May 21st, 2019

Brit Teen Excels with New Rifle She Helped Build

Bexi britain british UK Savage benchrest Diggle gunsmithing 1000-yard 6mmBr 6BR

How often does this happen — a teen-aged girl helps build her own long-range benchrest competition rifle. And then she wins her first 1000-yard match with that new pink rifle! And yes, she hand-loaded her own 6mmBR ammo (naturally). Here is the remarkable story of 15-year-old Bexi from Britain, courtesy TargetShooter Magazine.

Brit Teen Competes with Rifle She Helped Build

Bexi is a talented young British lady who was introduced to shooting by her father Nick. As part of a UK skills honors program, 15-year-old Bexi decided to help build a new Savage-action benchrest rifle.

Our friend Vince Bottomley reports: “The first time Bexi actually shot her rifle I also happened to be present and I couldn’t believe how well she adapted to the bench to shoot the 6BR cartridges she had loaded. It was time for her first competition with the rifle — the UKBRA’s opening 600-yard benchrest shoot. At the end of the day she actually finished in third place in Light Gun Class, beating a host of experienced guys — including me. It was an astonishing performance and one that she would repeat throughout the season. In fact, Bexi finished second place in the UKBRA Championship.”

Bexi britain british UK Savage benchrest Diggle gunsmithing 1000-yard 6mmBr 6BR
Bexi shoots her new rifle at 600 yards at the Diggle Ranges.

Bexi proved a “natural” at long range benchrest competition. At Bexi’s first 1000-yard match she beat all competitors, taking first place in Light Gun Class. Vince Bottomley reported from the range: “It’s a beautiful spring day, but the mirage is seriously blurring the target. Again I’m wondering — will she cope. Cope? I can’t believe it — Bexi lays down four sub-MOA groups and beats all of the Light Gun shooters with a superb 7-inch Agg at 1000! Wow!”

Bexi Helps Build 6mmBR Benchrest Rifle

Young Bexi helped build her great-shooting pink Light Gun as part of an honors program effort. In the UK, young persons age 14-24 can pursue special honors — the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards in three levels (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). See www.DOFE.org.*

A few years ago, Bexi started working towards her Bronze DofE award and opted to use shooting as a skill. She joined the Young Rascals Shooting Academy at the Diggle Ranges, progressing through rimfire to .223 centerfire, taking in a couple of adult F-Class shoots along the way.

Bexi britain british UK Savage benchrest Diggle gunsmithing 1000-yard 6mmBr 6BR
Gunsmith Pete Walker spins up Bexi’s barrel in the lathe, showing her how to chamber a barrel.

To help Bexi earn her Silver DofE Award, gunsmith friend Pete Walker WalkerRifles.co.uk offered to sponsor Bexi and help her build her own rifle. Bexi wanted to further her involvement with shooting and help construct her own rifle to shoot in benchrest competition with her father. Ambitious? Yes, but that is exactly what the DofE Award is all about — achieving something you wouldn’t think possible. Benchrest appealed to Bexi — because of the precision involved. And yes she earned her Silver DofE Medal!

In total, Bexi spent 58 hours in Pete’s workshop over several Saturdays. Clearly, the machining work required in building a rifle was beyond Bexi’s skill level but she was present at every stage and Pete made sure that she actually did get to cut metal on the lathe. Bexi also polished the barrel and helped with assembly as the barreled action was bedded into the benchrest stock.

Bexi britain british UK Savage benchrest Diggle gunsmithing 1000-yard 6mmBr 6BR

Rifle Specs: Savage Model 12 twin-port action, Benchmark 30″ barrel, Rifle Basics trigger, pink-painted laminated stock, Vortex Golden Eagle scope, and a custom butt-plate (hand-polished by Bexi).

Read Full Story with More Photos HERE »

Whilst the rifle was in its final stages of the build, it was time for Bexi to learn the art of reloading — under the close supervision of Dad Nick. Yes Bexi reloads all her ammunition. She preps her own brass, seats her own bullets, carries out a final weight check, make the entries in the reloading log, and enters the results and velocities from testing.

Vince comments: “When Bexi starts college and begins her Gold DofE Award efforts, she will continue shooting but now has ambitious plans to build a full custom rifle. Yes, Bexi wants a BAT but honestly, she’s doing pretty well with that Savage!”


*The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (commonly abbreviated DofE), is a youth awards program with three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in the following areas: Skills, Volunteering, Sport/Fitness, and Expedition. The DofE Award program was started in 1956, and now operates in over 140 countries along with the UK. As of 2017, over 6 million young people in the UK have taken part in the DofE programs, and 8 million worldwide. To achieve an award, the participant must work on each section for a minimum period of time, and must be monitored and assessed by qualified supervisors. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants: Bronze 3–6 months; Silver: 6–9 months; Gold: 12–18 months.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
May 21st, 2019

The Honed-Neck FL Sizing Die Option — Alternative to Bushings

Custom honed FL dies non-bushing die Forster

Tired of messing around with neck bushings? Is there a simpler (and potentially better) solution for controlling case neck tension? Yes there is — the precision honed non-bushing die.

You can purchase a Forster non-bushing Full-length sizing die for many popular cartridge types for under $50.00. Then you can send that die to Forster, and Forster will custom-hone the neck for a nominal $12 fee plus return shipping*. When done right, the honed FL die can load ultra-straight ammo with the precise next tension you prefer for your brass and bullet choice.

Alternative to Bushings — Honed Full-Length dies
Conventional, non-bushing full-length sizing dies can create ultra-accurate ammo with very low run-out. For some applications, we prefer a non-bushing FL die over a bushing die — so long as the neck tension is correct. But many FL dies have an undersized neck diameter so you end up with excess neck tension, and you work the brass excessively. Forster offers a simple, inexpensive solution — honing the neck diameter to whatever size you want*.

If you purchase a Forster non-bushing, full-length sizing die, Forster will hone the neck dimension to your specs for $12.00 extra (plus shipping). This way you can have a FL die that provides the right amount of tension for your particular load. (The max amount of diameter change Forster can do is about .008″) Forster dies are relatively inexpensive so you can afford to have a couple of FL dies with necks honed to different diameters — such as 0.266″ and 0.267″ for a no-turn 6mmBR. The die itself is fairly inexpensive — currently Precision Reloading charges $41.49 for a Forster 6mmBR FL sizing die (Forster Part #018121).


Forster FL dies, necks honed to .265″, .266″, and .267″.

Steve Rasmussen of IowaHighPower.com gave this a try. In fact, he had three dies made — each with a different neck dimension. Here’s his report: “My original Forster 6BR FL die sized the necks down a lot [to about 0.260″]. I sent my die in and asked if they could supply two more FL dies (for three total) to have the necks honed to 0.265″, 0.266″, and 0.267″.” In addition to the purchase cost of two more FL-sizing dies, Steve paid $36 ($12 per die) for the three dies to be honed.

Steve’s honed dies produced very straight loaded ammo:
“Brass springback after sizing is running 1 to 1.3 thousandths. My loaded rounds are running 0.2697-0.2699 using [older Gold Box Lapua brass]. So far the dies are working well. I sized 80 cases with the 0.266″ necked die. The shoulder is running 0.4582″ and 0.300″ up from the base is 0.4684". I spun 20 of ‘em and 16 had a runout of one thousandth (0.001) and the other 4 at 1.5 thousandths (0.0015).”

*Here is Forster’s description of its Die Honing Service:

We custom hone the inside neck diameter by using a diamond stoning process. We enlarge the inside diameter to your specification to prevent over-sizing of the case neck due to thick neck walls. You may require this service for multiple reasons: 1) If you use some brands of brass cases which have thicker neck walls. 2) If you do not intend to outside neck turn case necks that have thickened after repeated firings. Please specify desired inside neck diameter. Note: 1) No more than .008″ stock removal from your existing die neck diameter is possible. 2) Honing is done in increments of one half thousandth of an inch (.0005″), meaning that your specified inside diameter must be either.XXX0″ or .XXX5″. FEES: $12.00 plus actual return shipping cost & insurance Please allow 1-3 weeks.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 21st, 2019

New McMillan A-10 Stock for Smaller-Stature Shooters

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Not all rifle shooters are created equal…

Some have smaller stature. Ladies, on average, have smaller torsos and shorter arms than men. Junior shooters are also smaller than adults. For all these types of competitors, particularly ladies and juniors, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has created the new A-10 stock. This new stock is shorter, lighter, and more compact than other popular McMillan stocks, such as the A-5 and A-6. It has a modified, more-forward grip, and the LOP adjusts down to 12 inches.

The A-10 incorporates features of McMillan’s popular tactical stocks but in a more compact format to match the ergonomic needs of smaller-frame shooters. The new A-10 is a well-balanced tactical design that combines a thinner forearm like the A3-5, a butt hook similar to the A-5, and the sleek lines of the A-6.

The vertical grip is positioned further forward than other A-series stocks, which allows for a more relaxed 90-degree trigger finger placement and shorter trigger reach — perfect for shooters with smaller hands. The grip also features a small shelf to assist in consistent hand placement and reduce fatigue. To further accommodate smaller-frame shooters, the adjustable buttstock can deliver a length-of-pull as short as 12 inches. An adjustable cheek-riser ensures optimal head alignment.

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Britainy McMillan, McMillan VP of Operations, explained how the A-10 was developed:

“We consulted many of the top shooters in the country throughout the R&D process of the A-10, including Regina Milkovich, one of the top competitors in PRS competition. We wanted to know what the pros would like to see in a precision stock, and the result is the A-10.

We feel this is the optimal rifle platform not only for women and other small-stature shooters, but especially for the youth shooter. The overall design, coupled with full adjustability in length-of-pull and cheek piece height, provides a stock that younger shooters can ‘grow with and not grow out of.’ We also went with the A-10 designation because this is a totally new stock in the McMillan lineup.”

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »