Custom Rifles - International Palma
A brief history and description of a Palma Rifle:
International Palma (aka fullbore) is long distance shooting from 800, 900, and 1000 yards using metallic iron sights. All shots are fired from the prone position with the rifle supported by two hands and one shoulder. It should not be confused with F-Class where artificial rests, bipods, and high magnification optics are permitted.
As of October 2, 2012, the ICFRA (International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations) has revised the rules governing Palma. The intent was to put the 14 different countries that compete in fullbore onto a level playing field with one overall sanctioning body.
Rules governing overall weight, trigger pull weight, and projectile type/weight have relaxed a bit for the international events. These rules however are subject to modification when attending local events that are not officially sanctioned by the ICFRA.
Two cartridge types are permitted. The 308 Winchester and the 223 Remington. Bullets allowed are essentially any weight/type capable of being safely chambered and fired in the rifle. This is a radical change from the old days when the 155 grain Sierra Match King was the only bullet permitted for the individual portion of the world championships.
Rifles fitted with optics are not Palma Rifles. Palma is iron sights only. Once a rifle has a scope fitted it becomes an "any/any" type rifle. (any caliber/any sight)
LongRifles, Inc. prides itself in building cutting edge, state of the art, showroom quality palma rifles.
A single shot prone gun is fundamentally pretty simple. That said, the game is so competitive that no rock can be left unturned if one has aspirations of winning a world championship. We are fortunate to have working relationships with accomplished shooters in this highly competitive game. The feedback we receive allows us to adapt to new trends and current needs of competitors.
Palma rifles offer a rare opportunity for us. Polar opposites from tactical and field use guns, they are typically finished to resemble a show car. With that in mind, we also understand that they have a unique servicability requirement.
Target rifles are a tool to the competitive marksman. The high round counts and endless hours devoted to training can all be summarized to mean that they must endure prolonged use. Bedding must be robust and tolerant to routine disassembly due to transportation requirements.
Parts must fit seamlessly with predictable performance so that sighter shots provide instant feedback to the shooter. Our experience in this game has given us the opportunity to develop unique solutions to these challenges.
Our competitive cheek adjustment hardware is some of the finest made. The thumbwheel has a detent method of adjustment that closely tracks the elevation scale on the rear sight. This ensures a perfect stockwell to maintain sight alignment. Heavy walled guide pins are fitted to honed brass bushings allowing for fluid and repetitive adjustment. The final feature is a quick detach center pin that allows the cheek piece to pop on/off while still maintaining the exact height register upon reinstallation. There are no clips to get lost or graduations to keep track of. You simply snap it on/off and its right where it was before.
This becomes very important because many range policies require removal of the bolt from the action prior to departure of the firing line.
Subtle alterations in design offer additional conveniences to the shooter. Our accessory rail is built with you, the competitive marksman, in mind. The mounting holes are blind and originate from the barrel channel. This ends the annoyance of a handstop randomly catching on a countersunk screw hole when adjustments are made from position. Rails are engraved with a scale for convenient repeatability.
Our accessory rail is wider than most with the "T" slot feature fully captivated inside the outer chassis. Fitted slightly proud of the stock's surface, it provides accessories plenty of clamping area, while avoiding direct contact with the stock.
Even an item as innocuous as a guard screw escutcheon is carefully fitted. Rifle stocks often feature a draft angle on the bottom side of the forend for styling. Fitting an escutcheon presents a unique challenge in this situation because we want to have a flush, seamless transition with the stock. Doing so however will alter the relationship between the countersink of the screw and the escutcheon. This error causes a screw to bind and distort as its tightened, potentially altering the precision fit between bedding and receiver. Our solution is to "clock" the escutcheon once it's been fitted so that we can restore the countersink angle back to its proper relationship with the pillar bore and screw hole of the receiver.
Pocket is machined parallel to stock's underside draft angle and then fitted with an indexing pin.
Once fitted, the escutcheon is drilled to position onto the pin.
Escutcheon is now precisely positioned with repeatable accuracy. All that remains is finishing the countersink so the screw tightens against the receiver/escutcheon without any side loading due to the differences in angles.
Once fitted, it's easy to recognize the difference in relationship between the screw head and the escutcheon. It's immediately noticeable during assembly. Screws "torque up" much more positively when tightened. It's these kinds of subtle attention to detail items that instill greater shooter confidence when competing with our rifles.
A great deal of effort is placed in maintaining the precise relationship between receiver and stock when pillar bedded by LRI. The extensive use of CAD/CAM software and cnc machining centers, combined with hard earned experience dating back to the late 90's allows us a to deliver both exceptional performance and presentation. We take it very seriously and back up our work with an unconditional lifetime replacement policy.
A crucial system on a Palma Rifle is the trigger as it directly connects the rifle to the competitor. When possible, we prefer to fit receivers with the two stage trigger system developed and manufactured by Grunig and Elmiger of Switzerland.
G/E manufactures the finest two stage trigger ever made and our relationship with them gives us a unique capability when retrofitting other action designs. This trigger, when paired with other top shelf components, gives the shooter a definite competitive advantage. We pride ourselves in being the first to ever begin adapting this design to other actions.
The trigger design is a radical departure from common Remington style units. Because of this, certain action designs lend themselves to the conversion better than others. The Nesika Bay Precision line of products being one of the most easily adapted. Tubb 2K rifles also work well along with many others.
International Palma and other types of prone rifles present unique requirements and challenges to the gunmaker. Our experience, resources, and affection of guns provides us with unique capabilities not often seen in custom gunmaking. As with all of our builds, the process begins with a detailed discussion to identify the parameters of the project.
We look forward to working with you.