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March 21st, 2013

Mirage Shields — Not Just for Benchresters Anymore

AccurateShooter Mirage ShieldMirage shields really do help you hit your targets more reliably. Novice shooters may wonder “Why does that guy have a venetian blind attached to his barrel?” Here’s why. As the barrel gets hot, the heat from the barrel rises up, cooking and distorting the air directly in front of the scope’s front lens. In essense, the rifle creates its own nasty visual mirage, right in the worst possible place. You can have a $4000.00 custom rifle and a $2500.00 scope but if the air in front of your scope is distorted, it can literally move your apparent point of aim on the target relative to your cross-hairs, causing you to miss the shot.

As our friend Boyd Allen observed: “Varminters should use mirage shields. Think about it. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in a fancy varmint rifle and quality scope. You may have spent hundreds of dollars traveling to the varmint fields and spent dozens of hours loading up your ammo. Without a mirage shield on your barrel, once that barrel gets hot, you WILL get mirage effects that can make you miss a shot.”

So, we’ve established you need a mirage shield to shoot your best when the barrel gets hot. You can make your own shield from a scrap blind, or purchase a ready-made plastic or aluminum shield. Sinclair Int’l offers 2″-wide, white mirage shields in 18″ (#06-7200) or 24″ (#06-7300) lengths for $4.95. Shotmaster 10X offers a variety of Patterned Mirage Shields, starting at $6.00. These include a Patriotic theme and even Tiger Stripes:

ShotMaster 10X mirage shields

Camo Mirage Shields for Tactical Shooters and Hunters
Though tactical shooters should use mirage shields for long-distance, slow-fire stages, for the most part, tactical shooters don’t bother. One reason is that mirage shields CAN detach if you’re crawling around in the bush. However, for many tactical shooting situations, a mirage shield IS both practical and recommended. And now, for the first time, tactical shooters can get mirage shields in camo patterns to match their rifles. These camo shields should also be popular with varminters and long-range hunters.

ShotMaster 10X mirage shields

At the request of, Shotmaster 10X created a line of camo-pattern mirage shields (see above). Made of 2″-wide aluminum strips, these are available in 18″, 20″, and 24″ lengths. The camo-pattern shields come complete with Velcro attachments, and start at $8.50 for the 18″ length. The 20″ models are $9.50, while 24″ shields are $11.00.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 9 Comments »
March 20th, 2013

SHOT Show Special Today on Shooting USA — Don’t Miss It

ShootingUSA SHOT Show EditionToday’s the day — Shooting USA airs its annual one-hour SHOT Show Special today, Wednesday, March 20th, starting at 3:00 pm Eastern (12:00 pm Pacific). Other broadcast times are listed below. You won’t want to miss this hour-long show filmed at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas where thousands of exhibitors had their wares on display. Jim Scoutten and his team of reporters feature new products introduced at SHOT Show.

ShootingUSA SHOT Show EditionYou’ll see new pistols, new rifles, new optics, and other shooting accessories introduced this year. Featured products will include Bergara Barrels, Bushnell Scopes, Les Baer pistols and rifles, Ruger rifles, Savage’s new B.Mag in 17 WSM rimfire, beautiful new handguns from Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center, and many other products.

Here are broadcast schedules for all time zones. If you can’t watch Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special today, the hour-long show will be re-broadcast early Saturday Morning (Friday Night Pacific Time).

The Shooting USA Hour on Wednesdays:
Eastern Time 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 1:00 AM
Central Time 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 12:00 AM
Mountain Time 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 11:00 PM
Pacific Time 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 10:00 PM

The Shooting USA Hour on Saturday Morning/Friday Night
Eastern Time 2:30 AM Sat
Central Time 1:30 AM Sat
Mountain Time 12:30 AM Sat
Pacific Time 11:30 PM Fri

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
March 20th, 2013

New Traditions™ Brass-Cased, Weighted Training Cartridges

dummy cartridge, snap cap, training roundsTraditions™ Performance Firearms is bringing out a complete line of dummy training cartridges. These will meet SAAMI specs for dimensions, and the dummies are weighted so they handle just like the real thing. Training cartridges will be offered for all firearms types: Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun. Forty different rifle cartridge types — everything from .17 Rem to 50 BMG — will be for sale later this year. Yes there is .22LR, but unfortunately, the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6XC, 6.5-284, and .284 Win are not yet in the line-up.

dummy cartridge, snap cap, training roundsTraditions™ Training Cartridges are the only training cartridges available that meet all SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufactures Institute) specifications for dummy ammunition. The Training Cartridges are weighted like real ammunition so they have the same feel when practicing. These training cartridges are intended for function testing, dry-firing, malfunction drills, and teaching demonstrations.

Traditions™ precision Training Cartridges have durable brass cases and rims so they won’t degrade like plastic dummies. Precision-assembled, these are available in over 60 chamberings and shotgun gauges. For most of the common rifle calibers, these training cartridges cost about $10 for a pack of two (2) dummy rounds. For more information or to view Traditions™ complete line of products, go to, or call 1-860-388-4656.

Traditions Training Cartridge Types for Rifles
.17 Rem
.204 Ruger
.22 Hornet
.222 Rem
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
.223 WSSM
6mm Rem
.243 Winchester
.243 WSSM
.257 Roberts
.25 WSSM
.25-06 Rem
.260 Rem
6.5×55 Swedish
6.8 Rem SPC
.270 Winchester
270 WSM
7mm WSM
7mm Rem Mag
7×57 Mauser
.303 British
.30 Carbine
.30-30 Winchester
.308 Winchester
300 WSM
.30-06 Spr
.300 Rem UM
300 Win Mag
8×57 Mauser
.338 Rem UM
.338 Winchester Mag
35 Whelen
.375 H&H
.458 Win Magnum
50 BMG
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
March 19th, 2013

Mike Walker, Remington Gun Designer, Passes at Age 101

Legendary firearms engineer Merle “Mike” Walker passed away on March 6, at the age of 101. Walker was one of the most important gun and cartridge designers of the 20th Century, and he also was a leading proponent of benchrest shooting. Mike worked for Remington Arms Company for 37 years, as a lead designer and engineer. While at Remington, Mike created many of Remington’s most popular bolt action rifles. For many years, Mike served as Director of Research and head of the Custom Shop at Remington’s, Ilion, NY facility.

Mike Walker Remington

Mike led the development of many important Remington rifle designs, including the Rem m700, Rem 40X, Rem m721, and Rem m722. Walker held numerous patents, mostly for trigger designs.

“Without a doubt, the Remington Model 700 is the most popular commerical, high-power, bolt-action rifle in the world. The Model 700 is actually a product-improved Model 721 and Model 722 bolt-action rifle, the brain-child of Merle ‘Mike’ Walker and his Remington design team in the 1940s.” — Roy C. Marcot, The History of Remington Firearms

Mike was a major pioneer in modern cartridge design — he was the originator of the .222 Remington and the 6mm Remington Int’l rounds. According to Guns & Ammo: “Long-time Remington employee and benchrest competitor Mike Walker, who headed up the M722 design team, is largely credited with the development of the .222 Rem”. The .222 Rem (aka “Triple Deuce”) dominated short-range Benchrest competition until the advent of the PPC cartridges.

Mike Walker

Walker also worked with Jim Steckl on the .30-cal wildcat that eventually evolved into the 6mm Bench Rest Remington. This cartridge demonstrated the accuracy and efficiency of the “short, fat” case design. When brass was eventually produced for the 6mmBR Rem, Mike convinced Remington to produce a run with a small primer pocket. Thanks to these pioneering efforts by Walker and Steckl, we now have the ultra-accurate 6mmBR Norma (with a small primer pocket), and the 30BR wildcat.

Mike was one of the “founding fathers” of the International Benchest Shooters (IBS), and he was in the early IBS leadership group. He was a talented (and dedicated) benchrest shooter. Remarkably, Mike shot in the 2010 IBS Nationals at age 99. Mike also played an key role in the creation of Precision Shooting Magazine. Still engaged in his passion for gun-building and firearm design, he worked in his shop even at the age of 101. He passed in a hospital on March 6, 2013 after hip replacement surgery.

Mike Walker

IBS President Jeff Stover tells us: “The term ‘living legend’ is used in many sports and endeavors. Rarely, though, is that term used as accurately as when referring to Mr. Merle ‘Mike’ Walker. He developed the Rem 700, he helped invent the button rifling process and many other firearms innovations. Probably the last time he shot in competition was at the 2010 IBS Group Nationals at Weikert, Pennsylvania. He got around quite well — even at 99 years of age! He shot an older rifle in a beat-up stock, but he was there on the line with the rest of us. During one match Mike was having some problems and it was close to cease fire time. Our range officer could see that everyone else had finished. Mike kept shooting, trying to get five on paper. The range was quiet except for the reports from Mike’s rifle. When it was clear that all five were on paper, ‘cease fire’ was finally called. There were no questions as to what happened — all of us on the line realized it was a tribute to probably the only real Living Legend that any of us would meet, let alone shoot with….”

Mike Walker will be missed. As James Mock has written: “We in the shooting community are truly diminished. Mike was an icon of the innovative spirit of America.” Mike Walker was a true pioneer who has left an enormous legacy to all those engaged in the “pursuit of accuracy”.

Rest in Peace, Mike Walker. Thank you for your contributions to our sport.

Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »
March 19th, 2013

Colt Employees Attend Connecticut Gun Law Hearing in Hartford

On March 14, 2013, 550 employees of Colt’s Manufacturing Company traveled to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. They came in strength to show support for Connecticut-based firearms manufacturing, and their message was direct: “Save our Jobs.”

Last week workers from two Colt operating companies (successors to the famed Colt Armory), boarded buses bound for the Legislative Office Building, in Connecticut’s state Capitol complex. They came to participate in a General Assembly committee hearing on a large number of gun-control measures under consideration in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Michael Holmes, Colt United Auto Workers Shop Chairman, testified at the hearing, as did NSSF Director Government Relations, State Affairs Jake McGuigan, Joe Bartozzi from O.F. Mossberg, and Mark Malkowski of Stag Arms. Though not all the proposed additional gun-control legislation will move forward for eventual votes, action on some of the measures is expected within days.

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
March 19th, 2013

Fulghum Belt-Drive Front Rest — Smooth Operator

In the benchrest game, a rock-solid front rest with precise, easy-use controls, is essential. The Farley and Sebastian rests provide a joystick that allows the shooter to adjust both horizontal and vertical position with a single move. However, many top shooters prefer more traditional rests. When you’re centered up horizontally and just want to make a very tiny vertical adjustment, a rest with a separate vertical control is hard to beat. Likewise, separate windage controls ensure that you can move left to right without altering your vertical point of aim one tad.

Among the premium non-joystick rests we’ve tried, the John Loh (JJ Industries) rest and the Randolph Machine (Fulghum) rest stand out for quality of workmanship and the smooth, precise functioning of the windage and elevation controls.

In this article we review the Fulgham Front Rest, produced by Ken Fulghum of Randolph Machine in North Carolina. It offers a unique, belt-driven elevation control. This rest has been very successful in IR 50-50, ARA Outdoor, and RBA Indoor rimfire disciplines. (Ken Fulgham himself is a highly successful rimfire benchrest shooter.) But, when fitted with a conventional front sandbag top, the rest also works great with centerfire rifles.

NOTE: The test unit shown in the photos is fitted with a Fudd Rest Top. Randolph Machine no longer sells Fudd tops. Instead Randolph produces a similiar adjustable front top with thin sand bag sections. This cost $150.00.

Fulghum Rest is Beefy and Stable
The Fulghum Front Rest is rock-solid and very stable on the bench. A large knob on the left controls the windage. The entire center section of the rest slides left and right on precision-machined cross-shafts riding in bronze, oil-impregnated bushings. The movement is super-smooth, with no grabbing or jumping. As we’ve seen with the John Loh rest, horizontal tracking is superb, and you can easily make very fine sideways adjustments with ZERO vertical shift.

Belt-Drive for Vertical Adjustment
What’s really special about the Fulghum Rest is the vertical adjustment system. This uses a synthetic toothed belt that connects a large knob in the center of the rest to the ram which supports the rest top. The belt drive runs over sprockets that provide plenty of mechanical advantage. This allows you to effortlessly raise/lower even very heavy rifles. The up/down movement is very smooth. However, there is a little slack in the belt and you can feel the belt’s teeth engage the sprockets one by one. Once you get used to the feel of the belt and how it engages the sprockets, however, you can make very precise adjustments.

Importantly, after you’ve adjusted the vertical, there is enough drag in the system that it holds vertical perfectly. There’s no “post-adjustment” vertical slippage at all. You can take your hand off the vertical knob and shoot with confidence that your aiming point won’t shift.

Overall, this is an excellent unit. Since you have to adjust windage and elevation separately, it’s not as fast as a joystick rest, but it has its advantages. There’s none of the vertical notchiness we’ve seen in some joystick units. Unless you are 100% certain you want a joystick-type rest, you should definitely “test-drive” a Fulghum Rest and see how it suits you.

Rest Retails for $750.00 without Top
The Fulghum Front Rest currently retails for $750.00 with no top. Randolph Machine offers two different tops for the unit: the $120.00 Randolph MK1 Top (User supplies owl-ear bag), or the $150.00 Adjustable MKII Top (see photo at right; similar to Fudd Top). Fulghum also offers a one-piece rest (front and rear support) for $750.00.

All Randolph Machine Rests are made one at a time, by hand, so you should call for availability. Normal delivery time is “about a month” once you place your order. Here’s the contact info:

Ken Fulghum
Randolph Machine, Inc.
P.O. Box 147, 1206 Uwharrie St.
Asheboro, NC 27204
Phone: (336) 625-0411
Fax: (336) 625-0410

Permalink Gear Review, News 7 Comments »
March 18th, 2013

Univ. of Michigan Wins NRA Intercollegiate Club Championships

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
The University of Michigan Wolverines won the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships, with an Aggregate score of 4363 out of 4800. After winning the Air Rifle championships on Day One with a 2221 score, Michigan topped the field in the Day Two Smallbore event as well, with a 2142 out of 2400 team score. That gave Michigan the overall title, ahead of runner-up Penn State University.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

Matthew Chezem from the University of Akron took the Aggregate overall individual championship, with a great smallbore performance on the last day. Matt won the smallbore match with a high of 565 of 600, leapfrogging competitors who had scored higher on Day One (during the Air Rifle Competition). Matt finished with 1132 out of 1200, to earn the individual title.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle Matthew Chezem

Ying Yi Liu Shoots Perfect 100 in Air Rifle Match
A highlight of the Match for the Wolverines was the stellar Air Rifle performance by Univ. of Michigan’s Ying Yi Liu. She shot a perfect 100 score (10 points on all 10 targets) in her final air rifle relay, to lead the Wolverines to a first-day win in the Air Rifle segment. That gave Univ. of Michigan a lead it never reliquished. Liu also won the individual Air Rifle Championship with a 565 score.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle
NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

Permalink Competition No Comments »
March 18th, 2013

Leica CRF1000 Laser Rangefinder on Sale for $469.00

Looking for a high-quality laser rangefinder (LRF) at a great price? Well has slashed the price on the Leica CRF1000 compact LRF. You can now get the CRF1000 for just $469.00 — that’s deeply discounted from the previous price. Weighing just 7.8 ounces, the 4.5″-long CRF1000 is very compact and can stow easily in a vest or jacket pocket. It offers 7X magnification, and a LED read-out that automatically adjusts to the light conditions.

Leica CRF1000 sale eurooptic

While not rated for as long a range as Leica’s top-of-the-line CRF1600B, the CRF1000 will work great for most users. In reality, very few people can hold a compact unit steady enough to range accurately on small objects past 1000 yards, now matter what the yardage rating. In fact, most users would have trouble holding their LRF steady enough to range a mule deer at 800.

The CRF1000 has proven to be durable and reliable. Mike, Editor of writes:

“I have been using the Leica 1000 CRF Range Finder for about six months. I have taken it on several hikes, hunting in Idaho… and on several Deer and Elk scouting trips. For the price of $599, I think the [CRF1000] is the best all around option for a range finder. Why do I say that? I can easily range animals out to 1000, just as advertised. It is EASY to use — push once to get the red box on target, push again and get an accurate range. It is durable.

I have a couple of other range finders that are advertised to range out to 1000 yards, well I cannot get them to do it. That is just simply not the case with the Leica 1000. It can be counted on to range accurately regardless of the condition out to the advertised range. To summarize: I have ranged many many items from 20 yards to 1000 yards with ZERO failures. This device is accurate, dependable, and just flat works!”

Leica CRF1000 vs. CRF1000-R
Along with range-to-target (in yards or meters), the CRF1000 model displays ballistics information for the user. It measures and displays both outside temperature and barometric pressure. It also displays recommended hold-overs for the ranged distance (based on load profiles selected from built-in tables). It will also measure and display the angle of shots above or below the horizontal. However, this unit, unlike the newer, more expensive CRF1000-R, does NOT automatically calculate the solution for angled shots, nor does it automatically figure environmental data into the hold-over. To get that functionality you’ll need the higher-priced CRF1000-R version. To reiterate — the CRF1000, on sale at $469.00, gives you temp/pressure data, and angle numbers, but you have to manually figure this into your shot. The model 40535 CRF1000-R costs $559 at

Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
March 17th, 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from F-TR Ireland

F-TR irelandThe folks at F-TR Ireland send greetings from the Emerald Isle….

Wishing all our friends and fellow-shooters at home in Ireland and around the Globe all the very best. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Beannachtai na Féile Phádraig! Hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s weekend and enjoy the festivities wherever you may be, whether be you Irish by birth, heritage, or aspiration!

Guns of EIRE
Here are the new custom guns for the FCWC 2013 F-TR Team Ireland. Compliments to Francie McFadden of NGSS and Edi Graeff of PSE Composites for the work. (Photo courtesy of the UK Varminting website.)

F-TR ireland

Permalink News 1 Comment »
March 17th, 2013

For St. Patrick’s Day — A Salute to Irish Shooters

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to our readers around the world. As an Irish-American whose great-grandfather was born in County Donegal, I’m proud to wear green today. But lest readers think that Ireland is only a land of shamrocks, lucky leprechauns, and Riverdancers, be aware that Ireland has an active community of precision shooters. In 2011, the National Rifle Association of Ireland unveiled the beautiful new 1200-yard range in Tullamore, at the Midlands National Shooting Centre. Also in 2011 Tullamore was was the site of the first modern-era Creedmoor Cup Challenge Match between Irish and American Teams. The Yanks won that year, but that was just the beginning of a great rivalry.

Tullamore Range

Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland
National Rifle Association of IrelandIn the year 2000, the National Rifle Association of Ireland (NRAI) was formed. One of its primary goals was to promote fullbore target shooting in Ireland. The NRAI needed a home and that home was found on the bog of Derrymore in Blueball just outside Tullamore in County Offaly. In 2000, a 400-yard range was built on the site. Three years later the 600-yard “Windmill” range, the first of its kind in modern Ireland, was also built to allow for mid-range target shooting. The site was christened the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI) and with it the story of Irish F-Class began. No sooner had the 600-yard range been built at the MNSCI, when the NRAI formed a national F-Class league bringing together like-minded shooters from all over Ireland.

tullamore range ireland Midlands

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
March 17th, 2013

3GN Announces First-Ever Ladies Pro Practical Shooting Series

maggie reese 3-Gun Nation3-Gun Nation and Samson Manufacturing announced the first-ever professional lady tournament series in practical shooting. The 3GN Lady Pro Series Tour will feature a dozen of the game’s top females, all competing for cash payouts and a slot in the 3GN Lady Championship Shoot-Off where the winner will be crowned champion and take home $25,000 from Samson Manufacturing.

3-Gun Nation Lady events will take place concurrently with the 3GN Pro Series Tour. The ladies will shoot the same courses of fire, and in front of cameras for 3GN Television. 3GN President Pete Brown stated: “This tour will not only show the top ladies are good, but that some of them can even challenge the top guys in the sport.”

maggie reese 3-Gun Nation

You can watch the 3GN Lady Pro Tour and the 3GN Pro Series Tour by attending the following events: April 13, Glengarry, WV; May 18, Tulsa, OK; June 22, Tulsa, OK; Sept. 7, St. George, Utah; Jan. 15, 2014, Las Vegas. To learn more about event locations, or broadcast dates for 3-Gun Nation Television, visit

3GN shooter Maggie Reese shown in photos.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
March 16th, 2013

Berger Bullets Introduces Online Shooting Events Calendar

Berger Event CalendarBerger Bullets has launched a great new web resource, the Berger Bullets Events Calendar. This online calendar highlights important shooting matches and other shooting-related events (such as trade shows). We commend Berger for developing this Calendar, which will make it easier for shooters to locate match information and plan ahead. Berger states: “The main goal of this project is to help people get involved in the shooting community and build lasting relationships between shooters. A strong community is the best way to ensure that the shooting sports continue for future generations to enjoy.”

How to Use the Calendar
The Events Calendar employs different colors for different event types — Berger Yellow for Target Matches, Tan for Tactical Competitions, Light Orange for Varmint Competitions, Blaze Orange for Hunting Competitions, Blue for Tradeshows, and Forest Green for Fundraisers.

CLICK Image to Access LIVE Calendar
Berger Event Calendar

Click Event on Calendar to See Detailed Information
If you click on an event in the calendar grid, a window pops up showing details for that event — match date, match location, match description, and contact(s) for match registration. Here is an example for the Berger Southwest Nationals.

Berger Event Calendar

Map Links and Links to Match Websites
On the window that pops up when you click on a calendar item, you’ll notice one or two colored buttons (the colors correspond to event type). The View Map button links to a map of the match venue, so you can find the shooting range and plan your travel. If there is web page for the event, you’ll see a second colored button linking to that website. Simply click the Event Link for more information.

Berger invites readers to submit events for the Berger Events Calendar. Visit the Calendar Submission Page to provide information on an upcoming event. Note: Berger may not list all submitted items, particularly where there are conflicts with previously listed major events.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
March 15th, 2013

Lapua 90th Anniv. Web Site with Contest and Interactive Game

Lapua Anniversary Best Shot Contest PrizeTo celebrate its 90th Anniversary, Lapua has developed a special new web site with many cool features including contests, product videos, and an interactive shooting game. You’ll find an interesting historical timeline recounting the history of Lapua starting in 1923. The timeline covers development of the factory, important product releases, competition successes, and other important milestones.

Click here to visit Lapua’s new 90th Anniversary site.

Submit your “Best Shot” and Win Prizes
On the site, Lapua invites readers to submit a short description of their “best shot” made with Lapua ammo or components: “Sometimes things just click. When did you have your moment of absolute precision? Share it with us…” Prizes will be awarded each month for the most impressive “best shot” stories submitted by readers. CLICK HERE for more info.

Lapua Anniversary Best Shot Contest Prize

Play Interactive Biathlon Game
Site visitors can play an interactive shooting game featuring Biathon rifles and Lapua Polar Biathlon .22LR Ammo (other rifles and shooting disciplines will be added in the future). You’ll want to visit the Biathlon Game Page to see all the features, but we’ve embedded a sample here so you can see how it works. NOTE: you may have to use the scroll bars at the bottom and right sides. (This is because the game format is larger that our Bulletin “real estate”).

Watch Lapua Video

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
March 14th, 2013

IBS Match Reports Will Be Featured on

IBS benchrest

IBS logo benchrestHere’s great news for IBS members. The IBS has announced its affiliation with, the premier website dealing with all types of rifle accuracy. The IBS and this website will work together to provide prominent media coverage of IBS events. IBS President Jeff Stover explains: “The IBS leadership was faced with an unexpected dilemma in late 2012 with the loss of our print media outlet. We think the partnership with will present the IBS (and the sport of benchrest) front and center before a large, global audience of shooters interested in small groups and high scores from 100 to 1000 yards.”

Building its internet presence will benefit the IBS and its members says Stover: “Benchrest shooting has earned a highly respected position among the shooting disciplines. Most, if not all, innovations in rifle accuracy technology have been derived from benchrest. Nevertheless, it has been a ‘niche’ shooting sport. We in the IBS feel that will help us achieve two major goals. The first is to give our members (and the matches they shoot) increased exposure. has a worldwide audience with over 130,000 visitors every week. Secondly, we hope this website will present benchrest shooting as approachable and a mature discipline that is ready to welcome new shooters.”

IBS President Jeff Stover Talks About IBS Match Coverage on

[haiku url=”″ title=”Jeff Stover Talks about IBS”]Click “Play” to Hear Audio

Beyond the major match coverage at, the IBS website ( will remain the IBS’s primary online resource for schedules and match results for every registered IBS match, be it short range or longrange.

Looking Ahead — What the IBS Plans
In the future, the IBS envisions further synergies with Together we are exploring ways to enhance the way benchrest matches are scored and reported. provides a new media platform that will allow both the match results and the human side of the competitions to be brought to life. There will be a dedicated area on this website for important IBS match reports (and special IBS features). We foresee a system being developed that will standardize the match scoring software that would be used at the range and then quickly be made available on the web. Match reports will evolve from a simple set of scores and equipment reports to rich content with lots of photos, audio reports, and even video clips.

Watch IBS Slide Show

AccurateShooter Teams up with IBS for Event Coverage
At, we’re delighted to team up with the IBS. We plan to provide enhanced IBS match coverage in the months ahead. With luck, we’ll kick off our IBS coverage with three upcoming matches: the 1000-yard Match at Whitehorse WV (April 20), the Pennsylvania State Score Championships in York, PA (April 27), and the Boop/Altemus Memorial Shoot at Weikert, PA (May 11-12, group match). And of course, we’ll be covering the major IBS National events later in 2013.

We want to provide the “full story” of matches with photos, equipment features, and interviews with top shooters. Where possible, we hope to include audio interviews with the “Top Guns” and some videos of the matches. Our IBS Match Reports will feature the latest benchrest hardware, including some of the most accurate rifles ever made….

IBS logo benchrest

Our IBS Reports will show the ranges where benchrest dreams are chased, and world records are set.

IBS logo benchrest

And our Match Reports will feature the great people (of all ages) who make IBS Benchrest shooting such a great sport and rewarding pastime.

IBS benchrest

IBS benchrest

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
March 14th, 2013

Monster BAT Discovered at Bruno’s

BAT .50 BMG — Now That’s an Action!, by GAS
A while back, I stopped into Bruno Shooters Supply for a jug of powder and looked into the display case where the new actions are kept. Amid the usual array of BAT Machine, Stolle and other actions, there was something unlike any action I’d seen before — all I can call it is the BIG BAT. I wasn’t too surprised at the weight (a beefy 13.7 lbs.), but until you lift it it’s hard to appreciate how solid, chunky, hefty, massive (pick your favorite adjective) this thing really is. The action is a 2.5″-diameter, 12″-long BAT for the .50 BMG cartridge. It is simply the biggest, slickest custom action on the planet. In order to give you some sense of scale, I photographed the action alongside a conventional BAT action for short-range Benchrest shooting and I put a .220 Russian case and a .30-06 case into the picture. I’ve handled and fired other .50 BMG actions/rifles before, but this BAT puts them all to shame, as far as fit and finish go.

BAT 50 BMG Action

BAT 50 BMG Action

The action is actually quite conventional in design and execution. The bolt is fluted and has two front lugs with a conventional, although super-sized, firing pin assembly. Any Remington-style trigger will mount by way of a normal trigger hanger, allowing for simplified maintenance or replacement in the field. The loading port is 5.5″ long and the barrel threads are 1.5″ x 16 tpi — nothing about this beast is small! There is a conventional rocker-type bolt release on the left side of the receiver body and a recoil lug is built into the bottom of the receiver. In reality, the action is very similar to any other BAT except for the size and it adheres to all of BAT’s high standards for quality of design, manufacture, fit, finish and just plain good looks. Slide that bolt back and it feels as tight as a small Benchrest action!

Given the BIG BAT’s $3,285.00 sticker price (2011 pricing), not many of us will ever have the opportunity to own or shoot one of these beauties (I certainly won’t). However, it is nice to know they exist and can be bought and enjoyed in many places.

BAT 50 BMG Action

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
March 14th, 2013

NRA Coaching Schools Train Mentors for New Shooters

NRA Coaching SchoolJust about every competitive or recreational shooter has someone who helped introduce them to the shooting sports or helped them develop their skills. For many competition shooters, a coach is the person they credit for helping them train successfully and win.

The NRA’s Coach Education Program helps train shooters to become capable mentors. Each year, hundreds of people become NRA Certified Coaches by attending a Coach School. Available for a variety of shooting disciplines including Shotgun, Air Gun, Smallbore, and Pistol, Coach Schools teach the necessary methods for encouraging shooters and developing their skills.

Throughout the year, Coach Schools are offered for a variety of disciplines. Two Coach Schools will be held very soon, one in South Carolina next week, and another in Ohio in April. Information on these two coach schools is in the table below. More coach school sessions are added regularly, so check the Coach Education Program website for updates. To learn more about the Coach Education Program or to hold a Coach School in your area, contact Samantha Olsen at (703) 267-1504 or solsen [at]

NRA coach school

Who Teaches the Coach School?
The NRA Coach Schools are taught by National Coach Development Staff who are Certified Coaches that have been carefully selected, based on their talents and expertise in the areas of sports, education, coaching, and shooting. In addition, these coach school instructors have attended special training on how to conduct informative and enjoyable schools.

How Can I Sponsor a School in my Area?

The NRA is accepting requests to sponsor smallbore and air rifle, pistol, shotgun and high power rifle coach schools. For information on how you or your organization can sponsor one of these events, click here for a Sponsor’s Guide. For questions about the Coach Education Program, email

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 13th, 2013

NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits: May 3-5 in Houston, Texas

NRA Meetings and Exhibits

NRA Meetings and ExhibitsMark your calendars for May 3-5, 2013. Those are the dates for the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits, to be held this year in Houston, Texas.

As ever, there will be plenty to see and do at the NRA National Meetings/Exhibits. There will be seminars, celebrity appearances, and priceless collections of firearms. Virtually all the major gunmakers in the country should have their latest products on display. In fact, there will be over 550 exhibitors whose displays will cover 400,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. In addition to fireams, you can see knives, wildlife art, shooting accessories, hunting gear, ATVs, and much more. You’ll even find an airgun range on site where you can shoot air rifles provided by Pyramyd Air.

NRA Meetings and Exhibits

Photo from Previous NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.
Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
March 13th, 2013 Offers Free Firearms Classified Ads

No doubt you’ve heard of, the hugely popular FREE classifieds website on which Americans sell everything from household appliances to Harley-Davidsons. CraigsList ads are now more widely used in many communities than are newspaper “white pages” classifieds. Unfortunately, however, you aren’t allowed to sell firearms on CraigsList. gun sales offers FREE Gun Classifieds
Now there’s a similar free online classified service,, that lets you list pistols, rifles, shotguns, ammo, and shooting accessories for sale. There are also categories for archery, fishing, and hunting gear, and even a category for vehicles. Just like CraigsList, listings are free*, including Want to Buy (WTB) listings. You can search ads by state or product type — and once within the rifle category, you can filter by manufacturer or action type (e.g. bolt action, semi-auto, lever action). has only been around since 2009, so it doesn’t have as many listings as, but we expect to grow in popularity once more gun-sellers realize how much they can save with ARMSLIST’s free listings. If you put a gun up for auction on or, but you’ll pay $40 or more in auction fees on a $2000.00 rifle. Also, many potential buyers simply don’t like the auction process, given the unpredictable outcomes and the delays involved in “closing the deal”.

As grows in popularity, this service will really benefit both buyers and sellers of firearms. You can’t argue with free classifieds* — they allow you to sell low-price items easily with zero out-of-pocket costs. And as a buyer, in many respects we prefer the listing system to an online auction with its inherent uncertainty.

* does offer Vendor Accounts for “Power Sellers”. The fee is $20.00 per month. FFL-holders and commercial sellers can benefit from having a Vendor Account.
Permalink News 1 Comment »
March 12th, 2013

CZ Offers New CZ-455 Varmint ‘Tacticool’ Rifle

CZ has introduced a new version of the CZ-455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This new gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. The new CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as a affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and “feel” of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $899.00 MSRP while the new ‘Tacticool’ model lists for just $522.00 MSRP. The $377.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 12th, 2013

Tuesday Trivia Challenge from Bryan Litz, Ballistics Guru

Here’s a Ballistics Trivia challenge, put together by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC. Bryan is Berger Bullets’ Ballistician and the author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. Bryan posed the following Ballistics Question about Kinetic Energy and Aerodynamic Drag:

Bryan Litz Ballistics TriviaConsider a .30 caliber 175 grain bullet with a G7 BC of .259 (Berger 175 OTM) fired level at a muzzle velocity of 2650 fps in standard (ICAO) sea level conditions.

As this bullet flies downrange, it loses velocity due to aerodynamic drag. As the velocity of the bullet decays, so does its Kinetic Energy (in ft-lbs). The Kinetic Energy lost by the bullet in a given amount of time can be defined in terms of power.

Another way to think about this is that the aerodynamic drag on the bullet can be expressed in terms of power, calculated from the projectile’s change in Kinetic Energy over flight time.

Question: How much power (expressed in Watts) is applied to the bullet by aerodynamic drag on average over:

A) 500 yards?
B) 1000 yards?
C) 1500 yards?

Guesses are welcome, but this one can be calculated exactly.

Bryan Litz Ballistics Trivia

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »