April 11th, 2021

Guide to Case Lubricants — Spray, Liquid, Wax, and Dry Lube

Cartridge Case lubrication imperial Die wax case sizing reloading

Sinclair International has a good article on Case Lubrication which shows the various products and application methods available. Part of Sinclair’s Step-By-Step Reloading series, the article shows how to apply Spray Lube, Die Wax, or conventional lube from a Pad. The story also explains how to use dry lube to slick up the inside of your case necks.

Spray Lubes
High-volume reloaders often turn to spray-on lubricants such as the RCBS Case Slick (#749-001-341WB) or the Hornady One Shot (#749-016-818WB) to quickly lubricate large numbers of cases at once. An indispensable piece of gear that helps make spray lubing easy is a polymer lube rack that holds cases upright and arranged to maximize their exposure to the spray.

Hornady spray cartridge case Lube

Editor’s Note: Ballistol Aerosol is other good spray product for regular full-length sizing (not heavy case-forming). It goes on clear (no chalky residue), it is ultra-slippery, and it will remove the carbon from your case necks as you apply Ballistol with a patch. This is my primary spray lube — but many folks dislike the distinctive Ballistol smell. Try before you buy.

diewax1601Sizing Die Wax
Over the years, many benchrest shooters have come to trust Imperial Sizing Die Wax (#749-001-052) for their case lube needs. It offers high lubricity and easily wipes off with a paper towel. In fact, its lubricity makes it a popular choice for case forming, for those wildcat folks who need to form their own unique or obsolete cartridges. Unlike lube pads or spray lubes, sizing wax is applied more naturally. You just put a little on your fingers and transfer it to the cases by handling them. As simple and easy as Imperial Sizing Die Wax is to use, it’s probably best for low-volume applications.

Dry Lubricant
Redding’s Imperial Application Media (#749-001-166) is a dry neck lube used to lube the inside of the neck, whether you’re full-length sizing or neck-sizing only. It consists of ceramic spheres coated with a fine graphite-based powder. You simply dip the neck into the container for a second to pick up the right amount of lube. This lube lets the expander ball move smoothly throughout the case neck instead of “grabbing” or “chattering”. That minimizes case neck stretching.

Cartridge Case lubrication imperisal Die wax case sizing reloading

Editor’s Note: Dry Lube is also very useful if you ultrasonically clean your cases. After the ultrasound process, the inside of the case neck can be so “squeaky clean” that bullets don’t seat smoothly. A quick application of dry lube on the insisde of the necks will help bullets slide into the neck easier. As a result, the neck “grip” on the bullets should be more consistent from round-to-round. Consistent neck tension is key to accuracy and uniform velocities.

DIY Case Lube Instructions from UltimateReloader.com »

Tired of spending $15-$25 for a can of spray lube that doesn’t last very long? For about the same price as a single 10 oz. can you can make your own effective spray lube that should last for multiple seasons and lube thousands of cases quickly and easily.

In the YouTube video above Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows how to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. First recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alcohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. Here’s what you need:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

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April 10th, 2021

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

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 current F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. 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. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*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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April 8th, 2021

Get FREE Bushnell Ballistics APP with Applied Ballistics Software

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

Bushnell offers a good FREE new Ballistics App powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite Engine. The new Bushnell Ballistics App easily calculates ballistic solutions for any popular cartridge type once you input velocity, BC, and atmospherics. The App features trusty Applied Ballistics bullet data, and it can even pull in atmospheric data from web weather sources. This allows you to calculate hold-overs and make precise wind corrections. The App is offered in both iOS (Apple) and Android OS versions.

“The Bushnell Ballistics App is powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite engine, the most trusted ballistics data-cruncher in the industry,” said Bushnell Marketing Manager Matt Rice. “This App allows users to easily build and modify gun profiles and build range cards to calculate firing solutions based on their specific scope and ammunition choices. All of our Bushnell scopes and reticles have been pre-loaded [in the App].”

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

The Bushnell App features AB Connect, a live library of G1/G7 data, plus the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library with 740+ pre-loaded bullet profiles. The Bushnell scope library features 150+ scopes and 30 reticle options. Atmospheric data can be updated manually or directly from the internet (when connected). Angle range compensation is also calculated. Gun profile management provides up to five saved profiles with reticle-based firing solutions. A multiple target feature saves up to five targets. Range cards can be shared or printed using the Email Range Card Function.

The FREE App works on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It is optimized for Bushnell riflescopes and reticles, but is compatible with all optics. Once downloaded, the App functions off the grid — no cell service required.

“The new Bushnell Ballistic App puts the power of long-range, first-shot accuracy into the hands of any shooter,” Rice said. “it was designed to perform in any condition and to offer our consumers true value, with features that far exceed the price — which, in this case, is free!”

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April 6th, 2021

Determine Your Dominant Eye with This Simple Test

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Shooting Sports USA Eye dominanceDo you know which one of your eyes is dominant? It’s easy to determine eye dominance with a simple exercise. Pick an object about 6-10 feet away (a light switch or door knob works well). Make an “OK” sign with your right hand (see photo) and hold that about 18″ from your face. Now, with both eyes open, look through the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. Center the circle on the object, so you can see the object in the middle.

Now, here’s the important part — while still holding your hand up, centered on the object, first close your right eye. If you don’t see the object anymore, then your right eye is dominant. If you still see the object, then repeat the procedure with the left eye shut and right eye open. If you don’t see the object when your left eye (only) is closed, then you are left-eye dominant.

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe digital archives of Shooting Sports USA contain many interesting articles. A while back, Shooting Sports USA featured a “must-read” expert Symposium on Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, and Phil Hemphill.

Top Rifle Champions Talk About Eye Dominance:

David Tubb — 11-Time National High Power Champion
I keep both eyes open, always. Some use an opaque blinder in rifle or shotgun shooting. If you close your non-dominant eye, you will not get as good a sight picture. If your aiming eye is not your dominant eye, you have even more of a problem to overcome.

Lones Wigger — World, National and Olympic Champion Rifleman
Shooters should try to use the dominant eye unless the vision is impaired and the non-dominant eye has better vision. You should always shoot with both eyes open since this will allow the shooting eye to function properly.

Dennis DeMille — National Service Rifle Champion
I close my non-shooting eye initially. Once I pick up my sight picture, it’s not something I focus on. For those that use a patch, I recommend that they use something white to block their view, rather than cover the eye.

Bruce Piatt — 2015 World Shooting Championship Winner
Some shooters, especially those with nearly equal or cross-dominance, will naturally find themselves squinting one eye. When anyone does this, you are also closing your dominant eye to some extent and adding stress to your face.

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April 4th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Browning T-Bolt .17 HMR with AA Maple Stock

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

This story features a unique, American-designed rimfire rifle, chambered for the potent .17 HMR round. The current generation T-Bolt has a tang-mounted ambidextrous safety, a choice of barrel contours, lengths, and finishes, and a variety of stock options. What sets the T-Bolt apart from other rimfire rifles is the way the action cycles. There is not a conventional bolt that requires four distinct motions (lift bolt handle up/pull back/move forward/rotate handle down). With the T-Bolt you simply pull the handle straight back to extract a round, then return it forward to chamber a new round from the Double Helix magazine. The cocking effort is divided between back pull and forward movement so the effort is relatively light and easy.

Among current rimfire rifles, the Browning T-Bolt ranks high for fit and finish. The bluing is very nice and the T-Bolt even boasts a gold-plated trigger shoe. Many different stock types have been offered in recent years including some very nice AA Maple stock models as shown below (click to zoom). These T-Bolt rifles exhibit very fine craftmanship. Current models are made in Japan under license to Browning.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR
Click image for full-screen T-Bolt photo with detail.

Browning T-Bolt Sporter AA Maple Model
RECEIVER – Steel; High polished finish; Drilled and tapped for scope mounts
BARREL – Medium Sporter; Blued finish; Free-floating; Semi-match chamber; Recessed crown
ACTION – Straight pull bolt action; Top-tang safety; Adjustable trigger
STOCK – AA Maple; Gloss finish; Checkered
FEATURES – Sling swivel studs installed
PRODUCTION – Limited quantities

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

T-Bolt Owner Talks about Function and Accuracy
“I have a Browning T-bolt in .17 HMR, but with the maple stock. It is probably my favorite .17 HMR rifle (also the most expensive). The rifle feels smaller than some of my other .17 HMR rifles. I think the length of pull is a little shorter. I do like the light weight and trim handling of the rifle and the straight-pull bolt can be cycled really quickly. Mine is quite accurate and will shoot one-inch groups at 100 yards with both Hornady ammo and the CCI A17 ammo.” — RexRay, Varminter.com Forum member.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Pros and Cons of the Browning T-Bolt

The T-Bolt has a reputation for good accuracy, provided you have a good lot of .17 HMR ammo (we recommend checking for bullet run-out before you shoot for groups). The straight-pull action works as advertised — it is fast, smooth, and easy-to-operate. The Double Helix magazine (covered below) is excellent. It is very compact yet ultra-reliable. Another plus is that the T-Bolt has been produced in many different versions, with a variety of stocks, and even a stainless action version.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LRWhat are the negatives? Some of the stocks have a somewhat short length-of-pull, but this is easily solved with spacers. The main complaint is the factory trigger — some owners say it is too heavy at about 4 pounds, though the break is clean. For varmint work, we could live with the stock trigger and put money saved into optics.

If you prefer a very light trigger, JARD makes a T-Bolt replacement trigger. Featuring an aluminum housing, the JARD T-Bolt trigger can be ordered with 12-, 16-, or 20-ounce pull weights. The JARD trigger offers a crisp, clean break significantly lighter than stock. But at $249.99 the JARD trigger is fairly expensive. Additionally there have been a couple complaints about slam fires at the lowest weights so we recommend the 20-ounce. Here is one owner review, from a Rimfire Central thread: “The new Browning T-Bolt is a great rifle in all aspects except for the trigger. In my case when I received my JARD trigger it was an almost drop-in installation with very little adjusting or fooling around. For me it made a decent little rifle a great little rifle.”

Browning Double Helix 10-Round Magazine

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

The T-Bolt’s patented 10-round rotary Double Helix™ magazine is a unique design that feeds very reliably and is easy to load. The Double Helix magazine uses a torsion drive spring and interlocking gear design to maintain correct timing and exact cartridge alignment for smooth, reliable feeding. The translucent gray body allows for easy verification of the number of remaining cartridges. We like the fact that the Double Helix provides TEN-round capacity while fitting nearly flush with the bottom of the action.

The Browning Double Helix rotary box magazine system is easy to load, easy to carry, and easy to use. The smooth, rounded exterior contours of the Double Helix, along with twin gripping grooves, tapered shape and a slightly extended baseplate design make insertion positive, while the spring-assisted drop-free magazine ejection feature allows for rapid magazine changes. T-bolt owners confirm that feeding and reliability is excellent — the magazine design puts cartridges in perfect alignment with the chamber.

Other Browning T-Bolt Variants

Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LRIn recent years, Browning has produced T-Bolt rifles in a variety of models, with many different stock types and various barrel lengths/contours. Most of the photos above showcase the AA Maple Sporter T-Bolt, which is currently out of production, though still available from some dealers (if you search). We like the looks of the AA Maple T-Bolt, but there many other stock options including dark brown, Black, Green, and various camouflage finishes. Use the links below to see all the T-Bolt configurations.

Here are 4 other T-Bolt variants, first the new-for-2021 T-Bolt Target with muzzle brake, then the Limited Edition Cerakote T-Bolt Speed model, and two discontinued T-Bolts, a composite-stocked carbon finish model and a Varmint Special with stainless action and thumbhole laminated stock. Current production T-Bolts are offered in three rimfire chamberings: .17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR. Barrel contours and lengths (from 16.5″ to 22″) vary from model to model.

T-Bolt Current Production | T-Bolt Limited Editions | T-Bolt Discontinued Models

Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR
Browning T-bolt rifle 17 HMR limited discontinued current production rimfire .22 LR

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

Do you like the T-Bolt? Well there is a 5% Off Rebate Program available right now that covers the T-Bolt and all other Browning firearms.

.17 HMR Cartridge — Fast and Deadly on Small Varmints

We are big fans of the .17 HMR round. It’s just about perfect for ground squirrels, and is effective on prairie dogs out to about 200 yards. The three main .17 HMR producers have been CCI, Federal, and Hornady. Choose from 17gr or 20gr bullets — both work well in the varmint fields. Norma also makes .17 HMR ammo with 17gr V-Max bullets. This Norma .17 HMR ammo has shown very good accuracy.

17 HMR ammunition t-bolt browning rifle

CCI .17 HMR TNT offers 2650 FPS Velocity
For varmint work we like CCI’s latest .17 HMR VNT ammo. This boasts class-leading 2650 FPS muzzle velocity. Engineered to combine good accuracy with high impact energy, this CCI TNT ammo features a 17gr polymer-tipped bullet designed for rapid expansion. We also like the Norma .17 HMR ammo. “With outstanding accuracy and excellent energy transfer… The .17 HMR has a very loyal following among hunters and target shooters alike”, said Paul Lemke, G.M. for Norma/RUAG.

Browning T-bolt rifle .17 17 HMR straight pull production rimfire .22 LR

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April 1st, 2021

Biden Orders All Military Terminology to Be Gender-Neutral

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

By means of an Executive Order signed yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered a ban on ALL military words/terms considered sexist or culturally insensitive. The President has ordered the Pentagon to immediately determine replacement nomenclature for offensive words such as “cockpit” and “chief”. Starting today, all military communications must be “gender-neutral” and not male-centric. To address the issue, the Pentagon is now forming a “Rapid Gender Neutralization Force” with top generals and admirals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Phase One funding of $126.9 million has been allocated from the 2021 U.S. Special Operations budget to handle the Gender Neutralization project.

Among the military nouns, verbs, adjectives and acronyms that will be banned are the terms listed below, with the reason for the ban, and proposed replacements.

Cockpit — Not Gender Neutral (New: Pilot Enclosure)
Airman/Airmen — Not Gender Neutral (New: Aviator/Aviators)
Broadside — Offensive to Female Navy Personnel (New: Full Fire Sequence)
Chief and Chief of Staff — Native American Cultural Appropriation (New: Leader, Leader of Group)
Foxhole — Offensive to Female Infantry Personnel (New: Person Pit)
ASDIC — Offensive to Female Navy Personnel (New: Anti-Submarine Sonar ASS)

Military Phonetic Alphabet Changes (Mandatory Immediately)

In addition to the ordered changes in specific military terminology (as listed above), all U.S. Armed Services will immediately start using new Radio Phonetic Call-outs for particular letters of the alphabet. Here are the new Mandatory Radio/Telephone Comms Alphabet terms (with others pending):

“G Golf” (Issue — Golf, favored by white elites, perpetuates systemic racism) Replaced with “G Grim”.
“P Papa” (Issue — Not LGBTQ tolerant) Replaced with gender-neutral “P Parent”.
“K Kilo” (Issue — Promotes drug trafficking) Replaced with “K Kamala”.
“R Romeo” (Issue — Promotes male patriarchy) Replaced with “R Reset”.
“W Whisky” (Issue — Promotes alcohol abuse) Replaced with “W Woke”.
“Z Zulu” (Issue — Racism, Cultural Appropriation) — Replaced with “Z Zealot”

The phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio and/or telephone. The phonetic alphabet can also be signaled with flags, lights, and Morse Code.

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

Is it Time for Major Changes in Our Military Language?

For many years, U.S. and NATO military leaders have called for progressive, inclusive terminology changes. Here are three recent articles in highly-respected military journals discussing the issue:

We need gender-neutral words to attract female service personnel:

“Why is adopting gender-neutral language so difficult for the Armed Forces? In 2017, a training establishment was widely ridiculed in the press for having suggested a fairly mild list of gender-neutral terms to replace words such as ‘chaps’ and ‘manpower’. Gendered language does more than just give offence[.] The real effects are … insidious, perpetuating stereotypes, damaging recruitment and retention and undermining the ability of the Armed Forces to harness the talents of its people. At the most severe, it affects mental health, damages unit cohesion and undermines operational effectiveness.”

Source: Wavellroom.com, Importance of Gender Neutral Language for Defense

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism
_______________

The horrible effects of military-forged toxic masculinity spills over into the business world:

“Military language infused in business systematically elevates traditionally ‘masculine’ qualities and traits as most … valued and important for moving up into the ranks of leadership. Those who don’t fit the mold struggle to rise. The cycle of ‘institutionalized masculinity’ represents a textbook example of how any ‘ism’ becomes institutionalized — racism, sexism, ageism, and anything else that gets ingrained and perpetuated into culture, ultimately reinforcing the status quo and keeping others on the fringe.”

Source: Inc.com, Sexist Military Language Infiltrates Business Culture
_______________

U.S. Male and Female Soldiers Show New Gender-Neutral Combat Uniforms

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

Along with gender-neutral words, many military leaders now favor gender-neutral uniforms for all personnel. Shown above are U.S. soldiers field-testing a new gender-neutral combat uniform. It is believed that the U.S. Army is seriously considering issuing this type of combat clothing for the U.S. Army Rangers, which will be renamed the “Rangerettes” in accord with President Biden’s Executive Order.
_______________

UK Military leaders agree we must rid the English language of oppressive gendered language:

“Gendered language permeates the very fabric of the UK’s Armed Forces, from personnel answering the phone with ‘Sir’ to the widespread use of terms such as ‘unmanned’ and ‘airman’. The use of language that is male-centric only serves to create an image that the armed forces are made up only of men, when increasingly they are not.

It’s not about being ‘woke’ — Defense consultant Dr. Alex Walmsley said the debate around the use of gendered language is ‘evolving in a good way’ adding that the push to change the language used in defense was not just about ‘being woke’.

The idea of a woman performing a job whose title implies she is a man, even though women are able to serve in every role in the UK’s Armed Forces, means that change is a ‘no-brainer’. It is not a big deal; we’re not asking for HMS Prince of Wales to be called ‘Princess of Wales’, Walmsley pointed out.”

Gendered language is not only damaging to women, but also non-binary or transgender service members and defense industry professionals. Changing the words you use is such a minor thing[.] Retiring the term ‘manpower’ in favor of ‘personnel’ does not suddenly mean the UK can no longer conduct a freedom of navigation exercise in the South China Sea. — Emma Salisbury Ph.D.

Source: Army-Technology.com, Words Matter — A Case for Gender-Neutral Language in Defense

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

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March 31st, 2021

How to Create A Dummy Round to Aid Barrel Chambering

Gre Tannel GreTan, Gre-Tan Rifles dummy round chambering gunsmith reamer chamber

How and Why to Create a Dummy Round
When you have a new custom rifle built, or a new barrel fitted to an existing rifle, it makes sense to create a dummy round. This should have your preferred brass and bullet types, with the bullet positioned at optimal seating depth. A proper dummy round helps the gunsmith set the freebore correctly for your cartridge, and also ensure the proper chamber dimensions.

Respected machinist, tool-maker, and gunsmith Greg Tannel of Gre-Tan Rifles explains: “I use the dummy round as a gauge to finish cut the neck diameter and throat length and diameter so you have [optimal] clearance on the loaded neck and the ogive of the bullet just touches the rifling.” He recommends setting bullet so the full diameter is just forward of the case’s neck-shoulder junction. “From there”, Greg says, “I can build you the chamber you want… with all the proper clearances”.

Greg Tannel has created a very helpful video showing how to create a dummy round. Greg explains how to measure and assemble the dummy and how it will be used during the barrel chambering process. Greg notes — the dummy round should have NO Primer and No powder. We strongly recommend that every rifle shooter watch this video. Even if you won’t need a new barrel any time soon, you can learn important things about freebore, leade, and chamber geometry.

Must Watch Video — This has been viewed over 764,000 times on YouTube:

This has been a very popular video, with 764,000 views! Here are actual YouTube comments:

That is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. Thank you sir. — P. Pablo

Nice video. You do a very good job of making this easy for new reloaders to understand. I sure wish things like this were available when I started reloading and having custom rifles built. Once again, great job, and your work speaks for itself. — Brandon K.

Beautiful job explaining chambering clearances. — D. Giorgi

Another Cool Tool — The Stub Gauge

When you have your gunsmith chamber your barrel, you can also have him create a Stub Gauge, i.e. a cast-off barrel section chambered like your actual barrel. The stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Stub Gauge Gunsmithing chamber gage model barrel

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March 31st, 2021

Mobile Loading Station Made From Metal Horse Grooming Box

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Do you often load at the range? Or maybe you need to transport loading gear when you travel in your RV. Well here is a smart transport option — a metal box that holds tools, dies, arbor press, case-trimmer, even a ChargeMaster.

Some guys have built their own loading tool-boxes from wood. Other may stuff gear in a couple of plastic range boxes. But clever Chris Covell came up with an even better solution. Chris sourced a handsome, sturdy metal Horse Grooming Box from eBay. Chris reports the multi-feature metal box “works perfectly for reloading. My ChargeMaster is now out of the wind.”

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case boxBullets, Trickler, and Priming Tool on Top
On top, below the hinged metal lid, is a large compartment that holds Covell’s funnels, scales, priming tool, trickler and other vital gear (photo on right). This top compartment is deep enough to handle wide-mouth funnels with no problem.

Slide-Out Drawer with Dividers
Below the top level is a handy sliding drawer with multiple dividers. This is perfect for holding Covell’s inline seating dies, case-neck deburring and chamfering tools, among many other smaller bits and pieces.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

In the bottom of the Horse Grooming box is a large compartment that holds bigger gear. In the bottom section, Covell places his RCBS Chargemaster Lite, along with a case-trimming tool, an arbor press, and various other bulky tools. Check it out:

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Folks who load at the range need to bring a lot of gear — reloading presses, powder dispensers, scales, funnels, sizing/seating dies, brass prep tools and more. And there may be other important items to transport — such as ammo caddies, LabRadar mounts, over-size rest feet, and even barrel fans. With this metal box you can easily organize (and protect) al that gear. This box was sourced affordably via eBay.

Chris Covell’s Range Box was featured on the Benchrest Shooting and Gunsmithing Private Group Facebook Page. You may want to sign up for this Group — with membership you can access a wealth of information for accuracy-oriented shooters.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

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March 30th, 2021

NRA Online Firearms Training — Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

In response to the growing number of first-time gun buyers during the Coronavirus outbreak, the NRA’s Education & Training Division is offering four new Online Gun Safety Courses that can be done online at home. The six NRA Online Gun Safety Courses ARE:

1. Gun Safety Seminar
2. NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course — Distance Learning
3. NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting – Blended
4. NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course — Distance Learning
5. NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course – Distance Learning
6. NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course – Distance Learning

Each course, lasting from one to eight hours, is available online at NRAInstructors.org. To Access the 0nline training options, first CLICK HERE. Then under the Heading “DISTANCE LEARNING”, you will see options. CLICK the small gray box at the left of the title to select the course. IMPORTANT — Next you MUST SCROLL to the bottom of the NRA webpage to SEARCH. Select your state or Zip code, then you will get a list of the moderated online courses in your area.

Here is the Procedure to Follow:

1. CLICK HERE to Access ALL Course Listings
2. Select a “Distance Learning” Course.
3. Scroll Down and SEARCH for your State or Zip Code.
4. Review Course Dates and Times.

For example, here are the listed NRA online safety courses for California only. Elsewhere (in other states), YOUR list will be different!

NRA ONLINE Training Courses Sample List
NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

“These courses will provide an option for first-time gun owners who don’t have the ability to take an NRA certified instructor-led class at their local shooting range at this time,” said Joe DeBergalis, Exec. Dir. of NRA General Operations. “While there is no replacement for in-person, instructor-led training, our new online classes do provide the basics of firearm safety training for those self-isolating at home.”

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

Though range time is an important part of the classes, there is still a wealth of knowledge available in the online programs. “The NRA recommends that all new gun owners seek professional training at the range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on learning the basics of firearm safety at home. Taking one of these classes moderated by a certified NRA instructor, can only make you safer…” DeBergalis added.

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March 29th, 2021

Wind Reading Advice from Bryan Litz and Four Top Champions

Shooting Sports USA

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.

CLICK HERE for Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Archive

CLICK HERE to Download Article Issue in Printable PDF Format

Whether you shoot paper at Perry or prairie dogs in the Dakotas, this is a certified “must-read” resource on reading the wind. Here is a sample selection from the article:

Shooting Sports USA



Visit www.SSUSA.org

Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.

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March 29th, 2021

Illustrated History of Firearms — Great Book for Collectors

Illustrated History of Fireams NRA museum 320 page 1700 photos

Looking for a superb illustrated coffee table book about guns? Yes there is such a thing, a great book we highly recommend — The Illustrated History of Fireams (2nd Edition). This full-color 320-page hardcover book features more than 1,700 photos compiled by NRA Museums curators Jim Supica, Doug Wicklund and Philip Schreier. This Second Edition includes 300 photos more than the original, plus dozens of new profiles of important persons who influenced firearms development.

This follow-up to the best-selling original NRA Museums book is loaded with great images, historical profiles, and technical data on old, new, and currently-manufactured firearms that have changed history. Covering the earliest matchlocks to modern match-grade superguns and everything in between, The Illustrated History of Firearms provides a fascinating education on how guns evolved, where they originated and how they worked.

The Illustrated History of Firearms, 2nd Edition

– Authored by the experts at the NRA Firearms Museums

– Published by Gun Digest Books

– 9 ½ x 11 1/2 inches, hardcover with dust jacket

– 1,700 full-color photos

– 320 Pages

– Price: $39.99 (MSRP); $29.03 on Amazon

The Illustrated History of Firearms, 2nd Edition is available from Amazon direct for $29.03. Amazon also lists the book starting at $25.00 with free delivery from a variety of other book vendors. You’ll also find the book at major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, but it’s probably easier to purchase online.

Historic American Arms — Teddy Roosevelt’s Lever Guns
These two lever action rifles, owned by President Theodore Roosevelt, are part of the NRA Museum collection. First is a Winchester 1886 rifle known as the tennis match gun because Roosevelt used winnings from a tennis match to buy it. Below that is a suppressed Winchester model 1894 rifle. Roosevelt liked to shoot varmints around Oyster Bay (Long Island, NY) with this gun so he wouldn’t disturb his neighbors — the Tiffany and Du Pont families.

Roosevelt NRA Museum lever gun suppress 1886 1894
Roosevelt NRA Museum lever gun suppress 1886 1894

About the NRA Museums
The NRA opened the original National Firearms Museum at its Washington DC Headquarters in 1935. In 2008 the Francis Brownell Museum of the South West opened at the NRA’s Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Then, in 2013, the National Sporting Arms Museum opened at the Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, MO. Every year, at these three museum facilities, over 350,000 persons visit to see the impressive exhibits and many of America’s most famous firearms. For more information, visit www.NRAMuseum.org.

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March 28th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: .300 WSM Pending 1K World Record Heavy Gun

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

This Sunday we feature an impressive .300 WSM Heavy Gun shot by a superb long-range shooter. With this rig, at age 83, Arizona benchrest ace Charles Greer drilled a remarkable 2.862″ 100-10X group, beating all known 1000-Yard HG 10-shot records on the books. If this record is approved (which is likely), Greer’s .300 WSM can rightfully be hailed as the most accurate 1000-yard gun in history.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
CLICK HERE for full-screen rifle photo.

Story compiled with help from Jason Peterson
This would be an excellent 10-shot NBRSA Heavy Gun group at 600 yards, but this target was shot at 1000 yards by Charles Greer (aka “chuckgreen” on AccurateShooter forum) on February 13, 2021 at an NBRSA Match in Arizona. Chuck was shooting his .300 WSM Heavy Gun with Borden action, Krieger barrel, and Berger 220gr Hybrids. The event was hosted by the Sahuaro 1000 Yard Benchrest Club, at Three Points Range, outside Tucson, Arizona. Though it is pending final approval, it appears this is the smallest 10-shot Heavy Gun group ever shot, anywhere, at 1000 yards, and it was centered for a 10X. That’s doubly impressive when you consider that Charles Greer achieved this at age 83! Yes “Old guys rule”!

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
Amazing 100-10X 2.642″ (unofficial) 10-Shot Group at 1000 Yards.

This group is perfectly centered for an amazing 100-10X score. The group was range measured at 2.642 inches. For reference, the 1000-yard X-Ring is 3.00″ in diameter. The “X” itself is about 1.2″ tall. Pending final verification, this amazing target should shatter two NBRSA records. This handily beats the current single target HG score record of 100-6X held by Bill Schrader since 2005, and the single target HG group record of 3.650″ held by Tim Height (2019). For comparison, the current IBS 10-Shot 1000-yard HG group record is 2.871″ by Michael Gaizauskas from 2016. So it appears that this may be the smallest 10-shot group ever shot in competition in history. And from what we can determine, this is the first potential HG size record that also has a 100 score with TEN Xs.

Because shots are not marked in this discipline, this stunning group was a surprise to Greer: “I had no idea that I was shooting a world record target until I went back to the pits after my relay. Just as well. If I’d seen nine rounds in the X on the target, staying steady [for the last shot] would have been challenging….”

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Forum member “Tom” (2016 IBS 1000-yard Nat’l Champion and holder of several IBS 1000-yard records) unofficially measured Greer’s 1K group at 2.680 inches (0.256 MOA), using Ballistic-X software. Awaiting final group measurement by the NBRSA Long Range Committee, as currently measured, this target is just under existing IBS and Williamsport 10-shot HG 1000-yard records: The current IBS HG 1000-yard group record is 2.871″ held by Michael Gaizauskas. The current Williamsport HG 1000-yard group record is 2.815″ held by Matthew Kline.

Benchrest Shooting — Sport for All Ages
Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMCharles Greer reminded us that even senior citizens can succeed in benchrest competition: “One of the benefits of benchrest shooting is that it is a sport accessible to us even as we age. I cannot run and gun anymore like I used to do in IPSC and IDPA but as long as I can get my body and my equipment up to a bench, I can still be very competitive. That is not possible for us old guys in most sports and shooting disciplines. As I am ‘only 83′ I am hoping to squeeze a few more years of competition out of the old body before I have to pack it in for good.”

Charles is thankful for what he has achieved in this sport over many decades: “The Shooting Gods have certainly smiled on me from time to time during my brief shooting career and for that I am incredibly grateful.”

This target may also be the smallest 1K 10-shot group ever shot in competition, in ANY Class. In 2014, Jim Richards fired a 10-shot, 2.6872″ Light Gun group under Williamsport Rules at Deep Creek Range in Montana. However, Jim’s record small group was NOT centered in the 10-ring and it appear that Greer’s group could measure smaller. [Editor: Charles is no stranger when it comes to 1000-yard records. Charles is the current listed holder of two NBRSA 1000-yard score records: 3-Target HG Score: 294-8X (2010); 6-Target 2-Gun Score: 441-13X (2010).]

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

100-10X at 1000 — This May Be a First
After looking at all the 1000-yard records from different organizations, it appears that Greer’s 100-10X score could well be a first! And it may be many years before another 100-10X score is ever shot in competition.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Arizona’s Three Points Range is known for its windy conditions. So much so that small groups are not common in match reports. 6mm cartridges that are commonly shot at other 1000-yard benchrest competitions are rarely shot at Sahuaro 1K BR Club matches. The bigger calibers dominate here.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Charles Greer NBRSA 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Specifications:
Action: Borden BRMXD drop port
Barrel: Krieger 30″ 4-groove, 1:10″ twist, custom contour 1.35″ tapered to 1.00″
Chambering: .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM)
Chamber Specs: .337 neck with .280 freebore
Stock/Weight: McMillan/Wheeler LRB (solid fill) stock at 27 pounds
Gunsmith: Gerald Reisdorff
Optics: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Front Rest: Sinclair Competition with 4″ Edgewood bag
Rear Rest/Bag: Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest with custom Edgewood bag

Load Details: Norma .300 WSM brass, Alliant Reloder 23 powder, Federal 210M primers, Berger 220gr LR Hybrid bullets at 2800 FPS

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Upside-Down (Wider Base) Stock Rudder Improves Rifle Tracking

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMGreer has done something clever with his McMillan/Wheeler benchrest stocks. He has flipped over (inverted) the adjustable metal rudder (or keel) that runs on the underside of the buttstock. This provides a wider, flat tracking surface. The inverted rudder runs in a special sandbag on a Walhstrom mechanical rest. NOTE: Mechanical rear rests ARE legal for BOTH Heavy Guns and Light Guns under current NBRSA rules (see page 24). Shown at right is Greer’s Light Gun, but his Heavy Gun has the same system.

Charles explains: “Both my LG and my HG are of the same configuration except for additional weight in the stock of the HG. I decided to do this so that I would not need a separate rest system for each gun which saves on expense and makes it much easier to switch the LG out for the HG during competition. No need to change rest systems and re-align everything. Both of my stocks are McMillan/Wheeler LRB models with the adjustable rudder that can be repositioned horizontally to improve tracking. The rudder has a 3/4 inch-wide base that is usually fit into an Edgewood gator bag with a flat top. I did not like the way the rifle tracked with this set up and wanted something more solid and stable.

So I found that if I turned the rudder upside down and re-installed it that way on the stock, using the same screws and holes, the top of the rudder when turned down provided me with a base 1.5″ wide with a 1/4″ rail on each side. I got a Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest and had a custom Edgewood front bag made for it with a 1.5″ separation between the ears. The rail tracks perfectly in the bag and I can tighten the ears to make it quite solid and steady. I have noticed a huge improvement in tracking with this set up. I am still refining this arrangement but plan to continue using it on both rifles. I have never seen this done and was thinking maybe your readers would be interested.”

Questions & Answers with Charles Greer

Hall of Fame short-range shooter Gary Ocock interviewed Charles Greer. This interesting Q&A dialog covers shooting styles, equipment selection, recoil management and other notable topics.

Q: Tell us about your rifle, accuracy standards, and choice of calibers and bullets for the 1K game.
Greer: I set up two rifles, Light Gun and Heavy Gun. Both will shoot 100-yard 5-shot groups in the high ones and low twos. In Arizona I want a heavy, high-BC bullet in both guns to buck the wind and want to keep the ES under 10 FPS. I’m finding .300 WSM with Berger 220 LRHT bullets and a 4 groove Krieger barrel will provide the performance I need, and I shoot this round in both rifles.

Q: Explain your rest set-up, tracking, and recoil management. And how fast do you typically shoot your strings of fire?
Greer: I am using a Sinclair Competition Front Rest along with a mechanical rear rest, both with Edgewood front bags, to give me the stability necessary to provide consistent tracking even with these relatively high recoil rounds. Almost perfect tracking and consistent return to battery in the same spot is necessary to get a record string off quickly and smoothly. I try to get my strings off in a time of between 6 and 10 seconds per round depending on conditions. Any faster and I get sloppy.

Q: What were conditions like when you shot that amazing 10-shot group?
Greer: On the day I shot the record-pending target I had the first relay. There was wind but it was light, maybe 4-5 mph and seemed steady. The flags were about halfway up to horizontal and seemed to be holding that way. My procedure is to shoot 5 sighter rounds, two to adjust my initial round on paper to the X-Ring and then three more during the last minute to check for changes in the wind. If these last three rounds stay in the Ten Ring it is usually a sign that the wind may be steady enough for me to shoot a good group. On the “record” day the last three sighters were right in or near the X-Ring and when the record target came up I quickly but carefully dumped my 10 rounds holding the scope dot right on the X. The wind apparently held absolutely steady, and I got the result you see on the target.

That is my normal shooting technique. I pretty well know during the last minute of the sighter period whether a good group will be possible. If each of my last three sighters ends up inches away from the X in different directions, I know the wind is shifty and a good group on that target is unlikely. I adjust the last sighter to the X and then dump the string the same way just hoping the wind may hold for a minute or so. Sometimes it does, but often not so much.

During the record strings there is no way to know where the rounds are going. They are not marked, and the holes cannot be seen through the scope at that distance. The 1K flags are big and heavy and not very indicative of minor wind changes so I do not try to hold off or change my point of aim unless a flag completely reverses direction during a string. I’ve found that over the years adjusting my point of aim to the X after the last sighter and then dumping my strings gets the best results overall.

Q: What is your highest shooting accomplishment so far?
Greer: Well, the highest accomplishment (if one can call it that) would have to be this 100-10X target. This may end up being the best 10-shot target ever shot in a sanctioned match. 0f course, there is a tremendous amount of luck involved in this coming together but I certainly am pleased.

I had set four NBRSA world records when I was shooting previously: Light Gun Agg in 2008, and all three possible Highest Three Target Score records in 2010, two of which still stand. The first was probably the most satisfying as was my performance in the 2010 Nationals where I placed high in several categories and was Heavy Gun Champion for Score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMQ: Who do you attend matches with?
Greer: During the last year my son, Brian, has become my match shooting companion. We go out together every month. Brian was able recently to purchase the great 300 Ackley HG that I competed with and set world records with in 2010. I sold the rifle to a friend who never shot it and it found its way back into our family. Brian is now becoming a serious competitor.

Photo Right: Charles Greer with son Brian.

Q: What are your future shooting goals?
Greer: To keep on shooting our local match each month and to try to get to the Nationals once or twice more before I get too damn feeble. And to be able to see my son take my place as a regular winner when I can no longer compete.

Q: Is there any advice you would like to share with new shooters?
Greer: Make a commitment to excel at whichever discipline you choose. Get the best equipment and components that you can afford and consider each match a learning experience. At some point anything that can go wrong will go wrong and one must learn from these mistakes. Most importantly, be patient and keep coming back. In Arizona good shooting conditions are rare. You gotta be “in it to win it”. If you show up at every match you can attend eventually a great condition will appear on your relay and you will have a chance to shoot a spectacular score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Q: What is your shooting background?
Greer: I started shooting rabbits as a kid in the Mojave Desert, trained on various firearms in the military in the fifties and sixties and over the years hunted birds and large game and played with various handguns. In 2005 I moved to Tucson from Mexico the first time and, looking for an activity, started shooting IDPA and IPSC pistol matches at Pima Pistol Club. Shortly thereafter I bought a .308 Savage tactical rifle and got interested in shooting for accuracy. One thing led to another and before long I bought a better Savage varmint rifle in .300 WSM and started shooting the 1K match at Tucson Rifle Club at Three Points around 2007. I kept upgrading my equipment, started winning matches, set some world records.

After the 2011 NBRSA Long Range Nationals I felt rather burnt out on shooting. I sold all my guns and equipment and headed South looking for perhaps one more adventure. I found some but they did not include shooting as South of the border folks tend to shoot back when they hear anything go bang. I returned to Tucson in May of 2019, built a couple of new rifles, and got involved again in the monthly Sahuaro match where the most recent world record target was shot. I would like to resume shooting the NBRSA Long Range Nationals. Will not be ready this year but probably will in 2022.

Q: Have you tried other disciplines at different ranges?
Greer: I have only competed in Long Range, mostly 1000 yards but 600 yards a few times at the Nationals. I would like to try shooting “Score” and there is a monthly match at our range. May try it if I can get an appropriate rifle.

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March 28th, 2021

Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press Review by Erik Cortina

Co-ax Forster press
Forster Co-Ax Press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. Here we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The red-framed Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It boasts dual guide rods and a central handle. You don’t screw in dies — you slide the die lock ring into a slot. This allows dies to float during operation.

Erik does a good job of demonstrating the Co-Ax’s unique features. At 1:00 he shows how to slide the dies into the press. It’s slick and easy. At the two-minute mark, Erik shows how sliding jaws clasp the case rim (rather than a conventional shell-holder). The jaws close as the ram is raised, then open as it is lowered. This makes it easy to place and remove your cases.

At the 5:20 mark, Erik shows how spent primers run straight down into a capture cup. This smart system helps keep your press and bench area clean of primer debris and residues.

While many Co-Ax users prime their cases by hand, the Co-Ax can prime cases very reliably. The priming station is on top of the press. Erik demonstrates the priming operation starting at 4:20.

Co-ax Forster press

Smart Accessories for the Co-Ax from Inline Fabrications
Forum member Kevin Thomas also owns a Co-Ax press, which he has hot-rodded with accessories from Inline Fabrications. Kevin tells us: “Check out the add-ons available from Inline Fabrications for the Co-Ax. I recently picked up a riser mount and a set of linkages for mine and love the results. The linkages are curved. When you replace the original straight links with these, the work area opens up substantially and the the press becomes much easier to feed.” CLICK HERE for Co-Ax Accessories.

Inline Fabrications Forster Co-Ax Accessories

Forster Co-Ax Curved Side Linkage
(For Better Access)

CLICK HERE

Forster Co-Ax Ultramount
(Riser plus Bin Support)

CLICK HERE

Co-Ax Roller Lever (Short)

CLICK HERE

Dual LED Lighting Kit for Co-Ax

CLICK HERE

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March 27th, 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Training Programs in 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer hands-on rifle and pistol training programs in 2021 at locations around the nation. The CMP’s Marksmanship 101 Program, formerly known as the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) On The Road, is designed to train beginners on rifle or pistol essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers, and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).

Held at CMP Games matches and at various CMP Affiliated Clubs around the nation, the courses are led by certified CMP Master Instructors and talented members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The course curriculum is based off of the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) offered at the annual National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, which have been attended by countless individuals since 1918.

Upcoming Rifle Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Talladega 600, November 16, 2021, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama

Upcoming Pistol Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

Firearms and Ammunition Are Provided by CMP

Here is one of the biggest lures of the Marksmanship 101 Program — the CMP supplies guns and ammo! Rifles (AR-15), pistols (M9) and ammunition will be provided by the CMP at each location.

Programs Combine Classroom Learning and Outdoor Shooting

The Marksmanship 101 rifle and pistol courses train both adults and juniors in a safe and comfortable environment. Courses will be held at multiple locations. CMP Training Director Steve Cooper explains: “We know there are many people across the country who simply don’t have the time or means to travel to Ohio for the Small Arms Firing Schools during the National Matches, so, we decided to take the same basic curriculum and training on the road and customized the name.”

The Marksmanship 101 courses are a mix of indoor classroom learning and outdoor experiences on the range. Areas covered during the course include firearm safety, essential firing practices and handling, positioning and other competition skills, along with live firing on the range. Each course ends with applying everything learned to a true Excellence-In-Competition match on the range. “We always start our 101 events in a classroom environment, where we explain and demonstrate everything we’re going to do, very thoroughly,” Cooper said.

Program Requirements for Marksmanship 101

Since CMP Marksmanship 101 programs are designed to fit even those new to the marksmanship world, no previous firearm experience is required to attend. Participants ARE required to bring hearing and eye protection for the live-fire activities. Individuals should also dress according to weather conditions and may also bring any other desired competitive shooting equipment they wish to use.

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

How to Register for CMP Marksmanship Training Programs

Visit the CMP Marksmanship 101 website for Registration Links and other information. Once on the website, click your desired date and location to be sent to the CMP Competition Tracker page to complete registration. Questions regarding Marksmanship 101 may be directed to Amy Cantu at 419-635-2141 ext. 602 or acantu@thecmp.org.

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU

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March 25th, 2021

Huge Increases in Guns and Ammo Sales — Infographic

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic
NSSF Photo. Related Story HERE.

How have gun sales grown in recent years in the USA? What states have the most new gun owners? How much ammo is produced each year? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in a new infographic produced by Bear Creek Arsenal.

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

Here Are Some of the Key Findings:

1. Over 21 million NICS Adjusted background checks were done in 2020, a 59.7% increase over 2019 (and 34.3% higher than 2016). NSSF estimates that 40% of 2020 gun sales were to first-time gun buyers who numbered 8.4 million last year.

2. Of all U.S. States, Texas had the most NICS checks in 2020, with 1.8 million, followed by Florida with 1.6 million. Perhaps surprisingly, Democratic Party-controlled California recorded 1.23 million NICS checks.

3. Some “Blue States” have seen huge increases in gun sales, prompted by Leftist- and BLM-sponsored riots and social unrest. For example, Michigan saw a 180% increase in sales, while the District of Columbia saw a 140% increase. That is interesting because DC is definitely not a bastion of conservative Republicans. In fact, the District of Columbia is solid Democratic Party territory. This shows that concerns over personal safety/self-defense cut across party lines.

4. Over NINE BILLION rounds of ammunition were produced in 2020. This represents a total annual ammo value of $21.38 billion. Quote: “A reasonable extrapolation puts the amount of ammunition produced for the United States market [in 2020] at somewhat over 9 billion rounds, of which 5 billion are rimfire and 4 billion are centerfire rifle, pistol, and shotgun rounds.” Source: Dean Weingarten on Ammoland.com

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

2020 was definitely the year of the gun. Firearm sales were up 95% in the first half of 2020. And, according to the NSSF, there were nearly 8.4 million first-time-ever gun buyers in the USA in 2020. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. Women accounted for 40.2% of all first-time gun purchases. Notably, firearm purchases among African American men and women increased 58% over last year, the largest such increase of any demographic group.

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March 24th, 2021

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator Review

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

Looking for a faster, easier, and more accurate way to measure bullet positions on your loaded rounds? Check out the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator. This unique tool provides a shoulder-to-ogive measurement instead of the traditional cartridge base-to-ogive measurement. The Accuracy One Comparator just might work for you. This unique tool allows a very rapid and secure measurement that provides a precise determination of the bullet seating depth in the case.

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator

Product Review by F-Class John
You probably check your loaded ammo by measuring cartridge base to ogive, but have you ever considered there may be a better way? Curt at Accuracy One has considered the question, and after exhaustive research and testing he created the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator. As opposed to looking for a base to ogive measurement, this tool measures from the shoulder to ogive, which is arguably the more repeatable number when it comes to accuracy.

Click Arrow to Watch Video Tool Review

As Curt explains, “Well, when you fire a chambered cartridge, the strike from the firing pin first pushes the cartridge forward until it bottoms against the shoulder. The primer is then ignited. What this means is that your seated bullet depth consistency can more accurately be gauged using the dimension from shoulder to ogive. Using this dimension, you effectively eliminate any small variances in your sized case length from the equation”. As a result, it made sense that when he was designing the measurement tool his goal was to create a universal insert that allowed a user a quick, easy, accurate and repeatable process that measures from mid-shoulder to ogive.

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

The comparator fits cartridges from .22 to .30 Caliber with 0.400″ and larger shoulder diameters. The tool fits so many bullet sizes because of the specific taper that Curt developed. This ensures that any caliber in that range makes good contact along the ogive. As I used this tool and talked to people about it, I kept getting skeptical comments with people asking how it could measure the ogive on that many calibers accurately. I had to remind them that the ogive is not a single point on the bullet but in fact the entire curve from the tip of the bullet to the point it straightens out. As a result, it’s only important that the tool you use is consistent in what point along the ogive it measures and that’s where the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator shines. According to Curt, he went through countless iterations on his design until he was able to accurately and repeatably measure all those calibers (.22 to .30).

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

How to Use the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator
Using the comparator is simple. There are alternative methods. The easiest way is to simply zero the indicator, insert a loaded round, note the measurement and compare any future rounds against it for variation. An alternative to this is a method I use. I insert a loaded round and then zero the indicator. This allows you to see the exact variation without mental math (and frankly it’s faster this way). I also use this method to sort loaded rounds for matches in order from shortest to longest ensuring that rounds that measure the same are fired together.

Bonus Option — Measuring Length to Lands with Tool
Another great use for this Accuracy One comparator is to take my initial depth to lands. This helps ensure my seating depth was properly set. Using a case with very light neck tension, I load a bullet, and with a stripped bolt I load and close it. Then I can remove the round and take a measurement, zero the indicator and make a note of it in my book. After that the comparator will remember the new zero until it’s zeroed again and if that happens by accident, I can always reference the number that my round measured and pull on the indicator stem until that number is found and then zero it again. I found this entire process fast, easy and repeatable as I loaded rounds and needed to check for any seating depth variance.

Tool Pricing:
Seating Depth Comparator without Indicator: $65.00
Seating Depth Comparator with Indicator: $115.00
Gauge Stand: $47.00

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition casePurchase Options
You can buy the tool with or without an Digital Indicator. Accuracy One also makes a Primer Depth Gauge. Both Accuracy One tools employ the same digital indicator. This helps save money as you can order the comparator alone if you already have one (either from another Accuracy Tool or another tool).

The Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator is essentially the same size as the Accuracy One Primer Depth Gauge, so you can even utilize Accuracy One’s primer gauge storage case. There is also an optional stand that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND as it can hold either the seating depth OR primer gauge, making for amazingly simple one-handed operation while you’re loading.

CONCLUSION — Tool Is Precise, Repeatable, and Fast
Overall, this tool left me feeling confident in my depth setting and I found it quick and easy compared to past methods. At the end of the day there are several ways to skin the proverbial cat when it comes to measuring seating depth. But if you’re looking for what just might be the most accurate, consistent and speediest method, give the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator a try.

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March 24th, 2021

eBook Edition of Zeglin’s ‘Wildcat Cartridges’ Now Available

Zegline Wildcat Cartridges ManualFred Zeglin has released a Kindle eBook edition of his popular book Wildcat Cartridges — Reloader’s Handbook of Wildcat Cartridge Design. Gunsmith/author Zeglin explains: “The print edition of Wildcat Cartridges has gone out of print. We have plans to produce a second edition, but that is currently on the back burner. Demand of this book has remained strong so the decision to offer the first edition in a e-book format was made.” The Kindle eBook edition retails for $9.99 on Amazon.com. You can preview a FREE SAMPLE of the book to “try before you buy”.

CLICK HERE to Read FREE eBook Sample from Zeglin’s Wildcat Cartridges

This is more than just a history of cartridges. Dimensional drawings and loading data accompany many of the cartridge descriptions. More recent and popular designs are included as well as the “classic” older wildcats. There are chapters about important cartridge designers like P.O. Ackley, Jerry Gebby, Rocky Gibbs, and Charles Newton. (The hardback edition of the book contains 288 pages of stories, illustrations, instructions, and data.)

Gunwriter Wayne Van Zwoll says Zeglin’s book is a valuable resource: “Fred has illustrated his book well, with neat line drawings and photos you probably won’t find anywhere else. It’s a rare technical treatise that draws you in with illustration, or that keeps you with an easy flow of chat that, were it lifted from print, might pop up at any gun counter or handloading bench. Fred Zeglin has done well with this book, giving wildcatters – indeed, all rifle enthusiasts – an overview of a culture often mentioned but little explored on the page.”

Writing about the 2005 Print Edition of Wildcat Cartridges, Big Bore Journal declared: “This is a fantastic book on American wildcats, US loads and much more. A must have for wildcatters and gunsmiths.”

About the Author
An award-winning writer, Fred Zeglin operates Z-Hat Custom, and Hawk Cartridges. Fred has taught classes for the NRA Gunsmithing Schools in Colorado and Oklahoma. He served as production manager for McGowen Precision Barrels for a time, and was a tech advisor for 4D Reamer Rentals. To learn more about Z-Hat and Fred’s Wildcat Cartridges eBook, contact:

Z-Hat Custom Inc.
Fred Zeglin
432 E. Idaho St., Suite C420
Kalispell, MT 59901

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March 22nd, 2021

Ultrasonic Case Cleaning — What Is the Best Dwell Time?

cartridge brass case ultrasonic liquid cleaning dwell time brownells

If you read our lengthy artical on Ultrasonic Cleaning by Jason Baney, you’ve seen the remarkable results that can be achieved with this method, as shown by the photo above. Ultrasonic cleaning has many advantages over traditional tumbling methods of case cleaning. There is no dust or media residue to remove from the brass, and when done right, the cases come out clean and shiney, inside and out, even the primer pockets.

In its Benchtalk Archives, Brownell’s has an excellent article discussing Ultrasonic Case Cleaning. Brownell’s staff compares results, with measured dwell times from 5 to 75 minutes, using both Mpro-7 and HCS 200 cleaning solutions. Tests are performed with once-fired and 5X-fired Tactical 20 (Tac20) cases, as well as once-fired .260 Rem Cases. The article also compares the results from ultrasonic cleaning vs. tumbling in walnut media. Below are Brownell’s results for Tac20 cases with the HCS 200 (non-acidic solution). Go to Brownell’s article for MPro7 results and Rem 260 results.

HCS 200 Cleaning Solution Test

Procedure — Solution was de-gassed for 15 minutes, then 63 Tac20 cases were placed in a single layer, in stainless steel mesh basket. The temperature of the starting solution was 102° F. When the cases were removed the temperature was 110° F.

Once-Fired Tactical Twenty Cases (HCS 200) — Observations
5 minutes: The exterior of the cases are not significantly brighter/cleaner. The primer pockets and case interiors are still dirty.
10 minutes: Exterior of the cases are brighter. 70% of the cases show some degree of cleaning of the primer pockets. Little difference seen inside the case, but case mouths are cleaner.
15 minutes: Case brightness is about the same. Still only 70% of the primer pockets are clean, but a larger portion of each is cleaner. A Q-tip swabbed inside the cases shows that carbon/powder residues are loosening up.
20 minutes: Case exteriors are brightening up. 80-85% of the primer pockets are about 90% clean. The insides of the cases and case mouths are cleaner.
25 minutes: Cases are brighter/cleaner than even new brass. 80-85% of the cases have almost completely clean primer pockets. The inside of the cases are 80-90% clean.
30 minutes: The insides of the cases and case mouths appear to be completely clean. 87% of the primer pockets are virtually 100% clean. 13% of the cases had stubborn primer pocket residue that could not be completely removed.
60 minutes: Eight cases (13%) were placed in the tank for another 30 minutes to try to remove the remaining residue in their primer pockets. Six out of the eight cases were completely clean.

Five-Times Fired Tac20 Cases — Observations
30 minutes: Based on the above observations, I didn’t begin to observe these 5-time fired cases until after 30 minutes: The exterior cases are bright/clean. Brighter than new cases. The primer pockets on 75% of the cases are 75% clean. The remaining cases had primer pockets that were only 25% clean. The inside of the cases appear to be clean.
65 minutes: 25% of the primer pockets were 95% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 90% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 85% clean; and 25% were 80% clean.
75 minutes: 75% of the primer pockets were 90% clean.

How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?
The Brownell’s article explains: “Ultrasonic cleaning uses high-frequency sound waves (generally between 20-80 kHz) to remove a variety of contaminants from objects immersed in a liquid. The result of these high-frequency sound waves is a process called cavitation. These high frequency bursts of ultrasonic energy produce a three-dimensional wave of alternating positive and negative pressure areas as the sound wave passes through the solution. During negative pressure, microscopic cavitation bubbles form and will continue to grown until they reach resonant size. As the positive sound wave passes, the pressure rises rapidly and implodes these tiny bubbles. Before these minuscule bubbles implode they store a tremendous amount of energy. These bubbles can be as hot as 10,000 degrees and have as much as 50,000 lbs per square inch of pressure. This sounds alarming, but you have to remember that these bubbles are microscopic in nature and pose no harm to anything, unless you are a carbon /powder residue deposit on a cartridge case!

When this cavitation bubble implodes near your brass case, it transforms the bubble into a jet about 1/10th of its size. This jet of energy can travel as fast as 400 km/hour. At 43 kHz, as is the frequency for our L & R HCS 200 ultrasonic cleaner, this is happening 43,000 times per second. This micro-burst of extreme energy is responsible for removing contaminants from the surface of your cartridge brass. Ultrasonic cleaning can reach into crevices and inaccessible areas and remove surface debris that can’t be cleaned by any other process.”

Photos and quotes © Brownells®, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission.

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March 21st, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Suhl-Action .22 LR Rimfire with Indexed Barrel

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

This article was originally written by noted rimfire gunsmith Bill Myers. Sadly, Bill passed away in May 2010, but his legacy lives on. He pioneered many advancements in rimfire gunsmithing and Myers-built guns still win matches in benchrest competition.

Crafting competitive rimfire benchrest rifles is considered an art as much as a science. The smith must understand subtle, yet critical aspects of vibration control, barrel tuning, and rifle balance. In the United States, only a handful of gunsmiths consistently turn out rimfire BR rifles that consistently run at the front of the pack at major matches. Bill Myers was one of those master craftsmen. In this article Bill discussed the process of building a winning rimfire BR rig. He reveals some interesting secrets, including his procedures for testing bedding performance and his barrel indexing system. Bill’s methods obviously work, as the Suhl-actioned rifle featured here won a truckload of trophies in its very first match.

Building a Match-Winning Rimfire Benchrest Rig

by Bill Myers
In my opinion, a winning rimfire benchrest rifle is probably twice as difficult to build as a competitive centerfire rifle. The relatively slow .22 LR bullets stay in the barrel much longer than centerfire bullets. This means that vibration control is critical. Likewise bedding is critical. Bore finish and lapping are very important. The amount of bore taper or “choke” can have a huge effect on accuracy. Ignition is also very important and above all, rimfire BR rifles need a very stable stock that tracks perfectly. A rimfire that shoots great is a complete marriage of all components and of the shooter’s need to be aware of everything possible.

Click Photo to Zoom
Myers 22LR

The rifle featured in this article was built from scratch with attention to all the details that go into accuracy. The goal was to build a gun that could win from the get-go. This would be a “Spec Gun”, meaning a rifle that was personally tested and tuned by me for optimum performance before it went out to the customer.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR
The Suhl trigger is as good as it gets so no change was needed. It easily adjusts down to about 2 ounces.

Baer Stock in Bubinga Wood
There are many choices when you start to build a complete rifle. It has to shoot well and it has to catch ones eye, or it’s just another rifle on the line. I prefer wood stocks on rimfires for two reasons: they are very stable if the right wood is used and they have a certain traditional appeal to many shooters. I chose Bubinga wood for this particular gun because it is very stable and heavy, it has a very dense grain and a very pronounced figure with a natural red color. The Bubinga is a very forgiving wood to work with.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Gerry and Bruce Baer in Pennsylvania do all my stock blanks. I do all my own inletting and bedding. The blank weighed 4.5 pounds when it came off of Bruce Baer’s duplicator. This Bubinga wood is so hard that it did not need pillars, but I put them in anyway. I bed all my stocks with Loctite Steel Bed liquid and add filler to desired thickness. The final bedding is done with an aircraft tooling epoxy that does not deteriorate over time. The stock has an ebony butt plate and six (6) coats of automotive clear, polished to a “high buff” finish.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl 150-1 Action
Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire .22 LR 22LRAccurized and BN-Nickel Plated
I used a new, unfired Suhl 150-1 action. As explained in the sidebar below, the Suhl 150 actions were originally crafted in East Germany for position rifles. They have a very fast lock-time and come with an outstanding trigger. However, they need some work when adapted to a modern BR gun. The action needed to be accurized and threaded. I have a special tool that I use to accurize actions. It uses two sets of spiders for dialing-in the bolt raceway. After the bolt raceway is running true, one can thread and true up all bearing surfaces so that everything is in perfect alignment with the action raceway bore.

Suhl Action Myers benchrest .22 LR rimfireBN-Nitride Plating on Action
I decided to plate the action and all bolt parts with Boron Nitride nickel plating. I bough the BN Electroless Nickel Kit from Caswell Plating and did the job myself. I started by bead-blasting the action so that it would end up with a “satin” finish. The plating material is then applied in a tank. The Boron Nitride goes directly into the plating solution, but you need to use a pump to keep the solution agitated so the BN distributes evenly.

Once the action is completely ready (the metal must be perfectly prepped, with no contaminants), the process goes easily and can be completed in about half an hour. The end result is a very slick, low-friction finish, that is .0002″ (two ten-thousandths) thick and hard as glass. The Boron Nitride makes everything very smooth. After the plating job, the action was noticeably slicker than before.

The cone breech (photo below) permits the barrel to be INDEXED (rotated around bore axis) to any position on the clockface. You then test various rotation settings to find the best accuracy. The system does work. Some barrels shoot best in a particular rotational setting. E.g. with index mark at 3 O’clock vs. 12 O’clock.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LRFitting and Chambering the Barrel
As for a barrel, I had two good choices: one Shilen 1:16″-twist, 4-groove ratchet and one Benchmark 1:16″-twist, 3-groove. Both barrels were very accurate and at the end, I decided to leave the Shilen on the rifle because I wanted to put the Benchmark on another Suhl I’ve set aside for myself. I chambered the barrel for Eley flat nose EPS. We’ve found the gun also shoots the new Lapua X-ACT ammo very well.

The barrel finished at 25″ long and features a tuner by the Harrell brothers of Salem, Virginia. I use a flat 90° crown–it’s the most accurate and its gives a good seal against the tuner. I also use a 45°, 12-flute cutter that leaves no burr when cutting the crown. This chamfer protects the crown when cleaning the barrel. There is no sharp edge for the brush or jag to hit on the return stroke. The barrel was headspaced at .043″ and I use a tapered reamer ground by Dave Kiff of Pacific Tool & Gauge in Oregon. The chamber leade area is lightly polished to remove reamer burrs. The breech end of the barrel is machined with a 1/2″ ball end mill to produce what I call a “Myers cone breech.” Technically, it has a sloping radius as you can see, rather than a straight-sided cone. Finishing the breech in this fashion facilitates indexing the barrel, as the barrel can be rotated to any position (on the clockface), without requiring new extractor cuts.

Barrel Indexing — Finding the “Sweet Spot”

When indexing a barrel, one rotates it to different clockface positions relative to the action. Imagine marking a barrel at TDC or 12 o’clock, and then rotating it so the mark is at 3 O’clock, 6 )’clock, 9 O’clock and so on. At each position one shoots groups to determine at which index setting best accuracy is achieved.*

I know that barrel indexing is controversial. I don’t want to get into a lengthy debate other than to say that I believe that careful and thorough testing can reveal a “preferred” index position for a good barrel. With the barrel set in that particular position relative to the action I believe the barrel can yield optimal performance.

I perform the indexing tests indoors at 50 yards. I use a rail-gun with floating action. The barrel is held in place with a clamping fixture similar to an Anschutz 2000-series action. Basically, two vertically-stacked metal blocks clamp around the barrel. I can index the barrel this way simply by unclamping the barrel blocks, rotating the barrel and then re-clamping the system. I have a special system so the action can stay in the same position, even as the barrel is rotated.

It takes time and effort to get solid indexing results. Normally I shoot at least 400 rounds of ammo in 3-4 indexing sessions. Shooting a handful of groups is not enough. You may think you’ve identified the best index position, but you need to shoot many more rounds to verify that. Also, in a very good barrel, the effects of indexing may be subtle, so it will take many groups to confirm the optimal position. In my experience, really good “hummer” barrels do not benefit as much from indexing as an “average” barrel.

IR 50/50 rimfire targetAccuracy Testing with Both Barrels
I tested the rifle indoors at 50 yards at the Piney Hill Benchrest Club range. There was no finish on the stock, but it shot well in my one-piece rest with the Benchmark 16-twist, 3-groove barrel and no added weight on the tuner. I shot 30 rounds of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1064 fps) and had 25 Xs and five 10s on the IR 50/50 style target. Not too shabby for a new barrel with no special break-in.

When the Shilen barrel arrived, I installed it on the rifle. By this time the stock had been clear-coated and finished, and the action had been polished and plated. I shot the Shilen barrel outside since it was too hot in the building. The first target was a 250-19X with a new lot of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1054 fps). The gun shot well. My friend Tony Blosser asked to shoot the gun, and he drilled a 250-20X in a steady wind using the same Eley ammo. See target at right.

Myers 22LR
Bill Myers Suhl .22 LR Benchrest rifle

Advanced Procedures — Vibration Control and Tuner Position

Barrel Tuning Using 2-Way Electronic Indicators
Before competing with this rifle, I put it in a firing fixture I use to tune the barrel. I employ a pair of very expensive Swiss 2-way electronic min/max hold indicators. These measure both up movement and down movement of the barrel as the gun is fired. I can measure the actual vertical travel of the barrel at any position from the front of the receiver to the tuner. I can also tell how long the barrel vibrates, time-wise. Using this fixture I found that the Shilen barrel was very consistent in readings and seemed to work well with no additional weight on the tuner. No barrel ever stops vibrating completely — but this was close, showing less than .002″ of total movement.

Bedding and Vibration Control
I have found that measuring the actual movement of the barrel during firing tells me a lot about the quality of the bedding. I have learned that if I see very big movements (e.g. .010″ up and .005″ down), then there may be a problem with the bedding. I saw this kind of big swing on a rifle with bedding that had not cured properly.

Another pattern I watch for is uneven vertical movement. For example, if the barrel vibrates .008″ up but only .002″ down, that tells me the bedding has issues. As noted above, I look for minimal vibration travel (after the tuner is fitted and optimized), and I also want that travel to be relatively equal both up and down. Good rimfire gunsmiths agree that proper bedding has an important influence on vibration control and tuning. By measuring actual barrel movement during firing, we can, to an extent, quantify how well the bedding is working. At a minimum, we can see if there’s a serious bedding problem.

Trial by Fire — Shooting the Gun in Competition
After semi-gluing in the action, the rifle was shooting great. So, I decided to take it to the Maryland State Unlimited Championship to see if it was truly competitive — whether it could “run with the big dogs”. As it turns out, the Bubinga Suhl was more than just competitive. The rifle won three of the six cards and won the meters championship. In the photo below you can see all the trophies the gun won in its very first match. One of the other competitors in Maryland, dazzled (and perhaps a bit daunted) by the Bubinga Suhl’s stellar performance, told me: “Sell that gun Bill. Whatever you do, just get that darn rifle out of here.” Confident that this was a rifle capable of winning major matches, I packed up the rifle and shipped it to Dan Killough in Texas. Killough has shot some impressive scores with the gun.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl Target Rifles — East Germany’s Legacy

Suhl 150 rifles were manufactured in former East Germany (GDR) by the Haenel firearms factory in the town of Suhl. This region has a long history in arms production. In 1751, Sauer & Sohn founded the first German arms factory in Suhl. Following WWII, Suhl 150s were produced for Communist Bloc marksmen, including East German Olympic shooters. Prior to German unification, the East German national shooting arena was located at Suhl and hosted many top-level competitions including the 1986 ISSF World Championships.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Superb Rifles with Amazing Triggers
As a product of East Germany, the “mission” of the Suhl 150 was to rival the accuracy of the Anschütz, Walther and other premium match rifles built in the West. East German shooting teams wanted to finish on top of the podium, so they needed a rifle with superb inherent accuracy. The Suhl 150s have an outstanding trigger that can be adjusted down to about two ounces. The Suhl 150 action, like the Anschütz 54, boasts an extremely fast lock-time — an important factor in a position rifle. And Suhl barrels were legendary for accuracy.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Suhl 150 Benchrest Conversions
Many of the first used Suhl 150s that made it to America were converted to Benchrest rifles because the action/trigger/barrel combination was unbeatable for the price. Some of the barrels on these “surplus” Suhls were phenomenal — as good as any custom barrels available today. It was not unknown for a Suhl 150 barreled action, transplanted into a benchrest-style stock, to win BR matches with the original barrel. Today, however, most of the Suhl benchrest conversions end up with modern, American-made barrels. While some older Suhl barrels can “shoot with the best of ‘em”, new barrel designs optimized for use with tuners have an edge, at least in benchrest circles. That’s why builders such as Bill Myers swapped out the Suhl barrel with something like a Benchmark reverse-taper two-groove.

Suhl 150 Target RifleToday Suhl 150 rifles are very hard to find in North America. In 2006, a used Suhl 150, even without sights, might fetch $1200.00 or more. Then, in 2007 through early 2008, hundreds of Suhl match rifles were imported. This drove prices down, and those “in the know” snapped up complete Suhl 150s at prices ranging from $450 to $850 (see 2007 advert at right), depending on condition.

Many of these rifles were left “as built” and used successfully in prone competition. Others were converted into benchrest and silhouette rifles, “parted out” for the actions and triggers. If you were able to grab one of those imports at a good price–consider yourself lucky.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

* Bill Myers actually created his own clamping rimfire action to facilitate barrel indexing. CLICK HERE for Myers Rimfire Action. To index the barrel, Myers simply loosened three clamping-bolts and rotated 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. With a threaded action, you might have to use shims to test different rotational positions, or otherwise re-set the shoulder with each change.

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March 21st, 2021

Look INSIDE Remington 700 with “X-Ray” Computer Graphics

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

Ever wish you could look inside your rifle, to see how the trigger and fire-control system work? Well now that is possible with the magic of 3D computer graphics. Modern software allows detailed “cutaway” side-views (see below), as well as 3D views with 360° rotation. The software can also provide X-Ray-type views into the gun’s internals — as you can see above. And computer animation can show the complete firing process from trigger pull to chambering of the next round.

Rem 700 Cutaway View from Right Side
3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

This article provides some very cool 3-D “Cutaway View” animations of the popular Remington 700 action, probably the most successful American bolt-action ever created.

READERS — Take the time to watch the video! The Rem 700 animation is really outstanding! EVERY bolt-action shooter should watch this video all the way through.

Cutaway 3D Animation of Rem 700 Action — Watch Video

The Model 700 series of bolt-action rifles have been manufactured by Remington Arms since 1962. All are based on basically the same centerfire bolt action. They are typically sold with an internal magazine depending on caliber, some of which have a floor-plate for quick-unloading, and some of which are “blind” (no floor-plate). The rifle can also be ordered with a detachable box magazine. The Model 700 is a development of the Remington 721 and 722 series of rifles, which were introduced in 1948.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

The Remington 700 is a manually-operated bolt action with forward, dual opposed lugs. It features “Cock On Opening”, meaning the upward rotation of the bolt when the rifle is opened cocks the firing pin. A cam mechanism pushes the firing pin’s cocking piece backward. The bolt face is recessed, fully enclosing the base of the cartridge. The extractor is a C-clip sitting within the bolt face. The ejector is a plunger on the bolt face actuated by a coil spring. The bolt is of 3-piece construction, brazed together (head, body. and bolt handle). The receiver is milled from round cross-section steel.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassemblyThis video was made with the help of the World of Guns: Gun Disassembly interactive encyclopedia with 3D rendering. This remarkable web-based software allows users to view the inner workings of hundreds of different rifles and pistols — everything from a .22 LR Ruger to a .55-caliber Boys Anti-Tank rifle. There are also 25,000+ parts diagrams. This is a remarkable technical resource. SEE MORE HERE.

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