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April 2010 Issue
Club Features Support Your Local Gunshop Event reports
Black Powder Pistols, This Smallbore Business
Gallery Rifle F Class and Centerfire Benchrest News
Target Shooter 1
The Neo SEB rest • NSRA Disabled Shooting Project • and lots more..
With FL lens.
Without FL lens.
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Victory FL Diavari 4-16x50 T* – the most compact long-range ri escope of its class – tailored to demanding stalking at home or abroad.
The new reference class by Carl Zeiss provides demanding hunters with the perfect optical base for accurate shooting over long distances. Thanks to the unique FL concept, the Victory FL Diavari riﬂescopes offer razor-sharp details and bright images which are free of chromatic aberrations even with high magniﬁcations. The innovative ballistic concepts ASV and RAPID-Z® allow for deﬁned and accurate aiming via holdover point or indexed holdover lines.
New: Victory FL Diavari 4 –16 x 50 T*
Welcome to the April Issue...................... .......of Target Shooter
10 First Year
6 8 Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Support your Local Gun Shop Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest by Carl Boswell Handloading ‘Old Faithful’ the .308 by Laurie Holland UKPSA Basic Safety Course by John Gardener Custom Rifle Build - the Stock by Andy Dubreuil The Sig 522 Review by Nigel Greenaway
Anniversary by Andy Dubreuil
23 SGC SSR15
in 6.8 REM SPC by Laurie Holland 30
39 LG 110 for FT & HFT
by Tim Finley
57 59 63 71 81 83 87 91
45 IWA Show
Review by Vince Bottomley
This Smallbore Business by Don Brook The British Airgun Championship 2010 by Hayley Platts Springers for FT by Stanley Shaw
65 The Neo Seb Rest
by Vince Bottomley
Shooting the 1500 by Gwyn Roberts Club Feature
Shooting Project by Liz Woodall
75 NSRA Disabled
109 Advertisers Index
98 UKBRA UKBR22 F- Class Quigley Association Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager Andy Dubreuil. email; email@example.com Contributors Vince Bottomley Andy Dubreuil Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Chris Farr Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Ken Hall Les Holgate Hayley Platts Stanley Shaw Liz Woodall 100 101 102 104 105
Webitorial - April 2010
A year already! Yes, this is our first anniversary issue and we have it packed with articles. So much so, that we have had to leave out a couple of our regular features to bring what we hope is our best issue yet. Target Shooter was born out of the need for a proper target shooting magazine in the UK, which solely focused on these sports and brought you the best writers, offering their expertise, views and opinions. We are fortunate to have retained the original writers from that first issue and added a few others along the way so that we are covering just about every shooting discipline. Vince, Andy and I would like to offer our sincere thanks to the contributors who were with us from our first steps as publishers, for without you Target Shooter would not exist. To those who have joined us throughout the year, again our thanks – we are indeed fortunate to have you. Our software tells us that we now average 10,000 readers per month, such is the interest in target shooting sports and that a good number of you regularly look through our back issues. Throughout the year, we have really appreciated receiving your e-mails - mostly positive but the odd negative one which helps us learn what you want as we try and build the best shooting magazine on the internet. Last but not least, we come to our advertisers. Their contributions fund the magazine and without them, there wouldn’t be a magazine. We think we offer them the very best value for their advertising budget and we need you, the reader, to make sure they know that when responding to advertisements. Please help us to keep Target Shooter on-line and free to all. Together, we have created a unique symbiotic relationship that has established Target Shooter magazine as the most read shooting magazine in the UK and, in addition, we have reached out to shooters in thirty countries around the world. We are always on the look out for contributions, be it news, competition profiles or equipment reviews. All of our contributors are active shooters first and writers second, so maybe you are a budding writer. Think about your own club, your competitions and your shooting and let us know about it. Finally, here’s to another year of Target Shooter. The technology – in the form of notebook computers and the new Apple - is catching up with on-line reading, making Target Shooter a more convenient and ‘portable’ read. This will continue to evolve as more magazines go on-line. To all of you, our best wishes and our thanks for your continued support!
Until next month. Vince, Carl & Andy Carl Boswell - firstname.lastname@example.org and Vince Bottomley - email@example.com and Andy Dubreuil - firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The website www.targetshooter.co.uk is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproduction is permitted unless written authorisation is provided. Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which is on or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believes are licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or individuals are not so licensed. Letters and photographs submitted by members of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless otherwise stated. Target Shooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions and experiences of writers using specific equipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the website is intended to be used as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for individuals attempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages.Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.
Shooting Sport News
NEW CONCEPT IN F-TR RIFLES FROM FOX FIREARMS There has been much debate in F/TR circles as to the relative benefits of 155 grain and 210 grain bullets, in minimising wind drift for long-range shooting. The exponents of the 155g projectiles cite a reduced flight-time for the projectile to be subjected to cross-winds, whereas the 210g fanciers pin their faith upon nothing more than physics. Many who prefer to use the 155g agree that in windy conditions, the 210g projectile will have the edge. This creates a dilemma for those ordering a new rifle, or considering re-barrelling - whether to opt for, say a 1 in 14 twist to stabilise the 155g bullet, or a 1 in10 twist to stabilise the heavier bullet. Based upon current leanings, the only answer is to have two F/TR rifles; one with a slow twist for use on still days, the other with fast twist for use in inclement weather. However, Fox Firearms, after experimenting with side-by-side double rifles, which were abandoned due to weight and bedding
problems, has come up with an ingenious solution, based on gain-twist rifling. They have taken a gain-twist barrel, starting at 1 in14 and increasing to 1 in 10 and chambered it at both ends, with two receivers fitted, and using a single common bolt. A Picatinny rail is fitted to both receivers and one ‘scope with QD rings can be used. The stock will accept either action simply by removing/replacing the bedding screws – a process taking but a few minutes and can be accomplished on the firing-point immediately prior to the shoot. In tests, the ‘muzzle-end’ receiver seems to act as a barrel harmoniser, if anything enhancing accuracy and eliminating muzzle-flip. Leaving nothing to chance, Fox are producing 40” double ended breech safety flags to accompany these rifles. We hope to conduct a full test in a later edition of Target Shooter.
10/22 M1 carbine ……….another first for North West Custom Parts Here is a sneak preview of the new M1 carbine from NW custom, built around the standard 10/22 carbine. This great looking gun and comes in a couple of versions and colours. The rifle also as a drop in stock unit
for those that want to use there existing guns. These will come with 2 modified mags and there will be original WW11 accesories available to complete the look for those that want them with the gun. For details contact www. nwcustomparts.com 0161 408 1159/ 07710 102 887
members, training rooms and ample parking. Located on the Axminster Road a mile and a half from Lyme Regis and half a mile from Charmouth on the beautiful Jurassic Coast, just 150 yards off the A35 The 25m range has four lanes and the 50m has five lanes. The facility was designed by the National Shooting Centre at Bisley and has benefited from the support of both BASC and BDS along with many members of the general public. Membership applications are now being accepted and are available upon request by e-mailing email@example.com or writing to Target Sports Centre Ltd, The Tunnel, Axminster Road, Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6BY.
www.thetunnel.co.uk An exciting new facility is currently being constructed in West Dorset. Planning approval was granted on the 26th of May 2009, the former A35 road tunnel is currently undergoing a transformation to give the structure a new lease of life. The tunnel building project is near completion - into what I hear you say! Due to open Spring 2010 two new indoor ranges 25m and 50m gallery rifle ranges, with a 100m indoor full bore range proposed for construction later this year. The Target Sports Centre will provide training facilities, competitions, corporate events and a wide range of additional outdoor pursuits. Facilities will be available for both young and old and offering varied disciplines from archery to black powder. The Target Sports Centre will be open 6 days a week closed on Wednesdays. The facility also has both a cafe and gun shop open to both members and non
Calendar of events over the next few months
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. 25 Apr Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
3 May NRA Open Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) The NSC is hosting, on behalf of the NRA, another series of pre ticketed Open Day events. Visitors will be able to try shotgun, archery, air rifle, fullbore rifle, sporting rifle, laser clays, precision snap, practical and historical rifles to name but a few, all with one-toone coaching. Contact Libby Gendall at the NRA 10 May to 11 May The English Eight Club, National Rifle Club of Scotland & Welsh Rifle Association Spring Meeting (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Match Rifle (F-Class Rifles may be used if desired but cannot take any of the prizes except for the Cash Sweep) 2+15 at 1000, 1100 & 1200 yards on each day Contact English VIII Secretary 10 May to 11 May NRA 300 Metres Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) The NRA Open and British Championships. Contact Martin Farnan 23 May to 26 May Phoenix Meeting (Gallery Rifle) (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This is the highlight of the Gallery Rifle year (although there are many events for other disciplines!). Contact Brian Thomas at the NRA 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: “email@example.com” 24 May to 25 May Irish Open Meeting (Ballykinler (N Ireland)) The 97th Irish Open Meeting hosted by Ulster Rifle Association. Contact Trevor Steele 5-6 June WEST MIDLANDS REGIONAL TARGET SHOOTING SQUAD West Midlands 10m Airgun Championships 3 x 60-shot matches, finals, standard and 5 target pistol. WMRTSC Wolverhampton Karen Morris Phone (Ian): 07970 166457 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. email@example.com
Welcome to GT Shooting. The premier shooting sports shop in Surrey
Fullbore & .22LR Black Power Air Rifles and Pistols Used rifles and Pistols
Our premises are located at
Optics Ammunition Reloading equipment and more...
53 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RB www.gtshooting.co.uk Tel: 020 8660 6843 Fax: 020 8660 6843
We are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25.Shooter Target Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Wow doesn’t time fly, we’ve been on-line for a year already! Around this time last year, I got a phone call from my good friend Carl Boswell, asking me if I would be interested in getting involved in a magazine that he and Vince Bottomley were looking to start up. As I listened to Carl, I was thinking “What do I know about magazines - apart from reading them”. When Carl said this would be an on-line magazine, it caught my attention. With the sad demise of Target Sports and the UK falling into recession with the rest of the world, was this really the time to be thinking about starting a new business venture? We talked about how we
Our First Anniversary
were going to do it - could we get feature writers, dealers, distributers on-board and launch our first copy? I remember Vince saying to us both at the time “Wouldn’t it be great if we had 10,000 readers by the end of our first year”. With the power of the internet and ‘word of mouth’ from enthusiastic shooters, we had over 10,000 readers in that first month! The magazine started out to fill the gap left by Target Sports, as UK readers found themselves without a magazine covering the sport of target shooting. We were enthusiastically received as shooting clubs asked us for posters to display at their club to help spread the word. E-mails were
flying around and the internet forums were abuzz with threads about the magazine. The three of us were working off home computers and laptops and for me, the e-mails kept coming and coming and like most guys, I find it difficult to throw anything away. Looking back through some of the e-mails from our very first readers, we had comments like: “I would be delighted to put up a poster in our club, thanks again for a decent read” (Mike Shields) “Great website you have, and a very interesting magazine too, well done, keep up the good work!” (Paul Barker) “I have recommended your magazine to my
shooting friends in Malta” (John Mathews) “I congratulate you a very well done on-line magazine!” (Oswald Meyer) It slowly dawned on us that what we had started - not just a UK magazine but a worldwide magazine – we had hits from over 20 countries following the launch of that first issue. Thanks to the excellent 6mmBR.com website, we got a great plug in America and we maintain a solid 25% readership in the USA. The three of us have our own distinct roles in producing the magazine. Vince tends to do the editing work, Carl does the web side of the magazine by putting it all together and I deal
with the advertising. In addition, we all contribute by way of articles in our own specialist fields. For the first couple of months we had no working capital and it was down to our great, fantastic, reliable writers working for free - with no guarantee that we could ever pay them! Virtually all our regular writers are ex Target Sports magazine and I would like to say very big thank you to them, because without them standing by us, the magazine would not be what it is today, so thank you guys and girls! Also, we have to thank our advertisers, some who have been with us right from the beginning. They took a chance on something that was very new - an on-line magazine - with no knowledge of what an on-line magazine was going to do for them. Our circulation is massive compared to any paper magazine and a simple ‘click’ on any advert will transport the reader to the advertiser’s website – a paper magazine can never offer that. The concept of a free on-line magazine is ahead of its time in some respects and not surprisingly, we did get a handful of e-mails from readers saying that they preferred a hard-copy magazine to the ‘online thingy’ Above - Carl’s visit to Eley in 2009 - with Martyn as one put it. I believe that in years to come, Buttery suppling guidance on batch testing all paper magazine will have an on-line version – some free, some not. Many will maintain their paper copy but I predict even these will fade as more reader-friendly ‘notebook’ and ‘tablet’ computers become available. The three of us put Target Shooter together each month for one reason and one reason only - we are all shooters and we are passionate about shooting. The magazine is not about making huge amounts of money – which is a good job as we are just barely in profit. It’s more about
Vince dreaming up another ‘project rifle’ for the magazine and of course for his own use. 12 Target Shooter
One of Lauries first articles for us - cooking up a tube gun
promoting target shooting in all its guises and working with the trade to bring their products to you, our readers. Obviously, we need our advertisers but I have had so many e-mails saying how much you like the fact that the magazine is not saturated with adverts. We like to try and work with our advertisers by reviewing their products, in the hope that we will get an advert. from them which readers may then refer to, should they like the product under review and wish to buy it or find out more about it. We try to maintain a close relationship with our advertisers to make sure that we get the very latest gun or shooting-gear and review it in an honest way for our readers. We will not praise unworthy products
simply to solicit advertising – our integrity towards our readers comes above everything. We have had our critics of course but we don’t concern ourselves with that - it’s what you think of the magazine that counts and the fact that you come back each month for the latest issue, speaks volumes that we are doing something right. We launch at midnight on the first day of the month and in that first 24 hours it’s astonishing to watch as you log-on to the website in your hundreds every hour. We have invested in new servers and software to cater for this but we know that some of you do find it a bit slow on the first day or two but remember, it’s there forever, so don’t worry - you won’t lose out if you don’t manage to see Target Shooter on launch day.
Our new addition to this digital shooting magazine revolution online video review articles
A year has passed and hopefully so has the worst of the recession. The gun trade is starting to find its feet once again and we are receiving more equipment for review. Hopefully, the sport, the trade and Target Shooter will grow stronger together, to the benefit of all of us. Our latest venture is the video ad. This is something a paper magazine can never do, so advertisers and readers, please take a look at our Aimfield Sports drag-bag review and our SEB rest video. Our SEB rest video got over 1000 viewings in the first three days! Advertisers – what are you waiting for? Finally, a sincere ‘thank-you’ to you our readers
for supporting the magazine, our contributors for supplying excellent copy and of course our advertisers – without whom Target Shooter would not exist. Here’s to the next year! Andy, Carl & Vince
Berger Target Bullets
We only make Match Grade rifle bullets for varmint, target and hunting. When we say “Match Grade” we mean that the highest quality copper and lead available is used in a process focused entirely on consistency rather than speed. The copper is made into the J4 Precision Jacket, which is recognized around the world as having the best concentricity available. We make all of our J4 Precision Jackets and bullets on one set of dies to ensure that all of the bullets in each box are as consistent as possible. Consistency is the key to precision and accuracy and no one makes bullets as consistent from lot to lot and within a given lot as Berger Bullets.
The same match grade tolerances also apply to our Berger Varmint Bullets Berger Hunting Bullets
For More information contact
The Reloading Specialists
Peckfield Lodge Great North Road Leeds LS25 5LJ Tel 01977 681639
‘Support your local gun shop’
10 Tech Shooting is a new shop in Sussex that’s specialises in target shooting equipment for all disciplines, most of our customers are mainly based in Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey though we do supply to all over the country. The shops owner David Ayling has shot most smallbore target shooting disciplines, he explains how the business got started, For most of 2009 I had a bad back and my previous job as an engineer at my fathers business became virtually impossible, then the opportunity arose to start 10 Tech Shooting and it seemed the logical thing to, so we partitioned part of the factory of and turned it into a showroom and the rest is history. I wanted a proper showroom where my customers could come in and look, shopping on the Internet is fine but sometimes you just want to pick it up and see if that particular item is really what you need, plus being able to ask for advice on how an item works or perhaps other options. I stock equipment that ranges from beginner level all the way up to the international shooter, I can advise and tailor packages to suit all levels and make sure the customer leaves with what they need, a new shooter doesn’t necessarily need a £600 made to measure jacket but an “of the peg” one is ideally suited.
10 Tech Shooting
The same goes for rifles or pistols we usually have a good selection of new and second-hand in stock and we can give you a price on a complete package. We also stock from leading manufacturers such as Centra, MEC, Knobloch, Kurt Thune, AHG Anschutz, Eley, RWS and many more plus we are starting to broaden our spectrum and have started to supply other areas of shooting such as Field Target and Hunter field target, Reloading equipment, reloading supplies and vermin control. If you give 10 Tech Shooting a try, you will be dealing with someone who enjoys shooting and shares your passion for the sport. So whatever you want give 10 Tech Shooting a call or pop by the shop we’ve got lots free parking right outside the door.
Visit our well stocked showroom with ample free parking, friendly helpful service For more details click on this advert!
“Spring Sale on all new Feinwerkbau and Walther Rifles & Pistols”
Suppliers of quality shooting equipment for all disciplines. Stockist of Centra, Kurt Thune, MEC, Eley, RWS, HPS Brattonsound and many more...
Call us today on 01903 784002 for all you shooting needs
Opening Hours: Monday (by appointment only) 16 Target Shooter Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 5pm Visit our website www.10techshooting.co.uk email: info @10techshoting.co.uk
Email; firstname.lastname@example.org/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com
The Taurus ML Revolver is converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver. The cylinder is removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contains the spring loaded plunger that frees the action when the yoke is closed. As this extension cannot be removed, it prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel is shortened to approximately 5 ¼ inches and the wristbrace is removed. A new cylinder is made which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear with a small flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead wadcutter bullets. The conversion of your pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00 each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464 PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SEE THE VERY BEST VALUE CUSTOM PRECISION RIFLES FOR TR, MATCH, F-CLASS, AND BENCH-REST—WE ARE NOW SELLING A FULL RANGE OF HARRELL PRODUCTS WE STOCK HUNTING RIFLES BY COOPER, KIMBER AND PFEIFER AND COMPETITION-WINNING RIFLES FROM KELBLY AND KEPPELER, AND ARE TRADE AGENTS FOR THE SUPERB BARNARD ACTIONS, AND RECORD-BREAKING TRUE-FLITE AND BARTLEIN BARRELS
WE ALSO STOCK PROFESSIONAL BORESCOPES (from £533) AND A RANGE OF HIGH-POWER SCOPES FOR COMPETITION AT AMAZING PRICES (eg 8-32X50 WITH 30mm TUBES FROM £100) ALONG WITH STUNNING BINOCULARS AND SPOTTING SCOPES
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 WE IMPORT IS BY FAR THE BEST VALUE IN THE UK Target Shooter 17
The GBR – a new British-made rifle action
by Vince Bottomley
Last month, in my ‘From the Bench’ column, I mentioned a new British-made rifle action which was about to be launched. Now, I have one and we can look at this exciting new venture in more detail. Every new custom rifle build starts with the action. I’ve built rifles on Howas, Remingtons, Savages, BATs, Stolles, Barnards etc. Custom actions like the BAT will cost two or three times that of a Remington but using a budget action doesn’t always result in a significant saving on the overall build. The difference between a ‘run of the mill’ action and a full custom action will add maybe 15% to the overall cost, yet when you come to sell your Remmy-based rifle, it’s just another Remmy and that initial saving you made on the action will be instantly lost. Also, factory actions can be a bit rough – is there any point building your dream rifle on anything but the best? Yes, it is possible to true – or blueprint – the action but this adds considerably to the cost. Try convincing a buyer that you spent £500 having your Remington blueprinted. A total waste of money – buy a custom action from the off! Starting with a decent action is essential - not just for accuracy reasons but also for the investment. Unfortunately, most of the revered custom actions emanate from the USA - but why? It’s not as if the Americans are better engineers than we are. In fact, most of the US custom actions are made by fairly small firms and there is no reason why a similar product couldn’t be produced over here. After all, the Kiwis have done it with their Barnard. With the advent of CNC machinery, working to fine tolerances is within the scope of hundreds of small engineering firms and with the country in recession there must be bags of spare capacity and maybe this is why we are now seeing a number of British made Picatinny rails, muzzle-brakes, scope rings, moderators and the like coming onto the market. Scottish gunsmith Russ Gall clearly had similar thoughts and last year he produced his own action, which is now in production. Russ is an accomplished benchrest shooter and engineer and designing an action was well within his scope. Of course, we mustn’t forget RPA; they have produced a number of very successful actions for many years now and offer a wide range of rifles built using their own actions. Similarly with Accuracy International, their tactical rifle is legendary though to be fair, they don’t offer actions for sale to the general public. So, who is behind the GBR action? What is its pedigree? The three companies associated with the GBR will be already known to British shooters – Fox Firearms from Manchester, Staffordshire Synthetic Stocks and Rhino Rifles from Cheshire. The design of the GBR doesn’t break any new ground and closely follows that of popular two-lug actions like the Remington, though fit and finish are to a much higher standard. On the face of it, it is the equal of similar Remington ‘clones’ made by a number a American companies like Stiller, Pierce, Kelby and Lawton. The critical ‘bolt to body’ fit is excellent and as good as any. The action body is of chrome-moly steel and the bolt is made from stainless-steel. Using dissimilar metals is common to prevent ‘galling’ and the chromemoly body will be blued to offer a corrosion-resistant
The left side, with the attractive GBR logo deeply incised into the action
finish. As you can see from the pictures, the bolt is spiral fluted. With a fit this close, any minute foreign body could cause a lock-up and the flutes offer a ‘receptacle’ for any such debris.
or when wearing gloves. Gunsmiths will be pleased to know that the tenon thread is Imperial at 18tpi and 1.0625 inches in diameter. Length is the same as a Remington at 0.700 inches. I would have been tempted to lengthen the tenon to an inch – it would GBR have slavishly copied Remington’s ‘ring of steel’ cost nothing and would offer better support to the design, where the bolt-nose is recessed into the end heavier barrels typically used on custom builds. of the barrel. This ‘overlap’ provides an additional safe-guard in the unlikely event of a serious blow-up. I much prefer the recoil-lug to be part of the action It’s not something I would have incorporated, as all rather than sandwiched between the barrel and other manufacturers seem to get by without it but it’s action, as this makes switching barrels a little more hard to criticise safety and I don’t doubt that it has tedious – and most of my rifles have more than one saved a few Remington owners from serious injury. barrel – but at least the lug is substantial and pinned so I’ll forgive GBR that one! Thankfully, GBR haven’t copied that Remington spring extractor. Yes, it works and is very reliable but Another ‘plus’ of a Remmy clone is the trigger – there it looks cheap to me and I always carry a spare. The are more triggers for the Remington than any other GBR has a proper Sako-type claw extractor coupled action so, it’s your choice – a top of the range Jewel with a conventional bolt-face spring-loaded plunger or Kelbly or maybe a Timney or Riflebasix or even a for positive extraction/ejection. Thankfully, the bolt- standard Remington but please, if you are building release is handily located on the left side of the a custom rifle, don’t skimp on the trigger. The action, rather than within the trigger-guard as on the bolt-shroud is slightly different from a Remington Remington, which is fiddly to operate with cold fingers and very nice it looks too, as does the bolt-handle
The fluted bolt with claw extractor and spring-loaded ejector
GBR will also have bottom-metal available, utilising the AI magazine
with screw-on bolt-knob - making it easy to fit a replacement knob of your choosing with little work. This might seem a minor issue but shooters all have their own preferences depending on application and fitting a replacement bolt-knob to a Remington might leave you with little change from £100 if re-proofing is needed. One of the basic design features of any action to be used in a custom rifle build for competition use is overall stiffness. Some actions can flex alarmingly on firing, which also stresses the scope resulting in indifferent accuracy. If you are looking for real accuracy, go for a solid-bottom action. Unfortunately, if you require a repeater – for a stalking or tactical rig - a large cut-out will be required in the underside to accommodate a magazine. You will never see a benchrest action with a magazine cut-out. GBR will offer the action as a solid bottom or with cut-out, depending on application. Staying with the stiffness theme, I would have liked to have seen a smaller ejection-port as well. Yes, it’s smaller than Remington’s yawning orifice but it could be even smaller, as much of the cut-out is obscured by the scope-rail anyway. The Picatinny rail is a dedicated rail also offered by GBR and can be ordered with a built-in taper. Don’t try and fit a Remington rail as GBR have wisely resisted flattening-off the rear action-ring as Remington insist on doing for some reason. So, we have a two-lug action built on the tried and tested Remington design that most shooters will feel totally at home with. If you have a stock already inletted for a Remington then the GBR will drop straight in. I assume this is the main reason for choosing the Remmy footprint but for me it is a very weak one. If you have a stock but wish to upgrade to a custom action then surely you would also go to the trouble of a proper bedding job rather than simply screwing it into the old Remmy stock. Yes, there are more stocks available with the Remmy inlet than any other but you will find that most of the decent stock-makers will offer inlets for all the popular actions and most of the obscure ones as well. Really, few stocks can be considered ‘drop-in’ unless they are of the type with a built-in aluminium bedding-block and, even then, if ultimate accuracy is your goal I would still mill out the aluminium for a proper Devcon bed. In conclusion, this action is a fine effort and I’m confident that it will form the basis of a great custom rifle. In fact I will go further - GBR have kindly given me an action for a ‘project rifle’ build for Target Shooter magazine and I will be serialising the build over the next few issues. I hope to involve others in the project, which on completion will be sold with the profit going to very good cause. More next month. A GBR website is under construction but initial enquiries regarding the GBR action should be made to Graham Glover on 01606-79029.
THE SOUTHERN GUN Co SSR-15 in 6.8mm REM SPC
by Laurie Holland
I’ve long had a soft spot for the ‘Black Rifle’, aka the AR15. Just before semi-autos were banned in the UK, I read about Robert Bucknell’s custom-built .223 flat-top AR15 with a heavy fast-twist barrel that was described as the ‘ultimate fox rifle’, but also won Practical Rifle matches. That’s what I want, I thought. Thanks to Michael Ryan and Hungerford, I assumed this was a never to be fulfilled ambition, but a few years after the ban, I started hearing about straight-pull ARs. I didn’t reckon much on operation through Gene Stoner’s T-shape charging handle at the back of the action, though. Then Southern Gun Co. (SGC) started making them with an integral left-hand side handle, and not too long afterwards produced its Mk3 receiver that provided a second,
Above - The SGC SSR-15 straight-pull is a direct descendant of Stoner’s original 1956 AR (ArmaLite Rifle) design. This eight year old example has been rebuilt in 6.8mm Rem SPC
sturdier and more ergonomic bolt-on handle on the right side. My time had come! – I eventually bought a new SGC SSR-15 ‘Speedmaster’ in .223 Rem in 2002. Single-Shot Since I never run, don’t shoot offhand, and slowly keel over and fall down when shooting kneeling, this was never going to be a Practical Rifle tool. 90% + of rounds have gone through it as a singleshot rifle with a ‘sled’ replacing he agazine t m for easy loading one at a time. With such use, the specification was a 26” fluted Lilja match barrel, Wylde match chamber, 1-8” rifling twist, and set up with minimum headspace. A Giesselle match trigger was set for 1lb pull and with a big 8-32X56 scope up top, I shot it at every range from 100 to 1,000yd. And, shoot it did – give it the right 80gn bullet handload and the SSR would put five shots into a quarter-MOA at short ranges. It was even
The heart of the rifle is a seven-lug bolt that requires little rotation and locks directly onto the barrel
Operation is effected by the bolt moving in the carrier which moves a cam-pin along an angled slot to turn the bolt. The pipe stub above is the ‘bolt key’ that marries up with the gas pipe in semi-auto rifles and feeds gas into the carrier. Later versions of the SGC Speedmaster action have eliminated this feature replacing it with a rectangular guide-block
used in F-Class in the early days, and one glorious sunny day, the SSR and I embarrassed a small herd of 6.5mm shooters in a 600yd regional ‘Open’ competition –you only reckon on seeing such a miracle once in a lifetime! directly into the barrel through a ‘barrel-extension’, a large nut with the locking lug recesses machined in. All AR design rifles use a two-piece receiver, usually aluminium alloy, the upper half holding the barrel, forend furniture, bolt and carrier; the lower half the magazine, trigger mechanism and buttstock. With Multi-Lug manufacturers using common dimensions, receiver Let’s look at the AR’s key features that apply whether halves are normally interchangeable, so one can it’s a semi-auto gas gun or one of our straight-pulls. have an AR in several sights, barrel configurations The heart of the beast is a seven-lug bolt that locks or calibres through the use of more than one ‘upper’
The lower receiver assembly showing the match trigger, the two captive pins that locate and secure the receiver halves together, and (above the rear pin) the front of the buffer and recoil spring assembly inside the buttstock tube
The sturdy optional right-side handle – a must-have
on a single ‘lower’. The bolt sits inside a tubular ‘carrier’, a heavy steel cylinder, and is turned to lock/unlock it by use of a ‘cam-pin’ in an angled slot in the carrier top wall. As the carrier is pushed (in gas operation) or pulled (in manual operation) back, the bolt cannot move being locked to the barrel-extension, so the carrier moves around a half-inch on its own and turns the bolt via the cam-pin to unlock it. Both then move back together, extract and eject the fired case, reset the trigger. Towards the end of the ejection cycle, the rear end of the carrier moves into a tube inside the buttstock and compresses a large coil spring to power the loading / re-locking part of the cycle. The carrier / bolt assembly move forwards again at some speed stripping a new cartridge from the magazine, chambering it, and re-locking the action. Manual operation simplifies the design as various bits – gas-sealing rings on the bolt body, a gas-block assembly on the barrel and piping – are not needed. A great AR plus is its modular construction allowing mixing and matching of components. Once you have a pair of receiver halves, everything else is bolted / screwed on or retained by pins, so building an AR is assembly rather than traditional gunsmithing, although as always there are ‘tricks’ that allow skill and experience to produce a superior product. A major industry producing AR bits has grown up in the USA so buyers can choose from a large range of ready to install pre-chambered barrels; umpteen makes / forms of bolt and carrier; lots of trigger assemblies; goodness knows how many buttstock, forend tube, and pistol-grip designs. One beauty of this is the ability to build bespoke rifles for many different purposes. Upgrade Seven years and 6,000 + rounds on, my SSR still performed well despite a much eroded barrel throat, but had unsurprisingly lost its ‘edge’, so a rebuild seemed in order. After a lot of thought, I chose conversion to the recently introduced 6.8mm Remington SPC rather than a simple .223 barrel replacement. As well as a new barrel, conversion required a new bolt and magazines. The steeply raked M16A2 buttstock used on its first iteration wasn’t ideal for shooting off a rear-bag, also rather too short for comfortable prone shooting, so I asked SGC to replace it with a Magpul PRS (Precision \ Rifle / Sniper Stock) adjustable assembly. SGC also
The Magpul PRS adjustable buttstock is one of scores, maybe hundreds, of competing designs available for the AR15. If the bottom cover is removed, a Picatinny accessory rail is uncovered to allow a butt-spike or support pod to be attached if required
undertook a ‘general overhaul’ replacing worn parts such as the bolt assembly cam-pin and appear to have fitted new pins throughout, the receiver halves fitting tightly again as on a new rifle. drivers for its development, the US military special forces who’d discovered that the 5.56X45 NATO is a poor man-stopper at anything above thick jungle type ranges in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially in short-barrelled M4 carbines that lose a couple of Six Point What? hundred fps MV compared to the standard 20” barrel This is where things get interesting – the new M16A2. cartridge. Let’s look at that name first. 6.8mm – that’s 0.277” dia. bullets, a two-seventy to most folks. ‘Rem’ The 6.8 is an attempt to provide a larger calibre, is of course our old friend Remington which supplied heavier bullet with a lot more terminal energy that the case the 6.8 is based on, the obsolete .30 inflicts a bigger wound track and hopefully disables Remington, undertook the development work, Taliban and other fighters rapidly – not very nice, and registered the cartridge with SAAMI. ‘SPC’ is but who ever said war is a nice business? During Special Purpose Cartridge, a reference to the development, 6.5 and 7mm calibres were
The AR design is completely modular and can be disassembled in seconds
A factory 6.8mm Remington SPC match cartridge is seen on the right with a 115gn FMJBT milspec type bullet alongside the two cartridges that spawned its development in Iraq and Afghanistan – on the left, the 7.62X39mm M43 – a proven battle cartridge; centre, the 5.56X45mm NATO that has been found lacking even when loaded with the 77gn Sierra alongside it.
that can be accommodated by the AR15 bolt, and that sees so little metal remaining that bolt-head fatigue failures are not uncommon after a few thousand rounds fired. According to QuickLOAD, the 6.8 has 34gn water capacity which is is again in-between its rivals with around 10% more than the .223R, and 4 or 5% less than 7.62X39mm. Pressure-wise, it also falls between the other two, although it’s now the 5.56 that has the highest allowed MAP.
considered, but .270” was found to give the highest terminal ballistics values at operational ranges (100-400 metres). There was a competitor too, the Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel, which is the 6PPC necked up to 6.5mm and gives a 123gn bullet rather impressive MVs from a 2.25” COAL cartridge, plus The Remington specification sees a 115gn FMJ or impressive external ballistics. OTM (Open Tip Match) given 2,625 fps MV which is down on .223 Rem with 62 or 69gn bullets, and In-Between since BCs are not too far apart, the larger calibre The 6.8 uses a 1.686” long case with 0.422” rim and bullet travels slower and is a bit more wind affected lower case diameter. This puts it between the .223 beyond 300yd. Energy is well up on the smaller Remington’s 1.760” length and 0.378” case-head, calibre cartridge with around 40% more at the and the 1.528 / 0.447” equivalents for 7.62X39mm. muzzle and still up at 400 metres. It seems The old Soviet cartridge’s diameter is the largest Remington ran into trouble with excessive Case-head diameters for the AR15. Left to right: 5.56mm / .223R pressures leading to (0.378”); 6.8 SPC (0.422”); 7.62X39mm (0.447”). The 7.62’s size extraction problems and pushes the AR15 design to the limit leaving barely enough metal case-head expansion to support the locking lugs with its original loadings, so had to reduce them markedly. This is probably why Hornady and Silver State Armory cases use the small rifle primer providing more metal around the pocket and strengthening the case-head. Since Remington registered barrel and chamber specifications around five years ago with a
The Place to Shop at Bisley
6.8mm Rem SPC is one of the few cartridges seen with cases made for small or large primers depending on maker. Remington (left) and military loads use the large size; Hornady (right) and Silver State Armory brass use the small version
0.05” freebore and 1-10” rifling twist, 6.8 civilian users and gunsmiths have come up with a longer freebore (0.10”) and 1-11” twist rate ‘Spec II’ chamber that allows substantially higher (200 fps +) MVs to be produced within allowed pressures. Most gunsmith built rifles now use this specification, and there are a lot of 6.8 SPC enthusiasts in the USA having rifles built for the cartridge. There is a lively website and forum (www.68forums.com) with 11,868 members, 7,556 threads and nearly 80,000 posts listed. Since the factory ballistics don’t seem that great, and the cartridge doesn’t apparently do anything better han heavy-bullet .223 Rem, you might wonder why it’s got so many fans. A major reason is that the larger calibre and ME that now runs at 1,765 ft/ lbs (more with handloads) take the AR15 beyond pest sized quarry into medium game territory. The cartridge can be loaded successfully with the many 130gn expanding bullets available for the .270WCF. Remington has picked up on this hence the rapid introduction of its .30 Remington AR cartridge last year for its R15 entry in the AR sector. But there’s more to it than this – the 6.8 seems to be one of these cartridges that works better than the ballistics tables suggest, has an intangible appeal to lots of people, and attracts development attention. We already have the Spec II chamber and barrel specifications, and no doubt there will be new bullets designed just for this cartridge if the enthusiasm continues. So far, I’ve only used Remington 115gn and Hornady 110gn OTM factory ammunition in mine while I wait on some 115gn Sierra MatchKings from Henry Krank for handloading, but the 6.8 is already growing on me despite these cartridges’ anaemic loadings. Reasonable accuracy out 300yd, especially from the Hornady fodder, very light recoil, exceptionally sweet extraction (a BIG issue with manual ARs), allied to such clean burning that fired cases look like new. This one could be a winner!
The NSRA, Lord Roberts Centre
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A wide range of pistols and rifles available, Anschütz, Walther, Morini, BSA, Air Arms, Webley Limited, Steyr, Feinwerkbau. Accessories from leading manufacturers Centra, Gehmann, HPS, VFG, Walther; AHG, Knobloch, Champion, Opticron, Hawke, BSA and many more. Shooting Mats from Evans and HPS. Gun Safes from Bratton Sound. Ammunition from Eley, RWS, HPS Target Master, SK, Lapua - including Air Gun Ammunition Optics from Tasco, BSA, Hawke, MTC, AGS. Clothing from Kurt Thune, Realtree, Holme, Anschütz, Gehmann, AKAH. We stock guns and Accessories for Field Target and Hunter Field Target Disciplines With many more items too numerous to mention so come browse and ask if you don’t see what you want. You’ll get a warm welcome, the best objective advice, the right product at the right price with a comprehensive after sales service. Further information from our website www.nsra.co.uk Shop Tel: 01483 485511 Shop Fax: 01483 488817 E-mail: email@example.com
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 5
by Chris Risebrook
A slight diversion this month into the rather murky and misunderstood world of pinfires. They all used black powder, so although they are breech loading, they qualify. Often seen as an anachronism or dead end, the pinfire was, along with such other oddities as the teat-fire and mule-ear, a stepping stone towards the rimfire cartridge. Once the percussion cap had been standardised, everyone was trying to think up ways to use it in a breech loading weapon. The idea of the pinfire was the brainchild of Casimir LeFaucheaux (1802-1852) which he patented in 1833. Initially, it consisted of a rolled paper case with a metal head and - apart from the protruding pin, was almost identical to today’s shotgun cartridges. It was used in a break barrel shotgun which was the forerunner of the modern shotgun. Although adapted to pistols and rifles, it was really at its best in shotguns. I recall in the 1980s a Sussex gunshop was still reloading pinfire shotgun artridges or ustomers, nd or ll now ay c f c a f a Ik m well still be doing so. Certainly, empty cases for both pistol and shotgun are still made, and 16bore cartridges of recent manufacture by Fiocchi are frequently encountered. Some seven years before Houllier’s improvement, Le Page (copies of whose target pecussion pistols are extremely popular) introduced a not dissimilar cartridge in which both the copper cap and the anvil protruded from the base (presumably akin to the Sharps mule-ear cartridge). Casimir’s son Eugene (1833-92) patented an improved design in 1854.The French government carried out extensive trials of weapons in the Crimean War and a 12mm revolver was adopted by the French Navy in 1856 and became the Navy Revolver Model 1858, an example of which is shown in photo 1. This was a particularly successful design and was used by the armed forces of France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Although never produced in America, both sides used imported weapo during the Civil Was and General “Stonewall” Jackson carried a LeFaucheaux. The revolver in photo 1 is in excellent condition, and has seen little use. The hooked trigger guard, whilst pretty, actually gets in the way, and some revolvers are found with rounded guards. Far more popular were the small folding trigger revolvers, usually of
Pic 1 30 Target Shooter
Belgian manufacture in calibres from 5mm to 12mm. Photo 2 shows a double barrel 12mm smoothbore of execrable quality and probably of Spanish manufacture. Amazingly, it is in very good condition with he hrome late early t c p n intact. This lack of wear is probably because it was so badly made, no-one plucked up the courage to fire it. Curiously, the lower pistol in photo 2 is of much better quality with rifled barrels and of Belgian manufacture. This was found in Spain in the 1960s. Clearly, it had spent much of its life in the sea, and is probably a relic of the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, the salt water has done it no good whatever, but it may well have had an exciting history. The pinfire was quickly superseded by first the rimfire, and then by the centre fire, but it hung on in Europe long after it was obsolete, rather like the
pepperbox in America (perhaps the subject of a future article). Until quite recently, these weapons were classed as firearms because they were breech loading, but, thankfully, they are now classed as antiques provided they are kept as such. Prices seem to be rising, particularly for the better quality examples, and perhaps they are now becoming recognised as an important stepping stone in firearms development rather than an oddity.
Impressions of rimfire and air rifle benchrest
By Carl Boswell
Each month I ramble on about rimfire and air rifle benchrest, assuming that you all know about it. It has gained in popularity over the years and the air rifle side of things is really moving, with more people taking this up in the UK and around the world. The latter, although small in numbers, is shot by at least ten countries at this time. I thought this month I would go back to the basics, providing a brief description of what we do in the postal, national and international matches. So, what is rimfire and air rifle benchrest? Exactly as it sounds; shooting from a bench using rests, both front and rear, to hold the rifle in a stable position. It is a test of accuracy and skill; related to the rifle, the ammunition, skill of the shooter (particularly with regard to shooting position), shooting technique and, most importantly, reading of prevailing conditions – i.e the wind! Rimfire bench rest is shot at 50 metres (and 50 yards in the US) and 25 yards in the UK (25 metres in Europe and the rest of the world), with as many
Shooters from 8 nations at the European Championship 2007
sighting shots taken as required during the 30 minute match shooting the twenty-five record target blocks. Rimfire benchrest is not a new sport as it originated in the United States some years ago. It has also been around in some parts of Europe for at least the last two decades. It is definitely a shooting sport that has a great deal of possibilities for rimfire calibre rifles in the United Kingdom.
Those targets look a long way World Championship 2008 32 Target Shooter
Regional match in South Africa
Air rifle benchrest developed in the UK and Italy around the same time, when mutual ideas developed regarding this sport. It took on the nature of its close cousin, with similar match and rifle classification. The United Kingdom Rimfire Benchrest
Below are the 50m and 25m targets used in the UK, Europe and for world championships
A standard bench design from Cicognani of Italy007
Association, or UKBR22, was established around six years ago. We started small with only eight members. This has developed into not just the seasonal postal matches but national and international competitions as well. We always run postal leagues at 50m and at 25 yards as international competitions; competing against a host of shooters from around the world. Other competitions are now developing on a national basis such as the C&N and Midland league. The World Postal Championship, a one off match, has also taken hold in sixteen countries that take part in it each year. The bench & rests The bench is defined as a rigidly constructed table, of a height to allow a shooter of more or less average build to sit comfortably on a stool, possibly of adjustable height, to allow for individual differences. The rests used are clearly defined in the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire Benchrest Shooting (UKBR22) rules, as are all pieces of equipment relating to bench rest shooting. Generally speaking, the front rest can be a sandbag, but is more usually a pedestal-type affair. Quite often this incorporates height and windage adjustments, using a sandbag to cushion the fore-end of the rifle. The rear rest is usually a sandbag made of cloth or leather, often constructed so that the butt of the rifle
Standard rest designs - the front rest above and the rear bags7
rests in a V-shaped portion of the bag. Neither the front or rear rest should grip the rifle, or in any way restrict the recoil or twisting action of the rifle when fired and in fact, the rifle must be able to be easily lifted clear of the rests. The rifles The rifles used in the UK range from the CZ to Anschutz and Sako in the Sporter and Light Varmint Class with mainly the Target Anschutz in the Unlimited Class but there are a few Martini Internationals and Walthers. Basically, anything that meets the weight rules can be used. So what do you have in your gun cabinet? We are seeing a lot more custom rifles nowadays, as the competition hots up Rimfire benchrest is generally made up of three gun classes though other associations throughout the world do this slightly differently. As the UKBR22 does run international postal competitions, the use of the UKBR22 target has been agreed by all member nations who compete in these UKBR22 run matches. In the UK, rimfire benchrest rifle classes are several Sporter, Light Varmint, and Heavy Varmint classes. Matches in the UK are setup to shoot for score, with some ‘fun’ competitions shooting for group or on a specific target for ‘one off’ competitions during the year. Around five years ago we adapted the rimfire benchrest rules to include the use of air rifles. This was around the same time the 25 yard/ metre target was developed. For air rifle, the adaption had to include the power of the air rifle, which is closely monitored at competitions, as well as weight. These matches are again run all the - year round in postal leagues. Classes for air rifle competition are similar to those of rimfire, but do look at the latetst set of all rules and equipment specifications - this can be found on the UKBR22 website at http://www.benchrest22.org/ With regard to the types of rifle used for air rifle benchrest, they are mainly based around Field Target and Hunter Field Target rifles, although target models do make their way into matches. Although it is something I have only shot with since 2007, I would say that air rifle benchrest holds the same amount of fun, but the technical issues can be very different to rimfire BR.
Below - a coaxial rest - expensive, but for some the best you can get!
The Steyr LG100 customised for benchrest
Customised Anschutz for rimfire BR
The Game There are two official UKBR22 targets (now the same as the official World and European targets); one for 25yrds/metres and one for 50metres. Both have 25 record bull diagrams and 5 sighter bulls. There is a 30 minute time limit to shoot the 25 record targets - with as many sighter shots as needed. But, all within the 30 minutes. A perfect target would be 250 - 25X. All twenty five shots would have to be in the 10 ring and all touching or obliterating the centre dot or ‘X’. The ‘X’ is only 2mm in diameter on the 50 meter target! Shooting rimfire and air rifle benchrest is a good way to sharpen your shooting skills and with good ammo and equipment 250 scores are possible. I would say the same about air rifle but a 250 has always eluded me with these rifles!
Sporter class is using anything from the Ammunition shelf that meets weight Ammunition must be a lead projectile in 22 rimfire. Quality ammunition such as RWS, Eley and Lapua are the leading brands used in the sport. The more you pay the better it should shoot….. in theory!
On the air rifle side, I personally go for JSB but that is a preference only because this is what was recommended by a colleague a few years ago. There are lots of other pellets and part of the fun is experimenting by sizing, lubing, testing, etc.
Custom Turbo action LV rifle from the USA
The organisations Air rifle benchrest - shot at Most organisations in other countries and there are a few of them, especially in the USA, have the 2007 European similar rules and this can be verified via their Championship individual websites. Targets can differ however and there will be minor differences for specific courses of fire or specific organisation characteristics. The various association websites can be found via a forum called Benchrest Central at www.benchrest.com . Within the UK we have a number of existing targets that do differ from the UKBR22/ World target (as the UKBR22 adopted the world target in 2009). The course of fire is also slightly different. However, they all serve to hone the skills needed to compete. For some reason,many people do not shoot the international matches yet they are perfectly capable of doing so, as their scores in other leagues reflect this.
Batch testing youe rimfire The future ammo is very important - As you may have read in the recent issues of here we are at Eley Target Shooter, the UKBR22 Association held its Target Shooter 35
There are lots of add ons for some classes like this Harrel tuner and mid barrel tunner - to alter barrel harmonics You may need windflags - otherwise how do you know where your bullet is going? These can be self made like these for very little, or....... ..... you can by a set like these
Using windflags is very important for gaining ultimate accuracy - here we have two flags indicating different speeds at different angles
last National Championships in August 2009. This was very successful and we want to make this an annual or at least a bi-annual event. We have our normal postal leagues continuing during summer and winter leagues, with a ‘one off’ one day World Postal match in August. However, there is nothing like going ‘head to head’ against each other and a British Team will therefore be going to the next European Championships in 2010, taking place at Pilsen ranges in the Czech Republic. The year after, in 2011, the World Championships take place in the USA. (As a side note, the British Team has gained some sponsorship for these two events, but we are also looking for further aid to boost the status of these events in the future).
Benchrest Central Rimfire forum - http://www.benchrest.com/ Rimfire Central Benchrest Forum - http://www.rimfirecentral.com/
There are a few books that may help you in your quest for better technique and accuracy. The Benchrest Shooting Primer and Extreme Rifle Accuracyfle Accuracy are two of them, but there are others. The two mentioned are specifically aimed at centerfire benchrest, but the techniques and methodology explained in them are very useful for rimfire benchrest. Both can be purchased via Amazon at a reasonable price. The UKBR22, And finally… 6mmBR.com and Benchrest Central websites are If you are looking for further resources to help you also very useful to help you start with FAQ’s about I would look at the following websites; the sport and equipment. UKBR22 website - http://www.benchrest22.org/
A line up of some serious kit just before the start of the match
Having a decent scope is vital for 50m - so spend what you can afford. There are bargains out there like this Sightron
A standard Anschutz used at the last european championship - you can go the whole hog but you can start with what you have
development of rimfire and air rifle benchrest in the UK. The amazing thing is seeing how both have developed on a world level. So watch this space for scores over the next few years, as the hunt for As there are lots of alternative matches going extreme accuracy continues........... on in these sports, it is interesting to see the
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The Steyr LG 110 for FT AND HFT
by Tim Finley
I started shooting a Steyr rifle in the form of a LG- they called the LG-110 version. They also began to 100 in 2002, I was taken by the design, and being an make version called the High Power, it is a 18ft/lb’s engineer I saw that who ever designed the Steyr was hunting rifle for the European market, which could be lowered to under 12ft/lb’s comply with our gun laws. I was pleased to see Steyr incorporating a feature that I suggested to them back in 2003. The LG-100’s extruded aluminium chassis was coated in a matt black finish, I saw this as the rifles only potential flaw, the black would act as a heat sink in the sun and warm up the metal, this could lead to movement and a shift in the rifles point of impact. The 110 has a silver chassis with the words STEYR machined out Steyr kindly supplied me with a new LG-110 FT in 2006 as I had no spare FT and HFT guns in 2007 FT rig, I also had a new Schmidt and Bender FT scope so it was a golden opportunity to pair the two up. a very clever man. It was the one-piece extruded Currently in 2010 Steyr produce the 110 in a few chassis that everything bolts on to which is at the versions. The 10m match version, the FT with either heart of the superb rifle. At that time I had to have a 10m 6ft/lb rifle converted to 11.5 foot pounds to make it viable FT muzzle before for the outdoor sport of Field Target modifications shooting. The rifle was actually selected by Steyr for me and sent via the UK distributor Harry Preston. It turned out to be the only FT rifle I have ever owned where I won a major title in the first year of using a new gun. I have won many Field Target titles with it including the 2006 European FT championship. In 2005 Steyr also began to produce dedicated Field Target version to the UK legal limit based upon their 6ft/lb 10m match rifle on the upgraded version of the 100 that
FT air stripper
a fixed rear butt section or the removable Connect system, the High Power with a simple wooden stock and the Hunting FAC 32ft/lb .22 or .20 calibre version. Due for September 2010 is the Bench Rest version with a shallow flat wide fore end in place of the deep FT wood work and spacers. The Connect FT system allows the rifle to be stripped into smaller parts for transportation by removing the butt/cheek piece, it has been vastly improved on the 110. 100’s and early 110 had a lever on the right hand side of the rifle, lift this and the butt section could be slide out. Mine worked a treat as I never took the butt off, but 10m shooters soon found it becoming loose after a few months. The system uses an Allen screw within the sliding section, easily undone with the Allen key provided, but rock solid in the meantime. The forend woodwork of the 110 has been altered to a longer slimmer shape but with
extension pieces to deepen the fore stock section of the rifle as required. The 110 I got was supplied with the older style woodwork as I wanted to be able to exactly match the feel and dimensions of my competition winning 100. The pistol grip on the 110 is now fitted with a canting disc where it meets the action, to allow the shooter to angle the grip to the most comfortable position for themselves. There is a new weight system on the 110, this is bolted to the inside of the butt plate, it consists of two 50 gram weights which can be positioned anywhere along the bar. It retains the aluminium rubber studded butt pad, this has all the adjustments you need as well as a hinged top/bottom section depending upon where you find it most comfortable. The rear stock section has an adjustable cheek piece, and by adjustable I mean adjustable, not only for height, but for angle in a line relative to the barrel. Pitch, at an angle relative to the floor and even position nearer or further away from the chassis. The whole rear section can be altered for pitch via two Allen keys on either side of the chassis. The butt pad too is fully adjustable for length of pull, height above below the barrel line and angle relative to the body. The rear section which the butt pad fits onto can be angled to 90 or 80 degrees. The 110 both uses a detachable air cylinder system, although I had the mine changed to a quick fill by Hydrographics, just because I am use to the system. The cylinders are available in a striking blue of natural silver finish. There is an air pressure gauge on the end of the cylinder marked
FT muzzle left and HFT muzzle on the right 40 Target Shooter
barrels which they finish and nickel plate. The 50m (55 yards) test group the supplied with my rifle was one ragged 10.1mm (0.40 inches) center to center five shot hole, this was shot with JSB Exact Express 7.9 grain pellets. I was able to shoot a three shot 42mm group at 100 yards with my 110 when I was setting up the S&B scope. The trigger is adjustable for 1st stage travel 1 stage weight, 2nd stage weight and the blade itself can be positioned on one of two 25mm long bars set 10mm apart on the trigger block. This gives the shooter the ability to perfectly position the blade for their hand /finger. It can be set down to 50 grams up to 250 grams. in three sections. The yellow section is 0 to 70 bar, The dry firing system works as the 6ft/lb version in green 70 to 200 bar and red (do not fill to here) 200- theory, but Steyr state it should not be used on the 300. It runs at 200 bar and the filling adaptor for the 12 and 18ft pound versions as the stronger springs air cylinder supplied is for a 232 bar bottle. If you used could damage the trigger. One other major have a 300 bar bottle a specially made brass ring with an “o” ring has to be put inside the 300 bar I replaced the FT bottle with the 200 bar adaptor then screwed in. With butt pad with an a 200 bar fill it gave me 100 shots before it dropped Anshcutz model to the yellow line and 70 bar of pressure. The whole string of 100 shots did not vary by more than 14 feet per second, with strings of shots within two feet per second of one another. The current UK 110’s have a new transfer port to ensure the rifle cannot exceed the UK 12ft/lb legal limit with heavy or light pellets. The barrel on the LG-110 differs from the old hammer forged version on the 100. Since the 100 was first made the firm of Steyr Sportwaffen, the air weapon division of Steyr Mannlicher, split from Mannlicher and 51% was bought by Anschutz. The remaining 49% is feature retain in the 110 is the patented stabilizing owned by the four top men within Steyr Sportwaffen. system. This system releases a spring-loaded Since splitting from Steyr they no longer had access weight upon firing the gun to cancel out the forces to the hammer forged barrels so opted for Anschutz produced by expelling the pellet out of the front of the barrels, however, they could not get the volume of barrel. Newton’s third law of motion in full effect here, top quality 12ft/lb match barrels from Anschutz that “ to every action where is an equal and opposite they needed. So they now fit Lothar Walther match reaction “ as the pellet goes forward the weight moves in the opposite direction back towards the shooter. The weight is housed in the moving breech directly Shooting the Showdown in line with the bore of the with the angled rail barrel, in other words the perfect place. Although made for 6 ft/lb 10m power levels the spring powering the weight can be adjusted up to the higher 12 ft/lb power levels needed for FT and HFT. I was so impressed with my FT 110 I bought a High Power rifle to use in HFT events. The basic mechanical elements of the rifles remain the same but I have the rifles set up for the differing sports. I’ll explain the
testing the 110 FT before any modifications
differences starting with my FT rifle. It has the older woodwork from the 100 as mentioned before, this has been dipped by Hydrographic’s to waterproof it, they also modified the fore end with posts to deepen it to make it possible to rest the rifle on the forward knee when in the classic FT sitting shooting position and get the height to make it comfortable to rangefind using a side wheel scope. I fitted knurled finger adjusters to the clamping screws of the fore end to be able to quickly adjust the depth during competition, another quick adjuster is fitted to the Anschutz butt hook. The butt hook is an essential bit of kit for FT shooters and being able to move it up and down depending upon the angle to the intended target is vital. On the end of the plain barrel I fitted a PCB adjustable air stripper, whether this helped with the 42mm group at 100 yards I can only guess at, but I think it did. I know the 110 is more accurate then my old LG100, a rifle which is blisteringly accurate. In FT we need a wind indicator and I have fitted a Pete Dutton stainless steel rod system, which swings out from a folded position under the barrel. A B Square level is fitted to scope rail to make sure I do not cant the gun. The scope you should know all about from last months Target Shooter, it’s a S&B FT model with a first focal plane reticle. My HFT rifle went thro a few changes as I fine tuned the gun. It too has a S&B scope a one off made for me by them, it’s a 10*42 Klassik model fitted with a P3 Mildot reticle. To give me a better head
position on the scope (Which is of the utmost importance n FT) tted n dd n lastic heek iece i H I fi a a o p c p from an AK47 Choate stock( Obtained from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies). This just attached with one screw and in the stocks natural state even matches the surface finish. The standard black rubber butt pad I removed and fitted a cast metal model from New Zeeland as the pull length was a little small for my ample frame. As with the FT gun I had it dipped when I was happy with the fit in a subtle orange pattern. If you look at the pictures from when I won the “Gathering” with my HP 110 I have also now changed the fore end deepening section. It was a very simple DIY block of aluminium with more aluminium flat bar bolted to the bottom of it. I worked quite well but I was struggling with the increasing difficulty of the kneeling shots creeping into HFT. I contacted Steyr and they were fantastic to send me the prototype fore end they were going to make for the 110 FT model. It had a machined adjustable rising system in place of the multiple spacer system
The filling adaptor for the screw out cylinder
The standard air cylinder screws out for filling
they eventually went for. When I fitted it I knew it was going to work better and it did. This was dipped to in the same pattern. I won the North East Field Target Association Hunter Field Target league in 2009 with the highest points total in it’s history, winning three of the six rounds. The plain muzzle was fitted with a custom made moderator which went down the barrel in the style of a full-bore reflex type. I wanted a quiet gun as in HFT if you hit metal you get a point (With two points for knocking the target over) so it would help marshals hear any metallic sounds as I shot. It also makes the gun feel completely different to the FT model to shoot. The FT rifle does sound loud with the air stripper attached to it I have to admit. I had tested a 110 fitted with a moderator for a previous magazine article and was smitten by how it shot. Being an HFT gun it does not have a level or wind indicator as the rules forbid them being used. HFT shooting is very pure and simple in that respect and shooting my HFT Steyr does give me more pleasure then the FT rifle, but not by much! One exciting thing launched at the IWA show in
Germany this year was the new 110 will now be available with a right or left hand cocking handle. Steyr’s continue to be extremely popular for FT, HFT and Bench Rest, that is not to mention 10m shooting. I own three Steyr rifles and have my eye on the new Hunting version to replace my current FAC rated air rifle. You do not have to change a standard out of the box rifle if you do not want to, the modifications I made are just to tweak every bit of an advantage I can over other competitors, but each small modification is based on a long trial and error process to arrive at the ideal solution. That is one of the reasons why I like the Steyr’s so much, they already have so many built in adjustments there for the individual shooter to alter. The full-length accessory rail on the underside of the extruded chassis makes it easy to attach different fore ends or other accessories in the case of the wind indicator for my FT rig. The trigger position can be moved about, you can get different grips and in the case of my FT rig I can change the position of the butt hook or the depth of the fore end between shots in seconds. So the 110 is proving to be a very versatile performer, the editor of this great on line magazine also uses one to win medals at Bench Rest, what ever your air rifle target sport then the 110 has to be seriously looked at. Specification Manufacturer Steyr Sportwaffen GmbH Distributor Steyr UK 01904 705401 Model LG-110 Barrel Lothar Walther match nickel-plated Barrel length 17 3/4 “(450mm) Calibre .177 (also .22 on HP and .22 and .20 on Hunting version) Action Precharged regulated Pneumatic With stabilizing system Cocking Side lever action Loading Manual - directly into breech of barrel Trigger Match two or single stage with multiple \ adjustments 50 to 250g Overall length 39.5” (100.4 cm) Adjustable to fit Weight 9 lb 12 oz (4.42 kg) Adjustable for balance Sights Scope only via a scope rail or Optional 30MOA Picatinny scope rail Stock Multi adjustable for weight and reach. Laminated wood grip, cheek piece and fore stock. Removable rear stock on FT Connect option. Fixed beech stock on HP version Price £1700 FT rrp £1200 High Power rrp (Prices rises are due on 1st of April 2010) Picatinny scope rail £150 rrp
Winning a NEFTA Winter league round FT 2009
Tim shooting the gathering 2007
The rifle that won the Gathering 2007
The gun that won the 2009 NEFTA Hunter series
by Vince Bottomley
Make no mistake about it, the American Shot Show remains the world’s largest show but IWA is closing in! This year, the Shot Show had over 1600 exhibitors compared to IWA’s 1141 but remember, these are trade shows – intended to introduce vendors and dealers to new and existing products. In the USA, around 75% of shooters are hunters whereas in Europe, it’s more like 50-50. If you hunt, the Shot Show has no equal but if you are a sport shooter then IWA probably holds as much interest as the Shot Show. I’ve done both shows and although the American version has a few more exhibitors, the floor area is two or three times greater but that just means more leg-work to get around. Given the fact that Nurnberg is just a day’s drive – or a 90 minute flight away – it’s so much more convenient and cheaper to visit IWA. The American contingent at IWA grows year on year and in 2010 we had 158 stands from the USA which naturally included all the major rifle, scope, bullet and powder manufacturers in attendance. Although IWA is a trade-only show, visitors can attend providing they can show proof of involvement with the trade – usually, a visting card will suffice. There are six large halls and some of them will take a full day to get round so you will need the whole four days of the Show if you want to see everything. However, don’t expect to be filling your suitcase with a host of goodies – this is not a buying show and selling is strictly prohibited. If you intend a visit next year, check out the Air Berlin flights from Stansted for a bargain £80 return. If you want to drive, it’s motorway all the way once you get across the channel but allow a full day. Expect to pay upwards of 40 Euros per night for a hotel (prices are unashamedly increased for IWA week) but public transport in the form of the Ubahn (Nurnberg’s underground railway) is a snip. A nine Euro ticket
The opening ceremony is attended by the world’s media – can you imagine this in Britain?
will allow unlimited travel for a week – for me, that represented about 16 journeys, so an absolute bargain. The Ubahn will take you to the Messe (exhibition centre) from anywhere in the city – it’s about a 10 minute ride and the trains run every few minutes. Nurnberg is a beautiful, historic walled city with plenty to do and see if you take a non-shooter along. At night, you will feel safe wandering around the largely pedestrianised city and eating out is a joy with many reasonably priced restaurants of all types but vegetarians are not well catered for! The show brings in thousands of visitors and it’s hard to find a restaurant without a few shooters already in there. I travelled from Stanstead on the Thursday evening flight which got me in Nurnberg for about 9.30pm. A fifteen minute ride on the Ubahn and a short walk from the station and I was in the hotel for 10.30pm. The press are treated like royalty at IWA and the press room provides drinks and snacks throughout the day for hard-working hacks like me (!) and the exhibition halls are littered with eating places of all kinds from a stand-up sausage to a full sit-down meal. Smoking is not allowed but drinking is! The first stand I hit was the massive Umarex display. Normally, I don’t pay too much attention to all that rimfire and airsoft stuff but with my recent interest in Mini-rifle, there was plenty to see – including the ‘official’ Heckler & Koch rimfire version of their MP5. Following their successful legal stoppage of the GSG-5 rifle, H & K have now made their own and very nice it looks too. Once on the stand I got caught up in the airsoft thing and in the process, discovered another minefield for users and vendors of these
The Chinese dream up some great names for their companies!
guns in the UK. My old buddy from the now defunct Target Sports magazine, Geoff Hudson, attempted to bring me up to speed but only added to my confusion. Please, if anyone out there can write us a piece on the regulations covering these toy guns, we will be pleased to print it! By the end of day one, I had said hello to a few of the Brit. exhibitors like Jackson Rifles and covered around 200 stands but I was still looking for my IWA scoop – that new piece of equipment, rifle or scope which would get me just a little bit excited. On day two, I started in hall 4 with the British Pavilion. This is an area where many of the Brit exhibitors are clustered together and some years, it can look rather empty – and no wonder with our firearms laws! Stands can look boring and so do those manning them! This year however, the Union jacks were flying, it was busy and there was a lively atmosphere and plenty to see. beavering away on his action and stocks and chose IWA to launch them to the world. The action is beautiful – yes, it’s another Remmy clone and will be available in a number of configurations. I hope that Target Shooter will get the opportunity to have a closer look at one in part two of our IWA report next month.
That put an extra spring in my step and I bounced on to the GSG stand to look at their latest GSG-5 which, following the aforementioned legal intervention from H&K is now dubbed the GSG-522. From ten feet away, you wouldn’t know it from the old model but the re-vamp has prompted a better stock design with raised cheek-piece to make it more ‘scope friendly’ and the stock is available separately if you want to upgrade your old GSG-5. Sig also do a rimfire version of their military rifle and very nice it looks too – I think Wayne at North West Custom Parts is already stocking them. This is a growing market The RPA stand is always a must as they generally and you can buy a Colt AR15, Smith & Wesson’s have something new – and they did – a couple of version of the AR and Ruger’s attempt to dress hunting rifles which, although not my bag The British sector was vibrant and busy certainly break new ground in this sector. A little further along, I came across Impala Rifles. Impala Rifles? Never heard of ‘em? Neither had I – but here was my scoop! Another British made rifle action! Wow – how could I not have heard of this? Not only an action but also a UK made carbon-fibre stock. A lively discussion followed with Gavin Haywood who it seems has been quietly
Gavin Haywood with his new action and carbon-fibre stock – more next month
American stands. This guy makes only one pistol. It’s aimed at ladies as it is small enough to slip into a pocket or handbag – no bigger than a Blackberry in fact. The guy offers a range of different ‘lady’ finishes – chrome, gold-plate, pink, blue – you name it. I was busy taking pictures and he thought I might be a customer so I had to put him right and confess that I was from the UK where we are not allowed to own such things. “For God’s sake, stand up and fight those bastards – take back your country!” I could help thinking he was dead right. It’s really pathetic that we are just about the only country in the civilised world where we can’t own pistols. Talking about other products banned in the UK – there is a massive market in self-defence sprays. Why shouldn’t our ladies be allowed to carry these? They merely
up their 10/22 as an AR. Many of these rimfires are exact replicas of their fullbore counter-part – so much so they can be used as serious training weapons, greatly reducing the cost of ammunition. If IWA has a fault, it’s the lack of seating. You are on your feet all day and, even for food breaks, there is often limited seating but Hall 6 is a saviour. It’s devoted to military, police and security equipment and there were demonstrations throughout the day – with seating! When I got tired, I headed for Hall 6 and watched Russian policemen beat the living daylights out of each other with riot shields, battons, tasers, truncations etc. Very entertaining and relaxing. As well as guns, IWA hosts the Knife of the Year award. Knives are OK, indeed some are beautiful but I can’t get over-excited. Choose a knife, buy it and it lasts forever – unless you lose it but believe me, an awful lot of folk make a living out of selling knives. The Knife of the Year is taken very A Russian seriously and figures in the prestigious IWA policeman opening ceremony. Most exhibits would be demonstrates his illegal to carry in the UK – never mind given an award! What a country we live in. I firepower was looking at a tiny 22 pistol on one of the
There’s something of interest at every turn – this guy is engraving a knife blade
spray pepper into the face of a dastardly attacker – the effects of which are short-lived. I did see one that sprayed a coloured dye and a minor irritant which the vendor claimed was UK legal – interesting. Another one shot a large dollop of glue onto the assailants face – very effective. But, let’s get back to firearms. What did the major manufacturers have to offer? Savage were showing their tactical rifle. It was on display and on sale last year. It looks great but I had to tell them that I hadn’t seen a single one in the UK. They were also exhibiting a 338 version which should be far cheaper than any other factory 338. Let’s hope our Savage importers take note. The 338 Barrett is another rifle with that aggressive military look and a good reputation and should sell well in the UK. There were several minor firms showing rifles chambered for the 338 and 408 Chey-Tac – there appears to be a growing interest in these larger calibres for some reason.
few years ago, green was the new black for tactical rifles – now it’s tan! Of all the so-called tactical rifles, I haven’t seen one that surpasses the Unique Alpine in terms of quality, looks and functionality. They have some new models but this rifle is so ‘right’ there is little that can be done to improve it beyond minor tweeks. York Guns have secured the exclusive UK importer rights and we have one for test – more in our May issue. Remington had nothing new for me but were still showing their tactical rifle with that bonkers triangular barrel. Again, I’ve yet to see one in the UK. Ruger had a tactical version of their 10/22 and of course the AR version of the 10/22. Most of the Winchester stand was devoted to shotguns, so little for the rifle enthusiast.
If you want to see something really exciting you need to visit the BCM stand run by my good friend Dr Vittorio Taveggia. Vittorio is a genius in metalworking - of the CNC variety and he designs, builds and shoots some of the most exciting long-range rifles you will ever see. He makes his own actions, Yes, there were revamped tacticals from Blaser, Sig, stocks and a range of accessories – scope rings, Sako, Steyr etc. but nothing too exciting. Whereas a rails and the like and he has also had time to develop The 338 Savage looks the part should be a a semi-auto pistol for military and police use. Please have a look at his website at www.bcmeuropearms.it bargain
If you’ve nothing new to show and you painted your black rifle green last year, then paint it tan for 2010!
A lot of the site is still under construction but you will appear and, if it’s from one of the major quality get an idea of what he produces. manufacturers, all the better. Leupold haven’t had much to excite me for the last few years but they We can usually hope for the odd new scope to had a couple of great new tactical scopes on display in an exciting new finish – tan! These scopes are Here’s Dr Taveggia from BCM military through and through Europe Arms with his with a Horus reticle on offer semi-auto pistol. Next month and a foolproof ‘lock’ on the we’ll have a look at his rifles elevation turret to prevent accidental adjustment. Schmidt & Bender had also gone for the same ‘desert’ finish and they had done away with that curious ‘lighthouse’ turret which adorns the 25 and 50 power PM models. Sightron of course were showing their 10-50 power which will undercut the opposition by about a third and surely become ‘the scope’ for serious long-range UK target shooters. Aimfield Sports are the UK importer and Target Shooter has the first one in the UK for evaluation. Full report next month. This month, I have tried to give you a general impression of the IWA show. Next month, we will have a closer look at at the more interesting stuff on display.
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HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER (part 6)
By Laurie Holland
Above - One the youngest (and best) international F-Class shooters is teenager Adam Brough taking aim here with his 7mmWSM Open-Class rifle at Blair Atholl. This high-BC, high-MV combination confers a huge advantage over .308W at long ranges in switching winds.
Having identified bullets that are best avoided for longer range shooting last month, I’ll look at the others to see what drives their external ballistics performance, and the importance or otherwise of their aerodynamic efficiency in 600yd shooting. This will be the prelude to identifying ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ for very long-range shooting with the .308 Winchester. But first, let’s go back to basics and ask what we’re looking for – optimal accuracy and external ballistics efficiency. ‘Accuracy’? – a combination of ‘precision’ (the rifleammunition’s ability to produce small groups) and
Optimal bullet choice can be crucial in long-range matches, especially on ranges such as Blair Atholl which is notorious for difficult to read wind conditions.
Although 0.308” bullets are available from 110gn to 240gn, these bullets represent the usual maximum spread of 155 to 210gn used in the .308W. This sextet represents the most efficient designs in their respective classes: 155s from Sierra, Lapua, and Berger on the left; 208-210s from Hornady, Berger and Sierra on the right.
the application of rifle handling, aiming and wind reading to hit the aiming mark. Good external ballistics performance makes the latter job easier through reducing the effects of such factors as wind drift and bullet drop, the benefits conferred increasing exponentially with range. What is ‘external ballistics efficiency’ in this context? It is the optimum combination of BC (ballistic coefficient) and MV, but with a large choice of bullet shapes and a weight range of 150 to 240gn for 0.308” HPBTM designs, how can we compare so many possible combinations? One problem is that, all other things being equal, BC rises in direct proportion to bullet weight, but opposing this, MV drops. Most shooters apparently assume this a zero-sum game in which MV reduction negates any benefit derived from higher BCs, otherwise why would they load 155gn bullets for shooting in disciplines or club matches where there is no such requirement? Newcomers invariably choose 155gn bullets too, presumably on the advice of experienced shooters. Much of this is down to our being conditioned to be impressed by high velocities, and ‘well over 3,000 fps’ sounds better than ‘around 2,500’. Weight and Speed This leads me to the need to look at two things: the mechanism whereby increasing bullet weight increases BC; how similar bullet designs with different weights behave at comparable MVs. Now here’s a conundrum – how do we ascertain comparable MVs for very different weight bullets, say 155gn and 210gn? We could look at loading manuals or ask other shooters. Either may provide ballpark but not particularly reliable figures given the variables involved, not to mention most shooters’ incorrigible optimism about their loads’ velocities. However, if we have an accurate MV for one load, we can estimate what that particular rifle will produce with other bullet weights. However, when I say “accurate MV”, I mean just that – that spells CHRONOGRAPHED! Generally speaking, if a rifle produces a certain ME (muzzle energy) with one bullet, it will also do so at similar chamber pressures with others, even though you may have to change the powder. Table 1 lists MEs for a range of bullet weights using 155gn at 3,000 fps MV (3,098 ft/lb) as the starting point, and we see the equivalent MV for a 210gn bullet is 2,577 fps. This method is not exact, as load-tuning might see the finalised 210gn load perform best at an MV 20 or 30 fps lower, or
LeftIdentifying ballistically optimum load combinations may seem impossible given the potential combinations of weights, shapes and MVs. This quartet represents four very different options. Left to right: 155gn Lapua Scenar (mild secant ogive); 175gn Sierra MK (traditional form match bullet with 7-calibre radius tangent ogive); 175gn Berger VLD (aggressive secant ogive); 210gn Sierra MK (not only a heavyweight, but Sierra’s only full-blown VLD design with aggressive secant ogive nose section). for that matter higher, than the exact ME equivalent to an existing load. Naturally, the rifling twist rate has to
be suitable too.
Right, we have a chronographed load and likely MVs for other bullet weights, so how does weight affect BC, again stressing all other things are equal? To find this out we need to look at the BC’s constituent parts, and find it is the ratio of SD (sectional density) to ‘form factor’, that is divide the former by the latter and you get the BC. That tells us not a lot, so let’s dig further. SD is the ratio of bullet calibre (diameter) and weight, specifically weight (measured in pounds) divided by the square of the diameter in inches. With 7,000gn to 1lb, a 155gn bullet weighs 0.022142 lbs and a 210gn example 0.0300 lbs. Both are 0.3080” diameter, square this figure and you get 0.094864. Divide our weights by this figure and we get SD values of 0.233 and 0.316 respectively – note that any such weight thirty calibre bullets have these SDs whether shaped like ICBMs or a brick-built public conveniences. The aerodynamic efficiency bit of the equation Left - Berger’s two 0.308” 185s, BT LongRange on the left with long tangent nose and VLD on the right with a 14.7-calibres radius secant ogive nose on the right. The tangent BT L-R model has the marginally higher G7 BC at 0.283 v 0.281, and is much easier to ‘tune’ in handloads for most rifles.
Six of these seven bullets were evaluated ballistically for 600yd shooting using comparable MVs. Left to right: ‘old’ Sierra 155gn MK, ‘new’ Sierra 155gn, 168gn SMK, 175gn SMK, cartridge loaded with 185gn Berger BT L-R, 185gn Berger BT L-R, 200gn SMK, 208gn Hornady A-Max. comes from the bullet’s shape (‘form’) and how well it copes with atmospheric drag. Ballisticians describe it using a numerical ‘form factor’, which is a comparison of the bullet’s performance against that of a standard reference projectile’s shape. The reference bullet is always referred to as G plus a figure to differentiate the various versions available, and is always given a form-factor or ‘i’ value of 1.0. The one we’re interested in the G7 reference standard – see Bryan Litz’s article on Fullbore bullets in the October and November issues which include a drawing of it. Bryan range tested 175 long-range bullets in eight calibres and calculated i7 values and G7 BCs averaged over 1,000yd flights – I’ll use his data throughout in making comparisons. Fortuitously, Bryan also provides detailed drawings of most of the 175 bullets too, letting me search for two whose parts that most affect aerodynamic performance are similar, that is the nose and boat-tail rear, but have different full-calibre lengths in-between varying the weight. I eventually found two Berger 0.308” models that have similar shapes and an identical i7 value – the 155.5gn BT FULLBORE and the 210gn Match BT Long-Range. Both have the same rear end, an 8.9° angle boat-tail 0160” long and similar tangent-ogive fronts, the 155.5 using a 9.6-calibre (2.96”) radius nose; the 210 a 10.19-calibre (3.14”) radius section, with nose lengths only 2% different at 0.825” and 0.806” respectively. Bryan has calculated the i7 for both as 0.988, that is they produce 98.8% of the G7 reference standard bullet’s drag, so are marginally more efficient. The difference between them is mid-section length, the 155.5gn bullet’s 0.265”, the 210’s 0.481” producing the extra 55gn weight. BC is calculated by dividing the SD by i7 value and since the heavier 210 grainer has a higher SD it gets the better result at 0.320 v 0.237. Metrics We know these bullets’ BCs thanks to Mr Litz, and we also know thanks to his drawings and calculations that the sole measurable difference between them is weight, so we aren’t comparing a blunt pear to a streamlined apple. I can estimate the 210gn version’s likely MV in my barrel as late last year I tested the 155.5gn Berger loaded over America’s favourite propellant for this bullet weight, Hodgdon VarGet. Out of ten five-round test batches with powder charges rising in 0.2gn steps, three consecutive loads produced a ‘sweet spot’ or
accuracy node giving 0.2-0.3” groups, the highest charge weight of the trio producing 2,952 fps MV. Calculating that combination’s ME produces 3,010 ft/lb ME and the equivalent MV with the 210gn bullet is 2,540 fps. So, let’s run them through Berger Bullets’ G7 ballistics program. But first, out of the various program outputs – terminal velocity, trajectory, retained energy, and wind drift – which are the important ones to us as target shooters? Most people use bullet drop at long range from a 100yd zero converted to MOA as their key metric. How often do you hear people say something like “This is a great load! I only needed 28-MOA come-up on my scope for 1,000 yards while my old one needed 32”? It seems logical in its simplicity, as surely the more the bullet drops, the less efficient it is. Not so! Nor should we bother
F-Class regulars Chris Hull and Terry Mann mark a .308W F/TR rifle shot on a PSSA 500/600yd ‘Freestyle’ target in a 600yd F-Class competition. On a day with constantly switching winds, F/TR shooters would have been delighted to stay within the amount of wind-drift seen here, many twos and threes being scored.
about bullet drop since we know the range(s) we’re shooting over and can calculate the amount of movement needed on the sights. So, if it’s not bullet drop / sight setting ‘come-up’, what should we look for? If we shoot 6.5-284 Norma or 7mmWSM in F-Class, it’s one thing only – wind drift, but since we’re shooting .308W, we’re interested in two things – wind drift and terminal velocity. Why the difference? The 7mm shooter needn’t worry about dropping into transonic zone never mind subsonic speeds (c. 1,475 fps and below), but this can be a real issue for the long-range .308 competitor. Looking at the outputs, the 155.5gn number retains 1,273 fps (1.13 Mach) and moves 93.7” (just under 9-MOA) in the ‘standard’ 10 mph 90° crosswind at 1,000yd, but the initially much slower 210 has an extra 68 fps velocity (1,341 fps or 1.2 Mach) and moves sideways 15½ fewer inches at 78.2”, a reduction
of nearly 1½-MOA at this range. However, it is somewhat smaller changes in the wind strength and direction that catch us out and lose points, either through being missed or seen but wrongly ‘called’ and allowed for in the shot. A fairly typical mistake amounts to the equivalent of a 1½ mph change in a quartering wind. Input this wind speed from 4 o’clock and the 155.5 combination now moves 12.16”, the 210 exactly 2” less at 10.16”, or just under 1-MOA. With the 1,000yd F-Class target having half-MOA rings, the 155.5gn load scores a ‘three’, the 210 just scrapes into the ‘four’ ring assuming the shot
600 yards is often referred to as short-range, but doesn’t look that from just in front of the main Diggle range butts. The firing point is between the right-hand edge of the reservoir and the range-house half way up the right hillside.
was otherwise perfectly centred. The figures are summarised in Table 2 with a typical 7mmWSM load’s performance shown for devilment. As a matter of interest, if we had adopted the commonly used ‘sights come-up’ metric, how would our two bullets compare? The high-BC / Low-MV 210gn bullet drops 375.6” or nearly 36-MOA at 1,000yd from a 100yd zero, the lower-BC / higherMV 155.5gn bullet drops 322.5” or 30¾-MOA, thereby shooting a full ‘5¼-MOA flatter’, as most shooters would see it – potentially a very misleading result. Getting Form These results surprised me, for while I know high-BC heavy bullets outperform low-BC high-MV combinations in the wind, I hadn’t expected it to apply here as both bullets have an identical form factor value, therefore equally efficient in comparison to the G7 reference bullet shape. Moving on, let’s look at the BC-mix from the other side of the equation using three 175gn 0.308” bullets. Their SDs are identical at 0.264, as are the assumed MV, but what is now different is their shapes, hence aerodynamic efficiency as represented by i7 values. MV-wise I’ll use 3,000 fps
with 155gn bullets as the baseline from now on, and their equivalent MV based on 3,098 ft/lb ME is 2,823 fps. The trio in low to high i7 value (hence high to low BC) order is Berger 175gn Match BT Long-Range at 0.999, Berger 175gn VLD at 1.035, and Sierra 175gn MatchKing at 1.084 giving G7 BCs of 0.264, 0.255, and 0.243 respectively. These figures might surprise ome in that most shooters assume the
for many people, so how important is bullet choice at this range? My examples in Tables 2 and 3 give identical 600yd results for the ‘miscalled wind’, a 0.4” difference in lateral strike between the best and worst examples in each scenario, although that rises to 0.6” between the best and worst of the five loads if the results are aggregated, the smallest drift being the 210gn Berger’s 3.2” and the worst the
VLD form with a long secant-form ogive (15.1 calibres radius here) always outperforms tangent ogive designs. Berger has recently developed a series of long-nose tangent ogive bullets and these turn out to be really ‘slippery’, often producing higher BCs than equivalent VLDs. The Berger 175gn Long-Range model has a longer than usual nose with a 9.07 calibres radius form, which even if with a smaller radius than the VLD is a tenth of an inch longer overall at 0.805” shoulder to tip compared to 0.707”. The SMK uses Sierra’s relatively blunt 7calibre tangent ogive, but also has a 0.7” long nose. This bullet is the darling of long-range unknowndistance sniper competition shooters, and is loaded into the US military’s M118LR sniper cartridge, ‘LR’ also short for Long-Range. Table 3 gives their comparative performance at 600 and 1,000yd. As with the previous example, the most efficient bullet, the Berger Match BT L-R load sees the bullet move noticeably less at 1,000yd, but with a smaller improvement here at around 1½-inches – not a huge amount, but every little helps. Terminal velocity sees a greater difference this time though with the Berger L-R at 1,325 fps (again at 1.18 Mach) a full 100 fps better than the Sierra MatchKing.
