Black Powder • Event Reports • New Products • and lots more

Target Shooter


New from Lapua
The First Choice For Serious Target Competition We at Lapua have never been content to rest on our laurels. We have recently undertaken a major program to make our outstanding bullets even more accurate. Not a redesign in ballistics, but a refinement in all manufacturing steps. Using our state of the art manufacturing capabilities and decades of competitive experience, we have set out to tighten all measures and requirements, including our already famous quality control standards. Closer weight tolerances, tighter jacket wall concentricity standards, and greater uniformity in every dimension, starting from the gilding metal cup, lead wire and jacket forming, ending up to core-jacket assembly, boat tail pressing and tipping. Several new proprietary machines, manufacturing steps and advanced instrumentations combined to the ScenarL manufacturing line never seen before in bullet production. We also took our already high quality control standards and kicked them up a notch. This new generation of match bullets has been dubbed the ScenarL, and is a fitting successor to the vaunted Scenar family. Sharing the same aerodynamic profiles as their predecessors, the ScenarL are the perfect choice for any type of competitive shooting. Whether it’s ISSF or CISM, Benchrest or F-Class, Silhouette, High Power Across the Course or Long Range, the new ScenarL line will give you the extra edge that takes you to the winners circle. Based on the Scenar’s proven track record of competitive successes, Lapua’s new ScenarL will deliver the ultimate performance in the most demanding competitive environments every time. Precision craftsmanship, painstaking quality control standards, state of the art manufacturing technology and advanced ballistic design all combine to make the new ScenarL the very best of the best!

The ScenarL Bullet

The New Lapua260 Remington

First ScenarL is now available, the 6mm 105gr ScenarL.

With the .260 already a favorite of demanding competitive shooters, Lapua sets the standard even higher with the introduction of our new .260 brass. Superior Lapua metallurgy, outstanding uniformity and durability combine with our meticulous quality control to make this case the obvious choice for those requiring the ultimate in performance

**check our website for news on the ScenarL range **
Sole distributors of Lapua components & Vihtavuori Powders

Hannam’s Reloading Ltd
Tel: 01977 681639

2 Target Shooter

Fax: 01977 684272

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Welcome to the March Issue of ................Target Shooter
19 Ruger SR 22 TS by
Tim Finley

6 13 14

Shooting Sport News Seirra Reloading DVD Review - by Vince Bottomley Shooters Calendar Shooting Black Powder Pistol by Chris Risebrook Firearms Guide 2011 by Vince Bottomley This Smallbore Business by Don Brook 2011 British Open Air Gun Championship by Hayley Platts

accurate load for your rifle by Vince Bottomley 15
43 80 84

27 Developing an

for Benchrest by Carl Boswell

36 Rimfire Actions

Pistol - Ammunition and Reloading by Gwyn Roberts

46 Gallery Rifle and

Association Pages
88 90 91 NRA UKBRA UKBR22 F- Class Gallery Rifle UKPSA Quigley Association

Ultimate F/TR Rifle Part 3 by Vince Bottomley

54 Building the

94 100 102 104

61 Handloading

Bench - Mechanical Powder Measures by Laurie Holland


Target Shooter

Main cover courtesy of Editor(s). RFDNET Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley Advertising and Office Manager email; Contributors Vince Bottomley Tony Saunders Tim Finley Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell Don Brook Alan Whittle Gwyn Roberts Hayley Platts Ken Hall Heather Webb

Webitorial - March 2011
We would have loved to have had a review of the Newark Show in this issue but, with our publication date just couple of days after the Show closed, we decided that it was too good to rush it! So, instead look out for our ‘Target Shooter Show Special’ – a free supplement devoted exclusively to the Show, which will be downloadable from the Target Shooter website in around a week – don’t miss it! Although Target Shooter is a UK publication, around 40% of our 13,000 unique readers are domiciled outside the UK. We are a global brand! The great majority of our overseas readers are from the USA and to embrace our non-UK followers we have now acquired new domains which will soon go live. American advertisers please note, for your convenience we now have a US bank account. Remember, ad. revenue is vital to keep Target Shooter on-line and free. We are always conscious of the advantages and drawbacks of an on-line magazine – yes, we don’t have a ten week lead-in time so we can be first with the news and match reports. Neither do we have the hassle of printing and distribution but, if you download and read Target Shooter on a desktop computer, there are drawbacks. With this in mind, we are constantly exploring ways to make Target Shooter more accessible and those with iPads and the like will already be enjoying the magazine in a far more friendly format. Yes, the iPad and its competitors are not cheap but book readers like the Kindle are - at just over £100. We are currently looking at ways of downloading to Kindle and of course ‘apps’. Unfortunately, apps aren’t free but would you pay say 59p or 99 cents for the convenience of a Target Shooter app.? On a more serious note, the Crime & Security Act 2010 s.46 – Safe keeping of air weapons came into being in February. If you own an air-weapon, you must now take ‘reasonable precautions’ to prevent your air-weapons falling into the hands of young persons under the age of 18. Of course, ‘reasonable precautions’ will depend on circumstances and yes, it is another restriction on our sport - albeit a common sense one. I think we can handle that. Finally, a big ‘thanks’ to all of you who came along to our stand at Newark and told us how much you enjoy Target Shooter – it means a lot!

Vince, Carl & Yvonne Carl Boswell - and Vince Bottomley - and Yvonne - Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The website 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.

Target Shooter


Shooting Sport News
SYSS semi-custom Rem700SPS Varmint in Manners T5-DBM


ew Products from South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies Roger and Shelia Francis at SYSS continue to add new products, in this case for the precision and tactical shooter, although as always in this day and age of flexible shooting gear, of interest to the accuracy minded fox shooter and deerstalker too. The SYSS range of very well made Manners

Remington 700-compatible synthetic stocks has received a boost with the arrival of long awaited versions with Badger Ordnance manufactured mini-chassis bedding blocks/ detachable magazine bottom-metal. The stock itself is the Manners T5 tactical job, a strong well-made ambidextrous design that is up to full military strength specifications and can be

MCS T5 with MCS-DBM chassis system installed


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had in standard ‘drop-in’ form for Remington 700 barrelled actions, or those using the Remy action ‘footprint’ without the ‘mini-chassis’. Manners makes its tactical stocks from a 35% aviation grade carbon fibre and 65% fibreglass mix hand-laid up in multiple layers with high temperature epoxy resins, placed in a vacuum chamber before heat curing to obtain a correct resin to fabric ratio. As can be seen in the photograph, the T5 has a thumbhole configuration. The forend is 2.4” wide for maximum strength and stability and its channel will hold barrels up to 1.35” outside diameter. Factory installation of the Manners MCS-DBM ‘mini-chassis’ provides a more rigid aluminium alloy full-length bedding section and also incorporates the magazine well, securing catch and feed arrangements for what is fast becoming the international standard of affordable large-capacity box magazines - those from Accuracy International. SYSS has also obtained .223 Rem AI magazines alongside those for .308W and similar length cartridges such as 6.5X47L. 6.5mm Hornady Creedmoor, .243 Win etc. With the .223R version retaining .308W length, this magazine accommodates over-SAAMI length cartridges loaded with heavy (75-80gn) bullets seated well out and feeds reliably, an attribute long sought-after by .223R aficionados. Magazine release is Alchemy Long Detachable Magazine

through a long M14 type lever between the trigger guard and magazine rear face giving easy release, the empty mag. dropping out of the mini-chassis under its own weight. SYSS also imports the T5A version of the stock with a height adjustable cheekpiece but this is only made in right-hand form. Both versions are supplied with pull-length adjustable stocks using spacers and a half-inch think Pachmayr ‘Decelerator’ butt-pad and are available in black or olive green finish. They accept Remington 700 ‘footprint’ actions in long or short versions and no gunsmithing is required. SYSS offers these stocks as one option in its ‘semi-customised’ Remington rifle range too, alongside the AICS, other Manners stock models and Bell & Carlsson versions. We’ve reported before on SYSS British manufactured ‘Alchemy’ stainless actions with a Remington 700 ‘footprint’ which will eventually be available in several versions and sizes. Long repeating actions with detachable magazine ‘bottom metal’ are the latest to arrive. As with other versions, they have a fluted bolt and the price includes an M1913 Mil.Std. ‘Picatinny’ ‘scope rail. They are available with standard (0.473”) or magnum (0.550”) diameter bolt faces. For information on either product range and contact details, visit SYSS website

Target Shooter


Fermoy Rifle Club
Ballyhooly, Co. Cork, Ireland In association with the National Benchrest Association of Ireland – (NBAI) (Affiliated to WRABF and ERABSF)


April 16th and 17th 2011

Cyber Shoot

1. 50m Benchrest (outdoor range) in .22 rimfire LV (10.5 lb limit) and HV (15 lb limit) 2. Competitions may be completed at each participating team’s home club or some clubs may wish to come together for the event 3. All matches to be completed on the same day. Teams must nominate in advance to shoot on 16th or 17th 4. LV and HV events are separate competitions – i.e. no aggregate 5. Club team event only – teams of 3, with all team members from the same shooting club 6. A Shooter may be on a LV team and also on a HV team if so selected by their club 7. Any number of teams may be entered by a club but each shooter can only be on one team for each event (i.e. on 1 LV team and/or on 1 HV team) 8. Teams must be pre-entered with team name and members names 9. 2 consecutive cards to be completed by each shooter for each event 10. esults scored at the place of competition and emailed same day to the control R centre in Fermoy 11. ompetition rules, including scoring, according to WRABF rules C 12. o entry fee required. Fermoy Rifle Club will award medallions to the first 3 teams in N each event 13. ach participating shooting range must nominate a competition director in advance. E The director will be responsible for the emailing of results to Fermoy on the day of competition.


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YEAR 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 G M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W M W NAME COOPER, Malcolm SPURGIN, Pat COOPER, Malcolm MATOVA, Nonka BASINSKI, Igor LETCHEVA, Vesela IVANOV, Kirill LETCHEVA, Vesela MAKSIMOVIC, Goran SPERBER, Silvia SCHUMANN, Ralf SALUKVADZE, Nino STENVAAG, Harald SEKARIC, Jasna DEBEVEC, Rajmond LOGVINENKO, Marina SCHUMANN, Ralf LOGVINENKO, Marina DEBEVEC, Rajmond LETCHEVA, Vesela DI DONNA, Roberto SEKARIC, Jasna KREBS, Torsten LETCHEVA, Vesela DI DONNA, Roberto MAUER, Renata FARNIK, Thomas GELISIO, Deborah GONCI, Jozef PFEILSCHIFTER, Sonja GONCI, Jozef PFEILSCHIFTER, Sonja DIAMOND, Michael TAO, Luna NESTRUEV, Mikhail TAO, Luna BUERGE, Marcel KOSTEVYCH, Olena TENK, Martin GALKINA, Lioubov NESTRUEV, Mikhail GALKINA, Lioubov HANCOCK, Vincent SEKARIC, Jasna FOKEEV, Vitaly DU, Li ACHILLEOS, Georgios CHEN, Ying JIN, Jong Oh EMMONS, Katerina SIDI, Peter ROSSI, Jessica MATSUDA, Tomoyuki KLIMOVA, Kira NAT GBR USA GBR BUL URS BUL URS BUL YUG FRG GDR URS NOR YUG YUG URS GER EUN SLO BUL ITA IOP GER BUL ITA POL AUT ITA SVK GER SVK GER AUS CHN RUS CHN SUI UKR CZE RUS RUS RUS USA SCG RUS CHN CYP CHN KOR CZE HUN ITA JPN RUS SHOOTER OF THE YEAR 1984, 1984 1984, 1985 1986 1986, 1987 1986, 1988 1988 1989, 1989 1990 1990, 1991, 1991, 1989, 1991, 1991, 1986, 1994, 1990, 1995 1986, 1994, 1996 1997 1997 1998, 1998, 1998, 1998, 2000 2000, 2001, 2000, 2002 2002 2003 2003, 2001, 2003, 2005 1990, 2006 2006 2007 2007 2008 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 1985 1985

1987, 1993, 1995 1987, 1993, 1995



he “Shooter of the Year” award is currently a tradition in the shooting world. The award was established in 1984, when the shooting sport journalists voted to acknowledge the best athletes of the season for the first time. Through the last twenty-six years, the best shooters of the world won this title. Twenty-one Olympic Champions were voted as shooters of the year, and 29 World Champions won the approval of the shooting journalists community. Numbers are impressive, when considering that 65 different Olympic medals, and 129 ISSF World Championship medals, finished around the necks of the Shooters of the Year. This elite community also includes a few athletes who were able to win the title more than once. The record goes to the Bulgarian Vesela Letcheva, an experienced rifle shooter who was awarded four different times, in 1986, 1987, 1993 and 1995: an unmatched result. Following her, another woman finished in the spotlight several times in the last two decades: Jasna Sekaric, the Pistol Olympic multi-medallist, who won the title three times in 1990, 1994 and 2005. Both Matsuda and Klimova entered this “list of honor” for the first time this year. The two newcomers are now the “athletes to beat” on the path leading to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. “Yes, I started feeling some pressure, now that I am the world champion,” Matsuda said, speaking after the Asian Games, last December. “But I think this is also a lesson I need to go through: you have to learn how to deal with pressure!”
Marco Dalla Dea

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

1994, 2005 1993 1992 1992 1992 1993 1987, 1993, 1995 1996 1994, 2005 1987, 1993, 1995 1996

1999 1999 1999 1999 2001 2004 2001

2004 2004 2004 1994, 2005

Target Shooter



ew Northern Gunsmith

We’ve previously reported upcoming developments on South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies’ Everill Gate Farm site with up and coming Gunsmith Dave ‘Baldie’ Wylde preparing to trade independently as Valkyrie Rifles. The transition has now taken place and we’re pleased to report that the new business is up and running with Dave comfortably ensconced in his own workshop alongside the original operation. Valkyrie Rifles offers a full rifle gunsmithing service at reasonable prices covering repairs, ‘action tuning’, fitting custom triggers, tactical bolt knob installation, re-barrelling, restocking, re-crowning and muzzle threading etc. up to undertaking a custom rifle build to the customer’s specification. We’ll report in next month’s issue on a nifty piece of work which forms the first stage of an upgrade programme to a budget Remington 700SPS Tactical rifle. Dave has acquired a name for modifying rifles to achieve smooth, reliable magazine feed with short, fat cartridges that have defeated other gunsmiths – one he admits that he sometimes wishes he hadn’t acquired given the problems inherent in this task. Another service is Duracoat paint finishing, Dave being a specialist in

the field with a well-earned reputation for top quality work. A large range of standard colours and camouflage pattern finishes is available alongside custom work. Valkyrie Rifles and South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies continue to collaborate on many products and services, the latter focussing on semi-custom Remington target and sporting rifles as well as its long-standing custom .22 Mini-Rifle and ‘Race-Gun’ products, optimised Marlin lever-guns and more. For further information on Valkyrie Rifles visit


Target Shooter

New for 2011

March 3-24x42 mm Zoom Scope(First Focal Plane) This zoom scope has eight magnification ratios, including the highest magnification ratio in the FFP (first focal plane) configuration rifle scope made to date. The mrad reticle scale value remains constant across the entire zoom range. It is easy to range the target without thinking where to set the zoom range. One turn of the adjustment dial is 10 mrad, and one click value is 1/10 mrad. Additionally, with the capability to set any position as the zero point in elevation, the shooter will never lose his starting calibration.

Target Shooter


Venue: The Royal Artillery Barracks

Woolwich Arsenal


Session time

Session description 10m Air Pistol: qualification, final, victory ceremony 10m Air Rifle: qualification, final, victory ceremony 10m Air Pistol: qualification, final, victory ceremony Skeet: qualification, final, victory ceremony 10m Air Pistol: qualification Skeet: qualification, final, victory ceremony 10m Air Rifle: qualification, final, victory ceremony Skeet: qualification (day 1) 10m Air Rifle: qualification Skeet: qualification (day 1) Skeet: qualification (day 2), final, victory ceremony 25m Pistol: qualification, final, victory ceremony 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: qualification (stage 1) Double Trap: qualification, final, victory ceremony 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: qualification (stage 2), final, victory ceremony 50m Rifle Prone: qualification, final, victory ceremony 50m Rifle 3 Positions: qualification, final, victory ceremony Trap: qualification, final, victory ceremony 50m Rifle 3 Positions: qualification Trap: qualification, final, victory ceremony 50m Pistol: qualification, final, victory ceremony Trap: qualification (day 1) 50m Pistol: qualification Trap: qualification (day 1) 50m Rifle 3 Positions: qualification, final, victory ceremony Trap: qualification (day 2), final, victory ceremony 50m Rifle 3 Positions: qualification Trap: qualification (day 2), final, victory ceremony

Type of ticket Finals Hall & Ground Pass

Medal session

Session code

Price category AA A B C D E

Ticket limit

28 July





09:00–17:30 29 July 09:00–17:30

Finals Hall & Ground Pass




Ground Pass




09:00–14:30 30 July 09:00–14:30 31 July 1 Aug 09:00–15:15 09:00–16:15

Finals Hall & Ground Pass




Ground Pass Ground Pass Finals Hall & Ground Pass

SH005 SH006 SH007

– – –

£20 £30 £40

– – –

– – –

– – –

– – –

20 6 6

2 Aug


Ground Pass




3 Aug


Finals Hall & Ground Pass




09:00–17:30 4 Aug 09:00–17:30

Finals Hall & Ground Pass




Ground Pass




09:00–16:00 5 Aug 09:00–16:00

Finals Hall & Ground Pass




Ground Pass




09:00–17:30 6 Aug 09:00–17:30

Finals Hall & Ground Pass




Ground Pass




A Finals Hall & Ground Pass gives spectator access to all events. A Ground Pass gives spectator access to the ground and all qualification rounds and ranges in the Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun events, plus the Finals Range for Shotgun finals. It does not give access to the Finals Hall for Rifle and Pistol finals. Due to the nature of the sport, you will be able to view events at multiple halls and ranges, some of which have seats and some of which have not. Access to individual halls and ranges is subject to capacity.

Men’s event

Women’s event

Special prices available in this price category

Medal session

General admission

All competition schedules are subject to change at any time.


Target Shooter

Sierra Reloading DVD by Vince Bottomley

The number of books I must have bought over the years on reloading and, when I look back, none were really any good. OK, most of them were pistol orientated and when I wanted a decent reloading manual for rifle, well I guess Glen Newick’s Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy was pretty good, though it is aimed directly at the short-range benchrest shooter rather than the long-range rifleman. A few years ago, I bought a copy of David Tubb’s video Highpower Rifle Reloading which is produced in conjunction with Sierra Bullets but of course videos are now obsolete but I’m please to see that it’s now available on DVD. If you’ve never heard of David Tubb by the way, then you probably won’t be interested in this DVD anyway but I’ll just say that he is a legend in America, having won just about everything in high-power – many times over.

Highpower is what the Americans call Target Rifle shooting but over there they can use any calibre and optics and they really push the boundaries of rifle accuracy. David is probably best known over here for his cartridge, the remarkable 6XC. As it says on the tin, this DVD really does cover everything you need to know about reloading and it’s certainly the first time I’ve seen neck-turning covered - outside of benchrest. Although it takes reloading to a very advanced level, I would have loved this video even as a beginner. If you shoot rifle and want to get into or improve your reloading, you won’t be disappointed with this three-hour DVD. The DVD is available from UK Sierra stockist Henry Krank of Pudsey in West Yorkshire www.

Target Shooter


Calendar of events over the next few months
5, 12, 19 Mar - Probationary Members Course 2011/1 (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) The new modular Probationary training course is now being offered at Bisley. Probationers complete an initial introductory module on safety and a general introduction to the target shooting, followed by one or more discipline specific skills modules. Contact Heather Webb or see the link below; pm.asp?site=NRA 13, 24 Mar - NRA Shooting Club Day (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) - Multi-discipline NRA Shooting Club Day. Targets have been booked on Melville and at 100, 200, 600 and 1000 yards. All disciplines welcome. Open to all full members of the NRA who have completed and returned the registration form. Contact Charles Perry at the NRA 21 Mar - World Cup - Sydney The competition runs from 21st - 30th March Location: Sydney, AUS

If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
26 Mar to 27 Mar - Gallery Rifle - Spring Action Weekend (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) This Is the first of three Gallery Rifle Action weekends held within the friendly Gallery Rifle community to encourage action shooting. Contact Brian Thomas at the NRA 17 Apr - Somerset Small Bore Shooting Association - Open Shoot The Shoot will be held at the Long Ashton Ranges. Entry forms are available on the website. http:// 25 Sep - Somerset Small Bore Shooting Association - Major Hutchinson Memorial Shoot The Shoot will be held at the Long Ashton Ranges. Entry forms are available on the website. http:// 30 July to 7th August 2011 - The World Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest Federation - 2nd World Championships in Palmetto USA.

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 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

Shooting the Black Powder Pistol

by Chris Risebrook
If the revolver shown in Photo 1 was the real thing, i.e. an1851 .36 Colt Navy, it would be well beyond my means. However, fortunately - for me - it’s not, so it isn’t, if you see what I mean! For all is not what it seems. It is a Metropolitan and it is a perfect - in period - rip-off of a Colt 1851 .36 Navy. Orison Blunt and John G. Syms were New York gun dealers and businessmen. Information on Syms and his brother is so far proving elusive, but Blunt was a colourful character, a political animal and entrepreneur, and a friend of Abraham Lincoln (which would not have done him any harm). He is also described as a gun inventor and manufacturer, and the firm also marketed and, I suspect, imported Mariette type pepperbox revolvers. These used a ring trigger which fired the bottom barrel, as opposed to Ethan Allen’s bar hammer which fired the top barrel, as illustrated in a previous article. Amongst many other enterprises Blunt was involved with a contract to supply 20000 Enfield type rifles to the Ordnance Department, but it turned out they were “bitzers”, assembled from English

Picture 1

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Picture 2

and American parts. The Ordnance Department smelt a rat, the guns were rejected, and the order cancelled. Blunt had other interests, both political and commercial, and was at one time president of Metropolitan Life. When Samuel Colt was first starting out, he had to decide whether to manufacture or farm out production, and he did have some correspondence with Blunt & Syms . As we know, he decided to go his own way at Patterson, New Jersay - and went bust in the process! In 1864, the Confederate Government sent agents north to try and sabotage the Colt factory. On the 20th February, the Pearl Street facility at Hartford was destroyed by fire, and production was halted. Enter Blunt & Syms, who promptly formed the Metropilitan Arms Company in New York and proceeded to make exact copies of the 1851 Colt. They made 6000 guns between 1864 and 1866, just about the time it took to rebuild the Colt factory. So, it was an ill wind that blew somebody some good. Colt had died in 1862; 16 Target Shooter

had he been alive, he would probably have sued the pants off them! Original Colt 1851s in this condition now go for silly money, but this is about one third of the price. It has been refinished, which I don’t mind; the only downside is that the refinishing has destroyed the cylinder engraving. Just like the Colts, this was roll engraved and very shallow. The stagecoach scene on the cylinder of my 1849 Colt Pocket Model has been reduced to the odd wheel spoke and a bit of rim! The refinishing has been done very sympathetically, with very little loss of edges, but all patches of discolouration have been polished out, leaving an overall grey patina, which I find quite pleasing. I do not have the luxury of owning an original 1851 with which to compare it, but by all accounts they are identical for all practical purposes. Hopefully, parts for modern Colt replicas, such as hammers, cylinder hands, bolt stops and springs will fit with the usual liberal dose of filing, fettling and swearing. The revolver

Picture 3 bears the serial number 1366 which presumably puts it in the early part of the production run in 1864, and the number is repeated on the cylinder, both parts of the grip frame and the loading lever. Timing and lock-up are perfect, with no side or end play on the cylinder. The chambers and nipples are in very good condition, but unfortunately someone forgot to clean the barrel, and it is pretty rough with just traces of rifling. This does not particularly matter, since it will not be used anyway, and at 25 metres, it really does not seem to make a great deal of difference, as I found last year using a smoothbore flintlock. Compared to the Colt, these guns are relatively rare; 6000 Metros to 250,000 Colt 1851s, and the general consensus is that they are presently undervalued. It will always lack the cachet of the Colt name, but it has a charm and history all of its own, and hopefully, will at least hold it’s value. For comparison, in Photo 2 I have shown it with the Manhattan, which is a .36 on a pocket model frame, and again in Photo 3 in company with the real Colt Pocket Model, which is a .31. The difference in frame size is clear to see. Finally, I have an admission to make. After my last auction experience, I swore I would not again bid on anything sight unseen. I had spent hours researching the lots which were of interest, but two days before the auction I had an horrendous bike crash and could not even move, let alone get there! My grateful thanks therefore to the ladies at Wallis & Wallis who took my last minute bid over the phone. As it turned out, it all ended very well, and I am one very happy bunny!

Target Shooter


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

Tel 02392 660574 Fax 02392 644666 E-mail Website

We stock a full range of Rifles, Pistols, Air Guns, Shotguns, Ammunition, Reloading Equipment and Accessories. All major brands stocked including BSA, CZ, Air Arms, Marlin, Ruger, Umarex, Uberti, Cometa, Pedersoli, Berreta, Lincoln, Webley, Pedersoli, etc.

Kelbly 179mmX130mm


7:16 AM

Page 1

Introducing Kelbly’s Tactical Rifles. bringing benchrest precision to the tactical market. With loads of options to choose from, and pricing that shatters the competitors.

Introducing the first hunting and tactical scopes with 10 times power ratio on a variable scope. March 1x-10x-24mm and 2.5x-25x-42mm. 1/4” clicks and 25 MOA per revolution. All lenses in scopes are cemented in place, and do not rely on O rings to hold point of aim. Argon gas purged.


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Ruger have now joined - somewhat late it seems - the 22 semi-auto ‘Make it look like a full-bore military rifle’ bandwagon. It cannot be denied however, that having such styling does make the 22 semi-auto very appealing. We already have rimfire AK-47, HK416 and Colt M4 look-alikes. Military rifles are designed from the outset to be ergonomically designed for quick shooting and ease of use - both of which are needed in competition shooting disciplines such as the increasingly popular Mini Rifle events.

by Tim Finley

‘club’ shooter as well. Although our Ruger SR-22 has the look of a ‘black rifle’, it does not mimic the common black rifle controls. The magazine release, safety, bolt etcetera are all the standard Ruger 10/22 we know and love.

The SR-22 receiver is housed within in an aluminium ‘over-chassis’. The chassis may look familiar to some of you. Ruger went to Nordic Components Inc. to manufacture a version of the Nordic AR-22 chassis but to Ruger’s specification. There are minor cosmetic changes in the detailed machining on the These rifles have found favour with the sides of the over-chassis but it can still be

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recognised as stemming from the Nordic camp. buttstock height, sight plane and pistol-grip are all matched on the SR-22. The gun is also fitted The black rifle - or AR platform - dimensions of with a mil-spec. diameter tube on the buttstock


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though the SR-22RSC model tested here has a The mono pistol-grip is made for Ruger fixed non-adjustable buttstock for the UK market. by Hogue. The world famous Ruger Eagle trademark is present on the right hand

Target Shooter


side of the rear buttstock. It also features on the top and on both sides of the rubber pistol-grip and is machined into the both sides of the SR-22 chassis - from the outset they want you to know that this is a Ruger product! The mid-length hand-guard does not look the same as a Nordic Components item. It has lines of eight, 14mm diameter holes offset from the main four axis. The hand-guard has tapped holes for fixing short Picatinny rails - four on each side, five on the top and four underneath. There is also a stud for a sling or bipod on the bottom of the guard. This is screwed into a barrel support block attached to the barrel. A Picatinny rail the full length of the top of the hand guard can be fitted if required as well as shorter rails for lights/lasers on the sides. The hand guard is fitted to the gun with an AR style barrel nut so, if you wanted, you could fit an alternative type of AR hand guard. The Picatinny rails can be bought from Viking Arms, the distributor of the Ruger SR-22 in the UK. There is a 200mm (8 inch) rail for fitting optical sights on the top section of the action cover - there is no open-sight facility on the SR-22, so an optical device of some kind will need to be fitted to the gun. Concentrating on the Ruger action at the heart 22 Target Shooter

of the SR-22, it has several newly designed tweaks over the older versions of the 10/22. It is fitted with Ruger’s new cast bolt and there is a lot of evidence now from 10/22 users and even customisers that it has improved the 10/22’s already very good reliability. The trigger-group housing is a new plastic version which also has a new magazine release catch. This catch now comes down off the bottom of the action and is no longer flush-fitting as the old ones were. Pushing the catch forward, the magazine drops out of the action. This is a major advantage for the potential use of the SR-22 in Mini Rifle events, where shooters have had to have the extended catches retro-fitted to their 10/22 to speed up magazine changes. The bolt-release lever is in front of this and I found it hard to fathom at first as it does not operate like the old one. In the end I got the hang of it and actually found it better than the old one. One thing to note is that you cannot simply pull back the bolt to release the catch and allow the bolt to go forwards. You have to operate the catch manually to release the bolt from its locked back position. Many customisers fit an auto bolt-release to overcome this, which is what is needed for mini rifle comps.

The safety catch is a manual one consisting of a button right in front of the trigger guard - push to the right for safe and push to the left and you are ready to fire, with a red ring now visible around the circumference of the button. The action has a sintered black textured finish, which is hidden by the over-chassis on the SR-22 model. On some types of over-chassis, it actually covered over the rifle’s serial number but on the SR-22, part of the over-chassis has been machined away so you can easily see the serial number without having to disassemble the rifle. Using my electronic trigger-pull gauge the trigger broke at 2.6kg - or 5lb 12 oz in real money but more of that later. Holding the gun gives an impression of solidity and weighing in at just less than seven pounds without a scope, it is a meaty bit of kit. I fitted a Sightron 10-42 scope and a Harris bipod for accuracy testing and found the rifle sat well on the bipod. After it was run-in, at 50m I shot a 12.7mm five-shot group with CCI Rimfire ammunition - that’s almost a ½ inch group at 50m, which was very good considering

the heavy trigger-pull. The 16 inch right-hand six-grooved barrel is 0.75inch (19.1mm) in diameter but does not come muzzle-threaded on this model. It would be a good idea to add an AR style muzzle brake as on the SR-22 R model. The rifle is crying out to be used on tactical short-range style shooting such as Mini Rifle and for this I fitted a Barska non-magnified red-dot sight. Before I used the gun in an actual competition, I tested the SR-22 with my own Butler Creek and Tactical Inc. high-capacity magazine and the SR-22 never faltered - even using the dirt-cheap Eagle plastic 10 shot magazines it was flawless. In all my testing, both with deliberately aimed single shots and fast firing the rifle, it did not jam or misfire once, a true testament to the 10/22 action and the 10/22’s cast bolt. I did a rapid-fire test into a 15m target with a Tactical Inc magazine. I loaded 20 rounds of CCI Mini Mags in the magazine and aimed at the target and fired as fast as I could pull the trigger. It took 4.08 seconds empty the magazine. I also tested the size of the groups it would shoot when firing very fast double-taps (two shots) at 15 and 20m, I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. Target Shooter 23

For me, the only two downsides to the SR-22 are the small bolt-handle (Ruger have kept the standard bolt-handle within the cast bolt. For Mini Rifle it is too short and I would fit a bigger handle, hopefully Ruger will soon rectify this and fit a longer one as standard) and secondly, you have

to remove the top of the over-chassis in order to take the action out to clean inside. This can also mean removing the sight - even if the sight stays on the top section of the over-chassis when you put that back, you will have to re-check your zero and may find you have to fine tune it again.


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I used the SR-22 on a Mini Rifle event and put in the second fastest time on the stage, even though it was the first time I had ever shot the SR-22 under competition conditions. There is also a picture of one of the actual double-taps I shot as part of the stage - you can see the two holes side by side. As a competitive Mini Rifle rifle, I proved it can ‘cut the mustard’, even with a tiny bolt handle and unmodified out of the box. The Ruger SR-22 is a well-built, well-executed and very reliable semi-auto rimfire rifle. It looks and handles like a military semi-auto rifle, which cannot be a bad thing. It a bold statement but for me the Ruger SR-22 is the best ‘out of the box’ Ruger 10/22 I have ever tested. Model Ruger 10/22 SR-22RSC Importer Calibre Action Capacity Barrel length Weight Viking Arms Ltd 01423 780810 www.vikingarms. com .22 Rimfire long rifle Semi-auto low-back b 10 round rotary magazine supplied but many after market larger capacity ones available. 16.12 inches ( with a 1:16 right-hand six-groove twist) 6.5 lbs

Overall Length 34.38 inches Length of pull 13 inches In my opinion, you are better off shooting a 5lb 121/2oz. (2.6kg) 10/22 style rifle that looks like a military rifle Trigger-weight rather than one of the look-alike clones – purely £725 on the grade of the metal used in each of the two Price differing systems. The high-capacity magazines are more readily available for the 10/22s as well as the myriad of spares and accessories. Target Shooter 25


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Developing an accurate load for your rifle by Vince Bottomley
Vince above - Portable scales, Wilson hand-dies, arbor press, powder, bullets and prepped cases are all we need for on-range load development. The hat? Well it was minus three! If you’ve just bought a new rifle chambered for The obvious thing is to try and find someone an unfamiliar cartridge, how do we go about else who is shooting the same cartridge and developing a load for it? wheedle some load data out of him! Some shooters are generous with their knowledge; others who have spent months and a considerable amount of money sorting out a load may not be so keen to share their hard-won data – especially if you are a fellow competitor! A word of warning though. If your buddy does agree tell you his load, please do not simply replicate it – Left - Tight barrel? The stamping on the left-hand barrel just tells us it’s a 243 but the one on the right tells us that we have a (tight) 0.236 inch bore – 0.237 is more normal Target Shooter 27

that could be the route to a blown rifle – or worse! Why? Although his rifle may be chambered for the same cartridge, there are lots of ‘variables’ which could have a significant pressure-raising effect in your rifle. What are these variables? 1. 2. Tight barrel – It’s not uncommon for barrels to vary slightly in bore diameter. It’s also possible to specify a ‘tight’ barrel. A barrel just one thou. smaller in the bore diameter could raise pressures significantly, particularly if you are already ‘close to the edge’ as it were. Do you know if your barrel is tight? Probably not – only the person who chambered it will know that.


more generously. But why should chambers vary you may ask. With standard factory cartridges, they shouldn’t vary outside certain specified SAAMI limits but with ‘wildcat’ cartridges, the reamer gets ground to the designer’s spec. The 6PPC is a good example – there is really no such thing as a standard 6PPC chamber – there are dozens, maybe hundreds – of variations. Cartridge case – can vary in thickness – thicker brass will usually have less volume and this can raise pressures. Shooters often find this with the 5.56mm military brass which can be particularly thick as it has to stand up to machinegun use. Lapua have recently introduced a 223 ‘match’ case with increased capacity. Barrel twist-rate and bore condition will also affect pressure. 5. 6. 7. Powder can vary from batch to batch. Some powders are quite consistent, others can vary alarmingly. I recently bought a tub of powder from a different batch to the previous one and had to drop the load by a whole two grains! Fortunately I was aware so I started low and avoided any problems. Even primers can affect pressure. Hotter primers will raise pressure. I’ve found that the PMC primers tend to be on the hot side and my standard 308Win load of 45.5 grains of Vit 140 behind a 155 bullet exhibited ‘sticky’ bolt-lift when I tried PMC primers. The most obvious – bullet weight and diameter. Yes, not all bullets are what they should be – ‘fatties’ will raise pressure, as will heavier bullets. Loading bullets ‘into the rifling’ will also raise pressure a little.

