August 2nd, 2020

Sunday GunBlast Gunday: Tribute to Jeff Quinn, Gunblast Founder

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Jeff Quinn, founder of GunBlast.com, was a good-hearted, southern country boy who loved firearms. Sadly he passed away on July 27, 2020. He will be missed. His reviews were always honest and thoughtful. Notably, Jeff was a true internet pioneer. With help from his brother Boge Quinn, Jeff created Gunblast.com back in 2000. He was one of the first independent writers publishing gun reviews on the internet. And he also was one of the very first to release gun test videos on YouTube. Over the past two decades the GunBlast YouTube channel has racked up over 64 million views. Jeff Quinn led the way for popular YouTube video hosts such as 22Plinkster and Hickok 45.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

This Sunday Gunday, to mark Jeff’s passing and recognize his influence in the world of firearms videos, we are reprising six of his videos from the past decade. There are a wide selection here — both rifles and pistols, rimfire and centerfire. We’ve even included a special video where Jeff tests a pre-WWI era Maxim machine gun.

The Patriot — Accurate .22-250 AI Benchrest Rifle

While Jeff Quinn focused on factory handguns, hunting rifles, and defensive shotguns, he did occasionally sample accurate custom rifles. Here he tested a unique “Patriot” .22-250 AI rig built on a sleeved Remington 700 action. This handsome rifle boasts a custom-painted, thumbhole benchrest stock with a stars-and-stripes motif. One side says “In God We Trust”, while the other side carries the message “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms”. This “Patriot” rifle delivered three-shot ragged-hole groups at 100 yards.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Tales from the Vault — Winchester 1895 Lever Gun

Along with his regular field tests, Jeff hosted videos that focused on the historical heritage of some of his favorite firearms. In the “Tales from the Vault” episode, Jeff showcases a prized example from his personal gun collection. This is an original Winchester Model 1895 lever-action rifle chambered in 30 Army, also known as 30-40 Krag.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Smith & Wesson Performance Center M629 .44 Magnum

Smith & Wesson builds some of the best wheelguns on the planet, and Performance Center models are the top of the S&W lineup. This Editor owns two S&W Performance Center revolvers, and they are both outstanding, with great triggers and accuracy that puts most semi-auto handguns to shame. In this video, Jeff Quinn tests a Performance Center six-shot Model 629 Hunter Revolver with a 8 3/8″ fluted barrel. S&W includes a Weaver-type optics rail with this capable wheelgun.

Shooting the Savage A17 in 17 HMR

The Savage model A17 delayed-blowback semi-auto in .17 HMR is one of our favorite budget varmint rifles. It is affordable, reliable, and surprisingly accurate with good .17 HMR ammo. Here Jeff Quinn tests the basic A17. We like the upgraded version with a laminated thumbhole stock, shown below. But both versions utilize the same well-designed action. This is a good choice for small varmints, such as ground squirrels, out to 200 yards.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Ruger GP100 .22 LR 10-Shot Revolver

We believe every gun enthusiast should have a good rimfire revolver, and Jeff Quinn would concur. The small size of the .22 LR cartridge allows modern wheelguns to have 10-round cylinder capacity. That’s great for target shooting, fun plinking, and gun games. Here Jeff reviews the sturdy .22 LR GP100 from Ruger. Jeff says this pistol offers “a good tight barrel/cylinder gap” and “positive ejection that kicks spent cases out really well.” He noted that this pistol was “amazingly accurate”. He tested 9 different ammo types and got 1.5″ average TEN-shot groups at 25 yards. (See video at 2:40 for targets.)

BONUS Video — Maxim Machine Gun (1914 Vintage)

The Maxim machine gun was one of the earliest successful fully-automatic weapons. Many of its revolutionary design features are still used in modern machine guns. Here Jeff Quinn tests a belt-fed, wheeled-carriage Maxim with Joe Meaux of Aklys Defense from Aklys Defense.

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August 2nd, 2020

Expanding Cartridge Brass in Stages with Progressive Press

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press
Photos from DJ’s Brass Service.

Have you ever expanded a .22 or 6mm cartridge all the way up to .30-caliber? If so, you know this can be a difficult procedure that stresses the case necks and neck-shoulder junction. A significant neck-size expansion done in one big jump can increase run-out, cause doughnuts, or worse yet, even split the brass. Therefore you want to proceed in increments, increasing the neck diameter in stages. One smart way to do that is to use a Progressive Press. This article explains how…

The most successful short-range brenchrest-for-score cartridge is the 30 BR. That cartridge, as well as 30 BR variants such as the 30 BRX, all start with the 6mmBR Norma parent cartridge, typically with Lapua 6mmBR brass. To get a nice 30 BR case you want to expand in stages, increasing the inside neck diameter incrementally from .243 to .308.

Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service creates thousands of 30 BR cases each year. He has found a clever way to speed up the process — Darrell uses a Progressive Press. He runs his 6BR brass through four (4) separate Hornady neck-sizing dies with expander mandrels. First there is a .257 die, followed by .264 (6.5mm), .284 (7mm), and then .308. Then a fifth and final K&M die provides one last, slight expansion so the newly-fashioned 30 BR cases perfectly fit the arbor of Darrell’s neck-turning tool.

So to repeat, the case starts as .243 (6mm), then moves in up stages .257, .264, .284, and .308, with a final “finishing” step prior to neck-turning. You can see the expansion in this video, which starts with 6mmBR brass that was first hydro-formed to 6 BRX:

Watch 6mm Cases Expanded to 30-Caliber (6BRX to 30 BRX)

For this demo video, Darrell expands just one case at a time. However, he can also put multiple cases in the progressive — one per station. This takes a little more effort, Darrell says, but the results are still excellent. Darrell tells us: “I do put multiple cases in the progressive to save time. The results are the same — I just wanted to show a single-step process and how it reduces run-out by not stressing the shoulder with one big expansion from 6mm straight to 30 caliber. Doing the operation in multiple stages avoids binds and helps keep the shoulders concentric.”

This same multi-stage procedure can be use to expand other cartridge types. For example you could take .221 Fireball brass in stages up to .308 to create 300 Blackout brass.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

Darrell uses caliber-specific, Hornady neck-sizing-only dies with elliptical expanders. Darrell tells us: “The Hornady elliptical expander has a reduced bearing surface that puts less strain on the brass when expanding the necks to the next size.” The fitting at the bottom of the die is the Lock-N-Load die bushing that allows fast die changes.

These particular cases used in the video were first hydro-formed to 6BRX then expanded to 30 BRX before neck turning. DJ’s Brass offers hydro-forming for many popular wildcat cartridges such as 6 PPC, 6mm Dasher, and .284 Shehane.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

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August 2nd, 2020

Parallax Defined and How to Use Your Parallax Control Properly

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

PARALLAX – What is it and Why is it important?

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

What is Parallax?
Parallax is the apparent movement of the scope’s reticle (cross-hairs) in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope. This is caused by the target and the reticle being located in different focal planes.

Why is it Important?
The greater the distance to the target and magnification of the optic, the greater the parallax error becomes. Especially at longer distances, significant sighting error can result if parallax is not removed.

How to Remove Parallax
This Nightforce Tech Tip video quickly shows how to remove parallax on your riflescope.

While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a slight nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. To remove parallax, start with the adjustment mechanism on infinity and rotate until the reticle remains stationary in relation to the target regardless of head movement. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement behind the optic.

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

This Parallax Discussion first appeared in the Nightforce Newsletter.

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