175gn SMK’s 3.8”. Is half an inch or so worth bothering about? It depends on the target size and wind conditions. Look at the photograph of the PSSA (Pennine Shooting Sports Association) 500/600yd F-Class target. We see a bullet strike with perfect elevation but blown almost out of the left side of the four-ring. (Ignore the score markings – the ‘V’ is the inner thin line outside of the circular black aiming mark, the Bull-5 is the 5½”-dia. ring marked ‘9’, and the 4-ring is the next out, the 10½”-dia. ring marked as ‘8’.) This was a .308W F/TR shot and its position is around 4¾” left of the target centre, equivalent to a missed 1¾ mph gust from 4 o’clock on a 155gn Sierra with 3,000 fps MV. Let’s consider this target using the load combinations shown in Table 4 ranging from the ‘old’ 155gn Sierra Palma MK at 3,000 fps and the 168gn SMK at 2,882 fps as the poorest performers to the 185gn Berger Match BT L-R and 208gn A-Max as best with 1.2” difference between them in a 1½” 4 o’clock gust. Let’s assume the shooter and rifle-ammunition are capable of grouping into half to two thirds-MOA, or 3”-4” at this range, and all shots are perfectly aimed, so some will strike up to 1½ to 2-inches on either side of the target centre. Some shots at the edges of the group will reinforce the wind effects, others 600 Yards counter them, while some land dead centre and I said last month that 600yd is long-range shooting their effect is therefore neutral. In the worst case,
the group spread plus wind drift will amount to 6” or more lateral movement for the poorest performing bullets which will then score ‘three’. The worst case scenario for the best performing load should just score ‘four’. If we increase the missed wind call to 2mph, the 208gn A-Max load moves 4.1” against the 155gn SMK load’s 5.4” making the former marginal for a ‘four’, the latter guaranteed a ‘three’ and getting perilously close to being a ‘two’. We can conclude that the benefits from using ballistically optimal load combinations will be relatively small in Target Rifle using the large NRA target with 1-MOA (6”-dia.) ‘V’
and 2-MOA (12”-dia.) ‘Bull’ and mostly confined to the V-count, while scaled down precision rifle targets will see potentially significant score improvements. Next month, I’ll evaluate the majority of bullets, look at performance factors other than pure external ballistics, and examine my data source, a must-buy book for any serious medium to long-range shooter, ‘Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting’ by Bryan Litz. Bryan has most generously agreed to me reproducing some of his data and illustrations.
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UKPSA BASIC SAFETY COURSE
by John Gardener
If you’ve finished, unload and show clear. Vanessa’s words took a second or two to sink in. There were still a few targets standing, I still had some rounds in the belt (I had fired about twenty five) so I stood there, gasping desperately to get some air into my bursting lungs and looked at her stupidly. She had realized that I was physically and mentally, because of the lack of oxygen; most definitely – finished. It had all started a few months before when I had casually mentioned that I wouldn’t mind having a go at practical shooting. I bought a gun and sent in the forms. Of course, said Vanessa, if you want to shoot competition you’ll have to do the basic safety course. I made myself familiar with my new gun by firing a few rounds through it, practicing my loading technique and generally having a bit of fun. When I arrived at Carlisle I felt a little trepidation, through fear of embarrassment and failure I suppose, but eager to see what the course had to offer. There were three instructors who introduced themselves and outlined the detail of the course. There were nine of us students and we were left in no doubt that the emphasis would be on safety and that failure would be inevitable should we be deemed to be the slightest unsafe. There followed about three hours of fairly intense classroom instruction on practical shotgun shooting. All aspects of practical shotgun shooting were covered, and whilst, as a shooter of various other disciplines for a number of years I thought that I was pretty well switched on, I learned an awful lot that morning. It was all about, not only being safe myself (we all know about not pointing a gun at someone don’t we?) but about demonstrating to all those around me in a clear and unambiguous manner that what I’m doing with my gun presents no danger to them as well as myself. We were left in no doubt that failure was a possibility and an early bath more than likely. And so to the range. Targets were set up, and under close supervision we were asked to complete steadily increasingly difficult exercises. Various shooting positions and techniques were demonstrated, which we were then invited to copy. My instructors were generous with their time and patience but quick to spot error. Their criticisms were constructive and positive and a great deal of information and knowledge was imparted. Experimentation was encouraged and helpful suggestions as to positioning and technique were positive and plentiful. The end of day one left me tired, happy and muddy. Day two brought more stages, more guidance and one or two gentle reminders and increasingly large grins from the students as we realized how much fun this could be. We were tested and scrutinized constantly, not only whilst on the line but all the time whilst on the range or near it. Taking off my safety glasses because they had steamed up produced a mild rebuke to go behind the shed and do it; a loud “tut” and stern look reminded me to never let my weak hand triffer ninger* wander away from straight again. As I have said, the stages became increasingly difficult and were designed to test our safe gun handling, skill level and spacial awareness. Different techniques were explained and demonstrated and as a result, our shooting steadily increased in accuracy and speed; but most of all we were being guided down the path of safe shooting. The last stage consisted of moving from one set of coloured cones to another, loading on the move and engaging the targets from different positions, weak shoulder standing etc. Vanessa urged me into gradually increasing speed and I tried to keep going. She called “Blue, strong shoulder, standing” I searched the range floor desperately trying to spot the two blue cones, finally my dying brain realized that they were between my feet and that I was standing with the gun in my strong shoulder. My arms refused to lift the gun, my lungs screamed as they struggled for oxygen and my heart-beat
Coming to the end of the unloading procedure. gun has been called clear by the Range Officer, the flag is inserted and the gun is then carried muzzle down.
(probably in the hundreds) was making my head pound. “If you’ve finished, unload and show clear.” Followed by a “Well done.” “Yes” I gasped, “Well and truly done.” The wash-up was, as we had now come to expect, constructive and useful. There followed a few anxious moments while we were called, one by one into a separate room for our personal wash-up, I received a hearty handshake from my instructors and presented with my Basic Safety Course Certificate and my competition licence. The course was as demanding, as I had expected, instructive as it should be, and enjoyable. I cannot thank my instructors enough for their generosity, my fellow students enough for their company and Carlisle Range enough for their hospitality. All I can hope to do is recommend them all to you most heartily, and, for myself and all of you. Shoot safe, shoot well. John Gardener • Triffer ninger – that piece of anatomy which wanders towards the trigger when your concentration goes. So you want to go on a course. You do not have to be a UKPSA member to be accepted on a course, or even be an FAC or SC
holder, but if you successfully complete the course to Competition Level and want a Competition Licence (required to take part in approved matches in the UK and elsewhere in the world) you will have to join the Association within 6 months of the course. The cost is usually around £70 (+ cartridges) for the two days. Prior to the course you’ll be emailed with details of what is required of you and what to expect. If you would like to get on a course or your club would like to host one please email Jim Gibney at JG384900@aol.com More details about practical shooting can be found at www.ukpsa.co.uk
Finger outside Trigger Guard
Classifieds • Classifieds • Classifieds • Classifieds •
Custom Rifle Build – The Stock
by Andy Dubreuil
Those of you who follow my articles, will already know that I am a benchrest shooter and I thought it might be useful to share information with other benchrest shooters - or maybe those looking to get into benchrest shooting - how a stock is made for a custom rifle build. When some shooters hear the word ‘custom’ they think that it will likely cost loads of money, well yes it can but you can get a custom build done for around the same kind of money as a new factory rifle - if you shop around. The UK has some great gunsmiths and stock makers but, as a breed, they can be hard to find and often it’s done by ‘word and mouth’. Personally, I wish that these guys would come out of darkness and promote themselves a little – by advertising in Target Shooter maybe! Stephen Parker of Parmoor Stocks started his custom stock making business about a year ago. Getting a company going in a climate that is still recovering from the recession can be hard work and a gamble – as we at Target Shooter know all too well. Stephen has done his best to promote himself by taking his stocks to shooting clubs and shows to let shooters see what he can produce and get feedback as to what shooters would like. He is now starting to find his feet and gunsmiths are starting to use his stocks for custom rifle builds. I spoke to Stephen late last year about him maybe building me a stock for a project that I had in mind. He then sent me some photographs of the different woods and laminates he uses but I was looking for something different both in wood and shape to meet my needs. The great thing about a custom build is that you start with a ‘blank canvas’ and work out a budget of how much you are willing to spend. Hopefully, you will not have to compromise too much on what you are looking for when you add up the cost! After studying Stephen’s range of woods, laminates and designs and after a lot of thought, we came up with a combination that would do the job. Then I met Stephen at the Newark Show last month where he was showing a laminate that I had never seen
before, nor had anyone else for that matter and I just fell in love with it – overnight, everything changed! Steve calls this laminate ‘ice wood’ and the only thing I can tell you about it is that it comes from the far east and Stephen is keeping quiet on where he sources it. I don’t blame him, it is just so different and everyone who saw it was impressed. If he had brought a dozen stocks, he would have sold the lot! So, with the wood and design sorted, we can have a look at how the stock is made thanks to the pictures provided by Steve. The first step is to glue the laminates together to build up the required thickness for the stock but it also adds strength and stability to the wood to prevent it warping. This must then be left for a week so that it has time to set under extreme pressure. Once this is done, the laminate is cut to a rough shape so that it can be machined in the copier. As you can see from the first picture, the machine that Stephen uses can turn out two stocks at a time by reading a template. As the machine follows the template, the stock begins to take shape. The air is filled with fine wood fibres which should not be inhaled so attention to health and safety is paramount. Once the basic shape is formed it then requires a large dollop of ‘elbow grease’ to give it a smooth finish ready for lacquering, once the machining and inletting for the action and barrel is complete. The contrasting colours of the laminate brings out the interesting features of the stock and, if you look at it long enough you will begin to see unusual shapes and even faces in the laminate. This is what makes ice wood so different, as you will never have the
same detail in another stock even though it’s made from the same laminate. The stock is going to be used for unlimited rimfire benchrest shooting, which is just as well as it will weigh around 6 lbs. but it will make for a good solid rifle when the build is finished. My shooting friends in America and Australia have a habit of naming their rifles and I have fallen foul of this habit as the ice wood shapes and contours remind me of the coat of a snow leopard, so that is what I’m calling it. Once the inletting is done, Stephen will put the first coat of lacquer on the stock just to seal it so that it doesn’t pick up dirty finger marks, then it will be sent for pillar-bedding with my gunsmith. The bedding process will take around eight days to complete and then the stock will go back to Stephen for the final lacquering which will take around 28 days to give the that high gloss finish that it deserves. A good custom build doesn’t happen overnight, so allow for a couple of months for the work to be done and keep in touch with your ‘smith for progress of how the build is going. I am starting to get itchy fingers already as I really want to have the rifle in my hands but I must be patient as I know that it will be worth the wait. You can contact Stephen of Parmoor Stocks either by phone on 01937842017 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See also the advertisement in the magazine. Next time I will be talking about the rifle part of the build and will share with you how this was done and why I chose certain parts for the rifle.
The SEB Neo Co-axial Rest
by Vince Bottomley
Above - new and old - I measured a full 9.5 inches from the top of the base-plate to the bag – much better than the old rest (right) This means we don’t need those long screws anymore Have you had a look at the video of the new actually work in practice. SEB rest on our home page which we shot at the Machine-type front rests were once the Newark Show last month? Fox Firearms are the preserve of serious benchrest shooters and even UK importer for Seb’s many products and Brian then, not many of us were using the co-axial – or Fox was kind enough to loan us the Neo rest for joystick – rests. Although they appeared to offer an half an hour so that we could shoot the video. advantage over the more common tri-pod rest, they were expensive and it was not until the F At the end of the Show, I asked Brian if I could Class shooters came along that we began to see borrow the rest for a 600 yard benchrest shoot the more joystick rests on UK ranges. The reason for following Sunday. This gave me a lot better insight this is simple – it’s difficult to reach the controls of into Seb’s latest offering and how the new features a tri-pod rest from the prone position whereas the We shoot uphill at Diggle from the 600 yard firing point and, as you can see, I needed most of the SEB’s elevation
This is one of Seb’s ‘gator bags with the offset ears which providing a rest for the trigger-hand
joy-stick falls more readily to hand - for both the we had to adapt and fabricate long adjustable prone and bench shooter. feet, which worked but are time-consuming to set up. Secondly, adjusting the tension on the rest The American Farley co-axial is the standard involved four screws with lock-nuts – again by which others are judged as this was the first tedious and fiddly to adjust. Some shooters like the production rest to break through into serious rest ‘tight’ so that it will hold the weight of the rifle benchrest competition. It’s a great rest – though but this makes for a jerky operation of the joystick expensive, so when Seb’s first co-axial rest came which means it takes a while to get the cross-hairs along offering a significant saving over the Farley, exactly on the aim-point. This is not too much of it was an immediate hit with benchresters and a problem for the ‘effer, who has plenty of time for ‘effers alike. It did however have a couple of short- each shot but for the benchrester trying to get 5 comings. shots off in fifteen seconds…………… Firstly, ‘effers couldn’t get enough height for some So, for benchrest, I like to run my Mk1 SEB ‘loose’ ranges where we shoot uphill – like Diggle – so but this means that the rifle drops as soon as I let
These two thumb-screws take care of tension adjustment – which is now controlled by spring-tension. A vast improvement over the four socket-head screws on the old rest (right) which were a bit fiddly
The adjustable front bag will accommodate any width of stock up to five-inches. Note new fore-end stop
go of the joystick to chamber another round. This can be corrected to some extent by the addition of a front counter-balance weight. This is my preferred set-up and I’m very happy with it – the action is creamy-smooth and the rifle doesn’t drop when I let go of the joystick. Would the new SEB make me as happy? A 600 yard benchrest competition would be my first try-out with the Neo so how did it go? First off, no need to mess about with the long adjusting screws – set the base level on the bench and just wind up the elevation until you’re on target. Compared to the old rest, there must be twice the vertical adjustment. Incidentally, the dual elevation knobs are quite sophisticated and employ a clever clutch mechanism to stop the top falling down under its own weight. Two clamp screws are nipped up when the height is finalised. I used one of Seb’s ‘gator’ rear bags – so called because it (remotely) resembles the head of an alligator. It’s an enormous bag that just won’t shift when it’s filled with Zircon sand. Mine also has offset ears so that the front of the bag hangs out to the right and provides a useful rest for the trigger hand – important with a two-ounce trigger. I can honestly say that my set-up has never been better, with the rifle returning almost exactly to aim-point between shots – essential when you are running the rifle very fast to try and beat the wind changes. Yes folks, I want one! So, in competition, the Neo lived up to expectations and Seb has incorporated other minor but useful touches - like a simpler method of attaching the handle. Also, although the rest is intended to be rigged with the odd leg to the front, it can be built with the leg to the rear if you wish. This could be useful with short-barrelled benchguns which must have the muzzle forward of the bench top but having the odd leg to the front means that you don’t tend to lift the rest when you slam the rifle against the fore-end stop, as we tend to do when running the rifle very fast.
Second surprise, there is a bit of built-in ‘uplift’ – a light spring, designed to hold the weight of the rifle without the addition of a counterbalance weight. This means that I can now set the tension exactly to my liking – loose if you remember – without the rifle dropping between shots. And tension is now set with two thumb-screws – no spanners or Allen keys - all thanks to a spring system within the rest. F Class shooters will really love the extra height you can get with the Neo and also, it’s a bit lighter Thirdly, the front bag is actually three bags. The so easier to lug around the range. If you intend to two side bags can be adjusted to exactly fit your travel by air to a shoot, you will really appreciate fore-end and the side-bags have an additional fine the way the rest strips and stacks into a ‘column’ thumb-screw adjustment. The bag will adjust to for compact transportation. incorporate any fore-end width from zero to a full five inches. The fore-end stop is also an The rest is still at the pre-production stage and improvement – more robust and quicker to adjust Seb has sent out these examples for evaluation – again, no tools needed. To complete my set-up, before the design is finalised – that in itself is a
Stacked for transportation – it takes a couple of minutes with one Allen key to assemble
Comparing the ‘footprint’ of the two rests – the Neo’s odd leg can be positioned to the front (as here) or rear as required.
testament to the man’s integrity. Fox Firearms are the sole UK agent and at this moment we don’t have a price but I know that Brian makes very little on these rests with the main saving coming from bulk shipping which can be quite significant if you were to order a single example from Indonesia. Contact Fox via the website at www.foxfirearmsuk.com if you are interested. I suspect Brian will get an initial batch of ten which will go very quickly so get your name on one if you don’t want to be disappointed.
There is also a video review of the Neo SEB rest. Click on the video snapshot above to link to the video on the Target Shooter website. Target Shooter 69
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SIG 522 Review
By Nigel Greenaway
Some of you may express surprise that this month I am writing about the new SIG 522 .22LR Semi-Auto carbine – somewhat removed from Sniping or Service Rifle articles. I too was a bit surprised to receive a request from Wayne at North West Custom Parts to review his latest import. It happened during my February visit to the British Shooting & Countryman Show - I was soon clutching what looked very much like a tactical rifle. It had all the look and feel of the Classic SIG556 but in an affordable .22 LR calibre. Arrangements were made with a local RFD – Bob Wightman of Nottingham, who collected the SIG 522 and a few nights later we were both shooting the rifle at the indoor range at Epperstone – my thanks to Richard Higgs for giving us permission to us this excellent range. It has been a long time since I’ve shot a .22LR on an indoor range but as a cadet at school it was something I did for four years, three times a week. Perhaps to lend some credibility to writing this article about .22 rifle shooting - all that effort culminated in Bedford school winning the Country Life Cadet Rifle Shooting Competition in 1981 against 92 other schools. I managed to shoot a “possible” for the second year running – a feat only achieved by myself and one other cadet in over 100 years of competition. For me .22 shooting gave me a set of marksmanship skills that have set me up for
The SIG 522 - out of the box and ready to go
The SIG 522 - ready for field testing
life, not least of which was the rapid target with ten shots in one minute using a single shot No.8 – the thing that taught me most about shooting quickly and accurately. I would always recommend that novices to Service Rifle start with a .22LR before progressing to full bore. It is great to see the growth of Mini Rifle in recent years and the introduction of some great “tactical” looking rifles – I wish both had been around 30 years ago! Back to the present with the SIG522 which features SIG556 parts including a Swiss type folding stock and polymer forend on a durable metal receiver with integral Piccatinny rail. The stock is also adjustable
for length. It is a classic military style platform that gives the look, feel and dependability of the full size SIG556. Dimensions are: Overall Length Length with stock collapsed Length with stock folded Barrel Rifling Twist Weight 35.1 inches 33.6 inches 26.1 inches 16.6 inches 1 in 16 6 lbs 4 oz
The Sig 522 comes with a 25 round magazine and I was also able to use Black Dog 24 round mags. I believe 10 round mags are also available and that is a 50 round mag in the picture. It comes in a high quality hard gun case. A Red Dot sight is an optional extra but I fitted a German 4x24 Hensoldt Scope - more usually seen on G3 rifles – it certainly looked the part on the Piccatinny rail. The rifle is comfortable to use with a nice forend and enough weight overall to make you realise that this isn’t a toy – the weight helping to soak up the minimal recoil and quickly get back on aim The rifle has an ambidextrous safety lever on each side of action above the pistol grip. Fixing the scope on to the
Piccatinny rail was a breeze and it probably only took about ten shots to get zeroed. The mag loaded easily so it was tempting to blast off 100 rounds to test for functionality. The result – not a single malfunction or failure to feed. Things were looking good so now it was time to try some serious trigger work to test for accuracy using a wide range of different ammunition. With .22LR it is always wise to test as many different brands as possible – often the results will produce a few surprises. Targetry was some old “Tin Hat” small bore diagrams which were deliberately chosen to suit the pointer reticule of the Hensoldt scope – just rest the flat of the pointer on the underneath of the black and squeeze. The range was 25 yards and initially I started shooting with Remington Target ammo in two five shot groups. The vertical stringing illustrates that I was taking time to get used to the trigger. It was a two stage type with a long springy take up during the first stage before settling on a reasonably crisp second stage and let off. I found later that you only have to release the trigger a short distance in order to take the next round – certainly not the full distance of the first stage. Using this technique the travel to get to the second stage was minimal and the rate of fire could be speeded up whilst still maintaining good trigger control.
mastered the trigger pull. The next series of targets were ten shot groups shot in about 11 seconds. The Winchester Subsonic shot a fair ¾ inch group and the Remington 22 Thunderbolt ammo was similar. Blazer wasn’t bad but then things tightened up some more with the popular CCI Mini Mag slightly bigger than 5/8 inch and CCI Stinger was similar. Eley Club shot a slightly tighter group but the outstanding performance was with some ten year old Henry Krank Value ammo. I believe this ammo is loaded by Eley but at ½ inch was none too shabby and certainly illustrated the accuracy potential of this rifle. Conclusions
I can see the SIG522 is going to be very popular with the Mini Rifle fraternity or anyone who wants to have fun in a “tactical” format. Throughout the entire session of around 200 rounds using nine different brands of ammunition from sub-sonic through to high velocity there was not a single malfunction. Accuracy was better than expected and could be improved with practice and the right brand of ammo. I believe iron sights can be fitted plus a multitude of different scopes or red dot sights on the versatile Piccatinny rail. My thanks to Wayne of North West Custom Parts for asking me to test the SIG522. His current price on the website is £725 - probably not helped by the current exchange rates. Visit his website www.nwcustomparts.com or ring him on By the time I finished the second two five round 0161 4081155 for more details on availability and groups of CCI Subsonic Hollow Point I had accessories.
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You CAN do it! – The NSRA’s Disabled Shooting Project
Prologue Working in the Membership Department of the National Small-bore Rifle Association, I saw a sad litany of members’ records that were marked “Given up – bad back”, “Lapsed due to age”, “No longer shooting – eyesight”, and so on. Giving up a sport that has been enjoyed for a lifetime is quite a wrench. What could be done to help these people? Mulling the problem over, and watching all the people coming to shoot at the Lord Roberts Centre, brought
by Liz Woodall
the realisation that target-shooting (particularly the small-bore disciplines) is an incredibly disabled friendly sport. In fact some research showed that it is really the most disabled-friendly of ALL sports. The positions, techniques and equipment can be adapted and modified to cater for any type or severity of disability. Most important of all, hardly any competitions are segregated; disabled and able-bodied all shoot against each other – something that only target sports can offer, as far as I can see.
A campaign began to get a project going that would help not only those people who felt they had no choice but to give up their sport, but also to attract into it disabled people who otherwise would have no chance to take part in a competitive sport. The obvious quid pro quo for the sport would be not only increased participation and membership, but also some effective protection from the anti-shooting lobby – it is very difficult to be nasty to something that involves a lot of disabled people. (By the way, this is not exploiting the disabled – I have asked, and they are more than happy to have the sport saved for them, too.) The first step was to find out how many existing members had some form of disability, so we did a survey. Forms were sent to all NSRA-affiliated organisations, and eventually around 25% replied, which is a fantastic response level. The results were quite an eye-opener. More than 50% of the membership had some impairment which impinged on their shooting – the vast majority of them were those with vision defects that are corrected with glasses, but 10% had other physical disabilities. Applying these percentages to the total shooting population showed that there are thousands of people out there who could probably do with some help. The second step was putting forward a reasoned case, based on the survey results. The figures convinced the right people, who agreed that we could start up a project. The Disabled Shooting Project (DSP) was born. The beginningA Working Group was set up, chaired by Charlie Blow, an NSRA board member.
Dave Froggett, the Association’s Coaching and Development Manager, was an obvious and very enthusiastic recruit. We invited Disability Target Shooting Great Britain (DTSGB) to nominate someone, and were delighted to welcome Mandy Pankhurst, although her own shooting commitments subsequently led to her withdrawing in favour of Rikki Singh, their chairman. I was included as chief keyboard-hammerer. As the project has grown, John Lloyd and Keith Morriss have also been drawn into the group. John is another NSRA board member who has been doing much to promote disabled shooting at Blackburn Rifle & Pistol Club. Wheelchair-user Keith recently acquired the distinction of becoming the first disabled coach ever to achieve an ISSF Coach qualification. Nowadays you have to have a mission statement, so we put together the aims of the project. The DSP is to help not just those with an obvious disability, but also those who are “less able” but would not regard themselves as “disabled”. Our aims are: • to offer existing target shooters the best possible chance of continuing to take part in the sport despite any infirmity or disability; • to offer people with any disability the chance to take part in competitive target shooting on equal terms with non-disabled; • to provide advice and support to clubs wishing to develop shooting for disabled; and • to raise the public profile of target shooting as a disabled-friendly sport. Armed with these noble objectives we began to publicise the project in print and on the NSRA’s website. The response was immediate. Clubs began to ask for information and advice. Shooters and coaches contributed ideas. People asked about taking up the sport. It was working! The middle A large part of the DSP’s work now is acting as a communications hub for what has been dubbed our Information Exchange. We realised that there are people scattered all over the country who are trying to invent various wheels – i.e. to solve problems for disabled shooters. Unbeknown to them, other people elsewhere have already invented some of those wheels. The Information Exchange aims to put those who need solutions in touch with those who can help to provide them. It is a superb example of the “brotherhood” of the sport. The Exchange operates in two ways. Firstly, there are articles and bulletins about a range of topics that may be helpful to many people. These are distributed in magazines, printed bulletins, web-bulletins on the NSRA site, and e-bulletins. The e-bulletins go out either to all of the clubs and individuals who have
joined the project, or else to special-interest groups on topics like wheelchairs, coaching, equipment, blind/VI shooting, etc. The other method of helping people is dealing with individual enquiries as they come in. This might be just helping someone find a suitable club or coach, advising on options open to a shooter who is becoming less able, finding someone who can build special equipment, and so on. The most interesting enquiry to date came from the Falkland Islands; DSP members gave advice on helping a stroke victim – and also offered postal matches and other tokens of friendship to the only club out there. Developing wider options for disabled shooters, and awareness of those options, is another part of our work. We are promoting the various forms of benchrest shooting, which is the most accessible discipline of all and encouraging the development of new and better equipment. Dave Froggett and Keith Morriss are putting together modules for coaching courses, to help coaches understand how to work with disabled shooters. Work is also going into setting up some innovative new competitions which will be particularly suited for both disabled and able-bodied participation. The Finale Our plan is to have a Disabled Shooting Year in 2011, which will be an excellent warm-up act for the 2012 London Paralympics. We hope this will include a very high-profile launch at Bisley, a lot of regional events, taster days around the country, special competitions, etc. Another high-profile closing event would include an awards ceremony for those who have made significant contributions to the cause of disabled shooting. The end After the Disabled Shooting Year, if everything goes to plan, the project’s work will be completed. By then, systems should be in place at all levels of the sport to nurture disabled shooting and after a hand-over and winding down period, the Working Group can retire for a well-earned rest! Information Anyone interested in the DSP can find bulletins on the NSRA’s website, www.nsra.co.uk, and is welcome to e-mail the Working Group via that website, or telephone 01483 485505. The project’s You CAN do it! leaflet is available as a download, or printed copies will be sent by post to anyone who wants them for an event, or to place in local sports centres, information bureaux, etc. There is also a matching poster (can include local contact details), and a Powerpoint presentation which we are happy to e-mail out.
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This Smallbore Business
By Don Brook
Using the sling.
The next segment a new, (and not so new) shooter has to know about is the correct use of the sling in the prone position. Just within that opening sentence there is a key word, “correct” and believe me, so much depends on this segment, and the actual sling itself. There is a plethora of slings available on the market now, from a number of extremely reliable manufacturers. Of course, for small bore you are limited to the single point sling by the ISSF rules, and as this is a small bore column, these are the type I am writing about. The same applies to the 300m events. Before I start however, let me remind you all that the sling is purely an aid to holding the rifle still, but even within that there are a number of areas If you are just starting this fascinating sport, or that need extreme attention to detail. (Where have attending to someone that is, it is imperative that sling comfort is paramount. I have seen new I said thatbefore?) shooters never turn up again at a club where this The photos you will see in this article depict my facet is ignored. own sling which is a modified (for my use) synthetic compound sling I bought from Kurt Thune way back If you study the sling in photo “A”, you will see that the buckle is situated almost directly over the in 1982. Also let me state here and now, that leather slings elbow, and well away from the wrist bones. This is went out with button up boots! We have come a the very first point you address, when custom fitting a sling. You will also note that my KT sling is the long way since then…… I recommend the Kurt Thune slings personally but single buckle type, not the two buckle unit which is there are also quite good examples from Gehmann, also available. and Anschutz, with some modern improvements You will also note the sling loop around the upper that work very well. So it does come down to sling has been removed, and that I have attached the both straps of the sling composite material with personal choice in many cases. a 6mm bolt and nut. I like the Kurt Thune sling pictured because of a The reason for this is that I maintain that the number of factors, not the least of which is the upper sling should not constrict the Biceps/Triceps minute adjustments connected with the frequency muscles to allow the upper arm some space to of the buckle adjustment holes. It should be noted that there are even more minute adjustments available on other slings, so it would do the reader good to investigate the market out there. My K T sling is much modified, and primarily the position of the buckle was the first point addressed. I removed the keeper loop for starters and resited the buckle quite a bit closer to the upper arm, but well away from the wrist bones. I have seen so many that put up with excruciating pain when the sling buckle bored into the wrist bones! Many a top echelon score has suffered because of intruding pain as the shoot progressed, even to the point of the left hand (right handed shooter) going completely numb!
This photo shows the position of the buckle of the single point sling which I consider is excellent. The buckle is away from the bones of the wrist. (See text, photo “A”) Note also the sling strap is almost parallel to the barrel.
function without coming into contact with the artery that runs on the inside of the muscles. This is extremely important as any contact, or restriction on this artery induces a pulse beat movement to the hold. In a pressure situation such as leading the really big matches this contact can utterly destroy any possibility of holding the rifle still. This is why I say CORRECT use of the sling is a matter of dire importance. Not much point if you have a top class extremely accurate rifle and ammunition combination if you cannot hold the thing in the X ring under pressure is there?
the upper arm positioning, you will see that I have positioned the sling immediately ABOVE the upper muscle swell of the triceps muscle on the back of the arm, and locked this in place with the sling keeper attached to my jacket. The sling is open all the way to the nut and bolt attachment, and is not coming into contact with the Biceps muscle face. I like the muscle to “breathe” for want of a better word, and this is why I removed the sling loop from both sides of the upper arm configuration of the sling. I found this was an extremely important factor in my techniques, and further studied the hold movements with a 25 power Lyman “Permacentre” telescopic I also like the KT sling because of the upper arm sight. I really had a GOOD look at this aspect, over single loop shape, which I took great care to study a number of months, which will be further explained when I bought the sling from Kurt when I first met later in this article. (May even be the next one!) him in Zurich. I put the sling around the upper arm and was The upper arm position with any sling is crucial impressed at the fit, the extremely strong material, in my opinion, and as I said above with my own the non slip rubber compound entailed. I have used techniques was an extremely long study. I must this sling extensively for small bore, 300m and full say that without the scope up top it may have bore shooting since then. But, I must add, I have been even longer! I found that even the slightest never fired a shot without the custom adjustments I adjustment produced some of the most major mentioned above. advantages for me. Here I am in 2010 still using the very same sling! A Under the telescopic sight, I arrived at photograph tribute to the manufacture in terms of longevity…. “C” where the sling positioning I found best, was directly over the centre of the left elbow position. If you study the photo in “B” where I have detailed The photo was taken directly from above the
This photo illustrates the open position of the upper arm strap of the sling. I do not recommend that the sling is tightened around the upper arm, but rather has equal pressures on both the inside and outside straps. This is the reason why I have taken the arm loop off the sling. The sling illustrated is a modified (for my own use) Kurt Thune single buckle unit. (See text.)
position, and I take a great deal of care in reproducing this positioning for every single shot I fire, and more so when setting the position up for the first sighter shot. This is extremely important….. Without this attention to detail on this aspect, there is very little benefit you can achieve even if you put the whole positioning in place exactly as I have described in the previous articles in this magazine. My work is an ongoing sequence, and so often I have stated that attention detail is paramount to success. My world records (ratified) are testament to this, and the number of first sighter shots that go smack in the middle….also a good indication that everything works! I found that the recoil of even the small bore rifle was an important study, connected with the hold movements, and let me state that a good small bore shooter has no problems holding the rifle so still that from a distance it looks motionless. I needed to find out how small my hold was exactly, which was why I went to the Lyman scope to check up on the adjustments I made to my position and the sling work I was studying. I found that after development, I could hold a 1/8th minute lee dot reticule in the lyman scope, inside a .22 bullet hole at 50m! This means that 6mm groups are quite possible with a small bore rifle at 50m. With that thought in mind folks, I went to the scope just to find out what happened to the rifle hold with the sling development I was working on, both in position assembly, hold movement shape and recoil pattern consistency at shot release. I will enlarge on these aspects next month, and leave you with yet another psychological gem. Excellence in shooting is not an act, but becomes a habit! Think about it, Brooksie.
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BRITISH AIRGUN CHAMPIONSHIPS February 2010
By Hayley Platts
Bisley once again hosted the National Airgun Championships incorporating the Open Championship for the Disabled, and seemed to be pretty busy with shooters competing and representing every corner of the British Isles. This year there was a most unfortunate clash of events with the Commonwealth Shooting Championships taking place in New Delhi India which without doubt took out of the equation many of our top shooters especially from England and Scotland. However as my old shooting friend from Jersey reminded me when she re-iterated that her small island now boasted British Champions in Senior Men’s Air Rifle (D J Turner) and Women’s Air Pistol (M Norman) that you have to be ‘in it to win it’! Once again there was a contingent of enthusiastic youngsters shooting in the Standing Sporter Air rifle event which kept the converted .22 range area full of interest for spectators. Also on the downstairs range competitions were going on with the 10 metre 5 target and standard air pistol disciplines, which of course is something else of interest for shooters to have a go at whilst already at the venue for the British. In fact it was a a good event for British Records as P Jones the winner equalled the British Record with a score of 31, and silver medallist Kristian Callaghan scored 28 which is a new British Junior Record. all the other competitors out of the water, and was too much for her closest able bodied rival in the form of Louise Minett. The Aggregate competitions were settled as follows:AIR RIFLE CLASS X 1. N K Porrill 595 2. L C Minett 592 3. A J Fountain 580 CLASS A 1. K J Butler 2. L S Brough 3. D R Farmer 580 578 577 600 579 589 577 577 571 563 568 565 557 560 554 552 539 537 (1,195) (1,171) (1,169) (1,157) (1,155) (1,148) (1.141) (1,139) (1,139) (1,119) (1,115) (1,102) (1,091) (1,066) (1,065)
CLASS B 1. P C Thornton 578 2. R W Shears 571 3. L T Flack 574 CLASS C 1. L Sykes 562 2. W P Hammond 555 3. N Manskova 548 539 527 528
CLASS D 1. D E Blinco Another score to raise a few eyebrows and a 2. V Hilbourne master class of concentration came from Miss N K 3. C R Brown Porrill from Centurion club who won class X with her scores of 595 and then a 600 which obviously blew
Michael - Haig Trophy Forres 2009
AIR PISTOL CLASS X 1. S Los 2. A A Ritchie 3. P S Friend 581 569 569 579 570 566 552 543 554 559 548 540 542 539 528 531 520 522 (1,160) (1,139) (1,135) (1,112) (1,104) (1,104) (1,098) (1,096) (1,088) (1,083) (1,065) (1,063) (1,065) (1,034) (1,030)
strong European shooting countries. I’m not only singling this one out and do congratulate all our winners for their hard work and will to win on the day, but, feel the wider picture of talent needs to be so much better if we are to produce a group of successful international shooters. I was delighted to bump into Paul Leatherdale at the Championships. Paul has recently come back to pistol shooting following a break of several years, which came after an illustrious national and international shooting career. Whilst Paul is not back to his best yet, his scores of 556 and 559 gave him a placing of 12th in Class X as well as grabbing a spot in the Senior mens Final, and emerging in 8th place. This just demonstrates my point about our need to find and develop many more highly competent shooters. The southern counties were the successful ones in the team events, with Surrey taking the Air Pistol title and Hampshire the Air Rifle. CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS 98.8 97.8 97.5 677.8 673.8 673.5
CLASS A 1. M M Norman 560 2. A P Bunclark 561 3. C Auden 550 CLASS B 1. M Hoff 539 2. L Gunter 548 3. T Hammond 548 CLASS C 1. S Bamsey 2. J O Lloyd 3. A L Holmes 541 526 535
CLASS D 1. T Pond 534 2. M J N Bagot 514 3. R C Margetts 508
MEN’S AIR RIFLE 1. D Turner 579 Despite some of the absent shooting talent, in some 2. D Das 576 areas scores remained high but unfortunately it was 3. T Poon 576 not the case across the board especially where Championship titles were being decided. I did feel WOMEN’S AIR RIFLE that the senior mens air rifle final represented a 1. L Minett 387 depressingly low standard when you compare some 2. L Brough 385 of the scores to regional competitors in a lot of the 3. P Thornton 377
100.2 487.2 95.3 480.3 96.8 473.8
Michael Shooting the British 50m championship 2009 (targets are uphill from prone)
JUNIOR MEN’S AIR RIFLE 1. D Rivers 574 101.5 675.5 2. L Flack 574 99.0 673.0 3. M Bamsey 567 100.6 667.6 JUNIOR WOMEN’S AIR RIFLE 1. C Whitaker 384 96.6 2. M Flowers 383 96.9 3. H Pugsley 383 95.4 MEN’S AIR PISTOL 1. S Los 2. A Ritchie 3. F Wyatt 571 570 570 99.5 99.1 96.2 92.7 91.8 92.6 480.6 479.9 478.4 670.5 669.1 666.2 467.7 457.8 457.6 645.6 642.8 636.7 465.4
A Holmes 356 C McGregor 355
DISABLED SH1 CATEGORY 1. N L S Milgate 693.5 2. D Coates 684.5 3. M J S Skelhon 671.9 DISABLED SH2 CATEGORY 1. N K Porrill 704.7 2. J Bevis 697.0 3. A J Fountain 690.3 AIR PISTOL TEAM 1. England (Syms, Newsome, Graver) 1688 2. Scotland (Ritchie, Gray, Brownlie) 1675 3. Wales (Harris, Gravell, Morris) 1639 WOMEN’S AIR PISTOL TEAM 1. Wales (Gravell, Kennerley, Morris) 1070 2. Scotland (Brownlie, McGregor, Hogben) 1068 3. England (Mullin, Holmes, Sinfield) 1062 JUNIOR AIR PISTOL TEAM 1. England (Callaghan, Hoff, Kennedy) 1625 2. Wales (Auden, Kennerley, Bamsey) 1623
WOMEN’S AIR PISTOL 1. M Norman 375 2. V Tripney 366 3. C Brownlie 365
JUNIOR MEN’S AIR PISTOL 1. M Hoff 549 96.6 2. K Callaghan 550 92.8 3. C Auden 544 92.7 JUNIOR WOMEN’S AIR PISTOL 1. V Mullin 372 93.4
AIR RIFLE TEAM 1. England (Minett, Flowers, Farmer) 1,721 2. Wales (Lewis, Wright, Bamsey) 1,685 3. Scotland (Law, Cheetham, Ross) 1,683 AIR RIFLE JUNIOR TEAM 1. England (Flowers, Pugsley, Whitaker) 1,724 2. Wales (Bamsey, Court, Williams) 1,658 On the air pistol front Sylvestor Los once again proved he is a class act with his worst shoot being a 571and his best 581. I know he is very dedicated to his shooting and these sort of scores prove why his move to the UK was a great loss (no pun intented!) to his native Poland. The Final had the potential to be an exciting prospect with 2nd, 3rd and 4th places all sharing the score of 570 but in actual fact 2nd placed A Ritchie had by far the best Final to ensure he retained his silver medal.
pressure and she really did want to hang on to that title which she could almost touch when she found she was leading into the Final. The 5 Finalists air rifle’s were made up of 2 Steyr’s, 2 Feinwerkbau’s and 1 Anschutz. I had observed that several of the female Air Rifle shooters seem to be adopting a wider stance than in recent years but certainly with the advent of training camps such as the England Academy, a lot of attention is given to diet and fitness and obviously some of the impact on physique will necessitate some adjustment in stance.
