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October 22nd, 2007

Interesting Results from St. Thomas GroundHog Shoot

The St. Thomas Sportsman’s Club in Pennsylvannia recently held its season-ending big GroundHog shoot. 104 shooters attended the event and $2000.00 worth of prizes (and cash) was awarded. The event encompassed three stages, at 200, 300, and 400 yards, with scores totaled for the three distances. Roy Hunter posted the best score, an impressive 144.01 (out of a possible 150) to win the Custom Class. Roy shot a 30BR, demonstrating the accuracy of this cartridge on distances out to 400 yards.

Ranked below are the Top 15 shooters in the Custom and Factory Classes. Ed Harshman won the Factory Class shooting a .223 Rem. A 22/250 and a .223 Rem finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, while two .308s rounded out the Top Five.

The two most successful chamberings in Custom Class were the 6BR and 30BR, but a couple 6.5s and 6PPCs did well also.

These results demonstrated that among factory guns, the little .223 Remington remains a great choice, with low recoil and excellent accuracy. Among customs, we’d have to say the 6BR is still the cartridge to beat, though the 30BR is definitely capable of winning it all.

Permalink Competition No Comments »
October 21st, 2007

Sinclair's Recommended AR and Service Rifle Smiths

AccurateShooter.com has a list of Recommended Gunsmiths. Inclusion on that list is based on demonstrated ability plus customer recommendations. Nobody has “bought their way” on to the list. Most of the smiths listed on our Gunsmith Page specialize in bolt-action rifles, for Benchrest, varminting, and long-range. While some do work on AR15s and “space-guns”, this is not their primary focus.

White Oak Precision AR15 Upper

If you need a first-rate gunsmith for a service rifle, Sinclair International has compiled its own list of smiths including highly respected names. For service rifles (including AR types), Sinclair recommends the following:

Phil Arrington (Service Rifle)
Arrington Accuracy Works
1408 West Ross Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Phone: (623) 582-5066

Compass Lake Engineering (Service Rifle)
719 White Dr
Alford, FL 32420
Phone: (850) 579-1208

Fulton Armory (Service Rifle & Parts)
8725 Bollman Pl., #1
Savage, MD 20763
Phone: (301) 490-9485

Derrick Martin (Service Rifle)
Accuracy Speaks, Inc.
3960 N Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
Phone: (480) 373-9499

Scott Medesha (Service Rifle)
Medesha Firearms Ltd.
10326 E. Adobe Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
Phone: (480) 986-5876

Albert Turner (Service Rifle)
Turner Enterprises
2200 Seminole Ct.
Plano, TX 75074
Phone: (214) 424-8409

Bill Wylde (Service Rifle)
Wylde & Co.
PO Box 261
Greenup, IL 62428
Phone: (217) 923-3266

To Sinclair’s list we would definitely add John Holliger of White Oak Precision. John built the upper for the Smith & Wesson M&P AR with which Carl Bernosky won the Camp Perry High Power Championship in 2007. This marked the first time an AR-style semi-auto has won that event. John also builds many outstanding components for AR-style rifles, including windage-adjustable front sight bases, and the White Oak Precision Adjustable Buttstock (shown below).

John Holliger
White Oak Precision
101 South Perry
Carlock, IL 61725
Phone: (309) 376-2288

Precision Adjustable Buttstock White Oak Holliger

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October 21st, 2007

JARD Trigger for Howa 1500

The Howa 1500 is a nice rifle, offering good performance for the price. We like the Howa 1500 Varminter in particular, which comes with a quality laminated stock and smooth-working, stainless action. One of the few issues with a factory Howa has been the heavy trigger pull weight. You can fix that with a drop-in trigger from JARD. The recently-introduced, all-steel JARD trigger adjusts for overtravel, sear engagement, and pull weight. The trigger includes a Rem-style lever safety. Internals are precision-machined and hardened. Priced at $132 (item 100-003-169) at Brownell’s, the JARD trigger for the Howa 1500 can be ordered in a variety of pull weights from 14 to 28 ounces. Along with the Howa 1500, the JARD trigger fits S&W 1500, and Weatherby Vanguard rifles.

howa 1500

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 20th, 2007

Wipe-Out: How to Apply from the Breech

Wipe-Out foam bore cleaner is a product we’ve used with great success on many rifles. With sufficient dwell time, it removes both carbon and copper fouling. You can combine it with Wipe-Out Accelerator or the new Patch-Out product to speed up cleaning time. Many shooters, including this editor, find that bore-brushing has been virtually eliminated with the regular use of Wipe-Out. (With some barrels however, you may still have to brush or use a bore paste if you notice stubborn carbon build-up in the throat area.)

Standard procedure with Wipe-Out is to insert your O-ring cleaning rod guide into the chamber and then squirt through the muzzle. However, this isn’t possible with all rifles. One of our readers wanted to try Wipe-Out, but he has a Remington 7400. This is a semi-automatic rifle with no pass-through in the rear of the receiver. There’s no way to insert a guide rod, and it’s also tricky to use a chamber plug.

READ Jason’s Wipe-Out Article Here

For rifles such as the Garand, M1A and other semi-autos, you can apply Wipe-Out through the breech if you use fitted, plastic tubing. Jason Baney has written a short article describing this process. In a nutshell, you need one piece of tubing that fits the chamber tightly and then connects with a second, smaller diameter tube that attaches to the Wipe-Out can. This avoids any “over-spray” of foam in the action area, providing a clean, simple solution. Just squirt for a second or so, and wait for white foam to come out of the muzzle. Be sure to keep Wipe-Out off fine wood stocks.

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October 19th, 2007

Jessie Abbate Wins Multi-Gun USPSA Championship

Team Glock’s Jessie Abbate is the new Ladies USPSA Multi-Gun National Champion. Bringing a new level of grace, speed, and accuracy to the Multi-Gun discipline, Jessie took top honors among women in the recent USPSA Multi-Gun National Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The three-gun match consisted of 12 stages. 3 stages were shot with a pistol, 3 with a rifle, 3 utilized a shotgun, and 3 were multi-gun. Each stage presented different levels of difficulty such as swinging shotgun and rifle targets, multiple moving pistol targets and long range rifle shots past 300 yards. Other stages were designed for speed which allowed shooters to employ all three of their guns. Jessie used an MSTN AR-15 type carbine in the rifle stages, a 12 gauge for the shotgun segments, and a Glock 34 for the pistol stages.

Jessie Abbate Team Glock

Jessie reports: “I started the match off Friday morning with a great shotgun stage followed by exceptional rifle and pistol stages. But as I was shooting with multiple guns, I began to tire and made small mistakes that cost me some points. With the long-range rifle stage at the end of the day, I just wanted to survive it so I could move on and put it behind me.” Jessie began the second day with a fresh outlook and shot smoothly and consistently. Abbate wrapped up the last day of competition with a 200-point victory and the Ladies Multi-Gun National Championship.

Jessie Abbate Team GlockThe lovely Jessie is now one of America’s top action shooters. Jessie began shooting by going to the range with her father. With the training she received from her father, a world champion cowboy action shooter, and help from her husband Billy, a USPSA Grandmaster, Jessie’s pistol shooting skills continue to grow. She now competes in practical and steel shooting sports with Glock pistols. Jessie was welcomed to Team Glock in the summer of 2006. Jessie balances a busy schedule with her job in the family business in Georgia, going to school for a business degree and training on the shooting range.

Photos courtesy Glock Inc., and Team Glock.

Permalink Competition, News 10 Comments »
October 19th, 2007

Whidden Gunworks Offers Davies Triggers

Whidden Davies TriggerIn cooperation with Tom Meyers, Whidden Gunworks is now the North American source for the Davies triggers, providing both trigger sales and installation. Crafted in Australia, Davies triggers are popular with long-range Highpower and Palma shooters, and these triggers are also well-suited for F-Class. The Davies trigger adjusts for pull weight, and the mounting of the trigger shoe allows the shooter to adjust both length of pull and trigger shoe angle.

The Davies regular weight trigger adjusts from 1 lb, 2 oz. to 3.5 pounds pull weight. Davies’ F-Class triggers will adjust from 4 oz. to 1 pound. Both Regular and F-Class triggers should fit all actions that will accept Remington-pattern triggers. If a Jewell trigger can work with your gun, so should a Davies. Price of the triggers is $275 plus shipping. If you don’t wish to install the trigger yourself, Whidden Gunworks can install both regular pull weight and F-Class triggers. For more info, visit WhiddenGunworks.net or call (229) 686-1911. John Whidden will add Davies trigger photos/specs to his website soon.

