October 24th, 2015

The 6mm BRDX — a Longer-Necked Dasher

6mm Dasher BRDX whidden Darrell Jones

At the recent IBS 600-Yard Nationals, the 6mm Dasher cartridge was the most popular chambering for both Light Guns and Heavy Guns. The Dasher, a 40° improved version of the 6mmBR Norma case, can definitely shoot — no question about that. But the Dasher has one less-than-ideal feature — its very short neck. This makes it more problematic to shoot a wide variety of bullet types — short bullets as well as long. In addition, the short neck makes it harder to “chase the lands” over time.

For those folks who like the performance of the 6mm Dasher, but prefer a longer neck, there is an excellent alternative — the 6mm BRDX. This wildcat shares the 40° shoulder of the Dasher and has nearly the same capacity. Like the Dasher, the 6 BRDX can drive 100-107gr bullets to the same 3000-3050 FPS accuracy node. But the 6 BRDX has a longer neck than the Dasher. Depending on your “blow length”, the 6 BRDX will typically give you about .030″ to .035″ more usable neck length. That may not sound like much, but it is very useful if you have a longish (.110″+) freebore and you still want to shoot shorter bullets in the lands for some applications.

Your editor has a 6mm BRDX and I really like it. The neck is long enough to let me shoot 90-grainers loaded into the lands as well as 105-grainers. Fire-forming is pretty easy. I just load very long (so there is a firm jam) and shoot with 30.0 grains of Varget and a 100+ grain bullet. With a Brux barrel, my BRDX easily shoots quarter-MOA, with some 100-yard groups in the ones in calm conditions. This is with a Stiller Viper Action, and Shehane ST-1000 stock bedded by Tom Meredith.

6mm Dasher BRDX whidden Darrell Jones

6mm BRDX Reamer, Dies, and Hydro-Forming Service
It’s not difficult to set up a rifle to run the 6 BRDX. Dave Kiff’s Pacific Tool & Gauge has the reamer (just tell him the freebore you want). Whidden Gunworks offers excellent BRDX sizing and seating dies. And if you don’t like fire-forming, give Darrell Jones of DJsbrass.com a call. Darrell can hydro-form 6 BRDX brass and even turn the necks to your specs. Darrell’s hydro-forming service saves you time and preserves precious barrel life.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
October 23rd, 2015

CMP Issues Proposed Rule Changes for 2016

CMP 2015 Rule Proposed Change High Power Service Rifle

The CMP has just released proposed 2016 Competition Rules. There are a number of important proposed changes, some quite controversial. Topping the list are rule changes that would allow optics for service rifles and “modern military rifles” (MMR). If these changes are adopted, Service Rifle shooters and modern military rifle shooters will be able to use scopes up to 4.5X power. Rifle weight limits will be increased slightly to allow for the optics and the definition of “Service Rifle” will be liberalized to allow more AR variants. In addition, collapsible or adjustable-length stocks will be allowed.

CLICK HERE to Read All Proposed New Rules

We want to stress that these new rules have NOT been set in stone — not yet at least. The CMP issued its notice of Proposed 2016 Rule Changes to inform competitors and invite feedback. The CMP asks that comments/questions be sent to competitions @ thecmp.org, not later than November 13, 2015.

Major Proposed Rule Changes

1. Optical Sights For Service Rifles
The CMP states: “For several years, the CMP has recognized that optical sights are the wave of the future for Service Rifle shooting. Military recruits today do all of their training with optical sighted rifles. Service Rifle rules have traditionally tried to keep abreast of military rifle and training developments so opening Service Rifle shooting to optical sights became an inevitable change.” The 2016 rules will, for the first time, permit M16/AR15-type rifles to have optical sights (fixed power or zoom) with a maximum magnification of 4.5X and an objective lens no larger than 34 mm. There will not be a separate class for scope-sighted rifles. Instead, competitors will have a choice of using either a scope-sighted rifle that weighs no more than 11.5 pounds or a metallic-sighted rifle that will continue to have no weight limit.

2. More Options For M16/AR15-Type Rifles
Since accurized Service Rifles first came into popular use in the 1950s and 1960s, those rifles, whether M1s, M14s, or M16s and their commercial equivalents, have been rigidly defined. Legal M16-type service rifles had to retain the external profile of an M16A2 or M16A4 rifle and could only have modifications that were explicitly permitted in the rules. All this will change in 2016. The CMP plans to liberalize the Service Rifle rules to encourage greater participation. A wider variety of commercial AR-platform rifles will be allowed so long as they meet basic requirements, such as 20″ max barrel length, 5.56x45mm (.223 Rem) chambering, and a trigger pull of at least 4.5 pounds. Notably, the rifles can have either a gas-impingement system or a piston-operated gas system. Collapsible stocks will be allowed. However butt-plates and cheek-pieces may not be adjustable. (See all Requirements HERE).

3. Optical Sights for Modern Military Rifles (CMP Games)
One of the fastest growing rifle competition categories is for Modern Military Rifles. There are two classes, one for M16/AR15 platform rifles and one for a broad range of other military rifles. Competitors who compete in Modern Military Rifle Matches will now have the option of using optical sights with a maximum magnification of 4.5X. To make allowance for the increased weight of telescopes, the weight limit for AR-type rifles was increased to 8.5 pounds and for M-14/M1A rifles to 10.0 pounds. (This is a CMP Games limit — a different Rule than the Service Rifle Rule).

4. Stocks for Modern Military Rifles
Butt-stocks on these rifles may vary in length and collapsible or adjustable-length stocks will be allowed. Butt-stocks, however, may not have butt-plates or cheek-pieces that adjust up or down.

CMP 2015 Rule Proposed Change High Power Service Rifle

No Changes for Pistol, Vintage Sniper, or Rimfire Sporter Competitions
While big changes are slated for the Service Rifle and MMR disciplines, the CMP is not making significant rule changes for other popular CMP shooting sports.

Pistol Rules Are Unchanged
Except for permitting service pistols to have a Picatinny rail below the barrel, the Service Pistol and 22 Rimfire Pistol rules adopted in 2015 are unchanged.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match Rules Are Unchanged
According to the CMP, Vintage Sniper Rifle Match rules “have stabilized nicely in the last two years” so there will be no 2016 rule changes for the Vintage Sniper two-man team event.

Rimfire Sporter Rifle Rules Are Unchanged
The most popular rimfire rifle match in the country continues to attract impressive numbers to its matches. Like the Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match, these rules have now stabilized so that there are also no 2016 rule changes in Rimfire Sporter.

Top photo from www.Marines.mil.

Permalink Competition, News 15 Comments »
October 23rd, 2015

Cartridge Efficiency Basics from the USAMU

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion.

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Cartridge Efficiency: A Primer (pun intended!) by USAMU Staff

Each week, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading article on its Facebook Page. In this week’s article, the USAMU discusses cartridge case efficiency and its benefits. While this is oriented primarily toward NRA High Power Rifle and Long Range (1000-yard) competition, these factors also apply to medium/big game hunters. Assuming one’s rifle and ammunition are accurate, key considerations include ballistic performance (i.e., resistance to wind effects, plus trajectory), recoil, and throat erosion/barrel life.

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion. A classic example in the author’s experience involved a featherweight 7x57mm hunting/silhouette rifle. When loaded to modern-rifle pressures, just 43-44 grains of powder pushed a 139gr bullet at 2900 fps from its 22” barrel. Recoil in this light rifle was mild; it was very easy to shoot well, and its performance was superb.

An acquaintance chose a “do everything” 7mm Remington Magnum for use on medium game at short ranges. A larger, heavier rifle, it used ~65 grains of powder to achieve ~3200 fps with similar bullets — from its 26″ barrel. Recoil was higher, and he was sensitive to it, which hampered his shooting ability.

Similarly efficient calibers include the 6mm BR [Norma], and others. Today’s highly-efficient calibers, such as 6mm BR and a host of newer developments might use 28-30 grains of powder to launch a 105-107gr match bullet at speeds approaching the .243 Winchester. The .243 Win needs 40-45 grain charges at the same velocity.

Champion-level Long Range shooters need every ballistic edge feasible. They compete at a level where 1″ more or less drift in a wind change could make the difference between winning and losing. Shooters recognized this early on — the then-new .300 H&H Magnum quickly supplanted the .30-06 at the Wimbledon winner’s circle in the early days.

The .300 Winchester Magnum became popular, but its 190-220gr bullets had their work cut out for them once the 6.5-284 and its streamlined 140-142gr bullets arrived on the scene. The 6.5-284 gives superb accuracy and wind performance with about half the recoil of the big .30 magnums – albeit it is a known barrel-burner.

Currently, the 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra-Magnum (aka 7mm RSAUM), is giving stellar accuracy with cutting-edge, ~180 grain bullets, powder charges in the mid-50 grain range and velocities about 2800+ fps in long barrels. Beyond pure efficiency, the RSAUM’s modern, “short and fat” design helps ensure fine accuracy relative to older, longer cartridge designs of similar performance.

Recent design advances are yielding bullets with here-to-fore unheard-of ballistic efficiency; depending on the cartridge, they can make or break ones decision. Ballistic coefficients (“BC” — a numerical expression of a bullet’s ballistic efficiency) are soaring to new heights, and there are many exciting new avenues to explore.

The ideal choice [involves a careful] balancing act between bullet BCs, case capacity, velocity, barrel life, and recoil. But, as with new-car decisions, choosing can be half the fun!

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Cartridges
For competitive shooters… pristine accuracy and ballistic performance in the wind are critical. Flat trajectory benefits the hunter who may shoot at long, unknown distances (nowadays, range-finders help). However, this is of much less importance to competitors firing at known distances.

Recoil is an issue, particularly when one fires long strings during competition, and/or multiple strings in a day. Its effects are cumulative; cartridges with medium/heavy recoil can lead to shooter fatigue, disturbance of the shooting position and lower scores.

For hunters, who may only fire a few shots a year, recoil that does not induce flinching during sight-in, practice and hunting is a deciding factor. Depending on their game and ranges, etc., they may accept more recoil than the high-volume High Power or Long Range competitor.

Likewise, throat erosion/barrel life is important to competitive shooters, who fire thousands of rounds in practice and matches, vs. the medium/big game hunter. A cartridge that performs well ballistically with great accuracy, has long barrel life and low recoil is the competitive shooter’s ideal. For the hunter, other factors may weigh more heavily.

Cartridge Efficiency and Energy — Another Perspective
Lapua staffer Kevin Thomas explains that efficiency can be evaluated in terms of energy:

“Cartridge efficiency is pretty straight forward — energy in vs. energy out. Most modern single-based propellants run around 178-215 ft/lbs of energy per grain. These figures give the energy potential that you’re loading into the rifle. The resulting kinetic energy transferred to the bullet will give you the efficiency of the round. Most cases operate at around 20-25% efficiency. This is just another way to evaluate the potential of a given cartridge. There’s a big difference between this and simply looking at max velocities produced by various cartridges.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
October 23rd, 2015

For Hunters — Great Deals on Vortex Scopes at Midsouth

Vortex Optics sales Midsouth Shooters supply

Hunting season is here in many parts of the country. If you need a good, yet affordable scope for your hunting rig, look no further. Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a super sale right now on Vortex scopes. You can get a 4-12x44mm Crossfire II Vortex scope for just $169.99 with free shipping. Or, if you want something lighter and smaller, consider the 3-9x40mm Crossfire II. It’s a mere $149.99, again with free shipping.

If you’re concerned about the durability/longevity of these bargain-priced optics, consider this — these Crossfire scopes, like all Vortex optics products, are backed by the Vortex lifetime “VIP” warranty:

Vortex Optics sales Midsouth Shooters supply

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
October 22nd, 2015

Match Report: IBS 2015 600-Yard National Championship

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

IBS Match Report by Tom Jacobs and Jim Bauer
“What a wonderful match” — those words were heard often during this year’s IBS 600-yard National Championship match. Tom and Sara Jacobs hosted the 600-yard Nationals September 26-27 at their Vapor Trail Valley Range in Spickard, Missouri. Attendance was strong, with 78 competitors from 14 different states. The Vapor Trail Valley range holds both 600-yard and 1000-yard yard matches throughout the year. Located in northwest Missouri, Vapor Trail Valley sits in the middle of crop ground and cattle country. The terrain is a mixture of tree lines and green pastures.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

It seemed every aspect of the match came off flawlessly, thanks to the hard work of the organizers. Even the weather cooperated, with 80 degree days and 60 degree mornings. The wind was mild but twitchy, providing a challenge for the competitors. Overall though, conditions were generally good and some very impressive results were recorded. Despite the twitchy winds, over the course of the weekend, some eighty perfect 50-point targets were shot. That’s darn good shooting overall.

CLICK HERE to View Complete 600-Yard Nationals Results

600-Yard Nat’ls Light Gun Equipment List | 600-Yard Nat’ls Heavy Gun Equipment List

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

Interesting Factoids from Vapor Trail:
1. Competition is VERY tight now. The difference between 1st place and 20th place in Light Gun Group Aggregate was .478″, less than half an inch. The difference between 1st and 20th place in Heavy Gun Group aggregate was .480″, again less than half an inch.

2. 6mm cartridges, particularly the 6mmBR and Dasher, now dominate the 600-yard Benchrest game.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gunAll but one Light Gun was chambered as a 6mm, mostly 6BRs or Dashers. Even in the Heavy Gun division, 6mms ruled — 58 out of 61 Heavy Guns were chambered for 6mm cartridges, mostly Dashers.

3. These rigs are capable of extreme accuracy. The ten best Light Gun groups were all under 1.250″ (FYI, at 600 yards, one-quarter-MOA is 1.570″). And, as you can see at right, the three smallest Light Gun Groups were all under 0.9″. Think about that — a one-inch group used to be considered darn good at 300 yards.

This photo shows the winners in the front row, kneeling. Left to right are: Bud Larson (HG Score), Richard Schatz (2 Gun Overall, HG Group) , and Jim Bauer (HG Overall).
IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

After Friday practice, the match began with the Light Gun relays on Saturday. Both Light and Heavy Guns shoot 8-target Aggregates. At the end of the day Saturday, Tim Gonnerman was the Light Gun Group winner with a 2.236 Agg , edging runner-up Jason Walker by a mere .003″. That’s about as close as it gets. Dan Hullinger won Light Gun Score with a 382 (Danny Wake also had a 382 but placed second on the tie-breaker). Richard Schatz, “Mr. Consistent”, placed 4th for score and 5th for group to take the Light Gun Overall title. Last year’s two gun Champion Ryan Hunt finished in second place.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

Equipment Choices of Two Gun Top 20
If you review the equipment list for the Top 20 Two Gun competitors, you’ll find that Nightforce scopes were used by 19 shooters, while BAT actions were used by 15 shooters. Remarkably, 17 out of the top 20 used rifles chambered in 6 Dasher. Hodgdon Varget was the most commonly-used powder followed by Alliant Reloder 15. In the barrel department, Brux enjoyed a slight edge over Krieger, with ten shooters using Brux Barrels vs. seven using Kriegers.

Note the large, extended-width base-plate under the forearm. This spreads the load and provides more stability when used with super-wide SEB MAX front rest.
IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

The Heavy Guns came out on Sunday. Early morning relays saw a dead-flat wind condition that constantly changed as the day progressed. Scores settled a little and groups opened up, creating a little room between competitors. In the end, Bud Larson won the Heavy Gun Score title with a 385 total. This year’s Shooter of the Year leader Andy Ferguson was close behind with a 384. The Heavy Gun group champion is Richard Schatz with a 2.003 Agg, followed by Jim Bauer with a 2.017. The Heavy Gun overall went to Jim Bauer followed by “Andy Who?” Ferguson (see photo below).

The 2015 IBS 600-yard Two Gun Champion is Richard Schatz with 18 rank points. If you look at the new 600-yard traveling trophies, you’ll see Mr. Schatz’s name multiple times — this victory marks the third time Richard has won the 600-yard, Two Gun IBS National Championship in the past decade. Richard Schatz is certainly a great ambassador for our sport and a true gentleman. Second Place in the Two Gun overall went to Jim Bauer, not far behind with 20 rank points. Taking third was Andy Ferguson with 28 rank points.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun
Left to right are Two Gun Overall winner Richard Schatz, along with top female Shooter, Sally Bauer and Tom Jacobs, Vapor Trail Valley range owner.

The top lady shooter was Sally Bauer. A past IBS 1000-yard Shooter of the Year, Sally is a 7-time female National Champion in 600-yard or 1000-yard benchrest. Rory Jacobs was the Junior “Top Gun” this year, winning the Junior division and finishing 10th Overall among ALL shooters (of any age) in the Two-Gun Agg. Rory is a four-time Junior National Champion and three-time Junior shooter of the year. The top Rookie shooter was Carroll Lance.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun

As with many of the matches that we attend, the range owner’s family and friends make up the help for scoring and target crews, the lunch attendants and general maintenance of the ongoing match. This match is no different. Tom and Sara’s families took care of all the required chores and it all came together like a well-oiled machine. Give credit to Tom Jacobs for working with the sponsors to put together a great prize table — every shooter in attendance got a sponsored prize. Please take the time to let our sponsors know that you appreciate their generous support.

There was an excellent prize table, as this young fellow demonstrates
IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun equipment list

“Andy Who?” — Ferguson is Front-Runner in 600-Yard Shooter of the Year Race
Here’s the “Andy Who?” story. Andy Ferguson, a good friend and neighbor of the Vapor Trail Valley range owners, is currently leading the 600-yard Shooter of the Year (SOY) point competition. Given his hot shooting and top ranking in the SOY chase, some of Andy’s friends/fellow competitors thought Andy might be getting a “big head” (i.e. oversize ego). To bring him down to earth, as a joke, Andy’s friends printed up the “Andy Who?” T shirts. A good laugh was had by all.

IBS 600 yard national championship light gun heavy gun equipment list

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
October 22nd, 2015

Berger Updates Bullet BC Data and Recommended Twist Rates

Berger BC Ballistics Coefficient Barrel Twist Rate  Updates

Berger has released two important informational updates for its line-up of bullets. First, the Ballistics Coefficients (BCs) have been updated for the vast majority of bullets Berger sells. In addition, G7 model BCs are being provided for most of the bullets. You will want to use the updated BC data, which is based on actual testing of recent production lots of bullets.

Second, Berger is now providing a dual twist-rate recommendation for most bullets. Berger is now lists a “minimum” barrel twist rate as well as an “optimal” twist rate. To get maximum long-range performance from your bullets, use a barrel with the “optimal” rate of twist.

CLICK HERE for the latest Berger Quick Reference Sheets with updated BCs and new Optimal Twist Rates. Eric Stecker, Berger President says: “We have tested every lot of bullets‬ produced in the last several years to bring you these updated numbers for all of our bullets.”

Ballistic Coeffificent (BC) Updates with G7 Data
Berger notes: “We have updated all of our Ballistic Coefficients to be even more accurate.
Prior to 2008, all of Berger Bullets’ BCs were calculated using a computer prediction. Early in 2009, we began measuring BCs with live-fire testing. As a result, Berger’s BCs were updated and G7 BCs were also made available. This represented a dramatic improvement in the accuracy of performance data at that time. Since 2009, the BCs assessed for Berger Bullets have not been updated. As part of our ongoing effort to provide shooters with the best information possible, Berger has been testing every lot of bullets produced for the last several years. The result is updated and highly accurate running averages of BCs for recent production lots.

Here are some of the Updated BC Values for popular Berger Target (Match) Bullets:

Description New G1 BC New G7 BC % Change
22 Cal 80gr VLD Target 0.455 0.233 +2%
22 Cal 90gr VLD Target 0.534 0.274 -3%
6mm 95gr VLD Target 0.467 0.240 -3%
6mm 105gr VLD Target 0.517 0.265 +5%
6mm 105gr Hybrid Target 0.536 0.275 -1%
6mm 115gr VLD Target 0.563 0.289 +3%
6.5mm 130gr VLD Target 0.562 0.288 +2%
6.5mm 140gr Hybrid Target 0.607 0.311 -2%
7mm 180gr VLD Target 0.683 0.350 +4%
7mm 180gr Hybrid Target 0.680 0.349 +1%
30 Cal 155gr Hybrid Target 0.478 0.245 -1%
30 Cal 185gr Hybrid Target 0.576 0.295 +1%
30 Cal 215gr Hybrid Target 0.691 0.354 -1%

CLICK HERE for Complete Table with all bullets on Berger Website

G7 Form Factor Addition
Berger also added the G7 form factor to the Ballistics Quick Reference Sheet. The analysis of form factors can be very useful when considering a bullet’s long range performance potential. Going by BC alone can be deceptive since BC includes the weight and caliber of the bullet. Form factor indicates how much drag the bullet has, which is a very important consideration for all bullets of all calibers.

NEW Dual Twist-Rate Recommendations
Recommended twist rates for bullets are commonly listed as a single value, such as 1:12” (one rotation in 12″ of barrel travel). This may be overly simplistic. There is a big gray area of marginal stability in which bullets can fly with good accuracy, but with a reduced (i.e. sub-optimal) Ballistic Coefficient. Recognizing this reality, Berger is now listing two twist rates for each bullet it makes. The first is the minimum twist needed for good accuracy, which Berger has always recommended. The second is the new optimal twist rate, which is the twist that will stabilize the bullet to a level which achieves its full performance (BC) potential. CLICK HERE For more information.

Berger BC Ballistics Coefficient Barrel Twist Rate  Updates

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
October 21st, 2015

FREE Printable Reloading Data Sheets and Box Label Templates

Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

Redding Reloading is now providing Advanced Handloader’s Data Sheets in printable PDF format. This FREE form allows hand-loaders to document their tool settings, bushing size, powder charge, load specs (COAL etc.), and case prep status. In addition, the form allows you to enter your load testing information, complete with chronograph data, group size, zero range, and wind/temp conditions. With this single, handy form you can document all the vital information for a particular cartridge and load.

Download FREE Handloader’s Data Sheet (PDF)

We’ve seen various reloading log templates, but this Redding form (shown below) is better than most because it combines both reloading data AND range-test data in one place. You can see all key details of the reloading process (tool settings etc.) plus the end results — how the load actually performed over the chronograph and on paper. This form allows the user to capture a large amount of information for later use, while accurately track load development. Go to Download Page.

Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

FREE Ammunition Box Label Template
Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheetRedding Reloading has also developed a printable template for your ammo boxes (see photo at top of article). This lets you put all vital load info on your ammo boxes. There are fields for: Date, Cartridge, Powder, Grains, Bullet, Weight, Primer, Case type. Designed for Avery 5260 (or similar) label sheets, this template allows you to print 30 labels at one time. You can purchase the Avery 5260 peel-off printable label sheets at any office supply store.

Download Box Label Template (PDF)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
October 21st, 2015

Sydnie — Michigan’s Pint-Sized, Expert-Class, F-Open Shooter

Sidney Sydnie Lipski

Sydnie Lipski has grown up surrounded by the shooting sports. Her father, Alan Lipski, is a gunsmith who began teaching her about rifles and shooting when she was just 3 years old. By the time she was 6, she had already started varmint hunting.

Sidney LipskiAt just 8 years of age, Sydnie won her first rifle match, competing against adults in an F-Open event. A year later, at 9 years old, Sydnie fired her first perfect score of 200-11X. She also received her Expert Classification. She ended the season in second place for the IOSCO Sportsmen Club’s 3×600 Grand Aggregate.

Rifle Specifications:
Rifle: Custom 6XC built by Alan Lipski with blue-printed Model 700 Remington action.
Barrel: 1:8″-twist, 6mm Bartlein.
Stock: Custom wood stock by Alan Lipski.
Load: Norma brass, H4831SC powder, Tula primers, and Berger 6mm 105gr Match Hybrid Target bullets.
Alan reports: “Bergers are very forgiving and extremely accurate!”

Sidney Sydnie Lipski

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 9 Comments »
October 20th, 2015

Radical Rimfire — The Barrel-Indexing Action by Bill Myers

Bill Myers Indexing Action

The late Bill Myers was recognized as one of greatest rimfire smiths who ever lived. Myers crafted many match-winning, record-setting rimfire benchrest rigs. Here we feature one of Bill’s most interesting creations — a clamping action that allows a rimfire barrel to be indexed (rotated) around the bore axis.

Bill was a creative thinker, and his own exhaustive testing has convinced him that barrel indexing can enhance accuracy in rimfire benchrest guns. Myers did acknowledge that, particularly with a very good barrel, the advantages of indexing may be subtle, and extensive testing may be required. Nonetheless, Myers believed that indexing could improve rimfire accuracy.

Indexing with the Myers’ Clamping Action
To index the barrel, Myers simply loosens the three clamping-bolts and rotates the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. In other words you can rotate the barrel to any position on the clockface and the headspace remains unchanged.

Bill Myers Indexing Action
Bill Myers Indexing Action

The Challenge of Barrel Indexing
cone breech bill myers rimfire indexable actionWith a conventional barrel installation, employing a shoulder with a threaded tenon, it is difficult to index the barrel. Even with a cone breech (photo right) that eliminates the problem of extractor cuts, you’d have to use shims to alter the barrel index position, or otherwise re-set the shoulder each time you screwed the barrel in further.

Clamping Action Allows Barrel to Be Rotated to Any Position
Bill has come up with a masterful solution to barrel indexing. He designed and built his own prototype custom action that clamps the barrel rather than holding it with threads. The front section of the action is sliced lengthways, and then clamped down with three bolts. A special bushing (the gold-color piece in photos) fits between the barrel and the action. By using bushings of different inside diameters, Bill can fit any barrel up to an inch or so diameter, so long as it has a straight contour at the breech end. To mount the barrel, Bill simply places the fitted bushing over the barrel end-shank, then slips the “sleeved” barrel into the front end of the action. Tighten three bolts, and the barrel is secure.

Bill Myers Indexing Action

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
October 20th, 2015

Contrary to Media Reports, Gun Crime is Decreasing

NSSF gun crime statistics downIf the mainstream media is to be believed, America is experiencing a surge of gun-related violence. Meanwhile sponsors of new restrictions on firearms claim that gun crime is increasing. Due in part to television crime reports, the majority of Americans also believe that firearms-related crimes are on the rise. But is this really the case?

If fact, the crime rate has been dropping steadily for more than 20 years. That has occurred while the number of firearms owned by American has risen significantly So, statistics prove that we really have witnessed “more guns, less crime”. The NSSF video linked above demonstrates this point very effectively.

The numbers don’t lie — over the past 20 years, there has been a major reduction in gun-related crime while gun ownership levels have risen significantly. Moreover, the number of accidental gun fatalities has dropped precipitously, even though Americans own more firearms than ever before.

NSSF gun crime statistics down

NSSF gun crime statistics down

Permalink - Videos, News 3 Comments »
October 19th, 2015

Bargain-Finder 5: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a new “Deals of the Week” feature. If this proves popular, we’ll try to run this every Monday. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon.com — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Competition Scope

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

No this 10-50X Sightron isn’t as good as a Nightforce 15-55X Competition scope, but it is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches and it is nearly $1400 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $450 cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitor on a budget. The money you save (compared to a 15-55X NF) will pay for a BAT or Kelbly action, with money left over.

2. McMillan Stocks — Rem-inletted Stocks on Sale

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
McMillan has a wide variety of inletted fiberglass stocks on sale. If you have a Remington or Rem-clone action you’re in luck. McMillan has dozens of Rem-inletted stocks on sale right now, with prices as low as $400. Above is just a small selection of Rem-Inletted Sale Stocks. McMillan also has bargain-priced stocks for many other kinds of actions.

3. Midsouth Shooter’s Supply — RCBS Rock Chucker Press

AccurateShooter Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Single Stage Reloading Press Discount Deal

This week you can get an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press for just $149.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. The Rock Chucker Press is strong and versatile, a design that has stood the test of time. I’ve got a Rock Chucker on my reloading bench that was made in the 1970s and passed down from my brother. It’s still capable of loading 1/4-MOA ammo.

4. Weatherby — Vanguard S2 Typhoon .243 Win

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Weatherby Vanguard .243 Winchester S2 Typhoon

A Weatherby for under $450.00? That’s right. Currently, Grabagun.com offers the Weatherby S2 Typhoon, chambered in .243 Winchester for just $448.22. This rifle features a 24″ barrel, 2-stage trigger (that adjusts down to 2.5 lbs), and a composite Monte Carlo-type stock in Kryptek camo pattern. Weight without optics is 7.25 pounds. NOTE: Limited inventory — check Slickguns.com for other vendors.

5. MidwayUSA — Deluxe Competition Shooting Mat $59.99

AccurateShooter Deals of Week MidwayUSA competition shooting mat bargain coupon

We have used MidwayUSA shooting mats, as have many Forum members. This Competition Mat is a good product. The 400 denier, PVC-coated material is durable, the overall size is good, and we like the front flap that can be staked down. MidwayUSA normally sells this mat for about $85.00. Currently, it is on sale for $59.99. It’s hard to find a better padded mat for anywhere near that price.

Unrolled Dimensions: 73-½” Long x 35-½” Wide (Does not include the front flap).
Rolled Dimensions: 8-½” Diameter x 35-½” Wide | Weight: 6.5 lbs.

6. CDNN — Walther PPX M1 9mm for $279.88

AccurateShooter Deals of week CDNN Investments pistol handgun sale Walther 9mm 9x19mm PPX discount bargain coupon

It may be ugly, but this Walther PPX M1 is a very good 9mm pistol. This Editor has shot the PPX and, IMHO, it has a better trigger than the Glock, better ergonomics, and better accuracy. Right now you can get this German-made Walther 9mm pistol for under $280.00 — less than half the price of a new Glock. Interested? Then read this Walther PPX Review. It confirms what we’ve said — this is a good pistol.

7. Wideners.com — IMI 9mm Luger, 1000 Rounds for $209.00

AccurateShooter Deals of week Wideners pistol handgun ammo ammunition sale 9mm 9x19mm  discount  bargain coupon

This is good ammo, though pretty “hot” (it runs 1102 fps from a 4″ barrel). This Editor has shot a lot of IMI 9x19mm ammunition through Glocks, HKs and Sigs. This ammo is very reliable and reasonably accurate. NOTE: This ammo features lead-core bullets, which may not be allowed in some indoor ranges. This ammo is Boxer-primed and the primer pockets are NOT crimped so you can reload the IMI 9mm brass with no problems. $209.00 for 1000 rounds is a pretty good deal these days.

8. Amazon.com — Gerber Folding Bear Grillis Survival Knife

AccurateShooter Deals of week Gerber sheath folding survival knife Bear Grylls  discount  bargain coupon

This is a pretty darn good folding knife, and a killer deal at $15.60 from Amazon.com. Yes your Editor bought one. The semi-serrated stainless steel blade is sharp and holds its edge surprisingly well. The knife comes with a nylon sheath and a Bear Grylls survival guide. Despite its low cost, Gerber offers a lifetime warranty on this knife.

Here is a verified owner’s review: “Most retailers sell it for 30 bucks. This knife is…very sturdy with no blade play and has a good solid feel. The handle is very grippy… [and] fits VERY nicely in the hand. Love Gerber’s serrations… great for cutting rope, cordage and strapping.”

Permalink Hot Deals, News 1 Comment »
October 19th, 2015

New Editions of Applied Ballistics Books

Applied Ballistics new book Long Range Shooting Bullet Data tables

Applied Ballistics LLC will release updated editions of two popular resource books: Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting (3rd Edition) and Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets (2nd Edition). Retail price is $54.95 for each title, or $94.95 if purchased together. Pre-orders are now being accepted with a $5 discount per book. You can pre-order the new editions through the Applied Ballistics store. The new editions are expected to ship by the second week of December.

Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting (ABLRS), Bryan Litz’s “Magnum Opus”, will have significant enhancements. New for the Third Edition is content on Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis. WEZ analysis is the study of hit percentage, and how that will be affected by the uncertainties in your environment. Existing academic material is augmented with modern experimental findings. The Third Edition also includes a CD-ROM disc with Applied Ballistics’ latest version of its ballistic software. NOTE: The third edition of ABLRS does NOT include the library of bullet data. That bullet library now exists as a separate reference book: Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets.

Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets — Data for 533 Bullets AND Rimfire Ammo
The updated, Second Edition of Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets contains the current library of all modern bullets tested by the Applied Ballistics Laboratory. Expanding on the First Edition, which had data on 400 bullets from .22 to .408 caliber, this Second Edition contains data on 533 bullets from .22 through .50 caliber. In addition to the centerfire bullet data, the Second Edition contains live fire data on 90 types of rimfire ammo which were all tested for muzzle velocity and BC through five different barrels of various twist/length configurations. This library of experimental test data is the most extensive and accurate resource ever assembled for small arms bullets. Numerous modern ballistics programs draw from the library of tested BCs that are published in this book.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
October 19th, 2015

Water-Cooled Heavy Gun Set 1000-Yard World Record

Joel Pendergraft

Here’s something you’ve probably never seen before — a liquid-cooled benchrest rifle. No, this is not just a crazy experiment. This gun, built by Joel Pendergraft, produced a 10-shot, 3.044″ group that is still listed as the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) 1000-Yard Heavy Gun record. Using this water-cooled 300 Ackley Improved, Joel shot the record group in April 2009 at Hawks Ridge, NC. This monster features a 12-twist, 4-groove Krieger barrel. Joel shot BIB 187gr flat-based bullets in Norma brass, pushed by a “generous amount” of Alliant Reloder 25 and Federal 210M primers.

Joel Pendergraft

This 3.044″ 10-shot group was a remarkable accomplishment, breaking one of the longest-standing, 1000-yard World Records.

Joel Pendergraft

Pendergraft was modest after his notable achievement: “What makes this so very special is to be able to celebrate the accomplishment with all of my shooting friends[.] A good friend once said that records are shot when preparation and opportunity meet. I feel blessed to have personally had the opportunity. The preparation we can individually work on and achieve but the opportunity only comes to a few. Those of you that compete in long range competition will know what I mean.”

Joel Pendergraft

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
October 18th, 2015

Idaho Teen Wins NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship

Rimfire Challenge Championship

Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young man from Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Kolby Pavlock of Kuna, Idaho, won the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held October 9-11 at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In winning the overall title (not just the junior class) Kolby out-shot many seasoned adult competitors, proving that youth and skill can in fact overcome “old age and treachery”, at least in this fun rimfire discipline. Kolby is blazing fast, as you can see in this video from the 2015 Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge Match. Check out the jaw-dropping speed at 1:20 time-mark.

Watch 16-year-old Kolby Pavlock in NSSF Rimfire Competition:

The 2015 Rimfire Challenge Championship was a great success. A record 200 competitors of all ages and skill levels took part. (By comparison only 150 or so shooters competed in the much-ballyhooed “NRA World Shooting Championship”). For many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.

Fun and very affordable, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge appeals to all ages and skill levels. Here are youth competitors from last year’s Championship at the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas:
Rimfire Challenge Championship

NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. This popular competition is growing fast — in 2015, more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events were held across the country. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Complete results from the world championship event will be posted at www.nssf.org/rimfire/championship.

Rimfire Challenge Championship

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
October 17th, 2015

FBI Plans to Spend $85 Million on New 9mm Pistols

FBI handgun badge Glock 22 badge Bureau InvestigationFBI Photo shows a Glock Model 22, .40 S&W caliber. This will be replaced by new, striker-fired 9mm Luger pistols in both compact and full-size formats.

The Federal Government loves to spend your tax dollars, and the FBI wants its share of the action. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the next generation of 9mm FBI pistols. At stake is $85,000,000 in Federal dollars for handguns, parts, and accessories. CLICK HERE to Download FBI RFP.

The FBI is actually seeking two 9x19mm pistols, one “Compact” and the other “Full-Size”. The pistols must be striker-fired, and capable of a “20,000 round endurance firing cycle”. Trigger pull weight shall be “no less than 4.5 pounds nor exceed 6 pounds”, with NO mag disconnect/safety. There will also be no manual external safety, no grip safety, and no de-cocking lever. Here are the RFP basic descriptions of the pistols:

Class I Compact Pistol: One (1) Class I Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 3.75” and no greater than 4.25”, minimum magazine capacity of 14 rounds, night sights, six (6) magazines, FBI approved gun lock. Firing pin/Striker fired only.

Class II Full Size Pistol: One (1) Class II Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 4.26” and no greater than 5.20”, minimum magazine capacity of 16 rounds, night sights, six (6) magazines, FBI approved gun lock. Firing pin/Striker fired only.

Why Change from .40 SW back to 9x19mm?
Last time we checked the FBI had more than enough firepower. The FBI’s stated need for $85 million dollars worth of 9mm pistols* certainly raises questions, while re-igniting the “great caliber debate”. In May 1997, the FBI officially adopted the Glock .40 S&W pistol for general agent use. Now it is going back to the 9mm Luger (aka 9x19mm), which it had used in Sig P226/228 pistols from 1988 to 1997.

Why make the change? Some people think advancements in propellants and 9mm bullets allow the smaller cartridge to rival the .40 SW for penetration and stopping power. Possibly the FBI learned that many of its agents couldn’t shoot the snappy, harder-recoiling .40 SW very well. So this change to a more user-friendly round may be all about compensating for lawmen who can’t shoot straight.

A report originating at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, VA may explain why the FBI wants to dump the .40 SW in favor of the 9mm. Here are highlights from the Report’s Executive Summary:

  • LEOs miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident.
  • 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI.
  • 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons).
  • The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (in similar sized weapons).
  • There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto.

Source: FBI Training Division, FBI Academy (Quantico, VA) Report quoted in LooseRounds.com.

* In addition to the Compact and Full-Size duty pistols, the FBI plans to acquire training pistols and spare parts: “Class I Inert Training Pistol (a.k.a. Red Handle); Class I Man Marker Training Pistol (a.k.a. SIMUNITION); Class I & Class II Pistol Replacement Parts”. The $85,000,000 contract price would include these additional items.

Permalink Handguns, News 11 Comments »
October 17th, 2015

Online Barrel Weight Calculator from Pac-Nor

Online Pac-Nor Barrel Calculator

Can you guess what your next barrel will weigh? In many competition disciplines, “making weight” is a serious concern when putting together a new match rifle. A Light Varmint short-range Benchrest rifle cannot exceed 10.5 pounds including scope. An F-TR rifle is limited to 18 pounds, 2 oz. (8.25 kg) with bipod.

One of the heaviest items on most rifles is the barrel. If your barrel comes in much heavier than expected, it can boost the overall weight of the gun significantly. Then you may have to resort to cutting the barrel, or worse yet, re-barreling, to make weight for your class. In some cases, you can remove material from the stock to save weight, but if that’s not practical, the barrel will need to go on a diet. (As a last resort, you can try fitting a lighter scope.)

Is there a reliable way to predict, in advance, how much a finished barrel will weigh? The answer is “yes”. PAC-NOR Barreling of Brookings, Oregon has created a handy, web-based Barrel Weight Calculator. Just log on to Pac-Nor’s website and the calculator is free to use. Pac-Nor’s Barrel Weight Calculator is pretty sophisticated, with separate data fields for Shank Diameter, Barrel Length, Bore Diameter — even length and number of flutes. Punch in your numbers, and the Barrel Weight Calculator then automatically generates the weight for 16 different “standard” contours.

Calculator Handles Custom Contours
What about custom contours? Well the Pac-Nor Barrel Weight Calculator can handle those as well. The program allows input of eight different dimensional measurements taken along the barrel’s finished length, from breech to muzzle. You can use this “custom contour” feature when calculating the weight of another manufacturer’s barrel that doesn’t match any of Pac-Nor’s “standard” contours.

(more…)

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 16th, 2015

GAP Grind Kicks Off Today in Tennessee

GAP Grind Giddings 2015 G.A. Precision

The prestigious GAP Grind tactical match runs this weekend, 16-18 October, at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee. The 2014 GAP Grind drew a huge turn-out, and this year’s Grind promises to top that — with more competitors and even tougher challenges. Held in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), this year’s Grind features a Pro/Am format with professional and amateur competitors aiming for individual and team honors.

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Target vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

2014 GAP Grind Highlights Video:

Want to see what a “GAP Grind Experience” is all about? Then watch this video from the 2014 Grind. You’ll see a lot of movement through a wide variety of shooting positions. This ain’t no benchrest match, that’s for sure…

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

GAP Grind Guns by Giddings
Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, attended the 2014 GAP Grind last week. While there, Shelley snapped some cool images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles. Here is a Giddings Gallery of Grind Guns. You can find more GAP Grind pix on Shelly’s Facebook Page.

Click any photo below to see a full-screen version.

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

GAP Grind Giddings 2014 G.A. Precision

Permalink Competition, Tactical 5 Comments »
October 15th, 2015

New Nightforce Newsletter Explains Parallax

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

Nightforce Optics has just launched a new monthly newsletter. This free, subscription-based digital publication will offer information on optics, target shooting, hunting, and other topics of interest. The debut October issue, released this week, features match reports, tactical shooting hold-over advice, plus a TECH TIP explaining Parallax.

PARALLAX – What is it and Why is it important?

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

What is Parallax?
Parallax is the apparent movement of the scope’s reticle (cross-hairs) in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope. This is caused by the target and the reticle being located in different focal planes.

Why is it Important?
The greater the distance to the target and magnification of the optic, the greater the parallax error becomes. Especially at longer distances, significant sighting error can result if parallax is not removed.

How to Remove Parallax
This Nightforce Tech Tip video quickly shows how to remove parallax on your riflescope.

While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a slight nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. To remove parallax, start with the adjustment mechanism on infinity and rotate until the reticle remains stationary in relation to the target regardless of head movement. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement behind the optic.

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

If you want to subscribe to the Nightforce Newsletter, CLICK HERE to open the Newsletter then click the green “Join Email List” button at the top of the page.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 15th, 2015

How to Ship Gun Stuff Without Getting Burned

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXGun guys are always shipping stuff around the country — whether it’s a barrel to be chambered, or a scope that needs to go back for warranty repair. Or maybe you’ve sold some bullets or reloading dies you no longer need. To ensure your precious packages get to their destination in one piece, it’s important to take precautions when boxing up your items. And by all means insure packages for full value — even if your packaging is perfect, there is always the possibility that your shipment might be lost altogether. Sadly, that can happen, no matter which carrier you choose: Fedex, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here are some tips for shipping gun stuff — we explain how to pack items properly and how to minimize the risk of loss.

Tips for Shippers
Dennis Haffner from McGowen Precision Barrels offers some advice on how to avoid damage when shipping gun parts or other valuable or heavy items. Dennis explains:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“First, I started double-packing the contents and in many cases double-boxing. I spend a fortune on heavy-reinforced shipping tape. If the contents are loosely packed, the package is going to get crushed. On real important items or delicate items, wrap the content in plastic and spray the inside void areas with non-expanding foam. They make shipping foam just for this. This method really works. Since I started paying more attention to packaging, I have just about wiped out my issues with all three companies (Fedex, UPS, USPS). Yes, I hate doing it, but in the long run for us, it’s cheaper.

Bullet shipments are the worst — a shipment of 500+ bullets can destroy a cardboard box. I have ordered bullets from individuals who put them in baggies and filled the remainder of the box with foam peanuts. That is not going to work. Any piece of metal, including a die, will puncture a cardboard box, or destroy a padded envelope. Just look at the tracking information and imagine your package bouncing around in the back of the shipping truck, probably under many other packages. My advice is to NEVER use padded envelopes. Barrel nuts or recoil lugs will most likely never make it.

ORM-D items are required to be shipped in heavily-reinforced, double-walled containers. The packages still get a little damage, but the contents usually survive.

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXHow do shipments get damaged? Consider this — one of the shipping companies this year flipped (overturned) one of our new CNC machines (which rendered it useless). Maybe your small packages were in the same delivery truck as my CNC machine. I wonder how many little boxes were crushed underneath it.

As for USPS flat rate boxes — you would not believe what people try to stuff in these boxes. USPS finally put a weight limit on the boxes — they had to. I sometimes take my delicate items packed in an envelope or small box. I spray foam in a larger flat rate box and insert the smaller package, then fill the remainder of the void with foam. It works, and part usually arrives undamaged.”

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX
Shipping Rifle Barrels (PVC Tube and Tennis Ball Method)
A new match-grade barrel can cost $350 or more, and it might take six months (or more) to replace it, given the current wait time with top barrel-makers. So, you don’t want your nice new tube to get damaged in transit. Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “M-61″) offers these tips for shipping rifle barrels:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“Packing a barrel can be a problem. Here’s a shipping method that won’t stop lost shipments but so far has stopped damage. Get a PVC pipe (of size appropriate to your barrel) with fitted caps for each end. Attach a cap to one end. Tape the barrel threads and tape over the muzzle. Then drop one standard tennis ball into the pipe. Place barrel in pipe. Next add whatever peanuts or foam you can jam in to support the barrel on the sides. Then place a second tennis ball into the opposite end of the PVC pipe. (So now you have a tennis ball on either end of your barrel.) With everything secure inside, attach the upper cap and tape it down securely. With this packing procedure, when the carrier launches the pipe like a javelin, at least the barrel will not come through like a spear and be gone. Label the pipe with very large address labels so no one suspects it’s just garbage laying around. This procedure may seem ridiculous but it has worked for me. Oh and definitely get insurance. If your item is insured, the shippers will look harder to find it.”

Editor’s Note: Fedex also makes a triangular-profile cardboard shipping box. This 38″ x 6″ x 6″ x 6″ Fedex Tube (designed for blueprints and posters) is free for the asking. For most barrels, there should be enough clearance to hold your PVC tube (with barrel packed inside tube). However, don’t ship the barrel inside the cardboard box by itself. Cap and pad the ends and bubble wrap it heavily, or better yet, use the PVC tube method described above, with the PVC tube inside the box.

For More Packing and Shipping Advice, Read this Forum Thread.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
October 14th, 2015

Custom Target Cam System with Rest-Mounted Monitor

Diana Target Cam Wifi system wireless camera video benchrest

Dave Diana is a clever fellow. He not only fabricated his own wireless Target Cam system, but he invented a mount that places the receiver/monitor unit conveniently next to his bench rifle. The hooded view-screen actually mounts to his SEB front Rest via a bracket. The monitor unit includes wireless receiver and a short directional antenna (see below):

Diana Target Cam Wifi system wireless camera video benchrest

Dave says his new CCTV monitor bracket on the SEB NEO rest is “working as planned”. However, after taking these photos, Dave did make a modification. Dave explained: “I found moving the monitor over to the left-hand side was more shooter-friendly. I can stay in a natural shooting position, look at the screen, see my windflags and shoot with little movement. The next task is to add a coffee cup holder somewhere to house my group tightener double expresso!”

Diana Target Cam Wifi system wireless camera video benchrest

Target Cam Monitor Has Built-In Receiver
Dave built a very nice system. He tells us: “The security camera is a 27x power zoom camera housed in a weather proof case that also houses the wireless transmitter. The monitor has a built-in receiver, and I am running spiral polarized antennas on both ends. The system will run all day long on the waterproof-cased, game-camera batteries.”

Here are the internals of the wireless camera system. Note the antenna at right.
Diana Target Cam Wifi system wireless camera video benchrest

Here is the entire system, with monitor/receiver placed conventionally on a tripod. Batteries are housed in waterproof plastic cases.
Diana Target Cam Wifi system wireless camera video benchrest

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 5 Comments »