January 25th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Sightron's New 10-50x60mm and Rear-Parallax Fixed-Power Tacticals

At SHOT Show, Sightron rolled out its much-awaited 10-50x60mm, and it looks good. Currently available in either a Fine-Cross-Hair (FCH) reticle, or FCH with target dot, the new unit has 1/8 MOA clicks and 50 MOA of windage and elevation. Priced under $1000.00, this is a good value compared to other premium optics with similar max magnification.

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Affordable High-Magnification Long-Range Optic
With a “street price” under $995.00, the Sightron 10-50 could become hugely popular in 600/1000-yard benchrest and F-Class shooting. The big new zoom features a jumbo 60mm objective, 30mm maintube, and 1/8 MOA clicks. Nearly 17″ long and weighing 28.9 ounces, make no mistake, this is a BIG piece of glass. If the new 10-50×60mm SIII Sightron is as good as the 8-32×50mm LR SIII we tested in 2009, this should be a fantastic scope for the money.

Sightron 10-50x60mm long range scope

New Tactical Scopes with Rear Parallax Control
Sightron had another much smaller, but equally impressive, scope on hand. It was the 10X model from the new SIII Tactical series which includes 16X and 20X versions also. The new SIII fixed-power Tactical Sightrons feature a modified mildot (MMD) reticle with 1/4 MOA clicks. These scopes (10X, 16X, and 20X) all boast an amazing 150 MOA of total elevation (and windage). We repeat: 150 MOA of total up/down travel. That allows you to shoot well past 1000 yards without needed an angled scope base. The parallax control is at the back, where you’d normally find a zoom ring. The position is actually very handy. With the parallax (focus) control near the rear eyepiece, you can easily set the parallax with your firing hand without moving out of position. These new fixed-power Tactical Scopes will retail for about $550.00.

Sightron 10-50x60mm long range scope

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
January 25th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: New Lapua Brass Containers Transform into 50-Round Ammo Boxes

Lapua arguably has the best line of match-grade cartridge brass you can buy in the USA. And now Lapua has made its brass even better. Starting this month, when you purchase 100 pieces of Lapua brass, your cases will arrive in a handsome blue plastic box. Snapped in place under the box lid is a rectangular plastic grid that fits in the bottom of the box. Pop the grid loose and slide it into the box. Side supports molded into the lower section hold the grid in place.

Lapua brass Ammo box

Voila, instant Ammo Box! Each grid contains holes for fifty (50) loaded rounds or empty cases. The convertible plastic container/ammo box is a great idea that Lapua executed very nicely. Now you have even more motivation to purchase your cartridge brass from Lapua.

Lapua brass Ammo box

Brass delivered in the blue convertible blue plastic boxes has already started to arrive. We confirmed with Powder Valley that its most recent shipments of Lapua brass have arrived in the blue plastic boxes. Note, however, that pre-existing inventories of Lapua brass, from Powder Valley and other vendors, will continue to ship in cardboard boxes until the older supplies are exhausted.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 7 Comments »
January 25th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: New Bench-Source Case Neck Annealer

Now that Zephyr Dynamics’ “Brass-O-Matic” rotary case annealer is no longer in production (Zephyr Dy’s owner received a “job offer he couldn’t refuse”), we were excited to learn that Bench-Source is bringing out an all-new, micro-processor-controlled, automated annealing machine. Bench-Source, based in Mississippi, currently produces high-quality scope bases for Savage target actions. The annealing machine is a new direction for Bench-Source, but it displays the company’s trademark attention to detail and superb machining.

The new Bench-Source automatic case neck annealing machine processes 500-600 cartridges per hour, from 22 Hornet up to the big magnums. Heating time from 1.5 to 10 seconds is precisely controlled by a microprocessor with both a manual mode and “Automatic” mode. Note that the cartridge spins in place when it is at the annealing position, giving a uniform anneal. After annealing, the case exits via a gravity-fed drop port, so you don’t have to handle hot cases. Note: In the video below, the flame you see on some cases is burn-off of temp-indicating marker. Watch carefully and you can see that the case being annealed spins while being heated.

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You can use either one or two heat sources. Torch tips are adjustable in height, angle, distance and vertical tilt by two clamp knobs. Unlike some other units, the flame height is quickly and easily adjustable. We were pleased to see all the top surfaces are metal (no plastic to warp or melt). The solid aluminum table top and index plate are also cooled by a 50-cubic-feet-per-minute fan — they will not heat up significantly during use. Additionally, the table acts as a heat sink to maintain hardness in the cartridge case head.

The unit goes on sale in March 2010. Anticipated retail price is $449.50. To order, visit Bench-Source.com, or contact Vertex Mfg. at (662) 895-0803.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
January 25th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Adjustable barrel weights from AirForce

For decades rimfire shooters have used muzzle weights and various types of tuners to optimize barrel harmonics. Just in the last few years have tuners started to appear on centerfire bench guns. And for centerfire rifles, partly by reason of benchrest rules, most of the tuning systems are fairly heavy metal cylinders placed at the end of the muzzle.

AirForce flexi-weight

AirForce flexi-weightIt is well-established that mid-barrel tuners can work on rimfire rifles, and we also know that certain types of materials (such as rubber, cork, and Delrin) can have beneficial damping effects on both rimfire and centerfire barrels. Given these facts, we were quite interested in the new Flexi-Weight System introduced by AirForce Airguns at the 2010 SHOT Show.

The Flexi-Weight system consists of a cluster of 3 to 6 metal weights, held in place by a rubber O-ring. Multiple Flexi-Weight clusters can be installed on a single gun and the fore-to-aft position is easily adjusted. The shooter can simply slide a Flexi-Weight cluster back and forth along the barrel until he finds the optimal position.

We have no idea whether Flexi-Weights can improve accuracy on a centerfire rifle, but it’s worth a try. Flexi-weights are affordable ($29.95 for a set of five, 48 gram weights) and you can slip them on your barrel without cutting threads or making any other permanent modifications. The weights are designed to fit a 1.25″ diameter tube. For more info, visit Airforceairguns.com or call (877) 247-4867. Airforce Airguns is a U.S. company based in Fort Worth, Texas.

AirForce flexi-weight

Permalink Competition, New Product No Comments »