January 31st, 2020

SHOT Show 2020 Video Showcase — Notable New Products

Shot Show 2020 Alien pistol rimfire action Jerry Miculek

With miles of aisles and thousands of new products, the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas is a near-overwhelming circus. There is so much to see, with scores of new products from around the globe. For this story, we start off with the official SHOT Show 2020 Day 4 Highlights video, a revealing look at the SHOT Show experience. Following that you’ll find six videos covering notable new products. Check out new Berger bullets, a new custom rimfire action, plus the radical new $5000 Laugo Alien pistol.

New RimX Rimfire Action with Rem 700 Footprint

We are always interested in new custom rimfire actions. With the growth of the NRL22 rimfire series, and potent rimfire varmint cartridges such as the .17 HMR and .17 WSM, we think the interest in rimfire custom rifles is growing. This video features the new RimX rimfire action. This features a Remington 700 footprint so it can fit a wide variety of stocks made for Rem 700s and Rem clones. That allows PRS guys to cross-train with a rimfire rifle that duplicates the ergonomics and feel of their centerfire match rifle.

Shot Show 2020 rimX rimfire action .22 LR 17 hmr .17 WSM

This RimX action has some very cool features, such as interchangeable bolt heads so it can shoot .22 LR, .17 HMR, and (soon) .17 WSM. RimX action MSRP is $1150.00. Each bolt face features a non-protruding extraction system that allows for a flat breach face barrel to be installed without the need for timed extractor relief. This will make barrel interchangeability and installation easier than ever

Berger Bullets — New LR Hybrid Target and Hunting Bullets

At SHOT Show 2020, the big news from Berger Bullets was the arrival of new Berger Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullets and hunting bullets. Berger now offers some seriously big LRHT Bullet. Before the show, Berger annouced the 7mm 190gr LRHT. At SHOT on Tuesday Berger showcased two new High-BC .30-Caliber LRHTs — the new 208gr and 220gr projectiles. All these LRHTs feature formed meplats for ultra-consistent BCs. In addition Berger unveiled two new heavy-for-caliber hunting bullets: The 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite hunter and the .30 Cal 245gr EOL Elite hunter. In this video, Emil Praslick III explains the features of the new LRHT projectiles.

Laugo Arms Alien — Radical Low Bore Axis Pistol Priced at $5000

Laugo Arms states that its Alien pistol has the lowest bore axis of current semi-auto handguns. The barrel is fixed — it does not tilt-up like most semi-autos. Having shot the Alien at Industry Day on 1/20/20, we can confirm that the low bore axis does reduce muzzle flip, allowing very fast follow-up shots. With a fixed center rib, only the sides of the slide move back and forth. Initially only 500 Alien Special Editions will be offered, at the insane price of $5000.00 per pistol. You read that right — $5000 USD. Of course, in a year or two standard models should be available for a fraction of that cost.

This Alien pistol has been hailed as revolutionary. However, the Heckler & Koch P7 series of pistols had most of the Alien’s notable features way back in 1976 — 44 years ago. Like the Alien, the P7m8 and PSP featured a fixed barrel, low bore axis, and gas-delayed blowback operated slide. The HK P7s also had a unique squeeze cocker grip that eliminated the need for a manual safety.

H&K unveiled fixed barrel, low bore axis P7 pistol in 1976, 44 years ago. Production began in 1979.
HK P7m8 PSP

Nightforce Wedge Prism — Gain Elevation for ELR Shooting

The Nightforce Wedge Prism is offered in two variants, 50 MOA or 100 MOA, that install forward of the riflescope to increase the effective elevation travel. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the riflescope by a precise elevation value, which directly adds to the available elevation travel within the riflescope. The Wedge Prism is designed to work optimally with 56mm front objectives. Nightforce says you can position two Wedge Prisms in parallel for maximum effect — up to 200 MOA total. These NF Wedge Prisms are pricey — MSRP is $990.00 for either the 50 MOA or 100 MOA version.

Nightforce Wedge Prism optic ELR Elevation device

Annealing Made Perfect — AMP Mark 2 and New Automated Press

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com checked out the latest offerings from Annealing Made Perfect (AMP), the state-of-the-art microprocessor-controlled induction case annealer. AMP is a New Zealand company run by father and son team Alex and Matt Findlay. Alex has extensive experience in the firearms industry while Matt is a talented engineer and product designer. Along with the AMP Mark 2 and accessories, Alex and Matt showed an advanced, servo-motor bullet seating machine with pressure sensors.

Jerry Miculek with New Mossberg JM 940 Pro Shotgun

GunsAmerica.com Editor True Pierce met with legendary shooter Jerry Miculek at SHOT Show 2020. Jerry showed the notable features of his new scattergun, the JM 940 Pro. This shotgun features a clean-running gas system, nickel boron-coated internal parts, and a competition-level loading port, elevator, and follower. For more info, check out the full article on GunsAmerica.com.

mossberg jm 940 miculek shotgun

Bonus — Ryan Cleckner Chats about Gun University

The Gun University Website is a new resource for firearms news and technical information. We recently highlighted Gun University’s report on important ITAR rule changes that will affect firearms manufacturers, parts makers, and gunsmiths. One of the key contributors to Gun University is Ryan Cleckner, a former Army Ranger sniper instructor, attorney, and author of the Long-range Shooting Handbook. In this video Ryan talks about Gun University, his NSSF video series, and his ideas for growing the shooting sports.

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January 31st, 2020

Six Strategies to Become a Better Pistol Shooter

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

At AccurateShooter.com, our primary focus is precision target shooting with rifles. But it’s definitely fun to shoot pistols too, and we bet most of our regular readers own handguns. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and have more fun with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, the light is better outdoors. Indoor ranges can be dark with lots of shadows, making it harder to see your target. Second, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Third, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment, particularly if you can get out on a weekday morning. Indoor ranges, at least in urban areas, tend to be crowded. Many also have poor ventilation. If you can make it to an outdoor range, you’ll be happy. Many outdoor ranges also have some steel pistol targets, which offer a fun alternative to paper. When shooting steel however, we recommend polymer encased or lead bullets to avoid ricochets.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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January 31st, 2020

Great American Outdoor Show February 1-9 in Harrisburg, PA

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra

The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine-day event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that celebrates hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families. Show organizers state this is the “world’s largest outdoor show”.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

The event will feature nine halls of guns, archery equipment, fishing tackle, boats, RVs and more. At booths, there will be more than 400 Outfitters and Boat Captains from around the world. Numerous seminars and special events will be held starting February 1st. A number of Outdoor Celebrities will appear at the Harrisburg Show. In addition, there will be a Rockin’ NRA Country Music concert.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

The NRA Foundation’s Wall of Guns returns to the Great American Outdoor Show this year. At the Wall of Guns, the NRA Gun Raffle will be held. Every day of the Show a winner is drawn for every 100 tickets sold. Winners may choose their firearm prizes from more than 40 different makes and models. With a number of different ticket packages ranging from $10 to $1,000, participants can increase their odds by purchasing multiple tickets. All net proceeds from Wall of Guns Raffles will benefit The NRA Foundation.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquetNRA Banquet on Thursday Evening
The Friends of NRA Banquet will be held Thursday, February 6 in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex’s Preferred Ballroom. The night of entertainment begins with doors opening at 6:00 pm. Attendees will have chances to win firearms, merchandise, and tailored hunts. This banquet raises money for national, state, and local programs that support America’s shooting heritage.

See a complete list of Show Activities at GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org. If you attend the Outdoor Show, we recommend you download the handy Mobile App for your smartphone.

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January 30th, 2020

Good News for Gunsmiths — Changes to ITAR Regulations

Federal Trump ITAT EAR commerce Dept. State gun firearms export regulation change

On January 23, 2020, the Trump administration published new rules that will significantly help the U.S. firearms industry and American gunsmiths. The new regulations officially take effect on March 9, 2020.

The rule changes modify export control of American firearms, as well as related parts, components, and accessories. Under the new Federal rules, export of common firearms and parts will now be controlled by the Department of Commerce, NOT by the Department of State under its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Those draconian ITAR provisions had adversely affected small parts manufacturers and gunsmiths through hefty fees and burdensome paperwork even if they did not actually ship guns overseas.

Gun author Ryan Cleckner explains: “Up until this change, the Department of State regulated exports of most firearms and their related parts, ammo, and information through [ITAR] which contain a list of covered firearm types called the United States Munitions List (USML). The USML includes all rifles, handguns, and short-barreled shotguns. The Department of Commerce, on the other hand, has the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which regulates the export of all firearm types on a list, called the Commerce Control List (CCL), including regular shotguns (those with a barrel length of at least 18″) and their related parts, ammo, and information.”

Cleckner summarizes the key regulatory changes in a 1/20/2020 Gun University Article:

1. Manufacturers will no longer have to pay a $2,250 annual registration fee.
2. No long approval process [for exports].
3. No Congressional approval needed for deals over $1 million.
4. Easier sharing of technical information for designs/R&D.

Gun University Ryan Cleckner Federal Trump ITAT EAR commerce Dept. State gun firearms export regulation change

We caution our readers that these gun export regulatory changes do NOT alter domestic gun control laws in America. And gun exports are still subject to government oversight. However, Cleckner explains: “Instead of dealing with the ITAR rules and State Department licensing, the firearms industry will be able to use the more efficient export system through the Department of Commerce for most firearms. Certain firearms, like machine guns, will still stay under State Department control (under ITAR).”

According to the NRA-ILA: “No more will small, non-exporting businesses — including gunsmiths — be caught up in an expansive regulatory scheme for manufacturers of ‘munitions’ and their parts that requires a $2,250 annual registration fee with U.S. State Department. Americans will again be free to publish most technical information about firearms and ammunition — including on the publicly-accessible Internet — without fear of accidentally running afoul of State Department restrictions that could land them in federal prison.”

The new regulations will simplify overseas travel by hunters and competition shooters. Americans temporarily traveling overseas with their own guns and ammunition won’t have to register them in a government database or fill out commercial exporting forms.

Federal Trump ITAT EAR commerce Dept. State gun firearms export regulation change

Meanwhile, commercial exporters of non-military grade firearms and ammunition will have fewer fees to pay and will benefit from a more flexible, business-oriented regulatory environment. But note, actual exports of firearms and ammunition will still require authorization/licensing by the federal government. End-users of the guns in the countries of destination will also remain subject to U.S. monitoring.

The NRA-ILA observes: “This latest action is just one more example of how President Trump continues to move forward with his positive agenda to protect the right to keep and bear arms and the businesses that comprise America’s firearms industry. American manufacturing, as well as lawful firearm ownership at home and abroad, stand to make big gains under the president’s export reform initiative.”

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January 30th, 2020

Airline Travel With Rifles — Important Advice for Travelers

travel air berger SWN southwest nationals rifle transport
Berger SWN Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher

The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), 2020’s biggest centerfire rifle match west of the Mississippi, is coming up next week. We know that many of our regular readers will be flying to Phoenix to attend the SWN. Here are some travel tips from experts in the industry.

If you’ll be traveling by air in the days ahead, be careful when transporting firearms through airports. It is important that you comply with all Homeland Security, TSA, and Airline policies when transporting guns and ammunition. Following the rules will help ensure you (and your gear) make it to your destination without hassles, delays or (God forbid), confiscations.

berger SWN Air Travel FAA TSA rules

Good Advice from an Airport Police Officer
To help our readers comply with rules and regulations for air travel, we offer these guidelines, courtesy “Ron D.”, a member of our Shooters’ Forum. Before he retired, Ron D. served as a Police Officer assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Here Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics.

gun transport caseFirst, Ron explains that airport thieves can spot bags containing firearms no matter how they are packaged: “Don’t think you’re safe if your guns are placed in cases designed for golf clubs or trade show items. Baggage is X-Rayed now and cases are tagged with a special bar code if they contain firearms. It doesn’t take long for bad guys to figure out the bar coding for firearms.”

Carry-On Your Scopes and Expensive Items
Ron advises travelers to avoid placing very expensive items in checked baggage: “When traveling by air, carry on your rangefinder, spotting scope, rifle scope, medications, camera, etc. You would be surprised at the amount of people that carry-on jeans and shirts, but put expensive items in checked baggage. Better to loose three pairs of jeans than some expensive glass.”

Mark Bags to Avoid Confusion
Ron notes that carry-on bags are often lost because so many carry-on cases look the same. Ron reports: “People do accidentally remove the wrong bag repeatedly. I frequently heard the comment, ‘But it looks just like my bag’. When de-planing, keep an eye on what comes out of the overhead that your bag is in. It’s easy to get distracted by someone that has been sitting next to you the whole flight. I tie two streamers of red surveyors’ tape on my carry-on bag.” You can also use paint or decals to make your carry-on bag more distinctive.

General Advice for Air Travelers
Ron cautions: “Keep your hands on your items before boarding. One of the most often heard comments from theft victims was, ‘I just put my computer down for a minute while I was on the phone.’ Also, get to the baggage claim area quickly. If your family/friends can meet you there, so can the opportunists. Things do get lost in the claim area. Don’t be a Victim. Forewarned is forearmed.”

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case

Forum member David C., who will compete at the 2020 Berger SWN, offers this advice: “If you plan to fly with your rifle, a 55″-long case such as the Pelican 1770 may be too big and heavy. The 1770 is 36 pounds on its own and is quite unwieldly to move around. I would recommend going with a smaller case such as the Pelican 1720 with 42″-long interior. It weighs 19 pounds and if you separate your stock from the barreled action, everything fits just fine, as you can see below.” Editor: Note that you can also store a full-size spotting scope in the case along with your rifle:

travel air berger SWN southwest nationals rifle transport

Retired Airport Police Officer Ron D. advises: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country and arrive with a damaged rifle. Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Great Deals on Plano All-Weather Cases at Amazon

plano tactical rifle case

Match season has begun, and that means hauling gear either in cars or on planes. Either way you need good cases for your firearms. We found the Plano All Weather Gun Cases at bargain prices. These are well-built and designed to protect whatever you put in them for a third the cost of some other brands. No Plano cases are not as refined as Pelican or SKB cases, but if you’re on a tight budget, the Planos can do the job. Read this article for more information on Plano cases.

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January 30th, 2020

Can You Predict Useful Barrel Life? Insights from Dan Lilja

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Barrel-maker Dan Lilja’s website has an excellent FAQ page that contains a wealth of useful information. On the Lilja FAQ Page as you’ll find informed answers to many commonly-asked questions. For example, Dan’s FAQ addresses the question of barrel life. Dan looks at factors that affect barrel longevity, and provides some predictions for barrel life, based on caliber, chambering, and intended use.

NOTE: This article was very well-received when it was first published last year. We are reprising it for the benefit of readers who missed it the first time.

Dan cautions that “Predicting barrel life is a complicated, highly variable subject — there is not a simple answer. Signs of accurate barrel life on the wane are increased copper fouling, lengthened throat depth, and decreased accuracy.” Dan also notes that barrels can wear prematurely from heat: “Any fast varmint-type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups.”

Q. What Barrel Life, in number of rounds fired, can I expect from my new barrel?

A: That is a good question, asked often by our customers. But again there is not a simple answer. In my opinion there are two distinct types of barrel life. Accurate barrel life is probably the type most of us are referencing when we ask the question. But there is also absolute barrel life too. That is the point where a barrel will no longer stabilize a bullet and accuracy is wild. The benchrest shooter and to a lesser extent other target shooters are looking at accurate barrel life only when asking this question. To a benchrest shooter firing in matches where group size is the only measure of precision, accuracy is everything. But to a score shooter firing at a target, or bull, that is larger than the potential group size of the rifle, it is less important. And to the varmint hunter shooting prairie dog-size animals, the difference between a .25 MOA rifle or one that has dropped in accuracy to .5 MOA may not be noticeable in the field.

The big enemy to barrel life is heat. A barrel looses most of its accuracy due to erosion of the throat area of the barrel. Although wear on the crown from cleaning can cause problems too. The throat erosion is accelerated by heat. Any fast varmint-type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups. A cartridge burning less powder will last longer or increasing the bore size for a given powder volume helps too. For example a .243 Winchester and a .308 Winchester both are based on the same case but the .308 will last longer because it has a larger bore.

And stainless steel barrels will last longer than chrome-moly barrels. This is due to the ability of stainless steel to resist heat erosion better than the chrome-moly steel.

Barrel Life Guidelines by Caliber and Cartridge Type
As a very rough rule of thumb I would say that with cartridges of .222 Remington size you could expect an accurate barrel life of 3000-4000 rounds. And varmint-type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this.

For medium-size cartridges, such as the .308 Winchester, 7×57 and even the 25-06, 2000-3000 rounds of accurate life is reasonable.

Hot .224 caliber-type cartridges will not do as well, and 1000-2500 rounds is to be expected.

Bigger magnum hunting-type rounds will shoot from 1500-3000 accurate rounds. But the bigger 30-378 Weatherby types won’t do as well, being closer to the 1500-round figure.

These numbers are based on the use of stainless steel barrels. For chrome-moly barrels I would reduce these by roughly 20%.

The .17 and .50 calibers are rules unto themselves and I’m pressed to predict a figure.

The best life can be expected from the 22 long rifle (.22 LR) barrels with 5000-10,000 accurate rounds to be expected. We have in our shop one our drop-in Anschutz barrels that has 200,000 rounds through it and the shooter, a competitive small-bore shooter reported that it had just quit shooting.

Remember that predicting barrel life is a complicated, highly variable subject. You are the best judge of this with your particular barrel. Signs of accurate barrel life on the wane are increased copper fouling, lengthened throat depth, and decreased accuracy.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Benchrest Barrel Life — You May Be Surprised
I thought it might be interesting to point out a few exceptional Aggregates that I’ve fired with 6PPC benchrest rifles with barrels that had thousands of rounds through them. I know benchrest shooters that would never fire barrels with over 1500 shots fired in them in registered benchrest matches.

I fired my smallest 100-yard 5-shot Aggregate ever in 1992 at a registered benchrest match in Lewiston, Idaho. It was a .1558″ aggregate fired in the Heavy Varmint class. And that barrel had about 2100 rounds through it at the time.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Another good aggregate was fired at the 1997 NBRSA Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona during the 200-yard Light Varmint event. I placed second at this yardage with a 6PPC barrel that had over 2700 rounds through it at the time. I retired this barrel after that match because it had started to copper-foul quite a bit. But accuracy was still good.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

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January 29th, 2020

New WiFi and Rigid Teslong Borescopes Reviewed

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Teslong Borescopes Update — WiFi and Rigid Rod Versions
Product Report by F-Class John
Not more than a few months after the Teslong corded borescope hit the market to massive applause they’ve released a cordless WiFi-enabled corded version as well as a rigid rod model — two new models with important new features/functionality. When I originally reviewed the Teslong borescope I was blown away with the value, clarity, and ease of use. SEE Review HERE. That original Teslong really was a game changer in the borescope market. The large number of forum threads springing up since the Teslong release shows that that digital borescopes have finally found a large and enthusiastic customer base.

IMPORTANT: Guys — Watch the Videos!!! John does a great job showing the set-up and use of these Borescopes. You really need to WATCH THE VIDEOS! They show much more than we can illustrate with still images.

Teslong Rigid Borescope

Teslong WiFi Borescope

Teslong Basic Borescope

NOTE: The WiFi Teslong Borescope can also be ordered for $74.99 from the Teslong Webstore.

WiFi Teslong Works with SmartPhones and Tablets

Despite all the love people have shown for the original, plug-in Teslong borescope, one common complaint was that it could not be used with smartphones or small tablets. With that in mind, Teslong surprised the market with the release of a cordless WiFi version that works with just about any device that has a WiFi connection. The new WiFi unit, which is in very high demand, costs around $75, just $25 more than the original plug-in version. NOTE –YES this WiFi unit DOES work with both iOS (Apple) and Android smartphones and tablets. However, you may wish to try a couple different Apps.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

To use the WiFi Teslong, simply download Teslong’s viewer App, turn the unit on and connect to the Teslong WiFi in your device settings. While it does take a couple steps to connect each time, you are rewarded with a cordless version that can be used at home or the range equally well. Watch the video and you can see how the Wifi unit is set up and how it is used to inspect both a barrel and a sizing die. Do watch the video — it explains all. Along with live video feed, the WiFi control handle has a button to record still images.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Important — some guys had initial problems getting the WiFi image to display on their smartphones but that was normally just a software configuration issue. If you are patient, and follow the instructions, you should be fine. Some older guys had to enlist the aid of a 10-year-old grandkid. Note, as of 1/29/2020, the WiFi Version is temporarily out of stock on Amazon, but it can be ordered for $74.99 from the Teslong Webstore.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

New Teslong Rigid Rod Borescope

Along with the WiFi version, Teslong has also released a borescope with the lens mounted on the end of a rigid metal shaft — a configuration similar to classic optical borescopes such as the Hawkeye. This new “shafty” Teslong has the same electro-optical sensors, connectors, and adjustable light as the original Teslong. However, this new rigid rig now uses a solid rod instead of a flexible cable. Having a solid rod makes using the unit much easier since you’re not fighting the cable. The rod also makes rotating the unit inside the bore more intuitive as it lacks the cable spring back of the flexible version.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Located on the borescope is an inch scale allowing the user to easily to measure how far into the bore they’ve gone for easy identification of any issues later. The whole unit comes in a nice heavy-duty cardboard tube that makes it easy to store and I can see it lasting as long as the unit itself.

Why choose the rigid Teslong? Importantly, the lack of a tethered cord allows you to rotate the unit more easily inside the barrel. Compared to the original corded Teslong, I did find that running the rigid borescope down the barrel without the mirror provided a larger view. That may be beneficial to some users. Overall, the optical clarity and definition remain excellent — certainly on par with the original unit.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

General Teslong Borescope User Tips
The new Wifi and Rigid Teslong borescope share some basic features with the original plug-in, corded Teslong. All three devices feature a mirror on the end that screws on and has a jam nut to keep it in place and can be adjusted for focal length based on the caliber and they’re now including several extras in case of damage or loss. While they’ve always been good about replacing them free of charge there is a wait time, so the inclusion of extras is a nice bonus.

SUMMARY — Both WiFi and Rigid Teslong Borescopes Perform Well, Are Great Values
Overall these two new units are great additions to Teslong’s lineup giving users two great units to choose from. While most folks may gravitate to the WiFi version, I think there’s room for all three models (WiFi, Corded Plug-in, Rigid Plug-in).

Many people may find the corded or rigid versions more practical for around the house where they don’t necessarily need the cordless version and don’t want to worry about keeping it charged all the time. For any range use or out of town matches the WiFi with its smaller footprint and ability to work with any electronic device will probably make more sense and will help justify the additional cost. In the end, the amazing thing is that no matter which version you choose you’ll have a great borescope that will help improve your shooting.

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January 29th, 2020

The Dummy Round — Why You Need One for Chambering

Gre Tannel GreTan, Gre-Tan Rifles dummy round chambering gunsmith reamer chamber

How and Why to Create a Dummy Round
When you have a new custom rifle built, or a new barrel fitted to an existing rifle, it makes sense to create a dummy round. This should have your preferred brass and bullet types, with the bullet positioned at optimal seating depth. A proper dummy round helps the gunsmith set the freebore correctly for your cartridge, and also ensure the proper chamber dimensions.

Respected machinist, tool-maker, and gunsmith Greg Tannel of Gre-Tan Rifles explains: “I use the dummy round as a gauge to finish cut the neck diameter and throat length and diameter so you have [optimal] clearance on the loaded neck and the ogive of the bullet just touches the rifling.” He recommends setting bullet so the full diameter is just forward of the case’s neck-shoulder junction. “From there”, Greg says, “I can build you the chamber you want… with all the proper clearances”.

Greg Tannel has created a very helpful video showing how to create a dummy round. Greg explains how to measure and assemble the dummy and how it will be used during the barrel chambering process. Greg notes — the dummy round should have NO Primer and No powder. We strongly recommend that every rifle shooter watch this video. Even if you won’t need a new barrel any time soon, you can learn important things about freebore, leade, and chamber geometry.

This has been a very popular video, with 244,000 views. Here are actual YouTube comments:

That is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. Thank you sir. — P. Pablo

Nice video. You do a very good job of making this easy for new reloaders to understand. I sure wish things like this were available when I started reloading and having custom rifles built. Once again, great job, and your work speaks for itself. — Brandon K.

Beautiful job explaining chambering clearances. — D. Giorgi

Another Cool Tool — The Stub Gauge

When you have your gunsmith chamber your barrel, you can also have him create a Stub Gauge, i.e. a cast-off barrel section chambered like your actual barrel. The stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Stub Gauge Gunsmithing chamber gage model barrel

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 29th, 2020

Jumbo Playing Card Targets — FREE to Download

NRA Playing Card targets

With the NRA Convention coming up next week, we thought we’d provide some cool targets, courtesy of the NRA. The NRA Blog has published a nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.

On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. That should provide extra challenge for those of you with very accurate rifles. Enjoy these targets.


Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:

NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
January 28th, 2020

The M1 Garand — Legendary American .30-06 Springfield Rifle

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry
M1 Garand Springfield Armory July 1941 production. Facebook photo by Shinnosuke Tanaka.

My father carried a Garand in WWII. That was reason enough for me to want one. But I also loved the look, feel, and heft of this classic American battle rifle. And the unique “Ping” of the ejected en-bloc clip is music to the ears of Garand fans. Some folks own a Garand for the history, while others enjoy competing with this old war-horse. Around the country there are regular competition series for Garand shooters, and the CMP’s John C. Garand Match is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry every year. This year’s Garand Match will be held Saturday, August 1, 2020. SEE CMP 2020 NM Calendar.

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry

The CMP also has a John C. Garand Match each June as part of the D-Day Competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Here’s a video from the inaugural Talladega D-Day Event in 2015. This year’s Talladega D-Day Matches run June 3-7, 2020.

Watch Prone Stage from the Inaugural Talladega D-Day Match in 2015

M1 Garand Manual

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual, included with CMP rifles, is available for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen. I highly recommend it.”

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

M1 Garand Slow-Motion Shooting Video

What really happens when an M1 Garand fires the final round and the En-Bloc clip ejects with the distinctive “Ping”? Well thanks to ForgottenWeapons.com, you can see for yourself in super-slow-motion. The entire cycling process of a Garand has been captured using a high-speed camera running at 2000 frames per second (about sixty times normal rate). Watch the clip eject at the 00:27 time-mark. It makes an acrobatic exit, spinning 90° counter-clockwise and then tumbling end over end.

2000 frame per second video shows M1 Garand ejecting spent cartridges and En-bloc clip.

M1 Garand History

Jean Cantius Garand, also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953. At Springfield Armory Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round. It took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured.

John Jean C. Garand M1

Credit: NPS Photo, public domain

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January 28th, 2020

Watch Armaggedon Gear AG Cup on Shooting USA This Week

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Precision Rifle fans should watch Shooting USA this week. On Wednesday, January 29th, Shooting USA offers a special full-hour edition devoted to the inaugural Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational. The first-ever AG Cup showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent. Twenty of the nation’s top PRS/NRL marksmen were invited to a two-day event at the Arena Training Facility in Georgia. $41,000 in prize money was up for grabs, with the overall match winner guaranteed twenty thousand ($20,000) in cash!

Shooting USA runs on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central.
No Outdoor Channel on cable? Then you can subscribe to Stream the Broadcast on the internet
.

Armageddon Gear Website | Arena Training Facility Website

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

During this week’s Shooting USA special, John Scoutten and Armageddon Gear’s Tom Fuller report the action and interview top precision rifle shooters. The Grand Prize of $20,000 was awarded for the best overall score, based on accuracy and time. In addition, the winner of each of the 20 stages received a $1000 cash prize — serious money. During the show, you can watch the competitors adapt to challenging stage set-ups and weather conditions. With $1000 at stake for each stage, a single miss can cost big money on the firing line.

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Side Match with TN Twister Target
At the inaugural AG Cup, there was a side match with a $500 prize for the competitor who hit all five TN Twister Target plates in the shortest time. The side-match employed a modular target system from Innovative Target. This system can mount TN Twister or TN Revolver multi-plate rigs, which bolt on to the IRT Head. This provides interesting challenges quite different from a static PRS plate target.

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.space.

arena training facility Georgia

Armaggedon Gear — Tactical Accessories
Armageddon Gear, founded by former U.S. Army Ranger Tom Fuller, sells support bags, gun cases, slings, suppressor covers, scope covers, and a wide variety of other accessories popular with the PRS/NRL crowd. Armageddon Gear now provides products to the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, as well as PRS/NRL competitors.

Armageddon Gear Game-Changer Bag
Game Changer PRS bag

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January 28th, 2020

Advanced Mark 7 Progressive Loading Machines from Lyman

Lyman Products mark 7 reloading progressive press autodrive evolution

Are you ready to upgrade from a Dillon, Hornady, or RCBS progressive press? Then you should check out the advanced ammunition production machines from Mark 7, a division of Lyman Products. Whether you choose a manual Mark 7, or an autodrive-equipped unit, you will be stepping up to a whole new level of precision and productivity.

The Mark 7 Evolution is a 10-stage manual loading press with many features not normally found with traditional progressives. The Mark 7 Evolution can be upgraded with additional sensors and an Autodrive that can significantly increase production rate. After you acquire a Mark 7 Evolution, you can later upgrade to the Autodrive and other enhancements. The Mark 7 Evolution 10-stage Manual Loading machine costs $2,995.00 while the Mark 7 Evolution Autodrive upgrade is $1,994.95. Optional sensors include a Wired Remote Stop, DecapSense, SwageSense, PrimerSense, PowderCheck, BulletSense, and a Primer Orientation Sensor.

Lyman Products mark 7 reloading progressive press autodrive evolution

The Evolution comes with an 11-inch case feeder, a mechanical powder measure, and a standard stacked priming system. It supports calibers from .380 ACP to .30-06 Springfield and works on new and used brass. It also supports one-pass rifle/pistol processing and loading. The manual hand-operation is ambidextrous and the handle itself was designed by a medical device engineer for an ergonomic hold and a smooth press operation. The Evolution is manufactured from CNC-machined aluminum and steel for consistent and precise loading every time.

Increase Production Output with Mark 7 Evolution Autodrive
The Mark 7 Evolution Autodrive increases bullet production for up to 3,500 rounds an hour* by automating the Evolution manual press. It comes with a 10-inch high definition tablet and mount and JamSense and TorqueSense sensor systems.

Lyman Products mark 7 reloading progressive press autodrive evolution

The Autodrive features a high-torque motor, maintenance-free timing belt drive, and CNC-grade planetary gearbox. It is microprocessor-controlled with a digital clutch making it adjustable on the fly. All features are monitored through a computer with downloadable software upgrades. Production rates are user-selectable up to 3,500 rounds/hour (depending on model).

Lyman Products mark 7 reloading progressive press autodrive evolution

*Speeds vary based on machine settings.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 27th, 2020

Bargain Finder 227: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Ruger American Predator with Optic, $579.97

ruger american

Check out this deal on a Ruger American Predator with Vortex 4-12x44mm scope. Get the popular Ruger American Predator rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor plus a quality Vortex scope and rings — all for $579.97. (Other chamberings are available for slightly higher price). This set-up could be a great first hunting rifle for a family member. NOTE: If you want just the scope, buy it from MidwayUSA for $169.99 AND get a $40.00 Midway Gift Certificate. Or buy the rifle only for $429.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse

2. Bruno Shooters Supply — Jewell Trigger Discounts, FREE S/H

jewell triggers

Browse the forums and you’ll see that Jewell triggers continue to dominate the competition market and for good reason. They’re reliable, cost-effective, and easily adjustable (down to a couple ounces for some models). If you’re in the market for a new trigger head over to Bruno’s for the new lower prices and free shipping on all Jewell triggers in stock.

3. Grabagun — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $359.99

Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

The Ruger Precision Rimfire is impressive for the $359.99 retail price. The barrel attaches with an AR15-style barrel nut, which aids accuracy. The trigger adjusts down to 2.4 pounds. American Rifleman Magazine got 0.56″ average 5-shot groups with Eley Contact Target ammo at 50 yards. This rimfire rig offers a turn-key .22 LR solution for NRL22 competitors, and modular rifle fans. The Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle offers adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, AR-style grip, free-floating M-Lok fore-end, and an 18″ barrel (1:16″ twist) pre-threaded for brakes or suppressor.

4. Amazon — Mitutoyo Digital Calipers, $102.65

mitutoyo calipers

Precision reloading demands quality measuring devices. And you’ll definitely need quality calipers for a multitude of measuring tasks. Whether you’re measuring bullets, brass, or any other components, you need a precise and repeatable set of calipers. Yes you can get cheap calipers, but if you can afford it, we think it make sense to get quality calipers. These Mitutoyo digital calipers are about as good as you can get. Grab a pair for $102.65 and never question your measurements again.

5. Area 419 — Blem Product Sale — Big Savings

area 419

Area 419 offers some of the best AutoTrickler parts, muzzle brakes and other PRS equipment on the market. Now you can grab all kinds of gear during the Area 419 Blem Sale. You’ll find great savings on fully functional products that may have slight cosmetic flaws or blemishes that don’t negatively impact performance/function in any way. Since you may scratch these tools during normal use in short order, why not enjoys significant savings by getting a blem version?

6. Palmetto State Armory — Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, $299.99

smith wesson 9mm

Smith & Wesson continues to make some of the best handguns on the market. Here’s your chance to pick one up at a super-affordable price. Palmetto State Armory (PSA) is selling the 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield for only $299.99. You can save up to $200 compared to other sellers, making this an exceptional deal on a very good handgun with a stellar S&W lifetime warranty.

7. Amazon — Walker Razor Slim Ear Muffs, $39.08

walker ear muffs

We can’t stress enough the importance of proper hearing protection — even just a few minutes of high-decibel excessive sound exposure can cause permanent hearing loss. Plugs or conventional muffs work great, but electronic muffs offer major advantages — you can hear range commands and converse with fellow shooters while still protecting your hearing. Here’s a great deal — get Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Hearing Protection Muffs with Sound Amplification and Suppression for less than $40. These quality electronic muffs have a 23 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).

8. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Slingshot Rest, $129.97

bald eagle front rifle rest

Maybe you’re just getting into F-Class or just need a good stable front rest to shoot from and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one. Don’t worry because Grizzly now has the Bald Eagle BE1129 aluminum slingshot rest for an amazingly low $129.97 close-out price. Just add your favorite front bag and you’re ready to go with a competition quality elevation adjustable rest. They also have the Bald Eagle BE1209 – Big Fifty Rest on sale now for $176.97 close-out price. With a much wider span and cast-iron legs, the Big Fifty is designed for larger guns up to .50 caliber. Either way, these rests are a great value.

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 27th, 2020

Rimfire 101 — What Causes Misfires and How to Prevent Them

rimfire Ammo 22 plinkster cheaper than dirt

“22 Plinkster” is an avid shooter who has produced a number of entertaining videos for his YouTube Channel. In the video below, he tackles the question “Why Do Misfires Occur in .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition?” This is the most common question posed to 22 Plinkster by his many viewers. He identifies four main issues that can cause .22 LR misfires or faulty ignition:

1. Damaged Firing Pin — The dry firing process can actually blunt or shorten the firing pin, particularly with older rimfire firearms. Use of snap caps is recommended.

2. Poor Ammunition — Some cheap brands have poor quality control. 22 Plinkster recommends using ammo from a manufacturer with high quality control standards, such as CCI and Federal.

3. Age of Ammunition — Rimfire ammo can function well for a decade or more. However the “shelf life” of rimfire ammunition is not infinite. You ammo’s “lifespan” will be shortened by heat, moisture, and humidity. You should store your rimfire ammo in a cool, dry place.

4. Mishandling of Ammunition — Tossing around ammunition can cause problems. Rough handling can cause the priming compound to be dislodged from the rim. This causes misfires.

Preventing misfires is essential if you want to succeed in NRL22 competition and other rimfire competition disciplines run “on the clock”.

rimfire Ammo 22 plinkster cheaper than dirt

Top Image courtesy Cheaper Than Dirt Shooters Log.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 27th, 2020

Gun Range Etiquette — Key Advice for Safe Shooting Sessions

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules

There are important safety and behavior rules you need to follow at a gun range. Sometimes bad range etiquette is simply annoying. Other times poor gun-handling practices can be downright dangerous. The NRA Blog has published a useful article about range safety and “range etiquette”. While these tips were formulated with indoor ranges in mind, most of the points apply equally well to outdoor ranges. You may want to print out this article to provide to novice shooters at your local range or club.

8 Tips for Gun Range Etiquette

Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Here are eight tips on range etiquette to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying your day [at the range]. Special thanks to NRA Headquarters Range General Manager Michael Johns who assisted with this article.

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:

2. Bring Safety Gear (Eye and Ear Protection)
Eye and Ear protection are MANDATORY for proper safety and health, no matter if “required” by range rules or not. It is the shooter’s responsibility to ensure proper protection is secured and used prior to entering/using any range. Hearing loss can be instantaneous and permanent in some cases. Eyesight can be ruined in an instant with a catastrophic firearm failure.

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules

3. Carry a Gun Bag or Case
Common courtesy and general good behavior dictates that you bring all firearms to a range unloaded and cased and/or covered. No range staff appreciates a stranger walking into a range with a “naked” firearm whose loaded/unloaded condition is not known. You can buy a long gun sock or pistol case for less than $10.

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all “range specific” rules/requirements/expectations set forth by your range. What’s the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass? Are you required to take a test before you can shoot? Don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions or tell them it’s your first time. They’re there to help.

5. Follow ALL Range Officer instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing/debating with a Range Officer is both in poor taste and may just get you thrown out depending on circumstances.

6. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. Shooters have the right and responsibility to call for a cease fire should a SERIOUS safety event occur. Handling/touching another shooter’s firearm without their permission is a major breech of protocol. Offering unsolicited “training” or other instructional suggestions to other shooters is also impolite.

7. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). The Range Officer(s) on duty will give instructions from that point and/or secure all firearms prior to going downrange if needed. ROs do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation, possibly in a stressful event; they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly so that they can then control the situation as they see fit.

8. Clean Up After Yourself
Remember to take down your old targets, police your shooting booth, throw away your trash, and return any equipment/chairs, etc. Other people use the range too; no one wants to walk up to a dirty lane.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 26th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Six Field Rifles from SHOT Show 2020

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM
Volquartsen Summit rifle in Victor Company Titan aftermarket stock in Kryptec Camo.

There were thousands of rifles on display at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas. We saw scores of ARs, and countless metal chassis rifles. But there were plenty of excellent field rifles with more conventional stocks. Here are our Editors’ “Pick Six” — a half-dozen stocked rifles which impressed us with their design, components, features, and “bang for the buck”. Many of these rigs feature aluminum actions and/or carbon-wrapped barrels for weight savings. We’re please to see rifle-makers employing modern materials to reduce weight for hunting rifles carried in the field.

Seekins Precision — Havak Element Super-Light

Seekins Precision Superlight

During Industry Day at the Range we met our friend Stan Pate, an ace F-Class shooter and avid hunter who was on assignment for Guns.com. Stan told us to check out the Seekins Precision Havak Element. This rifle features a high-grade 7075 aluminum action, spriral-fluted barrel, and carbon composite stock. With those components it weighs just 5.5 pounds without optics! The action also has a unique built-in bubble level (see below).

Seekins Precision Superlight

Stan Pate praised the Seekins Havak Element: “One thing I appreciate is quality. There’s something you can tell about a rifle as soon as you put it in your shoulder and cycle the bolt a few times and try the trigger. And then you shoot this rifle… it’s VERY accurate and just a solid hunting rifle. The tolerances [are] tighter than normal production rifles, which gives you a high-end rifle feel. And the accuracy follows through with that perception. The action is quite stout and ‘smooth as butter’.”

Christensen Arms — Ranger 22 Rimfire

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

At SHOT Show 2020, Christensen Arms showcased an impressive new .22 LR rimfire rifle, the Ranger 22. With an aluminum action, high-quality carbon-composite stock, and 18″ carbon-wrapped barrel, the Ranger 22 is quite light and easy to carry. This would be a great field-carry rifle for small varmints. The Ranger 22 features a Trigger Tech match-grade trigger, and Picatinny scope rail. Weight is 5.1 pounds, and there are a varity of finish options. Christensen Arms offers a sub-MOA 50-yard accuracy guarantee. MSRP is $795.

Browning — X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Max Long Range

Browing Hell's Canyon long range camo hunting rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

One of the more interesting factory rifles at SHOT Show was Browning’s limited edition X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Max Long Range rifle. This Max LR Model features Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish on metal parts, and A-TACS TD-X Camo stock finish. The Heavy Sporter-contour 26″ barrel includes a removable muzzle brake. We like the stock design, which has a flat, straight toe for riding in a rear bag and nice ergonomics with an adjustable comb. Currently this is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor only. We hope other chamberings, such as 6XC or 6mm Creedmoor, will be offered in the future, as we think this could be an excellent long-range varmint platform, with a handy detachable magazine.

Volquartsen Summit Straight-Pull Rifle in .17 WSM

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Since it was first introduced as a .22 LR, we liked the straight-pull, toggle-bolt Volquartsen Summit rifle. The Summit action is reliable and the rifles are well-built. In 2019 Volquartsen added the .17 Mach 2 (.17 HM2) to the Summit series. Now, for 2020 Volquartsen is addding the larger .17 WSM cartridge, which offers peak performance for a rimfire rifle. With the addition of the .17 WSM chambering, the Summit is now a bonafied option for small-critter varminting out to 200+ yard. This round has far less drop than a .22 LR and retains critter-busting energy even at 200 yards. The .17 WSM Summit boasts a 1:8.25″-twist 20″ barrel, with threaded muzzle. Conveniently, the Summit takes standard Ruger 6-round magazines. Choose either AS-1 Ambi Stock or Laminated Wood Sporter Stock (shown above). MSRP starts at $1,553.00. NOTE: Volquartsen’s .22 LR and 17 Mach 2 Summits currently list for $1225.00 in Magpul stocks, about $330 cheaper.

Savage 110 UltraLite with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Fitted with a Proof Research carbon-wrapped stainless barrel, Savage’s new 110 UltraLite rifle weigh under 6 pounds (without optics). It’s impressive that Savage could deliver a sub-6-pound rifle with 22″ to 24″ barrels. Part of the secret is a skeletonized receiver and fluted bolt. A full selection of chamberings will be offered: .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, .280 Ackley Improved, 28 Nosler, .300 WSM, and .30-06 Springfield. All 110 UltraLites come with grey AccuFit stocks with adjustable comb height and length of pull (LOP). Depending on the chambering, 110 UltraLite rifles weigh between 5.8 and 6 pounds. MSRP for the 110 UltraLite is $1499. We expect street price to be around $1300.00.

Howa Mini Action Full Dip Camo Rifles

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Howa’s Mini Action rifles offer a compact platform and faster cycling for cartridges such as the .223 Rem and 6.5 Grendel. At SHOT Show, Howa displayed Mini Action rifles with “Full Dip” camouflage in three patterns: Kryptek Highlander, Yote, and Kratos. The hydro-dip camo covers the rifle from butt to muzzle, including stock, action, barrel, scope, and even rings. Hunters will appreciate the “full coverage”. Howa Mini Action “Full Dip” camo rifles are currently available in .223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, and 7.62×39 chamberings, all with 20″ heavy barrels. Nikko Sterling GamePro 3.5-10×44mm scopes are included on these Howa Mini Action camo rifles, which are guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA. If you’re looking for a light-weight hunting rig for varmints or coyotes, this is a good choice.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 26th, 2020

Handgun Smarts — Six Great Guidebooks for Pistoleros

Pistol Marksmanship training book
Jessie Harrison — one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers good tips on safe handgun mag changes.

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are six recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s popular SHOOT book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

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January 26th, 2020

Must-Have Tool — Lyman E-Zee Case Gauge II

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gageLyman’s popular Case Length Gauge is now bigger and better. The enhanced version II of Lyman’s Case Length Gauge is much larger than the original version. The E-Zee Case Gauge II now measures more than 70 cartridge types — way more than before. This tool is a metal template with SAAMI-max-length slots for various cartridge types, including relatively new cartridges such as the .204 Ruger and Winchester Short Magnums. This tool allows you to quickly sort brass or check the dimensions. If you have a bucketful of mixed pistol brass this can save you hours of tedious work with calipers. You can also quickly check case lengths to see if it’s time to trim your fired brass.

If you load a wide variety of calibers, or do a lot of pistol shooting, we think you should pick up one of these Lyman Case Gauge templates. They are available for under $25.00 at Brownells ($21.99) and Amazon.com ($23.85). The E-Zee Case Gauge has long been a popular item for hand-loaders.

NOTE: For years the E-Zee Case Gauge had a silver finish with black lettering, as shown above. Some of the most recent production of E-Zee guages have a new “high contrast” look, with white lettering on a black frame. You may get either version when you order online (Brownells shows silver, Amazon shows black). We actually prefer the older, silver version.

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Case Gauge Should Last a Lifetime
Easily measure the case length of over 70 popular rifle and pistol cases with Lyman’s new E-Zee Case Length Gauge II. This really is a “must-have” piece of kit for any gun owner who hand-loads numerous pistol and rifle calibers.

This rugged, precisely-made metal gauge makes sorting or identifying cases fast and accurate. The template is machined with SAAMI max recommended case lengths. Made from metal, with no moving parts, the E-Zee Case Gauge II should last a lifetime.

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January 25th, 2020

SHOT Show 2020 — Focus on Optics

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed

Optics companies from around the globe had scores of new scopes and optics products on display at SHOT Show 2020. We visited Athlon, Burris, Bushnell, Leica, Leupold, Kahles, IOR/Valdada, March, Nightforce, Sightron, Swarovski, Vortex, and Zeiss displays. Here are some of the notable scope and optics products we saw this year.

Vortex Optics — Viewing Vortex Scopes with Carl Bernosky

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed

One of the highlights of our show was meeting our friend Carl Bernosky at the Vortex Booth. Carl, a 10-time National High Power Champion, showed us the Vortex Golden Eagle. This affordable 15-60x52mm Second Focal Plane (SFP) optic is very popular with F-Class competitors, as it offers a 4X magnification range all the way up to 60 power. The Golden Eagle’s $1499.99 price is 40% less than some other brands with similar specs.

March Optics — New PRS Scope, New Genesis

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed

At the March Optics booth we met Gary Costello, a talented British F-Class competitor. Gary showed us a number of new offerings, including March’s new 4.5-28x52mm PRS Scope (above). Compact and light weight (29.8 oz), this features a 25° wide angle, fast-focus eyepiece and HM lens technology with two new reticle options. This new scope boasts a whopping 36 Mils elevation and 20 Mils windage travel.

Also new for 2020 is March’s 5-42x56mm FFP Long Range Tactical scope suitable for PRS, ELR, and long range hunting. This boasts 40 Mil elevation, 14 Mil windage, and two new reticles, one of which is a tree reticle optimized for ranging and rapid hold-offs/hold-overs. This features a 26&deg, fast-focus eyepiece. Weight is 33.5 ounces.

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed

This is the new 4-40x52mm FFP “Mini Genesis” featuring High master lens technology. This boasts 86 MILS of elevation, 24° fast-focus eyepiece, and zero set elevation. The Genesis technology provides an optically-centered lens capable of engaging targets up to 3 miles.

Leica — New 5-30x56mm PRS FFP Scope

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed

At the Leica pavilion at SHOT show, we checked out the Leica’s new PRS 5–30x56i riflescope (SRP: $2,895) This is an impressive First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with 6X zoom, and a full 32 MILS (100+ MOA) of elevation range. This scope comes with a zoom ring throw lever and zero-stop turrets. Leica will offer the PRS 5-30x56i scope (MSRP $2699.00) with three reticle options: iL-4A, iBallistic, and iPRB. The iPRB is a modern “tree” reticle designed with input from Precision Rifle Blog (PRB) editor Cal Zant. CLICK HERE for PRB full report.

Zeiss — Rings with Integrated Level, Ultra-Compact Binoculars

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed Zeiss

At the Zeiss booth we checked out the beautifully-crafted Zeiss Precision Rings with level. Offered in both 30mm and 36mm, these rings feature an integral anti-cant bubble level in the top half, easily visible from any shooting position. Constructed of 7075-T6 aluminum, these rings are available in low, medium, and high heights, all with matte-black, hard-anodized finish. Also new this year are ZMOAi-T20 and ZMOA-T30 reticles for the Zeiss Conquest V4 riflescope line.

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed Zeiss Rings

Hunters and sportsmen should check the ultra-compact Victory Pocket 8×25 binoculars. These feature a unique off-set hinge, allowing them to be VERY slim when folded. These binocs blow away anything we’ve ever seen that is so compact and easy to carry.

Nightforce — New SOCOM FFP Scope and new NX8 series

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed Zeiss Rings

At the Barrett booth we viewed Nightforce’s new SOCOM 7-35x56mm F1 Scope developed for the U.S. Military. Called the P-VPS for “Precision Variable Power Scope”, this features a Termor 3 Reticle and integrated top rail for mounting a laser. Nightforce’s MIL-SPEC ATACR™ 5-25×56 F1 and the MIL-SPEC ATACR™ 7-35×56 F1 variants of the Nightforce Optics ATACR product line were selected by United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to fill the Precision-Variable Power Scope component of the Miniature Aiming Systems – Day Optic (MAS-D) Program.

For 2020, Nightforce will also be selling new NX8 riflescopes, with an 8X zoom, evolved from Nightforce’s NXS series. The NX8 2.5–20x50mm F1 is available in MOAR and Tremor3 reticles . Likewise the NX8 4–32x50mm F1 is offered with MOAR ($2,150 MSRP) and Tremor3 ($2,400 MSRP) reticles. Both NX8 scopes feature DigIllum reticle illumination, ZeroStop technology, and either MOA or mil-radian adjustments.

Swarovski — Z8i Series with 8X Zoom Ratio

2020 Shot Show Optics Scopes reviewed Swarovski Z8i
At the Swarovski Booth, a SHOT Show attendee checks out new reticle options.

At SHOT 2020, Swarovski showcased its impressive Z8i series riflescopes, which offer 8X zoom range. These, we think, are particularly good for long range hunters. You get a wide field of view for scanning, then plenty of magnification for a precise shot at very long range. There are five Z8i models: 1-8x24mm; 1.7-13.3x42mm; 2-16x50mm; 2.3-18x56mm; and 3.5-28x50mm.

Konus — Universal Cantilever Scope Mount

Konus Universal Adjustable Cantilever scope mount

If you need more forward placement of a long optic, Konus has an effective new accessory. Attached to a Picatinny rail base, the new Konus Universal Adjustable Cantilever scope mount ($89 MSRP) allows you to move your optic forward. It adjusts from 6.5 inches to 8.3 inches in length, with seven settings in between. The mount fits both 1-inch and 30mm riflescope tubes. We also like the fact that this simplifies movement of a scope from one rifle to another.

Noblex — Ultra-Compact High-Quality Spotting Scope

Noblex ED Spotting Scope compact

Could this be the world’s smallest spotting scope? Well the Noblex NS 8-24×50 ED is certainly the world’s smallest spotter with high-grade ED (extra-low dispersion) glass. Crafted in Germany by Noblex GmbH, this mini-spotter weighs just 1.17 lbs. (530 grams) with eyepiece. As you can see, the entire unit could easily fit in a glovebox, and yes, we were impressed with the quality of the glass despite the small size. Could this be the ideal competition spotter for watching mirage during a match? 24-power is plenty for that task.

100+ More Optics Products — Specifications and Photos

Want to see more Riflescopes, Spotting Scopes, and Rangefinders? CLICK HERE for the SHOTBusiness.com 2020 Optics Guide. This features specifications and prices for 100+ products.

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January 25th, 2020

TECH TIP: Bullet Bearing Surface Length Can Affect Pressure

USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading
Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes

TECH TIP: Bullets of the same weight (and caliber) can generate very different pressure levels due to variances in Bearing Surface Length (BSL).

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284″) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets — it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430”, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!


This article from the USAMU covers an important safety issue — why you should never assume that a “book” load for a particular bullet will be safe with an equal-weight bullet of different shape/design. The shape and bearing surface of the bullet will affect the pressure generated inside the barrel. This is part of the USAMU’s Handloading Hump Day series, published on the USAMU Facebook page.

Beginning Handloading, Part 13:
Extrapolating Beyond Your Data, or … “I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know!”

We continue our Handloading Safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data. Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. These can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In photo 1 (at top), note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Bearing Surface Measurement Considerations
Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deceiving.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back.]

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