When you’re practicing or developing loads at long range, it can be a challenge to see your bullet holes on the target, even with a premium spotting scope. Yes, when viewing conditions are perfect, a top spotting scope such as the 88mm Kowa Prominar can resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards and beyond. However, when there is dust or mist in the air, or when the mirage gets thick and heavy, even the best spotting scope may be unable to resolve bullet holes clearly at just 300 yards.
That’s why, if you do much long-range shooting, you should consider getting a wireless target-cam system. This combines a video camera placed near the target with a monitor on your shooting bench. The image from the camera is sent wirelessly to a receiver hooked up to your monitor. With a good camera and quality electronics, a target-cam system can provide sharp images out to 1000 yards.
Until recently, good “turnkey” target-cam systems have been expensive — $1400.00 and up. Guys who couldn’t afford this investment have tried cobbling together systems from various parts. Sometimes the “home-built” systems work, but sometimes they are disappointing.
Turnkey Target-Cam Systems Starting at $725.00
Now Target-Sight.com offers complete Target-Cam systems starting at $725.00 (for 600-yard system). This includes everything you need: 27X Sony Video Camera, transmitter, receiver, color monitor, three Li-Ion batteries, AC adapters/battery chargers, and even the tripod. Or $800.00 buys Target-Sight’s complete 1000-yard system. It includes the same package of components, but with extended range.
Dan Norgrove, the man behind Target-Sight.com, has been able to source quality electronic components at very good prices. Accordingly, you may be able to buy a complete, field-tested Target-Sight system, for not much more than the cost of buying the hardware yourself. And if you put together a bunch of miscellaneous parts, you can’t be confident that they will all work together optimally. The Target-Sight systems work, have good battery life, and everything arrives in one box — delivered with free shipping.
We know that folks considering target-cam systems are justifiably cautious before they shell out hundreds of bucks. You want to be assured that the system is easy to set-up, functions right, and that the image on the monitor is sharp and clear. To satisfy those concerns, Dan Norgrove has created a video showing his Target-Sight system in use in the field. This video shows the actual image on the Monitor from a target-cam placed 300 yards away. (Please note this video is slow in sections because the field test is an uninterrupted “single take”. That way you can be confident there were no tricks done during the editing. What you see is what you get.)
Tonight’s Episode of Shooting USA TV features the 2012 International Revolver Championship (IRC) from the Hogue Action Shooting Range in Morrow Bay, California. You can see another winning performance by Jerry Miculek, considered by many the greatest living revolver shooter.
The IRC, held in June, was the highlight of the 2012 revolver shooting season. More than 240 of the world’s top revolver shooters negotiated their way through 12 stages of fire putting more than 70,000 rounds down range.
Impossible Shots Tonight
Also tonight, Shooting USA’s “Impossible Shots” TV Show features more wheelgun action. Cisko puts a new twist on an old favorite, the El Presidente, but doing it with two six-guns. The challenge is to turn, fire twelve rounds, six double taps, with a gun exchange, in less than six seconds. Plus Jerry Miculek shows what he can do with two guns at the same time.
Shooting USA airs at 3:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 12:00 Midnight Eastern Time on the Outdoor Channel.
Impossible Shots airs at 3:00 PM, 10:30 PM, 2:00 AM Eastern time on the Outdoor Channel
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The folks at Desert Tactical Arms (DTA) in Utah recently held a Halloween “fun shoot”. How does an arms manufacturer celebrate Halloween? The same way they celebrate every other holiday–shooting stuff! The DTA crew figured the perfect Halloween event would include Precision Rifles, Superheroes, and Exploding Pumpkins.
Accordingly, DTA hosted its first ever Pumpkin Shoot at the Sniper Country range in Northern Utah. Shooters (all dressed as Superheroes) had three (3) rounds to engage targets at different distances, racking up points based on target distance (the farther the target, the higher the points). Participants included Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America (after a few too many doughnuts), and Nacho Libre (still in superhero training). The DTA crew reports this Halloween Superhero shoot “was a great way to enjoy some fall air and pay homage to the all-benevolent pumpkin.” Take a look:
To add spice to the Halloween shoot, the DTA guys set up a few Tannerite reactive targets on the range. When hit, these produced impressive explosions — as the next video reveals:
If you enjoyed these Desert Tactical Arms Videos, check out the Halloween Pumpkin Shoot Out-takes featuring the full cast of Superhero characters (plus one very ‘dazed and confused’ coyote hunter who wandered on to the scene during filming).
Video find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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A few times each year, MidwayUSA puts its Frankford Arsenal Digital Calipers (product #604242) on sale, and we try to let our readers know. Marked down from $22.49, these are just $12.99 through November 30, 2012. We have a set of these calipers and they have performed basic measuring functions in the loading room reliably for many years. But there have been complaints about the long-term reliability of recently-made versions. Still, at this price, you can afford to buy a spare set for your range kit. Measuring resolution is ± .001″ and values can be switched from English to Metric. The calipers come in a handy, protective plastic case, with battery.
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In preparation for Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) urges federal firearms licensees (FFLs) and federal explosives licensees and permittees (FEL/Ps) to be prepared, and stand ready to protect their merchandise and facilities. ATF has prepared guidance (available online) regarding how to plan ahead before disasters strike. First, FEL/Ps should review the PDF brochure, Voluntary Steps to Prepare for a Pending Natural Disaster, (ATF Publication 5400.16, March 2011).
FEL/Ps that have additional questions concerning preparedness are urged to contact their local ATF field office or the Explosives Industry Programs Branch at 202-648-7120.
FFLs with additional questions, should contact their local ATF field office or the ATF Firearms Industry Programs Branch at 202-648-7190. For other useful information on planning for a natural disaster, please visit www.ready.gov. Further information about ATF is available at www.atf.gov.
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We’ve had our original SEB coaxial front rest for a few years now and we are impressed with its quality and performance (although the SEB NEO Rest is even more sophisticated). One of the great features of the original SEB Rest is the front sandbag. It employs double-layer construction on the sides and bottom, and has a unique microfiber material on the surfaces contacting the stock. The bottom of the bag is hard and flat, so the bag sits nice and square. We whole-heartedly endorse the SEB front bag — it is an outstanding product, affordably priced at $40.00, shipped (unfilled) anywhere in the lower 48 states. (SEB NEO front bags are $45.00 shipped to lower 48).
We’ve tested both 3″-wide and 2 1/4″-wide SEB front bags and they work great. With guns ranging from 22 lbs. to 10.5 lbs. we’ve found that that SEB front bags perform very, very well. They hold their shape, and don’t “hump up” in the middle. The microfiber material, in our opinion, is superior to either Cordura or untreated leather. Even without stock tape on your gun, the microfiber allows the rifle to slide very easily. With stock tape, friction is super-low. You don’t need to put silicone, sailcloth lube, or powder on the front bag — it’s not necessary.
Less Vertical, Better Groups with SEB Front Bag
One of our testers was experiencing vertical when shooting a 6 PPC with a different front bag. He tried both leather and Cordura front bags, and experimented with various amounts of sand fill, but the results were unsatisfactory. The leather and Cordura bags either did not hold their shape, or, with more sand fill, they were too hard and the gun jumped. Then our tester switched to a SEB front bag. He noticed an immediate improvement in gun handling and his targets showed reduced vertical with the same load. Problem solved.
Bag Works with Other Front Rests Too
While the SEB front bag is optimized for use with the original SEB coaxial rest, it can be adapted to other front rest tops. The standard version is made from black microfiber with brown leather, but it is also available with black leather sides. The standard vertical thickness for the 3″ or 2 1/4″ section between the ears is approximately 1″, but other dimensions are available on request. The latest SEB front bags have a filler spout on each side. SEB front bags are available in the USA from Ernie Bishop in Gillette, Wyoming. Call (307) 257-7431, or email ernieemily [at] yahoo.com. The standard SEB front bag sells for $40.00 including shipping to lower 48. Front bags for SEB NEO rests, either one-piece or Tri-lobe style, cost $45.00 including shipping to lower 48.
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Airguns are fun and inexpensive to shoot. During the winter you can practice indoors, developing skills you can use in smallbore and centerfire competition. If you want to get a quality air rifle for fun shooting or competition, save money by ordering through Pyramid Air, which has the largest inventory of air guns in the USA.
This week, Cabelas.com is offering big discounts on its line of “Bullet-Proof” metal gun transport cases. Cabela’s toaster-style, double-gun safari case (item IK-226585) offers exceptional protection for your rifles. And this week the case is on sale for $339.88 — that’s $100 off the regular price.
Cabela’s premium safari case is built from .063″ aircraft aluminum with 45° heli-arc welded corners all around. Your rifles drop in vertically, each in its own slot, providing a very stable “pocket of protection” for the guns. This safari case has long been popular with hunters taking high-grade rifles to far-away hunting grounds (from Alaska to Africa). It’s tough enough to stand up to rough treatment from baggage handlers.
NOTE: This heavy-duty case weighs 34 lbs. empty. Some travelers report that domestic airlines may impose weight surcharges.
Owner Review: The Bullet Proof gun case is the best I have seen. It left Medford, Oregon and made four airplane changes. When we arrived in Johannesburg, S.Africa, the case was well scuffed from typical baggage handling. We arrived at camp, open the case and everything was in good shape. Test fired our rifles and all was well. A great, well constructed case that I plan to use many more times. I believe it will be in good shape for me to hand down to my grandson. — MMiker, Medford, OR
Another good choice is the Cabela’s “Bullet Proof” Double Scoped Rifle Case with Wheels and Luggage Rack (item IK-227343). This unit is now marked down from $264.99 to $199.88. This case measures 52″ x 14″ x 4-1/2″. It features integral wheels and a fold-out tray that holds additional luggage when rolling through an airport or train station. The baggage tray is very useful, and the wheels come in handy in large airports.
Owner Review: I purchased one for a trip to Africa two years ago and the bag handlers, TSA, & Customs Agents in three countries, on both legs of the trip, were unable to knock the rifles out of sight-in adjustments. I went to Wyoming with my son for pronghorn this fall, again no problems. The rifles were still sighted in for 200 yards when we returned. I’m very impressed with this case so I purchased a second for my son for Christmas this year. Almost enough air time to fly around the world and only minor scratches to show for it. I don’t know about “bullet proof” but it sure is baggage-handler proof! — Steve, Long Island, NY
Owner Review: Takes a beating. This case has been through it all, and the two rifles inside have always been dead-on after the case has been abused by baggage loaders, bounced around [in the] back of a truck 4-wheeling into elk country. In the airport the flip-open shelf is great — load duffle bag on it and roll on out. — TM, Tennessee
If you have a tight budget, the best bargain of all may be Cabela’s 52″ x 14″ x 4″ “Bullet-Proof” double scoped rifle case (item IK-226580) that is also on sale right now. The non-wheeled version of this case is now $90.00 off, marked down from $219.99 to just $129.88. That’s a heck of a deal for an all-metal case, with sturdy latches and welded corners.
Owner Review:This is one tough case. I painted a large white lightening bolt on each side to make mine unique. The wear and tear on my paint job showed how rough the handling had been back and forth to Africa. My rifles were in perfect condition. — Richard, Oxnard, CA
Sale Report by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Last month, the Montana Rifle and Pistol Association (MRPA) hosted the 3rd Annual Northern Rockies Long Range and F-Class Regional at the Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana. The match was a sell-out for the third straight year, and three competitors set pending NRA Long Range and F-Class National Records. If the pending records are recognized by the NRA, that will make a total of eight (8) NRA National records set at Deep Creek over the last three years.
This year, the forest fires and resultant smoke conditions in the Intermountain West cast a ominous haze over the event. However, the haze did not prevent outstanding performances by many shooters in both F-class and sling divisions.
All National Guard Shooter, SSG John Coggshall
SSG Coggshall is a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard’s 1-102 Infantry battalion and a member of the All National Guard marksmanship unit. Coggshall used an Eliseo Tubegun set up as a Palma rifle and used factory-loaded ammunition. Coggshall shot great, finishing with a 1091-59X out of a possible 1100 points. This should be a new national record for the Long Range Regional Aggregate in the Service Category. The previous record was set in Missoula by Allen Spiker, former member of the All National Guard team. While Coggshall is new to the Palma game, he has a lot of experience shooting smallbore as well as service rifle. He has been on a winning Whistler Boy team, and has been the High Junior during the President’s 100 at Camp Perry. His Team Coach described him as a hard-holder who can hold half the X-Ring with his iron-sighted Palma rifle.
Ken Nelson also had a record setting performance. Nelson fired a very impressive 1096-71X, as he dropped only four points to smash previous national record in the Senior Category. With this score he not only established a new NRA national record, he squeezed out the tournament win over second place finisher Allen Spiker. Both shooters fired 1096s, but Nelson surpassed Spiker by X-count. Nelson reported that he received some advice from his friend, German Salazar, before the match, and Nelson took that advice to heart. He noted that his thought process between shots really helped him on the line. Nelson splits his time between his native British Columbia and Phoenix, AZ where he shoots at Ben Avery. Nelson only began shooting long range four years ago, after many seasons as a smallbore shooter.
LTC Donald Erpenbach – Montana ARNG
LTC Erpenbach set two pending F-TR records at the match. Erpenbach shot exceedingly well on day one of the tournament. In the first day’s Palma course Erpenbach shot a 442-14X besting the previous record held by USAMU shooter Sherri Gallagher. Erpenbach was on a roll and in the separate 1000-yard match he fired a 194-7X, edging ahead of the previous record. Erpenbach really put things together well for this match.
SGT Micheal Palagi – Montana ARNG
SGT Palagi received the MRPA’s new “Top M-24” shooter award. This award recognizes Montana Soldiers who shoot an issued sniper rifle with issued M118LR ammo. Palagi’s recent performance was outstanding and he is deserving recipient of the first Top M-24 award.
Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. The MRPA host 3 weekends of shooting there every year. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.
The MRPA wishes to thank the 2012 Northern Rockies Sponsors:
Bruno’s Shooter Supply
Carl Boettger Scope Mounts
Competition Machine – Gary Eliseo
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Houle Bloop Tube (Sight Extension) Gear Reviewby Robert Whitley
As a competitive shooter and a builder of custom AR-15 accuracy competition uppers, one of the frequent requests I have from shooters is for a recommendation for a good bloop tube. What people want is a bloop tube that is light and strong, one that has no detrimental effect on accuracy, one that works well with many of the existing front sights, and can be removed and re-attached quickly and easily with no loss of zero. For years finding a bloop tube that fulfills all these requirements has been a somewhat elusive exercise. I am pleased to report that I have found the Houle Bloop Tube to meet all my requirements. In my opinion, this is the best bloop tube on the market, by far. You can order a Houle tube from Norm’s Website, TopGunRI.com or e-mail Norm at topgunngh [at] verizon.net.
Bloop Tubes Designed by a National Champion
Norm Houle is a High Power and long-range shooter who has used these tubes to win National High Power Rifle Championships multiple times in past years. This past summer at Camp Perry, Norm’s bloop tubes were used by top “podium level” shooters in various events, including David Tubb, who won the National Long Range Championship using one of Norm’s tubes. Rodrigo Rosa also used Houle tubes this year to place second in the National High Power Rifle Championship and third in the Long Range National Championship.
I have a couple of Norm Houle’s bloop tubes that I have used with a couple of rifle projects. Here are some of my thoughts on installation and use of the Houle Bloop Tubes:
Accuracy with the tubes in place is excellent!
The tube assemblies are two piece clamp-on tube assemblies, and the bloop tubes can be removed and re-attached with no loss of zero (and I mean no loss of zero). This is a big one! Over the years I have had quite a few clamp on tubes, but few of them repeated like these.
The tubes are very light but also very strong and low profile. Some of the clamp-on bloop tubes I have had over the years were huge, heavy and provided a large side profile (crosswind sail factor for offhand, etc.).
Norm offers 2″, 4″, and 6″ bloop tube lengths. The tubes are made to work with a .750″ dia. muzzle turn down and both of the ones I have work perfectly with a minimum turndown of 1.625″ long which provides enough “front-back” distance to permit the locating ring and bloop tube to be properly mounted on the barrel at the same time and work as they should. The tubes are also set up to use front sights set up to mount on a .750″ diameter mounting.
Each tube assembly has a clamp-on locating ring plus a clamp-on bloop tube that positively indexes off a tapered pin that protrudes from the locating ring. The locating ring is light but very strong and absolutely stays put when you clamp it on the barrel end (clamps on with one screw using a common 7/64″ Allen wrench). The bloop tube part of the assembly has two clamp-on screws (use a common 7/64″ Allen to put on, mount and take off).
Using Different-Length Tubes for Different Applications
You can buy one tube with two or more locating rings and set multiple rifles up so you can move your bloop tube (with front sight attached) from rifle to rifle. You can also use two different bloop tubes to mate up with one locating ring on the same rifle. Norm uses a 2″ tube (with a front sight attached) for offhand and rapid sitting at 200 yards (short tube minimizes crosswind sail factor). For 300-yard rapid prone and 600-yard slow prone, Norm takes off the 2″ tube and mounts a 6″ tube on the rifle (with a front sight attached to it). Norm switches back and forth as needed from match to match (a 4″ tube is also offered). Norm noted that Rodrigo Rosa also used the same Houle bloop tube set-up with two different tubes this year at Perry to take second overall.
The price of a Houle bloop tube assembly with locating ring is $125.00. That’s more than some other brands, but a good value considering the design, features, and high-quality construction of Norm’s bloop tubes. Just as with all sights and optics… you get what you pay for.
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Four-time USA Olympian SFC Jason Parker won the ISSF World Cup Final, finishing ahead of Han Jinseop of South Korea and Olympic finalist Ole Krsitian Bryhn of Norway. Parker, a soldier serving with the USAMU, claimed the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final trophy in the Men’s Three-Position Rifle event Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ranked ninth in the world, Parker earned his invitation to Bangkok after winning the Milan World Cup earlier this season. The 38-year-old Parker, no stranger to the World Cup Finals after six previous visits, made it to the final round with a head-start of four points after shooting an 1,171. Scoring 95.5 points during the final stage, Parker won gold with an overall score of 1266.5 points. Parker added. “”I have been competing in World Cup Finals since 1998, and dreaming of a gold medal since then. It’s finally around my neck, and it feels great!”
Three points behind him, Korea’s Han Jinseop pocketed the silver medal with an overall score of 1263.5 points. Making it to the final with 1166, Han overtook Norway’s Ole Kristian Bryhn to finish on the second step of the podium with a final score of 97.5 points. Bryhn landed in third, securing the Bronze medal with a total score of 1263.0 (1167+96.0) points.
Parker’s Olympic and USAMU teammate SFC Eric Uptagrafft took fourth in the World Cup Final Wednesday in the Men’s Prone Rifle event. (He finished .6 points away from second place). In other ISSF World Cup events in Bangkok, USAMU shotgunners did well. Josh Richmond earned the gold medal in Men’s Double Trap while Vincent Hancock shot his way to a silver medal in Men’s Skeet.
Elite Field for ISSF World Cup
Starting with the London World Cup in April and then passing through Milan and Munich, the 2012 ISSF World Cup Series finished in Bangkok. Only the sport’s top performers were invited to compete in the World Cup Finals. Ninety (90) shooters from 34 countries, including Olympic medalists and past World Cup title holders, competed at the Thailand ISSF World Cup Match this year. (Shown at right is SFC Parker competing at the Milan World Cup.)
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After we ran a story on the New Mexico War Wagon, readers wanted more details about this well-designed mobile shooting bench belonging to Forum member John H. (aka “Skratch”).
John told us: “My brother-in-law and I built this mobile bench a few years ago. The axle, wheels and tire are a tag axle from a small Chevy car, obtained from a salvage yard for about $35-$40 a decade ago. The tubular frame is drill stem, while the bench-top and seats are 3/4′” plywood. Under the plywood we fitted rails so we can slide our target stand under the benchtop for secure travel. The total cost for everything (including storage box) was about $250-$300.”
We set the bench and seat heights so that, with adults, the rifle sets straight level to the shoulder. For the smaller ‘younguns’ we just use a sofa pillow to raise them up. (Yes, adjustable seat heights would be great.) The ammo box holds our rifle rest, sand bags, spotting scope, and miscellaneous gear. Options are a couple of lawn chairs, and a cooler of brew (for after the shooting is done).
Click on image frames to see full-size photos
Some readers wanted to know how John’s War Wagon is positioned in the field and if it is ever detached from John’s ATV. John answers: “We do unhook the 4-wheeler for target-checking unless we have an extra along which is usually the case. That way we can level the table front to rear. We have an umbrella from a patio table to provide shade on extra warm days.”
Potential Modifications and Upgrades to the War Wagon
When our buddy Mark LaFevers (AccurateShooter.com’s chief fabricator), saw the war wagon, he was impressed. Mark, a professional welder by trade, is now thinking about building a similar rig — with some enhancements. Mark told us: “The thing I like best about the design is the simplicity. It has enough features to get the job done without any frills, bells and whistles. There is always the danger as one adds items that seem like they would be desirable, that the unit becomes too complex and loses its fun aspect. Still, I would try adding a few things.
I like how the builder has added stabilizers at the seat locations. For areas with steep or uneven terrain , I would consider adding a trailer tongue jack to be able to level front to rear, or disconnect from the ATV to go check targets. I would also consider not hard-fastening the bench-top to the frame, but rather mounting it with screw-jacks to be able to level it independently from the frame, both crosswise and lengthwise. Being able to level the benchtop may not be necessary in flat prairie country, but it would be helpful on hilly or uneven terrain.
I would also make the seat height-adjustable. That would accommodate different shooter body sizes and shapes. Height could be adjusted with a threaded seat column, which you can buy cheaply online. You could even mount a slider to allow front-to-rear seat movement. This would allow you to move back for longer rifles and forward for smaller rifles or Encore-style pistols.
Of course, there are other possible “creature comfort” options. If you really wanted to “pimp your ride”, you could include an umbrella stand, gimbaled beer holder, the mandatory water-misters, and a mobile sound system….
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