Extreme Long Range Shooting with Ritter and Stark – Part 1

Several months ago I had the pleasure of attending an Extreme Long Range Shooting event hosted by Ritter and Stark. Ritter and Stark, an Austrian firearms manufacturer, recently introduced their SLX and the SX-1 MTR rifles to the American market. The event took place at the historic Felix Canyon Ranch in Southern New Mexico, and some very high-profile marksman from the Long Range shooting community were in attendance. The purpose of the event was not only to demonstrate the capabilities of the SLX and SX-1 MTR rifles, but also to try and set a 4000-yard world record with 338 Lapua Magnum factory ammunition.

Ritter and Stark SX1-MTR configured for .338 Lapua Magnum. This was the rifle that I used for the event. The rifle pictured is secured to a Cruxord K01 Tripod Kit.

The Rifles

The SX1-MTR is a multi-caliber capable rifle. It features a modular receiver that can be configured with several sizes of magazine wells and barrels. Ritter and Stark currently offer barrels chambered in .308 Winchester, 300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. Individual barrels come equipped with a scope mount, and you can quickly reconfigure the rifle in the field.

To perform a caliber conversion, an end user swaps the barrel, bolt face, and magazine well. The SX1-MTR feeds from AI style magazines, and the SLX feeds from an SR-25/Ar-10 style magazine. Ritter and Stark plan to offer additional calibers for the SX1-MTR, such as 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Remington, and 300 Norma Magnum. I think an SX1-MTR with 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Norma Magnum barrels would be an ideal setup. An end user could train out to 1800 yards with 6.5 Creedmoor, then swap out to 300 Norma Magnum for serious long range work.

The majority of my shots were done in the prone position off an Accu-Tac bipod. For the event, we used 338 Ultra suppressors from Thunder Beast Arms. The SX1-MTR was very comfortable to shoot and the comb height and length of pull could be adjusted without tools.

The SLX is a short-action multi-caliber capable rifle available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor. Ritter and Stark have plans to offer the rifle in .260 Remington and 6.5×47 Lapua. The SLX feeds from an SR-25/AR-10 style magazine. Both the SLX and SX1-MTR rifles feature Ritter and Stark’s match grade barrels. The barrels are produced in a CNC controlled electrochemical machine that reduces mechanical stress and, according to Ritter and Stark, results in barrels with a longer lifespan.

Ritter and Stark SLX. The SLX is the little brother to the SX1-MTR. The SLX is a short action rifle that is chambered in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor. The 6.5 Creedmoor version was rolled out at the 2018 SHOT SHOW. I had no problems hitting a target at 1,300 yards with this rifle. Like the SX1-MTR the comb and length of pull can be adjusted without tools.

The Felix Canyon Ranch

Felix Canyon Ranch is located between Mayhill and Artesia, New Mexico. The Ranch is 152,000 acres and has several rifle ranges and a headquarters with multiple buildings that can sleep 30+ people. The Ranch has a great room with a dining hall and an enclosed porch with tables for gunsmithing and maintenance. All of the food was fantastic, the amenities comfortable, and I had no problems getting a good night’s sleep. Aside from being a premier spot for long range shooting, the Felix Canyon Ranch has numerous big game hunting opportunities.

Felix Canyon Ranch

When I was invited to cover the Ritter and Stark event and learned where it would be held, I was ecstatic. My great-grandfather grew up in Hondo, north of the Felix Canyon Ranch. He was friends with William H. Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, and knew a lot of the players in the Lincoln County War. While growing up he worked as a ranch hand for a lot of ranches in the area, and I know for a fact that he spent time at what is today the Felix Canyon Ranch. Getting a chance to drive around the area, I could imagine my teenage grandfather herding cows to Kansas, or drinking some homemade whiskey at the Felix Canyon headquarters.

Felix Canyon Ranch dining room. The food and amenities were outstanding.

The Felix Canyon Ranch headquarters has a fully equipped space for armorer level maintenance. Jens Klingshirn, the owner of the Felix Canyon Ranch, and a very accomplished long-range shooter had a plethora of tools, cleaning supplies and shooting accessories available for us to use.

The Event

Officially the event was scheduled for December 10th and 11th. Teams trying to set the 4000-yard world record arrived on the 9th to zero their SX-1 MTR rifles and gather atmospheric data and wind trends. In my experience the cool stuff happens behind the scenes, so I drove down from Albuquerque on the 8th, spent the night in Cloudcroft, and was at the Felix Canyon headquarters at 6:45 AM on the 9th.

Walking into the Headquarters, I was greeted by Ray Sanchez of Thunder Beast Arms, Frank Galli of Snipers Hide, Brad Stair owner of Performance guns and the creator of the Tejas cartridge, and retired Navy Seal Charlie Melton of CMP Precision. I fortified myself with a cup of coffee, then jumped at a chance to have the owner of Felix Canyon Ranch, Jens Klingshirn, show me around the Headquarters and talk about the history of the Ranch.

After a quick breakfast, Nathan Grove of Ritter and Stark walked up and said, “Let’s get you a rifle.” On a workbench was a Pelican case holding an SX-1 MTR configured for .338 Lapua Magnum, a Charlie TARAQ prism that would give me an additional 300 minutes of elevation, and a Thunderbeast Arms .338 ULTRA suppressor. I did a quick function check of the SX-1 MTR and confirmed the torque on my scope base and scope rings. I packed everything up and headed off to the 100-yard range to zero the rifle.

 

For the event, I used a Nightforce B.E.A.S.T rifle scope. Note the 3 position safety, folding stock, modular magwell and Charlie TARAC Prism on my SX-1 MTR rifle. The Charlie TARAC prism attached to the rail on the rifle.

For the Event, Ritter and Stark brought 500 rounds of .338 Lapua Nosler Match Grade ammunition and 500 rounds of .338 Lapua PRIME ammunition. I chose the PRIME based on positive experiences with that round through my personal 6.5 Creedmoor rifles. After attaching the Thunder Beast Arms 338 ULTRA suppressor, I bore sighted the SX-1 MTR, adjusted parallax on the Nighforce ATACAR, chambered a round, loaded my weight into the Accu-Tac bipod, and squeezed the trigger.

Charlie TARAC prism from TacomHQ. This is Charlie Melton’s rifle. His TARAC attached directly to his riflescope via a magnetic interface. Attaching these prisms gave us an immediate 300 minutes of elevation gain.

I expected recoil to knock me into the adjacent county, but the SX-1 MTR recoiled straight into my shoulder and I was able to watch my crosshairs settle back down on target. Not bad… I cycled the action and squeezed off another shot. Recoil on the SX-1 MTR is akin to a hunting rifle chambered in 300 WSM. The weight of the rifle, the ergonomics, and the Thunder Beast Arms 338 ULTRA suppressor made the SX1-MTR a joy to shoot. Within 5 minutes I had a solid zero and was delighted to see the rifle printing groups around .75 MOA with the 338 Lapua Magnum PRIME ammunition. Once we were zeroed, Frank Galli walked up and down the line and helped shooters determine the velocity of their ammunition with a Magneto Speed Chronograph.

For driving around the Felix Canyon Ranch we were provided several TOMCAR all terrain vehicles. These tough little vehicles were a blast to drive and were designed to be easily fixed and maintained in the field.

Straight ahead, at the end of that box canyon was our 4,000 yard target. I calculated the maximum ordinate or apex of my shot to be around 185 yards (555 feet). At 4,000 yards my 300 grain .338 Lapua bullet would have a flight time of 10.95 seconds.

The Attempt

Once we had achieved zero, the whole group drove several miles away from ranch headquarters to a canyon with a 4000-yard shooting lane. Our target for the event was a 40 x40 inch steel target. For hit indication, Jens set up a Target Vision Camera and a pair of Caldwell Strobe Flash hit indicators. Jens set up a bench for us to shoot off of and, once everyone had loaded five rounds into their magazines, we were ready to send rounds downrange.

(Click here for Part 2!)

To learn more about Ritter and Stark, click here.

 

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Lorne Litke April 4, 2018, 8:30 am

    Wondering what scope rings to use on a Weatherby MARK V IN 338 Lapua. I want to be sure that the recoil will not cause the scope to move. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  • Don Heider April 3, 2018, 5:37 pm

    I cannot imagine shooting 4000 yds the most I feel comfortable with is 500 yds with my 6.5 CM

  • Pseudo April 3, 2018, 6:20 am

    Has anyone used this device for bore sighting a scope, http://axeonoptics.com/absolute-zero/ it seems to make sense.

  • Dog hunt 318 April 2, 2018, 7:04 pm

    A great gun sound like to me, I love to try that shot 4000 yd on a hunt some people just don’t like the sport of a long shot but if your good enough to make it talk about it

  • Drew April 2, 2018, 2:36 pm

    For an MSRP of $5,500 to $6,500 I would think you might get a little bit better grip than a $10 UTG.

  • Zupglick April 2, 2018, 12:33 pm

    If I gotta walk 2 miles to get to the dinner I just shot, I ain’t gonna shoot it.

    • James Drouin April 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

      Well, in truth, anything you’re gonna eat for dinner that you’ve shot from two miles away probably isn’t worth eating!

  • Doug Tally April 2, 2018, 10:44 am

    What is the military sniper Long-range record v competitive sport record?

    • James Drouin April 2, 2018, 12:37 pm

      According to Wikipedia, 3,540m by a Canadian JTF-2 sniper in Iraq. However, other than distance, it’s not really a very good metric.

  • Aaron Johnson April 2, 2018, 10:02 am

    Where are these being sold at, and at what price point?
    Also, any raffles or giveaways?😉

    • Nathan Grove April 2, 2018, 1:58 pm

      Hi Aaron,
      We have several dealers throughout the U.S. which I can point you to. Just email me or contact me at the below to point you in the right direction. Our SX-1 is $5-6,500 and the new SLX is $3,635 MSRP. We do have some raffles at some of the shooting events coming up like the Guardian Long Range Match. You will start to see our offers in the coming months as we ramp up our U.S. marketing campaign.
      Take care and talk soon!
      Nate

      grove@ritterstark.com
      860-372-0677

  • triggerpull April 2, 2018, 8:57 am

    Talk about ending it in a blue-ball tease!

  • Kelly jorgensen March 28, 2018, 12:24 pm

    Bought a 338 Lapua last fall. Tried to sight it in. A box latter didn’t get it done. Have a vortex scope. Any suggestions videos I can use to do it right?
    Thanks, Kj

    • Thomas Gomez March 29, 2018, 12:01 am

      Hello Kelly.

      Email me at loadthatbipod@gmail.com and we can setup a phone call. I hope this finds you well!

      Thomas Gomez

    • Nate Grove March 29, 2018, 8:07 am

      Kj- You can also contact myself at grove@ritterstark.com and I can also assist you! Talk soon!

    • James Drouin April 2, 2018, 12:31 pm

      Kelly,

      In truth, there’s no simple answer to your question. However, in brief, “accuracy” is a function of three elements: the shooter, the firearm, and the cartridge. In your specific case, it’s not possible to “know” which of those three needs improvement.

      I can offer you my book on loading metallic cartridges, which leads the reader through interior and exterior ballistics and on to the reloading process itself. It also summarizes many aspects of what is required of competent firearms and shooting tips.

      Let me know if you’re interested.

      James

    • Frank J Mancuso April 2, 2018, 1:49 pm

      Bore sight it at 100 yards will get you started, take out bolt , look down barrel set target to center of barrel, adjust scope to match barrel , that simple, then chronograph, use speed to run ballistics , go from there

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