After my previous post, Montana Elk Hunting Update, reader John G. sent an email asking what I was shooting (when I achieved High Master).
These days I shoot two different rifles. One is a AR15 "space gun," and the other is a Tubb 2000. I interchange both rifles in Across-the-Course and prone events, but shoot the space gun more in Across-the-Course and the Tubb gun more in prone. There is a trade off between the two. In rapid fire you don't have to work the bolt between shots with the gas gun, but the trigger is much heavier and slower than the Tubb. The Tubb gun has a much lighter, faster trigger and has a superior cartridge for the 600 yard stage of the Across-the-Course matches.
|AR15 Space Gun. .223 caliber and 6mm Fat Rat.|
I actually have two duplicate AR15 space guns. One in .223 Remington and one in 6mm Fat Rat. Shooting the 223 is much cheaper and is easier on barrels than the Fat Rat--although the Fat Rat isn't that hard on them--so I practice and shoot some reduced distance matches with the 223 and save the Fat Rat for full distance matches. A 6mm Fat Rat is basically a 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm. Safely loaded, the Fat Rat, in my rifle, pushes the 105-107 grain bullets from 2700 to 2800 fps.
|Tubb 2000 or T2K. 6mmXC caliber.|
My Tubb gun is in 6mm XC caliber. Basically its an improved 6mm-250. When I first started shooting it, I tried to squeeze every fps out of the cartridge with bad results. Shooting the 115 grain DTAC or 115 grain Berger at 3000 fps + produced great extreme spreads and impressive groups, however, when Montana's temperature went from 60-70 degrees to 100+ a few bullets blew up never making it to the target. Now days I play it safe. Most of my loads in the 6XC are around 2850 or 2900 fps.
Left to Right: 22LR, 223 Remington, 22 BR, 22-250, 6mm Fat Rat, 6mm AR Turbo 40 Improved, 6mm XC, 7mm-08, 30-06 Springfield, 300 Winchester Magnum.
During the last decade many different rifles and cartridges have won the national matches. Carl Bernosky shoots a space gun in 6mm Hagar. A while back Sherri Gallagher won shooting a Tubb gun in 260 Remington. Several shooters have won shooting Tubb guns in 6XC, and last year (2014) Joe Hendricks won shooting a Tube (not Tubb) gun in 6CM (Competition Match).
It seems to matter less "what" a person shoots than "how" a person shoots it.
Essentially, "Kin Ya Shoot That Thar Thang, ur Kin Ya Not Shoot That Thar Thang?"