January 4th, 2013
Nightforce Optics has just announced an all-new, side-focus 15-55x52mm Competition™ Scope. It looks very impressive. 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 — that will help guys make weight. We’re pleased to see the new scope offers a fast-focus, European-style eyepiece. Two reticles will be offered initially: the CTR-1 and DDR (shown below). The big question is “how much will it cost?”. A Nightforce dealer told us that Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) will be $2231.00. We’ll run a full report on this scope when we get our hands on it at 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. CLICK HERE for more information.
January 4th, 2013
Review by James D. Mock
Around the first of November, I received a call from Boyd Allen. During one our conversations about all things Benchrest, he mentioned that Barnes made conventional match bullets. This I did not know. Most hunters are familiar with the excellent Barnes premium hunting bullets, but many like me did not know that they make match bullets also, marketed as “Match Burners”.
After contacting the good folks Barnes to request some Match Burners for a review in Precision Shooting Magazine, I received a box of 6mm 68gr match bullets and a box of 6mm 105gr VLDs. By the time I got these, I learned that Precision Shooting would no longer print a magazine.
These bullets sat around the house for quite some time, but I finally got around to testing them. First of all I weighed many of the bullets and found that the nominal 68gr bullets averaged 68.07 grains and the 105s averaged 105.08 grain. The 68gr bullets were .845 inches long and measured .2432 on the body and .2435 on the pressure ring of these flat-base bullets. The VLDs measured 1.192 inches long with a diameter of .2433 at the largest point and the boat tail measured .180 long with a diameter at the base of .210.
Flat-Base 68gr Match Burners Prove Very Accurate
Although I shot the 68gr bullets in some fairly “strong” conditions, they performed well as you can see below. I loaded the rounds with 28.4 grains of the new Accurate LT-32 powder (from Western Powders).
Above is a target with three 3-shot groups shot with the 68-grainers. I chose the following seating depths: (from left to right) .020 off jam*; .010 off jam; and .005 off jam. Since then I have shot a few more groups, and have been pleasantly surprised.
Barnes Match Burner 105gr VLDs Perform Well
For the 105 VLDs I chose my Dasher with a 26.5″ Bartlein gain twist (1:8.25″ to 1:7.75″). Like the 68gr bullets, these VLDs were a pleasant surprise. I plan to shoot these bullets again as soon as the weather improves.
*Editor’s Note: The term “Jam” (or “Jam Length”) is used to describe a maximum practical bullet seating dimension, typically measured from base to bullet ogive. As James uses the term, “Jam” means the maximum functional length to which he can seat a bullet in his brass, with his selected neck tension, before the bullet starts to move backwards in the case (in the direction of casehead) when he closes the bolt. Thus, if James specifies a load that is “.010 off Jam”, this means that James has seated the bullet ten-thousandths shorter than maximum functional length in his gun. His bullets are still engaged in the rifling at “.010 off Jam”, and probably still touching the rifling at “.020 off Jam”. The “Jam” length is specific to James’ barrel and brass. In different barrels, “Jam Length” can vary according to numerous factors — bore dimensions, land configuration, neck tension, bullet geometry et cetera.
January 4th, 2013
In 2012′s final week, the Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club of Palm Bay, Florida held the Fifth Annual Snowbird X-Miss Midrange Prone and F-Class Match. This NRA Registered Tournament drew almost 60 competitors from around the country plus Fritz Braun from Brazil. For the first time ever, the Snowbird had a 300/500/600 event the first day with 600-yard match the second two days. Competitors saw various kinds of weather varying from chilly to 74 degrees. There were some drizzles on the last day of the individual matches but the rain held off long enough for all to complete the event
Kent Reeve took the High Overall 3-Day aggregate for the Mid-Range Prone with a score of 1797-132X. Second overall went to Sam Yarosh with a score of 1793-109X. Third overall to Wayne Forshee with 1788-91X. In F-Open, reigning FL State F-Open Champion Mark Finizio won the 3-day event with a score of 1790-100X. Second was Ken Adams, 1780-77X and third place overall went to Tom Goodman, 1778-68X. Complete results are listed on www.pmrpcrifle.com.
Many Record-Setting Performances at the X-Miss Match
Numerous NRA National Records were set at the 2012 Snowbird X-Miss event. Kent Reeve shot an incredible 200-22X at 600 yards. LeeAnn Finizio set F-Open Ladies’ records at two yardages: 300 yards, (197-[?X]); 600 yards ( 200-14X). Sam Yarosh shot a new record of 197-12X in the 500-yard any sight police category.
Team Event on Sunday
On Sunday, December 30, 2012, there was a team match. The F-Class Open Division saw a tight race among Miami’s Signal 20 F-Class Team, the S&S Precision Rifle Team, and the BNX F-Class team. Team BNX ended up in first place ahead of runner-up S&S Precision Team, shown below.
The Snowbird X-Miss Match was conceived to let folks shoot in the dead of winter when they can’t compete at home. At the Snowbird X-Miss Match NRA classifications are used AND rifles are classed by type: Palma, Iron Sight, Service Rifle, and Scoped Rifle. And the usual F-Open and F-TR divisions are recognized. Awards are given to all these types. Thus a shooter with a 6.5-2284 scoped rifle is not competing against someone with an iron-sighted AR15 Service Rifle. The Snowbird will be held again next season at the end of 2013.
Major sponsors this year included Sinclair International, S & S Precision Rifles, D & B Supply, Bartlein Barrels, Krieger Barrels, Berger, and Sierra. Others included Creedmoor Sports, PMA, K & M, Lee Precision, Forester Products, Redding, Dewey, Precision Reloading, and Jim Owens.