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July 2010 Issue
Mini Rifle Targets and Handloading Equipment
Make your own windflags – Part 2 • Air Action Shooting • New Products • and lots More…..
Target Shooter 1
Premium Target Optics for Dynamic Hunting
The new basic riflescope line by Carl Zeiss with distinctive design and dark grey matt finish.
The new riflescope line made in Germany by Carl Zeiss stands for uncompromising ruggedness, precision in optics and mechanics as well as ultimate functional safety. Modern multi-layer coatings provide outstanding image quality and brightness up to the smallest detail. Duralyt stands up to the test when used in the field offering professional, experienced and young hunters three riflescopes at an affordable price: 1.2 - 5 x 36, 2 - 8 x 42 and 3 - 12 x 50.
New: Duralyt Riflescopes
Welcome to the July Issue......................
.......of Target Shooter
21 Front Rests - the Top
Ten by Vince Bottomley
6 8 10 Shooting Sport News Shooters Calendar Support Shooting Sports Ghost International by David Thompson Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook GBR Project Rifle by Vince Bottomley I Phone Scope Reference by John Campbell-Smith Mobile Devices - PDF Veiwers by Carl Boswell WMS Steel Challenge Part 2 by Nigel Greenaway Handloading ‘Old Faithful’ the .308 equipment by Laurie Holland The Great Diggle Egg Shoot by Vince Bottomley Gun of the Month - building a rimfire BR LV rifle by Andy Dubreuil This Smallbore Business by Don Brook Profile on Dave Caughey by Hayley Platts Club Review Letters
Part Deux by Carl Boswell
30 DIY Windflags
12 17 36
49 Shooting & Reloading
.303 MkVII Bullets by Nigel Greenaway
42 45 54 57 66 76 74 84
70 Mini Rifle Turning
Targets by Tim Finley
80 Natural Aiming
Point (NAP) by Don Brook
87 Pheonix Meeting 2010 by Gwyn Roberts
109 Advertisers Index
95 97 99 101 103 104 UKBRA UKBR22 F- Class Quigley Association Gallery Rifle UKPSA Editor(s). Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager email; email@example.com Contributors Vince Bottomley Tony Saunders Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Alan Whittle Nigel Greenaway Gwyn Roberts Ken Hall Les Holgate Hayley Platts David Thompson John Campbell-Smith
Webitorial - July 2010
This magazine deliberately opted not to comment on last month’s tragic events in Cumbria. We are a target shooting magazine pure and simple and although the individual involved was a legal keeper of firearms, he was not a target shooter and neither were his weapons target firearms. However, we have been approached by the media and others but rather than attempt to write something, I would refer readers to the excellent piece on the Cybershooters website at http://www.cybershooters.org/june_2010.htm and also the NRA website at www.nra.org.uk I will end by saying that we at Target Shooter magazine are shocked by these events and we extend our deepest and sincere sympathy to the victims and all those affected by this tragedy.
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 7.62mm Rifle Enters British Military Service An optically sighted 7.62mm semi-auto precision rifle designated the L129A1 ‘Sharpshooter’ is entering service in Afghanistan in the hands of selected marines serving with 40 Commando as this issue goes to press. TargetShooter understands that 440 examples were procured from the Lewis Machine & Tool Co. (LMT) of Milan, Illinois as an ‘Urgent Operational Requirement’ and delivered in January for infantry use with the Army and Royal Marines. The L129A1 will not replace any existing weapons according to the MoD, 7.62mm L96 (Accuracy International PM and AW) sniper rifles continuing in service. LMT beat off competition from FN-Herstal, Sabre Defence Industries, and Heckler & Koch, a major achievement for this minnow amongst these large international arms manufacturers. Despite regular criticisms of MoD weapons procurement seen here, the specification, tendering and testing processes, as well as value for money obtained and short timescales, have been described as ‘model’ by American commentators. British forces have adopted American practice which sees a modified version of the Knight’s Armament Co (KAC) SR25 rifle widely issued as the M110 SASS to designated marksmen at squad level to bridge the longstanding gap between the skills and equipment of riflemen armed with 5.56mm individual weapons and more rigorously selected and trained snipers with long-range bolt-action rifles. As with the KAC SR25/M110, it is a ‘big AR’ in its looks, straight-line layout, and controls, retaining the Stoner bolt locking and piston-less operating systems. However, LMT has made improvements to Stoner’s work, primarily in its ‘Monolithic Rail Platform’ (MRP). This is a one-piece upper receiver and forend/handguard assembly machined from a solid aluminium alloy billet to provide a single-piece integral M1913 specification sights/accessory rail running along the entire component; a fully free-floating barrel; a QD barrel change system that allows removal and replacement in around two minutes using a small LMTsupplied driver/ torque wrench. As with other square section tactical front-ends, the MRP has M1913 (‘Picatinny’) rails machined into all four surfaces for multiple accessory attachment including a bipod and various grip designs. LMT has also installed its ergonomic pistol grip and ‘SOPMOD’ telescopic buttstock on the L129A1, both favourites with US special forces’ personnel. The L129A1 has a 16” match quality 1-11.25” twist rate barrel with a recessed and tapered crown, the muzzle fitted at MoD request with an existing British flash suppressor come sound moderator adaptor. Specified performance is 1-MOA grouping ability using standard 7.62mm ball ammunition allied to an 800 metre hit capability on a person sized target in the hands of a suitably skilled user. Sights are a 6X48 Trijicon ACOG incorporating a no-battery fibre-optic illuminated BDC chevron form reticle, no doubt influenced by its currently being procured for 7.62mm L7A1 GP machineguns. The photograph of the rifle shows a holographic sight has been installed on top of the ACOG, presumably for street fighting and snap shooting. KAC fold-down backup iron sights have also been fitted to the upper rail at British request. In line with the precision shooting role, it has been fitted with a trigger assembly providing crisp operation and a low (by military standards) 4.5lb pull-weight. The rifle is supplied in a Pelican hard case complete with ACOG, eight KAC 20-round magazines, Dewey and Otis cleaning tools, barrel-change driver, and bipod. British practice with this rifle varies from that of the US Squad Designated Marksman programme in the choice of barrel length and optics, the longer American M110 fitted with a higher magnification S&B or Leupold, while the British rifle is a handier, more flexible package that does the same jobs as the SA80 series rifle in addition to the sniping role, recoil and full-auto fire issues aside. The rifle suggests significant changes in British military thought, primarily the final abandonment of sole concentration on the 5.56mm NATO cartridge purely for logistical considerations. The value of improved individual shooting skills and kit in the wars we’re now fighting has been recognised, albeit given the absence of the close cooperation between service and civilian target shooting communities that has proven invaluable to such developments in the USA, one suspects this belated conversion on the road to Damascus is only partial. Likewise, the (literal) bankruptcy of deploying precision munitions to deal with any threat more significant than AK47 users is addressed, 7.62mm cartridges costing pennies in the hands of a good shot with an accurate rifle replacing ‘chucking a Porsche’ (firing a missile costing many thousands of pounds) at small groups of insurgents harassing British positions with a mortar or machinegun. Finally, although the MoD insists that no existing weapons are superseded, the misbegotten heavy-barrel L86A2 Light Support Weapon member of the SA80 family is now deservedly redundant given its reclassification as a ‘long-range rifle’ after failing abysmally in the light machinegun role and replacement by the FN Minimi.
Challenge shoot details This shoot is open to all members of the Eagles Rifle and Pistol Club and any shooter who holds both a valid FAC & Shooter Certificate. No entry fee but sponsorship is requested!! Th shoot will be held at 300 & 600 yards, on Century range Bisley. Shooting will be from 08.30 to 17.30 (Lunch 12.30 – 13.30) Shooters will be squaded in pairs or threes. Targets will be standard NRA targets for the above distances.. The shoot will consist of two sighters and ten shots to count at each distance. Scoring will be a total possible of 100 points + V-bulls. Total rounds required 24!!! All shots will be marked and scored back.
All sighters will be convertible under NRA rules. There will be no warm up shots or ‘zero’ shots. Note! Ammunition will not be issued by Eagle Rifle & Pistol Club. A commemorative medal will be issued to each participant At the end of the shoot, each shooters sponsor form will be marked to confirm the number of shots fired and the score obtained. Once each shooter has collected the monies stated on their sponsor form please can you send both the form and money to – Mr Ian Wild 39 Camelot Gardens, Sutton-On-Sea, Lincolnshire, LN12 2HP. Please make cheques payable to – Eagle Charity Shoot
New from RWS! The RWS LR-20 - multi-shot PCP Air Rifle – Carbine Version! This new RWS Carbine, the LR-20, has been specially designed with advice from expert airgun shooters and like its larger counterpart – the LR25, is a UK made Air rifle featuring the unique ambidextrous bolt which can be easily changed from right to left hand at any time.
It also has a classic design chequered ambidextrous stock with rosewood capping, in beech or quality walnut. 8 shot magazine, cylinder pressure gauge and threaded for a sound moderator – a truly versatile rifle.Reviews of the LR-25 are excellent and we are sure the LR-20 will quickly follow suit! RRP start at £670.00 Contact RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd for more information. email@example.com
Calendar of events over the next few months
5 to 6 July F Class League (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Contact(s): Mik Maksimovic 5 to 6 July MLAGB Pedersoli Challenge (Wedgenock, Warwickshire) An Open Competition for pistol, rifle and musket. Contact(s): David Spittles 7 to 26 July NRA Imperial Meeting (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) NRA Imperial Meeting. This series of matches is divided up into disciplines with competitions for Service Rifle, Civilian Service Rifle, Cadets, Historic Arms, Schools, Gallery Rifle and Pistol, Match Rifle and Target Rifle. It finishes on the 26th July with the Queens Final followed by Prize Giving. Contact(s): NRA Imperial Meeting 26th July- 6th August Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest European Championships 2010. Plzen in the Czech Republic - http://www.erabsf.org 3 Aug Highpower Rifle Association Match (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) 80 round XTC. Details can be found by clicking on the links below. http://www.highpowerrifle.co.uk Contact(s): Highpower Rifle Match Entries 28 to 29 Aug Gallery Rifle National Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC). Some of the events being shot are 1500, Bianchi Match, Timed & Precision 1, 2 and 3, Multi-Target, Precision at 25 and 50, Phoenix A, Advancing Target and Speed Steel Challenge. Contact Brian Thomas 27 to 29th Aug - UK National Rimfire and Air Rifle Championship - held at Paul Lane Rifle and Pistol Club. Cotact via the UKBR22 website
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
15 July to 25 July NRA Imperial Meeting - Target Rifle Events (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley). Individual and team competitions for Target Rifle discipline. Starting with warm-up matches on Friday and Saturday, the Grand Aggregate begins with the Daily Telegraph competition on the Saturday afternoon. Entry forms will be available in February 2010. Karen Robertson at the NRA 16 July Wind Coaching Course (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Short wind coaching course. Contact(s): Phyllis Farnan via the NRA 17 July to 23 July NRA Imperial Meeting - F Class Rifle Events (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Individual and team competitions for F Class Rifle competitors. Starting with warm-up matches on Friday and Saturday. F Class International team match and individual finals on the following Friday. Karen Robertson at the NRA 21 Aug 5th Historic Breech Loading Loading Competition (Battle Hill, Co Durham) Download Entry Form http://www.consetthistoricrifleclub.co.uk Contact Griff Elliott 22 Aug HBSA Open Long Range Classic & Veteran Championships (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) AM 900, PM 1000: classes for Classic (pre-1919) and Veteran (pre-1946) rifles, including Service, Sniper, Match and Target Rifles and for Post-Veteran Early 7.62mm Target Rifles. Contact Mark Hodgins 28 Aug to 29 Aug Welsh Open (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) The Welsh Open will be held on 28 - 30 August with the traditional Queens 1,2 & 3 format starting on Saturday lunchtime plus a match rifle competition on the Monday morning. http://www.welshra.com Contact(s): LouLou Brister
26 Sep Somerset SBSA – Open Shoot. (Rifle) Long Ashton Ranges. Tel. 01275 836442. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org 1-3 October: Field Target World Championship, Hungary more details: http://www.fieldtarget.hu/ ftob2010 more info:email@example.com
11 Sep NRA Open Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Contact Libby Gendall via the NRA
Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd 295 London Road North End Portsmouth PO2 9HF
Opening Times Mon 9.30 - 5.30 Tues Closed Wed Closed Thur 9.30 - 5.30 Fri 9.30 - 5.30 Sat 9.30 - 5.30
Tel 02392 660574 Fax 02392 644666 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.portsmouthguncentre.com
We stock a full range of Rifles, Pistols, Air Guns, Shotguns, Ammunition, Reloading Equipment and Accessories. All major brands stocked including BSA, CZ, Air Arms, Marlin, Ruger, Umarex, Uberti, Cometa, Pedersoli, Berreta, Lincoln, Webley, Pedersoli, etc.
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
‘Supporting Shooting Sports’
After the handgun ban, many practical shooters took up other disciplines or bailed out of the shooting circuit all together. A few however wanted to try to re-create the excitement of Practical Pistol competitions with the equipment that was legally available. There were two options, either Airsoft replica imitation firearms or Co2 multi shot air pistols. It became apparent quite quickly that the Airsoft guns lent themselves perfectly to IPSC Practical Shooting and the more powerful Co2 multi shot air pistol (with some tuning) were perfect for Iron Plate Action Shooting (IPAS) the UK version of ‘Steel Challenge’ as it is known around the world. IPAS is the fastest growing sport for Co2 multishot air pistols in the UK; it is extremely exciting and has an extensive competition circuit with events taking place throughout the year across the country culminating in the National Championships held November of each year The object of the sport is very simple - shoot fast and don’t miss!
An introduction to Iron Plate Action Shooting
In any given event there are a number of ‘stages’ - each stage is a different array of five steel plates fixed to a wooden stand approximately one metre off the ground. The plates vary in size from 8”x 8” to 24”x 12”. One of the five plates is painted a different colour to the other four (usually yellow or red) and this is known as the STOP plate. The stop plate must be engaged last. The shooter begins by standing in the ‘box’ facing down range, the instruction from the Range Officer is given “Load and make ready” ……..the gun is loaded and holstered and the shooters hands are in the ‘surrender’ position - the shooter is ready. The RO, with shot timer in hand, gives the command, “Shooter, are you ready?”……. “Stand by”…….the shot timer is engaged and the shooter waits for the inventible “beep” to sound……as it does he goes in to action, the shooter engages four plates in any order he chooses and then the stop plate. A good time is around 3 seconds! The shooter gets five ‘runs’ on each stage with his worst time being discarded, so there is only one ‘throw away’ the other runs must count.
At the end of the stage the RO gives the command to unload and show clear - the gun is re-holstered and the next competitor is called to the line. The times for each shooter for each stage are added together and the competitor with the fastest overall time wins….simple! Safety, as always, is a number one priority and the IPAS association are very proud of its 100% safety record. It is very simple to set up, all you need are five steel plates on suitable stands, a decent multi-shot air pistol, safety glasses (worn at ALL times whilst on the range) and a shot timer. A small amount of space is required and cardboard can be used for backstops, the .177 lead pellet simply falls to the ground after impacting with the steel plates but not before sounding a very satisfying ‘ding’. IPAS is an inclusive sport, with men and women, young and old from all walks of life taking part. It is fun, fast, competitive and above all it doesn’t cost a fortune to do. The Action Air Shooting company was borne out of desire to obtain, produce and provide the best possible equipment for the sport of competition IPAS for those who wanted to compete at a serious level. The gunsmith at STC - himself a very accomplished IPAS competitor - spent years fine-tuning and increasing the performance of his own gun, a Co2 Colt 1911 A1 air pistol from German manufactures Umarex and this gave him a clear advantage. Other
shooters, keen not to be left behind in the wake of his continued success asked if they too could have guns modified for them and so Action Air Shooting came into being. At present Action Air Shooting offers two types of Co2 pistol with various optional extras available. The Colt 1911A1 SuperSpeed & the Smith Ultralite Revolver. There are two divisions, Open (with optics) and Standard (iron sights) and both guns are available for either division. Every gun is built to order (so there is a waiting list) and each has between 8 and 11 hours of gunsmithing before it is ready. Many custom parts are fitted as standard, such as the lightweight aluminum shrouds for the revolvers which are 55% lighter than the original part. For speed shooting this lightened front end allows for an even faster draw and target acquisition. The gun is lighter whilst retaining its potency, this combined with a fully tuned trigger makes for an outstanding performance. The customer can choose a variety of options such as double-action only , ‘bobbed’ hammer even the trigger-guards can be machined so they can be use with a speed holster, such as those from Ghost International or Safariland. The attention to detail, the finish and the overall performance of an STC Custom Air Pistol from Action Air Shooting is vastly superior to that of an ordinary ‘off the shelf’ air pistol. A truly bespoke piece of kit these guns are supplied with a unique
build number, chronograph reading to show the average FPS of each gun, a 10m benchrest testtarget to show accuracy and Cordura double gun bag. STC guns can are also ideal as a training aid for users of real firearms outside of the United Kingdom. Seasoned shooters looking for a cost effective training system or instructors with students
new to firearms keen to learn good gun control and gun safety in a controlled environment both benefit from an STC Co2 Air Pistol. If there was a better made Co2 multi shot air pistol available anywhere else in the world we’d use it! For further details full please contact us at info@ actionairshooting.org
Ghost International by David Thompson
Ghost International Limited came about as the result of the cooperation between three individuals who had a visionary goal to develop one company that would combine the civilian sport shooting world with duty equipment that was suitable for both law enforcement and military units. They believe that the combination and mix of knowledge and experience of both these worlds would assist in delivering the perfect end result in each product they manufactured.
Sandro is one of Italy’s highly regarded gunsmiths for both IPSC as well for Special Operations Units throughout Europe. Over the years he has invented most of the products to come from Ghost International. Roberto Amadini is the owner of Ghost International. He is an experienced shooter and range officer for both IPSC and IDPA. His ties with both the IPSC world and with law enforcement and the military enables Ghost to trial their products in the field.
Since 1975 Sandro Amadini has been the owner of Amadini Custom, one of the leading manufacturers Marco Pescarolo is the owner of Pieffemme, which of IPSC belts, holsters and magazine pouches. is a factory specialising in producing injection
Ghost also make a competition holster for Smith and Wesson K, L and N frame revolvers
moulded ABS parts for European companies such as Porsche and Alfa Romeo. This factory has a Computer Aided Design – Computer Aided Manufacturing ( CAD-CAM ) unit capable of transferring designs into finished parts. Ghost International is an Italian company, which was officially founded in 2004 after years of product research and development. In the late 1990’s plans were already made for the founding of the company and both modular and rotation holster and magazine pouch systems were patented. Fine tuning of the products was undertaken with close cooperation with top IPSC competitors and various police and military user groups. In 2004 Ghost launched their modular holster system which caused a revolutionary turn in the building of holster systems worldwide. All major holster builders followed soon with comparable systems. Ghost then gave the holster a rotation system for use in vehicles and motorcycles. Again, the rest of the field followed. Ghost is now an accredited ISO9001 quality certified company and as of 2005 most of their products now has a NATO Stock Number ( NSN ). Ghost has the flexibility to use their basic items and make changes to them in order to make specialised products to suit customer needs.
The revolver holster offers all the same advantages as their competition pistol holsters
Ghost Competition Holster Practical pistol competition shooting has lead to the development of holsters whose task is to both securely hold the pistol and also allow the shooter to present the pistol to the target in the least amount of time possible. A holster that is gaining in popularity, which is designed to securely hold, and then present the pistol to the target in the shortest time possible is the Ghost Holster. This rig offers you a positive locking mechanism to keep the pistol securely in the holster. The rig also is a lightweight design that will not weigh you down an already heavy gun belt. This holster comes in several different configurations to suit various makes of pistol. It has a black carbon fibre body and is attached to your belt with a high impact black plastic clip by tightening down on four hex head bolts. The holster comes complete with an instructional manual and two Allen wrenches, with which to attach the holster to your belt and also to adjust its height and angle of rake. This holster has a specifically shaped wedge is used to secure the trigger guard. The holster can be attached to a belt that is no more than 37 mm ( 1.5 inches ) wide using the supplied Allen wrench. The holster is then adjusted into a position to suit the user by loosening the various locking screws with the second Allen wrench. Remember to retighten them all after you have finished making your adjustments. In the holstered position the pistol should not be pointing at your leg or foot. There are four axes of adjustment to get the perfect position for the user. Using the Ghost Over the past few years I have tested out the Ghost holster using various CZ, Glock, Grand Power, Sphinx and STI pistols and Smith and Wesson revolvers. With the rig unlocked the pistol can be lifted cleanly and presented to the target. I tried
Two types of magnetic magazine pouch are made, a magnet on its own and a magazine pouch with a magnet attached to the front of the pouch.
One of the most popular holsters on the IPSC competition circuit, the Ghost holster has an unlocked position and two locked positions when the pistol is inserted into it
some rapid turns and jumps and disengaged the locking mechanism to draw when I had completed these movements. The time required to draw and fire was faster than anything I have used previously. The pistol is securely locked in the holster when it needs to be and can then be presented in a quick smooth draw upon demand. As well as being used with bullet firing pistols the Ghost can also be used with air soft pistols. Practice, training and familiarity are mandatory with the use of this or any other holster. Do not use a loaded pistol during this training and familiarity period. Practice with an unloaded pistol until you are completely competent in its safe use. Ghost III Tactical Thigh Holster As a further development in their line of holsters Ghost have developed a duty holster suitable for law enforcement and military use. This one holster can be used as a tactical thigh holster, belt holster with Level IV tactical body armour and as a standard belt holster. The Ghost III has been designed for law enforcement and military use. Particular attention has been given to the safety systems and to the choice of quality materials to give a long lasting product to combine reliability with comfort. The fixing of the holster group to different modules allows the user to always have the same grasp on the pistol and the same safety systems. The fixing system of the holster body to different modules is also very practical and secure. Ghost has taken the locking mechanism from their competition holster and has further developed it to produce this duty holster. The holster is molded to a specific pistol type, which in this case is the Glock 17. When the pistol is inserted into the holster a wedge locks into the trigger guard. This, combined with the molded shape of the holster securely retains the pistol. As you grasp the pistol with you dominant hand the
release lever will fall naturally under your thumb. The release lever is rotated upwards to lock it, preventing the pistol from being drawn. The release lever can be pushed forwards and down with your thumb. This will disengage the wedge that locks the trigger guard. The pistol can now be drawn from the holster and presented to the target. Initially practice with a pistol which you have confirmed is unloaded to become familiar with this holsters system of operation. The tactical thigh rig ( TTR ) is secured to your belt at waist lever via an adjustable web strap. Two cordura straps are placed around the upper thigh and locked in place with plastic locking clips. The holster locates on the TTR via a modular keyway. Press down the button on the outside of the holster and slide the holster along the keyway until it locks in place. Two belt systems are supplied with the holster; a waist belt and drop belt that positions the pistol lower and away from the body for use with Level IV tactical armour. The holster is attached using the same modular keyway. Both have slots through which to thread a belt. Also supplied is a modular attachment for the holster that can be screwed onto any flat surface. This allows the holstered pistol to be positioned under a counter, in a vehicle, boat or aeroplane. Each adoption system allows the holster to be rotated and locked at a specific angle, thus increasing its versatility. To go along with the Ghost III there are also matching magazine pouches and belts. All items are available in black, green and white colours. New Products Ghost have reciently intruduced a concealable holster, which is for the Glock 17/22 9mm and .40 S&W pistol. Made from the same tough materials they use in their other holsters it would be very suitable for plain clothed work and also very suitable for those who use Glocks in IPSC Production Division and IDPA competition. Initially available for the Glock 17/22, Ghost intend to produce it for other makes of pistol as well. Another new product is a magazine pouch that uses a magnet instead of a convensional box into which the magazine. This was designed for stages in IPSC competition where you start with an empty pistol and all magazines position on a table. On the start signal you grab the pistol, load it and shove the aditional magazines into the magazine pouches, which is time consuming. With the magnetic magazine pouch you simply slap the spare magazine against the magnet, which is much faster. Two versions are available; a magnet on its own or a conventional magazine pouch with a magnet attached to the outside of it. The author is a competitor on the European IPSC competition circuit. www.practicalhandgun.com
Email; email@example.com/ Website; www.westlakeengineering.com
The Taurus ML Revolver is converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver. The cylinder is removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contains the spring loaded plunger that frees the action when the yoke is closed. As this extension cannot be removed, it prevents the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel is shortened to approximately 5 ¼ inches and the wristbrace is removed. A new cylinder is made which has pockets for shotgun primers at the rear with a small flash hole through into the chamber at the front. The chamber is made to accept .357” lead wadcutter bullets. The conversion of your pistol costs £330.00. Extra Cylinders are £180.00 each. If you do not have a pistol I can order a new pistol from the Importers.
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 7
by Chris Risebrook
Another diversion this month into the realm of derringers. A natural successor to the muff pistol, the derringer was the brainchild of Henry Deringer (one “r”) who began his career in 1806 in Philadelphia making muskets for the government through his friendship with General Andrew Jackson. However, his name is synonymous with the large calibre (usually .41) short barrelled muzzle loading pistols which he started making around 1825. So successful was this genre of pistol that competing manufacturers made imitations under such names as Beringer, Heringer, Derrringer et alia. The pistol really came to fame (?) in 1865 when Lincoln was assassinated with one of Henr’ys pistols. Lincoln’s physician said the pistol had the word “Derringer” marked on it. In fact he had misspelt it, but from that point on, all such pistols became known as Derringers and the word entered the dictionary accordingly. Although an early convert to percussion, Deringer never adopted breech
loading, but William H. Elliott, a Remington employee patented the double barrelled derringer shown in photo 1 in 1865. Like most breech loading derringers, it is chambered for .41 rimfire, a
now obsolete cartridge which was originally loaded with 13.5 grains of black powder with a 130 grain heeled bullet. Later smokeless loads produced about 100 ft. Ibs. Although generally considered pretty
gutless, both presidents Garfield and McKinley were assassinated with 41s, so they could not have been all that bad. The pistol itself was produced from 1866 to 1935 with very few alterations, which is curious since it has an inherent weakness - the hinge, which for some reason was never reinforced The guns shown in photo 2 are unusual in that the hinges are not cracked, but a great many guns do display a crack, usually on the left hand side. About 250,000 of these pistols were made in their near 70 year production run, so they are not scarce, even this side of the pond; but prices of good examples, particularly with intact hinges are getting silly. Although no longer produced by Remington, the design is still produced today, but not in 41 calibre. Several companies in America make these guns -with reinforced hinges - in a plethora of calibres up to 45 Colt, and sometimes well beyond. Versions have even been made in 45-70 - Ouch! The pistols bear numbers under the barrel and duplicates on the frame, but these are not serial numbers, but more parts batch numbers. I had assumed that if these numbers matched, it would indicate the barrels and frame belonged together and were not a marriage, but the difference in the degree of wear in the plating of barrels and frame of the gun shown in photo 2 makes me wonder if this is so. Dating is usually by the legend on the barrels; E. Remington & Son = 1865-1888, Remington Arms Co. = 1888-
1910, and Remington Arms UMC Co. * 1910-1935, after the acquisition of the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. Both the photo 2 guns are 1910-1935. There is some barrel wear on the blue gun, probably due to lack of cleaning after using black powder cartridges, but there is no sign of wear or even use, on the chrome gun. Apart from some lurid tales of the gold rush and wild west eras involving southern belles, ladies of easy virtue, and Mississippi riverboat gamblers, in practice the majority of these guns probably saw little, if any use. Bearing in mind that they were not intended to be used at more than card table ranges, it is surprising that they bothered to incorporate such luxuries as sights, or even rifling. Photo 3 shows a pretty pair of Colt Thuer No.3 derringers, also in .41 rimfire - Thuer invented the ejector mechanism. These pistols were originally made by the National Arms Company, subsequently bought out by Colt, and production ran from 1875 to 1912. They do not have the hinge weakness of the Remington, but, of course, they are only single shot. Back in the 1960s, Colt made .22 versions of these guns in various finishes, including matched pairs of lord and lady derringers - gold plated and with walnut and pearl stocks respectively. Unfortunately, these charming little artifacts are now forbidden to us but at least we can have the original .41s as curios, although the prices will make your eyes water!
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Front Rests – the Top Ten!
by Vince Bottomley
Above - World F Class Champion, Gary Costello uses a Farley Co-axial – say no more!
Last month, we had a look at back-bags – for benchrest competition and F Class shooting. Following our video report on the new SEB rest – the Neo – in our March issue, we were accused of something akin to a ‘sales-pitch’ rather than an unbiased review. Ouch! That comment came from one who signs himself ‘Tag’ on the UK 22 Benchrest Directory forum and he also challenged us to carry out an unbiased review of the top ten front rests for benchrest and F Class competition. Unbiased? OK, I’ll try but I must emphasise that these are my personal opinions, so that in itself is a bias. However, I can state that no one has given me a free rest and no one is paying me to say nice things about their product. Hopefully, no one will be suing me after reading my comments! I have not actually used all the rests reviewed but I’ve seen them all ‘in the flesh’ so to speak and had a play with them and maybe shot the odd group. Some I have owned and used in benchrest competition for many years and I currently have a modified Cicognani (with a heavier base) for 100/200 yard benchrest and a mk1 SEB for 600/1000 yard benchrest. I have also used the SEB for F Class competition. Co-axial or tripod? Before we get into the ‘meat’ of this article, perhaps we should say a little about the two basic types of front ‘machine’ rest – the tripod and the co-axial (or joystick) rest. The co-axials are more expensive, so do you really need one? The only advantage of the co-axial is speed – if you need to shoot fast, consider a co-axial. In benchrest, we are always trying to ‘beat’ the wind – get off our five shots for group before the wind changes. With a co-axial, there is just one movement to get back on aim but with the tripod there are two – windage and elevation and those two adjuster knobs are not to hand – unlike the joystick. Also the joystick is particularly handy if you need to drop down to the sighter-card to check out a wind-change. It’s just a few seconds - rather than a frantic knob-winding exercise. If you shoot benchrest for score – i.e. firing one shot at each target rather than shooting a five-shot group, then speed is not so important and personally, I wouldn’t be bothered with a joystick – get a good, solid tripod rest. Although the F Classers don’t need to shoot quickly, it’s very difficult to reach the windage and elevation adjusters on a tripod rest from the prone position and the co-axial rest places the joystick knob just a couple of inches from the trigger – very convenient and probably why you see more co-axials in F Class than benchrest! Of course, the F Classer’s grassy platform is nowhere near as stable as a concrete bench-top so, even if you do persevere with a conventional tri-pod rest, you will still need to ‘manipulate’ the back-bag for fine adjustment and hold onto it whilst you take the shot. A joystick is much easier. Incidentally, there are two ways to shoot a co-axial.
The Sinclair Rest. www.sinclairintl. com This rest is very similar to the Hart and, like the Hart, it has grown over the years. It’s quite heavy (a plus) with a cast-iron tripod base and it has a very large diameter column. Like the Hart, it lacks a rack & pinion vertical adjustment to enable the rest to be raised or lowered (other than fine adjustment) without getting up from your seat. Again, a good basic rest. I used one in my early benchrest days and still use it for rimfire benchrest. From Sinclair, the rest costs $298 for the basic pedestal and $370 with all the bits and pieces.
The Hart Rest
Some like the tension set tight so that it holds the weight of the rifle just like a tripod rest whilst others (me included) like it loose. If you shoot ‘loose’ then you must hold onto the joystick when you pull the trigger. This takes some practise as, without realising it, you may be flinching and moving the knob as you release the shot – not good. Get someone to watch you shoot. It helps to keep the joystick still if Here’s Toni Young with her basic Sinclair rest shooting benyou can rest your hand on another chrest at 1000 yards. She won Factory Sporter class last time bag. out. OK, let’s have a look at the top ten – in no particular order but I am awarding stars! We’ll start with the tripods and move As I was preparing this article, Sinclair launched onto the co-axials. Let’s start off with the ‘daddy’ of another rest. all rests – the Hart – though to be fair, daddy is a bit Still a tripod but with a solid base to increase weight. This is a great looking rest and predicted price is ‘long in the tooth’ now! The Hart Rest. The Hart family www.rwhart.com have involved themselves in benchrest for almost as long as it has existed as a formal discipline and make a number of accuracy items, including bullets and barrels. Their simple tri-pod front rest was initially just that – a very basic pedestal with three levelling screws and a flat top for a bag. Over the years, as the sport has moved on, up-dates have come along in the form of a windage top, front-stop, speed-screw, different levelling-screws etc. and so equipped, the Hart rest is still the equal of any tripod rest, in that it will offer you a very stable, multi-adjustable shooting platform. The basic pedestal is $243 and with all the whistles and bells $370. I have seen shooters using the Hart rest in the UK in the early days of benchrest – but I have never used one myself.
The new Sinclair rest
JJ Industries rest
$599. It looks a bit like the JJ Industries rest featured below and maybe that’s no coincidence. This is a serious rest but I’m still surprised they didn’t go for a joystick as this would have extended the market into the F Class shooters. Not seen one in the flesh yet but I wanted to include it, so our top-ten is now top-eleven! If it performs as good as it looks, my rating is
JJ Industries rest. www.jjindustries.com If you really do like the good old tripod rest and just can’t get on with these new-fangled joysticks, then maybe this rest is for you. It is a masterpiece of engineering and you will be happy to gaze at it for hours - admiring the beautiful CNC machining used to carve this rest from
billet aluminium - when you are not shooting with it. I’d never used one until quite recently and then only briefly but I can say, without reservation, that it was the most solid, stable platform I have ever rested a rifle on. A beautiful rest in every respect but very expensive at $875. ****** The Bald Eagle Rest. This is perhaps the most widely used tri-pod rest in America and it was also the very first rest I ever owned. It is a serious competition rest with all the features you could want in a tripod rest. It’s a well-made, well thought-out rest and, before the joysticks came along, you couldn’t get better. I bought mine from the man himself, Bill Gebhart, way back in 1993 when a couple of us went on a benchrest fact-finding holiday in the USA. If you like to travel abroad to shoot then you will love this very
This is an original Bald Eagle – now you can have it with the ‘catapult’ base like the Cicognani
‘engineered’ a few mods. to make them more useable. Again, no rack & pinion, so you have to get out of your seat to make major height changes – very annoying and not conducive to intense competition shooting. I don’t think I have ever seen a Caldwell at an international benchrest match. Norman Clark is the UK agent for Caldwell products www. normanclark.com
Cicognani rests. There may be other light tripod rest. I used the Bald Eagle in the early days of UK benchrest competition. Bald Eagle has tripod rests out there but this is the top ten – not now been sold to Woodstock International www. top twenty – so our last tri-pod is the Italian Cicognani. www.varidecicognani.com I first woodstockint.com and I couldn’t find any prices met Varide Cicognani at the World Benchrest **** Championships in Italy in 1999. The Cicognani ‘catapult’ rest – very similar to the American He was selling from the back of a van and was offering all the Bald Eagle. Very light and compact benchrest goodies we normally got from the States but for a fraction of the price. I bought a speed-screw and a barrel-vice (which is still in regular use) and since then, he has expanded his range enormously. It used to be much cheaper to import from Cicognani and over the years, I must have had a dozen rests off him for fellow shooters but now the Euro has gone the same way as the dollar – so it isn’t so cheap! The Cicognani tripod rest is as close as you will get to a Bald Eagle rest so it’s definitely a good rest. Nice and light as well. There are lots on the UK circuit but they are getting more expensive – like 610 Euros for the fully spec’d Caldwell rests. If nothing else, Caldwell made the model. tripod rest affordable and, when I last checked, you could buy the small one for around £150. It **** The piggy-back joystick rest. www.shadetreeea. introduced a lot of shooters to benchrest shooting – not Les Holgate with his Farley piggy-back. necessarily in competition but He’s quite happy with it they began to see the sense in shooting off a front rest when ammo. testing and the like. This did tempt a few shooters into benchrest competition but then they began to see the failings of the Caldwell. I’m not going to ‘rubbish’ the Caldwell as it’s still the best rest you can buy for the money by a long way. It has a very heavy base, which is good but the top is a bit lacking. A few diehards still use them in competition but they have usually
the money............ I’ve seen a few shooters try a piggy-back in an attempt to save money over buying a proper co-axial only to sell it on after a few competitions. Not cheap either at around $ 375. If you are serious about your shooting, bite the bullet and buy a proper co-axial rest. If you are an F Class shooter you might like to have a look at the new Shadetree tripod base designed especially for F Class.
Another example of a piggy back system
com Shooters who already have a conventional rest often wonder if they would be better off with a joystick. Shadetree (and a few others, including Farley) give you the opportunity to try a joystick without going the whole hog. The piggy-back joystick top fits in place of your normal windage top but uses your tripod base. Clever. Drawbacks – the one I tried (the Farley) had the joystick working back to front – i.e. when you want to go up, you move the joystick down. UKBRA 1000 yard Factory Sporter Champion Ian Kellet with OK maybe, if you have never used his Caldwell co-axial rest to which Ian has fitted a new top. one that works the right way round On the next bench, you can see a Sinclair tripod rest but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the action either – not as nice as a proper joystick but for a Farley whatever your discipline. I don’t own
The Farley rest. The first joystick to break into the benchrest scene was the American Farley. www. farleymfg.com Like Hart, Farley are legends in benchrest and the Farley rest is still one of the best – and most expensive – once you ship it over here! But, unlike a barrel, a rest should last you forever, so remember that when you are pondering over the cost. Like the man said “Buy the best and cry once!” The Farley is also a great favourite with the F Class guys - it’s heavy, very robust, well engineered and weather-resistant. You won’t regret buying
The Farley rest
one but I’ve tried one and they are all you could want from a co-axial. Incidentally Varide Cicognani is offering the Farley for 800 Euros which sounds like a fair price to me as you will not pay VAT or duty.
Caldwell’s Co-axial. They brought us the cheap ‘n’ cheerful tripod rest and they have done the same with their ‘Fire-control’ co-axial rest. It looks a bit weird but if you must have a joystick but can’t justify £450 for a SEB, Caldwell have made it possible. It works but it has a few shortcomings and the odd ones I see
Phil Gibbon – UKBRA 600 yard Factory Sporter Champion with his mk1 SEB. Note long basescrews and rotating base
Pimp my SEB! This mk1 SEB belongs to American F Class shooter Shiraz Balolia. Nice! Note the bag ‘keeper’ – essential to keep your front bag in shape. Don’t transport your rest without a ‘keeper’ co-axial and he won the UKBRA 1000 yard Factory Sporter Championship last year. Again, get in touch with Norman Clark www.normanclark. com The SEB rest. www.sebcoax.com Sebastian Lambang is an Indonesian and he loves his benchrest. I’ve met Seb a couple of times at the World Benchrest Championships and not only is he a very nice guy, he is also a very talented engineer. He saw the advantages of the Farley co-axial but on the benchrest circuit have usually been modified he didn’t simply attempt to copy it – to take a proper front-bag. By far the cheapest co- he set out to improve it and he did address a couple axial at around £275 but, you get what you pay for. It’s of the Farley’s shortcomings. worth noting though that Ian Kellet uses a Caldwell Seb clearly thought that two posts were better
The SEB Neo is almost cranked up to full height on Diggle’s 600 yd benchrest range. Keep hold of the joystick as you release the shot but rest your hand on a bag for maximum steadiness
than one – and who can dispute that – though the Farley works perfectly well with one column. The other improvement was the rotating base. One of the problems of setting up any rest is judging the alignment. The front-bag must be absolutely square to the fore-end. After setting-up your rest, you invariably have to get up off your chair again to ‘square’ it up - even more annoying if you are shooting F Class where you have to get up from the prone position. The SEB’s swivelling base is a boon. Having said that, it’s not too difficult to modify a tripod rest to swivel and my own is so modified. The downside of the SEB mk1 is the tension adjustment. It uses four screws with lock-nuts and it’s quite tricky and fiddly to get the tension exactly right – unlike the Farley. At around £450 though it’s a great rest. I’ve used one for a couple of years for 600 and 1000 yard benchrest and I love it. I run mine loose and it’s silky-smooth and helps me get five aimed shots off in around 15 seconds. I use a counterbalance weight on the front to support the weight of the rifle - if you screw-up the tension screws to support the weight of the rifle, the action becomes jerky and speed is lost. I was 100% happy with my SEB – until I saw the SEB Neo! Fox Firearms are the UK importers www.foxfirearmsuk.com
No need to be messing about with extra-long screws – just crank-up top – and there is a knob on either side – unlike the Farley. If you like to shoot ‘loose’ Seb has built in a bit of ‘up-lift’ to support the weight of your rifle, so no need for a counter-balance weight. Finally, the joystick tension is now spring-loaded and a cinch to adjust – two thumb-screws. By removing just two screws, you can even dismantle the rest for transportation – a boon if you go to overseas shoots and you can rig it with the two levelling-screws to the front or a single screw to the front. With a single screw to the front the rest is more stable when you are running the rifle quick and you slam it against the front-stop. Any negatives? Just one – you can’t swivel the base like on the mk1! I really liked that feature on my old SEB but the host of other features on the Neo outweigh that one so for me it’s a winner. Interestingly, a couple of the guys using Farleys have modified the base so it will swivel like the mk1 SEB. Now if Seb would offer a swivelling base as an option on the Neo, that really would be the ‘dogs’! Unfortunately, no price as yet but Brian Fox is the sole UK importer www.foxfirearmsuk.com
The SEB Neo rest. Am I leaving the best rest until last? In my unbiased opinion – yes! How is the Neo better than the mk1 SEB or the Farley? If you shoot F Class, you will love the extra height the Neo offers – a full 10 inches from ground-level!
Has this helped you to choose a new rest? I hope so but, before you spend your ‘hard earned’ I leave you with one more photograph. At the moment a photo is all I have so I can’t include it in our top ten. It looks a bit like a SEB Neo doesn’t it? But, believe it or not, it was made in the UK. Up to going to press, I’ve not seen it for real but I hope to shortly.
A brand new UK manufactured rest - maybe a review for the future........
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Introducing Kelbly’s Tactical Rifles. bringing benchrest precision to the tactical market. With loads of options to choose from, and pricing that shatters the competitors.
Introducing the first hunting and tactical scopes with 10 times power ratio on a variable scope. March 1x-10x-24mm and 2.5x-25x-42mm. 1/4” clicks and 25 MOA per revolution. All lenses in scopes are cemented in place, and do not rely on O rings to hold point of aim. Argon gas purged.
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DIY Wind Flags - Part Deux - the Sequel
By Carl Boswell
Last month (Target Shooter June issue) I left you with the two 360 degree windflags. I made these many years ago and they work well at short distances up to thirty five meters or so. This month I will look at the dual-vane wind flags I have been preparing, leaving the 180 degree to next month. (I have realised that I will run out of words/ space if I try to do it all in this article). I always find these DIY ‘describe and make’ articles very hard to write. What do you keep in and what do you take out? Hopefully the photos and diagrams will help with your production of one. found in you local DIY store. A lot of the ideas here came from this website.
For this project, you will need corroflute, the sizes and shape are found in the diagram Pic 2. (There are other designs if you want to look for them and I have experimented with a few). Some carbon fibre or stainless steel rod and some Delrin rod. Delrin is a high slick and strong material that can be used for a number of applications - joints, bore guides, etc. This can be obtained from a variety of suppliers at your favourite auction website. You will also need a piece of 20 to 30mm thick plastic The dual-vane flag is just an elaboration on (the best is nylon ‘bread board’, polystyrene sheet the single-vane flag. The latter provides good (approximately 25 to 30mm thick), nuts bolts and indication of direction, elements of wind speed but fixings. the dual-vane will help you determine the angle of the wind a little better. Having two ‘panels’ on the The vane itself is made from three pieces of flag to look at, you will be able to see parts of the corroflute - two vanes and the support ‘bridge’. inside of the second panel as the wind turns to an The dual-vane flag can be quite bulky, thus not angle, thus able to judge this change of direction a easy to transport. Therefore I wanted to make little more accurately. (See Pic1) them so they could be easily taken apart. This was accomplished by gluing a plastic channel onto each There are a number of dual-vane designs around vane which the bridge could be slid into. (See Pics – again, a good place to look is on the Doug 3 and 4) After various experiments the best way of Weeter’s website at http://www.thewindisnotyour- reinforcing the channel and attaching the ‘bridge’ friend.com/flags/flags.html to each one is using insulating tape on all joints. A very valuable resource, this website looks at Yes, this works, is very strong and can be taken making these products from scratch or via parts apart very easily and reassembled with the same
PIC 1 dual vane windflag
or new tape. (See Pics 4 & 5) Vinyl can then be There are two ways to attach the support bar to the added ‘to taste’ to help show the angles the flag is vane. One is by using 4 - 5mm rod that will fit into turning through. the holes in the corroflute, simply sliding it in – easy and quick! The other way is to use approximately 8mm diameter carbon fibre rod and screw this to the vane on the support. I personally went for the carbon fibre rod as it was easy to get hold of at a local modelling shop. (See Pic 5) In designing your dual-vane windflag, you do need to consider how the overall thing balances. It should be perfect and this may mean adding a weight at some point to get at least a 2:1 ratio along the support bar. (See Pic 6). A weight of about 7 to 9 ounces should be sufficient but this will be determined by the weight of the vane at the back and the materials you have used. Therefore a bit of experimentation
PIC 2 plan
PIC 3 the assembly channel
PIC 4 assembly and tape pattern
may be in order. Weights can be made from any heavy material and brass is as good as any for this. The balance-point or fulcrum should be where the whole flag attaches to the stand. Where the flag meets the stand does need to be considered carefully so the overall flag has equilibrium. This can be achieved by moving the fulcrum point up and down the main support bar, but refer to Pic 6 for the diagram of the ratio needed for the flag. Having used Delrin as the basis for the pivoted chassis, (see Pic 6) I just used a ¼ ‘female’ thread and inserted it into the Delrin. Cutting a thread with a tap is just as easy. As the flag needs to turn easily, the mounting on the flag and the stand will need to turn. This can be achieved just by having a hole in each piece. Some would say that I am overzealous and using them will make the flags twitchy but I added bearings to both mounts, allowing the flag to move with great ease. The idea here is that they will indicate the slightest movement of the wind, even in stable conditions. A screw can be added, to ‘brake’ the pin inside the bearing if movement is too much on windier days. The prop can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. I can show you here the easy way as this is what I have space for and this is what most would want anyway to get started. (If anyone wants this more complicated design they can email me via the magazine and I will send the files). Anyway back to basics. The prop can be made from nylon plastic sheet, like those used in kitchens, with a hole saw. (Please don’t go cutting the wife’s favourite board though). The hole saw will provide an absolute centre and keep the prop concentric. Once this is done, the blades of the prop can be cut from polystyrene sheet, again found at a local modelling shop or online. The trick here is to ensure that the blades are at the correct angle and around 55 to 60 degrees would be optimum. (Pics 7 and 8). Once the prop is constructed this needs to be attached to the support arm and held in place with split pins/ taped bolts. This is the last feature of the flag that needs to be produced – except for the stands.
PIC 5 central arm assembly
PIC 6 dual vane diagram
Instead of making the stands, which would be very time consuming, I went for some lighting stands I found cheap ‘online’. (Having a single metal pole is another alternative, but not as stable) These are perfect for the job and what you will get if you buy windflags commercially. Most of these stands come with a standard ¼ inch threaded screw fit so, as noted above, you will have to get this type of thread on your windflag mounting, but check the thread first. (The mounting is below the fulcrum of the vane). If you look at Pic 6 and 10, this is similar
PIC 7 prop marking out
PIC 9 finished prop
to what you should have but the weight on mine is behind the prop. So there we have it. This is short and sweet I know, but the information should allow a competent ‘handy Andy’ to make a couple of these flags. They do work and practising with them will only benefit your shooting. Next month - the last in this series – we will consider the 180 degree wind flag, how to use them and reading the wind conditions through observation. This is the skill you are trying to
PIC 8 diagram for prop angles
develop through making these flags. It is worth the effort to have these out in the garden for a while, looking at them and seeing what they are telling you – i.e. what the wind is doing. I know most of you have better things to do with your time but if you want to shoot well, it is a necessary evil though - see diagram to the right. Until next time. My thanks to Doug Weeter for all of his kind assistance.
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The GBR rifle action and a new Project Rifle
by Vince Bottomley
Last month, we featured a new all-British action – the GBR. You may recall that it is the result of collaboration between Fox Firearms, Staffordshire Synthetic Stocks and Rhino Rifles and is unashamedly a Remington clone but with a couple of nice improvements. Of course, it’s made to much higher standards than any Remmy and fit ‘n’ finish is approaching that of the best American custom actions. ‘all-rounder’ – a Jack of all trades – the kind of gun you might choose for your first rifle - as it could be used for a variety of disciplines. Normally, I prefer to build something for a specific discipline but this gun should be competent for F Class, tactical shoots, even a bit of long-range benchrest .
The underside of the action is cut away to take an integral box or detachable magazine, as the shooter requires and for the build we’ll be incorporating The guys involved have now given me an action so GBR’s own bottom-metal designed to take the that we can put together a ‘project rifle’ for Target Accuracy International magazine. Shooter and this time, it will be something of an The tenon thread is identical in length to a Remington (but the thread is 18 tpi as opposed to 16tpi) and the GBR even copies Remington’s ‘third ring of steel’ by recessing the bolt-nose into the back of the barrel. Remington claim that this is an added safety feature in the event of a serious blow-up and although it’s exceedingly rare for rifles to blow, a bit of extra safety cannot be criticised – especially as it’s often the adjacent shooter who gets the worst of it. Having said that, from a gunsmith’s point of view, it just makes a little bit of extra work. Although our action looks like
The chambered Bartlein barrel – note the ‘ring of steel’ formed by the bolt-nose recessed into the barrel
stainless-steel, it is in fact made from chrome-moly steel with a stainless-steel bolt. Using two different metals is one way to prevent galling and production GBR actions will be blued. Mine is ‘in the white’ as I intend to DuraCoat© the action and barrel. The screwed-on Picatinny rail is also a GBR item. The Picatinny is quickly becoming ‘the standard’ on both sides of the Atlantic as it is made to a set specification, which means that if you use QD mounts, your scope will transfer from one rifle to another without problem. Now, you could realistically buy one really top-class scope and use it on several rifles – providing you are prepared to make a careful note of your settings.
Before we discuss calibre and our chosen cartridge, let’s have a look at the stock. We will be using a Bell & Carlson ‘tactical’ stock which is designed to fit the Remington action and comes with a built-in aluminium bedding-block. This is an excellent system as the block extends right along the fore-end adding strength and stiffness. However, I’ve had ‘issues’ with this type of bedding system before. In theory, the half-round bedding block should provide a perfect bed for our round action but seldom is everything perfect in this world. In reality, we will probably find that the action is riding on high-spots on the bedding-block – exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. We can also have issues with the action screw-holes – if these are drilled
This is Bell & Carlson’s top of the range tactical stock featuring adjustable butt and cheek-piece. It has now been adopted by Remington as a factory option Target Shooter 37
The aluminium bedding block
slightly off, our barrel could be over to one side of the channel – which looks really ugly! We will only find this out when we drop our barrelled-action into the stock for the first time and I’ve a bit of work to do before we get to that stage. On the plus side, the Bell & Carlson is a good solid stock which will nicely lend itself to a variety of disciplines and it will also sit quite nicely in the front bag of a benchrest pedestal – useful for ammunition testing. The butt underside incorporates a ‘hook’ but there is also a flat section which will sit nicely on a back-bag should we choose to shoot F Class or benchrest. There is also an adjustable cheek-piece
and butt-plate which could be useful if the rifle were to be shot off-hand but my rather heavy barrel will not encourage this type of shooting. Yes, the barrel. I’m fortunate here that we have a Bartlein. I don’t think you will buy a better barrel though certainly others are as good but Bartlein have made a name for themselves in the few short years they’ve been around. Success means full order-books and that’s why you will have to wait a while if you want one and why I feel very fortunate to have one spinning in my lathe! Incidentally, our barrel is fluted, which will help keep the weight reasonable even though I intend to finish it at 28
I’ve finished the fluted Bartlein at 28 inches with a nice, sharp recessed crown
This shot nicely indicates the difference in length between the 6.5x47 (bottom) and the 260 Rem.
more – go for a 6.5-284. As I’ve already said, our rifle is an all-rounder and we are not going for a Right, before we go any further, we need to talk tight-neck but, our reamer is ground to give us a about cartridges. As regular readers will know, I love ‘no-turn’ neck. Before we go any further, let’s clarify my wildcats – wilder the better – so my choice of these two terms. cartridge may come as a bit of a surprise. For reasons which will become clear, I want this rifle to The tight-neck (sometimes referred to as a appeal to any accuracy-minded shooter whatever fitted-neck but this is slightly different) is designed discipline they shoot. I don’t want to put off anyone to give a clearance between the neck of the loaded by going for some fancy barrel-burning wildcat which round and the chamber-neck of perhaps one will require neck-turned and fire-formed brass and thousandth of an inch. In benchrest competition the like. ‘KISS’ is my mandate for this project – ‘keep it may be even less than that but for me, one it simple, stupid’! thousandth of an inch clearance is just fine. However, to run a tight-neck chamber, you must The cartridge I’m going for is the 260 Remington. have the necessary equipment to accurately turn This is an often over-looked cartridge and most necks and measure the necks, otherwise you are shooters wanting an accurate 6.5 are now going for ‘skating on thin ice’. Also, your brass and chamber the 6.5x47 Lapua. For those of you not familiar with must be kept scrupulously clean – something which the 260 Rem., this 6.5mm is based on the venerable is difficult to do outside of benchrest competition - 308 Winchester case. The case is best formed by which is shot under cover with plenty of time to clean necking-up the 243 Win. from 6mm to 6.5 mm, which your rifle. F Class for example is shot in the open is easily accomplished in one pass, rather than in all weathers and running a tight-neck in these buying inferior 260 Remington brass. If we use conditions in a competition with a high round-count Lapua brass, we are well on the way to an accurate, is asking for trouble – stick to what I call a ‘no-turn’ low re-coiling cartridge which will give acceptable neck. results all the way out to 1000 yards. My no-turn neck is arrived at by loading several The 260 is often ‘improved’ by steepening the rounds using the brass and bullets we intend to use 243/308’s 20 degree shoulder angle to 40 degrees. in the rifle – in this case Lapua brass and Lapua This will increase powder-capacity slightly but it bullets – it’s no good me making our measurements just isn’t necessary and it will involve a fireforming from say Winchester brass and Sierra bullets – it’s process that will use-up barrel-life and cost money essential to measure from the actual components – take my advice and leave it standard! If you want you will use. Seat several bullets in the cases and
measure across the neck with a micrometer – NOT a digital calliper, it’s not accurate enough! Take the diameter of the largest one measured and add three thousandths of an inch. This gives me the dimension of the reamer neck. It’s pretty close to a tight-neck but it just allows that extra clearance for a ‘field’ rifle. Even three thou. is not a lot – half the thickness of a bank-note – so please, keep your brass and your chamber CLEAN if you are playing with these tolerances!
is significantly shorter than the 123 grain Lapua Scenar. I initially thought of using these in my own 260 Rem tactical rifle with a 308 mag. but my shooting buddy Paul Harper finally convinced me that Lapua’s 123 grainer is the better option. Amazingly, Paul won not only our club Tactical Championship but also the F Class Open championship - which takes in all ranges out to 1000 yards - with his 260 Rem. tactical rifle fitted with a 24 inch barrel and shooting off a Harris bi-pod! If you really want something faster, try Lapua’s 108 grain Our 260 Remington will give us excellent velocity Scenar which will be knocking on the door of military with the 123 grain Lapua Scenar bullet and will range velocity limits! nicely fit our 308 AI magazine if we load these bullets to an overall cartridge length of 2.8 inches. The velocity will comfortably exceed that of the That’s about it for this month. We have all our 6.5x47 Lapua and the 243 Lapua brass is much components – including a Timney trigger. Yes, I cheaper than the 6.5x47 cases, which now retail at could have opted for a Jewel but I wanted to keep close to £100 per 100! Although the 260 Remington things in perspective as this is not a benchgun so, has been around for sometime, it never really caught the Timney set at about a pound will be fine. on as a target round as there were few 6.5mm match Being a Remmy clone, the GBR will take any bullets available in America. Thankfully, that’s now trigger suitable for a Remington and the Timney is a changed and we have a good choice of 6.5mm good trigger at a sensible price. The barrelled action match bullets from most of the major manufacturers is now on its way to Dave Wylde at South Yorkshire but remember, the heavier match bullets are fairly Shooting Supplies for one of Dave’s special tactical long and if you wish to load from a 308 mag., you Dura Coat© finishes. Next month, we will drop the have to push the bullet deep into the case. barrelled-action into the stock and shoot it to see if any further work is needed to obtain a good bed. Sierra now make a 120 grain 6.5mm Matchking which
Setting up scope reference information on the IPhone by John Campbell-Smith
Target Shooter reader, John Campbell-Smith kindly sent us this article which was a little bit beyond my knowledge and Nokia but I hope it will inspire some readers to have a go. I have an iPhone and a Swarovski Z6 scope. I wanted to get the reticle information onto my
iPhone for reference when I was out and about. I went to the following url and selected the BR/ BR-I option: http://ballisticprograms.swarovskioptik. com/step2_us.html Which takes you to the following url:
http://ballisticprograms.swarovskioptik. in the field. com/BR_en.html I then entered my data, got the following information and took a screen shot: I then generated data for x 30 and x 10 as well and created a PowerPoint presentation with three slides. I added some very basic info to the screen shots to confirm the magnification but lots of stuff could be layered on top of the screen shot above. I then created a .pdf: I then used Quickoffice to upload the .pdf to my iPhone. http://www.quickoffice.com/quickoffice_ connect_suite_iphone/ Above is how it can be seen on my iPhone as follows: Selecting Quickoffice Opening 243 reticle... Selecting a page And finally zooming in: Nothing special about any of this, and really the sole objective is to show how easily reference material can be put on an iPhone for reference Target Shooter 43
Re-barreling work Fitting of Moderators and Muzzle brakes - Reproofing of Rifle required Trigger work – See Trigger work
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Using Mobile devices PDF viewers
By Carl Boswell
Those who have anything to do with new technologies know that it moves swiftly, not always in the right direction and we end up purchasing new products to stay at least with the rest of the field. Why in a target shooting magazine are we talking about this? Well the previous article suggests a lot that you can do with your phone to help you on the range. Not only this but there are lots of applications that are being developed for the shooter, such as the one we reviewed last month, the article this month, Mil Dot Ranger Finder, Winchester Ballistics Target Shooter 45
people, etc. Quite easy to navigate (there is a good tutorial) and the text only facility is a must for easy reading. This App is now supported by a very easy to use file transfer system via the developers website, which does make it top of this particular league. • Fast PDF £1.79 – Excellent interface and is a really easy application to use - much like I-Books. This could be the best of the three to be honest, but it does not support external links at the moment, which is a big drawback for a digital magazine. The developers have said this will be a feature in a forthcoming upgrade, which could potentially make it comparative to GoodReader. I did find the app a little slow to render pages, so I was left hanging around thinking it had completely frozen. Until these issues are resolved I would assign it to 2nd place. • PDF Expert £2.99 – A little simple and does not have the features - I wanted - of the other two. I found this hard to get files onto – something
and even a few games. The other reason is the fact that this magazine is digital in its nature. Yes, lots of you out there do view your monthly issue of Target Shooter magazine on your phone, as there are lots of the ‘apps’ out there to aid this. The launch of the iPad and the new iPhone brings the nature of digital viewing to an even more accessible level - away from the fixed desktop computer we have all become assigned too. Personally, I have been investigating a number of .pdf readers to help view the magazine, some of which are reviewed below. Some of these are very close in nature and ease of use to the magazine viewers/ software that are being developed at the moment. Now the .pdf format is a great little tool, but magazines are a bit more than that. However it is the format that is accessible by all and one of the formats we offer, especially those who use Apple products. • GoodReader £0.59 - Excellent interface, this is a really easy application to use! Supports external links, so you can view websites directly from Target Shooter magazine, email 46 Target Shooter
about the IPAD and IPhone that some people are a bit dissatisfied about. It works well enough, once you have the file you want, but it could be tricky for new users. Just goes to show that the more you pay does not always give you the best product. Usable, but I would like to see more for my money.
Maybe more at a later date as we develop our own software to bring you Target Shooter magazine in the future. All of these apps can be purchased via Itunes of course, but the websites are full of information and support so well worth a visite; GoodReader http://www.goodreader.net
So why do you need a viewer for these mobile devices – because downloading it straight from Fast Pdf the internet is not the best way to view - your http://fastpdf.eu/ magazine cannot be saved for later viewing, etc. Out of the bunch I would go for GoodReader at Pdf Expert the moment and at the price it will certainly not http://readdle.com break the bank. These technologies develop by the day and new ones are always Target Shooter on the IPhone coming out. The experimental software I have seen would blow your mind. For those of you lucky enough to own an iPad, this will extend a lot of your experiences with computing and using digital media – in a very positive way. The iPad, for those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a portable ‘tablet’ computer with direct access to the web through wi-fi or through a phone network. Wi-fi is obviously free in your own home. Having used one in an Apple store for a limited time but based on my own experiences of the iPhone, this product is nothing short of phenomenal. Fast, elegant, portable, easy to use, the iPad has such potential!!! Drawbacks? It is sometimes difficult to get files onto it unless you use iTunes, which is the interface for such a device. (You don’t have to pay for this as it is just using your computer). Other potentials drawbacks are no flash content, which is both good and bad depending on your point of view. Transferrring files is not that easy but can be done via SD cards (if you buy the attachment). For me the iPad offers such potential, even with the cyber wars going on out there, for software dominance. For all forms of digital viewing this is the best thing that has happened since ‘sliced bread’. Have a look at your local Apple store - but I will be there first! It does not come cheap at £429 but the e-book readers – which are not computers – are around £200, whilst a netbook will cost you in the region of £300 but they are just not as fast. Target Shooter 47
Shooting and Reloading .303 MkVII Flat based bullets
by Nigel Greenaway
their early lives. The reason is that the Mk7Z was loaded with nitro cellulose instead of the very hot burning cordite. Cordite burns so hot and aggressively that it wears out the lead of the rifling. The barrel reaches a point where all accuracy is suddenly lost as hot gases flow past the base of the round before it is properly set up in the rifling. This is why armourers were trained to always inspect for wear in the lead using special gauges. It is a peculiarity of the burning characteristics that a well cordite worn barrel could have excellent rifling at the muzzle – something that can catch the unwary when purchasing an old rifle. Nitro has completely opposite burning characteristics and wear is usually evident at the muzzle. So what happens if you purchase an old .303 with pristine looking rifling at the muzzle end and your carefully hand loaded boat tail bullets end up scattered all over the target. One option
I suppose I’ve been shooting .303’s for the best part of 33 years now and for the first 15 years I would have exclusively used flat based MkVII 174 grain military rounds. I then ventured in to the realms of reloading and managed to squeeze even more accuracy out of this popular round, courtesy of the excellent Sierra 174 grain MatchKing. However, this is a boat tail round better suited to barrels in good condition, preferably ones that experienced Mk7Z ammunition in
is to replace the barrel, the cost of which might be over half of the value originally paid for the whole rifle. Alternatively, you might try loading flat based bullets because these could stretch the life of the barrel by another 1,000 – 1,500 rounds because the flat base resists gas flow past the base before set up better that boat tails. Unfortunately, the availability of MKVII profile surplus bullets dried up long ago. There are a few manufacturers who produce flat based 150 grain soft point bullets but you shouldn’t really be using these for target shooting and you will need a variation on your FAC to obtain them. Try getting such a variation unless it is for deer stalking. Thankfully an enterprising company- BES - has solved the problem by manufacturing a MkVII profile flat based bullet. BES is run by a retired gentleman who originally
wanted to shoot a .303 Martini Enfield and a Long Lee but found that the modern MkVII rounds shot nowhere near the sights, which originally would have been graduated for a 215 grain round nosed bullet. I have experienced this in the past using a .303 Martini Enfield Artillery Carbine in a rapid fire competition. At 200 yards
bullets in the centre compared to two MKVI rounds. The quality of BES bullets is such that they supply them to Kynamco for producing hunting rounds where penetration is required. It wasn’t long before BES was asked to reproduce a MkVII 174 grain profile bullet. The task is very much a labour of love and involves eleven separate stages on a single stage, hand operated press. Each bullet is hand inspected and rejected if it does not meet the grade. The original MkVII round had aluminium or even cardboard in the tip so that the centre of gravity was somewhat pushed towards the rear (not too far because .303 has a reputation for tumbling). If the complete jacket was filled with lead then the weight would massively exceed 174 grains. After much trial and error a soft plastic BB was found to be ideal
you had to aim 2.5 feet low to hit the centre of the chest height bull using MkVII ammo. I had some old MkVI 215 grain ammo and this shot exactly to point of aim and I won the competition. BES have produced a 215 grain copper jacketed bullet for a number of years now – the two rounds on the left are BES with one of their
as when the lead is compressed it forces the BB to follow the profile of the tip. The new round is about 1.5mm shorter than an original but the weight and profile of the base is correct – which is what matters most. The picture shows an original MkVII on the left with the BES bullet in the middle and a Sierra 174 grain boat tail on the right – you can see that the Sierra is the shortest. The loaded .303 rounds are a Prvi Partizan on the left, BES centre and Sierra on the right. So how good is cottage industry production on the target? The short answer is excellent – in fact I was stunned to find that they beat my Sierra handloads. This might mean that my Canadian No.4(T) is getting a bit worn in the lead but the results speak for themselves. The five round groups were shot at 10 second intervals at 100 yards on a rather steeply sloping firing point which is not conducive to the most accurate of shooting. In the past my Sierra handloads have achieved just over the inch but on the day only managed 2.3 inches compared to 1.5 inches for the BES bullets. The BES bullets were from an early batch which was slightly undersized at .310 but they still shot really well. Current production has been bumped up to .3105 so they should shoot even better! Cost for 215 grain or 174 grain bullets is £17.50 per 50 plus postage. You can telephone orders on 01302 330726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org BES also produces .577 Enfield and .594 Snider bullets in weights from 480 – 600 grains at £25/100 plus postage. As you can see from the picture the Snider bullets are, just like the originals, hollow based and hollow nosed. I know of no other manufacturer that is producing correct hollow nosed Snider bullets and I look forward to trying them out in my 2-Band Snider. The small bullets in the picture are 120 grain .310 cadet rounds (I imagine these would also be usable in a .303 as an indoor practice round). Swaged Martini Henry and Sharps bullets are also available – ring for details. My thanks to the proprietor for showing me around his production facilities but my special thanks to him for his labour of love in endeavouring to produce high quality .303 bullets that will keep some of these old girls shooting for many years to come.
The WMS Steel Challenge - Part 2
by Nigel Greenaway
Following Chris Parkin’s excellent review of the WMS Steel Challenge in June’s issue it was somewhat coincidental that I shot at the same venue on 12th June. I and eleven other experienced Practical Rifle and Civilian Service Rifle shooters met up for what turned out to be a very full and fun day of shooting. The day tested our rifles to the limit of their ability, back to 1,100 yards against a series of steel targets. We finally packed up at 6.30pm and our host, Andrew Venables, told us we had experienced about 15% of the available targetry on the 5,000 acre estate. The facility is near Llangurig, Powys – about 25 miles east of Aberystwyth, comprising steep hills and valleys, 900-1,000 feet above sea level and a fair number of sheep. eighty degree arc. It was also an opportunity for Andrew to assess us and our ability before deciding whether he and his staff would want to manage such a large group. I like to think that our ability to quickly start hitting targets influenced his decision in a positive way, particularly following a challenge to hit a steel disc at 750 metres in 3 shots. This was achieved with one shooter achieving three consecutive hits with no sighters.
One aspect of the day that was new to many of us non- stalkers was the up and down hill shots. These can be up to a 40 degree angle which, even over medium ranges, can have a marked affect on point of impact. The picture shows Neil Beeby (the organiser) and myself shooting down hill at about 400 yards. Some The purpose of our visit was to establish of the targets were small steel discs on the whether it would be possible to organise an edge of a small reservoir – great for spotting introductory day for 30 or more shooters, fall of shot if you miss. If you hit you hear a probably split into groups of six or 3 pairs resounding ”clang”, if you miss you see a big – one shooting and one spotting. These splash. But what happens if the angle is 40 groups would be shooting in different areas, degrees at this range – how do you measure directions and ranges – all at the same time. the angle accurately and where do you set your This will take some organisation and some sights? None of us had any angle measuring fair amount of discipline from the shooters devices so we had to guess. In the above – you can’t go wondering off when different example the new sight setting would be groups are shooting over a hundred and about 310 yards – a difference of about 3 54 Target Shooter
minutes for a .308 or a clear miss over the top if you fail to make an elevation adjustment. One gadget that solves this problem is an Angle Cosine Indicator (ACI) – currently marketed by www.snipersystems.co.uk and sold to many armed forces around the world. It is a device that attaches to the scope using a special scope ring or it can attach to the scope base. When the rifle is held at an angle, the ACI indicates the cosine number of that angle by means of a highly visible index mark; for mathematical simplicity you treat these marks as decimals or percentages, hence 87 would be .87 or 87%. The line of sight distance to target is then multiplied by the reading which produces a reduced range and consequently a reduced elevation figure that is then applied to the sights. The cosine marks go up in increments of 5 degrees start- ing at “0” so you can also work out the angle of the shot if you wish (making it compatible with most etched reticule based sighting systems, and also the Mildot Master). Alternatively an Angle Degree Indicator is available with all readings in degrees. Whichever system you prefer I would strongly recommend purchasing one before visiting WMS or going on a stalk in hilly country.
We finished the day shooting at 1,100 yards – a distance that I don’t think anyone had ever shot at before. It was an experience that I will always remember and one that we hope to be able to repeat on a larger scale. Andrew was an excellent and knowledgeable host and I look forward to meeting him again. We hope to be able to arrange another event later on in the year. Shooters will have to be prepared to pay much more than a typical days practice shooting at Bisley and, if full value is to be derived from the distance shooting, a suitable calibre rifle should be employed. Andrew can be contacted on 01686 440782 or 07767-365804, email andrewvenables@ aol.com
HANDLOADING ‘OLD FAITHFUL’ THE .308 WINCHESTER - 9
By Laurie Holland
Above - My original Lee ‘Loader’ kit – you can still buy one for the .308W – and it works, but is very basic
We now put bullets to one side and look at loading the beast – tools and techniques this month, starting on powders, loads and results next. There are two other components of course, primer and rifle. I’ll look at the former in a future feature, covering tools and trying different makes in several cartridges to see how much difference changing this component makes. (Also, the new smaller primer pocket / flash-hole Lapua .308W ‘Palma’ brass has finally arrived at Tim Hannam, and I’ll compare it to standard specification cases.) I’ll only say that most cases were primed using the semi-sensitive Lee Auto-Prime hand tool. Tests involved two rifles with three barrels between them, a factory FN SPRA2 (Special Police Rifle) 24” tactical job and a single-shot Barnard / Eliseo F/TR tubegun, the latter using two barrels with different twist rates. I looked at case measurement, preparation and batching way back in Parts 2 and 3, so won’t go into these again, suffice it to say that I do everything to my ammunition! How much all this effort achieves
Left - Lee Hand press and a .300 H&H Collet die set. Cartridges loaded with this gear group into under 0.5-MOA despite the rifle being built on an antediluvian Winchester P’14 military action Target Shooter 57
“............ also stepping onto that slippery slope that sees you spend evenings with piles of brass, a neck measurement micrometer, and neck turning gear”
is questionable, but I know that I can’t blame case defects or variations for a wayward shot. I use Lapua brass for match ammunition and have used old thin, light (160gn) 1980s Norma cases for practice and some tests, but as they have sufficiently different
internal capacities to require changing maximum or optimum loads, and their thin necks may not be a great match to the rifle chamber, I increasingly use Lapua for everything. Rejects from the preparation process, or ‘match cases’ that have been fired more than half a dozen times, are filling the development / practice slot. Lee ‘Loader’ and Collet I have a choice of four presses, six die sets (three of them bushing types), and a full set of case preparation tools. Things weren’t always so – I started off in a modest way with a young family, mortgage, and the family tabby to support alongside my shooting. I’ve loaded for a baker’s dozen of .308W rifles over the last quarter century, seven of which were first generation 7.62s for the ‘Target Rifle’ discipline, all past their salad days, dirt cheap, and whose purchase represented a
Left - A quintet of Lapua cases whose necks have been given a ‘clean-up’ turn to 0.015” thickness
triumph of hope over common sense or experience. They were marked by tight bores and the use of military actions, but fortunately target rings were large, ranges short, and rifle-ammunition combinations that probably grouped between 1.5 and 2-MOA were good enough, and a lot better than the available milspec 7.62mm. I’ve always handloaded, only a few hundreds of the 30,000 or so .308W / 7.62mm rounds I’ve fired in total ‘factory’. Since I couldn’t afford a bench press and 7/8X14 tpi
All of my .308W ammunition is now loaded on a Forster Co-Ax, a great design that produces concentric results and keeps primer residues completely contained within the spent primer collection system
Above - Forster Case-Neck Graphiter, Krazy Kloth (new behind and a well used example in the left foreground), Sinclair primer pocket uniforming tool used gently to clean residue out of primer pockets, and (front foreground), Sinclair’s new 0.081” flash-hole uniformer
dies, nor had I anywhere to mount one, the budget Lee ‘Loader’ was my salvation. This is a simple neck-sizing die kit in which one knocks the case into the tool with a soft-faced hammer, then ejects it with a rod. I’d buy 100 once-fired Winchester cases at a time, and after returning from the range on Sunday teatime, the second task of the evening after cleaning the rifle would be to get the ‘Loader’ out and decap the 50 cases from the day’s shooting, resize their necks, and re-prime them with a Lee Auto-Prime, a safer and faster method than that employed in the ‘Loader’. I’d then have an MTM RM50 box full of primed cases ready for charging and bullet seating, usually done on the Friday evening, ready for the next weekend. The ‘Loader’, Auto-Prime, hammer, and RCBS 5-0-5 scales (shop-soiled and sold at a discount by a sympathetic gunshop assistant ) cost me less than a couple of titanium nitride coated bushings for my Redding ‘Type S’ sizer die now. Even after comparing the real cost at 1985 prices against today’s devalued pounds, this was cheap kit. Nevertheless, it did the job if slowly, noisily, and
Redding Type ‘S’ FL sizer die and ‘Competition’ seater die set in Forster rings to suit the Co-Ax – a really superb set of dies
a neck measurement micrometer, and neck turning gear. I’ll pause at this point to note that the moral of this little history is to point out that the old adage of ‘horses for courses’ applies to handloading as much as any other activity – you don’t need £1,000 worth of gear to produce perfectly acceptable ammunition for most rifles in most applications. I know that many disagree with me, but I’ll just remind doubters that the law of diminishing returns applies. Cleaning to Sizing So what do I do now? Most of my loads use neck-turned cases and being fireformed to the Barnard’s ‘minimum SAAMI’ chamber, fired examples generally come out of the rifle with light powder fouling on the neck alone. I used to employ wet cleaning methods – ‘Micro-90’ chemical solution, later an ultrasonic bath, but now I simply wipe the fouling off with a Krazy Kleaning Kloth, available from Sinclair International, or in the UK from Trent Firearms (www.trentfirearms.co.uk). The carbon fouling on the inside of the neck is brushed hard using the largest diameter of the three bristle brushes in a Forster Case-Neck Graphiter (without using the supplied mica powder) leaving a smooth coating. I now prefer this to squeaky clean brass as the fouling acts as a lubricant in bullet seating and gives more consistent bullet grip, this method as well as saving time and effort. (A recent conversation with a top 1,000yd BR shooter revealed he’s come to the same conclusion.) This done, it’s off to the Forster Co-Ax press with either a Redding ‘S’ bushing sizer or Forster
with a lot of wear and tear on the knees (using the kitchen floor as a workbench). Relief came with in the form of more Lee products, the Hand Press and introduced shortly afterwards, the Collet (necksizer) die set with its dead-length seater. This portable press is surprisingly powerful and will full-length sizes .308W cases, although it becomes hard work after a while. I used this pair on .308 for many years, also building up quite a collection of Collet die sets for other cartridges running from the .22 Hornet to .300 H&H Magnum. Meantime, I’d got a bench and the first of many presses to bolt on it, these becoming increasingly sophisticated, powerful and expensive over time, even if this gear was reserved for the heavier jobs or loading large quantities in a session. By now I was loading for better quality secondhand .308W rifles, and was still using the Collet die set (now on its second sizer having worn the original out) when I bought my first new .308 rifle, an FN SPR, a few years back and later started using it in long-range F/TR. However, measuring bullet runout on rounds loaded with out of the box but batched Lapua brass gave too many results on the high side (0.004-.008”) for my liking, and that’s when I decided more sophisticated dies were needed, also stepping onto that slippery slope that sees you spend evenings with piles of brass,
Forster’s BR ‘Ultra’ die set with the addition of a new Bushing-Bump (NS) die (centre), more excellent kit
Set up ready to go at 350 yards
Bushing-Bump die installed. The Redding is a full-length (FL) type that employs Redding or Wilson bushings and also has an expander ball for use with non-turned brass, although it can be dispensed with if desired. The Forster is a neck-sizer (NS) that also resets or ‘bumps’ the case shoulder position according to how the die is positioned in the press, its bushings usable only in this make and type of die. I use the latter exclusively for my Barnard F/ TR rifle’s ammo, having measured fired cases in a Hornady case headspace gauge and set the die to bump the shoulder back by 0.001”. It lacks an expander ball, although one can be fitted if desired, so should really be restricted to turned-neck or otherwise very consistent brass. (Using the bushing alone on cases with inconsistent necks moves the out-of-roundness to the inside walls and requires the bullet to swage it out during the seating operation doing nothing for the cartridge’s concentricity.) The Redding gives a moderate FL size, and if I want to use cases fired in other rifles, I go back to an old 1986 dated Lee die, the first 7/8X14 type I bought, that not only gives a substantial dimensional reduction, but produces cases with startlingly small amounts of
Above - The bits that do the work in bushing sizers – Forster top left and Redding titanium nitride coated examples in front. The pencil lead shows the point the case-neck is sized to – the slightly oversize section behind in front of the neck-shoulder join is a plus as it helps centre the loaded round in the bore
runout if the brass is good quality. Lubrication is by Imperial sizing wax thinly spread by the thumb and forefinger, only used on the outside of the neck with the Forster die. Pockets and Trimming After sizing, there are two jobs before priming – primer pocket cleaning and a case length check. Since all primer pockets have been cut with a uniforming tool, the most efficient way to clean them is to use this device again, but now with a thumb and forefinger hold producing a couple of twists and light pressure – the objective is to remove carbon, not metal. Incidentally, the appropriate photograph also shows Sinclair’s new 0.081” flash-hole uniformer up front, a use-once preparation tool, but having just got mine, I’m using it on each box of cases as they’re cleaned and prepared for their next loading. It only removes a small amount of metal from my Lapua cases, an apparently consistent amount at that, but takes a lot more out of the old 160gn Norma examples, and the amount can vary significantly with these.
