January 23rd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Julie Golob Reveals Speed Shooting Secrets

Julie Golob Smith & WessonWe had a chance to chat with Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob at SHOT Show. Julie is one of the finest action pistol shooters in the world, so she knows a thing or two about shooting competitively on the clock.

Kelly Bachand, our SHOT Show correspondent, is primarily a Palma shooter. In that discipline there’s ordinarily plenty of time between shots. But Kelly, a popular contestant on the TOP SHOT TV series, hopes to branch out into action shooting and multi-gun competition.

Julie gives Kelly some great advice on how to succeed in speed games by finding the “acceptable” sight picture. Julie explains that you need to abandon the “pursuit of perfection” and find a zone of “acceptable” accuracy that lets you to score points while running the stage as fast as possible. As Kelly puts it, you need to find out “what you can get away with” in terms of sight picture. Kelly and Julie also discuss equipment for 3-Gun matches and the differences between open and tactical classes.

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January 23rd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: 1760 sq-ft Armored SHOOT HOUSE from MGM

MGM Targets Shoot HouseWhat do you give the man who has everything? How about his own 1760-square-foot, armor-plated shoot house from MGM Targets? Heck he can even assemble it himself with a couple big wrenches (and a lot of help from friends). Of course you must lay a solid concrete foundation first — MGM’s Shoot House is composed of 40,000 pounds of steel (20 tons). The MGM Shoot House employs a modular design so it can be assembled in a wide variety of layouts to suit the owner. All walls are constructed of 3/8″-thick armored plate. Plywood facings serve as a “containment system” to protect shooters from splash-back and bullet fragments from shots fired. To protect folks on the outside, the 3/8″-thick steel is thick enough to prevent penetration by all pistol cartridges, all shotshells, and rifle rounds up to a 7.62×51 (.308 Win).

$117,000 for the SHOOT HOUSE — But Recoup Costs via Rentals
What does all this cost? The SHOT Show price is just $117,000, not including foundation and assembly labor costs. MGM calls this “affordable”. Well we know some shooters who have over $100K tied up in a motor home. Realistically, this is not something an individual would buy, although it would be within the budget of some larger shooting clubs, considering that some of the cost could be offset by renting out the Shoot House to law enforcement groups.

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While the Shoot House was designed primarily for military and law enforcement group training, it can also be used by private shooting clubs for pistol and multi-gun matches. In addition, a private range or club may want to construct a Shoot House, and then earn revenue by leasing it back to the local police or sheriffs’ agencies. For more information, visit MGMTargets.com, or call 1-888-767-7371 toll-free.

Permalink Competition, New Product 1 Comment »
January 23rd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Something Old, Something New from CZ-USA

Bargain Competition Air Rifle — Model 200 S
The new red and black model 200 S air rifle from CZ-USA is an excellent deal at $429.00 MSRP. Expect to find this at discounters for around $399.00. For that price you get a modern, ergonomic three-position stock, an nice adjustable 2-stage trigger with low pull weight, and a 4x32mm scope. The action also has dovetails to mount iron sights. Offering 16 Joules of energy from its gauge-equipped air cylinder, the 200 S airgun will launch .177 caliber pellets at 800 FPS. As Kelly Bachand explains in the video below, this rifle offers plenty of bang for the buck. Kelly says he has “spent a lot more money for an air rifle with far fewer features.” If you are looking for a training rifle for your club or organization, the CZ 200 S would be a good choice. Kelly feels this air rifle is a real winner for the price.

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CZ 200 S Air Rifle

Perfect Fit — the CZ550 FS Mannlicher
As this website’s Editor, I see hundreds of rifles at SHOT Show. If there was one rifle I wanted to purchase and take home from this year’s Show, it was the CZ 550 FS (see video above). A 7.2-lb Mannlicher-stocked field rifle, with 20.5″ barrel, this gun fit me like a dream. Equipped with safari-style iron sights, the rifle mounted and indexed perfectly. The sights seem to align themselves. The instant I shouldered the rifle with my cheek on the rounded Euro-style comb, the front bead-tipped blade indexed perfectly in the rear v-notch. I could literally mount this rifle to my shoulder with my eyes closed, then open my eye and find the safari sights were perfectly aligned both vertically and horizontally. That’s remarkable. Watch the above video — the CZ 550 is covered in the second half.

CZ 550 FS Mannlicher Hunter

The action is very smooth — much better than most domestic factory guns, and noticeably smoother than a Tikka T3. The top of the action has a 19mm dovetail for secure, low-profile mounting of scope rings. The 550 FS comes with a handsome Turkish walnut stock, fitted with proper sling swivels. This rifle has been very popular with owners, and I can understand why — it’s light, easy to handle, and it is one of the best-pointing hunting rifles I’ve ever shouldered. The model 550 FS is offered in a variety of calibers: .243 Win, 6.5×55, .270 Win, .308 Win, 30-06, and 9.3x62mm. Note, for 2011, CZ is offering a Mannlicher-stocked rimfire rifle chambered in .17 HMR, the CZ model 452 FS, priced at $514.00 MSRP. That would be a great carry-around varminter for squirrels and small game.

Related Resources

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January 22nd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: New Tactical Rigs from Surgeon Rifles, G.A. Precision, and Remington

For the past few years, tactical rifles have been a hot item at SHOT Show. While in the past ARs and AR variants grabbed the headlines, this year, tactical bolt-guns enjoyed the spotlight, with many manufacturers showcasing new tactical rigs built on modular stocks. The user-configurable chassis systems on these rifles provide myriad mounting options for scopes and accessories. Here are new offerings from Surgeon Rifles, G.A. Precision, and Remington.

SURGEON RIFLES

Accuracy Int'l AX338At the Surgeon Rifles booth, Preston Pritchett (Surgeon’s owner), displayed an impressive rifle built on the all-new Accuracy International AX folding-stock chassis. The AX is completely different than previous AI chassis designs. Preston told us that only 11 of these AI AX modular stocks have been manufactured so far, and he received this example just two days before SHOT show. He immediately installed a Surgeon action and barrel — but the display rifle has not even been shot — that’s how new this design is. The AX chassis features an adjustable folding stock, and a forearm slotted for rails on all SIX sides.

There is a nice over-molded, polymer gripping piece forward of the magwell. The pistol grip is nicely designed — comfortable to hold. The hexagonal AX forearm, with slots for rail-attachment, is slimmer than the handguards found on some other “black rifles” which have multiple, heavy full-length rails permanently attached to the fore-arm. Having non-removable full-length rails really is overkill. The AI AX chassis lets you mount accessory rails on six surfaces if you really need that capacity. But otherwise, you can leave the rails off. We like that flexibility. When not in use, rails are just extra weight. These new-generation tactical rifles are heavy enough as it is.

April ETA for Complete AX-Chassis Rifles from Surgeon
So when can you get one, and how much will it cost? Preston expects to have chassis units ready for builds in “about two and a half months”. The AI AX chassis system will cost $1299.00 by itself. For a complete AX-equipped Surgeon custom rifle, in addition to the chassis cost, add the price of a Surgeon action ($1295.00 MSRP), a custom barrel, and chambering. That’ll put you close to $3200.00, depending on barrel and action choice.

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AX338 from Accuracy International
If you want to buy a turn-key factory rifle using the new AX chassis, Accuracy Int’l now produces the AX338, shown below. This features an Accuracy Int’l action fitted in the new AX chassis. Right now the AI-built gun is available ONLY in .338 Lapua Magnum. AI’s complete AX338, produced in the UK, will cost thousands more than a rifle built by Surgeon on the AX chassis.

Accuracy Int'l AX338

Download Accuracy Int’l AX338 Brochure PDF

G.A. Precision

G.A. Precision G.A.P.’s New Sabre-Stocked Rifle
Our friend George Gardner of G.A. Precision (G.A.P.) showed off his latest and greatest rifle for tac comps. The gun features a G.A.P. Templar action in the new Ashbury Int’l Sabre Chassis. The Sabre chassis has lots of trick parts to reduce overall weight. For example, the handguard is made from super-light carbon fiber. The central chassis (holding the action), is made from aluminum and there are many ultra-light titanium components.

GAP’s prototype rifle was chambered in .260 Rem, but other chamberings, including .308 Win, will be offered in the future. We were impressed with the Ashbury Int’l design — some smart thinking went into weight reduction. It is not brutally heavy like some other metal-stocked tactical rifles. We like that fact that the Sabre comes in two versions, the simple “Mod 0″ with minimal rails, and the “Mod 1″ for those guys who need to attach a full set of accessories.

Ashbury Int'l Sabre Chassis

George also showed us one of G.A.P.’s semi-automatic AR10s. These have shown outstanding accuracy, frequently delivering 1/2-MOA or smaller three-shot groups with premium factory ammo. While George still recommends that novice tactical shooters employ a bolt-gun, he remarked that a semi-auto can be very effective in timed, “target-rich” tactical matches.

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Remington Police/Military

Remington Shows Off New M24E1
Remington displayed its new XM2010 — the winner of the contract to replace the U.S. Army’s M24 Sniper Rifle. The gun, designated the M24E1, offers all the features the Army wanted… but it is a beast. The Army’s new M24E1 sniper rifle will share the Rem 700 long action (receiver) and trigger from the currently-fielded M24, but little else. (The Army specifically required that the M24E1 be built around the same 700 series long action and fire control system.) The M24E1 is considered a “total conversion upgrade”, by which the barrel, stock, magazines, muzzlebrake, suppressor, and even the optics will be changed. The M24E1 will carry a 6.5-20×50 variable power Leupold scope with a first focal plane (FFP) reticle that includes .300 Win Magnum bullet-drop compensation markings.

Remington m24e1

Accuracy Int'l AX338

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Leupold MK 4 ERT M24E1New Leupold Scope for M24E1
A key component of the M24E1 system is the new 6.5-20x50mm Leupold Mark 4 Extended Range/Tactical (ER/T) M5 riflescope (34mm locking version). This scope features First Focal Plane (FFP) Horus ranging reticles (H27 or H58), side parallax adjustment, and a beefy 34mm maintube.

Other notable features of the new ER/T include M5 windage and elevation adjustment dials with audible, tactile 1/10 (0.1) milrad clicks to match the mil-based Horus reticles. An elevation zero-stop helps prevent under-rotation in high-stress situations. The eyepiece offers long eye relief and it employs a “lockable” fast-focus design to ensure that the reticle remains in sharp focus. The scope has an auto-locking elevation adjustment.

Remington MSR Sniper Rifle on Display
At SHOT Show, Remington also showcased its new Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR), Remington’s entry into the competition for the new SOCOM Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR). Remington’s MSR competes directly with Barrett’s new MRAD, profiled earlier this week in the Daily Bulletin. The MSR features a beefy new titanium receiver with the ability to handle multiple chamberings up to .338 Lapua Magnum. The MSR was designed from the ground up as a switch-barrel rig, with a floating handguard, and folding, adjustable buttstock. The whole system is modular. By exchanging bolt-face, barrel, and magazine, the gun can switch from .308 Win (7.62×51), to 300 Win Mag, to .338 Norma Mag, and to .338 Lapua Mag.

Remington MSR

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January 21st, 2011

SHOT Show Report: New Leupold 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Yes, bigger is better. Leupold has upgraded its popular “folded-light-path” compact spotting scope, by adding an HD-glass, 80mm front objective and boosting the magnification up to 60-power. That will give this NEW scope better low-light performance and higher magnification while retaining a usable exit pupil (if you increase magnification without increasing the front lens diameter, the exit pupil shrinks). The unit costs $1800, not bad considering the price of other 80mm spotters, and the Leupold is much easier to carry, given its compact design.

Bigger Objective, Better HD Glass, More Useful Magnification Range
We’ve always liked the Leupold compact spotter because it is light weight and it’s Newtonian (folded light path) design makes it much more compact than most spotters of comparable magnification. The U.S. Military currently uses the Mark 4 “tactical” version of the Leupold 12-40x60mm spotter. However, we felt that the glass in the 12-40 spotter was not on a par with the latest generation HD spotters from Kowa, Zeiss, and Leica, or even Nikon and Pentax for that matter. Leupold has taken a huge step forward by gracing its new spotter with a big, HD (low dispersion) front objective. This should give the scope better perceived sharpness with much less color fringing (chromatic aberration) when viewing targets at long range. Upsizing the objective to 80mm makes the scope brighter, improving low-light performance. That’s important, particularly for tactical guys and hunters. The bigger objective also allows Leupold to increase magnification all the way from 40X to 60X. Do you always want a 60-power view? No, but it is great have 50% more magnification on tap when you need it.

Leupold 20-60x80mm spotting scope

60X is a Good Thing for Target Shooters
Most 40-power spotting scopes struggle to resolve 6mm and 6.5mm bullet holes at 600 yards. With HD glass and 60X magnification, you’ll have a much better chance to see small bullet holes at long range (though you’ll also need good viewing conditions). That’s a huge advantage for the long-range target shooter. Overall, we were very pleased that Leupold engineered this much-enhanced 80mm spotter. We predict it will be a big hit with anyone who needs serious magnification in an easy-to-carry optic.

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January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Exclusive: Interview with Sherri Gallagher

SGT Sherri Gallagher of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit had a spectacularly successful 2010. First she won the National High Power Championship convincingly, setting records in the process. Then young Sherri earned the title of “Soldier of the Year”. Sherri is the first women ever to be honored as the U.S. Army’s Soldier of the Year.

When we learned Sherri was staffing the USAMU booth at SHOT Show, we headed straight there with the hopes of chatting with America’s premier lady rifle shooter. Our correspondent Kelly Bachand was eager to talk to Sherri, as they are friends who once shot together on the U.S. National Junior team. You should really take the time to watch this video. Sherri is very open and candid about her shooting accomplishments, and she offers advice that will help any shooter.

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January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Long-Range Champ John Whidden

While visiting the Forster Products booth at SHOT Show yesterday, we had a chance to chat with three-time National High Power Long Range Champion John Whidden. John was his amiable self as usual, sharing his match-winning experience with Kelly Bachand, a young .308 Palma shooter. John and Kelly are squadded together on the U.S. National Team that will be going to Australia for the World Full-bore Championship later this year.

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John shared his thoughts on shooting the .243 Win in competition and he also discussed the advantages of a V-Block system in a prone rifle. With a good V-Block you can use the same stock with different barreled action. You can even change between centerfire and rimfire in the same gun. John uses V-Blocks in his own rifles, and Whidden Gunworks makes V-Blocks for Remington, Rem Clone, and Savage Actions.

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January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Pentax Power Zoom Scope — Push-Button Magnification

A riflescope that zooms in and out with the push of a remote button may seem like technological overkill. But think about it — most common point and shoot cameras these days offer power zoom and auto-focus. Modern binoculars have image stabilization and other high-tech features. There’s no reason a riflescope shouldn’t benefit from useful technologies we’ve already adapted to other optical products.

Pentax Marketing Demo — Ultimate Zoom
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The new Pentax “Ultimate Zoom” scope got little press when it was launched in mid-2010. But we think it may be a true trend-setter. The big advantage for a varmint hunter is that you can keep your eye on the target. You don’t have to raise your head up or move your hand away from your firing position (see video above). With this scope you can zoom from 3X to 15X without changing your grip on the rifle or moving your head away from the scope. In the field, the batteries can last many months. The Pentax Ultimate Zoom typically retails for about $349.00 street price. However, Amazon.com currently offers the Ultimate Zoom for just $199.99 — a very good deal. In the video below you’ll see a product demo from SHOT Show.

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January 19th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Berger Crafts Hybrids in More Calibers

The big news at Berger Bullets for 2011 is the Hybrid. No, Walt isn’t switching to a Prius… but Berger IS committing to the dual-shape hybrid design for a full range of calibers. The hybrid design combines a secant ogive (VLD-style) profile in the front of the bullet, with a tangent profile further back. This gives bullets the high BC of the VLD-style bullets, but the tangent section makes the bullets less sensitive to small variations in seating depth. The tangent ogive is a more gentle curve. Tangent ogive bullets, generally speaking, are more “forgiving” or easier to tune. They also will stay in tune better as a barrel throat erodes.

What Berger has done with the hybrid bullet is put an easy-tuning geometry on the part of the bullet that actually engages the rifling, while using a more streamlined front end for improved ballistics. This hybrid design was introduced in 2010 with hybrid 7mm and .338 bullets. Both new hybrid designs proved very successful. The hybrid designs were developed with significant design input from Bryan Litz, Berger’s ballistician. Before Bryan signed on with Berger, he literally worked as a rocket scientist, so he knows something about low-drag shapes. In the video below, Bryan explains why Berger will introduced more hybrid bullets in more calibers, in the months ahead. Bryan also talks about other products Berger has in the works, including its much-awaited reloading manual.

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January 19th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Air Arms EV2 — Choice of Champions

It is rare in the shooting sports when a single manufacturer, and single gun type, completely dominate a competitive discipline. But in the world of Field Target shooting, the Air Arms EV2 definitely has proven itself the “best of the best”, winning multiple major events in 2010, among them the European Championship, UK Championship, and World Championship. If you get your hands on an EV2 you’ll notice immediately that the rifle is well-balanced and very comfortable to hold — in any position. All the parts are machined to tight tolerances, and it comes with “all the bells and whistles” right out of the box. Watch the video below to learn more about the EV2 — truly the “choice of champions”.

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The Air Arms EV2 is available from PyramidAir.com for $1959.00, your choice of black, sky blue, or Red receiver and barrel-end fixture.

Air Arms EV2 Field Target Rifle

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January 18th, 2011

California Mail-Order Ammo Restriction Ruled Unconstitutional

Report by C.D. Michel
In a dramatic ruling giving gun owners a win in an National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit, this morning Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962, the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so-called “handgun ammunition” to be registered, was unconstitutionally vague on its face.

The trial Court enjoined enforcement of the statute, so mail order ammunition sales to California can continue unabated, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition is covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher. Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman also supported the lawsuit.

The ruling comes just days before the portion of the law that bans mail order sales of so-called “handgun ammunition” was set to take effect on February 1, 2011. The lawsuit, Parker v. California, is funded exclusively by the NRA and the CRPA Foundation. If it had gone into effect, AB 962 would have imposed burdensome and ill-conceived restrictions on the sales of ammunition. AB 962 required that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, that ammunition vendors collect ammunition sales registration information and thumb-prints from purchasers, and conduct transactions face-to-face for all deliveries and transfers of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit successfully sought the declaration from the Court that the statute was unconstitutional, and successfully sought the injunctive relief prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the new laws.

Trial Court Agrees that Ammo Ban is Unconstitutionally Vague
The lawsuit alleged, and the Court agreed, that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it fails to provide sufficient legal notice of what ammunition cartridges are “principally for use in a handgun,” and thus is considered “handgun ammunition” that is regulated under AB 962. It is practically impossible, both for those subject to the law and for those who must enforce it, to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually “principally for use in” or used more often in, a handgun. The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and in any event changes with market demands.

Decision Will Probably Be Appealed but Law Will Still Be Suspended
Constitutional vagueness challenges to state laws are extremely difficult to win, particularly in California firearms litigation, so this success is particularly noteworthy. Even so, an appeal by the State is likely, but the Court’s Order enjoining enforcement of the law is effective immediately, regardless [of the possibility of appeal]. Editor’s Note: An injunction against the application of AB 962s provision will remain in effect until such time as it is vacated by an appellate court. But for the time being, mail-order ammo sales to California can proceed without restriction, as if AB 962 were never signed into law. Until a higher court rules otherwise, the contested provisions of AB 962 are rendered a nullity.

This report provided by C.D. Michel Michel of Michel & Associates, counsel for the NRA in the litigation challenging the California mail-order ammo ban.

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January 18th, 2011

MEDIA Day — Some Interesting New Products

Media Day at the Boulder City, Nevada range was a blast — literally. We had a chance to sample some big .338 Lapua Magnum rifles from Barrett and Sako. The recoil on the Sako TRG42 was epic, as it lacked a muzzle brake, and the front sandbag did nothing to tame rearward movement. We’ll provide more info on the TRG42 (and its new folding stock) later this week.

New Tikka T3 Sporter — Master Sporter Reborn
Tikka unveiled an interesting new T3 Sporter, fitted out in a handsome laminated position stock. This seems to be the successor to Tikka’s popular (but long since discontinued) Master Sporter series. We only hope Beretta, Tikka’s parent company, will eventually offer a wider selection of calibers — right now Beretta only plans to sell .223 Rem and 22-250 versions in the USA.

New Tikka T3 Sporter
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MRAD is Impressive — and Brutally Expensive
Barrett’s new MRAD “adaptible” rifle was an impressive beast — as it should be at $6000.00 per unit. It did display some very clever engineering that allows a user to switch barrels and even change calibers with no gunsmithing. Check out the video for a review of the many unique features of the MRAD.

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Crosman’s Computer-Controlled Airgun
Perhaps the most innovative (or at least technologically advanced) rifle on display wasn’t officially a “firearm” at all. Crosman’s new Benjamin Rogue, pneumatic varmint rifle actually has a microprocessor-controlled “fire control” system. Yes this state-of-the-art airgun actually has an internal computer that monitors the available air pressure, and sets the output level according to the bullet weight and desired velocity. This is no Daisy B-B gun — the Rogue is big and bulky. But it also delivers the hitting power of a 38 Special, all without a single kernel of gunpowder. Crosman’s Rogue will launch a 145gr polymer-tipped Nosler bullet at 850 fps. Just run the numbers and you’ll find the Rogue delivers as much terminal energy as many centerfire pistol cartridges.

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Polymer Cartridge Casings from PCP
A Florida-based company, PCP Ammunition, unveiled a truly revolutionary product — polymer-cased ammo. The “cartridges” have a metal rim/base section (like shotgun shells) but nearly all the cartridge body is a tan-colored high-strength polymer. No, this product won’t do reloders much good, but it could be a huge “hit” with the military, as a polymer case is at least 25% lighter than brass. PCP Reps claimed that PCP’s plastic-bodied ammo can withstand loads that would be considered “full presure” in conventional brass. Stay tuned for further updates.

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January 18th, 2011

Barry Dueck’s 3-Gun Sighting Solutions

During Media Day we kept our eyes out for new multi-gun gear, since 3-Gun Competition is becoming so popular. At the Surefire booth we ran into 3-Gun Ace Barry Dueck (pronouned “Duke”). Barry demonstrated the side-mounted iron sights he produces for AR-type carbines (actually these sights can work on any rifle that has suitable rails).

Running a combination of a magnified, 1-5X Leupold on top with iron sight mouted at a 45-degree angle on the sides, Dueck can rapidly transition from optics to irons. The top scope works great for longer shots, but Dueck finds he can engage close targets more quickly (and accurately) with the iron sights. While some other 3-gunners run a magnified optic on top and a red dot sight on the side, the use of two (2) glass optics puts a 3-gun competitor in a different division. Dueck’s Rapid Transition Sight (RTS) System, allows him to compete in the single-optics classes. The side-mounted irons are also more foolproof than any electronic sight, as Dueck explains in the video below.

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January 17th, 2011

AccurateShooter Media Team Heads to Vegas — Stay Tuned

Media DaySHOT Show kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday, January 18th. Today your Editor is fortunate enough to be attending the Media Day event, hosted at the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club, outside Las Vegas.

At Media Day, we’ll be inspecting and testing new firearms to be introduced later this week at SHOT Show. This is a rare opportunity to handle and shoot a wide selection of new firearms, and also to test new optics and other accessories. Stay tuned to the Daily Bulletin for regular updates on our Media Day discoveries, plus all the latest products on display at SHOT Show. We will be interviewing many firearms industry notables, and we’ll try to get photos (and video clips) of the most interesting and innovative new products.

The NSSF, which operates the SHOT Show, also has its own YouTube Channel now. There you can a variety of professional-produced short videos every day for the next week. To watch the NSSF Videos, go to www.YouTube.com/nssfshotshow.

Media Day

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January 17th, 2011

New Whidden Gunworks V-Blocks for Savage Actions

For quite some time Whidden Gunworks has offered an excellent V-Block designed for Remington 700, Rem Model 7, or XP100/ XR100 actions. Whidden’s machined aluminum V-Block allows you to use multiple barreled actions in the same stock (provided action length and screw positions are the same).

Savage V-BlockNow Savage owners can benefit from a V-Block set-up. Whidden Gunworks has started selling a new V-Block especially designed for Savage actions. Models are offered for the Savage Target action, Palma action, and Savage Short and Long Actions. You can’t really tell from the photo (at left), but the V-Block does have a milled recess for the Savage recoil lug.

Whidden’s V-Blocks have slightly raised ridges the run parallel to the barrel. These help provide a solid grip on the action, so you normally do NOT need to skim-bed the V-Block. Because V-Blocks have a flat bottom and straight sides, it is easy to inlet a stock to take a V-Block — nothing’s tricky. Whidden’s Savage V-Blocks are made of 6061-T6 aluminum, surface milled for epoxy adhesion, and individually inspected. John Whidden believes that a properly installed V-Block “is easier to install, simpler to inlet, more accurate, and more versatile than any action-mounting system available.” We don’t know about the accuracy part, but a V-Block can certainly help you leverage your stock investment by running multiple barreled actions in the same stock.

Right now, Whidden’s Savage V-Blocks are in short supply so you should order directly through Whidden Gunworks, by calling (229) 686-1911. You can order Whidden’s Rem-type V-Blocks for $113.95 through Creedmoor Sports or $109.95 through Brownells.com.

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January 17th, 2011

Cerakote Lets You Play Chameleon

The makers of Cerakote have a cool interactive web application that lets you preview various colors and camo finishes on your firearm. Cerakote’s color preview page is similar to what car-makers are doing these days. For example, you can go to the Ford website and click through nine available colors for a 2011 Mustang GT. Hey, if it works for cars, it should work for guns, right?

Cerakote color App

Mix and Match 33 Colors with Virtual Gun Coater
NIC Industries, the company that produces Cerakote ceramic firearms finish, offers an interactive “colorizer” web app. This Cerakote Virtual Gun Coater lets you select from 33 solid and camo colors to “paint” the slide and frame of a Glock pistol. Mix and match slide and frame colors to your heart’s content. Available colors include digital camo, titanium, red orange (law enforcement only), coyote tan, and mil spec green. These are all real colors you can actually order. You can even e-mail your buddy a photo of your favorite color scheme. Give it a try!

Story by Edlongrange, Research Assistant.

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January 16th, 2011

Read our Latest Feature and Check Out Related Articles

Most of our readers know that AccurateShooter.com completed a major site upgrade late last year. But perhaps you haven’t seen all the new features yet. The site has been completely over-hauled and improved, with a larger format, more photos, better search engine, easier navigation, and database-served articles (to help you find related content faster).

Explore our Updated Website
Visit www.accurateshooter.com, to check out our new home page. There you’ll find a selection of popular articles (that change with each new page visit), a “feed” of our latest Daily Bulletin items, plus links to videos, free targets, free Classified Ads, and of course our popular Cartridge Guides.

New Featured Tubegun Story with Eliseo Video Interview
We just released our latest Featured Gun of the Week Story. This article spotlights a .308 Win tubegun built with an Eliseo (Competition Machine) RTS Chassis. Mark LaFevers, the gun’s owner, assembled the rifle himself and chambered the barrel. And get this — Mark even built his own bipod, bag-riders, scope rings, and advanced muzzle brake. The story is a “must read” for all Tubegunners and .308 Win fans. CLICK HERE to read the story. For a sample, watch the video below, which features an interview with Tubegun guru Gary Eliseo.

YouTube Preview Image

This new Tubegun article illustrates some of the cool features of our upgraded website. First, we’ve embedded thumbnail links to related articles within the text. In addition, in the right column you’ll find a set of links to related stories. Just click on the link (as shown by the arrows) to real a new story on a similar topic. This makes it is easy for readers to find interesting, relevant content. All articles are now searchable through a fast search engine. You’ll find a search window at the upper right hand corner of every page in the updated website.

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January 15th, 2011

Zeiss Introduces New Compact 65mm Spotting Scope

Zeiss has just introduced its latest spotting scope, the Dialyt 18-45x65mm Compact Field Spotter. We like the design and we think there’s a place in the spotting scope market for a simple straight-tube spotter with razor-sharp, ultra-premium glass. High-end spotting scopes have become increasingly large and heavy over the years as the optics-makers have chased ever-greater levels of brightness and magnification. But a hunter or tactical shooter doesn’t want to hump 8 pounds of glass up and down mountains. The Dialyt (“Die-Ah-Lite”) weighs a mere 2.6 lbs. (1.2 kg) and is just 15.5 inches long.

Zeiss Dialyt Spotting Scope

Easy to Use, Easy to Carry
The Dialyt is easy to use — twist the eyepiece to zoom and rotate the front objective to focus. Originally designed for European Alpine hunters, the new rubber-armored ZEISS Dialyt 18-45×65 Field Spotter is built tough for field use. This should appeal to hunters and tactical shooters. And unlike older-style draw-tube scopes, the straight-tube Dialyt is dustproof and fully waterproof (rated to 400 mbar).

About the size of a thermos bottle, the 2.6-pound Dialyt 18-45×65 fits easily into a backpack and, if necessary, can be rested on a pack for stabilization at higher magnification. This spotter also has threads for a tripod or monopod.

The Dialyt 18-45×65’s variable eyepiece provides a wide field of view at low magnification and plenty of magnification up top. This compact spotter also features multilayer coatings and high light transmission for good performance at dawn and dusk — something important for hunters.

Zeiss Dialyt Spotting Scope

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 15th, 2011

New Redding Jumbo-Capacity LR-1000 Powder Measure

Here’s good news for .338 LM, .416 CheyTac, and .50 BMG Shooters — No longer will you need to make double throws with a manual powder measure, just to get enough powder to fill your case. Redding Reloading has introduced a NEW high-capacity powder measure that can pump out up to 140 grains of powder with a single throw. The new Redding LR-1000 measure features an all new-metering chamber capable of producing accurate powder drops of up to 140 grains.

Consider that a .338 Lapua Magnum typically uses about 100 grains of powder. With Redding’s new LR-1000 measure,you can fill the case with one throw and still stay within the optimal (middle third) “sweet spot” of the measure’s capacity. This will yield better results, as Redding explains: “[Large Cartridge Shooters] have been forced to resort to double powder drops or working at the very outer limits of a measure’s capacity to throw the needed quantity of powder for these big cases. Neither practice represents the best solution.”

Redding LR-1000 Powder measure

LR-1000 Large Capacity Measure Specs
The LR-1000 features cast iron construction with a hard chromed rotor and cutting edge. Note that the hemispherical cup at the base of the metering chamber reduces bridging with extruded powders, even with small throw volumes. The LR-1000 ships complete with jumbo-sized powder reservoir, powder baffle and a zero-backlash micrometer. For more info, visit Redding-Reloading.com, specifically the Media Center Page (click on “2011 Press Kit”).

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2011

Nosler Introduces 17 New Types of Cartridge Brass

For 2011 Nosler will introduce no less than 17 new NoslerCustom® brass offerings. Most of the 17 new brass varieties are for large hunting cartridge types, not widely used. However, target shooters may be interested in Nosler’s new 7mm SAUM (Rem Short Action Ultra Mag) and 7mm RUM (Rem Ultra Mag) brass. The 7mm SAUM is becoming popular in F-Class circles. With slightly less capacity (and a longer neck) than the 7mm WSM, the 7mm SAUM is a good choice for shooting the popular 180gr High-BC bullets from Berger and Sierra. Tactical shooters will appreciate Nosler’s new .338 RUM and .338 Lapua Magnum brass. It’s nice to have additional brass choices for these big cartridge types.

New Nosler Custom Brass

NoslerCustom Brass is Weight-Sorted, DeBurred and Chamfered
Notably, Nosler does extra finishing steps on its cartridge brass, based on the notion that: “Life’s too short to prep your own brass”. As with other NoslerCustom cartridge brass, the 17 new varieties will come “semi-prepped”. Flash holes are trued and case mouths are deburred and chamfered. According to Nosler: “Every piece is hand-inspected, and weight-sorted within +/- .5 grains” (and then packaged by weight groupings).

New Nosler Custom Brass

All the new types of Nosler brass will bear the “Nosler” headstamp although it is rumored that some of Nosler’s cartridge brass is made for it by other highly respected companies, both domestic and foreign. As to the 17 new varieties, we can’t identify which cartridge types are produced in-house and which will be out-sourced. Overall, our experience with NoslerCustom brass has been good, though in 22-250 and .308 Win it is not quite as strong or long-lasting as Lapua brass.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »