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November 19th, 2009

Hornady Announces NEW Superformance Ammunition — Claims 100-200 FPS More Velocity

Hornady Manufacturing has just announced its new line of “Superformance” hunting ammunition. Hornady claims that, “across the board” the new Superformance ammo will deliver “100 to 200 fps higher velocities than any other standard ammunition currently available.” Hornady also claims its Superformance ammo delivers increased velocities “WITHOUT increases in felt recoil, muzzle blast, temperature sensitivity, fouling or loss of accuracy.” Hornady President Steve Hornady says this is “a whole new standard in ammunition performance… We are going to be able to raise the velocity of almost any [hunting] load you’ve ever used… by 100-200 fps.” Surprisingly, the marketing materials even claim that Superformance ammo delivers higher velocities with “no increases in barrel wear” — something that runs contrary to common sense.

YouTube Preview Image

Rather amazing claims are being made for this new Hornady ammo. Are such claims to be believed? Well, when tested Alliant Reloder 17 powder last year we confirmed that it could deliver 100-200 fps more velocity than most popular powders, in some cartridges. Presumably, Hornady is employing propellants with technologies similar to Reloder 17. Hornady’s marketing materials state that it is using “ultra progressive” “21st Century” propellants for the new Superformance ammo. Hornady has also brought out a line of GMX® mono-metal bullets that feature two deep cannelures for reduced bearing surface. It is well-established that this kind of bullet design can yield higher velocities, particularly in the big-bore calibers with heavy bullets.

GMX Hornady bulletSo… the velocity claims may be bonafied, though we would expect the velocity gains will vary among the cartridges. Some chamberings will benefit from the new propellants more than others. And only half the Superformance ammo line-up features GMX bullets, the other half being loaded with more conventional SST® bullets.

How about the claims regarding recoil? The claim that Superformance ammo can deliver 100-200 fps more velocity without any more recoil is questionable. Hornady can’t alter the laws of physics. If a bullet of given weight has a higher muzzle velocity, it MUST produce more recoil than the same bullet moving slower — provided that the propellant charge weight (and rifle weight) are held constant. The only way Hornady can achieve higher velocities without increased recoil is by either: 1) reducing bullet weight; or 2) reducing the powder charge (or gas-related recoil). Hornady could hold recoil constant if its new propellants achieve the higher velocities with a reduced powder charge compared to “conventional” loads.

Hornady has issued an 11-page technical report that provides support for many of its marketing claims. Authored by Hornady Senior Ballistician Dave Emary, the report features some interesting test results, summarized in graphs. Regarding the recoil question, Emary argues that “Recoil … has parts to it that are not commonly understood. The fundamental misunderstanding of recoil is that the recoil is over when the bullet leaves the barrel. In truth, the vast majority of recoil occurs after the projectile exits the barrel. By far the greatest percentage of recoil is produced by the force of the gases and propellant residue/ejecta leaving the barrel.” Emary cites test results showing that “approximately 85 – 90% of the recoil happens after the projectile has left the barrel”. If Emary is correct, then Hornady might be able to achieve higher bullet velocities without enhanced recoil, provided the gas-based force is reduced.

We strongly recommend you read Emary’s report. CLICK HERE to download Superformance Ammo Report.

Hornady plans to release a complete line-up of Superformance ammunition for twenty chamberings: 243 Win, 6mm Rem, 257 Roberts, 25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, 270 win, 7×57, 7mm-08, 280 Rem, 7mm Mag, 308 Win, 30 TC, 30-06, 300 RCM, 300 Win Mag, 338 RCM, 338 Win Mag, 375 H&H, 375 Ruger, and 458 Win Mag. CLICK HERE to review all the available calibers and bullet options for Superformance ammunition.

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November 19th, 2009

Palma Team Tryouts Complete — Report from Butner

SFC Emil Praslick III sent us this report on the U.S. Palma Team tryouts at Camp Butner, NC. You can read other reports from Coach Praslick on the U.S. National Rifle Team Blog.

Last Tryout in the Books… On to the National Team
By Coach Emil Praslick

It was a hardy and intrepid group of US Palma Team hopefuls that braved the last vestiges of Hurricane Ida last weekend at Camp Butner, North Carolina. Camp Butner is the home range of the North State Shooting Club, which hosted the US Palma Team’s third and final tryout session. Temperatures in the 40s, winds from 20-30 mph, and a driving rain tested the mettle of both coaches and shooters.

Palma view through scopeUS Team Captain, Dennis Flaharty flung his net across the entire United States in a search for the best team shooters. By adopting a regional format for the tryouts, and separating the country into three areas (West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast), the team maximized the potential for attracting the best shots our vast nation has to offer. The three venues were: Sacramento, CA; Lodi, WI; and Butner, NC. At each venue, the top performers were invited to become members of the United States National Developmental Team.

New Team Tryouts Format
The format for the tryouts was different than any ever conducted by the United States. In the past, these events were held very much like individual matches. Shooters were evalauated by the scores they shot in a series of matches. While this undoubtedly picked the best individual shooters, those who experienced difficulty doping the wind, or those who simply shot during more difficult conditions, were often deselected early in the process. The current procedures call for shooters to be supervised by coaches at all times. This not only removes a shooter’s ability to negotiate wind from the process, it also gives the team management the opportunity to evaluate prospective coaches and to work on firing line procedures. Shooters are graded on their ability to shoot “elevation”, their speed, and their overall performance as part of the team.

The intent of forming a National Developmental Team was to establish a pool of skilled, international-quality shooters; not only for the upcoming 2011 Palma Match in Australia, but as the nucleus for future teams. The US National Team has an ambitious schedule for 2010, with trips to Canada, Camp Perry, Raton (NM) for The Spirit of America Matches, and Australia.

Palma target centersThe next milestone for the US National Developmental Team is to finish the processing of the shooter’s elevation data, and to begin planning which shooters will represent the United States at the planned events. Shooters will then be evaluated in match conditions and recieve further training/evaluation prior to the final Palma Team selection in the Fall of 2011.

I would like to thank all of the volunteers who assisted with the target pulling, scoring, running the firing line, and the host of myriad tasks that are necessary to conduct an event of this complexity. I would also like to thank the coaches who coached 400 rounds per day at 1000 yards with no complaint. It was a grueling (but very beneficial) exercise for them. We will announce the final US National Developmental team soon.

TWITTER: You can also follow the US National Team on Twitter. Visit for the latest news.

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November 18th, 2009

FN Herstal Develops 'Black Box' Round Counter for Firearms

This story may seem like science fiction, but we assure you the details are real. FN Herstal has created a new electronic device, appropriately named the “Black Box”, which can record and store a rifle’s round count and firing sequences. In addition, the FN Black Box contains digital identifiers for the weapon. This means that, when coupled to a GPS, the FN Black Box can transmit the gun’s ID and location to a military command or other monitoring authority.

Black Box Technology Limited to Military… For Now
The technology is exciting, though the ramifications for gun control are chilling to say the least. At present, FN Herstal envisions its Black Box as an add-on for military or law enforcement weapons. No one has yet suggested that black boxes be fitted to civilian arms.

FN Herstal black box

The FN Black Box can record multiple types of firing data: round count, burst rates, burst lengths, and firing sequences. The digital sensors can even detect stoppages due to failures to cycle. FN evisions that this information can alert armorers when weapons require maintenance. In addition, by tracking the numbers of rounds fired, military commanders can determine when ammunition resupply is required or when barrels need replacement.

The Say Uncle Blog notes that while this kind of digital recorder may seem novel for weapons, “the same concept is often applied to industrial machines”, allowing factory owners to optimize maintenance schedules.

It there a black box in your future? We don’t see much application for Benchrest or High Power events, but this kind of round counter might prove useful in speed shooting disciplines. We do worry about the potential application of “black box” technology to defensive firearms. The digital records of shots fired as well as the sequence of those shots could be used as evidence in trials of gun owners. Imagine being on trial and having your testimony “impeached” by a digital chip removed from your gun.

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November 18th, 2009

Sanderson and Rhode Named 2009 USA Shooting Athletes of the Year

Keith SandersonUSA Shooting (USAS) has named pistol shooter Keith Sanderson and shotgunner Kim Rhode as the 2009 USAS Athletes of the Year. Keith and Kim were chosen based on the USAS selection procedure, a points system that rewards performance in major competitions.

Sanderson, a 2008 Olympian from Texas, earned the Male Athlete of the Year honor after an outstanding World Cup season in 2009, winning an unprecedented three medals on the ISSF World Cup circuit. Sanderson captured the gold at the Beijing World Cup, silver in Changwon, Korea and bronze at the World Cup Munich in the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event. Sanderson also grabbed fifth place at the Milan World Cup. In addition, Sanderson finished in third place at the 2009 Rifle/Pistol Fall Selection Match at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Kim RhodeFor the third consecutive year, four-time Olympian Rhode (Calif.) was selected as the USA Shooting Female Athlete of the Year. Rhode won two World Cup medals this year, claiming the silver in San Marino and the bronze in Munich in the Women’s Skeet event. Rhode was also the 2009 National Champion and finished first at the 2009 Shotgun Fall Selection Match, earning a spot on the 2010 World Shooting Championship team. Rhode finished seventh at the 2009 Shotgun World Championships.

The USAS also recognizes discipline Athletes of the Year, who earned the highest number of points in each discipline. Sanderson was the male Athlete of the Year for pistol and Rhode was the female Athlete of the Year for shotgun. USAMU member Michael McPhail was the top male athlete for rifle. McPhail had an excellent year in the Men’s 50m Prone Rifle event, capturing two bronze medals on the World Cup circuit and a silver medal at the World Cup Final. Jamie Beyerle won t women’s rifle title for the fourth year in a row. USAMU member Josh Richmond was the men’s shotgun discipline Athlete of the year. Richmond, the 2009 National Champion, captured the Men’s Double Trap gold medal at the 2009 World Cup and finished fourth at the Shotgun World Championships.

Photos courtesy USA Shooting.

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November 18th, 2009

Garand Matches at Camp Perry On Shooting USA TV

Tonight’s episode of Shooting USA television features the popular Garand Match held at Camp Perry, Ohio each summer. The Garand match is now the biggest service rifle competition at Camp Perry. After covering the rifle action at Camp Perry, the November 18th episode of Shooting USA visits the Springfield Armory to explore the history of John Garand’s creation.

Garand Match

Today the M-1 Garand is an icon of history, and a very popular rifle for competition in the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s John C. Garand Match. CMP Director, Gary Anderson says, “[The Garand] is a piece of history and a lot of people feel like it’s an honor just to be able to shoot this rifle for what it represents. Also, it’s an accessible match — you can buy an M-1 Garand for five or $600 that will allow you to compete in an event like this. You don’t have to buy a lot of expensive equipment.”

Here are Shooting USA’s Wednesday broadcast times:
Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PMt
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

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November 17th, 2009

Shoot and Train Indoors with Portable 10M Air Gun Range

Air Rifle Range BackstopThanksgiving is almost here. At this time of year many Eastern and snow-belt shooting ranges halt operations for the winter. If you’re an avid rifleman who enjoys shooting regularly, the dark days of winter can bring withdrawal pains. The closure of outdoor ranges can mean months of forced inactivity… unless you have an all-weather indoor shooting solution.

Some clubs maintain their own indoor air rifle ranges where you can continue to shoot and train throughout the winter. If there are no such facilities nearby, Creedmoor Sports now offers a great solution for those who want to shoot indoors — even in your own basement or garage.

Creedmoor’s patented 10m Air Gun Range provides a target holder and a curtain-type backstop capable of stopping pellets with a muzzle velocity up to 600 fps. The target support poles allow three (3) double target boxes to be positioned with attachment points at the correct heights for prone, kneeling, and standing. Creedmoor says the target boxes provide 100% containment for any pellet passing through the target — so you won’t have pellets scattered all over the floor.

The 10M Air Gun Range is available either in a 3-station configuration for $1279 (item 3AGR), or as a one-station (single-point) range for $295 (item AGR-SINGLE). Creedmoor’s Air Gun Range is a proven, heavy duty product — the only Air Rifle target system ever tested and approved by the U.S. Military. This system is currently being used in more than 600 schools nationwide, as well as the new CMP shooting facility in Alabama. The 3-station range easily dis-assembles for transport and storage, fitting inside a 34″ x 10″ x 8″ carry duffle Creedmoor provides.

Air Rifle Range Backstop

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November 17th, 2009

John Shroyer Takes Over ATK as Current CEO Retires

ATK winchester federal cciATK (Alliant Techsystems) (NYSE: ATK), the world’s largest ammo producer, manufactures CCI, Federal, and Speer ammo, plus CCI and Federal primers. ATK is also the parent company of Alliant Powder and ATK runs the Lake City Army ammunition plant. That’s why changes at ATK can affect shooters nationwide.

ATK announced that after more than six years as ATK chairman and CEO, Daniel J. Murphy will retire in March, 2010. The company’s board of directors has appointed General Ronald R. Fogleman to serve as Chairman of the board of directors. The board also elected John L. Shroyer, ATK’s current chief financial officer (CFO), to serve as interim CEO. The appointments are effective immediately.

In related news, ATK announced that second-quarter profit rose 18 percent, helped by stronger sales of ammunition for security forces in Afghanistan. The company said that demand remained strong for ATK’s commercial ammunition brands and products. “I am particularly pleased with the growth of our commercial businesses both in ammunition, aircraft structures and elsewhere across the company,” said John Shroyer, interim CEO, senior vice president and CFO.

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November 16th, 2009

No More Air Pistols for Modern Pentathlon — Politically Correct Lasers Instead

UIPM logo PentathlonThe Modern Pentathlon is a 5-discipline Olympic event that combines Horse Riding, Running, Swimming, Fencing, and Shooting. Whether there will really be any “shooting” anymore is questionable if Pentathlon officials succeed in their plan to replace air pistols with laser devices. That’s right, the Snowflakes in Hell Blog reports that the UIPM, the international governing body for Modern Pentathlon, intends to replace air pistols with laser “pistols”, ostensibly to reduce the environmental impact of lead pellets. We think this is just a “feel-good” move reflecting anti-gun political agendas. Pentathlon air pistols fire tiny 7-grain pellets that are easily captured by bullet traps, so there is virtually no environmental risk.

UIPM logo PentathlonUIPM President, Klaus Schormann, defended the plan to replace air pistols with laser devices, stating: “The decision to introduce non-air pistol shooting was the second big step for the sport following the decision in 2008 to change to the combined run/shoot format. This is a significant development in terms of lowering the environmental impact of the sport.”

Sebastian, creator of the Snowflakes in Hell Blog, observed: “The reasoning of the [UIPM] committee is disturbing. I hope this doesn’t portend bad things to come with other Olympic shooting sports, whose environmental footprint is arguably worse.”

One Blog reader astutely commented: “It would have been trivially easy to mandate lead-free pellets, if the ‘lead poisoning’ argument were the real reason behind this change. Replacing air pistols with lasers instead of a much simpler requirement to use nontoxic shot suggests that it was the ‘gun-ishness’ of the air pistols, and not the environmental impact, that may have been the primary driver here.”

EDITOR’s Comment: One wonders if the UIPM’s next move will be to replace fencing foils and sabres with Wii computer-game controllers — in the interest of safety. And shouldn’t the UIPM replace Pentathletes’ four-legged equine mounts with hobby-horses to reduce solid waste and methane emissions?

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November 16th, 2009 Lists Shooting Facilities Nationwide

Thanksgiving is coming soon. We know many readers will be traveling far from home to be with the family clan during the holiday. If you’ve got some free time after the traditional feast, maybe you’d like to find a shooting range near your destination, where you can have fun with your relatives. Or maybe you’re just looking for a facility close to home that offers specialized instruction programs so you can try a new shooting discipline. You can quickly find exactly what you want at the website.

A service of the NSSF (Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation), offers a Searchable Database of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ranges around the country. You can search by state, search by area code, or select a particular distance from any zip code. The database is very complete. The individual range pages also include web addresses, phone numbers, and map links. The example below shows the results of a search for rifle-specific ranges in Arizona:

Five-Star Ranges
Your search results may reveal ranges identified with up to five stars. This is a rating system developed by the National Association of Shooting Ranges (NASR) that distinguishes these ranges as the best at providing quality-level recreational experiences.

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November 15th, 2009

New Tactical and Hunting Rifles from Kelbly's Inc.

Kelblys Inc., long-respected as a producer of benchrest actions and rifles, has expanded its product line. Now Kelbly’s will be offering complete tactical and tactical/hunting rifles. Produced in a wide variety of chamberings from 6.5×47 Lapua all the way up to 300 Win Magnum, these new Kelbly rifles are available as either single shots or as repeaters. To learn more about the new Kelbly rifles, visit Kelbly’s enhanced website.

Kelbly's Atlas

Shown above is Kelbly’s new Atlas rifle. This rifle’s$2800.00 base price includes premium components: Single-shot Atlas action with 20 MOA or Flat integral scope base, Jewell or Shilen trigger, Krieger or Bartlein Barrel, Kelbly’s HCFB or Hunting stock (with recoil pad and swivels), Double screw rings (30mm or 1″). Available options include: McMillan A5 stock, CDI Magazine w/ 5 round AICS Magazine ($260), 3-Round Blind Mag ($150), Kemper or Vais Muzzlebrake ($185 Installed), Karsten Adjustable Cheek Piece ($75), Barrel Fluting ($120), Long-Action Upgrade ($70), Painted stock ($300), CeraKote Barreled Action ($200).

Kelbly's Grizzly II

Kelbly’s new Grizzly II Tactical/Hunting rifle costs $3300.00 before options. Shown above in wood thumbhole stock, this rifle features a single-shot Grizzly II Action with 20 MOA or Flat integral scope base, Krieger or Bartlein Barrel, Jewell or Shilen Trigger, Kelbly HCFB or Hunting stock (with recoil pad and swivels), Double screw rings (30mm or 1″ scope tube). Grizzly II options are the same as for the Atlas model, except that a detachable box magazine is not offered with the Grizzly II. NOTE: The stock in the photo is a prototype wood thumbhole. The production Grizzly IIS will use a Kelbly fiberglass HCFB stock (standard), or McMillan A5 stock (optional at extra cost).

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November 15th, 2009

National Ammo Day is November 19th

Ammo Day 2009Since 2001, November 19th has been decreed National Ammo Day. The backers of this event want each and every gun owner to purchase 100 rounds of ammunition this Thursday the 19th. The purpose of Ammo Day is to support the Second Amendment and to send a message to politicians.

There are an estimated 75 MILLION gun owners in the United States. If even 10% of them purchase ammo on Nov. 19th, this will demonstrate the size, and economic importance, of the gun-owning citizenry. If there’s one thing politicians cannot ignore, it’s tax revenues. The sales and excise taxes on guns and ammo help support many important public programs.

To learn more about National Ammo Day, visit Unfortunately, certain types of ammunition remain in short supply. Because of the surge in gun and ammo sales following last year’s Presidential election, most ammunition is quite a bit more costly than it was 12 months ago… if you can find it at all. One person, commenting on the website, expressed his frustration with price hikes: “How about we don’t purchase any ammo on the 19th to send a message to the manufacturers that the price gouging better stop, or we’ll simply reload everything we shoot.” He has a point. However, in a market economy, supply and demand will always influence price levels.

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November 14th, 2009

Sinclair Bullet Sorting Assembly with Dial Caliper

Sinclair bullet ogive sorterSinclair International has a new tool assembly that lets you sort bullets by base to ogive length. The $79.95 Sinclair Bullet Sorting Stand with Dial Comparator (item 59-2000) comes with a heavy black granite base that stays put on your loading bench. The included dial indicator has a quick-release lever allowing easy placement and removal of bullets into the comparator. This lever allow the spring-loaded indicator shaft to pop up out of the way.

The special base comparators used with this tool (see photo), are sold separately for $10.99, and are offered in 22 caliber, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 caliber, and 338 caliber. The sorting stand can also be used with Sinclair multi-caliber hex comparators (item 09-700, $18.25).

Measuring Bullet Bearing Surface with Calipers and Comparators
While we like this Sinclair tool, the same function can be performed with a regular set of calipers, using two comparators with caliber inserts. If you use the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) OAL system you probably already have a #B2000 comparator body and a caliber-specific insert ($3.99 at

Buy a second body ($14.39 at and second insert (of the same caliber) and mount one on each caliper jaw, opposite each other. Tuck the bullet’s boat-tail in one insert and the “pointy end” in the other, and you can quickly measure the bearing surface. It takes a few tries to get the right “feel” of how hard to close the caliper jaws. But if the comparator bodies are set up right, the process should be quite repeatable, and you can probably measure just as fast with calipers as with the Sinclair measuring stand. However, the Sinclair unit should be a bit more precise, if you’re trying to resolve bullet lengths to less than one-thousandth. If you want to measure base to ogive (rather than bearing surface length), just remove one comparator and measure with the heel of the bullet (end of boat-tail) touching one jaw, and the bullet’s “pointy end” in the remaining comparator.

Hornady comparator bodies

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November 13th, 2009

Grendel-based 6mmAR Cartridge for High Power

A full-time lawyer, Robert Whitley is also an avid prone, Highpower, and cross-course shooter. Over the past two years, Robert has pioneered a cartridge for these disciplines (as well as long-range varminting) based on the 6.5mm Grendel necked down to 6mm. Robert calls the cartridge the “6mmAR”.

The 6mmAR cartridge has performed very well in AR-based comp guns, both with shorter bullets loaded to mag length, and 105-107gr bullets single-loaded. Robert has complete info about the 6mmAR on his website,, including recommended loads and field test results. Robert has also developed a higher capacity version, with the shoulder blown forward and a shorter neck. He calls this the 6mmAR Turbo. This round can drive 105-108gr bullets in the 2850-2900 range, and it has proven very accurate. It is one of the best options for AR-platform space-gun shooters.

6mmAR brass 6mmAR turbo

Though making 6mmAR brass from 6.5 Grendel brass is quite straight-forward and simple, Robert receives many questions about forming the brass, so he recently prepared a video. The two-minute video shows how quick and easy the brass-forming process can be:

YouTube Preview Image

Robert also builds and sells products for across-the-course shooters, including complete AR uppers, chambered in a variety of calibers, including 6mmAR. Jerry Tierney, 2005 NBRSA 1000-yard champion, has a 6mmAR upper built by Robert and Jerry says the upper “Absolutely shoots great. I love it.” In the past few months, Jerry has broken many NRA senior records with his new 6mmAR-chambered rifle.

CLICK HERE for Feature Article on 6mmAR and Robert Whitley (many photos)


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November 13th, 2009

NEW Product: Multi-Function Gun Tool Introduced

Avid Design has released a new multi-tool designed expressly for rifles and shotguns. The $24.99 Gun Tool combines 18 of the most commonly used long gun tools in a compact package. The Gun Tool boasts three Torx wrenches (T20; T15; T10), two Allen hex drives (3/32″; 5/32″), and four screwdriver blades (1/8″ flat; 3/16″ flat; Phillips 1 & 2). In addition, there is a magnetic 3/16″ driver, a pin punch, and a stainless claw blade useful for opening shipping boxes or trimming target backers.

The most unique feature of the Gun Tool is a stepped, multi-size choke-tube wrench that fits six shotgun bores from .410 all the way up to 10 gauge. For active shotgunners, that provides great versatility in a small package.

The Gun Tool

Respected gun writer Jim Shepard has reviewed the Gun Tool: “I can honestly say that I’ve been playing with ‘The Gun Tool’ for a couple of days, and I’ve found it to be a pretty promising device that really should find a place in lots of range bags. If you’re a long gun shooter, it has something you’ll eventually need in the way of a tightening/loosening/adjusting tool.” Jim cautions, however, that the claw blade does not lock into place.

Currently, the Gun Tool can be purchased online for $24.99. NOTE: With each Gun Tool you get a FREE set of polycarbonate shooting glasses, complete with handy, lanyard-attached 26 NRR ear plugs. We figure the shooting glasses and plugs are worth at least $6.00, making the Gun Tool a pretty good deal at $24.99. And if you purchase two Gun Tools you get free shipping.

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November 12th, 2009

Remote Windage Adjustment System for F-Class Rests

We saw an interesting gizmo on Peter White’s front rest at the recent California Long-Range Championship. Peter, who won the F-Class division, has fitted a remote drive system that allows him to adjust his Sinclair windage top without moving from his shooting position.

Remote Windage Adjustment drive

The windage control cable (actually a McMaster-Carr flexible drive shaft) attaches to the right side of the windage top in place of the regular adjustment knob. It then circles back to the shooter, and is clamped at the end of the pedestal leg (near the vertical adjustment speed screw). A large, knurled knob is attached to the end of the flexible drive.

Remote Windage Adjustment drive

Remote Windage Adjustment driveWith this set-up, Peter can adjust windage easily with his left hand, while keeping his right (trigger) hand in place on the rifle. In addition, he can fine-tune his vertical using the rotary knob (speed screw) on the threaded shaft for the rear-most rest “foot”. The flex-drive adjustment system places his windage control right next to his elevation fine-tune control, so both windage and elevation controls can be manipulated with the “free hand” from the shooting position.

Peter fabricated this system himself from less than $60 worth of parts. All you need is a McMaster Carr flexible drive shaft ($50-$60), an adjustment knob at the shooter’s end, and a small bracket to hold the adjustment knob securely.

Many F-Class shooters have fabricated a similar remote windage control system. If you have basic mechanical skills, you can build your own system in a couple hours (with the correct parts). Or, Leroy Johnson of Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing, jpgrifles [at], can build you a working system, if you send in your windage top. Leroy explains that “the various windage tops all have slightly different configurations, so the price depends on how much special work is required.”

Peter’s Parts List and Tips
Peter White offers some advice on building a remote windage control: “The parts were obtained from McMaster-Carr, The flexible drive shafts come in various lengths and diameters. When using the smallest diameters in this application the bend radius is critical as the cable wants to kink in one direction of operation. The tape you see on my rig covers a couple of stiffener rods. I have seen others using a longer cable with a larger bend radius with no need of a stiffener. Others have employed jacketed cables that have a much higher torque rating (but also much higher cost).”

Products Needed (Total = $49.31)

Part Number Description Price
3127K22 Panel-Mount Flexible Drive Shaft, 18″ Overall Length, 0.130″ Shaft OD $42.31
2577K18 Stainless Steel Knurled-Rim Knob W/Set Screw, 1/4″ Unthreaded Through Hole, 1″ Diameter $7.00
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November 12th, 2009

Hot Deal: $30 Off $150 (or more) Cabela's Purchase

Here’s a great deal if you’re shooping for hunting gear, shooting supplies, or holiday gifts (yep, the Christmas shopping season has already started). is now offering $30.00 off a puchase of $150.00 or more. This is a bonafied offer, not a sales gimmick. This Editor just purchased a pair of Cabela’s boots listed at $153.99, and I got $30.00 off the purchase price, for a net cost (before shipping) of $123.99.

Cabela's $30 off Special

How does it work? Click the promo link above. That takes you to a page where you type in your email address. Then you’ll receive an email with a Rebate Number and a “Cabela’s Bucks Code”. Fill in the rebate number and the Bucks Code during “check-out” of the online ordering process. You can also use these discount codes when ordering by phone or at a Cabela’s store.

Offer Expires November 17, 2009
NOTE: The $30.00 off promo expires at 11:59 pm on 11/17/2009. Also the offer may only be used once, and it is valid ONLY on merchandise — it can NOT be used for Gift Certificates.

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November 12th, 2009

Statesville, NC Welcomes NRA Disabled Shooting Clinic

A successful air rifle clinic for disabled shooters was held recently in Statesville, North Carolina. Coordinated by NRA Disabled Shooting Services Manager Vanessa Warner, the event was co-sponsored by Bridge II Sports and Turning Point Nation and was hosted at the VFW Post 2031.

Warner explained the clinic’s purpose: “One facet of my job involves introducing competitive air rifle shooting to people with disabilities through shooting clinics. Shooting clinics include an overview of air rifles, equipment, shooting positions, sight alignment and trigger control. At the conclusion of each clinic, a participant has a good understanding of competitive shooting and may even be able to compete in an air rifle match.”

Clinic Trains Many New Shooters
Warner brought 10 air rifles and 10 Creedmoor Sports Range Systems, a portable backstop that allows indoor shooting with pellet guns. The clinic began at 10:00 am and Warner reviewed equipment, types of shooting, the components of an air rifle and positions. By the end of the day, Warner and her assistants had introduced competitive air rifle shooting to more than 35 individuals whose ages ranged from 10 to 60, plus four reporters and many volunteers.

Warner reports that “This was one of the best organized and well-run of all of the clinics I’ve attended. There were almost as many volunteers as there were participants and I even got one of the reporters to try one of the guns. Bridge II Sports and Turning Point Nation deserve a huge pat on the back for a job well done.” Warner offered special thanks to VFW Post 2031, and post Commander Gerry Bancroft, for providing a venue on short notice.

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November 11th, 2009

Remember our Veterans Today…

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, bugle calls signaled the ‘cease fire’ ending the First World War. (The official Armistice was signed earlier that morning.) To those who endured it, WWI was the “Great War”, “the War to End All Wars.” Tragically, an even greater conflict consumed the world just two decades later.

Today, 91 years after the end of WWI, Americans mark the anniversary of the WWI Armistice as “Veterans Day”. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion we honor all those who have served in the military in times of war and peace. While more WWII veterans pass away each year, there are still over 23 million veterans in the United States. Take time today to honor those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served their nation with pride. Today we remember that… “All gave some, and some gave all.”

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake asked Americans to recognize the nation’s 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy: “While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service.” Major Veterans Day observances are scheduled at 33 sites in 20 states.

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On Veterans Day we especially need to remember the seriously wounded combat veterans. These men and women summon great courage every day to overcome the lasting injuries they suffered in battle. CLICK HERE for inspirational profiles of wounded vets who, through courage and determination, have learned to adapt to their disabilities. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

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November 11th, 2009

Frank Buckles — The Last Living American WWI Veteran

4,734,991 Americans served in uniform during World War I. They fought on land and sea, in the first true global conflict. By the end of WWI over 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide had died in that conflict, including 120,000 Americans (as many from disease as from wounds). A thousand U.S. Soldiers died every DAY in the 3-week Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Frank Buckles — The Last Doughboy
This past July, Britain’s Harry Patch died at age 111. Patch had been the oldest soldier-survivor of the “War to End All Wars.” Now American Frank Woodruff Buckles, 108, Britisher Claude Choules, 108, and Canadian John Babcock, 107, stand as the last known veterans of World War I. Buckles lives quietly on a farm in West Virginia. He still remembers his service in the Great War, explaining why he joined the Army at age 16: “When your nation calls,” Buckles said, “you have to go”. (Read recent interview.)

Now, 91 years since the end of WWI, 108-year-old Army veteran Frank Buckles is our last living link with the American “Doughboys” who fought in Europe. His story is a profile in patriotism (and youthful exuberance). When only 16 years old, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines. They turned him down, so he joined the Army, lying about his age. He served in Britain and France as an ambulance driver, then helped escort German prisoners home to Germany after the surrender.

WWI veteranWWI veteran

Following WWI, Buckles wanted to see the world, so he took work with a steamship company. That job placed him in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He was captured and interred in a prison camp for three years before being liberated. Below is a CNN feature on Frank Buckles. As all other American WWI vets have passed away, Buckles was honored as the last U.S. Soldier to fight in the “Great War”. To learn more about Frank Buckles and his experiences in WWI, CLICK HERE for a USAToday Feature Story. (Highly recommended–worth reading.)

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November 10th, 2009

Noma Mayo Wins CA State Long-Range Championship

Noma MayoIt was “Ladies First” at the California State Long-Range Championship held this weekend at the Coalinga Range in central California. Palma ace Noma Mayo topped a field of 26 shooters (24 men and 2 women) to take the CA title with an impressive 787-34X score.

The diminutive senior lady shooter had the men saying “Noma, ‘No Mas'” by the end of the 3-day event. Using the latest (#2156) Sierra 155gr Palma bullets, Noma steered her .308 Win, iron-sighted Palma rifle to victory, displaying great consistency and superior wind-reading skills. Finishing second overall was Michael Dunio (782-29X), while Noma’s husband Marty Mayo took third with a 779-16X score. Marty teamed with Noma to win the two-person Team match on Saturday, with a combined 385-7X.

Shooting his trusty 6BRX, Peter White took the F-Class title with a strong 785-36X score. Taking second was our friend and Forum member Gary Wood, who shot a 778-28X with the 6.5-284 featured recently in the Daily Bulletin. Gary Childs placed third in F-Class (769-25X), shooting a straight .284 Win with a handsome stock he crafted himself. When comparing these scores to the iron sight shooters, keep in mind the F-Classers shot a target with much smaller ‘X’ and scoring rings. We want to give special thanks to Gary Wood, whose generous donation to made it possible for this Editor and assistant Mark LaFevers to cover the event.

F-Class CA Peter White

There were some beautiful long-range rigs at the match, including many Gary Eliseo tubeguns. (Gary competed at the event, and shot well on Friday and Saturday, but fell victim to shifty winds on the final day.) In addition to the high-tech tubeguns, many handsome wood-stocked Palma rifles were used, including a Bastogne-walnut-stocked beauty built and shot by gunsmith Tom Luhmann of TLC Gunworks in Clovis, CA.

Tom Luhmann TLC Walnut

An interesting “California-legal” AR Platform rifle caught Mark’s eye. It sported a handsome matte camo finish, but the chambering was the most noteworthy feature. This rifle was chambered as a 6mm Dasher, an improved 6mmBR with a shorter neck and 40° shoulder. Most of the AR match rifles we’ve seen have gone to a Grendel-based case, if they step up past the .223 Remington. The 6BR parent case uses a .308-sized bolt-face, whereas the Grendel case rim is smaller. Also, with its steep shoulder angle, the Dasher can prove challenging to feed. However, the gun’s builder Marcus Naslund said they had achieved good feeding and function by opening up the gas port and adapting a custom single-stack magazine, made from aluminum billet. Despite California’s Draconian gun laws, this rifle is legal for sale in the Golden state because a “tool” (which can be a bullet tip) is required to remove the otherwise “non-detachable” magazine.

AR15 6mm Dasher

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