May 26th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Old Savage Becomes 300M Match Rifle

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

Editor: This story by Tommy C. (aka “dc.fireman”) comes from our Shooters’ Forum. It’s fascinating to see how a relatively inexpensive Savage M12 BVSS varmint rig was transformed into a sophisticated 300M match rifle with a modern chassis, Shilen barrel, and top-of-line sights. With some ingenuity, and careful parts selection, Tommy created a rifle that can compete with match rifles costing many thousands of dollars more. American ingenuity at work!

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

Savage Reborn — Old BVSS Transformed into 300M Match Rifle

by Tommy C. (aka “dc.fireman”)
So, I began the project of building a 300M International competition gun, about a year ago, intending to compete at the 300M Nationals this year in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Rifle Club. Realistically, I didn’t want to pay the price-tag demanded of the Bleikers, Grunig & Elmigers, Hammerlis, or Tanners that (infrequently) pop-up for sale from time to time. So I decided to build my own 300M Match rifle with an American action, barrel, chassis, and trigger.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Here is Tommy’s completed 300M Match rifle with Savage action in PDC Custom chassis.

I had decided on the .260 Remington (aka 6.5-08) as the caliber choice. This beat out 6.5×47 Lapua simply due to the cost/availability of brass. The .260 Rem cartridge is based on the .308 Win parent. I made my first batch of brass by necking down some Federal .308, and it worked great. [Editor: We do recommend Lapua .260 Remington brass for match purposes for those who don’t have a supply of good .308 brass.]

I had an older Savage M12 stagger-feed action, originally from an old .22-250 BVSS. I contacted James at Northland Shooter Supply, and he walked me through the game plan and equipment I needed: Shilen Select Match 26″ barrel, NSS Stainless recoil lug and nut, a set of Forster headspace gauges, and the NSS action wrench.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Catalog photo of current Savage M12 BVSS in .22-250 Rem.

A few months later, I replaced the original Accu-trigger with a Rifle Basix SAV-II trigger, and immediately wondered why I waited so long to do that. The Rifle Basix is perfect for my application. Mind you the he safety DOES NOT work now, but, I don’t need it for my application.

Another member on the AccurateShooter Forum sold me a BVSS stock that has been re-worked by Alex Sitman of Masterclass Stocks, and it served as a placeholder, until I could find a maker who could nearly replicate my Feinwerkbau 2700 Alu stock in my smallbore match gun.

After scouring the AccurateShooter Forum, and multiple internet searches, I found PDC Custom in Michigan. I spoke with Craig Kierstadt a few times, before finally deciding to pull the proverbial trigger on his chassis. He had a few of the older chassis stocks with spacing for the Savage stagger-feed action. He machined an Anschutz rail into the fore-end for my hand stop and sling. Then he powder-coated the chassis black, and sent it to me sans grip and butt plate.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Photo of action/chassis. Tommy says: “It locks up really tightly, and you can tell Craig spent some time on the CNC work need to make this all fit.”

There are a few minor issues with the PDC chassis, but overall, I would rate this a 9.5 out of a possible 10. The price, and the features built into it, plus the ease of which everything fit together, far outweigh any minor issues. And two of the issues I quickly corrected with Teflon tape. I will need to make a walnut cheek piece — a curved one isn’t conducive to aperture iron sight shooting.

Savage Action .260 Rem 300M Match Rifle Components:

Action, Barrel, Stock, Grip
Savage M12 stagger-feed action, 4.27″ spacing
Shilen Select Match Barrel, 26″
Rifle Basix SAV-II Trigger
PDC Custom Chassis — tool-less adjustments
Bobsled SLED for single loading (required)
MEC Contact III Butt plate (German)
MEC handstop/sling swivel (German)
Walnut Target grip for AR-15 (eBay sourced)

Sight Components and Hardware
MEC Spy Long rear sight (German)
Centra front sight tunnel (German)
Centra adjustable aperture (German)
Medesha sight extension tube + collar
Champion’s Choice front sight base
Champion’s Choice mirage band

For his practice load, Tommy shot 123gr Hornady ELD-M bullets with H4831 powder and CCI BR2 primers. This load performed well — Tommy posted: “My 25-shot initial prone test today shows promise. There are five sighter shots, and 20 record shots. One of the 9s at 9 o’clock is my first sighter, the other one I own. The 8 out at 4 O’clock was a round that was difficult to chamber. My initial scoring puts me somewhere in the vicinity of 193-7X.”

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

The target used is the NRA C2, “300M International Rifle Target, reduced for 200 yards”.
The 10 Ring is 2.40″ in diameter, while the Inner 10 (X-Ring) is 1.24″.

Varget powder 300m .260 RemingtonMatch Load — Varget and Nosler Bullets
For his match load, Tommy switched to Varget and Nosler bullets: “My match load uses 37.9 grains Hodgdon Varget with a Nosler 123gr bullet. This was a recommendation by a gentleman with a lot of experience in 300M shooting.”

Tommy adds: “The amount of knowledge gained via the AccurateShooter Forum has made this all a reality, instead of just a passing thought.”

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
May 25th, 2019

New Carbon-Wrapped Barrels from Helix 6 Precision

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

Are you looking to shave POUNDS from your hunting rig or varmint rifle? There is a new option for folks looking for a weight-saving, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. You’ve probably heard about Proof Research. That’s a good company that crafts good products. But now Proof Research has some competition — Helix 6 Precision in Washington State.

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

Helix 6 Precision crafts button-rifled, carbon-wrapped barrels in both conventional and “pre-fit” configurations. Pre-fits are offered for Savage rifles as well as the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) series. These pre-fit barrels are not cheap. A 6.5 Creedmoor RPR pre-fit costs $995.00, while the Savage pre-fits are also just under a grand. The conventional barrel blanks cost $895.00 in .224, .243, .264, .284, and .308 calibers. The larger .338 caliber barrels run $945.00.

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

While Helix 6 barrels do offer significant weight savings, the founders of Helix 6 say low mass wasn’t the number one design goal: “Accuracy was paramount and weight reduction was secondary. We’ve taken the industry’s most advanced carbon fiber engineering and pushed the technology further with our proprietary … carbon fiber process.”

The founders of Helix 6 Precision say they build some of the best carbon/steel hybrid barrels on the market: “Our unique carbon fiber-layup design dampens barrel harmonics for better accuracy. Each barrel is cut from a 416R stainless steel core, and carbon fiber-wrapped using the Helix 6 Precision’s advanced process. This creates match-grade accuracy barrels with high heat dispersion that are 30% lighter than a steel barrel of the same contour. The bores are … hand-lapped for precision accuracy.” Helix 6 claims its barrels are “lighter, stronger, and faster cooling than anything else available on the market.”

Myth vs. Reality — What Carbon Can and Cannot Do

Carbon fiber is formed using thin strands of carbon bonded together with a plastic polymer resin. The resulting material is very strong and light weight. There’s a reason Formula 1 cars are crafted with carbon-fiber composites. But is a carbon-wrapped barrel the right option for you? Here are some factors to consider:

Weight Savings — There’s no doubt that a carbon-wrapped barrel will weigh less than an unfluted stainless steel barrel with identical length and contour (outside diameters). Helix 6 claims a 30% weight reduction compared to a conventional stainless steel barrel. That’s significant.

Accuracy — Carbon-wrapped barrels are NOT commonly being used for F-Class or Benchrest competition. However, Proof Research carbon-wrapped barrels have performed well in PRS competitions in the hands of top shooters. So, we can conclude that carbon accuracy is good enough for the PRS/NRL tactical game, at least at the local club level.

Heat Dispersion — Carbon-wrapped barrel-makers claim their hybrid design disperses heat better than an all-steel barrel. Some independent testers disagree, saying: “hold on now — the carbon actually acts as an insulator, so more heat is retained in the barrel”. The jury is still out. One thing that is true is that the carbon barrels seem to generate less mirage from barrel heat. Ask yourself, “if less heat is coming OFF the barrel, where is that heat retained?” But the reduced mirage could be a function of the black woven surface which may release heat differently than polished steel.

Standard, Pre-Fit, and Custom Barrel Options
Helix 6 Precision barrels are available as pre-fit barrels for both Savage and the Ruger Precision Rifle in many popular long-range cartridges. Barrel blanks are sold in five calibers from .224 to .338. Helix 6 can also thread and chamber a barrel for any precision rifle. Helix 6 Precision also builds one-off barrels to fit individual needs.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
May 23rd, 2019

Suppressor Myth Busting — Do Silencers Degrade Accuracy?

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. Some years ago Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), published an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Former SSUSA Editor Chip Lohman tested three rifles from the bench and found that suppressors did not harm accuracy (at least with these rigs). In fact, all three test rifles (.223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards with a suppressor than without. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA.

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA High Power rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, it is now common to see moderators on rifles used in non-NRA-sanctioned tactical matches such as the Precision Rifle Series. For example, many competitors in the popular Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

*The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”
Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 6 Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Got Gong? Cool New Printed Gongs from Field & Cave Outfitters

field & cave outfitters color printing gong ar ar500 ar550 steel armor plate special

Here’s a cool new product offering from Field & Cave Outfitters (FNC). For years, FNC has offered very high-quality steel targets made from tough AR550 and AR500 armor steel. New for 2019, Field & Cave is offering 10″-diameter steel Gongs with printed designs. Multiple design options are offered including an IBS-type 600-yard blue/white bullseye, 4-bullseye red/white pattern, and a version with seven (7) crosses with diamond centers, based on AccurateShooter’s popular load development target.

These cool new 10″ printed gongs are all reasonably priced. The cost is $22.99 with 3/8″-thick AR500 armor steel, or $31.99 with heavier, 1/2″-thick AR550 armor steel. And for just $2.00 more per plate, you can get printing on BOTH front and back sides of the gong.

field & cave outfitters color printing gong ar ar500 ar550 steel armor plate special

Field & Cave Outfitters can also print a custom design with the name of a range, or a specialized graphic. This could include the title of a match or sanctioning organization and be awarded as a TROPHY. We love the idea of a Gong Trophy — an Steel Gong is WAY more useful than a wood plaque that will just gather dust in the closet. We predict Gong Trophies will become popular with shooters and match directors alike.

How long does the printed pattern last? Well that depends on how many hits you make and the calibers you shoot. FNC’s Travis Frazer explains: “Sure, you’re gonna shoot the printed designs and paint over them eventually, but we aren’t charging much for the printing service, either — just $3.00 for one side, $5.00 for both. Compare our printed prices to others without it, and I think you’ll agree.”

Pricing for Customized Trophy Gongs
Travis tells us: “We’re also offering printed gongs as trophies for match directors. Pricing will be about $50 per LOT for the artwork and about $5.00 each to print, plus the price of the gong itself. It should be about the same or less than what guys pay for plaques or trophies, and in my opinion, much cooler and more useful. Contact us through the website for more details.”

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News No Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Tactical 22 — MPA Rimfire PRS Trainer With CZ Action

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Don’t worry — you can get this gun in eight different Cerakote colors: black, bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, green, and tungsten.

To succeed at the PRS game you need position shooting practice — and lots of it. Thankfully you can train affordably using a .22 LR rimfire rig. Decent rimfire ammo can be purchased for 7 to 10 cents per round, an order of magnitude cheaper than centerfire ammo. For the best results, you’ll want your rimfire trainer to sport the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire match rifle. You can get just that Masterpiece Arms 22BA, a “turn-key” PRS rimfire cross-training rig. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle combines the proven CZ 455 action with a custom Spencer barrel and modern MPA modular chassis. With this chassis you can easily adjust length of pull, butt-pad height/cant, and cheek riser position. Chambered in .22 LR, the MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle can change to .22 WMR and 17 HMR through a simple barrel change. So, this gun can do double duty as a .22 LR trainer and a 17 HMR varmint slayer. Basic MSRP is $1850.00.

MPA colors .22 LR rimfire trainer

The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle is available with numerous rugged Cerakote finishes: black, burnt bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, sniper green, and tungsten. Custom Cerakote colors cost $135 extra for the chassis body and/or $65 for the barreled action.

MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle Specifications:
Caliber: .22 LR (.22 WMR and 17 HMR via barrel change)
Action: CZ 455
Chassis: MPA CZ455 BA Chassis, 13.50″ – 14.75″ LOP
Barrel: 416RQ Stainless Steel Spencer / MPA barrel, 1:16″ twist
Barrel Length/Countour: 16-24” (customer specified), 0.920″ straight
Barrel Muzzle Thread: ½-28 TPI (if requested)
Trigger: CZ 455 Trigger (yoDave Trigger Upgrade, 1-3 lbs.)
Magazine: CZ 455 10 round polymer magazine with DIP floorplate
MSRP: $1,599.00

The CNC-machined MPA chassis has some very cool features: enhanced vertical grip, thumb notch, built-in bubble level, MPA trigger shoe, and spigot mount with lower-mounted Picatinny rail. The rig comes with a D.I.P. +25 MOA Picatinny scope base and you can add side Picatinny rails, as well as increase the distance from the spigot-mounted bipod to the rear support. The chassis is also compatible with a barricade stop system, an extra-cost option.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Masterpiece Arms centerfire chassis systems have won 5 out of 12 recent PRS matches (story HERE).

Why rimfire cross-training? Because this stuff is ten cents per round. Premium handloads can run $1.00/round (counting brass depreciation), and the best factory ammo can cost over $2.00/round.
tactical .22 LR rimfire norma

A Rifle is Only As Good As Its Barrel
The key to accuracy for any rimfire rifle is a great barrel. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle includes a precision drilled, reamed, and honed Spencer / MPA rifle barrel made from 416RQ stainless steel. The hand-lapped barrel is inspected with a video borescope. The chamber is indicated within 0.0001” or less to the bore of the rifle.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 3 Comments »
May 14th, 2019

Precision Expander Mandrels from 21st Century Shooting

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

You can benefit from these precision mandrels, trust us…

Controlling cartridge neck tension is a critical aspect of accurate reloading. A very small change in the amount of grip on the bullet can actually have a noticeable effect on accuracy (and group size). You can tune neck tension with different size bushings used with FL-sizing or neck-sizing dies. You can also adjust neck “grip” by annealing your brass, or turning your necks for reduced neck-wall thickness.

But perhaps the most precise way to tune neck grip on the bullet is to use Precision Expander Mandrels. Many top shooters size their case necks down pretty far with a full-length sizing die then use a precision neck mandrel as a final step. This expands the neck back to the precisely-desired neck diameter. Because you are working from the “inside out”, variances in neck-wall thickness become less important. This also ensures you have a perfectly-round internal neck geometry for seating your bullet. (Yes, unfortunately some neck bushings are not perfectly round inside.)

For guys who want ultra-precise control over neck tension (and “grip” on the bullet), 21st Century Shooting now offers Precision Expander Mandrels in .0005 (one-half thousandth) increments. These will be available for most popular match calibers including: .224, 6mm, .25, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .308, and .338 calibers. These mandrels cost $17.99 each, or you can get a complete set of nine mandrels in .0005 increments (for one caliber) for $144.99. Listed below are the nine 6mm mandrels:

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

John Perkins, owner of 21st Century tells us: “Finally! We have our expander mandrels up and ready to order on our website here: http://www.xxicsi.com/expander-mandrels.html.” This is a big deal. James Crofts, past National F-TR Champion, says “WooHoo — great news!”

To get best results with these precision mandrels, John recommends using the 21st Century Expander Die Body, part #904. Watch video for set-up tips:

John adds: “We are still in the midst of turning all of these so some calibers will ship when they are completed. Should have them all done by end of next week or so! Thanks for your patience while we got these set up and in process!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 13th, 2019

Tikka T1x in 17 HMR Shows Excellent Accuracy

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt
This 17 HMR Tikka T1x test gun features a prototype Picatinny rail from 782 Gun Works.

One of our favorite new rimfire rifles is the Tikka T1x, available in 17 HMR, and .22 LR. Priced at $468.00 at EuroOptic.com, the T1x cycles smoothly and shows excellent accuracy out of the box. The T1x has an action footprint like Tikka’s T3 Centerfire action so it can use many stocks made for the T3. KRG will soon offer a $369.00 Bravo Chassis stock for the T1x. With the KRG Bravo T1x Stock you can have a rimfire that feels like a full-size PRS rifle.

Read GunsAmerica Digest 17 HMR Tikka T1x Review »

How does it shoot? That’s the key question. Clay Martin of GunsAmerica Digest recently tested a Tikka T1x in 17 HMR. He liked the gun and said it delivered impressive accuracy:

“Using 20 grain Hornady XTP ammunition and a Bushnell Forge scope, my T1x turned in [100-yard] groups just over ½ MOA. For a rimfire, that is pretty remarkable. For a rimfire with a relatively lightweight barrel, it is shocking. The barrel is also threaded from the factory, ready to go for suppressors.”

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt

Tester Clay Martin really liked the T1x, noting the comfortable stock and nice bolt function. On the test rifle the trigger was set at 3.5 pounds, not bad for a varmint rifle, but Clay wanted it lighter. Tikka says the T1x trigger will adjust down to 2 pounds*. Martin also wished the T1x came with a Picatinny rail standard. For his tests he added a +20 MOA rail from 782 Gun Works.

GunsAmerica’s test rifle showed outstanding accuracy for a factory rifle that costs $468.00. (Add $369 for the KRG Bravo Stock and you’ll have a GREAT PRS rimfire trainer for under $840.00.) With Hornady 20gr ammo, shooting from prone with bipod, the tester got just over one-half MOA for multiple groups at 100 yards. We expect that, with a better rest set-up, shooting from a bench, that could be even better. In his T1x Review Video Clay declares: “This is absolutely nuts… for a rimfire at 100 yards. The Tikka will consistently do just a little over a half-inch. So, we can say that the Tikka absolutely likes the 20gr Hornady and that the accuracy level is… what we expect from the Tikka brand name.”

Another Option: Tikka T1x in .22 LR

At the 2018 SHOT Show Media day at the range, we shot a Tikka T1x in .22 LR and liked it. We thought the trigger was fine. We liked the feel of the bolt, and the action seems very well made — on a par with the centerfire Tikkas. The magazines are also very well-made and feed superbly. We have no problem with the Optilock rings mounted to the top of the action. These rings (with inserts) are excellent.

T1X Tikka rimfire .22 LR 22LR

* Clay Martin complained that that trigger was not adjustable. Perhaps he was given misinformation from the distributor. Tikka says the trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. See T1x Instruction Manual, page 15.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
May 12th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: 6mm BRA Practical Tactical Rifle for PRS

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex
That’s custom paint on the stock, NOT a Hydro-dip coating. Impressive paintwork!

Our Sunday GunDay showcase rifle belongs to Shane Sivertsen (aka SoDakDasher in our Forum). This eye-catching tactical rig was smithed by Travis Stevens at TS Customs in Miller, South Dakota. Shane tells us that Travis is a “top-notch builder who builds tack-driving rifles that are still extremely shooter-friendly. Plus he is one of the friendliest guys you’ll meet.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

This rifle features a Lone Peak Fuzion Action with Trigger Tech Diamond trigger (flat shoe). Up front is a Benchmark 26” MTU barrel chambered in 6mm BRA (a 40-degree 6mmBR Improved “BR Ackley”). It’s all nestled into a McMillan A5 stock with adjustable cheekpiece. Getting him on target is a Vortex Razor 4.5-27x56mm optic in Hawkins rings with a Vortex throw lever on the power ring for quick magnification changes. The Atlas PRS Bipod rides on an Area 419 ARCA rail up front. The barrel is finished off with a Piercision 5-Port Self-Timing Muscle Brake.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision VortexCustom Camo-Pattern Paint Job
All work on this rig was performed at TS Customs, including Cerakoting the action. The pattern on the McMillan A5 stock is NOT a hydro-dip! That is a custom Kryptek camo paint-job done in-house by a TS Customs employee. Shane liked the Kryptek pattern from day one: “It’s always a good thing to do something a little different to your equipment to stand apart from the rest of the pack.” Shane says the paint pattern is the first thing everyone notices about the rifle.

6mm BRA Chambering
Shane spent quite some time trying to decide which 6mm cartridge to choose. After much deliberation with Travis, he chose the 6mm BRA, mainly due to the reputation this little cartridge has earned for accuracy and ease of tuning. This rifle is Shane’s second TS Customs-crafted rifle: “the [other] is basically the same action/barrel combo but set in an MPA chassis and chambered in 6mm Dasher.”

Excellent Accuracy with Varget and Berger 105gr Hybrids
Shane’s 6mm BRA is showing impressive accuracy: “Thanks to Mother Nature this spring (with cold, snowy weather), I have only been able to get 100 rounds fire-formed and the barrel broken-in. I started with 30.5 grains Varget in Lapua BR brass with CCI 450s and topped off with Berger 105gr Hybrids. Velocity averaged 2830 FPS with an SD of 4.7 from 10 rounds randomly picked from the lot.”

Shane knows there’s still more load development to do. But this rifle is grouping under one-half MOA and Shane says the gun can definitely out-shoot his abilities. He admits it’s still a work in progress but he is happy with the gun’s performance so far.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

Shane praised his Piercision 5 port Muscle brake. Shane tells us: “While I am a suppressed shooter by preference, I wanted to give this brake a try. It works very well — the control and ability to stay on target for followups is remarkable. This brake works perfect on my 18-lb 6mm BRA and will be used indefinitely. Plus it will be a little payback to the other big-braked shooters on the line.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

While it’s still such a new toy, Shane doesn’t expect to make any modifications in the near future. However he says he might “upgrade to a Tangent Theta optic by the end of this season.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
May 8th, 2019

Shilen Barrels, Actions, and Rifles from the Heart of Texas

Shilen Actions Complete rifles barrel nut Savage Remage

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. (Ennis, TX) offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches. For more info, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
May 8th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Shooting USA TV Product Showcase

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

SHOT Show Special Episode on May 8, 2019
If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should be this week’s SHOT Show Special. Tonight, May 8, 2019, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central. Jim Scoutten’s team works hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2019. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s 2019 SHOT Show episode.

2019 SHOT Show Highlights: Ruger Precision Rimfire, Hornady 300 PRC, JP MR-19, Kestrel HUD, Manners Stocks, Savage MSR-10, Volquartsen Ultralite, Walter Q5 Match, and much more.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.

Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:00 PM
Central Time – 8:00 PM
Mountain Time – Check Listings
Pacific Time – 9:00 PM

Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:

Ruger Precision Rimfire
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
JP Enterprises MR-19
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Hornady 300 PRC
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Kestrel HUD Display
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Manners Stocks CS2-S
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter
Walter Q5 Match
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Sig Sauer 9mm P365
Sig P365 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
Volquartsen UltraLite 17 HM2
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa

Savage MSR 10 Competition
Savage MSR SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
Bushnell LMSS Spotter with Red Dot
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
May 5th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Costello Battles Storm Hannah with .300 WSM

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary Costello recently won the Great Britain National League 600-yard Championship in F-Open class. Gary managed that impressive win despite Storm Hannah which caused torrential rain and 40 mph winds during the match, held at the Diggle ranges. Gary, a Forum member, reports that conditions were hellacious: “The weather was terrible, with horizontal rain and winds in excess of 40 mph. In fact, some shooters got blown clean off the target and many complete misses occurred.”

There’s a special story here, as Gary had been battling a life-threatening illness for many months. Gary told us: “This was my first National Competition since September 2018. I contracted a serious heart virus in October 2018. I was critically ill until January 2019. After undergoing treatment and 100% rest I recovered slowly, my focus was the 600-Yard Shoot in April. I am now 70% there and hopefully in another 4-6 months I hope to make a full recovery.” [Editor: Gary, we are glad you are on the road to recovery.]

In today’s Sunday GunDay story, we feature Gary’s American-crafted .300 WSM F-Open rifle. Note that Gary’s rifle has a Ezell barrel tuner and a recoil-reduction system in the buttstock. The .300 WSM does generate quite a kick with those big .30-caliber bullets.

Gary Costello’s .300 WSM F-Open Rifle

BAT M Action and Cerus Stock
This rifle was purchased from Jim Fowler (FalconPilot on the AccurateShooter Forum). This SG Rifles gun, crafted by smith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez, is a .300 WSM with BAT ‘M’ action (with nitrided bolt) and Cerus riflestock. Gary owns two other Speedy-built rifles.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary tells us: “My BAT ‘M’ action is a multi-port so I feed with my left and it ejects on the right. Speedy has worked on the firing control and timing, and I fitted the roller-cocking piece to aid smoothness and speed.” The fluted shroud is Speedy’s signature for fire control work.

Stunning Lenzi Co-Axial Front Rest
Gary tells us this impressive joy-stick rest “is a superb piece of engineering .. made by my good friend Alberto Lenzi.” Note the large stable base, and the deluxe counter-balance weight on the front end. Gary also uses a very nice leather rear sandbag crafted by Lenzi.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Riflescope — Prototype March 10-60×56 High Master
Gary Costello’s company is the European distributor for March Scopes. Gary was testing this scope as it has a new temperature-tolerant lens system to be released later this year

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

.300 WSM Load Details — H4350 with Berger 215gr Hybrids
Gary was shooting pointed Berger 215gr Hybrid bullets in Norma .300 WSM cartridge brass. The powder was Hodgdon H4350 with Muron KVB7 primers. Gary say his load runs around 2850 fps, and is very accurate. To demonstrate, here is a three-round, 100-yard test target, with a group measuring in the ones. Pretty impressive for a big bullet and a short magnum cartridge.

