January 30th, 2015

Why Shoot a 300 Blackout? Kirsten Provides Some Answers

.300 AAC blackout blk

In her latest video, Kirsten Joy Weiss shows off the 300 AAC Blackout, a popular .30-caliber cartridge for AR-platform rifles. Kirsten explains the advantages for the 300 BLK for hunters as well as those using an AR for self-defense. The 300 BLK is popular with suppressor owners because it works well with heavy bullets launched at subsonic velocities.

Reasons to Shoot a 300 AAC Blackout:

– You can use your current AR Bolt, Bolt Carrier, Buffer, and Magazine. The only part you need to change is the barrel.
– 300 BLK conforms to state hunting regulations which may require a cartridge larger than .22 Caliber. The 300 BLK shoots .308 caliber bullets.
– Lapua now sells 300 AAC Blackout brass so no case-forming is required. Just load and shoot.
– You can shoot light bullets supersonic or heavier bullets subsonic. The subsonic capabilities of the 300 BLK make it ideal for use with a suppressed AR.
– With a .30-caliber bore and a modest powder charge, barrel life is outstanding with the 300 BLK.
– You can make 300 BLK cartridges from fired .223 Rem brass, which is plentiful and cheap.
– The .300 BLK performs well with some very accurate powders, such as Hodgdon H4198 and IMR 4227.

300 BLK Dan Horner

The 300 AAC Blackout was created by Advanced Armament Corp. and Remington primarily for the military as a way to shoot .30-caliber bullets from the M4/AR15 platform while using standard magazines. As explained by Robert Silvers, AAC’s R&D Director: “Now there is a way to shoot 30 caliber from your AR while still using normal magazines with full capacity. Even the bolt stays the same, and all that changes is the barrel.” For more information visit www.300aacblackout.com and download the 300 BLK Cartridge Information Guide (PDF).

300 AAC Blackout SAAMI Diagram
300 Blackout SAAMI Cartridge Specification

SAAMI, the industry standards organization, adopted and standardized the AAC 300 Blackout in 2010. The SAAMI diagram for the 300 BLK is shown above. Lapua now makes 300 BLK cartridge brass.

300 BLK Blackout AAC Lapua brass cartridge

300 BLK for 3-Gun Competition
The 300 AAC Blackout has been touted as an important new hunting round, but we see it more as a specialized “rule-beater” 30-cal option that lets 3-Gun competitors “make major” with a low-recoil cartridge that also offers long barrel life. For those who need to run a .30-caliber cartridge from a standard AR15 platform (as opposed to the AR10), the 300 AAC Blackout makes some sense. But for hunters using a bolt gun, there are any number of tried and true options, such as the 7.62×39, .30-30, and, of course, the .308 Winchester (7.62×51 NATO).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
January 28th, 2015

SHOT Show: Ashbury Precision, Vortex Optics, Thunder Beast

Our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys, were prolific last week in Las Vegas, visiting dozens of vendors at SHOT Show. Here are Ed and Steve’s video reports for Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO), Vortex Optics, and Thunderbeast Arms. (If you’re thinking about buying a suppressor definitely check out the new Ultra series from Thunderbeast, featured in the third video below). You can see more SHOT Show videos by Ed and Steve at 6.5Guys.com.


Ashbury Precision Ordnance

Here Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Competitor Melissa Gilliland talks about the modular chassis systems offered by Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO). With adjustable buttplate, cheekpiece, and grip, these systems can be adapted for a variety of shooting disciplines. APO even offers a modular chassis for Savage barreled actions. Melissa shoots a tricked-out 6.5 Creedmoor rig with a Titanium APO action.

New Precision Rifle from APO
Ashbury Precision Ordnance

SABRE Chassis System for Savage Actions
Ashbury Precision Ordnance


Vortex Optics

Vortex continues to grab a larger share of the tactical and long-range hunting markets. This video features the Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm and 3-18x50mm scopes. These Gen II Razors feature apochromatic objective lenses, rugged 34mm single-piece aluminum main tubes, and versatile 6X zoom range. Both MOA-based and Milrad-based reticles are offered. Vortex scopes have large, user-friendly controls, and a good feature set for the price.

Vortex Optics 6.5Guys.com

Thunder Beast Arms

Thunder Beast Arms’s suppressors, built by shooters for shooters, are tough yet light. Thunder Beast developed a strong following for its titanium cans that offered excellent performance with light weight. In this video, Thunder Beast unveils its new “Ultra” series of suppressors. Compared to Thunder Beast’s previous CB-series suppressors (of like size), these Ultras are 4 to 5 ounces lighter, yet provide 4 to 5 decibels of additional noise reduction. That represents a major gain in suppressor performance.

Thunderbeast arms suppressor ultra can

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
January 28th, 2015

Varmint Benchrest Silhouette on Shooting USA TV Tonight

Shooting reactive targets is fun, especially when you get to use ultra-accurate benchrest rifles. To see how the “Varmint Silhouette” game is played, tune in to Shooting USA tonight on the Outdoor Channel. Tonight’s episode features a long-range varmint benchrest silhouette match at the Ridgway Rifle Club in Pennsylvania. This is silhouette like you’ve never seen it, with targets placed from 850 to 1,000 yards, and shooters using precision rifles, high-end optics, and advanced rests. This new sport combines the knock-down fun of silhouette with the high-tech precision of benchrest shooting. At Ridgway’s first Bench Rest Silhouette match 28 shooters participated. Five years later, nearly 120 shooters attend regular monthly matches. CLICK HERE for Match Info.


Varmint Benchrest Silhouette Basics
In 2010, the Ridgway Rifle Club combined Metallic Silhouette and 1000-yard Bench Rest into one exciting new discipline. Steel targets are arrayed in banks of five at four distances. The targets are set up as follows: Crows at 850 yards, Ground Hogs at 900 yards, Bobcats at 950 yards, and Coyotes at 1000 yards. Just dinging a target is not enough — to count as a “hit”, the target must fall down.

Ridgway PA varmint benchrest silhouette long range

Ridgeway allows two classes of guns, Heavy Class with a maximum weight of 17 pounds, and Standard Class with a maximum weight of 12 pounts. Both classes must otherwise conform to the Light Gun rules for the Original 1000-Yard Bench Rest Club in Williamsport, PA.

Varmint Silhouette West of the Mississipi
Clubs in other states also host Varmint Silhouette matches (or some variant thereof). One of the longest-running and most popular Varmint Silhouette matches is held the first weekend of every month at the Pala Range, in San Diego County, California. At Pala, competitors shoot at “critter” targets placed at five yardages: 200 Meters – Field Mice (“pikas”); 300 meters – Crows; 385 meters – Ground Squirrels; 500 meters – Jack Rabbits; 600 yards – Prairie Dogs

Pala Varmint Silhouette

pala range san diego varmint

Fun Weekend for the Whole Family
Pala California Shooting RangeAt Pala, there’s a deluxe Indian Casino/Spa nearby. So don’t hesitate to bring the wife. If she’s not a shooter, she can enjoy a fancy brunch or spa treatment while you’re having fun mowing down metal critters. Pala is a 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and beautiful beaches, so you can make this a weekend holiday for the whole family — kids love sand and surf.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 8 Comments »
January 26th, 2015

SHOT Show: Bushnell, McRee’s Precision, Timney, TargetVision

Our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys, were in Las Vegas last week, checking out new products at SHOT Show. On Day 2, Ed and Steve tracked down some cool products from Bushnell, McRee’s Precision, Timney, and TargetVision. Here are Ed and Steve’s Show product preview video reports. You can see more SHOT Show videos by Ed and Steve at 6.5Guys.com.


Bushnell

Laser RangeFinder with BlueTooth: Here Bushnell showcases the brand new Elite CONX Rangefinder. Using a Bluetooth connection, this “networkable” rangefinder can communicate with a smart-phone (and certain Kestrels). This allows you to push range/angle data directly into a ballistics App on your phone. We will certainly see more of this kind of inter-device connectivity in the future. The CONX can work with both iOS (Apple) and Android OS devises.

Bushnell Shot Show 6.5 Guys Optics Rangefinder


McRee’s Precision

Chassis Systems and Prefit Kits: The 6.5 guys interviewed Top Shot Season 2 Champion Chris Reed at the McRee’s Precision booth. McRee’s offers chassis systems as well as turn-key pre-fit barrel kits using Criterion barrels. Chris Reed reviews the “Remage” pre-fit barrel system for Remington actions at 5:25 in the video.

6.5 Guys McRee's Precision Remington Savage Prefit Barrel


Timney Triggers

New Double-Sear Trigger: The 6.5 Guys checked out Timney’s new “Calvin Elite” double-sear trigger. This versatile trigger adjust from 8 ounces up to 2.5 pounds. It allows you to shoot a rifle with a low trigger pull weight for competition, then raise the pull weight to 2.5 pounds for field use or hunting.

Bushnell Shot Show 6.5 Guys Optics Rangefinder


TargetVision

Wireless Target Camera: If you want to see bullet holes reliably, in all conditions, past 400 yards, you need some kind of digital camera system, preferably wireless. TargetVision sells a reliable system that works through common WiFi technology, so you can view your shooting session on a smart-phone, iPad, or Android tablet. The TargetVision system includes proprietary software that can highlight the last shot fired. You can even take snapshots or record videos of your shooting sessions.

Bushnell Shot Show 6.5 Guys Optics Rangefinder

Permalink - Videos, New Product 2 Comments »
January 24th, 2015

SHOT Show: Nightforce, Manners, David Tubb, G.A. Precision

Our friends Ed and Steve, AKA the 6.5 Guys were in Las Vegas this week, checking out new products at SHOT Show. Ed and Steve visited some of our favorite gear-makers, including Nightforce Optics, Manners Composite Stocks, David Tubb, and G.A. Precision. Here are Ed and Steve’s Show reports for these important vendors. You can see more SHOT Show videos by Ed and Steve at 6.5Guys.com.


Nightforce Optics

Highlights include Nightforce’s new F1 First Focal Plane scopes. Our readers will probably be most interested in the new ATACR™ 5-25x56mm F1™ riflescope. With a beefy 34mm maintube, the new 5-25x56mm F1 boasts an impressive 30 MOA (or 12 Mil-Rads) of elevation per revolution, with 120 MOA (or 35 mils) of total elevation adjustment.


Manners Composite Stocks

There are about a half-dozen new stocks from Manners for 2015, both for precision long-range shooters as well as hunters. In the video Tom Manners shows a new tactical folder and the T7 Hybrid, an older design that Tom brought back by popular demand.

SHOT Show Tom Manners Composite Stock 6.5 Guys


David Tubb

11-Time National High Power Champion David Tubb displayed his new T7T 2-stage trigger for Remington 700 actions. This is an impressive new component that is a major upgrade over the factory trigger. First stage and second stage are separately adjustable. Price is $350.00 for right- or left-hand versions at DavidTubb.com.

SHOT Show 6.5 Guys David Tubb 2-Stage Trigger


G.A. Precision

George Gardner, founder of G.A. Precision shows off the impressive new Tempest Action, and talks about trends in the world of tactical competition. Shown below is a black-finish Tempest in a rifle at G.A.P.’s booth.

SHOT Show 6.5 Guys David Tubb 2-Stage Trigger

Permalink - Videos, New Product 1 Comment »
January 23rd, 2015

Amazing 3D Video Demonstrates Human Hearing Process

hearing protectionAll shooters, even rimfire enthusiasts, should always wear ear protection when at the range. A typical rifle gunshot is very loud — in the region of 140 to 170 decibels (the pain threshold is 130-140 db). Without ear protection, you can permanently damage your hearing during a single shooting session. We all know older shooters who are partially deaf, or who suffer from Tinnitus, because they didn’t use earplugs or muffs when they were younger.

How Humans Hear Sounds — Amazing Video Reveals All
The human sense of hearing involves multiple delicate internal membranes, bones, organs, and nerves. Shooters understand the importance of protecting their hearing, but they may not understand the bio-mechanics of human hearing. We hear sounds through Auditory Transduction. Sound waves vibrate the ear drum (tympanic membrane), but that is only the beginning. These vibrations are passed along via tiny rocker-arm-like bones to be “processed” in a spiral chamber, the cochlea. Vibrations moving through the cochlea are separated into frequencies and then sent as neural messages to the brain. It is an astonishingly complex process, one that truly seems miraculous when you examine the bio-engineering involved. In the Video below, the process of human Auditory Transduction is explained and illustrated with 3D animation. You really should watch this amazing video. By the end you will have a new-found appreciation for your ability to hear.

This remarkable VIDEO explains how humans hear sounds. We strongly recommend you take the time to watch and learn. The hearing you save may be your own!
YouTube Preview Image

Ear diagram courtesy Siemens Medical Solutions.

Permalink - Videos, News 5 Comments »
January 22nd, 2015

Korth Roller-Locking Semi-Auto .45 ACP Pistol

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

At the 2015 Media Day at the Range, I got to try our some sweet firearms. One was a handgun I’ve lusted after for a couple years, every since watching the killer video German arms-maker Korth created for its Pistole PRS. This video has some great exploded parts views and 3D animations, showing how the roller locking system works when a .45 ACP round is fired.

3D-Cutaway Shots from PRS Pistol Video
Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth .45 acp pistol SHOT Show Media Day Boulder City

Video from 2014 Media Day

This Video was put together by another journalist last year, but we shot the same gun this year.

Learn More about the Korth PRS Pistol:
Korth Web Site
The Firearm Blog Korth PRS Range Report
Guns.com Korth PRS Report

Permalink - Videos, Handguns No Comments »
January 21st, 2015

New Kelbly Tactical Atlas Action with Black Nitride Finish

The Kelbly clan had an impressive new action on display at SHOT Show. This new Kelbly Atlas Tactical action features a super-hard, durable black nitride external coating. This is a not a spray-on or bake-on finish. It is actually a surface layer treatment of the metal that increases the toughness of the finish to 84 Rockwell while making it super-smooth. This allows the action to work well with minimal lubrication.

Kelbly atlas tactical action

Ian Kelbly says this action was designed with input from tactical gunsmiths and PRS competitors. The action comes standard with a fluted bolt, APA oversized bolt-knob, and a +20 MOA Picatinny rail on top. The fluted bolt helps keep channel dirt and dust out of the contact surfaces. Ian says this black nitride finish should provide superior function in sandy, dusty, or dirty environments because it can run with almost no lube/grease that attracts and retains grit. Visit Kelbly.com for action specifications and current pricing.

kelbly atlas tactical action

Permalink - Videos, New Product 2 Comments »
January 19th, 2015

F-TR Top Guns Share Their Secrets

F-TR Stan Pate SavageOver the past few years, interest in F-Class competition has grown dramatically. SHOT Show opens tomorrow, so we thought we’d reprise an interesting interview captured two years back. At the 2013 SHOT Show we had a chance to talk about F-TR competition with U.S. National F-TR Team members Mike Miller and Stan Pate, two of America’s top F-TR shooters. We are reprising this interview for readers who may have missed it the first time around. If you shoot F-TR (even if you’re a High Master), we think you’ll learn a few things from this interview.

In this interview, Mike and Stan agreed to share their vast store of knowledge about long-range shooting. In a wide-ranging dialog, we discussed many topics of interest to F-Class shooters: position set-up, bipod shooting techniques (and hardware), gun-handling, and bullet selection. In addition, Mike and Stan offer some great advice on wind reading and precision reloading. These general tips will benefit all competitors, no matter what their discipline.

Mike Miller Stan Pate F-TR F-T/R

If you shoot F-TR or you are considering getting involved in this fast-growing shooting sport, definitely watch this 14-minute video interview from start to finish. Mike and Stan are true F-TR gurus whose knowledge of the F-TR game has been gleaned from years of top-level competition. If you shoot a .308 from a bipod, we guarantee you can learn much from Mike and Stan. If you follow their advice, we bet you’ll see your scores improve in future matches.

Watch Video for Tips from U.S. National F-TR Team Members Mike Miller and Stan Pate

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 15th, 2015

What Would SHOT Show Have Been Like in 1855?

Story by T. Logan Metesh for NRABlog.com
Since beginning in 1979, SHOT Show has become one of the premier firearms industry event of the year. As I was packing up amazing and historic guns from the NRA Museums for SHOT Show, I was led down a path of historical whimsy — what would SHOT Show have been like 160 years ago in 1855?

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Treeby NRA Museum Antique RifleAll of the today’s household names in firearms would have been in attendance: Remington, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and others. Some of them were already well established; others were on the edge of greatness. Eliphalet Remington (right) would have been there. Already a well-known and respected businessman, he would have been representing the company he founded 39 years before in 1816.

Samuel Colt would have been in very good spirits. He had just renamed his company — Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company — and had broken ground on a new factory that would open the following year in 1856. His revolver patent was also set to expire in 1856. Colt had recently fired Rollin White, a trivial matter at the time, but it would come back to haunt him.

Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson would have been there, too. At this point, the now-venerable firearms company had only been a partnership for three years. They would likely have been joined by one of their investors, Oliver Winchester, and showcasing their lever-action “Volcanic” arms.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Very shortly, Winchester would buy Volcanic, Rollin White would patent a bored-through cylinder that Colt had rejected, and Smith and Wesson would form Smith & Wesson Revolver Company utilizing White’s new patent.

As you can see, many of the technologies we consider antiquated were, at the time, revolutionary. Some of the designs we take for granted today were in their infancy in 1855.

Other lesser-known (and less successful) gunmakers hoping to capitalize on their new products would have been there as well. After all, there’s no better place to unveil new designs than at SHOT Show!

Thomas Wright Gardener Treeby (often known as T.W. Treeby) would likely have been at SHOT Show displaying his new 14-shot, .54 caliber chain rifle. Designed in 1854 and patented in 1855, these rifles were made in an attempt to create a successful repeating rifle design. The British military tested the gun with a 30-round chain, but the idea never caught on.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Rare, Antique Firearms on ForgottenWeapons.com
See the Treeby Chain Gun and other rare firearms on ForgottenWeapons.com. It is believed that only two Treeby Chain rifles were ever made. The 14 chain-linked “chambers” rotated into place via a sprocket (like on a bicycle), and each had a separate percussion cap. Watch this ForgottenWeapons.com video to see how it worked.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 13th, 2015

Using the Giraud Power Trimmer — Smart Video from Erik Cortina

Forum member Erik Cortina recently launched his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Erik’s videos demonstrate the proper use of specialized reloading tools and provide helpful hints. Erik’s latest video is about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “It you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims 5 pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erick offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
January 11th, 2015

Master Gun-Maker (with CNC Mill) Builds a 22-250 Varminter

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesJust another YouTube video … NOT. This video is a winner. If you want to see state-of-the-art 21st Century rifle-building, with advanced CNC milling operations, watch this clip. It shows how man and machine combine to create a fine custom rifle.

One of the best short features of its kind, this video shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the build are covered. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting.

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »