January 17th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Latest SHOT Daily Available

The latest SHOT Daily is now available for FREE online. The latest edition, dated Jan. 17th, covers SHOT Show events, and includes gear and hardware reviews. This issue spotlights knives, camouflage clothing, and hunting accessories. The issue also has a feature story about the Brownell’s Gun Industry Career Fair. Click the link below to download the Jan. 17th SHOT Daily as an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file.

CLICK HERE to Download Jan. 17th SHOT Daily

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January 16th, 2009

SHOT SHOW Report: Day 1 Discoveries

SHOT Show 2009 officially opened yesterday, with thousands of gun industry professionals, wholesalers, retailers, and media persons streaming through the gates of the Orlando Convention Center in the morning. Check out the SHOT Flickr PhotoStream for a bird’s eye view inside the Convention Hall. CLICK HERE to see the crowd on opening day.

No “Super-Zoom” From Sightron
Sightron 8-32x56Our Asst. Editor Jason Baney continued his quest for cool, new stuff at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando. Sadly, he had to report that the rumored 10-50×56 Sightron competition scope was nowhere to be seen. We know that Sightron is working on a 10-50X and maybe even 10-60X zoom scope as a followup to its very popular 8-32×56 scope unveiled at the 2008 Shot Show. However, the ultra-high-power zoom is still in the development stages. There ARE prototypes, we know that, but when (and if) the Sightron “super-zoom” gets finalized is still uncertain. Given the outstanding performance of the 8-32×56 30mm Sightron (as tested by Jason), we’re hoping its “big brother” will make it into production. Message to Sightron: If an 8-32 is good, a 10-50 might be even better…

During gaps in his busy interview schedule, Jason was able to meet with some of our “friends of the site”. At left, Jason meets Jim Scoutten, host of the very popular ShootingUSA TV series. This past year, AccurateShooter.com helped connect the ShootingUSA production team with leading long-range benchrest and F-Class shooters. We look forward to continued cooperation with ShootingUSA and other leading shooting sports broadcasters.

Jason also met up with Gordy Gritters, one of our recommended gunsmiths. As he did at last year’s SHOT Show, gunsmith Gordy was holding forth in the Grizzly booth, demonstrating chambering and barrel-fitting to a wide-eyed crowd of on-lookers. In cooperation with Grizzly Industrial, Gordy is working on a series of gunsmithing DVDs. These will be a far cry from the typical smithing videos that show you how to tap a receiver or install a buttpad. Gordy’s DVDs cover the advanced methods used to produce precision competition and varmint rifles. In one video segment, Gordy shows how to chamber and headspace a match barrel using a Grizzly G0509G 3-Phase Gunsmith Lathe. Below is a segment from the DVD showing Gordy fine-tuning the headspace as he fits a BAT Machine ‘MB’ action to the barrel. Working with precise indicators, you can see Gordy set the headspace to within a few ten-thousandths of an inch.

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Ken Lunde — The Ansel Adams of SHOT Show
While Jason was roaming the floor, our friend Ken Lunde was doing his usual, masterful job of photographing new firearms at the show. Check out Ken’s 2009 SHOT Show Report. It has dozens of great images of guns on display in Orlando. A very gifted photographer, Ken is also a serious varmint shooter and the owner of multiple Cooper rifles (one of which was featured as Gun of the Week). Naturally, then, Ken’s “first stop was the Cooper Arms booth”. There, Ken got a great photo of a sectioned (cut-away) Cooper m21 action. This is a “must-see”. The Cut-away shows the inside of the chamber, tenon section, and even the inside of the bolt. It’s like having X-Ray vision. Click on the Larger Image button to see even more details.

Cooper 21 rifle cutaway

Photo copyright Ken Lunde, used by permission.

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January 16th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: New Bullets and BCs from Berger

Jason’s first stop on his 2009 SHOT Show tour was at the Berger Bullets booth. Our readers know that Berger manufactures some of the best varmint and match bullets in the world. Eric Stecker, Berger’s master bulletsmith, announced that Berger is organizing its production into three main lines: Varmint bullets (flat-base and standard boat-tails), Target bullets (both Tangent Ogive and VLD designs) with thicker jackets, and Hunting bullets (low-drag VLD with standard J4 jackets).

Berger Bullets

A design effort is underway to optimize the “long range” bullet shapes, centering around a tangent ogive BT design with shorter than normal bearing surface. This allows a longer nose shape with a better BC. It should also be easier to tune, given the tangent ogive design. Berger’s designers are also working with a double ogive shape for big bore bullets. This will feature a tangent ogive immediately above the bearing surface to allow a smoother transition into the lands. Then the shape transitions to a secant ogive for better BC and a smaller meplat.

New 20 Caliber Bullet is Ready and Two .338 Projectiles in the Works
Berger announced a new 55gr, 20-caliber “Long Range” BT bullet. Prototypes have been tested successfully in 8-twist barrels. With sufficient velocities a 1:9″ twist might work also, but Berger wants more field testing–by shooters like you. NOTE: Berger is currently looking for “volunteers” to test this new 20-cal 55-grainer in 8-Twist and 9-Twist barrels. Contact Michelle Gallagher at Berger for more details.

Big-bore shooters will be pleased to learn Berger hopes to release both 250gr and 300gr .338-caliber bullets by the end of 2009. While design work is on-going, Berger expects to offer tangent ogive, secant ogive, and double-radius .338 projectiles in both 250gr and 300gr weights. So you’ll have a choice of three different bullet shapes, each in two weights. That’s good news for hunters and ultra-long-range shooters.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) to Be Analyzed and Updated
Berger recently hired Bryan Litz as an in-house ballistics experts. Bryan, a top-level High Power and long-range shooter, formerly worked with the Air Force as a rocket ballistics scientist. Drawing on his expertise, Berger will be testing its match bullets to establish more precise drag figures. So, you may see the stated BCs on your favorite Berger bullets changing a bit in the future, but those changes will be based on improved design analysis and testing.

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January 16th, 2009

SHOT SHOW Report: New Zeiss Laser Rangefinder

In AccurateShooter.com’s 2007 comparison test of Laser Rangefinders, the Swarovski Laser Guide came out on top, though the Leica CRF 1200 drew praise for its light weight and extremely compact format.

There may be a new challenger to the Swaro for top honors. Zeiss has come out with a completely new, high-quality rangefinder, the Victory 8×26 T* PRF. Zeiss claims this is “the world’s first premium monocular with digital laser rangefinder, LED display, and integrated Ballistic Information System (BIS™).” Looking at the new product, we like the ergonomics, the centrally-located viewing lens, wide field of view (330′ at 1000 yards), and the superb optics. The “T*” in the title indicates a scratch-resistent, high-light-transmission lens coating.

Zeiss Victory RangefinderIf field tests show that the new Zeiss ranges as well as the Swaro and Leica, the Zeiss Victory 8×26 could hold the edge because it delivers ballistic drop info, while the others do not. With the Victory’s minimal beam divergence, Zeiss claims measuring accuracy of ± 1 yard at ranges up to 600 yards and ± 0.5% at ranges beyond 600 yards (max claimed range is 1300 yards). If those claims are real, the Zeiss Victory should “hit” your ranging target at long distances more easily than most other rangefinders on the market. (As laser beams extend over distance they spread out in a cone. That’s called beam divergence. The greater the beam divergence, the greater the risk of false readings, or getting no reading at all.)

Zeiss Victory Rangefinder

The Zeiss Victory has a “street price” of about $700.00 and is currently instock at Adorama.com, Binoculars.com and other major vendors.

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January 16th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: New Products from Lapua

For precision rifle shooters, Lapua brass is about as good as it gets. It is definitely the preferred cartridge brass for short-range benchrest, 600-yard benchrest, and F-Class competition. Jason visited the Lapua booth to find out what new products the Finnish manufacturer will offer in 2009. In the video below, Sales Manager Adam Braverman reviews Lapua’s new offerings.

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Lapua Revives .222 Remington Line
The big news is the re-introduction of .222 Remington brass. In late 2008 we revealed that Lapua would resume production of .222 Rem brass, and now we’ve learned that Lapua will be producing .222 Rem loaded ammo as well. Notably, this new .222 Rem brass (and ammo) will be produced “in-house” by Lapua. We expect it will meet the same exacting standards as other Lapua match brass. The .222 brass will be available immediately, and you should soon find it in stock at Grafs.com.

Lapua bullets BC

NEW 300gr, .338 Scenar Bullet
Big bore shooters will be pleased to know that Lapua has introduced a new 300gr, .338-caliber Scenar match bullet. When launched from the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, the new GB528 300-grainer will stay supersonic past 1500 meters. And even at 1700 meters it still carries over 1000 Joules of energy. You won’t find the 300gr Scenar in a silver cardboard box, however. From now on, Lapua match bullets will arrive in durable blue plastic containers. That’s progress we guess.

Lapua bullets BC

New BC Data Available for QuickTARGET
The ballistic coefficient of the new 300-grainers, as well as most other Lapua bullets, can now be inputed directly into the QuickTARGET ballistics program. BC values for Lapua bullets were confirmed with actual “real world” testing using Doppler radar.

Lapua bullets BC

No luck this year for .260 Rem and Short Mag Shooters
Despite persistent rumors, we won’t be seeing .260 brass or Short Mag brass from Lapua this season — though Lapua hasn’t ruled this out for some time in the future. Lapua does invite input from shooters, particular on the Short Magnum question. If Lapua feels there is adequate demand, it might (we stress might) consider production of a short mag. The question is “which short magnum?” The WSM family certainly has been more widely adopted thus far, but for match shooters, particularly 7mm shooters, the Remington SAUM may be a more efficient (and potentially more accurate) case. Right now, Lapua is leaning to the WSM, according to our sources.

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January 15th, 2009

SHOT Show Daily E-Zine Available

SHOT Show DailyEach day during SHOT Show, the NSSF publishes a magazine-style E-Zine, the SHOT DAILY. The SHOT DAILY is a “must-read” if you want to keep up with the latest SHOT news and product unveilings. You’ll find lots of product photos plus short gear reviews. All this is FREE in a downloadable .PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file.

CLICK HERE to Download SHOT DAILY 2009, Part One

In today’s edition of the SHOT DAILY is a 20-page Guide to the New Rifles of 2009. It is organized alphabetically, covering manufacturers from Anschütz to Winchester. According to the 2009 Rifle Guide, “New lever-actions and bolt-actions dominate the scene this year, but tactical rifles remain strong sellers. In the bolt-action arena, every major maker is offering new models in both light and heavy versions, as well as updates and caliber introductions to existing models”

One of the featured rifles is the handsome new Anschütz Model 1770 Hunter in .223 Remington. A mag-fed, centerfire repeater, the model 1770 features a new six-locking-lug action — the company’s first completely new action in three decades. This new design boasts a short 60-degree bolt lift for fast cycling. The receiver has a dovetailed rail on top, but is also drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

Anschutz model 1770 centerfire

This issue of the SHOT DAILY also includes lengthy sections dedicated to new shotguns and new handguns, plus discussion of gun buying trends and new developments in gun range management.

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January 15th, 2009

SHOT Show Media Day Report: Savage Palma and Tactical Rifles

On the day before the official opening of SHOT Show, members of the media were invited to the Orlando Sheriffs’ Range to “test-drive” some of the latest offerings from major manufacturers. As precision rifles are AccurateShooter.com’s primary focus, two new guns from Savage Arms drew the attention of our Asst. Editor (and resident “hot-shot”) Jason Baney. After meeting with Savage Chairman/CEO Ron Coburn, and Marketing Mgr. Bill Dermody, Jason got the chance to try out Savage’s new .308 Palma Rifle, and the radical new, metal-chassis model 10 BAS Tactical rifle.

Savage Palma and 10 BAS tactical rifles

Savage Palma and 10 BAS tactical rifles

The handsome Savage Palma Rifle features a gray laminated stock with triple pillars. It boasts an adjustable cheekpiece, and adjustable length of pull (LOP) via spacers. Fitted with the Savage Target action, 30″ stainless barrel, and (4 – 12 oz.) Accutrigger, the gun promises outstanding accuracy. As you can see on the second half of the video below, Jason shot a 1/2″ group at 200 yards with the Savage Palma Rifle. Jason said the stock was ergonomic and the gun balanced well even with the long tube. The Savage Palma Rifle action is drilled and tapped for top or side-mount peep sights, so it can be fitted with either iron sights or scope. Savage is taking orders right now. MSRP is $1798, but the “street price” will be quite a bit less.

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Bold & Black — Savage 10 BAS Tactical Rifle
The new 10 BAS is a radical departure for Savage. This wild-looking new bolt-gun features a blackened aluminum modular chassis, top and side Picatinny rails, a detachable box magazine, and not one but TWO adjustable (and removeable) buttstock configurations. One buttstock is similar to an AR15-style collapsing stock, while the other (on the BAS ‘T’ model) features a myriad of adjustments, and a straight, flat keel section on the bottom to ride the bags.

Savage 10 BAS

On this T-version stock, the buttplate adjusts for length of pull (LOP) and cant angle and the cheek-piece adjusts both vertically and fore and aft using a rail and a rotary locking knob.

Savage 10 BAS

What’s our take on the radical 10 BAS rifle? For police and military applications, the rails offer great versatility. For tactical comps, we liked the ergonomic grip, 10-round detachable magazine, and the easily-adjustable LOP. The 10 BAS will initially be offered in .308 Winchester only. Based on the model 110 action, the 10 BAS comes with a 24″ barrel and a proprietary muzzle brake. It even accepts most AR15 buttstocks. We don’t know of any domestic manufacturer offering a “tactical” bolt gun with all the features found on the 10 BAS. We expect this rifle to cause quite a stir when SHOT Show doors open this morning.

Savage 10 BAS

Photos by J. Baney, copyright © 2009 AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved.

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January 15th, 2009

SHOT Show Media Day Report: Spec-Rest Field Test

Spec Rest Rifle tripodAmong the highlights of Media Day were the impressive portable field rests showcased by Lone Star Field Products. Designed primarily for law enforcement and military applications, these rests would also work very well in the varmint fields. The rests are very sturdy yet relatively lightweight. There is a low-profile “Quad Base” version, as well as a “tall” Spec-Rest that sits on top of a tripod. Jason got a chance to try the Spec-Rest with an Accuracy International .308 Win Rifle.

Testing the New Spec-Rest (Tripod and Quad-Base)
Positioned on a tripod, the Spec-Rest swivels 360° and allows a huge range of elevation. The set-up will hold nearly any rifle with its front and rear V-Mounts. According to the FBI, when a gun is firmly mounted, the Spec-Rest will absorb up to 60% of felt recoil with big calibers. The Spec-Rest can be deployed in under a minute without tools. The Spec-Rest is offered in two configurations. With a standing-height tripod and mil-spec carry bag, the Spec-Rest costs $660.00. With a lower quad base, suitable for bench shooting or sitting/kneeling, the Spec-Rest is priced at $575.00.

Spec Rest Rifle tripod

For more information, visit LoneStarFieldProducts.com, or call Lone Star at (972) 276-3110.

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January 15th, 2009

SHOT Show: Help Us Provide Feedback to Manufacturers

Jason Baney 6mmBR.comSHOT Show in Orlando, Florida commences Thursday, Jan. 15th at 08:30 am. AccurateShooter.com will be covering the show, including the preliminary Media Day-at-the-Range on Wednesday the 14th. Our correspondent at SHOT 2009 will be Jason Baney, aided by his wife (who’ll help with cameras and computer stuff).

Jason heads to the show armed with a long list of things to do, from product evaluations to interviews with folks like Jochen Anschütz, David Tubb (Superior Shooting Systems), and Dave Kiff (Pacific Tool & Gauge). We plan to have a look at some new custom actions to be released in 2009, plus the latest optics from Bushnell, Leica, Leupold, March, Premier, Schmidt & Bender, Sightron, Swarovski, and Zeiss.

Help Us Share Your Ideas with Industry Big Shots
Jason will be talking directly to important shooting industry decision-makers and product designers. We would like to share ideas and product feedback from our readership. What do YOU have to say to the guys who build the products you buy?

SHOT Show feedbackWhat would you like us to tell shooting industry professionals representing Hornady, Lapua, Leupold, RCBS, Savage, Sierra Bullets, and other companies? Do you have specific product questions you’d like us to get answered at SHOT Show? You can post your suggestions as a comment to this thread. Or, you can email Jason directly at JB1000BR [at] Yahoo.com.

• Do you have a particular product you want to see covered?
• Do you have suggestions about new products? (For example, what new cartridge would you like to see Lapua produce?)
• Are there questions you’d like to ask manufacturers such as Sierra Bullets, Hornady Mfg., and Hodgdon Powder?
• Do you have feedback on current products and product options? (For example, we know our readers love the new Sightron 30mm scopes, but they want more reticle choices.)

Post your ideas by clicking the “Comments” link at right. >>>>>>>

Permalink New Product, News 32 Comments »
January 14th, 2009

Range Association Offers Plans for Outdoor Gun Rack

The National Assn. of Shooting Ranges (NASR), a division of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), has made available a complete guide to constructing a sturdy, six-gun, outdoor rifle rack. On its website, the NASR offers a step-by-step Rifle Rack Building Guide, printable .pdf project instructions, plus a Web Video that covers the whole building process.

Building Gun Rack

The article explains: “This rack stands 36 inches tall and extends 18 inches from the wall. Most rifles and shotguns fit comfortably well within these dimensions. The slots for the butts are two inches wide and five inches from front to back. Both the larger shotguns and smaller rifles we tested for fit rested in the rack securely. An outdoor gun rack can be constructed of readily available materials for $60 or less. The legs are 2x6s cut to length. A gun-butt carriage is assembled of 1×4 and 1×6 pine boards and short pieces of 2×4 lumber. The rack’s top cradles the muzzles between 2×2 blocks of cedar. Felt helps protect the guns’ finishes.”

Gun Rack Project Resources
Materials You’ll Need | Step-by-Step Directions | Printer-Friendly .PDF Layout

Building Gun Rack

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January 14th, 2009

NRA to Sanction Tactical Multi-Gun Competitions

The NRA has officially embraced the popular multi-gun or ‘three-gun’ competition discipline. The first NRA-sanctioned, multi-gun match will be the Larue Tactical 3-Gun Match held in Waco, Texas, March 28-29, 2009. This event was recently expanded to 160 entrants (after “selling out” the first 120 places), so it is still possible to register.

LaRue 3-Gun Tactical match

A ceremony marking the NRA’s official sanctioning of Multi-Gun Competition will take place at this year’s SHOT Show in Orlando, FL. “Three-gun competitors are a welcome addition to an already outstanding group of competitive shooters,” said Kayne Robinson, Executive VP of NRA’s General Operations.

Three other 2009 multi-Gun matches have been sanctioned by the NRA:

Sabre Defense Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Match, April 24-26, 2009

Johnson 3-Gun Match, June 27-28, 2009

Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Match, NRA Wittington Center, Raton, NM August 6-8, 2009.

Over the next few months, the NRA will work with multi-gun event organizers to develop uniform rules and approved courses of fire. Mike Krei, NRA Competitive Shooting Division Director, explains: “The Special Committee on Multi-Gun Competitions will assist the NRA in developing rules for the competition, developing the stages of fire necessary to run an NRA-sanctioned competition, and training NRA staff to better serve three-gun competitors.”

For more information on the LaRue Tactical Three-Gun Match, or future three-gun competitions, contact Janet Raab in the NRA Competitive Shooting Division by email, jraab@nrahq.org or by phone at (703) 267-1479. To learn more about the NRA’s Competitive Shooting Division or sponsorship of three-gun matches visit www.nrahq.org/compete.

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January 13th, 2009

Bullet-Making — Producing Winning Bullets on Your Own

Forum regular Al Nyhus has tried his hand at bullet making, producing custom 30-caliber projectiles for his 30 BR match rifles. With help and guidance from his “guru”, bullet-smith Randy Robinett, Al has produced some very impressive bullets. This demonstrates that with patience, determination, and the right tools and components, amazing results are possible, even for a novice bullet-maker.

Al writes: “My 30 Caliber bullet making adventure [has] been a lot of fun and a real learning experience. I’d like to thank Randy Robinett for all his patient teaching and guidance. The bullets have been working well in competition, being used in the Varmint for Score portion of the IBS Wisconsin State Two Gun Championship win a few weeks back.

NOTE: Al’s 30 BR rifle was smithed by Stan Ware of SGR Custom Rifles.

Nyhus 30 BR bullets

Here are two photos from recent testing. In the 100-yard, 15-round target, the wind velocity was purposely ignored and the group was fired only with the same flag angle, trying to determine how they worked in the wind. Winds were 12-18 mph from 4 o’clock.

Nyhus 30 BR bullets

This 200-yard group was fired in near perfect test conditions — overcast, early in the morning, with no mirage. We usually have a small window of what I call ‘Happy Hour’ before the winds crank up.”

Measuring Group Size
Note how Al measures his groups. Look at the top photo. You’ll see Al starts with the extreme outside edge of the hole, including the gray edge or ring. Then Al subtracts .290″, the TRUE size of one bullet-hole in the paper, as opposed to .308″, the nominal bullet diameter. If you simply subtract a full bullet diameter you will get a smaller number for your group size. That is good for the shooter’s ego, but Al’s method is more accurate because a bullet normally will cut a hole that is smaller than the actual bullet diameter.

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January 12th, 2009

Bill Myers’ Indexable Rimfire Action

Virginia’s Bill Myers is recognized as one of the top rimfire smiths in the country. We featured one of his “Spec Rifles” in a recent Gun of the Week story. Built on a blue-printed Suhl 150-1 action, Bill’s Bubinga-stocked benchrest rig proved to be a winner right from the start.

Bill is a creative thinker, and his own exhaustive testing has convinced him that barrel indexing can enhance accuracy in rimfire benchrest guns. Myers does acknowledge that, particularly with a very good barrel, the advantages of indexing may be subtle, and extensive testing may be required. Nonetheless, Myers believes indexing can improve rimfire accuracy.

The Challenge of Barrel Indexing
With a conventional barrel installation, employing a shoulder with a threaded tenon, it is difficult to index the barrel. Even with a cone breech that eliminates the problem of extractor cuts, you’d have to use shims to alter the barrel index position, or otherwise re-set the shoulder each time you screwed the barrel in further.

Bill Myers Indexing Action
Bill Myers Indexing Action

Bill has come up with a masterful solution to barrel indexing. He designed and built his own prototype custom action that clamps the barrel rather than holding it with threads. The front section of the action is sliced lengthways, and then clamped down with three bolts. A special bushing (the gold piece in photos) fits between the barrel and the action. By using bushings of different inside diameters, Bill can fit any barrel up to an inch or so diameter, so long as it has a straight contour at the breech end. To mount the barrel, Bill simply places the fitted bushing over the barrel end-shank, then slips the “sleeved” barrel into the front end of the action. Tighten three bolts, and the barrel is secure.

Indexing with the Myers’ Clamping Action
To index the barrel, Myers simply loosens the three clamping-bolts and rotates the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. In other words you can rotate the barrel to any position on the clockface and the headspace remains unchanged.

Bill Myers Indexing Action

Bill Myers Indexing Action

Right now Bill has no plans to start building his own indexable rimfire actions for sale. However, he is involved in serious experimentation with barrel indexing, in cooperation with Gene Beggs and others. Over the course of the next year we may see a “semi-production” action offered that incorporates aspects of Bill Myers’ indexable, barrel-clamping receiver. For more information, contact Bill Myers, wzmyers [at] comcast.net, (540) 778-1782.

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January 12th, 2009

Gun Talk Syndicated on Sirius Satellite Radio

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk®, a nationally-syndicated radio show, will now be available on the Sirius satellite radio system in the U.S. and Canada. Sirius merged with XM satellite radio last year, and Gun Talk, which has been airing on XM, now has been added to Sirius. Gun Talk now will be carried on the “Sirius Too” channel, which is found at channel 108 on the Sirius system, and channel 139 on XM receivers. A complete list of stations carrying Gun Talk, as well as links to streaming audio and download sites, can be found at www.GunTalk.com.

Tom Gresham gun talk

Guns and Shooting Interest Millions of Listeners
The combined subscriber base of Sirius-XM is 19.1 million listeners. “The merger of Sirius and XM forced a lot of programming changes,” said Tom Gresham, host of the show, “and many fine talk shows have been dropped. We’re delighted that we not only remain on XM — where we have a huge group of loyal listeners — but the addition of the Sirius system to Gun Talk’s distribution is huge.”

How Gun Talk Radio Started — An Idea Born at SHOT Show
Back in January, 1995, Tom was attending the SHOT Show, the huge annual trade show for the firearms industry, when a casual conversation lead to the idea of a radio talk show about guns. Only six weeks later he was on the air, being beamed to three satellites and 20 radio stations.

Tom Gresham gun talkOne famous radio industry consultant told Tom the show would be lucky to be on the air for a year. He didn’t know Tom…or how many gun owners there are in the U.S. (there’s a gun in almost half the homes in the country). Now, 14 years later, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk® is carried in 50 markets across the U.S., on Sirius and XM satellite radio services, and is heard by thousands every week via web streams. Gresham has been included in Talkers Magazine’s list of 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts In America!

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January 11th, 2009

Corbin's Maple Marvel — 1000-Yard Prone Rifle

Some months ago, Forum member Corbin S. told us he was putting together a new, full-custom 1000-yard rifle. When he sent some photos of the maple-stocked masterpiece, our collective jaws dropped. This is one handsome rifle, built with all-premium components and a stunning Curly Maple thumbhole stock with adjustable cheekpiece. The rifle is chambered in .243 Winchester. It features a custom stainless RBRP action Nesika R action, with keycuts in the bottom instead of recoil lug. A Grünig & Elmiger trigger has been specially modified (milled and pinned) to work with the Nesika action. The barrel is a 30″ Broughton 5R Palma-contour tube, and there is another 30″ Broughton 6BR barrel that Corbin uses at shorter ranges. The trigger guard, fore-arm rail, cheek adjuster, and 4-way adjustable butt assembly are all custom metal, designed by Dan Gleason. The stock is cut from exhibition-grade fiddleback maple (from Cecil Fredi Gunstocks in Las Vegas) with a Gaboon Ebony tip wood and butt-plate spacer.

Fast and Accurate
Corbin tells us the gun will put five shots into the size of a quarter at 300 yards “when he does his part.” Corbin shoots pointed Berger 105gr VLDs and 45.5 grains of H4831SC. That load runs 3180 fps. He can push it faster, but “that’s where the node was and where it shoots best”, according to Corbin.

Forum member Jim Hardy has seen (and shot against) this beautiful rifle. He reports:

“A casual observer might think that the trigger guard, cheek plate and butt plate hardware are Anschutz — as the stock takes on the Anschutz prone pattern. However, this is ALL custom metal. The G&E trigger breaks like a glass rod and will makes my BR triggers feel inferior at best. I had the pleasure of holding, shouldering, and lusting over this gun at Camp Perry last year, and it is even more impressive in person. The killer is that there is yet ANOTHER one in a beautiful, dark figured walnut owned by Corbin’s shooting partner. BTW, both guns will hammer at 1000 yards prone.”

.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle
.243 Win Maple rifle
.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle
.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle

Permalink Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
January 11th, 2009

J & J Ammo Boxes for BR and PPC Cartridges

Many readers have asked, “Is there an ammo case that holds BR and PPC cases securely without a lot of extra space?” Yes, the J & J BR-100 Ammo Case fits BR-sized cases just right, and costs just $4.38. Available in semi-transparent Blue, Red, White, Smoke, and Camo, you can purchase different-colored cases to suit different loads. Or keep your match ammo in one color case, and your varmint ammo in another color box.

The J & J cases aren’t your only option of course. Many folks use the large green/red MTM 100-round ammo boxes for transporting 6BR and 6PPC ammo. The big MTM boxes work fine with loaded rounds, but not so great with fired cases. If you tip the MTM box on its side, the empties can spill out. That’s frustrating if you’ve meticulously sorted your cases. You can put a layer of foam over the empty brass to avoid the problem, but the J & J cases are a cheaper, more compact solution. J & J’s 100-round BR-100 ammo case has tighter vertical clearance, so your empties won’t come out of their slots if the case tips over or is stacked upside down.

In addition to the BR-100 case, varminters who need to carry large numbers of loaded rounds should check out J & J’s 175-round Rifle Ammo Case. This foam-lined ammo transporter, item LR-175-2, costs $16.54 and is the largest-capacity ammo case we’ve found. For more info go to JandJProducts.Com.

30 BR Ammo

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January 10th, 2009

Shooting Mats for Bipod and Prone Shooters

We’ve been doing a lot of bipod shooting lately with the Anschütz 64R Biathlon rifle we’ve received for testing. (Great little rifle by the way — accurate, ergonomic, versatile. It’s a definite winner for the Rimfire Tactical game.)

Anschutz 64R biathlon rifle

rifle shooting mat padShooting off the ground with bipod has taught us the importance of a good, comfortable shooting pad, with non-slip areas for the ‘pod legs and sufficient length (and thickness) to cushion our middle-aged hips and knees. Creedmoor Sports offers a high-quality Shooting Pad for $75.00. This mat, popular on the High Power rifle range, has a waterproof vinyl bottom and a marine finished top with extended textured non-slip pads for elbow placement. Interior jute padding provides ample protection for the shooter in the shooting position. The Creedmoor pad measures 29.5″ X 68″.

ChampionShooters.com offers a similarly-sized shooting mat with some additional features. The 27″x72″ Champion Deluxe Roll-up Mat is soil-resistant canvas with a vinyl waterproof bottom. It has a 25″ X 21″ rubberized section added to the shooting area. To provide additional protection there are leg flaps on either side at the bottom, together with a dust flap in the front. This pad weighs 8 lbs. and costs $74.00.

rifle shooting mat pad

Desired Upgrades for F-Class Shooting
For F-Class shooting, one thing we’d like to see from the pad manufacturers is a second no-slip, rubberized section in the middle of the mat for the rear sand-bag. We’ve seen some pads that have been modified with a rubber-covered aluminum plate in the middle of the mat for the rear sandbag. That provides great stability for the rear bag, but a hard plate demands that you fold the mat, rather than roll it up.

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January 10th, 2009

IBS Annual Meeting Jan. 23-24

The 2009 Membership Meeting of the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) will be held January 23-24 at the Harrisburg Holiday Inn & Conference Center in New Cumberland, Pennsylvannia. Zip (for finding directions) is 17070. On Friday, the 23rd, there is a social get-together starting at 7:00 pm. Serious business commences Saturday morning, the 24th, at 9:00 am sharp. For hotel reservations, call (717) 774-2721, and ask for the special “International Benchrest Shooters” (IBS) rate.

Active IBS members in the region should attend if possible. Many important topics are set for discussion on the 2009 Meeting Agenda. IBS President Jim Borden also reminds members that annual dues are now $50.00 for regular members and $15.00 for associate memberships.

CLICK HERE to download the Full Agenda for the IBS Meeting. (Adobe .pdf file)

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January 9th, 2009

QuickLOAD Software Updates Available

QuickLOAD reloading softwareQuickLOAD is a unique software product that draws upon a vast database of cartridges, bullets, and powders to analyze (and predict) load pressures and velocities. While QuickLOAD data should NOT be substituted for careful, conservative load recipes based on powder manufacturers’ recommendations, QuickLOAD is still a remarkable tool that can save you time and money. QuickLOAD can help you identify the most efficient powders for a particular cartridge/bullet combination, and it can also predict how changes to barrel length or seating depth can affect velocities and pressures. We recommend that serious reloaders consider investing in QuickLOAD, a $149.95 product from Neconos.com. To learn more about QuickLOAD, read our SOFTWARE REVIEW.

CLICK HERE for AccurateShooter.com QuickLOAD Review and User’s Guide

Update Your QuickLOAD Software
New Bullet, Cartridge, & Powder Data in Ver. 3.4 — Including Reloder 17
For $14.95, QuickLOAD verion 3.0 – 3.3 users can also purchase a CD-based upgrade to the latest version 3.4. The upgrade provides complete data for many more bullets and cartridges, plus it includes hundreds of cartridge diagrams and photos. We think the upgrade to version 3.4 is well worth the cost for the updated bullet info alone, and the cartridge diagrams are a great new feature. And yes, the latest update includes Alliant Reloder 17 powder. If you are shooting a 6XC, 6-6.5×47, Rem 260, .284 Win, or a Magnum cartridge–Reloder 17 may boost your velocities significantly.

If you are a current owner of QuickLOAD version 2.9 or earlier on floppy disk, you can upgrade to the new CD-ROM for $50.00 + S&H. The latest CD offers more powders (218 total), cartridges (1200+) and bullets (2500+). Order through Neconos.com or call 800-451-3550.

NOTE: If you have QuickLOAD 3.0, 3.1 or 3.2 and want to use QuickLOAD with Windows VISTA you need a VISTA-compatible version. Send in your old CD and Neconos can replace it with a Vista-compatible CD (also works with Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP) for $14.95 plus S & H.

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January 9th, 2009

CMP Launches National Match Air Rifle Program

Attention High Power and Air Rifle Shooters — The CMP is introducing a new event called “National Match Air Rifle”. This new discipline features two courses of fire similar to the High Power rifle standing and John C. Garand courses of fire. These stages will be shot with air rifles on reduced High Power 200- and 600-yard targets on 10-meter ranges. There will be three rifle classes: sporter, match/precision and AR-type air rifle.

Initial Test Match at Camp Perry This Weekend
Here’s your chance to get involved in the launch of a new shooting sport. The CMP will hold a test match at the Camp Perry Marksmanship Center on 10 January. This inaugural match will be held at the CMP’s new Camp Perry Marksmanship Center that offers 80 firing points equipped with state-of-the-art electronic targets and an electronic display system.

Camp Perry Marksmanship Center

The CMP invites both experienced High Power shooters and recreational air gun shooters to participate in the test match. Shooter feedback from test matches will help the CMP finalize the rules and course of fire. At the match, the “prototype”, 10-bull paper AR-SR and AR-MR Nat’l Match targets will be displayed. You’ll also have a chance to view new industry prototype AR-style air rifles. There will also be a Novice Prone Match that can be fired by younger juniors who are just getting started in target shooting (see Match Program .pdf for details).

CLICK HERE for Match Registration Form.

CLICK HERE for Test Match Program .pdf and Event Schedule.

Feinwerkbau air rifle

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