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February 18th, 2014

New Bore-Tips Foam Bore Swabs for Barrel Cleaning

Wouldn’t it be nice to dispense with patches and jags when cleaning your guns? The folks at Super Brush, LLC, had the same idea, so they invented Bore-tips® swabs. These reusable foam “mops” provide 360° of contact with the bore, reaching both the grooves and the lands. Bore-tips thread onto standard cleaning rods. They are offered in a variety of sizes, from .22 Caliber up to 12 Gauge. Rifle Bore-tips come in .22 (5.56mm), .243 (6mm), and .308 (7.62mm) diameters.

Bore-tips foam bore swab

We saw samples of this new product for the first time at the Berger SWN. We’re intrigued. The product may be useful for some applications, particularly pistols and shotguns which require minimal brushing. For rifles they do a good job of applying solvents because they hold more liquid than a patch. However, you probably won’t want to abandon your jags and patches. Sometimes a tight-fitting patch is still the best tool for the job. Patches are cheap and it’s easier to discard a used patch, rather than fuss with cleaning foam swabs. But for shotguns (and lightly used pistols), these things make sense.

Bore-tips® Claimed Benefits:
• Each tip is reusable and can be cleaned with solvents or soap and water.
• Tough and fiber-free, Bore-tips will not shed or leave lint behind as cotton will.
• FAST PATCHLESS CLEANING — solves the shortcomings of the jag and patch.
• Foam fills the lands and grooves of the rifling, not sliding over the top like a patch.
• Quick threading on a standard 8-32 cleaning rod. Shotgun sizes use a 5/16 x 27 rod.
• Can be used with most commercially available solvents and oils.

How to Use Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
Use a Bore-tip to apply solvent to the barrel. After allowing the solvent time to work, brush the bore to break up any fouling. Next use a clean Bore-tip to push the fouling out the bore. When the now dirty Bore-tip clears the bore, wet it with a little solvent and then squeeze it with an absorbent rag or paper towel, this will blot the dirt off. After blotting the Bore-tip should be clean enough to continue using to remove the fouling until you are finished cleaning. When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your barrel, use a clean Bore-tip to dry the bore.

Click for Full-Screen Images
Bore-tips foam bore swab Bore-tips foam bore swab

How to Clean Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
For faster cleaning, apply mineral spirits to the Bore-tip and squeeze/blot into an absorbent rag or paper towel. When the Bore-tip is clean, let dry and reuse. Using soap and water, squeeze to blot out any excess solvent or dirt. Next, wash the Bore-tip with a grease-cutting soap and warm water. Once clean, rinse then let dry completely. See cleaning video below:

Bore-Tips Foam Swab Cleaning Demonstration

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 5 Comments »
February 17th, 2014

Online Registration Opens for 2014 National Championships

NRA National Championship Camp PerryOnline registration is officially open for the 2014 NRA National Matches. Each summer, at the NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships, the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen and women square off for weeks of rifle and handgun competition. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.

As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, for 2014 and 2015, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana, this year and next. The smallbore championship venue is being shifted to accommodate the 2015 World Palma Rifle Championships at Camp Perry. (The World Palma teams will arrive this summer to do a practice run for next year.)

Head on over to the Camp Perry Sign-up Page and get started on this year’s application.

Camp Perry National Championships NRA

NRA Also Seeks Target Pullers for Nat’l Matches — $75/day plus housing
The NRA is seeking experienced persons to pull targets during the 2014 National Fullbore Championships, August 4 – 10, 2014, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Accepted applicants will receive a $75 per day pay rate and free housing. Candidates must have 2+ years of target pulling of high-power scoring experience to apply. Interested parties should apply before the May 1, 2014 deadline using the form linked below. For more information, email comphelp @

CLICK HERE for Target Puller Job Application (PDF).

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
February 17th, 2014

Basics of Groundhog Matches with Paper Targets

Gene F. (aka “TenRing” in our Forum), provides this basic intro to Groundhog matches, East-Coast style.

Groundhog Matches Are Growing in Popularity
Though Groundhog matches are very popular in many parts of the country, particularly on the east coast, I’ve found that many otherwise knowledgeable “gun guys” don’t know much about this form of competition. A few weeks ago, I ordered custom bullets from a small Midwest bullet-maker. He asked what type of competition the bullets would be used for, and I told him “groundhog shoots”. He had not heard of these. It occurs to me that perhaps many others are unfamiliar with this discipline.

Groundhog matches have grown rapidly in popularity. There are numerous clubs hosting them in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as other venues. They are usually open to the public. Most Eastern clubs have five to twenty cement benches, and overhead roofs. At this time, there is no central source for match schedules. If you’re interested in going to a groundhog match, post a query in the AccurateShooter Forum Competition Section, and you should get some info on nearby opportunities.

