May 31st, 2008

Mirage Shields–Don't Leave Home Without One

Summer’s here, and that means hot weather and lots of mirage. A quality mirage shield reduces the amount of optical distortion caused by heat waves rising from the barrel directly in front of the scope. On a hot day, after many rounds through the barrel, the benefit of a mirage shield can be quite dramatic. Benchrest shooters have used mirage shields for many years. Mirage shields can be just as beneficial for the serious varmint shooter. But, curiously, most varminters we know don’t employ mirage shields. We think they should. A mirage shield is a low-cost accessory that helps you get more hits and fewer misses.

As our friend Boyd Allen observed: “Varminters should use mirage shields. Think about it. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in a fancy varmint rifle and quality scope. You may have spent hundreds of dollars traveling to the varmint fields and spent dozens of hours loading up your ammo. Without a mirage shield on your barrel, once that barrel gets hot, you WILL get mirage effects that can make you miss a shot. A mirage shield costs just a few dollars. It really doesn’t make sense to go out to the varmint fields without one, if you plan on shooting lots of rounds. Barrel heat mirage can cause you to miss that critter, even if you have the most accurate rifle in the world.”

Dan Lilja offers a nice, wide mirage shield for $10. Dan notes: “Our benchrest mirage shield also works very well for field varmint rifles if there is a lot of action and the barrel is getting hot. The shield deflects image-distorting heat waves that come off of a hot barrel. The heat flows out past the edge of the shield and out of the line-of-sight of the rifle scope. These shields are 18” long, made of thin painted steel (like window blind material) and can be easily trimmed to length.”

Lilja Mirage Shield

Sinclair International also offers a 2″-wide venetian-blind style Mirage Shade, that costs just $4.25. It is available in two lengths, 18″ for BR barrels (item 06-7200), and 24″ for longer varmint barrels (item 06-7300). The Sinclair Shade is made of aluminum and can easily be trimmed to a shorter length. Like the Lilja shield, the Sinclair Mirage Shade attaches with adhesive-backed Velcro fasteners.

Sinclair Int'l Mirage Shade

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May 31st, 2008

Major Gun-Makers offer Vast Inventories Online Via "Guns on Demand"

GunsAmerica, in association with Beretta, Mossberg, Remington, and Rock River Arms, has unveiled a new service for potential gun buyers, called “Guns on Demand”. Inventories of thousands of NEW firearms will be available for viewing on GunsAmerica.com. The participating manufacturers’ computerized inventory lists link directly to the GunsAmerica web site, so online shoppers can choose from virtually any gun in these companies’ current inventories.

If you see a firearm you might want to buy, just click the “Full Details” button and a list of FFL dealers (ranked by proximity to you) will display. You’ll see a variety of prices, since each dealer sets his own price. When you select a particular dealer, he will verify that he has the gun (or can get it), and he may ask for a deposit. All stocking brick and mortar gun dealers will be able to enter the program for many brands.

This is a great way for the consumer to compare the prices of dozens of dealers instantly. If you are looking for a current-production factory rifle or shotgun, this can save you time, and you’ll probably end up with a better deal in the end.

The “Guns on Demand” program should benefit both consumers and gun makers. Christopher Merritt, GM of Beretta USA, states: “Where else can we take our entire inventory and in one place show it to our customers? GunsAmerica.com does that and more.” Paul Heslinki, founder of GunsAmerica.com, adds that: “With about 50,000 guns listed and more than 1 million active gun buyers every month on GunsAmerican.com, our Guns On Demand program is a very important resource[.]”

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May 30th, 2008

6XC Performs Well for High Power and Long-Range Shooters

The 6XC cartridge was developed by David Tubb, and it has captured multiple Camp Perry Championships. Now that Norma brass is available, the 6XC is an outstanding choice for shooters looking for an ultra-accurate, easy-recoiling cartridge that offers more “horsepower” than the 6BR or 6BR Improved. Team Norma, shooting factory-loaded 6XC ammo, captured last year’s 300m world championship. This was the first time in many years that a cartridge other than the 6BR has won “all the marbles” in international 300m competition.

Forum members and 6XC shooters Mudcat and German Salazar are both very happy with their choice of chamberings. German tells us:

“The 6XC is a great long-range cartridge, it needs no excuses and can hold its own against any other LR cartridge. I prefer to use Norma 6XC brass, but 22-250 brass can be used by running through a 6XC full-length die and then fire-forming. It will look pretty nasty at first, but it will shoot just fine even fire-forming. I have an article in the May 2007 issue of Precision Shooting that covers this and other 6XC matters.

I principally use the 6XC for 1000-yard prone shooting (sometimes at 600). The main bullet I use is the Berger 115 VLD (in a 30″ Krieger with 1:7.5″ twist). The best powder I’ve found for the Berger 115 in the 6XC is H4831sc. Velocity is in the 3000 fps range. I haven’t pressure tested this combination so I’m reluctant to publish exact loads, sorry.

Whether the 6XC is ideal for any given person depends on a lot of factors. I tend to shoot fast and keep the rifle in my shoulder. Accordingly, a low-recoil cartridge suits me because it doesn’t require any repositioning of the rifle or rebuilding of position during a 22-shot string. I know how to read wind, so whether a cartridge drifts a few inches more or less than another isn’t really a concern to me, I learn the cartridge’s behaviour and work with what I’ve got. The 6XC shines because it is ACCURATE at 1000 yards and without that, you’ve got nothing.

Accuracy, low recoil, reasonable wind drift, good component availability, decent barrel life, what else is there to want in a long-range cartridge?”


Mudcat concurs that the 6XC is a great cartridge for High Power Competition:

“I am not sure there really are ‘downsides’ for the 6XC. Well, maybe barrel life, if you are used to shooting a 223 or 308. I have fired about 15,000 rounds of 6XC over the last couple of years and havent really found a negative. My 6XC barrels get an easy 2,000 rounds. In fact, most get upwards of 3,000 before I move them to strictly off-hand and rapid-fire use. (I am a High Power shooter, not a Benchrester.)

Propellant — Powder choices are excellent. However, contrary to what German has found, I can’t get H4831sc to get me the velocity that the H4350 can. I have found only two powders that deliver more speed than H4350.

Cases — Just use Winchester 22-250 cases as they last 20+ firings and you never have to trim them. I use Winchester 22-250 brass rather than any of the Tubb or Norma offerings — they are just too soft for my liking. With the Winchester, I know what I am dealing with and know I will get at least 20 firings out of it, on average. And, I never have to trim it. While I have a Giraud power trimmer, I would just as soon not do it.

Bullets — Well, 6mm bullets are out there for about anything you want to shoot.

Velocity — The 6XC offers plenty of speed. Is 3000+ fps with a 115 enough for you? I certainly hope so.

Accuracy — I can’t out shoot the 6XC round. About any decent load will work just fine. Shoot, all my 300-yard and less ammo is loaded on a Dillon 650! Overall, I agree with German, the 6XC will definitely hold its own and I am not sure that my 6.5×284 running 142s at 2950 fps actually drifts much less than the 115 VLDs.”

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May 30th, 2008

Garand Walnut Stocks on Sale

Many of our readers enjoy classic military rifles as well as precision BR rigs and varmint rifles. Now through June 30th, MidwayUSA has Boyd’s M1 Garand replacement stocks on sale for just $89.99, marked down from $104.99 (item 107223). Boyd’s Garand stocks are fully-inletted and crafted from quality American Walnut. Very slight trimming and sanding may be required, but otherwise this is a “drop-in” stock.

There is a superb article by Jamie Magnum on SurplusRifle.com that explains how to install a Boyd’s Walnut stock on your Garand. The author provides complete step-by-step instructions showing how to remove the old stock, and attach the new stock. Through a series of 75 photos, the article covers every aspect of the job, including inletting, and making sure all the metal connectors are attached properly.

CLICK HERE for Downlodable .PDF version of Garand Article.

SurplusRifle.com is an online service of Tennessee Gun Parts, Covington, TN, 1-866-472-4986.

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May 30th, 2008

Rare Tikka 595 with Select Wood on Auction Arms

Most of the Tikka 595s that made it to the States came with a synthetic stock or rather ordinary wood stock. Right now, on Auction Arms, there’s a very clean Tikka 595 with a really nice stock in highly-figured walnut with contrasting forearm tip. Chambered in 22-250, it’s a very handsome rifle, and the 595 action is slick and strong. We’re hoping one of our regular readers snags this gem. Current bid price is $625.00. Forum member Fireball tells us the Tikka 595 22-250 magazines will also feed 6BR and 22BR cartridges well if you plan to re-barrel this rifle and chamber a different cartridge. We’d just shoot it “as is”, at least until the barrel wore out.

Tikka 595 Walnut

Tikka 595 Walnut

Tikka 595 Walnut

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 29th, 2008

TECH TIP: Use Rubber O-Rings with Sizing Dies for Less Run-Out

Here’s an inexpensive tip that can help you load straighter ammo, with slightly better measured concentricity (i.e. less run-out) on the case necks and bullets. Simply use a rubber O-Ring on the underside of the die locking ring. This allows the die to self-align itself (slightly) to the case that is being sized. Without the O-Ring, if the flat surface on the top of your press is not perfectly square with the thread axis, your die can end up slightly off-angle. This happens when the bottom of the locking ring butts up tight against the top of the press.

reloading die O-ring

Top prone shooter German Salazar has tried this trick and he says it works: “Go to your local hardware store and get a #17 O-Ring (that’s the designation at Ace Hardware, don’t know if its universal). Slip the O-Ring on the die and re-adjust the lock ring so that the O-Ring is slightly compressed when the die is at the correct height. Size and measure a few more cases. You will probably see a slight improvement in neck concentricity as the die can now float a bit as the case enters and leaves it. This isn’t going to be a dramatic improvement, but it’s a positive one.”

reloading die O-ring

Lee Precision makes die lock rings with built-in O-Rings. Lee’s distinctive lock ring design allows the same kind of self-alignment, which is good. However, Lee lock rings don’t clamp in place on the die threads, so they can move when you insert or remove the dies — and that can throw off your die setting. By using an O-Ring under a conventional die lock ring, you get the advantages of the Lee design, without the risk of the lock ring moving.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
May 28th, 2008

Rising Component Costs Influence Caliber Choices

Because of increased raw material and fuel costs, prices of bullets and brass have gone up dramatically in recent months. We are hearing from active shooters that cost considerations are influencing their decisions about what calibers and chamberings to shoot. There is a definite trend to smaller cartridges and lighter bullets.

One prominent match shooter told us: “I’ve been debating between a 6.5×47 Lapua and a 6-6.5×47. After comparing the cost of 6.5mm vs. 6mm bullets, I decided on the 6mm. If I save $7 bucks a box, and shoot 4000 rounds a year (40 boxes of bullets), that’s $280.00 in savings–enough to buy a new barrel.”

Here are some comparative bullet prices for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30-caliber bullets at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Prices are for a 100-count box. Note that the 6.5mm match bullets cost 25% more than the 6mms. For active shooters, the price difference adds up quickly.

Lapua Brass

Brand 6mm 6.5mm 7mm .308
Berger 105gr VLD
$27.57
140gr VLD
$34.25
168gr VLD
$39.15
190gr VLD
$41.53
Sierra 107gr MK
$24.61
142gr MK
$30.53
175gr MK
$29.16
200gr MK
$31.64

Lapua Brass

Here are brass costs for Lapua brass from Grafs.com. Prices are for 100-count boxes. Generally speaking, the bigger the case, the higher the price (except for the .308 Win).

.223 Rem 6mmBR 6.5×47 Lapua .308 Win 6.5-284 .338 Lapua Mag
$44.79 $62.39 $82.79 $54.99 $92.99 $211.99

Consider Barrel Life Also
Certainly, moving to a smaller caliber can often reduce what you have to pay for brass and bullets. On the other hand, you need to consider barrel life. Hot-loaded 6mms, such as a .243 Ackley, can burn up a barrel much more quickly than a .308 Winchester. In comparing the “operating costs” of various cartridges, you need to factor in barrel replacement costs as well as component prices.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
May 28th, 2008

NRA Expands Programs for Lady Shooters

Increasing the numbers of women involved in the shooting sports is vital. We need to bring in more women shooters to grow our gun clubs’ membership rolls and expand the consumer base for firearms products. From a political standpoint, getting women involved in shooting strengthens the gun rights movement, and helps counter efforts to close gun ranges and shooting facilities. Anti-gun advocacy groups and “liberal” politicians bank on the fact that most women are either opposed to firearms or are apathetic about gun rights. As more females get involved with shooting, it becomes more difficult for gun opponents to claim support from the “silent majority” of Americans. Also, women are important decision-makers at the family level. Wives often decide if there will be a gun in the house and if children in the family are allowed to participate in shooting sports.

This week’s ShootingUSA television episode features the NRA’s Women On Target program. This unique program offers firearms training and hunting excursions exclusively for women. The Women On Target program offers new lady shooters the chance to receive handgun, rifle, and shotgun instruction by other women, in a low-stress situation.

CLICK HERE to Find a Women on Target Instructional Clinic

The popular Women-Only Hunt Program allows women to enjoy the outdoors with experienced outfitters guiding all female clients. A wide variety of hunts are offered in the second half of 2008 including duck/goose hunts, pheasant hunts, turkey hunts, whitetail deer hunts, and even a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt. This program has been operating successfully since 1999.

CLICK HERE for Hunt Dates and Outfitter List

Photos courtesy National Rifle Assn., All Rights Reserved.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
May 27th, 2008

High Marks for PRVI Partizan 75gr HPBT Match .223 Ammo

Site Contributor Danny Reever has tested the bargain-priced PRVI Partizan .223 factory ammo in his 7-twist Sig 556 and AR15. He gives it a definite “thumbs-up”. Danny reports: “You should try some of the PRVI Partizan 75gr Match ammo. I was really surprised. This stuff shoots great. At 100 yards it delivered one MOA, easy, with my Sig 556. With a custom match rifle it might do even better. This is great ammo for the price. I’m going to buy more before the price goes up.”

Danny was also impressed with the brass: “This is quality brass, all boxer-primed and reloadable. For varminting and general-purpose use, I wouldn’t hesitate to stack it up against more expensive brands.”

PRVI Partizan G75gr HPBT Match .223 ammo, item PPA223MATCH, is available from Grafs.com for $10.99 per 20-round box, including shipping. Graf’s also stocks PRVI .223 ammo in other bullet weights: 55gr FMJBT (M193), 55gr SP, 223 REM 62gr FMJBT, and 69gr HPBT-MATCH.

PRVI Partizan 75gr Match ON SALE for $8.99/box
Now through May 31, 2008, MidwayUSA has the PRVI 75gr Match Ammo on sale (ITEM 790565). This is the same stuff that worked so well for Danny. The sale price is just $8.99 per 20-rd box, marked down from $11.99. You may want to jump on this deal before the price goes back up June 1st. (NOTE: 1:7″ or faster twist required.) Midway customers who have tried this ammo agree with Danny — this is quality 1 MOA or better ammo:

In my RRA Predator Pursuit rifle this ammo produces consistent 1 inch groups at 100 yards. Burns clean with no funky powder odors, no feed problems were encountered. Brass is clean and shiny, good practice and hunting round. Get it now before the price goes up. — Juan S., TX

Comparable to MUCH more expensive ammo in both accuracy, and terminal performance. EASILY shoots sub-MOA groups @ 200 yards from my RRA A4 Varmint. Stock up while you can! — Paul J., AL

I shot this ammo out of my Colt H-Bar AR 1-7 twist and got 1″, 5-shot groups at 100 yards. I doubt you’ll do better than that for this price. I will be ordering more. — David A., AL

Wideners has PRVI Partizan 75gr .223 Bulk Packs
Wideners.com also has large supplies of the PRVI Partisan 75gr .223 Match ammo. Price is $82.00 for 200 rounds (10 x 20-ct boxes), or $399.00 for 1000 rounds. The 1000-round price works out to $7.98 per 20 rounds.

Stan Widener tested the ammo and reports: “After firing, the brass was very clean and there was very little residue on the bolt carrier. Very clean powder. The ammo is made with MILAN BLAGOJEVIC powder and GINEX primers. There were no failures or misfeeds of any kind. All rounds functioned perfectly. The cases are very bright and shiny with military anneal mark. With no primer crimp to deal with, the brass should reload well. CONCLUSION: This is truly the best buy you can get in match 223 ammo.”

Great Price at AIM Surplus
Forum member Graymist notes that AIM Surplus has the PRVI Partizan 75gr BTHP Match for $8.25 per 20-rd box or $7.95 per box for 10 or more boxes (200 rounds or more.) Compare shipping costs with other vendors, however, to determine if this is the best deal, given your location. Remember Grafs.com includes shipping in their price.

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May 27th, 2008

Koenig Wins his 11th Bianchi Cup. Potterfield Donates $50K.

“Koenig” means “king” in the German language. The name fits. Doug Koenig is truly King of the Bianchi Cup, as he recorded his 11th career Bianchi Cup this Memorial Day weekend. This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the event, the most prestigious action pistol competition in the world. Koenig narrowly beat 2006 NRA Bianchi Cup champ Bruce Piatt based on X-Count, 1918-185X to 1918-182X, respectively. Koenig credits dedication and preparation for his win: “I try to be absolutely prepared. I never leave any stone unturned …I live it, think it, sleep it….”

The NRA National Action Shooting Tournament is a money-winning event. For his 2008 victory, Koenig took home the Bianchi Cup trophy, plus cash awards of over $8,000. Robert Vadasz’ win in the Metallic Sight class netted him over $5000.

Since its inception in 1979, the NRA Bianchi Cup has retained its original course of fire, consisting of four matches: Practical, Barricade, Moving Target and Falling Plates. 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.

Inspired by the success of the 30th Annual National Action Pistol Championships and its impact on his hometown of Columbia, MO, Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA pledged $50,000 cash for the 2009 NRA Bianchi Cup. The gift may be used to increase the $95,000 currently given out in cash and prizes. Potterfield’s pledge earned praise from NRA President John C. Sigler: “Larry and Brenda Potterfield … are outstanding citizens [and] have always been great supporters of the National Rifle Association and huge promoters of the shooting sports.”

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May 26th, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 — Remember the Fallen

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

(Attributed to Mary Frye, 1932)

Above is “Vietnam Reflections” by Lee Teter. Prints are available from VVA Chapter 172. All proceeds benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America.

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May 25th, 2008

2008 Super Shoot Results — Costa Wins Two-Gun Overall

For racing fans, Memorial Day weekend means the Indy 500 at the Brickyard. The equivalent of the Indy 500 for precision Benchrest shooters is Kelbly’s Firearms Industry Super Shoot at the Kelbly’s range in North Lawrence, Ohio. Despite high gas prices, 330+ shooters made the pilgrimage to North Lawrence to compete in the most prestigious event in Benchrest shooting.

Kelbly Super Shoot Benchrest

Topping an incredibly competitive field, Larry Costa won the Two-Gun Overall championship. Larry did extremely well in both rifle classes, finishing second in BOTH Light Varmint Grand (100 +200) and Heavy Varmint Grands. Congrats to Larry for his outstanding shooting. We’ve been told that Larry brings pre-measured, weighed charges (and then loads his rounds at the match), but we’re still waiting for confirmation. Jeff Summers, displaying great consistency, combined 4th in the LV Grand and 4th in HV Grand, to place Second Overall in the Two-Gun behind Costa. Andy Shiffle finished third in the Two-Gun, matching his placing in the HV Grand. We were pleased to see George Kelbly, “Founding Father” of the Super Shoot, take second in the LV 100.

Overall Two-Gun Standings

1 – Larry Costa
2 – Jeff Summers
3 – Andy Shifflett
4 – Gene Bukys
5 – Lou Murdica
6 – Billy Stevens
7 – Jeff Stover
8 – Bart Sauter
9 – Tony Boyer
10 – Joe Krupa
11 – Joe Hynes
12 – Stan Bowerman
13 – Mike Rattigan
14 – Charles Huckeba
15 – Bill Goad
16 – Milt Craven
17 – Howie Levy
18 – Danny Sutphin
19 – Jack Lyons
20 – Kent Harshman

LV 100 – Top 3
1 – Lowell Hottenstein
2 – George Kelbly
3 – George Carter
LV 200 – Top 3
1 – Gene Bukys
2 – Larry Costa
3 – Mike Rattigan
LV Grand – Top 5
1 – Gene Bukys
2 – Larry Costa
3 – George Carter
4 – Jeff Summers
5 – Bill Goad
HV 100 – Top 3
1 – Tony Boyer
2 – Bart Sauter
3 – Bud Mundy
HV 200 – Top 3
1 – Andy Shifflett
2 – Jeff Summers
3 – Larry Costa
HV Grand – Top 5
1 – Tony Boyer
2 – Larry Costa
3 – Andy Shifflett
4 – Jeff Summers
5 – Bart Sauter
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 25th, 2008

New Ultra-Compact Reloading Scales

Two new, very small and light reloading scales have recently been introduced. These are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. While not as precise as a bench-top unit, they can deliver read-outs to within 0.2 grains. These ultra-compact scales should prove very useful for any shooter that needs to load at the range. Additionally, they are affordable enough to be used as a back-up to a larger electronic or balance beam scale.

We knew readers would want to learn about these brand new products. However, both these scales are so NEW that we haven’t yet been able to comparison-test them with a laboratory scale to confirm the claimed levels of weighing precision and see if there are any calibration or “drift” issues. Stay tuned for future test reports.

MTM Mini Reloading Scale — $30
The new DS-1200 weighs up to 1200 grains. MTM claims accuracy (resolution) to plus or minus 0.1 (one-tenth) grain. You can switch measurements among grains, grams, ounces and carats .The unit features a high-impact, plastic sensor cover that doubles as a large powder pan. The DS-1200 comes with a calibration weight, two (2) CR2032 Batteries, and a foam lined storage/travel case. Up to 1200 grain capacity with To save battery power, the large, backlit display shuts off automatically after 3 minutes. Here are sources for this bargain-priced new scale:

PrecisionReloading.com Item MTDS1200 | $29.99

Grafs.com Item MTMDS1250 | $29.99 — Coming Soon


Acculab Pocket Pro Mini Scale — $112
Sartorius, makers of the popular Acculab-123 scale and its Denver Instrument clone, the MXX-123, has introduced a new, portable reloading scale that is truly pocket-sized. The compact model PP-62 will work as a portable scale or a back-up for a benchscale. It measures 3.5″ long, 3″ wide, and just 7/8″ thick.

The Pocket Pro can handle a maximum weight of 1000 grains. Acculab claims resolution down to 0.1 (one-tenth) GRAM, which provides readability to 0.20 GRAINS. We like the fact that the unit runs on a single, easy-to-purchase AA battery. Battery life is up to 20 hours, if you turn off the back lighting on the LCD display. A sliding cover also protects the weighing mechanism during transport. The PP-62 offers easy one-button calibration with the supplied check weight.

Sinclair Int’l sells the new Acculab PP-62, for $111.50 (Item 10-6200). This includes battery, weighing pan, and 50 gram calibration weight.


CONSUMER ALERT: On the web you’ll find other versions of the Acculab Pocket-Pro® Scales, priced at $45-$60.00. These are the PP-201 (photo above) and PP-401. Though these scales appear identical to the PP-62 (Sinclair item 10-6200), they are NOT the SAME. The cheaper PP-201 and PP-401 are only rated to one-TENTH of a GRAM. The PP-62 is RATED to one-HUNDRETH of a GRAM — that gives you an 0.2 GRAIN precision.

Permalink Gear Review, News, Reloading No Comments »
May 24th, 2008

6.5 Creedmoor for Tactical Shooters

While the new 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge was devised primarily for High Power and Across the Course shooters, it is starting to find favor with tactical shooters looking for a highly accurate round that feeds well from a magazine, but offers significantly less recoil than a .308 Winchester.

CLICK HERE for 6.5 Creedmoor Video and Specifications

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 6.5×47 Lapua — Cost Factor
The 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor offer very similar ballistics with 120gr and 140gr bullets. However, 6.5 Creedmoor brass AND loaded ammo are cheaper. That’s a big plus in the tactical game. At tactical competitions, there are “move and shoot” stages where you need to shoot quickly and then move to another position. It’s very difficult to recover all your brass. Losing a piece of 6.5×47 brass (at 83 cents a pop) is painful. The Hornady brass is $32.49 per 50 (65 cents each) at MidwayUSA or Creedmoor Sports. And we expect the price may drop a bit, in time.

6.5 Creedmoor loaded ammunition is also much less expensive than the loaded 6.5×47 Lapua rounds. For shooters that don’t have the time (or skills) to reload, the 6.5 Creedmoor (at about $24 per 20-rd box) makes more financial sense. Grafs.com currently sells loaded 123gr 6.5×47 ammo for $42.99/20 rounds.

On the other hand, the Lapua brass is tougher. Forum member Mudcat observes: “[As to] the Hornady brass, while it’s good, it ain’t no Lapua, so don’t try to run hot loads cause all you are going to do is blow out the primer pockets. Keep your loads reasonable and you will get over 20 loads out of em. I have some I have loaded well over 20 times during testing…they grow like a mother though, as they are a lot softer than Win or Lapua, which is why the pockets will go. However the necks haven’t been splitting.”

Barrel Life Looks Promising
Barrel life appears to be pretty good with the 6.5 Creedmoor. Early reports indicate that barrels should last significantly longer than with a .243 Win or 6.5-284. Forum Member Mudcat reports: “Based on my throat wear at 600 rounds on my 6.5 Creedmoor barrel, I bet we are looking at 2500 rounds EASY of great accuracy and then probably to at least 3000 where you ain’t going to notice it shooting Cross the Course — you might see something at 600, but nothing worse than a few less Xs. At 600 rounds, I have not had to move my VLD seating depth yet.” Forum member Rob1 concurs: “The round shoots at lower pressures than other 6.5s and barrel life should be pretty good.” Rob1, who shoots tactical comps with Team Blaster, notes that Hornady puts its load and velocity on every box, so it’s easy for reloaders to replicate the performance of factory ammo. That way you can start with a few boxes of factory fodder, and then load your own once you have the brass.

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May 24th, 2008

How to Sell Gun Stuff Online

If you haven’t been checking our Home Page regularly, you may have missed our recently-released article about Online Auctions and Forum Classifieds. This guide explains how you can sell rifles, reloading gear, and shooting accessories on the internet, via Forum Classifieds as well as firearms auction sites such as GunBroker.com and Auction Arms.

In a comparison chart, we provide the listing costs and auction fees for the big sites so you can clearly understand how much an auction or advert will cost BEFORE you post. You’ll also find helpful tips on how to price your sale items and how to write your “ad copy” to get the best results.

The article stresses the importance of photography in auction and classifieds listings.

If you have a big-ticket item that you want to sell fast, you’ll need sharp, quality photos, and plenty of them. We explain how to take better photos for your listings and how to resize them to fit the online formats.

Lastly, the article covers current eBay policies. While eBay prohibits listings of firearms and “any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun”, there are still many products you can sell on eBay successfully, such as gun stocks, reloading dies, and gun safes.

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May 23rd, 2008

Super Shoot Report — Early Results

The Firearm Industry Super Shoot is underway right now at the Kelbly’s Range in North Lawrence, Ohio. We’re told that Tony Boyer, the all-time Hall of Fame points leader, won the Heavy Varmint 100 on Thursday, with a “teen” Agg. For you non-benchresters, that means a 5-target, 5-shot per target average of 0.1300″- 0.1999″.

Lou Mudica

Lou Murdica, who dominated the Cactus Classic earlier this year, had a 4th and 5th going into Friday’s events, making him the current two-gun leader with a .2195″ combined Aggregate, after two days.

Conditions were not as blustery as in previous years. Shooters reported consistant, cool temperatures with considerable humidity but no rain. Wind so far have not been bad, with average speeds in the 3-6 mph range with some gusts to 15 mph. Stronger winds are predicted for the shooting today (Friday) and Saturday.

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May 23rd, 2008

Simple, Low-Cost Length-to-Lands Gauge

RELOADING TIP: Andris Silins has come up with a simple way to measure length to the lands in your rifle:

“Here’s what I did to find length to lands for seating my bullets. I made four cuts into the neck of fire-formed brass. Then I pressed the bullet in lightly and chambered the entire gauge. As the cartridge chambers, the bullet slides back into the case to give you length to lands. It took less than five minutes to get it cut and working. A little light oil in the barrel just past the chamber helps ensure the bullet does not get stuck in the lands. It works great and is very accurate.

case OAL gauge home made

I made the cuts using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel. You can adjust tension two ways. First, you can make the cuts longer or shorter. Longer cuts = less tension. If you used only three cuts insted of four you would get more tension. The trick is to be gentle when you open and close the bolt. If you ram the bolt closed you may wedge the bullet into the lands. When you open the bolt it helps to keep a finger or two near by to guide the case out straight because the ejector wants to push it sideways.”

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May 23rd, 2008

17 Fireball Ammo Wins Award

The 17 Remington Fireball has received the 2008 NRA Golden Bullseye Award for “Ammunition Product of the Year” from Shooting Illustrated magazine. This award recognizes innovative new products introduced in 2007 which offer outstanding performance in their respective category.

The 17 Remington Fireball is a necked-down version of the .221 Remington Fireball case. It is very similar to the popular 17 Mach IV wildcat, but the cartridge dimensions are NOT identical. If you want to shoot this cartridge we recommend you chamber your rifle specifically for 17 Rem Fireball rather than use a Mach IV reamer.

17 Fireball

Along with the 17 Remington, the 17 Fireball is the ONLY factory-loaded 17-caliber centerfire round. As a cartridge for squirrels, gophers, and small varmints, the 17 Rem Fireball is a very efficient cartridge that achieves high velocities with a modest powder charge — roughly half the powder charge of a 22-250. When loaded with Remington’s 20gr AccuTip-V bullet, .17 Rem Fireball factory loads deliver 4000 fps, closely matching the velocity of the .204 Ruger. With the 17 Fireball, it’s easy to see your hits, even without a muzzle brake, as the 17 Fireball has 86% less recoil than the 22-250.

17 Fireball reloading recipes are now available at the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center.

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May 22nd, 2008

New Bushnell Elite 6500 4.5-30×50 Scopes Arrive

Jon Jackoviak of The Optic Zone reports that his first shipment of Bushnell Elite 6500 4.5-30×50 scopes has arrived. These come with a Fine Multi-X reticle and 1/4-MOA clicks, and are priced at $739.00. (A mildot reticle version may arrive in a few weeks.) Other dealers may be stocking this scope soon.

Burris 4.5-30x50 scope

These scopes have been anxiously awaited, ever since they were announced at SHOT Show earlier this year. The 6.5x magnification range is the widest in the industry, and the scope’s 30mm main tube and side-focus parallax adjustment puts it in the running with Leupold’s 8-25×50 LRT. The new scope also features Bushnell’s patented, Rainguard® hydrophobic (water-repellant) lens coating. This coating prevents fogging by causing condensation to bead up into much smaller droplets.

The question mark remaining about the new Bushnell 6500 is the actual elevation range. The Optic Zone (and some other vendors) are claiming 80 MOA each of Windage and Elevation Adjustment, but the Bushnell website says there are only “50 inches” total Elevation on the 4.5-30×50. Right now we’re betting on Bushnell’s lower number, which is significantly less than the 75 MOA offered by the new Sightron 8-32×56, which we have confirmed.

Burris 4.5-30x50 scope

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May 21st, 2008

D.C. v. Heller — Supreme Court Argument Audio Offered

Most legal experts agree that the case of District of Columbia v. Heller is the most important Second Amendment case in nearly 70 years. The case, brought by Dick Heller, a security guard who lives in the District of Columbia, seeks to overturn the District’s complete ban on handguns for personal defense in the home. This case presents a Second Amendment issue front and center — the Supreme Court must decide whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to “keep and bear arms” or whether it only empowers an organized militia.

Oral arguments in the case were heard on March 18, 2008. The final, written decision is expected by mid-summer, maybe even in June. Until then, we wait with anticipation. It appeared, based on the statements of the Justices during oral arguments, that a majority of High Court members (including Chief Justice Roberts) agree that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right. If that’s how the Supreme Court rules, it will be a major victory for gun rights advocates. However, that could give rise to further legal battles, to determine what is “reasonable regulation”.

If you haven’t listened to the D.C. v. Heller Oral Arguments yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. Michael Bane of DownRangeTV has collected the official audio recordings of the DC vs. Heller oral argument. These are now available in MP3, streaming audio versions, on the DownRangeTV website.

CLICK HERE to Access Oral Arguments (MP3 AUDIO)

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