One for the Ages

  • Photography by Raymond McCrea Jones, for Outdoor Life.

    Scores are not determined by hitting a bull’s-eye, but rather by trying to get all the bullets through a single hole. The score is the distance between the centers of the two widest shots. The smaller the group, the better. (Pictured left: one of Jim’s targets)

Jim Carmichel is a better shot than everyone.

First the facts.

In March 2012, Jim Carmichel shot a .115-inch group in the Light Varmint category at the Shamrock Shoot near Dublin, Georgia. His performance broke a record that had stood for nearly 20 years.

Now the truth.

To call his shots a “group” is an almost criminal underestimation of his shooting that day. The word suggests multiple bullet holes in a target. Multiple. What Jim did was the kind of thing shooters dream about. He put five bullets in the same hole in 25 seconds.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

And he did that five times in a row.

The Target

The Load

Bullet: 68-grain Hottenstein
Powder: 29.5 grains of Vihtavouri 133
Brass: .220 Russian brass from Lapua, modified to 6mm PPC
Primer: Federal 205 Gold Medal primer

The Rifle

Barrel: Kreiger stainless-steel barrel, chambered and fit by Dwight Scott.
Chamber: 6mm PPC
Action: Single-shot BAT bolt-action with a right-handed bolt, left-side feed, and right-side eject.
Stock: Western cedar, built by Terry Leonard.

The Scope

Leupold 45X Competition scope

Just to put all of this in perspective, imagine shooting a one-inch group with the same caliber at 100 yards. That’s pretty darn good shooting, right? Well, in this competition, it would earn a score of .757, and that’s just one target. Jim Carmichel shot an aggregate of .115 over five targets. He achieved perfection, and it took him roughly 25 seconds per target.