Set up ready to go at 350 yards
Above - Stoney-Point (now Hornady L-N-L) bullet comparator body plus headspace gauge # ‘D’ on the callipers to measure the base to shoulder datum line measurement on a fired .308W case. The sizer die has been set to reduce it by 0.001”
If cases have grown beyond the maximum SAAMI length of 2.015” (trim-to: 2.005”), there’s no alternative to getting the case-trimmer out, and perform my least favourite handloading chore. I always do a whole RM50’s worth of 50 cases even if only one or two exceed the limit, so that everything restarts at a uniform length. The Wilson / Sinclair lathe tool with individual case-holders cuts mouths square – more so than with any design employing a cone-shaped pilot to support the case-mouth – and soon gets through 50 cases. A tip is to measure your rifle’s chamber using a Sinclair Chamber Gauge in the appropriate calibre, a soft leaded-steel neck diameter button atop a bullet diameter stem. You have to sacrifice a sized case, trimming it back another tenth of an inch, before seating the gauge with its stem just inside. Carefully chamber it and the gauge is pushed back into the case to give the actual chamber length. A tightly chambered custom rifle won’t produce much clearance above the .308W’s 2.015” max length, but factory and ‘tactical’ rifles are often ‘chambered long’, so you may be able to let your cases grow another 10 or 15 thou’ beyond SAAMI max before trimming. After trimming you have to take the sharp edges off the case mouth using a chamfer tool. While I use a standard Hornady model on the outside, I have one of the earliest so-called VLD inside chamfer tools to appear, a Holland’s (no relation) multi-fluted carbide job that produces a long, shallow-angle chamfer for easy and smooth bullet seating. It wasn’t cheap, but is very easy to use and gives a mirror smooth finish to the cut unlike those from standard tools. COAL and Bullet Seating We’ll take priming as done, likewise choosing a powder and its charge weight, that being next month’s subject, so the final task is bullet seating. Actually, it isn’t otherwise we’ll have a case, or loading block’s worth of cases, sitting on the bench Left - Wilson / Sinclair case trimmer with .308W cal case-holder and case in position for trimming. The Holland’s VLD (inside) chamfer tool is on the left foreground, a standard Hornady model used solely for the outside edges to its right
A line-up of .308W ‘seating dummies’ for the Barnard used to reset the seater die for each bullet sit on a shelf in my components’ cupboard. Note the differences in COALs according to individual bullet ogive form
full of powder grains up to the shoulders while wondering how we adjust the seating die to get the correct COAL (cartridge overall length) for the rifle’s chamber and throat. I’d normally use a Stoney-Point OAL Gauge I bought many years ago (now sold as the Hornady L-N-L OAL Gauge), a factory modified .308W case, and the company’s bullet comparator body and appropriate calibre insert affixed to callipers to identify the COAL that just puts the bullet ogive into the rifling lands, before setting it back 10 or 20 thou’ into the case for tangent ogive bullets, or moving it a bit more out into the rifling with VLDs. No go with the Barnard F/TR rifle! No matter what I did, the gauge wouldn’t give accurate readings, the results being over length and the resulting cartridge refusing to chamber because the bullet was hard into the rifling long before final bolt closure. The ‘minimum-SAAMI’ chamber was stopping the gauge’s modified case from seating fully before something touched. How do you get around this? Plan B saw me use the rifle chamber and inert ‘seating dummies’– easy with the Barnard action as removing the firing mechanism is a 20 second job simply requiring the bolt end-cap / shroud to be unscrewed and the innards slid out (to remove any cocking and mainspring pressure providing resistance to bolt operation). Old once-fired Norma cases were FL sized and checked to ensure they chambered with no resistance at all, before just seating a bullet in one. Here is the procedure to use. Try your over-length inert cartridge gently in the chamber,
stopping movement as soon as any resistance at all is felt. Usually the bolt won’t go anywhere near fully forward, so seat the bullet a fair bit deeper and try again. When the bolt closes enough that the base of its handle starts to line up with its receiver cutout, that’s the time to reduce bullet seating increments to 20 thou’ or less (easy with micrometer topped Redding ‘Competition’ or Forster ‘Ultra’ seater dies, otherwise measure what a turn of the adjuster screw produces on your die and work off that). You’ll likely find a point where the bolt chambers the ‘dummy’ fairly easily, but the ogive is still touching the leade, as seen by rectangular rifling marks. Keep seating the bullet deeper in yet smaller amounts until there is no noticeable resistance at all to bolt closure, then start again with another case and ‘clean bullet’ (to see any marks on an unmarked jacket). You’ll likely find the lands are still just touching as evidenced by a wafer thin line – a magnifying glass is useful – so another 10 thou’ in will see you just off the rifling, and lets you use that as your datum point for a longer or shorter COAL depending on bullet type. I keep an inert ‘seating dummy’ for each bullet that I load in a rifle at the actual COAL I’ll load it to, and use it to reset the seater die each time I load that model, marking the dummies’ bodies with a write-oneverything pen with a narrow strip of 3M ‘Magic’ tape on top to stop it being wiped off with handling. I know there are other methods using a rod down the barrel with collars, but I use this one, sometimes even when the Hornady / Stoney-Point tool works fine, as a very precise, if a bit laborious, method.
What it’s all about – trying to get (not always successfully) near nil bullet runout. This is actually a ‘seating dummy’ for the 210gn Berger BT grabbed off the shelf to use in the photograph. Despite being an ancient and untouched Norma case bought as once-fired and FL sized in my oldest 7/8X14tpi die, a 1986 dated Lee, bullet runout measures only half a thou’ (seater die: Forster ‘Ultra’)
ductile giving one or two thou’ ‘spring-back’ after pressures dissipate, so the necks had actually expanded eight thou’ during firing – not too bad for a factory rifle.
Necks and Bushings Why use bushing dies? I mentioned that the old Norma brass is thinner than current Lapua, some batches running at only 0.012” neck-thickness after ‘clean-up’ turning, while the thinnest of my prepped Lapua batches is two thou’ greater, the norm three. The old Lee ‘Loader’ could produce very concentric ammunition with good brass and fired in a good chamber, but it would overly size all but the thinnest cases giving a very tight bullet fit. Many handloaders like to feel lots of resistance on the press handle as they seat a bullet, but light grip in barely worked brass not only usually gives the best results, but also the greatest case life in accuracy terms before the neck brass becomes work-hardened. Standard factory dies reduce the fired case-neck diameter a lot before expanding it up again, and this is aggravated by a typical factory rifle’s chamber dimensions. Let’s compare what happened to an out of the box Lapua case with 0.016” thick neck walls in my FN SPR and sizing with a standard sizer, to what happens now in the minimum-SAAMI chambered Barnard with a bushing die. The unfired cartridge neck’s outside diameter (O/D) averaged 0.340” in the case of the FN consisting of bullet diameter (0.308”) and double the case-neck thickness of 0.016” and this increased to 0.346-0.347”, determined by the chamber dimensions, on firing. Cartridge brass is very
Resizing them in a standard sizer die with the decapper / expander stem removed reduced the neck O/D from 0.347” to 0.330”. Remember ‘spring-back’, so cases have gone eight thou’ in one direction then eighteen or nineteen in the other. At this point, the neck’s inside diameter has been reduced to 0.298” (0.330” minus 0.032” neck wall thickness), and in the final part of the normal case-sizing process it is expanded back by forcing it over a 0.307” diameter expander ball, pushing the neck out by nine to ten thou’, taking spring-back into account. So, total neck-wall movement in the firing–resizing cycle in this example is 0.008” + 0.018” + 0.009” = 0.035”, and it could be more with some case-chamber-die combinations. Do this a few times, and the brass becomes work-hardened causing accuracy and case life to suffer. Conversely, the Barnard cartridge starts at 0.336-0.338” depending on the batch of brass and what I’ve turned the neck down to, and measures 0.341” on fired cases, so has gone through 0.004-0.006” expansion depending on what it started as (the thinnest Norma cases rather more at 10 thou’). Bushing sizes one or two thou’ below the loaded cartridge neck O/D are used to individual preference, so 0.334-0.337” depending on brass batch, a maximum sizing-down of 8 thou’, less with the thicker-necked batches. No expansion is used with the Forster die, so the maximum working is 14 thou’, and potentially as little as 11 with necks turned to 0.015”. Bushing dies also let you play with the amount of bullet grip, as you may find a particular combination of case and bullet responds to a slightly heavier bullet pull, or gives the smallest groups with the bullet barely being gripped.
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Target Shooter 65
Target Shooter Magazine is a publication of Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The Great Diggle Egg Shoot
The Egg Shoot is now a firm fixture on the Diggle calendar, yet despite offering a prize of £100 for simply breaking a hen’s egg, it’s definitely a ‘marmite’ competition – you either love it or loathe it!
by Vince Bottomley
Whereas many Diggle Club members give it a wide berth, others travel great distances to shoot the egg and we have many loyal entrants who we only see for this annual event. The Egg Shoot originated in America and one leading American shooting publication described the Egg Shoot as “Probably the greatest test of field marksmanship yet devised.” The Egg Shoot is unique in that it is the only competition I know of where sighting shots are not permitted and maybe that is what frightens off a lot of shooters but appeals to the field shooter who rarely has the luxury of sighters. Also, if you like a high round-count, then maybe the
Egg Shoot is not for you. You will be at Diggle Ranges for some six hours, yet you will fire only ten rounds. On the plus side, this gives plenty of opportunity to ‘chill-out’, have a good old natter with like-minded shooters and of course admire all of the interesting kit that the Egg Shoot always attracts. Remember, there are no rules regarding calibre, scope, weight of rifle, means of support etc. so, providing you can carry all your gear single-handed to the firing points, anything goes. As such, we get everything from the humble 223 factory rifle right up to 1000 yard benchguns. However, as you will see, exotic equipment is not a prerequisite for success in this unique competition. The competition is in two parts. First we shoot the groundhog – a rabbit-size target – at 100, 300 and 500 yards. Stage prizes are awarded at each distance plus a small-group award and the three sets of stage points are totalled to give the overall winner. After shooting at these three distances, you should have a pretty good idea of your scope settings for your one and only attempt at the egg – providing that is, you managed to hit the target at 500 yards – 60% of the entry didn’t – including me! Weather-wise, 2010 will go down as one of the best – warm and sunny with just a light breeze, so ideal for a relaxed day’s shooting. And so it proved, with several respectable scores in the initial 100 yard stage. The groundhog ‘head-bull’ is a scant 0.75 inches in diameter and to get three shots in there, out of a cold barrel, without cutting the line is damn good shooting by anyone’s standard. Each ‘clean’ hit in the head-bull scores 15 points but, cut the line and that drops to a nine. Chris Parkin and
Steve Dunn’s fantastic 0.065 inch group at 100 yards using a 22 BR shot off a bi-pod 66 Target Shooter
The guys get to see their targets after each stage
Lunch over, the big question on everyone’s mind of course – “How much wind do I need for 500 yards?” I decided to whack on another minute. Hopefully, even if you do not have a high score on the groundhog, at least a hit on the A3 target will give you a bit of a clue for your one shot at the egg. When the targets came back from 500 yards, mine, like many others was devoid of any holes! With a hit on the groundhog body scoring only one point, you are doing very well to get into double figures on the 500 yard Stage and in fact only one shooter did – well shot Mike Booth, an Egg Shoot regular and a keen field shooter. Mike rarely goes home without an award of some sort and this year he was shooting a particularly nice rifle built around a BAT ‘S’ action with gunsmithing by Jim Young of Scotland and stockwork by Mike himself. Whilst competitors were pondering over their scopesetting for their one and only shot at the egg, the Diggle Club treasurer was counting out £100 should the worst happen. Some years, no eggs have been broken, last year it was two. The white hen’s egg is mounted against a black background so that competitors cannot glean any information by seeing another’s fall of shot but our butt’s girl places a patch over each shot-hole with the shooter’s initials so that afterwards you can see by just how much you missed! But, before we get to that, let’s have a look at who won what in the Groundhog competition. 100 yard Stage 1st Chris Parkin & Chris Vaux 45 pts 2nd Mike Booth 39 3rd Darren Grundle 37 Small group Steve Dunn 0.065 inches (that’s no misprint – less than one-tenth of an inch!) 300 yard Stage 1st Darren Grundle 2nd Mike Hainsworth 3rd Mike McGuigan Small group 0.477 inches 19 17 15
Chris Vaux both scored a max. 45 points shooting a 260 Remington and a 6.5x55 Swede respectively. Neither rifle was particularly ‘exotic’ and both shot off Harris bi-pods. Good shooting guys! For the next stage, we dressed back to 300 yards and at this distance most shooters will go for the ‘body-bull’ which is 1.5 inches in diameter and scores 10 points for a clean hit, dropping to seven for a line-cutter. Believe me, it’s easy to miss at this distance and mine was one of the seven ‘zero’ scores – a nice group but about a minute out on wind estimation. I was shooting my 22 Dasher and after a reasonable 33 scored at 100 yards on zero wind setting, I thought that a quarter-minute of wind would be enough. Out of a possible 30 available points (or 45 if you were bold enough to go for the tiny head-bull again) Darren Grundle’s 19 was the top score. Darren’s rifle? A bog-standard 308 Sako shot off the bi-pod. Great shooting. With two relays at each distance, it was now approaching lunchtime so it was back to the Range House for a little refreshment and a chance to ponder over your target – after they had been scored.
It’s always a great atmosphere at the Diggle egg shoot
500 yard Stage 1st Mike Booth 11 2nd John Dean 8 3rd Sam Newton 6
Jeanette gets ready for an egg-shampoo!
Overall 1st Darren Grundle & Chris Parkin 57 2nd Mike Booth 53 3rd Chris Vaux 50 Stage 1 joint winner, Chris Parkin was the first to shoot the egg with the rest of us watching through our scopes and holding our breath. Chris pulled the trigger but the egg stayed put. Next up was Chris Vaux and watching shooters were treated to the spectacle of a scrambled egg followed by a loud cheer from Chris! Two shooters, one egg broken! Third to shoot was John Dean, CEO of Aimfield Sports, importer of Sightron scopes and retailer of the best gun-bag around. John was shooting a Howa built by Rhino Rifles and chambered in 6BRDX and fortunately, he was using a Sightron scope for he also broke the egg! Three shooters – two eggs broken! Fortunately there were around twenty or so other attempts before Les Holgate broke the third and final egg. Les was an egg-breaker last year as well. This year, he was shooting his 284 BAT F Class rifle and had failed to score at 300 and 500 yards so some pretty good guess-work there Les! That wrapped-up a pretty good Egg Shoot for another year. It will be held on the same May Bank Holiday Monday next year so, if you fancy your chances, put it in your diary. Alternatively, if your club has access to a 100 – 500 yard range, why not consider running your own egg shoot? I will happily supply a sample target on request. It’s an easy shoot to stage as butt markers aren’t needed and it would be good to get a few more egg shoots in different parts of the country. Many of the pictures used in this article were courtesy of professional photographer Steve Thornton www.stevethornton.co.uk Between us, we managed to photograph every shooter and a CD containing over 120 pictures is available for £5.00 including p&p – just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org All proceeds to the Help for Heroes charity.
All targets are carefully scored
That’s John Dean of Aimfield Sports and he’s just won £100!
Small group Les Prior
Happy egg shooters – the various stage and small-group winners proudly display their targets 68 Target Shooter
MINI RIFLE TURNING TARGETS
by Tim Finley
Mini rifle as a sporting target even is, as you know is taking off in a big way. More clubs are taking up the challenge and shooters are seeking out the clubs that do the discipline, to the extent that they are joining these clubs. Mini rifle targets are the IPSC cardboard “ Coffin” targets as the norm. Certain clubs can and do supplement these with other targets on a Mini rifle course of fire, Worcester Norton is a club which has been shooting Mini rifle for a number of years, when I shot there they had a Guns on the table for the log chop different type of target on the turning targets on one stage, it was a fairly normal black circle type and the “A“ or highest scoring zone seemed bigger than an “A” zone on an IPSC target from memory. Turing targets are just what they say they are, it is a mechanical/electrical system that as the name suggest turns the backer that the intended cardboard or paper target is placed upon. On the stage I shot
controlled with the same single control unit. At our club before getting the turners we came up with other ways of spicing up mini rifle events. Mainly with two banks of steel plates which must be knocked over as part of the “coffin” shooting stage’s . Thurnscoe my own club can have up to 12 steels on a stage and Diggle too is able to have six to ten steel plates at a time on a stage. These reactive speed targets make a real difference to how a mini rifle event shoots. (Any stage with steels should be shot with eye protection, Thurnscoe and Diggle have made eye protection mandatory on any Mini rifle event, even if no steels are being shot. Worcester Norton has mandatory eye protection although they do not have any steel plates). Steel plates have to be shot in an enclosed butt to ensure the bullets knocking over the steel plates are captured/retained and both Thurnscoe and Diggle already had this safe backstop system in place before Mini rifle came to the clubs. What can also spice up a Mini rifle stage is being a bit more creative with the ordinary cardboard coffin shaded targets. The simplest way is to Applying the safety before turn the target upside down or have it moving to the next stage on it’s side, remember the top scoring or “A” zone is not in the middle of the coffin shaped target. Shooters get at Worcester Norton they used three turning targets and it made it very challenging indeed. confused in the speed of competition as to The turning targets systems themselves are where the “A” zone is. Even better is to have four very expensive, our own club had to wait almost coffins on one backer to be shot at the same time two years to have the money to buy two with them all at differing aspects. There is a next turners and a control unit. The good thing is level to target difficulty, our resident club genius additional turning units can be added and Ross Borough has come up with two systems Shooter ready There are two targets to shoot here With three seconds for 4 shots on two targets it is HARD
Two targets with a swinging arm in front Target Shooter 71
One clay shot one to go
the swinging arm covers the two targets
the turning targets end on
The last of 12 steels on its way down 72 Target Shooter
to bedevil the shooter. Both are very simple but transform how the coffin targets are shot. His first invention used a swinging/rotating arm to cover up two targets. With a pivot in the middle the normal resting position of the front arm has two sections covering two of the IPSC targets, one above and one below the pivot point. The weighted end of the arm is rotated up to the eleven o’clock position and then it is rested on a removable steel pin. This pin is sat in a hole in the backboard of the target frame. When the pin is pulled out the front arm starts rotating around the pivot point. The competitor has to place two shots on each of the targets without hitting the front swinging arm. The arms movement gets slower and slower until it is covering up both targets. A hit on the front swinging arm means an instant minus ten points taken off your total score for the stage. The really clever part is the shooter themselves have to remove the pin to start the arm moving, before they can engage the two targets. There is a piece of string on the end of the pin and with the gun at 45 degrees pointed downwards the competitor pulls the pin out via the string then attempts to put two shots in the A zone of each target WITHOUT hitting the masking arm. In practice the target has worked faultlessly and really concentrates the mind of the Mini rifler. The key to this devilish device is to have the gun ready to snap up onto the aim, a pistol grip stock opposed to a sporting one seems to help with this. The safety catch cannot be taken off until the string has been pulled and the rifle brought to aim on the targets. Ross then came up with another clever idea involving clay pigeon targets and four coffins. Two arms with blanking faces sit over two coffins. Below each blanking faces are two more coffins. So four coffins must be double tapped, the two hidden coffins can be uncovered by shooting two clay pigeon discs, once the clays are broken the blanking arms drop out of the way to enable the other two coffins to be shot. But the banking arms fall down the cover the first two exposed coffin targets. So the competitor must shoot the two visible targets first, then brake the clays with more shots to shoot the remaining two coffins. They worked well in practice with some fun for those watching as some shooters had tiny strands of clay left holding the blanking arms in position, which were then very hard to hit with a rimfire to remove. The key with the clays was to aim at
the edges NOT at the middle of the clay and of course shoot the two visible coffins before attempting to smash the clays. It was when we received our two initial turning target units that our courses changed significantly. Ross got his thinking cap on and came up with a tricky start to a stage. The shooter starts off as normal with an empty chamber, bolt forward and magazine in. With a 45 degree downward angle on the rifle they wait for the beep of the timer. As the beep sounds the range officer who accompanies the shooter presses the control unit to start the turners. The first turner is in front of the shooter and is has their opening pair of coffins on it. The firing point is five to ten yards from where the shooter begins so they must make their way to that point. Depending upon how quick they are the first turner can already be facing the shooter when they get there. It only faces the shooter for two seconds with a five second “away” or edge on no shooting aspect. The rule on the first turner is that once the shooter has begun shooting on it that is their only chance to double tap each coffin. If the turner faces The log chop Before away after they have only shot one target then they have to move on. In practice shooters get to the first firing point take aim then wait for a full exposure to take on the pair of targets. All the while the second turner is going thro it’s own sequence of 2 seconds facing and five away. However, it only does this for a certain number of faces and the shooter has to shoot one or two other sets of targets before they get to it. If you are very, very slow
or have a rifle or magazine jam on you then there is a fair chance you will get to the second turner only to find it facing away with no more facing turns left. A disaster as this has four targets on it to double tap. Ross even speeded up the turners as we initially shot them with three seconds facing but after shooting at Bisley in the Phoenix meeting he changed them to 2 seconds in order for us to get use to shooting quicker. The turners at Bisley are lightning fast although they are not used for Mini rifle events just Timed and Precision and Multi Target competitions, which are very similar to Mini rifle but do not involve any fire with movement I.e. moving with the rifle. The turning target units we use are from Shield International www.shieldtargets.com and are Ministry of Defence units which have been re-furbished, making them affordable to clubs. As mentioned before we can add additional turning units now we have the controller as the club funds allow. The two units we have can have totally different sequences of turns, which we often have. Each unit is programmed via the control unit, the sequence being transmitted to each unit wirelessly. We charge £4 entry to Mini rifle comps and we need this to cover not only the price of the turning target system but the coffin targets and patches. Normally a brown cardboard coffin target will only last two events of two stages before we loose where the A zone
The log chop After
is for scoring. We have taken our turners to Diggle to spice up their Mini rifle events too, the club is interested in getting their own as the units can be used for other shooting competitions. Even up to 1000 yards from the control unit, which opens up even more potential. One other element which Ross has thrown in at the end of Mini Rifle events at our club is the team “Log Chop”. This put very simply is where teams of 4 or 5 shooters attempt to cut a piece of wood in half in the shortest possible time. The log consists of a 50*15mm by 600mm long piece of timber held at each end by string a red line is spray painted in the middle of the wood as the aiming zone. Two trestle tables are set out at 15-20m from the safe backstop. Onto these go the shooters rifles. All with bolt forward on an empty chamber and with safety’s on and charged magazines inserted. Another 15-20m back away from the table stand the shooters in a line opposite their own rifles on the table. Using the same timers as for the Mini rifle events they wait for a beep and then run towards the table, pick up their rifles take the safety’s off and cock then fire at the log. It is not unknown for 100 top 150 rounds to be fired at the log. I was on the winning team in the pictures accompanying this article with a time of 19.2 seconds, the losing team was not far behind on 22.8 seconds. The also did this at Diggle at their last Mini rifle event. It’s a fun way to end the day for all the shooters. Eye protection is of course mandatory for such an event, The teams of shooters are in a line and so those to the right of the left most shooter will all get hot cases flying at them. I act as a range officer very often and I wear eye and eye protection every time. Where I stand behind the shooter I am sometimes get 74 Target Shooter
a hot brass case coming my way. On the last log chop Ross showed he is a damn good shot too by breaking the last strands of the load with two shots, when it had turned edge on. The rest of his team were reloading and from the standing position Ross calmly blasted the wood into two pieces with a double tap. That meant his team won over mine and I was sure we would win when the log turned on it’s side, ah well. So it can be seen that there is no end to the things you can do to make Mini rifle stages interesting. Above all make sure the course of fire is safe, the rounds going through the targets are caught and everyone applies safeties before moving. We now also check the safety catches of all competitors before they are allowed to take part in Thurnscoe and Diggle events. Next month I’ll look at the types of sights we use for Mini rifle and why.
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GUN OF THE MONTH Building an LV rifle for rimfire benchrest – part 2
By Andy Dubreuil
I’ve shot benchrest for a few years now and, like most, started off with a basic rifle and equipment but as you gain experience and move into the national and international arena, then there is a point where you start to think about having something a little bit special to remain competitive. My journey began almost a year ago now with research via internet forums and talking to other shooters. Looking at all the different components, listening to views and ideas of others leaves you in a state of flux, not knowing
which way to turn. In 22 rimfire benchrest there are a number of different classes and I currently had a Heavy Varmint rifle so, at international events, I had to borrow team members’ rifles for the Light Varmint class but it’s never the same as shooting your own gun. Many shooters have a rifle for each class but this is expensive plus
a lot more stuff to carry around so this got me thinking. Since the action on my original rifle is an Anschutz 1913 and only had two screws to hold the barrelled-action into the stock, it came to mind that it would be quick and easy to change stocks if I went down the route of having two of them that ‘made weight’ for either class - a
novel way of covering two classes with one rifle. The LV class has a weight limit of 10 ½ lb and this is not easy to meet as you have to think about the weight of the stock, action, barrel, scope and any other devices that you want to add to the rifle. Luckily, the stock I already had was extremely light so I had that covered. That just left the barrel and scope sort out. Although there is a huge array of scopes out there, if you are looking for one which is light and of good quality it cuts down the choice considerably. Eventually, I came up with two scopes to choose from - the Weaver T36, the first choice of many benchrest shooters and the Sightron Big Sky Series II 36x42. Both weigh just over a pound so ideal if you are building an LV rifle. Reading the specs, I don’t think there is much between the two but I had a chance to look at the Sightron and being in the UK it was easier to purchase through Aimfield Sports the UK Sightron importer - a great and friendly company to deal with. The next item on the list was the barrel and with so many to choose from, I think it’s a good idea to speak to buddies who have different barrels to get their thoughts and more importantly, to check out the scores they are shooting with them. Many of my friends have a Lilja barrel and seem to be shooting extremely well with them. A couple of magazine issues ago, I had the privilege interviewing Dan Lilja, which gave
me an insight into how barrels are made and how well they have done on the international circuit. That left me with a simple decision - it had to be a Lilja barrel. Benchrest shooters are renowned for wanting a rifle that looks different from everyone else’s and I’m no different, so for my new stock for the LV class, I again researched via the web and talked to friends; I wonder how hard all of this would have been before the internet arrived? I wanted the stock to look different and act in a way that I want but obviously within the rules. Eventually, I came across Parmoor Stocks and after many discussions and viewing photographs we a came up with a profile that fitted in with what I was looking for. I do like natural look of wood and found an unusual laminate called ice wood. This is an almost white laminate with a black resin and once shaped it exhibits very unusual features. So with all the main components obtained, it was time to find the right people to put the rifle together and in the next issue I will be talking about the gunsmith who re-barrelled the rifle for me and what was involved. Until then safe shooting.
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This Smallbore Business
By Don Brook
The second segment of Natural Aiming Point. (NAP) and adjust the body position to have the rifle point at exact elevation. (waterline.) before the breathing sequences are commenced. The first section of this article written last month dealt If the rifle is pointing above the aiming mark, once with the lateral movements associated with the NAP. more around the forward elbow fulcrum point, then This month there is a far more detailed input, and the hips are inched forward in small increments until thus is extremely important as it deals with the the target is naturally in the foresight ring. elevation quotient of the NAP. The lateral disbursement is relatively simple, gaining this around If the rifle is pointing under the aiming mark, then the the fulcrum point of the forward elbow, and concerns hips are moved also in small increments backwards the position of the hips, and lower body. away from the fulcrum point of the forward elbow. Once again the hips position is relevant in this This will bring the rifle muzzle upwards to effect section as well, but it is nowhere near as detailed as correct elevation. You will have then achieved the use of correct breathing sequences relative to a rough elevation point from which to refine the getting the rifle to point dead centre! forward position. I can assure you, that this segment I am quite sure you have seen the rifle muzzle move is crucial to high quality scoring. It is also extremely up and down as the shooter breathes, and it is this important to recheck to see if those small that I intend to focus on for this article, as it is totally movements have made any difference to the lateral connected with position refinement according to rifle point of the rifle. If they have, you need to start again, movement as you breathe. isolating the small discrepancies, continually refining While the breathing movement is actually the last the “point” of the rifle, both laterally and the elevation refinement you need to work on with your position, of the muzzle. it is really important to have the rifle “point” at the This aspect of prone shooting needs to be target initially before the final stuff can be understood that not even the slightest short cut, undertaken. resulting in muscle strength to direct the rifle can be Having isolated the lateral point at the target around entertained. I cannot stress this more urgently than the forward elbow fulcrum, getting the rifle to point that. exactly at the aiming mark (both left or right), the Keep working at these aspects until the rifle sits on shooter needs to now address the elevation ”point” target like a brick outhouse! I warn you though, that of the rifle, and many make the mistake of using this may take some time in your training, but the muscle force to direct the aim. Brute force has no benefits are immense. There is no substitute for place in prone shooting! hard work! Prone is a relaxed state, and this is dictated by position refinement coupled with your breathing sequence. The shooter needs to expel all the air from the lungs, If you study photo “A” you will see a forward plan form of the position you should be looking for. The forward triangle (inverted) between the forward sling point (1) the forward elbow (2) and the position of
Position plan form
the butt in the shoulder (3) shows the balance of the position. You will note the sling is parallel to the barrel with the buckle over the elbow and clear of any contact with the forward arm. The forward hand, and the trigger hand are also parallel with the barrel, as is the trigger finger. The head is upright with a relaxed neck, while the cheek piece contact of the cheek is consistent and quite strong. The eye is dead centre in the rear peep. Note also the power in the shoulders of the shooting jacket and the lack of wrinkles in the leather of the arms. This is a Stenvaag jacket, and in my opinion is the best I have seen in the aspect of fitting across the shoulders. You can still get these through AHG Anschutz.
that the aim reaches the waterline and this is crucial to the perfection of a relaxed natural aiming point as the rifle moves upward (2) All this takes is about 1.5, to 2 seconds of breath intake, and the rifle should fall away vertically, and with consistent depth away from ideal aiming. This actually regulates the breathing depth, and aids in relaxation. The second breath is taken (3) and once more the vertical fall away is checked, together with the depth consistency, and if the shooter is happy with everything preceding, the breath trickles out for the third time allowing the final perfected aim to be reached AT THE POINT OF NATURAL BREATH EXPULSION. “A”
It is once more crucial that if you have to regulate Finally, though this is a full bore (NRA) rifle the aiming by intake, or forced expulsion of the final illustrated, note the easily accessible position of the breath to achieve correct aim, then more work needs ammunition box. to be done! If your position looks like this, then believe me it will I reiterate, that when the natural breath expulsion is work! achieved, the aiming sequence should be waterline and then only final aiming details are carried out. Now, we come to the crunch of assuming a natural point of aim, as the final orientation is achieved by The rifle should not be forced in any way to achieve breathing and position control combined. final aim, otherwise you often can reach stress levels with breathing and oxygen retention that affect POSITION ORIENTATION DIAGRAM. Elevation the sighting clarity drastically. (More on this aspect control by attention to the breathing sequence. later.) Once more you need to study the diagram closely Now, having reached the final aim (A) the aim is where you will see the perfected aim prior to “final totally perfected while the trigger is operated, and in aim” on the graphic. terms of seconds you should NEVER hold the aim for any longer than four to five seconds to achieve These three illustrate the elevation and aiming release. More also on this aspect later in the perfection you are looking for. sighting segments. As you breathe, the rifle drops away vertically from the aim so that you reach the lower foresight picture (1) Then, as the breath trickles out again, the foresight rises to the aiming point again (Dotted line). At this point you check visually through the sights On the diagram I have indicated shot release at five seconds, and the aim must be held as the follow through sequence is carried out (around two to three seconds) where you then start to breath again and the muzzle of the rifle drops away from the optimum
aiming picture. Within this follow thru section it is really important to study the rifle movement under recoil. You look for consistency of the movement, the vertical strike of the recoil, and the resettle to optimum aim particularly with a small bore rifle. The much more severe recoil of a 300m or NRA full bore rifle is a different kettle of fish, but a small bore should return to exact optimum aim after recoil. So much so, that aiming after the shot release, you could say to yourself “ Yes, I could fire that shot again !”
It became apparent to me at an early age that attitude to accuracy is extremely important. So much so, that on an indoor range you should simply not drop a single point, because there is nothing out on the range to remove your shot from the ten ring. No wind, or inclement weather, and if a point is lost, you need to look for finding out why. The same applies to perhaps a windless day, outdoors at 50m, either competition or training. Your goals and attitude should be to shoot the match, or training round clean. All tens, no matter how long you train for, or shoot a The follow thru is crucial to utmost performance competition match. accuracy, both in the analysis of the shot fired, and the nomination factor of where the projectile should Just about every top prone shooter I know has these strike according to your aiming details. In ideal goals set both for training, and competition. One of weather conditions where your nomination is based the great German shooters, Hubert Bichler, a good according to the aiming sequence is where the shot mate whom I have not seen for a while, always used hole should be on your target. This means that the to set a goal to register a 100% performance prone, nomination process is conducted at the moment of no matter what the match or challenge in front of shot release according to your aiming. If you “call” a him. I learned a lot just chatting with, and watching 10 o’clock shot, then the shot hole should be there, him. I have seen him come off the firing point with a where you expected it. 599x600, and cranky (mildly) with that one shot that cost him perfection. If a new chum to small bore follows these guidelines, it should be noted that ideally it is best to train your This was the attitude I came to expect from my own formulative processes in a windless atmosphere, or performances, and later on in the series in sections even indoors. devoted to competing, you will come to understand Sometimes it is not possible to train indoors at 50m, what is needed. so the 25 yard small bore ranges around are a very Another little gem for you all. …… You only get out good breeding ground for technique awareness. I of small bore what you put into it. It is funny but the learned how to shoot well on our 25 yard ranges in harder you train, the luckier you get ! Australia, and really enjoyed the shorter distances. Brooksie
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Target Shooter 83
Profile on DAVE CAUGHEY
By Hayley Platts
Educated in Belfast, Dave and some of his school mates all moved to University at St. Andrews in Scotland and looked to continue their interest of being in the CCF (combined cadet force). The equivalent at St. Andrews was the Officer Training Corps which Dave says was more like a ‘dinner party club’ so several of the group all decided to join the rifle club instead. When Dave decided to give it a whirl instead of staying in on a Wednesday evening to study he took to the sport instantly. “I loved everything about it. The precise preparation, the intense concentration and the fragile balance between relaxation and control that means thinking about missing a shot actually makes you miss a shot! Quite a different sport from water polo which was Dave’s choice while he was in school! The first time Dave went shooting was October 1998 and he was firing at an easy type of training called a ‘2-bull’ (two targets, 5 shots at each) and he remembers shooting 8,9,9,10,9 on the top target 10,10,10,10,10 on the bottom target! Within a few weeks he was on the University team and within a year on the county and Scottish University National team. In one of the local leagues Dave won the most improved shooter for three consecutive seasons, and won the same award within the Scottish Universities. He is extremely proud to have been involved in the most successful run of St. Andrews University rifle team. After a drought of somewhere between 19 and 21 years in which Edinburgh had had a tight grip on the University title, St. Andrews won every competition at least once and often more during Dave’s four years at University. Dave says apart from the competing, the social side of the club was amazing with the most eclectic mix of people from any organization in the university. He goes on to say that you couldn’t find a more tight-knit club when you consider that when Dave joined two couples who met at the club got married, and most of the rifle club members were on the guest list! Dave freely admits that his shooting career would not have gone above county level had it not been for the time and encouragement his coach at St. Andrews, Patrick Jess invested in him. It was always Patrick who ensured Dave got the most from his training sessions and advised on which were the best value competitions to attend. Dave explained “Patrick at the time was almost working full time coaching locals and students and running the nearby clubs and has never been paid a penny for doing it. He’s the type of person that makes amateur sport in this country such a success” Following Dave’s graduation Patrick continued to have a strong input into his shooting career but was adamant Dave needed to go to a different level to get the type of coaching to elevate his level of skill. For one complete winter season Patrick ensured Dave competed in all the right competitions where his performances would be noticed, ensured he knew all the right people and established contacts enabling Dave to locate second hand equipment at decent prices. All this helped to get Dave to the position of gaining a hard earned place in the Scottish ‘B’ squad - which is the development squad for athletes with no international experience but obviously with talent from a club shooting background. The shooting ability was not in question with Dave’s application to the Scottish squad seeing as he had just raised his personal best from 586/600 to 595/600, however his eligibility was in doubt seeing as he had grown up in Northern Ireland. However Dave was soon able to resolve this issue with a copy of his mother’s birth certificate, confirming that she is indeed a native Scot. Following a few years on the very lower rungs of the international ladder as Dave describes it, his training became more intense under the expert technical coaching of Jim Cole-Hamilton and Cyril DeJonckheere. Dave now has established himself on the Senior ‘A’ squad and has moved a step up in international terms. 50metre prone has always been Dave’s discipline but he is now concentrating his efforts on three positional where he hopes to improve to the stage where he is good enough to compete internationally in this discipline as well. Highlights so far include: *Winning the Scottish 50metre Championships where he shot 594 & 595 with a good final ensuring a win by a clear margin. Dave says this is probably the result that put him in contention for a Commonwealth Games team place this autumn. *Current personal best score of 596/600 in competition, with a PB training score at 598/600. *First major international cap this summer for Great Britain at the World Cup in Belgrade. Dave also recounts one of his lowest points when he had an ammo malfunction at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF) Championships in India earlier this year. One of his rounds wouldn’t go off and he wasn’t entirely clear on the rules. He therefore ended up rushing and missing when he could in fact have called for an ‘official malfunction’ and been able to shoot again. Dave recalls this cost him a lot of places and this was particularly frustrating as he done
extremely well to get in to the final having completed that initial shoot whilst not feeling at all well. This is certainly something shooters need to be aware of, not only during internationals but in any competition - knowing exactly what you can and can’t do so you can be fully equipped to deal with any unexpected eventuality will be invaluable, not only score wise but for peace of mind as well. I’m sure Dave is now well versed in the shooting rulebook! Not only training wise is Dave putting everything into his shooting career but he has also made the decision to work for himself part time in order to maximise his time to train. This of course does have implications financially and as he says money is tighter just at a time when he needs to be investing more money on equipment. The technical side of the sport also fascinates Dave - how the rifles work. Whilst at University it was clear to see that some of the rifles were almost at the point of being ‘retired’ so Dave wanted to understand for himself how they worked by trying to repair them. He was amazed at the simplicity of the mechanisms in a bolt action rifle and the material available online to describe some of the processes for maintaining and fixing them. A few years on Dave says “Now that I’m a little further on in the sport I leave the mechanics of my rifle to the professionals, since my competition calendar gives me ample opportunity to have my rifle serviced by the manufacturer every year. Although Anschutz look after the important part of my rifle , it hasn’t stopped me tinkering with the rest of it. Anyone who has shot with me before will know my reputation for hacking lumps out of my stock and fashioning my own parts”. Dave’s ‘bespoke’ set up is described below. Basically it is an older style HPS Gemini stock with a 1913 Match 54 Barrel and action, it is almost unrecognisable due to his many customizations. *The side panels on the stock replaced with very thin, smooth contoured laminate to better fit my smaller than average hand. *The pistol grip shortened to an inch and with a removable moulded grip for 3P. *The cheek piece completely replaced by a sculpted wood, putty, neoprene and chamois leather. Anatomical fitted cheek piece (now on mark 5 incarnation!) *The whole stock shortened by 16mm especially for his standing position. *Butt plate was a Gemini but has two custom made components to create the ‘hook’ as well as MEC rubber grips and other non-slip surfaces. *Has his own trigger blade and shoe to allow a very precise contact, very far back with a large side offset. *Gehmann rear-sight has been slightly re-assembled to put the iris inside instead of outside and has had the two piece Perspex filter replaced with an optical glass filter from an old camera. *On top of this, Dave has re-assembled three separate slings for his own unique configuration,He had a saddle-maker adjust his glove to fit better and made his own attachments for 3P in the form of palm shelf and standing rest. Not only does Dave show great determination to advance in shooting but has a thirst for improving his knowledge of the technical aspects as well as having a genuine love and great interest in the sport. To make the decision to work for himself and only part time and sacrifice a higher wage in his quest to succeed is admirable and you can only wish him all the best with his shooting endeavours and a long illustrious national and international shooting career.
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By Gwyn Roberts
The Phoenix Meeting scheduled for the bank holiday weekend at the end of May almost had to be cancelled this year due to some large brush fires that had been burning for nearly a week in the Pirbright training area just next door to Bisley. Thankfully though, a last minute safety check by the M.O.D and Fire Service concluded that it should be safe to start shooting again and the go ahead to continue the meeting was finally given to the staff at the NRA/NSC. This was certainly good news for the 560 shooters who between them had entered a record number of 3055 individual matches for this years’ premier Gallery Rifle event. of them arriving at Bisley on either the Tuesday or Wednesday in order for them to be able to shoot their own matches first. As is always the case though, a few of them were still trying to finish off their matches on the Sunday morning, but thankfully I think they all managed to complete them in the end. Other early arrivals to the Phoenix were a small group of shooters from the SAHGCA (South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association) who made an 11 hour flight just to sample the delights of Gallery Rifle competition first hand. Myself and fellow GB team mate Taff Wilcox managed to give them a quick crash course over the Wednesday and Thursday, and although such a short time on the The shooting for the competitors was to take place range isn’t really ideal to try and get up to speed, they between May 28 & 30th but it started much earlier all certainly managed to pick it up quickly enough! As for many of the R.O’s and range crew, with many none of the guys had ever shot on turning targets
Bianch R.O Doug Green
Gallery Rifle community and unfortunately due to a number of reasons this year we weren’t able to meet up with some of our oldest friends from both Ireland and Germany. Thankfully though many of our international friends did manage to make the trip over this year and everyone enjoyed catching up and discussing the days’ performances (and disasters) together each evening over a cold beer or two in the bar. An event the size of the Phoenix doesn’t just run itself and it is only made possible with hard work and dedication given by the volunteer Range Officers and this year I must have met at least half a dozen or so new people who were officiating this year, and a very good job of it they were doing too. It’s not easy being on the range for up to 8 to 10 hours a day but judging by the amount of barracking and grief that I was getting by the majority of them they all seemed to be enjoying themselves, especially when the ice cream van made its daily rounds! We also had quite a few new shooters joining us for the first time this year and all of the ones that I spoke to were impressed by the help and advice that they had received from the R.O’s during their matches. Once again our R.O’s did an excellent job ensuring that our matches remained both safe and ran on time, making it a very enjoyable event for everyone taking part so a big thank you must go out to all of them. Along with this must go a big thank you to Taff in the Army Target Shooting Club for the excellent meals and service that he provided for our R.O’s and other range staff during the course of the meeting. Match Director Brian Thomas also had plenty of things to keep himself busy with during this year’s event from flying around the ranges making sure that everything was going to plan, to attending the numerous meetings that took place both day and night. The one thing that stood out to me was the fact that Brian was always there to welcome in the R.O’s at every meal time, without fail and was always asking how things were going or if there was anything that they needed out on the ranges. It’s only a small point, but I’m sure this personal touch was appreciated by everyone and it goes to show that the whole of the Phoenix meeting is a big team effort! The record number of entries this year meant there was an awful lot of work to do for Sally Philcox & Sally Agnew from the NSC, and the ladies on the main reception desk but as usual they were all as efficient as ever and provided an excellent service for all
Incorrect scorecards - You must fill them in correctly!
before, the timing and target acquisition on some of the “shorts” stages did take some getting used to, as did the racking action required when shooting with the Marlins but they all seemed to enjoy the new challenges of Gallery Rifle. The amount of effort the guys put into the practices certainly showed in the scores posted during their first full T&P1 match. Nic Roets shot a clean 300 with 23x’s with his Marlin, whilst Deon De Villiers dropped just a single point with his rim fire rifle. They also both managed to get an X class “shorts” classification during their proper competitions later on over the weekend, with their team mates Andries Erasmus and Calvyn Vlok not far behind, so well done to them all. I’m sure next time we meet up with our new South African friends they will prove to be a force to be reckoned with and I look forward to competing against them shoulder to shoulder next year! Meeting up with both new and old friends is a big part of our shooting within the
Frank Heymel from the BDMP team
Concentration is the name of the game in 1500
I really don’t know how the girls managed to keep their cool with a few of the people they had to deal with at the counter but they did, and all credit to them for doing so. Knowing the amount of work and effort that it takes to run a meeting of this size I don’t think I’d have the patience or inclination to deal with a few of the individuals that they had to put up with though!
of the shooters. Due to the popularity of this NRA flagship event many matches such as the “shorts” were sold out before the shooting had even begun, but this didn’t present a problem for the vast majority of shooters who had pre-entered their competitions. It was, however, for some of the people who just turned up on the day expecting to be able to shoot half a dozen matches or so (next to their friends as well) as they weren’t so lucky unfortunately. Everything humanly possible was done to try and accommodate those with late entries and probably 99% went away to shoot on the ranges with a smile on their face. For the remaining 1% there’s not much anyone can do if someone doesn’t want an 8am slot because they have an hours drive to get to the range, or they don’t want to wait a couple of hours in between matches, or they want to shoot all of their matches “today” because they are going to be busy tomorrow.
Out on the ranges, the weather for this year’s meeting changed pretty much every day from light showers or overcast, to bright sunshine or blustering winds making good performances hard to come by for a lot of people. It was definitely a nightmare for anyone trying to shoot a Bianchi match on Stickledown at various times throughout the Saturday and Sunday as the strong gusts of wind just kept blowing you off the target. This isn’t what you want when you’re trying hard to hit the small bore steel plates or the moving target! Many shooters also experienced changes in points of impact on the targets at the same distances between one match and the next, which can only be attributed to the difference in lighting conditions on the day. Shooting 4 or 5 back to back “shorts” matches I had to adjust my 25m settings by 6 - 8 clicks to get the shots into the X ring in one match. Yet an hour later on the same range, I had to revert back to the original settings, which is not what you need when you’re chasing every last x count that’s for sure. There seems to be a lot more people competing now with both LBR’s and LBP’s in both the Bianchi and Advancing Target competitions, with 26 more shooters competing with their LBP’s in the Timed & Precision 1 match which is great to
The GR trophies - 1500, Bianchi & the Phoenix trophy
British & Phoenix Record 0921 - Timed & Precision 2 LBP Phil Stead 596 29x British & Phoenix Record 1301 - Phoenix A GRSB John Robinson 197 28 British & Phoenix Record 1321 - Phoenix A LBP Clive Ferguson 189 17x British & Phoenix Record 1902 - Advancing Target GRCF Taff Wilcox 180 32x British & Phoenix Record 1921 - Advancing Target LBP Phil Cowling 180 24x Looking through the overall results there were also some excellent scores shot by Chris Thompson, Martin Hale, Alan Barker, Greg Rastall, David Payne, John Crouch, Martin Hale, Doug Green, Paul Hunter, Steve Foskett and Mick Tedesco within the various disciplines. Their scores certainly gave the top boys a run for their money and it will make it very interesting on the line if they can repeat their performances again at the Nationals in August. Another shooter who impressed me over the weekend was Jeff Kehoe from Ireland who said he hasn’t shot much GR over the last 12 months or so, yet he still managed to put in some very credible performances in some of his matches so well done to him as well. Final congratulations must go to Welsh shooter Chris Lewis on beating John Chambers in the rimfire Speed Steels match. It certainly hasn’t happened very often in the past, nor will it probably happen again much in the future, but as they say…. it did this year!
Match Director Brian Thomas
see and hopefully this trend will continue to grow in the near future. Possibly for the above reasons the standard of shooting over the weekend wasn’t really that fantastic with many of the various squad members saying they had dropped points needlessly in quite a few of their matches for one reason or another, but thankfully there were some new records set and they were: Phoenix Record 0721 - Timed & Precision 1 LBP Michael Chinery 300 12x British & Phoenix Record 0902 - Timed & Precision 2 GRCF Gwyn Roberts 600 44x
I think the continued success of the Phoenix meeting is that it appeals to such a broad spectrum of shooters as it offers a huge choice of disciplines to take part in, which in turn Another top meal from Taff at the Army Target can be shot with a wide variety of types Shooting Club and calibers of firearm. Everything from air and long range pistols, to classic military or F class rifles are catered for and many shooters will bring at least 3 or 4 different guns with them to shoot with over the weekend. If you wanted you could well end up requiring over a dozen different firearms to shoot with but that’s what helps makes the Phoenix so unique. There really is something for everyone and we are starting to see a few of the top shooters from other disciplines
At 6pm each day we could all finish our shooting and all that was left for the R.O’s to do was clear up the ranges, but the day was still far from over for one group of dedicated people. Charles Murton and the rest of his stats crew are the people that are very rarely seen or heard from but whose job is probably the most stressful and arguably the most important one (other than safety of course) during the Phoenix and again we must offer them a very big thank you for the excellent job that they do for us. When we all get to go for a shower and start to relax for R.O Jim Smith enjoys pointing out a miss to one of the evening the stats crew have got at least another 3 or 4 hours worth of work left to get his rival team mates through before they can start winding The wind certainly made the Bianchi harder than down for the day. It takes up to half a usual dozen people to hopefully decipher and then input all of the scores into the database every the day in order for our scores to appear updated regularly on the results board. At the end of shooting on the Sunday afternoon, all of this information has then got to be checked and then re-checked again before it is compiled into a set of final results that are used for the prize giving, which this year was held at the Bisley Shooting Club. Presenting the prizes this year was Mr Ian Robertson, a TR shooter of considerable marksmanship coming into Gallery Rifle now to take up a new skills who just also happens to be the challenge, and likewise some of us are venturing Chairman of the NRA’s Shooting Committee and it out into some of the longer range disciplines to see was nice for once to finally put a name to the face how well we can do too. The wide variety of firearms as it were. The format was changed slightly this year that are catered for at the Phoenix is complimented to try and reduce the amount of time that the prize by the range of sporting goods that are offered for giving actually took to complete, and after the first sale by the exhibitors who make up the very popular dozen or so events were called out without the trade fair. The trade fair alone is the reason why winner actually being present to receive their award, many people attend this event as pretty much things finally started to go smoothly and it was nice anything that you could want or need will be to see a lot of new faces going up to the front to available for sale somewhere along the aisles. From receive their prizes. A choking moment for me was to the major importers like Midway UK to local firearms receive the Robert Owsianka Memorial trophy from dealers from every corner of the country, there was his wife for the Timed & Precision 2 rimfire match. certainly enough on offer to please most people and “Bob” sadly passed away at the end of last year and once again it proved to be a great success for the many of us who had the privilege of knowing him vendors and customers alike. and calling him a friend will certainly miss him on the range. Congratulations to the 64 shooters who earned Grand Master medals this year, and the results for the three main Phoenix Gallery Rifle trophies are as follows:
LBR’s & LBP’s are definately becoming a lot more popular
The Sue Rose Bowl
(Aggregate of 1500 GRSB & GRCF) 1st John Robinson 2990 pts 227 x’s 2nd Gwyn Roberts 2976 pts 236 x’s 3rd David Hackett 2974 pts 205 x’s The Bianchi Aggregate Trophy (Aggregate of Bianchi GRSB & GRCF) 1st Gwyn Roberts 3810 pts 319 x’s 2nd Dave Emery 3724 pts 259 x’s 3rd Mel Beard 3702 pts 273 x’s The Phoenix Gallery Rifle Champion (Aggregate of 1500 GRSB & GRCF and Bianchi GRSB & GRCF) 1st Gwyn Roberts 6786 pts 555 x’s 2nd Mel Beard 6593 pts 420 x’s 3rd Neil Hornsby 6250 410 x’s
this year’s meeting for their generosity in supporting our sport, and I urge everyone to support them also whenever you find it possible in the future as we all need each other. A list of our sponsors is available on the NRA website along with the full results. Results and photos of the event are also available on the galleryrifle.com website. Finally, don’t forget that the GR National Championships will be held at Bisley at the end of August and it is open to every classification of shooter, so make sure that you are there!
I’m sure that everyone who was involved would all agree that this year’s Phoenix meeting was a huge success and our thanks again should go to Brian Thomas and his NSC staff, the NRA, and the rest of the organizers, range officers and competitors from within the Gallery Rifle community for making the Phoenix the special Ian Robertson presents Mel Beard with his event that it is. It is also important that we thank Speed Steels trophy Midway UK and the many other sponsors of
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The Mayfair Shooting Centre
Firstly, a little historical background - with apologies to those among you who all ready know much of what is about to be explained in relation to legislative changes. The Mayfair Shooting Centre opened in 1981 as an indoor shooting range catering primarily for handgunners and is located in part of a building complex near Sunderland city centre that was formerly a sweet factory and, appropriately before that, a munitions factory. In the very early nineties the Mayfair became part of Blue Knight Ordnance of South Shields and was renamed ‘Blue Knight Pistol Academy’. A centre of excellence in the field of pistol and revolver shooting and modification, it was owned and operated by retired police officer Ray Branch. A former member of the record-breaking Northumbria Police Shooting Team which set National records in Police Competition that have never been equalled. A graduate of Smith & Wesson Academy and Glock Service Pistol Division, he specialised in building, modifying and tuning competition pistols and revolvers used by police and civilian shooters. in Arizona and regarded by many as the world’s most prestigious firearms training establishment, it was founded by the late Col. Jeff Cooper USMC retired, the ‘father of modern pistolcraft’. He graduated as ‘Expert’ with a pistol, the highest level achievable, and was later offered employment by the colonel. The Chief Instructor at BKPA during this period, Ray Coull, also a retired local police officer, was previously a Northumbria Police Firearms Instructor and Adviser, Police National Individual Shooting Champion, and naturally, a leading light in Northumbria Police Shooting Team. He is still on-hand to offer his expert knowledge to members wishing to advance their skills and knowledge further.
The vast majority of members at that time were and still are, civilians. However both police and military personnel attended BKPA in their own time for extra practice, tuition and advice. The team has also been consulted by the authorities for advice on firearms and ballistics, and some of their premises were used A life member of the United Kingdom Practical for training and de-briefing purposes, using their Shooting Association since its formation, he is also expertise and observations for evaluation purposes. one of the first of only a small number of British members of the ‘American Pistol Institute’. Located At the end of the nineties, following the national
confiscation of handguns by the Labour Government, the club reverted to its original name of Mayfair Shooting Centre to emphasise the use of all types of firearms still lawful to use in this country. Undaunted by the unreasonable restrictions and changes forced upon them, the club has gone from strength-to-strength and is now the biggest club in the North of England, and probably one of the biggest in the country. The club caters for both sexes and people of all ages and is proud to count among its membership people who have served their country in various conflicts past and present. The oldest members are in their 80s, and there is an ever-increasing family and junior membership. The Indoor all-weather 20 meter range consists of 9 lanes with electrically controlled targets and is wheelchair accessible. Members mainly use .22 rimfire rifles and pistol-calibre carbines, as well as muzzle-loading and long-barrelled pistols but any firearm that falls within the range safety parameters can be used. As can be gathered from the above, most types of firearms and shooting disciplines are catered for and we also have a small practical shotgun section.
We recently began booking military ranges in the area for use by members and, as a result of the growing popularity of this type of shooting in the north east, a new section has formed specifically to cater for those who wish to do long-range shooting with centre-fire rifles. Many of the members shoot solely for their own enjoyment, and meet regularly socially. Others travel all over the country and even abroad to compete in major shooting events. There is however absolutely no pressure to compete at any particular level. We have varying degrees of interest and skill levels with all types of firearms and the level to which members aspire and the goals they set for themselves are entirely up to the individual. Why not come along and meet like-minded friendly individuals of all backgrounds and walks of life in a comfortable setting near the city centre. We are close to all major transport links and routes, including a local Metro station and are open evenings and weekends. • For more information on membership and general queries, contact;The Mayfair Shooting Centre on 0191-5641966, www.mayfairshootingcentre.co.uk email: - email@example.com
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA
Competitions The final round of our winter 600 yard series took place on May 30th - which was just too late for the June edition of Target Shooter. As always, conditions were difficult and again penalties for shots off target caught out several competitors – including me. In Light Gun class, Jack Searle finally made it to the top step with his 243 AI Stolle but I could at least claim small-group award for my 2.64 incher in the final Match. In Factory Sporter, Phil Gibbon took another win with the 6.5-284 Savage and shot small group with his 4.37 inch group. Results: Light Gun 1st Jack Searle 243AI TGP Stolle 5.075 2nd Jack Gibb 6.5-284 Osprey Barnard 6.406 3rd Vince Bottomley 6.5 TGP BAT 7.535 Small group Vince Bottomley 2.64 inches Factory Sporter 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Phil Gibbon Darrel Evans Bruce Lenton Mike McGuigan Ian Kellett
Smallest group of the year: Phil Gibbon 2.218 inches
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who took part in the series. 100/1000 yard competitions 19/20th June Although our 600 yard shoots have finished until the autumn, our 100/1000 yard championship is only at the halfway stage and our 100/1000 ards hoot ere, or nce, eld n arm unny y s w f o h i w s conditions. Winds however were typical Diggle and this is reflected in the scores with even the winner, Ian Dixon, only managing to agg. in the ‘threes’. Entries for the short-range benchrest shoots are currently about a third down on previous years and whether this is temporary remains to be seen. Unfortunately, a great deal of effort is required to stage a 100 yard benchrest shoot, with special target-frames, moving backers, a dedicated target changer, plus upwards of a hundred targets which need to be carefully measured afterwards. If entries don’t improve, it could see a reduction in the number of shoots next season. If you have made the not inconsiderable investment in a dedicated 6PPC benchrest rifle, you need to come and use it, otherwise you could find it’s just an expensive cabinet filler!
Factory Sporter 1st Phil Gibbon 6.5-284 Savage 8.25 in. 2nd Bruce Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 9.562 3rd Graham Watts 6.5-284 Savage 10.187 Small group Phil Gibbon 4.375 inches
As that was the last round, we can now announce our UKBRA Championship winners. Five rounds Results: were contested – it should have been six but the Heavy varmint January round was snowed-off! 1st Ian Dixon 6PPC Walker BAT 0.3102 inches Light Gun 2nd Vince Bottomley 6PPC TGP BAT 1st Jack Gibb 0.3664 2nd Jeanette Whitney 3rd Graham Francis 6PPC Walker Stolle 3rd Vince Bottomley 0.3692 4th Jack Searle 5th Chris Hull Small group Graham Francis 0.148 inches Smallest group of the year: Brian Webb 2.035 inches
600 yard UKBRA 2010 Champion Jack Gibb with his 7mm Saum
Factory Sporter 1st Darrel Evans 6PPC Sako 2nd Andy Woolley 6PPC Sako 3rd Darren Grundle 308 Sako Small group Darrel Evans 0.514 inches 0.7308 0.8476 Results: Light Gun 1st Steve Dunn 7mmBooBoo BAT 7.906 inches 2nd Vince Bottomley 6mm Xtreme BAT 9.217 3rd Bruce Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 10.01 Small group Steve Dunn 5.392 inches
Fortunately, attendances at our long-range benchrest shoots are still healthy and shooting at 1000 yards still holds a fascination for many shooters. We have an enthusiastic Factory Sporter following and as always we see some amazing groups. This time it was Bruce Lenton and his 6.5-284 Savage who managed to not only win his class but also place third in the Light Gun Class with his 10.01 inch agg. – an excellent performance but Alan Seagrave wasn’t too far behind with his 6.5x55 Sako, agging 10.68 inches.
Factory Sporter 1st Bruce Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 10.01 2nd Alan Seagrave 6.5x55 Tikka 10.684 3rd Andy Small 243 Win. Remington 13.453 Small group Bruce Lenton 8.473 inches
Next 100/1000 yard benchrest weekend at Diggle on 31st July/1st August. Check out the UKBRA website In light Gun Class, it was a battle between Steve at www.ukbra.co.uk for further information. Dunn and myself which was very close until the last match when Steve shot a five-inch group to my nine! Steve’s group was also small group of the day. Another group worthy of note was Steve Barret’s 8.4 incher shot with his 308 F/TR rifle.
In association with
Elliott Barker Target Shooter Profile
For this month’s target shooter profile we are taking a look at Elliott Barker, a member of the UK Junior Benchrest Squad who is well on the way to becoming one of the UK’s leading junior benchrest competitors.
Leeds 25 yard bench rest league and division 3 of the Yorkshire 50m, both of which are shot at 2mm bulls from the shoulder without rear sand bags.
Over the winter2009/10 season his big achievement was coming 3rd overall in the Unrestricted 25 yard rimfire championship (and 1st as a junior) with a perfect 1250 and 84, only 2 x’s behind 2nd place. Elliott’s scores so far in Elliott started shooting at the age of 9 when he the summer season have been excellent and he got a spring air rifle for Christmas and then joined is a real hope for junior medals in all events at the Keighley Rifle Club with his father. It wasn’t European Championships next month. long before the springer was exchanged for a pre-charged rifle and Elliott began competing, to “I’m really looking forward to going to the Czech begin with at club level before moving on to bench Republic, I’m a bit nervous but I’m sure I’ll rest shooting in the Yorkshire leagues, initially with settle down when I get there. It will be a great an air rifle but then with rimfire, and he now shoots experience to shoot alongside some of the top in the higher divisions on an even footing with all guys in the world.” the adults. No mean feat for a 13 year old. In fact he is in currently in first place in division one of the For equipment Elliott uses a Feinwerkbau P70
air rifle and a Feinwerkbau 2700 .22 free rifle. “My Dad and I are working on the final refinements to get everything just right before we go. We’ve got a barrel tuner for the 2700 and have spent a lot of time adjusting it and the torque settings to tighten our groups and it seems to be running pretty well now.” When not shooting Elliott’s other passion is rugby which he plays for his school and the local side in Keighley, but now in the off season there is plenty of time for practice and getting ahead with all his competitions before going to the Euros. For the future he hopes to progress with bench resting but also move towards prone rifle as well. Like most juniors, the rifles are too heavy for under 13’s, but now he is getting big enough Elliott has started prone shooting and if he can transfer the breathing, trigger control and concentration from bench resting then he could be a future hope for Olympic glory in years to come.
Top and below - Hi hopes for Elliot at the forthcoming European and UK national championship. Another of our junior shooters representing their country
The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association by Les Holgate
Following the short-range League opener at Diggle in April and a trek north to Blair Atholl in May for round 2, it was back to Diggle in June for Round 3 of the GB F Class Association League Shoot but this time for our more normal long-range – 800 to 1000 yards. Diggle is famous for its inclement weather but thankfully, the last few League shoots have been blessed with extraordinarily good conditions and this weekend was no exception and warm sun and a light breeze greeted competitors on the Saturday morning. The F/TR shooters on the first relay got the best conditions with very little wind and sure enough, our 2009 World Championship Team members, Russ Simmonds, Stuart Anselm and Paul Dobson lead the way with solid 72 ex.75 scores with Liam Fenlon, Adam Bagnall and Ian Dixon just one point adrift. The conditions also held for the Open Class guys and I was not surprised to see a ‘clean’ with Grant Taylor - last year’s League winner - putting in a magnificent 75.5v. Peter Wilson stayed in touch with a 73 but Des Parr (72) and Gary Costello (71) were only able to match the scores posted by the best of the F/TR guys.
Following lunch, it was back to 1000 yards. The sun was still shining but the wind had picked up and, as we in butts watched the antics of many of the Open shooters exploring every ring of the target, we rightly began to worry! No one broke 70 – which is unusual and the best scores came from Simon Rogers and Grant Taylor, both on 68. Amazingly, their scores were matched by F/TR World Champion Russ Simmonds and the scores of Stuart Anselm and Adam Bagnall would have taken third and fourth places in Open Class! But, don’t get the idea that conditions had eased-up – only six other F/TR shooters broke 60 – it’s just that we currently have some very good F/TR shooters and to some extent, this is the buzz of shooting in the GBFCA League – you are measuring yourself not only against the best in the country but also the World! It’s fine being ‘king of the hill’ in your own little club shoots but this is the arena where you get to shoot against the very best. A League win – or even a Stage win – is a real achievement. At the end of day one, the top ten scores looked like this: Grant Taylor Russell Simmonds at that V bull count!) Stuart Anselm Adam Bagnall Des Parr Simon Rogers Liam Fenlon Gary Costello Hugh Ingliss Peter Wilson Open F/TR 143.7v 140.10 (Look
This has become something of an emerging trend F/TR 139.7 as development of the 308 cartridge by the F/TR F/TR 138.4 shooters continues and certainly at 800 yards Open 137.8 it is proving to be a viable ‘accuracy’ cartridge - Open 137.4 especially when used in a rifle built to benchrest F/TR 136.8 standards. Bi-pods have also contributed to Open 136.5 this trend with some impressive contraptions Open 135.7 beginning to appear but even so, the humble Open 134.7 Harris can still hold its own and its light weight allows maybe a better scope or heavier barrel to We normally list the Open and FTR shooters be used. separately but surely the F/TR guys deserve full recognition for their extraordinary
The remarkable Russell Simmonds with his 308 F/TR rifle
performance. four points from Liam Fenlon, with Adam Bagnall a further two points adrift in third. Russell’s V bull count of 20 was way ahead of anyone else and only beaten by Open class winner Grant Taylor on 22 V bulls. Remember, that V bull is just five-inches in diameter and Russell is using a 308 shot from a bi-pod!
Sunday morning could best be described as ‘damp’ – not raining but the ground was wet and the sun had hidden behind some ominously dark clouds but, as the Open Class shooters took to the firing-point, a few blue patches began to appear. The wind was stronger than the previous day but steady. Final results: CLASS SCORE Today, the 800 yard stage was a 2 & 10 shoot and 1 Grant Taylor O 266.22 Gary Costello, Des Parr and Hugh Ingliss came off 2 Russell Simmonds F/TR 257.20 the point with clean ‘fifties’. 3 Gary Costello O 256.16 Overnight leader Grant Taylor dropped one but 4 Des Parr O 256.16 he could afford that with a lead of six points. None 5 Hugh Ingliss O 253.15 of the F/TR shooters posted a ‘clean’ but Les 6 David Kent O 253.15 Dawson, Ian Dixon and Adam Bagnall dropped 7 Liam Fenlon F/TR 253.13 just one. Overnight F/TR leader Russ Simmonds 8 Simon Rogers O 252.12 dropped two and that meant that Adam 9 Adam Bagnall F/TR 251.07 Bagnall was now within one point with just the 10 Mark Daish O 249.07 1000 yard stage left. Second overnight Stuart Anselm dropped six, so effectively ruled himself Finally, as always, thanks must go to Diggle Club out of contention. members for putting on a great shoot. Next month, 3/4th July, the League makes its first visit of the It did feel quite windy at 1000 yards and it would year to Bisley then, in August it’s back to Blair. Full be so easy to drop points with a 308 when the details on the GBFCA website at www.f-class. ‘two’ ring is only one MOA away from the bull – org.uk that takes some wind-reading skill and inevitably big points would be dropped in today’s conditions. Grant Taylor continued his domination of the event with a fantastic 74.8v – just one shot escaping from that ten-inch bull and a full four points ahead of any his rivals but perhaps even more remarkable, Russ Simmonds shot an amazing 69.3v which was the fourth best overall score in Open class! That well and truly sealed the win for Russell by a healthy
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
QUIGLEY SHOOTING ASSOCIATION, END OF needed to keep things sociable, especially once TRAIL SHOOT June 5th 2010. the liquor tents arrived. It was natural for these hunters and mountain men to want to show their In the early days of the American mid west at the prowess with tall tales and examples of their skills and end of the trapping season, it was customary for the marksmanship. trappers to gather where the riverboat was to land in order to meet the traders and deal for the best Friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) prices for their hides and pelts. Whilst waiting for the competitions would be organised, usually with some trading to begin, some sort of entertainment was items of kit or provisions as prizes.(And perhaps
Ken Hall with his 38-55 Hi Wall
L to R Ken Jones Dave Malpas and Greg Hoskin
annual End of Trail events in the quaint old prairie town of Diggle, nestled in the Pennine foothills, and on a fine and fairly windless day in June, held an event consisting of competitions for muzzle loading revolver, black powder cartridge rifle and muzzle loading rifle or musket. Event 1, for muzzle loading pistol, consisted of 12 shots at a standard pistol target from 25 yards, followed by 12 shots at a small figure silhouette from 50yards. This was won by Ken Hall using a Euroarms .44 cal Remington 1858, with a score of 141. Runner-up was Ken Jones, using his Ruger Old Army in .44 cal, with 136.
the odd wife or two for the more serious). Axe and knife throwing, offhand shooting with muzzle loading flint and caplock rifles and pistols, as well as the occasional wrestling contest would keep the men occupied as they awaited the riverboat’s whistle. These meetings or ‘Rendezvous’ as they became known, gradually attracted many famous hunters and trappers and were eagerly awaited by competitor and opportunist alike. With the expansion west came the days of the cattle trails as enormous herds of longhorns were driven eastward to feed the ever-growing population. At the end of these cattle drives, the men would continue the ‘Rendezvous’ tradition and organise ‘End of Trail’ events, along the same lines as their predecessors.
Event 2 was for muzzle loading rifle and consisted of five shots at a modified turkey target at 50yds. Ken Jones took this one with his Lyman Tryon Rifle in .50 cal. Event 3, also for muzzle loading rifle, consisted of five shots at a “V” notch target at 50yds. Greg Hoskin hit nearest the “v” to win this one. Event 4 was 10 shots at a reduced buffalo target at 50yds with breech loading black powder rifles, Ken Hall won this with his trusty Uberti Hi-Wall in .38-55.
Event 5, also for breech loading black powder rifles consisted of 10 shots at a reduced silhouette of a The Quigley Shooting Association organises its’ own mounted Indian; Paul Seymour won this using his Cimarron ’76 in .45-60.
Paul with his Win’76
Black powder competitions always seem to bring out the best in shooters, and all who attended had a really relaxed and light-hearted day. The next EOT is scheduled for Oct 9th 2010. Ken Hall for QSA.
Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
Since 2005 there has been an annual International Gallery Rifle Match on the Bank Holiday Monday following the Phoenix Meeting. The NRA elected Ashley Dagger from Frome and District Pistol Club as Captain of the GB Gallery Rifle Team for 2010 and Ashley selected two teams to shoot this year’s match. The format was two matches running side by side; the Phoenix Trophy (also this year counting as the European Gallery Rifle Championship) and the Phoenix Cup. The five man GB teams (red and blue) lined up against teams form Germany and Ireland who could field a single team each this year due to different logistical problems – so their scores counted for both competitions. The course of fire was the standard 1500 centre-fire match with aggregated score for the best four shooters counting toward the final team score. The final scores were GB Red Team (Phoenix Trophy) 5959 (426X), Ireland 5959 (408X), GB Blue Team (Phoenix Cup) 5949 (412X) and Germany 5920 (333X). The winners of the Phoenix Trophy (by the narrowest of margins – just 18X) and European Champions for 2010 are GB. In the Phoenix Cup Ireland, with some very consistent team performances roundly beat GB into second place. The problems that prevented Ireland (firearms licensing—yes they have problems too!) and Germany (elections in their shooting governing body, the BDMP) from entering two teams will hopefully be resolved and there is also the expectation that South Africa will send a team to next years Phoenix Meeting. More International action for the GB Team in Ireland 10th/11th July and in Germany in November – I will keep you abreast of developments. Coming up next is the Imperial Meeting Gallery Rifle Match, which runs from Wednesday 14th to Sunday 18th July. Squadded matches on Saturday and Sunday and unsquadded “unlimited” entry matches throughout the meeting. Entry fees are modest (as little as £3 for a Timed and Precision One – still known as the Police Match at the Imperial). Entry on the range at Melville on production of your FAC and range safety card and if you are not an NRA Member (which we would encourage) you will need to get temporary “Meeting Membership” for £5 per day or £20 for the whole meeting. On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July Frome host their popular 3-gun practical match at the Shield Shooting Centre in Dorset. This is a very popular match so get your entries in soon. The format is three stages (shotgun, small-bore and centre-fire) with 100 plus round count for each stage of practical shooting – this year’s “theme” is “extreme pursuits”! Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August brings the Stourport 1500 plus shorts, this match has been sadly missing for the calendar for the last couple of years but makes a welcome return in 2010. A great range at Stourport with a very central location and access from any part of UK. This brings us up to the Gallery Rifle National Championships over the August Bank Holiday weekend – more of which next time. As always entry from available from www.galleryrifle.com
points and incurring penalties both for the miss and possibly for the non-engagement of the target... you really don’t want to walk by a target and fail to see it. So you can imagine the groans and knowing looks as the match kicked off and the first squad rolled their kit and ammo boxes up to the first stage. Stage 1 encapsulated several ingredients designed to make a competitor work for the few valuable points available... Imagine sitting on a chair with your palms flat on a large table in front of you, spread so that your shotgun is directly in the middle. The shotgun is in Option 2 start configuration – which means you have an empty chamber with a closed bolt, and the magazine loaded with 8 rounds (if shooting Standard Manual or Auto) – more if you shoot Modified or Open. Directly ahead of you on the far edge of the table, no more than five feet away, are four of the very smallest clay targets (mini clays) taped to thin garden canes so they appear to be floating about shoulder height. At either side of the table, maybe eight metres away in the woodland gloom are two large
Ken Brown Memorial PSG Match 21st/22nd May 2010 The Ken Brown Memorial Level III PSG match is based at the wooded range of Harlow Town RPC, off the A414, a short drive from Jn 7 of the busy M11 in Essex. The match is one of six Level III UKPSA sanctioned, national competitions running in 2010 and is a purely birdshot only event, so no buckshot or solid slug stages to be concerned with. Fifty nine shooters attended including the welcome return of two members of the Serbian team: Branislav Raketic and Igor Jankovic. The day was warm and dry, with sunlight streaming through the ruffling leaves and adding to the challenge of seeing the grey steel plates against the dim backdrop of the shrubby stage confines. As I have mentioned more than once in my earlier articles, the Harlow team like to place targets well off the ground on long poles. These are fiendishly hard to spot (particularly in a wood!) when shooting a stage against the clock, and very easy to miss – thus losing you valuable 104 Target Shooter
“lollypop” targets (which as the name suggest are just steel plates on a welded pole attached to a pivoted base so they fall over when hit). Ahead of you out at 10 metres or so and about 4 metres off the ground is a single, normal sized, clay target on a thin pole thus making the clay appear to hover in the dappled leaves.
A quick movement to straighten up and two fast shots to hit the steels at either side of you, the ring of the shot off the plate face registering the hit before you have seen it fall... if you wait for visual confirmation it would mean a slower time – you need to be confident of your accuracy “Shooter ... Are you READY!...” ... the RO stood such that you can fire and forget. Finally, a shot just behind your chair shouts as your palpitating at the suspended clay target in the middle and a heart starts to thump against your chest. Unless feeling of relief as you see it fragment and fall... you object at this stage, he continues holding the large yellow shot timer just back from your “IF you’ve finished, UNLOAD and SHOW ear... “STAND BYYYYYY!” ... CLEAR” – the RO’s voices booms as he leans forward to check as you rack the shotgun to BEEEEEEEEEP! ... the start buzzer on the timer clear any remaining rounds from the magazine. echoes in your head as you rise from the chair Both of you carefully check the receiver to and grab the shotgun – lifting it to the shoulder ensure it has no cartridges left in the gun before in one smooth motion. It’s a Benelli M2 – and the command “IF CLEAR, HAMMER DOWN”. thankfully you remembered to press the shell This tells you to shoulder the shotgun and latch release button after loading the magazine pointing at the backstop you pull the trigger. thus allowing a cartridge to click forward and If there was a round in the gun, it would have sit on the carrier. A swift, sliding hand catches chance to discharge in a safe direction at this the charging handle, racking the bolt back and point. feeding the cartridge into the chamber as you lean forward to within inches of the first mini ... a dry CLICK! From the shotgun... clay ... and fire – obliterating the fragile clay in an instant before shooting the other three in a Then open the action, apply the safety, place swift, smooth cadence. Well, that’s the theory muzzle vertically down and insert the breech Target Shooter 105
time to stand. Others stood and leaned forward to ensure that the muzzle was no more than inches away from the first four mini clays and to give them a better view of the other targets further back. Igor Jankovic from Serbia shot all seven targets, including racking his Benelli M2 to chamber a round in 4.63 seconds – a blindingly fast and accurate demonstration of shooting skill... but then he is the 2009 European Modified Division Champion, so perhaps it was to be expected. Quite a few stages this time included clay targets – both stationary and moving (usually flipped six feet in the air by a falling steel target). These latter type are what are known as disappearing targets – and as such they are usually shot for bonus score – with no penalty if a competitor chooses or fails to shoot at them. Nine stages later, and with around 110 rounds fired (not counting top-ups for misses and re-shoots) all the competitors ganged around the awards table for the prizes and medals. Division scores below, but also a number of other significant awards were made:
flag. You then relax – the stage is over!... and you know before the time is announced (usually) whether your time was one to be satisfied with. Hopefully as the RO shouts “RANGE CLEAR – FORWARD AND RESET PLEASE” to allow the scorers and resetters to move downrange, you won’t hear a cry as someone points out a target you missed or worse, failed to shoot at. One miss on a quick stage with only seven targets will blow your score for that stage – as will a malfunctioning gun... or a reload because you fired and missed targets and had to re-shoot at them. Now, a target placed no more than a gun length away is going to be easy to hit right?... ironically, it proved to be a lot more difficult than many thought. After all, the shot pattern three foot from the muzzle isn’t really going to have spread an awful lot – maybe it’s about 0.8” if you’re lucky. It might as well be a slug at that range and that means you have to be pretty spot on to hit a clay target that is barely more than two inches in size.
Team Entry went to the Blue Team (Men). Teams are optional and consist of four shooters who declare themselves before the match and pay a small fee. The best three scores in each team are aggregated and a special prize is awarded to the top team. Team members do not have to physically shoot as a team – they could be on separate days – it’s just their scores that count towards the final aggregate. Not surprisingly, the winning team included Mike Darby who shot extremely well , taking Many people chose to stay seated to save the 1st place in Standard Auto division. There are 106 Target Shooter
plans afoot to weld his gun shut to give the rest 2009. of us a chance – but there are just unconfirmed rumours, m’lud! Final Division Winners were: Senior category winners were: Branislav Raketic (SER) in Modified Division, Graham Hill (the Grumpy Pumper”) in Standard Manual Division and Barry Sullivan in Standard Auto Division. Modified: 1st Branislav Raketic (SER) – 100% 2nd James Harris (GBR) – 97.48% 3rd Neil Smith (GBR) – 96.22%
Standard Auto Top Lady was won by UKPSA Chair Vanessa 1st Mike Darby (GBR) – 100% Duffy, the current European Ladies Champion 2nd Igor Jankovic (SER) – 98.69% 3rd Barry Sullivan (GBR) – 88.16% Standard Manual 1st Martin Davies (GBR) – 100% 2nd Iain Guy (GBR) – 99.71% 3rd Adrian Sell (GBR) – 91.38%
Hi Guys, backgrounds. Our best with your future shooting endeavours. I just wanted to drop you an e-mail to express The team at Target Shooter my thanks for a superb magazine. I have been a rough and clay shooter over the last 30 odd years and having recently retired I fancied Dear Target Shooter, looking into target shooting as well. I have just I have just now been introduced to your ezine. I attended and completed a very comprehensive am not a benchrestshooter but, at 63 years and probationary course run by the NRA at Bisley crippled right leg, I no longer hunt so I spend my which was an excellent introduction and time shooting from the bench at my local Gun grounding in the safe use of firearms, Club. I enjoy all forms of shooting sports and I and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone particularly admire the accuracy of the benchrest interested in taking up the sport, the Instructors shooters. are top notch and everything is aimed at making you understand what makes you a safe shooter. There’s nothing like handloading for getting that flyer responsibility where it belongs. I found your on-line magazine by chance on the web, and admit to having gone through all your Your website is superb and, as you Brits say, archived issues (which is a great idea) and the “well played.” information contained in those issues I found extremely helpful, as I have a dodgy back and Best wishes, knees, the main interest for me will be Benchrest Joel Wright shooting, as this will be physically the most Comfort, Texas comfortable way to shoot. U.S.A. I am just waiting for the Police to carry out their home inspection and questionnaire to hopefully when life deals you lemons ... take a nap! issue my FAC and hopefully I will be up and running, so to speak. I hope your readership continues toincrease and the ads roll in. It’s good to hear from some of our readers from around the world. This is one of the things that Thanks for a great magazine. makes’ this magazine unique, in the sense that it was originally intended for the UK market, but Best regards for now is read by people in over 83 countries around the globe. Fascinating to say the least! Peter Hatton I am guessing that we all have so much in common and that we want shooting sports to remain alive, develop and prosper. Having competed Our thanks for your contact. We try to make the with lots of people from around the world I would magazine as diverse as possible, covering a say this is one of the things I enjoy most – number of shooting sports. With this in mind we meeting them and developing friendships. Good would like the readership to grow, develop and shooting to you and we hope you continue to also help encourage shooting sports. Let’s face enjoy the magazine. it there are lots of people out there that would Carl like to push shooting sports even further to the background. It’s good to hear there are people are still coming into the sport from a variety of 108 Target Shooter
Next month we continue with reviews and bringing you updates on what is happening in the target shooting world. We are now truly into the summer months and the heat is blazing - so good for a day at the range. Until next month, good shooting.
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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August 2010 Issue
110 Target Shooter
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