May 27th, 2018

Register for GAP Grind — The “Granddaddy” of PRS Matches

GAP Grind 2016

The GAP Grind is one of the most popular tactical matches on the planet. So popular, in fact, that this 3-day Pro-Am event will likely “sell out” this year — with more interested shooters than available slots. To ensure you get a spot at the 2018 GAP Grind, which runs October 5-7, 2018, register early. GAP Grind Registration opens June 1st, 2018 at 9:00 am CST. The 2018 Grind will take place at the K&M Precision Rifle Training Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee.

Giddings GAP Grind

If you haven’t experienced major PRS Pro-Am event like the Grind, with hundreds of talented shooters, check out this video from ShootingUSA. Show host John Scoutten provides a competitor’s perspective.

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

Shooting USA TV gap grind
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo

The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex in Tennessee:

GAP Grind 2018 Rules

GAP Grind Hardware
Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, snapped these images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles at the 2014 GAP Grind. See more firearms images on Shelley’s Facebook Page.

GAP Grind 2016

Giddings GAP Grind

Giddings GAP Grind

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May 27th, 2018

Brilliant Video From Beretta about Gun-Making

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Here’s a really great video about firearms crafting produced by Beretta, a legendary Italian gun-maker. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of most impressive videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of modern technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 26th, 2018

Build Your Own Rifle with Affordable Howa Barreled Actions

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig.

Howa Barreled Action Basics

The above video shows the basics of the Howa barreled actions, which are offered in Mini, Standard, and Long Action versions, with dozens of chamberings, from .204 Ruger all the way up to .300 Winchester Magnum. If you’re not familiar with Howa barreled actions you should be. Each barreled action comes with Howa’s Lifetime Warranty and is guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance at 100-yards when using premium factory ammo. The Howa 1500 barreled action also features a crisp two-stage trigger, three-position safety, 70° bolt throw, M16-style extractor, two-lug bolt design and a flat bottom receiver with an integral recoil lug.

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Howa Barreled Action Project Videos

Brownells has created a series of helpful videos showing how to put together an accurate rifle using a Howa barreled action. We think this is a sensible, cost-effective option for a varmint rifle, or entry-level tactical rig. Not counting optics, you should be able to assemble a good shooting, general-purpose rifle for under $700.00.

1. Long-Range Precision Rifle Build
Here the Brownells team puts together a nice tactical rifle in an MDT modular aluminum chassis made specifically for the Howa 1500 action. Attached, AR-style, to the back end of the chassis, is a Luth-AR adjustable buttstock also sold by Brownells. An EGW Picatinny rail is fitted to the action for mounting a Nightforce optic. As you can see in the video, the entire build takes less than 10 minutes. Using this Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action, you can save hundreds over the cost of a factory tactical rifle, and we bet the accuracy will be better than you’ll get with some popular brands. We’ve seen heavy-barreled Howas shoot well under 1 MOA.

2. Hunting Rifle Build
In this video, Brownells puts together a general-purpose hunting rifle using the Howa 1500 barreled action. This was attached to a Hogue Overmolded stock with internal aluminum bedding block. Fitted to the top of the action is an EGW Picatinny Rail with a Sig Sauer scope in Leupold rings. As with the Precision Rifle build above, the entire assembly process took less than ten minutes. This was done with a standard-length Howa action, but the same procedure could be used with the Howa Mini Action, or a Long Action. NOTE: No separate bedding compound was used here. That’s an option that would extend build time significantly.

Check out the Prices for Howa Barreled Actions
Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

Howa Barreled action sale Brownells PRS HACT Trigger

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May 24th, 2018

Get Fast Access to Handguns at Home or in Your Shop

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

For self-defense in your home or shop, you want quick access to your handgun. This is possible with a security box that works rapidly with the touch of your fingers*. Such smaller safes can be opened in a couple of seconds, while still keeping handguns secure from kids or any unwanted visitors. Right now the two-level GunVault GV2000C-Deluxe is on sale for $117.90 at Amazon with Free Shipping. This is a good deal. This same dual-level safe sells for $155-$195 at most other vendors.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

The MultiVault Deluxe (SKU: GV2000C-DLX) employs the Patented No-Eyes® Keypad and/or back-up security lock to open the safe. This GV2000C Deluxe unit includes a motion detector and a convenient interior light. It will also automatically block entry after multiple incorrect attempts. This GunVault can be secured via a heavy security cable so a thief can’t simply grab the safe and run. Interior dimensions are: 6″ High x 9″ Wide x 12.75″ Deep. We should note that there are other more expensive safes that employ RFID technology. That works well if you carry a fob or RFID ring. But for shop installation, we like the simplicity of the button keypad. RFID-equipped safes are also much more expensive.

There is also a smaller GunVault safe, the GV1000C-STD, shown below. This single-level model also opens with a finger sequence on the keypad. This smaller safe is also on sale currently on Amazon for $88.36 with free shipping. If you prefer the biometric version (that can also open with a fingerprint scan), that costs $214.64.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

And for under-desk use in a workshop or business, GunVault offers the SV500 Handgun SpeedVault. This places a pistol in a vertical position under a counter or desk-top. Activate the four buttons in the correct sequence and the unit opens downward so you can quickly grab the pistol. This SpeedVault has multiple mounting options, and, like other GunVault safes, there is a back-up override key.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale


* This is NOT a biometric safe that opens by scanning a fingerprint. This safe uses a sequence of physical key presses with your fingers. “Learn Buttons” make it easy to program millions of user-selectable access codes. A built-in computer blocks access after repeated invalid keypad entries. GunVault does offer a biometric GVB2000 safe for $229.97 at Amazon. Honestly, we prefer the mechanical version at half the price. Less to go wrong.

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May 22nd, 2018

2018 Bianchi Cup Kicks Off Today in Missouri

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia Missouri
The amazing Doug Koenig, shown above, has won 18 Bianchi Cup titles, more than any other human.

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia MissouriMany of the world’s top pistoleros are in Missouri this week competing in the 2018 NRA Bianchi Cup, the USA’s most prestigious action pistol match. This year’s Bianchi Cup event, which follows the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, runs May 22-25, 2018 in Hallsville, Missouri at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club. Today there will be registration and a Special Multi-Gun Match. The official First Shot Ceremony is on Wednesday, May 23rd, at 7:45 am. Then Cup competition begins promptly at 8:00 am on Wednesday.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet. To finish on top, you have to be near-perfect.

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia Missouri

As in 2017, this year’s match will feature a second “Championship” Round. There will be no multi-gun aggregate match. After completion of the match’s 192-shot, 1920-point aggregate, the top 36 competitors will fire an additional 192-shot Championship Round. Scores from the Championship Round will combined into an overall Aggregate to determine each category’s champions. CLICK HERE for 2018 Bianchi Cup Program Guide.

Watch Colt Speed Event at 2013 Bianchi Cup Championships:

Bianchi Cup

Ace Shooter Jessie Harrison (from Bianchi Photo Archive)
Bianchi Cup 2015 Missouri

About the Bianchi Cup
The Bianchi Cup is the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, a major tournament held every May in Columbia, Missouri. The premier action pistol championship, the Bianchi Cup boasts the largest purse of any tournament on the action pistol calendar. The Bianchi Cup is the only major shooting tournament that has retained its original Course of Fire since its inception. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

At the Bianchi Cup, there are six categories for individual competitors: Civilian, Police, Service, Junior, Woman, Senior, Grand Senior, New Competitor, International, and Revolver.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

Competitors need plenty of ammo at the Bianchi Cup. Look at that collection of magazines.
Bianchi Cup NRA Pistol championship 2018 ammo

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May 22nd, 2018

Koenig Explains How to Shoot Pistols Faster and Better

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video
Photo courtesy DougKoenig.com and Leupold.

Since the Bianchi Cup, the most prestigious pistols-only match in the country, starts today, we thought we’d post some videos that can help readers improve the speed and accuracy of their pistol shooting. You may never win a Bianchi title, but these tips can help in a club IDPA match, or the pistol stages of your next 3-Gun match. The star of these videos is Doug Koenig, 18-time Bianchi Cup champion. Koenig, who has won numerous National and World pistol titles, is considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet. His speed, consistency, and accuracy are without peer.

Acquire First Target

In this video, 18-Time Bianchi Cup Winner Doug Koenig explains how to acquire your first target quickly, and make sure your first shot is a hit. Doug notes that a perfect first shot will positively affect the many shots that follow in a competition:

Make Fast Follow-Up Shots

In this next NSSF Video Koenig demonstrates how to make Fast Follow-Up Shots and how to transition from target to target quickly. Grip, stance, consistency are all important Doug explains.

Keep Both Eyes Open

When shooting a pistol two-handed, “on the clock”, it’s almost always better to shoot with both eyes open. And during a “move and shoot” action pistol match, you surely want to have both eyes open. Keeping both eyes open improves depth perception and helps with target transitions.

“To me it’s very simple — I wouldn’t drive my car with one eye closed. I wouldn’t walk around the house with one eye closed. To me, it’s all about your vision, your depth perception.” — Doug Koenig

With both eyes open you’ll have better depth perception and peripheral vision, Koenig says. Moreover, you will also be able to transition from target to target more quickly. In a timed, multi-target stage, you’ll want to move your head/eyes to the next target right after you break a shot. You’ll find that you will then reflexively move the handgun on to the new target when you swing your vision on to it. Don’t linger on the target you just shot — move to the next.

Trigger Press and Trigger Control

In this fourth video, Koenig talks about key techniques that apply to all pistol marksmanship — not just speed shooting “on the clock”. With any handgun, Doug explains, you should focus on consistent trigger control. You want to avoid yanking the trigger or anticipating recoil.

Doug Koenig’s List of Championships:
10-time World Champion
18-time Bianchi Cup winner
2016 NRA World Shooting Champion
More than 70 National Championships
6-time World Action Pistol Championship Winner
3-time World Speed Shooting Champion/Steel Challenge

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May 21st, 2018

Brownells Video Shows How to Cut Chamfer on Barrel Crown

brownells crown muzzle barrel bullet accuracy gunsmithing

This video from Brownells talks about a the crown of a barrel and how the crown’s condition affects accuracy. As the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun, the shape, alignment and the condition of the crown can affect the accuracy of your shot. A proper crown is essential to ensure that the bullet leaves the barrel correctly and that the propellant gasses behind the bullet are distributed evenly on firing. A square crown without burrs and a smooth transition will normally ensure consistency from shot to shot. By contrast, a damaged crown can cause unpredictable flyers that open your group. That’s why it’s important to have perfect crowns on all your barrels.

The video explains the different types of crowns that can be used. In addition, the video shows how you can chamfer your muzzle in a home shop. If you use a properly-sized pilot, cutting a shallow chamfer is something that most guys with some mechanical skill can handle. Just be sure to use lubricant, flush chips, and don’t rush the job. Cutting the barrel is another matter. At the 1:20 mark the video shows how to use a hack-saw to remove a damaged muzzle section. While this may be fine for an inexpensive rifle that needs a “quick fix”, we do NOT recommend using a hack-saw with a vise for a competition barrel. The reason is that it is too easy for a novice to produce a cut that is not square. We suggest letting a professional gunsmith cut and crown your competition barrels.

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May 20th, 2018

Tikka T3 — Video Reviews of Popular Hunting Rifle

Tikka T3 Review new zealand hunting scotland varmint rifle

The Tikka T3 rifle is very popular with hunters around the globe — for good reason. These rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3 is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at less than $580.00 for the T3 Lite version). The T3 series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Here are two good Tikka T3 video reviews, the first from New Zealand, the second from Scotland. Both reviewers are experienced hunters who explain why the T3 is well-suited for hunting applications. In the first video, Mitch of BushBrothersNZ reviews a T3 with polymer stock and stainless barrel chambered for the .270 Win. Mitch focuses on the T3’s controls and functions, with particular attention to the operation of trigger, safety, and bolt.

In this second video, David, a hunter and wilderness skills teacher from Scotland, demonstrates the features (and remarkable accuracy) of a factory Tikka T3, chambered in .223 Remington. With David’s handloads, this rifle has grouped just over an inch at 250 yards, as shown near the end of the video.

Tikka Fox HuntingTikka Fox Hunting

David uses his rifle primarily for fox-hunting (often done at night). He employs a variable-power scope with an illuminated reticle to target his night-time prey. David offers many tips for predator hunters. He prefers an extra-high Harris bipod. With the bipod’s legs fully extended, he can assume a comfortable and solid sitting position. The rifle is supported on his shoulder and on the bipod, leaving both of his hands free. Being able to support the rifle without gripping it is a major advantage, David explains. This frees his hands to search for animals with binoculars or scan distances with his rangefinder.

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May 19th, 2018

New Affordable Cast-Iron C-Frame Press from Lyman

Lyman Brass smith reloading press ideal Gavin Gear UltimateReloader.com

Everyone needs a serious, full-size single-stage press such as the RCBS Rock Chucker for heavy-duty reloading tasks. But’s it’s also wise to have a smaller, more compact press for lighter duties such as decapping (primer removal), neck-sizing, and bullet seating. The new Lyman Brass Smith Ideal press fits that role perfectly, at an affordable price — about $80.00 retail.

With an $80 street price, Lyman’s new C-Frame press is an exceptional value. With beefy cast-iron construction, it is much stiffer than other presses in this compact category. The compound linkage is smooth. The base is big enough to provide good stability. For someone looking for a second press, or a smaller press to take to the range, the new Lyman Ideal may be the smart solution.

READ Full Lyman Ideal Press Review on UltimateReloader.com »

The Lyman Ideal press just started shipping. Our fiend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com got one of the very first. Gavin has created a helpful video showcasing the features of this compact press. Gavin was impressed, finding the Ideal press operated smoothly with plenty of power for most tasks. (We would still use a bigger press with more leverage for heavy case-forming duties). Here is Gavin’s video. The first 7 minutes cover unboxing and assembly. Starting at the 8-minute mark, Gavin uses the Ideal press to load 6.5 Creedmoor cases:

Lyman Ideal Press

The Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press is a budget-friendly, cast iron single-stage reloading press built right here in the USA. Here’s the official info and specs:

The large opening and C frame design allows you to access the shell holder without hitting the support bar on other types of presses. Changing shell holders is a breeze and the press holds standard 7/8″x14 TPI dies from any manufacturer. The high quality steel ram is one inch in diameter and the 3 7/8″ opening allows you to reload cartridges up to 3.7 inches tall. The Brass Smith is a true ambidextrous press that can be accessed from either side and mounted the same.

Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press — Specifications and Features:
Rugged Cast Iron Frame
Ambidextrous Design
Handles Cartridges Up To 3.7″ Long
Durable Powder Coat Finish
Compound Linkage and 1″ Diameter Ram
Accepts Standard 7/8″X14 Dies and Standard Shell Holders
Weight: 12.6 Lbs.

Stay Tuned — Lyman will be sending an Ideal Press to AccurateShooter.com. In the weeks ahead we will test this affordable C-Frame press both in the workshop and at the range…

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 19th, 2018

Water Transfer Printing for Rifle Stocks

hydro-dip stock finish

There’s a great new way to apply an eye-catching finish to fiberglass and synthetic stocks. Water Transfer Printing (aka Hydro-Dipping) can apply beautiful, stylized patterns to your stock, and the process costs less than a custom paint job. Hydro-dipping is ideal for applying amazing photo-realistic effects such as stone, wood burl, snakeskin, or faux carbon fiber. Hydro-dipping requires no harsh chemicals or high heat so there are no negative side effects. You just end up with an amazing, patterned finish on your stock.

