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September 20th, 2013

New Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine from RCBS

Using ultrasound in a liquid solution, you can clean your cartridge brass inside and out. Ultrasonic cleaning is nothing new — we described this process years ago. But with the increased cost of brass, more and more shooters are turning to this effective process to get their cases clean.

Now RCBS offers an affordable Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine with some great features. The new RCBS machine boasts a 3-liter capacty, user-friendly keypad, and a built-in 100-watt heater with four settings. The unit also includes a handy drain valve and drain tube.

Ultrasonic cleaning works fast, without the long processing time (and dust) of conventional tumbling. Cleaning cases with ultrasonic machines has become very popular, as the ultrasonic process reliably removes caked-on carbon and grime from brass cases inside and out, even in the primer pocket. We do recommend that, after ultrasonic cleaning, you consider using a dry neck lube to restore lubricity to your necks for the first and second firings.

The new RCBS ultrasonic cleaner features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. ‘Street Price’ for the RCBS ultrasonic machine is under $150.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $50 purchase or $50 off $300.00 purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

RCBS ultrasonic cleaner cash rebate discount

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
September 19th, 2013 Shooters’ Forum Tops 22,500 Members ForumThe Shooters’ Forum hit another membership milestone. We’ve surpassed 22,500 registered members. Now we hope to reach 25,000 members in the next few months. If you have considered joining our Forum, but haven’t done so yet, there’s no better time than now. As a Forum member, you’ll be part of an active community of serious shooters. You can get valuable advice on shooting and reloading from top shooters such as National Champions Larry Bartholome, Sam Hall, and Derek Rodgers. As well, many top tool-makers and barrel-makers visit the Forum regularly, such as Dave Kiff (PT&G), Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), and John Perkins (21st Century Shooting). Forum

If you haven’t sampled our Forum yet, cruise over to and check it out. You’ll find a wealth of information shared by thousands of knowledgeable members, including many National Champions and record-holders. The boards are tightly moderated to prevent the ego battles common to some other internet forums. Our Shooters’ Forum maintains a high “signal to noise ratio”, with courteous and respectful exchange of ideas. To join the Forum, simply click the “Register” link and follow the prompts. There is no fee to join.

FREE Classifieds for Forum Members
Along with our informational Forum areas, we offer FREE CLASSIFIEDS for all registered forum members. You’ll find some great values in the Classifieds, and we provide a feedback system for buyers and sellers. Published feedback helps you buy and sell with greater confidence. Forum

Permalink News No Comments »
September 17th, 2013

Pin-Adjustable Barrett ExRings Offer Two MOA Elevation Settings

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinnyBarrett offers an innovative scope ring set that adjusts to two different MOA elevations through the use of variable-position cross-pins in the rear ring. Barrett’s Pin-Lock® ExRings allow a dual-setting +MOA taper by placing the adjustment pin in one of two locations. To change settings, simply remove the rear pin from one hole and insert it into the other (after loosening side locking bolts*). There are multiple ExRing versions: 30mm with 15/40 MOA settings (#66850), 30mm with 20/30 MOA settings (#66858), and 34mm with 20/30 MOA settings (#66870).

Barrett says the lower 15 or 20 MOA settings are commonly used with canted rails while the higher 30 or 40 MOA settings are for flat rails. Once an elevation setting is selected and the ring’s cross bolts are torqued to specification, Barrett ExRings become a rock-solid mount with the MOA “pre-load” angle best suited to your application. NOTE: Rings come factory preset at the lower MOA setting. CLICK HERE for Barrett ExRing Mounting Instructions (PDF).

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinny

These rings are ideal for extreme long-range shooting, offering a huge amount of elevation “pre-load” that allows the shooter to keep his scope in the middle of its elevation range. We’re not aware of any other ring system that allows a quick, repeatable change from 15 MOA preload to 40 MOA (and vice versa), or even from 20 to 30 MOA. The system will work with a wide variety of installations. ExRings will work on both flat and tapered m1913 Picatinny-type rails, and there should be enough clearance for scopes with front objectives up to 70mm in diameter. ExRings are made from tough, T-6 aluminum, hard-anodized to 60 HRC specs. A special “Zero-Gap” clamping system provides a very secure mount.

Barrett ExRings® (Extended Range Scope Rings) Key Features:

• Maximizes the riflescope’s internal elevation adjustment.
• ZERO-GAP offers wider clamping area and maximizes “scope grip”.
• ZERO BACKLASH tongue and groove interface.
• High Strength Aircraft-grade 7075 T6 aluminum.
• 2.5 times lighter than steel.
• Heat-treated steel cross bolt and captured nut for increased strength.
• Hard Anodized with a 60 HRC (Rockwell C scale).
• Both 30mm diameter and 34mm diameter available.
• BORS compatible.

ExRings Prove Themselves in Long-Range Competition
You’ll find an extensive review of the Barrett ExRings on Australian Long Range Shooter Magazine. The creator of that website, Norm Nelson, mounted Barrett Pin-Lock 15-40 MOA adjustable rings on his 7mm F-Open rig. He then proceeded to use that rifle (with ExRings) to win the 2013 Australian Long-Range Championship. Here are Norm’s comments:

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinny“I used [the ExRings] to great effect to win the Australian Long Range F-Class Open competition earlier this year. They enabled me to use a higher magnification scope at the 1200-yard range. I have since bought a second pair and run them on my .375 Cheytac to shoot way out yonder.

The operation and fitting of these rings is quite easy and they provide a strong mounting solution for long range rifles that need an extra bit of elevation. Once mounted to the rail the ring top halves are removed and the side locking plates are loosened. At this time the rear adjustable adjustable pin can be removed if desired and placed into either [MOA position].

These are solid rings designed to withstand the recoil of the big Barrett rifles. In the testing I have done so far, I have not noticed any movement of these rings and would be surprised if I did given their build design and quality.”

Barrett recommends changing the MOA setting after scope is installed on rifle.

1. Remove the two side locking bolts from the rear ring and loosen the two side locking bolts from the front ring using the T27 Torx® end of the supplied L-wrench.
2. Use a 1/8″ pin punch to remove the adjustment pin from the rear ring.
3. Align the corresponding pin hole locations, insert and tap the adjustment pin flush using a pin punch.
4. Tighten all four side locking bolts to 50 inch/lbs or 5.6Nm

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
September 17th, 2013

SHOT Show 2014 Registration Opens for Attendees

Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2014 SHOT Show is now open for attendees. (Media and Exhibitor registration will open in the coming weeks.) The 2014 SHOT Show will be held January 14 through 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Sands Convention Center. While registering, attendees can easily add State of the Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University and sign up for other educational offerings. CLICK HERE for Registration Page.

SHOT Show Sands Convention

SHOT Show Sands Convention Wi-fi wifi wireless internetImproved WI-FI at SHOT Show Venue
The Sands Expo & Convention Center recently completed installation of a new $1.6 million wireless LAN (WLAN) that Sands executives say will deliver seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout the Sands Expo and Convention Center’s 2.2 million square feet of flexible exhibition and meeting space. That’s a good thing for media folks, but we can envision thousands of people bumping into each other as they walk around with eyes focused on their digital devices, sending “tweets” and scanning Facebook pages.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
September 17th, 2013

National Hunting and Fishing Day Set for September 28, 2013

National Hunting Fishing DayNational Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day) takes place on Saturday, September 28th. The annual celebration serves as a reminder that conservation succeeds because of leadership and funding from hunters, shooters and anglers. National, regional, state and local organizations will run thousands of “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more. An estimated four million Americans will participate. For information on NHF Day, visit To find an NHF Day event near you, click the link below.

National Hunting and Fishing Day Events (Listed by State)

National Hunting Fishing Day

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
September 16th, 2013

Loading for a 16″ Naval Gun? Try these Really Big Powder Sticks…

Story by Boyd Allen
While many top competitive shooters trickle their stick powder charges to a kernel or two, that would be impractical when loading charges for giant naval guns. You may be surprised, but the shells fired by the U.S. Navy’s massive 14″ and 16″ naval guns were also propelled by stick-type extruded powders. You couldn’t trickle these ‘kernels’ though — a single stick or ‘grain’ can be over 2″ long. Take a look…

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

In connection with a Benchrest Central discussion that drifted to the subject of powders used in large naval guns, I heard from Joe McNeil, whose father was involved in manufacturing those very propellants as a DuPont employee. Joe writes:

“My Dad worked for the DuPont company for over 40 years. Every time the nation went to war he was assigned to the gun powder plants which DuPont ran for the government for $1.00 per year! His last assignment was at the Indiana Ordnance Plant in Jefferson, Indiana from 1952 through 1958. He had a display case made of all of the different powders made at the plant and left it to me. That’s why I have a grain of 16″ gun powder. He took me out to the Jefferson proving grounds once when they tested the powder in a 16″ gun. We watched from a half-mile away but it left a lasting impression when they fired that gun. They actually had a set of rings they fired through to test the performance of the powder and shell. This was a truly fond memory of my Dad and his work.”

Here are some pictures of the gun powder “grains” made during the Korean War at the Indiana Ordnance Works where Joe McNeil’s father worked.

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

Above is the display case with the different powders manufactured at the DuPont plant. They include: 37 MM/AA, 75MM Pack Howitzer, 50 Cal. 5010, 20 MM 4831, 30 Cal. 4895, 76 MM, 3″, 5″, 90 MM, 4.7″, 240MM, 8″, 280 MM, 175 MM, 155 MM Howitzer, 155 MM Gun M.P., 8″ Gun M.P., 12″, 14, 16″. There are different-sized ‘grains’ for specific rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
September 16th, 2013

GunsAmerica Tests New Ruger American Rimfire Rifle

Recently, we profiled the all-new, bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire™ rifle. It’s modular, affordable (MSRP $329.00), and it will be offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. Notably, the .22 versions can use all types of Ruger 10/22 magazines — that’s a huge plus for folks who already own a Ruger 10/22. After this new rifle was introduced, readers wondered how well it functions, and how the accuracy compares to the popular .22 LR bolt guns from CZ and Savage.

