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Thread: Benchrest History Thread

  1. #31
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    The 23 x 45 was a .223 Remington improved to 45 degrees.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  2. #32
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    How about a really old equipment list?



    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  3. #33
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    Thumbs up Nat

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
    Nat showed up at a match one time with his 22cal sporter rifle. James Messer mentioned that the sporter class was 6mm or greater and Nat said...loudly..."When in the hell did they start that?" James just blinked a second or two knowing (just then knowing) that Nat had been shooting a 22 in sporter class all along. Nat said everything loudly as he couldn't hear very well.

    Nat had some kind of wagon he pulled along that had everything you needed to shoot, clean and fix most anything. I don't think you could build a fire in it....but maybe... If you needed something, you went to Nat.

    Yep...Doug Hubbard it was - Thanks Tommy! I remember going to his house once or twice and you're right about that as well.
    Nat had a homemade trailer,, resembling a hog cooker.. It had a wench to raise and lower the lid. This was Nat's loading trailer. He used and army canvas for makeshift canopy.. Inside he had a built in barrel vise and used a horizontal mounted hydraulic jack to close it on the barrel. He had a homemade T-handle action wrench. Nat kept his pre-weighed powder charges in rubber stopper cap,, small glass test tubes.. they were a square Styrofoam caddie, w/100 glass tubes , each sitting in it's own little round hole.. The Styrofoam caddie had Styrofoam lid. He had about 4 of these caddies.. Nat would size his cases on a rockchucker or similar press,, prime them and take the glass vials and pour the powder in the case using a small funnel. Nat always traveled w/Hulio Deanglez (spelling of name ,, my apology if not correct) and sometimes,, Doc Charles Davis from Durham NC.. Nat was a welder and and had a small fabrication shop,, I think,, Chapel Hill. He would show up at a match, see me, and very loudly say ,,"Hello McGee" (that's short for McKee). It was like he was talking to me 100 yards away. I could have cut Nat's eyebrows and made a fur coat for a "Mexican hairless puppy"

  4. #34
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    Don Robbins at Dubois 1950. As the aforementioned equipment list shows, he was shooting a .219 Wasp on an FN Mauser:



    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  5. #35
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    A 1983 article on Harold Broughton's .220 and .240 Coyotes. Like the Walldog, Broughton felt the PPC may have a bit too much capacity for .22 (and to a lesser degree 6mm):



    This wasn't the first or last time benchresters wildcated the .220 Swift. H.L. Culver competed with his .25 Dart as early as 1954 (Swifts cut to 1.75" and expanded). Then in the 1960's he shortened and necked the Dart to 6mm, creating a round dimensionally close to the PPC. The 6mm Trapper was a similar version unveiled in the 1990's. Both the Coyote and Trapper were in response to PPC brass shortages.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  6. #36
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    It is probably just me and my changing perspective but I found there to be some actual excitement surrounding BR matches, equipment and competitors in the earlier days. This is largely because there was more mystery to me then as opposed to now. I didn't start shooting competitively until 1977 but had been interested for a half dozen years previous to that. My first experience with a BR rifle was shooting my Dad's 40xBR in 6mm Remington in about 1973. With it's 20x Remington scope, it would shoot in the 4's with the occasional 1/4 inch group. When I finally moved close enough to a BR range to compete, I started with a 40x in 6x47. It shot OK but not good enough to land me any better than mid-pack. I re-barreled it with a hart barrel and stocked it in a Brown Precision stock and it turned into a winning rifle for me. It would shoot into the .1's often enough that it was not unexpected and I was able to agg under .3. Most of all, it was consistent and this consistency allowed me to even win some matches. My first PPC, I built in 1980 on a Wichita Mini action. Hart barrel and a Lee Six stock and it was even better than the old 40x.
    I don't believe there have been much in the way of real changes in BR rifles since 1980. There have been incremental improvements but the basic formula for rifles remains the same. A stiff action glued into a light stock with a heavy barrel in 6PPC. Triggers have different names on them but they work the same. Precision actions are more available but the blueprint remains the same. Precision barrels are available from more makers but, again, the requirements are the same as always.
    Scope powers have increased drastically. When I started, it was not uncommon to compete with a 20X scope from Lyman or Leupold with the 24X leupold being the choice for most. Many shooters were getting scopes boosted by Wally Seibert and it wasn't long before Leupold brought out their 36X BR scope for those wanting more power (by the way, I always felt I couldn't see mirage as well with the 36 but that may well have been just me.)
    The big difference has come from the refining of loading techniques along with the availability of better bullets. This may be due to a better understanding of what is required to make them. The final improvement has been with the shooter's abilities to read wind flags and refine their bench techniques. When I was shooting well, I often didn't even know why the shots were going where I wanted them to. Todays shooters have a much better handle on things. Regards, Bill.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Martin View Post
    Don Robbins at Dubois 1950. As the aforementioned equipment list shows, he was shooting a .219 Wasp on an FN Mauser:



    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com
    Lee,
    I believe that was a picture of Clair Taylor.

  8. #38
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    Martin - that could be the case. They were a team and both shot .219's on Mausers. Perhaps the caption was a mistake. Thanks for the heads-up.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  9. #39
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    I am looking at that Berger add with 6mm 68s for $9. How could he sell jackets and lead if you could buy bullets for $9 a hundred?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebb View Post
    I am looking at that Berger add with 6mm 68s for $9. How could he sell jackets and lead if you could buy bullets for $9 a hundred?
    In about 1978 or 79 when the 68g Remington came out I had a chance, (did not do it) to buy them at $3.68 a 100 but I had to buy 30,000 at a crack. OH WELL!!!!!

  11. #41
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    I believe McCracken bullets were under ten cents apiece back then and I bought Sierras for about 6.50 a box. I still have some Winchester match bullets from around 1980 which cost me 5.60 per hundred. Given inflation, I guess things are not that bad now! Regards, Bill

  12. #42
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    Marcy Lyons' article on T-322 from April 1984. This is the first Precision Shooting piece on T powder, though Walt Berger advertised it earlier in '84. His equipment lists also show he was shooting the stuff in 1982:





    Clearly written before Hodgdon pressured Thunderbird to drop the last "2". BTW, does anyone remember when Hodgdon released H322? Was it the late 60's or early 70's? I know it was all surplus until they contracted the Scottish run in the late 70's.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  13. #43
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    Walt Berger's letter to Harold Broughton regarding T-322. This was also from the April 1984 edition of PS:



    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  14. #44
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    I remember the ads but never the action in the flesh:



    Did many of these make it into competition in the 1980's?

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  15. #45
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    Johnstown 1949. The shooter on the far left is Jennings Prescott. Head-up with hat is Townsend Whelan and to his left is Al Marciante.



    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

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