April 30th, 2008

Hoppe Offers Dasher Tuning Tips

The 6mm Dasher is based on the 6mm BR cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and “improved” to 40°. Case capacity is raised to about 41.0 grains. This allows the Dasher to drive 105-108gr bullets comfortably at 2970-3000 fps without over-stressing the brass.

Robert Hoppe is one of the top 600-yard shooters in the country. Last fall, shooting a 6 Dasher, Robert nailed a 0.5823″, 5-shot group. At the time it was the smallest group ever shot in 600-yard registered benchrest competition. Just last weekend, John Lewis shot even smaller with an IBS Heavy Gun, but Robert’s 0.5823″ still remains the NBRSA 600-yard record, and the smallest group ever shot at 600 by a 17-lb class rifle. Robert has been very successful in the 600-yard game, and he finished 5th recently at the NBRSA 600-yard competition. He knows how to wring the best accuracy out of the 6mm Dasher cartridge. Here Robert offers some tips on load development and tuning for the 6mm Dasher.

CLICK HERE to watch HOPPE VIDEO

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
April 30th, 2008

30th Annual Bianchi Cup May 21-24

The 30th Annual NRA National Action Pistol Championship, also known as the NRA Bianchi Cup, will be held in Columbia, Missouri, May 21 to 24. Over 200 of the world’s top pistoleros will compete at the Green Valley RPC’s Chapman Academy Range. Tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded, making the Bianchi Cup one of the richest shooting sports events.

CLICK HERE for On-line Bianchi Cup Entry Form

The event originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The “founding father” was holster maker (and former police officer) John Bianchi. Since its inception, the NRA Bianchi Cup has retained its original, 4-event course of fire:

The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.

The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.

The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.

The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

Scoring
Speed and accuracy is the key to winning the Championship. Each event is timed and is worth 480 points, equaling a total of 1920 possible points.

For more info about the Bianchi Cup and Action Pistol events, contact Tom Hughes at bianchicup@nrahq.org or (800) 672-3888, extension 1478. Bianchi Cup revolver photo courtesy J.C. Blauvelt Gunsmith.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
April 29th, 2008

Tilley's 260 Ackley Improved

Forum member Ron Tilley finished fourth overall at the recent NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals. This was an impressive performance for a relative newcomer to the 600-yard game without “local knowledge” of the Sacramento range. The top 3 finishers, Jerry Tierney, Peter White, and Craig St. Claire, all have extensive experience shooting at Sacramento.

While many of the top shooters were using a 6mm in Light Gun (such as a 6 Dasher or 6-6.5×47), Ron campaigned a 260 Ackley Improved. This is based on a 260 Rem case, with the shoulder blown forward to 40 degrees. Improving the 260 Rem case adds just enough extra capacity to get the 140gr-class bullets into the 2900+ fps velocity window where they seem to perform best.

Ron starts with Lapua 243 cases, necked up to 6.5 mm. He was shooting 140gr Berger VLD bullets, pushed by Hodgdon H4831sc powder and Russian primers. Ron says this combination has been “very accurate right out of the gate.” Ron’s 2920 fps load delivers 5-shot groups in the high teens and low twos, with very low ES and SD. In the video interview below, Ron explains the merits of the 260 AI cartridge, and offers tips on case prep and loading for accuracy.

CLICK HERE to WATCH TILLEY VIDEO

Ron was shooting an eye-catching rifle. It featured a carbon fiber and wood Terry Leonard stock, BAT Action, and Nightforce scope. With all-premium components, Terry’s 260AI is a beautiful rig that shoots as good as it looks.


Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 29th, 2008

Ft. Benning Hosts Smallbore U.S. Olympic Team Trials in May

From May 12th through 22nd, over 170 top rifle and pistol shooters will compete for spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team at the Smallbore Shooting Trials. The event will be held at Ft. Benning’s International Shooting Complex in Columbus, GA, home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The U.S. Olympic Team Trials are conducted jointly by the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Shooting.

Olympic Shooting Trials

In smallbore rifle, there is one U.S. Olympic team spot available for Men’s Prone and Men’s 3-Position (Matt Emmons has already secured a spot in both Prone and 3P) and there are two spots available in Women’s 3-Position. Among the athletes competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in Men’s Rifle will be two-time Olympian Jason Parker, a member of the USAMU and 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist. (Parker already qualified for a Team spot in Men’s Air Rifle.) Parker’s USAMU teammate and three-time Olympian Mike Anti will try to secure a spot on his fourth U.S. Olympic Team.

Michael McPhail will be vying for a spot on his first U.S. Olympic Team in both 3-Position and Prone Rifle. McPhail recently captured the bronze medal in Prone at the “Good Luck Beijing” 2008 ISSF World Cup. Two-time Olympian Tom Tamas is looking to earn a spot on his third U.S. Olympic Team in Men’s Prone.

For more information on the U.S.A. Smallbore Olympic Trials, visit USAShooting.org.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 28th, 2008

Tierney Wins NBRSA 600-yard Nationals with Eliseo Tubegun

From April 25-27, three dozen of the nation’s top 600-yard shooters vied for honors at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals in Sacramento. The tightly-contested match came down to the last relay on the last day. Jerry Tierney earned top honors for the match, under a scoring system that totals a shooters’ rankings for Light Gun Score, Light Gun Group, Heavy Gun Score, and Heavy Gun Group. Tierney, shooting an Eliseo Tube Gun chambered in 6 Dasher, captured the 2008 Championship with a total of 10 rank points. Peter White of Modesto, CA, shot a great match with his 6 BRX to finish second with 17 points. Craig St. Claire was not far behind, finishing third with 21 points.

Amid a field of exotic benchrest rifles, Tierney’s Tubegun (basically a modified High Power rifle) looked out of place. Jerry shot the same Eliseo R5 Tubegun in both light and heavy classes. The tubegun kit for this rifle was actually donated to 6mmBR.com by Gary Eliseo for a fund-raiser and Tierney was the high bidder on our auction.

Just before the match Jerry did some bullet comparison testing, settling on the Berger 108s. “I’m glad I tried the 108s”, Jerry told us, “they shot awesome, with very little vertical.” Tierney used a load of 33.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget, CCI BR4 primers, with the Berger 108s jumped about 0.015″ from the lands. Fitted with a Delrin front sled and a bag-riding arm in the rear, the Eliseo R5 handled extremely well. Jerry says “with a couple modifications, this Cross the Course gun worked great as a bench rifle. It tracked as well as any bench gun I’ve ever used.” Jerry’s light Palma contour Krieger barrel had about 500 rounds through it before the Nationals. Jerry says “there’s never been a brush in this barrel. At the Nationals, I cleaned at the end of each day, but I simply ran a couple wet patches through the bore. That’s it. I just wanted to get the loose carbon out.”

Challenging Winds–Big Angle and Velocity Changes
On all three days the wind started light but variable, then got stronger and more switchy as the day progressed. On Sunday, during the third and last relay the wind was clocking 45-60 degrees, and varying in velocity from 1-10 mph. You needed to watch the big flags to the left of the firing line to see the major switches according to Overall Winner Tierney. Jerry told us: “I used some local knowledge in that last relay. Conditions were tough, but I know when the wind is clocking like that you have to pay attention. I was seeing a full 2 MOA shift on the target.”

CLICK HERE to WATCH TIERNEY VIDEO

In the above video you can see Jerry shooting on Sunday’s third relay. Note how Jerry was looking over to the left at the flags after every shot and how he keeps his ammo covered, out of the sun. In the middle of the video Jerry has a fail to extract and has to clear an empty. Jerry explained: “I was trying to have the cases land on the towel just below the rifle by moving the bolt very slowly. Sometimes the fired case did not eject and stayed on top of the follower. With normal bolt operation the case would eject fine, but land off the bench.” Remarkably, Jerry stayed cool in the process. His performance in the third relay on Sunday, in very challenging winds, put him in the lead for the match. Jerry says “that third relay won me the match.”

Match Results
Overall Standings
1. Jerry Tierney 10 pts (6 Dasher Light & Heavy)
2. Peter White 17 pts (6 BRX Light & Heavy)
3. Craig St. Claire 21 pts (n/a)
4. Ron Tilley 23 pts (260AI Light & Heavy)
5. Robert Hoppe 31 pts (6 Dasher Light & Heavy)


Light Gun
Group Agg: Bob Dorton 3.155″, Don Nielson 3.349″
Score Agg: Craig St. Claire 271-3X, Jerry Tierney 263-2x
1-Target Small Group: Don Nielson 1.482″, Ray Meketa 1.682″, Jerry Tierney 1.799″
1-Target High Score: Robert Hoppe 49-3x, Ray Meketa 49-3x

Heavy Gun
Group Agg: Peter White 4.506″, Robert Hoppe 4.789″
Score Agg: Jerry Tierney 546-3X, Peter White 543-3X
1-Target Small Group: Rick Duncan 2.505″, Henry Pickney 2.641″
1-Target High Score: Robert Hoppe 98-2X, Rick Duncan 96-1X

We will be working on an in-depth report on the match this week. Watch the home page for a feature story soon. There was some fantastic hardware on the line, such as Warren Stallings’ barrel-block Heavy Gun shown below.


As usual, Ed Eckhoff ran a great match, and the scoring was fast and flawless. Craig St. Claire and his girlfriend catered a couple lunches for the shooters and Don Nielson supplied a huge Perpetual trophy for this match.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 28th, 2008

ATK Acquires Weaver Optics

Following on the heels of Leupold’s recent acquisition of the Redfield Optics brand, ATK has announced its acquisition of Weaver® Optics from Meade Instruments effective April 24, 2008. So, in the same month, two legendary American scope brands have changed hands. In the case of Weaver, we think this is a good thing, as customer service has declined under Meade’s control. ATK, which produces CCI, Federal, and Alliant products, has the resources to improve the Weaver line and maintain a higher standard of customer service. ATK is a giant aerospace and munitions manufacturer with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and over $4.1 billion in revenue.

The Weaver acquisition, coupled with the 2007 launch of Nitrex Optics™, establishes ATK as a major player in the sport optics field. Mark DeYoung, President of ATK Armament Systems and ATK Commercial Products, stated that “The opportunity to add Weaver Optics into our growing portfolio of quality brands supports our strategy for growth. Our company has a solid history with the Weaver brand and we are pleased to add Weaver optics back into our winning lineup.”

Permalink News 2 Comments »
April 27th, 2008

John Lewis Shoots 0.386" Group at 600 Yards with Home-built Gun

Terry Brady reports that on Saturday at the Oak Ridge (TN) IBS registered Benchrest match, John Lewis shot a spectacular 0.386″ 5-shot group in Heavy Gun Class. When certified, this substantially lowers the existing record (currently held by Brady.) A 0.386″ group at 600 yards is the equivalent of 0.0614 MOA. John shot the group with a wood and metal-stocked gun he built himself. It is chambered in .308 Win. John was shooting a Lapua 155gr bullet. Amazingly this record was set with a “second-hand” 14-twist barrel John acquired many years ago for just $50.00.

600-yard benchrest record

Mark Schronce reports that the group was shot in blustery and rainy conditions. That makes the record group all the more remarkable. Congratulations to John. That just proves that the old-fashioned .308 Win round is capable of some amazing accuracy.

600-yard benchrest record

The other big winner at the Oak Ridge match was Sam Hall. He shot a sub-2″ Aggregate in Light Gun and captured both the Light Gun and Heavy Gun overall wins. It was a dominant performance by Sam, and there was other great shooting. According to Terry Brady, there were three sub-inch groups shot at the match, lead by Lewis’ 0.386″ in Heavy Gun.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 27th, 2008

ShootingUSA 30-06 Rifle Contest

Want to win a new Smith & Wesson I-Bolt rifle chambered in 30-06? Then enter ShootingUSA’s Gun-A-Month Contest. There is no fee, and no purchase is required. You simply have to fill out a contest entry form, and answer one multiple-choice fact question. The answer to the question is revealed in the weekly ShootingUSA broadcasts on the Outdoor Channel.

You are limited to one entry per person/per question. But, that does give you four chances to win each month’s drawing. And with each entry you’ll get a confirmation email that includes a certificate good for free merchandise if you later purchase a Smith & Wesson firearm.

Official Contest Rules and Privacy Notice.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 27th, 2008

AR and Service Rifle Smiths — Sinclair's Recommendations

AccurateShooter.com has a list of Recommended Gunsmiths. 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

Permalink News No Comments »
April 25th, 2008

Dakota Arms Acquires New Equity Investors

Dakota Arms, LLC, an American manufacturer of custom sporting arms and components, has acquired equity financing which will provide additional capital for day-to-day operations. An investor group led by Patrick Gilligan, avid sportsman and former Chairman of the Board of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, will receive shares of Dakota Arms, LLC and two seats on the Dakota Board of Directors as a result of its investment. Gilligan, who will play an active role in the strategic direction of the company, will become the new Chairman of the Board.

New Cash Keeps Dakota in Business
Cash from the new investments will be used to expand production levels and speed up the delivery of current customer orders. “This new cash commitment validates the strength of the Dakota Arms brand in the market,” said Patrick Franklin, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Dakota.

The Dakota Business Model–Can It Work?
Dakota Arms has tried to establish itself as a high-end maker of hunting, sporting, and tactical rifles. The Dakota brands include Nesika, Miller Arms and Dan Walter Cases. Dakota has had trouble finding a place for itself in the market. It sells rifles that are substantially more expensive than Savages or Remingtons, but it has not been able to convince gun buyers that a Dakota Arms rifle is worth two to three times the cost of other brands.

Dakota hoped to follow the model of the high-end shotgun makers like Perazzi, but it is unclear whether that strategy will really work. Rifle shooters who want the highest levels of accuracy (and craftsmanship) have traditionally turned to small custom builders. Dakota has not, so far, really been able to establish its products as a viable alternative to the hand-built custom rifle. In a nutshell, shooters are telling us “For the money Dakota wants, I can have a custom built. And for less money, I can get a Cooper which offers guaranteed accuracy, and better customer service.”

Permalink News No Comments »
April 25th, 2008

Leupold Purchases Redfield Optics Brand

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. has acquired the Redfield brand of optics from Meade Instruments. Founded in 1909, Redfield was a leading U.S. producer of riflescopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars for many decades until it closed in 1998. In recent years, the Redfield brand changed hands several times, before being acquired by Meade Instruments, which sold the Redfield brand to Leupold.

Presumably, Leupold plans to develop and market a lower-cost line of riflescopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes to wear the Redfield name. We wouldn’t be surprised if some of these Redfield-branded optics are produced overseas, most likely in Asia — but we have not been able to confirm or deny that possibility.

Tom Fruechtel, President and CEO of Leupold & Stevens, declined to discuss the plans for Redfield under Leupold ownership, but did state: “For half a century, Leupold respected Redfield as a leading innovator and competitor in the sports optics industry. The opportunity… to rescue this American brand from dormancy could not be missed.”

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., a fifth-generation, American family-owned company, employs more than 650 people in its Beaverton, Oregon facility. Leupold’s product line includes rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; and optical tools and accessories.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 24th, 2008

Forming Dasher Cases with Pistol Powder

Forum member Skeeter has put together a new 6mm Dasher falling block varmint rifle. The Dasher case is based on the 6mm BR Norma cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and out to 40°. This gives the Dasher roughly 3.5 grains added capacity compared to the standard 6BR.

Skeeter needed to form 300 cases for an upcoming varmint holiday. Skeeter decided to fire-form his brass without bullets. This method avoids barrel wear* and saves on components. There are various ways to do this, but Skeeter chose a method using pistol/shotgun powder, some tissue to hold the powder in place, Cream of Wheat filled to within an 1/8″ of top of the neck, and a “plug” of tissue paper to hold it all in place. Shown below are cases filled with a pistol/shotgun powder charge topped with Cream of Wheat and then a tissue paper plug.

To ensure the case headspaced firmly in his Dasher chamber, Skeeter created a “false shoulder” where the new neck-shoulder junction would be after fire-forming. After chamfering his case mouths, Skeeter necked up all his cases with a 0.257″ mandrel (one caliber oversized). Then he used a bushing neck-sizing die to bring the top half of the neck back down to 0.267″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. The photo below shows how the false shoulder is created.

After creating the false shoulder, Skeeter chambered the cases in his rifle to ensure he could close the bolt and that he had a good “crush fit” on the false shoulder, ensuring proper headspace. All went well.

The next step was determining the optimal load of pistol powder. Among a variety of powders available, Skeeter chose Hodgdon Titewad as it is relatively inexpensive and burns clean. The goal was to find just the right amount of Titewad that would blow the shoulder forward sufficiently. Skeeter wanted to minimize the amount of powder used and work at a pressure that was safe for his falling block action.

Working incrementally, Skeeter started at 5.0 grains of Titewad, working up in 0.5 grain increments. As you can see, the 5.0 grain charge blew the shoulder forward, but left it a hemispherical shape. At about 7.0 grains of Titewad, the edge of the shoulder and case body was shaping up. Skeeter decided that 8.5 grains of Titewad was the “sweet spot”. He tried higher charges, but the shoulder didn’t really form up any better. It will take another firing or two, with a normal match load of rifle powder and a bullet seated, to really sharpen up the shoulders. Be sure to click on the “View Larger Image” link to get a good view of the cases.


The process proved to be a success. Skeeter now has hundreds of fire-formed Dasher cases and he hasn’t had to put one bullet through his nice, new match-grade barrel. The “bulletless” Cream of Wheat method allowed him to fire-form in a tight-necked barrel without neck-turning the brass first. The only step now remaining is to turn the newly Dasher-length necks down about .0025″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. (To have no-turn necks he would need an 0.271″ or 0.272″ chamber).

Skeeter didn’t lose a single case: “As for the fire-forming loads, I had zero split cases and no signs of pressure in 325 cases fire-formed. Nor did I have any misfires or any that disbursed COW into the action of the firearm. So the COW method really worked out great for me and saved me a lot of money in powder and bullets.” To learn more about Skeeter’s fire-forming process, read this Dasher Fire-Forming Forum Thread.

*Skeeter did have a fire-forming barrel, but it was reamed with a .269 chamber like his 10-twist Krieger “good” barrel. If he fire-formed with bullets, he would have to turn all 300 necks to .267″ BEFORE fire-forming so that loaded rounds would fit in the chamber. Judging just how far to turn is problematic. There’s no need to turn the lower part of the neck that will eventually become shoulder–but how far down the neck to turn is the issue. By fire-forming without bullets now he only has to turn about half the original neck length, and he knows exactly how far to go.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 24th, 2008

Top Guns Duel at NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals April 25-27

Many of America’s top shooters will compete this weekend at the NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals (Sloughhouse 600) held April 25 – 27, 2008 in Sacramento. This 3-day Match is hosted by the Folsom Shooting Club, at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center in Sloughhouse, California.

Among the “top guns” expected to attend are last year’s winner, Don Nielson, 2005 NBRSA 1000-yard champ Jerry Tierney, and Robert Hoppe. At the same Sloughhouse range last October, Robert shot a spectacular 0.5823″ 5-shot group with his 6mm Dasher, using Hodgdon Varget powder and 105gr A-Max™ bullets. Now certified as a NBRSA record, Hoppe’s group is the smallest 5-shot group ever recorded in registered 600-yard benchrest competition. Below is Robert’s amazing target. The 0.5823″ group is the equivalent of 0.09705″ at 100 yards. That’s right, less than 1/10th of an inch at 100. Given the accuracy of modern 600-yard BR guns, we expect other sub-inch groups to be shot at this weekend’s Sloughhouse 600 match.

NBRSA 600 Nationals Match INFO

Match fees are $65.00 per class (light gun and heavy gun). If you have further questions, or need forms mailed to you, contact match Director Ed Eckhoff via email: eckran [at] yahoo.com. Ed tells us that “good weather is predicted for all three days, and there is plenty of room for more entries, so come out and shoot with us.”

Permalink News No Comments »
April 23rd, 2008

6mm Match Bullet Diameters

There’s been some controversy surrounding the “ideal” 6mm bullet diameter. This is compounded by the fact that 6mm match barrels are available with both .236″ and .237″ land diameters. It has become quite clear to us that bullet diameter is an important variable to consider when choosing the best projectile for your particular barrel. Some barrels prefer “fat” bullets while other barrels prefer “skinny” bullets.

Jason Baney measured 12 different sets of 6mm Match Bullets, including a couple different lots of the same bullet design. Interestingly, Jason did measure the “old” Berger 105 VLD, the “new” Berger 105 VLD (first lot from the new die), and the “new, improved” Berger 105 VLD from the new die, after it was polished. Ten (10) Bullets were measured per type. Each bullet was measured three times (3X) around the largest circumference, normally where a pressure ring would be located (some bullets have a pronounced pressure ring, others do not).

6mm bullet diameters

Download this CHART as an MS Word Document.

Columns one and two of the chart show the smallest and largest bullet diameters measured for each 10-bullet sample. The third column shows the extreme spread over each 10-bullet set. Note, these numbers are NOT averages, but represent the “low” and “high” diameters for each set. (FYI: Jason noted that while the Lapua Scenars measured very consistently the earlier 2005 “JEVDAK” lot had noticeably smaller meplats than 2007 and 2008 lots.) A Mitutoyo Micrometer was used, zero-checked for each bullet.

Permalink News 5 Comments »
April 23rd, 2008

H-S Precision Stocks on Sale — $259.99

Now through April 30, 2008, MidwayUSA has H-S Precision stocks on sale for $259.99. These stocks regularly sell for $307.99 at MidwayUSA, and are priced at $350.00-$370.00 on the H-S Precision website. These H-S Precision stocks feature Kevlar- or carbon fiber-reinforced shells, plus a CNC-milled aluminum bedding block. The integral aluminum block provides a solid attachment for the action. Many shooters report that the H-S stock, even without conventional bedding, delivers better accuracy than a typical factory Remington stock. Most smiths, however, believe that the H-S aluminum bedding block works even better when skim-bedded.

Six different H&S stocks are available for $259.99: the sporter-style model PSS003 (short) or PSS010 (long) for Rem 700s, tactical-style model PST012 (short) or PST087 (long) for Rem 700 actions with varmint contour barrels, the PSC100 benchrest style with 3″-wide fore-end for Rem 700 short actions, and the sporter-style PSS021 for post-64 Winchester Model 70 actions. In addition, the PSC027 Silhouette Thumbhole stock for Rem 700 short actions is offered for $269.99. All H&S sale stocks come in black only, glossy black for the PSC100 and matte black for everything else.

M. Weaver of Chandler, OK, who purchased the model PST087 stock (tactical long action), gave this review: “Great stock. Easy to change out. The aluminum full length bedding block takes away the need for any gunsmithing and allows the action to be torqued to proper specifications[.]”

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
April 22nd, 2008

GA Precision Offers New 'Templar' Harrison-Built Action

George Gardner of GA Precision has started building custom rifles with a new action designed and crafted by Glen Harrison of Phoenix Machine LLC, in Montana. Harrison, the founder of Nesika Bay, is highly regarded as an action designer and machinist. His new actions are built with state-of-the-art methods, including EDM machining. GA Precision will not be selling the actions separately to customers, but will offer them in rifle upgrades and complete rifle builds.

GA Precision Harrison action

Gardner notes: “The new GAP ‘Templar’ Short and Long actions will be replacing our GA 7000 action. The specs are generally the same as the former action however the new ‘Templar’ actions feature various upgrades and design improvements”:

● The tang is thicker but radiused so it still fits a Model 700 style stock.
● There is 20% more engagement for camming and unlocking.
● The bolt raceway is EDM-machined rather than broached.
● The recoil lug is double-pinned.
● The bolt stop has been changed to the GAP/Nesika Style.

GA Precision Harrison action

Later in the year, George says, GA Precision plans to offer a 100% one-piece bolt with the new Templar actions. How do the new Harrison-built actions perform? Glen Seekins of SeekinsPrecision.com reports: “I just built a rifle with one of Glen’s actions (virtually the same as the GA Precision Templar) and they are very, very nice.”

GA Precision offers both custom rifle building services as well as complete rifles. GA Precision has already shipped a few “Crusader” tactical rifles, shown below, built with the new Templar action, with a durable CeraKote finish. The complete rifle costs $3525.00 including Badger rings, scope base, and detachable mag system, but without optics.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
April 22nd, 2008

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.

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
April 22nd, 2008

Washington State Provides Funding for Gun Ranges

Through its Shooting Range Program, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offers supplemental funding to shooting facilities. Approximately $50,000 in competitive grants are expected to be awarded this year (2008), with individual awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Shooting clubs and range operators have until June 30, 2008 to apply for federally-funded grants that can be used to construct, maintain, or expand public shooting-range facilities in Washington state.

The Shooting Range Program, established in 2002, supports development of not-for-profit shooting ranges with proceeds from the federal excise tax on archery equipment and firearms. Designed to help shooting ranges pay for construction or other building expenses, the program is managed on a reimbursement basis. Successful applicants are required to pay for construction and materials and are then reimbursed for up to 75% of the cost. The remaining 25% requires local matching money.

Applicants must complete a detailed application, including information on public range use, an environmental review, program narrative, user fees and charges. Information and applications for the grants are available through the WDFW website, or by contacting the Hunter Education program at (360) 902-8111,or huntered@dfw.wa.gov.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 21st, 2008

Leica Offers Limited Lifetime Warranty on Spotting Scopes and Binoculars

Leica Sport Optics announces a new improved warranty program for Leica binoculars and spotting scopes. Effective immediately, Leica will offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty for defects in materials or workmanship for all LEICA Ultravid HD, Ultravid BL, Duovid, Trinovid compact, Ultravid Compact binoculars, and the new Televid Spotting Scopes. In addition, owners of these products who register will be eligible for a 3-year “Passport Protection” policy (registration is mandatory for Passport coverage). “Passport Protection” covers functional failures, or any accidental damage to the covered equipment, including breakage, water damage or any accident (but not fire, theft, or loss.) Leica’s representatives claim that the new Leica Limited Lifetime Warranty Program, combined with 3-year Passport Protection, is the strongest warranty from any European manufacturer.

Enhanced Warranty Retroactive to 11/1/2007
It’s nice to know that the warranty provisions will extend backwards in time. This new warranty program is retroactive to all applicable products sold to dealers or purchased by consumers since November 1, 2007. Consumers will continue to be required to register product purchases to gain the advantage of the 3-Year Passport Protection Plan.

Laser RangeFinders and Geovids NOT Included
Warranties on the Leica Geovid products will remain a Limited 5 Year warranty for defects in materials and workmanship and CRF laser rangefinder will continue to have a Limited 2 Year Warranty.

Permalink News 2 Comments »
April 20th, 2008

RCBS APS Hand Priming Tool

Readers often ask: “What priming tool should I use?” There is no simple, clear-cut answer. Different tools have different advantages and disadvantages. Many short-range benchresters like the Sinclair one-at-a-time priming tool. They believe this unit has the best “feel” for seating primers.

Others prefer the K&M tool, another “single-loader”, because it can be fitted with a seating depth gauge, for the ultimate in precision. On the other hand, one top shooter with a couple National Championships under his belt favors the modest $19.00 Lee Autoprime tool: “It’s simple, efficient and has served me well for years–I’m not convinced the fancy, expensive tools do a better job.”

This editor has tried all of these tools, and personally I favor the RCBS APS hand priming tool. It has two important advantages. Number one, primers are held in color-coded plastic strips so you never have to touch the primers. If you buy the pre-loaded strips, there is no chance of getting an upside-down primer, and you never have to fool with flipping primers in a tray. Second, the APS tool has a “universal” shell-holder. This employs spring-loaded jaws so it can fit any size cartridge, from a 17 Fireball to large magnums. The unit has a comfortable grip and plenty of leverage. Each time you seat a primer, the strip automatically advances.

Currently, only CCI primers can be purchased pre-loaded into strips. But there is an inexpensive tool that allows you to load Federal, Winchester, or Wolf primers into the strips. The strips come in a variety of colors (Red, White, Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Black), so you can sort your primers by color.

The RCBS APS hand primer is ideal when doing primer comparison testing. You can slide one strip of 25 primers in the tool, seat 5 or 10, then easily remove the strip with the remaining primers, and slide in a second strip with another primer type. You can slip the first strip back in a storage box and the primers remain ready to use.

As contained in the strips, primers can also be used in an RCBS 2000 progressive press, a bench-mounted priming unit, and a special device that fits into the top of a Rockchucker or similar press. I have loaded over 20,000 pistol rounds with an RCBS progressive press and I have had not a single flipped primer. Not one. The strip-priming system also makes it easy to switch from small to large primers on the progressive–this can literally be done in under 20 seconds.

The bench-mounted unit is ideal for priming large quantities of cases. The long handle provides plenty of leverage, and you can work fast, as the primers automatically feed through the system. When I load large quantities of varmint rounds, I use the bench-mounted APS system.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »