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Ozeanjaeger
09-18-2015, 12:25 AM
I'm a long time marksman/hand loader/gun collector/hunter/2ndA advocate/veteran, etc. I've done quite a bit of long range shooting with heavy barrel .220 Swift and .300 Win Mag, but never running the kinds of handmade precision rifles in the bench rest community. I've never invested the time in case prep (or fabrication) that you all do as a matter of course. Till two years ago a minute of deer or man was acceptable to me. Even working up ideal loads I could out shoot all my rifles with a suitable optic.

Then I consulted with an aerospace company that has a small arms division and was introduced to a sub-moa rifle. I've been bitten pretty badly. Tiny groups are highly satisfying and completely addictive. I'm thinking heroin as a hobby may be cheaper...

I am very interested in purchasing a bench rest rifle, and expanding my hand loading equipment for these interesting cartridges, but that's nearly impossible in my ignorant state. I've looked at the few used ones available on line (some offered with the associated dies and tools), but it only serves to drive my ignorance home. I don't even recognize some of the terminology you're using. Rather than coming in so ignorant and blind and pumping you all for beginner information (I don't even know the right questions to ask),...would you be so kind as to recommend a good book so I can at least approach with a base level of knowledge? Given the unusual cost of this shooting sport I would prefer not to make many mistakes, and get a good rifle and the right equipment the first time out.

Thank you in advance!

Ozeanjaeger
09-18-2015, 11:33 AM
I would think going to the BR Club during a major competition would be the worst possible time to ask serious people a bunch of rookie questions. I have a cabin pretty close to there and I have thought about going out some week day when things are slow and a graybeard has time to talk to me, but I thought it might be better to do some reading first. I know it's Bench Rest, but it's still guns, and given the subject matter there is probably more bad information out there than good. I have met a few BR Club members because of Graf's, but don't "know" anyone. I think you have to be invited to join. I suppose I could go that rout. I do have a few bottles of Jefferson's Reserve and some bottles named after small towns in Scotland to ease my way into their confidence if necessary. "The island of Manhattan for these beads? Here's some whisky. Think about it."

I'm all for trial and error, just not when we're talking a $2k-$3k+ initial investment. In that case my proclivities include due diligence. A major competition is probably a good time to buy a rifle, but I have no idea what that should be, and I'm inclined to do some homework and research before dropping serious cash just because it is advertised as "a good starter rifle" by the seller... I suppose I could go to one of the builders and have them tell me what I should purchase, but I would prefer to start with a used one and have an inkling of what I'm doing before deciding to allocate funds.

I just don't want an "internet education". I like to approach things a little more methodically.

Lots of views and no suggestions. I went ahead and ordered these:

"Handloading for Competition" - Glen D. Zediker

"Modern Accuracy In Bench Rest Shooting" - Wallack, L. R.

They seem to be somewhat regarded. Thoughts? Anyone?

B.Larson
09-18-2015, 11:49 AM
I would think going to the BR Club during a major competition would be the worst possible time to ask serious people a bunch of rookie questions. I have a cabin pretty close to there and I have thought about going out some week day when things are slow and a graybeard has time to talk to me, but I thought it might be better to do some reading first. I know it's Bench Rest, but it's still guns, and given the subject matter there is probably more bad information out there than good. I have met a few BR Club members because of Graf's, but don't "know" anyone. I think you have to be invited to join. I suppose I could go that rout. I do have a few bottles of Jefferson's Reserve and some bottles named after small towns in Scotland to ease my way into their confidence if necessary. "The island of Manhattan for these beads? Here's some whisky. Think about it."

I'm all for trial and error, just not when we're talking a $2k-$3k+ initial investment. In that case my proclivities include due diligence. A major competition is probably a good time to buy a rifle, but I have no idea what that should be, and I'm inclined to do some homework and research before dropping serious cash just because it is advertised as "a good starter rifle" by the seller... I suppose I could go to one of the builders and have them tell me what I should purchase, but I would prefer to start with a used one and have an inkling of what I'm doing before deciding to allocate funds.

I just don't want an "internet education". I like to approach things a little more methodically.

Lots of views and no suggestions. I went ahead and ordered these:

"Handloading for Competition" - Glen D. Zediker

"Modern Accuracy In Bench Rest Shooting" - Wallack, L. R.

They seem to be somewhat regarded. Thoughts? Anyone?


If you are interested and can go as an observer to any match... large or small... GO... by all means......take your spotting scope...look learn listen....you`ll learn more by watching than reading....there is plenty of time before,during and after the match to talk.....also...lots of stuff for sale.....

Wilbur
09-18-2015, 01:11 PM
Benchrest competition is not as difficult as it may seem. It's just coming up with a rifle that shoots well enough to win using the same parts that the fellow beside you uses.

GET IN THE CAR AND DRIVE TO THE NATIONALS!

There won't be anybody there come Monday!!!

virg
09-18-2015, 01:47 PM
The two best books on Bench rest shooting are these two:

"The Book Of Rifle Accuracy" by Tony Boyer

"Extreme Rifle Accuracy" by Mike Ratigan

Both these books are the bench mark on this subject. The are written by bench rest shooters that are champions in the game and are still shooting and winning. Both are available on Amazon.

Oh, and the advise to attend a bench rest match in Wright City is excellent. You may even find a great used rifle for sale.

Good luck,

Virg in Austin, Tx.

Jerry W
09-18-2015, 01:51 PM
The definitive short range BR book:

"The Book of Rifle Accuracy" by Tony Boyer, 2010.

Written by the winning-est short range BR shooter in history. This book is the how to shoot short range BR bible, from equipment to loading to bench setup to reading the wind.

Jerry

P.S. - Do yourself a huge favor and go to Wright City and at least look around. You'll get to see what equipment is competitive and how the match is run.

Ozeanjaeger
09-18-2015, 04:27 PM
Thank you very much. I've placed the order for the books.

I'm a long way from wanting to compete with anyone. Right now all I really want to do is make small holes in paper that are VERY close together, or overlapping preferably. I will try to make it out there this weekend.

Lawrence W.
09-18-2015, 05:35 PM
It finishes Saturday around noon. After that they will be scattering like a gypsy camp. Nothing left to see by 2:00 PM except for the guys that are staying on for the World Championships that start a week later.

Wilbur
09-19-2015, 01:02 PM
This is not a very long learning process. If your rifle will shoot five shots/five times in a small hole you win - if it won't, you don't win. About the only thing to learn is to let a good rifle alone - let it win. Conversely, if a rifle won't win you can either work on it or sell it to somebody that doesn't understand this concept. You won't have much trouble finding somebody...

Yes, it's that simple. Expensive, but simple!

I also know that these words will go in the pile with the rest of the stuff I wrote on the subject but that's OK. Seems I have to write it!

Ozeanjaeger
09-19-2015, 11:02 PM
From what little I do know that seems to be 95% of it. However, covering that last five percent seems like it requires significant amount of knowledge. Case neck turning, annealing, uniforming the flash holes, neck tension, altering standard cartridges into wildcats makes me feel like I've been pretty lax and complacent about hand loading for about 40 years now. I really didn't know any of that mattered so much. It's nothing new to you, but most of this is new to me, and I've been hand loading a long time, almost exactly like my father did it, almost exactly like his father did it.

I'm used to working up loads for certain bullets to run right/best in my rifles...done. Now it seems like there are five more things to rework after just finding the right charge for that bullet. This was my last step, but it's only the first for you guys, and that's kind of exciting in a very nerdy, engineer sort of way.

Even in my acurized varmint and hunting rifles I already feel like if I apply some of these techniques I can shave off some MOA. Little is more frustrating to me than a rifle that I know I can outshoot.

I'm not interested in the rail guns. That, to me, is like a computer playing chess. I'm a marksman, not a machinist. I get the attraction, and I'm not knocking it, but I want a human element (my element) in it. I still want to be shouldering and aiming my rifle so that I, not it, am hitting my mark. Maybe if I'm grabbed by this that will change, but that's how I feel as a beginner.

Wilbur
09-20-2015, 02:25 PM
Yes, I understand!

