September 8th, 2014

Position Shooting Tips from U.S. Olympian Matt Emmons

Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsOlympic shooter Matt Emmons will be competing at the ISSF world Championships this month in Spain. Matt is one of the USA’s top hopes in smallbore rifle competition. Emmons has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.

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Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”

Emmons, who is competing at the ISSF World Championships this month, also carries something for good luck: “My wife Katy gave me a little figurine of a Czech fairytale character a long time ago for good luck and I always have it with me when I shoot.”

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 8th, 2014

When Do Gunsmiths Need a Firearms Manufacturing License?

colorado school of trades gunsmithing ATF

When does a gunsmith become a “firearms manufacturer”? That’s an important legal question that professional gunsmiths need to consider. Normally, a gunsmith (with an FFL) can receive firearms, chamber/fit barrels, do bedding jobs, and install stocks without requiring a firearms manufacturer’s license. However, other gunsmithing tasks may spill over into “manufacturing activities”. Sometimes the distinctions are not so obvious. Consider these three examples provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):

Surplus Rifle Sales Version 1: A gunsmith purchases surplus firearms, cleans the firearms, then offers them for sale to the public.

ATF Verdict: The company does NOT need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

But consider this…

Surplus Rifle Sales Verson 2: A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles or pistols and removes the stocks, adds new stocks or pistol grips, cleans the firearms, then sends the firearms to a separate contractor for bluing. These firearms are then sold to the public.

ATF Verdict: This would be considered manufacturing of firearms and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

And “Sporterizing” an old military rifle can be considered “manufacturing” as well:

Surplus Rifle Sales Version 3: A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles, bends the bolts to accept a scope, and then drills the receivers for a scope base. The gunsmith offers these firearms for sale.

ATF Verdict: This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

These three examples provided by the ATF suggest that gunsmiths need to study the law, and be mindful that the more a firearm is altered and modified (with the objective of resale), the greater the possibility that a manufacturer’s license would be required.

ATF Guidelines for Gunsmiths
On its Manufacturers FAQ Page, the ATF has provided some guidelines to help gunsmiths and FFL-holders determine when a manufacturing license is required:

“Generally, a person engaged in gunsmithing requires only a dealer’s license (type 01). However, there are circumstances in which a gunsmith might require a manufacturing license. Generally, a person should obtain a license as a manufacturer of firearms if the person is:

1. Performing operations which create firearms or alter firearms (in the case of alterations, the work is not being performed at the request of customers, rather the person who is altering the firearms is purchasing them, making the changes, and then reselling them), 2. is performing the operations as a regular course of business or trade, and 3. is performing the operations for the purpose of sale or distribution of the firearms.”

ATF Examples Showing When Manufacturer License Is or Is Not Required
Below are examples of gunsmithing operations with guidance as to whether or not such operations would be considered manufacturing under the Gun Control Act (GCA). A key factor is whether the “operations performed on the firearms were… for the purpose of sale or distribution”. (NOTE: These examples do not address the question of whether the operations are considered manufacturing for purposes of determining excise tax.) View ATF Manufacturer FAQ Page for more details.

  • Example 1: Completing Rifle on Customer-Supplied Action.
    A company receives firearm frames from individual customers, attaches stocks and barrels, and returns the firearms to the customers for the customers’ personal use.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    The operations performed on the firearms were not for the purpose of sale or distribution. The company should be licensed as a dealer or gunsmith, not as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 2: Barrel-Making. A company produces barrels for firearms and sells the barrels to another company that assembles and sells complete firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    Because barrels are not firearms, the company that manufactures the barrels is not a manufacturer of firearms. [However], the company that assembles and sells the firearms should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 3: Single Gun Project. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the firearm.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.
  • Example 4: Production of actions or frames for direct sale. A company produces a quantity of firearm frames or receivers for sale to customers who will assemble firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required.
    The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 5: Production of actions as parts suppliers. A company produces frames or receivers for another company that assembles and sells the firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required
    BOTH companies are engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and each should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 6: Modification of Pistols. A gunsmith buys government model pistols and installs “drop-in” precision trigger parts or other “drop-in parts” for the purpose of resale.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required.
    This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, as the gunsmith is purchasing the firearms, modifying the firearms and selling them. The gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
Permalink Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
September 8th, 2014

Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN) — How Well Does It Work?

For years, many shooters have coated bullets with Moly (molybdenum disulfide) or Danzac (tungsten disulfide or “WS2″). The idea was to reduce friction between bullets and barrel. In theory, this could lengthen barrel life and extend the number of rounds a shooter can fire between cleanings.

hexagonal Boron nitride bullets

Moly and WS2 both have their fans, but in the last couple of years, some guys have switched to Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN), another dry lubricant. The advantage of HBN is that it won’t combine with moisture to create harmful acids. HBN is very slippery and it goes on clear, so it doesn’t leave a dirty mess on your hands or loading bench. Typically, HBN is applied via impact plating (tumbling), just as with Moly.

hexagonal Boron nitride bullets

HBN Results — Both on Bullets and Barrel Bores
Many folks have asked, “Does Hexagonal Boron Nitride really work?” You’ll find answers to that and many other questions on gunsmith Stan Ware’s popular Bench-Talk.com Blog. There Paul Becigneul (aka Pbike) gives a detailed run-down on HBN use, comparing it to other friction-reducers. Paul also discusses the use of HBN in suspension to pre-coat the inside of barrels. Paul observes:

We coated our bullets … how we had been coating with WS2. Now our bullets have a slightly white sheen to them with kind of like a pearl coat. They are so slippery it takes a little practice to pick them up and not drop them on the trailer floor. What have we noticed down range? Nothing different from WS2 other than the black ring on your target around the bullet hole is now white or nonexistent. Our barrels clean just as clean as with WS2. Your hands aren’t black at the end of the day of shooting and that might be the most important part.

Interestingly, Becigneul decided to try a solution of HBN in alcohol, to pre-coat the inside of barrels. Paul had previously used a compound called Penephite to coat the inside of his barrels after cleaning. Paul explains:

If Penephite was used because it was slippery wouldn’t HBN be better? … We called Momentive again (our source for HBN), and talked about mixing HBN and 90% alcohol for a suspension agent to pre-lube our barrels. He though it sounded great but that the Kb>AC6111 Grade HBN would be better for this use. It would stand up in the alcohol suspension and cling to the barrel when passed through on a patch. We got some and mixed it in alcohol 90%. We use about one teaspoon in 16 ounces of alcohol.

We started using it this fall and what we have noticed is that now that first shot fired out of a clean and pre-lubed barrel can be trusted as the true impact point. We use tuners so now I got to the line, fire two shots judge my group for vertical, adjust the tuner as needed or not, and after tune has been achieved go to my record targets. This use has saved us in time at the bench and bullets in the backstop.

You really should read the whole article by Becigneul. He discusses the use of barrel lubes such as Penephite and “Lock-Ease” in some detail. Paul also provides links to HBN vendors and to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the various compounds he tested.

Good Source for Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN)
Paul Becigneul (aka PBike in our Forum) has been using HBN for many years with good results. He obtains his HBN from Momentive Performance Materials:

HBM boron nitride source momentive hexagonal bullet coatingMomentive Performance Materials
www.Momentive.com

Sales Contact: Robert Bell
Sales Email: robert.bell [at] momentive.com
Sales Phone: Robert Bell, (980) 231-5404

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 14 Comments »