The Junior Men and their Air Rifles also set up a tight Final. L Flack shared a 574 score with Dan Rivers but Master Flack could not live with Dan’s 101.5 score over the 10 shots to claim the main prize, and slipped to 2nd. Ross Shears took his chance and moved up from 4th to 3rd to eject M Bamsey The Junior Women’s Air Rifle Final was another close from the last remaining medal position. one. Charlotte Whitaker, a member of the England Academy led with a score of 384, closely followed This year the full results are posted online via by Melanie Flowers and Hannah Pugsley on 383. the NSRA website which is convenient and Tension was very evident and placings switched comprehensive for those of us who like me, enjoy during the 10 shot final as well as becoming so mulling over the full picture of who did what. close it could have gone to Charlotte, Melanie or Hannah. In the end it began as it started and a very valuable lesson or harlotte hat he an ithstand the f C t s c w
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Setting up your spring air rifle for Field Target competition Part - 1
by Stanley Shaw
You have invested your hard earned cash in an air rifle and you are now enjoying hours of shooting with your club friends. Maybe you are looking to beef-up your gear to obtain its maximum capabilities and enhance your scores in Field Target competition. In this article we look at the ways to transform your ‘out of the box’ air rifle into a precision Field Target air rifle. Many shooters simply upgrade to other rifles that are intentionally made for Field Target. Many simply upgrade to pre-charged pneumatic systems such as the Air Arms EV2 or the Steyer LG110 FT air guns. Without doubt, both these air rifles are top-notch FT guns ready ‘out of the box’ for FT competition. However, the intention of this article is to show the reader who has invested in a good spring air rifle capable of FT competition how to fine tune his equipment and maximize its capabilities. In my opinion, the two spring guns which have the right character for Field Target are the Air Arms TX 200 and the Wiehrauch 97K. Both these guns are accurate enough out of the box, however they need the extra effort if you intend to bring them to the edge of competitive shooting. I own both but I decided to beef-up the TX 200 since it’s a 0.177 caliber air rifle. The Wiehrauch 97K is a 0.22 and I will later dedicate it for HFT. As everyone knows, a spring gun gives unwanted recoil and ‘twang’. Recoil can be mastered but sometimes it scares off shooters and makes them choose a PCP. Twang is something no one wishes to have and it can be completely eliminated - provided that you are ready to make the step to fine tuning your equipment. My personal experience also showed me the best way to learn to shoot an air rifle is by breaking-in your shooting experience with a spring air gun. I started with a PCP, I never wanted to shoot springers but, as my friends can confirm, since I got my second-hand TX200 MK2 and beefed it up to a competition gun, my PCP air rifles are sleeping in the locker accumulating dust and I only use a PCP for air rifle benchrest. Don’t give me a PCP for FT or HFT - I simply love my TX 200 and have plans for the 97. The first step is to work on the internals of you spring air rifle. Cosmetics alone do not make an FT class air rifle. The finish and tolerances inside your spring air rifle mechanicals determine how smooth or rough it shoots in terms of recoil, twang and the consistency of your shots. Keeping the internal parts at the heart of your rifle in optimum condition is essential for its performance. The plunger spring and guide assembly are crucial. Recoil can be reduced, smoothed and tamed but never completely eliminated in a spring air rifle. Once you tame the beast you start to love its feel in your shooting. The quickest way to achieve this is to get specialized kits for your specific air rifle’s internals. V-MAC has plunger seals, spring guides and springs that will readily fit your air rifle and smooth it down considerably. If you want the extra edge, install a V-Glide kit which consist of a plunger seal, spring guide, spring and a plunger with special delrin inserts to have the most frictionless movement into your air rifle
Setup was easy now and of course I set it up according to my preference, which is a very light but long first stage then a stronger, short and crisp second stage which required just a slight pull to release the sear and fire. I also ensured that it is safe enough so that even if the gun is loaded and the gun receives an impact, the sear will not be released. To complete the trigger unit, I replaced the trigger blade with a fully adjustable blade from Rowan Engineering and set it according to my finger position and stock ergonomics at a later stage. This set up was already feeling good. I temporally mounted a scope and after I passed through around two tins of pellets, I cleaned the barrel and then tested different pellets to see the best grouping achieved from different pellet brands and weights. The rifle liked JSB Diablo Exacts 5.52 and 8.3grain pellets with a grouping of around 20mm center to center at 50m shot from a benchrest cradle. In my opinion that is quite good performance out of a spring air rifle for Field Target. The best result was achieved with JSB exacts 8.4grain and an average speed of 785 ft/sec with a variation of +/- 5ft/ sec. The 5 shot groups measured as shown below for the following ranges: @ 10 meters – Group size C-C = <0.5mm @ 15 meters – Group size C-C = 5mm @ 20 meters – Group size C-C = 7mm @ 25 meters – Group size C-C = 10mm @ 30 meters – Group size C-C = 12mm @ 35 meters – Group size C-C = 13mm @ 40 meters – Group size C-C = 16mm @ 45 meters – Group size C-C = 20mm @ 50 meters – Group size C-C = 20mm The next step was to find the right stock. The original stock can still be used or modified but I wanted a Field Target stock with some fore-end depth and additional adjustments for the cheek-piece and recoil-pad. I also wanted a heavy stock to absorb the remaining recoil and a thumbhole pistol grip which is better suited to my palm. There are a number of stock makers making custom FT stocks for air rifles. I decided to go for a CS 1000 from Customstock UK for my TX200 and I don’t regret it. To tell you the truth I was not really interested in how nice the wood looks but, it looked good. I was more interested in getting the right shape and weight. The CS1000 has an adjustable cheek-piece and an adjustable butt-plate which is ideal for your own personal customisation to make it fit like a glove to your body and length of pull. This stock comes with a thumbhole and a thumb rest for a more stable grip and a decent stock depth to aid you in those sitting shots. It is important that your rifle fits snugly into the stock. Make sure it does, lock it and make sure it remains
mechanics. It is quite easy to obtain your air rifle internals and many links on internet will show you how. If you feel you are not up to this task, then let a gunsmith do the job for you. These kits will change the soul of your air rifle; you will notice the difference at once. Polishing the internal housing and other items such as the plunger, internally and externally, with fine compounds like Autosol or Metalsol and fine 1800 grit paper to highly polished inner surface also helps in getting more out of your kit performance but this needs special care. Always chrono your power and adjust the preload accordingly by adding or reducing the supplied preload washers in your kit to keep it within the legal limit and according to FT regulations - thus below 12 ftlbs. Then shoot at least one or two tins of pellets through it before final adjustment - this will break in the internal parts. The next step is to work on the trigger. Some triggers are already good out of the box and one can set a smooth short or long first stage and a crisp second stage. A crisp trigger is essential for the correct timing of your shot. A poor ‘creepy’ trigger can put you off your timing or cause you to pull your shot at the last moment. Fitting an adjustable trigger blade will also help the ergonomics of how you position your trigger finger for your best possible fit. When I got my TX 200 the trigger was a complete mess. The first stage was almost non-existant and the second stage was lagging and jerking. Setting up according the manual did not help. The trigger needed some work. I followed forums and learned of other shooters’ experiences. The trigger was totally disassembled and all mating surfaces were mirror polished slowly, without any extra force, with fine grit paper and Metalsol. Be patient, when you think its enough, assemble, set up and try. If you still don’t feel confident ,disassemble and polish more. I polished the parts until I could not see any machining marks caused during the manufacturing process. Once the trigger assembly was put back together, I could not believe it was the same trigger.
directly on solid mounts. Now my Nikko is mounted that way so fingers crossed. The scope needs additional customisation also. You definitely need a long sun-shade and this will help to eliminate glare especially with large diameter optics. One of the scope’s main functions in Field Target is range-finding using the side parallax wheel. Most scopes either incorporate a side wheel or this can be purchased separately. The maker’s wheels are normally between 100 and 110mm in diameter and most of them are pregraduated in meters, feet or yards. How accurate they are is, in my opinion, a big question mark. Field Target shooters want to calibrate the scope according to their eye-sight and focusing capabilities at known fixed distances. A wheel of 110 mm is big but it might not be big enough to mark one meter increments for your ranging. It’s possible to find custom wheels with a bigger diameter that allows you to have a visible separation mark between your ranging distances. Others choose to customize their own side wheel. I decided to customize mine. This was done by tracing the outline on cardboard. Then I draw two tangents (at mirror image) and used a plate to create an arc further out of the main wheel diameter. Once I got the required size, I cut out this template and traced it on to 5 mm thick Perspex. The new so-called ‘shark fin’ wheel was then cut out and the edges finished with a file. The wheel was then fixed by drilling holes through it and through the original wheel spokes. The holes were tapped and stainless Allen screws completed the job. I required a pointer to make reference to the wheel. The pointer was machined from aluminum as a slit ring and at one end a dowel pin was glued for a reference. The ring was then installed on the fixed part of the eye-piece tube at a specific location and marked so that if it moves by accident I will notice it. For the main elevation turret a friend machined a turret cap with a larger diameter out of aluminum and this was fitted and locked on top of the original turret. Once these items are installed its time to head down the range and calibrate your scope and turret to all the possible target ranges in Field Target. We will tackle this in my next article. A Field Target air rifle can weigh up to 10 kg so carrying it around during a match can be laborious. I did not want to drill and tap the wooden stock (personal opinion) so I installed a FAB arms tactical sling. I just use this to carry the rifle, I don’t use it for standing shots because I don’t like the use of slings or other accessories used in Olympic target shooting applied in Field Target shooting (again a personal opinion).
locked at all times and check it every now and then that it is still locked. A loose stock to action can drive you crazy! To complete the project you needed a good scope. Of course, there are a lot of scopes out there and a lot of prices. Deciding which scope to go for was a difficult decision. For Field Target there are some particular specifications you need for a scope. The magnification must be more than 32X to be able to range find your targets accurately, You need a crisp and bright image, hence the tube diameter of 30mm and an objective lens of 50 or 60mm is the best combination. Parallax adjustment by side wheel is a must for Field Target and you need capable turrets to dial in to your targets at 1/8” at 100 yards if possible. Of course, there are scopes that satisfy these requirements but come at a price. Personally I could not afford to install a € 700 scope on my Field Target rig and I’m not sure if the recoil, even if tamed, would still ‘eat up’ the scope. After long search and trials, I replaced the original scope with a Nikko Stirling Platinum Nite Eater 10-50X60 AG IR 30mm with an FT reticle. This scope meets the specification and has good characteristics and comes at around €280 or £252 at todays exchange rate. Of course it has some flaws but I am getting used to that. At 50X in low light the image is not that crisp but it’s good enough for ranging accurately and I’ve found it to be spot on. I managed to set ranging at 1 meter intervals all the way from 10 meters to 50 meters with this scope. Turret accuracy is fine and for now I am happy with it. If this scope fails, then I have no option to go for its bigger brother, the Nikko Diamond. With regards to mounting, I initially used a Sportsmatch Dampa mount on my previous scope but I had a bad experience with it. The mount rubber bushes came loose and the scope vibrated and lost its zero and broke when I wanted it most during the 2009 Field Target Worlds in South Africa. There I talked with other experienced shooters who use springers
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90 Target Shooter
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By Gwyn Roberts
Carrying on from last month here are the remaining two LBR/LBP as the reloads can be done pretty quickly, matches that are shot in a 1500 competition, along with but it does take quite a few people at least 10 seconds some pointers on how to score the match on the day. or more to reload their underlevers which doesn’t leave you that much time to shoot in. Again, getting Match 4 the timing right first time for this match is pretty hard 25m – 35sec (including reload) to do to start with but generally you shouldn’t be Stage 1 12 shots Standing unsupported, too far off the mark by racking the action fast, but including reload making sure you release each shot off in a controlled Stage 2 12 shots Standing unsupported, manner. Shooting 5 shots and then changing including reload magazines to shoot a further 7 shots if using a LBR Double action only 10/22 or LBP will help save you a bit of time, but make sure that you count your rounds to start Most shooters don’t use their timers for this particular with or you’ll end up in a lot of trouble! Make match but if you think it will help you by using one, sure that you place your spare ammunition to then I suggest attaching it to your wrist or forearm reload with in a position where it can be quickly and as reaching down to place it on top of a shooting easily reached, as it is very important to have a quick box or on the floor will waste valuable shooting time. reload in this match. As with the other individual 1500 matches, the actions of the other shooters on It’s not too bad if you are shooting with a .22 rifle or the line will give you an indication of how you are
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 b/cade for support 6 shots Right hand standing using b/cade for support LBR may be fired single or double action
doing for time so try to make sure that you start shooting when everyone else does after the reload. Stage 4 – 25m, 12sec 6 shots Standing unsupported The whole of Match 5 is basically a repeat of LBR double action only matches 1 – 4 but with two slight changes for a total of 60 rounds to be fired. This last stage allows you very little time for any problems such as jams or light strikes and you Match 5 should always make sure that you carry some spare Stage 1 - 10m 12 shots Standing unsupported ammunition with you to at least give you a GRCF 30sec - All others 20sec (including sporting chance of reloading. I have certainly had to reloads) do it a few times over the years with a number of different firearms but have still managed to shoot the Stage 2 - 25m, 90sec (including reloads) required number of rounds because I was prepared 6 shots Kneeling for it. Having all of your spare rounds in your bag at 6 shots Left shoulder (or hand) the back of the range will certainly not help you if this GRCF & GRSB standing unsupported situation ever arises! LBP standing using barricade for support LBR standing using barricade for support, Moving on to scoring the match, the first thing that double action only you should do is print your name and competitor 6 shots Right shoulder (or hand) (GRID) number clearly onto your score card to help GRCF & GRSB standing unsupported avoid any confusion later on. It is important that LBP standing using barricade for support you mark all of the entries as you progress through LBR standing using barricade for support, D/A the match onto the left hand side of the score card only marked Competitors Copy until the whole match is finished. This will help ensure that any mistakes or Stage 3 – 50m, 165sec crossings out will not appear on the Stats copy as it is (including reloads) essential that the card handed in is perfectly legible. GRCF & GRSB The Stats Crew’s job is hard enough as it is 6 shots Kneeling without having to try and decipher hundreds of
Despite no lead being apparent on the line the gauge shows the shot counting as the next highest value! 92 Target Shooter
little scribbles or bits of shorthand all day so please be aware of this point on the day! Ideally, you should always try and use a gauge to score with as they take away a lot of the “human error” side of things. On many occasions I have gauged shots for people who were resigned to having lost a point because they couldn’t see any “lead” on the scoring line, only to have them smile again when shown that the gauge actually showed the shot as being “in.” You should be aware that bullets do not always make a perfectly round hole in the target and the most accurate way to use the gauge is to place the marking ring around the edge of the lead circle left by the bullet. In Gallery Rifle, the higher value is always given if the gauge touches the scoring line. It does not have to break it, or be inside it to count! As a fail safe, the number of hits that should be accounted for on the target during a specific match are indicated on the right hand side of the Competitors Copy and you must make sure that these figures tally before you move on to shoot the next match. In the case of Match 1 it is 24 rounds and as the target is shot at a much closer distance, you may well find that there will be just a single ragged hole in the middle of it with part of the scoring ring shot away to score. In cases like this, putting a new target centre underneath the shot target will help you identify where the line would be in order for you to score the shots. This sample arget as hot sing 44 alibre ifle. t w s u a. c r When a group like this is shot it makes it very hard to identify every individual bullet hole, so only those shots which can be clearly identified in the lower scoring zone on the target are scored as the lower value. In this case only the 3 upper shots are scored as 10’s as the lowest shot is gauged as an X as it is touching the line. Whatever the standard of shooter you are shooting with you should always ask if they managed to fire all of their shots off onto the target. Asking someone if they simply shot all of their rounds off is different because
S e p a r a t i n g your ammo into groups of six will make it easier when reloading!
Now the line can clearly be seen to help accurate scoring
do not count the same shot twice. I then do the same with the 8, 9, 10 and then X ring before totalling up the number of shots that have been accounted for, against the number of shots that are indicated on the score card. If any shots are missing on a target that obviously has a ragged hole in the middle of the target then it is usually fair to say that any “missing” shots will probably be in this scoring zone and score it accordingly. If however you are confronted with a target that has individual holes all over it with no discernable “groups” showing then it would probably be fair to say that any outstanding shots have missed the target and should be recorded as 0’s in the correct column. There generally two types of although they may well have done, it may not have scoring gauge that are used in GR been while the target was actually facing them, competitions and they are as follows: if you know what I mean! Likewise, in the interest of fairness you should always notify your scoring partner if you have had any late shots or rounds that you have not managed to put down range as you simply ran out of time, so that the target can be scored accordingly. 1500 rim fire targets are always individual items whilst the centre fire ones use replaceable centres and it is important that you patch over any shots that fall outside of the scoring rings, whether they are on the target “paper” or backing board, so that all shots can be accounted for at every distance. This is more important when shooting on the 50m stages as it is quite easy to miss the target completely, especially when shooting at the much smaller rim fire targets. Clearly seeing a new “miss” outside of the scoring rings makes it much easier to identify rather than trying to find a “double” that doesn’t actually exist. You will usually find it easier scoring a target by scoring each scoring ring in turn and recording the hits as you see them on the Competitors Copy side. I always start from the 12 o’clock position of the 7 ring and work my way round clockwise, marking the edge of each hole with my pen so that I
Copy side of the score card as this is only for your own individual information, should you want to keep it. If at any stage of the match you and your scoring partner cannot agree on an outcome or simply cannot accurately score a target then don’t be afraid to ask any of the R.O’s for help as that is what they are there for. If they cannot resolve an issue or problem then they will remove the target and give it to the C.R.O to have it adjudicated on. When the match has finally finished and you are happy that every shot has been accounted for then you will need to transfer the scores over onto the Stats Copy side of the score card. Please make sure that the figures are as clear as possible and double check again that every number of hits on each Match line totals the number of hits that are indicated on the Competitors “max shot” column or you could possibly end up losing valuable hard earned points on the day! As I’ve just bought a second hand Buckmark Long Barrelled Pistol I’ll take a look next month at some of the things that you can do to, or have done to them in order to make them a bit more suitable for the type of shooting that we want to do with them.
The top one is a “normal” gauge whilst the lower one is referred to as an “overlay” one which is used for any “skidders” that you may come across. This term has nothing to do with pre match nerves, but is used where a bullet has hit the target at an angle as it’s been turning away from the shooters causing an elongated hole or rip in the target. The rules state that anything over one and a half times the diameter of the bullet will be scored as a miss and this is where the overlay gauge is used. To do this you need to place the circle around the outer edge of the lead around the hole in the target. If the hole or opposite leaded edge remains inside the half circle then the shot will be counted as a hit, but if the end is outside of this area then it will be counted as a zero. There is no need from the “Stats” side of things for you to record the total number of hits, points and X’s etc on the Competitors
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Section 5 Pistols return to the Old Windsor Rifle & Pistol Club!
In April 2008, Old Windsor Rifle & Pistol Club was contacted by television production company Impossible Pictures, who were looking for a suitable location to film scenes for the popular ITV sci-fi series Primeval. The scenes revolved around two policemen at a pistol range, and OWRPC’s fully soundproofed 25m indoor range was selected after the production company visited our web site at http://www.owrpc.co.uk/. The OWRPC club house and range are situated in a recreation ground. On the night of May 13th 2008 a security guard arrived at the car park. Early next morning, the regular dog walkers were surprised to find the car park closed. A short time later a cavalcade of vehicles arrived; cars, vans and lorries containing the film crew, recording equipment,
Detective Danny Quinn practices his marksmanship
actors and props (including the all-important Section 5 pistols and blank rounds). Over the next five hours, and under conditions of strict secrecy, the team filmed two scenes from Episode Two of Primeval Series 3. Fortunately for the residents of Old Windsor, no anomalies opened during filming and no deadly creatures escaped! After editing, the scenes lasted a total of just 90 seconds when the programme was broadcast in May 2009. The Old Windsor Rifle & Pistol club was founded in 1977, and provides excellent facilities for a wide range of target shooting disciplines. The indoor range is open to members That’s it boss, I quit every weekday evening. The club welcomes new members of all ages kind permission of ITV. with a genuine interest in target shooting. For further details please contact us on 01635 827730. Danny Quinn was played by actor Jason Flemyng, and the pictures are reproduced by
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA
After two months of cancelled competitions due to the severe weather, our 600 yard shoot on March 7th was held in glorious conditions – clear blue sky, bright sun, very little wind but still sub. zero temperatures! With shooters getting withdrawal symptoms from lack of trigger-pulling, I wasn’t surprised to see a full entry – a third of whom were shooting Factory Phil’s winning agg. for his four, five-shot groups was 4.238 inches – owning to an unexplained seven-inch group in Match 3, so he only just pipped an on-form Toni Young shooting her 308 factory Remington. Toni finished on 4.3 inches, with a best group of 2.755 inches, which comfortably eclipsed partner Adrian Evan’s performance with his brand-new Light Gun! Light Gun was also tight at the top, with Jeanette
Jeanette Whitney set a new Light Gun record using the latest SEB rest
Whitney just beating Steve Dunn by a whisker and setting another UK record in the process. My own performance, using the new SEB rest was looking quite promising with a cluster of respectable groups – until I ‘lost’ a shot. Five rounds fired but only four reached the target. I can’t explain it – just one of those freak incidents that we have to put down to a Phil Gibbon dominated the Factory Sporter class last duff bullet. season with his ‘out of the box’ 6.5-284 Savage and he opened today with a three-inch group, followed Results: Light Gun by a superb group measuring just 2.2 inches! Jeanette Whitney 6.5x47 TGP BAT 3.12 inches Remember, this is 600 yards with a factory rifle – 1st (new record for four 5-shot groups) phenomenal! That group not only broke the existSteve Dunn 22BR Dunn BAT 3.197 ing Factory Sporter record set by Darrel Evans a 2nd 3rd Simon Rogers 6.5-284 RPA 3.929 couple of months ago but it was also the smallest group of the day, beating all the custom Light Guns – something I can’t ever remember happening. These Small group: Phil Gibbon 6.5-284 Savage 2.218 Savages really are fantastic rifles, whether you want to shoot benchrest at 600 and 1000 yards or F Class. Sporters. I also had the new SEB Neo rest to try after picking up the prototype from importer Brian Fox at the Newark show. If you didn’t get to the show, you can see our video of the rest on our Home page and read the review elsewhere in this issue of Target Shooter.
Factory Sporter: 1st 2nd 3rd Phil Gibbon Toni Young Darrel Evans 6.5-284 Savage 4.238 inches 308 Remington 4.3 6.5x47 Accuracy Intl 4.888 Phil Gibbon 2.218 inches
Sightron scope in the UK at Newark and I hope to use it at Easter in our 600 and 1000 yard benchrest competitions so a full review will have to wait until our May issue.
Here’s a pic of a nice little gadget. It’s similar to the Stoney Point COAL gauge but it’s much better made and Tony Donnachie, the guy who makes them for New Stuff Fox Firearms, will drill and tap your own fire-formed The SEB Neo rest is the hot news for BR shooters cartridge case so that you get an exact fit in the be it rimfire or 1000 yards. We have a full feature chamber, thus ensuring an error-free measurement. elsewhere in Target Shooter. This one’s for my own 6PPC and gave me a very accurate result. Contact Fox via www.foxfirearmsuk. I also managed to pick up the only 10-50 power com
Forthcoming Events We have an Easter festival of benchrest shooting at Diggle on April 4th, 5th and 6th. . Saturday, is our 100 yard season opener, 1000 yard on the Sunday and 600 yard on Easter Monday. You are welcome to turn up on the day for any event – e-mail me for more details email@example.com
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 99
In association with
Graham Freeman shoots 25m bench rest with two guns one S400 carbine (the bertie Bassett) and a Below - Graham Freeman and Good friend Garry new S400 MPR. Both guns were built with the help Kingaby from Air Arms and MFC supplies in Hailsham. Graham Freeman has been shooting since getting his first airgun at the age of 10 years old. He finally joined Buxted rifle club approximately three years ago and was shooting with a S400 straight out the box. He was then asked if he would like to join the UKBR22 (shooting association) and take part in the 25m bench rest shooting hunter and
unlimited where he learned more about guns and accuracy. He then went on to win trophies and medals in hunter and unlimited shooting and in 2009 shot at the UK nationals at Portishead and became 1 of 3 in the UK-A Team, who won world gold beating all other teams world wide. When we asked him what makes a good target shooter he replied “Take time to learn your gun, don’t rush things, see how it shoots in certain conditions and most of all practice, practice, practice. This year (2010) in July he will be going to the European Championship to be held at Plzen in the Czech Republic to shoot for the UK and will also be shooting the Nationals in Huddersfield in August. Finally at the World Championship in 2011. This will be held in the USA between the end of July and the beginning of August at the Palmetto Gun Club, Charleston, South Carolina. Where he will again shoot for the UK and stands a good chance of a medal
The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association By by Les Holgate
Our two Team GB F Class Captains have now been appointed by the GB F Class Association and the appointments have been ratified by the NRA. These appointments could have been the subject of an election if a number of candidates had put themselves forward but, in the end, we had just one each – for the Open and F/TR Teams.
expected range/wind conditions can be obtained. Really, this can only be had by actually shooting at Raton at the same time of the year as the Championships will be held.
We can now start to appreciate the enormity of the task facing the Teams and in particular, the Captains, for at this stage we do not know who will be part of the It is important that the Captains also receive the Team. That information will only come to light over the approval and support of their Team members and in next three seasons of F Class competition in the UK. Also, because this is an overseas event, the cost of competing will be much greater than a similar shoot on home-soil. Although the Captains will attempt to raise funds, the individual members will be required to put up a significant sum of their own money and this may well shape the Teams. Equipment will be another consideration. With a home shoot, obtaining a replacement trigger, scope or even a whole rifle would not be too difficult. In America however, equipment failures will be a different matter - it’s not too difficult to pack a spare trigger or scope, but there won’t be many spare rifles around. Who owns two David Kent – GB F Stuart Anselm – GB top class F Class rifles? What are the logistics of taking Class Open Captain F Class F/TR Captain two rifles? It’s bad enough travelling with one firearm, let alone two. Yes, it may be possible to borrow another the case of David Kent (Open) and Stuart Anselm (F/ Team member’s rifle but ‘may’ is not good enough – TR) they are both popular, competent and committed such an oversight could ruin the whole Team’s effort. shooters and I know all F Class shooters will applaud their appointment and give them full support. Some These are just some of the problems that our Captains may question the significance of these roles but will be pondering over in the coming months. It is not remember, the GB F Class Open Team won the 2009 a responsibility to be taken lightly and I’m not surprised World Championship and they will carry this title into that there weren’t more volunteers. Our two Captains the next Worlds in three years time when the shoot will have bravely stepped up to the plate and yes, Raton be held at the Raton Range in New Mexico. It’s not is a few years away but we cannot start too soon to just a question of doing well, David will want his Team think about the task facing our Teams and get behind to retain the title and Stuart’s F/TR team, who won the David and Stuart and assist them in every way we can, Silver medal at the Worlds, will be striving to go one whatever the final Team selection. better. Winning the F Class World Championship was one of To achieve this goal will require some effort and the finest achievements in modern GB shooting and all planning. We are not just talking about the logistics British shooters should feel proud of their success. of actually transporting a team, equipment, rifles and Victory was well deserved but certainly unexpected in ammunition across the Atlantic to New Mexico but this the US. It was a major upset and you can bet the Amertime, we are not on home turf, so we will be at a severe icans will do everything possible to prevent a repeat – disadvantage unless some reliable data on the especially on home-soil.
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
400 YD MINI QUIGLEY Dave Coleman in serious mode SHOOT – 13th MARCH Gallery rifles at 400 yards, anyone? The Pennine Shooting Sports Association at Diggle ranges has built up a solid fraternity of underlever rifle enthusiasts who hold regular monthly competitions at ranges up to 100 yds. The Quigley Shooting Association shoots at a bucket target at 400 yds and a buffalo at 600 yds with long-range black powder rifles. The MiniQuigley competition uses the same targetry, but is restricted to pistol calibre underlever rifles. After a 10 minute sighting-in period the competition consisted of two stages, stage 1 being two sighters and ten rounds to count at the bucket target, each shot being indicated Target Rifle style, and stage 2 being the same practice at the buffalo target, both stages at 400 yds. Traditional crossed-sticks, bags or kit rolls were permitted as a rest, iron sights only were allowed in the spirit of the original, although spotting Did anybody see where that went?? scopes were required to see the indicators and to record scores. Already this year a number of competitions have had to be cancelled due to poor visibility, and it looked as if today’s comp would suffer the same fate! A horrible mist covered the backstop, causing a delayed start,
Steve Hodge spots for Ken Tyrell
and, as is customary, the infamous Diggle “breeze” then appeared causing much difficulty, with only “Kentucky” windage available to most shooters. However, as the Diggle boys are very experienced with this type of firearm, the wind did not stop most shooters from scoring once its initial effect had been calculated. For some firers this was a half target’s width or more, into the wind. After the competition it became apparent that, while all lever action rifles are accurate enough to perform well at ranges below 300yds, some amount of after market improvement is necessary in order to shoot well past this range. The following points were noted, but the list is by no means complete. 1. Sights. A couple of firers had difficulty with elevation, a ladder type sight mounted on the barrel, or a tang-mounted peep sight is to be recommended. 2. Calibre. Not really conclusive as only one person competed with a calibre smaller than .44.(But he did place second)! 3. Ammunition. Loads were generally the same as those normally used at 100yds and no particular difficulty was experienced in the rounds reaching the target. 4. Bullets. It is interesting to note that everyone used standard round nosed flat profiled bullets. Perhaps some other profile could be more successful when loaded singly, and not in the tubular
magazine for obvious safety reasons. As QSA rules require lead only bullets, they need to be very hard cast and would probably benefit from a tumble in alox lube to reduce leading, which seemed to cause problems to a couple of firers. 5. Barrel length. Firers using carbines with barrel lengths of only 18in achieved respectable scores, so whilst 24in barrels might seem more accurate, the truth is it matters less than you would think. 6. Rifle. Winchester, Rossi, Marlin and Uberti were all represented and all performed admirably, choice of sight and ammunition was of more importance. Results
1. Greg Hoskin Marlin .44 Mag 2. Paul Seymour Rossi .357 Mag 3. Dave Bownass Uberti .45 4= Dave Coleman Winchester .44 Mag 4= Ian Hull Marlin .44 Mag I will certainly run this event again next year and anyone out there who owns one of these fine rifles is welcome to come along and join us. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winner Greg Hoskin and Runner-up Paul Seymour Target Shooter 103
Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
In the November issue I mentioned the advantages to club members and to us all if more clubs are willing to organise open meetings. The only real movement since then is a discussion I had with one club organiser who is seriously considering dropping an open meeting from the calendar. He finds it hard to motivate club members to turn out to run it when there is only a small amount to be made for the club. Profit is not the only motive for holding an open meeting but most clubs would like to see a reasonable return on the investment of time and resources, especially as all the members are giving up a day or two of their range time too. There are some clubs with excellent facilities for different events who are only able to hold open meetings with the help of organisers and range crew from other clubs. At least they make their facilities available and they are to be thanked for that but once they have seen how to do it why not have a go themselves? Most of the work is done in the back office before and after and that is not everyone’s favourite way to spend their free time but it only takes a couple of club members with the desire to make it succeed and you have a meeting. Range officers and assistance on the day is usually a little easier to find even if it means going out to other local clubs for help. putting one on in your area. Practical help is available – just contact email@example.com. Finally, here is the latest calendar for 2010. Entry forms for the Phoenix Meeting are out now and you can enter on line. Check the NSC website and your emails. DATES FOR 2010 April 24-25 Basildon 1500 Basildon April 25 Steel Challenge Budleigh Farm Devon 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 Wilts 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 December 30 Shield Christmas Shoot Dorset (Either contact the organisers direct or go to www.galleryrifle.com for entry forms.)
The most important thing to understand is that competitors are generally happy that someone is putting on a shoot at all and the fact that there are a few rough edges can be forgiven. Just get the squadding and the stats right and they will be happy. The benefits of a local circuit of open meetings are obvious. You don’t have to travel too far, you will know a lot of the competitors and beginners gain a lot of experience quickly in a welcoming environment. The future growth of GR&P largely depends on clubs encouraging beginners and one way to do this is to show what we do and what fun it is by having a big day of open competition. By attracting competitors from other local clubs and further afield the bar is GR&P = Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF), Gallery gradually raised and the desire to improve grows. Rifle Small Bore (GRSB), Long Barrelled Pistol (LBP) and Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) The NRA Gallery Rifle & Pistol committee will shortly be producing an article on running an open event. Please go to the Gallery Rifle website www.galleryri Please have a look at it and think seriously about fle.com for more news and information.
2010 :: The Hardy PSG Shoot. The 2010 Practical Shotgun (PSG) Level III competition circuit got off to a great start over the weekend of the 6th and 7th March, with fifty nine competitors attending the challenging two-day shoot. What made it all the more memorable this year was that the venue was at Shield Shooting Centre, a gem of a range complex hidden deep in the undulating coastal fields of sunny Dorset (well, sunny for the majority of the Northern contingent, some of whom still have the remnants of snowdrifts in the hedgerows from this year’s exceptional snowfall!) Shield Shooting Centre is owned and run by Steve Pike, an experienced, friendly and knowledgeable Barry Sullivan shooting buckshot ex-pistol shooter who has a reputation amongst heritage with a series of adjacent bays separated by PSG shotgunners for designing some of the most high tyre walls and all set within a long disused quarry. challenging and original courses of fire (CoF), not least Bays range in size and shape lending variety to the of which as hosts of several previous British Open stage designs and providing course designers with championship competitions. However, it has to be said the flexibility to cater for the full range of ammunition that perhaps the other reason people attend is to take types, birdshot, buckshot and solid slug. advantage of Biddy’s famous breakfast cobs, always delivered with a warm smile. Shooters are above all Steve is an ardent believer that a match should above all else test a competitor’s ability to shoot their gun in else lovers of sausages and bacon! a true practical sense, and his stages tend to have The Hardy shoot as this is traditionally known, is subtle features that look on the surface to be easy, named for the great novelist Thomas Hardy who came but in fact provide elements that necessitate an into the world at Stinsford in Dorset and who went on awkward stance perhaps, or weak-shoulder shooting to write such great works as Tess of the D’Urbervilles around an obstacle edge. He’ll put in tight no-shoots and Far from the Madding Crowd, and Shield has that require you to know your shotgun pattern, maybe through a low-aperture and with the occasional heavy always been its spiritual home. The main shooting range reflects the pistol shooting plate near the back of the stage – all of which serve to separate the men from the boys and illustrate the need to practice those areas we all tend to neglect. Very few shooters go to a practice range and spend time swapping the gun from strong to weak shoulder or spend any time at all on a patterning plate. Like kids who prefer to skip the sandwiches and go straight for the cake, we all would rather reinforce those skills we are comfortable with than put effort into those which often draw a face when encountered at the range. For those who do practice these areas, it’s a safe bet they’ll come out in the top 5% scores on that stage and a satisfied grin. It may Mixed steels and clay targets not win you the match, but it can certainly lose it in a hard fought
IPSC cardboard targets were used and required two hits per target. For the uninitiated, the IPSC target has been through some design changes in its history but the present UK accepted version is a cardboard rectangle with the corners cut off to form a flat-sided diamond. The scoring zones are creased into the cardboard which means you really can’t actually see the scoring areas at all beyond about five metres so you have to know where to shoot. PSG ammunition is powerful enough to be classed as major power factor and therefore the three concentric scoring zones are (A)lpha (worth five points), (C)harlie (worth four points) and (D)elta SET 1 of 3 Stage 9 Martin Davies shooting weak (worth two points). General consensus is that you are better to go a little slower and shoulder but adopting a stable kneeling stance ensure you hit Alphas (A) than blaze away and hit a few Charlies and Deltas which competition. This year saw 12 stages with a round count of 159, considerably lower your score. comprising 123 birdshot, 12 SG (buckshot) and 24 In case you are wondering what happened to the (B) solid slug. Four divisions were sanctioned for this eta – the target used to have an extra area at the top match: Standard (semi-auto), Standard Manual that has since been discontinued. (Pump), Modified and Open. Currently, the two biggest (most popular) divisions are Standard and Standard Shooting slug from a smooth-bore shotgun is actually more accurate and predictable than many Manual in the UK, with Open proving least popular. Few ranges offer the chance to shoot slug and it’s people think, excepting those who take part in Target usually a welcome change from birdshot. Standard Shotgun at Bisley, who are among the few who don’t
SET 2 of 3 Stage 9 shooting around the barricade weak shoulder
than a non-sanctioned match. Foot fault lines were very evident this year to ensure that competitors didn’t shoot targets less than the minimum 5m limit. These are usually (but not conclusively) wooden strips approximately one inch high by around 1.5 inch wide and painted red, and at floor level. Competitors may place a foot over these lines for purposes of balance or even by accident, but if a shot is taken whilst touching the ground on the wrong side of the line, procedural penalties will occur for each shot fired - something to avoid at all costs because it will result in a very poor score on the stage irrespective of how well the stage was shot. Stage 9 was a birdshot stage and proved to be the downfall of most competitors for the reasons given earlier in this article. Shooting position was inside a narrow space behind a solid obstacle. Targets were arrayed at ground level on both sides, partially occluded by large tyres. It was impossible to be able to bend far enough around the obstacle and keep the gun in the strong shoulder on both sides. The gun had to be in the right shoulder to shoot the targets on the right, and switched to the left shoulder to shoot the left hand targets. Much cursing and bruised shoulders later saw the majority of the shooters with poor stage scores – taking well over twice as long as the fastest SET 3 of 3 Stage 9 view of the targets hidden shooter. Most people were left with a feeling that they really should practice more. How often have we heard behind the tyres that...! quail at the thought of hitting a saucer-sized target at 50m. Most shoot 30g or 32g slug, predominantly of the Brennekke style skirted and fluted round (Eley, Sellier & Bellot, Remington), or the simpler bell-shaped Foster round used in the Magtech cartridges. Slug shooting isn’t cheap, with ammunition now costing anywhere from around 50p for the cheaper brands to almost a £1 per round for the Remington cartridges. It does require though that you know which choke works best with your brand of slug and where the slug goes at varying differences. At Shield, the targets were much closer than 50m – the furthest being no more than around 10m from the firing points. A 12 target stage, the competitors had to move from the start box to the first of three doors that exposed four paper targets through each. Starting with a full gun in Option 1 (8 rounds in the magazine, one in the chamber) and shooting each target twice meant that the competitors had to load a minimum of 15 rounds moving between the doors. In reality, as the majority of the shooters now use a belt system with cartridge strippers holding four rounds each, it meant grabbing two lots of four between door one and two, and two more grabs between door two and three, and reliably loading these into the loading gate of the shotgun whilst moving. The stage designs were straightforward if cunning in design, but perhaps with less freestyle elements Stage 11 was a large birdshot stage of 24 targets and comprised many sectioned off shooting areas that presented a challenge of moving, loading and shooting as well as needing to shoot targets through small apertures and avoiding close no-shoot targets. The key to success on this stage was planning and ensuring that your loading strategy was solid. Loading a shotgun when standing still is one thing, loading it whilst moving between targets is quite another. Stage 12 was a very pleasant stage that presented shooters with a similar experience to stage 11 with plenty of movement but a smaller target count of 16 steel plates and four no-shoot plates. All targets to be shot with birdshot. The dilemma here was the initial few targets. The competitor was facing down a long shooting corridor with an assortment of targets and no-shoots at varying distances out to perhaps 10 or 12 metres. On the start signal, these were the first targets to shoot and were the cause of much debate over what choke to use to ensure that the targets were hit but not the nearby no-shoots. Many people changed to full choke, others left their modified chokes in and still shot fast and accurately. The lesson learned here for many was the need to know your gun pattern for your chosen choke size. To make it more tricky, Steve often puts in double weight plates that need good shot placement to ensure a knockdown... he’s nothing if not sneaky is Mr Pike!
Stage 2 IPSC Targets Slug Stage through door 2
Two days saw the competitors complete the match with the weather holding out too which was a bonus. Well earned top scores in each division are as follows: Modified Division: James Harris Ian Richards Les Bailey Open Division: Nicholas Hockley Graham Mason Iain Corrigan 1st Place with 100% 2nd Place with 91.39% 3rd place with 87.48% 1st Place with 100% 2nd Place with 86.95% 3rd Place with 83.37% Midland Champs at Harlow on 21/22nd May Southern Area Champs at Shield on 21/22/23rd June British Open Champs at Carlisle on 3/4th July Welsh Champs at Border Guns on 4/5th September Home Countries Champs at Harlow on 8/9th October Competitors need to shoot five out of the six matches. These will be averaged out to calculate the shooters grade for 2010. This match saw several newcomers taking their first steps in a level III match. Among them were Dave Matthews who shot a very respectable match in Standard with his Browning semi-auto, and Richard Ali who had a very enjoyable day shooting his pump. Newcomers too were three fresh Range Officers (RO’s) following the successful completion of their training course at the end of February at Carlisle. Mick Flatley, Neil Evans and Iain Corrigan were all under supervision as part of their ongoing assessment and performed exceptionally well under the watchful eye of the veteran RO’s. Finally, It was an excellent two days shooting and thanks from all the competitors goes to Steve and Biddy and of course, the excellent Shield Team who spent many hours building the stages to the usual impeccable standards. Article and pictures by Tony Saunders
Standard Division: Standard was very closely fought and sees a welcome return to Standard division for former British Champion Neil Smith with his Benelli M2. Neil defected to Standard Manual for the last two years, winning the Championship in 2008. Mike Darby 1st Place with 100% Barry Sullivan 2nd Place with 97.07% Neil Smith 3rd Place with 96.03% Standard Manual: Martin Davies Iain Guy Jon Holloway 1st Place with 100% 2nd Place with 98.60% 3rd Place with 90.07%
This was the first of six Level III graded matches this year. The next five will be:
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.
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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