January 31st, 2019

Have AirGun, Will Travel — Pyramyd Air’s “Range in a Box”

Pyramyd Air Range Box disabled shooter marksmanship training

The NRA and Pyramyd Air are bringing AirGun shooting to the people in 2019. The Range in a Box program presented by Pyramyd Air provides temporary air gun ranges to approved clubs and organizations free of charge to facilitate basic firearm safety training and “fun shoot” types of events for people with disabilities. The traveling Range in a Box includes backstops, air guns, tripods — essentially all that participants need, except pellets and paper targets.

Pyramyd Air’s Range in a Box provides nearly everything needed to set up a temporary air gun range, including air rifles, air pistols, the portable range, rifle rests, and reactive targets. The key components are: seven T-200 Sporter Rifles; three Air Venturi Pistols; one large Crosman Portable Range (24 feet long by 8 feet wide; three Ultimate Tripod rifle rests from McFadden Machine Company; and various reactive target systems from Pyramyd Air. Shipping to and from the event location is also provided at no cost to the user. Consumable materials such as air and tanks, pellets, and paper targets are not included.

Pyramyd Air Range Box disabled shooter marksmanship training

Range in Box disability disabled Crosman Pyramyd Air airgun air rifleThis resource is intended for use by any organization planning an event to include people with disabilities — the most common participants being veterans’ groups, rehabilitation facilities and gun clubs. To get started, you can contact the NRA Adaptive Shooting Program at adaptiveshooting@nrahq.org or visit adaptiveshooting.nrahq.org to print the application and user agreement. Each organization may use the Range in a Box two times to establish the viability of such an event and is then encouraged to apply for grants through The NRA Foundation to purchase its own equipment.

The NRA Adaptive Shooting Program strives to remove barriers that prevent interested groups from hosting more events for people with disabilities by merging the resources of industry partners such as Pyramyd Air with the commitment of the community to spread firearm safety training to a very deserving segment of the population. For more information, visit: adaptiveshooting.nrahq.org.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 31st, 2019

Common Misconceptions about Twist Rate and Stabilization

FirearmsID.com barrel rifling diagram

Understanding Twist: Bullet Stabilization

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog.

Based on the questions we get on a daily basis on our 800 (Customer Support) line, twist is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the gun field. So let’s look deeper into this mystery and get a better understanding of what twist really means.

When you see the term 1:14″ (1-14) or 1:9″ twist, just exactly what does this mean? A rifle having a 1:14″ twist means the bullet will rotate one complete revolution every fourteen inches of the barrel. Naturally a 1:9″ turns one time every nine inches that it travels down the barrel. Now, here’s something that some people have trouble with. I’ve had calls from shooters thinking that a 1:14″ twist was faster than a 1:9″ because the number was higher with the 1:14″. The easiest way to remember this is the higher the number, the slower the twist rate is.

Now, the biggest misconception is that if a shooter has a .223 with a 1:8″ twist, his rifle won’t stabilize a 55gr bullet or anything lighter. So let’s look at what is required. The longer a bullet is for its diameter, the faster the twist has to be to stabilize it. In the case of the .223 with a 1:8″ twist, this was designed to stabilize 80gr bullets in this diameter. In truth the opposite is true. A 1:8″ will spin a 55gr faster than what is required in order to stabilize that length of bullet. If you have a bullet with good concentricity in its jacket, over-spinning it will not [normally] hurt its accuracy potential. [Editor’s Note: In addition, the faster twist rate will not, normally, decrease velocity significantly. That’s been confirmed by testing done by Bryan Litz’s Applied Ballistics Labs. There may be some minor speed loss.]

FirearmsID.com barrel rifling diagram
Many barrel-makers mark the twist rate and bore dimensions on their barrel blanks.

Think of it like tires on your truck. If you have a new set of tires put on your truck, and they balance them proper at the tire shop, you can drive down a street in town at 35 MPH and they spin perfect. You can get out on the highway and drive 65 MPH and they still spin perfect. A bullet acts the same way.

Once I loaded some 35gr HP bullets in a 22-250 Ackley with a 1:8″ twist. After putting three shots down range, the average velocity was 4584 FPS with an RPM level of 412,560. The group measured .750″ at 100 yards. This is a clear example that it is hard to over-stabilize a good bullet.

Twist-rate illustration by Erik Dahlberg courtesy FireArmsID.com. Krieger barrel photo courtesy GS Arizona.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
January 31st, 2019

Haul Your Gear Safely and Securely — In-Vehicle Locked Storage

plastix vehicle storage system

Plastix Plus, a Texas-based business founded by a volunteer fireman, is a leading builder of custom storage systems for Fire Departments, Police Agencies, Emergency Response teams, and Federal Agencies such as the U.S. Marshals and the FBI. Using CNC design and thermal plastic welding technology, Plastix Plus can create an infinite variety of in-vehicle storage systems with trays, bins, boxes, shelves, and lockable secure storage. Below is a Plastix Plus storage system fitted in the back of an SUV. Note the AR-type rifles stored in a sliding compartment with fast-access locks.

plastix plus vehical car truck storage systems

Modern Plastics Are Superior to Wood or Metal for Vehicle Storage
While other companies offer storage systems for SUVs and trucks, these are usually fabricated from wood and metal. Plastix Plus President Mike Snow says that the Vycom Hitec HDPE ½ inch-thick plastic used by his company is a superior material. In an interview with Tactical-Life.com, Snow explained: “When you have a $7,000 item like a Jaws of Life tool, metal on metal is not a good combination when you are carrying it in the truck and deploying it. The tool gets destroyed by the metal bracket designed to hold it. Plus, you have high moisture situations with fire fighting, so you need to worry about rust. The Hitec material is moisture-resistant and very forgiving for emergency tool transport.”

Likewise the Hitec plastic is easier on fine gun finishes than metal boxes, and it won’t warp or absorb moisture like wood can. Snow says that his plastic storage systems will last for decades. By contrast, Snow says some fire departments that opted for wood storage systems have been forced to replace or rebuild their storage units after just a couple seasons.

plastix vehicle storage system

Plastix Plus hopes to expand to the general consumer market, providing custom in-vehicle storage solutions for trucks, RVs, and SUVs. Plastix Plus can match the exact dimensions of your vehicle, providing your choice of drawers, bins, and locking compartments, including gun storage lockers. A custom Plastix Plus storage system is not cheap. But it may be a smart purchase — when you consider the value of the guns and gear you haul around. Your investment in multiple match rifles (with $3K scopes), along with fancy rests, electronics, and accessories, could easily top $20,000.

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
January 30th, 2019

More SHOT Show 2019 Coverage from GunsAmerica

Guns America Shot Show coverage stories

GunsAmerica.com has published very extensive coverage of SHOT Show 2019, releasing dozens of articles over the past two weeks. Lead by GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pearce, a large team of writers/reporters has provided detailed reviews (most with videos) of many interesting new products.

Here are some of the most notable GunsAmerica.com product reports. You can find many more in the GunsAmerica Digest SHOT Show Archive. Click each title to read full stories.

Seekins Precision Havak Bravo PRS Tactical Rifle action

Comment: We like the Bravo stock, and the Seekins action used in this gun has some interesting features, such as four locking lugs with 90° bolt throw. Definitely read this report.

Sensight Israeli digital scope new optic

Comment: We used the new Sensight and think this represents a significant new technology. It is basically a camera with a digital screen that includes a reticle. With the Sensight you can actually record your shooting session or live-stream it to another device. That makes it great for training.

Accuracy International Deployment package rifle $20000

Comment: You can buy a darn nice used 4×4 truck for what this rifle (along with spare equipment and shipping case) costs. The “Deployment Kit” includes many spare parts, magazines, bipods, and much more. We doubt many private buyers will part with the $20K, but that’s small change for Uncle Sam.

Keltec CP33 pistol 33-round 22 LR shot show

Comment: This new Keltec CP33 is quite large for a .22 LR pistol, but balances well and is not too heavy. It has a very, very good trigger — crisp with a light pull weight. Honestly this trigger is way better than you’d expect. The Picatinny rail on top makes it easy to mount optics. The clear magazine holds 33 rounds.

gunskins vinyl wrap camo camouflage hunting rifle

colt king Cobra .357 Magnum revolver pistol test

Umarex hammer air rifle 50 caliber pneumatic shot show

Comment: Very interesting new .22 LR rimfire that has some significant advantages over the venerable Ruger 10/22, though it does take 10/22 magazines. The trigger is crisp at 4-5 pounds and the entire “action group” is easily removed from the bottom of the stock with the push of a button. This allows the barrel to be cleaned from the breech.

Umarex hammer air rifle 50 caliber pneumatic shot show

Comment: Umarex has really entered into new territory with the Hammer, a .50-caliber air rifle. This appropriately named Hammer, we are told, is the most powerful airgun ever produced.

Leupold 7-35x56mm scope long range SFP FFP

Comment: We were quite impressed with the new First Focal Plane 7-25x56mm Leupold. The glass is excellent, controls are precise, and it enjoys a weight and price advantage over some competitive scopes such as the Nightforce ATACR. GunsAmerica notes: “This front focal scope is available in MOA or MIL adjustments and reticles. The Mark 5HD 7-35×56 will retail for $2,299 – $2,799 depending on reticle choice and illumination.”

zero compromise scope long range SFP FFP

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, News No Comments »
January 30th, 2019

Hydro-Forming, Annealing, Neck-Turning by DJ’s Brass

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

Don’t have time to neck-turn hundreds of cases? Don’t want to invest in your own annealer? Want to try a Dasher or 6 BRA but don’t like the hassle of fire-forming? Then give Darrell Jones at DJ’s Brass a call at 205-461-4680. He can handle all the difficult brass forming/brass restoration chores efficiently and affordably. And Darrell’s turn-around time is typically very fast.

Hydro-Forming News — .284 Shehane, 6 PPC, 6 BRA, 6 Dasher and More
NEW for 2019! Darrell also just got a custom hydro die for the .284 Shehane, a wildcat based on the .284 Winchester. This is a very popular option for F-Open Shooters. He is also doing a ton of fire-forming for the 100/200 benchrest crowd, hydro-forming 220 Russian into 6 PPC. And he tells us “Those guys in Montana are keeping me very busying hydro-forming the 6BR Ackley (6 BRA). NOTE: Darrell offers Free Annealing with hydro-forming services, which starts at $60 per 100 cases.

Bench Source Annealing machineWith the price of premium brass topping $1.00 per case for popular match cartridges, it makes sense to consider annealing your brass to extend its useful life. You don’t want to chuck out brass that costs a buck a case (or more)! Forum member Darrell Jones offers a full range of brass prep, brass forming, and brass restoration (annealing, ultra-sonic cleaning) at very affordable prices. Starting at just $20 per 100 cases ($25/100 for magnum cases), Darrell’s company, DJ’s Brass, will anneal your used brass using the impressive Bench-Source annealing machines. Annealing plus ultrasonic cleaning starts at $35 per 100 cases ($45 for magnum cases). For a bit more money Darrell can also uniform the primer pockets and chamfer the case necks.

Custom Neck-Turning Services
Another great service DJ’s Brass provides is precision neck-turning. Darrell can neck-turn any size case to your specified neck-wall thickness. The price starts at $60.00 per hundred for standard cases or $75.00/100 for magnum size. And if you’ve got a bucket of brass to neck-turn, that’s fine with Darrell — he recently neck-turned 1500 pieces of brass for one customer!

