John Whidden is an inspiration for all of us who aspire to represent the USA in international competition. Soon after getting into long-range Highpower, I learned about the Palma team, which is the U.S. Load Development–Reasonable Pressures and Neck Tension are KeyMy load development process is a little backwards from what is proposed in the gun magazines. My current match load consists of 47.0 grains Varget, with CCI BR2 primer, Winchester brass, and 155gr Berger bullets. The next Palma International Match and World Individual Championships takes place in Canada in 2007.
Of course, there are a lot of things besides the rifle that contribute to success in Palma shooting. Since becoming a long-range competitor, I have managed to acquire a couple of prone rifles. When I do expect big wind at 600 or am shooting a 1000-yard match, I usually shoot a cartridge of my own design. There is considerable debate as to whether a home shop is best outfitted with new imported machines or old American iron.
Home rifle-smithing is very rewarding and I encourage anyone who is interested to get started!
Oh yes, John shoots all the time at 1000 yards which has given him a great education on reading the wind. USA Basketball - Diana Taurasi continued to shoot the ball well, finishing with a team-high 13 points.
Many of your favorite players from the Women's National Team roster spend this time of year playing professionally overseas, while some are competing for major NCAA programs here in the U.S. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Cooper has to gain about 40 pounds - from 185 to 225 - to be convincing as the American Sniper Chris KyleLacz said Cooper was so good at shooting that he could easily train as a sniper with the military.A 'I was surprised at just how good Bradley was with a sniper rifle and live rounds,' said Lacz. A Kevin says when he saw Bradley kitted out in the full combat gear he could easily have passed for Chris. Campaigning a home-built rifle with a Winchester Model 70 action, John racked up the top score (2232-93X) at the recent U.S.
I will load some rounds one at a time working up quickly in powder charge and go shoot them in the yard (luckily I can do this at home).
For most of my reloading I de-cap, full-length size, prime, and seat bullets with a Dillon progressive press.
If you don’t have 1000 yards to test on, remember that the best predictor of long range accuracy is short range accuracy.
I have made a serious effort in the last two years to reduce the weight of my rifles and have also seen the benefits of reduced recoil. Long-range shooting is not an Olympic sport, so it’s fair to say that the Palma team is comparable to the Olympic team, but for long-distance events. These matches are held every four years, so naturally the team tryouts are on a four year cycle. I am a cartridge junkie at heart, so shooting long range has given me an opportunity (read excuse) to play with several different cartridges. The barrel is where the bullet lives and is the most important part of the rifle for accuracy. There is no doubt that the old American machines offer features and quality that are not found in new imports. If you like handloading and do well with it, you will probably do fine with this sort of work.
Outside of being a great shooter, he is one of the most enjoyable and pleasant people to speak with that I have ever known — not to mention that John is a fine family man. I saw John shoot in the Stars and Bars (River Bend Gun Club, Georgia) at 600 yards during wind gusts up to 40 mph and just drill them in there as if it were dead calm (beat the heck out of all us F-Class shooters). Olympic Committee conducted a series of interviews and photo shoots in West Hollywood with representatives from each summer Olympic and Paralympic sport in order to help promote the 2016 Olympic Games. Bradley Cooper rocks some very short shorts while filming a Navy Seals training scene for 'American Sniper' in Los Angeles. Cooper never equaled the shot from 2,100 yards Kyle once made in Iraq, but he was able to hit targets from 600 yards.
Such was Kyle's skill as a sniper he was credited by US military chiefs with 160 confirmed kills. It shot well, but with all the traveling I was doing to compete, I didn’t have time to hunt prairie dogs, so it became the action donor for the Palma gun.
Tim North at Broughton supplied me with a 1:10” twist light Palma contour that I finished at 32” of length.
What I am looking for is some signal when I get to the upper end of workable pressures–usually primer cratering or stiff bolt lift.
The numbers over the chrono need to be acceptable (Extreme Spread less than about 25 for 10 rounds), but don’t choose a less accurate load because it looks better on the chrono. At Palma events, we shoot under generally more restrictive rules than under NRA Long Range. Any of the repeatable rear sights will work, but team members are required to have half-MOA clicks.


By this I mean that my ammo is very close, my spotting scope is very close, and my movement between shots is kept to an absolute minimum. Since it qualifies as a Palma gun, this gun will let them shoot the whole Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry. This will require a lathe with a hole through the spindle that is big enough to stick the barrel through.
The problem is that most home shop machinists to be are not knowledgeable enough to shop for used equipment. When getting started, finds a mentor if you can and just get some cheap materials to learn on. John thinks outside the box, which assists him in keeping his shots inside the high value circles. In attendance for the USA Basketball Women's National Team were Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird, Maya Moore, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi.
One of his most spectacular shots was killing a man armed with a rocket launcher from a distance of 2,100 yards. Shot prone, with sling, at multiple distances, Palma competition demands great marksmanship and wind-reading skills, along with a superbly accurate rifle. My father has always been a shotgunner and this lead me to shoot in the state Junior Olympic programs. The most recent Palma tryouts were shot at Phoenix, Arizona at the Ben Avery range in October, 2005. I chose Broughton because their barrels have proven to be a step above others in the accuracy department. Now that I know where the top is, I will back off until I am comfortable that the pressure signs have gone away. I throw the charges with an RCBS UniFlow, then trickle to 0.1 grain, and weigh each charge with a Denver Instrument APX-200, a milligram lab scale.
RPA ladder front sights are popular because of the need to shoot at 800, 900, and 1000 yards.
Having a Dremel type tool and some good bedding epoxy will go a long way to letting someone bed their action into the stock. If they don’t know enough about buying it, they probably don’t know anything about repairing it.
You can practice your stock inletting on a 4×4 post and you can thread and fit a steel bar to your action.
It's not like you are in a plane firing a missile but looking at the person who is going to die. Being around the sights and sounds of battle brought back the memories of his deployment to Iraq with SEAL Team 3, one of the elite units that make up the US military special forces.A 'It did bring back certain memories, not all of them pleasant.
He became known as the 'Devil of Ramadi' by insurgents who put a bounty on his head because he was causing so many casualties.A While Kyle was a one-man killing machine in 2006, his first ever sniper kill was a woman who was carrying a bomb in Nasiriya in 2003 as she approached a platoon of Marines. In this feature story, John explains the Palma game and gives tips on getting match-winning accuracy out of the popular .308 Win cartridge.
Starting when I was fifteen, I won the state junior championships for trap a couple of times and got to travel to the Olympic Training Center. The Broughton crew really does an exceptional job of lapping and quality control and the results show on the target.
Once I’m satisfied with the charge, I pour it through the funnel into the re-sized case. The Wilson has a very good feel, so it sort of serves as a diagnostic tool for neck tension.
I have played with a number of different load combinations and twist rates in these guns, everything from 210gr VLDs to 155s. For regular visitors to this site, I will say that my shooting style is similar to German Salazar’s in these respects.
My testing time was limited this summer and I tried the 210Ms because I’m low on my favorite lot of BR2s. The 10-twist will allow the flexibility to shoot most any of the match bullets available with good results. Certainly I would rather have an old Monarch lathe than my Chinese-made Enco, but the Enco has so far served me well.
This will reduce the cost of mistakes until you are comfortable working on stocks and barrels. Bradley got that.'A  A He immersed himself in the role so much I was so impressed.
War is a terrible and seeing how the set designers had recreated some of the places made me think.'A Kevin was born and raised in Middlebury, Connecticut. The majority of those he killed were insurgents fighting the US forces in the years after the 2003 Iraq invasion.A In his best selling autobiography, on which the film is based, Kyle claims to have killed a further 100 insurgents in combat. I really like the adjustability of the Anschutz and it has proven to be very reliable in a couple of my other rifles. I chambered the barrel with a ’95 Palma reamer and throated it out an additional .100” for longer seating depth. I like CCI BR2 primers and have a lot that gives me good results, so I usually don’t bother to test any others.
If you have to take a bullet, sort this, measure that, trim here, and weigh to get results, why not just buy better bullets?


If you’re shooting a powder charge that’s in the same range as everyone else, your velocity will be competitive with theirs.
They shoot very well, but I will probably go to the BR2s when I can get to the range and wring out this combination.
The small mill-drills are quite workable for these projects, but a full size milling machine with significant travel on all three axes is better. I had to go slow with it, but it shows that quality work can be done with a relatively inexpensive lathe. While out there, we had scheduled a practice day, four days of competition to actually make the Palma team, and two days of practice for those who made the team. If you can measure these inconsistencies on the outside, why should you think the inside (balance and concentricity) is any better? Some of the worst ammo I ever loaded happened when I was paying too much attention to the chrono.
I have a shooting bag with all of the necessary tools and my ammo beside me while I’m shooting. Stock work doesn’t require extreme precision from the milling work, and so an older milling machine that shows wear is usually quite acceptable. As for a minimum size, the spindle of the lathe must be large to accept the barrel through the chuck, or the bed must be long enough to hold a barrel between centers. My first experience that allowed me to see the value of serious and frequent practice was my high school JROTC rifle team. This allowed me to get by without most of the modification to the Anschutz trigger that the adapter usually requires. During this time period, I had become intrigued by some results my friend Burke Lott was getting with 155 grain bullets. This means that when I take a loaded round and chamber it, the bullet is pushed back into the case.
It’s a more challenging cartridge to shoot in the wind and I don’t consider it competitive at 1000 yards for that reason. This gun is a little behind the really hot cartridges in the wind, but there is a good deal less recoil. I couldn’t get consistently good results and passed on them (guess I should talk to Jerry Tierney). Lathes are measured by the largest diameter work they will accept and the length between centers. I have seen that I shoot better with less recoil, and have recently shot a lot of 155s in preparation for the Palma tryouts. I shoot 600-yard monthly matches with it fairly often, and the wind handicap at that distance isn’t too big. I tend to shoot very good quality shots down range with it because I don’t anticipate the recoil. Around him were burnt out buildings, spent bullet casings and the sound of grenades exploding.
There is definitely some experimentation required to find the right neck tension for soft seating. Let me say here that 155 grain bullets are required at the Palma tryouts, but at other matches the shooter can usually shoot whatever they wish. It scored well at a monthly match recently, shooting 200-14x with iron sights at 1000 yards, just 2xs under the national record. I would suggest to a new shooter wanting to make the next team to get ones equipment shooting very well and work on shot execution. I have found that when you get the neck tension worked out, the end result is worth the effort. The 155 Berger VLDs that I shot at the Palma tryouts are the most accurate thing I have ever shot from a .308, and I have used them exclusively since I tested them.
Judging what I see in the borescope at 600 rounds, I don’t think there is much difference versus a 6.5-284. It is an extremely durable finish and has some texture so it’s not too slick when you’re sweating.
After he brought the gun to the range about five weeks in a row and consistently shot at or under a half minute at 1000 yards, he really had my attention!
The three-way adjustable buttplate is the basic Robertson Composites’ unit, but the articulated hook that sits over the top of my shoulder is a MEC Contact II unit from Centershot Sports.
After considerable testing and shooting this combination at Camp Perry, I am confident that this is one of the very best shooting guns I’ve ever had. Long range shooting has always held a little mystique with me, as it does for a lot of people, so I thought I’d give it a try. Luckily, I had enough gear to get my foot in the door and try it using a basically stock AR-15.



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