January 22nd, 2019

Industry Day at the Range 2019 — Highlights

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Industry Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very great new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Industry Day at the Range, held in Bolder City, Nevada on January 21, 2019.

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

We were not disappointed — there was plenty to see this year. On display were a bunch of new precision rifles, a slew of new handguns, and some very exotic optics (including a turretless digital camera/riflesight).

Cool New Rifles and Chassis Systems

Savage MSR 10 Precision rifle new Stan Pate

Our friend Stan Pate let us try out Savage’s latest, greatest Modern Sporting Rifle, the MSR 10 Precision. Offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win, this quality rig has many distinctive features, including side-charging handle, adjustable gas system, and convertible dual-angle pistol grip. This rifle proved exceptionally accurate on steel out to 400 yards. It is certainly one of the best AR10-class rifles we’ve tried.

Report from 6.5 Guys
Our good friends the 6.5 Guys (www.65guys.com) kicked off their 5th year of SHOT Show coverage at the Industry Day at the Range. At this event one can check out the latest firearms, putting guns through their paces with live fire demos. Here are two items that caught the eyes of the 6.5 Guys:

PGW Defense Timberwolf
Timberwolf rifle .338 Lapua Magnum Mag 6.5 Guys Ed Mobley

The PGW Defense Timberwolf rifle in .338 Lapua Magnum proved to be a relatively light-recoiling rifle considering the cartridge and overall rifle weight of 14.5 pounds. Even with gusting 7:00 o’clock side winds (with 20+ mph peaks), hitting targets at 1,000 yards was very doable — a reminder of what the .338 Lapua can deliver. Impressive rifle.

Oryx Chassis for Howa, Rem, Tikka, Ruger, and Savage
Oryx tactical hunting chassis Remington savage tikka Howa 6.5 Guys Ed Mobley

Oryx (an MDT brand) has introduced a chassis system for Howa, Remington, Tikka, Ruger and Savage actions that retails for $399. While it comes with a grip, the user can bolt on standard AR-15 grips. This affordable system comes with an adjustable cheek piece and length of pull.

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019
Industry Day file photo courtesy CMG Marketing & Events.

Optics — New 7-35x56mm Leupold + Radical Israeli Sensight

Leupold showcased an impressive new scope that should interest F-Class and PRS shooters. Leupold’s new 7-35x56mm Mark 5HD optic had very good glass, and positive controls. At 33 ounces, it is quite a bit lighter than other scopes in this class. We don’t have exact pricing yet, but it should be much less expensive than a Nightforce ATACR scope with the same magnification range.

New Leupold 7-35x56mm Mark 5HD
sensight digital camera scope israeli SSR400

The new 7-35X Leupold models will be available with either milrad or MOA adjustments and advanced reticles. The milliradian models will be available in six reticle options: H-59, CCH, TMR, Tremor 3, and Tremor 3 Illuminated. The MOA version will be available with an Impact 60 MOA reticle.

Sensight SSR400 digital Riflesight
sensight digital camera scope israeli SSR400

A big step forward in digital optics is Sensight’s new SSR400 Digital Riflesight, basically a high-resolution digital camera with a microprocessor-controlled reticle. The system is self-contained in a lightweight, compact display that allows the firearm to be held and used as if it held a traditional rifle scope. The digital interface allows users to customize the display, record video, and even livestream the image. The display eliminates eye relief issues, making it easy to acquire targets at distances up to 400 yards. Beyond 400 yards the image becomes noticeably pixelated, but still allowed us to easily hit targets at that distance. The price is moderate.

Read Detailed Sensight SSR400 REVIEW on GunsAmerica.com »

Handguns — Rimfire and Centerfire

Industry day range january 2019

We viewed hundreds of pistols, shot a dozen or so, and came away with four we really liked. Two were suppressed rimfire pistols, and two were centerfire “Race guns”.

Ruger .22 LR MARK IV 22/25 Gold With Suppressor
Industry day range january 2019

We had fun trying out the Ruger MARK IV™ 22/45™ LITE fitted with a factory suppressor. Ruger had a new “bling” version on hand for test shooting. This was the Model 43926, with gold anodized aluminum upper receiver. This is ported for lightness — this pistol weighs just 25 ounces (without suppressor).

KelTec CP33 Suppressed Rimfire Pistol
keltec cmr-30 pistol .22 WMR

We shot a very impressive KelTec pistol derived from the KelTec CMR-30 .22 WMR carbine. This new CP33 pistol is mostly the same as the CMR-30, but with no stock and a different front section. The 33 in the name refers to the fact that the clear magazine holds 33 rounds of .22 LR ammo. The version we shot was suppressed, and it was a pleasure to shoot. The trigger is excellent — noticeably better than most other 22s on the market. With virtually no recoil, it was ultra-quiet and surprisingly accurate. This Editor was surprised that a KelTec was one of his favorite new handguns at Industry Day. KelTec says the first production run should start shipping in March, 2019.

Walther PPQ Q5 Match SF (Steel Frame)
SAS Bul Armory race gun 1911

Walther’s PPQ Q5 has been popular with action pistol competitors. Now Walther offers an enhanced SF (“Steel Frame”) version. We like how the pistol balances with the heavier, beefier steel frame. We expect the extra mass of the steel frame will also reduce muzzle flip and perceived recoil. This is available from Walther with iron sights or a Red Dot.

Bul Armory SAS 1911-Type Race Gun
SAS Bul Armory race gun 1911

Israel’s Bul Armory offers a wide range of defensive handguns and target pistols, including the SAS series of competition pistols. These impressive “Race Guns” feature compensators, relieved slides, flared magwells, and excellent match triggers. Needless to say these comp pistols are a hoot to shot — with superfast cycle rates for fast shot transitions.

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019
Industry Day file photo courtesy CMG Marketing & Events.

Ammunition — Big News from Sierra and More

Sierra Will Offer Loaded Ammunition
The big news in the world of commercial ammunitions come from Sierra bullets. For the first time, Sierra will be offering Sierra-branded loaded ammo. Our good friend (and multi-time Nat’l Long Range Champion) Michelle Gallagher revealed that Sierra will offer a selection of high-quality factory ammunition in 2019.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition gamechanger

Sierra will be releasing its own brand of hunting ammunition. Sierra “Gamechanger” will debut in five popular hunting calibers: .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, and .308 Win. The rounds use a new tipped GameKing bullet for match grade accuracy in a hunting round. No details yet on brass, primer, and powder components for this ammo, but if the quality of the bullets is any indication these rounds will serve hunters well.

Norma Bullet monolithic solid hollowpoint

New Norma Monolithic Hollow Point Ammo
Norma unveiled some impressive new pistol ammunition. The new MHP (Monolithic Hollow Point) offers extreme expansion with major energy transfer. This MHP bullet features a lead-free solid core. This new MHP ammo offers serious performance for regions where lead-core bullets are prohibited. Accuracy is also very good with these new Norma bullets.

Great Products for Hunters and Varminters

We saw some impressive gear for game hunters and varminters. Swagger bipods has introduced a new kind of rifle support that combines the best qualities of both a field bipod and shooting sticks. And we saw a nice swivel field bench that offered very good stability.

Swagger Bipod hunting shooting sticks

Swagger demonstrated its new Stalker QD42 (quick detach) and Stalker Lite bipods. The QD42 is a lighter, more compact design of the already-established hunter series that allows for fast attach and removal via the push of a button. The quick attach/detach is a great feature that allows hunters to carry the bipod in their pack until it’s time to shoot. The Stalker Lite offers similar advantages in that it is extremely light and folds up like tent poles so it can be carried in a pack or side pocket. Both systems demonstrate the maneuverability swagger is known for and are reasonably priced.

Swagger Bipod hunting shooting sticks

Many Industry Day exhibitors were using the well-made and versatile DOA Shooting Bench. These benches feature a strong steel base supporting a very stable top that rotates to change rifle aim points in seconds. In addition, the DOA bench features a swivel seat. We liked the build quality on these DOA benches. Varmint hunters would like this bench — it would work well in a prairie dog field.

About Industry Day and the Range

With two dozen shooting bays, plus an elevated shooting station with targets out to 400 yards, there is plenty of action. Here’s the layout:
Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019

We definitely need to remember why we are able to continue to own and shoot firearms in this nation…
dog with ear muffs lens

Next best thing to being there — this 5-minute video, produced last year, shows Industry Day highlights. It’s a great overview featuring a wide variety of rifles, pistols and shotguns. The biggest commercial, hands-on “live fire” gun demonstration in the world, Industry Day at the Range is attended by over 1700 journalists and buyers.

keltec cmr-30 pistol .22 WMR

Media Industry day at range shot show 2019 Boulder City Nevada

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, News, Optics 2 Comments »
January 22nd, 2019

Make Your Own Threaded Case for Measuring Length to Lands

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

In this video, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to create a custom modified case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). While Hornady sells modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case*. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Winchester you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

The process is straight-forward. Take a piece of brass fired in your chamber and full-length size it (with about .002″ shoulder bump). Then you need to drill out the primer pocket. Erik uses a mini-lathe for the operation, but this general process can be done with a drill press or other tools. Erik shows how to do this with a 0.290″ HSS (High Speed Steel) drill bit on a mini-lathe. After drilling the hole comes the tricky part — you need to tap the case with the precise 5/16″ x 36 threads per inch (tpi) right-hand thread that matches the male thread on the O.A.L. Gauge. This 5/16″ x 36 tpi tap is pretty uncommon, but you can order it from Amazon.com if you can’t source it locally.

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

If you use a mini-lathe, Erik suggests loosening the tailstock slightly, so it can float while cutting the threads. Erik also says: “Make sure you get the tap on pretty tight — it’s going to want to spin.” Erik turns the case at about 100 rpm when tapping the threads. Once the case and tap are rigged, the actual tapping process (see video at 6:00) takes only a few seconds. While the mini-lathe makes the tapping process go more quickly, the threading can also be done with other systems.

TIP: Don’t just make one modified case, make three. That gives you one for your range kit, one for your home reloading bench, plus a spare (since you WILL eventually lose or misplace one).


Here’s the Stuff You Need

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

5/16″-36 TPI Threading Tap
The required thread is somewhat uncommon. You need a 5/16″ – 36 tpi Right Hand Thread Tap. If you can’t find it locally, Amazon.com carries the correct tap. Erik notes: “The 5/16-36 tpi tap is not a common size. I think Hornady did this on purpose to make it more difficult for the average guy to make his own modified cases.”

0.290″ Drill Bit
Erik uses an 0.290″ HSS “L” drill bit. (This “L” Letter Gauge code designates a 0.290″ diameter bit). A close metric equivalent would be 7.3 mm (0.286″). Erik says: “A 9/32″ drill will also work but it will be harder to run the tap in since the hole will be .281″ instead of .290″ with the Letter Gauge L bit.”

Tips for Using O.A.L. Gauge with Modified Case
We’ve noticed that many folks have trouble getting reliable, consistent results when they first start using the Hornady O.A.L. Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). We’ve found this is usually because they don’t seat the modified case properly and because they don’t use a gentle, consistent method of advancing the bullet until it just kisses the lands.

Here is our suggested procedure for use the O.A.L. Gauge. Following this method we can typically make three of four measurements (with the same bullet), all within .001″ to .0015″. (Yes, we always measure multiple times.)

1. Clean your chamber so there is no build-up of carbon, debris, or lube. Pay particular attention to the shoulder area.

2. Screw the modified case on to the O.A.L. Gauge. Make sure it is seated firmly (and doesn’t spin loose). Note, you may have to re-tighten the modified case after insertion in the chamber.

3. Place your selected bullet so that the ogive (max bullet diameter) is behind the case mouth. This prevents the bullet from “snagging” as you insert the tool in the action.

4. Insert the O.A.L. Gauge into your chamber smoothly. Push a little until you feel resistance. IMPORTANT — You need to ensure that the shoulder of the modified case is seated firmly against the front of your chamber. You may have to wiggle and twist the tool slightly. If you do not have the modified case seated all the way in, you will NOT get a valid measurement.

5. Advance the bullet slowly. (NOTE: This is the most important aspect for consistency!). Push the rod of the O.A.L. tool gently towards the chamber. DON’T shove it hard! Easy does it. Stop when you feel resistance.

6. IMPORTANT. After gently pushing on the rod, give the end of the rod a couple forward taps with your finger. If your bullet was slightly skewed, it may have stopped too far back. Adding a couple extra taps will fix that. If the bullet moves after the taps, then again push gently on the rod. NOT too much! You just want to push the bullet until it just “kisses” the lands and then stops. Do NOT jam the bullet into the rifling. If you do that you will never get consistent results from one measurement to the next.

* For a $15.00 fee, Hornady will make a custom modified case for you if you send two fired pieces of brass. Send two fired cases and $15.00 check to: Hornady Manufacturing, Attn: Modified Cases, 108 S. Apollo St., Alda, NE 68810. More Info HERE.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »