New 1000 yard shooting record

April 18th, Joel Pendergraft of Durham, NC put 10 shots into 3.048″ 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 3.048″ 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 — 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 — 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.”


  • http://http://http:// Chopaka81

    That’s a rifle? looks more like a rail gun. Interesting – you-all know the old saying whatever floats your boat.
    The baffeling inside the water cooled jacket must be a closely guarded secert. It would be very interesting to “see” what you “don’t see” regarding the guts of that water jacket.


  • Sean

    Ya I have mixed feelings about this. I feel like the rifle holds the record not so much the shooter.

  • Lee

    3.048… ya I thought that was pretty impressive… untill I scrolled down, wheres the shooting skill involved with a rig like that? A person might as well hilty a 50 to the floor and let’er rip. I think that I’ll stick to shooting milk jugs from a bipod and rear bag… but its like chopaka said whatever floats your boat

  • Propain_Switzerland

    I prefer to shoot (and to hit) with a common rig – a really stock, trigger, action and barrel. I go up to 1000 Meters with an ordinary Rem. 700 Varmint in .308 Win. There are allways holes in the target – so i bet, I had hit it…. (hope you can understand what I like to say with my terrible english)

    Greetings from Switzerland


  • Sean

    I can understand you just fine and greetings from the Idaho. Most people don,t realize what there normal hunting gun is really capable of doing. Today most rifles are made with much better accuracy than there predecessors. If you have a rifle that can shoot under a inch at 100 yards than you have a rifle that is capable of killing game at 1,000 yards.

  • Brad

    Well, it may look somewhat like a gun, but the fact of the matter is that this gentleman was shooting in the heavy gun class. That means you conceive and build a unit that can expel a projectile 1000 yards and be better than anyone else. Looks like fun to me.

  • Sean

    Ya but where is the shooting skill? why not put a electric trigger so you don’t even have to touch the gun. I have more respect for a guy that can shoot a 10 inch group prone than a guy that has his “gun” mounted to the table. About a month ago I shot two bullets at some steel at 1,110 yards with a 1.7/8 inch spread. Now I know it was just two shots and that’s all I fired but I am more happy with that because I did it laying in the dirt with a backpack on bi-pods.

  • Michyle Berge

    This is not marksmanship, this is like rocket science in a way. Taking a fairly simple thing and making it more complicated than needed.

  • Sean

    Well said

  • http://http:// Dave

    It is marksmanship within the realm they compete in. The main goal of all these fellas that shoot at Williamsport and the NC club is the smallest possible ten shot group at the correct spot in some cases.

    Those weapons they use like the one pictured above will hardly ever see “hunting” conditions. They are designed for one thing to put ten shots as close to possible as possible.

    Its a different thing they are trying to obtain you’re not really competing against the guy next to you but more so you are competing against yourself and the equipment you use.

    It is a fine group for sure and it is a record despite whatever means was used to get to the end of the task. It’s just not commonly thought of as shooting when most everyone else uses a bi-pod or beanie bag or backpack. This is a way different level of what they are trying to obtain.

    There aren’t any thoughts of how well this would do out west on Elk or Mulies. The only thing the guy probably hoped for was a calm day to work with all his timeless futility spent perfecting his rig, gear, shooting, and ballistics.

    You must understand what these guys are like. You all have videos of shooting at steel at extended ranges some have white dots on them. What this equates to is you trying to put ten rounds in that white dot not just hitting the steel.

    I think the record should be held but it needs to be in its own category because at the point where you bring in water to cool your weapon you should be entering an “experimental” category and the record shouldn’t be held up to those other records where like apples were not used.

  • Sean

    That is the problem I have. Not that the record was made but that if I was to try to go for the record I would be competing against I rifle with a water cooled barrel that was bolted to the table. I just dont think there is any shooting skill, just manufacturing and fabricating skills. I think that I said it before but might as well put a electric trigger with a remote on it.

  • Dave

    There really isnt any shooting skills it is a test of equipment and you are right.

    However if you have a custom rifle in the “practicable” style why would you want to compete in the same class as a heavy rifle?

    It would be like going to the track with an escort trying to compete with a corvette it simply wouldn’t be advised to do so.

    It is two different worlds and thats what I am trying to convey here is in each others area you have your specialties and in the case of his area its so unique its surpasses all of our thoughts of how it is supposed to be rather than how “they” compete.

    Like I said that thing is for what they do there isnt any distance between 0 to 1000 yards or beyond it centers around 1000 yards spcifically. They dont have to worry about how many clicks it takes to get to 500 or 1300 they are only concerned with 1000 its a very limited practice which to us doesnt seem practicable.

  • Jimmy

    As long as the gun is not mounted on to the rails of the rest it is some impressive shooting.

  • Brett Hobbs

    I guess the skill involved is in the rifle build and loading the ammunition. I don’t know if that kind of group is possible with a “regular” set up.

  • preston

    sean you dont get it people are trying to in a nice way explain to u that your trying to compare apples and oranges you keep talking about your marksmenship thats not the point u go set a world record shooting in a class that fits what u like to do and then well talk about u your point u made twice about electric trigger your not saying anything we dont already know the skill is in putting together the gun and ammo and trying new things whatever it takes to shoot the best group at 1000 thats what this guy enjoys and hes the best in the world at it so give him credit or just keep acting insecure

  • Sean Pomerinke

    Well Preston if you read the comments above you will see that most people on this topic feel the same way I do. And your are right this is apples and oranges but the problem is they are in the same group. Let me ask you a question who is the better shot. The guy that shoots this rifle and gets a 3 inch group. Or the guy that shoots a standard competition rifle and gets a 5 inch group?????
    So to clarify because you dont seem to get it. Anybody can spend money to have someone to build a rifle like this and shoot amazing groups. This is the same thing as the new world record elk. He spent a bunch of money had several guys tracking the elk for him. Then he shot it with a center fire rifle in a muzzle loader season and presto world record elk. This guy did the same thing and you cant say that someone that had a few thousand dollars could have a machinist build a rifle to do the same thing. As I said before the rifle holds the group not the shooter. And for your comment ”

    just keep acting insecure

    ” how much long range shooting do you do and what setup do you have?


    well, Sean, it shows that you are in it for arguement sake and don’t really know what you are talking about…… I’d like to shake that person’s hand that can shoot “FREE Hand” [even with a sportsterized competition rifle] a 5″ group with 10 consecutive rounds at 1000 yards… seroiously, thats 0.5 MOA….. Hell the 10 point ring at 1000 yards is 20″ in diameter!

    I’d like to see you put 10 rounds in at 0.5 MOA @ 100 yards and then let me know how many rounds it took to get you the 10 rounds in the 10 ring!

    Sean, you see, its like drag racing cars…. people build prostreet/top-fuel drag cars that are made specifically for the drag strip. These prostreet/topfuel “machines on wheels” are not made for anything on the streets. (Could you imagine a top fueler sitting at the light between WalGreens & CVS? LOL) They have electronic shifters mapped and sychronized into the RPM’s of the crank shaft and mated with the ignition, and computerized fuel pumps, stall converters, etc, etc, and etc….. Its an extremely very fined and tuned system where, virtually, all the driver has to do is have a good reaction time to the green light when hitting the gas and not let the back wheels let loose……

    I mean whats the point of having a 315 mph car that you can’t drive down the road? BECAUSE HE CAN! Now, of course having a street legal 1969 Camero that could do 315 mph down the freeway would be FREAKING KICK A$$ AWESOME!… BUT its not practical and may never happen (it may!) even with the advanced and highly skilled auto mechanic…..

    Here’s my point….. THE LAND SPEED RECORD STILL STANDS even though it was done on a salt flat desert with rocket propolution and streamlined shell with a tail wind and down hill…… ITS STILL THE LAND SPEED RECORD!…..and it’s undisputed!

    See, Its the same concept and philosophy that Joel Pendergraft used when building this rifle…. to get the ultimate, top and absolute performance from his build….. Of course, “Free Shooting” 1000 yards with a 7mm rem mag is TOTALLY different due to human error; flinching, inconsistant trigger pulls, twitching, breathing, heartbeat, etc….

    There is still a lot of variables that have to be mastered even when using a shooting machine….. Humidity, wind, coriolis effect, altitude, angle of shooting, convection currents, etc….. not to mention unless you are making your own ammo, to get the same excact load from round to round is exceptional and that is a whole different load of variations in it self…….

    Why did he do it, because he could! Does the record stand, YES! Is it the same as free or bench shooting, NO and that is why there are specifically different categories that pertain to each type of shooting…. and drag racing….. (and yes they do run stock VW Rabbits against souped up corvets and yes the VW’s sometimes win…. its a different type of drag racing called bracket racing!)

    I can’t wait to see your “10 shots”!

  • Sean Pomerinke

    338 Edge
    You must not do to much shooting because you cant seem to keep up on the time we are in. This is NOT my gun nor was it me shooting but this is the rifle that I should have finished by early next summer. So if you want to shake the hand to this shooting talk to Shawn Carlock. I can give you his number if you like he lives about 20 min from me. This is his quote ”

    It is not at all uncommon for our customers to record groups under 4-5 inches at 1000 yards. Again this is the rule not the exception.

    ” Now I will say this one more time for the people that don’t seem to get it. I know that he has the world record and I know how and why he did and in what class. Now tell me who is the better shot Shawn Carlock or this guy? Is there marksmanship skill involved in this record? Or is this a record held by a machinist? So to some up what I am saying I HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR THE FREE HAND SHOOTER VS A RIFLE MOUNTED TO A TABLE. I don’t understand why you guys keep making the same point when I NEVER disagreed with you. I just keep saying that it is not my bag of chips. On a side not I keep this site clean and if this starts to get out of hand I will delete all comments including my own.

  • http:// STOGIE

    Sean in a previous statement, you said ”

    most people don’t realize what their ‘NORMAL Hunting Gun’ can do.

    “…. to me, a “Normal Hunting Gun” is a stock rifle with a higher end rifle optics…. something that the average or “normal” person would use when going on a “normal” weekend hunt. A “normal hunting gun”. I do a lot of shooting and its with my normal Stock or slightly modified (lightened triggger pull, self-loaded ammo, muzzle breaks, very minimal modifications)

    To me, What you posted is not the normal hunting rifle! Its a .338 Edge custom long distance shooter that would cost in the $2800 – $3000+ range. If this rifle is is a “Normal Hunting Gun”, then we are still talking about two different weapons…. which I’m sure we are…

    I’m just curious, you said ”

    this is the rifle I should have finished by early next summer.

    ” Are you doing your own smithing or do you really Do you mean that Defensive Edge Custom Gunsmithing should have their .338 edge custom built and ready for you by early next summer?

  • http:// Sean P

    I use a 300 ultra at this moment that is completely stock. The only thing I have done is a muzzle brake, adjusted trigger and a different stock. The 338 Edge is just a 300/338 ultra some people call them the 338 ultra cat and yes I am making the 338 Edge for next year. The comment I left above was in reference to Propain_Switzerland
    that said ”

    I prefer to shoot (and to hit) with a common rig – a really stock, trigger, action and barrel. I go up to 1000 Meters with an ordinary Rem. 700 Varmint in .308 Win.

    ” I never said a NORMAL hunting gun can shoot sub MOA at a 1,000 yards. What I said was you have a gun that is capable of killing game, there’s a difference.

  • http://http:// Sean P

    O one last thing the 300 ultra mag cost 475.00 dollars brand new and to have a 28 inch 338 fluted 1-9 twist barrel made and mounted cost about 800 bucks. total about 1,300.00 dollars and now you have the 338 Edge and you just need a scope.

  • Paul Ames

    16 inch gun on the arizona holds a minute of angle or under quite a feat from 23 miles

  • http://http:// Paul Ames

    there was a group of shooters a few years ago who set up a 100yd range in a warehouse in texas,controlled temp, no wind,humidity constant, huge concrete shooting bench. They said the only way u could tell some of the guns had held on target was the fuz on the edge of the previous hole dissappeared.Now that was under extreme controlled conditions but if you take it to the max there are no records left to break unless they all share the same hole.

  • Nelson Doan

    If I had to guess, I would give no more than a 10% advantage to the equipment, and probably it’s less than that. At 1000 yards, even with good conditions, I think that the skill involved to shoot a good group trumps the equipment. I shoot F-class occasionally, even with good equipment, it’s very hard to read the wind perfectly for 10 consecutive shots. This was .3 something moa!! I like the tactical style rifle with bipod best, but I think that this guy is a no BS good shooter.

  • Bob Dillon

    Nelson, I have to disagree with you. I’m a regular F-Class Shooter. I have shot one, repeat, one IBS match. I spent most of my time scratching my head because those folks were only interested in group. Shooting a rail gun as fast as you can to minimize effects of the wind is not shooting. Just pumping lead down range.
    Since you have shot F-Class you know that if you drop a point at any range, you might as well go home and wind plays a huge roll in your being able to keep the holes in the X ring.
    My comment is only that if you want a record then put that group in the X ring. Everything else is “a miss”.

  • Goodfella

    i just wanna say its a hell off an accomplishment. Why do people feel the need to say well i think this kind of shooting class or shooter is better than this or that? just be happy for someone else acheviment or don’t comment. if you like something else better, then comment on records from that class in a different thread instead of raining of someones parade. LIVE AND LET LIVE

  • Mike Fairless

    I bet the lasers that they make in Livermore California at the Lawrence Livermore Lab are at least as accurate as that “Gun”. They can bounce them off things a lot further away than 1000 yards. Maybe they can get in on the competition!

    Both exhibit impressive engineering but I really don’t know how you could call it skillful shooting. Its skillful engineering in my book.

    As Chopaka said though.. if it floats your boat!

  • C. Smith

    There should be two separate classes One for Super High tech shooters such as this one and a class for hunting guns — This is quite an achievement for Mr. Pendergraft and not many will ever see themselves shoot like this — I have a friend who shoots a five shot group into a four inch circle with a Savage target rifle — I am getting ready to put my 300 WM to the test — It will be a while but I’ll get it there —

  • shootgarand

    I’d say try shooting in a tunnel and beat the 3″ group. That’s pretty neat.

  • Mike Burns

    Wow! A most impressive accomplishment. I tried the BR route 30 years ago and had my pants beat off by some of the smartest tech heads of their day. The technology for these extreme distances is a science and make no mistake about it, this record was earned and deserved by someone who envisioned perfection. The future will hold even tighter groups at even more extreme distances . The rail guns are coming and the Aussies claim bug holes at 2000 meters and more. The object of target shooting is sending a piece of metal to an intended point better than anyone else. After all what fun would we have if we were still shooting flintlocks.