February 28th, 2014

New Online Ballistics Calculator from Federal Premium

Federal Premium Ballistics Online CalculatorFederal Premium has a new online Ballistics Calculator. This free program can determine the trajectory for any rifle or handgun load, and even save your ballistics solutions for future reference. This is handy if you shoot Federal ammunition, because all Federal ammo types are included in the built-in database, with BCs and velocities. That makes it very easy to get a ballistics solution for Federal factory ammo — simply enter the caliber and bullet type/weight and the solver fills in the BC and velocity for you.

Federal’s Ballistics Calculator can also be used for handloaded ammo with non-Federal components. However, you can only use a G1 BC and Federal’s solver is not as sophisticated as some others. We still recommend JBM Ballistics or the new Applied Ballistics Online Solver. These both offer both G1 and G7 and extensive databases of field-derived BCs for hundreds of bullets. The Federal Ballistics Calculator only has BC numbers for factory-made Federal ammunition.

Federal Premium Ballistics Online Calculator

Federal Premium Ballistics Online Calculator

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
February 28th, 2014

Charlton Heston Honored in ‘Legends of Hollywood’ Stamp

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA BLog

NRA Charlton HestonAt the NRA’s 127 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Charlton Heston was elected President of the National Rifle Association. A World War II veteran, Oscar-winning actor, and heralded civil rights activist, Heston led the NRA for an unprecedented six years.

An icon to supporters of the Second Amendment, his address at the 2000 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a flintlock rifle raised above his head, still brings chills to this day:

So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands’.

The stamp is set to be released on April 11, 2014. Designated as a Forever® stamp, it will cover the cost of sending any First Class letter from now until the end of time.

Earlier this week, the United States Postal Service announced that the face of John Charles ‘Charlton Heston’ Carter would grace the 18th stamp in their Legends of Hollywood collection:

With his chiseled jaw, compelling baritone voice, and muscular physique, Charlton Heston (1923-2008) seemed perfectly at home leading a cast of thousands. The 18th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series salutes an actor who portrayed presidents and prophets, Moses and Michelangelo[.] This stamp features a color portrait based on a photograph taken by the actor’s wife, Lydia Clarke Heston. The Charlton Heston stamp is being issued in sheets of 20 self-adhesive Forever® stamps.

Permalink News No Comments »
February 27th, 2014

‘Chute Shooter Sherri Jo

SGT Sherri GallagherWe had to share this inspiring photograph (below) of SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher. As well as being a highly-trained Army parachutist, Sherri is one of America’s top shooters. In 2010 Sherri Jo won the NRA National High Power Championship. She was only the second lady in history to become the National High Power Champion (the first was Sherri’s mother, Nancy Tompkins).

Also in 2010, Sherri was named the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, the first female soldier to be so honored. This award is given to the top soldier at the U.S. Army’s Annual Best Warrior competition.

SGT Gallagher is currently a proud member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. In that role, she gets to do fun stuff like this…

SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher
sherri jo gallagher national high power championship golden knights

In 2010, SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher became the first U.S. military shooter since 1987 to win the Nat’l High Power Rifle Championship. She was only the second woman ever to win — the first being her mother, Nancy Tompkins.

Sherri’s family is legendary in U.S. shooting competition. She spent her childhood summers touring shooting competitions with her parents, Mid and Nancy, both competitive shooters. Sherri’s sister Michelle Gallagher is also a top-level long-range shooter, with many titles to her credit. “My family is always there for me — we are really close,” Gallagher said. “I am who I am today because of my family. We have so much fun and live life that way.”

Permalink News No Comments »
February 27th, 2014

Hot Promo: Buy a Nikon Scope, Get FREE AR Scope Mount

Nikon has just announced its Mount ‘Em Up Promotion, which runs now through March 31, 2014. Here’s how it works: If you buy a qualifying Nikon scope, you can get a free scope mount worth up to one hundred bucks. Get an AR-specific Nikon scope mount with purchase of select M-223, P-223 or P-300 BLK AR riflescopes. “Year after year the Mount ‘Em Up promotion continues to be a favorite among our customers,” said Nikon General Manager Jon Allen. For more info, visit NikonPromo.com.

Spot On Nikon ballistics scope optics

FREE M-223 XR mount ($99.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:

Product # and Model
16300 1-4×20 M-223 Point Blank
16301 1-4×20 M-223 BDC 600
16302 2-8×32 M-223 Nikoplex
16303 2-8×32 M-223 BDC 600
16304 3-12×42 M-223 Nikoplex
16305 3-12×42 M-223 BDC 6000

FREE P-Series Mount ($49.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:

Product # Model
8496 3×32 P-223 BDC Carbine
8497 3-9×40 P-223 BDC 600
6797 2-7×32 P-300 BLK BDC Supersub

Like all Nikon riflescopes, every model featured in the Mount ‘Em Up promotion is optimized for use with Spot On™ Ballistic Match Technology. This provides users with exact aiming points on the BDC reticle for any load or ammunition at a specified range. Get free Spot On ballistics solutions online at NikonSportOptics.com/spoton. You can also order Spot On Custom turrets calibrated by Nikon for your load.

Spot On Nikon ballistics scope optics

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 26th, 2014

TECH TIP: Take-Down Procedure for AR Bolt Assembly

Accurate, modular, and supremely versatile, the AR15 is America’s favorite semi-auto rifle. But let’s face it, the AR is a maintenance hog. The AR’s gas tube blows carbon and soot right into the middle of the bolt assembly where it cakes on to the metal. The AR bolt also has many tiny parts, and small recesses, which must be cleaned regularly. This author has seen numerous ARs fail simply because there was gunk (dried lube, carbon, brass shavings) in the ejector slot or extractor spring recess.

AR15 Bolt Disassembly

A Clean AR is a Happy AR — Whether You Run ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’
There are various schools of thought when it comes to maintaining an AR. Some folks prefer to run their AR “dry” with minimal lube on the lugs and friction surfaces. Other shooters prefer to run their ARs “wet”, with lots of lube. But whatever your preference, you need to clean your AR regularly. And nothing is more important than the AR’s bolt/carrier assembly. Because it is involved in feeding, firing, and extracting, the AR-15 bolt/carrier assembly can be considered the most critical portion of the AR-15 from a maintenance standpoint.

Bolt Take-Down Guide on Top Quark Blog
The editor of the Top Quark Blog has created an excellent illustrated AR15 Bolt Take-Down Guide that shows how to disassemble an AR15 bolt and carrier for regular cleaning. Even if you’re an experienced AR15 shooter, you can learn something from this page (sample at right), and you may want to bookmark it for future reference. The photos are large and clear and there are helpful hints for each step of the process.

The author knows his stuff and offers some important insights. For example, he notes that “Extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher-strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. ‘Normal’ springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.”

There is one notable oversight on this page — the author doesn’t cover disassembly and cleaning of the ejector assembly. This is actually quite important. A few small brass shavings, combined with carbon and lube in the ejector slot, WILL cause malfunctions. In fact, when this editor is called to diagnose problem ARs, the first things I look at (after swapping magazines) are the ejector recess and the slot for the extractor. Clogged ejectors are responsible for fail-to-ejects and other jams. It is essential that you keep the ejector hole clean. Old, gooey lube residues mixed with carbon and tiny brass shavings in the ejector recess will create all sorts of problems. As shown in the diagram below, it is simple to remove the ejector (#6) and ejector spring (#5), by drifting the ejector retaining pin (#4).

AR15 Bolt Assembly Diagram

Permalink Tech Tip 9 Comments »
February 26th, 2014

Hot Deal: Plano All-Weather, Heavy-Duty Rifle Case

Looking for a tough, heavy-duty gun case for under $100? Check out this Plano All-Weather Rifle Case for $72.15. It shares many features of a much more expensive Pelican case at a fraction of the price. An O-Ring runs all around the lid, providing dust protection and a watertight seal. The bottom-level foam is pre-configured into little cubes, so you can easily customize the case for your rifle (no “hot-knife” work required). The interior size is 43″ x 13″ x 5″. That’s big enough for most tactical rifles. For long-barreled competition rifles, you will want to detach the barreled action from the stock — and then place them in two different slots (one for the stock, one for the barreled action.) We’ve transported long-barreled F-Open rifles in cases like this — just separate the rifle into two parts first.

Plano Tactical Gun Case foam O-ring Pelican
Click Photo to Zoom

This Plano All-Weather Case offers a lot of value for the money. A similar, 44″-long Pelican model 1720 case retails for about $200.00. The Plano offers most of the same capabilities of the Pelican, for about one-third the price. Both cases are watertight (with O-Ring seal), both cases have pressure release valves, and both cases have strong “gorilla-proof” outer shells. Note: For just $63.15 Plano also offers a smaller All-Weather Tactical Case with a 40″x16″x5.5″ interior. (Plano gun case prices are subject to change and do not include shipping.)

Plano Tactical Gun Case foam O-ring Pelican
Here are comments from actual owners/purchasers of the Plano Tactical case:

This gun case is everything I expected. Latches very securely and is durable enough to handle laying in the bed of my truck bouncing down a dirt road. The foam is nice because it allows for almost exact shaping to your rifle and accessories. I plan on ordering 3 more. You can’t beat this price. — Coach

The absolute best without busting my wallet. NOTHING wrong with this case….nothing. Clamps are solid and do not slip open when bumped. Key locks are ordinary but if someone wants in, they will find a way….we all know this. I padlock where any hole is available. I own three for different rifles and I will order more if needed. You will not go wrong with owning this model/price gun case. Satisfied! — SF67n2

I was looking for a case for my Sig 556 Patrol SWAT and was considering Pelican cases. I found this on Amazon and thought I would take a chance. It is absolutely incredible. It has the pressure relief valve and a quality latching system- not difficult to open, but not weak either. I laid out my gear and pulled the foam and could not be happier. Considering I paid $76 w/free 2-day shipping there is absolutely no way to have made a better choice. The newer version has Yellow or Red trim, but I love the Blackout Tactical look of this case — grab them while you can. – SigFreak

Plano All-Weather Tactical Rifle Case Features

  • 43″X13″X5″ Interior
  • Watertight Seal
  • Draw-Down Latches
  • Key-Locks on Latches
  • Pressure Relief Valve
  • “Pluckable” Foam
    Allows Easy Customizing


Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 25th, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Firearms Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment Challenge young adultsThe U.S Supreme Court has declined to review two cases involving handguns and young adults in the 18 to 20 year-old age bracket. The first case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, challenged a 1968 law which prohibits FFLs from selling handguns to any person under 21 (including adults 18, 19, and 20 years of age). Arguing that the Second Amendment protects all adult citizens, Petitioners argued that restrictions should be lifted for legal adults over 18 but under 21 years of age. The other case, NRA v. McCraw, sought to over-turn various Texas laws that prevent 18 to 20 year-olds from getting a handgun carry license.

Gun-rights activists have been pressing the nation’s highest court to accept the cases. Those advocates have cited various courts’ resistance to expanding gun ownership rights following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 in the Heller case that there is a Constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense and in 2010 in the McDonald case that found the right applies to state and local gun-control efforts.

Writing in the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Denniston observes:

The Supreme Court refused on [February 24, 2014], as it has done repeatedly in recent years, to settle the issue of whether Second Amendment rights to have a gun extend beyond the home. Since the Court first ruled nearly six years ago that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to have a gun, it has issued only one further ruling — expanding that right so that it applies nationwide, to state and local gun control laws, as well as to federal laws. But, without exception, the Justices have turned aside every potential sequel, essentially leaving it to lower courts to continue to sort out variations on the right.

One thing seemed clear from the denial of review of two of the new cases, the NRA’s challenges: the Court is not, as yet, ready to stop lower courts from creating an entirely new group in society with less than full gun rights. In those cases, it was youths aged eighteen to twenty years old.

Credit G. Salazar for story tip. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News 2 Comments »
February 24th, 2014

Cleaning Rod in Barrel Causes Catastrophic .338 LM Kaboom!

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info on the ‘Hide.

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Click to zoom image
Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and over four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 14 Comments »
February 24th, 2014

Hot Deal: Kelbly Fiberglass Stocks on Sale at PMA Tool

Looking for a high-quality fiberglass stock at a bargain price? Then check out the Kelbly over-run stocks at PMA Tool. You’ll find a wide variety of stocks on sale at extremely attractive prices (from $200 to $350.00). There are 3″-wide benchrest and F-Class stocks, Hunter Class benchrest stocks, and a variety of general-purpose hunting and varmint stocks. Most of the benchrest stocks are priced at $300.00 to $350.00 — that’s hundreds less than you’d ordinarily pay for a first-tier fiberglass stock from McMillan or other big name manufacturer.

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

And price isn’t the only attraction. With these Kelbly over-run stocks, there is no waiting. PMA Tool can ship you out a stock in a matter of days. By contrast, you might wait months to get a newly-made stock from another maker. PMA Tool has acquired dozens of Kelbly stocks so there is a large selection. If you go to the PMA website, you can select from three categories of stocks. Then choose a stock that has the appropriate inlet for your action. Some of the over-run stocks are inletted for Pandas, others for BATs, and some for other round actions.

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals No Comments »
February 23rd, 2014

“People Win Matches, Not the Calibers” — Larry Bartholome

Larry Bartholome F-Open Champion SWN

Larry Bartholome (aka “LBart” on our Forum) is the current F-Open USA National Champion. He also won the F-Open division at the recent Berger Southwest Nationals. A “Senior Citizen” now, Larry is still at the top of the F-Class game. If you were to pick the top ten F-Open shooters on the planet, Larry would be on the short list, that’s for sure.

In a recent AccurateShooter Forum thread, there was a discussion of caliber/cartridge choice for F-Open shooting — specifically whether 6mm cartridges can be competitive at long-range (as opposed to mid-range).

Larry, who currently shoots a 7mm-270 WSM, offered some wise words. Here’s some sage advice from Larry, a champion who has triumphed at the highest level, against the toughest competition. F-Class competitors will benefit from reading what Larry has to say, and taking it to heart:

Cartridge Choice for F-Class — What Really Matters
Matches are won with what people decide to shoot. The people win matches, not the calibers. A person makes his decision on what he is going to shoot with and [that person] wins or loses based on the decision.

The smaller cases and bore sizes have advantages in less recoil and more inherent accuracy. They are easier to shoot well. Because they shoot smaller groups on average they make the 10 ring seem bigger. With light winds that helps.

When the wind gets to changing and picking up this advantage is negated by the wind drift advantages of the larger calibers. Once the switches and velocity changes get beyond the mind’s ability to stay up with them, the small caliber advantage is minuscule.

My own thought is I need all the help I can get. I know I can’t read the wind. I play the percentages. [My 7mm offers] good grouping, good wind drift, lower recoil than the 30s. My 7mm/270 WSM was shooting very well in Phoenix, just as the other Bartlein barrels shot well in Raton. The points lost were mine, not the rifle’s or the caliber.

When the wind flags and mirage are telling you to hold left and your bullets are going left, no caliber in the world will help you. You are the one steering those bullets.

Larry Bartholome
Team Berger/Norma

Larry Bartholome F-Open Champion SWN

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 23rd, 2014

Range Kit Carbon Calipers for under $10.00 at Midsouth

Every serious hand-loader should have at least one high-quality set of calipers — a serious tool that can reliably (and repeatably) measure to .001″ (and preferably, .0005″). Quality calipers made by Starrett, Mitutoyo (and other good manufacturers) aren’t cheap, but they will work well for decades.

In addition to the quality calipers you keep at home, every shooter have a “range kit” caliper set. This can be used to quickly measure Cartridge OAL, check base-to-ogive lengths of loaded ammo (with a comparator placed on the jaws), measure group size, and perform a myriad of other tasks at the range. You don’t want to spend a fortune on your range calipers — in the event that they are inadvertently left behind (or loaned to a fellow shooter and never returned).

Right now, Midsouth Shooters Supply is selling Electronic Digital Calipers for under $10.00 that fill the “range kit” role very nicely. Constructed with carbon fiber components, these Altraco calipers are light-weight and rust-resistant. Measurements are displayed in large, easy-to-read, high contrast numbers. And with the flick of a button you can switch between English (inch) and Metric (mm) read-outs. For $9.66 these are a bargain “back-up” set of calipers to be kept in a glove compartment or range kit. No they will not replace your Mitutoyo calipers, but you won’t cry if they get lost!

Midsouth Shooters Supply Carbon Fiber Digital Calipers

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
February 22nd, 2014

Access Four Years of American Rifleman Back-Issues for FREE

NRA American Rifleman Back issues free magazineHave some spare time on your hands? How would you like to read four YEARS of American Rifleman Magazine back-issues for FREE? That’s right, the past four years of the NRA’s popular magazine are available online in eZine format — and all the content is free. Just visit the American Rifleman Magazine Archive. You don’t need to be an NRA member, or pay for a subscription. The 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 archives are FREE. (NOTE: the most recent issue in this format is May 2013).

The eZine version of American Rifleman navigates like a conventional print magazine — so you start with an index at the front and you can flip pages from front-to-back. You can also navigate with thumbnails (on the left) and zoom in and out if you find items of interest. Those who prefer reading articles in a magazine-style format should enjoy the American Rifleman digital eZine archives.

NRA American Rifleman Back issues free magazineHow to Find Back Issues
After loading the eReader, to access back issues, click on the “Archive” icon in the upper left corner of the page, then chose a year (2013, 2013, 2011, or 2010) and then click on a particular issue. Here are samples from the March, April, and May 2013 digital editions of American Rifleman. As you can see, you can view full two-page spreads, just as with a print magazine. You can navigate by flipping pages, or by clicking on the thumbnails in the left column:

From May 2013 Issue (This issue also has articles about WWII rifles.)
NRA American Rifleman Back issues free magazine

From April 2013 Issue (Includes New Products for 2013.)
NRA American Rifleman Back issues free magazine

From March 2013 Issue (This Optical Glossary is extensive and useful.)
NRA American Rifleman Back issues free magazine

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
February 22nd, 2014

Record Video from Spotting Scopes with your iPhone or Camera

If you have a spotting scope, and a smartphone, you can now be a long-range videographer. One of the great things about digital cameras and smartphones is that, with a simple adapter, they can easily capture video through a spotting scope. This way you can record a string of shots on a target, or a shot on a game animal, or even record mirage for later review and study. Video can be a great training tool, and it’s also fun to record adventures at the range or on a hunt.

Digiscoping adapters hold your camera or smartphone at a fixed position, allowing the camera lens to faithfully record the view through the spotting scope’s eyepiece. Such set-ups work surprisingly well, and most are quite affordable. Phone Skope makes a Universal Digiscoping Adapter for iPhones. Able to adjust to different eyepiece diameters, this unit works with a variety of spotting scopes.

iphone digiscope adapter

If you have a Swarovski spotting scope, and an Apple iPhone 5/5s, you’re in luck. Swarovski just released a new digiscoping adapter for the latest generation of iPhones. This can be used with a Swaro spotter or other brand of spotting scope with the same eyepiece diameter.

iphone digiscope adapter

Along with iPhone adapters, Swarovski makes a variety of adapters for mounting digital cameras. Swarovski shows how to use these camera adapters in a “how-to” video (see below). One of the many tips in the video concerns focus. Many people attach the camera or iPhone and then forget to focus the spotting scope properly. Swarovski’s experts say you should focus in two steps: 1) set general focus; then 2) focus very precisely on the particular object (or surface) of primary interest.

iphone digiscope adapter

Video Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Optics No Comments »
February 22nd, 2014

Hot Deal: Close-Out Pricing on Premium-Quality Leica ER Scopes

If you are looking for a premium-quality hunting scope, with a wide magnification range, here is a great opportunity. Leica has just discontinued the Leica ER Scope Series. These are excellent optics that will be sold on “close-out” basis through EuroOptic.com. These Leica ER Scopes will be offered by EuroOptic for as much as $600.00 off the regular price, with target turret models available for as little as $1179.00. These scopes all include Leica’s Lifetime Warranty. According to EuroOptic: “Quantities vary and there will not be any more once they are gone”.

Leica ER Sale Eurooptic

Leica ER Rifle Scopes are rugged, bright, and precise. Each Leica ER Rifle Scope is designed for field use, with a long tube for easy mounting and eye relief to spare – perfect for large caliber hunting rifles. Choose from the Leica ER 2.5-10×42, an all around scope with a wide field of view for quick acquisition, or the Leica ER 3.5-14×42, a higher magnification scope with an optional ASV elevation turret.

Leica ER 2.5-10×42 Riflescopes | Leica ER 3.5-14×42 Riflescopes | Leica ERi Riflescopes

Leica ER Sale Eurooptic

Leica ER Sale Eurooptic

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 21st, 2014

Stecker Succeeds at SWN with Radical Benchrest-type F-TR Rig

Most F-TR rifles are essentially prone rifles adapted for use with bipod and rear bags. They feature prone or tactical-style stocks designed to allow a firm grip on the gun, with cheek, hand, and shoulder contact. This has worked very well. Unquestionably, a skilled F-TR shooter can achieve outstanding scores with such a configuration — it works. However, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”.

At the Berger Southwest Nationals, Eric Stecker introduced a new type of rifle, and a new type of gun-handling, to the F-TR ranks. Shooting “free-recoil” style* (i.e. with virtually no contact on his rifle) Eric managed to finished second overall in F-TR (with the highest X-count), beating some past national champions in the process. Thinking “outside the box” worked for Stecker in Phoenix. The success of Eric’s benchrest-style rifle and shooting technique definitely drew the attention of other F-TR shooters.

Click photo to zoom
Eric Stecker Berger Bullets

VOICE FILE: Eric Stecker Talks About the SWN and his Radical F-TR Rifle.

Eric’s F-TR rig was built by John Pierce using a stiff, light Scoville carbon-fiber stock. The stock is so light that Eric’s rifle came in 1.5 pounds under the F-TR maximum weight limit (8.25kg or 18.18 pounds). The gun features a Pierce action, Bartlein barrel, Jewell trigger, and a Gen 1 Nightforce 15-55X52mm Comp scope. From the get-go, Eric’s strategy was to “aim small” and shoot his rig like a bench-gun. He actually focused on shooting really small groups rather that just trying to keep shots within scoring rings and “hold waterline”. With a .308 Win that could shoot bugholes at 100 yards, this strategy paid off.

Rifle builder John Pierce explains the thinking behind this rifle: “The stock choice was mine — I had built two prototype rifles last year based on the premise that the game is Benchrest in the prone position. I still feel very strongly regarding [this concept]. I chose Bob Scoville for obvious reasons — he is an artisan and his stocks have won so much, they just flat work. We built Eric the latest configuration along these lines, and the tool worked for him. Without a doubt, Eric is a shooter, and we were all pleased to watch him perform so well.”

Eric sets up rifle before match. During live fire his hands do not contact the stock.

Eric employed a benchrest-style shooting technique with his F-TR rig — he shot pretty much free recoil, with no cheek pressure, no hand contact, and just a “whisper” of shoulder contact. Eric explains: “I shoot what’s called ‘free recoil’. Now the rifle is butted up against my shoulder very lightly, but no other part of my body touches the rifle except for my finger on the trigger.” Eric has even used this technique when shooting a 7mm cartridge in F-Open at other matches: “Someone suggested that this style wasn’t possible with the larger [7mm] cartridges, but I found it very successful so I continue to do it that way.”

VOICE FILE: Eric Stecker Talks About Shooting F-TR with Benchrest Technique.

Eric also employed an unconventional strategy — he was focused on shooting small groups (not just holding ring values): “Since I have started shooting F-Class, I treat [the target] like a benchrest target. What I mean by that is that I regard the center as my first shot, and so my objective is to create the smallest group. So, I will hold whatever… is required to end up with the bullet ending up in the center — that’s probably true of any F-Class shooter, but I guess the perspective’s a little different when you have a benchrest background.” Eric explained that “maybe I aim a little smaller than others might”, because in the benchrest game, “the slightest miss ends up costing you quite dearly”.

Click to Zoom Photo (This is not Eric Stecker’s rifle, but a “sistership” built by John Pierce.)
Eric Stecker Berger Bullets

Eric Talks about F-TR Trends
Will other F-TR shooters build rifles suited for free-recoil-style shooting? Eric isn’t sure: “I don’t know if this type of rifle is the future of F-TR. I shoot a lot of benchrest, so putting those kinds of components into an F-TR gun made a lot of sense to me. One thing I like about F-TR is that there are a lot of different types of approaches being tried and some of them are successful. So I think it’s still pretty wide-open[.] But I think the really great part of what we found at the Southwest Nationals is that shooting [with] a benchrest-style approach certainly doesn’t hurt you. What I mean by that is … aiming small, trying to make the group as tight as possible rather than trying to hit a particular area. I actually tried to shoot tight groups — that was a focus and that worked for me — I had quite a high X-Count.” NOTE: Eric finished with 51 Xs, 14 more than F-TR Grand Agg winner Radoslaw Czupryna (37X). James Crofts had the second highest X-Count with 48 Xs.

Even Berger’s Boss did pit duty at the Berger SW Nationals.
Eric Stecker Berger Bullets

*”Free Recoil” style shooting has its variations. Some would say “pure free recoil” would not even allow shoulder contact. Eric Stecker lightly touches the back of the stock with his shoulder.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 13 Comments »
February 20th, 2014

Top Guns — America’s Most Popular Rifles and Pistols

Here at AccurateShooter.com we tend to focus on highly-accurate (1/2-MOA or better), custom-built bolt-action rifles. But for home defense, deer hunting, or just having fun with the grand-kids, factory-built firearms serve their purpose. With that in mind, we wondered, “Just what are the most popular mass-production firearms these days?” To get a complete answer you must consider both new AND “previously owned” sales figures. Gunbroker.com, the biggest firearms auction site, recently tallied the top-selling firearms in various categories. Below we present Gunbroker’s January 2014 “Best Sellers” among rifles and pistols.

Some things we expected — the Rem 700 is the top-ranking bolt-action rifle, and the Ruger 10/22 was the leading semi-auto rifle. But in the pistol rankings, there were some surprises. Despite being out of production, the Colt Python is the best-selling revolver. Why is an out-of-production gun a top-seller? First, high-grade Pythons are actually increasing in value, making this “snake” a good investment. Pythons are also highly accurate, beautifully-finished revolvers with superb triggers. These qualities make the guns highly desirable to serious shooters as well as collectors.

Top-Selling Firearms on Gunbroker.com

Bolt-Action Rifle Semi-Auto Rifle Single-Shot Rifle Lever Rifle

1. Remington 700
2. Winchester 70
3. Ruger 77
4. Ruger American Rifle
5. Ruger M77

1. Ruger 10/22
2. Smith & Wesson M&P
3. Ruger Mini-14
4. Kel Tec Sub 2000
5. Springfield M1A

1. Ruger No. 1
2. T/C Pro Hunter
3. Winchester 1885
4. T/C Encore
5. Browning 1885

1. Winchester 94
2. Winchester 1894
3. Marlin 336
4. Marlin 1895
5. Marlin 1894

Remington 700

Semi-Auto Pistols Revolvers Single-Shot Pistols

1. Smith & Wesson M&P
2. Sig Sauer P226
3. Sig Sauer P238
4. Glock 42
5. Colt 1911

1. Colt Python
2. Smith & Wesson 686
3. Ruger Blackhawk
4. Smith & Wesson 629
5. Ruger GP-100

1. T/C Contender
2. Remington XP-100
3. T/C Encore
4. Bond Texas Defender
5. Colt Derringer

Colt Python (Royal Blue) — An Appreciating Asset
Colt Python Revolver

Colt Python Revolver

Permalink News 7 Comments »
February 19th, 2014

Russ Haydon’s Shooter’s Supply Closing — 25% Off Sale

Want to get great gear for rock-bottom prices? Then visit www.Shooters-Supply.com. After 25 years Russ Haydon is retiring, and closing down his shooting supplies business. Virtually all remaining inventory is now 25% off (through the end of February). Much of the merchandise is being offered “at cost”. Call (253) 857-7557 for more information.

Russ Haydon’s Shooter’s Supply — A Quarter Century in Business
A quarter century at a single job is a good, long career for anyone, but even more so when it has been as the head of your own successful small business. Such is the case for Russ Haydon of Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply. Russ is retiring after 24+ years of selling high quality precision shooting products to benchrest, target and varmint shooters. Now Russ and Marsha are moving toward another of life’s milestones, retirement.

Russ and Marsha Haydon Say “Thank You” to Their Customers:

Russ Haydon's Shooters SupplyRuss’s operation grew out of a life-long passion for shooting. Like so many youngsters, he started plinking in junior high and was always a good shot. He pursued his interest through brief employment in a gunshop and later competitive smallbore and benchrest shooting, but always as an aside to his regular job. With the support of his wife Marsha, Russ turned his firearm hobby into a fulltime business. More than once Russ has been complimented on his “candy store” gunshop called Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply.

The predominantly mail-order business became widely known through magazine ads and word-of-mouth in the early 1990s. The advent of the internet added an international clientele for Haydon’s reloading products geared to high accuracy shooters. The Haydons have built a reputation for trustworthiness based on their fast, friendly, knowledgeable service.

With the operation winding down, nearly all inventory is being sold at 25% off the regular low prices. The website, www.shooters-supply.com, is continuously updated to display only in-stock items.

Of particular note is the remaining selection of Redding threaded dies and L.E. Wilson hand dies in various calibers and styles. At 25% off, the prices are near wholesale level. Other great buys are: Butch’s Bore Shine cleaning solvent, Sweets copper remover, and Dewey cleaning rods.

The rock-bottom prices are a means for Russ & Marsha to close out their inventory while saying “Thank You” for the many years of patronage of their business by the shooting public.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 6 Comments »
February 19th, 2014

Win a $12,000 Rifle System — Raffle Benefits USMC Families

The U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Association (USMC SSA) assists active-duty Marine Corps Scout Snipers and their families and the organization provides educational assistance to surviving dependents of the Marine snipers lost in combat. To further these ends, the USMC SSA is having a raffle with a prize package worth $12,000.00+. The main element of the prize is a .308 Win Surgeon Rifle in an Accuracy International AX AICSM40 Chassis.

For just $10.00 you can purchase a chance at winning this prize, a rifle and accessory package valued at over $12,000.00. You can purchase tickets online via a secure page on the U.S. Tactical Supply website. The Raffle drawing will be held March 17, 2014 (3/17/2014). That’s not far off, so act soon if you want to help this worthy cause.

USMC Scout Sniper Association Raffle Surgeon Rifle

CLICK HERE to Purchase Raffle Tickets ($10.00 each)

Raffle Prize Includes:

1. Surgeon Rifles – 591 Action SN#1775, with 24″ Krieger Barrel MTU Contour 1:10″ twist, 5R rifling, and Jewell Trigger set at 2.75 pounds.
2. U.S. Optics – LR-17 Mil 3.2-17xT Scope.
3. Accuracy International – AX AICSM40 Chassis.
4. Accuracy 1st Developmental Group – Applied Ballistics 4500NV Kestrel.
5. Badger Ordnance – 30mm MAX-50 Ultra High Scope rings, (3) 10 rd mags, (3) 5 rd mags.
6. SKB Cases – Custom hard case for rifle and accessories.
7. CorBon Ammunition – 200 rounds of 175 grain performance match ammunition.
8. TAB Gear – RAS USMC Precision Rifle Sling, rear bag and dope card.
9. U.S. Tactical Supply – One-Shot Package (data book kit) and HOG Saddle.
10. Bushnell – Tactical tripod with swivel head (same model issued to USMC Scout Snipers).

NOTE: Raffle is for U.S. Residents Only. Prize cannot ship outside the United States.

Charity Raffle FAQ
Q: Will there be runner-up prizes?
A: No, there will be one winner only. That one person will win ALL the items listed above.

Q: Where do I buy the raffle tickets? Can I buy more than one?
A: Go to the USMC SSA Raffle Page, and select “USTS USMC 8541 TKT” for your shopping cart. Use the “Quantity” field to set the number of tickets you buy — one or more than one.

Q: Is this legit? How do I know the funds will go to a good cause?
A. The U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Assn. is a non-profit, tax-exempt fraternal veterans association covered under IRS Ruling 501(C)(19). This is a legitimate, established group that does good works.

Permalink News 5 Comments »
February 19th, 2014

Calendar Released for 2014 National Matches

The 2014 National Matches Program Calendar has just been released. CLICK HERE for Calendar PDF.

National Match Calendar

The National Matches were first held in 1903, moved to Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1907 and continue to take place every summer at Camp Perry. The National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 6,000 annual participants.

National Match Calendar

The National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, CMP Games rifle events, and the NRA National Pistol Championships, High Power Rifle Championships, Long Range High Power Championships, and Smallbore Championships. NOTE: For the next two (2) years, the Smallbore Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana instead of Camp Perry, Ohio.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
February 18th, 2014

Hodgdon Launches Completely Revamped Reloading Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powderHodgdon has rolled out a completely updated online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the enhanced Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.

As before, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is now faster and easier to use. Navigation is simplified and the whole interface is more user-friendly.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

You’ll notice changes in the way the online Data Center works. Now you have more control over the results. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Mobile users will notice that the updated/enhanced Reloading Center is much more “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use. Likewise the results are displayed in a large, easy-to read format.

Hodgdon tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink News, Reloading 7 Comments »