January 21st, 2009

SHOT Show Report: News from Nightforce

Nightforce Benchrest and NXS scopes are very popular among our readers. The Nightforce 12-42×56 BR model is the scope of choice for top F-Class and 1000-yard shooters. It offers sharp glass, big-time magnification, precision parallax control (via a rotating front objective), plus a wide choice of reticles. The NXS offers these same qualities, but it uses a side-parallax adjustment. Many shooters building their first long-range rifle ask: “Which should I get–the Nightforce BR model or the NXS?” Nightforce Sales Manager Kyle Brown helps answer that question in the video below. Kyle explains the major (and minor) differences between the BR and NXS scope lines. You’ll find this video very informative.

YouTube Preview Image

CLICK HERE to download Nightforce Optics 2009 Catalog (Large 5mb .pdf file).

New First Focal Plane 3.5-15×50 F1 Scope
The new NXS 3.5-15×50 F1 was created at the request of U.S. military and other professional sharpshooters. They wanted a rugged scope that offers a choice of elevation/windage click values, plus a ranging reticle in the First Focal Plane (FFP). A reticle located in the first focal plane remains in the exact same ratio to the target across the scope’s entire magnification range. The FFP design (designated by “F1″) is optimal for rangefinding purposes, since the reticle’s markings remain consistent relative to target size at all magnification settings. The 3.5-15×50 F1 scope will be offered with three click-value options: 1/4 MOA, 0.1 Mil Radians, or 1.0 MOA elevation + 0.5 MOA windage clicks.

Nightforce F1 Scope

CLICK HERE to download NXS 3.5-15×50 F1 Scope Spec Sheet (.pdf file).

HOT NEWS: If you like the NXS 3.5-15×50 F1, take note that a Nightforce 5.5-22×56 FFP NXS is coming in the fall of 2009. Plus Kyle told us that the Nightforce Compacts and First Focal Plane scopes now have their scope bodies (main tubes) crafted in Idaho. So, you’ll notice that they are now stamped “Made in USA”.

New Ballistic-Compensating Reticles Offered for 2009
Nightforce will offer a variety of NEW ballistic reticles that provide “hold-over” hashmarks corresponding to the trajectories of popular hunting rounds. With these new christmas-tree style reticles, hunters and varminters can rapidly adjust to different ranges without cranking-in elevation with the top turret. The reticles also include horizontal hash marks corresponding to calculated wind drift in mph (not MOA or mils). There are three basic options, one each for low, medium, and high velocity cartridges. In addition, Nightforce may offer Horus ballistic-compensating reticles, and possibly the Holland ART reticle, later in the spring of 2009.

Nightforce reticle Nightforce reticle
Nightforce reticle Nightforce reticle

New Ring-Top Bubble Level and Level/ADI
Nightforce has introduced the Top of Ring Bubble Level, a low-profile level built directly into the top half of a scope ring. This fits in place of the upper half of a Nightforce Ring (e.g. Unimount, Direct Mount, and Nightforce Mil-Spec). Like other anti-cant devices, the NF bubble level helps the shooter avoid canting his rifle left or right, which can throw off the shot significantly at long ranges. The level also helps ensure your reticle is plumb when mounting the scope.

The Top of Ring Bubble Level is available in three versions: 1) Ring Level alone; 2) Ring level with integrated mount for the Nightforce ADI (Angle Degree Indicator); 3) Ring level with mount plus ADI unit (complete system). You’ll want the ADI if you often have to make shots at steep angles. Calibrated in degrees, the ADI instantly gives the shooter the up or down angle for the shot. Plug that number into a ballistics calculator (or angle drop chart) and you’ve got your corrected drop for the true range to the target.

We definitely recommend an ADI for hunting, and for competition disciplines where up/down angle shots are required. The ADI is simple, robust, and requires no batteries. Mounting the ADI directly to the scope ring is the slickest installation yet for this useful device. This mounting set-up was a collaboration between Shawn Carlock (Defensive Edge), Ward Brian (Sniper Tools ACI), and Nightforce.

For more info, contact Nightforce Optics, Inc., 1040 Hazen Lane, Orofino, ID 83544, tel (208) 476-9814, or visit NightforceOptics.com

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January 21st, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Forster, Krieger, and Norma Highlights

Many of the companies at SHOT Show had just a few new products or operational changes to report. Here’s a quick summary of news from Forster, Krieger, and Norma.

Forster Products
The only all-new product design from Forster is a collet bullet puller for the Forster Co-Ax press. Conventional screw-in bullet pullers won’t work with the Co-Ax because of the unique jaw design.

.338 NORMA DIES — The new .338 Norma is big news in the long-range tactical game (see separate report in the Bulletin). Forster will have .338 Norma dies available within a few weeks, pretty much “as soon as the Norma brass is in the country.”

Forster has acquired new, advanced die-making machines. This gives the company increased custom die-making capacity. Forster reps noted that Forster can now use any customer-supplied finish reamer to make a custom bushing bump die.

Forster will also roll out a completely redesigned and updated website in mid-February. Visit ForsterProducts.com next month to check it out.

Krieger Barrels
Krieger Barrels has acquired two (2) additional Pratt and Whitney cut-rifling machines. This will give Krieger additional capacity and help them keep up with the high demand for their cut-rifled barrels.

Krieger barrels

Shown in photo, left to right: Neil Leppla, Mike Hindrichs, John Krieger, Helmut Kiesling

AR10 BARRELS — Krieger also announced it will be producing AR10-type barrels in both Krieger-brand cut-rifled and ‘Criterion’-brand button-rifled versions. Krieger will provide AR10 barrels for Fulton Armory, DPMS, and Armalite.

NORMA
NEW 202 POWDER for 6mmBR Ammo — Norma revealed something interesting about its loaded 6mmBR ammunition. Norma has traditionally used Norma 203B powder for 6BR ammo. However, it has found that 203B has gotten progressively slower over the years, so Norma has switched to Norma 202… but not just any 202. Norma has selected the slower batches of 202 for use in its factory 6mmBR ammo. We don’t know if this applies to ALL bullet weights. Norma will continue to use Berger Bullets in its 6mmBR and 6XC match ammunition.

.338 Norma brass

.338 NORMA BRASS Coming Soon — There’s lots of interest in the new .338 Norma cartridge among the military and tactical community. Initial testing has demonstrated outstanding accuracy with 300gr Sierra MatchKing bullets. Many of the folks working with early versions of the .338 Norma believe that, given the case’s superior efficiency, it can rival the ballistics of the larger .338 Lapua Magnum, though the .338 Norma has less capacity. Both cases are derived from the .416 Jeffreys, but the .338 Norma will fit in a shorter action.

Norma is now producing .338 Norma cartridge brass. It is supposed to be in the USA within two to three weeks. It will be distributed though Black Hills Shooters Supply, BHShooters.com. This stuff is in high demand so get your orders in soon.

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January 21st, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Brownells Launches AR15 Website

Widespread concern over the possibility that the Obama administration will push for new, restrictive gun laws has spurred sales of all types of firearms, with self-loading, military-style rifles leading the way. The “Obama effect” has created huge demand for ‘black rifles’ of all variety. Recognizing this, Brownells has created a new website, AR15builder.com, to help buyers purchase a AR with components customized to the buyers’ individual needs. Using state-of-the-art “drag and drop” web technology, a black rifle buyer can chose from a wide variety of components (stocks, uppers, barrels, handguards, optics etc.), and see the gun, as assembled, right on the web page. As one selects among AR components, the website even provides running total of the cost of the components.

Mix and Match Components for Your Custom Build
Announced at SHOT 2009, AR15builder.com combines almost 600 images of external AR-15 parts and accessories so you can mix and match parts to see exactly what your own, custom AR can look like with your selected parts installed. The screenshot below, showing a “precision varminter” with adjustable stock and 24″ barrel, was created using parts from Brownell’s inventory.

AR15builder.com Brownells

The website allows you to preview the many options available for the AR platfrom, so you can “mix and match” scores of products in Brownells’ catalog. Color variations are shown as well. So, if you want to see a black receiver with a tan handguard and green buttstock, AR15builder.com will show you. If you want to change any component, just go back to the parts menus and drag the new selection to the center of the page. As you change components, the prices automatically change in real time.

With endless combinations, it’s easy to create the unique look you want, in the price range that suits your budget. You can also select complete uppers and lowers. Purchase items directly from AR15builder.com, Brownells.com, or call 800-741-0015 and mention code PER.

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