Target Shooter March 2010 | Telescopic Sight | Shooting Sport

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Welcome to the March Issue .......of Target Shooter
14 Review of the British
Shooting Show by Vince Bottomley and Andy Dubreuil

Sections
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Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Shooting Forum Review by Andy Dubreuil Support your Local Gun Shop Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Firearms Multimedia Guide review by Carl Boswell Handloading ‘Old Faithful’ the .308 by Laurie Holland New Technologies - Reading Digital Media by Carl Boswell Mini Rifle - the Conclusion by Vince Bottomley Int. Rifle Training Camp by James Huckle Profile on Michael and Andrew Ozmond by Hayley Platts Gun of the Month Club Feature

Bender FT Scope by Tim Finley

27 Schmidt and

13 23 34

Barrels by Vince Bottomley

41 The Trouble with

32 47 51 61 75

67 World War 1

Sniper Rifles by Nigel Greenaway

Business by Don Brook

80 This Smallbore

81 91 98

1500 by Gwyn Roberts

92 Shooting the

110 Letters 111 Advertisers Index

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Association Pages
100 UKBRA 102 104 105 107 108 UKBR22 F- Class Quigley Association Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager Andy Dubreuil. email; admin@targetshooter.co.uk Contributors Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Chris Farr Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Ken Hall Les Holgate Hayley Platts James Huckle

Did you visit the Shooting Show? I hope so. Here was a good selection of the UK gun-trade, paying dearly to put on a show for the public who, in turn, paid to see that show. You can read our impressions elsewhere but for a moment, let’s consider the relationship between the gun-trade and the punter. In fact – is their a relationship? Or do we merely suffer each other? In other words, every time you buy a tub of powder or a box of bullets, do you begrudgingly part with your ‘hard-earned’, knowing that our American cousins are paying a fraction of what we do? If you are a dealer, are you heartily sick of customers walking into your shop with a print-out from the internet showing the latest Nikko Bender scope selling for about half the cost of the one in your window? Somehow, I think we have lost respect for each other. The punter feels ripped-off and the dealer struggles to make an honest living as we merrily order direct, via the world wide web. New dealers are setting up virtual shops with none of the overheads of the high street shop. We can buy cheaper from them, they cut out the overheads and so make a decent profit. Is this the future? The last time I visited a gunshop, the owner made me a cuppa and we had a natter (thanks Aaron) you don’t get that off the internet! Yes, it’s a changing world, it’s a shrinking world thanks to the web but where will it end? Can we learn anything from America - where the shooting market is massive but then again, there are many times more dealers competing for a slice of the action. However, I get the feeling that the punter/dealer relationship is much better on the other side of the pond. Look at the big national shoots over there. The prize list from trade donations is massive – scopes, barrels, even rifles will populate the list. Manufacturers and dealers want to be involved with their customers and in turn, the shooters will support the dealers who support them. There is a much closer tie-up – a proper relationship. If you look through a publication like Gun Mart you will see advertising costing thousands of pounds from members of the trade yet, when ever do you see any of the trade at a large shooting event? Could the trade target their market in another way – occasionally? Last July, the World F Class Championships took place at Bisley for the first time. Hundreds of shooters and spectators from all over the world were there for a couple of weeks. I would estimate that about 100,000 rounds went downrange and, with the restrictions on importing ammunition into the UK, I would guess that the components for most of it were bought from UK dealers. Couldn’t we have managed a teeny little prize? To quote an old maxim “The trade was conspicuous - by its absence!” To my knowledge, only one UK company and one American company put up any prizes and I’m proud to be able to say - well done Aimfield Sports and Sightron scopes – you deserve the support of UK shooters but where in heaven’s name were the rest of you?

Webitorial - March 2010

Until next month. Vince, Carl & Andy Carl Boswell - carl@targetshooter.co.uk and Vince Bottomley - vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk and Andy Dubreuil - admin@targetshooter.co.uk Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
Disclaimer

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
Sightron SIII SS 10-50x60 LR TD Riflescope - Launched 2010 All scopes in the SIII series feature a 30 mm one-piece main tube made from high quality aircraft aluminium. Tube thickness is more than twice as thick as one inch models to provide maximum rigidity. The scope features the ultimate in all weather construction. It is waterproof, nitrogen filled and provides a lifetime of internal fog protection against inclement weather. Designed for ease of use in prone and bench shooting the side focus will focus from 10 yards to infinity. It has large target knobs with 1/8 inch adjustments that are re-settable to zero. All target knobs are protected by large heavy windage and elevation caps. The scope features Sightron’s unique ExacTrack windage and elevation system. It has ZACT-7 seven layer multi-coating with precision ground glass. These lenses provide superior light transmission and resolution for the ultimate performance. A European-style fast focus eyeball accompanies all SIII SS Long Range models. A quick turn of the eyeball allows the user to focus in a matter of seconds. Tweaking the eye focus is just a small adjustment. Weighing in at just 29 oz, this will be a huge asset when weight is a critical factor. All Sightron products carry a Lifetime Warranty. This scope will be on the market at just £ 960. Aim Field Sports, the sole importer of Sightron products in the UK, will be launching this scope at the British Shooting Show on 27/28 February - we hope to see you there!

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The ATSC are investigating the possibility of allowing competitors with long barrelled pistols to compete alongside the air pistols in the ISSF events at our Open Meeting. The competition would be the same course of fire, shot in the spirit of the ISSF events. Most of the current slots for the ISSF competitions are organised for Melville Range, which will therefore require that you are in possession of a Shooter Certification Card from the NRA. The Saturday morning events however, are planned for the Lord Roberts Centre 25 metre range, which does not require the Certification Cards. Should there be sufficient interest in the event, it may be possible to amend our range bookings at the Lord Roberts Centre. For this to happen, we need to gauge the level of potential interest from you, the shooters. We would therefore ask you to respond, to myself at the email address provided, with your potential intent to enter the ISSF events at the Open Meeting. Of course, we cannot hold you to your intent to enter, but it might go a long way to influencing us to amend our plans for the

Meeting. Should you have any questions, it may well be quicker to get an immediate response from me by calling me on either of the phone numbers at the head of this letter. Please feel free to do so at any time. I look forward to hearing from you all in the near future with your Open Meeting entries and to seeing you all at Bisley. A White Chairman ATSC(TP) awhite576@yahoo.co.uk

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Picatinny Scope Rails from Fox & SYSS
I’ve always favoured the Weaver scope-mounting system but with several manufacturers making their own version, dimensions and slot spacing could vary – which was frustrating as it made scope swapping from rifle to rifle more complicated than it need be. The US Army obviously though the same and they laid down exact measurements for the Weaver rail and it became known as the Picatinny – after the US Military research and manufacturing arsenal in New Jersey. Thanks to the Picatinny Arsenal, it’s now feasible to fit these rails to all your rifles and have just one scope, knowing that the scope will swap from rifle to rifle with total precision. A couple of years ago, you would have to send to America for a Picatinny rail but now I know of

at least three separate UK companies offering their own. We featured the North West Custom Parts rail for the Savage action a few issues ago, now I have rails from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies and Fox Firearms, both of which are Remington short-action fit. The last one I got from the States cost me over £100 – these will cost you considerably less and are available with built-in taper if you shoot long-range. Check out www.rimfiremagic.co.uk and www.foxfireamsuk.com

A new moderator from SYSS

A few years ago, the moderator was the preserve of the field shooter and stalker. This was the only ‘good reason’ for having a moderator / silencer on your FAC – a requirement not to disturb game. Our Health & Safety nanny-state for once did shooters a favour – now, consideration for the hearing of yourself and fellow shooters is rightly considered to be good reason for owning one. It wasn’t long before target shooters realised that the sound-moderator did exactly the same job as a muzzle-brake but in addition to taming recoil it made a lot less noise! Having said that, some of us didn’t like the idea of hanging a great lump of metal off the end of the barrel so Peter Jackson of Jackson Rifles www.jacksonrifles.com introduced us to the Scandinavian ‘reflex’ suppressor which fitted over the barrel and only increased the overall length of the rifle by two or three inches. If you are looking for more information on moderators, Peter’s website is a mine of information. Peter’s moderators are welded up from high tensile steel and cannot be dismantled for cleaning and in spite of the fact that the mods will run for thousands of rounds without attention, some shooters don’t like the idea of having something that can’t be stripped. Over the last few years therefore, we have had a number of moderators offered which can also be taken apart for cleaning. However,

the moderator must be made to very high standards as the hole must be only marginally larger than the calibre for maximum effect. Once you start to make a strippable mod, the standard of manufacture must be very high and this of course translates in to high cost. In addition, your muzzle will need to be accurately threaded and proofed. Now, the advent of CNC machinery can keep costs reasonable whilst machining to a very high standard and the South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies moderator is a product of this. Each of the removable stainless-steel baffles is an absolute work of art. It would take me a whole day just to make one, so when you consider that SYSS will sell you this mod. and fit and proof it for £225 it’s quite mind-blowing. Might try one myself! If you just want the mod. it’s £175 – dealer enquiries welcome www. rimfiremagic.co.uk

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Bags We have a feature coming up in the next issue on shooting bags – the type you fill with sand and rest your rifle on. Originally, these bags were the preserve of the serious benchrest shooter but of late, F Classers and even plinkers are using bags. I came across an interesting site the other day

www.equifixshootingbags.co.uk and I was quite amazed at the variety of bags on offer. Diane, who is responsible for making these bags, has kindly sent me some samples and as soon as I can get them stuffed with sand we’ll have a go. Meanwhile, have a look at Diane’s website.

Bolt Knob Once you get that CNC machine running you just can’t stop and here’s another goody from SYSS – a badger-style tactical bolt-knob – essential for putting the finishing touch to your new tactical rifle. They are beautifully made and come with an 8mm thread for just £25 - or £75 fitted. www.rimfiremagic.co.uk Shooting at the 2012 London Olympics

If we want this By now, we are all aware that the long-standing redundant equipment, we ‘Olympic Charter’ requiring a lasting legacy for will be expected to pay £400,000 for it! a particular sport after the games are over, has been shamelessly broken by the organisers. One can only speculate what this equipment will be and who would buy it and where will Not only will the brand new Olympic shooting they put it! Personally, I can see it being sold by facility at Woolwich be demolished following auction at a knock-down price as much of the the Games at a cost of several million pounds equipment was following the Commonwealth but even the salvageable equipment will not be Games in Manchester. Sacrilege! handed down to British shooters. Target Shooter 9

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Calendar of events over the next few months
7 Mar European Airgun Championships The Championships run from 7th to 14th March. Location: Meraker, NOR 8 Mar NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. Targets have been booked on Melville and at 100, 200, 500 and 1000 yards. All disciplines welcome. Contact(s): Heather Webb via NRA website 15 Mar to 16 Mar Match Rifle Seminar (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) A seminar on Match Rifle shooting will be held on 15 and 16 March. Anyone who is thinking of taking up the sport, or who would like to know more about it, is welcome to attend. Places are limited so early application is encouraged. Contact(s): Nick Tremlett via NRA website 15 Mar Highpower Rifle Association Match (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) 80 round XTC. Details can be found by clicking on the links below. http://www.highpowerrifle.co.uk Contact(s): Highpower Rifle Match Entries 16 Mar HBSA Open Rook & Rabbit Rifle Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) - Classes for Vintage, Classic, Veteran and Rimfire rifles max weight 6.75lbs, max ME 450 ft lb. http://www.hbsa.fsnet.co.uk Contact(s): Allan Kirk 27 Mar to 28 Mar Gallery Rifle - Spring Action Weekend (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley). Contact(s): Brian Thomas via NRA website 25 Apr Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. julian.withey@btinternet.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: “urkers@aol.com” 26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. julian.withey@btinternet.com

If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
13 Mar Civilian Service Rifle competition (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Civilian Service Rifle competitions are held throughout the year. Upcoming dates are 16 January, 14 February and 13 March.Contact Mark Bradleyvia NRA website 3 Apr to 05 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 10 Apr HBSA Northern St George’s Open Charity Shoot (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) AM 300, PM 600: classes for Vintage (BP), Classic (pre-1919) and Veteran (pre-1946) rifles. Contact(s): Mark Hodgins 11 Apr National 200yd Free & Enfield Rifle Championship, Bisley 15 Apr World Cup, Beijing The competition runs from 15th to 25th April. Location: Beijing, CHN 17 Apr Ibis Rifle Club Open Meeting (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Short Range (Queens II) in the morning. Long Range (2+10 at 1000 and 1100) in the afternoon. Download Entry Form from NRA website Contact(s): Bill Rowland 22 Apr NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. Targets have been booked on Melville and at 100, 200, 300 and 600 yards. All disciplines welcome. If you would like to attend you must book in at least a week in advance by contacting Charles Perry. Contact(s): Charles Perry NRA website 24 Apr Clubs Mini Palma Match (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) A Mini Palma Match will be held on Saturday 24 April 2010 for teams of eight from any club, school or county affiliated to the NRA. Due to the huge interest last year we have booked the whole of Stickledown for the day so we can accept 25 teams. The Purples Match will be held on the following day which will hopefully give many teams a great weekend’s shooting. If your club, school or county would be interested in competing in this match please contact Karen Robertson via the NRA website 25 Apr North of England Muzzle Loading Championships, nr. Skipton, Yorks.

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We are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25. Target Shooter

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm

Forum Review on UK Long Range Shooting Forum

When you hit the internet search-engine to find a shooting forum there are quite a few to choose from but not so many that are dedicated to one type of shooting and this one is also run by custom rifle builder - Chris from UK Gunworks. I admit to knowing nothing about long-range shooting, so this was a good site for me to see if it would be easy to find information on how to get started and see what the sport has to offer. Firstly, you have to register to get access to any of the information on the forum. Forums do get the odd idiot who comes onto a site to promote something that has nothing to do with the forum and puts up threads all over the site that the administrator has to waste time removing, so the Long Range Forum has wisely protected itself by monitoring those that wish to join. This may delay access whilst your registration being processed but you will find that it’s worth the short wait. Once you have access, there is a ‘Just say hello’ section where you can introduce yourself. Looking through some of the posts in this section it’s obviously friendly and everyone welcomes you to the forum. The General Chat section is open to any topic and really anything goes and members can pass on stories and just talk about day to day stuff rather than serious shooting. I don’t think this detracts from what the forum is about but, like all forums, the idea is share views and information and then talk about it. The forum does have sponsorship and has a section about the sponsors which gives information on any special offers that might be available with that particular company. Reaching the right audience is a difficult one and when a forum has a company onboard, then members can find the latest deals without having to search for them via the company’s own website. The main section of the forum is of course related to long-range shooting and the kind of gear that is used and is broken down into easy to navigate sections. In the Rifle section I found a nice thread about the procedure for cleaning a rifle and how often to do it. Also, there is a Technical section that covers stuff like

pillar-bedding, trigger assembly and a lot more but the best part I found was within the hand-loading section. A lot of time and effort has been put into explanations of different loads and they have a section that is dedicated to hand-loading data. There about twenty threads on different calibres, all laid out so that you can ask questions to other members about this side of long-range shooting. Other parts of the hand-loading section covers powder burn rates, bullet-making procedures, reloading safety, primers and a lot more. In the Optics section there is loads of information on how to setup your scope and the kind of scope best suited to this kind of shooting. Again, a lot of time is devoted to giving new shooters all the information they will need to get started. The site is a great introduction to long-range shooting and also has information on clubs that you can join from 300 yard to 1000 yard shooting. Everything is there from the equipment, ballistics studies, reloading data plus a friendly group of members who will help you get started in the sport. The site has a lot of other sections like classifieds, target shooting and stalking. The one thing I would like to see is a few more pictures – maybe a photo gallery of rifles and gear. Most owners of rifles are very glad to show off their custom rifles and this would give other members an idea of what you could do to the rifle you already have or might like to have built. With webmaster Chris being a custom rifle builder, he has obviously put a lot of thought into what he wanted on the forum so that it would be useful to beginners and old hands. The site is easy to navigate and full of the right kind of information that you would expect to find on a forum devoted to long-range shooting. Members interact in the way that you would expect by giving new members a warm welcome and a helpful hand in getting started. Visit www.uklongrange.co.uk to register and be ready to be hit with a forum that will keep you up into the early hours if you are looking for this kind of information and data.

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Trinity Digital Publishing’s trio of Andy, Carl and Vince decided that the Newark Show was a ‘must’ and all planned to go along for the weekend but, best laid plans and all that – in the end only two of us made it. Here’s what we thought of the Show and, as always, we would be pleased to hear your comments.

Exclusive Special Review

I confess, I didn’t attend the first Newark Shooting Show, held in 2009 and I heard mixed reports but, when I saw that the Show was to be repeated this year and it was to be even larger than last year, we at Target Shooter decided to throw the full weight of the magazine behind the venture and pay a visit.

The organisers have chosen well with the Newark Showground - an excellent venue, equally Vince’s view I’ve one he merican hot how, WA n ermany accessible from north or south. The February d t A S S I i G and of course, like many of you, I remember the date was also spot-on – we are all gearing up to Bisley Anno Domini meetings with great fond- the new season so a good opportunity to check ness. We also tried UK shows at the NEC and out new kit and pick up a few essentials. Trentham Gardens if I remember correctly. For a show to be successful, the organisers must get plenty of us through the turnstiles and we will only do that if we can see and handle the stuff we can’t see in our local gunshop. So, what caught my eye at Newark? Fox Firearms promised to have the latest SEB rest on display – they did and it was a cracker! I predict that Sightron’s new 10-50 scope will be a huge hit with serious target shooters. Quality Japanese optics, superfine crosshair/dot reticle, no-quibble guarantee and price-tag below £1000! 14 Target Shooter

Top – one of Osprey’s custom rifles built on the Savage ‘target’ action. Bottom – their F Class stock in ‘ice wood’ I want one and so will an awful lot of F Class and benchrest shooters. Seb Lambang has really done the business here and well done Foxy for getting the very first one. I hope to use it very shortly in a 600 yard BR comp. but you can see some pics in my From the Bench column and we are hoping to bring you one of Andy’s videos comparing the new and the old rest . My other scoop was the 10-50 Sightron scope. I’m a Sightron fan and I like the way they get involved with the sport and having Aimfield Sports as UK importer is really good. The scope on Aimfield’s stand was the very first one in the UK and I’m hoping to blag it for a first test for Target Shooter readers so don’t miss the next issue out on April 1st.

