January 19th, 2008

Hunting Moving Game DVD from Blaser

Blaser, maker of the innovative R93 straight-pull rifles, has created a new DVD, “Hunting in Motion — Shooting at Moving Game”, that will interest all game hunters. It provides helpful hints on aiming (showing how to “lead” your prey), with strategies for various species, including deer and wild boar. There’s good close-up footage showing the fast Blaser bolt in action on Driven Hunts. The DVD also includes important safety tips. In the sample video, Blaser demonstrates the hazards of ricochets and shows what happens to your bullet if it strikes a branch or obstruction between muzzle and target.

CLICK HERE (or on image) to watch INTRO VIDEO.

The DVD is available from select Blaser dealers, or contact:

Blaser USA
220-G Log Canoe Circle
Stevensville, MD 21666
Phone: (410) 604-1495
Email: info (at) blaser-usa.com

We noted one serious flaw in the Blaser Video. Many of the shooters in the video are not wearing eye protection. Big mistake. Shooters should ALWAYS use safety glasses, even when hunting.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
January 19th, 2008

Federal Lake City .223 Brass on Sale

Grafs.com has new .223 Remington brass made at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant and marketed by Federal (item FDU223). Price is just $19.99 per hundred, or $94.95 per 500.

In our comparison measurements of .223 Rem Brass, various lots of Lake City brass have shown good weight uniformity, with an average case to case Standard Deviation of just .61 grains, compared to 0.85 for Remington, and 1.36 for PMC. Lake City ’06 Brass also has more case capacity than other brands–but to be fair, we haven’t measured the capacity of the brass currently on sale at Grafs. Traditionally, Lake City Brass has higher-than-average capacity.

.223 Rem Case Weight vs. Capacity
Case Manufacturer Case Weight* H20 Capacity**
Lake City 06 92.0 30.6
WCC99 95.5 30.5
Sellier & Belloit 92.3 30.5
Remington 92.3 30.4
PMC 93.5 30.4
Hirtenberger 93.7 30.4
Lake City 04 93.0 30.4
Federal 96.3 30.2
Hornady 93.9 30.1
IMG (Guatemalan) 95.4 30.1
Lapua (new lot) 93.4 30.1
Winchester 93.9 30.1
Olympic 97.4 30.0
Radway Arsenal 96.1 30.0
PMP 104.5 29.9
FNM 93-1 97.3 29.8
Lapua (old lot) 104.0 28.0

For more info on .223 Rem brass and reloading, see our 223 Rem Cartridge Guide.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
January 18th, 2008

New F-Class Front Rest from Butch Lambert

Butch Lambert of ShadeTree Engineering just sent us these “Spy Photos” of his latest creation, a 6.5-lb, low-profile front rest designed for F-Class competition. The rest features wide, stable legs, large, easy-to-adjust screw knobs, and Butch’s JoyStick Rest top that adjusts windage and elevation with a single control.

Butch tells us: “This is my latest rest assembly, a new product designed for F-Class. It weighs 6.5 pounds with the Edgewood bag and heavy sand. It has a needle thrust-bearing under the mariner wheel. Please note, the photos do NOT show the finished leg screws. On the bottom of each leg, the leg screws will ride on a 2″-diameter discs with tungsten armor-piercing bullets on the tips.”

For more info, visit the ShadeTree website, or call Butch at (972) 524-2247, from 9am to 5pm Central Time.

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January 18th, 2008

Cabela's Opens new Idaho SuperStore

On Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, 2008, Cabela’s celebrates the Grand Opening of its new large-format superstore in Post Falls, Idaho. The Grand Opening feature celebrities and hunting and fishing experts sharing stories and advice. The Post Falls store is located just east of Spokane, Washingon, at Exit 2 off I-90 near the Washington/Idaho State line. The 125,000-square-foot showroom is an educational attraction, featuring museum-quality animal displays, aquarium and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.

Many special bargains are offered during the Post Falls Grand Opening. CLICK HERE for the Grand Opening Sales Circular (Adobe .pdf file). Shown below are two great deals on rifles. We know the Savage 17 HMR to be extremely accurate. At $499.99, the complete Remington 700 VFS rifle costs not much more than a bare Remington 700 stainless action. (Sale Prices good at Post Falls, ID store ONLY.)

Grand Opening giveaways and special prices on clothing and merchandise will also be offered. Customers can enter drawings to win an African safari; a New Zealand Red Stag hunt; a Texas Whitetail Management hunt; an Alaska fishing trip; and a trip to Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica.

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January 17th, 2008

WSM Load Data and 7mm Bullet Samples Needed

We are currently hard at work on a new Cartridge Guide for the WSM series of cartridges. This will cover the 300 WSM, 7 WSM, and the 270 WSM or 300 WSM necked to 7mm. (Both the 270 WSM and 300 WSM have a slightly longer neck than the 7mm WSM).

If you shoot these cartridges in competition, or use them for hunting, and have developed a highly accurate load, please send us your load data. We are also interested in your comments about bullet selection–both for long-range target shooting and hunting. As with our other Cartridge Guides, we will discuss powder and primer choices. We welcome your comments on these reloading components.

One popular feature of our Cartridge Guides is a comparison line-up of premium bullets. Jason Baney, our 1000-yard Editor, has a good selection of 30-caliber bullets, but we need more 7mm bullet samples. If you can spare 1 or 2 sample bullets, send them in for our “line-up.” Be sure to mark the bullets or otherwise include information on the manufacturer and brand of bullet, such as Sierra 7mm 175gr MatchKing. IMPORTANT: DO NOT send loaded ammo or primed cases. Send only bullets by themselves. Samples will not be returned (we keep these “on file” for future reference).

Send bullet samples to:

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
January 17th, 2008

Applications Open for CMP Air Rifle Summer Camp

Each summer the Civilian Marksmanship Program sponsors a popular series of Three-Position Air Rifle Camps to teach rifle marksmanship skills to junior shooters and their adult leaders. For 2008, these 5-day camps are offered in Fort Benning, GA; Camp Perry, OH; Rapid City, SD; and Kerrville, TX. The CMP is now accepting 2008 Camp Applications. Camps fill-up quickly, so early registration is recommended.

CMP Junior Three-Position Air Rifle Camps are for junior shooters with a basic knowledge of the sport. Athletes should have completed basic rifle marksmanship training and one season of three-position competition. CMP camps are designed for students who will be in grades 9 through 12 during the coming school year. The Junior Shooters must bring their own shooting equipment — either precision or sporter class rifles, prone mat, and a spotting scope (except at Fort Benning where electronic targets will be used).

The 2008 Summer Camp Fees are:
$350 (jr. athlete), $150 (adult) for Residential Camps
$225 (jr. athlete), $30 (adult) for Commuter Camps
$265 (jr. athlete) $70 (adult) for Camp Perry Camp

Dr. Dan Durben will again serve as Camp Director and chief instructor. Dan shot for the USA in the 1988 Olympics and served as the National Rifle Coach from 1997 through the 2000 Olympic Games. Dr. Durben will be assisted by Camp Coordinator, Sommer Wood, and by James Hall, who earned All-American honors in both air rifle and smallbore in collegiate competition.

CLICK HERE for CMP SUMMER CAMP INFO PAGE

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
January 16th, 2008

Micro-Adjustable Reamer Stop From PT&G

There’s a new tool available that should make the gunsmith’s job quite a bit easier. It’s such a logical, clever design, you wonder why somebody didn’t think of it years ago.

Co-Designer Nat Lambeth reports: “The photo shows a new tool called the Lambeth/Kiff Micrometer Adjustable Reamer Stop (Patent Pending). This is a add-on device that controls the depth a reamer can cut. It uses the reamer itself as the micrometer pinion and the barrel tendon face as the anvil. It does not matter where the tail stock or carriage is located, it measures off the reamer. It functions with a floating reamer holder too. These new Micrometer Reamer Stops have 50 indexing marks and will allow for .0005″ adjustments. The gunsmith can preset the Micrometer Adjustable Reamer Stop to about .020″ out and ream without worry. Then re-measure, adjust once, and make the final cut right on the money.”

These tools are available from Dave Kiff at Pacific Tool & Gauge, Nat Lambeth at NLambeth [@] embarqmail.com, and several gunsmith tool suppliers.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 15th, 2008

Barrel Chambering with Gritters & Grizzly — Dialing In the Barrel

Gunsmith Gordy Gritters and Grizzly Industrial have joined forces to produce an excellent DVD on chambering and fitting match barrels. In our Jan. 5 Bulletin, we ran a segment showing Gordy completing the headspacing of the barrel. That video was a bit hit with our readers. Today we offer another segment from the Grizzly DVD. In this clip, you’ll see Gordy dialing in the barrel using a Grizzly G0509G 3-Phase Gunsmith Lathe. Once Gordy finishes that process he’s ready to align the threaded shoulder and pre-drill the chamber.

CLICK HERE to PLAY VIDEO
(8 megabyte file — Quicktime Plug-in Required)

Click HERE for YouTube FLASH Version (Faster Download)

On the full DVD, available from Grizzly for $59.95, you can see Gordy do the complete job of chambering a barrel from start to finish, including fitting the barrel to a custom action. Gordy gives step by step instructions for all important operations: 1. Dialing in the barrel; 2. Threading the barrel; 3. Aligning the threaded shoulder; 4. Predrilling/preboring the chamber; 5. Reaming the chamber; 6. Checking and setting headspace; 7. Crowning the muzzle; and, 8. Stamping and polishing the barrel

CLICK HERE for more photos from the DVD. The full DVD can be ordered from Grizzly’s Web Site.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 15th, 2008

Smith & Wesson Hosts First IDPA Indoor Nationals

After 10 years of hosting the Int’l Defensive Pistol Assn. (IDPA) Winter Championships, Smith & Wesson will now hold the first IDPA Indoor National Championships February 21-23, 2008 (Thurs-Saturday). This year’s prestigious event will be held at the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The 2008 IDPA Indoor National Championships will feature over 300 competitors in five IDPA divisions. Each participant will face nine courses of fire involving low-light conditions, moving targets, and defensive shooting scenarios. Along with the match itself (a half-day of shooting for each class), competitors can participate in Smith & Wesson factory tours, training seminars with Champions such as Jerry Miculek, and shooting demonstrations.

Smith Wesson Indoor Nationals

Robert Ray, IDPA’s Marketing Manager observed: “We are very excited to be holding the first IDPA Indoor National Championships at the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center, one of the most advanced training facilities in the United States.” Ray added, “The Smith & Wesson Winter Championships have grown into the second largest IDPA event in the world and we expect that momentum to extend into this year’s Indoor National Match.”

For more info on this year’s IDPA Indoor National Championships including match details and important updates, visit www.matches.smith-wesson.com.

MATCH ENTRY Form ($150.00 Entry Fee)
MATCH INFO Form (With Stage Formats)

Permalink Competition No Comments »
January 14th, 2008

The Universal Decapping Die

A Universal Decapping Die belongs in every reloader’s die inventory. This simple, inexpensive tool allows you to remove primers from any size case, without altering the case body or neck. This die can be useful if you have very dirty brass that you plan to tumble or ultrasonically clean before sizing and loading. If you decap BEFORE ultrasonic cleaning, the ultrasound will clean out the primer pocket. By cleaning before you run the brass in your full-length die, you keep the FL die cleaner and reduce the risk of scratching the inside of the die.

Another benefit of the Universal Decapping Die is that it lets you punch out any occlusions in the flash hole before loading for the first time. Lastly, if you use a progressive press, using a decapping die on the brass first will let you inspect and clean the primer pockets before cycling your brass through the progressive loader.

The LEE Universal Decapping Die is inexpensive and performs as advertised. Right now it is on sale for $7.99 at MidwayUSA. We’ve used a LEE Universal Decapping Die on everything from a 17 Fireball case to a 45/70. However, as delivered with the die, the decapping pin was too large in diameter to fit the small flash-holes on our 6BR brass. Lapua 220 Russian (PPC parent), 6BR, and 6.5×47 brass has flash-holes spec’d at 1.5mm or about 0.059″. The pin can probably be jammed through, but that’s not wise. If your pin is a bit too large you can just chuck the pin in a drill and turn it down slightly with some sandpaper or a stone.

Permalink Reloading 2 Comments »
January 13th, 2008

Good AR Bolt Take-Down Page

Accurate, modular, and supremely versatile, the AR15 is America’s favorite semi-auto rifle. But let’s face it, the AR is a maintenance hog.

There are various schools of thought when it comes to maintaining an AR. Some folks prefer to run their AR “dry” with minimal lube on the lugs and friction surfaces. Other shooters prefer to run their ARs “wet”, with lots of lube. But whatever your preference, you need to clean your AR regularly. And nothing is more important that the AR’s bolt/carrier assembly. Because it is involved in feeding, firing, and extracting, the AR-15 bolt/carrier assembly can be considered the most critical portion of the AR-15 system.

The editor of the Top Quark Blog has created an excellent illustrated AR15 Bolt Take-Down Guide that shows how to disassemble an AR15 bolt and carrier for regular cleaning. Even if you’re an experienced AR15 shooter, you can learn something from this page (sample at left), and you may want to bookmark it for future reference. The photos are large and clear and there are helpful hints for each step of the process.

The author knows his stuff and offers some important insights. For example, he notes that “Extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher-strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. ‘Normal’ springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.”

There is one notable oversight on this page — the author doesn’t cover disassembly and cleaning of the ejector assembly. This is actually quite important. A few small brass shavings, combined with carbon and lube in the ejector slot, WILL cause malfunctions. In fact, when this editor is called to diagnose problem ARs, the first things I look at (after swapping magazines) are the ejector recess and the slot for the extractor. Clogged ejectors are responsible for fail-to-ejects and other jams. It is essential that you keep the ejector hole clean. Old, gooey lube residues mixed with carbon and tiny brass shavings in the ejector recess will create all sorts of problems. As shown in the diagram below, it is simple to remove the ejector (#6) and ejector spring (#5), by drifting the ejector retaining pin (#4).

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 13th, 2008

Flywheel Hand Crank for Neck-Turning

This do-it-yourself project comes from ace silhouette shooter Larry Medler. He devised a hand-crank system for turning case necks that offers the best of both worlds — the speed and “muscle” of powered neck-turning with the “feel” afforded by manual methods. The flywheel, salvaged from an old grape crusher, delivers plenty of RPM when needed, but Larry still has total control over the neck-turning speed and torque.

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

Larry explains: “My neck turner is a home-made model with a 15.5″ crank flywheel. This arrangement almost makes turning necks fun. I’ve learned that the secret to neck turning is how easy it is to turn the case. If it takes too much force or effort you’re probably not going to do a good job. However, when you turn by hand you have the best feel for the cutting process. So I wanted a system that reduced the effort required, but still retained good “feel”. My hand crank system fits the bill — it makes cutting easy, but you still have good sensitivity throughout the process.

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

The case holder was made for 308 Winchester cartridges. The case holder fits into a rubber heater hose that connects to a 0.5-inch rod. The rod is fed through two bearing blocks which mount on a frame on my work bench. The rod is turned using a crank on the grape crusher flywheel. This system works great for neck turning. It is easy to crank and you still have a feel for how the cutter is working. While I now use an electric screwdriver to power other case prep tools, at one time I attached a variety of tools to this simple crank system.

I recently upgraded to a K&M Neck Turner (from a Sinclair previously). K&M makes a great tool. It’s easy to make very small adjustments to the cutting depth. I use the K&M case-holder that came with the neck turner for triming cases. It grips a little better than the Sinclair case-holder and both are easier to use than the Lee case-holder.”

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

You’ll find more helpful, illustrated tips on uniforming cartridge brass on Larry Medler’s Case Prep and Loading web page.

Permalink Tech Tip No Comments »
January 12th, 2008

Kelbly Kodiak in Kodiak, AK

We recently received an email from a Hunter Class competitor, Mike Kenwood, who extolled the merits of Kelbly Kodiak actions, and told us the Kodiak deserved more coverage on the site. We did a double-take when we saw the email came from, of all places, Kodiak, Alaska.

Mike wrote: “Ralph Stolle-designed actions have been named after bears, the Teddy, the Panda, the Grizzly, and of course the Kodiak, with the Panda being the hands-down favorite in short-range BR until recently. Yes Kodiak Island is home of the world’s largest land-based carnivore, the sub-species of Grizzly, and known as ‘Kodiak Brown Bear’.

As a resident of Kodiak, AK, I admit to being partial to the name, but that’s not what drove me to try this model in my project guns.

Kelbly’s Kodiak action is a favorite in the IBS “Hunter Class” rifles. Though not so popular in the long-range game, the Kodiak is set up with a magazine cut-out, and big footprint for bedding. I own two Kodiak actions, along with five Kelbly Pandas, and the ability to interchange barrels between them is very useful. If you provide Greg Walley at Kelbly’s the serial number of your action, he can chamber the barrel and fit it to your gun based on recorded dimensions — you don’t need to send in the action. So your gun need not be out-of-commission for months while waiting on a chambering job.

Kelbly's Kodiak Action

While many folks now favor BAT Machine and other actions in the long- and short-range accuracy quest, I think the Kodiak action, as a repeater or single-shot, deserves more credit. Hunter Class participation levels seem to be declining at IBS matches. I hope this will not influence Kelbly’s to stop making Kodiak actions. The accuracy of the Kodiak, along with its wide footprint and functional magazine, make the Kodiak a great choice for long-range shooting. The Kodiak’s magazine length is well-suited for 6 BR, 6 XC, and 6 Dasher cartridges. This makes the Kodiak a perfect contender for a long-range Benchrest repeater. As a Kodiak action owner familiar with the accuracy Kodiaks deliver, I believe your readers will benefit from a close look at the Kodiak option.

Kelbly's Kodiak Action

My Kodiak in 30 BR features a 1:18″ twist Krieger barrel, Kelbly’s stock, and Jewell trigger. My preferred bullet is the 118gr BIB (with 34.8 grains of H4198), but in the picture below one group is with Ronnie Cheeks 118gr bullets with 36.0 grains of Benchmark. My Kodiak with a Rock Creek barrel in .308 Win shoots the same size groups with 155gr BIB bullets and 47.3 grains of Varget. My .308 Win Kodiak features a Kelbly’s Benchrest trigger for short and consitent ignition. Both loads use Federal Match primers, and of course Lapua brass. All metal work on my Kodiaks was done by Kelbly’s Greg Walley. All bedding was done by Tom Meredith at TM Stockworks. Both Greg and Tom do fantastic work.”

Kelbly's Kodiak Action

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January 12th, 2008

Grafs has 7.5×55 RUAG Ammo

At many shooting clubs nationwide, “fun matches” are offered for surplus, iron-sight, military bolt-action rifles. These club-level competitions may be shot from the bench, prone, standing, or a combination of positions. It’s a rewarding, low-cost form of competition. You can find a decent-shooting rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), or surplus rifle vendor for under $250, though “all-matching” collectible rifles can cost many times that amount.

Three of the most popular and competitive rifles used in these bolt-action matches are the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, 1903 Springfield in 30-06, and the 7.5×55 Swiss K-31. With its quality barrel, precision-machined action, and unique straight-pull bolt, a good Schmidt-Rubin K-31 can run with the best of the Springfields and Mausers. Until recently, however, finding quality loaded ammunition was difficult. Thanks to Graf & Sons, however, you can now purchase high-quality RUAG 7.5×55 ammo for under $0.60 per round. The RUAG 7.5×55 (GP-11) 174gr FMJ ammunition costs $5.99 for a ten-round box. This ammo features quality annealed brass, loaded with a non-corrosive Berdan primer. (NOTE: Berdan-primer brass can be reloaded, but it is generally not worth the effort compared to conventional Boxer-primed brass). RUAG ammo is good stuff, made in Switzerland to exacting standards. It is quite accurate in K-31s with a decent bore.

Other sources for 7.5×55 loaded ammo include Wideners.com and Ammoman.com. Wideners offers Wolf “Gold Line” Boxer-primed 7.5×55 ammo, loaded with either FMJ or Soft Point bullets. This features fully reloadable brass, with a non-corrosive Boxer primer, and all-copper jacketed bullet. The 174gr SP ammo costs $11.40 per box of 20, while the 174gr FMJ costs $11.20 per 20-count box.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
January 11th, 2008

20 VarTarg Performs, But Brass in Short Supply

The 20 VarTarg is a popular wildcat based on the .221 Fireball case necked down to 20-caliber. Amazingly efficient, the little VarTarg will drive 32gr bullets at 3700 fps with just 18-19 grains of powder. This is an inherently accurate round that delivers impressive velocities with small powder charges. Burning less powder (compared to a .204 Ruger for example), translates to cooler barrels and longer barrel life.

In this FORUM THREAD, 20 VarTarg shooters list pet loads and praise the VarTarg’s performance:

“I’m using Hornady dies with Rem brass. 18.2 grains of H4198 gets me 3550 fps with a 32 V-Max. My rifle is a trued 700 with a Hart SS barrel and a Jewel trigger. This is one of the best shooting rifles I own. Less than 1/2-MOA is easy for my setup.” — BHodges

“The 20VT is a winner! I am now up to three Coopers in 20 VarTarg and they are all shooters. With 32gr V-Maxs and AA1680 I am getting great results. I am trying H4198 in one rifle. 20 VTs on Prairie Dogs are awesome!” — Claimbuster

“One of my buddies has a Cooper Phoenix in 20 VarTarg and he is shooting 32gr V-Max bullets using H4198 and N-120. He is getting consistant 3/8″ groups at 100 yards. Very easy to load for and I believe one of those inherently accurate cartridges.” — Phasor

“I’ve gotta a 20 VT…cannot put it away…it’s a recycled 204 Pac-Nor barrel with 1:12″ twist and finished length of 24″ screwed into a single-shot Savage AccuTrigger action. [I get] 3636 fps with 40gr V-Max. I’ve tested the new 32 NBT, but the 40-grainer has more downrange effect. This little cartridge will pick p-dogs off the ground and flip them in the air, even at 400+ yards. I’ve run 500+ rounds down the VarTarg tube, so now this barrel is pushing 3000+ rounds. Load development using H4198 and H322 both produced .50″ or better for 5 shots @ 100 yards. But the weak link is the Rem 221 Fireball brass.” — Dogbuster (Rifle shown below).

Savage 20 Vartarg Varminter

Fireball Brass in Short Supply
Our Forum members report that .221 Fireball brass is very hard to find right now. This is related to Remington’s introduction of the 17 Fireball loaded ammunition. If you can find a stash of .221 Fireball brass, grab it while you can. It may be many more months before ample supplies of .221 Fireball brass make it to the retailers.

Trappst reports: “A quick look through the normal places to order (MidwayUSA, Cabelas, Bruno’s, Grafs etc.) shows everyone to be out of stock.” Claimshooter concurs: “221 brass is a problem. I’ve had 2000 pieces on back order at MidSouth since July. I had 1000 pieces on back order for 3 months at Cabela’s and they cancelled the order.”

To learn more about the 20 VarTarg, read our 20 Caliber Cartridge Guide.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
January 11th, 2008

Pete Brownell Named President of Brownells, Inc.

Sixty-eight years after Bob Brownell hung his shingle as a gunsmith, his grandson, Pete Brownell, was named the president of Brownells, Inc. as of January 1, 2008. Former company president, Frank Brownell, continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer.

“Dad founded the company on the foundation of providing customers unsurpassed service, selection and satisfaction,” Frank Brownell commented. “I’ve done my best to carry on that tradition. I’m positive that as Pete transitions into his new role, he’ll continue to put our customers atop his priorities.” Officially joining the company in 1998, Pete spent nine years in his previous position as Brownells vice president.

Brownells is the world’s largest supplier of firearm parts, tools, equipment and accessories. For more information, call (800) 741-0015, or visit www.Brownells.com.

Permalink News No Comments »
January 10th, 2008

America's Firearms Owners, Telling Their Own Stories

Half of American households have one or more firearms. While anti-gun media attempt to portray firearms owners as a fringe group, in reality, gun owners come from all segments of America society–rich and poor, black and white, Republican and Democrat, urban and rural.

Writer/photographer Kyle Kassidy has undertaken an interesting project entitled “Armed America — Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes”. To our surprise, this was a relatively neutral report that allows gun owners to explain, in their own words, why they own firearms. The reporter takes a “back seat” in this study, allowing gun owners to tell their own stories. Below is a 10-minute video combining audio interviews with still images of firearms owners. It’s worth watching, and worth recommending to your “liberal” friends who may hold negative stereotypes of firearms owners and target shooters.

CLICK SCREENSHOT to Load YouTube VIDEO

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January 10th, 2008

Shooting Bench with Swivel Top

Roy Bertalotto is an author, precision shooter, varmint hunter and part-time gunsmith. On his website, RVBPrecision.com, you’ll find many interesting feature stories, including “how-to” articles. One project that caught our eye was Roy’s clever rotating-top shooting bench. Simple to build from low-cost components, Roy’s bench design features a raised center section that traverses on rollers. This allows you to move your rifle through a wide arc without having to move your front rest or rear sand bag. Roy’s bench can be built for a fraction of the cost of the big, heavy carousel-style varmint benches. This would make a nice, winter project for anyone handy with simple tools.

This picture shows a conventional front pedestal rest used with a benchrest type rifle. As you can see, the top swivels, allowing a tremendous sweep of the varmint fields.

Bertalotto varmint bench

CLICK HERE to see MORE PHOTOS (16 total.)

The swiveling top moves on metal rollers. These roller devices are available from Trend Lines, or Woodworkers warehouse. Two are required at the front of the movable top.

Bertalotto varmint bench

Below is a close-up of the pivot point.

Bertalotto varmint bench

A conventional folding table leg (from Woodworkers Warehouse) is used in the front. In the rear, Roy’s table uses a single leg fabricated from tubing and aluminum angle iron. This creates a tripod. The three-legged design provides more room for the shooter, and is easier to set up on uneven ground.

Bertalotto varmint bench

Photos courtesy Roy Bertalotto.

Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
January 9th, 2008

Citi/First Data Anti-Gun Policies Stir Controversy, Calls for Boycott

The news that Citi Merchant Services and First Data have refused to process sales for guns and gun accessories has spread like wildfire across the internet, arousing the ire of gun owners around the country. The story broke when the NSSF reported that Citi Merchant Services and First Data terminated the merchant account of CDNN Sports, a large, Texas-based gun retailer. There have been calls for the boycott of Citicorp/Citibank/Citi-Card products, as many gun owners have vowed to close their Citibank accounts or terminate their Citi-affiliated credit cards.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Citicorp/Citigroup has faced a boycott threat from gun owners. In 2000, after Citibank imposed a “no firearms” policy on a Nevada gun range, firearms owners nationwide responded with a boycott that caused Citibank to alter its policies.

The Year 2000 Citibank Boycott
As reported by the Second Amendment Foundation (“SAF”), the “Battle began with a February 7, 2000 letter from Citibank to the Nevada Pistol Academy stating that their recently approved account would be closed in ten days ‘due to Citibank not maintaining accounts for businesses that deal in weapons.’ This letter revealed an otherwise secret policy of refusing accounts from lawful, Federally-licensed firearm-related businesses.” In response to a threatened boycott from the SAF and other firearms groups, Citibank, a member of CitiGroup, agreed to drop its policy of refusing accounts of lawful firearms businesses. Citibank agreed to treat small firearms sellers the same as other businesses “using the same standards” according to a Citibank media statement.

Citicorp and First Data Alliance
Fast forward to 2008 — In the current dispute, some folks have wondered whether Citicorp is directly involved in the denial of card processing services to CDNN Sports which sparked the controversy. The answer is yes. Though First Data provides processing solutions, Citi Merchant Services handles the actual banking end of the card processing. First Data explains: “Citi Merchant Services provided by First Data Merchant Services Corporation is a contractual alliance in the U.S. between Citicorp Payment Services, Inc. (CPSI) and First Data Merchant Services Corporation (FDMS). FDMS provides all the systems, technology, processing services and customer support to the alliance. CPSI is the sponsoring card association member and provides the clearing and settlement functions on behalf of the alliance.”

Termination Based on Faulty Legal Interpretation
In terminating CDNN’s merchant services account, and freezing $75,000 of CDNN’s card collections, Citi Merchant Services (“CMS”) and First Data specifically cited the sales of firearms in interstate commerce as the reason. CMS/First Data asserted that interstate firearms sales violate the Gun Control Act and that “shipping across state lines is also banned”. CMS/First Data misconstrue the law, and ignore the fact that any and all firearms sold by CDNN to non-Texas customers must be shipped to licensed FFLs, in full compliance with Federal statute. If you have ever purchased a gun from CDNN you know it will only ship to verified FFL-holders.

Either CMS and First Data are completely ignorant of the law, or they are using a faulty interpretation of Federal law as a pretext to deny services to CDNN. Either way, the actions of CMS and First Data are unjustified. As one internet poster wrote: “Citi Bank [CMS/First Data] has taken the view that THEY are an arm of the BATF. Problem is, they do not even understand the rules.” Here is the termination letter sent to CDNN Sports. Click the image for a full size version with the key text highlighted:


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January 9th, 2008

Photos and Specs for New 30mm Sightrons

Sightron has provided AccurateShooter.com with these exclusive new photos of the “next generation” Sightron SIII scopes to be released very soon. Four new 30mm scopes join the Sightron line-up for 2008. There will be two new 3.5-10X scopes, one with a 44mm front objective and Mil-Dot reticle, the other with a large, 56mm objective and IR4A reticle for enhanced low-light performance. Both 3.5-10X scopes feature 1/4 MOA clicks plus 120 MOA of windage AND elevation. The 56mm version boasts constant 3.6-inch eye relief–a nice feature for hunters.

Sightron SIII 30mm 6-24x50mm

Next in the line-up is the new 6-24×50 SIII. This is an all-new 30mm scope that rivals the Leupold 8-25 LRT in design and performance. Available in target dot or mil-dot reticle, the 6-24x50mm offers a full 100 MOA of windage and elevation in a relatively compact (14.96″) scope weighing 21.90 ounces. Clicks are 1/4 MOA and eye relief is near-constant, varying from 3.6-3.8 inches throughout the magnification range.

Sightron SIII 30mm 6-24x50mm

NEW 8-32x56mm with 70 MOA of Windage + Elevation
For long-range shooters, the most exciting new offering from Sightron is the SIII 8-32x56mm. This scope has more magnification and a larger front objective than the Leupold 8-25×50 LRT, but with an $825.00 estimated “street price”, the Sightron costs less. Importantly, the Sightron 8-32X offers 70 MOA of both windage AND elevation. This outclasses other domestic 8-32 power zoom scopes. With a weight of 24.70 oz., the new Sightron 8-32×56 is 2.7 oz. heavier than a Leupold 8-25 LRT, but the Sightron is nearly 3/4 of a pound lighter than the Nightforce 8-32×56 BR model. That’s a big difference, considering that the Sightron matches the Nightforce’s 56mm front objective size.

Sightron SIII 30mm 8-32x56mm

Initially, the Sightron 8-32×56 will be offered with 1/4 MOA clicks, and just one reticle, a target dot. Sightron has indicated that other reticles might be offered in the future. No word on 1/8 MOA click values though. Overall, we’re impressed with the specs on the new 8-32 Sightron. It offers much more elevation than the Burris, Bushnell or Nightforce BR 8-32s, yet weighs little more than an 8-25 Leupold. We just wish Sightron offered a 1/8 MOA click option.

Sightron SIII 30mm 8-32x56mm

Sightron SIII 30mm Side-Focus Scopes for 2008

Scope Objective Clicks Eye Relief OAL Weight Street Price
6-24X 50mm 1/4 MOA 3.6-3.8″ 14.96″ 21.9 oz. $785
8-32X 56mm 1/4 MOA 3.6-4.0″ 15.35″ 24.7 oz. $825

CLICK HERE for Scope SPEC SHEET (MS Excel File)

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