March 25th, 2011
In the Berger Bulletin this week is a further discussion of the new Berger “Hybrid” bullet design. This combines a secant ogive shape in the front of the bullet with a tangent ogive shape near the full-diameter (shank) section. Currently the Berger Hybrid is available in .338 caliber and 7mm. Berger will soon release a new hybrid .30 caliber bullet, with 6mm and 6.5mm hybrid projectiles to follow.
How the Hybrid was Developed
In the late 80s, the VLD was born. This design allowed shooters to use lighter bullets and smaller calibers to achieve the same or better trajectory than heavier bullets in bigger calibers. Lighter bullets shot in small calibers were easier on shooters resulting in higher scores and an improved shooting experience. But, this improvement came with a price. Each shooter had to adjust their load in each rifle until they could get the VLD bullet to shoot precisely. Once the load was dialed in, the VLD was one of the most efficient bullet designs in history. But this didn’t stop shooters from yearning for a bullet that is easier to tune.
The VLD design was created by Bill Davis who was one of the top ballistic minds during this time. His [designs] have made a tremendous impact on how long range shooting over the last two decades. One might think that nothing this good can be improved upon. But it could… Ballistician Bryan Litz recognized both the advantages and disadvantages of the VLD design. He went to work to see if he could keep the good results the VLD produced while reducing its sensitivity to seating depth. His efforts have produced the Berger Hybrid.
The Berger Hybrid design incorporates two different shapes within the nose. As the bearing surface ends, a tangent ogive begins. This tangent section of the ogive results in the bullet being much less sensitive to seating depth. Testing results show that the Berger Hybrid shoot equally well at either a jam or a jump. As you move forward along the tangent portion, the shape changes into a secant ogive. The secant ogive is the shape used on the VLD bullets. This shape is very efficient in the wind and is why the VLD became so popular.
By bringing these two shapes together, Bryan has successfully created a bullet that is both not sensitive to seating depth and shoots very flat like a VLD. The key to all this is not just the combining of these two shapes, but also the partnership between the ballistician and the bullet maker.
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March 25th, 2011
In a major policy change, which could have a ripple effect in the outdoor industry, major catalog retailer L.L. Bean announced on 3/24/2011 that it will offer free shipping on virtually all products, all the time. This free shipping policy was a because L.L. Bean found that 25% or more of its web customers abandoned online orders once they saw the shipping charges in their online shopping cart. L.L. Bean’s website now declares: “Free Shipping: No minimum order, no end date, just free.”
Currently, Cabelas.com regularly offers free shipping promotions, and Amazon.com offers free shipping on major orders totalling $25.00 or more. The adoption by L.L. Bean of an “All free shipping, all the time” is expected to put pressure on other catalogers to follow suit. This may be a good thing for shooters, whose products may be heavier, on average, than the typical consumer purchasing clothing, or travel accessories.
Free Shipping is a Growing Trend in Online Retailing
According to Businessweek.com, we can expect more large companies to offer free shipping: “Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at Internet research firm comScore Inc., says the industry is moving in that direction. He says that in in 2009, 30 to 35 percent of online holiday purchases involved free shipping; this past holiday season, the figure grew to 40 to 45 percent.”
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March 24th, 2011
The Freedom Group, Inc. (FG) announced that Bushmaster Firearms Int’l production has been moved to the Freedom Group’s Ilion, New York facility, where Remington rifles (and other FG family brand firearms) are crafted. Bushmaster guns were previously built in Bushmaster’s Windham, Maine factory which is slated to close its doors at the end of this month, with a loss of 73 jobs. Freedom Group expects to create 40-50 new positions at the Ilion, New York facility as a result of the relocation.
The Freedom Group is one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world. Among its product brands are: Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, Parker, EOTAC, Mountain Khakis, AAC, and Dakota. A Freedom Group press release states: “The Bushmaster brand and products remain key strategic assets within the Freedom Group portfolio. The manufacturing relocation will have no impact on customers or the existing supply base”. John Trull, the Freedom Group’s Firearms Marketing VP, added: “We are committed to the Bushmaster brand, its core product offerings and bringing innovative new Bushmaster firearms to our customers.”
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March 23rd, 2011
The Blaser R93 is a unique rifle, employing a patented straight-pull bolt with radial locking system. Using a pivoting short-throw bolt handle, the bolt slides straight forward and back to feed and eject ammunition. It’s simple and fast. The Blaser R93 was designed as a modular system. This means the bolt can be changed from right-pull to left-pull in seconds, and barrels can be exchanged quickly and easily. This makes the R93 extremely versatile — invest in one action and stock and you can shoot a multitude of chamberings. Factory barrels in 28 different calibers are offered. A Blaser barrel can be switched in less than a minute, using a simple T-handle wrench (see Video below).
While most Blasers sold in America are hunting rifles with conventional-style stocks, Blaser also makes a model for CISM 300m competition, a tactical model, and long-range target model (LRS-2). These all feature an aluminum receiver block, synthetic sub-chassis with cantilevered fore-end, and larger-capacity magazine. The rear section of the stock has an adjustable cheekpiece and butt-plate. Shown in the video below is a Blaser R93 LRS-2 fitted with bipod and muzzle brake. Note the very low recoil of the 6mmBR cartridge when the braked gun is fired. Along with the 6BR chambering, the LRS-2 is offered in .223 Rem, 6.5×55, .308 Win, 300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Magnum.
One of the Blaser’s best features is the speed with which the bolt can be cycled. Just pull the bolt-handle back to open the action and eject the brass, then slide the bolt handle forward to close the bolt. Compared to a conventional bolt, the Blaser requires minimal hand movement. Once you get the hang of it, you can cycle the gun extremely fast. The video below show a hunter practicing with a .308. Watch how quickly the bolt cycles–and this shooter could probably shoot even faster if he maintained his cheek-weld.
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March 22nd, 2011
The 5th Annual Brownells Gunsmith Career Fair will feature some of the biggest names in the gun trade. These experts will share their knowledge to help budding gunsmiths learn new skills and grow their businesses. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. The Gunsmith Career Fair runs April 15 and 16, 2011, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. The event is FREE to gunsmiths and exhibitors.
Wide Range of Scheduled Seminars
Seminars range from advancing your career in the gunsmithing profession to starting or expanding a gunsmithing business. View the full seminar schedule at gunsmithcareerfair.com. Scheduled Seminars are listed below:
Seminar Title and Seminar Leader
- Am I Gunsmithing or Manufacturing — ATF Technology Branch (4/15)
- Alternative Careers in the Industry — Bill Gravatt, Sinclair Int’l (4/15)
- Essential Components of a Business Plan — Tom Shay (4/15)
- Creating Your Niche in Life — Doug Turnbull (4/15)
- Marking Variances & When are They Required — ATF Technology Branch (4/15)
- Finding Your Specialty in the Industry — Sharon Dressel (4/15)
- Small Businesses Don’t Die; They Commit Suicide — Tom Shay (4/15)
- Responsible, Professional Gunsmith Opportunities (Keynote Address) — Ron Power (4/15)
- Professional Techniques on Gunsmithing Guns — Ron Power (4/16)
- Creating a Great Customer Experience — Bart Miller (4/16)
- Understanding Ballistics — Paul Dressel (4/16)
- Communicating with the Public — Reid Coffield (4/16)
It’s Not Too Late to Register
There’s still time to register to attend or exhibit, just go to gunsmithcareerfair.com or call 641-623-5401 and ask for Stacy or Jill. Attendees and exhibitors are urged to book hotel rooms and flights early.
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March 22nd, 2011
MidwayUSA is running a promo for internet Forum readers. You can save $10.00 on orders of $50.00 or more. This is limited to regular-price, in-stock items ONLY (no back-orders). But hey… in today’s America, ten bucks saved can be twenty bucks earned. You’ll want to act soon. This offer expires March 31, 2011.
To receive your Savings:
This promo can only be used once, and it only works through online sales (no phone or fax orders). Sale, clearance, out-of-stock and Nightforce products do not count towards the total. This promo cannot be used with other promotion code, or combined with Dealer, Birthday or Special pricing.
1. Add regular price, in-stock products, totaling $50 or more, to your MidwayUSA online shopping cart.
2. Enter the promotion code 5031174 into the box titled, “Promotion Code” on the shopping cart page.
3. See the discount applied on the Confirmation page near the end of the checkout.
Story sourced by EdLongrange.
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March 20th, 2011
Manners Composite Stocks has released its new MCS-T4 trainer stock for CZ 452 and 455 actions. This should work well for guys who cross-train with a .22LR or who compete in the popular Tactical Rimfire matches now offered by many clubs. The MCS-T4 duplicates the feel, heft, and ergonomics of a full-size tactical stock, making it easy to transition from your centerfire rifle to your smallbore trainer.
Tom Manners reports: “This is the second .22LR trainer stock we have developed. The design goal is the same as the first stock we built for the SakoQuad. This project was started for the guys that wanted a full-size rimfire training rifle that had the same size and feel as their full-size service gun. The goal was to have a gun that had the same balance, feel, and as close to same ergonomics as a full-size Remington 700. That lets you train effectively with inexpensive .22LR ammo.”
Tom added: “We designed the MCS-T4 so the CZ 452/455 bolt handle and trigger are in the same location as your full-size service rifle”. Manners can also deliver the MCS-T4 with an extra-heavy fill to bring the weight of the complete gun up to about 13 lbs — about the same as a centerfire bolt gun with a medium-contour barrel. With the MCS-T4, a shooter can put together an affordable rimfire cross-trainer without having to spend big bucks on a 40X action or 40X clone. The new Manners MCS-T4 CZ Trainer Stock lists for $475.00 plus shipping. For more info, visit MannersStocks.com or call (816) 283-3334.
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March 20th, 2011
As with many optics vendors, EuroOptic.com offers a selection of demo scopes. These were used at trade shows, or were manufacturers’ sample items. Currently EuroOptic.com has many premium European optics in its demo inventory, along with Leupolds and Trijicons. These demo riflescopes (and spotting scopes) are available for hundreds less than the normal price. Here are examples:
Schmidt & Bender PMII 3-12×50 with Illum Gen 2 Mildot – Like New Demo.: $2500.00
Swarovski PV 3-12×50 with Heavy Duplex Reticle – Xlnt condition with very light ringmarks.: $950.00
Zeiss Victory 3-12×56 T* with Rapid Z 800 reticle – Xlnt condition with very faint ringmarks: $1500.00
Zeiss Victory Diavari FL 6-24×72, Illlum. #75 RapZ Varmint Reticle. Like New, faint ringmarks: $2850.00
Zeiss Diascope 85mm Angled spotting scope with 20-60 power eyepiece – Xlnt condition: $1800.00
Leupold Mark 4 M3 LRT10x40 with TMR Reticle – Xlnt condition with extremely faint ring marks: $975.00
Leupold Vari X 3 Tactical 3.5-10×40, Mildot reticle – Xlnt condition, faint ringmarks: $500.00
EuroOptic.com Now Sells Premier Scopes
EuroOptic.com recently added the Premier line of riflescopes to its inventory. All Premier models feature a one-piece, 34mm main tube with more than 100 MOA of internal adjustment. On all the latest Premier scopes, there is a unique dual-purpose turret on the left side — the outer knob adjusts for parallax, while the smaller inner knob pulls out to adjust reticle illumination. This configuration allows for increased spacing between mounting rings, providing more room for accessories.
The standard reticle in Premier’s First Focal Plane scopes, is Premier’s Gen II FFP mildot. This allows ranging at any magnification. In addition Premier offers the Gen II XR reticle. We prefer this design for varmint hunting and tactical comps. It features a finer crosshair and additional hold-over points in the lower half of the sight picture. For Premier scopes with 1/4-MOA clicks there is also an excellent hold-over reticle with MOA-based stadia (hashmarks.) Horus H37 reticles are also offered with some Premier scopes. Last but not least, Premier Heritage scopes come with articulating lens covers, a nice extra we wish came with more scopes.
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March 20th, 2011
From March 15-19, the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships were held at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The tournament determined the National Collegiate Individual and Team Champions in NTA Intercollegiate Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, Open Air Pistol, Women’s Air Pistol and Women’s Sport Pistol. Both men and women competed shoulder to shoulder in Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, and Open Air Pistol events, but there were separate Ladies’ Only matches for Air Pistol and Sport Pistol. Men and Women shooters competed in separate divisions.
Navy beats Army in Ladies’ Sport Pistol and Air Pistol
There was a strong rivalry among the military academy teams in the Women’s Pistol Matches at the USAMU’s 25 meter range. In Women’s Sport Pistol, the U.S. Naval Academy earned its second Women’s championship this year with a score of 1626, topping the West Pointers by 24 point. In the individual Sport Pistol finals, Kirsten Asdal of the U.S. States Naval Academy took the win with a 655.3 score, edging West Point’s Heather Deppe (653.9 score). The Lady Midshipmen (Midshipwomen?) also won the Women’s Air Pistol Championship with a final team score of 1086. Arch-rival West Point finished second with a 1073 team Air Pistol score.
U.S.M.A. (West Point) Win’s Standard Pistol Team Championship
USNA, USMA, Ohio St., Citadel, Oregon St., USCGA, MIT, Texas A&M, Yale and USMMA were all represented in the team championship by shilled shooter however after the third stage had been fired the United States Military Academy had emerged victorious with a total team score of 2121. Tallying up another championship under his belt this year, Nick Mowrer of Pikes Peak Community College shot a 569 to claim the Standard Pistol Individual title.
Below, courtesy The NRA Blog, is a slide show from the NRA Intercolllegiate Pistol Championships.
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March 19th, 2011
Imagine having multiple “founding fathers” of the modern American gun industry all on the same hunting trip. Well it really happened. On the cover of the current Huntington Die Specialties Catalog, is a wonderful vintage photo, taken in the early 1950s. You can see (left to right): Norm Williams, Bill Ruger, Warren Page, Joyce Hornady, and Clyde Wiley. Of course you’ve heard of Joyce Hornady, co-founder, with Vernon Speer, of Hornady Manufacturing. Bill Ruger co-founded Sturm, Ruger & Co. with Alexander Sturm in 1949. After Sturm died in 1951, Bill Ruger ran the company for five decades, before passing in 2002. Warren Page was a famous cartridge wildcatter, and Gun Editor of Field & Stream magazine. We couldn’t find information on Clyde Wiley or Norm Williams, and we certainly don’t know why Norm is wearing a bow-tie and top coat! Perhaps our readers can tell us more about Wiley or Williams.
CAPTION: LB Bar Ranch — South Fork, Cody, Wyoming. Photo circa 1953-1955, by Les Bowman.
Story sourced by Edlongrange
Background of Hornady Manufacturing
Joyce Hornady was an ardent shooter who needed a steady supply of accurate bullets. While the bullets available in the late 1940s were usable, Joyce felt that better bullets could be made. During World War II, Joyce had taken a job in a guard training unit at the Grand Island Army Ammunition Plant. Following the war, shooters and hunters used some of the vast surplus of military ammunition for their sport shooting. This surplus ammunition however, did not offer the accuracy or performance needed for target shooting, big game or varmint hunting.
Joyce realized the need for better bullets and he responded to it. In 1949, he and his original partner Vernon Speer built a machine that converted spent .22 rimfire cases into bullet jackets, and then into bullets. These bullets sold well all over the country. Using a surplus bullet assembly press, he also began to produce a .30-caliber bullet that became a mainstay of Hornady’s bullet line. In 1958, the company moved to a larger 8,000-square-foot plant with a 200-yard underground testing facility. Before that underground range was completed, Joyce Hornady would drive to the Grand Island Rifle Range, winter and summer, rain or shine, to test each individual lot of bullets.
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March 18th, 2011
We recently announced that Nosler was offering a great deal on 55gr 6mm bullets — overstock bullets originally made for Australian kangaroo hunters. That deal — 1000 Bullets for $103.80 — proved very popular with our readers. Now Nosler has announced some other great bargains.
You’ll find all these deals on the Nosler Overrun/Sales page. Varminters shooting the .204 Ruger, .20 Practical/Tactical, or 20 Vartarg should definitely check out the Australian Overrun 34gr 20-Cal bullets. These are now just $29.95 for 250 bullets — a great deal. We also recommend the .223 Rem ‘Value Varminter’ Predator Pack. This includes 500 pieces of .223 Rem Nosler Brass, 500 .224-Cal, 55gr Spitzer Tip Flat Base Bullets, a Nosler hat and a Catalog — all for $169.95. That’s ninety bucks off the regular $259.95 price.
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