May 31st, 2013

50 BMG Barrett M107 — Off-Hand First-Shot-Hit at 1000 Yards

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmgShooting a 50 BMG, off-hand, at 1000 yards may seem absolutely nuts, but read on — this story should make you smile. At the Texas Triggers Ranch (Sonora, TX), former Army Ranger and Sniper Team Leader Ryan Cleckner, shooting OFF-HAND, hit a torso-sized steel silhouette target at 1000 yards with a 50-caliber Barrett M107. That would be impressive enough, but consider this — Ryan hit the target on his first shot. And yes he was shooting standing (on his hind legs), holding the 37-pound rifle with his arms (no support).

Watch VIDEO of Ryan Cleckner Shooting Barrett M107 Off-Hand at 1000 Yards

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmg

Jumbo-Sized Ammo, and Jumbo-Sized Recoil
The ammo Ryan used in his 50 BMG Barrett pushes a 661-grain bullet at 2900 fps muzzle velocity. This load (fired from this 37-pound rifle), has 12,357 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle, and 81.88 ft-lbs of recoil energy. To put things in perspective, an 18-pound, .308 Win F-TR rifle, shooting a 168gr bullet at 2750 fps, has 7.99 ft-lbs of recoil energy. So, Ryan was shouldering a weapon that delivered more than Ten Times the recoil energy of a .308 Win. (Energy numbers calculated with Point Blank software). And he made it look easy. Kudos to Ryan for proving what a properly-trained marksman can do. Rangers Lead the Way….

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmg

Credit Steve Johnson of The Firearm Blog for finding this video.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 10 Comments »
May 31st, 2013

USA Shooting National Rifle and Pistol Championships June 3-9

USA Shooting National ChampionshipsThe USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol will be held June 3-9, at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning. More than 500 competitors will vie for national titles in rifle and pistol disciplines. This year’s National Championships serves as a World Cup selection match with the top-three finishers in each Olympic event open class earning a berth in the upcoming World Cup in Granada, Spain in July.

Many talented athletes will visit Fort Benning next week, including 2012 Olympian and Prone National Champion Michael McPhail and Olympic and USAMU teammate Eric Uptagrafft. 2012 Olympians Jason Turner and Keith Sanderson will be returning to defend their titles in Men’s 10m Air and 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. On the women’s side, 2012 Olympian Sarah Scherer looks to repeat as National Champion in 10m Air Rifle. Other standouts include National Rifle Team members Emily Holsopple, Sarah Beard, and Amy Sowash.

USA Shooting National Championships

More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website (USAShooting.org) by clicking on the ‘Match Information’ link located under the ‘Events’ tab. Look for scores on USA Shooting’s match results page following each competition. Photos will be posted on USA Shooting’s Flickr photo gallery.

CLICK HERE to download the complete 2013 National Championships Schedule (XLS format).

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 31st, 2013

Great Deals on Top-Rated Earplugs

Earplugs hearing protectionLooking for bargain-priced hearing protection for your gun club or shooting association? Contributing Editor German Salazar found some great deals on high-NRR earplugs.

Cooper Safety offers discount pricing on bulk packs of quality foam earplugs. The Howard Leight ‘Max’ plugs are now just $26.88 for 200 pairs, less than 13 cents a pair! These are some of our favorite foam plugs. They are comfortable and they have a 33db Noise Reduction Rating (NRR 33), the highest certified protection rating measured. Corded versions are also offered for $24.95 for ONE HUNDRED pairs (note quantity difference). Cooper also has the easy-to-insert Howard Leight Laser Lite disposable plugs. These cost just $21.95 for 200 pairs — less than 11 cents per pair. The pink/yellow Laser Lites feature a “winged” shape that some folks think is easier to place in the ear. The Laser Lite plugs are rated at NRR 32, slightly lower than the Howard Leight ‘Max’ plugs.

Re-Usable SmartFit Conforming Plugs
If you prefer a re-usable type of earplug, we recommend the orange Howard Leight SmartFit corded plugs. These three-flange plugs employ Conforming Material Technology (CMT) so the orange insert actually softens and conforms to your ear canal as it warms with with body heat. The longer you wear them the better they fit. They are a little stiff when you put them in initially, however they quickly form-fit and become much more comfortable, with a very good seal.

Earplugs hearing protection

Howard SmartFit ear plugs have a 25 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR 25). However, this Editor uses them regularly (I keep two sets in my range kit) and they really seem at least as quiet as most soft foam plugs. SmartFits are easily cleaned with warm water. These corded SmartFit plugs typically sell for a couple bucks at gunshops. You can save big-time by buying in bulk. Amazon.com sells 100 pairs of corded SmartFits for $68.95 (with free shipping). Each pair comes in a small carry-case.

Because SmartFits have a short stalk attached to the cord, they are easier to put in and take out over the course of a day. I prefer to use SmartFit plugs in situations where I’ll spend most of my time well away from the firing line (as when in the pits). I then insert them when I get closer to the action. In my experience, these are exceptionally effective when inserted properly. Though they have a lesser NRR than some foam plugs, in my ears, nothing silences noise better (once they’ve formed to fit). Others agree: “I have used many earplugs working in the offshore industry. I find these [SmartFits] far superior to others I have used. Tip — if you wet the end of the plug, they go in very easy and to the depth you need — Rick, Safety System Services”. You may want to try a pair — but be aware, some people can’t tolerate these because they are initially somewhat stiff. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 30th, 2013

Wounded Warriors Compete with USAMU

SFC Josh Olson USAMU wounded warriorStory by Amy Rosewater for TeamUSA.org
As soon as SFC Josh Olson fired his first shot at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he made history: he became the first active-duty U.S. soldier to compete in the Paralympic Games.

Olson lost his right leg after being attacked while on patrol in Iraq in 2003 but has been able to remain on active duty at Fort Benning, Georgia and is a part of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). He trains alongside of many Olympic soldiers there and now has several other Wounded Warriors along with him as well. The Army announced late last year the expansion of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit to include 24 Wounded Warriors as members of its Paralympic and instructor sections. According to SFC Armando Ayala, there are now nine Wounded Warrior shooters (including SFC Olson) as part of the program and two coaches. SFC Ayala, who has been at Fort Benning for eighteen years and served in Afghanistan, has been training the Wounded Warriors.

SFC Josh Olson USAMU wounded warrior

“Without a doubt [Josh has] inspired folks,” Ayala said. “He might have lost a limb but he’s achieved a world-class level of competition and that says a lot to the Army soldier. It’s amazing how these guys can overcome those obstacles. I’m really excited about this team.”

The Army spread word of the program through advertisements and social media and was able to recruit several soldiers to the program. All nine of the shooters currently in the program happen to be leg amputees, although soldiers can participate in the program with other injuries. Currently, all of the soldiers in the program are men although some women have come to Fort Benning to try it.

SFC Josh Olson USAMU wounded warrior

CLICK HERE to Read Full Story

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 30th, 2013

First Time’s a Charm with 6BRX in Eliseo Tubegun Chassis

6mm BRX fire formingFor those of use who have sweated through fire-forming and load development, it’s nice to see things coming together right out of the gate. With the 6mmBR improved wildcats such as the BRX, BRDX, and Dasher, it’s not unusual to see outstanding accuracy even while blowing out cases. In fact the accuracy is usually good enough that you might as well do your fire-forming during competition (once you’ve confirmed that everything is working with a 10-round function test). We’ve seen Dashers shoot in the low twos and even ones during fire-forming — so long as you load carefully and use good bullets, powder, and primers. Here’s a report from Forum member Chris W. (aka “baydawg”) on his new 6mm BRX tube gun:

Shot my 6 BRX last night for the first time at 600 yards last night. The result was a 199-11X. Not bad for fire-forming brass with thrown loads… LOL. Thanks Gary Eliseo and Competition Machine for a kick-ass chassis!”

6mm BRX Fire forming Eliseo Tubegun

Gun Specs: Competition Machine R1 in Granny Smith green. Pierce repeater tube gun action. 32″ Bartlien 6mm barrel, chambered in 6mm BRX. Smithed by Pierce Engineering in Lansing, Michigan.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 4 Comments »
May 30th, 2013

Money-Saving Strategies for Shooters

Let’s face it — economic times are still tough, so it’s important to save money whenever possible. Prices are going up, but wages aren’t following (for most of us). Here are seven ways shooters can save money on gear purchases and other shooting-related expenses.

1. Share a Ride to Matches. With gas costing close to $4.25 per gallon in many areas of the country, fuel has become a significant part of an active shooter’s hobby budget. Yet over 90% of shooters drive solo to matches, often in large, gas-guzzling trucks. If you drive 100 miles roundtrip to attend a match in a 20-mpg vehicle, you’re going to burn nearly $20.00 worth of gas total out and back. By simply sharing the ride with one fellow shooter you can cut your fuel expenditures in half.

2. Use Discount Codes to Save. It’s always smart to check for discount codes before you buy. In the Daily Bulletin, we regularly highlight important sales, and we provide discount Coupon Codes when available. By using discount codes when shopping online, you can typically save 10-15% on your purchases. For example, right now Brownells is running a Promo that offers $5.00 flat-rate shipping on orders or $125.00 or more. Just use Code DUT during check-out. If you can’t find a Coupon Code for your preferred vendor, visit RetailMeNot.com and/or SlickGuns.com. Both those sites list current coupon codes, and RetailMeNot.com covers thousands of vendors.

4. Shop for “Demo” Optics. Modern high-quality optics can easily cost $1500.00 or more, often exceeding the value of the rifle on which they are mounted. However, you can often save 20-30% by purchasing demo optics. These are normally display units used at trade shows. They may have slight ringmarks, but otherwise they are “as new”, having never been carried in the field or used on a rifle that has fired live ammo. When purchasing demo scopes, you should always ask about the warranty before consummating the sale. However, most demo scopes from name-brand manufacturers come with full factory warranties. EuroOptic.com and SWFA.com are two respected vendors that offer a good selection of demo optics.

5. Train with Rimfire Rifles. The true cost of shooting a match-grade centerfire rifle, when you consider barrel wear, approaches $1.00 per round. READ Shooting Cost Article. By contrast, decent .22LR target ammo sells for under $0.19 per round (though it is, admittedly, hard to find right now). Good rimfire barrels last a long, long time, so you don’t have to be concerned about wearing out your barrel quickly. A quality rimfire barrel can retain its accuracy for 7,000 rounds or more. If you run the ballistics, a .22LR round at 100 yards can emulate the wind drift experienced by a centerfire cartridge at long range. This allows for effective cross-training with much less expensive ammo.

6. Check Out the Forum Classifieds. There are great deals to be found every day in the AccurateShooter Shooters’ Forum. The latest deals are listed on our home page. To see all the listings, browse through the Forum MarketPlace section which has four main categories:

  • Guns, Actions, Stocks, & Barrels
  • Tools, Dies, Rests, Reloading Components & Misc
  • Scopes, Optics, Sights, Rings, Bases Etc.
  • Commercial Sales by Paid Sponsors

7. Take Advantage of Factory Rebates. There are some attractive rebates available right now from quality manufacturers such as Bushnell, Leupold, RCBS, Sightron, and Zeiss. You have to be a bit wary because rebates are typically used to move less-popular merchandise. But some rebates, such as the current RCBS Bucks or Bullets Rebate, apply to very wide range of merchandise, so it’s hard to go wrong. Just make sure that, when you buy a product, you retain the sales slip and the original packaging (it’s also wise to print out online orders). To qualify for the rebate, you may need to mail in a product identification code found on the box, along with your original sales receipt.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 29th, 2013

Bukys Wins Super Shoot Two-Gun by .0001 Over Jeff Gaidos

Gene Bukys Super Shoot Kelblys

In one of the closest margins of victory ever, Gene Bukys won the Two-Gun Overall Aggregate at the Kelbly’s Fireams Industry Super Shoot (FISS). Gene’s final Two-Gun Agg was 0.2728, with Jeff Gaidos just .0001 behind at 0.2729. That’s about as close as it can get, and other shooters were not far behind. In third place, at 0.2765, was Jeff Summers, followed by Tony Boyer (0.2827) and Larry Costa (0.2924). Looking at the numbers, only 0.0196 separated the Top Five in the Two-Gun.

Two-Gun Overall, Top 20
1. Gene Bukys, 0.2728
2. Jeff Gaidos, 0.2729
3. Jeff Summers, 0.2765
4. Tony Boyer, 0.2827
5. Larry Costa, 0.2924
6. Bob Scarbrough, Jr., 0.2943
7. Wayne Campbell, 0.2989
8. Lou Murdica, 0.3020
9. Steve Theyes, 0.3078
10. Larry Sharnhorst, 0.3104

11. Ken Hottenstein, 0.3111
12. Joe Hynes, ).3121
13. Dave Coots, 0.3123
14. Cristian Rando, 0.3140
15. Bud Welsh, 0.3193
16. Jeff Graves, 0.3253
17. Geoff Esterline, 0.3254
18. Dean Ekstrom, 0.3315
19. Dave Bruno, 0.3326
20. Bob Brushingham, 0.3339

Conditions were very challenging throughout most of the Super shoot, with strong and often fast-changing winds. Jerry Sharrett posted: “We had some interesting conditions. By the ends of the aggs many of the tails were caught up in the Daisies. For example, during the HV 200 in bench 9 the last three flags were bound up and useless. And many of the front flags, [were the] same way, especially on the right end.” Here is an audio recount of Days 1 through 3 by Ian Kelby (right click to “save as”):

May 23 Audio Report (WAV) | May 24 Audio Report (MP3) | May 25 Audio Report (WAV)

Fellow Shooters Praise Winner
Here are some comments posted on Benchrest Central.com:

“Congratulations to all of you guys in the top 20, especially to the Grand Master from Texas. Special congrats to my friend Dr. Cristian Rando from Buenos Aires, Argentina, shooting his Argentine CGM1 Thunderbolt, made by gunsmith Carlito Gonzalez.” — Pascal Fischbach

“Congratulations to the great Gene, this guy understands the [wind] conditions and rifle tuning better than anybody.” — Carlos Gonzalez

“A close margin of victory in any sport is a true indicator of the level of competition. In Track and Field,it would be called a ‘photo finish’. The best effort won a hard-fought match. It will be remembered because the margin was so close: 0.0001.” — G. Chism

“I ran the Blue Bonnet match earlier this month and from the range officer’s seat, was fortunate to observe Gene at his best. He just sits and waits for his preferred condition and then just rips off five in about thirty seconds. From his past performances in the last few years, he continues to cement a great legacy in the benchrest world.” — Virf

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
May 29th, 2013

7th Annual MOA Long Range Handgun Match in Wyoming

The 7th Annual MOA Cold Turkey Long Range Handgun Match will be held June 20-22 in Sundance, Wyoming. This is a 3-day Specialty Handgun competition with targets at 500, 750, and 1,000 yards. On the firing line, you’ll find a variety of precision handguns including the Remington XP-100, Savage Striker, MOA Maximum, Freedom Arm’s New Single-shot, as well as numerous custom and semi-custom rigs (typically set up with a 14″ to 18″ barrel, and muzzle brake). Popular cartridges include .243 AI, 6×47 Lapua, 6mm-284, and 6.5-284 Win. While many shooters use pistol scopes, in recent years, many competitors have switched to igher magnification rifle scopes. Sundance-based lead sponsor MOA Corporation is a respected maker of Specialty Handguns for hunting and target shooting.

CLICK HERE for Specialty Handgun Shoot INFO Flyer

MOA Specialty Pistol Shoot Wyoming

MOA Specialty Pistol Shoot Wyoming

Over the years, the MOA Specialty Handgun event has expanded to include new disciplines. There is now an IHMSA-style Freestyle pistol event, shot for group at 500 yards with categories for both iron (metallic) sights and scoped optics. In addition there is a popular “Roving Field Course” competition. This is a hunting-stalking-tactical style event shot on steel at distances generally from 300 to 600 yards. This Roving Field Course event is open to both individual and two-man shooter/spooter teams. You can use ANY handgun or optics type and any technologies to range targets and gauge wind speeds.

MOA Specialty Pistol Shoot Wyoming Prairie Dog

MOA Specialty Pistol Shoot Wyoming Prairie Dog

Two-Day Prairie Dog Shoot Before MOA Handgun Match
In conjunction with the MOA Shoot, on June 17-18, Ernie Bishop will host a two-day Prairie Dog shoot near Gilette, Wyoming. Located on a private ranch with a large prairie dog population, this shoot will afford a target-rich environment that is only occassionally hunted. This is open to pre-registered, paid participants for the MOA Long Range Handgun Match. The donation of $50 per shooter (covers both days) goes entirely to the landowner, as our token thank you for his generosity in allowing us access for this 2-day event. This is a fraction of what it would cost to go on a two-day PD Safari with a professional guide service. For more info, send email to ernieemily[at]yahoo.com or call Earnie at (307) 257-7431 (9:00 am – 6:00 pm Mountain Time).

MOA Specialty Pistol Shoot Wyoming Prairie Dog

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
May 28th, 2013

Liberty Safe Offers Wireless Monitoring Device for Gun Safes

Liberty Safe has just introduced the SAFELERT wireless monitoring system. This will notify the safe owner instantaneously if the safe is moved, if the safe door is opened, or if there is a notable change in safe temperature or humidity. Liberty’s SAFELERT is small, battery-powered sensing device placed inside your safe (easily hidden out of view). When something happens to your safe (e.g. movement, door opening, humidity change etc.) the device detects the activity and sends alerts (via texts or emails) directly to the safe’s owner.

liberty safe safelert wireless monitor

The SAFELERT works wirelessly via your home or business network. You just need a WiFi router plus at least one networked device (computer, tablet etc.) on the system. If you can open an internet browser page and enter a few numbers, you can get the SAFELERT running in minutes. Communicating via the web-based elertus.com service, SAFELERT monitors your safe and immediately sends you (and up to 4 recipients) alerts when the “triggers” are activated by tampering, door opening, or temp/humidity changes (inside the safe). The SAFELERT also sends a message if its batteries run low or if your WIFI connection fails (hourly network checks). You can “test-drive” the system via Liberty’s SAFELERT demo page. Log in to set a trigger type and receive a simulated alert message.

liberty safe safelert wireless monitor

liberty safe safelert wireless monitorBy now you may be wondering — “what’s this high-tech gadget going to set me back?” Liberty’s SAFELERT Costs $199.00 and there is an ongoing service charge to maintain continuous monitoring. Annual fees are:
3 Years at $39.95/year; 2 Years at $49.95/year; 1 Year at $59.95/year.

As an extra incentive, Liberty is currently offering the first month of monitoring for free.

Optional Antenna for Enhanced WIFI Reception
In most cases, SAFELERT will function well with your wireless router (WiFi system) without a separate antenna. But for situations where WiFi network reception is weak, Liberty includes an antenna to enhance SAFELERT’s reception range. The antenna is placed on the exterior top/side of the safe, with a wire connecting it to the SAFELERT device hidden inside the safe.

Only as Secure as Your WiFi Connection
Writing in the Firearm Blog, Richard Johnson points out some issues with any WiFi-Based security system: “The system … connects to the internet via your home WiFi connection. Therein lies the point of failure. If thieves are breaking into your home, they might first hit your phone/cable connection which will prevent the SAFELERT from contacting you. A workaround would be to have a MiFi or similar device that connects to the internet via cell signal.” We should add that the elertus.com service does promise to check your WiFi connection every hour and send you a message if the WiFi connection drops. But a lot can happen in an hour….

Permalink New Product 4 Comments »
May 26th, 2013

New 17.75″ Shoot-N-C Grid Target with Five Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Sight-in Target 17.75Birchwood Casey has just introduced a super-sized grid target that should work great at 250 yards and beyond. The new Shoot-N-C “Sight-In” target, 17.75″ on a side, features five (5) red aiming points inside large, yellow-edged diamonds.

The background is a grid of 1″ squares with a larger cross outlined in heavy yellow lines. The accurately-sized grid pattern makes it easy to estimate your groups (and adjust your scope to center point of impact). Even if shots fall inside the large, black diamond zones without grid lines, you easily make a quick correction using the nearby grid markings.

As with other Shoot-N-C “splatter” targets, this big 17.75″ target produces a bright, highly-visible yellow ring around each bullet hole. In most conditions, with a 25-power or greater scope, we can see bullet holes at 600 yards using this kind of target. You can buy a lot of these targets for the cost of a target cam — something that might be otherwise required to see bullet holes reliably beyond 500 yards.

Birchwood Casey also recommends this target for sighting in. We can see how that might be useful if you have very low-power riflescope or no spotting scope. Again, the handy grid pattern lets you dial your correction with precision, which should speed up the sight-in process.

Birchwood Casey Sight-in Target 17.75After sighting-in, if you have a very accurate rifle, this may not be the best choice of target at 100 and 200 yards. A half-inch group will just create a big yellow blob, and it may be difficult to distinguish single bullet holes. But at longer ranges, even the most accurate rifles will normally produce large enough groups that you can see individual shot placements (with black separating yellow splatter rings).

Shoot-N-C 17.75” Sight-In Targets come in packs of five targets, with 85 stick-on pasters. There are red diamond pasters (for additional aiming points) and black pasters to cover shot marks. MSRP for the 5-pack is $25.30, but many vendors are selling the 5-pack for under $17.00. The lowest price we found was $11.89 at www.bigsupplyshop.com.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
May 25th, 2013

Lapua’s Champion Shooters Visit Lapua Factory in Finland

To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Lapua invited six of its shooting team members to visit the firm’s ammunition factory in Lapua, Finland. The team members hailed from six countries around the world: Kevin Nevius (USA), Eva Friedel (Germany), Josselin Henry (France), Charlotte Jakobsen (Denmark), Kim-Andre Lund (Norway), and Peter Sidi (Hungary). Watch the video to follow these six shooters as they tour the Lapua ammo factory, and then compete in a 100m/600m fun match at Lapua’s test range.

See Lapua Ammunition Factory from the Inside

After being greated by Nammo Lapua CEO Raimo Helasmäki, the six lucky shooters got to tour production facilities, visit the old cartridge factory museum, and share ideas with Lapua R&D engineer Tommi Tuuri. The engineer observed: “No matter how much you calculate, there are always some surprises — things you can only know from the test runs.”

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory VisitCompetition at 100m and 600m
The trip finished with a friendly “bragging rights” match at Lapua’s own Ampumarata Shooting Range. These six champions had to quickly master two very different rifles, a Panda-actioned 6PPC benchrest rig for 100m and a SAKO TRG-42 in .338 Lapua Magnum for long range (600m). Kim-Andre Lund from Norway won the benchrest match with a 0.157″ (3.98mm) group. Not bad for a position shooter not familiar with this kind of gun, or this rest configuration. Kim observed: “I think maybe I’m in the wrong discipline, maybe benchrest is the thing for me”. Check out his target at right.

The USA’s own Kevin Nevius posted the top score with the big .338 LM. Kevin had a great time: “I’m a bonafied gun nut… so to come to a factory that manufactures ammunition is a dream come true.”

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory Visit

This video features a factory walk-through showing bullet-making, cartridge forming, and bullet packaging. Near the end (at 5:40 time-mark) is a fascinating sequence showing the high-speed robotic arms that pick loaded ammunition from the assembly line.

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory Visit

Beautiful Lapua 6.5-284 brass awaits packaging and shipping.
Lapua Factory Visit

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
May 25th, 2013

Hornady 17 Hornet Ammo Wins Readers’ Choice Award

Hornady has received an inaugural Gold Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award for its Superformance® Varmint™ 17 Hornet Rifle Ammunition. The 17 Hornet is currently available in 15.5gr NTX® and 20gr V-MAX™ offerings.

Hornady’s 17 Hornet employs Hornady Superformance® propellant technology. Hornady claims that, in the 17 Hornet, its Superformance powders can deliver 100 to 200 fps more velocity than other commercially-available propellants. As a result, Hornady’s Superformance® Varmint™ ammunition shoots flatter, drifts less in the wind, and retains more energy out to a practical range of 300 yards. And many varminters have praised Hornady’s low-recoil 17 Hornet, saying this new cartridge is economical, accurate, and fun to shoot. 17 Hornet ballistics are far superior to the 17 HMR, as you can see:

hornady 17 hornet

Hornady’s 17 Hornet was derived from the 22 Hornet parent case. Claimed velocity with 20-grainers is 3650 fps — an impressive number considering the 17 Hornet uses about half the powder of the 17 Remington. The 17 Hornet is based on the rimmed .22 Hornet case. However, the case is not just necked-down from .22 caliber. The case designers reduced body taper, moved the shoulder, and changed the shoulder angle to 25°. This effectively modernizes the old .22 Hornet case, improving efficiency while retaining the max OAL, so that the 17 Hornet can work in any action big enough for the .22 Hornet.

hornady 17 hornet

Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award
The Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Awards, sponsored by Predator Xtreme magazine, honors the best new products for varminters and predator hunters. A Gold award is the highest honor bestowed in a number of shooting categories. Products are chosen for award recognition based on surveys of magazine readers, so this is truly an “people’s award”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
May 24th, 2013

Koenig Wins 2013 Bianchi Cup, Bernosky Finishes Second

The 2013 MidwayUSA NRA Bianchi Cup is in the books. Congrats to the Top Guns of the men’s division: Doug Koenig First Place (center), Carl Bernosky Second Place (left), and Bruce Piatt Third Place (right). Though Koenig finished on top, we have to credit Carl for his versatility. Bernosky is the reigning (and 10-Time) NRA High Power Rifle National Champion. Few humans can rival Carl’s skills with a rifle, and he’s just proven that he is one of the very best with a pistol as well.

2013 Bianchi Cup Koenig Carl Bernosky Bruce Piatt

Photo from Bruce Piatt.
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 24th, 2013

Colorado Sheriffs, and Trade Groups Challenge Colorado Gun Laws

54 county sheriffs in Colorado are leading the fight to overturn anti-gun legislation recently passed in Colorado, filing a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Colorado. The NSSF, the Colorado Outfitters Association, Magpul Industries, and firearms retailers have joined the Sheriffs in a broad-based legal challenge to Colorado’s recently enacted gun-control laws. Notably, all but 10 of the state’s 64 sheriffs, who are elected officials, have joined the suit as plaintiffs.

“From the perspective of the sheriffs this legislature had an agenda rather than good public policy in mind when they rushed these bills through and in this rush to pass new laws they didn’t bother listening to the people charged with enforcing them,” explained Weld County Sheriff John Cooke.

“In addition to Constitutional infringements and unenforceable requirements regarding magazine capacity, as the sheriffs have pointed out, we believe it will be impossible for citizens to comply with mandated firearms ‘transfers’ through federally licensed retailers,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Colorado’s federally-licensed firearms retailers are being asked to process these transfers as if they were selling from their own inventory and to monitor both seller and buyer through a state-administered check process that can take hours or even days. They will not be able to recoup the actual cost of providing the service, which is capped at $10, but they will be liable for paperwork errors and subject to license revocation. For this reason and the many others detailed in our joint action with our fellow plaintiffs, these laws need to be struck down,” Keane said.

Permalink News No Comments »
May 23rd, 2013

Bartlein Delivers Precious Metals to NorCal Rifle Club

Norcal NPPRC Bartlein BarrelsNeed a premium cut-rifled barrel? Be prepared to wait six months or more. However, if you were a member of the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC) you’d be sitting pretty right now. After receiving a boatload of new Bartleins (31 by our count), NPPRC’s Vu Pham announced on Facebook: “Our first batch of Bartlein Barrels has arrived!! This is less than 1/3 of our 2013 Club order!”

That’s an impressive supply of precious metal to be sure. Are those Bartleins worth their weight in gold? Not quite, but Vu and crew definitely have reason to celebrate. We hope all the folks at NCPPRC shoot lots of good scores with all those pretty new tubes. Yes, you could say we have “barrel envy” now.

Norcal NPPRC Bartlein Barrels

Permalink Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
May 23rd, 2013

6mm Dasher Basics — Bob Hoppe Talks about Loads

6mm Dasher and 6mmBRThe 6mm Dasher is based on the 6mm BR cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and “improved” to 40°. Case capacity is raised to about 41.0 grains. This allows the Dasher to drive 105-108gr bullets comfortably at 2970-3000 fps without over-stressing the brass. A popular load used by many successful Dasher shooters is 32.5 to 33.0 grains of Reloder 15, CCI 450 primers, with 105gr Berger VLDs, .010″ in the lands, or Berger 105gr Hybrids .015-.020″ off the lands (jumping). At the upper end this is a “warm load” and should only be used with fire-formed brass. Norma 203B is very, very similar to Reloder 15, and may be more readily available in the near future. As with any load, start 10% low and work up.

You may also have good luck with Hodgon Varget powder. Forum Member Rodney Wagner recently shot a spectacular IBS-record-setting 0.349″ five-shot group at 600 yards. Rodney was loading 32.5 Grains of Varget with CCI 450 primers and Berger 108gr BTs seated about .020″ off the lands (jumping). In preparation for fire-forming his Dasher cases, Rodney used a .257 expander to create a false shoulder on his case necks. This helps stabilizes the case with a good “crush fit” when fire-forming, but other methods of forming Dasher cases (including hydro-forming) can work well also.

Robert Hoppe, one of the top 600-yard shooters in the country, was the 2009 NBRSA 600-yard champion. In 2007, shooting a 6 Dasher, Robert nailed a 0.5823″, 5-shot group. At the time it was the smallest group ever shot in 600-yard registered benchrest competition. In 2008, John Lewis shot even smaller with an IBS Heavy Gun, but Robert’s 0.5823″ still remains the NBRSA 600-yard record, and we believe it is the second smallest group ever shot at 600 yards (in registered BR competition) by a 17-lb class rifle. Robert has been very successful in the 600-yard game, and is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the West. He knows how to wring the best accuracy out of the 6mm Dasher cartridge. Here Robert offers some tips on load development and tuning for the 6mm Dasher.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
May 22nd, 2013

3.505″ 10-Shot 1K Group — Martinez Sets Pending LG Record

Williamsport Benchrest Club

Another long-range benchrest record was set recently — this time at the Williamsport Range in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Paul Martinez shot a fantastic 3.505″ 10-shot group at 1000 yards. It was nicely centered for a 99-6X score as well. Paul’s 3.505″ group should be a new 10-shot record for the 17-lb Light Gun Class under Williamsport Rules. The previous best was a 3.746″ (99-1X) group shot by Scott Weber at Williamsport last summer. Congrats to Paul for some great shooting!

Martinez light gun 1000 yard record Williamsport

Paul’s 17-lb Light Gun was chambered as a .300 WSM and Paul was loading heavy-weight .30-caliber Berger bullets. Paul’s rifle was smithed by Eric Springman of Springman Rifles in Allenwood, PA. Paul’s record-setting rifle featured a Borden action, Krieger barrel, McMillan MBR Tooley stock, and Nightforce Benchrest model scope (we don’t know if this was the old BR scope or the new-for-2013 version). Eric Springman notes: “This was not a fluke — Paul has shot several small groups with this gun and has shot under 4″ at 1000 yards before.”

Under Williamsport Rules, the Light Gun Class shoots 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. Under IBS and NBRSA Rules, Light Guns shoot 5-shot groups at 1000 yards, so there is no comparable IBS or NBRSA 10-shot record for the 17-lb class. However, IBS and NBRSA Heavy Guns DO shoot 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. The current IBS Heavy Gun 10-shot record is 3.044″, shot by Joel Pendergraft in 2009. The NBRSA 10-Shot Heavy Gun record is 4.322″ by Dave Tooley, posted in 2006. Looking at those numbers, Paul Martinez’s 3.505″ beats the existing NBRSA HG record by 0.817″ and Paul’s group is just 0.461″ off the IBS HG record. Any way you look at it, that is great shooting with a 17-lb rifle.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 22nd, 2013

35th Annual Bianchi Cup Championship Commences

2013 Bianchi CupThe 2013 35th Annual NRA Bianchi Cup National Championship kicks off today, May 22nd in Columbia, Missouri, and runs through May 25th. This prestigious event draws shooters from all over the world. Along with the USA, competitors have come from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and Switzerland.

Categories include: Open Division, Metallic Sights, Service Pistol, and Revolver. In addition there be awards for the top shooters in specific classes: Law enforcement, Women, Junior, International, Newcomer, Senior, Grand Senior. One of the favorites in the Women’s Division this year is Jessie Duff, shown competing with one of her Bianchi Cup custom rigs. Jessie’s pistol sports special brackets to help steady the gun during barricade shots.

2013 Bianchi Cup Program | Bianchi Cup Info Guide

Bianchi Cup — Classic Four-Stage Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

2012 Interview with John Bianchi

Photo courtesy the NRA Blog
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 22nd, 2013

Cabela’s Memorial Day Sale — $5 Shipping with $99 Order

Cabelas Memorial Day Sale

Cabelas.com is running a huge Memorial Day Weekend sale. Now through May 27, 2013, prices are marked down on thousands of items, including Hunting, shooting, and reloading products.

To make Cabela’s Memorial Day Sale even more attractive, Cabelas.com is also offering $5.00 Flat-Rate Shipping if your order totals $99.00 or more (ammo excluded). To qualify, use Promo CODE 53FLAT during check-out. This offer is valid through May 27th. Additional shipping charges for large or heavy items still apply.

Here are some of the good deals:

Hornady L-N-L Auto-Charge Electronic Powder Dispenser/Scale: $219.99 on Sale (Save $50)

Lyman Turbo-Sonic TS-6000 Cleaning Machine: $269.99 on Sale (Save $89)

Nikon Riflehunter 550 Laser Rangefinder: $239.99 on Sale (Save $50)

Caldwell Stable Table Shooting Bench: $219.99 on Sale (Save $35)

Cabelas Memorial Day Sale

Fine Print: Offer does not apply to firearms. Good on Standard Express shipping to U.S. Deliverable Addresses ONLY. Not valid with any other offer. Offer cannot be used on prior purchases. Offer is valid for purchases made at Cabelas.com or catalog call center.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 21st, 2013

Ultrasonic Cleaning, Case-Neck Friction and Bullet Seating

ultrasonic cleaningOur IT guy, Jay (aka JayChris in the Forum), was having some issues with his .260 AI. A load with known accuracy had suddenly and mysteriously stopped shooting well. Jay couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. Then he remembered he had cleaned his brass using a powerful ultrasonic machine.

He inspected his brass carefully and saw that the ultrasonically-cleaned necks were so “squeaky clean” that he was actually scratching the jackets on his bullets when seating them. As well, Jay noticed that it took more force to seat the bullets and the seating force became less uniform case to case. Jay solved the problem by applying NECO Moly dry-lube inside the necks of his brass before seating the bullets.

The Perils of Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning by JayChris
I rotate my brass so that I can keep track of each firing, so I keep a “clean/ready to load” bin and a “fired” bin. I have 400 pieces of .260 AI brass. So, all of it was on its first firing (after doing a Cream of Wheat fire-forming) until I hit the 400-round mark. To my surprise, things went south at the 500-round mark. The first time I noticed it (according to my range log) was at a match last year, when I dropped several points and had some vertical stringing issues. After that match, I had 400 rounds through the barrel and all of my brass had a single firing on it. So, it was time to clean.

ultrasonic cleaningI have used an ultrasonic cleaner for a while now. I recently got a more powerful Ultrasonic cleaner, although I don’t know if that makes a difference. My brass comes out dry and squeaky. Emphasis on the “squeaky”.

I found that my new US machine may have been getting the necks TOO clean. After ultrasonically cleaning my brass, I had noticed that it required a little more force to seat the bullets, but I didn’t really think too much about it. But then, after going over my ordeal with a shooting buddy and going over my process in minutiae, we had an “AH HA” moment when it came to cleaning (he uses good ol’ vibratory cleaning).

So, I used some moly dry-lube to pre-lube the case necks and took some rounds out to test at 200 yards. I used my last known good load and sure enough, the vertical flyers disappeared! I shot two, 10-rounds groups with .335 and .353 MOA vertical dispersion, which is consistent with the results I was originally getting.

Other folks have suggested necks may get “too clean” after ultrasonic cleaning. It was pretty sobering to actually witness, first hand, what can happen when brass is “too clean”. I had read some discussions of issues with neck friction/bullet seating after ultrasonic cleaning, but, frankly, I dismissed the idea. Now I understand. The “too clean” effect doesn’t seem to affect my Dasher at all (perhaps because Dasher necks are very short), but on the bigger .260 AI, it definitely does.

Close-Up Photos of Case-Necks

Here are photos Jay took with a microscope. You can see the difference between tumbled brass and ultrasonically-cleaned brass. Jay says: “Here, in sequence, are the Ultrasound-squeaky-clean case neck, a case neck after treatment with NECO moly dry-lube (you can see the particles that will help coat the neck during seating), and, finally, the neck from a case cleaned with corncob media in a vibratory tumbler. You can clearly see how much smoother the inside of the tumbled neck is. Yes, it’s dirty, but it’s also very, very smooth.

ultrasonic cleaning

ultrasonic cleaning

ultrasonic cleaning

Close-Up of Scratched Bullet

Here is a close-up of a bullet that was seated in an ultrasonically-cleaned (“squeaky clean”) neck, with no lubrication. You can clearly see the damage done to the jacket — in fact, in a couple spots you can see the lead core through the scratches! Jay also observed that quite a bit more seating force was required to seat the bullet in a “squeaky clean” neck.

ultrasonic cleaning

NOTE: The bullet jacket is naked — NOT coated in any way. It looks a little dark because of the shadow from the microscope lens, and the high contrast.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »