October 31st, 2017

6XC II — Great 6mm Option For Precision Rifle Series

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma
Rifle Crafted by PremierAccuracy.com. Inset 6XC II photo by 6mmAR.com.

With all the buzz about the 6.5 Creedmoor and its 6mm Creedmoor little brother, some folks forget that we’ve had an outstanding mid-sized, Across-the-Course cartridge for a long time — the 6XC. Pioneered by 11-time National High Power champion David Tubb, the 6XC has won national High Power championships, excelled in mid-range prone matches, and performed great in the varmint fields. It has also been used successfully by many Precision Rifle Series competitors. It’s no wonder — the 6XC has less recoil than a 6.5mm Creedmoor, there is a great selection of superb 6mm bullets, and Norma-made 6XC brass is high-quality and reasonably priced from DavidTubb.com.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

PRS Rifle with Modern 6XC II Chamber
Forum member Grimstod posted this new 6XC II rifle in our long-running Pride and Joy Rifle Thread. Grimstod notes: “These 6XC Gen IIs seam to be a hot commodity lately. This one is for PRS. It features a Premier Accuracy Atlas action made by Kelbly. The bolt and heavy-taper, fluted barrel are Ceracoted to match. I really like the ejectors on these Atlas actions. The stock is a KRG X-Ray painted in Premier Accuracy exclusive colors. The Kelbly Atlas action does not have any modifications. So far every Kelbly action we have tried has had perfect timing and trigger fall. We have been supper pleased with them. I look forward to using a lot more of these excellent actions.”

What is the 6XC II you may ask? That designates a 6XC with a chamber dimension optimized for Norma brass. It turns out that Norma brass is a bit bigger at the bottom than the 22-250 brass from which the 6XC originated. Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has created two new JGS reamer specs that fit the Norma brass perfectly, improving feeding and extraction. Here is Robert’s Report:

The 6XC II Chamber — Upgraded for Today’s Norma 6XC Brass

by Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com
The 6XC II Chamber works perfectly with the Norma 6XC brass and resolves the “sticky bolt lift” issue. The original 6XC chambering was designed based off the usage of 22-250 brass which typically has a web diameter in the range of .461″-.463″. The area of the chamber just forward of the web on the original 6XC chambering was .4695″ which left plenty of clearance.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

When Norma 6XC brass became available Norma appears to have developed the base of the case from the .308 Winchester line of cases which have a larger web diameter. The web diameter of the Norma brass typically measures right around .4685″ which leaves almost no diameter clearance.

As shooters would use Norma 6XC brass in an original 6XC chamber they typically would experience “sticky bolt lift” due to the lack of clearance and the fact that the large web diameter of the brass prohibited the re-size dies (no matter how small the base diameter was) from squeezing the brass down enough to create sufficient clearance. The 6XC II chamber resolves this issue. You can order 6XC II sizing dies from 6mmAR.com that work perfectly with this re-designed chambering. 6XC II die sets are in stock now — call (215) 348-8789 to order.

6XC II Long Range Reamer (Throated long for 105-115gr Bullets):
The 6XC II-LT reamer below is throated long to keep the full bearing surface of 110-115gr bullets forward of the neck/shoulder junction of the case. Note, 6mmAR.com has also developed a shorter-freebore version for 6mm bullets with shorter bearing surface. SEE shorter 6XC II Reamer Print.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

– Resolves the “sticky bolt lift” problem shooters experienced using the Norma 6XC Brass in the original 6XC chambers.

– Chamber accepts all 6XC brass or ammo with no modification. Take your existing 6XC brass or ammo and use it without issues.

– Works well with existing Norma 6XC brass, or 6XC brass made from re-formed Winchester and Remington 22-250 brass.

– 6XC II Sizing dies and die sets are available from 6mmAR.com and in stock.

6XC II custom dies redding

If you are looking for someone to chamber your rifle or re-barrel an existing rifle in the 6XC II chamber, Fred at Sabreco, Inc. in Skippack, PA, (610) 584-8228 can help you. He has the reamers for the cartridge as well as the head space gauges for the cartridge, and has had extensive experience chambering many barrels and rifles.

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October 31st, 2017

Halloween Pumpkin Blasting — Don’t Try This at Home

Halloween Wallpaper explosion pumpkin
Image from WallpapersBuzz.

Today is October 31st, Halloween (originally “All Hallows Eve”). That means it’s pumpkin time. Just how much fun can you have with pumpkins? Watch these two videos and find out. In the first video, the RatedRR team sends a few orange gourds to pumpkin heaven using Det Cord, C4, and binary explosives. The sequence starting at the 2:00 minute mark in the first video is truly amazing. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Watch Pumpkin Blasting with Explosives

In the next video, a pumpkin carved as a Death Star serves as the target for a .50 caliber rifle (looks like a Barrett M82 .50 BMG). As you may guess, the pumpkin Death Star suffers the same fate as the Hollywood version in Star Wars. NOTE: At the 0:42 mark in the video, a graphic displays “30,000 FPS”. That’s the high-speed camera’s frame-per-second rate, NOT the projectile velocity in feet-per-second.

Watch .50 BMG Rifle vs. Death Star Pumpkin

Warning: These demonstrations were carried out on closed ranges by experienced professionals certified to use explosives. Possession of C4 and Det Cord may be a violation of various Federal, State, and local laws. Detonating cord and C4 are classified as high explosives and are regulated by the BATFE. Don’t even think about trying to repeat these stunts on your own.

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October 31st, 2017

Case-Trimming 101: Tips from PMA Tool

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offered some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Website. Here we reprint a PMA article that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

Forster Case Trimmer

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Little Crow WFT

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless. [Editor’s Note: The World’s Finest Trimmer (WFT) is one power device that indexes off the shoulder datum. It works fast and is very precise. The updated WFT 2 Model and WFT Big Boy feature interchangeable trim chambers to work with multiple cartridge types.]

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User Submissions are welcome.
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
October 30th, 2017

2018 NRA National Match Schedule Released

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp Atterbury

Mark your calendars boys and girls — here is the complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule. This includes the National High Power Championship, National F-Class Championship, Fullbore (Palma) Championship, and a 15 more major national events.

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp AtterburyThe 2018 NRA Championship season kicks off with the Intercollegiate Pistol and Rifle Championships at Fort Benning (GA). Then comes the NRA Bianchi Cup, followed by the National High Power Matches at Camp Atterbury (IN), the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry (OH), the National Smallbore Championships in Bristol (IN), the National HP Silhouette Championships in Raton (NM), the NRA World Shooting Championship in Glengary (WV), the National F-Class Championship in Raton (NM), and many more major events throughout the summer and fall.

The complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule is as follows:

EVENT / DATE / LOCATION

Intercollegiate Pistol Championships / March 17-20, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships / March 23-25, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

NRA World Action Pistol Championship / May 19-20, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

NRA Bianchi Cup / May 23-25, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

National Muzzle Loading Championship / June 9-17, 2018 / Friendship, Indiana

National Air Gun Championship / June 14-19, 2018 / Bloomington, Illinois

National High Power Matches / July 5-24, 2018 / Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana

Camp Perry Pistol championship F-class

National Pistol Championships / July 9-13, 2018 / Camp Perry, Ohio

National Silhouette Smallbore Championships / July 16-18, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Smallbore Championships / July 19-30, 2018 / Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, Indiana

National Smallbore championship Bristol Indiana wa-ke'-de

National Silhouette High Power Championships / July 19-21, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Championship Lever Action Rifle / July 24-27, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Cartridge Rifle / July 30-Aug. 3, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Fullbore Prone National Championship / September 8-14, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

NRA World Shooting Championship / September 13-15, 2018 / Glengary, West Virginia

National F-Class Championship / September 16-23, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Police Shooting Championship / September 24-26, 2018 / Albuquerque, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Target Rifle / October 1-7, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Black Powder Target Rifle Championship

How to Get More Information about NRA Championships
CLICK HERE for more information about NRA Competitive Shooting, including MATCH INFO and program rules. Visit Shooting Sports USA Magazine online at www.SSUSA.org for shooting news, competitor profiles, and match reports.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 30th, 2017

Bargain Finder 110: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Whittaker Guns — Howa 1500 Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Great “Bang for the Buck” — If you’re looking for a hunting rifle for your son or daughter, here’s a very good gun that’s light-weight and sized for youngsters. Right now the Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel is just $349.99 at Whittaker Guns. This special Youth model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull. Weighing under 5.7 pounds with 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a boy or girl to carry easily. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

2. MidwayUSA — 1500 Rounds Norma Tac-22 Ammo, $109.99

Deals of Week Norma Tac-22 Tac22 ammo
.22 LR 22LR rimfire smallbore ammo Norma Tac-22

Check out those groups. That’s impressive accuracy at 50 yards. You’d expect to pay $10.00 or more per box for rimfire ammo that can shoot this well. But you can now get the Norma Tac-22 for the equivalent of $3.66 per box in this package deal — 1500 rounds in Ammo Can for $109.99. This works out to just 7 cents a round for very good .22 LR rimfire ammo — that’s a steal. NOTE: The target photos come from Champion Shooters Supply, which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.”

3. Grafs.com — Caldwell Rock Front Rest, $119.99

Graf's Grafs.com Caldwell Rock Benchrest BR front rest iron with bag

The Caldwell Rock BR Front Rest is sturdy and stable. It ships with two front bags, a wide tri-lobe plus a conventional bag (shown above). The latter works quite well for rifles with narrow forearms — such as hunting rigs or ARs. This is a good option for a young shooter or someone getting started on a tight budget. We’ve used this rest on a varmint hunt and it worked well. Use the Mariner wheel for gross elevation changes and “fine tune” elevation by squeezing your rear sand bag. This same rest costs $139.61 at Amazon. Save $20.00 by purchasing through Grafs which also offers a single, flat $7.95 handling fee per order — no extra shipping charge. Purchase multiple items from Grafs.com and pay just one $7.95 fee.

4. Precision Reloading — Nosler Brass and Bullets 20-25% Off

Nosler brass bullets discount sale Precision Reloading

Here’s a good sale at Precision Reloading. If you are looking for great pricing on Nosler-brand brass and bullets, save now — components are discounted 20-25%. Check out the great pricing on 250-bullet quantities. Here are some of the better deals:

Nosler .204-Cal 40gr B-Tip Varmint Bullet: $40.99 for 250ct (marked down from $51.99)
Nosler .243-Cal 107gr Match Bullet: $40.99 for 250ct (marked down from $51.99)
Nosler .284-Cal (7mm) 175gr Accubond Bullet: $39.99 for 100ct (marked down from $55.99)
Nosler .308-Cal 155gr Match Bullet: $199.99 for 1000ct (marked down from $256.99)
Nosler .308-Cal 190gr Match Bullet: $65.99 for 250ct (marked down from $83.99)

5. GunBuyer.com — S&W M&P 9mm M2.0, $419.00

Smith Wesson M&P pistol handgun 9mm 9x19mm sale rebate

Here’s a good deal on a very reliable, accurate full-size 9x19mm pistol — the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm in handsome Flat Dark Earth finish. We like the distinctive color with contrasting matte black ambidextrous controls. This 9mm pistol is now on sale for $419.00. When we featured this same pistol in September, it proved very popular and sold out at the vendor. If you like it, you might want to act soon.

6. Bruno Shooters Supply — Halloween Sale through 10/31/2017

Bruno Shooters supply Halloween discount sale Sierra Bullets Kreiger barrels

To mark Halloween, Bruno Shooters Supply is running a store-wide sale this Monday and Tuesday (through 10/31/2017 at 11:59 PM). There are notable savings on a wide range of products including powder, bullets, brass, primers and even premium-quality Krieger barrels. If you need reloading components, or a new barrel for your rifle, check out this sale — but don’t dawdle. Sale prices expire on Halloween Night, Tuesday, October 31st at 11:59 pm.

7. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $39.00

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $39.00, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

8. CDNN Sports — Ruger 17 HMR American Compact, $269.99

Ruger 17 HMR American Compact

This is a good little rifle in our favorite varmint chambering. With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for prairie dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. CDNN Sports is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Compact, with 18″ barrel, for just $269.99. That includes two (2) comb units and a FREE padded carry sling. FFL required.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, 37% Savings

Mystery Amazon Deal shooting mat rifle tactical carry case

This double-duty product safeguards your firearms during transport AND provides a comfortable foundation when shooting prone. With a solid 4.5-star rating (240+ reviews) this item has impressed rifle-owning purchasers. Right now this product is being offered for around $52.00, a bargain considering all it can do. This versatile product performs multiple tasks and would be well-suited for PRS competitors. If you read the reviews you’ll see that recent purchasers have been very happy: “Superb for the money”; “Very practical”; “Really nice and well-constructed”; “Heavy Duty and versatile”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
October 30th, 2017

Clip Trick — Hold Open your Ammo Boxes with Wire Clip

Cartridge Box Lid Holder

Here’s a handy invention by Forum member RayJay from Georgia. It’s a simple wire clip that will hold the lid of your plastic ammo box fully open during use. RayJay explains: “Everybody probably uses the cheap plastic cartridge cases. The only problem I have with them is the lid is always in the way and sometimes when trying to open the lid farther the cartridge box tips and you can dump out the cases. I did some cogitating and came up with these .061″ music wire clips. They work great and the unexpected benefit is that the cases are more stable while sitting at the bench.”

RayJay adds: “The round wire is ideal because it still allows a cartridge to fit in the hole where the clip is placed. Now all I need to do is make another 15 or 20 so I can have one in every case I own.”

Permalink Tech Tip 4 Comments »
October 29th, 2017

Rise of the Railguns — Potential Records Set at IBS Match

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Gary Ocock let the event’s youngest competitor, 12-year-old Gavin Lichtenwalter, shoot Gary’s new Railgun for the last three matches on Sunday afternoon. The day before Gary shot what should be a new IBS 100-yard, five-shot HB group record. Photo credit: Ben Zentner

Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) rifles, also known as “Railguns”, are the most accurate competition firearms ever invented. And these amazing examples of shooting technology showed their capability recently, with potentially four (4) new records being set at an IBS Heavy Benchrest Invitational match in Visalia, California. If you are curious about the most accurate rifles on the planet, then read on…

2017 Visalia Invitational — IBS Heavy Benchrest Match

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Exec. Vice President
There was some amazing shooting at a recent Invitational Heavy Benchrest match* held in Visalia, California on October 21-22, 2017. No less than FOUR new Heavy Benchrest (HB) records may have been set. Three individual targets were submitted for the 100-yard HB five-shot group record, a .039 by Gary Ocock (photo below), along with two targets by Jim Nicolas, a .040 and .041.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Multiple Aggregate records (at both 100 and 200 yards) may also have been set. Larry Boers shot a 100-yard, five-target 0.1232 Aggregate that will be submitted for the IBS HB 100-yard, five-shot group Agg record. And Gary Ocock may have set two additional HB Agg records. Gary’s five-target 200-yard Agg (0.1310) is a potential new five-shot-per-target record, as is his ten-target Grand Agg (0.1480) (that covers 100 AND 200 yards, five targets per yardage, ten targets total).


CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results (PDF) »

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Top Guns Come to IBS Match in California
This California match attracted some of the best Railgun pilots in the game today. On the firing line were three current NBRSA Unlimited record holders: Larry Boers (one record), Steve Kostanich (two records), and Gary Ocock (three current NBRSA UNL records, plus one HV). All three shot well enough in this match that their targets are being submitted to the IBS for consideration as Group, Aggregate, or Grand Aggregate records. NOTE: The “Heavy Benchrest” IBS category is equivalent to “Unlimited” under NBRSA rules. CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results.

Top Shooters for the Match included: Larry Boers (Two Gun, HB GrAgg1, HB 100-yd); Gary Ocock (HB 200-yd and HB GrAgg2); Francis Lee (HB 200-yd).

Two-Gun Overall Results
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Note: The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”. In fact the SAME HB Railguns were used for both Grand Aggs, so the “Two-Gun Agg” is actually a pair of HB Aggs.

Top Equipment List
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Saturday Winners: George Lozano, Larry Boers, Lawrence Weisdorn, Gary Ocock, Joe Stanovich, and Jim Nicolas. Photo by: Dan Lutke.

Conditions: It rained on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and slightly cool at first and perfect after that. Saturday at 10:00 am it was 62°, 64%, and the wind was light, increasing slightly later in the day. Sunday’s conditions were similar with a slightly higher wind speed, but still light. The wind was from the West at 3-10 mph, generally stronger closer to the firing line than down range. This normally is more of a picker’s range than a runner’s venue. However, there was some “running” of groups this weekend since rail guns are particularly suited for that style of shooting.

Hall of Famer Helps Young Novice
Along with the seasoned veterans, there was a new competitor, a 12-year-old shooting his very first match. As with life, there were highs and lows. Young Gavin started out with an equipment failure — the rifle he brought wasn’t working, so shooter Bob Hatley let Gavin borrow Bob’s bag gun. Then Gavin got some expert assistance from one of the world’s best — Hall of Famer Gary Ocock. Gary let Gavin shoot the last three 200-yard matches with Gary’s new integral block, Jay Young-built Railgun, one of the most accurate firearms on the planet. Gary shot this rig on relay #1 and let Gavin shoot it in relay #2. How many of us will ever get this kind of opportunity, much less a first time 12-year-old competitor? It’s like a school kid getting to drive an Indy-winning race car.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
This photo shows Gavin with family and friends: Grandmother Mary Oulrey, father Mark Lichtenwalter (second from left), grandfather Gary Oulrey (far right). Bob Hatley (extreme left) stepped up to share his bag rifle with Gavin, and Gary Ocock (right of Gavin) let Gavin shoot his Railgun. Note Gavin is wearing Gary’s Hall-of-Fame jacket.

The Facility at Visala — Dale Wimp Rifle and Pistol Range
The Visalia Range has a covered firing line with 28 fixed, monolithic steel-reinforced concrete benches. The direction of fire is north. The cover extends well past the front of the benches as does the concrete. There are covered loading areas both at the level of the benches, directly behind them, and one level up farther to the rear. The firing line and range are below the level of the surrounding land, having been excavated in flat ground with the material from the excavation surrounding the range on three sides, higher in the back, forming an impact berm. A major construction project is about to be finished that will extend the range to 300 yards, and provide a new 10-station, 25-yard pistol range.

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
visalia benchrest shooting range unlimited benchrest railgun heavy gun

Notables on the Visalia Firing Line

Three of the competitors at the match deserve special mention because of their recent accomplishments in the world of Benchrest shooting and the interesting equipment they had on display.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Jim Nicholas was on fire on Saturday. During Saturday morning’s 100-yard Aggregate he shot a .040 in the fourth match, and a .041 in the fifth. Both targets and the .039 that Gary Ocock shot were sent in to be measured for a record. All are substantially smaller than the current record, Hap Zeiser’s .063. In the photo above, note the tuner. Jim adjusted a little less than 8 degrees just before he shot .040 in the fourth match and .041 in the fifth. That must have been the “sweet spot”. Jim’s blue Railgun, built by Craig Kinsler, features a barrel block that is integral with the rig top. This is like the new Jay Young Railgun Ocock shoots.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Larry Boers owns the NBRSA Unlimited, 100-yard 10-shot group record (.097). This makes the fourth time that he has won the Two-Gun Overall for this match. Larry is not just a trigger-puller — he makes his own bullets and chambers his own barrels. This year he shot a bullet he still lists under his bullet-making mentor’s name (Del Bishop) a 65 grain, double radius 5/9 FB made from J4 .790 jackets, out of a Nemi point die. Del originally made the bullet and the story is that Nemi at first refused to make the die because he was sure that it wouldn’t shoot well. Later, after some cajoling by Del, he made it, tried a few and excitedly called Dell to tell him just how good the bullets shot. Larry set his record shooting a .750 jacket short BT (.040) bullet from the same die.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Steve Kostanich, a long-time competitor and highly-respected gunsmith from Washington State, recently received official confirmation that he will go in the record books with a pair of 10-shot Unlimited NBRSA world records. The first record is a 10-shot 200-yard 0.1839 Aggregate, while the second is Steve’s 100-200 yard 0.1951 Grand Aggregate.

Parting Shot — This is what happens when you set your Wind Flag stand too high.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California


* Course of Fire: This was a two-day Heavy Benchrest (aka HB or “Unlimited”) weekend match with targets at 100 and 200 yards, five shots per target. Saturday all shooting was at 100 yards. Sunday all shooting was at 200 yards. There were two (2) Grand Aggregates. One Grand Agg combined Saturday morning (100) with Sunday afternoon (200). The Second Grand Agg combined Saturday afternoon (100) and Sunday morning (200). The match had two HB Grand Aggs because only one class of gun (Heavy Benchrest or “Unlimited”) was shot. The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”, but all matches were for Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) guns. NOTE: Some competitors did shoot bag guns as these are allowed under HB/Unlimited rules.

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October 29th, 2017

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters

Shooting Sports USA

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.

CLICK HERE for Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Archive

CLICK HERE to Download Article Issue in Printable PDF Format.

Whether you shoot paper at Perry or prairie dogs in the Dakotas, this is a certified “must-read” resource on reading the wind. Here is a sample selection from the article:

Shooting Sports USA



Visit www.SSUSA.org

Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.

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October 29th, 2017

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Thomas Haugland HuntingHunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 28th, 2017

Fathers and Sons Compete at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Terry Mathy (right) watched as his father Dusty (left) fired on electronic targets for the first time.

Here’s a “feel-good” account of father and son duos who competed this year at the CMP’s modern Talladega Marksmanship Park. It’s great to see fathers introduce their children to the shooting sports, and carry on the tradition of marksmanship from generation to generation.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, integrity and to build trust. There are so many lessons in shooting sports, and in hunting, which apply to other areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to build an understanding of the freedoms we enjoy, why we have those freedoms and why we must act responsibly to preserve them.”

“It makes me proud when others approach us at the range and compliment [my son] Terry on his safety and etiquette. There are no stronger bonds between father and son than those formed in the woods, on the water, and at the range.” — Dusty Mathy

Through the Eyes of Father and Son: The Affinity of Marksmanship
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

The Talladega Marksmanship Park is a major draw for marksmen around the country. Just ask father/son duo Dusty and Terry Mathy. Back in June 2017, SSG Dusty Mathy (U.S. Army) visited Talladega for the first time. Dusty brought along all four members of his family: wife Rachel, son Terry (9) and daughter Olivia (8). The Mathy family traveled all the way from their Kansas home to attend the Talladega D-Day matches.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
During the D-Day event, father Dusty Mathy earned a medal for his Carbine Match performance and posed with his son, Terry (left).

During the D-Day match, father Dusty took his first shots on outdoor electronic High Power targets, an experience he won’t soon forget: “That alone was worth the trip… Shooting an entire EIC match, start to finish in about 90 minutes, with no pit duty, [was] priceless.” Son Terry helped out by recording scores: “I marked my Dad’s shots in the data book, and looking at the electronic targets saved time. The match was much faster, and it was easy to see how my dad was doing. And easy to mark his shots.”

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama is a 500-acre facility featuring modern electronic target systems with monitors at each shooting station.

For Dusty and Terry, marksmanship is more than putting shots through a target — it’s a way of building character and … enjoying life together. When Terry was 7, the two shot at their first Project Appleseed event, where they learned about American history as well as marksmanship. Now the father and son regularly shoot at a local 300-yard Vintage Sniper Match using Terry’s .223 Savage Axis in Open class. Terry’s skills continue to improve each time he fires — his personal best so far is 97-3X.

During the week the Mathy family visited the South CMP Store in Anniston and took a tour of the CMP’s impressive armory. The family also attended the barbeque the CMP hosts as a “thank you” for competitors and guests. “It was outstanding,” said Dusty of his family’s experience. “We met some really great people at the matches. Rachel and Olivia really appreciated the relaxing environment in the Club House and being able to sit at the little covered bleachers during the matches.”

The Lewis Father and Son Team at Talladega
There was another father and son team at the Talladega during the D-Day event in June 2017. LTC Jerry Lewis and his son Josh Lewis (16) of Fayetteville, Georgia, both attended and competed in the Talladega D-Day event together. Though still in high school, Josh is an accomplished marksman who learned his skills from his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. military.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Josh Lewis shoots M1 Garand (.30-06 Sprg) while his father Jerry Lewis tallies the score.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Jerry and Josh Lewis are another example of family teams who enjoy Talladega’s competitions and deluxe shooting facilities. There are shotgun and pistol ranges along with the rifle range.

Permalink - Articles, Competition No Comments »
October 28th, 2017

Wow Factor: Muzzle Brake Blast Patterns Revealed

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

A while back, the Precision Rifle Blog conducted a fascinating study of Muzzle Brakes. PRB figured out a way to show the actual “blast pattern” of gasses ejecting from the ports of muzzle brakes. The result was a fascinating (and eye-catching) series of images revealing the distinctive gas outflows of 20+ different types of muzzle brakes. If you are considering buying and installing a muzzle brake on your rifle, you should definitely review this important PRB Muzzle Brake Test.

GO to PRB Muzzle Brake Blast Pattern TEST PAGE »

For a prone shooter, particularly on dusty, dirty or sandy ground, muzzle blast is a major bummer. Muzzle blast can be very disturbing — not just for the trigger-puller but for persons on either side of the gun as well. Some muzzle brakes send a huge shockwave back towards the shooter, and others send blast towards the ground, kicking dirt and debris into the prone shooter’s face. If there was a way to illustrate those factors — shockwave and debris — that might help shooters select one brake design over another.

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

Cal Zant at PrecisionRifleBlog.com applied a unique blend of creativity and resourcefulness to try to answer that question for 20+ muzzle brakes. Using high-speed photography and household products, he captured the blast pattern of 20+ different brake designs for easy side-by-side comparison. Can you figure out how Cal managed to show muzzle brake blasts so clearly? His “hi-viz” solution, revealed in the article, is very clever. See the eye-opening results for 20+ brakes, with illustrative photos, by visiting the Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Ground Signature Test Page.

Permalink - Articles, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 28th, 2017

Shooting Range Safety & Etiquette — NSSF Video

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a new Range Safety and Etiquette video. This 8.5-minute video is intended to promote safe practices, especially at indoor ranges. In the video, the moderator list the basic rules of gun safety, before covering key range etiquette topics such as range officer commands, how to uncase your firearm on the range when you first arrive, and what to do if a firearm is accidentally dropped. There are also safety tips specific to handling both semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.

Basic Gun Safety Rules — Uncasing Firearms Safely — Basic Range Etiquette

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — What NOT to Do at the Range
Based on decades of shooting, indoors and outdoors, here are the five most problematic behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges.

1. Loading weapons BEHIND the firing line and then “sweeping” other individuals while approaching the indoor shooting bay.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun on a bench, chair, or range bag near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Why This NSSF Video is Important
“More than ever, NSSF is focused on helping our industry better engage their customers. Paramount to that is ensuring all shooters have a pleasant and safe experience every time they head to the range for a practice session,” explained Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Shooting Range Services. “This is particularly important for those coming to firearms ownership and the shooting sports for the first time, and this video will go far to making that first time on the range safe and fun for everyone.”

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
October 27th, 2017

Learn How to Assemble Your Own AR-Platform Rifle

AR-MPR-Build-2-AR-15-Tools
Here are the main tools you’ll need to assemble an AR-platform rifle

Planning to put together an AR-platform rifle? Or are you looking to upgrade your AR with a new barrel, stock, or trigger group? Then you should check out the AR-15 Rifle Build DVD from our friends at UltimateReloader.com. This DVD covers all the details of a custom build, using high-resolution video sequences, and helpful supporting graphics.

AR-15 DVD ultimatereloder.com

In this DVD, Gavin Gear guides you through the entire process including selecting components, acquiring and using the necessary tools, assembly steps and details for each component, and even mounting a scope. Building an AR-15 can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance and help it’s not difficult and can be very rewarding. With this DVD you’ll be able to build your AR-15 with confidence.

Upper: Barrel / Gas Block / Gas Tube
AR-MPR-Build-4-Barrel-and-Gas-Tube-2

Upper: Handguard Installation
AR-MPR-Build-5-Handguard

UltimateReloader.com’s AR-15 Build DVD is available just $9.90 (plus $3.80 shipping/handling). This DVD can pay for itself many times over by showing you how to do your own gunsmithing (and get quality AR components at attractive prices).

See Parts Installed in See-Through AR-15 Lower
This isn’t part of UltimateReloader.com DVD, but this YouTube video shows how to install the AR trigger group and other parts in an AR-15 lower. A transparent, see-through Tennessee Arms Company lower receiver was chosen to make it easier to see how the parts are installed.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 27th, 2017

New Hornady Reloading Products for 2018

hornady reloading tools 2018

With its 2018 product roll-out, Hornady has introduced two new reloading products that look promising. There is a new modular, vibratory powder trickler, plus a new rotary tumbler for wet-tumbling brass.

New Cordless Vibratory Powder Trickler:

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new modular Vibratory Trickler, powered by two AAA batteries, features variable settings to trickle all kinds of powders. The clever modular design allow you to separate the actual trickler dispensing unit from the base (a cord connects base to trickler). That lets you position the trickler next to your scale with the separate control unit convenient to your hand. This also makes cleanup more easy.

    Product Features:

  • Trickles all powders
  • Light-up LED screen
  • High, low, and variable trickle settings
  • Use in base or outside of base
  • No-slip base, weighted for stability

New Hornady Rotary Case Tumbler

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new, large-capacity rotary tumbler can be used to wet-tumble cartridge brass. This will clean and polish brass inside and out quickly when used with the included steel pin tumbling media. The large, six-liter drum holds five pounds of brass cases. Set tumbler to run for up to eight hours in half-hour increments using the digital timer. This new rotary tumbler is designed to be used with Hornady One Shot Sonic Clean Solution.

Note: we do recommend you test with your brass to ensure the steel pin media does not jam in flash holes. And always inspect each case after the tumbling cycle.

See other new Hornady reloading products at https://www.hornady.com/new-products/reloading.

Permalink New Product, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 26th, 2017

After 37 Shots — Claimed ‘World Record’ 5000-Yard Hit

5000 yard ELR world record .408 Cheytac Charlie Melton

An American shooter has hit a 40″ square steel target at a distance of 5000 yards (2.84 miles). This has been hailed as a New Long Range World Record. That’s quite a feat… except that it took thirty-seven (37) shots to put one .408-caliber bullet on the steel target (by a whisker). Is that really good shooting — or just a lucky impact? (The 37th shot just barely hit the right side of the 40″ x 40″ steel plate). This purported “Long Range World Record” was shot on September 30, 2017.

Should we acknowledge this as a meaningful record? Is this a noteworthy achievement or just a stupid stunt? Watch this video and decide for yourself:

ELR at 5000 Yards — World Record or Just a Lucky Shot?

5000 yard ELR world record .408 Cheytac Charlie MeltonThe Firearm Blog explained: “After shooting through three [10-round] batches unsuccessfully, Charlie Melton connected on target with his 7th shot in the fourth batch; round number 37. According to some number crunching … the bullet that finally connected on target was likely in flight for 12.816 seconds!”

Can this lucky shot really be claimed as some kind of meaningful record? Our friend Dennis Santiago, a Service Rifle competitor, and very brainy guy, observed: “Ha! 37th shot works out to a 2.7% probability of hit single-shot. That figure … fails the test of operational viability. Any hits are incidental within the beaten zone. It’s a gimmick.”

And William W., a retired military ordnance specialist, stated: “Dispersion and random Circular Error Probable (CEP) says if you fire enough shots, you will eventually hit what you are aiming at. It could have taken one shot or one hundred or more. Do the math for a radial error of .05 MOA at 15,000 feet and see what comes up. This is what we call ‘hardstand dispersion’ which only accounts for the gun and ammunition bias. Add environmental factors and CEP gets much bigger. A true test is a series of shots that strike the target, not a holy poke.”

Shot Made with Armalite AR-30 Fitted with 31″ Barrel Chambered for .408 Tejas
The lucky shot (37th attempt) was made by former SEAL Charlie Melton of Charlie Mike Precision. He was shooting an Armalite AR30 rifle with 31″ Pac-Nor barrel chambered for the .408 Tejas, a 50° wildcat based on the .408 Cheytac cartridge. The bullets were 420 grain solids launched at 3065 FPS.

Rifle: Armalite AR-30, with 6 oz. Jewell trigger
Barrel: 31″ Pac-Nor chamber for .408 Tejas
Bullet: 420 Grain Monolithic (solid) Bullets – 3,065 FPS
Bi-Pod: Shots Gunsmithing Bipod for Armalite AR-X
Optic: Nightforce NXS 12-45x56mm fitted with Charlie TARAC Prism (see below)
Rings: Ivey Adjustable Scope Rings

5000 yard ELR world record .408 Cheytac Charlie Melton
Photo by Brad Stair of Performance Guns

Innovative Elevation Booster — Charlie TARAC Prism System

The Charlie TARAC Prism from TACOMHQ helps ELR Shooters hit very distant targets, by elevating the actual target image, effectively augmenting the scope’s internal elevation adjustment. The latest TARAC is an adjustable unit that adds up to 120 MIL of elevation to any scope. Current high-end scopes typically offer around 30 MIL of vertical. With the Charlie TARAC fitted to the scope’s front objective, you can add +120 MIL elevation.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical 24 Comments »
October 26th, 2017

Jim Borden on Kelly McMillan’s “Taking Stock” Radio Show

Kelly McMillan Taking Stock Radio Show Voice America

You’ll want to tune in to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Radio Show tomorrow, Friday, October 27, 2017. This week’s Episode 42 features respected action-maker and gunsmith Jim Borden of Borden Accuracy. The Radio Show, which streams on the internet, runs 8/27/2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Sports Channel.

Jim and Kelly will discuss a variety of topics, including gunsmithing, action design/manufacture, the past/present/future of Benchrest and F-Class competition, and how Benchrest technology have influenced other disciplines. Jim Borden is a “benchrest icon” who has been in the business maybe as long as McMillan. Kelly notes: “I remember the Borden name dating way back to when it was just my mother, father, and I working in the garage. Jim Borden will share the story of his legacy with our listeners”. CLICK HERE to LISTEN.

The Radio Show will also feature Kelly’s friend Kevin Finley, a professional bass fisherman. Access this and other “Taking Stock” episodes by clicking the Radio link on McMillanUSA.com, then select “Listen Live” or select Episode on Demand to hear previous shows. In past weeks, Taking Stock Radio has featured K02M and World F-TR Champ Derek Rodgers, Team USA F-TR Captain Ray Gross, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz, Long-Range Champ Nancy Tompkins, High Power Champ Carl Bernosky, Legendary Olympic Shooter Lones Wigger, Sniper’s Hide Founder Frank Galli, and many other notables.

Borden and McMillan Collaborate on F-Open Rifle for Juniors

Borden Rifles Accuracy McMillan

It’s great to see two important businessmen give back to the shooting sports. Kelly McMillan and Jim Borden are working together on a project — creating an F-Class Open rifle that can be loaned out to young shooters to help them get started with the sport. Great idea — we need to get more young folks involved in precision shooting. In F-Class (as well as benchrest) we have an “aging population”. Engaging the next generation of shooters is vitally important.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock RiflesBorden Accuracy — A Success Story
Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles has been a source for precision benchrest and hunting rifles for many years. Jim started doing his own gunsmithing while competing in benchrest and High Power silhouette matches. Jim launched his business in 1987, working nights and weekends while still employed at P&G. The business became full-time in 1995 with Jim and his wife Joan doing the work. The business was expanded in 1999 with the construction of the new Springville, PA facility and the addition of sons Jim Jr. and John to the staff. Son-in-law John Mecca came onboard in January 2000.

Jim and company began making Rimrock benchrest and Rimrock hunting actions in 2001. They added Borden Alpine and Timberline actions in 2006. These actions are made in an advanced manufacturing facility which has three CNC vertical Machining centers, three CNC lathes, three manual lathes, a manual knee mill, a surface grinder, a cylindrical grinder and wire EDM machine. To learn more, visit BordenRifles.com, call 570-965-2505, or send email to info [at] bordenrifles.com.

Borden Accuracy Rifles benchrest actions

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
October 26th, 2017

Quick Tip: Mirror & Magnifier for Beam Scales

Beam Scale hack Magnify Magnifier Mirror RCBS 10-10 Scale

Here’s a simple modification that makes your classic beam balance more user-friendly. For a few dollars you can enhance your balance scale system to improve work-flow and reduce eye strain. This clever modification makes it easier to see the balance’s zero-mark center-line when weighing charges.

When he chooses to measure his loads or sort bullets by weight, Forum Member Boyd Allen likes his trusty RCBS 10-10 scale. He finds that it works predictably, time after time, and it doesn’t suffer from the drift and calibration issues that plague some of the less-expensive electronic scales on the market.

To make it easier to see the balance point, Boyd has adapted a magnifying glass with a mirror. This makes the end of his balance beam easier to view from his normal position on the bench. Boyd explains: “This set-up uses a cheap magnifier with positioning arms that was probably designed to hold and magnify small objects while soldering them. I think that it came from Harbor Freight many years ago. The mirror lets you look at the scale as if is was at eye level, and of course the magnifier makes the image easier to see.”

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2017

Father and Son Hunting Adventures — Rifle and Gear Options

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

One of the most memorable things a father and son can do is go hunting. Time spent in the field together builds bonds that last a lifetime. A young man will remember those special fall hunts he did with his Dad. And as he grows into maturity, that same young hunter will carry cherished memories forward all his life, along with an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

There are many elements to a successful hunt — location, game activity, weather, stalking skills, and yes, a little bit of luck. You can’t control the weather (or the whims of whitetails), but you can increase your odds of success with the right gear. Here are some items that will help a father and son on a hunting adventure this fall.

A Boy’s First Centerfire Hunting Rifle

We’ve found a great choice for a young man’s first centerfire rifle — at a great price. Right now the Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel is just $349.99 at Whittaker Guns. This special Youth model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull. Weighing under 5.7 pounds with a light-contour 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a young man to carry easily. Add a discounted scope, and you can have the whole rig for under $550.00 complete.

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Hunting gear 6.5 Grendel Howa Rifle Mini Action father son hunter huntingYes a young man could start off with a big .30-06 shooting 200-grain bullets. But we think it’s wise to begin with a smaller, lighter-recoiling caliber. There are countless cartridge choices, but the compact 6.5 Grendel offers a good balance of power and accuracy with moderate recoil. The 6.5 Grendel boasts ballistics superior to the venerable 30/30, so it is capable of taking whitetail deer and other medium-sized game. Recoil is milder than a 30-caliber, and the accuracy is excellent. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

Great Gear Items for a Father and Son Hunting Trip

Here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. If you have a family hunt planned, check out these useful items. The Remington pack carries both your rifle and your gear. The electronic muffs provide hearing protection while still allowing conversations. The walkie-talkies let you communicate with your base camp even miles away.

Remington Twin Mesa Day Pack

This comfortable Remington Pack provides lots of capacity on the inside, plus a special harness system for toting your rifle. That keeps your hands free for your rangefinder and binoculars. The pack is mesh-lined for comfort and has nicely padded hip belt and shoulder straps. Five outside pockets hold small items securely. Priced at $73.53 with free shipping, this pack is a good choice for a hunter’s carrying system.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

Motorola 2-way 22 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2017

Guns & Gear TV Features 6.5 Creedmoor Smith & Wesson Gas Gun

Ruger Redhawk Revolver

There are some interesting firearms featured this week on Guns & Gear, a syndicated TV show by the creators of Gun Talk Radio. This week, the Guns & Gear team tests a Smith and Wesson M&P 10 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. This 6.5 CM version of S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The rifle shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and want to see how it works in a gas gun, the M&P 10 is a smart option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty.

Ruger Redhawk RevolverAlong with Smith & Wesson’s 6.5 Creedmoor semi-auto rifle, Guns & Gear’s crew tests the new Ruger 8-Shot Redhawk revolver in .357 Magnum. That short-nosed wheelgun is one ugly beast, but greater ammo capacity is probably a good thing. Then the crew samples Springfield Armory’s XD handguns. There is also a fun feature on Crimson Trace Master Series Lasergrips. It’s cool to watch the laser beams track from gun to target (see below).

Here is a sneak preview of this week’s Guns & Gear Episode:

Why We Love Wheelguns
We were intrigued by the 8-shot Ruger Redhawk, being avid revolver fans. When we go out plinking with handguns, a classic revolver is often our first choice. This Editor’s S&W model 617 ten-shot .22 LR revolver probably has more rounds through it than all my other handguns. And I have a S&W Performance Center .44 Magnum that has shot 1″ groups at 50 yards (off a rest). I like full-sized revolvers for long sight radius and inherent accuracy of the fixed barrel, combined with the superb trigger break in single-action mode.

Guns & Gear Showtimes
Guns & Gear airs year-round on the Sportsman Channel on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM Eastern, Thursdays at 8:30 PM and 11:30 PM EST, Fridays at 2:30 PM EST, and Sundays at 4:00 AM EST. Find the Sportsman Channel at DirectTV Ch. 605, DISH Network Ch. 395, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 642, Spectrum Ch. 315, and your local cable provider. Watch past Guns & Gear episodes on Gun Talk Media’s YouTube Channel, or visit www.GunTalk.com.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2017

The 6mm-223 — A Wildcat Worth Considering

6mm 223 sinclair

Intro: Ron Dague wanted a new gun that was similar to his trusty .223 Rem rifle, but which fired 6mm bullets. There is a superb choice of bullets in this caliber, and Ron found that the 95gr Berger VLD could be driven to a healthy 2,604 fps by the small .223 Rem case. This 6mm wildcat based on the common .223 Rem offers excellent accuracy and very low recoil — something very important in the cross-the-course discipline. In addition, Ron’s 95gr load with Reloder 15 delivered an ES of just 4 fps over ten shots. That exceptionally low ES helps achieve minimal vertical dispersion at 600 yards.

6mm 223 Across the course McMilland stock Ron Dague Sinclair InternationalBy Ron Dague, Sinclair Reloading Tech
From Sinclair’s The Reloading Press

I already had a .223 Remington match rifle, and I wanted the 6mm-223 to be as close to the same as I could make it. I installed the barreled action in a wood 40X stock to work up load data and work out any magazine feeding issues. While I was working on that, I looked for a McMillan Baker Special stock and finally found one to finish this project. I bedded the action and stock, then took the rifle to the range to check zeros on the sights and scope. I was surprised that I didn’t have to change anything on the sights. I thought changing the stock would cause sight changes. The thought went through my head, “Maybe the 40X stock isn’t all that bad”.

Here’s line-up of 6mm bullets. The Berger 95gr VLD is in the middle.
berger 6mm bullet hornady sierra line up 6mm 233

I took the new rifle to the first match of the year, a National Match Course match, and my off-hand score was 83, rapid sitting 95, rapid prone 95, and slow fire prone 197 — for total aggregate 470. This may not be my best work, but on match day the wind was blowing about 15 mph and the temp was around 40° F, with rain threatening. This was a reduced course of fire — we shot at 200 and 300 yards on reduced targets.

I used 70gr Berger bullets for this match, loaded in Remington brass with 25 grains of VihtaVuori N540 and Federal 205M primers. When I worked up loads for this rifle, N540 gave the best accuracy with the best extreme spread — 2,950 fps with an extreme spread of 20 fps on a 10-shot string. The load for 600 yards was with a 95gr Berger VLD bullet, with 23.0 grains of Reloder 15, Lapua cases, and the same Federal 205M primers. This load is 2,604 fps, with an extreme spread of 4 fps over a 10-shot string. I’ve shot this load at several 3×600 yard matches, and the accuracy has proven to be very good. At the last 3×600 match, my scores were as follows: 199-10x and 198-11X with scope, and 193-10X with iron sights. Best 600-yard score so far with iron sights was 198-12X.

6mm-223 Rem Rifle Specifications: 700 BDL action and floor plate, Bartlein 6mm 1:8″ twist, McMillan Baker Special stock in Desert Camo, Centra front and rear sights, Ken Farrell bases with stripper clip guide, Sinclair hand stop, and Jewell trigger. Gunsmith Neil Keller helped me with the metal work and instructed me on the action work and re-barreling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »