Thursday, February 16, 2012

Berger Bullet Matches -- a View from the Line

From: Capt Bob Peasley 

Feb. 14, 2012 VD
Hi Jim:
  It was great to see you and the other local shooters at the Berger Bullets SW Nationals last week. I had a great time & really enjoyed the match.  It was an excellent break from winter in Minnesota despite not really having much winter this year.
  With all the equipment needed I decided to shoot just Palma rifle all the way even though any rifle was allowed on Saturday & Sunday. I had made a few minor changes in my Palma rifle & load since last summer but the only testing I could do was at 100 yards on my range on the farm.  And believe it or not we had 4 or 5 days in December and January when one could actually be outside and do some shooting.

  Upon advice from Bob Jones last summer I purchased a .37 power front to replace the .50 I have used for several years. I had also shot the last of my Lapua Palma bullets last fall and switched to the “green box” brand. After moly coating bullets since “time zero” I decided to shoot plain bullets in the Palma rifle.  And finally I have switched to N140 vs. Varget for my powder. We all know one has to be nuts to make this many changes in ammo and equipment and go to a big match without some serious testing. But I was able to shoot a few groups and chronograph a few loads from bench rest at 100 yards. The .37 lens seemed to give a very slightly better sight picture than the .50. The load shot 10 shots into about 9/16” so I sent in my entry, made reservations at the Miller Motel and got on the Delta web site.          
Phil, Matt, Brian, Jay, ... at the Berger Matches
  The load shot as well or better than any other I have tried in a Palma rifle.  I’m not sure if it was the clear desert SW air or the .37 lens or a little of each but I could clearly see the target more clearly than in the last few years shooting in the Midwest summer humidity. I even got bold enough to try shooting favors on a few shots and it worked!  My X count with the Palma rifle has never been good but it was improved by something and I think it’s mostly being able to see and call shots.  DUH!!
  The range was in great shape after the upgrades although the trailers used for transportation to the pits could have used bigger tires for more rock clearance.  A couple times I thought I would need a chiropractor when I got to the pits! OK………it wasn’t that bad and it did beat walking.
Berger ran a fine match and a good course of fire with variety.  Mid and all the club guys also did a great job with targets and range duties. I could and will recommend this match to those interested in long range competition.  I wish I could come back for the Berger OTC match but duty calls in Minnesota.
  A couple of the Minnesota guys expressed an interest in seeing the Pima aviation museum in Tucson on the Tuesday prior to the match. For whatever reason it didn’t work out this year but I’m going to make it work out next year.  I have been there twice and always see something new.  They now have the last B36 bomber built totally restored and on display and I need to see it!
I'm looking forward to seeing you on the line in Minnesota again this spring.

Video -- Berger matches-    "A View from the Pits"   Click Here
   Thanks, Bob for the report. I think that this "Winter Nationals" match is going to become a bigger and bigger match  as time goes on, and more shooters want to get in 5 days of  prone long range shooting during the winter months. 
  And let's not forget that the Berger Long Range Nationals in February is just the beginning of the prone shooting opportunities during the Phoenix spring shooting season.  In just about a week from now starts "March Madness"  -- 5 weekends of Outdoor Prone Small Bore matches, that include 3 two day championships (3200s), and 2 four day Championships (6400s).  Yes! That's about 14 prone outdoor 1600 matches to shoot starting Feb 24 with the Tarantula 4800 Metric matches, and includes the huge Western WildCat matches starting Mar 18 with a team match.  I can't wait.  That's about 2000 rds, for record in a month!  
   February 24-27th  --  Tarantula 4800 metric prone -- Program: click here
   March  3-4th         --  Road Runner 3200 prone   --    Program: click here
   March  10-11th     --  Diamond Back 3200 Prone  --
   March  14-18th     -- Western Wildcat Matches  6400 Prone -- Program  Click Here
   March  24-25th     --  AZ Sb State Prone Champ  3200 Prone -- Program: Click Here

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