July 30th, 2014

Bianchi Cup on American Rifleman TV Tonight

Tonight, American Rifleman TV features the Bianchi Cup, one of the oldest, richest, and most prestigious pistol competitions on the planet. In 2014 over $500,000 in cash and prizes was up for grabs. That stellar pay-out (and the prestige of winning) attracts the world’s top pistoleros.

Bianchi Cup American Rifleman TV

This Bianchi Cup event was founded in 1979 by former police officer and holster maker John Bianchi. Success in the Bianchi Cup requires a perfect balance of speed and accuracy. The 192-shot championship allows a maximum aggregate of 1920 points across four timed events: Practical, Barricade, Moving Target and Falling Plate. In addition to being grouped by age, gender, and shooting skill, competitors may opt to shoot in the Open, Metallic, or Production divisions.

Watch Preview of July 30 Episode of American Rifleman TV

This week’s episode also features a vintage Vickers belt-fed machine gun from World War I. You can view interesting segments from past American Rifleman TV episodes, along with “Gun of the Week” video reviews at AmericanRifleman.org/Videos:

American Rifleman TV

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July 26th, 2014

Jerry Miculek Shoots Original, Full-Auto AR-10 from the Fifties

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10′s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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July 25th, 2014

Hodgdon Goes Hollywood, Releasing How-To Reloading Videos

Hodgdon Reloading Center VideoHodgdon Powder Company (Hodgdon) has released three new professionally produced how-to videos on its popular Reloading Data Center. These 3.5 minute videos present rifle, pistol, and shotshell reloading basics in an easy-to-understand,step-by-step format. These mobile-friendly, informative videos can also be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.

To watch the reloading videos go to the Reloading Data Center at hodgdon.com. Click to the right/left of the displayed video to switch between pistol, rifle, and shotgun videos. Or, for your convenience, we have embedded the Rifle and Pistol videos here. Just click to watch!

Click to Watch Hodgdon Rifle Reloading Video:

Click to Watch Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Video:

In addition to the new videos, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center (RDC) provides a wealth of information on Hodgdon®, IMR®, and Winchester® propellants. Along with reliable load data, you’ll find explanations of reloading basics, safety procedures, plus answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Hodgdon Reloading Center Video

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July 21st, 2014

SASS End of Trail Featured on Shooting USA

This Wednesday, July 23rd, on the Outdoor Channel, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts nearly 1,000 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. For SASS members, End of Trail represents the Superbowl and World Series combined. This special Shooting USA broadcast of the 2013 End of Trail airs at 3:30 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:00 Midnight (Thursday) Eastern Time. This year’s End of Trail took place June 19-29, 2014.

End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). The guns must be originals or reproductions made prior to 1898 to be used in competition. A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

YouTube Preview Image
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July 14th, 2014

Amazing 1K Video: 10 Shots in 4.554″ at 1000 Yards (100-6X)

6mm DasherHow well can the little 6mm Dasher perform at 1000 yards when the conditions are good, and the shooter is riding a hot streak? Well here’s a shot-by-shot record of Scott Nix’s 4.554″ ten-shot group shot at Missoula, Montana at the Northwest 1000-yard Championship a few years back. All 10 shots were centered for a 100-6X score. That’s about as good as it gets. If Scott had stopped after 5 shots, his group would have been under three inches.

Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy
Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them! This video was recorded from the pits at the 1000-yard line, during record fire.

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July 13th, 2014

Moving and Shooting — Can You Do This Treadmill Drill?

In the real world of self-defense, you can’t stand still like a bullseye target shooter*. You may need to move to cover, go to the aid of a family member, or otherwise move while being able to shoot. We’ve seen a variety of “move and shoot” drills, but most involve walking a few steps, then stopping, then moving again.

Here’s a drill that raises the degree of difficulty to another level entirely. In this video, instructor Dave Harrington engages 24 targets (one with a double-tap), while striding briskly (and continuously) on a powered treadmill. That’s right, Harrington stays on the treadmill for nearly a minute, and goes 25 for 25 with two (2) mag changes. (Shots 7 and 8 are a silhouette double-tap, for a total of 25 shots.) Harrington makes it look easy. But do you think you pull this off with no misses?

Shooting from Treadmill — Firing Sequence Starts at 1:20

Our friend Dennis Santiago, who also is a firearms instructor, says Harrington’s treadmill drill is no mean feat: “OK, this I am impressed by. This is not easy.” Another viewer commented: “That, I assure you, is a whole lot harder than it looks to run it clean like [Harrington] did.” As Harrington notes, a treadmill “is extremely unforgiving … you either possess the skill or the treadmill will take you to school.”

*That’s no knock on our bullseye shooters. They are very skilled. However, self-defense is a different challenge altogether.

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July 10th, 2014

Kevlar Vest vs. 24 Layers of Drywall — Which Stops Bullets Better?

Which do you think is a better bullet-stopper — twenty-four (24) layers of drywall, or a $299 vest with 40 layers of Kevlar? Watch this video and you may be surprised. The makers of the BulletSafe vest fired a round from a .50-Caliber Desert Eagle pistol into the vest. The bullet did not penetrate the vest — not even close. If fact, the bullet only made it through seven of the 40 layers of Kevlar (see timeline 0:48″)

Would drywall be as effective? Surprisingly, the answer is “no”. A bullet fired from the .50-Cal Desert Eagle passed through all 24 sheets of drywall, exiting out the last sheet. Lesson learned? Don’t expect the drywall in your house to offer much protection. The makers of the video caution: “This video shows you how much damage your weapon can do….”

BulletSafe bulletproof vest drywall plywood penetration test

Bullet-Proof Vest Ratings
The BulletSafe vest tested is a Level IIIA model. Level IIIA is the thickest Kevlar laminated, flexible body armor available to the general public. Priced at $299.00, this Level IIIA vest is rated to stop most handgun rounds, buckshot, and shotgun slugs. You can get even more protection by adding a ballistic plate made from ceramic and/or metal. Fitted to a Level IIIA vest, BulletSafe’s $169.00 ballistic plates can stop some rifle rounds.

Plywood Stopping Power Test
The vest-makers also did a test with plywood. A box was constructed with 24 layers of 3/8″ plywood. The bullet from a .50-caliber Desert Eagle past through twelve layers of plywood before being halted by the thirteenth panel. So, you can say the BulletSafe vest is as effective at stopping this round as 13 layers of plywood. CLICK HERE for Plywood Stopping Test Video.

BulletSafe bulletproof vest drywall plywood penetration test

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July 9th, 2014

How to Watch Mirage and Trace with a Spotting Scope

Spotting Scope Video mirage tipsUsing a spotting scope seems simple. Just point it at the target and focus, right? Well, actually, it’s not that simple. Sometimes you want to watch mirage or trace, and that involves different focus and viewing priorities. Along with resolving bullet holes (or seeing other features on the target itself), you can use your spotting scope to monitor mirage. When watching mirage, you actually want to focus the spotting scope not on the target, but, typically, about two-thirds of the distance downrange. When spotting for another shooter, you can also use the spotting scope to watch the bullet trace, i.e. the vapor trail of the bullet. This will help you determine where the bullet is actually landing, even if it does not impact on the target backer.

In this video, SFC L.D. Lewis explains how to use a spotting scope to monitor mirage, and to watch trace. SFC Lewis is a former Army Marksmanship Unit member, U.S. Army Sniper School instructor, and current U.S. Army Reserve Service Rifle Shooting Team member. In discussing how precision shooters can employ spotting scopes, Lewis compares the use of a spotting scope for competition shooters vs. military snipers. NOTE: You may wish to turn up the audio volume, during the actual interview segment of this video.

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July 2nd, 2014

’03 Springfield vs. Enfield vs. Garand Shoot-out with the “Gunny”

Here’s a fun and entertaining video feature from our Daily Bulletin archives. In this USA vs. UK smackdown, “Gunny” Ermey pits his m1903 Springfield and M1 Garand against a British Lee-Enfield. Watch the video to see who comes out on top.

In this entertaining video, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and popular TV host R. Lee Ermey, challenges Gary Archer, a British ex-pat, to a shoot-off with classic military rifles. In Round One, Ermey employs a Springfield m1903 while his opponent shoots the British 1907 Lee-Enfield No. 1, MK III. The quick-cycling bolt of the .303-caliber Enfield, and its larger internal magazine, give the Brit an advantage and Archer beats Ermey decisively.

But the Gunny doesn’t give up. For Round Two, Ermey replaces his 1903 with an M1 Garand. The Gunny then proceeds to show why the .30-06 Garand was a superior combat weapon. Gary Archer protests that it’s “hardly sporting” to pit a bolt-gun against a semi-auto like the Garand, but Ermey quashes that complaint saying: “Hey, Churchill, it’s my show. Besides… this is war, I love my M1 Garand… and all’s fair in love and war.”

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July 2nd, 2014

American Rifleman TV Kicks Off 2014 Season

Hunter training safariAmerican Rifleman TV begins its new season tonight, July 2, 2014, on the Outdoor Channel at 6:30 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. This week’s episode features the S.A.A.M. Hunter Training Program at the FTW Ranch in Barksdale, Texas. At this facility, ARTV staffers learn the basic principles of long-range precision shooting as part of the S.A.A.M. Safari Course. In the Rifleman Review segment the new Remington R51 is featured, and in the “This Old Gun” segment you’ll see the infamous handgun that started World War I: the FN Model 1910.

Watch Preview of 2014 Season Opening Episode of American Rifleman TV

American Rifleman TV is the on-screen version of the National Rifle Association’s American Rifleman magazine. American Rifleman Television covers firearms, the shooting sports, and gun rights issues. “ARTV is part of the larger American Rifleman brand,” said Editor-in-Chief Mark A. Keefe IV. “It’s a show about guns- we teach the history of them and the people who use them.”

Rifleman Feature
Each episode of ARTV is built around one primary feature segment. In that lead story, ARTV staffers may visit a firearms factory, attend a major shooting competition, or work with elite instructors at one of the nation’s leading training facilities. In this week’s season opener, ARTV’s reporters practice long-range precision shooting at the S.A.A.M. hunter training center in Texas.

Hunter training safari

Hunter training safari

Hunter training safari

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June 30th, 2014

Brownells Videos Show How to Accessorize 1911-Type Pistols

While AccurateShooter.com focuses on rifles, we know that a large percentage of our readers own handguns, with 1911-style pistols being particular favorites. For you 1911 owners, here are six short videos from Brownells showing how to customize a 1911-style pistol with after-market upgrades.

How to Accessorize Your 1911
This six-part series by Brownells provides step-by-step instruction on how to accessorize your 1911. The videos cover changing out the mainspring housing, magazine release, slide release, hammer, guide rod, and installing a group gripper.

Hammer

Hammer


 

Slide Stop

Slide Stop

Full Length Guide Rod

Full Length Guide Rod

Wilson Group Gripper

Wilson Group Gripper

Video Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 28th, 2014

Cody’s ‘Glam-Tactical’ Curly Maple Precision Field Rifle by Russo

Forum member Cody H. (aka “Willys46″) provided this report on his new Russo-stocked 6-6.5×47 Rifle.

Joel Russo out of Harrisburg, PA is taking modern technology and new stock designs and mating them with Old World materials and craftsmanship. The result: rifles that shoot true and look seriously sharp. Russo got his start making laminated wood stocks for budget-minded tactical rifle shooters with his popular A5-L design. Motivated by his passion for woodworking and a mindset for detail, Russo has shifted his focus from the run-of-the-mill laminates to create shootable works of art in some of the most highly figured, beautiful, exotic and domestic woods. Russo has come to feel that if he as a craftsman is going to spend precious time creating something out of wood, it should be for something worthy of his personal investment.

Take, for example, a recent Russo stock that started its life as a highly figured piece of Curly Maple harvested in the Pacific Northwest. After CNC inletting, profiling, pillar- and glass-bedding, the stock was meticulously finished to showcase the wood’s beauty. This stunning stock was commissioned for my new 6-6.5×47 Precision Field Rifle [Editor: it's just too pretty to be labeled 'tactical']. Have a look….


Rifle Specifications: Remington 700 short action with R&D Precision bottom metal. Bartlein Barrel (Sendero Contour). Joel Russo Stock in A3-5 pattern (A5 buttstock with A3 fore-end). Barrel chambering/fitting (6-6.5X47 Lapua) by Steve Kostanich.

How does it shoot? Cody reports: “I’ve had the rifle two weeks, and sent about 200 rounds down range so far. I could not be happier with the performance of the whole package. The 6-6.5×47 Lapua chambering really makes it a pleasure to shoot with its low recoil and accuracy potential. With the fitted muzzle brake, recoil is minimal. The ballistics of 105gr Berger hybrids at 3100 fps make the wind at 600 yards very manageable. As for the stock, the slimmer fore-end holds the bipod much nicer than my old A5L. The lighter weight also makes it more maneuverable in different shooting positions.”


NOTE: Hi-Rez Gallery images may take some time to load. Be patient — it’s worth the wait.


Cody Talks About His Rifle
and Joel Russo’s Work

Click Play Button to Hear Audio


Like any artist, Russo carefully considers where to begin. Deciding where the stock will be cut out of the wood blank can take days. He must determine where the forend and pistol grip will lay to be sure the true beauty of the wood will transfer to the stock design. After Russo cuts the rough pattern out of the blank, it’s off to the CNC mill for barrel and action inletting. The stock is almost completely inletted but still in the rough; enough material remains for Russo to hand-blend the wood and metal for that all-important fit and finish. Then it’s off to the duplicator, which cuts out the stock in the specified pattern.

With inletting completed, the action is pillar- and glass-bedded, then readied for final shaping. The tang/pistol grip area demands careful work for a perfect look and feel. It takes hours with files and rasps to get everything just right. Once material is removed it’s a done deal so patience with the tools is a must. Russo is a very painstaking woodworker, and as an artisan and champion shooter himself, he wants the tang to melt into the pistol grip for the perfect look and feel.

Once the major wood removal is complete, Russo begins surface sanding. To make the finish come out smooth and flat, a sanding block is a must. With the density change in figured wood, some sections will be softer and so material is removed more quickly, making for a very wavy finish. When Russo is satisfied with the final sanding he starts the finishing process.

Russo generally does a hand-rubbed TUNG Oil finish. Since this stock is for a tactical competition rifle, and I wanted to preserve the natural blond color of the Maple, a clear coat finish was in order. In all fairness the maple would look even better with a darker oil finish, which allows the deep grain and figure to come out, creating an almost 3-D effect. A hand rubbed oil finish can take months to be applied properly. The shorter application time was another advantage for this particular build.

Clear coat maintains the original color of the wood while being comparatively easy to apply with basic paint-spraying tools. If you scratch the surface, it’s a simple matter to buff it out just like you would a car door ding. After a numerous coats are applied then it is wet-sanded just like the finish on a classic hot rod. The finer the sandpaper grit, the shiner the finish. For the maple stock project, a higher-than-typical gloss finish was selected because the wood kept looking better the shiner it got. Want it shinier? All you have to do is invest a little more time in sanding and polishing. Sometimes Russo works his way to 6000 grit sandpaper.

Walk-Around Video Showing Beautiful Wood

After final wet-sanding of the clear-coat, the finished stock is one even a millionaire would be proud to shoot. With the advent of fiberglass composite materials and assembly-line production methods, there are fewer true craftsmen like Joel who can start with a block of wood and some metal and create a complete rifle. So it’s refreshing that wood artisans like Russo are keeping alive the craftsman tradition. To see more examples of Joel Russo’s work, visit www.RussoRifleStocks.com.

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