At 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.)
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.
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.
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)*.
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.
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.
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.