Tight chamber – similar to a tight barrel. A chamber cut to minimum specifications will exhibit different pressures to one cut 4.

Here’s our rifle, a Nesika built in America. Note the ‘accuracy-asset’ I’ve fitted to the underside of the fore-end for use with a front benchrest.


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Finally, let’s not forget temperature – Most shooters will rely on the foregoing but let’s your buddy’s safe winter load could easily just suppose that we have no friends, no internet, prove dangerous on a hot summer day. no computer (I’m feeling suicidal……..). Firstly, we need to consider a few rules: So, please, never ever simply duplicate a load given by another shooter. By all means, use it 1. Small cases (like the 223Rem.) will use as a guide but please, be prepared to start 10% faster powders than the larger cases lower. (like 300Win.Mag.) But, what if we are completely in the dark – no 2. one else is shooting our new ‘kick-ass’ wildcat? If we can’t ask a shooting buddy for load-data, we can easily ask the rest of the world - simply by going on-line. There are lots of excellent shooting forums frequented by enthusiasts and ‘experts’ happily willing to share their knowledge. Try for Target Rifle and F Class loads, for loads from 100 to 1000 yards, for everything and there are lots of others but, just like any info. from a fellow shooter – think safe, start low and work up in small increments. 3. As we increase bullet weight, we need to slow-down the powder burning rate. Overbore cartridges will use slower powders. In other words, if you neck down a 308 Win case to 6.5mm and you use the same bullet weight, use a slower powder. Rule 3 also works in reverse – if you neck up a case, you can use a faster powder. You can reduce pressure by reducing the amount of powder you use but remember, a load that fills the case will usually be more accurate than one with a large air-space.

4. 5.

If you are still languishing in the steam-driven age and don’t have access to the internet then you could invest (providing you at least have a computer) in something like the Quickload programme. This is an excellent programme Even if you don’t have the internet or a computer, into which you feed all relevant data - like you should own a reloading manual. If you don’t case-capacity, calibre, bullet-weight etc. have one, I would suggest one produced by a Quickload won’t help you get an accurate load bullet-maker rather than a powder manufacturer (only range testing can do that) but it will help – for obvious reasons. The Sierra one is very with powder choice. good but then again, because I do tend to use Note the difference in primers – the right one is well flattened with just a hint of cratering*. Also note the half circle embossed over the ‘300’ where the brass has flowed into the bolt-face ejection-pin. Running your load this hot will soon destroy your brass – drop back a grain or so.

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Benchresting the Nesika – a stable platform is essential for load development. Vhitavuori powders where possible, I do find the Vhitavuori manual very useful. So, with our loading manual and these rules in mind, we should be able to find a starting point for a powder type and load weight. Let’s get down to serious load development. Firstly, get an idea of your case-capacity by filling it to the bottom of the neck using your chosen powder. Of course, there is no presumption that we will use all of our case-capacity. This will depend on several factors – not just powder choice but also bullet-weight.

The lower cartridge is loaded to touch the rifling in the Nesika whereas the upper one is magazine-length. Look how deep-seated the bullet is in the case - compromising case-capacity and thus ballistic performance. Seating a bullet this deep is not good practice. Even the lower bullet is seated too deep. Yes, the WSM is a short magnum and you can load it for use in a 308-length action but don’t expect to extract maximum performance. If you are re-barrelling a ‘short’ action then you have little alternative but for me, with a new rifle, better to start with a long action and magazine so that the bullet is seated with just the boat-tail protruding beyond the bottom of the case-neck.


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For a big-kicking rifle like our 300WSM Nesika, I was very pleased with my final group measuring 0.285 inches
If it is a small case, you will have chosen a fastish powder and a slow powder if it is a magnumsize case. For a working example, I’m using a 300WSM cartridge. Yes, I’ve played with the 7mmWSM and even the 6.5WSM but never a 300WSM so this is new territory to me. In fact, this is not my rifle, it’s a rather fine Nesika, built in America with hunting in mind rather than target shooting. I’m not a hunter so I’m in the dark a bit but the rifle’s owner has supplied brass, bullets and even powder so that reduces the decisions I need to make. interestingly, the rifle’s owner has supplied me with a tub of IMR 4350 which, according to my burning rate chart (from the Vihtavuori reloading manual) is marginally slower than the Hodgdon version. It’s about the same as Vit N550 or Reloader 19. I use Reloader 25 in my 7mmWSM with a 180gn. bullet – a slower powder in a slightly more overbore case. As this is a hunting rig, we need to seat our bullets so that they will feed from the magazine rather than close to the rifling. However, I’m keen to find our COAL (cartridge overall length to touch the rifling). Dolphin Gun Company make a very handy device for this purpose and there are others. (see articles in the October 2010 Target Shooter).

I’ve always thought that the 300WSM would be an ideal long-range benchrest or F Class Open round but few seem to use it, however an American shooter has recently set a new ten-shot group record at 1000 yards and Once having arrived at the COAL, I would another won the US F Class Nationals with it, so normally seat the bullet 10 thou. (0.010 inches) obviously the cartridge has accuracy potential. deeper into the case - so that it is just off the lands – as a starting point. However, in this I would be a fool not to look at their loads and, instance magazine-length will dictate the COAL I’m surprised to see that the benchrester’s – which will almost certainly be shorter – 0.160 chosen powder is Hodgdon 4350. I would have inches shorter when I measure it! That’s a long thought that this was a bit on the fast side but way to ‘jump’ a bullet! 32 Target Shooter

The next job is to find out how much powder the rifle will take before exhibiting pressure signs, so I’ve carted all my reloading gear to the range and I’m starting with 61 grains beneath the Nosler 180 grain plastic-tipped bullets that came with the rifle. How did I come up with 61 grains? Easy – I visited the IMR reloading website. In addition to a starter load of 61 grains, it gave a maximum load of 65 grains – and a predicted muzzle velocity of almost 3000 fps with the 180 grain bullet. I’ve loaded 10 rounds with loads ranging from 61 to 65.5 grains in half-grain increments. I’ll shoot each one over the chronograph – starting with the lowest load – and, as we fire each round, we will be looking for pressure signs as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4.

case-head or a raised circular print on the case-head where the brass has flowed into the ejector-pin hole in the bolt-face? 5. Under an extreme overload, the primerpocket may enlarge to such an extent that the primer falls out - on ejection of the fired case. We will not intentionally reach this point!

*When we are exploring the primer-cratering phenomenon, we must be careful. Many shooters use cratering to indicate a pressure-load but beware - if the firing-pin is a very close fit in the hole in the bolt-face (as is often the case with a close-tolerance custom action like our Nesika) the effects of cratering Bolt-lift – was this normal? I.e. easy, or will not be so obvious as with a factory action did we experience some ‘stickyness’? with a sloppy pin fit. The pressure will still be there – you just won’t see it with cratering. Does the primer look flattened? For each round, note the velocity. Yes, we are Is there any cratering* around the obviously interested in the velocity for maximum firing-pin indent in the primer? ballistic performance but it can also be a load indicator. When the velocity stops increasing by Is there any scuffing of the brass on the a given amount as you increase the load, you
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can be sure that you are near the maximum Having said that – is it right to ‘chase’ velocity? usable powder load. Yes, sure, particularly for long-range competition but never at the expense of accuracy. For the Hopefully, we will reach our ‘safe’ maximum hunter, taking shots at unknown distances, high load before we have expended all ten rounds, velocity means flatter trajectory – giving a better otherwise we will need to continue increasing chance of a hit. The double-base powders like the load but in reduced increments – say 0.3 Vhitavuori’s 5 series claim increased velocity grains. without exhibiting an increase in pressure. Impossible? Seemingly so but they do appear At 65 grains, the primer was quite flat but bolt-lift to work. was normal. I hadn’t reached the maximum but because the bullet is seated so deep in the case, I don’t really subscribe to all the ‘moly’ hype I could feel the powder crushing as I seated the regarding cleaning etc. but switching to bullet. I decided to look for an accuracy load in moly-coated bullets will usefully reduce pressure the 64 grain area. (and velocity) a little if you are close to the ‘edge’. This is useful when you are trying to fill Now we can start to shoot some three-shot the case – with a cartridge like for example the groups on the target, fine-tuning the load by 6.5-284. This case will hold 59-60 grains of perhaps two-tenths of a grain. Not only are we powder but with bullets in the 140 grain range, looking for nice tight groups but hopefully a small you could only be using 50 to 52 grains of velocity-spread. With a hunting rifle, velocity powder. Switching to moly bullets might allow spreads are not too much of an issue but with you to use another couple of grains of powder, a long-range target rifle they certainly are – thus achieving a fuller case. Again, think safe though don’t get too wound-up about obtaining - don’t simply switch to moly bullets and bung single-figure spreads – around 25 fps for a in more powder – work up the load in small five-shot string is fine. Hopefully, our groups will increments. be devoid of ‘vertical’ and look like the proverbial clover-leaf. Load development at 100 yards is convenient but, if you are looking for a 1000 yard load then I must confess, the Nesika shot far better than you perhaps need to fine-tune it at 300 yards - I thought it would – with a hunting bullet seated anything around an inch will stand you in good so deep into the case but what if our 100 yard stead at longer ranges. 3-shot groups are around an inch? We need to go back to ‘square one’ and maybe change Finally, THE WARNING. Reloading can be powder. dangerous. Please err on the side of safety – refer to reloading manuals, start low and work Is our load filling the case? If you’re not filling up the load in small increments. Beware of the the case, you are unlikely to get consistency excess-pressure warning signs – sticky bolt-lift, from shot to shot. Reason? The powder will flattened primers etc. lie differently in a partly full case. Consider the worst scenario – you tipped the round on its Blowing yourself up might not concern you nose before you chambered it, so there is no too much but please, be aware of your fellow powder covering the primer – or the opposite, shooters when developing a load. My own you stood the round upright before chambering, club encourages safe hand-loading but, if the so the primer was completely covered. You RO sees you having extraction problems (i.e. don’t need to be a ballistician to envisage that difficulty lifting the bolt) he will politely, but firmly, different ignition/burning characteristics would ask you to leave the firing-point. Similarly, if be displayed. anyone is seen to ‘blow’ a primer he will not be allowed to continue shooting. This German Vorsprung durch technik? The answer is to try a slower powder that better bi-pod is adjusted with a joystick fills the case and go through the procedure again. Are you getting similar velocity? Often a slower powder won’t give enough velocity. 34 Target Shooter

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Rimfire Actions for Benchrest

By Carl Boswell
This month we follow on from the brilliant piece Vince did last month on the Turbo actioned rifle he put together, by looking at a few rimfire benchrest actions including the Turbo. Currently made by Flash Ebert in the USA, the Turbo has been the mainstay of rimfire benchrest shooters for approximately two decades. There are others such as the Remington 40x, the Hall, etc. There are also recent additions like the Star and Falcon actions.

The Turbo Vince put together - sleek, elegant, consistent 36 Target Shooter

Turbo short bolt with 12 o’clock pin
I am guessing that not many of you outside rimfire benchrest circles will have heard of the Turbo?? This creates surprise for me, as this action has been used to potentially achieve some of the smallest groups at 50 metres. I say this with trepidation and using estimation only!! This estimation comes from the scores achieved using Turbo actioned rifles on rimfire benchrest targets; which are a great deal smaller than both prone and three position targets. Maybe it my lack of understanding, but the extreme accuracy afforded by rimfire benchrest shooters, I find it surprising that the major manufacturers still have a hold on the aforementioned shooting sports. Possibly an interesting debate for the future!!?? The Turbo has long been considered one of the

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Me with my Turbo last year - it is the rifle I would want to use!

best rimfire benchrest actions, coming in a variety of configurations, such as left hand port, right hand bolt or right hand bolt, right hand bolt and so on. (My own right hand bolt, left hand port action caused confusion on my own home range!!) The bolt initially came in the standard rimfire configuration of a 12 o’clock firing pin position. However, there has been a lot of developmental research by Bill Calfee and others into repositioning the firing pin to a 6 o’clock configuration. This, from the research, allows better ignition/ consistency of the cartridge and therefore

better accuracy. Indeed there is still debate over this, but we have a number of manufacturers that are even doing these modifications on existing actions. Baity’s Custom Gunworks offers the service of converting existing bolts to the 6 o’clock firing pin position, amongst other things which I will discuss later. Whatever your personal requirements or beliefs, there is accommodation for what you need. The Turbo is essentially a modified Winchester 52

The Falcon action by Baity’s Custom Gunworks - possibly the way of the future 38 Target Shooter

Falcon Firing close up

action that is machined after heat treatment. The modifications have achieved a very positive and consistent ignition, which is the basis for the actions accuracy. It does the same thing every time and it works!!! I can vouch for this as I own a Turbo myself, it shoots exceptionally well. Comparing it to other rifles I own like the Anschutz 2013 the consistency, shot to shot, is better.

Making a rimfire rifle accurate is a combination of many things, all contributing to that little bullet existing the barrel and being dead on target and hitting that central ring. In their basic forms these things include, the action/ bolt providing consistent seating, ignition, headspace, etc; the barrel providing positive spin to achieve absolute precision and the bullet exiting the barrel at its tightest point to active this accuracy. There are a lot of other things, but these are the

The new Finnish design - it looks interesting!!

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It looks very interesting!!

essentials. (It is more complicated, but would take a comments have been very positive so far! We do series of articles to discuss this). need to see the Falcon in action during some of the big matches going on in the USA, or better still at the New Kid on the block World Championship this year, to determine if it is a So following on from the Turbo, what is next? Well an potential winner!? We may well see this as people interesting question in itself!! Recent developments in the various countries are developing their’ kit’ in at Baity’s Custom Gunworks have brought forth the a bid to outdo each other. (It’s friendly but serious Falcon action! (We will see it in the UK in the not so stuff)!! distant future and even possibly brought here on a steady basis). The action can be selected with either Bill Calfee has commented about his development a 12 or 6 o’clock firing pin, providing options for the work in a variety of threads on the Rimfire Accuracy shooter. forum - about the Turbo action, the Falcon action Now the Falcon is the newest action offered to and modifications to both. Have a look at this link benchrest shooters, coming out just last year. - However, how do you tell if this is going to be a forumdisplay.php/10-Rimfire-Benchrest performer or not?? You ask one of the best gunsmiths These threads are well worth the read, as quite in the USA to run tests on it and see how it performs a lot being said is worth more than just a fleeting in a rifle build. Bill Calfee is one of the people to glance!! (If reading this at a later date, just do a talk to, as he has done this development work over search on the forum about the items discussed the last few months. Bill has tested both the Falcon here). So the potential is there, we just need to see and Turbo (with a modified 6 o’clock firing pin). His the Falcon being used and hopefully by a few people

Close up of the 6 o’Clock firing pin


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For me it’s good to see something made in this region of the world, even though one was muted in the UK last year. Again this action is designed with a six o’clock firing pin for better/ consistent ignition. Full testing is yet to be made but things are looking good at the moment, but we do want to see it perform. As yet the action is not in full production, but will be within the year - so watch this space. Jens has told me that it will be used in at the World Championship this year in the USA, so I think a lot of people will be very interested. What will be more interesting is if it does pose serious competition to both the Turbo and the Falcon. The Rimfire Benchrest World Championship around the world to really develop the competition is going to be an interesting place to be this to internationally!! If interested, then visit the Baity’s be this summer. We are going to see a number of website - innovations that people are working on. However, is it going to be a battle of the actions, as most people The grass is greener – or is it just another shade have the custom barrels and other accessories that of green? are similar to one another’s?! Is a custom action Lastly we look very briefly at a new action coming out going to come out on top, or will we see a factory of Finland. (We will look at this new action and rifle action taking a few surprise places?? It sounds like build in depth later this year, when this new project a fight similar to Mac verses the PC!! is completed). This is in the last phase of testing and is owned by Jens Lagas, a friend who first discussed Good shooting until next month. this action last year at the European Championship. The gunsmith who created the action is Juha Söderholm of JMS- Precision, Finland. He has been developing the atcion over the last eight months.

The complete Finnish action I am jealous Jens!! Target Shooter 41

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The Firearms Guide 2011 review By Vince Bottomley

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We were fortunate enough to receive a copy of the Firearms Guide (on DVD) last year and this year’s is even better. For a firearm’s journalist, it’s absolutely invaluable but for any shooter it’s a brilliant work

of reference and I can spend hours just reading it and going from one section to another. The Guide now contains details – and I do mean details – not just a high res. pic and a few lines but every possible detail – dimensions, materials


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used, etc. etc. of over 50,000 guns! New for 2011 is a Scematics library for over 1500 guns showing every part in detail. That’s not just modern guns – 1874 Sharps? 1851 Navy revolver? No problem! And with one click you can print out an exploded diagram of your firearm. There is also a massive ammo list – both American and European and every possible fact and detail of each particular round is listed including all the manufacturers of that particular cartridge. Ballistic performance is also included. As a bonus, you also get stacks of targets (500) you can print out and there’s even a video from the French Demas Company showing the manufacture of shotguns and double rifles by the traditional method. For our American readers, there is also a list of gun dealers Want a copy? Course you do! The Guide is produced by Impressum Media Inc. Check out the website at for more information than we can include here. The price is just $39.95 – yes, that’s dollars but you can pay by Paypal – quick and safe. Target Shooter 45

by Gwyn Roberts
Setting up your pistol calibre Gallery Rifles/ Revolvers for improved functioning and reliability, as well as making them fit you properly in the first place is obviously very important, and even more so if you intend to use them for competition purposes but the whole package won’t be complete unless you are going to use good quality and accurate ammunition at the same time. The main reason why most of us choose to reload our own ammunition is purely down to the better accuracy that can be achieved with it, compared to most of the commercial or club rounds that are currently available. With a bit of time, effort and care most shooters should be able to produce their own ammunition which will out perform what they are currently purchasing and this can only improve your shooting in the long run. Another major advantage of reloading yourself is that it will give you much more flexibility by allowing you to tailor your ammunition for specific purposes or competitions. For example, using a lighter bullet or powder weight (or both) will help reduce the recoil which is just what you need if you intend on shooting a match like the speed steels at Bisley. At the end of the day you only want to make them ring, not scream out loud when you hit them so making ammunition that will allow you to achieve faster follow up shots is going to help reduce your overall run times. In contrast to this, using heavier bullets etc will increase your chances of dropping any falling plates should you happen to hit one low or just nick the edge of it during a Man v Man or Bianchi plates match. To stand any chance of doing well in one of the 100-300yd GR matches that are shot at Bisley you are going to need to make ammunition which will push the bullet towards the higher end of the velocity scale in order to group well at these extended distances. Some shooters who don’t own a mover base make specific ammunition using lighter bullets which travel at a much faster speed for use in the Bianchi Mover match, as they find it cuts down quite significantly the amount of lead required whilst aiming and shooting at the target. Using an accurate target load around the 3-6 grain mark (depending on the calibre being used) rather than a much more pokier Cowboy or Action load will make it much easier for you to stay on target during the quicker stages of a 1500 or “shorts” match and this will obviously help improve your scores accordingly. It will also help to reduce fatigue for those having to shoot back to back matches all day, as well as making it a much more pleasant experience for both you and the other shooters around you at the same time. As well as the obvious benefits of increased accuracy and performance, reloading your own ammunition can also be very rewarding as 46 Target Shooter

Shooter or ammo ability?

Different tools for different jobs well as relaxing, and it can work out to be a lot needed to get started and then it will obviously cheaper too in the long run. Starting off with a depend on the amount of ammunition that you used press will help cut down the initial outlay make and use, as to how quickly you will recoup your investment. Now I’m certainly no Laurie or Vince in this department but when I started Lee Turret out reloading in my pistol days I was steered towards a single stage press and got one of the old boys from the club to help me set it up and watch over me for a few weeks until I was confident in what I was doing. To be honest though it took me way too long to make what I considered was a small amount of .45acp ammo, and then all of about 10 minutes to put it down range so this was quickly replaced by a cheap and cheerful Lee turret press. Although this did speed things up a little bit it wasn’t very long before this was replaced by one of the very popular Lee Pro 1000 progressive presses, which enabled me to load up to three to four times faster once I’d got used to it and I’ve stuck with them ever since. I actually saved the cost of buying my first progressive press within the first 6 months due to the amount of ammo that I was shooting, and looking at the cost of the commercial ammo that’s around today I don’t think it would take you too long before you started saving money either. Single stage A Single stage press as its name suggests uses one die at a time to do a single process, which to be honest isn’t really ideal for making the quantity of pistol calibre ammo that we use Target Shooter 47

Lee Pro 1000

happens at each station using a 3 die press. Placing an empty case into the holder and then pulling down on the reloading handle will push the case up into (1) the resizing/decapping die which in turn sizes the case back to its original factory dimensions, and pushes out the old primer which is then dispensed into a clear pvc tube. This retains the spent primers ready for easy disposal afterwards and saves you a lot of time and effort trying to find and pick them up off the floor once you’ve finished reloading. Pushing the primer unit forwards at this point will place a new primer into the primer guide which will then seat a new primer into the case at the end of the upstroke. The turret head will also rotate around to the next index at this point and the next pull of the handle will push the case up into (2) the powder through expanding die which flares the top of the case slightly (to enable a bullet to be seated easier) and drops in the required amount of powder. As the handle is pushed back up again the turret will index to the next position where a bullet must then be

in Gallery Rifle. Because of the design and ruggedness of a single stage press though they will always produce a better quality of ammunition but at a low rate per hour so they tend to be used more for centre fire rifle rounds where the tolerances and accuracy needed is much higher. Turret press A turret press on the other hand uses a single shell holder that holds one case in it at a time but has a turret plate on top which holds the 3 - 4 individual dies needed to complete a round of ammunition. This turret is either rotated by hand, or on some models it will automatically rotate/index to the next position on either the up or down stroke of the handle. Like all machines with moving parts an auto index press will need a slight bit of tweaking from time to time to keep it indexing precisely, but keeping them clean and lubricated will pretty much take care of this for you and help ensure it performs reliably. One of the most widely used would be the Lee Classic (3 or 4 hole) turret press which is auto indexing and here’s a brief explanation of what 48 Target Shooter

Hornady single stage

Dillon primer tubes placed on top of the case. The next pull of the handle will push the case up into (3) the bullet seating die which will ensure the bullet is located at the correct depth giving you the desired overall length (O.A.L) of the cartridge and apply the right amount (and type) of crimp at the same time. When shooting low powered target loads you only need to apply a very small amount of crimp to ensure that the bullet doesn’t move and that it will feed into the chamber/cylinder easily. To make 1 complete round on a turret press you will usually need to operate the lever either 3 or 4 times and the average production rate using a turret press seems to be around the 150 to 200 rounds per hour (maybe more in some cases) so the output is much better than that of the single stage. Progressive press A progressive press on the other hand uses a shell plate that holds several cases (between 3 & 8) at the same time and this plate rotates automatically (in most cases) to the next position/index once the handle completes either an upward or downward stroke, depending on its design. The turret plate holding the dies and powder dispenser remains stationary and whenever a case is present, a primer will automatically be seated and the powder dispensed. Up to around 100 -150 primers are held in either tubes or holders which can be changed over quickly and the powder hoppers can also be topped up very quickly too so a lot of rounds can be produced before you have to stop to top up. Depending on the make and model, some turrets can accommodate up to 7 individual dies plus other accessories such as powder checks etc and once the initial cases have been stationed, a complete round is made with every crank of the handle giving a production rate of between 300 to over 1,000 rounds per hour with the big machines. Most progressives as standard still require the bullet to be placed by hand on top of the flared case but many can be fitted with factory automatic bullet feeders which substantially increases the production rate, but as always you will have to pay for the privilege. Because of the speed you can operate a Target Shooter 49

RCBS single stage

Lee powder disks

progressive at you will need to concentrate 100% on what you are doing at all times, so no talking to your mates on the phone or listening to loud music etc whilst you are doing it. To ensure that every case is charged properly (no empty or double loads) I always watch the powder disk to make sure that it moves over to drop the powder, and then returns back to its recharge position every time, and I would also do this if I was using an auto indexer as well for obvious reasons.Some people say that it is much easier to produce a squib load on a progressive press but as long as you don’t let the powder level drop too low (I never let mine drop below half

way) and watch the disc movement I don’t really see it as being a problem. I would have thought that a double charge would be more likely when trying to load too quickly on a turret press that was indexed by hand if the operator forgot to turn the turret to the next position, but if you always remain diligent this problem should never arise regardless of the type of press being used. Irrespective of the type you are using you must always ensure that the press is mounted to a very sturdy bench or table, and ideally with a steel plate or similar underneath it to stop any possible movement. To get the best out of a progressive you must always keep the handle operation smooth and develop a “feel” for everything that is happening during each process, and this is especially important during the priming stage. Through practice you will soon be able to tell if the primer has been seated correctly or whether there may be a potential problem, and if at any time you feel any resistance you must always stop and check for a problem instead of forcing the issue! Every make of press is different but to maintain a reliable primer feed on the Lee you must ensure that there are always a sufficient number of primers present in the primer feed chute as it is this pressure that pushes the following primer onto the seating ram. If the primers are allowed to run low it can lead to either no primer being inserted, or to one being inserted sideways which is not what you want to happen. Many of the other makes can also give you problems during the priming process as well if care is not taken as they each have their own quirks as it were. Yes the progressives are a bit more complicated in the way that they work, but they also offer a big advantage production wise over their counterparts and I can quite happily churn out 100 rounds every 10 - 12 minutes on my little press. Buying your press As with everything in life you tend to get what you pay for and the Lee series of presses offer very good value for money, and produce ammunition that is certainly good enough for the distances that we shoot at. It must be said however that they are not as well made or as robust as a Dillon 650 or the new Hornady LNL

Redding T7 turret


Target Shooter

Lee die set

electric case feeder and everything else on it when I shoot over in the states and they really are fantastic machines to use, but I just can’t justify the extra cost needed to upgrade when my cheap PRO 1000 makes ammunition that clearly does the job for me. If you do have a nice 650 that unfortunately needs a good home though please do get in touch with me! If money was no object then I would definitely buy either a Dillon or Hornady as they are built to a much higher quality but it’s your money so spend accordingly as they will all produce good quality ammunition at the end of the day. Choosing the best type of press to load pistol calibre ammo will always be a subjective issue as everyone has their own opinion and Dillon 650 preference but as long as you learn and understand the basics of what each station does (lock n load) versions but they are around a and why, and follow good reloading procedures third to half the price to start with depending on it really shouldn’t matter what you start off with. specification. I use a friends 650 Dillon with the Before parting with your hard earned cash make sure you sit down and give some serious thought as to how much shooting you intend to do over the next few years or so as this will help to steer you in the right direction to start with. If you only intend to plink down at the local range every week or so and shoot maybe 30 - 50 rounds each time then a simple single stage press is certainly going to fulfil your needs. If you are the type of shooter who plans to visit their club a couple of times a week and maybe take part in a few club comps or postal leagues then I would suggest that you need to go for at least a turret press to start with as, you will probably be shooting somewhere in the region of 100 to maybe 150 rounds per week. If you want to Lee turret move up and progress into regional or maybe Target Shooter 51

Lee Pro disk and auto disk

will serve your requirements best in the long run, a good idea would be to ask as many people as possible who own one (trying as many different makes as you can) if you could try making a few rounds using their equipment under supervision. This hands on experience will confirm whether or not it is the right type of press for you to start with, and also help you to decide on which features or layouts you would prefer to use as they are all slightly different in some way or another. What ever you decide to go for in the end, I would strongly suggest that you get an Hand priming tool

national competitions, or you simply enjoy putting a lot of rounds down the range every club night then you should definitely be looking towards buying a progressive press for obvious reasons. For people with ever increasing family and job commitments it may well make sense to go straight for a progressive press in the first place, as you could probably make the ammo and shoot it down at the club in half the time that it would take you on another type of press.

experienced reloader (ideally who is familiar with the type and model that you have purchased) Once you have decided on the type of press that to set your press up for you, and teach you the basics of safe practice and reloading Lee adjustable charge procedures at the same time. Learning and bar understanding about each of the individual processes involved is paramount to ensuring that you will always produce safe and reliable ammunition, for both your sake and everyone else’s. Having an experienced reloader alongside you during the first few weeks or months will be invaluable as they will be able to help you identify and rectify any problems that you may encounter along the way, as well as making sure that you don’t get into any bad habits to start with at the same time.


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Building the Ultimate F/TR Rifle – part 3 By Vince Bottomley

Above - Load development in sub. zero temperatures – here’s where the benchrest-style fore-end comes in useful For the last three issues, Vince has serialised the building his ultimate F/TR rifle, though of course, Vince is the first to acknowledge that his version of ‘ultimate’ may not match your idea or specification. Nonetheless, we hope it may give readers contemplating a similar project some food for thought. To briefly re-cap – for the last couple of months I’ve been assembling a new F/TR rifle for the


Target Shooter

The superb Stolle F/TR action – 2lbs 2oz. including the 20MOA scope-rail - mine is from Osprey Rifles coming season, to replace the ‘lash-up’ I was shooting last season – namely my 1000 yard benchgun fitted with a 308 barrel. As the 2011 benchrest season is rapidly approaching, I need to press the rifle back into service on the benchres and replace the 308 barrel with a new 7mmWSM barrel and get some 1000 yard testing done! As with many competition rifles, weight is a major consideration - particularly so with F/TR but at least we do not have to ponder over the choice of cartridge - as it is already fixed by the Massive flat bedding area and three screws rules – it must be 308 Win. (unless your name is Laurie Holland or you are a member of the Flat Earth Society!) Allowable all-up weight for an F/TR rifle, complete with scope and bi-pod is 8.25 kilograms – or close to 18lbs. 2oz. Here’s how the weight might be used in a typical F/TR rifle: Action (Barnard or similar) Barrel (depending on profile) Stock Scope Rings, trigger, screws etc. Bi-pod Total 3lb. 6 – 8lbs. 4 – 5lbs. 1 – 2 lbs. 1lb. 1 – 2.5lbs.

18lbs. 2oz. maximum

Coming from a benchrest background, I’ll always choose a heavy barrel. Why? It isn’t any more accurate per se but, a stiff, heavy barrel is

Here’s my 36BR Leupold on last year’s F/TR rifle. The scope weighs under a pound, the rings 3oz!

Target Shooter


If best accuracy is your aim – use the best components. Lapua brass, bullets & Forster dies easier to tune and keep in-tune – it’s less affected by temperature changes and the like. My barrel weighs 8lbs. and is a straight taper from 1.25inches atthe breech to one inch at the muzzle. You could easily save a pound here and still end up with a decent profile. eventually got it down to a respectable 4lbs. 6oz.

Now for my cunning plan – instead of a steel Barnard or BAT action weighing 3lb., I’m going for the all-aluminium Stolle F Class action, which comes with a built-in scope rail with 20MOA taper and weighs just 2lbs. 2oz. Even To keep a 308 155grain projectile supersonic all so, I can’t afford to fit a Schmidt & Bender or the way to 1000 yards, a length of around 30 Nightforce scope weighing over two pounds, so inches is desirable - with many competitors I’m going for a Leupold 36BR fixed-power scope opting for 32 or even 34 inches. I’ll stick at 30 (actually my 100 yard benchrest scope) which inches – it gives me a genuine 3000 fps muzzle- weighs a tad under a pound. Another useful velocity with the 155 Lapua Scenar - even on a weight-saver. Yes, a quality zoom scope like cold day and that’s good enough – just! a 12-50 Schmidt & Bender would be my dream choice but building an F/TR rifle is all about I also like wood-laminate stocks. They are compromises! denser and less ‘ringy’ than fibreglass but the downside is they are heavier. Out of the Last month’s article ended with me waiting for my box – un-inletted - mine (from www. buddy, Ian Dixon, to put some clear automotive weighed a frightening lacquer on the stock and hopefully make my 6lbs. but a day or three on the milling machine wood-butchering look good. He didn’t take long 56 Target Shooter

The lower group was shot with magnum primers, the upper group with normal primers. Both are five-shot and measure comfortably under half an inch and after half a dozen coats of twopack lacquer it did look good, so I put the rifle together and dropped it on the scales. Complete with my home-made bi-pod (a Fito Big Foot copy) it weighed exactly 18lb. 2 oz. Relief! I did have the remarkable carbon-fibre Censhot bi-pod weighing just 19oz. should the need arise. It’s now February and the first GBFCA League shoot is just two months away but my Club’s (Diggle) annual F Class Championship is three rounds in and, as yet, I haven’t pulled a trigger. This weekend’s shoot is a 1000 yarder so ‘in at the deep end’ so to speak but ideal to evaluate the rifle’s potential and a good opportunity for a ‘zero’. But first, we need a load. One great thing about the 308 Win. cartridge is that it’s very forgiving. By that, I mean it’s easy to tune and it will handle a wide range of powders and bullets. It will work well with Hodgdon H4895, Varget, Vhitavuori N140, N150 or the equivalent double-base ‘5’ series (N540) and handle bullets from 125 – 210 grains. For best accuracy, good brass is essential, so of course, we will be starting with a new box of Lapua. Incidentally, if you’re shooting new Lapua 308 brass don’t waste time, money and barrel-life by fire-forming – there is no need. Am I using Lapua’s new ‘small-primer’ brass, developed specially for the F/TR shooter who is now achieving previously un-heard of velocities? No, I’m not at this stage but I don’t rule it out completely. The small primer gives more ‘meat’ in the case-head, thus resisting the tendency for the primer-pocket to expand after several heavy loadings. Slack primer-pockets means the brass must be binned – maybe after just four firings but although the small-primer brass may last a bit longer, it’s more expensive initially so it’s a ‘swings & roundabouts’ thing and personally, I’d sooner change my brass more often – nothing shoots like new brass! Of course, you need to prep. your new brass – by lightly chamfering the inside and outside of the neck but that’s about all you need with Lapua. Target Shooter 57

The rifle makes its competition debut at 1000 yards Check the new brass in your chamber and make sure the bolt closes without resistance (remove the spring and firing pin to do this). If there is any resistance, you can run the brass through your full-length sizing-die – adjusting it until the bolt closes with just the slightest ‘kiss’ on the case. If you wish to uniform the primer-pocket depth, wait until after the first firing – otherwise you may find the uniformer tool takes a shaving off the sides of the pocket. With any new rifle, my first job is to find the maximum load it will SAFELY handle. By this, I don’t mean the load which pops the primer out of its pocket but one where bolt-lift just begins to get a little ‘sticky’ and the primers are flattened with maybe the slightest hint of cratering. Although I know this will occur with around 4547 grains of my Vhitavuori N540, every rifle is unique – barrels can be ‘tight’, the internal finish can be different etc. Never assume anything when developing a load – work up from a safe starting-point in small increments. Consult the reloading manual produced by your chosen powder manufacturer for a safe starter load. I like to do my loading on the firing-point when developing a load and I’m lucky at Diggle to have covered firing-points at most ranges but today, we are at 100 yards. As I expected, a little over 47 grains produced the first signs of pressure so I backed-off the load by half a grain and started looking for the accuracy load. I soon had a fiveshot group around half an inch. Normally, with a 308, I would be happy with this but, such is the level of competition in national F/TR events, half MOA just isn’t good enough! Also, I’d heard that some shooters were using magnum primers in their 308s. That’s something new to me but I decided to give it a try. I kept my half MOA load and shot it using the magnums – wow, an even smaller group! A magnum primer 58 Target Shooter will give a slightly hotter burn – which is like using more powder so I tried another two-tenths of a grain with normal primers. That did it, a really nice little five-shot group measuring 0.312 inches (see pic). What’s more, the chronograph was indicating that magic 3000 fps that we are all chasing! You may be wondering about loaded-length. Am I loading into the rifling? If so, by how much? With a benchgun, yes, I will try seating the bullets into the rifling for that last ounce of accuracy but, for F Class - no! Why not? If the RO calls an emergency ‘cease-fire’ he will expect to see bolts removed and if I’ve got one ‘up the spout’ this could mean pulling a round and filling the action with powder – I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion. With a close-tolerance custom action, a single grain of powder can lock the whole thing solid – shoot over – weekend ruined! So, my loaded length will be about five thou. off the rifling. I now have a load. I now have a 100 yard zero but our shoot the next day is at 1000 yards, so it’s time to consult the ballistics program. I have several and they all work but I do like the Brian Litz one. Brian is the ballistics man for Berger bullets and a CD of his programme was included with his excellent book Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. If you’ve not seen this book, I can thoroughly recommend it. Brian writes in such a way that this technical subject reads like a novel! Anyway, the prog. recommended 28 MOA from 100 to 1000 yards. On the day of the shoot, it was a couple of degrees above freezing but winds were light. I did first stint in butts and there were some strange shots on the targets. Clearly, there was more going on out there than the flags were revealing. Of course, our 308 bullets are on their ‘last legs’ at 1000 yards and very susceptible to



even light winds. Best F Class Open score in the morning was a 98 (out of 100) with a reasonable V bull count, indicating that conditions were good. Best F/TR was an 88. Thankfully, my first sighter was on target – a low four – so Brian’s prog. was spot-on. It was a clean barrel and shots can be low off a clean tube so I shouldn’t have adjusted - but I did and my second sighter was sat on top of the four ring, just in the three zone! If I’d left it, it would have been a five! I adjusted again and got a five for my ‘first to count’. Yes, it was tricky out there and I had two unforgivable ‘threes’ but ended up on 89 - to take the F/TR class win. Not brilliant, to be nine points adrift of the Open class winner but I was pleased to see that the rifle had some potential - until I found that second-place man Paul Harper was shooting his tactical 308 off a Harris bi-pod and a 26 inch barrel! Well shot Paul – you deserved to win. The Bartlein barrel has now had about 40 rounds down it so will be on the way to being run-in. I gave it a good clean and there was very little copper in there, so hopefully we have a reasonably good barrel which will serve me well Season Ad 23/4/10 14:58 Page 1 for a couple of seasons at least.

If you have any aspirations at all to shoot F Class with the GBFCA, please come along and give it a go. Don’t think that you need to build the ‘ultimate’ rifle - just come along with whatever you have and get a feel for the sport. Check out the GBFCA website at for much more information and a calendar of our shoots.

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by Laurie Holland
Above - The beautifully made and finished Harrell’s Precision Premium Benchrest measure optimised for 30gn charges of fine-grained powder I’ll carry on with my look at powder measures Scoring measure performance is like ice this month, describing and testing a sample dancing contests where the judges give values of six. Before getting into the nitty-gritty, for technical merit and artistic excellence. The let’s examine a key issue. The term ‘powder ‘technical merit’ element here is consistency measure’ involves an apparent contradiction – does the measure ‘throw’ the same charge in that any cursory examination of one quickly each time? Results are judged by weight, but shows it works by metering volume, but what constitutes an acceptable range? There is smokeless loads are invariably quoted in and no off the shelf answer – for instance, a 0.4gn calibrated by weight. What this tells us is that extreme spread (ES) will likely be acceptable a measure must be used in conjunction with in a magnum employing near 70gn charges for scales. The objective is to throw a particular use in a sporting rifle, but not so in a small cased volume of powder that equates to whatever cartridge employing 25-30gn charges for mid charge weight we want making it essential to to long-range precision target shooting. That check-weigh the charges thrown at the start of assumes that charges will be used ‘as thrown’ of a loading session, and regularly thereafter to course, while most long-range shooters adjust ensure that correct weights are produced individual charges in conjunction with scales to throughout. Since makes and grades of improve charge weight consistency, ±0.1gn the powders have different bulk densities, the usual target. However, many shooters want to measure is reset for each one even if charge use charges ‘as thrown’ to reduce the time and weights remain the same. Densities can vary effort involved in the handloading process. For too between production batches, also marginally many sporting shooters, the 1% variation rule through air temperature and humidity changes. that I mentioned last month is probably good enough, 0.3gn ES on a 30gn charge, 0.5gn on Technical Merit a 50-grainer and so on. Distance to target is Target Shooter 61

important alongside grouping ability to avoid vertical inconsistencies in the point of impact. Charge weight variations aren’t the only cause of over-large MV ES values, but undoubtedly contribute. This aspect of performance was judged by subjecting the measures to an identical test involving four powders – Hodgdon VarGet and Hybrid 100V, IMR4064, and Vihtavuori N140. VarGet and N140 are short-cut stick powders that should flow and meter well, while 4064 is a traditional long-grained ‘log’ powder notorious for getting kernels caught between the rotor and measure body, even hanging up (‘bridging’) in the drop-tube. I’d just bought a bottle of Hybrid 100V, a new propellant made for Hodgdon by the St. Marks Powder Co. in Florida and decided to use it as an alternative to a true ball powder. It is a dense double-base stick-powder with rounded ends produced in ball powder precipitation-still technology, hence ‘hybrid’, and with a burning rate between H4350 and H4831 grades. It allegedly gives high MVs and good results in cartridges like 6XC (my interest) and 6.5284 Norma. This quartet was expected to provide a range of results, and I also thought it unlikely any one measure would be outstandingly good or bad with all four, predictions that were largely fulfilled. The test consisted of setting each measure to throw charges around 50gn, filling the powder reservoir fully, throwing 10 charges without weighing to settle grains down inside the measure, then carefully throwing 25 charges each weighed on my Acculab VIC123 laboratory standard electronic scales. The measure body was tapped with a large but light wooden kitchen spoon before operating the handle as previous tests had shown that ‘knocking’ reduces charge weight variations and the measure handle was moved at a steady slow pace. All 35 charges thrown were returned to the powder bottle, not the measure reservoir, to see if the reducing powder column height (more

The cheap and remarkably efficient little Lee Perfect Meaure. The reservoir has just enough capacity for loading rifle cartridges

crucial – find a combination of bullet, powder, and pressures / MV that the rifle barrel likes (an ‘accuracy node’ or ‘sweet spot’) and you get small groups at shorter ranges even with significant powder charge weight and MV variations. However, shoot at long ranges, or small targets at medium ranges, and achieving small MV spreads becomes 62 Target Shooter

The Lee Perfect stem is graduated in cubic centimetres

Standard RCBS Uniflow, another longlived and good design from this company

Target Shooter


Uniflow’s metering assembly. There is a flat on the metering screw with gradations out of sight

importantly weight) affected charge consistency. Results are listed in Table 2 giving the low, high and mean weights as well as the standard deviation (SD) and the number of charges that exceeded 0.2gn variance from the mean either way. There was no attempt to produce identical charge weights from each measure, and once set up, measures were left alone for the four powders. A word is probably in order here about SD. This is a statistical measure of the amount of variability around an arithmetic mean (average). While 25 results are enough to give an idea of the amount of likely variability, four times that number would be a lot better. SD also relies on results in graph or histogram form producing a bell-shape distribution curve and it became obvious that this didn’t apply. For instance, variations were more likely to appear on one side of the average than the other rather than 64 Target Shooter

in equal numbers as on a ‘bell’. Also, most results fell within a reasonable range, but the occasional one would be on its own well outside the norm for no obvious reason, this applying particularly to Hybrid 100V, affecting ES and SD values. That’s why I added in how many charges were outside of ±0.2gn from the mean, 0.4gn looking a reasonable range on a 50gn charge weight for sporting cartridges and short-range target work. As an example, the Redding Competition BR-30 produced a large 1.16gn ES for Hybrid 100V, an apparently disastrous result, but when I studied the breakdown, I found that of the seven charges that exceeded a ±0.2gn tolerance, four only did so marginally, a couple by around 0.1gn, and the real damage was done by a single charge nearly 0.8gn below the mean that skewed the results. Nevertheless, the base results remain valid as had those charges been used ‘as thrown’, one cartridge out of the 25 would have had a

Well-used Hornady L-N-L Benchrest Measure. The large reservoir holds a full tin of Hybrid 100V. Note the absence of measure handle knob – lost through metal fatigue

significantly lower charge than the norm. Apples and Oranges The ‘artistic excellence’ scores in this exercise comprise a range of attributes that are subjectively measured – ease and speed of initial adjustment and subsequent changes; smoothness; propensity for powder kernels to stick / be cut between the rotor and measure body; and of course, price with the dearest measure tested nine or ten times more expensive than the cheapest. I’ve attempted to put some scores to these values in Table 4, but remind you they are subjective. Users have differing needs which affect such an evaluation too. For instance, the Harrell with its Culver form metering chamber and ergonomic adjustment mechanism with very positive

click adjustment is ideal for returning to a known previous setting and making minor changes. A single ‘click’ on the adjuster drum changes the charge weight by 0.1gn with most short-cut stick powders. This is ideal for me loading up large numbers of cartridges for tests in three or five round batches that see weights increase by anything between 0.1gn and full grain steps. It’s also ideal for the benchrest competitor loading 6PPC or similar on the firing point making small adjustments to accommodate temperature changes during a match, and so on, but is of no great value to the individual who only loads one cartridge sticking to a single charge weight of one powder. Then there are accessories available for competition models mostly – drop tubes, super-capacity reservoirs, reservoir baffles, alternative metering screw assemblies, and other goodies. Their availability may be important to some, but probably not to the average handloader who just wants to throw 20 or 30 reasonably consistent charges in a session and whose cartridge cases have enough room to accept them without fuss. Measures come in various sizes and grades. Two of the six tested, the Harrell and the Redding are small competition measures designed for optimal accuracy throwing fine-grained powders with charges around 30gn. Testing them with 50gn charges, especially of coarse-grained powders, puts them at a disadvantage against the Lee, Hornady, RCBS and Forster that will throw charges up to 100gn or thereabouts putting 50gn in the mid-point of their ranges. The Harrell’s adjuster drum was set at a reading of 90 on a scale that tops out at 110 to throw a 50gn charge, so its physical limit is 60-65gn charges. To restore balance, I ran an additional powder and weight test for Target Shooter 65

The Hornady Bench Rest’s graduated metering stem and cap with etched in markings – difficult to read (and photograph). this pair, 29.0gn of Viht N133 which approximates to what most British 100yd benchrest shooters use in the 6PPC (Table 3). While a ‘full-size’ measure, the Hornady L-N-L Bench Rest model is another ‘competition’ design with features that differentiate it from its standard brethren and give it a substantially higher price, so it isn’t a fair comparison to pit it against the standard RCBS Uniflow. All Harrell measures are basically ‘competition’ types, the range varying by size and finish, but Hornady, RCBS and Redding produce a mix of standard and competition models. The main change between grades is in the rotor powder cavity and attached metering stem, competition versions having reduced diameters, concave me66 Target Shooter

tering screw-heads and finely graduated stems. Another difference is that it has become almost normal now for ‘standard’ measures to employ QD metering screw assemblies in pistol and rifle versions whose dimensions are geared to the very different charge sizes, but you don’t get this facility with ‘competition’ models – you can buy handgun / small rifle or rifle versions, but not dual-purpose models. On reflection, I don’t think it was unduly inappropriate to use the Hornady ‘Bench Rest’ as it is the cheapest of the ‘competition’ bunch by a large margin, £139 against £207 for its RCBS and Redding BR-30 competitors using Midway UK prices as a guide. Moreover, it’s actually cheaper than a Redding 3 standard measure with ‘universal’ meter. Talking money, another factor to consider is the need for and cost of a measure stand. The Lee comes with one, the others don’t. Hornady, RCBS and Redding models have cylindrical 7/8X14 tpi threaded lower sections to screw into loading press frames, turrets etc and can be bench or shelf-mounted using a cheap flat plate, but if you plan on using them as standalone tools on a table or loading bench you really do need a curved ‘piggyback’ stand to raise them above tabletop level to bring them within easy The unusual and compact (but heavy and sturdy) Forster Bonanza Bench Rest measure

Close-up of the Bonanza’s handle / metering chamber assembly. The metering rod is in the position used for larger (>37gn) charges

reach and allow unrestricted insertion of a cartridge case or scale-pan underneath. The Harrell and Forster measures include a screw-operated clamp for fixing to a shelf or firing point structural ledge, but also need a stand for bench use. I use Sinclair International’s model with my Harrell measure, adjustable for height and the angle the measure is presented at, but expensive. Impressions Let me pass on my impressions of using the six models, again emphasising the subjective nature of these views. I’ll start with the Lee ‘Perfect’ measure, the cheapest at a few pence under £27. This is a small, no let’s be frank TINY, device which unlike the others is mostly fabricated from plastics of one sort or other. The rotor and its matching cavity in the body are slightly cone-shaped and made of some form of nylon

type material, their fit adjusted by the amount of tension imparted by the single securing screw. The trick is to set the tension so that the tool operates easily, but not loose enough for powder kernels to slip between their surfaces which can happen especially with fine-grained ball powders, and requires the measure to be emptied, dismantled and cleaned. A key feature in its success is an ‘elastomer wiper’, a thin soft blade that stops powder kernels sticking. The mechanism is smooth, but doesn’t run as easily as the metal bodied models. You get a thin stamped steel stand which is attached to the measure body using two self-tappers and it’s so thin it flexes as you operate the device. No matter, the elastomer wiper set-up doesn’t need rock-steady support to give good results apparently! Unlike some of our sextet, the measuring chamber is charged when the handle is in the up position and discharges its Target Shooter 67

Redding Competition BR-30 with after-market adaptor to take 1lb Sinclair bottles or Hodgdon / IMR powder cans


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The BR-30’s metering stem is clearly marked and finely adjustable

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The Harrell’s metering adjuster stem and drum load when the handle is pushed down. It has a 120° throw, but if you don’t need automatic (progressive press) operation, there is a small plastic stop that can be removed to allow the metering chamber to rise up to true vertical improving performance with bulky powders. This measure is one I bought some years back, but hardly ever used, so was as-new when tried. This degrades consistency as powders deposit a coating of graphite on the internal surfaces during early use that helps powder flow through the device smoothly making its performance even more creditable than the results in Table 2 suggest. Unlike other makers, Lee’s metering stem markings have a use other than simply for referencing settings as they’re graduated in cubic centimetres and you get a list of powder ‘VMD’ values, the volume of 1.0gn powder that lets you calculate a starting setting. If I’d wanted to throw 51.9gn of H. VarGet (the average I ended up with) whose VMD is 0.0731, multiply one by the other and we get 3.79cc, and sure enough that’s where we are on the scale reading. The Lee was one of only two measures that kept all four powder SDs to 0.2gn or below and one of three that produced a reasonable ES with Hybrid 100V. Oddly, it struggled a little with VarGet which most other measures performed best with, but proved to be an excellent 70 Target Shooter performer overall, especially given the price. I only have one complaint about this tool – it is too small. If Lee had made it 50% bigger throughout, or even given it a decent size grasping knob, it would be easier to use. Traditional Trio I’ll group the Hornady L-N-L Bench Rest, RCBS Uniflow, and Redding Competition BR-30 together as this trio share a common and traditional design with a cast iron body, machined cylindrical rotor that rotates through 100-115°, and a metering ‘pencil’ or ‘thimble’ sticking out the front with charges set by turning its stem / cap. The measuring chamber is charged with the handle / rotor down, and the powder is released into a short drop-tube as you raise the handle. There are two things wrong with this arrangement. First, the rotor movement range sees the measuring chamber end up short of vertical during metering / filling and discharge, so has to employ kinked passages for powder movement as well as failing to maximise the force of gravity. Second, all three rotors ran very smoothly and freely – a good thing, of course – but in the RCBS and Redding models that saw the handle / measuring chamber drop the rotor down into the charging position under their own weight

Lee (furthest away) gives you a flimsy stand, otherwise it’s an additional item on top of the measure. Note Lock-NLoad QD insert in the Hornady measure stand (foreground)

as soon as the hand was removed from the handle to perform other jobs. No problem, unless you want to make a change to the adjuster setting in which case you’re doing it on a chamber already full of powder kernels. I always throw that charge back into the powder bottle before operating the measure again and re-checking the weight as I reckon it is likely to be inconsistent. Despite this, they worked well with the exception of IMR-4064 which produced regular ‘sticking’ in the discharge throw movement and maybe one in five charges saw a kernel truly stuck between rotor and body needing considerable pressure to be built up gradually on the handle to cut through it. Incidentally, if you overcome any powder grain induced ‘sticktion’ in measure operation – and you get some with every measure and powder type – slowly and smoothly, it doesn’t

affect charge weight consistency. I checked this out with all six models and didn’t find a single example of it producing a rogue charge weight. Jerk the measure handle hard and it’s a different matter! IMR-4064 also ‘bridged’ occasionally in the Uniflow’s drop-tube and needed another couple of taps with the wooden spoon on the measure body to ensure complete clearance. This can happen with any of these measures and many extruded powders if the handle is operated too quickly as I know to my cost with years of experience with the Hornady. This measure has a hard metal plating on the rotor and a different operating feel. Its handle and rotor will remain in the upright (discharge) position which I like. It and the Redding BR30 have the improved metering arrangements that allow easy record keeping, finer setting adjustment and should give greater charge Target Shooter 71

Above - The three Hodgdon / IMR powders used in the main test and the N140 was used in the main test; N133 and N550 in the secondary tests consistency. Both performed well, the Redding Odd Design managing IMR-4064 better than the rest by a Moving on to the Forster ‘Bonanza Bench Rest’, large margin, and the Hornady finally giving this is an odd man out design-wise. Although Hybrid 100V the small weight spread and SD sticking to the traditional cast iron body and that Hodgdon promises. As noted before, the rotor, albeit much smaller than in the Hornady, Redding had a problem with this powder, in Redding, RCBS trio, it has a huge cast iron particular that one really low ‘rogue’ charge. operating handle that is bored out to double Mentioning the Hornady, a feature that as the metering chamber. It contains a differentiates it from the others is a large powder cylindrical metering rod whose position is adjusted reservoir that easily holds a full pound weight through sliding it by hand – no screw-thread – of powder. The others held a little over half a and it is locked in position with a large external pound and were half-empty after 35 charges thumbscrew. The measure is given its initial were thrown. To ensure consistency, they should setting by procuring the desired weight of be topped up again at that point. powder using your scales, dropping the (empty) measure’s handle into the down (charging) position, pouring the powder charge into the top of the tool to feed through into the handle / chamber. The handle is then moved to its half-way (horizontal) position which cuts the metering chamber off from both drop-tube and powder reservoir apertures, the metering rod’s setscrew loosened and the rod is slid up the handle to touch the powder, closing it up without unduly compressing the grains. Lock the rod there, fill the reservoir up and start off with hopefully only marginal further adjustment needed. Incidentally, the rod has two threaded holes an inch or so apart for its lock-screw in order to accommodate different powder weight ranges. When the lower hole is used it moves the rod further up into the rotor restricting available metering capacity and should be used for charges in the 2.5-37gn range, the upper hole used to drop the bar for charges above that, 90-95gn of short-cut rifle Hornady ‘Bench Rest’ metering screw powders being its limit. The charge bar can assembly (left) alongside the same company’s also be removed to drain the measure back standard L-N-L model into the powder bottle without removing it from 72 Target Shooter

4064 and that was less You can upgrade modern RCBS QD Uniflow QD models with a than the others, the Lee UPM metering kit (Uniflow Precision Mic) excepted. Forster recommends ignoring the handle and gripping the handle body between thumb and forefinger, a method that works well. This measure didn’t excel with any single powder but gave a very creditable performance across the board. As with the Lee, the measure was brand new without any graphite coating inside, so its performance could be expected to improve with use. What did concern me was the setting-up / adjustment method as to time and subsequent fine-tuning. Having to produce a ready-weighed the bench. The handle / metering chamber travels through charge slows things down and only put me in the a full 180° arc, its movement controlled ball-park, not spot on. I’d rather have a mechanical by a small roll-pin stop and is vertical at each screw-based adjuster too as it’s near impossible end of travel remaining at the top (full discharge) to make a really fine adjustment by sliding a rod position without support. With its length, long by hand. I ran my .308 Win F/TR load of 46.3gn throw and considerable weight, operation has Viht N550 through it and found it took about 10 a heavier and more ponderous feel than the minutes to set the measure up. The results I previous trio, but is very smooth. There was got weren’t up to be used ‘as thrown’ – but that no serious powder cutting except with IMR- applied to all results for all measures for this purpose – but was just right for adjusting with a trickler and scales with 11 Culver type meters are widely used by benchrest charges usable straight from the meashooters like Steve Dunn seen here handloading sure, one slightly too high needing rebetween details in a UKBRA 100yd match ducing, and 13 needing topped up by amounts between 0.1 and 0.4gn to be within an acceptable final 46.2-46.4gn weight range. Rolls-Royce That leaves the Harrell’s Precision Premium Benchrest model, a small lightweight device made out of polished aluminium, brass, and steel with superb ergonomics. With the rotor supported at each end by ball bearings, the handle operation moving through its 180° arc superlatively smoothly and allowing precise control of the flow of powder Target Shooter 73

Table 1 
        Guide Price(s)  £27    Manufacturer Website  UK Distributor(s)  Hannam’s Reloading Ltd., Peckfield Lodge, York   Henry Krank, Pudsey W Yorks    RCBS Standard Uniflow    Forster Bonanza Bench Rest    Hornady L‐N‐L Bench Rest      Redding Comp BR‐30        Harrell’s Precision   Premium Benchrest    $249.95 US      No importer. Try Trent Firearms or direct import   from manufacturer. Sinclair International sells  direct. (      £207 (+£37 stand)  www.redding‐  Norman Clark Gunsmith, Rugby      £139 (+ £36 stand)  (£85 basic L‐N‐L)  Edgar Bros, Macclesfield  £125 (+ £29 stand)  Hannam’s Reloading Ltd., Peckfield Lodge, York  £98    GMK Limited, Fareham, Hants   

Lee ‘Perfect’ 

(£146 Redding 3 Universal) 

Others $200‐350 US (Sinclair)   (+ $46.95 US for Sinclair stand) 

  kernels into the drop-tube (important for packing maximum charges into the PPC case). As with the Lee, powder discharge is on the downstroke. I’ve already mentioned the super-fine graduated ‘click’ adjuster with closely calibrated scales, so price aside (a whopping $250 US plus carriage, UK duty, customs clearance fees, 20% VAT!) what can be wrong with such a Rolls-Royce quality machine? Simply that it didn’t produce the tiny extreme spreads that one might expect. Not that it did badly, very well with Hybrid 100V and better than most with IMR-4064, but 0.7gn spreads with VarGet and N140 are hardly exciting and certainly not usable. Now I did say that it was unfair on this measure (and the Redding BR-30) to be expected to produce top results with 50gn charges, so ran a 5th test with 29gn Viht N133 and this was better for both small competition measures with near identical results – a half-grain extreme spread and SDs in the 0.13-0.14gn range. So the majority of charges will be within a 0.3gn spread – and that obviously works for 100yd benchrest shooters as
74 Target Shooter

they use charges ‘as thrown’ and loaded on the firing point. I think I’ll take pre-weighed charges to the range when I start benchrest shooting in a few weeks time! Having said all that, I love my Harrell and it’s a great tool for the kind of loading I do. If you only employ three or four load combinations, or even a full half-dozen, you might well be better off buying a job lot of Lee Perfect Measures and setting each one up permanently for a single powder-charge weight combination. It would be cheaper with the Harrell and Sinclair stand prices equating to around 10 Lee models! Next month, I’ll look at a true powder measure, the electronic Lyman DPS 1200 that dispenses and weighs powders alongside the neat British made battery powered TARGETMASTER powder dispenser from AE products that uses your powder scales beam to automatically shut the powder supply off when the correct charge is reached.

Table 2    Six‐Measure, Four‐Powder Test Results  Measure    Lee Perfect      Average  S.D.  Low            RCBS Uniflow  Average      S.D.  Low            Forster BR      Average  S.D.  Low             
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H. VarGet 

Viht N140 



51.9gn    0.16gn    51.52gn  52.24gn  0.72gn     

51.61gn  0.13gn    51.42gn  51.98gn  0.56gn    1   

52.12gn  0.12gn    51.84gn  52.36gn  0.52gn    3   

49.09gn  0.19gn    48.76gn  49.42gn  0.66gn  6 




High  ES 

Avge ±0.2gn*  5 

51.46gn  0.1gn    51.26gn  51.66gn  0.4gn     

51.13gn  0.13gn    50.84gn  51.5gn    0.66gn    2   

51.93gn  0.23gn    51.26gn  52.64gn  1.38gn    6   

49.65gn  0.29gn    48.94gn  50.2gn  1.26gn  14 




High  ES 

Avge ±0.2gn*  Nil 

52.12gn  0.15gn    51.86gn  52.38gn  0.52gn     

51.85gn  0.13gn    51.64gn  52.24gn  0.6gn    2   

52.58gn  0.2gn    52.26gn  53.4gn    1.14gn    2   

49.71gn  0.17gn    49.34gn  49.96gn  0.62gn  4 




High  ES 

Avge ±0.2gn*  3 

Table 2 ‐ Cont  Hornady BR      Average  S.D.  Low            Redding BR‐30  Average      S.D.  Low            Harrell        Average  S.D.  Low          * number of instances where charges exceeded the average thrown charge weight by ± 0.2gn          High  ES          51.94gn  0.18gn    51.54gn  52.28gn  0.74gn      51.78gn  0.17gn    51.38gn  52.1gn    0.72gn    3    52.18gn  0.12gn    51.98gn  52.52gn  0.54gn    2    49.31gn  0.23gn    48.92gn  49.82gn  0.9gn  9          High  ES          51.43gn  0.1gn    51.2gn    51.64gn  0.44gn      51.47gn  0.19gn    50.96gn  51.82gn  0.86gn    5    52.0gn    0.25gn    51.22gn  52.38gn  1.16gn    7    49.5gn    0.22gn    49.16gn  50.02gn  0.86gn  6        High  ES          51.64gn  0.13gn    51.38gn  51.86gn  0.48gn      51.43gn  0.12gn    51.2gn    51.7gn    0.5gn    5    52.17gn  0.11gn    52.0gn    52.38gn  0.38gn    Nil    49.56gn  0.21gn    49.0gn  49.94gn  0.94gn  7   

Avge ±0.2gn*  3 

Avge ±0.2gn*  1 

Avge ±0.2gn*  6 

Table 3  Subjective ‘Scores’ for measure Performance (in a scale of 1‐10) 
          Lee  6  9  6  RCBS  8  7  6  Hornady    8  8  7        Forster  Redding  Harrell  7  8  5  8  7  8  9  9  10     

Ergonomics / Size / Layout 

Smoothness / Powder Cutting  Ease of Adjustment    


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Table 4  Other Tests  1.   Harrell’s Prem BR  Average  S.D.  Low  High  ES                    29.14gn  0.14gn    28.88gn  29.38gn  0.5gn    7                Redding  BR‐30    29.02gn  0.13gn  28.8gn  29.34gn  0.54gn  3      ‘Benchrest Measures’ and Vihtavuori N133 

Average ±0.15gn* 

* number of instances where charges exceeded the average thrown charge weight by ± 0.15gn –  note smaller value used here.      2.   Average  S.D.  Low  High  ES                    46.16gn  0.16gn  45.9gn  46.56gn  0.66gn  3  Forster Bonanza Bench Rest and N550 (Target 46.3gn) 

Average ±0.2gn*   

* number of instances where charges exceeded the average thrown charge weight by ± 0.2gn  Set‐up time c. 10 minutes.   

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This Smallbore Business

By Don Brook
A Coach’s Eye View of some position faults, Prone. There is a funny thing about prone positions, some of them look really questionable, but the shooters seem to deny the obvious and make them work! For instance some club coaches are quite good at the basic positions relative to a new shooter in the club, while the more astute are more comfortable with a shooter of far higher standards. Over my years, I have been lucky enough to be exposed to all three levels, the latter being a sports psychologist that was well up there in terms of elite level performances. I have no doubts that my level reached was due to the said Sports Psychologist, a man by the name of Graeme Winter. This guy was something else, believe me! His amazing forte’ was performance when you wanted it…..

With that in mind, there are however some basic areas that generally are observed. These are without doubt a variety that are necessary for the overall prone position to achieve what is necessary when the evolution to very high scores is being sought. Make sure though, that you keep the opening There is also something else that the new shooter paragraph within your mind! is often exposed to, and that is suggestion from higher standard shooters within the club. These A good coach needs to understand a few shooters are quite well meaning, and very things first, before they can “attack” the position willing to help the new chum, Quite often they adopted by a shooter, and within that there are are quite right, and often they are just as equally a number of levels even then. quite wrong. To the new chum, any information 80 Target Shooter

Target Shooter


is valuable, as they are starved for knowledge, These are: are extremely interested, and usually as keen A. The basic Military position. as mustard. B. The Russian “flounder” position C. The Classic Estonian position, Ideally, a good smallbore Rifle club would have D. The modern variation or American a club coach working on the books, and if such Position. is the case, this article is directed at them in an With the modern American variation, which attempt to shave some time from the rise of the is actually based on the Estonian position new shooter to eventually be able to compete with the difference being in the right leg (R/H successfully. That is either within the club shooter) being drawn upwards towards the parameters, or far higher if such are the goals. target in varying degrees. Some have right knee You see, for a club coach to be successful, (or upwards as far as almost touching the right arm. any coach for that matter) what is truly needed Others a lot further down. The objective of this is simply the right direction to go! A good development is to help absorb the recoil though coach can save an enormous amount of time, this is somewhat of an over kill for a small bore virtually stopping the shooter from deviating up rifle. a pathway that can be quite counter productive. So often have I seen good shooters make an So assuming that the shooter follows the modern adjustment to some part of their gear, then techniques, have a look at the illustrations I have make another that is influenced by the first in submitted as a coach’s eye view from behind the never ending chase for excellence, and so the shooter. on. It is quite funny to see them eventually revert to the exact same measurements they originally The top illustration #1, shows an ideal position, started out with, both wondering how that came where the line of the ears of the shooter is about, and seeing twelve months go by without parallel to the shoulders. any fruit on the table…. This indicates that the head is level, and the rifle fits the shooter as it should. The line of the You should also understand that no coach can spine, is parallel to the left side line from the see how your aiming is developing. The aim forward hand back through to the left foot. Note can only be assessed when the shot hole is that the left foot rests on the toe, with the ankle indicating some form of consistency, and so rotated outwards, thus effectively locking the left open the possibility of centering your group by leg. adjusting the sights. In fact a good coach would With the American variation, the only difference be looking for a tight group rather more than a is in the right leg as a development from the ten ring shot initially. classic Estonian position. The forward geometry remains very much the same. Dictating a basic position to an early shooter, does require that the position is directed at If you examine the #2 picture, you will see the the target, and of course when there is some major common fault of the ear line and shoulder consistency developing the coach can introduce line way out of whack with an otherwise correct the Natural Aiming Point (N.A.P) and the more forward geometry. As indicated the probable refined nuances that dictate score levels. There cause with this is a badly fitted rifle with a stock is much to learn! that does not suit the shooter. The shooter has to lean the head well over to be able to OK, over the years there has been a history see through the sights. This would introduce of position development, and essentially the recoil inconsistencies because of unregulated gradual improvement listed is set down over cheek piece pressures on the stock. The recoil four basic positions. Each had their own ceiling (particularly with a full bore, or 300m rifle) will in terms of scores and the excellence, so for “thrash” sideways, and is one of the chief causes the terms of development for the article I will list of a wide, lateral group of shots. them, but only concentrate on the latest position that has evolved. Also with the head rotated over, a shooter with astigmatism in the aiming eye could well find 82 Target Shooter

it extremely difficult to gain a consistent sight picture. In my opinion, it is mandatory that the shooter has the head quite level, and this is the first sign that I look for when examining a working position. (eg #1 illustration)

bore range, where the full bore guys are always battling problem stocks. “Problem stocks” will be an intensive study in the articles later down the track, but meanwhile, if you are working with a new, or refining a not so new shooter, the rear view will tell an enormous story, so get the platform working, but a check of the ears and shoulder configurations will often give you a very quick diagnosis.

In #3 Illustration, the shooter has a “squared” ear line, but the shoulders are very obviously not parallel, or level. The fault with this one lies in the forward arm being well extended along the fore end of the rifle, causing the left shoulder to drop well under the face on the cheek piece. If your job is coaching a shooter’s standard, it is The right shoulder is quite high, which results in essential that you do not miss a trick! bringing the right elbow very close to the body. Once more the recoil will “thrash” and move Brooksie. drastically upwards towards either 10, or two o’clock depending on body configuration. A tall rangy shooter will find the recoil, even with a small bore rifle will often stay up towards two o’clock when it all settles down. In the case of the heavier recoiling rifles, the recoil movement would finish generally above the next door target! This opens up the possibility of a shot on the wrong target, and nearly always to the right….. So often have I seen this fault on a full

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By Hayley Platts
(Incorporating National Championships for people were lots of youngsters competing in the Sporter with disabilities & Universities Championships) Rifle competitions which was good to see, what with By Hayley Platts the enthusiasm of the young shooters on the range, and their camaraderie. I think it is definitely fair to say that the 2011 Championships brought forth some fabulous BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES shooting by the Ladies and their achievements were in my opinion the highlights this year at Bisley. Jenny Corish certainly stamped her authority on these Championships with a cracking 40 shot air rifle score In the current climate it was good to hear that the of 395 which gave her a lead of 6 points over Sheree numbers stayed pretty similar to last year at around Cox on 389, with Heloise Manasco right there too on the 300 mark, with eleven different nationalities the same score. In 4th was Jenny’s twin sister Sian. represented at the Championships including a large Those placings remained the same at the end of the contingent from Northern Cyprus. Once again there womens air rifle 10 shot Final. Add to this her sublime

Junior mens rifle final 84 Target Shooter

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shooting in the aggregate competition with 592 and 593. Ken Parr jnr held his nerve and kept ahead of James Huckle who had entered the mens air rifle Final in 2nd with a score of 585, just 2 points behind, however Ken shot a wonderful Final score of 102.7 giving him the gold medal. M Bamsey in the junior men’s event was right up with the senior men with his 584 and comfortably fought off the opposition to take gold. Jen McIntosh came into the Championships on the back of a great performance internationally, having shot 395 in the Rocky Mountains match in Colorado in the USA in February which sets a new junior and senior ladies Scottish Record for air rifle. Her score here was 387, one ahead of C Whitaker although she extended her lead in the 10 shot Final to win the junior women’s title. Moving to air pistol Georgina Geikie was back on form in the senior ladies event with a 379, ahead of Julia Lydall on 375 and 3rd placed Mrs Brownlie much further adrift on 367.Once again no change after the Final which left Georgina to claim another British title. Not far behind score wise was Junior lady C Kennerley on 377 which blew away her nearest rivals, although A Holmes on 360 slid down the rankings after her Final and was overtaken by I Sida-Page. Meanwhile Sylwester Los was busy retaining his title, and A Graver took a tumble down to 3rd with H Syms stealing the silver. Kristian Callaghan scored 553 in the junior event, eight points clear of his nearest competitor and retained this lead to take the title. He is a dedicated and talented young shooter who always seems to have a calm temperament on the range. The Disabled SH2 category produced some seriously high scores, R J Davies and N K Porrill tying on 596 with R A Cockbill only 2 points lower. There was a treat for spectators (not so much so for the 2 competitors I suspect!) but R Davies and N Porrill tied after the 10 shot Final. The 11th shot was a 10 versus a 9 producing a result as it started. It’s difficult to see how things can be made more challenging

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Junior ladies rifle final

AIR RIFLE SENIOR MEN 1. K G Parr (584) 2. J Huckle (585) 3. C E Tucker (577) JUNIOR MEN 1. M Bamsey (584) 2. R W Shears (579) 3. L T Flack (577)

689.7 686.6 672.0 685.2 679.0 676.2

SENIOR WOMEN 1. J A Corish (395) 2. S Cox (389) 3. H Manasco (389)

495.9 490.7 488.1

for these extremely proficient shooters now they are getting consistently near to the 600 score.

There were plenty of events for competitors to take part in, in order to make the most of their weekend at Bisley including 10 metre air pistol standard and five target AIR PISTOL championship as well as SENIOR MEN SENIOR WOMEN numerous team competitions 1. S Los (577) 677.6 1. G Geikie (379) 474.1 and a disabled prone air 2. H C A Syms (567) 666.7 2. J M Lydall (375) 472.4 rifle championship. All of 3. A J Graver (570) 666.4 3. C Brownlie (367) 465.2 the results for these can be JUNIOR MEN JUNIOR WOMEN viewed on the NSRA website. 1. K Callaghan (553) 644.0 1. C R Kennerley (377) 476.0 The NSRA shop for those 2. C Auden (545) 641.7 2. I Sida-Page (357) 451.7 who haven’t been to Bisley 3. E J Graver (539) 631.8 3. A L Holmes (360) 450.8 in the last year has been re-modelled with a more DISABLED SH1 AIR RIFLE CATEGORY modern and less cluttered look with plenty of 1. D Coates (593) 696.9 space for displaying merchandise. 2. N Milgate (587) 690.0 3. M Skelton (577) 680.0 The weekend produced some fine shooting and I enjoy seeing the shooters of a similar high DISABLED SH2 AIR RIFLE CATEGORY standard all vying for top honours and in turn 1. R J Davies (596) 698.4 pushing each other’s levels higher. This can only 2. N K Porrill (596) 698.1 tie break shot 10.5 be good for the future of shooting. 3. R A Cockbill (594) 698.1 tie break shot 9.7
JUNIOR WOMEN 1. J R A McIntosh (387) 488.8 2. C L Whitaker (386) 486.1 3. H A Pugsley (380) 478.9

DISABLED SH1 AIR PISTOL CATEGORY 1. A P Bunclark (545) 638.7 2. P M Grainger (539) 534.9 3. C Summer scales (545) 633.7

The prize presentations for the British Championship titles were distributed immediately after the Finals which left the awards ceremony for the aggregate and team events to take place late on Sunday afternoon. This was well attended


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AGGREGATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS AIR RIFLE X CLASS 1. J A Corish 1185 2. D Coates 1184 3. N Milgate 1179 A CLASS 1. M S Bamsey 1169 2. C L Whitaker 1165 3. R W Shears 1157 B CLASS 1. S K Woods 2. L T Flack 3. K Kennedy 1172 1147 1130

C CLASS 1. D E Blinco 1111 2. A M Russell 1109 3. H J R Plant 1108 D CLASS 1. J Rivers 2. M B Dyer 3. B M Bryant 1080 1070 1061

AIR PISTOL X CLASS 1. S Los 1153 2. J H Newsome1141 3. S Nangle 1141

C CLASS 1. A M Beeby 1075 2. A P Stanley 1067 3. N Parker 1059

although some of the local Surrey shooters had already gone home! Jenny Corish’s fine 592 and 593 gave her a deserved X class win for the Sudewic Salver and she was wearing the carpet out to receive numerous other awards. Sywester Los was also a multiple title winner and no longer has the chance to battle with Mick Gault for the honours. There was another noteworthy title winner, yes yours truly had a good weekend with her air pistol and won her first event claiming class D. All the more satisfying for an ex air rifle shooter! Some appreciation must go to the many volunteers who give their time over the three days of competition and to most people are just a blur while they concentrate on their shooting, but the Championship would not happen without all of these people, most of whom were cheerful and helpful throughout. I do hope a younger generation of helpers are in the wings to give a little back to the sport when they are no longer competing themselves.

A CLASS 1. C Brownlie 1116 2. K Callaghan 1115 3. A J Carter 1107 B CLASS 1. R T Careless 1108 2. K Gaunt 1100 3. P M Grainger 1090 SPORTER RIFLE 1. H A Davies-Jones 2. B Monksummers 3. A Stead 334 325 316

D CLASS 1. H F Platts 1042 2. R C Margetts 1039 3. R H Hough 989

Bisley presentation - our very own Hayley

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Diary of a Show I was a bit stumped about what to write about this month as there isn’t much going on but then I remembered what was happening at the end of the month and, having asked permission to get my copy in late, I dived into a description of what goes on to put on a stand at a big show. The first show of the year is the British Shooting Show at Newark. This is its third year and we have had a stand at all three show so we have seen it grow tremendously over those few years. The Newark showground is in a great position as it’s only just off the A1 which must help both traders and public alike. However work for the next show starts almost as soon as the last one finishes, even for stall-holders. At the very least accommodation has to be booked, rooms at the local hotels go very quickly! Once that’s sorted you can relax until a bit nearer the date. By the time the show is only a week away, the stand has been booked, van and car hired and we’re ready to go. We picked up the vehicles on the Thursday so that we can get some of the packing done ready to leave bright and early on Friday morning. Friday dawned bright and clear, great weather for driving – at least it is if you packed your sunglasses, isn’t it? However, not a problem as true to form it quickly clouds over. We are all set to go and I’m just finishing off some work when we discover that the van has started making an ominous whining noise over night. Chris & Charles hastily take it back to the hire company who’s mechanic, after giving it a thorough look, assures us it won’t let us down. Let’s hope he’s right! We finally get on the road about 11am, well later

than we planned. We decided to take the easy route, M3, M25, A1 as there were road-works and delays all over the place so no route looked better than the other. We thought at one point that we had opted for the wrong one, big time, when we came to a grinding halt on the M25 and just sat there for ages. Fortunately, it appeared it was just so they could remove the debris of an accident from the roadwork area and once we started moving, we didn’t slow down again. So a fairly uneventful journey, which is how we like it. As Chris & I were in the car we arrived first and went straight to the hotel to book us all in and dump our stuff in the room. By the time we got into the showground and found our allotted space, Charles wasn’t that far behind us. The first box off the van had the kettle in it so a brew was soon on the go – nothing planned about our pack-


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ing! After that the stand went up in no time at all, really. We have done it so many times now that we all know which bit we do and where everything goes. Fortunately all the electrical equipment worked first time so no headaches there. We were all done, dusted, and back at the hotel by 17.30 which was great as it meant we could have an early supper and straight to bed ready for the early start. Traders have to be on their stands by about 7.30 ready for the off at 8.00 – no lay ins this weekend! When we arrived we were happy to feel that the heating was working this year. Last year it was bitterly cold and some nice kind soul had stolen the fuel from all the heaters, bar one – and that one they vandalised!! We froze our little whatsits off until they managed to get a fresh supply but none of that this year. I did feel sorry for the traders that had to sleep in the marquees overnight, not only was the heating off but the lights were on full all night, no wonder there were some bleary eyes the next day – nothing to do with the parties at all, I was informed! The gates opened at 8am and the crowds poured in, amazing how many people had arrived early. We were busy right from the start with lots of questions about membership, certification, courses, the NRASC and many other topics. The time whizzed

past and the first time I looked at a watch it was already 12.30 – no wonder my tummy was complaining. We signed up a record amount of people for us as well as chatting to a lot of familiar faces. However, by about 14.30 the crowds had thinned so much you could almost see the tumbleweed, strange as that doesn’t usually happen. Then someone mentioned that the rugby was on and all became clear. At least it meant that we could now take a break and look around the show ourselves, which is just what we did. On reflection, maybe we shouldn’t have done as it became quite an expensive day when Chris and I fell for a pair of .22 long barrelled pistols modelled on the Colt 1911. Now all we have to do is get the slots on our licenses and then Chris can teach me how to shoot mine. I never got into the pistol scene as I started straight into 7.62 target rifle but Chris was a crack shot and I couldn’t say ‘No’ when I saw his eyes light up as he hefted the display models. Well at least it’s something we can do together for a change. Sunday was a lot quieter on our stand as the crowds seemed to be browsing rather than buying but we did still do some trade. However as the day neared the end we were all watching the time so that we could start to pack up and head wearily home. Again, that went like clockwork and we were on the road by about 17.45. An uneventful if wet drive home and another early night, exhausted from the weekend. So a great weekend was had all round. The stallholders that we spoke to seemed to be doing a good trade, which is very heartening for our sport. Now it’s back to the daily grind until the next show, for us, in April at Norwich when it all starts all over again. Heather Webb NRA Membership Secretary.

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From The Bench

March 2011 Competitions February was a little barren as far as benchrest competitions were concerned but I did enjoy meeting a lot of you at the Newark Show and I only wish that your enthusiasm and interest could be translated into ‘bums on seats’ at our benchrest shoots! As always, it’s a big step from ‘wanting to’ and actually turning-up and doing it. All I can say is – please come along and try it. Honestly, I don’t think you will regret it. Yes, it is a big step but not that big and we all had to start somewhere. I can well remember my very first benchrest shoot – when the UKBRA used Minsterley Ranges – I had the ignominy of finishing next to last place!

Spain, Austria and America. Start shooting now and within a couple of years, honestly you could be ready to shoot for your Country! Egg Shoot Diggle Ranges have held their annual Egg Shoot for over a decade but this year, it’s the 150th Anniversary of the Range and the Club are looking to do something spectacular to commemorate the event. This year, therefore, the intention is to offer a £1000 prize to anyone breaking the egg – but there’s a difference – the hen’s egg will be at 1000 yards not 500 yards! The date of the shoot is May 30th Bank Holiday Monday. The day before – Sunday, will be a day of 1000 practise.

Five years later however, I was in Italy at the Diggle is well known as a ‘centre of accuracy’ World Benchrest Championships representing and the idea is to attract the country’s top my Country! Benchrest can change your life riflemen – and women to compete for this – it’s taken me to New Zealand, Scandinavia, fabulous prize. It will be a never to be repeated event and someone will walk away It’s a great feeling to break that egg – do it with the money. If it’s not broken on this year and you could win £1000! the first attempt, competitors will be allowed a further attempt. Numbers are limited to 100 shooters, so e-mail me on vinceb@6ppc. if you would like to attend.


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The Benchmark - Rimfire & Air Rifle Benchrest News
The British Shooting Show 2011 For all of those that we saw at the show, our thanks. It was a great experience. We came away from the show feeling that we, as shooters and ambassadors of our chosen shooting sport, had made a real impact on the people we met. This is in no small part to the role Alan Grayson, his son Scott, Richard Healey, his son Jake, Graham Freeman and Gary Morrison had in setting this up and their contribution to the sport by speaking to visitors over the two days. These guys were not only promoting the sport and UKBR22, but also running a raffle and collecting Gary talking through the finer points of the sport donations to help get the UK team to the please contact them through the magazine). World Championship in the USA this year. (So any philanthropists out there willing to help, Alan Grayson talking up the sport

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One thing that always amazes me about the colleagues I work with developing this sport is the time and effort they put in. It’s for the love of it. They are not paid! They are not on expense accounts! They do not get a bonus! They do it as they hold the belief that are furthering the sport they love. If any of the public did meet any of this amazing team, they will be back next year. They will be back with further stories of the up and coming world championship. They will be back with new ideas about the sport, the development of the air rifles they use and similarly the rimfire rifles. We, I know are determined to make this good news. One thing we have said - lots of times - all weekend is dig out what you have in terms of air rifles and or rimfire rifles. You don’t need expensive kit to start of with, just use what you have. A basic PCP air rifle do, as some of them compete and win at international level. A basic Ruger or CZ 452 will get you started in rimfire benchrest. Both of these did for me and they will work well as starter rifles. If you have an Anschutz or something similar, then even better. Expensive rests are nice, but a £20 one to start off with is fit for the job at hand. You have to remember that those you meet and compete in the sport have accrued all their equipment over a number of years. Try to let this pass and start from where you are personally. You and your equipment will grow with the sport. I know this as I have been there, building inexpensive rifles to show it can be done. It’s fun and very addictive. (I also know that even the best get beaten with a car jack, a Tesco bag filled with sand and an ancient Anschutz 54 rifle - it’s been done). So come one and come all, dig out and blow the dust off that rifle you hardly use. Have a go at something that makes you think and builds up your shooting skills on so many levels! Maybe you might enjoy something new and even have a go at the number of postal match’s that are available. Here is too seeing you on the range, shooting your first 250 and having the fun in shooting you deserve. Until next time and good shooting.

Graham being interviewed for theTV and show


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If only .....................! Some friendly marketing reps

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The Long View

News from the GB F-Class Association by Les Holgate

Our regular columnist, Les Holgate is away skiing at the moment so, this month’s Long View falls to me. Last month, the GB F Class Association held its second Training Weekend at Bisley and, as I was one of the helpers, I thought it might be good to let you aspiring ‘effers, who didn’t make it for various reasons, see what we got up to. Since the formation of the GBFCA League some five years ago, the standard of shooting has grown tremendously – which is great in one respect (GB are the reigning World F Class Champions) but, in another, it can be a little daunting for newcomers who wish to take up this demanding discipline. Also, many shooters don’t get the opportunity to shoot at longer ranges and most of our League shoots are at 800 to 1000 yards. The object of the Training Weekend therefore is to impart the sort of knowledge in a couple of days that it might otherwise take a season of F Class shooting to acquire. Also, attendees will pick up valuable advice on equipment choice, which can save making expensive mistakes by purchasing the wrong kit.

OK you lot........ Course organiser Mik Maksimovic

The plotting class


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Shooting in the rain? No problem with a gazebo - but try and keep water out of the muzzle!

Places on the course were eagerly snapped-up a natural split. Each group would spend around as soon as the dates were announced and, If you half a day on each of the four modules which didn’t make it this year, here’s what you missed. make up the Course – namely: Of course, do not think that you have to attend Reloading for F Class competition a training weekend to shoot in the League and Long-range shooting techniques enjoy yourself – you don’t and all are more than Wind-reading & plotting welcome to shoot with us no matter what your F Class – the discipline - which also experience. You will find us a friendly bunch included some basic rifle maintenance like and information and help is readily dispensed to barrel-cleaning and mounting and zeroing newcomers. a scope. Some elements took place in the classroom (sun The weekend actually started on the Friday lounge of the L&M Club House) but the shooting evening, when we all met up at Bisley’s London took place on Stickledown - Bisley’s famous 800 & Middlesex Club House for an introductory – 1200 yard range. get-together. Half a dozen instructors – all with sound F Class credentials - mingled with the The opportunity to socialise has always been a trainees and GBFCA Chairman and organiser, Mik feature of the GBFCA from the word ‘go’ so Friday Maksimovic gave an overview of what to expect for evening was a good opportunity to introduce the next two days and handed out some literature, ourselves and meet a few of the trainees before including plotting sheets and score cards. it got serious on the Saturday morning. We The thirty-odd attendees were divided into three even had some Dutch and Spanish shooters groups – about two-thirds were F/TR so that gave which was nice to see and an enjoyable evening

One of the two F Class rifles owned by the GBFCA. These can be hired for League shoots

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World Champion Russ Simmonds and the reloading school
ensued – bearing in mind the ‘crack of dawn’ start the following morning! I was hoping for a more relaxed start but it was breakfast at 7.30am for an 8.30 start on Stickledown at 900 yards. Normally, at 7.30am on the morning of a big shoot, a cup of coffee serves as breakfast and I only get some food down after the first yardage at around ten o’clock but today, breakfast in the L&M was buzzin’ with anticipation and for once, without the pressure of a big comp. I was able to relax and enjoy a serious fry-up! My role was on-range for the weekend, with Stuart Anselm (GB F/TR Team Captain) and Open F Class shooter Peter Wilson (who won the first every GB F Class League way back in 2006). Current World & European F/TR Champion Russell Simmonds was running the reloading session and GBFCA Chairman and founder Mik Maksimovic was doing everything else – as unfortunately, we had an instructor withdraw at the last minute due to illness. having learned something of value. For those not having a suitable rifle of their own, the GBFCA now has two F/TR rifles thanks to the generosity of the Dolphin Gun Company who did the gunsmithing and Border Barrels who provided new barrels for the rifles. One of these rifles will be kept at Bisley and the other at Diggle. They can be hired for a modest sum and 308 RUAG ammunition purchased by the hirer.

Although the rain persisted on and off, the wind was very light which meant that it was easier to get ‘on’ – for those who hadn’t got 900 yard zeros but it was difficult to give any meaningful wind-reading instruction. However, the main problem with most trainees was ‘set-up’. Harris bi-pods just aren’t good enough anymore and proper back-bags are essential for a steady ‘hold’ and let-off, allowing the rifle to recoil rather than jump. By the end of the session, all trainees were on-target and shooting well. Damp conditions meant that plotting-sheets and score cards got The weather was not kind to those scheduled wet but that’s all part of F Class and we tried to to shoot first but, as we trotted out onto the advise on keeping dry in inclement conditions. firing-point in a steady drizzle, great joy – gazebos were in place, which gave us a fairly dry shoot Back in the classroom, Russell was giving his and let’s face it, it wouldn’t be proper F Class group some reloading tuition and I was again without a bit of rain! Today, we were at 900 yards surprised how many were not already reloading. as a previous range-booking for the 900 yards Maybe the NRA’s new 308 RUAG ammunition is point prevented shooting from further back but in to blame it’s just too good and many are prepared some ways, this is a better ‘instructional’ distance to stump-up 80p per bang rather than shell-out – particularly for F/TR - as the 308 bullet can do £200-300 on reloading equipment. Nonetheless, some strange unexplained things at 1000 yards! Russell was able to impart that the advantages The idea was to place an instructor between two of reloading a round specifically tuned to your trainees and try and simulate a competition so particular rifle is much more than a cost-saving that shooters would be fully prepared for their first option in the ultra-competitive world of F Class. match with no off-putting surprises. That was the Mik’s group had a lot to get through. In addition theory but, as always, with shooters of differing to the general etiquette of F Class shooting, abilities and ‘equipment issues’ it didn’t always rifle-cleaning, mounting a scope etc. the group quite work out but I think most came off the point also have a Power-Point lecture in wind-plotting.


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Stuart Anselm of Osprey Rifles brought his bore-scope along

For those not familiar, this is a technique which compares the shooters estimate of the wind to the actual wind – indicated by the fall of shot on the target. It can take a while for the ‘penny to drop’ but once grasped, it is a useful and essential technique, particularly when shooting at the highest level. In the World Championships, plotting is usually done by another team member, allowing the shooter to concentrate on his job. For a beginner, shooting, marking your partner’s score-card and plotting can be too much.

that it was often having no discernable effect on the shot, which did at least allow the trainees to concentrate on set-up and shot-release. Even in the calm conditions, most experienced the unexplainable high or low shot, which we all occasionally experience. With the Target Rifle shooter, this often means a low or high ‘5’ but a one MOA drop on the F Class target will convert your ‘5’ into a ‘3’! As always, there were a few who struggled and Stuart had taken his borescope along so shooters could also check their barrel if they thought that On range, we didn’t attempt to take plotting they maybe had a gun problem – often, they didn’t beyond the basics of recording each shot on like what they saw! Removing the copper from a the plot sheet and anyway, the wind was so light neglected barrel is a major job.

Coached shooting at 1000 yards Target Shooter 97

At least two trainees were happy - Charlie and Iain are working hard to get F Class going in Northern Ireland

On the Sunday morning, conditions were dry so the gazebos were not needed and we were also able to shoot at 1000 yards. The wind was still non-existent and most of the trainees enjoyed a good shoot, using the same format as the previous day with one instructor per two shooters.

Following the lunch-break, we re-assembled in the L&M for a de-brief, followed by a question and answer session. We are eager to get feedback from trainees – negative or positive but it seems that most were content with what they had learned. We hope that at least some will come and shoot with the League but of course there are plenty of ‘club’ F Class shoots to take part in and gain experience.

Personally, I enjoyed the weekend immensely. On the whole, shooters are a decent lot and many new friendships were made. Several were able to tell me that they enjoy Target Shooter, which is so nice to hear. To sum up – the two-day course really did provide the sort of information that it would otherwise take a year of F Class shooting to assimilate. Also, information regarding equipment – what works and what doesn’t – can save a lot of money and frustration. If you were thinking of coming but decided against it at the last minute - make a date for next year – it’ll be around the same time. Vince

The final de-brief and Q&A session 98 Target Shooter

Another F/TR Bi-pod - Brian Fox gave me this sturdy-looking prototype bi-pod to try the other day. It’s beautifully made and not too heavy at around a kilo. Being CNC machined from solid, rather than assembled from several pieces, gives it that extra rigidity. With a bit of work, the manufacturer could get it even lighter but if you can bear the weight, give Foxy a call on 0160 430 8278
Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464 PUTTING SHOOTING FIRST For all your F Class, Centerfire and Rimfire Benchrest needs Harrel Barrel Tuner for Rimfire Benchrest Rifle

SEB Co-axial Custom Rest

Cooper TRP-3 Rimfire Benchrest Rifle

Gallery Rifle & Pistol News
New Gallery Rifle Event The current Phoenix A and Multi-target Matches are based on the former Service A and B courses of fire shot extensively prior to the handgun ban. Shooters tell me they enjoy the additional complexity of the Phoenix A course of fire, with the different shooting positions, a fire and movement element and a snap shooting series that permit the shooter to decide on the number of shots they take at each exposure and the order of target engagement. I cannot be alone in having erred from the constraints of this discipline with disastrous consequences to the score.
new event, based on the above two matches, which is aimed at providing an even greater challenge. The new match is called the Multi-target 3, but will the new course of fire, developed by committee, prove to be a thoroughbred or a camel? Here is a pre-view: General Conditions 2 x NRA DP1 targets All practices start with 6 rounds loaded The ready position is 45º Course of Fire This event takes approximately 45 minutes to complete It requires 48 rounds The maximum possible score is 240 Practice 1 50 metres, 18 shots in 120 seconds 50 6 shots kneeling on the left hand target

With scoped gallery rifles now replacing pistols, some believe that 25 metres is an insufficient challenge with the long gun, so this year the Gallery Rifle Sub-Committee has published a The 50 metre stage was more challenging - a typical return!


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6 shots sitting on the right hand target 6 shots standing unsupported, 3 on each target Practice 2 25 metres, 12 shots standing unsupported The target will make 4 x 5 second appearances with intervals of 7 seconds Any number of shots may be fired at each exposure but only 6 shots will be counted on each target. The firearm must be returned to the ready position between exposures. Practice 3 15 metres, 12 shots standing unsupported The target will make 3 x 3 second appearances with intervals of 5 seconds 2 shots to be fired at each appearance on the right hand target The firearm must be returned to the ready position between exposures The practice is then repeated using the left hand target Practice 4 10 metres, 6 shots (3 on each target) in 8 seconds standing unsupported

shooting position more radically than simply returning to the 45º ready position. Tactics should be worked out in advance and I decided to take three shots per exposure and top up with two at each interval, thus ensuring the minimum reloading whilst retaining adequate firepower for the next exposure. Predictably some coped better than others and I noticed one or two live rounds on the range floor at the end of the detail. Some good scores were returned but again no clean sheets, most shooters being unfamiliar with rapid fire snap shooting at 25 metres. Practices 3 and 4 are reminiscent of the standard Multi-target Match. So the match offers some new challenges but unlike the Phoenix A does not have the movement element and judging by the scores returned (the maximum of the day was 229) a high grade shooter should be able to post a 230 plus score (x240). The match has not been scheduled for inclusion at any of the Bisley Action Weekends but I enjoyed it and it might just become a club favourite and the Matches Directors for other open events would do well to consider this as an interesting alternative. GR News GB Squad - the Gallery Rifle Sub-Committee has endorsed the application of Ashley Dagger to Captain the GB Gallery Rifle Team for a second year in 2011. Last seasons statistics are being actively studied to identify potential squad members, good luck to Ashley and the Squad during the forthcoming international season. Online Entry – online entry for the Spring Action Weekend (SAW), scheduled for 26th/27th March, is now available and to encourage use of the facility there will be a draw for those entering online prior to 12th March, the prize being a refunded entry fee – worth considering.

My home club (Frome) trialed this match last Sunday, the weather was overcast but the light was even with little wind, so no excuses possible for the performances accept the untried course of fire, and here are my initial impressions: The five ring on the DP1 presents an 80 mm diameter circle for the maximum scoring zone, rather than the 85 x 150 mm race trace style centre zone of the DP 2 (Timed and Precision) and 1500 targets more usually employed at 50 metres. The view of a row of DP1s at 50 metres distance was a strange one and thoughts turned to target acquisition, with shooters hurriedly putting spots on the periphery to act as target designators, despite even this measure at least one competitor cross shot. The long range, Practice 1, proved very challenging and none of the entrants managed to clean this stage, despite many well graded shooters taking part. The apparently generous 120 second allowance for the 18 shots was off-putting, with most shooters finishing well within the allotted time. If this match becomes a favourite then I think pacing will need to be practiced if scores are to improve.

Following the SAW there is a “Help the Hero’s” Charity Shoot at the Shield Shooting Centre, Dorset on 16th April and a Steel Challenge at Moretonhampstead on Sunday 17th April. The next open match is a 1500 plus Shorts over the rd th Practice 2 introduces a new element, reloading weekend of 23 /24 April at Basildon. Details during the 7 second away interval in order to and entry form (when they become available) are take onboard sufficient ammunition to complete on the course of fire from an initial charge of only six rounds. This had the effect of disturbing the

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The first graded match of the 2011 season will be the LBR/LBP match at Leicester on March 13th. This is the beginning of a packed season for LBR/LBP/Mini & gallery rifle events across the country ranging from Bedford in the South to a new venue just over the border in Scotland in the north – the first graded match to be held in Scotland for a very long time.

course. Border Guns in Shropshire are hosting the Midlands championship 8-10th July, which will also be the venue for the Team Challenge that has been mooted for some time. In addition to all this, there will be UK contingents attending the Bayern Cup in Germany and

Sanctioned IPSC Shotgun Matches Date  Apr 2nd / 3rd   May 20th/21st  Jul 8th / 9th / 10th  Aug 5th / 6th / 7th  Sep 2nd / 3rd / 4th  Match  The Hadrian IPSC L3 Shotgun  The Ken Brown Memorial IPSC L3 Shotgun  The Midlands Champs IPSC L3 and British Club  Champs  The British Open IPSC L3 Shotgun  The Welsh Championships IPSC L3 Shotgun  Venue  Carlisle  Harlow, Essex  Border Gun,  Shropshire  Carlisle  Border Guns,  Shropshire  Harlow, Essex 

Oct 21st / 22nd   The Home Countries Champs IPSC L3 Shotgun     Sanctioned IPSC Long Barrelled Matches (includes LBR / LBP / Gallery and Mini‐Rifle) 
Date  March 13th  May 1st  May 29th *1  June 25th  June 26th  August 21st  October 30th  November 27th 

Match  Leicester Challenge Match L2  Northern Championships L2  Bedford Challenge L2   Scottish Championships L2  Reiver Challenge L2  British Open Championships L2  Southern Championships L2  Midlands Championships L2 

Venue  LSC (Leicester)  Tall Trees  Bedford  Crocketford  Carlisle  Tall Trees   Bedford  LSC (Leicester) 

To be confirmed – may possibly change to 5  June 2011

The Shotgun Championship series kicks off with the first of six Level 3s at the Hadrian match at Carlisle on 2nd/3rd April. Carlisle will also be the venue for the British Open in August this year, with a different shooting format being tried out, spreading the match over two days for competitors, but needing only one overnight stay for virtually all but the range crew. Further details of this will be on the UKPSA forum in due 102 Target Shooter the Central European Shotgun Open match in Hungary. The range in Hungary will also host the IPSC World Shotgun Championships in 2012, and we are already setting up National Squad training to ensure that our teams are as prepared and supported as they can be, with the first session having taken place at Bisley on 20th February where the squad worked on their long range slug shooting.

Additionally, the annual target shotgun events held at Bisley are excellent matches and a fantastic  opportunity to practice your longer range slug shooting, and meet other shooters. 
Spring Action Weekend; March 26th and morning of the 27th. T+P1; 30 rounds, 30m to 15m. Multi Target; 24 rounds, 30m to 15m. Embassy Cup; 24 rounds, 25m to 15m. Other non shotgun events also available. Phoenix Meeting; May 27th to 29th inc, late May Bank hol. As Spring Action Weekend (but bigger!) Gallery Rifle National Championships; August 27th & 28th, Bank holiday weekend. As Spring Action Weekend. Police Sport UK Open Meeting; September 13th to 15th. T&P1 plus Multi Target. Other non shotgun events available inc Practical Rifle. Autumn Action Weekend; October 29th & 30th. As Spring Action Weekend plus firework display on 29th.


This was a Level 1 match jointly run by the Met Last month I promised to provide the 2011 match Blue Team and the NRA. By Tony Saunders The first shotgun match of the year was the Target Shotgun Festival which took place on 19th  calendar all sanctioned UKPSA / IPSC matches, February at Bisley (under typically wet February weather) and saw a very healthy turnout of 50  and here it is. To competitors shooting both slug and birdshot.  to enter the sanctioned matches you need be a current UKPSA member with a competition This was a Level 1 match jointly run by the Met Blue Team and the NRA.  license. You can check out the UKPSA member forum for more details and updated match   information. By Tony Saunders  Full page adverts, Half If you are shooting IPSC shotgun or LBR/LBP page adverts, you need to have a current FAC with the gun Quarter page adverts you are shooting entered on your own FAC. and more. Unfortunately, under current firearms law, you may not borrow a section 1 shotgun or long Contact us today to see barrelled pistol or revolver even if you have your what we can do for you and make your products own! Bisley Target Shotgun Events Additionally, the annual target shotgun events held at Bisley are excellent matches and a fantastic opportunity to practice your longer range slug shooting, and meet other shooters. The first shotgun match of the year was the Target Shotgun Festival which took place on 19th February at Bisley (under typically wet February weather) and saw a very healthy turnout of 50 competitors shooting both slug and birdshot.

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Target Shooter Magazine can offer your company the kind of advertising that a hard copy magazine cannot offer. Our readers can, with a click of the mouse, connect straight to your website. An advert with a hard copy magazines can only say so much about your product. With cost and limited space, most have to keep it direct. But with a online magazine the advert takes on a whole new way of advertising, as it can be the front door to your website and all those other products you have waiting for customers

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

If you are a member of the British Western Shooting Society, or are just interested in Cowboy Action Shooting and you are looking for a suitable tool to use in the long range rifle

category, then look no further, I may just know what you seek. Designed by Ballard for the Marlin firearms manufacturing company, the cartridge designated .38-55 first appeared on the scene in 1884, it was used in many of their single shot target rifles 38-55 Winchester with 250gr flat nosed bullet and their 1893 model lever action. Winchester soon realized the potential of this very accurate round and began to chamber several of their offerings for it, including the Browning designed 1885 Hi-Wall single-shot rifle, and their renowned model 1894 lever action. The early .38-55 cases with the balloon or folded head cases would hold 55 grains of black powder behind a 255 grain bullet, but when the solid head case came along soon afterwards it would only hold 48 grains of powder with the 255 grain bullet, which then became the standard configuration. At the turn of the century, the .38-55 soon became one of the more popular cartridges amongst the schuetzen type competitors in the USA, where the firers engage targets at 200 yards from the standing position


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Original High Wall in 38-55 with Schuetzen type butt

Pedersoli High Wall

Uberti 1885 High Wall Special Sporting rifle

with any rifle and sight combination using ammunition from .22 to .40 calibre. Incidentally those chaps were shooting groups of minute of angle and less with cast bullets in single shot rifles of falling block design. To achieve this standard, many of these old masters used custom barrels with gain twist rifling and used paper patched bullets, both breech seated and muzzle loaded. Today, the choice of rifle is more limited, original under lever rifles can still be found in this calibre and shoot quite well, but most people will plump for a modern reproduction. The modern reproduction .38-55 rifles normally have a groove diameter of .377-379in, this makes the .38-55 particularly favourable to cast bullets which are able to obturate more efficiently. (However when I slugged the barrel of my Uberti, it actually measured .383 groove diameter). The Pedersoli Hi Wall repro has a 1:12 twist to stabilize the longer 360gn bullet. My Uberti Special Sporter has a 1:18 twist rate which, according to the Greenhill formula, ideally favours the shorter 249 / 255gr bullets, however, I have found that using black powder seems to contradict the theory and the 335gr Postell remains stable even at long ranges. As a matter of record, Alison Buck, one of the QSA members, won the 1000yd Billy Dixon competition at Diggle in 2006 using her Uberti

repro Winchester 1885 in .38-55 fed on black powder. I would recommend the Lyman 375248 249gn flat nose mould for Lever action rifles and for Sharps and High Walls at short ranges (200yds or less). The Lyman 378674 335gn Postell shaped mould is ideal for Sharps and High Wall single shot rifles for long range shooting. The standard chamber measures around 2.13in so there is no problem using the longer Starline cases which are around 2.10in as well as the shorter Winchester cases which measure 2.08in. In the next instalment I will look at selecting a suitable black powder load for Quigley shooting at ranges from 400yds to 1000yds. Ken Hall for QSA, comments and queries to

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Next time in.....
The April 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. DON’T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE BRITISH SHOOTING SHOW SUPPLEMENT DUE OUT IN THE FIRST WEEK OF MARCH.


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