November 6th, 2015

New Speedy-Designed Competition Stocks from Shurley Brothers

Shurley Brothers ARK Speedy Gonzalez stock competition F-Class Benchrest

Benchrest Hall-of-Famer Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez has teamed up with the Shurley Brothers on a new ARK series of wood laminate competition stocks. Speedy has combined the best features of various popular F-Class and Long-range Benchrest stocks into new designs to be produced by Shurley Brothers Custom in Austin, Texas. These stocks should be very straight and geometrically correct as they will be crafted on the Shurley Brothers’ new CNC mills. These stocks will be made with new-generation precision technology, not old school duplicating machines.

Initially two models will be offered: the “Hand of God” (HOG) and the “Spear of Destiny” (SOD). Both are designed for multiple shooting disciplines, so they should work well both for benchrest and for prone F-Open shooting. (FWIW, John Myers used a Speedy-crafted stock to win the 2015 Mid-Range National Championship). The forearm is 76mm (2.99″) to comply with F-Open limits. A wide variety of options will be available including adjustable Cheek Piece, adjustable length of pull, carbon fiber inserts, and exotic woods.

Shurley Brothers ARK Speedy Gonzalez stock competition F-Class Benchrest

We like many aspects of the new stocks. First, the front of the stock is low profile, placing the barrel close to the bags for better tracking (and less hop). However, a deeper (top to bottom) section extends forward of the action — this is important. We have seen some low-profile stocks that suffer from forearm flex/hinging because they don’t leave enough wood under the action area. Speedy’s design eliminates this problem. Another nice feature of this stock is the subtle curve from the back of the action to the buttpad mount. Speedy calls this the “scooped cheek”. This allows the “driver” to shoot without face contact if he prefers, but it also allows for a higher buttpad position — which is useful when shooting heavy recoiling chamberings such as the .300 WSM.

Note how the comb area has a curve to provide clearance. For those shooters who prefer to have face contact on the gun, an adjustable Cheek Piece is offered.
Shurley Brothers ARK Speedy Gonzalez stock competition F-Class Benchrest

Shurley Brothers Custom says these new ARK stocks are fully customizable for competition shooters with optional carbon fiber, adjustable R.A.D. systems, and many other features. The stocks, uninletted, will run $750.00. CNC-inletting (for action of your choice) is an additional $100.00. Here are some of the many available options:

— Pillar Bed and Inlet: $425.00
— Custom Wood Upgrade (Price Dependent On Wood): $100.00 – $500.00
— Full-length Carbon Fiber Stringers: $200.00
— Cheek Piece Addition: $100.00
— Cooling Ports (Buick Vents): $60.00
— R.A.D. System #2A: $335.00 (plus $100.00 to install)
— 3-Way Butt Plate: Call for Price
— Adjustable Neodymium Magnetic Cheek Piece: Call for Price
— Install Neodymium Magnetic Cheek Piece: $150.00
— Stock Finish & Clear Coat: $350.00
— Carbon Fiber Forearm Tunnel: $300.00

The underside of the forearm is relieved in the center, leaving twin outboard rails. This helps stabilize the rifle and aids tracking. (A conventional, flat forearm without rails tends to rock if there is any hump in the middle of the sandbag). Between the rails is a carbon-fiber stiffening insert.

Shurley Brothers ARK Speedy Gonzalez stock competition F-Class Benchrest

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
November 6th, 2015

New Big-Bore Tactical Rifles from Weatherby

Weatherby Tacmark rifle 338 Lapua

Weatherby’s new TacMark Rifles should be popular with long-range shooters (at least those with plenty of coin). We hope you like recoil — all three chamberings are powerful: .30-378 Wby. Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .338-378 Wby. Magnum. To handle these powerful cartridge types, TacMark series rifles have a beefy receiver with integral recoil lug, set in a CNC-machined aluminum bedding system. The bolt is interesting — it has nine (9) lugs and a 54-degree bolt throw.

Weatherby Tacmark rifle 338 Lapua

The composite stocks are adjustable for length of pull (13¼ inches to 14¾ inches), drop at comb, and drop at heel. The stock also has a near-vertical pistol grip with a trigger finger depression and a wide, flat-bottom fore-end with a stud for bipod and/or sling. The TacMark (11.25 lbs w/o scope) comes in black while the TacMark Elite (11.75 lbs w/o scope) is finished in High Desert Camo with black accents.

The $5000.00 TacMark Elite features a hand-lapped 28″ Krieger cut-rifled barrel*, fitted with a large muzzle brake. The Range Certified (RC) TacMark Elite is accompanied by an Oehler Ballistic Imaging System printout signed and certified by Ed or Adam Weatherby, verifying the accuracy. The Elite is guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA for three shots (and we suspect it can do a lot better than that).

The less expensive ($3600.00) TacMark also boasts a 28″ barrel — one of the longest barrels currently available on a factory rifle. This should be good for a little extra velocity. Both the TacMark and the TacMark Elite feature Weatherby’s Mark V action and Weatherby’s new LXX trigger, which is user-adjustable for pull weight down to 2.5 pounds. The Mark V TacMark and TacMark Elite rifles will be available through the Weatherby Custom Shop.

* A features list on the Weatherby website shows 26″ barrel length for the Elite. However the actual specifications show the barrel to be 28″ for both TacMark and TacMark Elite. You should verify barrel length before ordering.

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
November 6th, 2015

Monte’s Manfrotto — F-Class Spotting Scope Stand

Spotting Scope Stand Monte Milanuk Manfrotto
Click above image to zoom to larger size.

Here’s a very interesting spotting scope stand, from Forum member (and ace F-Class shooter) Monte Milanuk. You can see this stable rig can be adjusted super-low for prone shooting. The components are from Italian photography accessory maker Manfrotto (but it’s not as expensive as you might think).

Monte tells us about his spotting scope stand, which is really a conventional photography tripod adjusted to a very low position, with a special head:

This stand has a Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol-grip head to make positioning easier. It actually goes even lower, and much, much higher. Both the head and the tripod are about $170-ish each, so it’s a bit more expensive than a Ray-Vin, a little less than a Creedmoor Polecat, and a whole lot more flexible overall.

This Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod is actually a little on the big side – probably should have gone with a Manfrotto 190 model (couple inches shorter on the legs) so it can be a bit of a hassle to set up when you have to shoot two-to-a-mound a la Fullbore.

It’s probably not as [expensive] as you might think… a Ray-Vin F-Class stand (without head) is about $170 from Creedmoor Sports. A Ray-Vin stand head is $150, plus the outrigger attachment is another $100+. I’ve got two of them downstairs for when I used to shoot conventional prone[.]

Comments from Facebook Fans:
Pretty high end setup, should work well for prone, not sure about other positions. — John T.

An excellent and sturdy Manfrotto stand. I have one that I use not only for a spotting scope but to mount the rifle on when allowed for unknown distance tactical matches.–Dennis Santiago

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »