Gianmattia Molina, Gianfranco Zanoni, Paul Phillips

A Vision of Global ELR: King of 2 Miles in France

By McMillan

On April 20-22, 2019, the extreme long range (ELR) organization King of 2 Miles (KO2M) hosted its first international competition at Camp de Canjuers, a military zone in southern France near Nice. The largest military camp and longest shooting range in Europe, Canjuers is situated on a plateau with shooting positions that overlook a sweeping valley. Primarily used to test tanks and other artillery, the base is active every day of the week and open to all calibers, firing 330 days out of the year. Special permission was granted by French Military officials to allow civilians onto the base to compete.

Hosted by Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta, a representative of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association and KO2M, and organized by Philippe Lozano, Benjamin San Marco, and Patrick Copin, they rallied 35 shooters from 15 countries, who traveled from all corners of Europe—with several Americans in attendance, including McMillan sponsored shooter Paul Phillips.

“What we wanted to do is extend the King of 2 Miles concept to other countries and also push FCSA and KO2M on those countries,” Eduardo said. “And help them with a proven set of rules as a way of running a competition that could be similar, if not the same, to the one that is considered the ‘World Championship’ of ELR, which is the KO2M [in Raton, NM]. Basically, it’s helping people from all over the world get into the ELR game the right way.”

By all accounts, the match was lively and fast-paced. Qualifiers were held in a single day due to imminent weather, and strong winds blew the entire match. Day one scores were tight though only four shooters made contact with the fourth target at 1,829-meters. Although ten shooters proceeded to the finals, day two became a literal shootout between Frenchman Bruno Put and Paul Phillips.

The final targets were distanced at 2,340-, 2,778-, and 3,270-meters (2.03-miles). Shooting with a strong tailwind, neither Put nor Phillips has hits until their fourth shots on target one. All other competitors were off-target day two, so their final scores carried over from day one. At 2,778-meters, Put hit with his second shot while Phillips was off-target at this distance. Target two in the finals had no berm, so both were shooting blind.

A lone gunman, Put became the fifth shooter in KO2M history to clear two-miles in competition. His second shot on the final target capped off the match. At these distances, the variables increase exponentially. While Put’s day one score was low compared to Phillips’s, his four shots in the finals made all the difference. Put came in at a score of 25,368 and Philips was a close second at 19,954. 

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(Gianfranco Zanoni, Gianmattia Molina, Paul Phillips)

Phillips was competing with team BCM Europearms, alongside Italian shooters Gianmattia Molina and Gianfranco Zanoni. Molina cleaned house on day one, scoring 18,000 with only 4 shots off-target out of 14 attempts—placing him 3rd overall. Team BCM was using Applied Ballistics Analytics, and Phillips was competing with his McMillan ELR Beast 1 stock, chambered in 416-Barrett. We’d like to thank Paul for representing McMillan internationally and proving our stocks time and time again at these extreme distances.

Put is an armorer and owner of Armeca VPC in France—custom long-range rifle builders. He built his own action, barrel, and stock in .375 Snipe-Tac, and used a Warner 361 gr. Flat Line bullet in Peterson brass. From top to bottom, Put’s gun was handcrafted.

Eduardo discussed how there are immense differences in gun laws and attitudes between The United States and other countries, pointing out that there may only be one or two big-bore rifles in an entire country. He and KO2M organizers are working within those laws to spread ELR around the globe.

“You have to be flexible and be helpful to these people that want to organize a competition like that because the end goal with this is to expand ELR all over the world,” Eduardo said. “The main goal for the FCSA, and also KO2M, is protecting the rights of people. The more international we are the more protected we are.”

The KO2M helps standardize a match format and rules that can be applied anywhere in the world. Due to caliber restrictions in some countries, they are initiating a King of 1 Mile competition, hoping that a global sport can better protect gun right freedoms.

“The first thing I’ve been doing is trying to be flexible with the attitude, maintaining the rules while being flexible with the logistics because every country is different and they have different laws … In most places in the world, you don’t have civilian access to ranges of even one-mile, so you have to go to military ranges.”

International KO2M events are in the works including South Africa and Australia, with Canada and Argentina dates to be announced for Fall 2019.

“This is the proof that there are world-class shooters that can shoot two-miles everywhere in the world,” Eduardo said. “We have to keep pushing to get everybody in the game.”

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