January 1st, 2013

Happy New Year and Message to our Readers Worldwide

happy new year 2013Download free screen-saver from 123newyear.com.

Happy New Year to all our readers worldwide, and especially the nearly 20,000 members of the AccurateShooter Forum. We hope 2013 brings you happiness in your lives and success in your endeavors. And we wish for small groups, good scores, and successful hunts in the New Year.

We hope that, in 2013, you’ll enjoy your precision rifles, spending “quality time” at the range with friends who share your “addiction to accuracy”. We’ve made major upgrades to our site this year, acquiring new high-speed dedicated servers, and adding a staff “Answerman” to provide direct help for our members. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our feature articles, our Daily Bulletin, our match reports, and our Free Forum Classifieds. The formula seems to be working — our audience is bigger than ever and it just keeps growing. And with the demise of Precision Shooting Magazine in November 2012, AccurateShooter.com’s role as an information resource is more important than ever.

Forum Membership Grows 23% in 2012
We experienced big growth in our Shooters’ Forum in 2012. Membership grew by 23% as member ranks swelled from 16,000 members to nearly 20,000 members! Forum traffic (pageviews) rose 40% in 2012 — that’s a huge increase in one year. And more people are successfully buying and selling in our FREE Forum Classifieds section than ever before.

Custom Rifle AccurateShooter.com

Daily Bulletin Is a Big Hit
The AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin has become a “must read” for anyone interested in serious rifle accuracy. Daily Bulletin viewership is up 37% in 2012 compared to the year before. In the Bulletin you’ll find money-saving sale notices, timely match reports, and a host of reloading and accurizing tips. The Bulletin has become THE source for exclusive “scoops” on new products and new shooting technologies. Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets says: “You guys have become the ‘USA Today’ of the precision shooting market.” 365 days a year we offer a unique combination of shooting tips, gear reviews, industry news, and highlighted bargains and special sales.

Big Plans for 2013 — With Your Help…
In the months ahead we plan to release more feature stories, more videos, more informative ‘how to’ articles, and some major gear comparison tests. We also hope to do audio interviews (“podcasts”) with top shooters such as Carl Bernosky, Sam Hall, and John Whidden. We’ll continue to offer serious field tests and inside “scoops” on the latest precision shooting products. And now that Precision Shooting Magazine has folded, we hope to fill that void with articles from some of your favorite PS writers.

AccurateShooter.com donation

We need your support. For over eight years the site has relied largely on volunteer efforts by dedicated shooters. But as the site grows, adding new types of content and more sophisticated features, we need the assistance of professional gunsmiths, writers, and movie editors. Those guys don’t work for glory alone.

For the site to continue to deliver more cutting-edge content, we need to bring in paid helpers. Right now, the site reaches over 125,000 shooters every WEEK. If the majority of those users could provide a small donation every year, we could deliver more stories, more tests, more Gun of the Week features, and more videos.

In the past quarter about 90 site users have donated to the site. I want to thank all those who have generously contributed (at any time). But that still leaves tens of thousands of users who access the site regularly without contributing.

Here’s our proposal. First, if you have used our FREE Classifieds to successfully sell your rifles or shooting gear, consider sending in a dollar or two from your sale proceeds. Second, for those who use the site regularly, consider donating One Dollar a Month. That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee and much less than many websites now charge for their “premium content areas”.

Consider this — what do you pay for a movie ticket these days? Probably $8.50 or more for 90 minutes of escapism. For a buck a month ($12 a year) you can help this site provide a YEAR’s worth of info, tests, and shooting news that you won’t find anywhere else.

How to Contribute

Making a donation to the site is simple and easy. Just click on the orange “Donate” button at right. If you have a credit card, you don’t need a Paypal account to contribute. Any sum is welcome — donations need not be large.

Help Support this Site by Making a Secure Donation.




If you don’t like Paypal, you can send a check. Make the check payable to our Asst. Editor Jason Baney. Please list your Forum Log-In Name (if any), and mail the check to:

Jason Baney
P.O. Box 105
Montoursville, PA 17754

Permalink News 1 Comment »
January 1st, 2013

Nightforce NXS vs. Benchrest Model — Which is Best for You?

Nightforce Benchrest Model vs. NXS
by Jason Baney, AccurateShooter.com Asst. Editor
Anyone who has considered purchasing a Nightforce scope inevitably asks: “Which one best suits my application — NXS or Benchrest model?” Shooters also ask: “Why is there such a price difference between the NXS and Benchrest (BR) models?” This article compares the features of the two models (NXS and BR), and provides some guidelines for choosing the right Nightforce scope for your needs.

The NXS line is priced a bit higher, costing about 40% more than the comparable Benchrest model. NXS scopes are also a bit more robust, and feature a side parallax adjustment (side-focus), whereas the BR scopes have an adjustable front objective for correcting parallax. Another main difference is click value, as the BR scopes have 1/8 MOA clicks while the NXS scopes currently feature 1/4 MOA clicks. The “zero-stop” feature is something to consider as well, as it is only available on the NXS models and allows the shooter to quickly spin the elevation turret back down to a close range zero, usually 100 yards, without counting clicks.

Nightforce Benchrest & NXS
Click Value: 1/4 MOA vs. 1/8 MOA
The tighter 1/8 MOA click value is generally more desirable for long range shooting as eighth-minute clicks allow the shooter to adjust Point of Impact more precisely than quarter-minute clicks. The 1/4 MOA clicks are worth about 2.6″ at 1000 yards, while a 1/8 MOA click will move your POI only 1.3″ at 1000. It is easy to see why the 1/8 MOA click value may be preferable when trying to dial in on a 3-5 inch X-Ring or 10-Ring. This is one reason why so many F-Classers favor eighth-minute clicks. The F-Class X-ring is just 5″ in diameter.

If you wanted 1/8 MOA clicks, it used to be that you had to choose the Nightforce BR model. That has changed. Nightforce now offers 8-32X and 12-42X NXS models with 1/8 MOA clicks. The 1/8 MOA-click NXS lineup is ideal for those who prefer side-parallax control AND more precise click values. Another consideration regarding click value is the availability of milrad clicks. “Mil” clicks are desirable when the scope has a mildot or MLR reticle, or similar reticle based on a milradian scale. Mil clicks are only available on NXS scopes at this time.

Ruggedness — NXS has the Edge
Nightforce Zero StopDurability is not usually an issue with target shooters as the scope will mainly be used in benign environment on a fixed-distance range. So, as long as a scope tracks and performs reliably, most target shooters won’t fret about durability. For those that may use their rifles in a tactical or field situation, or when hunting, the added robustness of the NXS scope may prove quite important. Now the BR scopes are no slouch as far as durability compared to similar scopes, but, in my experience, they cannot take quite the abuse that the NXS scopes can.

Side-Focus Parallax vs. Front Adjustable Objective
As far as the side parallax adjust vs. adjustable objective, this usually boils down to personal preference. The side-focus parallax adjustment NXS model fits one additional focus lens in the scope body — a lens not required in the front-adjusting Benchrest model. According to Nightforce, this one extra lens in the NXS can reduce potential light transmission by 1.0 to 1.5 percent in the NXS compared to the BR model. However, most human eyes will not notice the difference, and overall resolution should be virtually the same. The side-focus NXS models will be much more convenient from a prone position than will the BR scopes as it is not necessary to reach out of position to correct parallax. The BR scopes tend to be more convenient in fixed distance environments like benchrest or F-class, where there tends to be multiple shots at a similar distance, or there is plenty of time to adjust parallax. Compared to the NXS models, the BR scopes use more movement to produce the same amount of parallax adjustment — so you can say the BR offers “finer” adjustment. By contrast, the NXS side-focus delivers a coarser yet quicker adjustment requiring less movement to “dial-in” minimal parallax.

Zero-Stop Feature on NXS Only
Nightforce Zero StopAnother point of consideration is the availability of a “zero-stop.” This is particularly useful in the same situations that the NXS scopes make the most sense. Namely, tactical or field situations where there may be stress combined with longer shots where dialing the turrets is required. The zero stop allows the shooter to set a stop point, usually a 100-yard zero. Then no matter where the turret is positioned in its span of travel, the zero can be quickly re-established by spinning the turret down until it stops at the pre-set zero.

At present, the Zero-stop is available on all Nightforce variable NXS models except the 12-42×56. So you CAN get the zero-stop on the 8-32 NXS, but not the 12-42 NXS.

CONCLUSION
With the new 1/8 MOA NXS models now available, the decision on which Nightforce scope to buy, will come down to focus/parallax adjustment, field hardiness, and price. Though it may still be a hard decision in certain situations, hopefully this discussion has made the decision a bit easier. All in all, Nightforce scopes are a great value and they offer enough choices to satisfy nearly all shooting situations. Nightforce Scopes can be purchased through EuroOptic.com and other Nightforce dealers.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 7 Comments »
January 1st, 2013

Case-Head Separation: Causes and How to Spot Problems

cartridge case separationOn his Riflemans’ Journal blog, German Salazar wrote an excellent article about cartridge Case-Head Separation. We strongly recommend that you read this article. German examines the causes of this serious problem and he explains the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. German scribed a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

One great tip offered by German Salazar involves using a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. German explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

cartridge case separation

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 14 Comments »