July 31st, 2014

Glock Gives Big Bucks to New CMP Marksmanship Park

Glock, Inc. has contributed $50,000 to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) in support of the new CMP Marksmanship Park, in Talladega County, Alabama. Glock has pledged $150,000 total to be delivered in three, annual donations. The initial payment of $50,000 was presented by Glock’s Bob Radecki to Orest Michaels, CMP chief operating officer, who stated: “We are pleased that GLOCK has stepped up with [its] support of our park, which will be the most progressive public shooting venue of its kind in the United States.”

Glock donation talladega Marksmanship park

Glock’s dollars should help the CMP Talledaga Marksmanship Park construction plan stay on schedule. The Talladega facility is projected to open in May, 2015. The first CMP Southern Games event is planned for June 2015. Potentially, a second Southern Games event will be held in December 2015. The CMP’s new shooting complex is situated in the rolling hills of Talladega County, approximately two miles from the Talladega Super Speedway.

Electronic Targets for High Power Shooters
The new CMP Marksmanship Park will feature a 54-lane High Power rifle range with electronic targets at 200, 300, and 600 yards, plus an all-electronic scoring 100-yard sight-in rifle range with 50 firing points. With its electronic targets, the Talladega Parks will be one of the most advanced shooting complexes in the Western Hemisphere.

The High Power ranges will be equipped with state-of-the-art, all-weather electronic targets.
CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park Georgia

For handgunners, the new Talladega Park will feature a 50-yard pistol range, three 50-yard action pistol bays, twelve 25-yard action pistol bays and a 50-foot pistol range. A portion of the pistol complex will employ electronic targets. For shotgunners, CMP Talladega will offer a 15-station sporting clays course and a trap field with a five-stand overlay.

An aerial view shows the trees that will serve as natural dividers between each range.
CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park Georgia

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 31st, 2014

Big Rebates on Burris Optics, Including Eliminator Laser-Scopes

Burris rebatesBurris Optics is currently offering significant rebates on three lines of scopes. You can get up to $100.00 in rebates on Burris Tactical and Fullfield II scopes. For the innovative Eliminator optics with built-in laser rangefinders, the savings are even bigger — you can get up to $200.00 in rebates with your purchase. We like the Eliminator scopes for Varmint hunting. The built-in rangefinder instantly calculates the needed hold-over, based on the target distance. Then the scope displays the corrected aim point as a red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the red dot on your target and pull the trigger. The Eliminator does all the work for you — no turret clicking needed.

CLICK HERE for Burris REBATE Details and Forms

Burris rebates

Rebate Instructions
These Burris products are available now at Grafs.com. Rebates available for purchases made between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Mail-in form must be signed, dated, and post-marked by January 31, 2015. View Full Offer Details.

Burris rebates

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 6 Comments »
July 30th, 2014

Joseph Hendricks Wins 2014 National High Power Championship

Story Based on Report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
Joseph Hendricks won the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship with a 1789-76X Score. Hendricks topped a large field of 288 total competitors. In second place, two points behind, was past champion Norm Houle with 1787-85X. Defending 2013 High Power Champion SSG Brandon Green was a close third, with 1786-89X. Green had the high X-Count for the match. The top “Any Sights” competitor was Kenneth Lankford, whose 1780-76X was the eighth-highest total overall.

2014 High Power National Championship Hendricks Green Houle

Great Shooting Takes Hendricks from Fifth to First on Final Day
Dawn on the final day of the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship saw Joe Hendricks sitting in fifth place. But by sundown the Team Remington shooter had become the national champion. What happened in between was a shining example of consistency and perseverance.

Hendricks started the final day (Tuesday) four points down of the leader, tied for third but with a low X-Count. “I assumed everybody would go clean … so I needed to go clean just to maintain my spot,” Hendricks said. And clean he went. All 60 of Joe’s shots on Tuesday fell within the 10-ring. In fact, he hit straight 10s for the last 100 shots of the 180-shot championship. That is an impressive feat.

2014 High Power National Championship Hendricks Green Houle

Three Generations of Hendricks on the Firing Line
Hendricks has the unique privilege to shoot with his son, Joe Hendricks, Jr., and his father, Gary Hendricks. The rest of his family was there to cheer him on as well.

Altered Course of Fire on Final Day
Tuesday’s matches followed an unusual break after severe winds on Monday caused a complete cancellation of the matches. Normally, on the final day of the High Power Championship, competitors shoot matches at 200, 300, and 600 yards. This year, due to the Monday cancellation, competitors did not fire a 200-yard match, but instead fired the 300-yard match and TWO 600-yard matches.

View Photos from 2014 High Power Championships

When everyone found themselves back on the firing line Tuesday morning, the wind had died down. “The winds weren’t too tricky. I shot two nice groups at 300. Not the X-count I wanted, but I got all the points,” Hendricks explained. “When I got back to 600 I just tried to do the same thing. The wind dropped off enough a couple times that if I shot I’d lose points, so I waited until it came back.”

Hendricks finished with 1789-76X, two points ahead of Norman Houle (1787-85X), a three-time High Power National Champion. In third place, with 1786-89X, was SSG Brandon Green, last year’s High Power Rifle Champion.

Permalink Competition, News 5 Comments »
July 30th, 2014

30BR Case-Forming Tips from Randy Robinett and Al Nyhus

30BR 30 BR case formingThe 30BR is an amazing little cartridge. However, 30BR shooters do have to neck-up 6mmBR brass and then deal with some issues that can arise from the expansion process. One of our Forum members was concerned about the donut that can form at the new (expanded) neck-shoulder junction. Respected bullet-maker Randy Robinett offers tips on how to deal with the “dreaded donut”.

The Forum member was concerned about thinning the brass if he turned his 30BR necks after expansion: “Everything I have found on 30BR case-forming says to simply turn off the bulge at the base of the neck caused by the old 6BR shoulder. I expanded my first case and measured the neck at 0.329″ except on the donut, where it measures 0.335″. Looking inside the case… reveals a groove inside the case under the donut. Now, it is a fact that when I turn that neck and remove the donut, the groove is still going to be there on the inside? That means there is now a thin-spot ring at the base of the neck that is .005 thinner than the rest of the neck. Has anyone experienced a neck cracking on this ring?”

Randy Robinett, who runs BIB Bullet Co., is one of the “founding fathers” of the 30BR who help prove and popularize the 30 BR for benchrest score shooting. Randy offers this advice on 30BR case-forming:

While the thinner neck-base was one of our original concerns, unless one cuts too deeply INTO the shoulder, it is not a problem. For my original 30BR chamber, thirty (30) cases were used to fire 6,400 rounds through the barrel. The cases were never annealed, yet there were ZERO case failures, neck separations, or splits. The case-necks were turned for a loaded-round neck diameter of .328″, and, from the beginning, sized with a .324″ neck-bushing.

The best method for avoiding the ‘bulge’ is to fire-form prior to neck-turning (several methods are successfully employed). Cutting too deeply into the shoulder can result in case-neck separations. I have witnessed this, but, with several barrels and thousands to shots fired, have not [personally] experienced it. The last registered BR event fired using that original barrel produced a 500-27x score and a second-place finish. [That’s] not bad for 6K plus shots, at something over 200 firings per case.

Check out the 30BR Cartridge Guide on AccurateShooter.com
You’ll find more information on 30BR Case-forming in our 30 BR Cartridge Guide. Here’s a short excerpt from that page — some tips provided by benchrest for score and HBR shooter Al Nyhus:

30BR Case-Forming Procedure by Al Nyhus
The 30BR cartridge is formed by necking-up 6BR or 7BR brass. You can do this in multiple stages or in one pass. Most of the top shooters prefer the single-pass method. You can use either an expander mandrel (like Joe Entrekin does), or a tapered button in a regular dies. Personally, I use a Redding tapered expander button, part number 16307. This expands the necks from 6mm to .30 cal in one pass. It works well as long as you lube the mandrel and the inside of the necks. I’ve also used the Sinclair expander body with a succession of larger mandrels, but this is a lot more work and the necks stay straighter with the Redding tapered button. This button can be used in any Redding die that has a large enough inside diameter to accept the BR case without any case-to-die contact.

Don’t be concerned about how straight the necks are before firing them the first time. When you whap them with around 50,000 psi, they will straighten out just fine! I recommend not seating the bullets into the lands for the first firing, provided there is an adequate light crush-fit of the case in the chamber. The Lapua cases will shorten from approx. 1.550″ to around 1.520″ after being necked up to 30-caliber I trim to 1.500″ with the (suggested) 1.520 length chambers. I don’t deburr the flash holes or uniform the primer pockets until after the first firing. I use a Ron Hoehn flash hole deburring tool that indexes on the primer pocket, not through the case mouth. — Al Nyhus

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 6 Comments »
July 30th, 2014

Bianchi Cup on American Rifleman TV Tonight

Tonight, American Rifleman TV features the Bianchi Cup, one of the oldest, richest, and most prestigious pistol competitions on the planet. In 2014 over $500,000 in cash and prizes was up for grabs. That stellar pay-out (and the prestige of winning) attracts the world’s top pistoleros.

Bianchi Cup American Rifleman TV

This Bianchi Cup event was founded in 1979 by former police officer and holster maker John Bianchi. Success in the Bianchi Cup requires a perfect balance of speed and accuracy. The 192-shot championship allows a maximum aggregate of 1920 points across four timed events: Practical, Barricade, Moving Target and Falling Plate. In addition to being grouped by age, gender, and shooting skill, competitors may opt to shoot in the Open, Metallic, or Production divisions.

Watch Preview of July 30 Episode of American Rifleman TV

This week’s episode also features a vintage Vickers belt-fed machine gun from World War I. You can view interesting segments from past American Rifleman TV episodes, along with “Gun of the Week” video reviews at AmericanRifleman.org/Videos:

American Rifleman TV

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
July 29th, 2014

F-TR Champ’s Secret Weapon — 40X Rimfire F-TR Trainer

2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of the 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting, that’s for sure. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”

Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skills by James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.

Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot. If you think the flags at Camp Butner move a lot, try smallbore flags around tall pine trees.

Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen in recent years (and rimfire ammo is harder to find), even now I can get a 500-round brick of .22 LR ammo for less than $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. Heck, you can pay 40 cents a piece for match-grade .308-cal centerfire bullets. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

My CMP 40X Rimfire F-TR LowBoy Clone
My quest into the .22 LLR rimfire field started with an email from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) announcing Rem 40X stripped barreled actions for sale. I thought, “Hmmm… Could one of those little 40X barreled actions be turned into a F-Class training rifle?” My gunsmith Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool was brought in at this point.

After conferring with Ray, it was decided that he could indeed turn this into a F-Class training rifle. Ray contacted Dave Kiff of PT&G and ordered a new bolt for the Remington 40X rimfire action. Next was the stock decision. I decided to go with a PR&T Low Boy F-Class stock — this is an exact clone of the stock for my .308 Win F-TR competition rifle. Then a Jewell trigger was acquired to complete the components. Ray built this just like he would any custom rifle, other than using the stock barrel. The project turned out awesome. The rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR


About James Crofts
This spring, James Crofts was chosen as the new Vice Captain for the USA F-TR National Team. James comes from a military background, having served 20 years in the U.S. Navy aboard fast attack submarines. James has also been a shooting member of the 8-man F-TR Team USA, and he is always one of the top shooters in any F-TR competition. James told us: “Now the work begins, but with Ray Gross as Captain I think we can handle it. It will be a tough act to follow. Darrell Buell and Mike Miller set the bar extremely high with back-to-back world championship gold medals.”

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR
James Crofts — Photo by Kent Reeve.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 29th, 2014

Nightforce Releases new 5-20x56mm SHV Scope

Nightforce now offers a 5-20x56mm SHV scope that retails for $1170.00 (non-illuminated) or $1299.00 (illuminated). This follows up on Nightforce’s successful 4-16x56mm SHV scope. The higher magnification range suits long range hunters and the large 56mm objective provides excellent low-light hunting capability. The 5-20 SHV offers plenty of travel: 80 MOA total elevation, 50 MOA windage.

Nightforce SHV MOAR reticle scope

The 5-20x56mm SHV boasts capped, waterproof turrets with 1/4-MOA click values, and 10 MOA per revolution on the elevation turret. The scope offers a side parallax control (25 yards to infinity), plus a European-style, fast-focus eyepiece.

Two reticles are offered for the 5-20x56mm SHV. The IHR features large dagger-style pointers, an open field at the top, and an cross in the center. The MOAR reticle has 1 MOA elevation and windage markings, with a floating center crosshair. With either reticle, illumination is optional at extra cost.

Nightforce SHV MOAR reticle scopeNightforce SHV MOAR reticle scope

Our friend Len Backus of LongRangeHunting.com has checked out the new 5-20x56mm Nightforce and he is impressed: “With a 56mm objective the SHV’s light transmission is outstanding even at high power. Nightforce has added a ‘Zero Set’ feature which is a set-screw based stop system allowing you to dial back to your pre-set zero and stopping you from dialing past. It’s not quite as sharp a stop as their ‘Zero Stop’ but it will definitely do the trick. I bought my first Nightforce scope about 14 years ago. In summer of 2012 I had a four-hour private tour of the Nightforce headquarters. I remember being so impressed with the forward thinking going on there. It was obvious they were preparing for a major push on new technology and new products and this SHV is an absolute winner in that regard.”

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
July 28th, 2014

High Power National Championship — The Guns of Camp Perry

We are already half-way through the NRA High Power National Championship and SSG Shane Barnhart of the USAMU remains atop the leaderboard, with a score of 1193-64X out of a possible 1200 points. Barnhart shot a 595-28X during Sunday’s Navy Cup, Coast Guard Trophy, and Army Cup matches. Barnhart currently holds a three-point lead over second place SSG Brandon Green (1190-58X), the defending High Power National Champion. Like Barnhart, Green shoots for the USAMU. Kenneth Lankford leads the “any sight” (scopes allowed) division with 1191-54X.

High Power Hardware: The Guns of Perry

We thought our readers would like to see some of the ultra-accurate rifles campaigned by High Power competitors at Camp Perry. Both bolt-action and self-loading rifles are popular. Among bolt guns, Tubb 2000s and Eliseo tubeguns are popular. Semi-auto AR platform “Space Guns” offer some advantages (particularly during rapid-fire and for standing position), and are favored by many of the top marksmen. Many Camp Perry High Power competitors are also shooting less exotic AR service rifles.

Here is your current leader, SSG Shane Barnhart, with an AR Space Gun. Note the side charging handle and tall iron sight set-up.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

The modern AR Space Gun, scoped version. Note the side charging handle, and absence of forward assist. A block fitted under the handguard helps with the standing position. The scope is mounted on a “piggy-back” rail that extends forward of upper receiver’s built-in rail.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Look carefully — it appears that a separate fore-arm section is duct-taped to the red free-floated handguard. Perhaps this AR owner experienced some wiggle, and that’s why he seems puzzled?
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

A countdown timer is attached directly to this shooter’s Tubb 2000 rifle.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

This Service Rifle competitor shows how to get some “R & R” between relays.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing


All Photos courtesy NRA General Operations.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 4 Comments »
July 28th, 2014

Remington Announces R51 Pistol Exchange

Maybe the “R” in Remington’s 9mm R51 pistol stands for “recall”, or more accurately “replacement”. Responding to many complaints from pistol buyers (and some embarrassing videos posted on YouTube), Remington has offered to exchange the pistols: “Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700.” The second generation R51 pistols should be available by late October, according to Remington.

Remington R51 recall model 51

So, if your R51 is a lemon, you can get a new one, presumably one that is more reliable. It’s good that Remington is “doing the right thing” for its customers. But one wonders why Remington would sell a product that was clearly “not ready for prime time”. Apparently the early test pistols worked well, but production versions had problems. Remington has issued the following statement:

Remington R51 Exchange
Earlier this year, we launched the innovative R51 subcompact pistol to critical acclaim. During testing, numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly. In fact, they found it to have lower felt recoil, lower muzzle rise and better accuracy and concealability than other products in its class.

However, after initial commercial sales, our loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues.

We immediately ceased production to re-test the product. While we determined the pistols were safe, certain units did not meet Remington’s performance criteria. The performance problems resulted from complications during our transition from prototype to mass production. These problems have been identified and solutions are being implemented, with an expected production restart in October.

Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700.

The Original Remington Model 51
The Remington R51 pistol is a much updated version of the Remington Model 51, a 1917-18 design by John D. Pedersen. The original Model 51 was chambered for .380 ACP, and later .32 ACP. It had a very low bore axis, made possible by the Pedersen’s “hesitation lock design”. The Model 51 pointed very naturally, and with its low bore axis, muzzle flip and perceived recoil was less than with other pistols of similar size, weight, and caliber.

Remington R51 recall model 51

Like a blowback pistol, the original Remington 51 has a stationary barrel and recoil spring surrounding the barrel. However, the Remington 51 employed a unique locking breech block within the slide. When the Model 51 is in battery, the breech block rests slightly forward of the locking shoulder in the frame. When the cartridge is fired, the bolt and slide move together a short distance rearward powered by the energy of the cartridge.

Remington R51 recall model 51

When the breech block contacts the locking shoulder, it stops, locking the breech. The slide continues rearward with the momentum it acquired in the initial phase. This allows chamber pressure to drop to safe levels while the breech is locked and the cartridge slightly extracted. Once the bullet leaves the barrel and pressure drops, the rearward motion of the slide lifts the breech block from its locking recess through a cam arrangement, continuing the operating cycle. The Remington Model 51 was the only production pistol to utilize Pedersen’s type of operating system. However a prototype .45 ACP version, the Remington Model 53, was built for testing by the Navy Board.

Permalink Handguns, News 3 Comments »
July 27th, 2014

Great Deals on Rimfire Guns at CDNN

Everyone needs a few good .22 LR firearms for fun shooting, target practice, and cross-training. We found two exceptional deals right now at CDNN Sports, a large wholesaler that specializes in inventory close-outs. CDNN acquires products at low cost, so they can sell well below MSRP.

The first item that caught our eye was a nice 1911-style target pistol. These full-size, German-made GSG rimfire 1911s often sell for $400.00 or more (MSRP is $427.95). This item is currently on sale for just $279.99. Plus a $30.00 distributor’s rebate is available for purchases made through July 31, 2014 (so you’ve got a few more days to grab one for $249.99 after rebate). Because the GSG is the same size as a centerfire 1911 pistol, the GSG is great for cross-training. The GSG is also compatible with many full-size 1911 parts.

GSG .22 LR Ruger 10/22 special

German Sport Guns (GSG) M1911 Target — Same Look And Feel As Full-Size M1911

GSG .22 LR Ruger 10/22 special

Ruger 10/22 with Synthetic Stock or Wood Stock for $189.99
If you own a ranch or farm, or have some kids (or grand-kids) who enjoy plinking, a Ruger 10/22 should be part of your gun collection. For 50 years, the Ruger 10/22 has been America’s favorite .22 LR rifle. Durable and simple, the Ruger® 10/22® rifle is well-suited for informal target shooting, “plinking”, and eradicating small varmints. And now you can get one for under $200.00.

GSG .22 LR Ruger 10/22 special

CDNN currently has the 10/22 with synthetic stock on sale for $189.99. Weighing just 5 pounds, this rifle features an 18.5″ barrel, 13.50″ Length Of Pull, and a 10-round rotary magazine. MSRP is MSRP $279.00, so this is a very good deal. A wood-stocked version is also offered for just $189.99.

GSG .22 LR Ruger 10/22 special

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
July 27th, 2014

Bastogne Beauty — F-Classer from Master Class Stocks

Alex Sitman Master Class StocksAlex Sitman of Master Class Stocks in Pennsylvania is widely considered one of the finest rifle-stock craftsmen in the country, if not the world. Alex’s workmanship and dedication to excellence is top-of-the-line. Alex normally custom-fits each stock to his customer precisely. Many hours are dedicated to stock prep and inletting, and his bedding jobs are flawless. Each stock is exactingly hand-crafted with great attention to detail, and then the stock is “dressed” in the customer’s choice of finishes.

Doing all that takes time — a lot of time. That’s why Master Class Stocks has a long waiting list, and it can take months before a big job is completed. But when Alex is involved, you can count on the final product being a work of stock-making art. Here’s an example. Alex recently stocked an F-Class rifle using eye-popping, exhibition-grade Bastogne walnut. The wood was sourced from Cecil Fredi of GunstockBlanks.com. Alex says: “Cecil’s wood is some of the best I’ve ever used. This blank cost over $1000.00, but it was truly spectacular.” Since the blank was less than 3″ wide, Alex (with assistance from 8-time NRA High Power Champion Carl Bernosky) laminated on the 3″-wide forearm “wings” using spare wood left after the blank was cut. See how Alex and Carl carefully matched the grain of the wood on the forearm. And note how perfectly the adjustable cheek-piece is fitted. If you want a stock like this on your next rifle, contact Alex Sitman at Master Class Stocks, (814) 742-7868.

The Bastogne Beauty — More Construction Details
Eric Kennard tells us: “This rifle was built for Mike Dana in Florida. Kelbly’s did the metal work. [The action is a Stolle Panda F-Class.] Barrel by Brux. Chambering? 6mmBR of course! Mike added a March 10 x 60 scope. Let me tell you this is beyond a work of art! The fit is absolutely perfect! There is not one flaw in the wood-work. The pillar bedding is also perfect! Did you notice the ebony inserts? Or Alex’s custom trigger guard? Alex out did-himself this time. Most of us would not dare to shoot [this gun]!”

Permalink Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
July 26th, 2014

SCATT MX-02 for High Power Shooters

The SCATT MX-02 is a revolutionary electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow recently tested this product, as fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle. Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and thereby shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Back in January, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Recently, we had the chance to test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its implications for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.

CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review.

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

Test Drive the MX-02 at Camp Perry
SCATT electronic training systems are currently on display at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Interested shooters can try out SCATT at Champion Shooters on Commercial Row, Building #1023B.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
July 26th, 2014

Jerry Miculek Shoots Original, Full-Auto AR-10 from the Fifties

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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July 25th, 2014

Get Up-to-Date Match Results from Camp Perry

The NRA maintains a webpage with the latest results for all the National rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Click any of the links below to launch a page with match-by-match results. Once you navigate to the appropriate results page, click the particular match title (or 3-digit match number) to open a table with ranked lists of competitors with their scores. For example, the National High Power Rifle Championship is Match number 400.

CLICK for MATCH RESULTS

Over $25,000 Worth of Prizes at 2014 NRA Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield M1A Match was held Wednesday July 24, 2014. Sponsored by Springfield Armory, this popular event features big-money payouts and valuable hardware prizes. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded, with categories for shooters of all skill levels. There was a big turn-out for the event. Competitors were treated to bright, sunny skies yesterday. Here are photos from the match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

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July 24th, 2014

Kevin Nevius of Team Lapua Wins Smallbore Prone Championship

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.com
Kevin Nevius is the 2014 NRA smallbore prone National Champion. It’s not the first time Nevius has won the NRA Smallbore Prone Rifle crown. A phenomenal prone shooter, Nevius has now secured multiple National Titles. That may be surprising notion given Kevin’s relatively late start in the sport of competitive shooting.

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

“My brother got me into long range varmint hunting and I started building my own guns very early,” Nevius told Dan Holmes in an earlier Pronematch.com interview. “I had a hunting friend who shot indoor smallbore who started me in three position and I was hooked.”

With a practically perfect score of 4799-390X, Nevius beat out second and third place shooters by two points … on the final day of the Conventional Championships. The 2014 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships wrap up this weekend with Metric Prone. Will we have another new 2014 smallbore champion or will there finally be a repeat? Stay Tuned.

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

Kevin Nevius, 2014 Smallbore Prone National Champion

“He showed his steel,” said Assistant Match Director Victoria Croft. “On the last day, the final relay, when it really counted, he didn’t miss a shot.”

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

Kevin Nevius file photo from Southeastern Michigan Northern Ohio High Masters Shooting Club.

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July 24th, 2014

New Caldwell Brass-Catcher Mounts on AR Picatinny Rails

Hate chasing brass ejected from your AR platform rifle? Well here’s a clever new accessory — a brass catcher that mounts easily to the Picatinny rail on top of your upper receiver. There are other types of brass-catching rigs on the market, but this is one of the best products we’ve seen for ARs with Picatinny rails. Caldwell’s AR Pic Rail Brass Catcher mounts easily with a quick-detach aluminum clamp. Both the clamp and wire frame are adjustable so they won’t interfere with your scope or scope mounts.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

We like the quick-detach feature. This lets you quickly check and/or clear your chamber, or inspect the bolt. The bag itself, made from heat-resistant mesh fabric, will hold approximately one hundred .223 Rem cartridge cases. And here’s another nice feature — the bag has a zipper on the bottom so you can quickly dump your spent brass without having to remove the brass-catcher from your rifle.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

Brass Catcher Features:

– Captures fired casings before they hit the ground.

– Quick-detach system mounts securely — no fumbling with straps.

– Compatible with most Picatinny rail-equipped AR-10s as well.

– Heat-resistant mesh bag holds 100 pieces of brass.

– Fully adjustable — can be placed at any point on Picatinny rail.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

If you shoot an AR and reload your own ammo, you should get some kind of brass-catching device. With a $39.19 “street price” ($49.99 MSRP), this is one of the more affordable options. Once you use a rig like this and no longer have to pick up brass from the ground, you may get spoiled. Moreover, a brass-catcher like this will earn you “Brownie Points” with other shooters at your range who no longer have to dodge your hot brass.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 23rd, 2014

Historic President’s Match at Camp Perry

The President’s Rifle Match is a notable rifle competition that is steeped in history. This match was first held in 1878. The top shooter at the 2014 President’s Rifle Match Final was SGT Augustus Dunfey of Phenix City, Alabama. A member of the USAMU squad, Dunfey posted an Aggregate score of 393-14X. Reigning National High Power Champion Brandon Green, also of the USAMU, finished second with 388-15X. High Junior was Nash Neubauer firing a 383-8X. Interestingly. Neubauer’s 383-8X score was good for 6th place overall, beating 94 other shooters, including many military team members. Great shooting Nash! High Senior was Richard Zolnowsky with 376-14X.

Dunfey USAMU President's Match

CLICK HERE for Results of President’s Match and Other National Trophy Matches.

Origins of the President’s Match
The National Rifle Association’s President’s Match was instituted in 1878, as the American Military Rifle Championship Match. In 1884, the name was changed to the President’s Match for the Military Rifle Championship of the United States. It was fired at Creedmoor, New York until 1891. In 1895, it was reintroduced at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Today, the match is held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Dunfey USAMU President's MatchThe President’s Match was patterned after an event for British Volunteers called the Queen’s Match. That British competition was started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain to increase the ability of Britain’s marksmen following the Crimean War.

The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Theodore Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

After a hiatus in the 1930s and 1940s, The President’s Match was reinstated in 1957 at the National Matches as “The President’s Hundred.” The 100 top-scoring competitors in the President’s Match were singled out for special recognition.

CLICK HERE for history of the President’s Match.

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July 23rd, 2014

Beretta Will Move All Manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee

Goodbye Maryland, Hello Tennessee. Due to passage of restrictive laws in Maryland, Beretta will move all gun-making operations to Tennessee. On July 22, Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced that it will move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.

“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store, or even import into the State products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the State”, declared Jeff Cooper, Beretta U.S.A.’s General Manager.

“While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent…to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility“, Cooper added.

The transition of production from Beretta U.S.A.’s Maryland facility to the Tennessee facility will not occur until 2015 and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta U.S.A.’s production of the U.S. Armed Forces M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek, Maryland facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.

Beretta U.S.A. anticipates that the Gallatin, Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 employees during the next five years. Beretta U.S.A. has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland facility.

About Beretta
Beretta, established in 1526, traces its roots through 16 generations of continuous family ownership. Firearms bearing the Beretta name have been sold for almost 500 years. Beretta U.S.A. was founded in 1977 and supplies the standard sidearm to the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, Beretta manufactures and markets a complete line of firearms, accessories, and apparel.

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July 22nd, 2014

Huge Inventory Reduction Sale of RCBS Products at Bullets.com

Bullets.com has launched a huge closeout on its entire RCBS inventory. Here’s a great opportunity to save big bucks on high-quality RCBS tools and reloading accessories, including RCBS Chargemasters and even RCBS Rockchucker presses. The folks at Bullets.com report: “We have slashed prices to levels at or below cost on hundreds of items.” Guys — take note: this is a unique opportunity to pick up some great gear at truly rock-bottom prices. In fact the deals are so good that your Editor plans to purchase a couple presses, a powder measure stand, and some accessories for my RCBS 2000 progressive press. I really don’t think you can beat these prices… and remember this is an inventory close-out sale, limited to stock on hand. When it’s gone, it’s gone. So don’t say we didn’t warn you!

RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

GO to RCBS Sale at Bullets.com

Closeout items include:
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction saleReloading Presses
Electronic Powder Measures
Reloading Kits
Digital and Beam Scales
Tumblers
Ultrasonic Cleaners
Sizing and Seating Dies
Shell Holders
Bullet Casting Kits
Case Prep Tools and much more.

Here Are Some of the RCBS Presses on Sale:
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

Get RCBS Factory Rebates
In connection with this Bullets.com SALE, you can save even more with RCBS factory rebates. If you spend $50.00 you can get a $10.00 rebate. If you spend at least $300.00 on RCBS products you can save $50.00. These rebates are good through 12/31/2014. CLICK HERE for details.

Click for Detals
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

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July 22nd, 2014

DARPA Demonstrates First-Ever Guided .50-Caliber Rifle Bullets

DARPA Exacto .50 Caliber guided bulletImagine if you could “steer” your bullet to the target, after the projectile leaves the muzzle. That has been a dream of marksmen ever since the first rifle was invented. Well that dream is now one step closer to reality, thanks to America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

DARPA has developed a manueverable .50-caliber rifle bullet. DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program recently conducted the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets. Inside EXACTO bullets are optical guidance systems, aero-actuation controls, and multiple sensors. The top-secret technology permits the trajectory of the bullet to be altered in flight, allowing the bullet to move left or right, or even fly in an arc around an obstacle.

DARPA has released a video showing EXACTO 50-caliber bullets in flight. Watch carefully and you will see the tracked trajectory appear to bend off in one direction in the last segment of the bullet’s flight. Here is the DARPA Video:

According to DARPA: “This video shows EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are offset from where the sniper rifle is initially aimed. EXACTO’s specially-designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement, and other factors that could impede successful aim.”

DARPA Exacto .50 Caliber guided bullet

DARPA states: “For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.”

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet. The EXACTO 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems. The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

Technology development in Phase II included the design, integration and demonstration of aero-actuation controls, power sources, optical guidance systems, and sensors. The program’s next phase includes a system-level live-fire test and technology refinement[.]

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