April 18th, Joel Pendergraft of Durham, NC put 10 shots into 3.048â€³ to set a new IBS 1000-yard Heavy Gun World record. Competing at Hawks Ridge, NC, Joel set the record with his big, 300 Ackley Improved HG fitted with an unusual water-cooled 12-twist, 4-groove Krieger barrel. Joel shot BIB 187gr flat-based bullets in Norma brass, pushed by a “generous amount” of Alliant Reloder 25 and Federal 210M primers.
This 3.048â€³ 10-shot group was a remarkable accomplishment, breaking one of the longest standing 1000-yard World Records. Bill Shehane commented: “This tops the NBRSA, IBS, and Original Williamsport Clubs’ all-time 10-shot Heavy Gun group records. Took a long time to do it and I for one know Joel did not back into it â€” he has worked harder than most the last 10 years to break this record. And just like John Voneida of the Original Williamsport Club who held this most prestigious record for so long, Joel is a super nice guy and a great competitor.”
Pendergraft’s fellow 1K competitors were quick to praise his accomplishment. Dave Tooley observed: “I still remember the day I suggested flat-based bullets to Joel and the laugh I got. Well he was laughing today. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Glad I was there to see it.” Posting on Benchrest Central, “4Mesh” wrote: “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! That gun showed some serious promise last year at the World Open and anything that cranks off targets like the one you shot there, has what it takes.” Jim Hardy added: “The new record is great but no better than the fine man who shot it. Everyone who knows Joel will say the same thing â€” he is one of the finest men you will ever meet. He lives the life, and walks the walk and has paid his dues in the 1000-yard BR game to get the record.”
Pendergraft was modest after his notable achievement: “Some of the words spoken are too kind. What makes this so very special is to be able to celebrate the accomplishment with all of my shooting friends[.] A good friend once said that records are shot when preparation and opportunity meet. I feel blessed to have personally had the opportunity. The preparation we can individually work on and achieve but the opportunity only comes to a few. Those of you that compete in long range competition will know what I mean.”