September 4th, 2008

Ocock busts NBRSA Rail-Gun Records — 0.1129 200-yard Agg

Arizona gunsmith Gary Ocock ranks fourth overall on the all-time Benchrest Hall of Fame Points list. This Monday he added two potential NBRSA Unlimited (Rail Gun) records to his list of achievements. Shooting in a special Monday Labor Day match at Visalia, California, Ocock demolished the existing Unlimited 200-yard NBRSA record. Gary’s 5-target, 200-yard aggregate was 0.1129. (That’s the measured average of five, 5-shot targets, divided by two). Once certified, this will be a new NBRSA record. The previous 200-yard record was a 0.1396 shot in 2003 by Bart Sauter. Gary’s 100-yard Agg was also in the “teens”, a 0.1534. So, Ocock’s combined 100 + 200 “Grand Agg” was a stunning 0.1331, which would also be a new record, beating Bill Forrester’s 0.1496 Grand Agg shot in 1989.

Record-Setting Railgun with Delrin Barrel Sleeve
Gary Ocock was using a Jay Young Railgun with some custom “enhancements” by Gary. As with most railguns, the barrel is held by a barrel block. But Gary employs something pretty unique. Between the metal halves of the 7″-long barrel block, Gary has fitted a Delrin sleeve around the barrel. This is then clamped in place when the block is bolted together. What’s the advantage of the Delrin sleeve? According to Gary “The Delrin seems to help with accuracy. I had a couple barrels that just didn’t seem to shoot well no matter what load I tried. I first tried a sleeve made from lead and epoxy in an effort to make those barrels competitive. The barrels did shoot better, but the epoxy/lead sleeve was a pain to make. So, I came up with the Delrin sleeve and it works just as well or better. I can’t tell you exactly why it works, but it probably is damping the barrel vibration. With the Delrin sleeve I’ve turned average barrels into winners.”

Jay Young Railgun

At right is a Jay Young Railgun, similar to the Unlimited gun used by Gary Ocock to set two new records. Gary’s gun has a longer barrel (26″) and Gary has devised a special Delrin sleeve that fits between barrel and barrel block. Gary believes the Delrin Sleeve dampens barrel vibration. For more info, email Gary Ocock: onehole149 [at] aol.com

Bullets Seated OFF the Lands
For his record-breaking effort on Monday, Gary used a 26″-long, 1.350″-diameter straight-contour 6mm Krieger barrel. Twist is 1:13.5″, and the chambering was a tight-neck 6PPC using Gary’s own 67gr BT match bullets. Gary shot a relatively “mild load” and interestingly his bullets were NOT engaging the barrel rifling. That’s right, he figures his seating depth was about .005-.010″ OFF the lands. The action was a BAT SV with a non-ejector bolt borrowed from another BAT. Scope was a March 50X.

Smart Wind Calls Helped Gary at 200
Watching the wind was key to his amazing 200-yard performance, Gary said: “Mirage was quite heavy, but I noticed things worked best in a light left to right condition. I tried to wait for that condition on most of my shots at 200 yards. On three of the five groups I didn’t hold off at all. On two groups I held off a little. The key was waiting to shoot in that left to right condition.”

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September 4th, 2008

Beretta-Owned Burris Acquires Steiner-Optik GmbH

Here’s another outdoor industry business consolidation, another big fish swallowing little fish. Beretta Holdings, through its Burris division, has acquired Germany’s Steiner-Optik GmbH. Steiner, a respected maker of optics, particularly binoculars, is based in Bayreuth, Germany, and now employs 120 workers. Steiner will be integrated into the Beretta Group through its optics subsidiary, Burris, based in Colorado. So now the Germans will be making binoculars for a US-based company owned by Italians.

Steiner BinocularsWhy did this acquisition take place? Steiner has not been very successful in the North American market. Steiner’s President and CEO, Carl Steiner, needed the help of an international group with strong distribution and plenty of marketing clout. Beretta Holdings doubtless believes that the addition of Steiner, a “prestige” optics name for over 50 years, will help Burris compete against high-end brands such as Leica and Swarovski. This is a good thing for Burris. Steiner has a record of innovation: Steiner produced the first pocket-sized binoculars, the first commercial binoculars with rubber armor, and the first binoculars with an anti-UV protective lens coating.

Burris General Manager, Steve Bennetts, said both Burris and Steiner have strong brand identification, and he suggested that the two companies will soon coordinate their product development efforts. We suspect this means the high-end optics will carry the Steiner name while mid- and low-cost optics will be sold as Burris products.

Beretta’s companies offer a vast range of products, with optic devices representing an increasingly important component. Current companies owned by Beretta Holdings include: Beretta, Benelli, Burris, Franchi, Meccanica Del Sarca, Sako, Stoeger, Tikka, Uberti Replicas.

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September 4th, 2008

New NRA Website for Junior Shooters

The National Rifle Association has launched NRAInSights.org, a new, interactive website designed for NRA Junior members and young shooters. The new site has fun features (games, videos, photo galleries) to interest young shooters, but NRAInSights.org also provides safety info and general information. Site visitors will find firearm cleaning tips, how-to articles, wild game facts, news updates, product information and a calendar of events.

NRA Juniors website

Students will find the site an invaluable reference tool for in-depth content on Second Amendment issues, (including the D.C. v. Heller case), and the history of the NRA. There is an interactive guide to gun cleaning. A comprehensive wild-game encyclopedia has multiple images for each animal, range maps, sounds and in many cases, instructions on how to hunt particular game. There are also many feature articles on hunting and Junior-level competitive shooting. To see everything the site has to offer, go to www.NRAInSights.org.

Try Your Hand at Shooting Gallery
Among the games offered on the new site is a Coney Island Shooting Gallery. Whether you’re young, or just young at heart, you’ll enjoy playing this flash-based shooting challenge. Just one warning — once you start, the game is a bit addictive and the loud sound effects may not be “safe for work”. Click the image below to go to the game page.

NRA Juniors website

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