November 30th, 2009

Nielson Wins Inaugural Ojai 600-yard Benchrest Match

Don NielsonOn Sunday November 29th, the Ojai Valley Gun Club hosted its first-ever NBRSA-sanctioned, 600-yard Benchrest match. Ojai boasts a beautiful range in the Southern California foothills about 40 road miles from the coast. Many Pala Range regulars from the San Diego area were on hand, and some “big names” turned up for the event including Lou Murdica and 2007 NBRSA 600-yard Champion Don Nielson. In sunny but wildly changeable conditions (ranging from near-calm to 20 mph gusts), Don showed how it was done, winning the match with his 6.5×47 Lapua rifle.

Don finished first in ALL LG and HG categories except Heavy Gun score, where he placed second. In Light Gun class, Don shot a 2.207″ Agg for three, 5-shot targets (1.523″, 2.344″, 2.754″). Mind you this was in conditions where some pretty good shooters were off paper. Don said the secret was to shoot fast: “When it’s switchy, you can’t wait. I pretty much never stopped and never slowed down. Even for the 10-shot Heavy Gun Groups I think I was done in 30 seconds.” Second in Two Gun Overall was Brenda Hill. Brenda has established herself as one of California’s top F-Class and long-range shooters. At Ojai, Brenda was shooting a very accurate 6BRX rifle smithed by Leroy Johnson, jpgrifles [at] yahoo.com. John Crawford, Bruce Duncan, and Lou Murdica also all shot well in the difficult conditions.

Ojai Valley Gun Club

On the firing line we found some very interesting equipment. John Crawford of the Bay Area had a beautiful Leonard-stocked gun chambered in 6mm Grendel. John is getting over 2900 fps with his 6mm Grendel, shooting 105gr Berger VLDs. He does have a long throat, but that is still impressive — 6BR velocities from the smaller-diameter Grendel case. Along with its gorgeous wood stock, Crawford’s rifle featured some very cool hardware. The trigger guard was radically skeletonized and anodized black. John’s scope was mounted with 4-bolt integrated scope rings/bases with 20 MOA built-in elevation. Produced by Marvin Pearson in Oregon, (360) 748-3429, these custom ring/bases were beautifully finished with radiused edges. Pearson’s ring/bases are available for 1″, 30mm, or 34mm tubes, with zero elevation “pre-load”, or up to 30 MOA of built-in elevation. Pearson charges $125.00 per set (plus shipping).

Trigger Guard, Custom Rings

Crawford carried his 6mm Grendel ammo in compact 100-round ammo ammo cases from J&J Products. These cases pack big capacity in a relatively small footprint. There is enough clearance for long VLD-style bullets, but not so much extra “headroom” that the rounds can fall out if the box is inverted. John uses a piece of pink foam, cut to box dimensions, to protect his bullet tips when traveling. These 100-round J&J boxes measure 5.375″L x 5.375″W x 2.400″D and cost just $4.88 (J&J item BR-100).

J&J Products BR100 ammo case J&J Products BR100 ammo case

6-6.5x47 ammo caddyMatch director Barry Bluhm had a very nice ammo caddy that places ten loaded rounds up close to the loading port for fast cycling. Southpaw Bluhm keeps his ammo caddy on the right side, but the design would work equally well when used on the left side by a right-handed shooter.

Barry, who shoots a 6-6.5×47 for the most part, deserves a huge amount of credit for organizing this event. He spent many long hours building new target frames, and organized volunteers to man the pits and run the range. Without Barry’s dedication and hard work, this 600-yard match, hopefully the first of many registered events at Ojai, couldn’t have happened.

To learn more about the Ojai Valley Gun Club, or view the schedule of upcoming events, visit www.OVGC.net.

6-6.5x47 ammo caddy

Permalink Competition, New Product 5 Comments »
November 29th, 2009

Top Marksmen at 29 Palms NRA Long Range & HP Regional

One of the most prestigious rifle competitions on the West Coast was held this past week, Nov. 18-22, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Training Center in 29 Palms, California. This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the NRA Long Range, High Power and EIC Regional Match, hosted by High Desert Competitive Shooting Club (HDCSC). Some 49 Long Range shooters and 54 High Power shooters competed at the Marine Corps’ Marksmanship Training Unit (MTU) rifle range. In addition to the individual shooters, there were 10 Long Range Teams (6 match rifle/4 service rifle) and 12 High Power teams (3 match rifle/9 service rifle).

The long range competition commenced on Thursday. The McVey (any/any) Trophy Match winner was Nat’l Guard SSgt Stuart Mackey (388-17X). Floyd Moore (374-9X) won High Palma, while Pete Jend (361-6X) won High Service Rifle. This year, 18 new “unclassified” shooters entered the long range event. The best among them was Allen Thomas, who posted a superb 376-11X with an Elesio RT-10 chambered in 7mm Rem SAUM. Remarkably, the top 3 Unclassified shooters would all have placed in the High Master Class. (There were also a dozen Unclassified shooters in Saturday’s High Power competition).

Conditions were windy and challenging on Friday, but there were many impressive performances. The Commanding General’s Long Range Trophy Match (the overall Grand Agg for both Thursday and Friday) was won by National Guard SSgt Stuart Mackey. The Onslow Memorial Trophy Match (Service Rifle, Long Range Grand Agg) was won by Pete Jend with a 743-15X. Among Friday’s other results, Gary Rasmussen, a perennial winner at 29 Palms, won the Stockinger Match, and Gary posted the High Palma Rifle score (395-14X). High Service Rifle was, again, Pete Jend with a 382-9X.

On Saturday, conditions were windy for the High Power shooters. With a 1550-53X score, SSgt Stuart Mackey secured first place in the Grand-Grand aggregate Gorchinski Trophy Match, the combined aggregates of both Long Range and High Power. Shooting a match rifle, Dennis Demille (Creedmoor Sports Manager) won the MSgt Jenks Trophy Match Aggregate, and the NRA High Power Gold Medal (774-29X). The Service Rifle category winner, and overall NRA Bronze Medal winner was SSgt Stuart Mackey (773-18X). The NRA Silver Medal went to Match Rifle shooter Steven Powell (773-21X). Although not among the class winners, a popular 29 Palms competitor for the past two years has been retired Marine Gunnery Sargent R. Lee Ermey, who hosts the Lock & Load TV series on the History Channel. Gunny Ermey shoots in the Expert/Sharpshooter class.

Sunday’s team and Leg events started off with moderate 6-7 MPH winds and sunshine. The winning team, using Service Rifles, was All Guard-Spiker with a combined score of 1542-34X. Fortune then favored those 23 shooters (plus 14 already Distinguished), who would shoot the “Leg” match. The winds died down to zero! The high shooter, among those not already Distinguished, was Sgt Sam Lynn, USMC (475-9X).

CLICK HERE for Regional Complete Scores

Ken Miller, President of the High Desert Competitive Shooting Club notes that: “All of the NRA and CMP officials with the High Desert Competitive Shooting group would like to thank Gunner Fred Keeney, USMC, Ed Folts (range master), Capt. Ruth Wilson, USMC, and all of the MTU’s range personnel for their superb work.”


Here, 29 Palms’ Marine gunners practice some true ‘High Power’ shooting.

Permalink News No Comments »
November 29th, 2009

Editor's Note About Bulletin Shopping Features

accurateshooter.com bargainsWe know that the Daily Bulletin has been heavy with sale notices lately. Rest assured that there has NOT been a fundamental shift in our editorial mix. It’s just that there are some very attractive, but short-lived deals that expire on 11/30/2009, including 10% off at Brownells and Sinclair Int’l. We don’t want you guys to miss out. Also, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions have lowered prices dramatically on some really good stuff. For example, the Samsung netbook I use with my ballistics program, target cam, and PVM-21 chronograph, is $85 cheaper than it was a month ago. The Garmin nüvi 255w GPS, the same unit Jason uses, is now $40 less than in October. So enjoy the deals while they last. You snooze, you lose.

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
November 29th, 2009

Holiday Bargains at Sinclair Int'l… Plus 10% off Promo

Sinclair International has some nice deals for the holidays. And, through Monday 11/30/2009 at 11:59 pm, if your online order totals $200.00 or more, you can save an additional 10% using Promo Code SAVE10. Here are some of the good holiday deals.

Wolf Small Magnum Primers: $31.24 per 1000 primers
Wolf Large Rifle Primers: $32.25 per 1000 primers

The Small Rifle Magnum primers work very well with BR, 6.5 Grendel, 6-6×47, and 6.5×47 cases. The Large Rifle Primers are a good choice for 6XC, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .284 Win and 30-06. We list this product here, not so much because the price is the best, but because readers are constantly asking us “where can I get Wolf primers?”. If you need them, Sinclair Int’l has them in stock right now. (NOTE: Wolf regular Small Rifle Primers, which shoot great in PPCs, are still out of stock.)

Wolf Primers

RCBS ChargeMaster Combo, Scale and Dispenser: $299.99 (Reg. $328.40)
This is the device that created an electronic revolution in reloading. The latest generation of Chargemasters is more reliable than ever. If you make sure the unit is level in all planes, and you have good, uniform current, the Chargemasters will deliver very consistent charges. With H4350, a fairly long extruded powder, our tests showed that 48 out of 50 throws were within the claimed ± one-tenth of a grain (0.1 grain) spread. Sinclair’s $299.99 price is very good, and with the 10% off SAVE10 Promo Code you’ll pay $269.99, which is cheaper that both Midsouth ($279.99), and Natchez ($279.95)

RCBS Chargemaster Combo

Sinclair/Wilson Ultimate Micrometer Trimmer w/ Shark Fin, $134.95 (Reg. $145.00)
By most standards, this is the best manual case trimmer on the market. The micrometer on this trimmer effortlessly adjusts cutting lengths, so it’s easy to change from one cartridge type to another. Changing trim length on a Forster or Lyman trimmer is much more time-consuming, requiring you to fiddle around with set screws, and possibly replace pilots and collets. With a Wilson trimmer, you DO have to purchase case-holders for your cartridges, but that’s often cheaper than buying the pilots and/or collets required by other manual trimmers. Remember that a Wilson case holder will often work for a whole family of cartridges. For example a single .308 case-holder will work for a .243 Win, Rem 260, 7mm-08, or .308 Win.

RCBS Chargemaster Combo

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 2 Comments »
November 28th, 2009

Dislodge Stuck Bullets with Brass Drop Rods

sinclair bullet drop rodWhen using the Stoney Point type OAL gauge (now sold by Hornady), we sometimes get a bullet stuck in the rifling. This can also happen with a squib load or when extracting a round with the bullet seated hard in the lands. You can use a cleaning rod or a wood dowel to tap out the bullet, but a brass drop rod will do the job faster and easier, with less risk of nicking your crown.

You can make a drop rod yourself from brass or bronze rod. Just make sure to smooth over any burrs or rough spots on the ends. Or just order a set of brass bullet drop rods from Sinclair Int’l. You drop the Sinclair Rods (item 52-500) down the barrel from the muzzle end with the rifle standing upright. Sinclair Bullet Drop Rods are made of brass so they will not harm the rifling in your barrel. Each $11.95 set consists of two Drop Rods — a 3/16″ diameter rod for 20 caliber through 25 caliber bores, and 1/4″ diameter rod for 6.5 through 416 caliber bores.

Remember, for safety sake:
Drop Rods are never to be used to dislodge live or loaded rounds! Always remove the Drop Rod from the barrel before chambering another round!

Sinclair Bullet Drop Rod

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
November 28th, 2009

10% Off Promo at Brownells and Sinclair Int'l Through Monday

As an extended “Black Friday” sales promotion, Brownells is offering 10% off all orders over $150. This promo, which started on November 27th, runs through midnight, on “Cyber-Monday”, November 30th. To qualify for the 10% discount, visit brownells.com and use Coupon Code CYB to get 10% off any order over $150. NOTE: There are also many specially-priced items on sale all weekend long. You can use the 10% discount (Code CYB) even on these special sale items.

Brownells discount code

Sinclair International is running a similar promotion through midnight on Monday November 30th. Again you can get 10% off any purchase. However, to qualify for the discount, your total order must exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00). To get your discount (on orders over $200) use Promotion Code SAVE10 during online check-out.

Sinclair Int'l discount code

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
November 28th, 2009

Great Price on Widescreen Garmin 255W GPS Navigator

A vehicle GPS Navigation system is great for the active shooter or hunter who regularly travels to distant ranges or hunting grounds. Prices for high-quality GPS systems have been dropping even while more features are being added. When we saw that the latest-generation Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS went on sale for $119.99, we thought that was worth a mention in the Bulletin. Assistant Editor Jason Baney did a lot of research on vehicle GPS systems a few months back. He concluded that the Garmin 255W offered the best “bang for the buck.” And that was when a 255W cost about $160.00. Jason purchased a Garmin 255W and recommends it: “My Garmin 255W is easy to use, the screen is bright and easy to read, and the routing is usually very good.”

CLICK for Best Price on Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3″ Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator

Garmin nuvi 255W GPS

CLICK HERE for more Garmin 255W Photos and Complete Specs.

This unit has some impressive features. Of course it provides spoken turn by turn directions. You can also search locations with your home computer and load them into the 255W — the unit can hold up to 1000 destinations or way points. The 255W has a large, bright touchscreen that makes it easy to enter directions. With so many GPS Nav units available, the 255W has become one of the most popular on the market. One nüvi 255W owner explains why: “I chose the 255W for several reasons… It uses some of the newest and best maps available. It has one of the more usable touch screens for entering destinations. It’s fast to acquire satellites. And Garmin almost always comes out on top in reviews — especially in routing. Ultimately, you buy a car GPS to get you from Point A to Point B as easily and efficiently as possible. And that’s what the 255W does best. If you’ve ever had a ‘Brand X’ GPS take you on some strange route that adds 20 minutes to your trip, has you turn the wrong way down a one way road, tells you to turn AFTER you’ve passed the street, frequently loses the satellite signal, or has old maps missing streets, you know how important this stuff is.”

No Lane Assist on 255W
We do wish the $120.00 Garmin 255W offered the “Lane Assist” feature found in the more expensive Garmins (but for $120 you can’t have everything). Lane Assist zooms in to show the lane you need when exiting freeways, or navigating through large interchanges. The Garmin 255W does tell you when and where to turn, it just doesn’t offer enhanced Lane Assist graphics. If you want a unit with Lane Assist, we recommend the Garmin nüvi 855. Along with Lane Assist the 855 model offers speech recognition — a nice feature that can simplify inputting new destinations or switching among GPS displays while driving.

