October 14th, 2015

Compact Varmint Rig — Howa Mini Action

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

Looking for an affordable “Truck Gun”, or a light-weight, “carry-around” varmint rifle? Consider the Howa Mini Action series. With receiver (and bolt) that are nearly an inch shorter than regular short actions, these Mini Action rigs weigh just 5.7 pounds without optics. This makes for a nice, compact (and very shootable) varmint package.

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

The Howa Mini Action rifles come with 10-rd detachable box magazines and an adjustable HACT 2-stage trigger. Synthetic stocks are offered in black, OD green, and Kryptek Highlander camo colors. You can buy a complete Mini Action rifle package, including 3-9x40mm Nikko scope, for under $590.00.

Barreled Actions Available from Howa
If you are looking to build your own project rifle, you can purchase Howa Mini Barreled Actions separately. When fitted with a #1 contour lightweight barrel, the Mini Barreled action weighs just 3.77 pounds. Barreled actions are currently offered in .223 Rem and .204 Ruger chamberings. Lightweight and heavy barrels measure 20 inches, while standard barrels are 22 inches long.

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

Video Shows Features of Howa Mini Action Rifle:

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
October 14th, 2015

Barrel Care and Maintenance — Expert Advice

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Ask 10 shooters about barrel cleaning and you’ll get 10 different opinions. This reflects that fact that different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa). To come up with the right solution, first you must understand the nature of the fouling in your barrel.

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning. Chip’s article, Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care, can be found in the Shooting Sports USA digital archives. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

CLICK HERE to read Full Match Barrel Care Article.

The debate about the proper care of a match barrel is a hot one, spiked with folklore and old wives’ tales, Lohman said. He and his staff set out to set the record straight: “We tried to interject some science into the discussion of cleaning a match barrel,” he explained. In his article, Lohman writes:

Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.

For more Shooting Sports USA articles, visit www.ssusa.org.

John Krieger Interview with AccurateShooter at SHOT Show:

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 13th, 2015

World’s Most Accurate IT Guy Strikes Again

JayChris Rattlesnake F-TR F-Class IT Guy

Jay Christopherson (aka “JayChris”), Accurateshooter’s IT guru, is a heck of a good shooter as well as a computer wizard. Jay recently won the F-TR division of the NW Long Range Regional held at the always-challenging Rattlesnake Shooting Range. To top the F-TR field, Jay had to battle extreme wind conditions that required double-digit windage corrections (and a hold-off) just to get on paper. Jay said: “The wind was 25 to 35 mph, switching between half and full value. I had 18.5 minutes on. Some of the sling shooters were [running] 24-36 minutes.”

MUST WATCH Video! Wicked, INSANE 25-35 mph winds at Rattlesnake:

JayChris Rattlesnake F-TR F-Class IT GuyJay reports: “The typical Rattlesnake range caveats apply with regards to scores. This was a Long Range Regional, here in Washington State. This was also the first time I’ve ever had to put on double digit windage on at a match. Yesterday at 1000 yards, I had to put on 15 minutes AND hold another 3.5 to the edge of the target board to get on paper. I probably owe a great deal of thanks to Monte Milanuk for convincing me that (after my third sighter off the target board) dialing in that much wind was, in fact, NOT insane.

Because I didn’t come to the match armed with enough ammo and I couldn’t afford to be shooting more sighters… it was a close thing as it was. Even some of the well-known wind ninjas shooting sling were having some difficulty with the conditions.

Jay was modest about his win: ‘I did a poor job of shooting at 800 yards on both days, in fairly decent conditions, but made up for it at 1000 on both days. I happened to dope the wind on the last relay better than the guy leading me. ​

Really, the wind is the story — on the last relay of that first day (shown in the video), the storm rolled in, along with a wildfire that started up on one of the hills behind us. We were all watching that pretty closely, but they contained it pretty quickly.”

JayChris Rattlesnake F-TR F-Class IT Guy

Permalink - Videos, Competition 1 Comment »
October 13th, 2015

View from the Pits at CMP Western Games

Ben Avery CMP Western Games Video SAFS Dennis Santiago target frames

Our friend Dennis Santiago was doing pits duty during the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) phase of the CMP Western Games. Here are some views from the pits at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, Arizona. Dennis also took a video from the pits during live fire. Listen to rounds zip over-head and impact into the berm beyond the targets, in the video below.

Watch Video with rounds flying over the pit zone:

Dennis reports: “Here’s a slice of life at the receiving end of live fire. This is a rapid fire stage as seen from the target pits at the 2015 CMP Western Games. The targets are placed up in the air. The bullets go through them over the heads of competitors protected behind an earth berm. The bullets land in a designated impact area (berm) beyond the target frames.”

Ben Avery CMP Western Games Video SAFS Dennis Santiago target frames

At the CMP Western Games, participants shoot, score and do pit service. The pit workers are positioned on a catwalk behind a concrete wall. There is a thick, earth-works berm on the other side.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
October 13th, 2015

Verizon FiOS Drops Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel

Verizon FiOS sportsman outdoor channel drop Shooting USA restore access

Verizon announced last week that Verizon FiOS will no longer carry the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. These channels offer Shooting USA, NRA All Access, NRA Gun Gurus, and American Rifleman programming, plus many hunting TV shows. If you’re a subscriber to Verizon FiOS, you’ll be losing access to the most popular shooting and hunting TV shows.

Verizon FiOS sportsman outdoor channel drop Shooting USA restore access“Our partners, advocates and viewers of outdoor lifestyle programming are very disappointed with Verizon’s actions,” said Jim Liberatore, CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. “It should concern all Americans that one company can silence the only relevant voice of an entire industry with the flip of a switch.”

Verizon claimed that the move was a response to rising content costs. Verizon suggested that FiOS customers view other cable channels (such as Discovery or History) to find “similar content”. That’s not really a solution in our view. Other “mainstream” cable channels do not provide the same kind of content for hunters, sport shooters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts. On mainstream channels there is nothing like Shooting USA, which covers major shooting matches and SHOT Show.

If you are concerned about loss of the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel, you can call Verizon FiOS at (800) 837-4966, or email Verizon FiOS. Ask Verizon to restore the Outdoor and Sportsman Channels to the FiOS TV programming mix. You can also switch television content providers. Time-Warner, Direct TV, and Dish Network still offer the Outdoor Channel. CLICK HERE for more info on switching to a new television provider.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
October 12th, 2015

Bargain Finder 4: 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. McGowen Barrels — Halloween Deal 20% Off Barrels

AccurateShooter Deals Week Bullets.com Mcgowen barrels 20% off twenty code sale coupon

As a “Spooky Savings” promotion for AccurateShooter.com readers, McGowen Barrels is offering 20% off Custom and Pre-fit barrels (not valid on other products/services). This discount is good through October 31, 2015. To save 20% visit McGowenBarrel.com and use CODE “OCTOBER” at check-out.

2. Bullets.com – Bald Eagle Rest with Windage Top

AccurateShooter Deals Week Bullets.com Clearance Bald Eagle front rest windage top Sale
Bullets.com is offering aluminum-base front rests, with flex-shaft remote windage adjustment, for just $165.00! These front rests originally retailed for over $400.00 (with windage drive). But Bullets.com is having an “overstock” sale so you can get blow-out pricing on these rests.

3. Grafs.com – Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic KIT

AccurateShooter Deals Week Grafs.com Hornady Reloading Classic press kit

On sale this week at Grafs.com, this Hornady Reloading Kit comes with everything you need to turn out accurate handloads: Lock-N-Load single stage press, L-N-L Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Rotary Powder Measure, Powder Trickler, 7th Ed. Reloading Handbook, three (3) L-N-L die bushings, Hand Priming Tool, Reloading Block, chamfer/deburring Tool, Primer Flip plate, and One Shot Case Lube.

4. Mr. Gun Dealer — Savage A17 Rifle (17 HMR)

AccurateShooter Deals Week Grafs.com Hornady Reloading Classic press kit

Savage’s new A17, chambered for the 17 HMR cartridge, is accurate and tons of fun. The model we tested was 100% reliable and ran like a sewing machine. Some of the early production models need a little attention to the trigger (and some fluff ‘n buff) — but nothing major. We think this is the most significant semi-auto rimfire of the decade. And now you can snag one for under $365.00!

5. Amazon.com – 8x30mm Military Marine Binoculars, $239.99

AccurateShooter Deals Week Amazon.com Steiner Military Marine Binoculars

Your editor has used Steiner Military Marine Binoculars on many ground squirrel and prairie dog adventures. What I really like about these Steiners is that you don’t have to fiddle around with the focus. Once you set the eyepieces correctly, everything from about 25 yards to infinity is in focus. Honest. That’s great when you’re glassing a P-Dog field all day long. The armor is also very tough. Downside? Well with 30mm objectives, the Steiners can’t possibly match the low-light performance of true high-end ($1500+) binoculars. But then the Steiners cost a mere $239.99.

6. PrecisionReloading.com – MTM Range Box

AccurateShooter Deals Week Grafs.com MTM Shooting Range Kit Cleaning Box Cradles

This versatile MTM Shooting Range Box is on sale for just $28.69 at PrecisionReloading.com. It sells elsewhere for $42-$50. This box has a removable top section with small compartments for jags, patches, and small parts. Snap-in cradles provide a secure support for cleaning your rifle. NOTE: The MTM Range Box on sale is RED (though the photo also shows a green box).

7. EABCO.com – AR-15 Stripped Lower (Anderson Mfg.)

AccurateShooter Deals Week Grafs.com MTM Shooting Range Kit Cleaning Box Cradles

The Anderson Mfg. Stripped AR-15 Lower is just $49.00 now at Eabco.com. These lowers are inexpensive, but the appearance is clean, dimensions are correct, and Eabco.com stands behind them. Put the money you save on the lower into a better barrel. Video Review of Anderson Stripped Lower.

Permalink Hot Deals 2 Comments »
October 12th, 2015

Print Handy Drop-Chart with FREE Hornady Ballistics Calculator

Hornady Ballistics Calculator

Hornady Ballistics CalculatorNeed a simple, easy-to-use drop chart for your rifle? Something you can tape right to the buttstock? Then check out Hornady’s handy Online Ballistics Calculator. This user-friendly calculator will compute your drops accurately, and output a handy “Cheat Sheet” you can print and attach to your rifle. Simply input G1 or G7 BC values, muzzle velocity, bullet weight, zero range and a few other variables. Click “Calculate” and you’re good to go. You can select the basic version, or an advanced version with more data fields for environmental variables (altitude, temperature, air pressure, and humidity). You can also get wind drift numbers by inputing wind speed and angle.

Conveniently, on the trajectory output, come-ups are listed in both MOA and Mils — so this will work with either MOA clicks or Mil-based clicks. There are more sophisticated ballistics solvers available on the web (such as the outstanding Applied Ballistics Online Calculator), but the Hornady Calculator is very simple and easy to use. If you just want a basic drop chart, you may want to check this out.

Hornady Ballistics Calculator

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
October 11th, 2015

Three-Barrel BD14 ‘Bockdrilling’ from Blaser

Blaser BD14 Drilling Bockdrilling Shotgun Rifle
CLICK Photo for full-screen view.

If two barrels are better than one, then why not three? That’s the thinking behind the exotic new BD14 from Blaser, unveiled at the 2014 IWA Show in Germany. This “bockdrilling” three-barrel firearm works as a shotgun, large-caliber rifle, and small-caliber rifle all in one. Even with all those barrels, the BD14 is relatively light, at 3.3 kg (7.26 lbs) without optics. That makes this a nice, carry-around gun for stalking. As you’d expect from Blaser, the twin triggers are crisp and precise, with a pull weight of just 1.43 lbs (650 grams). The front trigger is for the large-caliber rifle barrel, while the rear trigger works both the shotgun and small-caliber barrels, via a tang-mounted selector. Sorry, we don’t yet have a USA-market price on this example of gun-making exotica, but you can bet it will be expensive.

Here’s what Blaser USA has to say about its unique three-barreled BD14:

“The ‘Bockdrilling’ is, put simply, an over/under (O/U) rifle-shotgun combination with a smaller caliber rifle-barrel… on the side. The barrel arrangement [allows] for an extremely slender receiver, making the BD 14 exceptionally huntable.

The brand new Vertical Block Lockup…has been filed for patent. It combines an extremely compact and solid block lockup in a closed system within the monoblock with the comfortable handling of a classic break-action rifle.

The double lock permits, if needed, a rapid second shot, the front trigger always releasing the large rifle-caliber. The … barrel selector actives the shotgun barrel when in position ‘top’ and activates the smaller rifle caliber in position ‘bottom’.”

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 5 Comments »
October 11th, 2015

STEEL DEAL: NSSF Offers Grants for Steel Targets

NSSF Steel Grant Program

Here’s something that could benefit your local shooting club. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has a Steel Target Grant Program to help shooting ranges that plan to begin or expand NSSF Rimfire Challenge target-shooting events. With support from Action Target, 20 steel target grant packages (valued at $2100.00 each) will be available. The targets are suitable for both indoor and outdoor target shooting ranges (rimfire only). CLICK HERE for more information.

NSSF Steel Grant Program

Who May Apply: Any NSSF member ranges that plan to host public NSSF Rimfire Challenge events at least 4 times a year may apply for a target grant. NSSF range members shall be given priority. Ranges can use the steel targets for other matches, such as centerfire pistol competitions, or any other competitions the range wants to create for which the targets are suitable.

GRANT OPTIONS:
Packages will consist of 12 targets, with which participating range recipients can set up two (2) Rimfire Challenge stages. Each grant package will include:

3 – 8″ Circles
4 – 10″ Circles
4 – 12″ Circles
1 – 18″ x 24″ Rectangle

Grant recipients will receive the Evil Roy target stand with their steel target package. If a range needs stand heights taller than 3′ recipients can inform Action Target of this upon confirming their orders. The awarding of grants and the number of grants available is at NSSF’s discretion. The steel target package is valued at $2,100. The Steel Target Grant Program is a cooperative effort between NSSF and Action Target, which provides steel targets to NSSF at a discounted rate.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 10th, 2015

Create and Print Your Own Custom PDF Targets

Free downloadable targets

AccurateShooter.com has a HUGE collection of FREE downloadable PDF targets. We offer a very wide range of target designs: Load Development Grids, NRA Bullseye targets, Official-Size BR targets, Realistic Varmint Targets, Silhouette Shapes, Fun Plinking Targets, and even specialized tactical training targets. If our collection of free targets isn’t enough, or if you want to create a new kind of target — you’re in luck. There’s an Australian-based interactive website, PrintTargets.com that allows you to create your own customized, printable PDF targets.

CLICK Graphic to Create Your Own Targets.
Free downloadable targets

Just follow the step-by-step instructions to set paper size, layout, bullseye color, line thickness, number of rings and diameter. You can even add Score Numbers to your target rings. PrintTargets.com is easy and fun to use. It’s much faster to create targets this way than to try to draw a series of circles with PowerPoint or MS Paint. Power-User tip: PrintTargets.com even offers a handy diamond-grid calibration diagram that you can add to your custom target designs. You’ll find the calibration grid as option #15 when you design your target — just scroll all the way down the PrintTargets.com home page.


CLICK HERE to Design Your Own Downloadable Targets

Permalink Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
October 9th, 2015

Rimfire Sporter — Fun Way to Start Competitive Shooting

BRRC Rimfire Sporter CMP match

Readers often ask us: “Is there an inexpensive way I can get started in position shooting?” The answer is “yes” — across the country CMP-affiliated clubs host Rimfire Sporter matches. You can use a wide variety of .22LR rimfire rifles — manual actions (such as a Winchester model 52) or semi-automatics (such as a Ruger 10/22). There are prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing stages. CMP rules provide separate classifications for scoped rifles, open-sighted rifles, and aperature-sighted rifles. The matches are fun, the ammo is inexpensive, and everyone has a good time while improving their marksmanship.

BRRC Rimfire Sporter CMP matchOur friend Dennis Santiago recently helped run a CMP Rimfire Sporter Match in Southern California. Dennis reports: “You want something challenging? Well that X-Ring 50 yards away is the diameter of a 50 cent piece, and there are people out there that can womp that thing with iron sights.”

The rapid-fire sitting or kneeling stage of a CMP-sanctioned .22 Sporter Match consists of two, 5-shot strings. A manually-operated or semi-automatic rifle may be used for this match. Below is a video Dennis made that shows a sitting/kneeling rapid fire stage.

Dennis notes: “There are six (6) stages of fire on a tough little target. Notice the rifles that can be used run the gamut from pump and bolt actions to variations on the semi-auto theme. All still require a good eye and a steady hold to earn one’s bragging rights for the day. A match takes about an hour and a half per relay. The slowest part of the match is initial sighting in. It’ll take longer than the allocated 5 minutes for the typical first timer coming to a club match.”

BRRC Rimfire Sporter CMP match

At Dennis’s Burbank Rifle & Revolver Club (BRRC), procedures are modified a little bit: “What we typically do at BRRC is run two relays. Experienced competitors shoot per the full rulebook. New shooters are afforded a bit more relaxed environment to make the experience more fun and inviting. We do the same thing in our M-1 Garand Clinic/Match series.”

Rimfire Sporter Match Basics
The CMP Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match is an inexpensive, fun-oriented competition using .22 caliber sporter rifles (plinking and small game rifles) commonly owned by most gun enthusiasts. To compete, all you need is a basic rifle, safety gear, and ammunition. No fancy, high-dollar rifles are required.

Rimfire Sporter Guide ShootingThe event is shot with standard sporter-type, rimfire rifles weighing no more than 7 ½ lbs, with sights and sling. Rifles may be manually-operated or semi-automatic. Shooters with manually-operated actions are given extra time in the rapid-fire stage to compensate for the difference. (See Video).

There are three classes of competition — the standard “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T-Class” for telescope-sighted and rear aperture-sighted rifles and “Tactical Rimfire” class, which is a .22 caliber A4 or AR15 style rifle. Firing for all classes is done at 50 and 25 yards on a target with a 1.78″ ten-ring and an 18″ outer one-ring. Even new shooters can get hits on this target, but it’s still tough enough that no one yet has fired a perfect 600×600 score.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has a CMP Guide to Rimfire Sporter Shooting. This FREE, 50-page digital publication covers equipment, positions, course of fire, rules, scoring and much more. You’ll find helpful “how-to” sections on aiming, sight picture, hold control, and trigger control. Reading these instructional sections can benefit any prone or three-position competitive shooter.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
October 9th, 2015

Soft Cases for (Very) Long Rifles

52

Many shooters prefer to use padded soft cases for their guns. These weigh less, take up less room in vehicles, and store more easily. Unfortunately most soft rifle cases on the market are too short (or not tall enough) to handle scoped rifles with 29″ or longer barrels, particularly if a muzzle brake or extended front site hanger is attached. You can find long soft cases designed for shotguns or long-barreled black powder rifles, but these typically do not have enough clearance (top to bottom) to handle bulky target scopes. Where can you find a quality soft case for a scoped F-Class or Palma rifle with 30″ or longer barrel, making the rifle at least 50-51″ in overall length? Here are some suggestions.

55″ Bald Eagle Match Rifle Case
A good combination of features and value is the 55″-long Bald Eagle soft case from Bullets.com. This case was designed for match competitors with long-barreled rifles (with barrels from 29″ to 32″). This case fits both scoped and iron-sight rifles, and has quality zippers and heavy-duty padding. Large, zippered storage compartments hold log books, chamber flags, and other gear. Available in two popular colors, red and black, this case measures 55″ long, 13″ tall on back end and 6″ tall on front end. It is currently on sale for $57.95. Bullets.com also sells 60″ soft cases, and 50″ soft cases to fit rifles with both longer and shorter OALs.

Extreme 52

Creedmoor Sports 5252″ Creedmoor Sports Soft Case
At the request of many High Power shooters, Creedmoor Sports has created a high-grade 52″x10″ softcase. That’s tall and long enough to fit a Tubb 2000, or AR-based spacegun with long barrel. The Creedmoor case is one quality offering, with nice 1″ thick close-cell foam padding plus tough Cordura nylon on the outside and nylon pack cloth on the inside. Both materials are urethane-coated for water proofing. Another nice feature are the integral backpack straps (see photo left). These free your hands to carry rests, spotting scopes or other gear.

The Creedmoor 52″x10″ case comes in Forest Green ($66.95, N152A), and Royal Blue ($76.95, N152C). Creedmoor also offers a similar, slightly smaller 48″x12″ case for Service Rifles in Green or Blue.

52″ Midsouth Gun Case
For those on a tight budget, Midsouth Shooters Supply offers an Extreme 52″ padded gun case for just $23.00 (item #208-BD240-52). This thickly-padded case is high enough in the center to fit most scoped rifles — even with big Nightforce scopes. Made by Bulldog Cases, the all-black Extreme 52″ case features a soft faux-fur inner lining, an external accessory pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.

Extreme 52

Permalink Gear Review 6 Comments »
October 9th, 2015

FrogLube Now Available at Amazon.com and Major Retailers

FrogLogIf you’ve been following the tactical message boards, you’ll hear a lot of buzz about FrogLube CLP. Among the zillions of gun cleaner/lubes on the market, FrogLube stands out for its ability to work well even in challenging environments. Intended for U.S. Navy SEAL operators’ use in extreme environments, FrogLube was developed by Larry Lasky (Captain, USN retired), a former Navy SEAL officer. FrogLube’s blend of ingredients has been extensively field tested. The makers of FrogLube claim that fouling is dramatically reduced in FrogLube-treated firearms. FrogLube is a decent carbon-cutter and it also provides protection against rust and corrosion (though there are better rust preventers on the market, such as Eezox).

NOTE: Don’t expect FrogLube to remove copper fouling in the barrel — you’ll need a real copper solvent, such as Montana X-Treme. Overall, though, as a general purpose CLP, FrogLube performs well.

FrogLube is now available from major vendors, including Amazon.com and MidwayUSA. Notably, FrogLube is a “green” product that has received the USDA’s BioPreferred designation. On Amazon.com, a 5-piece combo kit with CLP liquid, CLP paste FrogLube, and FrogLube Solvent sells for $30.95 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $35). Amazon’s customers have raved about this stuff:

I was introduced to this product by a Sig armorer. I tried it. I loved it. It works. Period. Just like everyone else is saying here. Here is my break down of it as a CLP. The “C”: I have found that putting it on warm metal makes it work great…just like they say. I rub the paste on, let it sit and penetrate. A few minutes later….wipe it off. Clean enough to eat on. I even tried it on my mountain bike chain and components after running out of degreaser. Worked better than anything I have ever tried. The “L”: Once you use it on the parts you will notice it’s still there, having saturated the parts. Great for lube and goes a long way. The “P”: I hunt waterfowl in very rugged and sloppy conditions. The thing about this product is that when they say it saturates the metal, it truly does. Great protective features. It’s still on there and after all that moisture not speck of rust anywhere, unlike even the best of of other CLPs. — J. Zabick

Crazy Good — This stuff is amazing. I use it on my knives, razors and, of course, guns. It smells great, leaves no oily residue and cleans like nothing else I have used. Get the paste and the oil because sometimes the oil is called for and sometimes you need the paste. Can’t recommend it enough. I have already ordered more. — K. Chariton

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 7 Comments »
October 9th, 2015

Norma Video Shows Production of Bullets, Brass, and Ammo

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which first opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark).

The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport the loaded rounds to the packing system. In his enthusiasm, the reporter/narrator does sometimes confuse the term “bullets” and “rounds” (5:00″), but you can figure out what he means. We definitely recommend watching this video. It’s fascinating to see 110-year-old sorting devices on the assembly line right next to state-of-the art, digitally-controlled production machinery.

Video tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
October 8th, 2015

Learn Position Shooting Techniques from Gary Anderson

rimfire sporter position shooting Gary Anderson

Want to learn the basics of position shooting? Then you should check out an article by Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus, in On the Mark digital magazine (Summer 2014, pp. 6-13). This article covers all the key elements: body position (prone, sitting, standing), sling use/adjustment, sight picture, aiming process, and trigger control. While this 8-page article was specifically written for Rimfire Sporter shooters, the techniques described by Anderson apply to all types of position shooting, whether you shoot air rifles, smallbore rifles, or centerfire rifles.

CLICK HERE to load On the Mark eZine and Read Gary Anderson Article (page 6-13)
NOTE: This is a large PDF Document — it may take some time to fully load.

Here’s what Anderson says about aiming — how to keep your sights steady and get them centered on the middle of the target:

Trigger Contact and Center
rimfire sporter position shooting Gary AndersonAs soon as aiming at the target begins, the index finger must move from the trigger-guard to contact the trigger. It is important to get initial pressure on the trigger as soon as aiming begins. Then the shooter must focus on the sight picture and centering the sight picture movements over the aiming point. No one, not even champion shooters, can hold the aligned sights perfectly still. The sights are going to move a little bit or a lot, depending on the shooter’s skill level. The secret is to center those sight picture movements over the aiming point on the target (see trace illustration) before pulling the trigger.

When the sight picture movements on the target are centered, the last step in firing the shot is to add… smooth pressure on the trigger until the shot breaks.

Anderson also discusses the 5 Basics of Shot Technique:

rimfire sporter position shooting Gary Anderson

Permalink Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
October 8th, 2015

Tipton Gun Vise On Sale for $39.99 with Free Shipping

best gun vise

The Tipton Gun Vise is ON SALE for just $39.99 at Amazon.com. That’s a 22% savings over the normal $50.99 price at MidwayUSA. Plus, at the current time, Amazon.com is offering FREE Shipping (subject to change). That’s a very good deal for a tough, versatile product you’ll use for years. This Editor has used one of these for more than a decade (with all sorts of rifles) and it is still going strong.

Owner/User Report
MidwayUSA tipton gun viseThis Editor owns one of these injection-molded gun cradles. It has handled everything from an 18″-barreled lever gun to a 32″-barreled F-Class rifle. The unit works well for many tasks: cleaning barrels, stock refinishing/bedding, scope mounting, trigger adjusting, bore-scoping barrels, and checking throat length with a Hornady OAL tool. To be honest, I can’t understand how any serious shooter can get along without a product such as this (MTM makes a similar plastic cleaning cradle). That said, the unit isn’t perfect. We did find a couple very nose-heavy 1000-yard benchrest rifles that were not stable on the Tipton. This gun vise will NOT fit rifles with forearms wider than 3 inches. And if your butt-stock is very shallow (vertically) from comb down to toe, it may not fit the clamping system very well.

There are a number of smart features on the Tipton Gun Vise. First it’s made of solvent-resistant plastic. I’ve spilled just about every “miracle bore cleaner” you can name and nothing has harmed the plastic so far. Second, the front support has a dual-profile rubber pad with a flat section for benchrest rifles plus a “V” in the middle for narrow-forearm rifles. Third, the base section has handy cut-outs that hold solvent bottles or patches. Some people complain that the 8-lb Tipton Gun Vise is too light. While I understand that concern, the Vise is stable in use and I like the fact that I can easily pick up the whole unit with one hand and move it around the loading room. You can always add weight.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
October 7th, 2015

Tuner/Brakes — Dial in Smaller Groups and Less Recoil

RAS Rifle Accuracy System Tuner

RAS Rifle Accuracy System TunerTuners work. So do muzzle brakes. But until recently, you had the choice of one or the other. Now with combo tuner/brakes you can tune the harmonics of your rifle barrel while enjoying significantly reduced recoil (and torque). This is a “Win-Win” for shooters of heavy-recoiling rifles.

Rifle accuracy and precision have come a long way in the past 15 years, particularly for long-range applications. The most recent tool to significantly improve precision is the barrel tuning system. The Rifle Accuracy System (RAS) developed by Precision Rifle Systems, incorporates a precision muzzle brake with the tuner. CLICK HERE for Product INFO.

This system potentially offers meaningful group size reduction through control of barrel harmonics. The RAS tuner/brake system was the subject of a June 2012 Precision Shooting (PS) magazine article, titled “Improved Rifle Accuracy” and was also featured in an article in the November 2012 issue of PS titled “Tuning with Confidence”.

READ MORE about RAS Tuner Tests on .260 AI, .223 Rem, and 22LR rimfire rifles.

Copies of both articles and detailed instructions on RAS installation and tuning can be downloaded from www.bostromgunsmithing.com. Eric Bostrom is the distributor for the RAS.

RAS Rifle Accuracy System Tuner

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
October 7th, 2015

Timney Triggers Made with State-of-the-Art Automated Machinery

Timney Triggers Factory Tom McHale Scottsdale Arizona CNC

For years, Timney triggers have been popular drop-in upgrades for hunting rifles, rimfire rifles, and AR platform rifles. To meet the demand for its many trigger products, Timney Triggers has expanded its operation, adding state-of-the-art CNC machines and other high-end, automated equipment. A far cry from the dank gun factories of the 1950s and 1960s, Timney’s Arizona production center now resembles the squeaky-clean, ultra-modern facilities where electronics are assembled.

Today’s Timney factory is all about computerized automation. Timney Triggers’ owner John Vehr states that it would take 60 or more trained machinists and metal-workers to produce as many triggers as can Timney’s modern machines. Timney does employ two dozen workers, but they are assigned tasks that the computerized machines can’t do as well or better.

If you want to see how Timney triggers are made this days, check out Tom McHale’s recent account of his visit to the Timney Factory in Scottsdale, Arizona. McHale explains how the triggers are designed and fabricated, and 20 high-rez photos illustrate the production process and machinery.

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Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
October 7th, 2015

White/Black Shoot-N-C Targets for Long Range Practice

Here’s a unique product that may be useful for practice sessions at 400 yards and beyond. Birchwood Casey now offers high-contrast, White/Black versions of its popular Shoot-N-C targets. There are four types of Shoot-N-C White/Black targets: 8″ Bulls-Eye X (#34802), 12″ Bulls-Eye X (#34019), and 12″ multi-diamond target (#34219), and 12″ x 18″ silhouette (#34615).

On all White/Black Shoot-N-C target types, the target background is all-white, and a large black “halo” or circle appears around each bullet hole. This makes the bullet impact much easier to see at long range. Normally it is very difficult to see 6mm (and smaller) bullet holes past 500 yards or so, unless conditions are absolutely perfect. At 800 or 1000 yards it can be nearly impossible to see even 30-caliber bullet holes in conventional paper targets. With these new white/black Shoot-N-C targets the large black ring surrounding each hit can be seen fairly easily, even at extreme ranges. NOTE: These targets work great with a target-cam — even if you have a monochrome monitor.

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Permalink - Videos, New Product 5 Comments »
October 6th, 2015

Sinclair Full-Length Sizing Die Shims

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. With a hunting load, shoulder bumping may only be required every 4-5 loading cycles. Short-range benchrest shooters, running higher pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. High Power shooters with gas guns generally full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments.

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsSinclair Int’l offers a seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s $12.49 Die Shim Kit (item 22400) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

Permalink Reloading 10 Comments »