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Chism G
06-29-2017, 03:53 PM
I met John Jones,at the Tomball gun club back in the early 2000. We immediately struck up a friendship. Partially because of my just being curious about the History of Benchrest. John has always been, enthusiastically, interested in sharing stories about some of his past experiences in Benchrest Competition. Over the years he has also encouraged me to keep shooting Benchrest,when I was tempted to throw in the towel. Many times, you will be disappointed, but When you do win, its all worth the effort. His exact words.

John Jones was one of the participants in the Houston Warehouse experiments, In the article,
“secrets of the Houston Warehouse” by Dave Scott. There is mention of a special rifle ,that, at the time was owned by Virgil King.

I was talking to John Jones a few days ago. We talked about a lot of things Benchrest related. and of course Our discussion soon got around to a recently posted article on BRC “Secrets Of the Houston Warehouse. John vividly recalls activities that he took part in or personally witnessed during the warehouse experiment. He states that,

Upon closing the Houston Warehouse to rifle accuracy development in 1983 ,Virgil bestowed his beloved Light Varmint Rifle to Ralph Council, with the provision that the rifle could not be sold.

Ralph re-fitted a new shortened .22 PPC barrel on the rifle and around 1998 entrusted care of the rifle to John Jones where the rifle has been stowed in John’s safe.

John, a long time friend of Virgil, had been part of the initial rifle build and had competed with the rifle at the 1979 Crawfish Invitational in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Virgil’s Light Varmint was built to run in competition, not just perform research work in the Houston Warehouse.

With a world-class rifleman behind this world-class rifle, the team(Man/Rifle) was more than capable of winning aggregates - especially after Virgil discovered how to make his 22PPC “arc”. In “Virgil parlance” the term “arc” meant the rifle was capable of shooting zero groups.

Virgil’s rifle still features what is believed to be the only #416 stainless steel action ever machined by the great engineer, Wilbur Cooper. It still wears the original unfinished fiberglass 1970’s McMillian stock with modified 3-inch forend and retains the Burns conversion Remington trigger along with the original Weaver bases. The original Lyman-Siebert 30X scope set in Bausch & Lomb rings have long since been assigned to other duty.

I have been shooting Benchrest since 1999. I have not won much of anything. I have spent a lot of money, had a lot of fun, met some great people. Its all worth the time and money to me. I thought it would be a good idea to share John's story about one of the Rifles used in the warehouse experiment. Dave Scott,in his article"Secrets Of The Houston Warehouse", mentioned the names of several Benchrest shooters who participated in the warehouse experiment. As far as I know, which is not much, their individual experiences, have not been written about. I appreciate,John Jones taking the time to share this tidbit of Benchrest History.




http://i.imgur.com/UWB2lUd.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/m65ICBS.jpg

Glenn

Lee Martin
06-29-2017, 04:22 PM
Fantastic piece of history Glenn. Many thanks for conveying John's information and photos of the rifle.

-Lee
www.singleactions.com

alinwa
06-29-2017, 06:08 PM
I believe "arcing" as used by Virgil is a racing term that comes from setting the ignition up in a points-and-condenser system. The next step up from "hitting on all cylinders???"

Hal
06-29-2017, 07:18 PM
Chism

Thanks for sharing some bench rest history. I always enjoyed that story and often wondered what Mr. King did to get his rifle to "arc".

Hal

Mike Bryant
06-29-2017, 07:30 PM
Glenn, thanks for sharing that with us. I had asked Frank Wilson earlier this year about that term "arcing" and he didn't know what it meant. Frank was one of the shooters in the Houston Warehouse article as well. It's nice to see the rifle that was used in it as well. You can tell from the trigger pin holes in the stock that it was built before trigger hangers became popular. My first Panda bought in 1987 had a trigger hanger. I think that must have been an option that you could either get it with a pinned trigger or with a trigger hanger as I've seen 88 Panda's that had pinned triggers. I'd bet with a good barrel that John's rifle would still be competitive. One of my best rifles was a CPS SHV rifle that was made in 1985. That action has shot well with just about every barrel that has ever been on it and was what I shot this year in the HV class at Seymour. That action also has a pinned trigger and still has the original Paul Olewine trigger on it that I bought from Roger Gower when he was runnng a Shooter's Supply store in Pennsylvania. Glenn, if you want to write some articles for the NBRSA magazine. I'd bet Nancy would be glad to have them. I particularly liked your earlier article on Britt Robinson. We shoot with people all the time, but the matches go so quickly with so much work involved in the shooting, that time to really get to know your fellow competitors, just isn't there. Thanks for the effort that you've put into this sport.

Al Nyhus
06-29-2017, 08:53 PM
Was this action set up with an angle in the receiver that mated to a corresponding 'cone' on the barrel breech?

Chism G
06-29-2017, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the compliments Mike. Your observations are always welcomed. I witnessed the HV teen agg you shot at Seymour,with your Rifle. If you ask me, that Rifle was "arcing". What ever that means. The writing part is a hobby. It keeps my mind sharp. That, is what's left of it:D.


Al, I have been told that the answer to your question is, no. The Rifle in the picture was machined similar to a Stolle action, with a 15 degree cone and 18TPI barrel threads. Remember,I am not a machinist. I am just relaying what I'm told. If you see something that doesn't make sense, its likely my mistake. I believe,There is some discussion about your question in the Article,"Secrets of the Houston Warehouse.



Glenn

Mike Bryant
07-02-2017, 10:45 PM
Was this action set up with an angle in the receiver that mated to a corresponding 'cone' on the barrel breech?
Al, Have you ever seen a Gilkes Ross action? I chambered some barrels for a high power shooter in the Ft. Worth area several years ago. Everything on that action was angles. The barrel shouldered up internally with an angled shoulder. The locking lugs were angled as well as the front of the bolt nose. Not quite a coned bolt, but similar. Pretty wild action. Here's a link to some photos of some of the Gilkes Ross actions. Gilkes Ross Images (https://www.google.com/search?q=gilkes+ross+action&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH-7bZiuzUAhWc14MKHRv5DUgQsAQILA&biw=1238&bih=579) The top two rows of images for the most part are Gilkes Ross. Some of the later images can be anything.

Al Nyhus
07-03-2017, 04:20 PM
Al, Have you ever seen a Gilkes Ross action? I chambered some barrels for a high power shooter in the Ft. Worth area several years ago. Everything on that action was angles. The barrel shouldered up internally with an angled shoulder. The locking lugs were angled as well as the front of the bolt nose. Not quite a coned bolt, but similar. Pretty wild action. Here's a link to some photos of some of the Gilkes Ross actions. Gilkes Ross Images (https://www.google.com/search?q=gilkes+ross+action&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH-7bZiuzUAhWc14MKHRv5DUgQsAQILA&biw=1238&bih=579) The top two rows of images for the most part are Gilkes Ross. Some of the later images can be anything.

Hi Mike. I've only seen one in the flesh, new in the box. It was the craziest looking thing I ever saw. Well...until I saw a couple of those German Grunig deals. :)

Stan Ware and I got pretty serious about doing a Panda style action with a male/female breech system. In the end, we both decided we were looking for a solution to a non existant problem. Plus, the normal 60 degree threads have more going for them than is first apparent.

Gary Gilbertson from Wisconsin did a couple of 'pinch bolt' actions (gauge fit of barrel into the reciever...no threads) for his .30 cal. HBR rifle so he could index the barrel at will. Worked pretty slick. ;)