April 30th, 2007

DogTown Varmint Bullets–$8.99/100

MidwayUSA dogtown varmint bulletMidwayUSA’s very affordable “DogTown” bullets have been popular with varminters who may load thousands of rounds for an extended varminting holiday. These are made by a major bullet manufacturer under special contract for MidwayUSA. Now though May 31, 2007, 20-cal and 224-cal “DogTown” bullets are on sale. The 34gr HP 20s (item 984804), 50gr Soft Point 22s (item 834645), and 55gr Soft Point 22s (item 817539) are just $8.99 per hundred. That’s a steal. Here’s what some of MidwayUSA’s customers have said about the 34gr 20-cal “DogTown” bullets:

“Tried them for the 1st time in my Savage 204. Five shots into a quarter inch. Three shots into one small hole. I have not gotten groups this small with any other brand of bullet. And [the DogTowns are] at a reduced price too!”
— R. Vernon, Idaho (3/20/07)

“Outstanding bullet! Using W748 … this bullet will perform hands down. Shooting a Kimber .204 with a 12 twist I kept three shots you could cover with a nickel at a 100 yards[.] Also great consistancy in weight values as well, nothing more than 2/10ths of a grain between each bullet. I’m also using the Redding Comp dies and seating them just off the lands.”
— P. Jones, Texas (4/9/07)

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April 30th, 2007

Sources for RWS products

RWS makes some of the very best brass in the business. Many of the top 1000-yard shooters use RWS brass for their big 30-caliber rifles, starting with a cartridge such as the 8×68, or 375 H&H magnum. RWS also offers premium brass for many of the big game and hunting calibers such as the 380 Blaser, 7mm Rem Mag, and 8×57. The primary importer for RWS products is UmarexUSA in Fort Smith, AR, (479) 646-4210. RWS brass is offered by UmarexUSA, MidwayUSA.com, and Natchez Shooters Supply. RWS brass is now on sale at Natchez, with most calibers 30% off. Here are some examples:

RWS 6.5×68, RW2144697, $19.98/20
RWS .280 Rem, RW2144514, $21.06/20
RWS 7×57, RW2144484, $16.20/20
RWS 7mm Rem Mag, RW2144875, $21.06/20
RWS 30-06, RW2144433, $20.52/20
RWS 300 Win Mag, RW2144778, $19.44/20

Many of our users have asked: “Where can one get RWS primers?” Unfortunately, RWS primers have not been directly imported into the USA for at least two years, and there are no plans to resume importation. None of the major vendors we polled, including Graf & Sons, MidSouth, MidwayUSA, and Natchez Shooters Supply, currently carry RWS primers. We discussed primer availability with Alan Newcombe, North American consultant for RUAG/RWS. Alan told us “The exchange rate and import duties are the problem. If RWS were to import primers right now, they’d have to cost $45-$50 per box of 1000. RUAG, RWS’s parent company, believes it could not sell sufficient quantities of primers at that price point, so there are no plans on the horizon to import RWS primers any time soon.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
April 29th, 2007

Field Report–Reloader 15 and new Berger 105s in Donovan's Dasher

Forum regular Donovan has recently been testing the new-generation Berger 105s in his 6mm Dasher, using Alliant Reloader 15 powder. He reports: “They are shooting better then the old ones did in this barrel for me. Beside the accuracy I am getting from the new Bergers (6″ groups at 1000), they are very uniform and I see no need to segregate them. I measured around 70 by base to ogive and by OAL and stopped there.”

In the course of his testing, Donovan used two different lots of RL15, one purchased this year and one from 2004. He was pleased to report both lots performed almost identically, giving excellent accuracy and velocity:

Lot # 45144 (November 2004)
Velocity Average = 3119 fps (10 shots)
Pressure Average = 61,348 psi
Elevation to 1000 yards = 23.6 MOA
Group at 1000 yards = 5.9″ (5-shots)

Lot # 65006 (March 2007)
Velocity Average = 3121 fps (10 shots)
Pressure Average = 60,977 psi
Elevation to 1000yrd = 23.5 MOA
Group at 1000yrds = 6.1″ (5-shots)

6mm Dasher 1000 yards Donovan Moran

Donovan was shooting a 28″ 8-Twist Shilen, 105 Berger VLDs (Lot #0559), with a 32.0+ grain load of RL15. (Donovan notes his barrel is pretty fast so other Dasher shooters may need more powder to reach the same velocities.) Temperature was at 84° F, and altitude 1325 feet. Pressures were measured with an RSI Pressure Trace, and velocities were recorded with a CED Millennium chrono set up with 8-foot spacing and infrared lighting. Donovan has also been comparison testing the 115 DTAC vs. the new 117gr Tubb bullet. We hope to have a complete report on those results in May.

Regarding the 115s, Donovan had this interesting gunsmithing note: “I have an older Shilen barrel that had a .104″ throat up until last December. I had been using it for 105 types mainly. It had always shot Berger 105-VLDs about the best, then AMaxs, followed by 107gr SMKs and then 105gr Lapuas. I had even tried the 115 DTACs with it a few times, but it shot them marginal to say the best. Then I felt the accuracy had diminished somewhat and it had near 1200 rounds down it, so I decided to re-crown it and throat it longer to get past some of the erosion. I pushed out the throat to .165″. Interestingly, in December this re-throated Shilen shot the 115s best followed by 107 SMKs and then the older lot of Berger 105s. At 1000 yards, two 5-shot groups of 115s both went under five inches.” What’s the lesson? Don’t toss that old barrel–you might find it shoots great with a fresh crown and new throat.

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April 29th, 2007

Multi-Gun Club Shoot–Great Way to Attract New Shooters

One key issue affecting all shooting sports is how to attract new shooters, particularly juniors. Young people represent the future of the sport, and unless we can get them involved, there will be fewer shooting opportunities for all. Gun manufacturers will see their sales decline and more ranges will be closed, both due to lack of revenue and political pressures. The closing of shooting ranges is a major problem in many areas of the country, particularly in California and other regions where anti-gun politicians and land developers are aggressively working to shut ranges down.

Ojai 7-gun youth shooting

One great way to draw new shooters into the fold (particularly youngsters and ladies) is to host an event at your club where novices can try their hand at multiple disciplines. This is a user-friendly, low-cost way for newcomers to try different types of firearms in a supervised setting. Every year, the Ojai Valley Gun Club (OVGC) in California hosts a 7-Gun Shoot open to the public. OVGC’s 7-Gun Shoot took place on April 28th, and was a huge success, with 130 new shooters coming to the range for a day of fun, followed by a tri-tip barbecue. Participants ranged from 6 to 89 years of age. For a fee of just $8.50, visitors (of any age) could try seven different types of arms, under the guidance of club members who provided assistance and safety instruction. Guns and ammo were furnished by club members, and hearing and eye protection were offered for a nominal fee.

CMP walther air rifle

The 7-Gun Shoot offered a smorgesbord of shooting options: Air Rifle, Small-bore Pistol, Small-bore Rifle, Full-bore Rifle (.223 and .308), Centerfire Handgun, Black-Powder Rifle, and Shotgun (Trap). OVGC even offered an archery clinic, which was very popular with both kids and adults. A full troop of boy scouts attended the 7-Gun Shoot, and there were many families with husband, wife and kids. Participants were issued scorecards covering all 7 disciplines, and prizes were awarded to the highest aggregate totals for junior boy, junior girl, adult women, and adult men. Among the visiting couples, it was not unusual for the wives to outscore the husbands. One lady who came to the 7-Gun Shoot with her husband had never fired a long-gun before, yet she managed a perfect score with air rifle and an impressive 4 for 5 on the trap (shotgun) course.

Uberti Sharps black powder rifle

Even many veteran shooters took the opportunity to try out new disciplines. Handgunners tried out the rifle course and some hard-core trap shooters enjoyed knocking down steel targets with replica black powder rifles. There’s nothing quite like the boom and smoke of the “Holy Black”. The day concluded with a great 4-course all-you-can-eat barbeque, ($8.50 per head), followed by a raffle of shooting and camping accessories. Overall, the event was a great success. The young people seemed to have the best time of all, and more than a few of the Scouts said the 7-Gun Shoot was one of their favorite annual troop activities.

OGVC signed up a number of new members during the shoot, but more importantly, the club gave scores of novices, young and old, the chance to have fun and get hooked on shooting sports. If you are interested in developing a similar program, visit OVGC.net where you can email the organizers.

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April 28th, 2007

New CDNN Catalog Available

CDNN Investments is a large retailer that often acquires overstock inventories of rifles, shotguns, and pistols, as well as shooting accessories. You can often purchase brand new rifles for 50% to 70% of the original retail price. And this includes major brands such as Winchester, Browning, Walther, and Anschutz. CDNN’s latest catalog was recently released and it includes great deals on Steyr and Winchester hunting rifles. Click here to download the latest catalog.

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April 28th, 2007

Source for Short Magnum Load Data

Interest in the short-action magnums continues to grow among long-range and F-Class shooters. The 7 WSM, and versions made from 270 WSM or 300 WSM brass, have already proven themselves as a 1000-yard rounds. There is new interest in the Rem SAUM now that Norma brass is available. We often get requests for load data for these short magnums. Luckily, data for the WSM and Remington SAUM has been collected by ShortMags.org (now part of NetRifle.com). Click HERE to visit a page that contains collected data from all the major bullet makers and the Powder manufacturers. You’ll also find WSM/SAUM load data from Guns & Ammo magazine, Handloader magazine, and Shooting Times magazine. Most files are in Acrobat (.pdf) format, including bonus ballistics tables and drop charts for the WSM and SAUM.

short magnum load data

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April 27th, 2007

ARA Champ Shows Rimfire Technique

Californian Joe Friedrich recently shot a perfect 2500 score on the ARA rimfire target. We are working on a feature story about Joe, who is the ARA 2006 Aggregate Overall Champion. If you’ve never seen how a tuned, 17-lb “full-race” custom 22LR rifle performs on a one-piece rest, check out this Shooting Video. (Right click and “save as” to download, or left click if you have the Windows Media Player plug-in.) Note that the gun only recoils about half an inch. You may have to watch very carefully to see the gun move at all. If you look at the back of the action, however, you can see the rear of the bolt snap forward as Joe pulls the trigger, set at about two ounces. When conditions are good, and the barrel is warmed up, Joe can shoot one-ragged-hole 5-shot groups with this gun at 50 yards. Joe uses red box Eley EPS Ultimate ammo in his Bill Myers-built rifle. The rest is a Miller Uni-Rest with a Fudd sand-bag top.

Joe Friedrich ARA rimfire

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April 27th, 2007

Caldwell "Orange Peel" Targets on Sale

orange peel caldwell targetWhen you’re practicing at long-range (or sighting in at 100/200 yards), it’s much easier to see your bullet holes with the layered “splatter” type targets that create a bright, contrasting ring of color around your hits. Through the end of April, MidwayUSA has Caldwell “Orange Peel” targets on sale. A yellow ring appears around a hit in the black bull, while a white ring appears around a hit in the surrounding orange field. Click HERE to download a 3.3 meg video that shows how the “Orange Peel” targets work, or click this Streaming Video link if you have a fast connection. Shown is the 25 pack of 4×4″ targets, item 559073, our favorite target set for 500- and 600-yard practice. This set is marked down $3.00 to $11.99. To see all “Orange Peel” targets, go to MidwayUSA.com and type “Orange Peel” in the search box.

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April 26th, 2007

Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50×56 Long-Range Scope–The Ultimate Zoom?

Well folks, the speculation is over… Schmidt & Bender has developed a long-range version of its 12.5-50×56 Field Target scope announced last year. Originally built as an air rifle scope for the popular European Field Target discipline, the initial version of this scope had parallax set for a maximum of 70 meters. We reported that this design could readily be adapted for long-range use, and we’ve been proven correct. The new long-range scope adjusts from 50m to infinity and is strong enough to handle any centerfire cartridge up to 50 BMG according to Schmidt & Bender.

This is an exciting product introduction–with S&B’s legendary lens quality, this new scope could set a new benchmark for clarity and resolution in high-magnification zoom scopes. Click HERE to download a Powerpoint presentation with specifications for the new scope. The scope has a 34mm main tube, 70mm eye relief, and a 1.8mm exit pupil at max power. It is currently offered with metric windage and elevation controls, .25 cm per click. NOTE: the North American export version of the scope might feature MOA clicks instead. According to Schmidt & Bender, “a new turret and MOA-based click value (probably 1/8 MOA) are under development”. Two reticles are offered with the scope at this time: 1) a second focal plane “Sport Reticle” which has a “floating” center dot and a lower dot in the bottom half; 2) a first focal plane “Tactical Reticle” with vertical and horizontal hash marks for ranging. We think neither of these reticles is ideal for long-range BR and target shooting. Hopefully, S&B will release a more conventional Fine Cross-hair reticle, or something similar to the Nightforce NP-R2 reticle. There is a discussion of the reticle options on Long-Range.com.

Schmidt Bender 10-50x56 Scope

The key questions remain, when will the scope arrive in the USA and how much will it cost? We contacted Mark Cromwell, head of Schmidt & Bender’s North American division today. He confirmed that the new scope will be sold in the USA. Thirty Field Target versions are on order, which Mark hopes will arrive before September. The long-range version will probably not be available in North America before the end of 2007, and it might be January or February 2008 before we see inventory. Cromwell told us that the 12.5-50×56 will likely be priced in the $2600 range in the USA, but that is subject to change. Whether we can expect more reticle choices is unknown at this time. If you have questions about this scope, visit SchmidtBender.com where updates will be posted as available. Click HERE for Large Photo.

Schmidt Bender 10-50x56 Sport ReticleSchmidt Bender 10-50x56 Tactical Reticle

Permalink Optics 14 Comments »
April 26th, 2007

Williamsport 600-Yard Matches

The folks at Williamsport have completed a new 600-yard range and will be running 600-yard matches through the spring and summer of 2007. Match dates are: May 19, June 2, June 16, June 30, July 28, and August 25. This match is not affiliated with IBS, though IBS Light Guns are welcome. Either light or heavy or both can be shot. Light gun configuration is similar to IBS specifications (17-lb maximum, 3″ max fore-arm width). Sight-in and shooting will be done on a new berm constructed this spring. 10 benches are available. Four targets will be shot in two relays. The winners for group and score will be determined by Aggregate of the four targets. Anyone who has shot at Bridgeville will find this format familiar. The refreshment stand will be open and offering dinner specials after the conclusion of the match. This is a fun match, run by club members. Everyone is welcome. A non-member can shoot twice without joining. However, the third shoot will require a membership. Plaques will be awarded for each category, and an Aggregate winner for the year will receive a special award. For more info and directions to the range, visit the Original Williamsport Club Website, PA1000yard.com.

williamsport 1000-yard Benchrest Club

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April 25th, 2007

March 40X ED Scope–Now See Your Bullet Holes at 600

The big news at the recent NBRSA 600-yard Nationals was Don Nielson’s dominant performance, which included a new 1.776″ 10-shot NBRSA-record group. From a hardware perspective, however, the major story was the 40X ED March scope used by Lou Murdica. With this new, ultra-sharp scope with ED (low dispersion) glass, Lou was able to see his 6mm and 6.5mm bullet holes clearly most of the time, and that helped him aim his shots more precisely. Lou finished third overall, second in two-gun score, and posted the Light Gun high score, with a 50-3X, 1.745″ target.

kelbly march 40x ED scope

Until now, ED or low dispersion glass was only available in premium camera lenses or top of the line spotting scopes. This is a significant enhancement for benchrest scopes. “ED” or “LD” stands for low dispersion glass–this lessens chromatic aberration, which can cause an image to look fuzzy. All things being equal, low-dispersion lenses transmit a sharper image because different colors (wavelengths) don’t separate as they pass through the glass.

march scope ED glass

We have looked through various scopes at 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. With a Leupold 8-25x LRT you can sometimes (in perfect conditions) see holes in the white but they are fuzzy and indistinct. With 36X Weavers or Sightrons, you have more magnification but most examples don’t have the sharpness to pick out 6mm holes consistently at 600. With a 12-42x Nightforce at max power you can see 6mm holes in the white when conditions are good, but it’s pretty difficult otherwise. With the March, Lou reports: “I could easily see 6mm bullet holes in the white or the blue in the mornings. At mid-day holes in the white were still really sharp, but shots in the blue were getting harder to see. At the end of the day when the mirage was bad, I could still see holes, but you needed to wait for the conditions to clear a bit.” Lou added: “On the March the image is bright and sharp all the way to the edge. It’s really noticeably better at the edges than other scopes.”

If all March 40X ED scopes perform as well as Lou’s, then this is a major advancement that may change the way the 600-yard game is played. If the March scope lets you see your bullet holes reliably, in all but the worst mirage conditions, then that really does give a “competitive advantage” over other scopes. We can expect some 600-yard competitors will trade in their Nightforces for March EDs. Lou tells us “many, many top short-range BR shooters are going with the March–Tony Boyer, Billy Stevens, Mike Ratigan–you name it.” But in short-range BR, it is not the resolving power that has driven sales of the March–it is the tracking reliability. Lou explained “In short-range BR, maintaining shot to shot Point of Impact (POI) is do or die. That’s why guys ‘lock up’ Sightrons and Leupolds. But with the March the POI stays constant. And when you do spin the knobs, you get totally repeatable tracking. I was clicking throughout the 600-yard match–even in the middle of a group. When I came back to my original zero it was always dead-on.” Lou noted: “Since I’ve been using the March, my shooting has improved dramatically. I’ve been up at the top and winning more than ever. Even at 300 yards the March makes a big difference. At the 300-yard Nationals Eric Stanton and I were the only two guys who used the scopes and we cleaned house with those things. I finished second overall and Eric finished first.”

The March scope, built by Koto Precision of Japan, is a 40-power, non-zoom, side-focus design, with 1/8-MOA clicks and 72 MOA of total elevation. Weighing 21.2 ounces, it has a 30mm tube, 52mm front objective, and a 1.3mm exit pupil. In the USA, March scopes are sold exclusively by Kelblys. Price is $2100.00 with a choice of four reticles. For more info, click HERE for the March data sheet.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 9 Comments »
April 25th, 2007

World Cup Rifle & Pistol Competition in Australia

Olympic-class shooters will be competing April 25-May 3, in Sydney, Australia as part of the ISSF World Cup series of shooting competitions. At World Cup events, hosted at various sites around the world, shooters can earn points towards Olympic elegibility for the next Olympic Games. In Sydney, air pistol and air rifle shooters, and small-bore (rimfire) rifle and pistol shooters will compete in individual and team competition at 10, 25, and 50 meters. To learn more about World Cup shooting, visit ISSF-Shooting.org, or log into the Australian Int’l Shooting Ltd. website.

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April 24th, 2007

New Hunting Bullet Reference Book

Written by a team of respected outdoor writers, the new 316-page Rifle Bullets for the Hunter is an impressive reference for any shooter interested in bullet performance. Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets reports: “Hunters finally have a book that thoroughly addresses the component used where the metal hits the meat. This book hits on a topic of importance that until now has been mistakenly assumed, addressed in passing or ignored altogether.” Illustrated with over 125 color photos, the book covers a wide range of topics including: Bullet Testing, Stopping Power, Deer Bullets, Varmint/Small Game Bullets, Big Game Bullets, Solids, and Cast Bullets. Contributing authors include “Leupold Writer of the Year” Award winners Craig Boddington, John Barness, and Ron Spomer, plus Shooting Illustrated Editor in Chief Dave Campbell. The book costs $34.95, direct from Ballistic Technologies.

Rifle Bullets for Hunters

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April 24th, 2007

Low-Cost 6.5 Grendel Ammo

The 6.5 Grendel is derived from the 6PPC necked up to 6.5mm. Popularized by Alexander Arms, the 6.5 Grendel is optimized for the AR15 platform. Fired through a dedicated 6.5mm upper, the 6.5 Grendel lets AR shooters employ a heavier bullet with excellent ballistics and downrange energy. For quite some time, Alexander Arms has offered loaded 6.5 Grendel ammo built with premium Lapua brass and bullets. That is great stuff, but a bit pricey at $24.99 per box. Now Grendel shooters have an alternative. Alexander Arms now sells low-cost 6.5 Grendel Ammunition made by Wolf. Priced at just $9.97 per box of 20, the Wolf ammo is loaded with a 123gr softpoint bullet that packs enough punch for deer-hunters. The round, which runs about 2600 fps, is also well-suited for target and varmint use. Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammo is also available from MidwayUSA for $11.99 per box of 20, item 449268. To learn more about the 6.5 Grendel, read our 6.5 Grendel Cartridge Guide, or visit 65Grendel.com.

Wolf 6.5 Grendel Ammunition

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April 23rd, 2007

NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals Results

The NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals (Sloughhouse 600) wrapped up yesterday in Sacramento, CA. The top performers were Don Nielson (overall champion), Ron Tilley (Second Overall), and Lou Murdica (Third Overall). Conditions were fairly challenging during the match. On Friday the first relay started very calm, but then the winds picked up later in the day. It was windy Saturday and Sunday, and a big storm on Saturday night actually carried away the cover over the shooting benches. Don truly shot a great match, leading right from the start. After the first day he shot his 6.5×47 in both light and heavy classes. Don was worried about the increased winds on Sunday but “despite my fears, I shot 90s on Sunday which is what I needed to win.” In addition to winning the overall Championship, Don took top honors in Two-Gun Score, Two-Gun Group, Heavy Gun 3-Target Score, and Heavy Gun 3-Target Group. Don also posted the Heavy Gun single target High Score for the match (98-3X). That same target produced the Heavy Gun Small Group, 1.776″, which is a new NBRSA 10-shot record. During the match, Don established three other new score records for the new, smaller 600-yard target.

Ron Tilley ruled the Light Gun Class, finishing first in both Score (276-5X), and group (2.414″ Agg), and Ron had the best LG 3-target Group Agg. (2.023″). Ron was shooting a 6BR smithed by Stu Harvey. Bert Seltzer nailed the Light Gun Small Group, a 1.7″ (49-2X). Lou Murdica, shooting a 6BR with 95gr Bergers, shot the Light Gun High Score (50-3X) on a target which also produced an impressive 1.745″ group. (Lou shot a 6.5×55 in Heavy Gun.) In Heavy Gun class L. Dragoman Sr. shot well as did Billy Copelin.

Don Pumpkin NielsonWe spoke to Don Nielson this morning and he had some interesting observations. He started off the match shooting his 6.5×47 in Heavy Gun and 6-6.5×47 in Light Gun. Both rifles weigh 17 lbs. and use Panda actions in Kelbly 1M stocks. But, after his 6.5×47 produced the 1.776″ group on Day 1, he shot that Hart-barreled rifle in both classes for the rest of the match. On Sunday it was very windy and Don had two larger-caliber rifles in his truck, a 280 Rem Improved and a big 30. Don thinks “the 6.5×47 is the ideal cartridge for 600 yards, but when it really blows you may want something bigger.” Don attributed the accuracy of his rifle to careful brass prep: “If you don’t have perfect brass, you might as well go home.” Don reamed the 6.5×47 flash holes to .0625″ with a Ron Hoehn tool, and turned the necks to .010″ wall thickness using his Pumpkin neck-turning tool. In the 6.5×47 he shot a “moderate” load of RL15 with new JLK 130gr bullets from Swampworks.com. He uses Federal 205m primers and he says he has had absolutely no ignition problems. In the 6-6.5×47, Don used H4350 with original, Jimmy Knox produced 105gr JLKs. FYI, if you want some of those Swampworks’ 130s, you better get in line. Don just ordered another 3000.

We noted that Don and Lou Murdica are both veteran short-range benchrest shooters. We asked Don if his short-range experience gave him an edge in the 600-yard game. He replied: “Well both Lou and I are used to holding off as the conditions change. I never clicked once I had a group going–I held off as conditions dictated. I also tried to shoot sighters in all conditions that might occur during record fire, and noted how these impacted on the target. That way I felt I knew how to compensate with my hold no matter which way the conditions went.” Lou Murdica noted that his new March 40X ED scope made it easier to hold off: “Most of the time I had no trouble seeing 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards in both the white and blue areas of the target. Most of the other guys had trouble seeing their bullet holes with other scopes.”

Congratulations to all the competitors. We also credit Ed Eckhoff and his crew, who, as usual, did a great job running the match at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center.

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April 23rd, 2007

Bullet Test Tube Reveals Bullet Performance

The Bullet Test Tube (BTT), an innovative product from Ballistic Technology, allows hunters to test the terminal performance of hunting bullets. This $69.95 unit contains a re-usable wax-like compound that simulates how a bullet penetrates and expands when shot into a game animal. With the BTT, you can measure the wound channel volume (with water), then split the medium in half to measure the wound channel’s length and width. To re-use the BTT, simply melt the core material in a crock-pot or large pan and pour it into a new cardboard tube. Click the screenshot below to watch a QuickTime Video that demonstrates the whole process.

Bullet Test Tube

To learn more about the Bullet Test Tube, read this Product FAQ or this Test Tube Review from Handloader Magazine. The Bullet Test Tube has earned the NRA Publications 2007 Golden Bullseye Award and Field & Stream’s 2006 “Best of the Best” Accessories Award.

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April 22nd, 2007

Patch-Out from Makers of Wipe-Out

Regular readers of this website will know that we are big fans of Wipe-Out™ from SharpShoot-R™ Precision Products. Wipe-Out™ really works, and can save countless hours of cleaning, plus reduce wear and tear on your barrels. (Click HERE for related article.) The only shortcoming of Wipe-Out™ foam cleaner is that you’ll need to wait an hour or more to get the best cleaning results. This editor’s barrels like two applications of Wipe-Out with four hours total dwell time. Terry Paul, inventor of Wipe-Out™, has come up with a solution for shooters who want the benefits of Wipe-Out™ without the extended wait time.

Paul Patch-Out cleanerTerry’s new Patch-Out™ product is a non-petroleum-based liquid solvent that is effective on carbon and copper fouling. It does the job with just 15-25 minutes of soak time in the barrel. Unlike many other solvents, it does not leave a gummy residue in your barrel, and it doesn’t have to be “neutralized” after use.

Patch-Out™, as the name indicates, is applied with wet cotton patches. You can also use a brush, but you’ll probably find that you’ll get excellent results with only minimal brushing. After applying Patch-Out™, and letting it soak for 15-25 minutes, just use a dry patch. Because Patch-Out™ has a rust inhibitor, you don’t need to follow up with oil. Patch-Out™ is also safe to leave in your barrel overnight, just like Wipe-Out™. There is some evidence that, if you use a non-petroleum-based solvent such as Patch-Out™ and no oil, you can shoot more rounds through your barrel before a stubborn carbon ring will form just ahead of the throat. This is because that carbon ring is actually created, in part, from the “burn-off” of petroleum-based solvents and lubes. Patch-Out™ will be available from major suppliers including Brownells, MidwayUSA, and Midsouth Shooters Supply.

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April 22nd, 2007

Manners Ultra-Light Hunting Stock

Tom Manners Carbon Fiber StockMany readers have asked where they can find a high-quality, extremely light-weight hunting stock suitable for a “walk-around” varminter. One impressive option is Tom Manners’ Carbon Fiber MCS-UL (UltraLight). Weighing just 1.55 pounds, the Manners’ UltraLight is built to Benchrest standards. Despite its minimal weight, the stock is strong and very rigid–because it is basically a seamless shell. The only cuts in the shell are for the action pillars and bolt handle. Both the 1.75″-wide fore-arm and pistol grip area have a molded-in textured surface for better grip.

Tom Manners Carbon Fiber Hunting Stock

The MCS-UL is priced at $495 (before options), and is currently available only with a Rem 700 inlet. This will fit Rem 700 actions or clones such as the Lawton 7000 and Stiller Predator. Available finishes include clear-coat or polyurethane paint in black, gray, or olive. If you want to “show off” that handsome carbon shell, go with the clear-coat. For more details, contact Manners Composite Stocks, (816) 210-8108.

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April 21st, 2007

New Norma URP Powder Available

Norma URP powderWe’ve been waiting over a year for the new Norma URP (“Universal Rifle Powder”) to make it to America. This is an extruded powder with a burn rate similar to H4350. URP is available from Powder Valley and Grafs.com, and both companies have plenty in stock. We think this powder may be ideal for use in the 6XC and 6-6.5×47. We suspect it will also work very well for the .284 Winchester. Jason Baney recently received 2 lbs. of URP and he will be doing initial pressure/velocity workups this weekend.

Permalink Reloading 4 Comments »
April 20th, 2007

New CED 'M2' Chronograph

Reader Richard H. just tested his new CED M2 Chronograph, one of the first units in the country. This is an all-new design with many upgrades over the previous CED Millenium model. Clock speed was boosted to 48 mHz, expanding the measurable velocity range to 7,000 fps. Memory storage has been expanded 500%. You can now have up to 500 speed readings per string (and as many as 500 strings). CED claims: “Expanded digital chip design now gives the CED M2 the ability of reading velocities at much lower light levels. On clear days, this means the ability to chronograph from early morning till almost sunset.” If this claim is true, the CED M2 would definitely out-perform rival PACT and Shooting Chrony designs in marginal light conditions.

We’ve found that, with most chronographs, the biggest problems are confusing controls and keypad sequences that are hard to remember. CED has addressed that with the new machine. The $199.00 CED M2 Chronograph features single function string removal (something we wish the Shooting Chrony had), and the M2 offers “one touch” calculation of the average of the three highest velocities in a string. Another major (and much appreciated) improvement is the addition of a USB interface. That offers simple “plug and play” compatibility with laptops and home PCs. USB connectivity will make it much easier to download Chrono data into the updated CED Data Collector software. For more info, contact Competitive Edge Dynamics, CEDHK.com, (610) 366-9752. Right now the CED M2 is back-ordered, but a new shipment is arriving in 2 weeks and M2s should be available by mid-May at Brownells and MidwayUSA.com.

CED M2 Chronograph

Richard tells us: “I’ve been frustrated for a long time with my inability to get my extreme spreads below 30-50 fps and have wondered if my bargain-basement Chrony F-1 might be part of the problem. Well, after I got my Denver Instruments MXX-123 last month, the powder scale was no longer a credible culprit, so I went shopping for a new chrono. This is what I found. Initial results (only three 5-shot groups so far) suggest that ES with the CED M2 is only half of what the Chrony measured. In the Chrony’s defense though, it is surprisely good for something that costs less than half as much (also more convenient and more portable).” If anyone in the Sacramento, CA area has an Oehler Chrono, Richard would like to do a 3-way comparision test with the CED, Oehler, and Shooting Chrony. We’d all be interested in the results. Contact Mailbox@6mmBR.com and we’ll put you in touch with Richard.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »