August 21st, 2008

Range Carts for High Power and Silhouette Shooters

High Power shooters have a bunch of gear to carry to the firing line–pad, shooting jacket, scope stand, spotting scope, ammo, log-book and rifle(s). If you’re shooting F-Class, add a heavy front rest and 15-lb sand-bag to the list. A range cart makes life much easier, particularly if the shooting area’s a long way from the parking lot. Creedmoor Sports makes a folding range cart that is very popular with the iron sights crowd. This unit features 14″ ball-bearing wheels and the frame is made from solid aluminum–not lightweight tubing that can bend or crack. Lift a simple locking lever and the cart folds. The cart can be completely dis-assembled, without tools, to fit in a suitcase (collapsed size 30″ x 17″ x 8″). The Creedmoor cart retails for $499.00, and that includes a rifle case, tray, and rain-cover. The rifle case doubles as a rack/holster.

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

If $499.00 isn’t in the budget, or you’d like to build your own range cart with a lockable storage compartment, you should look at the carts used by Cowboy Action shooters. These wooden carts are heavy, but they provide a stable platform for multiple guns and a nice, solid perch for sitting. There are many do-it-yourself designs available. One of our favorites is the GateSlinger cart shown below. This well-balanced design breaks down into two pieces for transport. Click Here for cart plans, and read this “How-to Article” for complete instructions with many photos.

wooden range cart Gateslinger

The least expensive way to go is to purchase a Dolly (Hand Truck) at Harbor Freight, or a large warehouse store such as Home Depot. Make sure to get one with wheels at least 10″ in diameter, or you’ll have problems in rough terrain. The bigger the wheels the better. Normally you can find dollies for under $30.00. Just bolt a large box or milk crate to the bottom, and voilà, instant range cart. You can clamp a piece of wood at the top with slots for barrels on one side and a flat tray for ammo on the other. Use bungee cord or leather straps to hold the barrels in place. Having built a couple all-wood range carts (both collapsible and one-piece), this editor can assure you that starting with an inexpensive welded hand truck is the cheapest, simplest way to go overall. You can buy oversize, spoked wheels from NorthernTool.com. (From the Northern Tool home page, search for “spoked wheels”.)
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August 21st, 2008

World Muzzle-Loading Championships in Australia

Beijing isn’t the only location where shooters from many nations are competing this month. The United States Int’l Muzzle-Loading Team turned lead bullets and shot into gold, silver and bronze medals at the 23rd World Muzzle Loading Championships, held August 11-16 in Adelaide, Australia. 205 competitors, representing 17 nations, vied for honors with a variety of muzzle-loading arms, ranging from matchlock muskets to sophisticated percussion target rifles and pistols. Both original antiques and modern replica guns are used, competing in different divisions.

Muzzle-loading championships

Top honors were taken by Dr. Michael Arnette, whose score of 93 in the original division of the “Lamarmora” 50-meter offhand percussion rifle-musket event not only won the gold, but set a new world record in the process. Arnette took the same gun to the 100-meter line for the “Minie” prone match, shooting well enough to help a team of Arnette, Allan Godshalk, Gary Crawford, Frank Kapper, and Tony Ulisse take 3rd place in the “Grand Prix de Versailles”, an aggregate for military longarms that is often considered the overall world team championship. An equally strong performance was turned in by Harry Sparks, who took both gold and bronze in individual shotgun events.

CLICK HERE for Photo Gallery from Adelaide

The World Muzzle Loading Championships are held biennially, with Pacific and European Zone Championships in the off years. The 24th World Championships will be held in Portugal in August 2010. CLICK HERE for more info on precision long-range muzzle-loader shooting.

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