VGC F-Class Match Director

The new match director for Valley Gun Club Mr. David Joe is one of the NRA High Master shooter in the RGV.


Feb 16, 2020

Yesterday, we had great shooting conditions.  Nine F-Open and two F-TR shooters participated.  Generally overcast with low wind.  While no one shot clean for the day-aggregate, three very accurate open rifles all came close, dropping only one point.   Those three open rifles were .284 Winchesters.     


We awarded prize money for the three match winners.  In TR, Mark Self won all three matches.   In Open, all three match winners shot clean, and won by X count with Andrew Malcom winning #1 with 13-X’s; Gilbert Falcon winning #2 with 8-X’s and Ariel Lopez winning #3 with 12-X’s.  (There were nine 150’s shot yesterday.) 


  1. Mark Roberts 449-29X
  2. Gilbert Falcon 449-21X
  3. Hernan Garza 449-14X


  1. Mark Roberts 449-29X
  2. Gilbert Falcon 449-21X
  3. Hernan Garza 449-14X
  4. Andrew Malcolm 446-22X
  5. David Joe 445-16X
  6. Ariel Lopez 444-23
  7. James Davis 444-22X
  8. David Dale 436-16X  (Mover of the match)
  9. Jerome Erickson 428-8X


  1. Mark Self 442-14X
  2. Mike Merkler 425-5X


F-Class Match 12 Jan 2020

Our January match had 13 shooters enjoying the mild conditions that made the RGV famous for year round farming.  The first relays were still, to 2mph with a gradual pickup from the Southeast.    


There were ten F-Open shooters and only three F-TR, but the day belonged to F-TR.   Jennifer Bondurant and Tracy Self placed first and second respectively in the aggregate, which is remarkable considering that an F-TR rifle has a lower weight limit and only two caliber choices, which results in using lower Ballistic Coefficient projectiles, relative to F-Open rifles.  Meticulous wind calling, rifle tuning and loading can overcome those limitations.   


We will bear in mind that any rifle that meets stricter rules of F-TR, is necessarily also simultaneously an NRA rule compliant F-Open rifle.   (Open rifles need not meet the rules of TR rifles, but ALL F-TR rifles do meet the rules of F-Open rifles.)  Therefore, it will be permissible for any competitor with an F-TR rifle to elect to enter and shoot that rifle as an F-Open rifle at our matches, for purposes of competing in the pool of larger prizes, if that designation is announced at squadding.  (We note further, that for classification card purposes the NRA draws no distinction between F-Open and F-TR equipment.)    


We awarded prize money to six match winners in TR and Open ( times 3 matches), roughly proportional to the entries of each division.  All winning scores were clean relays, and five different shooters won the six amounts. 




  1. Jennifer Bondurant 449-24X
  2. Tracy Self 448-26X
  3. Hernan Garza 448-18X



  1. Hernan Garza 448-18X
  2. James Davis 447-25X
  3. Oliver Banda 446-25
  4. David Joe 445-16X
  5. Juan Gonzalez 444-18X
  6. Jerome Erickson 440-20X
  7. Ariel Lopez 437-16X
  8. Hernan Salinas 437-12X
  9. D Dale 418-8X
  10. Stanley Fitch 395-1X



  1. Jennifer Bondurant 449-24X
  2. Tracy Self 448-26X
  3. Mark Self 435-14X



The New Match Director

David Joe

Greetings VCG Competitors,

Our first match of the year is this Sunday.  Below is our 2020 match program.  Please note the match fee for nonclub members is $25, and $20 for current members.  All matches before the December Championship will be 45 shots for record.      

We will be awarding the winner of each of the three 15 shot matches in both Open and TR, a modest cash prize.   (This will probably be the product of number of competitors in each division, times $2.00)   This is in addition to match trophies.  

Please fully complete the scoresheet you receive when paying.  These new score sheets are three hole punched to be retained by me in a match notebook.  

Mark and Tracey Self have these matches entered with scores also being displayed on the Practicescore website.

DATES OF MATCHES: barring unforeseen circumstances, matches will be held on the following dates:
12 January 2020, Sunday  16 February 2020, Sunday  08 March 2020, Sunday  19 April 2020, Sunday  17 May 2020, Sunday  14 June 2020, Sunday  12 July 2020, Sunday  09 August 2020, Sunday  13 September 2020, Sunday  11 October 2020, Sunday  08 November 2020, Sunday  13 December 2020, Sunday
ADMINISTRATION AND LOCATION: The Valley Gun Club will host F-Class matches its range in Donna, Texas.  Directions to the range are located on its website at .  Matches will be conducted pursuant to the NRA High Power Prone Rules, F-Class.   Any person who is deemed to present a safety hazard or commits disruption behavior may be asked to leave the premises by the Match Director.        
MATCH DIRECTOR: David Royse Joe, cell phone (214) 235-5385.       
ARRIVAL TIME AND COMMENCEMENT: Participants should arrive at the pits by 7:15 a.m. to assist in preparation and set up of Electronic Targets, with Closure of Registration and Commencement by 8:00 a.m.  
COURSE OF FIRE:  Except for the December Championship Match, each tournament will consist of 3 matches shot from 600 yards wherein shooters will fire 15 shots for record with unlimited sighting shots within 20 minutes.  The December tournament will be 20 shots for record with unlimited sighters within 25 minutes.     
ENTRY FEE: $20 (Club Member) $25 (Non-Club Member), nonrefundable.    
PRIZES:  Awards may be given for match winners and tournament winners (aggregate) at the discretion of the Match Director, for competitors using the F-Class target.  
ELECTRONIC TARGETS:  Matches are presently conducted using electronic targets.  As a result of the installation of sensitive equipment, rifles and competitors must be capable of maintaining ALL shots in scored areas of the target under ALL circumstances so as to not damage equipment.  All competitors are responsible for their shots.  For this reason, VGC has approved these as F-Class tournaments (as opposed to any centerfire rifle) and any awards will be based on F-Class target face use, only.          


1,000 yrd National Championship Match in Phoenix Az.

 Finished 21st place (109 competitors) in the overall match aggregate total. 

 “Won 2 medals, $184 cash, and 500 Berger bullets.”





 David the Match Director(in black) and Chris(with the hat) both NRA High Masters

High Power Director


We had a very entertaining match Sunday, nine shooters.  I will follow this with the report when done, but the match could not have been closer.  The posting for the website is 1st, Mark Roberts 447-26X, 2nd, David Joe (also) 447-26X, 3rd, Jim Davis 446-20X, and winner of F/TR, Stephen Walker 410-0x.  The Open class .284’s shot together, so relay wind variance was a non-issue, and it was game on.  At the end of relay 1, Jim was down 2, Mark down 1, and I was clean.  Mark cleaned the second relay, I dropped one and Jim dropped one.  (So Mark and I are tied and Jim is down 1).  At relay three, I drop a point on shot 8, Mark has a green light, but then drops a point at shot 11, tying us, and then, lo and behold, at 14 too, and I’m still down just one.  I’m still shooting because of phone calls with the pits when Mark’s done, and I am ahead, it’s the 15th shot of mine, and up comes a 9.  Jim had dropped a point on his 12th.   So Mark and I were even, down 3 points each in the match.  We count the X’s, and we are still tied at 26.  So, we knew the Rules have tie-breaking criteria, but we both elect not to consult our “Safari’s” to try to resolve the varying opinions being expressed, because we deem it more fun to engage in a shootout, and since we both shared that view, we went by it.  We both shoot a 10 on the first tie breaking shot (I’m closer to the X-ring but this ain’t no “Top Shot” episode, so we shoot again, and Mark wins it with a 10 to my high 9.  Had we gone by the Rules, Mark still would have won because one of the final tie-breaking provisions, which we would have had to come down to, is to go backwards from the end of the match, on the scorecard, shot by shot, until there is a variance in either X’s or points.  As my 45th record shot was a 9, I would have been dead in the water.  (Had Mark’s 9 been on his 15th shot like mine, instead of his 14th, the exact opposite 1-2 ranking would have occurred by Rule because his next 9, going back, occurred on his 11th, to my 8th, it was just that close!  Wow.)  I can’t recall a closer match, and shooting the same relays made it especially even.  Mark further did us a favor by mowing the shooting lines the day before.  Great job, Mark!  By the way, we discussed that in the event of ties, it only takes one affected shooter wanting to invoke the Rules to break the tie, for that to be done, it does not require unanimity.  Mark and I (the only ones affected) both wanted to have a mini shootout even though we knew there was an answer we could look up in the Rules, so that’s why we did it that way.



Guys, we had a chilly match with twitchy tail winds from the north.  Jim Davis is back in the Valley and joined us.  Four of five shooters shot 7mm, 180 grain bullets, all re-pointed Berger Hybrids except Bill Batson, shooting his 180 Sierra MKs.  I edged Jim Davis by 2X’s on a tied 441.  Mark Roberts edged Bill Batson by one point, on their same X-count, so it was nice, tight match.  Karl won the T/TR class soldiering a .223 AR.  I shot on the line with Mark Roberts, who won’t be recommending his trial run of N-165 powder in this particular cartridge, and I have slapped myself for being too lazy Friday night to load enough ammo to avoid an “8” in a mid-relay ammo switch at the end, trying ungracefully to finish a short lot.   Batson’s gun, discipline knowledge, and scores are on a steep incline.  Mark Roberts discovered a splitting grip in Jim Davis’ rifle sock after the match.  So, we all have some tasks and homework ahead to shoot the pretty 99+% that is very good on our always-windy range.


Attached is the score report as well as the match program for all of 2014.  Some of us talked about the Bayou 1,000 yard club match the first weekend in January.  Please review their web-site if you are interested.



High Power Director


Gentlemen, attached is the NRA report for July’s match.  Congratulations to Mark Roberts for extremely fine shooting in setting a new club record of 449/29x!  For our newer shooters, I should say that this club has held maybe 80 monthly F-Class matches, and club record scores are extremely few and far between, and obviously they get much harder and harder to set.  Mark shot only one “9” yesterday, the 13th shot of his last string.  This bettered the previous high score of 447, which Mark and I both shot (Mark had more X’s) on the same, post-rain, very calm day last year.  A “two point” improvement over a baseline record of 447 is major guys, as 447 is well over 99% of the possible score, itself.

I don’t think Mark will mind if I use him as a case-study example to share a few observations.  Mark recently went to a custom, heavy barrel on his existing single shot action.  The solid bottom of a single shot action makes it more rigid, so as to flex less with a heavy barrel.  Mark’s scores jumped way up with the change he made this year to a top notch barrel.  A heavy, (bull) barrel is universal among very high scoring F-Class shooters.  A single shot action is virtually universal in that same group.

Caliber – as important in F-Class as engine choice is in racing.  F-Class is not just a test of shooting skills.  It’s about choices and load prep.  There is a single caliber and cartridge dominating long range (800-1,000 yd.) which by necessary implication makes it perfect for mid-range, the 7mm low drag bullet, (180 grain) in a Win .284 case.   You have heard in muscle cars “there is no replacement for displacement” and in F-Class there is simply no substitute for high “BC,” – basically the bullet’s rated ability to buck the wind.  This is a subject you can read all about online.  Shooting a relatively low BC bullet against a 180 Berger Hybrid or VLD bullet is like trying to out-slalom a 911 Turbo with a F-250 crew cab, such a comparison will simply will not come down to driving skill.  There is no shooter alive on earth that could make wind calls good enough to have beaten Mark’s 449 with, say a .308, yesterday, as the difference in BC is simply too great.  One of several very fine alternatives to the .284 is the 115 grain 6mm bullet.

Making perfectly uniform loads.  Commercial match loads can get a good shooter a decent classification card, say “expert” level, Federal GMM, Hornady Match, – and Lapua’s target loads won’t hold you back from shooting “master” in 6BR.  Everyone serious will eventually handload though, and you simply must weigh powder charges to eliminate vertical dispersion.  I jacked around with eyeballing “thrown” charges in the cases for two years or more, nope, biggest waste of time and money ever.  Weigh every charge, top them off yourself to .1 grains, and funnel pour them in.  Vertical dispersion will go away, it’s amazing.  When you have your electronic scale, just for fun weigh those thrown powder charges and prepare to be surprised how much they vary.

Brass and Bullet prep puts the final several points on the match score.  It’s time consuming, but it works for Mark, who perfects the actual bullets before seating them in a number of discrete steps.

Scope, if money is an issue, put the bulk of it into all the other things above first, as they deliver a greater return on the dollar, and wait on the nicest glass.







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