MaY 2012 Issue - Target Shooter Magazine

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MaY 2012 Issue - Target Shooter Magazine

ContentsMay 2012 IssueContinuedPage 72Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationals byMichelle Gallagher. In early Feb, over 200 people camefrom all over North America to Phoenix, Arizona for thethird annual Southwest Long Range Nationals, sponsoredby Berger Bullets.Page 48AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE? by Laurie Holland.The phrase we often hear to describe F Class - from thewannabes who populate the internet forums, is ‘It’sarms race’. “Why can’t I have a Class for my tactical rifle/target rifle/hunting rifle” – or what have you? No matterwhat your shooting discipline, the best competitorswill always want the best equipment – but is it reallynecessary? Can you be competitive in F Class with anordinary rifle?Page 44This Smallbore Business by DonBrook. Can you aim where you wantto place the shot? This is a toughask for many shooters, as theyhave grown up with centre aiming.This particularly applies to fullboreshooters, as it is also a tough askto aim off centre when faced with1000 yards. BUT, it can be done!Page 94UKPSA By Tony Saunders.Well, the weather may begiving us a hard time at themoment, but the shootingseason has seen a flurry ofmatches for IPSC Shotgun,Handgun and LBR/LBP.Regulars& moreLATEST NEWSPage 62UKPSAPage 78FROM THE BENCHPage 16ULTIMATE BENCH RESTPage 60


NOW Read WORLDWIDE BY OVER 10,000 DEDICATED READERS in over 77 countries EVERY MONTHWelcome to the new look May 2012 edition of Target Shooter MagazineWebitorial May 2012London is currently readying itself for the Olympic Games and, at the end of April,Target Shooter was able to visit the ISSF World Cup, which was held at the newtemporary Olympic shooting facility at Woolwich Barracks, as part of the LondonPrepares programme.The Olympic facility is actually about half a mile away from the Barracks - in a field.Although the actual shooting ranges and spectator viewing areas were fine and Ienjoyed some exciting finals (which would make great television), it is a soulless place– all tents and portacabins, resembling a building site with a few strange ‘moderne’pods built from scaffolding and fabric.I do hope the venue can be made a bit more user-friendly in time for the Games,otherwise the athletes will miss out on one of the most important aspects ofinternational competition – meeting and socialising with your fellow competitors.What a pity that the opportunity to use the excellent Bisley facility was missed.Following the Games, the whole lot will be demolished and shooting will receivednothing in the way of the much vaunted Olympic ‘legacy’ and GB shooters will be leftwith nothing more than a bitter taste in the mouth. Shameful!On a brighter note, just before going to press, we were invited to the Edgar BrothersMedia Day - a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy Britain still in recession. EdgarBrothers are the UK’s leading importer and distributor of sporting arms and accessoriesand if their record is anything to go by, shooting is in good health and can hopefullyride out the recession.We at Target Shooter look forward to an exciting season of competition and, if youwant to look at the results for the London ISSF World Cup, visitwww.issf-sports.orgVince, Yvonne & SteveVince Bottomley - vinceb@targetshooter.co.ukYvonne - yvonne@targetshooter.co.ukSteve - steve@stevethornton.co.uk4


March SCOPESThe Choice of ChampionsTactical TurretsThis scope has the largest zoom ratio of any FFP scopeever made, additional feature is the 0.05 Mil centre dot,this was designed not to obscure the target on highermagnification.A feature of First Focal Plane (FFP) design, also known as Front FocalPlane, is the reticle scale value does not change over the entire zoomrange of the rifle scope. Also the POA does not change over the entirezoom range. This simplifies use of the reticle for ranging and holdoverin conjunction with ballistic charts.1 Click 0.05 Mil TurretsNEWSide Focus 10 yards ~ InfinityPush Button IlluminationMarch FX 5 - 40 x 56. The worlds most powerful first focal plane scope...The Choice of ChampionsFor UK & EU: marchscopes.co.uk - Call 01293 606901 or info@marchscopes.co.ukFor Australia & NZ: BRT Shooters Supply - PO Box 1124 - Springwood - 4127Queensland, Australia. Phone. 07-3808 4862 - www.marchscopes.com.auEditor - Vince Bottomley vinceb@targetshooter.co.ukAdvertising and Office Manager - Yvonne Wilcock. yvonne@targetshooter.co.ukCompiled, Designed & Web Production by Steve Thornton. www.thorntonconnect.comContributors - Vince Bottomley - Laurie Holland - Ken Hall - Don BrookeMichelle Gallagher - Chris Parkin - Tony Saunders - Les Holgate - George ColemanKen Hall - Carl Boswell - Richard WildCover Photograph by Steve ThorntonDisclaimerThe website www.targetshooteronline.com is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproductionis permitted unless written authorisation is provided. Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which ison or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believesare licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or individuals are not so licensed. Letters and photographs submitted bymembers of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless otherwise stated. TargetShooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarilythe views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions and experiences of writers using specificequipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the website is intended to beused as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for individualsattempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages. Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.5


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinThe Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifle by Chris Parkin6


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinAfter running the MDT TAC21 chassis-system on a Remington 700 action lastmonth, Chris Parkin reflects on a similar looking rifle that is a true `factory`build with a specification to match. Having visited the factory and watchedthe rifles built, does he like what he sees?7


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinA huge range of adjustability although acramped grip to trigger region.An excellent mag well for the AI range.Bolt face showing spring ejector andSako style extractor.Savage listen to shootersSavage Arms are one of the fewfactory rifle makers who seemto have an ear to the ground,listening to what shooters wantand need - rather than what`they` think we want and need.From the introduction of theAccutrigger and Accustock alongwith specific builds such as theModel 12 FTR, they have shownan aptitude to offer shootersa competitive competitionplatform, allowing entry to specificshooting disciplines where the riflerequirements often dictated a fullcustom build.I was fortunate to visit the Savage Armsfactory in Westfield, Massachusetts lastyear and this `corporate humility` (thewords used by Savage’s own marketingmanager) has now been turned in thedirection of Tactical and Precision rifleshooters. So what is on offer? Amongsta plethora of guns and calibres forboth target and hunting uses, rifles ofboth single and multi-shot capability,incorporating right-bolt/right-port, rightbolt/left-portactions and a multitudeof other features normally only seen oncustom offerings.8


The Model 10 BA is a straightforwardconcept of a bolt-action, magazine-fedrifle in the`Jack of all Trades` 308 Win.chambering. Its robust build shows greatergonomic adjustability to the end-user, behe a police sniper or long-range steel-plateor paper puncher.Savage manufacture all their rifle actions and barrelsin-house, which has led to an accuracy reputationsecond to none amongst the large US manufacturers.We start off with a 24 inch button-rifled, fluted barrelwith a 1 in 10 twist suitable for bullet weights up to200 grains. Tapering to 0.875 inches in diameter at themuzzle, the barrel supports a laterally ported muzzlebrakewith six vents to cut recoil and muzzle-jump.Working back towards the action, we find Savage’susual barrel locking-nut, which simplifies bothmanufacture and later barrel swaps. With a `go` and`no-go` gauge, a little knowledge, a Savage barrelnutspanner and a simple barrel-vice, a new barrelcan easily be fitted. I watched the barrels being fittedand headspaced in the factory and, judging by theaccurate torque settings used and careful assembly, Idon’t think the average shooter will need the strengthof a gorilla either! The delicacy with which this wasdone was delightful to see in a huge manufacturingplant which, in some locations, seemed like a stepback in to Victorian times with great plumes of smokeand gas (thankfully being drawn into vast extractionhoods).Savage’s two-lug bolt features a plunger-ejectorand sliding extractor plus that unique replaceablebolt-head, which can be swapped in minuteswithout special tools thus allowing say a 223 oreven a magnum barrel-swap. This design, althoughsomewhat of a manufacturing compromise in mymind, does allow very close tolerances on headspaceto be maintained and, although accuracy was not theintention, that floating bolt-head is likely responsiblefor the extrordinary accuracy that many Savage riflesexhibit. Target Shooter’s Laurie Holland won theUKBRA championship a couple of years ago with an‘out of the box’ Savage LRPV rifle chambered in 204Ruger, shooting several quarter MOA groups in theprocess!The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinNo bedding issues here, the small silver wedgelocks the recoil lug in both directions.Im not sure you would want to, but a barrellocknut spanner was provided.The matt coating on the action feels grittyand wears quickly.9


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinThe bolt-release lever is on the right-hand side of theaction and the safety catch is a three-position, thumboperateddesign recessed into the rear tang andoffering fire, safe with bolt operation and fully locked.A large, bolt-knob offers easy use but looks pig-uglyand is finished like the rest of the gun in a grainy, sandblastfinish and matt-black coating.Overall, the action is a beefy, slightly brutal designwith a small but adequately-sized ejection-portallowing a solid top section to stiffen the action andreduce flex in use. The action alone supports thebarrel and it is always a bonus when the ejection portis proportioned minimally rather than Remington’sgaping port which drastically reduces stiffness andends up being obscured by the scope rail anyway.It’s raining AI mags!Sensibly, Savage have chosen to use the excellent‘tried and tested’ Accuracy International (AI)compatible 10-round magazine which is easily ejectedusing the lever in front of the trigger guard. Thetrigger, as previously mentioned, is the Accutriggermodel, offering a small secondary internal blade tofurther enhance safety by blocking the sear. If thisblade is not fully depressed - as would be done duringnormal firing - the trigger will disengage/click but notfire - an additional safety mechanism. The Accutriggeris colour-coded with the red model being the lightest.Our black version is user-adjustable with conciseinstructions included in the manual and broke in usewith a crisp 3lb. pull.AR-15 compatible?The new and distinctive part of this rifle is thestock - or chassis. Described in the catalogue as analuminium Accustock, it closely resembles the MagpulPRS G3 butt and the pistol-grip is virtually identicalto the Heckler and Koch PSG-1 and both are, as youwould suspect by now, compatible with all AR-15variants.A full-contact, machined aluminium bedding-areawith two action-bolts and a third bolt pre-tensioninga small recoil-lug lock, securely surrounds the action.The fore-end is a large aluminium channel offeringa substantial degree of free-float to the barrel.Internally, it is hollow to aid cooling and is fittedwith three sling/bi-pod studs at the tip. Behind thepreviously mentioned pistol-grip fitted with a palmshelf,the all-metal chassis supports a steel tube thatextends rearwards to hold the plastic butt section.Adjustable cheekpiece height and length of pull to therecoil-pad offers huge versatility and I have to admit,it is one very easy to set-up rifle as all adjustments arecontrolled by finger-accessible turn screws. If 12.5– 14 inches of reach is not enough, a second recoilpadis included to add an extra half-inch on top of thestock’s adjustment. Further sling attachment pointsare available all over the rear of the gun.The rifle came with it’s own Picatinny rail system,attached to the action via four bolts. This CNCmachined aluminium rail sensibly incorporates 20minutes of angle (MOA) and runs the full lengthof the action and then projects almost to the tipof the forend. Versatile Weaver/Picatinny scopemounting is easy to achieve with virtually limitlesseye-relief or scope length versatility. Trading off the`tactical` theme, we are seen to ‘need’ Picatinny railseverywhere and these are also mounted lengthwaysdown the sides of the action/stock. They add weightand are of little use in non-military environments ona rifle unlikely to be used for night-vision equippedvermin control but they do look cool!At 45 ½ inches long and 13.4lbs all-up weight, the gunis large and realistically can only be shot prone or froma well-supported position. I fitted a Harris 6-9 inch bipodand Swarovski 6-24X scope mounted in the robustThird Eye Tactical Unimount which perfectly suited themilitary look of the Savage.Running both Hornady and Remington 168gr MatchAmmunition out to 800 yards, along with my ownpet 155gn. Sierra Matchking/Viht N140 handload,the results were in line with expectations. Accuracystraight from the box - after a gentle run-in - hoveredaround the ¾ to 1 MOA mark with factory ammoand stayed solidly around ¾ MOA with the everydayhandloads.10


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinThis is the most photographed employee at Savage, anyone care toguess why. Yes he hand straightens and checks every barrel!When I got the time I started to play around, preciselytailoring my reloads to this rifle and the Lapua 155gn.Scenar was soon dropping into the magic half MOAzone driven by Hodgdon’s H4895 powder. Velocitieswere, as expected for a 24 inch tube, 2750 fps withthe 168gn. and 2825 fps with the Sierra 155gn. The155gn. Scenars were running at 2875 fps with theH4895 which I thought reasonably firm but not overthe top and, although I was cratering primers a little, Ihad no hard bolt lift or extraction and on reloading theLapua cases, found no slackening of primer-pocketsor case web diameter growth. Factory guns are oftenprone to a little cratering due to firing-pin holes beingslightly oversized.These m/v figures allow comfortable supersonic flightto 1000 yards but, like all shorter barrelled 308s,further performance requires careful bullet selectionto either remain fully supersonic to the magic 1200,or at least selecting a projectile more comfortablewith the drift through the transonic region - such asthe forgiving Sierra Matchkings but, this is Laurie’sterritory so I will leave that one!The precise headspacing and chambering of thebarrels seemed close to perfect as the maximumCOAL on an AI magazine system seems to hoveraround the 2.840 to 2.855 inch region and I was ableto seat at 2.850 inches with the Scenar only jumping0.010 inches into the lands. The Scenar is more ‘jumptolerant’ than the Berger VLDs but, as both designsare quite long for their 155gr weight, it’s always abalance between mag. feeding and powder capacitywith any 308 ammunition.Unlike some factory rifles, I was also able to load withthe bullets both ‘kissing’ the lands or with some jumpwithout having to deal with the bullet almost droppingout of the case-neck. Savage’s slightly ugly barrellocking-nut, although seeming to be a somewhatclunky shortcut to barrel/action assembly, doesallow tolerances to be held more tightly to SAAMI11