Lovatt Society’s stand – 100 years of sniper rifles, raising money for ‘Help for heros’ Target Shooter 15

building rifles on the Savage target action that has been properly ‘timed’ – this significantly improves boltlift. Combine this with a tricked-out bolt and you have the basis of a very nice custom gun at a realistic price. Osprey were also exhibiting the most incredible laminate stock I have ever seen – made from something they call ‘ice-wood’ – unfortunately, my pics doesn’t do it justice. My favourite stand was one set up by the Lovatt Society – a group of guys who collect sniper rifles from WW1 to the present day. They must have had around 50 rifles on display all beautifully presented and labelled and they were also raising money for ‘Help for heroes’ – just about the most worthy charity around in my opinion. Well done guys. www. helpforheroes.org.uk With more and more high street gunshops closing, the Show was The innovative Peter Jackson holding McMillan’s folding a great opportunity for shooters to stock up on a few essentials. I tried stock based on his prototype below to say hello to Norman Clark all Other good stuff? Osprey Rifles had some interesting Savage kit on show. They are now weekend but his stall was literally three-deep every time I passed! Most stall-holders appeared to be doing a roaring trade and I can see the Show growing year on year. Shotguns and airguns were in abundance but there were more firearms than I had anticipated and Riflecraft also had a very interesting stand, as did Jackson Where else could you see a collection of punt-guns and cartridges like this. The Show had some very interesting antique stuff on display 16 Target Shooter

Wayne at North West Custom Parts making a bit of an impact at the show rifles who had a brand-new McMillan folding stock on display which was developed from a Jackson prototype. There were also some very interesting stands selling antique firearms and although I’m not a collector it’s quite special to handle an original Colt revolver or lever-action Winchester from the 1870’s. The major ‘institutions’ like BASC, NRA, NSRA, Muzzle Loaders

Brian Fox being his usual friendly self

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The new and the old - SEB Rests

etc. were represented and Bonhams the auctioneers had some fine guns on display with price-tags that we are most used to seeing on upper-end automobiles! In summation, a very good show. If you didn’t go this year, make a date for next year when I’m sure it will be even bigger. Critisms? None really, though next year, I’d like to see the organisers try and attract more ‘club’ stands but clearly space is at a premium. Catering was good with plenty of variety on offer from a sitdown meal in the restaurant or a burger ‘on the hoof’ and prices were reasonable. There was something for everyone, no matter what your shooting interest and most stall-holders had come to do some serious selling and there were plenty of bargains to be had. I didn’t manage to catch the outdoor displays save for a black-powder demo which was very well staged. We eserve ood hooting how nd e ertainly d ag s s a w c have the makings of one here. Let’s give it our support and it will grow year on year. 18 Target Shooter

Andy’s view Shooting enthusiasts from all over the country descended on Newark the last weekend in February. They came in their thousands to visit one of the biggest guns shows this year in the UK. The British Shooting Show was packed solid with stands offering visitors a vast array of products to view, pickup, try on and buy. It was almost like an alladins cave, there was so much there. The British weather was true to form with heavy rains the day before, but the organisers had done a fantastic job with laying down special flooring in each of the huge tents and tried to make the paths to each section of show easy under foot. The ground was horrendous in some places with thick mud. The show in the past had been more known for being mostly shot gun related and country wear, but this year that all changed as the promoters invited companies and dealers from the world of air rifle, small bore, full bore and black powder. Having everything on one site, I think brings shooters and enthusiasts together, allowing them to see rifles and equipment that maybe they have never seen before. I am sure

A case of shop until you drop - there was so much there to to see and buy

that there have been visitors this weekend that it’s one of the only rest I have seen that will may be attracted to a different types of shooting fold up to make it easier to transport. However, by talking to others about what they shoot and there is a lot more to it and in the coming days looking at what is available, not just at the high you will be able to see Vince Bottomley doing a end market but also for beginners. comparison between the old style and new in a The show gave the chance for some companies video on our website. The rest is so new that I to show off for the very first sight of some new don’t think that SEB have even come up for a products. AIM Field Sports, who are the UK name for it and Brian couldn’t even tell us how distributors for Sightron scopes, were able to much it will retail for. Vince will be taking the show off their latest addition that is the new 10x50x60mm scope, which The many people trying to get in - half mile tail drew a lot of attention. The scope backs were common follows the line of side parallax scopes but without the large side wheels that some other scopes have. Target Shooter Magazine will be providing a full review in coming months, so that you will be able to get the full load down. Centre fire shooters have something to watch out for as Fox Firearms showed off for the very first time the brand new SEB rest that has been totally redesigned and is nothing like what you have seen before. To give you a little taste of why it’s different, Target Shooter 19

The Taurus BP Revolver Conversion new rest to the range to see how it performs up against the old style SEB rest. Keeping on the theme of Benchrest, I am currently having a custom rifle built which I will be reviewing in the coming months, but I had a chance to catch up with Stephen Parker of Parmoor Stocks who is making a custom stock for me. I had already decided on the type of wood that Stephen was going to use, but he came to the show with an amazing laminate stock that has been made out of what is called ice wood laminate. It looks amazing and I do not think the picture does it justice but it has fantastic colouring that I have never seen before - which almost looks like the skin of a snow leopard. After a little bit of a confab, I changed my mind and have now gone with the ice wood and once the rifle is complete you will be able to see it in all its glory. You know we have some great gunsmiths in this country, and there is no better the Allan Westlake and he was at the show with his converted Taurus.357 muzzle-loading revolver that he is very well known for with black powder shooters. Allan also had the Browning Buckmark Long Pistol. The Pistol is made by converting the Buckmark rifle and has a 6mm diameter balance rod fitted to it, which makes a beautiful balance to the pistol. I am not a pistol shooter but I did love this pistol and could see

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myself getting one of them if I ever took up pistol shooting. In the tactical rifle section, North West Custom was having a bumper time at the show, had a lot of interest in the Smith & Wesson .22lr rifle, and was taking plenty of orders. It is a great little rifle, as we have already done a review on and one of those types of rifles. I would go for if I had the time shoot it, but there is only so many hours in the day!

This show I think has been a great success from the point of view of the visitors that turn out on the very first day. From the dealers and gunsmiths that I know where overwhelm with the amount of people that turn up. I am sure that air rifle, small bore and full bore, will become a very big part of this yearly show for its future and if you have missed it this year then you really need to put this show in you diary for next year, as one of the major event to visit.

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Target Shooter

‘Support your local gun shop’
Roedale Precision

Pete Lincoln is a Fully Qualified Master Riflesmith with over 23 years experience in Firearms Design, Modification and Manufacture. Originally from East Yorkshire-England, has been hunting and shooting since he was big enough to carry a gun. Interested in all things mechanical from a very young age. Pete was often to be found in the fitters workshop of his Fathers haulage business, helping out the mechanics and when no one was looking, building variouse mechanical devices, most of which could be loaded and fired. In 1986, Pete followed the familiy tradition and joined the British Army. After basic training he embarked on a technical apprenticeship as a REME Armourer. Qualifying as a Class 1 Armourer in 1992. Going on to gain the recognized civilian Engineering Qualifications as a Gun Smith, gaining the German Equivalent of a HND in Engineering and Qualifying as a Master Riflesmith. Pete collected a wealth of experience in firearms repair, modification and manufacture, especially with Precision Sniper Rifles, as well as becoming an accumplished marksman, with many trips to Bisley and some nice silverwear, during his 10 years Military service. After leaving the Army in 1996. Pete went on to work full time as a Field Engineer with a Defence Contractor for the MOD. From 1999 to November 2007 he worked full time in the Space Industry. So a varied technical background is definately in place. So how did this high flying enginneer end up building Custom Precision Rifles for a living ? During 1994 Pete began working part time ( If you can call 40+ hours a week part time) as a Gunsmith for a major German Sporting Firearms Retailer as a side line to the defence contract employment, on a more or less hobby basis. Never satisfied with the reliability or accuracy of mass produced firearms. Pete started building his own custom

rifles based on factory actions. Hunting partners, friends and shop customers began to take note of the accuracy and reliability of his rifles and soon began to ask “ Can you build me a rifle too ?” Pete lent a hand in the shop whenever possible, but the move 300 miles south to the Space Agency restricted the free time available for general gunsmithing, and priorities had to be set. Due to increased demand in rifle builds, Pete decided to start a dedicated custom rifle business on a part time basis and Roedale Precision Rifles was launced in 2005. After a good start things didn't go exactly to plan. The Custom Rifle business was run as a sideline next to a highly demanding job in the Space Industry, this was managable to a point. But when firstly Pete's Wife and then his Father became ill, the increased burden meant that the rifle business coudn't be dedicated the time it realy deserved. That coupled with the unreliability of the component supply industry, mostly based in the USA meant that time tables got stretched to the limit and Pete suffered some bad press for a while and made some customers unhappy. " I was trying to run the business, work for the Space Agency, look after 2 kids and care for my Missus, my Dad and my Mam all at the same time, now if all that had been in one location, it wouldn't have been so bad, but I was stretching my self across Europe, between Yorkshire, Frankfurt and the where my workshop is located in Hasbergen, thats several hundred miles in any direction, something had to give and it was the Rifle Business that suffered. I almost worked my self to a burn out ! " Pete decided to leave the Space Agency in November 2007 and go full time in the gun trade. "Things didn't improve much after going full time in January 2008. We got messed around and ripped of by the building contractors who where supposed to build the new

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workshop, I ended up shoveling concreet and bricklaying instead of machining barrels and bolts, I was right chuffed about that I can tell you !!" However, never one to let a turn of bad luck get him down, Pete powered on and since mid 2008 has been producing a constant stream of high quality, one of a kind Target, Hunting and Tactical Rifles for customers all around the world. " I made several mistakes in the early stages and I should have gone full time much sooner. I should have also taken on staff sooner, even the most talented of us can'd do it all on thier own, Things have been comming together nicely since and with a little help we've are producing some realy classy kit, and I've actualy been able to put several of my own designs into production" says Pete. Roedale Precision has evolved form a part time one man band into a rapidly expanding and sucessfull business. Staff include Thomas " Tom" Helmig who is a highly qualified R&D engineer and Goeff Marshall, an ex Royal Marine, as well as a nice young lady to take care of the book keeping. With production support coming from some highly talented and reliable, localy based Engineering Companies.

Roedale Precision build rifles to meet and exceed customer specifications, Pete has definate ideas on rifle design and ergonomics, many of which are incorporate into the basic rifle packages. "We try to combine traditional Craftsmanship and Precision Engineering with Experience and Technology from the Defence and Aerospace Industries. Ive Specialised in Custom and Semi-Custom one of a kind rifles, based on accurised factory actions and custom manufactured actions. But we are in the middle of expanding to manufacture custom series rifles. These rifles are made to my own design and specifications and leave nothing to be desired, but are basicaly available off the shelf with no waiting about and no dependancy on the US State departments !"

The key to Rifle Accuracy is Precision Engineering. Combining Quality Materials with Tight, Consistent Tollerances and paying Attention To Detail. In the Custom Rifle Industry there are many "Gun Plumbers" around these days, screwing a rifle barrel onto an action and that then into a stock isn't exactly rocket science, but there are few who are showing the ingenuity and commitment Pete is so full of. " The biggest pain in the backside we have is un-reliable He looks set to be the John Moses Browning of the 21st component supply, I got so sick of bieng the pig in the century and Roedale looks to be on the right track for middle that I have spent a small fortune on designing and success. manufacturing my own components and accessories, I intend to give the Yanks a run for their A Selection of Pete's work and products can be seen on money" display at the IWA 2010 in Nürnberg. Hall 3, stand 3-741 or by visiting his webshop and website. www.webshop. Putting his money where is mouth is seems to be roedale.de or www.roedale.de paying off for Pete, as Roedale have fielded many own products and there are many more in the pipeline. Roedale currently manufacture the following own design products: RCS, Roedale Chassis System, (A similar item to the AICS, but for Tikka and Howa rifle actions, with more to follow) RMS,Roedale Magazine System (Using the AICS magazines and with a version for remington 700, Howa 1500 and Tikka T3) Delta Suppressors. (Petes own design full bore moderator) Roedale Muzzlebrakes (Both the Delta Supressors and Roedale Muzzlebrakes are a design by Pete, enhanced through a scientific R&D study with the University of Applied Science in Osnabrück, Germany) Roedale Bipods ( for the Sako TRG, AI AW and Steyr SSG 08) Roedale Avenger Rifle Actions. There are also several new products shortly to be released at the IWA 2010 in Nürnberg.

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Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd 295 London Road North End Portsmouth PO2 9HF
Opening Times Mon 9.30 - 5.30 Tues Closed Wed Closed Thur 9.30 - 5.30 Fri 9.30 - 5.30 Sat 9.30 - 5.30

Tel 02392 660574 Fax 02392 644666 E-mail sales@portsmouthguncentre.com 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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SCHMIDT AND BENDER FT SCOPE

by Tim Finley
Field Target has been going for more then twenty years and we have had to wait this long for a scope manufacturer to design from scratch a dedicated Field Target scope. Every other FT scope used today has started out as either a full-bore or rimfire scope that has then been modified/re-specified as an FT scope. With the huge rise in popularity of FT in Europe and in fact World Wide Schmidt and Bender have taken on the challenge and have I was lucky enough to be in at the ground floor of it’s development. It all started in 2006 when I met the technical department of S&B at IWA in Nuremberg. They had given German FT shooters one of their 34mm tubed 5-25 PMII full-bore scopes to ascertain if it would rangefind. The German shooters said no, the optical quality was too good to be able to rangefind accurately with it, I disagreed with their statement and asked S&B if they would be willing to send me a scope to test it’s rangefinding capabilities for myself. This they did and I found it did rangefind very well in all the various conditions I tested it under. From then on I was in regular contact with S&B as their FT scope took shape. I was very keen to have an influence on the first focal plane reticle development as I shoot on various magnifications depending upon prevailing weather and range conditions. A 1st focal plane reticle with windage dots gives the advantage to the shooter as

FT1 x50 Magnification at 55 yards

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I came up with the see through dot idea to allow it to be useful on both extreme ends of the scope magnification range, a low 12.5 and a huge 50. The scope has a 30mm body, sidewheel parallax for rangefinding, with or without an illuminated reticle and a 56mm front objective lens. In another departure for the firm it would be silver in colour. The lighter colour reflects the suns rays and does not allow the scope to heat up as much as a black scope. Designing a scope from scratch meant that for the first time ever some very clever features could be incorporated into the scope, such as the elevation turret. One common mistake that all FT shooters make, including myself in the past, is to dial out a full turn on the scope, it can they can use the windage dots on the horizontal be hard to spot in the heat of competition, The crosshair on the scopes full range of magnification. turret on the S&B has 32MOA in ¼ of an inch The scope S&B came up with has 12.5 to 50 clicks at 100yard, for less than one full turn of the times magnification range so the design of a FFP turret. Which gives it the normal range of adjustment reticle was always going to be a bit of a compromise. but with never the chance of dialing a full turn out, a FT3 German FT 40 yards with 50 Magnification very impressive feature. The windage turret can be either a target type with ¼ inch clicks or as I specified on mine a low profile hunter type, this is the time fitted as standard to scopes coming into York Guns the distributor. The windage adjuster has a green and red scale showing how far you are from optical center. When I fitted to my Steyr LG110 it was only 2 clicks off optical center (a full 1/8 of an inch or 3mm at 100yards), which says a lot for the precision engineering of both the S&B and the Steyr. The overall range of windage adjustment is +/- 16 MOA, but you should never need this range of movement as you should set any scope up, especially FT and HFT scopes

FT2 55 yards 12_5 Magnification

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as near optical center as possible, i.e. with as fewer clicks on left or right as possible to get the pellets on the horizontal crosshair. You can have a target type windage adjustment knob fitted for an extra £36 if you so wish. Initial rangefinding tests were somewhat disappointing, S&B told me the gearing system in my scope was their 1st attempt to get large gaps between the ranges, the reasoning behind it that it should give rangefinding down to ½ a yard or even less. Of the 12 scopes initially built the German FT team had recently had theirs changed to a smaller gaps as they actually found it difficult to rangefind with so much distance between each 5 yard range. It does sound wrong but it is true, the image was changing too slowly to discern when it was blurred or clear when looking at the target, unfortunately it’s this quality when parallaxing which makes rangefinding with a scope work. My S&B prototype scope initially gave me a massive 25mm gap between 50 and 55 yards with the 130mm Dia wheel, too much for me to with rangefind either. I could not cope with the mega slow change in the rangefinding image. S&B told me when I picked it up at IWA I could send it back to have the gearing altered and gaps closed up, this I did. It now had a 7.6mm gap between 50 and 55yards. The targets snap in and out of focus, looking at an intended target and starting from a shorter range than it, the sidewheel is turned to increase the range on it until the paint flecks on the target come into full clarity,

the wheel is then stopped and the range read off, simple. I can now support the forend of the rifle with the forward hands palm and reach up to operate the scope with the same hands fingertips. That is a real bonus for me moving from a front parallax scope, it works slightly different for kneeling as the trigger hand can reach over the scope to turn the sidewheel, with the forward hand supporting the gun this can be done in the kneeling position saving precious time on the stopwatch, with only one minute per target in FT every second counts. The reticles available for the scope are a S&B designed 2nd focal plane with simple dots that are set to be 40mm apart at 50m called the Sport FT2 reticle and another second focal plane reticle designed by the German FT shooters. This is called the Sport FT3 and has dot’s, line’s and numbers, it has been designed to be shot on 30 times magnification, after the shooter has range found on 50 times magnification. They wanted a reticle they could use holdover with as they were really struggling with the dialing in of the range concept. The 1st focal plane reticle I had a hand in designing is called the Sport FT1 and has 2mm dots 40mm apart at 50m and around then a 25 mm Dia see though circle. I went for a see through design so it could be used at 12.5 and 50 times magnification. It is not a new idea as my NXS 12-42 scope for 1000 yard shooting has a see through Mildot reticle. The S&B reticle did not need 20mm sized circles as the central dots are 40mm apart so these can simply be

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positioned in the middle of edge of the target disc for precise full or half disc windage aiming off. The only part of my design S&B changed was the gaps between the small 2mm central dots themselves. I wanted them be 40mm apart at 50 yards as the original Premier reticle designed reticle are, hundreds of FT scope users, including me are well used to this ratio, I had the Mildot’s in my Burris scopes put in at 40mm at 50yards also. But the German FT team and S&B wanted 50m or 55 yards. S&B did ask Premier reticles to come up with a FFP reticle but they were not entirely happy with it and went their/my way. After using the scope I am more than happy with the reticle, it is useful at 12.5 and 50 times magnification just as we designed it to be. The reticle is available either illuminated as on my scope or non-illuminated. After shooting in dark woods I can see the illumination as a very big help, so I went for it on my scope. The whole of the reticle on the FT1 and FT2 is illuminated in a red colour with eleven brightness settings, run off a CR2032 3v battery. It also turns itself off after six hours so as not to flatten the battery if you leave it on. With the FT3 version only the thin center lines and dots illuminate. The only minor drawback with having the illuminated version is the space it takes up on the rear body of the scope, 27mm to be exact. I had no trouble mounting the scope with a set of Sportsmatch adjustable 30mm two piece mounts. York Guns the distributor in the UK are now getting regular shipments of the FT model and gave to an example of both of the 2nd focal plane reticles to test along side my pre-production model. In fact I picked up the scopes from York Guns myself and

had a choice from over twenty S&B scopes. I fitted quick release scope rings to the two second focal plane scopes which fitted my test bed of a custom stocked Air Arms 400. I only took one sidewheel from York Guns as I wanted to see how the two scopes rangefinding marks varied too. The sidewheel has a slot cut in the hub of the wheel that locates upon a raised spigot on the smaller ribbed sidewheel on the left hand side of the scopes body. I fashioned range read off markers from plastic sheet that clamped into the rear scope rings. S&B are bringing out a dedicated read off marker combined with a spirit level. It locates in two Allen screw holes in the left rear of the scope on the same saddle as the illuminator. I set out metal targets with a measuring tape to test the rangefinding of the three scopes. I used white and black targets with both un-shot at and shot at faceplates, this was to give the scopes a real work out. The first thing I noticed was the sidewheels of the two new scopes were stiffer to operate than mine. Having said that my S&B FT scope is almost three years old now so it would be smoother than the two brand new scopes. My zoom ring for the magnification was stiff initially and I fitted a fishing coaster to enable me to rotate it quickly in the heat of competition. The word stiff is probably the incorrect word to use, it’s the fine tolerances and good fit of the parts that means there is no wobble or “play” in the sidewheel and the mag zoom ring. Other cheaper scopes are packed with grease to fool their owners into thinking they are better quality then their bargain price tag would suggest. Not so with the S&B, you get the quality you pay for.

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It was the first time I had the chance to study the twosecond focal plane reticles at any length. I was struck by how fine the reticles appeared compared to my 1st focal plane reticle. Looking at the specification charts the FT1 reticle has 2mm thick lines ( As specified by yours truly) at 50m and 50mag, in fact at all ranges and all magnifications due to it being in the first focal plane. FT2 has ½ millimeter wide lines at 50m and 50 mag. The German shooters FT3 reticle has 0.4 of an mm wide lines at 30 times magnification at 50m. I did tend to loose the German reticle on the white targets when the sun shone brightly on them. It needed the illumination on to be able to discern the reticle. Each dot on the FT3 is 16.7mm apart at 50m on 30 mag. The other second focal plane reticle has slightly thicker lines but it has dots at 40mm spacing’s at 50m and hash marks in-between. This means you can also use it for increments of disc aiming off in a wind on 25times magnification too. The smaller hash marks appear 40mm apart at 50m on that magnification. As for actual rangefinding the distance between 50 and 55 yards were slightly wider on the two production scopes compared to my prototype scope, only by a mm so that’s not a massive amount and the image snapped in and out perfectly. All top FT shooters mark up

their own parallax markings as everyone’s eyes are different. That is why the big side wheel on the S&B comes blank. Wrap it in white PVC tape or masking tape and once you are happy with the parallaxing marks make the read off lines permanent, but do not rush the process. In all the tests I have carried out so far, from rangefinding in pitch dark woods to bright open fields, all the scopes rangefind to the same level of accuracy and repeatability.In a word the S&B FT scope is a true masterpiece of engineering, built as an FT scope from the start and to a quality never before seen in an FT scope. There is a reticle available to suit whatever style of FT you shoot, big mag all the time go for the FT2,

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and if you wind up and down the mag range the FT1 is the one for you. In a nutshell it’s a scope that’s worth every single penny of the quite substantial price tag. SPECIFICATION Maker Schmidt and Bender Country of origin Germany Magnification 12.5 to 50 variable zoom Objective Dia 56mm Body Tube 30mm Parallax adjustment 7-70m Reticles One First (FT1) or Two Second focal plane (FT2, FT3) Illuminated or Non illuminated Elevation adjustment 32 MOA in ¼ inch clicks Windage adjustment 16 MOA in 1/4 inch clicks Finish Silver Field of view @ 100m 3.5 - 0.9m Eye relief 70mm Exit pupil 4.55 to 1.18 mm Weight 1150grams Overall length 417mm Price Distributor

£1937 approx illuminated £1679 approx non-illuminated Optional extras The larger “add on” elevation turret £23 100mm Sunshade £36 Target elevation turret £50 130mm sidewheel £100 Sprit level/Range indicator £184 York Guns 01904 487180 www.yorkguns.com/

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Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 5

by Chris Risebrook
This month I would like to gloat over a bit of self This pistol is 28 bore (.550) with 4.5inch barrels. To indulgence acquired at a recent Arms Fair. me, the most remarkable aspect is its method of manufacture. It appears to have been made from a I was surprised to see a number of over/under single billet of steel - I can see no join anywhere - percussion pistols at quite reasonable prices. I opted and the gunsmith filed and milled away all the bits he for condition rather than name and bought the gun did not want. Thus, the barrels have been bored, the shown in Photo 1 at - I hope- a reasonable price. action hollowed out to receive the lockwork, and the The name on the top rib, Williams and Powell of top and bottom tangs tapered and presumably bent Liverpool was unknown to me, but a quick search to accept the stock. Even the elaborate hammer of the internet showed that the company is still in fences have been neatly filed and tapered from the existence. Although it no longer makes guns, it solid. The only attachment is the separate bottom rib supplies shotguns made primarily in Italy but finished which carries the ramrod. in Liverpool and marked with its own name. This seems an extraordinarily complex and

Williams and Powell 28 bore

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expensive way of making a pistol, since most of the steel billet would have ended up on the workroom floor as filings. Whilst labour was relatively cheap, this would have been highly skilled work, and presumably steel would not have been cheap. The quality is excellent, and the overall condition remarkably good for something made about 150 years ago. There is no bluing left, except on the bottom rib and the trigger guard and the rest of the gun may well have been browned and this might have worn at a different rate.

but the Damascus barrels still have their beautiful brown finish. The barrels of this pistol are four inches and the bore is 24 (.577 which was the military size of the day). Bourne would have bought-in these barrels, together with many other parts of the gun from the piece-workers in Birmingham, whereas the only bought in parts on the Williams and Powell are probably the hammers. Both guns have captive ramrods which swivel to reach both barrels, and both have a device to prevent the rods from running forward under recoil. The Williams and Powell has a concealed spring which fits round a cannelure on the The engraving is excellent and the walnut stock has end of the rod, and the Bourne has an eccentric rod been chequered 26 lines to the inch, which looks which screws into its housing; all very sophisticated pretty, but gives little grip, although it has worn and very expensive to manufacture. down over the years. The barrels are so clean that it has probably seen little use, and since it is of good Both pistols can be carried relatively safely on quality, it has been cared for. half-cock but in practice they would probably have been carried loaded but uncapped. Both have Its method of construction is in direct contrast to grip traps to hold the caps. The chequering on the the pistol shown in Photo 2 which is a side by side Bourne is 14 lines per inch which gives a much double made by Joseph Bourne of Birmingham. This better grip. Both guns have somewhat small grips by is a top quality product by a known maker and must today’s standards, but people had smaller hands 150 have been very expensive but the Damascus steel years ago. Both guns are smooth bored so could use barrels have been screwed to the standing breech, either ball or shot, or one of each. Either would which in turn is bolted to the action. Both top and have been an excellent ‘life insurance policy’ in that bottom ribs are separate, so the whole pistol has they would help you to stay alive. By contrast, a life been made up rather than cut from solid. insurance policy today is a piece of paper which pays out money after you are dead. I think I prefer The end result is the same but by two quite the former. separate routes. The Bourne retains traces of bluing,

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Email; ags.westlake@virgin.net/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com

Tel/Fax 01722782432

The Taurus ML Revolver is converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver. The cylinder is removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contains the spring loaded plunger that frees the action when the yoke is closed. As this extension cannot be removed, it prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel is shortened to approximately 5 ¼ inches and the wristbrace is removed. A new cylinder is made which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear with a small flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead wadcutter bullets. The conversion of your pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00 each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.

www.FoxFirearmsUK.com
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464 PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST
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SEB LAMBANG BENCH RESTS AND ACCESSORIES ARE THE BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. WE STOCK HIS FULL RANGE AT LOWEST POSSIBLE PRICES, ALONG WITH THE BUDGET CALDWELL RANGE- BERGER BULLETS TO YOUR DOOR- EXPORT TO EUROPE, NO PROBLEM! SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL SPECIFICATIONS AND CURRENT STOCKLIST EVERYTHING 36 Target Shooter WE IMPORT IS BY FAR THE BEST VALUE IN THE UK

The Firearms Multimedia Guide

When I first started target shooting – more years ago than I care to remember - I used to revel in those American paper-back books like The Shooters Bible, Guns, etc. They came out each year and carried the most up-to-date ‘database’ of all things related to shooting - some of which were allowed in the UK and others not. Obviously after the pistol ban, the idea of looking at pistols only emphasised the ‘slap in the face’ we had all experienced. Reading about the latest development in revolvers and the like just did not have the same appeal. However after many years interest was re-kindled - curious to see what was happening in the big wide world and to support the odd trip to the continent where pistol shooting could continue, albeit that I had to give them back at the end of the day. With certain ‘creative’ developments in the UK my interest in all things shooting began to re-surface and again I enjoy a leisurely look through the vast number of pistol developments over the last 10 years. During that time ‘digital mania’ has arrived, something we rely on with this magazine in fact and information on anything and everything is now at the beck and call of anyone - instantly. No more writing letters and months of waiting for information, we now have access 24/7. (I hate this expression by the way and I apologise for using it). However, the shooting industry has been slow to develop a shooterorientated database that is interactive and interesting to use. At last we now have one on offer from the USA. Like most ‘find and seek’

databases, the Firearms Mutilmedia Guide offers a number of features that makes using it quite simple. This DVD based product is a searchable database covering handguns, rifles, shotguns, black-powder, air guns and the various ammunitions that are associated with these firearms. From my use of the product over the last few weeks I’ve found the database to be pretty well up to date and includes all the current firearm developments bar the absolute latest ones - though admittedly some of my knowledge would be a bit sketchy in areas related to shotgun or the more specialist rifles. The interface is simple to use and there are various search features which allow the user to select a product by name, manufacturer, calibre, etc. It then searches to find the specific and related products. In fact there are fourteen different search criteria – ‘as it says on the tin’. Fourteen ways of finding what you want! The pictures on the database are very high-quality and allow the firearms to be viewed in fine detail. This, plus the speed and ease of access are characteristics of just how this type of digital media is so beneficial. If you are that way inclined, you can give yourself a pat on the back for the amount of trees you are saving by using this type of paperless resource! When the search is complete, the datasheet for the selected firearm carries all the basic information like stock configuration, weight, length, etc. On most products there is also a featured information section that describes it in far more detail. You will notice the Features button at the base of the

by Carl Boswell

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screen, if this feature is available for the firearm you are viewing. Personally, I would like to see the barrel twist-rate included as for me, this is quite important. Ammunition is also covered on the searchable database or through an ammunition index that compares European and US ammunition as a chart. I found this particularly useful as another way of finding ammunition - without having to know what I was searching for in the first place – just wanting to view, click and see. This index is linked to the main database, so everything is one click of the button away. Obviously you can save favourites and print out selected information. Again, a useful feature as you could take this information to your local RFD and show him what you would like. Another facet of this guide is the share feature. This is where you can share information with another person via the internet with e-mails or blog. Useful if you have queries or require further information from someone else. There are a few bonus features on the DVD – like printable targets of which there a lots to select. Most of these are fun targets but one set includes a number of practice and test targets which are very

useful. Again this saves time searching for these on the internet, although there are some good sources for these. The other bonus is a video of bespoke shotgun manufacture via Verney Carron. I watched this with interest as like learning something new but it is really related to those that have the bug for this sport. The database has the same standard features you will find on most other successful databases and anyone with a basic knowledge of using computers will find the process simple to follow, as it is aimed at sportsman and not the computer nerd. The Firearms Multimedia Guide delivers what it promises - it has a vast array of firearms in one place, much more than any book could offer unless it was several volumes thick and taking up about a yard of shelf space. The DVD should start automatically - if it does not on your computer, then you may have to browse to start the system. The guide offers a fault free environment that is easy to use and it is up to date but new firearms come out all the time so how it will be updated is anyone’s guess at this stage. I am guessing that you will have to buy a new DVD, as you would a new book. An idea would be for the owner to be offered the option of updates at a

A simple to use databse that has most firesrms on it - specialised actions would also be nice

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modest fee that can be downloaded. At the moment, there is no information on the peripheral equipment that is available – like a section on optics for example. This would enhance the database greatly and make it a bit more exciting to include a whole package of information related to specific shooting sports like Mini-rifle, F-Class, etc. Purely on the commercial side, advertising could be used to supplement these features which would help the user to know where to go and get what they are after. Likewise, information about specific shooting sports could be included. All these are complex and timeconsuming but the capacity and potential of the DVD may allow for this in future. Nonetheless Impressum Media have a winner here, as it is a very good guide, providing clear well defined details of a vast array of firearms and ammunition. At $30 - or around £20 – it’s not going to break the bank and is far cheaper than a paperback version. Shame they did not have this out before Christmas as it would have been an excellent stocking filler for any shooter. Contact Impressum Media via their website at: www.firearmsmultimediaguide.com.

A very good and inexpensive product

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The trouble with barrels …

by Vince Bottomley
Did you have a look at that Lilja video on our ‘home’ page. We ran it last month as well and when I looked at it, it reminded me of just how bad factory barrels can be. I have seen a few similar horror stories with my borescope but at this stage, I will not name and shame the worst factory barrel makers. If you compare the two videos, it’s pretty easy to see the accuracy advantage of having a match-grade barrel fitted by a good ‘smith. The video also reminded me that perhaps we should look more closely at barrels in general and custom barrels in particular. When I first started shooting - with a pistol - we never seemed to have a problem with barrels. Those cast lead bullets were kind to barrels – provided you could get all the lead out afterwards! If any lead was left in the barrel, it quickly attracted more lead. Even when I started to shoot rifle, no one ever wore a barrel out. When I bought my first new rifle, a 308 Steyr SSG, the hammer-forged barrel was a press-fit into the receiver, rather than threaded and screwed. ” What happens when I need a new barrel?” I asked naively as I handed over my ‘hard-earned’. “You won’t.” was the dealer’s snappy reply. “And if you do, Steyr will replace it free of charge.” Another happy punter! He was right though – I didn’t wear it out but I still wonder if Steyr did replace any those press-fit barrels FOC! Target Rifle shooters (capital T, capital R) shoot the 308 Win cartridge exclusively (OK, a few shoot the 223) and their barrels appear to last for ever – some claiming 10,000 rounds and still going strong! Mind you, their ‘bull’ is two MOA across, three minutes at 800 yards – so, shooting off the elbows with iron sights, would you really notice……………………? I recently got hold of a Target Rifle shooter’s old barrel – a nice stainless-steel 308 Krieger. Our shooter had meticulously logged every round down that barrel – 4382. The barrel was still shooting exceptionally well – I had witnessed it – but it was taking longer and longer to remove the copper after a 2 &20 round shoot – like two hours longer! It had to go. We can have an actual look inside this barrel as I have sectioned the ‘thick end’ to a few inches forward of the chamber. The bore is in remarkable condition considering the 4000 plus round-count. The only problem is a very small ‘burnt’ ring immediately forward of the chamber-mouth. I’ve seen this before in ‘high mileage’ 308s. You can clearly see the leade and throat, looking almost as good as new with just the slightest amount of blackening but no fire-cracking. The leade still measures about one tenth of an inch, which is typical of a new 308 barrel - remarkable. I’ve actually seen 308 barrels where the leade has measured nearer

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Left - The 416R stainless-steel favoured by barrel-makers is not a true stainless – I found this piece of barrel under my lathe and, as you can see, it’s rusting nicely. Don’t put your rifle away without cleaning it!
now opt for the 6.5-284 (1000 – 1200 rounds) or maybe the ‘straight’ 284 (1600 – 2000 rounds). So when a barrel ‘goes’ (“My barrel’s gone!” - a familiar bar-room cry following a poor F Class shoot.) What has happened? Where has it gone exactly? A bore-scope is a great investment for any serious competition shooter. Why even start a major competition shoot if your barrel is about to ‘go’? What’s the point in spending £1000 to take a an inch - where the rifling has completely burnt away rifle abroad to shoot in an international match if your – in other words, no rifling for the first inch of barrel! barrel is about to ‘go’? More importantly, can we tell when a barrel is about to go? Yes we can – with a That black rough ring at the mouth of the chamber borescope. is what was doing the damage – stripping a little copper off each and every bullet – but not enough to I would love to have one of those borescope seriously affect ‘off the elbows’ accuracy. Meticulous cleaning had allowed the A nicely burnt bore with copper inlay (Photo courtesy owner to extend barrel-life – until of Gradient Lens Corporation) de-coppering became too tedious. A 7mmWSM will look worse than this after about 100 rounds! If we could set the barrel back – i.e. move the shoulder forward and run in the reamer another 2 or 3 millimetres we could probably get another 4000 rounds out of it but unfortunately, because of the ‘undercut’ just forward of the thread, it’s not possible. Since the F Class League was formed four years ago, we have learned a lot about barrel-life – or at least some of the ‘effers have - and a steep learning-curve it was! Benchresters already knew that a 7mmWSM could burn a barrel out in a scant 500 rounds and even our little 6PPC is only good for about 1200 rounds. If it wasn’t for barrel-life, surely every F Class Open shooter would use the 7mmWSM! Why not – there’s little to touch it for long-range accuracy. The more discerning ‘effers however – who hope to make their barrel last at least a whole season and preferably two -

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A highly magnified copperfilled groove. If you let copper build up to this extent it will take many hours of hard work to get it out (Photo courtesy of Gradient Lens Corporation)

attachments which would allow me to take a photograph of what I can see. But I haven’t so I’m reproducing a few pictures kindly supplied by the Gradient Lens Corporation – makers of the famous Hawkeye borescope.

rounds, you would see a lengthening of the leade where the throat has burnt way, which is why you need to keep pushing the bullet forward to touch the rifling. But mainly, you would see a lot more burning of the steel – causing blackening and fire-cracking. The fire-cracking makes the steel look like a dried-up If you were to look at a 7mmWSM barrel after 500 river bed or crocodile skin. The cracks then become

Shooters are spoiled by our excellent barrel-makers. Here we have two 6mm or 243 barrels. Bartlein (lower right) now offer a choice bore/groove diameter. This one is ‘tight’ with a 0.236 bore – 0.237 is more usual.

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Some shooters believe that using moly-coated bullets will improve barrel-life. Yes, the moly will reduce friction and this surely will reduce wear on the barrel - it might but it won’t prevent the steel burning and firecracking – remember, barrels don’t wear out – they burn out! The damage is usually confined to the first 25% of the bore and the rest of the barrel can look as good as new. If you catch it early enough and you have a heavy profile barrel with a couple of inches of barrel-length to spare, you can often prolong its life with a ‘top & tail’ – chop off the tenon and re-chamber and re-crown and you could get another season out of your barrel. Unfortunately, the cost of the work is exactly the same on your old barrel as a new one, so unless you do your own gunsmithing, it’s not really worth it. Obviously, the more ‘overbore’ cartridges are harder on barrels. Overbore? Burning a large quantity of powder then shoving the resulting flame through a very small hole as with the 6.5 and 7mmWSM is what causes the problem. Yes, the 22-250 is also grossly overbore as is the 243 Win. but, they do burn a lot less powder than the WSM’s and in the main, they don’t form the basis of a serious competition gun, so the results are not so noticeable. A competition shooter is constantly monitoring his performance – against that of other competitors. Barrel wear is undoubtedly responsible for the migration of F Class Open shooters to the F/TR Class which is restricted to the 308Win. cartridge. Having said that, the five-inch V bull is even more challenging for the F/TR guys and we may well start to see 308 barrels being changed more frequently than the average TR shooter currently does. What about running-in a new barrel and cleaning the barrel after shooting? Can either of these have an effect on barrel life? We know that when a barrel

For the first few inches, the previously smooth lands and grooves, which once gave a mirror -finish to the bore are now rough and will mercilessly strip copper from every bullet which passes down the barrel. The heat of combustion will cause the copper to vaporise and it will be spread down the whole length of the barrel. Copper begets more copper and, as the build-up of copper increases, the barrel characteristics begin to change. Accuracy deteriorates, cleaning becomes more difficult. Even though you think you have all the copper out – because your patches aren’t coming out blue anymore – don’t be fooled, only the borescope will tell the full story and it doesn’t have a happy ending! A good application of JB paste can help but will only provide a short stay of execution!

Left - Here’s what your brandnew barrel looks like just forward of the chamber. Bottom half of the pic is the leade, then we see the throat cut into the rifling land. Those cross marks need to be removed by careful running-in. (Photo courtesy of Gradient Lens Corporation)

filled with copper - it can look quite attractive, if it’s not your barrel!

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‘goes’, we mean the accuracy goes and usually, that’s how we will judge when a barrel has ‘gone’. However, if the barrel is not properly cleaned, accuracy will certainly suffer and we may mistakenly think that the barrel has gone. No one likes cleaning barrels and therefore few spend as much time on it as they should. Please, do not neglect your cleaning. In benchrest, a fouled barrel will begin to show a loss of accuracy from around 25 to 35 shots. Few will go much longer than that without exhibiting a noticeable deterioration in accuracy. In benchrest however, we are looking at a much greater standard of accuracy than in many shooting disciplines, so even the slightest reduction in accuracy will be obvious.

you are serious about your shooting, a borescope will pay for itself in a couple of years.

At least forty rounds are needed to smooth out the serrations and when we shoot the first few rounds, the rough throat will shave copper off the bullet which is then distributed down the bore. It is vital that this copper is removed after each of the first few bullets are fired, otherwise, the build-up will be such that removal becomes very difficult and without the use of a borescope, the average shooter would probably give up. If it is not removed, more copper will build up. Your new barrel will never deliver its best. A day spent running-in and cleaning is a day well spent! Typically, I will spend about two hours firing the first five rounds and thoroughly cleaning and deI often hear a shooter say “I never get any copper coppering after each shot. out of my barrel.” No you don’t – but maybe you should try harder! I can guarantee it’s in there - you So, what are you going to choose for your next F just need the right copper-solvent and cleaning Class or benchrest cartridge? It’s a fact of shooting technique to get it out! that the most effective cartridges are generally the worst when it comes to barrel-life but everyone We also mentioned running-in - another process wants the most effective cartridge – don’t you? So, that none of us particularly enjoy. But, like cleaning, keep shooting those fabulous overbore WSMs – it’s best to do it properly. Modern match-grade enjoy their superb accuracy whilst it lasts but buy a barrels need little or no break-in. What we a doing is borescope – soon! www.gradientlens.com smoothing out the throat – that part of the land which has been cut by the reamer. The rotating reamer leaves circumferential marks on the land and this can easily be seen with a borescope (see pic).

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HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 5)

By Laurie Holland
Above - Target Rifle (Fullbore Rifle in the USA and some other countries) uses 30-32” barrels to give a 155gn bullet 2,950-3,050 fps MV, and normally employs a 1-13” rifling twist rate. I’ll make a start on evaluating 0.308” match bullet performance this month, but first, let’s put nontarget shooting to one side, starting with deerstalkers. Most deer are taken with the .308 at 200yd or less and Figures 1a to 1c show relatively little external ballistics performance difference between three very different 180gn Sierra bullet designs at this range – the blunt RNSP # 2170, SPT Pro-Hunter #2150, and long-range SBT GameKing #2160. Only Figure 1c (wind deflection) sees significant differences with the round-nose bullet suffering 2.6” more drift than the GameKing at 200yd, but at 100yd only moving an extra

Left - Handloaders can produce ammunition with more ballistically efficient bullets to reduce wind-drift at long ranges in ‘unrestricted’ matches. Left to right: the original Sierra 155gn Palma MK; 185gn Berger Match BT Long-Range; 200gn Sierra MK; 208gn Hornady A-Max. The Berger works in the common 1-13” barrel twist rate used in TR/FR, the other two heavy bullets need faster twists. Target Shooter 47

600 yards is long-range shooting for many people as this is a commonly found maximum range in rifle range complexes as here at Strensall near York. This range starts to reward ballistically efficient .308W loads especially in F/TR.

Below- 155s, left to right: the ‘old’ SMK (No.2155); 0.4”. Note too, how little difference there Lapua Scenar; 155gn Berger VLD. The Scenar is a is between the boat-tail GameKing and flat-base Pro-Hunter even at 200yd. So, very efficient long-range design most field shooters don’t need high BCs, rather good accuracy at an acceptable MV allied to suitable bullet construction for the application.
Police use is such that external ballistics performance, hence bullet BC, is rarely an issue either. Although British armed response teams practice on 600yd targets, an FBI study of American law enforcement rifle engagements produced an average range that shots were taken over of only 57 metres. Shots above 200yd are exceptional and the usual loading employed by police departments is factory match ammunition that gives the 168gn Sierra MatchKing (SMK) 2,600 fps, an accurate, but as we’ll see, not particularly ballistically efficient combination. Then we have military sniping with tales of one-shot 1,000yd plus ‘kills’, but in reality such shots are rare in combat using the military 7.62mm version of the cartridge. Open-landscape theatres such as parts of

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Left - Tangent v secant ogive shapes. 190gn Sierra MK (tangent) on the left; 210gn Sierra MK (secant) on the right. Not everybody will use secant form bullets as they can prove difficult to get them to shoot well
hollow-point BT match (HPBTM) bullet in 7.62mm, their M118LR round employing the 175gn SMK at 2,580 fps. I can say from personal experience in F-Class that there are likely to be problems at 1,000yd with this bullet at this velocity, in cool, dense air anyway. Others use FMJs, our 155gn FMJBT Radway Green bullet Afghanistan can allow long shots, but nearly all typical and loaded in ammunition that produced are taken with .300 Winchester or .338 Lapua 2,750 fps MV for me from a 24” barrel tactical riMagnum rifles. Almost uniquely, US forces use a Below - Some of the 0.308” Sierra MatchKing ‘family’. Left to right: 155gn ‘new’ Palma (No.2156), 168gn, 175gn, 180gn, 190gn, and 200gn. All are tangent ogive and use a 7-calibre radius or one close to that figure except for the 155gn which has been lengthened to 9-calibres.

Long-range F/TR shooter at Bisley. .308 Win has marginal ballistics at 1,000yd and needs excellent accuracy, small ES values and a high MV-BC combination at this range

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Above - The same collection of bullets’ boat-tail rear ends. Note the short steeply angled forms on the 168gn (second from left) and 180gn (third from right) compared to the others especially the 190 and 200gn models on the right.
fle. Lapua employs 150 and 170gn B-series FM- easy answer with a choice of nearly 40 boat-tailed JBT lock-base bulletsand the 185gn D46 rebated match bullets varying by make, shape, weight, boat-tail FMJ at nominal MVs of 2,790, 2,820, and even jacket type and thickness. Why don’t we 2,490 fps respectively, only the ‘hot’ 170gn load simply choose the ‘best’, let’s say with the highest shown as supersonic at 1,000yd. BC? It’s not that simple as we have to decide Disciplines on the metrics that define bullet performance What are we looking for in a bullet? There is no and they are determined by discipline, rifle Below - 168s. Left to right: Sierra MK, Speer Gold Match, Nosler Custom Competition, Hornady Match, Lapua Scenar. Only the Scenar has a suitable boat-tail form for longer range shooting, but this is a relatively low BC short-range model. All of these bullets will perform superbly up to 600yd in a good load and rifle

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F/TR competitors shoot at 1,000yd at Bisley. This distance requires careful bullet choice and high MVs – the subject for next month’s installment

characteristics and range. There is tangent versus secant-form ogive shapes, many shooters disliking VLD designs with the latter because of their fussiness over cartridge length and the perceived need to seat them into the rifling for good accuracy. Many competitors take part in restricted disciplines that mandate a bullet weight of ‘less than 156gn’ – Target / Fullbore Rifle and Palma; F/TR in some countries (not the UK or USA). This can see competitors adopt two loads depending on whether the match is shot under restricted rules or not.

nearly a foot less at 79.8” (7.6-MOA). However, it is wind changes and the misreading of such by the shooter that puts a bullet out of the target centre, and we don’t get many 10mph 90° gusts. Let’s say we have a wind coming from 4 o’clock and the shooter misreads its strength by the equivalent of 2mph. The Berger moves 13.8” compared to the Lapua’s 15.9”, two inches less, still out of the TR/FR 1-MOA V-Bull, but with less chance of leaking into the four-ring. Compared to the original Sierra Palma which is still the most widely used bullet in British TR, and loaded in the NRA’s RUAG manufactured ammunition, the Let’s look at a popular bullet for ‘unrestricted loads’ heavy Berger drifts 4.7” less, nearly half-MOA in in TR/FR rifles, the Berger 185gn BT Long-Range, this scenario. one of the company’s new long-nosed jumptolerant tangent ogive models. It has an average The higher retained velocity is valuable too, as in G7 BC value of 0.287, slightly higher than its 185 an ideal world the bullet isn’t just barely supersonic VLD stablemate and that compares to 0.229-0.237 at the target, but spends as little time as possible for the best of the 155s, 0.214 for the original in the transonic speed zone that starts around Sierra Palma MK (#2155). However, being heavier 1.3 Mach (1,460 fps) and creates an increasingly it will have a lower MV, let’s say 2,750 fps which turbulent airflow around the projectile as its speed produces the same ME value of 3,100 ft/lbs as drops from there to the sound barrier (1,122 fps a 155 at 3,000 fps. (I’ve obtained 2,810 fps with under standard conditions). The Berger drops this bullet in my 30” barrel F/TR rifle alongside below 1,470 fps at 920yd, the 155 Scenar at 870yd excellent accuracy, so 2,750 fps is readily and the original Palma MK at 800yd. Finally, the achievable.) Using Bryan Litz’s experimentally Berger stabilises in the 1-13” rifling twist rate used derived BCs and Berger Bullets’ G7 ballistics by most TR and Fullbore competitors, although program, a 155gn Scenar at 3,000 fps retains 1-12” may be marginally better. However, not 1,300 fps at 1,000yd and moves 91.7” (8.7- everybody will want to go down this road as it MOA) in a 10 mph crosswind; the 185 at 2,750 requires familiarisation with two sets of fps steams along at a healthy 1,373 fps and drifts ammunition behaviours, many shooters

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1a

Figures 1a – 1c Sierra 180gn 0.308” deer bullet performance from .308 Win at 2,600 fps. Round-Nose: Solid grey line; SPT (Pointed Soft-Point Flat-Base Pro-Hunter): broken yellow line; SBT (Boat-Tailed Soft Point GameKing): broken black line.
understandably preferring to sacrifice the extra performance in order to hone their skills and experience with 155gn bulleted ammunition as used in major competitions. Short-Range Range is a key factor, as every one of our designs can be happily used at 600yd even in shorter barrelled rifles with lower MVs, and there are many .308W users for whom this distance is ‘long-range shooting’, if nothing else because 200-600yd facilities are accessible to most British rifle club members, but there are only four 1,000yd ranges nationally that provide competitive shooting opportunities to civilians. So, how important is external ballistics performance to the TR and F/ TR club shooter at 300-600yd? To answer that, I took our two factory / military loads with 168 and 175gn Sierra MKs, a typical TR/FR load of 155gn Lapua Scenar at 3,000 fps and the alternative ‘unrestricted’ recipe of the 185gn Berger at 2,750 fps and ran them through the Sierra Infinity VI PC ballistics suite to see what they’d do at 300 and 600yd, also for reasons I’ll come to at 1,000yd. Note that ‘Infinity’ uses G1 reference standard BCs, and as with the previous 155 v 185 G7 results, I input wind conditions as a 2mph incorrect wind call from the 4 o’clock direction. The results are shown in Table 1 and we can see that the two higher velocity TR/FR examples only produce a marginal wind drift reduction over the medium velocity 168/175gn SMK loads at 300yd, just a couple of tenths of an inch. This supports my long held view that within reason one should forget about external ballistics at this range and go for a really tight-grouping load plus lots of shooting to improve experience and skills. A load that consistently puts ‘ballistically inefficient’ bullets into 0.2-MOA groups will outshoot one with fantastic theoretical wind-bucking ability that groups into half-MOA, unless the range is on the top of a storm-lashed seafront or some other extreme environment. What about 600yd? We start to see a bit of difference here according to ‘Infinity’, but it’s still a maximum difference of 0.3MOA, a couple of inches. That’s still the same difference as seen in the grouping ability of a good .308W load and an outstanding one, but one can argue that it’s worth looking for a combination that gives outstanding accuracy and ballistics performance. It will start to make a difference to F/TR scores with its half-MOA ‘V’ and 1-MOA five-ring. However, I suspect that if Bryan Litz were to model scores for these bullets at this range as he did for 155gn Fullbore bullets (TargetShooter November 2009 issue), the differences averaged over 20 ‘hypothetical matches’ would be modest. Readers who know of my enthusiasm for using G7 BCs are probably wondering why I used ‘Infinity’. I’ve done so partly because differences between G1 v G7 results are modest at shorter ranges, because the G1 form is what most people are familiar with, but also to make another point, which we’ll now see by looking at the 1,000yd results. They correctly show the modest velocity 168gn SMK load as subsonic at this range and suffering considerably more wind drift than the others, but the M118LR copy almost meets our 1,200 fps retained velocity target, and the TR/FR loads are

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1b

comfortably supersonic at over 1,400 fps and suffering a modest 1.3-MOA wind drift. Even if I’d never heard of G7 BCs, I’d smell a rat, as I used the 175gn SMK at 2,620 fps MV in F/TR in 2008 and found its performance lacking at 1,000yd, almost certainly because some bullets dropped into subsonic flight. So, let’s run the 600 and 1,000yd ballistics again using Bryan Litz’s G7 BCs and the Berger Bullets’ program (Table 2). As expected, there is little difference at 300 and 600yd, but the 175gn SMK is now subsonic at 1,000yd and three of the four bullets see extra wind drift at this range using the more accurate reference standard. However, even this doesn’t tell the whole story. Looking at either version, many shooters who like the 168gn SMK and are having their first try at 1,000yd will ask what MV is needed to get the bullet into the mid 1100s at this range to ensure it remains supersonic. Running the Berger program again, we see that 2,950 fps MV sees 1,161 fps at 1,000yd and 1.8-MOA wind drift using the same missed wind call parameters which doesn’t seem too bad. That MV is feasible with a 30” or longer barrel TR or F/TR rifle, albeit with a maximum pressure load. If it’s a warm

summer day the 1,000yd velocity is some 20 or 30 fps higher too, so we’ve cracked it! Sorry – it won’t work, nor for some seven more designs too! The problem is the boat-tail, to be specific its angle which ideally should be a shallow 7 to 9 degrees, while the 168gn SMK has 13°. To explain this issue, I’ll delve briefly into the reason for having a boat-tail and how it works. Highvelocity bullets suffer from several forms of drag, the main ones caused by the nose and base. Unlike nose drag which is velocity-dependant, base drag remains constant throughout the bullet’s flight. It is caused by an area of turbulent low-pressure air forming behind the bullet and whose strength is directly proportional to the area of the bullet’s base. Although a smaller component than nose drag in the early part of a long-range flight, it is still significant and the bullet designer will seek to minimise it. The answer is the boat-tail form, originally invented by Swiss Ordnance almost 100 years ago to improve machine-gun long-range ballistics, and which is so effective that every one of our near 40 long-range 0.308” match bullets has it. It works is by reducing the area of

1c

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the bullet’s base as the airflow around the bullet follows the boat-tail section’s profile to the now smaller base where it separates from the bullet. If you measure HPBTM bullet bases, the norm is a reduction from 0.308” diameter on the body to somewhere between 0.255-0.268”. Taking 0.260” as an average diameter, that equates to a 28.7% reduction in area over a flat-based bullet, so we’ll see base drag reduced by getting on for a third.

boat-tail angle is too steep as the airflow won’t follow the outline of the tail section under some conditions, particularly at the lower end of the transonic speed zone as the bullet approaches the speed of sound. Over-steep walls produce major air turbulence around the rear of the bullet body and can even cause it to become unstable – this is what happens if you use such bullets at .308 Win velocities at 1,000yd, the shooter more often than not getting a high percentage of misses and those So far, so good, but a problem arises if the that do connect producing oval or even bullet

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profile shaped holes in the target showing they are tumbling. The 168gn MatchKing was designed half a century ago as the Sierra ‘International’ and its original purpose was as a

200yd / 300M bullet at which ranges it performs superbly, continuing to do so at 600yd. Just don’t use it beyond that range, or certainly 800yd. The apparently similar 175gn SMK was designed from scratch as a long-range bullet and has a 9.1° angle boat-tail, so no problem there, but the 180gn SMK is another short-range model with 12.7°. Berger uses 8.9° boat-tails on most of its long-range models and that’s what the new 155.5gn FULLBORE has, the 185gn BT Long-Range, a slightly shallower 8.8°. The new Sierra 155gn Palma (#2156) has 9°, the older model one marginally sharper, while the ballistically excellent Lapua Scenar is one of the least sharply angled at only 7.2°, and it obviously works well at long ranges. Apart from Lapua’s 167gn Scenar, all 0.308” 168s have sharply angled boat-tails, most makers having simply copied Sierra’s hugely successful design, and there are various other 0.308” match bullets that suffer from this problem including the entire Hornady A-Max range apart from the 208gn model which is a true long-range design. Table 3 lists those bullets whose BT angle exceeds 10°. Next month, I’ll look at those bullets that are ideally suited to long-range shooting and use data and techniques from Bryan Litz’s excellent ballistics primer Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting to evaluate the many options that we have and to also revisit the issue of ideal rifling twists for heavy match bullets.

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Looking at the future - reading online magazines like Target Shooter The Acer Aspire - by Carl Boswell
This month we are looking at a few things of electronic nature. In this short essay I would like to explore the means of using this magazine in a very portable format. In fact, as I write this article I am speeding across the channel inside a silver tube, looking at the download I put onto this device earlier. Looking more like a laptop for an eight year old - just right for my youngest son – the Acer net book is very portable, very light and can fit into most things - including my jacket pocket, which I have to admit is wide and deep. Net books, as you may or may not know, are very small laptops with the capacity to view the internet and attempt tasks of basic to medium complexity, as you would with any other computer. This article developed in my mind months ago as new e-book viewers were coming onto the market. (The e-book is an electronic device that permits the download of books, magazines and newspapers from online shops or service providers like Amazon). Unfortunately, the new e-books have not received rave reviews – they are still small and have a mono screen. They can be as expensive as a reasonable quality laptop, which defeats the object at the end of the day - you may as well just get the laptop! The readily available technology is not quite with us and I was expecting to see something along the lines of an A4 size tablet that could download any material, be light, thin and powerful enough to store up to about 16GB of information with the support of flash cards. (Those little thin storage cards that go into your digital camera - yes they can be used for other things). The one exception to this is the new Apple I-Pad which exactly fits the specification I described above, although rather than an e-book reader, it is in fact a touch-screen mini laptop pad. However, it has a vertical or horizontal screen specification – nice – and uses Mac or Windows software. It’s not available in the UK yet but I’m sure it will not be that far away. The only price I have seen for this product is starting at 300 pounds. If it takes off then I am sure that other companies will

Receiving data and information from the web to your phone has been available for some time

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The Apple IPad - possibly the wave of the future - out from March onwards and costing around the £300 mark for the basic model. This can be purchased with Apple or Windows 7 software. (Photo courtesy of apple press release)

be developing their own pads in a very short space of time. I coined a phrase with one of our Target Shooter writers a while ago - the ‘WC factor’. Men particularly, like to take reading materials to the potting shed, or the bedroom, or just somewhere away from the kids to have a quiet read and enjoy a bit of down-time. To do this, any ‘material’, including Target Shooter, has to be portable and easy to use. (You don’t want to be taking your whole desktop to

The Acer Aspire - Screen size is 10.1 inch

another room, just to have a bit of down-time). Hence the reason this article came about – looking for ways of viewing Target Shooter wherever readers want to. As technology develops in the coming years, the whole process of receiving and viewing Target Shooter magazine will also develop and all magazines will be available on-line, though not necessarily free and many will continue with a paper alternative. Acer have kindly sent me one of their Aspire One Pro netbooks to review and use for this article. The computer comes with a 10.1 inch screen, 3G wireless internet access (I will come to this again), and Bluetooth capabilities (we all know what these are). It is built with an Atom N270 processor (as most net books are), 2GB of Ram (most net books come with 1GB. I think Acer are the only ones supplying 2GB - this extra memory is very useful and speeds things up considerably) and with a 225 GB hard drive. Oh, this one is also running Windows XP, which I like as I have not transferred over to Windows 7 and have never been a Vista fan. More likely than not, a new net book would probably come loaded with Windows 7. Computerspeak now out of the way. I am writing this article, viewing the Target Shooter website and magazine on the net book I am reviewing whilst sitting in a well know fast-food chain, sipping coffee – as they have free wireless internet access! The epiphany comes to me that yes, this net book is a nice bit of kit! I can take it with me in any bag or coat, ready to work in minutes - when I have a bit of down time. The only sacrilege to this event is I am in a fast-food restaurant in France

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testing this product. My wife reminds me of this, so the next time we will go to a more upmarket French eatery – the things we have to go through to test for this magazine! The Acer’s 3G wireless modem is fast, just what you need to access Target Shooter. I tested the download at home a few weeks ago and it was only slightly slower than the hard-wired main computer I use to create the magazine. It took about 6 to 7 minutes to download the magazine, which is great. Obviously this may take longer depending on the host wireless network! Just big enough to read you favourite shooting So, the electronic side of things is fine for magazine such a nifty little appliance – it does what is expected and I have used it for about a month. computers as something with a mysterious power It is small, with only a 10.1 inch screen but the over you. They tend work when they want to and resolution goes to up 1024 x 600 pixels, so it can produce more feelings of confusion and frustration near enough emulate your home computer. Viewing than satisfaction. Having said that, the with magazine with the Acer is as easy as on your aforementioned Mac I-Pad has come about via their own desktop and the magnification tool allows I-Phone Technology. easy access to pages. When you have been on the There are cheaper Acer models, as there are from Target Shooter website once or twice, it is enabled other manufacturers of net books but look at few in your cache memory, so very quick to return pages reviews and shop around - I have seen a difference that you have already viewed. As I mentioned of £40 on the same model from one shop to another. earlier, download times are good, backed up by a I like this little computer I have to say – its sheer good wireless network. Even those I tested away portability is great and developing technologies will from home and those in France were of comparable make it even better. I have owned several laptops download speeds. All in all, it does what is expected over the years and they have generally served and is well worth a look. me very well and most of these have been Acers, I know a few of you out there are really tooled up funnily enough. However, they are just another thing in terms of IT equipment, but others are not. Some to carry but I just didn’t feel this with the Aspire Pro, of you even use your mobile phones to download it just fits in and is ready to use. I hardly noticed that the magazine which I think is great. Phones for me I was carrying it. Weight is important as I travel to have never been my cup of tea and I am sad to say many shoots and sometimes these are abroad and mine remains off more than it is on. I am not in the extra weight costs! (On a personal level I am even select group that has the latest mobile phone, so thinking about how I can extend this net book into in this respect I can understand those of you out a portable digital diary - for me, PDAs were always there that are slightly technophobe and consider too small but this Acer is just about right measuring 21cm x 26cm and I can use it like a book, keeping all my person notes/documents. Better still, I can use it in front of the TV. So there you have it - hopefully short, fast and sweet - our first official electronic review. I hope there will be others as the technology gets better. Remember, with this type of product, the ‘shelf life’ will be about two to three years – sad I know but it’s the same as your home computer. It might still be working after this time but the software and technology will have moved on and it will be too slow. Those of you who have used computers for a number of years will know this already. Net books start around the £220 mark upwards. I have seen the one reviewed for as little as £230 with 1 GB ram. There are so many At 21cm x 26cm this net book is ultra portable deals out there that you may get something with and extemely light - do go for the extra memory better specifications or even cheaper - just make sure you get a windows operating system. - 2GB Until next month.

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Mini Rifle - The Conclusion

by Vince Bottomley
Here I am on my way to a score of - zero! Marshal Tim Finley holds the shot-timer and makes sure I stay safe. Note my improvised cheek-piece.
This is the final part of our mini-rifle winter series. We have tested several rifles and I have now shot my first competition. Of course, 22 semi-auto rifles may well feature in future issues but not as part of this series. If you recall, the whole point of the series was to get the legions of shooters, who attend indoor and short-range outdoor clubs, to actually get involved in competition shooting rather than simply plinking. Has it worked? Are any of you organising mini-rifle competitions? Are any of you hoping to run such competitions? I confess that prior to actually shooting my first comp. a few weeks ago, I had no idea of what to expect so I certainly couldn’t have organised a competition. Now, I am wiser and I hope to pass this knowledge on to you. No doubt there will be some of you who are aghast at the thought of running about with a loaded rifle so let’s cover the safety side first. Here are a few basic considerations, which if followed, will ensure a safe match. Firstly, every competitor tackles the course of fire individually – in other words, only one shooter at a time - all others to stand well back, preferably in a designated area. The 22 brass flies everywhere, so safety glasses are mandatory. Secondly, the competitor is closely monitored by a ‘marshal’ – who is never more than arm’s length from the shooter. The marshal will quickly stop any potential breaches of safety and ensure that, at all times when not actually aiming/firing, the gun is pointing downrange and towards the ground at approx. 45 degrees with the safety applied.

Six steels to finish provided a good spectator element. Barracking, I learned, is all part of the fun of Mini-rifle.

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The dreaded steels

Dave ‘flash’ Wylde from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies and John Price with Terry Mann’s modified Browning Buckmark
Thirdly, the course of fire must be designed so that all rounds fall safely into the back-stop after passing through the targets. There must be a margin of error such that even rounds that miss the target will also end up in the backstop. Diggle’s ‘maid of the mist’ had other ideas and range visibility was down to a few yards for the whole morning. By early afternoon the mist cleared but, by that time, those who had travelled a distance had already abandoned the day and were on their way home. That left about a dozen of us to shoot the Lastly, the marshal ensures that the gun is unloaded competition. and proved safe at the conclusion of the stage. Ross Burrough runs the Mini-rifle shoots at If these common-sense rules are adhered to, a safe Thurnscoe but is also a Diggle Range Officer and shoot is ensured and, as an additional precaution, had offered to set out the course of fire and act as the function of every shooter’s safety-catch should RO. Ross had initially planned several stages but be checked prior to the competition. the delayed start meant that we tackled just one stage in the end. In some ways, this suited me and My first Mini-rifle shoot was also a ‘first’ for Diggle a few other Mini-rifle virgins – most of whom were Ranges and we had an enormous entry on the day using unfamiliar tackle and shooting from standing and it looked as though the mother of all Mini-rifle and kneeling positions, which are somewhat alien to shoots was about to take place. Unfortunately, the prone-rifle shooter.

My holograph-type red-dot with laser, on loan from York Guns, is tiny in comparison with the Aimpoint red-dot (top) and great value at around £50.00

A couple of guys also turned up from other clubs to see how a Mini-rifle competition is run so that they could start the discipline on their own range – great, that’s just what we want to happen and it was a pity that the day had ended prematurely for some as Wayne from North West Custom Parts, had brought along some of his rifles so that prospective Mini-rifle shooters could have a go. When we eventually made it to the range, Ross briefed the assembled, emphasising that safety is paramount when ‘fire with movement’ is taking place. Experienced Mini-rifle shooter Tim Finley was appointed as ‘marshal’. After explaining the course of fire, the RO walked all competitors round the stage with each of the (five) firing-positions explained. There were holes in barricades to shoot through, a kneeling section, a weak-shoulder bit and six steel-plates to finish. In all, there were twelve targets, plus the plates. This would mean a mag. change –

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Here’s my GSG with the 4 power Burris. The GSG stock is intended for use with the iron-sights, so too low for scope use if you compare it to the AR15’s Magpull stock. Cheek-weld is essential with off-hand shooting so I taped on a lump of foam which temporarily solved the problem but I’m currently sourcing a Magpull-type stock.
but when? Two rounds are required on each target (except the plates) and more rounds can be fired if you like but The marshal’s commands were also emphasised only the best two count. and for the benefit of clubs hoping to run their own competitions, I will list the main commands: There was a good selection of equipment. A handful of GSG-5’s (including mine), a couple of AR15’s, 1 “Shooter, do you understand the course of a few SYSS tricked-up Ruger 10/22 clones (as fire?” Tim Finley reviewed last month) a neat looking 2 “Load & make ready.” (Bolt forward on an Browning Buckmark and Dave Wylde’s outrageous empty chamber, safety on and loaded SYSS Tangerine Dream. magazine inserted. Finger off the trigger). 3 “Are you ready?” CCI Mini-mag ammunition seemed universally 4 “Stand by.” (followed by the ‘beep’ of the popular but there was no such agreement with shot-timer to signal the start). sights. At this point, I will move away from the ‘heat of competition’ for a moment and look more closely On completion of the stage: at this essential piece of equipment. 1 2 3 4 “Shooter, have you finished?” “Unload and show clear.” (magazine is removed and the action opened to eject any chambered round and show the empty chamber to the marshal. “Gun is clear!” “Range is clear!” (The rifle can then be carried off range - muzzle down, action locked open - to be placed in the competitor’s gun-bag). Sights There appear to be five basic types – open-sights, laser sights, conventional riflescopes, red-dot ‘tube’ and red-dot holographic sights. I use the term ‘red dot’ as most will know what I mean by this but some red-dots are green! Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each. Open sights There are several variations of these and the

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Paul Harper (GSG-5) defies the sub-zero temperature as he demonstrates ‘weak-shoulder’ on the barricade. Two shots are required on each of those tiny little brown targets – miss and you lose 10 points! The five-zone is about the size of a 50 round box of rimfire ammo.
better ones might well employ an aperture on the rear sight. This tiny aperture acts as a low-power lens and can be helpful with older shooters like me. The opensight set-up on the GSG-5 is quite sophisticated in that you can rotate the rear sight to alter the aperture size. One V notch and three different apertures are available to go with the post front sight. However, I quickly realised that although these sights may offer rapid target-acquisition, you are not about to shoot tiny groups at 25 yards – not with my eyes anyway! However, don’t dismiss open sights – they have one great advantage – reliability. No batteries to fail or lenses to get wet or misted-up. In spite of this, I don’t think anyone used open sights in the comp. Holographic sights These sights are really small and light in weight and thus ideal for an unsupported firearm. My sight came ready to mount on the Picatinny rail I bought with the GSG. Mounting took literally seconds. Sighting-in is easy but as the sight is non-magnifying you will struggle to see 22 bullet-holes at 25 yards, so a decent spotting-scope is useful. Half a dozen shots maximum and you’re done. quite small. Also, I found target-acquisition to be quite slow at first. Bring the rifle up to the shoulder, swing it on to the target whilst looking for the target through the glass – but then – no dot! Now you have to move your head to ‘find’ the dot so that it appears on the screen and you can place it on target. I solved this problem to some extent by taping a foam-rubber cheek-piece onto the GSG stock, which put my eye in more or less the right place so that the dot was there when I shouldered the rifle. Red dot ‘tube’ sights It is possible to get these sights with magnification but the one I tried hadn’t and I haven’t had the opportunity to try one with magnification. The tube diameter can vary – from 25mm to 42mm and I would say that bigger is better - if the overall size doesn’t matter. Personally, I found the red-dot slightly easier to use than the holographic type – in that looking through the tube automatically ‘aligns’ the eye - you don’t have to go looking for the dot. But again, without magnification, the target is very small at 25 yards and shooting small groups is not easy. At 25 yards indoors I found it quite difficult to place ten shots in a one-inch circle with either red dot sight but with a low-power conventional scope it’s not too difficult.

My sight – a Sight-Mark – from York Guns has four alternative reticle patterns and seven different levels of intensity. It’s a great system for indoor or outdoor plinking but I found it impossible to replicate the groups I was shooting at 25 yards with my four-power scope. Outdoors, I used the brightest setting and the simplest reticle – a red dot. The Riflescopes downside is no magnification, so targets can appear Some shooters prefer a normal ‘scope so I de-

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cided to try my four-power Burris. That little bit of magnification is essential for me to shoot sub-inch groups at 25 yards. However, target acquisition is noticably slower than with the red dot. The field of view is also tiny - compared to the Sight-Mark’s 25 feet at 25 yards - so it’s easy to be on the wrong target. Once on target however, the magnification concentrates the aim and should ensure better scores. Tim Finley was using a low-power zoom ‘scope and he posted top score, so maybe this is the way to go. I’m now looking for something around 3 or 4 power with non-critical eye-relief and wide field of view. Any suggestions? Laser sights I’ve left laser sights until last as, although they are great fun, I don’t think they are suitable for competition use – in my opinion. Again, if you had nothing but a laser, I don’t doubt that you could get very good with it but imagine you are shooting at a small target 15 yards away - if you don’t get the laserdot on the target straight away you will be looking for the dot……….where? On the backstop - which could be another 20 yards behind your target ! With practise, that instinctive aim will come and the laser may become viable. On a dull day, on a white target (the best conditions) the laser is difficult to pick up beyond 25 yards. I switched mine on for the weak-shoulder bit – reasoning that it would be difficult to see through the red-dot with my left eye – I couldn’t pick out the laser-dot – but everyone else could and gleefully informed me that I had shot low and missed! Conclusion The ‘red dots’ are so cheap that it’s daft not to have one. However, beware of Ebay ‘Chinese cheap’. The cheaper examples can have a parallax issue and, as with most things – you get what you pay for. If you are serious – get a decent one like the Aimpoint or Sightron. Genuine military-style CQB red-dots are also available – Leupold do a cracker with X3 magnification but the cost is prohibitive. Try other competitors’ sights if you can and see what the target looks like through their glass! The Competition Without going into a ‘blow by blow’ account, the competition itself was great fun to shoot and the bonus is no reloading or barrel-cleaning - though it is advisable to keep the chamber clean. I would say that at least half the field had equipment malfunctions, which really makes a mess of your score as points are divided by time. Unfortunately, these little semi-autos are not easy to clean without a full strip-down. My own performance was quite abysmal but

superbly enjoyable – I knew speed was important so went for a quick time, prepared to accept a lower score on the targets. Winner Tim Finley took 81 seconds and my 97 seconds was third fastest. What I didn’t know about was the ‘miss’ penalty – minus 10 points for each miss – I efficiently wiped out my score and ended with a zero! It’s a steep learningcurve…………. I am certainly looking forward to the next Mini-rifle competition at my home range. My usual disciplines of benchrest and F Class shoots are immensely enjoyable but the competition is quite intense. Mini-rifle on the other hand has more of a fun element, though for those who shoot nothing else, I don’t doubt that the competition is equally fierce at the top level. Elsewhere on the website you should be able to view a video of Tim Finley’s winning run - see by clicking the link here. The video is at the bottom of the webpage New from GSG I chose the GSG-5 mini-rifle for several reasons. The cost is reasonable, there are plenty of accessories available, it functions well and, as it’s based on the design of a tried and tested ‘real’ gun – the H&K MP5 – it handles well. Unfortunately, this latter element has brought about the downfall of the GSG-5. Heckler & Koch have successfully obtained a court injunction to prevent further sales of the GSG-5 on the grounds that it is a direct copy of their own MP 5. So that’s it – gone - unless you can find one on a dealer’s shelf, you can’t have one! (Check out UK Importers York Guns www.yorkguns.com ). The GSG-5 is dead – long live the GSG-522! GSG have re-worked the ‘5’ to make it H&K compliant and also far more Mini-rifle friendly in the process. From five-yards away you wouldn’t know it wasn’t the original GSG-5 but close up it bristles with subtle modifications which make this gun even more desirable. GSG have also expanded the range of accessories to fully ‘trick-out’ you and your rifle for whatever discipline you shoot. Check out www.gsg-waffen.de Finally, if we have inspired you to have a go, please tell us about it. If you are running a comp. that’s open to non-members, be sure to advertise it in our calendar section. If the turn-out at Diggle is anything to go by, there is certainly a demand. If you want to know more – just ask me. vinceb@6ppc.fsnet.co.uk The official brown cardboard targets and brown patches are available from Multiplex Internet Services, 8 Lawrence Mead, Kintbury, Hungerford, Berkshire. RG17 9XT E-mail nigel@multiplex.co.uk

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World War One British Sniper Rifles

By Nigel Greenaway
Last month I described the Persiscopic Prism Co. sniper scope – the most prolific WW1 British sniper scope and the first to receive a 1000+ contract as early as April 1915. The next most numerous sniper scope was the Aldis with a production run of 3,196 and an initial production contract for 200 in January 1915 (delivered by June 1915). For collectors there is the added

Close up of the Aldis/Purdey -

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Holland & Holland engraving on Aldis

complication of four different Aldis scope patterns and five or six official contractors who all fitted these scopes differently, mostly in side mounts but also in overhead mounts on the SMLE and P14. The first contracts were placed in September and October 1915 with the famous firms of J. Purdey & Sons and Holland & Holland who together went

on to fit over 1,700 Aldis scopes. The bulk of the Aldis contracts were placed in 1916 and other companies such as Atkin, Bartle and even Aldis were contracted to fit Aldis scopes. To further complicate matters the Periscopic Prism Co. was contracted to fit a handful of Aldis Pattern No.3 and No.4 scopes in overhead mounts on the P14 rifle in 1917. The final contract Typical Aldis markings on the rear stepped occular lens housing, placed with Aldis in first three patterns, compared to engraving on the Aldis Pattern October 1916 was to No.4 on the objective lens housing. simply supply but not fit 2,254 scopes. The contract dates are important because they show that, whilst it is possible for the early scopes to have been fitted to 1915 and 1916 dated Enfield SMLE No.1 MkIII rifles, the majority of Aldis scopes would have been fitted to plainer SMLE No.1 MkIII* rifles (no long range sights and no magazine cut-off). The purpose of this article will be to describe the various Aldis scopes, their different mounts and zeroing methods. The Aldis scopes were

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Zeroing instructions for Aldis pasted on inside of cap from a leather scope case

generally rated as the best of all the WW1 sniper scopes. This accolade is certainly backed up by the fact that the Aldis Pattern No.3 and No.4 scopes were retained for possible future use when the SMLE sniper rifles were broken up and the scopes sold off to the trade in August 1921. These Aldis scopes would emerge again in WW2 when

Alexander Martin were contracted to produce 421 P14 sniper rifles designated as the Rifle No.3 Mk1*T(A). I only mention this because some previous writers have attributed these sniper rifles as WW1 weapons - a natural mistake considering the bulk of the components were produced during WW1.

Graduations on lens prism of Aldis Pattern No.4 for windage adjustment, next to the smaller Model 1918 scope that used the same system

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and was fixed in a housing that allowed for windage adjustment by using a special tool. None of the four different patterns are marked up as such – hence the lengthy description above. Elevation adjustment on all four models was the same, to quote from Pamphlet SS195: In this sight the elevation drum is split laterally the top portion being movable and held on the drum proper by three small set screws. Shoot at any known range and adjust the drum until the shots are hitting at correct elevation. 1. Clamp the drum with the clamping screw. 2. Slacken the three set screws. 3. Turn the scale till the range fired at is opposite the reading line. 4. Tighten the set screws. Note: As there are three set screws, one screw will always be hidden by the saddle. Before clamping the drum, previous to moving the saddle, slacken the screw that will be hidden, clamp the drum in correct position and slacken the other screws. When the scale is adjusted, tighten up the last two set screws slackened.

Elevation adjustment instructions from Pamphlet SS195
Generally the Aldis scopes have 3x magnification, one inch diameter tubes, graduated from 100-600 yards, a sleeve for focussing and with objective lenses of roughly the same diameter as the tube. The early Aldis scopes Pattern No.1, 2 and 3 scopes are 10.5 inches long with a stepped arrangement in the rear eyepiece lens housing whilst the No.4 patterns are just over 10.75 inches long with a coned eyepiece housing and different objective lens assemblies (also many No.3 patterns were converted to have the same objective lens lateral adjustment as the No.4 so these will be a little longer than usual). Aldis did produce some commercial scopes but these are easily distinguished because they are about an inch longer than the military patterns although, in most other respects, they look just like the No.4 pattern. The first three patterns look very similar, the external differences being the position of small screws and the elevation drum clamping screw pointing to the rear on the first two and forwards on the No.3. The Pattern No.4 was rated as the best scope with better light gathering because the objective lens was wider than the tube

Windage adjustment instructions from Pamphlet SS195

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P14(T) with Model 1918 scope - Aldis Pattern No.3 and No.4 scopes were trialled using the same mounts
The scale will then be held firmly enough so that slot. If the rifle is shooting off then tighten one the drum can be turned and the hidden screw of these screws towards the error. One complete tightened up. turn is about 20 inches at 100 yards. Purdey mounts Holland & Holland mounts Purdey used a side mounting system with the Holland & Holland also used a side mounted front mount, incorporating a dovetailed slide in a slot for windage adjustment, Rare experimental sweated on to the barrel or possibly Bartle and a roll-over latch to hold overhead mounts a downwards projecting for an Aldis No.4 pin on the forward scope ring mount. A rear mounted projecting pin on the side of the receiver engages with a corresponding hook on the rear scope ring. Hence the Purdey Aldis is fitted by engaging the rear scope ring hook first before pushing the scope down in to the front mount. Windage adjustment is achieved by moving the dovetailed slide in its slot by opposing flush screws each side of the

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set up but the front mount hooks into a slot and around a transverse pin (the block housing the pin is again sweated on to the barrel). The rear mount fixed to the side of the receiver uses a mortised slot with a roll-over latch. The rear ring mount on the scope incorporates a dovetailed slide and a projecting hook. Hence the Holland & Holland Aldis is fitted by engaging the front scope ring hook first before pushing the scope down in to the rear mount. Windage adjustment is achieved by moving the dovetailed slide in its slot by opposing flush screws each side of the slot. These screws are pushing screws, tighten the right hand screw and it will push the scope ring to the left. If the rifle is shooting off then tighten one of these screws on the same side as the error. One complete turn is about 20 inches at 100 yards. You can see that these two windage adjustment systems were pretty coarse and prone to being knocked out of zero. In addition, having one of the mounts fixed to the barrel was probably not a good idea when the barrel heated up – rapid fire would not normally be encouraged when sniping but it wouldn’t do much for accuracy either as barrel and mount became hot. To add insult to injury both mounting systems were offset to the left which caused awkward handling and other more serious problems as covered in the previous article. Following complaints from the front alternative systems were examined and this perhaps explains why in August 1917 there were 750 Aldis scopes waiting to be fitted to rifles. What was needed was a robust overhead mount and windage adjustment that could be incorporated in the scope. Enter the Aldis Pattern No.4 which catered for windage by having a glass prism mounted in a circular cell in front of the objective lens. You can see in the picture the divisions marked around the rim of the cell which is the same system as used in the smaller diameter Model 1918 scope shown alongside. After removing the protecting cap, loosen three small set screws and then turn the cell by lining up its reading line against the divisions. If the rifle shoots to the right, turn the cell clockwise. If shooting to the left, turn counter clockwise. A movement of one division makes an adjustment on target of about 5 inches at 100 yards. Some of these Pattern No.4’s were even graduated up to 1000 yards. The next question is how were these No.4 Pattern scopes fitted to the SMLE? There are examples

of Aldis No. 4 pattern scopes being fitted in the same way as the Periscopic Prism Co. scopes but these must be considered quite rare. Another question is what were the Bartle or Atkins mounts? Unfortunately nobody really knows, even the Pattern Room does not seem to have one of these mounts currently catalogued as fitted to a WW1 SMLE, although looking at old records they once did list a SMLE No.1 MkIII with Aldis No.2 pattern with Atkins fittings (which points to an early design with windage adjustment in the mounts). They also listed a SMLE No.1 MkIII* with Aldis No.4 and Bartle fittings. There were three other SMLE No.1 MkIII* listed with Aldis No.4, two with Experimental fittings and one with overhead mounts. The Aldis No.4 would not require windage adjustment in the mounts and these could have been fitted to later produced MkIII* rifles with overhead mounts. Roger Payne, a renowned expert on British sniping rifles, has communicated with a handful of other collectors around the world who all have overhead mounts of the type illustrated which are designed for the SMLE. Might these be Bartle mounts or an experimental type? In essence they are very similar to those used to fit Aldis No.3 (modified with the adjustable prism) and No.4 patterns to P14 rifles. The first of these were fitted as early as August 1917 and minutes from a Small Arms Committee note that 750 Aldis scopes were then on hand awaiting fitting to rifles. A minute of this Committee recommended that sample P14 rifles fitted with Aldis scopes be taken to France at an early date to obtain opinion on the relative merits of the overhead mount fittings. Ultimately the P14(T) fitted with Model 1918 sight used the same type of mounts and in WW2 the Australians used a similar mounting system on SMLE’s to produce the No.1 MkIII* HT. There is a SMLE No.1 MkV in the Pattern Room fitted with an Aldis in the same overhead mounts. Obviously the design showed enough merit to have been used on a number of different rifles but how many were produced during WW1 nobody can say. My thanks to fellow sniping enthusiast – Dr Roger Payne for letting me photograph more of his collection of scopes and rifles. Next month I will go in to detail about the third most common scope – the Winchester A5 along with a few of the rarer scopes.

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ISSF ADC International Rifle Training Camps - Finland

by James Huckle
Wouldn’t it be great to have a venue where dedicated, aspiring elite shooters can train with the guidance of successful Olympic Athletes and professional coaches alike? Kuortane High Performance Training Centre in Finland presents shooters with this rare opportunity for small-bore shooters in the form of two, one week training camps in November. The first week was designed for domestic level shooters who are on their way towards competing at international level and the second week aimed at international level shooters. Coaching is given by two world

Kuortane High Performance Training Centre in Finland

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Kuortane High Performance Training Centre in Finland - external view of the shooting range class shooters and Olympic medalists; Jozef Gönci (Slovakia) and Juha Hirvi (Finland). Performance analysis and technical advice is given by ISSF Training Academy Rifle Instructor and experienced professional Olympic coach, Kimmo Yli-Jaskari (Finland) Being a young shooter full of enthusiasm but some what naive to reality, this camp seemed like a dream. I have attended many international competitions for GBR admiring the likes of Jozef and Juha in their pursuit of perfection. At the time I remember I was practically packing for the trip whilst envisaging the secrets of shooting unfolding in front of me. Reality struck home when I remember all things come with a price - around 850 Euros. Thankfully ELEY - a friendly and very well established ammunition manufacturer - were prepared to support my attendance of Kuortane as part of an ongoing sponsorship arrangement. With this generosity from ELEY, the trip was a reality! The camp had a very structured training programme- something Kimmo is renowned for. It briefly consisted of: Monday - Thursday

Kuortane High Performance Training Centre in Finland - inside the huge complex 76 Target Shooter

.22 Rimfire Precision Barrels - these come in a variety of configurations and some are even ‘drop in’

James training and monitoring performance
9.00 - 1200 Lectures & training (small-bore/air rifle) 14.00 - 1700 Training (small-bore/air rifle) 18.00 - 19.00 Physical training and recovery Lectures were about shooting position techniques which consisted of the recommendations and variations of the Prone, kneeling and standing position along with a bit of science to explain the recommendations. Performance analysis which helped in

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understanding the readings from Noptel (electronic shooting analysis system) similar to SCATT and of course how to improve them. Training methods which explained about splitting each aspect of your technique into multiple segments that you work on individually. This means doing drills and exercises that hone your hold, aiming and triggering that come together to produce a good performance. Among the lectures where talks about how Jozef and Juha trained to become champions and a little bit about how they found the Olympic Games themselves. For physical training we worked on cardiovascular fitness predominantly by playing indoor hockey with some stretching and balance exercises afterwards. Recovery was the most relaxing bit of the trip because it meant a hour of so in the Jacuzzi, the steam room and for those brave enough the ice bath! During Juha’s talk he explained that his success came from “training too much”. He recommended that dry firing (not using bullets /pellets) or hold training to be the basis for training. This is so the result of the shot does not get in the way of your thought process. He described spending many hours doing this to improve his ability to hold the rifle still. In essence the saying “you get out of life, what you put into it” expresses his thoughts perfectly. Jozef also explained that you have to “really want it” if you

want to become Olympic champion and that if you are get to a competition thinking you haven’t put 100% into you training, you have lost that match already. In summery the camp changed my perspective on a unprecedented level. All of my questions were answered with ease. It gave me the motivation to train, and train hard along with the feeling that these champions are just human having gone through the same ups and downs every athlete meets in their quest for success. For them the hurdles of training and competing were a small price to pay for what is the ultimate joy of becoming the best one can be. My future aspirations are to compete at the Commonwealth Games in India 2010 and of course the London 2012 Olympics. However in preparation to these great events I have the European championships and a couple of World Cups I also hope to shoot well at and I am sure that the things I learnt at the camp will prove to be invaluable. Any kind of sponsorship in shooting is to be treasured indeed so I would like to say a big thank you to ELEY for supporting me because without them, I would not have been able to experience this career opportunity. James Huckle

James Huckle - a name we will hear in years to come......

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☆ 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

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Jamie Beyerle

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This Smallbore Business

By Don Brook
For those that load with the rifle in the shoulder. as this in itself is the requirement for learning to pay attention to detail that is so necessary if you Following along from the last issue where I want to really get hold of this fascinating game. discussed the correct butt placement, and There is so much to learn! repetition attention to detail, I indicated there was a distinct difference for those that leave However, leaving the rifle in position in the the rifle in position, and load with the rifle in the shoulder is a valid technique that many good shoulder. rifle shooters use, and you may well find the desire to experiment with this as your search for Let me state before hand, I am firmly of the individual accuracy grows. opinion that the position should be reassembled for each shot, particularly in the learning phase, There are two traps that I have found with leaving

When loading from the shoulder make sure the rifle is still plumb. Right elbow is off the ground and the rifle stays upright while the round is being inserted. Just make sure the sling does not move. See text.

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Never lay the rifle over to the right to reach the loading port. This creates problems with the sling altering the tension and positioning on the arm. Eventually this will create serious problems resulting in an extremely loose sling. See text.

the rifle in the shoulder, and if the shooter has performed the usual position assembly routine that I have discussed previously, they may well be quite unaware that these problems even exist…. There is however a very good loading technique, and once again it is simply to do with the right elbow, and the close placement of the ammunition. You must be able to reach the Tenex, (Eley) and the loading port with very little effort. It is of paramount importance that the rifle is NEVER leaned over to the right to perform the reloading sequence. This is fraught with danger, and even more so if you happen to be shooting full bore, or 300m with a centre fire rifle that has considerably more recoil factors than your rimfire .22 !!

round into the loading port. It becomes even more pronounced when they suddenly find that shots number 5, 6, or seven are out of the ten ring on a regular basis, and this is the first tell tale you look for when you are training, and mostly in the letter stages of a ten shot string. “Why is that out there?” is a common question! he T shot can be perfectly aimed, and it becomes quite a puzzle for good shooters, let alone those just learning…. I recommend, and if you study the photograph (A) you will see that once again the right elbow is lifted up off the mat and with the rifle still upright, the new round is loaded over the top of the loading port. I have stated previously that the forward position is “fixed” as much as possible, as this keeps the sling tension correct, and the butt pressure consistent as the loading process is performed. Then the trigger hand goes back onto the grip, and the right elbow settled into place because it obviously cannot go anywhere else, can it?

I have seen shooters all over the world that fall foul of this aspect, and often wondering just what happened when an otherwise good score is depleted by errant technique shots. It becomes so obvious to me that a bad shot is going to be the result, because of the problem areas that are introduced when the I have found this method works well, when shooter leans over to the right to reach a new suddenly in a competition you may need to Target Shooter 81

Rifle in resting position. Note the proximity of the ammunition. See text

“machine gun” a number of very quick shots to take advantage of a possible lull in weather or wind conditions. If you have taught yourself this process, it just becomes another tool in the tool box, and can be used when you need it….

So what are the major problems associated with leaving the butt in the shoulder? Inattention to detail, particularly those of position awareness and tensions, because, (and I have seen this so often) as the shooter leans the rifle to the right leaving the right elbow on the firing point to reload, there is always forward position movement that compounds every time you reload the rifle. With the bigger recoil of the If you have a look at photograph “B” 300m or full bore rifles, this just happens faster you can see what happens. The forward down the list of shots. hand is pulled backwards which actually moves the position forward as well, so What is the tell tale? Easy, and once again lowering the rifle “point” on the target, causing I have seen this so often, the shooter finds it the shooter to use muscles to lift the rifle to necessary to move the forward hand back correct aim. This further loosens the sling, and towards the face on the stock to effect some so on until your scores are destroyed. In severe form of tension adjustment because the sling is cases, the shooter says “Oh, stuff this, I am pretty loose. (A hefty smack on the eye brow going fishing” (or similar) from the rear sight usually wakes them up with a rush if you are shooting a .308!) So, what is the remedy? Once more easy, as you simply become 82 Target Shooter

This is where the system falls to bits, as every time you move some part of the forward position, it alters the “point” (natural aiming) of the rifle on the target. This is a primary cause of elevation shots, (12 and 6) and in the case of small bore, quickly expanding groups. You may get a run of unexplained nine ring shots or worse, and this is caused by the forward hand being inconsistent on the stock placement and usually back from it’s position in the hand stop. The sling actually ceases to perform the duty of locking the position as is required, and you lose control of the position platform completely.

aware of the struggle and break the position, reassemble correctly, and then go on. It is just a matter of becoming aware that something is not right and the instant you do become aware, stop the process BEFORE you fire an errant shot. Always remember, if the projectile is 2mm or less through the barrel, you have got what you shot! Isn’t it better thinking to stop? You still have control of that Tenex in the chamber eh?

aiming point, and I have a shooter here in Australia that is an incredibly good rifle shot, but he has spent years working on his shooting but moves his lower body constantly. He has only just now developed the attention span to find much better results.

In photograph “C” showing the rifle at rest, which is the method to actually restart. the shooter completely relaxes everything, some Above, I have mentioned a few times of being even lowering the rifle across the forward arm. aware. I call these my alarm bells, and once you start getting into the deeper psychology of However there is nothing wrong with leaving the competition, you will understand why I have rifle in position when the occasion demands, but stated often that shooting is a mind sport. We there are processes necessary for this to work. train our butts off all year round, both in snow, It does have a degree of danger. The tell tale, and the heat of Australia to remain perfectly still. as I said above, is becoming aware of the need Just the attention to detail within this is very to lift the rifle with brute strength. challenging, So I recommend that the shooters learn to reposition the rifle every shot in the I will leave you with another little gem folks… learning process, before you bring in the No rifle will ever shoot tens while it is standing in ability to load without moving the forward the corner. YOU are the boss! position platform. Think about it, Brooksie. Even the slightest movement will alter the natural

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18/1/10 09:22:56

PROFILE ON Michael & Andrew Ozmond

By Hayley Platts
It is always great when you find a sport several members of the family can enjoy and spend time together doing, and even more special is when you find that there is a lot of talent there. In the case of Michael and Andrew Ozmond they are both shooting really well and pushing each other to greater heights. Michael started shooting with the CCF at the Glasgow Academy and continued at the University of Glasgow. He was hooked and by nature is a perfectionist so shooting was ideal, especially as he found he was pretty good at it! Progress in the sport stimulated him further and an early trip to Bisley turned out to be a memorable experience. In 1985 Michael became Scottish Universities Short Range Champion which was particularly satisfying seeing as at that time some of the very best shooters in the UK were based at Edinburgh University. It was in fact the Edinburgh shooters who were the benchmark, and only when he looks back to those early days does it dawn on Michael that he and some of his colleagues were much better than they credited themselves, and especially so when Michael tells me they had no coaches at the University and he coached himself

Michael - Haig Trophy Forres 2009

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Michael Shooting the British 50m championship 2009 (targets are uphill from prone)

courtesy of the book ‘Rifle shooting as a sport’ by Bernd Klingner! Once Michael had graduated he looked around for a club to continue his shooting and joined Bearsden & District Pistol Club, next moving to his local club, Rolls Royce East Kilbride. Unfortunately that club closed down but Michael moved to the Larkhall Rifle Club. Michael continues to enjoy the sport he took up while at University and his recent shooting career is where he has made some significant breakthroughs. 2008 proved to be the start of some great results and in the autumn he applied to join their B Squad and with the help of Cyril De Jonckheere and Jim Cole-Hamilton which set him up for a fantastic year of competition in 2009. During the summer of that year Michael gained his first cap to shoot for Scotland in the Home Countries International match at the NSRA meeting at Bisley. In the autumn Michael became a member of the Scottish Small-Bore Rifle Association (SSRA) B Squad. A few months later Michael was 5th in the British 50m Championship at his first attempt in that competition. It was also the first time he had shot on the Malcolm Cooper range where the Manchester Commonwealth Games took place and somewhere Michael obviously relished competing. Enough so that he was second highest placed Scot by a margin of 0.1 out of a possible 709 points and 1 point off silver medal place. This success was followed in the summer of 2009 when Michael gained his second and third caps for Scotland where he shot in the Home Countries International matches at the NSRA Scottish meeting in Forres and the NSRA Bisley meeting. In fact summer 2009 was extremely successful for Michael. In July he was 3rd in the SSRA Scottish 50m championship, won the SSRA prone Grand Prix series 2009 and also became the NSRA

Scottish Long Range Champion, winning ‘The Haig’. Michael was selected to shoot for Great Britain in the Dewar Match against the USA, Canada and South Africa. The team set a new record score and won the trophy. The only slightly disappointing result for Michael came in the NSRA British Long Range Championship where he was lying 4th after the 20 shots but slipped back during the remaining 60 shots. Rounding off the year Michael competed for Scotland at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Championships on the Isle of Man in September. He finished 4th in the 50m prone individual event and won bronze in the pairs. Michael has now been promoted to the SSRA A Squad from which Scotland’s Commonwealth Games Small-Bore Rifle and Air Rifle shooters are selected, including those who hope to be selected for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010 and be in the frame so to speak for 2014 in Glasgow. As warm up preparation, Michael will be competing for Scotland in February 2010 (and smugly avoiding the cold wet weather of Britain in winter!)in Delhi, India and he will be shooting in the 50m men’s prone match. In preparation for this Michael has recently attended a week long training camp as a member of the SSRA A Squad. Talking about this, Michael says how proud he is to be a member of the SSRA squads “we are all there because we want to improve our shooting and represent Scotland at International competition” and goes on to say “All five SSRA Coaches have helped me to become a better shooter and that has helped me achieve more each year”. Not content with his own shooting commitments ,

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Michael has been industrious over the last couple of years and has gained his NSRA Club Instructor and Club Coach Qualifications which he puts to good use coaching at Larkhall Rifle Club and also Glasgow University. His coaching knowledge will not only help the shooters at the club and University but will also be helpful in his own quest to improve. On the subject of goal setting, Michael says

Michael is a member of the Alloa and District Rifle Club. Andrew’s shooting story so far…… Andrew follows in his dad’s footsteps and also shoots Small-Bore prone rifle and has recently started shooting 10m Air Rifle. At the age of 13 Andrew started shooting at the Larkhall club and his dad recalls he quickly became a competent shooter for the Club B team and then the

Scottish Junior Team Forres 2009 Andrew front right with Jen McIntosh, Rory MacAlpine and Coach Ian Thompson
that whilst he recognises the importance of this exercise, he has found that at times he has made much quicker progress than he anticipated and has had to be flexible in his planning and readjust to another level. He explained “at times the Coaches were looking further ahead than I was and there is absolutely no limit to what any of us can achieve”. He follows his theory to good effect that he shoots his best when he concentrates on what he is doing, eliminating thoughts about the score or the competition. I might add that this takes great mental strength so Michael is certainly showing great promise at top level shooting. Michael loves to compete and follows a pattern of shooting indoor competitions during the winter and training during the summer at the Larkhall Rifle Club, where he is also incidentally the Secretary! To boost his summer shooting A team. Each summer father and son travelled and competed in a few outdoor shoots at Stewarton, Perth and Alloa and made the decision to try 50m shooting under ISSF rules and at that point joined the SSRA. It was in the autumn of 2007 Michael suggested that Andrew apply to join the SSRA Under 21 Squad as he felt he had come to the point where he could no longer provide him with the coaching that he needed. Michael offered to help out as Range Officer for Ian Thomson the Coach and he says that both of them learned a great deal that year which helped their improvement in the discipline of 50m shooting. This is a great example of how a voluntary action can be fruitful to one’s own shooting development. He is currently studying Geology at the University of Glasgow and is a member of the University Rifle team as well as the Scottish Universities team - in fact in 2009 at his first attempt he won the Scottish

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Universities ISSF Championship! One his early career results came at the NSRA Bisley meeting when Andrew was 2nd in the Under 18 Championship, and from that he was selected to shoot for the Great Britain Junior Team in the Drew Match and the Scottish Junior team in the Home Countries match. For two consecutive years Andrew has won the team bronze medal at the NSRA Junior International meeting representing the Scottish Junior team and is the reigning NSRA Scottish Short Range Junior Champion. During 2009 Andrew represented the Scottish Junior team for the Home Countries International match which was his second cap in the year, and is firmly established as a member of the SSRA Under 21 Squad. Whilst competing in the July NSRA Scottish meeting he won B Class Aggregate and was a finalist in the Scottish Long Range Championship. The B Class Aggregate score was just 1 point below the winning score in A Class. Michael makes the observation that his son should probably be competing in X class by now but apparently Andrew says the A class Trophies are much nicer because they are older! Nice that sense of history! Both of the shooting Ozmonds enjoy Full-Bore

Rifle shooting at Blair Atholl but unfortunately do not manage to shoot this discipline as much as they would like, and Michael was the Long Range club champion in 2008. Andrew does have another interest aside from his studies and his shooting , he enjoys playing the Bass Guitar and is good enough to be part of a Rock Band. Michael’s final observations on shooting were that it is a great sport for families as he says almost anyone can take part and generations can compete together. He went on to tell me that “Andrew and I enter the pairs competition at every opportunity, and one of the greatest challenges in shooting is to take on Kay Copland and her father Bill in the pair competition at the NSRA Scottish Meeting”. Look out for the Ozmond name as there are two talented members of the same family vying for Scotland team places and winning events along the way! Pictures copyright of Donald McIntosh.

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Target Shooter Magazine email us at admin@targetshooter.co.uk

Target Shooter Magazine is a publication of Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd

Gun of the Month

This month’s gun is a tactical rifle, once again built on an American Surgeon action. We have extolled the virtues of the Surgeon on previous occasions but to recap, it is basically a Remington footprint but it uses a longer barrel-tenon thread and has a built-in Picatinny rail for increased stiffness and a built-in recoil lug which assists barrel-changing if you have a switch-barrel. Although built to higher tolerances than the Remington, this is a tactical action designed to be used in the field and fit ‘n’ finish is not quite so tight as with a benchrest action.

blown forward and the angle increased from 20 to 40 degrees and slightly less body taper for a bit more powder-capacity. Although the 260 will handle a 140 grain bullet, these bullets are so long that they seat very deep in the case if you are loading to mag. length. This compromises powder capacity, so the 120 – 123 grain bullet is the better option. The rifle has served Steve well and he shoots everything from F Class to tactical with it and he will use it to shoot the Civilian Service Rifle Championship at Bisley in June – an event which Steve won in 2007.

The rifle was put together by KMW in America www. kmwlrs.com and the fibreglass stock is to their own design but made by McMillan. They call it the Sentinel, it features a very low profile The Surgeon action is made of chrome-moly steel, not fore-end, thumbhole grip, adjustable stainless and comes in the white so a coating of some cheek-piece and butt, QD slingsort – like KG Gun Kote - is essential mounts and utilises bottom-metal to take the Accuracy International magazine system. It feels very solid. Owner Steve Oakland first got the idea for the rifle from 6mmBR.com’s ‘Gun of the Week’ feature (see week 46). That rifle was chambered in 260 Remington AI but used the Accuracy International stock. Steve initially spec’d the AI stock but when KMW developed the Sentinel he decided to upgrade. The fluted barrel is a Krieger with a 1 in 8.5 inch twist and will stabilise the 260 Remington’s 6.5mm bullets up to 140 grain. The muzzle brake is a Vais and a Jewel trigger completes the job. KMW proprietor and gunsmith Terry Cross, has an impressive pedigree in tactical competition shooting in the US and he loves the 260 Rem. AI cartridge. The 260 Rem. case is best formed from necking up a Lapua 243 Win. case to 6.5mm. rather than using Remington brass. The AI (Ackley Improved) version has the shoulder

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By Gwyn Roberts

Compared with shooting a Bianchi match, the shots fired during a 1500 match are generally at a much slower pace and as well as shooting from the Strong shoulder, it also requires a fair amount of shooting to be done from the Kneeling, Sitting and Weak shoulder positions at both 25 & 50m. How to shoot from these positions has been covered in GR Basics 2 & 4 in earlier editions of Target Shooter so refer back to them for more help. Although you do have a lot more “shooting time” in each of the 1500 matches, a good proportion of this is eaten up by the amount of reloading and positional changes that are required during the course of fire. To complete a 1500 match you will require 150 rounds of ammunition and as the name suggests, there is a possible maximum score of 1500 points and 150 x’s.

Firearm descriptions are as follows: GRCF – Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (Pistol calibre Underlevers) GRSB – Gallery Rifle Small Bore Ready positions: (.22lr) LBR – Long Barrel Revolver (.357. .44 etc) The “ready position” for rifles is loaded (round in the LBP - Long Barrel Pistol (.22lr). chamber with the action closed) held at waist height with the barrel parallel to the target. LBR’s (cylinder Range commands: closed holding 6 rounds) & LBP’s (1 round in the Before commencing each match, the C.R.O will read chamber, action forward, and 5 rounds in the through the distance, shooting positions and timing magazine) must be holstered with the hands held allowed. The basic range commands will then be straight down by the shooter’s side.

“shooters pick up your rifles and with 6 rounds, load and make ready.” After a short delay he will then ask “is the line ready?” If you are not ready to shoot call out “not ready” and an additional 30 seconds preparation time will be given. If no “not ready” calls are heard, the C.R.O will declare “the line is ready, stand by.” The targets will then edge away for a short time then turn to face for the shooting to commence. During certain matches you will be required to move forwards down range to take up your firing position, and then return back to the rear of the range once the individual match has finished. During this time ALL firearms must be carried with the muzzle up in the vertical position, and only when everyone has returned back to the rear of the range and there is no-one forwards of the firing point, shall the competitors ground their firearms back down on top of their bags or cases.

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GRCF / GRSB 1500 “ready” position

website. It’s always a good idea to carry a “check list” with you to help you prepare the night before, and double check once you get onto the range. This will help to calm the nerves and hopefully avoid your having to run all the way back to the car to find that small but essential piece of equipment at the very last minute. A short but obvious list would be glasses and hearing protection, the correct firearm carried in a suitable case, 180 rounds of ammunition (30 spare rounds in case of a re-shoot), a suitable belt/holders to carry it in, a minimum of 4 magazines or speed loaders (if required), a holster (if required) your scorecard (given out on the day), spare pens and a pencil (in case of rain), a baseball or similar type of cap (for sun or rain), a jacket (cold or rain), a timer fitted with good or new batteries, and a box or bag to carry your equipment and empty cases in. Wearing sensible clothing and a pair of comfortable boots will also help to make your shooting a bit easier on the day!

Reloading: All movement between shooting positions MUST be done with an empty gun. GRSB and self-loading pistols must have an empty chamber, the action locked open and the magazine removed. Revolvers must have the cylinder open and GRCF must have an empty chamber and magazine tube, with the lever or action open. This rule does not apply when If possible, always try and turn up early to watch moving the firearm between shoulders/hands in the the detail before you to see how everything works standing position. so that the range commands and practices become at least a little familiar before it’s your turn to shoot. A barricade will be provided for each competitor It’s also a good idea to let the Range Officers know using an LBP or LBR for the standing supported before you start shooting that it will be your first position at both 25 and 50 metres. It should be a 1500 match, and you will find many of them will go wooden post, square or rectangular in section, fixed on the firing line and sufficiently strong to remain immobile. It should, ideally, be at least 100mm square and two metres in height. Procedural penalties will be given if a competitor touches, or crosses the foot fault line with any part of their body whilst shooting; shoots from positions out of sequence: moves between positions with a closed firearm: or allows part of an LBR or LBP to make contact with the barricade whilst firing. As always, before going out to shoot in an unfamiliar competition you should always practice to make sure that you are able to adopt and shoot safely from each of the positions that you will be required to shoot from on the day. For both your sake and everyone else’s, don’t just turn up at the competition and expect to get it right first time without running through it beforehand, or you may well end up on the wrong side of the R.O’s, competitors, or both, regarding safety issues. For anyone needing to shoot from a wheelchair or who may have other medical issues, modified or alternative positions can be used on the day and these details are available on the GalleryRifle.com

out of their way to help you along at every stage. If possible, they will also help you with the scoring process and this will definitely help to make it a more enjoyable and relaxed experience for you.

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Wearing the right gear for the weather conditions

are going to use a timer, set it to 90 seconds ready for Match 2 at this point, as again it will save you a bit of time later on.

When the match is about to start, the C.R.O (Chief Range Officer) will call everyone to the line to un-bag their firearms and prove them clear. When doing this you must make sure that when you start to unzip the case that the muzzle is Asking if you can shoot on an end target may also be pointing down range, and if it possible, and this should make it easier for you isn’t, rotate it the right way before unzipping it fully. I to pick up your target at the 25 & 50m distances, always tend to keep the muzzle inside the case where the occasional cross shooting still occurs sometimes. Failing that, putting a small piece of fluorescent card on the edge of your target will enable you to confirm that it is your target that you are aiming at when looking through your scope. If you are going to shoot with a GRSB, LBP or LBR, try and fill as many magazines or speed loaders with 6 rounds as you can before your detail is due to start, and if you are going to shoot the match with an underlever, then make sure that you top up your ammo belt and put 6 spare rounds in a pocket ready for your first initial load. One of the most important points when shooting a 1500 match is the reloads, so make sure that you place your ammunition where it can be retrieved quickly and easily, whatever position you are shooting from! Once the detail before you has finished and removed all of their kit from the firing point, ask an R.O if it’s ok before placing your equipment down in line with your target number. Do not open your case or touch your firearm under any circumstances at this point, simply place your kit on the floor with the muzzle end of your case pointing down range towards the backstop, and take this time to clear any debris or empty cases from around your firing point. Don’t just sweep it into someone else’s space though or your first 1500 match won’t get off to a good start. If you

S e p a r a t i n g your ammo into groups of six will make it easier when reloading!

at this point until the firearm has been cleared by the R.O and then take it out completely before placing it on top of the case, with the muzzle pointing downrange and the action locked open. When everyone is ready the C.R.O will give the command to pick up your firearms and ammunition and, as a line, you will all dress forward to the 10m line. At every distance, I first of all line myself up with my target and make sure that I adopt a level and stable stance. Once this position is achieved, I do not move my feet for any reason! I then dial in the correct distance on the scope turret, adjust the zoom to the correct power setting, and then finally adjust the front objective dial until the target is perfectly clear. When given the command to do

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so you may load with 6 rounds and make ready. I always load with loose rounds or a spare magazine from my pocket so that my ammo belt is kept as full as possible, in case of any mishaps along the way. Once loaded and whilst waiting for the next range command, keep your trigger finger outside the trigger guard and practice drawing the rifle up into the aiming position on the target for a little extra practice. Remember the ready position for GRCF & GRSB is with the butt held at waist height with the barrel held in the horizontal position pointing at Think about your trigger control……. the target. The C.R.O will then call out “Is the line ready?” followed by “Stand by” before the targets are going to lose some shots! If shooting the match with a 10/22 I would suggest that you try shooting 5 will edge away, and the course of fire is: shots, reload, and then fire 7 shots. Make sure that you place your trigger finger outside the trigger guard Match 1 Stage 1 - 10m – 12 shots Standing unsupported, and that the muzzle is kept pointing towards the target/backstop area during every reload as you will have a live round in the chamber! Doing it this way will help save you a little time as you won’t have to re-rack the action after reloading. Once you have finished and the firearms have been grounded at the rear of the range you will all go forward and score your targets and this is done in pairs i.e shooters on targets 1&2 together, 3&4 together etc, etc. Due to space restrictions I will cover how to score in Part 2 next month. Once you’ve finished scoring, you will need to replenish your ammo holders and magazines and check that your timer (if using one) is set to 90 seconds.

including reload Stage 2 - 15m – 12 shots Standing unsupported, including reload Time GRCF – 30sec - All others – 20sec

Match 2 25m - 90sec (including reloads) 6 shots Kneeling At both of these distances quite a few people have a 6 shots Left shoulder (or hand) tendency to panic and rush their shots off but there GRCF & GRSB standing unsupported really isn’t any need to, providing you have given it some practice beforehand! If shooting with an underlever, you need to make sure that you keep your thumb up out of the way and rack the action fast before squeezing every shot off in a controlled manner. Doing this properly should ensure that you keep all of your shots within either the 10 or X ring. Be firm but smooth with the trigger and concentrate on pulling it all the way to the rear of the housing each time. A good indication of time is simply keeping to the rhythm of shots being fired by everyone else. When it gets to the reload, I would suggest that you leave the last (6th) empty case in the action and then pull the rifle down close into your side before quickly loading in the next 6 rounds. When this is done bring the rifle quickly up into the aim again, A timer is essential and make sure that rack the action and then fire off the remaining 6 it is placed where it can easily be seen. shots. Hopefully you should start firing again around You can buy a simple kitchen timer from the same time as everyone else but if you find that somewhere like Currys or Boots from you have restarted a couple of shots behind them, around £7- £10. then you need to make this time up otherwise you

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have reloaded and I’m transferring the rifle into my Weak shoulder, my timer usually shows that I have around 60 – 65 seconds left out of the 90 seconds allowed. Then, after my final reload, if everything has gone smoothly I will usually have between 20 – 25 seconds left to shoot the final 6 rounds from my Strong shoulder. Getting your timing right to start off with is purely a trial and error exercise really as shooting too fast will produce more open groups on the target, whilst shooting too slowly will usually result in not firing off the required number of rounds with each one costing you 10 points off your score. Again, simply trying to follow the pace set by everyone else on the line after each reload should give you an idea of where you should be at during each match! Match 3 50m - 165sec (including reloads) GRCF & GRSB 6 shots Kneeling 6 shots Sitting 6 shots Left shoulder 6 shots Right shoulder LBR & LBP 6 shots Sitting (note different order from rifles) 6 shots Kneeling using barricade for support (or Prone, depending on range restrictions) 6 shots Left hand standing using barricade for support 6 shots Right hand standing using barricade for support LBR may be fired single or double action All preparations are as for Match 2 except your timer should be set to 165 seconds and as the targets are usually quite close together, it is very important that you check that you are actually aiming at your own target before starting to shoot. Checking your target for the correct number or identifying piece of fluorescent card is especially important after each position change so make sure that you do it! Racking the action slowly and smoothly when shooting with an underlever will also help you to remain on your target a bit easier. In Match 3 I again tend to take more time shooting from the Kneeling and Weak shoulder positions and shoot quicker on the others as a poor trigger release at this distance will spread your shots a lot more around the target. Ideally you should have around 20 seconds or more left to shoot your final 6 rounds. A smooth and safe transition between each shooting position is essential and when done properly, it will also save you a lot of time allowing you to concentrate more on releasing each shot. This can only be achieved through plenty of practice, during which you need to pay particular attention to your muzzle direction and trigger finger location at all times!

LBP standing using barricade for support LBR standing using barricade for support, double action only 6 shots Right shoulder (or hand) GRCF & GRSB standing unsupported LBP standing using barricade for support LBR standing using barricade for support, double action only I would recommend using a timer during most of the 1500 match (remember to reset the correct time for each match) and I place mine on top of my shooting box, which I position slightly over the foot fault line nearest to me so that it acts as a barrier to make sure that I don’t stand either on or over it, as this will incur unwanted penalty points. Once I’ve adjusted my scope and loaded for this match I adopt a good kneeling position and then making sure that I do not move my feet, I stand back up again picking up my timer on the way. This stance will ensure that I will be able to quickly adopt a good kneeling position again, and that my body will be aligned perfectly with my target saving me around 5 seconds or so on the day. When in the ready position I hold the timer in my left hand which still allows me to support the rifle under the fore end. The kneeling position usually allows me to adopt quite a steady hold which means that I can usually shoot the first 6 rounds off reasonable quickly, which then allows me to take a little more time to shoot from my Weak shoulder. Once I

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Sequence 1 Taking a sight picture from the kneeling position and then standing up into the “ready” position without moving your feet again will enable you to adopt this position quickly again, making sure that you are also properly in line with your target when you start shooting. Once you have finished firing, lock open the action,

check the chamber is clear, place your finger outside the trigger guard and cant the rifle over so that the weight of the rifle is supported by your forearm along the butt. Then, place your free hand on the floor to the side of your body as this will help you to balance as you swing your legs underneath you into the sitting position. Once you have shot from the sitting position lock open, clear, place your hand on the floor and support the rifle as before and move into the standing position. Sequence 2 Then, if shooting an Underlever, close the action and load 6 rounds into the loading gate or insert a magazine into a 10/22. Pushing the rifle outwards in front of your body, you then need to rotate your body sideways so that you can transfer the rifle to your left side. Now you can safely rack the action or release the slide to load the rifle and carry on shooting!

Sequence 3 The same safety and transfer sequence should then be used to adopt a “strong shoulder” hold and then once you have unloaded and checked the rifle is clear, continue to hold it by your side with the muzzle pointing safely down range and wait until it is cleared by a Range Officer. Unfortunately space dictates that this will be a two part article so next month I’ll cover Matches 4 and 5 along with how to actually score the 1500 match. Until then, get down to the range and practice as the Phoenix is only 3 months away!

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Buxted Rifle & Pistol Club

Club Feature
The indoor rifle range is located in the village opposite Buxted mainline railway station. The shooting club has been an intrinsic part of the Buxted community for many decades. Historically, as an NSRA affiliated small-bore rifle and pistol club, Buxted ARPC has always achieved a respectable level of competitive success. The HFT venue is located 5 minutes away. Fortunately, a dedicated core of shooters ensured continued interest within the village and the surrounding area. Primarily a rim fire range, advances in airgun technology have developed air weapons capable of competing with their rim fire counterparts in many aspects of modern target sports. This has broadened the club’s appeal to many more airgun

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The Buxted boys at the recent UK National rimfire and Air Rifle Championship
shooting enthusiasts, especially those participating in Hunter Field Target Shooting, an offshoot of formal FT shooting. HFT is an organised target shooting activity intended to replicate rough hunting. Open to any responsible airgun owner, regardless of age or ability, virtually any safe, UK legal air rifle is suitable for use. Popular world wide, UKAHFT is the governing body for HFT in the UK. As a UKAHFT affiliated club, Buxted has an extremely healthy HFT membership, especially juniors, making it the envy of many of its peers. Buxted has a picturesque but deceptively difficult HFT ground, hosting regular club opens and rounds of the Southern Hunter and Sussex Interclub Series. The HFT team actively participates in local, national and world events and achieved success as Sussex’s Interclub Champions. The club’s 25-yard indoor airgun bench-rest team often excel in many classes of the annual UKBR22 World Postal Championships. They finished as reigning World Champions, in all three airgun postal classes in one season, with individual members achieving top ranks as well. Some airgun bench shooters have represented the UK at international level, holding future aspirations to compete in the outdoor and rim fire arenas. The club committee are keen to promote a diversity of shooting related social activities for the benefit of members. Club events are well attended with most nights of the week occupied. The latest being IPAS, Iron Plate Action Shooting, an addictive, entertaining quick fire action distraction, using semi-auto CO2 pistols, that’s proving highly popular with shooters of all ages. The club’s airgun bench-rest team have excelled in UKBR22 World Postal Championship events. Achieving reigning World Champion status in all three airgun postal classes in one season, with member’s also achieving top rank individual success. Buxted bench shooters have represented the UK at international level, holding future aspirations to compete in the outdoor and rim fire arenas as well. The bench rest section is actively involved in the development of specialist weapons and equipment to maintain their edge over the competition. However, some prefer to believe they are simply better shots and no amount of technology is going to improve on that The Bertie Bassett Contact; Buxted Rifle & Pistol Club http://www.buxtedshootingclub.co.uk/

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VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA
Competitions Following the cancellation of Round 3 of our winter 600 yard series, our third shoot is scheduled for March 7th so a full report in next month’s Target Shooter – weather permitting. The cancelled shoot will take place on Easter and top of the pile is a brand-new British-made rifle action - the GBR. Like Russ Gall’s action, the GBR is a Remington 700 clone but made on CNC machinery to a very high standard and incorporating one or two sensible improvements to the Remmy.

Monday – which will be convenient for those who fancy an Easter of benchrest shooting, as our first 100/1000 yard shoots of 2010 take place on the same weekend.

It is becoming ever more difficult and expensive to import firearm-related parts from the US, so the emergence of another home-built action is great news for UK shooters. At this moment, I don’t have a price but knowing that Fox Firearms are involved you can bet it will be very competitive. I’ve New stuff – the GBR action. managed to get hold of an example off the first I have some very interesting new stuff this month production-run and I’m impressed!

