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December 2010 Issue
Event reports Gallery Rifle UKPSA News
F Class and Air Rifle Benchrest Centerfire Benchrest..... Developments Handloading Bench • Quigley Report • New Products • and lots more…..
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Welcome to the December Issue................Target Shooter
22 European F-Class
Championship by Vince Bottomley
6 14 15 Air Rifle Benchrest 37
Shooting Sport News and Christmas Gadgets Gallery Shooters Calendar The Digital Media Revolution for Shooting Sports by Carl Boswelll
by Carl Boswell
Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook
70 Starting Mini Rifle
by Mark Curd
41 9th World Military & Police Sniper Championship - Part 2 by Rob Hunter 55 Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest World Postal Championships by Carl Boswell
59 66 94
UKPSA Shotgun Safety Course by Tim Finley Carlton Moor Tunnel Range by Nigel Greenaway This Smallbore Business by Don Brook
Bench by Laurie Holland
Games by Jonathan Hammond
107 NRA 108 110 UKBRA F- Class Gallery Rifle UKPSA Quigley
99 Getting started
in Gallery Rifle - the Ruger 10/22 Part 2 116 by Gwyn Roberts
Webitorial - December 2010
Main cover shot of the Editor(s). F Class Europeans by Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Dave Lloyd Advertising and Office Manager email; email@example.com Contributors Vince Bottomley Tony Saunders Nigel Greenaway Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Alan Whittle Gwyn Roberts Les Holgate Tim Finley Mark Curd Nigel Greeneaway Jonathan Hammond
In November, the Committee set up to review firearms control and legislation following the Cumbria shootings, heard evidence from various bodies including the police and the medical profession. You can see a full transcript of the proceedings at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/ committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/inquiries/firearms-control/ The outcome of this enquiry will affect us all in some way and there are suggestions to place on your medical records the fact that you hold an FAC. One downside to this is that medical records, although supposed to be confidential, will be readily accessible by a large number of NHS staff – not good, especially if our police are interested in reducing the theft of legally held firearms. We anxiously wait to see the outcome and hope that the actions of one person will not again prejudice thousands of innocents. On a lighter note, as we approach the year end and look forward to next season, we have the Newark Shooting Show held the last weekend in February. We have already mentioned this a number of times as organiser John Bertram has generously offered free stand space to shooting organisations and associations. We keep appealing to such associations to get in touch and let us know you will be there but, to date, response has been feeble. Come on guys – what better opportunity to publicise your discipline and attract new members. Please e-mail me on vinceb@6ppc. fsnet.co.uk if you need more information. Finally, our December issue is dominated by a feature on the F Class European Championships. This event grows year on year and, with eleven nations represented, it is the world’s largest F Class competition. Target Shooter had two of our contributors shooting and bringing you a full report direct from the firing-point – what other shooting publication does that? Enjoy your Christmas break and celebrate the New Year with the January issue of Target Shooter – on-line January 1st 2011! 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 & Christmas Gadget Gallery
ifts/News item There’s not much in the way of useful gifts that you can buy a shooter for a few pounds – with the exception of a book perhaps: The Book of Rifle Accuracy – by Tony Boyer. Now if you don’t know who Tony Boyer is, then you probably won’t be putting this book on your Christmas list, which is a pity, for it is one of the very best shooting books I’ve ever read. Tony is the undisputed king of benchrest – and has been for a couple of decades. At long last he has written a book. Tony has cannily avoided making this an 6 Target Shooter
exclusive benchrest book - notice that the word ‘benchrest’ does not appear in the title. He makes the odd reference to hunting, though in reality it is aimed squarely at the benchrest shooter. Of course, the techniques used by benchrest shooters will improve the performance of any rifle/ammo/shooter combination. We have had other great benchrest books – namely Glen Newick’s classic The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy (now out of print) and more recently, Mike Rattigan’s Extreme Rifle Accuracy. Note that - like Tony’s book - neither mention benchrest in the title, thus hopefully attracting sales to a wider audience. When I bought Glen’s
book twenty years ago, I didn’t even know what benchrest was but after reading it, I went to the USA on a benchrest voyage of discovery – you could say it changed my life! If you don’t shoot benchrest, will you learn anything from Tony’s book? Yes – lots! Will it be of use to you? Well, knowledge is never wasted and sadly, good shooting books are few and far between. Sorry, no ISBN number – but order here - http://www.rifleaccuracybook.com/
ays of the Rifle. £36 The training book for .22 rifle shooting, published by MEC and filled with useful information and photos. Hints and tricks from top shooters and coaches - from www. intershoot.co.uk
ew stuff At the F Class Europeans, I picked up another joystick rest from a Polish company called Sanders Shooting. It’s two-column design similar to the SEB Neo but promises to be cheaper. It looks good and I’m going to use it at the 600 yard benchrest shoot on Boxing day so I should have a full report for January’s Target Shooter. The Polish F Class team were already using the rest but it will be equally of interest to rimfire and centrefire benchrest shooters. Again, Poland being part of the EEC, importing should be cheaper and easier.
concentricity gauge, arbour press, scope level The Sanders are set to manufacture a number etc. They have a website under construction at of accuracy-related products including a www.sanders-shooting.com
he Fito Big Foot Bi-pod Opsrey Rifles have just taken delivery of a consignment of the superb Fito Big Foot bi-pod, but they won’t hang about for long. I’ve used one ...........!! The Censhot bi-pod weighs just 19 ounces, it’s half the weight of the Spanish Fito Big Foot but, at £135 including VAT, it’s a
great bi-pod. They are immensely strong with plenty of adjustment. If your rifle is light enough for a bi-pod weighing over a kilo, you won’t find a better one than the Fito Big Foot. Check out www.ospreyrifles.com
BR England is now the UK distributor for the Spanish Bergara barrels.
Bergara have invested a huge amount into mechanising the barrel-making process, to permit the economy of mass production, whilst maintaining accuracy and to that end have relied extensively on the legendary Ed Shilen as their consultant. The production process is pretty straight forward but executed to fine tolerances. The solid bar, from which the barrel is formed, is determined to be straight to a deviation of less than four thousandths of an inch before the deep drilling of the bore commences. The bore is then diamond honed to a mirror finish, before being button rifled. See video www. bergarabarrels.com . Note consistency of the bore, when checked with a dial-gauge. The internal finish is very good – as good as any I have seen with the bore-scope and they should be comparable in performance with any other match-grade barrel but for about half the price. GBR’s first shipment contained all stainless, fluted, barrels in calibres .22, 6mm/.243,
6.5mm, and .30, and all in the more popular faster twist rates. These barrels are in Remington Varmint, and Standard Sporter profiles and the next shipment will include chrome-moly, and a selection of pre-fit barrels in popular chamberings. GBR also released their 100% British rifle action earlier this year and now offer homegrown recoil-lugs, Picatinny-style scope-rails, magazine bottom-metals and competition-type trigger-guards. GBR aim to eventually supply from stock, most of the components gunsmiths need to facilitate the build of precision rifles, without the frustrations of import and at competitive prices. GBR’s Graham Glover can be contacted on 01606 79029 or 07866 830433, or via their web-site www.GBREngland.co.uk for availability, prices and detailed specification.
ECRETS OF MENTAL MARKSMANSHIP the authors emphasise, a law-enforcement tactical team member or soldier invariably finds his worst ..... How to Fire Perfect Shots By Linda K. Miller and Keith A. Cunningham training performance is superior to that produced
Published 2010 by Paladin Press, Boulder, Colorado. ISBN 13: 978-1-58160-721-5. Large size paperback, 208 pages. Available from Amazon.com ($34.95), and in the UK from Prospect Books UK (www.gunbooks.co.uk) catalogue number NB224 at £21.75. If I’m asked to recommend books for the competition shooter, it’s hard to give an answer as there are no ‘right’ books for everybody – different disciplines employ very different skills-sets. However, one thing that every competition shooter employs – whether aware of doing so or not – is a complex package of mental skills and behaviours to process and co-ordinate the many actions needed to place a pellet, bullet or shot pattern precisely. It’s not confined to competitive shooting: the greater the stress on the individual, the more difficult it becomes to get the mental part right. As
in the stress of a fire-fight, so the higher his game beforehand, the better the chance of surviving a hostile encounter in one piece. Big game - even more so dangerous game - hunters face their own pressures and practical difficulties too. ‘Sports psychology’ isn’t new, specialist coaches have existed in top level sport and many books on competitive shooting give it attention – Nancy Tompkins devotes four chapters in Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting to related subjects. As far as I know though, Secrets of Mental Marksmanship is the only book that deals solely with the subject, moreover written by a couple whose livelihood involves improving professional shooters’ performance. So what is ‘mental marksmanship’? The authors describe it as ... “the process of improving the probability of having a consistent mental performance under pressure and on demand” - a definition that in isolation tells us not a lot. More specifically, they describe it as being able to get into “the zone”, an ideal performance state that sees conscious, subconscious and self-image (confidence, positive attitudes) and more all come together in the shooter’s head to let him/her concentrate on getting the best result for each shot. Legendary American Marine sniper and target shooter Carlos Hathcock recognised this state, his term being ‘in the bubble’ in which he recounts losing awareness of time, surroundings, rain or sun on his body and other people, as he
concentrated 100% on taking the shot. To illustrate ‘the zone’ and allow each element to be described and discussed, a form of Venn diagram is used throughout the book based on three overlapping ovals, ‘the zone’ being the central shared area. When I opened the book and saw variations of this diagram liberally scattered around, I was initially turned off. It reminded me of courses and seminars in a past life where senior management periodically bought into some new (and usually short-lived) wonderprocess dreamt up by management consultants that invariably employed just such a diagram as a central feature. However, get into the book and this feature is relevant and an essential tool used by the authors to describe the elements of a successful mental approach and deal with improving each in turn. As they say, the good news is that they can help people identify such things and provide pointers as to how an individual addresses them to improve performance. The bad news is that the shooter needs to take it from there, working on applying them, usually having to get lots of practice in too. I’ll stress this isn’t a theoretical treatise, full of management speak and psychobabble, rather a ‘how to’ book packed with useful and practical advice. Moreover, it’s extensively illustrated with real-life anecdotes and mini case-studies both from the authors’ extensive personal experience as well as others who are professional firearms users or top competitors. Reading the book and thinking about how it relates to real-life situations, brought to mind the two F/TR
competitors who’ve been head to head all season and who figure prominently in last month’s F-Class European Championship meeting reported at length elsewhere in this issue: re-crowned European F/TR champion Russell Simmonds and newly garlanded GB F/TR league champion, Adam Bagnall. Anybody who’s shot alongside Russell will understand the concept of ‘the zone’, as even before he gets on the firing point he’s moving noticeably into a withdrawn 100% competitive, match winner’s mindset and, once on the point, avoids chatter and distractions. In an interview he once said that in his everyday life, work and sporting shooting, he constantly studies the wind and his surroundings judging what the conditions are doing and envisaging how he would cope with them in a long-range match. On the face of it, Adam seems more laid-back, but an incident in this meeting showed his mental strengths. His disastrous start to Saturday when he had two misses would have destroyed most shooters confidence, some probably dropping out of the match. Instead, he calmly bore-sighted the rifle and got ‘on’ with his first to count but at the cost of four points from the resulting ‘one’. Few would have had a good match after this setback, but he recovered rapidly and only two more points were lost over the remaining 14 shots - performance in line with that of the top competitors. While openly admitting afterwards to being furious with himself over making such a serious mistake (changing ammunition between matches), he didn’t let it influence his subsequent performance in this or subsequent matches. The book’s authors own and run the MilCun Training Centre (http://www.milcun.com) an Ontario based firearms training facility and shooting range complex whose bread and butter work is police tactical and marksmanship training, but also undertake work for the Canadian military and others. Linda Miller is a former Canadian international smallbore shooter who moved into fullbore rifle competition 10 or so years ago. Keith Cunningham has served in both the US and Canadian armies retiring from the latter as a captain, and seeing short-range muzzle to muzzle action as a recon patrol member in Vietnam in the former during 1971. He was a top Canadian military shooter in several disciplines, representing his country abroad and likewise, Linda was involved in coaching and training international level shooters. He is also a gunsmith who builds top-notch sniper and tactical rifles as well as target models. They have another book in print from the same publishers The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters (also available from Prospect Books UK, catalogue number NB214, £18.95) and produce the EZ-Graf wind plotting system and device which I’ll review in the next issue.
UK Dis- Christmas Gift Ideas from tributer
Simply place the gauge on the trigger and pull. Accurately record the results.
A pocket sized portable scale complete and heavy duty belt clip with case. (takes AAA batteries) all you have to do is pour,
clip and your ready to shoot
MTM Digital DS750 Scales £34.50
With a sturdy snap latch
MTM Pellet Pouch
Inludes all items for case prep in one deluxe kit
Lyman Universal Case Prep Kit
Lyman 1200 Tumbler
Comes with a built in sifter lid and
New large square tray accepts primers direct from most modern packages. New curved re-enforced thumb lever for a comfortable and reliable operation
The NEW Lee Autoprime
With a gun cleaning kit on top and a rifle maintenance cleaning stand base, the Range Box Maintenance Centre is the perfect gift.
MTM Shooting Range Box
A multii-function gun vise that tilts and clamps. For the shooter who has everything!
Modern Reloading Manual £13.24
Ideal for the beginner. Contains everything you need to know to reload accurate ammunition. Over 26,000 loads in a new format, with velocities for starting loads.
Lyman Rotating Gun Vise £75.76
Deluxe Die Sets £36.60
The Deluxe die set includes a collet neck sizing die, full length sizing die and bullet seating die. This die set gives you the option to produce neck sized or fully resized ammunition according to your requirements.
Scopecoat is practical, inexpensive protection for all your optics while in storage or in use Scopecoat is essential scope protection. Prices starting from £12.26
Tel: 01977 681639 email: email@example.com Fax: 01977 684272
Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road,
12 Target Shooter
nschutz Pellet Safety Box £3.70. A god-send for anyone who has ever opened their shooting bag or pocket to find their tin of pellets has opened and spilled the contents inside! From www.intershoot.co.uk
CATT Trainer £890 If you feel like splashing out the SCATT system if the ultimate training tool for rifle or pistol. Laser sensors show your faults and where you can improve. From www. intershoot.co.uk
nschutz Trigger Glove Short The ahg-trigger glove SHORT improves the grip between stock and hand. Using Mesh material and wind stopper fleece in the back of the hand, an even temperature
balance is achieved. The palm of the hand is made from soft and cuddly Alcantex material with silicone burling to increase the grip and still preserve the feeling on the stock. Material: 50 % Polyester, 25 % Polyamide, 25 % Polyurethane contact your local dealer for prices
nschutz Shooting jacket X-DRY Ventilation - suede leather on the front left part as well as Top Grip pad on the supporting arm improves the grip when in standing position - X-DRY Ventilation material in the back improves air circulation and avoids heat accumulation inside the jacket; the inner lining on these parts is perforated in order to optimize temperature compensation - soft leather with air holes as well as 2 shoulder straps reduce material bulges when in prone position and guarantee best possible fit of the hook butt in the shoulder - the sling attachment has numerous holes and can thus be adjusted individually in height and sideways - individual fit by help of flat aluminum buttons - stretch material on the upper left arm provides more flexibility of the supporting arm - inner lining is made from perforated material for better air compensation
Material: 70 % canvas, 16 % leather, 3 % PES, 6 % PAD, 5 % PVC contact your local dealer for prices
Calendar of events over the next few months
4 & 11 Dec Day 4 and Day 5 of Probationary Members Course that started on 6 Nov (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This course is primarily a course in safe handling and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. Each course consists of five separate lessons. Course date to be allocated once entry conditions are fulfilled. http://www.nsc-bisley.co.uk/common/ asp/courses/courses.asp?site=NSC Contact Heather Webb via the NRA 4 Dec Gallery Rifle Xmas Shoot and Social (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Come to the final gathering of 2010 for the Gallery Rifle community! This festive event has plenty of shooting - with a twist - and a splendid dinner and grand prizegiving that has never failed to impress! Contact Brian Thomas via the NRA 5 Dec Civilian Service Rifle competition (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Civilian Service Rifle competitions are held throughout the year. Contact Mark Bradley for further information via the NRA 5 Dec 2010 Plymouth & District SBRL 2x50m Tel: 01752 406287 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
5 Dec Scottish PA 10m pistol GP2 Fairlie Quay Marina, Fairli, KA29 0AS Tel: 01475 560055 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.scottishpistolassociation. co.uk/ 11 Dec NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot. Targets have been booked on Melville. Open to all full members of the NRA who have completed and returned the registration form which is available by clicking on the link below. If you would like to attend you must book in at least a week in advance by contacting Heather Webb. Contact Charles Perry via the NRA 18 Dec Highpower Rifle Competition (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Contact Mark Bradley via the NRA
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. Target Shooter
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
The Digital Media Revolution for Shooting Sports - by Carl Boswell
Wow! The last six months have really seen massive developments in both computer software and hardware. As I write this article on my iPad, I am reviewing a number of applications (apps) for use on this amazing machine. We are coming up to Christmas so a shooting-related app could make an interesting gift. The iPad - a clever extension of the iPhone - is the product that Apple say we have been waiting for a long time! Some say it’s just a large iPhone but it’s a lot cleverer than that! Since we launched Target Shooter magazine, we knew that sooner or later that a ‘tablet’ type of computer would not be far away. Critics in the shooting press panned Target Shooter as something of a fad - a digital anomaly that would not last. Well, quite a few of these magazines have had to take the plunge and go digital – so go figure who got it right! Not surprisingly however, we are still the only free on-line shooting magazine. Coming back to the iPad - it’s very portable, fast and can have 3G connectivity - although Wi-fi is more than suitable given the hotspots around this country, Europe and the rest of the world. Plus this is how most household broadband now works, so you can use it anywhere in the home. The sharpness of the screen is second to none, internet access is fast and sharp via the wi-fi connection, the ability to have specialised apps is amazing (we will get onto these soon) plus it knocks all net books off the shelf for functionality - just a few of it’s features. Obviously you can tell I am a convert but the smaller iPhone is almost as good if you want something more compact. The one drawback to using the iPad is the fact that like all Apple computers, it does not enable flash products or web content. This is a massive drawback to the whole technology community and to us at Target Shooter, as our magazine is basically run using flash as the Target Shooter 15
basis for the magazine product. However, we use pdf versions of the magazine for iPad and other Apple computers, as it is like other ‘slide’ magazine viewers developed specifically for the iPad when used with an app called Goodreader - again, more later. But, enough of the computer 16 Target Shooter
tech-geek stuff for now. We are hoping soon to remedy the flip-book issue for the iPad without the use of specialised apps. Books, books and more books So let’s review a few of the things we can do
being updated all the time, with some of next year’s issues coming online now. Some of the titles currently on offer are: • Professional Target Shooter’s Diary & Journal • I l l u s t r a t i v e Marksmanship Training Manual • The Black Powder Cartridge News with the iPad which will be of use to the target • Gun Digest 2011 shooting community. As we are coming up to • The Gun Digest Book of The AR-15 Christmas, there is nothing better than a good • Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle book to keep you busy if you are confined to the house over the holiday period. The Amazon app Barnes and Noble, as well as Google e-books, introduces the Kindle digital book resources to also have this facility available for mobile the iPad. This is brilliant as it means that all the downloads with a similar range of books Kindle digital books being sold on Amazon are available. Both have apps for the iPad or iPhone now available to you. or even other branded smart phones. Not all are To be honest they are far better than the range of digital books for enthusiasts of target shooting via Apple’s iBook facility. They are generally cheaper too! It’s just like buying products on Amazon normally, so if you have done this before it’s a simple process. The choice of books is the same title so it may be worth having a look on their websites as well to see what is available. Do remember the e-book is still relatively new, with no clear winner of the ‘format wars’. Clearly, a larger inventory of books and even magazines will develop over the next year or so.
Extending on from this, a nice thing about the net is the free resources in a number of formats, ranging from the specialist Kindle and flash-based magazines, to the standard pdf type of file that can be saved as a library using a pdf viewer like the Goodreader app. (This is the pdf viewer we recommend to view and store your copies of Target Shooter magazine on your iPad – a simply brilliant app for about £1.50). The positive thing about the iPad is that all your shooting-related resources are all in one place, on an excellent viewer, that looks and feels not unlike a Filofax. There are lots of resources and facilities out there, both free and paid for. Lastly, for this part, 20th Century Small Arms is a nice little reference resource with lots of pictures, information and resources as a stand-alone app instead of a book. The price for this is very cheap when you consider the alternative CD and paper alternatives - see last page for screen shot.
out. We have seen a few in Target Shooter recently for the iPhone and its big brother the iPad. The first one on offer for all ISSF shooters out there is the ISSF app - funnily enough! This is a nice product that really just links to the official ISSF website. In common with most of these types of apps, it functions well for what it does and allows the user to go directly to the resources they would like to view. It’s actually designed for the iPhone but works on the iPad with a lower resolution. There are other apps under the ISSF banner, which are training aids for movement, sequence and timed shooting. Worth having a look.
Shooting Log is exactly what it say - a product that allows the user to record their progress in a variety of shooting sports under the heading of Prone, Kneeling, Standing and Sitting. So basically covering a multitude of sins and everything you would shoot. This again is an iPhone app but works just as well on the iPad. The obvious advantage of having it on Target shooting related apps the iPhone is the portability, as it is just like an Moving towards this festive season, I have electronic notebook – that’s the thing I like about looked for a few shooting-specific apps over the modern phones - they are a diary, notebook, last few months as number have recently come computer, etc). The product is simple to use and 18 Target Shooter
Remote PC as seen on the iPad easy to access, putting in dates and information - such as scores, etc. In essence it is a notebook and has a simple approach but as it is free, you cannot argue with the fact that it is not that sophisticated. weeks. What I would like see is a good ballistics calculator and information app for both rimfire and air rifle, as these are some of the most widely used sporting firearms in the world but generally neglected by the ballistics programmers. Something like the Winchester Ballistics app but for rimfire and/or air rifle, that has facilities to add data like wind-drift, temperature, incline, distance, etc. This coupled with a velocity data calculator would be a very useful tool indeed. Any budding app writer out there want to give it a try?
Shooting Diary is a paid for alternative to the one mentioned above but far more sophisticated. This app is designed for a number of mobile devices, including the iPad. It is an inexpensive app designed for ISSF shooters and it would service most of their needs for recording training and competition shooting. I use this one myself as it allows me to record three target scores, Additional apps adding notes and thoughts, etc. A number of others apps I personally like and find useful, especially on my phone, are the Shot Plot is a further development and more thermometer, true level (very handy), met office expensive shot-assessment and plot-manager. (so you can see what is coming - I found this So it depends what you want. Although most handy in the Czech Republic earlier this year), apps are either free or up to the five-pound units conversion, clinometer and a number of mark, you can end up buying a lot and using other calculation utilities. The only one I have none. So look and decide what you need for not been successful with is a good anemometer, your particular sport. There are usually review as they have just not worked! However, a few pages to look at before you commit to buy. more have recently come out, so I might treat There a variety of other apps, such as the myself! ballistics calculators we have seen reviewed Another nice app, if you are using a PC based in Target Shooter over the last few months and computer is RemotePC. The wi fi version is free there are others being released every couple of - nice! This allows you to work on your PC via Target Shooter 19
the iPad through the wi fi in your home. (There viewing in the New Year.) is a version that allows you to work over the Lastly, Guns & Ammo Point of Impact really is Internet but I believe this costs). just a nice little game for a bit of fun when you have five minutes. I download this just for a Now we are getting into geek-speak again so laugh and it is fun. This last one was in fact free, apologies but the app allows you to interface like a few of the others mentioned above. Like with your PC via the desktop, so your PC all apps they can be bought by you or gifted, so desktop as you normally see it appears on your you can even ask for them for a special day that iPad. Cool, but for what purpose? Well it will is coming soon. For the dads out there it has to allow you to work from your bed, your loading be better than socks! room, your living room or anywhere in your home but it is also a very good way to access What of the future? flash-based products from your iPad. Yes I know For those of you without such a digital device, flash does not work on the iPad but it isn’t - its do watch out in the New Year for the Blackberry working on the PC and you are viewing it and Playbook. Unlike other Smart products that interacting with in the same way you would from have come out, this will probably not be on a your normal computer. contract and ready for direct purchase like the Depending on your wi fi speed, viewing is iPad. It is smaller than the iPad but some of excellent and I have uploaded this month’s Target the specifications are supposed to be better. Shooter via my iPad as I can be anywhere in the Plus it will be flash enabled. (It has an Android house to do this - if you get my drift! It’s easy to operating system, and internet viewing will be set up, just creating an account, so you do not just like your PC). need to be a computer wizard to work this one. So, if you if you want to view Target Shooter as I have seen the recently launched Galaxy Tab a digital flip book on the iPad, now you can. (We but only to use it for about twenty minutes while hope to bring you more news on iPad magazine- shopping. It is a lot smaller than the iPad, but has a lot of great features. Although a phone as well, it can be bought off contract?! The Tab has also had its price reduced at most retailers by about £100 to £449 at the time of going to print. It is 3G, but this can be expensive to run, wi-fi is more than adequate. The Galaxy Tab, like the Blackberry Playbook, will have some good selling points but the price is the key thing when compared to the iPad’s starting price of £429, although they have better specifications than the basic iPad!! I am guessing prices might even go lower to help compete against the iPad!! The Android operating system has a lot more of the market than Apple and there are thousands of apps out there for both platforms. If I had my choice I would go for an android system at this time, but would want it with a slightly bigger screen. I hope to review one of these new products in the New Year. For those on the cheap, PC World do sell the Advent Vega Internet Tablet - Android format - at £249. I am not sure how good this is, but I guess you get what you pay for !! Samsung Have a great Christmas and let’s see what Galaxy technology the New Year brings us........ Tab 20 Target Shooter
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The 2010 European F Class Championships – sponsored by Tim Hannam By Vince Bottomley
For this, the third European F Class Championships at Bisley Ranges, we were fortunate to have some very generous sponsorship, not only from our title sponsor Tim Hannam but also from RUAG, who provided us with a Nightforce scope, Sightron who donated two scopes, Aimfield Sports for shooting mats and drag-bags and Fox Firearms, Osprey Rifles and Dolphin Gun Company who assisted with printing, administration and other ancillary costs. It’s marvellous to finally see the trade becoming involved with our sport and long may it continue. In turn, we will endeavour to provide sponsors with as much publicity and exposure as possible and we hope that even more trade members will come on-board in 2011. This year’s trade show was a welcome addition and proved very popular, particularly with overseas competitors, many of whom seized the opportunity to stock up on consumables before making the journey
home. We thank you all, most sincerely for your contribution and look forward to your continued support and welcoming new sponsors for next year’s event. In the true spirit of shooting and the F Class Association, I should also mention that Ukrainian shooter Dmytro Hrymaluk gave two prizes of hunting trips to the Ukraine to the winners of Open and F/TR Classes – a very generous gesture. In addition, our very own David Kent donated a magnificent silver cup to the winners of the Teams event. History The GB F Class Association was founded on a cold morning in November 2005 at Bisley ranges. A programme of League shoots at three venues throughout Great Britain followed in 2006 with all shooting contested at long range – from 800 to 1000 yards. A separate division for the F/TR Class
Bisley is resplendent in her autumn colours and the stage is set – for the biggest F Class shoot in the world
Organiser, Mik Maksimovic oversees the presentation of awards in the trade tent – a welcome new feature this year
was included in 2007 and these two Classes are now equally supported numbers-wise with well over 100 shooters taking part in the League every year. The final shoot of the League is traditionally held at Bisley and is dubbed ‘The Autumn Challenge’. A few continental shooters, mainly from Germany and Holland started to join us, then the French, the Spanish, the Scandinavians, the Ukrainians, the Poles......... the Autumn Challenge became ‘The Europeans’ and in three short years it has evolved into the largest F Class shoot anywhere in the world with 160 shooters from eleven nations entered in this year’s event. With our regular scribe Laurie Holland and our own Vince Bottomley taking part, Target Shooter can bring you the full inside story of the 2010 Europeans. In addition, we have attempted to photograph every shooter and there are plenty of photographs on the Photobucket website at http://s912.photobucket.com/home/laurieh2 An event of this size involves massive organisation and commitment but, inevitably, it comes down to one man to oversee and co-ordinate (i.e. kick ass) and that man is Mik Maksimovic, founder of the GB F Class Association and member of the all-conquering 2009 GB Team who won the Gold Medal at Bisley, soundly beating the Americans. shooter and fortunately he somehow manages to squeeze in a shoot as well as carrying out his many duties as organiser. For the record, Mik placed a creditable eleventh in this year’s Open category. Before we come to the competition itself you, like me, might be wondering just what is involved running an event of this size? I’ll let Mik tell us in his own words..........
Planning & running the Europeans Where do I start? Well, we have already booked the ranges and the markers for 2011, spoken to the Range Officers and other staff involved to ensure that they are happy to help next year, so that is clearly one of the first jobs - as soon as we have the date of the shoot confirmed. The next job is to go through the large number of e-mails I receive from the GB F Class Committee to see what, if anything, we can do to improve things for the following year. The event gets bigger every year and we must plan around the expected growth to ensure that we have enough target space and markers. Then, in the week following the event, we start organising all the other bits that go with it. It’s essential to get the entry forms out as soon as possible, so this is one of the first jobs, plus all the other paperwork - which no one ever bothers Mik is also an NRA Trustee and sits on the NRA to read! We must contact our growing number Shooting Committee as F Class representative. of overseas visitors regarding their UK Firearm Needless to say, Mik is an avid long-range Permits and we then field hundreds of e-mails
Karen’s stats caravan – always popular with competitors
regarding permits, accommodation, training days, reloading components etc. etc. etc. This year we had great support from the trade (as Vince has outlined previously) with some new sponsors on-board. All sponsors must be contacted and their involvement noted and agreed and of course letters of gratitude sent, following the event. I am fortunate that I am a Bisley-based shooter and fairly well known on Camp, so normally a trip round the clubs etc. manages to sort out most things - mainly making them aware that they will be busy on the weekend of the Europeans. I did make one boo-boo this year and forgot to inform the restaurant in the clay shooting pavilion – which is closest to Stickledown range and so very popular with competitors - hence they ran out of food so, for those who went hungry, I apologise! In the run up to the event, things naturally get chaotic - from e-mails and calls asking “How many rounds do I need?” (Please, read the paperwork with the entry form!) to “Any idea what the weather is going to be like?” and other questions which are clearly outside my field of knowledge! Then all the paperwork has to be printed, collated and transported to Bisley. This was more involved this year as we decided to issue some rather smart ‘goody bags’ to all competitors. The bags themselves had to be chosen and printed
with sponsors’ logos; score-cards were also sponsored and sponsors’ literature had to be assembled and placed in the bags – all 160 of ’em - together with last-minute instructions and essential information. Finally, awards and medals must be purchased and engraved and we always try and book someone famous to give out the prizes but inevitably end up with a member of the NRA hierarchy! For some reason, we never seem to get a reply from Victoria Beckham or Sean Connery but thankfully Iain Robertson, Chairman of the NRA Shooting Committee, stepped-in to help us out and though not as pretty as our first choice, he is cheap and available and did a fine job on the day! The whole thing takes months of organising and I like to spend the whole of the week before the event based at Bisley. This enables me to ensure that everything is happening as it should and to welcome and organise some ad-hoc shooting for those overseas competitors who also choose to arrive a week early! Once we have got through the official practice day (Thursday) and everyone has started shooting, things tend to get a little easier. We still get asked lots of really important questions though, like “Any idea what the wind’s going to be like tomorrow?” and “Did anyone else have vertical problems?” Or even “Do you think we could start
More tea Grommit? The girls did a fantastic job and also boosted Association funds
a little later tomorrow as my wife wants me to take her to the shops first?” Fortunately, we have very few protests or incidents to deal with as our Chief Range Officer and his crew are able to handle most of them on-range. Basically you are wrong unless you can convince him otherwise! A fair system, which we don’t intend to change. It’s not until the very last detail of the match is down and shooting that I can relax – it’s nearly over! Invariably, with the pressure off, I always tend to shoot my best on the last detail. Stats. is down to Bisley’s Karen Robertson, editor of the NRA journal, who is ensconced in a tiny caravan near the clock tower. Karen has the results out PDQ soon after each match finishes, so that’s easy for me - just leave Karen to it, passing her the odd pizza under the door, which of course we keep locked! We tell Karen this is to stop people bothering her, little does she know.............. For our social evening, on the Saturday, we had a change this year from the London & Middlesex, and went to the Army Target Rifle Clubhouse for a hot buffet and a few drinks. It was extremely good and there were two choices - curry or no curry! We had omitted to cater for our vegetarian and non-curry eating member but for next year he will have a third choice - probably salad! To round-off the evening, we had our very own firework display on Stickledown – it was Bonfire Night afterall!
Sunday morning - the final day and now only the Teams Match to go. That falls into place fairly easily and just sort of happens without much input from me, as by now everyone knows what’s expected of them but I will let Laurie Holland expand on that aspect. So there you have it in a nutshell, what it takes to organise a major F Class Event. I will finish by saying a big ‘thank-you’ to everyone involved – competitors, helpers and the tea ladies - in making it the shooting and social event of the F Class year. See you all for the start of next season at Diggle in April. The competition This year, Laurie Holland took the brave step to shoot his 223 F Class rifle in the biggest shoot of the year – he was the only one to use such a tiny calibre! Laurie was rewarded with a fantastic 17th place in F/TR and also won Silver as a member of the GB F /TR B Team. As if that wasn’t enough, he also won the draw for the Nightforce scope donated by RUAG UK! But, I’ll let Laurie tell you the story of the shoot in his own words: The individual European Championship matches saw five ‘stages’, one at 800, and two each at 900 and 1000 yards. With the thousand-yarders involving 20 rounds but all others 15, the longest range matches had an enhanced influence on
Russell Simmonds on his way to his second European F/TR Championship
overall placings, as well as providing the hardest challenge. Team matches comprised 30 score rounds split between 900 and 1000 yards. While domestic GBFCA League match entries have seen a growing bias to F/TR, the Europeans restored ‘Open’ class’s numeric primacy with 87 Open to 64 F/TR competitors, squadded into three relays - two dedicated to a single class and one mixed. Shooting partners, allocated targets and the relays’ shooting order changed with each match. Weather forecasts earlier in the week were unsettling but, in the event, only the Thursday practice sessions saw very strong winds. Friday started with medium strength south-westerlies (from around 5 o’clock on the range) that became lighter and moved around to north to north-west over succeeding days, becoming an almost fishtailing headwind on Saturday afternoon just to make conditions ‘really interesting’. Friday produced the only heavy rain of the meeting, fortunately only in the morning and affecting Match 1 alone. So, to the matches! I’ll try to give a personal view as an F/TR competitor as well as report on the overall picture and what the real hotshots were doing. As noted, Match 1 (900 yards) on the Friday morning was weather affected. The main group of ‘Open’ competitiors, who shot first, largely escaped the wet but at the cost of suffering quite strong and variable winds from five o’clock. The second relay (F/TR) began in drizzle and light rain turning into a downpour half way through and
the third (mixed) relay probably got the least bad conditions with drizzle dying away and little wind. Coincidentally or otherwise, F/TR stage winner Andrew Burgess was on this relay, although I hold anybody who scores 73.6v with a .308 at this distance in the greatest respect irrespective of conditions! In ‘Open’, only Grant Taylor managed to hold it all together in the tricky quartering wind with 75.8v ahead of no less than 13 competitors on 74 led by Greg Thompson with 10 ‘V’s! For the unfortunates (including me) on Relay 2, there were serious difficulties in seeing the targets, as well as the usual struggle to keep the rain out of the action and the ammunition dry. Wind reading wasn’t an issue – the flags were all but invisible but fortunately the wind apparently steadied during the rain. Despite the dire conditions, some good scores were still posted on the relay with Steve Donaldson producing 71.3v for second stage place, and Adam Bagnall leading a pack of shooters scoring 70 with ‘V’count of eight. I thought my 69.3v ‘heroic’ given the conditions, but that was only good enough for 12th place. Match 2, 20 shots at 1000, had much better visibility and temperatures but suffered from that pesky quartering left wind that Bisley regulars assure me is ‘difficult’. There were some dramatic changes in individual fortunes, especially in Open where the top three rose from lowly positions in Match 1, winner Tony Marsh on 97.6v moving up no less than 68 places and runners-up Les Bacon (96.3v) and Adam Brough (95.9v) 46 and
Target Shooter scribe Laurie Holland was the only F/TR shooter to use the 223 – could his performance inspire a few more?
49 respectively. The conditions also resulted in some impressive ‘falls’ for Match 1 stars, with David Kent, David Lloyd and Damien Meehan slipping down the leader board. However, at the close of play on day one, Grant Taylor had put in two excellent performances to lead the field on 170.13v having only dropped five points out of a possible 175.35v, ahead of Andy Wyspianski on 169.11v, with Greg Thompson and Anthony Dunne down a single point on him. Moving onto F/TR at 1000 yards, the tricky wind conditions reduced the top scores rather more than in ‘Open’, but John Cross still took the match cleanly with a superb 94.8 three points clear of Vince Bottomley and putting him second equal with Adam Bagnall (90.8v) on the overnight break, the pair sharing an aggregate score of 160.11v. However, the man of the moment was Vince who led the class on 161.9v after putting in two excellent performances of 70.3v and 91.6v. What about the reigning World and European F/TR Champion, Russell Simmonds? He was apparently a bit off his stroke on an aggregate 157.8v but, coming up from behind as the finishing line approaches, is a Simmonds’ speciality - to borrow a horseracing analogy. Me? This wind condition is my Bisley bête noire and I had a series of ‘line-cutter’ threes mid-match to end up on 77.3v in 39th place. Minor consolations were some of the good shooters keeping me company in the high-70s, low 80s bracket, but the .223’s ‘elevations’ remained superb throughout the match.
never shot at Bisley in this condition, but reckoned it had to be an improvement, this proving so to my relief! It was never particularly strong, but continued to veer round becoming a fishtailing near headwind by afternoon – easily able to take points away, especially in F/TR at 900 and 1000 yards. Match 3 (800 yards) started early with relatively light winds and produced high scores as you’d expect at this level of competition. Open produced 19 (yes, that’s right, NINETEEN!) possibles with Jo Cleave and Maurice Harnby sharing 10 ‘V’s, Jo getting the stage medal on countback; Mark Daish the other podium-place, a ‘V’ behind. The overnight leaders had apparently done poorly if you only looked at their match positions but Greg Thompson was one of those to ‘clean’ the stage, and Messrs Taylor and Dunne had only dropped one point each, barely affecting overall positions.
F/TR saw some good scores too, but Les Dawson alone ‘cleaned’ this match on 75.9v ahead of seven competitors on 74 led by Paul Harkins who also shot 9 ‘V’s fending off Russell Simmonds on 7. Other notable performances were 74s from quiet spoken Irishman and GB-FCA League regular Liam Fenlon, visitor Maksim Semonovykh, John Snellin and last year’s overall lowest placed F/TR entrant, Nick Steadman. Overnight leader Vince Bottomley was one of the dozen on 73, still holding onto the overall lead with his closest rival Adam Bagnall having had a disastrous time caused by an ammunition change, resulting in two missed sighters and a ‘one’ for his first score shot after boresighting the rifle – 69.2v. Saturday dawned colder and brighter, the wind Oh dear! Oh dear! John Cross had dropped a few having moved to the 10 or 11 o’clock position. I’d points too and was down in 33rd match place on
Grant Taylor, GBFCA Champion and European Champion shooting his home-smithed BAT in 284 Shehane
71.5v – astonishing given that F/TR score for 15 at 800 yards would almost certainly have given a top ten place a season or two back! I shot 72.7v for 22nd, reasonable but nothing like good enough for 800yd in this company, nevertheless very happy to get the improvement over Match 2. Match 4, the second 900 yards competition of the meeting, saw unusually pleasant conditions for November, but many competitors will remember it for a light but constantly shifting wind from 1011 o’clock. In ‘Open’, Grant Taylor again cleaned the stage on 75.6v, but lost the winner’s medal to Dan Brough by a single ‘V’, the only other shooter with a ‘possible’. Scores were generally a point or two down on the previous day’s 900 yard event with only four 74s, led by David Kent on eight ‘V’s ahead of Mark Daish, Adam Brough and German visitor Detlef Wulff. Of the previous day’s top performers, Les Bacon
was still in the groove with 73.7v, but Tony Marsh was suffering on 71.3v. Russell Simmonds was back on form in F/TR and metaphorically steaming down the outside of the field, his 74.7v right up with the top ‘Open’ scores and a full three points clear of challenger Adam Bagnall and German shooter Hermann Scherf. Hermann shoots an almost entirely home-made rifle whose appearance is, shall we say ‘unusual’. Andrew Burgess on 70.7v led a large group with 69s and 70s, my score falling into the lower category. But where was overnight leader Vince Bottomley? It was his turn to have a poor match ending up in 27th place on 66.3v, the loss of five points to Adam and nine to Russell a serious setback. Mutters started in F/TR of points lost to elevation shifts caused by wind strength variations which were difficult to spot on the shallow flag angles, a problem that was to intensify at 1000 yards.
Stickledown’s 800 yard firing-point on Saturday morning 28 Target Shooter
Team Germany’s plotter
Match 5, a 2+20 at 1000 yards, was to be the top places’ decider in both categories with three shooters in each still capable of taking the top slot. In F/TR, Russell Simmonds was setting the pace again and rarely succumbs to pressure, but even so Adam Bagnall and Vince Bottomley were still in the race even if they each needed to pull out six extra points over their arch rival, a big but not impossible challenge. The match started straight after the midday break at 1.30pm sharp in good light, comfortable temperatures and a light fishtailing headwind the main F/TR relay first on the line. Adam and Vince responded magnificently taking first and second places on superb scores of 95 and 94 respectively, both with five ‘V’s – ahead of Russell, but not by enough! His sixth place on 91.5v gave him the F/ TR European championship title by a single point over Adam, and two over Vince. It was a doubly bitter disappointment for the latter as not only had a major event win slipped from his grasp, but the near certainty of leaving Bisley with a stage medal for that impressive 94 in Match 5 evaporated on discovering Adam had done the seemingly impossible to score an extra point. (Gary Cousins
had matched his 94.5v too, but lost second place on countback.) In case anybody thinks conditions must have been ‘easy’, many good F/TR shooters were down in the mid 80s on this relay. I was delighted to get 90.5v and 8th place with the .223, a single marginal three spoiling an otherwise excellent shoot. So, in F/TR that was it, Russell Simmonds European F/TR Champion for the second year in a row, Adam and Vince barely behind in one of the closest class finishes of the year. Northern shooter Stephen Lynch was fourth after five really solid performances, the almost equally reliable Andrew Burgess just behind in fifth. So, that leaves ‘Open’ class and the battle for the 2010 F-Class European championship, the key contenders shooting on the last relay of the meeting in deteriorating light and conditions. As in F/TR there was a clear pre-match aggregate leader, Grant Taylor, but Dan Brough would take the top slot if he overtook Grant by four or more points and Andy Wyspianski could do it with a margin of five. None took the top final match positions, these going to Horst Mitera with a phenomenal 99.8v
Rutland Cup winners: the Sixes - Martin Miles, Russ Gall, their coach and Swedes Robert Persson and Christer Jacobsson
ahead of Jim de Kort on 98.5v. Peter Hunt was third on a great 97.7v that helped him get fourth aggregate place but, it was too little, too late to have any chance of getting ahead of the top three. Grant’s 93.8v for a relatively lowly 20th match place was more than enough to keep the overall lead and stay two aggregate points ahead of Andy (95.5v, 9th match position) and Dan on 94.5v. Messrs Lloyd, Dunne, Daish and Thompson followed closely on the leading quartet’s heels, so close there was literally only a single point between competitors down to 8th place. So, congratulations to Grant Taylor as 2010/11 European F-Class Champion. In the fast fading light of a late November
The victorious GB Open Team
Like a well-oiled machine! The victorious GB F/TR team - Adam Bagnall shooting, George Barnard coaching, Stuart Anselm plotting
afternoon, as we rubbernecked the throng around the provisional results sheets, I was taken by surprise by GB F/TR team captain Stuart Anselm tossing out the words: “Laurie, you’re shooting tomorrow. Team meeting in Canada House in quarter of an hour!” as he hurried past. Unbeknown to me, a decision had been made to field a second British F/TR team and I was trigger pulling instead of plotting or register keeping. The Sunday morning Team matches are a serious but good natured battle for four cups – F-Class and F/TR European Championships, the Rutland Cup and the longstanding GB v Germany Challenge Cup. The first two are restricted to nominated national teams, eight shooter-strong in Open and four in F/TR (but F/TR will be eight from 2011). The home nation fielded two Open teams and Germany and Ireland one each. In F/TR, GB again had two squads with one each from Germany, Spain, Ireland and Holland. The Rutland saw nine four-shooter teams, not necessarily nationally based (the conquering ‘Sixes’ squad being multinational, members shooting 6mm calibre rifles). Stopping here for a moment, this team took the Rutland with a clear win over the
Les Holgate (foreground) gazes in amazement at Ian Dixon’s bi-pod and stock - allegedly made from an old wardrobe!
‘Northern Lights’ (Scottish shooters) and the Ukraine who put up a very strong performance for near newcomers to Bisley. Sixes member Christer Jacobsson from Norway has to get a special mention shooting ‘possibles’ in both matches, the only shooter to achieve this (with the little Tubb 6XC cartridge, making it even more remarkable). Conditions were again good - clear, mostly sunny, light but variable northerly headwinds, its direction also pulling temperatures right down compared to those of previous days and making it feel more like early November. As with shooting throughout the weekend, a combination of individual shooter discipline, top-rate match planning, and excellent firing-line management by the NRA Range Officers saw the matches proceed smoothly and be completed in a remarkably short time. I should also mention target-marking - fast and to a high standard throughout, a key element in making a major tournament like this work well. The GB
teams took first and second places in both ‘Open’ and F/TR, Germany third in both, only three points down on GB ‘B’ in ‘Open’, but 35 behind GB ‘Blue’ in F/TR. As a team shooting virgin on GB F/TR Blue, I was more nervous early on Sunday than I’d been at any stage during the individual matches and much less sure just what I should be doing than any of my team-mates, who all had experience of this part of the art. After all, ‘dolloping’ in an individual shoot is one thing but now you could let your teammates and even country down! There was an undercurrent of nervousness from my fellow team members - partly due to my lack of experience but also shooting a .223. “We’ll let you shoot first to get the lightest winds with the pea-shooter” wouldn’t have inspired confidence had I not now acquired a missionary’s unshakeable faith in my equipment given my campaign to
Ramon Fito’s bi-pod is very strong but a little heavy – over a kilo
A new solid carbon-fibre stock from Spain
persuade F/TR .308W pagans to walk the path of true righteousness! In any event, I and the .223 Savage did just fine with scores right on the team average. Once I’d relaxed a little, I enjoyed the string-shooter’s freedom to get shots off really quickly if we felt the conditions were holding, plus other team members’ coaching assistance, a new and liberating experience – thank you Steve and Ian. Epilogue Big events like the Europeans always throw-up lots of interesting kit and of course rests and bi-pods were no exception. There were some ingenious efforts and clearly some competitors are spending too much time in the workshop at the expense of range time! When will some genius build a wind-reading machine that turns my scope-turret...........???
Vorsprung durch technik? This German bi-pod is adjusted with a joystick
Vince’s blown primer – that primer-pocket is 12 thou. oversize!
For those who haven’t the facilities to make things, there were a few new ‘production’ bi-pods. I was trying the American Censhot carbon-fibre ‘pod (www.censhot.com) and there is a full write-up elsewhere in this issue.
Spanish shooter, Ramon Fito has already sold a good number of his Big Foot and Small Foot ‘pods (see www.fitoforceproducts.blogspot.com) to UK shooters and several were in evidence. I also saw a prototype of a new British ‘pod which will
Top Ten Individual European Championship Results 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 F‐Class F/TR Russell Simmonds Adam Bagnall Vince Bottomley Stephen Lynch Andrew Burgess Adrian Casey Stephen Doyle Gary Cousins Liam Fenlon John Cross
Grant Taylor Andy Wyspianski Daniel Brough Peter Hunt David Lloyd Anthony Dunne Mark Daish Greg Thompson Gary Costello Peter Hobson
412.37v 410.30v 410.27v 409.31v 408.28v 407.25v 406.26v 405.34v 405.28v 405.24v
396.27v 395.23v 394.22v 391.17v 389.23v 388.18v 386.21v 386.16v 385.16v 384.21v
Full results are listed on the GBFCA website at www.f‐class.org.uk
34 Target Shooter
hopefully be available soon. The ‘joystick’ rest has proved more of a hit with the ‘effers than the benchrest shooters who invented it and amongst the many home-made efforts, the Polish Team were using a slick new Sanders joystick rest www.sanders-shooting.com which is quite similar to the latest SEB Neo rest. Unlike the many ‘one-offs’, this rest is in production and we will be giving it a full evaluation in next month’s Target Shooter. The other big ‘discovery’ for me was a carbonfibre stock. This wasn’t like other carbon fibre stocks – a shell made up of layered matting – this one was machined from a solid block of carbon fibre and looked like dull black plastic, though still very light and strong. This could be the future for gun-stocks particularly where weight is the limiting factor. It can be painted, as the example in the pic shows. Although most of us will go away with memories of a great weekend, I initially though mine would end in disaster. Detail One at 900 yards on the Friday morning was hit with heavy rain which totally obscured the targets at one stage. I had a towel over the action and scope and I was taking care to keep my ammo under cover and dry so I was most surprised to blow a primer – I wasn’t the only one. Should have stood down for ten minutes or so? Equipment might have plateaued in Open - with the possible exception of optics and Grant Taylor has arguably halted the ‘arms race’ by continuing to win with a 284 Shehane (‘improved’ .284 Win) rifle instead of the near ubiquitous 7mm short magnums but the competition becomes closer each season, especially in F/TR. It is interesting to compare this year’s results with last, which had the same mix of matches. The top three Open scores are marginally down (412-410 compared to 1st and 2nd tied on 414 in 2009) but the top ten positions are covered by fewer points in 2010, at seven compared to ten. This trend is even more marked in F/TR where the top three aggregate scores have risen this year (396-394 compared to 395-388 in 2009), and the top ten has become much more compressed - 12 points covering this group compared to 21. Dominance by ‘home’ shooters’ (including some of our Irish cousins) continues with a sole visitor from Continental Europe making the ‘Open’
top twenty - German Wolfgang Scholze in 12th position and Alejandro Hidalgo at 16th in F/TR. Northern shooters frequently refer to a mythical publication ‘The Great Diggle Book of F-Class Excuses’. The sad fact is that with a lost point equating to an overall F/TR place and one and a half ‘Open’ places at the top end of The Europeans’ results sheets, one simply couldn’t afford to make any mistakes in pre-match preparation, handloading, or shooting. In addition to the usual reasons ... shooting on somebody else’s target - turning scope turrets the wrong way - we had a new one and an older but revived doozey. The former came from some Open shooters who only found out after starting shooting that Berger 7mm ‘thick jacket’ bullets don’t perform the same as the older ‘thin’ models! They have a slightly different ogive shape so give different elevations – particularly bad news for those who had cartridges loaded with both bullets mixed up in their ammo boxes - some frantic post-match sorting when the cause of fliers was realised! A growing number of F/TR shooters bring two lots of ammunition to League rounds loaded with 155gn and 210gn bullets. The argument goes that the ‘heavies’ buck the wind better but have poorer elevation consistency, so should only be used on windy days. Adam Bagnall rediscovered a hard lesson learned by Steve Donaldson a couple of seasons back - making such a drastic bullet weight change between matches risks the loss of scope zero - a switch from 210s to 155s on Saturday morning with its lighter winds losing him four vital points in Match 3 and ultimately the European F/TR Champion’s crown. In conclusion, this really was the F Class shoot of the year with a real international flavour - thanks to massive support from our overseas friends. This year, they didn’t win any of the major prizes but they are learning fast. Most do not have access to ranges longer than 300m so no opportunity to practice. F Class is however taking off in many European countries and next year, even more countries are planning to attend. The date will be around the same time so why not join us? The GBFCA website has a full calendar of our shoots www.f-class.org.uk and lots of other information.
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36 Target Shooter
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol Part 11
by Chris Risebrook
only safe way to carry the revolver loaded is to leave one chamber either unloaded or, at least, uncapped. There is a small pin which protrudes between each chamber which is supposed to line up with an indent in the hammer face, and thus provide some sort of safety. However, you would have to be terminally stupid to rely on such a system, and on my Colt, at any rate, the pins have all worn flat, allowing the cylinder to happily slip onto the next chamber. However, if you look carefully at the cylinder of the Manhattan in Photo 1, you will see an extra set of cylinder notches which allow the bolt stop to engage positively between chambers, providing a relatively secure form of safety. Although this particular revolver is in poor condition, this cylinder lock up works perfectly. Manufacture started in Norwich, Connecticut in
In a recent article I described two Forehand and Wadsworth revolvers bought at auction. If you think they were rubbish, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The revolver shown in Photo 1 is a Manhattan, and to put it kindly, it has seen better days. I, stupidly, bought it sight unseen, but no-one else wanted it, and it was cheap. In fact, although tatty in the extreme, it is quite an interesting gun, and the research helps to justify the price. The Manhattan Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1856 by a group of New Jersey businessmen to take advantage of Colt’s patent for revolving firearms which was due to expire in 1857. They engaged the services of Thomas Bacon to design a revolver, and he promptly produced a perfect rip-off of a Colt 1849 pocket model; I bet Colt was a happy bunny! However, he incorporated some important improvements. On the Colt revolver, shown in Photo 2, the
1856 and moved to Newark, New jersey in 1859. Bacon left in 1864, and started his own company, ‘making almost identical revolvers, but without the safety notches. Bacon’s other innovation on the Manhattan - and his own revolver, was the removable side plate. I thought someone had fixed this plate to the Photo 1 revolver to reduce cylinder end play - a common fault on Colts, but it is , in fact a very clever device to prevent pieces of percussion cap from falling into the gap between the hammer and frame, thus jamming the mechanism. It was normal practice with Colts to shake the revolver upwards after each shot, in an attempt to clear any such debris before it locked-up the action, and Bacon’s device overcame this drawback. Manhattan made about 150,000 pistols before they went out of business in 1868. they ended their days making copies of Smith & Wesson tip-up revolvers. In Photo 3 I have shown the Manhattan together with the Colt Pocket Model for comparison, and except for the barrel length, they are dimensionally almost identical. The Colt has a a 4inch barrel and is .31 calibre. They also made these in .28 calibre which would probably have stopped a charging field mouse, but would otherwise have been of deterrent value only; irrespective of calibre, any gun shoved under your nose is likely to get your attention. The Manhattan, on the other hand is .36 calibre, the same calibre as the Colt 1851 Navy, but on a substantially smaller frame. Barrel length is 6.5 inches. I have always thought the Colt 1849s with 6inch barrels look slightly out of proportion, but the Manhattan somehow manages to look right,
and balances beautifully. In spite of the obvious wear and tear, now glamorously called patina, (for which read terminal rust), the action works perfectly with good timing and lock-up, and only minimal end play. Most of the 1849 Colts I have handled have exhibited cylinder end play. My own Colt is a bit of a fraud in that I have made a steel collar to fit round the cylinder spindle to limit this movement. If the Colt grips do not look quite right, this is because I made some oversize grips which make it more comfortable to handle. People definitely must have had smaller hands in those days - only 150 years ago. In many pistols of the era, it is almost impossible to get your second finger behind the trigger guard. I will draw a veil over the rifling in the Manhattan; there isn’t any to speak of. However, at 25 metres it doesn’t seem to make much difference in practice. Many years ago, I used an original Remington with little discernible rifling at one of the Anno Domini meetings where it scored 90, and beat many modern replicas with perfect barrels. I was surprised last year to use a flintlock smooth-bore which also scored 90 at the same range. Manhattans were made in five series and this pistol, number 8435 is a second series made in 1860/61. The Colt was made in 1866. All the serial numbers match on the Manhattan, except that there is no number on the cylinder, although the odd engraving peculiar to the guns is still present. In fact the overall finish is not too bad, the address and patent dates are clearly visible,and the plating on the brass frame is intact. The real horror is the trigger and bolt stop pivot screws. Some kind soul has replaced them with drill rod! Nothing wrong with drill rod,which is silver steel, but it’s not pretty. Maybe, one day I will get round to having proper screws made. In fact, on closer examination and longer acquaintance, it’s not such a dog after all, and I have developed rather a liking for this oddball, which is just as well, because I am probably stuck with it!
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40 Target Shooter
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Ninth World Police & Military Sniper Championships Budapest Hungary 2010 Part 2- The competition !
by By Rob Hunter
emergency e-mails to all the other competitors - to ask if anyone could find me a new partner - would work. As luck would have it an old friend and avid Last month, we put together my rifle for the shooter ‘Fernando’ (US Ranger Sniper ret.) was competition – a Surgeon-based tactical-rig using forced to retire from the comp before it started a McMillan A5 stock, Bartlein barrel chambered for the Lapua 6.5x47 cartridge and a Schmidt & Bender 12-50 scope. From the off, I had a bad feeling about this one (as the line goes) 24 hours before getting on the plane to meet my shooting partner in Prague, he called me to say he couldn’t compete because he had a elbow injury! As the competition was a team event, this was going to be a big problem. I set off on the journey not knowing if my Target Shooter 41
have to be able to stand hard knocks and transportation to different parts of the world, come out of the box and shoot perfectly, so this exercise was a good test of the kit. As a testament to the quality of the people and parts involved in building my rifle, it shot exactly the same POA/POI (point of aim/point of impact) as in the UK. The Sako TRG that partner Nick was using needed a very slight adjustment in windage and he was good to go. This year, a great many of the COFs started from a standing position or a short run down in order to get into position and of course the mandatory small time-frame to make the shot. This upped the stress levels and made it more difficult than last time. The level of difficulty was compounded by the fact that we usually had 30 to 50 seconds to make a decision and take the shot! due to an eye infection. This meant that his partner Nick (currently serving US Army) was also urgently in need of a partner. Fernando kindly suggested we shot together and that was that - we were back in the game albeit slightly handicapped by our lack of knowledge of each other. With only a day before the official start of the competition, we did a kit check to remove any unnecessary or duplicated kit and worked out a ‘standard’ language and measurement system we would use to communicate to each other when on the range. Fingers crossed, we attended the opening ceremony and prepared ourselves to shoot with over 100 competitors speaking 8 different languages and 26 COFs (course of fire) to get through. Slick organisation was needed and in order to speed up the comp COF briefings usually covered three different targets, so you shoot one, then move to another distance, shoot again and then move again to shoot the final target before the targets were checked and scored. With absolutely NO zeroing before the competition, this is a nervous time for all competitors as it was straight in and missed targets meant minus points! This may sound cruel but think about it – in service, these rifles 42 Target Shooter Once again, in keeping with ‘real-life’ situations, you have to carry all of the kit that you’re using and have to be able to move swiftly with it, so no heavy benchrest or F class kit here, it’s all bipod, back-pack, range-book and ammunition. The variations in the COF in both distance and
we scored well. Real world scenarios dictate that a sniper will not always have a perfect prone position to shoot from and to finish off the day, we had two particularly cruel exercises. From a standingstart, adopt a kneeling position, load and fire at 100m at a very small target in 25 seconds (miss meant minus points) and, as if to emphasise proficiency in multi-position shooting, the final exercise was a 300m COF - 2 shots standing, 2 shots kneeling and 2 shots prone all in 60 seconds. It was decided by the organisers that due to a forecasted big storm heading our way, we would shoot the two night exercises on the first day. We grabbed a bite for evening meal and prepared the gear for the ‘Night Shoot’. Firstly, this meant a liberal splash of mosquito repellent but even my 100% Dete didn’t seem to work and I was well and truly bitten on every exposed bit of skin and as luck would have it, I even got a bite on the tip of my trigger finger - which promptly swelled to twice it normal size! Whilst we waited to go – still being chewed by the local insect population - I had a chance to take a look at some of kit brought by the various weapons’ manufacturers to tempt our ‘plastic’ out of hiding.. Two items that caught my eye
content had become more difficult this year. For example, the second set of targets on the first day meant a 300m single shot to a partially hidden hostage target 4 inches by 2 inches in 40 seconds, then a move forward to 80m, to a letter-box size opening some 8 inches off the ground (which meant the rifle would only go through sideways with the bolt-handle facing the sky) not only this, the start was 10m back so a short run to get into position and fire 3 shots - all in 30 seconds and then change over with your partner! Then, to finish off this series of targets, a move back to 150m for a single shot in a 20 second window at an empty 50BMG cartridge case - and only clean holes counted! After a short lunch on the range it was back to work and shooting continued till 1700 hours with various obstacles to shoot over - to replicate engaging targets from over a roof apex for example and the always popular one where you must use your partner’s body as a support for your rifle (better known as the Karma Sutra due to the strange contortions adopted!) whilst wearing body armour. This year it was my turn to be the ‘support’ and I must say I was a little nervous about having a Sako muzzle-brake that close to my backside but it all worked out and
of minus 50! That lapse in concentration was to cost me dearly. Later on we moved back to the grass range - which by now was mud - for two excises that I hadn’t seen before. The first one was a 10m crawl on your back whilst carrying rifle and kit on your chest to the 350m line for a one round shot in 40 seconds and a ‘reactive’ target. For reactive read ‘exploding’ - a small explosive flash-bang from a 20mm detonation cap. This was below a small inward-scoring target and hitting the flash-bang meant you could engage the inward scoring target. The tricky part was the flash-bang and smoke temporally obscured were a mag. holder that doubles up as a forward the inward scorer above it, so a shot through the grip for Glock pistols and a new semi-auto 50 cal. ‘material destruction’ rifle for counter IED etc. (See pics above). Undaunted, at 2100 hours we were called forward to 150m and were presented with a 4 inch inward-scoring target and under the illumination of a flare we engaged with two rounds in 10 seconds. For the second exercise we moved back to 250m and engaged a ‘half size’ hostage target with 2 rounds each, as a very strong hand-held spot-light was moved along the targets giving smoke was in order requiring precise memory of about 5 seconds for the shot and again, a miss the location of the scoring area on the second or a shot to the hostage, meant minus points. target - all cleaver stuff. The second day’s shooting was no less difficult than the first and we had the added difficultly of near constant rain which alternated from drizzle to torrential downpours and back again for the whole day. We got wet and stayed wet! To add insult to injury, we were taken to a part of the range I hadn’t seen before - the sand pit - a big sand quarry. As you know, sand and rifles don’t mix..... but wet sand is even worse. The next series of exercises were again multiposition – standing, kneeling, sitting and prone at distances ranging from 30m to 150m. The last of these was a moving or swinging hostage target. Again one round each at roughly 3 seconds per exposure - unfortunately, this was one of the ‘minus points’ events and for what ever reason, I just cut the line of the hostage. In fairness to me, it would have only taken a piece of her hair away but a line cut is a line cut and I got a penalty 44 Target Shooter The longest shot on the day was a 5 shot string at 470m onto a standard FBI target. Once again, on the face of it not too difficult a COF - until the two fire engines hidden by blast walls on each side of the range turned on their hoses and provided us with a wall of water to shoot through! All at once, things got a whole lot more difficult. The water acted like a mirage and through the scope the target moved and danced as the light was refracted by the falling water droplets. Furthermore, the wind was bringing the ‘fallout’ in the form of a heavy mist towards us, so fast shooting was needed before the water hit the scope lens. Finally, the one COF that has become a standard event in this comp - the knife shot. A fixed-blade knife is driven into a block of wood
Official scores in the Military section: 1st China 2nd United Kingdom 3rd Belarus In the Police section st with the cutting-edge facing the shooter and a 1 Czechoslovakia nd clean piece of A4 card is placed behind it. The 2 Ukraine rd shooter is positioned prone 80m back and in 3 China a time frame of 30 seconds must fire a single round and hit the blade, if successfully executed In keeping with previous years, it was possible the knife will split the bullet in two halves and to shoot well but either not score well or easily show on the paper behind. This obviously be into minus scores. This was a great testing/ requires pin-point accuracy as the very tip of the training ground for those police and military bullet must strike the cutting edge of the blade professional marksmen who may have ‘to take - a millimetre either way from dead-centre and a life to save a life’ in the course of their daily the bullet will slide down the side of the blade. work. This is a real test of nerves, everything must be perfect in order to do this and with 30 other rifles In closing, I’d like to thank all those whose assistance made this possible - Andy going off around you, it’s so easy to miss. Massingham for the work on the rifle, South With the knife shot over, that was it for another Yorkshire Shooting Supplies for the sound year and the wind-down of cleaning gear and moderator, Surgeon action and trigger floorpacking was in order. With the pressure of the plate. Cheytac Ballistics solutions and Matt competition over there was the usual grand Wilks for providing great firing solutions. Plus banquet and awards ceremony provided by Fernando, Nick and Dave Shone and CZ SF for the Hungarian government in the stunning city getting me across Europe to where I needed to centre and the odd glass of vino or two was be and on time! partaken of - but that’s another story! WARNING - The courses of fire described were During the comp I had been too busy to try and undertaken on a controlled range by experienced work out the scores so I was chuffed to say the shooters with all necessary safety precautions very least to learn I had made second place in in place. Please do not try to replicate any of the individual competition. The minus 50 points the courses of fire described as it may result in I got for giving the hostage a free haircut that injury or death. I mentioned earlier would have put me in first place! Hard lesson learned. Nick and I also made 5th place in the team event. Target Shooter 45
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Air Rifle Benchrest - having a go!!
By Carl Boswell
In its infancy, air rifle benchrest is becoming more and more popular. The recent European Championship, World Cup and World Postal championships have shown the interest internationally and at a national level. worked out well, as there are about fourteen countries with members shooting this sport. This years world postal, has nine countries and over one hundred of the best shooters competing against each other, via their national This dedicated sport developed in a variety of championships. countries at a similar time, the main protagonists being the UK, Italy and South Africa. In the UK The world cup had number of overseas the interest developed from air rifle shooters competitors shooting in the Czech Republic, getting into rimfire benchrest and thinking, hey, with Russia leading the overall team aggregate why not try something different! Which has and the UK leading the overall junior
Setting up is all important
HV A Class
individuals and senior individuals champion titles. Having achieved the highest individual aggregate at the world championship in 2008, achieving silver and bronze medals at the same event, (team and individual) and winning the overall World Cup and European Championship, the UK Team is doing extremely well
started, which a lot of people do via the postal leagues that are going on around the country. To be honest it is fun for a converted rimfire benchrest shooter like myself. There lies the interest, it’s fun!!!
The Rifles! To start with this can be basically any PCP that So what about the sport? you have. Air Arms hold the market here as their Well it’s about having a go as this how we all rifles must be the most widely used, as they are inexpensive in comparison to the more specialist rifles that are out there. Certainly you can get a new rifle to compete with for less than £600, and this would be the same as the ones that have won at world level! The Classes for competition AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL Light Varmint Air Rifle Class - is any rifle having a manually and mechanically (including electronic triggers) operated firing mechanism, weighing not more than 10 1/2 pounds (4.762 kg) inclusive of sight. Factory stock or stocks that meet ‘Stock Clarification’ rules may be used The action can be either spring or pneumatic; air regulators, barrel weights, harmonic tuners or bullet stabilisers are permitted but will be included in the overall weight of gun. The air cylinder can be changed as long as it is provided by the Manufacturer as an option/spare to that model. Any magnification scope may be used. The barrel/ action can be bedded and have the trigger reworked (or replaced). Return to battery
This is a precision sport!!!! 48 Target Shooter
Chronographing and testing is a pre-requisite of the sport to test velocity
shall NOT be permitted. Power to be restricted to 16.27 Joules or 12 ft lbs maximum. Shooting Distance 25m (0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by 0.22 calibre gauge)
Heavy Varmint Air Rifle Class A - is any rifle having a manually safe manually and mechanically (including electronic triggers) operated firing mechanism, a weight restriction
HV B Class
of 15 lbs is set (including attachments – scopes, muzzle devices, etc). Any air regulator can be used as long as it is integral within the air cylinder. Any modification may be made to the rifle and any magnification scope may be used. Factory stock or stocks that meet ‘Stock
Clarification’ rules may be used? Return to battery shall NOT be permitted. Muzzle brakes, muzzle flips, barrel weights or Harmonic Tuners are permitted. There is no restriction on cylinder size or capacity as long as 21 Joules or 15 ft lbs maximum power is retained and it is integral
To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and World events. Visit our website for news about national and international competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion shooter, everyone is welcome 50 Target Shooter www.benchrest22.org
The UK Air Rifle Team 2010 - a motely crew
within the rifle. (Separate Air Cylinders are not allowed, the cylinder must be part of the rifle and the overall weight). Shooting Distance 25m. (0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by 0.22 calibre gauge. Heavy Varmint Air Rifle Class B - is any rifle having manually and mechanically (including electronic triggers)? operated firing mechanism, a weight restriction of 15 lbs is set (including attachments – scopes, muzzle devices, etc). Any air regulator can be used as long as it is integral within the air cylinder. Any modification may be made to the rifle and any magnification scope may be used. Factory stock or stocks that meet ‘Stock Clarification’ rules may be used. Return to battery shall NOT be permitted. Muzzle brakes, muzzle flips, barrel weights or Harmonic Tuners are permitted. There is no restriction on cylinder size or capacity as long as 27.12 Joules or 20 ft lbs maximum power is retained and it is integral within the rifle. (Separate Air Cylinders are not allowed, the cylinder must be part of the rifle and the overall weight). Shooting Distance 25m. (0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by 0.22 calibre. Obviously we in the UK are restricted to 12ft lbs in all our air rifles, unless we have them on our FAC. This is also where you will find slight differences with rifles in UK competitions, as everything will be 12ft lbs or below. However, we
have competed with our 12ft lb rifles and done pretty well thank you very much. Stocks Clarification 10.5lb Light Varmint and Unlimited Weight Classes (Including Air Rifles), the forearm of stock must be either convex or flat, maximum 76.2mm (3”) or under at its widest point, this can be a specialist stock or via a flat plate attached to the bottom of the stock, any material can be used. The bottom of the butt of the stock that comes in contact with rear sandbag must be either convex or flat. If flat,the bottom of the butt of stock must be 25mm (0.98”) or under in width. Within the UKBR22 postals there are also two other classes such as the Sporter Air Rifle and the International Sporter Air Rifle. These two classes are not as popular as the others, but have there own unique characteristics as they are lighter rifles, with lower powered scopes and in one a lower velocity. If you are interested in these then view the rules on the UKBR22 website, as these have just been updated. Wow!! A lot of classes here! The decision has just been made which of these world level classes will be shot at the world championship next year. Both the Light Varmint and Unlimited B class will be, as these have become the most shot internationally, so will draw the most amount
of shooters. (Up to date information about the World Championship is available on the World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation at http://www.wrabf.com/). Air rifle benchrest is shot predominantly at 25yrds, as this is an effective range where accuracy can be maintained. All air rifles benchrest classes shot within the UK are, as previously stated, in the 12ft lbs range and so stay ‘off ticket’, under UK law. A saving grace, as this fact alone makes air rifle benchrest accessible by all in this country. As the benchrest equipment is the same as that used for rimfire or even centerfire, it is easy to change from one form of shooting to another. You may recognise by now that the stock clarification rules also have the same sizes for both rimfire and air rifle, making this easy to set up if you are shooting a variety of rifles, whether it is rimfire or air rifle. As the laws governing air rifles are very different within Europe (and the rest of the world) we
have a lot of issues with keeping standardisation simple. Obviously, looking at the rules above, you can see that most can fit into UK rifles standards that are ‘off ticket’. With air rifle benchrest becoming very popular in the USA, and now Australia, this is a very fast developing area in benchrest. Russia joined the international postal last year and with more people shooting air rifles in this postal in some of the African states, we expect air rifle benchrest to progress a great deal in the next two years. So those of you out there that shoot field target, HFT, or even just ‘plink’ down at your local range, why not try something just a little bit different in the future. You never know you might end up enjoying it or even winning! This is a brief input from me and for this I apologise, as I have limited space or the font size goes down. Until next time!
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52 Target Shooter
Special Report - The World Postal Championships by Carl Boswell
South Africa shooting air rifle
Although Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest have been around for some time, it has really taken off around the world this year, with even more shooters and countries taking part. This can especially be said for Air Rifle BR. These postal championships have taken place at a number of national and international matches in Europe, Africa, the US and Australia. Why a postal?? Well it is the easiest way for us to compete without the expense of travelling great distances – although I would agree that people will shoot in very different conditions, but its fun and keeps the sport alive. That’s many people’s way of thinking and the process used by many associations to keep shooting sports alive! The matches, one for rimfire and one for air rifle, involved both team and individual entries, with the team being the major emphasis. A maximum of three teams per country for both sports; each person shoot three targets to achieve an aggregate score out of 750 and 75 X counts; one for rimfire and one 54 Target Shooter
UK team shooting air rifle.....
....from all walks of life and any age group ......
.............from all around the world - below Australian Richard Lightfoot
for air rifle. Not all people shot both disciplines, but a fair number did including yours truly.
Although we have fifteen countries associated with the WRABF, some could not shoot due to other commitments, as some shooters participate in other shooting sports. However, when all the shooting was done and the scores counted we had close to 300 rimfire shooters from eight countries and over 100 air rifle shooters from nine countries. Countries competed in various weather conditions, from brawling gales to hot summer days – ever shot rimfire .22 or air rifle Germany, some of the British September weather? There is worse!! This, as usual, has taken a lot of organisation and really it has to be said that the match directors all around the world need a lot of credit, as without them none of the matches would have taken place, targets scored accurately or the whole process run smoothly for the people to compete. From us all a big thanks. So therefore the WRABF committee’s congratulations go out to all the shooters, but also to the people behind the scenes that worked hard to make it happen. One thing that has become apparent in the air rifle side of things is the domination of all things Air Arms!! These British made air rifles have Finland, really taken the sport by storm, as lots of models are used for Air Rifle Benchrest. The Australians particularly have taken these rifles on board and doing very well with them, coming in for the gold medal team place. South Africa too uses these rifles extensively. So out of the top three teams, the vast majority of rifles used this year were Air Arms. (This exemplifies the point I make in my other article about Air Rifle BR in this month’s issue. You don’t have to break the bank to get a world class Ireland et al!!!! rifle to shoot with - spending lots of money is not necessary to compete!!)”. There will be other postal matches in the future, as guys from the Irish association do want to run a championship in the spring of 2011. This will be rimfire only, so let’s see what comes of this! With the World Championship coming up this summer and more regional head to head matches already organised we have a full year Target Shooter 55
1 2 3 4 5
Country United States Australia United States Italy United Kingdom
Rimfire Team Scores Team Score Team C 2227 Team C 2222 Team B 2220 Team A 2220 Team A 2219
X 123 124 124 112 98
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Rimfire Individual Scores Name Country Score Robert Oates USA 748 A. Rowe AUS 747 Phil Dorman USA 747 B. Wilson AUS 747 Doug Weeter USA 746 Doug Kenimer USA 746 Jerry McFall USA 746 Truman Webber USA 745 David Kenimer USA 745 Carl Boswell UK 745
Air Rifle Team Scores Team Score 2179 Team C South Africa Team C 2167 United Kingdom Team B 2159 Russia Team A 2154 Australia Team A 2151 Country Australia Air Rifle Individual Scores Name Country Score Paul van Gass South Africa 738 Carl Boswell UK 736 Brent Wilson Australia 732 Russia 730 Soldatov Aleksey Alan Grayson UK 729 Gert Coetzer South Africa 728 Bill Collaros Australia 726 A. Rowe Australia 724 Niekie v Dyk South Africa 724 Gert van Wyk South Africa 724
X 49 50 48 45 48 43 41 51 39 36
X 51 53 56 51 53
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
X 22 23 18 13 25 16 15 23 21 19
Shooting the sport together is what its all about!!
ahead of us. Nice!! Enjoy your holiday and see you in the New Year. Full scores can be found via this link - www. wrabf.com/
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UKPSA SHOTGUN SAFETY COURSE
by Tim Finley
Our club at Thurnscoe has evolved in a major thirteen members and only did prone .22 50 and way expanding it’s membership and going in new 100m target shooting. We have been shooting directions. When I joined some years ago it had .22 rimfire Mini Rifle events for a few years now
and Ross the driving force behind a lot of the clubs success was keen to put on a UKPSA basic safety course for the clubs members. A lot of whom are very keen to take part in practical shotgun events. You cannot take part in a UKPSA event without having taken part in a basic safety course for the discipline you want to shoot. I think that is a good thing as practical shooting especially with a shotgun in not the normal run of the mill target shooting. It is fire with movement whilst handling a loaded firearm. Safety is the key and the UKPSA’s perfect safety record is nothing to do with chance. Ross arranged for a shotgun IPSC course to be put on at our club.
A course with one instructor and one helper can only accept a maximum of six shooters so I was happy when I managed to get on the first course at Thurnscoe. Steve the course instructor is a not paid for the two days, only accommodation and meal/travel expanses are paid, so that shows the level of commitment the members of the UKPSA have. The course we were told would last two days with between 300-350 rounds of birdshot needed plus some SG buckshot. The first day of the course arrived and Steve Charlton also brought one of his friends to help with driving up to the deepest depth of Yorkshire and with the course setting out etc. The other main man was
another qualified UKPSA assistant in the form of Pete Savage, who lives not far from Thurnscoe and was keen to not only help out but see if it was worth joining our burgeoning club. We have a good set up at the club with a new club cabin where Steve set up a power point slide show which forms the first part of the course. I have had my fare share of power point presentations as had one on the guys on the course. He is as I write this back in Afghanistan and not at camp Bastion either, suffice to say he is not an ordinary soldier. He just gave a low groan to me as I sat next to him “ Oh God death by power point again”. Now the presentation
given by Steve was far from death by power point, I have seen enough of those to have them burned into my brain. The serving soldier was just use to being in the thick of the action and I think he thought he wouldn’t be learning anything from it. Looking at it from the UKPSA’s point of view, they don’t know what bunch of numptys they have on the course, people can fail the course and it is all very serious stuff. All the six guys on the course from Thurnscoe were very good and very safe shots, but the point is the instructors do not know that. It was a slow start with the slide show but we all learnt some things from it with examples
of blown up barrels which can be caused by plugging the front of the gun barrel with earth etc and the actual destructive power of slug ammo. Along with fall out ranges for the different types of shotgun ammunition. We learnt many safety rules, such as being a minimum of 5 meters when shooting at metal plates. It was a very professional presentation. We then began shooting and learnt the basic shooting stances used in practical shotgun. This gave Steve the first chance to see if were all switched on shooters. With a row of twenty or so metal plates ten yards in front of us we listened to Steve giving us instruction on stance and hold,
safety angles and so on. We then got to show him just what type of shots we were. Each of us shot five metal plates from the standing position, then standing weak shoulder, then kneeling to kneeling weak shoulder to prone strong and weak shoulder. The last one we had never ever done before. Neither had we ever shot from the hip and Steve showed us that next. Then came shooting while standing upon a plank, a technique you need to master for practical shotgun. The feet are in a very unnatural and unstable position, unless you are a big as Ross, he had no bother with this stance. Damo had all on staying on the plank poor lad, but he is
a bit of a munchkin. Pete then took us through a very good exercise, he would shout out to us what shooting position to shoot an array of steel plates ranged in front of us. Each shot on the plates was from a different style, weak shoulder standing to prone to hip etc. All the while Steve and Pete were watching were our trigger fingers were between shots and where the barrel of our shotguns were pointing whist moving from one stance to another. Steve also began to teach us some of the loading technique you can use , I for one learnt a hell of a lot. It was on to five plates which had to be shot in the fastest time, here Steve taught us that the last plates are normally the ones that are missed. Therefore it was best to line up our body and feet to make perfect shots on the last plate then wind the torso around the start plate, It was a bit of a revelation that it improved our times so much. To further speed us up he told us not to aim for the plates but with red no shoot plates on either side of the white plates to knock down to aim for the gaps in the no shoot plates and not the ones we wanted to hit, that speeded us up even more. The starting procedures for a given stage were also very new to us, such as Option 1 Where the magazine is full with round in chamber and safety on Option 2 Where the magazine is full on an empty chamber action shut Option 3 Where the magazine is empty, the chamber is empty with the action open and
safety off. We also began to learn the commands given by the range officer. The final bit of shooting for day one was designed to drill into us the safe handling of a shotgun with regards to barrel direction and to show Steve again how we acted when we were tired. We had not stopped shooting for four hours at this point. Six different coloured plastic cones were set out on the floor in front of all the steel plated we had. Pete the RO when gave us a colour to shoot a steel plate from. The cones were arranged in such a way to force us to move backwards and sideways in order to get to the next cone. Pete also did not give us a chance to rest in-between shots. He worked us hard and got us all sweating. Damo was the star however when Pete shouted “White” and Damo who was stood on a red cone at the time simply shot a white steel plate in front of him Pete shouted “White” again and Damo shot another white painted steel plate. At this point we all started shouting “White!”. It finally clicked in his tired little brain and he slowly and very safely moved onto the white cone to shoot a plate. We were all dog tired at this point and my weak shoulder was sore where I had not gripped the gun correctly as Steve had taught me. Day two dawned and we went straight into a course of fire, in fact two running at the same time. Barricades and weak shoulder shots as well as a three hole kneeling barricade with visual blanking using canes and black bin liners. Target Shooter 63
There was also a speed shoot where we had to sit at a table with both hands on the table, slide off a marker to get either a red or white side then shoot the designated white or red steel plates in front of use as quickly as possible. We then all built a Cooper tunnel stage, for those who do not know it is a tunnel where you have to crawl with your gun and shoot from apertures within it, it is named after the very famous Col Jeff Cooper. I won that stage so was well chuffed. We also had a Buckshot stage which was another new one for me as I had never shot Buckshot before. Finally we had a Man V Man competition. The students were made to act as Range Officers for each other with Pete taking overall charge of the competition. This meant we had to watch the direction the shooters pointed the shotguns, look where their trigger fingers were while loading/moving and also ensure the guns were safe and clear once the stage was over. It was particularly hilarious when Steve ran off down the range with Mike’s and Mark’s ammo belts. They thought they just had to turn around from facing the targets run back to retrieve their belts from Steve, then go back and pick up their empty shotguns from where they were laying the ground, load them and try to beat each other on six steel plates with a compulsory last plate re-load. What they did not know when they finally caught Steve up is that he had also tied the two belts together. Much tugging and foul play then ensued, much to the mirth of the rest 64 Target Shooter
of us. There were some other tricks played on us by Steve but I’ll not spoil it for those going on his courses in the future. We all passed the course and were given certificates from Steve, he said he was impressed with our level of shooting, our enthusiasm and our safety. On passing the basic safety course we can now put in for a competition licence which will allow us to shoot local and national competitions depending upon how competent the instructor feels we are. I would like to personally thank my fellow shooters on the course, Ross for sorting it, the helpers for helping and very importantly Steve and Pete for their patience and knowledge. Dave Wylde summed it up, for those who don’t know Dave is a very accomplished shot and a fine gunsmith himself. “Anyone who says they learnt nothing from these two days is an idiot” Well said Dave. We all learnt a lot and even the hardened professional soldier had a good time and learnt a few things about speed loading, he even let me beat him on the Copper Tunnel stage. We have another course in November at our club with that one fully booked too. I for one am joining the UKPSA and am looking forward to shooting one of their events.
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Calton Moor Range
by Nigel Greenaway
A couple of months ago I received an invite to attend one of the Swarovski Optik Open Days – an opportunity to test their scopes on various talking rifles. Imagine my surprise when the range suggested as nearest to me was listed near Ashbourne in Derbyshire – about 7 miles from where I work. Calton Moor Range was somewhere I had never visited because I was blissfully unaware of its existence! A quick search on the internet found www.caltonmoorrange.com and I quickly realised that this was a relatively new tunnel range – right on my doorstep. I was intrigued and went along to the Open Day to test the facilities on offer – viewing it as a possible location to test my handloads in a variety of calibres. Straight after work I managed to get to the range within 15 minutes – straight up the A52, past Ashbourne and through Swinscoe and the range is where the A52 joins the A523 towards Leek. At this fork there is a small road on the right, take it and then within 80 yards turn right to Calton Moor Farm. There is parking for 5 or 6 cars by the Classroom Hut which houses a large room complete with reloading bench and equipment, small kitchen area and toilets. Calton Moor Range is the brainchild of Michael Dickinson, an RFD with many years experience in the gun trade. Mike felt that many of the shooting ranges on offer in the UK did not provide the year round facilities that many shooters wanted – especially when it came to zeroing and experimenting with handloads which could be tested without the intrusion of wind and rain - factors which can ruin a whole day on the range. A subterranean solution was the answer so two 100 yard long tunnels, made from 1.2 metre diameter concrete drainage pipes, were constructed. They have the advantage of being
able to set the targets at whatever distance is required, using a trolley system but the majority of users stick to 100 yards. The targets are housed in a hut above the end of the tunnels and are winched down in to the tunnels. The tunnels have been set up to enable shots to be taken from stick, prone, or bench (accommodating left or right handed shots). Cameras are positioned to relay live feed back to a monitor by each firing point so shots can quickly be zeroedin and groups assessed. It is possible to set up about eight A4 sheets, in two rows, with a variety of target shapes and sizes at the end of each tunnel. There is no extra charge for the provision of these targets and at the end of the session the targets can be collected for future reference. The range has been passed at 10,000 Joules energy and 4000 feet per second, so can cope
with calibres ranging from .17 Mach 2 right up to the large big game calibres and even .50 BMG sniper rifles. The range is let out by the hour for private use for zeroing, load development or just rifle practise, and is also available by the day for corporate events. The range can be booked between 10am to 10pm – making it ideal for mid-week zeroing sessions after work. The cost is £10 per hour per tunnel and a chronograph is available for an extra £5 per hour. It is available for public use, private hire, and corporate events, and can also do courses for reloading, carcass handling and deer stalking including DSC Level 1. Having briefly experienced the facilities on offer during the Swarovski Open Day I was itching to try out some new handloads in my
Swedish Mauser m/41B Sniper Rifle. A quick call to Mike (Tel: 01538 308697 or mobile 07721 671746) and I was able to get on the range the following week. So what did I think of the UK’s first purpose built subterranean, 12 hour a day, shooting range? In short – excellent, a very well thought out set up with very solid shooting benches – as you can see from the photographs. The tunnels do have the obvious affect of channelling the blast down range, which can
upset the chronograph but rifles fitted with a moderator overcome this problem. Michael is ably assisted by young Matt and, between the two of them, is able to accommodate a wide range of shooting disciplines and experience. I have been back several times since my first visit and I’m delighted to have found such a versatile, weather proof range that is so convenient to book and use.
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Starting Mini Rifle
by Mark Curd
It started how these things often start - a chat over a coffee whilst at the range. Though this time, it wasn’t the routine ‘putting the world to rights’ that we generally indulge in but was instead centred on “Have you read Target Shooter?” and “Have you seen that new mini rifle shoot?”. To both of which the answer was NO! Not because of any lethargy on my part I hasten to add but because I was new to the club and the civilian world of shooting in general. All became clear once I had logged onto Target Shooter - movement on the range utilising various types of targets with small-bore rifles. On further investigation using the internet, I found, seemingly, no set standard as to how this was done or achieved. A blank canvas then. On return to the range another club member, Adrian agreed to help establish this form of shooting at the club. But what was it that we wanted to do? Did we want movement? Magazine changes? What types of targets? Over what distances? From what firing positions? How would it be scored/timed? Etc. etc. Over a morning shoot (where mostly talking - rather than shooting - took place) an outline of what we required surfaced with who would initially do what. We had a number of considerations/ hurdles to overcome: Firstly, targetry needed to be made. Luckily Adrian is a dab hand at this sort of thing and was able to manufacture the 50 cm minirifle targets along with a window and small wall without too many problems. However, the mini-rifle
RASP (range administration and safety procedures) being written along with the appropriate medical risk assessment. It is my opinion that as soon as you introduce movement on the range there is an increase in risk. Coupled with the fact that the firer would be exerting himself, as this was to be conducted under time pressure, formal consideration and planning is a must. I also find it beneficial as it clearly sets out the detail of the shoot and the safe handling rules to both the range staff and the firers. If in doubt speak to your club RCO for advice. The shoot consisted of a simple cans proved problematic. During testing, the .22LR ammunition being used often just passed through without knocking the can down. After a number of revisions, (I think we are on the mk5 variant) the problem was solved with some hard tubular plastic and much thicker wooden baffles. With an eye to the future, a score board was constructed and it too had at least two versions to my knowledge. While this went on it was my job to look at safety and to get the shoot down on paper. The former resulted in a draft table with each Practice/Phase of the shoot numbered, along with the appropriate instructions concerning distance, fire position (FP), number of rounds fired etc. You can see from the diagram that we decided to have seven FPs in total, requiring the firer to move 35 metres ‘as the crow flies’. This had more to do with the limitations of the range than anything else but, I now realise that any more would have probably overcomplicated the shoot. We had decided that the event should take no more than two
a toy. However I have found it extremely light, easy to point and well weighted. Put simply, this rifle fulfilled all the above criteria and was reasonably priced too. After my initial reservations, its purchase turned out to be one of my better decisions as I can now say with some confidence that having put 1000 rounds through this rifle with only two stoppages (due to a slight problem with the spare magazine) it has proved highly reliable. Please do not take this as a minutes and that we wanted to include just one recommendation as it is magazine change. Sadly this meant that the Walther impossible to compare this with the multitude of G22 I own was impractical as the magazines only other similar rifles on the market as I have not had hold 10 rounds. A robust excuse to fill the gun the opportunity to test a significant number. cabinet with something new! We now had the targetry, the rifle and The major criteria for the new rifle was that the paperwork and so decided to ‘dry run’ the shoot magazines needed to hold at least 20 rounds. It (no ammunition) to ascertain if we had missed should be semi-automatic and finally it needed anything. We had. While you do feel a little silly to be reliable. Now this article is not a review of doing this, it is thoroughly recommended as suitable rifles but, I have to say there is a large and inevitably it brought a number of issues to light. growing choice particularly in the ‘tactical clone’ While the general outline, firers’ brief and safety style of rifle. procedures all ‘survived contact’, firing point (FP) and target recognition did not. However the Sadly, many have not had an in-depth review addition of a simple cone marker with a and I would caution anyone looking through the corresponding number on the target rectified this multitude of forums (as I did) as there are just too issue. many conflicting views and of course you can’t be sure of the experience of the individual making the A new trip hazard came to light that resulted in opinion. a slight re-write to the risk assessment and the application of warning tape. More serious was the I found myself in the position I am sure many of angle of movement down the range particularly you have been in the past of just not knowing. between FPs 2 and 3. We have a small six lane However, the decision had to be made so I range which means the firer has to move completely eventually went with my gut feeling and took across the range with only 5 meters north to the plunge with an AR15 M&P15 22 by S&W. Its south to move in. Looks fine on paper but is polymer build did put me off at first as I was much more cumbersome in practice, when concerned I might be buying something akin to trying to keep the rifle pointing down the range. Practice and extending the distance helps but I intend to revisit this issue once I have a few more opinions. (The issue is much clearer when seen and I believe it is now on ‘Youtube’ - see Link 1 and Link 2). This dry run also confirmed that our original estimation of two minutes proved to be spot-on with most practices conducted finishing around the 1:40, 1:50
TARGETS / BULLET TRAP
6 x MINI-RIFLE CANS
50cm MINI-RIFLE TARGETS
ammunition it was clear why this is so popular in the US and gaining in popularity over here. The combination of shooting from different fire positions, from different distances and at differing targets, some of which fall when hit and all within a time pressure results in great fun! Although after going through it several times in a row it can be quite tiring!
THE WALL 35m
3 FIRING POINTS
mark. However we were mindful that this was moving fairly quickly down the range and as soon as one of our older members (sorry Les) tried it, we were conscious that an increase in time may be required for some firers.
With the problems solved, Adrian and I were at last in a position to present the shoot to the board for the final sign off and go-ahead. The utility of a written plan is very much highlighted here as following its production, it is easier to scrutinise the event. This is reassuring to those who ultimately must make the decision that the shoot is safe and can go ahead. It was quickly agreed. What a great article on how to organise and manage a club shoot from Mark Curd. Mark, I wish This just left Adrian and I to build up our own we had had your input twelve months ago when knowledge of running the shoot prior to opening Target Shooter first embarked on the mini-rifle it up to club members. This meant one person quest. Vince shooting, one acting as safety supervisor, with Les, our new member’s secretary, acting as RCO and timekeeper. When we first went through the shoot with live
One addition we did add during this was what is now known as the Black competition. Firstly I must explain the regular or White competition. This is scored in line with military shooting that a point is scored for every target hit. However the smaller black aim point at the centre of the target is a much higher accuracy challenge and has resulted in 3 a second recordable score. Current high scores for our shoot, White and Black, are 36 and 27 respectively n ime f in 0 ecs. i at o 1m 4 s It is still early days in the club regarding mini-rifle as we still require more interest from club 5 6 members. Of course now mini-rifle 1 is up and running we are already discussing a second competition based upon this but utilising different targetry and a narrower corridor of movement. In addition, once the shoot is a little more established, it is hoped to invite other clubs to compete. It is this element that has the greatest potential. Bringing together like minded individuals in a competitive yet informal atmosphere is one of our goals and should prove fun. Watch this space to see if this is achieved. In any event if this article spurs you on to create your own shoot, please don’t forget to give me an invite!
HANDLOADING BENCH - 90gn BULLETS IN THE .223 REMINGTON (Part 2)
by Laurie Holland
I finished last month with case sizing and trimming, so I’ll dispose of the remaining loading press activities, briefly describing bullet seating. This also uses a Forster die, the company’s Ultra micrometer top model that allows accurate 0.001” seating depth changes. I set it marginally on the ‘long’ side and check each finished round’s COAL using a bullet ‘comparator’ on callipers, reseating the bullet marginally deeper if needed to get the exact overall length (case-head to bullet ogive) I want to within a single thou’. A Redding T7 press is used, and the combination of this press, top quality and lightly neck-turned brass, plus the Forster dies (and one presumes a very concentric rifle chamber) gave the lowest bullet runout figures I’ve obtained in any non-benchrest cartridge to date, nearly all of the contents of a 50-round box running at nil to 0.002”, better than I’ve ever achieved with .308W. While gratifying, I’m perplexed about why I get it with this cartridge and not others despite using identical techniques, tool and components quality. I should mention a vital check that applies to the use of long-nosed bullets of all calibres in any cartridge, that the die’s seating stem accommodates the bullet nose fully without its tip making contact. It is essential to the finished article’s concentricity for the bottom edge of the stem to make full and even contact around the bullet ogive’s circumference. Another trick that I always employ is to partly seat the bullet, raise the press handle enough to disengage the bullet from the seating stem and turn the cartridge through 180 degrees or so before completing the operation. This practice reduces runout even when match quality dies are used.
Above - Powders tried with 90s
Preparation I deferred describing case selection and preparation to this issue despite it taking place before the cartridge assembly stage. The first task was to check manufacturing lots, nowadays printed on the carton (or label on the new Lapua blue plastic containers), especially as my brass came from several purchases. One box of older ‘match’ cases had none shown, the others were split between two manufacturing batches in the ratio of 300 to 100 – and checks showed small but still important differences in neck thickness ranges. Naturally, the largest batch was chosen, the objective to obtain 200 prepared and batched examples. Stage one was to examine each case closely for any defect or damage, then measure its neck thickness at three points using a Sinclair / Starrett case-neck micrometer that reads to 0.0001-inch, a tenth of a thousandth. Taking some 30 or 40 cases out of the cartons at random to get a sample, measuring them and recording the results in a notebook showed that well over 90% had ≤0.0005” variation around the neck, many much less, but that there were two average thicknesses. Most were within a 0.0129 – 0.0135” range, but a significant minority, maybe 30%, were a half-thou’ thinner. So I decided that as a first step, I’d measure all 300 case-necks, 900 individual measurements, and segregate them into three groups: ‘practice’ cases outside of extreme thickness or variation parameters; the consistent majority into ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ neck wall groups, the former to be neck-turned to 0.0125”, the majority lot to 0.013”, both involving a quick ‘clean-up’ single pass through the turner. With small cases and little metal being removed,
Redding T7 press with .223R dies in the foreground with the Forster Ultra seater in use Flash-Holes – Bushing-Bump sizer die to its left and While employing the small rifle size primer, the Sinclair expander die to its right
.223R case is specified for the standard size
a Lee case trimmer stud and shellholder set was man enough to hold the case securely and centrally during turning, its stem slotting into a cheap cordless screwdriver which managed around 40 cases per charge. All cases were lightly neck-sized in the Forster Bushing-Bump sizer die that I use for this cartridge, then after lubricating the inside neck-walls with Imperial Sizing die wax on a cotton bud, expanded back out marginally using a Sinclair expander die and E22 mandrel. This not only matches the same company’s T22 turner mandrel to give a good result in the succeeding operation, but has proven to give near ideal, light neck tension on the two Berger match bullets. The lube film is left inside the neck for turning with Imperial wax also lightly applied to the turner mandrel, but must be removed afterwards, preferably before chamfering case-mouths, certainly before powder charging. (More cotton buds – I go though vast numbers!) Sinclair’s NT4000 neck-turner was used, an easy to set-up and readjust tool and which gives excellent results.
Forster Ultra-seater dismantled. Note the large sliding collar (bright steel) that supports the case and keeps it aligned with the bullet during seating. The 90gn VLD fits completely into the seater stem without its tip ‘bottoming out’. Second VLD below shows how far it has to penetrate the stem
Case preparation tools with the Sinclair / Starrett case mike assembly at the top. The bright cylindrical tool in the centre is the flash-hole reamer that proved its worth
(0.080” dia.) flash-hole, and after neck-turning, each case had its flash-hole reamed with another Sinclair tool that indexes off the primer pocket and provides a consistent hole diameter of 0.081” (assuming the originals aren’t oversize as sometimes happens). Lapua flash-holes are drilled, as opposed to the more common and cruder method of using a punch, and I initially thought I was wasting my time with this operation, examples producing nil or at most marginal resistance to the reamer blade, but two or three cases per 100 required substantial effort suggesting metal was being removed, confirmed by tapping the case over a clean sheet of paper to have a little pile of brass shavings fall out, so they’d obviously come from the factory with significantly undersize holes. This inconsistency will definitely cause pressure and MV variations, so the chore was well worth doing after all, for this manufacturing lot at any rate. Conversely, I found no need to ream the primer pocket, every example square and marginally deeper than my uniforming tool’s cutter – very different from most American .223R brass that has shallow pockets with concave floors and anything but square floor to sidewall junctions. The final tasks were to chamfer case-mouths with a shallow angle ‘VLD’ cutter and weigh the cases, tossing the odd outside of the norm example into the ‘practice brass’ box, the rest comfortably within a 0.8gn range. The net result of all this time and effort was five 50-case boxes comprising four ‘match’ lots (three at 0.013”; one at 0.0125” neck thickness), one ‘practice’, the remainder labelled and put aside in mini plastic storage boxes as spares. Incidentally, mentioning ammunition boxes reminds me that MTM RS50 or similar dimension types designed for .223 Rem aren’t deep enough for cartridges that are going to end up at 2.7” or thereabouts COALs, so RM50s as used for the .308W and similar have to be employed, a layer of expanding foam put into the lid to keep the contents snug and stop them rattling around inside (and more important, being knocked about and affecting the hard-won concentricity). Anyway, prime these cases with small rifle magnum caps and we’re ready to return to the powder scales alongside the T7 with the turret moved round to bring the Forster Ultra seater die into play, assuming we’ve decided
Left - With the .223’s limited capacity, a powder funnel with long drop tube is useful, this example from Forster with a six-inch tube
However, another cause is almost certainly the small powder charge, 24-27gn depending on powder so that any small charge weight variation has a disproportionate effect. One grain weight of Reloder 15 changes 90gn VLD MVs around 100 fps , so the ± 0.1gn accuracy capability of typical handloading beam scales can be expected to produce MV extremes some 20 fps apart, but factors like varying operator eye position when looking at the beam position and scales’ magnetic damping can easily increase the range (and that’s on top of other causes of MV variability, hence it being easy to get 40 fps extreme spreads). I soon became paranoid about weighing charges for match rounds on my RCBS 10-10 scales, lifting and replacing the pan two or three times with each charge until I was satisfied that the magnetic damping wasn’t distorting the reading, adding or removing kernels as necessary.
on powders and charge weights, of course.
Acculab Well, not quite as it happens. I mentioned last month that a downside of the .223 Rem is a tendency to produce larger MV spreads than most acceptable .308 Win recipes with equivalent quality brass and preparation methods. Some of this is most likely down to the long, thin case form as all of the .222 Remington ‘family’ display this tendency and the .222 Rem Magnum based .204 Ruger is even worse. But I still wasn’t happy and unfortunately peace of mind in the form of Acculab VIC123 laboratory Below - RCBS 10-10 scales and Acculab quality electronic scales didn’t come cheap. They are VIC123 behind. The Acculab scales are very accurate to ± 0.02gn – that’s two tenths of a grain – much larger than they look in the photograph and are maddeningly sensitive in consequence. (I’ll due to the camera perspective look at the Acculab scales and the accuracy of five
Above - The two apparently similar 90gn Bergers produce noticeably different pressures. Load the BT Long-Range model (foreground) over the 25.2gn of Reloder 15 in the pan that suits the VLD (behind) and a pierced or even blown primer is likely
different powder measures next month.) My match ammo now involves a three stage charging process – throw the charge from a Harrel’s Precision BR measure into the RCBS scales pan, weighing and charge adjustment with a powder trickler on the beam scales; finally, check-weigh the pan and contents on the Acculab, adjusting the charge again to within one to two powder kernels if needed. A slow and tedious process, the ammunition loaded for the F-Class European Championship meeting seemed to take forever to produce! I also take inordinate care in related activities, for instance ensuring that no powder can be spilled from the charged case by capping it with a fingertip as I move it across the bench to the press and slot it into the shellholder. Another thing is to ensure each charge sits in the same position on the bottom of the scale pan during weighing. You’re thinking: “Definitely losing it, the guys in white coats will be along any time now!”, but how often have you finished a loading session and found odd powder kernels sticking to the press frame and ram, maybe scattered around the bench too? Did they come one kernel at a time from several cases, or you’ve spilt a whole grain from a single case? Likewise, weigh a charge with the powder centralised in the pan, then repeat the exercise with it heaped up one side. This rigmarole; all that time consuming case preparation; the use of quality tools, especially bushing dies, has paid off. MV spreads are consistently under 20 fps with low single figure SD values, and the ammunition holds its 1,000yd elevation really well in the Savage 12PT / TrueFlite combination. Options That leaves powders, charge weights, and test results. When I started, American reports suggested the outstanding powders would be Alliant Reloder 15 and Vihtavuori N550 giving a combination of precision (small groups) and sufficiently high MVs, that is on the right side of 2,800 fps for 90gn VLDs.
These long rounds need ammunition boxes designed for .308W sized cartridges
Americans are rightly concerned however about ammunition and this can skew powder choice the effects of high ambient temperatures on their as well as reducing the maximum loads employed. While we shouldn’t ignore this issue entirely, it is much less of a problem in our temperate UK climate. There are eight readily available extruded powders that are potentially suitable: single-base H4895, H. VarGet, IMR4007SSC, and Viht N150; double-base (added nitroglycerine) Viht N540 and N550, Alliant Reloder 15 and 17. All will fill the case and normally involve a degree of compression with maximum loads, so a powder funnel with a long drop tube is useful to help the grains settle that little bit more compactly. QuickLOAD also suggests that Hodgdon BLC(2), H414, and one or two other ball type powders meet the internal ballistics criteria, but I’m wary about using the type in this application, if nothing else due to their producing more barrel fouling than stick varieties (from a greater proportion of their constituent elements being deterrent and other coatings that are not consumed). Alliant Re17, IMR-4007SSC and Viht N550 are relatively slow-burning powders that require charges up to two grains heavier than those in the Re15 and VarGet category, so one would imagine heavily compressed loads become a real possibility – something I was keen to avoid
Left - Test card for Alliant Reloder 15 and 90gn Berger VLDs – the best combination found to date 80 Target Shooter
Above - Primers are rounded showing pressures are not excessive, but every one shows an extrusion ring or crater where it has flowed back into the firing pin hole in the bolt
with he ery ight ase-neck ension eing sed aking t v l c t b u m it likely that such combinations would produce inconsistent COALs. I try to avoid heavily compressed loads on principle too, not for any particularly rational reason, more gut-feeling. In any event this wasn’t a problem with two of the trio, the double-base Re17 and Viht N550, a little recognised benefit of adding nitroglycerine to the base powder kicking in. Adding NG not only increases the powder charge’s energy content, but also makes the kernels denser and so heavier allowing a greater weight of propellant to be contained in a capacity constrained case such as the .223’s, all other things being equal. On top of that, Re15, N540/550, and Re17 have small regular sized kernels, a feature which also increases charge density and hence the amount you can stuff in. So it turned out that only single-base IMR-4007SSC was capacity constrained and would have required heavily compressed loads to obtain its full potential. It was mostly academic anyway as N540, N550, and Reloder 17 didn’t go onto my .223R/90 A-list, either not grouping tightly enough or producing excessive MV spreads. This was a particular disappointment with the new wonder powder, Swiss manufactured Reloder 17 as it gave very high MVs, my heaviest test load just nudging 2,950 fps. USA for allegedly producing lower MVs than Re15 or N550 before reaching maximum pressures restricting results to 2,700 - 2,800 fps. I wasn’t convinced, but it was impossible to obtain the powder earlier this year, so this option had to be put on hold anyway. I’ve since acquired some from other shooters and preliminary 3-round grouping tests with the Berger 90gn BT Long-Range bullet undertaken just before everything stopped to get things ready for ‘The Europeans’ gave promising results, so it will now be tried with the VLD model.
Temperatures Jerry Tierney warns against using Viht N150 in this application as he found sudden MV and pressure ‘spikes’, a 0.2gn charge increase seeing a disproportionately large MV rise on one occasion. However, I’ll give it a go in due course, but not until well into next year when temperatures again approach those likely to be seen in summer matches. It’s no good working up loads using an allegedly temperature sensitive powder in 3-10°C winter temperatures behind an exceptionally heavy bullet if the resulting load blows primers when used as the mercury hits 25°, and Americans at any rate believe that Vihtavuori single-base powders are temperature sensitive. This is why I’m keen Hodgdon VarGet, which is most people’s number to get a VarGet load that works as this Hodgdon one choice for 80gn bullets in .223R was largely ‘Extreme’ propellant is unaffected by any temperature discounted by Jerry Tierney and others in the variations likely to be encountered here. Hodgdon’s
Proof of the pudding! Shooting for GB at 1,000yd in the GB F/TR ‘Blue’ team at the F-Class European Championship meeting at Bisley, Sunday 7th November. Scores were comparable to those from .308W users and helped the team take the silver medal
new IMR-8208 XBR powder may be worth trying too when it eventually becomes available in the UK despite it being billed as 6PPC benchrest powder and on the face of it too fast-burning for what I’m trying to do here. However, American reports suggest it may be one of those flexible propellants that turn up every now and then that work in applications where the burning rate chart says they shouldn’t. Its USP is a complete absence of any sensitivity to temperature changes, and it’s also a fine grained, dense type. How about Alliant Reloder 15, the powder that has given me the best results to date? Most Americans believe it is temperature sensitive too, apparently on the basis of it being ‘double-base’, there being a prejudice against the type on this ground across the Atlantic, but Britain’s tropical colonies were won using Cordite ammunition which had a very high nitroglycerine content compared to modern double-base stick powders. We also developed a huge range of dangerous game cartridges around versions of Cordite that worked well in Africa even in conditions that saw exposed metal become too hot to touch with unprotected skin! Alliant says the powder is not temperature-affected, and tells anyone who’ll listen that it’s loaded in US military M118LR 7.62mm sniper cartridges. Since their specification demands reliability and consistent performance across huge climatic and temperature ranges, this suggests any such fears are misplaced, or at least exaggerated. primer cratering using the Savage PT action. While it has a small diameter firing pin that is a reasonably close fit in the bolt face by factory rifle standards, it is still not a match in this respect for an RPA, Barnard, BAT or suchlike, so the primer cup will extrude into the firing pin hole before absolute maximum pressures are achieved. Overdo it and the cup doesn’t just ‘crater’, it will ‘pierce’ blowing a little brass disk back into the bolt risking subsequent unreliable operation or inconsistent ignition, escaping gas eroding the firing pin tip too if it happens often enough. This is a much bigger problem with small size primers than large, and there are only two cures – either have the firing pin turned down and the bolt-face bushed, or restrict loads and pressures to below those that pierce cups, living with the cratering aspect. (Do not confuse this with cratering that is caused by excessive pressures producing extreme flattening of the cup, case-head expansion that allows gas leakage around the primer, and rapid primer pocket expansion.)
The other pressure issue is bullet related, not an expected one when there are only two useful models available in this weight and from the same manufacturer, so presumably using identical jackets, lead cores, and body diameters. But .... there is a HUGE difference between them, the BT Long-Range model needing a lot less powder than the VLD, and not capable of being driven to the same velocities either. I can’t think of a good reason for the Pressures discrepancy, and the most likely cause – the BT While discussing pressure, in particular excessive L-R having a longer bearing surface than the VLD pressure, two other things have become obvious, – doesn’t apply. I can only assume the VLD has a one expected, the other not. The expected issue is thinner or softer jacket than the BT L-R. I recounted
Loads and Test Results 90gn Berger BT Long‐Range
Charge/Powder Groups MV (top load) Comments Initial work‐up loads High pressures, top loads 0.1gn steps. Over‐high pressures. Large MV rise Initial work‐up loads Pressure signs at higher loads 3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐BR4 primers. 3 batches X 0.1gn steps. 24.6gn good 15 rnds match ammo left over from competition 9 batches 3‐round groups. Only 1 group exceeded
24.0 – 25.5gn Viht N550 26.2 – 26.9gn Viht N550 24.4 – 24.8gn Viht N540 between 24.7 and 24.8gn 22.5 – 24.0gn Allt Re15 24.2 – 25.0gn Allt Re15 24.8 – 25.0gn Allt Re15 24.6 – 24.8gn Allt Re15 24.6gn Alliant Re15
0.4 – 0.6” 0.4 – 0.7” 0.3 – 0.5” ` 0.4 – 0.75” 0.3 – 0.6” 0.35 – 0.5” 0.35 – 0.6” 0.37” (3 group av)
2,715 spreads: 11‐66 fps 2,905 spreads: 25‐54 fps 2,826 spreads: 6‐38 fps 2,742 spreads: 11‐50 fps 2,876 spreads: 13‐30 fps 2,854 spreads: 6‐31 fps 2,865 spreads: under 20 fps 2,869 fps ES: 34 fps SD: 8 fps
23.0 – 24.9gn H. VarGet 0.2 – 0.4” (9 groups) 2,834 fps ES: 12 (24.3gn) 0.3”. No velocity increase after 24.3gn
in the ‘Breaking the Mould’ feature that I use 0.6gn less Re15 with this bullet than the VLD (24.6gn v 25.2gn), but have now concluded that I’ll have to reduce the BT L-R load further as case primer pockets are expanding a little too quickly. With all that work in selecting and ‘prepping ‘ the brass, I want five firings out of it plus a bit of subsequent life for the load development role. Load Development This was done at 100 yards off a concrete bench and the rifle in full benchrest mode with its three-inch wide forend installed and supported by a Sinclair front-rest and Protektor rear bag. All load development was carried out using high-capacity Lapua ‘Match’ brass, but not fully prepared or neck-turned. All charges were individually and carefully weighed on the RCBS 10-10 scales, but without going to the lengths previously described for the match-grade ammunition. Having measured the case ‘overflow water capacity’ as 30.6gn H2O and input this into QuickLOAD, I found the PC ballistics program gave very reliable results saving a fair bit of time, effort and barrel life. Even so, all combinations used starting loads at least 2gn, around 10%, down on what QuickLOAD predicted as likely to produce 59,950 psi chamber pressure (against the C.I.P. MAP of 62,366 psi), the limit I set after some experience as to where primer cratering / piercing moves from being an issue to a problem. Charges were initially raised in fairly coarse steps, as much as 0.5gn if the starting load was 3gn below maximum, otherwise 0.4gn quickly reducing from that and ending up as 0.2gn as the likely maximum was approached. If I went to a second stage to either
fine-tune a combination, or to go still higher overall, I dropped to 0.1gn steps. If I were working up loads solely for my own use, I’d restrict initial batches to three rounds, but as the results are published, most batches were of five rounds to give meaningful group size and MV spread values. One exception was the single late VarGet trial which employed nine three-round batches. As maximum loads and pressures are approached, a 0.2gn charge increase can have a significant pressure-effect, and this is therefore the largest step that should be employed. Sticking to the pressure warnings, remember that the barrel was chambered with an exceptionally long freebore section to allow shallow bullet seating working off a COAL of 2.700”. If the barrel is chambered with a shorter throat, deeper seated bullets on top of the listed maximum loads will produce excessive pressures and MUST be reduced. To get an idea of by how much, I ran my match load with the 90gn VLD and 25.2gn Reloder 15 at a COAL of 2.500”, around what one would expect to be usable in a Wylde match chamber, through the QuickLOAD program and it produced 70,000 psi! To get back to just below 60,000 psi, the charge had to be reduced to 23.9gn, a 5% reduction. So if you’re tempted to try these bullets in a more conventionally chambered match rifle, reduce my maxima by around 7%, then start another 10% lower with your starting loads and as always work up in small steps checking for pressure signs. (Another warning indicator is that these loads should not be heavily compressed on bullet seating. If that happens with your cartridges, stop and REDUCE CHARGES! ) Tests The results mostly tell their own story. Viht N540
90gn Berger VLD
Charge/Powder Groups MV (top load) Comments Initial work‐up loads
24.0 – 25.5gn Viht N550 25.5 – 26.0gn Viht N550 23.0 – 24.5gn Viht N540 24.4 – 24.8gn Viht N540 at 24.7gn 22.5 – 24.0gn Allt Re15 24.4 – 25.2gn Allt Re15 24.5 – 26.0gn Allt Re17 26.2 – 27.0gn Allt Re17 problems! 24.8 – 26.2gn IMR‐4007SSC 26.3 – 26.7gn IMR‐4007SSC
0.35 – 0.9” 0.4 – 0.9” 0.3 – 0.7” 0.4‐0.7”
2,680 spreads: 20‐43 fps 2,886 spreads: 28‐68 fps 2,741 spreads: 19‐52 fps 2,807 fps (24.7gn)
Initial work‐up loads Pressures too high. Don’t use. Test abandonned Initial work‐up loads Shows promise. All groups 0.3‐0.5” bar one. Initial work‐up loads 3‐round batches X 0.1gn steps. Major pressure Top charge compressed. Initial work‐up loads Velocity plateaued at 26.5‐26.6gn Eight match rounds (prepped brass) brought back 3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐BR4 primers. 3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐450 primers.
0.35 – 1.0” 0.3 – 0.7” 0.3 – 0.7” 0.3 – 0.7” 0.3 – 0.6” 0.4 – 0.65”
2,709 spreads: 11‐32 fps 2,879 spreads: 9‐23 fps 2,750 spreads: 20‐67 fps 2,935 fps
2,815 spreads: 11‐35 fps 2,878 spreads: 25‐34 fps
25.2gn Alliant Re15 0.4” (8 rounds) 2,901 fps ES: 32 fps SD: 8 fps from Blair Atholl GBFCA league round. (Pre Acculab scales.) 24.8 – 25.0gn Allt Re15 25.0 – 25.2gn Allt Re15 Notes Cases: Lapua Match. All non‐prepped practice brass unless noted otherwise. 0.4 – 0.95” 0.7 – 0.85” 2,874 spreads: 6‐37 fps 2,914 spreads: 12‐25 fps
Primers: 90gn VLD loads – PMC SR Magnum; 90gn BT Long‐Range – CCI‐450 SR Magnum, unless noted otherwise All groups 5‐round unless noted otherwise. All test loads 5 batches (25 rounds total) unless noted otherwise. MVs shown: from highest charge unless noted otherwise. Spreads = velocity extreme spread range for all batches.
peaked relatively quickly pressure-wise and I wouldn’t recommend its use. Although Alliant Reloder 17 produced the highest MV seen in any test, it started to produce pressure problems (but only in a minority of rounds) at lower MVs than were reliably obtained from Reloder 15. IMR-4007SSC peaked at lower MVs than Re15, but is worth trying again in match cases as it appears to give good accuracy if only MV spreads can be reduced – but probably too slow burning and bulky for this case. The 3-round VarGet groups were superb and this powder appears to have potential. MVs plateaued with the 90gn BT L-R before pressure signs appeared, but not much below those obtainable at acceptable pressures from Reloder 15 with this bullet – to be tried in match brass and with VLDs. Another point to note is that this cartridge is very primer sensitive with heavy bullet loads and it is worth experimenting to find a model and
manufacturing lot that it likes. Important notice These components and loads performed safely in the author’s rifle. This cannot be guaranteed for other handloaders and rifles. Good handloading procedures should be used at all times working loads up from recommended starting levels and looking for signs of excessive pressure or other problems. The listed loads may only be used in a specially chambered rifle with considerable freebore to suit long 90gn bullets at around 2.7” overall cartridge length. If used in shorter throated barrels, they MUST be reduced (see text). Do NOT use maximum loads listed for the 90gn Berger VLD with the 90gn Berger BT Long-Range bullet or other 90gn models as they will generate higher pressures.
The Commonwealth Games, Dehli: What really happened!
by Jonathan Hammond
My lasting memory of the Games in Dehli will always be standing on the podium singing Flower of Scotland, seeing the beautiful blue and white Saltire rise up, the media response to our whole team’s success and of course carrying the Scottish flag at the closing ceremony. However there was so much more to the story and the longest 3 weeks of my life spent in the interesting city of Dehli! We all knew this was going to be a long summer, with World Cups, our World Championships in Munich and the Commonwealth Games in October, a month when we would usually be enjoying an off season break away from the range and training! So I felt there was going to be more importance on our preparation for the Games in terms of the management of our overall season, than the specific training. How much training, when we trained and when we had rest periods would all be vital to be fresh and be able to peak in Dehli, especially after trying to peak 2 months earlier at the World Championships. to India, so my training was based round that and was simply enough to keep myself sharp. While my job, coaching the West Virginia University rifle team, allows me to train and have access to great facilities, it is still a full time job, and competing against fulltime athletes will always be a challenge for most of us GB shooters. When I arrived back in Scotland a few days before we were due to depart, the fun kicked off! The first group of Scottish athletes and coaches due to leave had been postponed due to the condition of the athlete village and the media were all over it! Athletes started to pull out of the Games altogether, mostly English athletes but some from other countries as well, while pictures of the village, dirty, unfinished apartment blocks and collapsed buildings and bridges were seen on the news. We really didn’t know for sure if we were flying until the afternoon before we left, but it was really something we had to ignore and just wait for the updates. For me personally, while the prospect of 3 weeks in India was not the most appealing, I was excited to finally go to my first Commonwealth Games, and I wasn’t going to let a few dirty bed sheets and unfinished painting stop me! Plus, we have spent our fair share of time in poor hotel rooms around the world and it certainly wasn’t going to be a disadvantage for us over other athletes.
For me personally, I felt really good going into Munich for the World Championships and after a season high in 3P (1165) and a respectable 595 in Prone I was satisfied with the competition. My main goal after that was to maintain my form, but avoid over training and still be fresh for Dehli. The hard work had been done over the winter and throughout the summer and too much training close to the Games would only create mental fatigue. On top When we arrived in Dehli and the athlete village, I of this, I also had to go back to work for the time was pleasantly surprised at what we found. While between the World Championships and traveling it was not finished and wouldn’t pass any kind of
building code in the real world, it appeared nice enough, and with air conditioning, a bed, hot water and a TV, the apartments had all we needed! The facilities in the village were decent, training facilities for most sports, a gym, recreational areas with pool tables and table football tables and a salon where yours truly got a nice hair cut, what more do you need! But by far the biggest relief was the dining room, which was excellent. It was almost a carbon copy of the dining room in the athlete village at the Olympics and with the same catering company from Australia who catered the Melbourne 2006 Games serving all types of food, one of my biggest concerns was averted. Our management staff had also been on site for a week prior and assured us the food was great and that we would have no issues and they were proved correct. Hygiene and staying healthy was definitely a top priority, all the training and preparation in the world would be wasted if you were to get sick or get a case of ‘Dehli belly’ during your matches. I definitely went prepared with wipes, toilet roll and plenty of hand gel. We were warned that just a small glass of tap water had enough bacteria to lay you out for many days, so our teeth were brushed with bottled water and my mouth certainly stayed firmly shut in the shower! Of course I probably got a little OCD while I was there but it was something I had prepared for and using hand gel every 10 minutes just became part of daily life. Dehli certainly was not the most attractive of cities and poverty was clear to see every day on our drive to the range. If nothing else it makes you sit back and reflect how lucky we are for the lives we have and the conditions we live in. But we were
still provided some entertainment with the driving conditions! The use of a ‘Games Lane’ didn’t go down well with the locals, however watching 5 lanes of traffic cram into 3 was amusing and we all watched in disbelieve when our bus bumped a moped out of the way and when another bus driver lent out of the window and clipped a cyclist on the head for getting in his way, crazy!! The security was also pretty high, and every bus going in and out of the village was escorted by 2 police cars, even if they were from the 1980’s, while each bus had an armed guard on board for company. Just like the Olympics, getting into the venues and village involved full on security machines and pat down searches but that didn’t seem to stop certain items getting into the village that shouldn’t have. Overall though I felt pretty safe and so ultimately they did a decent job with the security. After a week of hanging around, acclimatising and a little training the opening ceremony was upon us and it finally started to feel like the Games were beginning. The opening ceremony was great and certainly gave us a flavor of Indian culture with the array of dancing, music and colors. While it was entertaining the real highlight is entering the stadium with your team, and singing the national anthem in the tunnel before we came out definitely made the hairs stand up and will be one of my favorite memories. Finally after a few days of competition I finally got to start my matches and after a lot of hanging around it was great to start. Jen McIntosh and Kay Copland had got us off to a good start winning a medal in the women’s 3x20 3P pairs, and this set the standard
for myself and the rest of the team to follow. First up was the 50m 3x40 3P pairs match in which I was competing with my teammate and friend, Neil Stirton. My goal was to shoot both 3P matches above 1160 and I was right on the number with an 1160 in the pairs match. I was finished before Neil and had to endure a nerve racking finish which saw us tie for silver with the English pair and ultimately lose out on center 10’s 105-104! It was a little gutting to lose the silver medal like that, and to none other than our GB teammates (James Huckle and Kenny Parr) but at the same time we had to be happy with a medal in our first and weaker event. We got our first taste of success at a multi sport event which includes not just an elaborate medal ceremony, but multiple interviews and even autograph signing afterwards, and to be honest this is when you really feel a part of the Games. The Commonwealth Games is unique for us, by splitting up the home nations and creating rivalries that we rarely have. Normally a large number of us competing at the Games train and compete together as part of the GB Team and there are many others (slightly older ;) that are former team members! This certainly creates good banter and not least with the English for us Scots! This rivalry was high again in the individual 3P match the next day with both the English duo of Huckle and Parr making the final.
My prone was as consistently good as my standing was bad, but after some good kneeling I ended with 1164 and only 3 points away from Gagan Narang of India who already had 3 gold’s to his name. With a healthy 7 point gap back to James and the second Indian shooter I felt fairly comfortable going into the final; however things would be tighter than I wanted! I struggled in the final with a few nerves and just some poor standing shooting but in the end it was enough to hang onto the silver, which was a huge relief. James had shot a good final to take bronze and also secure his 4th medal, a great accomplishment for someone still a junior! I was delighted with the result and my first individual medal, not least because the gold medalist, Narang is a world class shooter with many medals to his name. The final also gave me great experience, shooting in the large finals hall, with the cameras, the audience and the whole atmosphere is something that will help me in the future. After a few days off the prone events began, and again our teammates Jen McIntosh and Kay Copland set the bar by winning gold in the women’s prone pairs. Scotland has a good history in the prone events and Neil and I felt this was our match to lose, and that we could only beat ourselves given our consistency over the past few seasons. This certainly added a little pressure and it was a difficult day on the range with tricky conditions. I had to dig in near the end to finish strong but it was still a score I was not happy with, 589. Fortunately scores across the range were
Well chuffed for one 3 colours, but of course I wanted one more! My goal was to shoot a good match I could be happy with another
unlike the day before and just see how things turned out. I can’t control what everyone else shoots so my goals are rarely outcome driven but much more focused on performance. Conditions were challenging again but not difficult and despite a 9 on my penultimate shot I was happy with my 595. I was expecting a few more high scores so I was even happier when I saw my name at the top of the leader board, with everyone else either finished or already on a lower score. I felt I could have done more but it had been a solid disciplined performance I was happy with. However I still had plenty of work to do in the final, with Warren Potent of Australia only one point behind me! Potent has been one of the best prone shooters in the world for the past 3 years and has shot some of the best finals I have ever seen, so I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with even a 2 or 3 point lead!!
low and with Neil’s 592 we took the gold by 3 points over, you guessed it, the English, with Australia in 3rd. I was slightly shocked when I got up after the match to find Neil and Donald, our coach, all smiling, but that soon turned to great joy and we enjoyed the celebration! It was a great feeling to stand on top of the podium and hear the National Anthem and the Scottish flag rise up, added to the fact I was there with not just my team mate but one of my best mates in Neil. We have known each and trained together for so many years, just to be at the Games together was something we wanted to achieve but to win gold together was just fantastic!
The final is something I will remember for a long while and hopefully something that will give me both great experience and confidence for the future. I definitely felt a slight advantage having shot in the finals hall days earlier but I am certainly not as experienced as Potent. Going into the final in first position can also add to the pressure in that you can only move down, or stay where you are. However at the end of the day, we’d all rather be in position All that was left was the individual prone match and 1 than behind and I made sure I was focused on obviously my confidence was high. I was delighted just shooting the best shot I could each time. I also to have won 3 medals out of 3 and have the set of all managed to lighten the tension by writing “Hi Mum” Delighted to be on the on my blinder which I knew would get caught by the podium cameras down range! Obviously I knew my Mum would get a kick out of it, but it was also a great way to relieve the tension and have something to chuckle about during the final few minutes before we entered the final. Like the match, the conditions were tough and with wind flags only on the 8 firing points we were shooting on, giving us little to see either side, and only 45 seconds for each shot, I knew some aiming off would probably be needed. This lead to a few wild shots but I could hear 9s being announced for everyone else too, although not from Potent! Cominginto the 9th and penultimate shot I felt Potent had caught me and even overtaken me and I knew it was going to be tight. After he fired his 9th shot I heard a loud groan from the crowd, knowing he had made a mistake I knew this was my chance to get back in it and sure enough Potent had shot a 9. Yes, I should be focused but you cannot mistake a crowd groan after the person next to you shoots in a final like that! Unfortunately I could only manage a 9.5 but the crowd noise was one of oohs and ahhs after my shot, I knew instantly we were very close
and it would come down to the final shot. This was it and all I wanted to do was shoot the best shot I could. Potent had fired first but I took my time and made sure I made no mistake….10.7 and a cheer from the crowd! The feeling was fantastic and while I wasn’t sure of the result I was happy to finish strong, even if I was beaten. I turned round and got the thumbs up from some teammates and I knew it was enough! My final ended up being the high final on the line much to my surprise and to beat a world class shooter in Potent was something I could be really proud of. It is rare that you get to stand up after a match and truly celebrate but I was not going to miss the opportunity and it was truly a fantastic feeling and having so many Scotland team mates and support staff, and friends from other teams there to, made it something to remember. Being the big sports fan that I am, to be interviewed shortly after by none other than Matthew Pinsent was also another experience to add to the moment! With Jen winning the individual women’s prone, Scotland swept all 4 of the prone events with 4 gold’s from 4 and surely the first country to ever do that! It was also our 9th medal for shooting which not only was our highest total but made us the most successful sport in team Scotland, which can only do good things for the sport in the future! On a personal note it was my 4th medal from 4 events, and later back in the village I would discover that I became the most successful Scottish Athlete at a single Commonwealth Games ever…..wow! The media interviews, the excitement in the whole Scottish team and the honor of being asked to carry the flag at the
closing ceremony really hit home with me what an incredible 3 weeks in India it had been and allowed everything to slowly sink in! I’ve often been told that we learn more from our disappointments than our successes and I certainly believe this to be true. After disappointments we go home and think more about what happened, at least I do. While the Olympics were a great event and a great experience for me, I hadn’t been completely satisfied with the results. However I knew I would learn from the experience, and I think the experience I had and the things I learned there, contributed the most to my success in India. My preparation was better, I was more comfortable in the village and Games atmosphere and ultimately I was mentally prepared to win. Next up? Back to work!! I will take a break for a few months and start training again near the end of the year. Next year the World Cups will be important as we try and win the coveted quota places for the 2012 London Olympics. With Glasgow hosting the next Commonwealth Games in 2014, we will have a home Games for both the next Olympics and Commonwealth Games which I cannot see ever happening in my lifetime again! There is plenty to be motivated for and hopefully some more successes, but nothing that will come without a lot more hard work, training and of course a little luck! But after my skepticism of going over to India and Dehli, the 2010 Commonwealth Games turned out to be 3 weeks I will never forget and will give me memories to last a lifetime! All pictures by Donald Mcintosh
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Target Shooter 93
This Smallbore Business
By Don Brook
Dry fire. A challenge, and some thoughts to consider. That often hated time on the floor…. Dry Fire. So many deplore the system, and for many years now I have often thought that dry fire, to so many shooters is boring simply because they have no idea what to look for. Dry fire IS extremely important, and I do not know of any champion, particularly in the field of small bore that has not spent hundred’s of hours developing a working technique. But, What are they looking for? Is it just repetition of the process? Countless repeats of a single shot? Ahh…. The clue is… Have they got it right? I would like to leave you with some thoughts to consider. Dry fire is a perfect method to train the sub conscious mind, as it is usually carried out in a quiet environment, free from interruption, allowing a total focus that is part of the make up of a champion and the performance that counts. Is the silence desirable? Well in the early stages, I believe so, and advocate that the time spent is well worth the effort. You see, shooting is a mind sport. You spend a great deal of your training, and competition life learning how to stay completely still. So where am I coming from here? The importance of dry fire assumes huge proportions when you are looking for the skills to perform, and many high level shooters scoff at the important part of mind training that produces the results. Do you think they just happen? No, it just does not “just happen” you, as shooters MAKE it happen, and dry fire is one of the really important parts of this success. What to look for in a series of dry fire routines. 1. Learn to use your mind. When you are down on the floor, and getting the basics right of assuming your position, such as the natural aiming point, body relationships to achieve this, the fit of the rifle in relation to the eye directly looking through the peep sight, pressures and
Dry firing at the aiming mark, See text.
Dry firing with everything available as for normal shooting. See text.
tensions of the forward position, relationship to the sling and the various points and pressures entailed, butt in the shoulder both in placement consistencies and pressures, the actual placement and pressures of the elbows, and the trigger hand function in terms of address to the trigger itself and the perfection of the operation. All of the above is a function of your mind, and learning to recognise the different functions is probably the only short cut I have seen in this fascinating sport. 2. Expanding the mental process entailed as a benefit from good dry fire routines. Let me evaluate something here. It is not just a matter of 20,000 repeats of the process of prone shooting. It is better to get it perfect, and train a session of that perfection to really gain the benefits of a very accurate process. The process is full of segments to pay attention to. a. Is the aiming point correct? b. Does the rifle fit? c. Does the position allow the natural aiming point to be consistent in perfection? d. Is the hold developing? Becoming smaller and smaller as the time is spent in dry fire? e. Is the aiming exact centre in the fore sight ring? f. Does the trigger release function require any thought directive, or is it totally a function of sub conscious release sequence? g. Once the trigger release is operated does the rifle move as a result of this? (Are we really watching the sights to see this?) Are we? h. Do you pay a lot of attention to watching the sights through the follow through process, and only after close observation of this, only then do you repeat the reloading process. i. Do you do your dry fire routine EXACTLY the same as the normal process of your techniques in actual shoot performances? All of the above itemised paragraph is crucial with correct dry fire technique, but there are two areas in the notes that are really important to the perfection of your techniques. Items “g” and “h” are the crucial areas of dry fire, particularly. In the case of “g” if the rifle moves, even minutely, as the shot is released, it can only come from trigger operation, and this is often disguised in live fire by the recoil of the rifle, if you are shooting 300m or full bore. This is often the case when a sudden rough shot appears on the target. If the dry fire process is carried out correctly, and the shooter is focussed on the sight picture as the shot breaks, the observation of even the slightest movement needs to be recognised. ( Let me tell you, with my experience of full bore shooters in previous National and State teams, the only problem I have found, even with the exceptional shooters that are there, always comes from inadequate follow through processes.) With “h” above, are you watching the sights in your aiming picture? Or the sight picture itself, and there
Aiming at the blank wall. See text
is a difference. Let me explain……. you can proceed to the next shot. As a small bore shooter the knowledge of where the shot was The introduction of blank wall dry fire. nominated is crucial for input relative to where that Many shooters that are not aware of the variations shot should be based on wind reading skills. of dry fire simply stick a dot on the fridge and go do some dry fire. This is OK at least they are doing Finally, there is no need to dry fire 20,000 dry shots some! a week, I would much prefer you to dry fire 25 well What I would like to suggest now is that some of aimed, perfect dry fire releases than bore yourself the first facets of your dry fire should be carried out stupid on the lounge room floor. 25 shots fired with no aiming mark present. Just aim at the “blank perfectly are much more conducive to confidence wall” with a specific purpose in mind, that of carefully because not only do you release those great shots, watching the foresight ring. This teaches you to you are also training endurance levels, and the both watch the sights, and also see if there is any subconscious process a top level shooter needs to movement at trigger release. have. The really important part of this can only be that The subconscious performances that are entailed right through the whole process you have complete in shooting, are the “Mind Stuff” I am attempting control of the rifle. By watching the sights at trigger to include in the skills you have by correct dry fire release to see if the damn thing does move, you are techniques. perfecting your follow through! Subconscious shot release when achieved usually results in good results, and many of you have Follow through can be defined as the act of retaining reached this when a shot breaks just as the desired control of the rifle right through the whole process of sight picture is recognised. your shot. The fastest way to install this subconscious reaction I like to see the head stay fixed on the cheek piece is by correct dry fire techniques, Never underestimate until all recoil movement ceases as the recoil factor the benefits of correct dry fire routines, you will is the final process that indicates the shot fired was find that as your skills develop, your subconscious of a very high standard. reactions will fine tune your skills. This is why I recommend blank wall dry fire for a few minutes before you revert to the aiming mark techniques. The offshoot of blank wall is that the senses are focussed on the foresight ring at final aiming. This factor also helps with shot nomination, a part of team shooting particularly that is so critical to a wind coach. The wind coaches if you are shooting full bore NEED the information that their wind reading capabilities are based on. Shot nomination comes from the ability to recognise where the shot lay in the aiming, and if it was good, If your techniques are correct, this allows your mind to develop awareness, and install the “alarm bells” that do a great deal to prevent those errant shots that cost points. You will find that as you develop your mind, you can actually win the match, at home in dry fire routines, then go out and win the chosen match, proving to yourself and others that you have done the work! “We do what we need to do, excellence then becomes a habit.” (With apologies to the philosopher Aristotle.) Brooksie.
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The weekend following last months article deadline saw the Autumn Action Weekend being held at Bisley and as there wouldn’t be another Bianchi match being held until next March, I decided to take the new Ruger along with me on the off chance of being able to shoot a match or two with it. As it turned out, I
By Gwyn Roberts
eventually managed to shoot 3 out of 4 of the matches and starting off with the Plates match it soon became apparent that the biggest problem I would have to deal with on the day would be the size and ergonomics of the standard stock, and not the weight of the unmodified trigger as I had thought it would be. The short reach to the
Some matches were easier than others Target Shooter 99
happy with as the “miss” was due to getting a jam on the 5th plate at 15yds and although I managed to clear it and hit the plate, the buzzer went before I managed to release the sixth shot so that was the end of that! Not cleaning the rifle after putting 6 or 700 rounds through it the week before may have had something to do with it but I’m confident I wouldn’t have missed the plate had I not have had the malfunction in the first place so “cleaning” the plates match is certainly possible for a straight out of the box rifle. Function not looks The Barricades match was up next and the ill fitting stock wasn’t as much of an issue this time and a maximum score of 480 with 40x’s seemed reasonable enough to me bit it did however give me a big problem during the Practical match where I dropped an 8 on the weak hand stage at 10yds. Bringing the rifle up into the aim I couldn’t make contact between the butt pad and my shoulder, so I ended up having to pull the stock inwards against the side of my chest in order to get the 6 shots off onto the target within the rapidly decreasing time limit. At 15yds I dropped another shot into the 8 ring during the 3 shots on each target in 6 seconds. I spent so much time trying to get the rifle into my shoulder properly that once again I had to rush the final 3 shots to make sure I stayed within the time limit. I don’t know if I pulled the third and final 8 at 25 or 50m as I was just trying to concentrate on keeping the heavy trigger release smooth, but despite the difficulties I still ended up with a 474 ex 480. As this was only bettered by one other shooter over the weekend who had the same score but with 3 more X’s, I felt a little bit better about the result. Apart from the obvious malfunction during the Plates match I’m now very confident that a bog standard Ruger can get you very close to shooting a maximum score in a Bianchi match and with this in mind, my first port of 100 Target Shooter
grip meant that every time I brought the rifle up from the ready position the thumb of my right hand was almost touching my face, whilst most of my left hand was actually holding onto the barrel in front of the fore end in order for me to hold it comfortably. In the end though I ended up getting 47 out of the 48 plates which I was
call when returning home was my mate Alan’s house to scrounge a block of wood so that I could start to make the thing fit me properly. As luck would have it he had a good sized block of birch to hand, which also happens to be the same material that the standard stock is made from so off I went to start hacking things about in my garage. It certainly would have been a lot better (quicker and easier) to leave it with Alan for him to do it for me, but as he used to do woodworking for a living it didn’t really seem fair as this project is about Joe average being able to build himself a cheap and competent competition rifle, and woodworking skills don’t come much more average (worse?) than mine I can tell you!
I decided to start with the front end as this would need at least 2” adding to its overall length, as well as making it wider in order for it to sit comfortably in the palm of my hand when shooting it properly. To make sure I would be somewhere near the right size I first of all took off the original plastic butt plate and then cut the rear of the butt square so it would accept an old rubber recoil pad that I had lying around. This would add around an inch and a half to the overall length of pull and although I could have opted to fit one of the popular adjustable butt pads, I decided not to as it would have added nearly £20 to the cost of the project and once the right drop is achieved (to lift the rifle higher up into the line of sight), it won’t need to be adjusted again anyway so that will certainly do me. Putting the action back into the stock I brought the rifle up into the aiming position and simply put a pencil mark on the barrel where I needed the woodwork to extend to and this ended up being about an extra 2½ inches. Some people are obviously going to have more access to tools than others so if either you or a friend has a router or drill press in which you can mount Target Shooter 101
some wood cutting bits then this approach is going to save you both time and effort. Most of mine though was done with either a hand saw, drill or power file as the cut or fit doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, as long as you have plenty of wood filler to hand that is. If all you have is knives, forks and spoons in your garage then it’s certainly going to take you a while but at least you’ll have something to do over Christmas instead of watching all of the repeats on television. One thing worth mentioning at this point is to make sure that you use some suitable two part wood filler if you find yourself having some truly horrendous gaps to fill in, as any normal type filler will eventually crack and fall to pieces if used in large amounts. It may not be the right way to do it but the first thing I did was to square off the end and sides of the fore end to about the width of the barrel channel, with the overall flat sides being about
3 to 4 inches long. I then cut a 2½x 2½ x 6 inch long block and slotted the middle until it was a reasonably tight fit around the fore end and then drilled and screwed it into place. Using a pencil to extend the original barrel channel lines onto the top of the block then gave me a guide to follow with the power file. I took out an extra couple of millimetres along the whole length of the channel to allow some room for the textured paint I was going to use so that the barrel would still remain free floating. I then shaped the block until the profile fitted my hand and then blended the join into the rest of the stock. Once I was happy with the shape of the finished block, I refitted it using some wood glue and some pretty big screws to make sure everything stayed in place. The original grip forced my hand and wrist forwards into an uncomfortable hold which produced quite a strain on my wrist when I held the rifle on aim. It also positioned my trigger
will help produce decent results
finger too close to the trigger blade to the point where the side of my finger was dragging along the woodwork whilst I was trying to operate the trigger, which will obviously cause a poor trigger release to be produced. The angle of my wrist needed to be brought downwards into a more neutral position so that my trigger finger was more inline with the trigger blade, and my hand also needed to move rearwards to help extend
my reach to the trigger as this will help produce better control. To help achieve this, all I did was cut off a wedge shaped piece of wood and then flattened the base of the original grip so that it would make it easier to attach the block onto it. I then secured the wedge in place with 3 screws and drew a line around the edge of the grip onto the new block before removing it again so that I could use the power file to match the profile of
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the extension to that of the original grip. I also left a slight flare on the front and sides of it to provide a small ledge to help me gain a better reference and grip on the stock. Tracing around the shape of my hand and thumb when holding the new grip then showed me where I needed to remove some material from in order to produce a slight palm swell and recess so that my thumb muscles could tuck in closer to the centre line of the stock, which again would help line up my finger better in relation to the trigger blade. Once the grip was finished it was time to move on to the cheek piece and this is probably the most important part to get right as it has to fit you perfectly. If it doesn’t, you are never going to achieve the proper alignment needed between your head, eyes and scope when you bring the rifle up into the aiming position. Again I flattened off the top of the stock where the extension was to be fitted onto it and brought the rifle up into my shoulder. Placing the base of my thumb between the stock and my cheek I estimated that I would need a rise of around 1½in to the point where my head gave me the right eye relief in relation to the scope. I marked a point on the stock which was directly underneath my eye position and cut a piece of wood to a rough shape which was slightly oversized being 2 inches high at the required point. I then fitted the two pieces together using four large sized screws and then shaped the top so it had a more rounded profile. Refitting the action I then checked the scope/ head alignment which obviously needed altering 104 Target Shooter
slightly but I’d rather do it this way as it’s much easier to take material off than add it back on. A few more minor alterations gave me the required angle and height needed so I then screwed and glued the cheek piece back on so that I could blend it in and shape it to the rest of the stock once the glue had set. As I had drilled some pretty deep 10mm holes for the screws to pass through, I glued and tapped in some dowels so that the voids were filled in properly, and simply sanded them down flush once everything was ready. The final part that needed fitting was the butt pad and as this was a fair bit wider than the base of the stock, I ended up having to reshape it using the power file again in order for it to fit properly so that everything blended in together. Usually you would mask off the stock to protect the paintwork or varnish from being damaged, but in this case I didn’t bother as it was all going to have to be sanded down anyway before being repainted. Sanding around the edges with some fine wet and dry paper will help you to get a pretty good finish on rubber butt pads, and once this was done I then re-installed the action and checked to make sure that I was completely happy with the final fit and feel of the new stock. Now that it actually fitted properly, all that was left to do was fill in a few small gaps and holes and then let everything dry out over the next day or so. After giving everything a final sanding down and wipe over, I then applied a couple of
Make it fit you
coats of black undercoat followed by 3 coats of Plasti-Kote Stone touch paint that I sourced from my local Home Base store. This paint produces a really nice textured finish which will help you
achieve a more positive grip on the stock whilst also giving it the appearance of a much more expensive composite type of stock at the same time. The paint costs around £8 a can but I’ve now sprayed three complete stocks with mine and there’s still a little bit left at the bottom, so it certainly isn’t going to break the bank. I’d also like to make it clear at this point that when I described the finish on the new receivers in last months article as being “not the usual metal finish but is now more of a duracoat painted type of finish” I should have just simply said that it looks like it’s been painted instead. As uncle Dave quite rightly points out, the Ruger finish is nowhere near as hard wearing as something that has had a proper Duracoat treatment applied to it, and using something such as Gun Scrubber cleaning solvent on it will actually strip the Ruger coating straight off. So, if you’re not happy with the new finish that the new 10/22 receivers come with you should get in touch with Valkyrie Rifles who will be able to sort you out with a proper hard wearing coating, in any one of around 140 different colours of your choice as well! Now that the rifle fits me properly my scores and performance should start to improve accordingly and next month I’ll be able to take a final look at some of the things that you can do internally to help improve things a bit, whilst hopefully being able to keep the cost to a minimum at the same time.
Practical match Target Shooter 105
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106 Target Shooter
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I’m afraid there aren’t many words this month, not that there isn’t much going on but the renewals have just gone out and I’m a tad busy. I don’t mind it really as it means that memberships are rolling in, so many thanks to all our prompt paying members Liaison with ACPO and the Home Office The NRA has recently had a series of discussions with ACPO regarding Long-Barrelled Pistol and Section 1 Shotgun possession within clubs for use in NRA competitions. We made the point that the current position of the Home Office and ACPO did not allow clubs to own, train and assess their members as fit to use these classes of firearms. ACPO have approached the Minister and the Home Office expressing the view that Home Office Approval should be widened to allow ownership of these firearms by clubs. Visitor Firearm Permits Discussions also took place regarding the requirement for European visitors to apply for a Visitors Permit when they already hold a European Firearms Permit. Although to date ACPO and the Home Office will not accept that Visitors Permits should be dispensed with, they do accept that they will reduce the current requirement for the shooter to supply their original EFP to one where they can supply a photocopy. This change in requirement is likely to be in place prior to the 2012 Games. We will be emailing all those from overseas, who have taken part in NRA competitions this year, in early January with the relevant forms for both visitor firearm permits and certification cards (if required). Surrey police cannot guarantee document issue in under six weeks and the sooner they have the forms the better. So PLEASE return the forms ASAP once you know you are travelling as you will need to allow eight weeks (two weeks for our admin) plus postal time. We do get a huge quantity to deal with and any help you can give us is greatly appreciated. We did have a few go missing en route to us this year so, with this in mind, can you email Geoff Doe on firearmsliaison@ nra.org.uk to let him know it’s on its way. That way we can notify you if it doesn’t arrive within a reasonable time limit. Also, a quick reminder that payment must accompany the request as we have to pay Surrey Police in advance. No payment – no permit. Sorry to be blunt but we are still owed money from permits issued this year. Firework Display Onto brighter stuff, much brighter in fact. Our firework display at the end of October was a great success again. Lots of visitors were wowed by the stunning display laid on for us by Dragon Fireworks. Fortunately the rain finished earlier than forecast and didn’t start again until long after they finished. The sound system was much better this year as well and the way the fireworks are timed with the
music was nothing short of magical. Mind you I could be biased as I adore fireworks. However, as you may be able to tell from the photos, they were spectacular. I will try and remind you about them well in time next year so you can come along and be amazed as well. Shooting Events Even though we are in the ‘off’ season now, there are quite a few events going on. The NRA Shooting club Christmas fun shoot, Gallery Rifle Xmas Shoot, Civilian Service Rifle competition and Highpower Rifle Competition to name a few. All info and contact details can be found on our website, www. nra.org.uk, under ‘upcoming events’. Membership The applications for membership are still rolling in at a good rate but we are always looking for more. Have you ever considered either giving membership of the NRA as a Christmas or birthday present or just as a thank you? Well now you can. NRA gift vouchers – suitably pretty (!) can be purchased from the Membership Department. They don’t have the amount on so you can keep that bit secret and can be used for any membership amount, from Joining (£40) to Life Membership (£5000). To order your voucher please phone us on 01483 797777 ext 138 or 155 or email me on email@example.com. Ordering via the website will be available soon. Now is the best time to join the NRA as it’s only £40 to get membership until 31st December 2011. Membership packs can be obtained via the link below, by phone from the numbers above or email Nick Halford on memassist@ nra.org.uk. NRA Membership Application Packs Finally I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. Heather Webb NRA Membership Secretary
From The Bench
VINCE’S REGULAR COLUMN WHEREBY ACCURACY NUTS CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UKBRA
Competitions Our final 1000 yard competition of the 2010 season was held at the end of October. Both Light Gun and Factory Sporter Championships had ‘gone down to the wire’ this year with Mal Roberts, Mike Weatherhead and Steve Dunn all within a point or two of each other and, similarly in Factory Sporter, with Alan Seagrave, Toni Young and Ian Kellett just a point apart. Mal opened his account with a six-inch group in Match 1, followed by another in Match 3 and although Steve and Mike responded with an ‘eight’ and a ‘six’ respectively, Mal cruised to a comfortable win – the only shooter to agg. under ten inches. In Factory Sporter, the windy conditions made life a little more difficult but three eleven-inch groups from Alan Seagrave secured victory but Ian Kellett did at least take small-group award with a 10.455 incher.
Results: Light Gun 1st Mal Roberts 6.5-284 BAT 9.381in. (av. of four 5-shot groups) 2nd Jack Gibb 6.5-284 Barnard 10.094 3rd Steve Dunn 7mm Dunn BAT 10.604 Small group: Mal Roberts 6.539 inches Factory 1st Alan Seagrave 6.5x55 Tikka 12.364 2nd Tony Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 14.348 3rd Ian Kellett 6.5-284 Savage 14.411 Small group: Ian Kellett 10.455 inches The final 2010 UKBRA 1000 yard Championship positions look like this: Light Gun 1st 2nd 3rd Mal Roberts Steve Dunn Mike Weatherhead
Mal’s not just a one-trick pony – he’s pretty good fisherman as well!
Smallest group of the year: Mike Weatherhead 3.182 inches Factory 1st Alan seagrave 2nd Toni Young 3rd Ian Kellett Smallest Factory group of the year: Alan Seagrave 5 . 8 3 8 inches You can see all the year’s results on the UKBRA website at www. ukbra.co.uk
Alan Seagrave has had some great groups with his factory 6.5x55 (Photo by Steve Thornton – see lots more of more of Steve’s Diggle shooting pics at www.thorntonconnect.com)
Boxing Day – 600 yard benchrest! Our 100 and 1000 yard competitions are now over until next spring (see UKBRA website for the 2011 calendar) but our 600 yard series gets underway on Boxing Day. If you’ve had enough of turkey and stuffing why not come along to Diggle and blow the cobwebs out of your barrel. We’ll get going around 10.30am and might just lay-on a bit of food! All welcome. Shooting for score Next year, we are trying something new. All our benchrest competitions currently shoot for ‘group’ rather than score but, in 2011, we are running a ‘score’ series at 100 yards. These comps. will be held on different days to the ‘group’ series, which will continue as usual. Rules for equipment will be identical for ‘group’ benchrest but we will be shooting on the 25 bull score targets as used by the 22 rimfire benchrest guys. It will be different and it should be challenging. If you have an accurate rifle and you think you know how to shoot it, why not come along to Diggle and give it a go? New stuff Most F Class shooters and all benchrest shooters use a back-bag, as permitted by the rules. It’s essential that this bag is as stable as possible and this can be best achieved by using ‘heavy’ sand to
fill it. This usually means Zircon sand which is not a naturally occurring product in the UK and needs to be imported. It’s expensive and not easy to get hold of but I’ve recently come across a stockist in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Check out www. johnwinter.co.uk A much cheaper alternative is Chromite sand – also stocked by John Winter. It’s almost as heavy as Zircon but much cheaper, even so, it’s really too heavy to post a 25kg bag so you must collect it. SEB Neo rest The long-awaited SEB Neo rest which we reviewed way back in March has now arrived and Fox Firearms have a few in stock www. foxfirearmsuk.com along with a good selection of other benchrest equipment, like the Harrel powder measures and portable presses.
The Long View
News from the GB F-Class Association by Les Holgate
So the Europeans, which incorporates the Autumn Challenge - the final GBFCA League shoot of the year - are over. If you were one of the 160 shooters who attended Bisley, you can look back on a great shoot following a very full year of F Class competition. For some, it was certainly to end on a high (read a full report elsewhere in this issue) but for others, they may need to have a slightly different plan for 2011. To sum up on the GBFCA League - Grant Taylor is the GB F-Class League Champion for the second successive year by a clear margin of six points from two wins, one second and one third as his best four (77 points). Runners up are Daniel Brough, David Kent and Gary Costello in that order only separated by a single point each. In F/TR, Adam Bagnall couldn’t be beaten before he came to Bisley with three wins and a third already on hand for 78 points. The best Russell Simmonds could do was to match that points total but still come second with two wins and two seconds if he took class first. While he did achieve this, Adam’s second place and 19 points increased his best-of-four tally to an even more impressive 79 out of a possible 80 points, so it’s congratulations to him.
do?’ in the sidebar. Likewise, full results lists are available for this and other 2010 competitions in the ‘Competitions’ section of the website. Personally, I have tried both Open and F/ TR Classes and although I didn’t figure in the awards I enjoyed both. I now just need to pick one - which is easier said than done. What about you? Maybe you just read this column but perhaps you would really like to give F Class a try next year. Well, if you would like to give it a go but find the thought of entering a national competition a bit daunting, or even if you think you just need a bit of a ‘tune-up’ on the basics of long-range rifle shooting, the GB F Class Association may have the answer. On the weekend of February 19/20th 2011, we will be holding our second F Class Training Weekend. The aim is to hold a two-day course suitable for both Open and F/TR shooters that will appeal to both new or inexperienced shooters and prepare you for a competitive F Class League shoot.
The course will be held at Bisley Ranges and will have four separate ‘elements’ taking place simultaneously on both the ranges and in the Stuart Anselm who has performed consistently well throughout the season is in a lonely third classroom. place on 71 points above another big gap to 4th to 6th place men, fellow Northern shooters Paul These elements will cover: Harkins, Steve Lynch and Ian Dixon on 62 and · Reloading 61 points. (North of England dominance of F/ TR is a growing feature with seven of the top · Long-range shooting ten League places going to individuals based at · Plotting wind and elevation & basic rifle Altcar and/or Diggle.) maintenance · The F Class discipline The full GB-FCA League position line-up can be seen on the association’s website (http:// fclassuk.webs.com/) and clicking on ‘How did I The first activity, reloading, will give an insight 110 Target Shooter
into safe hand-loading for accuracy in both The cost of the course will be £80 but this does Open and F/TR Classes. not include accommodation or meals, which course attendees will be responsible for booking The second activity, long-range shooting, will themselves. It is ‘first come first served’ as you take place on Stickledown, Bisley’s 1000 yard would expect and if you need any additional info range and give attendees a guide to basic please feel free to contact me at mrmister@ range-etiquette, shooting in pairs and of course tinyonline.co.uk some long-range shooting practise. Cheques should be made payable to the The third bit is where things get a little more GBFCA and sent to Mik Maksimovic at 2 Vine technical - how to use and fill in a plotting chart Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 1QE. Please state and score card followed by some basic rifle whether you will need to borrow a rifle and your maintenance, including cleaning your rifle and main interest – Open or F/TR. Please include a properly setting up your scope. contact e-mail and phone number. Finally, we will have an overview of the F Class rules and the etiquette involved in competing in an F Class League match, followed by an open forum where any questions that you may have can be answered. Last year the Course proved to be immensely successful so if you are interested, don’t think about it too long as quite a few have already expressed an interest and the Course will only accommodate 48 shooters maximum. A detailed course programme, timings etc. will be sent out to attendees prior to the weekend. So, all you need is to bring along your rifle and ammo and take it from there. If you don’t think you have a rifle suitable but would like to give it a try anyway, the GB F Class Association has even thought about that. We hope to have two F/TR rifles up and running by then and RUAG 308 ammunition for sale on the point, so now you have no excuses. This could be just the opportunity you need to get started!
Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
The Trafalgar Gallery Rifle Experience There are two dedicated Classic Gallery (GR) Rifle Event held at Bisley each year, the first is the Historic Arms Meeting, which is part of the Imperial Meeting, the second is part of the Trafalgar Meeting. I entered ten Trafalgar Meeting GR Event this year so here are my thoughts on the classic format. Firstly the events in the Trafalgar are not the same as those shot at the four GR Action weekend and in that respect I found “something a bit different” enjoyable, there are also lots of longer range events and 50 metres and 100 yards. Following my research on eligibility (reported last month), I selected the Williams rear sight and the Lyman front tunnel sight on my .44” calibre Marlin Cowboy and put a few hundred rounds in the range bag and set forth. My first event was for lever action rifles at 50 metres and having consulted with the Range Conducting Officer I changed stocks as the one I had fitted to my Cowboy had the Bisley Butt Plate attached (plate 1) and it was not Felt quite “in the spirit” of things, I kept the rifle in this configuration for the remained of the meeting (plate 2). Chatting later with another Range Officer who spotted the butt plate in my bag, he was of the opinion that it would be allowed as long as the butt plate itself was not offset; this might cause some confusion for new competitors, the “rules” are very much “custom and practice” based. Now don’t get me wrong I am not against this but there is some latitude in the interpretation and I think on the whole Classic GR would benefit from a short formal rule book. Anyhow after another precision match I took on a couple of the different events, the Bobber and Duelling. In theses events the new challenge is snap shooting at 25 metres, normally only found at 10 and 15 in the Action Weekends and the extra few metres did cause a few silly mistakes. In the Bobber the three second exposures are interspersed with three second away times, with those more used to
five or seven seconds this came a quite a surprise windage I managed a further four “v” bulls out of my but in the whole enjoyable. allowance of 20 shots and came away quite proud of my performance putting nothing outside of the four The 100 yards was next and I hadn’t had a chance ring. of zeroing at this distance before I arrived which was a pity because nearly all the matches had sighters Sunday dawned (plate 3) dry and bright with a cool except this one, even the advancing target! So I but not too strong wind blowing directly into the face trusted to luck, doubled my elevation setting at 50 of shooters on Stickledown and Melville. I looked at metres and pulled the trigger. To my surprise it my squadding and saw I had also entered the 25 and hit the six ring at 3 o’clock on a PL 7 target face, 50 metre precision event again in the “any” gallery so bang on for elevation. Making allowance for rifle class and this is my second issue. I found
myself shooting a reproduction rifle against those with originals and some were very nice rare originals at that. I had it in my mind to look at the Trade Show for a proper period piece but what is the point if you can take part with a rifle I already had and one which probably gave me quite an advantage. I think the governing body should consider having reserved classes for original “in period” firearms; this might rekindle my interest in obtaining a period piece and give me a new challenge to work up a suitable load for whatever that might be.
Finding I had a near duplicate shooting programme on the Sunday did not deter; perhaps I could improve on yesterdays failures or even better my previous achievements? Some I did and some I didn’t, I seemed to have lost my knack at 100 and found it again at 25 but most of us have the “different day - Overall what did I make of it all? Well coupled with different score” syndrome now and again. my comments above there also seemed to be some confusion over what target faces should be used Another new match I did have a go at was the for which event, but this did not detract from my
Event 25 metre Precision 25 metre Precision America Match Timed and Precision One Timed and Precision Two Mutli-target Match Phoenix A 1500 Bianchi Cup Total Spring Action Weekend 8 4 2 10 2 7 1 3 3 Phoenix 26 13 4 21 2 17 4 3 0 22 112 Gallery Rifle 10 10 3 16 3 8 2 5 1 7 65 National Autumn Action Weekend 11 7 3 12 0 4 4 4 2 8 55 Total Number of Entries 55 34 12 59 7 36 11 15 6 49 284
Surrenden and I think the object of this is to balance the need for accuracy against speed. You take five shots at a DP 2 (that’s the one we use for the Timed and Precision Matches) target at 25 metres and the time you take to shoot your shots, in whole seconds, is subtracted from your score, great idea but there are some drawbacks. Firstly the DP 2 scoring area is too big, effectively making it a rapid fire match; perhaps a DP 1 (Multi-target Match) or even a PL 7 (Precision) would make you think a bit more about the trade off between accuracy and time. The second issue is that it is a time consuming match with individual shooters need one to one RO supervision, this was eased a bit as the meeting was not too busy. The same cannot be said for the Advancing Target, which was busy throughout.
Advancing Marlin Competition Special Target 12 52
Event 25 metre Precision 25 metre Precision America Match Timed and Precision One Timed and Precision Two Mutli-target Match Phoenix A 1500 Bianchi Cup Advancing Target
Spring Action Weekend 295 270 274 300 583 114 190 1479 1838 180
Phoenix 297 270 277 300 582 114 182 1478 Not contested 179
Championships 296 274 276 300 283 116 187 1475 1837 179
Autumn Action Weekend 296 270 286 300 Not contested 114 193 1474 1525 177
Highest Score Achieved
297(14x) 274(2x) 286(6x) 300(21x) 583(31x) 116(9x) 193(20x) 1479(85x) 1838(143) 180(29x)
enjoyment of the meeting and I would recommend it, especially if the weather we had on 23rd/24th October could be guaranteed again. My thanks to the Range Staff who were helpful and efficient and I turned up and shot on time for all of my squadded events. Some competitors even decided to use period costume as well as period firearms (Plate 4). The Classics at the Action Weekends The Autumn Action Weekend saw the end of the first year of the new Classic Classification for GR and I have done the maths and think I can report
Shooting Centre generated an income of over £2,700 in entry fees. If we assume (optimistically) that most competitors did the Classic events in addition to the Standard entries then this is good news for GR. So how did the x1 magnification shooter get on? As can be seen below they got on quite well: -
Classic Scores Achieved
Timed and Precision One Timed and Precision Two Mutli-target Match Phoenix A 1500 Bianchi Cup
300(21x) 583(31x) 116(9x) 193(20x) 1479(85x) 1838(143)
And how does this measure up against the scoped shooters? At 25 metres very well with the same maximum scores being achieved with a Classic GR in all but the Multi-target and Phoenix A Matches, notwithstanding slightly reduced “X “counts. At 50 metres there Highest is a slightly different story and in Standard Scores competitions where the aiming Achieved mark is absent, like the 1500, (National Records) scores are a good bit lower. Don’t despair, this is the first year and 300(30x) shooters will get better and anyway 600(44x) it is about the challenge and x1 is 120(17x) certainly that: 199(30x)
Gallery Rifle Update The Autumn Action Weekend saw Advancing Target 180(29x) 180(32x) the closing shots of the GR season here in GB so now it’s time to settle a success. The chart below shows the number of down to the club competitions and winter leagues entries for each event at each of the four meetings locally. The Autumn Meeting was graced with fine in 2010: weather despite gloomy forecasts and made a suitable conclusion, with the number of cards shot again increasing to over 800. It is apparent that the Timed and Precision One, Multi-target Match and the Advancing Target are The GR season will not finally climax until 12th/13th popular, but this is the case with other classes. The November in Leitmar Germany, where the GB Classic Class also finds popularity with the precision Squad again entered the international lists. I will be shooters. Only twice did an event fail to attracted shooting in Germany for the first time at this meeting entrants and there were single entries on two so I will report on the event and on how the GB Team occasions. get on next time. So for the expense of 38 medals the National
As art f ur ngoing eries ooking t he hooting p oo o s l at s profiles of some of the top practical shooters in the UK, this month we focus on Mike Darby, current British Standard Auto champion (shotgun). _____________________________________ _____________________________________ Name Address Age Mike Darby Dorset, England. 42
club which lead me into practical shooting. What made you start shooting Practical? Practical is my favourite shooting discipline. I love all shooting disciplines from airgun to archery, but practical is what fuels in me the drive for success, whether it’s shotgun, rifle or pistol – or all three at the same time! I started shooting Practical Shotgun in 1998 after the handgun ban. What other shooting disciplines do you take part in? I am quite getting into precision rifle at the moment and can see myself being drawn into things like UIT and other precision type shooting at a fantastic new target range called “The Tunnel” that has opened near where I live in Lyme Regis, Dorset. What is your current shotgun? I shoot a Benelli M2 Semi-auto shotgun. I own and have evaluated every other major semiauto and feel the Benelli M2 gives me a slight advantage over the other makes due to my style of shooting and loading. Do you have a preference for certain types of ammunition?
Positions UKPSA Shotgun Representative since 2008. Division Standard Auto.
Champion British Standard Auto Champion 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 , 2009 Family artner and two cats. P Occupation Police Officer _____________________________________ _____________________________________ How did you get into shooting?
I had a boyhood love of things that went bang! I started shooting at school and in the army, I currently use the following ammunition: but didn’t really start target shooting until I joined the Met Police in 1989. I started Birdshot: Express Super Game 70mm 32g handgun shooting in the Met police shooting No. 5 116 Target Shooter
Any Remington brand Remington Managed Recoil
You shoot in Standard Division. What attracted you to that?
Buy the most decent gun you can afford, find ammo that it likes, decide on a loading technique that suits you and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
What are your shooting aspirations? The majority of shooters in the UK and USA shoot in standard division and I feel it’s also the I want to improve my overseas shooting results most competitive, all-round skill class. and get more experience and understanding of full bore rifle shooting to help me improve my USA 3-Gun results. What would be your advice to new PSG shooters? You have obviously shot abroad. Do you intend to do more? Target Shooter 117
My true passion is 3-Gun or multi-gun shooting in the USA, and I try to get over twice a year to compete in these matches. They are big matches and last for 3 days and are very challenging. You shoot against some of the greatest names in practical shooting the world has to offer. What are your thoughts on the UK Firearm Laws – do you think they are fair and balanced? The laws as they are don’t help our skill level for guns we can’t lawfully own, so it does make it hard to compete at an international level. That’s why I train hard in those disciplines we can lawfully shoot in the UK. What changes would improve Britain’s chances of shooting competitively? Good question, but sadly it’s not an easy answer. I don’t think any government would significantly change the current firearms legislation for the benefit of shooters especially following the recent tragic events in Cumbria in mind.
Can you remember the best stage you ever shot? In the context of best designed stages I don’t recall one that is a clear leader. I have shot some really cool stages like shooting an AR15 sliding down a rollercoaster, or a wet jungle stream stage where you had to keep your gun at shoulder level to stop it going under the water. I do think when I was a novice practical shooter, the shooting of the stages gave me much more of a buzz than now. I think then I was having fun for the pure fun of it, where as now I am so committed to competing that the ‘fun’ element is often suppressed by the need to win, which is sad as I do miss the feeling of joy and excitement I used to have in the early days. In those days I was overjoyed to come 10th. Now that has been slowly replaced by the fear of not coming first - human nature I guess!! I think that’s why I love US style 3 Gun so much. I am relatively new to it and find myself shooting alongside the best practical shooters in the USA like Jerry Miculek, Taran Butler, Kurt Miller, Kelly Neal, and Tod Jarratt to name a few. I don’t expect to win, but aspire to come top
15 and that gives me a real drive and also brings back a little of that old feeling of pure fun and excitement. All the top US shooters are sponsored by major firearm / ammunition manufacturers or shooting related companies and in the last year I have been lucky enough to have been taken on as a sponsored shooter by three major US firms. As the only sponsored “Brit” shooting in US 3 Gun matches, it is a great honour that these companies want to associate my name with them. This now further fuels my desire to train hard and improve my skill levels, as I don’t want to be seen to let the nice people who support me down ! Do you have other hobbies? I like to try and stay in shape, which goes in line with the physical side of practical shooting, and have recently taken up sailing and kayaking in an attempt to demonstrate how easy it is to drown in salt water What would be your Key Performance Tip? Knowing whom to listen to, and knowing what you want to achieve is important. If you just want to do Practical Shotgun (PSG) for fun then crack on and have a great time. If you want to do it as a competitive sport, and want to seriously improve and compete then approach it from a
professional perspective. When I started shooting Practical shotgun in the UK in 1998, apart from one or two people, everyone shot identical guns, everyone loaded exactly the same, everyone used the same shooting style and if you wanted to do well then you comformed by copying everyone else - as that’s how it had been done for years. In about 2002, I got speaking to a guy in the states named Kurt Miller who (unbeknown to me) was, and still is, the best practical shotgunner over there. He started tactfully offering me advice, tips and techniques and from this it gave me the desire to try and push the boundaries in the UK PSG scene. The advice he gave was pretty radical by UK standards in those days and it wasn’t until the 2003 European IPSC Shotgun Championships when he came over to Italy (the only Yank there out of 300 European competitors!) where he shot his first ever IPSC match and came third! That’s when I realised that I had to change everything about how I shot from the ground roots up. I was ranked 8th in the UK then, but after having the wool pulled from my eyes by my new bestest American mate, it gave me the drive to start a long process of learning, experimenting and development that has led to where I am today. From this I learned to dismiss nothing until I had experimented with it and either adopted or discarded it. I studied and learned as much about the ethos and mental side of practical Target Shooter 119
Mike Darby Germany 2008 shooting as I could from the sports’ past heroes. Brian Enos has written a great book about the mental side of the sport that whilst aimed at handgun shooting, still has huge relevance to things like PSG. I learned that to get better you need to understand and know in depth the gun you shoot, its’ likes / dislikes and capabilities. Master your chosen loading technique and drive yourself to hone your shooting skills, like shooting on the move, so you become more fluid in your movement and actions rather than static and stiff limbed. That will allow you to do things the vast majority of other shooters can’t do, simply because they can’t be bothered learning how to, or simply tell themselves they don’t have the ability to learn. By pushing yourself, and your boundaries, you will develop a skill level over time that will really 120 Target Shooter separate you from the crowd in the result tables. The only person in the UK whom I have seen do this in recent years is Mick Flatley, and his desire to learn and improve is both refreshing and rewarding. He has sailed up the results league in the short two years he has been shooting IPSC Shotgun – well done Mick ! Anything else you’d like to say? I’ve waffled on too much already! Many thanks Mike. Tony Saunders
A regular column whereby Ken Hall keeps us up to date with black powder cartridge rifle shooting in the UK.
NOVEMBER QUIGLEY AND A NEW QUIGLEY see and hit, Ian Hull won the stage with 66pts, with Richard close on his heels with 61pts. CHAMPION.
Part of the line-up at 400yds
Blessed with a break in the weather that allowed us to forgo the shelter of the covered firing point, we were able to get an early start and make the most of the limited daylight. Despite a horrible fishtailing wind some respectable scores were achieved. Stage 1 at 400yds was fired at the unforgiving bucket target which scores 5 points per hit, with only one point for the nearest of misses. The stage completed, we retired for lunch with Richard Healey managing to hit the bucket a magnificent twelve times and scoring 63 points to take the lead over Ken Hall and Steve Maris each scoring 55 points. The 600yds stage promised to be a challenge, and it was. The failing light making the buffalo target even more difficult to
Richard and Jake Healey
Back into the clubhouse and a rapid tally to determine today’s winner and the season’s Champion shot. Richard Healey won today’s comp with a score of 124 points, with Ian Hull as runner-up with 113 points. The QSA Championship is based on a firers best 3 scores, this gives all members a good chance to win, allowing you to drop your worst scores, or to miss a couple of shoots without forfeit. When the arithmetic was completed, the championship went thus……. 1st. Ian Hull 338pts 2nd. Richard Healey 336pts 3rd. Gary Allsopp 285pts 4th. Dennis Richardson 282pts 5th. Eric Todd 280pts An interesting point to note here is that only a couple of years ago, an average score of 85 points per competition was good enough to win the Championship, that average this year would only achieve 8th place. Each year, the shooter who achieves the highest score on Stage 1, is awarded the ‘Quigley Bucket’. The shooter with the highest score on Stage 2, wins the ‘Quigley Buffalo Trophy’, both unique trophies hand crafted by our own Doug Herod. This year, Richard Healey takes home the Bucket trophy, and Ian Hull the Buffalo trophy. A fitting end to the Season which has seen average scores rise yet again, next year…who knows? Season’s greetings to all, see you next year. Ken Hall for QSA
Winner and runner up Ian and Richard
Next time in.....
The January 2011 issue will be out on the at the beginning of the month. Lots of follow up articles, new reviews, news and as ever packed with the articles you want to read.
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