Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.
This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:
As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.
Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR National Championships, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up, shooting right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He shoots with his right hand on grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld.
2013 National Championship-Winning Derek Rodgers Left Bolt/Left Port Rifle.
*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.
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You have to love Texas. While in other states (such as California) gun rights are under attack, in Texas, gun ownership is cherished and even celebrated…
Proof is the Texas Firearm Festival (TXFF), a celebration of shooting where you can “try and buy” the latest guns and gear. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gun show. At the Texas Firearms Festival, the biggest “hands on” firearm exhibition in North America, you can “test drive” dozens of new firearms from top manufacturers including: FN, Sig Sauer, STI, Walther Arms, Remington, Taurus, Blaser, Henry Repeating Arms, Bergara, Benelli, Wilson Combat and more.
The TXFF takes place October 14-16 at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas, just outside Austin. The Third Annual Texas Firearms Festival is a two-day event where firearms enthusiasts can try and buy guns and gear from leading manufacturers. Saturday and Sunday ammo is all free! And with some of Austin’s best food trucks and exhibits, the festival is great for the whole family.
Here are video highlights from last year’s Texas Firearms Festival (loud volume):
Retail Village Showcasing the Best in Ammo and Accessories.
Full Auto Friday on Friday, October 14th for VIP Ticket Holders.
Ammunition Provided to Ticket Holders.
Ticket Options and Prices
The Festival isn’t free — but the price is more than reasonable considering the hours of fun you can have. A one-day pass, which includes the cost of ammo, is $79.00. A weekend pass for two full days of shooting is $119.00 (ammo included). There is also a $275.00 VIP Package which includes Full Auto Friday. And non-shooter tickets are available for $25.00. Purchase tickets at TexasGunFest.com/ticket.
Festival Location and Directions
The Festival will be held at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas. The address is 19500 W. SH 29, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. For driving directions, use this interactive Google map:
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Today, September 24th, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. To help mark that event, we’re reprising a story from Europe that showcases the beauty of nature that can be experienced on a hunting trip.
If you need a break from your hum-drum day at the office, how about taking a virtual vacation to Norway, where you can explore the scenic mountains in the Fjord region?
Forum member Kenneth Skorpen (aka “Sal”) has created a cool video of a deer-hunting trip he took in Norway. He didn’t bag a buck on this trip, but the walk in the Fjordland mountains took Kenneth through some spectacular scenery. (At the 11:25 time mark you’ll see an amazing sunset over the Fjord.) Kenneth did encounter a doe that had fallen down the mountain, and apparently broken its neck (14:35 time mark). The terrain is very steep, and Kenneth observed that: “I feel fortunate to be able to do this, but I also feel very tired in my legs. Did you know that the hares around here have shorter left legs due to the steep hills?”
More Hunting/Shooting Videos from Norway
You can watch more interesting hunting and shooting videos from Norway on Kenneth Skorpen’s Streken Vertebrae YouTube Channel. Here are some links:
And here is another Skorpen video showcasing beautiful Norwegian landscapes. This was filmed during a February rifle testing session with targets at 1100 and 1400 meters. You’ll see some stunning snow-capped scenery here, starting at the 4:30 time mark.
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Have you ever wondered how Olympic-class position shooters hold their aim so steady? Those bulky shooting coats help, but there is a lot of bio-mechanics involved also. Top shooters employ their body structure to help support the weight of their rifles, and to steady their aim. This interesting video, produced by GOnra Media, demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions. Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.
Jamie Gray, London 2012 Gold Medalist in Women’s 3 X 20, has retired from top-level competitive shooting. However, Jamie remains involved in the shooting sports as a Public Relations/Marketing representative for ELEY, a leading maker of rimfire ammunition. Jamie also works with shooting clubs and educational institutions to promote smallbore target shooting.
Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.
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Here’s a very cool 3D Animation showing pistol rounds being fired. Computer-generated graphics provide a look inside the cartridge at the moment of ignition as the primer fires and the flame front moves through the ignited powder. It’s really kind of mesmerizing. If you’ve every wondered just what happens inside your cartridges the moment that firing pin strikes, then watch this video…
Watch Video to See Handgun Ammo Being Chambered and Fired:
This animated video from German ammo-maker GECO (part of the Swiss RUAG group of companies) reveals the inside of a pistol cartridge, showing jacket, lead core, case, powder and primer. Employing advanced 3D rendering and computer graphics, the video shows an X-ray view of ammo being loaded in a handgun, feeding from a magazine.
Then it really gets interesting. At 1:32 – 1:50 you’ll see the firing pin strike the primer cup, the primer’s hot jet streaming through the flash-hole, and the powder igniting. Finally you can see the bullet as it moves down the barrel and spins its way to a target. This is a very nicely-produced video. If you’ve ever wondered what happens inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger, this video shows all. They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words”… well a 3D video is even better.
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On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.
Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass. Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.
You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.
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As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.
Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting. With no two hunting situations being the same, we must train to be adaptable and make the most of every opportunity. The most important aspect of hunting success, ultimately, is the person behind the rifle. So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”
Many of our readers have never had a chance to shoot much past 600 yards. How far away does a 1000-yard+ target really seem to the naked eye? Well this short video answers that question. Gorilla Ammo, the video’s producers, used a camera-carrying aerial drone to fly downrange from the firing line all the way out to 1122 yards (and back again). Watch the drone footage at 0:00-0:07 and especially 0:48-1:03. The “bird’s-eye view” really gives you a sense of the distance. The “fly-back” at 0:48-1:03 time-mark is what makes this video worth watching.
The video features prone shooting at steel targets placed at 750 and 1122 yards. We do apologize for the lame, “oh so serious” voice-over which attempts to make this rather ordinary range session seem like some kind of life-changing experience. (Frankly, you may just want to turn the sound off — it’s that annoying.) It’s really not that big a deal to hit steel at 750 yards with a quality AR-15, chambered in .223 Rem, shooting Sierra 77 grain MatchKings.
Hitting Steel at 1122 Yards with 2540 FPS Ammo Can Be Challenging
The 1122-yard hits are a bit more impressive. Gorilla Ammo lists a relatively sedate 2540 fps Muzzle Velocity for its .223 Rem 77gr SMK ammunition. According to JBM Ballistics, at 1125 yards, that 2540 fps load has 68.3 MOA of drop from a 100-yard zero (firing at sea level and 80° F ambient). Morever the bullet goes trans-sonic around 750 yards (losing stability) and is traveling just 933 fps at impact. And the wind’s the killer — at 1125 yards, with this bullet/load, a mere 2 mph, full-value wind change can move the Point of Impact over three feet!
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“[Elite] shooters have this specific thing that happens in their brain when they are shooting well. Maybe you’d call it a ‘quiet time’. One interpretation is that it is a lack of self-instruction or analysis. Once you are an expert you really shouldn’t be [thinking] ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’.”
In this video from USA Shooting, a scientist uses brain wave (EEG) and muscle activity monitors to study the biomechanics and cognitive functions involved in competitive shooting. The study explores how elite shooters control their muscles and mind before executing a perfect shot.
In the video, USOC Sports Psychologist Lindsay Thornton works with pistol shooter Teresa Chambers to evaluate (and optimize) Teresa muscle and brain wave activity during shooting. One purpose of the study is to see how a shooter’s muscles function before, during and after a firing sequence. The goal is to use the muscles in the most efficient manner. This reduces fatigue and improves shot-to-shot consistency. Thorton says: “We are trying to define [muscle activity] efficiency with numbers so we can replicate that.”
Thorton is also exploring how a top shooter’s brain functions when he or she is “dialed in” and shooting most accurately. Thornton explains: “We are looking at EEG activity, which is brain wave activity. Research studies show that shooters have this specific thing that happens in their brain when they are shooting well. Maybe you’d call it a ‘quiet time’. One interpretation is that it is a lack of self-instruction or analysis. Once you are an expert you really shouldn’t be [thinking] ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ — everything should be pretty automatic.” Interestingly, the test showed a specific pattern of Alpha band brain waves right before a trained shooter breaks the shot.
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Here’s an entertaining video from Fog Ammunition. Starting with boxes of bullets and bags of cartridge brass, this video shows how components are bulk-sorted, then .223 Rem ammunition is produced on a modern, linear multi-stage loading machine. In assembly-line fashion, cases are primed, powder is added, bullets are placed, final seating depth is set, and then the case is crimped.
If you’ve never seen an automated loader in action you should definitely watch this video. With this kind of machine, a new round is produced every second or so (see video 1:15 to 1:55). The .223 Remington ammunition featured in this video is loaded with Sierra BlitzKing bullets. Fog offers both rifle and pistol ammo loaded with quality components.
Video Shows Automated Loading Process Start to Finish (Worth Watching):
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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.
Testing 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:
2. Balance and Handling
3. Speed and Sureness of Trigger Return (watch video at 3:45″ re Colt.)
5. Barrel Twist Rate
6. Strength of Construction/Durability
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Brownell’s has prepared a useful video showing how to remove light rust from a firearm. This shows how to use soft cloths, polishes, and 0000 steel wool to eliminate light surface rust. CAUTION — if you have a very high gloss blued finish, ANY abrasive and even the finest grade of oiled steel wool can scratch or alter the finish. With something like a $1200.00 “Royal Blue” Colt Python, it may be better to tolerate a few small pits than to work it over with steel wool.
Watch Brownell’s Video on Rust Removal
Brownell’s technician, Steve Ostrem, notes that many things can promote rust — some you might not expect. In addition to moisture in the air, rust can be caused by the salts and oils from your hands, sweat, blood, or even insect repellent. Ostrem also observes that temperature changes can produce condensation which may lead to rust inside the gun that you don’t even notice: “In the real world we know that if you take the gun outside, sooner or later, it’s going to rust. When you come inside, wipe the gun down the first opportunity you get. If you bring a cold gun into a warm, humid house, you’re going to have an instant coating of moisture… make sure you get the gun dried off and you’ll avoid a lot of problems.”
We’ve conducted a comprehensive test of corrosion-fighters. Among the best products to prevent rust are Boeshield T-9, Corrosion-X, and Eezox. Break-Free also works well, but it leaves a somewhat greasy residue, and it did not perform as well during long-term salt exposure as did the other three products.
For long-term storage, nothing beats a coating of Cosmoline, Rig or similar grease. This provides a barrier layer that blocks the oxidation process, which is how rust forms. These greases performed extremely well in a comparison test of Rust Preventative Products performed by Brownell’s. CLICK HERE for Comparison Test.
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Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is typically held on the second weekend of April and October. The next Machine Gun Shoot is coming up in one month. This year, the popular fall Shoot will be held October 14th through 16th. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night event, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds will be expended during this year’s October 15th Night Shoot.
Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)
Back in 2013, Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng was on hand to record the firepower. Chris wrote: “About an hour before dark, folks are out on the range setting up all sorts of explosives while a crowd builds, anxiously awaiting what we all know is coming. The lights go out, and the next thing you know machine guns are going off for almost 20 straight minutes. This year’s October 2013 edition did not disappoint. Check out the video below — other than the beginning, my favorite part is at the 5:50 mark [when a Mini-Gun opens fire from the right].”
The ability to read the wind is what separates good shooters from great shooters. If you want to learn wind-doping from one of the best, watch this video with 2010 National High Power Champion (and U.S. Army 2010 Soldier of the Year) Sherri Gallagher. Part of the USAMU’s Pro Tips Video Series, this video covers the basics of wind reading including: Determining wind direction and speed, Bracketing Wind, Reading Mirage, and Adjusting to cross-winds using both sight/scope adjustments and hold-off methods. Correctly determining wind angle is vital, Sheri explains, because a wind at a 90-degree angle has much more of an effect on bullet lateral movement than a headwind or tailwind. Wind speed, of course, is just as important as wind angle. To calculate wind speed, Sherri recommends “Wind Bracketing”: [This] is where you take the estimate of the highest possible condition and the lowest possible condition and [then] take the average of the two.”
It is also important to understand mirage. Sheri explains that “Mirage is the reflection of light through layers of air, based off the temperature of the ground. These layers … are blown by the wind, and can be monitored through a spotting scope to detect direction and speed. You can see what appears to be waves running across the range — this is mirage.” To best evaluate mirage, you need to set your spotting scope correctly. First get the target in sharp focus, then (on most scopes), Sheri advises that you turn your adjustment knob “a quarter-turn counter-clockwise. That will make the mirage your primary focus.”
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Helpful “How-To” Maintenance Videos from BAT
BAT actions are beautifully made — but they represent a substantial investment. If you’re fortunate to one one or more BAT actions, it’s important that you understand how to properly clean and lubricate the action, and how to assemble the bolt components. To help BAT owners with maintenance chores, The BAT Machine website features a Video Archive with many informative videos about bolts, ejectors, are action maintenance, and other technical matters. Here are two video:
How to Grease and Maintain Your BAT Action and Bolt:
How to Remove (and Re-Install) Firing Pin Assembly:
Jewell triggers are still the most-used triggers on competition benchrest and F-Class rifles and they are also popular for hunting, varmint, and tactical rifles (with or without safeties). While a Jewell trigger can work for years with minimal maintenance, if the trigger becomes gunked up, it may be necessary to disassemble the trigger for a thorough cleaning. Our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys, have produced a helpful video that shows how to disassemble and then reassemble a Jewell trigger.
Why You May Need to Disassemble Your Jewell Trigger — the 6.5 Guys
Jewell triggers are a popular choice in the sport of long range precision shooting, and like everything else require regular cleaning and maintenance. In most cases they can be cleaned with charcoal lighter fluid or dropped into an ultrasonic cleaner. Should the situation require, they can be completely disassembled according to the Jewell Trigger Manual.
We ran into a situation where we had to dissemble a trigger due to the entrapment of some sticky dirt that couldn’t be removed with an ultrasonic cleaner. Our first step was to find some step-by-step instructions but we couldn’t find anything.
Recognizing that other shooters might be in the same situation we produced a step-by-step guide and video, published in full on 65Guys.com. These instructions will work with a left- or right-handed trigger. In our case we worked with a left-handed BR model trigger with safety and bolt release.
Step-by-Step Instructions are provided on 65Guys.com website. We recommend you read all the instructions carefully before you even think about disassembling your trigger. This video explains the process so you can get a sense of what is involved.
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Ruger has created a series of videos showcasing competitive shooting competitions including: Rimfire Challenge, Metallic Silhouette, Biathlon, IDPA, SCSA (Steel Challenge), USPSA, and Cowboy Action shooting events. Log on to Ruger’s Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Competitions webpage to see informative videos for these sports. Rimfire Competition is affordable and fun, Silhouette is a great family sport, and the Steel Challenge is the ultimate pistol speed-shooting event.
INTRO to RUGER RIMFIRE CHALLENGE Matches
INTRO to STEEL CHALLENGE Pistol Competition
Ruger also offers many other cool videos, both on its Video Webpage and on Ruger’s YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you’ll find a great four-part Tactical Carbine video series, hosted by Dave Spaulding, winner of the 2010 Trainer of the Year award by Law Officer Magazine. There are also a number of videos featuring the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) a popular (and affordable) rig for Tactical/Practical shooting competitions. The video below explains the RPR’s adjustments:
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This Wednesday (August 31, 2016), Shooting USA TV features the 2015 GAP Grind Pro-Am held at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, TN. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format with professional and amateur competitors vying for individual glory and team honors.
Here is Shooting USA Host John Scoutten (in Blue/White shirt)
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).
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.
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If you load pistol ammo you should have a case gauge (aka “gage”) for each cartridge type you reload. Caliber-specific, precision-machined cylindrical gauges perform many important functions. They will instantly reveal if your rounds are too long or have excessive headspace. They will also show if your case is bulged or otherwise too fat to chamber easily. You can use the gauge with sized brass as well as loaded rounds.
Case gauges are a “must-have” for anyone loading handgun ammunition, particularly if you crank out large quantities of pistol ammo with a progressive press. An oversize round can cause a misfeed, jam, or other problem. That can ruin your day if you are in the middle of a shooting match. If you are relying on your handgun for self-defense, the last thing you want is a malfunction of any kind. This Editor personally runs every pistol round through a gauge before it goes into the ammo box.
UltimateReloader.com Video Shows How to Use Pistol Case Gauges:
Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has prepared an excellent video that explains the benefits of pistol case gauges and shows how to use them. Gavin uses the quality gages produced by L.E. Wilson. These are available for the most popular handgun cartridges, both autoloader cartridges, and rimmed revolver cartridges. Gavin demonstrates gage use with .40 SW and .44 magnum cases.
Gavin states: “Using a case gage is very simple, and I would recommend that you add one of these gages to your reloader’s tool chest for each of the pistol cartridge types you reload. It may just save you a lot of time and hassle. Peace of mind is hard to put a price on!”
This week, American Rifleman TV looks at the history and heritage of Remington, which celebrates its 200th Anniversary this year. Founded in 1816, Remington is the oldest continuously-operating gun manufacturer in the United States, and it still sells more sporting rifles and shotguns than any other American company. Remington has also developed more cartridges than any other U.S. company. If you want to learn more about this important arms-maker, watch tonight’s episode, which you can preview below.
Two Hundred Years of Gun-Making Remington Arms Company celebrates its 200th year in business in 2016. The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. Remington is America’s oldest gun maker and is still the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles. And it is the only American Company that sells firearms and ammunition under its own name. CLICK HERE for 200 facts about the 200-year-old company.
American Life in 1816
What was life like in America in 1816, two hundred years ago? This infographic offers some interesting facts. For example, average life expectancy was only 39 years, and a farm laborer earned just $12-$15 per month. Still want to go back to the “good old days”?
Click to Zoom Infographic:
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