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I will be building a ‘project rifle’ around this action to that the first batch will sell out very quickly and if be serialised in coming issues of Target Shooter, you want your name on the waiting list, ring Fox so we will look at things in greater detail next Firearms on 0161-430-8278 without delay. month. Events SEB Rest – the Mk 2 version The next 600 yd shoot will be held at Diggle Seb Lambang has had great success with his Ranges on March 7th – registration 10.00am. joystick benchrest all over the world and Easter weekend will see a festival of benchrest you will see these rests in use by top at Diggle with a 100 yard shoot on Saturday benchrest shooters at all the world and European April 3rd, followed by 1000 yard benchrest on matches. But, Seb is not a guy who rests on Easter Sunday and 600 yards on the Monday. his laurels – a few months ago, he asked the New shooters are welcome – for more info. benchrest world – via the internet - to suggest e-mail me on vinceb@6ppc.fsnet.co.uk modifications to make his rest even better. When did you last hear of a manufacturer doing that? Seb took on-board our suggestions and he is now ready to put the Mk2 into production and he has kindly given us a few pictures – via UK importer, Fox Firearms – wow, I’d want one even if I didn’t shoot benchrest! As you can see, the new rest is very different and incorporates a lot of changes. We will have a sample very shortly and Target Shooter will get the first review of the new rest. I can imagine

To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and World events. Visit our website for news about national and international competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion shooter, everyone is welcome www.benchrest22.org
Target Shooter 101

In association with

Paul Barker…Target Shooter profile;

Paul Barker came to shooting 4 years ago after his son talked him into getting an air rifle as a joint Christmas present, soon after he joined Keighley Rifle club and started to shoot competitively, initially just doing club air rifle competitions but then moving on to rimfire shooting on the club’s 100 yard outdoor range. “Keighley has been a great place to learn to shoot, if people want to just shoot for fun then that’s It was April last year when Paul joined the UK OK but competition is actively encouraged and that I Rimfire Benchrest Association, after finishing the have found that is what keeps it interesting for me.” winter season just for fun he entered the summer comps and then went to the national championships Besides benchrest Paul shoots a number of different at Portishead where he won bronze in the disciplines including match air rifle, sporting air rifle unrestricted air rifle with a score that won individual and prone rimfire. “I initially started the benchresting bronze and contributed to team gold in the world because I love the idea of precision shooting, and postal championship. in the early days I saw it as good training for my Summer 2009 was a good season, besides the air rifle bench rest medals, Paul also won gold in the 50m Iron Sights Benchrest and Unrestricted events at the NSRA Bisley meeting as well as a number of other medals for prone shooting including gold in his class for the 50m Double English Match which consists of 2 successive sets of 60 shots. For equipment he uses a Feinwerkbau 2700 free rifle with the heavy 19mm barrel and a Walther Dominator air rifle. For prone shooting he uses a Centra Pro 57 rear sight with Gehman 575 diopter/ iris and for bench resting a Nikko-Sterling 10-50 Diamond and Fox Fire arms 10-40 telescopic sight. For resting he has recently replaced a Caldwell Rock with a Seb Coaxial rest and rear bag. “The Feinwerkbau has been a great buy. My wife went through the roof when I first got it, but now they have almost doubled in price so it did turn out to be a good purchase. For prone shooting it is so adjustable that you can get it to fit you perfectly. For bench resting HPS made me a custom slider plate for the front and the cheek piece will fit in from the underside to make a great “bunny rail”. The barrel and trigger are superb and despite buying a barrel tuner I have found that with the right ammo it works better without it. Paul with his recent national and world championship medals When not shooting Paul works as a freelance photographer for the News of the World and his

prone shooting as well. Some of the comps that I shoot in don’t allow rear sand bags or anything more sophisticated than a plain flat front rest. The butt of the rifle has to be supported in the shoulder, because you are still just aiming at a 2mm bull you really need to have your breathing and trigger control nailed and if you can translate that to prone shooting then it’s a big help”

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other hobbies include potholing and bell ringing. “If you think shooting is difficult you should try bell Above and below - Paul ringing. I have never had to concentrate so hard for shooting air rifle and rimfire so long so it even helps with my shooting too.” benchrest

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The Long View

News from the GB F-Class Association

In a little over one month it will be time to dust off our rifles and kick off our campaign to become the GBFCA 2010 Open or F T/R Champions and this year we have a ‘first’ for the GB F Class Association.

with a gunsmith - build up your equipment as and when you can afford it. You may not stand in the winner’s circle very often but you will be gaining valuable experience. Hopefully a shorter range competition will be something of an ‘equipment leveller’ and encourage those shooters who really Due to popular demand, the first competition will want to give it a go to ‘come out of the woodwork’. be a short-range shoot. With the previous years building up to the 2009 World Championships, it Shorter range will also mean different calibres to was felt the best distances to shoot would be those the usual unstoppable Open Class WSM’s. Smaller actually required for the World Championship - calibres have not proven to be ideal at 1000 yards - which made good sense. But, with that over – for although there have been some notable exceptions another three and a half years - we can now vary in some very skilled hands - particularly if the the shoots a bit. weather is unusually benign. So for example, maybe benchrest shooters with their hybrid 6mm’s F Class isn’t just about the 800, 900 and 1000 yard could put in an appearance, or anyone with a competition, or Palma as it is sometimes known, it’s scoped fullbore rifle for that matter. also about shorter range shooting and many clubs But if you think short range means easier, think who only have access to say a 300 yard range may again. At the present there is no ‘official’ short range still run successful F Class shoots. At my own club F Class target but fortunately Diggle has something for example, we regularly shoot F Class at 500/600 of its own that should be ideal and should be testyards or less, with long range only once or twice ing for everyone as it is still based on the F Class every couple of months. half MOA V bull that we use at longer ranges. So, the first event on the GBFCA calendar will be a 500 and 600 yard shoot at Diggle ranges on the weekend of the 10th/11th April. This isn’t just to vary the shoots; we have done this partly to try to broaden the appeal of F Class competition to other scoped rifle shooters. If you already shoot in the GB F Class League or regularly shoot long range, then turning up at a completely new range to shoot 1000 yards is a challenge to relish. However, if you haven’t done it before it can be daunting and off-putting to some shooters. So if you haven’t already shot in the League, this match could be the ideal opportunity. I can well imagine a new shooter being can be put off by the thought of not getting ‘on’ at 1000 yards – particularly if you are shooting a 308 – but at 5/600 yards, this won’t be a problem and hopefully we can organise a zeroing day on the Friday for those who need it.

The GB F Class League now has in excess of 100 members who enjoy not only great shoots but also a good social side and regular weekends away – Over the last few years, I have received e-mails isn’t it time YOU stopped thinking about it and had from several shooters who have a scoped rifle and a go this year? www.f-class.org.uk would like to take part in the League ‘when they have better kit’ as they put it. That isn’t the point, most of us started competing with the kit we had and then, unless you have particularly deep pockets - or live

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A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.

Most newcomers to Quigley style shooting using the following equation; will want to fit Vernier type adjustable sights to their rifle of choice. Fortunately there is a fair selection to choose from out there, however, for the most part this may involve importing from America or Europe. Whilst high quality products command high prices, the more economical or lesser priced sights from Pedersoli, Uberti or Armi Sport are more than adequate for the job if you purchase the right one. Here in the United angent of an angle = Opposite side Kingdom, Henry Krank in Pudsey can supply the full range of Pedersoli tang sights. Adjacent side See links at end of article. Most rifle tangs are already tapped to suit, so fitting them is In the diagram, line AB represents the sight relatively easy, it is when it comes to using them radius, line AC the elevation on the rear sight and that some shooters encounter problems. line BC the barrel line. The angle of elevation is represented by “b”. Many are already familiar with modern Vernier target sights and how to read them, but The sight radius was measured on my rifle what of traditional long range Vernier sights? at 34¼ in. All Verniers work in the same way, with a fixed and a moving scale. Modern Vernier Assuming an elevation of one degree, the sights made for target rifles are graduated in tangent of one degree = 0. 017455 minutes of angle (60 minutes per degree) each minute subtending approximately one inch at Using the equation AC = Tan b 100yds, two inches at 200yds etc. whereas original and most reproductions are graduated in 1/100ths AB of an inch or multiples of 1/100ths. It follows that: AC = 0.017455 x So how do they compare? 34.25 It’s been some time since I was at school but I decided to try some elementary mathematics = 0.59783375 inches.

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So an elevation of 0.598 inches gives an angle of one degree, therefore, as there are 60 minutes in one degree then; 0.598 = 0.009966 inches would give one minute of angle. 60 Suddenly something is beginning to click. 0.0099 is VERY CLOSE to one hundredth of an inch. Actually, a sight radius of 34.37 inches would make one hundredth of an inch equal to one minute of angle. So for our purpose, we can assume that one hundredth of an inch on our Vernier rear sight will give one minute of angle.

2 degrees 41 minutes) for a .45in 500grain bullet in front of 65 grains of Swiss number 4. My next task is to borrow a chronograph and see what MV I am getting with this load, find the ballistic coefficient of the bullet and start to tabulate the effects of sight adjustment at various ranges. As I stated earlier, it is a while since my schooling, and so if my theories don’t hold water then feel free to show me the error of my ways. Links Montana Vintage Arms http://www. montanavintagearms.com/vernier.html Axtell Rifle Company http://www. riflesmith.com/sightssharps.html Baldwin Sights http://baldwin-sights. com/ Dixie Gun Works http:// www.dixiegunworks.com/default. php?cPath=22_129_651_653 Henry Krank http:// www.dixiegunworks.com/default. php?cPath=22_129_651_653

Those “Good old boys” were pretty smart! Especially when you consider that these sights were fitted to muzzle-loading rifles long before the advent of the self-contained cartridge! On my sight, the fixed scale is marked in inches subdivided into 20ths; therefore each division represents 5/100ths or 5 minutes of angle. What this means to the impact of a bullet at various ranges is dependant on many factors such as muzzle velocity, bullet shape / weight and ballistic coefficient. It is worth noting that on rifles with shorter barrels and therefore a shorter sight Here is a link to a terrific site which describes radius, one minute of angle on the sight will move in depth how to read a Vernier scale……. the impact of the bullet on the target slightly more but not enough to make a substantial difference. http://www.uslink.net/~tom1/vernier. htm By now, feeling quite smug and with my Comments and questions please to curiosity aroused, I decided to compare some khall6548@aol.com of my own data with that found in the excellent little tome called “The Gun that shaped America’s destiny” by Martin Rywell. In this volume, an elevation of 151 points (151/100) is required at 1000yd for a .44in 500-grain bullet ahead of 90 grains of black powder. On my Pedersoli Sharps, fitted with their own Mid-Range Soule sight, assuming that 0 (zero) on the vertical scale represents a line through the foresight parallel to the barrel, then at 1000yds an elevation of only 161 points (minutes) is required to put rounds on the target. (This, incidentally, gives an elevation of around

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Target Shooter

Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
March brings the first of the big four meetings at the National Shooting Centre, the Spring Action Weekend. Plenty to do here with all the usual events for Gallery Rifle and Pistol and some shotgun and rifle events too. The ideal time to start getting scores registered in the national database and move up the classifications. The starting classifications for 2010 are now available on the NSC website or on www.galleryrifle.com. Don’t forget that you now have a separate classification for each of the short events for each gun, making a total of 28! You may feel you now have a better chance in some of them than before so have a go at something like Phoenix A and be thoroughly confused by the course of fire. The NRA Skills manual is well on the way to completion and a section of it is aimed specifically at those trying Gallery Rifle & Pistol for the first time. It deals with the absolute basics to get you shooting safely on a range. It covers what to do when you arrive at the range, how to load, shoot, unload and prove the gun clear. It also has a section on what to do when something goes wrong and you have a malfunction. It is also the first part in much larger manual being prepared by the NRA GR&P sub committee on all aspects of training. It will be published separately as a pdf file to download from the www.galleryrifle.com website. Those of you who have been competing at the NSC and around the country for some time will remember the various types of the man versus man event that used to be very popular. There are still some around which have different layouts but we no longer see the crowds of competitors and spectators that there used to be at the NSC. For those of you who don’t know what it’s all about, the basic idea is to have two competitors shooting at a small number of knockdown steel plates with the first to finish being the winner. It can be the best of three runs or whatever there is time for. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? It is simple until you add in the need to start with running to the firing point with a can in your hand which has to be put on a post. Then you have to shoot at the plates in a specific order until they are all down except the last one. Then you must reload the gun, regardless of how many rounds you have left, and shoot a the last plate. There are so many things to get wrong and all the time your brain is refusing to work properly, your hands are shaking and you’re forgetting to breathe. It’s all about speed and concentration and it’s fun. We’re working on a way to get back to basics with this event and bring it back to the NSC later in the year. Range space, as always is a problem but we’ll try to find a way. Any old photographs you may have would be very welcome so please send them to gallery@nra. org.uk. Finally, here is the latest calendar for 2010. Entry forms for the Spring Action Weekend are out now and more are on their way. Check the NSC website and your emails. DATES FOR 2010 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 July 18 Mattersey Steel Shoot Mattersey July 24-25 Frome Three Gun Shield Dorset August 28-29 Gallery Rifle National Championships NSC Bisley September 19 Mattersey Bianchi Mattersey October 17 Shield Steel Challenge GR&P Dorset October 23-24 The Trafalgar Meeting NSC Bisley October 30-30 Autumn Action Weekend NSC Bisley November 12-14 Leitmar International GR Germany (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.galleryrifle.com for entry forms.) GR&P = Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF), Gallery Rifle Small Bore (GRSB), Long Barrelled Pistol (LBP) and Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) Please go to the Gallery Rifle website www.galleryrifle. com for more news and information.

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Mini Rifle Returns A number of years have passed since a practical mini rifle match has been held in the UK. Bedford Country Rifle and Pistol Association came up with a great idea of adding a mini rifle division to their Level 2 Long Barrel Revolver match held on 21st February at their excellent range facilities. So the UKPSA Mini Rifle rules were taken out of mothballs, dusted off and quickly brought up to date. The match was the first Level 2 match hosted by the Bedford club, but you would have thought they were old hands at running competitions. The nine stages were challenging and fun to shoot. The props were of an excellent standard. No way could you describe this competition as a ‘blag’. ccuracy A was the by word of the day. A great deal of the shots had to be taken at 20 metres plus, but the real tester was the 50 metre 12 round stage held on one of the outdoor ranges. A simple enough stage of 6 targets requiring one round on each, a reload and again one round on each. But this distance caught out many of the competitors, who found that a

The shotgun Festival at Bisley may be static shooting, but great practical stages can still be shot
full size IPSC target is not very large when place 50 metres away. The match took all day to complete. It seems that it was a day for the older, more d i s c e r n i n g shooter to t r i u m p h with seniors scooping up the prizes in the LBR

Jim Starley, first winner of a practical Mini Rifle after an abscence of some years. 108 Target Shooter

Josie Adam, first Lady in Standard LBR division at Bedford’s first L2 match

categories. Winner of LBR Standard was super senior Jim Gibney, with Nick Towndrell second. Josie Adam was first Lady. LBR Open was won by Pete Starley with Andrew Sutton as runner up. James Harris was winner of the LBP category. Four shooters competed in the Mini Rifle category. This was won by Jim Starley, with Neil Smith second. The next Level 2 Long Barrel match will be at Carlisle on Saturday 24th April, when Gallery Rifle will be added as a new gun category. UKPSA members are asked to check the Forum for announcements on the match. Shotgun Festival at Bisley These matches have been taking place for a couple of years now at Bisley. Held in the Spring and Autumn and run by the NSC and the Blue Team Club. This was a Level 1 match and was open to non UKPSA members. Restrictions at Bisley do not allow movement with a loaded gun at present. This does not detract from the fun that can be had from shooting Practical stages from a static positions. The recent Spring Shotgun Festival saw the largest number of entries to date. It was made up of ten stages using slug, buckshot and birdshot ammunition. Held on Butt Zero on Stickledown Range, where use of the turning targets

and mover, add to the fun of shooting practical with a shotgun. With blue skies and a warm winter sun, the shooters worked their way round the stages. In addition to the main event there is also the Snooker competition. This requires static clays to be shot against the clock. The shooter starts with an unloaded gun and within the 20 seconds allowed, load and shoot a red clay before shooting a coloured clay. Like snooker the black is of higher value, but is placed further away from the shooter. A few people have cleaned this event in the past, but the cold was getting into the fingers of many of the shooters and slowed down their loading. George Granycome was the best on the day with Dave Dowding and Paul Tasker tying for second place. George went onto win the Standard Manual (pump action) prize in the practical stages. Rob Adam was the winner in Standard Auto division and again Josie Adam picked up the Ladies Prize. The next Shotgun event for UKPSA members is the Shield Hardy. A Level 3 championship match at Shield’s range in Dorset. If you want more information about the UKPSA and practical shooting, visit our web site at www.ukpsa. co.uk.

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Letters
Firstly can I thank you for a great magazine. One question I would like to pose is why don’t you do more about the rough shooting/ clay shooting and the shotguns associated with these sports as this would round off the magazine very well. The series of articles on the Enfield was very enjoyable and I would like to see more of this. They lend a bit of history to the magazine. My thanks, Robert Hi Robert. There are a number of magazines that cover the theme of rough shooting. In fact these seem to outnumber most of the other shooting magazines, so we think this particular area or sport is covered in the UK. There is even a website that works with the BASC that produces online videos on this subject – Field Sports TV Channel. This site is well worth the view as it covers a lot of areas within the sport. In terms of clay pigeon, we may look at one of articles, especially in the lead up to the Olympic Games. However, we did set this magazine up for target shooting in all its forms, as this is the one area that is not covered in one discrete magazine in the UK. There are so many forms of target shooting in the UK we have ample news worthy articles that bring this information to the reader. Nigel will be pleased to hear about your interest in the articles he has written. He has just started a new series that we hope you and others find equally enjoyable. Glad you like the magazine. Carl Can I thank you for the recent series of articles by Don Brooks. This area of the sport, namely ISSF rifle shooting, has been seriously missed in the commercial magazines. Can we have more?? What I like about Target Shooter magazine is that it covers a lot of shooting disciplines, so the reader can see the type of sports available and the level of competition that UK shooters are entering. It is very gratifying to see that a number of our shooters are competing at international level and succeeding in attaining medal places. With some shooters this has even been World and European Champion status.

I wish more could be done for shooting sports, as the government seems to have given up on it, with a very small amount of money going to only a very small selected number of shooting sports. Do you know if the sports people get sponsorship from the companies that sell products in the UK, or do they pay for everything out of their own pockets? Thanks, Stephen I am sure that Don will be pleased to hear a positive return about his articles. If you wish more, then please ask him about areas you would like to be covered in his articles. Target Shooter magazine was set up to show all of target shooting sports and we try to cover as many of these as possible. If you have others you want to see then we can try to ask for writers to look at these other shooting sports. Our sports people have done very well in 2009 and I hope, like the rest of the UK, this continues into 2010. In terms of support, yes a lot of the UK shooters pay for things out of their own pockets, for the love of the sport. It would be nice to see more of them being supported by either government funding of sponsored by the gun trade within the UK. I know abroad it is a very different matter, with shooters in minority shooting sports financed for competition by their national shooting body (government funded), or in the case of the USA in combination with members of the gun trade itself. The unfortunate position we are in at the moment is that recession has hit the UK very hard, but it would be great to see both shooters and the gun trade working in harmony a great deal more to support one another. This has been the case with a number companies like Aim Field, Highland Outdoors and Eley to name a few. (We have an article about Eley supporting a young shooter this month). Support is hard to find, as companies want to see a return on their investment, but it would be good to see lots more of the gun trade getting involved. Maybe as we come out of recession we might see this happening. I hope so. Carl

If you have an issue, question or comment then please send letters via customer support on the website.

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Target Shooter

News
Next month we continue with reviews and bringing you updates on what is happening in the target shooting world. Hopefully by them the porr weather we are having will have gone and people can come out of hibernation - starting to prepare and shoot in the spring weather. Until then, good shooting and keep warm.

customer.services@targetshooter.co.uk

Happy reading and we hope you enjoy the magazine. The team at Target Shooter. If you have any letters or news that you would like to air on a national basis then please contact us at the magazine. This could be for those budding writers out there that would like to submit a full article on specific firearms, competitions, shooting sports, etc. The aim of the magazine is to include you the shooters in the United Kingdom and further afield. So having a regular letters page or even a question and answer section would be really useful for a lot of people out there. Let us know what you think!? We would also like to have a gun of the month section - so send us your pic and spec and we’ll include it in ‘gun of the month’. Any news that your club or association thinks is worth viewing can also be sent in for selection. What we would like is to get a letters page started with your views, news and perceptions about all all the aspects of target shooting. So lets see those letters coming in and we will read your thoughts in these pages.
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Next time in.....
The March 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.

IWA Show 2010—Review

April 2010 Issue

On Test

Regular Columns

Reviews

Features
112 Target Shooter

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