April 30th, 2013

Nightforce’s First-Ever Spotting Scope, Plus New 2.5-10x42mm

Nightforce Optics will unveil new products at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits this upcoming Friday. The big news is an 82mm spotting scope — the first-ever spotter from Nightforce. We knew Nightforce was planning an important product launch, but frankly this announcement caught us by surprise — Nightforce has always been a riflescope company. This is new territory. Why is Nightforce rolling out a high-magnification spotting scope now? Kyle Brown, Nightforce’s Director of Sales and Marketing, explains: “Our customers have asked for many years when we would introduce a spotting scope. The answer was, ‘at a time when we could produce a spotting scope equivalent in performance and quality to Nightforce riflescopes.’ That time is now.”

Nightforce TS-82 spotting scope HD

The new TS-82™ Xtreme Hi-Def™ spotting scope features a large 82mm objective, plus high-quality, European-made APO Fluorite Glass. The “street price”, including a 20-70X eyepiece, should be $2522.00 ($2600 MSRP). Shown above is the straight-body version, but the TS-82 will also be offered with an angled body for the same price ($2522.00 including 20-70X eyepiece). Nightforce promises that, by the end of 2013, an optional wide-angle 30-60X eyepiece will be available. In addition, Nightforce plans to offer an accessory mount for attaching a red dot sight or a laser rangefinder. This is good news for long-range hunters — you can locate your target through the spotter and then instantly range distance-to-target with an LRF aligned precisely with the spotting scope lens. Nightforce will also offer a handy iPhone accessory mount for digiscoping.

At the NRA Meeting in Houston, Nightforce will also introduce a new, side-focus 2.5-10x42mm NXS riflescope. For years, the Nightforce 2.5-10x32mm NXS Compact has been a popular optic. The new Nightforce 2.5-10x42mm NXS Compact, with its larger objective, should be more effective in low light. Yet the scope is still fairly light-weight (19 oz.–20.5 oz.) and compact (11.9 inches in length). Expect “street price” to be around $1740.00.

Nightforce TS-82 spotting scope HD

The notable feature of the new 2.5-10x42mm NXS is its side parallax adjustment (25 yards to infinity). It’s unusual to find side parallax control on an optic with 10X max magnification. The new 2.5×10 also incorporates red or green reticle illumination with adjustable intensity settings. Six different reticles are available, including the new IHR™ (International Hunting Reticle). The 2.5-10x42mm is offered with .250 MOA Hi-Speed™ or .1 Mil-Radian adjustments on exposed turrets, or, alternately, enclosed (capped) turrets with .250 MOA clicks. For more information, visit NightforceOptics.com

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
April 30th, 2013

NBRSA 2013 Long Range Nationals Complete Results

Report from Jim O’Connell, NBRSA Long Range Nationals Scorer
First off, congratulations to the 2013 National Champions: Richard Schatz, 2013 NBRSA 600-Yard National Champion, and Jerry Tierney, 2013 NBRSA 1000-Yard National Champion and F-Class Bench Winner. In those matches when you aren’t shooting too well it pays to be lucky — ask Ken Schroeder. Ken’s was the first ticket drawn in the prize drawing. Ken is now the proud owner of a NightForce Scope. Be sure to write the vendors that provided prizes/awards and thank them for their support of the 2013 NBRSA Nationals.

The weather for the matches was pretty nice this year and I think that everyone had a good time. The only one that I saw that was unhappy was Bill Hubina. Bill was mistakenly left off the bench sighnup for the 1000 Yard and was not very happy about getting stuck on Bench 25 by himself. He seemed okay about it after he won the Heavy Gun Group. The only record broken this year was 3-Target Light Gun Score. The old record was broken by both Robert Hoppe 50-2, 49-2, 48-0, 147-4 and Richard Schatz 49-2, 49-1, 49-1, 147-4. Once again congratulations to Richard Schatz and Jerry Tierney. I look forward to seeing you all again next year at the 2014 Nationals.

These three MS Word “.Doc” Files contain all the groups and scores for the three different matches. Check them out for all the winners and see how close you came to being the 2013 National Champion.
(Right Click and “Save As” to Download.)

600-Yard Complete Match Results | 1000-Yard Complete Match Results | F-Bench Results

600-Yard Nationals Top Five
NAT’L CHAMPION: Richard Schatz (15 points)
Second Place: Robert Hoppe (16)
Third Place: Peter White (19)
Fourth Place: Steven Raeder (27)
Fifth Place: Curt Mendenhall (34)
1000-Yard Nationals Top Five
NAT’L CHAMPION: Jerry Tierney (24 points)
Second Place: Curt Mendenhall (32)
Third Place: Bruce Bangeman (38)
Fourth Place: Larry Boers (38)
Fifth Place: Terry Balding (46)
Permalink Competition No Comments »
April 29th, 2013

Jerry Tierney Wins NBRSA 1K Nationals and F-Bench Match

Jerry Tierney was the big winner this weekend at the NBRSA Long-Range Nationals. On Friday, shooting his .284 Win F-Open rig from the bench, Jerry won the “F-Bench” match with a 393-16X score (200-7X + 193-9X). Jerry followed Friday’s win with a dominant performance in the Sloughhouse 1000, posting the best combined Two-Gun Aggregate to win the two-day 1000-Yard Championship event. There was a good turn-out for these events, with about 40 shooters in the F-Bench match and a half-dozen more for the 1000-Yard Nationals.

Jerry tierney 2013 NBRSA Long-Range Nationals

On Friday, Jerry shot his 21.5-lb F-Open rifle. On Saturday and Sunday he used that F-Class rig in Heavy Gun, and shot a converted Palma rifle with a .284 barrel in Light Gun. Jerry was loading H4831sc with Berger “orange box” 180gr hunting bullets in both guns. Jerry’s 21.5-pounder has a really long throat allowing Jerry to “hang the bullets way out there” and load more powder. That gives him higher velocity, about 90-100 FPS more than his shorter-throated .284 Light Gun. Jerry tells us: “The long throat is working really well. You’d be surprised at how little shank I’m running in the necks, but the accuracy is there, and you can get a lot more velocity when you adjust the load for the increased boiler room”. Jerry has also long-throated a .308 Win rifle for shooting the 185s and he is getting “really good velocities for that bullet in a .308 Win”.

Jerry tierney 2013 NBRSA Long-Range Nationals
Jerry Tierney with Awards from 2013 NBRSA Long-Range Nationals. Jerry, now a gentleman wine-maker, presented some of his Tierney-bottled “Sin & Zin” Zinfandel as prizes in the match.

In winning the F-Bench Match and SloughHouse 1000, Jerry racked up another five NBRSA Hall-of-Fame points. He is now the leading NBRSA HOF’er with 20 points. When asked for his successful match strategy, Jerry replied: “watch the flags and keep ‘em in the middle”. Perhaps the 600-yard competitors are lucky that Jerry had Jury Duty earlier in the week so he could not participate in the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals, won by Richard Schatz. Jerry was certainly “on his game” Friday through Sunday.

Jerry says the winds were unusually light (for Sacramento), on the weekend: “There was never any real bad wind — we had plus/minus 1 MOA most of the time, never more than three minutes of windage”. However, the winds were tricky. Jerry says: “It seems like every time we’d finish our sighters, the wind would flip to another direction. That caught many shooters by surprise.”

Editor’s Note: We will augment this story with full match results as soon as they are available. If any readers have a copy of the final results, or photos from the match, please send them to us. Our email address is: mailbox [at] 6mmbr.com.

Permalink Competition 2 Comments »
April 29th, 2013

ISSC SPA 22/17 Straight-Pull Rimfire Rifles Coming in May

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifleISSC will soon be shipping its new SPA 22/17 series of rimfire rifles. These rifles all feature a fast, biathlon-style, Straight-Pull Action (SPA). This allows for rapid cycling without having to lift your head off the stock. Watch the video below and you can see how you can easily work the toggle action with thumb and two fingers. ISSC offers the SPA 22/17 in three popular rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. We think the 17 HMR version of this little rifle would be a great “carry-around” varmint rig. And the “Target” model, as chambered in .22 LR, seems ideal for the popular “Rimfire Tactical” game.

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle
ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

The Austrian-made SPA 22/17 is offered in three (3) different stock versions: Wood stock (with raised comb), Polymer sporter stock (with Snabel-style fore-end), and a “Target” model (with a folding, Accuracy International-style thumbhole stock). All variants come with 10-round magazines. The rifles are currently offered in three popular rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. The ISSC SPA 22/17 series of rifles is distributed in the USA through Legacy Sports International.

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

We’re told that the first shipments of ISSC Spa 22/17 rifles should be arriving by mid-May, with larger shipments scheduled for June, 2013. We expect these rifles to be pretty popular, so you may want to get in line. Here’s a video from Legacy Sports showing how the straight-pull actions work:

ISSC is located in Ried, Austria. The company’s design and engineering work is accomplished at the company’s ESC subsidiary, located in Ulm, Germany.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 5 Comments »
April 29th, 2013

Heavy Artillery — Remarkable 7mm WSM with Joystick Rear Rest

Readers said they enjoyed our write-up of an innovative, offset-stocked Heavy Gun that set three multi-match Aggregate IBS records last year. If you’re a fan of “Heavy Artillery” here’s an impressive rifle from Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ that we spotlighted last year. If you missed it the first time — check out this engineering Tour De Force, complete with a custom-built, joy-stick REAR rest. We’re mightily impressed by the cutting-edge design and superb metal-work displayed by this “home-built special”. ‘Straightpipes’ certainly proved that American “know-how” and creativity is still alive….

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this new rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action
Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
April 28th, 2013

SEB Spreads the Joy — Gen II Joystick Bipods Arrive in USA

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

It was Christmas in April this weekend, as our new GEN II Joystick Bipod system arrived — thanks to Sebastian (Seb) Lambang of SEB Coaxial. We’re anxious to try this sophisticated new system on a variety of rifles, both small-bore and big-bore. Designed for F-TR shooters, we think the new Joystick bipod (aka “Joy-Pod”) may also prove popular with tactical shooters and varmint hunters who need a lightweight, yet easily-adjustable front support. Like his coaxial front rests, Lambang’s Joystick Bipod controls both horizontal (windage) and vertical (elevation) with a single control arm. In addition, the GEN II “Joy-Pod” offers cant adjustment with its tilting head.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Gross height can be easily adjusted on the vertical legs, both of which feature a column of precision-machined teeth (like on a jack), with a positive quick-adjust locking mechanism. The whole Joy-Pod system weighs about 21 ounces, and SEB even provides a handy nylon storage case.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

We’ll be field-testing our new Joy-Pod in the near future and we’ll let you know how it works. SEB is not soliciting advance orders just yet — as there may be some final mods on the production version. Price hasn’t been set yet, but it should be competitive with the popular F-TR wide-base bipods on the market. If you’re intrigued, you’ll find many more hi-rez product photos on Seb Lambang’s Facebook Page.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Permalink Competition, New Product 5 Comments »
April 28th, 2013

New Sinclair ‘Heavy Varmint Rest’ — Also Competition Rest on Sale

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest HuntingSinclair Int’l announced that it will reveal a new heavy-duty Varmint Shooting Rest at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits next week. The new rest (photo right) features a beefy center post with large-diameter control knobs. There is a rest-top control for windage, and you can quickly adjust the 3-lobe bag to handle different rifles. Using the quick-release handles, slide the bag side-plates in and out for various forearm widths. Price has not yet been set. Geoff Esterline of Sinclair says: “A bunch of Sinclair folks will be there in Booth #3433 to talk shop with our customers. We’ll be unveiling our new Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest at the show. Attendees can enter a drawing to win one of three shooting rests. So drop by and sign up for your chance to win.”

Beefy Sinclair Competition Shooting Rest on SALE
In related news, Sinclair has put its popular Competition Shooting Rest on sale. The price has been marked down from $669.99 to $599.99. That’s a pretty good value compared to other high-end rests with this kind of quality and precision control systems.

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest Hunting

Here are some user comments from our Forum members:

Great rest. Easy to convert to left hand as well. — Geronimo Jim

I have one and really like it a lot. I’ve not encountered any issues with mine. — DReever

A friend has one, I have used it. All machining is top-notch like all Sinclair stuff. I prefer a joystick, but if I wanted a knob-type rest I would buy the Sinclair. Very nice having the elevation and windage knobs close to each other. — Zfastmalibu

The only thing I do not like about them is the horizontal adjustment pivots instead of going straight side to side… which can put the rear stock and rest in a little bit of a bind if you have to go far. I do like that the Sinclair is quite a bit heavier than the J.J. Loh rest. I think you would be plenty happy with [the Sinclair rest]. — Bozo 699

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
April 28th, 2013

Norma Precision AB Names Paul-Erik Toivo as new CEO

Paul-Erik Toivo Norma PrecisionNorma announced that Paul-Erik Toivo will take over as CEO of Norma Precision AB, replacing Torb Lindskog who is retiring after 17 years at Norma’s helm. Toivo is a well-respected executive with decades of international industrial experience. He has held senior positions within Cloetta, and the SAKO- Metso- and latest the Isku concerns. Toivo states that Norma, a division of RUAG, is looking to expand its market in the United States: “We will intensify the efforts to grow in the world, and especially in the US. The cooperation with our sister company within RUAG Ammotec will also be strengthened”

Torb Lindskog retires after leading Norma for 17 years. “I am very grateful for these fantastic years at Norma, together with wonderful colleagues and I now look forward to a somewhat less hectic routine, even though I will be part of the Norma board, and keep my Presidency of AFEMS (Assoc. of European Mfgs. of Sporting Ammunition) until 2015. I wish both Norma and Paul-Erik all the best for the future.”

Norma Precision AB, which is part of the Swiss RUAG concern, has annual revenues of 270 Million Swedish Kroner ($41,068,890 USD). With a workforce of 190 employees, Norma markets cartridge brass, bullets, powders, and loaded ammunition. All production, from raw material to finished product, takes place in Åmotfors of Värmland, Sweden.

News Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News No Comments »
April 27th, 2013

Offset Heavy Gun Set Three IBS 1000-Yard Records in 2012

Report by Forum Member Ian S. (aka “Nightowl”)
After taking a few years off from competitive shooting, in 2012 Mike Gaizauskas returned to the long-range rifle scene in a big way. During the course of the Virginia 1000-Yard Benchrest Club’s 2012 season, Mike set three new IBS 1K multi-match Aggregate records. Mike broke into the record-books using a very unique 300 WSM rifle that incorporates a lot “brainstorming” and help from Mike’s friends and colleagues. The record-setting rifle features a super-wide forearm which is also offset. (As viewed from the shooter’s position, the stock is wider on the left, off-setting the barreled action to the right). This Heavy Gun has proven to be super-accurate — Mike barely missed setting a new IBS 10-shot-group HG record by a couple thousandths.

IBS 1000-Yard Records by Mike Gaizauskas:

  • IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Ten-Match Group Aggregate (5.6664 inches)
  • IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Ten-Match Score Aggregate (95.30)
  • IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Six-Match Group Aggregate (4.4935 inches)

Missed a Fourth IBS Record by a Whisker (or Two…)
In 2012, Mike came “oh-so-close” to breaking the current IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun 10-shot small group record of 3.044”. Using his offset HG shown below, Mike drilled a 3.046″ 10-shot group, just two thousandths of an inch (.002″) off the current record. FYI, the thickness of a typical human hair is .001″ — you can’t get much closer than that!

Mike offset Heavy Gun IBS

The record-setting gun was built with components gathered over time, which were then fitted into a new ultra-wide stock. Mike ordered two custom stock blanks from Richards Micro-Fit Stocks of Sun Valley, CA roughed to Mike’s specifications. One was for a Light Gun, and the other was for a Heavy Gun. Mike had been thinking about an offset design for some time. During the 2007 Nationals held at the Virginia 1000-Yard Club, Mike just happened to sit next to Dave Tooley for a day. Mike and Dave discussed at length Dave’s experiences and conclusions regarding offset stocks. Dave explained that an asymmetrical or offset forearm is designed to counter the longitudinal torque that occurs when the gun is fired. You can find these concepts featured a few years back in the 6mmBR.com Blog.

Mike offset Heavy Gun IBS

In addition to tapping into the mind of Dave Tooley, there was a LOT of debate among Mike’s friends regarding what shape and which side of the stock would work best to counter the barrel torque generated when launching a bullet utilizing a right-hand twist. Should the stock be wider on the left or wider on the right? Mike eventually decided to widen the forearm on the left side and apparently that was a wise decision — just check out the trophies this big rig has already hauled in:

Mike offset Heavy Gun IBS

Heavy Gun Is a 300 WSM
This record-setting Heavy Gun was chambered in 300 WSM by Mark King. The gun features a BAT Model M action mated with a 30″, 1:10″ twist Krieger chambered to a .338 neck and finished off with a muzzle brake of Mark’s design. The barreled action is held with a clamp-style barrel block. The stock incorporates stainless steel rails fashioned by Mike’s friend and machinist Steve Reimers.

Stay tuned to the Daily Bulletin. We hope to provide a follow-up story with more photos and more information on Mike’s record-setting rifle (and the ultra-accurate ammo he feeds it).

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 27th, 2013

Richard Schatz Wins 2013 NBRSA 600-Yard Nat’l Championship

The NBRSA has wrapped up its 600-yard National Championship, with the 1000-yard National Championship taking place today and tomorrow at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Richard Schatz, one of the greatest 600-yard shooters of all time, topped over 40 talented shooters to win the two-gun overall title. Richard, we’re told, also won the Light Gun Division. Forum member Terry Balding (aka “Terry”) won the Heavy Gun Class. Terry drove all the way from Wisconsin to compete in the match. We’ll publish more details as they become available. If any of our readers have more photos from the match, or a list of final results, please send them along. Here’s Richard receiving his trophy from match director Craig St. Claire:

NBRSA Richard Schatz

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
April 27th, 2013

Exhibition Shooter and Video Host Tom Knapp Passes Away

Legendary exhibition shooter Tom Knapp, “The Shooting Star”, passed away yesterday. Tom was an inspiration to generations of shooters and he will be missed. Tom performed some truly amazing feats, including tossing ten (10) clay birds in the air, and then hitting them all with ten separate shots in 2.2 seconds! Tom started performing for the public in 1987, and he gave shooting exhibitions around the world. He was also a popular “featured guest” on many hunting/shooting television shows.

Tom Knapp Passes Away

Writing in Guns.com, Aaron Samsel states: “Tom Knapp was one of the finest exhibition shooters this world has ever laid eyes on — his talent with a shotgun was only rivaled by his showmanship, and Knapp deserves much credit for bringing trick shooting into the 21st century[.]”

Tom Knapp Shoots Ten Clays in 2.2 Seconds

Interview with Tom Knapp

Permalink - Videos 2 Comments »
April 26th, 2013

Top F-TR Shooters Using 17-Ounce Duplin ‘Rorer Spec’ Bipod

Following our story on the Sinclair Int’l East Coast Fullbore Nationals, folks wanted to know about the bipods used by the winning F-TR squad, Team Sinclair. Some sharp-eyed readers noticed that three out of four Team Sinclair shooters were sporting a compact, parallel-arm bipod. This nice piece of kit is the ultra-light-weight (17 oz.) Rorer Spec Bipod produced by Duplin Rifles in North Carolina. The Rorer Spec Bipod is sturdy and easily-adjusted, yet it is one of the lightest wide-track bipods on the market.

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

Duplin Rifles — Rorer Spec Bipod
Weight: 1 pound, 1 oz. (17 oz.) | Finish: Clear- or black-Anodized Aluminum
Price: $350.00 delivered in USA | Options: Custom faceplates; Custom mount engraving ($35)

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

For more information, or to place an order, contact Duplin’s main man, Clint Cooper. You can send email to clint [at] duplinrifles.com or call 910-289-8217.

Duplin Rifles
4527 Hwy 117 South
Rose Hill, NC 28458

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 17 Comments »
April 26th, 2013

Nikon Offers Up to $50.00 “Instant Savings” on Hunting Scopes

Need a hunting scope? With Nikon’s recently-announced Spring Shooting Savings promo, you can get $30.00 to $50.00 instant savings on select Nikon Buckmasters® riflescopes. The promotion runs from April 22 through May 30, 2013. For more information, visit www.NikonPromo.com.

Nikon Scope Sale BuckmastersNikon Buckmasters riflescopes feature multicoated lenses, 1/4-MOA clicks, and up to 92% light transmission. Nikon claims that all Buckmasters riflescopes are waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. Here are the models with instant savings:

Buckmasters 3-9×40 Nikoplex
MSRP: $219.95
Instant Savings: $30.00
Promo Price: $189.85

Buckmasters 3-9×40 BDC
MSRP: $229.95
Instant Savings: $30.00
Promo Price: $199.95

Buckmasters 4.5-14x40SF Nikoplex
MSRP: $309.95
Instant Savings: $50.00
Promo Price: $259.95

Buckmasters 4.5-14x40SF BDC
MSRP: $319.95
Instant Savings: $50.00
Promo Price: $269.95

For more information on Nikon’s full line of riflescopes and other optics visit www.NikonHunting.com.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
April 25th, 2013

NBRSA Long Range Nationals Underway in Sacramento

The NBRSA Long-Range Nationals are underway right now at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center Range in Sloughhouse, CA. The NBRSA LR Nationals involves three separate events (over five days), starting with the 2-day 600-yard Nationals, followed by an F-Class Benchrest Match, and concluding with the 1000-yard Nationals on Saturday and Sunday.

The 600-yard Nationals (aka Sloughhouse 600), calendared April 24-25, concludes today. Guys are probably finishing up their final 600-yard relay as this story goes to press. On Friday, April 26, the NBRSA will hold a 1000-Yard “F-Bench” match. This is a popular new discipline which allows guys with F-Class rifles (up to 22 lbs.) to shoot off the bench. It’s a good idea that encourages participation from shooters who might not otherwise come to the Nationals.

After Friday’s F-Bench Match, the NBRSA 1000-yard National Championships (aka the 6th Annual Sloughhouse 1000) will be held April 27-28 (Saturday and Sunday). NOTE: It’s not too late to sign up for the 1000-yard match this weekend. Long Range National Fees are $50 a day, Late fee applies. For more information, visit www.NBRSA.org and www.SacValley.org. Below are Match Application Forms, in MS Word format (right click and “save as”).

F-Bench Match Application | Sloughhouse 1000 Application | Sloughhouse 600 Application

PREVIEW New NBRSA RuleBook

The NBRSA is updating its Official Rulebook and By-Laws. The newly revised Rulebook (version 38) is in the process of being printed. However, the NRBRSA has uploaded a PDF file you can now preview the the latest (version 38) of the Official Rulebook.

CLICK HERE for NBRSA Revised Rulebook (vers. 38) PREVIEW (PDF File, 1.7mb).

Rulebook Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 25th, 2013

What is an “Overbore” Cartridge? Let’s Look at Some Numbers…

Forum Member John L. has been intrigued by the question of “overbore” cartridges. People generally agree that overbore designs can be “barrel burners”, but is there a way to predict barrel life based on how radically a case is “overbore”? John notes that there is no generally accepted definition of “overbore”. Based on analyses of a wide variety of cartridges, John hoped to create a comparative index to determine whether a cartridge is more or less “overbore”. This, in turn, might help us predict barrel life and maybe even predict the cartridge’s accuracy potential.

John tells us: “I have read countless discussions about overbore cartridges for years. There seemed to be some widely accepted, general rules of thumb as to what makes a case ‘overbore’. In the simplest terms, a very big case pushing a relatively small diameter bullet is acknowledged as the classic overbore design. But it’s not just large powder capacity that creates an overbore situation — it is the relationship between powder capacity and barrel bore diameter. Looking at those two factors, we can express the ‘Overbore Index’ as a mathematical formula — the case capacity in grains of water divided by the area (in square inches) of the bore cross-section. This gives us an Index which lets us compare various cartridge designs.”

OVERBORE INDEX Chart

Overbore Index Chart

So what do these numbers mean? John says: “My own conclusion from much reading and analysis is that cartridges with case volume to bore area ratio less than 900 are most likely easy on barrels and those greater than 1000 are hard on barrels.” John acknowledges, however, that these numbers are just for comparison purposes. One can’t simply use the Index number, by itself, to predict barrel life. For example, one cannot conclude that a 600 Index number cartridge will necessarily give twice the barrel life of a 1200 Index cartridge. However, John says, a lower index number “seems to be a good predictor of barrel life”.

John’s system, while not perfect, does give us a benchmark to compare various cartridge designs. If, for example, you’re trying to decide between a 6.5-284 and a 260 Remington, it makes sense to compare the “Overbore Index” number for both cartridges. Then, of course, you have to consider other factors such as powder type, pressure, velocity, bullet weight, and barrel hardness.

Overbore Cases and Accuracy
Barrel life may not be the only thing predicted by the ratio of powder capacity to bore cross-section area. John thinks that if we look at our most accurate cartridges, such as the 6 PPC, and 30 BR, there’s some indication that lower Index numbers are associated with greater inherent accuracy. This is only a theory. John notes: “While I do not have the facilities to validate the hypothesis that the case capacity to bore area ratio is a good predictor of accuracy — along with other well-known factors — it seems to be one important factor.”

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April 24th, 2013

Sinclair International 2013 East Coast Nationals

Sinclair Derek RogersThe first-ever Sinclair International East Coast Fullbore Nationals (ECN) was held at Camp Butner (NC) on April 18-21, 2013. Hosted by the North State Shooting Club, this first-time Sinclair ECN attracted many of the nation’s top shooters, and we know the event will grow in popularity in the years to come. The Camp Butner range served up very challenging conditions for the four-day competition. This match definitely offered shooters a chance to test their wind-reading skills.

There was a strong turn-out with 27 F-TR shooters, 21 sling shooters, and 9 F-Open competitors. A Team Match event followed the regular match relays each day. The firing points consisted of 300, 500, and 600 yards each day plus a long range portion. This included 900- and 1000-yard segments shot on alternating days. This enabled shooters to test their skills twice at each long distance firing point.

Blustery, Switchy Winds — and Nearby Tornado Warnings
For the first two days of the match, temps were in mid 80s and there were blustery tail-winds that switched in erratic fashion. The final two days of the 4-day match gave shooters the opposite conditions with opposing headwinds and highs in the 60s. This kept shooters on their toes as wind values and directions constantly shifted from left to right and back again. In the afternoon, winds increased with pick-ups that pushed 25+ mph. To top that, as the shooters pressed on to complete their relays, local radio stations were broadcasting tornado warnings for three counties to the west.

Sinclair Int’l East Coast Nationals Individual Match Winners:

1st F-TR: Derek Rodgers, 1741-62X
2nd F-TR: Tracy Hogg, 1737-59X
3rd F-TR: Philip Kelley, Jr., 1734-67X
1st F-Open: Kenny Adams, 1767-71X
2nd F-Open: Bret Solomon, 1752-74X
3rd F-Open: Danny Biggs, 1750-72X
1st Fullbore: Kent Reeve, 1770-94X
2nd Fullbore: John Friguglietti, 1764-79X
3rd Fullbore: Norman Crawford, 1754-78X

Pete LaBerge and F-TR Winner Derek Rodgers
Sinclair Derek Rogers

AUDIO CLIP: Derek Rodgers talks about the F-TR equipment race — how advancements in bullets, bipods, and gear have “raised the bar” in F-TR competition. Click “Play” to hear Audio. [haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/derekrodgerstalks.mp3″ Title=”Derek RodgersTalks”]

Sinclair Derek Rogers

Team Sinclair Wins and Sets Pending National Record
Team Sinclair scored an impressive win over some very tough F-TR competitors. The Team amassed a 1538-40X collective score, which appears to break the existing NRA National Record (pending NRA verification). Remarkably, with this record-breaking ECN victory, Team Sinclair now remains undefeated in match competition. Team Sinclair consists of wind coach Ray Gross and shooters Paul Phillips, Brad Sauve, Jeff Rorer and Derek Rodgers. The team was shooting Berger bullets, but of varying weights. Derek Rodgers tells us: “I was shooting 200gr Berger Hybrids, with CCI primers and Lapua brass. Other team members were using 185gr Berger BT bullets, with either Federal and CCI primers in Lapua brass. We have predominantly been using Hodgden Varget powder for most of our .308 Win loads. In selecting bullets, accuracy is key, as is a high BC to stay competitive at long distances. Berger produces high-BC bullet designs that are also super-consistent dimensionally, thus leading to more accuracy. Berger offers many .30-Cal bullet options, designs, and weights. That’s important in F-TR because we have to pick a bullet that works with the .308 Win’s case capacity. Choosing a bullet from Berger’s vast line-up is a matter of fine-tuning what works best for each rifle.”

Team Sinclair (L to R): Wind Coach Ray Gross, Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips, Jeff Rorer, Brad Sauve
Sinclair Derek Rogers

The BNX/21st CenturyShooting Rifle Team won the F-Open Team match with a score of 1516-43X. Members of this team are: Robert Burton, Luis Eljaiek, Tom Goodman, and Nikolas Taylor. Among the sling shooters, the local North State Shooting Club Team won the NRA Fullbore Prone team match with an aggregate score of 1552-61X. The team consisted of John Friguglietti, David Huskins, Norm Crawford, Russ Jones, and JP Young.

Participants agreed that Sinclair Int’l organized an excellent, well-run match. Shooters are looking forward to another great match next year and expressed their gratitude to Sinclair for sponsoring the program. CLICK HERE for complete Sinclair East Coast Nationals Match Results

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April 24th, 2013

Forum Member Builds DIY F-Class Rifle and Belt-Drive Rest

This story first appeared last year. We’re featuring it again by popular request.
Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below to see large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle this weekend and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to .0001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

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April 24th, 2013

Now on iPad: American Rifleman and American Hunter Magazines

NRA Publications iPadUsing digital publishing software, the NRA is now offering iPad-optimized versions of American Rifleman and American Hunter magazines. These two magazines are now available for iPad-using NRA members who download the NRA Magazines App in the Apple App Store.

Bonus Content for iPad Users
The new digital magazines will feature all the stories, photos, and graphics found in the print magazines, PLUS bonus content. NRA Members with iPads can access videos, extra photos, sidebars, computer graphics and other interactive features. NRA Publications’ Joe Graham states: “The new iPad editions are designed to be convenient, easy to use and, most importantly, fun to read. The digital magazines have the same look and feel as the print magazines [but with] additional interactive content you can only get on an iPad.”

How to Get the iPad Editions of
American Rifleman and American Hunter

As Official Journals of the NRA, American Rifleman and American Hunter are available exclusively to NRA members. You must be a current NRA member to access these digital eZines. To join the NRA visit Membership.nrahq.org or call 1-877-NRA-2000. For a limited time, all NRA members who currently receive their magazines in print will be able to download the iPad editions.

To get the new iPad editions of American Rifleman and American Hunter, NRA members can download the free NRA Magazines App from the Apple App Store. Once downloaded, launch the app and enter your NRA membership number and last name. Upon verification, the magazine you currently receive as part of your NRA membership will be displayed. Tap “download” to have the digital magazine delivered directly to your iPad and start enjoying all of the exciting new interactive features.

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April 23rd, 2013

Hard-to-Find Hodgdon Powders at Cabela’s (Limited Quantities)

Cabelas.com has just made available some of the hard-to-find Hodgdon propellants, in 1-lb containers. H4831sc, Benchmark, H380, Hybrid 100V, Retumbo, H414 are all showing as “in stock” with prices ranging from $22.99 to $27.99 per pound, with a $20.00 HazMat fee. There is a catch — purchasers are limited to two (2) pounds of any Hodgdon powder product per order, per day. The 1-lb containers of H4831sc are currently on sale at $25.99, marked down from $27.99. NOTE: Varget was available earlier today at Cabelas.com, but Varget actually sold out minutes before this story was published. Good luck grabbing some of the other powders!

CLICK HERE: Cabelas.com Hodgdon Powder

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 22nd, 2013

California Legislature Considers Tough New Gun-Control Laws

california gun control lawsA number of extreme gun control measures are currently being pushed through the California Legislature. In California’s State Senate, the Committee on Public Safety considered some of the most restrictive pieces of gun legislation yet proposed in California.

On April 17, the Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 293 that bans the sale of conventional handguns and implements owner-authorized “smart-gun” technology. This would block the sale of ANY handgun that was not “coded” to the gun owner (so that nobody else could shoot it). Of course, no such “smart” handguns are currently offered for sale by any major manufacturer.

As you’d expect, California is also moving forward on legislation to further restrict self-loading rifles. On April 16, the Senate Public Safety Committee, on a 5-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 374. This bill expands the definition of “assault weapons” to ban the future sale of almost all semi-auto rifles that accept a detachable magazine. SB 374 now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

The California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee recently considered Assembly Bill 760 which would impose a new 5% sales tax on all ammunition components (complete cartridge, bullet, or case). That’s a nickel per bullet or cartridge. We’re pleased to report that AB760 has been held in committee pending further study of its financial effects. The bill is “suspended” for the time being, but it could be reconsidered in the near future. According to the L.A. Times, “The state Board of Equalization noted in a review that the proposed tax would be in addition to an existing sales tax on bullets, and it said the new tax could become a burden to businesses.”

In addition to taxing ammunition directly, California legislators have introduced bills that would make it much more difficult to purchase ammunition. SB 53 mandates a background check for ammo purchases. In addition, SB 53 would require gun owners to obtain a permit to purchase ammo. The permit, good for one-year only, would have to be renewed annually with a recurring $50/year cost. “It’s a way to red-tape the right to bear arms to death,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. “It’s all part of a campaign of shame, the fight to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding citizens to make the choice to have a firearm for self-defense.”

State-wide ban on Lead-containing Ammunition
In addition, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife (WPW) approved AB 711, a bill that if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown would extend the now limited condor range ban on traditional lead ammunition to the entire state. By its terms, AB 711 will “require the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.” This bill passed the WPW Committee and was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

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