Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Service Rifle Competition - Terrace Rod & Gun Club

The 2011 Service Rifle Competition concluded on July 23rd 2011 and for which seventeen shooters registered. Sixteen shooters registered for ‘Vintage’ and one in the ‘Modern’ classification.

Registration started at 0800 hrs, rifle inspection at 0820 hrs and shooter safety meeting, rules review, relay and lane assignments started at 0830 hrs. Participants were shooting by 0920 hrs interrupted by a short lunch break and match conclusion at 1800hrs.

Service Rifle discipline is not as straight forward as Target Rifle, Full bore or F-Class shooting where you must focus on the principles of marksmanship, wind reading and the methodological evaluation of long range ballistics.
Service Rifle matches require a pile of cardio and gym conditioning. It is physically difficult to perform a run-down, transition into various shooting positions, engage targets that are either moving, exposed for only a few seconds, hold up your rifle, control laboured breathing, elevated heart rate and remember:
·         What sight setting should I be using for this distance?
·         Which target bay and lane is mine?
·         How long is the next exposure?
·         What position do I need to be in?
·         How many shots do I shoot at each exposure?
·         When do I change magazines or perform reloads?
I often compare service rifle shooting to the conditions and situations that hunters often find them-selves in when they spot that moose they’ve been tracking for days. Hunters often need to be moving quickly, change locations to source the best shooting angle, manage adrenaline and an elevated heart rate, control laboured breathing and figure out the numerous computations running through the hunter’s mind prior to pulling off that one shot. In many ways, service rifle shooting is as excellent a training opportunity for hunters as it is for members of the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Terrace Rod & Gun Club offers what most service rifle matches do, such as the use of snap, rapid and deliberate type matches while using prone, kneeling and standing positions. My intention is to raise the bar a little in 2012 by introducing a few run-down serials there-by inducing the physical stress required to make this a fully rounded service rifle match. Folks that cannot run can either perform other forms of physical exercise such as push-ups or abstain and not shoot for the trophy (but still shoot the course of fire).
We run a radio operated range utilizing the Military Rifle Butts constructed by the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1943. Terrace has the only functional rifle butts north of Vernon, so why not use them for what they were constructed for? Every relay spends their turn in the butts (a re-enforced concrete bunker with a huge earthen mound in front of it) running targets. Every shooter wears a military ballistic helmet, safety equipment and a hi-vis vest while working the rifle butts. It is perfectly safe and an experience to say the least.  
This year I was especially impressed by one specific shooter by the name of Jordy Mandur from Terrace whom, despite a serious leg injury requiring crutches and the use of a vintage service rifle with a magazine capacity of only four rounds he still placed fifth in the competition. He turned a lot of heads and his determination impresses me very much.

So keep the Terrace Rod & Gun Club service rifle competition on your radar. We should be deploying the next competition by about the same time next year. You now have exactly one year to get practiced up. I hope to see more shooters from Terrace in 2012. The competition has been largely supported by ‘out of town’ shooters for many years now. 2011 represented our tenth annual competition. For more information visit the Terrace Rod & Gun Club’s website at

The competition’s youtube video is also available for viewing on the competition official’s online BLOG at

Thanks owed to:
1. WO O'Connor from BC Company, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group for advocating support for this match;
2. Terrace Ranger Patrol for supplying targets, radios & patches;
3. Floyd and Verna Wickie for volunteering to run scoring, registration and the rifle butts;
4. Troy Hansen for tallying up the numerous score cards and advocating this competition
5. And finally a big thank you to the shooters that came from far and wide to attend this competition;

Richard Kean – Match Official

Vintage Class Placement (Possible 350.70)

1st Troy Hansen (TERRACE) 320.23
2nd Mark Ciemniak (KITIMAT) 298.18
3rd Dave Helps (TELKWA) 283.15
4th Noel Braucher (TERRACE) 257.08
5th Jordy Mandur (TERRACE) 254.17
6th Albert Gordon (KITKATLA) 220.05
7th Jessica Bolton (KITKATLA) 206.12
8th Jamie Tolmie (KITKATLA) 195.08
9th Leonard Price (KITKATLA) 171.08
10th Dale Gladstone (KITKATLA) 171.04
11th Warren Nelson (KITKATLA) 127.03
12th Nathan Johnson (KITKATLA) 126.03
13th Athan Ivanakis (KITIMAT) 122.04
14th David Mason (PORT SIMPSON) 102.07
15th Heather Wesley (KITKATLA) 98.04
16th Nikida Bolton (KITKATLA) 67.03

Modern Class Placement (Possible 350.70)

1st Al Lencucha (KITIMAT) 249.16 / 350.70
I Hope to see more modern platforms competing in future matches.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Match tuning considerations for the Lee Enfield rifle

For your consideration
The rifle used in this example was a 1942 Savage No4Mk1 that arrived to me with a new birch wood fore-stock and hand guards that required fitting. With the action screw tight the metal was still loose in the wood and there was no fore-tip pressure what so ever. Numerous action screw bushing heights were fitted to determine if the best fit was tight enough. In this case it was not going to be sufficient and therefore a complete full bedding job was required (worst case scenario). Hopefully, in your case, you have sufficient wood to metal fit where a complete bedding job is not required.

In 1964 the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (D.C.R.A.) performed a comparative analysis of the most successful stocking methods used for the No4 Lee Enfield rifle. In March 1965 they published the results with a view to improving rifle performance in Domestic and Bisley service rifle competitions.

Tools & Materials Required:

1. Dremel & drilling / sanding accessories;
2. Package of JB Weld or Marine-Tex steel putty (stay away from 5 minute steel epoxy hardeners)
3. Vaseline (or other release agent)
4. Clean working surface
5. Containers to temporarily store rifle parts (ice cream buckets or coffee pots work great)
6. Appropriate screw driver sizes
7. Small wood chisel (sharp)

Bedding Stages One & Two described

The bedding procedure is broken into TWO stages.

Establish downward muzzle pressure of 4 to 5 lbs at the front muzzle bearing area rasped down to the rivets
To achieve this:

1. The rear surface area of the fore-stock has to be shimmed up with arborite (Shim stock of no more than .025” thickness);
2. Set the muzzle pressure and levelling of the action by reinforcing or shimming the draws as required;
3. When the body and action is tight with 4 to 5 lbs of downward muzzle pressure has been achieved stage one is complete ;

Fitting of the centre bedding block at the middle band

METHOD: Fitted Wooden Block or Steel Putty. The wooden block is much more difficult and therefore I will demonstrate how to install a steel putty block.

1. 10.5” up the fore-stock at the centre band dremel out a 1” X 2” area 1/8” deep and drill in anchor holes for the epoxy putty to adhere to;
2. Cut 3/4” X 2” cardboard shim stock cards (cereal box card board works great) which you will insert in front of the bedding block location (muzzle shims only to keep the barrel centred);
3. When shims are in place the barrel should clear the exposed rivets at the fore-end by at least 1/8”;
4. Fit plasticine forms on either side of the block area and test fit the fore-stock with the action screw tightened down;
5. Coat the barrel contact area with release agent, pour the steel putty block, insert the barrelled action, tighten the action screw and allow the block to set over night;
6. Remove the shims once the block is completely set. There should be approx 12 to 14lbs of barrel pressure on the new centre block;


1. Sear & Trigger relationship: You want to pay a lot of attention to raising the rear surface area of the fore-stock using the .025” arborite (or other) shim stock. The reason for this has to do with the relationship between the trigger ribs and the sear as you are raising the profile of the receiver in the stock. To compensate for this extra height we are removing material at the fore-end down to the rivets. The angle of the receiver draws is altered as a result and will require re-shimming in order to be flush.
2. Trigger guard fit: The trigger guard should sit flush with the stock when at rest with the action screw removed. If this is not the case and the trigger guard is under pressure (it usually lifts from the action screw area) then some material may need to be removed from under the trigger guard towards the receiver ring. This should relieve the pressure but do this incrementally. In other words only remove a tiny amount of material at a time.
3. Receiver ring and fore-stock contact: There should be no fore-stock contact at the receiver ring. Use a feeler gauge and work around this area to identify contact points. Sand down high points and ensure the barrel sits in the middle of the barrel channel before any fitting is performed.

remove material down to the rivits at the muzzle end
Shim stock bedded into place with steel putty at the receiver end
Area prepared for the centre bedding block
Plasticine dams in place (tape up side of the stock so bedding does not mar finish
Work the material into the anchor holes - air bubbles are the enemy - ensure good purchase
When bedding block is cured clean up the corners and remove unwanted detritus
Receiver area prepped for bedding compound. This was done in preparation
for Stage One. The draws were also done.
Ensure wood is thoroughly taped up - this stuff gets every where - have acetone on standby
Ensure all nooks and crannies in the action have complete coverage with release agent
Note action screw has plasticine plug - you don't want bedding compound in there
clean up any secretions of steel putty with a knife or scraping tool. Wipe away
remainder with a acetone soaked cloth