September 30th, 2008

Sinclair Releases New, Advanced Neck Turning System

Sinclair International has just introduced a new Neck-Turning Tool. Part of a complete system with carbide mandrels, this product promises to be one of the best neck-turners on the market. The new tool has many improved features we really like:

▪ The cutter body is big, and curved to fit the hand. So, it is easier to hold than the old Sinclair tool or the K&M tool.

▪ The cutter-depth adjustment works really well. A large, knurled rotary knob on the back of the cutter body connects to an eccentric mechanism. This moves the mandrel shaft (and case) in and out relative to the cutter tip. You start by setting the cutter with feeler gauges, then fine-tune with the knob. Adjustments are very positive and precise, with laser-engraved index marks. This is a very good adjustment system, we think.

▪ The end of the tool is open so you can easily eyeball the caseneck as you’re cutting.

▪ High-grade carbide mandrels in 17 through 338 calibers will be offered with the new cutter system. At about $45 per caliber, they’re expensive, but the carbide mandrels DO work better — you’ll notice smoother case rotation and less heat build-up than with conventional (non-carbide) mandrels. If you already have mandrels, don’t worry. Sinclair says: “Our single-ended stainless mandrels will work fine with the new Neck-Turning Tool.”

Sinclair Neck-turning tool

Precise Adjustments Possible
With the eccentric adjustment system, you can make quick cut-depth changes with great precision. The cutter adjustment knob is click-adjustable in .0002″-.00025″ per click increments. The cut depth can be adjusted through a range of .004″-.005″ using the adjustment dial. A mandrel adjustment screw is included to make mandrel set-up and adjustment easier.

Sinclair Neck-turning tool

Sinclair’s new Premium Neck-Turning Tool includes three (3) feeler gauges for quickly setting cutter depth in the approximate range of the cut desired. With the cutter in range using the feeler gauge, the eccentric adjustment knob can make final adjustment for the exact neckwall thickness you desire. Sinclair claims: “Cutter adjustment is very fast and sure with none of the usual trial and error experienced with other tools.”

The $145.95 Premium Neck Turning Tool Kit (item NT-4000) includes three feeler gauges and a case-holder Turning Handle. Or you can save ten bucks and get the Tool and gauges without handle for $135.95 (item NT-4100). All popular Sinclair neck-turning tool accessories, including expander mandrels, will work with the Premium Tool. Order caliber-specific carbide turning mandrels separately for $44.75 per mandrel (items 95-0XX).

Sinclair Neck-turning tool

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September 30th, 2008

Federal Firearms Licensing Center Moves to Martinsburg, WV

ATF

Effective October 1, 2008, the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC) will move most of its operations from Atlanta, Georgia to Martinsburg, West Virginia. This transfer of function was mandated by Congress in ATF’s FY2005 appropriations legislation. The notice of change states: “As with previous workload redistributions, we anticipate an initial adjustment period and appreciate your patience in advance.” Please contact the FFLC toll free at 1-866-662-2750 with any questions about this change.

FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSING CENTER
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, WV 25405
1-866-662-2750 (phone)
1-866-257-2749 (fax)

Complete contact information for the FFLC, with names and phone numbers for all regional field officers, can be downloaded in a .pdf file linked below.

Federal Firearms Licensing Center Office Roster

New Assignments Starting 10/1/2008
All applications received by the FFLC with a postmark date of October 1, 2008 or later will be assigned for processing based on the new list of State assignments (see .pdf file). Applications postmarked before October 1, 2008 will continue to be assigned to their current examiner for completion.

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September 29th, 2008

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals Oct. 3-5 in Louisiana

The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) hosts its 2008 Multi-Gun Nationals Oct. 3-5 at the Clark Range, in Princeton, Louisiana. This USPSA event requires shooters to engage multiple targets, on the clock, with pistol, rifle, and shotgun. The USPSA Nationals will draw ace action shooters from around the country. Shown below is Chris Tilley, competing at the 2007 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals. The video shows how smoothly Chris transitions from gun to gun and how well he engages targets while on the move. If you’ve ever tried that, you know how difficult it is to aim (and hit) while running sideways. That’s why Chris, the 2006 USPSA National Open-Class Champion, is one of America’s “top guns”.

YouTube Preview Image

Though there are multiple classes for rifles, pistols, and shotguns (based on equipment), most competitors will be using semi-automatic firearms. The rifles will typically be AR15-style carbines with red dot sights. Most shooters use .223-caliber carbines but there is also a “Heavy Metal” division for .308 or larger caliber rifles. Open-class pistols will be 1911-based race guns with red dot or holographic sights, compensators, and high-capacity magazines carrying 20 rounds or more.

Speed, accuracy, and firepower all count in this game. Stages require anywhere from 6 to 30+ shots. The scoring system measures points scored per second, then weights the score to compensate for the number of shots fired. If they miss a target, or shoot inaccurately, points are deducted, lowering that all-important points-per-second score. Scoring is based on hits and time, plus the “Power Factor” is calculated into the equations. It can get pretty complicated, so USPSA Multi-Gun matches are scored with computer software called EZWinScore. To learn more about Multi-Gun competition, visit USPSA.org or you can download the Multi-Gun Rulebook.

STAGES: CLICK HERE for Stage Diagrams showing target sequence/placement.

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September 29th, 2008

Area 52 Offers Multi-Distance Matches with Electronic Targets

Sophisticated electronic scoring systems (with acoustic targets) are used in Olympic and ISSF competition. Many such advanced systems have been installed at shooting ranges in Europe. The U.S. Army has also installed electronic targets at Ft. Benning, Georgia, but that range is restricted to military use except for a few special matches. Right now there’s just one facility with a full electronic target system that offers regular access to civilians, 12 months a year: AREA 52. In West Central Texas, southwest of Abilene, Spindler Arms LLC operates the modern AREA 52 Long Range Shooting facility. AREA 52 offers high-tech acoustic targets at four distances: 300m, 600m, 800m, and 1000 meters. Every shooter has his/her own target monitor for scoring. All target bays are on separate lines of sight, and shooters are spaced on a single line, so there is no conflict between 300m shooters and those shooting the longer distances.

spindler arms area 52spindler arms area 52

Area 52 has scheduled three major, multi-distance competitions this fall. On October 11, AREA 52 will host a multi-distance Long Range Competition using electronic targets. The Course of Fire consists of 3 sighters and 15 record shots at each of the four metric distances (300m, 600m, 800m, 1000m). The cost is $70 per class. Max caliber is .338 Lapua Magnum. On October 25, the 3-6-8 SniperCup Challenge will be held. Limited to 50 participants, this match involves timed fire at 300, 600, and 800 meters. Thirty (30) record rounds total. There will be separate classes for semi-auto and bolt-action rifles, and the fee is $35 per class. Lastly, on November 1, Area 52 hosts a 4-distance Benchrest event with targets at 300, 600, 800, and 1000 meters. It is unusual for benchresters to be challenged at four distances this far apart, and it will be interesting to see the choice of calibers. Maybe a 6 PPC at 300 and a 300 WSM at 1000? Course of fire includes 3 sighters and 2 x 10 record rounds within 30 minutes at each distance. This is a “group-shooting” match with Score as the tie-breaker. Match fee is $ 79.00 per shooter/class/gun.

spindler arms area 52

To learn more about Area 52 and the upcoming matches, visit SpindlerArms.com, or contact Wilhelm Spindler, AREA 52, 6555 N. State Hwy. 208, Robert Lee, TX 76945, phone: (325) 453-9166, email: info [at] spindlerarms.com.

spindler arms area 52

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September 28th, 2008

Ty Cooper and Larry Bartholome Top Field at Spirit of America

The 2008 Spirit of America (SOA) Match was a huge success. With International Team Competition on the menu this year, the SOA drew scores of top Palma shooters from around the world. Over 160 competitors came to the Whittington Range in Raton, New Mexico to compete for honors in both Full-bore Target Rifle and F-Class matches. Spc. Tyrel Cooper of the USAMU won the Target Rifle Overall Aggregate. Ty Cooper has “been on a roll lately, and has been shooting great”, according to Veteran Team member Jerry Tierney. On the F-Class side, Larry Bartholome shot consistently to top a very competitive field. Congrats to both Ty and Larry!

Spc. Tyrel (Ty) Cooper

Team competition was a major highlight of the SOA. In the America Match* for national teams, The U.S.A. Team finished first, beating Australia (second place) and England (third place). Individual USA Team member scores are posted below. We’re pleased to see forum member Bryan Litz shooting well, and we salute Sherri Hurd. Not only was Sherri the top female shooter in the America Match, but her 597-36X score was the third best in the entire field, after England’s David Luckman (599-35X) and Team USA teammate Tyrel Cooper (597-40x).

America Match SOA

Pfc. Sherri Hurd

The U.S.A. Veterans’ Team performed extremely well, actually posting the second highest team total overall. That’s right — the American veterans out-scored the National teams of Australia and the UK. “Not bad for a bunch of old guys, wouldn’t you say”, Tierney observed. For complete Match Results, visit the Bald Eagles Club website, BaldEaglesRC.org.

USA Veterans Team

For the English perspective on the match, visit the Team England Website. It offers match results, tech info about the sport, and a Photo Gallery with dozens of images.

*The America Match is a major international Palma competition first hosted in 2002. Matches are held every two years. Each team is composed of eight shooters, two sub-coaches, a main coach, an adjutant, a captain and two reserves. It is a multi-distance event. Course of fire is: 2 sighters and 15 shots for record at 300, 600, 900 and 1000 yards (or 300, 600 yards and 800 and 900 meters as appropriate to the venue).

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September 28th, 2008

6BRX: Long-Term Accuracy and Barrel Life Report

For two years, Forum member John Skowron (John708) has been campaigning a 6BRX, built by Nat Lambeth (RustyStud). You’ll find the full history of John’s 6BRX project in this Forum Thread. With this rifle, John was the overall 1000-yard winner at Butner in February 2007.

6BRX 6BR improved

The 6mm BRX is based on the 6mm BR cartridge. The shoulder is moved forward, but the shoulder angle and case taper is the same as the parent cartridge. This way you can use standard dies for most purposes (although it is a good idea to have a custom full-length die so you can size the entire case body). Many of our readers have been interested in the 6mm Improved (BRX, Dasher etc.), but they’ve wondered about case durability and barrel life. John has answers for those questions:

6BRX Case Life
Case life running the Berger 105s at 3000+ fps is 14-15 reloads. Brass was discarded when the primer pockets became too loose. The 6BRX brass OAL after fireforming is 1.56″. Max OAL for the 6BRX is 1.58″. The brass never stretched enough to require trimming before discard. Another plus for the 6BRX and Lapua brass. By the way don’t even bother with Remington-brand 6BR brass. The primer pockets were so loose after my standard fire-forming load I had to trash all the cases. Stick with the good stuff, Lapua.

6BRX Barrel Life
Here are Skowron’s comments as his round count increased:

2750 Rounds: I now have 2570 rounds through my 6mm BRX. I was just at the range today doing an accuracy test. I shot two 10-shot groups at 100 yards, one with 105gr Bergers, and the other with 107gr Sierras. Both were identical 0.44″ 10-shot groups. Not bad for a rifle with 2500+ rounds through it.

2900 Rounds: I now have 2900 rounds through my 6mm BRX. I was doing some load testing with the new 6mm Berger bullets. I compared them with my existing comp. load in my 6mm BRX. The 105gr Bergers, jammed .015″ into the lands, with 31.5 grains of Varget and Fed 205s are still shooting .45″ 10-shot groups at 100 yards. Velocity is 3060 fps. I don’t know how long this Broughton barrel will last, but I’m amazed that it’s lasted this long.

2950-3044 Rounds: I had virtually no throat erosion until I reached 2900 rounds. After 2900 rounds throat became noticeably rougher on cleaning and groups opened up. 10-shot groups with match ammo were now .53″ (compared to low fours before). At 2950 rounds the groups ran .58″. At 3044 rounds, the groups opened up to .7″. That’s not enough accuracy for LR work.

CONCLUSION: Barrel life with competitive accuracy was 2900 rounds with this gun.

Achieving this barrel life goal pretty much completes my 6mm BRX project. I’m now shooting a cartridge that has the same or better barrel life than the 260 Rem, it’s more accurate, with essentially equal wind drift. [Editor’s Note: Richard Schatz recently won the NBRSA 1000-yard Nationals with a 6 Dasher, a similar 6BR Improved cartridge, but with a 40° shoulder. Richard’s barrel had over 2000 rounds through it.]

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September 27th, 2008

Resources for 50-Caliber Shooters

Among our readers are fans of the ultimate “big boomer” cartridge, the 50 BMG. The fifty is popular with long-range shooters, many of whom compete in matches under the auspices of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA). The FCSA World Championship was held at Raton, NM in July, attracting shooters from around the globe. The Whittington Gun Club is holding a regional 50-caliber match at Raton this very weekend (Sept. 26-28). Other 50-caliber match dates are calendared on the FCSA website, www.fcsa.org. The FCSA site offers general info, match rules, a list of 50-cal friendly shooting ranges, plus a records archive.

Fifty Caliber Shooters Assn

50 BMG Components on Sale
If you’re a 50-Cal shooter, or are thinking about acquiring a Fifty in the near future, it’s not a bad idea to lay in a stock of reloading components. The Big Fifty has been banned in California, and there are efforts in Congress to extend that ban nationwide. Better to be prepared. Here are some good deals on 50 BMG components:

Wideners.com has brand new, primed Lake City 50 BMG Brass. This is 2006 production, with “LC 06″ headstamp. The brass is factory boxer primer w/ purple sealant, annealed case necks, and tar sealant* inside the case mouths. This is top tier brass that is fully reloadable. Widener’s is charging $52.50 for 25 cases or $200 for 100, item LC50BMG.

50 caliber bullets

Natchez Shooters Supplies currently has a sale on primed, Winchester-headstamp 50 BMG brass (item WN50CALPB). The price is $34.70, marked down from $39.79. That works out to $173.50 per hundred — a good deal on new, WCC 06 Mil-Spec brass.

50bmgSupply.com also has Winchester-headstamp 50 BMG brass. This is NEW manufacture (WCC 06 and WCC 08) with neck sealant and sealed primer. Cases are boxer primed, and fully reloadable. The price is $195.00 for 100 pieces.

50bmgSupply.com also offers 2004-2007 once-fired Lake City or PSD head-stamped 50 BMG brass. (PSD is made in South Korea by Poongsan Metal Manufacturing. It is good brass.) This used brass has been tumbled clean, resized, deprimed, primer pocket chamfered (to remove military crimp), then trimmed to length. It is ready to reload. Prices is $100.00 for 100 unprimed cases, or $130.00 for 100 primed cases.

Polygunbag.com carries a wide variety of 50 caliber projectiles including Hornady 750gr A-Max match bullets, and Barnes “Banded Solid” 750gr match bullets. Both the 750gr A-Maxs and 750 Barnes Solids are priced at $37.00 per box of 20 bullets. The A-Maxs are very popular with long-range 50 Caliber match shooters.

50 caliber bullets


*Regarding the Tar mouth Sealant, Widener’s notes: “This brass is ready to be charged and the bullet seated. If you want complete waterproofing, leave the tar seal in the mouth. If you do not want the tar, use a swab with XYLENE solvent and the tar can be easily removed. NOTE: Do not use an expander unless you remove the tar first as the tar will gum up on it.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
September 27th, 2008

Tennessee Smith Does Great Work without Long Delays

Forum member Jim (aka FalconPilot) recently provided a strong endorsement of a Tennessee gunsmith. We thought this was worth sharing. Jim notes:

“A lot of times on the internet all we hear are the bad things. I just wanted to pass a little valuable info along to all my fellow shooters. Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or sponsored by Howard — I pay just like everyone else.

Howard Pitts of Taft, TN is the owner of Pitts Precision Rifles. I met Howard at the Regional F-Class Championship in the spring and he is a hell of a nice guy. At the time, the barrel gave out on my Dowling-built 6.5-284, and someone there referred me to Howard. After watching his daughter Halie shooting all weekend (she kicked a number of well-known butts!!) with a gun that her dad had built, I decided to have Howard rebarrel my gun. This gun was a hummer before, and even more of a hummer when I got it back. Not only does it shoot “lights out”, but the quality of work was top-notch, and turn-around time was impressive.

Move forward a few months…I had a 6BR built and chambered by another very well-known gunsmith. Great guy, fast turn-around, but the gun give me problems from the get-go. The Lapau brass was just too big for the chamber. I tried bumping shoulders, using small body dies, everything I knew of, and finally after about 800 rounds, gave up. (Moral to this story is ALWAYS use your own reamer, one that you know is right.) The gun shot in the high .30s to low .40s… but I expected more.

6mm Dasher

I’d decided that I wanted a Dasher anyways, so a call to Dave Kiff had the reamer on its way. Another call to Tim North and I had another barrel on the way — Tim is a great guy, went way out of his way to help, and makes a damn good barrel.

I next called Howard Pitts, explained my situation, and he told me to get him the equipment. He set my old barrel back, and chambered both barrels for me. Three weeks later, the gun returned with the same top quality work that I had received the first time around. Again, at a price that was more than reasonable (Pitts charges $150.00 for a typical chambering job). I’ve shot the gun over the last two days. While fireforming the brass, the gun is shooting in the .20s. With formed brass, I turned in a 5-shot, 100-yard group of .089″, my best group ever. Here is a group at one thousand (1000) yards:

6mm Dasher 1000 yards

I just wanted to point out a gunsmith that is honest, very accommodating, and who produces incredible work at a very fair price. Anyone looking for a smith, should give Howard a call at 931-993-6122 or 931-425-6895 (secondary), email: htpitts [at] bellsouth.net .”

Editor’s NOTE: Jim makes a very good point about reamers — it’s wise, when possible, to acquire your own reamer for an important project. That eliminates a variety of potential problems and it also ensures that you can get a near-identical chamber when it’s time to re-barrel the gun.

Regarding Pitts Precision — we’re pleased to spotlight a smith who does excellent work, at a reasonable price, with good turn-around times. There are many otherwise outstanding smiths who, due to their heavy workload, may take months or even years to complete a rifle. With one of this site’s own project guns, we had to wait 10 months for a barrel job — not a complete rifle — just chambering, fitting, and crowning a barrel. We applaud those smiths who can organize their schedules to provide good work in a timely fashion.

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September 26th, 2008

Barnard 6.5×47 Shines at 600 Yards

Benchrest accuracy from a Barnard? You Betcha! In a recent 600-yard benchrest match in Ojai, California, the powder-blue 6.5×47 Barnard shown below delivered an impressive 1.5″ five-shot group to set small group for the match. The gun has shot well under 1/4-MOA at shorter ranges during testing. Owned by SoCal shooter Bill H., the gun was smithed by Mac Tilton of MT Guns in Santa Barbara, CA. Mac says, “even with that long barrel, the gun balances well on the bags in the Mastin stock.” Owner Bill is delighted with the gun’s performance, telling us “this rig really demonstrates how accurate the 6.5×47 cartridge can be.” Bill was shooting Lapua 6.5×47 brass with Lapua 123gr Scenar bullets, Reloder 15 powder, and CCI BR4 primers.

Key Components from Down-Under
The rifle features a Barnard model “P” three-lug action, Barnard target trigger, Mastin F-Class laminated stock (with painted finish), and a 32″ heavy-contour True-Flite barrel. Both action and barrel are products of New Zealand, while the Mastin stock was crafted in Australia. For a better look at this handsome rifle, CLICK THIS LINK for a supersized photo.


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September 26th, 2008

'Pet Loads' Needed for 7mm Cartridge Guide

7mm Swampworks bulletsAccurateShooter.com’s Cartridge Guides are among the site’s most popular content features. Our .308 Cartridge Guide has been viewed nearly 350,000 times. By popular demand, we’re adding a new multi-cartridge 7mm Cartridge Guide. As planned, this will provide key information for: 7mm08, .284 Winchester, 7mm SAUM, and 7mm WSM (including 7mm-270 WSM). (We know there are many other popular 7mm cartridges, but we can’t do everything at once.)

Pet Loads and Tuning Advice Wanted
If you shoot one of the above calibers, and have developed a very accurate (and safe) load, please send us the specifics. We are particularly interested in successful match loads. Please include: bullet type and weight, brand of brass, powder charge, primer type, OAL (from base of rim to tip of seated bullet), and measured velocity (if available). Also include a sentence or two describing how this load performs, and the relevant info, such as: “1/2-MOA easy. Works good jammed or jumped. Good F-Class load. 2800 fps in 28″ barrel.”

Here is your chance to share your wisdom with a world-wide readership and help others “focus in” on a good load quickly.

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September 26th, 2008

Williamsport 40th Anniversary Raffle October 18

The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) marks 40 years of 1000-yard shooting this year. To celebrate Williamsport’s 40th year, and to raise funds for needed range improvements, a custom Commemorative Rifle will be raffled off. If you’re interested in taking a chance at winning this rifle, valued at $4000.00+, you have a couple more weeks to buy a raffle ticket. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Club’s annual banquet on October 18, 2008. The raffle is limited to 1000 tickets, priced at $20.00 each.

PA 1000-yard BR Williamsport

The rifle is chambered in 6mm Dasher. Components include: BAT action, Jewell trigger, Bartlein barrel, Baer stock, and a Nightforce BR scope. Many club members contributed time to fabricate the rifle, which would retail for $4000+. The rifle sports Bruce Baer’s innovative “Sidewinder” off-set stock. Mark King chambered the rifle. Springman Rifles pillar-bedded the stock, and Gary Hendrix applied the clearcoat. Engraved rifle components carry the Club’s logo and 40th Anniversary markings.

Please include a note with your payment stating that it is for 40th Anniversary Rifle Raffle. Raffle tickets can be purchased by mailing a check or money order (payable to “Original PA 1000-Yd BR Club”) to:

Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club
P.O. Box 1413
Williamsport, PA 17703

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September 25th, 2008

.243 Winchester Brass Weight and Capacity Tested

Forum member Andy (aka GreyMist) has completed an interesting test, with five (5) different types of .243 Winchester Brass. He collected Federal, Lapua, Remington, and two different lots of Winchester-brand brass. Then he selected ten (10) cases at random from each brand and measured their weights. To ascertain case capacity, three (3) cases from each brand/lot that were closest to the average weight for that brand/lot were selected. The results were surprising: there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain maximum difference in case weight!

Measuring Procedures
The cases were sized in a Redding body die then primed with a spent primer. All were weighed before and after filling them with distilled water. The capacity shown is an average of all three (3) cases from that lot and represents grains of water. Note, I tested two lots of Winchester brass. Lot A was purchased in 1999. Lot B was from factory .243 ammo. There is a rather large disparity in case weight between the two lots. For more info and to see the weights of individual tested cases, visit GreyMist’s webpage.

Brand Federal Lapua Remington Winchester A Winchester B
Capacity 53.9 54.4 53.7 54.8 54.8
Aver. Weight 173.28 173.13 165.34 158.58 166.44
SD¹ 0.46 0.39 0.17 0.58 0.42
Range² 1.70 1.10 0.40 1.80 1.40
% of Avg.³ 0.98% 0.64% 0.24% 1.14% 0.84%

1) Standard Deviation in grains.
2) Range is the difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest cases in the test.
3) Case range weight divided by the average weight.

.243 WinchesterWhat the Numbers Mean
… And Some Speculations

Andy observes: “It certainly seems there is a huge difference in case weight between Winchester lot A and any other brand of 243 tested. What is also surprising is that there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain difference in case weight!

Should one be wary of trying the same loads that were initially tested in the light weight Winchester brass even though the capacity difference is small? I have had some interesting results with one brand brass that I cannot pass on yet, except to say I sent that company a sample of the lot I have been using. The Remington brass weight range was very low. These were taken from a box of once-fired factory ammo. I will have to acquire some more and measure it.”

Results of Larger Lapua Sample
In a previous session Andy weighed all 100 Lapua cases he had on hand. His measurements showed a total variation of 2.1 grains, with the weight range being 172.5 to 174.6 grains. That is a 1.2 percent spread. The most that came in at the same weight were 11 cases at 173.5 grains.

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September 25th, 2008

Phoenix Hosts CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup in October

The 2008 Western CMP Games will take place at the Ben Avery Shooting Center north of Phoenix, Arizona on 11-19 October. The Western CMP Games Matches will take place on 11-14 October. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 15-19 October. Together, these back-to-back competitions comprise one of the major West Coast events of the year for Highpower and position shooters, and there’s still time to REGISTER.

MATCH INFO PAGE | BEN AVERY Facilities MAP

These combined matches offer activities for virtually every highpower rifle shooter–from clinics for beginning shooters to less formal Garand, Springfield and Military Rifle Matches to CMP Excellence-in-Competition Matches to NRA Registered Service and Match Rifle Highpower events. The official program is posted at www.ODCMP.com/Competitions/WesternGames.htm. You can sign-up on-line for any of the Western CMP Games or Creedmoor Cup matches at this REGISTRATION PAGE. Just fill in your contact info and select the matches you want to shoot. All data is sent via the web so you don’t even need a postage stamp.

Western Creedmoor Cup

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September 24th, 2008

Bartlein Barrels Reviewed by Whitley

Precision Shooting Bartlein BarrelsPrecision Shooting magazine’s February ’07 issue featured an excellent write-up about Bartlein Barrels. Bartlein is producing some really outstanding barrels these day. Click HERE to read the story, by Robert Whitley. FYI, the barrel on Richard Franklin’s 300 Varminter in the featured story above was 32″, straight-contour, 15-twist Bartlein.

We were sufficiently impressed with reports about Bartlein barrels from top smiths such as Alan Warner, Grey Tannel, and Richard Franklin, that we chose Bartlein to produce two barrels for AccurateShooter.com’s 6×47/6.5×47 Lapua test gun now in the works.

The two founders of Bartlein are Tracy Bartlein and Frank Green. Both men worked at Krieger Barrels for many years. Bartlein employs advanced CNC machining techniques to produce barrels that are super-straight and dimensionally uniform. Alan Warner says the Bartlein barrel he installed on his wife’s 6.5-284 F-Classer shoots close to 1/4 MOA at 600 yards and cleans up easily. Richard Franklin told us the Bartleins he’s received have been outstanding. Robert Whitley has ordered eight Bartlein barrels, and he reports they are “great on the outside [and] when bore scoped, looked perfect on the inside as well”.

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September 23rd, 2008

Schatz Wins NBRSA 1000-Yard Championship

Legendary North Dakota shooter Richard Schatz, the “Duke of Dashers”, has done it again. Competing in challenging conditions at Byers, Colorado, against a field of top shooters, Richard took the two-gun championship. Glen Sterling also shot very well. Both Richard and Glen broke the existing NBRSA 6-target Light Gun Group Aggregate record. Glen posted a 5.3272″ Agg, while Richard had a 5.3702.” The previous record (6.125″) was set by Schatz at Byers in 2004. We’re waiting for final results, but there was some talk that Schatz may also have set a new 12-target Score record, but that is unconfirmed. Excellent performances were also turned in by Duane Capehart, Robert Hoppe, Daryl Kopriva, Dee Thompkins, and Joe Thielen.

Schatz shot his trusty 15.5-lb, 6mm Dasher in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun classes. This rifle features a Shehane Baby Tracker stock, Nesika Model ‘K’ RBLP, right-eject action, and a 27″ Krieger barrel. The chamber is basically a no-turn neck, but Richard does “clean up” his necks, turning them to a uniform .013″ neck-wall thickness. Richard’s match load was 33.0 grains of Reloder 15, CCI 450s, and 105gr Berger VLDs. This load runs 3020-3050 fps. Richard notes: “That’s the [velocity] spot where every barrel I’ve had likes to run.” Richard’s Krieger barrel now has about 2000 rounds through it. When the barrel was new, Richard seated his bullets just “kissing the lands.” He has not chased the lands over time so he thinks his seating depth is now at least 0.010″ off the lands but he hasn’t measured recently. “I don’t know [the exact depth], and I don’t care,” Richard told us, “because it still shoots great.”

6mm Dasher

Complete Match Results
Thanks to Forrest Foster, below we offer complete Match Results for the 2008 NBRSA Nationals in spreadsheet format. Right Click and “save as” to download the files. You will need MS Excel (or an Excel Viewer) to open the files.

NBRSA 1K Nationals Complete Score | NBRSA 1K Nationals Complete Group

The course of fire at this match was 12 total targets at 1000 yards, six targets for Light Gun and six for Heavy Gun. There are five (5) shots for record per target in LG, and ten (10) shots per target in HG.

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September 23rd, 2008

New Catalog for AR-platform Rifles Lists 2000+ Items

Brownells has released its latest Catalog of AR-15 parts and accessories. This Third Edition has 76 pages of accessories, parts, tools and supplies for the popular semi-auto rifle platform. The new catalog lists 2000+ items, including 595 new products, plus almost 400 factory parts.

Brownells AR-15 Catalog #3

According to CEO Frank Brownell, “We matched the format of the big book (Catalog #61) making it really easy to find things. With the side bars, all the new products, the new custom-built guns, and the Made in USA flags, we think this is the best specialty book we’ve done so far.” Plus, for many products, there’s an online instructional video available.

You can order the FREE catalog at www.brownells.com or by phone at 800-741-0015 (mention code #PEG). Or, download a FREE .pdf version of the catalog by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE to download Brownell’s AR-15 Catalog #3

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September 22nd, 2008

Results for CISM World Military Shooting Championships

The World Military Shooting Championship recently concluded in Boden, Sweden. American shooters did well, capturing the “Best Nation” title with the top aggregate points total. Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia was the top overall male rifle marksman, while Norway’s Gyda E. Olssen finished as top female rifle shooter. A Captain in the Norwegian military and an Olympic competitor, Olssen is surely one of the prettiest soldiers ever to shoot in CISM competition.

Gyde E. Olssen
Captain Olssen — photo courtesy Norges Skytterforbund

CLICK HERE to download complete Match Results from Boden, Sweden

Team USA Wins Three Medals and Best Nation Title
American shooters from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, (and one USNR member), won three medals and the coveted title of Best Nation at the CISM World Military Shooting Championship. “We were down by as many as 40 points,” said USAMU Commander Lt. Col. Frank Muggeo, USA CISM Team chief of mission. Ultimately we pulled it out by 10 points and have won the title of Best Nation. We have not won this event in eight years. Our soldiers were shooting in events that are only shot at CISM and they are not events that we practice throughout the year. This just goes to show how important the fundamentals of marksmanship are.”

Military World Shooting Championships Sweden

US Women Win Gold at 50m
The first CISM Gold Medal was awarded to USA’s Women’s Rifle Team in the Women’s 50-Meter Sport Rifle Prone Team Match. Winning gold were: Sgt. Kelly A. Dove, Spc. Nicole M. Cooper of the USAMU, and Army Reservist Lt. Col. Rhonda L. Bright, formerly of the USAMU. In this match, the women fired 60 shots in 1.5 hours at a target with a bullseye smaller than a dime. Germany took the Silver Medal and Norway the Bronze.

China Wins Most Medals
The World Military Shooting Championship involves both pistol and rifle disciplines. By dominating the pistol matches, China finished with the highest medal count. China took home eleven medals from the championships, six of them gold, two silver and three bronze. Norway came second in the medal count with eight medals, followed by Belarus with five.

Norway’s Men and Women Both Win Gold in Team Rifle Events
The Team Rifle competition yielded double Gold Medals for Norway. In the 300m three-position military rapid fire rifle team match, Norway’s men smashed the world record to win gold. The new record is 1,724 points — 31 points better than the previous record. In the women’s 3×20 team rifle match, Norway’s lady shooters grabbed the gold, finishing two points ahead of runner-up Sweden. The Norwegian gold-medal winning team consisted of Kristina Vestveit, Gyda E. Olssen and Hanne Skarpodde. “We really hadn’t expected this, we did have our sights on a medal, but we never thought we’d shoot better than Germany’s team,” said an overjoyed Stale Larsen, team leader for the Norwegian women’s team.

Norway’s Army Capt. Gyda E. Olssen, hugs Norway team leader Stale Larsen
Photographer: Mats Engfors, PIC WMSC 2008.

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September 21st, 2008

Teaching Marksmanship to Juniors the Marine Corps Way

Earlier this summer, Marine Corps instructors tutored 146 junior shooters at the Annual Camp Perry USMC Junior High Power Clinic. Retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant Ken Roxburgh and his cadre of Marine and Team Bushmaster shooting instructors held forth in proper Marine fashion. As the clinic began, Gunny Roxburg barked: “You will not disrespect your instructors or your classmates by closing your eyes during this clinic.”

Camp Perry USMC clinic

The clinic ran Friday, 25 July, through Sunday, 27 July, and focused on the key elements of range safety and etiquette, shooting position, aiming, sling skills, trigger control, zeroing, effects of weather and proper use of the data book. Roxburgh emphasized the science of shooting, spending considerable time explaining the physiology of sight and the physical requirements of successful marksmanship. At one point Roxburg chided: “If a shooter is having difficulty acquiring proper eye relief, perhaps he spent a little too much time with his good friend Jose Cuervo the night before.” Days two and three were spent shooting on the range firing at 200, 300 and 600 yards.

Roxburgh’s style of instruction combines education, discipline, humor, and mutual respect –- all key elements needed to communicate with young adults. Roxburg notes: “What we really try to teach is safe weapons handling as it relates to fundamental marksmanship and match participation. We have to have a great measure of self-discipline and the ability to follow appropriate orders and regulations given by the people that run these matches.” Roxburgh has been a lead instructor in the USMC HP Junior Clinic many different years. A member of the USMC rifle and pistol teams, Roxburg retired from active duty in 2005 after 30 years of service to the Corps — most notably as a sniper instructor.

Camp Perry USMC clinic

You can learn more about the USMC Junior Clinic at Camp Perry, and read comments from students, in the The First Shot, the CMP’s Online Newletter.

Photos copyright ODCMP.com, used with permission.

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September 21st, 2008

Lead-Free E-Tip Bullets on Sale at Midsouth

In some areas of the country, for environmental reasons, shooters and hunters are not allowed to use solid lead or lead-cored bullets. One of the options available for these shooters is the new E-Tip® bullet from Nosler. The E-Tip features a plastic tip, an expansion cavity, and a patent-pending alloy construction that Nosler claims provides less fouling, and better bullet-weight retention than traditional pure copper designs. Nosler claims that the E-Tip’s Expansion Cavity allows for immediate and uniform expansion yet retains 95%+ weight for improved penetration.

As a “September Special”, Midsouth Shooters Supply, is offering E-Tip bullets at discounted prices. Four bullet weights are offered in three calibers. The prices shown below are for 50-count boxes.

Caliber Bullet Midsouth Product ID Price for 50
.270 Win (.277) 130gr Spitzer 115-59298 $28.29
7mm (.284) 150gr Spitzer 115-59426 $29.73
30 Cal (.308) 150gr Spitzer 115-59378 $29.73
30 Cal (.308) 180gr Spitzer 115-59180 $31.80

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September 20th, 2008

REPORT: Pennsylvania, Ohio Voters May Decide Election

The Presidential election is shaping up as a very close contest. Depending on which poll you read, McCain or Obama has a slight lead in the popular vote. What many voters (and most newscasters) forget is that we have an electoral college system. Each state delivers a certain number of electoral votes (usually, but not always, “winner take all”).

According to Electoral-vote.com, if the election were held today, Obama would capture 273 Electoral votes, compared to 265 for McCain. 270 votes are needed to win. The charts display predicted electoral vote outcomes in all 50 states.

But the race see-saws — just yesterday, McCain had the edge in electoral votes, 265 to 252. The difference was Pennsylvania. Interestly, Pennsylvania (21 Electoral votes), just yesterday was listed as “exactly even”, meaning it could swing Democratic OR Republican.

In the latest poll Pennsylvania is “Barely Democratic”. As goes Pennsylvania, so could go the Electoral College. Ohio is another key state. In recent Presidential elections, the result in Ohio nearly always predicted the eventual winner. Ohio is “Barely Republican” right now.

Message to Voters in Key ‘Swing’ States (Pennsylvania This Means You!)
Important states like Pennsylvania and Ohio could swing on a few thousand votes. Pennsylvania has a large population of shooters and hunters. If the hunters and sportsmen come out and vote in large numbers, this could determine Pennsylvania, and that, in turn could put McCain in the White House rather than Obama.

Other key states where the votes of hunters and outdoor sportsmen could shift the balance are: Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. These states are now listed as “Barely Democratic” with a 3% margin of error in the polls. Quite literally, if hunters and shooters go to the polls in strength, a few thousand more Republican (red) votes could change the election. And consider this, if the tiny state of New Hampshire (whose motto is “Live Free or Die”) swings from “Barely Democratic” into the Republican camp, the loss of those four (4) electoral votes would drop Obama from 273 to 269 votes — below the 270 required to win.

LESSON: In the key states, hunters, shooters, and supporters of gun rights CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. If just one “Barely Democratic” state swings the other way, that could determine the outcome of the election.

The differences between the two Presidential candidates are great. The path this nation takes in the next four (or even eight) years will be very different depending on who sits in the Oval office. Will that be John McCain or Barack Obama? Pennsylvania shooters — it may be you who answer that question!

Charts syndicated via electoral-vote.com. Visit Electoral-Vote.com for daily updates.

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