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March 22nd, 2014

Video Shows Hornady Ammo and Bullet Production Processes

Ever wondered how Hornady bullets and ammunition are made? You’ll see every stage of production in this interesting video from the Outdoor Channel. Starting with raw materials (lead, copper, and brass), this 9-minute “factory tour” video shows how bullet cores are produced, how jackets are crafted, and how cartridge cases are formed, headstamped, and inspected. If you watch carefully you’ll also see the massive, multi-stage cartridge loading machines. Now one of the most successful manufacturers of ammunition and reloading components in the world, Hornady Manufacturing has come a long way from its early days. In 1949, Founder Joyce Hornady started the company “making bullets… in a garage down on 4th street” in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Lead cylinders are pressed into lead wire used for bullet cores.
Hornady factory bullets ammunition

Spools of flat copper are fed into cupping machines. The punched cups become bullet jackets.
Hornady factory bullets ammunition

All cartridge cases and loaded rounds are hand-inspected.
Hornady factory bullets ammunition

Hornady Manufacturing — The Early Years
During World War II, Joyce Hornady served as a marksmanship instructor at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant. Following the War, Joyce and his family stayed in Grand Island, Nebraska and opened a small sporting goods retail store that sold everything from basketballs to shooting supplies.

After WWII, shooters and hunters used surplus military ammunition. This surplus ammo however, did not offer the accuracy or performance needed for target shooting, big game, or varmint hunting. Recognizing the need for better bullets, Hornady and his original partner Vernon Speer built a machine that converted spent 22 rimfire cases into bullet jackets, and then into bullets. The business relationship between Hornady and Speer later faltered, and Vernon Speer moved to Lewiston, Idaho. Using a surplus bullet assembly press in a rented garage on 4th Street in Grand Island, Nebraska, Joyce Hornady began to produce his own .30-caliber bullet.

The first year of business, Hornady Bullets had total sales of $10,000 – a figure that increased three-fold the next year. Hornady added equipment and workers, confident that more growth lay ahead. During the Korean War, Hornady earned contracts to produce a variety of products not associated with bullets — aluminum hearts for bracelets, and condenser cans for the government. After the war, the can material and the technology developed to produce them was utilized to make ultra-thin copper jackets for varmint bullets.

In 1958, the company moved to its present location on the west edge of Grand Island. The new, larger facility featured an 8,000-square-foot plant. In 1960, Hornady added a 200-yard underground testing facility.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
March 21st, 2014

6.5×47 Lapua Rifles Shine in Oklahoma PRS Match

6.5x47 L Lapua .308 WinMid-sized 6.5mm cartridges proved themselves at the recent Shoot for the Green match in northwest Oklahoma. Four out of the top five shooters ran a rifle chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua, with the fifth shooting the slightly larger 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. 53 shooters from as far away as California showed up to test their skills in the stiff March winds in NW Oklahoma. The course of fire was challenging, with improvised field shooting positions and targets set as far as 1300 yards out. And there were “Troop” stages that competitors have come to expect in Oklahoma. Match winner Rick Reeves stated, “I enjoyed the troop stages more than anything else, even though I didn’t shoot them the best.”
Precision Rifle Seris

Steve Elmenhorst shooting a Troop Stage.
PRC Shoot for Green Oklahoma

Rich Emmons, who steered his 6.5x47L to fourth place, has written a match report for PrecisionRifleSeries.com. Day One saw temps around 70 degrees with only light, switchy winds. But Day Two was brutal, Emmons reports: “On Sunday… 40-50 mph winds hit NW Oklahoma hard and most competitors were woken up. To say that shooting in the 15-30 mph winds with temps in the high 30s [was really tough] is an understatement. All competitors struggled a bit and scores were understandably lower on Day Two. Conditions were brutal and both the ROs and the competitors deserve a gold star for toughing it out and finishing the match.” CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results

Top 5 Shooters Equipment List

Rick Reeves
6.5×47 Lapua
, 140 Berger Hybrid, Surgeon Action, McMillan A-5 Stock, Bartlein Barrel, Rem trigger, Vortex Razor scope, Built by DMFJ, Tab Sling & bag, Harris Bipod, AAC Suppressor.

Adam Roberts
6.5 Creedmoor
, Desert Tech Armory (DTA), Benchmark Barrel, 123 Lapua Scenar, H4350 powder, Silencer Tech Suppressor, S&B PMII scope w/ H2CMR reticle.

Justin Shireman
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon/ Parry Custom Gun, Silencer Tech Suppresor, Benchmark Barrel, McMillan Stock, Harris Bipod, Swarovski binoculars.

Rich Emmons
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon Rifle, Bartlein Barrel, Mcmillan Stock, Berger 140 Hybrids, Harris Bipod, S&B PM II MSR, Vortex Binoculars, MGM Switchview, 5.11 gear, JEC brake.

John Sommers
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon Rifle, Bartlein Barrel, Mcmillan Stock, Lapua 139, Harris Bipod, S&B PM II MSR, Vortex Binoculars, AAC Suppressor.

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
March 21st, 2014

Richard Franklin — He’s Alive and Well

DVDOur readers have asked, “What’s happened to Richard Franklin? Is he still making rifles?” Well, we’re pleased to tell you that Richard is doing fine. He is up in Montana, building a new house, doing most of the construction himself. The good news is that the new house will have a big workshop, and Richard hopes to start building a few rifles near the end of this year. He won’t be taking orders for quite a while. But in the meantime, Richard is still sharing his knowledge about stock-making, gunsmithing, and varmint hunting via DVDs that can be purchased online.


Groundhog Hunting with Richard Franklin

A few seasons back, gunsmith Richard Franklin and his shooting partner Roy both achieved a varmint hunter’s dream — nailing a groundhog at 1000+ yards. The guns that did it were two of Richard’s 300 Varminters. These are 300 WSMs that push a 125gr bullet through 32″, 15-twist barrels to achieve velocities approaching 4000 fps. Here is Richard’s report, condensed for the Daily Bulletin.

Richard's Custom Rifles

The 1005-Yard Groundhog Adventure, by Richard Franklin
September 20th found Roy and I on our last groundhog hunt of the year. Bow season for Deer begins Oct. 4th and we wanted time to ready ourselves. Roy had killed 99 hogs so far this year and I had killed 97. In the morning, we headed over to the Overstreet farm leased by our good friend Richard Ruff. We set up the shooting trailer on top of a hill where we had a good view of several brush piles around the pasture. In the first ten minutes Roy put a hog in the air about four feet at 497 yards with his 300 Varminter, giving Roy an even 100 hogs for the year. I shot hogs at 180 yards, 506 yards, and 456 yards. That gave me a total of 100 for the year.

Richard's Custom RiflesThen we decided to go up to Danny’s and Bill’s hard rock dairy farm. We set up on the top of a high hill and shoot over the farm buildings to another mountain where there is a huge pasture with large rock piles. We scanned this pasture for about an hour and a half. Roy has a pair of Ziess 8-power binocs and I use a pair of the Leica 10-power Geovids with built-in laser rangefinder. I also have a “Big Eyes” set-up — two 22-power Kowa spotting scopes mounted on a bracket and used on a sturdy tripod. After some time searching the field for hogs and seeing none, we decided to pack up and go to a farm owned by Donnie Campbell. Over the years we have shot many a hog here. Roy once shot one here at 905 yards and my longest shot on this farm was 714 yards. Most kills here are made at over 400 yards. There’s a perfect place to shoot hogs from a single firing position. At the back property line was a big hill about 400 feet higher than the surrounding pastures and we could see and shoot about 200 degrees around us all the way out to 1,200 yards.

Setting Up the 1005-yard Shot
I had the first shot and nailed an easy one at about 140 yards. He was thinking he was hidden from view. Wrong! BLAM…POOF. Roy nailed a hog at 469 yards under an old pear tree. Roy nailed another hog at 522 yards by a big log pile where we had killed about ten hogs this summer. Roy was looking through the Big Eyes and called out, “Hey Rich…I got you one way over there on the next farm by the edge of the woods.” I ranged the hog with the Geovids four times, registering 1003, 1007, 1006 and 1005 yards. I decided on the 1005 as the distance. Checking my chart, I clicked up to 18 and 1/4 minutes. We had a very stiff wind blowing left to right. I have a Nightforce 8-32 power scope with the MLR reticle. I held the fourth windage dot and touched one off. I see the bullet strike nearly in line with the hog but low. I click up another minute and a half making a total of 19 3/4 minutes. Roy is watching all this through the Big Eyes and can see better than I can. He confirms where the first bullet strike was. I hold the same windage and touch off another round in my Bat-actioned, 32″, 15-twist Bartlein-barreled 300 Varminter. The hog was standing up for this shot. Through the scope I see the bullet’s vapor trail going straight for the hog. I lost the vapor trail before the bullet got there but I saw the hog flip over.

Hot damn, what a shot! After Roy shakes my hand and slaps me on the back, I walk over to the Big Eyes for a better look. “Roy, there’s another hog trying to fight that dead one,” I say. This hog (evidently both are males) is biting and dragging the dead hog. He is really going at it. Both hogs were evidently eating fallen acorns from the huge White Oak tree at the edge of the woods.

Richard's Custom Rifles

Roy Gets His Chance
I tell Roy, “Get up there on your bench and try that hog, I’ll spot for you.” Roy clicks up to 19 1/2 minutes and holds three feet for windage. Roy lets it go and I see the vapor trail going in on the hog. It hits a foot to the right and low. “Hey Roy”, I say, “click up two more minutes and hold one more foot of wind.” The hog ran in under the tree at the bullet’s impact but was back within 30 seconds. Roy is now clicked up and lets the second round go. I see the vapor trail dropping in on the hog but the bullet impacts dead in line, but still a bit low. “Roy — give it another minute and a half and hold the same wind”. I can hear Roy furiously working the bolt and chambering another round, then POW, and I see the vapor trail again. It looks like it’s gonna be in the middle of the hog but it drops right in under his neck, nearly hitting him. The hog vacates back under the tree for an instant but decides he is winning the fight against the dead hog and comes right back. Roy lets the fourth round go with the same hold as the last shot. I see the vapor trail of the 125 grain Ballistic Tip dropping right in on the hog, catching him perfectly in the shoulder. The live hog flips up and falls on top of the dead hog, his tail coming up stiff as a poker as he flags us that he is instantly dead.

Two 1000+ Yard Hits. A Record for Roy, Near-Record for Richard.
This was Roy’s longest shot ever. His previous record was 905 yards. This was my second longest shot, as I had killed a hog at 1018 yards seven years ago about 40 miles from this spot. I tell Roy that I’m putting up my hog rifle for the year. I’ll let this long shot register in my memory as the last Groundhog kill of 2008. Roy says “That’s fine, I’m gonna do the same.” Hog hunting is officially over for 2008. Now it’s time for Deer.

CLICK HERE to Visit Richard Franklin’s website and learn more about this ‘Hog hunt.

[Editor’s Note: Richard’s rifle has a BAT action and is able to drive the 125 Nosler at about 3975 fps. Roy has a Remington action on his 300 Varminter. The Rem doesn’t take high pressures as well as the BAT, so Roy’s load is down-loaded to about 3825 fps. Roy also uses a “boosted” Leupold rather than a Nightforce. Because of the difference in scopes, and the lower velocity, Roy needed more elevation clicks to reach the 1005-yard distance.]

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
March 21st, 2014

Get Ready, the CMP Games – Oklahoma Are Coming Soon

CMP Oklahoma GamesThe 2014 CMP Games – Oklahoma will take place 9-13 April at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. This popular 5-day event will feature clinics, SAFS/M16 match, EIC Rifle Match, GSMM Four Gun Aggregate, Vintage Sniper Match, CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, Military & Police Service Pistol Match, EIC Pistol match, and several other activities. Want to join the fun? CLICK HERE to Register.

The CMP Games – Oklahoma commence with Small Arms Firing School and the M16 Match on April 9, 2014, and an EIC Rifle Match on April 10. On the April 11-13 there will be Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military Matches, a Carbine Match, and a Vintage Sniper Match. There will also be Pistol Matches held each day from April 10 – 13, 2014.

Competitors should consult the official Match Program for the 2014 CMP Games – Oklahoma as many of the Rifle and Pistol Matches are fired at the same time. The competition features special hospitality events and prize awards. Please note than competitors must supply their own ammunition for all events including the GSM matches. The CMP will be selling ammo for the Garand, Springfield, and Carbine matches. However, no .223/5.56×45 ammo for the Modern Military Rifle Match will be available for sale.

CMP Oklahoma Games

CMP Games – Oklahoma Match Program | CMP Games – Oklahoma Entry Form

CMP Oklahoma Games

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
March 20th, 2014

Budget-Priced Range Cart Does the Job for under $50.00

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart CRC-1High Power and F-Class shooters have a ton of gear they need to carry out to the firing lines. To do the hauling, you can certainly purchase a factory-made, purpose-built cart that folds up and has all the bells and whistles. The Creedmoor Sports CRC-1 (photo right) is a proven, quality product that works great. You’ll find these used by top shooters at Camp Perry. But the Creedmoor CRC-1 cart costs $499.95.

For a tenth that price ($49.99), plus a few dollars more for do-it-yourself enhancements, you can have a heavy-duty cart that will haul all your gear just fine, though it doesn’t fold up.

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $49.99. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. Do note — this cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

As sold, the Harbor Freight Welding Cart isn’t ideal for range use. But with a few bungee cords (and some creativity), the cart can be adapted pretty easily to hauling your gun gear. Check out this example we saw at the Berger Southwest Nationals. It’s carrying a rifle in hard gun case, bipod, folding chair, shooting mat, tripod, spotting scope, rear sand-bag, and ammo box. If you want to enhance the basic cart, it’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. This ensures rifles and gear won’t flop forward. (A small piece of wood under the bottom panel provides a bit of extra lift that will keep the bottom plate out of the dirt and gravel.)

Welding Cart Range Cart

Click Photos Below to Zoom

Welding Cart Range CartWelding Cart Range Cart

How to Upgrade Welding Cart for Range Use
Get a block of hard foam rubber. Cut keyhole slots in the rubber to grip the barrel and umbrella/scope stands. Mount the rubber block to the cross piece with self-tapping screws, or drill a horizontal channel in the rubber so the whole block fits over the cross-tube. On the lowest leading edge of the welding cart box (at ground level, front), fit a block of wood 2″ high (you can also fabricate metal extensions). This will make the cart lean back a little more, which helps stabilize the contents on sloping terrain.

You may want to enclose the sides of the bottom box area so small items don’t fall out. You can tack-weld aluminum side-plates if you want a fancy appearance. I prefer to just cut sheet plastic from a home improvement store. These plastic panels can be attached with screws or even zip-ties around tubing.

Run the plastic side panels up high enough that stuff like hats and muffs don’t fall out. After transport you can transfer ammo boxes and small items to the upper box (attached to the back side of the cross-tube).

The hardest component to find may be the hard rubber blocks for the barrel keeper, but you can also make a barrel-holding block out of wood, with some carpet to protect the barrels. The nice thing about the rubber is that it can be cut to snap over the barrels so you don’t need straps. Likewise, you can drill a hole transversely through the rubber, then slot it from the bottom and it will slide over the horizontal tubing with no fasteners needed.

Comment: This cart is heavy and it takes up a lot of space. You’ll need a station wagon, SUV or pickup truck to haul it around. But it’s cheap. The money you save on a range cart could pay for a new Krieger or Bartlein barrel, AND some new brass. Those things (new barrel and brass) will likely improve your scores more than having a fancy $500.00 range cart.

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
March 20th, 2014

Registration Opens for USA’s Most Popular Field Target Regional

Now in its fifth year, the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship (NRFTC) is the country’s largest regional championship with nearly 100 shooters participating in nine shooting disciplines. Open to professionals, amateurs and families, the NRFTC offers a challenging yet forgiving shooting course in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. The event will be held on the Crosman Corporation campus in Bloomfield, NY from July 11-13, 2014. NOTE: Pre-registration closes June 1 when the match fees increase from $50 to $60.

CLICK HERE for Online Registration, Event Rules, and Lodging Options..

“Spots are limited, so please register soon,” says Mark DeBoard, Shooting Services Manager for Crosman. “Field target is a fun event for all skill levels. Participants will benefit by shooting alongside members of Team USA and other [top shooters] from across the country.

Field Target New York

The event runs under American Airgun Field Target Association rules. Field target competitors attempt to knock down a variety of steel targets set at distances ranging from 15 to 50 yards. “Shooting is truly a level playing field, making it a great family experience. Age, height, and weight don’t offer any advantages, so we see both adults and youth performing at high levels,” says DeBoard.

field target

Field Target Competition Explained — Video from 2013 World Championship

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
March 20th, 2014

Trim-It Case Trimmer Features Micrometer Cut-Length Control

This new tool trims cases quickly, with precision control over case length via a micrometer-type dial. The folks at ACT Tactical have developed an easy-to-use compact case trimmer called the TRIM-IT. Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum, this sturdy case trimmer comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee. The $97.50 TRIM-IT features a micrometer that’s built into the unit itself. Caliber-specific inserts (called “Caliber Dies”) index off the case shoulder.

Trim-it Case Trimmer Micrometer Cartridge Brass

The TRIM-IT can work with any hand-drill or drill press. Once you get the hang of it, you can trim a case in 7-8 seconds — that gives you a production rate of 400+ cases per hour. The TRIM-IT delivers repeatable precision to plus/minus one-thousandth. This unit also holds its cut-length setting, unlike some other trimmers which require frequent adjustment.

Trim-it Case Trimmer Micrometer Cartridge Brass

The basic unit ships with two caliber dies, for .223 and .308. Other listed caliber dies include 6.8 SPC, .300 BLK, .30-06, 30-30 Win, 300 Win Mag, 7MM REM, 7.62x54R, and 8MM Mauser. Other cartridge types can be custom-ordered from EZTrimit.com. To change dies, simply loosen the set screw on the TRIM-IT, take the caliber die out, add another one, and tighten the screw — quick and easy.

The built-in micrometer is great. The handy dial gives you a positive, repeatable length setting quickly — no fiddling with locking rings or spacers. Once you get the ring set properly, the cut lengths are consistent from the first case to the last. Expect your case OAL spread to be about +/- .001″ (starting with full-length-sized cases with uniform rim to shoulder lengths). For more information, email sales [at] eztrimit.com or call (562) 602-0080. You can see how the Trim-It device works in the video below.

Video Shows Trim-it Set-Up and Operation

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 11 Comments »
March 19th, 2014

Scottish Shooters Visit California for American-Canadian Matches

A large contingent of the Scottish rifle team came to Sacramento, California last week for the 23rd Annual American-Canadian and Long Range matches. A great time was had by all. Members of the U.S. Long Range Rifle team say: “Thank you for making the journey over and we hope to see you all again this fall at Camp Perry and/or Canada Nationals.”

Click Photo for Full-screen View

Congratulations to Scottish Team member Ian Shaw for winning the American-Canadian Full Bore Match! Here is Ian celebrating his victory with his winning mug. We met with Ian in February after the Berger Southwest Nationals. At the Phoenix airport, this Editor shared a quick meal with Ian and two of his Team London-Scottish comrades before the trio jetted home across the Atlantic.

As we chatted, I quickly learned how serious and dedicated these guys are. It’s no surprise to me that Ian took the top prize at the American-Canadian match. During our airport interview, Ian talked about target rifle shooting in the UK, and he invited American full-bore shooters to attend the Queen’s Prize Match held each year during the Imperial Meeting at the Bisley Range. Ian said, “Tell your American readers to come. This is a big match every year, with 900 competitors, about 700 of whom are from the UK.” Here’s a video explaining the history of the Queen’s Prize Match.

History of the Queen’s Prize Match (BBC, 1986)

H.M. The Queen’s Prize
The Queen’s Prize Match was first shot in 1860 when the Sovereign (Queen Victoria) gave a prize of £250 for the winner. This amount has remained unchanged to this day although in the original days, it was a considerable sum. The winner earns the right to have the initials ‘GM’ after his or her name. As detailed in the section below, there are three stages to the competition, the winners of the second stage earn the initials ‘SM’. The final stage is shot on the last Saturday of the NRA Imperial meeting held in July.

Photos from U.S. Long Range Rifle Team.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 5 Comments »
March 19th, 2014

Save Money on Nikon Rimfire Scopes

Nikon’s Rock Your Rimfire promotion is back. Now through May 11, 2014, shooters can save up to $40 on select models of Nikon’s rimfire-dedicated riflescopes. These models are all compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets. “Year after year our Rock Your Rimfire promotion continues to be a favorite,” said Nikon General Manager Jon Allen. “We hope shooters will take advantage of these savings with one of our rimfire-specific optics.” For more info, visit nikonpromo.com.

Nikon rimfire scope discount program

Nikon rimfire scope discount program

Model MSRP Instant Savings Price After Savings
6718 4×32 PROSTAFF Rimfire Nikoplex $109.95 $20 $89.95
6725 3-9×40 PROSTAFF Rimfire BDC 150 $149.95 $30 $119.95
6734 3-9×40 AO PROSTAFF Target EFR $189.95 $40 $149.95
8498 2-7×32 P22 Nikoplex $179.95 $30 $149.95
8499 2-7×32 P22 BDC 150 $179.95 $30 $149.95
16313 2-7×32 P-Rimfire Nikoplex $179.95 $30 $149.95
16314 2-7×32 P-Rimfire BDC 150 $179.95 $30 $149.95
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
March 18th, 2014

Miculek Tests California Politician’s “.30-Caliber Magazine Clip”

In the video below, California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) advocates anti-gun legislation at a press conference. Sen. de León makes a series of blunders and mistakes. He confuses magazine capacity with the rifle’s bore size, referring to “.30 caliber” when in fact the gun is a .223/5.56mm. He then says it “has the ability with a 30-caliber clip [sic] to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip [sic] in half a second”. We think Sen. de León means that the gun fires 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, but even that is preposterous — as legendary shooter Jerry Miculek recently demonstrated.

Jerry Miculek Magazine Clip California Senator AR15Miculek Tries to Shoot 30 Rounds in Half a Second with .30-Caliber Magazine Clip
Jerry Miculek watched Senator de León’s press conference — but Jerry was confused by the politician’s reference to a .30-caliber magazine clip. But being a fierce competitor, Jerry was intrigued by the idea of a gun that could shoot 30 rounds in half a second — such a weapon could improve his split times considerably Jerry figured. So, with a rubber band and a little duct tape, Jerry assembled a “.30-caliber magazine clip” and then tried it out in his AR15. Hoping to achieve de León’s promised 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, Jerry gave it a go.

Pulling the trigger as fast as he could, Jerry managed to put 4 rounds on target in half a second. That’s a far cry from 30 rounds in half a second (3600 rounds per minute). Jerry observes: “Apparently the enhancement of the .30-caliber clip on the magazine didn’t make me a better shooter so I’m kind of disappointed.”

After this little exercise, Jerry cautions that we should be wary of politicians who may make factually incorrect claims about firearms. “Being a gun enthusiast, when I hear politicians talk about firearms, I listen with an open ear. So I really paid attention to this individual and what he was trying to say. He referred to a .30-caliber magazine clip — so I tried to assemble all that just the way I heard it.”

Permalink - Videos, News 3 Comments »
March 18th, 2014

Money-Saving Tips for Gun Guys and Gals

For many Americans, real incomes have stayed flat in recent years, while the true cost of living has risen. Accordingly, it’s important to save money whenever possible. Prices are going up, but wages aren’t following (for most of us). Here are seven ways shooters can save money on gear purchases and other shooting-related expenses.

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

2. Use Discount Codes to Save. It’s always smart to check for discount codes before you buy. In the Daily Bulletin, we regularly highlight important sales, and we provide discount Coupon Codes when available. These can reduce the price or lower shipping costs. For example, right now Brownells is running a Promo that offers FREE ground shipping on orders or $75.00 or more. Just use Code FAV during check-out. If you can’t find a Coupon Code for your preferred vendor, visit RetailMeNot.com and/or SlickGuns.com. Both those sites list current coupon codes, and RetailMeNot.com covers thousands of vendors.

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Our Readers!

F-TR irelandThe folks at F-Class Team Ireland wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and F-TR Ireland sends greetings from the Emerald Isle….

Wishing all our friends and fellow-shooters at home in Ireland and around the Globe all the very best. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Beannachtai na Féile Phádraig! Hope you all … enjoy the festivities wherever you may be, whether be you Irish by birth, heritage, or aspiration!

Big May Match at Midlands in Ireland
The NRA of Ireland (NRAI) invites shooters to the inaugural F-Class Emerald & Ireland Long Range Challenge, to be held at the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI), May 30 through June 1, 2014. The Long Range Challenge will be shot at 1100 and 1200 yards on May 30, followed by the Emerald match on May 31 – June 1. The Emerald will be shot at 800, 900, and 1000 yards, complete with a shoot-off for the top 10 competitors.

F-TR ireland

Guns of EIRE
Here are the custom guns crafted for the FCWC 2013 F-TR Team Ireland. Compliments to Francie McFadden of NGSS and Edi Graeff of PSE Composites for the work. (Photo courtesy of the UK Varminting website.)

F-TR ireland

Permalink News No Comments »
March 17th, 2014

Hornady “Get Loaded” Promotion for 2014

Hornady’s annual Get Loaded™ redemption program has become one of the company’s most popular promos. The 2014 Get Loaded™ program offers a lineup of quality reloading tools and accessories that qualify buyers for either 500 or 100 free bullets (from a list of ten bullet types).

Buy Hornady Gear, Get Free Hornady Bullets
Here’s how it works — if you buy Hornady reloading gear, you can get free bullets. Purchase a Hornady Lock-N-Load® Ammo Plant, AP Press, Classic Kit, Classic Deluxe Kit, Precision Reloaders Kit, or Hot Tub Sonic Cleaner from January 1 through December 31, 2014, and you can receive 500 free bullets. Purchase Custom Grade Die Sets, or the Lock-N-Load® Case Prep Trio and receive 100 free bullets. Application is required. CLICK HERE for more details.

LNL Ammo Plant

500 Free Bullets!

with purchase of one of these products

Hot Tub Sonic Cleaner

 

100 Free Bullets!

with purchase of one of these products

Case Prep Trio & Custom Dies

Qualifying Bullets for Get Loaded 2014 Promotion:

2266: 22 CAL .224 55 GR SP W/C
2453: 6MM .243 100 GR BTSP
2730: 270 CAL .277 130 GR SP
2825: 7MM .284 139 GR BTSP
3031: 30 CAL .308 150 GR SP
35540: 9MM .355 115 GR HP/XTP
35700: 38 CAL .357 110 GR HP/XTP
40000: 10MM .400 155 GR HP/XTP
44050: 44 CAL .430 180 GR HP/XTP
45100: 45 CAL .451 185 GR HP/XTP

You are allowed to select only ONE item number per redemption.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
March 16th, 2014

Super-Wide Forearms Add Stability to Benchrest Rifles

Most long-range benchrest stocks are three inches wide because that used to be the max width under the rules for Light Gun Class. Many folks may not realize that the IBS, the NBRSA, and the Williamsport organizations have all modified their Light Gun rules to allow wider forearm widths in registered competition. A wider stock provides increased stability and resists rotation (torquing) as the gun is fired. If you’re building a new Light Gun, you may want to consider a 4″-wide or 5″-wide forearm. Do check the rules of your local club or regional organization to ensure the wider width is allowed in the matches you attend. And if you plan to shoot F-Class as well, stick to 3″. Under F-Class (Open) rules, “the width of the rifle’s forend shall not exceed 76mm (approximately 3 inches)”.

Wider Forearm Stock Options
Most stock-makers still only offer a 3″-wide forearm width with their Light Gun long-range benchrest stocks. However, there are some other options. On request, Joel Russo, Russo Rifle Stocks, can cut a stock with 4″-wide forearm, but that’s not a standard pattern.

If you want a 4″-5″ wide version of the popular MBR Tooley-style long-range stock, Bill Shehane offers a ‘Big Dawg’ version of his MBR Tracker stock. This features a longer, deeper, and wider fore-end for added stability and more resistance to torque with the heavy calibers. Along with having a wider forearm, the Big Dawg stock is cut 4″ longer than a standard Shehane ST-1000 Tracker. This provides a “longer wheelbase” for better balance with very long (30″+) barrels. (The ST-1000 itself is 3″ longer than most benchrest stocks.) The Big Dawg is available with a 4″-wide or 5″-wide forearm, and will handle barrels up to 40″ in length and 1.5″ in diameter. In the top photo, taken by Forum member Preacher, you see a 4″-wide Big Dawg next to a normal ST-1000 Tracker. (Both stocks are symmetrical; there is distortion caused by wide-angle lens.)

This color pattern is what Bill calls “Prairie Dog Camo”, a Rutland laminate in orange and dark gray, with olive ‘accent’ layers. The price for a ‘Big Dawg’ in Rutland laminate is $625. In African Obeche wood (any color choice), the price is $855.00. For more info, contact Bill Shehane at (704) 824-7511, or visit his website, www.ScopeUsOut.com.

Wide Stocks for Rimfire Benchrest
Ultra-wide stocks are also legal in many rimfire benchrest disciplines. Shown below is a rimfire rifle built with a 4″-wide Shehane Big Dawg stock. This gun is used in ARA Unlimited competition. Extra-wide stocks like this can also be used in the IR 50/50 Unlimited Class and RBA Unlimited Class.

Why use a wide stock for rimfire where recoil is not an issue? The extra width definitely provides more stability in the bags. This is noticeable when cycling the action during the loading process — the gun shows less “wiggle” when opening and closing the bolt. The larger mass of wood also, potentially, provides additional vibration damping. A wider stock design carries more weight (per inch of length) and more mass is distributed outboard. Initial testing shows that the wide stocks work well for rimfire shooters who like to grip their gun — the gun feels “planted” with less wobble when the stock is gripped or cheeked by the shooter.

Joe Friedrich Big Dawg rimfire rifle Shehane tracker

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
March 16th, 2014

NRA Offers New Do-It-Yourself Project Q&A Page

nra do-it-yourself

The editors of American Rifleman have introduced a new Q&A Blog covering basic Do-It-Youself projects — ways to set-up, modify or assemble your firearms to make them work best for you. The editors explain the tools, tips and techniques they have used through the years to efficiently complete such projects. These short articles cover small projects, not serious gunsmithing tasks. Here are the four latest entries for the month of March.

Heavy Bullets In The Garand? Get Out Your Socket Wrench

March 12, 2014

Want to shoot heavy bullets out of an M1 Garand without bending your op rod or damaging your gas plug? All you need is a socket wrench.

Read More >>

Torqueing—It May Not Be What You Think!

March 10, 2014

If you were thinking about using the same torque wrench that you use to snug up your car wheels … STOP!

Read More >>

Why Doesn’t My Ring Fit My Rail?

March 09, 2014

Those brand-new rings you just bought won’t clamp onto the rail on your gun? Here’s why.

Read More >>

Gunsmithing Screwdrivers

March 04, 2014

This short article explains the benefits of a gunsmithing screwdrivers, and explains how to select a set for your needs.

Read More >>

Resource Find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Tech Tip No Comments »
March 15th, 2014

Learn About 300 AAC Blackout with Articles and Podcast

Now that Lapua is making very high-quality .221 Fireball brass, those of you who own an AR may be considering a 300 AAC Blackout project. For AR shooters, the 300 Blackout (300 BLK) offers the ability to fire a heavy-weight bullet from standard AR15 magazines. When loaded to supersonic velocities with heavy bullets, this little cartridge packs more punch than a 30-30 round. Alternatively, when loaded to sub-sonic velocities, the 300 Blackout is ultra-quiet when used with a suppressor.

AR15 Podcast 300 AAC Blackout BLK

Writing for the CTD Shooter’s Log, CTD Mike has authored a good Beginners’ Guide to the 300 AAC Blackout. This explains the basics of this interesting cartridge, which is a .30-caliber round that works with existing AR15 magazines and upper. You can purchase 300 Blackout factory ammunition or you can load your own. The easiest way to make 300 Blackout cartridges is to neck-up Lapua .221 Fireball brass. But if you have hordes of .223 Rem brass, you can also cut those cases down and reform them into 300 Blackout. But that is much more work. With Lapua .221 Fireball brass, you lube the inside of the necks, expand, and you’re good to go.

AR15 Podcast .300 AAC Blackout BLK

300 Blackout vs. 6.8 SPC
AR owners who have considered a dedicated upper in 6.8 SPC, should give serious consideration to 300 Blackout instead. First, with so much .223 Rem available, you have a virtually infinite supply of parent brass. 6.8 SPC brass is not so easy to find. Second, to function optimally, the 6.8 SPC requires dedicated magazines. CTD Mike says: “6.8 SPC II and 6.5 Grendel both require specific magazines [that are] different from the Standard NATO Agreement (STANAG) AR-15 magazine. These magazines are not nearly as common … and of course cost a bit more. On top of that, you lose capacity in those calibers, down to 25 rounds instead of 30, because their casings are fatter and take up more space[.]”

The Sound of Silence — Suppressed 300 Blackout Properties
The 300 AAC Blackout is a great option if you live in a jurisdiction that allows suppressor ownership. A suppressed 300 Blackout is ultra-quiet and very reliable. CTD Mike explains: “Unlike 5.56, subsonic [1000 FPS] loadings that still cycle the AR-15 action reliably are easy to make [with] a 220 grain .308 bullet. At close range, these 220 grain rounds really thump, and the real kicker is that using an AAC suppressor with them in a 9-inch barrel brings the sound level to only 125 decibels. That’s quieter than an MP5SD shooting 9mm rounds, and much quieter than a MK23 pistol shooting .45acp rounds. You have to be there and shoot one of these rifles with a ‘can’ attached to realize that this 220 grain bullet is nearly as quiet as a silenced .22 pistol.”

AR15 Podcast 300 .300 AAC Blackout BLKAR15 Podcast Talks about 300 Blackout
If you are intrigued by the 300 AAC Blackout, you should consider listening to an hour-long AR15Podcast hosted by Reed Snyder and co-Host Anthony Hardy. In this Podcast, Reed explains how to re-barrel an AR15 for the 300 Blackout. Step by step, he explains how to remove your .223-caliber barrel and install a .30-caliber barrel chambered for the 300 Blackout. Reed lists the tools you’ll need and he also explains how to tune adjustable gas blocks for best performance with a 300 Blackout upper.

AUDIO FILE: AR15 Podcast about 300 AAC Blackout (Warning Loud Volume)

For those who are undecided about adapting their AR15s for the 300 Blackout, Reed weighs the pros and cons of having a dedicated .30 caliber in your AR arsenal. Here are some of the strong points of this interesting cartridge:

  • 300 Blackout cartridges fit and feed in standard AR magazines.
  • 300 Blackout rivals 7.62x39mm performance.
  • Brass and Bullets are readily available.
  • Barrel is only part that needs to be modified.
  • Excellent Subsonic Performance — very quiet.
  • .30 Caliber suppressors can be used with smaller calibers as well.

300 AAC Blackout

About the 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK)
The 300 AAC Blackout cartridge shares case-head dimensions and body taper with the .223 Remington. Not only does this allow for compatibility with existing magazines and bolts, but it allows reloaders to form their own brass from cut-down 5.56×45 mm or .223 Rem cases. You can also form 300 Blackout cases by necking-up .221 Fireball brass. Take Note: Lapua has started producing .221 Fireball brass — this should be available in the USA by the end of April.

300 AAC Blackout

The 300 AAC Blackout is a similar concept to previous wildcats, such as the 30-221 and 300 Fireball, as well as the proprietary 300 Whisper®, except that 300 BLK was the first to be a SAAMI-approved cartridge and any company is free to make firearms or ammunition.

300 AAC Blackout is also finding use with hunters, who may not have been able to legally hunt with .223 in their state, and who prefer .30 caliber bullets for medium-sized game. It provides similar effectiveness to the 7.62×39 or the slightly more powerful .30-30 cartridges except works in the more up-to-date AR-platform rifles. Effective hunting range is about 150 yards. Some innovators, such as Dave Whitford, have also experimented with the 300 BLK for Across-the-Course competition. READ Whitford story in Rifleman’s Journal..

Related RESOURCES:
American Rifleman Article with 300 AAC Blackout AND 300 Whisper Reamer Prints.
.330 AAC Blackout Factory Ammunition Review.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
March 15th, 2014

Get FREE Shipping with Brownells Discount Code

Brownells discount coupon free ShippingIt’s that time of year — when shooters are shopping for parts, accessories, cleaning supplies, and other items for the new shooting season. If you’re like most of us, you’ll be getting some of those gear items from Brownells. Here’s a way to save $10, $20, or even more — depending on the size and weight of your Brownells.com internet orders. Brownells is currently offering FREE SHIPPING for orders of $75.00 or more. To qualify for free shipping,use Code FAV during check-out. This code entitles you to FREE ground shipping on orders of $75.00 or more.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
March 14th, 2014

See Lapua Rimfire and Centerfire Ammo Being Made

Lapua brass and Scenar BulletsLapua has a very cool video — “eye candy” for any precision shooter. Definitely WATCH THIS VIDEO. This 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products. As well, there are some amazing segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out. Neat.

The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.

NOTE: This is long video — you may need to let it buffer (pre-load) for 10-20 seconds before playback. If that doesn’t work, let the entire video load, then hit the replay button.
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)

CLICK HERE to download 25mb Lapua Video (fast connection recommended).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
March 14th, 2014

So You Want to Be a Gun-Writer….

American Rifleman magazineIf you have always dreamed about making a living writing about guns, here’s your chance. The NRA’s flagship publication, American Rifleman, is looking for an Assistant Editor. This is a full-time gig. You get to test guns, write, edit, and even travel around the country a bit. What’s the catch? Well you may have to pull up stakes and move. This position is based at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. You can’t work remotely or tele-commute.

American Rifleman Seeks Assistant Editor
American Rifleman, the National Rifle Association’s original Official Journal, is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Assistant Editor.

Job Duties: Provides editorial support essential to produce American Rifleman magazine, the American Rifleman Television Show and American Rifleman digital edition accurately, punctually, and in accordance with established standards and policies. Handles editorial preparation and production of monthly departments and daily web content as assigned, including: reviewing manuscripts, fact-checking, copy editing, assembling photo packages, writing captions and headlines, and proofreading. Proofreads departments, features and web content during each stage of editorial production, including checking links and page proofs of digital version of American Rifleman. Assists in compilation and production of monthly “Lock, Stock & Barrel”, “Opening Shot,” “Product Reviews”, and other monthly features. Coordinates “Official Journal” sections in multiple magazines. Sources photographs to be used in various media; writes photo captions; and may do assignment photography.

American Rifleman magazineThe Position requires a BA in English, Journalism or Communications and 1-2 years experience on newspaper or magazine editorial staff. Shooting experience and knowledge are required, as is a broad interest in firearms and Second Amendment issues. The selected candidate must be eligible under Federal law to have access to firearms and ammunition. Working knowledge of electronic publishing is required. Basic photography skills are necessary. Extended hours and business travel are required.

CLICK Here for Full Job Requirements and to Submit a Resume.

Note, if you have production experience in the publishing industry, the NRA is also seeking a Managing Editor for Shooting Illustrated magazine. This job is also based at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
March 12th, 2014

Tech Company Offers $1.082 Billion for Remington Outdoor Group

Remington Outdoor Company Freedom Group Stock Sale Take-over Global Digital SolutionsBillion-dollar buyout of Big Green? Will a tech company with digital security/smart-gun technology take over Remington Outdoor Company? This is either the biggest business story of the year in the gun industry, or much ado about nothing — simply a publicity stunt by Global Digital Solutions, Inc. (GDSI).

Here’s the background. On March 11, 2014, GDSI announced that it was offering to acquire Remington Outdoor Company (previously known as Freedom Group), for $1.082 billion in cash plus shares of GDSI common stock. In connection with this offer, GDSI filed a Form 8-K with the SEC regarding three proposed transactions, including an unsolicited letter of intent to acquire Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. (Remington). The Form 8-K can viewed on the GDSE website.

Despite the Form 8-K filing, some observers believe that the GDSI buy-out offer is nothing more than a publicity stunt. According to the Shooting Wire, “Executives with Remington Outdoor Company (Remington) have described yesterday’s … announcement of plans by Global Digital Solutions to acquire Remington as ‘attention seeking in its worst form’.” That doesn’t sound like Remington is giving much credence to the $1.082 billion buy-out offer.

Is this for real? Will a company that has developed RFID tags and “smart-gun” technology acquire Remington, and related brands Bushmaster, DPMS, Marlin, H&R, AAC, Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets? What’s in it for GDSI? For one thing, Remington is generating a lot of cash right now. Remington Outdoor Company has estimated that its net sales for 2013 will be in the range of $1.250 billion to $1.275 billion and that its adjusted EBITDA will be in the range of $235 million to $240 million.

Richard Sullivan, CEO of GDSI, declared there are “powerful synergies” between Remington’s core businesses and the technologies GDSI has developed such as RFID tags and GPS tracking units. As reported on the CNN Money website, Sullivan said that “cyber-based technologies, coupled with enhanced digital product development” will be increasingly important to the military armament industry. That industry, Sullivan added, is “evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform.” Remington is ripe for a high-tech overhaul, Sullivan believes: “In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed Freedom [Remington] transaction. Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we’re eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping Freedom and others navigate the transition from analog to digital.”

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