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Black powder Magazine
The Pedersoli Gibbs did it again in the hands of Marnus Steyn!

A short report with an excellent shooter who won the long range World Championships with a Pedersoli Gibbs rifle

Long range muzzle loading shooting is definitely the king of all blackpowder shooting sport. It is the most demanding discipline for the shooters and for the firearms as well. Hitting the bullseye at 900 meter is something that needs an exceptionally skilled shooter and a perfect rifle – load system.

 

This years MLAIC Long Range Championships were held in Capetown 9-14 September 2013. The shooters competed at 300, 500, 600, 800 and 900 meter distances both in repro and original class.

 

Marnus Steyn from South Africa seems to have all the skills a champion needs. He scored 5th on 300 ms, won gold on 500 m, silver on 600 m, silver on 800 m and the gold on 900 m. He won the midrange and long range aggregate also with new World record scores. Oh yes, and he is shooting a Pedersoli Gibbs rifle.

 

BPNO1: Marnus, first of all let me congratulate for this excellent achievement. We are really for your results, and very proud that you trusted our Gibbs rifle. Which was the hardest moment of the match for you?

MS: As this was my first time as a Protea and also my first World Championship my hardest moment was undoubtedly the first shot at 300m. It was very unnerving to see so many of the big names in Long Range BP shooting there on the range with me. Names like Eugene Kuisis, Dave Gullo, Lee Shaver, Gunther Kunz and a whole host of other excellent shots. I had quite a hard time to control my nerves and concentrate on the loading and shooting. Fortunately the process is very involved and requires a high level of concentration so once the first shot was fired I managed to get into my rhythm and focus. On the day of the Long Range competition at 800 and 900 meters the wind conditions were extremely difficult to read and was changing constantly. So I found the long range competition very challenging.

BPNO1: Please tell us something about your loads.
MS: I use the exact same charge for all distances from 300m to 900m. The person who designed the bullet and developed the charges is Eugene Kuisis so all credit is due to him. The bullet is a paper-patched conical which weighs 583 grains after swaging and sizing but without the patch. I use pure lead with 3.5% tin to cast the bullets. The charge depends on the batch of Swiss we have available is either 90 or 95 grains Swiss No4 1.5F. This powder is the most consistent. I use an edge-lubed pure wool felt wad over the charge.

BPNO1: Did you change anything on your Gibbs rifle?

MS: I use a standard Pedersoli front sight and change the size of the inserts according to the distance I am shooting at. The rear sight is made by Mike Neumann. The two reasons why I prefer this sight is that it has a lot of adjustment for windage and it is marked using a vernier system which is easier to read than the fine graduations on the standard pedersoli sight.

BPNO1: Why did you choose the Pedersoli Gibbs?
I chose the Gibbs because it is the only production rifle in the world that you can buy off the shelf and start competing with as is. The only other option is custom built rifles which are way too expensive for me. In addition to that the rifle is well made and with some care can be made to shoot exceptionally well.

BPNO1: How long have you been shooting this rifle?

MS: I have been shooting the rifle since November 2007 but only started shooting it in competitions in January 2008.

BPNO1: Why muzzle loading?

I have been collecting muzzle loaders and shooting recreationally with them since 1995. I wanted to do something constructive with my hobby and when I saw an article in a local magazine (Magnum) that the Proteas won the world championships in 2007 I was very interested. The team captain at the time was a former colleague and he invited me to come and see what they are doing. I could not believe that it could be possible to shoot a target at 900 meters or 1000 yards. This is still where the challenge and the fascination lies for me and I am excited every time I see them pull the target when I fired a shot at 900 meters! This discipline must surely be the holy grail of target shooting and I love the challenge. It is never easy and you are never guaranteed to win.

 

BPNO1: Many thanks Marnus! We wish you millions of inner tens for the future!

MS: Thank You for an excellent rifle that allowed me to become the new world champion. Kindest Regards Marnus Steyn”

 

You can have a look at the results at www.bpsu.co.za


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