January 31st, 2013

CigarCop’s .284 Win BAT-Action Beauty from Bob Green

Forum member K.W., aka ‘CigarCop’, has spotlighted his handsome long-range F-Class and Bench Rifle in our Forum’s Show Off Your Bat! thread. This is built with a BAT Multi-Flat action, Brux barrel, and a fiberglass McMillan F-Class stock. As you can see, it’s one handsome rifle. Be sure to click the image below to see the much more impressive wide-screen image!

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

The smithing was done by Bob Green and CigarCop was full of praise for Bob’s work: “I can’t really say enough about Bob Green, his attention to every detail and his ability to build an awesome shooting rifle… but once again he turned a pile of parts into a masterpiece! Picked this one up yesterday and enjoyed a Cigar with him as well. Built on a Bat MB Multi-flat in .284 Win with a Brux 1:8.5″ twist barrel. I put ten rounds through her today to get her up and running! It’s almost identical to my 6.5x47L that [Bob] also built. Once again, thanks Bob!”

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Bob Green told us: “There was nothing really unusual about this build — this is the quality we try to maintain on all our guns. The barrel was chambered with the client’s reamer to a min-spec SAAMI .284 Win. The Multi-Flat BAT is pillar-bedded and bolted in, with no extra weight added to the stock. CigarCop provided the nice metal spacers on the buttstock and I polished them up. The finish is plain black but it looks good.”

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Based in York, Pennsylvania, Bob Green is one of AccurateShooter.com’s recommended gunsmiths. To learn more about his Bob’s work visit GreensRifles.com, email Bob [at] Greensrifles.com, or call (717) 792-1069.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
January 31st, 2013

Kelly Bachand Reviews Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

This review first appeared in 2011. Having graduated from college in 2012, Kelly is now working full-time, and he has started a business, KellysGunSales.com.

Kelly BachandMost readers recognize Kelly Bachand from the popular Top Shot TV show on the History Channel. Kelly didn’t win the $100K grand prize, but he was a talented competitor who became an audience favorite with his accurate rifle shooting and “toughness under fire” (Kelly survived more one-on-one challenges than any other competitor). Last spring, with the cooperation of Forster Products, AccurateShooter.com supplied Kelly with a new Forster Co-Ax® Press. As a college student, Kelly had previously reloaded with a low-priced Lee Challenger Press — all that his “starving student” budget would allow. (In fairness to the Lee — it did produce some match-winning ammo for Kelly over the years.)

Kelly has been very impressed with the Co-Ax Press and he put together a video review for us. Kelly likes the ease with which dies can be swapped in and out of the press, and he also enjoys the added mechanical leverage provided by the coaxial design. Kelly favors the Forster’s straight-drop, spent primer-capture system. On other, conventional presses, spent primers and debris can collect around the base of the press, or end up on the floor, on your carpet, or on your bench-top.

YouTube Preview Image

Forster Co-Ax Press Design Features
The Co-Ax’s spring-loaded shell holder jaws float with the die, allowing cases to correctly center in the die. Dies snap easily in and out of the jaws so you can change dies in a couple of seconds. Many folks believe this improves die alignment, producing loaded rounds with less runout.

We really like the primer recovery system on the Co-Ax. Spent primers pass straight down into a cup — no more primers and carbon on the carpet. Every other single-stage press we’ve tried will toss a spent primer now and then, and primer residue builds up around the ram shaft.

PROS: Floating jaw shell-holder design delivers low run-out ammo. Smooth stroke without wobble. Best spent-primer collection system.

CONS: Clearance can be an issue with some very tall dies (but you can mill the yoke to accommodate). Dies must be equipped with cross-bolt style lock rings. We recommend the Hornady lock-rings.

If you need power for case sizing, the Co-Ax delivers three times the mechanical advantage of some conventional presses. The Co-Ax’s dual parallel guide-rod design also ensures that the ram movement is straight and smooth throughout the power stroke. With a center-mounted handle, the Co-Ax works equally well for both right- and left-handed reloaders.

Forster Co-Ax Press

The Co-Ax press accepts any standard 7/8″x14 threaded reloading die. You will need to use cross-bolt-style lock-rings on your dies. We recommend the Hornady rings. These are steel and have a hex-head cross-bolt. The Co-Ax requires no expensive shell-holders. The standard “S” jaw set supplied with the press fits nearly all common calibers except: 378 Wby., 45-70, 256 Win. Mag., 44 S&W, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem., 45-90 and 348 Win. These calibers can be used if you purchase the optional “LS” Jaws.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review No Comments »
January 30th, 2013

OnTarget Software Measures Group Sizes from Scan or Photo

Jeffrey Block has created a great new FREE software program, OnTarget, that measures shot groups quickly and precisely. All you need is a photo or scan of your target. The program allows you to set your target distance, and provides caliber-specific tools to precisely mark the center of each shot. Once you’ve marked each bullet hole, Jeff’s OnTarget program automatically calculates group center, maximum group spread (CTC), average distance to center, group width and height, and group offset from point of aim. The program will even measure multiple groups on the same target.

CLICK HERE to Download OnTarget Group-Measuring Software (v1.10 FREE; v2.10 $11.99)

After just a few minutes spent learning the program’s tool buttons, we were able to plot shot groups on a variety of targets with ease. Once you select the target distance and bullet diameter, figuring group size is a simple matter of centering a circle tool over each bullet hole. Then the program “connects the dots” and provides all the info you could want automatically.

The program worked with bullet holes as small as 17 caliber and as large as 50 caliber. It is very precise, but remember that if your target photo was taken at an angle, distorted perspective can cause slight errors in measurement. Therefore, for the ultimate precision, you want to start with a flat scan of the target.

OnTarget Compared to Measuring Manually
We found OnTarget to be especially useful for groups with widely dispersed bullet holes, or very small bullet holes, such as 17 caliber holes. We’ve found that it’s difficult to measure 17-cal group sizes with a standard caliper, because the tool itself obscures the tiny holes. With OnTarget, the program can zoom up your target view, making it much easier to plot the center of each shot. And with a widely dispersed group of shots, the program automatically finds the two most distant shots. You can’t mistakenly pick the wrong pair of shots to measure.

Flash Tutorial Shows How It Works
Jeff created an excellent animated Animated Tutorial demonstrating OnTarget’s functions. It shows how to import a target image or scan, how to set target distance and scale, how to set bullet size and circle each bullet hole, and how to save the marked and measured target. VIEW OnTarget TUTORIAL

MEASURING REAL TARGETS — Actual Examples

Here are examples we created with OnTarget. The first photo shows a 17 Mach 2 target. These tiny 17-cal holes are notoriously hard to measure. With OnTarget, it’s a snap. You just load the target image into the program, zoom in with the controls, and then click on the center of the holes. The program automatically calculates group size, displaying measurements in both inches and minutes of angle (MOA)

Original Target (with ruler for scale)

Target Captured and Displayed in Program

Detail of Group, Enlarged by Program

10-shot Groups? — No Problem
Here’s another target, showing 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. The first image shows the target image loaded into the program with the ten holes circled in red.

Target Displayed in Program

For this target we have used the Aiming Point option. The Aim Point was set at the center of the “X” and the program calculates average distance from the Aim Point. Very cool.

Detail of 10-Shot Group, Enlarged by Program

No Scanner Needed
The OnTarget program grabs target scans directly from a flatbed scanner using Microsoft’s Windows Image Acquisition system. But don’t worry if you don’t have a scanner. You can just take a digital photo of your target and OnTarget will import it quickly and easily. To set target scale, a simple tool allows you to mark a known length on the target (such as the diameter of the “X” Ring), and the program will then size the target accordingly. Is OnTarget precise and accurate? Here’s what Forum Member Steve W. says: “I used the extreme spread measurement of a group on one of my 600-yard match targets… as it was officially scored at the match. By clicking the +—+ icon, then clicked the cursor in the centers of the two extreme spread holes, I then entered that value in the reference window. After that it was simple because the bullet placement cursor’s circle was the same size as the black outline of the actual bullet holes on the picture of the target. OnTarget’s measurement came up within .006″ of the official 2.772 inch measurement of the group. That’s pretty darned close; well inside the human judgment of aligning the tips of a micrometer on the bullet holes.”

Bottom Line — Great Program — Download It Today
Jeffrey Block has done a great service for shooters by creating the FREE OnTarget program. It is easy to learn, it functions great, and it can save you time and effort measuring targets. It also lets you easily archive and compare multiple targets produced during load development or rifle testing. You can record ammo type, date, location, weather etc. in note fields accessed by “Group Info” and “Target Info” tabs.

Keep in mind that OnTarget was NOT created to replace existing methods for scoring competition targets. But for all other target measuring purposes it does a great job. Visit Jeff’s website, OnTargetShooting.com, view the tutorial, and check out OnTarget for yourselves.

To learn more about OnTarget, see more measuring samples, and read advanced Power-User Tips, visit our full OnTarget Product Review.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
January 30th, 2013

New Loaded Ammunition from McMillan Group Int’l

McMillan Group International (McMillan) has added three new lines of ammunition: Extreme Velocity ammo (optimized for long range), McMillan Precision ammo (match quality for hunting), and McMillan Tactical ammo. All three new types of ammo are loaded with premium bullets. McMillan claims that its precision cartridge-loading methods ensure: “better concentricity, better uniformity of velocity, [and] better uniformity of pressure”. Along with these three NEW ammo types, McMillan already offers African Dangerous Game ammunition (ADG).

McMillan Ammunition Extreme Tactical Hunting

McMillan Extreme Velocity Ammunition — Long Range
McMillan’s Extreme Velocity (ExVel) ammunition utilizes high-BC Berger Bullets exclusively. Powders are selected for High FPS and low ES to minimize vertical spread at long range. ExVel ammo was designed with input from Bob Beck of Extreme Outer Limits TV.

Cartridge List: 22-250, 243 Win, 6.5×284 Norma, 7mm EOL Ultra Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 7mm Rem Ultra Mag, .300 EOL Ultra Mag,.300 Win Mag, 300 Rem Ultra Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum.

McMillan Precision Ammunition — Hunting
In its new Precision line, McMillan offers traditional hunting cartridge types. Barnes LRX, TSX, and TTSX bullets with excellent accuracy AND strong terminal performance are used. All critical cartridge measurements are held to precision tolerances and Powders are selected for consistent velocity. Each round is hand inspected.

Cartridge List: .243 Win, 270 WSM, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, 30-378, .300 RUM, .300 WSM, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag.

McMillan Tactical Ammunition
McMillan’s Tactical ammunition offers .308, .300 WM, .338 LM, and 50 BMG cartridges loaded to “match-quality standards”. Bullets are carefully selected for mission-specific applications and powders are selected for low ES to minimize vertical spread at extreme long ranges. Each round is hand inspected.

Cartridge List: .308 Subsonic, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum, 50 BMG.

For more information on McMillan ammunition, visit www.McMillanusa.com. To order, call McMillan toll-free at 877-365-6148.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
January 29th, 2013

First Look: NEW Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot ShowAt SHOT Show we checked out the all-new, side-focus 15-55x52mm Competition™ Scope from Nightforce Optics. This comes in both Silver finish and Matte Black. The black version looks like an NXS. The silver looks good but the finish is pretty shiny and contrasts with the black controls (some folks will like that, others won’t). We worked the knobs and side-parallax controls. The clicks are positive and the dial resistance seems just about right (very similar to an NXS). The ED (low-dispersion) glass in the new 15-55X provides high contrast, low chromatic aberration, and 92% light transmission. And this scope is a LOT lighter than the current 12-42x56mm — nearly half a pound less! The new 15-55x52mm sells for $2231.00.

Watch Video to See NF 15-55x52mm Competition Scope (and B.E.A.S.T. sneak preview.)

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show

The big news is that, with a weight of just 27.8 ounces, the new 15-55X Nightforce Competition Scope is 24% lighter than the NF 12-42×56 Benchrest model, and 20% lighter than the NF 12-42×56 NXS. Like the NXS series, the new Competition scope offers side parallax adjustment; and, it will focus from 25 yards to infinity, making it suitable for rimfire and airgun shooting as well as centerfire competition. The turrets provide positive and repeatable .125 MOA (eighth-minute-of-angle) clicks. Each rotation provides 5 MOA of adjustment. And we’re pleased to see that the Competition Scope offers a full 60 MOA of travel — for both windage and elevation. That’s impressive. We’re pleased to see the new scope offers a fast-focus, European-style diopter eyepiece (photo below right). Two reticles will be offered initially: the CTR-1 (fine crosshair with target dot) and DDR (double dot with hold markers). You can see the reticles in the video above.

Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long to get a 15-55x52mm Comp Scope. Nightforce says it will start shipping in mid-February. CLICK HERE for more information.

Nightforce Competition 15-55x52mm scope Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show
Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 29th, 2013

Vintage Military Rifle Match Ammunition from Hornady

Vintage Military Rifle

Vintage Military Rifle

Vintage Military Rifle Matches
Across the country, vintage military rifle matches are growing in popularity. It’s easy to understand why — the matches are fun, the rifles are affordable, and the rules discourage the use of expensive aftermarket sights and fancy triggers. It comes down to good marksmanship… and good ammo.

To help competitors in the Vintage military rifle game, Hornady has devleoped a line of Vintage Match ammunition. Currently available in four cartridge types, Vintage Match ammunition replicates the original military performance specifications of older military rifles. To function safely and reliably in older guns, this Vintage Match ammo is loaded to pressures well below CIP max.

Vintage Military rifle 7.62x54R Moisin Nagant
Vintage Military Rifle Match photo from CMP Zenfolio Image Archive on the web.

Hornady Vintage Match ammunition was developed for shooters involved in the increasingly popular CMP Vintage Rifle and Vintage Sniper Matches. This “Vintage Match” product offers an off-the-shelf, match-grade alternative to surplus or hand-loaded ammunition. The four varieties of Vintage Match ammo are: 6.5×55 Swede, .303 British (Enfield), 7.62x54R (Moisin Nagant), and 8×57 IS/JS (Mauser)*.

Vintage Match Ammo Hornady

*From Norma Website: The “J” in the name originated with confusion over the word “Infanterie”. English translators mistook the Gothic “I” for a “J”. The “J” has no significance as to proper bullet size. In 1905, Germany increased working pressure of this cartridge and switched from a 226gr, 0.318-inch, round-nose bullet (2095 fps) to a 154gr, 0.323-inch, spitzer bullet (2880 fps). The “S” in the designation stands for “Spitzer” and also indicates that the bore was either originally made for, or was altered for, 0.323-inch bullets. It is extremely rare to find a sporting rifle chambered and barreled for the original 8×57 J (0.318-inch groove). However, this is possible. So, if in doubt, have the bore slugged to determine if it is safe to fire loads using 0.323-inch bullets.

Match photos © Civilian Marksmanship Program, used by permission.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 7 Comments »
January 29th, 2013

Robert Carnell’s Australian Benchrest Bulletin

Thanks to a dedicated ‘Down-Under’ benchrester, Australian shooters have an excellent web resource for their sport. Sydney’s Robert Carnell has created a content-rich website for Australian shooters, www.benchrestbulletin.net. Carnell’s Benchrest Bulletin provides match schedules and results, range info, recent news, record listings, shooting tips, and links to important Australian and Pacific Rim shooting organizations. You’ll also find gear reviews and a Shooter’s Forum.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Carnell, a past Australian Sporter Class champion, is an accomplished benchrest shooter with decades of experience. In 1993 he won a Silver Medal at the World Championships, and he has placed highly in events he’s attended in the United States. But Carnell is far more than an ace trigger puller. Robert is a skilled and creative “home gunsmith” who has crafted his own custom action and built his own railguns from scratch. You can learn about these and other Carnellian creations in the “Personal Projects” section of Robert’s website.

Home-Built Rail Gun — Aussie Innovation
Below are photos of one of Rob Carnell’s most amazing builds. This liquid-cooled, tension-barrel rail gun is a great example of self-reliant Aussie engineering. The barrel runs inside a coolent-filled, large-diameter sleeve, much like an old water-cooled machine gun. This is the fourth rail gun that Rob built, and the second fitted with a tensioned barrel.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Robert explains: “My railgun design has a 1.75″ barrel under tension inside an aluminium tube filled with radiator coolant. There is nearly a gallon of coolant, and the barrel stays cool no matter how many shots I seem to fire, or how quickly they are shot. The brass nut on the front rides on a nylon bearing and can be tightened to get the best accuracy. I am a believer in the ‘tuner’ idea and this seems to work for me. The main tube is thick-walled aluminium 600mm (24″) long. There is a flange at both ends. The flange at the back fits onto the barrel before the action is screwed on. The front flange is a press-fit into the tube, then there is a brass nut that fits over the barrel and screws against a nylon washer on the front flange. The Railgun’s base is aluminium and has the standard adjustments — windage, elevation and a sighter cam. In addition, there is a 1/10 thou dial indicator for windage. This allows me to zero the indicator and shoot my group. If I need to add a bit of windage for a condition, I can quickly get back to the original position if my condition comes back.”

Home-Built Action Uses Remington Bolt
Rob’s rail gun uses his own home-made stainless action, which features Panda-spec threads and a modified Remington 700 aftermarket bolt. Not bad for a do-it-yourself project we’d say! CLICK HERE to read how Rob designed and built the action.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
January 28th, 2013

Rear Sandbag Transport Caddy from Italy’s Varide Cicognani

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag ToteDoes your rear sand-bag get lumpy or lose its shape during transport? Are your bag ears starting to sag or get mis-aligned? Well the clever Italians have a solution for you.

Varide Cicognani, an Italian webstore specializing in competition shooting accessories, offers a cleverly-designed bag transport/storage caddy for rear sand-bags. Cicognani’s Portacuscino Model TFC-P is designed to keep your rear bag “in shape” during transport and storage. The TFC-P features aluminum top and bottom brackets, connected with threaded rods. A wedge under the top bracket fits between the bag ears. The top bracket has a convenient carry handle. The whole unit (not including bag) weighs just 13.4 ounces (680 grams). The price is € 49, or $65.99 at current exchange rates. For more information, visit www.VarideCicongnani.it.

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Product Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
January 27th, 2013

Kruger Premium Targets Showcased at SHOT Show

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
There were many European exhibitors at the 2013 SHOT Show, including Kruger Premium Targets from Germany. After a successful first run at the 2012 NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio, the call for Kruger targets has been picking up steam.

“We are always surprised by how many people come to the show,” said Kruger Sales Manager Joachim Seibold. “For us it is a big advantage because so many people stop by our booth. So many orders.” Now with a state side warehouse located in Oregon, their ability to fill those orders promises to be even quicker than before.


Photo by NRABlog

After agreeing to provide the National Rifle Association with targets for the National Championships back in 2010, Kruger has experienced a rise in demand for their product. Especially from the pistol competitions. “I asked many pistol shooters at Camp Perry what they thought about the targets,” explained Seibold. “There were no complaints. Everyone said how pleased they were with the quality. They had no problems seeing the holes, easily scored the targets, and everyone was happy. That’s why the NRA asked us to be their manufacturer.”

Kruger Targets

That success has created a new demand in the American marketplace. Venturing into the archery industry has been keeping Kruger busy. And a competition target contract with USA Shooting has things humming too. Busy as it is, Kruger has even managed adjust to the strict standards surrounding NRA’s move to the Orion Scoring System. “Yes, we also print targets for the company Orion. Those are in our new Oregon warehouse too,” he concluded with a laugh.

Kruger targets can be ordered online through Kruger-US-Targets.com or you can call Kruger’s USA distributor, MK Tactical, at (503) 746-6816. MK Tactical is located in Hillsborough, OR.

Permalink News No Comments »
January 26th, 2013

New Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Kit for Tikka T3 Actions

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine is now offering a tube-gun chassis kit for the Tikka T3 action. This T3 Chassis Kit is the latest design in Gary’s Light Weight Hunter Series. The T3 kit will initially be right-hand only, and will fit AICS short action magazines. This is a “no gunsmithing” installation — no modifications to the action are required and the chassis kit works with the factory T3 trigger and safety.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3Tikka’s T3 action is rigid and robust. It cycles smoothly and has a short 75° bolt lift. The T3 features a Sako-style extractor, with angled-leading-edge bolt lugs for smooth lock-up. The T3 action can be installed in Gary’s Chassis Kit with either a recoil disc (and bolts) or glue-in action mounting. The Chassis Kit is designed to accept AR15 buttstocks.

Eliseo’s current T3 Chassis Kit handles short-action cartridges only — for now. Gary is considering bringing out a version with a long-action-length magwell if there is sufficient demand.

Price is $685.00. This includes a rugged Cerakote finish. Tikka T3 action and AICS 5-round or 10-round magazines sold separately. For more info, visit GotXRing.com, call 714-630-5734, or send email to: spraynandprayn [at] gmail.com . CLICK HERE for order page.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 7 Comments »
January 26th, 2013

Browning Offers $50 to $100 Shotgun Rebates for Youth Programs

Here’s good new for young shooters. Browning has extended its 2012 Youth Shooting Group Promo through December 21, 2013 — through this entire year. Through this program, eligible young shooters (e.g. 4-H member or SCTP participants), can get a rebate of up to $100.00 on a new Browning shotgun. Here’s how it works:

  • The parent or legal guardian of the member of an organized youth shooting group purchases a new, eligible shotgun from the list.
  • The youth shooting group member AND guardian fill out the Browning Youth Shooting rebate redemption form, and provide all applicable paperwork.
  • The youth shooting group member receives a rebate check and a letter from Browning, along with a cap, decal and pin.

Browning Rebate

CLICK HERE for more information. Browning is currently updating the sign-up forms, to reflect the program’s extension through the end of 2013.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
January 25th, 2013

MEDIA Day Shoot: New MR762A1 LRP .308 from Heckler & Koch

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

There were many semi-auto “tactical” rifles on display at MEDIA Day 2013, but one that caught our eye was the new MR762A1 LRP from Heckler & Koch (HK). The HK MR762A1 LRP (“Long Range Package”) looks similar to the H&K G28 rifle, Germany’s new Designated Marksman Rifle. But the G28 has a steel upper receiver, unlike the MR762A1, which evolved from the HK 417.

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

Bedecked with quad rails up front, this black and tan rifle screams “tactical”, yet it is surprisingly comfortable to shoot. The grip is comfortable in the hand and the thick rubber buttpad on the adjustable buttstock did a good job of mitigating recoil. Jason said the trigger was crisp and the gun was very accurate. With a gas-piston system (rather than direct gas impingement), this rifle runs very clean. The proprietary, polymer HK magazine worked perfectly with zero feeding issues. We liked these better than the metal mags we’ve tried on other makers’ AR10-type systems.

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

The MR762A1 is a direct descendent of the HK416/417 series, only in a semi-automatic rifle configuration developed for civilian users. The MR762A1 LRP employs the same HK proprietary gas piston operating system found on current HK rifles and carbines, using a “pusher” rod in place of the gas tube in the original M16/AR15/AR10 design. According to HK, the op-rod design “virtually eliminates malfunctions common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. The MR762A1 stays cleaner, reducing heat transfer to the bolt and bolt carrier, and drastically reducing wear and tear on other critical components.”

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

The MR762A1 uses the same 10- and 20-round translucent polymer box magazines made for the HK417; a 5-round magazine is also under development. Additional accessories and add-ons for the LRP variant of the MR762A1 include an ERGO Pistol Grip from Falcon Industries, the same Blue Force Gear sling used on the HK M27 IAR supplied to the USMC, and an OTIS cleaning kit. The rifle package, complete with one 20-rd mag and one 10-rd mag, is shipped ready to use with the scope attached in a 42″-long Model 1720 Pelican case.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
January 25th, 2013

Taming the Beast: McMillan’s Hydraulic 50 BMG Recoil Reducer

McMillan Recoil Reduction

At MEDIA Day 2013, we checked out McMillan’s interesting hydraulic recoil mitigation system for the TAC-50 tactical rifle. Named the TAC-50 A1-R2, this shock-absorbing device reduces the peak recoil from the 50 BMG cartridge by approximately 90 percent (90%). Additional recoil reduction is provided by the proprietary muzzle brake offered on the TAC-50 A1-R2.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

The heart of the new TAC-50 A1-R2 recoil mitigation system is a proprietary hydraulic piston in the buttstock. As the rifle is fired, the piston compresses, softening the recoil by lowering the peak recoil force and spreading out the recoil over several milliseconds. The sensation for the shooter is that of a long push, rather than a violent punch.

Without the R2 recoil mitigation system, the peak recoil from a 50 BMG cartridge is approximately 7,500 lbs. of force. From start to finish, the recoil lasts 1 millisecond in a machine rest. With the R2 system, the peak recoil is only approximately 520 lbs. of force. What’s more, the force is spread out over 6 milliseconds. While the total recoil energy is roughly the same, the hydraulic piston lowers the perception of recoil dramatically for a shooter by lowering the peak force and spreading the recoil out over time.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

McMillan developed the new R2 system in partnership with customers using the TAC-50 weapons system. Extensive testing with electronic load sensors and high speed photography documented the recoil mitigation. The result is a 50-Caliber rifle that is significantly more comfortable to shoot.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

Story Tip by Ed LongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 8 Comments »
January 24th, 2013

Forster Products’ New Datum Dial Ammo Measurement System

Forster Products Datum dial ammuntion measurement system

At SHOT Show we checked out a versatile and well-designed new tool from Forster Products — the new Datum Dial Ammunition Measurement System. This handy device measures a variety of important dimensions: 1) cartridge headspace from base of case to shoulder datum; 2) cartridge length from base of case to bullet ogive; 3) bullet base to bullet ogive; and 4) bullet bearing surface (requires two tools).

The complete Datum Dial Kit consists of a dial-holder mount and three precision machined dials. The mount clamps to your sliding-jaw calipers. The mount holds a black ring or one of two supplied gold rings. The black ring has 5 precision-diameter holes that let you check headspace (on shoulder datum) for nearly all modern cartridge types.

Swap in one of two available gold rings to measure to bullet ogive index points. The two gold dials (five holes each) give you 10 different bullet diameter choices, covering the vast majority of common pistol and rifle bullet sizes. This lets you measure both base of bullet to ogive and base of cartridge case to bullet ogive. We really like this dual functionality, as it allows you to quickly sort bullets, plus you can measure your loaded rounds as they come out of the seating die. I have found that accuracy is enhanced when you maintain close base-to-ogive tolerances on your loaded rounds.

Watch Video to See Datum Dial Features and Functions

Replace a Bin Full of Comparator Inserts
It is important to understand that the Datum Dial system replaces a comparator body and a complete set of caliber-specific comparator inserts. You no longer need a box full of inserts, with one for each caliber that you load. The Datum Dial Complete Kit includes: One dial-holder mount (which clamps on your calipers), one black headspace dial, two (2) gold bullet diameter dials, and a plastic storage box. The Datum Dial Kit is available right now. MSRP is $157.00, and “street price” should be $20 or so lower. Additional dials or caliper jaw mounts are sold separately.

Forster Products Datum dial ammuntion measurement system

Permalink New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 24th, 2013

Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show Postponed After Mass Boycott

Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

After a massive boycott by dozens of exhibitors and sponsors, including the NRA and Cabela’s, British-owned Reed Exhibitions has “postponed” 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show (ESOS). The Show, one of the largest Outdoor Expos on the East Coast, was originally slated to open February 2, 2013 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The reason for the mass boycott was Reed’s decision to ban the display of AR-platform and similar semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifle systems at ESOS. The announced ban was confusing to many exhibitors because Reed also runs the SHOT Show (for the NSSF) and there was no such ban on ARs in Las Vegas last week. In fact, at SHOT Show, you couldn’t turn your head in the Sands Expo Center without seeing ARs and AR-related hardware on display.

The NSSF stated that it: “is in no way affiliated with, nor does it participate in or exhibit at this show in any way. Reed Exhibitions does, however, manage the NSSF-owned SHOT Show.” Because of Reed’s actions, “NSSF is considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.”

Eastern Sports Outdoor Show

The NRA declared: “Due to Reed Exhibitions’ refusal to reconsider their decision to ban Modern Sporting Rifles from the February 2-10 Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg, PA, the National Rifle Association has decided to withdraw from the show. The NRA’s future participation in the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show will be determined by Reed Exhibitions’ actions in response to the concerns raised by the NRA, the outdoor industry, and America’s law-abiding gun owners.”

Read Related Story from The Patriot-News (PennLive.com).

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January 24th, 2013

Kahles 10-50x56mm Scope with Centerline Parallax Control

Kahles K 1050 scope

At SHOT Show we got a “first look” at the new Kahles K-1050, a 10-50x56mm scope with unique, centerline parallax control. This is a very interesting new high-magnification competition scope. Kahles’s patented centerline parallax control allows the marksman to adjust windage, elevation, AND parallax all with ONE HAND. If you’re in prone position, for example, you simply reach forward with your right hand to dial windage, then slide your hand to the central turret to dial elevation and, finally, set the parallax by adjusting a separate concentric ring.

Watch Video to See Kahles K-1050 Features and Centerline Parallax Control

NOTE: The big-diameter metal ring is OPTIONAL. You can remove the big metal ring and still adjust parallax (from centerline) using a smaller, built-in control ring on the top turret.

Kahles K 1050 scope

Kahles K 1050 scopeDesigned for benchrest and field target use, this scope has a 30mm main tube, 55 MOA elevation, and 1/8-MOA clicks. There are three (3) total turret revolutions. The turret “Rev Count” is displayed with a clever red-and-white striped “barber pole” button in the center of the top turret. One red stripe indicates REV 1, red + white indicates REV 2, and red + white + red indicates REV 3. It’s simple, but it works.

The new K-1050 also features a nice European-style +/- diopter control on the eyepiece. If you have less that perfect vision, this allows you to get a sharp target image even without eyeglasses.

We liked the scope. The glass was bright and sharp, and the clicks were positive and precise. Competition shooters have shown great interest in the new K-1050, and Kahles plans to bring the new scope to the USA by mid-summer 2013. Price is expected to be around $2800.00 USD.

Kahles K 1050 scope

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January 23rd, 2013

New 6.5mm Scenar Ls from Lapua — .30-Caliber Ls Coming Soon

Lapua Scenar L BulletsAt SHOT Show 2013, Lapua announced it was expanding its line-up of Scenar L projectiles to include two new 6.5mm bullets and three new .30-caliber Scenar Ls. We applaud this news. This Editor has tested 6mm Scenar L bullets in his own rifles, and they have proven to be some of the most consistent bullets we have ever measured. The Scenar Ls also shot great in 8-twist barrels from Brux, Krieger, and PacNor.

Two New 6.5mm Scenar Ls
Guys with .260 Rem, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5-284 rifles have been eagerly awaiting the new 6.5mm Scenar Ls. These will be offered in two weights: 120 grains and 136 grains.

Scenar Ls in .30 Caliber
Lapua will release three new .30-Caliber Scenar L bullets. Along with a new 155gr Palma bullet (GB 552), Lapua will offer a 175gr Scenar L (GB 550), plus a 220gr heavy-weight Scenar L (GB 551). In magnum and short magnum chamberings, the 220-grainers should prove very effective in Long Range comps.

What Makes the Scenar Ls So Good
While all Lapua Scenar bullets are made to exacting standards, Lapua “raised the bar” with its Scanar L series. Scenar L bullets feature closer weight tolerances, tighter jacket wall concentricity standards, and greater uniformity in every dimension. Building bullets this good isn’t easy — you have to get everything right — from the gilding metal cup, to the lead wire and jacket forming, core-jacket assembly, and finally boat-tail pressing and nose-tipping. To build L-series bullets to such high standards, Lapua had to adopt new manufacturing procedures, and install proprietary new machines and advanced instrumentation never seen before in bullet production. Lapua also took its already high quality control standards and kicked them up a notch.

Lapua Scenar L BulletsNew 6.5mm Scenar Ls — First Look
At SHOT Show, Lapua unveiled its much-awaited new 6.5mm (.264 caliber) Lapua Scenar L bullets. There are two (2) new 6.5mm Scenar Ls: a 120gr tangent ogive design and a 136gr multi-ogive design. These are both all-new bullets, though the new 120gr Scenar L bears a “family resemblance” to the current (and very accurate) 123gr standard Scenar. One look at the new 136-grainer, and you can see that this is NOT just a “tweak” of the popular 139gr standard Scenar. The new 136gr Scenar L has a streamlined secant-ogive shape that blends into a more conventional tangent ogive as the bullet approaches full diameter. This dual-ogive design enhances the bullet’s BC, making it more slippery. That should translate to less drop and less drift at long range.

These new 6.5-caliber Scenar Ls should hit the market very soon. Check with Grafs.com for availability. As soon as we can get our hands on Lapua’s new 120s and 136s we will test them in a 6.5×47 Lapua bench gun and see how they perform. The .30-Cal 175gr and 220gr Scenar-Ls should arrive by late spring according to Kevin Thomas of Lapua. Kevin is a member of our Forum and he can answer your questions about the entire line-up of Lapua projectiles, along with Lapua cartridge brass.

Lapua Scenar L Bullets

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January 23rd, 2013

SHOT Show Report: ‘Pimped’ Turnbull TAR-10 Sells for $136,024

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

A “pimped-out” Turnbull Manufacturing TAR-10 (AR 10-platform) rifle shattered the all-time SHOT Show Auction record with a high bid of $136,024.00. Proceeds from the auction conducted last week will go to support the NSSF’s Hunting Heritage Trust. This unique Turnbull TAR-10, chambered in .308 Winchester, has features rarely seen on an AR-style rifle: color case-hardening, hand engraving, gold inlay, and select walnut “furniture”. The upper and lower are made from 8620 carbon steel that has been color case-hardened with the Turnbull bone charcoal process.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

The gun has been elaborately engraved by Adams and Adams, with extensive gold inlay. The butt-stock, fore-end, and pistol grip are select fancy walnut.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

“We did our best to make this a very special rifle and we had hopes of beating the all-time record of $83,025.00, but we never imagined the bidding would surpass $100,000 and then soar to more than $136,000.00,” commented Doug Turnbull.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

“Our objective in creating the TAR-10 was to show that the AR platform is more than just a military rifle. We wanted to emphasize that these types of rifles can be made to look like any other custom rifle in terms of appeal,” commented Turnbull. The rifle, as sold, was equipped with a Zeiss 1.5-6x42mm Victory HT scope. Regular production Turnbull TAR-10 rifles will be the same as this special SHOT Show rifle minus the elaborate engraving and presentation-grade wood.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

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January 22nd, 2013

Need Powder? Chris Hodgdon Talks About Supply and Demand…

Hodgdon PowderIf you’ve tried to buy powder lately, you know that many of the most popular propellants are in short supply. To find out when we can expect powder supplies to catch up with the increased consumer demand, we headed to the Hodgdon Powder Company booth at SHOT Show. There we met up with Chris Hodgdon.

Chris understands that people are frustrated with the current shortages. But Chris assured us that his company is moving aggressively to get more powder on store shelves. Production is being stepped up and Chris said his employees are working “nights and weekends” to increase propellant shipments. But there is no “quick fix”. Chris reports: “We are trying to fill as much of the demand as we can right now, but we have got way more demand than supply obviously right now…”

Hodgdon PowderTry Alternative Powders with Similar Burn Rates
For those customers who can’t find their favorite powder (such as Varget or H4350) right now, Chris suggests trying similar-burn-rate IMR- and Hodgdon-brand powders that are currently available in ample quantities. For example, Chris suggested that Varget users try IMR 4064. This powder offers excellent accuracy and a very similar burn rate. Likewise, if you can’t find H4350 you can try IMR 4350 or H414. Fans of H335 powder will find that Benchmark and CFE 223 are suitable replacement powders.

Of course, when changing to a different powder you can’t simply substitute loads. That’s a big no-no. You need to consult a good load manual or find a safe starting load on the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center. But you may find that, with a little load development effort, your “second choice” or “third choice” powder options shoot just as well as a previous favorite. We know guys who switched from Varget to IMR 8208 XBR in the .308 Win and they liked the 8208 XBR so well they never looked back.

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January 22nd, 2013

SHOT Show Report: New RCBS Summit Single-Stage Press

The new RCBS Summit Press attracted a lot of attention when we first revealed it in the Daily Bulletin earlier this month. Readers wanted to know how well this radical new design really worked. To answer that question, we headed to the RCBS booth at SHOT Show 2013. There our buddy Kent Sakamoto gave us complete run-down on the new Summit. With the Summit, unlike other presses, the case does not move. As you can see in the video, the reloading die comes DOWN to the case.

The Summit’s open-front design is definitely a plus, and we really like the fact that all press operations take place ABOVE the benchtop. There are no linkages running below the bench, which lets you use the Summit on a bench with cabinet-style drawers. The Summit press is definitely beefy. With its massive center column, the design operates smoothly with no flexing issues. RCBS says the Summit has no more head flex than the classic “O”-design RockChucker.

The new Summit Press features a rugged cast-iron frame with all-steel linkages. The handle can be switched from right to left side (good for southpaws), and the open-front design provides good access, facilitating quick die changes. The 4.5-inch opening allows you to work with tall cases. Beneath the shell-holder is a spent primer catcher. The press will accept larger bushings for oversize 1-inch dies. Street Price in the new Summit Press is about $220.00 (optional Short Handle is another $19.95).


RCBS Summit Reloading PressRCBS Summit Press Features:

• Bench-top operation
• Massive 2-inch diameter ram
• Ambidextrous handle
• Compound leverage
• 4.50-inch operating window
• Spent primer catcher
• Full frontal access
• Accepts bushings for 1″ die bodies
• Press adapter bushing
• Zerk lubrication fitting
• Made in USA


RCBS Summit Press

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