October 30th, 2009

AccurateShooter Forum Impresses Users with Speed and Features

This week we activated our new, enhanced Shooters’ Forum. The Forum has been re-installed with speedier software on a fast, dedicated server. If you haven’t visited our Forum yet, you should check it out. Users have been very pleased. Brand 962 says: “Fantastic upgrades. Well worth the wait.” Mike (aka Pdog06) reports: “The Forum is way faster on my end than before. I also like the fact that there are now timestamps on posts and PMs, which can help out in the classifieds when you get multiple ‘I’ll take it’ responses.”

Set your bookmarks to http://www.accurateshooter.com/forum.

AccurateShooter Forum

How to Log In to the New Forum
If you were registered in our Forum before, you can use the SAME User Name and SAME Password on the new Forum. However, on your first visit to the New Forum you’ll need to log-in TWO TIMES in a row to activate your account. The first log-in captures your name and password, and encrypts the info for higher security. The second log-in will activate your account. Thankfully, most people have figured this out. Note that your password is CASE SENSITIVE now. So, if it was all lower case before, you need to type it exactly that way.

Forum Attachments Now Working
When we launched this new Forum we imported over 3500 file attachments (mostly pictures), from the old Forum. That was a very difficult task and we had a few glitches. Now all the attachments are linked up successfully so the attachment feature is live and “open for business”. To attach files to a post you can either upload your image to an image host (such as Photobucket.com) then simply paste the code for the picture into your post. We recommend using a third-party image host for photos, as this will display your pictures full size (or any size you set during upload).

AccurateShooter Forum

But, if you prefer, you can also upload your images as attachments. Your files will then be stored on our server. To upload image attachments, click on the “Additional Options” link below the text box. This will display the attachments option. Click “Choose” to find a file on your computer hard-drive. NOTE: Max file size for an attached file is 150kb so you may have to re-size your images before loading.

Once you’ve designated a file attachment, you can add more attachments the same way if you want. Then, when all the attachments are listed, click POST. Your files will be uploaded to our server and will appear in the post as 180-pixel thumbnails. Click on the thumbnail to see the full-size image.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
October 29th, 2009

Voight Wins USPSA 3-Gun Championship in Tight Battle with Miculek

In a back and forth battle, Michael Voigt held off defending National Champion Jerry Miculek to win the Open title at the 2009 U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) Multi-Gun National Championships held October 22-25 in Boulder City, Nevada. During the 3-day match, Voigt and Miculek exchanged the lead seven times in one of the closest head-to-head duels in the history of Multi-Gun competition. At the Multi-Gun Nationals, 135 top shooters from around the country competed in a shooting format that utilizes rifle, shotgun, and pistol, demanding shooting speed and accuracy with all three weapons.

Michael Voigt USPSA Pro Tips

Team STI’s Voigt and Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson were neck and neck through 10 stages, exchanging the overall lead. After Miculek won Stage 10, the match turned in Voigt’s favor when Voigt won Stage 11, scoring 200 stage points, nearly 100 points better than Miculek. Miculek won the 12th and final stage of the match but it was not enough. Voigt finished with a final score of 2178.2303, placing him over 75 points ahead of Miculek, the 2008 champion.

Michael Voigt has been a force to be reckoned with in USPSA competition since 1979. He has served as USPSA President, and he has been the best in the world with pistol, rifle and shotgun ever since Multi-Gun Competition became a part of USPSA Matches. Voigt’s latest Open Class victory marks his ninth USPSA 3-Gun National Title.

Voigt Reveals Match-Winning Skills and Strategies
If you’re interested in three-gun competition and want to shoot like a champion, check out Michael Voigt’s “Pro Tips” on ShootingUSA.com. In six training sessions, Voigt explains and demonstrates the key skills needed for the multi-gun game. Voigt’s tips were broadcast as a regular part of Shooting USA’s Sighting In segments, and summaries are available online, complete with photos and Michael’s expert commentary.

Michael Voigt USPSA Pro Tips

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition 2 Comments »
October 29th, 2009

RCBS ChargeMaster on Sale at Natchez — $279.95

Natchez Shooters Supplies currently has the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Scale and Dispenser combo (item RC98923) on sale for just $279.95, a very good price. These units have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Now even some short-range benchresters are weighing their loads with RCBS ChargeMasters. When these units are set up correctly (i.e. level in all planes) and kept away from wind drafts or electrical interference, they work very well. After acquiring his ChargeMaster earlier this year, Jason Baney, our assistant editor, told us: “Man, I wish I had this thing years ago… it probably cuts my reloading time in half.”

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 29th, 2009

Versatile $40.00 Sling Bag Holds Lots of Gear

Looking for a sturdy, versatile shoulder/sling bag that doesn’t look like a “metrosexual” man-purse? Check out the Rapid Deployment Pack (RPD) from Natchez. Sturdily made from heavy-duty nylon with beefy fasteners and a quick-release front buckle, the RPD offers plenty of storage in a 10″ H x 12″ W x 3″ D format. On the front the RPD has velcro-secured mag pockets which can also be used for hand-held radios, wind meters or other gear.

tactical shoulder bag

While other companies offer similar bags for up to $120.00, the RPD retails for $26.99. That’s a lot less than most sling bags cost. This editor personally likes this bag (made by U.S. Peacekeepers) because it will hold a 10″ netbook (and paper notepads) in the main compartment, while I can put my still camera and video camera in the mag pockets. The $81.00 Maxpedition “Jumbo”, while otherwise a good bag, is a bit too small to carry a netbook easily in the main compartment. The RPD has the carrying capacity I need for assignment work, without being too large. In the field the RPD can easily carry your wind meter, laser rangefinder, log book, spare mag, and water bottle, making this a useful option for tactical comps. The RPD offers serious utility for half the price of the Maxpedition Jumbo.

Tactical Shoulder Bag

Permalink News 3 Comments »
October 28th, 2009

Gun Give-Away Contest on ShootingUSA.com

Smith & Wesson MP15Every month ShootingUSA.com offers a handsome new firearm in a drawing. This month the prize is a S&W M&P 15, a 5.56 (.223 Rem) AR15 clone with adjustable stock and iron sights. The MSRP $1,406.00. To enter the contest, you need to provide personal info and the name of an FFL-holder to whom the gun can be shipped. In addition, you need to answer a question. The question this week relates to the Bianchi Cup: “What is the highest possible score on the barricades at Bianchi?” Suggested answers range from 370 to 1920. The answer can be found by watching this week’s episode of Shooting USA.

HINT: there are 48 shots total in the Barricade Event.

Smith & Wesson MP15

Permalink - Videos, News 9 Comments »
October 28th, 2009

NRA Certified Instructors Qualify for Special Offers

The NRA is looking to expand the ranks of Certified Firearms Instructors. And no, you’re not expected to become an instructor just for the glory, or for the simple joy of teaching. There are some real benefits to be had….

NRA Certified Instructors receive discounts from some of the leading companies in the shooting sports industry. Aimpoint, Beretta, Blackhawk, and Crimson Trace are just a few of the companies that provide special offers to NRA Certified Instructors.

The NRA Training Department lists discounts and promotions for Certified Instructors on the web. You can also find special offers in the latest issue of the Shooting Education Update, a PDF-format e-zine you can download.

NRA Certified Instructors

Permalink Hot Deals 3 Comments »
October 27th, 2009

Billy Copelin Dominates NBRSA 1000-Yard Nationals

Billy Copelin dominated the 2009 NBRSA 1000-yard Nationals in Sacramento, winning the National Championship and setting four pending records in the process. Billy used a 17-pounder in Light Gun Class, and a bigger rifle in Heavy Gun Class, but both were chambered for the 6mm Dasher. The little case, an improved version of the 6mmBR Norma, performed brilliantly in Billy’s hands. Along with his overall championship, Copelin won Two-Gun Group Agg (6.566″), Two-Gun Score Agg (840-8X), Light Gun Group Agg (4.611″), Heavy Gun Group Agg (8.522″), and Heavy Gun Score Agg (561-4X).

Billy Copelin National Champion

Jim O’Connell, official match scorer, observed: “It was Billy Copelin’s weekend as he won just about everything that wasn’t nailed down. On his way to winning the 2009 National Championship, Billy set four new records and earned himself a spot in the Hall of Fame (joining Jerry Tierney and Don Nielson). Congratulations to Billy…that was some fine shooting!” Copelin’s four pending records are: 3-Target LG Score (147-3X); 6-Target LG Group (4.611″); 2-Gun 12-Target Score (840-8X); and 2-Gun 12-Target Group (6.566″). Below is a video of Copelin shooting at the 600-yard NBRSA Nationals in 2008.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Generally Good Conditions Prevail
Fairly nice weather conditions prevailed for the 2009 NBRSA 1000-Yard National Championship. As a result, some fine scores were fired. Ventura, CA shooter Barry Bluhm, who won the Light Gun Score title with an impressive 279-6X, told us “There was nice weather most of the time all three days. Winds were 3 to 6 mph, but they didn’t stay the same. During some relays, winds got twitchy and would switch from side to side. If you missed a wind call, you could get burned.”

Barry, who does testing for AccurateShooter.com as one of our elite “designated trigger pullers”, noted that while Copelin “pretty much cleaned everyone’s clock with his Dashers”, a lot of guys shot big cartridges in Heavy Gun Class. George Tompkins was shooting 300gr bullets from a massive, metal-stocked Maxi chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum.

Jerry Tierney finished second overall in this year’s NBRSA 1K Nationals. Jerry, the 2008 NBRSA 600-yard Champion, brought his .284 Winchester to the match, “making LG weight by an ounce or so.” Tierney, who is renowned for his wind-doping skills, tells us “he was rooting for the wind to blow, but it was Dasher weather.” Jerry added that the big boomers did not distinguish themselves: “The true heavies made a lot of noise but were not really in the running in these conditions. It was strictly a Dasher weekend, and a really great shooter [Copelin] behind a Dasher finished on top.” Tierney added that Copelin really deserved the championship: “Billy’s been at it many years; we all knew he was going to win the big one someday.”

Great Shooting by Many Competitors
Though Copelin hauled away the biggest trophies, there were many impressive performances by other shooters. Jay McMunn shot an amazing 2.445″, five-shot Small Group in Light Gun, and Stu Harvey wasn’t far behind at 2.473″. Charles Greer nailed two ten-shot 99s in Heavy Gun and one was a very small 6.649″ to boot. Robert Hoppe and T. Johnson both had 10-shot HG groups under 5.5″ (though Copelin shot smallest of all with a 4.907″ in HG).

Overall Rankings, using the NBRSA scoring system, which counts placements for both score and group, are listed below (lowest total wins). CLICK HERE to download complete results with group and score rankings for all events. We send a big “Thank-You” to Jim O’Connell from providing these match results so quickly.

National Champion — BILLY COPELIN (5 total points)
Second Place — GERALD TIERNEY (24)
Third Place — KENNETH SCHROEDER (26)
Fourth Place — CHARLES GREER (31)
Fifth Place — BARRY BLUHM (33)
Sixth Place — GREG WILSON (44)
Seventh Place — ROBERT HOPPE (46)
Eighth Place — LOU MURDICA (47)
Ninth Place — T. JOHNSON (54)
Tenth Place — GARY NOBLE (55)

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 5 Comments »
October 27th, 2009

CMP Re-Launches Forum For CMP Sales and Events

The CMP recently launched a new, upgraded CMP Online Forum that’s faster and easier to navigate. The New Forum features 18 categories, covering CMP Sales, Auctions, and CMP events. There are separate sub-boards for Bolt-Action Rifles, M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, and Smallbore rifles. At the top of the new CMP Forum you’ll find links for Competition, Rifle Tech Info, and Sales. NOTE: Even if you were a member of the CMP’s Old Forum, you must re-register on the new site. The Old Forum will remain online for a few months, though it is now closed to new posts.

CMP Forum

CLICK HERE to visit CMP Online Forum

The newly updated forum also has a marketplace area (for parts trading), and a calendar section where readers can post info about Regional matches and events. Collectors should watch the Auctions category for advanced notice of items to be auctioned on the CMP’s online Auction Site.

Permalink News No Comments »
October 26th, 2009

New AccurateShooter Forum Goes Live — Check it Out

Today we activated the new FORUM for AccurateShooter.com. The new Forum includes all the info from the original Forum, including photos and attachments. Our new FORUM uses a new dedicated server for faster page display and quicker searches. In addition, the new software provides many new (and often-requested) features, such as direct feedback for members who buy and sell via our classifieds.

CLICK HERE to visit new FORUM.

Please set your bookmarks to: http://www.accurateshooter.com/forum/.

Same Names and Same Passwords Will Work
If you were already a member of our Shooters’ Forum, you can log-in with the SAME User Name and SAME password as before. However, the first time you log in to the new Forum, you may have to enter name and password two times in a row. (The first input installs and encrypts your password; when you enter name + password a second time, the server “sees” the password and logs in your account).

AccurateShooter Shooters Forum

The new forum replicates ALL the threads and posts from the existing forum, so the new FORUM will have all the information accumulated in the last five years. This includes tons of valuable load data and reloading information. You can also see thousands of images in our new FORUM. And we even retained all the private messages, so you won’t lose any info found there.

Some Attachment Issues Remain
In moving from the old server to the new FORUM server, we had to parse and move over 3500 attachments. This was a very difficult task and there are some technical issues that remain to be resolved. When you access your personal profile on the new FORUM, you may see a file that you attached to an old post. Don’t wory about that… we’re working on a fix. Likewise, some members may see an old attachment at the top of the FORUM front page, but we think we’ve got that resolved.

When creating a new thread (topic), or replying to a post, you can still attach a digital image stored on a third-party hosting site such as PhotoBucket.com or ImageCave.com. And, while our attachment system is up and running, we request that you do not use the attachment feature yet to attach new files. Please upload your photos to a 3rd party host instead… for a few more days. This way if we have to re-format the attachments, your file(s) won’t be lost.

Permalink News 11 Comments »
October 25th, 2009

Redesigned "Gen-4" Glocks Slated for 2010 Release

Beretta pistolGlock has announced that it will introduce a new “Fourth Generation” Glock handgun with an interchangeable grip back-straps and improved ergonomics. The new “GEN-4″ Glock will probably be unveiled at the January 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, though Glock hasn’t commited to a SHOT Show release. According to the Guns, Holsters & Gear Blog, “[GEN-4] Glocks are rumored to have a textured finish that is not nearly as aggressive as the RTF2 introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show. The new finish is said to be rougher than the prior generations, but easier on the hands and clothes than the RTF2.”

Glock has been hugely successful selling polymer-framed handguns to the law enforcement, military, and civilian markets. While Glocks enjoy an enviable reputation for durability and reliability, for many handgunners, Glock ergonomics are second rate. This editor has personally trained novice shooters with both a Glock 17 and Sig p226 9mm. More often than not, when the novices switch from the Glock to the Sig, their 10-yard groups shrink from basketball size to softball size — primarily because of the superior Sig grip size and shape. That’s not to say that Glocks are not accurate — they can be very accurate — it’s just that the Glock grip is far from ideal for many shooters.

Beretta pistolFor decades Glock has stubbornly refused to redesign or improve the grip on Glock handguns (other than adding finger grooves of questionable utility). Meanwhile, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Walther have offered polymer-framed handguns with more comfortable, ergonomic grips fitted with interchangeable grip back-straps. These “swappable” back-straps come in different sizes to provide a better, more custom fit for the shooter. Women with small hands, in particular, benefit from a thinner back-strap.

The success of Smith & Wesson in securing large police contracts for its adjustable-gripped, S&W M&P pistol has finally prompted Glock to come up with a major grip redesign. Glock has been losing market share as police departments nationwide have traded in their Glocks in favor of the more ergonomic Smith M&Ps.

Permalink New Product 7 Comments »
October 24th, 2009

Primers and Load Velocity: CCI-BR2 vs. Wolf in .308 Win

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum recently did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load.

CCI BR2 primers wolf rifle primers

Plenty of CCI-BR2 and Wolf Large Rifle Primers in Stock
If you’re looking for either the CCI BR-2 or Wolf Large Rifle Primers, Wideners.com currently has both in stock. The CCI BR2 primers (item CCIBR2) cost $42.50 per 1000. The Wolf LR Primers (item QQQLR KVB-7) cost $29.50 per 1000 OR $142.00 per 5000.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
October 24th, 2009

Ammo Sale at Cabela's

ammunition Cabelas.comA sure sign that ammunition supplies are on the rise (and panic buying has abated) is when vendors start cutting back prices. Well folks, Cabela’s has just announced a major ammo sale, with prices marked down as much as 25%. Here are some of Cabela’s discounted offerings:

  • Black Hills Gold .308 Win, 180gr Nosler Accubond cosmetic seconds (item 9IS-217122). Sale Price: $21.99 for 20 rounds (Reg. $29.99).
  • Federal 5.56mm NATO 55gr FMJBT Ammo on Stripper Clips (item 9IS-217197). Sale Price: $519.99 for 900 rounds (Reg: $649.99).
  • Ulyanovsk 7.62×39 Ammo, 122gr FMJ in Metal Tin (item 9IS-217277). Sale Price: $159.99 for 640 rounds.
  • Winchester USA Rifle Ammo (item 9IS-210889). Sale Price: $13.99 for 20 rounds (Reg. $16.99).
  • To get the lowest discounted prices, click the WEB DEALS link at left.

    Much of Cabela’s ammunition inventory remains “sold out”, but the curren Ammo Sale is a good sign that the situation is getting better and the days of bare shelves and panic buying may be behind us. We note that large supplies of primers are also starting to arrive at vendors such as Powder Valley (Wolf) and Wideners.com (CCI and Wolf).

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
    October 23rd, 2009

    Junior Shooters Learn from the Best

    The Fort Benning Junior Rifle Club, started in the 1970s, was formed to help junior shooters raise their level in competitive shooting and assist them in getting recognized by college coaches. It is organized and run by members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Rifle team, whose roster includes Olympians and national champions.

    CLICK HERE for U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Website (Check out the video!)

    “The kids are extremely motivated,” said Staff Sgt. Armando Ayala, the club’s head coach. “These shooters are exposed to the USAMU work ethic and our accomplishments, and it really motivates them.” Fourteen-year-old MacKenzy Crawford explains: “This is a ton of fun…. I started shooting when I was six and wanted to join the school’s rifle team, so I needed to get practice and coaching here.”

    USAMU Junior Team

    There are 52 kids in the Club this year, Ayala said, almost double the number of shooters from last year. There are two training sessions a week during the school year with a break during the winter holidays. Besides Ayala, who attends every training session, two of his teammates rotate from week-to-week, allowing the students a chance to work with the entire IR team. “We teach shooters from beginners all the way to advance levels,” he remarked. “We essentially take them from never shooting to the U.S. National junior team-level.”

    Club members compete in a number of matches year-round. The biggest matches are sanctioned by USA Shooting, including the national championships and spring and fall selection matches for juniors. They also travel to Camp Perry, Ohio each summer to compete in the Smallbore National Championships and compete in regional postal and invitational matches.

    USAMU Junior Team

    Training Program Leads to Future Success
    Many junior club members have achieved success at college and beyond. West Point has tapped into the program and recruited future officers through the academy’s shooting team, and many former and future members made the military their career choice after being tutored within the military environment. Coaches from Columbus State, University of Kentucky, Memphis University, Texas Christian University, Nebraska and others have scouted the club’s members and brought scholarship offers with them.

    “To see our juniors develop into motivated young citizens and accomplish great things is very rewarding,” Ayala said. “I know what they learn here they carry into all aspects of their lives because the examples set for them affect their lives. What we do here really inspires and motivates young people.”

    Report by By Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO

    Permalink - Articles, Competition No Comments »
    October 23rd, 2009

    Winchester 50 Cal FMJ Bullets at Bargain Prices

    Here’s a good deal for 50-Caliber shooters. Right now MidwayUSA has 650gr (0.510 diam.) Winchester FMJ bullets on sale. You can get a bulk pack of 420 bullets for just $308.90 (roughly $.74/bullet). That’s $91.09 off the regular $399.99 price, making this a real bargain. NOTE: These are new production overrun bullets that would otherwise be loaded in U.S. military M33 ammunition. The 650-grain full metal boat tail design features a copper jacket with cannelure over a steel insert and lead core. Limited quantities are available so you may want to act soon.

    50 Cal FMJ bullets

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
    October 22nd, 2009

    NBRSA 1000-Yard Benchrest Nationals This Weekend at Sacramento

    The 2009 NBRSA 1000-yard Nationals (Sloughhouse 1000) will be held at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center in Sacramento, California on October 23, 24, & 25th.This event is being hosted by the Sloughhouse Benchrest Shooters Club. The NBRSA 1K benchrest Nationals should draw many of the nation’s top shooters. This is one of the major long-range events of the year on the West Coast. Match organizers invite all long-range benchresters to attend, even if you have not tried 1000 yards before. A good 600-yard gun can be quite competitive at 1000 when conditions are favorable. Two classes will compete, Light Gun (17-lb max weight) and Heavy Gun (Unlimited Weight). The current match fee is $75.00 per class, so it will cost $150.00 to shoot both classes.

    CLICK HERE for the match Sign-Up and Registration form (PDF file).

    Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, Sloughhouse 1000
    Sacramento Valley Shooting Center 1000-yard range (seen from 600-yard line).

    There are RV/camping facilities adjacent to the range, and moderately priced hotels can be found within a 20-minute drive of the range. If you camp you should bring water, food and all essentials as the range is pretty far from a store. Do note, however, on Saturday, October 24th, a catered lunch will be served and on Friday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 25th, a hot vendor will be available on the grounds so that shooters may purchase lunch.

    If you have questions about the range facilities or driving directions, you can call Sac Valley Shooting Center at (916) 354-9668. The Center is located approximately 15 miles South/East of the city of Sacramento. The physical address for the range is 15501 Meiss Road, Sloughouse, CA 95683. To navigate to the range, take a look at the map below. The Sac Valley staff cautions: “Do not use GPS or Map Quest to get to the range. On the Dillard Road side is an unpaved, nearly impassible rock road. Use Ione Road to approach Meiss Road [from the east]”. You can also get detailed, turn by turn directions (from main approach highways), on the Sac Valley Shooting Center website. CLICK HERE for directions to range.

    Sacramento Valley Shooting Center

    Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
    October 22nd, 2009

    Hodgdon's 2010 Reloading Manual Coming Soon

    Hodgdon reloading manual 2010The 2010 edition of the Hodgdon® Annual Manual has just been announced, and should be at newstands in January 2010. Now in its 7th year, the Hodgdon Annual Manual includes over 5,000 rifle and pistol loads, with information on 56 Hodgdon, IMR® and Winchester® powders. The new 2010 Manual features 44 cartridge updates, brand new data for the 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor, and updated propellant burn rate and usage charts.

    Extensive reloading information is provided for popular cartridges such as the 17 Remington, 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 6PPC, 308 Winchester, 338 Federal and more. In addition, the 2010 Manual includes articles by top gun writers like Layne Simpson and Jim Carmichael plus many other resources for shooters and reloaders.

    Articles in the 2010 Hodgdon Annual Manual spotlight the new varmint/match powder, IMR 8208 XBR. Test lots of this new powder have shown truly exceptional temperature stability. In addition, IMR 8208 XBR should deliver excellent accuracy in cartridges such as the 6mm PPC, 6BR, 22BR, and .308 Winchester. Lou Murdica and Jim Carmichael have already recorded impressive benchrest wins with prototype IMR 8208 XBR.

    The 2010 Hodgdon Annual Manual costs $8.99 and should be available at newsstands and gun dealers by January 2010. For more on the manual contact Hodgdon at 913-362-9455, visit Hodgdon.com, or write to 6231 Robinson, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202.

    Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »
    October 21st, 2009

    New Scope Zoom Lever from MGM

    Here’s a new product for shooters who need to make rapid zoom changes with their optics. The MGM Switchview is a small, lightweight lever that clamps around the power adjustment ring of variable power scopes. Made from anodized 6061/T6 aluminum, the Switchview allows the user to quickly adjust the scope’s power setting with a push or pull of the lever, without taking your head off the gun. That should help 3-gun competitors who must rapidly switch from near to far targets and back again.

    switchview zoom control lever

    The MGM Switchview works with short, tactical optics as well as high-magnification long-range scopes. Only slightly taller than most target style turrets, the lever is easy to use, even while wearing gloves or in slippery or wet conditions. The manufacturer says that: “Whether you are glassing a large area for a target and then zooming in to make the shot without loosing your sight picture, or you need to transition from far targets to [close] targets in a hurry, the MGM Switchview will get to the magnification setting you need quickly and easily.”

    The MGM Switchview is now available for a variety scopes, including the Burris XTR, Leupold CQT, Leupold Mark IV (illum. reticle), Millet 1-4x24DMS, and Nightforce NXS. And soon MGM plans to build Switchviews for the IOR Valdada 1-4 and 1.4-8, Leupold VXII and VXIII, and Nightforce NXS Compact.

    switchview zoom control lever

    MGM Switchview zoom levers cost $59.95 and come standard in anodized black. However, the levers can be special ordered in custom colors for an extra $12. (Add 3 weeks delivery time for custom color orders.)

    For more info, visit MGMswitchview.com. To order, call 208-454-0555 or 888-767-7371 (toll free), or email travis [at] mgmtargets.com. You can also contact Mike Gibson Manufacturing, 17891 Karcher Rd., Caldwell, ID 83607 .

    Permalink New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
    October 21st, 2009

    Gear Review: Lee Classic Cast Iron Press

    Lee reloading products have always represented good “bang for the buck”. The Lee Classic Cast “O”-style press is no exception — it works as well as some other presses costing twice as much. One well-known “boutique” bullet maker has recently switched to Lee presses because the tolerances and lack of slop were actually superior to more expensive presses.

    The Lee Classic Cast press is a well-designed unit with a strong, cast-iron frame and all-steel linkage. It has important (and very cool) features you won’t find on an RCBS RockChucker. First, the ram is drilled in the center and fitted with a plastic drop tube so spent primers drop right out the bottom (where you position your trash can). Second, the handle adjusts for length and “attack angle”. This allows you to change the leverage to suit your task. As Lee explains: “The start and stop position is adjustable with a 48-tooth, ratchet-type handle clamp. In addition, the handle length is completely adjustable. Shorten when you’re loading handgun and short rifle cases.” As you can see, you can also mount the handle on either side, left or right.

    Lee Classic Cast Iron PressLee Classic Cast Iron Press

    You can purchase the Lee Classic Cast Press for under $86.00 at major vendors. FactorySales.com offers the Lee Classic Cast for $73.40, item 90998. MidwayUSA sells the Lee Classic (item 317831) for $85.99. Natchez Shooters Supply also offers the Lee Classic for $80.99, item LEE90998.

    Lee Classic Cast Press Primer systemMark Trope of SurplusRifle.com has written a detailed Review of the Lee Classic Press. He notes that the press is “southpaw friendly” and he praises the priming system. Mark found that the spent primer drop tube worked very well and that the press “works perfect and has great sensitivity” when seating primers.

    Not yet convinced? CLICK HERE to read comments from actual Lee Classic owners. Here are some highlights:

    “It has a large, heavy-duty 1-1/8″ diameter ram that has been drilled out for spent primers … and a long clear plastic hose attached to it so you can route it to a trash can. [This is] a VERY well thought-out way to collect ALL primers to your trash can when you’re decapping.” –D. Oldham

    “Fit and finish are impeccable. The spent primer disposal system is simple and neat. There is no spring or flexing of any kind. There is virtually no play in the ram, which is a good tight fit in the frame. Operation is totally smooth.” –R. Smith

    “Totally outclasses any other press in its price range. Runs with presses in the $100-$120 range.”–W. Rose

    “I like…the position of the ram at priming. The Lee seats the primer with the ram at the bottom of the stroke vs. the RC II, which seats in the middle of the stroke. Priming at the bottom of the stroke gives you a much better ‘feel’.” –M. Gallagher

    Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
    October 20th, 2009

    Cerberus Plans IPO for Freedom Group Companies (Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, DPMS, H&R)

    If you had purchased Ruger (RGR) or Smith & Wesson (SWHC) stock after the November election, you would have seen your investment grow almost three-fold. Ruger stock now trades at over $13.00 after hitting $4.52 last fall. If Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin and other Freedom Group companies “went public”, could they ride the coat-tails of Ruger and S&W, and succeed collectively as a publicly traded stock? Cerberus, a private holding company that controls the Freedom Group, apparently thinks so.

    Cerberus Freedom Group IPO

    Cerberus Plans IPO for Remington and Freedom Group
    A surge in gun sales has pushed the stock prices of major firearms manufacturers upwards. Will that trend continue? We can’t say. However, the money men at Cerberus Capital Management, which owns Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, and other Freedom Group companies, have decided that the time is ripe to “go public” and start selling stock. According to a 10/19 report in the Wall Street Journal Blog, Cerberus plans an initial public offering (IPO) for its Freedom Group companies. The Freedom Group is comprised of Advanced Armament Corp., Bushmaster, Dakota Arms, DPMS, Eotac, H&R, L.C. Smith, NEF, Parker Gun, Remington Arms Company. Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC) is the latest addition to the Freedom Group collection, having been acquired just this month and placed under the Remington Military Products Division.

    In its report on the pending Freedom Group IPO, the Wall Street Journal Blog cited AccurateShooter.com. When Cerberus acquired riflemaker DPMS in 2007, we wrote: “One positive aspect to Cerberus’ involvement in the gun industry is that the huge political clout Cerberus commands as the ‘rescuer’ of Chrysler Corp. should undermine efforts to ban AR-platform rifles. Cerberus is big enough to make waves in Washington. Money talks in politics and Cerberus has lots of it.”

    Is the timing right for a gun-company IPO? The stock-market continues to move upward, and gun and ammunition sales remain very strong. On the other hand, the panic buying of black rifles has tapered off and AR-platform gun prices are now dropping back to “pre-panic” levels. Morever, at the end of each calendar year there are usually major stock sell-offs. That could drive down prices of Ruger and Smith & Wesson, which could dampen enthusiasm for a Freedom Group IPO. On the other hand Remington is an historic brand with a strong customer base, and Remington/Bushmaster are poised to take an increasing share of lucrative military contracts. With its new ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle), Remington could well win the contract for the AR15’s replacement. And, even if the US military sticks with Stoner’s 50-year-old AR design, Bushmaster can fill that need, though it has strong competition from Colt and FN Herstal.

    A cynical observer might say that Cerberus is simply looking to grab easy profits by “flipping” arms companies it acquired at fire-sale prices. Given the huge run-up in Ruger and S&W stock prices over the past 12 months, Cerberus may figure that investors will be hungry for Freedom Group shares. Right now may be the best time to take the Freedom Group public while gunmakers are still considered a “hot property” on Wall Street. In six months that could change.

    Permalink - Articles, News 13 Comments »
    October 19th, 2009

    USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals Oct. 22-25 in Nevada

    From October 22-25, the 2009 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals will be held at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club (BRPC) in Boulder City, Nevada. USPSA Multi-Gun matches are exciting events, with timed stages requiring shooters to engage multiple targets with pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Some stages involve all three weapons, while other stages may be for pistol only, shotgun only, rifle only, or two weapons, such as pistol and shotgun. All twelve stages in the 2009 event are illustrated in the USPSA Stage Map, a 12-page PDF file.

    Shown below is Stage 10, “Dark Alley”, a Rifle + Shotgun + Handgun stage. Shooters fire 12 handgun rounds, 11 shotgun rounds, 18 rifle rounds plus 11 rounds shooters’ choice (pistol or shotgun) for a total possible score of 270 points. Fixed targets are: 12 Metric, 11 PP, 11 Clay Birds, and 6 Flashers. All targets must be engaged in a specified order, with a designated weapon (or shooter’s choice). As you can tell, these stage scenarios can be complicated, so it takes good planning and tactics to do well, in addition to accuracy and trigger-pulling speed.

    USPSA Nationals

    Notes for Competitors
    The round count is approximately 160 rounds of handgun, 110 rounds of rifle, 115 rounds of birdshot and 20 slugs. There are some targets that may be taken with your choice of firearms, be sure to bring some extra ammunition for each firearm for reshoots, extra shots, etc. Match directors have announced that BRPC will provide one of its 100-yard bays for sight-in on Thursday afternoon only from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Squad schedules are now complete. CLICK HERE to download PDF squad schedule.

    The official Match Hotel is the Sunset Station Casino & Hotel in Henderson, NV. The reserved block of rooms at the Sunset Station appears to have been filled. However, if you need a room at the match hotel and have been informed that the block is full, please email Matt Pickhardt (matt@uspsa.org) or call Matt at 360-855-2245 and he’ll get a room added for you. At this point rooms must be added individually to avoid USPSA being charged for rooms not used.

    Permalink Competition, News No Comments »