Berger Bulletin

November 8, 2012

Bullets to be Discontinued

Filed under: Announcements — Michelle Gallagher @ 8:06 am

As the election season draws to a close, we are already hearing about increased orders on both firearms and components. In preparation for the coming months, we are discontinuing several of our slow moving bullets. This will give us more room for quicker production on faster moving bullets and new releases, ensuring that you receive your bullets as quickly as possible. Also, this will give us the ability to move forward on several new bullet designs that will give you better options for your desired application.

All existing orders for these bullets will be filled. Any additional orders must be placed by Nov 16, 2012. These bullets will no longer be available after Nov 16th.

Part Number Description
17 Cal

20 Cal
22 Cal
25 Cal
30 Cal

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, and thank you for your continued support!

Michelle Gallagher

October 21, 2012

What Are The Differences Between the OTM Tactical, Classic Hunter and Elite Hunter Bullets?

Filed under: Hunting Bullets, Misc — Michelle Gallagher @ 6:46 am

We at Berger are very passionate about providing shooters with the best bullets possible. That means not only making bullets with the highest quality components and tightest tolerances, but also continuously pushing the envelope on bullet design and technology. Sometimes, we get so excited about providing shooters with better bullets that we end up introducing several new designs at once. Each is meant to meet a specific need, but it can cause some confusion. In an effort to reduce that confusion, here is a short summary of our latest bullets and designs:

Match OTM Tactical bullets – designed for cartridges and rifles that are used in combat

These Tactical bullets are designed to bridge the gap between functionality and the highest possible ballistic performance. They are designed with a specific cartridge in mind, and will be successful at either magazine feedable lengths or loaded long for single shot firing situations. They are also made with thicker jackets, allowing them to perform reliably under the most abusive conditions found in tactical competition, tactical situations and in combat. The Hybrid bullet design blends a tangent and secant ogive. This gives shooters the best of both worlds by providing the best trajectory performance, while at the same time not requiring the bullet to be tuned to a specific seating depth like the VLD bullets.

Now Available:
- 22 cal 77 gr Match OTM Tactical
- 30 cal 175 gr Match OTM Tactical
- 30 cal 185 gr Match OTM Tactical Juggernaut (which means Transonic Stable)
- 30 cal 230 gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical
- 338 cal 250 gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical
- 338 cal 300 gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical

Hybrid Classic Hunter bullets – designed for hunters who shoot factory rifles and/or feed their ammo through a magazine
For the first time in Berger’s history, we have purposefully designed a line of hunting bullets that conform to the restrictive dimensional standards set by SAAMI. These bullets were designed for hunters that shoot factory rifles and load at magazine lengths. The Classic Hunter bullets are made with a shorter Hybrid shape nose that comply with SAAMI standards; providing hunters the highest ballistic performance possible in factory rifles and standard magazine lengths.

Now Available:
- 6mm 95 gr Classic Hunter
- 270 cal 130gr Classic Hunter
- 7mm 168gr Classic Hunter
- 30 cal 168gr Classic Hunter
- 30 cal 185gr Classic Hunter

Hybrid Elite Hunter bullets – designed for hunters who use custom rifles
Like the Classic Hunters, these Elite Hunter bullets combine the best of both tangent and secant ogive features, resulting in high ballistic performance with less sensitivity to seating depth. The Elite Hunter bullets are not limited to SAAMI standards, so they have much longer noses than the Classic Hunter bullets to provide hunters with the highest ballistic performance possible.

Now Available:
- 338 cal 250 gr Elite Hunter
- 338 cal 300 gr Elite Hunter

We are committed to the idea that all shooters should have a positive experience at the range (or while hunting), and part of that means continuing to provide you with the best bullets possible. Because of this, you will see more bullets and designs in the coming months. We will try to keep the applications as clear as possible while we go through this period of growth.

Michelle Gallagher

October 12, 2012

“Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting” by Bryan Litz

Filed under: Announcements, External Ballistics, Hybrids, Making it Shoot, VLDs — Michelle Gallagher @ 1:27 pm

Bryan Litz, Berger Bullets’ Chief Ballistician, is proud to announce his latest offering to the long range shooting community.  In his second book, Bryan helps shooters understand some of the theories behind practical shooting and discusses techniques to improve hit percentages.  He says, “Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting is written in the same layman’s terms as Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. The book focuses on defining the elements of accuracy and precision in a systematic way, and exploring their independent affects on hit percentage. The material is intended to help shooters make more informed decisions about their equipment and training. Ultimately, the end goal is to improve the shooter’s success and enjoyment of long range shooting by better understanding the underlying science.”

The book is broken down into three main sections:

   1. Precision - How group size affects hit percentage.  Topics include muzzle velocity variations, wind and range estimation errors and inherent rifle precision. 

   2. Accuracy - How well the group is centered around the aim-point.  Topics include leveling your sights, trajectory modeling and secondary effects, calibrating ballistic solutions, and live fire verification.

   3. Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) Analysis - This section shows how to measure a weapon’s effectiveness throughout its range of employment.  Topics include score shooting, varmint and big game hunting, military and tactical shooting and includes a comparison between the .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Mag.

Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting contains 300 pages, and retails for $34.95.  The book is currently at the printers, so pre-order a copy to receive a $5 discount!  Visit the Applied Ballistics site HERE for more information and to pre-order your copy today.

Michelle Gallagher

September 26, 2012

Berger Classic Hunter Bullets Put to the Test

Filed under: Hunting Bullets — Michelle Gallagher @ 2:40 pm

New Zealand Trophy Hunting - front view

New Zealand Trophy Hunting - front view

After realizing that SAAMI standards are not going to change to allow for increased performance we decided to make bullets that will comply with SAAMI dimensions for factory rifles. The key difference is that Bryan Litz would optimize these shorter noses by using a specially designed Hybrid shape. The other difference is that these bullets had to kill animals quickly like our current VLD Hunting bullets.

We were quick to test these bullets in media and the results were a success. However, we knew we weren’t going to sell them as a hunting bullet until we had proven them on game. We needed to go to a place where we could shoot a lot of animals at numerous different distances. One place came to mind immediately. New Zealand!

We had the good fortune of having met Gus Bisset and Carla Lucas who run New Zealand Trophy Hunting. They are wonderful people so the thought of going hunting at their place was immediately appealing. After a hop, skip and a jump over the Pacific Ocean we landed in Auckland and then took a quick flight to Queenstown on the south island.

New Zealand is as beautiful a country as you can imagine. The south island is covered in gorgeous mountains that fill your view in every direction. Gus gathered us up from the airport and we left for the lodge. The accommodations were first class with a perfect combination of classy and comfortable.

Carla greeted us at the lodge and it quickly felt like I was at a second home with both the accommodations and the people. We started hunting the following morning. In this part of the south island near Kurow, the mountains are all around but they are not quite as steep as mountains I would be hunting on later in the week.

Eric with Bob and Chris Beck of Extreme Outer Limits

Eric with Bob and Chris Beck of Extreme Outer Limits

During the first day I had the pleasure of hunting with Extreme Outer Limits TV Show hosts Bob and Chris Beck. This trip was serving a dual purpose in that it was a test for our new Classic Hunter bullets and the hunt was being filmed for Bob and Chris’ TV show.

Being an Extreme Outer Limits hunt meant that I was going to be able to use some of the finest hunting gear available. I am referring to the McMillan Hunting Rifle and Nightforce Scope. McMillan makes hunting rifles that are capable of winning benchrest matches. They are that good.

On this trip, I put the Nightforce scope to the ultimate toughness test. Hunting over steep mountains resulted in me taking a few unscheduled falls. One in particular resulted in the scope bouncing off a rock with a clear “TWANG!!” of the scope bell taking a direct hit on a hefty rock.

I’ve been told that Nightforce scopes are the gold standard for ruggedness so I figured my next shot would either be dead on or way off. It was dead on. The scope was later checked by Nightforce when I returned to the US and it was in perfect condition. If you don’t use a Nightforce scope on your hunt, bouncing your scope off a rock like I did would have likely been a hunt ending event. Not with a Nightforce.

I couldn’t have asked for a better situation in which to test our new bullets. First class outfitter, top notch guides (Andy, Ewie and Dave) who can run down a goat on these mountains (they made walking the slopes look like they were walking a shopping mall in Queenstown) and the best hunting gear money can buy.

I spent the first day with the Beck’s shooting anything that we found to be 400 yards or less. This new bullet is designed purposely for hunters using factory rifles and feeding through magazines. It is my opinion that these “classic hunters” aren’t prone to taking long range shots like those who use custom hunting rifles that shoot VLD Hunting, long range capable bullets. For this reason I purposefully kept all but a few shots at less than 400 yards.

Later that day, Andy and I took off for the north portion of the south island to a station (ranch) that has tons of goats and hogs. This was an eight hour drive so when we arrived we hit the sack with dreams of a target rich environment dancing in our heads. The next morning we were met at our new temporary home by Dave who would help us deal with the large volume of animals we expected to harvest that day.

Coming to this station was the right choice since a target rich environment is what we got. We’d start at the base of the mountains creeping up the river bed, bombing the goats and pigs as we went along. After a pass through the river bottom we’d spend the rest of the day crawling over the steep mountains looking for the goats and hogs that escaped us near the river.

Gus posing by the NZTH truck

Gus posing by the NZTH truck

I learned a few new expressions while I was in New Zealand which fit the situation perfectly. The first being, “Sweet As!” I’m not sure I understand it the way they mean it but to me everything about this trip was as “Sweet As!” anything I could think of.

After numerous animals were taken by Dave Griffith (who is a hell of a shot) and I, we called it a day and crawled out of the mountains in the dark. The next day I was getting low on ammo so Andy and I decided to keep hunting until I was down to the last 10 rounds and then we’d stop hunting here and head back to home base in Kurow.

The hunting was good and several animals were taken. This was tough hunting in that the mountains are not kind to the gravity challenged such as myself and we were examining each animal closely to see how the bullet was performing. We managed to get things sorted out by the end of the day and then spent our last night on the station.

Andy brought me most of the way back to Kurow. On the way we had lunch with Andy and his girlfriend at a place where you cook your food on an extremely hot rock right at your table. It was delicious. Shortly after lunch, I transferred into Ewie’s truck and we finished the trip back to Kurow.

Andy and Grif

Andy and Grif

The lodge was as I left it, full of fun and great food. Carla (who runs on the mountains nearly every day like they are flat) is an outstanding chef. To call her a cook would be to lessen my memory of the delicious feasts she created. We had another wonderful dinner where we told our stories about the last few days and had a few Heinekens.

It was here where I learned another expression from Ewie. “Result!” I internalized this expression shortly after I mastered the ability to open a Heineken without a bottle opener. You use another Heineken (no other beer will do because of the strength of the bottle’s neck) and specific leverage in the right place. When done right you hear the beer drinker’s favorite sound, “shhheeet!” The sound of the cap coming off, freeing the beer to hit the back of your throat. “Result!”

The last day of hunting was with Ewie who prides himself on his ability to walk up any mountain in any weather at the same pace race walkers use in the Olympics. The guy is a mountain slope scaling phenom. He walks to hunt in places where all but a rare few travel to in helicopters. He’ll shoot a tar and hall it back down the mountain. Result!!

By the end of the trip I had a mind full of wonderful experiences and memories. I will go back again and hunt with New Zealand Trophy Hunting because once you’ve found something this good you are only setting yourself up for disappointment if you go anywhere else.

Eric with two running billy goats he took.

Eric with two running billy goats he took.

I also had a wealth of test results on the 71 animals that were taken during the trip. The new Berger Classic Hunter bullet performed flawlessly. The following is a breakdown of the animals that were taken, grouped by animal type and within certain range values.

1 – Fallow Buck – 230 yards
16 – Goats – 62~91 yards
26 – Goats – 110~193 yards
10 – Goats – 213~275 yards
2 – Goats – 363 & 365 yards
1 – Goat – 421 yards
3 – Hogs – 27~36 yards
1 – Hog – 293 yards
1 – Hog – 449 yards
3 – Wallaby – 115~175 yards
3 – Wallaby – 215~281 yards

Ewie and Carla

Ewie and Carla

2 – Wallaby – 329 & 351 yards
1 – Ram – 342 yards
1 – Possum – 130 yards

Each animal either fell where they were shot or within a short distance. 49 of the 71 animals were taken at distances less than 200 yards with 13 animals taken under 75 yards. Even at the high velocity close shots, these bullets still penetrate through tissue and bone, get deep inside the vitals to create a tremendous amount of internal damage which is quickly lethal.

I am thrilled that our test was such a success. I look forward to launching this bullet to the classic hunter and so named this line the Classic Hunter. We expect that these bullets will become very popular among those who aren’t interested in purely long range oriented hunting. They sure worked great in New Zealand. Result!!

In closing I want to give a big “CHEERS!” to my friends in Kurow. Gus, Carla, Andy, Dave and Ewie are a special group of people who made the experience wonderful from the hunts to the food and with all the laughter. I will be back in Kurow and it won’t be soon enough. If you are looking for a first class hunting experience in a gorgeous place go to I can say from personal experience, it is worth it at twice the price.

- Eric Stecker

September 14, 2012

New Berger Classic Hunter Bullets

Filed under: Announcements — Michelle Gallagher @ 8:29 pm

For the first time in Berger’s history we’ve purposefully designed Hybrid shaped hunting bullets that comply with the restrictive dimensional standards set by SAAMI. We did this so that hunters can shoot ammo loaded with Berger Hunting bullets in their factory rifles while feeding through a magazine.

Eric with the ram he shot in New Zealand.

Eric with the ram he shot in New Zealand.

Some might say, “What’s the big deal?” Well, frankly, SAAMI standard dimensions significantly limit the length of the nose (negatively affecting external ballistics performance) in two ways. First, the length from the end of the neck to the tip of the bullet of SAAMI standard ammo is typically so short that to make an ogive that will allow bearing surface to be forward of the neck it must be blunt and therefore have a low BC.

The other way SAAMI limits nose length is by calling for typically longer throats than is optimal. When you have a long throat, the nose can’t be too long or the jump to the rifling is considerable. This is typically bad for precision and accuracy. So what you end up with is stubby nose bullets with low BC and poor external ballistics performance.

We were not successful in our quest to have SAAMI standards modified to improve performance so we are forced to optimize our bullet designs to conform to these dimensions while making them as high performance as is possible under the circumstances. To this end, Bryan Litz designed Hybrid hunting bullets with noses short enough to conform to SAAMI dimensional standards. The good news is these bullets have two key characteristics that will make them popular among those who hunt with factory rifles and feed their ammo through a magazine.

The first is that the nose design is a Hybrid. This design combines the best aspects of two different shapes. As you move forward along the bearing surface a tangent curve starts the ogive. Tangent ogives are known to be less sensitive to seating depth. As you continue forward on the nose the tangent curve transitions into a secant curve. Secant ogives are known to be more efficient in the wind (VLD bullets are pure secant ogives).

When you combine these two shapes you get the best of both worlds (less sensitivity to seating depth differences and improved external ballistics performance). Since these new Berger Classic Hunter bullets must have a nose length that is short enough to comply with SAAMI standards we get the most external ballistics performance possible by making the nose with Bryan’s Hybrid design.

The second key characteristic is how Berger hunting bullets perform on impact with game. Our bullets are unique in that they penetrate through the first 2” to 5” of tissue and bone. Once inside the vital organs area, our bullets start to expand and while it continues through the vitals it will shed anywhere from 40% to 90% of its weight as fragments.

