March 22nd, 2019

Montana Magic — 6BR Ackley Shoots Sub-Quarter-MOA at 1000

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler
Looking 1000 yards downrange at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana.

On Facebook recently, we saw an eye-catching rifle. Owned by top 1000-yard competitor (and past IBS Champ) Tom Mousel, this rifle was smithed by Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy. This rig features the McMillan-crafted Wheeler LRB stock with adjustable keel. It also has BAT Machine’s very impressive new Neuvo LR (aka “Neuvo M”) action, serial number LR0001. The Neuvo LR has some important design features — horizontal lug orientation, full-diameter bolt body, and advanced fire control system. More about those features below.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

This gun is a shooter. Tom has already shot a 1.5″ four-shot group at 1000 yards. How does he do that? First you need a great barrel, great bullets, and superior hand-loading skills. But then it comes down to great gun-handling. You can see that in the video below. NOTE to ALL Long-Range Benchrest shooters — Watch this video! You’ll definitely learn from watching Tom shoot — he’s one of the best in the business.

Tom Mousel shoots 1000-yard ladder test with first-released Neuvo LR action, SN LR0001.
Rifle chambering is 6BR Ackley (6BRA) in 28″ Krieger barrel.

Rifle Components and Build INFO:
This rifle has a BAT Neuvo LR (aka Neuvo “M”) action glued and screwed into the LRB stock using a special bedding block, a Boyd Allen concept that Tom has requested to use on every future build. The 28″ Krieger 1:8″-twist HV barrel was indexed using a little different method than most use. It is “panning out well” says Alex, who adds: “So far it has shot [multiple low ones] with two barrels and three different bullet types. This rifle is definitely one of the better shooters I have seen.” We’d agree — owner Tom Mousel has had a 1.5″ 4-shot group at 1000 yards in testing, plus some “zero” 3-shot groups at 100 yards.

Chambering is the 6mmBR Ackley (6BRA). The stock is a Wheeler/McMillan LRB stock with vivid orange and black paint job. It features an adjustable keel in the rear. Trigger is a Bix N Andy unit from Bullets.com.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler
This BAT Neuvo LR action is a Left-loading Drop Port. Cartridges eject out the bottom of the action.

BAT Machine Neuvo Long Range “M” Action
This is the “Long Range” version of the BAT Neuvo. Dwight Scott and Chris Harris were the original inspiration. I worked with Chris to come up with a version for long range. The main differences for the LR Neuvo (compared to the shorter Neuvo) are this has integral lug and rail, with flat bottom and sides for better bedding. The BAT Neuvo LR is available in drop port, dual port, and single port as well as magnum.

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

Take a look at the bolt. Notice the lug orientation and full diameter bolt body. There are no bolt raceways in the action and the two lugs sit HORIZONTALLY when the bolt is closed — that’s different than the vast majority of other two-lug actions.

Alex Wheeler says the Neuvo is a winner. He thinks some of the action’s design features really do contribute to enhanced accuracy: “The … fire control (firing pin assembly) carries a lot of energy and has a very “clean” release. This is an excellent design with many small details that combine to deliver superior function. In addition, the full-diameter bolt can be fitted tighter than one with lugways. Also the horizontal lugs may be why we see less vertical stringing in the groups. They are timed perfectly as well.”

BAT Machine neuvo benchrest rifle action krieger barrel montana deep creek tom mousel Alex Wheeler

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
March 22nd, 2019

Cantastic Video — How a Suppressor is Constructed

SilencerCo suppressor manufacturing production video Assembly

Watch this video to see how a sound suppressor (aka “silencer”, “moderator”, or “can”) is constructed, start to finish. It’s more complicated than you might expect — there are quite a few stages in the process. The video below shows the fabrication of a SilencerCo Octane 45 suppressor:

SilencerCo writes: “What, exactly, goes into making a silencer? It may be more than you’d expect. From cutting metal to chemical baths, to extensive quality control every step of the way, our streamlined process is more than just a few steps. Watch our newest video, HOW IT’S MADE: Octane 45, to catch a glimpse behind SilencerCo’s doors.”

SilencerCo suppressor
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. 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[.]” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. American Hunter explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

Permalink - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 22nd, 2019

Spring Reminders — Pre-Season Rifle Maintenance Checks

Spring pre-season gun maintenance safety

Spring has sprung, so that means the shooting season is getting started for folks in Northern climes. Before you head to the range for the first time, we recommend you do some basic tasks with your firearms. Here’s some good advice on readying your rifles for the 2017 shooting season.

by Ron Dague, Sinclair International
Firearms SafetyI give my rifles a pre-season check before the shooting season starts. This starts with a general inspection starting with the butt-plate or recoil pad and making sure that all the screws and adjustable parts (on an adjustable butt-plate) move freely up or down and side to side. If you got caught in rain some of these screws and adjustable parts may not move when needed. I disassemble parts as needed and put rust preventative or a light oil and/or grease on threads and sliding parts. On rifles with recoil pads and fixed butt-plates, make sure the screws are tight and that holes in the stock aren’t stripped out. Make sure there are no cracks in the stock and around the butt-plate. If the recoil pad is glued-on, just make sure it hasn’t come loose.

Next I take the action out of the stock and check for cracks and wear marks. I look at the bedding to make sure that oils and cleaning solvents have not damaged the bedding. While the action is out of the stock, I look for any surface rust or dirt/dust in the recoil lug area and magazine well. Clean as needed and repair or re-bed if needed.

Trigger Assembly and Action
Jewell trigger Remington 700With the barreled action out of the stock, it is a good time to spray out the trigger with cleaner. I use Ronson oil or lighter fluid. [Editor’s Note: Some trigger-makers advise against using any kind of lubricant, grease or oil — so plain lighter fluid is preferred.] After the trigger is cleaned you may want to check the trigger pull weight. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it to a gun smith and have it checked. It is worth every penny to not have a trigger issue and/or a safety malfunction. I also take the bolt apart and clean the firing pin spring and bolt housing with Gun Scrubber or automotive brake cleaner. Then lube the firing pin-spring and firing pin with light oil. I use Kel Lube and/or Butch’s gun oil. Put a small dab of gun grease on the [bolt locking lugs] and cocking ramp.

I will also spray the outside of the action and barrel and give that a light coating of oil for rust prevention. I clean the action with Sinclair’s action cleaning tool. Don’t forget to clean the bore. Even though you didn’t fire the rifle, this makes sure nothing obstructs your barrel.

Checking Metal Fixtures and Fasteners
rifle scope ringsNext I look at the trigger guard and hinged floor plate and make sure it works as designed. Make sure there are no cracks in the trigger guard from an accidental drop. Check guard screws and /or action screws for tightness and tighten to proper spec. There are torque specs for this, but on wood stocks the wood can crush and this should be checked throughout the year as weather change can affect this. My entire collection of rifles are bedded and I just tighten them just snug with screw driver or Allen wrench. The rimfire rifles have a spec of 55 to 74 inch/lbs and I think would carry over to center fire as well. I would caution you about torque wrenches as you need a good quality wrench, and read the directions on how to use it. You can over torque if not careful. Check the swivel studs and bipod to make sure there tight as well. You may want to take scope off and check the base screws and check the rings.

Test Fire the Rifle After Maintenance
After all cleaning and is done and everything is reassembled, take a few rounds out to the range and test fire to make sure everything works as it should. Don’t forget to run 3-5 rounds through the magazine at least two times for function. I look at this as preventive maintenance on the rifle. If you give it a look over you shouldn’t have any trouble during the rifle matches or hunting trip.

Ron Dague
Certified Reloading Instructor
Certified Range Safety Officer
Email: rond [at] sinclairintl.com
Phone: 800-717-8211

This Article Originally Appeared in Sinclair International’s The Reloading Press.
Permalink News No Comments »