June 30th, 2018

Table-Top Trove — Slide-Open Firearms Vault in Table

gunsafe table furniture vault hidden storage

Here’s something that will teach unwanted guests some “table manners”. We’ve seen handguns hidden in books, and stowed behind faux baseboard vents, but this hand-crafted, slide-open table takes the cake. We doubt that anyone could sit down at this table and suspect that a shotgun, scoped rifle, two pistols and a knife were stored securely inside. There’s an arsenal hiding in there!

To access the guns under the sliding table-top, first you flip down a wood trap-door on the side. That exposes a key-lock which unlatches the interleaved left and right table segments. These slide open horizontally on metal tracks, exposing the full arsenal underneath. This “table vault” is a very clever design, built with fine craftsmanship. You can purchase this table from the maker for $1799.00.

gunsafe table furniture vault hidden storage

Table Description
This table has a secret latch which pops down. Behind it is a deadbolt (or Kevo enabled Bluetooth lock). Once unlocked the table slides open toe reveal your valuables and/or guns. The table comes with a piece of blank white foam you can customize for whatever you would like to put inside. MORE INFO.

Dimensions and Features
Outside: 55.5″ long x 33.5″ wide x 31″ high
Interior: 42” long x 29” wide by 3.25” deep
– Customizable Color (paint or stain) (American Walnut shown)
– Seats 6 (standard size chairs)
– Standard keyed deadbolt or Kevo Bluetooth lock ($299.00 Extra for Kevo)

Slide-Open 20″-High Coffee Table
There is also a coffee table version, 55.5″ long x 33.5″ wide x 20″ high. That may be better for folks who just can’t bear the thought of dinner being served on top of ones precious gun collection. This offers the same storage space as the regular dining table.

gunsafe table furniture vault hidden storage

Permalink News No Comments »
June 30th, 2018

AR15 3D Animation — See How an AR Really Works

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine.

This video starts off slow and has annoying background music, but it is well worth watching if you own or shoot any AR-platform rifle. It illustrates all the key operations during the charging, loading, firing, and ejection processes. The cutaway animation shows how rounds are stripped from the magazine and then chambered. It then shows how every part of the trigger group works, and how the firing pin strikes the primer. You can even watch the bullet move down the barrel before the empty shell casing is removed from the chamber and tossed out the ejection port. Here are sample frames from the video:

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Video find by Grant Ubl. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 30th, 2018

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Bulletin. The Berger Bulletin blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 29th, 2018

Half-MOA with a .50 BMG — Yes It’s Possible!

.50 BMG Richard King Texas half-MOA

Our friend, Texas gunsmith Richard King, recently posted some images of a new .50 BMG target rifle he built for a customer. Equipped with a beefy McMillan stock, this rig has shown some impressive accuracy — even during break-in. Check out that target. Using On Target software, we measured this 3-shot group at 0.476″ or 0.454 MOA. Not bad for a beast with some very serious recoil. Do you think you could beat that 0.476″ with your AR15 shooting puny .223-caliber bullets?

.50 BMG Richard King Texas half-MOA
Compare the dimensions of that massive 50-Cal action to a Rem 700 action in the middle. When you’re shooting a Fifty, size matters!

On Facebook, some folks were surprised a guy could wring that kind of accuracy out of a monster .50 BMG. One wag posted: “Yikes! He will need flinch therapy after shooting that beast.”

Another Facebooker joked: “When shooting a .50 BMG you say…In your best Crocodile Dundee voice…that’s not a gun, THIS is a gun!”

Richard King responded that this customer has quite a bit of experience with jumbo-caliber rifles: “Remember this is the guy that shot a .338 Lapua in a two-day F-Class match. Recoil might actually be easier on this 50, given the fact that it has more weight and a brake.”

.50 BMG Richard King Texas half-MOA

Before this rifle was completed, Richard King showed us the monster 13-lb BAT action at the 2018 Berger SWN. Honestly, the big BAT .50 BMG action was HUGE — with the bolt fully extended it was the size of your forearm (to the finger tips). Richard joked “This weighs almost as much as an F-TR rifle (before optic) all by itself”.

Richard King Berger SWN BAT action

Specialty Tools for the Big .50 BMG
Yes, the .50 BMG is one huge cartridge. Thankfully, there are some special tools for loading the jumbo-size round. Giraud Tool makes a specialty comparator for 50-Cal cartridges. The double-ended comparator is quite versatile. In one orientation you can measure base-to-ogive bullet length and also measure cartridge OAL from rim to bullet ogive. When reversed, you can use the comparator to measure cartridge headspace. The Giraud 50 BMG Comparator gauge is constructed of 303 stainless and fits most any vernier, dial, or digital caliper. CLICK HERE for more info.

Giraud Tools 50 BMG comparator gauge

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
June 29th, 2018

First-Ever Precision Rifle Expo — September 15-16 in Georgia

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) keeps growing in popularity — attracting more shooters and spinning off sub-disciplines such as Gas Gun division and Tactical Rimfire. Along with the PRS, the National Rifle League (NRL) has developed in parallel, sponsoring successful tactical centerfire and rimfire matches. With this exploding interest in PRS-style shooting, now the Precision Rifle world has its own annual “gathering of the faithful” — the Precision Rifle Expo.

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

The First Annual Precision Rifle Expo will be held September 15-16, 2018 at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. The event is specifically designed to connect precision rifle enthusiasts with top manufacturers, precision rifle instructors, and ace competitors. The goal is to promote this fast-growing shooting sport and advance the skill set of attendees. To register for the event ($25 fee), or learn more about the Arena Training facility visit PrecisionRifleExpo.com. Get Expo updates on the Precision Rifle Expo Facebook Page.

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges. Situated two hours from the Atlanta airport, the Arena complex offers multiple climate-controlled classrooms, a main building, and a clubhouse, along with the impressive range facilities.

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Precision Rifle Expo attendees will be able to meet industry experts, get hands-on product experience, and attend a variety of shooting seminars — all for a modest $25 entry fee. Seminars will include: Precision Hand-loading, Wind Reading, Position Building, Competition Preparedness, Long Range Precision Shooting Intro, and the Fundamentals of Marksmanship. Live-fire skills training and product demos will include shooting with suppressors, precision rimfire shooting, 1000-yard shooting, and even a one-mile target challenge.

All Types of Products Will Be on Display
Exhibitors will showcase optics, actions, barrels, stocks/chassis systems, complete rifles, suppressors, and the latest in electronics. In addition, targets, ear and eye protection, bags and support equipment, and other accessories will be on display.

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Along with exhibitors, the first-ever Precision Rifle Expo will attract leading Gun Media members. Sniper’s Hide founder Frank Galli will be there, serving as one of the long distance precision instructors. AccurateShooter.com will have a correspondent. The Precision Rifle Blog will cover the Expo and highlight new products. Recoil Magazine will spotlight the Expo on the web and in print.

The Arena Training Facility is two hours from the Atlanta Airport:

REGISTER Now to Secure Your Place
Interested in attending? Act soon. The inaugural Precision Rifle Expo is expected to sell out early. CLICK HERE to Register. It costs just $25.00 to attend. For more information, visit PrecisionRifleExpo.com. You can also contact Ryan Castle at 912-344-1607, Phil Cashin at 770-401-3572, Brandon Zielinksi at 920-664-3098, or Mark Kuczka at 770-364-7607.

Permalink News, Tactical 2 Comments »
June 29th, 2018

Amazing Slow-Motion Video Shows Bullet Impacts

werner mehl kurzzeit.com high speed slow motion bullet video

Want to see a bullet hit a target in ultra-ultra-slow motion? Watch this video to witness some amazing things — such as a bullet jacket peeling back like a banana-skin (at time-mark 7:30). A while back, Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the SHOT Show. This video has has been watched over 10.6 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding” and “mesmerizing”. If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!

LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph (now sold as the BMC-19) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21/BMC-19 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
June 28th, 2018

Avoid Canting Your Rifle to Improve Your Long Range Shooting

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In a helpful NSSF video, Ryan Cleckner explains why you normally should avoid canting your rifle — rotating it clockwise or counter-clockwise. Cleckner explains that canting the rifle in one direction or another will change the point of impact: “When you rotate the rifle, not only does the [POI move] in the direction that you’re rotated, [but] it also loses some of its elevation as it rolls down.” This, Cleckner explains, can make you miss on one side or the other:

Cant to the Left — You’re going to miss low and left.
Cant to the Right — You’re going to miss low and right.

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In this video, starting at the one-minute mark, Cleckner shows the effect of rifle canting when engaging a 600-yard target. A few degrees of cant (either to the left or to the right), moves the shot POI completely off the steel silhouette target. The POI change occurs mainly because you are lowering (and laterally shifting) the scope sight-line relative to the bore axis, effectively changing your zero.

David Tubb has explained: “Every 1 degree you are off on a cant, is about six inches of difference laterally at 1000 yards”.

Position Shooting with Sling — Rifle Cant Considerations
Cleckner’s discussion assumes that the scope or sights are set to hit center with the rifle level and plumb. That works for most situations when shooting prone off bipod, front mechanical rest, or front sandbag. However, many sling shooters, including David Tubb and John Whidden, do tilt or cant their rifles slightly inward because this allows a more comfortable hold with sling, or allows better eye-to-sight alignment. Holding the rifle at an angle can work — but the angle of cant must be consistent for every shot. Canting the rifle is not a sin by itself. However, after you confirm your zero on your target, the degree of cant must be the same for EVERY shot. You must maintain that exact same degree of rotation on each shot or you will experience the shot POI movement Cleckner illustrates. Consistency is the key.

John Whidden
John Whidden, 5-time Nat’l Long Range Champion, holds a Palma rifle. John now shoots a match rifle with an Anschutz stock which he holds more upright, but still with some counter-clockwise cant. John also installed his iron sights at an angle so that the adjustments are correct (and plumb) even with his canted hold: “While it may not be obvious in the picture, the sights on my rifle are set up so that they’re straight vertical and horizontal while I hold the rifle canted. Making sure your adjustments (scope or sights) are vertical and horizontal is a critical piece of the pie.”

Inexpensive Dual-Diameter Scope-Mounted Bubble Level
The best way to avoid inconsistent rifle canting is to use a bubble level fitted to rail or scope. One very affordable and versatile product is the Jialitte Scope Bubble Level. This features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes. The Jiaalitte unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. This costs just $11.99.

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 6 Comments »
June 28th, 2018

TECH TIP: Velocity Increase In New Gun Barrels

Barrel Velocity Increase Sierra Bullets Blog Speedy Gonzalez Jim See

Editor: Many new barrels will deliver higher velocities with the same load after 100-150 rounds through the bore. The exact reasons for this speed-up are not 100% certain, and velocity increases (if any) will vary from one barrel to the next. But this “speeding up” phenomenon is common, so be prepared if this happens with your next barrel. If you do experience a significant velocity increase you should probably re-tune your load AFTER the velocity stabilizes at the higher level.

From the Sierra Bullets Blog
Article by Mark Walker, Sierra New Product Development Director
In a previous post, I discussed a couple of methods to tune a load to your barrel to help achieve the best accuracy possible. People most often work on load tuning if they get a new rifle or have a different barrel installed. In both instances, the barrel is new and has not been fired very much. According to most competitive shooters, this is the most accurate your barrel will ever be, so getting it tuned and shooting accurately is a priority.

The Speed Up Phenomenon After 100-150 Rounds
Even though after you work up a load and your new barrel is shooting great, a lot of shooters notice that at around 100 to 150 rounds their rifle may stop shooting as accurately. I had this happen to a rifle and I was confused as to why something that worked so well to begin with would all of a sudden quit shooting. I decided to break out the chronograph to do another load work up to see what was going on. To my surprise, the velocity had increased around 80 fps over the original velocity! After performing another ladder test and adjusting the seating depth, the rifle was once again shooting well.

There are several thoughts on why this may happen, however, you can rest assured that it does happen. One thought is that as the barrel breaks in, the tooling marks in the throat of the chamber smooth out and allow less resistance to the bullet as it exits the bore thereby increasing speed. Another idea is that the throat area starts to get a little rough which in turn causes more resistance which increases pressure and therefore more velocity. I’m sure there are some out there who have a better understanding as to why this happens, but it can definitely affect the accuracy of your rifle. So be aware and never be afraid to rework a load to keep your rifle in tune.

Experts Confirm That Barrel Speed-Up Is Common
Barrel Velocity Increase Sierra Bullets Blog Speedy Gonzalez Jim SeeTwo respected shooters have observed an increase in velocity with new barrels, typically after 100 rounds. Gunsmith and Hall-of-Fame benchrest shooter Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez has documented barrel speed-up with testing. Moreover, Speedy’s bore-scope barrel inspections revealed a smoothing of the barrel lands. Jim See, a top PRS competitor, has encountered barrel speed-up many times. Accordingly, he re-tunes his load at 150 rounds.

“Alex Lipworth and I documented this phenomenon about four years ago and I have told all my customers about this. My son Mikee would shoot 100 rounds through all new barrels we planned on shooting before we would begin to do load development. We had a shooting snail that caught all the bullets set up in front of an indoor bench. We called it a wear-in process because upon careful examination of the bore when the ‘Speed Up’ takes place the cut-rifled bore resembles that more of a button-rifled barrels with the lands taking on more the softer look of a buttoned bore.” — Speedy Gonzalez

“Seen it [barrel velocity increase] too many times to count. All my match barrels get a ‘generic round’ loaded for them, which has worked well in barrels historically. After I hit 150 rounds I fine-tune the load and never look back, until the tube starts to slow down at it’s life end.” — Jim See

Barrel Velocity Increase Sierra Bullets Blog Speedy Gonzalez Jim See

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
June 28th, 2018

Tech Tip: Keep Your Ammo Cool this Summer

Heat Map USA color chart

Well folks, it’s almost July — the means we’re moving into “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

Barrel temperature temp strips Varget

Temp Strips allow shooters to monitor their barrel temperature. Excessive barrel heat can raise load pressures as well as shorten barrel life!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 27th, 2018

New 7mm 184gr F-Open Hybrid Target Bullet from Berger

Berger F-Open Hybrid Target Bullet Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

There is a new, ultra-high performance 7mm projectile for F-Open and long-range competitors. Berger has introduced a new 184gr F-Open Hybrid Target bullet, which will be the official 7mm bullet of the U.S. F-Open Rifle Team. The new 184-grainer is an advancement over previous 7mm match bullets. As you can see above, the new bullet is longer and sleeker than Berger’s existing 180gr Hybrid Target bullet. The new design gives the 184gr F-Open Hybrid impressive 0.695 G1 and 0.356 G7 Ballistic Coefficients. Compare that to 0.680 G1 and 0.349 G7 for Berger’s 180gr Target Hybrid bullet.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics designed the new 184gr F-Open Hybrid to be slightly heavier, slightly longer, and have a more aggressive ogive shape. This gives the new 184-grainer a ballistic advantage over Berger’s existing 7mm 180gr Hybrid and VLD Target bullet designs. This bullet complements the .30 Cal 200.20X Hybrid Target bullet that was released last year in collaboration with the U.S. F-TR Rifle Team. As with that 200.20X bullet, for the new 184gr F-Open Hybrid, Berger took a successful, existing design and optimized the ballistic profile to make it even better. Along with .284 Win and 7mm SAUM used by F-Open shooters, this bullet should work well in a variety of 7mm cartridges.

New 184gr Hybrid Bullet Tested Extensively by U.S. F-Open Rifle Team
The U.S. F-Open Rifle Team tested the 184gr F-Open Hybrids thoroughly to ensure that they performed as well on target as they did in theory. The results were very positive, and this bullet has been adopted as the official 7mm bullet for the U.S. F-Open team. “The United States Rifle Team 2021 F-Open is extremely excited about the release of the new Berger 184gr F-Open Hybrid. Many members have tested the prototype bullets with outstanding success,” says Dan Bramley, Team Captain.

Berger F-Open Hybrid Target Bullet Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsNote: On the Berger website, Berger lists a recommended 1:8″-twist rate for this new bullet. However, in its June 25, 2018 product announcement, Berger states the Minimum Twist Rate is 1:9″. MSRP is $61.99 per 100-ct box, Berger Part #28408. Grafs.com price is $54.99/box.

Berger says the bullet, which should be available very soon, will work in a variety of 7mm cartridges including: 7mm-08 Rem, .284 Win (and .284 IMP), 7mm SAUM, 7mm RUM, and 7mm Rem Mag.

Berger Supports U.S. F-Open Team — $1.00 Per Box
Berger states: “F-Class is one of the fastest growing precision rifle shooting disciplines, requiring the very best precision and accuracy to compete at the top levels. Berger has always been dedicated to making the very best bullets for our shooters. To help support the U.S. F-Open Team, Berger Bullets will donate $1.00 for every box of 7mm 184gr F-Open Hybrid bullets sold towards U.S. Team expenses for the upcoming 2021 F-Class World Championships in South Africa.”

Berger F-Open Hybrid Target Bullet Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 5 Comments »
June 27th, 2018

Accidental Annealing — Did Your Wife Kill Your Brass?

Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com
NOTE: If you prefer drying your brass in an oven we recommend a temp setting no higher than 200° F. Better yet, use a dedicated case dryer that cannot possibly over-cook your cases.

Tech Tip by Craig Arnzen of Area419.com
As wet-tumbling brass has become more popular in recent years, guys have tried a LOT of ways to get their brass dry — towels, hair dryers, and even food dehydrators. (See Top Ten Brass Drying Methods). Another common method — albeit with some potential issues — is putting your wet brass in the oven to dry. Provided you monitor TEMP and TIME, this method is fast, effective, and easy (as long don’t use the wife’s favorite cooking pans — that’ll get you in trouble.)

With oven-drying, however, unexpected issues can arise, as illustrated by this worrisome story: “I put my brass in for an hour at 200° F and turned it off. Next thing I know I realize my wife has the oven pre-heating to 350° F. Is my brass ruined?”

Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.comIf you search the AccurateShooter.com Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find at least three threads with stories like that (i.e. higher-than-expected oven temps when drying brass), and answers on both sides of the line. I know this, because it happened to me — I had some 6XC brass drying and the wife pre-heated the oven. Concerned about my cases, I consulted a genuine annealing expert, Andrew Rixon.

Andrew is the Director of Engineering and Manufacturing at Alpha Munitions, makers of premium-grade rifle brass. I had baked a batch of Alpha’s new 6XC brass, which is exceptionally consistent and well-made.

Before Andrew would answer my question though, he gave me a little lesson on what really happens during annealing:

“Annealing is performed by heating the brass to specific temperatures. There are three phases of annealing: recovery, recrystallization, and grain growth. All of which have specific temperatures and or exposure times related to them. It is key for cartridge brass annealing processes to hit the recrystallization phase which allows for strain-free grains to grow. The growth of strain-free grains eliminate dislocations, drastically decreasing hardness and increasing ductility. For recrystallization to occur the material temperature must be within 600-1000 degrees Fahrenheit (F).”

Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

He then got into really answering the question, and was (fortunately) definitive in his answer: “If the temps do not exceed 450 degrees F then there is nothing to worry about as it did not exceed the critical temperature for annealing to occur.” Editor: Caution — do NOT assume that the temperature marked on the oven knob is the actual temperature INSIDE the oven, particularly near the back. Some older ovens can be off as much as 75 degrees F. Be conservative!

Well, there you have it. If you’ve baked your brass, you’re probably OK. If you got it hotter than 450° F then there can start to be some changes to the metal, but we will let you learn more about that directly from Andrew, who is working on a lengthy, detailed article on the science of annealing, to be released later this summer.

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

Want to learn more about Alpha Munitions? Visit AlphaMunitions.com.

Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 27th, 2018

New Interactive Ballistics Calculator from Winchester

Winchester Ballistic Calculator mobile App

Winchester just unveiled a completely updated website at Winchester.com. The new, mobile-friendly website offers comprehensive information on Winchester ammunition. In addition, the upgraded Winchester website now boasts a full-featured, interactive Ballistics Calculator which runs on web browsers as well as mobile Apps. This new Ballistics Calculator offers an innovative “Shooter’s Eye View”, shown above. You can change the magnification level on the “scope”, and adjust variables (such as temp and range) using the red sliders. Try it out — it’s fascinating to see how the calculated Point of Impact moves as you adjust the sliders.

NEW Winchester Ballistic Calculator Features:

— Calculator provides precise trajectory for hundreds of cartridge types and bullet weights
— Calculator includes library of Ballistic Coefficients.
— Calculator offers visual graphs showing trajectories — with calculated point of impact as well as trajectory curve chart.
— Calculator variables include sight-in range, target range, air temperature, crosswind speed, sight height, and elevation.
— Calculator offers side-by-side comparisons among five separate rounds.
— Calculator offers detailed statistics chart for fine-tuning your shooting.
— Calculator can print handy, small Drop Chart you can attach to your rifle.

Winchester Ballistic Calculator mobile App

The Winchester Ballistic Calculator is available as a free download for iPhone and iPad through the Apple iOs app store, and for Android phones and tablets through Google Play.

Winchester Ballistic Calcultor mobile App

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
June 26th, 2018

Sierra Secrets — How MatchKings Are Made

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs
All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.

A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.

The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.

Sierra Underground Tunnel test facility Sedalia, Missouri

Sierra bullet sale Clarus Corporation

After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 26th, 2018

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.

The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.

The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 26th, 2018

Troubleshooting the Remington 700 — Fixing Fouling Problems

Nathan Foster New Zealand Rem 700 rifle copper fouling accurizing barrel lapping

Turn a Rough Factory Rifle into an Accurate Hunting Rig
Kiwi Nathan Foster has produced a good video for hunters with “under-performing” Remington Model 700 rifles. In this video, Nathan helps a client turn a badly-behaving Rem 700 into a reliable tack-driver. A customer had sent Nathan this rifle to rectify stubborn copper fouling. After bedding the rifle, the customer discovered that the rifle produced terrible groups due to the stubborn bore.

Nathan told us: “This was a grand opportunity to study what can go wrong with the M700 rifle with regards to both do-it-yourself work and flaws within rifle production. To help structure the video, we used the chapters of our Accurizing Book as reference steps for the video. This footage also works in conjunction with our free Remington bedding tutorials on YouTube.

Those who have watched the full M700 Troubleshooting video say this is one of the most helpful videos yet released on problem-solving with a factory hunting rifle. This video is especially helpful for those just getting into the accuracy game, as it walks the viewer through the basics of rifle tuning, then proceeds to more advanced methods of improving a badly-behaving rifle.

This video focuses on the Remington M700 and Rem clones, such as the Bergara rifle. However the lessons and techniques in the video can apply to any type of bolt-action rifle suffering heavy copper fouling. The video features detailed footage of barrel break-in and barrel-lapping procedures. These procedures may be beneficial for rough factory barrels. IMPORTANT! AccurateShooter.com recommends different break-in and maintenance regimes for custom, hand-lapped premium barrels — be conservative with fine custom barrels. Our best custom barrels have all shot superbly with minimal break-in and zero use of abrasives during break-in.

Troubleshooting the Remington 700 Rifle with Nathan Foster

NOTE: This is a free 70-second trailer video. The FULL Remington Troubleshooting Video is 1 hour, 16 minutes long and can be streamed through Vimeo-on-Demand for $12.00. Access Full Video HERE.

Nathan Foster of Terminal Ballistics Research in New Zealand, is a expert hunter and highly-respected author of a series of hunting and long range shooting books. Nathan’s first book, The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles, is a classic — one of the best treatises ever written on choosing and using a hunting rifle.

Nathan Foster Long Range Rifles Hunting Hunter

CLICK HERE to Download Remington 700 Owner’s Manual

The Remington 700 is the most popular bolt-action rifle in America, according to Gunbroker.com sales figures for new and “previously-owned” rifles. So, chances are that you (or a family member) have a Rem 700 of some vintage sitting in the gunsafe. Click the link above for a PDF version of the Remington 700 Owner’s Manual (also covers models Seven, and 673).

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 25th, 2018

Bargain Finder 144: 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. Brownells — Howa KRG Bravo 1500, 6.5 Creedmoor, $999.99

Howa 1500 tactical rifle KRG Bravo Brownells $999 bargain PRS PRL

You could actually win a PRS match with this rifle, a Howa KRG Bravo rig in 6.5 Creedmoor. Yet, at $999.99, this KRG Bravo is one-third to one-forth the price of custom tactical rigs (less optics). This Howa was chosen as the official factory rifle for the National Rifle League (NRL), and we can understand why. With the KRG Bravo, you get a complete rig with a smooth-running action, nice two-stage trigger, AICS mag compatibility, good ergonomics, and competitive accuracy — all for less than you’d spend for a custom tactical action by itself. The polymer KRG stock features an aluminum internal sub-chassis. NOTE: Brownells also sells a KRG Bravo 6.5 CM rifle with a 26″ barrel for $1127.99. Both 24″ and 26″ lengths will shoot well, but the 26″ should deliver about 30 FPS more velocity. It’s really a matter of your budget and personal preference.

2. EuroOptic — Vortex Viper PST FFP 6-24x50mm Optic, $619.99

Vortex Viper PST MRAD 6-24x50 scope sale bargain First Focal Plane

Here’s a killer deal on a Front Focal Plane (FFP) optic good for PRS competition and tactical applications. The Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm scope features 0.1 Milrad clicks with an EBR-2C illuminated reticle with Mil-based hash marks. This reticle also features the “Christmas Tree” type lower half, which provides range hold-overs with horizontal markings for wind holds. Not that long ago, this scope sold for around a thousand bucks. Now you can get the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm for just $619.99. That’s a great price for a PRS-ready FFP comp scope with a proven track record and rock-solid Vortex warranty. This price is for Pre-Orders, with inventory coming soon. EuroOptic’s Sale price is $649.99. Use Code POVIPER during check-out to save another $30.00.

2. Midsouth — $2 Per Pound Rebate on Alliant Powders

Alliant powder midsouth Reloder Reloader AR COMP 15 16 17 19 23 sale

If you are looking for popular Alliant powders, now’s a good time to buy. Midsouth Shooters Supply has discounted its inventory of Alliant powders, plus there is a $2 per pound factory rebate. So, for example, the sale price might be $1.50 off regular retail, and then Alliant gives you another $2.00 back for every pound you buy (up to 10 pounds or $20 total rebate). But act soon — this Powder Promotion ends June 30, 2018.

4. Brownells — Howa 1500 Barreled Actions, Starting at $259.99

Howa Barreled Action Mini Cerakote Tan HACT trigger 1500 Brownells

Howa makes excellent, smooth-running actions, and the Howa HACT 2-stage trigger is WAY better than most domestic factory triggers. Right now you can save big bucks on Howa 1500 barreled actions, complete with HACT trigger and trigger-guard, starting at $259.99. Both regular actions and Mini Actions are offered. Available chamberings include 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor (back-ordered), 7.62×39, .308 Winchester, and .300 Win Mag. Some of these barreled actions come with a rugged Cerakote finish, while others have a blued finish. You can also get FREE Shipping with Code MDV during checkout. Here is a partial list of the Howa 1500 barreled actions available:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

5. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $105.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with brand new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ INSIDE so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the $105.99 price. These normally retail for $199.99.

6. Amazon — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $186.99

RCBS Chargemaster lite powder scale dispenser sale Amazon

Need a good, modern electronic scale/dispenser? The modern ChargeMaster Lite offers good performance for the price — now $186.99 at Amazon and $187.49 Brownells. But at Brownells, with Code NCS you can get $15 off and free shipping — lowering your net cost to $172.49! That’s a killer deal — other retailers are charging up to $260.00 for this machine. Once calibrated, we found the ChargeMaster Lite’s dispensing to be very accurate. RCBS claims +/-0.1 grain. This newer machine is a bit easier to program than the original ChargeMaster. Verified purchasers have been happy, but with one complaint: “You cannot turn off the beeping. The [original ChargeMaster] has a way to mute the beeping. This one does not.” Take note.

7. Natchez — Weaver 36X T-Series Competition Scope, $389.99

Weaver 46x48mm XR Competition Scope Amazon Sale

Right now you can order the 36-power Weaver T-Series XR scope for just $389.99. That’s an awesome, but act quick — this price could change. Natchez currently has the silver 36x40mm Weaver XR for just $389.99 — a fantastic price. 36X is enough power for benchrest competition. And even if you don’t shoot benchrest, this is a great scope for load development or general accuracy testing. The 36-power T-Series scopes have a 40mm front objective and side-focus parallax control. You can also get this XR 36X scope in black for $439.99.

8. MidwayUSA — Now Purchase Firearms from MidwayUSA

MidwayUSA Gun Sales online store retail

MidwayUSA is now selling pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Offering firearms for sale is a return to MidwayUSA’s roots. The company actually started out as a small gun shop 41 years ago. Since then the company expanded first to catalog sales, and then became one of the largest shooting sports online retailers. Now MidwayUSA will be offering a full line of firearms, with promotional offers directly from suppliers and manufacturers. We took a quick look — the selection of firearms is outstanding, but you may find better pricing elsewhere. As with anything, it pays to comparison shop. CLICK HERE for MidwayUSA’s online gun shop.

9. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
June 25th, 2018

22 Nosler — High Performance .22 Caliber Cartridge

22 Nosler cartridge AR15 .223 Rem 224 Valkyrie

Nosler created the 22 Nosler cartridge to wring the highest possible ballistic performance from a .22-caliber, AR-compatible cartridge that also provides adequate barrel life and maximum ease of conversion. The 22 Nosler achieved these objectives and much more — it delivers far better performance than the .223 Remington and even out-runs the 224 Valkyrie.

In ballistics, there’s no free lunch. Larger powder capacity at similar operating pressures equates to higher velocity potential. In the case of the 22 Nosler, this is evidenced by a 4-5 grain capacity increase over the tried and true .223 Remington, and a 2-3 grain capacity advantage over the newly-introduced 224 Valkyrie. This larger “engine room” allows the 22 Nosler to deliver higher velocities. That translates to less drop (flatter trajectory) at long range.

22 Nosler cartridge AR15 .223 Rem 224 Valkyrie

Faster than .223 Rem and 224 Valkyrie
When loaded with 80 grain low-drag match bullets and fired from the same 24″ barrel (bolt actions, not gas guns) the 22 Nosler outruns the 224 Valkyrie by about 150 fps. Compared to the .223 Remington, the difference is even more remarkable — the 22 Nosler runs over 300 fps faster! These velocity improvements give the 22 Nosler a clear advantage in long-range trajectory and downrange energy retention.

22 Nosler cartridge AR15 .223 Rem 224 Valkyrie

How to Run the 22 Nosler in Your AR-Platform Rifle
Converting your AR to 22 Nosler is as simple as a barrel and magazine change, and there are countless AR-platform MSRs in circulation with the proper 0.378” (.223 Rem) sized bolt face. By comparison, to make the swap to 224 Valkyrie, you must purchase a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper (not cheap!), or at the minimum add a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8 SPC-compliant mags.

This video compares the specifications of the 22 Nosler and .223 Remington. Bolt face dimensions are identical for the 22 Nosler and the 223 Rem / 5.56 NATO at 0.378″, so no bolt swap is required.

Many Factory Ammo Options — from 55 to 85 grains
Nosler offers a variety of factory loads in 22 Nosler, suited to a wide range of applications. Will you be shooting long range targets? Try the 70 or 85 grain RDFs loaded in Nosler Match Grade Ammunition. Are hogs or deer on the menu? Choose Nosler Trophy Grade Ammunition, with either the 55 grain E-Tip (non-lead) bullet or the 70 grain AccuBond®. Taking out varmints or predators? Nosler’s Varmageddon with 62 grain Hollow Point or Trophy Grade Varmint ammo with 55 grain Ballistic Tip (the world’s first polymer tipped varmint bullet) — will stop any varmint in its tracks.

If you want to turn your AR-platform MSR into a completely different animal, the 22 Nosler can open up a whole new level of performance.

22 Nosler cartridge AR15 .223 Rem 224 Valkyrie

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 7 Comments »
June 25th, 2018

Bushnell Brawl on Shooting USA TV This Week

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

This Wednesday, June 27th, Shooting USA TV features the Bushnell Brawl, a tactical competition that draws top long-range shooters from military, law enforcement and civilian shooting communities. The match is held at the famed Rifles Only range in Kingsville, Texas. The Brawl is a one-of-a-kind physical and mental challenge that tests shooters’ abilities to read wind, figure ballistics, and adapt to difficult shooting scenarios. There is even a helicopter stage. This Shooting USA episode airs on the Outdoor Channel at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl rifles only Impossible Shots

Helicopter Stage at 2014 Bushnell Brawl in Texas:

Shooting from a helicopter, shooting off of a wire, and shooting from the physically demanding maze called the Mouse Trap. These are just a few of the unique courses of fire at the Bushnell Brawl, part of the PRS series. Over the course of two days, competitors tackle more than a dozen stages. In addition, Bushnell hosted a special one-day event for the new PRS Production Class. This new division should attract new shooters by limiting the cost of equipment — making PRS competition more affordable.

This image is from Bushnell Brawl Barricade Stage (CLICK HERE to Watch Barricade Video):
Bushnell Brawl PRS tactical texas barricade

PRS Production Division — Lowering the Cost of Entry

The Production Division is a new PRS classification. Under Production Division rules, the rifle must not exceed $2000.00, and rifle + scope combined must not exceed $4000.00. All other accessories, such as bipod, support bag, and the sling, can be added at the shooter’s own discretion. Even with these cost limits, you can put together a great rig: “There’s a lot of gear out there that’s not that expensive,” says Production Division Match Director Jacob Bynum. For example, you can get the new Howa KRG Bravo in 6.5 Creedmoor for $999.99. With an $800 Nikon FX1000 FFP MRAD optic, and $109 Game Changer Bag, you’re good to go for well under $2000.00 complete. Here’s the Howa KRG Bravo:

Howa 1500 krg bravo tactical rifle

Shooting USA Hour on Wednesday Primetime

9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific
8:00 PM Central Time

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
June 24th, 2018

Cleaning Rod Bore Guide for 17 HMR Rifles

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide
The Bertalotto 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide is actually made from aluminum arrow shafts.

When Hornady (and CCI) developed the 17 HMR cartridge, they really hit a home-run. And the rifle manufacturers quickly marketed some nice rifles to chamber this 17-cal rimfire round. But unlike .22 LR rifles which, typically, require very little cleaning, 17 HMRs demand frequent bore cleaning to maintain good accuracy. That’s because 17 HMRs shoot copper-jacketed bullets at 2550 fps velocities.

17-Cal Bore Guides — The Challenge
The problem is, it’s hard to find a well-designed, quality bore guide for 17-caliber rimfire rifles. With many 17 HMR (and 17 Mach 2) rifles, you encounter mechanical interference when you try to use a standard bore guide to protect the delicate chamber edge and the bottle neck area of the chamber. A fixed ejector is in the way. On many 17 HMR rifles, this little “shark fin” ejector is right in line with the chamber and is fixed — it doesn’t retract. Therefore the kind of bore guide you might use for centerfire rifles won’t work in 17 HMRs — it will hang up on the ejector.

Polymer bore guides exist for this type of action, but they are typically open-bottom designs that do not enter and seal the chamber. These open-bottom designs don’t protect the delicate chamber edge or the bottleneck area of the chamber, and they also allow some seepage of solvents out of the chamber. That’s why Roy Bertalotto created his RVB Precision Bore Guide for 17 HMR rifles. The 7075 aluminum tube on his Bore Guide is thin enough to pass by the ejector, yet it is extremely rigid. (Photos below.)

Roy explains: “My bore guide is made of 7075 anodized aluminum tubing, which is totally unaffected by any type of cleaning solution. One end is swagged down to fit completely into the chamber of a 17 HMR rifle. This guides your cleaning rod perfectly to the bore without touching the chamber walls or front edge of the chamber. The tight fit of the bore guide in the chamber also stops cleaning solvents from getting into the action, magazine, and trigger housing.” (Editor: Solvent seepage can do damage. We had a 17 Mach 2 rifle that rusted internally because solvents leaked past an open-bottom bore guide.)

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide

Using the RVB 17 HMR Guide – Once the bore guide is in place, slide the supplied aluminum bushing over the tube, and gently push the bushing into the rear of the action. This centers the guide rod in the action to keep the guide rod tube aligned. Once the guide rod and bushing are in place, you can use a 17-caliber cleaning rod* with patches and/or brushes to clean the barrel. Use the rod normally, but make sure your patches are quite small and don’t apply too much pressure as these small-diameter rods can kink if you try to force over-size patches down the bore.

The RVB Precision 17 HMR Bore Guide costs $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping. To order, email Roy Bertalotto via rvb100 [at] comcast.net. Roy will then send you shipping/payment details.

Roy tells us: “Yes, I make the bore guides out of 1616 aluminum arrow shafts. The only material on earth that fits EXACTLY what is needed. I buy the shaft material as simple tubing from Easton. It is hard anodized, the perfect wall thickness and doesn’t look too bad either.”

* NOTE: You really do need a dedicated .17-cal cleaning rod for this job. Most other rods are too fat to pass through the barrel. Dewey Mfg. makes a decent 17-caliber cleaning rod that is reasonably stiff and doesn’t kink too readily. It is available in 7″, 11″, 18″, 26″, and 36″ lengths, either bare stainless steel or with a nylon coating. For use with the Bertalotto Bore Guide, we prefer the nylon-coated version, in either 26″ or 36″ lengths, depending on barrel length.

Dewey 17 cal caliber bore guide

If you have a high comb on your rifle, you may need extra length to avoid interference with the rod handle. Use this formula to determine correct rod length: Length of barrel + action or breech rod guide length + 2-3″ clearance + high comb if applicable = total rod length needed.

There are other quality 17-cal cleaning rods, but we’ve used the Dewey and it functioned well. The nylon coating cleaned easily and was gentle on the throat and crown. You should clean the coating before and after each use to ensure it does not embed grit or other contaminants.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 23rd, 2018

Great Price on 6-24x50mm MRAD FFP Vortex Viper PST Scope

Vortex Viper PST MRAD 6-24x50 scope sale bargain First Focal Plane

Here’s a killer deal on a Front Focal Plane (FFP) optic good for PRS competition and tactical applications. The Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm scope features 0.1 Milrad clicks with an EBR-2C illuminated reticle with Mil-based hash marks. This reticle also features the “Christmas Tree” type lower half, which provides range hold-overs with horizontal markings for wind holds.

Vortex Viper PST MRAD 6-24x50 scope sale bargain First Focal Plane

Not that long ago, this scope sold for around a thousand bucks. Now you can get the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm for just $619.99. That’s a steal for a PRS-ready FFP comp scope with a proven track record and rock-solid Vortex warranty. This is available for Pre-Order now, with inventory arriving very soon. EuroOptic’s Sale price is $649.99 and you get an additional $30 off with Code POVIPER. Here are reviews from actual buyers in 2017:

“I have both Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 6-24x50mm and a Vortex Razor HD 4.5-27×56. While the Razor HD is a fantastic scope its little brother the Viper PST Gen 2 closes the gap considerably. If the Razor is worth $2500. I would put the PST at $1800 in true value, they are just that close. I will most likely buy another PST before I buy another Razor HD.”

“Scope is very well made and has good optics. The zero stop works well and the clicks have a good feel no slop or mush, a click is a click. Bought this for my Ruger RPR and have found it to be ideal for this rifle in both performance and price. I installed and zeroed the scope on a different rifle and then reinstalled on my Ruger with the recorded settings and was right back in a 1″ square at 100 yards. Very repeatable.”

Manual for Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm FFP MRAD | Manual for FFP EBR-2C MRAD Reticle

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »