We all had a great time in Pella. The Iowa guys are great hosts & great shooters. Also got to meet Eric W. (crow mag) and was even able to send several rounds downrange with his 338 Lapua Imp. specialty handgun. Recoil is less than a non-braked 15 inch 30-06 in an Encore. Put more rounds @ 1000 yards than ever before.
They started a handgun class for us this time--Yeah!!!
Had a ton of fun hitting clay pigeons and bowling pins (Bowling with bullets?) @ 1000 yards. Here is a little more info about the shoot itself.
We had four handgun shooters. As Marc S. couldn't get his 15 inch 30-06 Encore on at 1000 yards so he shot his Ruger #1 rifle in light and heavy class, but next time he will be ready to go in the handgun class. Three guys shot Center-Grip XP's and one shot a rear grip BAT action. The 3-XP's all were chambered in 6.5-284 (2-Broughton Barrels and 1 Krieger Barrel) and the BAT action was chambered in a 338 Lapua Improved (Newakwa). Best 5-shot group @ 1000 yds. by the handgunners was just over 9 inches (and he shot off of a Harris Bi-Pod). I also used my XP and competed in the "Light Rifle" class too. Hitting clay pigeons and bowling pins at 1000 yards is just a whole lot of fun. Can't wait to do it again. Guys, all I can say is that this is an addictive sport!
I set up Erik, my 10 yr. old son up on a steel target @ 600 yards and he was hammering it consistently with a 260 Rem M.O.A. Maximum (Falling Block single-shot Specialty Hand
. Yes, he had a great time and so did I. This is the first time I have ever shot in a 1000 yard competition, but it won't be my last. I expect I will try to have Erik set-up to shoot the handgun class next year some time. I have a 6.5-284 barrel for the MOA that should work good for him.
My 2 best groups for the day were right at 11.5 and 13.5 inches (5-shot groups). I didn't win for group, but I did win for score. This is the only club that I know of that has a handgun class for 1000 yard matches. This a family friendly environment. They even had a fun 100 yard shoot on Friday afternoon. If you get there around noon on Friday you can shoot all afternoon at 1000 at clay pigeons(and several bowling pins). Next time I will have several other handguns set-up for 1000 yd and see how they do.
Here is their web page http://www.iowa1000ydbenchrest.com/
Since this shoot is always on a Saturday it allows me to get back to Hutch for Sunday services. Next time I will leave immeadiately after my last relay so I can get back at a more reasonable time. If you live within a reasonable drive of Pella, I would highly recommend you give it a try.
I visited with Gordy on the phone yesterday and the handgun class is going to continue. I know of two other guys who plan to shoot in the handgun class already. One guy just needs a little more prep time and the other plans to build an XP. The last 1000 yd. match of the year in Pella is October 9th. I have a committment which I don't think is going to allow me to be there, but I think Marc Sheehan, Eric W., Tim North (Broughton Barrels) and Al F. plans to be there again.
My son, Erik told me that he would like to shoot at 1000 yards also come this spring. So I plan to have the 17 inch 6.5-284 barrel ready to go in the MOA for him to use. This is a good time to get started in a discipline, when it is new and at the grassroots level. A 308 class cartridge (260 & 7-08 would be real good) or above with a 16-18 inch barrel (of course you will need to have the right twist to stabilize your higher BC bullets), and a scope of 9x power or higher (You can also use a rifle scope as long as you know how to back off the optic before you pull the trigger). Many of you already have the rigs that are capable of shooting 1000 yard bench. In a Contender the 223 AI, 222Rem Mag AI, or the 5.6x50R Bellm with 1x6.5 twist, 1 in 7 twist & maybe the 1 in 8 twist with the barrel length in the 16-18 inch range will get you to 1000 nicely. In fact, A Contender in the 223 AI or 222 Rem Mag AI with the 1-7 twist will equal if not beat most 260 Rem, 7-08, or 308's in handgun lengths for 1000 yard shooting.
Barrels can be no longer than 18 inches. Brakes are allowed and are not considered as part of the 18 inch maximum. With the handgun class you also get a spotter to call your shots during the 6 minute sighter period since the recoil knocks you off of your sight picture. Hopefully, more of the rifle shooters will jump in on the fun too.