Davies trigger photo courtesy Warner Tool Company.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
October 19th, 2007

FREE Heavy-Duty Workbench Plans

Here’s a nice do-it-yourself project for the winter. Simpson, maker of Strong-Tie fasteners, offers FREE Workbench Plans for a sturdy, 48″-wide bench with a pegboard backing and both upper and lower shelves. A complete list of fasteners and cut lengths is provided. For use as a loading bench with mounted presses, you can double-up the bench-top for extra ridigity. Without much difficulty, the plans can be adapted to build a wider bench if you prefer.

The same downloadable document also contains plans for an 80″-high 6-shelf unit, a 72″-high heavy-duty shelving unit (with 4 shelves), and a 48″-wide heavy-duty table.

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October 18th, 2007

New Manners T4/T4A Stocks Introduced

Manners Stocks has released its new “T4″ series of tactical stocks. The new design features flats on the bottom of the fore-end and buttstock so the stock performs well from sandbag rests as well as from bipod. With outer shells composed of 35% aircraft-grade carbon fiber and 65% fiberglass, the Manners T4/T4A stocks are very light and very stiff. The T4 weighs just 2.7 pounds, while the T4A (with adjustable checkpiece) is 4.1 pounds.

Manners T4 gun stock

Manners T4 gun stock

Tom Manners tells us: “The T4A comes standard with an adjustable cheek using Terry Cross’s hardware. Both the T4 and T4A come standard with a fixed 1″ Pachmyer Decelerator pad. They can also be ordered with the optional butt spacer system and a Decel pad. The fore-end is about 2.50″ wide and will take barrels up to 1.350″ in diameter. The sides and bottom of the fore-end and the bottom of the butt behind the hook are parallel with the bore. This allows the stock to ride very straight and true if you want to use bags. We lengthened the pistol grip about 1/4″ longer compared to the Manners T2 stock.”

Manners stocks are built to a very high standard compared to most fiberglass stocks on the market. The geometry is consistent and the shells are free from voids and flaws. Manners stocks are all hand-laid with high-temp epoxy resins, placed under a vacuum, and heat cured for optimal resin to fabric weight ratio. Standard configuration stocks come fullly-inletted with a pillar set ready to install at time of bedding. Tactical stocks come painted with a durable, polyurethane enamel in black, OD green, coyote brown, dessert tan, or sand. A variety of camouflage patterns from Larson Tactical are also available at extra cost. The T4 costs $425.00, while the T4A (with Terry Cross adjustable cheek hardware) is $595.00.

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October 18th, 2007

New 22-cal Berger 82gr Bullets At Powder Valley

Berger recently introduced a new, high-BC 22-caliber bullet with a forgiving non-VLD design. This new bullet is designed for long-range use, single-loaded in an AR15 service rifle or cross the course rifle. It will also be ideal for use in a .223 Remington F-TR class rifle.

The new 82gr Berger has been somewhat hard to find, but Powder Valley has received a shipment. Powder Valley’s owner Bryan tells us: “The Berger .224 82 gr BT is in stock and ready to ship. Only a limited supply is available. The 82gr BT has performed exceptionally well in all tests. The G1 BC is .450 and we are recommending a 1:8″ twist or faster. This bullet is perfect for those who shoot heavy 22 cal but do not like the sensitive nature of the VLD-type bullets. All tests show that this bullet shoots very well at any OAL and with most loads. At Camp Perry, Shawn McKenna used this bullet on his way to a 2nd place in the NRA Civilian Service Rifle National Championship.” Bryan added: “If you mention this Bulletin notice, you will receive an additional 5% discount.” Call Bryan at (800) 227-4299 to order.

Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
October 17th, 2007

Editorial: Scope-Makers, Stop Selling Scopes with Canted Reticles

Over the past year, your editor has discussed optics quality control with dozens of very successful shooters. There was widespread agreement that too many scopes are leaving the factory with canted reticles, i.e. cross-hairs that are not plumb with the turrets. In fact, to my surprise, most of the top shooters I polled said, yes they have, at least once, purchased a $700+ scope from a major manufacturer that arrived with a canted reticle. The amount of cant ranged from an estimated one to three degrees. Three degrees happens to be one major domestic scope-maker’s production tolerance. We all agreed that this was unacceptable in a high-dollar scope. (Note: here we are talking about an INTERNAL scope assembly problem that results in reticles being off-axis relative to the turrets. Don’t confuse this with the canting which occurs if you don’t level your rifle. A canted reticle is a production defect requiring factory repair.)

Three degrees may not sound like much–after all it is less than 1% of a 360-degree circle. Nonetheless, as the diagrams show, three degrees of cant is VERY noticeable in a scope. In fact, most people will be bothered by a reticle that is just one degree off-axis. Canted reticles are not just annoying to look at, but off-axis reticles cause a number of problems with sighting and accuracy. For example, if you set up your rifle so the vertical cross-hair is straight up and down, your turrets will be slightly tilted. This means that when you click elevation you will change windage slightly, and vice-versa. If, on the other hand, you cant (or tilt) the whole rifle to make the turrets square, this throws off the bullet trajectory–causing bullet impact that is low and displaced horizontally*.

Now, all manufacturers can have a production flaw now and then. Yet we’ve never heard a complaint about canted reticles in Nightforce or Schmidt & Bender scopes. So, it IS possible for the better manufacturers to get it right. Our point here is that it is time for the major scope-makers to address this problem and improve their quality control. That will happen sooner if consumers pay greater attention to reticle alignment during the purchasing process. If you have a scope with a canted reticle, send it back to the maker and ask for the problem to be fixed. If enough shooters do that, we expect the scope-makers will take notice and improve their products.


*CLICK HERE to read a very thorough technical article that explains the effect of rifle canting on bullet trajectory. CLICK HERE to see targets shot with canted rifles showing bullet displacement. The diagram below shows how this occurs.


Illustration courtesy Long Shot Products, Ltd.

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October 17th, 2007

Bulletin Submissions and Donations to Website

Based on reports from Quantcast, the AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin reaches nearly 36,000 unique readers worldwide every month. Many of our readers have asked how they can help support the site. First, we are always looking for good videos and interesting news items to put in our Bulletin and BLOG. Send your info and video clips to mailbox [@] 6mmBR.com. Keep Video clips under 4 megabytes if possible. Video clips can be edited using the Windows “MovieMaker” software that’s probably already on your computer.

User donations are also important to the site. As the website audience grows, so do our expenses. You can make a donation (via PayPal), using the “DONATION” buttons found on our Home Page and on our Shooters’ Forum (at bottom of page). You do NOT need to have a PayPal account, so long as you have a credit card.

DONATION Button on Home Page:

If you don’t wish to use the PayPal system, we also accept checks sent via the U.S. Mail. Jason Baney handles the mailed-in contributions. Please include a short note with your name and Forum “nickname” (if any). Make the check payable to “Jason Baney” and mail your check to:

Jason Baney
P.O. Box 308
Douglassville, PA 19518

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October 16th, 2007

U.S. Optics SN3 — $2800 Super Scope

People have already started asking about the U.S. Optics scope on Rob Hunter’s “BriTactical” rifle featured as the current Gun of the Week. This is no ordinary optic. It is a special “supersized” version of U.S. Optics SN3 T-PAL series, custom-built for Robert. The SN3 is offered with 30mm, 34mm, or 35mm main tubes. This is the big boy, 35mm, with matching U.S. Optics anodized rings. The front objective is upsized from the standard 44mm to a whopping 58mm. This provides enhanced low-light and twilight performance. The reticle is U.S. Optics’ own Mil Scale, allowing Robert to range-find targets reliably to 1000 yards and beyond. This is very critical because Robert will be using the scope in a Police/Military competition where he must engage multiple targets at unknown distances–and no laser rangefinders are allowed.

The big knob on top is one of U.S. Optics’ signature features. This is the EREK elevation turret. It allows Robert to run through his entire range of 1/4-MOA clicks in just two turns. If that’s not handy enough, a one-turn EREK knob is also available, but with wider click values. Like most U.S. Optics scopes, this unit is ruggedized and highly weatherproof. It features an illuminated reticle, handy side-focus parallax adjustment, and beefy metal construction. How much does one of these 5-25 power SN3 T-PALs cost? Well if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. Complete, with all the upgrades, the scope costs over $2800.00.

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October 16th, 2007

Neck-Turning Tip: Match Your Cutter Angle to the Shoulder

When neck-turning cases, it’s a good idea to extend the cut slightly below the neck-shoulder junction. This helps keep neck tension more uniform after repeated firings, by preventing a build-up of brass where the neck meets the shoulder. One of our Forum members, Craig from Ireland, a self-declared “neck-turning novice”, was having some problems turning brass for his 20 Tactical cases. He was correctly attempting to continue the cut slightly past the neck-shoulder junction, but he was concerned that brass was being removed too far down the shoulder.

Craig writes: “Everywhere I have read about neck turning, [it says] you need to cut slightly into the neck/shoulder junction to stop doughnutting. I completely understand this but I cant seem to get my neck-turning tool set-up to just touch the neck/shoulder junction. It either just doesn’t touch [the shoulder] or cuts nearly the whole shoulder and that just looks very messy. No matter how I adjust the mandrel to set how far down the neck it cuts, it either doesn’t touch it or it cuts far too much. I think it may relate to the bevel on the cutter in my neck-turing tool…”

Looking at Craig’s pictures, we’d agree that he didn’t need to cut so far down into the shoulder. There is a simple solution for this situation. Craig is using a neck-turning tool with a rather shallow cutter bevel angle. This 20-degree angle is set up as “universal geometry” that will work with any shoulder angle. Unfortunately, as you work the cutter down the neck, a shallow angled-cutter tip such as this will remove brass fairly far down. You only want to extend the cut about 1/32 of an inch past the neck-shoulder junction. This is enough to eliminate brass build-up at the base of the neck that can cause doughnuts to form.

K&M neck-turning tool

The answer here is simply to use a cutter tip with a wider angle — 30 to 40 degrees. The cutter for the K&M neck-turning tool (above) has a shorter bevel that better matches a 30° shoulder. There is also a 40° tip available. WalkerTexasRanger reports: “I went to a 40-degree cutter head just to address this same issue, and I have been much happier with the results. The 40-degree heads are available from Sinclair Int’l for $13 or so.” Forum Member CBonner concurs: “I had the same problem with my 7WSM… The 40-degree cutter was the answer.” Below is Sinclair’s 40° cutter for its NT1000 neck-turning tool. Item NT3140, it sells for $12.95. There is also a slightly more expensive 40° cutter for the NT3000 tool, item NT3340.

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October 15th, 2007

Pistol Micro-Stamping Becomes Law in California

On October 13th, California Gov. Swarzenegger signed a bill requiring that all semi-automatic pistols sold in California have internal parts that “micro-stamp” shell casings with identifying codes. Under the terms of the new law, semi-auto pistols sold after 1/1/2010 would have to stamp shell casings in at least two places. Typically, this means the firing pin and the ejector will be embossed with characters that are transferred to the primer and case rim on firing.

The micro-stamping law is a very bad piece of legislation for a variety of reasons. Hopefully this misguided concept will not spread to other states. Key problems with the micro-stamping technology include:

1. The raised markers on the end of the firing pin and ejector can easily be removed or altered with a simple file, or even sandpaper.

2. Independent tests show that current micro-stamping technology does NOT produce reliable results: “George G. Krivosta, of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York, did some research on the firearm microstamping technology offered by NanoTag [the sole approved micro-stamping system in California]. In his research, using tagged firing pins in a .22 Long Rifle rifle and a .45 ACP pistol, he found that very few firing pin strikes actually resulted in legible marks, as it was very common for the firing pin to bounce on impact and strike the case more than once, with successive strikes landing slightly off of the original position and obscuring the original strike impression. Out of the first 100 rounds fired using an 8-character alphanumeric code, 54 provided satisfactory markings, while the remaining 46 had at least one illegible character. Smaller print, encoding the make, model, and serial number for a total of 45 characters, resulted in far less clear markings which were difficult to decipher even under ideal circumstances.” Source: Wikipedia, summarizing AFTE Journal Article.

NOTE: This article contains numerous photos illustrating “failed” micro-stamp primer markings. The article also shows how the firing pin embossing wears out quickly. You should download the article and view for yourself.

3. Would-be law-breakers can collect spent brass from shooting ranges, and “throw down” micro-stamped brass at crime scenes, creating the possibility that innocent gun-owners will be implicated in crimes. Worse yet, the presence of micro-stamped brass belonging to someone else creates “reasonable doubt”, so the real criminal can’t be convicted.

4. The law does not apply to revolvers (so far at least). Word will quickly get out “on the street” on how to defeat the law by using revolvers or altered firing pins.

5. The law may make it difficult, if not impossible (from a practical standpoint), to replace broken or damaged firing pins, ejectors, and extractors. All such components will have to be strictly regulated.

Click the image below for a recent news report on the new California law. As one might expect, the news report did not disclose the technological shortcomings of the micro-stamping process, nor does the report explain how this could backfire, resulting in law-abiding citizens being arrested if their spent brass is found at crime scenes:

micro-stamping California law

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October 15th, 2007

Swarovski Laser RangeFinders at SWFA.com for $749.95

The Swarovski 8×30 Laser Guide was the top performer in our Laser RangeFinder Comparison Test. The typical “street price” for these units is a hefty $889.00. SWFA.com obtained a number of “demo model” Swaro Laser Guides. These are “like new” units with full factory warranty. Most are priced at just $749.95. There are still a few left, but they could sell out quickly. You’ll find them in SWFA’s “Sample List”, www.SampleList.com.

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October 14th, 2007

600-yard Records Broken at Piedmont

Late-breaking news: The stars aligned on Saturday at the Piedmont Range in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. With many of the best shooters in the 600-yard game on the firing line, multiple IBS 600-yard records were set. We still don’t have all the details, but we’re told that at least four IBS records were set, maybe more.

Mark Schronce (below), shooting a 6mm BRX with Berger 105gr VLDs, set a new Light Gun 5-shot group record of 0.749″. We believe this is the smallest group ever shot, in any class, with any gun, in registered 600-yard competition. Great job Mark.

Mark Schronce 600 yard record

Mark noted: “this is a great group of guys to shoot with, and most can ‘Clean your Clock’ in any given match. I have shot a lot of small four-shot clusters with one out this year. I finely got one to come together.” Larry Isenhour (who finished 4th for both LG and HG Score on Saturday) reports: “I was shooting beside Mark all day and when he shot that group it wasn’t the best of times to shoot. He shot fast and and we looked at each other and gave a ‘thumbs-up’ and neither of us knew what the target looked like.”

Terry Brady was on fire in Heavy Gun Class, ending up with a 1.5708″ Heavy Gun 20-shot group Aggregate. That is second only to Terry’s own 1.505″ Agg shot earlier this July, also at Piedmont. Both Aggs by Brady have been submitted to the IBS for certification. One way or the other, he’s going to have that record.

Sam Hall had an impressive 1.8053″ Agg. in Heavy Gun class and broke a couple of 2006 records in the process. Larry Isenhour reports: “Samuel Hall ended up being the Piedmont ‘Shooter of the Year’. He had almost twice as many points as Buster Long who finished second. Sam has had a great year of shooting and is very much in the mix for IBS Shooter of the Year. [Sam] has broken several records this year.”

Tommy Willliams and his crew at Piedmont Gun Club did a great job running the match. To indicate the quality of competition at this match, the top five Heavy Gun Aggs were all under 2.6 inches:

1) Terry Brady 1.570
2) Samuel Hall 1.805
3) Rodney Wagner 2.058
4) Jim Morgan 2.533
5) Paul Wagner (R) JR 2.585

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October 14th, 2007

Super Deal on 2230 and X-Terminator Powders

Lock, Stock, and Barrel has a great deal right now on 8-lb jugs of Accurate 2230 and RamShot X-Terminator — you can buy 8 lbs. of either powder for just $99.45. That’s $20-$25 off regular prices. And, get this — if you buy 16 or more pounds of powder, Lock, Stock and Barrel will pay the hazmat charge (typically $20.00).

Acccurate 2230 is a double-base (high-energy), ball powder originally designed for use in the .223 Remington, it performs well with light bullets in a variety of small-caliber cartridges, including the .223 Rem, 22BR and 20 PPC. It it Dan Dowling’s favorite powder for use in the 6BR with 58gr V-Max. A 6BR using 2230 powder can push the littl3 58s close to 3700 fps.

RamShot X-Terminator is also a double-base, spherical (ball) powder. On burn rate charts, it is ranked as slightly slower than Benchmark and very close to H322, Accurate 2230, and Winchester 748 powders. Ramshot says X-Terminator is designed for the high volume, .223 varmint hunter who demands a “clean-burning powder that meters smoothly.”

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October 13th, 2007

Neck Chamfering Tools–Assortment of Angles Available

There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad to smooth the edge of the cut. The $13.00 Forster is a nicely made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers.

Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs under $9.00 at MidwayUSA.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.

Darrell Holland has offered a nice 28° chamfering tool for quite some time and we think it works very well. Sinclair recently introduced a 28° chamferer similar to the Holland tool, with some additional features. The $26.50 Sinclair Chamfering Tool (14 degrees per side) will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. The cutter head/shaft segment, with a .250″ diameter shank, can be purchased by itself for $16.95. This can be chucked in a drill or, with an adapter, it can be used with a power screwdriver when prepping large volumes of cases.

K&M makes a depth-adjustable “VLD” chamferer (“case mouth reamer”) which has very sharp blades and can be adjusted for cutting depth. It makes a very “steep” cut into the inside of the case neck. The latest version ($24.00 at PrecisionReloading.com), features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. However if you are not very careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Lyman.

One last thing to note–tools like the K&M and the Holland chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers–that is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though–so long as you make a smooth cut.

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October 13th, 2007

Sinclair International Solvent Special

Sinclair Int’l, a leading vendor for precision shooting products, is now running a “Mix and Match” solvent special. If you order any two 16-ounce solvents from the list below, you receive a free three-pack of plastic solvent bottles (item 01-280). CLICK HERE for details. Choose from the following products:

The products listed are all very effective at removing copper fouling as well as powder and carbon fouling. No one product is necessarily the best at removing both carbon and copper. We’ve had good luck with Montana XTreme, Butch’s Bore Shine, and TM Solution. We have seen some issues concerning Bore Tech Eliminator. If you use Eliminator, make sure to remove ALL residues from your bolt, action and stock, then wipe the bolt and action with a protective oil or rust preventative such as Eezox.

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October 12th, 2007

The Zanotti Take-Down Safe

We’ve received inquiries from readers who are looking for a gunsafe that is big and strong but can be broken down and transported more easily that a typical 800 to 1200-lb safe. There IS one product that fits the bill–the Zanotti safe. It arrives in sections, none weighing more than 170 pounds. It is assembled in place, then can be dis-assembled when you need to move. The Zanotti is also well-suited for a gun-owner who lives in an apartment up many flights of stairs.

Zanotti take-down gunsafes

Zanotti Armor offers safes that are ideal for gun owners who need to move frequently or who live in a location where it is difficult, if not impossible, to position a conventional safe. Zanotti safes arrive in three or four discrete shipping boxes. The safe is assembled by the owner, on site, in six steps. The heaviest component is the door, weighing 110 pounds in the 16-gun ZAI safe, and 175 pounds in the largest 52-gun ZAIII model. Five safe models are offered, ranging from 350 to 925 pounds assembled weight, without interior. Zanotti safes are very popular with police, military personnel, and others whose jobs force them to re-locate often. The safe can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools other than a hammer, and all you need is a hand dolly to move any component.

Zanotti Gun safeGuns Magazine reports: “The panels are interlocked by 3/8 inch, nickel-plated steel “L” shaped pins that slip into steel tubing sections welded to the interior surfaces of the panels. The slip fit is held to a tolerance of .003 inch, and the safes are completely assembled and hand fitted at the factory to insure the panels will align properly. The body is made from 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch steel; the door from 3/16 inch steel; the locking bolts are 3/4 inch steel.” This is heavier gauge steel than you’ll find on most conventional gun safes.

Zanotti offers many deluxe interiors including a system of roll-out sliding drawers in the bottom of the safe. We think the sliding drawers are ideal for storing handguns and expensive items such as cameras and binoculars that you want to keep out of plain view. Mark Zanotti, the innovative creator of these modular safes, can also customize any interior to suit the customer’s particular needs.

Editor’s Note: For most applications, a conventional safe is still the best choice. Bolted in place, a conventional safe with welded walls will provide the best security and a conventional safe can provide increased fire protection. Zanotti safes do not employ a separate layer of sheet-rock or ceramic fire lining. The Zanotti is a special product for gun-owners with special needs. The units are well-made and Zanotti offers many nice custom interior features that you won’t find even on much more expensive conventional safes.

To learn more about gunsafe features and fire-proofing, read our Gunsafe Buyers’ Guide.

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