February 13th, 2021

Triggers for AR Platform Rifles — Single-Stage and Two-Stage

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

AR-platform rifles are fun and versatile, but the standard, mil-spec triggers leave much to be desired. They tend to be gritty, with creep and heavy pull weight. One of the easiest, most effective AR upgrades is a trigger group swap. An improved fire control group makes a huge difference. There are many aftermarket trigger options for the AR platform rifles. Choose single-stage or two-stage, either standard trigger assembly or unitized “drop-in” trigger, such as those made by Timney or Triggertech.

Read Full AR Trigger Article in NRA Blog HERE »

AR15 Space Gun trigger
When upgraded with a precision trigger and match barrel, AR-platform rigs work great in NRA High Power competitions (Photo from NRA Blog, at Camp Perry).

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stageTwo-Stage vs. Single-Stage Triggers
Two-stage triggers have two separate movements. The first stage offers a light, spring-loaded pressure that works against the shooter’s pull until stopping at the second stage – this is called “take-up”. If there is no spring pressure, it is known as “slack”. Should the shooter continue to pull the trigger once he’s arrived at the second stage, the mechanism will operate like a single-stage trigger from there until engaging the sear and firing the gun. Some shooters prefer a two-stage trigger because it allows a mental preparation (first stage) before the final decision to “break the shot”.

Single-stage triggers feature no take-up or slack, as they begin engaging the sear as soon as the shooter begins pulling the trigger. Some competitive shooters prefer the two-stage trigger because of the feedback it provides during its first stage, while other shooters, including those using their rifle in tactical scenarios, may want the surety of a single-stage trigger, ready to engage and fire once their finger is inside the trigger guard. Regardless of preference, a good trigger will feature minimal creep and should be free of grittiness, providing a smooth, even break.

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

Drop-In Trigger Assembly vs. Standard Trigger Group
Once you decide between a single-stage or two-stage trigger, you can choose between standard and drop-in trigger groups. Standard trigger groups feature all the fire control group parts separated, and need to be pieced together and installed much like a mil-spec trigger, while drop-in trigger are pre-assembled and contained within a casing that simply drops in to the receiver and accepts the pins, hence the name.

After-Market Trigger Comparison

Some shooters prefer drop-in triggers due to the ease of installation, while others opt for standard groups so they can access the components individually for cleaning adjustment or replacement. If one piece of a drop-in trigger fails, you’ll need to either replace the entire unit or send it to the manufacturer for repair, whereas you may be able to simply replace the broken component of a standard trigger without needing a whole new trigger set.

Trigger Terminology — “Creep”, “Stacking”, “Overtravel”
“Creep” or “travel” is the distance the trigger moves between the end of take-up and when the trigger breaks to fire the fun. Too much creep can affect accuracy, but no creep can be unsafe, as the shooter may not be prepared to fire. “Stacking” occurs when the trigger weight actually increases during travel — this shouldn’t happen. Lastly, “overtravel” is the distance the trigger continues moving back after the gun fires.

This article is based on a longer story in the NRA Blog.

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February 12th, 2021

Gun Safety Extra Important Now with Many Schools Still Closed

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

In school districts in many states, public schools remain closed due to concerns over COVID-19. That means kids are home, and in the Northern States with snow on the ground, those kids are stuck inside all day long. With more gun owners at home with their kids for extended periods, firearms safety is more important than ever. Given that fact, the NSSF reminds gun owners to keep their guns locked up so they cannot be accessed by children.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and its partners urge gun owners to keep firearm safety a top priority and are making safety resources widely available as gun and ammunition sales increase, especially among first-time firearm purchasers.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

“During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, the firearm industry reminds gun owners that protecting yourself and your family includes making sure your firearms are stored securely when not in use”, said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “The last thing any firearm owner wants is to have their gun fall into the wrong hands, particularly those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”

For anyone considering buying a gun, Project ChildSafe’s Road To Responsible Firearm OwnershipMany Paths to Firearm Safety video series helps gun owners determine the best safe storage device for their home/lifestyle. You also view the Safe Storage Options chart.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

NSSF encourages gun owners and non-gun owners to use the firearm safety resources available on its Project ChildSafe website. These include the McGruff Gun Safety videos for young children and this educational video explaining how to discuss gun safety with children:

“More parents are assuming the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good to time have a talk with your kids about gun safety, even if you don’t own a gun”, Bartozzi said. “If you do own a firearm, be sure your family understands the safety rules regarding firearms in your home, and always store guns responsibly when not in use.”

For more information on firearm safety, visit ProjectChildSafe.org.

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February 11th, 2021

RCBS Lock-Out Die for Progressive Presses — Be Smart, Be Safe


The RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used with some Dillon and Hornady progressive presses.

RCBS Lock-out dieIf you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works. Your Editor uses it on his RCBS 2000 progressive press. I can affirm that a Lock-Out Die has “saved my bacon” a half-dozen times over the years when there was an over-charge (which could cause a Kaboom) or a low charge (which could cause a squib load).

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out dieIt takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive (see video below) or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). The RCBS 2000 has one more station than a Dillon 550/650, so it’s an ideal platform for using the Lock-Out Die.

Learn More at UltimateReloader.com
On the UltimateReloader.com website, run by our friend Gavin, you’ll find an excellent two-part series on the function and set-up of the RCBS Lock-Out Die. Part One explains how the Lock-Out Die functions, using cut-away illustrations. Part Two shows how to install and adjust the Lock-Out Die on various progressive presses. The Ultimate Reloader video at the top of this article shows setup of the RCBS Lock-Out Die on the Dillon XL-650 progressive press, while the Reloading Bench video below shows the Lock-Out Die on a Hornady LnL progressive.

Images © 2011 UltimateReloader.com, used by permission.
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February 11th, 2021

How to Ship Guns, Scopes, and Hardware Safely — Packing Tips

Shipping information news Fedex UPS USPS postal service

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXGun guys are always shipping stuff around the country — whether it’s a barrel to be chambered, or a scope that needs to go back for warranty repair. Or maybe you’ve sold some bullets or reloading dies you no longer need. To ensure your precious packages get to their destination in one piece, it’s important to take precautions when boxing up your items. And by all means insure packages for full value — even if your packaging is perfect, there is always the possibility that your shipment might be lost altogether. Sadly, that can happen, no matter which carrier you choose: Fedex, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here are some tips for shipping gun stuff — we explain how to pack items properly and how to minimize the risk of loss.

Tips for Shippers
Dennis Haffner from McGowen Precision Barrels offers some advice on how to avoid damage when shipping gun parts or other valuable or heavy items. Dennis explains:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“First, I started double-packing the contents and in many cases double-boxing. I spend a fortune on heavy-reinforced shipping tape. If the contents are loosely packed, the package is going to get crushed. On real important items or delicate items, wrap the content in plastic and spray the inside void areas with non-expanding foam. They make shipping foam just for this. This method really works. Since I started paying more attention to packaging, I have just about wiped out my issues with all three companies (Fedex, UPS, USPS). Yes, I hate doing it, but in the long run for us, it’s cheaper.

Bullet shipments are the worst — a shipment of 500+ bullets can destroy a cardboard box. I have ordered bullets from individuals who put them in baggies and filled the remainder of the box with foam peanuts. That is not going to work. Any piece of metal, including a die, will puncture a cardboard box, or destroy a padded envelope. Just look at the tracking information and imagine your package bouncing around in the back of the shipping truck, probably under many other packages. My advice is to NEVER use padded envelopes. Barrel nuts or recoil lugs will most likely never make it.

ORM-D items are required to be shipped in heavily-reinforced, double-walled containers. The packages still get a little damage, but the contents usually survive.

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXHow do shipments get damaged? Consider this — one of the shipping companies this year flipped (overturned) one of our new CNC machines (which rendered it useless). Maybe your small packages were in the same delivery truck as my CNC machine. I wonder how many little boxes were crushed underneath it.

As for USPS flat rate boxes — you would not believe what people try to stuff in these boxes. USPS finally put a weight limit on the boxes — they had to. I sometimes take my delicate items packed in an envelope or small box. I spray foam in a larger flat rate box and insert the smaller package, then fill the remainder of the void with foam. It works, and part usually arrives undamaged.”

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX
Shipping Rifle Barrels (PVC Tube and Tennis Ball Method)
A new match-grade barrel can cost $350 or more, and it might take six months (or more) to replace it, given the current wait time with top barrel-makers. So, you don’t want your nice new tube to get damaged in transit. Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “M-61″) offers these tips for shipping rifle barrels:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“Packing a barrel can be a problem. Here’s a shipping method that won’t stop lost shipments but so far has stopped damage. Get a PVC pipe (of size appropriate to your barrel) with fitted caps for each end. Attach a cap to one end. Tape the barrel threads and tape over the muzzle. Then drop one standard tennis ball into the pipe. Place barrel in pipe. Next add whatever peanuts or foam you can jam in to support the barrel on the sides. Then place a second tennis ball into the opposite end of the PVC pipe. (So now you have a tennis ball on either end of your barrel.) With everything secure inside, attach the upper cap and tape it down securely. With this packing procedure, when the carrier launches the pipe like a javelin, at least the barrel will not come through like a spear and be gone. Label the pipe with very large address labels so no one suspects it’s just garbage laying around. This procedure may seem ridiculous but it has worked for me. Oh and definitely get insurance. If your item is insured, the shippers will look harder to find it.”

Editor’s Note: Fedex also makes a triangular-profile cardboard shipping box. This 38″ x 6″ x 6″ x 6″ Fedex Tube (designed for blueprints and posters) is free for the asking. For most barrels, there should be enough clearance to hold your PVC tube (with barrel packed inside tube). However, don’t ship the barrel inside the cardboard box by itself. Cap and pad the ends and bubble wrap it heavily, or better yet, use the PVC tube method described above, with the PVC tube inside the box.

For More Packing and Shipping Advice, Read this Forum Thread.

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February 10th, 2021

Gun Cleaning Explained in 15 Gun-Specific How-To Videos

Hoppe's gun cleaning how to videos youtube #9

Hoppe’s has added new videos to its “How to Clean” Series, which provides step-by-step cleaning instructions for some of today’s most popular firearms. The 15-part video series can be seen on YouTube, Hoppes.com, and Hoppe’s Facebook page. There are now 15 Hoppe’s How-to-Clean videos hosted on Youtube and the Hoppes website.

Firearms Featured in Hoppes Gun Cleaning Series:
Glock 17
Mossberg 500
Remington 700
Remington 870
Remington 1187
Ruger 10-22
Ruger LCP II
Ruger PC Carbine
Ruger Vaquero
Savage 555
Savage MSR-15
Smith & Wesson Model 36
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
Springfield 1911 A1
Winchester Model 70

Developed to provide effective, yet easy-to-follow cleaning instructions for a variety of different firearms, the Hoppe’s video series is a very helpful resource for first time gun owners. The “How to Clean” series also serves as a valuable refresher course for any firearms enthusiast. In the videos, host Luke Williams (Outdoors By Luke), covers recommended cleaning procedures for numerous popular rifles, pistols and shotguns. Below we link four videos from the series: Remington 700, MSR-15, Mossberg 500, and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

How to Clean Remington 700 Rifle

IMPORTANT NOTE: Here at AccurateShooter.com, with our custom match rifles, we may use different methods than shown above. Our preferred cleaning procedures may employ both different tools and different cleaning solvents/supplies. For example we like to use Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner with two applications while the barrel is still warm. With every new barrel, we recommend cleaning conservatively until you learn what works best for your particular barrel and shooting style. Long strings of rapid-fire shooting can create tough barrel-fouling issues that may not arise when shooting slow-fire and cleaning every 40-50 rounds. In addition, some powder types foul much worse than others.

How to Clean AR-Platform Savage MSR-15 Rifle

How to Clean Mossberg 500 Shotgun

How to Clean Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Pistol

These Videos Are Particularly Useful for New Gun Owners
“As the industry welcomes more first time firearms owners than ever before, the need to provide helpful cleaning instructions has never been greater”, said Eliza Graves, Sr. Brand Manager for Hoppe’s. “Through our instructional video series, longtime and novice gun owners alike can easily find helpful tips that will keep their firearms running like new”.

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February 9th, 2021

Reading Mirage to Determine Wind Speed and Angle

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

How to Read Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Note: This article was written by Glen Zediker. Sadly, Glen passed away in October of 2020. However, you can still order his books from Midsouth and read his articles in the Midsouth Blog.

Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are multiple resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen, who passed away in 2020, was an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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February 8th, 2021

Confirm Your Scope Clicks with Tall Target Test

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The tall target test determines if your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. Do NOT max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test. I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they are not the same.”

Tall Target Test For Milrad Scopes with B2B Target

Box Bench precision sniper's hide Precision Rifle Tall Target milrad mils

This Precision Rifle Network video shows how to do a scope-tracking test using the pre-printed Sniper’s Hide Tall Target from Box to Bench Precision (B2B). With the primary line divisions in MILs, this printed target is perfect for Milliradian scopes. From bottom of the vertical line to the top there are 10 mils (36 inches) of travel. The markings are high contrast to make the testing easier.

In this video, there are some very helpful tips on setting up the target frame correctly and making sure the Tall Target is perfectly vertical. A plumb line can help. In this video the vertical tracking of a Burris XTR III 5.5-30x56mm scope is tested. Actual testing begins at 7:20 time-mark. The Precision Rifle Network has many other informative videos, with a new video released every week.

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

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February 7th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: How to Find Great Rifles at Live Gun Auctions

David Buffington Live Auction Morphy Auctions
It’s easy to lust for those rare showpiece rifles at high-end auctions, but the author cautions readers to target the best deals, stick to your plan, and honor your monetary limits.

Buying at Gun Auctions — Be Crazy, Crazy Good

By Dave Buffington
“They’re crazy!” — You hear that all the time about live gun auctions. People love to rant about how people pay too much money for too many guns at too many auctions. It’s natural. And wrong.

I’ve been attending live gun auctions regularly for more than a decade — as many as 40 a year. I’ve learned that for every item that sells for a silly price, several sell for fair money and some — more than a few — have turned out to be great buys.

Just last summer, I bought a competition-grade STI 1911 in excellent condition for $670 at a live auction. Just this winter, at the height of the gun buying frenzy, I scored a highly desirable, rarely-found Anschütz 54.18 MSR in new-in-box condition for just $1,800. I then flipped that Anschütz for $3,000 just two weeks later. That $1200 gain represents a 66% profit — not bad for a little savvy shopping at an auction.

David Buffington SAKO L461 Vixen .222 Remington Leupold Vari-X II auction rifle
This beautiful SAKO L461 Vixen was a great auction buy … and it is half-MOA accurate as well.

Sweet SAKO L461 Score at Auction
Can you score an awesome deal at a live auction? Absolutely. Above is a .222 Rem SAKO L461 Vixen I got at auction for $1500.00 including Leupold Vari-X II 3-9x40mm scope. Note the highly-figured stock. My SAKO L461 is the “deluxe” model with rosewood forearm tip and grip cap. A similar .222 Rem SAKO L46 (below) with fairly plain wood (and no scope) is selling for $3995.95 at the Custom Shop, a Montana purveyor of fine firearms.* I got my SAKO for 38% of the Custom Shop price! SAKO fans will note that the L461 has an internal top-loading 5-shot magazine while the older L46 has a 3-round removable clip. And most folks believe that the newer L461 model (like mine) has a better trigger.

Compare the author’s $1500 Auction-purchased SAKO L461 (above) with this $3995.00 Custom Shop Inc. SAKO L46. This is proof that live auctions can deliver some impressive bargains:
David Buffington Live SAKO L46 .222 Rem Auction Morphy Auctions

Can you make a mistake? Yes, I’ve bought junk and paid too much for it. But I’ve learned that knowledge is the best vaccine against gun buying mistakes. That’s our next topic.

Know The Auctions
Finding live auctions takes a bit of research, especially during the pandemic. But estates still need to be settled, collections still need to be shrunk and so, guns still need to be sold. Read your local newspaper and shoppers guides. Use online auction search services like AuctionZip.com.

And once you’ve found an auction, know the auctioneer’s rules. Some do background checks. Some don’t. Some charge sales tax. Some don’t. Some charge a “buyer’s premium”. Some don’t. If you’re not sure, ask.

Know Your Targets — Stick to Your List and Avoid Impulse Buys
Especially at the all-gun auctions, it’s easy to be entranced by all the handsome-looking hardware, but some of my worst gun buys have been the impulse buys made at auctions.

So start with a list of guns you want — for target shooting, collecting, whatever — and stick to it. Get to know those guns, research them and for goodness sake, know the potential pitfalls. Some Winchester 52s are prone to the “crack of death”. Certain Brownings from the late 60s and early 70s are afflicted with “salt wood”. You need to know which ones.

Jay Ziegler Auction David Buffington Mauser K98k kurz Karabiner auction rifleKnow The Bidding Process
Auction newbies tend to worry a lot about how to bid. I know I did. But don’t. Remember, it’s the job of the auctioneer to get your bid, and once a good auctioneer spots you as a bidder, believe me, he won’t lose you.

The key is to get spotted. So don’t be shy. The auctioneer will likely start the bidding at some reasonable number. As a matter of theater, he’ll then start going down until someone actually bids. Then he’ll start going up again. When you’re ready to jump in, raise your hand and make sure the auctioneer spots you. If you’re not sure, shout something. (“Here!” works fine.) After that, don’t fuss about technique. Just nod yes or no the next time the auctioneer looks at you. (Ziegler Auction photo by Nathan Merkel)

Do understand one small but important detail: The price the auctioneer calls is the price he is looking for, not the price he has. For example, if you’ve bid $250, you’ll then hear him calling for the next increment up — such as “$300, $300, do I hear $300?”.

Misunderstanding that process can lead you to bid against yourself. 99% of auctioneers won’t let it happen, but as I can attest, it’s still embarrassing.

David Buffington Live Auction Morphy AuctionsKnow Your Price Limits
Auction fever is much like buck fever. You’re struggling to be still while you’re heart is doing its best rendition of “Wipe Out”. So you must, absolutely must, agree with yourself on the maximum price you’ll bid for a gun before the bidding starts. And be sure that maximum price reflects the true purchase cost, including sales tax, background check fees, and the buyer’s premium, if any.

Sticking to that limit is critical. First, because you don’t want to end up spending the mortgage money, but also, because there’s always another opportunity around the corner.

For example, on a cold, damp day last fall, I went to a small outdoor auction in hopes of getting a good buy on a Mauser-made, numbers-matching K98k. Ha! Despite the fact there were fewer than 50 bidders braving the drizzle, the gun sold for a whopping $3,200. (I bailed at $1,500.)

David Buffington Mauser K98k kurz Karabiner auction rifle
Is this the K98k that sold for $1,200? Or $3,200? The Karabiner 98 kurz (German for “carbine 98 short”), often abbreviated Kar98k or K98k, is a bolt-action rifle chambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.

But just two weeks later, I went to a warm, dry indoor auction with more than 200 bidders in the building. Yet I still managed to get a Mauser-made, numbers-matching K98k for just $1,200, a difference of a whopping $2,000. Crazy? Yes… Crazy good.


*Custom Shop, Inc. is featured on the Outdoor Channel’s “The Gunfather” TV Show. Located in Hamilton, Montana, Custom Shop has hundreds of rare and collectible guns — high-end rifles, pistols, and shotguns. In addition to used guns, Custom Shop, Inc., is also an Authorized Colt Dealer.

