Savage Team with impressive showing

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 3006savage, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. 3006savage

    3006savage Well-Known Member

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    This link details the F-Class results team Savage achived with their factory rifles at the world championships. Really impressive for a $1,100.00 rifle.

    Savage Arms News
     
  2. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    I know some of these guys post on here. Congrats guys!!
     

  3. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive, congrats!!

    Does Savage make those target rifles in a left-hand version?
     
  4. head2h2o

    head2h2o Well-Known Member

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    Nice shooting.
     
  5. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    milanuk, who regularly posts here, is one of them.

    Congrats, and they did a great job!!

    Bill
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Very impressive, congrats.

    I am curious though, did they use off the shelf factory Savage rifles or are these hand picked, specially assembled Savage rifles that they used?

    Reason I ask is that if you sit down and build most any of our modern factory rifles correctly they will shoot extremely well. Its the vast majority of them that are thrown together that do not shoot as they should.

    Just wondering which they are shooting. I would suspect handpicked and rightfully so, obviously they are shooters and I have always been impressed and a supporter of the accuracy of the Savage rifles. They do have their weak links and limitations but I fully believe that on averge they are some of the most accurate out of the box rifles on the market.

    Congrats again.
     
  7. 3006savage

    3006savage Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see a rundown of the equipment used for their setups including scopes, bullets bases etc. Shooting well is one thing, but taking that many metals is a statement to me that it is more than a fluke round. I wonder if the rifles are hand lapped or modified in any way etc.
     
  8. CapDog

    CapDog Well-Known Member

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    I've shot against Stan and Darrel a few times now. From what I can remember the rifles are off the shelf and get deiliverd to them just as any you or I could buy. They do handload and obvioulsy tweak things to the particular rifle. Nightforce NXS scope are what are usually sitting atop their rigs.

    Last time I shot with them, Darrel had been given the BAT tactical rifle a few weeks before. It shot extremely well, but he felt he could get it grouping better if he had more time to work up a load for it.

    As far as componants go hopefully one of them will jump in because I can't say for sure.

    They are both exceptional wind readers and very good shooters. It's always a pleasure shooting next to them.
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    WTG Team Savage, excellent shooting!
     
  10. jeff 300

    jeff 300 Well-Known Member

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    I love savage rifles all of mine shoot great. Hopefully one of the shooters will come on and tell the story WTG guys
     
  11. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    Monte Milanuk has taught me just about everything I know about F class, (not everything he knows, just everything I know:D)!

    As I understand it, they are off the shelf rifles, with Nightforce NXS scopes. At least some of them have NXS scopes modified at the factory, but I'm not 100% sure what the mods were.

    So far as I am aware, the only mods that they use are add on cheek pieces to make the stocks more comfortable with their chosen scopes and rings.

    The F-T/R team is sponsored by Berger, and I believe that they shot the Berger 155.5 grain fullbore bullet at the Worlds.

    Milanuk is also an incredible wind reader, which probably is a requirement for shooting a .308 at 1000 yards!

    Once again, congratulations!!!

    Bill
     
  12. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I'm so jealous, good job Team Savage.:D
    Tank
     
  13. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    From another site...

    The 12 F/TR rifles we've been using since 2007 started out, and still are, pretty much stock. Not exactly 'bone' stock anymore, but nothing earth-shattering or out of the reach of someone else with one of these rifles.

    When I received my 12 F/TR in July 2007 it had already been in someone else's possession previously. So far as I know, all that had been done to it up to that point was a skim coat bedding job using Devcon. The barrel was original, the Target AccuTrigger was stock, and it still had that hideous 'lump' of a cheekpiece.

    Due to a mistake on my part remounting the scope between a match here in the Pacific North West, and the SOA/FCNC that year, I ended up augmenting the cheekpiece with some foam padding and a fair amount of duct tape. I used the same stuff to add a bit to the LOP - which didn't work so well. It would compress easily under recoil, and bop me on my glasses every few shots. Still, I think the results were pretty good regardless [​IMG]

    At that point if I recall correctly, a couple of the others were running Tubb adjustable buttplates, albeit somewhat modified (lightened) to make weight. One person eventually bedded their rifle, a couple eventually went to the Karsten adjustable saddle cheekpiece that I mounted on mine after 2007, and one person (Darrell Buell) to this day still has not done *anything* to his rifle - no bedding, still uses that factory cheek piece (yuck!), nada. If you've kept track of how we've done as a group, well, Darrell's performance has been a strong testament to the capability of the rifle as it comes from the factory. Prior to Bisley this year I sent my bolt off to Gre-Tan to have the firing pin hole bushed in hopes of buying a little insurance against pierced primers if some water got in the chamber. As it turned out, it was more a matter of 'when', not 'if', and the mod paid for itself several times.

    Along the way we had an opportunity to have the rifles re-barreled at the factory - several members of the team were going back for a tour, and to take a factory armorer's course. Mine got re-barreled along with the rest, and shipped back (along with the 'old' barrel (#1); made dang sure of that!). Long story made very short, the new barrel (#2) got sent back because of some problems, and a new one sent out (#3). After the 2008 season, we had another talk and I ended up with barrels #4 & #5. After a thorough scrutiny with the borescope, #4 got mounted on the gun. Anyone who thinks that we aren't getting 'factory' barrels is more than welcome to bring your borescope and take a look down the pipe on one of these and draw your own conclusions [​IMG]

    Now that I've once again spent a fair amount of time defending that the Savage rifles we've shot up to this point have been basically stock - with some minor modifications made at our own expense - and that the barrels are most certainly standard factory issue... let me add the caveat that what we may be using in the future may *not* be something you can find a direct match for in a catalog. Oh, it will most likely use standard parts (haven't been able to talk them into letting me stick a Rock or Brux barrel on there... yet) but the configuration may be something a little non-standard. The 12 F/TR rifle still shoots like a friggin' hammer when you get it dialed in - as evidenced by the pile o' goodies we brought back from Bisley with them - but F/TR is evolving. Subtly, but it is changing. Whether what we use ends up filtering back into the product line (gee, there's an idea...) remains to be seen.


    Still, that doesn't seem to satisfy some folks...

    One thing to keep in mind is that in this sport... barrels are not a capital investment to keep hanging onto for the sake of being sentimental, frugal or otherwise. They are an expendable commodity - and the old standards/myths of umpteen thousands of rounds through a .308 Win might hold true for a police sniper rifle shooting 100-200yds max or a military issue rifle shooting 'minute of man' don't necessarily hold true on the modern F-Class targets.

    There was absolutely nothing wrong with the first barrel. The other guys on the team were going back to the factory for an 'armorer' class, and wanted to rebarrel *all* the rifles. I made damn sure I got that one back, as its still 'good to go' in my opinion. Part of me wonders if I shouldn't have just left that barrel on there - it certainly still shot well enough.

    Barrel #2 was just plain wrong. Yes, they (the other guys on the team) scoped them as they installed them... but they missed one critical spot (in my opinion). Anybody who looked at that barrel (chamber) would probably agree.

    Barrel #3 shot well, but had some rather noticeable cold-bore zero issues. The first and only gun I've had that it was *really* noticeable. Since we shoot a bit of International Fullbore, where sighters *are* convertible, that was a bit of a problem, more so than it would have been for someone just shooting string-fire ala conventional U.S. Highpower Long Range. Even then, it wasn't unusable. I do believe I set a National Record @ 900yds (148-6X) using that barrel; it just didn't have my full confidence.

    Barrel #4 & #5 looked to be at least as good as #1; #4 just looked a little better. #5 is unfired, while #4 has a fair stack of bling to its credit. The 1000yd stage of the team match @ this years FCNC I shot a 198-9X... with a called bad shot due to shooter error - which was an 8 (figures). The other 19 shots stayed with in a 10" circle, thanks in large part to the wind coach, but the gun/ammo had to be firing on all cylinders as well, as the saying goes. The conditions weren't entirely benign either... a nearby F-Open team was standing by watching - their highest score was a 188 or so (coaches *do* earn their keep!).

    As for whether they were scoped... the first one, almost certainly not. The second one was not scoped by the factory; the people installing did out of curiosity but honestly missed a bad chamber. #3 or so they started experimenting with flex-honing the chamber - not my personal choice, but it does seem to help smooth things up a bit. #4 & #5 I asked specifically that they check them (with a scope) for any obvious defects before sending them out. In talking with the engineer(s) a bit... basically what we have gotten up to this point is exactly the same components as anyone else. If you bought a gun and it had problems - and they do crop up - and contacted Savage about it they have an excellent track record for 'making things right'. (whether they would be better served by catching such things before they go out the door is another discussion entirely) If they got the gun back and there was anything questionable... you most likely would have a new barrel on there - from the same stack mine come out of.

    The biggest convenience I have that most others don't is that being a 'known quantity' as such, the factory will send me a new barrel, rather than having to ship the whole gun back like you would. Thats about it. At that team match I mentioned we had two gentlemen from Ohio that shot with us as a pick-up team - both firing Savage 12 F/TRs. Never met the guys before FCNC 2009, but with some good coaching from Darrell, they were shooting well into the 190s (one as high as 196) @ 1000yds - on the LR-FC.

    I'm not sure what people's fixation is with insisting that our rifles have some magical pixie dust sprinkled on them. Part of me is getting a little offended, as I work damn hard to shoot as well as I do in F/TR, which is supposed to be a class where the equipment doesn't matter (as much) as the competitors ability to dope the wind and put the shot on target. The other part of me... is just tired of repeating the same stuff over and over - obviously people will believe whatever they want to.
     
  14. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Bear with me as I tweaked the format a bit... the original was approx. 11 pages and 6+ MB with all the pictures (not included here). This is a bit more objective than the Savage 'advertisement'.

    2009 F-T/R World Championships Report by Darrell Buell


    The Road to Bisley:
    The first ever United States F-T/R Team was selected after the F-Class Nationals in Raton in 2007. I was elected Captain in a meeting of all F-T/R Class shooters that were interested at Raton, and then had the difficult job of selecting a National Team. I had originally selected eight firing members and two alternates. After looking at some of the competition that we would be facing in Bisley, I decided we needed more depth, and pulled in the alternates as full firing members. Immediately on forming the Team, the search was on to find a Coach. Very early on I approached Gary Rasmussen, as his wind coaching skills are legendary, and I have watched him in action up in Canada. He was initially unsure of his schedule, so began a year’s pursuit! We were fortunate, and got him onboard late last year (to our great relief). The Team was complete.

    Team USA F-T/R:
    Darrell Buell (Captain)
    Gary Rasmussen (Coach
    Paul Phillips
    Monte Milanuk
    John Weil
    Jeff Rorer
    Brad Sauve
    Warren Dean
    Stan Pate
    Dale Carpenter
    Mike Miller
    Kathy Buell (Adjutant)

    After two years of extremely meticulous preparations by our Team Adjutant, readying all travel, lodgings, meals, match registrations, even rental vehicles, we finally boarded the planes. The majority of the Team was flying together, after rendezvousing in Atlanta. We made quite a splash, coursing through the various airports all in team uniforms. While it may or may not have made clearing customs in Heathrow easier, everyone there knew which Team had arrived! Our convoy of four rental vans (one had arrived three hours earlier) then trekked off to Bisley.

    The next few days were spent settling in, sighting in, and getting equipment sorted out and down to weight. The Bisley flags took some getting used to initially. To a man, each of us got on the firing line for some sight-in practice, looked at the flags, and feeling pretty comfortable with our initial wind call, launched a round downrange. To a man, our first round was 3 feet off the right edge of the paper… clearly these flags were heavier than we were used to! I entered the Team guys in a selection of the long-range Imperial Meeting matches to get them acclimated to Stickledown. We also had a number of mandatory Team practice sessions on the 800, 900, and 1000 yard lines. In addition to these, a number of the guys entered some of the short-range Century Range matches in the Imperial.



    Conditions:
    The weather was a challenge for virtually the entire two weeks. The winds ranged from moderate to strong, and extremely variable! (note the wind flags in the picture below) For example, in the “Duke of Cambridge” Match (at 900 yards), I started out with 12 minutes of left wind on. Over the course of the match, I came down to a minimum of 7 minutes or so left, but ended up all the way back up to 11.5 minutes again… variable indeed. The whole time we were there, the winds were almost always out of the southwest. Only on the very last day of shooting (the Team World Championships) did the winds switch around and come out of the east. To add to the mix, our guys were squadded over virtually the entire day for the Imperial Meeting Matches, from 0830 to 1730, and anytime in between, making direct comparisons more complicated. It never rained for an entire day straight, but we had at least some rain almost every day we were in Bisley. Sometimes it was barely sprinkling; sometimes gully-washer cells would come through, making water control quite interesting. Most tried using Weather-Writers or Bisley boxes, plastic “mini-tents”, etc. but generally the rain was coming in at an angle, over the shooter’s shoulder, making this a difficult task. (see the rain pic here!) For those that haven’t been there, Stickledown Range has 50 firing points. They are generally used for Fullbore style shooting (2 or 3 shooters to a mound), so the firing points are very generously sized, and are typically covered with comfortable, well mown turf. There is considerable elevation difference between the ends of the firing line (around 30’). Thus the entire line is “terraced” down every 4 to 5 targets. The elevation difference also changes the conditions felt by the shooter (and bullet!) as the shooter fires up and down the line. With the dominant wind coming from the left, a shooter on the top “exposed” end of the line could be running 30% more windage than a shooter on the lower “protected” end of the line. In addition to being lower in elevation, the “low” end of the line is also shielded by a grove of trees for 200-300 yards of bullet flight. The shooters were all randomly squadded for each relay, so we saw quite a bit of all parts of the line, both high and low!

    Team Equipment:

    The Team used quite a variety of gear. For those not familiar with F-T/R Class, it is probably the fastest growing class of NRA shooting. It consists of a scoped .308 (or .223) rifle that can weigh no more than 18.15 lbs, including the bipod. Shooting is exclusively fired from the prone position, at ranges from 300 to 1200 yards, at a ½ minute target (the “X” ring for the long-range target used from 800 to 1200 yards measures just 5”).

    Five of us were running some sort of an action by Savage Arms. Four of those (the Team Savage guys) were running completely stock Model 12 “F-T/R” rifles, the other was running a custom rifle built on a Savage action. Four of the remaining shooters were running Barnard actions, with one Stolle Panda, and one Wichita. Most of the barrels were 30” 1:12 twist, but there was at least one 1:10 and one 28” short barrel!

    The scopes we ran were 100% Nightforce. All save one of these was an NXS, the other was a Benchrest variant. Almost all of the NXS scopes had either been built, or retrofitted as custom “Team USA Scopes”. These were a standard 12-42x56 NXS scope that had an 1/8 minute elevation turret installed, while leaving the windage turret with ¼ minute adjustments. Our logic for going with these changes to an already excellent scope was thus: all of the rifles we took to Europe were sub-half minute rifles. At 1000 yards, a full ¼ minute elevation adjustment can move your group placement all the way from near the bottom of the “X” ring to close to the top. An 1/8 minute adjustment however, will center the group. There are very few (if any) wind readers that can read the wind closely enough to need 1/8 minute windage adjustments at 1000 yards, thus the finer knobs that the Benchrest model provides can be a distraction in higher wind conditions. The first thing I did when I took delivery of the “Team USA” Nightforce was to run a large box test on it. The box I chose was something like 16 minutes wide by 22 minutes tall. When my group size (a pretty decent .287”) was taken into account, the average divergence of round on target vs. calculated impact point was a ridiculously small .038”… outstanding!

    The ammunition we used was, of course, all handloaded to extremely tight tolerances. For this trip, we were all using loads based around Lapua .308 brass. The projectiles were all the new Berger 155.5 grain “Fullbore” bullet with two exceptions. One of our guys took along some heavier Berger 185’s to run in individual matches, and I was still running the older Berger 155 “VLD”s. The Team matches were to be shot exclusively with the 155.5, although when it was clear that Gary was not seeing a great difference between the 185 and 155.5 as far as wind drift, I let Jeff run his 185’s at 1000 yards in the FCWC Team Match. There did not seem to be much difference that I could tell as far as scores went of heavy bullet vs. light, Jeff’s scores tracked with the lighter bullet shooters at 1000. I also gave the guys a velocity band to stay within for their 155’s, namely 2950 to 3050 fps. For most of the guys, this was their normal velocity band anyway, a couple of us had to detune our rounds to get there, as we normally run up in the 3100+fps range, but did not want to add the extra complication of running a “high energy” round at Bisley. All in all, the bullet selection was an excellent one. As I watched all of our competitor’s targets going up and down, the general impression I had was that we were shooting considerably fewer elevation shots than any of the other Teams.

    Other equipment such as bipods saw a wide variety, from Sinclair’s new bipod, to GG&G’s, Harris, even a brand new carbon fiber prototype bipod. The spotting scopes were exclusively Kowa’s, with the Team scopes being the superb new Fluorite glassed 883 “Prominar” model. Rear support ranged from emptied and refilled Edgewood bags, borrowed rear bags of all flavors (avoiding overweight baggage fees). One person was running hand sewn custom bags, I was probably running the crudest setup, merely an old lead shot bag that you will find on any range in the country, filled with coarse sand. They all worked well.

    The Sponsors:

    Our sponsors large and small provided invaluable assistance in getting the Team over to England. They ranged from large corporations providing cash and gear, down to individuals from across the country sending in $20 checks and cash. The outpouring of support we saw from the individual donations was wonderful to behold. Many of our Team are Veterans, Law Enforcement, or both, so we saw a large number of private donations come in from Military bases across the USA! The large corporations stepped up too: Surgeon provided a spectacular custom rifle to raffle off. Berger Bullets outdid themselves providing not only bullets, but shipping for the ammo. They contributed towards uniforms as well. Nightforce Scopes played a big role as well, providing cash, as well as optics support, as did Kowa, with 2 donated 883’s. Other sponsors included Lapua, Holland’s Shooters Supply, Bore-Tech, Misty Morn Safe Co., Custom Guns & Ammo, and many others. The way people and companies stepped up across the country really helped make this trip possible.

    The Imperial Meeting Matches:

    Lovell:
    For the US F-T/R Team, our Imperial Meeting Matches started with the Lovell. This was a 1000 yard match. US shooters in the top ten included:
    Gary Rasmussen…4th
    Darrell Buell…5th
    Warren Dean…8th
    Paul Phillips…10th


    Duke of Cambridge:
    This was a 900 yard match with some pretty formidable winds throughout the day, top 10 US shooters were:
    John Weil…1st
    Darrell Buell…3rd
    Stan Pate…5th

    Corporation of London:
    Another 1000 yard match, the US shooters were starting to hit their stride. Top 10 US shooters:
    Dale Carpenter…1st
    Paul Phillips…5th
    Mike Miller…6th
    Jeff Rorer…8th
    Stan Pate…9th
    Gary Rasmussen…10th

    Conan Doyle:
    The last of the long-range Imperial matches that I entered my guys in, this one was shot at 900 yards.
    Gary Rasmussen…1st
    Brad Sauve…6th
    John Weil…7th
    Monte Milanuk…8th

    In addition to long-range Imperial Meeting Matches, there were plenty of short range ones as well, shot on the 106 target Century Range, next door to the Stickledown. For the Queen’s Final (first stage) Gary took the top spot, and ended up in 4th place for the Queen’s Final (final stage). In the Wimbledon Match, Paul took a silver medal, Warren took 8th, and Gary took 10th. In the Alexandra Match, Dale took 4th and Paul took 10th. In the 900 yard Barlow Match, Mike tied for 1st place with Bill Flintoft of Canada. Mike also won the P.W. Richardson 500 yard match, closely followed by Gary in 2nd place.

    Meet & Greet hosted by Great Britain:
    Scattered amongst the matches, receptions and meet & greets were the order of the evenings. On the night before the FCWC Individuals, Great Britain hosted a reception in the Bisley Pavilion. Good munchies, beverages, and comradeship were had by all. Good rifles, bad loads, the triumphs and mishaps of the past week were hashed over.

    F-Class World Individual Championships:
    After all of the “pre-matches” it was time to get Worlds started. The Matches were well planned out from the start. With over 200 competitors from 14 countries, there were enough F-T/R shooters to fill up one relay entirely (two to a mound). This was the best of all worlds. Target assignment aside, it was a level playing field, “apples to apples” comparison of the different shooters’ abilities. As it happened, the F-T/R relay fired first, but the same would have applied if the F-Open relays had shot first. For both days of Individuals, at 800 yards, the winds were generally still developing for the day, so scores were generally quite good, with the top 10 finishers scoring within 2 points of perfect scores. The winners of the 800 yard lines both days had scores of 75-9V, just 6 “V”s shy of a “clean-clean”. It was excellent shooting.

    800 yard line day 1 top Team USA scores:
    Mike Miller…1st
    Paul Phillips…3rd
    Stan Pate…7th
    Jeff Rorer…9th
    Brad Sauve…10th
    Monte Milanuk…15th

    800 yard line day 2 top Team USA scores:
    Monte Milanuk…1st
    Gary Rasmussen…3rd
    Darrell Buell…9th
    Mike Miller…11th
    John Weil…12th
    Paul Phillips…14th

    The 900 yard F-T/R stages were fired mid-morning. The winds were starting to pick up, but being less than 1000 yards (and having the best F-Class shooters in the world competing) kept the scores from suffering too badly. In fact, the top 5 positions were still within 2 points of a clean score on the first day. On the second day, the winds were blowing harder at 900, and the winning score was a “mere” 73-7V.

    900 yard line day 1 top Team USA scores:
    Stan Pate…1st
    Mike Miller…2nd
    Gary Rasmussen…4th
    Paul Phillips…8th
    Brad Sauve…11th
    Darrell Buell…12th
    John Weil…13th

    900 yard line day 2 top Team USA scores:
    John Weil…1st
    Jeff Rorer…3rd
    Darrell Buell…4th
    Stan Pate…7th
    Dale Carpenter…15th

    The 1000 yard line stages were held after lunch, and the winds were simply howling! All of the F-T/R scores suffered badly. The first day was somewhat better than the second, with the top 5 finishers loosing between 6 and 9 points. The second day’s 1000 yard stage was a train wreck for many shooters, with the top 5 finishers dropping between 15 and 19 points. The 1000 yard line scores staggered some US F-T/R shooters, but others rose to the top.

    1000 yard line day 1 top Team USA scores:
    Monte Milanuk…8th
    John Weil…14th
    Mike Miller…15th

    1000 yard line day 2 top Team USA scores:
    Stan Pate…1st
    Dale Carpenter…4th
    Jeff Rorer…6th
    Paul Phillips…14th

    The Aggregates:
    800 yard aggregate:
    Monte Milanuk…1st
    Mike Miller…2nd
    Paul Phillips…5th
    Jeff Rorer…9th

    900 yard aggregate:
    John Weil…1st
    Stan Pate…2nd
    Darrell Buell…3rd
    Mike Miller…5th
    Jeff Rorer…7th
    Gary Rasmussen…10th

    1000 yard aggregate:
    Dale Carpenter…4th
    Stan Pate…5th
    Jeff Rorer…6th

    Day 1 aggregate:
    Mike Miller…3rd
    Stan Pate…7th
    Brad Sauve…8th
    John Weil…9th
    Monte Milanuk…10th

    Day 2 aggregate:
    Stan Pate…2nd
    Jeff Rorer…4th
    Dale Carpenter…5th
    Darrell Buell…8th


    World Individual Championships:
    Stan Pate…3rd
    Jeff Rorer…4th
    Dale Carpenter…6th
    Mike Miller…8th
    Darrell Buell…9th
    John Weil…10th
    Paul Phillips…11th
    Monte Milanuk…13th
    Brad Sauve…15th

    The GB Team clearly came ready to play for the Individual’s. Taking the top two places, in particular, Russell Simmonds taking the gold by a good margin (5 points over 2nd place George Barnard) was very impressive indeed. One might put their showing down to simply knowing Bisley better than the visiting Teams, but rumor has it that Russell has only shot on Bisley 3 or 4 times before. Either way, it was an excellent showing. The US F-T/R Team shooters were no slouches either, taking 9 of the top 15 places. Accolades also go to Canadian shooter Matt Wolf, the only non USA or GB shooter to break the top 15, placing 7th overall, and winning the second day of competition outright.

    Visiting Teams Reception:
    The night before the World Championships Team Matches, all of the visiting Teams combined forces to host an outstanding bash at Canada House. There was a national theme to the event, and each country brought “national” beverages of their choice. The USA, South Africa, and Spain brought wines from their countries, Team USA also brought various whiskeys and bourbons, Team Spain brought a delicious Parma Ham in addition to their wines. Team Netherlands brought some excellent beer, and some dangerous orange liquor that went down way too easily! Team Germany brought a prodigious amount of excellent German beer, Team Ireland provided Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Another night of good company and banter, and especially information exchange was enjoyed by all.

    The Main Event – The F-Class World Team Championship:
    Throughout the week of pre-matches, Team USA held three practice sessions at long range (800, 900, and 1000 yards). I used these sessions to select the 8 team members that would shoot for the United States in the World Championships. Each shooter fired 10 or 15 round strings at each yard line for each day of practice, both coached and uncoached shooting. All shots were plotted, and I worked into the night tallying up the amount of vertical dispersion each shooter printed. All of the US shooters were extremely competitive, and the results after approximately 130 plotted shots were very close. Knowing that all of the shooters had poured their hearts out under intense pressure in the tryout sessions, announcing the guys that had made the Team was one of the harder things I’ve had to do. In the end, the United States Team was made up of:

    Darrell Buell (Captain)
    Gary Rasmussen (Coach)
    John Weil, shooter 1
    Paul Phillips, shooter 2
    Monte Milanuk, shooter 3
    Jeff Rorer, shooter 4
    Dale Carpenter, reserve shooter
    Kathy Buell (register keeper)

    The remaining 4 shooters were not out in the cold, they were entered in the Rutland Cup match (fired concurrently with the World Championships) as a team of 4 (self coached).
    They were:
    Stan Pate (Captain)
    Mike Miller (Coach)
    Warren Dean
    Brad Sauve
    Kathy Milanuk (Register Keeper)

    Six countries fielded Teams for the F-T/R World Championship Teams Match. Day 1 started out well for the US, at the first yard line (800 yards) we were up 1 point on Team Canada, and ended up taking a 9 point lead on the GB Team there as well. The 900 yard line, the Brits knocked our lead down to just 4 points, so we went into the 1000 yard line neck and neck. On the 1000, the advantage swung back to the US Team, with us pulling 18 points on the GB Team. We ended day 1 with a 22 point lead out of 900 possible points, decent, but given the conditions at 1000, not secure by any means. Day 2 saw the US Team pull an additional 10 point lead at 800 yards. At 900, we had a train wreck, and the Brits shot well, pulling back 17 points of our former 32 point lead. Fortunately both the US and GB Teams fired quickly at the 900, other Teams that were a bit slower ended up getting drenched in a downpour towards the end of the stage. The US F-T/R Rutland Cup Team got stuck in this one, with one member commenting “it was like synchronized swimming with rifles!” Eventually they had to hold up and let the worst of the rain pass. Fortunately it blew through before time elapsed. Also fortunate was the fact that the majority of the winds that had stymied the US Team ended with the rain, leaving a period of relative quiet. The lighter winds yielded better scores to the Teams that hunkered down in the downpour, but many Teams (including both the US F-Open National Team, and US F-T/R Rutland Cup Team) were surprised by dramatic elevation shots as their first rounds fired after the rain pushed out considerable rain water from their barrels. Invariably, the shots were almost off the paper low.

    US F-T/R went into lunch with the winds building on an increasingly tenuous looking 15 point lead.

    After lunch, we all came back to the 1000 yard line for the last relay of the Championships. There to greet us was yet another downpour, and some fierce wind. As the match started, both the GB and USA Teams merely eyed each other, and settled in to wait out the rain, keeping their first shooters’ equipment dry as much as possible. Finally, about 15 minutes into the match, both Team Captains felt that conditions were as dry as they were going to get, and started their Teams in motion. The Coaches were really earning their keep here; our little .308s were getting tossed about badly. I quite unashamedly converted “4”s with no qualms whatsoever! Through a hard fought first two shooters, Team USA gained one point on each of their GB counterparts. Then came the third shooters, and disaster struck. A howling cell of wind came through, and both the GB and USA Teams held up. Finally, we could hold no longer, and a succession of “2”s, and even a “1” had me pulling my hair out! I was horrified when our third shooter came off the line with a 51-0V. The GB shooter and Coach had fared a bit better with a 55-1V. That left only the last shooters, and an ultra-thin 13 point lead. The weather finally was clearing up, but the winds were getting worse, if possible, with a shift towards a headwind, with near instantaneous direction changes. The last shooters shot virtually shot for shot, with the GB shooter pulling back 1 more point. The final margin was Team USA with a 12 point victory (out of 1800 possible)!



    The World Championship Final Standings:

    Team USA…..Gold Medal…..1581-76V
    Team GB…….Silver Medal....1569-74V
    Team Ireland...Bronze Medal..1508-47V
    Team Canada
    Team Germany
    Team Spain



    While our Rutland Cup Team finished merely 6th out of 10 teams, it should be noted that their competition was exclusively made up of F-Open teams! If you compare their score to the World Championship Teams’, you see that their 1542-67V was extremely competitive (third place)!

    In Conclusion:

    The entire Team had a great deal of fun in England, and learned a lot too. I was hugely impressed with how the Team gelled as a unit. Over two weeks, we shifted from a disparate group of guys from all corners of the US with good shooting resumés, to a well oiled, cohesive group of Team shooters. Our competition was a truly class group of guys, Stuart Anselm led his troops in a valiant battle, and was as good a sportsman as they come. We look forward to the 2013 Worlds to be held in Raton, New Mexico with great anticipation. With the F-T/R Teams to be fielding full sized Teams, it should be quite a Match!

    The current Team still has work to do. We will be representing the US in Ottawa in August, 2010, and again in Ireland for the USA vs. Europe Matches in 2011. Once done there, the guys will get some rest, and a new Team will be named for Raton in 2013.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009