GunsAmerica Blog Review
GunsAmerica, a leading firearms buy/sell website, managed to get hold of one of these Ruger American Rimfire rifles, chambered in .22 LR. GunsAmerica’s staff put the rifle through its paces at the range, and came away very impressed. The test rifle shot sub-inch groups at 50 yards with Federal Lightning and CCI Stinger ammunition. We expect the rifle would shoot even better with quality, match-grade Lapua or Eley rimfire ammo. CLICK HERE for full GunsAmerica Rifle Review.

Given the smooth-working bolt, crisp 3-lb trigger, and comfortable stock with built-in bedding system, GunsAmerica concludes that this Ruger delivers a lot of performance for the $329.00 price. GunsAmerica’s writers are probably right in predicting that the Ruger American Rifle will be a hot-seller, stealing market share from other low-to-mid-priced rimfire brands (such as CZ):

“With this one new rifle Ruger has propelled itself to the front of the pack of the bolt-action rimfire market[.] While there are other great rimfire bolt guns out there at affordable prices, nobody is going to dispute that the Ruger American Rimfire has leapfrogged the entire market. The rifle is superb, and missing really nothing. These guns are going to fly off the shelves….”

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 16th, 2013

Instant Savings on Nikon Scopes, Rangefinders, and Binoculars

Nikon has announced some attractive money-saving promos for scopes, laser rangefinders and binoculars. Our readers will probably be most interested in the special savings on BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) Nikon scopes. To learn more about these promotions, visit For more info on Nikon’s binoculars, riflescopes, rangefinders and spotting scopes, visit

Nikon BDC Extreme rifle scopes Laser Rangefinder sale promotion

BDC Riflescopes Instant Savings — Up to $100 Off
Starting on September 12, 2013 and running through October 27, 2013, the BDC Extreme Bonus Days promotion offers up to $100 instant savings on over 40 BDC riflescopes. These scopes’ BDC reticles allow shooters to quickly compensate for bullet drop at long ranges. This is very helpful on varmint-hunting safaris — you can use the hold-over lines rather than click elevation when moving back and forth between critters at different yardages.

Nikon id Tech Laser Rangefinder sale promotionLaser Rangefinder Promotion — Up to $70.00 Off
Nikon’s id TECH rangefinders have ID (incline/decline) Technology that helps you make angled shots correctly. From September 16 through November 10, 2013, up to $70 instant savings is availble for four Nikon id TECH rangefinders: Riflehunter 1000, PROSTAFF 7, Archer’s Choice, and Archer’s Choice MAX.

Instant Savings on Nikon Binoculars
In addition to the BCC Scope and rangefinder promos, Nikon is offering promos on binoculars. Instant savings (up to $100.00) are available on Nikon Monarch binoculars are available from September 11 through November 17, 2013. Up to $20 off the budget=priced Aculon A211 10×42 binocular is available from From September 12 through October 27, 2013.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
September 14th, 2013

Criterion Barrels Opens New Facility in Germantown, Wisconsin

Criterion barrelsCriterion Barrels, producer of high-quality, button-rifled barrels (with a heritage of barrel-making from Krieger barrels) has opened a large new production facility in Germantown, Wisconsin. Over the past year, Criterion has hired many new skilled technicians to work in the new 72,000 square-foot facility, and new high-tech machinery is on its way.

Criterion reports: “To successfully meet with the recent industry-wide surge in demand, we have increased our production levels with the intent of fulfilling orders in the timeliest possible manner. To meet these manufacturing goals while simultaneously fulfilling our commitment to produce of some of the finest quality rifle barrels available, Criterion has successfully relocated its operations to a new 72,000 square-foot production facility. The phased transition from our Richfield workspace to the now fully-operational Germantown building was completed in November of last year.

Criterion has increased the number of its production personnel by more than 75% over the course of the last year… The purchase of new machinery will also serve to complete orders in a more efficient manner, allowing for improved material handling and reduced turnaround times[.] [R]est assured that Criterion Barrels, Inc. will continue to make all possible efforts toward streamlining and expanding our production potential while retaining the level of quality and precision that our customers have come to expect from our barrels.”

Criterion barrels

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
September 13th, 2013

Remington Wins $79.7 Million USSOCOM Sniper Rifle Contract

remington PSR contract sniper rifleThe United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded the Remington Defense Division of Remington Arms Company, LLC (“Remington”) – a $79.7 million dollar Firm Fixed-Priced contract to provide up to 5,150 Precision Sniper Rifles (“PSR”) and 4.6 million rounds of precision ammunition. This is a major business win for Remington Defense, which already captured the U.S. Army’s $28M contract for 3,600 XM2010 enhanced sniper rifle systems. The value of the PSR and XM2010 contracts combined approaches $108,000,000 — that’s some serious money.

remington PSR contract sniper rifle

The PSR is a modular sniper system with the ability to shoot multiple calibers with barrels of various lengths. It will be delivered as a complete package, with multiple barrels, magazines, muzzle brakes, and suppressors. Remington Defense will utilize two other FGI companies in the production process. Barnes Bullets will produce ammunition and Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) will manufacture muzzle brakes and suppressors.

The rifles delivered to USSOCOM will be very similar to the Remington Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR) Remington originally developed for the PSR contract competition. The MSR featured a beefy titanium receiver with the ability to handle multiple chamberings up to .338 Lapua Magnum. The MSR was designed from the ground up as a switch-barrel rig, with a floating handguard, and folding, adjustable buttstock. The whole system is modular. By exchanging bolt-face, barrel, and magazine, the gun can switch from .308 Win (7.62×51), to 300 Win Mag, to .338 Norma Mag, and to .338 Lapua Mag.

“We are proud to provide our military Special Operations Forces with top-of-the-line technology,” said George Kollitides II, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Group and Remington Arms. “This award not only represents a new era in precision sniper systems, but also proves that an American manufacturing company can … provide best in class weapons, ammunition, and suppressors to our troops defending freedom around the globe.”

Permalink New Product, News 13 Comments »
September 12th, 2013

Amazing Slow-Motion Videos From Remington R&D Network

Remington The Rock R&D slow motion videoWant to watch some very cool super-slow-motion videos of projectiles drilling bugholes and blasting through stuff? Then visit, a new website featuring Remington’s R&D Center. This new site showcases videos about Remington rifles, ammunition, and testing procedures.

Along with through the obligatory “macho-man” marketing hype (delivered by deep-voiced announcers), you’ll find some truly amazing high-speed videography. Many video sequences are captured with ultra-high-speed cameras running hundreds of thousands of frames per second. This allows stunning slow-motion playback.

Remington The Rock R&D slow motion video

Remarkable High-Speed Photography Shows Bullet Performance
You can see some amazing things — bullets busting concrete blocks, smashing through wood, drilling ballistic gelatin, and tearing through skin and gel (so you can see how bullets would perform in game animals). Our favorite sequence shows five shots forming a nice, clustered group — you can actually see the bullets fly into the paper target one after another. Here are some of the video highlights.

Five Shots with .30-06 into Paper (Slow Motion)

Driving Tacks — Hitting Nailheads with Bullets (Slow Motion)

Busting Concrete Blocks with Bullets (Slow Motion)

Hypersonic Boned Ammo Shot through Skin and Gelatin (Slow Motion)

Dances with Gel (Slow Motion)

Remington 700 Features — Action and Barrels (Nice Cutaway Drawings at 0:20″)

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 5 Comments »
September 12th, 2013

New Ripcord from Otis Features Rubber Core and Nomex Cover

otis technologies logo ripcord boresnakeFor barrel cleaning, we recommend high-quality one-piece cleaning rods, with fitted cleaning-rod bore guides, and top-quality jags or brushes. However, in some situations, long cleaning rods and bore guides just aren’t practical. Hunters, who can’t pack long, one-piece cleaning rods, can benefit from an “field-expedient” solution that cleans barrels quickly and easily

For those situations where you can only bring a minimum of cleaning gear, Otis Technologies offers the NEW Ripcord breech-to-muzzle cleaning cord. The Ripcord is composed of heat-resistant Nomex fibers braided over a molded rubberized core/cable combo, with a helix-style cord profile for better cleaning.

otis ripcord barrel pull cord cleaner

Otis Rip Cord Features

  • Breech-to-Muzzle function (pulls gunk out, not back into action).
  • 10″-long section of aggressive cleaning surface.
  • Helix shape engages rifling through the barrel.
  • Rubber core pushes outward for better swab contact.
  • Nomex® fibers act as brush to loosen and patch to capture fouling.
  • Equipped with 8-32 threaded ends to fit all Otis cleaning components.

otis ripcord barrel pull cord cleaner

How the Ripcord Does Its Job
Otis explains how the ripcord works: “The Nomex material acts as both a brush to loosen and a patch to capture fouling particles. The molded rubberized core keeps the Nomex cleaning surface pressed against the bore and the helix shape helps engage the rifling throughout the length of the barrel. The Ripcord is simple and easy to use — just insert the longer, narrower end in the chamber and then pull it through from Breech-to-Muzzle. Because of the rigidity of the Ripcord™, there is no need to gravity feed it through the barrel.” The Ripcord retails for $14.99 and is currently available in .22/.223 caliber, .308 caliber/7.62mm, 9mm, and .45 caliber, with other calibers coming soon.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
September 11th, 2013

California Legislators Approve Ban on All Self-Loading Centerfire Rifles with Detachable Magazines — Bill Goes to Governor

Yesterday (August 10th), the California Assembly, on a 44-31 vote, approved SB 374, which bans the sale (or transfer) of ALL semi-automatic centerfire rifles that can accept a detachable magazine of any kind (no matter what the capacity). Californians who possess such rifles would be required to register them with the State, for a fee, prior to January 1, 2015. Since SB 374 has already passed the California State Senate, this bill, after conforming amendments in the Senate, is expected to go to Governor Jerry Brown for signature within a few weeks.

Rem Remington 750 deer rifle SB 374 california assault weapon ban

The scope of SB 374 is sweeping. It bans all self-loading centerfire rifles capable of using a detachable magazine, regardless of magazine capacity (or placement). The operative language of SB 374 with respect to magazines is an awkward double-negative. But the intent is clear — if a semi-auto centerfire rifle can accept a detachable magazine AT ALL, it is banned:

SECTION 1. Section 30515 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
30515. (a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds.

The way we interpret this, a semi-automatic with ANY kind of detachable magazine (even a one-rounder) would be banned. This would outlaw a wide variety of commonly-used hunting rifles fitted with flush-mounted 3-, and 4-round ‘pop-out’ magazines. This would outlaw the classic Remington 750 deer rifle, for example. It would outlaw M1 Garands which have an 8-round en bloc clip. And if you already own an M1 Garand, you would have to register it with the state government. (Under other legislation in the works in Sacramento, all ‘bullet button’ ARs would also be banned.)

Other observers read SB 374 the way we do — that it bans any and all centerfire rifles that can take a detachable magazine (of any capacity). Ammoland states that SB 374 will “eliminate the future sale, purchase, manufacture, importation and possession of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines. No more mini-14s, no more ARs, no more M1s, and say goodbye to your Remington 750 for deer hunting. [T]he goal is clear – if it is a rifle and has a detachable magazine, then forget about owning one.”

California Legislative Counsel’s Digest
SB 374, as amended, Steinberg. Firearms: assault weapons.

Existing law regulates the sale, carrying, and control of firearms, including assault weapons, and requires assault weapons to be registered with the Department of Justice. Violation of these provisions is a crime. Existing law defines a semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and other specified features and a semiautomatic weapon that has a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept 10 or more rounds as an assault weapon.

This bill would, instead, classify a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds as an assault weapon. The bill would require a person who, between Jan. 1, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, and who, on or after Januarry 1, 2014, possesses that firearm, to register the firearm by July 1, 2015. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 17 Comments »
September 11th, 2013

Colorado Recall Election Removes Two Anti-Gun Politicians

colorado flag recall election second amendmentColorado voters have sent a message that has caused a stir around the country. In the first-ever state recall election in Colorado history, two anti-gun politicians were sent packing. Colorado State Senate President John Morse was turned out of office on a 51-49% vote, while fellow Democrat State Senator Angela Giron was removed from office on a 56-44% tally.

The L.A. Times reports: “In an unprecedented backlash, two state lawmakers who helped stiffen Colorado’s gun laws were ousted Tuesday in a recall that turned into a nationally watched referendum on gun control.” Two new Republican-party Senators, Colorado Springs Councilman Bernie Herpin and Pueblo police officer George Rivera, were elected to replace Morse and Giron, respectively.

colorado flag recall election second amendment

Senate President Morse lead the charge for new gun control laws, enacted in Colorado earlier this year without a single Republican vote. Critics attacked the legislation, saying it was fast-tracked through Colorado’s Democratic-controlled Legislature with insufficient public debate. Recall sponsors also faulted Morse and Giron for failing to listen to constituents’ concerns about Second Amendment rights.

CLICK HERE for Colorado Recall Election Photo Gallery.

The Shooting Wire reports:
“Both races were described by many in the mainstream media as a national litmus test on gun rights versus new regulations. If that’s the case, it may also prove that all politics are, indeed, local. Despite being outspent by more than 7 to 1, pro-gun advocates turned out more voters than their opposition. But Colorado residents told reporters that when it came down to it, the millions spent by either side wouldn’t matter. This recall was designed to send a simple message to elected officials.’If I don’t listen to my boss and do what he wants,’ one Colorado Springs voter told reporters, ‘I get fired. Why should our elected officials be any different?’.”

Permalink News 5 Comments »
September 10th, 2013

F-TR Nat’l Champion Derek Rodgers Shares His Winning Secrets

While attending the 2013 F-Class World Championships at Raton, we had a chance to talk with Derek Rodgers, who had just been named the 2013 U.S. F-TR National Champion. Derek’s F-TR Win at Raton makes him the only shooter to have won U.S. F-Class National titles in both F-Open and F-TR divisions. Derek was excited about his performance at Raton: “F-TR was my first love in competitive shooting and [winning the F-TR title] has always been a personal goal to achieve”. In this Q&A session, Derek tells us about his rifles and his Nationals-winning .308 Winchester load. Derek also provides some advice for new shooters in the F-TR game.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Q: Readers want to know about your rifle. How did your select your stock, action, and bipod? And tell us about working with your gunsmith Doan Trevor and the quality of his work.

Derek: For my F-TR project, I carefully chose as many lightweight components as possible, without compromising performance. I wanted to put the weight savings (from light components) into a heaver, stiffer barrel. The rifle features a left port, left bolt Kelbly F-Class Panda action fitted with a Kelbly trigger. The stock was acquired as an uncut blank. It’s a McMillan Prone stock and is very comfortable in design. It also has a nice vertical pistol grip and gentle palm swell. This makes getting behind the gun feel very natural. [Editor’s Note: Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left bolt-Left port action. This allows him to stay in the shooting position, right hand on grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.]

CLICK on Rifle Photos for Full-Screen Versions

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion
Rifle photos by Dennis Welker.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion doan trevor gunsmithDoan Trevor built the entire rifle. Doan even made all of the hardware on the gun. Doan was able to drop pounds vs. ounces as a result. Doan’s 3-way butt-plate hardware alone weighs just half a pound! Doan was highly attentive in helping me build the gun the way I wanted. His bedding and fitment is clean and he has creative ideas for the competitive shooter. While my stock is fiberglass, Doan really shines when it comes to building stocks from wood blanks. In fact, Doan built the stock used by second-place finisher Lige Harris, and also fourth-place Trudie Fay. I feel fortunate to have Doan so close. He’s truly a master craftsman who can quickly turn a project into reality.

I chose a Bartlein barrel on this rifle. It is an 1:11″ twist, 32″ long, heavy-contour barrel to stabilize heavy bullets. This barrel was a real hummer from the start. I shot six shells over the chronograph to determine initial chamber behavior and all six loads shot into 1 hole at 100 yards. Each cartridge had 0.5 grains increase in powder. That’s never happened to me before.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Up front, I used a Duplin Bipod. It weighs just 17.2 ounces and is made in North Carolina by Clint Cooper and supplied through Brownells/Sinclair. It is a new product for them and it has already proved to be an extremely lightweight, solid platform. Kelbly rings and an NXS 8-32X scope top the rifle off.

Q: Could you talk about your experience shooting at Raton — dealing with the challenging winds. Did you have any strategy going into the Nationals? Did that change?

Derek: The Raton winds can be intimidating to a person that has never shot there before. In fact, one of the first comments I heard was that it was ugly and nasty out there as the flags ripped straight out to the NW. I glanced downrange and thought it looked like another beautiful New Mexico day (being from NM does have its perks). There is usually no shortage of big wind out here. I’m fortunate to shoot 1K matches locally at a Del Norte Gun Range located outside of Albuquerque. It prepared me to shoot when I can see the mirage and proceed with caution when I can’t. It is the same elevation as the Whittington Center and gives me true testing with actual come-ups that will work dead on at both ranges. My strategy going in to the match was to shoot heavy 200 grain Berger hybrid bullets. I felt like it was the best compromise between BC and velocity. My load held an incredibly flat water-line and that gave me the confidence to either shoot through the entire string in tough wind or stop and wait until the switching winds returned to what I like to see. I was fortunate to pick the correct wind-sets and jump in when I needed to — or wait when the mirage didn’t look right. It paid off as I saw competitors’ targets raised with wide ring spotters. A few times I watched my clock and let a couple relays tick down to the last several minutes before finishing. The winds are quite challenging here and wind pickups and let-offs are huge! The wind calls are definitely magnified in Raton.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Q: You are the only shooter to have won both the F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships. How would you compare and contrast F-Open vs. F-TR?

Derek: Now that I’ve won both F-TR and F-Open National titles, I have finally captured the elusive F-TR national victory. F-TR was my first love in competitive shooting and [winning the F-TR title] has always been a personal goal to achieve. I could not be happier to win in my home state with a spectacular level of expertise in attendance. You really need to remain 100% focused in F-TR and try not to miss any condition change. If you do, you will pay dearly as the .308 Win just doesn’t have the extra horsepower to plow through the minor wind changes like Open guns can. Needless to say, F-Open shooters have their hands full in Raton as well; high BCs and fast, booming magnums aren’t the only way to get good scores. Open shooters need to be just as in-tune with the wind. Most of the Open Class shooters use sophisticated rests and cartridges superior to the .308 Win. However, I saw rough conditions disrupt many top shooters as they handed over their score cards to line officers. Although not in a front rest, I have learned to manage my F-TR gun to keep it tracking straight back under recoil. I had two main concerns in Raton this year with my F-TR rifle: 1) Keep all my shots on paper even if the winds blow 25+ mph; and 2) do NOT shoot another target! It’s very easy to do if your bipod slides over during recoil. That was less of a concern for me when I shot Open. Open Class rifles have a more stable foundation that stays in place better. However, just one crossfire at this level will take you out of contention to win anything in Open or F-TR. Both classes are very tough these days on the upper level and you can’t afford to give away points.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Q. What was your load for Raton and did you have to make any adjustments for the altitude or temperature?

Derek: My load for the upcoming Nationals was something I used earlier in the year to win the 2013 East Coast Sinclair Nationals: Berger 200gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, Varget powder, Wolf LR primers. I felt it was very consistent against some of the best F-TR shooters around. However, my biggest concern was my load being over-pressured in late summer. It was a hot year in New Mexico. In June, I made a couple trips to Raton and discovered my loads that I felt were safe were actually on the hot side. I tested locally in the heat of the day vs. calm cool mornings. I also spent quite a bit of time studying past load data / temperatures and came up with a game plan to work with what I had. I kept my fingers crossed that the ambient temperature would stay in the low 80s. I knew my load shot well from 50-80 degrees, but above that and I thought I may have problems with the groups coming apart late in a string. I saw this happen to me in the past with temp-stable powders in a .308 Win. In fact, .308 Win loads become much more critical when pushing the cartridge to its full capacity. Had the temps been in the mid to upper 90s, I’m sure the rifle would have shot differently.

Derek Rodgers 2013 F-TR USA U.S. national champion

Q: What advice would you offer to someone getting started in F-TR competition?

Derek: I think shooting F-TR has allowed me to really get an idea of what the wind is doing. If a new shooter is interested in trying it, the best tips I can offer is to partner up with a few experienced shooters that know how to hand-load carefully and compare shooting notes. This helps someone get traction with proven methods. Another tip would be to get matches under your belt–at different ranges. It may seem trivial, but each range is different. The shooter may benefit by seeing something that he hasn’t encountered before. The other thing I’d suggest to new shooters is not to worry about your score when starting. Keep shooting. More trigger time is key. I’d recommend working on eliminating your lowest ring value first. For example, if you’re lowest score was a 6, next match try to only shoot better than 7s. Once that is eliminated work on your 8s. When you consistently shoot 9s and 10s then you can be assured that your technique is solid and manageable. Higher scores and Xs will come….

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September 10th, 2013

600 Ladies Attend Nation’s Largest Women’s Shooting Clinic

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in NRABlog
A few days ago we reported that the percentage of females involved in target shooting (pistol, rifle, shotgun) is growing significantly. Well, here’s proof. This past weekend, approximately 600 ladies participated in a Women On Target shooting clinic — that’s quite a turn-out. On September 7, the Oklahoma City Gun Club (OKCGC) hosted its 14th Annual Women’s Clinic in Arcadia, OK. At the clinic, 600 lady shooters learned pistol, rifle, and shotgun marksmanship skills and firearms safety procedures. More than 100 volunteers provided hands-on instruction. Remarkably, the event was sold out for months and the OKCGC actually had to turn away hundreds more interested women. All firearms and ammunition were provided by generous sponsors including the NRA Foundation, Benelli, DPMS Panther Arms, Glock, and Smith & Wesson.

Oklahoma city gun club women on target training clinic lady shooters

“Since Women On Target’s formation, the Oklahoma City Gun Club has been an integral partner in introducing women to the safe and proper handling of firearms,” said Diane Danielson, Women On Target Instructional Clinic Coordinator. “Their clinic’s volunteers have taught beginning marksmanship skills to more than 2,000 women and the dedication and patience they display has helped the clinic remain the country’s largest for the past nine years.”

Women On Target mentors women new to recreational shooting and hunting sports in a safe and friendly environment with like-minded females. Since its inception in 1999, the program has introduced nearly 80,000 women to the shooting sports. Each year, more than 200 clinics are held throughout the United States.

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September 9th, 2013

Top Shot Champ Trains Youngsters at Marksmanship Camp

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin EllermannYou probably know Dustin Ellermann from the Top Shot TV show. Dustin, a self-trained “natural” marksman, was the Season 3 Champion. You may not know that Dustin also runs a Christian Camp for young people, Camp His Way. One of the Camp’s special programs is a weekend marksmanship camp taught by Dustin.

Multi-Activity Marksmanship Camp
At these sessions, the young campers get to shoot, practice archery, throw tomahawks, ride horses, and even try out blow-guns. Dustin reports: “This past weekend we had another amazing Marksmanship Camp. We had a great group of campers and of course lots of fun shooting/throwing/riding/slinging! Thanks to all our sponsors for helping us make this weekend awesome: 5.11 Tactical, Elzetta Design, NextLevel Training, Volquartsen Custom,, Cold Steel and more.” CLICK for equipment list.

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin Ellermann

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin Ellermann

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin Ellermann

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin Ellermann

Notice the young campers always wear ear and eye protection when shooting firearms. That’s as it should be. We wish adult shooters, including benchrest, smallbore, High Power, and F-Class competitors, followed this important safety practice.

camp his way marksmanship camp Dustin Ellermann

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September 9th, 2013

TECH TIP: How to Apply Wipe-Out from the Breech

Wipe-Out foam bore cleaner is a product we’ve used with great success on many rifles. With sufficient dwell time, it removes both carbon and copper fouling. You can combine it with Wipe-Out Accelerator or Patch-Out liquid to speed up cleaning time. Many shooters, including this editor, find that bore-brushing has been virtually eliminated with the regular use of Wipe-Out. (With some barrels however, you may still have to brush or use a bore paste if you notice stubborn carbon build-up in the throat area.)

wipeout brushless bore cleaner foam

Out standard procedure with Wipe-Out is to insert an O-ring-sealed cleaning rod guide into the chamber and then squirt through the muzzle in short puffs. Put a towel or rag on the comb of your stock and watch for a little bit of foam to exit the rod guide. We usually wait 30 minutes for the bubbles to dissipate, then do a second foam application. Be sure to clean off any excess foam before it drips on your stock.

Applying Wipe-Out from Breech
You can also apply Wipe-Out from the breech. To allow breech-first application, Wipe-Out cans now come with a short plastic tube and a plastic tip that fits in your chamber. These can also be purchased separately for $2.50. However, we’ve found the plastic tip is too big for some chambers and it is not always easy to get a good, secure seal even if it does fit. Jason Baney has come up with a solution. READ Jason’s Wipe-Out Article.

Use Fitted Tubing for Breech-First Applications of Wipe-Out
You can apply Wipe-Out through the breech very effectively if you use fitted, plastic tubing. While this works well for bolt-actions, breech application is particularly handy for the Garand, M1A and other semi-autos. Jason Baney has written a short article describing this process. In a nutshell, you need one piece of tubing that fits the chamber tightly and then connects with a second, smaller diameter tube that attaches to the Wipe-Out can. This avoids any “over-spray” of foam in the action area, providing a clean, simple solution. Just squirt for a second or so, and wait for white foam to come out of the muzzle. Be sure to keep Wipe-Out off fine wood stocks.

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September 8th, 2013

NSSF Study Profiles Next Generation of Target Shooters

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shootersAre target shooters a dying breed? Apparently not according to a new NSSF study. Remarkably, 20% of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s great news. The next generation of target shooters is more diverse and more urban than ever before — and there are more females getting involved in target shooting — a lot more. 37% of new target shooters are female, a big number compared to older generations. The NSSF’s newly-commissioned study shows that, in years ahead, our shooting ranges will see more lady shooters and more participants who come from urban/suburban areas (as opposed to rural communities).

The NSSF report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s promising news.

Here Are Some Key Findings:

  • Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
  • Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
  • Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shooters

Introducing New Shooters to the Sport — Tips from a Champion
In this video, Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig offers advice on how to introduce newcomers to the shooting sports. With new shooters, Doug says you need to keep the experience safe and fun. Start with low-recoil firearms and use reactive targets to increase the “fun factor”.

Koenig’s Tips for Successful Range Sessions with New Shooters
1. Start off a new shooter with an airgun or a .22 LR. “You don’t want to start them out with the biggest, loudest firearm you have in your collection.”

2. Make sure the shooting is fun. “Use [reactive] targets — steel targets, knock-down targets, clay pigeons sitting on the bank — anything reactive, something they can see happen.” You want to keep people interested, keep them excited.

3. Remember the reason we go to the range — to have a good time. Don’t overload newcomers with stress. “Keep it fun, keep it safe, and keep everything in perspective.” Remember that [newcomers] “are the future of the shooting sports for all of us.”

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September 8th, 2013

Gun Trader’s Guide (35th Edition) Just Released

Gun Trader 35th EditionThe new, 35th Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide has just been released. This fully-illustrated resource features current market values for thousands of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. This 35th Edition, now with over 1000 photographs, boasts one hundred new entries since last year’s edition. Along with the Blue Blue of Gun Values, the Gun Trader’s Guide is one of the two definitive resources on gun prices. If you buy or sell firearms, the Gun Traders’ Guide is a must-have item that will pay for itself. Over two million copies of the Gun Trader’s Guide have been sold to date. Order soon to be one of the first to own the new 35th Edition. Amazon’s price is $22.97.

New this year is a Kindle Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide to Rifles. Packed with 608 pages of material, this eBook edition of the Guide can be viewed on a Kindle, iPad, laptop, or your home computer. Introductory price is just $16.47, with release slated for September 13, 2013. You can pre-order now via

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You can order the Gun Trader’s Guide, the Blue Book of Gun Values and other popular firearms and shooting books through the AccurateShooter Bookstore. To save you time, we’ve collected the best books on shooting, reloading, hunting, and gunsmithing all in one location. Ordering, secure billing, and shipping are all handled efficiently by

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