May 12th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: 6mm BRA Practical Tactical Rifle for PRS

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex
That’s custom paint on the stock, NOT a Hydro-dip coating. Impressive paintwork!

Our Sunday GunDay showcase rifle belongs to Shane Sivertsen (aka SoDakDasher in our Forum). This eye-catching tactical rig was smithed by Travis Stevens at TS Customs in Miller, South Dakota. Shane tells us that Travis is a “top-notch builder who builds tack-driving rifles that are still extremely shooter-friendly. Plus he is one of the friendliest guys you’ll meet.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

This rifle features a Lone Peak Fuzion Action with Trigger Tech Diamond trigger (flat shoe). Up front is a Benchmark 26” MTU barrel chambered in 6mm BRA (a 40-degree 6mmBR Improved “BR Ackley”). It’s all nestled into a McMillan A5 stock with adjustable cheekpiece. Getting him on target is a Vortex Razor 4.5-27x56mm optic in Hawkins rings with a Vortex throw lever on the power ring for quick magnification changes. The Atlas PRS Bipod rides on an Area 419 ARCA rail up front. The barrel is finished off with a Piercision 5-Port Self-Timing Muscle Brake.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision VortexCustom Camo-Pattern Paint Job
All work on this rig was performed at TS Customs, including Cerakoting the action. The pattern on the McMillan A5 stock is NOT a hydro-dip! That is a custom Kryptek camo paint-job done in-house by a TS Customs employee. Shane liked the Kryptek pattern from day one: “It’s always a good thing to do something a little different to your equipment to stand apart from the rest of the pack.” Shane says the paint pattern is the first thing everyone notices about the rifle.

6mm BRA Chambering
Shane spent quite some time trying to decide which 6mm cartridge to choose. After much deliberation with Travis, he chose the 6mm BRA, mainly due to the reputation this little cartridge has earned for accuracy and ease of tuning. This rifle is Shane’s second TS Customs-crafted rifle: “the [other] is basically the same action/barrel combo but set in an MPA chassis and chambered in 6mm Dasher.”

Excellent Accuracy with Varget and Berger 105gr Hybrids
Shane’s 6mm BRA is showing impressive accuracy: “Thanks to Mother Nature this spring (with cold, snowy weather), I have only been able to get 100 rounds fire-formed and the barrel broken-in. I started with 30.5 grains Varget in Lapua BR brass with CCI 450s and topped off with Berger 105gr Hybrids. Velocity averaged 2830 FPS with an SD of 4.7 from 10 rounds randomly picked from the lot.”

Shane knows there’s still more load development to do. But this rifle is grouping under one-half MOA and Shane says the gun can definitely out-shoot his abilities. He admits it’s still a work in progress but he is happy with the gun’s performance so far.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

Shane praised his Piercision 5 port Muscle brake. Shane tells us: “While I am a suppressed shooter by preference, I wanted to give this brake a try. It works very well — the control and ability to stay on target for followups is remarkable. This brake works perfect on my 18-lb 6mm BRA and will be used indefinitely. Plus it will be a little payback to the other big-braked shooters on the line.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

While it’s still such a new toy, Shane doesn’t expect to make any modifications in the near future. However he says he might “upgrade to a Tangent Theta optic by the end of this season.”

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May 12th, 2019

Celebrate Mother’s Day Today

Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher michelle Sierra bullets Mid tompkins
Left to Right, Sherri Jo Gallagher, Mother Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher — All Champions.

Nancy Thomkins Sherri Jo GallagherHappy Mother’s Day
Today we want to wish Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms around the world. All of us must remember that we literally owe our lives and our well-being to our mothers, who brought us into the world. Without the love, support, caring, and nurturing of our mothers, none of us would be here. So to mothers everywhere, we say:

“Thank you. Bless you. May your lives be filled with happiness today and everyday.”

At the top is a cherished photograph of the one of the greatest moms in the shooting community, Nancy Tompkins, along with her two little girls (who both turned into pretty darn good shooters themselves). On Nancy’s right is Michelle Gallagher, multi-time National Long-Range Championship. On the left is Sherri Jo Gallagher, who was the second woman in history to capture the NRA National High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Who was the first woman ever to accomplish that feat? You guessed it — Nancy Tompkins, Sherri’s mom, was the first-ever female High Power Champion. Nancy is married to another great shooter, Mid Tompkins. This is truly America’s “First Family of shooting”.

Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher

Nancy Tompkins long range prone shooting bookNancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won the National Long Range Championship 5 times (1986, 1997, 1999, 2003, and 2015), the across-the-course National High Power Championship (1998), the Metric Smallbore Nationals (2012), and the Fullbore Nationals (2012). She has also been the Wimbledon Cup winner (1993) and a 7-time Leech Cup winner (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012). She has won both team and individual medals in the World Championships and has been on 8 Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Tompkins’ treatise, Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting, is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second Edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Topics include Mental and Physical training, Reading Wind and Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range.

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May 12th, 2019

Gun Safe Great Debate — Electronic Vs. Dial Locks

Cannon EMP dual lok
Dual-Lock Technology: Cannon offers an innovative combined digital/mechanical lock system. This dual-access lock provides the rapid access of an electronic lock backed up by the assurance of a manual (rotary dial) combination lock.

Electronic (Keypad) Lock vs. Manual (Rotary) Lock

Smart gun owners know they need a good, solid gun safe. But when choosing a gun safe, what kind of lock should you select — electronic or mechanical? Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you make the right choice for your needs and also get the most reliable performance from either type.

gunsafe gun safeGunsafes can be fitted with either an electronic keypad-style lock, or a conventional dial lock. In our Gunsafe Buyer’s Guide, we explain the important features of both dial and electronic lock systems. Many safe-makers will tell you that consumers prefer electronic locks for convenience. On the other hand, most of the locksmiths we’ve polled believe that the “old-fashioned” dial locks, such as the Sargent & Greenleaf model 6730, will be more reliable in the long run.

Here is the opinion of RFB from Michigan. He is a professional locksmith with over two decades of experience servicing locks and safes of all brands and types:

What a Professional Locksmith Says:
For the convenience of quick opening, the electronic locks can’t be beat. However, for endurance and years of trouble-free use, the electronics can’t compare with the dial lock.

I’ve earned my living, the past 22 years, servicing locks of all types. This includes opening safes that can’t otherwise be opened. I do warranty work for several safe manufacturers (including Liberty). What I’ve learned in all those years is that manual dial locks have very few problems. The most common is a loose dial ring which can shift either left or right, which will result in the index point being in the wrong place for proper tumbler alignment. This is simple to fix.

Electronic locks, however, can have all kinds of issues, and none (except bad key-pad) are easy to fix, and when one goes bad, it must be drilled into to open it. IMO, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ an electronic lock will ultimately fail, but a matter of ‘when’ it will fail. Over the past 10 years or so, since electronics have become more and more prevalent, I’ve had to drill open bad electronic locks vs. bad manual dial locks on a ratio of about 20-1.

My professional opinion is to get the manual dial lock, unless you’ve got a good friend who is a locksmith/safecracker.

How Secure is Your Lock?
RFB tells us that both dial and electronic locks offer good security, provided it’s a good quality lock made by LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, Amsec, or Kaba/Ilco. However, RFB warns that “Some of the ‘cheaper’ locks (both manual and electronic) however, are very simple to bypass.

An electronic lock that’s glued or ‘stuck’ to the door with double-sided tape, and has its ‘brain’ on the outside of the lock in the same housing as the keypad, and merely sends power to an inner solenoid via a pair of wires through the door, is a thief’s best friend. The good ones have the brain inside the safe, inaccessible from the outside.

No amateur can ‘manipulate’ either a good manual or electronic lock. Both give you a theoretical one million possible combinations. I say ‘theoretical’ because there are many combinations that cannot, or should not, be used. You wouldn’t set your combo on a dial lock to 01-01-01 etc., nor would you set an electronic to 1-1-1-1-1-1, or 1-2-3-4-5-6.”

Tips for Dial Locks
RFB notes that “The speed, and ease of use, of a manual dial lock can be improved upon, simply by having your combo reset using certain guidelines. Avoid high numbers above 50. Having a 1st number in the 40s, 2nd number anywhere from 0-25, and 3rd number between 25 and 35 will cut dialing time in half, without compromising security. (For mechanical reasons I won’t get into here, the 3rd number of a good manual dial lock cannot — or should not — be set to any number between 95 & 20).”

Tips for Electronic Locks
Electronic locks can have the combination changed by the user much more easily than dial locks. But, RFB explains: “That can be a double-edged sword. More than a few times I’ve had to drill open a safe with an electronic lock that has had the combo changed incorrectly by the user, resulting in an unknown number that nobody can determine. Also, don’t forget that electronic locks have a ‘wrong-number lock-out’. I would NOT rely on the normal quickness of an electronic 6-number combo in an emergency situation. If for any reason (panic etc.) you punch in the wrong number several times, the lock will shut down for a 5-minute ‘penalty’.

Replace Electronic Lock Batteries Every Year
To get the most life out of any electronic (keypad Lock), you should change the battery at least once a year, whether it needs it or not. Low voltage won’t necessarily shut down the lock, but using it in a low voltage situation is bad for the electronics, and eventually will cause lock failure. So, If you do nothing else to maintain your digital-lock safe, replace the battery every year. And get a fresh battery (with a release date) from the store — don’t just pull a battery out of a storage bin, even if it’s never been used. Old batteries can degrade, even when in storage.

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