December 31st, 2013

Californians Race to Buy Long Guns Before Registry Takes Effect

California Gun RegistrationCalifornians have one more day left before Long Gun Registration takes effect. Starting on January 1, 2014, every long gun sold in California must be registered in a permanent State government database. With the threat of registration looming, Californians are lining up in record numbers to purchase rifles and shotguns. At many gun stores, sales of long guns are up 30-50% compared to last year, as Californians try to “get their guns” before mandatory registration takes effect.

Under current law, a Californian (with no criminal history) may purchase a rifle or shotgun, subject to a 10-day waiting period. At least in theory, once the background check was approved, the gun store owner could destroy the sales record. However, that will change under the terms of AB 809, passed in 2011. AB 809 mandated that, starting in 2014, California shall maintain a permanent record of all new long guns purchased within the state.

Under the new law, each new long gun must be registered. A state firearms registry will track the make, model and serial number of the gun, as well as the person who owns it. In effect, long guns will be treated like handguns, with every gun sold being recorded for all eternity in a state database. According to CBS News: “Previously dealers would destroy personal information on long gun owners after a background check had been completed. Now they’ll register those purchases with the state.”

The new law also imposes new restrictions on the sale of previously-owned long arms (i.e. rifles and shotguns). Now, every time a long gun changes hands, the firearm must be added to the State firearm registry. Previously, nearly all long gun transactions needed to be carried out through an FFL, however, there was no additional registration requirement. After January 1, 2014, when a long gun is transfered via the FFL, it must then be registered. CBS News states: “Guns currently in existence, including heirloom weapons that have been handed down from one generation of family members to the next, will have to be registered for the first time when they next change hands.”

Permalink News 10 Comments »
December 31st, 2013

CMP Offers College Scholarships for 2014-15

Do you know a high-school senior with a strong interest in shooting, who could use some financial assistance for college? Well, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) may be able to help. Each year, the CMP offers a number of $1000, one-year scholarships to promising students. CMP $1000 scholarships are awarded, on the basis of merit, to selected high school seniors who participate in rifle or pistol marksmanship competitions with a team or club.

CMP Marksmanship college scholarship

Applications are Being Accepted Now for 2014-2015
The CMP is now taking scholarship applications for the 2014-2015 freshman college year. Scholarships are one-year awards that may be used to fund any accredited, post-secondary education or vocational program. The scholarships are paid to the scholarship recipient but must be countersigned by the financial aid offices of the college where the student is enrolled. (Note: Students planing on enrolling in a military academy are not eligible).

The deadline for CMP Scholarship Application is March 20, 2014. Learn more about the program at the CMP Website Scholarship Page. Click the links below to download Scholarship Regulations or a Scholarship Application Form (as PDF files).

CMP Scholarship Regulations | Scholarship Application Form.

Eligibility requirements for CMP scholarships are:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Be a graduating high school senior.
  • Have achieved a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Can demonstrate acceptance to a university, college, or trade school leading to a diploma or trade certification.
  • Have qualified for CMP JROTC Service Championships, OR have demonstrated rifle or pistol marksmanship competition experience.
Permalink News No Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Glock Model 42 — A New Single-Stack .380 ACP Carry Pistol

Glock will sell a small, single-stack .380 ACP pistol in 2014. The new carry gun, designated the Glock 42, was supposed to be a deep, dark secret until SHOT Show 2014, but news leaked out throughout the blogosphere, and Glock has confirmed that this is the real deal. Here’s the good news: the pistol is light (13.4 oz. empty) and slim (0.94 inches wide). Under 6″ in length, it should carry discretely in a variety of holsters. Made in the USA, the Glock 42 has a 6-round mag, and a 5.5-lb trigger pull weight.

First “Un-Boxing” of Glock 42 Carry Pistol in .380 ACP:

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Here’s the bad news: It seems Glock fans were hoping for a slim, single stock 9mm, as the .380 ACP cartridge is considered under-powered by many self-defense “gurus”. Some would-be buyers were also hoping that Glock would finally jettison the distinctive bulged-bottom backstrap that many shooters consider uncomfortable at best, and just plain wrong at worst. For many people, that fat bulge in the lower half of the grip causes the gun to point wrong. For many of us, the “hump” on the back of the grip forces an unnatural wrist angle when firing. If you don’t understand, shoot a Glock and a classic Sig back to back and you may experience ergonomic enlightenment.

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acpDoes the Glock 42
Really Represent Progress?

We find it interesting that, in the 105 years since Colt released its m1908 “Pocket Hammerless”, handgun design hasn’t necessarily advanced that far. Let us explain…

Compared to the Glock 42, the slim, .380 ACP Colt m1908 (derived from Colt’s .32 ACP m1903) has a smoother trigger, and boasts a 7-shot magazine (vs. a 6-shot mag for the Glock 42). The Colt also has a better-shaped grip, plus a smoother exterior (with fewer bumps, ridges, and snag-points). Remarkably, the 105-year-old Colt is actually thinner — it is 3/4″ wide compared to just under 1″ for the Glock 42.

On the other hand, at 13.4 ounces, the Glock is much lighter in weight than the 24 ounce Colt, and, yes, the Glock 42 is shorter than the m1908. For some, the Glock’s lighter weight is all-important. Others may prefer the Colt given its all-metal construction, lovely blued finish, and classic styling. Many gun aficionados feel that the m1903/m1908 pistols were the prettiest of John Moses Browning’s self-loading designs. What do you think? Is the Glock 42 really a better .380 ACP pistol than the classic Colt m1908?

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 20 Comments »
December 30th, 2013

New 30 ARX — 6.5 Grendel Necked to .30 Caliber Beats 300 BLK

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendelRobert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises has a new .30-caliber cartridge for AR-platform rifles. The new 30 ARX is based on the 6.5 Grendel parent case necked-up to .30 caliber. The 30 ARX mag-feeds flawlessly in an AR15, while offering excellent accuracy, good velocity, and serious knock-down power. Compared to a 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK), the new 30 ARX holds much more powder so it can push bullets faster and harder. Whitley’s 30 ARX boasts 57% more case capacity than a 300 Blackout. As a result, the 30 ARX outperforms the 300 BLK by a large margin. In a 20″-barreled AR, the 30 ARX can drive a 125gr bullet at 2500+ fps, or launch a heavier 150gr bullet at 2400+ fps:

30 ARX Loads
H4198, CCI BR4 Primers,
Necked-up Lapua 6.5 Grendel Brass:

2419 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2517 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2363 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)
2441 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendel

Robert Whitley explains the advantanges of the 30 ARX for AR-platform rifles: “The 30 ARX is a cartridge designed from the get-go for use in an AR-15. The case length and chamber design of the 30 ARX are optimal. The case allows the use of many of the favorite .30-cal bullets, magazine fed out of an AR-15 and backed by some real power. Brass is easy to make with a simple necking-up process. Neck it up, load it and go shoot. Good 6.5 Grendel brass is readily available, and we have 30 ARX dies available.”

Watch One-Step Process for Forming 30 ARX Case from 6.5 Grendel Brass

With the ability of Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass to handle stout loads, the 30 ARX cartridge delivers 30-30 Winchester-class performance, from the modern, semi-auto AR-15 platform. The 30 ARX cartridge has sufficient case capacity to push popular .30-cal bullets fast and accurately even at moderate chamber pressures. The case has approximately 38 grains water capacity. With its 57% greater capacity than a 300 Blackout, the 30 ARX is a more versatile, more powerful hunting cartridge (at least when loaded to supersonic speeds). With 150gr bullets running in the 2500 fps range, the 30 ARX offers impressive knockdown power in a cartridge that fits an AR-15 magazine.

  • 30 ARX Cartridge OAL mag-feeds perfectly with a variety of .30-cal bullets.
  • Longer, heavier long-range bullets (with longer COAL) can be single-loaded.
  • Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass is excellent, strong brass, that is readily available.
  • AR-X Enterprises now offers die sets for the 30 ARX.
  • The neck up process is very easy. Simply lube the inside of the necks of 6.5 Grendel brass, run the brass through your re-size die (with .30 Cal expander in place).
  • Works well with a lot of commonly available powders such as: Hodgdon 4198, Vihtavouri N130, Accurate LT-32, Accurate AA1680.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 36 Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Eliseo Offers Wide,V-Shaped F-Class Rear Bag-Rider

Tube-gunners take note. Gary Eliseo has just introduced a new wider, V-profile rear bag rider for his Competition Machine modular chassis systems. The new bag-rider is a wide V-shape that conforms to the shape and angle of popular rear sandbags. Gary tells us that “The new F-class rear bag rider will be available as an option in 2014. Constructed of Delrin, the new bag-rider is reversible with 0 degree and 5 degree mounting ends. The bottom of the bag-rider is sized to fit 3/4″-wide ear spacing.”

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Editor’s Comment — This Kind of Bag Rider Really Works
We have tested a prototype, V-shaped bag-rider on an Eliseo 6mmBR Tubegun. The profile on our wooden prototype is very similar to Gary’s final design crafted from Delrin. We were really surprised at how much better the gun behaved with the wide, V-shaped bag rider, compared to a standard slab-sided skid. With the “V-Rider” the gun felt more “locked-in” with less side-to-side play. There also seemed to be less vertical bounce when shooting F-TR style with a bipod. But mostly the gun felt much more stable, with less tendency to roll. There was noticeably less side to side wobble, and the gun did track better.

The most important thing, is that the V-shaped bag-rider definitely made the gun easier to shoot — at least in the opinion of our three trigger-pullers. When we switched to our wide, V-shaped bag-rider, three different shooters were able to hold smaller groups with tighter horizontal. We saw fewer left/right shot impacts (away from the group center) that may have been attributable to little, last-micro-second movements of the rifle. The gun seemed to settle in the rear bag better, and after each shot, it seemed we could get back on target more quickly. The gun “locks in” to the rear bag faster and more solidly, so you spend less time fiddling with horizontal. With less wobble, the TubeGun feels less top-heavy. Understand that a V-shaped bag rider will not make your rifle more inherently accurate. However, it may help you steer the gun more consistently, and it make help the rifle track more consistently.

Product find by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Day-Glo (Hi-Viz) Target Dots Starting at Five Bucks per Thousand

Sometimes simpler is better when it comes to targets for fun shooting and load testing. While we normally use test targets from our Downloadable Target Page, it’s sometimes easier to just use high-visibility adhesive target dots.

Hi-Viz Stick-On Dots in Assorted Colors and Diameters
You can order 1″ target dots in bulk from Data-Labels.com. Many colors are available including fluorescent (hi-viz) Red, Green, Orange, and Yellow. These are bright and easy to see even in fading afternoon light. A pack of twenty (20) sheets (1260 dots total) costs just $5.97 (that works out to $4.74 per thousand). For the 1″-diameter stick-on dots you get 63 dots per sheet. Larger, 1 2/3″-diameter fluorescent dots are also available from Data-Labels.com in 20-sheet packs for $5.97, with 24 large dots per sheet (480 dots total). If you want larger, 2″-diameter dots, sheets with 400 Hi-Viz dots are currently on sale for $5.97 per 20-pack.

If you prefer smaller, 3/4″-diameter circles, Staples.com sells packs with 1008 adhesive dots for $3.64 to $8.39 per pack. Colors include Neon Red (item 538041), Neon Orange (item 538116), Neon Yellow (item 538090), and Neon Green (item 538066), as well as dark blue, light blue, yellow, and dark green. We recommend the Neon Red for most uses, or the Neon Yellow for use on a black background. For $4.41 Staples sells a “Rainbow Pack” (item 297705) with four assorted colors: red, light blue, green, and yellow.

Half-Inch Fluorescent Dots for 100-200 Yards
For close-range work, you may prefer 1/2″-diameter dots. Forum member Steve has found these at Uline.com. The 1/2″ dots are available in a wide variety of colors including fluorescent Red, Pink, Yellow, and Green. Price is $12 for a roll of 1000 dots (item S-2063).

Permalink Hot Deals, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
December 29th, 2013

Bryan Litz Talks — How to Get Best Results with Berger Hybrids

2013 SHOT Show Las VegasSHOT Show 2014 kicks off in two weeks in Las Vegas. While at SHOT Show next month, we plan to get the “inside scoop” on new bullet designs from Berger, Hornady, Lapua, Nosler and Sierra.

At SHOT Show 2012 we chatted with Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz about Berger’s popular line of Hybrid bullets. Berger now offers a wide range of Hybrids in multiple calibers and weights. In fact, for .30-Caliber shooters, Berger now offers seven different Hybrid match bullets, with weights from 155 grains up to 230 grains. Two .338-caliber OTM Tactical Hybrids were introduced in 2012 (a 250-grainer and a 300-grainer).

Bryan tells us: “The hybrid design is Berger’s solution to the age old problem of precision vs. ease of use. This design is making life easier for handloaders as well as providing opportunities for commercial ammo loaders who need to offer a high performance round that also shoots precisely in many rifles with various chamber/throat configurations.”

For those not familiar with Hybrid bullets, the Hybrid design blends two common bullet nose shapes on the front section of the bullet (from the tip to the start of the bearing surface). Most of the curved section of the bullet has a Secant (VLD-style) ogive for low drag. This then blends in a Tangent-style ogive curve further back, where the bullet first contacts the rifling. The Tangent section makes seating depth less critical to accuracy, so the Hybrid bullet can shoot well through a range of seating depths, even though it has a very high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).

In the video we asked Bryan for recommended seating depths for 7mm and .30-Caliber Hybrid bullets. Bryan advises that, as a starting point, Hybrid bullets be seated .015″ (fifteen thousandths) off the lands in most barrels. Watch the video for more tips how to optimize your loads with Hybrid bullets.

Berger Hybrid Bullet

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
December 28th, 2013

PT&G Year-End Special on Bottom Metal — Save 42%

PT&G Bottom metal christmas sale box magazine remingtonDo you need bottom metal for your Remington-footprint action (factory or custom) or a Winchester action? Then visit PacificToolandGauge.com pronto. Right now PT&G has bottom metal marked down, with savings up to 42%. Choose from a variety of styles. There are hinge-mount, flush-mount, and magwell-type versions offered, starting at just $75.00, a 42% savings over the $129.00 regular price. If you want one of these bottom metal sets, act quickly — the Special concludes at 11:59 pm on December 28, 2013.

PT&G Bottom metal christmas sale box magazine remington

Sale Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals No Comments »
December 28th, 2013

Get 15% Off All In-Stock Inventory at Eabco.com

E. Arthur Brown Company, Eabco.com, has been a faithful sponsor of this site for many years. Right now, EABCO is giving back to its customers, with a special 15% Off discount on all inventory in stock — that’s right, all inventory on the shelves (no back-orders). Eabco carries a wide selection of shooting accessories, reloading tools and dies, plus a full line of reloading components, including Lapua brass, and bullets from Barnes, Berger, Hornady, Lapua, Nosler, and Swift. EABCO also offers popular rimfire and centerfire ammunition. This special year-end Inventory Reduction Sale is good through 8:00 am CST on December 30th, 2013. So you have two more days to enjoy the 15% Store-wide Savings. To qualify for the 15% discount, use Promo Code 15EAB at check-out.

Eabco 15% off inventory reduction sale

Eabco 15% off inventory reduction sale

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
December 27th, 2013

New $995.00 Nightforce SHV 4-14x56mm Scope

Nightforce Optics has introduced a new medium-magnification, second-focal plane scope for hunters and tactical shooters. Described as “the most affordable Nightforce riflescope [offered] to date”, the all-new 4-14x56mm SHV will sell for $995.00 (non-illuminated model) or $1195.00 with an illuminated reticle. The “SHV” stands for ShooterHunterVarminter™, reflecting this scope’s versatility — it can be used for a wide variety of applications. The SHV has plenty of travel for long-range use: 100 MOA of elevation adjustment and 70 MOA of horizontal (windage) travel. Two reticle options will initially be offered, the basic IHR (Int’l Hunting Reticle) with floating center cross-hair, and the popular MOAR reticle with 1-MOA vertical and horizontal hash marks.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 scope

The 4-14 SHV scope represents a new direction for Nightforce. The optics-maker kept the price under $1000.00 by “limiting some options, offering simpler controls, and using a less complex manufacturing process.” Nightforce said the goal with the SHV was to offer a scope priced “within the reach of a wider range of hunters and shooters who don’t need the ‘overbuilt’ characteristics of our NXS™ series, most of which were originally created to withstand actual combat conditions.”

Nightforce SHV scope 4-14x56

Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 scope
Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 scope

The 4-14x56mm SHV weighs 26.8 oz. for the basic version, and 28.5 oz. for the illuminated model. Full specifications are listed below. CLICK HERE for 2014 Nightforce Catalog.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 8 Comments »
December 26th, 2013

Tactical Action at 2013 GAP Grind — 20-Minute Video

GAP Grind K&M Tactical 2013 Compeition FloridaThe GAP Grind is one of the nation’s premier tactical matches. The 20-minute YouTube video embedded below features highlights of the 2013 GAP Grind, hosted this fall at the K&M Precision Rifle Training facility near Crestview, Florida. It’s interesting to see the many types of rifle systems used at this match — Tubeguns, Aluminum Chassis rifles, AI models, and customs built on fiberglass stocks. These are all used in a dizzying variety of shooting positions and scenarios. Ninety (90) competitors fired over 15,000 rounds during this year’s GAP Grind.

The video employs multiple camera angles, giving you an “insider’s view” of the match. Starting at 16:30 you’ll see an interesting sequence — the Bartlein Steel Safari, with multiple steel targets engaged at progressively longer distances. Watch carefully and you’ll see bullet trace and the “splash” of impact. (This sequence is also previewed at the 2:30 time-mark — watch the trace).

Watch 2013 GAP Grind Tactical Match Video

The GAP Grind has been described as “a high tempo match with minimal ‘down-time’ between stages”. Competitors use rifle and pistol in a variety of scenarios, with pistol stages from 5 to 40 yards, and rifle engagements out to 1000 yards. Targets — an assortment of steel, reactive, paper, and automated moving targets — vary in difficulty based on the shooters’ position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages involve time limits, or required movement, or other “stressors” that heighten the difficulty (and get the heart pumping). Scoring employs Precision Rifle Series (PRS) guidelines in order to reward the most consistent shooters.

GAP Grind K&M Tactical 2013 Compeition Florida

GAP Grind K&M Tactical 2013 Compeition Florida

GAP Grind K&M Tactical 2013 Compeition Florida

GAP Grind K&M Tactical 2013 Compeition Florida

Permalink - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
December 26th, 2013

Get Smart: Replace Batteries in Digital Safe Keypads Every Year

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesHere’s an important reminder for readers who have digital keypad entry systems on their gun safes. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure.

I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. I went to get into the safe yesterday. Punched in the combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The year-old Duracell 9v only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

If the battery on your safe is more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the right voltage, replace it today!

My Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad takes one (1) 9v battery. The version below takes two. Note how the battery compartment slides in from the bottom:

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf
Permalink Tech Tip 1 Comment »
December 26th, 2013

Shooting USA Teams with Brownells on Gunsmithing TV Shows

Brownells home gunsmithing shooting usaBrownells is teaming up with Shooting USA to give viewers ideas for gunsmithing projects they can accomplish at home. Shooting USA will air six original Brownells Home Gunsmithing segments, featuring John Scoutten guiding viewers through the projects. The projects range from applying a camouflage paint job on a shotgun (Episode 1) to upgrading an AR-15 trigger.

Brownells home gunsmithing shooting usa

The first Shooting USA episode featuring a Brownells Home Gunsmithing Segment aired on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013. The remaining five new episodes, plus re-airs, will run throughout 2014. Episode 1 covers application of a Camouflage finish to a shotgun. The step-by-step stages of this process are illustrated on the ShootingUSA Website.

Viewers of the show are encouraged to visit the Shooting USA page at Brownells.com to check out the Brownells products featured during the segments. “John has done a number of projects in the past for our viewers, and they like seeing what they can do themselves,” said Shooting USA Executive Producer, Jim Scoutten. “But with this new series, they’ll be backed-up by Brownells’ 16-man staff of expert gunsmiths, ready to take their call, if they have any questions about the process. Nobody else provides that kind of support,” Scoutten said.

About Shooting USA Television
Shooting USA and Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots anchor the Wednesday night Gun Sports and Shooting Block on Outdoor Channel. The shows appear 52 weeks of the year, reaching 40 million enthusiast households. Jim and John Scoutten have been working together since launching the first TV gun sports show in 1993.

Permalink - Videos, News 2 Comments »
December 25th, 2013

Merry Christmas to All Our Friends Around the World…

Merry Christmas scene

AccurateShooter.com EditorMerry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 23,500 Forum Members. This marks our ninth Christmas “in business”, and the site keeps growing each year. AccurateShooter.com (and 6mmBR.com) are now accessed by over 130,000 unique users ever week. Part of the reason for that success is the knowledge, experience, and technical expertise that our contributing writers (and expert consultants) share with other shooters.

Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out with the site. Number one is JayChris. This dude has been a godsend — he’s a really smart IT guy (and a dedicated shooter) who enabled us to maintain multiple dedicated servers, while speeding up things with smart software upgrades. Also Thanks to Jeff Williams, our “Answerman” who helps Forum members resolve problems. I’d also like to thank our regular contributors: Boyd Allen, Vince Bottomley, Sam Hall, Mark LaFevers, German Salazar, and Robert Whitley. And special thanks to EdLongRange who researches leads for the Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed time and effort — all without asking a dime in return. I’d also like to thank Joe F. (aka “The Stig”), our designated “master trigger-puller”. When we need someone to wring out the Nth degree of accuracy in a rifle — Joe’s the man.

Thanks to Site Supporters and Sponsors
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have made donations (large or small) to the site this year. User support is very important. Donations help us grow the site and provide new services for our readership. We also want to express our appreciation for our many commercial sponsors — from large vendors such as Bullets.com, Graf & Sons, EABCO, Midsouth Shooters Supply, and Powder Valley to important product-makers such as Berger Bullets, Krieger Barrels, Lapua, and Nightforce Optics. We are all part of a very special community here at AccurateShooter.com — and we appreciate your support!

Photo courtesy Freechristmaswallpapers.net.
Permalink News No Comments »
December 24th, 2013

Ultimate Range-Finding Binocular Test by PrecisionRifleBlog.com

PrecisionRifleBlog.com recently published results from the most comprehensive field test of rangefinder binoculars ever conducted. It included virtually every product available in a variety of real-world scenarios, to see which had the best performance in the field in terms of both optical clarity and ranging capabilities. The results are based on over 10,000 data points collected from the field over 3 months of testing. Cal Zant, author of PrecisionRifleBlog.com, published a series of posts with exhaustive details about his optical and ranging tests and results, but we’ll hit the highlights here.

Ranging Binocular Field Test and Reviews

VOICE FILE: Click Button to Hear Cal Zant TALK about Rangefinder Binocular Test

Six of the models tested were binoculars, and the other two were monoculars. The Leupold monocular was included for reference, because many shooters have a 1,000-yard rangefinder similar to the RX-1000. The Vectronix Terrapin model was included as the control for ranging performance, because it is known to be an extremely accurate rangefinder (spoiler alert: it is). Cal provides a very detailed side-by-side spec comparison for these models in one of his posts.

Ranging Test Results

Rangefinder Binocular ReviewEach model was used to range 500+ times in a variety of scenarios from 25 to over 30,000 yards. The tests showed these models had similar performance at close and mid-range targets, but at 600 yards their performance started to diverge … so that is where most of the testing was focused.

The chart below summarizes the ranging performance found on the test targets in ideal conditions, which was from a sturdy tripod, at sunset, with 10+ mile visibility. The exact target shape and surroundings varied, but the targets were all approximately 2 MOA wide, highly reflective, and perpendicular to the rangefinder. Specifics on target dimensions, view from the ranging position, and target surroundings are given in the detailed ranging performance results post.

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Ranging Performance Under Ideal Light Conditions

Vectronix is the leader of the rangefinder world, and that was proved once again in these tests. The new Leica Geovid HD-B wasn’t far behind them, with accurate ranging beyond 1 mile. The Zeiss Victory RF also had surgical precision off a tripod, although it had a reduced range compared to the Vectronix and Leica. The Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile also proved to be able to range targets out to their claimed max range of 1,760 yards.

PrecisionRifleBlog.com also tested the ranging performance of each model in bright lighting conditions, and offhand as well. The data from those tests also contained a few surprises. To determine how accurate each model really was, Cal Zant carefully analyzed the results from each model when aimed at precisely positioned, “known distance” targets. To see how those tests turned out, or learn more details about specific models, GO TO full results.

Optical Test Results

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Optical QualityFor the optics tests, Cal’s goal was to find an objective, data-driven approach to testing optical performance. What he came up with was placing eye exam charts from 600 to 1,400 yards with different size letters, and then recording what two different people could accurately read with each model. The data for each unit was summed into a single score so they could be ranked relative to how much detail the testers could make out. More specifics are provided regarding how the test was conducted and how scores were calculated in the optical performance results post. Here are the results from Cal’s data-driven approach:

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Optical Quality

The Leica Geovid HD-B edged out the other models for the top spot, with its completely new, Perger-Porro prism design. The original Leica Geovid HD, and Zeiss Victory RF also showed great optical clarity.

The Rest of the Story

Cal’s full series of posts is very informative. He’s done tons of analysis on the data, and summarizes it in several charts that provide a lot of insight. Cal is also in the process of publishing detailed reviews on each model, including notes he and the other testers compiled for each unit. They used them all — a lot, so they have a unique perspective on what’s good or bad about each. Find out more at the link below:

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 3 Comments »
December 24th, 2013

Free SHOT Show Mobile App for Smart Phones and Tablets

Headed to SHOT Show in January? Then you should download the FREE SHOT Show Mobile App. Available for iOS (Apple), Android OS, and Blackberry devices, this App will really make it easier to plan your SHOT Show schedule, and navigate the floor of the Sands Convention Center. The App includes an interactive map that can direct you from your current location to your next destination. Arrange your meetings with a handy scheduling calendar. And you can search for any SHOT exhibitor by name or product category. In addition, the App lists major show events as well as important new products.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

GET FREE Apple (iOS) App | GET FREE Android OS App

The Free SHOT Show App lets you do some very cool things with your smartphone. You can contact exhibitors directly through the App to request appointments or callbacks. You can take notes while visiting a vendor’s booth or attending a seminar. Of course you can schedule your agenda, and see an entire day’s events in a glance. But perhaps the best function of all is the “Smart Route”. This allows you to create the most efficient point to point route from one booth location to another.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

Permalink News No Comments »
December 23rd, 2013

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Comp Scope Gets New Features for 2014

Nightforce 15-55x52 competition scope reticle

Nightforce 15-55x52 competition scope reticleIt was big news when Nightforce introduced its 15-55x52mm Competition Scope last year. Now this impressive optic has been made even better. The turrets have been redesigned, and you now get 10 MOA per revolution (up from five MOA in 2013). With these new turrets, ZeroStop™ and Hi-Speed™ adjustments are now standard equipment. In addition, two fast, easy-to-read windage caps are included with every riflescope. Total elevation travel is 55 MOA, while total windage travel is 50 MOA. (That’s down from 60/60 in the 2013 model).

The 2014 version of the 15-55x52mm Competition scope still boasts the key qualities that attracted attention last year. The 15-55 Comp weighs just 27.87 ounces, making it 24% lighter than Nightforce’s 12-42x56mm Benchrest scope. The 15-55 still offers superb ED (low dispersion) glass, giving it excellent brightness and sharpness. The 15-55 Comp also retains its handy, fast-focus European-style eyepiece for 2014.

More Reticle Options for 15-55x52mm Comp Scope
When the 15-55×52 Comp scope was introduced last year, many shooters said “That scope looks fantastic, but I wish there were more reticle choices.” Well Nightforce listened to its customer base. Nightforce now offers four reticles for the Comp Scope: FCR-1, DDR-2, CTR-2, CTR-3. For long-range applications, we really like the new FCR-1, which features .016 MOA stadia lines with vertical and horizontal hash marks and numbers in one-MOA increments. Since the scope has MOA-based clicks, this makes it easy to do hold-overs or hold-offs (for wind) at long range.

Nightforce 15-55x52 competition scope reticle

Also new is the DDR-2 “double-dot” reticle. This features a .172-MOA horizontal stadia outside of .016-MOA center lines. There is a .026 MOA center dot, plus a second dot 3 MOA below center. Vertical indicators are located in 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 2.5 MOA increments.

Nightforce 15-55x52 competition scope reticle

Specifications for 2014 15-55x52mm Competition Scope

Nightforce 15-55x52 competition scope reticle

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
December 23rd, 2013

Leight Quiet Bands: Easy, Convenient NRR25 Hearing Protection

Effective hearing protection is a must whenever you are shooting firearms or when you are in the vicinity of gun-shots. For ultimate protection, we recommend a good set of tapered foam earplugs, topped by ear-muffs. However, there are situations when you may prefer lighter-weight hearing protection that can be quickly removed. For example, if you are standing well behind the firing line as an observer, or if you are working as a rangemaster or waddie some distance away from the shooters.

In addition to traditional ear plugs and ear-muffs, new band-style protectors provide a third sound-blocking option. Howard Leight, a top name in the sound-protection business, now offers the “Quiet Band”, a device with soft foam plugs attached to a plastic band worn around the neck. This “Quiet Band” product is comfortable, easy to deploy, and surprisingly effective.

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2Three Quiet Band Models
There are three (3) types of Leight Quiet Band® sound protectors. We prefer the QB2 Supra-aural model (item QB2HYG, NRR 25). As shown in the photos, the NRR 25-rated QB2 positions cone-shaped foam pads next to the ear openings and holds them there with light pressure from the orange-colored band. There is also an Inner-aural version (item QB1HYG, yellow band, NRR 27), and a Semi-aural model (item QB3HYG, red band, NRR 21). Our preferred QB2 Supra-aural (orange band) model is just as comfortable as the QB3 (red band) version, and offers much better protection. The QB1 Inner-aural (yellow band) model requires that you place the ear buds in the ear canal, so it’s not really any easier to use than conventional earplugs. That’s why we like the QB2 Supra-aural model best of all. Other users agree. Here’s what two QB2 owners had to say:

Hickok45 leight qb2“I first saw these used by Hickok45 on YouTube and he talked positively about them. I got two and gave them a try. At first, I didn’t think they were going to work very well. After some fiddling, I found they work pretty darn good. With my ears, they fit the best if the band starts on top of my head, I insert the plugs then rotate the band behind my head. PRESTO, perfect fit. Shooting the 9mm and 12 gauge out back was comfortable with no ringing afterward. [They are] small and easy to transport — just throw in the range bag. Yet, they are big enough to keep around your neck out of the way[.] I can sit these Howard Leights down on the shooting bench without worrying about them getting dirty since the band is curved, placing the plugs in the air. I highly recommend them to anybody needing banded hearing protection.” — Tom W.

“Great for woodworkers — These are lightweight AND very effective at reducing noise. When not in use the band hangs loosely around your neck, out of your way completely. Very cost effective for a great product!” — Sheri D.

Quiet Bands Are Much Less Expensive Than Earmuffs
Quiet Band® sound protectors can be purchased from many online vendors for under $6.00 per set, which includes a spare pair of ear buds. Amazon.com has the Leight QB2 Supre-Aural for just $3.57 per set, while Enviro Safety Products currently sells the QB2 for $4.20 per set. Replacement ear buds are available and sold by the pair. You can also buy a Ten-Unit Bulk Pack of QB2 Quiet Bands for $35.52 with free shipping. If you help run shooting matches (or training programs), you may want to buy these in bulk and provide them to Range Officers and pit workers.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
December 23rd, 2013

Useful Website for Small-bore and Air Rifle Shooters

Massachusetts smallbore shooter Dan Holmes, well-known match shooter and gun writer Hap Rocketto, and Erik Hoskins have developed a great dedicated website for competitive small-bore and air rifle shooters. Over the past few years, Pronematch.com has delivered quality content, including match reports, shooting tips, rule changes/updates, tech reports, and a calendar of events.

Pronematch.com also has a “human interest” feature, called the “Shooter Spotlights”. Holmes and his staff have interviewed dozens of shooters. Each marksman answers a few questions about his/her background in shooting, shooting techniques, match strategies, and personal items (such as “What is your favorite pre-match meal?).

The “Shooter Spotlights” let you “tap into” the wisdom of some of the county’s best shooters. Many of those interviewed offer some great tips, or they share fascinating anecdotes about the shooting sports.

We recommend you visit Pronematch.com, if nothing else to peruse the profiles, check the upcoming matches and read the popular “Hap’s Corner” stories. Hap is a talented writer who has provided plenty of content to ProneMatch.com. As just one example, Hap has written a fascinating Short History of Camp Perry and The National Championships.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 22nd, 2013

Varminters Debate Holding-Off vs. Cranking Elevation

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View–Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.”
– Gunamonth

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »