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April 11th, 2008

Shooting Sports Match Calendar Available

Shooting Sports Calendar pdfShooting Sports USA, an NRA publication for all types of competition shooters, has compiled a comprehensive event calendar covering matches from April 2008 through the end of the year.

A wide array of disciplines are calendared, including: Air Pistol and Rifle, Bullseye Pistol, F-Class, Rifle and Pistol Silhouette, Lever Action Silhouette, CMP matches, Black Powder Target Rifle, and NRA Highpower. The Highpower Rifle listings are extremely comprehensive, with over 100 match listings, including all notable State Championships.

CLICK HERE to download the Calendar.

Readers can also download a free copy of Shooting Sports’ “Score Sheet”. This publication features recent match reports from throughout the country. The emphasis is mostly on small-bore silhouette and position shooting, but there are also reports on pistol, High Power, long-range prone, and Black Powder events. It’s an interesting read and some of our Forum members are featured.

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April 10th, 2008

Ultra-Long Range — 0.44 MOA at 1,680 Yards with a .338

At Thunder Valley, Ohio, stockmaker Joel Russo recently shot an 0.44 MOA group at 1,680 yards (just 80 yards short of a mile), with four shots well under quarter-MOA (3.806″). Joel offers this report: “About two months ago, my good friend and custom rifle builder Bruce Baer, challenged me to shoot the Mile. I told him that if he builds the rifle, I’ll take him up on the challenge. I gave him a barrel that I had and then pestered him repeatedly for two months to chamber it. After he chambered the barreled action, I bedded it in the stock and completed load development under his guidance.

Rifle Specifications
The rifle is chambered as a .338 Big Baer, a .338-.408 Improved design by Baer. We load the 300gr .338 Sierra MatchKing bullet. The gun features a Lawton 8000 repeater action, Krieger barrel, Vais muzzle brake, Jewell trigger, Nightforce NXS 8-32×56 scope, NP1 reticle, and McMillan A-5 stock modified by Baer to accommodate the larger actions. The rifle weighs about 21 pounds.

Thunder Valley in Ohio
This weekend we made the trip to Thunder Valley in Kimbolton, Ohio. Thunder Valley is an IBS-sanctioned 1000-yard range. Range owner and rangemaster, Tom Sarver, also holds a ‘Mile Shoot’ in conjunction with the 1000-yard match. (The ‘Mile Shoot’ targets actually sit 80 yards shy of a mile, at 1680 yards.) Along for the trip was Bud Williams, Bruce Baer, and my father.

Bruce and Bud both shot the ‘Mile’ at Thunder Valley two years ago. In 2006, Baer won group with 22.5″ and Williams won for score. This year, we shot 5-shot groups with a spotter only for sighter shots. No communication would be allowed between spotter and shooter during record fire.

Four Shots in 3.806″ at 1680 Yards
I shot the first relay with Baer as my spotter. First shot on cold clean barrel was center mass on the white sighter steel plate. Second shot was approx 17″ high but center mass. I made a correction and the next three shots were in the center of the plate. I immediately went to the record target. I fired five shots with no correction for conditions between shots.

Sarver retrieved the target and told us that the fifth shot was 1.5″ right off the paper but in the group. He officially measured the 4-shot group at 3.806″. Estimate of the 5-shot group was 7.75″.

Oh well, I’ll settle for a 4-shot group like that.”

0.44 MOA at 1680 Yards — Mighty Impressive
One MOA at 1680 yards is 17.59″. Joel’s 4-shot cluster went into 0.216 MOA! Counting the fifth shot, the 5-shot group was 0.44 MOA — still remarkable shooting….

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April 10th, 2008

Berger Moly Bullet Sale at LockStock.com

If you are a moly-coated bullet shooter, here’s a good deal on Berger Bullets offered by Lock, Stock & Barrel. LockStock.com has a wide selection of Berger moly bullets. These have been discontinued by Berger, so they are being offered at deep discounts, up to 23% off the regular price. The prices shown below are all for 100-count boxes, except the 17-Cal, 20-grainers, which are packed 200 to a box.

berger bullets lockstock.com

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April 9th, 2008

Savage Factory Gun Wins Hickory Shoot. Savage 6mmBR Ships This Week.

