May 16th, 2009

NRA Annual Meeting — Show Report

The NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits continue today and tomorrow (May 16-17). Despite 103° heat in Phoenix, attendance is very high. NRA registrars said the turn-out was “way higher than expected”. Our friend Glen R. attended the American Values Forum (he said it was excellent), while your Editor worked the floors of the Exhibition Hall. Among shooting companies, there was a very impressive showing — all the big names (Glock, Remington, S&W, Winchester etc.) had large displays. Indeed, the Exhibits Hall looked like SHOT Show. However, as you might expect, some of the more interesting new products were found at the booths of small and medium-sized companies.

Below are some of the highlights from Friday’s show. Tomorrow tune into the Bulletin for interviews with barrel-makers and bullet-makers, and more product spotlights.

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May 16th, 2009

TECH TIP: How to Select the Right Bushing for your Neck Die

One of the most commonly-asked questions on our Shooters Forum is “what diameter bushing should I use with my neck-sizing die?” While we recommend that users obtain at least two bushings, you still have to know where to start. For hunting ammo and gas guns, we still recommend choosing a bushing that is 2 or 3 thousandths smaller than the neck diameter of a loaded round. However, in a bolt-action benchrest gun, you may well get superior accuracy with less neck tension. Larry Isenhour recently set a spectacular 50-5X 600-yard IBS record using very light tension — Larry employed a .268″ bushing for a .2695″ loaded round. At the NRA Annual meeting we discussed neck bushings during our visit to the Redding Reloading booth. It turns out that Redding has changed its recommendations for benchrest neck sizing, and now recommends that you chose a bushing that yields less tension. In the video below Patrick Ryan of Redding explains how to measure your cartridge brass and select the proper bushing diameter. Patrick also reviews some new Redding products for 2009.

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May 16th, 2009

Interview with Olympic Shooting Legend Lones Wigger

Lones Wigger Olympic ShooterLones (pronounced “lon-ess”) Wigger is the first and only American shooter to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. At the NRA annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, we were privileged to chat with Wigger at the Eley booth where he is answering questions and providing information about Eley products.

We discussed many topics, ranging from Cold War politics (he was not allowed to shoot in the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to the U.S.A. boycott), to barrel tuners. Wigger is a true legend among American shooters, having participated as shooter or coach with five USA Olympic teams. He also set many world records during his long shooting career. In the video below, Wigger talks about his Hall of Fame Olympic accomplishments, and offers advice to young persons getting started in competitive shooting.

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May 16th, 2009

SPEC-REST Shooting Platform a Hit at NRA Meeting

We had a chance to check out the SPEC-REST from Lone Star Field Products at the NRA Meeting in Phoenix. This is one solid, well-built piece of kit, we can assure you. The SPEC-REST is finely engineered, and very smooth in operation (both elevating and traversing). To be honest, the spec-rest makes some other stamped metal portable shooting platforms look like kids’ toys. The main beam is solid metal and all the adjustment controls are well-placed and sturdy. A SPEC-REST is not going to bend or break under hard use. This rig was designed from the ground up to work with even the heaviest-recoiling calibers, such as 338 Lapua Magnum and 50 BMG. The unique design of the SPEC-REST even helps it dissipate recoil when shooting the “big boomers”.

spec-rest gun platform

Our Assistant Editor, Jason Baney, currently has a SPEC-REST plus low-profile Lone Star Quad base for testing and evaluation. The photo above shows the SPEC-REST on the Quad base which can be adjusted low enough to allow use on a bench. To view Lone-Star’s SPEC-REST in action, watch the video below. Lone Star President Robert Black puts a tripod-mounted SPEC-REST through its paces. I think you’ll be impressed… this Editor was.

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May 16th, 2009

Special Offer on Meopta 75mm APO Spotting Scopes

Meopta is not a well-known name in the North American market, but we predict that may change in the near future. Meopta, a leading optics maker in the Czech Republic, makes optical components for many of the most respected “big name” companies in the business. With Meopta’s introduction of its 75mm APO (apochromatic) spotting scope, Meopta has served notice that it can build a scope that rivals far more expensive optics. We tried one out at the NRA meeting in Phoenix, and we’re very impressed from what we could see. The image is very sharp. Eye relief with a 20-60 zoom eyepiece is good. We liked the large full-diameter focus ring in the center of the scope body. Swarovski uses a similar central focus ring on its ATS line of scopes, and we’ve always found this to be a user-friendly design.

Meopta 75 APO

Meopta APO 75 Spotting Scope

The Meopta 75mm APO spotting scope retails for up to $1449.00 at various online optics and camera houses. However, at the NRA Convention, Alex Roy of EuroOptic.com offered a spectacular offer to AccurateShooter.com readers. For a limited time, while supplies last, EuroOptic.com will sell the Meopta 75mm APO complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece for just $1175.00, including a free compact tripod. That’s a true bargain. This is a very nice spotting scope that compares well to other European and Japanese spotting scopes costing much, much more. From what we can tell, the Meopta is also the most economical option for folks seeking a 72mm+ objective and APO glass. Watch the video below for more details of this special offer. NOTE: The offer is limited to stock in hand. (Don’t complain to us if you procrastinate and miss out on this bargain.)

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