Dec 05

Hunting with Jake

jakehuntingOver Thanksgiving weekend, my Husband and I decided to spend the Holiday deer hunting in our hometown. It’s something that we both enjoy doing and a great way to spend time together. I usually bring my Weatherby Sub MOA 308. This year I decided to bring my prized competition rifle Jake. Jake is a custom built Ashbury Precision Ordnance 6.5 Creedmoor with a Pinnacle Series 24” fluted barrel, AAC Blackout brake, Xtreme titanium action, Huber Concepts single stage trigger, with a Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 scope with a G2 reticle. All this glory is wrapped up in an APO Supersport alloy series chassis. Jake has been my partner in crime this past match season. We have traveled all over the U.S. shooting in tactical precision rifle matches from Colorado and Texas to Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and a few states in between. It was only fitting that I brought my bad boy out in the woods to see if he could hit a deer as well as he hit steel during matches. I feed Jake Hornady match 140 gr AMAX and he performs well.

Jim got a head start on me the first morning. We awoke at 4 am and I checked the weather on my phone. 23 degrees outside. I was so warm and comfy, I decided to stay at my in-laws home and hunt in their back yard where there were a lot of deer sightings plus I could enjoy the big cup of coffee in my pajamas. I promised my dear Husband that I would join him in woods that evening as the temperature was sure to be a little bit warmer (a whole 45 degrees). That evening as promised, I joined my Husband. We got in our deer stands around 2:30 pm. I was in a stand facing a big green field and my Husband was in another deer stand about 300 yrds from me. I absolutely love being out in the woods with nature. I had 6-7 big turkeys come out in the field just scratching around and doing their thing.20141129_082721 They all had beards on them but I didn’t shoot. I didn’t want to scare away any potential deer. Those turkeys stayed around for at least 20 minutes before moving on. A few hours had went by and suddenly I saw 4 does. They were about 50 yards in front of me and I looked at each one through my scope. They were beauties. But I just knew that there would be a big buck coming out so I waited. And…..I let them walk away with no big buck in tow. It got to be about dark and Jim texted me to see if I was ready. We went back to the camphouse where the other men were and I just sat around listening to their stories. Jim and I went back to the house to get ready for our next morning adventure.

4 am comes awfully early. I looked at the weather on my phone and it showed that it was 38 degrees. So I jumped up, had a little bit of coffee and got my “hot hands” ready to go! We were back in our deer stands by 5:30 am before daybreak. And…..we sat. And sat. It was Black Friday and I thought to myself, I’m not fighting crowds nor am I spending any money, it’s just me and nature and I was quite content. I’m not a big shopper anyway and truth be told, I shop a lot online. A few hours went by and out came the big turkeys again. 2014-11-29 07.42.39I got bored so I did a selfie photo, trying to entertain myself. I played around on Facebook while keeping my eye on the green field in front of me. Around 12 noon we came out of our deer stands for lunch and around 2 pm jumped back in the stands. It wasn’t until it started to get dark that those 4 big does came out again. I measured each one in my Bushnell XRS scope and tried to pick out the biggest one. I aimed right behind the left shoulder because that is where the biggest mass of vitals are, plus that is where my Husband has taught me to shoot a deer. Now, I’m not a person that likes to go out and kill an animal for the fun of it. I like to hunt to provide meat for my family and others. I had perfect placement of my crosshairs on the deer and then I cleanly broke the trigger. One shot and the deer went down. I thought Jake might get a little nervous as he is not use to deer hunting. But he was a pro. I got so excited I texted Jim and immediately I texted Morris Peterson, owner of Ashbury Precision Ordnance to tell him the good news of Jake. After Jim and another guy loaded the deer we took her back to the hunting camp where they cleaned it up. I was so excited over this big doe I got. We iced the meat and got ready to go watch the Iron Bowl. Our night ended great, with a Bama win and thinking about the tenderloin breakfast we were going to have the next morning!bigdoe2bigdoe

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Oct 30

For the Love of Jake….

DSC_5192 - postAs most you know, my prized competition rifle is named Jake.  How did I come up with that name you ask?  I absolutely love the State Farm commercial where the Husband is downstairs in the middle of the night talking on the phone. The Wife comes downstairs and demands to know who is talking to. The Husband says “Jake…from State Farm”. The wife grabs the phone and says “Who is this” and the Husband says “Jake…..from State Farm”. The wife asks him, “what are you wearing Jake…from State Farm” and he replies “Khakis”. The wife hands the phone back to the Husband and says “Well she sounds hideous!”  Not only is this one of my favorite commercials, but I wanted to be respectful to my Husband, and since I had never dated a guy named Jake, this name stuck!

Jake is a custom built Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) 6.5 Creedmoor with a Pinnacle series fluted barrel, AAC blackout brake, Xtreme titanium action, Huber concepts single staged trigger set at 2.5 lbs all wrapped up in an APO SuperSport alloy series chassis. My optic is a Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5 x 30 with a G2 reticle, in Spuhr mounts. I have Jake outfitted with a sniper skid plate on his foreend that helps with shooting off barricades and also keeping him from getting cut and scraped. I utilize my Armageddon Gear precision rifle sling to carry Jake from stage to stage and also use my sling on different barricades and in the sitting shooting position. I keep Jake well cleaned and lubed with Froglube. I have never had any problems with Froglube and would highly recommend to everyone. It’s biodegradable so for those adventurers, I hear you can eat it and not die!

I started shooting for Ashbury Precision Ordnance last year. We worked together in fitting the best rifle for me. APO took my body size into account, as well as other measurements to make sure this rifle was “the one”. By taking my size into account, they wanted to make me a “lightweight” rifle. You see in the tactical precision rifles matches that I compete in, you are given a certain time limit to complete the course of fire and within this course of fire you are moving with your rifle. So having a lightweight rifle was paramount for me. A lot of thought went into Jake as in the type of metal to use when building him. Take for example his action. It’s made out of the lightweight metal titanium. Jake’s weight, without his optics and bipod, is around 10 lbs. When you add the optics and bipod, he comes in around 13 lbs.  CAGE2

One of the great features of this chassis is the push button system. You can adjust the shoulder stock up and down by the push of a button. This comes in extremely handy on some of the obstacles in my matches. It allows the shoulder pad to be in a comfortable position everytime you shoot no matter what you are shooting off of. This is probably my most favorite feature and one I use A LOT. Another push button feature is the adjustment of length in the stock. When I let someone shoot Jake, we adjust the length so that whoever is shooting is getting an accurate shot. The stock folds by the push of a button.

Something that is also worth mentioning is the adjustment of the grip. You can move the grip forward and backward. You want this perfect so you have just the right trigger to finger alignment when breaking the trigger. Also you can adjust the angle of the grip. There are three different angles to choose from.

Jake eats, well um, shoots, Hornady match grade 140 gr AMAX. I have tried other ammo, but my best groups come from this Hornady load. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Ah hem……don’t even get me started on my Husband “breaking” Jake a few months ago. He’s gaming me you know.

At 100 yrds, my rifle consistently shoots ¼ MOA. Jake is extremely accurate and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I shot this past competition season with only my Jake. He and I have had some great times and some not great times. None of it being his fault of course, I will take the blame for my mistakes.

As you can see, Jake is more than just a rifle to me. This is very cliché, but he is a part of me. He has been with me from the beginning of my competition season and we’ve shared laughter, tears and a lot of traveling. I feel comfortable going into a match with him because I know how he is going shoot well. I’m the one that still gets the jitters and he’s the one that always calms me everytime the RO yells impact. It’s a great relationship.10592731_710579022369632_6273609169569896004_n


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Oct 04

Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 with G2 reticle

bushnell3Is it possible to shoot with an optic all season and then suddenly, fall in love with it all over again? Why yes, yes it is! At the beginning of the precision rifle competition season, Bushnell sent me the Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30x50mm with the G2 reticle. The XRS (Extreme Range Scope) is sleek in its design and is one hell of a scope. I have this scope mounted in a Spuhr mount on my Ashbury Precision Ordnance custom built 6.5 Creedmoor.

A great feature about this scope is the adjustable zero stop and locking turrets. The turrets are large and easy to maneuver. Again, the locking turrets are a plus. Once you have your wind and elevation dialed, just push the cap down and you are Locked. I zero my rifle and then keep my windage turret locked. My Husband has taught me to hold for wind, so this is why I never mess with the wind turret once it is zeroed. During competition, if I’m on a stage that has multiple targets that I need to dial for, I will leave my elevation turret in the up position which allows me to dial. If I’m on a stage where the target is at one distance, I will then dial my DOPE and lock down the turret. One big reason of why I love the zero stop, is so I know exactly where my zero is (I actually have it set around .3 mils below the zero, for just in case). This way, I won’t be second guessing if I didn’t dial back down after a stage and then being a whole revolution off (& yes, this has happened to me in the past). The XRS has 10 mils for a full revolution. So far I haven’t gotten past a whole revolution but came mighty close at the 2014 Snipers Hide Cup!

In past competitions, I have used scopes with a TRMR2 reticle and just loved it. So getting used to another reticle, well, I wasn’t so sure about. Enter the G2 reticle.g2 I loved how it was…..just simple. I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with this reticle. I thought I needed the windage dots and all the glamour that went with the TRMR2 reticle. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the TRMR2 but after getting to know my G2, I just adore it! The G2 reticle is the brain child of George Gardner, who owns GA Precision. George is no stranger to the firearm community. With George’s years of shooting experience, added with his mastery of building precision rifles, it is a perfect storm for him to know how to place the mechanics with the arts. My G2 is in the first focal plane. For those unfamiliar with first or second focal plane scopes, in first focal plane your reticle size changes as your magnification changes. This is extremely helpful in the tactical precision rifle competitions that I compete in. Your reticle stays true to the correct mil size no matter what power you are on. This is more than helpful in ranging multiple targets and for use in holdovers. In a second focal plane scope, your reticle remains the same size no matter the magnification, which means you have to remember at each power what your “would be” mil holds are and correct them per power. In competition, I have always dialed my DOPE for all targets. I know, yes it takes more time to dial thus, reducing the time you have to engage your targets. I was extremely timid in trying holdovers, not because I didn’t trust my reticle, but I really didn’t trust myself. I had practiced using holdovers in training, but when it came to match day I resorted back to what I knew and that was dialing. When using holdovers, you rely on your reticle. With the G2, you have hash marks at every ½ mil and mil. This makes using this reticle extremely easy and this is where my love for my scope was reignited at a recent match. There were several stages where you had targets that were at least 100 or so yards apart at each one. On one particular stage, you had three targets at three different distances. With these three targets, I would dial in my DOPE for my second target, and then use holdovers for the first and third target. My holdovers were accurate, I engaged my targets and then I got excited! I was really doing holdovers and they were working. I did holdovers on several other stages and did extremely well. I wish I had trusted myself more in other matches to utilize my reticle in these holdovers. It would have been very useful and saved me a lot of time.

The low power of the scope works out extremely well when there are multiple targets close up. You can go to one of the lower powers and have a great field of view to pick them up rapidly. On a distance target, or more importantly for those 100 yrd extreme accuracy drills like the Accushot card or shooting dumdum suckers, the 30 power of this optic really allows you to see EXACTLY where you want to put that round. The lens are clear and crisp and did I mention the objective and ocular lenses have a water-repellent coating called Rainguard HD? I have shot in a few matches where we had downpours. I worried a little at first, but my lenses remained clear and the rain beaded right off.10257978_1478780939049668_4266725124784947193_n

Overall, this has been the best scope I have shot. I love all the features I have mentioned, plus Bushnell is a household name. If you would like to know more about this scope or other Bushnell products, visit Bushnell at

Specifics of the XRS 4.5-30:
Power/Obj. lens: 4.5-30x50mm
Reticle: G2
Lens coating: Fully multi coated and extra wide band coating
Tube diameter: 34mm
Weight: 37oz/1049gr
Length: 14in/356mm
Focal plane: First

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