Saturday at the Movies: Palma Rifle Competition Showcase By:


[[{“value”:”June 15th, 2024

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Saturday at the Movies: Palma Rifle Competition Showcase

Palma rifle eliseo krieger warner jewell trigger history prone iron sights kelly bachand

Today’s Saturday Showcase features Palma rifles and Palma competition. The Palma discipline is a prone Iron Sight competition that originated in 1876, making it the second oldest continuing rifle match in the world. Except for a hiatus in the late 1900s, there is a nearly 150-year history of Palma matches. The Palma Course of Fire includes stages at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. At each yard-line you get two (2) sighting shots followed by 15 shots for record, for a grand total of 51 shots.

Under U.S.A. Palma rules the gun must be a rifle with metallic sights chambered for .308 Win (7.62×51) or .223 Rem (5.56×45). Most of the rifles featured in these videos are chambered for .308 Winchester, but we do have a video of John Whidden shooting his .223 Rem Palma gun — you’ll notice the significantly reduced recoil. CLICK HERE for more information on Palma Rules.

Components of Modern Palma Rifle and Palma Competition Basics

We definitely recommend you watch this video. Hosted by SSG Robert Germanelo of the U.S. Marine Corps Shooting Team, this video explains the basic rules of Palma competition and covers the key features of a modern, tubegun-style Palma rifle. The featured rifle has a Eliseo Competition Machine stock, Krieger 30″ 1:13″-twist barrel, Defiance Machine single-shot Rem 700-compatible action, Jewell trigger, Warner Tool Aperture Rear Sight, and Stallings Machine “Right Sight” in the front.

John Whidden Shoots His Modern .223 Rem Palma Rifle

With the latest bullets, long barrels, and strong Lapua brass, the .223 Rem CAN compete successfully in modern Palma competition. Here we feature a .223 Rem Palma rig belonging to 5-time NRA Long Range Champion John Whidden. Watch video at 00:25 and you’ll see the recoil of Whidden’s .223 Rem Palma rifle is significantly less than a .308 Win Palma rig. John joked: “With the .223 Rem there is just a pop and a wiggle after the shot.” CLICK HERE for full 1200-word report on this rifle with many more photos.

Modern .308 Win Palma Rifle with Custom Anschutz-style Stock

Here a Palma competitor showcases his modern .308 Win Palma rifle built with an custom-made, Anschutz 1913 model-style stock with the main frame crafted by the host’s father. This rig has a 30″ barrel chambered for 155gr bullets. The video explains how the components were chosen, why the barrel is so long, and how the stock adjusts in numerous ways to fit the shooter’s particular prone style. Below is a diagram of the sight picture. This is covered at 1:56 in the video.

Palma USMC rifle anschutz krieger warner jewell trigger prone iron sights

Palma Rifles Shooting 1000 Yards at Bisley in the UK

This UK-produced video features Palma matches at the Stickledown Range at Bisley. This video showcases the Inter-Counties match, where competitors use iron-sighted Palma rifles on targets at 1000 yards. This video provides a good introduction to the Palma discipline as practiced in Great Britain.

Canadian Palma Fun — Nova Scotia Shooters at 900 Yards

In this video, filmed at a beautiful range in Nova Scotia, two Canadian shooters compete at 900 yards with their iron sighted .308 Win Palma rifles. The video combines three different views into one frame, so you can simultaneously see downrange, see the shooters, and see the shot impact on the electronic target display. The shooters fired .308 Win cartridges loaded with Vihtavuori N140 powder and 155gr Sierra #2156 PALMA bullets.

Ballistics Guru Shoots Palma at 800 Yards

The talented Bryan Litz, head honcho of Applied Ballistics LLC, demonstrates his shooting skills in this video. Watch Byran complete the 800-yard phase of the Palma course shot at Camp Atterbury, Indiana in the summer of 2008.

Brass Test in .308 Win Rifle — Lapua vs. Norma Brass

This video by our friend Keith Glasscock is not specifically about Palma rifles. But it does provide key information about the .308 Win cartridge, the most popular chambering for Palma rifles. Keith tests two different brands of .308 Win brass — Lapua and Norma. The results are enlightening. We have observed that Lapua brass can probably take higher loads and has greater longevity. NOTE: For this test a .308 Win F-TR rifle chambered for heavier bullets was used. But it’s still a good comparison test for .308 Win brass.

Palma Chambering and Bullet Weight Limits
There is, understandably, quite a bit of confusion concerning caliber limitations for Palma rifles and Palma competition. Some folks say you can shoot a .308 Winchester (or 7.62×51) with a bullet weight up to 156 grains. Others say you can shoot a .308 Win (or 7.62×51) with any bullet weight. Still others opine that you can shoot EITHER a .223 Rem (5.56×45) or a .308 Win (or 7.62 NATO).

So who is right? Well, all these viewpoints are correct in part. That’s because different rules apply in different venues. In most, but not all United States Palma competitions, you can shoot either a .223 Rem or .308 Win with no restriction on bullet weights. But in some U.S. Matches, most notably the Spirit of America, certain prizes are limited to .308s with 156gr max bullet weights OR .223s with 81gr max bullet weights. What’s the bottom line? In most USA Palma competitions you can shoot either a .308 or a .223 with no limit on bullet weight. In International Palma competitions you can shoot either a .308 or a .223 but the max bullet weight is limited.

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Tags: .223 Rem, .308 Win, 155gr Sierra, Bisley, Bryan Litz, Competition Machine, Iron Sights, kelly bachand, Palma, Palma Match, USMC Shooting Team