January 21st, 2020

Industry Day at the Range 2020 — Highlights

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

20th Day of the 2020th Year!
For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Industry Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very great new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Industry Day at the Range, held in Bolder City, Nevada on January 20, 2020.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

New Guns + Old Friends on 1/20/20
Meeting old friends, and shooting new guns. That’s what Monday was all about at the annual Industry Day at the Range, a “hands-on” preview the day before SHOT Show opens in Las Vegas. At the crack of dawn your Editor met with Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com and headed out to the Boulder City (NV) range. There we met up with GunsAmerica Editor True Pearce, F-Class aces Stan Pate and Matt Schwartzkopf, Down Range TV host Michael Bane, Top Shot’s Dustin Ellerman, and many other friends in the industry.

We were not disappointed — there was plenty to see this year. On display were a bunch of new precision rifles, some nice new revolvers, and some very exotic optics. SEE Exhibitor List.

Cool New Rifles and Chassis Systems

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

There is a definite trend towards metal modular chassis systems. We saw many more metal stocks than fiberglass stocks on the firing line. One of the most interesting chassis rifles was showcased by Advanced Shooting Analytics (ASA). This features a STEEL alloy center section that holds the steel rifle action. The thinking behind this is that aluminum expands as it gets hot at a different rate than steel. That can stress the steel action. Having “steel on steel” eliminates those stresses say the designers — providing an advantage compared to an all-aluminum chassis.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

We tested the new Savage 110 Elite Precision, an impressive new rifle boasting an advanced aluminum chassis crafted by MDT. Part of Savage’s new Precision Series, this is clearly aimed at the PRS crowd. Savage also showcased its new rimfire precision rifles. See below:

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

The innovative, patented FightLite SCR® (Sport Configurable Rifle) blends the utility and accuracy of an AR15 with the classic lines of an American sporter. Importantly, this rifle is 50-state legal! The old-fashioned stock design of the SCR permits shipping to FFLs in all 50 states.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Cadex Defense showcased its CDX-R7 Sheepdog hunting rifle. A departure from the metal-chassis rifles. The Sheepdog features a comfortable outer skin and a very ergonomic design. Here’s a video preview:

The Cadex CDX-R7 sported a bright red RifleKuhl barrel fan from Magnetospeed.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Wild-Looking AR Rifles — Vivid Colors and Ports
Bling is the thing in 2020. There were some wild-looking AR-platform rifles with exotic finishes. One AR, used by the Eotech folks to showcase their Vudu optics, had a radically ported upper.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Optics — New Scopes and Electro-Optics

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019 Optics
Actual view through Schmidt & Bender scope. Great glass — sharp and bright to the edge

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019 Optics
Zeiss displayed some impressive Second Focal Plane scopes.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Here is the impressive Charlie TARAC prism unit from TacomHQ, set up on an ELR rifle with a massive barrel. The prism designer John Baker showed us new prototype units that allow the user to dial the amount of elevation increase.

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019 Optics
Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019 Optics

One tripod sported an array of hardware, with a rangefinder and a big Swarovski Spotting scope fitted what appeared to be a Phone Skope adapter. This allows through-the-eyepiece viewing/recording.

Handguns — Rimfire and Centerfire

Industry day range january 2019

This striking image is from GunsAmerica’s Range Day Report on the new Colt Python. This report by Levi Sim features a video and many photos.

Industry day range january 2019

We viewed dozens of pistols, but were most impressed with a couple updated rimfires, and two ultra-accurate wheelguns — the Ruger Super 100 9mm and the “reborn” Colt Python, a stainless beauty. Show above are both 4″ and 6″ versions. The workmanship was superb — as was the accuracy.

We also tested a updated version of the classic Browning Buckmark .22 LR semi-auto pistol with a ported barrel shroud. This balanced great and had a very nice trigger pull.

Industry day range january 2019

Ammunition — Big News from Sierra and True Velocity

Industry day range january 2019

Sierra displayed one of the most noteworthy innovations in loaded ammunition. The new Sierra/True Velocity Composite Ammo features a POLYMER case. This allows a very significant weight savings — at least 35% compared to conventional ammunition. Sierra and True Velocity are partners in this project. Initial offerings of hunting ammunition should be available in late 2020.

New TECH — Shot-Locating Steel Target Plates from Israel

Israel’s A.D.L. Smart Solutions LTD. displayed an innovative shot location plotting system. This measures shot location and hit rates via a sensor module on the BACK (reverse side) of a thick armored steel plate. The designers tell us the armored plates have survived 7000+ rifle shots without a problem. The sensor unit transmits shot locations wirelessly back to a laptop which runs Apple or Windows software. The software can also keep profiles of different rifles/cartridge types with ballistics for each.

Industry day range january 2019
Industry day range january 2019

About Industry Day at the Range

With two dozen shooting bays, plus an elevated shooting station with targets out to 400 yards, there is plenty of action. Here’s the layout:

Industry day range 2020 shot show boulder city nevada NV exhibitor list

Next best thing to being there — this video shows 2020 Industry Day highlights. It’s a great overview featuring a wide variety of rifles, pistols and shotguns. The biggest commercial, hands-on “live fire” gun demonstration in the world, Industry Day at the Range is attended by over 1700 journalists and buyers.

Media Industry day at range shot show 2019 Boulder City Nevada

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, New Product, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 21st, 2020

Volquartsen Summit — Versatile Toggle-Action Rimfire Rifle

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

Ever shot a straight-pull (aka toggle-link) action rifle? We like these action types, which were developed for Biathlon competitors who needed to shoot fast, but were not allowed to use semi-auto actions. The biathlon-style toggle action features a lever on the side of the action. Pull the lever back with your index figure to open the bolt, then push forward with your finger to close the bolt*. It’s fast and efficient. With some practice, you can cycle the action in a couple of seconds — nearly as fast as a semi-auto.

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

The Volquartsen Summit .22 LR rifle is based on a concept originally developed by Primary Weapons Systems. Designed for both competition shooting as well as small game hunting, this unique rifle features a straight-pull, toggle-style action with a Ruger 10/22 profile. That means you can run 10/22 magazines, swap into stocks inletted for the 10/22, and even use after-market 10/22 barrels. The CNC-machined receiver features an integral 20 MOA Picatinny Rail. The Magpul stock adjusts for length of pull. Weight is 5.8 pounds, so this is easy to carry in the field.

The Summit features a lightweight carbon fiber-wrapped barrel, threaded 1/2×28 at the muzzle to be suppressor-ready. One of our favorite features on this little rifle is the trigger — which has a light, crisp 1.75-lb pull weight. Watch the video above to see the Summit .22 LR in action. The tester, 22 Plinkster, was impressed with the rifle’s ease of use and accuracy. The Summit delivered a 0.277″ group at 50 yards, shot from the bench.

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video

Tech Analysis of PWS-designed Action as used in Summit

See the Summit at SHOT Show in Las Vegas
Volquartsen will have the new Summit straight-pull rifle on display, along with a wide variety of rimfire firearms, at its booth at SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week. You’ll find Volquartsen at booth #11129. This year, Volquartsen will unveil a new 17 WSM version of the straight-pull Summit rifle.

Volquartsen summit .22 LR rimfire 22LR straight pull biathlon toggle action 22Plinkster plinkster video


* Biathlon shooters cycle their Fortner toggle actions even faster, using their THUMB to close the bolt. This allows them to get the index finger on to the trigger blade faster. The whole process takes maybe a second — as fast as you can say “snick-snick”. To use the thumb effectively, you need a stock with a more vertical pistol grip. The Magpul stock on the Summit moves your thumb a bit too far back to use comfortably to close the lever without shifting the hand.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 21st, 2020

“Mirage Is Your Friend” — How Mirage Can Reveal the Wind

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

by Glen Zediker
Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen is an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »