November 18th, 2019

Smith & Wesson Parent AOBC Splits into Two Companies

American Outdoor Brands Smith Wesson spin-off industry

American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ: AOBC), one of the world’s leading providers of firearms and products for shooting, hunting, and outdoor enthusiasts, is splitting into two separate companies, with the Smith & Wesson gun business becoming a stand-alone enterprise again. Last week American Outdoor Brands’ Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to spin-off its outdoor products and accessories business as a tax-free stock dividend to its stockholders. The proposed transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second half of calendar 2020, would create two independent, publicly-traded companies: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (encompassing the firearm business) and American Outdoor Brands, Inc. (encompassing the outdoor products and accessories business).

READ More about Smith & Wesson Spin-Off HERE »

American Outdoor Brands Smith & Wesson spin-off industry

According to AOBC: “The purpose of the spin-off is to enable the management team of each company to focus on its specific strategies, including (1) structuring its business to take advantage of growth opportunities in its specific markets; (2) tailoring its business operation and financial model to its specific long-term strategies; and, (3) aligning its external financial resources, such as stock, access to markets, credit, and insurance factors, with its particular type of business.”

Barry M. Monheit, Chairman of the Board, said, “There have been significant changes in the political climate as well as the economic, investing, and insurance markets since we embarked upon what we believe have been our very successful diversification efforts. We believe that separating into two independent public companies will allow each company to better align its strategic objectives with its capital allocation priorities. From the standpoint of our stockholders, at the time of the spin-off, the AOBC stockholders will own 100% of each company, thereby maintaining their pre-spin interest in both companies, and will thereafter have the ability to make distinct investment decisions tailored to their particular investment profile.”

Mark Smith Will Lead Smith & Wesson After Spin-Off
Upon successful completion of the spin-off, Mark Smith will become CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.; Smith is currently the President of the Manufacturing Services Division of AOBC and supports all of its businesses. James Debney, current AOBC President and CEO, will lead the outdoor products and accessories company as CEO after the spin-off.

The Future of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (Projections)
Headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. will continue its 167-year-old heritage of producing firearms. This business’s handgun, long gun, and suppressor products are marketed under the Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, Performance Center®, Thompson/Center Arms™, and Gemtech® brands. The company’s financial profile is expected to yield strong cash flows and profitability with a plan to eventually return capital to stockholders in the form of dividends and stock repurchases. Assuming a spin-off in eight to ten months, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. is expected to generate revenue between $450 million and $500 million and adjusted EBITDAS between $90 million and $105 million in its first 12 months as an independent company.

News Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

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November 17th, 2019

Chrono Test — LabRadar vs. MagnetoSpeed vs. Oehler 35P

labradar chronograph test magnetospeed V3 oehler 35P 6mmBR Ackley BRA

We see comparison tests of cars, cameras, and other hardware. But how about chronographs? What could we learn by setting up three different chronographs, and running a 20-shot string over all three at the same time. One of our Forum members, Randy S. (aka AAA) did that very test with three of the best chronographs you can buy: LabRadar, MagnetoSpeed, and an Oehler model 35P. The MagnetoSpeed was attached to the barrel of an F-Class rig, with the LabRadar placed on the left side of the shooting bench. The Oehler 35P was positioned about 23 feet downrange. The photo above shows the set-up. A 20-shot string was recorded with the results in a spreadsheet.

AAA talks about this interesting experiment in a Shooters’ Forum Thread. Here is his report:

Comparison Testing Three Chronographs

We all have our favorite chronograph. Each gives a number, but how would that number compare to the same round fired with another chronograph? I wanted to know so a friend and I set up the following test with three chronographs: LabRadar, MagnetoSpeed V3, and Oehler Model 35P.

For the test we fired Berger 105gr VLDs over the three chronographs simultaneously. The test rifle was my 6mm BR Ackley (BRA) F-class rig with fire-formed brass and 200 rounds on the new barrel.

Chronogaphs Tested
LabRadar
MagnetoSpeed V3
Oehler Model 35P
Temperature: 86 deg. F
Elevation: 854 feet
Cartridge: 6mm BRA (105gr Berger VLD)
Time between shots: 45 seconds

To start off, five rounds were fired to make sure all systems were recording and to warm the barrel. Then the test was 20 shots fired across all three instruments with 45 seconds between shots. The Oehler was set 7.5 yards from the muzzle so 12 FPS was added to the recorded value.

We were using the internal trigger on the LabRadar. The manual says the Vo indicated is the actual muzzle velocity when using the internal trigger, but not if using the Doppler. The 12 FPS Oehler adjustment (back to MV) was based on the Berger Ballistics Calculator.

The LabRadar Chronograph is on sale now through 12/7/2019. Buy for $499.95, a $60.00 savings.
magnetospeed chronograph test

Results of the Triple Chronograph Shoot-Out:

labradar chronograph test magnetospeed V3 oehler 35P 6mmBR Ackley BRA

LR-M is FPS variance between LabRadar and MagnetoSpeed V3. LR-O is FPS variance between LabRadar and distance-adjusted Oehler 35P. You can see all three chronos were very consistent. ES was identical with the MagnetoSpeed and Oehler 35P, while SD was identical with the LabRadar and Oehler 35P. CLICK HERE for spreadsheet.

The tester, Randy S. (aka AAA) says: “Judge for yourself, but I was impressed by all.”

magnetospeed chronograph test
This is a manufacturer’s photo showing the Magnetospeed V3 as mounted. This is NOT the test set-up.

Comments by Forum Members
Our Forum members expressed interest in this Triple Chronograph test. Some confirmed that the LabRadar and Magnetospeed give very similar FPS numbers, based on their own tests:

“Great test and thanks for sharing. I’ve tested my MagnetoSpeed and LabRadar together and results are always within 2-4 FPS of one another.” — Big D

“Very happy to see your numbers support my decision to buy a MagnetoSpeed. Had read reports comparing it to the Oehler and the numbers I get seem to be supported by my long range shooting results. Many thanks for taking the time and effort [to perform] this comparative test. Always good to get actual test results.” — Texas10

“I did a 4-shot test with my MagnetoSpeed and another shooter’s LabRadar a couple of days ago. The results were within 4 fps with the LabRadar being optimistic.” — Pat Miles

Forum Member Powderbreak studied AAA’s original spreadsheet from the chronograph trio test, then figured out the shot-by-shot FPS variance between the machines. He concluded that all the machines performed very well. Powderbreak posted:

Analyzing the Triple Chronograph Test — What Can We Conclude?

AAA did a great job of comparing the 3 chronos. What conclusions can be drawn?

1) I have not checked the manufacturer’s claims of accuracy, but the three chronos are very close to one another. There is no way for us to determine the actual true velocities, but we do not need to do so. Any of the chronos would be more than adequate for an accurate shooter.

2) The resolution of the three chronographs is actually pretty astounding. One foot per second (FPS) is a resolution of 0.033%.

3) AAA did a great job of reloading a very consistent round. With an extreme spread of 33 fps out of 3014 for 20 rounds, that is only 1.09% total spread of velocities.

4) There is a closer velocity match between the MagnetoSpeed and the LabRadar, but that does not mean the Oehler is less accurate. There is simply an offset between the Oehler and the other two. This could be due to the greater distance, the location, or the internal working of the Oehler.

5) Believe your chronograph, it is probably the most accurate reloading tool that you own.

Brian Litz of Applied Ballistics carefully explained the operation, set-up, accuracy and comparison of AB’s chronographs in his books. [Those books] are well worth the money, and give great insight into the workings of chronographs.” — Powderbreak

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November 16th, 2019

Five Worst States for Traveling with Firearms — Watch Out

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means a large percentage of Americans will be on the road to visit relative. We know many of our readers have concealed carry permits or will otherwise be traveling with firearms. When crossing into different states with guns in a vehicle, you need to be mindful of all state and local laws and restrictions.

Five Worst States for Traveling with Firearms

This article appears in the Cheaper Than Dirt Shooter’s Log.
The U.S. is a patchwork of confusing and cumbersome laws that change the rules of what you can carry, where you can carry, and whether you can possess the firearm, ammunition of magazine at without running afoul of the local laws. Now, if every state was like Vermont, law abiding gun owners could freely travel with their firearms with no worries. Unfortunately, many states have a history of being hostile to traveling gun owners.

The federal “Firearms Owner Protection Act” allows travel through any state as long as the firearm is unloaded, in a locked case, and not easily accessible to the passengers. However, that is not to say that certain states that are less friendly to firearms have not created their own laws that would snare unsuspecting otherwise law-abiding firearm owners. This led us to name the Top 5 States to Avoid while traveling with a firearm this holiday season.

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut does not have any gun reciprocity agreements with other states. This means nonresidents are not allowed to carry handguns in Connecticut under a permit issued by another state.

HAWAII
Every person arriving into the state who brings a firearm of any description, usable or not, shall register the firearm within three days of the arrival of the person or the firearm, whichever arrives later, with the chief of police of the county where the person will reside, where their business is, or the person’s place of sojourn. GET Hawaii Firearms INFO HERE.

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties on the mere possession and transport of firearms without a license to carry. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617) 660-4780 or contact the State Police. GET Massachusetts Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country. Your firearm must be unloaded, in a locked container, and not accessible in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that anyone traveling within the state is deemed to be aware of these regulations and will be held strictly accountable for violations. If you’re traveling through New Jersey, the N.J. State Police website provides information regarding transporting firearms within state lines. GET New Jersey Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW YORK
Use extreme caution when traveling through New York state with firearms. New York’s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” illegal. A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city Police Commissioner. This license validates a state license within the city. Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies. Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration.

More Scary States for Gun Owners
Here are six other jurisdictions (five states and DC) where you need to be wary when traveling. California, for example, treats all handguns in vehicles as “loaded” if there is ammunition loaded into an attached magazine. It’s wise, when in California, to have handguns unloaded in a LOCKED case, with all ammunition or magazines in a separate section of the vehicle. These states (and DC) all have laws that can trap unsuspecting gun-owners. Be wary.

California
Delaware
Dist. of Columbia
Illinois
Maryland
Rhode Island

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

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November 15th, 2019

PRS 101: Getting Started in Practical/Tactical Competition

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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November 13th, 2019

TECH TIP: Turn Case-Necks Better with Optimal Cutter Angle

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

When neck-turning cases, it’s a good idea to extend the cut slightly below the neck-shoulder junction. This helps keep neck tension more uniform after repeated firings, by preventing a build-up of brass where the neck meets the shoulder. One of our Forum members, Craig from Ireland, a self-declared “neck-turning novice”, was having some problems turning brass for his 20 Tactical cases. He was correctly attempting to continue the cut slightly past the neck-shoulder junction, but he was concerned that brass was being removed too far down the shoulder.

Craig writes: “Everywhere I have read about neck turning, [it says] you need to cut slightly into the neck/shoulder junction to stop doughnutting. I completely understand this but I cant seem to get my neck-turning tool set-up to just touch the neck/shoulder junction. It either just doesn’t touch [the shoulder] or cuts nearly the whole shoulder and that just looks very messy. No matter how I adjust the mandrel to set how far down the neck it cuts, it either doesn’t touch it or it cuts far too much. I think it may relate to the bevel on the cutter in my neck-turning tool…”

Looking at Craig’s pictures, we’d agree that he didn’t need to cut so far down into the shoulder. There is a simple solution for this situation. Craig is using a neck-turning tool with a rather shallow cutter bevel angle. This 20-degree angle is set up as “universal geometry” that will work with any shoulder angle. Unfortunately, as you work the cutter down the neck, a shallow angled-cutter tip such as this will remove brass fairly far down. You only want to extend the cut about 1/32 of an inch past the neck-shoulder junction. This is enough to eliminate brass build-up at the base of the neck that can cause doughnuts to form.

K&M neck-turning tool

The answer here is simply to use a cutter tip with a wider angle — 30 to 40 degrees. The cutter for the K&M neck-turning tool (above) has a shorter bevel that better matches a 30° shoulder. There is also a 40° tip available. PMA Tool and 21st Century Shooting also offer carbide cutters with a variety of bevel angles to exactly match your case shoulder angle*. WalkerTexasRanger reports: “I went to a 40-degree cutter head just to address this same issue, and I have been much happier with the results. The 40-degree heads are available from Sinclair Int’l for $15 or so.” Forum Member CBonner concurs: “I had the same problem with my 7WSM… The 40-degree cutter was the answer.” Below is Sinclair’s 40° Cutter for its NT-series neck-turning tools. Item NT3140, this 40° Cutter sells for $14.99. For the same price, Sinclair also sells the conventional 30° Cutter, item NT3100.

Al Nyhus has another clever solution: “The best way I’ve found to get around this problem is to get an extra shell holder and face it off .020-.025 and then run the cases into the sizing die. This will push the shoulder back .020-.025. Then you neck turn down to the ‘new’ neck/shoulder junction and simply stop there. Fireforming the cases by seating the bullets hard into the lands will blow the shoulder forward and the extra neck length you turned by having the shoulder set back will now be blended perfectly into the shoulder. The results are a case that perfectly fits the chamber and zero donuts.”

* 21st Century sells carbide cutters in: 15, 17, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, 35, 40, and 46 degrees. PMA Tool sells carbide cutters in: 17.5, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, and 40 degrees, plus special short-neck cutters.

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November 11th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Tests RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

RCBS has come out with a new, twin-tube powder scale/dispenser that promises to deliver 1- or 2-kernel precision in the slower, more precise “Match Mode”. If it really works, this new RCBS MatchMaster unit could compete with an Auto-Trickler V3 mated to a Magnetic Force Restoration scale. However, the new MatchMaster employs a strain-gauge scale, so it will be interesting to see how the unit actually performs.

This is an impressive new machine, but it represents a signficant investment. MSRP for the MatchMaster is $1123.95 with street price around $899.00 (MidwayUSA). At around $900.00, the MatchMaster competes with an AutoTrickler system, which is definitely fast and highly precise.

Ultimate Reloader Tests the New RCBS MatchMaster
Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com got his hands on one of the first production MatchMasters. Gavin put the machine through its paces in a “first look” video using two powders, Bullseye and Varget. In the video, Gavin explains the machine’s design features. Then he tests the new MatchMaster in both Standard Mode (faster) and the slower, more precise “Match Mode”. Gavin also published a full-length MatchMaster Review with detailed test results.

RCBS claims that the MatchMaster can dispense charges to within ± 0.04 (four hundreths) grain in Match Mode. That’s 1-2 kernels of an extruded powder such as H4350. Gavin’s testing, using an A&D FX-120i Magnetic Force Restoration scale as a control, showed that RCBS’s claims are solid.

Ultimate Reloader RCBS MatchMaster Powder Scale/Dispenser Review

“You can actually fine-tune the settings for the large dispensing tube and the small tube. There are quite a few parameters… quite a bit of flexibility.” — Gavin Gear.

RCBS MatchMaster Features

— MatchMaster offers two modes, Standard (Faster) and Match (More Precise)
— MatchMaster has two powder dispensing tubes, a larger diameter for large flow and a second smaller tube for precise trickle.
— MatchMaster Settings can be controlled with RCBS Mobile App that works through BlueTooth.
— Powder is removed from the BOTTOM of the machine. This means you must lift the unit up off the bench, then plug a drain tube into the bottom of the unit. See photo.

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

How Accurate Is the MatchMaster?
Near the end of his video review, Gavin threw an 84.20 grain charge of Varget with the MatchMaster. He then weighed the same charge with his A&D FX-120i Magnetic Force Restoration scale. The charge weights agreed exactly at 84.20 grains. When the same pan was placed a second time, the FX-120i showed 84.16 grains. That’s still a mere 0.04 grain variance, which is RCBS’s stated precision claim for Match Mode.

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser
Note: This shows first placement of pan on the A&D FX-120i. A second placement of pan on FX-120i stabilized at 84.16 grains.

How Fast is MatchMaster in Each Dispensing Mode?
Gavin started testing the MatchMaster in Match Mode with Bullseye, a popular flake pistol powder. With a 24.00 grain Bullseye charge, one dispensing took 26 seconds (11:40 time-mark), while another took 40 seconds (12:30 time-mark), an average of 33 seconds. In standard mode, the MatchMaster dispensed 24.0 grains of Bullseye in 18.5 seconds average (15.03 time-mark, 15:32 time mark). So Standard Mode was 44% faster with Bullseye.

Next Gavin filled the machine with Hodgdon Varget powder and dispensed a 25.0 grain charge in Standard (Fast) Mode. The first try took 12 seconds (18:30 time mark) to dispense the charge, while the second run of 25.0 grains took just 11 seconds (18:50 time mark).

“Hodgdon Varget performed VERY well with the MatchMaster powder dispenser. I would call this powder the ‘Speed King’ here — it dispensed way faster than the Alliant Bullseye with the settings I used, and I only had one overage which was corrected when I changed powder settings. Bravo!” — Gavin Gear

Then Gavin switched to Match (Precise) Mode and dispensed two more 50.00 grain charges of Varget. These two precision throws finished in 20 seconds (20:38 time mark) and 17 seconds (21:09 time mark) respectively, for an 18.5 second average. That’s very good for large 50.00 grain charges, although the first charge was actually 50.06 grains, about two kernels high. But Gavin explained that the machine permits fine-tuning of the powder type setting. He changed this to account for larger extruded kernels and got a perfect 50.00 grain throw in 35 seconds (22:01 time mark). The “customized” powder settings can be loaded into the RCBS MatchMaster App for future use (See below):

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

Conclusion — Initial Tests Show Good Performance
Based on Gavin’s testing, the MatchMaster delivers on its promises. With Varget extruded powder, it was quite fast, even in “Match Mode”. The dispensed charges were exact within .04 (four hundredths) of a grain, i.e. a couple of kernels, as confirmed by the A&D FX-120i Force Restoration Scale. Gavin actually liked the system of removing the powder through the bottom of the machine, using the supplied tube. It takes some practice, but it worked fine, as you can see in the video.

The RCBS MatchMaster employs a strain-gauge scale. It remains to be seen if there is a bit of drift, as you will observe with strain-gauge dispensers in the $200-$300 range, such as the original RCBS ChargeMaster. During his MatchMaster test session, Gavin said he did not observe any drift, a good sign. Overall, it looks like this is an impressive machine. But, with a $899.00 price, this is a serious investment. Anyone considering the new MatchMaster will also want to look at the AutoTrickler V3 system with AutoThrow. It costs $520.00, NOT including a lab-grade Magnetic Force Restoration balance ($600 to $1000+).

Matchmaster bluetooth mobile app

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November 10th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: From Russia with Love — Amazing Mosin Nagant


One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

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November 7th, 2019

Bet You Ain’t Seen This Before — Barrel-Indexing Rimfire Action

Bill Myers Indexing Action

The late Bill Myers was recognized as one of greatest rimfire gunsmiths who ever lived. Myers crafted many match-winning, record-setting rimfire benchrest rigs. Here we feature one of Bill’s most interesting creations — a clamping action that allows a rimfire barrel to be indexed (rotated) around the bore axis.

Bill was a creative thinker, and his own exhaustive testing has convinced him that barrel indexing can enhance accuracy in rimfire benchrest guns. Myers did acknowledge that, particularly with a very good barrel, the advantages of indexing may be subtle, and extensive testing may be required. Nonetheless, Myers believed that indexing could improve rimfire accuracy.

Indexing with the Myers’ Clamping Action
To index the barrel, Myers simply loosens the three clamping-bolts and rotates the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. In other words you can rotate the barrel to any position on the clockface and the headspace remains unchanged.

Bill Myers Indexing Action
Bill Myers Indexing Action

The Challenge of Barrel Indexing
cone breech bill myers rimfire indexable actionWith a conventional barrel installation, employing a shoulder with a threaded tenon, it is difficult to index the barrel. Even with a cone breech (photo right) that eliminates the problem of extractor cuts, you’d have to use shims to alter the barrel index position, or otherwise re-set the shoulder each time you screwed the barrel in further.

Clamping Action Allows Barrel to Be Rotated to Any Position
Bill has come up with a masterful solution to barrel indexing. He designed and built his own prototype custom action that clamps the barrel rather than holding it with threads. The front section of the action is sliced lengthways, and then clamped down with three bolts. A special bushing (the gold-color piece in photos) fits between the barrel and the action. By using bushings of different inside diameters, Bill can fit any barrel up to an inch or so diameter, so long as it has a straight contour at the breech end. To mount the barrel, Bill simply places the fitted bushing over the barrel end-shank, then slips the “sleeved” barrel into the front end of the action. Tighten three bolts, and the barrel is secure.

Bill Myers Indexing Action

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November 7th, 2019

Gun Safe Great Debate — Electronic Vs. Dial Locks

Cannon EMP dual lok
Dual-Lock Technology: Cannon offers an innovative combined digital/mechanical lock system. This dual-access lock provides the rapid access of an electronic lock backed up by the assurance of a manual (rotary dial) combination lock.

Electronic (Keypad) Lock vs. Manual (Rotary) Lock

Smart gun owners know they need a good, solid gun safe. But when choosing a gun safe, what kind of lock should you select — electronic or mechanical? Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you make the right choice for your needs and also get the most reliable performance from either type.

gunsafe gun safeGunsafes can be fitted with either an electronic keypad-style lock, or a conventional dial lock. In our Gunsafe Buyer’s Guide, we explain the important features of both dial and electronic lock systems. Many safe-makers will tell you that consumers prefer electronic locks for convenience. On the other hand, most of the locksmiths we’ve polled believe that the “old-fashioned” dial locks, such as the Sargent & Greenleaf model 6730, will be more reliable in the long run.

Here is the opinion of RFB from Michigan. He is a professional locksmith with over two decades of experience servicing locks and safes of all brands and types:

What a Professional Locksmith Says:
For the convenience of quick opening, the electronic locks can’t be beat. However, for endurance and years of trouble-free use, the electronics can’t compare with the dial lock.

I’ve earned my living, the past 22 years, servicing locks of all types. This includes opening safes that can’t otherwise be opened. I do warranty work for several safe manufacturers (including Liberty). What I’ve learned in all those years is that manual dial locks have very few problems. The most common is a loose dial ring which can shift either left or right, which will result in the index point being in the wrong place for proper tumbler alignment. This is simple to fix.

Electronic locks, however, can have all kinds of issues, and none (except bad key-pad) are easy to fix, and when one goes bad, it must be drilled into to open it. IMO, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ an electronic lock will ultimately fail, but a matter of ‘when’ it will fail. Over the past 10 years or so, since electronics have become more and more prevalent, I’ve had to drill open bad electronic locks vs. bad manual dial locks on a ratio of about 20-1.

My professional opinion is to get the manual dial lock, unless you’ve got a good friend who is a locksmith/safecracker.

How Secure is Your Lock?
RFB tells us that both dial and electronic locks offer good security, provided it’s a good quality lock made by LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, Amsec, or Kaba/Ilco. However, RFB warns that “Some of the ‘cheaper’ locks (both manual and electronic) however, are very simple to bypass.

An electronic lock that’s glued or ‘stuck’ to the door with double-sided tape, and has its ‘brain’ on the outside of the lock in the same housing as the keypad, and merely sends power to an inner solenoid via a pair of wires through the door, is a thief’s best friend. The good ones have the brain inside the safe, inaccessible from the outside.

No amateur can ‘manipulate’ either a good manual or electronic lock. Both give you a theoretical one million possible combinations. I say ‘theoretical’ because there are many combinations that cannot, or should not, be used. You wouldn’t set your combo on a dial lock to 01-01-01 etc., nor would you set an electronic to 1-1-1-1-1-1, or 1-2-3-4-5-6.”

Tips for Dial Locks
RFB notes that “The speed, and ease of use, of a manual dial lock can be improved upon, simply by having your combo reset using certain guidelines. Avoid high numbers above 50. Having a 1st number in the 40s, 2nd number anywhere from 0-25, and 3rd number between 25 and 35 will cut dialing time in half, without compromising security. (For mechanical reasons I won’t get into here, the 3rd number of a good manual dial lock cannot — or should not — be set to any number between 95 & 20).”

Tips for Electronic Locks
Electronic locks can have the combination changed by the user much more easily than dial locks. That should be a good thing. However, RFB explains: “That can be a double-edged sword. More than a few times I’ve had to drill open a safe with an electronic lock that has had the combo changed incorrectly by the user, resulting in an unknown number that nobody can determine. Also, don’t forget that electronic locks have a ‘wrong-number lock-out’. I would NOT rely on the normal quickness of an electronic 6-number combo in an emergency situation. If for any reason (panic etc.) you punch in the wrong number several times, the lock will shut down for a 5-minute ‘penalty’.

Replace Electronic Lock Batteries Every Year
To get the most life out of any electronic (keypad Lock), you should change the battery at least once a year, whether it needs it or not. Low voltage won’t necessarily shut down the lock, but using it in a low voltage situation is bad for the electronics, and eventually will cause lock failure. So, If you do nothing else to maintain your digital-lock safe, replace the battery every year. And get a fresh battery (with a release date) from the store — don’t just pull a battery out of a storage bin, even if it’s never been used. Old batteries can degrade, even when in storage.

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November 2nd, 2019

Do You REALLY Know MilliRadians? Intro to Mils and Mildots

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian | 1 Milliradian = 0.0573 degrees.

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 360 degrees = 2 x Pi (symbol π) Radians. That means 1 Radian is about 57.3 degrees. 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian. Thus 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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October 31st, 2019

Watch Ammo Being Made in Revealing Video

Sellier Bellot Ammunition Videos

Sellier & Bellot is one of Europe’s older ammunition manufacturers, producing a wide variety of rifle and pistol ammo. The video below shows ammunition being made from start to finish, starting with raw materials. This is a fascinating video that is well worth watching. It shows some amazing machines in operation.

EDITOR: Guys, this really is an exceptional video that shows every aspect of production. I have watched dozens of videos about ammo making. This is definitely one of the BEST. Take the time to watch.

Based in Vlasim, Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot was founded in August 5, 1825 by Louis Sellier, a German businessman of French lineage. His family were royalists who fled France during the French Revolution. Louis Sellier began manufacturing percussion caps for infantry firearms in a factory in Prague, Bohemia on the request of Francis I, the Emperor of Austria. Sellier was later joined by his countryman Jean Bellot.

Sellier & Bellot has also produced an interesting CGI video that shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you are a Super-Hero with X-Ray vision). But now, with the help of 3D-style computer animation, you can see every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

In this X-Ray-style 3D animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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October 30th, 2019

From the Land of Fjords — Hunting in Norway

Norway Fjord Hunting Skorpen

This time of year, deer and elk hunters throughout the Northern Hemisphere trek into the wilds in search of game. To celebrate the hunting lifestyle, we’re reprising a story from Europe that showcases the beauty of nature that can be experienced on a hunting trip.

Norway Fjord Hunting SkorpenIf 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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October 29th, 2019

M1 Carbine Matches — CMP Competition with Retro Rifles

M1 Carbine Match CMP

One of the CMP’s most popular competitions is the M1 Carbine Match. The little carbines are easy to hold and easy to shoot, with relatively low recoil compared to an M1 Garand or M1903 shooting the full-power .30-06 cartridge. Unfortunately, genuine GI-issue M1 Carbines are now hard to find at affordable prices. The CMP has announced: “CMP’S Carbine Inventory has been exhausted and we do not expect to receive any additional shipments.” Authentic, “all-original” M1 Carbines are going for $1500 to $1800.00 these days on Gunbroker.com.

CMP M1 Carbine Matches — Growing in Popularity
The CMP M1 Carbine Match is part of the CMP Games program that already includes Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches. “As-issued” U. S. Military M1 Carbines are fired over a 45-shot course of fire at 100 yards on either the old military “A” target or the “SR” target. The course includes 5 sighters and 10 shots for record prone slow fire in 15 minutes, a 10-shot rapid fire prone series in 60 seconds, a 10-shot rapid fire sitting series in 60 seconds and 10 shots slow fire standing in 10 minutes.

CMP M-1 carbine games

CMP M1 Carbine Match at Western CMP Games
CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

New Production M1 Carbines

auto ordnance M1

Thankfully, you don’t need to source a real WWII-era M1 to enjoy CMP M1 Matches. You can now get a brand new, American-made M1 Carbine clone for HALF the price of old CMP rifle. Brownells is now offering American-made Auto Ordnance brand .30-Caliber M1 Carbines that look, feel, and shoot just like the originals, for a lot less money. There are two versions:

Another producer of M1 Carbine replica rifles is Inland Manufacturing, a modern company which shares the name of a leading WWII M1 Carbine maker. These made-in-the-USA, newly manufactured M1 Carbines are very authentic copies of the original carbines from the World War II era. With a $1139.00 starting MSRP, they feature authentic 1944-type adjustable sights, push button safety, round bolt, “low wood” walnut stock, and a 10–round or 15-round magazine. There are three (3) versions: M1 1944 style, M1 1945 style, and M1A1 Paratrooper model.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

GunsAmerica.com report compares new Inland M1 Carbines side-by-side with original vintage M1 Carbines: “We had to get in close to tell the difference. Overall, the two examples we were able to handle looked great and held up when next to the originals. The stampings are even close to correct with a few minor differences that were chosen to stop the new Inlands from being mistaken for originals. Take a look at the photos and see for yourself.” READ M1 Carbine Review.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

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October 28th, 2019

Gun Humor — Wisecracks Heard at the Range

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

Shooting can be a frustrating sport at times, prompting shooters to say some funny things in the heat of the moment. Here’s a collection of humorous range riposts, supplied by Shooters’ Forum members (who are listed after each quote). Enjoy. (CLICK HERE for full Forum Funny Saying Thread).

“I paid to use all of the target and I’m getting value for money on all of the real estate!” (Macropod)

“How did I do?” “Well the gun went off and nobody got hurt, we can build on that….” (Mr. Majestic)

“Treat that trigger likes it’s your first date, not like you’ve been married to it for 20 years.” (Jet)

“It’s a good thing broad sides of barns aren’t at many shooting ranges.” (Rocky F.)

“At 65 years of age, 1000-yard benchrest is better than sex, because a relay lasts 10 minutes!” (The Viper)

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

“If you chase the wind, it will always win.” (Boltline13)

“It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.” (Rocky F.)

“It was an 0.2″ group! Well, err, except for that flyer….” (Dsandfort, photo by RyanJay11)

“I can’t understand it. That load worked good in my other barrel”. (Hogpatrol)

“You bakin a biscuit?” Said to me as I was sitting at the bench ready to shoot with a cartridge in the chamber of a hot gun, taking longer than necessary. (Ebb)

“Shooting groups is easy. Just put the last three between the first two.” (Uthink)

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

“There is no Alibi for Stupid” (Seen at Berger SWN — Erik Cortina)

Shooter 1: “Hey you cross-fired on my target!” Shooter 2: “Well you cross-fired on mine first.”
Shooter 1: “Yeah but you could have at least shot an X like I did on yours.” (At Raton — Rocky F.)

“I had a bughole going and my second shot dropped straight down!” (JDMock)

“The nut came loose on the end of my stock.” (TXDan)

Quoting James Crofts: “That’s a pretty eight.” (REastman)

“I almost shot a record.” (Jay Christopherson)

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October 28th, 2019

Wow Factor: Muzzle Brake Blast Patterns Revealed

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

A while back, the Precision Rifle Blog conducted a fascinating study of Muzzle Brakes. PRB figured out a way to show the actual “blast pattern” of gasses ejecting from the ports of muzzle brakes. The result was a fascinating (and eye-catching) series of images revealing the distinctive gas outflows of 20+ different types of muzzle brakes. If you are considering buying and installing a muzzle brake on your rifle, you should definitely review this important PRB Muzzle Brake Test.

GO to PRB Muzzle Brake Blast Pattern TEST PAGE »

For a prone shooter, particularly on dusty, dirty or sandy ground, muzzle blast is a major bummer. Muzzle blast can be very disturbing — not just for the trigger-puller but for persons on either side of the gun as well. Some muzzle brakes send a huge shockwave back towards the shooter, and others send blast towards the ground, kicking dirt and debris into the prone shooter’s face. If there was a way to illustrate those factors — shockwave and debris — that might help shooters select one brake design over another.

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

Cal Zant at PrecisionRifleBlog.com applied a unique blend of creativity and resourcefulness to try to answer that question for 20+ muzzle brakes. Using high-speed photography and household products, he captured the blast pattern of 20+ different brake designs for easy side-by-side comparison. Can you figure out how Cal managed to show muzzle brake blasts so clearly? His “hi-viz” solution, revealed in the article, is very clever. See the eye-opening results for 20+ brakes, with illustrative photos, by visiting the Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Ground Signature Test Page.

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October 27th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: German Centerfire Rifle with Rimfire Conversion

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Shoot Rimfire Ammo from your Centerfire Rifle

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could shoot .22 LR rimfire ammo from your regular hunting or tactical rifle? That would be ideal for low-cost training right? Well, this IS possible, provided you have a rifle that was designed with a .22 LR conversion in mind. One such firearm is the remarkable Sauer 202 from Germany. This impressive centerfire rifle is available with a factory-engineered .22 LR rimfire conversion. Read on to learn how Sauer’s cool .22 LR conversion works.

Sauer 202 Rifle: .308 Win/6.5×55 with .22 LR Conversion
Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a .22 LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools.

Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The .22 LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a magazine housing. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” .22 LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

The .22 LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the .22 LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire rifle. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a .22 LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.

The Sauer 202 rifle line-up has been replaced by the Sauer 404 series which has much in common. To learn more about the complete line of Sauer rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website, www.Sauer.de. Though out of production, some Sauer 202s are still for sale at EuroOptic.com.

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October 26th, 2019

Reloading Rescue — How to Remove a Case Stuck in a Die

stuck72

Western powders, ramshot, norma, accurate

To err is human… Sooner or later you’ll probably get a case stuck in a die. This “fix-it” article, which originally appeared in the Western Powders Blog, explains the procedure for removing a firmly stuck cartridge case using an RCBS kit. This isn’t rocket science, but you do want to follow the directions carefully, step-by-step. Visit the Western Powders Blog for other helpful Tech Tips.

Curing the Stuck Case Blues

decapstem72Sticking a case in the sizer die is a rite of passage for the beginning handloader. If you haven’t done it yet, that’s great, but it probably will eventually happen. When it does, fixing the problem requires a bit of ingenuity or a nice little kit like the one we got from RCBS.

The first step is to clear the de-capping pin from the flash hole. Just unscrew the de-capping assembly to move it as far as possible from the primer pocket and flash hole (photo at right). Don’t try to pull it all the way out. It won’t come. Just unscrew it and open as much space as possible inside the case.

Place the die upside down in the padded jaws of a vise and clamp it firmly into place. Using the supplied #7 bit, drill through the primer pocket. Be careful not to go too deeply inside the cartridge once the hole has opened up. It is important to be aware that the de-capping pin and expander ball are still in there and can be damaged by the bit.

Drill and Tap the Stuck Case
taping72drilling72

Once the cartridge head has been drilled, a ¼ – 20 is tap is used to cut threads into the pocket. Brass is relatively soft compared to a hardened tap, so no lube is needed for the tapping process. RCBS says that a drill can be used for this step, but it seems like a bit of overkill in a project of this nature. A wrench (photo above right) makes short work of the project.

RCBS supplies a part they call the “Stuck Case Remover Body” for the next step. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and have the bit and tap, this piece is easily replicated by a length of electrical conduit of the proper diameter and some washers. In either case, this tool provides a standoff for the screw that will do the actual pulling.

pulling72fingers72

With an Allen Wrench, Finish the Job
Run the screw through the standoff and into the tapped case head. With a wrench, tighten the screw which hopefully pulls the case free. Once the case is free, clamp the case in a vice and pull it free of the de-capping pin. There is tension here because the sizing ball is oversized to the neck dimension as part of the sizing process. It doesn’t take much force, but be aware there is still this last little hurdle to clear before you get back to loading. Don’t feel bad, everyone does this. Just use more lube next time!

wholekit72unstuck72

Article find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 25th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 100/200 Meter Score Nationals

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
View through 6X scope at 2019 Metric Score Nationals in South Carolina. This is exactly what Jeff Stover’s camera recorded — it is not a Photoshop job.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-CarolinaMatch Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
“You need to come shoot with us” said Jim Cline at the January 2019 meeting of the IBS. Jim is both a Match Director at Mid-Carolina and an IBS Vice-President. I, as IBS President, considered it for a few seconds. Virtually all of my shooting is short-range group, but I wanted to see why IBS Score Benchrest was so hot — and growing — in the Southeast. “I will be down in October for the Score Nationals” was my response. Bottom line — The event was great, and I should have made the trip years earlier.

The Mid-Carolina Rifle Club is located about 35 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. It sports 20 solid and well-designed concrete benches. A nice feature is the very deep, behind-the-firing-line roof for cleaning rifles, and chatting with fellow shooters.

The main competition at the Score Nationals is for the “Varmint for Score” 13.5-pound rifles. The cartridge of choice is the 30 BR (6mmBR parent cartridge). The extra .065″ bullet diameter over a 6mm helps with the Best Edge Scoring, but the 30 BR gives nothing away to the 6PPC in the accuracy department. As any score shooter can tell you, the 30 BR is an inherently accurate cartridge that is relatively easy to tune.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Rifle Club with ample behind-the-Line roof coverage.

It was a dream shoot for me. I don’t have a VFS 30 in my gun cabinet, but that was all taken care of. Both rifle and ammo came courtesy of Mike Clayton, one of the circuit’s top shooters. All I needed to bring were my rests! Mike’s rifle was a laser which I did not fully exploit. Mike showed true Southern Hospitality.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Mike Clayton ready to pull the trigger on his 30 BR rifle.

About 70 shooters made their way to Orangeburg. More had preregistered but the threat of Tropical Storm Nestor kept a few away. The storm was projected to bring 25+ mph gusts and heavy rain on Saturday. Those dire predictions did not materialize. We had somewhat light, but quickly switching, winds and mostly light rain. It was a dreary day for 100 meter competition but the mood along the firing line was convivial.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Tropical Storm Nestor delivered only rain and switchy breezes instead of the predicted gales.

At 100 meters, Brud Sheats led the way with a very nice 250-23X. On his heels were Ronnie Milford and Jim Cline with 22 and 21 Xs respectively. Jim and Ron are leading the Score Shooter of the Year standings. In 6-power class, Jim Cline’s had a good 250-14X for high score with Dewey Hancock 3 Xs behind.

IBS meter 100 200 score Emilee nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

Young Lady Shines at Her First Registered Match
Above is young competitor Emmalee McMurry (from eastern Tennessee) with her 6 PPC Heavy Varmint rifle. This was her very FIRST registered match. Her father Bill is her coach and mentor. Using her 6 PPC she shot two really good targets, a 50-5X and 50-4X. I shot next to her, and was impressed — she has composure and was very comfortable shooting a bench gun. If she stays with it, she could be a future force in Score Benchrest competition. — Jeff Stover, IBS President

Sunday, the targets and stationary backers were moved to the 200 meter butts. The weather started as Saturday had finished — light misty rain with some fog and 10 mph switchy wind. By mid-morning, however, the rain stopped and around lunchtime things brightened. After lunch the sun started to make more frequent appearances and the Orangeburg mirage returned. At the conclusion of the 200 meter stage only three of 65 shooters shot “clean” — i.e. a 250 score, with a 50 on every target.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Jim Cline aligning rifle. The multiple bolts are for his Light and Heavy VFS rifles and 6X Hunter Class rifle.

Mid-Carolina Rifle Club Extends the Red Carpet with Fine Food
All shooters were treated to a free grilled chicken and macaroni and cheese luncheon. In the evening, for a small charge, the Mid-Carolina club hosted a catered prime rib dinner. It was the “real deal” — premium beef carved to order. We had hoped for a pleasant Carolina evening instead of poor weather, but the great food made up for it.

At 200 meters, Brud Sheats lost none of his score-shooting mastery from Saturday. He won VFS 200 with a 250-5X. Ken Habadank followed with a Creedmoored 5X and Miles Gibby was 3rd with a 250-2X. The golden rule of score shooting is “stay clean”. That is, shoot a 50 on every target (five tens). The Xs are gravy, especially at 200. Anthony Isner shot a really nice 12 Xs in those conditions. But a wayward shot cost him a point on one target. A 250 beats a 249 despite the X counts. Having won both yardages Mr. Sheats won the 100-200 Grand aggregate with a 500-28X. Ken Habadank’s second place was six Xs behind. Miles Gibby, the only other 500 shooter, had 17 Xs to complete the podium.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

See Complete 2019 100m/200m IBS Score Nationals Match Results HERE on IBS Website.

So what about the 6-power-max optics rifles? Shooting a 6-power scope at 100 meters is tough enough. At 200, well, it is twice as difficult, especially in Sunday’s conditions. Anthony Isner’s 243-4X won the day followed by Maine’s Orland Bunker at 242-3X. In the 6X Grand Agg, Dewey Hancock took the title with a 491-16X, closely followed by Brian Fitch with a 490-16X.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
After Cease Fire is called, competitors show detached bolts to ensure safety.

Great Match — With Many Fine Shooters Returning to the Ranks
This was a fine, well-run match by any standard. I did not embarrass myself with a score rifle, so that was a plus! I made the trip to see “what’s what”, and was delighted to find a range full of enthusiastic and fun competitors. And these fellows really know how to shoot. I talked to several shooters who have come back to the sport after years, if not decades, of being away from benchrest. The PR efforts of Jim Cline, Ronnie Milford and other stalwarts in the region are beating the drum and many are answering the call.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Score Benchrest rifles racked and ready for the next relay.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
30 BR ammo with timer, and bolt lube, on bench.

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October 25th, 2019

Become a Range Safety Officer — The World Needs More RSOs

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

A few good men (and women) — that’s what the shooting sports need these days. We need skilled, trained personnel to serve as Range Safety Officers (RS0s). Without RSOs, there would be no shooting matches — no F-Class, no High Power, no Smallbore Matches — you get the idea. Thankfully there are now ways to get requisite RSO training without costly travel far from home.

The NRA now offers an online training course for its Range Safety Officer (RSO) program. The online course teaches the skills needs to conduct and supervise safe shooting activities and range operations. Online RSO Course students can access the electronic course materials for 90 days. You can complete the course in multiple sessions. The program will save your progress so you can return later.

NRA RSO Course OnlineThe Online RSO Course consists of SIX LESSONS:

• Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course
• The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and
Range Standard Operating Procedures
• Range Inspection and Range Rules
• Range Safety Briefing
• Emergency Procedures
• Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions

Who Can Take the Course?: The Online RSO Course is available to anyone who currently possess a valid NRA Firearms Instructor certification or NRA Coach appointment. Course cost is $125.00. Individuals without a trainer rating must attend the in-person Range Safety Officer course consisting of both classroom time and practical exercises on a range.

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

NRA RSO Course OnlineCertification Procedure: Students must complete all six lessons and a short electronically administered test in order to become a certified Range Safety Officer. Once the test has been passed, newly certified Range Safety Officers will receive an electronic completion certificate that can be printed or saved to a computer.

The NRA RSO program was developed in response to the demand for a nationally-recognized range safety officer certification. More than 54,000 NRA Range Safety Officers are involved in aspects of target shooting, training, and range supervision around the USA.

Berger SW Nationals
Range Safety Officer supervises the line at Berger SW Nationals. Without dedicated RSOs, we could not have matches like these.

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October 24th, 2019

Massive Fire Destroys Pac-Nor Barreling Plant in Oregon


A fire consuming the Pac-Nor Barreling Oregon factory was the lead story for the Curry Coastal Pilot.

The Pac-Nor Barreling production center in Oregon burned to the ground yesterday morning, October 23rd. The 7000-square-foot barrel-making facility located near Brookings, Oregon, was destroyed in a massive fire that apparently started with an electrical fault. There were nine workers in the facility at the time the fire broke out. All exited the building safely.

Millions of dollars of production machinery and barrels were lost in the fire. The Pac-Nor facility is insured, but Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter said he was not sure if the plant would be re-built: “Thirty-five years of my life went up in this fire. I am 66 years-old and I don’t know if I have the time left. It took my lifetime to find all the machinery in this plant.”

UPDATE 10/26/19: Our Forum members contacted Pac-Nor and learned that the Dichters plan to rebuild the facility: “I got an e-mail from Kathy Dichter and she said six months to a year to rebuild, hopefully. She also said you could follow their progress on Facebook. That’s great news for the shooting community.”

The building and machinery inside were worth between four and six million dollars, Dichter estimated. There is insurance, but it is not clear whether Pac-Nor will resume production in the future.

How did the fire start? Chris Dichter said there were sparks when an electical conduit for a lathe was removed from a wall socket. Then when power was shut off from the main breaker, there was a blast of flame from the wall, almost like an explosion. Dichter declared: “I’d never seen anything go like that. It blew up with smoke and fire. It sounded like a tree fell on the plant.”

READ Full Pac-Nor Fire Report in Curry Coastal Pilot »

We recommend you read this story — it provides the most information on how the fire started. Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter is quoted extensively.

Pac-Nor Fire Update with 11 Photos (Curry Coastal Pilot) »

This story has the most complete collection of Pac-Nor fire photos.

Del Norte Triplicate Report with Pac-Nor Fire Photos »

Early report with six Pac-Nor Fire photos.

Pac-Nor Barreling Inc., founded in 1985, was a major producer of precision rifle barrels in North America. Pac-Nor offered a huge variety of barrel lengths and contours, and had a vast selection of reamers for chamberings from .17 to .50 caliber. Pac-Nor was also well-known for its popular pre-chambered, “pre-fit” barrels. These provided affordable accuracy upgrades for factory rifles. This Editor has a Pac-Nor 3-groove 6mmBR pre-fit barrel that proved superbly accurate. That barrel, and the Savage rifle to which it was fitted, helped inspire this website, which started as 6mmBR.com.

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