January 26th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Lapua .260 Rem Brass and “L” Series Bullets

You’ve probably heard by now, but this is big news, so it bears repeating. Lapua has started production of .260 Remington cartridge brass. Lapua hopes to deliver the first shipments to the USA by late March, 2011. This is a very positive development for hunters, high power shooters, and tactical shooters. With the latest generation of powders (including Reloder 17), the .260 Remington is a potent cartridge with the 140gr-class bullets, and it hammers with the Lapua Scenar 123s or Berger 130s, and H4350-speed powders. In the video below, Kevin Thomas, Lapua’s USA Marketing Manager, provides more specifics about the .260 brass, and Lapua’s other new-for-2011 products.

Lapua 105 L ScenarOn the bullet front, Lapua is proudly rolling out its new “L” series of projectiles, starting with the 6mm 105gr Scenar and then expanding to the whole Scenar match bullet line. NOTE: These are NOT new bullet designs — Lapua is not changing the bullet shapes, weights, or internal construction. So you’ll be getting the same bullets, only with tighter tolerances, and improved quality control.

Lapua has tightened its production tolerances for the L series of bullets. Lapua claims that the L series of bullets will be more uniform in weight, with improved concentricity. Length from base of bullet to ogive will be held to very tight tolerances. Apart from the notations on the box, the new Lapua L bullets will be marked with an “L” crest stamped on the bullet heel. Lapua claims this tiny stamp will not affect accuracy nor reduce the bullet’s ballistic coefficient.

Lapua explains: “We have set out to tighten all measures and requirements, including our already famous quality control standards.” Scenar L bullets will exhibit: “closer weight tolerances, tighter jacket wall concentricity standards, and greater uniformity in every dimension, starting from the gilding metal cup, lead wire and jacket forming, ending up to core-jacket assembly, boat tail pressing and tipping.”

Lapua 105 L Scenar

Lapua Scenar L 105 6mmTesting the Scenar Ls for Uniformity
Are the new Scenar “L” series bullets actually more uniform than previous Scenars (which were really very, very good)? Based on my quick test of 20 sample bullets pulled at random from a box, I would say the 105gr Scenar Ls are some of the most uniform factory bullets ever. Adam Braverman gave me a box of the new 105gr Scenar “L” bullets. I randomly chose twenty (20) bullets, and measured them base to ogive using a Hornady comparator. With the exception of one bullet, everything was pretty much “dead on”. I listed two at 0.7125″, but they were awfully close to the others. Basically, except for the one bullet measuring 0.711″, they were all the same within the practical resolution of my calipers. Very impressive indeed.

All Bullets within One-Tenth of Grain
Next I checked for weight uniformity. I weighed each of the 20 bullets twice, using a calibrated RCBS ChargeMaster scale. NOTE: This is NOT a lab quality scale. The 0.1 grain total spread among the bullets is within the scale’s range of error. But I did weigh each bullet at least twice, and the ones that were one-tenth of a grain light I weighed four times. Three bullets out of the twenty measured 105.2 grains. All the rest were 105.3 grains. Remarkable.

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January 26th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Sightron’s Upgraded 10-50X and NEW 1-7X

Alan Orr of Sightron unveiled some impressive products at the 2011 SHOT Show. The first is a fully upgraded Sightron SIII 10-50X60mm LR scope. When first introduced in 2010, Sightron’s 10-50X scope became an immediate “hit” with AccurateShooter.com readers. The 10-50X offered seriously powerful magnification with reasonable weight — all in an affordable package. With “street price” under $1000.00, the Sightron 10-50X was much less expensive than rival “big-name” scopes with comparable magnification. As first released, Sightron’s 10-50X scope was a smart choice for F-Classers and long-range benchresters. For 2011, the 10-50X scope has been made even better, yet the price has stayed pretty much the same. That’s the kind of progress we like.

As upgraded, Sightron’s 10-50x60mm scope has new target turrets, a new reticle option (hash marks with center dot-in-circle), and dual-color, selectable illumination. At around $995.00, this scope is in a class by itself. Looking at the offerings of other scope-makers, you’d have to pay hundreds more to get a comparable 50-power riflescope with reliable tracking and good glass. Yes the Schmidt & Bender 12-50X scope is better, but the S&B costs three times as much as the Sightron. The Sightron 10-50X’s price to performance ratio makes it a very attractive choice for F-Class and long-range Benchrest.

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Sightron 1-7X scopeExclusive ‘Sneak Preview’ of
New 1-7X Sightron ‘Tactical Hunter’

After showing us the updated 10-50X scope, Sightron’s Alan Orr gave us an exclusive look at Sightron’s prototype 1-7X Tactical/hunting scope. This all-new scope offers wide field of view, selectable illumination and choice of 1/3 MOA or Centimeter clicks. This versatile, illuminated riflescope can be used for everything from tactical matches to big-game safaris. We definitely expect to see this compact 1-7X illuminated optic on many multi-gun rigs in the months ahead. The “street price” for the new 1-7X is expected to be right around $950.00. Expect the first units to ship in 120 to 150 days (i.e. at the start of summer).

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January 26th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Stiller’s New Rimfire Benchrest Action

The new Stiller Precision Rimfire Benchrest action is on the verge of entering production. This high-tech Copperhead rimfire action, in development for over two years, has DUAL firing pins at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock for improved ignition. It also has an Anschutz-style feed ramp and other features for enhanced performance. The action’s footprint matches a Rem 40X so it should fit many existing rimfire stocks. Priced at $1150.00, the new Copperhead action should be available in spring 2011.

Jerry Stiller tells us 10 Copperhead prototypes are currently being assembled for final testing. Stiller hopes to have 50-100 actions built for retail sale in two to three months. A lot of experimentation and careful design work has gone into this new action. If Stiller’s Copperhead lives up to its promise it could become the new action of choice for smallbore benchrest competition. With the popularity of precision rimfire games, we expect this action to be in high demand, once word gets out. You may want to contact Stiller Precision Firearms, (972) 429-5000, and get on the waiting list to ensure delivery this year.

In addition to the new Copperhead action, Stiller Precision continues to produce a wide variety of high-quality centerfire actions in stainless, as well as aluminum with steel insert (such as the original Viper). Shown below is a selection of Stiller stainless actions, including the rare stainless Viper:

Stiller Actions

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