February 4th, 2016

SHOT Show Optics Reports from the 6.5 Guys

Nightforce March Vortex Youtube Optics

Our nominees for the “Hardest-working Heroes” of SHOT Show 2016 are our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys. Over the course of four days, this tireless duo completed over FIFTY short videos. They visited dozens of manufacturers, finding the “latest and greatest” rifles, stocks, actions, scopes and other hardware. While in Vegas, the 6.5 Guys managed to visit most of the top-flight optics-makers. Here are videos reviewing products from Nightforce, Vortex, and March. To see 50+ more videos, visit the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

2016 SHOT Show Highlights — OPTICS

Nightforce Optics — New SHV 4-14x50mm (FFP)

The new 4-14x50mm SHV scope from Nightforce is available with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4-MOA clicks, with two reticle choices: MIL-R and MOAR.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x50mm 6.5 Guys Video

Vortex Optics — New Razor 6-24x50mm AMG (FFP)

The new 6-24x50mm Razor HD AMG is a made-in-USA scope with a full 25 MOA of elevation in one turret rotaion. Vortex says this scope rivals anything on the market in its category.

March Optics — 3-24x52mm (FFP)

March’s popular 3-24x52mm scope is offered with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4 MOA clicks. The particular model featured in the video has 0.1 Mil clicks and an illuminated reticle. March Optics USA also offers a remarkable 5-50x56mm scope that can work for everything from short-range practical matches to extreme-long-range shooting. One of our staffers has the 5-50X March and he uses it for both Tac Comps and 1000-yard F-Class matches.

march optics 3-24x53mm 6.5 Guys Video

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February 4th, 2016

Rimfire Training Can Benefit F-Class Competitors

rimfire practice Berger SWN

The 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals event is less than a week away. If you need some last-minute practice before this match and you don’t have the time (or money) to load a couple hundred rounds of centerfire ammo, consider rimfire practice. Past F-TR National Champion James Crofts attributes much of his success to plenty of trigger time with his rimfire training rifle.

Rimfire Training for F-Classers

2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of the 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting, that’s for sure. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”

Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skills by James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.

Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot. If you think the flags at Camp Butner move a lot, try smallbore flags around tall pine trees.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR
James Crofts — Photo by Kent Reeve.

Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen in recent years (and rimfire ammo is harder to find), even now I can get a 500-round brick of .22 LR ammo for less than $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. Heck, you can pay 40 cents a piece for match-grade .308-cal centerfire bullets. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

My CMP 40X Rimfire F-TR LowBoy Clone
My quest into the .22 LLR rimfire field started with an email from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) announcing Rem 40X stripped barreled actions for sale. I thought, “Hmmm… Could one of those little 40X barreled actions be turned into a F-Class training rifle?” My gunsmith Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool was brought in at this point.

After conferring with Ray, it was decided that he could indeed turn this into a F-Class training rifle. Ray contacted Dave Kiff of PT&G and ordered a new bolt for the Remington 40X rimfire action. Next was the stock decision. I decided to go with a PR&T Low Boy F-Class stock — this is an exact clone of the stock for my .308 Win F-TR competition rifle. Then a Jewell trigger was acquired to complete the components. Ray built this just like he would any custom rifle, other than using the stock barrel. The project turned out awesome. The rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

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February 4th, 2016

Phoenix Precision Bipod for F-TR Competition

Phoenix Bipod 2016 Ray Gross F-TR

Phoenix Bipod 2016 Ray Gross F-TRIf you’re looking for a sturdy yet lightweight, low-profile bipod, the latest Phoenix Precision model is a top choice. This parallel-arm style bipod is light, strong, and can be adjusted very low to the ground to suit the latest low-profile F-TR rifles. In basic configuration the Minnesota-made Phoenix Precision bipod, weighs 2 pounds, 4 ounces. That’s not the lightest bipod available, but even with a pretty long barrel you can “make weight” in F-TR class easily. Under NRA Rules, an F-TR rifle must not weigh more than 8.25 kg (about 18.15 lb.) including scope and bipod.

Our friend Ray Gross, Captain of the U.S.A. F-TR Team, recently received a very special Phoenix Precision product: “My new bipod from Phoenix Precision just showed up! Phoenix did a special run for the team with our team logo. So cool!” We think it’s great to see a gear supplier produce a special version for the National Team.

Phoenix Bipod 2016 Ray Gross F-TR

Editor’s Note: The Phoenix Precision website, www.PhoenixPrec.com seems to be having some server issues today. You might try back tomorrow. This bipod is sold by other vendors, including Creedmoor Sports. Retail price is around $439.00.

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