January 23rd, 2018

Industry Day at the Range 2018 — Highlights

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Industry Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very great new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Industry Day at the Range, held in Bolder City, Nevada on January 22, 2018.

New Guns + Old Friends
Meeting old friends, and shooting new guns. That’s what Monday was all about at the annual Industry Day at the Range, a “hands-on” preview the day before SHOT Show opens in Las Vegas. Your Editor met with old buddy Jason Baney at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Boulder City (NV) range.

We were not disappointed — there was plenty to see this year. On display were a bunch of new precision rifles, a slew of new handguns, and some very exotic optics.

Most Interesting New Rifles

Tikka T1x — Tikka’s New Rimfire Rifle is a Winner

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

The new Tikka T1x doesn’t disappoint. The bolt operates smoothly. The action feels solid and refined — like a good centerfire action. The trigger is excellent — it breaks cleanly with no creep or grittiness, and we’re told it can be easily adjusted below 2 pounds pull weight. The stock has a good feel in the hand and doesn’t flex — unlike some cheap Tupperware stocks you’ll find on some domestic rimfires. In addition, the action has the same footprint as the Tikka T3, so you can swap this .22 LR action into any stock that fits a T3. Overall this was the single rifle this Editor shot on Industry Day that I would really want to own.

Ruger Precision Rimfire — Baby Brother to the Ruger Precision Rifle

Ruger Precision Rifle

We test-fired the new Ruger Precision Rimfire. Unfortunately, with the wobbly setup and no paper targets, we could not really evaluate accuracy. Function is good, but we couldn’t call the bolt movement smooth. The trigger is not bad. Most of the chassis from the handguard rearward is reinforced polymer so the gun is pretty light. The + 30 MOA Picatinny rail is nice.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Above you can see the Ruger Precision Rimfire with its big centerfire brother, the Ruger Precision Rifle. Initial reports say that Ruger’s new rimfire rifle shoots well with affordable .22 LR ammo. Here’s a report from Forum Member RICHK: “Took mine to the range today, and ran eight (8) brands of ammo through it. Three worked really well. The best, Federal Match 22, shot .145 inch groups at 50 yards. Fine rifle.”

SAKO TRG 42 A-1 in .338 Lapua Magnum

Ritter Stark Rifle

Here is a handsome, beautifully-machined big-bore tactical rifle with all the bells and whistles. Firing from a high-tech tripod with Crux Ordnance rifle mount, our buddy Jason drilled steel at 500+ yards with the big .338 Lapua Magnum Sako. It’s awfully nice when you don’t have to pay for the ammo and they don’t mind if you take home the superb Lapua brass. This is a high end rig for serious engagements.

Savage Model 110 Line with AccuFit Comb and Buttpad Inserts

Savage Accufit Accustock

Savage Accufit 110 Stock

Savage Accustock 2018Savage showed off its new-for-2018 Model 110 Line-Up with the new Accufit system of cheekpiece/buttpad extensions that allow shooters to customize comb height and LOP. But, we were more interested in what you can’t see — the new internal aluminum chassis.

As part of Savage’s new Accustock system, a long aluminum sub-chassis serves as a bedding block for the action and provides general stiffening for the stock. That’s smart engineering. This video shows how the Savage internal chassis works. We highly recommend you watch this video:

Ritter & Stark SX-1 Modular Tactical Rifle

Ritter Stark Rifle

We liked the new Ritter and Stark Rifle SX-1 Modular Tactical Rifle from Germany. Fit and finish is very good. This is an honest competitor to the Accuracy International rifles. This rig is designed to allow rapid barrel changes for three chamberings: .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. Ergonomics were good — the grip was comfortable and we like the fact that the butt adjusts for vertical position. Notably, the scope rail is mounted on the barrel itself, and the bolt locks directly into the barrel. This patented system allows scope, rail, and barrel to be swapped out as one integrated assembly, which should definitely help maintain zero when barrels are exchanged.

Kriss Vector SBR — Full-Auto Fun and Firepower

Kriss Vector SBR Gen II 9mm carbine selective machine gun

We got a chance to shoot the 9x19mm version of the Kriss Vector Gen II SBR (Short Barrel Rifle) in FDE (Flat Dark Earth). This is a full-auto, pistol cartridge short-barrel rifle that uses Glock mags. It has a handy fire control selector so you can shoot it in single-shot, two-shot, or full-auto modes. This was a hoot to shoot. We’ve shot full-auto 9mm Uzi subguns in the past and this Kriss was easier to hold on target (and more accurate). Recoil was negligible. This is offered in four calibers: .357 Sig, 9x19mm, 10mm, and .45 ACP. MSRP is $1569.00, but civilians can’t buy this.

Best New Handguns

We viewed hundreds of pistols, shot a dozen or so, and came away with three we really liked. Here is a stunningly expensive 1911-type STI race gun, a handsome new 9mm Kimber, and a very innovative new polymer pistol from Europe, the Archon Type B.

STI 2011 DVC Open Race Gun — Four Grand Worth of Zing and Bling

STI 2011 1911 race competition pistol

At $3999.00, this is probably the most expensive comp pistol we’ve ever seen. This STI 2011 DVC Open features a host of “go-fast” features including relieved slide, gold-tone TiN barrel with extended compensator, over-size Dawson Precision Magwell, mounted C-More 8-MOA optic, and a special lever for fast slide racking. If you want to win, this might be a good investment, but this Editor kept thinking “this pistol costs more than my car is worth…”

Kimber Aegis Pro 9mm with 4″ Barrel

Kimber Aegis Pro 9mm 1911 pistol red dot

This is a 1911-style pistol with some interesting features. It combines a full-size bobtail frame with a shorter 4″ barrel. This makes the gun balance very nicely and it’s a bit more compact for carry. The trigger pull was outstanding, and recoil was mild with the 9mm Luger chambering, so this gun was a pleasure to shoot. This Editor would like to have one of these. The slide is machined to fit a Red Dot sight. For gun games and action pistol comps, the Red Dot really speeds up the aiming process.

Archon Firearms Type B with Ultra-Low Bore Axis

Archon 9mm Luger 9x19mm type B RUAG low bore axis pistol

Developed in Italy, Made in Germany, and backed by the big RUAG company, the new Archon Type B 9mm pistol is one of the most innovative semi-auto handguns we’ve seen in years. The Type B boasts a patented barrel system. It is not the classic Browning tilting barrel. The Type B’s barrel is not fixed; however, it moves only a few millimeters up and back as the slide retracts. That barrel geometry allows the slide to be exceptionally low. And the frame design puts the web of your hand up high. Those design features really do help tame perceived muzzle lift. This gun was easy to shoot, and the sights came back on target very quickly.

Trends in Ammunition

On Industry Day at the Range, all ammo is free. So you can shoot to your heart’s content without worrying about cost (or picking up your brass). This year we noted that many gun-makers supplied Federal Syntec ammo with distinctive red, polymer-encapsulated bullets. The polymer coating cuts barrel fouling, and also reduces ricochets and “splashback” on steel targets:

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Winchester also unveiled an interesting line of Hybrid-X ammunition. This has a dual-element bullet. The rear section of the bullet is jacketed with a heavy element core. The front half of the bullet has a shaped, polymer matrix cone. This hybrid design offers improved penetration PLUS greater energy delivery inside the target as the bullet separates into multiple elements. You can see how this works in the Ballistic Gelatin photo below.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Suppressor Tech: Integrally Suppressed Rifle Barrels

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range suppressor can silencer SWS Suppressed Weapon systems

Suppressed Weapon Systems (SWS) had a rack of rifles with very fat barrels — barrels that served double duty. These barrels are, effectively, extremely long suppressors. The conventional barrel unit is combined with a full-length sound moderator, offering exceptional noise reduction. In the photo above, every rifle in the front side of the rack has an SWS integral suppressor/barrel system. This is interesting technology.

With two dozen shooting bays, plus an elevated shooting station with targets out to 400 yards, there is plenty of action. Here’s the layout:
Media Day at Range SHOT 2018

Next best thing to being there — this 5-minute video, filmed in 2015-16, shows all the activities on Media Day at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club. It’s a great overview of the event where over 1700 media members and buyers gather to test and evaluate the latest (and greatest) guns and shooting accessories introductions from over 200 manufacturers.

Media day at range shot show 2018

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Tactical 3 Comments »
January 23rd, 2018

Download Latest Hodgdon IMR Relative Burn Rate Chart

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Hey guys, you’ll probably want to download this new Powder Burn Rate Chart issued by Hodgdon/IMR. This recently-released table includes the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), shown in green below. Please note, the chart is not limited to Hodgdon and IMR propellants. It also includes popular powders from Accurate, Alliant, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, and Winchester.

This chart provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters. NOTE: Hodgdon powders are shown in blue, while IMR standard powders are shown in yellow, and Winchester powder are shown in red. DOWNLOAD Chart HERE.


NEW POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from IMRPowder.com

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
January 23rd, 2018

Lyman Releases Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook

Lyman Precision Reloading Manual 6.5 Creemoor PRS Long Range

Lyman Products is offering a new reloading resource, the Lyman “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”. With the growing interest in Precision Rifle Series (PRS) events and Extended Long Range matches, Lyman saw the need for an up-to-date, reliable print resource for precision long range competitors. Lyman says this is “The first-ever reloading manual specifically written for the growing sport of precision long range shooting.”

Lyman’s new book covers the most popular cartridge types, and the premium components used by top shooters. The book covers the vast majority of popular cartridge types used in long range precision shooting. You’ll find .223 Rem, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem., 6.5-284 Norma, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .300 Norma Mag, .338 Lapua Mag and more. The data section includes Berger and Lapua target bullets, as well as Sierra MatchKings and Hornady ELDs. A wide range of propellants from Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, VihtaVuori, Ramshot, and Winchester are reviewed.

Lyman Handbook Includes Articles by Leading Experts and Top PRS Shooters
The new handbook also includes articles by top PRS shooters and industry experts. Articles such as “PRS How-To” and “Rifle Systems for PRS” by Matt Gervais provide expert info and tips and techniques to start competing. An authoritative article by Hornady’s Dave Emary, “The History and Design of the 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor” explains why these cartridges have become so popular for PRS and other applications. Emary’s “Reloading Considerations for Long Range Ammunition” is also highly recommended for both novice and experienced hand-loaders.

“As the leader in reloading data, we saw a need for an accurate and reliable source of reloading data for these precision, long-range loads,” said Trevor Mullen, Lyman’s Global Marketing VP. “Our process of compiling a new reloading handbook … is to work with the best in their field — reloaders, the manufacturers of ammunition and rifles, participants in the PRS sport, and our own staff of highly-skilled, highly knowledgeable test shooters. This new handbook [will help] those looking for that edge in PRS competitions.”

The “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”, priced at $16.98, will be available soon from online retailers. Within a short time you can also purchase the book from the Lyman web store. (It is not yet in stock).

Permalink Competition, Reloading No Comments »