February 19th, 2010

MidwayUSA Master Catalog Released — Nearly 1000 Pages

MidwayUSA has started to ship the 33rd edition of its Master Catalog. As you’d expect from MidwayUSA, one of the nation’s largest shooting products vendors, the new catalog is huge. As big as a phone-book, and nearly 1000 pages long, the new Master Catalog really does have “just about everything”:

• Over 27,000 Products for Shooters
• Over 24,000 Products for Reloaders
• Over 32,000 Products for Gunsmiths
• Over 7,000 Products for Hunters

“Customers tell us every year they look forward to seeing this catalog in the mail,” says Aaron Oelger, VP of Marketing. “A lot of work goes into the Master Catalog to ensure great product selection, quick and easy navigation and the best possible product information. Every year we improve the Master Catalog.”

MidwayUSA started mailing Master Catalog #33 to current customers in February. For new customers, Master Catalog #33 is free with the first order. Otherwise, to get a copy of Master Catalog #33, visit www.midwayusa.com or call 1-800-243-3220.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
February 18th, 2010

'Old Sniper' Meets USAMU in Shooting USA Episode

A touching episode of Shooting USA aired yesterday on the Outdoor Channel. Luckily, it will be repeated this Saturday, February 20th. In this show, 84-year old WWII veteran Ted Gundy, who served as a U.S. Army sniper in the Battle of the Bulge, meets with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning. For a week, the “old sniper” (and his son) were honored as VIP guests of the USAMU at Fort Benning. This story was broadcast on the “Impossible Shots” segment of Shooting USA. CLICK HERE for Full Story with details.

Shooting USA Old Sniper

Gundy, who lost his right leg to an artillery shell, can still wear his WWII uniforms. He regularly puts on his “dress greens” when attending funeral services of Army veterans, a service he renders as a member of the Missouri Honor Guard.

Shooting USA Old Sniper Shooting USA Old Sniper

At the end of the show Bundy received a new replica of the 1903 Springfield A4 Sniper rifle. The rifle, complete with vintage-type scope, was presented by Val Forgett of Navy Arms. Then, shooting from a rucksack rest, Bundy proceeded to hit steel at 300 yards.

Shooting USA Old Sniper

This Shooting USA Special broadcast helps viewers remember our remaining WWII veterans, while showing the dedication and hard work of the modern-day USAMU. The show can be pretty emotional at times, but it’s well worth watching. If you missed the Feb. 17th broadcast, the show will be repeated on Feb. 20th at the following times: 4:30 PM EST, 3:30 CST, 2:30 MT, 1:30 PT (check your local listings). You can also purchase a DVD of the Old Sniper broadcast for $9.95.

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
February 18th, 2010

CMMG .22LR Conversion Kit for ARs on SALE at CDNN

A reliable 22LR conversion kit for an AR-platform rifle lets you train with inexpensive ammo. That’s a big advantage for 3-gun competitors who must engage multiple targets rapidly, often at relatively short distances. Multi-gun competition is a speed game, requiring plenty of practice to “run with the big dogs”. It’s not unusual for elite 3-gun shooters to put hundreds of rifle rounds down range every week. Service Rifle shooters can also benefit from cross-training with an AR equipped to shoot .22LR rimfire rounds. With a good .22LR conversion kit, Service Rifle shooters can practice their positions and gun-handling at minimal expense. In the winter, if you have a .22LR conversion for your AR, you can train at the many indoor ranges that allow rimfire rifles, but not centerfire rifles.

Complete Conversion Kit for $189.99 from CDNN
CDNN Investments in Texas is offering a good deal on the CMMG .22lr Stainless Conversion Kit for AR15-type rifles. This includes a stainless bolt and bolt carrier assembly and two (2) 25-round magazines or two (2) 10-round mags. The CMMG Kit uses your existing fire control (trigger) group and requires no internal gunsmithing. Just drop it in and shoot. While supplies last, the CMMG Conversion Kit with magazine(s) is priced at $189.99. NOTE: CDNN is offering 2 mags with this package as a “limited time offer”. (MidwayUSA also has this Kit, with one mag, for $199.99.)

