January 22nd, 2016

SHOT Show Day Three

Shot show Day 3 Three Las Vegas

SHOT Show, the firearms industry trade show, is a huge event. There are more guns and shooting accessories than you can possibly imagine. On Thursday we saw everything from a giant CADEX .50 BMG with a 24″-long suppressor to a tiny Kahr .380, the thinnest carry gun in production. Here are some highlights from Day Three, a combination of old and very, very new. McMillan has a new, as-yet-unnamed tactical stock, Walther showcased an amazing electronic trigger, and Uberti revived America’s Wild West heritage with a line of single-action revolvers.

CZ 455 Tactical/Varmint Rimfire Rifles

CZ tactical rimfire 455

CZ USA still continues to offer some of the best .22 LR rifles for cross-training and tactical rimfire games. The CZ 455 Varmint Tacticool and Varmint Precision Trainer (Camo) feature proper, full-size stocks (with adult-scale ergonomics) so these rimfires look and feel like a centerfire tactical rig. CZ 455s have smooth actions and crisp triggers.

Walther LG400 Air Rifle with Electronic Trigger

Walther .22 lr Rimfire electronic trigger

Look carefully — this Walther LG400 Alutec air rifle is different than any gun you’ve ever shot. You see it has an ELECTRONIC trigger. This sophisticated, battery-powered trigger offers a super-precise, super-light release (it’s more a “touch” than a “pull”). For top-level international and Olympic shooters, the electronic trigger can offer a competitive advantage. Later this year Walther will offer an electronic trigger in its top-of-the-line smallbore rifle.

“Name This Stock” — New Tactical Stock from McMillan

Kelly McMillan Name this Stock NTS Tactical

Kelly McMillan, president of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is holding the latest tactical stock from McMillan. It features a girder-style open fore-end that fits any barrel contour. At the rear, the stock boasts an adjustable cheekpiece along with a straight toe for riding a sandbag. Interestingly, this stock has no name (as yet). At SHOT Show, McMillan is running a “Name This Stock” contest. The winner will receive a free stock.

Giant Super-Sized Scope at Zeiss Booth

Zeiss big scope booth Victory

At its booth, Zeiss displayed what must be the world’s largest rifles-scope replica. This giant scope, as big as a totem pole, certainly did draw the attention of anyone who walked by. The big news at Zeiss this year is the Victory V8 line of scopes with 8X zoom ratio.

Uberti Classic Single Action Pistols

Uberti Single Action Pistol line

We love vintage-style revolvers. This year Uberti offered a beautiful array of single-action pistols in a variety of styles. Along with its line of “Wild West” repro pistols, Uberti makes excellent lever guns based on classic Winchester designs. This editor owns two Uberti lever-action rifles, and they are both beauties.

Anschutz Model 9015 Competition Air Rifle

Steve Boelter Anschutz 9015 Air Rifle

Our friend Steve Boelter, President of Anschutz North America, showed us the latest and greatest competition rifles from the respected German gun-maker. In this photo, Steve is holding the new Anschutz 9015 air rifle. Above is the new, top-of-the-line Anschutz smallbore target rifle. In a week or so we’ll release a video showing the details of both these rifles.

SHOT Scenery — From Russia with Love

Pretty 
Girls Shot Show Russia

It wouldn’t be SHOT without a few Booth Babes, or should we say Booth Babe-bushkas. These charming young ladies really ARE from Russia. Yuliya, on the right, hails from far-away Vladivostok in Siberia. She said she appreciated the warmer weather in Las Vegas.

Tikka T3 Compact Tactical Rifle for the Canadian Rangers

Tikka Canadian Rangers Rifle

On display at the SAKO booth was the Tikka T3 Compact Tactical Rifle which has been adopted by the Canadian Rangers. This will replace the Ranger’s beloved, but antiquated Lee-Enfield rifles. The Canadian Rangers, an element of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserve, serve as the CAF’s eyes and ears in sparsely-settled northern and coastal areas of Canada. The Rangers have helped secure Canada’s hinterlands since 1947.

Browning “Hell’s Canyon” Gun Vaults

Browning Hell's Canyon gun safe Vault

Browning showcased a series of large gun safes with much-enhanced fire-proofing and thicker steel walls. The new “Hell’s Canyon” Series of gun vaults offer 40% thicker steel plus 2 – 3 times the fire protection of typical gun safes. These “Hells Canyon”-series safes are impressive.

Kim Rhode — Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Kim Rhode shotgun Olympic Gold medals

We had a chance to interview shotgun superstar Kim Rhode, who has won Gold Medals at multiple Olympic Games. She told us some very interesting facts. For example, did you know that roughly 70% of females are left-eye dominant? Kim revealed some techniques that right-handed, cross-dominant shooters can use to improve their scores. We’ll reveal that in an upcoming video interview with Kim, shown here at the autograph table with some of her Olympic medals.

Permalink Competition, New Product, News 1 Comment »
January 22nd, 2016

Mr. and Mrs. Miculek — a Talented Twosome

jerry miculek Kay shot show video

We had a chance to meet with Jerry Miculek and his wife Kay at SHOT Show. These are very nice people who also happen to be superb shooters. They are great ambassadors for the shooting sports. We talked about Jerry’s many titles and match wins over recent decades. He explained: “It didn’t come easy… the winning comes after years of hard work”. Jerry’s name is synonymous with revolvers. But Jerry is also one heck of a rifleman, as he demonstrates in this video.

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Three Shots Standing at 400 Yards in 4.37 Seconds
For those of use who usually shoot from the bench, hitting a silhouette target at 400 yards from an standing position (unsupported) would be a big challenge. Here Jerry Miculek makes it look easy.

In this video, Jerry hits not one but THREE c-zone targets at 400 yards. And — get this — he does this in under 4.4 seconds starting with his rifle laying on a support. It took Jerry two tries (on his first run he hit 2 out of 3 in 4.65 seconds). On the second attempt (see video starting at 2:19), it takes Jerry just 4.37 seconds to shoulder his rifle, aim, and fire three shots, each hitting a separate steel target. Wow. That’s truly remarkable. Most of us would need ten seconds (or more) just to get the scope on the first target.

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Trust us folks, this ain’t easy. It takes remarkable marksmanship skills to shoot with this kind of precision at this kind of pace. As Jerry would say himself, “Not bad for an old guy who needs glasses”.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns 1 Comment »
January 22nd, 2016

Tips for Using LEE Collet Dies

For those who prefer to neck-size their brass (rather than full-length-size), the LEE Collet Die is a popular, inexpensive option. It works by having collet tangs or “fingers” press the neck against a central mandrel. The benefit is that you get a very straight neck, which is sized consistently from top to bottom. Canadian shooter Jerry Teo explains: “LEE Collet Dies produce sized cases with very low runout (measured runout is under .001″ using a Sinclair concentricity gauge). You also don’t get the build-up of brass at the base of the neck, as can happen with bushing neck dies. The neck-shoulder junction stays nice and crisp.”

LEE Precision Collet Die

TIP ONE — Adjusting Tension
LEE Collet dies don’t have a specific mechanical adjustment for neck tension. But you CAN easily modify the die to provide more or less tension. If you want to adjust the neck tension using a Lee Collet die, you can simply chuck the mandrel in a drill and reduce the diameter with some sand-paper (to increase neck tension) or you can order a mandrel the next caliber larger and turn it to whatever diameter you want (the larger the mandrel diameter, the less the neck tension). You can also order custom mandrels from Lee sized to any diameter you want.

Lee also offers Custom Collet Dies, made from two fired cases. Lee offers custom standard collet dies for $78.00 and custom large collet dies for $160.00. CLICK HERE to ORDER.

TIP TWO — Polish and Tune for Easy Case Removal
Some users have complained that their Collet Dies grab the case-neck too firmly, making the case hard to remove. There are solutions to this problem. First inspect the collet fingers and smooth the inner surface up a bit with polishing compound or an extra-fine sanding pad. Second, you can open up the fingers a little bit. LEE recommends that if your Collet Die is sticking, take a steel punch and tap the fingers apart a little bit so that the natural “unloaded” position is wider. Lastly, you should lightly lubricate the outside of the collet fingers (see arrows) before you re-assemble the die. This will ensure they slide smoothly. Also, to prevent the collet fingers from closing too tight, never load up the die with your press without putting a case in place first. Without a case neck between the collet fingers and the mandrel, the collet can clamp itself too tight as you raise the ram.

TIP THREE — Size Twice and Spin Your Case 1/8th Turn
After reaching fully “down” on your press handle, withdraw the case about an inch and manually rotate it about 1/8th (NOT 1/4 or 1/2) turn while still in the shell-holder, then size again. This will place the die’s collet petals on the four “high spots” of the case neck and will result in a rounder, more evenly-sized neck with slightly more bullet tension. This takes only about one second more per case and is well worth the slight extra effort. (We thank reader Stonecreek for this smart tip).

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 17 Comments »