How Matches Are Run — Course of Fire and Scoring
Unlike NRA High Power Matches, there is no nationwide set of standard rules for Groundhog matches. Each club has their own rules, but the basics are pretty similar from club to club. Paper groundhog targets are set at multiple distances. There are normally three yardages in the match. Some clubs place targets at 100, 200, and 300 yards. Other clubs set them at 200, 300, or 400 yards. At my club in Shippensburg, PA, our targets are placed at 200, 300 and 500 meters.

The goal is to score the highest total. The paper targets have concentric scoring rings. The smallest ring is normally worth ten points while the large ring is worth five points. The course of fire varies among the various clubs. Most clubs allow unlimited sighters and five shots on the record target in a given time period. Only those five shots on the scoring rings are counted, so that with three yardages, a perfect score would be 150 points. Tie breakers may be determined by total number of dead center or “X” strikes; or, by smallest group at the farthest distance.

Types of Rifles Used at Groundhog Matches
The same benchrest rigs found at IBS and NBRSA matches can be utilized (though these will typically be put in a ‘custom’ class). Though equipment classes vary from club to club, it is common to separate the hardware into four or five classes. Typical firearm classes can include: factory rifle; deer hunter; light varmint custom (usually a limit of 17 lbs.with scope); and heavy varmint custom (weight unlimited). Some clubs allow barrel tuners, others do not. Scope selection is usually unlimited; however, some restrict hunter class rifle scopes to 20 power. Factory rifles usually cannot be altered in any way.

Good, Simple Fun Shooting — Why Groundhog Shoots Are Popular
Forum member Danny Reever explains the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.

There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.

The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.

There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 7 Comments »
February 16th, 2014

‘Sweet Home Alabama’ — Remington Heads to Huntsville

Remington Outdoor Company Huntsville, AlabamaRemington Outdoor Company (Remington) will open a big new factory in Alabama. Remington, formerly the Freedom Group, encompasses 18 brands in the gun-making and outdoor industry. According to the Military Times and Alabama news media, Remington will be opening a 500,000-square-foot production facility near Huntsville, Alabama. This could bring as many as 2,000 jobs to the Huntsville area. The new plant is not earmarked for a specific brand in the Remington family, so it could produce a variety of firearms products. (Remington also operates factories in Kentucky and New York, and an ammunition plant in Arkansas.) After necessary build-outs, the Huntsville plant is expected to start production in 2015.

Meanwhile, New York state officials are claiming that Remington’s plans to open a new plant in Alabama will not take jobs from Remington’s major factory in Ilion, New York. A spokesman for N.Y. Governor Cuomo posted: “Some are misinformed, others gleefully spreading misinformation, but to be clear, no Remington jobs are leaving NY.” Remington currently employs about 1,300 workers at the one million-square-foot Ilion manufacturing plant. Despite New York state officials’ reassurances, the long-term fate of the Ilion plant (and N.Y. jobs) is unclear. Eight months ago, Remington stated: “Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation.” That doesn’t sound like an unequivocal commitment….

According to the Military Times:

“Before settling on Huntsville, the company was courted by no less than 24 states and various localities hoping to add hundreds of new jobs to their economies. The selection of the Huntsville area makes sense, with a skilled and technical workforce already in place. The area is home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, which has 35,000 military and civilian employees.

Other major technical employers in the area, such as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Toyota, ensure ROC will have a large pool of talent to draw upon for its engineering, technical manufacturing and product development efforts. The fact that Alabama is regarded as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights also played a role in the selection of the area.”

Remington Outdoor Company Huntsville, Alabama

READ Related Story in Forbes about Remington Outdoor Company (Freedom Group)

Permalink News 3 Comments »
February 16th, 2014

Williamsport Now Taking Reservations for 2014 Benchrest School

Benchrest School WilliamsportIf you want to learn how to shoot accurately at very long range, one of the very best places to learn is the Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School. The 7th Annual Benchrest School will be held Friday June 6 through Sunday June 8, 2014. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1K ranges in the country. View the range on the Williamsport website,

Prospective students will be taught all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting by highly skilled instructors. All areas are covered: load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. And you don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided. For $300 students will enjoy 1 night and 2 days of intensive training under the guidance of some of our top 1000-yard shooters. The sign-up deadline is June 1st. To reserve a spot or get more info, email School Director/Vice President Ryan Miller: ryanmiller @

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

School Schedule, Friday Through Sunday
On Friday night (June 6th), students will meet their mentors. Saturday (June 7th), the class moves to the range for a full day of hands-on technical training. Topics will include precision reloading, load development, gun handling, use of chronograph, analysis of shooting results, gun cleaning, and target analysis. The club will provide the rifles and all reloading components. Saturday’s training sessions are followed by a steak dinner which is included in the $300 seminar price.

On Sunday (June 8th), after an early training session covering bench set-up and match strategies, students will participate in a 1000-yard match, spending time both behind the trigger and in the pits. Instructors will explain how to read conditions, and will demonstrate target measuring and analysis after the relays. The program wraps up by 4:00 pm on Sunday.

To see what the 1K Benchrest school is like, watch the slide show/video below, produced by Sebastian Reist, an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. Sebastian, a talented professional photographer, captured the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend:

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.
Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
February 15th, 2014

Official 26 Nosler SAAMI Drawing Now Available

26 Nosler Cartridge Print SammiNosler has introduced a new 6.5mm (.264 caliber) hunting cartridge, the 26 Nosler. Nosler will initially offer 26 Nosler cartridge brass, and then, eventually, 26 Nosler loaded ammunition.

This new cartridge is designed to be a speedy, flat-shooting hunting cartridge, with performance exceeding a 6.5-284. This is possible because the 26 Nosler is a big, long cartridge with plenty of “boiler room”. Length from base to neck/shoulder junction is 2.33″ for the 26 Nosler, compared to 1.91″ for the 6.5-284 (and 2.04″ for a 7mm Rem Magnum). The 26 Nosler has a 35° shoulder angle and a magnum-size 0.534″ outside rim diameter.

The 26 Nosler cartridge can drive the Nosler 129 grain, AccuBond® LR bullet at 3400 fps. Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a Point Blank Range of 0-415 yards. Loaded with the 129gr Accubond, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as a .260 Rem produces at the muzzle. This makes the 26 Nosler a “quintessential deer, antelope and long-range” cartridge according to company CEO/President Bob Nosler.

Nosler has just released the SAMMI print for this cartridge. CLICK HERE for SAMMI Print PDF.

26 Nosler Cartridge Print Sammi

Credit Grant G. for story tip. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 16 Comments »
February 15th, 2014

Montana Bullet Works Business for Sale

Want to buy a bullet business? Montana Bullet Works (MBW) is now for sale. MBW, run by Dave Jennings, has been a leading “boutique” cast bullet-making shop for years. Dave is widely regarded as one of the best cast-bullet craftsmen in the country. He offered rifle bullets up to .50 caliber, and pistol bullets from .25 to .50 caliber. Forum member Grant G. says: “[Dave] made the very best hard-cast bullets with gas check for hunting. They were very accurate from the rifles I have used them in. My next elk will get thumped with one of his creations.”

Montana Bullet Works Dave Jennings

Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch says: “Montana Bullet Works makes a great product. I was looking for a specific bullet and Dave & Marcie … got the mould and made excellent bullets[.] I highly recommend them.”

Montana Bullet Works Dave JenningsMBW Business for Sale
Unfortunately, health concerns now prevent Dave Jennings from continuing his trade: “I am sorry to report that due to a recent spinal fusion surgery and the resultant permanent limitations on lifting and other movements, I can no longer operate MBW. If you are interested in buying MBW … I can provide information on current assests, inventory, etc.”.

Dave Jenning’s Tips for Shooting Cast Bullets

Any gun that you plan to shoot cast bullets from has to be cleaned of all copper jacket fouling first. The copper fouling is much harder than any cast bullet and will act like sandpaper on the bullet as it travels down the barrel. Not only will this lead to poor accuracy but may also give you signs of leading that really isn’t occurring.

While testing cast bullets, it’s also important to keep your barrel free of leading. You may concoct a load that is a little too hot for the bullet/alloy you’re using and have a leading issue with that one load. If that leading isn’t removed before you fire your next test load, you won’t be able to tell which load gave you the problem. Moreover, leading is cumulative and will adversely affect the accuracy of subsequent shots.

But don’t despair. I’ve shot literally hundreds of thousands of cast bullets and have found a quick and inexpensive way to remove leading. I use Bronze Wool, available from Brownells, either in the fine or medium grade. Unlike Steel Wool, Bronze Wool is softer than steel and will not scratch your barrel. Also, Bronze Wool is not oiled, so it leaves your barrel absolutely clean. Simply pull some threads of the Bronze Wool off of the pad and wrap it tightly around a slightly undersized bronze barrel brush. The tighter the fit, the faster it will remove leading. Ten to twelve passes up and down the barrel will remove all but the most severe leading. If you do this regularly, you’ll never have severe leading to contend with. Bronze Wool has become an integral part of my shooting kit for years. I wouldn’t be without it!

~ Dave Jennings – Montana Bullet Works ~

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
February 14th, 2014

Olympics Insight — Anatomy of a Modern Biathlon Rifle

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon actionIf you’ve been following the Winter Olympics in Sochi, no doubt you’ve been watching Biathlon events. This combination of Nordic-style skiing and precision shooting is hugely popular in Europe. Biathlon requires great physical fitness levels, superior marksmanship skills, and of course, a very accurate .22 LR rifle.

This video shows biathletes at previous winter Olympics. Note how the straight-pull actions allow competitors to shoot rapidly without breaking their position (at the 1:00″ mark, the shooter takes five shots in ten seconds). Target racks are located 50m from the firing line. The targets, which flip from black to white when hit, are 45mm (1.8″) in diameter for prone, and 115mm (4.5″) in diameter for standing.

Watch Olympic Biathlon Competition (Archive Footage)

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Biathlon rifles are sophisticated. The top competitors use rigs with slick, straight-pull actions, integrated magazine carriers, and ergonomic stock designs that work well for both prone and standing positions. The advanced slings use “bungee cords” to allow rapid deployment from on-the-back carry position (while skiing) to the shooting position.
Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

One of the most popular Biathlon rifles is the Anschütz model 1827F Fortner. This features a straight-pull action with a two-stage trigger typically adjusted to 550 grams (19 ounces). The sprint version of the model 1827F weighs just 3.7 kg (8.16 pounds). Remarkably, even the magazines are optimized for “high-speed, low-drag” performance: “Shortened 5-shot magazines were laterally incorporated into the stock to reduce the surface on which the wind can act. Non-slip magazine bottoms make the handling of the loading process easier. An additional magazine release lever on the side makes an even faster exchange of the magazines possible.” (Anschütz brochure).

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Anschutz 1827 fortner straight pull biathlon action

Credit Chris Cheng, Top Shot Season 4 Champion, for finding these photos of the model 1827F Fortner on the Anschütz website.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 7 Comments »
February 14th, 2014 Offers New App for iPhones

gunbroker app’s Forum Classifieds Marketplace is the first place we look for great deals on rifles. There you’ll find high-quality competition and varmint rifles, many built by name smiths. But if you’re looking for “mass-market” firearms, is a good place to start. Launched in 1999, is the world’s largest gun auction website. You’ll find both new and previously-owned arms listed at auction, many with a “Buy Now” price that lets you by-pass the bidding cycle altogether.

NEW Gunbroker iPhone (iOS) App
A new GunBroker mobile iPhone App has just been released. This lets users search for products, bid and buy on the go, and never miss an auction. The iOS App joins other Gunbroker mobile applications — an Android App and a Mobile Website. For more information on all GunBroker mobile options, visit

Get FREE GunBroker iPhone App via the App Store.
Get FREE GunBroker Android App via Google Play.
Check Out Mobile Site at

The Mobile App offers Push Notifications, custom alerts that monitor bid status and bidding activity for auctions that you are watching. Users can also quickly locate a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) by simply entering a zip code or device location.

gunbroker app

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
February 14th, 2014

TripleDeuce.Net Website for .222 Remington Shooters

Interest in the .222 Remington cartridge has revived following Lapua’s decision in 2009 to resume production of .222 Remington Brass. If you’re thinking of chambering a rifle in this very accurate caliber, or if you already have a .222 Rem, we’ve found a useful resource on the web for you.

.222 Remington

Forum member Peter Simonsen has created a content-rich website, TripleDeuce.Net, with plenty of valuable info for .222 shooters. Peter tells us: “I started a little informative (non-commercial) web site about the .222 Remington, TripleDeuce.Net. You’re welcome to visit and share your thoughts and ideas.” Peter’s site includes extensive reloading advice, a list of recommended components, plus links to the major bullet-makers and powder manufacturers. His Reloading Page includes load data for a wide selection of bullets, while Peter’s photo archive shows cartridge diagrams and targets shot with Peter’s .222 Rem rifles. There is even an extensive section dedicated to the 20-222 Wildcat, an excellent varmint cartridge. The 20-222 is very efficient and very accurate.

Peter offers this advice for those getting started with the Triple Deuce cartridge:

“I religiously use the load data right off the Hodgdon web site. Recently I have gravitated toward using the old tried and true IMR4198 and H4198 powders for hunting using 40gr bullets. These two powders provide a velocity edge over the other powder choices while still maintaining safe and acceptable pressure levels. You can see this in the Hodgdon data where a max load of IMR4198 yields 3583 fps whereas H322 produces 3313 fps. So for hunting where higher velocity and terminal performance are important and accuracy is as good or close I would choose one of the two 4198 powders. This situation is similar, although not as dramatic, with 50gr bullets.

For target shooting H322 works extremely well. H4895 also provides impressive results and is a chosen powder for accuracy baseline testing by some manufacturers. I have begun experimenting with Vihtavuori N133 and Accurate 2015. Both seem very promising. But H322 and H4895 are two [dependable choices.]”

Permalink Reloading 23 Comments »
February 13th, 2014

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Concealed Carry Restrictions

California Appeals Ninth Circuit CCWCalifornia gun owners can celebrate a major legal victory today. The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s “good cause” requirement (for handgun carry licenses) is unconstitutional (as least as it is applied in San Diego County). A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that California’s restrictions on handgun carry permits abrogate the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

According to Fox News: “By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show ‘good cause’ to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.” READ Related story.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority. The court held that the requirement of “good cause” was both too burdensome and too indefinite to pass muster under the Second Amendment. The San Diego County Sheriffs Department’s requirement that applicants provide documentation to show a “special need” for permits “impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.” Vague “good cause” requirements, the court determined, could be invoked too broadly, thereby denying citizens the legitimate exercise of their Second Amendment rights.

As the result of this ruling, the appellant, Edward Peruta, may now revive his lawsuit challenging San Diego County’s denial of a concealed weapons permit.

Later in the opinion, however, O’Scannlain wrote: “We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self defense outside the home.”

California Appeals Ninth Circuit CCW

Read Washington Times Analysis of Ninth Circuit Decision on California Gun Laws.

Though this ruling settles the matter in the Ninth Circuit (for now), the U.S. Supreme Court may get involved down the road. The Ninth Circuit’s decision runs contrary to decisions by three other Federal Courts of Appeals regarding issuance standards for firearm carry permits. Accordingly, there is a conflict among the Circuits, which, ultimately, can only be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
February 13th, 2014

SSG Brandon Green Named MMA Soldier of the Year for 2013

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Brandon Green of the USAMU has been named the Military Marksmanship Association (MMA) 2013 Soldier of the Year (SOY). Green, a native of Covington, Louisiana, received SOY honors at the MMA’s annual meeting last week.

Brandon Green USAMU MMA Soldier of Year

“I’m very proud to be a member of this unit … and proud to be the Soldier of the Year,” said Green, a member of the Service Rifle Section. USAMU marksmen are extremely competitive, Brandon told us: “You have all of these outstanding shooters and anytime they pick up anything it becomes a competition. Whether we’re training on a different range or a different discipline, it’s that world-level competition that drives us to be as good as we are.”

Here is SSG Green with the Tubb 2000 rifle, chambered in .260 Remington, that Brandon used to win the 2013 High Power Championship. The other shooter is Brandon’s younger brother Braxton.
Brandon Green USAMU MMA Soldier of Year

Brandon Green USAMU MMA Soldier of YearGreen won the 2013 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, OH. It was his first national championship after several second and third place finishes. Also in 2013, Green captured the Interservice Individual Championship for the fourth time and Brandon was a shooter on the winning USAMU Interservice team. He also helped his team break records and earn team wins at Camp Perry.

Other MMA 2013 Soldier of the Year nominees were: SSG Patrick Franks, Cross Functional Team-Pistol; SSG Daniel Horner, Action Shooting Section; SSG Michael McPhail, International Rifle Section; SPC Reuben Anderson, Custom Firearm Shop; SSG Glenn Eller, Shotgun Team member; SGT John Joss, Paralympics Team member; and SGT Curtis Yetman, Instructor Training Group.

The MMA supports the goals and objectives of the USAMU and provides a link to the history of the unit while hosting ceremonies and social events. The organization has more than 500 members. The USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade, Army Marketing and Research Group and is tasked with enhancing the Army’s recruiting effort, raising the standard of Army marksmanship and furthering small arms research.

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
February 12th, 2014

Don’t Miss SHOT Show 1-Hour Special Today on Shooting USA

ShootingUSA SHOT Show EditionSHOT Show 2014.
Full 1-Hour Broadcast.
Tonight on the Outdoor Channel.
Lots and lots of new guns on display.

This is the episode of Shooting USA you don’t want to miss. Set your DVR for 2PM ET/1PM CT or watch the show at 9PM ET/8PM CT, on the Outdoor Channel. Host Jim Scoutten says: “John, Mike, and I are running 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, with 60,000 gun dealers and buyers. It’s your first look at the new guns and gear that will be making news this year. Set your DVR. We have a lot to show you in non-stop new product presentations.” CLICK HERE to See Products Featured on SHOT Show Episode

ShootingUSA SHOT Show Edition

New products showcased will include: Ruger American Rimfire Rifle, Glock 42, Colt 2012 Bolt-Action Rifle, New S&W Revolvers, Remington R-51, Bergara Barrels, Hornady Rapid-Safe and much more.

Shooting USA airs its annual one-hour SHOT Show Special today, Wednesday, February 12, starting at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. Other broadcast times are listed below.

The Shooting USA Hour on Wednesdays:
Eastern Time: 2:00 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:00 M
Central Time: 1:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time: 12:00 noon, 7:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time: 11:00 AM, 6:00 PM, 9:00 PM

Permalink - Videos, New Product 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2014

Valentine’s Day Trick Shot by Kirsten Joy Weiss

Valentine’s Day is almost here. To celebrate this romantic holiday, Kirsten Joy Weiss has devised a very special trick shot with her .22LR Volquartsen semi-auto rifle.

Braving winter weather, Kirsten manages to drill three shots into a heart shape on her target. This trick shot is performed, Kirsten adds, “for the love of shooting”. See more cool trick shots on Kirsten’s website,

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 11th, 2014

U.S. Biathlete Nominated for Inspiration Award

For giving up her spot on the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team so that her identical twin sister could compete in Sochi, Tracy Barnes is a candidate for an Inspiration Award being sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the company that makes and donates rings to all U.S. athletes competing at the Winter Games. Thanks to Tracy’s personal sacrifice, her sister Lanny Barnes, who missed qualifying races due to illness, now has a chance to capture the first-ever U.S. medal in biathlon. If you think Tracy deserves recognition, you can add your vote for Tracy for the Inspiration Award. Read more about the Barnes sisters.

Tracy Barnes and Lanny Barnes Olympics Colorado

“Lanny Barnes [is] in an unfamiliar role for a U.S. biathlete — under a spotlight. The reason for that, as people around the world are now aware, is because Tracy declined her spot on the team so Lanny could go. In the days after the story broke Jan. 13, the 31-year-old twins suddenly found themselves talking live on NBC’s Today show and CNN’s ‘New Day’. They’ve done interviews for ESPN, NBC Sports and numerous other TV stations, online media, magazines and newspapers. Requests have come from all over[.] Suddenly a sport that suffers from obscurity in the U.S. has a star.” — Read Full Story in Durango Herald.

Permalink News No Comments »
February 11th, 2014

Berger Southwest Nationals — Match Results and More

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

The 6-day-long Berger Southwest Nationals has drawn to a close. And what a week it was. National records were set, $60,000 worth of prizes were distributed, a talented newcomer took the F-TR title, the Arizona sun was warm, and fun was had by all. Congratulations to the individual Grand Aggregate winners: Larry Bartholome (F-Open, 1238-61X), Bryan Litz (Sling/TR, 1239-64X), and Radoslaw Czupryna (F-TR, 1216-37X). Topping the team competition were: Team Grizzly (F-Open), Team Michigan (F-TR), and USA-National-Tompkins (Sling/TR).

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Here are some “Take-Aways” from the 2014 Berger Southwest Nationals.

  • Heavy .30-caliber bullets (200-215 grains) have become the “hot ticket” in F-TR.
  • In F-Open, the 7mm caliber is still King of the Hill (it hasn’t been overtaken by the 30s quite yet). At least in the relatively calm conditions this week, and in the capable hands of Larry Bartholome, a 7mm cartridge still came out on top. The 7mms deliver competitive ballistics, great accuracy, and less recoil than the big 30s.
  • F-Open front rests are so good now that folks are looking to rear bag set-ups for improvements in tracking/stability. Any old rear bag won’t cut it anymore.
  • In Sling/TR class, the 155s can still do the job. The London Scottish team finished second overall shooting 155s in their .308s. (Members: Michael Barlow, Angus McLeod, Lindsay Peden, Ian Shaw).
  • Eric Stecker is more than a “master bulletsmith”. The man can flat-out shoot. Eric finished second overall (1213-51X) in the F-TR Grand Agg, ahead of past National Champions. But as for the cash/bullets prizes, Mid Tompkins joked: “Eric can now pay himself with his own money and wait in line for bullets like everyone else.”
  • Many top shooters in F-Open and F-TR are cleaning their barrels less — a LOT less, shooting long strings between cleanings, and then doing very little brushing, letting Wipe-Out and solvents do most of the work.
  • We saw HBN-coated bullets, but there were very few moly-coated bullets in the ammo caddies on the firing line. Are black bullets a thing of the past?
  • Men dominate sling shooting by weight of numbers. But there are some incredibly talented ladies in this discipline. Ladies such as Trudie Fay, Nancy Tompkins, and Anette Wachter are world-class competitors who set a great example for young female shooters starting out.
  • If there is a better-run mid-winter long-range match, at a better location, with a bigger prize table, it must be in another galaxy far, far away.

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Top Shooters

Sling/TR Top Five F-Class T/R Top Five F-Open Top Five
Bryan Litz, 1239-64X
Trudie Fay, 1235-65X
Nancy Tompkins, 1232-68X
Tom Whittaker, 1232-51X
Alan Thomas, 1231-60X
Radoslaw Czupryna, 1216-37X
Eric Stecker, 1213-51X
James Crofts, 1212-48X
Kevin Scott Harris, 1211-32X
Alton Britt, 1211-29X
Larry Bartholome, 1238-61X
Freddy Haltom, 1238-54X
David Gosnell, 1237-66X
Kenny Adams, 1235-69X
Robert Bock, 1230-48X

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Top Teams

1. Michigan F-TR TEAM, 2532-78X
2. USA F-TR Dev Team, 2525-93X
2. True North, 2514-97X

1. Team Grizzly, 2574-135X
2. Team Berger, 2573-127X
3. Long Shot, 2566-125X

1. USA Nat’l-Tompkins, 2580-132X
2. London Scottish, 2566-128X
3. Competition Machine, 2557-112X

Winning Sling/TR USA National Team
Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Get Complete Match Results

Here are the Grand Aggregate Scores, for all matches and all divisions, in MS DOC format. For a Complete listing of ALL scores for ALL matches, click the link for full results. This is a zip file with 18 MS Word documents, six for each discipline.

CLICK HERE for SLING Results | CLICK HERE for F-TR Results | CLICK HERE for F-OPEN Results


Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Newcomer Scores Big F-TR Victory
If there was a crowd favorite among the big winners, it was Radoslaw (“Radek”) Czupryna, the overall F-TR winner. Competing as an “Expert”, Radek outshot all the Masters and High Masters to win the F-TR Title convincingly. We’re told Radek also set a new SWN High Score for F-TR in the process. The sky’s the limit for this talented young man. He has only been competing seriously for three years or so. Originally from Poland, he now lives in Chicago. New talents like Radoslaw represent the future of the sport. Watch out for this guy at the 2014 Nationals. While Radek is built like an NFL linebacker, there’s a soft spot inside that tough exterior. Radek dedicated his victory to his daughters: “When I travel to matches, I can’t be with my daughters. So I want them to know, this win is for them.”

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN

Radek shoots a .308 Win rifle built by John Pierce using a Pierce Titanium Action. Radek loads Varget powder behind 215-grain Berger bullets jumped .015″. I asked Radek if Ben Avery offered any “cruel surprises” this week. He nodded, saying: “Yes, a few times I got some vertical out of nowhere, but I think everybody had the same problem.”

Patience was a virtue at Ben Avery this week, according to Radoslaw: “Conditions looked stable, but that [could be] deceptive. Conditions were changing out of nowhere. So the key, I think, was being patient, and just waiting for the right conditions to come back.”

He offered this advice for other relatively inexperienced shooters: “Don’t be scared to compete. Just come out and do your best. Don’t be nervous, don’t be shy. It’s there… just go and get it.”

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Over the next few days, we’ll post additional highlight reports from the Berger SWN featuring competitor and team profiles, video clips, and plenty of photos. Our media team shot over 2000 still images during the week-long match. Credit Steve Fiorenzo for most of the photos in today’s article.

Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »
February 10th, 2014

Record-Setting 7mm RSAUM Ammo from Berger SW Nationals

For top-level competitors, hand-loading is truly the “relentless pursuit of perfection”. To build ammo capable of winning major long-range matches, you’ll need the best tools — and an almost obsessive attention to detail. The bullets must be ultra-consistent, powder charge weights must be “dead on”, seating depths (as measured from base of case to ogive) must be precise, and neck-tension must be the same for every round that goes in the chamber.

When you get it all correct, when every phase of the reloading process has been carried out perfectly, then you have rounds that can set records and win world titles. So what does championship-grade ammo look like? Take a look at the photo below. This is the 7mm RSAUM ammunition used by Kenny Adams at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Kenny is the 2013 F-Class World Champion. And he was also a member of Team Grizzly which won the SWN F-Open Team Grand Aggregate, setting a new National record in the process. Does your ammo look this good?

Kenny Adams ammunition Berger Southwest nationals

Kenny’s World-Beating 7mm RSAUM Load
For his 7mm RSAUMs Kenny loads Hodgdon H4350 powder and Federal 215m primers into Nosler or Norma RSAUM brass. In the RSAUM he runs Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets seated “just touching” the lands. Kenny is very precise with his charge weights. Using a Sartorius Magnetic Force Restoration scale, Kenny tries to hold his powder charges to within 1-2 kernels charge-weight consistency.

Kenny Adams ammunition Berger Southwest nationals
Kenny Adams ammunition Berger Southwest nationals

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 8 Comments »
February 10th, 2014

Rear Sandbag Solutions for F-Open and F-TR

At the Berger Southwest Nationals, innovative F-Class hardware was on display. In F-TR, bipods are continuing to evolve, with new variations at every match. (We saw the Flex bipod in action and it operates very differently than anything else out there). But with F-TR bipods and F-Open front rests having evolved to such a high level, the weak link in the rifle support chain may now be at the rear.

In both F-TR and F-Open, it seems that shooters are turning their attention rearward — devising new ways to stabilize (and elevate) the rear sandbags. We saw a variety of “sub-platforms” designed to give rear bags more lateral stability, and also raise the bags up off the ground. A few shooters have moved away from a conventional rear sandbag to a hybrid support that almost looks more like a front bag attached to a rigid block. Here are a couple rear bag set-ups we saw at Ben Avery in Phoenix. These should give you guys some ideas:

Berger SW Nationals SWN rear bag

Berger SW Nationals SWN rear bag
Berger SW Nationals SWN rear bag

Check out this simple but effective Do-It-Yourself rear rest. The “base” is a large, flat piece of particle board. Above that is a sizable block of wood with carpet tacked to the base. It appears that the carpet may be affixed to small velcro squares on the flat base. The most clever feature is on top. A V-style leather front bag has been adapted to support the rear of the rifle. This solution looks both effective and affordable.

Berger SW Nationals SWN rear bag

Berger SW Nationals SWN rear bag

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
February 10th, 2014

Brownells Sponsors Ladies-Only 3-Gun Event with $130K in Prizes

3-Gun Ladies CompetitionMulti-gun competition is fast, fun, and exciting. But most 3-Gun matches are stag parties, with a small share of female competitors. Brownells is looking to change that situation and get more women involved in 3-Gun competition. Next fall, Brownells will sponsor the Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge, the first-ever all-ladies national 3-Gun major match. The event will run October 31 through November 1, 2014 at Atlanta’s South River Gun Club. Over $130,000 worth of prizes will be awarded.

“I have been in this game for 30 years, and we have never been able to sustain a high number of women in the shooting sports. This match will serve as a stepping stone to create an exclusive 3-Gun division for ladies, giving them a sustainable interest in the action shooting sports.” – Kay Miculek, Team Smith & Wesson, Brownells Ladies 3-Gun Assistant Match Director

200 Lady Shooters Will Attend
This 9-stage match, sanctioned by 3-Gun Nation and operated under the Regional Series Rules, is expected to attract 200 lady shooters from around the Nation. It will be set up on a Pro-Am format, with experienced 3-Gun lady shooters in the “Pro” class, and other competitors in the Amateur division. Competitors are assigned to one of three hardware divisions: Tac Optics, Tac Irons, or Open Divisions. This match boasts a prize table valued over $130,000.

3-Gun Ladies Competition

Who will be the “leading ladies” at the Brownells match this fall? Certainly Kay Miculek is a favorite. But Kay’s daughter Lena Miculek will undoubtedly challenge for the match win. Raised by two legendary shooters, Lena has winning in her genes. Lena is the current women’s IPSC World Shotgun Champion and the 2013 3-Gun Nation Lady’s Champion. (Lena also won the $25,000 Ladies’ top prize at the 2014 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off.) We also expect that our friend Maggie Reese and Team FNH Shooter Tasha Hanish will challenge for the podium. You can see Tasha in action in the video below.

Team FNH Competitor Tasha Hanish at 2010 3-Gun Nation Finals:

Permalink Competition No Comments »
February 9th, 2014

World’s Most Accurate IT Guy? JayChris at the Berger SWN has something no other website has — an IT guy (and database guru) who can lay down tens and Xs at 1000 yards. This past week, Jay Christopherson (aka ‘JayChris’) has been competing at the Berger Southwest Nationals. During Saturday’s 1000-yard individual competition, Jay scored 388-12X. For the day, that topped a number of high masters, including a couple past F-Class National Champions. Not bad for a self-declared “computer geek” competing in his very first major match against national-level competition.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Jay did even better, finishing with a 392-14X for the day. Again, he out-shot many of the more experienced High Masters. Good on you Jay!

Berger Southwest SW Nationals

Congrats to Jay, who may be the world’s most accurate IT guy. We have to respect a man who can SHOOT and COMPUTE. To explain, Jay is the guy who keeps our servers humming, and who maintains the databases that drive our Forum, Daily Bulletin, and main website. couldn’t run smoothly without Jay’s brain-power, coding skills, and dedication. He is truly the “genius behind the scenes” who makes it all possible. All of us are fortunate to have Jay on the team.

Jay reports: “After a rough start on Day One, I came back to take third place (2nd MA is a fancy way of saying third) in my class for Day Two 1000-yard matches, in windy conditions. Far as I can tell, I’m currently somewhere around 16th out of about 80 shooters overall (all classes), but won’t know for certain until they post the Aggregate results. I’m not likely to catch the leaders, but I think this was a decent showing so far for my first National-level match.”

How did Jay become such a good shooter? He revealed: “Actually, I’ve learned a ton of stuff from some of the smart guys on the Forum. But you also have to have good equipment, and good reloading techniques, and you have to put in the range time.”

Here is Jay (on right) with your Editor Paul McM (aka “Forum Boss”) on left.
Berger Southwest SW Nationals

Berger Southwest SW Nationals

Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »