January 18th, 2020

The Sling’s the Thing — Tips on Sling Use by Dennis DeMille

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion. Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and how to adjust it to fit properly.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

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January 17th, 2020

Trouble-Shooting the Remington 700 and Rem Clones

Nathan Foster New Zealand Rem 700 rifle copper fouling accurizing barrel lapping

Turn a Rough Factory Rifle into an Accurate Hunting Rig
Kiwi Nathan Foster has produced a good video for hunters with “under-performing” Remington Model 700 rifles. In this video, Nathan helps a client turn a badly-behaving Rem 700 into a reliable tack-driver. A customer had sent Nathan this rifle to rectify stubborn copper fouling. After bedding the rifle, the customer discovered that the rifle produced terrible groups due to the stubborn bore.

Nathan told us: “This was a grand opportunity to study what can go wrong with the M700 rifle with regards to both do-it-yourself work and flaws within rifle production. To help structure the video, we used the chapters of our Accurizing Book as reference steps for the video. This footage also works in conjunction with our free Remington bedding tutorials on YouTube.

Those who have watched the full M700 Troubleshooting video say this is one of the most helpful videos yet released on problem-solving with a factory hunting rifle. This video is especially helpful for those just getting into the accuracy game, as it walks the viewer through the basics of rifle tuning, then proceeds to more advanced methods of improving a badly-behaving rifle.

This video focuses on the Remington M700 and Rem clones, such as the Bergara rifle. However the lessons and techniques in the video can apply to any type of bolt-action rifle suffering heavy copper fouling. The video features detailed footage of barrel break-in and barrel-lapping procedures. These procedures may be beneficial for rough factory barrels. IMPORTANT! AccurateShooter.com recommends different break-in and maintenance regimes for custom, hand-lapped premium barrels — be conservative with fine custom barrels. Our best custom barrels have all shot superbly with minimal break-in and zero use of abrasives during break-in.

Troubleshooting the Remington 700 Rifle with Nathan Foster

NOTE: This is a free 70-second trailer video. The FULL Remington Troubleshooting Video is 1 hour, 16 minutes long and can be streamed through Vimeo-on-Demand for $12.00. Access Full Video HERE.

Nathan Foster of Terminal Ballistics Research in New Zealand, is a expert hunter and highly-respected author of a series of hunting and long range shooting books. Nathan’s first book, The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles, is a classic — one of the best treatises ever written on choosing and using a hunting rifle.

Nathan Foster Long Range Rifles Hunting Hunter

CLICK HERE to Download Remington 700 Owner’s Manual

The Remington 700 is the most popular bolt-action rifle in America, according to Gunbroker.com sales figures for new and “previously-owned” rifles. So, chances are that you (or a family member) have a Rem 700 of some vintage sitting in the gunsafe. Click the link above for a PDF version of the Remington 700 Owner’s Manual (also covers models Seven, and 673).

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January 15th, 2020

Chassis Rifle Genesis — Building a Precision Tactical Rifle Video

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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January 15th, 2020

GAP Grind and World Shooting Championship on Shooting USA TV

GAP Grind G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

Shooting USA will broadcast a great episode today, January 15, 2020. There are three segments worth watching. First the TV show spotlights the popular GAP Grind, a Pro-Am PRS event at the K&M Precision complex in Tennessee. Then this episode covers the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) in Virginia. This unique Pro-Am event challenges shooters with a dozen stages, employing a wide variety of pistols, rifles, and shotguns supplied by the manufacturers. The WSC offers huge rewards — over $250,000 in cash and prizes! Finally, there is a historical feature on the Spencer Rifle this week.

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs January 15, 2020 (Wednesday) at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

PART ONE– 2019 GAP Grind Feature on Shooting USA

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a 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).

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

The GAP Grind attracts over 300 competitors — half experienced shooters and the other half newcomers to the sport. The key to growing the shooting sports is attracting new shooters. The best way to bring in “new blood” seems to be the Pro-Am type format. At the GAP Grind, experienced shooters share their knowledge and guide the new shooters through the competition.

GAP Grind G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

Shooting USA TV gap grind
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo.

GAP Grind Hardware
You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable this year was the fact that many top competitors “stepped down” from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA and other 6mm cartridges. The Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Also, many top shooters are now running Kahles optics. Photo by Shelley Giddings.

Giddings GAP Grind

PART TWO — NRA World Shooting Championship

WSC World Shooting Championship WV Peacemaker Glengary

In 2019, its sixth consecutive year, the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) returned to the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. One of the nation’s biggest Pro-Am events, the WSC attracted many of the USA’s top professional shooters, along with talented amateurs.

This unique 3-day multi-gun match, held Sept. 18-21, 2019 tested competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Stages included fan favorites like 3-Gun, High-Power Silhouette, Cowboy Action, and more. For more information on the match, check out wsc.nra.org or email NRAhighpower@nrahq.org.

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January 14th, 2020

Great Video Series for Hunters and Long Range Shooters

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

There an excellent YouTube channel, THLR.NO, that offers videos for long-range hunters and marksmen. The channel’s creator, Thomas Haugland, is a serious, knowledgeable shooter, who takes his rifles out into the field, in all conditions. The THLR.NO channel offers solid advice on scopes, reticles, wind-reading, field positions, and much more. Haugland’s team puts a wide variety of gear through serious field tests — every thing from suppressors to packs to the latest electro-optical hardware. In addition the THLR.NO channel provides good advice on stalking techniques and hunting skills. Here are some recent videos that can help any rifleman.

How to Shoot Better with a Hunting Rifle

This “must-watch” video has great practical advice for hunters. It illustrates proper hand-hold and head position, and shows how to stay steady when breaking the shot. Even competition shooters can learn a few things. One viewer notes: “This was very informative. The footage through the scope showing how one’s position moves the sight alignment was particularly helpful.”

How to Gauge Wind Speed and Hold Off Using Reticles

This field video shows how to observe natural indicators — trees and vegetation — to estimate wind velocity. Then it shows how to calculate hold-offs using the reticle hash-marks. Thomas shoots a fast-cycling Blaser R93 rifle with Norma 6XC ammunition.

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

If you like these three videos, there are hundreds more on the THLR.NO YouTube channel. In addition, there is an excellent long-format video, Longrange Shooting 2, available on DVD or Vimeo on Demand. This impressive outdoors video features Thomas Haugland and Ulf Lindroth. Here is a preview:

Watch Longrange Shooting 2 on Vimeo:

Longrange Shooting 2 from Lindroth & Norin on Vimeo.

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January 14th, 2020

Forum Member Carves Superb Maple Hunting Stock

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota
Believe it or not, this is the first stock Brett M. carved by hand. We’d say he did a darn good job!

AccurateShooter Forum member Brett M. from Minnesota (aka Spitfire_er) recently completed a handsome laminated maple gunstock. This beauty wasn’t produced with a stock duplicator. It was made the old-fashioned way — by hand. After laminating three sections, Brett carved the complete stock with hand tools. You can see the entire carving process, start to finish, in Brett’s time lapse video.

MUST-SEE time-lapse carving video. Every second is one minute in real time. This 15:54 video shows 15.9 hours of carving! Brett says the whole job took nearly 20 hours:

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett MinnesotaHandsome Maple Blank Was Lumber Yard Return!
Brett reports: “Here’s a stock I carved up over the past year or so. I found this wood as a return at a lumber yard about 7-8 years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was “That would make a nice stock!” I finally got around to finishing it a couple months ago.

I fit it around a 1917 Enfield in .338 WM that I purchased a while back. I usually do all the work on the receiver and barrel, but this one was done up in an OK fashion already.

This stock was almost completely made using hand tools over the course of about a year. This is a piece of laminated 1x8x1″ maple that was glued together. After it sat for about eight years, I finally got around to carving it up. This stock design/shape was from my own ideas and was carved as I went along. It turned out pretty good.”

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

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January 13th, 2020

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

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January 9th, 2020

New Wind-Mapping Technology in Trijicon Ventus Rangefinder

Ventus X collimated laser rangefinder wind reading Ballistics app LIDAR Doppler

To be honest, when we read the description of Trijicon’s new Ventus device, we thought it sounded like science fiction. This quad-collimated laser rangefinder/wind-reading gizmo seems like something Captain Kirk would use on Star Trek. According to Trijicon, the Ventus is “the world’s first advanced wind-mapping and range-detecting handheld device.” That’s right folks, this is a rangefinder that also “measures three-dimensional wind velocities at multiple distances out to 500 yards”. Combined with a claimed 5000-yard ranging ability (on reflective objects), Trijicon says its new Ventus gives “shooters and hunters previously unattainable data about their environment for long-range accuracy.”

The Ventus unit is designed with a Doppler LIDAR engine that can measure headwind, tailwind, crosswind and vertical wind components at six different distances, in any weather condition. The higher-end Ventus X Model also includes an onboard ballistics solver which communicates, via Bluetooth, with the Trijicon Ballistics App. This allows Ventus-X users to store shooter and target geographic locations, calculate ballistic solutions, and display wind maps.

Ventus X collimated laser rangefinder wind reading Ballistics app LIDAR Doppler
The Ventus utilizes an advanced Doppler LIDAR engine and four collimated lasers sent out in a cone to measure wavelength interaction with dust particles at up to six different distances.

Four Collimated Lasers Read the Wind via Doppler LIDAR
How does the wind-reading work? Trijicon states: “Thanks to a fiber optic collimated laser capable of returns through dust, fog, sleet, and snow, the Ventus offers extreme, all-weather performance. Four collimated lasers [are] sent out in a cone to measure wavelength interaction with dust particles at up to six different distances. This technology allows the Ventus to calculate for head, tail, cross and vertical wind, giving shooters an incredibly accurate wind reading.”

Ventus X collimated laser rangefinder wind reading Ballistics app LIDAR Doppler

Ventus X Model Includes Advanced Ballistics Solver
The Ventus comes in two models: Ventus and Ventus X. The basic Ventus handles ranging duties. The upgraded Ventus X adds a state-of-the-art, onboard ballistics solver. An onboard sensor suite captures all necessary data — range, wind, atmospheric temperature, stratospheric pressure, and incline angle — to provide a very advanced ballistic solution.

Ventus X collimated laser rangefinder wind reading Ballistics app LIDAR Doppler

The Ventus X also communicates via Bluetooth to the advanced Trijicon Ballistic application, soon to be available for both iOS and Android. The Ballistic App stores shooter and target geographic locations, provides a ballistic solution, and displays a wind map overlay of readings.

DISCUSS HERE in our Shooters’ Forum Ventus Thread »

Price and Availability
Trijicon says both Ventus and Ventus X units should be available in the “Second Half of 2020″. MSRP unknown at this time.

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January 9th, 2020

GUN INFO 101 — Headspace Defined and Illustrated

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Used as a verb, headspace refers to the interference created between this part of the chamber and the feature of the cartridge that achieves the correct positioning. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge.

If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s longer article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI (Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute) minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

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January 6th, 2020

Loading with Arbor Press and Hand Dies — Here’s How to Do It

arbor press hand die

Creedmoor Sports has released a series of helpful “how-to” videos in its new InfoZone web page. In the latest InfoZone video Bill Gravatt shows how to seat bullets using L.E. Wilson Hand Dies and an Arbor Press. The basic process is simple, particularly with a micrometer-top seating die. That makes it easy to adjust and set seating depth. Before you start seating bullets, you want to adjust the height of the arbor so the stroke is appropriate to the height of your die.

Bill Gravatt Shows How to Use Hand Seating Dies — Creedmoor INFOZONE

ARBOR PRESS TECHNIQUE: When using an arbor press, smooth is good. You don’t want to slam the handle down quickly. Try to repeat the same motion each time. You can also experiment by seating the bullet part way, then rotate the cartridge (in the die) and do the final seating with a second stroke. If your arbor press has a force gauge, note both the max value of the gauge needle and how it moves as you seat the bullet. If the needle spikes too rapidly, or bounces back and forth irregularly, set that cartridge aside and/or mark it. You could have neck tension issue with that case or some other fault. You might even have a bad bullet. That’s rare, but can happen. The key to success is moving the press arm in a smooth motion every time, maintaining the same down-pressure with each cartridge.

Here Bill Gravatt Offers a Simple Tip for Adjusting Wilson Seating Dies

One of our Forum readers asked “How can I get a custom in-line seater for my new rifle?”. First, we would say that, if you are not shooting an unusual Wildcat, check first to see if L.E. Wilson makes a stainless Micrometer Seater Die for your rifle. These dies are a joy to use, and we’ve found the fit to be exceptionally good with many calibers. Typically priced from $90-$100, Wilson stainless micrometer-top seaters are available for dozens of cartridge types: .204 Ruger, 20 BR, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, 22 PPC, 22 BR, .22-250, .223 WSSM, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6XC, 243 Win, .243 WSSM, 25 WSSM, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, .284 Win, 28 Nosler, 7mm RUM, 30 BR, 30 IHMSA, .308 Win, .300 WinMag, .338 Edge (and MORE).

If you do want a custom seater die, the process is relatively simple. Purchase a die blank from Wilson and have your gunsmith run the chambering reamer in. Forum member Gunamonth explains: “I start with a Wilson seating die blank. They’re available from Sinclair and other vendors. Just run the reamer in. For some of my rifles, where I wanted the stainless die with the micrometer adjustment, I bought a smaller die and had the smith ream it with the chamber reamer. That’s how I had my 6 Dasher and 6mm AI seaters made. With the Dasher I stared with a 6mmBR Micrometer die.”

Wilson inline seater die and blank

SEATER STEM TIP: If, on your seated bullets, you are seeing a sharp line around the jacket near the ogive, you may want to smooth out the leading edge of the Wilson seater stem (see above left). Do this by putting a little lapping compound on one bullet and manually spin this around in the stem. Without much effort you’ll have a smooth bullet/stem interface.

Micrometer Top Add-on
We really like micrometer tops on a seating die. But what if Wilson doesn’t make a micrometer top seater for your chambering? Don’t despair, Sinclair Int’l sells a $39.99 micrometer top that can be added to Wilson standard seaters or to a custom seater die made from a Wilson die blank.

Wilson inline seater die and blank

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January 5th, 2020

How Rimfire Ammo is Made — Videos Reveal Production Process

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

22Plinkster Tours CCI/Speer Idaho Factory
Trickshot artist and YouTube host 22Plinkster recently got a chance to tour the CCI/Speer production facility in Lewiston, Idaho. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, 22Plinkster was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging. If you’ve got ten minutes to spare, we really recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

Field & Stream Tours Federal Ammo Plant in Minnesota

Note to Viewers — After Starting Video, Click Speaker Icon to HEAR audio!

Last year a Field & Stream writer toured the Federal ammunition production facility in Anoka, Minnesota. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, the reporter was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching. Click speaker icon for sound.

The Manufacturing Process for .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition
Shooting Sports USA explains: “Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.” Source: SSUSA.org 9/2/2017.

.22 LR ammunition photo
Photo courtesy BulkAmmo.com.

Buried in CCI Rimfire Ammo
22Plinkster was literally up to his neck in ammo while touring the CCI/Speer Idaho ammo plant. He says: “This was truly a dream come true for me. I can’t thank the people at CCI and Speer enough for allowing me to do this. I couldn’t possibly show everything that went on at the factory. However, hopefully I showed you enough for you to grasp the concept of how rimfire [ammo] is made.”

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

History — Speer Brothers Brought Ammo Production to Lewiston
Here is an interesting historical footnote. Today’s large CCI/Speer operation in Idaho can be traced back to the companies founded by the Speer brothers. After settling in Lewiston in 1944, Vernon Speer started Speer Bullets. A few years later, in 1951, Vernon’s brother Dick (with partner Arvid Nelson) started Cascade Cartridges Inc., a producer of small-arms ammunition and primers. Yes, as you may suspect, Cascade Cartridges Inc. is now CCI, a Vista Outdoor company, and one of the largest manufacturers of primers and loaded ammunition. Today, the CCI/Speer Lewiston plant produces both Speer bullets and CCI-branded ammunition and primers. Vista Outdoor’s predecessor, ATK, acquired the plant in 2001. Vernon Speer died in 1979, and Dick Speer died in 1994.

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January 3rd, 2020

Improve Your Shooting Skills with USAMU Pro Tips

USAMU Shooting USA Pro tips

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), in cooperation with Shooting USA TV, has created a series of instructional Pro Tip pages covering a wide range of shooting disciplines. All totaled, there are more than 50 USAMU Pro Tips. Most relate to rifle marksmanship but there are also numerous tips for shotgunners and pistol shooters. Each Pro Tip entry includes multiple photos and 6-15 paragraphs, in an easy-to-follow format. Many Pro Tips also include an instructional video produced by Shooting USA. Here are three Pro Tip videos, and links to seven more Pro Tip web pages.

USAMU TOP TEN PRO TIPS

1. Reading the Wind with SGT Sherri Gallagher.
Apart from gravity, wind has the most pull on the bullet as it travels down range. Being able to accurately read the wind and mirage will greatly enhance your performance on the rifle range. National Champion, SGT Gallagher gives you some of her tips.

2. Angle Shooting with SFC (Ret.) Emil Praslick.
SFC Praslick shows you how to determine the angle to your target, and then how to include that to change your data necessary to hit your target on the first shot.

3. Rifle Grip, Stance and Body Position for 3-Gun with SFC Daniel Horner.
Professional 3-gun marksman SFC Daniel Horner, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), give tips on how to properly handle a semi-automatic rifle, including grip, stance and body position.

4. Service Rifle Positions (with SFC Brandon Green)

5. Rifling and Twist Rate (with SFC Ret. Emil Praslick)

6. Setting the Right Zero (with SPC Ty Cooper)

7. Practice Drills (with SFC Lance Dement)

8. Using the Sling

9. Getting Your AR Zeroed

10. 3-Gun Rifles By Division (with SFC Daniel Horner)

USAMU Pro Tips Sherri Gallagher Emil Praslick Daniel Horner

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January 2nd, 2020

Tactacam FTS 5.0 Video Camera — Film Through Your Scope

rifle scope camera tactacam FTS inline scope cam video capture hunting hunt recording Wifi Streaming

Would you like to record what your eyes are seeing through your scope, during a practice session or hunt. Here is a very highly-reviewed product that will do the job superbly for under $430.00 on Amazon. The impressive Tactacam FTS 5.0, that allows you to film directly through your rifle scope. The FTS 5.0 unit, produced by Tactacam in Minnesota, has earned high praise from users. In September 2019, reviewer Joe Rhea declared: “This Tactacam 5.0 is the best scope cam system I have seen or used”. Likewise reviewer Scott Gregg states: “This is THE BEST Action Camera for hunting.”

Tactacam Live Streaming AND Recording
What you see through your riflescope can be recorded to your mobile device as well as viewed live. We think this is an important technology for marksmanship training. In addition, this is great for hunters who may want to record a successful hunt sequence.

rifle scope camera tactacam FTS inline scope cam video capture hunting hunt recording Wifi Streaming

The Tactacam FTS combines high definition capture with the high-power zoom of a rifle scope. This lets you remotely view and record live footage from your rifle on your smartphone or mobile device. Simply couple your scope and your camera together with the Tactacam FTS components. Then sync the camera to the Tactacam APP on your smart phone for live viewing.

rifle scope camera tactacam FTS inline scope cam video capture hunting hunt recording Wifi Streaming

You continue to watch your target through the normal optical axis of the rifle scope. The camera records via the offset FTS camera mount. The output of the FTS camera system can then be viewed, in real time, via a live feed to a smartphone. After setup, the Tactacam FTS allows the riflescope to operate normally with no additional adjustment or modification.

4K Resolution, Remote Control, Slo-Mo, Wifi Viewing and More
Tactacam’s innovative camera systems allow easy, in-the-field recording of hunts and shooting sessions. The latest Tactacam 5.0 unit provides 4K resolution with outstanding image quality. Other features include WiFi and APP viewing options, remote control activation, slow motion, and live-streaming capabilities. Camera output can be viewed both in the App and on external WiFi-capable devices.

rifle scope camera tactacam FTS inline scope cam video capture hunting hunt recording Wifi Streaming

The Tactacam FTS system can attach to nearly all conventional rifle scopes. This system is less expensive and easier-to-mount that most other through-the-scope viewing systems. Importantly, your valuable smartphone remains separate, i.e. NOT attached to the rifle. Hence it cannot be harmed by recoil or muzzle blast. That’s important.

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January 2nd, 2020

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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December 31st, 2019

Revolver Showdown — Miculek Shoots S&W, Colt, & Ruger

Jerry Miculek smith wesson colt python wheelgun ruger revolver showdown
Hornady sponsored shooter Jerry Miculek — Yamil Sued Photo.

If you are considering acquiring a revolver for fun shooting, self-defense, or competition, you should definitely watch this YouTube video. In this 23-minute presentation, legendary shooter Jerry Miculek puts three .357/.38 SPL wheelguns through their paces. Jerry, one of the greatest revolver shooters in history, hosts a “Revolver Showdown” with three popular wheelguns: 1) S&W L frame (3″ bbl); 2) Colt Python (6″ bbl); and 3) Ruger Speed Six (2.75″ bbl).

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Plus, L-Frame, 7-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Colt Python (Nickel), 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 6″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Ruger Speed Six, 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt RugerTesting at 10 Yards and 50 Yards
In the video, Jerry shoots all three revolvers rapid-fire, double-action at 10 yards. Then he shoots the three guns single-action, slow-fire at 50 yards (starting at time mark 7:19).

After his range session, Jerry examines nine medium frame revolvers, comparing and contrasting design features. Jerry considers these factors:

1. Accuracy
2. Balance and Handling
3. Speed and Sureness of Trigger Return (watch video at 3:45″ re Colt.)
4. Reliability
5. Barrel Twist Rate
6. Strength of Construction/Durability

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December 29th, 2019

How to Clean Cartridge Brass with Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Tumblers and walnut/corncob media are old school. These days many shooters prefer processing brass rapidly with an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ FULL UltimateReloader.com Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.”

UltimateReloader.com Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on UltimateReloader.com. Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.

Ultra Dry Necks After Ultrasonic Cleaning — Some Suggestions

The Ultrasonic cleaning process gets cartridge brass so “squeaky clean” that increased force may be required to seat your bullets, or they may “grab” as they go in the necks. To reduce bullet-seating effort, you may benefit from adding a little dry case lube inside the case-neck before loading (use a nylon brush). Another trick is adding a teaspoon of Ballistol lube to the cleaning solution. That provides a trace lubricant inside the necks, but does not interfere with powder ignition in any way.


The latest Gen2 RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine has a large 6.3-quart capacity. That’s nearly 100 percent larger than the first generation machine in Gavin’s video. The Gen2 machine, $322.02 on Amazon, features a second ceramic heater and transducer to better clean brass cases and firearm parts. The LED is easily programmable, and the timer can be set for up to 30 minutes of cleaning. The original 3.2 quart capacity RCBS ultrasonic machine, as shown in Gavin’s video, is still available for $166.56 at Midsouth Shooters.

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December 27th, 2019

How to Open a Champagne Bottle with a .22 LR Rifle

New Year’s Eve is just four days away. Perhaps you’ve been getting ready for the big event, getting Champagne (and sparklers) to celebrate the New Year, and the opening of a new decade. 2020 will also be a Presidential election year, by the way — so make sure you’re registered to vote.

Kirsten Weiss Champagne Trick Shot

Recently at Thorton Winery in Temecula, California, a champagne vintner, we were shown the best way to open a champagne bottle. We were told you should hold the bottle nose up at an angle then rotate the BOTTLE slowly while holding the cork. That works great… but it’s not as stunning as the way sharpshooter Kirsten Joy Weiss opens a bottle of bubbly.

Kirsten Weiss Champagne Trick ShotA former competitive smallbore rifle shooter, ace trigger-puller Kirsten Joy Weiss tried a special New Year’s trick shot a few seasons back. In keeping with the festive New Year’s spirit, Kirsten attempted to shoot the cork off a champagne bottle. After a few unsuccessful tries, she managed to hit the cork with at least two shots. But alas the cork did not fly. She actually hit the cork, but it did not release. That was surprising…

Undaunted, Kirsten changed her strategy, aiming for the neck of the bottle. This duplicates the process of “sabering” a champagne bottle — a method of liberating the bubbly by slashing off the end of the neck with a blade. Aiming for the neck of the bottle, Kirsten successfully blew off the top of the bottle. (Apparently, when “sabering” it is actually the pressure within the champagne bottle which does most of the work).

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December 24th, 2019

AMP Annealing — R&D, Innovation, and Cutting-Edge Technology

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

When Annealing Made Perfect (AMP), a New Zealand-based company, first unveiled its original induction annealing machine at SHOT Show 2015, it was big news in the reloading world. This was a real breakthrough — an induction annealer running on electricity that was fully programmable. No more flames to fuss with. The advent of the AMP annealer was a true “game-changer” for the shooting enthusiasts who reloaded their ammo.

The AMP system is based on smart science and modern technology. Right from the start, AMP invested in advanced lab equipment (such as gear for Micro-Vickers hardness testing). AMP also worked with independent outside metallurgical laboratories. And AMP invited shooters from around the world to send in sample cartridge cases. AMP accumulated a huge archive of cartridges from .17 Hornet to an array of .50 BMG wildcats and everything in-between. AMP’s archive includes multiple brands and even different lot numbers of the same cartridge. AMP now offers the most highly developed and precise consumer annealing system on the planet. That is because of the amazing amount of R&D behind the product, plus the use of advanced technologies.

Annealing Under the Microscope — Informative Articles

Alex and Matt Findlay have produced a series of articles called “Annealing Under the Microscope”. The first of these was released in July 2017. Part 1 was a general explanation of annealing, and busted a number of myths. It examined the repeatability of annealing over multiple reloads, and conducted a series of tensile bullet pull tests.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: Annealing Under the Microscope, Part One

Annealing Different Brands of Brass
Part 2 of Annealing Under the Microscope covered an important topic — annealing for different brands of brass. This article examines the reasons why different brands of the same cartridge can require different annealing settings. The article also reveals that lot to lot variations of the same brand of brass can make a big difference.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

FULL ARTICLE LINK: Annealing Different Brands of Brass for Same Cartridge Type

AZTEC Annealing System — AMP Annealers become Smart Machines
In late 2017, Alex and Matt started the development of their revolutionary AZTEC system, which in effect transformed AMP annealers into SMART annealers. It meant that individual customers could analyse their own cases with laboratory grade accuracy without the need to send samples to the AMP lab for calibration.

Part 3 of Annealing Under the Microscope was released in July 2018 after nearly 12 months of R&D on AZTEC. It focused on how to best utilize this new self-calibration capability. It also highlighted the difference between several “premium” brands of brass compared to cheaper alternatives.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology
AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

FULL ARTICLE LINK: AZTEC Control — “Smart” Self-Calibration Annealing Technology

Benefits of Precision Annealing — Accuracy and Repeatability
Part 4 of the series was released in September 2019. It focused on the true benefits of accurate annealing, and the arguments for annealing every reload. The study identified sizing accuracy and repeatability as the key factor. This article also revealed the first prototype of AMP’s new auto bullet seater with seating pressure data capture.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

FULL ARTICLE LINK: Benefits of Precision Annealing — Accuracy and Repeatability

Proof on the Target — Down-Range Benefits of Annealing
In Part 5 of the series, AMP’s experts focus on the real world, down-range benefits of annealing, turned out to be a much more complex process than AMP initially planned. Accordingly, Part 5 was conducted in three stages, with three detailed write-ups.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

The Part 5, Stage 1 paper examined sizing accuracy of annealed vs un-annealed cases, taking two sets of three identical Peterson Cartridge .308 Winchester cases through twenty (20) reloading cycles. For every cycle, cases were measured both fire-formed and as re-sized. With each cycle the cases were measured for case length, shoulder bump, neck OD, and head OD.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: Annealed vs. Un-Annealed: 20 Load Cycles with .308 Win

Field Testing in Tennessee — Proof on Target
The Part 5, Stage 2 article covered detailed ballistic testing using multiple rifles, cartridges, and shooters at the Strategic Edge range in Tennessee.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

The Tennessee testing sessions accumulated a wealth of data on velocity spreads and group sizes right out to 1,000 yards. The evidence showed a clear advantage for annealed brass, both for average group size and average Extreme Spread for the groups shot with AMP-annealed cases.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: AMP Annealing Tennessee Long Range Field Testing

Underground Testing with Lou Murdica
Lastly, AMP’s Part 5, Stage 3 paper featured testing by Lou Murdica at an underground range in California. We have previously shown a video of Lou shooting one case, then reloading it and shooting the same case into the same hole at 100 yards.

AMP Annealing Made Perfect science under microscope technology

This time he repeated the feat, shooting one un-annealed case twenty times into the one hole. Then Lou produced another even smaller 20-shot group, shot with a case which he annealed before every shot.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: AMP Annealing Underground Testing

Enjoy These Technical Articles from AMP Annealing
Collectively AMP’s “Annealing Under the Microscope” series represents a remarkable body of outstanding work. Whether you anneal your cartridge brass now, or just want to learn more about the benefits of annealing, we recommend you take a look at this series of informative articles.

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December 23rd, 2019

ShotBlock — In-Chamber Safety Plug Device NEW!

chamber flag plug orange Shot block safety device barrel brush

Here’s a new safety device that should prove useful for firearms, particularly pistols. The patented ShotBlock is a hi-viz orange foam chamber plug mated to an orange brush extension that goes in the barrel. This serves the same purpose as a Chamber Flag or Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI), but is more compact (and multi-purpose). With the Shot Block in place a round cannot be chambered. That should, with most firearms, render the gun safe, and unable to fire.*

Currently, the bright orange ShotBlock safety plugs are available for .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 SW, and .223 Remington. Soon versions will be offered for .45 ACP and .308 Winchester as well. Watch the Video to see how this works:

The ShotBlock works by blocking the ability to chamber a round. The ShotBlock is attached to an “extended protection indicator” (i.e. an orange nylon brush). The plug and brush are placed into the barrel with the wide end of the plug on the breech lip. The extended protection indicator (orange brush) can be trimmed to fit the barrel length. Having the tip of brush visible at the end of the gun barrel confirms the Shot Block is in the chamber. As an added benefit, you can spray an anti-corrosion product on the brush for long-term storage.

chamber flag plug orange Shot block safety device barrel brush

The inventors state: “Once the ShotBlock is in the barrel of the gun you can easily manipulate the weapon safely, and any attempt to load the firearm will cause the bullet to be wedged inside the Shot Block, and prevent the [cartridge] from going inside the breach.”

Shot Block is Patented
The inventor of the ShotBlock, Bill Masters, has been awarded two U.S. Patents for this product: Nos. 9,448,024 and 9,310,149, both for “Firearm Safety and Chamber Block Indicator”. Bill explains why he invented the ShotBlock: “I had the idea for the ShotBlock after visiting a shooting range with my wife. The owner brought it out of the case and held it facing my wife without clearing it. He finally handed it to me and I cleared it. I left there telling myself there should be an easy way to let the customer know it was safe … to prevent someone quickly loading the weapon and doing bad things with it.”

Bill Masters is an engineer, inventor, designer, entrepreneur, and business advisor. He holds the first 3D printing patent, along with patents for other 3D printing technologies and CAD. He founded Perception Kayaks, which revolutionized the industry through by using molded plastics instead of fiberglass.

For more information on the ShotBlock visit: www.TheShotBlock.com.

Alternative Product Available Soon from Chamber-View
Chamber-View will soon offer a chamber plug for pistols. Like the ShotBlock, Chamber-View’s Universal Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) prevents a round from chambering. Unlike the ShotBlock, there is no barrel brush, but a large bright orange extension wing serves as an Empty Chamber Indicator:

chamber flag plug orange Shot block eci safety device barrel brush


* We are concerned however, that with some type of floating firing pins in semi-auto systems, it still might be possible to get a primer strike. This might happen if a round is stripped from the magazine and the firing pin moves forward from inertia as the pistol slide or bolt carrier moves forward rapidly and then stops. It’s unlikely a light strike could cause a round to fire, but check your firearm with dummy rounds before assuming it is 100% safe.

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December 22nd, 2019

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.

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