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November 21st, 2008

New First Focal Plane Nightforce 3.5-15x50mm F1 Scope

Nightforce Optics has just released a new first focal plane (FFP) scope, the 3.5-15x50mm F1. This scope, developed with input from the U.S. Military, should be ideal for tactical applications. The scope is available with Zero-Stop windage and elevation knobs calibrated in 0.10 Mil-Radian increments. When combined with Mildot or MLR reticles in the first focal plane, the Milrad knobs permit easy and precise ranging and holdovers. (Turrets with 1/4-MOA clicks are also available.)

The big news is the first focal plane engineering — something new for Nightforce. The advantage of the first focal plane design (also called “front focal plane”) is that the reticle size remains constant relative to the target’s dimensions at ALL magnifications. With a first-focal-plane reticle, the ranging marks, such as mildots, stay in synch with the target image at any zoom level. This allows the shooter to range targets and judge hold-offs at any magnification. As Zak Smith explains: “In variable power scopes, a first focal plane (FFP) reticle configuration means that the angular measure of the reticle features stays constant. No matter what magnification [the scope] is set at, 1 MOA will be 1 MOA and 1 MIL will demarcate 1 MIL.”

Nightforce F1 Scope Mildot

This scope is made in the USA. It is in short supply right now but Mike at CSGunworks.com has two units in stock, priced at $2290.00 including MLR reticle, Milrad turrets, and Nightforce UltraLite Rings. Those two scopes will sell quickly but Mike should have more inventory before Christmas. Call Mike at (916) 670-1103 for availability (price subject to change).

Ken from Nightforce Optics has announced that supplies of the new 3.5-15×50 F1 will be very limited for the next 4 to 6 months because Nightforce is fulfilling U.S. Army contracts. Ken notes that: “this new model riflescope, in the Mil-Spec version, is currently in use by several U.S. Army Special Forces groups.” Ken provided these details about the new Nightforce F1:

Product Information for the NXS 3.5-15x50mm F1

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $2,410.00
Standard Features Include:
1) ZeroStop
2) Illuminated reticle
3) Side parallax adjustment
4) Set of Nightforce Ultralite 30mm medium rings, (limited time only)

Reticle Options:
1) Two mil-radian reticles are currently available: The Mil-Dot and MLR
a. Thin-line subtended measurement equals .250 MOA
2) Proprietary MOA type reticles will be available in the future. (Within the next four to six months)

Adjustment Options:
1) .250 MOA elevation and windage adjustments, ZeroStop
2) 1.0 MOA elevation and 1/2 MOA windage adjustments, ZeroStop
3) .10 Mil-Radian elevation and windage adjustments, ZeroStop

Ken adds: “Considering the fact that we will only offer the Mil-Dot and MLR reticle options in the short term, we believe the Mil-Radian adjustment option will be the most popular of the models listed above for the short term.”

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Optics
If first focal plane design is better for ranging, one might ask “why aren’t all scopes made this way?” Well, there are tradeoffs. When shooting at known distances, if you’re trying to aim with extreme precision on a tiny X-Ring, you don’t want the cross-hairs to appear thicker as you turn up the magnification. With first focal plane reticle configuration, the reticle increases in thickness, as viewed by the shooter, as magnification increases. This means that, at higher powers, the reticle lines and mildots/hashmarks may obscure very small targets at long range. For a more complete discussion of the pros and cons of first focal plane vs. second focal plane designs, read Optics for Practical Long Range Rifle Shooting by Zak Smith.

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November 21st, 2008

Anschütz Junior CMP Rifles Discounted $100 at Creedmoor Sports

Looking for a “very special” Christmas present for that young shooter in the family? Here’s a timely promotion on a quality Anschütz 22LR target riflle. Creedmoor Sports recently reduced the Anschütz CMP Limited Edition 1903J Junior model by $100 making the price $945. This is a limited offer while quantities last. Anschütz will no longer be manufacturing the 1903J Junior model so if you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time to purchase.

Anschutz 1903 Junior Rifle CMP

This smallbore target rifle has an ambidextrous beech (blond) stock with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) logo laser-engraved on the rear of each stock. A quality Anschütz 6834 front/rear sight set is included with each rifle. The model 1903J also comes with handstop 6225, screwdriver, allen wrench, instruction booklet, and original test group.

This special offer is available on the Creedmoor Sports website or by calling Creedmoor Sports, 800-273-3366. More information on the Anschütz 1903J is found on the CMP sales website.

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November 20th, 2008

Edgewood Seeks Design Input on New F-Class Rear Bags

Edgewood rear bags are considered by many to be the “Cadillac” of rear bags. Offered in a variety of shapes and sizes, these bags are beautifully crafted of top-quality materials. Most of Edgewood’s current line-up of rear bags are optimized for use on a bench, but Edgewood also builds bags for F-Class shooters. Jack Snyder, Edgewood’s owner/chief designer, is soliciting ideas for new bag designs for F-classers. Jack posted this request in our Shooters’ Forum:

To all F-Class Shooters: We’re in the process of doing some serious R & D for new products specifically for F-Class Shooters. Our focus, in the past, was on Benchrest, but we’ve had many calls lately from F-Class shooters requesting different Rear Bag body heights, Ear heights/spread and more. Our new Grab Bag (offered by Sinclair Int’l) has become popular with F-Class Shooters because of its easy-to-grab handle. And we’re now ready to begin working on other bags and products to suit the F-Class Shooter’s specific needs. Email sales[at]edgebag.com with any and all ideas, suggestions and general comments, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks, in advance, for any input you might offer. — Jack Snyder

You can reply to the folks at Edgewood via sales[at]edgebag.com or you can join the rear bag design discussion on our Forum:

CLICK HERE for Forum Thread on Bag Designs for F-Class.

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November 19th, 2008

Muzzle Brakes — Bertalotto Tests Various Designs

Muzzle brakes are controversial. Some people swear by them, while others swear at them. Still, there’s no question that a good brake can reduce felt recoil up to 45%. And likewise, the best brakes, when installed properly, seem to have no negative effect on accuracy.

VAIS muzzle brake

Roy Bertalotto has done considerable experimentation with muzzle brakes, testing dozens of brake designs on his own rifles over the past few years. Roy’s article, Adventures with Muzzle Brakes, discusses various aspects of muzzle brake design and performance. Roy doesn’t claim that his testing is definitive, but his article is definitely worth a read. Here are some of Roy’s interesting findings:

Exit Hole Diameter
“Best accuracy and effectiveness of the brake was obtained with a hole .020″ over bullet diameter. If the exit hole is too small, such as +.005″ over bullet diameter, accuracy suffers. If the depth of the exit hole is too shallow, the metal around the hole will erode very quickly.”

Hole Placement
“The most effective braking was with a brake 1″ in diameter with a 3/4″ exit hole on each side, just in front of the muzzle. The bullet passes through a cone of 35 degrees before it exits the brake. (Like the tank example), Incredible reduction of recoil. But loud and ugly. Very easy to make since you don’t need a spin fixture or a dividing head.”

Bottom Gas Venting Helps Accuracy
“In my tests, not having holes all around the brake effects accuracy a bit. I believe it does something to the bullet by the air pushed ahead of the bullet creating unequal turbulence in the bullet path. I’ve tried a few brakes where I drilled only holes on the top, test fired, and then completed holes on the bottom and in every case, accuracy improved.” Below you see some spiral-ported brakes crafted by Clay Spencer.

VAIS muzzle brake

Brakes Work Best with High-Pressure Cartridges
“The higher the pressure of the particular round, the more effective the brake. I have over 20 rifles with brakes. The 220 Swift is the king of reduction. Followed very closely by the 25-06, 6mm Remington, any Weatherby small bore. With a proper brake and a hot handload under a 40 gr bullet, the Swift will move 1/2″ to the rear and 0 muzzle rise! Big boomers with low pressure like 45-70s and shot guns benefit the least.” [Editor’s Note: Roy is judging effectiveness by the percentage of recoil reduction rather than absolute levels of recoil. Obviously if you start with a heavier-recoiling round, the absolute amount of recoil energy reduction is greater. Roy is really talking about efficiency–brakes are most efficient when used with high-pressure cartridges.]

Installation is Key to Accuracy
Roy’s findings are fascinating and suggest that further study of muzzle brakes is warranted. But we can all agree that precision installation of the brake is essential for accuracy. A poorly-installed, mis-aligned brake will degrade accuracy, that is well-known.

Harrell’s Precision has made tens of thousands of muzzle brakes, in many styles and port arrangements. The Harrell brothers offer some good advice for gunsmiths installing brakes: “Muzzle brakes aren’t magic, they reduce recoil by redirecting exiting gas. What’s important is that they are straight and the threads are perpendicular with the base. The only way to get the base and threads perpendicular is to thread, not tap, them on a lathe.”

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
November 19th, 2008

SWFA.com Package Deal on Nikon Scope and Rangefinder

Here’s a sweet deal for a hunter looking for a 3-9 power scope and laser rangefinder for a low total cost. Currently, SWFA (Riflescopes.com) is offering a Package Deal. For just $349.95 total you get a Nikon 3-9×40 ProStaff BDC Scope, plus a Nikon ProStaff Laser 550 Rangefinder (with case). Nikon even kicks in a $50.00 Nikon ProGear Gift Card.

Nikon BDC Scope and Rangefinder

The 12.3″-long scope features low-profile windage and elevation knobs and weighs just 13.7 ounces. The ProStaff Rangefinder has a 6x21mm viewing lens, weighs just 6.3 ounces and is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. The ProStaff 550 Rangefinder, by itself, sells for $185-$200 at other web vendors. This rangefinder has received generally quite positive reviews from Cabela’s customers. We suggest you read those reviews (in full) to decide whether the unit will meet your needs.

Bullet-Drop-Compensating Reticle
Nikon’s BDC reticle features a conventional medium plex crosshair augmented by four hollow circles placed below center on the verticle line. The small circles provide additional aiming points corresponding to Point of Impact at different distances. This way, the theory goes, a hunter can easily move from one distance to another without the need to click different elevations with his scope turrets.

Nikon BDC reticle

The standard Nikon BDC is designed to be used with most standard centerfire cartridges with typical bullet weights, providing aiming points out to 500 yards with a 100-yard sight-in. With magnum cartridges and typical bullet weights, the same scopes with BDC reticles offer aiming points out to 600 yards with a 200-yard sight-in.

Many of our Forum members have tried Nikon scopes with the BDC reticle. The general consensus was that the crosshairs are quite thick so this reticle is best suited for larger game out to 300 yards or so. At longer ranges, the reticle can obscure small targets such as prairie dogs. For deer and antelope, this can be a good reticle choice.

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November 19th, 2008

Hodgdon Equivalents for ADI Powder Codes

Many of the most popular powders sold under the Hodgdon brand in the USA (including Varget and H4350) are made by ADI Ltd. in Australia. Some load manuals list ADI data, but not Hodgdon data, or vice-versa, so we’ve compiled this list of equivalent powders. If you can’t find a recommended load for a particular Hodgdon powder in your caliber, download the latest ADI Smokeless Powders Handloaders Guide, a 2.8 megabyte Acrobat file.

Here’s a list of ADI to Hodgdon Powder equivalents:

AS30N=Clays
AP50N = (No Hodgdon)
AS50N = International
AP70N = Universal
AP100 = (No Hodgdon)
AR2205 = H4227
AR2207 = H4198
AR2219 = H322
Bench Mark1 = (No Hodgdon)
Bench Mark2 = BenchMark
AR2206 = (No Hodgdon)
AR2206H = H4895
AR2208 = Varget
AR2209 = H4350
AR2213 = (Discontinued)
AR2213SC = H4831
AR2217 = H1000
AR2225 = Retumbo
AR2218 = H50BMG

ADI smokeless power Hodgdon

Permalink Reloading 3 Comments »
November 18th, 2008

Eller and Rhode Named USA Shooting Athletes of Year

USA Shooting, the governing body of the Olympic shooting sports for the United States, has announced that 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Glenn Eller of Katy, Texas, and Silver Medalist Kim Rhode of El Monte, Calif., have been selected as the 2008 USA Shooting Athletes of the Year. Other Olympians receiving honors as Discipline Athletes of the Year were Matt Emmons of Browns Mills, N.J., for men’s rifle, Jamie Beyerle of Lebanon, Pa., for women’s rifle, and Jason Turner of Rochester, N.Y., for men’s pistol. Eller and Rhode’s names will be submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) for consideration for the 2008 USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards.

Kim Rhode Olympic ShotgunFour-time Olympian Kimberly Rhode, who was also the 2007 USAS Female Athlete of the year, captured her fourth career Olympic medal in Beijing when she brought home the silver in Women’s Skeet. She won the silver medal at the World Cup in Kerrville, Texas in May and finished in fourth place at the World Cup Suhl and also at the World Cup Final in Minsk, Belarus. Rhode won the Women’s Skeet event at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and was also the 2008 National Champion. Rhode finished in second place at the Shotgun Fall Selection Match, claiming a spot on the 2009 World Shotgun Championship team.

Three-time Olympian Eller, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), claimed the first Olympic medal of his career when he captured the Men’s Double Trap gold in Beijing this past August. He also claimed the silver medal at the Beijing World Cup in April, which served as the test event for the Olympic Games and placed fourth at both World Cup Kerrville and World Cup Suhl. Nationally, Eller finished in first place overall at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun and also claimed the top spots at the Shotgun National Championships and Shotgun Fall Selection Match, landing himself a spot on the 2009 World Shotgun Championship team.

Glenn Eller USAMU

Photos courtesy USAMU and USA Shooting, All Rights Reserved.

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November 17th, 2008

Portable Reloading Bench Built on B&D Workmate

portable reloading benchLast summer we featured a portable reloading bench built on a Black & Decker Workmate. We’ve received many inquiries about this sturdy, efficient design, so we’re showing it again, in case you missed it the first time. this is a perfect do-it-yourself project that can be used at home or at the range.

Texan Robert Lewis made himself a great portable reloading bench from plywood mounted to a Black & Decker Workmate. The bench, roughly 22″ x 19″ on top, folds up to fit easily in your car’s trunk or behind the seats in a pick-up truck cab. Four recessed bolts hold the wood top section to the collapsible B&D Workmate.The sides and back of the unit are attached to the base with small nails. There is a small shelf (also nailed in place) which can be used to clamp a powder measure or hold a scale. Shown in the photo is a Harrell’s Benchrest measure and Harrell’s single-stage “C” press.

Click for Larger Photo.

The whole unit can be built for about $65.00 with pine, or $80.00 with oak (as shown). Robert explained: “The Workmate was $40. If someone bought a 2’x4′ sheet of 3/4″ oak plywood, I think it is around $30. Using pine plywood would be about half that. Fasteners were $3. Spar Urethane would be $5.”

Robert told us: “I used a couple ideas I found on the web. The Larry Willis website gave me the idea to use the Black and Decker Workmate as a base. I found the Workmate on sale for $40 and the top is made from oak plywood I had in my shop. I sealed the wood with three coats of Spar Urethane. The whole thing folds into a nice package for transportation to and from the range.”

Click HERE for FREE WORKBENCH PLANS.

portable shooting bench

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November 17th, 2008

MidwayUSA Shooting Mat on Sale for $19.99

Whether you’re a High Power or F-Class shooter, or a varminter who shoots from the ground with bipod, you need a decent shooting mat for field use. A mat keeps you off dirty, rocky ground and provides cushioning for the “hard points” (knees, hips, elbow) when shooting prone. You can spend up to $150.00 for a top-quality shooting mat. Alternatively, for just twenty bucks, the MidwayUSA shooting mat will probably suffice. On sale this month for just $19.99, the 69″ long x 27″ wide shooting mat has padded sections for knees and elbows, and it rolls up into a 7″-diameter package with carry strap. The bottom is a non-skid, water-resistent material — a nice feature when you’re shooting off wet grass or damp ground. The pad also has corner grommets so it can be staked down on windy days.

MidwayUSA shooting mat

This shooting pad has received favorable reviews from MidwayUSA customers. Here are some recent comments:

Five Stars. Great mat for the money. Small enough when rolled to pack into the P-Dog towns. Well constructed and designed. Midway has their act together. Very fast shipping too. — Michael Kelley of Pleasant Hope, MO

Five Stars. I purchased 30 of these on sale for my shooting club’s use in CMP, Rifle team, and junior [matches]. They are a good buy for the money. They are slightly thinner than some other mats I’ve used, but shooting mats are not sleeping bag pads. They shouldn’t be too thick or soft. The idea is to give you a firm, stable surface to shoot from. Not something to fall asleep on. A good buy for the money. — Ross Estabrooks of Dedham, MA

Four Stars. Could be a bit thicker but it works just fine, I like the waterproof underside. Have used it to cover up the gear during a downpour. — VeRiTas of Atlanta, GA

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November 16th, 2008

Alliant Reloder 17 Status Report

When Reloder 17 first became available (in limited quantities) our team tested it and found that it possessed some remarkable qualities. In certain cartridges, such as the 6XC and .284 Winchester, Reloder 17 provided significant increases in velocity compared to other popular propellants. We’re not talking about a mere 10 or 20 fps gain. Reloder 17, in some cartridges, lets you shoot 100 or even 150 fps faster than ever before. (RL 17 is a slow-burning powder that works best in cartridges where you might otherwise use H4350, Reloder 22, or H4831sc.) Needless to say, when the word got out, Reloder 17 quickly sold out at the major vendors such as Grafs.com and Powder Valley.

Alliant Reloder 17

We’ve been informed that a 20,000-lb shipment of Alliant Reloder 17 is on its way to the USA via cargo ship. Once it arrives on American shores it must clear customs, then be inspected, and then transferred from bulk containers into consumer packaging. That will take a few weeks. Alliant tells us it hopes to have Reloder 17 back on dealers’ shelves by Mid-December.

Permalink Reloading 1 Comment »
November 16th, 2008

Praise for 6mmBR for 600-Yard High Power

Forum member Russ T. is an experienced High Power shooter, with a Tennessee LR State championship to his credit among other excellent performances. He recently reviewed the performance of his Eliseo Tubegun chambered in 6mmBR. Russ writes:

“Got a good chance to shoot my tube gun today at 600 yards. I put a new Bartlein barrel on it chambered in 6BR. I had to do VERY little load develpment to find a good load. In fact all loads I tried would have shot a 200 out 200 possible at 600 yards. The winner load is a classic 6BR recipe right from the pages of this web site: 30.0 grains Hodgdon Varget, CCI 450 primers, 105gr Berger VLD seated .010″ into the lands, Norma brass with two-thousandths (.002) neck tension.

The gun, built on an Eliseo B1/R1 (single shot) tube stock*, has a trued Remington action with Dave Kiff (PT&G), fluted, coned bolt with Sako extractor, GTR firing pin, spring and shroud, and Rifle Basix trigger. The barrel is a 30″ Bartlein, 1:8″ twist 5R heavy Palma. My reamer is a .272 neck for Norma brass and .104 Freebore. Centra rear iron sights are fitted.

Weather was very dark and cloudy but there was very little wind. On the MR-1, 600-yard target I squeeked out a 200-16X. This little case is a flippin’ hammer at 600 yards! What a lot of fun to shoot. Lynwood Harrell just sent me a die in the mail so I’m ready for the season. I can see why the Europeans shoot this case at the very demanding 300-meter target!

This little case is a real winner at 600 yards. The nice thing about it is there is no false-shoulder/fire-forming hassle, and no necks to turn. Just load it and shoot it. I have two rifles that have turned necks and that is a lot of work when you’re doing 200 pieces of brass per rifle. The 6BR is just not picky. In fact the bullets just seem to know where to go.

My 6BR was built by Wald Precision Rifles. Call (701) 527-6447 and ask for Steve. Steve has produced Three National Championship quality rifles for me. I really have to thank Steve for doing such great work, he really stands behind his product. I know every one reading this can appreciate a good craftsmen when you’re putting your hard-earned money into a project such as this. So who deserves the credit — the Archer or the arrow-maker?”

Eliseo tubegun

*The B1 is the original Eliseo single-shot Tubegun stock, designed for the Barnard action. The newer R1 has a similar design, but is configured for a Remington 700 or Rem-clone actions.

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November 15th, 2008

Kopriva Sets New NBRSA 1000-yard, 6-Target Agg. Record

Daryl Kopriva, a Kansas-based gunsmith and long-range competitor, proved he sure knows how to build (and shoot) precision, long-range rifles. At the October club match at the Colorado Rifle Club (CRC) in Byers, CO, Daryl shot a potential new NBRSA 6-target, 1000-yard record. This is a two-gun, 6-target aggregate record, combining 3 targets in Light Gun (LG) with 3 targets in Heavy Gun (HG). Daryl’s LG 3-target Agg was 5.782″, while his HG 3-target Agg was 5.779″. If approved, the combined Agg will be a new 6-Target NBRSA record. Nice shootin’ Daryl. Congrats!