600-yard World-Record-holder Terry Brady gave us a call this morning and reported: “You may not believe it, but a factory Savage won it all this year at the Hickory Groundhog Shoot.” Terry said it was raining through much of the event, and many of the custom rifle shooters had tight groups but were not centered up on the target. This is a score event, with concentric scoring rings on cardboard groundhog silhouette targets at 100, 300 and 500 yards. The overall match winner shot a Savage factory.223 Rem varminter, according to Terry. “A couple of them Savage guys had their groups nicely centered up on the targets, and that’s what it took to win.”

Savage 6mmBR

In related news, the Savage factory 6mmBR rifles will start shipping this week. The 6mmBR chambering is now offered in three versions: F-Class, Varmint single-shot, and Varmint repeater (with box magazine). The 6BR F-Class model is a right bolt, right port single-shot weighing 13.3 lbs without optics. It features an 8-twist 30″ barrel and a heavy, laminated wood stock with a flat buttstock toe that runs parallel to the underside of 3″-wide forearm. The Long-Range Precision Varminter (LRPV) has a 12-twist, 26″ barrel, and a synthetic, H-S Precision stock with alloy bedding system. The LRPV is offered as BOTH a right bolt, left port single-shot, AND as a right bolt, right port repeater.

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April 9th, 2008

Reloading Info on ShootingUSA Television

On today’s episode of ShootingUSA, RCBS factory expert Allan Jernigan demonstrates safe, basic reloading techniques for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. You may be an expert rifle reloader, but specialized techniques can help you load more consistent pistol ammo, on both single-stage and progressive presses. And, of course, shotshell reloading is a different game altogether — you have more components to deal with, and up to three separate stages just for the crimp. In this show, Jernigan offers tips on optimizing accuracy and explains how to save money on components — so you can maintain your reloading output even as the costs of bullets, shot, primers and powder are on the rise. Jernigan demonstrates reloading methods using the RCBS RockChucker, RCBS 2000 Progressive, and RCBS Grand shotshell loader. Also in this episode, Wheelgun wizard Jerry Miculek offers speed-shooting Pro Tips for revolver fans.

RCBS Reloading ShootingUSA

ShootingUSA airs Wednesday Nights on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time – 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 2:00 AM (Thursday)
Central Time – 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 1:00 AM (Thursday)
Mountain Time – 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, Midnight
Pacific Time – 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 11:00 PM (And Arizona)

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April 8th, 2008

Norma 203B Powder Now Available

Norma 203B has been nearly impossible to obtain in the USA in recent years. Expressly formulated for the 6mmBR cartridge, many consider the elusive Norma 203B powder to be the “Holy Grail” of propellants for this popular chambering. It also works well in cartridges for which Varget, VV N150, or Reloder 15 is suitable.

Norma 203B powder

Now, with Black Hills Shooters Supply (BHSS) as a distributor, Norma is finally making 203B available again for American reloaders. Consumers can’t buy direct from BHSS, but retail vendors can place wholesale orders with BHSS, which has 472 pounds of Norma 203B as of 4/7/2008. Powder Valley has Norma 203B in stock right now at $19.00 per pound, and Grafs.com has it for $21.99 per pound (item NP203B1).

Industry scuttlebutt says that Norma 203B is the same as Alliant Reloder 15. While both are crafted by European powder-maker, Bofors, we’re told that 203B is not identical to Reloder 15. At Shot Show, this editor put the question directly to Norma’s CEO, Torb Lindskog: “Is Norma 203B the same as Reloder 15?” Lindskog answered: “The two powders are very similar, yes. But there are some differences–they are not exactly the same. We like to think our powder is more uniform.”

We’ve tried 1998 vintage Norma 203B in a 6BR and it was very similar to Reloder 15 in appearance, but the Alliant powder yielded slightly higher velocities. What we noticed shooting a 6BR with Norma 203B was a HUGE accuracy window. With 105gr bullets, the powder shot very well at a wide variety of charge weights, from mild to max. Plus, ES and SD were extremely low. Average 5-shot Extreme Spread was 8 fps, with three 5-shot groups measured. Norma 203B did display greater temp sensitivity than Varget, however. If you want to try Norma 203B for yourselves, don’t hesitate — call Powder Valley, (800) 227-4299, or other stocking retailer before the current supply is exhausted. It could be many months before the next shipment arrives.

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April 8th, 2008

Remington Closes H&R Plant — 200 Jobs Lost.

The Harrington & Richardson plant in Gardner, MA is the latest victim in the series of consolidations in the firearms industry. Remington announced on April 7, 2008 that it would close the H&R 1871 facility in Gardner, and all plant operations would be shut down by the end of the year.

Remington Arms, part of the Cerberus family of companies, acquired Marlin Firearms earlier this year. The Marlin deal also included H&R 1871 Inc., which was purchased by Marlin in 2000. H&R operated as New England Firearms. With its line of Harrington & Richardson rifles, and L.C. Smith shotguns, H&R 1871 was the leading seller of single-shot rifles and shotguns in the world.

Remington’s official press release states: “Unfortunately, an estimated 200 Gardner employees will be impacted by the closure, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2008. A number of employees will transition from Gardner to other capacities within the Company. For those not transferred, the Company will be offering severance, outplacement, and referral services in order to assist in this difficult transition.”

Gardner, Massachusetts Mayor Mark Hawke criticized the plant closure, saying that local officials were blind-sided by the move. He stated that Remington never contacted state or local officials prior to announcing its decision to close the Gardner factory.

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April 7th, 2008

Williamsport: Brakes OK on Heavies, and Light Gun Limit Raised to 17 Pounds.

Matt Dienes, Williamsport Public Relations officer, has announced important changes to the Club’s Rules for 2008 and beyond:

“The Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Bench Rest Club is pleased to anounce that that following rules are effective immediately:

1) The light gun weight limit has been raised from 16.5 lbs. to 17 lbs. (making it consistent with IBS and NBRSA rules). For Williamsport, this weight limit is now the only restriction (no stock width, barrel diameter, or attachment rules anymore.) However, the existing Light Gun front/rear rest rules still apply, and the gun has to be a single shot only (no semi-automatics).

2) You can now shoot any rifle in the Heavy Gun class, including rifles with Muzzle Brakes. So now you can shoot your Light Gun with the break on.”

We like these changes. This will make it easier to compete with a Light Gun in both classes, which should encourage more shooters and help keep costs down. A good Light Gun CAN be competitive in Heavy Gun class. Not too long ago our own Jason Baney won the HG class at the Williamsport World Open shooting his 16.5-lb 6BR.

Matt Dienes added: “Remember the 600-yard matches follow the 1000-yard Light Gun matches on Saturday. So nobody has an excuse not to shoot at our top notch range — everyone is welcome.”

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April 7th, 2008

6mmAR Varminter Field Test

Robert Whitley has produced a new video showcasing an AR15-based varminter chambered in the 6mmAR cartridge, a 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm (.243). In the video, Robert cycles through ten rounds (two magazines) loaded with Hornady 87-grain BTHP bullets (item 2442, 0.376 BC). The rifle features a custom 6mmAR upper with a side charging handle. Note the ease with which Robert operates the charging handle from the prone position. The 6mmAR cartridge allows an AR shooter to use high-BC 6mm projectiles with superior down-range energy. Robert offers complete uppers and other accessories. For more information and load data, visit 6mmAR.com.

CLICK HERE to WATCH VIDEO

6mmAR Varminter

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April 7th, 2008

Tripp Research Halts Plating Services

Virgil Tripp is a respected gunsmith and member of the American Pistolsmiths Guild. For over a decade, his company, Tripp Research of Alpine, TX, has provided superior metal-coating services for firearms. Tripp’s work was as good as it gets. If you wanted a superb hard chrome job, with uncompromising attention to detail, Tripp Research was the place to go. However, take note: Tripp plans to halt its gun-coating operations soon — if you want Tripp to refinish your gun, you MUST submit the work before June 13, 2008!

Unfortunately, Tripp Research has decided to concentrate on retail sales of magazines and other shooting products, so it will halt its metal coating services, effective June 13, 2008. The following notice appears on the Tripp website:

“Tripp Research Inc. is discontinuing its refinishing division on 06/13/2008. This includes both Hard Chrome and Coating services. This is a permanent cessation of refinishing services. It is not temporary. We will not accept refinishing jobs received after this date.

Tripp Research Inc. continues to stand by all of our refinishing work. Should you have any warranty questions regarding our refinishing, please contact Virgil Tripp…..Thank you for a over a decade of refinishing successes and all your support. The following is a partial list of firearm refinishers. This list, naturally, is not an endorsement, but rather a starting point for you to research[.]”

Metaloy
APW Cogan
Fords Guns
Robar
Techplate
Metalife
Rebel
Black T (coating) – 601-939-74488
Elite Custom Guns
Bear Coat

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April 6th, 2008

Gun Transport Tips from an O'Hare Airport Cop

Before he retired, Forum member Ron D. served as a Police Officer assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Ron offers some excellent advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics.

gun transport caseFirst, Ron explains that airport thieves can spot bags containing firearms no matter how they are packaged: “Don’t think you’re safe if your guns are placed in cases designed for golf clubs or trade show items. Baggage is X-Rayed now and cases are tagged with a special bar code if they contain firearms. It doesn’t take long for bad guys to figure out the bar coding for firearms.”

Carry-On Your Scopes and Expensive Items
Ron advises travelers to avoid placing very expensive items in checked baggage: “When traveling by air, carry on your rangefinder, spotting scope, rifle scope, medications, camera, etc. You would be surprised at the amount of people that carry-on jeans and shirts, but put expensive items in checked baggage. Better to loose three pairs of jeans than some expensive glass.”

Mark Bags to Avoid Confusion
Ron notes that carry-on bags are often lost because so many carry-on cases look the same. Ron reports: “People do accidentally remove the wrong bag repeatedly. I frequently heard the comment, ‘But it looks just like my bag.’ When de-planing, keep an eye on what comes out of the overhead that your bag is in. It’s easy to get distracted by someone that has been sitting next to you the whole flight. I tie two streamers of red surveyors’ tape on my carry-on bag.” You can also use paint or decals to make your carry-on bag more distinctive.

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case
Ron advises: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country (e.g. to Montana or the Cactus Classic) and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.) Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

gun transport case

General Advice for Air Travelers
Ron cautions: “Keep your hands on your items before boarding. One of the most often heard comments from theft victims was, ‘I just put my computer down for a minute while I was on the phone.’ Also, get to the baggage claim area quickly. If your family/friends can meet you there, so can the opportunists. Things do get lost in the claim area. Don’t be a Victim. Forewarned is forearmed.”

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April 6th, 2008

RCBS Partner Press

Compact in size, and weighing just 5.3 lbs., the RCBS Partner Press is popular with 100/200 yard benchresters who load at the range between match relays. Made of cast aluminum with a steel compound-leverage linkage, the Partner press is small enough to fit in a toolbox, and light enough that it can easily be moved from truck to loading table. Natchez Shooters Supply has the Partner press on sale currently for $58.20. Elsewhere you’ll see it priced from $60.00-70.00.

While we prefer something beefier for heavy case-forming duties, the Partner is a good portable press that you can take to the range or on a varminting trip. In the shop, it has a small footprint, so it doesn’t take much space on your bench. The Partner handles full-length sizing of smaller cases such as the 22-250 and 6mmBR with ease. The big ball handle is comfortable and there is enough leverage to handle most tasks. This press WILL load accurate ammo — last week we tunnel-tested 220 Russian ammo loaded on a Partner press. (Bullet seating was done with hand dies on an arbor press.) That ammo produced three-shot groups in the ones and zeros.

Negatives? We would NOT use the Partner for heavy case-forming duties, and the Partner is not designed for large magnums or very long cases. The press is less rigid than its RCBS RockChucker Big Brother and the priming system is inefficient. As with most presses we recommend you use a separate tool for priming.

Still, given its price and intended purpose, the Partner performs admirably. The Partner is also a good choice if you’re looking for a small, secondary press to mount on a portable workstand, so you can de-cap cases or seat bullets while watching TV or working indoors.

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April 5th, 2008

Wind Flags for Varminters

We’ve known some serious varminters who will invest $4,000.00 in a custom rifle, pay thousands more for spotting scope and laser rangefinder, and spend countless hours loading ultra-precise ammo. Yet, when they head off to the prairie dog fields, they’ll omit an essential piece of gear that will make the difference between a hit and a miss.

We’re talking about windflags. Many casual shooters, varmint hunters, and even some “tactical” shooters disdain windflags as gadgets suited only for the accuracy-obsessed benchrest crowd. In fact, windflags are just as important for the varminter as for the benchrest competitor.

You may think that you can easily notice a major wind shift. But consider this, a change from a light 2.5 mph left breeze to a 2.5 mph right is a 5 mile per hour switch. That is enough to make you miss a prairie dog even at just 200 yards. Here’s a chart that shows the effect of a 5 mph full-value (i.e. 90-degree) wind change at various distances. The values assume a typical .250-BC varmint bullet launched at 3500 fps at a 3″-wide critter (center hold).

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on windflags. Even a bit of surveyors’ tape on a post is better than nothing. As Forum member Catshooter explains, a simple windflag, placed at your shooting station, helps minimize the effect of cross-winds. If you align your shooting position so the breeze is at your back you can shoot with greater confidence even in high winds. Watch the way the windflag blows, and shoot at the dog mounds that are directly downwind.

Our friend Boyd Allen offers another tip: “When you go varminting, be sure to bring some kind of portable target stand. Accuracy or zero problems are much easier to diagnose and remedy if you can set up a target at 100 yards. A simple wood, A-Frame design, hinged at the top, works well, stores flat, and is easy to build.”

Windflag photo courtesy Flying Fish Fundamentals, makers of single-and dual-vane wind flags.

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April 5th, 2008

California Legislation Threatens to Restrict Ammunition Sales

A very extreme piece of legislation, AB 2062, is now being considered by the California Legislature. This bill, if passed by Assembly and Senate, and signed by the Governor, would impose stringent new limitations on the purchase of handgun ammunition. AB 2062 would also ban internet sales of pistol ammunition (and potentially) ammunition components. Because many popular rifle cartridges (such as .223 Remington) can be chambered in single-shot handguns, this bill could affect rifle shooters as well as handgun owners.

CLICK HERE for Audio File Explaining AB 2062

Under the proposed legislation, all vendors selling handgun ammunition would need a special handgun ammunition license that would be registered through the California Department of Justice. Pistol ammo buyers would have to obtain a permit, and purchasers would have to submit a thumbprint at the point of purchase that would then be sent to the California Department of Justice to be stored in a database. Finally, all sales of handgun ammunition would have to take place in a face-to-face transaction — no mail orders.

In the past, we have seen the California Department of Justice broaden the reach of a new gun regulation law far beyond its express terms. If AB 2062 is adopted, we fear that the DOJ could use this law to ban ammunition reloading components as well as complete, loaded ammo. If mail-order brass and primer sales for handguns can be restricted, you can bet that rifle ammo components are next. Let us be clear, however — on its face, AB 2062 does not ban online brass, powder, and primer sales. But we would not put it past the DOJ to try to extend a ban on ammo to the ammunition’s components, particularly bullets.

We encourage all California gun owners to contact your local Assembly Member today and urge him or her to oppose AB 2062. The NSSF and the California Assn. of Firearms Retailers (CAFR) are asking individuals to visit their local firearms retailers to add their signature to the opposition petitions for AB 2062.

CLICK HERE to download sample Petition.

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April 4th, 2008

2008 Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches

The 2008 Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held from May 3rd through May 11th at Camp Butner in Stem, NC. The CMP Games for Garands, Springfields and vintage military rifles run from 3-6 May. Following that, Service Rifle and Highpower shooters will compete in the Creedmoor Cup Matches from May 7th through 11th. Creedmoor Cup events include an advanced clinic, followed by a Practice Match, a Long Range Match, the 80-shot Creedmoor Cup Match and a team match.

Both events feature special hospitality events and prize awards. All interested shooters, whether new shooters or experienced competitors, recreation-oriented shooters or national championship contenders, are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. For more info, contact Laurie Mandell, (419) 635-2141 x1107.


CLICK HERE for CMP Games/Creedmoor Cup INFO Page.

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April 4th, 2008

Rust-Fighters for GunSafes on Sale

Help keep your prized firearms in good condition with products that keep moisture off guns stored in your safe. Now through April 30, 2008 MidwayUSA has Goldenrod heating units and desiccant packs on sale.

The 40 gram desiccant box, item 799452, is now on sale for $3.99. Containing hydrosorbant Silica Gel in an aluminum shell, each unit protects up to 3 cubic feet of storage space. These desiccant packs can be “recharged” by placing them in an oven for 3 hours at 300° F.

The Goldenrod is a safe, electric heating element that will help prevent rust and corrosion. MidwayUSA has an 18″ unit, item 614184, on sale for $15.99 that will warm and protect up to 200 cubic feet.

GoldenRods are marketed as “dehumidifiers”, but that is a bit of a misnomer. The GoldenRod doesn’t absorb moisture like a desiccant per se. It works by maintaining a constant temperature inside your safe that raises the dew point and alters the relative humidity so that water vapor doesn’t condense on your firearms.

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April 3rd, 2008

NEW Sightrons Due in Early May

Alan Orr at Sightron tells us that the much-awaited new Sightron scopes, including the 6-24×50 MilDot and 8-32×50 Target models, are scheduled to arrive in the first week of May. You may want to place orders with vendors soon to be assured of getting one from this shipment.

Sightron SIII 30mm 6-24x50mm

The new 6-24×50 SIII 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 .

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. 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.

Sightron SIII 30mm 8-32x56mm

CLICK HERE for Scope SPEC SHEET (MS Excel File)

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April 2nd, 2008

Latest Smack the Smiley Postal Match Underway

Our own 1000-yard Editor, Jason Baney, runs a popular “postal match” called “Smack the Smiley”. Four times a year (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter) you can shoot an official target at your own range, and then submit it for judging. Over $2000.00 in prizes will be awarded for each 2008 seasonal match. You can compete with shooters from across the continent.

Jason started the Smiley matches in 2004. Since 2005, a share of monies collected from entry fees have been donated to American military marksmen via AmericanSnipers.org. These donations have totaled over $3000.00.

Entries are now open for the current Spring Match. Order your targets no later than May 5, 2008. Your finished Spring targets must be returned (postmarked) by May 27, 2008. Targets will be scored and ranked on shooting forums including SnipersHide.com, West Coast Tactical, SnipersParadise, and the main contest site, SmackTheSmiley.com

Prizes for Smack the Smiley Shooters
Prizes donated by manufacturers are raffled off, lottery-style, after each match. This means that every participant has a chance at wining. The prizelist totals over $2000.00 in value this year. You’re smart to shoot all four seasonal matches (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter). A four-match Aggregate will be tallied this year with a possible prize for the Agg winner.

CLICK HERE for Smack The Smiley 4-Season Match Calendar

Smack The Smiley Postal Match Rules

● There are two classes, rimfire and centerfire, with no other rifle restrictions. Rimfire guns shoot at 50 yards, while centerfire rifles shoot at 100 yards.

● All rifles must be shot from the ground, either sitting or prone position, with NO tripod rests allowed. Only bipods or other field expedient rests are allowed.

● You must shoot official targets only, ordered from SmackTheSmiley.com. These cost $3.50 each with a max of 4 targets per class. One dollar ($1) from each target goes to Americansnipers.org.

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April 2nd, 2008

Pennsylvannia Keep and Bear Arms Rally Set for April 7.

The third annual Pennsylvania Keep and Bear Arms rally will be held Monday, April 7 in Harrisburg, PA. In addition to interested citizens, representatives of major shooting organizations including the NRA, NSSF, and Second Amendment Foundation will attend the event. Pro-Second Amendment Pennsylvania legislators have also pledged to attend the important rally which begins at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA. Those of you who can make it next Monday should try to attend.

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April 1st, 2008

Aussies Build Electronic RailGun

This is it — a true revolution in Benchrest technology, a gun that can shoot one-hole groups with boring regularity without wind flags or sighters. Armed with technology from Australian defense contractor Metal Storm Ltd., a team of Aussie benchrest shooters has developed a new unlimited rail gun for international competition. This rig features five rounds pre-loaded into the barrel. Each projectile has propellant in its base that is triggered by an electrical impulse. Metal Storm figured out a way to fire each round individually, and the Aussie Rail Gun team, lead by retired engineer (and part-time barkeep) Tony Dundee, licensed the technology for Benchrest competition. Based in the small town of Merth, New South Wales, Tony said “the blokes at Metal Storm wanted $1,000,000 for the rights, but we nicked ‘em down to a couple cases of Fosters… and our solemn pledge to ‘Spank the Yanks’.”


A local legend in benchrest circles, Tony had been tinkering with a tensioned barrel benchrest gun for many years, until Internet Forum posters, including a noted Rimfire gunsmith, convinced him that set-up wouldn’t work because one can’t “Bong” a tensioned barrel to find the vibration nodes. On the advice of the “experts”, Dundee sold that gun. (The gun’s new owner then used it to win the Australian Long-Range Championship three years in a row.) Learning about the Metal Storm system developed by his countrymen, Dundee figured electronic ignition was the answer.

Dundee tells us: “Once I saw the Metal Storm, I said ‘Crikey!’ that’s the ticket. Five rounds downrange before the conditions change or the barrel moves. Bloody Brilliant! And it’s all-Aussie technology.” Below is video and a still image taken from the video. The video shows the Aussie Rail Gun, dubbed “Downunder Thunder”, firing rounds at various intervals from 1 second through 3 milliseconds.

At the max rate-of-fire setting, the Aussie Rail Gun can shoot all five projectiles in as little as 15 milliseconds. That’s a separation of just 3 milliseconds per projectile. Traveling at roughly 3000 fps, the bullets (more accurately described as “self-propelled electronically-ignited projectiles”) all reach the target in 1/10th of a second. But more importantly, the bullets all arrive on the same spot in a span of just 15 milliseconds–so changes in wind value don’t matter and windflags are no longer needed. “It’s about time”, Dundee said, “a forest of spinnin’ daisies and day-glo windsocks is just about the ugliest sight on God’s earth.”

The proof is on the target, as they say. The Aussie Rail Gun shoots one-holers with boring regularity. Dundee revealed, “You know mate, we don’t even really need a scope anymore for group competition. We just boresight the bugger and let ‘er rip.” All the shooter needs to do is center the Rail Gun on the target and pull the trigger 5 times (antiquated USA benchrest rules require a mechanical trigger, and having one pull per round ensures the gun does not violate machine gun laws). Then after a 1-second delay, a microchip-controlled circuit launches the five projectiles at 3 millisecond intervals. “It’s so easy”, Dundee added with a laugh, “a blind man could make the Hall of Fame with this technology.”

With the new Aussie Rail Gun, wind is no longer a factor. Dundee says: “Forget wind–we’ve taken it out of the equation.” In a rather poor Mexican accent, Dundee joked: “We don’t need no steeeenkin’ windflags”. Dundee notes the new technology makes matches more enjoyable: “This is the ‘no-stress express’. Hook up the battery, click the trigger, then bangity-bang and it’s time for a frostie with me mates. I’ll be drinkin’ while you silly buggers are sweatin’ over the bleedin’ daisy-wheels.”

Revolutionary Performance — At a Price
Technology like this doesn’t come cheap. Dundee admits development costs have been high: “I reckon we’ve got $100K into this rig, easy. But the folks at Metal Storm are picking up the tab for the most part and they’re swimming in cash–thanks to the U.S. Department of Defense and your silly Venture Capitalists.” Dundee concedes that at about $20.00 per round, the gun is a bit pricey to shoot, but he adds “think of the money we save in windflags… and, Hell, $100 a target is cheap if you KNOW it’s going to be a winner.”

Nervous Americans Fear New Australian Technology
The Aussie Rail Gun has caused concern among American Benchrest shooters. Posting on Internet BR forums, many have challenged the legality of the new Rail Gun. One poster wrote: “If it outshoots the gun I just spent $4500 on, it must be illegal.” Others concede that while the Aussie Rail Gun may satisfy the express terms of Unlimited Class Benchrest Rules, it violates their spirit: “As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t have to load your ammo between matches in a big hurry, worry about tune, piss and moan about conditions, and spend your entire afternoon staring at erratic windflags, it ain’t benchrest and I don’t want no part of it.”

Dundee isn’t concerned with the keyboard commandos challenging his new Rail Gun. “Typical Americans–just a bunch of whinging Sheilas. If they can’t beat us, they’ll try to ban us.” Dundee adds confidently, “‘Bring ‘em on’ as your President would say. When the dust settles at the big matches, you Yanks will all be singin’ ‘Waltzing Matilda’.”

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