July 10th, 2014

New 46x48mm Weaver XR Target Scope with 30mm Tube

Weaver has a brand new, high-magnification, 46X target scope. Chances are you haven’t heard a thing about it — the new Weaver T-Series XR 46x48mm scope is so new you won’t even find it on the Weaver website. Compared to the older T-36, this new 46-power scope offers more magnification, more elevation, a larger front objective (48mm vs. 40mm), and a larger 30mm main tube (compared to 1″ for the old T-36). The new XR 46X Weaver also features side-focus parallax control. That’s a big change. You could instantly spot a classic Weaver T-36 by the adjustable front objective with its knurled ring and yardage markings. The T-Series XR 46X (as well as the new XR 24X and XR 36X) have the parallax control on the left side of the main tube (photo below).

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxWe have looked through the new Weaver 46X scope and it is very sharp. Brightness is good — it seems comparable with a Leupold 45x45mm Competition (but that was on a bright, sunny day). Initial tests show the clicks to be tactile and positive, but we haven’t had a chance to do a full “box test” to confirm tracking. Weaver claims the new XR series scopes will focus down to 50 feet, but with the 46X we had some questions about its extreme close-focus capability. If you’re shooting beyond 50 yards, the focus should be fine.

The new T-Series 46X XR is offered with two reticle choices, a fine cross-hair (FCH), or FCH with 1/16th MOA dot. Both reticles are well-suited for benchrest work. The current “street price” for the new 46X Weaver is $829.95. That’s way more than the old T-36, but it undercuts Leupold fixed-power competition scopes by hundreds of dollars. We know of only two vendors who currently carry the Weaver 46X. These are Killough Shooting Sports, and Bruno Shooters Supply.

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxNew 24X and 36X T-Series XR Scopes with Side-Focus and 1″ Tubes
The new 46-power XR scope is the star of the XR line-up. Designed to go head-to-head with Leupold’s 45X Competition scope, the 46X Weaver XR offers a modern 30mm main-tube and large (48mm) front objective. If you don’t need the bigger tube and larger objective, but still want side-focus parallax control, Weaver offers two other new XR scopes — a 36x40mm and a 24x40mm. These will both retail for under $600.

Dan Killough offers the black-finish 36-power XR for $559.95 and the black-finish 24-power XR for $549.95. Silver models are slightly more. These 1″-tube XR scopes are worth considering, but keep in mind that you can now purchase the older T-series scopes with adjustable front objectives for well under $400.00. For benchrest shooting at a fixed distance, side-focus is not necessary; adjustable front objectives work just fine. Just set and forget.

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
July 10th, 2014

Kevlar Vest vs. 24 Layers of Drywall — Which Stops Bullets Better?

Which do you think is a better bullet-stopper — twenty-four (24) layers of drywall, or a $299 vest with 40 layers of Kevlar? Watch this video and you may be surprised. The makers of the BulletSafe vest fired a round from a .50-Caliber Desert Eagle pistol into the vest. The bullet did not penetrate the vest — not even close. If fact, the bullet only made it through seven of the 40 layers of Kevlar (see timeline 0:48″)

Would drywall be as effective? Surprisingly, the answer is “no”. A bullet fired from the .50-Cal Desert Eagle passed through all 24 sheets of drywall, exiting out the last sheet. Lesson learned? Don’t expect the drywall in your house to offer much protection. The makers of the video caution: “This video shows you how much damage your weapon can do….”

BulletSafe bulletproof vest drywall plywood penetration test

Bullet-Proof Vest Ratings
The BulletSafe vest tested is a Level IIIA model. Level IIIA is the thickest Kevlar laminated, flexible body armor available to the general public. Priced at $299.00, this Level IIIA vest is rated to stop most handgun rounds, buckshot, and shotgun slugs. You can get even more protection by adding a ballistic plate made from ceramic and/or metal. Fitted to a Level IIIA vest, BulletSafe’s $169.00 ballistic plates can stop some rifle rounds.

Plywood Stopping Power Test
The vest-makers also did a test with plywood. A box was constructed with 24 layers of 3/8″ plywood. The bullet from a .50-caliber Desert Eagle past through twelve layers of plywood before being halted by the thirteenth panel. So, you can say the BulletSafe vest is as effective at stopping this round as 13 layers of plywood. CLICK HERE for Plywood Stopping Test Video.

BulletSafe bulletproof vest drywall plywood penetration test

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 3 Comments »
July 10th, 2014

Try Using O-Rings with Sizing Dies for Reduced Neck Run-out

Here’s an inexpensive procedure that can help you load straighter ammo, with slightly better measured concentricity (i.e. less run-out) on the case necks and bullets. Simply use a rubber O-Ring on the underside of the die locking ring. This allows the die to self-align itself (slightly) to the case that is being sized. Without the O-Ring, if the flat surface on the top of your press is not perfectly square with the thread axis, your die can end up slightly off-angle. This happens when the bottom of the locking ring butts up tight against the top of the press. The O-Ring allows the die to float slightly, and that may, in turn, reduce the amount of run-out induced during case sizing.

reloading die O-ring

Top prone shooter German Salazar has tried this trick and he says it works: “Go to your local hardware store and get a #17 O-Ring (that’s the designation at Ace Hardware, don’t know if its universal). Slip the O-Ring on the die and re-adjust the lock ring so that the O-Ring is slightly compressed when the die is at the correct height. Size and measure a few more cases. You will probably see a slight improvement in neck concentricity as the die can now float a bit as the case enters and leaves it. This isn’t going to be a dramatic improvement, but it’s a positive one.” We want to stress that adding O-Rings to sizing dies may help some reloaders, but we don’t offer this as a panacea. Try it — if using the O-Ring reduces measured runout that’s great. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a few pennies to experiment.

reloading die O-ring

Lee Precision makes die lock rings with built-in O-Rings. Lee’s distinctive lock ring design allows the same kind of self-alignment, which is good. However, Lee lock rings don’t clamp in place on the die threads, so they can move when you insert or remove the dies — and that can throw off your die setting slightly. By using an O-Ring under a conventional die lock ring (that can be locked in place), you get the advantages of the Lee design, without the risk of the lock ring moving.

Permalink Reloading 15 Comments »