November 30th, 2011

New Nikon EDG Spotting Scopes with Vibration Reduction

Nikon has raised the bar in Spotting Scope technology. It has introduced the first-ever spotters with built-in Vibration Reduction. This may be a significant breakthrough. Image stabilization has revolutionized hand-held photography, and it could definitely improve the practical functioning of spotting scopes. If you have ever used a big, heavy spotting scope, you know that it is easy to induce vibration and shaking — merely with a heavy hand on the focus knob. And when the wind blows, a big scope acts like a sail, so it can wobble and vibrate in gusts. Just a small amount of shake or vibration can make it difficult to see your target, slowing down your target acquisition time considerably.

Nikon Vibration Reduction EDGE spotting scope

Nikon’s new 85mm EDG Fieldscopes are the first spotting scopes on the planet with lens-adjusting image stabilization. The EDGs employ a lens-shift type VR (Vibration Reduction) system that counters vibration and shaking. According to Nikon, the EDG VR system greatly reduces external vibrations caused by wind and the operational vibrations occurring during focusing, panning and tilting. Nikon claims its VR system reduces vibration to 1/8th the level of a conventional spotting scope.

HOW IT WORKS — This system uses two independent Angular Velocity sensors to detect pitching (vertical movement) and yawing (horizontal movement). Both sensors then detect diagonal movements. Upon the detection of movement, the sensors provide instructions to the two Voice Coil Motors (VCM) that command and control the Vibration Reduction-optical system to eliminate the shake or blurring. These sensors can detect movement every 1/1000 second. The system can effectively reduce vibrations by roughly 88% (compared to a conventional spotting scope), providing the equivalent of a shutter speed approximately two stops faster.

Nikon Vibration Reduction EDGE spotting scope

So how much does this new VR technology cost? Hold on to your hat — MSRP for the 85mm EDG VRs (either body style) is a shocking $5,499.95! At least that includes eyepiece and protective case. We can only hope that, as this technology matures, it will be implemented at much lower cost. Consider that $200.00 point-and-shoot cameras now offer image stabilization. Given time, we can expect the vibration reduction systems to go down in price, and to become commonplace in premium spotting scopes.

Available in a straight or angled body, the all-new EDG VR Fieldscopes come standard with a 20-60x Zoom Eyepiece, ED (Low-Dispersion) glass, and multi-coated lenses. The 85mm EDGs feature a five-meter close focus distance and waterproof, fogproof construction. Weighing in at just over 84 ounces (w/o batteries), the straight-body EDG is 14.9″ long, while the angled version is 15.7″ long. Nikon’s VR system takes four AA batteries which provide roughly 17 hours of battery life with alkaline batteries and up to 32 hours with lithium. While the VR function can be manually activated, an auto power-off function helps conserve battery life. Seven optional EDG eyepieces are available. Three tripod mount screw holes permit flexible mounting.

Nikon Vibration Reduction EDGE spotting scope

Permalink New Product, News, Optics No Comments »
November 30th, 2011

Dan Wesson Clone Revolvers — Now THAT’s a BB Gun

As a fan of the classic big-frame Dan Wesson revolvers, this editor did a double-take when I saw the latest addition to Pyramyd Air’s line of BB guns. Pyramyd Air now sells four very authentic-looking, metal-framed CO2-powered BB Revolvers, marked “Dan Wesson”, with the distinctive “DW” logo on the grip. These BB-shooting revolvers are offered in four different barrel lengths: 2.5″, 4.0″, 6.0″, and 8.0″. The revolvers are loaded by placing .177 BBs in mock cartridge shells, which fit into the chambers of the swing-out cylinder — just like on a real revolver. Max velocity, for the 6″-barrel version, is 426 fps. These BB guns are handsome and they have the feel and heft of the real thing. The 4″ version weighs 1.94 pounds, while the 6″ version weighs 2.21 pounds.

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver$119.99 — Your Choice of Size and Finish
All four sizes (2.5″, 4″, 6″, 8″) cost just $119.99 each. Take your pick — either silver finish or black (but not all sizes available in both colors). The Dan Wesson BB revolvers come with adjustable rear sights. An owner-installable, Weaver-type scope rail is packaged with each revolver to allow use of Red-Dot scopes or other optics. A speedloader and six “cartridges” (shown above) are also included with each revolver. To see how the CO2 cartridge fits in the gun, check out the Airgun Academy Dan Wesson Review.

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver

If you’re interested in the Dan Wesson BB Revolvers, visit PyramydAir.com or call (888) 262-GUNS (4867). Note, quantities are limited. While you’re shopping at Pyramyd Air, you can use Coupon Code AirgunsNov30-2011 to save 10% on purchases. This Code expires 12/6/2011 and cannot be combined with other offers.

Pyramyd Air Discount code

We expect these guns will be popular for indoor training, and for fun plinking outdoors. We also predict Dan Wesson collectors may snap them up to add to their collection. Unfortunately, you need to purchase a different BB revolver for each barrel length. The real centerfire Dan Wesson revolvers featured a unique interchangeable barrel system with barrels threaded on both ends inside metal shrouds. Buyers could order one frame with multiple barrel/shroud assemblies. Dan Wesson even sold multi-barrel “Pistol Packs” in a fitted metal case. These Pistol Packs, if complete with all barrels and accessories, are highly prized by gun collectors today.

Pyramyd Air Discount code

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
November 29th, 2011

Bartlein Barrels Sponsors U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team

Bartlein BarrelsBartlein Barrels is giving the U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team over $15,000 worth of barrels. Shiraz Balolia, Team Captain states: “We are lucky in the United States to have a company that produces such precisely crafted barrels. Bartlein’s sponsorship affords our team every advantage to bring home the gold in the 2013 World Championships. These barrels are superior!” Many of the top F-Class shooters in the world have a Bartlein in their barrel inventory. In the recent European Championships, nine out of the top 10 shooters used Bartlein barrels. Numerous world and U.S. national records have been set with Bartlein barrels, and the U.S. Team highly recommends them.

The U.S. team Captain, Shiraz Balolia, knows first hand how Bartlein barrels perform. Check out the Captain’s 300-yard National Record set in 2008 using his custom 6XC rifle outfitted with a Bartlein barrel. In a registered match, he shot an absolute perfect score on an F-Class target: 200 with 20 Xs. He then kept shooting, as allowed by NRA rules, and shot six more Xs before a 10 leaked out! (Target photo below.) More recently, Robert Bock, the previous U.S. F-Class Open Team Captain, set a new 1000-yard record, 150 with 12 Xs, at the 2011 F-Class Nationals in Lodi, WI.

Bilolia Record Bartlein Barrel 6XC

The U.S. F-Class team thanks Bartlein Barrels for their generous sponsorship and invites all shooting enthusiasts to visit the team’s website, USfclass.com and watch as the team continues to prepare for the World Championships.

Permalink News No Comments »
November 28th, 2011

Save 20% on 5-20x50mm FFP Tactical Scope Today ONLY

CyberMonday SS Scope couponAs a Cyber Monday Special, SWFA.com is offering 20% off its popular SS 5-20x50mm Tactical riflescope. This is a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with 30mm body and side parallax focus. The turret clicks (Elevation & Windage) are 0.1 Mrad to match the illuminated mil-based reticle. Turrets have 10 Mils per revolution, with 30 Mils (100+ MOA) of total elevation travel. Regular price for this scope is $1299.95.

TODAY ONLY, November 28 (until midnight CST), the scope is 20% off with Coupon Code “20Off”. That cuts the cost to $1039.99 — a great price on a full-featured illuminated FFP tactical scope.

CyberMonday SS Scope coupon

Discount tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
November 28th, 2011

Remington Opens New Online Store for Gifts and Gear

Remington Arms Company, has opened a new online retail store: Remington Country, USA. The new webstore features an expanded line of exclusive Remington products, art work, gifts, outdoor gear, and shooting accessories. The Remington Country webstore officially opens Monday, November 28, 2011 — just in time for the holiday season. At ShopRemingtonCountry.com you’ll find Remington’s “Deal of the Day”, plus select products, and even links to videos.

Remington Country USA webstore

To learn more about Remington rifles and other products, visit www.remington.com.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
November 27th, 2011

Hot Deal: Portable Shooting Bench and Digital Muffs for $179.99

Cabelas.com is offering a good deal for shooters looking for a budget-priced rotating shooting bench. The Caldwell® Stable Table, a 60-lb tripod-style bench, offers a 34″L x 23″W top surface with a bench seat that adjusts from 16″ to 22″ in height. The polymer top has two integrated carry handles. These handles double as anchors for two gun-holding forks that can be used when cleaning your rifle. Leg adjustments keep the table and seat parallel even on uneven ground. The overall unit breaks down into seven pieces using a quick-release pin system. Maximum weight capacity is 350 pounds.

Right now, if you purchase the Caldwell® Stable Table (item IK-230810), Cabelas.com will include a FREE set of electronic ear muffs. Rated at 21db NRR, these electronic muffs filter out gunfire sounds and other loud noises while still letting you hear voices and range commands.amplification of low-level sounds while blocking out harmful noise. There are two volume controls — one for each ear. Six AAA batteries will provide roughly 250 hours of run time. Note: Batteries must be purchased separately.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
November 27th, 2011

Review of Vortex PST 4-16x50mm FFP Mildot Scope

Mike of CS Tactical has released a good video review of the Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 FFP (first focal plane) rifle scope. Mike praised many of the scope’s features, and he believes it is a good value for the money (about $850.00 street price.)

The Viper PST 4-16×50 PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) FFP riflescope offers a lot of features for the money, including low-dispersion XD Glass, glass-etched illuminated reticle, ArmorTeck scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coatings, and a zero-stop turret system. Vortex delivers all this with a street price around $850.00. The hard-anodized one-piece 30mm tube, machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, offers ample adjustment — 21 millirads both elevation and windage. First Focal Plane subtensions remain consistent throughout the magnification range — that’s important if you use the scope to range objects at unknown distances. Vortex claims its argon-filled scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof (O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the tube). The 4-16×50 PST comes fully equipped with 4-inch sunshade, CR2032 battery, and CRS shims.

Vortex 4-16x50mm First Focal Plane Scope

Vortex 4-16x50mm PST Specifications
Magnification: 4-16X
Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Eye Relief: 4 inches
Field of View: 27.4-7.4 feet/100 yards
Tube Size: 30 mm
Turret Style: Tall Uncapped – CSR Zero Stop
Reticle: Milrad type in First Focal Plane (FFP)
Adjustment Graduation: 0.1 mrad
Max Elevation Adjustment: 21 mrads
Max Windage Adjustment: 21 mrads
Parallax Setting: 50 yards to infinity
Length: 13.7 inches
Weight: 22 ounces

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 2 Comments »
November 26th, 2011

Caliber Preferences Influenced by Component Costs

Prices of bullets and brass have gone up dramatically in recent months. We are hearing from active shooters that cost considerations are influencing their decisions about what calibers and chamberings to shoot. There is a definite trend to smaller cartridges and lighter bullets.

One match shooter told us: “I’ve been debating between a 6.5×47 Lapua and a 6-6.5×47. After comparing the cost of 6.5mm vs. 6mm bullets, I decided on the 6mm. If I save $7 bucks a box, and shoot 4000 rounds a year (40 boxes of bullets), that’s $280.00 in savings–enough to buy a new barrel.”

Here are some comparative bullet prices for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30-caliber bullets at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Prices are for a 100-count box. Note that the 6.5mm match bullets cost 25% more than the 6mms. For active shooters, the price difference adds up quickly. (Prices from current catalog listings; particular items may be out of stock.)

Lapua Brass

Brand 6mm 6.5mm 7mm .308
Berger 105gr VLD
$30.15
140gr VLD
$37.87
180gr VLD
$44.12
190gr VLD
$45.37
Sierra 107gr MK
$26.25
142gr MK
$32.45
175gr MK
$31.08
200gr MK
$33.73

Lapua Brass

Here are brass costs for Lapua brass from Grafs.com. Prices are for 100-count boxes (or four 25-count boxes for the .338 Lapua Magnum). Generally speaking, the bigger the case, the higher the price (except for the .308 Win).

.223 Rem .243 Win 6.5×47 Lapua 6.5-284 .308 Win .338 Lapua Mag
$58.99 $93.99 $104.99 $118.99 $69.99 $264.99

Consider Barrel Life Also
Certainly, moving to a smaller caliber can often reduce what you have to pay for brass and bullets. On the other hand, you need to consider barrel life. Hot-loaded 6mms, such as a .243 Ackley, can burn up a barrel much more quickly than a .308 Winchester. In comparing the “operating costs” of various cartridges, you need to factor in barrel replacement costs as well as component prices. If you have to spend $550 (including smithing) to replace a custom 6mm barrel every 1500 rounds, you’re spending $1100 more than a guy who has a .308 Win which lasts 4500 rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
November 25th, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Weekend Sale Links

Looking for bargains on firearms, hunting gear, and reloading equipment? You’ll find scores of great deals in the next few days, as major online vendors roll out their Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber-Monday discount programs. While many folks may look to save a few bucks on bullets or ammo, think about shopping for big-ticket items as well. There are some great Black Friday deals on gun safes and complete rifles.

FEATURED VENDOR: Sinclair Int’l
10% off orders of $199 or more, use Coupon Code: DLS
Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge – $199.99
Lyman Case Prep Center Xpress – $99.99
Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool Kit – $27.99
Lyman Revolution Rotating Gun Vise – $69.99

Start Date: 11/24/11 | End Date: 11/28/11

BassPro Shops
Boyt Secure Vault handgun safe – $39.97
Remington 514 Youth .22 LR rifle – $99.00
Stack-On 14-gun cabinet with pistol box – $149.97
Some sales are on Friday, Nov. 25 only.
Other items on sale Nov. 24 – 27.

Brownells.com
10% Off Orders of $199.00 or more,
use Coupon Code: DLB

5.56 M855 Rifle Ammunition & Can – $149.99
AR-15 20 & 30-Rround Magazines – $9.99
V-TAC Quick Adjust Sling – $24.99
Check the website for additional deals. More items are added everyday.

Cabela’s 5-day Holiday Sale
Deals start November 24 and here are some highlights:
Tiptons Best Gun Vise (tilting version for AR15s) – $49.99
Bushmaster .223 AR-15 rifle w/ Bushnell Red Dot scope, soft case, 20 rd mag – $599.99
Mossberg Waterfowl Shotguns, starting at $249.99
Primos Million-Candlepower Spotlights, $9.99-$14.99
Cannon Scout 24-gun Fire-Rated Gun Safe (60 x 28) – $699.99

Creedmoor Sports
FREE Shipping on orders over $100 through Nov. 27 (excludes: ammo, brass, bullets)
Hardback Coats (all varieties) – $50.00 Off
Service Rifle Competition Basics DVD – $20.00

Dicks Sporting Goods
Mossberg 702 or 802 Plinkster .22 LR semi-auto or bolt-action rifles – $119.98
Remington 11-87 Sportsman, wood or black synthetic furniture, $399.98 with mail in rebates

EABCO (E. Arthur Brown)
FREE Shipping on orders over $99.00. Chose “SPC” shipping Code at Check-Out.
Berry’s Model 400 Tumbler – $49.00
Shooters Ridge 1A2 and S Bipods (Harris Clone) – $39.00
Peltor Tactical 6 Electronic Hearing Protectors – $59.00
Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope – $139.00 with $30 Mail-In Rebate
T/C Omega Muzzle-Loader, SS Thumb-Hole Laminated – $599.00

Gander Mountain
S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP pistol w/laser – $329.99
Mossberg Tactical .22 – $199.99
Liberty Fatboy JR gun safe – 48 gun capacity – $1099.99
S&W Bodyguard .38 special revolver w/laser – $429.99
Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Duplex Matt scope – $179.99
Bushnell XLT Bone Collector 3-9x49mm scope – $79.99 (after mail in rebate)

MidwayUSA
MidwayUSA has a Holiday Specials Page with new items listed every day through Monday, Nov. 28th. Select items for Black Friday (Nov. 25) are:
MidwayUSA Heavy-Duty Cordura Drag Bag – $54.99
Winchester-Brand .223 Rem Brass – $99.99 for 500 cases
Walther 2.9″ Tactical Folder Knife – $14.99

Palmetto State Armory
PSA 16” M-4 Carbine – $599.99
Remington 870 Express Tactical – $329.99
Sig Pro 2022 – $329.99
Remington R1 1911 – $599.99

Precision Reloading
FREE Shipping on orders over $100.00, Use Code LRHBLACK
Offer Expires 11:59 pm, Nov. 25.

Tractor Supply Company
Winchester 60″ Gunsafe – $549.99 (reg. $699.99)
Cannon TS6040 Gunsafe – $699.00 (reg. $999.99)
Friday, Nov. 25th Specials. Note: deals may not be available at all stores.

These are just a small sample of the items that are on sale. Some items are on sale Thursday or Friday only. Others product may be on sale for 3-4 days, or through November 30th.

Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
November 25th, 2011

Eight 3-Gun Nation Shooters Remain in Quest for $50K Top Prize

Story by Chad Adams for 3GunNation.com Blog
Eight Multi-Gun Competitors will be competing for the $50,000 top prize at the 3-Gun Nation (3GN) Championship in Las Vegas on January 18, 2012 (during SHOT Show Week). Eight competitors punched their tickets to Las Vegas for the 3-Gun Nation Finale by winning elimination matches held at Peacemaker National Training Center (Glengary, WV) earlier this month. The winner of the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale will receive a huge payday — $50,000 from Leupold Tactical Optics and NBC Sports.

3-Gun NationRustin Bernskoetter, Taran Butler, Jeff Cramblit, Mark Hanish, Tyler Payne, Phil Strader,Tommy Thacker, and Mike Voigt all qualified for the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale via wins during the elimination round. Thacker was paired against current 3GN Champion Dan Horner of the USAMU. Horner finished the course faster, but the young soldier later conceded the match to Thacker after footage showed that Horner had failed to knock down one of the targets. In another notable one-on-one 3GN elimination at Peacemaker NTC, our buddy Taran Butler knocked off legendary Jerry Miculek. Anytime Jerry Miculek doesn’t make it into the finals, you know the competition is tough.

The road to the 3GN Championship began last September, as competitors have compiled series points at major 3-gun matches across the country. The top 64 competitors were invited to compete in the 3GN Championship Match (at Peacemaker NTC), a one-day Tactical Optics event that featured four stages of fire—each with all three guns.

Taran Butler 3-Gun Nation

In what most are calling the deepest 3-gun field ever assembled, the top 16 advanced into the Shoot-Off elimination round. Now the Las Vegas eight will compete for the highest cash payout in the history of the sport, with $50,000 going to the 3-Gun Nation Champion, courtesy of Leupold and NBC Sports. To learn more about 3-Gun competition, watch the video below in which Jerry Miculek, Mike Voigt, and Maggie Reese discuss the 3-Gun Nation shoot-off and the struggles of head-to-head competition.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News No Comments »
November 25th, 2011

Black Friday Sales on Leupold VX-I and VX-II Scopes

As a last-minute “surprise”, MidwayUSA has added a selection of Leupold VX-I and VX-II riflescopes to its list of Black Friday Bargain items. You can now save from $50.00 to $100.00 off the normal price of these popular, lifetime-guaranteed hunting scopes. Here are some of the Leupold scopes on sale today through 11/28/2011:

Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 3-9x50mm LR Duplex
Was $319.99, now $249.99 – Save $70.00

Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 3-9x40mm Duplex
Was $229.99, now $179.99 – Save $50.00

Leupold VX-II Ultralight Scope 3-9x33mm LR Dplx
Was $379.99, now $279.99 – Save $100.00

Leupold VX-II Rifle Scope 6-18x40mm Adj. Obj. LRV Duplex
Was $529.99, now $449.99 – Save $80.00

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
November 25th, 2011

Potterfields Give $900K to Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA, Inc. recently donated $900,000 to the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) to support youth shooting programs. This latest donation augments the $1,600,000 the Potterfields donated in November 2010, making a total of $2.5 Million given to the SSSF in the past two years. Last year, the Potterfields also donated $1 million to the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) to support youth shooting programs.

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is an educational-athletic organization that exists to introduce school-age youths to the clay target sports and to facilitate their continued involvement by providing opportunities to safely and enjoyably participate and compete in a high-quality, team-based sport led by trained adult coaches.

Larry Brenda Potterfield MidwayUSA

Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA, remarked, “Teaching our youth about shooting and shooting safety will ensure a better future for America. Brenda and I are proud to partner with SSSF and their efforts to change the future by engaging youths through scholastic shooting programs.”

Permalink News No Comments »
November 24th, 2011

Punkin Chunkin Championships Tonight on Discovery Channel

Need a fun and entertaining break from boring parade broadcasts, and post-feast kitchen duties? Then tune your TVs to the Discovery Channel tonight. At 8:00 PM Eastern, the Discovery Channel (and Discovery’s Science Channel) devote a full hour to America’s wildest display of agricultural artillery — Punkin Chunkin. Discovery’s hour-long special (repeated at 9:00 pm tonight) covers the 2011 World Punkin Chunkin Championship. This fun-filled event, held in Delaware each November, draws up to 70,000 spectators, raising money for charity. For the first time, the Punkin Chunkin special is hosted by Tory Bellici, Kari Byron and Grant Imhara from Mythbusters. View Chunkin Cannons Gallery.

At the annual Punkin Chunkin event, teams challenge each other to see how far they can fling a pumpkin, using some amazing contraptions — giant crossbows, Trebuchets, spinning turntables, and gigantic air cannons with 100-foot-long barrels. For the chunkin machine-builders, this is serious business. Many teams work all year on their entries. Tune in tonight to view the spectacle. Believe it or not, the largest air cannons have shot pumpkins over 5,000 feet — nearly one mile.

pumpkin punkin chunkin chunking

Air Cannon Pumpkin Punkin Championship Second Amendment

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
November 24th, 2011

Test Your Skills with Online Turkey Shoot Game

OK, you’re feelin’ fat and happy after the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast and you need to kill some time. Sure you could rake the leaves or wash the dishes, but why not have some mindless fun targeting turkeys with this online video game? Be forewarned, this Turkey Shoot Game starts pretty easy, but those gobblers get sneakier as you move up in levels. Also — you can take your time and still get through the first five levels, just try to avoid misses.

For more fun, use the up/down and left/right keys on your keyboard to move around the 3D forest and sneak up on the gobblers hiding behind the bushes. Have fun, and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

turkey shoot flash game


CLICK HERE for Turkey Shoot Video Game.
Warning: Loud, shotgun sounds not appropriate for work.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
November 23rd, 2011

"Soft Target" — New Thriller by Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter, creator of the Bob Lee Swagger sniper books, has produced a new action thriller, called Soft Target. This time it’s not Bob “The Nailer” Swagger who’s the center of attention. Instead the hero of Soft Target is Ray Cruz, an ex-Marine sniper introduced in Hunter’s last best-seller, Dead Zero.

Stephen Hunter Ray Cruise Soft TargetThe book’s storyline involves an attack by Somali terrorists at a giant shopping mall in Minnesota (based on the Mall of America). On the day after Thanksgiving (“Black Friday”), 12 Somali gunmen open fire in the Mall, causing panic among the crowds of shoppers. Quickly the gunmen herd more than a thousand hostages into a cluster in the center of the Mall.

Ray Cruz, the USMC sniper gone “rogue” in Dead Zero, is trapped in the mall with his fiancée and her family. Cruz, a retired USMC Gunnery Sergeant (and Bob Lee Swagger’s son), develops a plan to challenge the terrorists and free the hostages. But first he needs to find a weapon….

Outside the Mall, FBI Sniper Dave McElroy has a gun. But, as positioned on the Mall roof, he is effectively cut off from his targets. Can Cruz somehow connect with the police and FBI teams? Taking place over a four-hour span, the story follows both hostages and gunmen, detailing the brutal actions of the terrorists, the crazed media coverage, and the struggle for control between the FBI and regional SWAT teams.

QUICK REVIEW: We got hold of an advance copy of Soft Target. Overall, we like it. This is a well-written page-turner, combining action with deft social commentary. The terrorist attack within our borders is plausible. As a fictional hero, Ray Cruz lacks the hard-edged appeal of Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger character (who was modeled after Carlos Hathcock). But Cruz is much more believable than the typical “action heros” who populate the military-thriller genre. Soft Target does have its shortcomings. The Harvard-educated, African-American Commandant of the Minnesota State Police (Col. Douglas Obobo) is an all-too-predictable Obama caricature. The Somali bad guys are stereotypical, ignorant Islamics. But, the diabolical young American mastermind of the attack is a fresh, clever creation. And, as you’d expect from Stephen Hunter, the gun/shooting elements of the story are delivered with technical proficiency and authenticity. Suspenseful to the end, the book is an entertaining read, with some clever takes on modern American culture/politics. Hunter’s fans won’t be disappointed. All things considered, we’d say this is one of Hunter’s better novels in recent years.

Soft Target is set for mass release on December 6, 2012. You can pre-order hardbacks and Kindle eBook editions from Amazon.com.

Hardcover:

Kindle Edition:
Soft Target eBook

Stephen Hunter is the author of 17 novels. Prior to his retirement from The Baltimore Sun, he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for his work as the Sun’s chief film critic. Hunter’s previous Bob Lee Swagger and Ray Cruz books have been popular best-sellers.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
November 22nd, 2011

New 2012 Hodgdon Reloading Manual Coming Soon

hodgdon reloading manualHodgdon® Powder Co. will release its 9th Annual Manual early next year. The 2012 Hodgdon Annual Manual features 100+ pages of rifle and pistol data with over 5,000 load recipes. The load data covers 30 Hodgdon, 19 IMR® and 10 Winchester® brand powders. New content this year includes: 300 AAC Blackout load data, and lead-free bullet recipes for 21 rifle cartridges. In addition, the new 2012 Manual spotlights Hodgdon’s new CFE™223 propellant. Tests of this new powder show that it can deter copper fouling in many cartridge types (“CFE” stand for “Copper Fouling Eraser”). The 2012 manual provides plenty of reloading recipes for the new CFE™223 — 147 loads for 27 cartridges.

Along with comprehensive load data, the 2012 manual offers seven authoritative articles by top gun and outdoor industry writers. One interesting article covers economical hand-loading with lead free “green” bullets. Both competitive shooters and hunters will find other articles of interest.

You’ll find the 2012 Hodgdon manual at newsstands and gun stores in early 2012, priced at $8.99. You can also order direct by visiting Hodgdon.com or calling (912) 362-9455. (Direct sales price is $11.99.)

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 22nd, 2011

Hot Day-by-Day Deals This Week at MidwayUSA.com

MidwayUSA has started its Black Friday Week discounts. Go to MidwayUSA’s Daily Specials Page and you’ll find new deals that become available each day of this week.

Monday’s Deal Pick: Among the many specials released yesterday was the MidwayUSA 6-Pocket Tactical Rifle Gun Case. Available in 42″ or 46″ sizes, either Black or Olive Drab, this case is now just $18.99, marked down from $34.99.

Rainier Bullets pistol case

Tuesday Deal Pick: Our selection from the deals released for Tuesday, Nov. 22 is the Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat Olive Drab, MidwayUSA #158660, for just $29.99. This is an awesome price on a good-quality mat. We’ve used this mat and can recommend it. It’s a steal at $29.99 — That price is good for November 22 only!

Wednesday Deal Pick: From the items that go on sale Wednesday, our top selection is the Frankford Master Case-Tumbling Kit for just $53.99. This includes Vibratory Tumbler, 3.5 gallon bucket, Rotary Media Separator, liquid polish, and 3 lbs. of tumbling media. The powered tumbler holds 600 9mm cases or 360 .223 Rem cases. The $53.99 price starts at 12:01 am on Wednesday, November 23rd.

Rainier Bullets pistol case

Thursday Deal Pick: We bet most of you guys have at least one .45 ACP in your gun collection. Well on Thursday, November 24th, you can grab 1000 Ranier 200gr RN copper-plated .45 cal bullets for just $99.00. The lead core in these bullets is completely coated by copper, top and bottom, so you can use these in lead-restricted ranges. To complement your new bullets, why not pick up a 14″ tactical pistol case for just $7.49. These zipper-top pistol bags are nicely-padded and have seven external mag pouches. Colors are black or olive drab. This price starts at 12:01 am on Thursday, November 24th.

Rainier Bullets pistol case

$15 Off Orders of $100.00 or More — Through November 28th
In addition to the specially-discounted Black Friday items, you can save $15 off an order of $100 or more on normally-priced items. Use Promo Code 11281177 at Check-Out.

Midwayusa black friday sales

IMPORTANT: This $15 Off promo code is limited to regular price, in-stock products only. The discount can only be used once and cannot be combined with other promotions. The offer expires at 11:59 p.m. CT on November 28, 2011.

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November 21st, 2011

Capture Stills and Video from Spotting Scopes with iPhone Adapter

iscoping MeoPix AdapterHere’s a simple but cleverly-designed product that lets you easily record photos and videos from your range and hunting sessions. The new MeoPix iScoping Adapter will connect an Apple iPhone to your spotting scope (or even some binoculars). Anything you can see through the scope can now be captured by an iPhone. Record your shot locations on a distant target. Or record images of mirage you see through the scope for later analysis. Hunters can capture images of distant prey, and record successful shots.

Adapter Works with Many Brands of Optics
The MeoPix bracket is a universal-type device that was developed to allow the iPhone 4 or 4s models to interface with ANY binocular or spotting scope eyepiece. When fitted to a long-range optic, the MeoPix transforms a smart phone into a handy, long-range photo and movie capturing tool. The Apple-approved MeoPix iScoping adapter attaches securely to the iPhone. Meopta claims the MeoPix bracket ensures precise alignment and excellent image quality.

How good are the images and video taken with an iPhone in the MeoPix adapter? According to Meopta USA GM Reinhard Seipp, “When paired with our premium spotting scopes and binoculars, the MeoPix adapter provides extraordinary close-up photos and movies with clarity and resolution that rival traditional photography.” Seipp even thinks his MeoPix adapter will render traditional camera-based Digiscoping “obsolete”, for those who prefer the convenience of the iPhone and its ability to organize and upload images from the field.

iscoping MeoPix Adapter

The MeoPix iScoping adapter will be formally introduced in January, at the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. For more information, visit MeoptaSportsOptics.com, or call Meopta USA at (800) 828-8928.

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
November 21st, 2011

Hardback Shooting Coats $50.00 Off at Creedmoor Sports

As part of its Holiday Sale Promotion, right now Creedmoor Sports is offering a big discount on its famous Hardback shooting coats. You can save $50.00 on all three models of the Hardback: Heavy Cordura Nylon, Heavy Cordura Nylon with Leather Sleeves, and the All-Leather Traditional Hardback. CLICK HERE to visit Creedmoor Sports’ webstore. There you’ll also find many other Holiday Sale Items.

Creedmoor Sports Sale Hardback Coats

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November 20th, 2011

Weatherby’s New-for-2012 Rifles Unveiled

On its website, Weatherby has released info on dozens of new-for-2012 bolt action rifles. You’ll find new carbine-length as well as full-length models in stainless or black matte finish. Weatherby has released some special youth models for 2012, as well as some new “varmint specials”. There are some new rifle packages which include a Simmons scope and Leupold rings. Available calibers now include .338 Lapua (in the Mark V Accumark series). Among the new Vanguard Series 2 rifles, “Range Certified” models ($1099 MSRP) offer a accuracy guarantee. But frankly, we’re not particularly impressed with Weatherby’s 1-MOA for three shots “Range Certified” guarantee. You can find off-the-shelf Savages and Tikkas that can shoot 1 MOA or better, for a lot less money.

Weatherby 2012 Rifles DBM

For existing Weatherby rifle owners, Weatherby now offers a Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) retro-fit kit. This $89.00 kit combines a 3-round DBM with new plastic floorplate and trigger housing. Weatherby says the DBM Kit saves 1/4 lb. of weight as compared to hinged bottom metal. The DBM system will release mags at the push of a button. This kit is currently available for .25-06 Rem., .270 Win. and .30-06 Springfield Weatherby rifles. It also fits many Howa 1500 actions, including S&W and Mossberg Howa 1500 varients.

Weatherby 2012 Rifles DBM

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