July 31st, 2007
On July 30th, internet auction site eBay announced it will change its current policies regarding sales/auctions of gun parts and reloading components. Currently, one cannot sell firearms on eBay, nor live ammunition, nor a variety of “black-listed” gun accessories such as high-capacity magazines. Now, eBay will prohibit the sale of “any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun.” This will include brass, bullets, and barrels. The new policy was announced by Matt Halprin, eBay Vice President:
“In mid-August, we will be updating our Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy to place more restrictions around gun-related items. Once these changes take effect, we will prohibit listings of any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun. This includes items like bullet tips [sic], brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Please read the Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy for more details on our current policy.
As you may know, eBay does not allow the listing of any items which are regulated by individual states or the federal government; however, there are still a large number of firearm-related parts that are legal and are widely available in retail stores. These items have also historically been allowed on eBay.
After learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, we felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do. After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team – along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. – have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require. This new update… brings our policies in the U.S. and Canada in closer alignment with our existing policies in other markets around the globe.”
July 31st, 2007
The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) Nationals kicked off July 30th in St. Louis. The event, which draws top 100/200 yard shooters from around the nation, continues through August 4th. Hosting the Nationals this year, is the Benchrest Rifle Club of St. Louis, 2045 Kohn Rd, Wright City, Missouri.
IBS 100/200 Score Nationals are also held this month, August 18-19, at the Canastota Conservation Club, Warners Road
Canastota, New York. The IBS 200/300 Score Nationals follow a month later, September 22-23, at the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club, 11617 Hunt Club Rd., Thurmont, Maryland. For more info about these IBS events, visit the IBS website and click “Featured Events”.
Shown below are the top shooters from last year’s 2006 IBS 100/200 Group Nationals held at Canastota. Top row (L to R) are Rob Sarbrough, Mike Ratigan, Joe Krupa and Russ Boop. Wayne Campbell is in front. Photo courtesy IBS.
July 30th, 2007
ShooterReady.com offers an excellent computer simulation that lets you “shoot” three different calibers at virtual ranges out to 2000 yards–complete with sound effects and realistic scenery. You view the target through a 10-20x zoom scope and adjust windage and elevation as with a real scope. A FREE Online Demo is available that lets you practice with a 175gr .308, and also Windrunner .338 and .50 BMG. Atmospheric conditions and range distance change with each stage, so there is plenty of challenge. Warning–if you’re at work, this can be addictive once you get the hang of it.
You can practice Mil Dot ranging on 3 targets: A 12″ X 12″ swinging plate, a 30″ X 18″ knock-down plate, and a regulation 72″ X 19″ knock down plate. Each caliber has 70 range exercises, plus an advanced stage with 25 timed hold-offs, and moving targets.
The CD also includes “Interactive Classrooms” that teach you how to use Mil-Dot scopes and how to use a range card. The presentation on reading Mils and calculating target distances is very well done. It is much easier to learn interactively than by just reading a static manual. Below is a screenshot from the Mil-Dot Ranging “Classroom”.
Trust us, you can learn a great deal from the Free Demo. This is not just a shooter video game. The demo offers a variety of scenarios–enough to keep you occupied for quite some time. If you want to learn more, the full CD, with hundreds of scenarios, and five bonus stages, costs $39.95 from ShooterReady.com.
July 30th, 2007
In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, NRA President John C. Sigler (at right) is initiating a Competitive Shooting and National Championships Endowment.
An endowment is a permanent fund or savings account that produces investment income. The permanent fund is never touched – only a portion of the fund’s interest is used for qualified programs. The balance is then reinvested to ensure the fund’s growth, thus providing a source of income in perpetuity. “Competitive shooting is at the core of NRA’s mission,” Sigler commented. “This endowment will help provide permanent funding necessary to ensure continued operation and growth of national-championship level competition, and enhance shooting participation wherever feasible.”
“NRA sanctions about 10,000 tournaments a year and conducts more than 50 National Championships,” Sigler continued. “It is essential that we not only protect our current programs but expand the opportunities for Americans to find new, fun ways to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”
Commenting on the endowment, Mike Krei, NRA’s Director of Competitive Shooting, said, “This initiative is a major step toward securing the long-term growth of NRA competitive shooting events. Serious competitive shooters who want a way to give something back to the sport in perpetuity will find no better option than this endowment.”
To donate to the NRA Competition Endowment, contact Frank Cerutti, Director of NRA Strategic Giving, at (703) 267-1571 or email@example.com. Donations to some programs within this endowment may qualify as charitable gifts for tax purposes. Gifts may be made in cash, stocks or other assets, and pledged over time or as an estate gift.
July 29th, 2007
What is the most-used piece of equipment on this editor’s reloading bench? No it’s not my Rock-Chucker press, or even my calipers. The one item in near-constant use is a small, folding magnifying glass. Mine folds into a square case and offers 4X viewing with an 8X bifocal insert. With this handy tool I can inspect case mouths for burrs, check primer pockets, and look for flaws on bullet jackets. I also use the magnifier to see rifling marks on bullets seated into the rifling, or check my bolt for galling. The number of uses is nearly endless.
Folding magnifiers are so handy yet inexpensive that you should own a couple spares (including one in the range box). I bought my magnifier in a book-store, but you can also find them on the web at Edmund Scientifics and WidgetSupply.com starting at just $1.97.
July 28th, 2007
Lock, Stock & Barrel is currently selling Timney triggers at 25% off normal retail. Triggers are available for most popular actions including Browning, CZ, Mauser, Remington, Ruger, Sako, Springfield, and Winchester. We are impressed with Timney’s new Rem 700 “Tactical” trigger (item TM501T). This Rem Tactical trigger adjusts from 4 to 10 ounces pull weight. It features a knurled Anschutz-style vertical trigger shoe that can adjust for angle (cant) and length of pull. The trigger housing is machined from solid steel, and all contact surfaces are CNC-machined steel that has been hardened, surface ground, and polished. Timney’s Rem 700 Tactical trigger is now just $86.06 at LockStock.com. That’s a great deal. The same trigger sells for $134.95 on Timney’s Online Store, TimneyTriggers.com.
Timney also offers two new AR-15 triggers. The AR-15 Competition trigger is a true drop-in replacement for the standard fire-control system that uses your rifle’s original hammer/trigger pins. Timney claims the trigger module can be installed in ten minutes. It comes in 3- or 4-lb versions and features a crisp, one-stage pull. MSRP is $194.95, and a skeletonized version (shown below) retails for $234.95. Lock, Stock & Barrel does not list the new AR-15 trigger in inventory, but you can call for pricing, (800) 228-7925.
July 28th, 2007
Some of our forum members have observed issues with the Acculab VIC-123, an 0.001g precision electronic balance made by Sartorius. The two main complaints seem to be sensitivity to drafts, and instability of zero, causing weight read-outs to “drift” over time. We have seen the latter problem in less expensive scales such as the PACT. (Read PACT report).
Forum member Ronemus, who lists his profession as “instrumentation scientist”, offers the following advice:
“It is necessary to isolate the scale from drafts and vibrations. Laboratory scales with this sort of resolution (.001g) generally have a housing around the pan with sliding doors for access and vibration isolators in the feet. Those scales cost thousands of dollars, and some features must be cut to reach a price we’re willing to pay. Unfortunately, the instruction manuals accompanying our scales generally aren’t very good at spelling out the steps necessary to have then operate to our satisfaction.
A small draft (one you can barely feel) can easily shift the reading a few tenths of a grain, so some sort of enclosure is needed. I use a cardboard file box with one end cut out, so 3 sides and the top remain, and that’s good enough for 0.1 gr (6 mg) stability; however, that may not be sufficient for 0.01 gr.
For stable zeros it’s necessary to warm up for at least a few hours (they’re generally left on continuously to avoid drift) and keep the room temperature fairly constant (within a few degrees).
Inexpensive scales are also susceptible to electrical noise, either riding the power line or through the air. Power line noise can be eliminated with a good filtered power strip (I recommend a Tripp-Lite Iso-Bar), not just a surge suppressor. Cordless and cell phones, fluorescent lights, wireless computer networks, baby monitors, etc. can cause problems at short range, so they should be kept away from the scale as much as possible.”
July 28th, 2007
We now have hundreds of entries in our Daily Bulletin. A few readers have told us: “I read something in the Bulletin last week, but now I can’t find it. Where did it go?”
Don’t worry. Every Bulletin entry is archived, and each is listed by one or more categories as well. You can search for a past entry by keyword, or just click on a category. If you want to watch a video again, just click on “Videos”. If you saw a review of a scope, click on “Optics”, or do a word search such as “Nikon” or “reticle”. The “Articles” item at the top of the list will bring up posts that link to a longer feature article on this site or elsewhere.
Once you get the hang of it, you should find it easy to find stuff using the navigation tools. The search is fast and effective. The illustration below shows how to use the navigation tools, found at the upper right of this page.
July 27th, 2007
Confused about the meaning of a term such as “meplat”, “magnaflux” or “obturate”? Need to know the OAL of an unusual Wildcat such as the .218 Donaldson Wasp? Well CCI and MidwayUSA offer handy answers on the web. CCI’s Shooters’ Glossary is a very complete collection of gun-related and reloading terms. MidwayUSA’s GunTEC Dictionary contains short descriptions of hundreds of cartridges, plus definitions of thousands of shooting-related words and phrases. How many of you knew that “Maggie’s Drawers” is “a colloquial term used for the red flag once used by pit workers to signal a missed shot at high-power rifle competitions”?
Consulting the dictionary, we learned that “Magnus Force” was not a Tom Selleck TV show. Rather, “Magnus Force is the movement of a bullet in the direction it is rotating (and downward) due to the lower air pressure surrounding it. The low pressure pocket is caused by the effect of the bullet’s fast rotation on the surrounding air.” MidwayUSA’s GunTEC dictionary even includes short “bios” of notable firearms inventors and marksmen, including J.M. Browning, Fredrich von Martini, and Peter Paul Mauser. A serious shooting buff could spend hours browsing the GunTEC dictionary, learning new facts (and a ton of obscure trivia.)
July 27th, 2007
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced the launch of its new online NSSF Marketplace Buyers Guide. Available on NSSF’s Web sites, this directory allows shooters to quickly locate specific products and services by keyword or category. The NSSF Marketplace employs a powerful search engine that continually indexes the Web sites of all companies represented in the directory.
The Marketplace has both keyword-search capability and dozens of links for specific product categories such as ammunition, optics, cleaning gear, and guide services. Click on “Optics/Electronics”, for example, and a page appears with linked subcategories for Scopes, GPS units, Rangefinders, Eyewear, Binoculars and more.
The NSSF Marketplace also offers a downloadable desktop search application. If you install this, you can search for products and services directly from a small search window on your desktop. The NSSF Marketplace also includes a Request for Information (RFI) tool, enabling users to contact a group of suppliers with one click of a button. The buyers guide can be found on www.nssf.org and other association-supported sites, including www.huntandshoot.org, www.wingshootingusa.org, www.wheretoshoot.org, www.huntinfo.org and www.stepoutside.org.
July 26th, 2007
How would you like a full-length sizing die perfectly fitted to your fired brass? At one time that required you to purchase a die blank, a special undersized reamer (a chamber reamer is too big), and send the work out to a skilled gunsmith. You could expect to have $250-$350 tied up in your custom die when all was said and done.
Now Hornady’s custom shop offers a much less expensive alternative. For roughly $75-$90, plus shipping, Hornady will produce a custom-made die based on your reamer print, spec sheet or fired brass. You can either order a conventional non-bushing FL die, or a FL die that uses bushings to size the case-necks. To order, we recommend you send 3 or 4 fired cases along with a reamer print to Lonnie Hummel at Hornady Mfg., Box 1848, Grand Island, NE, 68802. Give Lonnie a call first at (800) 338-3220, ext. 208, to discuss design details and get an estimated delivery date.
Lonnie and his team of skilled machinists have produced custom dies for many top shooters. Scott Parker had Hornady produce a custom full-length die for Scott’s 6BRX. Scott reports: “The die is great. I’m very impressed. The die is a perfect fit for my brass and the sized brass has very low run-out.” Past F-Class Champion John Brewer has a set of Hornady custom 6-6.5×47 Lapua dies on order currently.
July 26th, 2007
Dave Kiff’s Pacific Tool & Gauge is the “featured brand” this week at MidwayUSA.com. You’ll find excellent prices on everything from “Go” gauges to ultra-durable, fast-cutting carbide chamber reamers. PT&G sells both fixed-end and piloted (floating tip) reamers. The piloted reamers have a definite advantage when you chamber barrels from different manufacturers that may vary slightly in internal bore dimensions. The pilots are interchangeable so you can select a pilot diameter that best fits your particular barrel.
In addition to reamers, gauges, and miscellaneous cutting tools, MidwayUSA carries Dave Kiff’s Gunsmith’s Book of Chamber Prints. This 425-page, spiral bound resource contains a huge collection of chamber prints for many of the reamers that PTG makes (circa 2002). Complete mechanical schematics are well drawn and all required measurements are provided. This reamer book is a great place to start if you are choosing a special caliber for your next rifle, or considering building your own wildcat cartridge. Dave Kiff will send out reamer prints on request, but the book offers them all in one place for a reasonable price: $47.99 (Midway item # 347655).