Hundreds of different patterns are available. We like the carbon-look finish on benchrest guns and the snakeskin patterns on hunting and varmint rifles. Natural snakeskin designs, in this Editor’s opinion, are perhaps the most effective camouflage for the largely arrid backcountry in the American southwest.

hydro-dip stock finish

hydro-dip stock finish

Hydro-Dip of Idaho Does Great Work
While there are a half-dozen companies offering water transfer printing for rifle stocks, Forum member Francis B. recommends Hydro-Dip, LLC of Meridian, Idaho. Examples of Hydro-Dip’s work are shown above. Francis writes: “Scott, Adam, and old man Rod Springer own and run Hydro-Dip. This is a company that will ‘paint’ your rifle, tool box, trailer, airplane, whatever and will do an excellent job while doing it. Check out their archives of jobs done. You will be amazed. I’ve not had one of their jobs done for any of mine (yet) but I’m considering it. Those who have had their rifles done tell me the cost is very reasonable. I have seen a few stocks done and they are works of art.”

Hydro-dipping (water transfer printing) can be performed on virtually any metal or plastic surface. You can Hydro-dip car parts, archery gear, rifle stocks — you name it. Watch the process in the video:

CLICK VIDEO to See Hydro-Dipping Process!

Hydro-Dip of Idaho

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 8 Comments »
May 17th, 2018

Proper Sight Picture with Various Types of Sighting Systems

NRA sight picture alignment video

As part of the NRA Mentor Program, the NRA offers a helpful video about using sights. This covers all types of sighting systems — blade sights, aperture sights, V-notch sights, red dot sights, shotgun bead sights, and telescopic sights with reticles. For new shooters, this video can be helpful — it explains sight basics in very clear and comprehensible terms. And even for experienced shooters, this can provide some helpful tips on sight alignment, particularly when shooting pistols.

Additional information about using sights is contained in the NRA’s free Guide for New Shooters. This helpful 14-page digital publication provides the key firearms safety rules, explains range etiquette, and even has a section on gun cleaning. CLICK HERE to download Guide for New Shooters.

NRA sight picture alignment video

Training With Lasers — Trigger Control
Training with laser sights helps diagnose and improve trigger control errors by showcasing the importance of “surprise break” and follow-through. Working with gun-mounted lasers, which put a red or green dot right on the target, can quickly diagnose errors such as recoil anticipation, jerking the trigger, and breaking the wrist. This video shows how handgunners can use pistol-mounted lasers to correct bad habits and shoot more consistently.

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May 16th, 2018

PRS Tactical Bean Bag Chair — The Numero Uno Bag

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

Here’s something that should make you smile. We know that PRS competitors love their support bags. At a PRS matches you’ll see all sizes and shapes of bags — rear sandbags, front bags, barricade bags, even bags you wear on your arms. And now the bag has evolved to the Nth Degree — the Numero Uno bag. This jumbo bag may seem like a joke, but it does offer some advantages.

On his Facebook page, Robert Brantley showed a fellow who used the “Mother of All Bags” in a recent PRS match. This huge camo-fabric bag seemed to be inspired by bean bag chairs. Brantley posted “The Numero Uno! When there’s only time for one bag, why settle for less?”

At the 1:05 time mark the shooter uses the Uno for low position support. It works!

This thing was big enough to support the shooter in seated position, three feet off the ground. We’re not sure about the filling but we suspect the Numero Uno is filled with lightweight packing materials or the material used inside sleeping bags.

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

Between stages, the Numero Uno also serves as a comfy back rest. Note the color-coordinated orange camo shooting jacket, orange rifle stock, and orange suppressor cover. Who says PRS guys can’t be fashionable too?

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

PRS Competitors Up in Arms about Big Bag

The giant Numero Uno bag stirred some controversy on Facebook:

“What’s next… the tactical couch?” — Jacob P.

“This is when they need to put rules on the amount of bags you can use. It’s to the point where it’s getting out of control, and PRS shooting is becoming a joke.” — Bryan L.

“This is getting out of control. Need to start restricting to one bag, one tripod. See where skill comes in and not so many crutches.” — Bryce H.

However, George Gardner of G.A. Precision was not too concerned: “Simmer down boys — the guy running it didn’t place well. I’m pretty sure it was more of a funny thing for him. What is the PRS supposed to do? Make a Size limit? He carried it all match long. I’m really not sure it was helpful but it made for great commentary.”

The True Origin of the Numero Uno

In truth, the super-sized Numero Uno bag was crafted by Armageddon Gear in jest. Watch this original Numero Uno spoof video with Armageddon’s owner Tom Fuller. You’ll see the the bag was created as a joke item. Tom’s wise-ass idea was that, if the PRS allowed only one bag in matches, then it should be the biggest bag possible — the Numero Uno. Enjoy…

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 4 Comments »
May 15th, 2018

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
May 13th, 2018

RCBS Reloading Videos — How to Load Better Ammo Safely

RCBS reloading equipment instruction video series chargemaster progressive rock chucker press case prep

RCBS makes some of the most rugged and durable reloading products you can buy. The RCBS Rock Chucker press is legendary — for good reason. The Editor uses one that has been in my family over twenty years. I also own an RCBS 2000 progressive press that has loaded many thousands of rounds, and features the excellent APS strip priming system. RCBS is serious about reloading, so this company has created a very complete series of instructional videos showing reloading precedures and equipment. You’ll find over 60 videos on the RCBS Video Resources Page and RCBS YouTube Channel.

We encourage readers to check out the RCBS Videos. They can help you master the basics of handloading — case prep, priming, sizing, and bullet seating. In addition, these videos can help you select the right equipment for your loading bench. Videos show presses, case tumblers, ultrasonic cleaning machines, powered case prep centers, and more.

Here are three of our favorite RCBS Reloading videos, along with links to a dozen more:

Basic Safety Precautions for Reloading

Every novice hand-loader should watch this video. It covers the key safety principles you should follow, such as “Don’t use components of unknown origin”. We would add — always double check the labels on your powder bottles, and if you don’t know 100% what powder is in your powder measure — dump it out. Some of the most serious injuries have occurred when reloaders put pistol powder in rifle cases.

Setting Up the Sizing Die Correctly

This video address the common complaint some novices have when their hand-loadeed cartridges won’t chamber properly. Kent Sakamoto explains how to set up the sizing die properly to size the case body and bump the shoulder.

Choosing a Case Cleaning System

Here Kent Sakamoto looks at the three main types of brass cleaning systems: Vibratory Tumbler, Wet Tumbler (with media), and Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine. Kent reviews the pros and cons of each system.

More RCBS Reloading Videos

Here are twelve more helpful videos from RCBS. These cover both reloading techniques and reloading equipment. There are currently over 60 videos on the RCBS YouTube Channel.

Reloading How-To Videos
Case Trimming, Deburring, Chamfering
Measuring Case Length
Crimping — When and How to Crimp
Primer Pocket Cleaning
Priming with a Hand Tool
How to Use an Ultrasonic Machine

Reloading Equipment Videos
Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
RCBS ChargeMaster Lite
RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive Press
Universal Case Prep Center
Summit Single-Stage Press
RCBS Turret Press

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May 12th, 2018

Nightforce NXS Torture Test — Extreme Punishment

Nightforce torture test ice 12 gauge shotgun binary target Barrett hammer spike

Nightforce scopes are built tough. This was demonstrated in the latest Nightforce Torture Test. In this remarkable experiment, a Nightforce NXS 5-22x50mm scope was subjected to some truly brutal treatment — freezing, blasting, and pounding. During the course of the test, the NXS was:

— Encased in a block of ice for 24 hours.
— Blasted with a 12-gauge shotgun (while in the ice).
— Pounded on a block of wood to clear the ice.
— Used as a hammer to drive a spike into wood.

The test had two phases. After the ice-encased scope was blasted with a 12 gauge shotgun, the scope was mounted on a Barrett MRAD rifle (1:00 time-mark) and used to successfully hit a steel swinger target at 100 yards. Then the scope was removed from the Barrett and used to hammer a long steel spike into a block of wood (1:55 time-mark). Then, after the pounding, the NXS scope was reattached to the rifle, and used to hit a binary explosive target (2:25 time-mark).

WATCH Nightforce Torture Test Video:

The entire torture test process was filmed in a continuous shoot (with no “time-outs”) so there is no trickery. Watch the video to see the continuous time-line in the lower right.

Nightforce torture test ice 12 gauge shotgun binary target Barrett hammer spike

Nightforce torture test ice 12 gauge shotgun binary target Barrett hammer spike

Nightforce torture test ice 12 gauge shotgun binary target Barrett hammer spike

Nightforce torture test ice 12 gauge shotgun binary target Barrett hammer spike

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May 11th, 2018

Six Tips for Novice Handgun Shooters

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

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

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

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

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

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

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

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

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

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

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

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

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

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

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

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

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

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

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May 11th, 2018

Hunting Prairie Dogs in South Dakota with Dan Eigen

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting SafariNever had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen (aka “Walleye Dan”), host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, head to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teams up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)

Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:20 Time-Mark in Video:

(more…)

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May 9th, 2018

Elements of Long Range Shooting Video Series

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.

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May 8th, 2018

The King Goes Big — Derek Rodgers Builds a .416 Barrett

.416 Barrett Vihtavuorit Cutting Edge Bullets King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Our friend Derek Rodgers is the current F-TR World Champion AND the current King of 2 Miles, having won his KO2M crown at Raton last year. Shooting with Team Applied Ballistics, Derek delivered a dominant performance at the KO2M event, scoring nearly twice as many points as his nearest rival, Ronnie Wright. And Derek was the first KO2M marksman in history to hit the target at the maximum 3368-yard (1.91 mile) distance.

.416 Barrett Vihtavuorit Cutting Edge Bullets King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Derek topped the K02M field last year shooting a .375 CheyTac with Cutting Edge 400gr LazerMax tipped bullets. That’s a really big cartridge, but apparently not big enough for Derek. Mr. Rodgers has hot-rodded his long-range rig, fitting a barrel for an even bigger cartridge, the mighty .416 Barrett. Derek tells us: “The .416 is rolling now. I am preparing for initial load development and working out tooling kinks on the bench.” He is loading more Cutting Edge bullets with a selection of slow powders. For his .375 CheyTac last year, Derek used Hodgdon 50 BMG. He’s trying something else this time…

.416 Barrett Vihtavuorit Cutting Edge Bullets King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Breakfast of Champions:
.416 Barrett Vihtavuorit Cutting Edge Bullets King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Watch Derek Rodgers hit 3368-yard target at 2017 K02M Competition:

At the 2017 K02M, Derek ruled. With his McMillan-stocked .375 CheyTac rifle, Derek shot brilliantly from the start. He was perfect — without a miss — at the first three yardages: 1543, 1722, and 1888. He had some misses at 1953 and 2667 yards, but then he out-shot all competitors at 3028 yards, going two for five. No other shooter managed a single hit at 3028 yards. Then it all came down to the big one — the last (and greatest) challenge, the target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles).

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

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May 8th, 2018

Redding T7 Press Has Loaded over 1,000,000 Rounds

Redding T-7 Turret reloading press ammo ammunition

Here’s something you don’t see every day — a reloading press that has loaded over 1,000,000 rounds of ammo. At the NRA Convention in Dallas, Redding showcased an old Redding T-7 Turret Press delivered to Sierra Bullets decades ago. 0ne of the very first T-7s made by Redding, this “old warrior” was used by Sierra Bullets to load over 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition in Sierra’s ballistics lab.


Redding T-7 Turret reloading press ammo ammunitionRedding T-7 Still Within Spec
After all that loading, Redding tested the press and, remarkably, found that it still remained “within spec”. Redding notes: “This press was subjected to real world reloading wear and stress yet remains within ‘new’ spec after this historic test”. At the Dallas NRA event, this press was fitted with indicators to show “just how good American Steel and craftsmanship remains after what, in a normal situation, would represent numerous lifetimes of use.”

Redding Reloading Equipment has crafted quality, American-Made products for the precision handloading market since 1946. To learn more about Redding products or to request a copy of the 2018 Redding catalog visit Redding-Reloading.com.

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