Darryl used two rifles he smithed himself. (A talented gunsmith, Daryl operates DARA Rifles in Grainfield, Kansas). The Light Gun is a 6.5-06 Improved with a 35° shoulder. Components include an 8.5″ BAT action, Shehane ST-1000 “Tracker” fiberglass stock, Bartlein barrel, and Nightforce scope. At this CRC match, Daryl was shooting 6.5mm Berger 140 BTHP “thick-jacket” bullets for the first time. Obviously the Berger “thicks” worked well!

Daryl’s Heavy gun features a Shehane Maxi-Tracker stock, BAT 8.5″ action, and a heavy-contour Bartlein barrel clamped in a barrel block. The gun is chambered for a wildcat Daryl calls the “30 DARA”. This is a 300 Win Mag modified with a 30° shoulder. Daryl uses his 30 DARA cartridge to drive Berger 210gr VLDs close to 3000 fps.

The photo below shows Darryl shooting his Shehane-stocked Heavy Gun at the 2007 IBS Nationals in Quantico, VA. Note the ultra-wide forearm and barrel block fitted ahead of the BAT action. The scope is a Nightforce NXS. For more information about Daryl’s rifles and gunsmithing services, visit DARArifles.com, email info[at]dararifles.com, or call (785) 938-2367.

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November 15th, 2008

Training Sessions for Retailers at SHOT Show

Shot Show Training Sessions

On Wednesday, Jan. 14th, 2009, the National Assn. of Firearms Retailers (NAFR) will host a series of informative seminars at SHOT Show in Orlando, FL. This SHOT Show University program provides a full day of seminars hosted by qualified speakers. There will be 90-minute seminars in the morning followed by ‘break-out sessions’ in the late afternoon. Seminars include:

— How to Create Outrageously Effective Marketing Materials (Ron Rosenberg)
— Know Your Rights as a Licensee (Richard Gardiner, Esq.)
— Consumer Profile of Today’s Hunter & Target Shooter (Frank Biganti, Rob Southwick)
— Best Firearms Compliance Practices (Wally Nelson, ATF, retired)
— Strategic Communication with the Media and Your Customers (Ann Baldwin)
— Budgeting Process for Your Business, and Creative Marketing for Your Business (Tom Shay)

Ron Rosenberg’s Marketing Seminar, the first session of the day (at 8:05 am), is one program you shouldn’t miss. Ron identifies the 12 key elements that should be in every marketing piece, and he reveals proven copywriting strategies that dramatically increase response rates. Attendees can bring their own marketing materials for on-the-spot feedback.

Seating is limited, so register early.2009 SHOT Show University price for NAFR members is $50.00. Non-members can register for the 2009 SHOT Show University for $75.00. For more info, call NSSF at (203) 426-1320.

CLICK HERE to Register for Shot Show University.

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November 14th, 2008

Americans Dominate World Action Pistol Championship

The Yanks won most of the hardware at the recent recent NRA World Action Pistol Championship held at the Hamilton Pistol Club in New Zealand. Doug Koenig took first place in Open Class with an impressive 1920-181X. Carl Bernosky (2008 Camp Perry High Power Rifle Champion) was a close second with 1920-175X, Carl’s highest-ever score in this event. Carl Bernosky and Bruce Piatt secured the team championship. Competing for the USA amongst six other teams, Carl and Bruce will proudly keep the title for two years. Carl’s teammate Bruce Piatt won the Iron Man Match. He is now a two-time “Iron Man” World champion, and four-time Iron Man National Champion. Vance Schmid of the USA won the Metallic Sights class, edging out Piatt (2nd Place), and the legendary Jerry Miculek (3rd place).

NRA World Pistol Championship

Carl Bernosky is one of the few humans on the planet capable of winning national and international Championships in both pistol AND rifle disciplines. One can certainly make the argument that Carl is one of the greatest all-around marksmen who ever lived. This year, at Camp Perry, OH, Carl won the Overall National High Power Championship for the second year in a row. That marked 9 National Championships in 14 tries for Bernosky. Although Carl obviously enjoys both pistol and rifle disciplines, he says that rifle shooting is more challenging: “Camp Perry is a lot more difficult to compete in than…[the NRA] Bianchi Cup. You’re out here [at Perry] shooting an 8-hour work day. You’ll be shooting 60 shots in an hour. With the Bianchi Cup, you’ll shoot 10 shots in 60 seconds, and then you’ll be done for the day.”

Carl Bernosky

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November 13th, 2008

Harrell's Combo Press — Compact and Well-Designed

If you are looking for a very solid, beautifully fabricated, loading press that can do double-duty at home as well as the range, consider the Harrell’s Combo Press. Though it is very compact, it has plenty of leverage to full-length size cases. As you can see in the photo, the Harrell’s combo works BOTH as an arbor press and as a standard press that functions with shell-holder and conventional screw-in dies. The arbor section on the left is tall enough to hold a Wilson micrometer-top seater. The threaded die section on the right has enough clearance for .308-sized cases.

One of the best features of the Combo Press from Harrell’s Precision is its sturdy clamp. This mounts solidly to a wood loading bench or table top. It also has enough vertical clearance between the jaws to work with most range benches. Forum member Boyd Allen has written a detailed review of the Harrell’s press, with additional photos by Paal Erik Jensen of Norway.

CLICK HERE to read COMBO PRESS REVIEW

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November 13th, 2008

$30.00 OFF offer at Cabela's through 11/17

In this Daily Bulletin we try to advise readers of good discount offers, particularly if the bargain pricing is limited to a short period. Right now Cabela’s is offering thirty dollars ($30) off any purchase of $150.00 or more. That can work out to 20% of savings. Pretty impressive.

What’s the catch? This deal expires on Nov. 17th, so you have to act quickly. Also, you have to give Cabelas.com a valid email address so they can provide the discount codes to be used when you purchase via Cabelas.com. Click the link below to go to the discount page.

$30 off $150. Enter your e-mail to receive promo code. Expires 11.17.08

If you’re wondering what to buy, check out Cabela’s Bargain Cave which has hundreds of deeply discounted products on sale. Here are some of the current Bargain Cave items. The Triode headlamp is very handy … both indoors in the shop and outdoors on the trail. The Jacket is very highly rated by Cabela’s customers.

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November 12th, 2008

Camp Perry Open House at New Shooting Facility

On November 15, 2008, the Ohio National Guard and the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will host an Open House at the newly completed Camp Perry indoor shooting facility. All shooters and interested persons are welcome. You can even test your marksmanship skills on the CMP’s new Olympic-style electronic targets.

The new, state-of-the-art Marksmanship Center features the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s 80-firing point, 10-meter electronic target air rifle range. Visitors can participate in a free match with a chance to win a turkey, courtesy of the CMP. Every half-hour, the lucky participant who shoots the best center-shot on the 10-meter targets will take home a Thanksgiving turkey just in time for the holiday. Visitors will be treated to hot dogs and refreshments and will have an opportunity to watch Beijing Olypmics shooting videos and purchase CMP sales items.

The Marksmanship Center also features the National Guard’s Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), a marksmanship simulator used for both military small arms and crew-served weapons. The Ohio Army National Guard will give demonstrations of the EST and allow visitors to take part in the training, which involves interactive viewing screens (like a life-size video game). Camp Perry is located approximately five miles west of Port Clinton on Ohio State Highway 2. For more info, call (419) 635-2141 or go to www.odcmp.com and click on the OPEN HOUSE icon.

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November 12th, 2008

Has Hunting Become Too Easy? Barta Sounds Off.

Tred Barta is a well-known hunter and angler with a television show on the VERSUS cable network. Barta has strong opinions about modern hunting methods — he thinks they have made things too easy, so the ethos of hunting has been lost. Modern hunting aids have transformed a noble pursuit into mechanically-aided harvesting. Barta wants hunters to return to simpler methods — to earn their trophies the hard way.

Tred Barta

As a fisherman, Tred has set several world records. He has caught more tuna on rod and reel than any other man alive. Tred’s motto is to do things “the hard way, the Barta way.” He believes that the pursuit can be as meaningful as “bagging the trophy”, so he avoids using modern gear such as game cameras and feedstands. In fact, he usually hunts with a longbow and homemade cedar arrows.

In a recent interview on the Women’s Outdoor Wire, Barta observes:

“We’re lazy today, and we’ve lost the morality of hunting. Before you go out, you spray on nine chemicals to kill your scent, put on $2,000 worth of odor eliminating camo and download the photos from your nine game cameras [.] Then you get on your ATV and ride to your box blind that has windows, heat, and an internet connection because we don’t want you go get bored while you’re ‘hunting’. Then you take a customized rifle capable of taking an animal at 650 yards and whack one. The animal gets winched onto your ATV, driven to your truck, hoisted into the back, and then hauled off to the butcher. And you call yourself a hunter.”

Tred BartaHunting Should be Simple, But Not Fishing?
Barta’s views on hunting appeal to those who want a return to the “simple ways”. We agree, in principle, that hunters should learn the skills of the stalk and “work for their prey.” Part of the core experience of hunting is the “walk in the woods” and the age-old challenge of out-witting a wild animal. So, there is merit in Barta’s message.

On the other hand, Barta can be criticized as employing a double standard. He advocates using “primitive” skills when hunting, but when fishing, it’s a different story. When Barta goes tuna fishing, he’s not using a dugout canoe and a home-made spear. Instead he employs a modern twin-diesel, 33-foot Rampage sport-fisherman. This is a $400,000+ yacht, equipped with full electronics, including radar, GPS, and fish-finders. Tred sure enjoys his high-tech fishing boat, yet he mocks hunters who use an ATV to haul in their game. Hmmm, that doesn’t seem right…

While we’re sympathetic to Barta’s philosophy, we don’t think going all the way back to bows and arrows is the answer for everyone. Barta acknowledges that he fails to harvest an animal 70% of the time he hunts. That may be fine for Barta, who gets paid to hunt where-ever and whenever he wants, but for the “regular Joe” who has saved his hard-earned dollars for a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan hunt, it makes good sense to use equipment that improves the odds of success. Should a hunter carry an inaccurate rifle, or leave behind the binoculars, just to increase the difficulty factor? We don’t think so. That’s no knock on the bow-hunters or those who prefer to hunt as native Americans did. We just think that one can remain true to the “hunting ethic” even when using modern equipment.

Photos courtesy VERSUS Country and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts

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November 11th, 2008

A Day to Remember Our Veterans …

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, the Armistice ending the First World War was signed. To those who endured it, WWI was the “Great War”, “the War to End All Wars.” Tragically, an even greater conflict consumed the world just two decades later.

Today, 90 years after the end of WWI, Americans mark the anniversary of the WWI Armistace as “Veterans Day”. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion we honor all those who have served in the military in times of war and peace. While more WWII veterans pass away each year, there are still over 23 million veterans in the United States. Take time today to honor those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served their nation with pride. Today we remember that… “All gave some, and some gave all.”

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake asks Americans to recognize the nation’s 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy: “While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service.” Major Veterans Day observances are scheduled at 33 sites in 20 states.

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On Veterans Day we especially need to remember the seriously wounded combat veterans. These men and women summon great courage every day to overcome the lasting injuries they suffered in battle. CLICK HERE for inspirational profiles of wounded vets who, through courage and determination, have learned to adapt to their disabilities. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

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November 11th, 2008

And Then There Was One …

4,734,991 Americans served in uniform during World War I. They fought on land and sea, in the first true global conflict. By the end of WWI over 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide had died in that conflict, including 120,000 Americans (as many from disease as from wounds). A thousand U.S. Soldiers died every DAY in the 3-week Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Frank Buckles — The Last Doughboy
Now, 90 years since the end of WWI, there is only one American WWI veteran who survives. 107-year-old Army veteran Frank Buckles is our last living link with the “Doughboys” who fought in Europe. His story is a profile in patriotism (and youthful exuberance). When only 16 years old, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines. They turned him down, so he joined the Army, lying about his age. He served in Britain and France as an ambulance driver, then helped escort German prisoners home to Germany after the surrender.

WWI veteranWWI veteran

Following WWI, Buckles wanted to see the world, so he took work with a steamship company. That job placed him in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He was captured and interred in a prison camp for three years before being liberated. Below is a CNN feature on Frank Buckles. As all other American WWI vets have passed away, Buckles was honored as the last U.S. Soldier to fight in the “Great War”. To learn more about Frank Buckles and his experiences in WWI, CLICK HERE for a USAToday Feature Story. (Highly recommended–worth reading.)

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CLICK HERE to view more video interviews with Frank Buckles and veterans of five other wars.

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