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Welcome to the 2nd Christmas Edition — so much to enjoy!

December 2010 Issue

Event reports

Gallery Rifle


Air Rifle Benchrest F Class and

Developments Centerfire Benchrest.....
Handloading Bench • Quigley Report • New Products • and lots more…..
3 rd Fantastic

The BIG Europe’s
ite in PT
de o

for tw
bs ow CE
we s n N
ee ea CO
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lls ed A
ha em O H
ve th B
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Largest Retail
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ammunition & reloading, accessories and much, much more... A real shooting MEGASTORE!

Special Even more to do, more to see and more to buy!

Look out for the stands which display the “Rifle Focus 2011” logo
and you’ll be sure not to miss anything of interest. ARMS HERITAGE SHOW
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Target Shooter 3
Welcome to the December Issue................Target Shooter
22 European F-Class 6 Shooting Sport News and
Championship Christmas Gadgets Gallery
by Vince Bottomley
14 Shooters Calendar

15 The Digital Media
Revolution for Shooting
47 Air Rifle Benchrest Sports by Carl Boswelll
by Carl Boswell
37 Shooting Black Powder
Pistol by Chris Risebrook

41 9th World Military & Police

Sniper Championship -
70 Starting Mini Rifle Part 2 by Rob Hunter
by Mark Curd
55 Rimfire & Air Rifle
Benchrest World Postal
by Carl Boswell

59 UKPSA Shotgun Safety

75 Handloading Course by Tim Finley
Bench by Laurie
66 Carlton Moor Tunnel
Holland Range by Nigel

94 This Smallbore Business

by Don Brook
87 Commonwealth
Games Association Pages
by Jonathan Hammond 107 NRA

110 F- Class
99 Getting started 112 Gallery Rifle
in Gallery Rifle - the
Ruger 10/22 Part 2 116 UKPSA
by Gwyn Roberts
121 Quigley

4 Target Shooter
Editor(s). Main cover shot of the
Carl Boswell and Vince Bottomley F Class Europeans by
Advertising and Office Manager Dave Lloyd
email; admin@targetshooter.co.uk
Vince Bottomley Tony Saunders Nigel Greenaway
Laurie Holland Chris Risebrook Carl Boswell
Don Brook Alan Whittle Gwyn Roberts
Les Holgate Tim Finley Mark Curd
Nigel Greeneaway Jonathan Hammond

Webitorial - December 2010

In November, the Committee set up to review firearms control and legislation following the Cumbria
shootings, heard evidence from various bodies including the police and the medical profession.
You can see a full transcript of the proceedings at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/
The outcome of this enquiry will affect us all in some way and there are suggestions to place on
your medical records the fact that you hold an FAC. One downside to this is that medical records,
although supposed to be confidential, will be readily accessible by a large number of NHS staff –
not good, especially if our police are interested in reducing the theft of legally held firearms. We
anxiously wait to see the outcome and hope that the actions of one person will not again prejudice
thousands of innocents.
On a lighter note, as we approach the year end and look forward to next season, we have the
Newark Shooting Show held the last weekend in February. We have already mentioned this a
number of times as organiser John Bertram has generously offered free stand space to shooting
organisations and associations. We keep appealing to such associations to get in touch and let
us know you will be there but, to date, response has been feeble. Come on guys – what better
opportunity to publicise your discipline and attract new members. Please e-mail me on vinceb@6ppc.
fsnet.co.uk if you need more information.
Finally, our December issue is dominated by a feature on the F Class European Championships.
This event grows year on year and, with eleven nations represented, it is the world’s largest F
Class competition. Target Shooter had two of our contributors shooting and bringing you a full
report direct from the firing-point – what other shooting publication does that?
Enjoy your Christmas break and celebrate the New Year with the January issue of Target Shooter
– on-line January 1st 2011!

Vince, Carl & Andy

Carl Boswell - carl@targetshooter.co.uk and Vince Bottomley - vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk and

Andy Dubreuil - admin@targetshooter.co.uk Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
The website www.targetshooter.co.uk is part of Target Shooter magazine with all contents of both electronic media copyrighted. No reproduction is permitted unless
written authorisation is provided.
Information, prices and data is believed to be correct at the time of posting on the internet which is on or around the 1st of each month. Advertisements that are firearm
related are from companies or individuals that Target Shooter magazine believes are licensed to hold such firearms and accepts no responsibility if companies or
individuals are not so licensed.
Letters and photographs submitted by members of the public to Target Shooter magazine will be accepted on the basis that the writer has agreed to publication unless
otherwise stated. Target Shooter magazine has no control over the content or ownership of photographs submitted.
The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers and relate to specific circumstances within each article. These are the opinions
and experiences of writers using specific equipment, firearms, components and data under controlled conditions. Information contained in the online magazine or on the
website is intended to be used as a guide only and in specific circumstances caution should be used. Target Shooter Magazine does not except any responsibility for
individuals attempting to recreate such testing using any information, data or other materials in its electronic pages.Publishers of Target Shooter magazine.

Target Shooter 5
Shooting Sport News &
Christmas Gadget Gallery

G ifts/News item
There’s not much in the way of useful gifts
that you can buy a shooter for a few pounds –
exclusive benchrest book - notice that the word
‘benchrest’ does not appear in the title. He makes
the odd reference to hunting, though in reality
with the exception of a book perhaps: it is aimed squarely at the benchrest shooter.
The Book of Rifle Accuracy – by Tony Boyer. Of course, the techniques used by benchrest
shooters will improve the performance of any
Now if you don’t know who Tony Boyer is, then rifle/ammo/shooter combination.
you probably won’t be putting this book on your We have had other great benchrest books –
Christmas list, which is a pity, for it is one of the namely Glen Newick’s classic The Ultimate
very best shooting books I’ve ever read. Tony in Rifle Accuracy (now out of print) and more
is the undisputed king of benchrest – and has recently, Mike Rattigan’s Extreme Rifle Accuracy.
been for a couple of decades. At long last he Note that - like Tony’s book - neither mention
has written a book. benchrest in the title, thus hopefully attracting
Tony has cannily avoided making this an sales to a wider audience. When I bought Glen’s
6 Target Shooter
book twenty years ago, I didn’t even know what
benchrest was but after reading it, I went to the
USA on a benchrest voyage of discovery – you
could say it changed my life!
If you don’t shoot benchrest, will you learn
anything from Tony’s book? Yes – lots! Will it be
of use to you? Well, knowledge is never wasted
and sadly, good shooting books are few and far
between. Sorry, no ISBN number – but order
here - http://www.rifleaccuracybook.com/

W ays of the Rifle.

£36 The training
book for .22 rifle
shooting, published
by MEC and filled with
useful information and
photos. Hints and tricks
from top shooters and
coaches - from www.

N ew stuff
At the F Class Europeans, I
picked up another joystick rest from
a Polish company called Sanders
Shooting. It’s two-column design
similar to the SEB Neo but promises
to be cheaper. It looks good and
I’m going to use it at the 600 yard
benchrest shoot on Boxing day
so I should have a full report for
January’s Target Shooter.
The Polish F Class team were already
using the rest but it will be equally
of interest to rimfire and centrefire
benchrest shooters. Again, Poland
being part of the EEC, importing
should be cheaper and easier.
concentricity gauge, arbour press, scope level
The Sanders are set to manufacture a number etc. They have a website under construction at
of accuracy-related products including a www.sanders-shooting.com

Target Shooter 7
T he Fito Big Foot Bi-pod
Opsrey Rifles have just taken delivery of a
consignment of the superb Fito Big Foot bi-pod,
great bi-pod.
They are immensely strong with plenty of
adjustment. If your rifle is light enough for a
but they won’t hang about for long. I’ve used bi-pod weighing over a kilo, you won’t find a
one ...........!! The Censhot bi-pod weighs just better one than the Fito Big Foot. Check out
19 ounces, it’s half the weight of the Spanish www.ospreyrifles.com
Fito Big Foot but, at £135 including VAT, it’s a

G BR England is now the UK distributor for

the Spanish Bergara barrels. Bergara have invested a huge amount into
mechanising the barrel-making process, to
permit the economy of mass production, whilst
maintaining accuracy and to that end have
relied extensively on the legendary Ed Shilen
as their consultant.

The production process is pretty straight

forward but executed to fine tolerances. The
solid bar, from which the barrel is formed, is
determined to be straight to a deviation of
less than four thousandths of an inch before
the deep drilling of the bore commences. The
bore is then diamond honed to a mirror finish,
before being button rifled. See video www.
bergarabarrels.com . Note consistency of the
bore, when checked with a dial-gauge.

The internal finish is very good – as good as

any I have seen with the bore-scope and they
should be comparable in performance with any
other match-grade barrel but for about half the

GBR’s first shipment contained all stainless,

fluted, barrels in calibres .22, 6mm/.243,

8 Target Shooter
6.5mm, and .30, and all in the more popular
faster twist rates. These barrels are in
Remington Varmint, and Standard Sporter
profiles and the next shipment will include
chrome-moly, and a selection of pre-fit barrels
in popular chamberings.

GBR also released their 100% British rifle

action earlier this year and now offer home-
grown recoil-lugs, Picatinny-style scope-rails,
magazine bottom-metals and competition-type

GBR aim to eventually supply from stock,

most of the components gunsmiths need to
facilitate the build of precision rifles, without
the frustrations of import and at competitive
their web-site www.GBREngland.co.uk for
GBR’s Graham Glover can be contacted
availability, prices and detailed specification.
on 01606 79029 or 07866 830433, or via

S ECRETS OF MENTAL MARKSMANSHIP the authors emphasise, a law-enforcement tactical

..... How to Fire Perfect Shots team member or soldier invariably finds his worst
By Linda K. Miller and Keith A. Cunningham training performance is superior to that produced
Published 2010 by Paladin Press, Boulder, in the stress of a fire-fight, so the higher his game
Colorado. ISBN 13: 978-1-58160-721-5. Large size beforehand, the better the chance of surviving a
paperback, 208 pages. Available from Amazon.com hostile encounter in one piece. Big game - even
($34.95), and in the UK from Prospect Books UK more so dangerous game - hunters face their own
(www.gunbooks.co.uk) catalogue number NB224 pressures and practical difficulties too.
at £21.75. ‘Sports psychology’ isn’t new, specialist coaches
If I’m asked to recommend books for the competition have existed in top level sport and many books
shooter, it’s hard to give an answer as there are no on competitive shooting give it attention – Nancy
‘right’ books for everybody – different disciplines Tompkins devotes four chapters in Prone and Long
employ very different skills-sets. However, one thing Range Rifle Shooting to related subjects. As far as I
that every competition shooter employs – whether know though, Secrets of Mental Marksmanship is the
aware of doing so or not – is a complex package only book that deals solely with the subject, moreover
of mental skills and behaviours to process and written by a couple whose livelihood involves
co-ordinate the many actions needed to place a improving professional shooters’ performance.
pellet, bullet or shot pattern precisely. So what is ‘mental marksmanship’? The authors
It’s not confined to competitive shooting: the describe it as ... “the process of improving the
greater the stress on the individual, the more probability of having a consistent mental performance
difficult it becomes to get the mental part right. As under pressure and on demand” - a definition that in
isolation tells us not a lot. More specifically,
they describe it as being able to get into “the
zone”, an ideal performance state that sees
conscious, subconscious and self-image
(confidence, positive attitudes) and more
all come together in the shooter’s head to
let him/her concentrate on getting the best
result for each shot. Legendary American
Marine sniper and target shooter Carlos
Hathcock recognised this state, his term
being ‘in the bubble’ in which he recounts
losing awareness of time, surroundings, rain
or sun on his body and other people, as he

Target Shooter 9
competitors who’ve been head to head all season
and who figure prominently in last month’s F-Class
European Championship meeting reported at length
elsewhere in this issue: re-crowned European F/TR
champion Russell Simmonds and newly garlanded
GB F/TR league champion, Adam Bagnall. Anybody
who’s shot alongside Russell will understand the
concept of ‘the zone’, as even before he gets on the
firing point he’s moving noticeably into a withdrawn
100% competitive, match winner’s mindset and,
once on the point, avoids chatter and distractions.
In an interview he once said that in his everyday life,
work and sporting shooting, he constantly studies
the wind and his surroundings judging what the
conditions are doing and envisaging how he would
cope with them in a long-range match. On the face
of it, Adam seems more laid-back, but an incident
in this meeting showed his mental strengths. His
disastrous start to Saturday when he had two misses
would have destroyed most shooters confidence,
some probably dropping out of the match. Instead,
he calmly bore-sighted the rifle and got ‘on’ with his
first to count but at the cost of four points from the
resulting ‘one’. Few would have had a good match
after this setback, but he recovered rapidly and only
concentrated 100% on taking the shot. two more points were lost over the remaining 14 shots
To illustrate ‘the zone’ and allow each element to be - performance in line with that of the top competitors.
described and discussed, a form of Venn diagram is While openly admitting afterwards to being furious
used throughout the book based on three overlapping with himself over making such a serious mistake
ovals, ‘the zone’ being the central shared area. When (changing ammunition between matches), he didn’t
I opened the book and saw variations of this diagram let it influence his subsequent performance in this or
liberally scattered around, I was initially turned off. subsequent matches.
It reminded me of courses and seminars in a past The book’s authors own and run the MilCun Training
life where senior management periodically bought Centre (http://www.milcun.com) an Ontario based
into some new (and usually short-lived) wonder- firearms training facility and shooting range complex
process dreamt up by management consultants that whose bread and butter work is police tactical and
invariably employed just such a diagram as a central marksmanship training, but also undertake work for
feature. the Canadian military and others. Linda Miller is a
However, get into the book and this feature is relevant former Canadian international smallbore shooter
and an essential tool used by the authors to describe who moved into fullbore rifle competition 10 or so
the elements of a successful mental approach and years ago. Keith Cunningham has served in both
deal with improving each in turn. As they say, the the US and Canadian armies retiring from the latter
good news is that they can help people identify such as a captain, and seeing short-range muzzle to
things and provide pointers as to how an individual muzzle action as a recon patrol member in Vietnam
addresses them to improve performance. The bad in the former during 1971. He was a top Canadian
news is that the shooter needs to take it from there, military shooter in several disciplines, representing
working on applying them, usually having to get lots of his country abroad and likewise, Linda was involved
practice in too. I’ll stress this isn’t a theoretical treatise, in coaching and training international level shooters.
full of management speak and psychobabble, rather He is also a gunsmith who builds top-notch sniper
a ‘how to’ book packed with useful and practical and tactical rifles as well as target models. They
advice. Moreover, it’s extensively illustrated with have another book in print from the same publishers
real-life anecdotes and mini case-studies both from The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters (also available
the authors’ extensive personal experience as well from Prospect Books UK, catalogue number NB214,
as others who are professional firearms users or top £18.95) and produce the EZ-Graf wind plotting
competitors. system and device which I’ll review in the next issue.
Reading the book and thinking about how it relates
to real-life situations, brought to mind the two F/TR

10 Target Shooter
Target Shooter 11
UK Dis- Christmas Gift Ideas from
Lyman Trigger
Tim Hannam Lyman Universal
Case Prep Kit
Pull Gauge
Simply place the gauge on the MTM Digital MTM Inludes all items for case prep
Pellet Pouch in one deluxe kit
trigger and pull. Accurately DS750 Scales £34.50
record the results. With a sturdy snap latch £63.70
A pocket sized portable scale complete and heavy duty belt clip
with case. (takes AAA batteries) all you have to do is pour,
clip and your ready to
£60.49 £34.50

for MTM Shooting Range Box

Lyman 1200 With a gun cleaning kit on top and a rifle
The NEW Lee Autoprime maintenance cleaning stand base, the Range
Tumbler New large square tray accepts primers direct Box Maintenance Centre is the perfect gift.
Comes with a from most modern
built in sifter lid packages. New curved
and re-enforced thumb £45.62
lever for a comfortable
and reliable operation
Preci- sion
Modern Reloading Manual £13.24
Ideal for the beginner.
Contains everything you need to know to reload Lyman Rotating Gun Vise
accurate ammunition. Over 26,000 loads in a new A multii-function gun vise that tilts and clamps.
format, with velocities for starting loads. For the shooter who has everything!


Deluxe Die Sets £36.60

The Deluxe die set includes a collet neck
sizing die, full length sizing die and bullet
seating die. This die set gives you the option
to produce neck sized or fully resized ammu-
nition according to your requirements.

Scopecoat is practical, inexpensive protection for all your optics while in stor-
age or in use Scopecoat is essential scope protection.
Prices starting from £12.26

Tel: 01977 681639 email: sales@timhannam.com Fax: 01977

Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road,
12 Target Shooter
A nschutz Pellet Safety Box £3.70. A
god-send for anyone who
ever opened their shooting bag or

pocket to find their tin of pellets has

opened and spilled the contents inside!
From www.intershoot.co.uk

S CATT Trainer £890 If you feel like splashing

out the SCATT system if the ultimate training
tool for rifle or pistol. Laser sensors show your
faults and where you can improve. From www.

balance is achieved. The palm of the hand is

A nschutz Trigger Glove Short

The ahg-trigger glove SHORT
improves the grip between stock and hand.
made from soft and cuddly Alcantex material
with silicone burling to increase the grip and still
preserve the feeling on the stock. Material: 50 %
Using Mesh material and wind stopper fleece Polyester, 25 % Polyamide, 25 % Polyurethane -
in the back of the hand, an even temperature contact your local dealer for prices

A nschutz Shooting jacket X-DRY Ventilation

- suede leather on the front left part as well as Top Grip pad on
the supporting arm improves the grip when in standing position
- X-DRY Ventilation material in the back improves air circulation
and avoids heat accumulation inside the jacket; the inner lining
on these parts is perforated in order to optimize temperature
- soft leather with air holes as well as 2 shoulder straps reduce
material bulges when in prone position and guarantee best
possible fit of the hook butt in the shoulder
- the sling attachment has numerous holes and can thus be
adjusted individually in height and sideways
- individual fit by help of flat aluminum buttons
- stretch material on the upper left arm provides more flexibility of
the supporting arm
- inner lining is made from perforated material for better air

Material: 70 % canvas, 16 % leather, 3 % PES, 6 % PAD, 5 % PVC -

contact your local dealer for prices

Target Shooter 13
Calendar of events over the next few months
If your club or association has events you want to publicise here then email us.
4 & 11 Dec Day 4 and Day 5 of Probationary 5 Dec 2010 Plymouth & District SBRL
Members Course that started on 6 Nov (National 2x50m Tel: 01752 406287
Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Email: gladysgrant@talktalk.net
This course is primarily a course in safe handling
and provides an introduction to Target Rifle, 5 Dec Scottish PA 10m pistol GP2
Gallery Rifle and Black Powder Pistol. Each Fairlie Quay Marina, Fairli, KA29 0AS
course consists of five separate lessons. Course Tel: 01475 560055
date to be allocated once entry conditions are Email: admin@scottishpistolassociation.co.uk
fulfilled. http://www.nsc-bisley.co.uk/common/ Website: http://www.scottishpistolassociation.
asp/courses/courses.asp?site=NSC co.uk/
Contact Heather Webb via the NRA
4 Dec Gallery Rifle Xmas Shoot and Social 11 Dec NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot
(National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) (National Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley)
Come to the final gathering of 2010 for the NRA Shooting Club Xmas Shoot. Targets have
Gallery Rifle community! This festive event has been booked on Melville.
plenty of shooting - with a twist - and a splendid Open to all full members of the NRA who have
dinner and grand prizegiving that has never failed completed and returned the registration form
to impress! which is available by clicking on the link below.
Contact Brian Thomas via the NRA If you would like to attend you must book in at
least a week in advance by contacting Heather
5 Dec Civilian Service Rifle competition (National Webb. Contact Charles Perry via the NRA
Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley) Civilian Service
Rifle competitions are held throughout the year. 18 Dec Highpower Rifle Competition (National
Contact Mark Bradley for further information via Shooting Centre (NSC), Bisley)
the NRA Contact Mark Bradley via the NRA

Welcome to GT Shooting.
The premier shooting sports shop in Surrey

Fullbore & .22LR Optics

Black Power Ammunition
Air Rifles and Pistols Reloading equipment
Used rifles and Pistols and more...

Our premises are located at

53 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RB

Tel: 020 8660 6843

Fax: 020 8660 6843

14 TargetWe are conveniently situated near the M23 & M25.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
The Digital Media Revolution for Shooting
Sports - by Carl Boswell
Wow! The last six months have really seen Coming back to the iPad - it’s very portable, fast
massive developments in both computer and can have 3G connectivity - although Wi-fi
software and hardware. As I write this article on is more than suitable given the hotspots around
my iPad, I am reviewing a number of applications this country, Europe and the rest of the world.
(apps) for use on this amazing machine. We are Plus this is how most household broadband now
coming up to Christmas so a shooting-related works, so you can use it anywhere in the home.
app could make an interesting gift. The sharpness of the screen is second to none,
internet access is fast and sharp via the wi-fi
The iPad - a clever extension of the iPhone - is connection, the ability to have specialised apps
the product that Apple say we have been waiting is amazing (we will get onto these soon) plus it
for a long time! Some say it’s just a large iPhone knocks all net books off the shelf for functionality
but it’s a lot cleverer than that! Since we launched - just a few of it’s features. Obviously you can tell
Target Shooter magazine, we knew that sooner I am a convert but the smaller iPhone is almost
or later that a ‘tablet’ type of computer would not as good if you want something more compact.
be far away. Critics in the shooting press panned
Target Shooter as something of a fad - a digital The one drawback to using the iPad is the
anomaly that would not last. Well, quite a few of fact that like all Apple computers, it does not
these magazines have had to take the plunge enable flash products or web content. This is
and go digital – so go figure who got it right! Not a massive drawback to the whole technology
surprisingly however, we are still the only free community and to us at Target Shooter, as our
on-line shooting magazine. magazine is basically run using flash as the

Target Shooter 15
basis for the magazine product. However, we tech-geek stuff for now. We are hoping soon to
use pdf versions of the magazine for iPad and remedy the flip-book issue for the iPad without
other Apple computers, as it is like other ‘slide’ the use of specialised apps.
magazine viewers developed specifically for the
iPad when used with an app called Goodreader Books, books and more books
- again, more later. But, enough of the computer So let’s review a few of the things we can do

16 Target Shooter
being updated all the time,
with some of next year’s
issues coming online now.
Some of the titles currently
on offer are:

• Professional Target
Shooter’s Diary & Journal
• I l l u s t r a t i v e
Marksmanship Training
• The Black Powder
Cartridge News
with the iPad which will be of use to the target • Gun Digest 2011
shooting community. As we are coming up to • The Gun Digest Book of The AR-15
Christmas, there is nothing better than a good • Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle
book to keep you busy if you are confined to the
house over the holiday period. The Amazon app Barnes and Noble, as well as Google e-books,
introduces the Kindle digital book resources to also have this facility available for mobile
the iPad. This is brilliant as it means that all thedownloads with a similar range of books
Kindle digital books being sold on Amazon are available. Both have apps for the iPad or iPhone
now available to you. or even other branded smart phones. Not all are
the same title so it may be worth having a look
To be honest they are far better than the range on their websites as well to see what is available.
of digital books for enthusiasts of target shooting Do remember the e-book is still relatively new,
via Apple’s iBook facility. They are generally with no clear winner of the ‘format wars’. Clearly,
cheaper too! It’s just like buying products on a larger inventory of books and even magazines
Amazon normally, so if you have done this before will develop over the next year or so.
it’s a simple process. The choice of books is

Target Shooter 17
Extending on from this, a nice thing about out. We have seen a few in Target Shooter
the net is the free resources in a number of recently for the iPhone and its big brother the
formats, ranging from the specialist Kindle and iPad.
flash-based magazines, to the standard pdf type The first one on offer for all ISSF shooters out
of file that can be saved as a library using a pdf there is the ISSF app - funnily enough! This is
viewer like the Goodreader app. (This is the pdf a nice product that really just links to the official
viewer we recommend to view and store your ISSF website. In common with most of these
copies of Target Shooter magazine on your iPad types of apps, it functions well for what it does
– a simply brilliant app for about £1.50). and allows the user to go directly to the resources
they would like to view. It’s actually designed for
The positive thing about the iPad is that all your the iPhone but works on the iPad with a lower
shooting-related resources are all in one place, resolution. There are other apps under the ISSF
on an excellent viewer, that looks and feels not banner, which are training aids for movement,
unlike a Filofax. There are lots of resources and sequence and timed shooting. Worth having a
facilities out there, both free and paid for. look.

Lastly, for this part, 20th Century Small Arms Shooting Log is exactly what it say - a product
is a nice little reference resource with lots that allows the user to record their progress in
of pictures, information and resources as a a variety of shooting sports under the heading
stand-alone app instead of a book. The price of Prone, Kneeling, Standing and Sitting. So
for this is very cheap when you consider the basically covering a multitude of sins and
alternative CD and paper alternatives - see last everything you would shoot. This again is
page for screen shot. an iPhone app but works just as well on the
iPad. The obvious advantage of having it on
Target shooting related apps the iPhone is the portability, as it is just like an
Moving towards this festive season, I have electronic notebook – that’s the thing I like about
looked for a few shooting-specific apps over the modern phones - they are a diary, notebook,
last few months as number have recently come computer, etc). The product is simple to use and

18 Target Shooter
Remote PC as seen on the iPad
easy to access, putting in dates and information weeks. What I would like see is a good ballistics
- such as scores, etc. In essence it is a notebook calculator and information app for both rimfire
and has a simple approach but as it is free, and air rifle, as these are some of the most widely
you cannot argue with the fact that it is not that used sporting firearms in the world but generally
sophisticated. neglected by the ballistics programmers.
Something like the Winchester Ballistics app
Shooting Diary is a paid for alternative to the one but for rimfire and/or air rifle, that has facilities
mentioned above but far more sophisticated. to add data like wind-drift, temperature, incline,
This app is designed for a number of mobile distance, etc. This coupled with a velocity data
devices, including the iPad. It is an inexpensive calculator would be a very useful tool indeed.
app designed for ISSF shooters and it would Any budding app writer out there want to give it
service most of their needs for recording training a try?
and competition shooting. I use this one myself
as it allows me to record three target scores, Additional apps
adding notes and thoughts, etc. A number of others apps I personally like and
find useful, especially on my phone, are the
Shot Plot is a further development and more thermometer, true level (very handy), met office
expensive shot-assessment and plot-manager. (so you can see what is coming - I found this
So it depends what you want. Although most handy in the Czech Republic earlier this year),
apps are either free or up to the five-pound units conversion, clinometer and a number of
mark, you can end up buying a lot and using other calculation utilities. The only one I have
none. So look and decide what you need for not been successful with is a good anemometer,
your particular sport. There are usually review as they have just not worked! However, a few
pages to look at before you commit to buy. more have recently come out, so I might treat
There a variety of other apps, such as the myself!
ballistics calculators we have seen reviewed Another nice app, if you are using a PC based
in Target Shooter over the last few months and computer is RemotePC. The wi fi version is free
there are others being released every couple of - nice! This allows you to work on your PC via

Target Shooter 19
the iPad through the wi fi in your home. (There viewing in the New Year.)
is a version that allows you to work over the Lastly, Guns & Ammo Point of Impact really is
Internet but I believe this costs). just a nice little game for a bit of fun when you
have five minutes. I download this just for a
Now we are getting into geek-speak again so laugh and it is fun. This last one was in fact free,
apologies but the app allows you to interface like a few of the others mentioned above. Like
with your PC via the desktop, so your PC all apps they can be bought by you or gifted, so
desktop as you normally see it appears on your you can even ask for them for a special day that
iPad. Cool, but for what purpose? Well it will is coming soon. For the dads out there it has to
allow you to work from your bed, your loading be better than socks!
room, your living room or anywhere in your
home but it is also a very good way to access What of the future?
flash-based products from your iPad. Yes I know For those of you without such a digital device,
flash does not work on the iPad but it isn’t - its do watch out in the New Year for the Blackberry
working on the PC and you are viewing it and Playbook. Unlike other Smart products that
interacting with in the same way you would from have come out, this will probably not be on a
your normal computer. contract and ready for direct purchase like the
Depending on your wi fi speed, viewing is iPad. It is smaller than the iPad but some of
excellent and I have uploaded this month’s Target the specifications are supposed to be better.
Shooter via my iPad as I can be anywhere in the Plus it will be flash enabled. (It has an Android
house to do this - if you get my drift! It’s easy to operating system, and internet viewing will be
set up, just creating an account, so you do not just like your PC).
need to be a computer wizard to work this one.
So, if you if you want to view Target Shooter as I have seen the recently launched Galaxy Tab
a digital flip book on the iPad, now you can. (We but only to use it for about twenty minutes while
hope to bring you more news on iPad magazine- shopping. It is a lot smaller than the iPad, but
has a lot of great features. Although a phone
as well, it can be bought off contract?! The Tab
has also had its price reduced at most retailers
by about £100 to £449 at the time of going
to print. It is 3G, but this can be expensive to
run, wi-fi is more than adequate. The Galaxy Tab,
like the Blackberry Playbook, will have some
good selling points but the price is the key thing
when compared to the iPad’s starting price of
£429, although they have better specifications
than the basic iPad!!
I am guessing prices might even go lower to
help compete against the iPad!!
The Android operating system has a lot more of
the market than Apple and there are thousands
of apps out there for both platforms.
If I had my choice I would go for an android
system at this time, but would want it with a
slightly bigger screen. I hope to review one of
these new products in the New Year. For those
on the cheap, PC World do sell the Advent Vega
Internet Tablet - Android format - at £249. I am
not sure how good this is, but I guess you get
what you pay for !!
Samsung Have a great Christmas and let’s see what
Galaxy technology the New Year brings us........

20 Target Shooter
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Target Shooter 21
The 2010 European F Class Championships
– sponsored by Tim Hannam
By Vince Bottomley
For this, the third European F Class Championships home. We thank you all, most sincerely for your
at Bisley Ranges, we were fortunate to have some contribution and look forward to your continued
very generous sponsorship, not only from our title support and welcoming new sponsors for next
sponsor Tim Hannam but also from RUAG, who year’s event.
provided us with a Nightforce scope, Sightron In the true spirit of shooting and the F Class
who donated two scopes, Aimfield Sports for Association, I should also mention that Ukrainian
shooting mats and drag-bags and Fox Firearms, shooter Dmytro Hrymaluk gave two prizes of
Osprey Rifles and Dolphin Gun Company who hunting trips to the Ukraine to the winners of
assisted with printing, administration and other Open and F/TR Classes – a very generous
ancillary costs. gesture. In addition, our very own David Kent
It’s marvellous to finally see the trade becoming donated a magnificent silver cup to the winners
involved with our sport and long may it continue. of the Teams event.
In turn, we will endeavour to provide sponsors
with as much publicity and exposure as possible History
and we hope that even more trade members The GB F Class Association was founded on a
will come on-board in 2011. This year’s trade cold morning in November 2005 at Bisley ranges.
show was a welcome addition and proved very A programme of League shoots at three venues
popular, particularly with overseas competitors, throughout Great Britain followed in 2006 with all
many of whom seized the opportunity to stock shooting contested at long range – from 800 to
up on consumables before making the journey 1000 yards. A separate division for the F/TR Class

Bisley is resplendent in her autumn colours and the stage

is set – for the biggest F Class shoot in the world

22 Target Shooter
Organiser, Mik Maksimovic oversees the
presentation of awards in the trade tent –
a welcome new feature this year

was included in 2007 and these two Classes are shooter and fortunately he somehow manages to
now equally supported numbers-wise with well squeeze in a shoot as well as carrying out his
over 100 shooters taking part in the League every many duties as organiser. For the record, Mik
year. placed a creditable eleventh in this year’s Open
The final shoot of the League is traditionally held
at Bisley and is dubbed ‘The Autumn Challenge’. Before we come to the competition itself you,
A few continental shooters, mainly from Germany like me, might be wondering just what is involved
and Holland started to join us, then the French, running an event of this size? I’ll let Mik tell us in
the Spanish, the Scandinavians, the Ukrainians, his own words..........
the Poles......... the Autumn Challenge became
‘The Europeans’ and in three short years it hasPlanning & running the Europeans
evolved into the largest F Class shoot anywhereWhere do I start? Well, we have already booked
in the world with 160 shooters from eleven nations
the ranges and the markers for 2011, spoken
entered in this year’s event. to the Range Officers and other staff involved to
With our regular scribe Laurie Holland and our ensure that they are happy to help next year, so
own Vince Bottomley taking part, Target Shooterthat is clearly one of the first jobs - as soon as we
can bring you the full inside story of the 2010have the date of the shoot confirmed.
Europeans. In addition, we have attempted to The next job is to go through the large number of
photograph every shooter and there are plenty e-mails I receive from the GB F Class Committee
of photographs on the Photobucket website at to see what, if anything, we can do to improve
http://s912.photobucket.com/home/laurieh2 things for the following year. The event gets
An event of this size involves massive organisation
bigger every year and we must plan around the
and commitment but, inevitably, it comes down expected growth to ensure that we have enough
to one man to oversee and co-ordinate (i.e. kick
target space and markers. Then, in the week
ass) and that man is Mik Maksimovic, founder offollowing the event, we start organising all the
the GB F Class Association and member of the other bits that go with it.
all-conquering 2009 GB Team who won the Gold It’s essential to get the entry forms out as soon
Medal at Bisley, soundly beating the Americans.as possible, so this is one of the first jobs, plus all
the other paperwork - which no one ever bothers
Mik is also an NRA Trustee and sits on the NRA to read! We must contact our growing number
Shooting Committee as F Class representative. of overseas visitors regarding their UK Firearm
Needless to say, Mik is an avid long-range Permits and we then field hundreds of e-mails

Target Shooter 23
Karen’s stats caravan – always popular
with competitors

regarding permits, accommodation, training with sponsors’ logos; score-cards were also
days, reloading components etc. etc. etc. sponsored and sponsors’ literature had to be
This year we had great support from the trade assembled and placed in the bags – all 160 of
(as Vince has outlined previously) with some ’em - together with last-minute instructions and
new sponsors on-board. All sponsors must be essential information.
contacted and their involvement noted and Finally, awards and medals must be purchased and
agreed and of course letters of gratitude sent, engraved and we always try and book someone
following the event. famous to give out the prizes but inevitably end
I am fortunate that I am a Bisley-based shooter up with a member of the NRA hierarchy! For
and fairly well known on Camp, so normally a trip some reason, we never seem to get a reply from
round the clubs etc. manages to sort out most Victoria Beckham or Sean Connery but thankfully
things - mainly making them aware that they will Iain Robertson, Chairman of the NRA Shooting
be busy on the weekend of the Europeans. I did Committee, stepped-in to help us out and though
make one boo-boo this year and forgot to inform not as pretty as our first choice, he is cheap and
the restaurant in the clay shooting pavilion – available and did a fine job on the day!
which is closest to Stickledown range and so very The whole thing takes months of organising and
popular with competitors - hence they ran out of I like to spend the whole of the week before the
food so, for those who went hungry, I apologise! event based at Bisley. This enables me to ensure
In the run up to the event, things naturally get that everything is happening as it should and to
chaotic - from e-mails and calls asking “How many welcome and organise some ad-hoc shooting for
rounds do I need?” (Please, read the paperwork those overseas competitors who also choose to
with the entry form!) to “Any idea what the weather arrive a week early!
is going to be like?” and other questions which Once we have got through the official practice day
are clearly outside my field of knowledge! (Thursday) and everyone has started shooting,
Then all the paperwork has to be printed, collated things tend to get a little easier. We still get
and transported to Bisley. This was more asked lots of really important questions though,
involved this year as we decided to issue some like “Any idea what the wind’s going to be like
rather smart ‘goody bags’ to all competitors. The tomorrow?” and “Did anyone else have vertical
bags themselves had to be chosen and printed problems?” Or even “Do you think we could start

24 Target Shooter
More tea Grommit? The girls did a
fantastic job and also boosted Association

a little later tomorrow as my wife wants me to take Sunday morning - the final day and now only the
her to the shops first?” Fortunately, we have very Teams Match to go. That falls into place fairly
few protests or incidents to deal with as our Chief easily and just sort of happens without much
Range Officer and his crew are able to handle input from me, as by now everyone knows what’s
most of them on-range. Basically you are wrong expected of them but I will let Laurie Holland
unless you can convince him otherwise! A fair expand on that aspect.
system, which we don’t intend to change.
It’s not until the very last detail of the match is So there you have it in a nutshell, what it takes
down and shooting that I can relax – it’s nearly to organise a major F Class Event. I will finish
over! Invariably, with the pressure off, I always by saying a big ‘thank-you’ to everyone involved
tend to shoot my best on the last detail. Stats. is – competitors, helpers and the tea ladies - in
down to Bisley’s Karen Robertson, editor of the making it the shooting and social event of the F
NRA journal, who is ensconced in a tiny caravan Class year. See you all for the start of next season
near the clock tower. Karen has the results out at Diggle in April.
PDQ soon after each match finishes, so that’s The competition
easy for me - just leave Karen to it, passing her This year, Laurie Holland took the brave step to
the odd pizza under the door, which of course we shoot his 223 F Class rifle in the biggest shoot of
keep locked! We tell Karen this is to stop people the year – he was the only one to use such a tiny
bothering her, little does she know.............. calibre! Laurie was rewarded with a fantastic 17th
For our social evening, on the Saturday, we had place in F/TR and also won Silver as a member
a change this year from the London & Middlesex, of the GB F /TR B Team. As if that wasn’t enough,
and went to the Army Target Rifle Clubhouse for a he also won the draw for the Nightforce scope
hot buffet and a few drinks. It was extremely good donated by RUAG UK! But, I’ll let Laurie tell you
and there were two choices - curry or no curry! the story of the shoot in his own words:
We had omitted to cater for our vegetarian and The individual European Championship matches
non-curry eating member but for next year he will saw five ‘stages’, one at 800, and two each at
have a third choice - probably salad! To round-off 900 and 1000 yards. With the thousand-yarders
the evening, we had our very own firework display involving 20 rounds but all others 15, the longest
on Stickledown – it was Bonfire Night afterall! range matches had an enhanced influence on
Target Shooter 25
Russell Simmonds on his way to his second European F/TR Championship

overall placings, as well as providing the hardest the third (mixed) relay probably got the least bad
challenge. conditions with drizzle dying away and little wind.
Team matches comprised 30 score rounds split Coincidentally or otherwise, F/TR stage winner
between 900 and 1000 yards. While domestic Andrew Burgess was on this relay, although I
GBFCA League match entries have seen a hold anybody who scores 73.6v with a .308 at this
growing bias to F/TR, the Europeans restored distance in the greatest respect irrespective of
‘Open’ class’s numeric primacy with 87 Open to conditions! In ‘Open’, only Grant Taylor managed
64 F/TR competitors, squadded into three relays to hold it all together in the tricky quartering wind
- two dedicated to a single class and one mixed. with 75.8v ahead of no less than 13 competitors
Shooting partners, allocated targets and the on 74 led by Greg Thompson with 10 ‘V’s!
relays’ shooting order changed with each match. For the unfortunates (including me) on Relay
Weather forecasts earlier in the week were 2, there were serious difficulties in seeing the
unsettling but, in the event, only the Thursday targets, as well as the usual struggle to keep the
practice sessions saw very strong winds. Friday rain out of the action and the ammunition dry.
started with medium strength south-westerlies Wind reading wasn’t an issue – the flags were all
(from around 5 o’clock on the range) that became but invisible but fortunately the wind apparently
lighter and moved around to north to north-west steadied during the rain. Despite the dire
over succeeding days, becoming an almost conditions, some good scores were still posted
fishtailing headwind on Saturday afternoon just on the relay with Steve Donaldson producing
to make conditions ‘really interesting’. Friday 71.3v for second stage place, and Adam Bagnall
produced the only heavy rain of the meeting, leading a pack of shooters scoring 70 with ‘V’-
fortunately only in the morning and affecting count of eight. I thought my 69.3v ‘heroic’ given
Match 1 alone. the conditions, but that was only good enough for
12th place.
So, to the matches! I’ll try to give a personal
view as an F/TR competitor as well as report on Match 2, 20 shots at 1000, had much better
the overall picture and what the real hotshots visibility and temperatures but suffered from that
were doing. As noted, Match 1 (900 yards) on pesky quartering left wind that Bisley regulars
the Friday morning was weather affected. The assure me is ‘difficult’. There were some dramatic
main group of ‘Open’ competitiors, who shot first, changes in individual fortunes, especially in Open
largely escaped the wet but at the cost of suffering where the top three rose from lowly positions in
quite strong and variable winds from five o’clock. Match 1, winner Tony Marsh on 97.6v moving
The second relay (F/TR) began in drizzle and light up no less than 68 places and runners-up Les
rain turning into a downpour half way through and Bacon (96.3v) and Adam Brough (95.9v) 46 and

26 Target Shooter
Target Shooter scribe Laurie Holland was the only F/TR shooter to use the 223 – could
his performance inspire a few more?

49 respectively. never shot at Bisley in this condition, but reckoned

The conditions also resulted in some impressive it had to be an improvement, this proving so to
‘falls’ for Match 1 stars, with David Kent, David my relief! It was never particularly strong, but
Lloyd and Damien Meehan slipping down the continued to veer round becoming a fishtailing
leader board. However, at the close of play on near headwind by afternoon – easily able to take
day one, Grant Taylor had put in two excellent points away, especially in F/TR at 900 and 1000
performances to lead the field on 170.13v having yards.
only dropped five points out of a possible 175.35v, Match 3 (800 yards) started early with relatively
ahead of Andy Wyspianski on 169.11v, with Greg light winds and produced high scores as you’d
Thompson and Anthony Dunne down a single expect at this level of competition. Open produced
point on him. 19 (yes, that’s right, NINETEEN!) possibles with
Moving onto F/TR at 1000 yards, the tricky wind Jo Cleave and Maurice Harnby sharing 10 ‘V’s,
conditions reduced the top scores rather more Jo getting the stage medal on countback; Mark
than in ‘Open’, but John Cross still took the Daish the other podium-place, a ‘V’ behind. The
match cleanly with a superb 94.8 three points overnight leaders had apparently done poorly if
clear of Vince Bottomley and putting him second you only looked at their match positions but Greg
equal with Adam Bagnall (90.8v) on the overnight Thompson was one of those to ‘clean’ the stage,
break, the pair sharing an aggregate score of and Messrs Taylor and Dunne had only dropped
160.11v. However, the man of the moment was one point each, barely affecting overall positions.
Vince who led the class on 161.9v after putting in
two excellent performances of 70.3v and 91.6v. F/TR saw some good scores too, but Les Dawson
What about the reigning World and European alone ‘cleaned’ this match on 75.9v ahead of seven
F/TR Champion, Russell Simmonds? He was competitors on 74 led by Paul Harkins who also
apparently a bit off his stroke on an aggregate shot 9 ‘V’s fending off Russell Simmonds on 7.
157.8v but, coming up from behind as the finishing Other notable performances were 74s from quiet
line approaches, is a Simmonds’ speciality - to spoken Irishman and GB-FCA League regular
borrow a horseracing analogy. Liam Fenlon, visitor Maksim Semonovykh, John
Me? This wind condition is my Bisley bête noire Snellin and last year’s overall lowest placed F/TR
and I had a series of ‘line-cutter’ threes mid-match entrant, Nick Steadman.
to end up on 77.3v in 39th place. Minor consolations Overnight leader Vince Bottomley was one of the
were some of the good shooters keeping me dozen on 73, still holding onto the overall lead
company in the high-70s, low 80s bracket, but the with his closest rival Adam Bagnall having had a
.223’s ‘elevations’ remained superb throughout disastrous time caused by an ammunition change,
the match. resulting in two missed sighters and a ‘one’ for his
first score shot after boresighting the rifle – 69.2v.
Saturday dawned colder and brighter, the wind Oh dear! Oh dear! John Cross had dropped a few
having moved to the 10 or 11 o’clock position. I’d points too and was down in 33rd match place on

Target Shooter 27
Grant Taylor, GBFCA Champion and European Champion shooting his home-smithed
BAT in 284 Shehane

71.5v – astonishing given that F/TR score for 15 was still in the groove with 73.7v, but Tony Marsh
at 800 yards would almost certainly have given a was suffering on 71.3v. Russell Simmonds
top ten place a season or two back! I shot 72.7v was back on form in F/TR and metaphorically
for 22nd, reasonable but nothing like good enough steaming down the outside of the field, his 74.7v
for 800yd in this company, nevertheless very right up with the top ‘Open’ scores and a full
happy to get the improvement over Match 2. three points clear of challenger Adam Bagnall
Match 4, the second 900 yards competition of the and German shooter Hermann Scherf. Hermann
meeting, saw unusually pleasant conditions for shoots an almost entirely home-made rifle whose
November, but many competitors will remember appearance is, shall we say ‘unusual’. Andrew
it for a light but constantly shifting wind from 10- Burgess on 70.7v led a large group with 69s and
11 o’clock. In ‘Open’, Grant Taylor again cleaned 70s, my score falling into the lower category.
the stage on 75.6v, but lost the winner’s medal to But where was overnight leader Vince Bottomley?
Dan Brough by a single ‘V’, the only other shooter It was his turn to have a poor match ending up
with a ‘possible’. Scores were generally a point in 27th place on 66.3v, the loss of five points to
or two down on the previous day’s 900 yard event Adam and nine to Russell a serious setback.
with only four 74s, led by David Kent on eight ‘V’s Mutters started in F/TR of points lost to elevation
ahead of Mark Daish, Adam Brough and German shifts caused by wind strength variations which
visitor Detlef Wulff. were difficult to spot on the shallow flag angles, a
Of the previous day’s top performers, Les Bacon problem that was to intensify at 1000 yards.

Stickledown’s 800 yard firing-point on

Saturday morning

28 Target Shooter
Team Germany’s plotter

Match 5, a 2+20 at 1000 yards, was to be the had matched his 94.5v too, but lost second place
top places’ decider in both categories with three on countback.)
shooters in each still capable of taking the top
slot. In F/TR, Russell Simmonds was setting the In case anybody thinks conditions must have
pace again and rarely succumbs to pressure, but been ‘easy’, many good F/TR shooters were
even so Adam Bagnall and Vince Bottomley were down in the mid 80s on this relay. I was delighted
still in the race even if they each needed to pull to get 90.5v and 8th place with the .223, a single
out six extra points over their arch rival, a big but marginal three spoiling an otherwise excellent
not impossible challenge. shoot. So, in F/TR that was it, Russell Simmonds
European F/TR Champion for the second year in
The match started straight after the midday a row, Adam and Vince barely behind in one of
break at 1.30pm sharp in good light, comfortable the closest class finishes of the year. Northern
temperatures and a light fishtailing headwind the shooter Stephen Lynch was fourth after five really
main F/TR relay first on the line. Adam and Vince solid performances, the almost equally reliable
responded magnificently taking first and second Andrew Burgess just behind in fifth.
places on superb scores of 95 and 94 respectively, So, that leaves ‘Open’ class and the battle for
both with five ‘V’s – ahead of Russell, but not by the 2010 F-Class European championship, the
enough! His sixth place on 91.5v gave him the F/ key contenders shooting on the last relay of the
TR European championship title by a single point meeting in deteriorating light and conditions. As
over Adam, and two over Vince. It was a doubly in F/TR there was a clear pre-match aggregate
bitter disappointment for the latter as not only had leader, Grant Taylor, but Dan Brough would take
a major event win slipped from his grasp, but the the top slot if he overtook Grant by four or more
near certainty of leaving Bisley with a stage medal points and Andy Wyspianski could do it with a
for that impressive 94 in Match 5 evaporated margin of five.
on discovering Adam had done the seemingly None took the top final match positions, these
impossible to score an extra point. (Gary Cousins going to Horst Mitera with a phenomenal 99.8v

Target Shooter 29
Rutland Cup winners: the Sixes - Martin Miles, Russ Gall, their coach and Swedes
Robert Persson and Christer Jacobsson

ahead of Jim de Kort on 98.5v. Peter Hunt was Dan on 94.5v. Messrs Lloyd, Dunne, Daish
third on a great 97.7v that helped him get fourth and Thompson followed closely on the leading
aggregate place but, it was too little, too late quartet’s heels, so close there was literally only
to have any chance of getting ahead of the top a single point between competitors down to 8th
three. Grant’s 93.8v for a relatively lowly 20th place. So, congratulations to Grant Taylor as
match place was more than enough to keep 2010/11 European F-Class Champion.
the overall lead and stay two aggregate points
ahead of Andy (95.5v, 9th match position) and In the fast fading light of a late November

The victorious GB Open Team

30 Target Shooter
Like a well-oiled machine! The victorious GB F/TR
team - Adam Bagnall shooting, George Barnard
coaching, Stuart Anselm plotting

afternoon, as we rubbernecked the throng Challenge Cup. The first two are restricted to
around the provisional results sheets, I was taken nominated national teams, eight shooter-strong
by surprise by GB F/TR team captain Stuart in Open and four in F/TR (but F/TR will be eight
Anselm tossing out the words: “Laurie, you’re from 2011).
shooting tomorrow. Team meeting in Canada
House in quarter of an hour!” as he hurried past. The home nation fielded two Open teams and
Unbeknown to me, a decision had been made to Germany and Ireland one each. In F/TR, GB again
field a second British F/TR team and I was trigger had two squads with one each from Germany,
pulling instead of plotting or register keeping. Spain, Ireland and Holland. The Rutland saw
nine four-shooter teams, not necessarily
The Sunday morning Team matches are a serious nationally based (the conquering ‘Sixes’ squad
but good natured battle for four cups – F-Class being multinational, members shooting 6mm
and F/TR European Championships, the Rutland calibre rifles). Stopping here for a moment, this
Cup and the longstanding GB v Germany team took the Rutland with a clear win over the

Target Shooter 31
Les Holgate (foreground) gazes in
amazement at Ian Dixon’s bi-pod
and stock - allegedly made from an
old wardrobe!

‘Northern Lights’ (Scottish shooters) and the teams took first and second places in both ‘Open’
Ukraine who put up a very strong performance for and F/TR, Germany third in both, only three
near newcomers to Bisley. Sixes member Christer points down on GB ‘B’ in ‘Open’, but 35 behind
Jacobsson from Norway has to get a special GB ‘Blue’ in F/TR.
mention shooting ‘possibles’ in both matches, the
only shooter to achieve this (with the little Tubb As a team shooting virgin on GB F/TR Blue, I
6XC cartridge, making it even more remarkable). was more nervous early on Sunday than I’d been
at any stage during the individual matches and
Conditions were again good - clear, mostly sunny, much less sure just what I should be doing than
light but variable northerly headwinds, its direction any of my team-mates, who all had experience
also pulling temperatures right down compared to of this part of the art. After all, ‘dolloping’ in an
those of previous days and making it feel more individual shoot is one thing but now you could let
like early November. As with shooting throughout your teammates and even country down!
the weekend, a combination of individual shooter
discipline, top-rate match planning, and excellent There was an undercurrent of nervousness from
firing-line management by the NRA Range my fellow team members - partly due to my lack
Officers saw the matches proceed smoothly and of experience but also shooting a .223. “We’ll let
be completed in a remarkably short time. I should you shoot first to get the lightest winds with the
also mention target-marking - fast and to a high pea-shooter” wouldn’t have inspired confidence
standard throughout, a key element in making had I not now acquired a missionary’s unshakeable
a major tournament like this work well. The GB faith in my equipment given my campaign to

Ramon Fito’s bi-pod is very strong but a

little heavy – over a kilo

32 Target Shooter
A new solid carbon-fibre stock from Spain

persuade F/TR .308W pagans to walk the path of Epilogue

true righteousness! In any event, I and the .223 Big events like the Europeans always throw-up
Savage did just fine with scores right on the team lots of interesting kit and of course rests and
average. Once I’d relaxed a little, I enjoyed the bi-pods were no exception. There were some
string-shooter’s freedom to get shots off really ingenious efforts and clearly some competitors
quickly if we felt the conditions were holding, plus are spending too much time in the workshop
other team members’ coaching assistance, a new at the expense of range time! When will some
and liberating experience – thank you Steve and genius build a wind-reading machine that turns
Ian. my scope-turret...........???

Vorsprung durch technik? This German

bi-pod is adjusted with a joystick

Target Shooter 33
Vince’s blown primer – that primer-pocket
is 12 thou. oversize!

For those who haven’t the facilities to make Spanish shooter, Ramon Fito has already sold a
things, there were a few new ‘production’ bi-pods. good number of his Big Foot and Small Foot ‘pods
I was trying the American Censhot carbon-fibre (see www.fitoforceproducts.blogspot.com) to
‘pod (www.censhot.com) and there is a full UK shooters and several were in evidence. I also
write-up elsewhere in this issue. saw a prototype of a new British ‘pod which will
Top Ten Individual European Championship Results 

  F‐Class          F/TR 

1  Grant Taylor    412.37v   Russell Simmonds  396.27v                                     

2  Andy Wyspianski  410.30v   Adam Bagnall    395.23v                                     
3  Daniel Brough    410.27v   Vince Bottomley  394.22v                                     
4  Peter Hunt    409.31v   Stephen Lynch    391.17v                                   
5  David Lloyd    408.28v   Andrew Burgess  389.23v                                   
6  Anthony Dunne   407.25v   Adrian Casey    388.18v                                    
7  Mark Daish    406.26v   Stephen Doyle    386.21v                                    
8  Greg Thompson   405.34v   Gary Cousins    386.16v                                    
9  Gary Costello    405.28v   Liam Fenlon    385.16v                                     
10  Peter Hobson    405.24v   John Cross    384.21v 

Full results are listed on the GBFCA website at www.f‐class.org.uk  
34 Target Shooter
hopefully be available soon. top twenty - German Wolfgang Scholze in 12th
position and Alejandro Hidalgo at 16th in F/TR.
The ‘joystick’ rest has proved more of a hit with the Northern shooters frequently refer to a mythical
‘effers than the benchrest shooters who invented publication ‘The Great Diggle Book of F-Class
it and amongst the many home-made efforts, Excuses’. The sad fact is that with a lost point
the Polish Team were using a slick new Sanders equating to an overall F/TR place and one and a
joystick rest www.sanders-shooting.com which half ‘Open’ places at the top end of The Europeans’
is quite similar to the latest SEB Neo rest. Unlike results sheets, one simply couldn’t afford to
the many ‘one-offs’, this rest is in production and make any mistakes in pre-match preparation,
we will be giving it a full evaluation in next month’s handloading, or shooting.
Target Shooter. In addition to the usual reasons ... shooting on
somebody else’s target - turning scope turrets
The other big ‘discovery’ for me was a carbon- the wrong way - we had a new one and an older
fibre stock. This wasn’t like other carbon fibre but revived doozey. The former came from some
stocks – a shell made up of layered matting – this Open shooters who only found out after starting
one was machined from a solid block of carbon shooting that Berger 7mm ‘thick jacket’ bullets
fibre and looked like dull black plastic, though don’t perform the same as the older ‘thin’ models!
still very light and strong. This could be the future They have a slightly different ogive shape so give
for gun-stocks particularly where weight is the different elevations – particularly bad news for
limiting factor. It can be painted, as the example those who had cartridges loaded with both bullets
in the pic shows. mixed up in their ammo boxes - some frantic
post-match sorting when the cause of fliers was
Although most of us will go away with memories realised!
of a great weekend, I initially though mine would A growing number of F/TR shooters bring two
end in disaster. Detail One at 900 yards on the lots of ammunition to League rounds loaded with
Friday morning was hit with heavy rain which 155gn and 210gn bullets. The argument goes
totally obscured the targets at one stage. I had a that the ‘heavies’ buck the wind better but have
towel over the action and scope and I was taking poorer elevation consistency, so should only be
care to keep my ammo under cover and dry so used on windy days. Adam Bagnall rediscovered
I was most surprised to blow a primer – I wasn’t a hard lesson learned by Steve Donaldson a
the only one. Should have stood down for ten couple of seasons back - making such a drastic
minutes or so? bullet weight change between matches risks the
loss of scope zero - a switch from 210s to 155s
Equipment might have plateaued in Open - with on Saturday morning with its lighter winds losing
the possible exception of optics and Grant Taylor him four vital points in Match 3 and ultimately the
has arguably halted the ‘arms race’ by continuing European F/TR Champion’s crown.
to win with a 284 Shehane (‘improved’ .284 Win) In conclusion, this really was the F Class shoot of
rifle instead of the near ubiquitous 7mm short the year with a real international flavour - thanks to
magnums but the competition becomes closer massive support from our overseas friends. This
each season, especially in F/TR. It is interesting year, they didn’t win any of the major prizes but
to compare this year’s results with last, which had they are learning fast. Most do not have access
the same mix of matches. to ranges longer than 300m so no opportunity to
The top three Open scores are marginally down practice. F Class is however taking off in many
(412-410 compared to 1st and 2nd tied on 414 in European countries and next year, even more
2009) but the top ten positions are covered by countries are planning to attend. The date will
fewer points in 2010, at seven compared to ten. be around the same time so why not join us? The
This trend is even more marked in F/TR where GBFCA website has a full calendar of our shoots
the top three aggregate scores have risen this www.f-class.org.uk and lots of other information.
year (396-394 compared to 395-388 in 2009), and
the top ten has become much more compressed
- 12 points covering this group compared to 21.
Dominance by ‘home’ shooters’ (including some
of our Irish cousins) continues with a sole visitor
from Continental Europe making the ‘Open’

Target Shooter 35
Tel: 0161 408 3555
Mob: 07861 399066
e-mail: stuart@ospreyrifles.com
URL: www.ospreyrifles.com

Osprey Rifles - Savage & F T/R Specialists

Whether you want a factory rifle or a custom built offering give us a call. Record
breaking, competition proved rifles built on Savage actions for less than £2,000.
Other actions supplied - the choice is yours!
Bartlein, Trueflite, Broughton & Lilja barrels supplied and fitted.
Stockists of F T/R Bipods by Sinclair and Fito Force of Spain.

36 Target Shooter
Shooting the Black Powder Pistol
Part 11

by Chris Risebrook
only safe way to carry the revolver
loaded is to leave one chamber
Pic 1 either unloaded or, at least,
uncapped. There is a small pin
which protrudes between each
chamber which is supposed to line
up with an indent in the hammer
face, and thus provide some sort of
safety. However, you would have to
be terminally stupid to rely on such
a system, and on my Colt, at any
rate, the pins have all worn flat,
allowing the cylinder to happily slip
onto the next chamber. However, if
you look carefully at the cylinder of
the Manhattan in Photo 1, you will
In a recent article I described two Forehand see an extra set of cylinder notches
and Wadsworth revolvers bought at auction. which allow the bolt stop to engage positively
If you think they were rubbish, you ain’t seen between chambers, providing a relatively secure
nothing yet! The revolver shown in Photo 1 is a form of safety. Although this particular revolver
Manhattan, and to put it kindly, it has seen is in poor condition, this cylinder lock up works
better days. I, stupidly, bought it sight unseen, perfectly.
but no-one else wanted it, and it was cheap. In Manufacture started in Norwich, Connecticut in
fact, although tatty in the extreme, it is quite an
interesting gun, and the research helps to
justify the price.
The Manhattan Fire Arms Manufacturing
Co. was founded in 1856 by a group of New
Jersey businessmen to take advantage of
Colt’s patent for revolving firearms which
was due to expire in 1857. They engaged
the services of Thomas Bacon to design
a revolver, and he promptly produced a
perfect rip-off of a Colt 1849 pocket model;
I bet Colt was a happy bunny! However, he Pic 2
incorporated some important improvements.
On the Colt revolver, shown in Photo 2, the
Target Shooter 37
1856 and moved to Newark, New jersey in 1859. and balances beautifully. In spite of the obvious
Bacon left in 1864, and started his own company, wear and tear, now glamorously called patina,
‘making almost identical revolvers, but without (for which read terminal rust), the action works
the safety notches. Bacon’s other innovation on perfectly with good timing and lock-up, and only
the Manhattan - and his own revolver, was the minimal end play. Most of the 1849 Colts I have
removable side plate. I thought someone had handled have exhibited cylinder end play. My
fixed this plate to the Photo 1 revolver to reduce own Colt is a bit of a fraud in that I have made
cylinder end play - a common fault on Colts, a steel collar to fit round the cylinder spindle to
but it is , in fact a very clever device to prevent limit this movement. If the Colt grips do not look
pieces of percussion cap from falling into the gap quite right, this is because I made some oversize
between the hammer and frame, thus jamming grips which make it more comfortable to handle.
the mechanism. It was normal practice with People definitely must have had smaller hands in
Colts to shake the revolver upwards after each those days - only 150 years ago. In many pistols
shot, in an attempt to clear any such debris of the era, it is almost impossible to get your
before it locked-up the action, and Bacon’s device second finger behind the trigger guard.
overcame this drawback. I will draw a veil over the rifling in the Manhattan;
Manhattan made about 150,000 pistols before there isn’t any to speak of. However, at 25 metres
they went out of business in 1868. they ended it doesn’t seem to make much difference in
their days making copies of Smith & Wesson practice. Many years ago, I used an original
tip-up revolvers. Remington with little discernible rifling at one of
In Photo 3 I have shown the Manhattan together the Anno Domini meetings where it scored 90,
with the Colt Pocket Model for comparison, and beat many modern replicas with perfect
and except for the barrel length, they are barrels. I was surprised last year to use a flintlock
dimensionally almost identical. The Colt has smooth-bore which also scored 90 at the same
a a 4inch barrel and is .31 calibre. They also range.
made these in .28 calibre which would probably Manhattans were made in five series and this
have stopped a charging field mouse, but would pistol, number 8435 is a second series made
otherwise have been of deterrent value only; in 1860/61. The Colt was made in 1866. All the
irrespective of calibre, any gun shoved under serial numbers match on the Manhattan, except
your nose is likely to get your attention. The that there is no number on the cylinder, although
Manhattan, on the other hand is .36 calibre, the the odd engraving peculiar to the guns is still
same calibre as the Colt 1851 Navy, but on a present. In fact the overall finish is not too bad, the
substantially smaller frame. Barrel length is 6.5 address and patent dates are clearly visible,and
inches. I have always thought the Colt 1849s with the plating on the brass frame is intact. The real
6inch barrels look slightly out of proportion, but horror is the trigger and bolt stop pivot screws.
the Manhattan somehow manages to look right, Some kind soul has replaced them with drill
rod! Nothing wrong
with drill rod,which is
Pic 3 silver steel, but it’s not
Maybe, one day I will
get round to having
proper screws made.
In fact, on closer
examination and
longer acquaintance,
it’s not such a dog
after all, and I have
developed rather a
liking for this oddball,
which is just as
well, because I am
probably stuck with it!

38 Target Shooter
Now open and accepting membership applications.
Multi discipline ranges with 10m, 25m & 50m Indoor ranges.
Air, Rimfire, Centre fire Gallery and black powder welcome.
Open six days a week. Pre-booking recommended.
Winter competitions to follow. Café and Shop on site.

www.thetunnel.co.uk or 01297 560049

Tel: 0161 430 8278 or 07941 958464



Target Shooter 39
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email: sales@timhannam.com www.timhannam.com
Peckfield Lodge, Great North Road,
40 Target Shooter
South Milford, Leeds , LS25 5LJ
Ninth World Police & Military Sniper Championships
Budapest Hungary 2010 Part 2- The competition !

by By Rob Hunter

emergency e-mails to all the other competitors

- to ask if anyone could find me a new partner -
would work.
As luck would have it an old friend and avid
Last month, we put together my rifle for the shooter ‘Fernando’ (US Ranger Sniper ret.) was
competition – a Surgeon-based tactical-rig using forced to retire from the comp before it started
a McMillan A5 stock, Bartlein barrel chambered
for the Lapua 6.5x47 cartridge and a Schmidt &
Bender 12-50 scope.

From the off, I had a bad feeling about this one

(as the line goes) 24 hours before getting on the
plane to meet my shooting partner in Prague, he
called me to say he couldn’t compete because
he had a elbow injury! As the competition was a
team event, this was going to be a big problem.
I set off on the journey not knowing if my

Target Shooter 41
have to be able to stand hard knocks and
transportation to different parts of the world,
come out of the box and shoot perfectly, so this
exercise was a good test of the kit.

As a testament to the quality of the people and

parts involved in building my rifle, it shot exactly
the same POA/POI (point of aim/point of impact)
as in the UK. The Sako TRG that partner Nick
was using needed a very slight adjustment in
windage and he was good to go.

This year, a great many of the COFs started

from a standing position or a short run down
in order to get into position and of course the
mandatory small time-frame to make the shot.
This upped the stress levels and made it more
difficult than last time. The level of difficulty was
compounded by the fact that we usually had 30
to 50 seconds to make a decision and take the

due to an eye infection. This meant that his Once again, in keeping with ‘real-life’ situations,
partner Nick (currently serving US Army) was you have to carry all of the kit that you’re using
also urgently in need of a partner. and have to be able to move swiftly with it, so no
Fernando kindly suggested we shot together and heavy benchrest or F class kit here, it’s all bipod,
that was that - we were back in the game albeit back-pack, range-book and ammunition.
slightly handicapped by our lack of knowledge of
each other. With only a day before the official start The variations in the COF in both distance and
of the competition, we did a kit check to remove
any unnecessary or duplicated kit and worked
out a ‘standard’ language and measurement
system we would use to communicate to each
other when on the range.

Fingers crossed, we attended the opening

ceremony and prepared ourselves to shoot
with over 100 competitors speaking 8 different
languages and 26 COFs (course of fire) to get

Slick organisation was needed and in order

to speed up the comp COF briefings usually
covered three different targets, so you shoot
one, then move to another distance, shoot again
and then move again to shoot the final target
before the targets were checked and scored.

With absolutely NO zeroing before the

competition, this is a nervous time for all
competitors as it was straight in and missed
targets meant minus points! This may sound
cruel but think about it – in service, these rifles
42 Target Shooter
we scored well.

Real world scenarios dictate that a sniper will

not always have a perfect prone position to
content had become more difficult this year. shoot from and to finish off the day, we had two
For example, the second set of targets on the particularly cruel exercises. From a standing-
first day meant a 300m single shot to a partially start, adopt a kneeling position, load and fire at
hidden hostage target 4 inches by 2 inches in 100m at a very small target in 25 seconds (miss
40 seconds, then a move forward to 80m, to a meant minus points) and, as if to emphasise
letter-box size opening some 8 inches off the proficiency in multi-position shooting, the final
ground (which meant the rifle would only go exercise was a 300m COF - 2 shots standing,
through sideways with the bolt-handle facing 2 shots kneeling and 2 shots prone all in 60
the sky) not only this, the start was 10m back so seconds.
a short run to get into position and fire 3 shots It was decided by the organisers that due to a
- all in 30 seconds and then change over with forecasted big storm heading our way, we would
your partner! shoot the two night exercises on the first day. We
grabbed a bite for evening meal and prepared
Then, to finish off this series of targets, a move the gear for the ‘Night Shoot’.
back to 150m for a single shot in a 20 second
window at an empty 50BMG cartridge case - Firstly, this meant a liberal splash of mosquito
and only clean holes counted! repellent but even my 100% Dete didn’t seem
to work and I was well and truly bitten on every
After a short lunch on the range it was back to exposed bit of skin and as luck would have it, I
work and shooting continued till 1700 hours with even got a bite on the tip of my trigger finger -
various obstacles to shoot over - to replicate which promptly swelled to twice it normal size!
engaging targets from over a roof apex for
example and the always popular one where Whilst we waited to go – still being chewed by
you must use your partner’s body as a support the local insect population - I had a chance to
for your rifle (better known as the Karma Sutra take a look at some of kit brought by the various
due to the strange contortions adopted!) whilst weapons’ manufacturers to tempt our ‘plastic’
wearing body armour. This year it was my turn out of hiding.. Two items that caught my eye
to be the ‘support’ and I must say I was a little
nervous about having a Sako muzzle-brake that
close to my backside but it all worked out and

Target Shooter 43
of minus 50! That lapse in concentration was to
cost me dearly.

Later on we moved back to the grass range -

which by now was mud - for two excises that
I hadn’t seen before. The first one was a 10m
crawl on your back whilst carrying rifle and kit
on your chest to the 350m line for a one round
shot in 40 seconds and a ‘reactive’ target. For
reactive read ‘exploding’ - a small explosive
flash-bang from a 20mm detonation cap. This
was below a small inward-scoring target and
hitting the flash-bang meant you could engage
the inward scoring target. The tricky part was
the flash-bang and smoke temporally obscured
were a mag. holder that doubles up as a forward
the inward scorer above it, so a shot through the
grip for Glock pistols and a new semi-auto 50
cal. ‘material destruction’ rifle for counter IED
etc. (See pics above).

Undaunted, at 2100 hours we were called

forward to 150m and were presented with a
4 inch inward-scoring target and under the
illumination of a flare we engaged with two
rounds in 10 seconds.

For the second exercise we moved back to

250m and engaged a ‘half size’ hostage target
with 2 rounds each, as a very strong hand-held
spot-light was moved along the targets giving
smoke was in order requiring precise memory of
about 5 seconds for the shot and again, a miss
the location of the scoring area on the second
or a shot to the hostage, meant minus points.
target - all cleaver stuff.
The second day’s shooting was no less difficult
The longest shot on the day was a 5 shot string
than the first and we had the added difficultly of
at 470m onto a standard FBI target. Once again,
near constant rain which alternated from drizzle
on the face of it not too difficult a COF - until
to torrential downpours and back again for the
the two fire engines hidden by blast walls on
whole day. We got wet and stayed wet! To add
each side of the range turned on their hoses
insult to injury, we were taken to a part of the
and provided us with a wall of water to shoot
range I hadn’t seen before - the sand pit - a big
through! All at once, things got a whole lot more
sand quarry. As you know, sand and rifles don’t
mix..... but wet sand is even worse.
The water acted like a mirage and through the
The next series of exercises were again multi-
scope the target moved and danced as the
position – standing, kneeling, sitting and prone at
light was refracted by the falling water droplets.
distances ranging from 30m to 150m. The last of
Furthermore, the wind was bringing the ‘fallout’
these was a moving or swinging hostage target.
in the form of a heavy mist towards us, so fast
Again one round each at roughly 3 seconds per
shooting was needed before the water hit the
exposure - unfortunately, this was one of the
scope lens.
‘minus points’ events and for what ever reason, I
just cut the line of the hostage. In fairness to me,
Finally, the one COF that has become a
it would have only taken a piece of her hair away
standard event in this comp - the knife shot. A
but a line cut is a line cut and I got a penalty
fixed-blade knife is driven into a block of wood

44 Target Shooter
Official scores in the Military section:
1st China
2nd United Kingdom
3rd Belarus

In the Police section

with the cutting-edge facing the shooter and a 1 Czechoslovakia

clean piece of A4 card is placed behind it. The 2 Ukraine


shooter is positioned prone 80m back and in 3 China


a time frame of 30 seconds must fire a single

round and hit the blade, if successfully executed In keeping with previous years, it was possible
the knife will split the bullet in two halves and to shoot well but either not score well or easily
show on the paper behind. This obviously be into minus scores. This was a great testing/
requires pin-point accuracy as the very tip of the training ground for those police and military
bullet must strike the cutting edge of the blade professional marksmen who may have ‘to take
- a millimetre either way from dead-centre and a life to save a life’ in the course of their daily
the bullet will slide down the side of the blade. work.
This is a real test of nerves, everything must be
perfect in order to do this and with 30 other rifles In closing, I’d like to thank all those whose
going off around you, it’s so easy to miss. assistance made this possible - Andy
Massingham for the work on the rifle, South
With the knife shot over, that was it for another Yorkshire Shooting Supplies for the sound
year and the wind-down of cleaning gear and moderator, Surgeon action and trigger floor-
packing was in order. With the pressure of the plate. Cheytac Ballistics solutions and Matt
competition over there was the usual grand Wilks for providing great firing solutions. Plus
banquet and awards ceremony provided by Fernando, Nick and Dave Shone and CZ SF for
the Hungarian government in the stunning city getting me across Europe to where I needed to
centre and the odd glass of vino or two was be and on time!
partaken of - but that’s another story!
WARNING - The courses of fire described were
During the comp I had been too busy to try and undertaken on a controlled range by experienced
work out the scores so I was chuffed to say the shooters with all necessary safety precautions
very least to learn I had made second place in in place. Please do not try to replicate any of
the individual competition. The minus 50 points the courses of fire described as it may result in
I got for giving the hostage a free haircut that injury or death.
I mentioned earlier would have put me in first
place! Hard lesson learned. Nick and I also
made 5th place in the team event.

Target Shooter 45
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46 Target Shooter
Air Rifle Benchrest - having a go!!

By Carl Boswell
In its infancy, air rifle benchrest is becoming worked out well, as there are about fourteen
more and more popular. The recent European countries with members shooting this sport.
Championship, World Cup and World Postal
championships have shown the interest This years world postal, has nine countries
internationally and at a national level. and over one hundred of the best shooters
competing against each other, via their national
This dedicated sport developed in a variety of championships.
countries at a similar time, the main protagonists
being the UK, Italy and South Africa. In the UK The world cup had number of overseas
the interest developed from air rifle shooters competitors shooting in the Czech Republic,
getting into rimfire benchrest and thinking, hey, with Russia leading the overall team aggregate
why not try something different! Which has and the UK leading the overall junior

Setting up is all important

Target Shooter 47
HV A Class

individuals and senior individuals champion started, which a lot of people do via the postal
titles. Having achieved the highest individual leagues that are going on around the country.
aggregate at the world championship in 2008, To be honest it is fun for a converted rimfire
achieving silver and bronze medals at the same benchrest shooter like myself. There lies the
event, (team and individual) and winning the interest, it’s fun!!!
overall World Cup and European Championship,
the UK Team is doing extremely well The Rifles!
To start with this can be basically any PCP that
So what about the sport? you have. Air Arms hold the market here as their
Well it’s about having a go as this how we all rifles must be the most widely used, as they are
inexpensive in comparison to the more specialist
rifles that are out there. Certainly you can get a
new rifle to compete with for less than £600, and
this would be the same as the ones that have
won at world level!

The Classes for competition -


Light Varmint Air Rifle Class - is any rifle

having a manually and mechanically (including
electronic triggers) operated firing mechanism,
weighing not more than 10 1/2 pounds (4.762
inclusive of sight. Factory stock or stocks that
meet ‘Stock Clarification’ rules may be used The
action can be either spring or pneumatic; air
regulators, barrel weights, harmonic tuners
or bullet stabilisers are permitted but will be
included in the overall weight of gun. The air
cylinder can be changed as long as it is provided
by the Manufacturer as an option/spare to that
This is a precision model. Any magnification scope may be used.
sport!!!! The barrel/ action can be bedded and have the
trigger reworked (or replaced). Return to battery

48 Target Shooter
Chronographing and testing is a pre-requisite of the sport to test velocity

shall NOT be permitted. Power to be restricted Heavy Varmint Air Rifle Class A - is any
to 16.27 Joules or 12 ft lbs maximum. Shooting rifle having a manually safe manually and
Distance 25m (0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by mechanically (including electronic triggers)
0.22 calibre gauge) operated firing mechanism, a weight restriction

HV B Class

Target Shooter 49
LV Class

of 15 lbs is set (including attachments – scopes, Clarification’ rules may be used? Return to
muzzle devices, etc). Any air regulator can battery shall NOT be permitted. Muzzle brakes,
be used as long as it is integral within the air muzzle flips, barrel weights or Harmonic Tuners
cylinder. Any modification may be made to are permitted. There is no restriction on cylinder
the rifle and any magnification scope may be size or capacity as long as 21 Joules or 15 ft
used. Factory stock or stocks that meet ‘Stock lbs maximum power is retained and it is integral

To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of

Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True
Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire
shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of
the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle
benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and
World events.
Visit our website for news about national and international
competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion
shooter, everyone is welcome
50 Target Shooter www.benchrest22.org
The UK Air Rifle
Team 2010 - a
motely crew

within the rifle. (Separate Air Cylinders are not have competed with our 12ft lb rifles and done
allowed, the cylinder must be part of the rifle pretty well thank you very much.
and the overall weight). Shooting Distance 25m.
(0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by 0.22 calibre Stocks Clarification
gauge. 10.5lb Light Varmint and Unlimited Weight
Classes (Including Air Rifles), the forearm of
Heavy Varmint Air Rifle Class B - is any rifle stock must be either convex or flat, maximum
having manually and mechanically (including 76.2mm (3”) or under at its widest point, this can
electronic triggers)? operated firing mechanism, be a specialist stock or via a flat plate attached
a weight restriction of 15 lbs is set (including to the bottom of the stock, any material can be
attachments – scopes, muzzle devices, etc). used. The bottom of the butt of the stock that
Any air regulator can be used as long as it is comes in contact with rear sandbag must be
integral within the air cylinder. Any modification either convex or flat. If flat,the bottom of the butt
may be made to the rifle and any magnification of stock must be 25mm (0.98”) or under in width.
scope may be used. Factory stock or stocks that
meet ‘Stock Clarification’ rules may be used. Within the UKBR22 postals there are also two
Return to battery shall NOT be permitted. Muzzle other classes such as the Sporter Air Rifle and
brakes, muzzle flips, barrel weights or Harmonic the International Sporter Air Rifle. These two
Tuners are permitted. There is no restriction on classes are not as popular as the others, but
cylinder size or capacity as long as 27.12 Joules have there own unique characteristics as they
or 20 ft lbs maximum power is retained and it is are lighter rifles, with lower powered scopes
integral within the rifle. (Separate Air Cylinders and in one a lower velocity. If you are interested
are not allowed, the cylinder must be part of the in these then view the rules on the UKBR22
rifle and the overall weight). Shooting Distance website, as these have just been updated.
25m. (0.177 and 0.2 scores plugged by 0.22
Wow!! A lot of classes here! The decision has
Obviously we in the UK are restricted to 12ft just been made which of these world level
lbs in all our air rifles, unless we have them on classes will be shot at the world championship
our FAC. This is also where you will find slight next year. Both the Light Varmint and Unlimited
differences with rifles in UK competitions, as B class will be, as these have become the most
everything will be 12ft lbs or below. However, we shot internationally, so will draw the most amount

Target Shooter 51
of shooters. (Up to date information about the have a lot of issues with keeping standardisation
World Championship is available on the World simple. Obviously, looking at the rules above,
Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation at you can see that most can fit into UK rifles
http://www.wrabf.com/). Air rifle benchrest is standards that are ‘off ticket’. With air rifle
shot predominantly at 25yrds, as this is an benchrest becoming very popular in the USA,
effective range where accuracy can be and now Australia, this is a very fast developing
maintained. All air rifles benchrest classes area in benchrest. Russia joined the
shot within the UK are, as previously stated, international postal last year and with more
in the 12ft lbs range and so stay ‘off people shooting air rifles in this postal in some of
ticket’, under UK law. A saving grace, as this fact the African states, we expect air rifle benchrest
alone makes air rifle benchrest accessible by all to progress a great deal in the next two years.
in this country. As the benchrest equipment is the So those of you out there that shoot field
same as that used for rimfire or even centerfire, target, HFT, or even just ‘plink’ down at your
it is easy to change from one form of shooting local range, why not try something just a little bit
to another. You may recognise by now that the different in the future. You never know you might
stock clarification rules also have the same end up enjoying it or even winning!
sizes for both rimfire and air rifle, making this This is a brief input from me and for this I
easy to set up if you are shooting a variety of apologise, as I have limited space or the font
rifles, whether it is rimfire or air rifle. size goes down. Until next time!
As the laws governing air rifles are very different
within Europe (and the rest of the world) we

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52 Jamie Beyerle
Target Shooter
Target Shooter 53
Special Report - The World Postal
Championships by Carl Boswell
South Africa
shooting air rifle

Although Rimfire and Air Rifle

Benchrest have been around for some
UK team shooting
time, it has really taken off around
air rifle.....
the world this year, with even more
shooters and countries taking part.
This can especially be said for Air Rifle
BR. These postal championships have
taken place at a number of national and
international matches in Europe, Africa,
the US and Australia. Why a postal??

Well it is the easiest way for us to

compete without the expense of
travelling great distances – although
I would agree that people will shoot
in very different conditions, but its
fun and keeps the sport alive. That’s ....from all walks of life and any age group
many people’s way of thinking and the ......
process used by many associations to
keep shooting sports alive!

The matches, one for rimfire and one

for air rifle, involved both team and
individual entries, with the team being
the major emphasis. A maximum of
three teams per country for both sports;
each person shoot three targets to
achieve an aggregate score out of 750
and 75 X counts; one for rimfire and one

54 Target Shooter
for air rifle. Not all people shot both disciplines,
.............from all around the world - below but a fair number did including yours truly.
Australian Richard Lightfoot
Although we have fifteen countries associated
with the WRABF, some could not shoot due to
other commitments, as some shooters participate
in other shooting sports. However, when all the
shooting was done and the scores counted we
had close to 300 rimfire shooters from eight
countries and over 100 air rifle shooters from
nine countries. Countries competed in various
weather conditions, from brawling gales to hot
summer days – ever shot rimfire .22 or air rifle
Germany, some of the British September weather? There
is worse!!

This, as usual, has taken a lot of organisation

and really it has to be said that the match
directors all around the world need a lot of credit,
as without them none of the matches would
have taken place, targets scored accurately or
the whole process run smoothly for the people to
compete. From us all a big thanks. So therefore
the WRABF committee’s congratulations go out
to all the shooters, but also to the people behind
the scenes that worked hard to make it happen.

One thing that has become apparent in the air

rifle side of things is the domination of all things
Air Arms!! These British made air rifles have
Finland, really taken the sport by storm, as lots of models
are used for Air Rifle Benchrest. The Australians
particularly have taken these rifles on board and
doing very well with them, coming in for the gold
medal team place.

South Africa too uses these rifles extensively.

So out of the top three teams, the vast majority
of rifles used this year were Air Arms. (This
exemplifies the point I make in my other article
about Air Rifle BR in this month’s issue. You
don’t have to break the bank to get a world class
Ireland et al!!!! rifle to shoot with - spending lots of money is not
necessary to compete!!)”.
There will be other postal matches in the future,
as guys from the Irish association do want to run
a championship in the spring of 2011. This will be
rimfire only, so let’s see what comes of this!

With the World Championship coming up

this summer and more regional head to head
matches already organised we have a full year

Target Shooter 55
 Rimfire Team Scores
Country Team Score X
1 United States Team C 2227 123
2 Australia Team C 2222 124
3 United States Team B 2220 124
4 Italy Team A 2220 112
5 United Kingdom Team A 2219 98

 Rimfire Individual Scores
Name  Country Score X
1 Robert Oates USA 748 49
2 A. Rowe AUS 747 50
3 Phil Dorman USA 747 48
4 B. Wilson AUS 747 45
5 Doug Weeter USA 746 48
6 Doug Kenimer USA 746 43
7 Jerry McFall USA 746 41
8 Truman Webber USA 745 51
9 David Kenimer USA 745 39
10 Carl Boswell UK 745 36

Air Rifle Team Scores
Country Team Score X
1 Australia Team C 2179 51
2 South Africa Team C 2167 53
3 United Kingdom Team B 2159 56
4 Russia Team A 2154 51
5 Australia Team A 2151 53

Air Rifle Individual Scores
Name  Country Score X
1 Paul van Gass South Africa 738 22
2 Carl Boswell UK 736 23
3 Brent Wilson Australia 732 18
4 Soldatov Aleksey Russia 730 13
5 Alan Grayson UK 729 25
6 Gert Coetzer South Africa 728 16
7 Bill Collaros Australia 726 15
8 A. Rowe Australia 724 23
9 Niekie v Dyk South Africa 724 21
10 Gert van Wyk South Africa 724 19

Shooting the sport together is what its all


ahead of us. Nice!! Enjoy your holiday and see

you in the New Year.

Full scores can be found via this link - www.


56 Target Shooter
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Target Shooter 57
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58 Target Shooter

by Tim Finley
Our club at Thurnscoe has evolved in a major thirteen members and only did prone .22 50 and
way expanding it’s membership and going in new 100m target shooting. We have been shooting
directions. When I joined some years ago it had .22 rimfire Mini Rifle events for a few years now

Target Shooter 59
and Ross the driving force behind a lot of the A course with one instructor and one helper can
clubs success was keen to put on a UKPSA only accept a maximum of six shooters so I was
basic safety course for the clubs members. A lot happy when I managed to get on the first course
of whom are very keen to take part in practical at Thurnscoe. Steve the course instructor is a not
shotgun events. You cannot take part in a UKPSA paid for the two days, only accommodation and
event without having taken part in a basic safety meal/travel expanses are paid, so that shows the
course for the discipline you want to shoot. I level of commitment the members of the UKPSA
think that is a good thing as practical shooting have. The course we were told would last two
especially with a shotgun in not the normal run of days with between 300-350 rounds of birdshot
the mill target shooting. It is fire with movement needed plus some SG buckshot. The first day
whilst handling a loaded firearm. Safety is the of the course arrived and Steve Charlton also
key and the UKPSA’s perfect safety record is brought one of his friends to help with driving up
nothing to do with chance. Ross arranged for a to the deepest depth of Yorkshire and with the
shotgun IPSC course to be put on at our club. course setting out etc. The other main man was

60 Target Shooter
another qualified UKPSA assistant in the form of given by Steve was far from death by power
Pete Savage, who lives not far from Thurnscoe point, I have seen enough of those to have
and was keen to not only help out but see if it them burned into my brain. The serving soldier
was worth joining our burgeoning club. was just use to being in the thick of the action
We have a good set up at the club with a new and I think he thought he wouldn’t be learning
club cabin where Steve set up a power point anything from it. Looking at it from the UKPSA’s
slide show which forms the first part of the point of view, they don’t know what bunch of
course. I have had my fare share of power point numptys they have on the course, people can
presentations as had one on the guys on the fail the course and it is all very serious stuff. All
course. He is as I write this back in Afghanistan the six guys on the course from Thurnscoe were
and not at camp Bastion either, suffice to say very good and very safe shots, but the point is
he is not an ordinary soldier. He just gave a low the instructors do not know that.
groan to me as I sat next to him “ Oh God death It was a slow start with the slide show but we
by power point again”. Now the presentation all learnt some things from it with examples

Target Shooter 61
of blown up barrels which can be caused by safety angles and so on. We then got to show
plugging the front of the gun barrel with earth him just what type of shots we were. Each of us
etc and the actual destructive power of slug shot five metal plates from the standing position,
ammo. Along with fall out ranges for the different then standing weak shoulder, then kneeling to
types of shotgun ammunition. We learnt many kneeling weak shoulder to prone strong and
safety rules, such as being a minimum of 5 weak shoulder. The last one we had never ever
meters when shooting at metal plates. It was a done before. Neither had we ever shot from
very professional presentation. We then began the hip and Steve showed us that next. Then
shooting and learnt the basic shooting stances came shooting while standing upon a plank,
used in practical shotgun. This gave Steve a technique you need to master for practical
the first chance to see if were all switched on shotgun. The feet are in a very unnatural and
shooters. With a row of twenty or so metal unstable position, unless you are a big as Ross,
plates ten yards in front of us we listened to he had no bother with this stance. Damo had
Steve giving us instruction on stance and hold, all on staying on the plank poor lad, but he is

62 Target Shooter
a bit of a munchkin. Pete then took us through safety off. We also began to learn the commands
a very good exercise, he would shout out to us given by the range officer.
what shooting position to shoot an array of steel The final bit of shooting for day one was
plates ranged in front of us. Each shot on the designed to drill into us the safe handling of a
plates was from a different style, weak shoulder shotgun with regards to barrel direction and to
standing to prone to hip etc. All the while Steve show Steve again how we acted when we were
and Pete were watching were our trigger fingers tired. We had not stopped shooting for four
were between shots and where the barrel of our hours at this point. Six different coloured plastic
shotguns were pointing whist moving from one cones were set out on the floor in front of all the
stance to another. steel plated we had. Pete the RO when gave us
Steve also began to teach us some of the a colour to shoot a steel plate from. The cones
loading technique you can use , I for one learnt were arranged in such a way to force us to move
a hell of a lot. It was on to five plates which had backwards and sideways in order to get to the
to be shot in the fastest time, here Steve taught next cone. Pete also did not give us a chance
us that the last plates are normally the ones that to rest in-between shots. He worked us hard and
are missed. Therefore it was best to line up our got us all sweating. Damo was the star however
body and feet to make perfect shots on the last when Pete shouted “White” and Damo who was
plate then wind the torso around the start plate, stood on a red cone at the time simply shot a
It was a bit of a revelation that it improved our white steel plate in front of him Pete shouted
times so much. To further speed us up he told “White” again and Damo shot another white
us not to aim for the plates but with red no shoot painted steel plate. At this point we all started
plates on either side of the white plates to knock shouting “White!”. It finally clicked in his tired
down to aim for the gaps in the no shoot plates little brain and he slowly and very safely moved
and not the ones we wanted to hit, that speeded onto the white cone to shoot a plate. We were all
us up even more. The starting procedures for a dog tired at this point and my weak shoulder was
given stage were also very new to us, such as sore where I had not gripped the gun correctly
Option 1 Where the magazine is full with round as Steve had taught me.
in chamber and safety on Day two dawned and we went straight into a
Option 2 Where the magazine is full on an course of fire, in fact two running at the same
empty chamber action shut time. Barricades and weak shoulder shots as
Option 3 Where the magazine is empty, the well as a three hole kneeling barricade with
chamber is empty with the action open and visual blanking using canes and black bin liners.

Target Shooter 63
There was also a speed shoot where we had to of us. There were some other tricks played on us
sit at a table with both hands on the table, slide by Steve but I’ll not spoil it for those going on his
off a marker to get either a red or white side then courses in the future. We all passed the course
shoot the designated white or red steel plates in and were given certificates from Steve, he said
front of use as quickly as possible. We then all he was impressed with our level of shooting,
built a Cooper tunnel stage, for those who do not our enthusiasm and our safety. On passing
know it is a tunnel where you have to crawl with the basic safety course we can now put in for a
your gun and shoot from apertures within it, it is competition licence which will allow us to shoot
named after the very famous Col Jeff Cooper. local and national competitions depending upon
I won that stage so was well chuffed. We also how competent the instructor feels we are.
had a Buckshot stage which was another new I would like to personally thank my fellow
one for me as I had never shot Buckshot before. shooters on the course, Ross for sorting it, the
Finally we had a Man V Man competition. The helpers for helping and very importantly Steve
students were made to act as Range Officers and Pete for their patience and knowledge.
for each other with Pete taking overall charge Dave Wylde summed it up, for those who don’t
of the competition. This meant we had to know Dave is a very accomplished shot and a
watch the direction the shooters pointed the fine gunsmith himself. “Anyone who says they
shotguns, look where their trigger fingers were learnt nothing from these two days is an idiot”
while loading/moving and also ensure the guns Well said Dave. We all learnt a lot and even the
were safe and clear once the stage was over. hardened professional soldier had a good time
It was particularly hilarious when Steve ran off and learnt a few things about speed loading,
down the range with Mike’s and Mark’s ammo he even let me beat him on the Copper Tunnel
belts. They thought they just had to turn around stage.
from facing the targets run back to retrieve their We have another course in November at our
belts from Steve, then go back and pick up their club with that one fully booked too. I for one am
empty shotguns from where they were laying joining the UKPSA and am looking forward to
the ground, load them and try to beat each other shooting one of their events.
on six steel plates with a compulsory last plate
re-load. What they did not know when they
finally caught Steve up is that he had also tied
the two belts together. Much tugging and foul
play then ensued, much to the mirth of the rest
64 Target Shooter
Portsmouth Gun Centre Ltd
295 London Road
North End
Opening Times Tel 02392 660574
Mon 9.30 - 5.30 Fax 02392 644666
Tues Closed
Wed Closed E-mail sales@portsmouthguncentre.com
Thur 9.30 - 5.30 Website www.portsmouthguncentre.com
Fri 9.30 - 5.30
Sat 9.30 - 5.30
We stock a full range of Rifles, Pistols, Air Guns, Shotguns, Ammunition,
Reloading Equipment and Accessories. All major brands stocked including BSA,
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Webley, Pedersoli, etc.

