and well and truly hooked and in love with Field Target! and making sure it all survived the trip and of course meeting fellow combatants who are now friends and After participating in many local matches in ‘02 and catching up on what’s going on in their lives and ‘03, I picked up the courage to enter the Nationals and chatting about pellets, rifles, rules and everything Field Target! after letting the occasion and indeed my lack of experience, get the better of me the first day, I fought back and shot well on day two to push me into fifth place and get an award! I learned a lot that weekend and knew what I had to do to better myself for next year.
My TX action was placed in a target-style stock and my Bushnell scope got replaced by a Nikko Stirling 10-50x60. Many hours of training and many thousands of pellets later I got my first National title! A big thrill for me and I have great memories of that weekend and the
shooting lane 1
now it seems, we always have lunch at the match when all the shooters come in and the guys ‘n’ girls of Texas out did themselves with the spread they put on. Truly e x c e p t i o n a l ! Day 2 saw even warmer weather and a little stiffer wind which gave me some p r o b l e m s , causing me to drop two shots by not judging wind direction properly. I was down only 2 shots with 4 lanes to go but I never really felt comfortable all day and never got into a good groove and consequently made some horrible errors in the next 2 lanes and ended up with a 55 ex60. Good enough to win WFTF division but I was not happy with how I finished off the match. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time in Texas and those guys really know how to put a match and look after the shooters. Now I’ve to get packed back up for the 1800 mile trip back to New York!
Sighting in range for the night shoot
The courses were very well laid out with a good mixture of hi/lo and near/far targets. Both also had a mix of heavily wooded scenarios plus some lanes that were exposed to some very tricky winds. We had a very clever lane with waterfowl shaped targets that were placed in the middle of a large pond with floating duck decoys close by to keep you on your toes! Believe it or not, a problem arose with one of those targets on the pond so the match director literally dived in and swam out and fixed what had to be fixed and swam back and got on with his day! Only one forced position lane per course, a standing lane n ne ourse nd neeling n he ther. o o c a ak o t o In my opinion, this needs to change to at least two standing and one kneeling lane per course to challenge ones shooting skills and help spread the scores somewhat. As I mentioned before, there was a tricky wind to deal with - tricky in the sense that it kept hifting irection nd peed hus aking s d a s t m reading and judging difficult. Plus the clever match director had designed some lanes that had the shooter and half the lane in cover but the targets were out there exposed. Clever. but evil! I missed a easy stander which made me mad but overall I was pleased enough with my performance. At the end of day one, I was down 6 shots with a 54 ex60 for first place in WFTF and 4 shots behind the PCP lads. A tradition
WFTF Champion 2007
Target Shooter 73
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.
This Smallbore Business
By Don Brook
One of the most important parts of a prone position for small bore is to ensure the forward position is set up correctly. I have seen so many that tried to have a forward position geometry built around a rifle that did not fit the shooter, and really struggle to gain any form of progress into good prone scores. This section will be the subject of a later expose’ as the shooter will soon find that the rifle fit is extremely difficult to find among the large selection of rifles on the current market.
“Forward Geometry” Showing the shoulder, left elbow (RH shooter) and forward hand locating points of the triangle (a, b, c,) discussed in the text.
“Position of the left elbow” This should be 75 to 80mm (3 to 31/2”) left of the fore end of the rifle. This is ideal and allows for a strong support platform for the prone position.
It should be understood right at the outset, that a good prone position allows for a method that simply does not move. In fact, if you watch a very good prone shooter in action the rifle seems to be dead still. Also in fact, is that when the rifle is fired, there is a very small movement at the muzzle end of the barrel, and this is the factor that a new chum should be looking for. The actual hold area is quite small, and the rifle recoil is minimal. Once this is achieved, then the door opens to the really high, and very satisfying results that are expected from a prone specialist. You only need to study the world records for prone events to understand that prone perfection demands a 100 percent effort, in both techniques, and results.
There are three main areas to work on, and these are the forward hand located in the sling stop (A) plus the left elbow position, (B), so that the position of the butt in the shoulder (C) is allocated correctly. It should be understood that the butt position is the ONLY variable in the geometry and is capable of movement in the position. The other two points are firmly locked in place, starting with the left hand / glove firmly in contact with the sling stop under the fore end of the rifle. (A) It is of paramount importance that this position of the left hand is maintained, as the all important position tension relative to sling control depends a great deal on the position of the hand stop, when you are refining the position.
The left elbow is already locked in place by it’s This in itself demands a very high developed position on the firing point (B) so this does not move attitude factor, and this too will be the subject of either once the position natural aiming point is a further article some months down the track. established. The single point sling then locks the left rm n lace, s t tretches etween he iceps/ a i p a is b t b This month I will set the forward geometry out triceps muscles to the left hand and hand stop for the readers, viewed from the right side of a position, so the new shooter should now be able right handed shooter, and you will need to study to see where the butt in the shoulder becomes the the photographs intently to follow the sequence. variable in the position. Every thing else is locked 76 Target Shooter
“Bad position fault” Because of a loose sling the position of the left elbow creeps under the fore end. (Sometimes well under.) The problems progress to a canted head position, draws the left shoulder down as the arm is stretched forward. You will find diagonal groups on the target sometimes well out of the 10 ring from 10 to 5 o’clock.
in place, by the tension across the bottom of the Obviously the cheek piece height may need inverted triangle of the geometry exerted by the adjusting to reach this, but I cannot stress any sling. further just how important this is. Now you will understand why I say that rifle fit is extremely If you go to the photograph and simply draw a important if you want to shoot world record triangle with the allocated numbers above, it scores prone. should form an inverted triangle, and this then will To establish the correct butt pressures depends give you a better idea. The triangle should be very on two things as well. The correct length of the close to equal distances between points “B” and sling itself across the bottom of the inverted “A”, and “B” and “C”. This will then be quite close to triangle of the position geometry, giving the having a position geometry that works quite well effect of the sling actually holding the rifle up in as the long line of the triangle (points “C’ to “A”) will the position. It should feel as if the left arm is coincide along the bottom line of the rifle stock. being supported in the position, not allowing any further forward “falling” of the front arm. WORKING ON THE PERFECTION OF THE Once this is attained, then the position of the POSITION. butt in the shoulder can be adjusted to gain considerable pressure, (force) into the position Once the position is established along those of the butt itself in the right shoulder. If you guide lines above, the pressure of the butt in the have a free rifle with an adjustable in length shoulder becomes extremely important, and this butt plate, then moving the butt out to gain area, has two contributing factors. Not only is the pressure needed is a viable facility. the length of the butt relative, as the cheek piece However, the fine tuning can also be pressure of the face helps to lock the butt of the dependent on the position of the hand stop rifle in place in the shoulder. The facial pressure (Point A). It should be understood, that once the on the cheek piece needs to be consistent, but forward eometry s stablished, ou an djust he g i e y c a t also allow the eye to be placed exactly behind pressure of the butt in the shoulder by moving the centre of the peep sight. You need to be point “A”. dead centre behind the peep. If you move point “A” (The hand stop) Target Shooter 77
together with the sling attaching point within Forward it will effectively bring the whole rifle backwards in the position so increasing the pressure in the butt. It is a mistake to think that tightening the sling will increase the rearward pressure of the butt in the shoulder. In fact, you can effectively destroy a good position by doing this, as it has a tendency to introduce a position that cants the rifle away from the face and brings the rifle more over the left elbow so that the forward hand is well to the left of the elbow position. The tell tale of this problem is a recoil on shot strike that oscillates, or moves sideways causing a “benediction” type movement of the rifle in recoil. Conversely, if you move the hand stop back towards you, this actually lessens the butt pressure as it takes the rifle forward in the geometry and allows the forward arm to fall forward away from the support platform of the position. This is a primary cause of low shots on the target, and is difficult for the new chum to trace as a source of a problem. A well assembled prone position should give the shooter the feeling that the rifle grew out of your shoulder, is easy to duplicate for each single shot, and allows a shooter to sustain the position for an entire “English Match” consisting of sixty record shots. If you can allow the butt to simply drop out of the shoulder to reload the rifle, then the position is far too loose in the geometry. The rifle needs to be actually physically removed from the shoulder, not just allowed to drop out of the position so you can work the bolt action to reload. My own prone position is quite firm, allowing a shot, that once fired, has a recoil that shows no movement of the rifle out of the foresight picture within the ring. This is standard for any really good prone champion! In fact, as a casual observer, it is often extremely difficult to see when a shot has been released. The rifle is fired, and I can say to myself on completion of what little movement there is with my small bore rifle in the follow through process... “Yes, I could shoot that shot again!” Think about it. 78 Target Shooter
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The Alfa CO2 target pistol from Merseyside Armoury
By Hayley Platts
I was really chuffed when Target Shooter approached me to see if I would test and evaluate the new Alpha C02 sport pistol. With so few trade stands now at the Open Shoots it is a rare treat to try a new pistol and have your own chance to put it through it’s paces. The pistol was sent via Livens, Burton on Trent’s gunsmith - established in 1850, although this new pistol is definitely not of that era! Nick at Livens took the opportunity to take a few shots with it which gives him an insight into how the pistol performed having seen it at a trade fair. the gun and I will shoot it, that’s what I love to do and what I am good at, but give me a instruction manual and a spanner set and my eyes glaze over. So, armed with my ‘on loan’ Alpha I headed to my home club, Swadlincote Rifle and Pistol Club enlisting the capable technical knowledge of Nigel Marshall and Ken Foxall, and the three of us eagerly got the Alpha set up and ready to shoot (well two actually….)
Firstly the pistol comes in a sturdy attractive case which isn’t too heavy and this sets the tone for Any of my shooting friends know that I am no the pistol itself. Tools and a weight came with this ‘techno geek’ it’s definitely more a case of give me pistol. I was issued with the model finished in red with matching trigger shoe, and I am infomed a blue The Alfa CO 2 pistol comes well equipped version is also available. The overall quality of the Alpha is really excellent and certainly a fantastic looking pistol for the price. The RRP is £419 The pistol comes with a C02 cartridge but you can also shoot with the extremely convenient C02 bulbs which will give you about 60 shots for a small amount of money, therefore you have the flexibility of choice of what you carry to the range to power the pistol. The main C02 cartridge was easy enough to use and fill the pistol, although the angle of where the thread is positioned at the bottom is not great for chunky big fingers. To load the pistol you move the breech lever clockwise and rearward, pop the pellet into the chamber, push the breech forward and then secondly you need to cock the striking
Hayley ‘field testing’ the Alfa CO2 pistol
mechanism by pushing the button forward. The trigger had a firm stop before taking up the second stage and was positive and crisp. Once I had sighted it in I could call my shots incredibly well and I felt there was no doubt in where you had placed your shot. On this Sport model you can add a weight by placing this on to the barrel jacket and seeing as the grove is the full length of the barrel you can easily position your weight wherever it is most effective for you. Without the weight the pistol comes in at 1025 grams? The wooden two piece anatomical pistol grip is
beautifully made and mainly strippled to keep sweaty palms under control! It is adjustable and with minimum effort I found a comfortable stable hand position in the grip. The trigger is fully adjustable although personally I did not have to make any changes to it. Sight wise you have options to switch the foresight around. With an allen key the whole foresight unit comes out and you can decide which option suits you best although if I am honest none of them gave me the level of daylight each side of the rear sight that I am used to, which may be a little tricky in poorly lit ranges. According to the manual they recommend aiming directly underneath the black of the target, which I duly did. First few shots were left and low, adjustments however were easy on two wheels at the rear of the pistol to move my shots higher and to the right. The other thing to get used to is the kick when you fire but it only took me a couple of shots to master and I really wasn’t aware of it after that. What I was really aware of, was what a brilliant accurate pistol it turned out to be. I absolutely loved shooting it and after my first card was shooting 8’s, 9’s and 10’s. My last two cards were 46 and 44 making 90. After just an evening of shooting with a ‘alien’ pistol I was shooting only a tad under my current top ability with a pistol at 10 metres. It is fun to shoot, the matter of clicking the hammer button forward after you have loaded the pellet seemed to snap me into concentration mode. It looks the part and as I have have previously said it is a beautiful piece of kit. For the price I would say this would be a great purchase for youngsters being introduced to target shooting , it is extremely accurate and any young shooter should be proud to take that to the range, and there is the aspect of being able to afford and budget for their shooting as well as the convenience to be able to shoot the Alpha powered by the C02 bulbs. I would also imagine this pistol would be ideal to have in the cabinet at the gun club as a loan gun for new members as it provides the shooter with an accurate gun and with minimal fuss it is simple to adjust it to suit each person who wants a few shots with it. I would definitely recommend the Alpha Sport, it is an updated design on the Classic bringing it bang up to date and I would certainly enjoy going to the club with it. The feedback from the club members on the range during my test session was very positive indeed and aside from there being no substitute for being able to see a gun and try it, I am sure there will a good take sales wise of this new pistol if the guys at my club are anything to go by!
Some interested shooters at Hayley’s club
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HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 3)
By Laurie Holland
I’d intended to move onto bullets this month but people have asked for a bit more information on basic case preparation, so I’ll take a quick look at this subject for our shiny new brass. The object of the exercise is to get some consistent batches for match use and which help produce ammunition with minimal pressure and velocity variations. Minimal variations? Surely modern commercial brass doesn’t produce ammunition with big variations, especially if we’ve paid extra for a premium make? Sadly, yes! There are so many variables that affect cartridge behaviour that a range of pressures is produced. Ten years ago, Art Alphin and a group of top sporting shooters collaborated to produce a reloading manual called “Any Shot You Want .....The A-Square Handloading
One case preparation task should be done for any ammunition – chamfer the inside case-mouth edges to ease bullet seating. Standard and ‘VLD’ chamfer tools
Case-neck measuring kit: Lyman neck mike front; Sinclair case neck sorter behind and an expensive Starret tubemicrometer based neck measuring tool on the left
and Rifle Manual”, a must-have incidentally if you want to handload big stuff for African and dangerous game. Uniquely, this manual gives MV and chamber pressure extreme spread (ES) and standard deviation (SD) values, as well as averages. Looking at .308 Win, nine loads are provided for the 180gn Nosler Ballistic Tip each comprising three charge weights for three powders, and pressure ES values for those nine loads varied from 2,200 to 10,100 psi; only three
were under 5,000 psi (in a cartridge with an allowed Maximum Average Pressure of 62,000 psi SAAMI; 60,175 psi CIP). The causes of such variations, which don’t necessarily turn into as huge MV spreads as you might imagine (the 10,100 psi ES load had an 87 fps velocity ES), are partly understood through research and empirically acquired experience as to what does or doesn’t work, but there are still
Lyman all-calibre (bar .17/.20) flash-hole de – burr and uniforming tool above a Sinclair small (0.062”) flash-hole reamer
Another type of flash-hole reamer that uses interchangeable pilot stops, this one designed for .17” and .20” calibre cases large dollops of guesswork and opinion about this subject. Some factors are case design; propellant characteristics; load characteristics (high fill-ratios with little unused space are generally superior); various ignition (primer related) factors; ‘bullet pull’ (pressure needed before the bullet moves out of the case-neck, mostly down to neck-tension). Some of this cannot be influenced by the handloader, but there are things we can address – reducing variations in case capacities (via case weights), ‘bullet-pull’ (through neck thickness), and ignition. I used some measurements to identify case variations as an indication of quality last month.