When you combine these fragments traveling in all directions away from the primary wound channel with the energy created from this action turning into hydrostatic shock you end up with massive tissue destruction deep inside the animal vital organs. The result is either the animal will drop in its tracks from the tremendous shock or it won’t go far. This much internal damage leads to rapid loss of blood pressure or organ failure which puts the animal down fast.

We know that this is how this bullet design works because we tested it not only in media but also on game. Next week we will post another blog article which tells you about how I took these bullets with me to New Zealand to test them on several animals of various sizes and at various ranges. I know from firsthand experience that hunters who try this bullet in the field will be happy that they did.

Eric Stecker

August 30, 2012

Reloading Manual Cartridge List

Filed under: Announcements — Michelle Gallagher @ 7:49 pm

The following is a complete list of the cartridges found in our reloading manual. This book contains load data for 71 cartridges. We tried to include as many popular cartridges as possible; but due to time and size restraints, we were not able to accommodate every one. These additional loads will be listed on our website once the manual is released (along with data for new bullets, etc).

17 Caliber
17 Ackley Hornet
17 Fireball
17 Mach IV
17 Remington

20 Caliber
20 Tactical
204 Ruger

22 Caliber
22 Hornet
22 K Hornet
221 Fireball
222 Remington
223 Remington
222 Remington Magnum
22 BR
22-250 Remington
220 Swift
223 WSSM

6mm BR Norma
6mm BR Remington
6mm Dasher
6×47 Lapua
243 Winchester
244 Rem/6mm Rem
6mm-284 Winchester
243 WSSM
240 Weatherby Magnum

25 Caliber
250-3000 Savage
257 Roberts
25-06 Remington
257 Weatherby Magnum

6.5 Grendel
6.5 Creedmoor
260 Remington
6.5×55mm Swedish Mauser
6.5 Remington Magnum
6.5×47 Lapua
6.5-284 Norma
264 Winchester Magnum

270 Caliber
270 Winchester
270 Winchester Short Magnum
270 Weatherby Magnum

7mm-08 Remington
7×57mm Mauser
280 Remington
284 Winchester
7mm Rem Short Action Ultra Mag
7mm Winchester Short Magnum
7mm Remington Magnum
7mm Weatherby Magnum
7mm Dakota
7mm Shooting Times Westerner
7.21 Lazzeroni Firebird
7.21 Lazzeroni Tomahawk
7mm Remington Ultra Magnum

30 Caliber
7.5×55mm Schmidt Rubin 7.5 Swiss
300 Savage
308 Winchester
30-06 Springfield
300 Rem Short Action Ultra Mag
300 Winchester Short Magnum
300 H&H Magnum
308 Norma Magnum
300 Winchester Magnum
300 Weatherby Magnum
300 Remington Ultra Magnum
30-378 Weatherby Magnum

August 27, 2012

Berger Bullets Reloading Manual is Finished

Filed under: Announcements — Michelle Gallagher @ 10:27 am

It is with great pride and pleasure that I announce the completion of the Berger Bullets Reloading Manual. This 829 page manual has become real and will be available to the public in the next few months. Our team worked very hard to create a thorough manual which gives the shooter everything they come to expect from a reloading manual, along with several extra items we hope the shooters will find interesting and useful.

One of these additional features is The Story of Walt Berger. Walt was born at the end of the Golden Twenties and the beginning of the Great Depression. His story is about overcoming great odds and seeing things through to success when almost everyone around him was convinced he would fail.

There are technical articles on subjects such as Powder – Lot to Lot Variation Discussed. Noted Editor John Barsness tackles this subject with skill and experience. He provides the shooter with a much greater understanding of why loading manuals do not list the same loads from manual to manual, yet are more consistent than shooters might think.

Other technical sections written by Ballistician Bryan Litz discuss G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients, Form Factor: A Useful Analysis Tool and The Effects of Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO) will expand the shooter’s understanding of these subjects and how they can be used to improve the shooting experience.

There is also a section for the new rifle shooter, which describes ten different ways that a rifle can be used to enjoy the shooting sports. Each section is written by an expert in their discipline. These include a section on Short Range Benchrest by Walt Berger, High Power – Across the Course by Sherri Jo Gallagher, Palma, Long Range & Fullbore by Nancy Tompkins and Precision Hunting by John Burns. Each one is meant to give the shooter a taste of these activities so that they can consider exploring them further.

There are several other sections that are included to provide the shooter with an expanded knowledge of the shooting sports. This includes everything from Handloading Basics for the new and novice shooter to an article on Basic Statistics for Handloading for the more advanced shooter who is looking to raise their ability to understand their results and influence them effectively.

At the end of the day, this is a reloading manual. We spent a considerable amount of time putting together loads for seventy-one different cartridges. The majority of powders used to develop the loads for each cartridge were selected due to the fact that they result in 90% or higher fill ratio. It is generally believed that powders which have a fill ratio over 90% will perform best in a given case, since the powder will not be moving around as much in the case.

One of the reasons it took so long to complete this manual is because we wanted to include as much good information as we could provide. It is my opinion that we have succeeded in this effort and I am proud that we are ready to provide a quality loading manual which will help rifle shooters at all levels.

We are accepting pre-orders on these manuals, and will begin shipping in Oct. The first 3,000 manuals will be signed by Walt Berger, Eric Stecker, Bryan Litz and Michelle Gallagher. To place your order, call 714-447-5422 or visit our shopping cart HERE. The retail price is $29.

Eric Stecker

August 12, 2012

2012 National Long Range Championships - Day 2

Filed under: Match Results — Michelle Gallagher @ 8:07 pm

The week is flying by. The High Power phase has ended, and we’re already halfway into the 2012 National Long Range Championships at Camp Perry. Congratulations to the winners of the High Power matches! Click HERE to see the full results.

The towers leading into Camp Perry are a welcome sight for shooters every year.

The towers leading into Camp Perry are a welcome sight for shooters every year.

Saturday, Aug 11, was the first day of the Long Range matches. This is a special Nationals for two reasons. First, the America’s Match is being shot here for the first time. The America’s Match is a team event that is held every two years, and alternates between the US and Canada. Because of that match, we are lucky to have teams competing from the UK, Canada, Australia and Japan. Also, this is the first year that the Matches are open to F-Class shooters. This year was a trial run, and the F-Class shooters have been eager to experience Camp Perry.

The first day consisted of two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards, with a final shoot-off for each division within each match. These matches are called the Mustin and the Band of Brothers, and are both fairly new additions to the Nationals. The day was cloudy, cool and windy. Each match has five divisions - Any Rifle, Palma Rifle, Service Rifle, F-Open and F-TR. The high scorer on each relay qualifies for the shoot-off at the end of the day, which consists of a ten shot string at 1000 yards against the other people in each division.

Sunday was the Leech Cup, the Porter Trophy and the Andrus Memorial Trophy. We also shot a 4-man team match at 1000 yards in the afternoon. The weather was trickier than it looked, but it was a beautiful day with sun and relatively low temperatures. Tomorrow, we shoot the Wimbledon Cup, Farr Trophy and Doc Aitken Trophy, along with another team match at 1000 yards.

After the first two days, there is a five-way tie for match winner. John Whidden, Bryan Litz, Michelle Gallagher, John Friguglietti and Norm Anderson are all down just two points (out of a possible 600). There is one more 1000 yd match plus a palma course (15 shots at 800, 900 and 1000 yds each), so there is plenty of shooting left to go!

Congratulations to the winners so far! Follow the results on the NRA Website. Unfortunately, the F-Class results are not posted, but congratulations to David Bailey and Dan Pohlabel for winning Sunday’s F-Open and F-TR matches (respectively). Also, congratulations to Nancy Tompkins for her seventh Leech Cup win! I ended up pulling targets for the shoot-off yesterday, and did not get back to the line in time to hear the results of the shoot-offs. We will post that information as soon as possible. Also, read the Daily Bulletin and NRA Blog for up-to-date articles about the matches. More results to come!

Michelle Gallagher

August 1, 2012

2012 National Matches - President’s & NTI results

Filed under: Match Results, Twist Rate — Michelle Gallagher @ 11:14 am

It’s that time again! Rifle and pistol shooters from all over the US flock to Ohio every summer for the National Matches at Camp Perry (an Ohio National Guard base). These matches have been held since 1903 and run for almost six weeks each year. The highpower phase starts this week with the CMP Matches. This week is a blend of highpower “Across the Course” Service Rifle competition and education opportunities for new shooters. The Small Arms Firing school is open to competitors of all levels, and focuses on gun safety and training tips from expert shooters.

The main road leads from the front gates to the firing lines.  It\'s an impressive sight, no matter how many times you see it. (click to enlarge)

The main road leads from the front gates to the firing lines. It's an impressive sight, no matter how many times you see it. (click to enlarge)

The competition started on Monday with the President’s Match. The President’s Match is arguably one of the most prestigious rifle matches in the United States today, and a very common goal among Across the Course shooters is to qualify for the President’s 100. Hap Rocketto wrote an article about the history of this match, which can be read HERE. The President’s Match consists of 30 shots – 10 shots offhand at 200 yards, 10 shots rapid fire prone at 300 yards and 10 shots prone at 600 yards. The top 20 shooters then shoot a 10 shot shoot-off at 600 yards to determine the final winner. There are no sighting shots allowed for these matches, so shooters must show up with accurate sight settings if they hope to do well. SSG Ty Cooper of GA and Jared Perry of CA both shot perfect scores of 300 in the President’s, but Jared won the over-all match with a shoot-off score of 98-3x.

The firing line from Viale Range. (click to enlarge)

The firing line from Viale Range. (click to enlarge)

Tuesday was the National Trophy Individual Match, which is equally significant to military and civilian competitors alike. This is also the National Championship Leg Match, where shooters earn “leg points” for placing well. You must accumulate 30 leg points to become Distinguished, which is a second goal among most Across the Course shooters. Many shooters travel to Ohio solely for the President’s and NTI Matches, sometimes spending more time traveling than they actually do competing. This is a 50 shot match – 10 offhand at 200 yards, 10 sitting rapid fire at 200 yards, 10 prone rapid fire at 300 yards and 20 prone at 600 yards. Over 1,100 people competed in the NTI, and SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher from GA won the match with a 494-15x.

The CMP Matches will continue throughout the week, and will feature mainly team events. The Nationals continue next week with the NRA Highpower Nationals, and finally the NRA Long Range Nationals. Visit the CMP website HERE to view the results as they come in. You can also read more about the history of the matches and trophies HERE.

Michelle Gallagher

July 17, 2012

2012 Irish Nationals

Filed under: Match Results — Michelle Gallagher @ 11:39 am

Mellifont Abbey was buit in 1157

Mellifont Abbey, which was built in 1157

The first time I shot in Ireland was in 2011, as a member of the US F-Class Rifle Team competing in the Creedmoor Match. I quickly fell in love with the range, the countryside and the people. So when they invited me to return this year for their Nationals, it was an easy decision. The match was to be held over a two day weekend in May. When I saw the schedule of events, I couldn’t help but wonder how they expected to fit so many matches into two days. They managed that, and much more.

I flew into Dublin, and Noel Kelly met me at the airport. I spent the rest of the day fighting jet lag while he took me to Monasterboice, Slane Abbey and many other well-known historical sights. It’s very humbling to stand next to walls and towers that were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. The gray stones and brilliant green hills go so well together. It is a beautiful country, full of history and some of the friendliest people one could ever hope to meet.

The next day, we drove down to the range. The Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland is located near Tullamore, in the middle of the island. The new 1000 yard range has 20 firing points and some of the most challenging wind conditions that I’ve ever shot in. The range is built over a peat bog, which means you can almost always count on seeing some mirage, no matter how cold it is! We met up with John Paul Craven and Stephen Hogan for a bit more sight-seeing and some long range practice.

Long range practice at 1000 yards.

Long range practice at 1000 yards.

The Nationals started on Saturday morning with the TR (Target Rifle, or sling in the US), F-Open and F-TR championships. I was told that I would be competing in both the TR and F-Open matches. When I asked how I was supposed to shoot in two matches at the same time, they smiled and told me to wait and see. The F-Open shooters shot first, and shot a straight palma course. We started at 800 yards, then moved directly to 900, and then 1000 yards for 15 shots each. When we finished that relay, they moved me down to the other end of the line, and I did the exact same thing with the Target Rifle.

Once that was over, we took a tea/lunch break before meeting at the old range for the Hunting and Historic Rifle matches. These matches were shot at 100 yards. The first three shots were fired as sighters from a supported prone position, meaning the shooters could use bags or rests to support the rifle. The shooters then walked to the targets to check their sight settings, then fired another seven shots supported prone, then five shots unsupported prone and five shots kneeling. I hadn’t planned to shoot either of these matches, but was given a Mauser rifle and had a great deal of fun shooting it in the Historic match.

2nd place F-TR Team - The Hybrids.  Team members L to R - Pat Hunt, Terry McQuait, Michelle Gallagher and John McLoughlin.  Awards presented by Noel Kelly

2nd place F-TR Team - The Hybrids. Team members L to R - Pat Hunt, Terry McQuaid, Michelle Gallagher and John McLoughlin. Awards presented by Noel Kelly

We met up again Sunday morning for the rest of the matches. The first event of the day was a team match, which was shot at 900 and 1000 yards. I was lucky enough to shoot (and help coach) an F-TR team. Coaching at the MNCSI Range is never easy, but we had a great time and learned a lot.

After lunch, we shot the Match Rifle and Benchrest matches. The Match Rifle class is typically shot at 1000, 1100 and 1200 yards; and is shot from the prone position with a rifle and sling, but shooters are also allowed to use a rest under their hand to help support the rifle. When I finished that match, I was again moved to the other end of the line for the “Belly Benchrest” Match. This consisted of two five-shot strings at 1000 yards. The targets were pulled after the five shots and scored for group size. I’d never shot either of these before, but enjoyed them both thoroughly.

When the shooting was over, we moved back to the clubhouse for more tea and presentation of the awards. After the awards, we met up at the pub for dinner. Sitting around a table with good friends telling stories was a fitting end to a great match.

We met up at the range on Monday morning for a bit more practice. In a little over two hours, we saw everything from sunshine to hail, and the winds certainly gave us something to work with! Every long range shooter in the world could benefit from shooting at the MNSCI Range. It’s without a doubt one of the toughest ranges I’ve shot on, and I love the challenge. I learn something new every time I shoot there, and cannot wait for the opportunity to go back!

I have to thank everyone at the NRAI and especially Noel, JP and Stephen for putting this all together. I feel so lucky to have been a part of their Nationals. I couldn’t figure out how they planned to squeeze ten different matches into two days, but it was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable matches I’ve ever shot. I’d love to run a match like that in the US sometime. It was a great way to get a little taste of everything. And my hosts were wonderful. Irish hospitality is certainly second to none. These shooters go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome, and I will cherish the friendships that have developed. If you ever have the opportunity to shoot on this range, I encourage you do to so. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Visit the NRA of Ireland website HERE for a complete list of the winners and more information on the Midlands range.

Visit our Facebook album to see more pictures from the match.

Michelle Gallagher

In the mountains near Tullamore.  There\'s a reason everything\'s so green, but we were lucky to have such good weather for the match!

In the mountains near Tullamore. There's a reason everything's so green, but we were lucky to have such good weather for the match!

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