December 16th, 2017

Giving Firearms as Gifts — What You Need to Know

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on a recent NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

(more…)

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December 13th, 2017

Get Entire December Guns & Ammo Issue for FREE

Guns Ammo December Free Issue

Merry Christmas from Guns & Ammo. This publication is making its entire 106-page December 2017 issue available for FREE online from December 12, 2017 through January 9, 2018. To read the entire issue for FREE, go to: GunsandAmmo.com/freepreview.

Guns Ammo December Free IssueThe free December issue will include the 2017 Guns & Ammo of the Year Awards (page 52) and a first-look at the new Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Compact, Shield and M360 lightweight revolver. You’ll want to check out the articles about: Winston Churchill’s Mauser C.96 Pistol (page 104), the Dixie Gunworx DOA Shooting Bench (p. 38), and Concealment Furniture (page 18) that hides your home defense guns. We also recommend the NovX ammo review (page 26). NovX is a new kind of ammunition with a hybrid stainless steel and aluminum case, and polymer-coated copper bullets.

If you haven’t seen a copy of Guns & Ammo recently, here’s a chance to sit down and enjoy a large issue at no cost. We found it interesting to see Guns & Ammo’s Annual Award selections (page 52): CZ P-10 C — Handgun of the Year; Barrett Fieldcraft — Rifle of the Year; Winchester SX4 — Shotgun of the Year. To be honest, we found all those choices puzzling…

Guns Ammo December Free Issue

Guns & Ammo magazine is one of 15 publications from Outdoor Sportsman Group. The publisher claims Guns & Ammo has more than 11 million readers (29.7 readers per copy) — more readers than any other firearms publication. If that’s really true, we wonder, frankly, why the magazine isn’t a whole lot better. With that circulation, and the high percentage of display ads (over 30% of the pages) Guns & Ammo should be minting money. That should allow the Editors to do some pretty exciting stuff. Unfortunately, many of the articles seem little more than sales brochures. And you won’t find much on precision reloading or competitive rifle shooting.

By all means, check out this FREE Issue of Guns & Ammo. After all the price is right. However, we believe you’ll find more reliable, useful information on websites such as ShootingSportsUSA.com, Rifleshooter.com, PrecisionRifleBlog.com, 65Guys.com, UlimateReloader.com, and, of course, our own site AccurateShooter.com. We provide 80-90 features per month on our Daily Bulletin which is always free. We also offer a very active Shooters’ Forum with over 37,500 members. Many top-flight competitive rifle shooters, barrel-makers, and gunsmiths are Forum members. You can learn from their expertise. If you haven’t joined our Forum yet, you should.

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December 10th, 2017

December Feature Articles in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter
The latest issue of Shooting USA magazine has a detailed EIGHT-page feature on the Kestrel wind meter. This story covers the development of the Kestrel and explains the advanced technologies now offered with the hand-held Kestrel systems.

The eZine version of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) is available for free online. In the latest December 2017 issue you’ll find two excellent articles of interest to all serious rifle shooters. One covers the development of the Kestrel weather meter, which has evolved to serious levels of sophistication. Now premium Kestrels include built-in ballistic calculators and they can “talk” with mobile devices, sharing command functions and data. The second article covers shooting skills. In the first of a three-part series, Glen Zediker talks about NRA High Power rifle competition. Glen spotlights the skills you must master to move from the beginning level, Marksman, to higher levels.

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterKestrel Technology Today
The December SSUSA issue features the origin of ballistics-enabled Kestrel weather meters. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker covers the history of the Kestrel, and explains how more and more features were packed into the handheld device as it evolved. Today’s Kestrel is so much more than an impeller with wind speed/direction read-outs.

The impressive Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics software is the latest model of a product that revolutionized long-range shooting by combining ballistic computer and weather meter in one portable device. Shooters can select either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients, or to be even more specific they can select bullets from the Applied Ballistics custom curves library. With the Kestrel and its software, shooters can plot very precise trajectories, even to extreme long ranges.

READ Full Kestrel Technology Article in Shooting Sports USA »

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter


Shooting Sports USA Glen Zediker High PowerMarksman to High Master
High Power Rifle competition originally evolved from the U.S. military course of fire. Climbing the classification ranks in NRA High Power Rifle can be daunting — it requires focus, practice and commitment to move up the ladder from Marksman all the way to High Master.

In Glen Zediker’s three-part series, “Climbing the High Power Ladder”, Glen shares his tips for competitors that are looking to improve their skills beyond the intermediate level. The first installment focuses on stepping past Marksman classification to Sharpshooter. Read PART ONE HERE. In the months ahead, look for parts Two and Three in future SSUSA issues. These will cover the next stages in the climb: Expert, Master, High Master.

READ Full High Power Ladder Article in Shooting Sports USA »


Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterDVD Resource for High Power Training
If you’re serious about improving your High Power skill set, we suggest you view a DVD by David Tubb, 11-time National High Power Champion. David’s instructional DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any High Power or position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We can confirm that this video is packed with great information — novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.

David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.

If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions.

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December 5th, 2017

Competition Hardware — The Modern F-Open Rifle

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Emil Kovan is one of the top F-Class shooters in the world. He won the 2014 United States F-Open Championship. Earlier this month Emil finished second in F-Open Division at the 2016 Canadian National F-Class Championship in Ontario. Emil actually tied Open-class winner Shiraz Balolia for overall score AND “V”-count, but Emil was awarded second on the tie-breaker.

The Anatomy of a Modern F-Class Open Rifle

Report by Emil Kovan
Kovan Match Rifles LLC, www.matchrifles.com

“What are the best components for an F-Open class rifle, and why?” That’s a question that I get asked all the time and will try to answer in this article. Two months ago, I was contacted by Duane, a gentleman I met at the 2015 F-Class Nationals. He was interested in building a rifle with the new Master Class Low Profile F-Open Stock, created by Carl Bernosky and Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks.

I have known Alex Sitman for many years, and use his stocks exclusively, but was not very familiar with his new Low Profile F-Open stock. After a brief conversation with Alex, I placed an order, and had the stock inletted and bedded at my shop in a month. My first impression was “Wow that’s a long stock” — the forearm is significantly longer than on the original Master Class F-Class prone stock. I bolted the barreled action in, and squeezed the end of the forearm and barrel together, the stock flexed a little bit, but not as much as other designs that I have tested. I think that’s due to having “more meat” in the receiver area. The full stock depth continues farther forward that on some other “low profile” designs. That makes the stock stiffer in the vertical plane, reducing the hinging effect forward of the action. The stock was finished in gloss black per the customer’s request. Interestingly, I found that the multiple layers of paint and clearcoat stiffened the stock up quite a bit.

CLICK IMAGE below for full-screen version
.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Low Center of Gravity Tames Torque
Compared to the original Master Class F-Open stock, the barrel sits about an inch lower. Lower center of gravity equals less torque, and that is very important when shooting heavy bullets in fast twist barrels. Another significant improvement is that the toe of the stock is flat and parallel to the forearm. I added a 3/4″ track rail in the rear, and milled the underside of the fore-end to create two parallel “rails” in the front to help the stock track better.

One of the biggest reasons why I like Master Class stocks, is the pistol grip. I don’t shoot “free recoil” and a comfortable pistol grip is super important to me when selecting a stock. The new Master Class Low Profile stock shares the same grip as the old model. This allows the stock to accommodate either a “hard hold” style or a more free-recoil style of shooting — whatever the rifle’s owner prefers. This design versatility is one reason I recommend Master Class stocks. Shooters may experiment with either shooting style to find what suits them best.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Cartridge Choice — A 40° .284 Win Improved
Duane decided to have the barrel chambered for my 284 KMR IMP (Improved) wildcat. What is .284 KMR IMP and why choose it over the straight .284 Winchester? Improved by definition means “made better”, I took a great cartridge, and modified it to increase capacity, reduce pressure, and increase brass life.

There are many “improved” variants of the original .284 Winchester: 7mm Walker, .284 Shehane, .284 Ackley and so on. My version, the 284 KMR IMP, shares the .010″ blown-out sidewalls of the .284 Shehane, but I have further increased the case capacity by changing the shoulder angle from 35 to 40 degrees. The 284 KMR IMP allows you to almost match magnum cartridge velocity in a standard-bolt-face action. If you want to run 180gr-class 7mm bullets over 2900 FPS, it is cheaper and more convenient to have a barrel chambered in 284 KMR IMP than to spend $650 for a magnum bolt.

Tuning Loads for the .284 Win Improved Cartridges
The 284 KMR IMP seems to have two nodes, one around 2820 fps and other at 2940 fps. My match load clocks at 2935 fps with single-digit ES. Note –I selected that load based on accuracy, NOT raw speed. A lot of novice (or hard-headed) shooters make the mistake to push their cartridges to the max, and disregard more accurate loads at lower velocity.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

The sport of F-Class is rapidly growing, and the equipment used is improving constantly. I remember that only few years ago, an F-Open rifle that could shoot sub-one-inch of vertical at 300 yards was considered competitive. Now, we are pursuing sub-one-inch vertical at 600 yards! It takes a great rifle to approach that goal, but it is also up to the shooter to learn and experiment as much as possible in order to achieve success.

Dies for an Improved .284 Win Cartridge
One of the biggest challenges in campaigning a wildcat cartridge has been obtaining great dies. When searching for custom dies, it almost seems like that the odds are stacked against us. The most common problem is wait-time — custom die orders can take months to be completed. Also, most custom die makers want you to send them two or three cases, each fire-formed three times. I find that funny because if could somehow properly size the cases for three fire-forming cycles, I would not need a sizing die.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Custom-made dies should size the case just right, but sometimes the die’s internal dimensions are slightly off, and this leads to problem number two: dies sizing too much (or even worse) too little. I had a one “custom” die that would not size the bottom of the case enough. This made the extraction of fired cases very difficult. I feel that the best option (if available) for shooters interested in wildcat chambers is to have their gunsmiths make the dies. I offer that die-making service in addition to barrel chambering.

BAT Machine “M” Action
Duane decided to use a BAT M action for this rifle, and I think that he could not have made a better choice. We are blessed with many good match-quality receivers: Barnard, BAT, Borden, Kelbly, Nesika, and Stiller just to mention a few. These are all very well-made and suitable for F-Class. Among BAT Machine Co.actions, I like BAT models M, MB, and 3LL best. I prefer these because because of their size (large bedding footprint) smoothness, timing, options available, and last but not least visual appearance.

Trigger: I recommend and use Jewell triggers. Other good options are: Kelbly, CG Jackson (good 2-Stage) Anschutz (best 2-Stage for Bat and Kelbly actions), Bix’N Andy, and David Tubb.

Barrel: Duane made another good choice here. He decided to go with a Brux 1:8.5″-twist, 4-groove cut-rifled barrel. If you look at the F-Class and Long Range benchrest equipment lists, you will see that cut-rifled barrels are currently dominating. Many records have been shot with both button-rifled, and cut-rifled barrels. I have shot both, and prefer cut-rifled barrels. I am not saying that button-rifled barrels are not capable of shooting as well as cut-rifled barrels, but on average, in my experience, four out of five cut-rifled barrels (from top makers) will shoot well, vs. three out of five buttoned barrels. YMMV, but this is what I’ve observed.

Brux Barrels is not the only company that produces very accurate cut-rifled barrels. We know that Krieger, Bartlein, Satern, and Hawk Hill Custom all make fine cut-rifled barrels as well.

Scope: Duane’s rifle was fitted with a Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope with DDR-2 reticle. This optic is ultra clear, reasonably lightweight (28 oz.), super reliable, and has 1/8 MOA clicks — what you want for long range F-Class competition. In this 15-55X NF model, I like the DDR-2 reticle best, because fine cross hairs (FCH) are hard to see in heavy mirage. The DDR-2 has a heavier horizontal line, with a center dot. March scopes are also very popular and very well-made.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Thanks for reading, and keep ‘em in the middle…

Emil Kovan F-Class competition bio photoEmil Kovan Competition History:

– 2014 F-Class Open National Champion

– 2016 F-Class Open Canadian Championship, Silver Medal (tied for first on score)

– 2015 F-Class Open National Championship, Silver Medal

– F-Class Open National Championship Teams, 2015, 2014, 2013, Shooting Team Member

– Over 15 wins in Regional and State Championships in Palma, F-TR, F-Open

– 2013 U.S. National Team Member

– 2017 U.S. National Development Team Member

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December 3rd, 2017

Howa How-To: Basics of Howa Rifles and Barrel-Swapping Tips

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com built this tactical rifle (top image) with a Howa 1500 action, Shilen barrel, and MDT chassis. Below is a factory Howa 1500 Multi-Cam rifle.

Many of our readers are thinking of purchasing a Howa rifle or barreled action. These feature smooth-running actions with a good two-stage HACT trigger. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of RifleShooter.com shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger, Shilen, or other quality brand.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by RifleShooter.com
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. AccurateShooter.com’s editor mentioned there’s been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

Howa Rifles — General Background
Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot. I’m running a Tract Optics Toric on it, these are solid little rifle scopes that offer great performance for the money.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. Rifleshooter.com says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Actions — Three Options
Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there area number of differences.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at Rifleshooter.com demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Remington Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

To learn more about Howa rifles and actions, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit Brownells.com.

To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit MDTTAC.com

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December 3rd, 2017

Watch Ammo Being Made in Revealing Video

Sellier Bellot Ammunition Videos

At SHOT Show last year we visited the Sellier & Bellot pavilion. You may not have heard of this company, but it is one of Europe’s older ammunition manufacturers. The video below shows ammunition being made from start to finish, starting with raw materials. This is a fascinating video that is well worth watching. It shows some amazing machines in operation:

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

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

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

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

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

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December 2nd, 2017

Timney Triggers Donates $500,000 to Cody Firearms Museum

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

Timney Triggers has stepped up to help preserve the history of American firearms. Recently Timney pledged $500,000 to the Cody Firearms Museum renovation project. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West recently announced its plan to fully renovate the Cody Firearms Museum, opening Summer 2019. Total project cost is estimated at $12,000,000 to house the 7000+ firearms in the Museum’s collection. The National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum & Library Services have provided large grants. Notably, however, the Timney Triggers’ donation is the first substantial contribution from a major gun industry company.

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

The CFM is planning a two-floor renovation that will cater to both firearms enthusiasts and the general public. Currently, there are approximately 3,000 firearms on display. After renovation, the museum will boast over 4,500 firearms on display, multiple shooting simulators, and hands-on inter-active displays. According to CodyEnterprise.com: “The plan is to produce a special exhibit of the collection’s top 75 guns and sprinkle other firearms exhibits throughout the rest of the 325,000-square-foot museum. That includes placing guns in the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Draper Museum of Natural History, the Whitney Western Art Museum and the Plains Indian Museum.”

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

John Vehr, Owner of Timney Triggers, stated: “Our industry must support and appreciate the benefits derived from having the finest gun museum in the world educate hundreds of thousands of people who visit AND are new to guns, on the historical importance and the positive aspects of our industry.”

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers
Public domain photo from WikiMedia Commons.

Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum Ashley Hlebinsky commended Timney Triggers: “When we set out to plan the new museum, we wanted to make sure that not only our historic roots were fostered in the new museum, but that we would acquire representation from newer companies or companies whose stories haven’t been told previously in museums, solidifying their place in history.”

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December 2nd, 2017

Gun Collecting 101: Five Factors That Determine Value

Lady Diana Prince Charles shotgun
This stunning Westley Richards & Co. shotgun was made for the 1981 nuptials of Lady Diana Spencer and HRH Prince Charles. It is rare, has a unique history of ownership, and is also elaborately decorated.

Jim Supica, Director of the NRA Firearms Museum, has written a trio of articles about gun collecting. If you are thinking of starting your own collection of firearms, you should read Supica’s informative articles. The first talks about the basics of gun collecting, the second explains the five key factors that govern gun values, and the third article explains where to find rare and valuable arms. Today we want to highlight the five factors that contribute most to a gun’s value, according to Supica:

Make and Model, Condition, Rarity, History, Art — These are the five factors that … appeal to collectors and help determine the value of collectible guns.

Read Full Gun Collecting Article on NRABlog.com »

1. Make and Model

Make and model tends to be the starting point for evaluating collectible guns for most collectors and will be a basic threshold requirement for those with specialized collections.

Factors here include the quality of a particular manufacturer’s products, the historical usage of the guns in question, and the brand’s aura of romance. As an example of that last (and most intangible) factor, consider that Colt Single Action Army revolvers were for several decades the most prevalent focus for collectors interested in full-size revolvers from the post-Civil War to turn of the 20th Century-era, and there is no question that Colts were widely used during that time. In recent years, there has been a refreshing trend in gun collecting to look at a broader range of guns than the traditional blue chip Colts, Winchesters, and Lugers.

Colt Single Action Army revolver engraved
Colt Single Action Army Revolvers remain among the most prized (and collectible) firearm.

2. Condition (and Originality)

Obviously, condition plays a major role in the value of a collectible firearm. The classic advice to new collectors in this regard has always been to hold out for guns in the best condition and pay the extra premium they demand. This condition-emphasis seems to have developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early post-WWII years of gun collecting there was more interest in rare variations and history, and fewer collectors to whom a few percentage point difference in remaining original finish was of much concern.

Although the highest-condition guns continue to bring record prices, it seems that the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way, a trend met with my hearty approval. The appeal of “mint” guns has been largely lost on me, and seems to be more appropriate to coin or stamp collecting than a field in which the possible historic usage of the artifact holds so much interest and significance. There is a definite segment of the collector market that is not overly concerned with perfect condition, so long as the gun is original and has not been messed with in a more recent (and, in my opinion, usually misguided) attempt to enhance its desirability.

3. Rarity

In terms of rarity, the well-worn saying that “just because a gun is rare doesn’t mean it’s valuable” remains true to a certain extent. There may only be five known examples of a particular gun, but if only three people care about it, the market is saturated. However, there does seem to be more interest in cornering the rare variations within established collecting fields. There is a bit of a resurgence of the collecting philosophy of completing a punchlist of models and variations within a specialization, and this lead to vigorous competition for the rarest examples in these fields. In emerging collecting fields, when new research is published revealing the rarity of certain variations there can develop a brisk interest in those guns.

4. History

Individual guns with a known history of ownership by a specific individual or usage in a specific historical event have always captured the fascination of collectors, as well as historians and the general public. This seems to reflect a basic human interest and shows no sign of abatement. A positive trend here seems to be an increase in general understanding of the type of documentation which must accompany a historically attributed firearm to give it the credibility to justify a premium price, and the importance of creating and preserving such documentation.

Chuck Yeager Pistol
This Beretta has extra value because it was owned by pilot Chuck Yeager. Photo NRA Museum.

5. Art (Decorative Embellishment)

Fine engraved guns are collected more for their artistic value than for their worth as firearms. Here the market for classic works by the great engravers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries remains strong, as well as for factory-engraved pieces from more recent years. Interest in recent non-factory engraving seems to have diminished, as has… the trend of adding modern engraving to older firearms.

engraved pistols Ben Shostle Luger Mauser Colt
Here is a matching set of three three beautifully engraved pistols by the late Indiana engraving wizard Ben Shostle — a Luger, a Mauser, and a Colt. Photo courtesy Amoskeag Auction Company.

Factory-custom engraving should not be confused with mass-produced, factory-made commemorative firearms, which flooded the market in the 1960s and 1970s. A couple of major manufacturers worked this genre to death, and prices on commemoratives have been stagnant for many years now, although the market for these shows some signs of renewal.

CAUTIONARY WORDS about RESTORATION
With prices for high-condition original finish guns running away from the budgets of many collectors, period-of-use refinished guns and older factory-refinished guns are finding more enthusiastic buyers than they did a few years ago.

The availability of excellent-quality restoration services is another factor that I anticipate may impact collector preferences in the future. The top restoration artists are reworking guns to “as new” condition with such skill that it has become increasingly difficult for even knowledgeable collectors to distinguish mint original finish guns from the best restorations.

When such restoration is disclosed to a prospective buyer (as it ethically should be), the prices the gun will bring are significantly below a similar gun with original finish, and may be less than the original cost of the pre-restoration gun plus the cost of the rework. This creates a mighty incentive for deception by a motivated seller, either by active misrepresentation (a.k.a. “fraud”) or passively by simple failure to mention the modification.

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November 30th, 2017

How to Get Started in the PRS Game

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

Watch PRS 2012 Championship (Click arrows icon to view full-screen version.)

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed three years worth of match results (2014, 2015, 2016) from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read an article that reveals what the “top guns” use. (CLICK HERE for PRB cartridge survey covering 2012-2014.)

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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November 26th, 2017

Half-MOA Handgun — 6mm BR Savage Striker Pistol

Savage Striker pistol 6mmBR 6BR

Here’s something you’ve probably never seen before — a single-shot, bolt-action pistol chambered for the 6mm BR Norma cartridge. Featured as one of our Guns of the Week a while back, this Green Machine is a Savage Striker upgraded by Chuck G. from Arizona, a self-described “Savage Maniac”.

Chuck transformed this Savage Striker single-shot from a ho-hum .308 into a reliable half-MOA precision 6BR that can run with accurized rifles all the way out to impressively long ranges. Here we provide highlights from our original article. Click the link below to read our full Savage Striker article, which is three times longer than this story, and has more photos, plus videos and a detailed load development section.

READ Full Savage Striker 6mm BR Gun of the Week Story »

The Striker Project — Pursuit of Precision, by Chuck G.
I didn’t even know Savage Strikers existed until I saw one for sale on Gunbroker.com. I snagged it with a $400 bid. My idea was to build an accurate, long-range pistol on a pauper’s budget. As purchased, the Striker had a .308 barrel with an unknown round count, the standard center-grip, black synthetic stock, an odd two-piece custom brake, and an old Burris 4X pistol scope in a Conetrol 2-piece ring set. The trigger was very heavy, 6-8 lbs I’d estimate, with a lot of take-up and over-travel.

Initial Disappointments — Too Much Recoil, Poor Accuracy
My initial attempts to get the Striker to shoot well at even 100 yards were disappointing. I was never able to get better than a 3″, 5-shot group at 100. Not what I was looking for. Being used to benchrest triggers, the pull on this one was hard for me to manage. The gun would roll around on any type of front rest I had, and from a cement bench on a bipod it would jump about 18 inches up and sideways with every round. Not being used to this type of gun, I found the recoil and muzzle blast to be unsettling. It was hard not to flinch. I started off using my 1K .308 rifle load, 175 SMKs over 44 grains of Varget. That probably would have knocked the hell out of a deer, but it wasn’t much fun to shoot from the bench.

Savage Striker Pistol 6mm BR 6BR

New Caliber, New Barrel — Way Better Accuracy!
I decided to rebuild the Striker in a caliber that would be more fun to shoot. 6mmBR was an obvious choice for all the usual reasons–good brass, wide choice of match bullets, easy to load, low recoil, very accurate, and relatively cheap to shoot. As part of a SavageShooters.com group buy, I ordered a 15″, SS match grade, 3-groove, heavy varmint contour, 10-twist barrel from Pac-Nor. To set the freebore, I provided Pac-Nor with a dummy case with an 88gr LD Berger bullet seated to use as a guide. Total delivered price was $340 chambered and threaded for a muzzle brake from JP Rifles.

Savage Striker 6mmBR 6BR PacNor

When I bought it, the Striker, with factory .308 barrel, shot 3″ groups at 100. Now, with a Pac-Nor 6BR Match barrel, 3″ fore-arm plate, upgraded trigger, 24X scope, and match bullets, the gun consistently groups 1/2″ or better at 100 yards. What a transformation!”

Striker Project — Mission Accomplished
With further load development and bench practice, the gun is showing even more accuracy potential. Using a 24X target scope, the Striker has delivered 5-shot groups in the 3s and 4s during recent range visits. All in all, I’m very satisfied with the project. I ended up with an accurate, fun-to-shoot gun for under $1,000 including scope, paint, and bedding materials.

Savage Striker 6BR 6mm BR Norma

Stock Modifications
While waiting for the barrel I started working on the stock. As virtually no aftermarket stocks were readily available for the center-grip Striker, I decided to rebuild the standard black synthetic stock. The grip fit my hand poorly so I worked it over with a Dremel tool and sandpaper, built up the grip with Bondo, filled in some holes and bedded the action using Devcon Plastic Steel. This was my very first attempt at these tasks so progress was slow. Once I had re-shaped the stock, I sprayed five coats of “John Deere” green topped by several coats of auto clear. It came out surprisingly well considering I had never painted a stock before. I had originally planned to build up the fore-end to 3″ wide using Bondo but later decided to just use a Sinclair Benchrest Adapter that I had on hand.

Savage Striker 6BR 6mmBR

Chuck notes: “I’m really pleased with the C & J one-piece Rest. It’s solid, heavy, and well-designed. There is no real need for a windage top; small adjustments are easily made by slightly shifting the pistol butt. Elevation adjustments are positive and once the pistol is set up on this rest NOTHING moves.”

READ Full Savage Striker Gun of the Week Story »

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November 18th, 2017

TSA Tips for Traveling Safe During the Holiday Season

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

Thanksgiving is almost here. We know many readers will soon be traveling to spend the holiday with family members. If you will be flying with firearms this November, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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November 15th, 2017

Pistol Fundamentals Explained — Infographic and Video

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control. Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for FULL INFOGRAPHIC with SIX LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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November 11th, 2017

Oregon Wilderness Camp Serves Recent Combat Veterans

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Finding Peace On The Other Side Of War
NRA Blog Story by Catherine Parks, Divide Camp Volunteer

For combat veterans there is a great divide between life pre-war and life post-war. Soldiers prepare, train and are equipped to go to a war zone, but, upon returning home, physically and psychologically injured veterans struggle to assimilate back into a normal life. Divide Camp, located in northeastern Oregon, honors the service of post 9-11 combat veterans through small-group outdoor adventures. The non-profit camp offers hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. Learn More HERE.

Divide Camp provides lodging, home-cooked meals and transportation at no charge to the veterans served. The camp features 40 acres of remote forestland, six cabins, a shop and an outdoor picnic shelter. In 2014, The NRA Foundation funded its first grant to Divide Camp — $15,000 for an Action Trackchair — to allow amputee veterans to traverse the mountain terrain.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Another grant in 2015 funded pistol range construction, safety gear and targets. Initial range work for a competition 3-D archery course shootable from a Trackchair began with funding from an NRA Foundation grant in 2016.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

How Divide Camp Helps Rebuild Lives
Army veteran Jose Martinez stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Following numerous surgeries and months of therapy, Jose was fitted with prosthetics, which allowed him to walk. Still, extreme depression set in and two suicide attempts followed. On his first day at Divide Camp, Jose used the new all-terrain wheelchair to hunt. “I missed the first couple of times, but my friends didn’t give up on me and Divide Camp didn’t give up on me, and I got one the next morning,” Jose said. “Elk hunting was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. How many amputees in California can say they shot an elk?” Jose stayed in a new cabin built to accommodate veterans with disabilities.

Just being in nature is an amazing healer
Julie Wheeler, Divide Camp executive director, has served as a critical incident stress worker to help others prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. She is familiar with what happens when people are exposed to high stress and trauma. “I know it takes a long time to overcome,” Julie said. “I think they need help beyond what’s provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is drugs and therapy. Just being in nature is an amazing healer.”

Read Full Story on NRABlog.com »

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

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November 9th, 2017

British Shooter Wins Big at CMP Western Games

CMP 2017 Western Games

Ellis Wins Three-Gun and Four-Gun Titles at 2017 Western CMP Games
Story based on Report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
In a masterful showing of marksmanship, William Ellis of Langley, England won both the Three-Gun and Four-Gun Aggregate rifle competitions during the CMP Western Games in Phoenix last month. 2017 was a great year for Ellis, who first traveled to the Western Games in 2009. William’s 2017 performances earned him the second Distinguished Rifleman Badge by a non-U.S. citizen this past year.

CMP Western Games Vintage Sniper rifle

Earning twin Aggregate Titles was a great accomplishment for Ellis, who had nearly won three years ago. In 2014, Ellis was the runner-up (second-place) in both 3-Gun and 4-Gun. But this was Ellis’s year — he was unstoppable. He shot superbly in the Arizona desert, taking the top spot in the Springfield Rifle Match along with second place in the Vintage Military Match. Those strong showings helped earn Ellis the 3-Gun and 4-Gun overall victories. To accompany his centerfire victories, Ellis shot great in the Rimfire Match, winning the Tactical Class. This was truly a masterful five days of shooting by Ellis.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Ellis Will Be Featured on Shooting USA
The media took notice of Ellis, who may have traveled farther than any other competitor at this year’s Western Games. Ellis will be featured in a Carbine Match video segment by Shooting USA TV, which filmed portions of the 2017 CMP Western Games for an upcoming episode.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Other Winners at CMP Western Games — Ben Avery Shooting Facility, October 13-17, 2017

Garand Match: Randall Dwornik, 287-3X
Vintage Military: William Fairless, 290-7X
Modern Military: Jeffrey Schneider, 293-6X

Vintage Sniper Team Match:
Manual Class: Michael Miller, Mike Barranco – 393-11X
Vintage Sniper Semi-Auto Class: SSG Steven Ophoff, Jeffrey Schneider – 364-8X

CLICK HERE for Complete Western Games Results | CLICK HERE for Western Games Photos

Training and Instruction at Western Games
Along with competitive events, Western Games also featured a Small Arms Firing School class, a Garand-Springfield-Military new competitor clinic, and a High Power Level II Range Officer class.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Hot Day-Time Temps and Wicked Night Winds at Ben Avery
2017 Western Games competitors experienced hot weather in Phoenix. Temperatures reached well into the 90s each day. The afternoon of the Sniper team match day saw temps topping out at 102° F. But the real weather problem was a gale-force wind that howled one night. The CMP’s 30 electronic targets were set up on the berm in front of the High Power rifle range pits wall. After the Small Arms Firing School was concluded, 40+ MPH overnight wind gusts toppled the entire target line. Thanks to the CMP staff and several competitors, the majority of the targets were reset, and all matches were fired upon them for the scheduled day and the remainder of the matches.

About the CMP Western Games at Ben Avery
The CMP Western Games include Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine, and Vintage Sniper matches. The October Western Games event is the last of the CMP Travel Games events held each year. The other Travel Games, hosted in Oklahoma, North Carolina, and New England, feature both vintage and modern rifle and pistol events — recreational competition for both adults and juniors and all experience levels. The Western Games is the only Travel event for rifles only.

CMP 2017 Western Games

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November 9th, 2017

Access Nine Years of Shooting Sports USA Magazine Online

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
Winter is right around the corner. Soon we’ll all be spending more time indoors. For some folks, that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. We have a better idea — there’s a vast resource of good gun-related content available online for free. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

It’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: Using the gray Toolbar at the top, click on the “Archives” icon in the upper right area (blue arrow) and you’ll be presented with a selection of magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. Simply use the vertical scroll bar to go from 2017 all the way back to 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

How to Find and Save Articles
To search through back issues, select “More Options” from the gray Toolbar. Then click the “Search” button. When that opens, select either “Search archives” for ALL back issues or select “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you could search for “F-Class” or “Camp Perry”. You can also save any archived issue for viewing offline as a PDF file. Just click “Save” to download the article you’re reading.

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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November 3rd, 2017

Learn How the Human Ear Works — And Protect Your Hearing

hearing protectionAll shooters, even rimfire enthusiasts, should always wear ear protection when at the range. A typical rifle gunshot is very loud — in the region of 140 to 170 decibels (the pain threshold is 130-140 db). Without ear protection, you can permanently damage your hearing during a single shooting session. We all know older shooters who are partially deaf, or who suffer from Tinnitus, because they didn’t use earplugs or muffs when they were younger.

How Humans Hear Sounds — Amazing Video Reveals All
The human sense of hearing involves multiple delicate internal membranes, bones, organs, and nerves. Shooters understand the importance of protecting their hearing, but they may not understand the bio-mechanics of human hearing. We hear sounds through Auditory Transduction. Sound waves vibrate the ear drum (tympanic membrane), but that is only the beginning. These vibrations are passed along via tiny rocker-arm-like bones to be “processed” in a spiral chamber, the cochlea. Vibrations moving through the cochlea are separated into frequencies and then sent as neural messages to the brain. It is an astonishingly complex process, one that truly seems miraculous when you examine the bio-engineering involved. In the Video below, the process of human Auditory Transduction is explained and illustrated with 3D animation. You really should watch this amazing video. By the end you will have a new-found appreciation for your ability to hear.

This remarkable VIDEO explains how humans hear sounds. We strongly recommend you take the time to watch and learn. The hearing you save may be your own!

Ear diagram courtesy Siemens Medical Solutions.

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October 31st, 2017

6XC II — Great 6mm Option For Precision Rifle Series

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma
Rifle Crafted by PremierAccuracy.com. Inset 6XC II photo by 6mmAR.com.

With all the buzz about the 6.5 Creedmoor and its 6mm Creedmoor little brother, some folks forget that we’ve had an outstanding mid-sized, Across-the-Course cartridge for a long time — the 6XC. Pioneered by 11-time National High Power champion David Tubb, the 6XC has won national High Power championships, excelled in mid-range prone matches, and performed great in the varmint fields. It has also been used successfully by many Precision Rifle Series competitors. It’s no wonder — the 6XC has less recoil than a 6.5mm Creedmoor, there is a great selection of superb 6mm bullets, and Norma-made 6XC brass is high-quality and reasonably priced from DavidTubb.com.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

PRS Rifle with Modern 6XC II Chamber
Forum member Grimstod posted this new 6XC II rifle in our long-running Pride and Joy Rifle Thread. Grimstod notes: “These 6XC Gen IIs seam to be a hot commodity lately. This one is for PRS. It features a Premier Accuracy Atlas action made by Kelbly. The bolt and heavy-taper, fluted barrel are Ceracoted to match. I really like the ejectors on these Atlas actions. The stock is a KRG X-Ray painted in Premier Accuracy exclusive colors. The Kelbly Atlas action does not have any modifications. So far every Kelbly action we have tried has had perfect timing and trigger fall. We have been supper pleased with them. I look forward to using a lot more of these excellent actions.”

What is the 6XC II you may ask? That designates a 6XC with a chamber dimension optimized for Norma brass. It turns out that Norma brass is a bit bigger at the bottom than the 22-250 brass from which the 6XC originated. Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has created two new JGS reamer specs that fit the Norma brass perfectly, improving feeding and extraction. Here is Robert’s Report:

The 6XC II Chamber — Upgraded for Today’s Norma 6XC Brass

by Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com
The 6XC II Chamber works perfectly with the Norma 6XC brass and resolves the “sticky bolt lift” issue. The original 6XC chambering was designed based off the usage of 22-250 brass which typically has a web diameter in the range of .461″-.463″. The area of the chamber just forward of the web on the original 6XC chambering was .4695″ which left plenty of clearance.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

When Norma 6XC brass became available Norma appears to have developed the base of the case from the .308 Winchester line of cases which have a larger web diameter. The web diameter of the Norma brass typically measures right around .4685″ which leaves almost no diameter clearance.

As shooters would use Norma 6XC brass in an original 6XC chamber they typically would experience “sticky bolt lift” due to the lack of clearance and the fact that the large web diameter of the brass prohibited the re-size dies (no matter how small the base diameter was) from squeezing the brass down enough to create sufficient clearance. The 6XC II chamber resolves this issue. You can order 6XC II sizing dies from 6mmAR.com that work perfectly with this re-designed chambering. 6XC II die sets are in stock now — call (215) 348-8789 to order.

6XC II Long Range Reamer (Throated long for 105-115gr Bullets):
The 6XC II-LT reamer below is throated long to keep the full bearing surface of 110-115gr bullets forward of the neck/shoulder junction of the case. Note, 6mmAR.com has also developed a shorter-freebore version for 6mm bullets with shorter bearing surface. SEE shorter 6XC II Reamer Print.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

– Resolves the “sticky bolt lift” problem shooters experienced using the Norma 6XC Brass in the original 6XC chambers.

– Chamber accepts all 6XC brass or ammo with no modification. Take your existing 6XC brass or ammo and use it without issues.

– Works well with existing Norma 6XC brass, or 6XC brass made from re-formed Winchester and Remington 22-250 brass.

– 6XC II Sizing dies and die sets are available from 6mmAR.com and in stock.

6XC II custom dies redding

If you are looking for someone to chamber your rifle or re-barrel an existing rifle in the 6XC II chamber, Fred at Sabreco, Inc. in Skippack, PA, (610) 584-8228 can help you. He has the reamers for the cartridge as well as the head space gauges for the cartridge, and has had extensive experience chambering many barrels and rifles.

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October 29th, 2017

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters

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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October 28th, 2017

Fathers and Sons Compete at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Terry Mathy (right) watched as his father Dusty (left) fired on electronic targets for the first time.

Here’s a “feel-good” account of father and son duos who competed this year at the CMP’s modern Talladega Marksmanship Park. It’s great to see fathers introduce their children to the shooting sports, and carry on the tradition of marksmanship from generation to generation.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, integrity and to build trust. There are so many lessons in shooting sports, and in hunting, which apply to other areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to build an understanding of the freedoms we enjoy, why we have those freedoms and why we must act responsibly to preserve them.”

“It makes me proud when others approach us at the range and compliment [my son] Terry on his safety and etiquette. There are no stronger bonds between father and son than those formed in the woods, on the water, and at the range.” — Dusty Mathy

Through the Eyes of Father and Son: The Affinity of Marksmanship
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

The Talladega Marksmanship Park is a major draw for marksmen around the country. Just ask father/son duo Dusty and Terry Mathy. Back in June 2017, SSG Dusty Mathy (U.S. Army) visited Talladega for the first time. Dusty brought along all four members of his family: wife Rachel, son Terry (9) and daughter Olivia (8). The Mathy family traveled all the way from their Kansas home to attend the Talladega D-Day matches.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
During the D-Day event, father Dusty Mathy earned a medal for his Carbine Match performance and posed with his son, Terry (left).

During the D-Day match, father Dusty took his first shots on outdoor electronic High Power targets, an experience he won’t soon forget: “That alone was worth the trip… Shooting an entire EIC match, start to finish in about 90 minutes, with no pit duty, [was] priceless.” Son Terry helped out by recording scores: “I marked my Dad’s shots in the data book, and looking at the electronic targets saved time. The match was much faster, and it was easy to see how my dad was doing. And easy to mark his shots.”

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama is a 500-acre facility featuring modern electronic target systems with monitors at each shooting station.

For Dusty and Terry, marksmanship is more than putting shots through a target — it’s a way of building character and … enjoying life together. When Terry was 7, the two shot at their first Project Appleseed event, where they learned about American history as well as marksmanship. Now the father and son regularly shoot at a local 300-yard Vintage Sniper Match using Terry’s .223 Savage Axis in Open class. Terry’s skills continue to improve each time he fires — his personal best so far is 97-3X.

During the week the Mathy family visited the South CMP Store in Anniston and took a tour of the CMP’s impressive armory. The family also attended the barbeque the CMP hosts as a “thank you” for competitors and guests. “It was outstanding,” said Dusty of his family’s experience. “We met some really great people at the matches. Rachel and Olivia really appreciated the relaxing environment in the Club House and being able to sit at the little covered bleachers during the matches.”

The Lewis Father and Son Team at Talladega
There was another father and son team at the Talladega during the D-Day event in June 2017. LTC Jerry Lewis and his son Josh Lewis (16) of Fayetteville, Georgia, both attended and competed in the Talladega D-Day event together. Though still in high school, Josh is an accomplished marksman who learned his skills from his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. military.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Josh Lewis shoots M1 Garand (.30-06 Sprg) while his father Jerry Lewis tallies the score.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Jerry and Josh Lewis are another example of family teams who enjoy Talladega’s competitions and deluxe shooting facilities. There are shotgun and pistol ranges along with the rifle range.

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October 28th, 2017

Wow Factor: Muzzle Brake Blast Patterns Revealed

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

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

GO to PRB Muzzle Brake Blast Pattern TEST PAGE »

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

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

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

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