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinThis purposeful gun shot on the money straight from the box...12


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris Parkin13


The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinUnderneath the butt of the gun, the contoured plasticcover rides well in a sandbag and the radiused loweredge offers an excellent profile to the supportingfist of the non-firing hand, although a lack of anylongitudinal taper does hamper fine elevation controlwith a rear bag. The matt black finish of the gunleaves all items warm to the touch in summer but Idoubt offers much corrosion resistance as it only coatsa chrome-moly steel alloy - not stainless - and in use,the bolt could be smoother. Wear and tear in areas ofmechanical motion quickly began to show abrasion,which may not bode well for a lifetime of harsh use.I enjoyed shooting the gun and it shows Savage’sdesire to venture into new areas but to be honest, Iwould look at one of their more conventional offeringsThe minimal ejection port keeps the action stiff.specifications and this is the trade-off in a massproductionenvironment. Trying to prevent tolerancesstacking up on chambering, throat/leade design,barrel-tenon shoulder, recoil-lug thickness and boltnoseclearance is a process that is vastly simplified bythe `nut` system designing out a couple of variablesand in doing so, allowing throat/leade tolerances toremain tight.Magazine-feed in use was boringly reliable as can beexpected with the AI system, feeding all rounds fromthe offset single column without bullet marking BUT,I was delighted to find that the gun would also singleload, i.e. you could throw a round into the ejectionport and just close the bolt - not always guaranteedwith AI mag. fed rifles.One element that contradicted the gun’s overallcomfort was the reach to the trigger-blade from thevery closely mounted grip. The blade was well ontothe second pad of the index finger and it compromisedtrigger-control. When shot prone, the cheekpieceoffered a great head position and although the brakeperformed flawlessly - cutting recoil to 223 levels - theadjustability in the LOP of the stock aided consistentrecoil-control on its own.Operation of the large bolt-handle made up for its uglyappearance, offering a very fast cyclic rate on reload,although on two occasions, the firing-pin did notengage on the sear as the bolt was closed, leading to adead trigger-pull. Not a dead man’s click or slam-firebut as good as one in competition.The new golden ticket for US factory guns.with a composite or laminate stock. Although Iliked the adjustability of this design, the `black rifle`concept and it’s imitators are aesthetically lost on me.I didn’t love the look or feel of the gun, never mind thedead `ring` felt every time it was discharged.On the other hand, the action, barrel, trigger andchambering options that Savage offer elsewhere intheir range are a breath of fresh air to the sometimesglacial speed at which the U.S. `big boys` seem tocreep towards some of the latest innovations in bothbarrels, actions and calibres.It was very docile to use with little recoil and muzzlejump but, on intermediate calibres like 308 Win, oftenused in the close presence of other shooters, I feel aradial `pepperpot` brake is often a little less disruptiveeven if it means the shooter wearing glasses to avoidany blast from the muzzle tickling up the surface duston the firing-point. In total contrast to that comment,I shot the gun out to 1200 yards at the WMS steel14


FROM THE BENCH cont...Factory Sporter1st Rachel Sullivan 308 Tikka 13.52nd John Rhodes 338 DTA 14.283rd Alan Seagrave 6.5x55 Tikka 14.398Small group: Rachel Sullivan 5.75inchesAnother sub. 1.5 inch 1000 yard group!Last month, Ron Boyd shot a 1.462 inch five-shot Light Gungroup at 1000 yards in an IBS benchrest match at the MidWestBenchrest Club in Yukon, Missouri, USA. Ron shot a 6mmDasher with Bartlein barrel and PR&T stock.Ron’s 1.462 inch group is 0.065in. off the existing IBS 1000-yard Light Gun record. Ron’s group also happens to be 0.011in. smaller than the current NBRSA 1K Light Gun record, 1.473in. shot by Bill Schrader in 2002. (But this is not counted by theNBRSA since Ron shot in an IBS match.) Ron’s group was shotin the first relay of the day, in good conditions. The group hadthree (3) shots clustered in under one-third inch (0.03 MOA)!Jeanette Whitney watches the flags on her wayto the first 100 yard BR win of the seasonThis is truly a spectacular achievement and probably the smallest five-shot group ever shot at 1000 yards with a6mm cartridge. At 1000 yards, 1 MOA is 10.47 inches. This means that Ron’s group measured in at 0.1396 MOA!Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher LoadRon loaded a stout charge of Long Range Match surplus powderwith Spencer 103gr bullets seated about ten thou. OFF thelands. The bullets were “right out of the box”, NOT pointed.This powder has burn-rate characteristics very similar to AlliantReloader 15 and Ron used his regular RL15 charge, adjusted byhalf a grain or so. Ron was using no-neck-turn ‘brown-box’ Lapua6BR brass, formed into the 40° improved 6mm Dasher case.The un-turned, loaded case-necks measure about 0.2695in.,yielding .0015 in. total clearance in a 0.271 in. chamber. The brassused for the 1.462 inch group had seven previous firings. Ronanneals his brass after every firing using a Benchsource annealingmachine. Ron says “The Benchsource is the greatest annealingmachine there is, as far as I’m concerned.”17


A bullet pointing die is a die used to make a sharper point on a bullet. By doing this, wehave made the bullet fly more efficiently resulting in less drop and wind drift. Who canbenefit from this? Pretty much every rifle shooter who shoots at longer ranges can.Developed and tested where it matters, in competition, by state and national long rangechampion John Whidden, the Bullet Pointing Die is winning followers all over theshooting world. With a proven 5% gain in accuracy, the only thing left is to try it andsee the results for yourselfThe most inconsistent surface on a bullet is the tip (called the meplat). Again, the 1000yard benchrest shooters have developed a solution. It has become popular to trim themeplats in recent years so that each bullet has exactly the same shape at the meplat.Undoubtedly this has made the bullets more consistent and therefore the groups havegotten smaller.The down side is that by trimming the meplat, we have also made it larger. This causes alower BC and increases drop and wind drift. Generally speaking, for typical bullets usedin long range competition, trimming means you give up about five percent more winddrift as compared to bullets right out of the box.With our bullet pointing die, we can make the meplat smaller rather than bigger. Considerthat a little pointing will do a lot of good. Typically with the bullet pointing die, wecan close the meplat up to about half of its original diameter. Here’s the kicker-by closingit to half of the diameter, the surface area is only one fourth of its original amount.This is the reason the pointing die is so effective.Pointing Die, Pointing Die Sleeve, Pointing Die InsertMeplat trimmer (requires Wilson trimmer)all available from:HANNAM’S RELOADING LTDPeckfield Lodge, Great North Road, Leeds LS25 5LJTel 01977 681639, Fax 01977 684272,email: sales@hannamsreloading.com www.hannamsreloading.com


Busman’s Holiday - Part 1by Carl BoswellBusman’s Holiday - Part 1by Carl BoswellMy hosts and your scribe ice fishing on a frozen lake...20


What better way for a benchrestshooter to spend a holiday than atrip round Finland – the home ofLapua, Vihtavuori and some greatbenchrest shooters.Visiting Finland for the first timehas been an experience! Possiblya once in a lifetime event, with thewonderful hospitality provided byhosts Jen Lagas and Juhani Tulppo.However, I hunger for more! (Sorry,in-joke with all the fish and game weate over there - all caught or shotfor our plate. If a hunting paradise iswhat you crave, this would be it).Busman’s Holiday - Part 1by Carl Boswellwriting this article, I am unsure where to start as thereis such a lot to talk about. I suppose it does not reallymatter in some respects as we will get onto the Lapuafactory visit, the range visit, etc. all in good time.However, I think it would be good to start with the wayrimfire and air rifle benchrest has started to develop inFinland. It is quite phenomenal in the last two years.In 2008 there were only one or two people shootersbut now, this has expanded dramatically with newcompetitors coming into the fold on a monthly basis.Their first ‘nationals’ were held just last year.This is in no small way to the passion of Jens Lagas, myhost, who sees a bright future for the sport. Jens has awide range of experience, being the former presidentof the centerfire benchrest organisation in Finland. Ilater shot some 6mm PPC with him and I am not tooembarrassed to say I was..... let’s say ‘humbled’!Although a lot of this visit was for pleasure, quitea number of events did take place that related toshooting - particularly the chance to test a number ofnew products, some ammunition and participate insome shooting - well it’s fun isn’t it?On arrival, the plane took a couple of attempts atlanding due to a snow storm. I say storm, as by UKstandards that’s what it was. By Finnish standards itwas probably just a shower. Staying in the west of thecountry the temperatures ranged from a good -4 to-12 degrees C, so not that bad for a ‘Brit’ tourist, or‘roast beef’ as my wife calls me. This extended later inthe visit to temperatures of minus 29 degrees as wetravelled further north.Lohtaja range stand viewDuring our stay we experienced things well outsidethe range of normal holidays. In some respects,Regional Air Rifle Match 121


Busman’s Holiday - Part 1by Carl BoswellWith a number of matches to entice new members,including air rifle shooters, being staged throughoutthe year, the sport will grow steadily. Finland has anumber of clubs set up for benchrest already so theinfrastructure is already present. This is somethingwe could consider in the UK, as not many clubs haveRegional Air Rifle Match 2more than five benches. Building a good and wideclub infrastructure is paramount to further success.On our travels we visited a club range in Lohtaja,Houraatin Ampumarata, about thirty five kilometresnorth of Kokkola. Although well in the countryside thefacilities to hold a large match are excellent.Another fascinating aspect to my visit was furthernorth, as I came across the beginnings of a shootingRegional Air Rifle Match 3school led by Juhani Tulppo. Juhani shoots bothcenterfire and rimfire benchrest and has had success ina number of Finnish and Scandanavian tournaments.He is in the initial stages of developing this shootingschool in the city of Rovaniemi, with a 50m indoorrange. This is just inside the Artic Circle and also homeof the Santa Clause Village. (So lots for the familyto do while shooting). There is also land to shootoutdoors in the summer months.At present, there are five selection matches betweenJune and August this year to arrange the Finnish teamfor the Championships in Plzen next year. There areof course other matches being developed. Jens iscapably aided in this development by all the Finnishshooters themselves and a small, but affectivemanagement team – Antti Ikäheimo and TapaniNousiainen.Air rifle benchrest is very new to the Finland team andis something that Jens is trying to foster to keep themcompetitive at international level. This has taken agreat deal of effort and like many countries aroundthe world, a good number of Field Target shooters arestarting to gain an interest in the sport. So much sothat they are looking at fielding a full air rifle team forPlzen next year!This obviously takes a great effort to develop furtherknowledge of air rifles and really develop someshooter knowledge of how they work. If anything theFinnish have moved a great deal quicker than most ofus, as they are playing catch-up ……. and succeeding. Ifound their ideas, especially related to designing newproducts and rifles, quite fascinating and it is good tosee this level of determination and thought. As thepopulation of Finland is only five million it makes youthink...The Finnish team and individuals have had somesuccess, being ‘placed’ in the last three internationalchampionships. They also pulled off an individualSilver and team Bronze in their first internationalouting in 2010. So the only way is up - like all of us,new equipment must be purchased, designed, made,etc - as they get prepared. I am quite sure that we willsee more Finnish shooters on the leader boards in thefuture.Individuals, groups and the associations are makingevery effort to develop both equipment andknowledge of the sport. If anything, these shootershave proved their competitiveness already and thefuture can only be seen as bright, having listened totheir discussions and seen some of the designs/ideasthey have. Here are just a few snippets about thesport in Finland.22


I will eventually run out of space so I willfocus on specific areas in future issues.Plus I arrived only a day before writingthis article, so pretty shattered after4000k of driving, plus the flights.Busman’s Holiday - Part 1by Carl BoswellThe family Murisoja getting Bronze in 2010 in their firstouting in Rimfire BenchrestSo this little visit to Finland hasproffered a number of articles that willbe coming over the next few months.Some of these are related to rimfireand air rifle benchrest, some generalin nature. (To be honest, the fun partfor me was shooting a custom 6mmPPC, a Sako TRG .338 Lapua Magnumand the Finnish Valmet M78 - theFinnish army AK47 derivative - on avery cold afternoon in the heart of thecountryside. However, more on thatanother time).Rest and ammo testing in interesting winds coming directly off the sea.23The first Finnish Nationals 2011


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The long ViewNews from the GB F-ClassAssociation by Les HolgatePhotography by Steve Thornton28


GB F Class ChampionshipsRound 1 Diggle Ranges14th & 15th APRIL 2102The Long View by Les HolgateThe 2012 GB F Class League season kickedoff again with our short-range shoot at Diggleranges over the weekend of the 14/15th April.With the shoot being 500 and 600 yards, Ithought that the entry may be small but, forthe second year running, the entry list wasfull with 70 competitors. That may not be alarge turn out for Bisley but it was a lot forDiggle. However, we only had one overseascompetitor, Henke Lubbers, who came all theway from Holland.29


Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102The field was split roughly 60/40 with the largest part of the group being Open class shooters, slightly reversingthe trend of recent shoots towards F/TR.The first to shoot on the Saturday were the Open guys, shooting in pairs with 2 sighters and twenty to count ateach yardage. The forecast, as ever in the Saddleworth area, was always going to be changeable and the eastwind blowing down the gully to the left of the range, usually means harder conditions. This weekend was to beno different.30


Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102The squadding was based on the previous season’s results so that those in competition get to shootin similar conditions and they got off to a good start with the top eleven shooters scoring 98 or aboveand the top three an impressive 99.9v. On count-back, the stage winner was Mark Daish.Next up was F/TR and amazingly they proved that the disadvantage of calibre meant little at shortrange as the top 3 also scored well on 98 but out in front with highest V bull count was the GB F/TRTeam Captain, Stuart Anselm on 98.10v.31


Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102In the afternoon all shooters dressed back to 600 yards and the weather also started to change for the worse.However, it didn’t seem to affect Open shooter Grant Taylor who posted a remarkable 99.5v to easily win thestage medal with the next nearest score being Mark Daish on 96.6v. It was during the third detail that the typicalDiggle ‘four seasons in one day’ weather came in and we had sun, sleet, wind and rain all in one detail!32


33Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102


GB F Class ChampionshipsRound 1 Diggle Ranges14th & 15th APRIL 2102Conditions continued to deteriorate and the wind got gusty as the the F/TR shooters started theirfinal shoot of the day. Two shooters finished on an impressive 92, Keith Snow and Alan Baldry, butAlan just pipped it for the medal with 3 V bulls to Keith’s 1.34


37Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102


Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102Results F/TR;John Cross 354.19vAdam Bagnall 350.17Stuart Anselm 346.27Bill McIntyre 345.17Paul Harkins 343.21Richard Jones 343.15Open Class;Grant Taylor 367.25vMark Daish 364.27David Lloyd 358.21Tony Marsh 357.18Paul Sandie 356.14Ian Boxall 355.2338


39Round 1 Diggle RangesGB F Class Championships14th & 15th APRIL 2102


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ThisSMALLBOREBusinessThis Smallbore Businessby Don BrookeCan you aim where you wantto place the shot?This is a tough ask for many shooters, asthey have grown up with centre aiming.This particularly applies to fullboreshooters, as it is also a tough ask to aimoff centre when faced with 1000 yards.BUT, it can be done!Smallbore and 300m shooters, as a method of windcombat, have mastered this aspect and I have seenmany counts of the intelligence of their method, andwind reading. An example of this was with RaymondDebevec when he won the Sydney Olympic Final andGold Medal with it.Faced with an unprecedented wind change out there,for the last shot in his final, he was very quick to geta look at where Harald Stenvaag’s shot went whenHarald got one away smack in the strength of whatwas out there.From my position as commentator for the USA mediamachine some 20 feet away from him, I watched themuzzle of his rifle move to 10 o’clock and the shotreleased. He shot a tight ten with that shot, while theother seven struggled to hold the eight ring! Big grin,as you would expect from the world record holder andI gave him 10 points for thinking. He obviously trustedHarald’s shot release!So, how do you learn toshade the aim, or evenfurther in graduation, aimthe shot off?44


ThisSMALLBOREBusinessI trained myself by shooting early in the morning.Or on days when the wind was either non-existentor mild. In the early morning I would get the zerodead centre with aiming correctly and then , once Iwas shooting holes right in the middle, I would try toaim so that I shot holes on the ten ring line at whatever ‘time’ I nominated. Soon, after a learning time,I found I could shoot a string of shot holes all aroundthe ten ring.My method was simple enough, as I would aim a shotat 9 o’clock and shoot that edge ten at nine.Then I would aim the next shot at 3 o’clock and shootan edge ten at three. Then 12, then 6 and then aroundthe ten ring each with opposite times on the ten ring. Isoon learned to shoot solid 100s like this.Then I expanded on the method, learning to aim onthe nine ring and followed the same method. I cantell you this period of my training (prone) was veryinteresting. Of course, this early stage demandedvery accurate zeros for your shots in still weatherconditions. I can also tell you that I do not know ofa champion smallbore shooter who has not workedreally hard on learning to aim the shots wherever he /she wanted to put them.Once you have this systemin place, then it is a simplematter to get out there andtry to perfect a wind combatmethod.Pick a wind that gives you some form of zeroconditions and learn to shoot accurately quite fast.Say we have a wind coming across the range from leftto the right. You have already zero’d in on the meanso that when that condition is out there (based onyour estimation), you fire a dead centre sight pictureand that is where the hole prints on the target, wellinside the ten ring. You need to be fully aware of whenthose ZERO conditions appear out there and fire ashot smack in the middle. This reinforces your aimingdecision, and adds to your confidence.Then you estimate the wind velocity has increased, sothat if you fired a dead centre sight picture your shotstood a chance of missing the ten ring at four o’clock.The shade in the aim would become immediatelyapparent, so that if you shaded the aim at the teno’clock side of the ten ring (which you have donecountless times) and fired a well controlled shot,you will shoot a solid ten because you have donesomething about that wind change. Like I said, if youhave the conviction to realise that if you fired the shotwith a wind increase out there, you will probably losethat shot right where you expected it to be! If youshade it at ten, the wind is negated and the score isregistered.Now, if you look at fig. 1 and have a foresight picturelike this, in a no wind situation, the shot should gointo the ten ring, would you agree? Note the still windflags down range and, with the aiming mark in thedead centre of the ring and the shot is released verywell. If you held a foresight picture as good as this,you would expect a solid ten, if not a 10.9 smack in themiddle! (as it should be….)In fig. 2, the wind increases in velocity over the range,which you would realise the wind would move theshot into the nine ring and so lose a point. But, ifyou aim the shot ‘uphill’ and fire, that shot stands agood chance of staying in the ten ring, does it not? Ofcourse it does!Then you would understand what I am saying aboutdoing something positive about it. If you continuewith the aim as in fig. 1, detailed above, you almostsurely register that nine, due to the wind change outthere… I ask you, what have you got to lose? Justbecause of making a decision. Well, a faint heart neverwon a fair fight did it?Also if you place the shot exactly where you aimed,that shot still counts nine points, which would be thesame scenario as the shot loss on the right and youstill have all the ten ring to play with…. Then you willhave learned for the next time you are faced with thewind out there.46


ThisSMALLBOREBusinessThis illustration shows the foresight ring around the aimingmark, for a dead centre shot, based on a no wind zero. (Seetext) With an aim like this, the shot should be smack in themiddle!This illustration shows an increase in wind velocity from theleft. The aim is now favouring the ten o’clock side to combatthe wind change on the range. (See text) Shading the aim isprobably the fastest method available to a small bore shooter.I have won a lot of matches by keeping a logicalopen mind and the confidence to aim exactly where Iwanted to place the shot. If I misjudged the wind andthe shot is lost, knowing exactly where you aimed is ofhuge value.This episode is the first of a series on shading the aimand all it takes is continuous training, all of you can dothis, it is not rocket science is it?You will be surprised at how accurately you can aim ifyou look at the photograph of that shot fired at 50mwhich was nominated as ‘little high, towards 12’( seepicture.) This shot scored a 10.8….. And… I saw whereit went!Brooksie.Telephone - 0161 620 2190 Telephone - 0161 620 219047


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1You don’t need to own a custom long-range rifle to competein national league rounds. This .223 Rem AR-15 straight-pulluser did very well at Diggle in Round 1.48


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1The phrase we often hear to describe F Class - from the wannabeswho populate the internet forums, is ‘It’s arms race’. “Why can’tI have a Class for my tactical rifle/target rifle/hunting rifle” – orwhat have you? No matter what your shooting discipline, the bestcompetitors will always want the best equipment – but is it reallynecessary? Can you be competitive in F Class with an ordinary rifle?49


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1Elsewhere in this issue, LesHolgate’s ‘The Long View’covers round 1 of the 2012GB F Class League seriesand, I’ve no doubt that SteveThornton’s photographs willinclude beautiful long-rangesingle shot custom riflescosting thousands of pounds,some topped by glassware thathas added another couple ofgrand and most sitting on hugegleaming joystick front-rests.Even the F/TR rifles will beequipped with those marvelsof lightweight structuralengineering that represent thestate of the art bi-pod. Butdo you need to spend £5,000-6,000, or let’s say a still stiff£2,500-3,000, on hardware tocompete in F/TR?If you want to be competitive at 1000yards at national level, where you’reshooting against some of the bestcompetitors on the planet, you’llalmost certainly have to budget forthe lower figure. It’s a sad fact of lifethat competing at this level isn’t forthe impoverished - given travel andaccommodation costs, entry fees andmore just to show your face in a UKwideseries of two and three day events.This applies to most sports, irrespectiveof whether your passion is shooting orcrown green bowling!However, far more shooters aspireto shoot F/TR in club and regionalcompetitions and, in most cases, themaximum range involved will be 600yards. My club shooting is PSSA (PennineShooting Sports Association) fixtures atDiggle that run from 200 to 1000 yards.Nevertheless, the Club’s well supportedF-Class and F/TR championships willbe decided by an individual’s best eightresults out of 27 scheduled matches in2012 - 19 of which fall within the 200to 600 yard envelope. So, kit neededto produce the external ballistics andprecision that go the extra mile - or moreprecisely 200 yards as 800 yards formsthe .223Rem/308Win ballistic ‘fault-line’,keeping bullets comfortably supersonicand grouping within a one-MOA (10.47inches dia.) 1000yd five-ring isn’t soessential as in national League shooting.50


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1TOP- The Remington 700 Police rifle is used as the cost baseline in the ‘affordable’ F/TR rifle concept. This one careful(law enforcement) owner used example is virtually ready to go in club F/TR with Harris bi-pod, Leupold VX-II scope andhard case. MIDDLE -Savage single-shot PTA models: Model 12 F Class in foreground; .204 Ruger cal. Model 12 LRPVin bench rest mode behind. BOTTOM - The Savage LRPV after rebarrelling to .223 Rem and in F/TR trim with Versa-Pod Locking bi-pod, Protecktor rear bag, and an old Edgar Brothers Opti-Mate 24X42 target scope.51


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1Laurie tries the LRPV in F/TR mode in a300yd practice session, finding it accurateand easy to handle.52


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1Sadly though, the perception has got around thatANY F Class involvement is ruinously expensive thanksto an unrestrained equipment race. I wish I had apound for every time I’ve heard shooters say, or seenthem write on internet shooting forums, that “F/TRhas gone the same way as F-Open” or “Money buyspoints” and similar comments - the implication beingthat you shouldn’t contemplate having a go unless youcan afford a custom rifle, top-end optics and £500 bipod.Filthy Lucre!Well, I’ve seen some impressive results put up bypeople shooting ‘out of the box’ heavy-barrel sportingrifles, or rather more expensive jobs such as the SakoTRG and Accuracy International AE/AW series, thelatter purchased second-hand in most cases. Theseare people who know how to handload precisionammunition and have mastered the art of goodshooting and wind reading of course.53


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1Pickering RC stalwart Don Garland (left) cleans his Paramount TR rifle after a match. This make is to be tried as oneoption for getting into F/TR on a budget.Their rifles are often multi-purpose and see use inother disciplines, maybe deerstalking and fox controltoo. So, I thought I’d see what I could do in clubcompetitions with reasonably priced kit and also lookat the options for how one might go about it. Withhelp from Brian Fox of Fox Firearms UK, TS editorVince Bottomley and GB F/TR Rifle Team Captain/Osprey Rifles’ proprietor Stuart Anselm (variousgunsmithing jobs) and True-Flite Barrels who’re mostgenerously chipping in with a new 30 inch 308 barrelblank, I’ll eventually field three ‘affordable’ rifles thatcome from different approaches.Irrespective of starting point, the objective is to keepthe cost of the base rifle - including any work requiredat or below that of a heavy-barrel factory sporterpurchased new, specifically Remington’s 700 PSS / VSmodels. Looking around, prices for the Remmy rangefrom an advertised bargain £1100 to more commonlyseen figures between £1250 and £1500 for the PSS.I’ve set a target ceiling of £500 for the other bits andpieces – shooting mat, riflescope and mounts, bi-podand rear bag – to stay within an overall budget of£1,750.That £500 optics and accessories ceiling will likelyprove to be overly challenging but can be stretchedupwards if we can keep the rifle price down. If notalready owned, handloading tools and componentsare a significant additional outlay too but the activityis virtually sine qua non for any centrefire rifleshooter who wants good results and also plans to54


get a lot of shooting in with the concomitant levelsof ammunition consumption. Having said that, HPSTargetMaster and the NRA’s RUAG (RWS) 308 Winofferings are more than good enough to get startedbut, if you want to go down the 223 Rem. route I’drecommend handloads from the off.AvenuesTo re-state what most readers already know - F/TR rifles are restricted to 308 Winchester and 223Remington chamberings, an all-up weight of 8.25Kg(18lb 2oz) including sights and bi-pod and can besupported on a rear bag and front bi-pod (and/or slingif preferred). No part of the rifle - other than the bipodfeet - can touch the ground, so the buttstock, anymono-pod, pistol grip or other gizmo fitted has toremain above turf level.Muzzle brakes are not allowed but sound moderatorsare accommodated within the UK domestic scene.Stocks, barrel profile and length, sights (iron oroptical), bi-pod design are ‘free’ but are in practiceconstrained by the overall weight limit. Any manuallyoperated type and make of action can be used but therifle must be single-loaded even if there is a magazine.Unlike ‘Target Rifle’, there is no minimum trigger-pullweight - as long as the rifle functions safely.F/TR, in fact F Class itself, is an offshoot of Target/Fullbore/Palma Rifle, the original objective being toallow older shooters - whose eyesight and the abilityto ‘hold’ were fading - to continue in a modifiedversion of their beloved discipline. The internationalregulations for the rifles used in these disciplines wereamended to incorporate bi-pod support and opticalsights, the maximum 6.5Kg rifle weight increased bywhat was regarded as a reasonable allowance for thetarget scopes and mainstream makes of folding-leg bipodsavailable 15 years ago.The Target Rifle optionSo, an obvious approach is to start with a second-hand308 Win Target Rifle, throw away the iron sights andhandstop/sling swivel and replace them with a scopeand bi-pod. I found a typical example in Fox Firearms’stock - a well cared for Paramount (successor to theSwing and predecessor of the RPA) with a TR riflestandard30 inch length 1-13 twist stainless matchAN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1barrel in good condition. This will almost certainlyhave been specified with slightly undersize bore andgroove dimensions, a so-called ‘tight-barrel’, to geta bit of extra velocity out of ‘issued’ ammunition andwill have been throated to suit 155gn Radway Greensniper ammo/original model Sierra MatchKing bullets.Putting the RUAG 155gn factory stuff down it shouldproduce a very usable 2,950 fps MV, maybe even more– we’ll see.While the asking price was £750, Brian Fox’s desire tohelp with this project produced a generous discount.Let’s say the rifle would likely have cost a casualcustomer, one who never accepts a dealer’s originalprice ticket at face value, £700 or a smidgeon less. Thebase rifle cost is well under target even after providingwhat may prove to be a custom scope rail. The riflehas now gone to Osprey Rifles for this work to bedone, the original iron sights having been removed.Had rebarrelling been required this would have addedanother £600-650, and we’d be on our ceiling eventhough the initial rifle price would hopefully have beenlower in such circumstances. Whilst the ‘ex-TR rifleapproach’ may seem the easiest way to get into F/TR,it is now rarely used - probably because of the weightpenalty imposed by a typical TR rifle’s generouslyproportioned timber stock, especially once we moveon from the relatively skinny, whippy ‘standard Palma’profile barrel found on most of these rifles and try toput something fatter and heavier on. These issuesand how they affect scope and bi-pod options will beaddressed in a future issue when I look at this rifle.Factory Sporter routeA second approach is to start with a factory heavybarrelsporter and this is also being tried. I’m in theprocess of buying a second-hand but low roundcount308 Howa 1500 with its original heavy 26 inchstainless barrel and laminated thumbhole stock. Theprevious owner had the muzzle threaded, a ‘beddingjob’ done and fitted a Warne 20-MOA sloped Picatinnyrail. It was advertised for sale at £600 in the members’classified sales section of a popular shooting forum55


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1.223 Rem bullets and cartridge lengths. Left to right:69gn Sierra MK; 80gn Sierra MK; 90gn Berger BT; 90gnBerger VLD; .308 Win (for comparison).A barrel that handles 80s, better still 90s is essentialfor competitiveness.(UK Varminting.com) completewith Ken Farrell 30mm scope ringsand a Reflex T8 sound moderator,so represents only half of ouroriginal rifle budget and the topquality rings thrown in meanthat little more than a suitableriflescope is needed to get started.Mouse Guns?I was very keen to include rifleschambered for both F/TR-legalcartridges, the 223 Rem. being inmy view ideal for the 100-600 yardcompetitor on a budget. Idealthat is, provided the barrel riflingtwist rate stabilises heavy - at least77/80gn - bullets. Unfortunately,that presents us with a majorproblem. Only three factoryrifles meet this criterion: TikkaT3 Tactical (1-8 twist), Savage12 LRPV (Long-Range PrecisionVarmint) and F/TR (both 1-7 twist).Equivalent Remington PSS and SPS Tactical models,likewise the Howa 1500, other heavy barrel Tikka T3sand even Savage’s more commonly found ‘varmint’rifles have 1-9, often 1-12 rates. 1-9 limits you tolower BC 70gn bullets, the 75gn Hornady A-Maxat a pinch and, whilst usable, they’ll put you at adisadvantage against 308W users beyond 200 or 300yards in all but the most stable wind conditions.Of this potentially suitable trio, the Tikka is prettywell ruled out by its 20 inch barrel. The Savage F/TR looks promising with its 30 1-7” twist barrel butthe .223 model (as opposed to the original popular308W version) is as commonly found as a hen’s tooth.Moreover, a new example costs around £1700 - wellabove budget. Whilst not quite so rare, second-hand -even new - Savage LRPV sporters are only occasionallyseen for sale in any calibre. Equally problematic,the 223 Rem. version is offered in 1-7 and 1-9 riflingtwists and the faster-twist variant also falls into the‘hen’s tooth’ category - our importers apparentlyunconvinced of any demand for this ‘over-fast’ twistratein a sporting rifle. There are more commonlyfound Savage ‘varmint’ rifles on the used rifle markettoo, these using the less rigid Model 10 two-screw56


action and a heavy laminated timber stock. Thesingle-shot Model 10 BVSS is the best of this breedand they all shoot very well despite usually beingmuch cheaper than equivalent Remington VS/PSS/VLS models. In 223 Rem, all suffer from the 1-9 riflingtwist limitation though.AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1There are many features I like about the Savage Model12 LRPV but, in its basics, it’s similar to the Remington700 Police (PSS) and VS (Varmint Synthetic) models,all using a H-S Precision synthetic stock with amoulded-in aluminium bedding block. Anything theSavage can do, a rebarrelled second-hand 223 Rem.or 204 Ruger PSS or VS should do too – well, almostanything, see the bit on heavy barrels below. However,an Internet search for second-hand Remy 700 223Rem. HB rifles in British gunshops didn’t come upwith many examples and prices were in the £700-800bracket - too steep considering rebarrelling will beneeded.As with my Howa, a private purchase seems a betteroption, including keeping an eye out for one in thevarious rifle shooting forums’ classifieds sections.Nevertheless, unless you fall lucky and get a suitableheavy barrel 223 Rem Varmint rifle cheap, tryingthe ‘mouse gun’ cartridge may be an initially moreexpensive option than going for 308 Win – unlessyou’re willing to accept the 1-9 twist rate limitationsfor a season or two.The target version of Savage’s patented AccuTrigger. Ahidden adjuster screw above the pencil point is turnedwith a supplied key to change trigger pull weight.LRPV + Bartlein optionAs luck would have it, I already own a Savage LRPV -originally in 204 Ruger calibre, a cartridge usually seenas only suitable for pest control. This was a superaccuraterifle out of the box and with the addition ofa Ken Farrell scope rail, Sightron 36X42 BRD scopeand Sinclair International ‘forend stabilizer’ (to ridea three-inch wide front-rest bag) won me the UKBenchrest Association 100 yard Factory Sporter title acouple of seasons back. Since then it has been lookingfor a role since I only punch paper and it could havebeen tailor made for the budget F/TR rifle project.I like the three-screw single-shot PTA (PrecisionTarget Action) Savages a lot and this LRPV’s rightbolt, left port example is a particularly sweet one. Italso comes with the target version of the AccuTriggerthat is owner-adjustable down to around 8 ouncesThe Savage bolt-head is pinned to the bolt-body andfloats giving very good results. It also allows an easy,cheap swap between .223R and .308W case-headdiameters for calibre changes if required.57


AN AFFORDABLE F/TR RIFLE?by Laurie Holland. PART 1pull but I’ve left it at the factory 12oz setting and been100% satisfied with it. (Some people really hate thistrigger and if that’s the case there are aftermarketalternatives, the Rifle Basix model being a particularlygood one – but that an extra outlay of course.)Since the aforementioned Mr Fox imports Bartleinand True-Flite barrels, I found myself knocking on hisshop-door again to see what he had in stock in theway of fast-twist 0.224 match barrels. There was aone-off Bartlein Palma profile tube in 1-7.5 twist instock, ideal for 80gn VLDs, just capable of handlingBerger’s two 90gn projectiles, so that was purchased.TS editor Vince Bottomley fitted it for me last winter,chambering it with the same ‘minimum SAAMI spec.’ long-throat reamer that PT&G had made up for 90grainers in my current long-range 223 Rem. custom F/TR rifle.While designed for those longest of 0.224 matchbullets, the freebore is such that most 80gn BT andVLD bullets can be seated shallow in the case-neck tobe ‘on the leade’. I had intended to use Berger’s new80.5gn BT ‘FULLBORE’ bullet, the little brother of thewell known 155.5gn 308 model used by many F/TRcompetitors but soon found that the barrel preferredthe Berger 90gn BT Long-Range bullet and would putfive of them into a quarter-inch group at 100 yardswhen shot off the bench. This is in a prepped LapuaMatch case over a modest 23.9gn. charge of Viht N150fired up by a CCI-450 SR Magnum primer and giving alittle under 2650 fps MV. (Whilst a moderate load inthis long-freebore chamber, I’ll stress it might not bein other shorter examples set up for 80gn or lighterbullets.)2,950 fps MV). The bullet should still be supersonic at1000yd but I see this little rifle as having been built for600yd shooting, 800 tops.The barrel weight and length issue is very pertinent toany discussion on F/TR rifle specifications and optionsbut particularly so when the starting point is a sportingrifle. Whilst these relatively light pieces provide thelatitude to hang a 30 inch 9lb monstrosity on whilststaying under the 8.25 kg ceiling, relatively flimsyfactory actions - especially repeaters like the Remy700 - are placed under excessive stress. Their shortthreaded tenon sections aren’t suited to over-heavybarrels either.Likewise, the stock and bedding arrangements areeasily overloaded and the rifle usually ends up far toomuzzle-heavy, risking handling issues during shooting.The Savage PTA is a huge improvement in this respectbut I still prefer to go for a modest profile barrel, the‘Heavy Palma’ (6½ lbs for 30” length) being my usualchoice. The Bartlein on the LRPV is lighter still andwas cropped at 26 inches to keep the rifle lookingand handling the same as in original factory guise.Although this doesn’t apply to me, this approachhas pluses for many would-be club F/TR shooterswho want to use their rifles in tactical and McQueenscompetitions; maybe have the muzzle threaded for amoderator to use the rifle for ‘foxing’ too.I’ve used the first of the trio, the Savage LRPV, forillustrating concepts this month and I’ll hopefullybe able to update you on its first match outing (at amere 200yd) in the next issue. I’ll also move onto the‘bolt-ons’ (riflescope and that most controversial of F/TR issues to the discipline’s critics - the bi-pod), plusother accessories. I should have the 308 Howa by thentoo, so we’ll see how it measures up.Whilst a 2650 fps MV may seem anaemic, the 90gnBT’s high BC (0.262 G7) puts the combination in thesame ballistic ballpark as NRA’s issue RUAG 308 Win.ammunition with the original 155gn Sierra PalmaMatchKing bullet, in fact outperforms it. (600yd= 1697 fps / 4¾-MOA drift in a 10 mph crosswind v1758 fps / 5-MOA for the .308W; 800yd = 1,430 fps /6¾-MOA drift v 1,428 fps / 7½-MOA for the .308W,in both cases assuming the larger cartridge achieves58


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ULTIMATE BENCHRESTUltimate Benchrestby George ColemanAmerica is the home of benchrest. Yes, the WorldBenchrest Shooting Federation may have 29 Countrieson its books but America can probably field as manybenchrest shooters as the rest of the world puttogether! Not only that, they also shoot a thing calledBenchrest for Score – rather than group shooting. Inthe UK we did try shooting for score but it didn’t catchon – in America, it’s a different story but, I’ll let Georgetake up the story…The whole UBR idea was an answer to the problemwith - lets call it the (big 2) - score game here in theUS. The problem being, if you were not shooting a 30calibre you are handicapping yourself. Reason? The30 makes a bigger hole in the target and, it’s ‘inwardscoring’ so the 30 cal. is hard to beat.If you shoot a 22 or 6mm that big fat 30 will beat youin the end so most 6BR, 6PPC, 22 PPC and all theother variants just stay home! Size matters as theysay.My buddy, Danny Hensley, took it upon himself totry to fix at least part of this problem. So with somemath, a hard head and fortitude Danny’s baby – UBR -was born. Danny’s solution? Different size targets fordifferent sizes of caliber – a level playing field – no 30cal advantage.Templates were made, refined and made again andtargets printed and a very pretty and well thought outtarget it is!So, Danny calls around some willing ranges andUBR was up and running in no time at all!Part of the real beauty of this game is it lends itself tonew shooters with factory and modified rifles.Many shooters want to try benchrest but it’s hard forthe common man to drop 3000 US dollars or more in agood rifle and scope – as you will need to compete in‘group’ benchrest competition but almost anyone cango buy a nice varmint 223 or the like but anyway, mostshooters already have one in the closet just waiting tobe shot.My club in Buck Creek, Kentucky held one of the firstmatches and yes, I was there. Wow a lot of shootersshowed up with factory guns - even Danny himself!I shot in modified class with my Remington 40x in 6BRand did just fine! I was hooked Lol.We shoot both 100 and 200 yard aggs in a day withease. The 200 yard targets are twice as big so theyshould be twice as easy to hit right ? Lol! Aftershooting the ‘big 2’ for a few years, it was wonderfulto see new people having fun with this new game andnot once did I hear “If it had been a 30 it would havebeen a X!”Now I think a 30BR did win custom class that day butheck that’s a killer round any day anywhere in thebenchrest world.In 2011, UBR had it’s first National event at BuckCreek, Kentucky and wow, what a turn out ! Man wehad a good time and good eats off the grill! (Here’s apic or 2 of that day). We have a full schedule in four USStates and growing!60


New shooter or seasoned pro will love this new scoregame - they need only try it once to find that out. Giveit a try and you will too! A varmint rig with bi-pod or afull blown benchrest set up - doesn’t matter, just showup and shoot!ULTIMATE BENCHRESTVisit http://ultimatebenchrest.com for more info onrules and how to purchase targets from Danny. I hopeto see more of UBR on the pages of Target Shootermagazine.61


LATESTNEWS...Latest News...ANZAC Rifle Range, Sydney AustraliaGovernment, as early as 1850. The first Sydneyrange was Randwick Race Course 1860, Paddington& Randwick1886 and WW I Long Bay now AnzacMalabar. At the end of the Great War, Anzac RangeLiverpool was the HQ named as The Memorial to 600club members lost.The fight for the future of this fabulous and significantrange continues. Clive Halnan sets out the story sofar…… This is a fight that must be won by shooters –next time, it could be your range that faces closure.Please spend a few minutes reading this article andthen find out how you can help by visiting the websitehttp://www.nswra.org.au/Anzac Rifle Range is New South Wales RifleAssociation [NSWRA] HQ. Built to last, as ChairmanLt Col E A Green was assured in Secretary DefenceWhite’s order to move from Anzac Range Liverpool1962-68: “Never have to move again”. The main andfour club rows of buildings constructed at Membersexpense to use the Army range for Volunteer Reserveorigin of NRA of NSW since 1859-60.In 1913, Anzac Range, Long Bay was the trainingcentre for the original Anzacs. The range is a preciousmemorial of the spirit of heroes where last they stoodon home soil.Timing is the crux of historic acts that determineshow future generations revere wisdom or otherwise.To determine to close, erase the link, ending TheMemorial is surely otherwise. In the days prior toAnzac Day, 25 April 2011, the Department servednotice to quit - effective the end of October. Anzac Dayis when perception attaches the Birth of the Nation.The two Licensees closest to the Diggers, Anzacs weretreated in suspense, left to misapprehension, stilltoday clouded in mystery are NSWRA and NSW Smallbore– comprising some twenty clubs of the formerand half a dozen of the latter.The story of Australian Nationhood is the VolunteerRifle Clubs, the National Rifle Association of NewSouth Wales then NSWRA 1970. Rifle Club memberstook the lead for defence of the nation beforeThere are histories: 96 Years of Progress : HowardCromack and History of Anzac Range Malabar: NathanScudder from which this article drew background.The move from Liverpool to Long Bay is critical. Brainchild of Secretary for Defence White, the rare vision tothe future is about to turn to ashes. It is as well placeda location now as then - issues of safety, danger,template, environment noise do not arise as evidencefifty years in operation.So how has it got to this critical point? NSWRA peakfor Commonwealth Games, Small-bore for Olympicswere located to head development of ‘Long Bay asan Olympic and International prestige venue. Clubshooting was directed by the Army in Defence. Bothwere ordered to centre HQs on Anzac Range Malabar.The Army saw to upkeep of ranges, Associationsto targets and accommodation. They had titlePermissive Occupancy, notionally forever. From 1968-72, they conducted competitions and administrationoffices on Anzac, under Army command.All was well to the Bicentennial year 1988, in spiteof portents to an ignominious end, the 1986 budget,Treasurer Keating, listed the land for sale. The Army,ordered out, closed the range without notice. NSWRAChair John Holt pleaded for stay but it was soon clearonly the Courts would keep the range open. That wasthe change of attitude to volunteers - no longer to berespected only exploited.To skip details: In 1990 Justice Waddell decidedNSWRA Permissive Occupancy [PO] entitled use ofthe range, setting three years to find a way ahead.Shooting could go on until 1993 the Department ofFinance issued eviction notices. It was back to court.Since it had taken twenty years to complete theupgrade three was a mite short.62


John Roberts, now Chairman, led NSWRA & Smallborejoined, before HH John Bryson. In court in 1994Sir Maurice Byers quoted: Defence Act, assertingGovernment to be bound to support and encourageRifle Clubs. He Added only Government couldconstruct a Rifle Range under modern planning laws.The judgement was for landlord in August, notingthe Shooters had tasted of the sweet but now couldnot take the sour! Again Government refused tonegotiate. Shooting was driven to appeal. As timepassed for the appeal, an election was due.Underpinned by Sir Maurice reasoning representationsto the Liberal opposition got sympatheticunderstanding. In February 1996, as election policy,the leader John Howard wrote to John Robertspromising if elected “The Association should not haveto leave until Holsworthy or another suitable placewas available for use”. Liberals were elected, JH kepthis promise. However, odd was that someone got anexpedited appeal in July, surely irrelevant?September 1998 Ministers John Fahey, Finance,Andrew Thomson, Sport, came before a packedauditorium of shooters on the range. A pressrelease announced a place for the future, $9M in theFederation Fund enabling never for any other use thesun seemed to shine. Contracts prepared by BlakeDawson Waldron were drawn up for six user groups,revised then signed in 2000 backdated to 1999. Thehard copy reiterated John Howards promise . Thelicences for big-bore and small-bore meant they wouldshoot on Anzac Malabar only expecting to moveseamlessly to a ready to use new location.From 2000 the Commonwealth worked with NSWRAtowards relocation. In 2002 a study by FitzwalterAssociates concluded Anzac Range Malabar was theonly place to keep the promise. That would havecatered for small-bore meeting the terms of thelicences at low to no cost. It was realistic as landaveraging twenty-five meters deep in unclassifiedcontaminated fill would not be suitable for change ofpurpose use. The knot was, no one knew so, lookingat the wide green acres eyed for high profit housing –all that glisters?The trail went cold by 2004 soon followed by shiftsin the political scene, the users wrongly thought itLATESTNEWS...was to the good. Local papers, local politics started aslogan: The land should be returned to the Australianpeople. It seemed to overlook who the Anzacs were.It followed about 2008 NSWRA and Small-bore weretold the land would go to the State of NSW. Ten yearsafter the announcement, twenty after the Army left,the landlord had let the roads, buildings, structuresrot.In January 2010, a Director of the estate was partof briefing assuring users the handover would takefour or more years, agreements would be respected,the road and other upkeep attended, some worksneeded would begin, these might interrupt shootingwhen work was carried out. Again masterly inactivityensued until in November a meeting was convenedat Sydney Police HQ, the Director present. It hadformed the view there were safety issues, it wantedresolutions, the users were the view was misplaced.However, this lead to changes in safety approval oforganisational aspects imposed, which opened theway to shut down the range.Who initiated the November meeting? Why it hadno briefing agenda? Why there was no concludingminute? These are questions let go unanswered.This was to be the way events unfolded after March2010. However, shooting, user activities were notinterrupted. In July, a visit to the area was arrangedto explain the intentions of the Government. Fromthe general and local residents, through to the users,the explanations were rejected and the aims seen asunacceptable.The next day a phone call from a person, who laterdisappeared, claimed that whilst in the danger area –trespassing – she, sitting on a rock heard a ‘whizz’. Asafety officer with little thought and no hard data said:“It must have been a ricochet!”The reporting, thoughtless assumption, coupled toabsence of police procedure to verify the claim speakto the conclusion that to close the range on suchfeckless ground is beyond belief. NSWRA tried tohave it reversed but was unsuccessful. Too late, theQueens shoot was cancelled. By the time shooting63


LATESTNEWS...Latest News...ANZAC Rifle Range, Sydney Australia Cont;was possible again, four users were evicted, oneshooting user could not get insurance due to assumedrisks, mooted not proven and small-bore was fencedout.In late October 2011, NSWRA agreed to incorporateadditional surveillance during shooting to monitorthe trespassers. The authorities have ignored the lawwhen it comes to venturing of shooting ranges. Anytrespasser can pass safe from prosecution whilst thelicensed users are deprived of their rightful recreation.In retrospect, never during one hundred years andmore of shooting on Malabar headland, has therebeen any other incident or complaint or breech ofsafety. The additional provisions may be understoodby the patient responsible shooters as mollifying butwhat proof in this clever country?At this, the Department of Finance and Deregulationassumes a path for eviction, seemingly withoutnegotiation, abrogating the intent declared by theCommonwealth in the licences it created in 1998.Achieving that aim will end the NSWRA an insult tothe memory of the Diggers. Incongruous in extreme,there are figures who strut the public stage ofRemembrance assuming high dignity at the Memorialswhilst bent to demolish every remnant of the mostrelevant real Memorial to the deeply moving, never toforget, sacrifice of heroes.NSWRA is driven to seek a fair go in Court by policy todestroy it. Above all it shows the writer of the contractpromising agreed terms who uses every means todeny the agreement can never be relied upon to befair, equitable, true. The postulate to justify the actiongoes: “This land is for the Australian People” theAnzacs wonder who are the ‘Australian People’ whereis Anzac Rifle Range our Memorial?News from Russia by Pavel KasyanenkoThis month, we are pleased to feature an interestingarticle from Russia by Pavel Kasyanenko who isthe President of the Valdivostok Sporting ShootersAssociation of Airgun Clubs (VASPO). Anyone whois involved with scoring rimfire or airgun benchresttargets will find this very interesting.On Sunday, April 1st in Vladivostok, VASPO held anairgun benchrest shooting competition held underthe American BR50 rules. What makes this shootinteresting is the system used to score the targets- the world’s first fully digital automated scoringsystem!This unique system was designed by computerprogrammers in the VASPO sports club. Itsignificantly reduces the time for processing theresults also excludes the ‘human factor’ in making‘line’ judgements. Typically, the error in determiningthe placement of bullet holes is not greater than 0.1mm horizontally and not more than 0.12 mm verticallyon used targets which may be in less than perfectcondition.Target paper weight is about 280 gr/m2. The thickerthe paper - the more accurate the results of thecalculation. If you use cardboard, then the accuracyis very high. Of course, you can always double-checkeverything by hand - as usual you do!64


The program scans the target and creates a new file,which can be printed for demonstration. An the sametime, the program produces a table of results in BBCode.But first,what exactly is VASPO? Says Maxim Pavlov“ The club is open to allcomers, irrespective of age,sex or social situation. On tournament days, there isalways warm, friendly atmosphere and we encouragean exchange of opinions and experience amongstparticipants.LATESTNEWS...Was there already a computer program in existencewhich we could use? Firstly I explored the Internetin search of something suitable but there wasn’t anyexisting program which would suit our needs.There was no alternative but to create my ownprogram which eventually gave a birth to ASSA (AutoScoring Software for Accushooters). Now, by justhaving a scanner, or a digital camera and a computer,a target scorer can relax!So, it was something of an historical event in theworld of shooting which took place on 1st April inVladivostok. The Sports Club, in co-operation with thelocal authorities of Vladivostok held The Open City 25meter Shooting Tournament for air rifle according tothe international rules ERABSF and BR50 where ASSAwas used for the first time.I always try to take an active part in life of our club: Icontact to the press, I write announcements, reportson competitions and I make videos about what we doin VASPO. As an experienced shooter, I always try andshare my skills and give advice to beginners”.But, back to our target scoring system. Anyone whois involved with the tedious job of scoring benchresttargets will appreciate that this is a thankless anddemanding task and deciding if a bullet has cutor touched the line will always be the subject ofcontroversy. It is a boring job but, as head of VASPOI’m aware that it is my responsibility.Twenty-two participants took part in the tournament.They shot 3 targets each, every of which has 25 bullswhich need to be examined – in other words, 1650bullet-holes need to be carefully scored. The actualtime of processing and printing the protocols is 50minutes - so 40 seconds for one target!(The table of results is here http://vaspo.ru/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1815)I ran 35 shooting tournaments, measuring papertargets and I eventually realized that if I could save thetime that I spent scoring targets I could give more timeto running the competition and liaising with shooters,guests etc.Furthermore, could I remove the human element?There are always those who think that they havebeen treated unfairly and of course, a scorer mustbe meticulously accurate for there is someone whodoubts the correctness of the results.Well, that was quick! It was the first tournamentwhere I had any spare time and that was unusual. Asa rule I would be sat buried in targets with my gaugeand magnifier examining all those tiny bullet holes.65


LATESTNEWS...Latest News...News from Russia by Pavel KasyanenkoCont;With the new ASSA system, scanning takes the majorpart of time – the scanner MUST be A3 USB PRO. Itscans 16 MB about 40 seconds. The calculations andrecord of file-protocols in net take 13-16 seconds.Sample outputThe ASSA! AutoScoring Software for AccushootersVersion 0.9b Mar 29 2012Copyright (c) Pavel G. KasyanenkoInput Target: scan1.TIF, type: BR50, Output toscan1out.jpgX 9 10 10 910 9 10 10 910 9 9 10 1010 9 9 X XX 10 10 10 XFinal Score 242, X’s 5, FM: 2Total time elapsed : 8.60 secYes, you waste time scanning but other tasks can becarried out whilst this is taking place. It makes our lifeeasy - there is no disputable issue about shot holesand no difficult ‘in or out’ decisions to be made as witha gauge and magnifier.More pictures from VASPO.ruhttp://vaspo.ru/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1815How does this program work?The ASSA program accepts the black-and-whitescan of the paper target. It counts up result of firingand generates own file as the protocol of the work.Black circles in the caliber of 5.6mm are noted bulletholes. Also in the protocol the hit assessment in eachzone, the general result, quantity of X’s and the firstmiss (FM), date and time of processing, the programversion is put down.Review at regional TV:http://ptr-vlad.ru/news/ptrnews/60235-vladivostokskie-strelki-predstavili-unikalnuyusistemu-podscheta-ochkov.htmlDirect link on video:http://ptr-vlad.ru/uploads/files/1333329885_beloborodova-strelba.mp4More pictures from VASPO.ru about ASSA! inprogress:http://vaspo.ru/viewtopic.php?p=24380#p2438066


JLK Bullets Are Back! By Laurie HollandVLD (Very Low Drag) form match bullets have beenaround for so many years now that they are a fixturein long-range precision shooting scene - almost oldfashionedin some shooter’s eyes.Most shooters associate them with Berger Bullets andprobably reckon Bryan Litz designed them, shouldthey ever give this matter any thought. Not so, theconcept was thought up by an American shootercalled Jimmy Knox and legend in his own lifetime, USArmy ballistician Bill Davis Jnr., around three decadesLATESTNEWS...ago, initially for 6mm bullets. It involved the use ofa longer gilding-metal jacket than would normallybe applied to a given core weight, the extra lengthformed into a long streamlined nose section.The other - and more controversial change fromconventional designs - was the adoption of a secantangleogive form that made the bullets much morefussy about seating / jump settings, most VLD bullet/ barrel combinations preferring a ‘jammed’ positionwith the ogive pressed 15 or 20 thou’ into the riflingleade when the cartridge is chambered.Jimmy Knox produced a range of Davisdesigned VLDs and manufactured themunder the JLK name - his initials, untilhe retired a few years ago. Even whenavailable, supplies to this country were fitfulwhich didn’t help customer awareness orsales, Norman Clark being the sole supplierof whatever models and quantities he couldsecure, until production ceased and he(Norman) switched to importing the rapidlygrowing Berger range.Five JLK thirty calibre VLDs. Left to right: 155gn, 180gnLBT, 190gn, 210gn, 210gn LBTMeanwhile, back in the US, Steve ‘Swampy’Milholland had bought the JLK name,designs and bullet making equipment and,after some false starts, got them back intoproduction under the Swampworks Inc.company name, still marketed as JLKs.It took another while before production was highenough to satisfy American demand and to resumeexports to us but, we’re finally seeing these bulletsProduct Code Calibre Grain BC (G1) Optimum Twist Comments Price/1002275 0.224” 75gn 0.425 1-8.5” Available £282277CO 0.224” 77gn n/a 1-8” Non-VLD (conventional ogive). Available £282280 0.224” 80gn 0.510 1-8”2290 0.224” 90gn 0.580 1-6.5” Available £2824105 0.243” 105gn 0.560 1-9” Available £3424115 0.243” 115gn n/a 1-7.5” Available £3925108 0.257” 108gn 0.500 1-10”26130 0.264” 130gn 0.620 1-8” Available £3826140 0.264” 140gn 0.630 1-8” Available £3928180 0.284” 180gn 0.735 1-9” Coming soon. Long BT section (0.230”)30155 0.308” 155gn 0.467 1-13” Available £4130175 0.308” 175gn 0.545 1-12”30180LBT 0.308” 180gn 0.575 1-12” Available. Long BT section (0.245”) £42308190 0.308” 190gn 0.602 1-12” Available £42308310 0.308” 210gn 0.665 1-10” Available £43308210LB 0.308” 210gn 0.680 1-10” Available. Long BT section (0.245”) £4367


LATESTNEWS...Latest News...JLK Bullets Are Back! Cont;Disabled Shooting ProjectHelping Dwarfs into Shooting By Liz Woodall, CoordinatorDSP.At the end of 2011 the Disabled Shooting Projectunintentionally started an initiative that will last thebest part of two years and hopefully will lead to Britishsuccess in the World Dwarf Games 2013.Boat-tail sections. Standard 210gn model (0.180” BTlength, 7.5° angle) on the left; 210gn LBT model (0.245”BT length, 7.5° angle) on the right.again thanks to that well known Northern shootingentrepreneur Brian Fox (Fox Firearms UK) who intendsto supply the entire JLK range of no less than 16bullets in six calibres: 0.224”, 0.243”/6mm, 0.257”,0.264”/6.5mm, 0.284”/7mm and 0.308”.All JLK designs are of the VLD type bar one, the 0.224”77gn model designed for 223 Rem. Service Rifleshooters to load to magazine length and accept a longjump to the rifling. Alongside its 77gn competitorsfrom Sierra, Lapua, and Berger it has a conventionaltangent ogive.The JLK range is as follows with those now availablefrom Fox Firearms and their prices shown. Brian saysthat the 180gn 7mm model will be available ‘veryshortly’.We’ll look at the five 308 models now available moreclosely in next month’s issue in our Handloading Benchsection. http://www.swampworks.com/jlkwww.foxfirearmsuk.com Telephone: 0161 430 8278Mobile: 07941 958464News of the National Dwarf Games at Aldersley a yearago reached us in a very roundabout way and curiosityprompted some internet research. This producedthe interesting information that airgun shooting hadbeen included in the games for a few years, and wasbecoming increasingly popular. We tracked down theDwarf Sports Association (DSAuk) and asked if theywould like any help. The result was an invitation toattend a training day at the West Midland RegionalShooting Centre in November.When I set off for Aldersley that day I had no idea whatto expect. Even on the way home after several hoursspent with the most cheerful bunch of shooters I’dever encountered, I didn’t suspect what lay ahead!I found that whilst one or two of the DSAUK peoplewere quite experienced (one is a member of DTSGBand has an IPC classification), most of them wereshooting at a very basic level. However, what waslacking on the technical front was more than madeup for in enthusiasm! Everyone was mad keen to getmore involved in the sport, and some had alreadystarted looking for a club to join.Their Development Officer, Tim Shephard, told methat it had recently been announced that targetshooting was to be included in the World Games forthe first time in August 2013 and, as they had also justbeen informed that they were getting some SportEngland development funding, they were determinedto do well at the games. They had their goal – couldthe DSP help them to reach it?68


Disabled Shooting Project Cont;A couple of months later I had a long meeting withTim and his newly-appointed colleague Nigel Burton.With some sage advice from the NSRA’s BrianWoodall, we produced a plan. This covers recruitmentof more interested dwarfs, sorting out the technicalrequirements for the games events, sourcing suitableequipment, finding coaches and setting up a squad totrain for the big event. Quite a large agenda. So howfar have we got?There have been two recruitment and developmentdays, one hosted by Blackburn Rifle & Pistol Club,and the other at Aldersley. Another is planned for thesouth east, and there may be one more in the westcountry. These are certainly generating interest – thearticle about them on our website has far and awaythe most hits of any item on the site!Brian and I have worked our way through theproposed rules drafted by the Americans who are theWorld Games hosts, and we are trying to get somepoints clarified.The main thing we are working on is equipment. Itbrought me up short to realise just how all of us takeLATESTNEWS...butts can be shortened easily enough, but that leavesa rifle massively front-heavy. Metal stocks are fullof mechanics and you can’t just saw a large lump offthem! Pistol grips can be cut down, but only so farbecause of the metalwork inside them. Trigger leverscan be moved backwards, but not far enough.Nevertheless, some excellent suggestions have beenmade, particularly by John Lloyd of Blackburn whofound the small-gripped Pardini Kid air pistol thatlooks like being a very good option with little or nomodification. We’re hoping to persuade a group ofengineers and gunsmiths to put their heads togetherand come up with a workable modification forlightweight air rifles. We’re also asking people whohave small target air rifles with damaged or brokenstocks to donate them for experimentation purposes.On the coaching front, Barry Dagger (an obviouschoice and delighted to help) came to help withpositions, and we’re hoping he’ll be back oncesuitable rifles have been acquired. On the same daythere was an introductory session on the good oldmarksmanship principles of keeping still, triggercontrol and follow-through, which resulted in massiveimprovements in group sizeand scores, so everyone wenthome very happy with theirday’s work.6th May will see us backat Aldersley again for theNational Dwarf Games.for granted the fact that we can pick up a whole rangeof different rifles and pistols and fire them. I speedilydiscovered that pistol grips are too big for dwarfhands, rifle butts are far too long for dwarf arms, andtriggers are out of reach of dwarf fingers. Of coursenone of these problems is simple to remedy! WoodenIt’s a real joy to work with allthe DSAuk people; despite themany hurdles we are trying tohelp them over there is nevera grumble, and their cheerfuldelight in tackling a new sportis very infectious! I sincerelyhope that they will reach their goal and bring homemedals from the USA next year.More information: http://dsauk.org/ and www.disabledshooting.org.uk69


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GALLERY RIFLE& PISTOL NEWSJackets from £99 - £650Trousers from £149 - £500Gloves from £23 - £55All budgets catered for - frombeginner to professional...Full range of targetshooting equipment & accessoriesSECURE ONLINE ORDERINGTo introduce ourselves we are the United KingdomAssociation of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. Bythat we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Associationis recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, withpartners across Europe and the rest of the world, as thepresentative body that promotes rimfire and air riflebenchrest across this country and with other partners inEuropean and World events.Visit our website for news about national and internationalcompetitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice tochampion shooter, everyone is welcomewww.benchrest22.org71


Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationalsby Michelle GallagherThird Annual SouthwestLong Range Nationalsby Michelle Gallagher.Competitors during the 600 yd match.72


Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationalsby Michelle GallagherBerger gives away over 30,000 bullets during the matches. Shooters can also visit the tent for snacks, colddrinks, and promotional treats donated from Berger and other companies (pens, shirts, etc).75


Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationalsby Michelle GallagherSaturday night was the barbeque dinner and awardsceremony for the team matches. Cash awards weregiven for the individual team matches and plaquesand medals were awarded to the Grand Aggregateteam winners in each division. The US National RifleTeam won the sling Team Agg. The team was coachedby Phil Hayes and firing members were Justin Skaret,Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz and Peter Church. The F-Openwinners were Team Berger/Norma – Captain BobBock, Coach Mid Tompkins, Larry Bartholome, JimMurphy, John Brewer and Danny Biggs. The DesertSharpshooters won the F-TR division. Team memberswere John Chilton, Warren Dean, Steve Lockwood andGerman Salazar, with the four men sharing the coachingduties.We encourage other companies in the firearms industryto donate prizes to the match and we gave awaythose prizes at the dinner. We want to send as manypeople as possible home with something, and Bergerprovides the awards for the winners of the match.We also know that most of the top shooters alreadyhave top level equipment, so whilst this is a randomprize drawing, we focus the first prizes towardsnewer shooters who are less likely to have the bestequipment. We have to give a very big thank you toNightforce, Sierra, Lapua, Krieger, Redding and all theothers who send donations for our shooters!Sunday was the final day of shooting, with three 20-shot matches at 1000 yards, followed by an awardsceremony for the winners. Trudie Fay (NM) won thesling Grand Aggregate, shooting a Palma rifle throughthe entire match. Bryan Litz (MI) was high ‘Any Rifleand second overall. Jim Murphy won the F-Open divisionby an impressive margin of 7 points, and JamesCrofts won the F-TR division by 4 X’s.We were so excited to have such a great turn out thisyear, with 201 shooters from 32 states in the US and 4provinces in Canada. In just three years, we have doubledin size and hope to have even more people nextyear. The tentative dates for 2013 are Feb 5-10th.We hope to see you there!For more information on this match, please sendan email to Michelle.Gallagher@bergerbullets.com.Results: (Additional results can be found by visitingour website at www.bergerbullets.com\SW_Nationals\index.html )Grand Aggregate:Sling1st – Trudie Fay (High Palma Rifle)2nd – Bryan Litz (high Match Rifle)3rd – Phil HayesF-Open1st – Jim Murphy2nd – John Myers3rd – Mark WalkerF-TR1st – James Crofts2nd – Chris Ozolins3rd – German SalazarTeam Aggregate:Sling1st – US National Rifle Team2nd – AzTxCo3rd – 2 Badgers and 2 Mud DucksF-Open1st – Team Berger/Norma2nd – Team Kelbly3rd – The Long ShotsF-TR1st – Desert Sharpshooters2nd – North State X Men3rd – US F-T/R Development Team76


Third Annual Southwest Long Range Nationalsby Michelle GallagherSling Team Aggregatewinners – US NationalRifle Team. The teammatch winners receiveda plaque, medal, andbullets. (L to R – PeterChurch, Trudie Fay, JustinSkaret, Bryan Litz, andPhil Hayes).F-Open Grand Aggwinners. This match wasalso sponsored by AppliedBallistics, so Bryan andhis sister Jennifer wereon hand to present thewinners with belt buckles.(L to R – Jennifer Litz, MikeKrei, Mark Walker, JohnMyers, Jim Murphy).F-TR Grand Aggwinners (L to R – GermanSalazar, Chris Ozolins,James Crofts, withMike Krei from the NRApresenting awards).The sheer size of the US makesshooting together a challenge, so it’salways good to see old friends whenthe opportunity arises. Sierra Scottand Richard King spent a few minutesvisiting after the match, while JimMurphy and Darrell Buell prepare tohead home as well.77


United Kingdom Practical ShootingAssociation News by Tony SaundersWell, the weather may be givingus a hard time at the moment,but the shooting season hasseen a flurry of matches for IPSCShotgun, Handgun and LBR/LBP.UKPSA HANDGUN COMMISSION UPDATE -LEVEL II GRADED COMPETITION AT USASCRANGE KILKEELFollowing the success of the first UKPSA IPSC Level1 Match at the USASC Range in Kilkeel on Saturday21st April, the UKPSA Handgun Commission is pleasedto announce the next IPSC Match, which is againat USASC - Kilkeel. This will be an IPSC Level 2 Matchand will take place on Saturday 12th May. The matchdetails and entry form are available on the UKPSAForum (www.ukpsa.co.uk)This is the first Graded IPSC Pistol Competition totake place in the United Kingdom in four years! Thecompetition is being organised and run by the UKPSAwith the assistance of the USASC at their range inKilkeel, County Down. The USASC membershipwelcomes the participation of all IPSC competitorsfrom all IPSC Regions. The results will be publishedand the prize giving will take place at the conclusion ofthe competition.This is the first of a series of Graded IPSC Level 2Matches being provided for UKPSA members pluspractical pistol competitors from other IPSC Regionsto participate in. The Handgun Commission, workingin co-operation with ITS, have set up this series ofGraded IPSC matches that will take place at theUSASC Range and the Dunnyboe Range for thebenefit of all and they are open to all current IPSCmembers.Results from these Level 2 Matches will determinethe UK Champions for the IPSC Handgun Divisionsand results will be used for selection to the UKPSANational Handgun Squad and will be taken intoconsideration for the allocation of slots to EuropeanHandgun Championships that will take place inPortugal in 2013.We remind you that you will need to renew yourUKPSA membership to enable you to enter andparticipate in all IPSC Matches at Level 2 or higher.A number of UKPSA members from Northern Irelandare also travelling abroad to participate in yet moreIPSC matches. Please ensure you contact VanessaDuffy (UKPSA Regional Director) to ensure youare properly signed off to allow your participationin graded IPSC competitions outside the UnitedKingdom.You can contact Vanessa at rd@ukpsa.org.The UKPSA Handgun Commission is already lookingahead to 2013. As well as IPSC Level 2 matches,it is planned to also run two Level 3 ChampionshipMatches. These matches are planned to not only givepractical shooters a true taste of testing-but-fun IPSCshooting, but also to prepare our UKPSA memberswho will be participating in the 2013 EuropeanHandgun Championships in Portugal. This preparationwill also include participating in UKPSA NationalSquad Training Dates. The dates for both GradedMatches and National Squad Training Dates for 2013will be released as soon as they become known.78


PRACTICAL PISTOL COMPETITION AT NITSABUSKHILL RANGEUKPSANEWSA practical pistol competition will take place at theNITSA Buskhill Range on Saturday 28th April. Therange is located just off the A1 Dual Carriageway, onthe Buskhill Road, between Banbridge and Newry.The match will consist of four stages. Three of thesestages will be the UKPSA Postal League Stages. Thecompetitors’ results from these three stages willbe totalled and added to the UKPSA Postal LeagueCompetition.The start time is 10.00am and the entry fee is £10.00.Bring a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition.Anyone who would like to participate in thiscompetition at the NITSA Range and who is not amember of NITSA, can they PLEASE e mail me athandgun@ukpsa.org to indicate that they wish totake part so that you can be entered into this event.Please do not turn up without first contacting me.Those of you who have already contacted me do notneed to do so again.IPSC RANGE OFFICER TRAINING COURSEFollowing the success of our UKPSA - IPSC HandgunRange Officer Training Course in March the UKPSA hasagreed to run another course in the future. Anyonewho is interested in being properly trained as a IPSCRange Officer can you please contact me so that I canadd your name to the list for the next Range OfficerTraining Course.IPSC LEVEL III COMPETITIONS IN EUROPEUKPSA members from Northern Ireland will betaking part in Level III Championship matches inseveral European countries throughout the 2013 IPSCCompetition Season. Anyone who is interested inparticipating in any of these matches and wants tofind out more can email david@practicalhandgun.comFred Hanna.UKPSA Handgun Commission Secretary.E mail - handgun@ukpsa.orgWeb Site - http://www.ukpsa.co.uk/handgunni.htmlBLUE TEAM & LITTLE CHALFONT MATCHThe unseasonably hot weather inMarch heralded the start of the UKPSAChampionship rounds in both LongBarrel Firearms and IPSC Shotgun. TheBlue Team and Little Chalfont put on theSouthern LBF Championships at LittleChalfont’s range in Buckinghamshire.The location had been used in the past for manypractical pistol matches and it very welcoming to seepractical shooting return there again. MD Rob Adamand his team posed some very interesting stages,presenting a variety of ways of being shot, and usedmany turners, bobbers and incorporating electronictrips to trigger them.The match was well subscribed and for the firsttime the largest division was Long Barrel Pistol. It isanticipated that these will be the most popular gunsbeing used in practical Long Barrel Firearm matchesduring 2012.The winners were:Graham Guest for Standard LBRPete Starley for Open LBR.Nick Towndrow for Standard LBPJames Harris for Open LBPAndy Duffy for Standard Gallery rifleAlan Wragg took the honours in Open Gallery Rifle.The next Championship round will be the ScottishChampionships taking place in late June nearDumfries.79


UKPSANEWSHadrian L3 IPSC Shotgun MatchA week after the Little Chalfont match, practicalshooters moved north to Cumbria to take part inthe IPSC PSG L3 Hadrian match. Again this was achallenging but fun course of fire put on by CarlisleSmall Arms Club (CSAC).Bizarre weather conditions were experienced... Hotsunshine when building the match... cold rain andwind for the RO’s shoot. Then a benign but cloudy dayfor the main competitors, all three days in a row.Northern PSG League.A number of practical clubs in the North of Englandhave banded together to form the Northern PSGleague. A series of L1 IPSC matches will be heldthroughout the year at various locations. All thematches are open to any shooters. The first roundbegins at Carlisle on Sunday 6th May. Any oneinterested in taking part should contact the matchorganiser Vanessa Duffy via rd@ukpsa.org .The first AGM for the new Target ShotgunAssociation will be held at the Phoenix Meeting inJune.Articles and Pictures courtesy of David Thompson andVanessa DuffyThe challenge of the 12 stages that made up thematch resulted in some unexpected winners. DanBoswell was a hairsbreadth in front of Dave Dowdingto take Standard Division. Less than one half of apoint out of 700 separated them. Mick Flatley wonStandard Manual and Keith Wilson took Modified.Josie Adam was top lady on the day. Top team wasThe Blue Team.The next L3 Championship PSG match will be held atHarlow in late May.UKPSA Postal Leagues.Following the success of last year’s Postal leaguesfor shotgun, the UKPSA have expanded the leaguesto include LBF, Action Air and for practical handgunshooters in Northern Ireland. The Postal Leagues areintended as an entry level for club members to try outpractical shooting in their club environment. Eachleague is made up of four rounds and consists of threeor four stages. Each round can be shot at any timewithin a two month period. The stages, which aredesigned to be simple to set up, can be shot either ona club shoot or part of a club competition. The leagueis free to enter and results from each of the roundsare published and emailed out to all participants. Tofind out more details about all the Postal Leaguesvisit the UKPSA web site. http://www.ukpsa.co.uk/postalleagues.html80


UKPSANEWS“Grim determination as this shooter squeezes off a round”“Shooter under watchful eye of R.O”“A fine day for the Kilkeel Level 1 match”“Steely eyed, with perfect control and stance”81


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildThe March-FXA 40 Power First FocalPlane Marvel...It seems that there is nobetter way to galvaniseopinion in the shootingcommunity than to suggestthat a First Focal Plane(FFP) scope is better thana Second Focal Plane(SFP). The difference inoperation is visual; a FFPreticle grows in size as the scopemagnification is adjusted higherwhile a SFP reticle remains constantat all magnifications (only the targetappears to change size). The FFPsupporters point to consistency acrossranges while the SFP group points to thinnercrosshairs and more precise aiming.82


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildThe challenge for FFP scope makers has alwaysbeen to fabricate a reticle pattern that workswell at all magnifications and does notobscure the target at its highest setting.This technology challenge has keptmagnification much lower than SFPscopes where 40 to 80 powers isnow seen as standard.83


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildEnter Deon Optical DesignCorporation and their desireto break new ground in opticalequipment through theirMarch range of rifle scopes.After demonstrating that highmagnification, high zoom ratioworked well in Second FocalPlane models such as the 10 – 60and the 8 – 80 models, they tookon the challenge set by March’sAustralian dealer, Stuart Elliottof BRT Shooters Supply, to builda FFP scope that exceeds theperformance of all other FFPscopes on the market.At the time of writing, five March-FX’shad been produced and the scope underreview was the second to be assembled.The March-FX 5 – 40 x 56mm FFP ismore than a technology demonstrator.It looks like it will set a new benchmarkfor FFP scopes in the market because itdoes what a shooter wants of it; but withunderstated ease.Technical SpecificationsAt the heart of all March scopes lietwo very important things; quality ofmanufacture and lens quality.The Deon factory is not a high volume assemblyline. One engineer can only assemble two Marchscopes a day due to the amount of hand fittingrequired to assemble each unit. But when youlook at the components used, the level of precisionmanufacturing becomes clearer.The base frame for the March-FX is the 8 – 80 model.This has a 34mm tube, which offers the designers theextra internal capacity in the scope to get the massive5 – 40 zoom range. The FX model is shorter than the80-power version (387mm) but slighter heavier; this isthe trade off when changing from second focal planeto first.There is no plastic used in the construction of theMarch. The scope body, for example, is machinedfrom a single piece of aluminium bar stock and allthe lenses are glued in. This makes for a structurallysolid piece of equipment that is much stronger thanpossible through other methods of manufacture. Butthe offset is, of course, a considerably more costlymanufacturing process.March scopes also use a heat treated, flat-type erectortube spring as the design engineers work on theguiding principle that coil springs tend have a memoryproblem, regardless of the material. All this heattreating means that parts need to be carefully handfitted. For example, the focusing group tube unit (eyepiece assembly) needs to be hand lapped to fit thefocusing tube liner body.Finally, all March scopes are purged with argon gas,which is heavier than the nitrogen usually used inscope manufacture and does not leak. Gas purgingis used to minimise internal corrosion and preventinternal fogging during quick temperature or humiditychanges.84


The heart of the scope, at least from the shooter’sperspective, is the lens. March scopes use an ExtralowDispersion (ED) lens. March’s product notes thatED lenses have a smaller refractive index than a typicaloptical lens in the blue to red wavelength. This enablessuperior sharpness and colour correction by reducingchromatic aberration. These specialty lenses are oftenused in microscopes, telescopes, semiconductorsteppers, or high-end camera lenses.a rainbow). Itoccurs becauselenses have a differentrefractive index fordifferent wavelengths oflight (the dispersion of the lens).The refractive index decreaseswith increasing wavelength.Chromatic aberration is thefailure of a lens to focusall colours to thesame point (theopposite toThe March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildFor all normal long range shooting conditions andjudging by the superb performance at night, I wouldhazard some less than normal, sighting was very goodto excellent and provided all the detail needed butwithout any lens induced distortion.I also used it for night shooting to see how the 56mmobjective lens and 34mm body would handle low lightconditions. The performance of the ED lens remainedclear and bright as the sun set and the light faded.The ED lens’ colour correction came started to showthrough with the contrast between the target’s redlines and yellow background keeping the image clearlyvisible after other brands had lost clarity. Under lights,the illuminated reticle presented a clear sight picture -even at the higher power settings.One of the overlooked offsets with a FFP scoperelates to the lack of movement of the reticlewhen changing the magnification setting. SFPscopes will change the apparent zero as thezoom setting changes; the more expensivemodels change will be less obviousthan cheaper options but a changeChromatic aberration is easy to test forin a scope, if you can see “fringes” of colouralong boundaries that separate dark and brightparts of the image you have found it. It occurs inpoor quality scopes because each colour in the opticalspectrum cannot be focused at a single common pointon the optical axis.I pushed the March hard on this, both on a range oftargets and distances – Full Bore and Benchrest andagainst a Zeiss lens test sheet in order to find outwhen the blue and red wavelength got confused.85


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard Wildin point of aim will occur. By way of background, theindustry standard is 1/2 MOA. Removing that variableincreases the probability of a first round hit even more.Metric versus ImperialThe March-FX is only available with the FML-1 reticlepattern. The reticle adjustment is in milradians (MIL),which is a decimal approach to measuring anglesas a ratio. To be truly technical here, we need tounderstand that there is 2000π (Pi) milradians in acircle, which makes a milradian just under 1/6283 of acircle or 3.438 Minutes of Angle.But to put it more simply, the easier thing toremember is that one MIL covers one metre at 1000metres or 10cm at 100 metres. This means the March-FX; with its 0.05 MIL adjustment will move the pointof impact by 0.5 cm at 100m. By way of contrast aquarter MoA adjustment is 0.64 cm. Total elevationrange is 24 MIL (equivalent to approximately 82 MoA).The floating centre dot in the FML-1 reticle is also 0.05MIL. The big difference between this reticle patternand a SFP floating dot is apparent when you changethe power as the dot changes in size. But the keydifference highlights the more practical aspects of FFPscopes – the dot will always cover the same 0.05 MILregardless of the power setting.Range CardsDeveloping a range card is a valuable reference toolfor F-Class shooting but it is a non-negotiable “musthave” for practical shooting.The best starting point for developing a range card isto use a handheld ballistics programme but to do thisproperly the shooter needs to enter the actual muzzlevelocity and have a solid and tested 100 metre zero towork from.There are a number of programmes available todownload these days with iSnipe being a usefulstarting point as it uses G7 ballistic coefficients forbullets to smooth out the downrange performance.Another free application is iStrelok and, while slightlyless intuitive; it provides a range chart based on thehash marks in the reticle of your scope using yourcartridge data and zero setting. The March-FX reticleis already programmed in their database and is readyto use.The data provides a good guide for zero setting butwill need to be tested and confirmed through practicein order to develop the confidence in both the scopeand the application’s results. Keeping all this recordsin the one book is a great way to learn how little thingsaffect the accuracy of the rifle.Testing TimesThe March-FX was set up on two rifles that cover bothends of the current target-shooting spectrum.For practical/tactical shooting a 6.5 x 47 Lapua set upin an AICS with Atlas bipod and rear spigot has provencapable of handling all shooting situations out to1000 yards. At a whisker over 18lbs, the rifle is heavybut the stock design and muzzle brake means this isa pussycat to shoot and will cheerfully put 142 SierraMatchkings into a sub-MoA group at 300 metres.Despite the weight, it is also a superb positional riflefor standing and sitting shooting.From the bench, I used Kelbly 34mm rings on myStolle Panda in 7mm Boo Boo. The Boo Boo is animproved 6.5 x 68S and it can push a 7mm 180 grainBerger out at 3050fps. Having used this rifle out to1500 yards, it is a flat shooting and consistent grouperwhen the range gets long or the conditions get tricky.Tactical Turrets on thex40 FFP scope...86


A Scope designed for anOutcomeWith practical/tactical shooting starting to take offin Australia, more and more shooters are pushingthemselves and their equipment to find the best set upto be successful in this fast paced and time pressureddiscipline.Big adjustment knobs are important as they offernot only more adjustment range but also less visualclutter, especially as elevation is added. Going backto 900 metres with a 100 metre zero requires a comeup of about 8.00 MIL for the 6.5 x 47, and this is lessthan two turns of the turret. Each revolution is clearlymarked with a horizontal line and should be obviouseven under stressful situations.The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildHaving a zero stop feature on the elevation turrethelps this. The zero stop is a great addition fordisciplines that require a lot of scope adjustments andmeans the elevation zero should never be lost. Whenproperly set up, minimum ranges are set (usually100 metres for tactical shooting) at the bottom ofthe elevation, so all elevation come ups will alwaysbe counted from this zero setting. I set the Marchup for a 100 metre zero and was able to accuratelyadjust for all ranges out to 900 metres by changingmy handheld ballistics programme from MoA to MILmeasurements.With the illuminated reticle version, if the lightconditions fail, the scope reticle can be lit up, sothere should never be a reason to lose sight of theConventional wisdom says that a high magnification First Focal Plane scope has no role in target shooting becausethe reticle covers too much of the target to be useful. The March-FX at 40 powers defies that wisdom and, eventhough it aimed at the tactical market, it works equally well on a bench gun.87


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildWith a 34mm tube, the March-FX needs some bigrings to fit it on a rifle. Kelblys makes a ring setfor bench guns but Picatinny rails need somethingdifferent. Ken Farrell’s 34mm rings are CNCmachined from solid stock and dwarf a standardone-inch Weaver ring.The March-FX’s elevationand windageknobs are bigand, with fiveMILs (approx17 MoA)per rotationcover a lotof distanceacross eachrotation.Steppedelevationmarks anda zero stopcontributeto accurateelevationadjustments.crosshairs. The challenge for colour blind shooters isto see the red light and this should be tested beforepurchase. There are standard and low illuminationswitch modules. Both modules providefour levels of the reticle glow (red)intensity, which can be cycled throughby pressing the switch repeatedly.Both modules are interchangeable.The scope under review had thelow power light option, whichwas not powerful enoughfor daytime use. However,the standard lighting option iseasily able to serve as a red dotalternative when using the March-FX at five powers. This demonstratesthe versatility of the low power settingfor snap shooting or close range targetwork as many practical rifle competitions overseas areincorporating a very short range component - oftenas close as three metres. With the focus adjustabledown to nine metres this scope offers a greater chanceof success across a broad range of events. Tests atthree metres showed that a clear sight picture waspossible at five power and an accurate sight picturewas achievable at 10 power.Known Distance ShootingShooting the March-FX on a rifle range during F-Classcompetition was an eye opener. After reading all thecriticisms of high magnification FFP scopes on theInternet, I was prepared mentally for an obscuredsight picture at 40 power and difficulty with aiming offfor the wind.Instead, what I got was a clear target with a floatingdot that sat within the X ring of the Australian ICFRAtarget. Usefully, the horizontal and vertical stadiabrackets the five ring so windage and elevation canbe judged against the rings. And because this is aFFP, the dot and stadia will always be in the sameratio; regardless of distance. This was tested at 800mand 300m and this mathematical standardisationcontributed to a consistent sight picture that wasalways the same; also regardless of the distance.88


With testing taking place in an Australian summer,the 800m target was dancing in the mirage, but theMarch-FX’s lens produced a sharp image and a numberof Canberra shooters saw the target rings clearly forthe first time that day.The greatest challenge on the day was zeroing therifle with the newly installed scope using the MILadjustments. The mental shift from MoA to MIL washelped with a handheld ballistics programme andconfidence in the equipment. This meant the first shotcut paper and Xs soon followed.Speed DrillsSpeed drills are great practice for the practical shooterand serve to test the equipment under pressuresituations and they help to identify where weaknessesexist in magazines, triggers, techniques and loads.With time and practice, a shooter using a bolt actionrifle can accurately hit targets across a range ofThe March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard Wildscenarios and multiple distances.A lower zoom setting is required when speed is of theessence. At five power, I found that the reticle treesits nicely in a clay pigeon at 100 metres and acts insimilar way to a red dot sight. Nevertheless, 10 poweris a good selection for more precise shooting. Targetacquisition was fast and shot placement was accurate.Unknown Distance ShootingAs Captain Shore noted in With British Snipers to theReich, the known distance range shooter, he termsthem the Bisley shot, will always struggle when facedwith an unknown distance and no wind flags.Laser range finders have removed the need for doingthe mildot math to range an object at an unknownMarch SCOPESThe Choice of ChampionsTactical TurretsThis scope has the largest zoom ratio of any FFP scopeever made, additional feature is the 0.05 Mil centre dot,this was designed not to obscure the target on highermagnification.A feature of First Focal Plane (FFP) design, also known as Front FocalPlane, is the reticle scale value does not change over the entire zoomrange of the rifle scope. Also the POA does not change over the entirezoom range. This simplifies use of the reticle for ranging and holdoverin conjunction with ballistic charts.1 Click 0.05 Mil TurretsNEWSide Focus 10 yards ~ InfinityMarch FX 5 - 40 x 56. The worlds most powerful first focal plane scope...The Choice of ChampionsPush Button IlluminationAvailable from - marchscopes.co.uk - Call 01293 606901 or info@marchscopes.co.uk89


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard Wilddistance. MILs and the metric system make the matheasier: Target size (in meters) x 1000 / Mils read =meters to target.The challenge set here is to push the shooter and thescope to the limits in order to prove that the scope canbe used instead of a spotting scope, thereby savingweight and reducing the numbers of items needing tobe carried.This style of shooting calls for mid range powersetting. The 25x magnification proved to be perfect forthe majority of prone bipod shooting.The test here though was to use the March-FX todetect, identify and then range several objectsscattered randomly around then use a ballisticsprogramme to determine either the elevationadjustment or the aim off to potentially hit the object.In the interests of maths, a Fig 12 target, measuring0.45m wide, was ranged at random distances outto 900 metres. Having a choice of seven basic MILmarkings from 0.04 MIL to 1 MIL contributes to moreaccurate target measurements and ranging.Targets were ranged and checked against thereadings from a laser range finder and the results werepleasingly close; even on the more distant targets.March’s F 3 – 24 x 42 FFP scopehas now become the littlebrother to the FX 5 – 40 x 56.This model should benefit fromthe development of the higherpower scope.90


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildSitting on top of a tactical rifle, theMarch-FX is set to 25 power and, withthe portable ballistics table handy, itis ready to take on targets when theyappear at different ranges.91


The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildReticle shots at fivepower and …...at 40 power. The targetis clear across the powerrange and the floating dotallows for precise aimingeven in the rain.92


The March-FX on a Kelbly Atlas in 300 Win Mag enjoying aquiet afternoon in the Australian countryside.The March-FX40 Power First Focal Plane ReviewBy Richard WildConclusion93So is it possible to say yet that this is a great scope? Trawling the Internet to identify what people areconcerned about, I am pleased to say that the design team at Deon has anticipated these concerns aboutreticle size, functionality and durability. The original design called for a scope to meet the needs of thegrowing tactical market, but the model that has emerged easily fits into a broad range of shooting disciplinesand this untapped potential will become more apparent as more and more shooters use the March-FX.While the scope is expensive, it will serve all your shooting needs for the next 20 years atleast. How successful this model is will be measured by other companies building highpower FFP scopes in the next 12 to 18 months.


PRACTICAL ShotgunPractical Shotgunhas been around fora couple of decadesto my knowledgebut, in terms ofpractical shooting,Practical Pistol wasalways the morepopular discipline.Sadly, we all knowwhat happened toPractical Pistol!Yes, following the pistol ban, PPshooters were understandablydevastated. Some gave upshooting all together, otherstried mini-rifle and even CO2pistol and a few had a look atPractical Shotgun.My home club – Diggle – has always shota form of Practical Shotgun which wecalled ‘action shotgun’ but, of late, a fewmembers have branched out and startedto shoot ‘proper’ PSG with the UKPSAat various ranges, mainly in the north ofEngland.The resulting number of applicationsfor s.1 shotgun variations from Digglemembers prompted our local police force– Greater Manchester Police – to enquireif the Club was affiliated to the UnitedKingdom Practical Shooting Association(UKPSA). We weren’t but, for a measlysum of money – about £40 - it soundeda good idea to support the nationalgoverning body for PSG (and other formsof practical shooting) so we affiliated.I should say at this stage that there isanother PSG organization in the UKcalled 4 Islands – www.four4islands.orgAfter affiliating with the UKPSA, a safetycourse was suggested – compulsory ifyou wish to enter any UKPSA sanctionedshoot but clearly a good idea even if youdon’t intend to – when done properly,safety training is never wasted in myopinion and safety was always at thefore-front of PP.94


PRACTICAL ShotgunTrainees line up for another exercise mentored by Ross Burrough and Paul HarperUKPSA’s Andy Duffy supervises Diggle’s Ian Lord95


PRACTICAL ShotgunThus it came to pass that 20 or so Digglemembers and a few ‘outsiders’ assembled fora UKPSA weekend ‘boot camp’. Now, I mustsay at this stage, that I didn’t personally takethe course having just returned from IWA(my excuse!) but I was on hand to observeand take photographs on both days.From what I could glean from the side-lines,trainees were subjected to a wide variety ofscenarios likely to be encountered in PSGcompetition and taught how to deal withthem safely. A ‘classroom’ theory sessionalso took place.If I had to use one word to describe thecourse it would be ‘thorough’ – thoughothers may choose a different one! At theend of two rigorous days, a tired but smilinggroup of PSG trainees were awarded theirpass certificates. The overwhelming opinionwas one of praise for the instructors andcourse-content and, to a man, everyoneadmitted that they had thoroughly enjoyedit and learned an awful lot. Members nowtrained and equipped, the next job was torun our own Club competition.Diggle’s 660 rugged acres offer plenty ofopportunity for challenging and variedcourses of fire so five stages, using mainlysteel-plate targetry and bird-shot, were setup to challenge and entertain. The weatherwas kind – cold but fine and sunny and, asa bystander, I was impressed at the levelof discipline exercised by competitors andthe general slick but good-humored way inwhich the event was run. With competitorssplit into groups, there was no waitingaround as the groups ‘rotated’ from stage tostage.Yes, I do have a s1 shotgun and took it along‘just in case’ and, in a quieter moment on oneof the stages, the RO coerced me into havinga ‘run’. Everyone kept telling me what goodfun PSG is and yes, I could instantly see theappeal – shooting a semi-auto ‘anything’ isvery satisfying but, unlike mini-rifle, at leastyou feel that you are shooting somethingwith a bit of – well, what’s the word I’mlooking for? You know what I mean guys...!And, in common with mini-rifle – no needto reload your ammo! Targets are steels, soeasy to manage and score – it either goesdown or it doesn’t! All this makes for a verysatisfying day’s shooting which gives thesame warm feeling as handling a recoilingsemi-auto pistol used to do in the good olddays.Although I mentioned Diggle’s 660 acres,of course you can run PSG on very compactranges as most targets will be at less than 25yards but, this is where the UKPSA trainingcomes in – in designing safe, challenging andfun stages.If you, or your club areinterested in PSG you could doworse than to get in touch withthe UKPSA at;www.ukpsa.co.uk orFour Islands at;www.four4islands.org96


PRACTICAL ShotgunSteve Hodge shoots whilst Ross Burrough works the timer.Wow he’s quick! – Eventual winner, Mike Siva Jothy – note the two ejected cases stillabove the gun!97A happy bunch of trainees with their pass certificates and UKPSA instructors


Lincolnshire CountrysideSports Association invitesyou to attend...Adults - Ladies & Young Shots Day atRiseholme Campus, University of Lincolnon Saturday 12th May 2012. 10.00am -3.00pmDownload your application and moreinformation leaflets (here).Check out our NEW app for theiPad - iPhone or iPod Touch...Apps and things!Have you had chance to havea look at Target Shooter viaour new Apple app? If youalready have an iPad, iPhoneor iPad Touch, please give ita go. The app itself is freeto download from the iTunes website . The app has lotsof great features which make Target Shooter far morepleasant to read than from your computer screen andeverything tends to work better and quicker. It’s easy tojump to any page and a ‘click’ brings up an advertiserswebsite in an instance and we are hoping that this willbe a real attraction for our advertisers.Yes, you will always be able to read Target Shooter onlinebut we feel that the iPad is the way forward formagazines and newspapers and, in a very short time, Ipredict that this will become the acceptable way to reada magazine or book.99


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