Target Shooter 65
Calton Moor Range

by Nigel Greenaway
A couple of months ago I received an invite to it as a possible location to test my handloads in a
attend one of the Swarovski Optik Open Days variety of calibres. Straight after work I managed
– an opportunity to test their scopes on various to get to the range within 15 minutes – straight up
talking rifles. Imagine my surprise when the the A52, past Ashbourne and through Swinscoe
range suggested as nearest to me was listed and the range is where the A52 joins the A523
near Ashbourne in Derbyshire – about 7 miles towards Leek. At this fork there is a small road
from where I work. Calton Moor Range was on the right, take it and then within 80 yards turn
somewhere I had never visited because I was right to Calton Moor Farm. There is parking for 5
blissfully unaware of its existence! A quick or 6 cars by the Classroom Hut which houses a
search on the internet found www.caltonmoor- large room complete with reloading bench and
range.com and I quickly realised that this was equipment, small kitchen area and toilets.
a relatively new tunnel range – right on my Calton Moor Range is the brainchild of
doorstep. I was intrigued and went along to the Michael Dickinson, an RFD with many years
Open Day to test the facilities on offer – viewing experience in the gun trade. Mike felt that many
of the shooting ranges on offer
in the UK did not provide the
year round facilities that many
shooters wanted – especially
when it came to zeroing and
experimenting with handloads
which could be tested without
the intrusion of wind and
rain - factors which can ruin
a whole day on the range. A
subterranean solution was the
answer so two 100 yard long
tunnels, made from 1.2 metre
diameter concrete drainage
pipes, were constructed. They
have the advantage of being

66 Target Shooter
able to set the targets at whatever distance is with calibres ranging from .17 Mach 2 right up to
required, using a trolley system but the majority the large big game calibres and even .50 BMG
of users stick to 100 yards. The targets are sniper rifles.
housed in a hut above the end of the tunnels and The range is let out by the hour for private
are winched down in to the tunnels. The tunnels use for zeroing, load development or just rifle
have been set up to enable shots to be taken practise, and is also available by the day for
from stick, prone, or bench (accommodating left corporate events. The range can be booked
or right handed shots). Cameras are positioned between 10am to 10pm – making it ideal for
to relay live feed back to a monitor by each mid-week zeroing sessions after work. The cost
firing point so shots can quickly be zeroed- is £10 per hour per tunnel and a chronograph
in and groups assessed. It is possible to set is available for an extra £5 per hour. It is
up about eight A4 sheets, in two rows, with a available for public use, private hire, and
variety of target shapes and sizes at the end of corporate events, and can also do courses for
each tunnel. reloading, carcass handling and deer stalking
There is no extra charge for the provision of including DSC Level 1.
these targets and at the end of the session the
targets can be collected for future reference. Having briefly experienced the facilities on
The range has been passed at 10,000 Joules offer during the Swarovski Open Day I was
energy and 4000 feet per second, so can cope itching to try out some new handloads in my

Target Shooter 67
Swedish Mauser m/41B Sniper Rifle. A quick upset the chronograph but rifles fitted with a
call to Mike (Tel: 01538 308697 or mobile 07721 moderator overcome this problem. Michael is
671746) and I was able to get on the range the ably assisted by young Matt and, between the
following week. So what did I think of the UK’s two of them, is able to accommodate a wide
first purpose built subterranean, 12 hour a day, range of shooting disciplines and experience.
shooting range? In short – excellent, a very I have been back several times since my first
well thought out set up with very solid shooting visit and I’m delighted to have found such a
benches – as you can see from the photographs. versatile, weather proof range that is so
convenient to book and use.
The tunnels do have the obvious affect of
channelling the blast down range, which can

68 Target Shooter
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Target Shooter 69
Starting Mini Rifle

by Mark Curd
It started how these things often start - a chat over Shooter - movement on the range utilising various
a coffee whilst at the range. Though this time, it types of targets with small-bore rifles. On further
wasn’t the routine ‘putting the world to rights’ that investigation using the internet, I found, seemingly,
we generally indulge in but was instead centred on no set standard as to how this was done or achieved.
“Have you read Target Shooter?” and “Have you A blank canvas then. On return to the range
seen that new mini rifle shoot?”. To both of which another club member, Adrian agreed to help
the answer was NO! Not because of any lethargy establish this form of shooting at the club.
on my part I hasten to add but because I was new to But what was it that we wanted to do? Did
the club and the civilian world of shooting in general. we want movement? Magazine changes?
All became clear once I had logged onto Target What types of targets? Over what distances? From
what firing positions? How would
it be scored/timed? Etc. etc.

Over a morning shoot (where

mostly talking - rather than
shooting - took place) an outline
of what we required surfaced with
who would initially do what. We
had a number of considerations/
hurdles to overcome:

Firstly, targetry needed to be

made. Luckily Adrian is a dab hand
at this sort of thing and was able to
manufacture the 50 cm minirifle
targets along with a window
and small wall without too many
problems. However, the mini-rifle
70 Target Shooter
RASP (range administration and
safety procedures) being written
along with the appropriate
medical risk assessment. It is
my opinion that as soon as you
introduce movement on the
range there is an increase in risk.
Coupled with the fact that the firer
would be exerting himself, as this
was to be conducted under time
pressure, formal consideration
and planning is a must. I also find
it beneficial as it clearly sets out
the detail of the shoot and the safe
handling rules to both the range
staff and the firers. If in doubt
speak to your club RCO for advice.
The shoot consisted of a simple

cans proved problematic. During

testing, the .22LR ammunition
being used often just passed
through without knocking the can
down. After a number of revisions,
(I think we are on the mk5
variant) the problem was solved
with some hard tubular plastic
and much thicker wooden baffles.
With an eye to the future, a score
board was constructed and it too
had at least two versions to my

While this went on it was my

job to look at safety and to
get the shoot down on paper.
The former resulted in a draft

table with each Practice/Phase

of the shoot numbered, along
with the appropriate instructions
concerning distance, fire position
(FP), number of rounds fired etc.
You can see from the diagram
that we decided to have seven
FPs in total, requiring the firer
to move 35 metres ‘as the crow
flies’. This had more to do with
the limitations of the range than
anything else but, I now realise
that any more would have
probably overcomplicated the

We had decided that the event

should take no more than two

Target Shooter 71
a toy. However I have found it
extremely light, easy to point and
well weighted. Put simply, this
rifle fulfilled all the above criteria
and was reasonably priced too.

After my initial reservations, its

purchase turned out to be one of
my better decisions as I can now
say with some confidence that
having put 1000 rounds through this
rifle with only two stoppages (due
to a slight problem with the spare
magazine) it has proved highly
reliable. Please do not take this as a
minutes and that we wanted to include just one recommendation as it is
magazine change. Sadly this meant that the Walther impossible to compare this with the multitude of
G22 I own was impractical as the magazines only other similar rifles on the market as I have not had
hold 10 rounds. A robust excuse to fill the gun the opportunity to test a significant number.
cabinet with something new!
We now had the targetry, the rifle and
The major criteria for the new rifle was that the paperwork and so decided to ‘dry run’ the shoot
magazines needed to hold at least 20 rounds. It (no ammunition) to ascertain if we had missed
should be semi-automatic and finally it needed anything. We had. While you do feel a little silly
to be reliable. Now this article is not a review of doing this, it is thoroughly recommended as
suitable rifles but, I have to say there is a large and inevitably it brought a number of issues to light.
growing choice particularly in the ‘tactical clone’ While the general outline, firers’ brief and safety
style of rifle. procedures all ‘survived contact’, firing point (FP)
and target recognition did not. However the
Sadly, many have not had an in-depth review addition of a simple cone marker with a
and I would caution anyone looking through the corresponding number on the target rectified this
multitude of forums (as I did) as there are just too issue.
many conflicting views and of course you can’t be
sure of the experience of the individual making the A new trip hazard came to light that resulted in
opinion. a slight re-write to the risk assessment and the
application of warning tape. More serious was the
I found myself in the position I am sure many of angle of movement down the range particularly
you have been in the past of just not knowing. between FPs 2 and 3. We have a small six lane
However, the decision had to be made so I range which means the firer has to move completely
eventually went with my gut feeling and took across the range with only 5 meters north to
the plunge with an AR15 M&P15 22 by S&W. Its south to move in. Looks fine on paper but is
polymer build did put me off at first as I was much more cumbersome in practice, when
concerned I might be buying something akin to trying to keep the rifle pointing down the range.

Practice and extending the

distance helps but I intend to
revisit this issue once I have a
few more opinions. (The issue
is much clearer when seen and I
believe it is now on ‘Youtube’
- see Link 1 and Link 2). This
dry run also confirmed that
our original estimation of two
minutes proved to be spot-on
with most practices conducted
finishing around the 1:40, 1:50
72 Target Shooter
TARGETS / BULLET TRAP ammunition it was clear why
this is so popular in the US and
gaining in popularity over here.
6 x MINI-RIFLE CANS 50cm MINI-RIFLE TARGETS The combination of shooting
from different fire positions, from
different distances and at differing
15m 7
targets, some of which fall when
hit and all within a time pressure
results in great fun! Although
after going through it several times
in a row it can be quite tiring!

THE WINDOW One addition we did add during

this was what is now known as
the Black competition. Firstly I
must explain the regular or White
competition. This is scored in line
with military shooting that a point
is scored for every target hit.
However the smaller black aim
point at the centre of the target
35m 4
is a much higher accuracy
3 challenge and has resulted in
40m a second recordable score.
Current high scores for our shoot,
2 White and Black, are 36 and 27
respectively in a time of 1 min 40 secs.

It is still early days in the club

50m regarding mini-rifle as we still
1 2 3
4 5 6 require more interest from club
FIRING POINTS members. Of course now mini-rifle
1 is up and running we are
already discussing a second
mark. However we were mindful that this was competition based upon this but
moving fairly quickly down the range and as soon utilising different targetry and a narrower corridor
as one of our older members (sorry Les) tried it, of movement.
we were conscious that an increase in time may be In addition, once the shoot is a little more
required for some firers. established, it is hoped to invite other clubs
to compete. It is this element that has the
With the problems solved, Adrian and I were at greatest potential. Bringing together like minded
last in a position to present the shoot to the board individuals in a competitive yet informal
for the final sign off and go-ahead. The utility of atmosphere is one of our goals and should prove
a written plan is very much highlighted here as fun. Watch this space to see if this is achieved. In
following its production, it is easier to scrutinise any event if this article spurs you on to create your
the event. This is reassuring to those who own shoot, please don’t forget to give me an invite!
ultimately must make the decision that the shoot is
safe and can go ahead. It was quickly agreed. What a great article on how to organise and
manage a club shoot from Mark Curd. Mark, I wish
This just left Adrian and I to build up our own we had had your input twelve months ago when
knowledge of running the shoot prior to opening Target Shooter first embarked on the mini-rifle
it up to club members. This meant one person quest. Vince
shooting, one acting as safety supervisor, with
Les, our new member’s secretary, acting as RCO
and timekeeper.
When we first went through the shoot with live

Target Shooter 73
74 Target Shooter

by Laurie Holland
Above - Powders tried with 90s Preparation
I finished last month with case sizing and trimming, I deferred describing case selection and preparation
so I’ll dispose of the remaining loading press to this issue despite it taking place before the
activities, briefly describing bullet seating. This also cartridge assembly stage. The first task was to check
uses a Forster die, the company’s Ultra micrometer manufacturing lots, nowadays printed on the carton
top model that allows accurate 0.001” seating depth (or label on the new Lapua blue plastic containers),
changes. I set it marginally on the ‘long’ side and especially as my brass came from several
check each finished round’s COAL using a bullet purchases. One box of older ‘match’ cases had
‘comparator’ on callipers, reseating the bullet none shown, the others were split between two
marginally deeper if needed to get the exact overall manufacturing batches in the ratio of 300 to 100
length (case-head to bullet ogive) I want to within a – and checks showed small but still important
single thou’. A Redding T7 press is used, and the differences in neck thickness ranges. Naturally, the
combination of this press, top quality and lightly largest batch was chosen, the objective to obtain
neck-turned brass, plus the Forster dies (and one 200 prepared and batched examples. Stage one
presumes a very concentric rifle chamber) gave was to examine each case closely for any defect or
the lowest bullet runout figures I’ve obtained in any damage, then measure its neck thickness at
non-benchrest cartridge to date, nearly all of the three points using a Sinclair / Starrett case-neck
contents of a 50-round box running at nil to 0.002”, micrometer that reads to 0.0001-inch, a tenth of a
better than I’ve ever achieved with .308W. While thousandth. Taking some 30 or 40 cases out of the
gratifying, I’m perplexed about why I get it with this cartons at random to get a sample, measuring them
cartridge and not others despite using identical and recording the results in a notebook showed
techniques, tool and components quality. that well over 90% had ≤0.0005” variation around
I should mention a vital check that applies to the use the neck, many much less, but that there were two
of long-nosed bullets of all calibres in any cartridge, average thicknesses. Most were within a 0.0129
that the die’s seating stem accommodates the – 0.0135” range, but a significant minority, maybe
bullet nose fully without its tip making contact. It is 30%, were a half-thou’ thinner. So I decided that
essential to the finished article’s concentricity for as a first step, I’d measure all 300 case-necks, 900
the bottom edge of the stem to make full and even individual measurements, and segregate them into
contact around the bullet ogive’s circumference. three groups: ‘practice’ cases outside of extreme
Another trick that I always employ is to partly thickness or variation parameters; the consistent
seat the bullet, raise the press handle enough to majority into ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ neck wall groups, the
disengage the bullet from the seating stem and former to be neck-turned to 0.0125”, the majority lot
turn the cartridge through 180 degrees or so before to 0.013”, both involving a quick ‘clean-up’ single
completing the operation. This practice reduces pass through the turner.
runout even when match quality dies are used. With small cases and little metal being removed,

Target Shooter 75
a Lee case trimmer stud and shellholder set
was man enough to hold the case securely and
centrally during turning, its stem slotting into
a cheap cordless screwdriver which managed
around 40 cases per charge. All cases were lightly
neck-sized in the Forster Bushing-Bump sizer die
that I use for this cartridge, then after lubricating
the inside neck-walls with Imperial Sizing die wax
on a cotton bud, expanded back out marginally
using a Sinclair expander die and E22 mandrel.
This not only matches the same company’s
T22 turner mandrel to give a good result in the
succeeding operation, but has proven to give near
ideal, light neck tension on the two Berger match
bullets. The lube film is left inside the neck for
turning with Imperial wax also lightly applied
to the turner mandrel, but must be removed
afterwards, preferably before chamfering
case-mouths, certainly before powder charging.
(More cotton buds – I go though vast numbers!)
Sinclair’s NT4000 neck-turner was used, an
easy to set-up and readjust tool and which gives
Redding T7 press with .223R dies in the excellent results.
foreground with the Forster Ultra seater in use
– Bushing-Bump sizer die to its left and Flash-Holes
Sinclair expander die to its right While employing the small rifle size primer, the
.223R case is specified for the standard size

Forster Ultra-seater dismantled. Note the

large sliding collar (bright steel) that supports
the case and keeps it aligned with the bullet
during seating. The 90gn VLD fits completely
into the seater stem without its tip ‘bottoming
out’. Second VLD below shows how far it has
to penetrate the stem

76 Target Shooter
Case preparation tools with the Sinclair / Starrett case mike assembly at the top. The bright
cylindrical tool in the centre is the flash-hole reamer that proved its worth
(0.080” dia.) flash-hole, and after neck-turning, but square floor to sidewall junctions. The final tasks
each case had its flash-hole reamed with another were to chamfer case-mouths with a shallow angle
Sinclair tool that indexes off the primer pocket ‘VLD’ cutter and weigh the cases, tossing the odd
and provides a consistent hole diameter of 0.081” outside of the norm example into the ‘practice brass’
(assuming the originals aren’t oversize as sometimes box, the rest comfortably within a 0.8gn range. The
happens). Lapua flash-holes are drilled, as opposed net result of all this time and effort was five 50-case
to the more common and cruder method of using a boxes comprising four ‘match’ lots (three at 0.013”;
punch, and I initially thought I was wasting my time one at 0.0125” neck thickness), one ‘practice’, the
with this operation, examples producing nil or at remainder labelled and put aside in mini plastic
most marginal resistance to the reamer blade, but storage boxes as spares. Incidentally, mentioning
two or three cases per 100 required substantial effort ammunition boxes reminds me that MTM RS50
suggesting metal was being removed, confirmed or similar dimension types designed for .223 Rem
by tapping the case over a clean sheet of paper to aren’t deep enough for cartridges that are going to
have a little pile of brass shavings fall out, so they’d end up at 2.7” or thereabouts COALs, so RM50s as
obviously come from the factory with significantly used for the .308W and similar have to be employed,
undersize holes. This inconsistency will definitely a layer of expanding foam put into the lid to keep the
cause pressure and MV variations, so the chore was contents snug and stop them rattling around inside
well worth doing after all, for this manufacturing lot (and more important, being knocked about and
at any rate. Conversely, I found no need to ream the affecting the hard-won concentricity). Anyway, prime
primer pocket, every example square and marginally these cases with small rifle magnum caps and we’re
deeper than my uniforming tool’s cutter – very ready to return to the powder scales alongside the
different from most American .223R brass that has T7 with the turret moved round to bring the Forster
shallow pockets with concave floors and anything Ultra seater die into play, assuming we’ve decided

Target Shooter 77
Left - With the .223’s limited capacity, a pow-
der funnel with long drop tube is useful, this
example from Forster with a six-inch tube
However, another cause is almost certainly the small
powder charge, 24-27gn depending on powder
so that any small charge weight variation has a
disproportionate effect. One grain weight of Reloder
15 changes 90gn VLD MVs around 100 fps , so the
± 0.1gn accuracy capability of typical handloading
beam scales can be expected to produce MV
extremes some 20 fps apart, but factors like
varying operator eye position when looking at the
beam position and scales’ magnetic damping can
on powders and charge weights, of course. easily increase the range (and that’s on top of
other causes of MV variability, hence it being easy
Acculab to get 40 fps extreme spreads). I soon became
Well, not quite as it happens. I mentioned last month paranoid about weighing charges for match rounds
that a downside of the .223 Rem is a tendency to on my RCBS 10-10 scales, lifting and replacing the
produce larger MV spreads than most acceptable pan two or three times with each charge until I was
.308 Win recipes with equivalent quality brass and satisfied that the magnetic damping wasn’t distorting
preparation methods. Some of this is most likely the reading, adding or removing kernels as
down to the long, thin case form as all of the .222 necessary.
Remington ‘family’ display this tendency and the
.222 Rem Magnum based .204 Ruger is even worse.
But I still wasn’t happy and unfortunately peace
of mind in the form of Acculab VIC123 laboratory
Below - RCBS 10-10 scales and Acculab quality electronic scales didn’t come cheap. They are
VIC123 behind. The Acculab scales are very accurate to ± 0.02gn – that’s two tenths of a grain –
much larger than they look in the photograph and are maddeningly sensitive in consequence. (I’ll
due to the camera perspective look at the Acculab scales and the accuracy of five

78 Target Shooter
Above - The two apparently similar 90gn Bergers produce noticeably different pressures.
Load the BT Long-Range model (foreground) over the 25.2gn of Reloder 15 in the pan that
suits the VLD (behind) and a pierced or even blown primer is likely
different powder measures next month.) sticking to the press frame and ram, maybe scattered
around the bench too? Did they come one kernel at
My match ammo now involves a three stage a time from several cases, or you’ve spilt a whole
charging process – throw the charge from a Harrel’s grain from a single case? Likewise, weigh a charge
Precision BR measure into the RCBS scales pan, with the powder centralised in the pan, then repeat
weighing and charge adjustment with a powder the exercise with it heaped up one side.
trickler on the beam scales; finally, check-weigh
the pan and contents on the Acculab, adjusting the This rigmarole; all that time consuming case
charge again to within one to two powder kernels if preparation; the use of quality tools, especially
needed. A slow and tedious process, the ammunition bushing dies, has paid off. MV spreads are
loaded for the F-Class European Championship consistently under 20 fps with low single figure
meeting seemed to take forever to produce! I also SD values, and the ammunition holds its 1,000yd
take inordinate care in related activities, for instance elevation really well in the Savage 12PT / TrueFlite
ensuring that no powder can be spilled from the combination.
charged case by capping it with a fingertip as I move
it across the bench to the press and slot it into the Options
shellholder. Another thing is to ensure each charge That leaves powders, charge weights, and test
sits in the same position on the bottom of the scale results. When I started, American reports suggested
pan during weighing. You’re thinking: “Definitely the outstanding powders would be Alliant Reloder
losing it, the guys in white coats will be along any 15 and Vihtavuori N550 giving a combination of
time now!”, but how often have you finished a precision (small groups) and sufficiently high MVs,
loading session and found odd powder kernels that is on the right side of 2,800 fps for 90gn VLDs.

Target Shooter 79
These long rounds need ammunition boxes designed for .308W sized cartridges

Americans are rightly concerned however about ammunition and this can skew powder choice
the effects of high ambient temperatures on their as well as reducing the maximum loads
employed. While we shouldn’t ignore this
issue entirely, it is much less of a problem in our
temperate UK climate. There are eight readily
available extruded powders that are potentially
suitable: single-base H4895, H. VarGet, IMR-
4007SSC, and Viht N150; double-base (added
nitroglycerine) Viht N540 and N550, Alliant
Reloder 15 and 17.

All will fill the case and normally involve a

degree of compression with maximum loads,
so a powder funnel with a long drop tube is
useful to help the grains settle that little bit
more compactly. QuickLOAD also suggests
that Hodgdon BLC(2), H414, and one or two
other ball type powders meet the internal
ballistics criteria, but I’m wary about using the
type in this application, if nothing else due to
their producing more barrel fouling than stick
varieties (from a greater proportion of their
constituent elements being deterrent and other
coatings that are not consumed).

Alliant Re17, IMR-4007SSC and Viht N550 are

relatively slow-burning powders that require
charges up to two grains heavier than those in
the Re15 and VarGet category, so one would
imagine heavily compressed loads become a
real possibility – something I was keen to avoid

Left - Test card for Alliant Reloder

15 and 90gn Berger VLDs – the best
combination found to date
80 Target Shooter
Above - Primers are rounded showing pressures are not excessive, but every one shows an
extrusion ring or crater where it has flowed back into the firing pin hole in the bolt
with the very light case-neck tension being used making USA for allegedly producing lower MVs than Re15
it likely that such combinations would produce or N550 before reaching maximum pressures
inconsistent COALs. I try to avoid heavily compressed restricting results to 2,700 - 2,800 fps. I wasn’t
loads on principle too, not for any particularly rational convinced, but it was impossible to obtain the
reason, more gut-feeling. In any event this wasn’t a powder earlier this year, so this option had to be put
problem with two of the trio, the double-base Re17 on hold anyway. I’ve since acquired some from other
and Viht N550, a little recognised benefit of adding shooters and preliminary 3-round grouping tests with
nitroglycerine to the base powder kicking in. Adding the Berger 90gn BT Long-Range bullet undertaken
NG not only increases the powder charge’s energy just before everything stopped to get things ready
content, but also makes the kernels denser and so for ‘The Europeans’ gave promising results, so it will
heavier allowing a greater weight of propellant to be now be tried with the VLD model.
contained in a capacity constrained case such as
the .223’s, all other things being equal. On top of Temperatures
that, Re15, N540/550, and Re17 have small regular Jerry Tierney warns against using Viht N150 in this
sized kernels, a feature which also increases charge application as he found sudden MV and pressure
density and hence the amount you can stuff in. So ‘spikes’, a 0.2gn charge increase seeing a
it turned out that only single-base IMR-4007SSC disproportionately large MV rise on one occasion.
was capacity constrained and would have required However, I’ll give it a go in due course, but not
heavily compressed loads to obtain its full potential. until well into next year when temperatures again
It was mostly academic anyway as N540, N550, and approach those likely to be seen in summer
Reloder 17 didn’t go onto my .223R/90 A-list, either matches. It’s no good working up loads using an
not grouping tightly enough or producing excessive allegedly temperature sensitive powder in 3-10°C
MV spreads. This was a particular disappointment winter temperatures behind an exceptionally heavy
with the new wonder powder, Swiss manufactured bullet if the resulting load blows primers when used
Reloder 17 as it gave very high MVs, my heaviest as the mercury hits 25°, and Americans at any
test load just nudging 2,950 fps. rate believe that Vihtavuori single-base powders
are temperature sensitive. This is why I’m keen
Hodgdon VarGet, which is most people’s number to get a VarGet load that works as this Hodgdon
one choice for 80gn bullets in .223R was largely ‘Extreme’ propellant is unaffected by any temperature
discounted by Jerry Tierney and others in the variations likely to be encountered here. Hodgdon’s

Target Shooter 81
Proof of the pudding! Shooting for GB at 1,000yd in the GB F/TR ‘Blue’ team at the
F-Class European Championship meeting at Bisley, Sunday 7th November. Scores were
comparable to those from .308W users and helped the team take the silver medal
new IMR-8208 XBR powder may be worth trying primer cratering using the Savage PT action. While
too when it eventually becomes available in the UK it has a small diameter firing pin that is a reasonably
despite it being billed as 6PPC benchrest powder close fit in the bolt face by factory rifle standards, it is
and on the face of it too fast-burning for what I’m still not a match in this respect for an RPA, Barnard,
trying to do here. However, American reports BAT or suchlike, so the primer cup will extrude
suggest it may be one of those flexible propellants into the firing pin hole before absolute maximum
that turn up every now and then that work in pressures are achieved. Overdo it and the cup
applications where the burning rate chart says they doesn’t just ‘crater’, it will ‘pierce’ blowing a little
shouldn’t. Its USP is a complete absence of any brass disk back into the bolt risking subsequent
sensitivity to temperature changes, and it’s also a unreliable operation or inconsistent ignition,
fine grained, dense type. How about Alliant Reloder escaping gas eroding the firing pin tip too if it
15, the powder that has given me the best results happens often enough. This is a much bigger
to date? Most Americans believe it is temperature problem with small size primers than large, and there
sensitive too, apparently on the basis of it being are only two cures – either have the firing pin turned
‘double-base’, there being a prejudice against the down and the bolt-face bushed, or restrict loads and
type on this ground across the Atlantic, but Britain’s pressures to below those that pierce cups, living
tropical colonies were won using Cordite ammunition with the cratering aspect. (Do not confuse this with
which had a very high nitroglycerine content cratering that is caused by excessive pressures
compared to modern double-base stick powders. We producing extreme flattening of the cup, case-head
also developed a huge range of dangerous game expansion that allows gas leakage around the
cartridges around versions of Cordite that worked primer, and rapid primer pocket expansion.)
well in Africa even in conditions that saw exposed
metal become too hot to touch with unprotected skin! The other pressure issue is bullet related, not an
Alliant says the powder is not temperature-affected, expected one when there are only two useful models
and tells anyone who’ll listen that it’s loaded in US available in this weight and from the same
military M118LR 7.62mm sniper cartridges. Since manufacturer, so presumably using identical jackets,
their specification demands reliability and consistent lead cores, and body diameters. But .... there is a
performance across huge climatic and temperature HUGE difference between them, the BT Long-Range
ranges, this suggests any such fears are misplaced, model needing a lot less powder than the VLD, and
or at least exaggerated. not capable of being driven to the same velocities
either. I can’t think of a good reason for the
Pressures discrepancy, and the most likely cause – the BT
While discussing pressure, in particular excessive L-R having a longer bearing surface than the VLD
pressure, two other things have become obvious, – doesn’t apply. I can only assume the VLD has a
one expected, the other not. The expected issue is thinner or softer jacket than the BT L-R. I recounted
82 Target Shooter
Loads and Test Results 

90gn Berger BT Long‐Range 
Charge/Powder    Groups    MV (top load)    Comments 

24.0 – 25.5gn Viht N550  0.4 – 0.6”    2,715 spreads: 11‐66 fps  Initial work‐up loads 

26.2 – 26.9gn Viht N550  0.4 – 0.7”    2,905 spreads: 25‐54 fps  High pressures, top loads 

24.4 – 24.8gn Viht N540  0.3 – 0.5”  `  2,826 spreads: 6‐38 fps  0.1gn steps. Over‐high pressures. Large MV rise 

between 24.7 and 24.8gn 

22.5 – 24.0gn Allt Re15  0.4 – 0.75”   2,742 spreads: 11‐50 fps   Initial work‐up loads 

24.2 – 25.0gn Allt Re15  0.3 – 0.6”    2,876 spreads: 13‐30 fps  Pressure signs at higher loads 

24.8 – 25.0gn Allt Re15  0.35 – 0.5”   2,854 spreads: 6‐31 fps  3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐BR4 primers. 

24.6 – 24.8gn Allt Re15  0.35 – 0.6”   2,865 spreads: under 20 fps  3 batches X 0.1gn steps. 24.6gn good 

24.6gn Alliant Re15    0.37” (3 group av)  2,869 fps ES: 34 fps SD: 8 fps  15 rnds match ammo left over from competition 

23.0 – 24.9gn H. VarGet  0.2 – 0.4” (9 groups)  2,834 fps ES: 12 (24.3gn)  9 batches 3‐round groups. Only 1 group exceeded 

0.3”. No velocity increase after 24.3gn     

in the ‘Breaking the Mould’ feature that I use 0.6gn fine-tune a combination, or to go still higher overall,
less Re15 with this bullet than the VLD (24.6gn v I dropped to 0.1gn steps. If I were working up loads
25.2gn), but have now concluded that I’ll have to solely for my own use, I’d restrict initial batches
reduce the BT L-R load further as case primer to three rounds, but as the results are published,
pockets are expanding a little too quickly. With all most batches were of five rounds to give meaningful
that work in selecting and ‘prepping ‘ the brass, I group size and MV spread values. One exception
want five firings out of it plus a bit of subsequent life was the single late VarGet trial which employed nine
for the load development role. three-round batches. As maximum loads and
pressures are approached, a 0.2gn charge increase
Load Development can have a significant pressure-effect, and this is
This was done at 100 yards off a concrete bench therefore the largest step that should be employed.
and the rifle in full benchrest mode with its three-inch Sticking to the pressure warnings, remember that
wide forend installed and supported by a Sinclair the barrel was chambered with an exceptionally
front-rest and Protektor rear bag. All load long freebore section to allow shallow bullet seating
development was carried out using high-capacity working off a COAL of 2.700”. If the barrel is
Lapua ‘Match’ brass, but not fully prepared or chambered with a shorter throat, deeper seated
neck-turned. All charges were individually and bullets on top of the listed maximum loads will
carefully weighed on the RCBS 10-10 scales, but produce excessive pressures and MUST be
without going to the lengths previously described for reduced. To get an idea of by how much, I ran my
the match-grade ammunition. Having measured the match load with the 90gn VLD and 25.2gn Reloder
case ‘overflow water capacity’ as 30.6gn H2O and 15 at a COAL of 2.500”, around what one would
input this into QuickLOAD, I found the PC ballistics expect to be usable in a Wylde match chamber,
program gave very reliable results saving a fair bit of through the QuickLOAD program and it produced
time, effort and barrel life. Even so, all combinations 70,000 psi! To get back to just below 60,000 psi,
used starting loads at least 2gn, around 10%, down the charge had to be reduced to 23.9gn, a 5%
on what QuickLOAD predicted as likely to produce reduction. So if you’re tempted to try these bullets
59,950 psi chamber pressure (against the C.I.P. in a more conventionally chambered match rifle,
MAP of 62,366 psi), the limit I set after some reduce my maxima by around 7%, then start another
experience as to where primer cratering / piercing 10% lower with your starting loads and as always
moves from being an issue to a problem. work up in small steps checking for pressure signs.
(Another warning indicator is that these loads should
Charges were initially raised in fairly coarse steps, not be heavily compressed on bullet seating. If that
as much as 0.5gn if the starting load was 3gn below happens with your cartridges, stop and REDUCE
maximum, otherwise 0.4gn quickly reducing from CHARGES! )
that and ending up as 0.2gn as the likely maximum Tests
was approached. If I went to a second stage to either The results mostly tell their own story. Viht N540

Target Shooter 83
90gn Berger VLD 
Charge/Powder    Groups    MV (top load)    Comments 

24.0 – 25.5gn Viht N550  0.35 – 0.9”   2,680 spreads: 20‐43 fps  Initial work‐up loads 

25.5 – 26.0gn Viht N550  0.4 – 0.9”    2,886 spreads: 28‐68 fps 

23.0 – 24.5gn Viht N540  0.3 – 0.7”    2,741 spreads: 19‐52 fps  Initial work‐up loads 

24.4 – 24.8gn Viht N540  0.4‐0.7”    2,807 fps (24.7gn)    Pressures too high. Don’t use. Test abandonned 

at 24.7gn 

22.5 – 24.0gn Allt Re15  0.35 – 1.0”   2,709 spreads: 11‐32 fps   Initial work‐up loads 

24.4 – 25.2gn Allt Re15  0.3 – 0.7”    2,879 spreads: 9‐23 fps  Shows promise. All groups 0.3‐0.5” bar one. 

24.5 – 26.0gn Allt Re17  0.3 – 0.7”    2,750 spreads: 20‐67 fps   Initial work‐up loads 

26.2 – 27.0gn Allt Re17  0.3 – 0.7”    2,935 fps      3‐round batches X 0.1gn steps. Major pressure 


24.8 – 26.2gn IMR‐4007SSC  0.3 – 0.6”    2,815 spreads: 11‐35 fps  Top charge compressed. Initial work‐up loads 

26.3 – 26.7gn IMR‐4007SSC  0.4 – 0.65”   2,878 spreads: 25‐34 fps  Velocity plateaued at 26.5‐26.6gn 

25.2gn Alliant Re15    0.4” (8 rounds)  2,901 fps ES: 32 fps SD: 8 fps  Eight match rounds (prepped brass) brought back 

from Blair Atholl GBFCA league round. (Pre Acculab scales.) 

24.8 – 25.0gn Allt Re15  0.4 – 0.95”   2,874 spreads: 6‐37 fps  3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐BR4 primers. 

25.0 – 25.2gn Allt Re15  0.7 – 0.85”   2,914 spreads: 12‐25 fps  3 batches X 0.1gn steps. Trying CCI‐450 primers. 


Cases: Lapua Match. All non‐prepped practice brass unless noted otherwise. 

Primers: 90gn VLD loads – PMC SR Magnum; 90gn BT Long‐Range – CCI‐450 SR Magnum, unless noted otherwise 

All groups 5‐round unless noted otherwise. 

All test loads 5 batches (25 rounds total) unless noted otherwise. 

MVs shown: from highest charge unless noted otherwise. Spreads = velocity extreme spread range for all batches. 
peaked relatively quickly pressure-wise and I manufacturing lot that it likes.
wouldn’t recommend its use. Although Alliant
Reloder 17 produced the highest MV seen in any Important notice
test, it started to produce pressure problems (but These components and loads performed safely
only in a minority of rounds) at lower MVs than were in the author’s rifle. This cannot be guaranteed
reliably obtained from Reloder 15. IMR-4007SSC for other handloaders and rifles. Good
peaked at lower MVs than Re15, but is worth trying handloading procedures should be used at all
again in match cases as it appears to give good times working loads up from recommended
accuracy if only MV spreads can be reduced – but starting levels and looking for signs of excessive
probably too slow burning and bulky for this case. pressure or other problems. The listed loads may
The 3-round VarGet groups were superb and this only be used in a specially chambered rifle with
powder appears to have potential. MVs plateaued considerable freebore to suit long 90gn bullets
with the 90gn BT L-R before pressure signs at around 2.7” overall cartridge length. If used in
appeared, but not much below those obtainable shorter throated barrels, they MUST be reduced
at acceptable pressures from Reloder 15 with this (see text). Do NOT use maximum loads listed for
bullet – to be tried in match brass and with VLDs. the 90gn Berger VLD with the 90gn Berger BT
Another point to note is that this cartridge is Long-Range bullet or other 90gn models as they
very primer sensitive with heavy bullet loads will generate higher pressures.
and it is worth experimenting to find a model and
84 Target Shooter
Target Shooter 85
86 Target Shooter
The Commonwealth Games, Dehli: What
really happened!

by Jonathan Hammond
My lasting memory of the Games in Dehli will always to India, so my training was based round that and
be standing on the podium singing Flower of was simply enough to keep myself sharp. While my
Scotland, seeing the beautiful blue and white Saltire job, coaching the West Virginia University rifle team,
rise up, the media response to our whole team’s allows me to train and have access to great facilities,
success and of course carrying the Scottish flag at it is still a full time job, and competing against fulltime
the closing ceremony. However there was so much athletes will always be a challenge for most of us GB
more to the story and the longest 3 weeks of my life shooters.
spent in the interesting city of Dehli!
We all knew this was going to be a long summer, When I arrived back in Scotland a few days before
with World Cups, our World Championships in we were due to depart, the fun kicked off! The first
Munich and the Commonwealth Games in October, group of Scottish athletes and coaches due to leave
a month when we would usually be enjoying an off had been postponed due to the condition of the
season break away from the range and training! athlete village and the media were all over it!
So I felt there was going to be more importance Athletes started to pull out of the Games altogether,
on our preparation for the Games in terms of the mostly English athletes but some from other
management of our overall season, than the specific countries as well, while pictures of the village, dirty,
training. How much training, when we trained and unfinished apartment blocks and collapsed buildings
when we had rest periods would all be vital to be and bridges were seen on the news. We really didn’t
fresh and be able to peak in Dehli, especially after know for sure if we were flying until the afternoon
trying to peak 2 months earlier at the World before we left, but it was really something we had
Championships. to ignore and just wait for the updates. For me
personally, while the prospect of 3 weeks in India
For me personally, I felt really good going into was not the most appealing, I was excited to finally
Munich for the World Championships and after a go to my first Commonwealth Games, and I wasn’t
season high in 3P (1165) and a respectable 595 in going to let a few dirty bed sheets and unfinished
Prone I was satisfied with the competition. My main painting stop me! Plus, we have spent our fair share
goal after that was to maintain my form, but avoid of time in poor hotel rooms around the world and it
over training and still be fresh for Dehli. The hard certainly wasn’t going to be a disadvantage for us
work had been done over the winter and throughout over other athletes.
the summer and too much training close to the
Games would only create mental fatigue. On top When we arrived in Dehli and the athlete village, I
of this, I also had to go back to work for the time was pleasantly surprised at what we found. While
between the World Championships and traveling it was not finished and wouldn’t pass any kind of

Target Shooter 87
building code in the real world, it appeared nice still provided some entertainment with the driving
enough, and with air conditioning, a bed, hot water conditions! The use of a ‘Games Lane’ didn’t go
and a TV, the apartments had all we needed! The down well with the locals, however watching 5 lanes
facilities in the village were decent, training facilities of traffic cram into 3 was amusing and we all watched
for most sports, a gym, recreational areas with pool in disbelieve when our bus bumped a moped out of
tables and table football tables and a salon where the way and when another bus driver lent out of the
yours truly got a nice hair cut, what more do you window and clipped a cyclist on the head for getting
need! But by far the biggest relief was the dining in his way, crazy!!
room, which was excellent. It was almost a carbon The security was also pretty high, and every bus
copy of the dining room in the athlete village at the going in and out of the village was escorted by 2
Olympics and with the same catering company from police cars, even if they were from the 1980’s,
Australia who catered the Melbourne 2006 Games while each bus had an armed guard on board for
serving all types of food, one of my biggest concerns company.
was averted. Our management staff had also been Just like the Olympics, getting into the venues and
on site for a week prior and assured us the food was village involved full on security machines and pat
great and that we would have no issues and they down searches but that didn’t seem to stop certain
were proved correct. items getting into the village that shouldn’t have.
Hygiene and staying healthy was definitely a top Overall though I felt pretty safe and so ultimately
priority, all the training and preparation in the world they did a decent job with the security.
would be wasted if you were to get sick or get a case
of ‘Dehli belly’ during your matches. I definitely went After a week of hanging around, acclimatising and
prepared with wipes, toilet roll and plenty of hand a little training the opening ceremony was upon us
gel. We were warned that just a small glass of tap and it finally started to feel like the Games were
water had enough bacteria to lay you out for many beginning. The opening ceremony was great and
days, so our teeth were brushed with bottled water certainly gave us a flavor of Indian culture with the
and my mouth certainly stayed firmly shut in the array of dancing, music and colors. While it was
shower! Of course I probably got a little OCD while entertaining the real highlight is entering the
I was there but it was something I had prepared for stadium with your team, and singing the national
and using hand gel every 10 minutes just became anthem in the tunnel before we came out definitely
part of daily life. made the hairs stand up and will be one of my favorite
Dehli certainly was not the most attractive of Finally after a few days of competition I finally got to
cities and poverty was clear to see every day on our start my matches and after a lot of hanging around it
drive to the range. If nothing else it makes you sit was great to start. Jen McIntosh and Kay Copland
back and reflect how lucky we are for the lives we had got us off to a good start winning a medal in the
have and the conditions we live in. But we were women’s 3x20 3P pairs, and this set the standard

88 Target Shooter
for myself and the rest of the team to follow. First My prone was as consistently good as my standing
up was the 50m 3x40 3P pairs match in which I was bad, but after some good kneeling I ended with
was competing with my teammate and friend, Neil 1164 and only 3 points away from Gagan Narang
Stirton. of India who already had 3 gold’s to his name.
With a healthy 7 point gap back to James and the
My goal was to shoot both 3P matches above 1160 second Indian shooter I felt fairly comfortable going
and I was right on the number with an 1160 in the into the final; however things would be tighter than
pairs match. I was finished before Neil and had I wanted! I struggled in the final with a few nerves
to endure a nerve racking finish which saw us tie and just some poor standing shooting but in the
for silver with the English pair and ultimately lose end it was enough to hang onto the silver, which
out on center 10’s 105-104! It was a little gutting was a huge relief. James had shot a good final to
to lose the silver medal like that, and to none other take bronze and also secure his 4th medal, a great
than our GB teammates (James Huckle and Kenny accomplishment for someone still a junior! I was
Parr) but at the same time we had to be happy with delighted with the result and my first individual
a medal in our first and weaker event. We got our medal, not least because the gold medalist, Narang
first taste of success at a multi sport event which is a world class shooter with many medals to his
includes not just an elaborate medal ceremony, name. The final also gave me great experience,
but multiple interviews and even autograph signing shooting in the large finals hall, with the cameras,
afterwards, and to be honest this is when you really the audience and the whole atmosphere is
feel a part of the Games. something that will help me in the future.
The Commonwealth Games is unique for us, by After a few days off the prone events began, and again
splitting up the home nations and creating rivalries our teammates Jen McIntosh and Kay Copland set
that we rarely have. Normally a large number of us the bar by winning gold in the women’s prone pairs.
competing at the Games train and compete together Scotland has a good history in the prone events and
as part of the GB Team and there are many others Neil and I felt this was our match to lose, and that
(slightly older ;) that are former team members! This we could only beat ourselves given our consistency
certainly creates good banter and not least with the over the past few seasons. This certainly added a
English for us Scots! This rivalry was high again in little pressure and it was a difficult day on the range
the individual 3P match the next day with both the with tricky conditions. I had to dig in near the end to
English duo of Huckle and Parr making the final. finish strong but it was still a score I was not happy
with, 589. Fortunately scores across the range were

Target Shooter 89
Well chuffed for one 3 colours, but of course I wanted one more! My goal
was to shoot a good match I could be happy with
unlike the day before and just see how things turned
out. I can’t control what everyone else shoots so
my goals are rarely outcome driven but much more
focused on performance. Conditions were
challenging again but not difficult and despite a 9
on my penultimate shot I was happy with my 595. I
was expecting a few more high scores so I was even
happier when I saw my name at the top of the leader
board, with everyone else either finished or already
on a lower score. I felt I could have done more but
it had been a solid disciplined performance I was
happy with. However I still had plenty of work to do
in the final, with Warren Potent of Australia only one
point behind me! Potent has been one of the best
low and with Neil’s 592 we took the gold by 3 points
prone shooters in the world for the past 3 years and
over, you guessed it, the English, with Australia in
has shot some of the best finals I have ever seen,
3rd. I was slightly shocked when I got up after the
so I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with even a 2 or
match to find Neil and Donald, our coach, all smiling,
3 point lead!!
but that soon turned to great joy and we enjoyed the
celebration! It was a great feeling to stand on top of
The final is something I will remember for a long
the podium and hear the National Anthem and the
while and hopefully something that will give me both
Scottish flag rise up, added to the fact I was there
great experience and confidence for the future. I
with not just my team mate but one of my best mates
definitely felt a slight advantage having shot in the
in Neil. We have known each and trained together
finals hall days earlier but I am certainly not as
for so many years, just to be at the Games together
experienced as Potent. Going into the final in first
was something we wanted to achieve but to win gold
position can also add to the pressure in that you can
together was just fantastic!
only move down, or stay where you are. However
at the end of the day, we’d all rather be in position
All that was left was the individual prone match and
1 than behind and I made sure I was focused on
obviously my confidence was high. I was delighted
just shooting the best shot I could each time. I also
to have won 3 medals out of 3 and have the set of all
managed to lighten the tension by writing “Hi Mum”
Delighted to be on the on my blinder which I knew would get caught by the
podium cameras down range! Obviously I knew my Mum
would get a kick out of it, but it was also a great
way to relieve the tension and have something to
chuckle about during the final few minutes before
we entered the final.

Like the match, the conditions were tough and

with wind flags only on the 8 firing points we were
shooting on, giving us little to see either side, and
only 45 seconds for each shot, I knew some aiming
off would probably be needed. This lead to a few
wild shots but I could hear 9s being announced for
everyone else too, although not from Potent!
Cominginto the 9th and penultimate shot I felt
Potent had caught me and even overtaken me and
I knew it was going to be tight. After he fired his 9th
shot I heard a loud groan from the crowd, knowing
he had made a mistake I knew this was my chance
to get back in it and sure enough Potent had shot a
9. Yes, I should be focused but you cannot mistake
a crowd groan after the person next to you shoots in
a final like that! Unfortunately I could only manage
a 9.5 but the crowd noise was one of oohs and ahhs
after my shot, I knew instantly we were very close

90 Target Shooter
Proud winners

and it would come down to the final shot. This was it closing ceremony really hit home with me what an
and all I wanted to do was shoot the best shot I could. incredible 3 weeks in India it had been and allowed
Potent had fired first but I took my time and made everything to slowly sink in!
sure I made no mistake….10.7 and a cheer from the I’ve often been told that we learn more from our
crowd! The feeling was fantastic and while I wasn’t disappointments than our successes and I certainly
sure of the result I was happy to finish strong, even if believe this to be true. After disappointments we go
I was beaten. I turned round and got the thumbs up home and think more about what happened, at least
from some teammates and I knew it was enough! My I do. While the Olympics were a great event and a
final ended up being the high final on the line much great experience for me, I hadn’t been completely
to my surprise and to beat a world class shooter satisfied with the results. However I knew I would
in Potent was something I could be really proud learn from the experience, and I think the experience
of. It is rare that you get to stand up after a match I had and the things I learned there, contributed the
and truly celebrate but I was not going to miss the most to my success in India. My preparation was
opportunity and it was truly a fantastic feeling and better, I was more comfortable in the village and
having so many Scotland team mates and support Games atmosphere and ultimately I was mentally
staff, and friends from other teams there to, made prepared to win.
it something to remember. Being the big sports fan
that I am, to be interviewed shortly after by none Next up? Back to work!! I will take a break for a few
other than Matthew Pinsent was also another months and start training again near the end of the
experience to add to the moment! year. Next year the World Cups will be important
as we try and win the coveted quota places for the
With Jen winning the individual women’s prone, 2012 London Olympics. With Glasgow hosting the
Scotland swept all 4 of the prone events with 4 next Commonwealth Games in 2014, we will have
gold’s from 4 and surely the first country to ever do a home Games for both the next Olympics and
that! It was also our 9th medal for shooting which Commonwealth Games which I cannot see ever
not only was our highest total but made us the most happening in my lifetime again! There is plenty to be
successful sport in team Scotland, which can only do motivated for and hopefully some more successes,
good things for the sport in the future! On a personal but nothing that will come without a lot more hard
note it was my 4th medal from 4 events, and later work, training and of course a little luck! But after my
back in the village I would discover that I became skepticism of going over to India and Dehli, the 2010
the most successful Scottish Athlete at a single Commonwealth Games turned out to be 3 weeks I
Commonwealth Games ever…..wow! The media will never forget and will give me memories to last a
interviews, the excitement in the whole Scottish team lifetime!
and the honor of being asked to carry the flag at the All pictures by Donald Mcintosh

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This Smallbore Business

By Don Brook
Dry fire. A challenge, and some thoughts to consider. that the time spent is well worth the effort.
That often hated time on the floor…. Dry Fire. You see, shooting is a mind sport. You spend a great
So many deplore the system, and for many years deal of your training, and competition life learning
now I have often thought that dry fire, to so many how to stay completely still.
shooters is boring simply because they have no idea
what to look for. So where am I coming from here?
Dry fire IS extremely important, and I do not know of The importance of dry fire assumes huge proportions
any champion, particularly in the field of small bore when you are looking for the skills to perform, and
that has not spent hundred’s of hours developing a many high level shooters scoff at the important part
working technique. of mind training that produces the results. Do you
But, What are they looking for? Is it just repetition think they just happen?
of the process? Countless repeats of a single shot? No, it just does not “just happen” you, as shooters
Ahh…. The clue is… Have they got it right? MAKE it happen, and dry fire is one of the really
I would like to leave you with some thoughts to important parts of this success.
Dry fire is a perfect method to train the sub What to look for in a series of dry fire routines.
conscious mind, as it is usually carried out in a quiet 1. Learn to use your mind.
environment, free from interruption, allowing a total When you are down on the floor, and getting the
focus that is part of the make up of a champion basics right of assuming your position, such as the
and the performance that counts. Is the silence natural aiming point, body relationships to achieve
desirable? this, the fit of the rifle in relation to the eye directly
Well in the early stages, I believe so, and advocate looking through the peep sight, pressures and

Dry firing at the aiming mark, See text.

94 Target Shooter
Dry firing with everything available as for normal shooting. See text.
tensions of the forward position, relationship to the sights to see this?) Are we?
sling and the various points and pressures entailed, h. Do you pay a lot of attention to watching the sights
butt in the shoulder both in placement consistencies through the follow through process, and only after
and pressures, the actual placement and pressures close observation of this, only then do you repeat the
of the elbows, and the trigger hand function in terms reloading process.
of address to the trigger itself and the perfection i. Do you do your dry fire routine EXACTLY the same
of the operation. All of the above is a function of as the normal process of your techniques in actual
your mind, and learning to recognise the different shoot performances?
functions is probably the only short cut I have seen
in this fascinating sport. All of the above itemised paragraph is crucial with
correct dry fire technique, but there are two areas in
2. Expanding the mental process entailed as a the notes that are really important to the perfection
benefit from good dry fire routines. of your techniques. Items “g” and “h” are the crucial
Let me evaluate something here. It is not just a matter areas of dry fire, particularly.
of 20,000 repeats of the process of prone shooting. In the case of “g” if the rifle moves, even minutely,
It is better to get it perfect, and train a session of as the shot is released, it can only come from trigger
that perfection to really gain the benefits of a very operation, and this is often disguised in live fire by
accurate process. The process is full of segments to the recoil of the rifle, if you are shooting 300m or full
pay attention to. bore. This is often the case when a sudden rough
a. Is the aiming point correct? shot appears on the target.
b. Does the rifle fit? If the dry fire process is carried out correctly, and
c. Does the position allow the natural aiming point to the shooter is focussed on the sight picture as the
be consistent in perfection? shot breaks, the observation of even the slightest
d. Is the hold developing? Becoming smaller and movement needs to be recognised.
smaller as the time is spent in dry fire? ( Let me tell you, with my experience of full bore
e. Is the aiming exact centre in the fore sight ring? shooters in previous National and State teams, the
f. Does the trigger release function require any only problem I have found, even with the exceptional
thought directive, or is it totally a function of sub shooters that are there, always comes from
conscious release sequence? inadequate follow through processes.)
g. Once the trigger release is operated does the rifle With “h” above, are you watching the sights in your
move as a result of this? (Are we really watching the aiming picture? Or the sight picture itself, and there

Target Shooter 95
Aiming at the blank wall. See text

is a difference. Let me explain……. you can proceed to the next shot. As a small bore
shooter the knowledge of where the shot was
The introduction of blank wall dry fire. nominated is crucial for input relative to where that
Many shooters that are not aware of the variations shot should be based on wind reading skills.
of dry fire simply stick a dot on the fridge and go do
some dry fire. This is OK at least they are doing Finally, there is no need to dry fire 20,000 dry shots
some! a week, I would much prefer you to dry fire 25 well
What I would like to suggest now is that some of aimed, perfect dry fire releases than bore yourself
the first facets of your dry fire should be carried out stupid on the lounge room floor. 25 shots fired
with no aiming mark present. Just aim at the “blank perfectly are much more conducive to confidence
wall” with a specific purpose in mind, that of carefully because not only do you release those great shots,
watching the foresight ring. This teaches you to you are also training endurance levels, and the
both watch the sights, and also see if there is any subconscious process a top level shooter needs to
movement at trigger release. have.
The really important part of this can only be that The subconscious performances that are entailed
right through the whole process you have complete in shooting, are the “Mind Stuff” I am attempting
control of the rifle. By watching the sights at trigger to include in the skills you have by correct dry fire
release to see if the damn thing does move, you are techniques.
perfecting your follow through! Subconscious shot release when achieved usually
results in good results, and many of you have
Follow through can be defined as the act of retaining reached this when a shot breaks just as the desired
control of the rifle right through the whole process of sight picture is recognised.
your shot. The fastest way to install this subconscious reaction
I like to see the head stay fixed on the cheek piece is by correct dry fire techniques, Never underestimate
until all recoil movement ceases as the recoil factor the benefits of correct dry fire routines, you will
is the final process that indicates the shot fired was find that as your skills develop, your subconscious
of a very high standard. reactions will fine tune your skills.

This is why I recommend blank wall dry fire for a If your techniques are correct, this allows your mind
few minutes before you revert to the aiming mark to develop awareness, and install the “alarm bells”
techniques. The offshoot of blank wall is that the that do a great deal to prevent those errant shots
senses are focussed on the foresight ring at final that cost points.
aiming. You will find that as you develop your mind, you can
This factor also helps with shot nomination, a part of actually win the match, at home in dry fire routines,
team shooting particularly that is so critical to a wind then go out and win the chosen match, proving to
coach. The wind coaches if you are shooting full yourself and others that you have done the work!
bore NEED the information that their wind reading “We do what we need to do, excellence then
capabilities are based on. becomes a habit.” (With apologies to the philosopher
Shot nomination comes from the ability to recognise Aristotle.)
where the shot lay in the aiming, and if it was good, Brooksie.

96 Target Shooter
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98 Target Shooter
By Gwyn Roberts
The weekend following last months article eventually managed to shoot 3 out of 4 of the
deadline saw the Autumn Action Weekend matches and starting off with the Plates match it
being held at Bisley and as there wouldn’t be soon became apparent that the biggest problem
another Bianchi match being held until next I would have to deal with on the day would be
March, I decided to take the new Ruger along the size and ergonomics of the standard stock,
with me on the off chance of being able to and not the weight of the unmodified trigger as I
shoot a match or two with it. As it turned out, I had thought it would be. The short reach to the

Some matches were easier than others

Target Shooter 99
happy with as the “miss” was due
to getting a jam on the 5th plate at
15yds and although I managed to
clear it and hit the plate, the buzzer
went before I managed to release the
sixth shot so that was the end of that!
Not cleaning the rifle after putting 6
or 700 rounds through it the week
before may have had something to
do with it but I’m confident I wouldn’t
have missed the plate had I not have
had the malfunction in the first place
so “cleaning” the plates match is
certainly possible for a straight out of
the box rifle.

The Barricades match was up next

Function not looks
and the ill fitting stock wasn’t as much
of an issue this time and a maximum
score of 480 with 40x’s seemed
reasonable enough to me bit it did
grip meant that every time I brought the rifle up however give me a big problem during
from the ready position the thumb of my right the Practical match where I dropped an 8 on the
hand was almost touching my face, whilst most weak hand stage at 10yds. Bringing the rifle up
of my left hand was actually holding onto the into the aim I couldn’t make contact between the
barrel in front of the fore end in order for me to butt pad and my shoulder, so I ended up having
hold it comfortably. In the end though I ended to pull the stock inwards against the side of my
up getting 47 out of the 48 plates which I was chest in order to get the 6 shots off onto the
target within the rapidly decreasing
time limit. At 15yds I dropped another
shot into the 8 ring during the 3 shots
on each target in 6 seconds. I spent
so much time trying to get the rifle
into my shoulder properly that once
again I had to rush the final 3 shots
to make sure I stayed within the time
limit. I don’t know if I pulled the third
and final 8 at 25 or 50m as I was just
trying to concentrate on keeping the
heavy trigger release smooth, but
despite the difficulties I still ended
up with a 474 ex 480. As this was
only bettered by one other shooter
over the weekend who had the same
score but with 3 more X’s, I felt a little
bit better about the result.

Apart from the obvious malfunction

during the Plates match I’m now very
confident that a bog standard Ruger
can get you very close to shooting a
maximum score in a Bianchi match
and with this in mind, my first port of

100 Target Shooter

I decided to start with the front end as this would
need at least 2” adding to its overall length, as well
call when returning home was my mate Alan’s
as making it wider in order for it to sit comfortably
house to scrounge a block of wood so that I
in the palm of my hand when shooting it properly.
could start to make the thing fit me properly. As
To make sure I would be somewhere near the
luck would have it he had a good sized block
right size I first of all took off the original plastic
of birch to hand, which also happens to be the
butt plate and then cut the rear of the butt square
same material that the standard stock is made
so it would accept an old rubber recoil pad that
from so off I went to start hacking things about
I had lying around. This would add around an
in my garage. It certainly would have been a lot
inch and a half to the overall length of pull and
better (quicker and easier) to leave it with Alan
although I could have opted to fit one of the
for him to do it for me, but as he used to do
popular adjustable butt pads, I decided not to
woodworking for a living it didn’t really seem
as it would have added nearly £20 to the cost of
fair as this project is about Joe average being
the project and once the right drop is achieved
able to build himself a cheap and competent
(to lift the rifle higher up into the line of sight), it
competition rifle, and woodworking skills don’t
won’t need to be adjusted again anyway so that
come much more average (worse?) than mine
will certainly do me. Putting the action back into
I can tell you!
the stock I brought the rifle up into the aiming
position and simply put
a pencil mark on the
barrel where I needed
the woodwork to extend
to and this ended up
being about an extra 2½
inches. Some people
are obviously going to
have more access to
tools than others so if
either you or a friend has
a router or drill press in
which you can mount

Target Shooter 101

some wood cutting bits then this approach is 3 to 4 inches long. I then cut a 2½x 2½ x 6 inch
going to save you both time and effort. Most of long block and slotted the middle until it was a
mine though was done with either a hand saw, reasonably tight fit around the fore end and then
drill or power file as the cut or fit doesn’t have drilled and screwed it into place. Using a pencil to
to be absolutely perfect, as long as you have extend the original barrel channel lines onto the
plenty of wood filler to hand that is. If all you top of the block then gave me a guide to follow
have is knives, forks and spoons in your garage with the power file. I took out an extra couple of
then it’s certainly going to take you a while millimetres along the whole length of the channel
but at least you’ll have something to do over to allow some room for the textured paint I was
Christmas instead of watching all of the repeats going to use so that the barrel would still remain
on television. One thing worth mentioning at this free floating. I then shaped the block until the
point is to make sure that you use some suitable profile fitted my hand and then blended the join
two part wood filler if you find yourself having into the rest of the stock. Once I was happy with
some truly horrendous gaps to fill in, as any the shape of the finished block, I refitted it using
normal type filler will eventually crack and fall to some wood glue and some pretty big screws to
pieces if used in large amounts. make sure everything stayed in place.

It may not be the right way to do it but the first The original grip forced my hand and wrist
thing I did was to square off the end and sides forwards into an uncomfortable hold which
of the fore end to about the width of the barrel produced quite a strain on my wrist when I held
channel, with the overall flat sides being about the rifle on aim. It also positioned my trigger

will help produce decent results

102 Target Shooter

finger too close to the trigger blade to the point my reach to the trigger as this will help produce
where the side of my finger was dragging along better control. To help achieve this, all I did was
the woodwork whilst I was trying to operate the cut off a wedge shaped piece of wood and then
trigger, which will obviously cause a poor trigger flattened the base of the original grip so that it
release to be produced. The angle of my wrist would make it easier to attach the block onto it.
needed to be brought downwards into a more I then secured the wedge in place with 3 screws
neutral position so that my trigger finger was and drew a line around the edge of the grip onto
more inline with the trigger blade, and my hand the new block before removing it again so that
also needed to move rearwards to help extend I could use the power file to match the profile of

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the extension to that of the original grip. I also slightly but I’d rather do it this way as it’s much
left a slight flare on the front and sides of it to easier to take material off than add it back on. A
provide a small ledge to help me gain a better few more minor alterations gave me the required
reference and grip on the stock. Tracing around angle and height needed so I then screwed and
the shape of my hand and thumb when holding glued the cheek piece back on so that I could
the new grip then showed me where I needed to blend it in and shape it to the rest of the stock
remove some material from in order to produce once the glue had set. As I had drilled some
a slight palm swell and recess so that my thumb pretty deep 10mm holes for the screws to pass
muscles could tuck in closer to the centre line through, I glued and tapped in some dowels so
of the stock, which again would help line up my that the voids were filled in properly, and simply
finger better in relation to the trigger blade. sanded them down flush once everything was
Once the grip was finished it was time to move ready.
on to the cheek piece and this is probably the
most important part to get right as it has to fit The final part that needed fitting was the butt
you perfectly. If it doesn’t, you are never going to pad and as this was a fair bit wider than the
achieve the proper alignment needed between base of the stock, I ended up having to reshape
your head, eyes and scope when you bring the it using the power file again in order for it to fit
rifle up into the aiming position. Again I flattened properly so that everything blended in together.
off the top of the stock where the extension was Usually you would mask off the stock to protect
to be fitted onto it and brought the rifle up into my the paintwork or varnish from being damaged,
shoulder. Placing the base of my thumb between but in this case I didn’t bother as it was all going
the stock and my cheek I estimated that I would to have to be sanded down anyway before
need a rise of around 1½in to the point where being repainted. Sanding around the edges with
my head gave me the right eye relief in relation some fine wet and dry paper will help you to get
to the scope. I marked a point on the stock a pretty good finish on rubber butt pads, and
which was directly underneath my eye position once this was done I then re-installed the action
and cut a piece of wood to a rough shape which and checked to make sure that I was completely
was slightly oversized being 2 inches high at happy with the final fit and feel of the new stock.
the required point. I then fitted the two pieces Now that it actually fitted properly, all that was
together using four large sized screws and then left to do was fill in a few small gaps and holes
shaped the top so it had a more rounded profile. and then let everything dry out over the next
Refitting the action I then checked the scope/ day or so. After giving everything a final sanding
head alignment which obviously needed altering down and wipe over, I then applied a couple of

104 Target Shooter

Make it fit you

coats of black undercoat followed by 3 coats of achieve a more positive grip on the stock whilst
Plasti-Kote Stone touch paint that I sourced from also giving it the appearance of a much more
my local Home Base store. This paint produces expensive composite type of stock at the same
a really nice textured finish which will help you time. The paint costs around £8 a can but I’ve
now sprayed three complete stocks with mine
and there’s still a little bit left at the bottom, so
it certainly isn’t going to break the bank. I’d
also like to make it clear at this point that when
I described the finish on the new receivers in
last months article as being “not the usual metal
finish but is now more of a duracoat painted type
of finish” I should have just simply said that it
looks like it’s been painted instead. As uncle
Dave quite rightly points out, the Ruger finish
is nowhere near as hard wearing as something
that has had a proper Duracoat treatment
applied to it, and using something such as Gun
Barricade match Scrubber cleaning solvent on it will actually strip
the Ruger coating straight off. So, if you’re not
happy with the new finish that the new 10/22
receivers come with you should get in touch with
Valkyrie Rifles who will be able to sort you out
with a proper hard wearing coating, in any one
of around 140 different colours of your choice
as well!

Now that the rifle fits me properly my scores and

performance should start to improve accordingly
and next month I’ll be able to take a final look at
some of the things that you can do internally to
help improve things a bit, whilst hopefully being
able to keep the cost to a minimum at the same
Practical match

Target Shooter 105

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106 Target Shooter
Target Shooter Magazine is a publication of Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd
I’m afraid there aren’t many words this month, not that music was nothing short of magical. Mind you I could be
there isn’t much going on but the renewals have just gone biased as I adore fireworks. However, as you may be able
out and I’m a tad busy. I don’t mind it really as it means to tell from the photos, they were spectacular. I will try and
that memberships are rolling in, so many thanks to all our remind you about them well in time next year so you can
prompt paying members come along and be amazed as well.

Liaison with ACPO and the Home Office Shooting Events

The NRA has recently had a series of discussions with Even though we are in the ‘off’ season now, there are quite
ACPO regarding Long-Barrelled Pistol and Section a few events going on. The NRA Shooting club Christmas
1 Shotgun possession within clubs for use in NRA fun shoot, Gallery Rifle Xmas Shoot, Civilian Service Rifle
competitions. We made the point that the current position competition and Highpower Rifle Competition to name a
of the Home Office and ACPO did not allow clubs to own, few. All info
train and assess their members as fit to use these classes and contact details can be found on our website, www.
of firearms. ACPO have approached the Minister and nra.org.uk, under ‘upcoming events’.
the Home Office expressing the view that Home Office
Approval should be widened to allow ownership of these Membership
firearms by clubs. The applications for membership are still rolling in at a
good rate but we are always looking for more. Have you
Visitor Firearm Permits ever considered either giving membership of the NRA as
Discussions also took place regarding the requirement a Christmas or birthday present or just as a thank you?
for European visitors to apply for a Visitors Permit when Well now you can. NRA gift vouchers – suitably pretty
they already hold a European Firearms Permit. Although (!) can be purchased from the Membership Department.
to date ACPO and the Home Office will not accept that They don’t have the amount on so you can keep that bit
Visitors Permits should be dispensed with, they do accept secret and can be used for any membership amount, from
that they will reduce the current requirement for the Joining (£40) to Life Membership (£5000). To order your
shooter to supply their original EFP to one where they can voucher please phone us on 01483 797777 ext 138 or
supply a photocopy. This change in requirement is likely 155 or email me on memsec@nra.org.uk. Ordering via
to be in place prior to the 2012 Games. the website will be available soon.

We will be emailing all those from overseas, who have Now is the best time to join the NRA as it’s only £40 to
taken part in NRA competitions this year, in early January get membership until 31st December 2011. Membership
with the relevant forms for both visitor firearm permits packs can be obtained via the link below, by phone from
and certification cards (if required). Surrey police cannot the numbers above or email Nick Halford on memassist@
guarantee document issue in under six weeks and the nra.org.uk.
sooner they have the forms the better. So PLEASE return
the forms ASAP once you know you are travelling as you NRA Membership Application Packs
will need to allow eight weeks (two weeks for our admin) Finally I would like to wish everyone a very merry
plus postal time. We do get a huge quantity to deal with and Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
any help you can give us is greatly appreciated. We did
have a few go missing en route to us this year so, with this Heather Webb
in mind, can you email Geoff Doe on firearmsliaison@ NRA Membership Secretary
nra.org.uk to let him know it’s on its way. That way we can
notify you if it doesn’t arrive within a reasonable time limit.
Also, a quick reminder that payment must accompany the
request as we have to pay Surrey Police in advance. No
payment – no permit. Sorry to be blunt but we are still
owed money from permits issued this year.

Firework Display
Onto brighter stuff, much brighter in fact. Our firework
display at the end of October was a great success again.
Lots of visitors were wowed by the stunning display laid on
for us by Dragon Fireworks. Fortunately the rain finished
earlier than forecast and didn’t start again until long after
they finished. The sound system was much better this
year as well and the way the fireworks are timed with the
Target Shooter 107
From The Bench

Competitions Results:

Our final 1000 yard competition of the 2010 season Light Gun
was held at the end of October. Both Light Gun 1st Mal Roberts 6.5-284 BAT 9.381in. (av.
and Factory Sporter Championships had ‘gone of four 5-shot groups)
down to the wire’ this year with Mal Roberts, Mike 2nd Jack Gibb 6.5-284 Barnard 10.094
Weatherhead and Steve Dunn all within a point or 3rd Steve Dunn 7mm Dunn BAT 10.604
two of each other and, similarly in Factory Sporter,
with Alan Seagrave, Toni Young and Ian Kellett Small group: Mal Roberts 6.539 inches
just a point apart.
Mal opened his account with a six-inch group Factory
in Match 1, followed by another in Match 3 and 1st Alan Seagrave 6.5x55 Tikka 12.364
although Steve and Mike responded with an 2nd Tony Lenton 6.5-284 Savage 14.348
‘eight’ and a ‘six’ respectively, Mal cruised to a 3rd Ian Kellett 6.5-284 Savage 14.411
comfortable win – the only shooter to agg. under
ten inches. Small group: Ian Kellett 10.455 inches

In Factory Sporter, the windy conditions made life The final 2010 UKBRA 1000 yard Championship
a little more difficult but three eleven-inch groups positions look like this:
from Alan Seagrave secured victory but Ian Kellett
did at least take small-group award with a 10.455 Light Gun 1st Mal Roberts
incher. 2nd Steve Dunn
3rd Mike Weatherhead

Mal’s not just a Smallest group of the year:

one-trick pony – he’s Mike Weatherhead 3.182 inches
pretty good fisherman
as well! Factory 1st Alan seagrave
2nd Toni Young
3rd Ian Kellett

Smallest Factory group of the

year: Alan Seagrave 5.838

You can see all the year’s results

on the UKBRA website at www.

108 Target Shooter

Alan Seagrave has had some great groups with
his factory 6.5x55 (Photo by Steve Thornton –
see lots more of more of Steve’s Diggle shooting
pics at www.thorntonconnect.com)

Boxing Day – 600 yard benchrest!

Our 100 and 1000 yard competitions
are now over until next spring (see
UKBRA website for the 2011 calendar)
but our 600 yard series gets underway
on Boxing Day. If you’ve had enough of
turkey and stuffing why not come along
to Diggle and blow the cobwebs out
of your barrel. We’ll get going around
10.30am and might just lay-on a bit of
food! All welcome. fill it. This usually means Zircon sand which is not
a naturally occurring product in the UK and needs
Shooting for score to be imported. It’s expensive and not easy to get
Next year, we are trying something new. All our hold of but I’ve recently come across a stockist
benchrest competitions currently shoot for ‘group’ in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Check out www.
rather than score but, in 2011, we are running a johnwinter.co.uk A much cheaper alternative is
‘score’ series at 100 yards. These comps. will be Chromite sand – also stocked by John Winter.
held on different days to the ‘group’ series, which It’s almost as heavy as Zircon but much cheaper,
will continue as usual. Rules for equipment will even so, it’s really too heavy to post a 25kg bag so
you must collect it.
be identical for ‘group’ benchrest but we will be
shooting on the 25 bull score targets as used by SEB Neo rest
the 22 rimfire benchrest guys. It will be different and The long-awaited SEB Neo rest which we
it should be challenging. If you have an accurate reviewed way back in March has now arrived
rifle and you think you know how to shoot it, why and Fox Firearms have a few in stock www.
not come along to Diggle and give it a go? foxfirearmsuk.com along with a good selection
of other benchrest equipment, like the Harrel
New stuff powder measures and portable presses.
Most F Class shooters and all benchrest shooters
use a back-bag, as permitted by the rules. It’s
essential that this bag is as stable as possible and
this can be best achieved by using ‘heavy’ sand to

Target Shooter 109

The Long View
News from the GB
F-Class Association
by Les Holgate

So the Europeans, which incorporates the do?’ in the sidebar. Likewise, full results lists are
Autumn Challenge - the final GBFCA League available for this and other 2010 competitions in
shoot of the year - are over. If you were one of the ‘Competitions’ section of the website.
the 160 shooters who attended Bisley, you can
look back on a great shoot following a very full Personally, I have tried both Open and F/
year of F Class competition. For some, it was TR Classes and although I didn’t figure in the
certainly to end on a high (read a full report awards I enjoyed both. I now just need to pick
elsewhere in this issue) but for others, they may one - which is easier said than done. What
need to have a slightly different plan for 2011. about you? Maybe you just read this column but
perhaps you would really like to give F Class
To sum up on the GBFCA League - Grant Taylor a try next year. Well, if you would like to give it
is the GB F-Class League Champion for the a go but find the thought of entering a national
second successive year by a clear margin of competition a bit daunting, or even if you think
six points from two wins, one second and one you just need a bit of a ‘tune-up’ on the basics
third as his best four (77 points). Runners up are of long-range rifle shooting, the GB F Class
Daniel Brough, David Kent and Gary Costello in Association may have the answer.
that order only separated by a single point each.
On the weekend of February 19/20th 2011, we
In F/TR, Adam Bagnall couldn’t be beaten
before he came to Bisley with three wins and will be holding our second F Class Training
a third already on hand for 78 points. The best Weekend. The aim is to hold a two-day course
Russell Simmonds could do was to match that suitable for both Open and F/TR shooters
points total but still come second with two wins that will appeal to both new or inexperienced
and two seconds if he took class first. While he shooters and prepare you for a competitive F
did achieve this, Adam’s second place and 19 Class League shoot.
points increased his best-of-four tally to an even
more impressive 79 out of a possible 80 points, The course will be held at Bisley Ranges and
so it’s congratulations to him. will have four separate ‘elements’ taking place
simultaneously on both the ranges and in the
Stuart Anselm who has performed consistently
well throughout the season is in a lonely third classroom.
place on 71 points above another big gap to 4th
to 6th place men, fellow Northern shooters Paul These elements will cover:
Harkins, Steve Lynch and Ian Dixon on 62 and
61 points. (North of England dominance of F/ · Reloading
TR is a growing feature with seven of the top · Long-range shooting
ten League places going to individuals based at · Plotting wind and elevation & basic rifle
Altcar and/or Diggle.) maintenance
· The F Class discipline
The full GB-FCA League position line-up can
be seen on the association’s website (http://
fclassuk.webs.com/) and clicking on ‘How did I
The first activity, reloading, will give an insight
110 Target Shooter
into safe hand-loading for accuracy in both The cost of the course will be £80 but this does
Open and F/TR Classes. not include accommodation or meals, which
course attendees will be responsible for booking
The second activity, long-range shooting, will themselves. It is ‘first come first served’ as you
take place on Stickledown, Bisley’s 1000 yard would expect and if you need any additional info
range and give attendees a guide to basic please feel free to contact me at mrmister@
range-etiquette, shooting in pairs and of course tinyonline.co.uk
some long-range shooting practise.
Cheques should be made payable to the
The third bit is where things get a little more GBFCA and sent to Mik Maksimovic at 2 Vine
technical - how to use and fill in a plotting chart Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 1QE. Please state
and score card followed by some basic rifle whether you will need to borrow a rifle and your
maintenance, including cleaning your rifle and main interest – Open or F/TR. Please include a
properly setting up your scope. contact e-mail and phone number.

Finally, we will have an overview of the F Class A detailed course programme, timings etc. will
rules and the etiquette involved in competing in be sent out to attendees prior to the weekend.
an F Class League match, followed by an open So, all you need is to bring along your rifle and
forum where any questions that you may have ammo and take it from there. If you don’t think
can be answered. you have a rifle suitable but would like to give it
a try anyway, the GB F Class Association has
Last year the Course proved to be immensely even thought about that. We hope to have two
successful so if you are interested, don’t think F/TR rifles up and running by then and RUAG
about it too long as quite a few have already 308 ammunition for sale on the point, so now
expressed an interest and the Course will only you have no excuses. This could be just the
accommodate 48 shooters maximum. opportunity you need to get started!

Target Shooter 111

Gallery Rifle & Pistol News

The Trafalgar Gallery Rifle Experience one I had fitted to my Cowboy had the Bisley Butt
Plate attached (plate 1) and it was not Felt quite “in
There are two dedicated Classic Gallery (GR) Rifle the spirit” of things, I kept the rifle in this configuration
Event held at Bisley each year, the first is the Historic for the remained of the meeting (plate 2). Chatting
Arms Meeting, which is part of the Imperial Meeting, later with another Range Officer who spotted the
the second is part of the Trafalgar Meeting. I entered butt plate in my bag, he was of the opinion that it
ten Trafalgar Meeting GR Event this year so here are would be allowed as long as the butt plate itself
my thoughts on the classic format. was not offset; this might cause some confusion for
new competitors, the “rules” are very much “custom
Firstly the events in the Trafalgar are not the same and practice” based. Now don’t get me wrong I am
as those shot at the four GR Action weekend and not against this but there is some latitude in the
in that respect I found “something a bit different” interpretation and I think on the whole Classic GR
enjoyable, there are also lots of longer range events would benefit from a short formal rule book.
and 50 metres and 100 yards.
Anyhow after another precision match I took on
Following my research on eligibility (reported last a couple of the different events, the Bobber and
month), I selected the Williams rear sight and the Duelling. In theses events the new challenge is
Lyman front tunnel sight on my .44” calibre Marlin snap shooting at 25 metres, normally only found at
Cowboy and put a few hundred rounds in the range 10 and 15 in the Action Weekends and the extra few
bag and set forth. My first event was for lever action metres did cause a few silly mistakes. In the Bobber
rifles at 50 metres and having consulted with the the three second exposures are interspersed with
Range Conducting Officer I changed stocks as the three second away times, with those more used to
Plate 1

112 Target Shooter

Plate 2

five or seven seconds this came a quite a surprise windage I managed a further four “v” bulls out of my
but in the whole enjoyable. allowance of 20 shots and came away quite proud of
my performance putting nothing outside of the four
The 100 yards was next and I hadn’t had a chance ring.
of zeroing at this distance before I arrived which was
a pity because nearly all the matches had sighters Sunday dawned (plate 3) dry and bright with a cool
except this one, even the advancing target! So I but not too strong wind blowing directly into the face
trusted to luck, doubled my elevation setting at 50 of shooters on Stickledown and Melville. I looked at
metres and pulled the trigger. To my surprise it my squadding and saw I had also entered the 25 and
hit the six ring at 3 o’clock on a PL 7 target face, 50 metre precision event again in the “any” gallery
so bang on for elevation. Making allowance for rifle class and this is my second issue. I found

Plate 3

Target Shooter 113

Plate 4

myself shooting a reproduction rifle against those Surrenden and I think the object of this is to balance
with originals and some were very nice rare originals the need for accuracy against speed. You take
at that. I had it in my mind to look at the Trade Show five shots at a DP 2 (that’s the one we use for the
for a proper period piece but what is the point if you Timed and Precision Matches) target at 25 metres
can take part with a rifle I already had and one which and the time you take to shoot your shots, in whole
probably gave me quite an advantage. I think the seconds, is subtracted from your score, great idea
governing body should consider having reserved but there are some drawbacks. Firstly the DP 2
classes for original “in period” firearms; this might scoring area is too big, effectively making it a rapid
rekindle my interest in obtaining a period piece and fire match; perhaps a DP 1 (Multi-target Match) or
give me a new challenge to work up a suitable load even a PL 7 (Precision) would make you think a
for whatever that might be. bit more about the trade off between accuracy and
time. The second issue is that it is a time consuming
Finding I had a near duplicate shooting programme match with individual shooters need one to one RO
on the Sunday did not deter; perhaps I could improve supervision, this was eased a bit as the meeting
on yesterdays failures or even better my previous was not too busy. The same cannot be said for the
achievements? Some I did and some I didn’t, I Advancing Target, which was busy throughout.
seemed to have lost my knack at 100 and found it
again at 25 but most of us have the “different day - Overall what did I make of it all? Well coupled with
different score” syndrome now and again. my comments above there also seemed to be some
confusion over what target faces should be used
Another new match I did have a go at was the for which event, but this did not detract from my
Spring Action Autumn Action Total Number
Event Phoenix Gallery Rifle
Weekend Weekend of Entries
25 metre Precision 8 26 10 11 55
25 metre Precision 4 13 10 7 34
America Match 2 4 3 3 12
Timed and Precision One 10 21 16 12 59
Timed and Precision Two 2 2 3 0 7
Mutli-target Match 7 17 8 4 36
Phoenix A 1 4 2 4 11
1500 3 3 5 4 15
Bianchi Cup 3 0 1 2 6
Advancing Marlin
Target Competition
12 Special 22 7 8 49

Total 52 112 65 55 284

114 Target Shooter

Spring Action Autumn Action Highest Score
Event Phoenix Gallery Rifle
Weekend Weekend Achieved
25 metre Precision 295 297 296 296 297(14x)
25 metre Precision 270 270 274 270 274(2x)
America Match 274 277 276 286 286(6x)
Timed and Precision One 300 300 300 300 300(21x)
Timed and Precision Two 583 582 283 Not contested 583(31x)
Mutli-target Match 114 114 116 114 116(9x)
Phoenix A 190 182 187 193 193(20x)
1500 1479 1478 1475 1474 1479(85x)
Bianchi Cup 1838 Not contested 1837 1525 1838(143)
Advancing Target 180 179 179 177 180(29x)

enjoyment of the meeting and I would recommend Shooting Centre generated an income of over £2,700
it, especially if the weather we had on 23rd/24th in entry fees. If we assume (optimistically) that most
October could be guaranteed again. My thanks to competitors did the Classic events in addition to the
the Range Staff who were helpful and efficient and Standard entries then this is good news for GR.
I turned up and shot on time for all of my squadded
events. Some competitors even decided to use So how did the x1 magnification shooter get on? As
period costume as well as period firearms (Plate 4). can be seen below they got on quite well: -

The Classics at the Action Weekends And how does this measure up against the scoped
The Autumn Action Weekend saw the end of the shooters? At 25 metres very well with the same
first year of the new Classic Classification for GR maximum scores being achieved with a Classic GR
and I have done the maths and think I can report in all but the Multi-target and Phoenix A Matches,
notwithstanding slightly reduced
Highest “X “counts. At 50 metres there
Highest is a slightly different story and in
Standard Scores
Event Classic Scores competitions where the aiming
Achieved mark is absent, like the 1500,
(National Records)
scores are a good bit lower. Don’t
Timed and Precision One 300(21x) 300(30x) despair, this is the first year and
Timed and Precision Two 583(31x) 600(44x) shooters will get better and anyway
Mutli-target Match 116(9x) 120(17x) it is about the challenge and x1 is
Phoenix A 193(20x) 199(30x)
certainly that: -
1500 1479(85x) 1500(129x)
Gallery Rifle Update
Bianchi Cup 1838(143) 1918(159x)
The Autumn Action Weekend saw
Advancing Target 180(29x) 180(32x) the closing shots of the GR season
here in GB so now it’s time to settle
a success. The chart below shows the number of down to the club competitions and winter leagues
entries for each event at each of the four meetings locally. The Autumn Meeting was graced with fine
in 2010: - weather despite gloomy forecasts and made a
suitable conclusion, with the number of cards shot
again increasing to over 800.
It is apparent that the Timed and Precision One,
Multi-target Match and the Advancing Target are The GR season will not finally climax until 12th/13th
popular, but this is the case with other classes. The November in Leitmar Germany, where the GB
Classic Class also finds popularity with the precision Squad again entered the international lists. I will be
shooters. Only twice did an event fail to attracted shooting in Germany for the first time at this meeting
entrants and there were single entries on two so I will report on the event and on how the GB Team
occasions. get on next time.

So for the expense of 38 medals the National

Target Shooter 115

As part of our ongoing series looking at the shooting club which lead me into practical shooting.
profiles of some of the top practical shooters in the What made you start shooting Practical?
UK, this month we focus on Mike Darby, current
British Standard Auto champion (shotgun). Practical is my favourite shooting discipline.
_____________________________________ I love all shooting disciplines from airgun to
_____________________________________ archery, but practical is what fuels in me the
drive for success, whether it’s shotgun, rifle or
Name Mike Darby pistol – or all three at the same time!
I started shooting Practical Shotgun in 1998
Address Dorset, England. after the handgun ban.

Age 42 What other shooting disciplines do you take

part in?
Positions UKPSA Shotgun Representative
since 2008. I am quite getting into precision rifle at the moment
and can see myself being drawn into things like
Division Standard Auto. UIT and other precision type shooting at a fantastic
new target range called “The Tunnel” that has
Champion British Standard Auto Champion opened near where I live in Lyme Regis, Dorset.
2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 , 2009
What is your current shotgun?
Family Partner and two cats.
I shoot a Benelli M2 Semi-auto shotgun. I own
Occupation Police Officer and have evaluated every other major semi-
_____________________________________ auto and feel the Benelli M2 gives me a slight
_____________________________________ advantage over the other makes due to my style
of shooting and loading.

How did you get into shooting? Do you have a preference for certain types
of ammunition?
I had a boyhood love of things that went bang!
I started shooting at school and in the army, I currently use the following ammunition:
but didn’t really start target shooting until
I joined the Met Police in 1989. I started Birdshot: Express Super Game 70mm 32g
handgun shooting in the Met police shooting No. 5

116 Target Shooter

Buckshot: Any Remington brand Buy the most decent gun you can afford, find
Slug: Remington Managed Recoil ammo that it likes, decide on a loading technique
that suits you and PRACTICE, PRACTICE,
You shoot in Standard Division. What PRACTICE!
attracted you to that?
What are your shooting aspirations?
The majority of shooters in the UK and USA
shoot in standard division and I feel it’s also the I want to improve my overseas shooting results
most competitive, all-round skill class. and get more experience and understanding of
full bore rifle shooting to help me improve my
USA 3-Gun results.
What would be your advice to new PSG
shooters? You have obviously shot abroad. Do you
intend to do more?

Target Shooter 117

My true passion is 3-Gun or multi-gun shooting Can you remember the best stage you ever
in the USA, and I try to get over twice a year to shot?
compete in these matches. They are big matches
and last for 3 days and are very challenging. In the context of best designed stages I don’t
You shoot against some of the greatest names recall one that is a clear leader. I have shot
in practical shooting the world has to offer. some really cool stages like shooting an AR15
sliding down a rollercoaster, or a wet jungle
What are your thoughts on the UK Firearm stream stage where you had to keep your gun
Laws – do you think they are fair and at shoulder level to stop it going under the water.
balanced? I do think when I was a novice practical shooter,
the shooting of the stages gave me much more
The laws as they are don’t help our skill level for of a buzz than now. I think then I was having
guns we can’t lawfully own, so it does make it fun for the pure fun of it, where as now I am so
hard to compete at an international level. That’s committed to competing that the ‘fun’ element is
why I train hard in those disciplines we can often suppressed by the need to win, which is
lawfully shoot in the UK. sad as I do miss the feeling of joy and excitement
I used to have in the early days. In those days I
What changes would improve Britain’s was overjoyed to come 10th. Now that has been
chances of shooting competitively? slowly replaced by the fear of not coming first -
human nature I guess!!
Good question, but sadly it’s not an easy I think that’s why I love US style 3 Gun so much.
answer. I don’t think any government would I am relatively new to it and find myself shooting
significantly change the current firearms alongside the best practical shooters in the USA
legislation for the benefit of shooters especially like Jerry Miculek, Taran Butler, Kurt Miller, Kelly
following the recent tragic events in Cumbria in Neal, and Tod Jarratt to name a few.
mind. I don’t expect to win, but aspire to come top

118 Target Shooter

15 and that gives me a real drive and also professional perspective.
brings back a little of that old feeling of pure When I started shooting Practical shotgun in
fun and excitement. All the top US shooters the UK in 1998, apart from one or two people,
are sponsored by major firearm / ammunition everyone shot identical guns, everyone loaded
manufacturers or shooting related companies exactly the same, everyone used the same
and in the last year I have been lucky enough shooting style and if you wanted to do well then
to have been taken on as a sponsored shooter you comformed by copying everyone else - as
by three major US firms. As the only sponsored that’s how it had been done for years. In about
“Brit” shooting in US 3 Gun matches, it is a great 2002, I got speaking to a guy in the states named
honour that these companies want to associate Kurt Miller who (unbeknown to me) was, and
my name with them. This now further fuels my still is, the best practical shotgunner over there.
desire to train hard and improve my skill levels, He started tactfully offering me advice, tips and
as I don’t want to be seen to let the nice people techniques and from this it gave me the desire
who support me down ! to try and push the boundaries in the UK PSG
scene. The advice he gave was pretty radical by
Do you have other hobbies? UK standards in those days and it wasn’t until the
2003 European IPSC Shotgun Championships
I like to try and stay in shape, which goes in line when he came over to Italy (the only Yank there
with the physical side of practical shooting, and out of 300 European competitors!) where he shot
have recently taken up sailing and kayaking his first ever IPSC match and came third! That’s
in an attempt to demonstrate how easy it is to when I realised that I had to change everything
drown in salt water about how I shot from the ground roots up. I was
ranked 8th in the UK then, but after having the
What would be your Key Performance Tip? wool pulled from my eyes by my new bestest
American mate, it gave me the drive to start a
Knowing whom to listen to, and knowing what long process of learning, experimenting and
you want to achieve is important. If you just want development that has led to where I am today.
to do Practical Shotgun (PSG) for fun then crack From this I learned to dismiss nothing until I
on and have a great time. If you want to do it had experimented with it and either adopted
as a competitive sport, and want to seriously or discarded it. I studied and learned as much
improve and compete then approach it from a about the ethos and mental side of practical

Target Shooter 119

Mike Darby Germany 2008

shooting as I could from the sports’ past heroes. separate you from the crowd in the result tables.
Brian Enos has written a great book about the The only person in the UK whom I have seen
mental side of the sport that whilst aimed at do this in recent years is Mick Flatley, and his
handgun shooting, still has huge relevance to desire to learn and improve is both refreshing
things like PSG. I learned that to get better you and rewarding. He has sailed up the results
need to understand and know in depth the gun league in the short two years he has been
you shoot, its’ likes / dislikes and capabilities. shooting IPSC Shotgun – well done Mick !
Master your chosen loading technique and
drive yourself to hone your shooting skills, like Anything else you’d like to say?
shooting on the move, so you become more fluid
in your movement and actions rather than static I’ve waffled on too much already!
and stiff limbed. That will allow you to do things
the vast majority of other shooters can’t do,
simply because they can’t be bothered learning Many thanks Mike.
how to, or simply tell themselves they don’t have
the ability to learn. Tony Saunders
By pushing yourself, and your boundaries, you
will develop a skill level over time that will really

120 Target Shooter

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

NOVEMBER QUIGLEY AND A NEW QUIGLEY see and hit, Ian Hull won the stage with 66pts, with
CHAMPION. Richard close on his heels with 61pts.
Back into the clubhouse and a rapid tally to determine
today’s winner and the season’s Champion shot.
Richard Healey won today’s comp with a score of
124 points, with Ian Hull as runner-up with 113 points.
The QSA Championship is based on a firers best 3
scores, this gives all members a good chance to win,
allowing you to drop your worst scores, or to miss a
couple of shoots without forfeit. When the arithmetic
was completed, the championship went thus…….
1st. Ian Hull 338pts
Part of the line-up at 400yds 2nd. Richard Healey 336pts
3rd. Gary Allsopp 285pts
Blessed with a break in the weather that allowed us 4th. Dennis Richardson 282pts
to forgo the shelter of the covered firing point, we 5th. Eric Todd 280pts
were able to get an early start and make the most An interesting point to note here is that only a
of the limited daylight. Despite a horrible fishtailing couple of years ago, an average score of 85 points
wind some respectable scores were achieved. Stage per competition was good enough to win the
1 at 400yds was fired at the unforgiving bucket target Championship, that average this year would only
which scores 5 points per hit, with only one point for achieve 8th place.
the nearest of misses. The stage completed, we Each year, the shooter who achieves the highest
retired for lunch with Richard Healey managing to hit score on Stage 1, is awarded the ‘Quigley Bucket’.
the bucket a magnificent twelve times and scoring The shooter with the highest score on Stage 2, wins
63 points to take the lead over Ken Hall and Steve the ‘Quigley Buffalo Trophy’, both unique trophies
Maris each scoring 55 points. The 600yds stage hand crafted by our own Doug Herod.
promised to be a challenge, and it was. The failing This year, Richard Healey takes home the Bucket
light making the buffalo target even more difficult to trophy, and Ian Hull the Buffalo trophy. A fitting end
to the Season which has seen average scores rise
Richard and Jake Healey yet again, next year…who knows?
Season’s greetings to all, see you next year.
Ken Hall for QSA

Winner and runner up Ian and Richard

Target Shooter 121

Next time in.....

The January 2011 issue will be out on the at the beginning of the month. Lots of follow up articles, new
reviews, news and as ever packed with the articles you want to read.