"Egg Shoot" Success with 80gr Flat Base Bullets
-- by Mark Schronce
Building the Ultimate 600yd Gun
I was looking to build the optimal egg shoot and 600-yard benchrest rifle. The 6BR is the caliber of choice, in my opinion. In talking with long-time shooters, such as Bill Shehane and Dave Tooley, they also recommended flat base high-grade benchrest bullets. They believed the long VLDs would not be needed for 600 yards or under. The optimum bullet would be the 80gr Fowler.

Richard Franklin, of Richard’s Custom Rifles, was chosen to install a Lilja 12 twist barrel on my Hall action rifle, chambered in 6mm BR (with a .262" neck and Harrell's Precision muzzle brake).

I ordered 68gr and 80gr Bergers, 68gr Barts, and 80gr Fowlers. They'd be loaded into turned Lapua brass and tested with Vihtavuori N-135, Varget, Benchmark, and Fed 205 primers. Once load testing started, I found the 68 Barts, and 80 Bergers with N-135 to be a stand out. But when the 80 Fowlers finally arrived, they quickly took the lead with groups running .1" at 100yds and .250" at 200 yards. The load of 30.0gr N-135, Fed 205, at 3200fps out shot everything, hands down.

Now that I had my load, it was time for the long range sight settings. I do most of my long range shooting on steel plates and clay targets. In preparation for the Roanoke Egg Shoot, I would need settings at 200, 330, and 425 yards for the main event. I would also need a rock-solid 500-yard come-up for the eggs, which are about .3 moa at that distance. (Click here for a big picture of the Range.)

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Spouse Sandy Joins the Fray -- And Proves to Be a Dead-eye
The night before the Roanoke Egg Shoot, out of the blue, my wife Sandy decided she wanted to shoot the match. She had gone groundhog hunting with me before, but she had never shot a competitive match of any kind. She had never shot a 2-ounce trigger, never shot off a rest, never shot off a bench and had never shot this gun. She dry-fired the gun at home and learned everything else on the morning of the match. Turns out she was a natural-born Egg Shooter. Annie Oakley of the bench.

I shot on the first relay, to be sure of accurate sight settings. We were allowed 20 rounds during this match, to shoot 18 total targets. I began with the 425-yard targets and worked my way in to short range. I nailed every target, using my last round on the 18th and final one. I didn’t believe the course could be cleaned, so I was very surprised that I had done so.

I was a little nervous about my wife's shooting, as we really should have had a day of practice. But she quickly proved me wrong. Sandy began at 425 yards, cleaning 6 targets with 7 rounds. At 330 yards, she hit 6 targets with 8 rounds. That included one clay that had fallen flat in the netting. (By the rules, you must shoot what ever circumstance has happened to the clays). She had 5 rounds left for 6 targets. Therefore, I thought she would not be able to shoot clean. She began shooting the 200-yard targets. She hit 4 for 4. Now she had one round left but two targets. She noticed the last two targets had slightly rolled together, barely touching. Instead of going for the safe one shot, her competitive nature took over. She sighted, held her breath and shot. She broke both clays with that one shot! We were tied!! (That's her in the picture).

The Great Shoot-Off -- Husband vs. Wife at 500 yards
The Rangemaster said, "We have a Shoot-Off!" He decided we would start at 330 yards on mini-clays (2.5"). Flipping the coin, Sandy decided to go first. We hit 3 for 3, alternating one at a time. The Rangemaster said, "This could go on all day, let's go to 500 yards." We had mini-clays set up for sighters at 500. The sight settings had not been checked at 500 yards, so I said I should shoot and check it because Sandy had never shot anything at 500. I fired one sighter, hitting the mini-clay. The Rangemaster stated it was only fair to let Sandy have a sighter also. She shot and hit one on the first shot. She decided she was ready for the record round. She shot and hit. I shot and hit. By this time, she was about to pop with excitement with her heart pounding out of her chest. Sandy needed to shoot the third clay now. At that shot, she slightly pulled the gun and hit the fourth clay (a procedural miss). Now my turn, I hit the third clay and won the benchrest class.

When all was said and done, we had hit 36 out of 36 clays in the match and 11 in a row in the shoot off. I did not hit an egg in this match, but Sandy did (though someone else won the Egg Shoot-off).

The second Egg Shoot of 2003, Sandy decided to sit it out to give me and the others a chance--she went to the pool instead. I won the benchrest class again, leaving one target at 330 yards.

New Barrel, New Twist, and No More Neck-Turning
During the fall, I decided to try a Krieger 8-twist barrel for long range shooting. Richard chambered the barrel with a brand new 6BR .271" no-turn neck reamer.

I decided to give the lightweight bullets a try in the new 8-twist. I was amazed that they shot as well as the 12 twist tight necked chamber. The Fowlers took the lead again. With the 8-twist shooting the 80s so well, I have left it on the Hall for all my shooting. For now. The 80s are zeroed at 200 yards, and the 107 Sierras fall in at 100 yards. I can change bullets at any time, without rezeroing my scope. And I don't turn necks any more!

For the 2004 Egg Shoot, we changed the format. The Benchrest Class would shoot mini-clays at 425 yards, 12 targets, 14 shots, no sighters. The Modified and Factory would shoot the same at 330 yards. I nailed 10 out of 12 and was tied for first place in Benchrest Class. I won the shoot off and one relay of the Egg Shoot. Needless to say I was very happy with the no-turn Krieger's performance.

June 2004, I tried IBS 600-yard Benchrest for the first time at Piedmont Gun Club in NC. Shooting the 80gr Fowlers, I shot a 2.6", 2.7", 4.9" and 3.8" for a 3.5" four-target Agg. That earned me 4th place overall in light gun. This is a new game in town and is a lot of fun to shoot. The weight limits are the same as for 1000-yard BR, but you don't need a super-sized thunderstick. It can be shot with rifles like the 6PPC, 6mm BR, 22-250, etc., but you will see 1000-yard guns there too.

If you are shooting the 6BR, you should give the 80gr bullets a try. I've now shot them in four different 6BR guns and in four different twist barrels. I think they're the best bullet out to 600 yards for the 6mm BR.

Mark Schronce
varmint@psknet.com

Fowler Bullets Jef Fowler
806 Dogwood Dr.
Gastonia, NC 28054
Phone: (704) 867-3259
e-mail: brjef@carolina.rr.com





Roanoke, Virginia - EGG SHOOT

So, has this stirred your interest? Want to try your hand at egg-shooting for fame and fortune? (Well some nice prizes at least.) Then come down to the Old Dominion and join us at the next Roanoke Egg Shoot on October 23, 2004. Last year, shooters came from as far away as North Carolina to compete. We gave away approximately $1,000 worth of prizes split between two matches.

It's definitely a test of shooter and equipment. It's not easy to hit an egg at 500 yards--that's a .3 moa target on the vertical, less on the horizontal axis. Nevertheless, last year in two matches, 31 eggs were hit at 500 yards with factory to full-custom guns.

This year, we will shoot skeet targets at 200 yards to 425 yards and eggs at 500 yards. You do not need a custom gun to compete. There will be three classes, Factory, Modified, and Full Custom.

Factory Class: Savage, Remington, Winchester, Ruger etc. No modifications allowed other than bedding and trigger tuning or upgrading.

Modified Class: This is for limited production guns (Rem 40x, Kimber, Cooper) and production guns with new stocks and/or barrels. No Benchrest or fancy actions, and 17-lb weight limit:

Custom Class: Any action stock, but it must be under 30 lbs., less than .40 caliber, and no rail guns.

You can shoot up in all three classes, but not down. This means a factory can shoot in all 3 classes, but a full custom can only shoot in full custom class. This evens the playing field.

We're still recuiting crew members for October's match. We'll need a target setter, a range master, scorekeepers, and another 4x4 owner to retrieve targets. For resetting targets, we alternate pit crews, so everyone gets a chance to shoot. For info, call (540) 980-1582 or email: varmint@psknet.com


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