What you will learn, if you don't try to make it difficult, is that some rifles are winners and some rifles are not. That's all I'm saying here. You can try to "engineer" a lousy rifle into a good shooter if you wish but I think it's been tried and tried. I have an example (personal experience) of a lousy rifle barrel that turned into a winner by loading a fat bullet so it can be done. The barrel was screwed onto a good rifle so half the battle was already won.

I also believe that your thoughts of railguns is a little off. Once you have a good rifle, the whole game becomes a matter of "reading" the wind. With a railgun, reading the wind is all there is to it. Sure, a railgun adds more expense but it turns out to be well spent money. If there are no 10 shot matches where you plan to shoot, don't bother with the railgun.

All you really need is a competitive rifle and some Wilson dies....bullets, powder and primers of course. A small press will keep your hands from getting sore and a powder drop will save time.

You can spend a lot of money on "stuff" and your groups won't get smaller. Until you can see that, try to stay on the cheaper side of the game. When you buy a gadget, and everybody does, make sure the gadget is the last one you'll need for whatever the gadget does.

Benchrest competition has little to do with skill. For now...that's a true statement.

Boyd Allen
09-20-2015, 02:57 PM
Reading flags is not a skill?

Greyfox
09-21-2015, 06:59 AM
Yes, I understand!

All you really need is a competitive rifle and some Wilson dies....bullets, powder and primers of course. A small press will keep your hands from getting sore and a powder drop will save time.

.................................................. .................................................. ........................

Benchrest competition has little to do with skill. For now...that's a true statement.

I'm thinking this doesn't really mean what it looks like. Wilbur, do you think you might elucidate on this?

Rick

Wilbur
09-21-2015, 11:19 AM
Yes, I can see that I wrote poorly. I was just trying to say what you needed to win rather than just attend. Hope y'all agree that there are rifles that will shoot threes all day whether you watch flags or not....which lends to misinformed thoughts. Having/watching wind flags does not improve the rifle's ability.

You can't beat a better rifle.

Greyfox
09-21-2015, 01:49 PM
Yes, I can see that I wrote poorly. I was just trying to say what you needed to win rather than just attend. Hope y'all agree that there are rifles that will shoot threes all day whether you watch flags or not....which lends to misinformed thoughts. Having/watching wind flags does not improve the rifle's ability.

You can't beat a better rifle.

Thanks Wilbur, I think I get it now.
Sometimes I get confused looking at some of these posts and maybe it's because I shoot score rather than group. I know that even though I have a rifle capable of winning (and has won quite a bit) I still have days when I just can't figure it out. I read guys that talk about loads that won't shoot at this or that time and I wonder if they never just have a day or time of day when they just can't shoot. Maybe it's different shooting group, but I know for a fact that it takes more than an accurate rifle to win score matches. You can't spend enough $$ to buy wins. You have to know how to read wind as well and a mediocre rifle in the hands off an expert wind reader can beat a superior rifle in the hands of an inferior shooter.
Yes, you can ask me how I know. It's not enough to buy the tools, you also have to know how to use them.

Rick

Wilbur
09-21-2015, 03:05 PM
I don't agree entirely but that's just me.

I do think that score shooting is more difficult than group shooting - it seems to be anyway.

____________________________________________

Came back for more :)

I've got several reasons to believe the way I do. All of the reasons are somewhat the same but I'll use my friend Paul Wolfe as an example. Paul had other rifles, but he had one rifle that would really shoot. He tried the other rifles, but when he really wanted to win, he shot that one. When he shot a big match, there were others that had this kind of rifle and he would get beat by the smallest of margins. At a regional match you simply couldn't beat him unless he shot another rifle. So what gives here? Did Paul just know how to shoot that one rifle and not the others? When he got beat, was that because he didn't shoot as well or the other rifles were better?

Those are rhetorical questions.....

Greyfox
09-21-2015, 07:30 PM
This is one of those topics that I could choose either side and make a case. I've told this story to a lot of folks who shoot with us.

Years ago, when I first started shooting IBS matches I struggled to finish in the top half. But when I showed up at the range, if there was one particular car in the lot, I knew I wouldn't finish last. Then this shooter bought a proven rifle from a winner who was leaving the game. He went literally from worst to first, not all the time, but a lot. He was the same person, but the rifle made the difference. OTOH- we usually have between 25 and 35 rifles competing at the Gallatin UBR matches every month. Most folks shoot the same rifle every match. The exception would be those who compete in multiple classes and shoot more than one rifle. There are several who win frequently, but none who win every time in any class. I won't say that score is tougher than group, partly because I haven't shot enough group matches to have reasoned opinion and partly because I don't care to start an argument. But I will say the two are different and though I believe a superior rifle will go a long way, in our world, nobody wins every match. Even if they have the best rifle.

YMMV,
Rick

Hunter
09-22-2015, 08:40 AM
Conversely, if a rifle won't win you can either work on it or sell it to somebody that doesn't understand this concept. You won't have much trouble finding somebody...


What you will learn, if you don't try to make it difficult, is that some rifles are winners and some rifles are not. That's all I'm saying here. You can try to "engineer" a lousy rifle into a good shooter if you wish but I think it's been tried and tried. I have an example (personal experience) of a lousy rifle barrel that turned into a winner by loading a fat bullet so it can be done. The barrel was screwed onto a good rifle so half the battle was already won.

Wilbur, it seems as though you're distinguishing between the rifle (which I guess means the action and stock) and the barrel. If so, can you elaborate on how to know if the "rifle" (as opposed to the barrel) is good and/or what makes it good?

JerrySharrett
09-23-2015, 05:58 AM
CCBW did Paul Wolf put something in your morning coffee?


.

Wilbur
09-23-2015, 12:34 PM
I don't know what makes it good. I do know that once you find that it's good, let it alone and buy barrels. A good rifle will win with a good barrel while a poor rifle will not - EVER. I often wonder how many good barrels are worn out on poor rifles.

Here's what I'm saying! The folks that win regularly have a good rifle and buy a lot of barrels. That's it! If you can't figure out why they're winning and you're not....then I'm telling you straight up. They have a better rifle than the rifle you shoot! They're sitting there waiting on the lightest condition and quickly shooting five shots - win or lose. Their rifle will shoot through that small stuff and yours won't.

That's the bottom line. The absolute bottom line. Sure, there's days that the wind doesn't let up and a .3XX rifle has a chance. There are also rifles that shoot well one day and not the next.."finicky" rifles. I think that's the worst case as it keeps you from swapping rifles.

If your rifle will not agg in the low twos on the best day it's not the rifle you should have. You're not doing anything to keep it from shooting...it just won't shoot...and you can't make it shoot.

Wilbur
09-23-2015, 12:36 PM
CCBW did Paul Wolf put something in your morning coffee?.

I wish!

Wilbur
09-27-2015, 11:21 AM
There's been no posts to this thread in a while..just wondering. Does everybody agree or is it because you're being nice to me? :)

Chism G
09-27-2015, 12:04 PM
I don't know what makes it good. I do know that once you find that it's good, let it alone and buy barrels. A good rifle will win with a good barrel while a poor rifle will not - EVER. I often wonder how many good barrels are worn out on poor rifles.

Here's what I'm saying! The folks that win regularly have a good rifle and buy a lot of barrels. That's it! If you can't figure out why they're winning and you're not....then I'm telling you straight up. They have a better rifle than the rifle you shoot! They're sitting there waiting on the lightest condition and quickly shooting five shots - win or lose. Their rifle will shoot through that small stuff and yours won't.

That's the bottom line. The absolute bottom line. Sure, there's days that the wind doesn't let up and a .3XX rifle has a chance. There are also rifles that shoot well one day and not the next.."finicky" rifles. I think that's the worst case as it keeps you from swapping rifles.

If your rifle will not agg in the low twos on the best day it's not the rifle you should have. You're not doing anything to keep it from shooting...it just won't shoot...and you can't make it shoot.



Wilbur... Good Post...Based on my 15 years of shooting Benchrest, your observations mirror my experiences 100%. I've had one good rifle in 15 years.

Just about any barrel would work with that Rifle. Some barrels just HUMMED. I no longer have that Rifle due to circumstances out of my control. I am back to blaming barrels and everything else in the BR Rifle list of components,including the shooter.

There are few absolutes in this Sport. In my opinion,A "GOOD RIFLE" is one of them.



Glenn

JerrySharrett
09-27-2015, 01:01 PM
There's been no posts to this thread in a while..just wondering. Does everybody agree or is it because you're being nice to me? :)

CCBW, do I believe this HUMMER idea where some barrels will shoot through most anything? NO. I do believe some barrels are out of more stable steel than others. I believe some barrels are chambered badly and some really good. I do believe there are some barrels that the shooter has enough confidence in the shooter BELIEVES that....BUT..do I believe some are super exceptional? NO!!

I've been through some 36+ barrels I chambered for myself and several chambered by others like Sinclair, Kelblys and Borden, Hart 6 grooves, Hart 3 grooves, Hart 15 twist, Spencers, Spencers with 5 grooves. Shilens that even Ed Shilen made me one with 0.0005 taper and one with 0.001" taper, Krieger's from 13.5 to 14.5 twist and 0.237/243 and 236/243s, Bartlines from 13.5, 13.75. 14, 14.3 and gain twists and I chambered them to where most all I could make shoot zero (less than 0.1" groups) sometimes. One shot a 0.15 agg. My FIRST record group at the recent NBRSA Nats was a 0.169. I've shot, in Nationals with these barrels, some 200 yard groups under 0.200".

But do I believe there are these proverbial HUMMERS? NO. At least I've never had nor seen one!!

And yes, I shot many times with Paul Wolf and he didn't win them all!!


.

Wilbur
09-27-2015, 01:44 PM
Are you saying that the winner simply reads the wind conditions better than others?
________________________

I'll add to that a bit. The winner really does read the wind conditions better than others but does not have to read them better than ALL others - just the competitors that have a competitive rifle.

JerrySharrett
09-27-2015, 03:20 PM
Are you saying that the winner simply reads the wind conditions better than others?
________________________

I'll add to that a bit. The winner really does read the wind conditions better than others but does not have to read them better than ALL others - just the competitors that have a competitive rifle.

No, what I think is that there several things that bring a win, otherwise the person with the hummer barrel would win them all . Look at the most recent St Louis shoot. If there were 2,3 even 4 hummers they would dominate the winnings. As was some of the winners of one agg might be in 18th place on the next agg in the same yardage, on the same day

First, you must have a gun that WILL shoot winning groups. Here I agree with TB probably 2/3 of the shooters do not have tunes that COULD win at that tune condition
(Were the tune of that gun brought to maximum it probably be competitive). (Many shooters never change their load. If it shot great once it will shoot great all the time with that load---wrong!)

Secondly, the shooter must have the gun handling ability to make a potentially winning gun perform to its maximum.

Third, the shooter must HAVE conditions that CAN be read and have the ability to read them.

And fourth, but not final, the winning shooter must have some good LUCK!!
(Remember, there is good luck and bad luck, i.e. if two shooters, up to this point were equal, the one with the better luck WILL win!)


.

Tim Singleton
09-27-2015, 03:23 PM
Wilbur
All I can say is keeping voicing what you're experience has shown. I certainly don't want to be chasing my tail round and round burning thru barrel after barrel hoping for a better out come.
I have a Bat 3L that I really want it to shoot. Have spent the money to re stock it now and have another batch of barrels chambered for it to give it one last try.
On the other hand I have an old Hall dual port from what I understand he made very few dual ports.
That I really would rather be the backup. But I keep going back to it. When it's time to go to the match.
The 3L just hasn't been as reliable.
Giving it one more try with a different stock and refining the pin fall. Then it's going to someone who wants an action for a good hunting rifle

Greyfox
09-27-2015, 03:47 PM
No, what I think is that there several things that bring a win, otherwise the person with the hummer barrel would win them all . Look at the most recent St Louis shoot. If there were 2,3 even 4 hummers they would dominate the winnings. As was some of the winners of one agg might be in 18th place on the next agg in the same yardage, on the same day

First, you must have a gun that WILL shoot winning groups. Here I agree with TB probably 2/3 of the shooters do not have tunes that COULD win at that tune condition
(Were the tune of that gun brought to maximum it probably be competitive). (Many shooters never change their load. If it shot great once it will shoot great all the time with that load---wrong!)

Secondly, the shooter must have the gun handling ability to make a potentially winning gun perform to its maximum.

Third, the shooter must HAVE conditions that CAN be read and have the ability to read them.

And fourth, but not final, the winning shooter must have some good LUCK!!
(Remember, there is good luck and bad luck, i.e. if two shooters, up to this point were equal, the one with the better luck WILL win!)


.

Very good Jerry.
I agree completely. A good rifle and barrel is necessary, but you need all the rest as well.

Rick

Hunter
09-27-2015, 04:41 PM
I do know that once you find that it's good, let it alone and buy barrels. A good rifle will win with a good barrel while a poor rifle will not - EVER. I often wonder how many good barrels are worn out on poor rifles.


There's been no posts to this thread in a while..just wondering. Does everybody agree or is it because you're being nice to me? :)

I don't know enough to agree or disagree; however, that first quote above causes me to think you believe buying used rifles is a waste of time and money. Maybe I need to reevaluate my thinking about used guns. :confused:

BTW, I'm looking forward to meeting you at River Bend next week.

Wilbur
09-27-2015, 06:22 PM
Buying a used rifle? It really depends!!! If you find a new guy that has a really (REALLY) good rifle, offer him 500 bucks above what he paid. If he won't do it jump to $1000 (don't fool around here) and wait until the match is over. He might just believe he can get another one just like it. I've said this before and maybe used different numbers but the thought is the same.

Any used rifle may be one that never had a good barrel. You simply have to look around and have some cash to play with. Said cash can be somewhat stable because you're just using it to find a winning rifle. You may get a rifle that is worse than the one you sold to buy it but there's really no difference in 20th vs 50th place....or worse.

I bought a rifle from a friend that lost his job. I knew it was a killer (he did too) and paid accordingly...never regretted it one minute. I can't remember what I paid but it was more than it cost to build a brand new one...considerably more. Took me a couple of matches to learn how to shoot it. I was trying to shoot as I always did but turns out I didn't understand. After winning a room full of trophys, I fell on hard times with barrels and thought my rifle was broke...and I could fix it!!! The rifle was never the same after my "fixing" it but its still pretty good...let's say 20th some odd place at the SS if you don't goof up. It's really hard not to goof up at the Super Shoot. The other side of the story is that the rifle came with a barrel that simply wouldn't shoot....until I tried some "fat" bullets. Second to that super barrel I had on my railgun, it may have been the best bag gun barrel I ever had.

I'm gonna click the Submit button because my wife says it's time for me to cook something....I may have to take back some things I wrote.

Hunter
09-27-2015, 06:34 PM
I bought a rifle from a friend that lost his job. I knew it was a killer (he did too) and paid accordingly...never regretted it one minute....The other side of the story is that the rifle came with a barrel that simply wouldn't shoot....until I tried some "fat" bullets....

I'm gonna click the Submit button because my wife says it's time for me to cook something.

So, if it "came with a barrel that simply wouldn't shoot," how did you know it was a "killer"?

BTW, maybe it's your wife that I'm looking forward to meeting. :)

Wilbur
09-27-2015, 07:45 PM
Good question! The rifle came with a mostly worn out good barrel, a new one that was better, and that fat bullet barrel which was also new. I was fixed for a long time.....Couldn't win a big match but was fixed for the smaller matches.

HFV
09-28-2015, 05:40 AM
No, what I think is that there several things that bring a win, otherwise the person with the hummer barrel would win them all . Look at the most recent St Louis shoot. If there were 2,3 even 4 hummers they would dominate the winnings. As was some of the winners of one agg might be in 18th place on the next agg in the same yardage, on the same day

First, you must have a gun that WILL shoot winning groups. Here I agree with TB probably 2/3 of the shooters do not have tunes that COULD win at that tune condition
(Were the tune of that gun brought to maximum it probably be competitive). (Many shooters never change their load. If it shot great once it will shoot great all the time with that load---wrong!)

Secondly, the shooter must have the gun handling ability to make a potentially winning gun perform to its maximum.

Third, the shooter must HAVE conditions that CAN be read and have the ability to read them.

And fourth, but not final, the winning shooter must have some good LUCK!!
(Remember, there is good luck and bad luck, i.e. if two shooters, up to this point were equal, the one with the better luck WILL win!)


.

I have shot w/Paul Wolf many times.. Paul took 2 rifles to the Super shoot (his first time there) He used that rifle Wilbur is speaking of,, and got 2nd in the grand,, in that gun.. He shot the other rifle, and finished about 60th. ( have to pull my Stat copies to get exact ) Paul also used that good rifle to win the regional s more than once.. When he didn't win, he was still in top five.
And on the lighter side,, I remember Paul had a bullet get out less than a bullet dia. and cost him the match @ Unaka.. (This is what Paul said,,, "it's that damn wind,, I know it ist,,, yeeaah) He also shot 200 yd world record w/said rifle

Mike Bryant
09-28-2015, 11:40 AM
Wilbur, better rifles get beat all the time. I'd look at it as a three part system, the rifle with scope that holds point of impact, the ammunition and the shooter. If any one of the three, breaks down, you won't win. The rifle has to be capable of winning and has to be in tune. But, there is something to be said for the shooter being in tune as well. Some days it can seem so easy when everything is working including you. You see when to shoot and do it and probably more important you see when not to shoot. Other days you can struggle. I saw lots of 4 and 1 groups at the Nationals. Out of tune, maybe. But, more than likely the shooter missing a condition change. The windier the conditions the more it comes down to the shooter and less the rifle.

As to seeing a grey beard, that definitely would describe Ron Hoehn in the Wright City area. For anyone looking to get into benchrest in the St. Louis area, a stop by his shop immediately south of the benchrest range would be worthwhile. Ron will point you in the right direction. As Wilbur said watch out for the gadgets. Benchrest has lots of gadgets. Gadgets that someone makes to sell to do a particular job. Picked up one of those gadgets at St. Louis at the Nationals. It doesn't make you shoot any better. But can save time and trouble.

JerrySharrett
09-28-2015, 01:59 PM
As to seeing a grey beard, that definitely would describe Ron Hoehn in the Wright City area. For anyone looking to get into benchrest in the St. Louis area, a stop by his shop immediately south of the benchrest range would be worthwhile. Ron will point you in the right direction. As Wilbur said watch out for the gadgets. Benchrest has lots of gadgets. Gadgets that someone makes to sell to do a particular job. Picked up one of those gadgets at St. Louis at the Nationals. It doesn't make you shoot any better. But can save time and trouble.

Mike, speaking of gadgets, my most recent purchase that is not essential but very helpful is the Chuck McClure dial gage. Available at 6mmppc.com.I also made an additional part to it that allows me to measure the variation in ogive jam from one bullet design to another.


.

Mike Bryant
09-28-2015, 08:03 PM
I picked up one of PMA's bullet pullers. They must have been very well received as Pat sold all of them he brought. I was previously using the Hood tool that combined with a Davidson puller. I use pretty high neck tension and couldn't pull them with the Davidson. The PMA tool didn't have any problem with freshly seated bullets. .263" loaded round using a .258" bushing. Lot more seating pressure than is normally used.

JerrySharrett
09-28-2015, 09:02 PM
I picked up one of PMA's bullet pullers. They must have been very well received as Pat sold all of them he brought. I was previously using the Hood tool that combined with a Davidson puller. I use pretty high neck tension and couldn't pull them with the Davidson. The PMA tool didn't have any problem with freshly seated bullets. .263" loaded round using a .258" bushing. Lot more seating pressure than is normally used.


Sounds great. Does it distort the bullet?

I use an inertia type which inflicts the least damage of anything I have used.

Wilbur
09-28-2015, 10:01 PM
Mike - Let's leave this (like I'm really going to :)) in the proper perspective for those that aren't thinking just right. I believe that you are saying that folks with great rifles lose to a lesser rifle on given days. I agree with that but they're not losing to just any rifle but rather a pretty good one. If we can agree there, I'm good for a day or so until I forget what we wrote here. If we can't agree, then we just can't agree - and I'm OK with that.

What I'm trying to get across here is that there are a tremendous number of rifles that simply can't win. I can't seem to get that stated properly.

Mike Bryant
09-28-2015, 10:36 PM
Wilbur, I agree with that 100%. A rifle has to be competitive and some rifles just aren't competitive. A friend of mine worked on trying to get a barrel to shoot for three years without much luck. He finally gave up on it and installed a new barrel and his rifle became competitive. Another friend of mine had two identical rifles. One shot like a house afire with every barrel he put on it. The other didn't. He sold it to a friend of his who thought he could make it work. The verdict is still out on whether he can get it to work or not.

I don't really think we were disagreeing on what you were stating. It takes a better rifle now days to win than it ever did. Take a shooter like Gene Bukys who is on top of his game. He'll beat you shooting less than his best rifle. Saw him do it at the Rattlesnake at Raton.

JerrySharrett
09-29-2015, 04:34 PM
Wilbur, I agree with that 100%. A rifle has to be competitive and some rifles just aren't competitive. A friend of mine worked on trying to get a barrel to shoot for three years without much luck. He finally gave up on it and installed a new barrel and his rifle became competitive. Another friend of mine had two identical rifles. One shot like a house afire with every barrel he put on it. The other didn't. He sold it to a friend of his who thought he could make it work. The verdict is still out on whether he can get it to work or not.

.

If a barrel is going to shoot it will usually show itself in the first 100 or so rounds IF you know how to find the load it likes. In seeing this, if the barrel will put the first two shots in the same hole, it is promising. If you have a new barrel and try a load matrix and it never makes the first two touch. Forget it. Groups NEVER get smaller after the second shot.

Not to say that barrel can not be salvaged. One of the earlier Texicanders, Broughton or ?? sometimes would retune the barrel by taking about 1/8" off and go back to the range with it. If it still didn't shoot after taking about 1" off it was probably a looser. What I am saying here if you have shot that barrel 300-400 rounds, trying different loads, and it still will not shoot don't waste more powder and bullets. Installing a tuner can SOMETIMES help.


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Mike Bryant
09-29-2015, 07:30 PM
Jerry, I've shot the best with pretty new barrels. It does help to have the same chamber, same make of barrel, same twist, etc. As that saves a lot of time finding seating depth, powder charges, etc. It may also be that I don't keep up with the changes in seating depth needed as the throat erodes, too and that may be why they shoot the best for me when they are new. There is a lot to this sport and the simpler that we can make it, the better it is.

Since this thread started out as a new shooter wanting to get into the sport. I think one of the most important things besides having a rifle that will shoot is that the sizing die has to match the chamber to be able to work the bolt smoothly and not upset the rifle on the bags. If you're fighting the gun with the bolt closing and opening, it's distracting and hard to shoot well. Reading Tony Boyer's book "The Book of Rifle Accuracy", Mike Ratigan's book "Extreme Rifle Accuracy", Glenn Newick's book "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy" and even going back to Warren Page's book "The Accurate Rifle", are all good reading for someone wanting to know about shooting benchrest before they take the plunge to get a rifle. The next thing would be to attend a match. I'm sure Ron Hoehn probably has some benchrest rifles for sale, probably new or used. Another place to look is the benchrest.com classifieds. Just because a rifle isn't the current fad being shot, doesn't mean that it's not competitive. Just try to buy Rex Reneau's HV rifle. He told me that the action was originally built in 1965. The rifle is not for sale, nor I imagine will it ever be as long as Rex is able to shoot. It held the HV100 yard record for over 30 years. I think it was a .1482" agg. Rex shot a .1570" 100 yard agg with it winning the HV class at the Rattlesnake this year and the Grand with with a .2030" agg. It seems anymore that there are used benchrest rifles for sale from estates or from someone wanting something different. Most matches will have someone selling a used rifle. Another place to look is Bob White's web site The Shooter's Corner (http://theshooterscorner.com/firearm_list/benchrest_list.pdf). A lot of the rifles that Bob has for sale, he knows their history and whether they shot well or not. Lots of estate rifles there as well. I know of several shooters that will build a rifle shoot it for awhile and then sell it to finance their next rifle project. I see that happen a lot.