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February 6th, 2021

Better Pistol Shooting — Keep Both Eyes Open

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video
Photo courtesy DougKoenig.com and Leupold.

One eye or two? That’s the question that confounds some pistol shooters, particularly during slow fire. When shooting one-handed, some bullseye pistol shooters use a piece of tape or paper on one lens of their shooting glasses to obscure their non-dominant eye. That way they can get a more precise sight picture. However, when shooting two-handed, it’s almost always better to shoot with both eyes open. And if you are doing a “move and shoot” session/match, you’ll surely want to have both eyes open.

Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig says he always shoots handguns with both eyes open: “To me it’s very simple — I wouldn’t drive my car with one eye closed. I wouldn’t walk around the house with one eye closed. To me, it’s all about your vision, your depth perception.” Doug adds that you definitely need both eyes open to transition quickly from target to target.

With both eyes open you’ll have better depth perception and peripheral vision. You will also be able to transition from target to target more quickly. In a timed, multi-target stage, you’ll want to move your head/eyes to the next target right after you break a shot. You’ll find that you will then reflexively move the handgun on to the new target when you swing your vision on to it. Don’t linger on the target you just shot — move to the next.

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video

Here are two other helpful videos from Doug Koenig and the NSSF:

Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

Trigger Press and Trigger Control

Doug Koenig’s List of Championships:
10-time World Champion
18-time Bianchi Cup winner
2016 NRA World Shooting Champion
More than 70 National Championships
6-time World Action Pistol Championship Winner
3-time World Speed Shooting Champion/Steel Challenge

Watch Doug Koenig’s Championship Season TV show on the Pursuit Channel: Wednesday 5:30 pm (Eastern); Friday 9:00 pm (Eastern); Saturday 1:30 am (Eastern) West Coast prime-time.

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February 4th, 2021

Good Articles from NRAWomen.com — Not Just for the Ladies

NRAwomen.com website NRA lady shooter hunting

In April 2020, the National Rifle Association (NRA) launched NRAWomen.com, a website dedicated to the fastest-growing group of firearm owners — America’s women. This website serves the increasing number of female gun owners, huntresses, and competitive shooters. Female involvement in firearms is growing significantly. Consider these numbers: Statistica estimates that 19% of women in the USA owned firearms in 2020, while 23% of women surveyed in a 2011 Gallup Poll stated they owned a gun.

NRAwomen.com website NRA lady shooter hunting

Here are three excellent Articles from the NRAWomen.com website, all worth reading. For each example, Click the Photo or direct link to read the full article on NRAWomen.com.

1. Flying with Firearms — What You Need to Know

We recommend that any gun owner, female OR male, should definitely read this article. It is one of the better discussions on the web of airline travel with firearms, covering international travel as well as domestic flights. The article notes that you should obtain U.S. Customs Form 4457 before flying overseas with a firearm.

NRA Women airline travel flying with gun TSA International domestic

“Flying with a gun is actually a lot easier than you’d probably expect. You need a couple of specific gear items, and you need to know the proper procedure, but it’s a relatively simple process. I’ve flown with long guns and handguns dozens of times around the country and around the world. The process is generally the same, but with some additional steps and maybe additional hassle depending on the airport [and personnel.]” READ FULL ARTICLE on NRAWomen.com.

2. Modular Safes — Smart Option for Easier Moving

The second article features a great video showing how to assemble a modular safe in under 30 minutes. This article also explains the benefits of modular gunsafes — primarily easier transport and installation.

NRA Women modular safes assembly video

“Modular safes have been around for a few years now and are becoming more popular. Here’s why: The safe comes delivered to you in panels, so you can bring them into your home one at a time and put it together anywhere you like. This makes it easy to carry up and down stairs, onto elevators or anywhere! Security — Is it as secure as one that comes pre-assembled? The answer is, absolutely.” READ FULL ARTICLE on NRAWomen.com.

3. Rimfire .22 LR Handguns for Self-Defense

This article looks at a wide variety of .22 LR pistols and revolvers. The author discusses the pros and cons of a rimfire defense gun, concluding that while the stopping power is limited, having some protection is better than going unarmed.

.22 LR rimfire pistols defense

“Over the last few months we’ve seen the launch of new handguns chambered for .22 LR that sport the same looks and features as center-fire handguns designed for daily concealed carry. The models I’ve had a chance to work with so far include the compact Taurus TX22 semi-automatic pistol, the pocket-size Ruger Lite Rack LCP II, Kel-Tec’s P17 semi-automatic and the Taurus 942 8-shot snubnose revolver.” READ FULL ARTICLE on NRAWomen.com.

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February 3rd, 2021

High Power Rifle Competition on Shooting USA Today

Shooting Usa service high power cmp rifles

This week’s Shooting USA TV episode features CMP High Power competition. High Power Rifle, sometimes called XTC from “Across the Course”, is a shooting sport using centerfire (aka “fullbore”) target rifles. Major High Power matches are run by the CMP and NRA, as well as state rifle groups. The sport is divided into classes by equipment, and popular classifications include Service Rifle, and Open Class. This episode of Shooting USA focuses on High Power competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.

This episode of Shooting USA airs Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com.

This week Shooting USA TV features CMP High Power competition from the Talladega Marksmanship facility in Alabama. High Power is a challenging discipline that requires high accuracy in the rifle and great marksmanship skills in three positions — standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone. The CMP competition involves slow- and rapid-fire at 200, 300, and 600 yards in all three positions. There are separate Service Rifle and Open divisions.

Service Rifle High Power

Young 15-year-old Tyler Fisher from Arizona shot superbly at the 2020 CMP Western Games Match in Phoenix (Ben Avery). His impressive marksmanship secured second place overall (and High Junior) at the Western Games EIC Match shooting Service Rifle, a subclass of High Power.

High Power highpower cmp shooting use rifle

Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing
High Power Open division Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.

HIGHPOWER CLINICS
The CMP conducts a number of High Power clinics each year. The CMP offers a pair of High Power clinics in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Rifle Team and members of the Remington-Bushmaster rifle team. There is a Junior Clinic as well as an advanced High Power clinic. Both focus on service rifle disciplines.

USAMU PRO TIP: Bullseye Pistol Competition

In addition to the High Power rifle feature, this week’s Shooting USA episode has a good USAMU Pro Tips segment about bullseye pistols. Staff Sergeant Ryan Franks with the USAMU Service Pistol Team shows the fundamentals of bullseye shooting, the classic pistol competition shot from a one-handed standing position. In this Pro Tip, SSG Franks focuses on proper stance and grip.

Shooting usa usamu bullseye pistol competition grip stance handgun


Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA will air Wednesday, February 3, 2020, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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February 3rd, 2021

Expert Advice from Savage — Good Tips on Triggers and Optics

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

The SavageArms.com website offers much more than products for sale. Savage has an extensive Expert Advice area. This section of Savage’s website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters. Many of the Expert Advice articles provide very valuable insights.

You’ll find 32 Expert Advice Articles on the Savage Arms website. Below are FIVE of our favorites. Click each item to view the full text and linked VIDEOS. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. All Savage owners should learn how to adjust the AccuTrigger. And definitely check out the Advanced Optics selection. This features a good video covering mirage and light refraction.

1. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

2. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. Advanced Optics — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Light refraction can wreak havoc on your ability to connect with a target at extreme long range. Stan Pate offers some good advice concerning mirage and refraction.

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. Boresighting Your Rifle

Before you can zero your rifle, you first need to do a basic boresighting so your scope reticle center is aligned close to the point of impact. Then you can get your exact zero. This video covers three easy Boresighting Methods.

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February 2nd, 2021

Seeing History … Through a 100mm Unertl Spotting Scope

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes

This story is about the purchase of a super-sized spotting scope with a notable history. Forum member David Buffington explains how he located a rare Unertl 100mm-objective spotter that had served Team USA in international competitions.

Seeing History … Through a Spotting Scope

by David Buffington in our Shooters’ Forum

It is a rare pleasure to acquire a gun with a history. It is simply extraordinary to acquire a scope – in this case, a spotting scope – that has quite literally seen some of the best shots ever taken. The scope is an Unertl Team Spotting Scope, a beast of a 100mm scope especially made for long-range shooting matches. (For technical details, see: http://unertl.alexweb.net/100team.htm.)

And recently, I was pleased and proud to become its custodian …

In the AccurateShooter Forum Classifieds my friend, dgeesaman, found an ad for an Unertl “Team” spotting scope, a 100mm beast built by the famed Unertl company specifically for long range shooting spotting. I had tried to find one years earlier, but I had no luck. This time I struck gold. The Unertl Team was being sold by an accomplished shooter, Mike Dunia, and was in excellent condition complete with all the goodies, including the monster travel case you see above.

Now, because of its sheer size – about 60 pounds with the case – this scope is definitely NOT practical for casual spotting, but the image, well, it’s like being there. The image is extremely bright and sharp edge-to-edge with no hint of chromatic aberration. And once you get the beast to where you want to be, setup is remarkably simple, with a tripod, mount and scope all beautifully machined to move smoothly and easily.

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes
Vintage Unertl optics can be purchased from Dewayne (Dewy) Greiner in MN, Classic Unertl Scopes.

The scope was sold to me by Mike Dunia, an accomplished marksman who served with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and represented San Francisco’s famed Olympic Club in competitions around the world, for example, winning the British Columbia Target Rifle Championship in 2002 and the California Palma Championship in 2003. Dunia has had a notable 50+ year shooting career, starting in college when Dunia was Captain of the Stanford University Rifle Team. The scope was owned by Dunia’s friend, Larry Wilkins, who also served in the U.S. Army, was also an accomplished marksman, and also represented San Francisco’s famed Olympic Club.

Below is a photo of the USA Palma Team in 1995 with multiple Unertl 100mm spotting scopes:

Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope Dewy's Classic Scopes

The names of the individuals in this 1995 photo were provided by tool-maker Alan Warner, who was there that day many years ago. In the same Shooters’ Forum thread, Alan posted: “Far left, white shirt and hat, squatting is Burt Rallins. Prone — close left with small scope is me, Alan Warner. Standing in team jacket is Ken Erdman. Next in background is Mike Dunia. The Coach, sitting, is Bob Jensen. The Next coach is Eric St. John. Can’t make out the other coach or shooters. Last coach is Bill Meek.”

Here is just a bit of the vaunted history of the San Francisco Olympic Club (click photo to read full screen):

Unertl spotting scope 100mm San Francisco Olympic Club

Although I do plan to use the scope, I feel an obligation to preserve as much of its history as I can, including, most importantly, the stories of the shooters who used it before it came to me. I should also mention that Wilkins served with the famous “Task Force Smith” at the start of the Korean War. If you’re not familiar with that horrific story of courage, do look it up.

Unertl Spotting Scope Original Cost … And in Current Dollars
What might this line of 100mm monsters have cost back in the day? Well, I’ve tracked down an Unertl price list from sometime after 1963 — we know that because it has a ZIP code in the address — and the price then was listed as $450, but another price list, dated 1994, puts the price at $2,200.

Of course, that’s $2,200 in 1994 dollars. That would be $3,842 in today’s 2021 money, according to USinflationcalculator.com. So the seven Unertl Team scopes seen here would cost $26,894 at present! — David Buffington

100mm Spotting Scope Operation
Were these scopes used to see bullet holes? Actually that was not their primary purpose. Shot locations on target were shown by shot markers placed by pit workers. But the scopes did serve important purposes, as explained by Forum member Dave Marshall: “You won’t be able to see any bullet holes past 300-400 yards with those scopes. They usually used a fixed 24X eyepiece. I don’t think there is a scope in existence today that can see bullet holes at 1000 yards. [It is possible — but only under very rare, perfect conditions. That said, spotting scopes ARE used all the time to see 1000-yard shot markers and thereby record scores. — Editor]

The main reason those scopes were used [in addition to seeing shot markers] was for better ability to read mirage and the larger objective made it possible to see bullet trace at longer ranges. Once the trace leaves the field of view due to steep trajectory, you can’t see it when it comes back down into the field of view.”


Description of Unertl 100mm Team Spotting Scope by Classic Unertl Scopes
The Unertl 100mm Spotting Scope is a large instrument which was designed to meet the requirements of team coaches to enable critical spotting of long range big bore matches. The coated prismatic optical systems, with a 100mm aperture objective and four element orthoscopic oculars is critically tested and hand-corrected so that the final system will yield matchless resolution. The objective cell has a sunshade which can be extended about 5″ when required and the eyepiece is screw focusing with a fast over-running push-pull travel. Dust covers are provided for each end. Workmanship is of the highest quality and the majority of the instrument is made from aluminum alloy and finished in a light gray wrinkle. The yoke mounting enables easy insertions and removal of the telescope from the yoke and tripod. By tensioning the binding screws the scope can be fixed by locked in position or so set to per-mit scanning of a series of targets. The lower portion of the yoke fits the cylindrical column of a floating action metal tripod. Within the tripod ram is a helical spring which counter-balances the scope and it can be raised or lowered with ease. A wooden carrying case of substantial construction houses the telescope, yoke, tripod and extra interchangeable eyepieces. Standard oculars are 6X, 24X. and 32X.

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February 2nd, 2021

Gun Sales Spike — NICS Checks Up 75% in January 2021 vs. 2020

Gun Sales NSSF NICS background checks Joe Biden H.R. 127

With the Democratic Party taking control of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and the White House, smart Americans know that aggressive, unconstitutional gun control measures are going to be pushed over the next few years in Washington. There is already a bill, H.R. 127, that would require all gun owners to have a Federal License, to pay $800 annual insurance, and to make the type and location of their guns a matter of public record. (See H.R. 127 Video below). And both President Biden and VP Kamala Harris have said they wish to restrict semi-auto rifles, possibly even with mandatory confiscation.

Given this new political environment, it’s no surprise that Americans are rushing to gun stores in droves. And they are buying vast quantities of firearms of all types — pistols, rifles, and shotguns. There were over 2 million NICS-adjusted gun buyer background checks in January 2021. That’s an increase of 75% compared to January 2020.*

“Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace. That’s undoubtedly connected to President Joe Biden’s plans to attack the firearm industry.

Americans are claiming their Second Amendment rights to provide for their own safety in record numbers.” — NSSF

The NSSF Comments: “January’s NICS figures clearly spell out that the demand of law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms isn’t abating. It is growing. Three of the top 10 weeks and one top 10 single day for the highest number of FBI NICS background checks occurred in January. Taken into context that all but one of the top 10 weeks and four other top 10 single-day records occurred during the 2020, when 21 million background checks were conducted, these are jaw-dropping figures to start the New Year.”

Gun Sales NSSF NICS background checks Joe Biden H.R. 127

Analysis from Mark Oliva, NSSF Director of Public Affairs:
It can’t be discounted that many of these background checks for the purchase of a firearm are attributed to threats by the Biden administration to enact the most radical and far-reaching gun control agenda ever proposed. Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace. That’s undoubtedly connected to President Joe Biden’s plans to attack the firearm industry by undoing and rewriting regulations and executive actions to target the firearm industry, which started with freezing the publication of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s “Fair Access” banking rule. The Biden administration interfered with an independent government agency to further an agenda and perpetuate the illegal Operation Choke Point by farming it out to corporate banks. That was just the opening salvo.

Joe Biden gun control

Mental Lapses by Joe Biden: In the South Carolina Presidential Debate, Biden stated that 150 million Americans have been killed by firearms since 2007. That was completely wrong (it would be roughly 45% of the U.S. population). Biden’s defenders claimed it was a simply an over-statement. At best this stupid error shows that Biden is totally misinformed about gun issues. At worst it shows that 78-year-old Biden is suffering from senile dementia.

President Biden [has also] promised to pursue the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), weaponize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to revoke licenses for minor clerical errors and ban entire classes of firearms from lawful ownership and tax or seize modern sporting rifles (MSRs), or AR-15 style rifles, and magazines in a scheme that would cost those owners an estimated $34 billion for the privilege to own what they already lawfully own.

And the NSSF notes that while the Biden Admininistration is 100% committed to attacking the rights of law-abiding firearms owners, that same administration “has yet to put forth a single proposal to tackle the crime, lawlessness, rioting and looting that has plagued this nation for the year.” Violence and rioting in the name of “equity” and a socialist agenda seem to be fine with Biden, Harris and their advisors.


* For comparison, the unadjusted January 2021 FBI NICS figure 4,288,240 reflects a 61.7 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,652,263 in January 2020. Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

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February 2nd, 2021

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

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February 1st, 2021

Bargain Finder 280: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. EuroOptic — Mauser M18 6.5 Creedmoor 22″ Barrel, $449.99

Mauser rifle m18 6.5 Creedmoor Eurooptic sale
European quality hunting rifle, save $249 with this deal

If you are looking for a refined, well-designed hunting rifle, this Mauser M18 fills the bill. And right now this Mauser M18 in 6.5 Creedmoor is just $449.99 at EuroOptic.com. That’s a huge $249.01 savings off the regular $699.00 price. This M18 rifle features a modern 3-lug bolt with 60-degree bolt lift. Action and barrel are black nitride coated for durability. CLICK HERE for more info and photos.

2. Natchez Shooters Supplies — Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 Scope Sale

sig sauer scope sale
Best Sale in many months on quality Sig Sauer riflescopes

This week Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 riflescopes are on sale at Natchez. Rugged and reliable, these Whiskey 5 scopes are justifiably popular with tactical shooters and hunters. Right now you can get huge savings — $300, $400, even $500. For example, the 5-25x52mm Whiskey 5 is now $889.99, marked down from $1399.98 — a $509.99 savings! Use the money saved for a spotting scope, Kestrel, or other gear.

3. Costco — Cannon Landmark 64-Rifle Gunsafe, $949.99

canon safe sale
Cannon Safes offer solid construction and good value

Cannon makes good safes for the money — and this big 38 cubic-foot safe is on sale this week. Save $250 on the Cannon Landmark 38 cu. ft. Safe with Electronic Lock. This safe is big, measuring 59″ Tall x 40″ Wide x 24″ Deep. The safe is rated to hold 64 long guns in the main area plus a dozen pistols on the upper shelf. (NOTE: This capacity figure is based on thin, unscoped rifles, such as lever guns. Nonetheless this is a very capacious safe.) This safe has a 60-minute fire rating. Extra features include a dual AC power outlet, and a door organization system for 8 pistols/1 rifle, plus a hanging pistol rack. NOTE: The $949.99 SALE price includes curbside delivery to your location.

4. Creedmoor Sports — Berger 184gr 7mm Hybrids, $54.95

berger bullet sale
Top bullet choice for F-Open Competitors — Accurate and High BC

These days, popular loading components are hard to find. For those who have been anxiously seeking top-grade .284 (7mm) match bullets, head to Creedmoor Sports which has Berger 184gr Hybrid bullets in stock at good prices. You’ll also find a large selection of Berger bullets at Bullet Central.

5. Costco — Timber Ridge Magnum Range Bench, $199.99

timber ridge magnum range bench
Truly portable shooting bench — great savings now at Costco

Many so-called “portable” shooting benches are very heavy and difficult to move around. This Timber Ridge Range Bench is truly portable. Grab a Timber Ridge Magnum Range Bench and not only will you have a stable and versatile shooting platform that folds up into an easy-to-carry bag.

6. MidwayUSA — Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress, $119.99

Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer

Trimming brass is critical to precision reloading. However, with most case trimmers it’s a pain to adjust trim length, plus the hand-cranking becomes tiresome. A better, more efficient case trimming solution is offered by the Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress. This easy-to-use tool comes with 10 interchangeable bushings for the most popular calibers. The smart design allows for .001″ trim length adjustments with the click of a dial. To see a video of the Case Trim Xpress in action, check out our Lyman Case Trim Xpress Review.

7. Amazon — Frankford Powder Measure w/ mounts, $72.59

frankford arsenal powder dispenser
Good value use for pistol loads or initial rifle load before final trickling

Even with modern electronic powder dispensers, every reloader can use a good, manual powder measure. This crank-style dispenser works great for pistol charges. And, with the micrometer-style meter, you can throw rifle powders within a tenth or two — and then you can trickle precisely with a scale. This Frankford Arsenal Powder Dispenser features a “Quick-Disconnect” screw that allows you to take the powder measure off the mounting assembly quickly to pour excess powder back into the powder jug. And this dispenser kit includes TWO different mounting stands with 7/8-14 threads.

8. Amazon — Radians XT1-11 Extremis Safety Glasses, $5.29

shooting glasses
Incredible deal — Impact protection and dust/debris protection.

Good eye protection is essential for all shooting disciplines. You want Z87.1-rated eyewear that is also comfortable. The Radians XT1-11 Extremis Full Black Frame Safety Glasses. IMPORTANT: These Radians feature a foam ring around the inside of each lens. This provides extra protection in dusty environments and protects the wearer from powder blowback when shooting handguns. These safety glasses meet ANSI Z87.1+ standards and provide 99.9% UV protection. Top choice for pistol shooters.

9. Amazon — Allnice Digital Calipers, $21.99

Allnice Digital Caliper 0-6 calipers
Effective digital calipers at bargain price

Every handloader needs a set of calipers for multiple reloading/measurement tasks. In fact we recommend you have at least two sets of calipers, one being an inexpensive unit that you can take to the range. These $21.99 Allnice Digital Calipers fill the bill. These calipers have a stainless steel construction and a large digital readout. User reviews have been quite positive, with 88% four- or five-star ratings.

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January 31st, 2021

Sunday GunDay: 7.5-lb AR for CMP’s Modern Military Matches

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Retro is back — at least in the CMP’s Standard Modern Military Rifle AR class. Though Service Rifle competition has evolved to allow optics and heavy barrel profiles, the Standard Modern Military Rifle (AR category) is truly a “blast from the past”. Overall weight is limited to 7.5 pounds, and the rifle must be equipped with iron sights (Rule 5.2.3). In addition, the rifle “be based on the M-16 rifle or be based on an AR design” with “exterior configuration similar [to] the original military or military-type rifle”. See Rules.

With this in mind our friend Dennis Santiago recently put together his own AR-platform Standard Modern Military Rifle for matches run under CMP Competition Rules. This is not quite a classic AR, as it has a metal free-float handguard (vs. plastic handguards), but it IS light (7.3 pounds), and it does have iron sights — a key requirement for Standard Modern Military class rifles.

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Here is Santiago’s CMP Modern Military Rifle (Standard Class) with an ultralight free float tube that has a titanium barrel nut, and mechanical, center-able front sight. The barrel is an AR-Stoner brand 20″-long 1:7″ Government contour chambered in 5.56×45 NATO. Dennis says: “This makes the 7.5-lb weight limit with a few ounces to spare. We’ll see how well it drives soon enough.”

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Dennis explains: “The Standard Modern Military (AR) is a category of military-style rifle that shoots the 200-yard, 30- or 50-shot courses alongside the M1 Garands, Springfields, Vintage, and M1 Carbines. This one boasts a Midwest Industries (MI) ultralight Free-float Handguard and a Yankee Hill folding front sight. Any Government contour or thinner profile rifle-length gas tube barrel with a 0.750″ gas block will work.” Colt makes a suitable Government Contour 20″-long, 1:7″-twist barrel, sold by MidwayUSA.

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

To test the accuracy of his rifle, Dennis fitted a Mantis-X unit on the top of the float tube. The Mantis-X records the movement of the rifle to interpolate shot placements. Dennis reports: “I spent some extra time at the range grabbing a decent zero for my Modern Military rifle. I stuck a Mantis-X on it to record a few shots shooting offhand at the plates at 200 yards. It drives very easily even with no shooting coat or glove.” The Mantis-X is attached just forward of the carry handle, on top of the MI free-float handguard. The Mantis-X works with live fire as well as dry fire. It communicates via BlueTooth to a smartphone App.

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago
AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Rifle Shoots Well with 77gr Sierra MatchKings
The gun is presently zeroed with 77gr Sierra MatchKing ammunition. Dennis reports his rifle “can easily hold the X-Ring on an SR target for both 100-yard and 200-yard CMP Modern Military Games matches. And it’s fun to shoot!”

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

CMP Standard Modern Military Rifle (AR Class)
This rifle is built from carefully selected and fitted parts to conform to the CMP’s 7.5-pound weight limit iron-sighted rifle rule. Officially, this is a CMP Standard Modern Military Rifle, Class “A” (AR type).

1. S&W M&P lower receiver
2. White Oak Armament match upper receiver with 1/4×1/4-MOA pinned rear sights
3. AR-Stoner 20″ 1:7″-twist 5.56x45mm NATO Government contour barrel from MidwayUSA*
4. MidWest Industries ultralight free-float handguard with a Titanium barrel nut
5. Yankee Hill Machine folding front sight with a 0.072″ square front pin
6. RRA 2-stage trigger
7. A2 length buttstock

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Easy Rifle Build Using Mostly Existing AR Parts, Plus New Barrel and Free-Float Handguard
Dennis was able to put his Modern Military AR together using components he had collected over the years: “Most of these parts were already in my bin of old AR parts available to be recycled. The barrel and free-float handguard were the only new acquisitions.” And with the AR’s modular format, this was an easy build: “Assembly time was about 30 minutes. I’ve done these parts swaps so many times now.”

Key Rules for Standard Modern Military Rifle (AR Type)

Dennis Santiago’s new AR rifle was built as a “Standard U.S. Modern Military Rifle”, Class A (AR Type), as specified in the CMP Competition Rules.

5.2.3 Standard U.S. Modern Military Rifles, Class A
Category A Standard Modern Military Rifles must comply with these requirements:

a) Rifles must be based on the M-16 rifle or be based on an AR design;
b) Rifles must be manufactured by a USA manufacturer;
c) Rifles must be equipped with issue-type metallic front and rear sights; rear sights with adjustments finer than one minute of angle are permitted;
d) Total rifle weight, with sights and without sling, may not exceed 7.5 pounds;
e) Rifles may be fitted with a float tube or free-floating handguard. A nonadjustable sling swivel may be attached to the forward end of the handguard; and…
f) The rifle must be chambered for the 5.56x45mm or .223 Remington cartridge.

Also, from Rule 5.2.2:
a) The exterior configuration of the rifle must be the similar to that of the
original military or military-type rifle;
b) The trigger pull may not be less than 4.5 lbs.;

Comments from other Modern Military Rifle Shooters:

“I built a Modern Military [Standard]. It was tough getting below the 7.5-lb [limit]. I had to carve off a bunch of the 20″ barrel diameter but wanted to stay with it for sight radius (over a 16″). I would just as soon shoot that little iron-sighted rifle at 200 yards as my 15-lb Nightforce-scoped Service Rifle. I love that little rifle.” — Kenneth S.

“I’m building one of these that will make 7.5-lb [Standard Modern Military] weight limit, with the long barrel and long sight radius. This has been on my list this winter.” — Tom K.

“We found that turning down a National Match barrel and taking a few inches off of it made a very accurate rifle.” — Jack A.

“My old (complete) A2 upper has been sitting forlorn on a shelf for a couple of years now. Perhaps I need to do a [Standard Modern Military] build of my own.” — Derek D.

Dennis Santiago replied: “Derek — that’s the reason I was attracted to this. I had bought a brand new WOA A2 pin upper receiver to make a new upper then the scope rule was adopted and it was all flat tops. This gives new purpose to the old parts.”

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

Standard vs. Unlimited, Class A vs. Class B

AR-15 AR15 A-2 Modern Military Rifle CMP Games iron sights Dennis Santiago

There are actually two different classes of Standard Modern Military Rifles, Class A for AR-type rifles and Class B for other military-style rifles, such as the M1A and FN-FAL. Ok, got that? Now, in addition, there is also a second division for UNLIMITED Modern Military Rifles, again with two classes (Class A — AR-type and Class B — other military rifles). These unlimited rifles can have optics, heavier weights, modern-design adjustable-length stocks, and other upgrades. Here is Rule 5.2.2 from the current CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules:

(more…)

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January 31st, 2021

How the Human Ear Works and How to Best Protect Your Hearing

hearing protection inner ear anatomy science hearing medical electronic muffs earplugs

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.

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!

Click Speaker Icon to turn on the video’s soundtrack.

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 above, 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.

hearing protection inner ear anatomy science hearing medical electronic muffs earplugs

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are spotting for other shooters or are working near the firing line. They let you hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. You can also wear ear-plugs under muffs for extra sound attenuation.

shooting ear protection nrr 33 ear plugs howard leightPlugs PLUS Ear-Muffs — The Benefits of “Doubling-Up” Your Hearing Protection
According to OHS Online: “The combined attenuation of an ear plug and an ear muff is not simply the algebraic sum of the performance of each individual protector. This is due to an acoustic and vibratory interaction between the ear muff and the ear plug that causes them to behave together as a system rather than as independent hearing protectors.

Generally speaking, when you combine two hearing protectors, with muffs over ear plugs, you can expect a Noise Reduction Rating improvement from 3 and 10 dB compared to the higher-rated hearing protector by itself. OSHA [now advises] 5 dB as the [typical] benefit offered by combining hearing protectors.” Source: OHSonline.com

Ear diagram courtesy Siemens Medical Solutions.

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January 31st, 2021

Gun Digest Double Deal — 2021 Annual + Magazine Subscription

Gun Digest 2020 74th Annual 560-page Gun book

The Gun Digest 2021 Annual, 75th Edition, is available now for $24.28 on Amazon. This 592-page resource covers rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, airguns, optics and more. We like the print edition, but there is also an eBook PDF version ($17.49 on Amazon) you can read on your tablet or computer. Both provide hundreds of photos with new product roundups, in-depth product tests, and scores of articles and stories.

NOTE: Gun Digest is offering a great two-for-one deal right now. If you order the Gun Digest 2021 Annual you can also get a full year’s subscription to Gun Digest Magazine. Get Book AND Magazine Subscription for just $39.99. That gives you the 2021 Annual PLUS the 12-issue magazine for just $15.71 more than the book by itself (with $24.28 Amazon price).

Gun Digest 2020 74th Annual 560-page Gun book

Gun Digest 2020 74th Annual 560-page Gun bookGun Digest 2021 debuts Phil Massaro as its editor-in-chief. Massaro, the seventh editor in the book’s history, has assembled a wide and varied roster of leading industry authors for the new book, including Craig Boddington, Joe Coogan, Ron Spomer, Terry Wieland, Rick Hacker, Jim Wilson, Larry Weishuhn, Wayne van Zwoll, Bryce Towsley and many more.

Gun Digest 2021 covers hunting, personal defense, target shooting, gunsmithing, and collecting. Historical articles look at the role played by firearms in our country. There are Updated Ballistics Tables, and the catalog section shows off the industry’s newest offerings in rifles, handguns, shotguns, muzzleloaders and air rifles. Reports from the Field cover the newest firearms and accessories. A Testfire section brings readers up to date on product performance. FYI, you can also pre-order the upcoming 76th Edition Annual (2022), slated for release in August, 2021.

75th edition Gun digest book 592 pages amazon

Other Good Books from Gun Digest Media
Gun Digest Media produces numerous other quality books for rifle, pistol, and shotgun owners. Here are four volumes we recommend. These are offered in both paperback and eBook versions:

Cartridges of World Digest Gun book gunsmith gunsmithing rifles Digest Gun book patrick sweeney
gunsmithing rifles Digest Gun book tactical rifles PRS catalog firearms pistol rifle shotgun prices descriptions gunsmithing rifles Digest Gun book
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January 30th, 2021

Top 20 Best-Selling Handguns of 2020 — GunGenius Data

GunGenius Gunbroker top 20 handguns pistol revolver semi-auto 2020

Every month, GunGenius.com publishes a Top Selling Report. This reveals the Best Selling Guns for each category of firearms sold on GunBroker.com. This culminates in a GunGenius year-end report on the Top Selling Firearms of the Year in a dozen categories, both new and used. As a special Feature, GunGenius now offers the “Top 20 of 2020″ for each category.

Here are the top-selling handguns for the year 2020, with the Top 20 Semi-auto pistols and Top 20 Revolvers listed separately (all first-time sale, not used). Visit the GunGenius Top 20 Page for more details.

Top 20 Handguns for 2020 (Semi-Auto Pistols and Revolvers)

GunGenius Gunbroker top 20 handguns pistol revolver semi-auto 2020

Buying a Handgun? See What Others Choose

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun) and see the top sellers for that category.

handgun category defense ccw buying list gungenius

Along with pistols and revolvers as shown above, there are separate categories for: semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, pump rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, over-and-under shotguns and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

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