Garmin nuvi Lane Assist

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
November 27th, 2009

Ballistics Factors: Altitude and Air Pressure

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum members Milanuk explain that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

One thing to remember — it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

One important thing to remember is that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestral, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

You can do your own experimental calculations using the JBM Online Ballistics Program (free to use). Here are two printouts, one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

Here’s a useful resource on External Ballistics if you want to learn more about the effects of altitude and barometric pressure on bullet flight.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
November 27th, 2009

Black Friday Bargains on Top-Rated Hardware

It’s Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. That means there are some spectacular deals available out there on name brand electronics and optics. You can fight the crowds at the malls, or shop online from the comfort of your home. Here are some great deals we found on Amazon.com.

Canon SX20-IS Digital Camera, $349.00
The Canon SX20-IS is an amazing still and video camera for the price. It takes still images up to 12.1 megapixels, using a 20X optical zoom. As you’d expect from Canon, it offers built-in image stabilization and outstanding color and contrast. But here’s what makes this camera special — it shoots HD movies in 16:9 (wide) format, plus SD movies in standard 4:3 format. And the movies are stored to an SDHC memory card, which you can easily transfer to your computer. Heck of a camera for $349.00 with FREE Shipping on Amazon.com.
Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch Articulating LCD

Canon SX20-IS

Samsung 10″ Netbook computer, $339.99 (Windows XP)
This is the netbook used by your Editor. It has a very sharp screen and a battery rated for 9 hours. I’ve been able to get about 7.5 hours run-time from the battery. I really like this unit because it has a great keyboard (probably the best in class) and a rubberized shell that adds to durability. The built-in networking is excellent (it automatically logs on to nearby Wi-Fi hubs), and this computer isn’t stuffed with useless “bloatware” you have to remove. Note, if you want/need Windows 7, look for another brand, such as the latest Toshiba.
Samsung GO N310-13GB 10.1-Inch Midnight Blue Netbook – 9 Hour Battery Life

Samsung Go Netbook

Manfrotto 410 Geared Head, $196.99
If you have an expensive spotting scope, this geared head is well worth the money. It permits you to make precise elevation or tracking (horizontal) adjustments without getting way off target. With most tripod heads you have to fiddle with a bunch of controls to move the scope, but then it usually goes too far and you have to start all over again. With the Manfrotto 410 head you can move the viewing point smoothly, in very small increments. Want to raise your view up 1 MOA at 1000 yards, without touching the horizontal position? No problem. Once you get one of these geared heads you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Manfrotto-bogen 410 Compact Geared Head with Quick Release – Supports 11.1 lbs

Manfrotto 410 Bogen 3275 geard head

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
November 26th, 2009

To Our Readers — Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for Shooting SportsIn the USA, Thanksgiving is one of our most cherished holidays, a time families re-unite and spend “quality time” together. Increasingly, in our society, families are spread apart, with parents separated from children by thousands of miles. We hope that today, you have a chance to be with your loved ones. For our many overseas readers, you can celebrate Thanksgiving in spirit. Here at AccurateShooter.com, we have our own “family” of sorts–a community of sportsmen and women linked by a love of fine firearms and extreme accuracy. To all our readers (we have more than 50,000 “unique” site visitors every week), we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope that, on this day, you can be with your family. For those who are traveling, we wish you a safe trip and godspeed.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family” — Anthony Brandt

Permalink News No Comments »
November 26th, 2009

Punkin Chunkin on Science Channel Today

Tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern Time, the Science Channel features the amazing artillery of the World Punkin Chunkin Championship. This fun-filled event, held each year in November, draws up to 70,000 spectators, raising money for charity.

Punkin Chunkin Science Channel

Since 1986, Sussex County, Delaware has been home to the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships — a 3-day festival where hardcore engineers and backyard tinkerers trailer their gigantic, homebuilt contraptions with one common goal: to launch 8- to 10-pound pumpkins as far as mechanically possible. The competition is divided into seven categories defined by the type of machine — motorized, centrifugal spinners, and the mighty air cannons.

Punkin Chunkin Science Channel

Tonight, the Science Channel airs an hour-long special on the Chunkin Championship — part science experiment, part genuine Americana. Hosted by comedian Brad Sherwood, this special documents the ingenuity of the biggest, loudest, greatest pumpkin hurling competition in the world. Sherwood follows select teams as they journey from machine design to testing their equipment to the competition’s climactic finale, where every team hopes to reach the one-mile mark. Inspired by the original Delaware event, lesser chunkin competitions have been started in other US states, and in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Great Britain.

[clearspring_widget title=”Widget” wid=”4ab138bad071e1f9″ pid=”4b0e0cc427e56d08″ width=”325″ height=”190″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”] If you can’t wait for tonight’s broadcast, visit the Science Channel website for Punkin Chunkin videos, Chunkin engineering analyses, Chunkin quizzes, and even online Chunkin’ jig-saw puzzles. There’s enough stuff online to keep you entertained for hours.

Chunkin Videos

Chunkin Quiz

Chunkin Puzzles

Punkin Chunkin FAST FACTS:
- The world record for Adult Air Cannons is Young Glory III at 4,483 feet.
– The world record for Adult Torsion is Chucky II at 3,091 feet.
– The world record for Adult Catapult is Fibonacci at 2,862 feet.
– The world record for Adult Trebuchet is Yankee Siege at 1,894 feet.
– The world record for Adult Centrifugal is 2,770 feet.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
November 25th, 2009

AR15 Magazine Torture Test in Shotgun News

Writer David Fortier recently conducted an extensive torture test of AR15 magazines — both polymer and metal-bodied. Fortier’s test results, some of which may surprise you, are found in David’s article “Feeding Your AR”, published in the latest (November 20, 2009) edition of Shotgun News.

20 round AR15 magazineFortier tested a variety of popular AR mags including PMAG, Tango Down, CProducts SS, Brownells, Bravo Company, Lancer, MSAR, and Tapco. The “torture tests” included dropping the mags on their feedlips from 8.5 feet, driving a full-size army truck over the mags, jumping on the mags, and deliberately tilting the followers. The mags were also tested for fit and function with live-fire shooting. Results were a little surprising. When dropped from 8.5 feet on their feedlipgs, the Tango Down, PMAG and TAPCO all split down the spine. CLICK HERE for Test Photos.

The Lancer L5 model seemed to be the toughest magazine tested, and Fortier noted how the “old-fashioned” aluminum mags did surprisingly well. Lancer L5 magazines have “see-through” translucent polymer bodies (similar to Sig 55X series magazines). In addition, the Lancers feature teflon-coated, hardened steel feed lips, and a rubber-coated “bumper bottom”. Lancer L5s are offered in 20-round, 30-round, and 48-round capacities. The 48-rounder employs a special coupler to provide super-high capacity for 3-gun comps. Below is a Lancer-produced video showing the L5s being dropped from 5 feet (on both base and feed lips) without injury.

YouTube Preview Image

Fortier, posting on AR15.com concluded: “PMAGs are very good, but not as indestructible as some think. Aluminum mags are not as bad as some think. You should consider checking out Lancer’s mag…they surprised me. If MSARs mag dropped free they would be an interesting option. Dropping mags onto cement is A LOT tougher on them then running them over with a SUV…. but all those videos from the various mag companies sure did work wonders for advertising didn’t they?”

20 round AR15 magazineOld Metal 20s — Still Best Match Mag?
Editor’s NOTE: I won’t speculate as to the best 30-round magazine for field and military use. But in all the ARs I’ve owned, and most of the AR target rifles I’ve shot, the best magazine for Bench use and High Power Match use was the old 20-round straight aluminum mag with silver-colored metal follower. These 45-year-old mags seem to work perfectly, even when the gray powder-coat has worn off in spots revealing a dull brass color underneath. The silver metal follower still works better than most of the new “no-tip” polymer followers.

There may be better 20-round polymer mags today, but match shooters won’t go wrong with the original metal-bodied straight 20s with metal followers. I’ve bought, sold, and traded many AR mags over the years — and my old GI metal 20s are the only ones I’ll never sell.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos 1 Comment »
November 25th, 2009

Big Discounts on Cabela's Gun Vises

Need a sturdy gun vise to hold your rifle for cleaning and work sessions? Cabelas.com has slashed prices on both its hardword and plastic gun vises. You can now save up to 50% on these handy work-stations.

gun vise

Cabela’s simple but rock-solid hardwood gun vise (item 9IS-228063) is now marked down from $59.99 to just $29.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price. And — get this — the hardwood gun vise comes with a 31-piece screwdriver set, included in that $29.99 sale price. This hardwood vice measures 28″L x 8″W x 7.5″H and features four cut-outs for parts and small solvent bottles. The gun is secured in leather-padded cradles tensioned with a simple wood camming mechanism.

gun vise

Cabela’s also has slashed the price of its polymer gun vise (item 9IS-227687). The polymer vise is now just $29.99, marked down from $49.99. That’s a great price for a versatile, light-weight (5-lb.) unit that can easily be moved around your shop. Cabela’s polymer gun vise features rubber padding at the front, rear, and under the pistol grip. The base has many small compartments and recesses for solvents and cleaning gear.

FREE Shipping on Orders over $99.00
In addition to the savings on these items, Cabela’s is currently offering FREE Shipping on all orders of $99.00 or more. This special savings is good through December 1, 2009. Use promo code 9CHRISTMAS at checkout.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
November 25th, 2009

FREE Issues of RIFLE and HANDLOADER Magazines

Free Recent Sample Issues to Review
Wolfe Publishing offers FREE, downloadable partial samples of the January 2010 issue of Rifle Magazine and the December 2009 issue of Handloader Magazine. (Note: these are fairly large, 4-5 megabyte .pdf files.) The Rifle magazine sample spotlights Volquartsen’s Evolution varminter. The Handloader sample issue has a nice story on Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) Silhouette, plus a full feature on the unusual 22 Jet cartridge.

CLICK HERE for January 2010
RIFLE Magazine (partial issue)

Rifle Magazine free offer

CLICK HERE for December 2009 HANDLOADER Magazine (partial issue)

Rifle Magazine free offer

FREE Hard Copy Samples Also Offered
You can also order FREE sample hard-copy issues of Rifle Magazine, Handloader Magazine, and Successful Hunter magazine. You can request up to one (1) issue each. Just supply your name and address on the Hardcopy Sample Order Page. The full copies of recent issues are both worth a read. The latest issue of Rifle magazine has a good story on the Volquartesen Evolution varmint rifle. The Dec/Jan Handloader includes a fascinating “Cast Bullet Myth Busting” article, plus a guide to powders for the 220 Swift.

Permalink - Articles, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
November 24th, 2009

Praise for John Pierce, Gunsmith and 'True Gentleman'

In our Shooters’ Forum, member David C. posted this account about David’s recent positive experience with John Pierce of Pierce Engineering. It’s nice when a good deed gets acknowledged. Dave wrote:

“I don’t know if you guys know or have heard of John Pierce, but he makes a fine action and custom rifles if you want one. Well his shop is only about 5 miles from me so I went to see him yesterday. I had bought a Stevens .243 with the idea of making a 6mmBR out of it. I had it apart and had cut 0.600″ off and put the same amount of threads on it. I just wanted [John] to ream it for me if he had the time.

Well, John took one look down the barrel with his borescope and said ‘It’s Junk’. He then went through his take-off barrels and found a nice stainless bull barrel and said ‘this will work’. He then crowned it, cut it off and threaded it with a shoulder so no Savage nut was required. He then reamed it and put it all back together and checked the head space.

If that wasn’t enough, John then loaded 15 cases for me, gave me 100 primers and showed me around his shop. Now mind you I had been there most of the morning. Let me tell you, this guy has his stuff together. Boy does he make a great action. I said, ‘Well how much do I owe you?’, and he said ‘Nothing… just go shoot it and have some fun’.

I did buy him lunch, LOL. Guess where I will be getting my next rifle? Thanks John, you sure made this old man’s day.” – Dave C.

Pierce Engineering

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
November 24th, 2009

Hornady's Emary Shares Superformance Ammo Secrets

Hornady superformance ammoHornady recently announced its new line of Superformance Hunting Ammo. Loaded with GMX solid bullets and SST jacketed bullets, the new ammo is faster than conventional hunting ammunition. Hornady claims that, “across the board”, Superformance ammo is 100-200 fps faster than other factory hunting ammo with similar bullet weights.

We had a lengthy discussion yesterday with Dave Emary, Hornady’s Senior Ballistician. Dave shared some of the secrets of the new Superperformance ammo, and explained how Hornady is achieving such high velocities. The key, as we suspected, is that Hornady is using new propellants — powders that are not yet available for sale. These new propellants are BALL POWDERS custom-made to Hornady’s specs. Hornady actually commissioned multiple new spherical formulations, in various speed ranges. Then Hornady blends these ball powders to suit particular cartridges and loads. So, each type of Superformance ammo (e.g. 243 Win with 95gr SST and 300 Win Mag with 165gr GMX) represents a custom blend of the new ball propellants of various burn ranges. Hornady tailors the powder blend to achieve maximum velocity, accuracy, and low temp sensitivity for each load.

Hornady is NOT using Alliant’s Reloder 17. However, in some respects, Hornady’s new ball powders behave like Reloder 17 — by “flattening the right side of the pressure curve”. Rather than hitting a high peak pressure and then dropping off dramatically in energy, Reloder 17 sustains high pressure behind the heel of the bullet for a longer in-barrel time. Hornady’s new powders do the same thing — they deliver high energy behind the bullet for more milliseconds as the bullet travels down the bore. This is the main reason Superformance ammo delivers high velocity — the new powders are maintaining higher energy levels for a longer period of time. Additionally, being ball powders that pack tightly, the new propellants can be loaded to a high density in the case — an advantage with medium-sized cartridges such as the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Here is how Hornady has achieved high velocities with its new Superformance ammunition:

1) Superformance ammo uses advanced new Ball Powders (not yet for sale).

2) The powders are BLENDED, with different “recipes” for different cartridges.

3) The new powders maintain high-energy longer in barrel (like Reloder 17).

4) The new powders burn almost completely, reducing ejecta, for less exit pressure, and less felt recoil.

5) Superformance ball propellants pack very densely, so more grains of powder can fit inside a case, compared to typical extruded stick powders.

Dave Emary Hornady superformance ammoHigh Progressivity Powders
In addition to high sustained energy, Emary noted, the new propellants exhibit very high “progressivity”. What this means, in practical terms, is that the new propellants achieve almost 100% burn by the end of the cycle. So, virtually all of the mass of the powder has changed to gas by the time the bullet exits the muzzle. As a result, Emary explained “with Superformance propellants you have less ejecta leaving the muzzle. With some other extruded powders, you’ll get unburned or partly burned sticks leaving the muzzle”. Why does that matter? Dave explains there are a couple major benefits to high progressivity. First, you get “every last ounce of energy” out of each powder kernel. Second, because less unburned ejecta is driven out the barrel, the amount of recoil is reduced, particularly for the large magnum cases.

Dave explains: “In the past, small arms performance has been limited by the powder’s ability to completely burn by the time the bullet exits the muzzle. To attempt to get higher performance, high charge weights of a slow burning powder were used to attempt to maximize muzzle velocity. Powders were not progressive enough to allow these heavy charges of slow powder to be completely burned by the time the bullet left the muzzle, especially with lighter-weight bullets. The end result was very modest increases in velocity with heavy recoil and many times unacceptable accuracy. Superformance powders solve this problem because of their ability to completely burn by bullet muzzle exit…. This results in a much higher percentage of the available powder energy being transferred to the projectile, rather than being blown out the end of the barrel as unburned powder[.]”

In practical terms, Emary stated, the high energy and high progressivity of the new propellants permit many cartridges to deliver “real-world” performance equaling that of larger cartridges loaded with conventional powders. For example, according to Dave, “the 6.5 Creedmoor is performing on a par with a Rem .260.” Dave cited the example of his own 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle: “It shoots as flat as a .260 and the accuracy is as good or better.”

Dave has authored a detailed report that shows how 30-06 Superformance ammo can match the velocities of Hornady’s “light magnum” 30-06 ammo loaded with conventional powders. The Superformance 30-06 achieved similar velocities, with equivalent peak pressures, while using 6 grains less powder. This is illlustrated in the graph below.

 Hornady superformance ammo

Dave’s report states: “[The chart] shows a comparison of Chamber Pressure vs. Time for Custom, Superformance and Light Magnum ammunition in 30-06 loaded with a 150 gr SST bullet. As can be seen from the graph, all loads produced approximately the same pressure but have widely different charge weights and velocity performance. There is considerably more area under the curve for both Superformance and Light Magnum. This is where the increase in performance comes from. One detail to note is that the Superformance chamber pressure has dropped to at or below that of the Custom ammunition by the time the bullet exits the muzzle. This shows the highly progressive burning characteristics of the powder and its ability to completely burn. As noted above, the charge weights which go along with the different loads and the performance achieved with them are quite different. Custom is loaded with 58.5 grs of powder, Superformance 61.0 grs and Light Magnum 67.0 grs. Superformance ammunition produces significantly higher velocities than Custom with only a small amount more powder and the same velocity as Light Magnum with significantly less powder.”

Superformance Ammo for Match Shooters May Be Next
Right now Hornady is marketing its Superformance line as hunting ammunition only. However, Hornady recognizes that the new propellant technology could benefit match shooters as well. Dave told us that Hornady has begun development of a 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance round using the 140gr A-Max bullet.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 11 Comments »
November 23rd, 2009

Prices Start to "Normalize" for Handgun Ammo

We know that factory ammo for popular handgun calibers is still hard to find. This has lead to ammunition hording by handgun owners and painful price hikes from some ammo vendors. We saw one dealer charging nearly $40.00 for a 50-rd box of .380 ACP, more than double what the same ammo sold for 18 months ago. However, if you search around you’ll find that prices are starting to drop and we’re seeing supplies that haven’t been available in months.

Decent Pricing on 9mm and 40sw Can Be Found
Thankfully, some major dealers are holding the line on ammo prices and not taking advantage of the current supply shortages. Ammoman.com has Winchester 9mm ammo with 147gr BEB (Brass Enclosed Base) bullets at a good price: $159 for 500 rounds. This is new, US-made ammo ideal for use at indoor ranges as the enclosed base bullet design reduces lead pollution. With BEB bullets, guns run cleaner too as there is no vaporized lead left in the barrel.

For 40sw shooters, both Grafs.com and MidwayUSA.com have the PRVI Partisan 40sw 180gr TMJ ammo in stock right now. Graf’s sells the 40sw Prvi ammo for $20.99 per 50rd box, while MidwayUSA has the same product (40sw, 180gr TMJ) for $21.49 per 50rd box. Those are decent prices for factory ammo these days.

Prvi Partison 40sw ammo

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
November 22nd, 2009

Midsouth's David 'Dirt' King — Musician, Hunting Guide, TV Host, CEO

David Dirt KingDavid “Dirt” King, the owner of Midsouth Shooters Supply, is profiled in American Rifleman’s December 2009 issue. King has a fascinating personal background. Dirt King was raised near Reelfoot Lake and the Mississippi River in the northwest corner of Tennessee, and spent several years as a singer and keyboard player in nationally-known touring and recording bands. In his early teens he started off in rock bands, and later performed with big name country stars like Hank Williams Jr., and Carl Perkins. CLICK HERE to read article.

After his early career as a musician, King became a professional hunting and fishing guide in Tennessee. His guiding experience gave him insight into the outdoor industry and the gear that worked best for real hunters and anglers. Armed with that knowledge, King purchased Midsouth Shooters Supply in 1995 (the company was founded in 1969). King has built Midsouth into one of the nation’s most successful outdoor enterprises (and one that has supported 6mmBR.com from the very beginning). His company now boasts over 30 employees, who sell, pack, and ship millions of dollars of merchandise every month. Somehow, Dirt King also finds time to produce and co-host the popular Hunting University TV show.

David Dirt King

You can read more about David “Dirt” King in Jim Wilson’s article profiling Midsouth’s owner. And in case you’re curious about the “Dirt” nickname, King told Wilson that, “That’s just a name that I got when I was a kid, and I’ve never been able to get loose from it.”

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 21st, 2009

Remington Plans to Produce Handguns

Remington Arms Co.Remington Arms Co. plans to start selling handguns, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2010. In his Shooting Wire website, Jim Shepherd has confirmed that Remington is planning to build and market handguns, including a 1911 type semi-auto pistol. Remington recently named Tom Taylor as its new Senior VP for Handgun Marketing and Products. Taylor, formerly Vice-President of Marketing for Smith & Wesson, was hired for his handgun industry expertise.

Remington May Acquire Handgun Maker
Shepherd reports that Remington is seeking to acquire an existing handgun manufacturer, although it appears that Remington’s first new pistols will be developed and produced in-house. Shepherd writes: “it has been no secret in the industry that Remington has been ‘shopping’ for a handgun company. Several names have been mentioned, but it appears the first product will be ‘organic’ coming from inside Remington, rather than via acquisition. A 1911 is in first-production testing, and may be ready for introduction at SHOT Show in January”. Shepherd cautions, however, that Remington may move back the launch of its 1911 pistol to ensure all the bugs are worked out, and that the product is 100% reliable.

Will Remington Revive Older Designs?
Though Remington is now best known for its long-guns, it does have a rich heritage of pistol-making, going all the way back to the early 1800s. In the Civil War, Remington & Son percussion revolvers were often used by Union calvarymen, many of whom preferred the Remingtons over the standard issue Model 1860 Colt revolver. Remington also produced popular semi-auto pistols in the first half of the twentieth century. Shepherd speculates that “the small, reliable Model 51 might be a candidate for a revival”. A thin, sleek design by John Pederson, the Model 51 (shown below) was offered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP calibers. With some updates — such as improved sights and a shorter, more compact slide and barrel — a modernized m51 design could prove a popular carry piece. No doubt Remington hopes to emulate the commercial success Ruger has achieved with its recently introduced LCP™ compact .380 ACP.

Remington Arms model 51

History Lesson — How Remington Arms started
Legend has it that a young Eliphalet Remington II believed he could build a better gun than he could buy, and he set out to craft such a gun on his father’s forge located at Ilion Gulch, New York. In the autumn of 1816, Eliphalet entered a shooting match with his new flintlock rifle, and while he only finished second, his handmade rifle was a success. Orders for new Remington-made rifles and barrels began to accumulate from the many other contestants, and before Eliphalet left the shooting field, he was in the gun business.

Remington Model 51 photo courtesy Mob Guns Inc..

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
November 21st, 2009

One-Day Dell Deal — Wireless Keyboard + Mouse for $28.00

We know a lot of you guys have old, grungy computer keyboards that should be tossed. Maybe your current keyboard has some broken keys or “blank” keys with worn-out printing. Or perhaps you have an unreliable mouse with a mind of its own. Well, it’s time to chuck that old broken equipment. For today only, Dell is selling a brand new WIRELESS keyboard and mouse, complete with USB adapter, for just $28.00 total with FREE Shipping. That’s $31.99 off the regular price. This bundle (Dell Part# 468-6001) provides a clutter-free desktop.

This Wireless Keyboard and Mouse deal is good for today only, 11/21/09.

Computer Keyboard

CLICK HERE for future Dell Daily Deals — a new bargain every morning.

UPDATE: This has now been switched to a “Weekend Deal”. Same stuff, but the price is now $29.99. Still a good deal. CLICK HERE for weekend deal.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »