July 27th, 2012

Brothers Bill & Shawn Squires Top Williamsport World Open Field

Williamsport World Open

Held July 14-15 at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, the 2012 Williamsport Word Open attracted a large field, with over 130 competitors. Brothers Bill Squires and Shawn Squires finished first and second respectively in the Two-Gun Overall Championship, making this year’s World Open a family affair. Both men campaigned a .300 WSM Heavy Gun and 6mm Dasher Light Gun. These rigs were smithed by the brothers themselves. The Squires boys really dominated this year. Bill ended up with 40 rank points, while Shawn had 44. Next best was Scott Weber, who had 71 rank points to finish third Overall. Shooting a 6mm Dasher, Weber also captured the Light Gun (LG) event, edging out LG runner-up John Buhay by a tenth of an inch in Aggregate Group size. (Buhay shot a Dasher in both LG and HG classes, finishing 8th Overall.)

Williamsport Benchrest World Open

It was “Ladies First” (and second) in the Heavy Gun (HG) class. Two talented ladies, Veronica Martin and Melissa Wagner, out-shot all the male competitors. Shooting a 300 WSM, Veronica took the HG title with an impressive 4.491″ Group Agg and 99 Score Agg. Melissa piloted her 6mm Dasher to second place in HG, with a 4.901″ Group Agg and 98 Score Agg. Finishing third in Heavy Gun was 300 WSM shooter Matt Kline, who racked up a “best in match” 99.5 Score Agg, along with a 4.997″ Group Aggregate.

As usual, the Williamsport Club put on a great event. This year there was a $40,000+ prize table — probably the best ever for a 1000-yard benchrest match. Two-Gun Overall runner-up Shawn Squires stated: “Yes it was a great weekend, even with the monsoon that occured during Day 2 of Light Gun. I would like to thank the Sponsors and Board, pit pullers and all who attended the 2012 World Open. The team at Williamsport always puts on a great event. Congratulations to Bill Squires (Two-Gun Overall), Veronica Martin (Heavy Gun Overall) and Scott Weber (Light Gun Overall). I guess if I had to lose Two-Gun Overall it might as well have been to my brother! Looking forward to the 2013 World Open.”

World Open 2012

Shown above are the Top Ten Standings (and equipment lists) for the Two-Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Class, and Light Gun Class. For easier reading, click the “View Larger Image” link. Complete World Open Results for all 135 competitors are found on the Williamsport Club website at www.pa1000yard.com. The results are stored in an interactive database so you can search by class, event, or relay.

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July 27th, 2012

Current Job Opportunities in Firearms Industry

Firearms Industry JobsA number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF’s job board right now there are gunsmith openings, engineering offerings, sales and marketing positions, and even high-level legal and executive career opportunities. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE for a complete listing (many more jobs).

Firearms Industry Jobs — Current Openings

Location Company/Organization Opening/Title
Prescott, AZ Proforce Law Enforcement Vice President Sales
Sunland, CA ISS Gunsmith
Washington, DC Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Director of Finance
Springfield, MA Smith & Wesson Firearms Legal Counsel
Springfield, MA Smith & Wesson Firearms Brand Manager – S&W
Accokeek, MD Beretta USA Corporation Product Marketing Manager – Shotguns & Rifles
Accokeek, MD Beretta USA Corporation Production Manager – CNC Machining
Exeter, NH SIG SAUER Tool Designer
Exeter, NH SIG SAUER Quality Inspector
Exeter, NH SIG SAUER Senior Design Engineer
Exeter, NH SIG SAUER Business Analyst
Delaware, OH Black Wing Shooting Center Outdoor Range Associate/Safety Officer
Not Specified Crimson Trace Corporation Regional Sales Manager (TX, OK, W-AR, W-LA)
Beaverton, OR Leupold & Stevens, Inc. Director of Sales – US
Fairfax, VT Century International Arms, Inc Gunsmith
Fairfax, VT Century International Arms, Inc Sales Coordinator
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July 27th, 2012

Handy Excel Formula Predicts Useful Barrel Life

Rifle Barrel Life CalculatorHow long will a barrel last before the accuracy “goes south”? There are so many variables involved (powder type, bore diameter, bullet coatings etc.) that it’s hard to predict. You might say “Well, my buddy has a .243 and he got 1500 rounds before the throat was shot out” — those kind of comparisons can be useful, but they’re not very scientific, and they won’t help much if you’ve got a gun in a new chambering (such as the 6.5×47) for which long-term test results are lacking.

Is there a more reliable way to predict barrel life — one that will work for a broad range of calibers? Well, Forum member MikeCr has developed an Excel spreadsheet that accounts for a number of variables, and gives a pretty good estimate of useful barrel life, whether you’re shooting a .223 Rem or a 338 Lapua Magnum. Mike’s program predicts barrel life using five variables: 1) Bullet Diameter; 2) Powder Charge weight; 3) Powder Heat Potential (KJ/kg); 4) Pressure (in psi); and 5) Bullet Coating (yes/no). Mike provides a table with Heat Potential ratings for most popular powder types. The user needs to know the pressure of his load. This can be estimated with QuickLOAD.

You can download the lastest version of Mike’s spreadsheet below. You’ll need Excel or an Excel viewer to open the file.

Click to Download Spreadsheet: Barrel Life Spreadsheet (Latest Version)

Shown below is Mike’s Spreadsheet, with variables for a 6BR shooting 105gr “naked” bullets with 30.3 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder. The formula predicts 2401 rounds of barrel life. That corresponds pretty well to what we’d expect for a 6BR — about 2500 rounds.

Barrel Life ProgramBarrel Life Program

Mike observes: “There has been alot of discussion lately related to cartridge design and resulting barrel life. This is a really important factor to consider amongst a myriad of choices. Barrel life is controversial, and subjective. There are no clear-cut standards for comparison. But a few years ago, I put together a spreadsheet based on Bart Bobbit’s rule of thumb. It worked pretty good, only occasionally failing some tests when validated against posted barrel lives.

According to Ken Howell, I had to account for pressure. And Henry Child’s powder temperature testing provided another piece needed. So, I’ve tweaked it here and there to pass more tests. From 223rem to 300 UltraMagnum. Another element added, but turned off is shot interval. I would need way more tests to lock in on this. But everyone knows, the faster you shoot, the worse the barrel life.

Anyway, another factor hard to define is ‘accurate’ barrel life. This cannot be quantified without standards. Barrels are replaced when expectations are no longer met. I feel that a [barrel] passes peak potential in a finite period due to throat erosion. But that don’t mean it’s toast, if it still shoots well enough. It’s just as likely that many of us never see that peak potential anyway. It’s a slippery thing. Point-blank BR competitors will toss a barrel when it leaves the 1s. I could get another 4000 rounds from it, and be content with its performance, I’m sure.”

NOTE: Mike says: “This spreadsheet may show a lower barrel life than you prefer. But it pretty well spotlights cartridges to stay away from if you plan much time at the range or in dog town.”

Editor’s Comment: We want to stress that Mike’s spreadsheet is a helpful tool, but it is not a definitive “take-it-to-the-bank” indicator of barrel life. Mike cautions that predicting barrel life involves so many different factors (including how hot the barrel is run), that the task is a bit like predicting tread life on car tires. Still, the spreadsheet is very helpful. It can certainly put shooters on notice that some chamberings (such as the 6-284) are likely to be a barrel burners. That can help you make a smart decision when choosing a chambering for your next rifle.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 18 Comments »