Long Range Shooting

How far is long?

How to Select Ammunition for a Thoroughbred Rifle

Your Thoroughbred Rifle will be tested prior to delivery with a number of different factory loads to determine the most accurate bullet weight and style.  We will pass on the this test data with the rifle with our recommendation for the most accurate factory ammunition.  Should you desire to try a different brand of ammunition for a particular style or weight of bullet, we suggest the following test procedure.

1) Clean your Thoroughbred Rifle barrel per the included instructions.

2) Setup your rifle on a solid bench using both a front and rear rest.  We use a front bipod and a rear bag.  Practice with several “dry fire” exercises and make sure the reticle doesn’t move relative to the target as the trigger is released.

3) Using a 100 yard target, fire 3 fouling rounds and determine the size and shape of your group.  Typically the first fouler will be separated from the next two shots.

4) Proceed to fire a second 3 shot group.  The size of this group will represent the accuracy you can expect from this particular load.

And as always, if you have any questions regarding your Thoroughbred Rifle and related subjects, please give us a call.  We are dedicated to helping our clients and friends squeeze the last “tenth” out of every Thoroughbred Rifle and we are glad to share what we have learned about rifle accuracy and marksmanship.

How to Clean and Maintain a Thoroughbred Rifle

Now that you have your new Thoroughbred Rifle, you will want to maintain it’s accuracy as best as possible.  This process is quite simple and not very time consuming.  Following is an easy set of steps for cleaning your Thoroughbred Rifle.

1)   SAFETY FIRST – UNLOAD your rifle and never attempt to chamber a live round of ammunition unless you are at the shooting range or in the field preparing for your hunt.  Also, never carry a loaded rifle in your vehicle.  ALWAYS UNLOAD prior to entering your vehicle.

2)   Remove the bolt from the action and set your rifle in an appropriate cleaning cradle with the barrel slanting down.

3)   Insert a bore guide into the rear of the receiver (we strongly prefer Lucas Bore Guides).   Thread a cleaning jag of the proper caliber onto the end of the cleaning rod (we use Dewey coated cleaning rods).  We also recommend laying a thin shop cloth over the top of the stock under the bore guide to soak up any excess cleaning solvents.

4)   Soak a patch with cleaning solvent (we recommend Butch’s Bore Shine) and run it down the barrel from the rear to the front using the bore guide to ensure that the rod is aligned properly with the bore.  Repeat this step five times.  The first few patches will appear black from the powder fouling being removed.  The last few patches should appear less black and may have blue green streaks from the solvent oxidizing the copper fouling left in the barrel by the bullets.

5)   A) If the fifth patch has no blue green streaks, patch the barrel out with five dry patches and proceed to step six.  B) If there are still blue green streaks, then switch the jag out for a bronze brush.  Run the brush down the barrel and wet it with solvent.  Proceed to stroke the barrel 10 to 20 times back and forth with a wet brush.  Remove the brush from the cleaning rod and replace the jag.  Wet a patch with solvent and push thru the bore.  Repeat this five times.  Now patch the barrel out with five dry patches.

6)   Remove the bore guide and thread a bore mop onto a short chamber cleaning rod.  Insert the mop into the receiver and dry out the inside of the receiver and chamber as thoroughly as possible.

7) Remove the chamber mop and thread a bolt lug raceway cleaning tool to the end of the chamber cleaning rod.  Wet the cleaning tool with degreaser and insert into the chamber until the tool is in the lug area. Spin the tool around in the lug raceway several times to remove any solvent, lug grease or debris.

8)   Clean your bronze brush, bore mop and raceway cleaning tool with a spray degreaser of any brand.  Be sure you are using a “degreaser” and not a spray solvent.  One of the least expensive degreasers is aerosol brake cleaner which can be purchased at any auto parts store.  Also, never clean your barrel with any degreaser type product as it will leave the bore too dry of lubrication and cause the next rounds to foul excessively.

9)   Finally, place a small drop of grease on the rear face of each bolt lug and another small drop on the rear of the bolt under the handle where the bolt body and bolt shroud meet and rotate against each other.

General Cleaning Guidelines

Your first shot from a clean cold bore will most likely not go into the group formed by further shots.  However, if you wait till the barrel cools from the first group shot after cleaning, the first shot from a lightly fouled cold barrel will generally go into the group.  Therefore, it is our practice to clean and then lightly foul our barrel with 3 shots prior to any hunt or competition.  This serves two purposes.  First, it confirms our rifle’s zero and secondly it ensures that the first hunting shot goes to that same zero point.

As for cleaning frequency, this depends primarily on the cartridge chambering for a particular rifle.  The higher speed magnums require more frequent cleaning than do the non magnums.  We generally don’t clean our hunting rifles untill the end of the hunting season or the end of a particular hunting trip unless we did a lot of shooting (10 or more rounds) at camp or at the range during the season.  In general, we clean our magnums after 10 rounds and our non magnums after 20 rounds.  Prior to storing a rifle after the season or hunting trip, it is a good idea to clean it thoroughly and then as a very last step, run a couple of patches soaked with a lubricant.  We like Kroil penetrating oil for this purpose.  But don’t forget to dry patch your bore prior to the next shooting session or hunt.

How to Shoot a Thoroughbred Rifle

Shooting a Thoroughbred Rifle rewards each and every marksmanship discipline the shooter can muster.  Consistent mounting, breath control and trigger management all result in exceptionally small groups on target.  There is much written on these subjects and good habits are important to develop.  We trigger thousands of rounds every year in testing and certifying our rifles.  Over time, we’ve found that practice is the key.  Rounds downrange make for better marksmanship. We love to spend time at the range with our clients and pass on what we know.  However, schedules are always troublesome to align.  The best solution we have discovered for improving marksmanship is to attend one of the many training courses offered by professional trainers.  Although we have not attended every course available, we have attended a number of them and we have found the instruction provided by Josh Ruby of North Texas Rifle Precision to be world class.  http://www.northtexasrifleprecision.com

How to Transport a Thoroughbred Rifle

The safest most secure means of transporting your new Thoroughbred Rifle is with one of our custom cases. We have computer aided design (CAD) files for cutting custom foam inserts for all the stocks we regularly supply. Our foam includes cutouts for a Dewey cleaning rod, Lucas bore guide, Dewey chamber rod, small water tight Pelican box for either ammunition or cleaning supplies, a removal foam plug for accommodating a rifle mounted Harris bipod, two removable plugs for detachable magazines and a cutout for a sling. We can also provide a variation that will accommodate a removable suppressor. For a nominal additional charge, we can develop a CAD file for any stock you might prefer. We have evaluated all the different cases and strongly prefer the latest SKB case. Our second choice is Storm and our third choice is Pelican. The SKB case is an inch deeper than the other two and provides far more cushion for the rifle. The SKB also has handles on both ends and in the middle. In addition to being the most protective case, the SKB also has the feature of being able to stand vertically on the wheeled end without support from the traveler. This makes check-in at the airport a lot less tiresome when traveling with a cased rifle.

Our custom designed Thoroughbred Case sells for $350.00. Please let us know at the time of rifle commission should you desire one of our cases. Each case is made to order and takes some time to manufacture.

How to Accessorize a Thoroughbred Rifle


Our favorite sling is the TAB Gear Sling.  There are 3 elements to this advanced sling which are all connected to each other with Fastex buckles.

1) The sling loop up front, which is designed to be looped over the shooter’s support arm and cinched up tight for support in any position

2) The center section is for adjusting the carry length and

3) The rear of the sling which is a stiffened section that can serve as support for the non-firing hand to use in place of a rear bag when shooting off of a front rest.

The front, is simply used to shoot slung up. This can be done connected to the rest of the sling or not. It has a slider that can move very easily to lock down the loop on the shooters arm.

The center is where the shooter adjusts the sling for the carry length. It can be removed and connected to itself for easy storage allowing the remaining two sections of the sling to attach like a carry strap with shooting loop still in place. The reasons for the two buckles are two fold, first it allows the shooter to get out of the sling quickly because regardless of how you sling your rifle there is an accessible buckle you can un-clip in order to get the rifle into action quickly. Second it is designed to allow the removal of a rifle from an injured soldier in case he is incapacitated.

The rear section of the sling is stiff enough to use as a hasty rear support.

Most of our synthetic stocked rifles include flush cups on the front bottom and left side and rear bottom and left side.  We include these as a standard feature because we have found them to be a far superior means of connecting slings as well as a significantly more ergonomic means of carry when the left side cups are utilized.



Our favorite bipod is the Harris model HBRMS.  This model adjusts from 6″ to 9″, has leg notches for repeatable height adjustments and swivels for leveling the rifle on uneven ground.  Add the “S” lock for easy swivel tension adjustment.  This combination is perfect for most prone shooting and quick stable shots off raised supports.


Ballistic Calculator

Ballistic Advanced Edition on the iOS platforms is our first choice.  We’ve extensively tested this tool in every environment from rapid tactical competition to every hunting situation imaginable.  On our NTRP “One Mile” rifle, it accurately predicted the come up for the 1780 yard target engagement on the first try.  We will happily train our clients on the setup and use of this advanced tool.


Weather Meter

The only choice in our opinion is the Kestral 4500.  It provides direct readout of Density Altitude which when used in conjunction with Ballistic AE allows for very quick adaptation to changing target environments.  Many ask us about the Kestral model with the integrated Horus ballistics.  We have tested this model and find it very difficult to use.  It also locks the user into a single calculator solution.  We prefer the devices to be independent to allow for the rapid advances happening in the Ballistic Calculator software area.



Leupold covers the most applications with the largest choice of features, lightest weight and reasonable prices.  Swarovski and Zeiss glass is undeniably superior and are excellent choices for general purpose hunting.  Nightforce, US Optics and Schmidt and Bender are the go to choices for tactical rifles.  We are happy to discuss each clients specific needs and make a recommendation.  We will also acquire a client’s preferred optic and provide it at our dealer cost, mounted and sighted in on their Thoroughbred Rifle.

How to Pick a Thoroughbred Rifle

There are numerous choices when specifying a custom rifle. Everybody starts somewhere different. You may have a number of rifles and know exactly what you would like to fill a gap in your collection. Or this may be the first of many rifles to come.

First, we like to begin our consultations with discussing the intended use for your new Thoroughbred. Hunting or Target / Tactical? If hunting, then where, what species of animals and typical distances? If Target / Tactical, then what
environment – Military, Police or Competition?

Second, what are your physical attributes? This helps with choosing the style of stock, length of pull, length and contour of barrel and cartridge chambering. These aspects help determine the weight, balance and recoil aspects of the rifle.

The bottom line is that there is no such design where one size fits all. Give us a call. We truly enjoy discussing our passion for hunting and shooting with others, And we are dedicated to building “no compromise” rifles for our clients and friends.