.22LR Rimfire conversion AR15 AR-15

CMMG .22LR Kit Is Reliable and Affordable
The CMMG conversion is widely used and has proved quite reliable, both with the 10-round and 25-round magazines. It is recommended by Brownells, though some Brownells customers have said the kits required some minor fitting or polishing. (This may be more of an issue with “off-brand” uppers — Colt AR owners reported no issues.) In the video below you see an AR15 being fired with the CMMG .22LR conversion in place. Then the CMMG bolt is exchanged for the original .223 Rem bolt assembly and the gun is shot in centerfire mode.

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In the second video below you’ll see the CMMG conversion shot with two full (or nearly full) 25-round magazines, in rapid fire. There are no malfunctions.

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Permalink Competition, Hot Deals, New Product 2 Comments »
February 17th, 2010

New 8 oz. to 10-lb Trigger Pull Gauge from Timney

Timney Triggers has a new Trigger Pull Gauge. This spring-type tension scale measures pull weights from 8 oz. to 10 lbs. and is also calibrated for metric (kg) weights. The wide hook makes the gauge easy to use even with over-sized trigger guards. The Timney gauge features a “tattle-tail indicator” that stops at the highest resistance. This works as follows — as you pull back on the gauge, the sliding indicator will move towards the heavier side of the scale; once the sear releases the sliding indicator remains at the point where the highest amount of pressure was exerted on the trigger.

Timney trigger pull gauge

We still think the Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge is the best on the market, but it costs $52-55.00 compared to $28.49 for the Timney gauge. The Timney Trigger Pull Gauge will be available at MidwayUSA (item 969947) before the end of February.

Lyman trigger pull gauge

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
February 17th, 2010

USMC Adopts New Open-tip 'SOST' 5.56 Ammo

After learning that M855 NATO ammo does not perform well from short-barreled rifles such as the M4 carbine, the U.S. Marine Corps has started issuing a new type of 5.56×45 ammo to its troops in Afghanistan. The new SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) ammo, officially designated MK 318 MOD 0 “Cartridge, Caliber 5.56mm Ball, Carbine, Barrier”, features a different open-tip 62mm bullet. The new bullet, with a lead core (in the top half) and solid copper bottom half, is similar to hunting bullets such as Federal’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. The SOST bullet was designed by Federal/ATK, which will produce the loaded ammunition.

SOST 5.56 ammo

The new SOST ammo was first developed for use by SOCOM (Special Operations) in the SCAR rifle, which has a short, 13.8″ barrel. Even in short-barreled rifles, the SOST provides impressive ballistics — achieving 2925 fps in a 14″ barrel. Compared to M855 ball ammo, SOST rounds are more lethal when shot from short-barreled rifles. According to the Marine Times, SOST ammunition delivers “consistent, rapid fragmentation which shortens the time required to cause incapacitation of enemy combatants”. Using an open-tip design common with some sniper ammunition, SOST rounds are designed to be “barrier blind”, meaning they stay on target better than existing M855 rounds after penetrating windshields, car doors and other objects. This is important to troops in the Middle Eastern theater who must engage insurgents inside vehicles or hiding behind barriers.

In Afghanistan, the USMC will issue SOST ammo for both the short-barreled M4 carbine as well as the original, full-length M16A4. The Corps purchased a “couple million” SOST rounds as part of a joint $6 million, 10.4-million-round buy in September — enough to last the service several months in Afghanistan.

M855 Criticized by Ground Troops and Pentagon Testers
The standard Marine 5.56 round, the M855, was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, however, it has been the subject of widespread criticism from troops, who question whether it has enough punch to stop oncoming enemies.

In 2002, shortcomings in the M855’s performance were detailed in a report by Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, Ind., according to Navy Department documents. Additional testing in 2005 showed shortcomings. The Pentagon issued a request to industry for improved ammunition the following year.

CLICK HERE for Full Report on New SOST MK 318 Ammunition.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 8 Comments »
February 16th, 2010

WSJ Feature: Will Today's Kids Be Tomorrow's Hunters?

Apparently, America’s young folks are spending too much time playing video games, and not enough time in the outdoors. This has outfitters and hunting guides worried about the future of their businesses. Hunting guides are serving an aging clientele, mostly 50 years and up. Who will replace the gray-haired hunters in a few decades? In an article entitled The Outfitters’ Lament: Too Few Kids With Guns, the Wall Street Journal website looked at the problem of “couch potato” kids, who are unlikely to become outdoorsmen when they grow up.

We’ve got a whole generation of kids who have little or no wilderness experience, and little time spent hiking, camping, fishing, or shooting. The WSJ suggests these kids, reared on video games, may never learn to appreciate the outdoors. “Most kids wouldn’t know a deer from a dog,” said Jim Paine of Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, an outfitter in west central Illinois. “It’s sad.”

The WSJ identifies many causes for the decline in outdoor activities by America’s kids. First, as you might expect, the outfitters blame video games. Video games actually cause changes in the brain and remove the desire to explore the “real world.” Second, increased urbanization means that most kids grow up in a concrete jungle, without ready access to wild places. Third, with the increase in the divorce rate, too many kids are effectively “fatherless” most of the time. A harried single Mom isn’t likely to take her kids hunting. Said one fishing guide: “A 10-year-old kid can go out and play baseball without his dad, but they can’t go hunting or fishing.” Lastly, hunting in particular has declined because firearms are stigmatized more than ever before. The WSJ observed: “In the 1950s, nearly every high school in New York City had a shooting team. Today, if you brought a gun to school you’d be expelled.”

Permalink - Articles 5 Comments »
February 15th, 2010

Coffee and Open Carry OK at Starbucks

Starbucks has rejected a request from the Brady Campaign to prohibit gun owners from openly carrying firearms in the company’s California stores. In a response to the anti-gun group’s request, the company said, “Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue.”

Starbucks open carry guns

While it is difficult to obtain permits for concealed carry in most California counties, open carry of UNLOADED firearms is permitted by California state law. Members of Bay Area Open Carry (BAOC), a group of open carry advocates, have been meeting in restaurants and coffee houses in Northern California. The sight of unloaded handguns on the hips of patrons aroused the ire of the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Peet’s Coffee and California Pizza kitchen caved in to anti-gun pressure, banning openly-carried firearms on their premises.

However, Starbucks has defied the Brady group, continuing to welcome Open Carry advocates at its many coffee centers. NRA instructor and BAOC member Brad Huffman declared: “We definitely applaud Starbucks for allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and we will continue to patronize them as long as they do.”

The Starbucks Open Carry situation attracted national attention when the NRA emailed its millions of members, urging them to support Starbucks. The email was entitled Maybe Brady Campaign Should Switch To Decaf.

You can read more about this story in the D.C. Gun Rights Examiner Blog, which has a cogent (and amusing) commentary by Mike Stollenwerk, of OpenCarry.org.

Permalink - Articles, News 4 Comments »
February 15th, 2010

Speed Up Your Windows Computer by Deleting Temp Files

Has your Windows PC running XP started to slow down? Are you running out of hard drive space? If so, there is a simple procedure for removing accumulated “temp” files that can clog your system when running Windows XP. If you’ve been using your computer for a couple years or more, there could be thousands of temp files hogging space on your hard drive, though they have no function anymore.

Windows Temp Files

Here’s the procedure for deleting unnecessary temp files.

First click on the “Start” button. Next select “Run” from the Menu.

When the “Run” window appears, type in “%temp%” (without quote marks), and click “OK”.

A folder window called “Temp” will appear. All the files and folders in that window can be highlighted and sent to the Recycle Bin. WARNING: If you find some important data files (such as family photos or your IRS tax returns), you may want to move these to another place on the hard drive BEFORE you empty the Recycle bin. But in reality, it’s normally safe to delete any file that displays when you peform the Run > %temp% command. If a file in that temp folder is being used by an active program, Windows won’t let you delete it.

On this editor’s three-year old computer, running Windows XP, there were nearly 18 Gigabytes of temp files that I was able to delete. That freed up a lot of space on my hard-drive, and my computer runs faster now.

If you don’t understand our explanation of the Temp File deletion process using the %temp% command, READ THIS TECH SUPPORT PAGE from About.com.

Note, there are also unused files in the “Temp” sub-folder in your Windows folder on your C:/ Drive. But you need to be a bit more careful deleting those files — so we won’t explain that process here. Just be aware that there may be many more Gigabytes of useless files stored in your computer.

Permalink Tech Tip 3 Comments »
February 14th, 2010

Palma Competition — Shooter's Eye View on Video

Bryan Litz Berger bulletsBryan Litz, Ballistician for Berger Bullets, is the author of the book Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Before joining Berger, Bryan was a missile design engineer working with the U.S. Air Force. An NRA High Master, Bryan also happens to be one of the country’s top long-range shooters. Bryan (aka “bsl135″ in our Forum) has written many ballistics programs and technical papers dealing with long-range flight dynamics of projectiles. Bryan has recorded some very impressive match performances recently. At the 2008 NRA National Championships at Camp Perry, Bryan beat 258 other competitors to win the Palma Individual Trophy Match. Bryan shot a remarkable 450/26x, not dropping a single point.

Palma Match — Caught on Video
Bryan has crafted a cool video that puts the viewer “in the driver’s seat” as Bryan shoots an 800-yard match with his .308 Winchester, iron-sights Palma rifle. Watch as each shot is marked and scored. Bryan explains: “The inset target at upper right displays each shot location in sequence. The score card shows the windage used for each shot, as well as the windage that was ‘Required’ for that shot to be centered. Wind wasn’t very challenging in this string, only requiring between 2 and 3 MOA right. This particular match is the 800-yard phase of a Palma course fired in the summer of 2008 at Camp Atterbury, IN. NOTE: I’ve had to cut out some ‘pauses’, and speed up the film in order to meet YouTube’s size requirements, so that’s why we sound like chipmunks.”

CLICK SCREEN to WATCH VIDEO. Click Menu Button for High Quality (HQ) Option

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Bryan also has his own website with a number of authoritative articles. Topics include: Bullet Design, Meplat Trimming, Gyroscopic and Coreolis Drift, Palma Bullet Analysis, How Ballistics Programs Work, and Ballistic Coefficient Testing. CLICK HERE to visit BRYAN LITZ Website.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
February 14th, 2010

Advanced Third Year Gunsmithing Program Opens Doors

Trinidad State Junior College (TSJC) has launched an advanced Third-Year gunsmithing program at the school’s Trinidad, Colorado campus. This program augments Trinidad State’s respected two-year gunsmithing school, established in 1947. For the past 63 years, TSJC has built a world-wide reputation for the excellence of its program. Companies involved in the firearms industry have been quick to hire TSJC’s gunsmithing graduates. The new third-year program is an elite school, open to the top 25 percent of graduates from all gunsmithing schools in the nation.

Trinidad State Junior College GunsmithingThe Advanced Third-Year Gunsmithing Program will be directed by Tom ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez, an innovative smith and Benchrest Hall of Famer. Speedy observed: “At the grand opening (of the new program), we’re pleased to have the President of the NRA attending, along with [Brownell’s President] Pete Brownell and the governor of Colorado.” Trinidad Interim President Felix Lopez explained: “The goal of the third-year gunsmithing program is to prepare its graduates to be ready for employment directly out of school.” Dr. Sandy Veltri, TSJC’s VP of Student/Academic Affairs added: “This third-year program will allow our students to gain entrepreneurial skills that will make them not just successful gunsmiths, but savvy business leaders.”

Development of the third-year program began with conversations between the college and representatives from Brownells about the need in the industry for gunsmithing graduates who are not only accomplished gunsmiths, but who also understand the firearms business, including retail sales, inventory control, counter sales, customer service, and dealing with vendors and management. Pete Brownell, shared his vision for this program to reflect real world employment in a working gun shop environment. Brownells provided $250,000 in funding for facilities remodeling plus needed equipment for the new retail-repair facility, christened the “Brownells Trinidad American Firearms Technology Institute”.

The first class of third-year students will experience the hard work and challenges of starting up a small business under the guidance of TSJC gunsmithing instructor Speedy Gonzalez. Gonzalez, a member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame, spent 30-plus years building precision rifles before coming to TSJC to “pass on his knowledge of gunsmithing to the next generation of gunsmiths”.

“Our intent is to open and operate a real-life gun shop with third-year students who will provide top quality gun repair, parts, and services for gun owners and collectors and hunting and shooting sports enthusiasts. We will offer retail, repair, blueing, reloading, and we even plan to do some light manufacturing”, said Gonzalez. The shop will maintain regular hours to serve local customers, including shooters from the nearby NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM.

Additional ‘Gunsmithing Business Practices’ and ‘Gunsmithing Shop Management’ modules will be taught year-round by experts directly involved in the industry. Gunsmiths already employed and even gun shop owners/managers can sign up for modules of particular interest. In addition to the original two-year Gunsmithing Program and the new third-year program, TSJC offers short-term summer courses designed for anyone interested in learning gunsmithing. To learn more about gunsmithing programs at Trinidad State Junior College, visit www.TrinidadState.edu, or call Lynette Bates at (719) 846-5650.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
February 13th, 2010

Neck Tension, Bullet Seating, and the TIME FACTOR

Time clockThis may surprise you. We’ve learned that the time interval between neck-sizing operation and bullet seating can have dramatic effects on neck tension (as measured by the force required to seat bullets). Controlling neck tension on your cases is a very, very important element of precision reloading. When neck tension is very uniform across all your brass, you’ll see dramatic improvements in ES and SD, and your groups will shrink. Typically you’ll also see fewer fliers. Right now, most reloaders attempt to control neck tension by using different sized neck bushings. This does, indeed, affect how firmly the neck grips your bullets. But time of loading is another key variable.

James Phillips discovered that time is a critical factor in neck tension. James loaded two sets of 22 Dasher brass. Each had been sized with the SAME bushing, however the first group was sized two weeks before loading, whereas the second group was neck-sized just the day before. James noticed immediately that the bullet seating effort was not the same for both sets of cases — not even close.

neck tension reloading timeUsing a K&M Arbor press equipped with the optional Bullet-Seating Force Gauge, James determined that much more force was required to seat bullets in the cases which had been neck-sized two weeks before. The dial read-out of seating force for the “older” cases was in the 60s, while the seating force for the recently-neck-sized cases was in the 20s. (These numbers loosely correspond to the amount of force required to seat the bullet). Conclusion? In the two weeks that had elapsed since neck-sizing, the necks continued to get tighter and stiffen.

When we first posted this information, it spawned some debate. Many people said they have observed the same thing, but the question is why? Something seems to happen over time that makes the necks less “springy”. Our theory is that, over time, the necks (as sized) are taking a “set” and seem to lose elasticity or the ability to stretch. When they are freshly sized, the neck material seems to be more ductile and expands more readily as the bullet is seated.

In a comment to this post, Steve Blair offered this explanation of how case necks can change over time: “When [metal] material is cold worked, the lattice stresses induced may not be uniform and immediately realized. The grain structure can continue to change for some time, becoming harder and less ductile as the lattice deforms further. Seating a bullet in a case neck provides ongoing radial stress to which the metal will respond over time.”

Concerning the seating force numbers (20 vs. 60) — keep in mind that the K&M simply has a dial read-out activated by a Belleville washer stack with a link rod. This isn’t an ultra-precise measure of force. But you CAN feel the difference between a 20 dial position and a 60. If you use the K&M you’d see what I mean -– the needle tends to swing back and forth as the bullet is seating. What you want to watch for is the max reading and “spikes” in the seating force. I think what is going on is the resistance to seating goes up as the brass becomes less elastic over time.

Lesson learned: For match rounds, size ALL your cases at the same time. If you want to reduce neck tension, load immediately after sizing.

Whether or not you accept the notion that case-neck bullet seating resistance rises with time (you’ll need to do your own experiments), it makes sense to size all your match cases at the same time, and then seat all the bullets you need for a match at the same time. If, for example, you need 200 rounds for an upcoming match, you don’t want to size all 200 cases and seat 100 bullets the same day, and then load the remaining 100 rounds three weeks later. Almost certainly you’ll find some difference in neck tension. That variance in neck tension may show up on the target.

This brings up another point — to minimize velocity variances from round to round, it makes sense to shoot the ammo you load in the same order it was loaded (or exact inverse order). That way, if you have some scale drift over time, causing small changes in powder charges, the shot-to-shot variation is reduced.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 19 Comments »
February 13th, 2010

Court Strikes Down Seattle Gun Ban

Here’s good news for Washington State gun owners. A King County Superior Court judge has struck down a ban on guns in Seattle city parks because it violates Washington State’s long-standing preemption statute. Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled from the bench that the gun ban, adopted under former Mayor Greg Nickels, violates Washington’s law, which placed sole authority for regulating firearms in the hands of the State Legislature. That law was adopted in 1983 and amended in 1985, and has served as a model for similar laws across the country.

The lawsuit was litigated by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association on behalf of five individual plaintiffs. “This is a great victory for the rule of law and Washington citizens,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, who added: “This case affirms the intent of lawmakers in 1983 to prevent cities like Seattle from creating a nightmare patchwork of conflicting and confusing firearms regulations.”

Gottlieb suggested a review of local ordinances may now be in order, so that city and county governments can be compelled to remove old gun regulations or face legal consequences. “This ruling puts anti-gun local officials on notice that legally-armed citizens have rights, too,” Gottlieb stated.

Founded in 1974, the 650,000-member strong Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education and legal action group dedicated to the Constitutional right to privately own and possess firearms.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2010

Winter Olympics: USA Biathlon Team Hopes for Medals

The 2010 Winter Olympics kick off tonight in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Shooting sports fans should follow the USA Biathlon team, which is considered the strongest group of American biathletes ever. Tim Burke, a top finisher in recent Biathlon World Cup events in Europe, is one of the favorites to collect a medal in Vancouver. That would be quite an accomplishment. Thus far, no American has ever won an Olympic Biathlon medal. Burke hope to change that. In the video below, Tim explains his training methods and his love for the sport. Definitely watch this video (produced by Time.com). Tim shows off his shooting skills and the reporter even tries out Tim’s Anschütz rifle. In an entire day of training, Tim only missed one target.

WATCH This Video — It Does a Great Job Explaining the Sport
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While the American team is strong, it will face tough competition from the Europeans. Biathlon is far more popular in Europe than it is in the USA. In fact Biathlon is the #1 televised winter sport in Europe. Nonetheless, the American team has been training hard in hopes of a strong performance. The video below shows members of the USA Biathlon team doing off-season “dry land” training. In the summer months, Biathletes train with special short skis equipped with wheels. They shoot with the same rimfire rifles used in winter events.

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Over 90% of Olympic-level Biathletes use Anschütz rifles, most commonly fitted with a straight-pull Fortner action. These rifles are capable of 1/4 MOA accuracy at 50 meters. Of course, it’s not so easy to hold the guns steady after skiing many kilometers with no time to rest before engaging the targets. That’s what makes Biathlon so challenging. For more information on Biathlon competition, visit the TeamUSA.org website.

Anschutz Biathlon rifles Rimfire

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2010

New Sightron 10-50x60mm Scopes Are Shipping

Sightron 10-50x60 scopeMany of our Forum members have reported that they have received their new Sightron SIII 10-50x60mm target scopes. These come with 1/8 MOA clicks and either a Fine Cross Hair reticle or FCH with target dot reticle. Currently the scopes do NOT include lens covers or screw-in sunshades.

In terms of optical performance, feedback so far has been very positive. Forum member Nat Lambeth recently received one of the new 10-50 Sightrons. He reports: “This scope, like the 8-32x56mm SIII, is much heavier-built than the first Sightron target scopes. It is very clear and sharp edge to edge. I shot 20, 5-shot groups with my [6BRX rifle with Savage Target action]… off a BR Rest and leather rear bag. The scope was cranked up to 50 power during my entire afternoon of shooting. The focus ring has a very short window of focus for a given distance. Otherwise clarity and light gathering was superb.”

The new scope is pretty large, measuring 16.9″ overall and weighing just under 29 ounces (without rings). Below you see the new Sightron 10-50x60mm next to a Nightforce NXS 12-42x56mm.

Sightron 10-50x60 scope

Some folks have been concerned about vertical clearance with the large 60mm front objective. The photo below shows the scope mounted on a Weaver-type rail with Burris Signature Zee “Extra-High” scope rings. As you can see, there is more than ample clearance. With most Weaver rails and barrel profiles you could probably go to the next lower Burris ring height — but we recommend you get the specs if you plan to use other types of rings.

Sightron 10-50x60 scope

The new Sightron 10-50x60mm scopes remin in stock at various vendors, but they are selling fast. MidwayUSA has them in stock today, priced at $994.99 (item 589261). Note: At this time, these scopes ship without scope caps or sunshade. Sightron hopes to have both caps and shades available by mid-summer.

CLICK HERE for more photos by Forum Member SwitchBarrel.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
February 12th, 2010

Trijicon, Sig Sauer, and Crimson Trace Execs This Week on GunTalk Radio

Gun industry executives will talk about their product lines (and give away some free stuff), this week on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show. Tom Munson (Trijicon), Bud Fini (Sig Sauer), and Travis Noteboom (Crimson Trace) are all slated to appear on the Sunday (Feb. 14th) edition of the nationally-syndicated talk show.

Trijicon has been in the news recently, and the company’s Marketing Director Tom Munson will highlight new products Trijicon is bringing to market. Bud Fini, Sig Sauer’s VP of Sales and Marketing, will discuss the new products introduced at the SHOT Show last month, including the P238 Tactical Laser. Travis Noteboom will detail the products being given away in the new Gun Talk contest — the Crimson Trace Great Grip Giveaway.

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio is in its 15th year and runs on 89 stations, plus SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts through Apple iTunes or via the GunTalk Archives.

Permalink News No Comments »
February 11th, 2010

Supreme Court Case + Gun News on DownRange TV Podcast

Michael Bane, producer and host of the popular DownRange TV show on the Outdoor Channel, also creates a short video “podcast” each week. Michael’s weekly podcasts cover a variety of topics — product intros, major competitions, shooting tips, and gun industry news. This week (8 min, 30 sec into the video), Michael comments on the upcoming Supreme Court hearing in McDonald v. Chicago. That case will determine whether the landmark Second Amendment ruling in D.C. v. Heller shall be extended to state and local government actions. Bane also spotlights the FBI’s new 40sw AR15 carbines (from Rock River Arms) and the re-introduction of the classic Merwin-Hulbert revolver, now marketed as a compact CCW weapon. Notable Merwin-Hulbert design features included interchangeable barrels and auto-ejection of spent cartridges (when bbl assembly was unlocked).

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Details of Merwin Hulbert Revolver Design (NRA YouTube Video)

Merwin Hulbert

Permalink - Videos No Comments »
February 11th, 2010

Shooting Skills: Prone Position Shooting Tips from USAMU

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

SPC Matt Sigrist of the USAMU breaks down the prone position into “fundamentals” and explains how you put each element together to create a stable body position: “The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no ‘perfect position’ that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.”

SPC Sigrist also demonstrates the two basic variations of the leg position when shooting prone: open/spread legged, and bent-legged.


For any service rifle, highpower, cross-course, or prone shooter, this helpful article can improve your performance in the prone position.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
February 10th, 2010

Affordable Inverters Provide Power at the Range

These days, it’s not uncommon for shooters to bring electrical gadgets to the shooting range, particularly when testing loads. You’ll see guys running chronos with laptop computers, or loading with electronic powder dispensers (such as the RCBS ChargeMaster). If your favorite range doesn’t have AC outlets, how do you keep all that stuff powered up? You can get one of those portable 120v power supplies (basically a big battery with inverter and carry handle), but they are heavy and fairly expensive.

Another option, for those needing 120v AC to drive powder dispensers, laptops etc., is to use your car battery. Compact, affordable, and reliable inverters are now available that let you draw current from your car/truck’s cigarette lighter or accessory jack. Yes, it would be possible to run-down your battery, but if you start with a healthy vehicle battery, you’re not going to drain it by throwing a couple dozen charges with a ChargeMaster.

DC to AC 120v converter Black Decker

Black & Decker makes a rugged 100-Watt Inverter that converts your vehicle’s 12-volt DC power into 115-volt AC power. The unit has a single AC outlet, with an accessory plug that adjusts 45 degrees for convenience. An automatic low battery shutdown prevents draining the vehicle battery, and an LED indicator shows charging status. Black & Decker backs its inverter with a 2-year warranty. The Black & Decker 100-Watt Inverter costs $22.96 at Amazon.com.

Duracell has a similar Pocket Power Inverter fitted with a cord on the 12V end. (The cord is much longer than shown in picture). The cord can be helpful if your power take-off or cigarette lighter jack is hard to access. The Duracell unit has been popular, but, unlike the Black & Decker, the Duracell only delivers 100 Watts for for 5 minutes, after that it delivers 80 watts. That’s still enough to drive most of the gadgets you’ll use for load testing at the range. Duracells Pocket Power Inverter sells for $19.99 on Amazon.com. A more powerful 175 watt version sells for $48.75.

DC to AC 120v converter

Permalink New Product, Reloading 6 Comments »
February 10th, 2010

Hunting Gear Sale at Cabela's Plus Flat-Rate Shipping

Cabelas

Right now Cabela’s.com is running a major Hunting Gear SALE with some popular items discounted 30% or more. You’ll find great deals on Bushnell, Leupold, and Nikon optics. Rifle ammo for a wide variety of calibers is on sale, and you’ll find good deals on knives and hunting accessories.

To make this sale even more attractive, Cabela’s is offering $5 flat-rate shipping, now through February 16, 2010. To qualify, your order must total AT LEAST $150.00, and you need to use Promo Code 2XFLAT when checking out.

EASY UPDATE BANNER 468X60

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 9th, 2010

Gear Review: SEB Coaxial Rest and Rear Bag

Mark Trope, Webmaster of the Gun Owner Network website, has written a very thorough review of the SEB Coaxial front rest. Mark’s SEB Rest Review covers all the bases, showing how the rest works with a variety of rifle types, including both wide-forearm match rifles and narrow-forearm sporter rifles.

SEB Coaxial Rest Review

Mark provides dozens of good photos of the rest, including many close-ups showing the fine points of SEB’s impressive design. The review shows how to set-up and level the rest, and how to tune the “feel” of the joystick to suit your preferences. Some rest users prefer the joystick to move quite freely, while others prefer to dial in some resistance so there is no chance of movement when you remove your hand from the joystick.

SEB Coaxial Rest Review

After covering the features and performance of the SEB Rest, Trope turns his attention to the SEB “BigFoot” rear bag. He explains why it’s a super-stable choice in rear bags, one of the best products available. You’ll note we acquired a SEB BigFoot rear bag for our latest AccurateShooter.com Project Rifle (see story above). After providing tips on how to fill the bag with heavy sand, Trope shows how to adapt a RubberMaid “ActionPacker” plastic storage bin to carry both the SEB Front Rest and the BigFoot Bag.

SEB Bigfoot bag eview

If you are considering the purchase of a joystick-style front rest, or joystick-style rest top, you should definitely read Trope’s Rest Review. It will definitely help you identify the features you need, so you can make an informed decision, whatever brand you ultimately choose. To learn more about the SEB coaxial rest, or to place an order, contact Sebastian Lambang’s American dealer, Ernie Bishop:

Ernie Bishop
306 West Flying Circle Drive
Gillette, WY 82716
(307) 257-7431
ernieemily [at] yahoo.com

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review No Comments »