Effective immediately, Leupold & Stevens, Inc. (“Leupold”) has appointed Jim Clark as Chairman of Leupold’s Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. Don R. Kania and Dennis Spindler were appointed as new Board Members. Jim Clark was appointed board chair following the retirement of Don Gobel, who served on Leupold’s board for 16 years, the last four as chairman. During Gobel’s tenure, Leupold’s gross sales more than doubled.
A sales and marketing expert, Jim Clark has 20+ years of executive experience for small and large corporations with a strong outdoor recreation focus. For many years he served as CEO of Yakima products. Clark has been involved in numerous outdoor organizations, and he has served on Leupold’s Board of Directors since 2007.
Dr. Kania has been appointed to the Leupold & Stevens board to fill the position vacated by Clark’s appointment. Dr. Kania is the president and chief executive officer of FEI Company, an Oregon-based manufacturer of electron and ion beam microscopes, and instruments used in nano-scale applications in many industries.
Dennis Spindler comes to Leupold after retiring from Big Rock Sports, where he was the senior vice president of purchasing and merchandising. Spindler provided key merchandising and purchasing leadership in his time at Big Rock, and during his tenure company sales more than doubled. He is widely known throughout the sports optics and fishing industries.
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How’d you like to own the most comprehensive resource on guns ever created, an interactive database with information on over 50,000 firearms? If that sounds intriguing, check out the $39.95 Firearms Guide on DVD (2d Edition) from Impressum Media.
Think of this as a digital encyclopedia of guns — the mother of all gun reference guides. The sheer amount of information is mind-boggling. The Firearms Guide covers over 50,000 models of firearms, airguns, and ammo from 425 manufacturers. Products are illustrated with 27,000 high-res color photos, plus 1,550+ schematics with parts lists for 130 gun-makers. If you’re a gunsmith or armorer, you’ll want to buy this DVD, just to have the searchable schematics with part numbers handy.
If you are a gun collector, or just an information junkie, you’ll find this DVD to be an invaluable resource. The DVD’s scope is truly worldwide, with coverage of gun makers in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa and Asia as well as North America. With the DVD’s search capability you can search by gun caliber, manufacturer, and key features (e.g. “.223 Rem, Colt, folding stock”). There are 14 different search criteria — this allows you to “drill down” precisely to find the gun you want in seconds. Shown below are typical profiles of listed products:
There are some cool bonus features that significantly enhance the $39.95 DVD:
500 Printable Targets: game animals, silhouettes, crosshairs, sight-ins, fun targets.
FFL Locator – Searchable database of over 60,000 gun dealers in the USA with contact info.
US-EU Ammo Caliber Chart: Cartridge equivalency charts identify the correct domestic equivalent of European ammo.
Editors’ Comment: We were amazed with the sheer volume of data on this disk. It’s nice to be able to view the entire line of guns from major manufacturers (such as Ruger, Sako, Savage, and Sauer), along with products from “boutique” arms-makers. On the other hand, the vast majority of entries are mass production items. You won’t find many of the custom-built precision rifles that readers of this site prefer to own and shoot. Nonetheless, we enjoy being able to quickly see an entire product line, search a particular gun, and then access parts lists for repairs. I’ve got a .22LR Marlin Model 39A with a busted buckhorn rear sight, and I was able to find a replacement sight fixture in a matter of seconds. The FFL directory is handy and, as Gun Blast said in its review of this product: “The DVD is worth the price for the target images alone”.
Disclosure: Impressum Media provided a review copy of the DVD at no charge.
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Berger Bullets has released a new 6mm (.243 caliber) bullet for short-range (100-300 yards) benchrest applications. The new bullet (shown below right), is called the “6mm BR Column”. This name does not mean the bullet is designed just for the 6mm BR cartridge. Rather it is designed for all 6mm short-range benchrest (BR) rifles, most of which are 6 PPCs (for group shooting at least). The “Column” in the name comes from the fact that Berger has optimized the height of the lead core column inside the bullet. Testing revealed that bullets which had very uniform core column heights shot more accurately and were also easier to tune. Does the new “Column” bullet work? Well, noted benchrest shooter Lou Murdica has already used them to win a Two Gun Agg in Florida against “big name” competition. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long to try these bullets out — Berger says the new 6mm BR ‘Column’ projectiles will be available in mid-March, 2012. Call Berger at (714) 447-5422 to order.
Bullet Characteristics — Accurate and Easy to Tune
Berger’s Ballistician and lead bullet designer Bryan Litz says this new ‘Column’ bullet should be less sensitive to seating depth: “We worked very hard to produce a bullet that has a wider ‘tuning window’ for peak accuracy. This means there may be several seating depths where it shoots well. We also expect that it can shoot well at different speed nodes, but this will be dependent on your barrel.” The estimated G1 BC for these bullets is 0.277. The meplat is 0.062″, typical of benchrest bullets in this weight class. There is a small pressure ring in the bullet. Recommended twist rate is 1:13.5″ but the bullet should stabilize in a 1:14″ twist-rate barrel.
Berger’s Eric Stecker tells us: “There have been benchrest bullets in the past which were well-known for achieving consistently small groups over a wide tune range in many rifles and loads. One example of this was the Euber bullet. The seemingly ‘magical’ performance of these bullets has been attributed to special dies, stars aligning, owl feathers, or some other unknown influence. However, Bryan Litz has found that there are specific mass balance and aerodynamic properties which allow a bullet to mitigate dispersion and shoot precisely over a wide range of imperfect launch dynamics.”
Dispersion Mitigation in Bullet Design — Bryan Litz Explains
The science of dispersion-mitigating bullets is understood, but until now, no one has ever deliberately designed a bullet that has these specific attributes. There have been other bullets which have accidentally achieved the partial effect and the resulting bullets became very well known. Three key things are required to develop an effective dispersion-mitigating bullet:
1. The knowledge required to design a dispersion mitigating bullet.
2. A bullet-maker with the ability to fabricate the design precisely.
3. The means by which to test the bullets extensively to determine optimal configuration.
Berger’s 6mm ‘Column’ bullet is specifically designed to mitigate the component of dispersion related to alignment. Variables related to bullet/bore axis alignment include tight necks, turning necks, bullet jump, chamber concentricity, powder charge, and so on. These are all variables which will be less critical for the new Berger 6mm ‘Column’ bullet.
To be realistic, these new bullets only mitigate dispersion effects related to axis alignment, NOT aiming error, wind deflection, or poor shooting.
Four Years of Prototype Testing Yields Superior Bullet Design
Using his knowledge of design factors that mitigate (reduce) dispersion, Berger’s bullet designer Bryan Litz went to work creating a bullet design that had a wide, forgiving tune range. This means that the bullet shoots well with a wide variety of loads and seating depths. Bryan came up with three different shapes. Then for each of these three bullet profiles, Berger tested three different core column heights to identify the truly optimal design. Over the next four years, Lou Murdica shot thousands of test rounds in the data capture phase of the project. When testing concluded, one bullet proved to be head and shoulders above the others in its ability to shoot well at the widest variety of loads and seating depths.
The prototype bullet design that shot best in Berger’s tests has entered production as the new Berger 6mm BR ‘Column’. You’ll notice that there is no listed weight. Berger doesn’t list weight because Berger learned that the bullet’s mass is not as important as the overall balance of the bullet, which is achieved with a specific internal lead column height. Due to slight variations in copper and lead material batches, one lot may weigh 64.8 gr while another lot might weigh 65.1 grains or 64.6 grains. Berger says: “So long as the column of lead is the correct height to achieve the desired balance” the bullets should perform, no matter what the average weight of a given lot of ‘Column’ bullets may be. That said, when loading for a match, you’ll want to load all your ammo with bullets from the same lot.
Berger is now accepting orders for the new 6mm BR ‘Column’ bullets. The first lots should be available around March 16, 2012. Call Berger at (714) 447-5422 for pricing info or to place an order.
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German Salazar, a top prone shooter and “head honcho” of the fine RifllemansJournal.com website, has crafted an excellent new article on stock design. Writing for Precision Shooting magazine, German compares traditional stocks, such as the MasterClass Prone, with more modern, modular designs, such as the Eliseo TubeGun and Ross Precision stock. German, who shoots match rifles built with each type of stock, explains the pros and cons of the different designs, and explains how to optimize the stocks’ adjustments for best fit and function. German also explains the best methods to attach and bed an action to each of the designs.
For a limited time, German’s excellent article is available online, courtesy of Precision Shooting Magazine. If you’re a High Power shooter, or you are interested in the design, construction, and engineering of modern competition stocks, this article is a “must-read”.
Choate Machine & Tool, www.riflestock.com, offers an affordable tactical stock design for Remington ADL/BDL long and short actions, and Savage 10,11,12,16 (short) and 110,111,112,116 (long) actions. Choate’s ADL/BDL and Savage tactical stocks sport an 80/20 blend of polypropylene and fiberglass, wrapped around a full-length aluminum bedding block. These stocks come with an adjustable spacer system allowing for .75″ of adjustment in length of pull, a rail integrated into the bottom of the fore-end to mount a bipod, and four swivel studs for customized carry options. The stocks have a wide barrel channel allowing most barrel contours to free-float.
The Choat ADL/BDL tactical stocks have some very nice features. We like the fact that the toe (underside) of the buttstock is relatively straight, and long enough to work well in a rear sandbag. The built-in rail on the fore-arm’s underside allows you to move your bipod fore and aft, plus you can easily mount other accessories. The spacer system is a nice feature in an “economy” stock, which retails for just $221.99 at MidwayUSA.com. The stock is sufficiently well-built and rigid. However, it does have a very thick (wide) pistol grip section, which may be a negative for persons with small hands.
Very Positive Review from Stock Owner CLICK HERE for an an honest, thorough owner’s assessment of the Choate tactical stock for the Rem BDL. Posting on SnipersHide.com, the reviewer, MAX100, provides good photos, including side-by-side comparisons with a $400 HS Precision tactical stock. Max 100 concludes the Choate stock is an excellent performer for the price. Max100 writes: “The New Choate Tactical stock is well-made and offers a lot for the money. It is made of virtually indestructible Rynite polymer. This stock is … built like a tank. I gave the butt of the stock a few good whacks with a hammer with no damage whatsoever. Try that with a fiberglass stock. The lower cost of the stock will offer a good alternative for those on a budget. I feel for the most part Choate did a very good job on this stock.”
Stock Sizing: Choate’s Rem tactical stocks fit Remington short action receivers with 6.50-inch action screw spacing, or Rem long actions with 7.35-inch action screw spacing. The Savage Model 10 version fits the Savage factory detachable magazine actions with 4.4″ action screw spacing, while the Model 110 Choate stock fits Savage actions with 5.062″ action screw spacing.
Choate-Stocked F-TR Rifle Wins World & Euro Championships
We know that some folks scoff at the Choate product line, assuming that a lower price means that Choate stocks can’t perform as well as all-fiberglass stocks that may cost two or even three times as much. Well, to those “sticker-price snobs”, consider this. Britain’s Russell Simmonds won the 2009 F-TR World Championship (at Bisley, England) shooting a .308 with a Choate stock. Russell then went on to win the British League Championship (the second time in a row) AND the European Championship. Russell’s gun features a Barnard action, True-flite barrel, Choate “Ultimate Sniper” stock and 8.5-25×50 Leupold scope.
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You can now watch complete, 21-minute episodes from 3-Gun Nation’s second season on the NBC Sports Network. Web versions of the 3-Gun Nation TV shows are streamed on 3GunNation.com. Episodes 1 & 2 feature Keith Garcia’s dramatic victory at the 2011 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun. The “must-watch” third Episode covers the popular Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge. More episodes will be released starting March 2, 2012.
Episodes 1 & 2 — Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun
Superstition is one of the premiere matches on the 3-Gun Nation circuit. Watch as 3-Gun pros Keith Garcia, Mark Hanish and 2012 3-Gun Nation Champion Tommy Thacker compete head-to-head in this legendary speed match. Garcia revealed: “I really like the stages at [Supersition Mountain]; they tend to be fast and fun to shoot. I felt confident that if I shot well I would make the Shoot-Off, but when problems come up you know things could get tough. Lucky for me I was not the only shooter who had some rough patches, and I made the Superstition Shoot-Off by a narrow margin.”
As for Thacker, he learned valuable lessons from Superstition and continued to improve throughout the 2011 season, saving his best shooting of the year for when he needed it the most, ultimately becoming the 2012 3-Gun Nation Champion.
Episode Three — Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge
Run by the USAMU with support from the U.S. Army, the 2011 Ft. Benning 3-Gun Match was a crowd-pleaser. 3-Gun Nation cameras give an inside look into the life of one of the sport’s most fierce competitors, Clint Upchurch. Also profiled is the 2010 Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun and veteran shooter Bruce Piatt. The Ft. Bennng match draws competitors from around the nation. It is unique in that the Army provides armored vehicles and other military hardware “props” not found anywhere else. You can watch the entire Ft. Benning episode in the embedded video below. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Ft. Benning match.
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Based on their showings in 10m Air Rifle Olympic trials, four athletes have been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. The Men’s 10m Air Rifle nominees are two-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons and 2011 Pan American Games silver medalist Jonathan Hall. The two women nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team are Sarah Scherer and 2008 Olympian Jamie Gray. Olympic Team selection was based on the aggregate of four courses of fire and two best finals. All athletes nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team must now be approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Matt Emmons, already nominated for Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position, led the selection with a total of 2587.7 points. Matt note: “I’m happy to earn another nomination to the team and shoot another event at the Olympics. At the same time, I know the scores that I shot throughout Trials are not going to be competitive at the Games and I know what I need to do to get there.” Close behind Emmons, Jon Hall finished the 2012 Trials with 2586.7 total points. Hall, a senior at Columbus State University in Georgia, finished third in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Airgun Trials, barely missing the team in 2008. Hall said that making the 2012 Olympics team is “a relief and an exciting moment — I’ve been working towards this my whole life.”
In Women’s 10m Air Rifle, 21-year-old Sarah Scherer and 2008 Olympian Jamie Gray received nominations to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Scherer is now the second member of her family to earn an Olympic berth. Scherer’s brother, Stephen, was a member of the 2008 Team, and passed away in 2011. “Honestly, thank you Lord. Without him I could not have made it through this match,” said Scherer who battled a severe head cold throughout the weekend. “The only thing that I had left in my shooting that was still me was my focus and concentration. I couldn’t hear or see as well as normal and my heart rate was all over the place. I’m just so thankful that I made it through.”
Gray, already nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for Women’s 50m 3P Rifle, is “looking forward to shooting two events [in London].” Jamie, the wife of USAMU SSG Hank Gray, will continue her training at the USAMU’s ranges in Fort Benning, GA, as well as the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
Airgun Course of Fire Explained
In airgun competition, male and female competitors shoot 60 and 40 shots respectively during a single course of fire at electronic targets 10m (32.8 feet) down range. The maximum number of points available is 600 for men and 400 points for women with 10 being the highest score possible per shot. Athletes qualify for the finals by placing in the top eight after an aggregate match score. The final for both events consists of ten shots. The scoring in the finals is unique because decimals are counted, so the maximum number of points a competitor can earn is 109 points with 10.9 being the highest score possible per shot.
In related news, two 10m air pistol shooters secured Team nominations at the Olympic Trials held at Port Clinton, Ohio this past weekend. Now set to compete with Team USA are three-time Olympian SFC Daryl Szarenski, and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner. SFC Szarenski is the 2011 Pan-American Games Men’s 10m Air Pistol gold medalist. Daryl came into the weekend with an 18-point advantage over his nearest competitor and finished atop the standings with 2537.4 total points.
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If you’re looking for a solid, beautifully fabricated loading press that can do double-duty at home AND at the range, consider the Combo Press from Harrell’s Precision, run by brothers Lynwood and Walter Harrell. Though it is very compact, it has plenty of leverage to full-length-size cases. The Harrell’s Combo Press works BOTH as an arbor press and as a standard press that functions with shell-holder and conventional screw-in dies. The arbor section on the left is tall enough to hold a Wilson micrometer-top seater. The threaded die section on the right has enough clearance for .308-sized cases.
One of the best features of the Combo Press from Harrell’s Precision is its sturdy clamp. This mounts solidly to a wood loading bench or table top. It also has enough vertical clearance between the jaws to work with most range benches. Forum member Boyd Allen has written a detailed review of the Harrell’s press, with additional photos by Paal Erik Jensen of Norway. The Harrell’s Precision Combo press retails for $295.00. That’s pretty pricey, but consider that it can replace BOTH an arbor press and a standard press. CLICK HERE to read full COMBO PRESS REVIEW
Combo Press Has Plenty of Power to Bump Shoulders
This Editor has loaded ammo with this press and I can say it performed well. It actually bumped shoulders on fired 6BR brass more easily than a larger cast-iron press we have in our loading area. I attribute that to the fact that the threads for the die are very precise and the shell-holder seats firmly on the ram, with no slip. Seating with a hand die (on the left side of the press) yields repeatable results, although I have to say I get better “feel” with a good Arbor press, such as those made by 21st Century, K&M, or Sinclair Int’l. I also like the availability of the seating Force Gauge on the K&M Arbor.
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The popular vertical-loading Airglide rifle case from Plano is on sale again. You may want to strike while the price is right. Amazon.com is offering the Plano Airglide for $34.00 with FREE shipping. Free shipping is important as transport fees could easily add $10-15 to the price with some vendors. CLICK HERE to order from Amazon with FREE shipping. There were 70 in stock and “more on the way” when we released this story. Airglide Sale: $34.00 Plano AirGlide Scoped Rifle Case (up to 50″ OAL).
UPDATE 2/26/2012: Amazon this morning sold out its current inventory at the $34.00 with free shipping price. But Amazon is taking back-orders still at the $34 + free s/h price, with delivery in 3-4 weeks. Inventory expected March 7. You have to click “More Buying Choices” to back-order @ $34.00, or click the Amazon box below right showing $34.00. Delivery in 3-4 weeks. (Guys who ordered on 2/25 will get their units next week.)
Among injection-molded rifle cases, Plano’s AirGlide™ case is unique in holding a rifle vertically, in foam cradles. This allows ample room for the 3″-wide fore-ends on BR and Varmint rifles. The foam blocks front and rear can even be trimmed for a custom fit, and velcro webbing straps hold the rifle securely. The AirGlide’s hinged top-opening lid provides clearance for all but the most massive target scopes, with no side load on the turrets. (We’ve found that some eggcrate foam-lined gun cases can put enough pressure on scope knobs to alter your zero.)
Airglide Will Hold a Benchrest Rifle with Wide Fore-end and 28″ Barrel
Measuring 51 1/2″L x 7 3/4″W x 12 1/4″H, the AirGlide can easily handle rifles up to 50″ in length. That should hold BR rifles with barrels up to 29″ (or 28″ if you have a thick recoil pad). With its 27.5″ barrel, my 6BR is exactly 49″ long (including pad) and there is about 1.3 inches to spare in an Airglide. If you have a real long barrel or extended buttplate, measure the gun first.
Priced attractively, the AirGlide has proven very popular with Varmint shooters and BR competitors. Lockable and airline-approved, the AirGlide is a unique product at an affordable price. This Editor owns three Airglides and they are my favorite hardcases for transporting wide-stocked rifles to the range. (For airline transport, I do prefer a heavy-duty, wheeled aluminum safari case with internal locks.)
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David Tubb’s impressive 2-disc DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We’ve watched the entire video and can assure you that it is excellent. Novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.
David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.
If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video embedded above. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports or DavidTubb.com. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions. (NOTE: Creedmoor Sports is running a February DVD Special for a few more days — Buy two (2) DVDs and get a third for 10% off.)
$24.95 DVD Shows How to Set-Up and Maintain Tubb 2000 Rifle
If you want a High Power match rifle that works brilliantly for all positions, definitely consider the Tubb 2000, aka the T2K. Yes it’s very expensive, but since the year 2000, when the T2K was introduced, this design has won more High Power National Championships than any other bolt-action rifle. The video below showcases features of the T2K that allow it to perform so well in all High Power disciplines. With the T2K’s inline, low-profile action, the shooter can cycle the bolt without raising his head off the stock. That’s a huge benefit for the competitor, particularly in rapid-fire stage. Other tubeguns, such those built on Eliseo (CSS) chassis kits, share this quality, but the T2K also has an extremely easy-to-manipulate bolt (and a superb Anschütz trigger). Watch how quickly and easily David can cycle his T2K without upsetting his shooting position.
David has created an informative DVD about the Tubb 2000 rifle that shows how to assemble/disassemble the Tubb 2000 rifle, how to custom-fit the T2K to the shooter, and how to set up the adjustable buttstock for different shooting positions. This Tubb 2000 (T2K) DVD is available for $24.95 from DavidTubb.com.
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Black Hills has announced three new types of loaded ammunition for 2012. (This is all-new factory ammo, not commercial reloads.) The first caliber is the .204 Ruger. The new round uses the 32gr Hornady V-Max™ projectile that has proven to be one of the most accurate and effective bullets available for use on varmints.
125gr and 220gr (subsonic) Options in .300 Whisper
The second is the .300 Whisper. This cartridge is the brainchild of JD Jones of SSK and has been around a long time as a proven wildcat cartridge. This versatile 30-caliber cartridge is designed primarily for use in M4/M16/AR-15 family of rifles and allows for use of a wide weight range of projectiles. Initial Black Hills loads for this cartridge are a 125 grain load that essentially duplicates 7.62×39 ballistics, but with far superior accuracy, plus a 220 grain Sierra MatchKing at subsonic velocity.
New 69gr SMK load in .223 Rem for AR15s
For use in AR15s with 1:9″ twist barrels, Black Hills’s customers have asked Black Hills to provide factory ammo loaded Sierra’s highly accurate 69gr MatchKing. In response to customer demand, for 2012 Black Hills will be offering the 69gr SMK loaded to 5.56mm pressures and velocities in military specification brass. In this new ammo, Black Hills has utilized modern temperature-stable, flash-suppressed propellant.
New Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Larry Racine is a respected gunsmith based in New Hampshire. He is also a two-time member of the U.S. Palma Team, and a five-time New Hampshire State Highpower rifle champion. Larry, who runs LPR Gunsmithing, has developed a brilliantly simple means of switching rifle barrels with an ordinary spanner or open-end wrench. With this set-up you can switch barrels in the field in seconds without the need for a barrel vice.
For most barrels, Larry mills a hex with six flats on the end of the barrel. This allows a shooter to change barrels quickly at home or on the line with a simple box-head wrench or a socket wrench. Larry says: “You don’t even have to take the barreled action out of the gun. Just set the buttstock on the ground, between your feet, put a wrench on it, hit it with the palm of your hand — and off comes the barrel.” For barrels fitted with a muzzle brake, Larry has a slightly different system. He mills two flats behind the brake so you can use an open-end wrench to do the job.
With either a hex on the end, or two flats for a brake-equipped rifle, the system works with any medium- to heavy-contour barrel with a muzzle-diameter of at least 0.700″. This will even work for high-power rigs using clamp-on sights or bloop tubes. Larry explains: “A lot of us here in New England use clamp-on front sights. The barrel will be turned to 0.750 for the sight, with the hex on the end. A bloop tube can go right over the end, no problem.”
Larry has used this system over the past few years to win a number of matches. In one 600-yard 3 by 20 prone match, Larry used three different barrels, with three different chamberings, on the same Savage rifle. Larry changed the barrels on the line.
Larry was able to do this because the system has little to no loss of zero from one installation of a given barrel to the next installation of that barrel. This lets the shooter start the match with confidence that the first sighter will be on paper. Larry reports that the simple system works great: “To date we have used this system on Savage, Remington, Winchester, RPA, and Nesika actions.”
Racine’s system is very affordable. If Larry does the chamber work on your barrel he charges $45.00 extra to mill a hex or two flats on your barrel. If you only want the hex or flats done, Larry charges $55.00. For more info, visit LPRGunsmith.com or call Larry at (603) 357-0055.
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Forum member Danny Reever and this Editor recently discussed how novice reloaders can struggle with the fine points of reloading, making errors in seating depth, bushing choice, or sizing their cases. We agreed that a good resource covering more than “Reloading Basics” is sorely needed. Danny reminded me that Glen Zediker’s excellent Handloading for Competition book has been available since 2002. Danny says this may still be the best guide in print for those getting started in precision reloading, though the book is not without flaws.
Danny observed: “I consider this still the best book out there on the subject. I’ve bought a lot of other books only to be sorely disappointed after spending $30-$40 of my hard-earned cash. This book is not one of those! I’ve read and re-read Zediker’s treatise at least four times and refer to it often for advice while reloading. My number one suggestion for those who buy the book is to sit down with a highlighter and read it cover to cover. It’s well-written with a bit of humor and it is not boring.”
Extremely comprehensive, Zediker’s book covers nearly all of the key factors involved in accurate reloading: case sorting, brass prep, load development, neck-sizing, full-length sizing, bushing selection/use, tool selection, priming, powder measurement, and bullet seating. The book also explains how to test and evaluate your ammo, and how to monitor and interpret pressure signs.
There are many “must-read” sections in Zediker’s book, according to Danny: “The section beginning on page 161 dealing with concentricity (and how to achieve it) is excellent. Likewise the Load Limits section discussing pressures offers very valuable advice and info. You should also read Zediker’s commentaries about load testing, powders (burn characterics etc.), and the effects of temperature.”
Zediker has conveniently provided a detailed summary of his book on the web, complete with table of contents, sample pages (PDF format), and dozens of illustrations. Shown above is just one small section that covers ejectors.
Hornady Manufacturing has recalled seven lots of 500 S&W 300 grain FTX® Custom™ pistol ammunition. Hornady ballisticians have determined that some cartridges from Lot numbers 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885, may exhibit excessive chamber pressures. These lots were shipped between September 9, 2010, and October 17, 2011. Use of this product may result in firearm damage and/or personal injury.
Recalled Lot Numbers: 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885. The Lot number can be found printed on the lower portion of the box label.
If you own any of these Lot numbers or have any questions regarding this recall, Call Hornady at 800-338-1242 right away. Hornady Manufacturing Company will make all arrangements associated with the return and replacement of this product.
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Last week in Ottawa, Canada’s House of Commons voted to nullify a long-gun registry law that had been in place since 1995. The bill still needs to be ratified by the Canadian Senate. However, because Conservatives hold a majority in the Senate, most experts believe the repeal of the Registry is a “done deal” as soon as the repeal legislation goes up for final vote in the Canadian Senate.
The Chronicle Herald reports: “The vote effectively puts the registry on life support; all that remains is for the Senate to pull the plug. Since the Conservatives enjoy a commanding majority in the upper chamber as well, the Registry’s fate is sealed.” Liberal Senate leader James Cowan conceded: “They’ve got the majority and unless something extraordinary happens, it will pass.” Unfortunately, the Calgary Herald also predicted that Liberals might try to delay the Senate vote for weeks or even months.
If the Conservatives succeed in dismantling the Registry, tens of thousands of Registry records would be deep-sixed. That idea is popular with critics of the Registry: “the Harper government’s further directive to destroy all the data is a mammoth victory of the people over Big Brother” (Calgary Sun). Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said of the registry, “It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life. It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”
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Thousands of shooting enthusiasts visit our Shooters’ Forum every day. The Forum now boasts over 16,600 members. One of the “main attractions” in our Forum are the Free Classified Ads. There you’ll find a huge selection of “previously owned” merchandise — everything from complete, top-flight match rifles to reloading components. There are great bargains on used hand-loading equipment — presses, dies, case prep tools, and miscellaneous hardware. You’ll also find scopes, rings, rangefinders and spotting scopes. This is one of the richest repositories of pre-owned precision shooting equipment you’ll find anywhere on the internet. Here are some of the gun offerings in the Forum Classifieds right now:
Message for Classified Sellers — How to Remove a Product Listing
For those of you who already sell items in our Classifieds, we have one request: delete your ad when the item sells. After guys sell their goods successfully, some of them neglect to delist their products and remove their ad. We suspect some newcomers to the site haven’t bothered to read the instructions. But it’s very, very easy to remove your advert once you’ve sold your stuff. In fact, you can delete your ad in a matter of seconds, with just two clicks of your mouse!
First, find the ad you placed in our FORUM MARKETPLACE. Then simply scroll down to the end of the thread (below all the replies) and look for the gray “Remove Topic” button. Click that and you’re done. Now wasn’t that easy?
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The complete, final results of the Berger SW Long Range Nationals (at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona) have been posted. You can download all the results from the links at the bottom of this story. In case you missed our previous match report, Trudie Fay was the overall winner in the sling category, Jim Murphy took F-Open Class, and James Croft won F-TR. In team competition, The sling winners were the US National Team composed of Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz, Justin Skaret and Peter Church. In F-Open, the winning team was Team Norma/Berger composed of Larry Bartholome, John Brewer, Danny Biggs, and Jim Murphy. The winning F-TR team was the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. squad, with Warren Dean, John Chilton, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar. Complete Results are linked below.
This Video by Jim Everson, was shot from the pits at the 2012 Berger SW Nationals:
Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets provided this post-match message:
I hope you all enjoyed yourselves at the match and got back home safely. We were so excited that you could all make it, and I’m glad the weather even cooperated!
Thank you to everyone that helped out during the week. There are just too many to list everyone, but the match would not have run as smoothly without you, and we deeply appreciate everything you did. We want to give a special thank-you to Kathy Buell, Jennifer Litz, and Melesia Cisneros for their help. They had no idea what they were getting into when they volunteered to help, but they were invaluable. Also, Matt Schwartzkopf with AZ Game & Fish put in countless hours getting the range ready. He did an amazing job, the range looked beautiful, and we were excited to have him shooting with us! We also want to send a big thank-you to all the companies who donated to the match. We are so thankful for your participation, and I know the shooters were as well.
We’ll be sending out the results CDs as soon as possible, but here are some results for now. I also have them up on the Berger website. We’ll also be posting some photos of the match soon.
Shooting is hugely popular in Norway. Each summer, the Norwegian National Rifle Championship draws 4,000-6,000 participants — an amazing number considering the population of Norway totals just 4.9 million. In Norway, as in Finland (home of Lapua), kids often get started in competitive shooting as early as age 6. In this video, you’ll see four Norwegian kids, Torje (age 8), Anders (age 7), Tonje (age 9), and Mari (age 15) trying out an Izhmash Biathlon rifle.
You’ll be impressed by the steady shooting skills of the youngsters, particularly 8-year-old Torje. He’s a future champion in the making we think.
Here’s another video with 15-year-old Mari, showing her rock-solid form with an Olympic-grade Izmash, using a quick-release arm sling. Note how steady she holds the rifle. This girl can shoot!
The rifles in the videos are both toggle-bolt Izhmash Biathlon guns, made in Russia. Like the German Fortner straight-pull action (used by Anschütz), the Izhmash toggle bolt action allows extremely rapid bolt-cycling. Shooters can quickly eject and reload without disturbing their shooting position or sight picture. The rifle in the first video sold in the USA last year for about $1560.00. That sounds expensive, but it is half the price of an Anschütz Fortner biathlon rifle. Check with AltiusGuns.com for current pricing and availability. The Izhmash Biathlon is offered in two models, the Biathlon 7-4 for adult men and the more compact Biathlon 7-3 for women and juniors. FYI, while the Izhmash 7-3 and 7-4 have not been imported in recent months, MT Guns still has a few LEFT-HAND model 7-4 Biathlon rifles in inventory. Southpaws, if you want one, call MT Guns at (805) 680-0201 before they’re all gone.
Tim Claunch (aka tclaunch) recently put on an amazing display of precision shooting. At an MSSA 600-yard Benchrest Score match in Memphis, TN, Forum member Tim shot six targets in a row, with an average 5-shot group size of 1.677″. Tim’s stellar performance began with a two-target shoot-off for club Shooter of the Year honors (he won). Then Tim shot four more targets as part of the club’s regular 4-target score match. NOTE: this is NOT an official six-target match result. The actual match that day was four (4) targets only, and Tim’s Agg for those four was about 1.8″, still darn impressive. No one is claiming any records here. Still give credit where credit is due — Tim put together six targets in a row, in competition, averaging 0.267 MOA for all six. Tim’s small group (of the six) was 1.351″ and his large group was 2.088″. That shows amazing consistency. This is spectacular shooting by any measure*.
Tim tells us: “I can check off one of the items on my ‘bucket list’ now — shooting a sub-two-inch Agg. We shot our monthly match here in Memphis at our awesome MSSA range. Though this was a score match, and the first two targets were part of a club shoot-off, I wondered about the average group size of all six. We measured all six targets I shot in sequence on Sunday. I was some kind of happy when I saw it was a 1.677″ 6-target average. That Bartlein and the .140″ FB BRX reamer are a good match. I used Varget with Berger 105gr VLDs and CCI 450 primers. I had never Agged under two inches before in my life (the 4-target Agg was 1.8″). Sure was nice to do it at home the first time.”
Tim shoots a 6mm BRX Light Gun with Shehane ST1000 Tracker stock, Borden Rimrock BR action, and Bartlein 6mm cut-rifled barrel. He uses a Leupold 45X scope in Burris Signature Zee rings sitting on a +20 MOA rail. Tim jokes: “People might laugh at my cheapo Burris rings. Well I guess those Signatures hold zero just fine.” Tim tried a power-booster lens on his Leupold for a while, but this altered eye relief, producing the occasional smack in the forehead. Not surprisingly, Tim removed the booster.
Borden Action with Dwight Scott Bolt and Firing Pin Upgrade
The action is a Borden Rimrock BR dual-port. “This action is smooth, and it allows me to rip ‘em when the conditions are good. For these six targets I shot fast.” The Borden action has some interesting mods: “The firing pin and bolt body were re-worked by Dwight Scott. He has a weight of pin to power of spring he worked out with Tony Boyer. I could tell a significant difference in performance.”
For better target resolution, click the gear-shaped icon and select 480p playback.
The stock is a Shehane fiberglass ST1000 Tracker bedded by TM Stockworks (Tom Meredith). The metalwork was done by Stephen Hall of Dyersburg, Tennessee. Tim reports: “I can’t say enough about this highly-talented guy. He’s a great smith and a great point-blank benchrest shooter himself. I’ve had four chambers cut by him and couldn’t be happier”. The barrel is a 1.250″ straight contour, finished at 26″. That’s a bit shorter than you’ll find on most 600-yard rigs these days, but Tim wanted some weight off the nose so he could add weight to the butt to balance the gun better (and still make weight). Tim raves about this Bartlein barrel: “Readers should not give up on maybe that next barrel being the one barrel a guy gets in a lifetime. I have tried all the cut-rifling barrel-makers, but I’ve recently gone to Bartlein. Based on my ratio of great-shooting barrels to average barrels I am there to stay.”
Tim’s Accurate Reloading Methods
Tim’s reloading procedures could rightly be described as the “relentless pursuit of perfection”. After two firings, once “the brass has settled down and conformed to the chamber”, Tim anneals his cases. He then re-anneals after EVERY subsequent firing. The brass he shot at the MSSA match had eight firings, so it had been annealed many times. Tim uses current-generation (blue box) Lapua 6mmBR brass, and he lightly turns his necks for an 0.269″-necked chamber. Tim points his bullets, but does not trim them: “These were pointed, no trimming, just point and shoot. I have shot a few of the new Berger hybrids, but I keep going back to the Berger VLDs.”
Superior accuracy, Tim believes, requires ultra-consistent neck tension. Tim uses a K&M arbor press with a force gauge. If the needle shows any notable variance in seating force, Tim will pull the round apart, run a mandrel in the neck, resize the neck, and re-seat the bullet. If the bullet still doesn’t seat smoothly, he won’t shoot the round for record. Tim is also particular about seating depth: “I measure every loaded round base to ogive using a comparator. All my match ammo is held to plus/minus .0005″ (i.e. one thousandth total spread) in base to ogive length. Yes, this is possible if you anneal regularly and monitor bullet-seating force carefully. If you can’t hold .001″ [base-to-ogive] tolerances with good bullets, that’s probably because of inconsistent neck tension.”
Secret of Success — Improved ‘Bench Manners’ and Gun Handling
Tim had a personal break-through not so long ago that improved his accuracy dramatically. Previously he got down on the gun, and would use some cheek pressure. But he noticed some erratic horizontal in his groups. Tim changed his shooting position, getting his head completely off the stock. The change worked: “After cleaning up my ‘bench manners’ and getting my head off the gun, my groups started shrinking. It was a real eye-opener.” Tim shoots with minimal hand contact (“just touching”) on the stock, and he doesn’t pin the gun to the stop. Tim explained: “I run the gun up to touch the stop before each shot, but I don’t use any shoulder pressure. I don’t push on the gun at all.”
You can learn more about Tim’s amazing six-target display of accuracy in this Forum thread. Registered Forum members can post questions about Tim’s rifle and the shooting conditions, and Tim will answer them when he has the opportunity.
* Just for comparison sake, the NBRSA official Light Gun 600-yard, 6-Target (30-shot) Agg record is 2.092″ (Robert Hoppe, 2006). The IBS official Light Gun 600-yard, 4-Target (20-shot) record is 1.6068″ (Sam Hall, 2011). The IBS does not list a LG 6-target Agg record for 600 yards.
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A while back, Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the 2010 SHOT Show. When syndicated via YouTube, this amazing video became an internet phenomenon. It has been watched over six million times! Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding”, “mesmerizing”, and a “work of art.” If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!
LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21 is the best chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.
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