March 12th, 2017

Monitor Barrel Heat with Handy Temp Strips

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

You never want your barrel to get too hot. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these strips (item 59535K13) costs $12.16 — so figure it’ll cost you about $1.20 per barrel for strips. That’s cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, try to stay under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Forum member Nomad47 says: “I have temperature strips (bought at McMaster-Carr) on all my barrels. I try not to shoot when the barrel gets to 122 degrees or higher[.]” Here are photos of the McMaster-Carr temp strips on Nomad47’s customized Savage.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Bad things can happen if your barrel gets too hot. First, with some barrels, the point of impact (POI) will shift or “walk” as the barrel heats up excessively. Second, even if the POI doesn’t change, the groups can open up dramatically when the barrel gets too hot. Third, if the barrel is very hot, the chamber will transfer heat to your loaded cartridge, which can lead to pressure issues. Finally, there’s considerable evidence that hot barrels wear out faster. This is a very real concern, particularly for varmint shooters who may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. For this reason, many varminters switch among various guns, never letting a particular barrel get too hot.

Neconos.com offers Bar-L Benchrest strips that visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees. Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers. With adhesive backing, they can also be used to monitor barrel heating. Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. There is also a “general purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (bottom row). The Benchrest strip (86F to 140F) is in the middle. Bar-L temp strips cost $9.00, or $25.00 for a 3-pack.

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March 12th, 2017

WVU Mountaineers Win Fifth Straight NCAA Rifle Championship

2017 NCAA Rifle Championships WVU West Virginia Mountaineers
Photo by Lapua’s Adam Braverman. Lapua match ammo was used by many competitors.

The NCAA Rifle Championship was held at Ohio State University March 10-11, 2017. The team National Championship went to the powerful West Virginia University squad. The No. 2-ranked WVU Mountaineers rifle team claimed its fifth straight NCAA title in commanding fashion, shooting a championship-record 4723 Aggregate score at Ohio State’s French Field House. This was the Mountaineers’ nineteenth national championship, a remarkable record of excellence.

2017 NCAA Rifle Championships WVU West Virginia Mountaineers

WVU shooters also secured top honors — the individual titles were both won by West Virginia freshman. Morgan Phillips won the small-bore titles on March 10, 2017. Milica Babic won the air rifle championship the next day.

2017 NCAA Rifle Championships WVU West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers’ NCAA championship five-peat is the third in the sport since 1980. WVU previously won six straight titles from 1988-1993, and Alaska-Fairbanks won six straight from 1999-2004.

NCAA Rifle Championship Rules

The NRA Blog has listed some of the more important rules in effect for the NCAA Rifle Championship.

2017 NCAA Rifle Championships WVU West Virginia Mountaineers

Modern Electronic Targets
The 2017 NCAA Championships used electronic targets, with monitors at each shooting station. That allows spectators to view the scoring in real time. For air rifle, shot at 10 meters, and smallbore, shot at 50 feet, all NCAA competitions using electronic scoring targets shall comply with USA Shooting Rule 6.3.2 and be at least ISSF Phase I approved.

Max Rifle Weight is 8kg (17.64 lbs)
The maximum weight for a complete smallbore rifle cannot exceed 8 kilograms. Previously, a maximum weight of 6.5 kilograms was imposed for female shooters, but as of this season, both men and women can use up to an 8 kg rifle. [Editor: That’s actually a pretty heavy rifle to hold off-hand in the standing stages — it approaches the weight of an F-TR rifle.]

Single Shot Only
NCAA shooters aren’t worried about magazine capacity. Only single shot rifles that must be manually loaded before each shot are permitted in competition. Additionally, only one rifle can be used in the Elimination, Qualification and Finals rounds of an event. The action, barrel and stock cannot be changed, but the shooter can swap detachable buttstocks or accessories (subject to 8kg weight limit).

2017 NCAA Rifle Championships WVU West Virginia Mountaineers

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March 12th, 2017

Reloading Data Sheets — Download for FREE

Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

Redding Reloading offers handy 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 your particular cartridges and loads. We suggest you print these out, 3-hole-punch ‘em, and then keep them in a three-ring binder.

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)

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