As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











July 21st, 2020

Burris Signature Zee Rings — Great Value, Great Performance

Burris Signature Zee rings

Burris Signature Zee ringsMore and more folks are using Burris Signature Rings these days. These unique rings feature polymer inserts. That allows you to pre-load some elevation in your scope set-up, or you can center-up the windage. Additionally, the polymer inserts hold your scope securely without leaving marks on the tube. Lastly, some folks believe that Signature rings may offer advantages for benchrest competition. Rodney Wagner shot a world-record 600-yard group using Burris Signature Zee Rings (“Zee” denotes the Weaver-rail model). James O’Hara set multiple IBS 1000-yard records using Burris Signature Zee Rings. James will tell you he thinks “all his guns seem to shoot best with these rings”.

IBS World Record Set with Signature Zee Rings
Are Signature Zees good enough for competition? Absolutely. Some folks scoff at these Burris rings, given their low price. A set of 1″-diameter Sig Zees cost just $36.40 at Midsouth. But consider this, in 2013 Rodney Wagner shot the then-smallest 600-yard group in history, a 0.336″ 5-shot stunner, using Signature Zee Rings on his IBS Light Gun. It took five years for a smaller 600-yard group to be shot, a 0.311″ by bullet-maker Bart Sauter, using his IBS Heavy Gun. (See IBS 600-yard Records.) Here’s Rodney with his record-setting rifle, fitted with affordable Signature Zee 30mm rings.

Signature Zee Rings Burris

Vendors Have Burris Signature Rings in Stock Now
Various models of Burris Signature Rings are available from many online vendors. NOTE: You may have to check with more than one seller to get the exact size, height, and model you prefer. But right now these vendors have pretty good selections of Signature Zees, including the hard-to-find 30mm High and Extra High models. If you check all three sellers, you’ll probably find what you need.

Midsouth Shooters Grafs.com Amazon.com

Signature Zee Rings Burris

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Optics No Comments »
July 21st, 2020

New M1 Garand Book by Jim Thompson is Excellent Resource

Jim thompson m1 garand essential practical historical guide book

Do you own an M1 Garand, or have you always wanted to acquire one of these legendary semi-auto battle rifles? Well then here is a valuable new resource: The Essential M1 Garand: A Practical and Historical Guide for Shooters and Collectors. This new book by Jim Thompson covers the history of the M1 Garand, and offers practical advice for Garand owners, along with complete parts lists. The book includes annotated military and National Match manuals, a troubleshooting chart, and a section on hand-loading for the Garand. The final Section addresses common questions about the rifle and offers detailed instructions for maintaining this wartime classic. First published in February, 2020, The Essential M1 Garand is available in Print Paperback and Kindle eBook versions. View Table of Contents.

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Along with The Essential M1 Garand book by Jim Thompson, there are many other good M1 Garand print resources. 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 comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

Here are recommended M1 Garand commercial titles available through Amazon:

This Video (with 5.7 million views) Explains How to Load the M1 Garand Correctly.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 20th, 2020

Bargain Finder 252: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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 — $75-$200 Gift Cards with Spotters

vortex spotting scope sale

Deal of Year on Vortex Spotters — get $75, $100, or $200 gift cards

Vortex makes fine spotting scopes with rock-solid, unconditional warranties. Vortex spotters offer great performance for the price, so it is rare to see multiple Vortex spotter models on sale. But right now Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a Vortex Spotter Promo. Prices are slashed, PLUS when you buy a Vortex spotting scope you get a $75, $100, or $200 gift card. This is the best deal we’ve seen on Vortex Spotters in a long, long time. If you’re in the market for a new spotter, definitely check this promo offering discount prices PLUS valuable gift cards.

2. Grafs.com – Lapua Brass and Scenar Bullets Rebate

lapua brass sale rebate

SAVE 10% with Rebate Program for Lapua Brass and Bullets

Here is a great deal on great cartridge brass. Check out Graf’s full selection of Lapua brass. With the Lapua Summer Savings Rebate you can then save 10% on your purchases up to $200 max. This is a great deal on top of Graf’s already attractive prices. NOTE: You can also get a 10% summer Savings Rebate on the excellent Lapua Scenar bullets. We have found the Scenars to be extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurements. The Lapua Rebate Program covers purchases through August 31, 2020.

3. Midsouth — Hornady Precision Measurement System, $229.99

hornady precision measurement system

Versatile, performs many tasks, integrated concentricity checker

Precision reloading involves taking precise measurements, typically using many different tools. Hornady’s new Precision Measurement System allow multiple measurements to be taken with a single work-station. With this unit you can sort bullets, check cartridge base to ogive location, measure cartridge headspace location and OAL. You can also measure bullet run-out and case concentricity using an adjustable, bearing-equipped concentricity checker. This versatile system comes complete with five headspace bushings (.330, .350, .375, .400, .420), and seven bullet comparators (.224, .243, .257, .264, .277, .284, .308).

4. Amazon — RifleKuhl and BarrelCool Portable Cooling Units

barrel coolers

Get Barrel Coolers for hot summer months, extend Barrel Life

In summer it can be tough to keep your barrel at moderate temperatures. But a handy, compact cooling fan device can really help. Two of the best barrel coolers on the market are the RifleKuhl from Magnetospeed and the original Barrel Cool from BarrelCool. Both of these units can double as empty chamber indicators, feature high power fans and can cool your barrel down to a decent, usable temperature in about 10 minutes.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Nosler Brass Sale, Huge Savings

nosler brass sale

Wide selection of hard-to-find brass types at very good prices

Did you know that Nosler makes brass for more lesser-known cartridge types than just about any other domestic brass-maker? From .204 Ruger to 375 H&H, Nosler brass is a great choice for any handloader who reloads for specialized, “boutique” chamberings. Head over to Bruno’s for the Nosler Brass Sale and you can pick up hard-to-find brass varieties at remarkably low prices.

6. Brownells — SIG KILO Laser Rangefinders 1800/2200 BDX

Sig rangefinder sale

SAVE $150-$160 on quality Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders

If you’ve been looking for a compact, feature laden and powerful rangefinder head over to Brownells where they are having a smoking Sig Sauer Rangefinder Sale. You can pick up the Kilo 1800BDX for only $249.99. This model is accurate to 1,000 yards off deer or 2,000 yards on reflective surfaces. If you’re looking for even more capability, grab the Kilo 2200 BDX for $339.99 on sale. The 2200 BDX ranges deer to 1300 yards off deer or reflective surfaces to 3400 yards.

7. Cabela’s — Ruger American Rifle Compact Rifle, $279.97

ruger american compact rifle

Great bargain hunting rifle, decent accuracy and Ruger reliability

Right now you can buy a Ruger American Rifle Compact Bolt-Action Rifle in .243 Winchester or 7mm-08 for just $279.97, an amazing price! These reliable compact Ruger rifles are great for smaller stature shooters or those with thicker clothing on because of their shorter length of trigger pull. However they still have all the features of the standard Ruger American Rifle. This would be a great first hunting rifle for a young person.

8. Amazon — Caldwell The Rock Deluxe Front Rest Combo, $67.99

caldwell rock rest
caldwell rock rest

Super deal for basic rest and rear bag

For plinking, varmint shooting, or sighting in a hunting rig, Caldwell’s The Rock Deluxe Front Rest Combo provides a functional basic setup for $67.99 — a true bargain. Consider that a quality rear bag such at the Protektor Rabbit Ear Hard Bottom model costs $71.65 by itself. But a better bag will improve stability and tracking. Still this Caldwell Combo is way better than what many folks use for sighting-in rifles.

9. Midsouth Shooters — Buy Green Get Green RCBS Rebates

Bergara B-14 HMR

Rebate Program for ALL RCBS products — presses, tools and more

RCBS Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS products worth $100.00 or more and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. Buy from Midsouth or other retailer. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $100.00 total. Buy at least $400 worth of RCBS Products and get a big $100.00 rebate. Spend $250-$399 to get a $75.00 rebate. Purchase $100-$249 and get $50 back. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a reloading kit, save big with this promo. It’s good for purchases now through August 31, 2020. Submit RCBS Rebate Forms HERE.

10. Amazon — Hornady One Shot Spray Lube, $13.99

hornady one shot

Dry-Film Lube — not sticky, easy to apply, used by top shooters

If you’re looking for a mess-free way to lube cases before sizing give Hornady One Shot a try. It’s easy to apply and leaves a grease-free, friction-reducing film that works great for full-length case sizing. Here’s a good video that shows application methods with tips to ensure great results with your brass.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »
July 20th, 2020

FREE Online Hunter Education Courses for Eight States

hunter education online NRA

The NRA now offers FREE officially-approved Hunter Education Courses in online format. Even if you’re stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, these FREE online courses allow you to fulfill many basic requirements for game tags and hunting licenses. The online courses can be conveniently completed wherever you have a web connection, saving you time and money. Currently, there are online Hunder Education Courses for eight states:

Connecticut
Florida
Kentucky
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Oregon
Texas
West Virginia

hunting safety hunter education

Additional State Requirements — Field Days
The requirements and prerequisites for each course vary from state to state. Some states require officially-issued identification numbers before starting. Other states require additional “hands-on” instruction. For example, Florida mandates a Skills Day session, Oregon requires a separate Field Day qualification, and West Virginia has a mandatory Hands-on / written portion for hunter certification. For more information, visit the NRA Hunter Safety Education Page.

hunter education online NRA

hunter education online NRA

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 20th, 2020

New Berger Loaded Ammo with LR Hybrid Target Bullets

berger factory ammo ammunition 6mm 6.5mm creedmoor prs nrl loaded long range hybrid target bullets

Here’s good news for PRS/NRL shooters, and factory-class competitors at local bench and varmint matches. Berger is now offering factory-loaded ammunition with Lapua brass and Berger’s outstanding, match-proven Long Range Hybrid Target™ (LRHT) bullets. This new loaded ammo is offered for the 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. Get the 109gr LRHT bullet in 6mm Creedmoor, or choose a 144gr or 153.5gr LRHT bullet in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Berger Long Range Hybrid Target ammunition features Berger’s high-BC, LRHT bullet, which is Doppler Radar-verified to less than 1% BC variation. LRHT ammo is assembled with Lapua cartridge cases and clean-burning, temperature insensitive propellants. These Berger cartridges are meticulously constructed to exacting tolerances — you will be pleased with the accuracy and low ES numbers.

Berger Long Range Hybrid Target™ Ammunition is available now in these offerings:

6mm Creedmoor 109 gr LRHT | 6.5 Creedmoor 144 gr LRHT | 6.5 Creedmoor 153.5 gr LRHT

This ammo will be available from leading retailers including Brownells, Graf & Sons, Midsouth Shooters, and Precision Reloading. Visit NoBSBC.com to learn more about Ballistic Coefficients (BC), and their effects on accuracy and precision. Visit Bergerbullets.com for general information on Berger loaded ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
July 19th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: SWN-Winning F-TR Rig of Champ Peter Johns

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Talented F-Class shooter Peter Johns has been on a tear the last couple years. He won the F-TR Division at the 2020 Berger SW Nationals (SWN), after finishing second in 2019. His SWN win came on the heels of stellar performances in 2019. He won both the mid-range AND long-range Texas State championships last year. Along the way Peter set a new 600-yard NRA National F-TR Record (200-18X), and tied the 600-yard F-TR Aggregate Record with 600-47X. This Sunday GunDay story features Peter and his trophy-grabbing .308 Win F-TR rifle.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

How to Campaign a Winning .308 Winchester F-TR Rifle

Report by Peter Johns
I started contemplating F-Class shooting after talking with Darrell Buell at SHOT Show a decade ago. My first F-Class match was with a Savage VLP with a 26″ Shilen 7mm SAUM barrel and a Harris bipod. After that initial match in Texas I knew I had a lot to learn. I decided that F-TR was the place to start. This story follows my development as an F-TR shooter and showcases the rifle that delivered multiple F-TR match wins in 2019 and 2020.

Watch Peter Johns Shoot his .308 Win F-TR Rig

Equipment Showcase — Key Components of Peter’s F-TR Rifle

Omar Alonzo (Alonzo Custom Rifles, (713) 283-4384, Gunbuilder284@gmail.com) does all my gunsmithing. I believe this is one of the major reasons I have been doing so well in the last couple years. He does a phenomenal job with rifle bedding. He also fixed the timing on my action. The first barrel he chambered has really helped me win matches and set records.

In this Video, Peter talks about his key rifle components and gear:

McMillan Kestros BR Stock — I switched to a Kestros BR stock when they first came out. I painted the stock myself. I am very grateful to Kelly McMillan for letting me be one of the first to try them. The Kestros BR tracks better than any stock I have tried. NOTE — the Kestros was so light that I had to add a steel bar under the forearm to get closer to the F-TR weight limit with a 30″ HV barrel. [Editor: That has the advantage of lowering the center of gravity and the bar can slide fore/aft to adjust center of balance]. I use a SEB Bigfoot rear bag with slick ears and 3/4″ spacing. When I got the Kestros I thought the rear bag spacing was too wide but it worked so well I didn’t change.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Kelbly (Stolle) Panda Action and Krieger Barrel — My rig has a Kelbly Panda F-class action with a Bix’N Andy trigger. At the Berger SWN, I used a Krieger 1:10″-twist 30″ HV 4-groove barrel. It is superbly accurate. I have been bouncing between Krieger and Bartlein for barrels for the last few years. The best barrel I have had is a 30″ Krieger 4-groove HV, however the Bartleins have been very good as well.

Duplin Bipod with Articulating Feet — I really liked the Pohlabel articulating feet that are available for the SEB JoyPod so I asked Dan Pohlabel for permission to copy his feet. I bought some aluminum and made the best copy I could. Since SWN, Duplin has coming out with a new bipod with articulating feet which are considerably better than the feet I made. I use a board and a piece of stall mat with carpet glued on it for the bipod to sit on.

Vortex Golden Eagle Scope — I use the 15-60x52mm Vortex Golden Eagle on all my F-Class rifles. I see the mirage better with the Golden Eagle than any other scope and it tracks perfectly. I also use a Vortex Razor spotting scope with long eye relief lens on the line to help watch mirage and flags. I also use the Razor spotting scope to call wind for Team Texas.

Cleaning Procedure — Less is More — No Cleaning During SWN Long Range Event
Peter has learned that he can go for long round counts without cleaning: “I have found that my .308 Win rigs, for the most part, shoot really well dirty. I can usually get 300 or more rounds before cleaning. I cleaned my barrel at the 2020 SWN after the mid-range event and fouled it before the long-range. I did not clean my barrel again until I got home from the match.”

Peter does clean thoroughly when he gets home: “After a big match I clean my rifles with Boretech Eliminator and a bronze brush followed by Iosso until the majority of carbon is removed from the barrel, as verified with a Lyman borescope. After a thorough cleaning, I find that I need to shoot a bunch of foulers. I will usually go to my practice range and shoot a 20-shot practice match and I will see the accuracy tighten up in the back half.”

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner
600-yard practice target on left. On right is 600-yard record match target shot at 2019 TX State Championships (on ShotMarker targets). This 200-18X is a NRA National Record for F-TR division.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Peter’s Match Load and Reloading Methodology

Loading for .308 Win F-TR — Do What Matters
My loading technique has evolved almost full circle from where I started. I went from the basics to doing every step a person could conceive. Then I decided to start testing all the different steps to see what didn’t matter or made things worse. I am now back to almost no steps in my reloading process. I don’t clean brass anymore. I just wipe the case off, lube, size, prime, and load. I anneal when I feel the necks getting inconsistent when seating the bullets. I pre-load all my ammo for matches. I tried seating them at the match but I didn’t find it to matter on the score card and it takes my focus away from conditions.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Peter’s 2020 SWN-winning .308 Win load consists of Berger 200.20X bullets, Lapua Palma brass, Federal 205M primers, and Varget powder. Peter revealed: “The Berger 200-grainers are running in the mid-2600 fps range. I have tried them much faster but found the best consistency at this speed.”

Peter measures powder to the kernel and also weighs/sorts other components. He runs Berger 200.20X bullets slightly off the lands in a 0.170 freebore chamber. Notably he tests a variety of powders, ascertaining each barrel’s particular preference: “In the last few years I have tried N140, N150, H4895, and Varget. I think they are all good powders for F-TR and the 200.20X bullet. This year I was using Varget. At the 2018 SWN I placed 4th with H4895, in 2019 SWN I got 2nd with N140. I find what powder my particular barrel likes best. I also test CCI BR4 and Fed 205M to see which my rifle likes best. This year I was using Fed 205M. I have been using Lapua Palma brass and it seems to last forever.” Peter full-length sizes with a Redding bushing FL die. He seats his Berger bullets with a Wilson inline seater.

Q & A with Peter Johns, F-TR Ace

Q: What was your biggest challenge at the 2020 Berger SW Nationals?

Peter: I think the biggest challenge was staying focused on conditions. I think the hardest thing for me to do is to stop shooting when the wind conditions are out of my ability to call accurately. I focused hard on this aspect of my game this year and it has paid off. This match is super well run and staff does an excellent job which allows the shooters to maintain their focus.

Q: What gear/hardware items give you an edge over the competition?

Peter: The Kestros BR stock (below) is not used by many F-TR shooters and I think it gives me a huge advantage over the competition. This stock fits me perfectly and tracks in such a manner that I can shoot fast and accurately when conditions are right.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Q: What is your advice for newcomers in F-Class and Long Range competition?

Peter: Go to a top gunsmith building F-Class rifles and do what he says. Competition is the best way to get better. So shoot as many matches as you can. Find top shooter rivals and strive to beat them.

Q: Do you have any specific Gun Handling Tips for F-TR shooters?

Peter: I shoot better with a really light grip and cheek pressure. I can shoot well with a heavier grip and cheek pressure but when the tension of a big match is going my pressure will vary and cause poor accuracy. The most consistent I can shoot is with light gun handling. I also focus on trying to watch the bullet hit through the scope to ensure good follow through and this prevents me from jerking the trigger. There are a bunch of ways to hold a rifle that have proven to be successful. I think a shooter needs to test and find what works best for them.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Q: What do you like most about F-Class and Long Range competition?

A. I really like technical things. F-Class is right in my wheel house for technical stuff. Also, the people in the shooting world are top notch. I enjoy talking with other shooters.

Q: Do you prefer individual events or team matches?

Peter: I prefer the team matches by far because it is a social event with collaboration and there is a lot more pressure. I put a lot of effort into learning the wind for the team matches which in the long run helps me with individual matches. [Editor: Below Peter is calling wind for Team Texas at the 2018 F-Class Nationals in Raton, New Mexico.]

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner
Peter Johns calls wind for Team Texas at 2018 F-Class Nationals in Raton.

Overcoming Serious Injury in U.S. Navy to Become a Top-Level Marksman

Peter Johns is a U.S. Navy veteran, rank Chief (E7). In 2006, during his duty aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz, Peter sustained very serious and extensive burns in a massive electrical fire. Showing great strength of character, Peter went through a tough, 4-year program of surgeries and rehab. The photo below shows Peter doing therapy during his recovery process.

Peter Johns Berger SW southwest Nationals F-Class F-TR McMillan stock rifle champion winner

Peter tells us: “As many of you know I was badly burned on board the U.S.S. Nimitz in 2006. That has limited me in my ability to compete in physical activities that I used to enjoy but F-Class has filled the gap for my competitive nature. I medically retired from the Navy as a Chief (E7) in 2010 after four years of surgeries and physical therapy. I was very surprised to find how accepting and nice people have been in the shooting community. I think the shooting community is comprised of the best people in the world.”

Permalink - Articles, News, Reloading, Shooting Skills 8 Comments »
July 19th, 2020

Mystery Malfunction and Then Kaboom! What is Your Call?

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

What happens when a round goes off unsafely in an AR? Watch this video and see. At about the 00:40 time-mark the shooter has a malfunction (click no bang), with a round. He then removes the magazine, and clears the chamber (we think). On the next round, at 00:53 you hear a “Bang” and see a big puff of smoke coming out of the upper receiver (see photo at right). This has been called a “detonation” by the video-maker, but we’re not 100% sure what happened. What do you guys think? Watch the video carefully, and state your conclusions in the comment section if you wish.

What Caused this Malfunction? Watch Video…

In any event, the shooter is fortunate his upper did not completely fracture, launching shrapnel into his face or other body parts. This could have turned out much worse. Here are screen-shots from the video, showing details of the gun after the accident, along with the recovered brass case, which separated near the case-head.

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
July 18th, 2020

Tuner TECH — POI Shift with Barrel Tuner Position Changes

Tuner Pascal Bukys Point of Impact shift test 6 PPC benchrest

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine waveHave a good look at the photos below — this may be one of the most noteworthy target strings we’ve ever published. What you can see is the effect of barrel tuner position on point of impact (POI). You can clearly see that the tuner position alters the up/down POI location in a predictable fashion.

This remarkable 15-shot sequence was shot by French benchrester Pascal Fischbach using his 6 PPC fitted with a CG (Carlito Gonzales) action and a Bukys barrel tuner.

Pascal reports: “After [bullet] seating and load validation, I put the Bukys tuner on, screwing it out 10 turns. According to Carlito, the CG’s super stiff action-to-barrel fit gives a faster vibration modulus that is detrimental below 10 turns [position of the tuner].” Pascal’s procedure was to screw out the tuner 1/4 turn progressively from one shot to the next. He shot one bullet at each tuner position, with a total of 15 shots.

15-Shot Sequence with Tuner Changes
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave
CLICK HERE to SEE Large Version of Complete Test Strip (All 15 shots in a row).

Left Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Right Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Pascal observed: “Note the point of impact displacement [from shot to shot] tracks clearly along a sinusoide (sine wave curve).” This is indeed notable and significant! This shows how the tuner’s ability to change barrel harmonics can alter the position of the muzzle as each bullet exits, resulting in a higher or lower POI. Pascal sent his results to Carlito Gonzales in Argentina for analysis.

Pascal poses this question to readers: “Guess which three positions Carlito recommends to try?”

Editor’s Note: While this target sequence clearly shows how tuner position can alter bullet point of impact, this, by itself, does not tell us which tuner position(s) are best for accuracy. That will require further multi-shot group testing, involving careful experimentation with tuner position (and powder charge weights). But for those folks who doubt that a tuner can make a difference on a short, fat barrel, just take another look at the photos. The up/down changes are undeniable, and noteworthy in the wave pattern they follow.

Shooting Set-up and Test Conditions:
Pascal did this test at an outdoor range under very good conditions: “This was shot at my home range, outdoors, with four Smiley flags. The range is a narrow cut in high woods. Wind was consistent with readable flags. I started testing the tuner from 10 turns out and on to 15. I recently… found a sweet spot very close to the rearmost position of the tuner, so the rigidity provided by this super long tenon (just short of 70mm) was not a reason to overlook the recommended Bukys tuning procedure.”

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 18th, 2020

39th Annual BLADE Show in Georgia Cancelled

Alanta GA blade show 2020 covid-19 cancelled cancellation knife trade event

Another major outdoor industry event falls to pandemic pressures. The 39th Annual BLADE Show, scheduled for August 7-9 in Atlanta, Georgia, has been officially cancelled. The organizers hope to hold the event June 4-6, 2021 (next year), at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. IMPORTANT: Current Exhibitors and Ticket Holders will receive further instructions via email.

Posting on BladeShow.com, event organizers declared:

Unfortunately, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of all concerned to cancel BLADE Show 2020.

Please know that we did not reach this decision lightly. Having been in daily contact with guests, exhibitors, local officials and the show venue for the past two months, it has become apparent that we cannot present a 2020 event that meets exhibitor and attendee expectations and BLADE Show standards.

While the state of Georgia continues to grapple with decisions about new guidelines and restrictions to deal with the pandemic, BLADE Show too recognizes its responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees. BLADE Magazine and the BLADE Show staff appreciate the support we received from our many industry friends who worked with us to plan for the alternate August dates after we were forced to cancel the original June event.

What will blade and knife fans be missing? Check out this video from Blade Show 2019:

Permalink News, Tactical No Comments »
July 17th, 2020

Traveling by Air with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Airport security travel bag check-in O'hare TSA

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, we know that many readers will be traveling by air this summer to attend major matches. If you plan to fly commercially in the weeks ahead, you need to be careful when transporting firearms through airports both in the USA and in other countries. 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.

TSA Air transport safety locked bag declare firearm

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it start to finish. In addition, before your trip, you should check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

TSA Guidelines for Travel with Firearms

Firearms Guidelines
• When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.

• If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.

• Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.

• Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks.

• Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.

• Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.

• Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.

Ammunition Guidelines
• Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.

• Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm. Read the requirements governing the transport of ammunition in checked baggage as defined by 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8).

• Small arms ammunition (up to .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge) must be packaged in a fiber (such as cardboard), wood, plastic, or metal box specifically designed to carry ammunition and declared to your airline.

• Ammunition may be transported in the same hard-sided, locked case as a firearm if it has been packed as described above. You cannot use firearm magazines or clips for packing ammunition unless they completely enclose the ammunition.

• Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be boxed or included within a hard-sided, locked case.

• Please check with your airline for quantity limits for ammunition.

NOTE: The above TAS guidelines are reprinted directly from the TSA web page here: TSA.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition.

Important TSA Tips on Firearms and Flying

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
Ron 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 (e.g. to Montana or the Cactus Classic) and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.) 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.”

Plano Two-Gun Tactical Case

Plano Double Rifle Case Amazon Airport security travel bag check-in O'hare airline approved AW2TSA
This Plano AW2 two-gun Case offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is now just $116.67, while the equivalent SKB is around $300.00.

This Plano AW2 two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. This case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost — $116.67 on Amazon.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 17th, 2020

Summer’s Here — Monitor Barrel Heat with Stick-on Temp Strips

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

You never want your barrels to get too hot, which can happen more quickly in summertime. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these strips (item 59535K13) costs $12.77. That’s a mere $1.28 per barrel for strips — cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, try to stay under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

NOTE: On the McMaster.com website, you’ll need to scroll down to the multi-use “Temperature Indicating Labels”. Then click on the horizontal label and select item 59535K13, as shown below.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr
Click image for large view.

Forum member Nomad47 says: “I have temperature strips (bought at McMaster-Carr) on all my barrels. I try not to shoot when the barrel gets to 122 degrees or higher[.]” Here are photos of the McMaster-Carr temp strips on Nomad47’s customized Savage.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Bad things can happen if your barrel gets too hot. First, with some barrels, the point of impact (POI) will shift or “walk” as the barrel heats up excessively. Second, even if the POI doesn’t change, the groups can open up dramatically when the barrel gets too hot. Third, if the barrel is very hot, the chamber will transfer heat to your loaded cartridge, which can lead to pressure issues. Finally, there’s considerable evidence that hot barrels wear out faster. This is a very real concern, particularly for varmint shooters who may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. For this reason, many varminters switch among various guns, never letting a particular barrel get too hot.

Neconos.com offers Bar-L Temp Strips that visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees. Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers. With adhesive backing, they can also be used to monitor barrel heating.

Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. There is also a “general purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (see bottom row). The Benchrest strip (86°F to 140°F) is in the middle. These Bar-L temp strips cost $9.00 each, or $25.00 for a 3-pack.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 17th, 2020

New Carbon-Fiber Bipod with Balljoint (Pan, Tilt, Roll)

Truglo carbon fiber tacpod tilting bipod

Here is a new bipod with very useful features for hunters and tactical shooters. The new TruGlo TAC•POD™ Carbon Pro Bipod is lightweight and compact. With carbon fiber legs, it is lighter than typical metal bipods. Additionally, it employs a universal balljoint at the top. This allow the user to pan, tilt, and/or roll with one movement, and then lock the bipod in place. So, you can traverse left/right, AND adjust the barrel angle up down, AND rotate around the bore axis (to adjust for uneven ground). The new bipod is quite affordable, with MSRPs of $82.99 for 6-9″ model and $94.99 for 9-13″ model. NOTE: This bipod is so NEW that it is not yet in stock at retailers. But be patient — it should arrive later this summer.

Constructed from carbon fiber and aluminum, the TAC-POD Carbon Pro offers maximum strength with minimum weight. The mount quickly attaches to Picatinny-style rails and has a rotating design for easy shooting angle adjustment without repositioning the legs. Padded rubberized feet provide positive grip and the pivoting base offers quick leveling on uneven surfaces.

The ball-joint design allows the TAC-POD Carbon Pro to pan, tilt, and roll for various shooting positions. Users can then lock the bipod in place to maintain its position. A push-button leg lock provides smooth deployment — locking the legs in the up or down position. A twist-lock length adjustment allows each leg to independently extend. Padded rubberized feet provide positive grip retention and the pivoting base offers precision leveling on uneven surfaces.

TRUGLO TAC-POD Carbon Pro Bipod Specifications:

Model: TG8903S (6-9 inch legs, MSRP $82.99)
Model: TG8903L (9-13 inch legs, MSRP $94.99)
Pivoting base for precision leveling on uneven surfaces
Rapid, Easy Deployment/Movement with Balljoint
Carbon fiber and aluminum construction
Mounts to Picatinny rail
Padded rubberized feet

Truglo carbon fiber tacpod tilting bipod

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
July 16th, 2020

Sniper’s Hide Cup 2020 — Tac Match in Pacific NW Backcountry

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

The Sniper’s Hide Cup competition went forward this year, despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event took place June 20-21, 2020 in Colville, WA. This was a backcountry match, set in beautiful green mountain scenery. Here are images from the 2020 SH Cup as posted on the Sniper’s Hide Facebook Page. Congrats to Frank Galli (aka “Lowlight”), founder of Sniper’s Hide, and all the participants in the event. Looks like a great two days of shooting.

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

The Everyday Sniper Episode 260: Sniper’s Hide Cup 2020

After the 2020 SH Cup event, Frank Galli hosted an informative podcast:

Topics include: Stages, Targets, Equipment, Mindset, First-Time Competitors
Frank: “I’m back from the Sniper’s Hide Cup in Colville, Washington. I’ll be breaking down some lessons learned and give you my observations from the field and competitors with whom I spoke. [We cover] the experience of attending a match and helping new shooters — the juniors, the first time competitors, and how you work with them. Thanks for listening, sharing, and commenting on the Everyday Sniper Podcast.”

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
July 16th, 2020

Lapua 10% Rebate on Brass and Bullets — Get Up to $200 Back

Lapua bullet scenar brass summer savings rebate capstone

Lapua has kicked off its 2020 Sizzling Summer Savings Rebate Program. From July 15 through August 31, 2020 you can get 10% Cash Back on qualifying Lapua Scenar bullets and rifle cartridge cases. With this Summer Rebate you can get up to $200 back on your Lapua bullet and brass purchases.

This is quality stuff. Lapua brass is used by top shooters in all disciplines, and Lapua Scenar bullets show outstanding accuracy and consistency. We’ve had superb results with Scenar bullets in multiple rifles and even set a local range record with the 6mm 105s.

Lapua Scenar bullets have a proven record on the range and the battlefield. They’re a popular tangent ogive, HPBT design that is extremely accurate with excellent base-to-ogive and weight uniformity.

Lapua bullet scenar brass summer savings rebate capstone

Lapua cartridge cases set the standard for quality, uniformity, and long life. Strong primer pockets, superior annealing processes, and dimensional uniformity deliver superior accuracy and longevity. There is a reason winning shooters use Lapua.

Lapua bullet scenar brass summer savings rebate capstone

To get your rebate, complete the online form at Capstonepg.com/LapuaRebate or fill out an order form from your favorite retailer. You will need the original online order receipt or the retailer cash register receipt showing the retailer name and date of qualifying product purchase.

About Lapua — Renowned for Quality
Lapua is world-renowned for producing the finest bullets and cartridge cases. Starting with the highest-quality raw materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, Lapua components are highly sought-after by competitive shooters, Mil/LE operators and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit .

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading No Comments »
July 15th, 2020

Great Video Series with Bryan Litz Explains Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Elements Long Range Shooting NSSF Ballistics Coeffecient Atmospherics

Want to learn more about Long Range Shooting? Check out the “Elements of Long Range Shooting” videos from the National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF). In this multi-part series, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics covers a variety of topics of interest to precision shooters. Today we feature three of these videos. There are five other videos in this series. Watch the entire 8-video “Elements of Long Range Shooting” series on the NSSF YouTube Channel.

Litz NSSF Video Elements long range shooting Raton NM ELR

Atmospherics and Density Altitude

Bryan Litz explains: “An important element in calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range shooting is understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile.” Atmospherics include air pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Bryan notes: “Temperature, pressure, and humidity all affect the air density… that the bullet is flying through. You can combine all those factors into one variable called ‘Density Altitude’.” Density Altitude is used by the ballistic solver to account for air density variables that affect bullet flight.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients

A bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) basically expresses how well the bullet flies through the air. Higher BC bullets have less aerodynamic drag than lower BC projectiles. You will see BCs listed as either G1 and G7 numbers. These correspond to different bullet shape models. Generally speaking, the G7 model works better for the long, boat-tail bullets used for long-range shooting. Notably, a bullet’s drag is NOT constant in flight. The true BC can vary over the course of the trajectory as the bullet velocity degrades. In other words, “BC is dynamic”. That said, you can make very accurate drop charts using the BCs provided by major bullet-makers, as plugged into solvers. However, long-range competitors may want to record “real world” drop numbers at various distances. For example, we’ve seen trajectories be higher than predicted at 500 yards, yet lower than predicted at 1000.

Ballistics Solvers — Many Options

Bryan Litz observes: “When we talk about the elements of long range shooting, obviously a very important element is a getting a fire solution, using a ballistic solver. There are a lot of ballistic solvers out there… Applied Ballistics has smartphone Apps. Applied Ballistics has integrated the ballistic solver directly into a Kestral, and the same solver runs (manually) on the Accuracy Solutions Wiz-Wheel. The point is, if it is an Applied Ballistics device it is running the same solutions across the board.”

About Bryan Litz
Bryan began his career as a rocket scientist, quite literally. He then started Applied Ballistics, the leading company focusing on ballistics science for rifle shooting. A past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2017 King of 2 Miles event, and Applied Ballistics recently received a major U.S. defense contract to to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 14th, 2020

In Memoriam — Donald “Stick” Starks, Rest in Peace

Donald Stick starks gunsmith texas memorial RIP

We’re saddened to announce that noted gunsmith Donald “Stick” Starks passed away last Wednesday. He succumbed to COPD, a disease he’d struggled with for many years. Stick Starks was respected as a knowledgeable gunsmith who built very successful competition rifles, and help popularize many innovative smithing techniques. As proprietor of S&S Precision Rifle in Texas, Stick built great rifles, and helped many folks get their start in competitive rifle shooting. In this Forum Thread, many folks recounted memories of Stick and expressed their sadness at his passing…

“Stick was a great friend and gunsmith. He will be missed.” — Chris Covell

Donald Stick starks gunsmith texas memorial RIPOnline Memorial for Donald “Stick” Starks
There will be an online memorial service for Stick Starks on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. This will work via the Zoom video meeting service. This may require you to install some software.

Memorial Service for Don “Stick” Starks

Time: July 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM Central Time

Zoom Meeting LINK:
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77118997881?pwd=R0pwWG9ZTFJjVEJXYlF2TGhIQnJjQT09

Zoom Meeting ID: 771 1899 7881

Zoom Meeting Passcode: stickman

This video shows Stick Starks at his very best, building a rifle with great attention to detail. He did superb chambering and metal work and his bedding jobs were as good as it gets.

Remembering Donald “Stick” Starks…

Eric Kennard posted: “I learned my good friend Don “Stick” Starks died … after a several year battle with COPD. Stick was an amazing and innovative gunsmith. He was a Master Machinist who built engines for dragsters and race boats in his past years. Stick was ornery as all get out. I will truly miss him. He built all of Kenny Adams’ rifles that led Kenny to becoming the 2013 World F-Class Champion. God Speed Stick.”

Donald Stick starks gunsmith texas memorial RIP

Forum member Thud added: “My best recollections of Stick is his helping both new and seasoned shooters. They would see him at the range or a match and make a bee line to talk to him. He would listen to their problems or ideas and comment on them. There were customers that would call several times a day just to talk, He always made a few minutes available to them so they flounder. For anyone who had a problem with their rifle — he was always will to help both at the range or in the shop. He was a easy-going guy yet a serious guy who would help anyone if you needed it.”

Forum member Bill (Boiler_House 7) praised Starks’ skills: “Don was such a nice guy and a super good friend. Some may not know this but he was a super talented automotive machinist back in the day as well. He turned out a lot of quality work on race motors at ABC performance in Odessa, Texas. Don is going to be missed by a lot of people he influenced with his knowledge through the years. RIP my friend.”

“Stick was the one who shoved me off the bank into the deep water of accurate rifles, and competitive shooting. The stainless steel Stiller Viper and red Robertson-stocked gun he built [for me] is truly a prized possession. I am really sad to see him go. May his breathing be easy now.” — D. Martin

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
July 14th, 2020

What is Your #1 Favorite Reloading Equipment Item?

Wilson hand die arbor press Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets asked a few hand-loaders to reveal their favorite reloading tool or accessory: “What is your favorite ‘don’t know how you ever lived without it’ piece of reloading equipment?” Some of the answers are listed below. We were interested to see some high-tech, micro-processor items mentioned, such as the AMP Annealer, and the AutoTrickler powder dispenser. Old standbys, such as the rugged RCBS Rockchucker and Dillon 650, also made the favorites list. You can nominate your own favorite reloading hardware in the comments section of the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Forster Co-ax press

Bill, Editor of Rifleshooter.com, answered: “I have so many favorite reloading tools, it’s hard to pick one. But if I had to, it would be my Forster Co-Ax press. I like the ease [with which] you can change dies and that it doesn’t require traditional shell holders. It’s a great tool to have!”

Forster Co-Ax Press

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “I don’t know that you would actually call this equipment, but the item that comes to mind would be my reloading room/shoot house. I had always had to squeeze everything into a corner or even an unheated shed. After we bought our current house, I built a garage and placed it so that I had a window looking down a 250-yard range. I built a dedicated room with heat and A/C. It contains my reloading bench and a shooting bench. The shooting bench lets me slide open the window and shoot down the range. It is very handy to not have to load everything up to go to the range. It also makes load development a lot simpler and efficient. I don’t know how I ever got along without it.

I also wonder what I did before I acquired the Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser. This has made the process so much simpler and much easier. I also have a Lee Precison Universal Decapping Die that I would gladly spend the money on again. This may be a small thing, but it certainly is handy. The Lee would accommodate some very large cases that some of the others were too small for.”

Jon Addis answered: “Putting an A&D FX-120i scale with AutoTrickler and Auto-Throw on the bench has changed the way I reload. It’s kernel accurate in about 15 seconds. Saves time and reduces a variable. And of course, the system is made better by the Area 419 Billet Adjustable base for the trickler and Billet Powder Cup.”

This video shows the AutoTrickler V2 and Auto-Throw Combo:

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered: “Dillon 550 and 650 presses.”

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “The Lee Precison hand priming tool.”

Sierra Bullets Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “A brass annealing machine and a RCBS Chargemaster complimented with a Sartorious scale.”

RCBS RockchuckerSierra Bullets Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker Press, it’s built like a tank, and it will last me a lifetime.”

Sierra Bullets Production Manager Chris Hatfield also answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage reloading press.”

Jeremy Kisner answered: “My Giraud trimmer has taken [three operations] and combined them into one easy task. I can now size my brass and then sit down and trim, chamfer, and debur to a 0.001″ tolerance in one motion.”

Dan Blake answered: “My Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) annealer. With consistent neck tension being one of the largest contributions to small Extreme Spread on muzzle velocities, I believe this induction annealer is truly the best on the market.”

This manufacturer-produced video shows how the AMP annealing machine operates:

Trevor Aldinger answered: “Area 419 Master Funnel Kit. In the past I’ve used plastic funnels and even other metal ones. This system fits case necks and flows much better than any others I’ve used, and there is no static since it’s metal. We spend a lot of time and money to get precise charges, I don’t want to lose or miss a kernel because of a cheap funnel.”

Area 419 Master Funnel kit

Tyler Riley answered: “My RCBS bench primer (priming tool). It has a lot more leverage than a hand primer and still has a good feel to how tight primer pockets are. Makes it much easier on my hands to prime large runs, especially new brass with tight pockets.”

Craig Arnzen answered: “My Annealeez [annealing machine] is one of the best tools in my reloading room. Neck tension is SO important, and annealing every firing really helps with that. This is an inexpensive tool that can anneal a lot of cases at once, and help me produce more consistent ammo.”

Josh Temmen answered: “Time is critical for me so my RCBS Chargemasters are indispensable (pun intended.) They cut down on time at my reloading bench while maintaining the weight tolerances required for long range shooting.”

Josh Bartlett answered: “I have my Dillon 650 set up with Whidden floating tool heads to do decapping and sizing on my match ammo. The case feeder and progressive function of the press save me a TON of time when doing lots of several hundred rounds.”

Ryan Brandt answered: “… A quality set of calipers. My reloading room is full of very nice equipment but little does more to satisfy my perfectionism than a good check with the calipers.”

Sierra Bullets

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
July 14th, 2020

Tikka T3 Upgrades with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrels

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

We have always liked Tikka actions, and now there is a great re-barreling option for Tikka T3 owners. Criterion Barrels Inc. (CBI), makers of “pre-fit” barrels for Savage, Remington, and Rem-clone actions, also produces Tikka pre-fits. These pre-chambered barrels for Tikka T3 actions will be headspaced with a barrel nut, just like a Savage.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels
Click image for full-screen version

Criterion’s Tikka T3 pre-fit barrels are currently sold through Solid Accuracy, a respected Texas-based outfit that sells high-end scopes, stocks, barrels and other rifle components. Solid Accuracy states: “Each Solid Accuracy/Criterion pre-fit barrel features a hand-lapped bore and meets extreme quality control standards. Utilizing a proven barrel nut design, these barrels can be swapped in just a few minutes using only a barrel nut wrench and the appropriate headspace gauge set. Solid Accuracy offers finished lengths up to 30″ with multiple contour options.”

These Tikka pre-fits were introduced in 2017, and the accuracy results were impressive. Solid Accuracy’s initial test rifle featured a Tikka T3 action mounted in a KRG X-Ray chassis, with Criterion barrel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The group below was shot with a stout load of H4350 and Sierra 140 grain MatchKings seated .009″ in the lands.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

Criterion is proud of how well the Tikka pre-fit project turned out. These barrels work great in the Tikka platform. One of Criterion’s staffers was so impressed with the initial test results that he is built his own Tikka T3 rifle, with a Criterion pre-fit of course…

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
July 13th, 2020

Bargain Finder 251: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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. Midsouth Shooters — Buy Green Get Green RCBS Rebates

Bergara B-14 HMR

Rebate Program for ALL RCBS products — presses, tools and more

RCBS Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS products worth $100.00 or more and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. Buy from Midsouth or other retailer. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $100.00 total. Buy at least $400 worth of RCBS Products and get a big $100.00 rebate. Spend $250-$399 to get a $75.00 rebate. Purchase $100-$249 and get $50 back. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a reloading kit, save big with this promo. It’s good for purchases now through August 31, 2020. Submit RCBS Rebate Forms HERE.

2. MidwayUSA — Pelican V800 53″ Double Rifle Case, $139.96

Pelican Vault V800 double rifle case transport case foam wheels

Excellent hard case, $60 savings, great for air travel

This is one of the best large hardshell rifle cases on the market. The Pelican Vault V800 compares well to other hard cases costing up to $350.00 but right now it is just $139.96 at MidwayUSA. Choose Desert Tan or Black. This case will hold two large match rifles securely. It features five layers of customizable foam, along with six (6) push-button latches. This same V800 53″ case sells elsewhere for $219.00, and is normally $199.95 at MidwayUSA. With this deal you save at least $60.00!

3. Brownells — KRG Bravo Chassis Rem 700, $329.99 with Code

brownells krg bravo tactical hunting stock internal aluminum precision

Versatile internal frame stock for PRS or hunting — tan, black, or green

The Kinetic Research Group (KRG) Rem 700 Bravo Chassis is a good dual-purpose choice for PRS and hunting. There is an internal aluminum frame with polymer exterior in Flat Dark Earth, Sako Green, or black. The stock fits Rem 700 and Rem Clone actions, accepts AICS-pattern mags, and is M-LOK compatible. The 2.9-lb KRG Bravo chassis features adjustable cheek riser and length-of-pull, built-in thumb shelf, plus quick-detach sling-swivel and bipod mounts. The KRG Bravo stock costs $349.99 at Brownells. You can also get $20 Off with Brownells code VSA, lowering the net cost to $329.99.

4. MidwayUSA Padded Shooting Mat, $74.99 on Sale

thick deluxe padded shooting mat MidwayUSA form padding

Most comfortable Shooting Pad, stellar owner reviews

This padded MidwayUSA mat is much more comfortable than typical shooting mats. With 1.5″-thick high-density foam, this is way better for knees and elbows than typical roll-up mats. For your home range, this is a good choice. On sale now for $74.99, this thick mat folds into three sections. It stows flat and fits nicely in the back of a truck or SUV. Actual owner comments: “If you like to be COMFORTABLE … I can highly recommend it! Easy on the elbows. Easy on the knees. Easy on the belly. You can even kneel on it comfortably, even when the surface is rock-hard!”; “I tell you what … Do yourself a favor and spend the few extra dollars on this unit. Highly recommended.” MORE REVIEWS HERE.

5. Amazon — Wheeler Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, $47.92

wheeler trigger gauge sale

Precise, repeatable to 12 pounds, select Peak or Continuous read-outs

Every serious shooter should have a good trigger gauge. The Wheeler digital trigger gauge is precise and repeatable, measuring pull weights up to 12 pounds. The load cell directly contacts the trigger making it extremely accurate with +/- 0.2 ounce precision. There are two modes: “Peak” and “Live.” Peak mode shows max force for each pull and calculates the minimum, maximum and average pull weights. Live mode continuously shows the force on the sensor. It even has a special adapter for Savage-style triggers with bladed inserts. Sale price is just $47.92 on Amazon.

6. EuroOptic — Nikon BLACK Riflescope Closeout Sale

Nikon black scope sale

Great Value — These FX1000 Nikons rival optics costing twice the price

If you’re in the market for a tactical scope, check out EuroOptic’s Nikon BLACK riflescope sale. These are good, reliable scopes that rival optics costing twice as much. EuroOptic has a good selection at prices up to 40% off. Choose MOA or MRAD versions with a variety of reticle options. NOTE: These BLACK Nikons are quality scopes that have performed well in the field. You’d have to pay hundreds more to do much better.

7. Amazon — Custom Damascus Hunting Knife, $59.99

custom hunting damascus knife

Handsome knife, quality sheath, 80% 5-Star Reviews

Having a good hunting knife on your hip when you’re out in the field is a necessity. Whether dressing your game, making kindling, or getting out of dangerous situations, the importance of having a good knife can’t be overstated. If you’re looking for new one or maybe a gift for that new young hunter in your life, take a look at this custom Damascus hunting knife complete with leather sheath. It can do a myriad of tasks while looking great with that Damascus steel blade.

8. Grizzly or Amazon — Dewalt Storage Box on Wheels, $60.95

dewalt tool box

Strong, tough, with many stackable tool box options

Hard-side rolling range boxes are becoming very popular. Wheeled toolboxes such as the Dewalt TSTAK storage box have become the new go-to way of easily transporting gear to the line, replacing bags. The best part of these systems is that you can easily stack a smaller fitted Dewalt box on top such as the flat top toolbox or the deep drawer organizer and create the range box combo that works best for you. These smaller boxes mate with recesses in the top of the larger TSTAK Deep Box with Wheels.

9. Amazon — Two Pairs Safety Eyewear (Clear + Tinted), $12.95

safety shooting glasses

Eye protection is important! All you need is one case separation or blown primer to cause serious eye injury. Don’t take that risk. Plus the CMP has made Eye Protection mandatory for all CMP Pistol and Centerfire Rifle events. Here’s a great kit with TWO Sets of safety eyewear. These feature ANSI Z87.1-rated lenses that are anti-fog and scratch-resistant. The lenses also block harmful UV rays. Get the Twin Safety Eyewear 2-Pack for just $12.95 at Amazon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
July 13th, 2020

Make Your Own Modified Case to Measure Length-to-Lands

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

Our friend Gavin Gear has just released an excellent video showing how to make a threaded Modified Case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge. You can watch Gavin make a Modified Case start to finish in the video below:

Video Shows How to Drill and Tap Modified Case

Gavin has some clever tricks. First he uses a sizing die to hold the cartridge case during the threading process. Second he uses two drill bits in sequence — a smaller bit to ream out the primer pocket, and then a larger “M” bit to increase the hole diameter before threading the brass. Finally he leaves the threading tap IN the brass, locks the tailstock, and then “gently pulls on the quill” to remove the brass from the die held in his lathe (See 5:46 timemark).

Modified Case Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Get the Correct 5/16″-36 RH Tap
Unfortunately, Hornady has selected an uncommon thread type for OAL Gauges. You probably won’t be able to buy the correct 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap at your local hardware store. However you CAN order this special tap from Amazon for $9.99.

Modified Case Q & A — TECH TIPS

Why do I need a Modified Case?
Every serious reloader should have a Modified Case for each cartridge type they shoot. The reason is that this allows you to get very precise measurements of the length-to-lands in your chamber. When used with the Hornady OAL Gauge, with some practice, you should be able to get repeatable length-to-lands measurements within about 0.015″. We generally do 4-5 measurements with the OAL Gauge and usually 3 or 4 will be “on the money”. NOTE: We recommend a gentle, easy pressure on the plastic pusher rod. Don’t push too hard or you will jam the bullet hard into the lands, which produces inconsistent results.

Can’t I Just Buy a Modified Case?
Hornady makes a variety of Modified Cases sold on Amazon and through retailers such as Midsouth. While Hornady makes modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Win, you can get more consistent measurements with a custom Modified Case.

If you do decide to make your own modified case, you’ll want to start with a case that’s been fired in your rifle. That way you get the best fit to YOUR chamber. Also, you won’t need to expand the neck to provide bullet clearance. Then you need to drill out the primer pocket and tap the base of the case to match the threads on the Hornady OAL Gauge tool. Make at least two modified cases, as you’ll probably misplace one at some point.

Erik Cortina Makes a Modified Case

If you want to learn more about making Modified Cases, top F-Class shooter Erik Cortina has also created a helpful video showing the process he uses to make modified cases. In Erik’s video, he shows how he taps a case to work with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). Erik also explains how to get the best results when using the Modified Case to measure length to lands.

MORE INFORMATION: Want to learn more? We published a much longer story in which Erik explains in greater detail how to made the Modified Case. That article illustrates the 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap required and shows how to set up the lathe to drill and tap your case. If you are serious about making your own Modified Cases, you should Read the Full Article.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »