Here’s good news for purchasers of reloading components. Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) is “holding the line” on prices of powder, primers, brass, and bullets. In so doing, Powder Valley is “keeping the faith” with its customer base. By contrast, many local gun shops and big box retailers have jacked up prices on guns, ammo, and reloading supplies in response to a spike in demand. With the hue and cry for new gun control legislation, gun owners have rushed to stores to get guns, ammo, and reloading components. Predictably, some retailers have raised prices on everything from primers to all types of semi-auto firearms. Not so with Powder Valley. If you check the PVI website, you’ll see that prices for almost all products in stock are basically the same as a month ago (before the events in Newtown). Unlike some other vendors, Powder Valley has refrained from ramping up prices. We commend PVI for this.
Here is what Powder Valley owner Bryan Richardson told us about his company’s pricing policy:
“We watched back in 2009 as companies jacked up their prices due to supply and demand. This may make sense for some retailers and manufacturers. However, this is not the way we do business, nor will ever do business. It is completely against our conviction.
My wife and I established our business in 2000 with a mission statement of: ‘Providing the finest in reloading components and other shooting sports related products at the best possible price. In doing so, we will conduct business with the utmost respect and consideration for the customer’s needs by constantly demonstrating honesty and integrity.’
Therefore, increasing prices due to current market and political conditions is contrary to our mission of conducting business with the utmost respect and consideration for the customer’s needs. It is my opinion that if we want our industry to survive… we cannot price consumers out of shooting. Therefore, when you see our prices increase or decrease it is simply based off of the manufacturer’s or importer’s pricing. I think history shows that consumers remember the companies who elevated their prices for short-term profits and those who did not. We are here for the long haul and want to grow our business through building our customer base, not increasing our prices.”
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Up in Wisconsin, a gentleman named Joe Maisto crafts some exceptionally nice competition cartridge boxes. Each box is hand-machined (no molds, no CNC), with the holes precisely fitted to the cartridge you shoot. Joe has been building his boxes since 1996, first from wood, and now from more durable (and easier-to-clean) polymers. Joe started with a hinge-top 25-round box (with magnetic latch) for short-range benchresters. He still makes that box, but now he also offers 40-round boxes, high-top boxes (for bigger, taller cartridges), open top cartridge blocks, and combo blocks with holes for cases and a built-in tray. Our buddies in the short-range benchrest game say the Maisto boxes are perfect for carrying rounds from the loading bench to the firing line. GO TO Joseph Maisto website.
25-Round Cartridge Boxes
These units were designed in 1996. The originals were machined of Walnut, Cherry, or Birch. They were lovely, laborious, and expensive. To make the price more affordable, the wood units have since been retired in favor of high density polyethylene (HDPE). The front holes are separated for “record rounds”. Holes are bored with a minimum of clearance, and up to the shoulder. Additionally, each cartridge slot has a smaller hole in the bottom to allow debris to exist. These $60.00 boxes feature a quality stainless steel hinge with small but strong magnets that provide secure closure. While these were originally crafted for PPC cases, Joe offers various hole diameters for different-sized small cartridges.
40-Round Cartridge Boxes
For those who want more capacity (for longer strings of fire), Joe offers 40-round cartridge boxes. These allow shooters to change loads on the line, or simply have more rounds in a single box. With finger grooves front and back, the 40-rd boxes work for both left and right handers. Just like the 25-rd boxes, the 40s have a stainless hinge and magnetic closure. Price is $130.00.
Large Cartridge Box
Joe’s Large Cartridge Boxes are taller to accommodate the bigger cartridges used for long-range shooting. These feature magnetic latching and and bottom exit holes, just like the Joe’s original PPC boxes. Joe notes that, for some cartridges, the Large Boxes “have 20 holes instead of 25 because of the larger cartridge head size”. When ordering the Large Boxes, you need to specify cartridge dimensions and cartridge overall loaded length (COAL). Price is $65.00 per box.
These cartridge “blocks” are made from the same material as Joe’s cartridge boxes. Each has finger grooves and exit holes. Joe says: “The size of the block is perfect for manipulating primed cases under a powder measure where space is a factor.” The 20-round block costs $19.00. Joe also offers a version with a recess on one side for empties. These have either 10 or 14 holes and cost $28.00.
Joseph A. Maisto www.benchrest.com/maisto
3647 Debby Lane
Franksville, Wl 53126
PH: (262) 886-1610
Email: jmaisto [at] wi.rr.com
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Here’s a cool Torx driver from Brownells that belongs in every shooter’s tool box. The Magna-Tip Tactical/LE Field Torx Kit features a driver with five (5) Torx bits to fit popular scope rings and bases. A storage compartment in the handle holds the bits when not in use. A built-in magnetic socket in the handle holds each bit securely in the shank. We think this is a great new product. When Eyeballing a Torx screw, it’s hard to tell which size bit is required, and the short, L-shaped Torx wrenches that come with ring sets get lost all too easily. The $17.99 Torx Driver Kit, (Brownells Item 080-000-757), will help shooters keep all their often-used Torx bits safely in one place.
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In the 1980s, Glen Eberle was an Olympic Biathlete with Team USA. Recognizing the benefits of a lighter, more durable rifle stock, Glen invented a radical new biathlon stock that literally “changed the game”. Glen’s lighter stock allowed biathletes to ski faster. His stock was also more rugged than conventional designs, so it could better survive the inevitable tumbles that occur in competition.
Since retiring from Biathlon competition, Eberle has built a successful Idaho-based company that supplies tough field packs and accessories for hunters and the military. But Glen never lost interest in stock design, and over the past few years he has developed an innovative new tactical chassis that is quite different than anything on the market today.
Eberlestock Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis system Fits Rem 700s
The Eberlestock Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis system is compact, light-weight and strong. Designed to fit Remington 700 actions, the Eberlestock model 11 chassis offers a drop-in, no-gunsmithing solution for tactical shooters. For the Rem 700 and Rem-clone actions, the Model 11 Chassis employs Accuracy Int’l Classic detachable box magazines (DBMs). The folding-stock version of the new Eberle chassis is very compact. Eberle claims it is “the shortest [folding-stock] sniper system in the world”.
The Model 11 Stealth Chassis is in Production Now
The basic Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis weighs 4 pounds and costs $1895.00. First availability will be for the Remington Model 700 short action. Next offerings will be for Rem Model 700 long actions, followed by stocks to fit models from other manufacturers. A variety of configuration options are offered, including folding butt-stock and a fore-stock with mounting rails. For more info, visit www.Eberlestock.com, or call Eberlestock USA in Idaho at 877-866-3047 or 208-424-5081.
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Yesterday we featured a “mystery man” in a old family photo from a 1950s Christmas. We challenged readers to identify the young boy in cowboy hat who later grew up into one of America’s greatest rifle shooters. Most folks thought our mystery celebrity was Texan G. David Tubb. Others, no doubt focusing on the hat, suggested it was benchrest Hall-of-Famer Tony Boyer. And there were votes for Mid Tompkins and trick-shooter Bob Munden (who recently passed away). But most of you guys guessed right — the “littlest cowboy” was, in fact, 10-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky.
How Times Have Changed in America
Carl tells us: “I think the photo was from 1959, when I was three years old. That was on Christmas with my family. Since then, I have upgraded the holster, switched from revolvers to pistols, and gave up the pipe!”
Carl misses the ‘good old days': “It’s hard to believe how much has changed in America. Things were really different in the 50s and 60s. It was great for a boy growing up. We spent a lot of time outdoors, and people trusted each other more.” Carl said: “I remember going on a hunting trip with my Dad. We had to fly from Pennsylvania to someplace out west. Somewhere I’ve got a photo showing my Dad and I carrying our guns in soft cases on to the aircraft. We just walked through the airport and carried our guns right on to the plane. You sure don’t want to try that today!”
Now that he’s all grown up, Carl makes a living producing rifles and gunstocks for hunters and competition shooters. Carl’s company, Carl Bernosky Shooting Sports, offers a variety of stocks made from laminates and fancy woods. A highly-skilled woodworker, Carl can customize stock designs for any customer’s unique requirements. Shown below are some of his creations, prone rifles (in fancy wood) on the left, and an F-Open rifle in Rutland Laminate on the right.
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Improve Your Hit Ratio by Using Wing Flags
It’s not unusual for varmint hunters to invest $3,000.00 in a custom rifle, pay thousands more for spotting scope and laser rangefinder, and spend countless hours loading ultra-precise ammo. Yet, when they head off to the prairie dog fields, they’ll omit an essential piece of gear that can make the difference between a hit and a miss.
We’re talking about windflags. Many casual shooters, varmint hunters, and even some “tactical” shooters disdain windflags as gadgets suited only for the accuracy-obsessed benchrest crowd. In fact, windflags are just as important for the varminter as for the benchrest competitor. You may think that you can easily notice a major wind shift. But consider this, a change from a light 2.5 mph left breeze to a 2.5 mph right is a 5 mile per hour switch. That is enough to make you miss a prairie dog even at just 200 yards.
Here’s a chart that shows the effect of a 5 mph full-value (i.e. 90-degree) wind change at various distances. The values assume a typical .250 G1 BC varmint bullet launched at 3500 fps at a 3″-wide critter (center hold).
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on windflags. Even a bit of surveyors’ tape on a post is better than nothing. A simple windflag, placed at your shooting station, helps minimize the effect of cross-winds. If you align your shooting position so the breeze is at your back you can shoot with greater confidence even in high winds. Watch the way the windflag blows, and shoot at the dog mounds that are directly downwind.
Our friend Boyd Allen offers another tip: “When you go varminting, be sure to bring some kind of portable target stand. Accuracy or zero problems are much easier to diagnose and remedy if you can set up a target at 100 yards. A simple wood, A-Frame design, hinged at the top, works well, stores flat, and is easy to build.”
Waylon Jennings famously crooned: “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys”. Well the young fella in the fuzzy photo didn’t grow up to be a cowboy, but he did become one of the greatest rifle shooters in history. Can you guess who this is?
- Guess Who Is in the Photo -
(Answer will be revealed in tomorrow’s Daily Bulletin).
The photo was taken on a Christmas morning, decades ago, when our mystery man was around three years old. He told us: “Starting with toy guns, then BB guns, then 22s, and then centerfires — doing stuff with rifles was just part of my upbringing. This is something I did with my family. That’s my grand-dad in the photo with me.” What happened to the toy six-shooters and fancy double-holster rig? Our mystery subject lamented: “Oh that’s long gone. Wish I still had that rig, it would bring back memories….”
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Benchrest shooter Gene Bukys has smashed the existing Sporter Class 100+200 yard Grand Aggregate record, lowering the NBRSA record from 0.1886 to 0.1777. That’s a big deal in the short-range benchrest game. This record was shot in October, 2012 at the Arizona Nationals.
“Yes it’s said that ‘Every Thing is Bigger in Texas’. Well in this case ‘Smaller is Better’ and Gene has done it with his new World Record for five 5-shot groups at both 100 and 200 yards in the Sporter Class Grand Aggregate.
The Old Record: .1886
The New Record: .1777
[That includes five targets at EACH distance, ten targets total.]
Great Job Eugene G. Bukys!
It is my understanding that Gene has bought a new special cowboy hat to start putting his awards on it but don’t get to close to him as the brim will hit you in the head.”
Bukys and Barrel Tuners
Commenting on Buky’s record-setting performance, Boyd Allen writes: “Gene has a fine record as a shooter, and his rifles have tuners (at least the bag guns do, I’m not sure about the rail.) In contrast to other users of tuners, I’m told that Gene tunes his to the middle of a node, locks it down, and does not move it again, preferring to tune with normal means. I think that the effectiveness of this approach is pretty evident — the proof is now in the record books! Gene would tell you that he has never seen a barrel’s accuracy increased by the addition of a tuner, but that, with a tuner, accuracy nodes are wider. I would add that, while Gene’s tuner is an important component, we must acknowledge Gene’s outstanding shooting skills — this man can win with or without a tuner.”
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Story based on report by Kyle Jillson forNRAblog
As we enter the new year, the NRA National Indoor Rifle and Pistol Championships kick off with the first set of sectional tournaments starting January 1, 2013. With thousands of participants, the Indoor Championships are the NRA’s biggest competition. And the addition of BB Gun and Light Rifle in 2013 is expected to draw even more competitors.
Unlike NRA matches shot at one location such as the Bianchi Cup or the National Matches at Camp Perry, the Indoor Championships are fired at local sectional tournaments. The results of particular Sectional events are sent to the NRA and and then tallied alongside results from around the country. The championships are open to anyone and everyone in the country as long as you can make it to a sectional tournament. After scores are compiled, results are announced and awards are mailed out.
Unlike the NRA’s traditional tournaments, the Indoor Championships run throughout the winter:
January 1 through March 18: Open Sectionals
January 1 through February 12: Collegiate Sectionals
January 1 through April 15: Junior Sectionals (There may be over 300 of these in 2013).
The NRA National Indoor Championships are a lot of fun and the perfect chance to try out any new gifts you got this holiday season. Want to host a sectional or learn more about shooting in one? Send email to the Rifle Department at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give the NRA a call:
Rifle: Dian Bullock, (703) 267-1482
Pistol: Ann Boyd, (703) 267-1452
Collegiate: Tori Croft, (703) 267-1473
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The Hornady Lock N Load AutoCharge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for under $200.00. Grafs.com has the Hornady AutoCharge for $194.99 (with $5.95 flat sh/h) and Amazon.com offers the AutoCharge for $195.00 with FREE ‘Super-Saver’ shipping. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, this is very attractive pricing. By comparison, the RCBS ChargeMaster is currently on sale for $299.99 at Sinclair International. So you can save at least $105.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.
While we have a lot of positive experience with the RCBS Chargemaster, we haven’t done any long-term testing of the Hornady AutoCharge. However, user reviews have generally been positive. We suggest you do your own research and then make your own decision. Both the Hornady LnL AutoCharge and RCBS ChargeMaster offer load precision to ±0.1 grains. Both the Hornady Autocharge and the RCBS ChargeMaster are sold with a one-year manufacturers warranty.
Features and Specifications:
Scale capacity of 1000 grains
Large backlit display
Automatic and manual dispense options
Three speed settings
Easy Outflow Powder Drain
One-year manufactuer’s warranty
This Youtube video shows the Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoCharge in action.
If you want to learn more about the Hornady AutoCharge, there is a detailed review in Shooting.com.au, a popular Aussie gun forum. This product review features actual test results along with lots of sharp, jumbo-sized photos. Here is the summary of the reviewer’s test results: “Weighing [20 charges of a stick powder] on a Redding beam scale (the only other scale I have) showed that 12 were spot on and the remainder we fairly equally split between 0.1 grain under and 0.1 grain over according to this scale. I consider this to be more than adequate for me.”
Holiday Greetings to Our Readers
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 19,630+ Forum Members. This marks our eighth Christmas “in business”, and the site is growing faster than ever. AccurateShooter.com (and 6mmBR.com) are now accessed by over 120,000 unique users every week. Part of the reason for that success is the hard work of our volunteer helpers.
Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out the site. Number one is JayChris, our IT guy — he keeps the servers running smoothly. Thanks also go to Jeff Williams, our new “Answerman” who fields miscellaneous questions from our readers. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our good buddy (and designated trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. I also want to recognize our regular contributors, including German Salazar, Jason Baney, Robert Whitley, Mark LaFevers, and Vince Bottomley. And special thanks to EdLongRange who supplies story leads for the Daily Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed much time and effort.
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Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a 22LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools. Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The 22LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”
Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a track for the magazine. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” 22LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.
The 22LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the 22LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a 22LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.
To learn more about the complete line of Sauer 202 rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website, www.Sauer.de.
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The Arizona Desert Sharpshooters website offers a complete collection of competition plot sheets. These plot sheets were created by shooter Reid Perry. High Power and F-Class shooters can use these to mark their shot locations and record their wind calls. All the Plot Sheets are created in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format so they’ll print consistently from any computer. See sample plot sheet for 600 Yards.
Right click and “save as” the links below to download full-size plot sheets. On the Desert Sharpshooters site you’ll find other free plot sheets, including ISSF (300m) and ICFRA Plot Sheets (300 to 1000 yards), plust sight-setting and score-keeping plot sheets.
This Christmas Eve day, amidst the shopping frenzy, let’s not forget the scores of American military personnel, volunteers all, who remain deployed overseas, thousands of miles from home. In this video, Marine Master Sgt. Robert Allen sings a Christmas song he wrote for his wife back home. Allen is one of the thousands of service men and women still deployed in Afghanistan. His song helps us remember the many soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who serve this nation in battle zones far, far from home. MSG Allen hopes his song “will help people understand that though we’re willing to do it, it’s still heart-breaking”.
Video recorded at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
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Wilson Combat now offers an Adjustable Lo-Profile AR Gas Block for direct gas impingement AR-type rifles. Wilson Combat’s new adjustable gas block replaces a standard AR gas block and allows you to tune your AR’s gas system for smoother cycling and enhanced reliability. Wilson Combat explains: “Adjusting your rifle’s gas port will lower or increase your bolt’s cyclic rate. This tailors your rifle’s performance to your unique needs.”
A simple adjustment of the hex screw at the front of the block modulates the gas volume allowing you to tune your rifle’s function to your favorite loads. This is very handy when shooting non-standard AR calibers, unusual hand-loads, or suppressed rifles. Adjustable Gas Block systems are sold as complete kits starting at $74.95. Wilson Combat offers two diameters (.750″, .937″) and three lengths (Carbine Length, Mid-Length, & Rifle Length), so you can select the right dimensions for your rifle configuration and barrel diameter. The blocks are Chromoly steel with a Melonited finish.
Adjustable Gas Block (Melonite Finish)
Adjustment Set Screw (Installed)
Straight Gas Tube (Installed, Gas Tube Pin Installed)
12″-Long Allen Wrench to Adjust Inside Handguard
$74.95 – $79.95
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