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December 19th, 2012

Discount Inletted Stock Specials from McMillan

McMillan inletted stocksMcMillan regularly offers a selection of inletted “Specials” stocks. You should check McMillan’s Specials Page regularly to set if there’s a stock that suits your next build. Not only can you save months of wait time, but you save on the cost of the stock. Many of the Specials stocks are priced $100.00 or more below normal retail. From the list on the Stock Specials Page, choose your action and find a great deal on a McMillan stock. (Once you are on the Stock Specials Page, move your mouse to the left and select action type from the list under the McMillan logo.)

Currently, there are a number of A-Series McMillan stocks on sale. There are currently a large supply of A3s and A5s, inletted for various actions including: Defiance, McMillan, Remington, Ruger, Sako, Savage, Stiller, and Surgeon.

McMillan A5

Hunting Stocks and Benchrest Stocks on Sale Also
In addition to the A-Series specials, McMillan has discounted hunting stocks for Browning, Mauser, Remington, Ruger, Sako, and Winchester actions. There is also currently a good selection of Benchrest Stocks on sale, including the popular McMillan Tooley MBR Stocks. CHECK HERE for availability of your action choice.

McMillan Tooley MBR
Tooley MBR McMillan

Tooley MBR Stocks Available Now:
#2924 MBR 70% WHITE 30% BLACK MARBLE, LBRP STILLER PYTHON, SINGLE SHOT, REM ADL T/G, NO FRONT SCREW HOLE, 1.375" STRAIGHT B/C, 1" DEC PAD, 13.5" LOP.  $275.00

#3001 MBR 70% TURQUOISE 30% BLACK MARBLE, RBLP, LAWTON 7500 LA, 1.36" DIA, SINGLE SHOT, REM ADL T/G, KRIEG HV B/C WITH 4" CYL, 1" DEC PAD, 13.5" LOP, ALUM. PILLARS INSTALLED.  $350.00

#3034 MBR 70% ORANGE 30% YELLOW MARBLE, RH XP100, SINGLE SHOT, BAT T/G, #7 LILJA B/C W/ 4.5" CYL, 1" DEC PAD, 13.5" LOP, ALUMINUM PILLAR INSTALLED. $425.00

#3035 MBR 70% GRAY 20% BLUE 10% LT GRAY MARBLE, RBLP, BAT M 1.53X8.5", SINGLE SHOT, BAT T/G, HV B/C W/ 5" CYL, 1" DEC PAD, 13.5" LOP, 3 ALUM. PILLARS INSTALLED.  $475.00

#3078 MBR YELLOW, ORANGE, BLUE FLAME PATTERN, LEAD ADDED, STOCK WEIGHS 15.75 LBS, RH SAVAGE 210, SINGLE SHOT, FAC SAV T/G, 1.5" STRAIGHT B/C, 1" DEC PAD, 13.5" LOP.  $473.00

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December 18th, 2012

Cerberus Will Sell Off Freedom Group Companies

Freedom Group CerberusCerberus Capital Management, LP (Cerberus), announced today that it would sell its stake in Freedom Group, Inc. (Freedom Group), a holding company that owns numerous firearms-industry businesses. The Freedom Group Family of Companies includes Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, H&R, DPMS, Barnes Bullets, Eotac, and Dakota Arms. A Bushmaster AR15-type rifle was one of the weapons found at the scene of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter, also carried Glock and Sig Sauer pistols.

Freedom Group Family of companies

In deciding to sell the Freedom Group, Cerberus was influenced by its large institutional investors. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which has over $700 million invested in Cerberus, stated that it was re-examining its Cerberus investment in light of recent events. Translation: After Newtown, this big pension fund was very uncomfortable with the fact that Cerberus was so heavily involved in the gun business (through its ownership of the Freedom Group and specifically Bushmaster).

Here is the text of the Press Release issued by Cerberus on December 18, 2012:

We were shocked and deeply saddened by the events that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. We cannot comprehend the losses suffered by the families and friends of those killed by the unthinkable crimes committed that day. No words or actions can lessen the enormity of this event or make a dent in the pain that was inflicted on so many.

In 2006 affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. made a financial investment in Freedom Group. Freedom Group does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise. Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers and distributors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition.

It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level. The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment. As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers. Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals. It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators.

There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take. Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group. We will retain a financial advisor to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors. We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities impacted by this tragic and devastating event.

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

About Cerberus Capital Management: A private equity firm established in 1992, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. has more than US $20 billion under management invested in four primary strategies: distressed securities & assets; control and non-control private equity; commercial mid-market lending and real estate-related investments.

Read Related Chicago Tribune Article about Freedom Group Divestiture.

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December 18th, 2012

Berger Reloading Manual on Sale for $24.99

The new 829-page Berger Reloading Manual is now on sale at MidwayUSA.com for $24.99. This is a very good deal. This impressive new resource sells elsewhere for $29.00. At this price, you may want to pick up a couple and give one as a gift.

Berger Reloading Manual

Book Sale Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 2 Comments »
December 18th, 2012

Great Gift Books for Serious Shooters

Christmas Day is just one week away. Books have always been popular Xmas gifts. If you haven’t completed your holiday shopping, here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For Shooting Clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet.

Here are six recommended titles, in alphabetical order:

Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting (2nd Ed. + CD)
by Bryan Litz, $44.95 (Hardcover)

If you’re a serious long-range shooter you NEED this book. Since its initial release Bryan Litz’s treatise has become the definitive resource on long-range ballistics and bullet design. While Bryan covers some very advanced topics, Bryan does a very good job of making the text comprehensible to the layman. You don’t need a degree from MIT to read this work. Bryan’s book comes compete with a CD packed with ballistics software and additional reference materials. AND, Bryan includes Ballistic Coefficient data for over 236 long range bullets.

Selous Africa Hunting book A Hunter’s Wanderings in Africa
by Frederick Courteney Selous, $19.95 (Softcover)

Frederick Selous was a legendary African hunter. It was for him that Tanzania’s famous Selous Game reserve was named. If you have an interest in big game hunting in Africa, you should get this book. As readers have noted, this is “Classic Africana”… “one of the very best exploration/hunting history books about Africa”. It is an excellent book, well-written and “all about hunting”. Selous’ life was full of adventure, and his book lets readers experience, vicariously, the danger and excitement of African hunting in a bygone era.

Precision Shooting Reloading Precision Shooting Reloading Guide
Edited by Dave Brennan, $22.95 (Spiral Bound Softcover)

This handy reference guide contains scores of useful tips from many top shooters. However, this is NOT a load manual. Rather, it explains the techniques for precision reloading, and offers advice on how to get the “Nth” degree of accuracy from your handloads. Each topical chapter is authored by a different expert. Chapters include: Reloading for Extreme Accuracy, High Power (Bolt Guns), High Power (Gas Guns), Benchrest, Magnums, Wildcats, Cast Bullets, and working up an accuracy load. Readers have praised this compact (5.5″ x 8.5″) reference: “I’ve been reloading for many many years, and [this] book still managed to contain pearls of wisdom I’d never heard before.” –T. Pratt.

Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting (2nd Edition)
by Nancy Tompkins, Price TBA (Coming in February 2013)

Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma,
F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised and updated edition is set for release in 2013. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Harold Vaughn Accuracy Book Rifle Accuracy Facts
by Harold R. Vaughn, $34.95 (Softcover)

Decades after it was written, Vaughn’s work remains a seminal treatise on accuracy. Vaughn was a serious scientist, working for the Sandia National Laboratories. Many “gun writers” toss out hunches about rifle accuracy. Vaughn, by contrast, did serious empirical testing and statistical analysis. Vaughn wondered why some guns shot well while seemingly identical rifles did not. Rifle Accuracy Facts covers a wide variety of topics, including internal ballistics, chamber design, barrel vibration, bullet imbalance, external ballistics, scope design and more. Writer Boyd Allen notes: “If you are serious about precision shooting, Vaughn’s book belongs in your library.”

Rifleman’s Guide to Rimfire Ammunition
by Steven Boelter, $29.95 (Softcover)

Steven Boelter’s 352-page book is a comprehensive study of all types of rimfire ammunition (including 17s and 22 mags), with over 600 photos. In a remarkable undertaking, Steven Boelter fired every brand and sample of rimfire ammo he could acquire (including 22LR, 17 Mach 2, 17HMR and 22 WMR), and recorded all the results. In all, Steven tested 11 brands and 137 different rimfire rounds, firing over 32,000 test rounds.

Permalink - Articles 2 Comments »
December 17th, 2012

Full-Length Sizing Die Set-Up — Tip from Sinclair International

How to Set Up Your Full Length Sizing Die
by Ron Dague, Sinclair International Technician
From Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog

At Sinclair International, we are often asked for a fool-proof method to set up a full-length sizing die, and begin reloading our fired cases. The method used by many target shooters today is to set up your full length die to closely match your rifle chamber and minimally full-length size your cases –as little as .001″ for bolt-action rifles. I prefer to use this method for all of my bolt-action cartridges.

STEP ONE
I like to de-prime five (5) cases (de-prime only, do not full length resize) and measure from the base of the case to the shoulder with our Sinclair Comparator Body (09-1000) and Bump Gage Insert(09-10200). We refer to this as our headspace measurement. Our Electronic Caliper (#MIC-14) works well and may be pre-set at .000” making this headspace measurement easy to capture. The Sinclair Comparator/Gauge Body and Bump Gage Inserts make this task fairly simple. L.E. Wilson Tools & Gages, Hornady Manufacturing, and RCBS all make similar units to achieve your headspace measurement.

-"HornadySTEP TWO
With your full-length die threaded into your reloading press, loosen the lock ring and run the press ram up toward the full length die with a shell holder in place (with no case). Then, screw the die toward the shell holder until it stops. Back the die out of the press and away from the shell holder one full turn and set the lock ring finger tight.

STEP THREE
Lubricate each of the cases with your favorite sizing lube (my favorite is Imperial Sizing Die Wax) and resize a case. Again, take a headspace measurement from base to shoulder. [When running the case up into the die, be sure the press ram moves the full limit of its upward travel.] If there’s no change in the measurement from the fired dimension, loosen the die lock ring and turn the full length sizing die downward 1/8 of a turn. [Editor’s Note: You’ll need to use smaller turn amounts as you get close to the desired amount of bump. We suggest moving just a few degrees of die rotation at a time once you’ve reached the point where the die hits the shoulder without moving it back.] Now repeat the sizing process with a second lubricated case and take the measurement again. Keep rotating the die downward gradually (in small increments) and repeat the case sizing process until you see approx-imately .001”-.002” reduction to your fired headspace measurement. We prefer a headspace reduction of approximately .001″ – .002″ for bolt action rifles and .003″ – .005″ for semi-auto rifles. You can adjust to your rifle as to what works best. Don’t forget to load 10 rounds or so and try them from the rifle’s magazine to make sure they function properly.

Full-length Sizing vs. Neck-Sizing
Just a quick word on neck sizing…..I have personally never been a big fan of neck sizing. Often times when I put neck sized cases back in the rifle, the bolt would close with some drag, or it would be a bit “snug”. This was mostly recognized with factory rifles. I didn’t have any problems with accuracy, just with cycling the action for a follow up shot. If your rifle is custom chambered with the action straightened and trued, neck sizing will work well on 4-5 firing’s and then you will need to full length size or use a body die to set the shoulders back when the cases begin to “stick”. Hope these tips help make the use of a headspace gauge and full length die set up much easier.

Ron Dague
Sinclair Tech and Reloading Instructor
800-717-8211
rond@sinclairintl.com

Reloading Tip Courtesy Sinclair Int’l; Story Sourced by Edlongrange
Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
December 17th, 2012

New 2013 Guns & Gear in December Shooting Industry Magazine

Shooting Industry Magazine DecemberIf you can’t wait for SHOT Show in January to see new-for-2013 shooting products, then check out the latest FREE digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine. Shooting Industry’s jumbo, 156-page December issue is the first of two expanded editions that highlight new products for 2013.

In this month’s digital magazine, you’ll find Part I of the 2013 New Product Showcase. This has hundreds of new product offerings including new firearms, ammunition, optics and accessories.

The special December edition also has a comprehensive SHOT Show Planning Guide (pp. 44-50) which lists SHOT Show activities and seminars, and explains new technologies (such as smart-phone apps) that will help SHOT Show visitors. NOTE: The December Edition does NOT include SHOT Show Floor Layouts with exhibitor lists. You’ll have to wait ’til next month. The layouts and exhibitor directory will be published in the January digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine.

Another handy resource in the December Edition is the Buyers’ Guide, a comprehensive industry-wide directory of manufacturers, distributors, and and retailers. The December Edition also includes 2012 firearms industry projections. In this section, representatives from Crimson Trace, Hornady, Mossberg and Taurus share their insights about the future trends.

“We have assembled a wealth of information in our December issue to help businesses throughout industry maximize the opportunities [for next year]. Forecasts for the new year, new products, SHOT Show planning, our highly regarded Buyer’s Guide and more are included in this valuable business edition,” said Russ Thurman, Shooting Industry’s publisher and editor.

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December 17th, 2012

New Book on California Gun Laws Released

The California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) has released an important new book: California Gun Laws: A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations. Written by CRPA/NRA attorney C.D. Michel, this new resource has just arrived from the printers and should start shipping this week. Price is $27.13.

California Gun Laws Attorney MichelGun owners who live or do business in California should strongly consider purchasing this 320-page book. California gun laws are complex and confusing. There are over 800 California state statutes regulating the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, and use of firearms. There are thousands of overlapping federal laws regulating firearms that apply in California. And there are hundreds of administrative regulations, local ordinances, and California Department Justice Firearms Bureau written and unwritten policies that also apply.

On top of the already byzantine regulatory scheme, on January 1, 2012 California firearm laws were completely reorganized and re-numbered. Because of the complexity of the laws, and the recent statute number changes, inadvertent gun law violations by well-intentioned citizens are increasingly common. In the politicized legal environment of California “gun-control” laws, the consequences of even an inadvertent violation can be severe.

With all the overlapping regulations, it’s no wonder that confusion runs rampant among California gun owners, as well as among police, prosecutors, and judges. To protect yourself, you need to know the law. This book will help. California Gun Laws tells you how to legally buy, own, transport and possess firearms, and explains how you get your firearms or firearm rights back if they are taken away. The book warns about common legal “traps” that may ensnare California firearm owners.

CLICK to Order: California Gun Laws: A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations.

California Gun Laws Attorney MichelAuthor Profile: C.D. (Chuck) Michel is an attorney with 20 years of experience representing the National Rifle Association (NRA) and California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), as well as firearm manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and gun owners, Michel has been litigating civil and criminal firearm cases since 1991, many of which were high profile and attracted state and national media attention.

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
December 16th, 2012

Eley Opens New Rimfire Test Facility in Texas

Rimfire-ammo maker ELEY Ltd. recently opened a new test facility in Winters, Texas. On hand for the opening ceremony were triple Olympic Medal Winner Matt Emmons and 2012 Gold medal Winner Jamie Gray. Other notable shooters at the opening included legendary Olympian Lones Wigger and husband and wife team Sandra and Eric Uptagrafft. Media and industry were represented by NRABlog editor Chip Lohman, Corrie West of USA Shooting, and staff from Shilen Barrels and Stiller’s Precision Firearms.

Eric Uptagrafft praised Eley’s new facility: “To see this come to fruition is very exciting. It shows the level of support and dedication that Eley has as a partner of USA Shooting. I expect this will create a huge advantage for our team and our abilities to diligently do the testing that is required being an elite-level shooter.” Jamie Gray concurred: “It’s good to have a test range of this caliber in the United States because it makes it easier for [American shooters] to get out and test-fire more often. It’s easier for us to bring our guns to Texas than take them overseas, especially in England.”

Eley has invested heavily in the new two-lane test facility which allows pistol, rifle, and benchrest rimfire shooters to test their firearms with ELEY rimfire ammunition. Eley’s new Texas facility allows lot-by-lot batch testing to be done in the USA for the first time. Batch testing used to be limited to the UK, at ELEY’s Head Office. Earlier this year ELEY opened their second range in Stuttgart, Germany and now the third Winters, Texas. The facility will have the ability to test both .22 Rifles and Pistols with electronic target systems and advanced group-measuring software. All three Eley Test Centers have two 50-meter lanes for testing .22 Rifles and Free Pistols. The USA and Germany ranges also allow testing of Free Pistols and Rapid Fire Pistols at 25m.

Meanwhile, Out in Arizona….
We’re pleased that Eley has opened a two-lane facility in the USA. That’s great for shooters. But the new Eley facility is limited to 50m (fifty meters) maximum. By contrast, the new state-of-the-art Lapua Rimfire Service Center in Mesa, Arizona has the ability to record results at 50m AND 100m simultaneously. As your shots pass through special sensor grids positioned at both 50m and 100m, Lapua plots your group size at both distances during on the same string of fire. We think that’s a huge advantage for Lapua’s Arizona Test Center compared to Eley’s Texas facility. Another difference is that at Eley you can only test Tenex ammunition while at Mesa, you can test all types of Lapua rimfire ammo from the top of the line to the more economical products. That’s another significant advantage for the Lapua operation. But it’s great that American shooters now have a choice of two rimfire testing facilities within our national borders.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
December 16th, 2012

NECO Offers 6.5mm Match Bullets — New Solids and Normas

NECO a vendor of specialty reloading products include QuickLOAD software, recently revealed some impressive 6.5 mm bullet offerings — a new CNC-turned solid brass 107gr bullet and the hard-to-find Norma 130gr bullet (in both naked and moly-coated versions).

Solid Brass DaVinci 6.5mm Bullets
Solid Brass Neco Da Vinci bullet 6.5mmThe new solid brass NECO DaVinci Match Grade 6.5mm burner is an interesting High BC VLD-style design. Precision-machined on Swiss CNC machines, these bullets show exceptional dimensional and weight uniformity. And you won’t ever need to “tip” these bullets. The DaVinci 107-grainers feature a precision-drilled drilled hollow point and machined meplat. The DaVinci 107s are made from high-grade free machining brass. This is softer than copper but much harder and more durable than lead. If you’re wondering about the milled grooves in the body of the bullet, those are there to reduce the bearing surface area — a common design feature on solids. NECO is claiming: “Great lubricity resulting in less pressure than a solid copper or a jacketed bullet.” We haven’t tested this milled bullets yet but we hope to try them out soon in a 6.5×47 we have in the works. Initial tests by the manufacturer have soon good accuracy.

Thanks to a promotional offer from NECO, these new .264 caliber, 107gr bullets are more affordable than most other lathe-turned designs. Now through January 14, 2013, a 100-ct box of solid brass DaVinci 6.5mm bullets is $75.00. That’s not cheap, but it’s not outrageous when you considers some jacketed match bullets now run close to $50.00 per box. Currently only 107gr DaVincis are for sale, but NECO plans to offer 120gr 6.5mm solids in the future.

Norma 6.5mm 130gr Match Bullets
Norma 130 grain golden target bullet 6.5mmIn Europe, High Power-style shooting with 6.5mm rifles is extremely popular. In Germany and throughout Scandinavia, thousands of shooters compete in matches with 6.5×55 target rifles, notably the Sauer STR 200. One of the most popular projectiles is Norma’s 130gr match bullet. NECO now sells this bullet design in both naked (Golden Target) and moly-coated (Diamond Line) versions. Diamond Line 130s are moly-coated by Norma at the factory under license with NECO.

Both naked and coated Norma 130-grainers are affordable, priced at $34.95 per 100ct box, or $164.95 per 500ct box. Shooters have praised Norma’s 6.5mm 130gr match bullets. Check out these user reviews from MidwayUSA.com:

“Bullet has an excellent Litz G7 BC and a shorter ogive than the 130gr Bergers, making them more magazine friendly. Experience in my 26″ 1:8 barrel shows peak accuracy around 2900 fps with H4350, with another small node around 2960 fps.” — Paul, Sellersberg, IN

“Bought a box of 500 since the Berger 130s were in short supply due to competition season. First impressions: very well made, consistent weight, ogive, and bearing length. Loaded some up for my Savage 6.5×47 Bartlein 1:8″-twist 28″ and during load development at 200 yards I could shoot very small groups… with .409″ nice 5-shot clusters on a windy day. They seem to like just kissing the lands and you do not have to hot-rod them. Will buy another box of 500, these are very good mid range competition bullets and will use them in my next club match. Highly recommend!” — Steve, Nashville, TN

To see a 6.5×55 Sauer STR 200 rifle in action, watch the video. In this ‘Stangskyting’ competition, shooters have just 25 seconds to hit the target [at] 200-300m distance as many times as possible. In the video, a shooter named Børklop, using his Sauer STR 200, puts 16 rounds on target in just 25 seconds. (He starts with a round in the chamber and cycles through three, 5-round magazines). Børklop’s performance, with just a sling and iron sights, is impressive. Note that Børklop manipulates the Sauer’s bolt with his thumb and index finger, while pulling the trigger with his middle finger.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 1 Comment »
December 16th, 2012

Lesters Ammunition — “It Usually Works”

Looking for an amusing gift for your best shooting buddy, or a “conversation starter” to hang on the wall of your local shooting facility or club-house? Consider a frameable parody print from Blue Loon Fine Arts or a “retro-style” tin sign from CheapTinSigns.com. Both vendors offer art that harkens back to outdoor hunting illustrations from the 1920s and 1930s. But when you look carefully, you’ll see there’s a twist that will leave art-viewers chuckling.

Lesters ammunition art

Among Blue Loon’s Golden Age Parodies are faux advertising sheets for “Lesters Ammunition”. Potential buyers of “America’s Cheapest Ammunition” are assured that “It Usually Works”. Well, that’s comforting. There is also a British version for “Lesters — The Empire’s Cheapest Ammunition”, illustrating a well-fed lion. These are offered as full-size wall posters or magazine-size framed prints, starting at $95.00. (Note to Amy Bruno — You should get one of these for your father.)

Lesters ammunition art

Cheap Tin Signs sells a 12.5″ x 16″ retro-style tin sign printed with the Lesters Bear-Eats-Hunter scene. This vendor offers other parody-style tin signs that should bring a smile to your hunting and shooting buddies. In addition, Cheap Tin Signs offers dozens of other (non-parody) tin signs, with vintage 30s-style artwork for Colt Revolvers, Winchester Rifles, and Smith & Wesson pistols.

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December 15th, 2012

No More Excuses — Get a Safe for Your Guns

In light of the tragic events in Connecticut, we strongly urge all readers to secure their firearms so they cannot be accessed by juveniles or mentally unstable persons in the household. If you don’t have a gun safe, get one. Don’t procrastinate because of cost factors — here is an affordable option you can get from Walmart. The $597.00 24-gun Cannon Safe is big enough to hold a large collection of arms and heavy enough that it would be difficult to remove — particularly if it is bolted down. Yes, there are better-built safes. But this $597.00 Cannon is a viable option if you can’t afford anything of higher quality. You want a safe that is big and heavy enough that it can’t be easily hauled off with a hand truck. For more information on Gun Safes, read our Gun Safe Buyers’ Guide

The Cannon Safari Series 24-Gun Capacity gun safe comes with a built-in door panel organizer, electronic lock, and a 30-minute fire rating. The interior is fully lined with lint-free fabric and the bottom is pre-drilled for bolting the safe to the floor. The electronic lock allows the owner to change the combination and a 9-volt battery is changed from the outside. Its door is locked with steel-active locking bolts on the left side and door wraps around the inside right side.

  • 30-minute fire protection rating
  • Internal hinges and expandable smoke seal
  • Adjustable shelving
  • Dimensions: 59″H x 26″W x 22″D (depth includes handle and lock)
  • Model# 5926BLKEDOK

UPDATE: Bulletin Reader Michael found that TractorSupply.com has a similar 60″ x 26″ x 20″ Cannon TS6026E Challenger Gun Safe on sale for just $449.99 through December 18th, 2012. That’s the web price, but if you need delivery you have to add $100.00 for oversized shipping. If you can get to a local Tractor Supply Co. outlet near you and pick the safe up yourself, this may be an amazing deal if the store honors the web price. Don’t dawdle — Sale ends December 18th!

Cannon Safe Tractor Supply Sale

Permalink Hot Deals 4 Comments »
December 15th, 2012

New Accurate LT-32 Powder Coming in January

Midsouth Shooters Supply is now taking advance orders for the new Accurate LT-32 Powder, with initial deliveries expected in January 2013. Price for a 1-lb container is $25.12, while an 8-lb jug runs $190.50. Produced by Western Powders, LT-32 is an extruded powder with extremely small kernels (roughly .0275″). This powder is designed to perform like the legendary “T-322″ powders which worked brilliantly in short-range benchrest cartridges, especially the 6mm PPC. Early testers report that Accurate LT-32 meters superbly and is easy to tune. Western claims LT-32 exhibits very low standard deviation. (Photos below by Speedy Gonzalez).

Accurate lt32 powder Western

Speedy Says Accurate LT-32 is Very Promising
Benchrest Hall-of-Famer and noted gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez tested the prototype LT-32 powder from Western Powder earlier this year. Speedy stated: “It pains me to say it, but the new LT-32 out-shot my best lots of [the original] IMR 8208 (T-322)”.

Accurate lt32 powder Western

Speedy reports: “I must say that I was quite surprised by the results of my initial testing of the new Western Powder LT-32. Shooting this morning over my Oehler 35P triple screen chronograph yielded some very unexpected results. My best lot of ‘T’ powder continues to exhibit its age as it continues to lose velocity (as it ages). While the new Western LT-32 demonstrated this morning velocities equal to what my old ‘T’ powder used to shoot like 30 years ago.

This new powder goes through the measure like a ball powder. (Note: I have always felt that one of the reasons ‘T’ powder shot so well was due to the fact it measured so well as compared to other powders. This is a definite advantage for us that rely on consistent volume instead of weight.) I will have to shoot it over a season to see if it is as temperature and humidity insensitive as ‘T’, but it looks very promising from what I saw today.

It has yet to be seen if the new LT-32 proves to not be affected by temperature and humidity like the old T-322. But from these short tests it very much mimics my T-322 of old. My ‘T’ powder was always a blessing to me in the fact that when I went to a match I did not have the same problems everyone else was having [i.e. having] to tune up and down over the course of a weekend or week. I got to shoot and concentrate on the conditions instead of making it a tuning competition. It was always kind of funny watching everybody going up and down on their powders trying to accommodate the changes in weather as the days went on. Hopefully this will allow all to become better shooters by being able to concentrate on shooting and not re-turning every time one comes back from the bench.”

Statement from Western Powders

The Accurate LT-32 is an exact copy of the original T-32 manufactured in the same plant and on the same machinery as the original. Lou Murdica has been extensively testing it and he tells us it is the easiest powder to tune that he has seen in 40 years.

Accurate lt32 powder WesternAccording to Lou, the chamber that everybody was using in the 80s will work with this powder. The bullets do not need to be seated way out in order to get more powder in the case. In testing the powder in our Bond Universal receiver against the original “T” powder, SDs were about 30% lower with the new powder versus the “T” powder. Lou and Don Nielson donated 16 lbs. of the original T-32 lot of powder for our quality control and that is what the new powder is shot against.

All of our powders are allowed to deviate +3% to -5% in pressure from the quality control lot except LT-32 which we cut the deviation percentages in half in order to have the best lot to lot consistency in the industry for this powder[.] We developed this powder specifically for the 6mm PPC and it is QC’d in the 6mm PPC.

Keith Anderson
Western Powders Ballistic Lab

NOTE: Accurate LT-32 should also be available from PowderValleyInc.com in mid-to-late January 2013. Listed Prices are: $24.10 for 1 pound and $182.00 for 8 pounds.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 15th, 2012

SHOT Show 2013 is Just One Month Away

Shot Show 2013Believe it or not, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2013 SHOT Show is only a month away. The SHOT Show, to be held January 15-18 in Las Vegas, is the biggest event of the year in the gun industry. There will be thousands of exhibitors in the Sands Expo & Convention Center. If you qualify to attend the show (SHOT Show is not open to the general public), you can register today at SHOTShow.org. While you’re on the SHOT Show website, you can sign up for optional offerings including retailer and law enforcement seminars, the State of the Industry Dinner, SHOT Show University and more (Some of these programs require significant additional costs). While getting reading for SHOT Show 2013, you can access current updates and SHOT Show news through the SHOT Show Blog and the SHOT Show Facebook Page.

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December 14th, 2012

Update on Nancy Tompkins Book: ETA is Early February

Nancy TompkinsNancy Tompkins has been working on a new Second Edition of her popular book: Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting. Nancy just announced that the final proof has been submitted to the printer (at last), and the book should be available in six weeks, i.e. early February, 2013. Nancy posted today: “Mid gave me roses last night after I sent the proof for book to the printer. Yay! After thousands of hours of work… I AM DONE! In six weeks it will be a book.”

The enhanced Second Edition will feature updates to the current chapters, more photos, plus an entirely new chapter on F-Class Shooting. The Second Edition will be issued with a hardback cover, for increased durability. Price isn’t set yet, but Nancy hopes to keep the price “under $40.00″. The book will be available from Sinclair Int’l and direct from Nancy via her website, RifleShootingbyNancy.com.

Author Profile: Nancy Tompkins has been shooting competitively for over 33 years. She has won the National Long Range Championship four times. Nancy was the first woman in history to win the National High Power Championship (a feat accomplished by only two ladies, the other being Nancy’s daughter Sherri Jo Gallagher). Nancy has also been the Wimbledon Cup winner, and a 5-time Leech Cup winner. She has won both team and individual medals in the World Palma Championships, and has been on 6 Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

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December 14th, 2012

Clint Smith Gun Safety Video from FMG Publications

Clint SmithFMG Publications has partnered with renowned firearms instructor Clint Smith in a timely video covering the precepts of safe gun-handling. Commonly known as the “Four Gun Safety Rules,” these simple steps act as a safeguard, helping to prevent tragedy.

“I was heartbroken to read about the father who accidentally shot his son in Mercer, PA, earlier this week,” said FMG Publications Director Randy Molde. “If he would have observed just one of the four gun safety rules, his son would still be alive. It’s a sobering reminder that we can never take gun safety for granted. Hopefully our viewers will share this video and, more importantly, remind friends and family of the four gun safety rules.”

Clint Smith, Director of the Thunder Ranch training facility in Oregon, is widely recognized as one of the top shooting instructors in the nation.

Click to Watch Gun Safety Video

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December 14th, 2012

Precision Rifleman eZine Covers NBRSA Events

Precision Rifleman NBRSAThe National Bench Rest Shooters Association (NBRSA) now has its own eZine, Precision Rifleman, which covers NBRSA events and provides notices to members. The editors do a good job providing follow-up reports on popular matches with profiles of notable NBRSA members.

Along with match reports, you’ll find a list of upcoming events plus a handy directory of NBRSA-affiliated clubs across the country, complete with full contact information.

While Precision Rifleman is funded in part through NBRSA member dues, you can read the digital version online for free — you do not have to be a paying NBRSA member. (A print version goes out to NBRSA members).

CLICK HERE to read latest December 2012 issue of Precision Rifleman

Precision Rifleman NBRSA

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December 13th, 2012

“It Hammers” — Radical Jennings-Stocked F-TR Rig Shoots Great

We recently reported on the new Jennings F-TR stock with integrated bipod. When we first saw this rig we thought, “OK, it looks cool, but how does it shoot?” Well, we had a chance to test a .308 Win F-TR rifle built by Chesebro Rifles using the Jennings stock, Barnard action, and 32″ Bartlein barrel. With the gun on the bench, we first shot a few rounds to confirm zero and test for function.

Then gun-builder Mark Chesebro set the rifle on the shooting mat, opened up a box of Federal 168gr Gold Medal Match (GMM) .308 Win ammo, and got down to business — from the ground. What happened next can only be described as “shock and awe”. Mark nailed three successive groups that left us shaking our heads in amazement. The Jennings stock works. Does it ever. This gun hammers.

All groups were shot from the ground, bipod-supported, with Federal factory GMM ammo.

Mark’s first three-shot group had two shots in one hole, then the third leaked a bit high for a 0.184″ group. Then Mark dialed down 2 MOA elevation, and drilled an astonishing 3-shot .047″ group. (For reference, the black diamond in the orange paster is 1/4″ from point to point.)

I was watching through a Swarovski spotting scope and I saw all three shots track into one hole that just got a little whiter in the middle with each successive round. I yelled out “Stop shooting!” because I wanted to measure the group. It was an easy mid-zero — and honestly it looked like just one bullet hole from a pistol. That is amazing with factory .308 Win ammo, particularly in a barrel throated for 185s, not the 168gr SMKs Federal uses in its Gold Medal Match .308 ammunition.

Mark Chesebro Rifles

After measuring Mark’s 3-shot bughole, we walked back to the firing line and Mark shot a full 5-shot group. This would have been a two-flat, but he flinched a bit and his third shot went a little high to open the group to a 0.233″. Still darn impressive with factory ammo…

Editor’s Comment: This Gun is Ultra-Stable and Tracks Straight Back
I had a chance to shoot the gun from the ground. I can tell you this — the stock design really works. With the wide-track bipod, the gun is incredibly stable. As you’re aiming there is virtually zero horizontal movement in the crosshairs. All you need to do is squeeze the ears to set your vertical Point of Aim and pull the trigger. This thing is one of the easiest guns to shoot accurately (from the ground) that I’ve ever tried. You don’t have to struggle for stability at all — the gun wants to stay dead calm.

With the large, cylindrical Delrin feet placed on a mat, the gun tracks straight back. And there is no hop, no bounce, no roll. In fact, the gun tracked so well that I could see my bullets impact on the paper target. That’s surprising for a .308 Win with no muzzle brake. After a shot I could slide the gun forward and the crosshairs were right where they should be — the only thing I had to do is squeeze the ears to re-set my vertical. All I can tell you is the thing is very easy to shoot well.

I don’t know whether it is because of the forward-angle geometry of the legs, or the Delrin feet, or the properties of the carbon fiber tube that supports the front end, but the gun seems to have more damping than other metal-chassis stocks I’ve tried. Some metal-stocked guns seem to “ring” and transmit a sharp pulse to the shooter. This Jennings stock doesn’t do that — it seems to soak up vibration somehow. And the recoil is very mild, I think because the Delrin feet slow the gun down as they slide back smoothly.

Bottom Line: We came away very, very impressed with this rifle and the Jennings stock. I have never experienced a bipod-equipped rifle (in any caliber) that is easier to aim and hold steady, or which is easier to return to precise point of aim after each shot. And, without question, this is one of the most accurate .308 Win rifles we have ever shot from the ground. And that was with factory ammo, not tuned handloads!

Making a Great Design Even Better
Could the rifle be improved? Yes. While there is some rear elevation adjustment (via an eccentric bag-rider that rotates) we would like to see more rear-end elevation adjustment, so the gun could better adapt to uphill and downhill target placements. Also we’d like to see a higher mounting point for the bag-rider so you could use a taller, beefier rear bag. We discussed these points with Mark Chesebro, and he’s agreed to start prototyping some upgrades. This may include a thumbwheel-adjustable bag-rider (sort of like an upside-down adjustable cheekpiece). At our suggestion, the vertically adjustable bag-rider may be offered in two versions — straight and angled. With an angled bag-rider (i.e. with a slight amount of drop front to rear), you could adjust your vertical point of aim by sliding the gun forward or aft in the rear bag.

We will supplement this test report with more photos and video in a few days. We know you want to see how well it tracks. The video tells the story better than words can…

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
December 13th, 2012

How Case Filling Method Can Alter Powder Column Height

Most of us assume that if we weigh our powder carefully (down to the tenth of a grain or less) we can achieve a uniform powder fill from case to case in our handloads. Weighing does ensure that the weight of the propellant in each case is the same, but is the column of powder the same by volume each time? “Not necessarily” is the answer. An interesting experiment by our friend Boyd Allen demonstrates that the manner in which you place kernels in the case can make a significant difference in the height of the powder column within the brass case.

Using a Gempro 250 scale, Boyd measured exactly 30.6 grains of Vihtavuori N-133 powder. He then inserted this powder in the same cartridge case multiple times. (The case has a fired primer in place.) But here is the key — Boyd used various filling techniques. He did a slow fill, and a fast fill, and he also experimented with tapping and drop tubes. What Boyd discovered was that you can start with the exact same weight of powder (in fact the very same set of kernels), yet end up with vary different fill heights, depending on how you drop the kernels into the case. Look at the photos. Despite variations in lighting, the photos show the same 30.6 grains of powder, placed in the same cartridge, with four different methods.

Boyd Explains the Procedure Used for his Experiment.

EDITOR’s NOTE: So there is no misunderstanding, Boyd started with a weighed 30.6 grain charge. This identical charge was used for ALL four fills. After a fill the powder was dumped from the case into a pan which was then used for the next fill technique to be tried. So, the powder weight was constant. Indeed the exact same kernels (of constant weight and number) were used for each fill.

Boyd writes: “I used the same powder for all fills, 30.6 gr. on a GemPro 250 checked more than once. All fills employed the same RCBS green transparent plastic funnel. The fast drop with the funnel only overflowed when it was removed from the case neck, and 15 granules of powder fell on the white paper that the case was sitting on. The fast-funnel-only drop with tapping, was done with the funnel in place and the case and funnel in one hand, while tapping the case body with the index finger hard, many times (about 20 fast double taps). My idea here was to “max out” the potential of this tapping technique.

The slow drop with the funnel and 10″-long .22 cal. Harrell’s Precision drop tube, was done by holding the scale pan over the funnel and tapping the spout of the pan repeatedly on the inside of the funnel about 1/3 down from the top, with the scale pan tilted just enough so that the powder will just flow. Many taps were involved, again, to max out the technique.

Again, to be clear, after each case filling, the powder was poured from the case back into the scale pan carefully. You may notice the similarity between the fast drop with the drop tube, and the funnel only with tapping. Although I did not photograph it, fast tube drop and tapping (combined) improved on tapping alone, but only to about half as far down the neck as the slow with drop tube. Due to the endless possible permutations, I picked four and left it at that.

I believe that I can make the rough judgment that the scale pan funnel and drop tube technique, which involved a longer drop period, and probably less velocity at the top of the tube, left more room in the top of the case neck than the slow drop from the measure with the same drop tube. You have both pictures, so you can make the comparison.” — Boyd

Does Powder Column Height Variance Make a Difference?
Boyd’s experiment proves pretty conclusively that the method of dropping a given weight of powder can affect the height of the powder column in the case and the degree of powder compression (when a bullet is seated). He showed this to be true even when the exact same set of kernels (of constant weight) was used in repetitive loadings. This raises some interesting questions:

1. Will subsequent cartridge transport and handling cause the powder to settle so the variances in powder column height are diminished?

2. If significant inconsistencies in powder column height remain at time of firing, will the difference in fill level hurt accuracy, or result in a higher extreme spread in velocity?

3. Is there any advantage (beyond increased effective case capacity) for a tight (low level) fill vs. a loose (high level) fill?

We don’t know the answer to these follow up questions. This Editor guesses that, if we tested low-fill-height rounds vs. high-fill-height rounds (all with same true fill quantity by weight), we might see meaningful differences in average velocity. I would also guess that if you fired 10 rounds that exhibited quite a difference in powder column heights, you might see a higher ES/SD than if you shot 10 rounds loaded with a very consistent powder column height (either high or low). But further testing is needed to determine if these predictions are true.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 12 Comments »
December 13th, 2012

Target Gift-Wrapping Paper from Creedmoor Sports

Here’s a cool new item for the avid shooters on your Xmas gift list. For this holiday season, Creedmoor Sports has created special package-wrapping paper with target graphics. The unique, heavy-weight gift wrap features Dennis DeMille’s High Power Rifle National Record Target score of 200-20x+100-8x at 200 yards. The 36″ x 24″ sheets are made from 60# stock with a gloss finish. Individual wrapping sheets cost $1.95 or you can buy five sheets for $7.95. This special wrapping paper with bullseye graphics is perfect for gifts to the shooters in your family, or for gifts a club may present to members at year’s end.

Creedmoor Sports Target Gift Wrap

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December 12th, 2012

Legendary Exhibition Shooter Bob Munden Passes at Age 70

Bob Munden passes awayFamed exhibition shooter Bob Munden passed away December 10th, from a heart attack. Bob was 70 years old. Munden’s friends at Hodgdon Powder stated: “Bob was a legend, a showman and a gentleman above all else.” Born February 8, 1942 in Kansas City, MO, Bob began his professional shooting career at age 11 in California. While still in high school, Bob placed second in the noted LeatherSlap competition, and that launched his fabled career as a fast-draw specialist and trick shooter.

Over his long career, Munden traveled around the globe giving shooting exhibitions. Munden was famous both as a speed-draw specialist and a trick shooter with all types of firearms. He was recognized as “The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived” in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a star of Shooting USA’s “Impossible Shots” TV show, Munden provided amazing demonstrations of shooting skills for a national television audience — such as splitting a playing card tossed in the air. Many of Munden’s famous trick shots were “first-ever” challenges, tricks that no other marksman had ever done before.

Bob Munden passes away

Over the years Bob, often with his wife Becky (who is also a skilled shooter), appeared on many television shows, most famously American Shooter, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Stan Lee’s Superhumans, Shooting USA, and Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots. Munden is featured in DVDs including Bob Munden: Outrageous Shooting and Bob Munden: The Collector’s Edition.

Bob Munden passes away

Registered as members #118 and #119 respectively, Bob and Becky entertained at the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) End of Trail World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting 30 times with what Becky proudly said was the most complex presentation ever offered at an exhibition shooting show. She added that Bob was Cowboy Action Shooting’s first gunsmith. After her beloved Bob passed away this week, Becky said: “We had an incredible, memorable life together.”

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