DJ’s Brass can process everything from .17 Fireball all the way up to the big magnum cases. And the job gets done quickly. Darrell normally offers a 10-day turn-around. For most jobs, Darrell tells us, he gets the processed brass to the Post Office within three business days. For more info, visit DJsBrass.com or call Darrell Jones at 205-461-4680. IMPORTANT: Contact Darrell for shipping instructions BEFORE sending any brass for processing. ALL BRASS MUST BE DE-PRIMED before you send it.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

• Anneal Case Necks Only ($20.00/100 normal or $25.00/100 magnum)
• Ultrasonic Cleaning, Check Necks, and Annealing ($35.00/100 normal or $45.00/100 magnum)
• Full Service: Uniform primer pockets, Chamfer case mouths, Ultrasonic cleaning, Anneal case necks (Starting at $60.00/100 call for quote)
• Neck Turning or trim-to-length Custom Order Service (Starting at $60.00/100 for standard cases and $75.00/100 for magnums)
• Hydro-Form Specialty cases (such as Dasher) $0.60 (sixty cents) each minimum of 100 pieces plus actual return shipping cost
• Expand Case Necks and Anneal brass (Call for Price)
• Create False Shoulder for Fire-Forming (Call for Price)

Hydro-Forming Cartridge Brass

Hydro-forming by Darrell costs $0.60 per case with 100-ct minimum. All hydro-formed cases are annealed at no extra charge after the forming process. After hydro-forming, Darrell can also neck-turn the case for an additional charge (call for combined quote). In addition to the 6mmBR-based cases shown below, Darrell can now hydro-form 6PPC cases from .220 Russian brass, and he also offers .284 Shehane.

hydroforming hydro-form Dasher 6mmBR PPC Darrell Jones

With Darrell’s hydro-forming service you don’t have to buy any special dies or other equipment. Darrell says: “Simply send me the brass you need or have it dropped-shipped to me along with a fired case that has not been sized. If you need formed brass for a new build (gun not yet fired), let me know and I will size the brass to fit within .001″ of a PT&G GO gauge.”

DJ’s Brass Offers Specialized Custom Services
Darrell tells us: “At DJ’s Brass, we can handle all your brass refurbishing needs. From ultrasonic cleaning to custom annealing for specific wildcat cartridges. We can expand your necks from .22 caliber to .30 caliber and anneal shoulders for consistent bump-back. We can turn your case-necks and trim the brass to your specs. For some cartridge types, I can pre-form cases to assist in fire-forming a wildcat cartridge. We also remove the carbon build-up in muzzle brakes. Don’t lose your accuracy by having carbon build up and close off the clearance required for the most accurate bullet release through a muzzle brake.” Note: Extra charges apply for neck-turning and neck expansion operations, or specialized cartridge-forming operations. Please call Darrell at 205-461-4680 for special services pricing.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 30th, 2019

Great American Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania, February 2-10

SHOT Show is just behind us, and now another big firearms and hunting exposition is about to start. The NRA Great American Outdoor Show runs February 2-10, 2019 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (at the PA Farm Show Complex). This is the Largest consumer outdoor recreation show in the world. Over 200,000 attendees are expected to visit the show’s nine exhibit halls, where 1,100+ exhibitors and 400+ outfitters will showcase their products and services.

Great American Outdoor show Harrisburg Pennsylvania PA February hunting fishing

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania1,100+ Exhibitor Booths
New Firearms from Leading Gun-Makers
400+ Outfitters and Charterers
200+ Outdoor Seminars
Country Music Concerts

Attendees can visit over 1,100 exhibitor booths featuring firearms, hunting gear, camping equipment, fishing tackle, archery products, and even boats and RVs. The booths cover 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! In addition, the giant Outfitter Hall at the Great American Outdoor Show, one of the largest in the country, hosts over 400 outfitters, boat captains, and charterers.

Over 200 Seminars Hosted by Outdoor Experts and Noted Guides
The 2017 Great American Outdoor Show will feature 216 seminars from leading outdoors experts, covering hunting, stalking, trapping, long range shooting, rifle accurizing, field dressing, venison processing, bow-hunting, fishing techniques, and much more. This year’s notable presentations will include:

  • Abner Druckenmiller — Becoming an Ultimate Predator Hunter
  • Cole McCullough — Advanced Long Range Field Shooting
  • Bobby Hart – Improving Rifle Accuracy
  • Kristy Titus – Positional Shooting and Elk Calling
  • Alan Probst – Coyote Trapping Techniques
  • Rick Fetrow – Venison Processing
  • Barry Wensel – Hunting Whitetails

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

Great Outdoor Show Highlights
There will be themed exhibitor halls for Archery, Boats, Fishing, Hunting Outfitters, Outdoor Products, RVs, and the Shooting Sports.

More than 1,100 exhibitors will display more than a million outdoor and shooting-related products.

More than 400 hunting outfitters and fishing charter captains from all over the world in attendance.

Special events include the NRA Country Concert, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars and demonstrations, kids’ activities and more.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 29th, 2019

DIY Project — Install Jewell Trigger in F-Class Panda Action

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

In the video below, Forum member (and F-Class ace) Erik Cortina shows how to install a Jewell Benchrest trigger into a Kelbly F-Class Panda action. You could follow the same simple procedure to install a Jewell in a standard Panda action. Kelbly’s sell both standard and long versions of the F-Class Panda action. Both versions feature integral recoil lugs in the front.

To see more detail in this “how-to” video, you can zoom it to full-screen size. Simply click the full-screen icon (4-cornered frame) just to the right of the YouTube logo in the lower right.

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 29th, 2019

Fine Pistol at Great Price — Buck Mark Camper UFX for $279.99

Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX 22LR .22 LR Pistol handgun bargain sale

Everyone should own a nice .22 LR rimfire pistol. The Browning Buck Mark is a classic, and for good reason. These pistols are reliable, well-balanced, have a good trigger, and they are very accurate. We have nothing but praise for the bull-barreled Buck Marks. And now you can get one for a super-low price. Sportsman’s Guide has the Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX with 5.5″ Barrel on sale for $299.99 ($284.99 member price). But it gets even better — if you use Code “WARRIOR” during check-out, you save $20.00, putting your total price at just $279.99 (or $264.99 for SG members). That’s a great deal on a very solid rimfire pistol that can serve you well for decades.

The accurate and ergonomic Buck Mark Camper UFX was selected as an NRA Gun of the Week last year. This video explains the pistol’s features in detail.

This video shows how to Field Strip and disassemble the Buck Mark Camper UFX. To Field Strip the pistol, you need to remove three screws.

Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX Features:
• Blowback, Single Action Only
• Tapered 5.5″ Bull Barrel
• Alloy receiver w/matte black finish
• Overmolded Ultragrip FX ambidextrous grips
• Pro-Target™ adjustable sights with Fiber Optic
Caliber/Cartridge: .22 LR (22 Long Rifle)
Capacity: 10+1
Safety: Manual
Sights: Fiber Optic
Weight: 2.12 lbs
Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
January 28th, 2019

Meprolight Offers Innovative Augmented Sighting System

Meprolight FORESIGHT reflex tactical sight

At SHOT Show 2019, Meprolight introduced a new tactical sighting system that may be a precursor of “intelligent” optics in the years ahead. The new MEPRO FORESIGHT, a “digitally augmented” weapon sight, provides essential tactical data projected on to the transparent optical lens. The sight will display a variety of data including a compass, sight level, a variety of reticles, shot counter and even a compass, all for a $714.00 MSRP.

Meprolight FORESIGHT reflex tactical sight

This system offers a 1.3″ x 0.8″ viewing screen in a fairly compact package. Overall the FORESIGHT is 4.6″ x 2.65″ x 2.35″ and weighs a mere 9.9 ounces.

The data, projected in real-time, includes battery level, sensor data, Bluetooth connectivity and a shot counter (with future software upgrade). The FORESIGHT boasts five pre-set reticle types, a horizontal level indicator (very useful!), and even a built-in compass. Display Brightness for the digital reticles and info items are controlled automatically with a built-in sensor.

Meprolight FORESIGHT reflex tactical sight

The FORESIGHT offers a digitally-controlled zeroing system (which controls the center of the reticle relative to the target downrange). This allows you to modify your zero with different loads. And more importantly, you can more the FORESIGHT from gun to gun, and have different zeros for each rifle. The Meprolight MEPRO FORESIGHT APP allows up to 10 zeroed weapon profiles or user profiles. Simply load a present zeroing profile from Meprolight’s mobile APP (Android and iOS) through a Bluetooth interface. The APP also offers a reticle database along with the previously-stored profiles.

Permalink News No Comments »
January 28th, 2019

Bargain Finder 175: 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 — MEC Marksman Press $164.99 with CODE “NCS”

Mec marksman press ultimate reloader

The MEC Marksman is an outstanding single stage press — very strong, with convenient open front and a patent-pending self-centering shell holder (that can improve loading consistency). Right now, with discount CODE “NCS”, you can get this beefy USA-made Marksman from Brownells for just $164.99, including FREE Shipping. That’s a bargain — this press sells elsewhere for up to $208.00. The MEC Marksman has strong, cast-iron construction and offers plenty of leverage. It is compatible with all 7/8-14 thread dies, so you can reload from .22 Hornet to .416 Rigby. If you are looking for a premium single-stage press you won’t be disappointed. Act soon as this Brownells discount offer may expire soon.

2. Bullet Central — Kelbly Atlas Tactical Action, $895

Kelby Atlas Tactical

The rifle action is the cornerstone of accuracy in any rifle build. If you don’t start with a strong precision made action then all your other money will be wasted. That’s why so many people choose Kelbly Actions. They’re make the most rugged action possible for practical, tactical, or hunting. Using a Black Nitride finish from H & M Metal Processing. This allows you to use this action “dry” or without lubrication for extreme environments. In addition to the Black Nitride process they use a fluted bolt, to help move dirt into the flutes allowing better function of the action. Magazine wells use the Accuracy International single stack magazines. Another key feature of this action is the TG ejector, it is a mechanical ejector that does not put any chamber pressure on the round. It is also a “never fail” setup, meaning that there are no springs to get gummed up and stop working. Actions rarely go on sale which is why we couldn’t resist highlighting this Kelby Atlas Tactical Action over at Bullet Central for the low price of $895.00.

3. CDNN Sports — Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $249.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

4. Midsouth — CCI Rimfire Ammo Rebate, up to $200

CCI Ammo Rebate

The days of .22 LR shortages are over, and now there is ample supply of rimfire ammo at reasonable prices, and the ammo-maker are even offering REBATES. Right now, Midsouth Shooters Supply has a great selection of CCI 22LR, 17 HMR, and 2 WMR Rimfire Ammo. Plus, for every five boxes of CCI rimfire ammo you buy, you get a rebate for the value of one box. That basically works out to buy 4 get 1 free. The limit is $200.00 in rebates per household. CLICK HERE for the CCI Rimfire Rebate Program.

5. Amazon — Lyman Master Gunsmith Multi-Tool Kit, $44.32

Lyman Gunsmith Tool Kit

Finding the right tools to work on your guns, scopes, rings and other items can often be frustrating. Regular tools from the hardware store work in a pinch but often aren’t hollow ground to protect your screws and the sizes are rarely correct for the firearms parts we work on. Solve your tool dilemma with the Lyman Master Gunsmith Tool Kit. This handy kit includes nearly all the common sizes and shapes to fit just about anything in your gun safe, all in a convenient case.

6. Bruno Shooters Supply — Bore Tech Cleaning Rod SALE

Proof Positive Cleaning Rods

Cleaning rods are a way of life for anyone who shoots. No matter the caliber or brand, every gun needs to be cleaned and using quality rods will help prevent your barrel from being damaged. Most cleaning rods on the market using metals that can react with your cleaning solvent causing false readings on your patches. Bore Tech has solved that problem by using a non-reactive tip ensuring that copper shows up if you have it and doesn’t if you don’t. These Bore Tech rods are very stron and feature one of the best ball-bearing handles, which provides a smooth motion that really lets you feel the barrel. You can get the excellent Bore Tech Proof Positive cleaning rods from Bruno Shooters Supply and treat your barrels to a new level of care.

7. Natchez — Fed GM Match .308 Win + Range Bag, $84.99

Federal Gold Medal .308

Show up to any range and .308 Win is still one of the most prolific rounds available, for good reason. The .308 Win is good for both hunting and target shooting and you’ll get excellent barrel life. In the .308 Win world, a top ammo brand is Federal. Right now Natchez offers 80 rounds (four 20rd boxes) of Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr SMK along with a FREE range bag for the sale price of $84.99. We’ve shot this ammo and it delivered outstanding accuracy in an M1A and a bolt gun.

8. Amazon — Steiner Military-Marine 8x30mm, $193

Steiner Binoculars

Steiner is a quality optics brand with practical features. The very popular, highly-rated Steiner 8x30mm Military-Marine binoculars are now on sale for just $193.00. With 8x magnification, the Steiner Military-Marine 8×30 binoculars are a rugged design with a unique focus system that puts everything from 20 yards to infinity in focus. These Steiners use flexible silicone lens mounts to absorb severe shock, impact and abuse without damage. NBR rubber armoring shields a lightweight, rugged chassis that withstands 11 Gs of impact. Your Editor personally owns and uses the Steiner Military-Marine. The glass is excellent considering the price, and the focus system is a huge advantage — once you set the individual eye-pieces, no fiddling with focus knobs required — everything beyond 20 yards is sharp.

9. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

Wish you had a modern impeller-style wind meter but only shoot a couple matches a year and can’t justify spending $150 (or more) on one? This Proster wind meter has a very impressive 4.5 star overall rating (with hundreds of reviews), so buy with confidence. Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. Get this affordable Wind Meter to ensure you have reliable wind readings for ballistics calculations. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this low-priced wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced some time.

Most Weekly Deals Sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
January 28th, 2019

How to Prep Mil-Surp Once-Fired Brass

USAMU Brass reloading tip

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes reloading “how-to” articles on the USAMU Facebook page. One Wednesday “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading. And visit the USAMU Facebook page for other hand-loading tips.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters in Alaska. They asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)
Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
January 27th, 2019

Rapid-Fire Rifle Competition — Stangskyting in Scandinavia

stangskyting rifle match norway sweden scandinavia

How fast can you shoot a bolt-action rifle? We doubt you can out-pace the ace “Stangskyting” shooters from Scandinavia. Some of these guys can run more than two rounds per second, including mag changes! That’s impressive. Bulletin reader C. Lemmermann from Denmark told us: “In Scandinavia we have this competition called ‘Stangskyting’. It’s similar to the ‘Mad Minute’ but we only have 25 seconds to hit the target [at] 200-300m distance with a 6.5×55 [target rifle].” In the Stangskyting video below a shooter named Børklop puts 16 rounds on target in just 25 seconds. (He starts with a round in the chamber and cycles through three, 5-round magazines).

Børklop’s performance, with just a sling and iron sights, is impressive. He’s shooting a Sauer 200 STR target rifle with 5-round magazine. Note that Børklop manipulates the Sauer’s bolt with his thumb and index finger, while pulling the trigger with his middle finger. As good as Børklop is, some Stangskyting competitors are even better. Roy Arne Syversrud from Oslo, Norway tells us: “The best shooters in Norway can do 21 shots in 25 seconds, changing the mag three times.”

Here’s another Stangskyting video. Check out the speed with which John Olav Ågotnes works that action — simply amazing!

This Guy Could Break the “Mad Minute” Record
Børklop’s rate of fire, 16 rounds in 25 seconds, is the equivalent of 38.4 rounds in 60 seconds. That’s a notable number because the record for the “Mad Minute”, a British Army marksmanship drill, is 38 rounds in one minute. That record was set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, and still stands. So as you watch Børklop, keep in mind that Snoxall shot that fast for a full minute with a Lee-Enfield nearly 100 years ago!

Børklop has an average cycling time of 1.56 seconds per shot, starting with a round in the chamber. To beat the record of 38 rounds, he would need to make seven mag changes in sixty seconds. All those mag swaps could reduce his average time per shot, making it difficult to achieve 38 hits in a minute. But, if Børklop could use 10-round mags with his Sauer STR, this guy has the skills to break the record.

Sauer 200 STR Target Rifle

To emphasize the capabilities of the WWI-era British shooter who set the record, Snoxall shot as fast as Børklop does, but Snoxall reloaded with stripper clips. Snoxall’s SMLE (Lee-Enfield) rifle also had relatively crude open sights and the stock was far less ergonomic than Børklop’s Sauer STR stock.

Here’s another Stangskyting video showing John Ågotnes shooting rapidfire with his Sauer 200 STR (Scandinavian Target Rifle) chambered in 6.5×55. By our count, Ågotnes manages 17 shots within the 25-second time period. That rate of fire (17 in 25 seconds) equates to 40.8 rounds in one minute!

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
January 27th, 2019

SIG Handgun Can Run Multiple Calibers and Frame Sizes

Sig Sauer Modular handgun P320 XCompact

One of the most interesting new pistols at SHOT Show 2019 was the SIG Sauer P320 XCompact, the latest in the P320 X-Series. What is most noteworthy about this pistol (and other X-Series guns) is that the TRIGGER GROUP, not the frame, carries the serial number. That means that after you process one SIG P320 X handgun through an FFL, you can put that same trigger group in different frames. So you could have a full-sized pistol for slow-fire target work, plus a compact version for concealed carry. Or you can have a 9mm AND a 40 S&W version of the same pistol. SIG calls this “unprecedented modularity”. We agree — this is very, very clever. Glock, Walther, Ruger — take note!

SIG’s P320 XCompact is a modular, striker-fired pistol with a serialized trigger group that makes it adaptable to multiple calibers, size, and grip options. The P320 XCompact is available in 9mm and features X-RAY3 day/night sights, a flat trigger, and night sight rear plate making it optic ready. There are both a striker safety and a disconnect safety. The P320 XCompact comes standard with two, 15-round magazines.

P320 XCompact is Comfortable in the Hand, Like Classic P226/P228 Pistols
At SHOT we tried the P320 XCompact and found it very comfortable in the hand — with ergonomics similar to our much-loved metal-framed P226. SIG says the XCompact has a “completely redesigned grip module with an improved beavertail and fastback profile, contoured magwell, and a deep trigger guard undercut”.

“The P320 XCOMPACT redefines what a compact pistol should be by combining concealability with full size XSERIES features. Through extensive end-user feedback, the P320 XCOMPACT provides for smoother handling and optimizes the user experience,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, New Product No Comments »
January 26th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Video Showcase

Shot show 2019 video product show demo

There is so much to see at SHOT Show, with nearly 2000 exhibitors showcasing tens of thousands of products. SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, attracting 60,000+ attendees from more than 100 countries.

Thankfully there are many teams of reporters who covered SHOT Show this year, and they’ve now posted a wide selection of video reports. In today’s SHOT Show video showcase, we post our “pick of the litter” — ten of our favorite video reports from SHOT Show 2019, plus one great video “blast from the past”.

High-Tech Hunter — Modular Strasser Rifle

The Strasser rifle from Austria has many interesting design features including an interchangeable bolt head and an easy, rapid barrel-swap system. MORE INFO HERE.

Media Day Mini-Gun Mania — 25 and 50 Rounds per Second!

This full-auto, multi-barrel Mini-Gun has two speeds — 25 and 50 Rounds per Second!

CLICK HERE to SEE NINE More Videos »

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns, News, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
January 26th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Free SHOT Daily Digital Editions

FREE SHOT Daily Magazine issuee digital edition

FREE Digital Editions of SHOT Show Daily
Below you’ll find FREE digital editions of the SHOT Show Daily. This is the publication handed out at SHOT Show. Packed with stories and photos, each edition has a special theme for the new products covered. The daily news of the 2019 Las Vegas SHOT Show is produced by Bonnier Corporation and NSSF®. These are definitely worth checking out — there are hundreds of photos of new products.

NOTE: To READ TEXT, Click Full Screen Bracket Icon at lower right of each frame: [ ]

SHOT Daily DAY ONE

SHOT Daily DAY TWO

SHOT Daily DAY THREE

SHOT Daily DAY FOUR

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
January 26th, 2019

Suppressors — Why You Still Need Hearing Protection

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Silencer-equipped AR photo courtesy The Silencer Shop.

OK, you’ve paid the tax stamp and acquired your new suppressor (aka “silencer” or “moderator”). Do you still need to wear earplugs or muffs? Absolutely. Even with that expensive new “can”, your rifle could be generating over 140 decibels (dB) of noise — about the same as as an unmuffled 9mm pistol shot. That’s loud enough to create permanent hearing loss with repeated exposure.

Firearms Are Loud: 140 dB to 175 dB

Audiology group ASHA explains: “Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true. or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB


The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
January 25th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Scopes, Spotters, and Electro-Optics

SHOT Show Optics Scopes rangefinder spotting scope

At SHOT Show 2019, some of the most impressive new products were in the realm of scopes and electro-optics. We are seeing big companies like Leica, SIG Sauer, Swarovski, and Zeiss moving big-time into the technological marriage of microchips and lenses. With the release of the $4500 Swaro dS, a scope with no manual windage or elevation controls, we are really entering a new era in aiming systems for shooters.

Swarovski dS Rangefinder Scope with Ballistics “Brain”

SHOT Show Optics Swarovski dS rangefinder laserscope scope

Swarovski rolled out a new flagship scope this year at SHOT Show, the remarkable dS 5-25×52 P. This $4500+ wonder features a built-in laser rangefinder (like the Burris Eliminator). But there’s more — working with a smartphone App, the dS incorporates a sophisticated ballistics computer that calculates your trajectory at any distance and then displays an aim point on your reticle. It even adjusts the aim point for the wind (with data entered wirelessly via mobile device).

This really is a state-of-the-art electro-optical system. However, there are some negatives to consider. First there are no conventional elevation or windage knobs/turrets. So, if your battery dies in the field, you are SOL. (FYI that big “turret” in the middle is actually just a battery and tool holder). Secondly, all that smart calculation depends on extremely accurate BC and velocity data. If you switch ammo, and don’t have an accurate velocity or BC, you won’t get the right solution and there are no knobs to turn to fix that. The dS will give you an aim point, but it might not match your true ballistics. (NOTE: There are hidden mechanical controls for setting your zero, but these are not intended for conventional shot to shot adjustments).

High-Magnification Competition Scopes

SHOT Show Optics Scopes Kahles 10-50x60mm scope

Kahles K1050 — Central Parallax, Great Glass
Kahles scopes are now being used by many of the top shooters in PRS game. Kahles optics offer great European glass, precise controls, and some unique features. Our readers may not realize that Kahles makes an outstanding high-magnification zoom scope suitable for long-range benchrest and F-Class comptition, the Kahles K1050. This 10-50x56mm optic has a unique centrally mounted parallax control — great for lefties or guys who run a left port/right eject. The Kahles K1050 has a true 8 meters to infinity parallax adjustment range making it suitable for everything from Field Target air gun, 1000-yard competition, and long range tactical. The Kahles K1050 costs $2899.00 — that’s midway between a Vortex Golden Eagle and a 10-60x56mm March High Master (starting at $3425.00).

SHOT Show Optics Scopes Sightron 10-50x60mm spotting scope

Sightron SIII 10-50x60mm
Sightron offers a very affordable 10-50x60mm scope in its SIII optics line. There is a special version for Field Target competition that comes with a “Big Wheel” parallax control. Field Target competitors use the Parallax control to determine target range.

ELR Scope — For 2 Miles and Beyond

March 6-60X Genesis with 400 MOA elevation
A typical premium riflescope might have 50-60 MOA of elevation. That’s enough for shooting out to 1500 yards or so with a high-BC bullet launched at 2900 fps. But for Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting you need more elevation adjustment, and that’s where the innovative March 6-60X Genesis optic stands out. This unique optic offers a whopping 400 MOA of elevation adjustment. That ample elevation doesn’t come cheap however — the 6-60x56mm Genesis sells for $6950.00. CLICK HERE for full specifications.

Lightweight Hunting Scopes

As scopes have grown increasingly sophisticated and complex, they have also become bulkier and HEAVIER. That’s a big deal for a hunter who may be carrying a rifle, plus another 20-30 pounds of gear and food/water. The average dear hunter will be taking a shot well inside 400 yards so he doesn’t need 25X power or fancy features. He does need clarity, good low-light performance, and reliability — and LOW WEIGHT. We think a good deer hunting scope should come in under 1.5 pounds (without rings). Here are two smart hunting optics, both under 20 ounces.

Leupold VX Freedom — 12.2 ounce Weight, Simple, Affordable
The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm weighs just 12.2 ounces and street price is under $200. It has a 4.7mm exit pupil, 60 MOA of elevation, and a 33.7 ft Field of View at 100 yards.

Zeiss conquest V4 3-12x44mm

Zeiss 3-12x44mm Conquest — 18.2 ounce Weight, 90% Light transmission, 4X Zoom
These riflescopes were designed as a lightweight, high-performance product line for demanding hunting and shooting applications. The Zeiss 3-12x44mm Conquest delivers 90% to-the-eye light transmission, along with 70 MOA of both elevation and windage travel. This premium second focal plane scope weighs just 18.2 ounces, slightly over one pound.

Compact Spotting Scopes for Field Carry

Many shooters and hunters don’t want or need a heavy, bulky spotting scope. They need a spotter to see mirage, and to deliver more magnification than can be comfortably handheld with binoculars. For hunters, weight and overall size are key. The hunter wants a spotting scope that can be packed and carried easily. Here are two clear, sharp spotter options in a smaller format. The Leupold Gold Ring 15-30x50mm Compact Spotter is particularly well-suited to hunters and tactical shooters.

Nikon Monarch Fieldscope 60mm 18-48x spotting scope

Nikon Monarch Fieldscope 60ED-A
Small but powerful — that describes the Nikon 60ED-A Monarch Fieldscope with 16-48X eyepiece. This unit delivers big spotter performance in a much smaller package. It focuses fast and showed very good sharpness though we observed the image darkens at higher magnifications. This has ED glass and Nikon’s proprietary “field flattener” lens system that enhances sharpness throughout the entire field of view.

Leupold Golden Ring 15-30x50mm compact spotting scope

Leupold 15-30x50mm Gold Ring Compact Spotting Scope
The affordable Leupold Gold Ring Compact Spotter offers 15-30X magnification. That’s plenty for spotting game or viewing mirage. This unit is remarkably compact and we like the simple right-side focus knob. Half the size of typical spotting scopes, this Compact Leupold spotter weighs just 21.5 ounces (1.34 pounds).

Superb Binoculars — When Cost is No Object

Leica Noctivid 8x42 binoculars

Leica Noctivid 8x42mm Binoculars
Our Hunting Editor Colton Reid is a Ph.D. who works with specialized electro-optical devices costing over $30,000. So he knows a few things about light waves and glass quality. When he looked through the 8×42 Leica Noctivid his comment was simple but telling: “These are the best compact binoculars I’ve ever looked through. The clarity and brightness are truly exceptional”. At nearly $2700.00, Noctivids are crazy expensive, but the quality will be worth it to some buyers.

Parting Shot — Think about the Warranty BEFORE You Buy

Vortex Razor spotting scope warranty

This patched-up Razor spotting scope was on display at the Vortex booth. We actually know the history of this particular spotter — it belonged to one of our Forum members. He sent this busted unit back to Vortex, and Vortex sent him a brand new Razor spotter. That Forum member told us: “Vortex earned a customer for life when they replaced my spotter, no questions asked. When Vortex says its warranty is ‘Unlimited, Unconditional, Lifetime’, believe it.”

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, News, Optics No Comments »
January 25th, 2019

World’s Highest Magnification Rifle Scope: March 8-80x56mm

March optics scopes 8-80 8-80x56 tactical scope more power

When it comes to long-range optics, some folks can’t have too much magnification. At 500 yards and beyond, when the air’s misty or the mirage is thick, you can’t always use extreme magnification. But, when the conditions are excellent, it’s nice to have 50X magnification (or more) on tap. You can always “crank it back down”.

Higher magnification (when conditions are good), can help you see your bullet holes at long range, and that makes it easier to judge your hold-offs and keep your group centered.

In addition, there’s no doubt that high magnification lets you aim more precisely, no matter what the distance. Even at 100 and 200 yards, short-range benchresters are using 40X, 50X, and even 60X power scopes. This allows you to position your cross-hairs with extreme precision — something you need when you’re trying to put multiple shots through the same hole.

Raising the Optics Bar
How much power is usable? A few years back, folks said you can’t use more than 45X or so at long range. Well, as modern optics have evolved, now guys are buying scopes with even more magnification — way more. There are practical limits of course — with a 56 to 60mm front objective, the exit pupil of a 60X or higher-power scope will be very tiny, making head orientation ultra-critical. Any many scopes get darker as you bump up the magnification.

March optics scopes 8-80 8-80x56 tactical scope more power

Despite the exit pupil and brightness issues, shooters are demanding “more power” these days and the scope manufacturers are providing new products with ever-greater magnification levels. Right now, the most powerful conventional riflescope you can buy is the March X-Series 8-80x56mm scope. Featuring a 34mm main tube and 56mm objective lens, this offers a true 10-times zoom ratio and up to 80X magnification. This scope has minimal distortion thanks to high-quality ED lenses designed in-house by Deon Optical, which also machines the main tube from one solid piece of billet aluminum.

MORE INFO: Learn more about the March 8-80x56mm at MarchScopes.com

To demonstrate the capabilities of high-magnification March scopes, Aussie Stuart Elliot has created a cool through-the-lens video with the March 8-80x56mm scope set at 80-power (See 0:30 timeline). Along with being one of Australia’s top benchrest shooters, Stuart runs BRT Shooters Supply, dealer for March Scopes in Australia. In the video below you can see the March 8-80X focused on a target at 1000 yards (910m). For best resolution, watch this video in fullscreen, 720p mode.

Look through the Lens of 80-power March Scope at Target 1000 Yards Away

Through-the-Lens Views at 40X and 80X at 1100 Yards
To reveal the difference between 40X and 80X magnification, here are two through-the-lens still images taken with March scopes sighting to 1100 yards. The top photo is at 80X magnification, looking through the March 8-80x56mm. The lower photo is at 40X magnification viewed through a 5-50x56mm March X-Series scope. You can see there is a big difference in perceived target size! Click on the “Larger Image” button to see full-screen version at 80X.


larger photo

Video Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Optics, Tech Tip 9 Comments »
January 25th, 2019

The Dummy Round — Why You Need One for Chambering

Gre Tannel GreTan, Gre-Tan Rifles dummy round chambering gunsmith reamer chamber

How and Why to Create a Dummy Round
When you have a new custom rifle built, or a new barrel fitted to an existing rifle, it makes sense to create a dummy round. This should have your preferred brass and bullet types, with the bullet positioned at optimal seating depth. A proper dummy round helps the gunsmith set the freebore correctly for your cartridge, and also ensure the proper chamber dimensions.

Respected machinist, tool-maker, and gunsmith Greg Tannel of Gre-Tan Rifles explains: “I use the dummy round as a gauge to finish cut the neck diameter and throat length and diameter so you have [optimal] clearance on the loaded neck and the ogive of the bullet just touches the rifling.” He recommends setting bullet so the full diameter is just forward of the case’s neck-shoulder junction. “From there”, Greg says, “I can build you the chamber you want… with all the proper clearances”.

Greg Tannel has created a very helpful video showing how to create a dummy round. Greg explains how to measure and assemble the dummy and how it will be used during the barrel chambering process. Greg notes — the dummy round should have NO Primer and No powder. We strongly recommend that every rifle shooter watch this video. Even if you won’t need a new barrel any time soon, you can learn important things about freebore, leade, and chamber geometry.

This has been a very popular video, with 244,000 views. Here are actual YouTube comments:

That is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. Thank you sir. — P. Pablo

Nice video. You do a very good job of making this easy for new reloaders to understand. I sure wish things like this were available when I started reloading and having custom rifles built. Once again, great job, and your work speaks for itself. — Brandon K.

Beautiful job explaining chambering clearances. — D. Giorgi

Another Cool Tool — The Stub Gauge

When you have your gunsmith chamber your barrel, you can also have him create a Stub Gauge, i.e. a cast-off barrel section chambered like your actual barrel. The stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Stub Gauge Gunsmithing chamber gage model barrel

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 24th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Eye-Catching Products

Shot show 2019 eley

There are tens of thousands of products on display at SHOT Show, the world’s largest firearms industry trade show. We visited dozens of manufacturers to see their featured items on display. Here are our selections of interesting products as well as some eye-catching product displays. Check out the cutaway Redding dies, the Norma giant plexiglass bullet shell.

Volquartsen .22 LR Ultralite with ModShot Carbon Stock, 3.8 LBS

Volquartsen ultralite ModShot carbon .22 LR rimfire rifle

Volquartsen showcased a radical rimfire rifle with “carbon everything”. Designed for rapid-fire Steel Challenge games, this unique rig has a carbon-wrapped barrel, carbon buttstock shaft with an aluminum buttplate, and a carbon fiber handhold forward of the action. The ModShot stock secures the bottom of the action, provides attachment points for rear section and front handhold. Total weight (without optics) is just 3 pounds, 13 ounces! MSRP is $1733.00. Our hunting editor, Colton Reid, said this “bare bones” carbon-enhanced design could be adapted for an ultralight centerfire hunting rifle under 5 pounds.

Redding Cutaway FL and Neck Sizing Dies

Redding Cutaway Sizing and Seating FL bushing full lenght micrometer Dies

At the Redding booth, we saw interesting sets of “cutaway” sizing dies. It was cool to see the insides of various types of dies. In the photo above the top two dies are micrometer-top dies. Below are three sizing dies: neck-sizing bushing die at left, a “plain” full-length sizing die in the middle, and a bushing full-length sizing die on the right. The bushing FL die would be our first pick — it allows you to size the entire body of the case, while adjusting neck tension (and bullet “grip”) with the neck bushings.

F-Open Champion with Kestros ZR Stock

Kestros ZR McMillan

Today, January 24th, Norm Harrold, the current F-Open 2018 national champion and 1000 yard record holder, appears at the McMillan booth. In the video above he’s holding the advanced, long-wheelbase Kestros ZR stock he used to set the new National Record and capture his F-Open title. Norm will explain the features of this stock that make it shoot so well. The Kestros ZR’s low COG and long wheelbase help the stock track and resist torque.

Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle

SK Ammunition .22 LR rimfire sheet cartridge

Our buddy Jason Baney was mighty impressed with the Modern Precision Rifle from Christensen Arms. With a handsome desert bronze finish, this rifle features carbon-wrapped lightweight barrel, carbon handguard/forearm, and carbon cheek piece. The folding buttstock folds quickly and secures with a magnetic lock. The rifle comes with a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee, and is available in 8 chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, 300 PRC, .300 Win Mag, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Lapua Mag. Jason was so impressed with this $2295 rifle he said: “this could be my next hunting field rifle”. He said the folding stock really is an advantage when trekking long distances.

Rimfire Cases — How They Are Formed

SK Ammunition .22 LR rimfire sheet cartridge

At the Capstone Precision Group booth, we saw a long sheet of shiny brass metal. We were fascinated. This sheet illustrated how SK .22 LR casings are created from brass, started with a dime-sized flat circle, then ending with an extend narrow cylinder. This then becomes the case which receives the priming material (in the rim), powder and bullet. This is not identical to the actual factory production process, but it does show the key stages of rimfire case “punching” and drawing.

Frankford Arsenal New Compact Rotary Tumbler

SK Ammunition .22 LR rimfire sheet cartridge

Rotary tumblers do a fine job cleaning brass with media in liquid solution. There are many large rotary tumblers on the market. But frankly most are bigger than needed by rifle shooters who might just clean 100-200 pieces of brass at a time. Frankford Arsenal developed a smaller tumbler that runs smaller batches efficiently. Good idea. Look for this product at MidwayUSA in a few months. It should be significantly cheaper than Frankford Arsenal’s large, 7-liter Platinum tumbler which sells for $165.00 on Amazon.

Norma’s Giant See-Through Cartridge Display

Norma bullets brass Ammunition giant cartridge model display

Norma, maker of excellent brass, bullets, and loaded ammunition, had a eye-catching prop for displaying Norma bullets and cartridge brass. Over four feet long, this one-of-a-king plexiglass cartridge half-model held hundreds of projectiles and casings. Eye-catching for sure.

AMP Mark II — Runs Longer, Cooler, And Does .50 BMG

SK Ammunition .22 LR rimfire sheet cartridge

The makers of the Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) electro-induction annealing machine showcased a new, upgraded Mark II model. The new Mark II machine looks similar on the outside, but has a number of enhancements. It has bigger strong fans so it ran process more cases before you need to take a break to let the machine cool down. In addition, the Mark II now has a “super-sized” case chamber that can hold virtually any size case — all the way up to the .50 BMG. We watched as the AMP 2 annealed a jumbo .50 BMG in just a few seconds. Very impressive. For more info and pricing, visit www.AMPannealing.com.

Parting Shot — Goblin Green Race Pistol

eley green pistol 1911 race gun

Eley, the UK-based rimfire ammo maker, had a couple wild-looking race guns on display. This Metallic green stunner features a massive compensator, relieved slide (for faster cycling), and a color-coordinated C-MORE Reflex sight on top. Inconspicuous, this pistol is not!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product, News 1 Comment »