View Full Version : I know it's old but...

02-06-2008, 02:14 PM
I'm a new to f class shooter and would like to see a thread start which shooters add their tips and helpfull hints. Areas which helped them get past the initial worries and mistakes.

So please be the first, that we all may gain something here.

Thank you

This is where I plan to start my learning curve:

Return rifle to known zero after shooting, and record your sight settings and load used in a log.

chuck furniss
02-06-2008, 03:07 PM
Your idea has merit but I think you will be better off going to long range.com, More info, but keep checking in here.Some thmes you will get some good tips.Most of what applys to any long range disipline also applys to f-class.


02-07-2008, 06:59 AM
Which class are you planning on shooting? If you have not made you mind up, I suggest you start with F/TR as the F/Open class is really a money pit.

If you are going to shoot F/TR, look at a good 308 with good scope. I shoot a Savage 308 that has been re barreled with a custom barrel and had a lot of work done on it and it is very competitive.

As to record keeping, it is always a great idea to keep up with what you sight settings are at each range and note the temperature and winds. Also, do not be afraid to experiment with different loads and listen to others - then test the advice yourself.

Most of all, just get out there and shoot. Remember this is supposed to be fun.


GS Arizona
02-13-2008, 07:57 PM
308Sako (name?) I'm a firm believer that you can earn points at the reloading bench long before you hit the range. Here are a few thoughts: Take no shortcuts, measure more things than you "need" to, keep notes, look for changes in your brass, take care of them before they get out of hand, don't ignore even the "mildest" signs of excess pressure, try new things, but not all at once.

OK, that's all kind of generic. Here are some specifics. Measure case neck thickness with a good tuning micrometer. Learn to turn necks well and do it. Make it an art form. Measure case bases with a blade micrometer and a little fixture so that you measure at the same height each time. Use different dies, see which matches your chamber best. You need clearance, but not too much (0.0015" at the base is plenty). Measure your throat with a Stoney Point or similar tool, keep track of it and set your seating die accordingly. Weigh those powder charges!

What I'm saying is to take your reloading as seriously as any other part of your shooting program. Do more than you need, be curious, check, double check and triple check things. Problems come from overlooked areas and things you didn't think of. Do maintenance on your loading equipment, keep dies and press clean (carbon dust is very abrasive). Go to the firing line with ammo that you can honestly say is loaded to perfection, then you can focus on shooting with one less major concern - and a small leg up on a lot of your competition.

02-14-2008, 01:49 PM
I am also relatively new to F class. I shoot F(Open) because I feel this is an easier, less expensive class, with better ballistics and lower recoil.

Barrel: this is the heart of your rifle. Get a top quality BR match barrel from a known maker. 30" is a nice length and I found the standard heavy palma contour to balance nicely. Straight pipes get too nose heavy.

I use a barrel block. 6mmbr gun of the week #75

Action: I use a Stevens 200, Farrel 20MOA base, Rifle Basix 2 trigger set as light as it will go, single shot follower.

Cal: I use a 6.5 Mystic which is my version of the 260AI. With 139gr Scenars at 2900fps, I am equalling just about every combo for wind drift you will meet. The bigger 7's and 180gr Bergers have a slight edge but I cannot handle the recoil. The fast 6mm is catching up but they will wear faster then mine and some very heavy BC bullets can be finicky to set up.

The 6.5 is my favorite cal.

Stock: here you need to spend alot of energy because it must fit. I like my rifle to sit as low as possible with my scope as high as possible. Being able to move the cheek rest is very important as is length of pull.

The profile should look like a conventional BR stock - big wide flat forend and butt. The new F(O) Savage has a very nice shape. The stock must track as well in the bags as any BR rifle.

You have to be comfortable when shooting with min neck/eye strain. Shooter fatigue will reduce you ability to concentrate and make good shots. Make the stock fit you even if it means duct tape and foam pads.

Rests: I use a pedestal front rest. I have used both the Caldwell Rock and their new BR model. Since I steer with the rear bag, a windage top is of no use to me. For the money, the Rock works very very well. Just get some long 8" carriage bolts and use these for feet. You need to be able to elevate the rest without putting the central post too high or it will wobble.

Make sure that front rest has zero wobble during recoil.

The rear bag is very important. I use Protecktor bags front and rear and they have worked well for me. Get bags that fit your stock profile and work with your shooting style for proper tracking. You can learn ALOT about tracking from the BR guys

Optics: I use an Elite 4200 6x24 w/mildots scope, AO. I find that over 24X the mirage gets too heavy for me. I hope to get a 6500 30X this year and see who that works. The key is repeatable turrents that hold zero.

you don't always need to spend mega bucks to get decent performance.

Rings: Burris Sig rings w/inserts. I can shim my scope to max my elevation adjustment travel.

Ammo: I load to BR standards - min runout, all measured weighed, as identical as possible. I keep an eye on vertical dispersion at LR. I want as close to zero vertical as possible. It is hard enough dealing with the wind.

Make sure your rifle/load will stay accurate after firing the max number of shots in a relay. This might be 25rds if including sighters. Many barrels will overheat and groups suffer. You must be confident on the first as last shot that the rifle will put the bullet where you want.

The final step is practising. You can never have too much. Watch conditions and monitor what you thought would happen vs where the bullet landed. Make every shot a learning one even if you drop a point.

Enjoy what I feel to be the most fun LR discipline going right now.


Bill Leeper
02-15-2008, 11:30 AM
As Jerry has so capably illustrated, no "F" classification needs to be a money pit. I also use pretty common rifles and am generally reckoned to do OK.
The idea of starting from a well established zero and going from there is an excellent one and one which I always intend to employ. Alas, my slipshod tendencies always take over and I forget to set the turret knob to zero; or I forget to record my settings; or I do set the turret to zero and record my settings then change scopes before the match. I mention this only to illustrate that even the fundamentally inept can be surprisingly successful.
From the time I started shooting "F' class, I was impressed with the way the other shooters would plot their shots and record wind conditions etc. I figured it would look more professional ay help my performance if I did the same so I gave it a try. Sadly, the attenpt failed. Plainly, the extra task was just enough to overload my limited mental capacity and with each recorded shot, I just got more confused. I gave it up.
I'm still struggling with returning the rifle to zero at the end of the day. I think this is a great idea and would help a lot at subsequent range sessions or in the event I want to actually hit something with the rifle.
Not long ago I was awakened by my airdale who was barking furiously. She was barking in reponse to a howling coyote which was brazen enough to sit about 400 yds from the house and sing out from there.
I grabbed my 6.5x55 and a couple rounds left over from the last shoot and dressed in my best coyote hunting pajamas, stepped out into the front yard. I estimated the coyote to be at the aforementioned 400 yds and looked down at the elevation knob on the Weaver T15. I fully expected to see the "0" nicely lined up with the reference mark signifying the rifle was "zeroed" at 300 meters. It was not. I now struggled to remeber at what range had I last fired the rifle. Moreover, I had to try and remember how many lines up from the bottom the "zero" was located. The coyote almost sounded amused as he continued to mock me. The airdale sounded disgusted as she replied. Finally, convinced I was of no use, the airdale went over the fence, the coyote let out a squeak of dismay and skedaddled. Both disappeared over the hill as I returned to the house and almost certain spousal ridicule. So yes, do return the rifle to zero at the end of the day. It's a good idea.
Surprisingly (or not) I employ this same level of competence (or not) to every aspect of my "F" class endeavors; from rifle building to load developement and preparation for the trip to the range. Works for me. Regards, Bill.

02-25-2008, 03:38 PM
I have a factory Remington PSS 308. Leupold scope, Bipod. I use lake city military brass, surplus 4895 powder made in the 1960's. The first f class match we shot at our club. I shot against rifles that cost 4 times more than mine. I won because I keep a log book. I already knew my exact zero for each distance because I brought my log book.. I shot off a bipod with a home made rear bag. The other guys used benchrests. They shot smaller groups but not in the middle part of the target. I shot slightly larger groups but all in the middle. I dropped 2 points all day. You do need decent loads. If you shoot less than 3/4 minute of angle with your loads, go shoot them! The practice is just as important. When you get to be a better shot the neck turning case weighing brass prep etc. will help you eke out a point or two more. But realize most folks get messed up on the technical gadgetry and get flustered in the matches. The simpler you make things the less you screw up.
The log book should have the zero range recorded. Zero the scope at the known distance. Run the elevation knob down and count the turns/clicks. Write it down. Then run the windage turret all the way left til it stops, count the turns/clicks, write it down. I am so anal I re zero the scope after each distance is complete. Then at the new yardage line I dial the setting from my true zero. I hope this helps. The gizmo guys now shoot highter scores and we went to harder targets. My stock rifle isn't competetive enough to win all the time but I do usually place well.

02-25-2008, 07:56 PM
Congrats on doing well with a factory rifle. Shows you what can be done with good notes and proper ammo.

To solve your accuracy issues, just spin on a quality pipe and you will likely beat the mega dollar rigs.

You still got to know how to lean into the wind. Money can't buy you that.