May 9th, 2019

How to Ship Guns, Barrels, Scopes, and Ammo Safely

Shipping information news Fedex UPS USPS postal service

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXGun guys are always shipping stuff around the country — whether it’s a barrel to be chambered, or a scope that needs to go back for warranty repair. Or maybe you’ve sold some bullets or reloading dies you no longer need. To ensure your precious packages get to their destination in one piece, it’s important to take precautions when boxing up your items. And by all means insure packages for full value — even if your packaging is perfect, there is always the possibility that your shipment might be lost altogether. Sadly, that can happen, no matter which carrier you choose: Fedex, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here are some tips for shipping gun stuff — we explain how to pack items properly and how to minimize the risk of loss.

Tips for Shippers
Dennis Haffner from McGowen Precision Barrels offers some advice on how to avoid damage when shipping gun parts or other valuable or heavy items. Dennis explains:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“First, I started double-packing the contents and in many cases double-boxing. I spend a fortune on heavy-reinforced shipping tape. If the contents are loosely packed, the package is going to get crushed. On real important items or delicate items, wrap the content in plastic and spray the inside void areas with non-expanding foam. They make shipping foam just for this. This method really works. Since I started paying more attention to packaging, I have just about wiped out my issues with all three companies (Fedex, UPS, USPS). Yes, I hate doing it, but in the long run for us, it’s cheaper.

Bullet shipments are the worst — a shipment of 500+ bullets can destroy a cardboard box. I have ordered bullets from individuals who put them in baggies and filled the remainder of the box with foam peanuts. That is not going to work. Any piece of metal, including a die, will puncture a cardboard box, or destroy a padded envelope. Just look at the tracking information and imagine your package bouncing around in the back of the shipping truck, probably under many other packages. My advice is to NEVER use padded envelopes. Barrel nuts or recoil lugs will most likely never make it.

ORM-D items are required to be shipped in heavily-reinforced, double-walled containers. The packages still get a little damage, but the contents usually survive.

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXHow do shipments get damaged? Consider this — one of the shipping companies this year flipped (overturned) one of our new CNC machines (which rendered it useless). Maybe your small packages were in the same delivery truck as my CNC machine. I wonder how many little boxes were crushed underneath it.

As for USPS flat rate boxes — you would not believe what people try to stuff in these boxes. USPS finally put a weight limit on the boxes — they had to. I sometimes take my delicate items packed in an envelope or small box. I spray foam in a larger flat rate box and insert the smaller package, then fill the remainder of the void with foam. It works, and part usually arrives undamaged.”

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX
Shipping Rifle Barrels (PVC Tube and Tennis Ball Method)
A new match-grade barrel can cost $350 or more, and it might take six months (or more) to replace it, given the current wait time with top barrel-makers. So, you don’t want your nice new tube to get damaged in transit. Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “M-61″) offers these tips for shipping rifle barrels:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“Packing a barrel can be a problem. Here’s a shipping method that won’t stop lost shipments but so far has stopped damage. Get a PVC pipe (of size appropriate to your barrel) with fitted caps for each end. Attach a cap to one end. Tape the barrel threads and tape over the muzzle. Then drop one standard tennis ball into the pipe. Place barrel in pipe. Next add whatever peanuts or foam you can jam in to support the barrel on the sides. Then place a second tennis ball into the opposite end of the PVC pipe. (So now you have a tennis ball on either end of your barrel.) With everything secure inside, attach the upper cap and tape it down securely. With this packing procedure, when the carrier launches the pipe like a javelin, at least the barrel will not come through like a spear and be gone. Label the pipe with very large address labels so no one suspects it’s just garbage laying around. This procedure may seem ridiculous but it has worked for me. Oh and definitely get insurance. If your item is insured, the shippers will look harder to find it.”

Editor’s Note: Fedex also makes a triangular-profile cardboard shipping box. This 38″ x 6″ x 6″ x 6″ Fedex Tube (designed for blueprints and posters) is free for the asking. For most barrels, there should be enough clearance to hold your PVC tube (with barrel packed inside tube). However, don’t ship the barrel inside the cardboard box by itself. Cap and pad the ends and bubble wrap it heavily, or better yet, use the PVC tube method described above, with the PVC tube inside the box.

For More Packing and Shipping Advice, Read this Forum Thread.

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May 9th, 2019

NRA Expands Competitive Shooting at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

NRA Competition center Camp Atterbury 2020 Shooting Sports USA
In 2020, Camp Atterbury will host Smallbore, High Power, and Pistol National Matches.

Big changes are coming to Indiana. First, all the major NRA National Match Championships — Smallbore (.22 LR) Rifle, High Power Rifle, and Precision Pistol — will be consolidated at Camp Atterbury, IN, starting in 2020. In addition, the NRA plans to create a major competition center at this National Guard facility, a “brand new, competitive shooting Mecca in Indiana.” This was revealed in an NRA-TV interview with Cole McCulloch, NRA Director of Competitive Shooting.

McCullough declared: “This is a great opportunity to establish a state-of-the-art facility at Camp Atterbury in cooperation with the Indiana National Guard[.]” As reported by John Parker, Editor of Shooting Sports USA, major upgrades are coming to Camp Atterbury in the upcoming months:

“State-of-the-art facility is an understatement…. For example, the pistol range will feature a mind-boggling, 300 individual points of fire, all of them covered. There will be two, 1000-yard High Power rifle ranges, which will include the proper pit/target systems and parking that will operate on one area of the base. Pistol and smallbore will be located on a totally separate part of the base, meaning they won’t have to split range time. This provides more flexibility for scheduling matches.”

Camp Atterbury Indiana national guard NRA high power smallbore matches championships

The NRA has big plans for Camp Atterbury, envisioning that it will host other popular shooting disciplines, beyond the traditional NRA Smallbore and High Power events. According to Shooting Sports USA, in the future Camp Atterbury may host Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitions, 3-Gun Events, America’s Rifle Challenge matches and more. “The possibilities are limitless.”

NRA Competition center Camp Atterbury 2020 Shooting Sports USA

As part of the development of Camp Atterbury as a central hub for firearms competition, the current Camp Atterbury welcome center will be converted to a training center with “multiple training simulators” open to the public. At this training facility, jointly leased by the NRA and the Indiana National guard, visitors will be able to learn about a variety of shooting disciplines.

All Major Disciplines at Camp Atterbury in 2020
Starting in the summer of 2020, Camp Atterbury will host the NRA National Matches for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, and Precision Pistol. It will also continue to host the NRA Long Range Championship. This will consolidate multiple major National Championships all in one location.

How is Camp Atterbury as a match venue? Very good. Here is a report from a 2017 Nat’l Match competitor, as posted on Facebook:

Just got back from U.S. Nationals at Camp Atterbury … Here are my observations:

1. The range was outstanding. Facing the south wasn’t a problem.
2. On-base accommodations were great and inexpensive.
3. The base is only 45 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport.
4. The base is close to towns with restaurants and shopping.
5. The transportation to and from the pits [was in] air conditioned vans.
6. By all accounts the event ran smoothly.

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May 9th, 2019

CMP Small Arms Firing Schools in 2019

SAFS small arms firing school CMP marksmanship program

Want to learn marksmanship from top-flight instructors, with guns AND ammo provided? Then check out the CMP’s Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) program. The CMP will host several travel Small Arms Firing Schools this year. The programs include classroom instruction, range training, practice, and firing a service rifle match. Rifles and Ammunition will be provided by the CMP, as well as Kongsberg Electronic Targets. Visit the CMP website for additional information.

CMP Rifle SAFS Locations and Dates:

1. Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, June 8-9 | Eagle Creek, OR
2. Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, June 22-23 | Manassas, VA
3. National Matches, July 27-28 | Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
4. Oak Ridge Sportsman Association, August 24-25 | Oak Ridge, TN
5. Camp Ethan Allen, September 19 | Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, VT
6. Fort Hill Rifle & Pistol, September 28-29 | Keyser, WV
7. Oklahoma Cup & Games Matches, October 10 | Oklahoma City Gun Club, OK
8. Talladega 600 Matches, November TBD | CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, AL

SAFS small arms firing school CMP marksmanship program

SAFS is designed to train beginners on rifle essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Participants learn through classroom discussion and hands-on training At the conclusion of the course, participants fire in a real match, under the supervision of instructors. No previous knowledge in marksmanship is required for the course, with all experience levels welcome to attend.

SAFS small arms firing school CMP marksmanship program

CMP Provides Rifles and Ammo at Small Arms Firing Schools
At each SAFS, equipment, including rifles and ammunition, will be provided. Personal equipment, such as a shooting jacket or glove, will be permitted during the course as well. Participants are required to bring hearing protection and eye protection is strongly encouraged. Matches will be shot on the CMP’s traveling Electronic Targets (see video below):

SAFS Course Objectives
Led by certified military and/or civilian instructors, SAFS programs are structured toward teaching new shooters, so no past firearm experience is required, though intermediate and advanced marksmen are also welcome to participate. During the course, students will learn basic instruction and firing practices, competition skills and live range firing, as well as compete in a real Service Rifle EIC Match.

SAFS training class ar15 USAMU Amanda

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