Sinclair primer pocket tool handle and carbide ‘uniformer’ bits. Hand operation is a hard tedious job if much metal needs to be removed on a large number of cases
Sinclair pocket uniformer in a power tool adaptor – cordless screwdrivers have transformed this and other case preparations jobs First stage preparation simply takes this process further. Identifying the modal neck thickness and case weights, plus the normal range of variations present lets us remove examples that fall too far outside the norm. Let’s take a couple of examples. We’ve measured case neck thickness on a reasonable number of cases – say 20 – each at three points around the neck, and noted the results. A glance down the list of measurements shows that batch mostly averages 0.016” ± 0.005”, examples falling within 0.0155” – 0.0165”. A few will have nil or virtually nil variation, most will have a half to full thou’. If the brass is good, only a few examples will be outside, either in having a larger overall variation (eg 0.015” – 0.017”), or with good consistency around the neck but at a different measurement (eg 0.015”, 0.015”, 0.0155”). If you have 1,000 pieces of brass to play with and lots of time, you could batch the cases into a fair number of groups, but we’re more likely to have a sample of 200 and we’re not going to neck-turn, so decide to segregate on a 0.001” maximum, or maybe half that if the manufacturing lot is really consistent. Depending on how the measurements fall that could be two groups covering 0.015-0.016” and 0.016-0.017”, or one batch only based on the range originally quoted of 0.0155-0.0165” with everything else used for short-range. We now undertake a second stage segregation on weight separating cases out by 0.1gn steps, the final batching again depending on the statistical distribution that shows up. If 90% fall within a small central range of say 1.0-1.5gn, but 5% are out each side, lighter and heavier, remove those outside the main group, especially if they are well outside as sometimes happens. Or, there only may be a 1-2gn overall variation spread around a modal weight and it’s feasible make the split either side of a particular weight. There is the practical issue too of most people loading and using 50-round ammunition boxes, so having batches of twenty to thirty something cases is unhandy – that’s why it’s better starting with 200 examples than 100, to get two or three by 50-case batches, and one practice box. Moving onto the powder charge ignition issue, this is most influenced by the choice of primer and how well it matches the case size and powder characteristics, but variations in the component’s seating in its pocket and the flash-hole diameter / uniformity also produce pressure variations. This is particularly so for some American made brass that has the flash-hole punched through the web, as opposed to drilled. This leaves brass ‘wings’ or burrs, some quite long, set irregularly around the edge of the hole inside the case, and these can introduce a random element into the primer flame distribution and charge burn. (You can often see the burrs – look through the flash-hole of a new case from the primer pocket side while angling and turning the case. If the light is good, it reflects on the clean brass to illuminate them). Almost every reloading tool company now sells flash-hole ‘uniformers’ that cut holes to a common diameter, more usefully remove the ‘wings’. Some use interchangeable neck-pilot collars that fit on the tool stem as a ‘stop’ so you need to buy one for every calibre you load, while others like my Lyman model come with a multi-calibre cone shaped stop. What all such tools have in common is that they index on the case-mouth, so the amount of cut is affected by variations in case-length, often requiring cases to be trimmed before attending to flash-holes. Some people like to cut marginally deeper than required to de-burr to put a small bevel onto the flash-hole edges, to act as a venturi and improve
Measuring case run-out is always useful and the occasional out of true case shows up
primer flame distribution inside the case. If you do this, it really does have to be a tiny amount as going deep will weaken the case-head or produce undesirable ignition changes. I’m not sure if these tools always uniform flash-hole diameters in American cases anyway, as some of the apertures in punched brass are already of a larger diameter than the tools’ reamer tips. If we’re talking Lapua, RWS, and Norma brass with drilled holes, there are few if any burrs left inside the case, and if we want to be sure all flash-holes are absolutely round and of a consistent diameter, precision handloading suppliers such as Sinclair International sell very precise reamers that index off the primer pocket. The two Sinclair models (for large and small flash-hole sizes) open them to a size 0.001” above the nominal measurement. Since .308 Winchester normally has the large (0.080”) size, the reamer cuts the hole to 0.081”. The other ignition related activity is to ‘uniform’ the primer pocket with an appropriate cutter, again available now from most tool manufacturers. Doing this squares the pocket up (American brass usually
has rounded corners at the side / floor junction) and cuts pockets to a common depth so every primer can be seated identically in relation to the case-head face and firing pin reach. It also cuts the floor so it is level and at 90° to the case-head – with American cases having swaged pockets, then having the flash-hole violently punched through the floor, they usually end up slightly concave, and with variations in depth and shape. Why does all this matter? Seating the primer fully with some tension on the anvil is vital to getting consistent charge ignition and pressures – numerous tests have proven this – and variations in the distance between the top of the primer cup and the bolt-face caused by primer pocket depth issues can affect the power of the firing pin strike marginally. I’m kidding aren’t I? Teensy weensy changes in how the primer is hit and indented surely don’t affect ammunition performance! They won’t in an AK47 or WW2 Lee-Enfield, but allegedly do in a finely tuned and accurate modern rifle, but there are mixed views on this amongst some long-range shooters – more on this in a bit!
Complete rejects for one reason or another including an out of true example What is not in doubt is the importance of consistent ignition. Here’s an extreme example from the 2008 GB F-Class Association League rounds. Gary Costello who shoots a 7mm/270WSM rifle in ‘Open’ was on a roll with first places until the August round at Bisley when he finished 21st and a massive 50 points below the winner. In the F-TR class, .308 Win user Stuart Anselm was consistently in the top five until the September Diggle round where he was 13th (out of 15 entrants) and 66 points below the class winner. Both were mystified by a sudden collapse in their rifles’ performance until they carried out short-range accuracy testing over chronographs and found huge velocity spreads. They had changed primers to a make that is rated highly in precision shooting circles, but either didn’t suit their loads, or there was something amiss with that production batch. Returning to their usual caps sorted things out immediately, and Gary went on to finish the season as the GB F-Class champion. Right, all this is a bit of mouthful to swallow, and may well put newcomers off long-range shooting disciplines. It’s certainly been tedious describing it, and I haven’t even mentioned neck-turning! What would I recommend, and what do I do (not
necessarily the same things)? If I’m asked for advice, I say buy Lapua brass, and ignore the primer pocket and flash-hole because they are machined / drilled and very consistent in this make. If shooting is at shorter ranges (up to 600 yards) and not in benchrest type competitions, that’s it really – just chamfer the case-mouth to ease bullet seating . If longer ranges are involved, measure the necks, if nothing else to cull the odd bad one out, also weigh and batch cases. Most handloaders can weigh them even if it’s on beam scales that aren’t overly handy, but how do you measure neck thickness? The Sinclair case sorter is handy, but a cheaper if slower method is to use the Lyman 0.0001” (tenth of a thou’) neck ball-micrometer which has an RRP of £45.70 and has wider applications. If you’re starting off from scratch, consider the three-in-one RCBS and Forster case measuring tools, called the ‘Case Master’ and ‘Co-Ax Case and Cartridge Inspector’ respectively, the latter retailing at £80.50 plus £3.87 each for calibre-specific pilots needed to measure the neck thickness. Both measure bullet and case-neck runout, and case-neck thickness using a 0.001” dial gauge. You don’t need really expensive super-dooper micrometers here that measure down to 0.0001” as you’re working to half-thou’ tolerances, and that’s easily seen on a one thou’ gauge or mike. I regard flash-hole uniforming / burr removal as essential on American brass, and prefer to uniform
The easy to set up and adjust Sinclair NT4000 neck-turner has given Laurie the neck-turning bug. Any turning at this stage is carried out on pre-batched cases and involves very light cuts their primer pockets too, even for shorter range work. If you have a cartridge concentricity gauge tool (run-out gauge), or the RCBS or Forster multipurpose tools that do this, I’d recommend a final check – measuring the case-neck run-out – before using the cases. I’ve found the very occasional example that shows significant run-out even though the case weight and neck-thickness figures are fine. What is excessive? Run-out should be around 0.001-0.0015” or less in good brass that has been full-length resized in a good press-die combination, certainly under 0.002”. The odd brand new but ‘banana case’ turns up that has 0.003” or even much more, and resizing doesn’t cure the condition – scrap such cases as the loaded round will invariably have even greater run-out on the bullet. What do I do? Actually, I do the lot – even with Lapua – and ‘clean up’ the necks as well on a neck-turner to take the high spots off – after batching them in out of the box condition. This really isn’t necessary, but having given myself one of Sinclair’s new premium NT4000 turners last Christmas, I’ve got a bad dose of ANTS, Addictive Neck-Turning Syndrome. Sad, isn’t it? What do other (more successful) long-range shooters do? It varies enormously, as can be seen by visiting the 6mmBR.com website’s ‘Top 10 Articles’ webpage and clicking on some of the top American longrange competitor interviews. Top American IBS 1,000yd shooter John Hoover (6.5-284 Norma) cuts pockets and reams flash-holes using a 0.084” tool he obtained after finding Winchester brass often exceeded the 0.080” standard. Top Palma and Fullbore as well as a former NBRSA 1,000yd benchrest champion Jerry Tierney de-burrs Winchester cases, but doesn’t bother uniforming flash-holes r ockets. oth en ay heir hronograph op B m s t c testing backs up the need for uniform flash-holes, or not! Follow up what the top Americans do though, and many have systems of marking a case whose shot goes out of the group at long range. If it happens twice, the case is dumped. Also, these and many other American top competitors say positive things about recent Winchester brass, while a certain British benchrester and all-round precision shooting ace with connections to this publication makes a spitting noise when I say ‘Winchester’, or he sees me using it! Next month, I’ll comment on the relationship between MV extreme spread and accuracy, and how this relates to the new Lapua .308 Palma small-primer case mentioned in the News section, before making a start on bullets.
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The satellite channels cover a marvellous variety of minority sports and interests and I must admit I get more pleasure from many of these channels that I do from the main terrestrial stations with their tedious X Factor, Big Brother, Celebrity nitwits etc. Of course, there is little out there to excite the shooter though we do get the odd ‘Future Weapons’ and the like from Discovery. In America, they do have actual shooting programmes and we are almost there with the Fieldsports Channel. studio. Discussion took place on the forthcoming Games, the roles of the panel in relation to the Games and of course the problem of a shooting venue which will be demolished after the games with no legacy for UK shooting. For me, the whole thing was very professionally filmed and conducted and my respect to all those involved. Everyone looked good and eloquently represented their particular corner.
Interestingly, the question of the many different factions which seek to represent shooting was raised. Should there be one governing body? This was the subject of extensive market research not too long ago and, in spite of an overwhelming endorsement from shooters up and down the country, to amalgamate the NRA, NSRA OK, not strictly a TV channel because you watch and CPA, it sadly appears to have died a quiet death. it via the internet on your computer and, until now, I had only had a cursory glance at the first one as I’m The pistol ban was also discussed with reference to not really a ‘fieldsports’ shooter – I simply spend a not only the Olympic GB Team but pistol shooters in lot of time, money and effort to make small holes in general. Surely it’s time to bring back at least Olympic cardboard – though I am partial to a nice bit of venison pistol shooting and give our athletes the opportunity to (thanks Jack!) so I will not condemn those who are! properly train. It has been said many times before that the prohibition of a recognised Olympic discipline should However, the latest offering from the Fieldsports disqualify a nation from hosting the Games but no one in Channel made me take another look - entitled ‘ What’s authority is willing to address this. When the nine million Boris’s problem with Bisley’ - a reference to the 2012 pound Olympic shooting venue is demolished (at further Olympic snub to Bisley as the obvious shooting venue. cost!) let’s hope there is a possibility of some legacy in the form of surplus equipment for shooting and Bisley. The programme was staged in the busy Sportsman Gun Centre in Exeter at their opening launch party and it made Final topic for discussion was the subject of shooting and a great informal ‘studio’ backdrop with all ages and sexes the young. It seems that there is a growing initiative for of shooters trying shotguns and generally having a good shooting participation in schools promoted by the trade natter – just like we all do in our favourite gunshop. The and it now appears on some curriculums – great news. assembled panel was made up of David Stapley from The fact that Lord Coe was once Chairman of the Browning International, Jamie Stewart from BASC and National Pistol Association was also not ignored one of our Olympic skeet hopefuls and GB Team member, but, the question of why Seb and Boris snubbed Rory Warlow. In the chair was a guy whose name I didn’t Bisley was left to our speculation. It would be nice catch but he did a very professional presenter’s job. to have been a ‘fly on the wall’ at that meeting! You can view the programme ‘full-screen’ and the Well done Fieldsports Channel – I eagerly await your quality is very good – almost up to TV standard. next broadcast. Let’s hope one of the satellite stations picks up on it and makes it a proper TV programme. Click on www.fieldsportschannel.tv The programme opened on Bisley Range with a few nicely filmed shooting shots before switching to the gunshop
By Gwyn Roberts
The first Bianchi Cup competition was held 30 years ago in 1979 at the Chapman Academy Ranges just outside of Columbia, Missouri in the USA. It was specifically designed as a training match to enhance and develop the shooting skills of Law Enforcement Officers by retired police officer John Bianchi (of Bianchi International holster manufacturers) who together with top I.P.S.C shooter Ray Chapman created a match that was made up of 4 separate stages, with each one requiring 48 rounds to complete. The complete 192 round course of fire is made up of the Mover, Barricade, Practical and falling Plate matches which has a maximum possible score of 1920 points, and 192 x’s. Each match requires a different technique to master and they all demand a fine balance between speed and accuracy in order to achieve a good overall score! At first, some of our newer Gallery Rifle shooters will certainly find some of the timings pretty quick and this is especially true if shooting with an underlever but like all things, it does get a lot easier if you practice the right things and put a bit of thought into it! The GRCF & GRSB start position for the Bianchi is rifle loaded and held in both hands at waist height with the barrel pointing towards the targets. For all matches except on the Barricade match, LBR’s & LBP’s will be loaded and holstered (safety catch applied on LBP’s) with both hands held up above shoulder height, which is commonly referred to as the “surrender” position. “Drawing” the rifle up into the aim is made easier if the rifle is pushed forwards and then brought round in an arc into the shoulder. Just lifting the rifle straight up will usually cause the butt pad to get snagged on your clothing or ammunition belt, causing you all sorts of problems wasting valuable time in the process. For those wishing to shoot this match with an underlever, the only way you will be able to shoot the rounds off quickly enough is to shoot with your “thumb up” as you will simply not have enough time to keep wrapping your thumb back over the top strap each time. Those people who have fitted a cocking lever on their hammers should definitely remove them before trying to shoot this match as they simply just get in the way! I’ve been told many times that these devices make cocking the hammer much easier and they may well do, but my Marlin still cocks the hammer back every time I rack the lever…. without one! One final thing to remember is that you may load with as many rounds as you like in Bianchi so you can simply rack the action quickly to clear a jam if needs be, rather having to reload another loose round or magazine. Unless you count your rounds as you fire them though (which you should be doing anyway) I wouldn’t recommend loading any extra rounds as you will incur penalty points should you fire more than the required number of shots on any stage, so be warned! Below are the courses of fire for the 4 individual Bianchi matches along with a few ideas about how to shoot each one.
Just like in the “shorts” matches, a fast target The Practical Match - There are two targets placed acquisition is essential when shooting the Bianchi 4½ feet from centre to centre and about 6 feet to and the only difference here is the Start position. the top of the targets, and the shooting is from the
Shoulder hold. LBR/LBP Weak Hand freestyle (the weak hand must hold the grip and pull the trigger but the other hand may be used for support) 15m 1 shot on each target in 4 sec 2 shots on each target in 5 sec 3 shots on each target in 6 sec 25m
“Standing unsupported” position unless otherwise stated. Especially at the closer distances, you should make sure that your body is lined up with the last of the two targets that you will engage, as this will make your body unwind slightly so that it naturally points at the 2nd target without any tension in the core area. This will help you to release the last remaining shots quickly and more accurately than it would if your body was twisting over to the side slightly. As usual, you should take your final sight picture on the first target that you will engage, making sure that you keep your head still and eyes focused on the centre of the target as you lower the rifle back down into the ready position. Racking the lever fast and then squeezing the trigger in a controlled manner will produce much better results when using an underlever and you should also make sure that you pull the rifle firmly into your shoulder with your supporting hand when shooting from the weak shoulder at 10m. If you don’t, you will probably find it very difficult to keep the sights on the target during the racking action, or even worse, it may cause the butt to slip down out of your shoulder which will lead to lost shots so be very careful! Different ranges will have their own range restrictions but at Bisley you can shoot from the kneeling position at 25m, and have the option of either kneeling, sitting and now prone (with rifles or pistols) at 50m should you want to. In my experience you don’t really gain much at 25m if you kneel down as the time it takes you to adopt this position in the first place means you will have to shoot much quicker to stay within the time limits. At 50m however it may well be worth adopting a more stable hold if you can get into the position quickly enough. This is certainly true when shooting with the rimfire rifles as the targets are much smaller, but make sure that you practice this before hand and don’t just decide to try it on the spur of the moment as it may well end up costing you dearly! LBP shooters must remember to apply your safety catches each time before re-holstering and the Practical course of fire is: 10m 1 shot on each target in 3 sec 2 shots on each target in 4 sec 3 shots on each target in 8 sec GRCF/GRSB Weak
To be a top shooter you must master every shooting position!
1 shot on each target in 5 sec 2 shots on each target in 6 sec 3 shots on each target in 7 sec 50m 1 shot on each target in 7 sec 2 shots on each target in 10 sec 3 shots on each target in 15 sec
The Falling Plate Match – There are six 8in diameter hinged steel plates for GRCF/LBR & LBP’s or six 4in plates for GRSB that are mounted on a frame 20in center to center and are placed about 4 feet from the ground to the bottom edge of the plate. They are painted white so that they stand out against any colour backstop but some ranges may require you to shoot at paper plate targets instead. The NRA at Bisley will revert back to using the proper “steels” again from 2010 onwards which will be great as it will eliminate any possibility of shooting the same “paper” plate twice by accident, as they obviously don’t “fall” when hit. Hearing steel plates “ping” as you hit them helps you to get settled into a good rhythm whereas the paper ones just sit there and do nothing when hit. Be aware that the rules state that one shot must be fired at each plate, so if you miss one make sure you carry on to the next, otherwise you may incur penalty points! Just like in
the Practical match you should always turn your body slightly towards the last targets that you will shoot, and shooting the plates is done by either “scanning” or “deliberate” shots. “Scanning” is basically keeping the gun moving continuously across the target frame as you shoot and probably sounds harder than it is but it’s really down to good timing and good trigger control. The key is to keep the gun moving at a constant speed then as the sight moves over the leading edge of each plate, you increase the pressure on the trigger blade so that each shot is released smoothly. With practice, you will soon discover the timing needed to place your shots in the centre of the plates using this technique, and when perfected it will enable you to shoot the plates both faster and smoother. “Deliberate” shots are when the shooter stops the gun on each plate, aims, then releases each shot and this is how many people shoot them, especially when shooting with an underlever due to the racking action needed in between each shot. It is slightly slower this way but it does tend to be a bit more accurate for some people so ultimately you must choose the way that works best for you. Ideally you should master how to use both techniques to help you perform better in some of the other multiple target matches out there that we shoot. At Bisley you may shoot the falling Plate match from the Prone position with any GR firearm and at any distance and the course of fire is:
from the ground. The barricade frame is made from 2in angle iron which is faced with 12mm plywood and measures 6ft tall and 2ft wide, with the base measuring 2ft wide by 3ft deep. The shooter may stand on the edges of the frame but no part of their
A strong, firm grip is essential when shooting Barricades!
feet or body may touch the floor outside the width of the box. For safety reasons, as the barricades were originally made for use with pistols and not rifles you are now allowed to step rearwards outside of the box, providing that no part of the foot breaks the width fault line. The Barricade match is certainly a hard match to shoot properly if you don’t have a good technique to start with, and to shoot well in it I recommend that you practice securing the barrel (if possible) against the side of the barricade using the hold or grip that suits you best. Most shooters in this 10m 1 shot at each plate in 6 sec (shot twice) match shoot from their “strong” shoulder from both 15m 1 shot at each plate in 7 sec (shot twice) sides of the barricades but it is possible to use both, 20m 1 shot at each plate in 8 sec (shot twice) with practice of course! If your club doesn’t have 25m 1 shot at each plate in 9 sec (shot twice) a barricade to practice with then I would strongly suggest making one if you are going to shoot Bianchi The Barricade Match – Two targets are placed 7ft on a regular basis. They are not very expensive to centre to centre with the top of the targets set at 6ft make but even if you can only afford to make one, you can always just move the targets out to the correct distance when you need to. Make sure you fix them firmly to the ground though to stop them rocking from side to side, and don’t use anything smaller than 2in angle iron for the frames as they will simply flex when you lean against them making them unstable, which is not what you want them to do when you are practicing on them. Keeping the rifle in the “strong” shoulder, here are some examples for a right handed shooter to help find out which type of grip/s may suit you best. Shooting on the left side of the barricade, place the
left index finger over the top of the barrel (1) with the thumb and remaining fingers underneath the magazine tube. Cup the hand around the frame of the barricade so that the barrel rests tightly against it and use the fingers to grip the leading edge of the angle iron whilst the thumb applies opposite
or fore end rests against the side of it. You can then apply pressure with your thumb to help pull the rifle into the barricade, thus allowing you to lean into it to help produce a stable hold. Again, this is made easier if you have a “wing” fitted but if you haven’t, another alternative is to place your fingers on top of the barrel/fore end with your thumb underneath and then simply use the side of your hand in a fist shaped grip (4) to apply pressure against the barricade. Quite a few shooters use this hold when shooting with an underlever as it helps stop
pressure against the plywood. If you have a barricade wing fitted, leaning into the butt pad with your shoulder will help increase stability and this is a very secure hold if you can achieve it. For those who cannot reach forward enough to grip the barrel, try holding the fore end (2) instead and see if this works for you instead. For shooting on the right hand side of the barricade you may want to start with holding the fore end as excessive movement of the rifle during the racking normal but stick your thumb outwards (3) so that it motion which helps to keep you on target. The contacts the face of the barricade, whilst the barrel rimfire rifles have very little recoil so try supporting them underneath the barrel or fore end with your thumb, and then use either the side (5) or flat of your hand (6) to grip against the face of the barricade with. Again you should pull the rifle in towards the side of the barricade for extra support, and at the same time, make sure that your fingers stay close together and in contact with the wood otherwise they will wander in front of the lens and block your sight picture! You can obviously try shooting with the rifle in your left shoulder but this will take a lot of time to perfect, especially with an underlever; but it may well suit you so don’t discard the idea until you have given it a try. The “ready” position for LBR & LBP shooters in the Barricade match is loaded and holstered (safety applied on LBP’s) with both hands level and placed flat against the face of the barricade. Failure to do this will incur you penalty points so make sure you do it properly! After the appropriate commands have been given by the Range Officer, this is the routine
Barricade wings that either slide on or just screw into yourstock are not hard to make but can make a big difference!
I go through when preparing to shoot the barricade match. I step into the shooting box at each distance with at least 16 loose centre fire rounds or two magazines with 8 rounds either on my belt or inside my right hand shooting vest pocket, as I always load with 8 rounds in Bianchi to allow for any malfunctions or light strikes. I then set the range and adjust the focus on my scope before adjusting my stance and testing my preferred hold on the barricade. Making sure I keep this position by not moving my feet I then load and make ready, and then bring the rifle back up onto the barricade to take a final sight picture on the centre of the target. I always lean out to the side so that I can see the targets turning easier and this also allows me to align the rifle up better with the target rather than
Barricade “ready” position!
35m 6 shots in 9 sec from one side of the barricade 35m 6 shots in 9 sec from the other side of the barricade The Mover match One target is mounted on a frame with the top about 6ft from the ground and it will travel a distance of 60ft in 6 seconds between 2 large screens. At each distance the shooter will fire from within a 3ft square shooting box and the competitor may only start to “draw” their firearm once the target becomes visible, and must cease firing once it travels out of sight. Deliberately shooting through the end covers or screens will incur penalty points, so don’t do it! The moving target is definitely the hardest Bianchi match to shoot as you have to shoot quite quickly and keep the rifle moving steadily as you shoot. If you haven’t got a mover base fitted to your rifle, you will also have to aim in front of the target at various points at each distance in order to give the correct amount of “lead” necessary to hit the centre of the target. Basically, if you aim at the middle of a moving target and release the trigger, the bullet will travel in a straight line but it will strike the target behind the point of aim as the target has moved x amount of inches or feet forward during the time it has taken for the bullet to reach it.
shooting ith he ifle anted ver o he ide. eleasing w t r c o t t s R my grip on the barricade I keep my hand in a cupped position so that it can be replaced quickly back onto the frame when it’s needed, and I make sure that I keep my head still with my eyes remaining focused on the x ring before lowering the rifle back down into the ready position. If I don’t get a good hold instantly when the targets turn to face, I will always take the extra time needed to make sure that everything is aligned and locked up as much as possible before releasing my shots. At the two closest distances this simply means just hitting the trigger blade as I close the lever each time (or 6 quick shots with the .22) as my grip will usually keeps the crosshairs inside the x ring all the time at these distances. At 25 & 35m however every shot is well aimed before it is released as it is much easier to “pull” shots at these A mover base is simply a two piece mount that enables the top part distances. The side that to move sideways in you start shooting from both directions (around at each distance is your 1 to 1.5mm) which choice, and the course will moves the scope of fire is: alignment so that you can aim at the centre 10m 6 shots in 6 sec of the target, while the from one side of the barrel is actually aiming barricade slightly in front of it. 10m 6 shots in 6 sec This gives the bullet the from the other side of correct amount of “lead” the barricade whilst allowing you to 15m 6 shots in 7 sec concentrate on keeping from one side of the the cross hairs inside barricade the black x ring as you 15m 6 shots in 7 sec track it across the range. from the other side of However, having one of the barricade these bases is not essential as there are a number 25m 6 shots in 8 sec from one side of the barricade 25m 6 shots in 8 sec from the other side of the of shooters out there who can shoot some very good scores without one, but they do tend to make life barricade a little bit easier for us mere mortals! Mover bases
you pick up the target and start shooting as quickly as possible (especially if shooting an underlever) or the target will disappear again before you have got all your shots off! During my last couple of rimfire matches I have rattled all of my shots off before the target reached the half way point at these two distances as there is minimum recoil with the .22, and I got some really good results this way so I’ll definitely be practicing this method over the winter months to see if it’s the best way forwards! Unless you rack your underlever fast then calmly squeeze each shot off slowly during this match you will definitely be putting holes in all over the target so try to keep your cool and watch the sights all of the time. At the 20 & 25m distances you only have to shoot 3 shots per run which is fired twice, so adjust your shooting pace accordingly but remember to keep everything smooth. If you use a telescopic sight, don’t be tempted to turn the You don’t have to have a mover base, but aiming magnification up too much or you’ll be in big at the centre of the target rather than in front does trouble either trying to find the target in the make it easier! first place, or certainly after every racking action. You should also remember to re-focus are pretty hard to get now but there will be a small your scope at each distance before you reload so number available early in the New Year from Rude that you don’t forget, and as the target is out of sight Fat Dog, so if you are interested make sure that you behind the screen I simply aim and focus on the wire check out their website. The best way to work out or bank at the halfway point to do it. The course of your lead if you haven’t got a mover base is to first fire for the Mover is: chronograph your ammunition to find out the FPS (foot per second) that it is travelling at. Then, looking 10m 6 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec at the Mover Chart you will be able to see how far in 10m 6 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec front of the centre of the target you will have to aim 15m 6 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec at each distance. It is much easier to start with if you 15m 6 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec simply mark some lines or other reference points 20m 3 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec onto an actual target for each calibre and keep this 20m 3 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec (or a reduced photocopy) with you whilst practicing 20m 3 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec and competing until you can remember them all. 20m 3 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec 25m 3 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec When shooting the Mover it is essential that you 25m 3 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec line yourself up so that you are naturally pointing 25m 3 shots, target moving right to left in 6 sec at the target over the last ⅓rd of its travel before it 25m 3 shots target moving left to right in 6 sec disappears again behind the screen. Then keeping your feet fixed in this position, rotate your upper Next month I’ll look at the “alternative” Bianchi body until you are in the ready position facing where matches that can be used if no Mover or Barricades the target will appear from. This way, as you are are available, and see if there’s anyone out there shooting your body will “unwind” smoothly as you willing to have a go at putting on their own Bianchi track the target across the range, and this will match next year. It’s not that hard to do, and there help you to avoid snatching your shots. You must are people who would be willing to travel to help you never “stop” on the target to release a shot so out on the day should you need it! always keep the gun moving! At the closer distances of 10 & 15m you must make sure that
Rude Fat Dog
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Chichester Rifle Club
On the 25th August 2006 Chichester Rifle Club received the keys to their brand new range. It is a 25 yard indoor range with 8 firing points for .22 calibre prone rifle shooting situated off Wellington Road in Oaklands Park, Chichester. This new, state of the art range, is a far cry from the converted Canadian Forces second world war hut that had served as the club’s range for 45 years. The opening of the range marked a new beginning for the Club and a new chapter in the Club’s story. The modern facilities at the new Wellington Road range have already proved to be a great asset. The range is in great demand for County and District finals and other ‘shoulder to shoulder’ competitions. More importantly it is also leading to a growth in indoor target shooting in the Chichester area. The new range sits in the midst of a complex of sporting facilities that Chichester District Council has developed in Oaklands Park. It also has
Chichester University adjacent to it. In addition to eight firing points the new range has a large club room, office, armoury, fitted kitchen, toilets and a good sized car park. It is all on one level and built to meet current standards for disabled access. Chichester District Council has a team of Community Sports Development Officers who are dedicated to encouraging and supporting all sports in the Chichester area. Each September they organise a ‘Get Active Festival’ where all local sporting groups can advertise and demonstrate their sport. This Festival is held in Oaklands Park alongside CRC’s new range and offers a wonderful recruitment opportunity which the club has willingly embraced. Anyone aged twelve or older is given the opportunity to try their hand at shooting using .177 air rifles. Air rifles are used as current legislation does not permit the use of .22’s without prior police vetting. In addition to trying their hand with an air rifle people are also given details about the club and how to join. This event plus the new range has proven to be very successful at attracting a new generation of young shooters. Indeed one of the new teenage shooters who only joined two years ago has already shot in a national team. For the first time in a generation hooting n he hichester rea s rowing n s i t C a i g i popularity. The level of interest is such that six range officers have to be on duty to handle the workload on the trainee evenings. The club is even The range entrance
considering whether to introduce a waiting list in order to handle the demand. It all goes to show that modern facilities plus good publicity lead to a thriving sport. The club room
Further information about the club can be found on the Club’s web site at www.chichesterrifleclub.co.uk or email to email@example.com John Peart Hon. Treasurer Chichester Rifle Club
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Competitions It might be Christmas, it might be New Year but the shooting never stops! Round 2 of our 600 yard winter series took place the day after Boxing Day and, as with many of this year’s festive events, the weather threatened cancellation but in the end we had a fantastic turn-out. The bitterly cold, blustery conditions however resulted in a number of penalties with shots blown off the target and rather larger than usual aggs. 5.315 inches 2nd Jack Gibb 6.5x47 Barnard 6.154 3rd Mike Weatherhead 284 Walker BAT 7.026 Small group Jack Gibb 3.277 inches Factory Sporter 1st Phil Gibbon 6.254 inches 2nd Bruce Lenton 6.754 3rd Darrel Evans 7.385 6.5-284 Savage
It was a particularly satisfying competition for me as a couple of months ago, the guys at True-flite 6.5-284 Savage Barrels in New Zealand kindly sent me one of their new six-groove barrels to try and today it took the 6.5x47 Accuracy Intl. win on its debut shoot. The barrel is chambered for the Lapua 6.5x47 cartridge which is proving to be very successful in 600 yard benchrest on both Small group sides of the Atlantic. Phil Gibbon 3.690 inches Phil Gibbon, last year’s Factory Sporter Champion, took his first win of the season with his factory Savage and also took small-group award with a very respectable 3.69 inch group. Results: Light Gun 1st Vince Bottomley 6.5x47 TGP BAT New Stuff What’s that saying about buses? You wait for one for ages, then two come along at once! The same appears to apply to actions! Last month, we brought you news of Scottish gunsmith Russell Gall’s new action which is almost ready to go into production and now we have another,
which is the result of a collaboration between Brian Fox of Fox Firearms, the guys at Rhino Rifles and someone with CNC machinery. Like the Gall action, this one also a Remmy clone but manufactured to a higher standard. It looks really nice and I’m hoping to build the next Target Shooter project rifle using this action. The guys also have a Picatinny scope rail and bottom-metal to take the AI magazines. Things are looking up! Enquiries to: www.foxfirearmsuk.com and www.rhinorifles.co.uk More next month. Events Our full calendar of shoots for 2010 is now posted on the UKBRA website at www.ukbra.co.uk and our first shoot of the new year – 100 yards at Bisley - takes place on Sunday January 10th. The first Diggle shoot is a 600 yard competition on Saturday 23rd January.
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102 Target Shooter
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There is much debate about what Me with my CZ winning the forst UK nationals 10.5 pound goes into making a really good class - you can start with anything, as this rifle cost 230 rimfire benchrest rifle. This extends pounds. Even the scope is a Tasco to what makes a really good air rifle benchrest rifle, but these tend to be bought off the shelf with little done to them – although this is steadily changing. If you go onto Benchrest Central the guys in the USA swear by custom rimfire rifles by Bill Calfee, Bill Meyers, et al. All well and good and I have seen these rifles shoot – they are that good. However, we tend to get ‘bits’ in this country, like a barrel that is ‘smithed’ in the USA.
on their rifles it has to say something about them). Amongst other things, this is what helped me win the 50m National titles in August 2009. On the air rifle side of things I personally have a Steyr – just recently serviced by Harry Preston of Steyr UK - and I am getting this ready for the next nationals and European Championship in 2010. Although not Your scribe with the new Lilja barrel on my 2013 - the best buy I have using my own rifle for the unlimited match at ever made the last nationals I still used a Steyr, borrowed from a colleague Colin Renwick. If you can get Colin Andy D. has written a synopsis of the Lilja company in the USA in another part of this magazine. I know to tell you the secrets of what makes his so good that a few people in the UK have these barrels now. then you are onto a winner. I have used his rifle at From my own personal experience I have to say that the World Championships last year, at the 2009 the Lilja is the best buy I have ever made during my nationals and for the 2009 world postal championship. time shooting rimfire benchrest. The barrel holds It is the best I have ever shot and has helped both extremely well out to 50m and a very good Colin and myself with successive wins and medal replacement for the ‘select’ barrel I had on my tallies at the world championship in 2008, the Anschutz 2013. (If Bleiker are using these barrels world postal championship and UK nationals in 2009. If Colin had the time to customize the
Colin with his Steyr - a rifle seriously worth paying for!
It’s a great time to start looking at shooting this rimfire and air rifle benchrest, the UK air rifle teams won 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the recent world postal Championship, the individuals were also placed with three UK shooters in the top 3. On a personal level, to win this championship made my year. In Rimfire, we are getting better, as a country we came 2nd in the world postal championship. So come one and come all.
LG110 he would also be onto a winner as people would be after them – knowing this as I do as he was offered quite a considerable sum after the last nationals. However, these things cost and really you can start this sport with anything. I did, using my CZ 452 for a number of years. Yes I did a few modifications that extended the cost, but I won a few medals with it, including Colin with his Steyr - a rifle seriously worthi paying for! the 10.5 pound class (50m and 25m) at the first rimfire and air rifle benchrest nationals. There are a lot of rimfire and air rifle benchrest leagues out there in the UK at this time – Lots of you are shooting this sport, so let’s make they seem to be popping up every couple of months. 2010 the year that we start to establish all of our The sport is becoming very popular and I know that fine shooters, whichever league you shoot in. we are getting great shooters springing up as the May all of you have a great new year and my best sport develops. I suppose what I am looking at is wishes go with you for 2010. getting all these shooters interested in shooting internationally – your country needs you sort of thing! The UKBR22 is the only organisation in the UK that currently shoots at international level, taking teams so far to the first European and World championships in the last few years, being involved in the World Postal Championships and the international postal leagues (the latter which shoots in divisions so you shoot with others of your own standard and then progress upwards). The next European Championship is in July 2010 and the next World Championship is in 2011. It’s all good fun – and I like that about this sport. Having met so many people, from so many countries this is a major part of the experience. I look forward to it each time I travel to one of these events.
The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association
With Christmas over, it’s time to start looking forward to the new season. The first GB League Shoot will be at Diggle on the weekend of April 10/11th. This will be a short-range shoot – 500/600 yards so ideal if you are contemplating entering the world of long-range target shooting. You may also be interested in our F Class introductory weekend on March 20/21st. This will be held at Bisley and will cover equipment, shooting, reloading, wind-reading etc (see www.fclass.org.uk for the full calendar and further details). Top F Class shooters and coaches will be in attendance.
winning the GB League this year and also your magnificent third place in the World Individual F Class Championships and second in the Europeans – just three V bulls behind the winner. You have had a great year. Let’s start off with a bit of background. When did you start shooting? How did you get into F Class? Do you shoot any other disciplines? Grant Taylor - I have been shooting for most of my life. I used to go air-rifle shooting with my dad when I was very young. I then got into accurate rifles and precision reloading and shooting long-range vermin control. I tried my hand at practical rifle and benchrest shooting before settling on F-Class. I still like to shoot vermin if I get the time.
The 2009 GB F Class League was won by Scotsman Grant Taylor and he also did pretty well in the World and European F Class Championships. What’s more, Grant did it with a rifle he built himself – his first – that’s a pretty remarkable achievement and I thought that Target Shooter readers might TS – I’ve had an opportunity to have a close benefit from knowing a bit more about Grant so we look at your rifle and it looks really nice. I know approached him for an interview. you built it yourself so tell us how that came about and what components you are using. Target Shooter – Grant, many congratulations on GT - I always wanted to build my own rifles and do well with them in competition or in the field - there is no better feeling. I had seen American shooter Charles Ballard’s rifle on 6mmBR.com and he was having great success with it and it looked great, so it was time to start ordering some bits and pieces. The stock is a Precision Rifle & Tool F-Class wood-laminate stock in purple-haze colour. The action is a BAT model M round and the barrel is a Bartlein 1-9 twist finished at 32 inches. I know that seems like a long barrel but it works very well. I added a lot of lead to the butt to get the balance right. TS – What about scopes? What are you
Grant receives a new Sightron 8-32 scope from John Dean of Aimfield Sports – just one of his prizes for winning the GB F Class League
GT – I have been using an RCBS 10-10 beam scale since I started reloading and it has GT – I use a 12-42x56 BR Nightforce with the served me really well. I made my own dies – double dot reticule; I can’t fault this scope. I use the using a Wilson die-blank for the in-line seater and a Nightforce NSX models on my hunting rifles and Newlon blank for the full-length re-sizer. of course I have the new Sightron that I received from Aimfield Sports for winning the League. I am TS – Let’s get back to gunsmithing – the 284 Shehane going to use that on my new short range F-Class rifle. reamer – did you simply order the PT&G standard reamer or did you spec. the freebore, neck-diameter etc? TS – You are one of only a few UK shooters using the ‘straight’ 284 Winchester. What made you go GT – I did spec. the neck-diameter but as for down that route rather than the proven 7mmWSM? freebore, I just let PT&G decide what was best for the 180 grain Berger bullet and it works really good. GT – I am actually using the Shehane 284 - I did plan to go with the 284Win. but I got talking with Jim Hardy, a highpower shooter from the USA. He was TS – Clearly, the rifle has worked very well for you having good success with this cartridge. We talked a this year but is there any room for improvement? Are lot about it and he convinced me to try the Shehane you planning on anything new for the 2010 season? so I ordered the reamers from Pacific Tool & Gauge. GT – The rifle and calibre combination has worked I went the 284 route purely for barrel-life – 600 out even better than I expected I am definitely not rounds from a WSM just isn’t practical for me! I changing calibres or rifles anytime soon. I think am hoping for more like 1800-2000 rounds from the 284 case is all you need - great accuracy and the Shehane – hopefully about two seasons worth. great barrel-life, you can’t ask for more than that. TS – Have you any preference for barrels – cut or TS - OK - what about the rest of your kit – what front buttoned – any particular make? rest are you using? GT – I have no preference for cut or buttoned but I really like the cut-rifle Bartlein barrels. I have two at the moment and both are awesome, they don’t foul at all and I have two more on order as we speak. GT - I use a Cicognani front rest which is a Bald Eagle look-alike but made in Italy. It’s a good rest, not as good as the SEB maybe but it has done me well. I intend to get a SEB joystick rest for 2010.
TS – Like most of us, you have done your share of TS – Give us a full spec. on the 284 Shehane – what travelling this year to shoot in the F Class League brass, bullets, powder and primers you are using? and the Worlds but what is your favourite UK range? GT – Lapua brass obviously, the Berger 180grn VLD bullet over Hodgdon H4831sc powder and CCI BR2 GT - My favourite has to be my home club - West primers. Atholl in Scotland - the scenery is amazing but it’s a tricky range to shoot wind-wise. TS – Are you running a tight-neck chamber? GT – Yes, all my rifles are tight-necks. The Shehane TS – Finally, is there anything you would like to see is a .313 neck. changed in F Class in general? Can you suggest any improvements for the way we do things in the UK? TS – What equipment to you use to turn the case-necks and what sort of clearance are you GT – I think the GB League is really well run and aiming for? I’d like to thank all those involved in putting on the shoots. However, I wouldn’t mind if we got to GT – I used to use a K&M neck-turner which is string-shoot at the big matches, like they do in the USA. very good but am now doing all neck-turning on my Colchester lathe which does a awesome job - but TS – Grant, many thanks for taking the trouble to expensive! do this interview for Target Shooter readers and for sharing your information with us all. Good luck for TS – We all weigh our powder-charges as 2010. accurately as we can – what scales are you using and for that matter, whose loading dies do you use?
Hunter Field Target News
HFT TIPS PT 2 OPTICALLY CENTERING A 40mm and a 15mm disc Know the difference rifle and scope is not set up correctly you will find yourself missing these short targets on the left or right hand edges of the disc or missing 45 yard long targets on the edges of the disc when the wind is not that strong, both points pointed to a crossover. Optical centering is closely linked to crossover so I will cover both at the same time. What is optical centering you may ask? Well, it means the reticle of the scope is positioned in the center of the scope. In real terms it means you will have no windage adjustment on the scope and the pellet is falling directly upon the vertical crosshair. If every part of the gun, meaning the barrel and breechblock, scope mounts and scope a have been manufactured correctly perfect situation for accurate shooting. However, in the real world that is not the case. You can see in the simplified drawing how that
It’s a bit of a mouthful but optical centering is key to having any success at the top level in both HFT and FT shooting. HFT especially needs a rifle to be correctly set up as we shoot at 15mm hit zones out to 25 yards*.Also 20mm discs at 8 yards. If your FIG 1 CROSS OVER
FIG 2 SHIM MOUNTS
affects the pellet/reticle relationship. This brings us to crossover. You will not know how much crossover you have unless the scope is optically centered in the first place. All new scopes should come optically centered from the factory, a new scope out of the box should have the windage adjustment turret set to “0”. Although cheaper scopes are just dialled at the factory to look as though they are. I check the actual range of adjustment and half the full value, making my own “0” mark if it odes not line up with the manufactures mark. If I can keep the final windFIG 3 OPTICALLY CENTERED NO CROSSOVER
age adjustment I have to put on below ten “clicks” I am happy. This keeps crossover to a minimum, crossover can be seen on in my crude sketch called figure 1 when the pellet hits to the right at 10 yards but is spot on at 45 yards. If you set the reticle to the barrel at 10 yards, which is where you have to zero for wind with an air rifle (The pellet is not blown off for wind at ten yards as it could be at longer ranges fro setting up/zeroing purposes), then it will be out at 45 yards. Here is another real world example a gun and scope
were shooting an inch to the right at 30 yards when I zeroed it to hit dead on the crosshair at 10 yards. I went back to the card at 10 yards and reached for my toolbox. In the box I have some brass shims. These are 5 thousands of and inch ( 0.1270mm) thick and 2 thousands ( 0.0508mm) . These I insert in between the scope mount and the scope rail as shown in the pictures. It is easier to do this just by loosing the mounts and slipping the shims in, rather than taking the scope off completely, as a guide I did a little experiment in the loft. Using three five thou and one 2 thou shims, 17 thou of shims took the reticle over approximately 16mm, 7 thou took it over about 8 mm, this movement is greater the longer the range. Look at Figure 2 to see where the shims should go. Normally only two or three shims are needed to get the scope optically centered down the barrel with no crossover. Remember the shims are taking up any tolerance issues with the CNC manufacture of the breech block and indeed the mounts you are using to align the two perfectly. Try to do this process when there is no wind, you start at 10 yards due to the pellet potentially not being blown off at 10 yards. If it is windy and you can do it set zero cards 30 yards apart and shoot in both directions, the amount you
use two engineers’ parallel steel bars. One larger one I have covered at the ends in white paint. This goes at the breechblock end of the barrel and rests on the air cylinder and the barrel. The other smaller bar goes as near the end of the barrel as possible, normally just next to the 8 clamp. This smaller lighter bar is needed at this end as you can easily then twist and adjust the position of the 8 clamp to line up the barrel. This is done by looking down the barrel and lining up the bars with each other, loosen off the Allen studs of the 8 clamp if is not lined up perfectly and twist the clamp until is perfect. The studs can then be tightened and I scratch small lines on the underside of the rifle as telltale marks. I can use these then when putting the gun back together in the future. You can check if your scope is optically centered another way other than counting clicks, in fact it is a much more accurate way of doing it and one I have started to use myself. It uses a cardboard box. Two vee’s are cut into it to allow the scope to rotate, you look at a spot on a wall while rotating the scope in the vee’s. The reticle should remain centered on the spot all the way around the rotation, if it is optically centered. I have a purpose made plastic cradle to rotate the scope in but then I do a lot of tests on
Snapshot of the shims used
are blown off should be the same at 30 yards but obviously in the opposite direction. All this relies upon the barrel being in line with the breech block one thing I check before putting any scope on a PCP fitted with a figure of 8 clamp, is if the barrel is in line with the action. A lot of PCP’s have this arrangement to hold the barrel. The barrel is held in line with the clamp, which is in turn secured by Allen key studs. To ensure the barrel is in line I
scopes, the cardboard box trick works just as well. So, if you didn’t know what optical centering was you should now know and also what crossover entails, a lot of shooters suffer from crossover without knowing the cause, the cure involves optically centering your scope, which should now be clear in your mind. See figure 3, and next month its rangefinding in HFT.
Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
For some reason we don’t seem to have much in the way of open meetings in the winter months although there is a GR Speed Shoot at Pinhoe in Exeter next month. Plenty of time for practising for those of us hardy enough to shoot in the cold (northerners?) and indoors for those who aren’t (southerners?). Now’s the time to sort problems of gun fit and make the adjustments to your guns that somehow seem to get put off until two days before a meeting. Also a good opportunity to learn a new event or brush up on an old one. If you’re interested in some training advice we may be able to fix something up in the new year – just get in touch via email@example.com. I mentioned previously, there may well be some more unusual calibres on the line and some are louder than others. Some of the existing ones can be a bit loud too. There is no need to load to the maximum when you are only trying to punch a hole in a piece of paper at 25 or 50 metres so please bear in mind that some competitors, especially those new to open competition, may find it a bit off putting. Finally, the GR&P meetings at the National Shooting Centre next year will have more club team events on offer. A great opportunity to bring along an extra club member to make up the team and give them the chance to compete with the best. There aren’t enough entries to run them in classes yet but it may come eventually.
The other activity for the close season is a look at the courses of fire and rules for the new season and there Here is the latest calendar for 2010 and don’t forget are a few changes coming up for 2010. Pinhoe - it’s indoors as it’s down South. Targets for the short events are changing but not too DATES FOR 2010 January 16-17 Pinhoe Speed Shoot Exeter March 27-28 Spring Action Weekend NSC Bisley April 17-18 Basildon 1500 Basildon May 2 Mattersey Ten Mattersey May 8 Frome Western Winner Bristol May 9 Shield Practical GR&P Dorset May 28-30 The Phoenix Meeting NSC Bisley June 5 Open WCSA Gallery Rifle Warminster June 26-27 Derby 1500 Derby July 10-11 Fermoy International GR Ireland July10-24 The Imperial Meeting NSC Bisley much. We are going over to the European standard July 18 Mattersey Steel Shoot Disruptive Pattern One & Two designs. They are very Mattersey similar to the existing ones with the same size scoring July 24-25 Frome Three Gun Shield Dorset rings but are a bit smaller and easier to fit on backing August 28-29 Gallery Rifle National boards. They are both 455mm wide and 770mm high. Championships NSC Bisley The biggest difference will be the addition of an X ring to September 19 Mattersey Bianchi Mattersey the DP1 target which will help in tie situations and speed October 17 Shield Steel Challenge GR&P up scoring. Dorset Short event classifications (for Timed & Precision One October 23-24 The Trafalgar Meeting NSC and Two, Multi Target, Phoenix A and Advancing Target) Bisley have been grouped by gun type up to now. From 2010 October 30-30 Autumn Action Weekend NSC each event will have its own classification for each Bisley gun type. This means you will have a lot more letters November 12-14 Leitmar International GR after your name but the general feeling is that it is fairer. Germany Check the website in a few weeks for the new listings. (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.galFollowing the new definition of Gallery Rifle Centre Fire leryrifle.com for entry forms.)
British Open Championships for Practical Long Barrel Revolver On Sunday 13th December, UKPSA members gathered in Leicester from all round the UK to compete in the inaugural British Open Championships for long barrelled revolver. Leicester Shooting Centre was putting on their second Level 2 match of the year. The competition consisted of 10 testing stages. The
was the younger member of the family who triumphed with Jim the winner, closley followed by Pete. Pete picked up the top senior prize as a consolation. Third overall was David Allen. Unfortunately there was no overall British Champion for 2009 as there was only three level 2 matches held. However there are already a number of matches planned for 2010 and it is expected that an overall British Champion in both divisions will be recognised. Added to this will be the introduction of two new divisions of open & standard Gallery Rifle. AGM The AGM of the UKPSA will take place at Canada House, Bisley Camp on Sunday 17th January starting at 2.30pm. The Blue Team will be holding a small competition at Bisley during the morning of the AGM. This will consist of 5 practical style stages without movement. Open to all UKPSA members, the competition can be shot with a shotgun, Long barrel revolver or Gallery Rifle. Entry form is available on the UKPSA Bulletin Board.
Mel Redford Top Senior and third overall in standard Division, closely watched by RO Jim Gibney
usual mix of short, medium and long stages took most of the day to complete. The overall winner in Standard division was no surprise. Matches Director Ian Chamberlain had already won the two previous L2 matches and despite the amount of work he had put into prepare and run the match he was still top shooter. Nick Towndrow was second with Mel Redford taking third and top senior prize. Josie Adam was top lady in the Division. Open Division is always closely contested between the father and son partnership of Pete and Jim Starley. On this occasion it
Pete Starley, second overall and top senior in Open Division on stage 10. This was an unloaded start with gun flat on table Target Shooter 111
Andy, Congratulations folks! What a superb on-line magazine you’re producing. I have a broadband connection and the speed of the magazine is just fine. There was a 4-5 second delay when enlarging the page and the sharpening software took effect. I suspect that this is a network phenomena and performance will vary throughout the day. My day job is web-based production and usability is a professional concern. I was just thinking out loud about how users that do not have access to the higher speeds of DSL, cable, T1, or the instant display of fiber networks, might experience frustration with the new the digital media. Even with broadband access, there is a cultural adjustment as we change from print to digital media; reading from a flat screen, clicking a mouse button to turn pages, enlarging and scrolling. Gosh Andy, I’m old enough to remember hooking the telephone into a MODEM at 300 baud and staring in amazement that the green type slowly appearing on the black screen was coming from another part of the world. The main emphasis of my post was to offer you sincere congratulations on producing a professionally designed publication that is immediately available to a world-wide audience. Best, Michael Our thanks Michael. One of the benefits of Target Shooter magazine being live on the internet, is the fact that it is read by people all over the world. So much so in fact that we have a steady following in about 50 countries. Your thoughts are much appreciated for this new venture - we plan for it to be even better in 2010.
Dear Target Shooter, As a US shooter who reads lots of both online and printed firearms magazines and content each month, I cannot really begin to tell you how impressed I am not only you magazine and super quality content, but also your amazing customer service! I wish you all the success you deserve and hopefully many others will start to emulate your excellent model! With sincere best wishes for your continued success, Jon Kokanovich Hi Carl, Just a quick one to congratulate you and the rest of the guys on making Target Shooter what it is today. You’ve put a tremendous amount of time and effort into it and I think it looks great. I’m also very proud to be associated with it and wish you all the success it deserves! Hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year and hope to see you on the range sometime next year. Gwyn 2009 has come to a close as I write this on New Years Eve. It has been a great year for the magazine, as we started off with literally a few computers and an idea. All our writers and editors work from home and this is a ‘business’ is based on fun and passion; so we can bring to you the best of target shooting sports in the UK and abroad. We started off this magazine with the remit of supporting our readers and advertisers, wherever they may be. Our email boxes have been overwhelmed with positive responses, and a few that want faster downloads. Our thanks to all and may you all have a great 2010. Andy, Vince and Carl.
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As we come into the New Year we wish all our clients and readers the very best wishes for 2010. We thank out loyal readers and advertisers for last year - this one will be even better, starting with the current issue. Lets hope that the 2010 brings us prosperity, peace and thanks for what we have.
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.
AIM Field Sports Allcocks Outdoor Store Benchrest Directory B&S Products Bratton Sound Gunsafes Bulzeye Pro Eley LTD Fox Firearms G T Shooting Green Leopard HPS Target Rifles Ltd Indelfa Industrial Electronics Lilja Low Mill Range Merseyside Armoury Midland Diving Equipment New Avon Arms North West Custom Parts NSRA
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52 31 64 74 45 39 28 98 81 22 50 69 81 11 102 3 2 16 9
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The February issue will be out as normal on the 1st of the month. Lots of follow up articles, new reviews, news and as ever packed with the articles you want to read.
February 2010 Issue
On Test Features Feature articles
114 Target Shooter
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