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

The UK has some wonderful places to shoot. This photo was taken at Blair Atholl in the Highlands of Scotland. Gary says “This is one of my favorite ranges and probably the hardest range to shoot in the UK. Due to the topography of the range you have to alter elevation as well as wind for pick-up and let-off. They say ‘Diggle Ranges Bark’ but Blair Atholl Bites!”

Blast from the Past — At Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland Ranges

One of Europe’s very best F-Class competitors, Gary is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Here he is at the Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland after a major victory a few seasons back. Gary says: “Blair Atholl, in the Estate of Blair Castle, is very scenic. The range is very tricky and is known as the hardest range in the UK to shoot due to the location of the targets cut into the hillside and valley. When the wind is at full value you often have to add one-half MOA elevation to every 1 MOA of wind. So thinking wind and elevation every shot is very difficult. I won this match some time ago and I do not recall the score. However it was a decisive win, and all matches in the competition were held at 1000 yards.” Gary was using a different rifle, but it also was a .300 WSM with a BAT action. His load was Hodgdon H4831 with Berger 215gr Hybrids, Murom primers, and Norma brass.

GB 600-Yard Championship — Gary’s Shot-by-Shot Report

The event was the first GB National League event of the year, our only short range (600-yard) match. This is actually one month later than usual in hope the weather would be better, sadly that wasn’t the case!

I won the Championship, five points clear of runner-up Ian Boxall. My final score was 241-18V out of a maximum of 250. The course of fire was reduced due to Storm Hannah on Saturday. It was decided by our committee that for safety we should shoot under cover (Diggle has a 600-yard covered firing point). The goal was to get at least one match to allow the competition to continue on the Sunday.

When I saw the condition and the flags I decided I needed to shoot as quick as possible as wind speed and direction were changing in seconds….

So I shot like stink only watching one flag and the other targets and my shot indication on the target screen. My first sighter was a score One left (a FIVE on the U.S F-Class target). But after adjusting, my second sighter was a One right — so there were pick-ups and let offs of about FIVE MOA!

I split the difference and went for score, my first shot was a Four (Nine on USA target) which I then adjusted on and held accordingly for the rest of the string using the other targets as indication and the one flag I had identified, it went pretty well.

Day Two (Sunday) weather was completely different, much better with no rain. We were first up at 0900 and the winds were light with subtle changes. This was a two sighters and 20-shot match, I started well with two V sighters which were converted, my partner Richard Sharman also had a good start and we proceeded through the string shooting Vs and Fives until Richard’s shots started to not register, this happened three times so it was decided I would continue and Richard would shoot again on another target. This caused a lot of delay and disruption. I had lost my path and wind, due to the delay I was allowed a non-convertible sighter which was a Three. It took two further shots to get back into the swing and I then recovered and ended the shoot with a 97-10V.

For the Final Match, the wind had picked up and was causing quite a few lost points and curses. I knew I was three points clear going into this Final Match so I had to play it real safe not to drop shots and lose critical points. I favored a left 4-5 Ring hold so not to get caught on the pick-ups. I use the March MTR-2 reticle, on 40X this reticle is subtended at exactly one-half MOA and brackets the F-class target perfectly. I was not concerned about the V bull at this time, the plan paid off and I dropped two points only.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
April 30th, 2019

Scope Comparisons — Video Resources on the Web

riflescope optic scope test video comparison review product movie

Are you shopping for a long range optic? Unfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to “test drive” a half-dozen or more optics. Thankfully, there are some video reviews on the internet that are, for the most part, helpful. Pew Pew Tactical (PPT) recently did a lengthy comparison of nine long range scopes. For each model PPT examined clarity, eye relief, reticle design, parallax, and windage/elevation travel. For each optic PPT also provides short videos showing the operation of the controls. FULL PPT REVIEW HERE.

NINE Long Range Scopes Compared
1. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50mm
2. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50mm
3. Leupold VX3i LRP 8.5-25×50mm
4. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56mm
5. Burris XTR II 5-25×50mm
6. Steiner PX4i 4-16×56mm
7. EOTech Vudu 5-25×56mm
8. Primary Arms 6-30×56mm
9. Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56mm

The Firearm Blog — $2500 Leupold vs. $400 Athlon

This is actually a pretty good video. The host, Joel, tests and compares the Leupold Mark 5 vs. the Athlon Argos. Joel considers a variety of performance categories including clarity, tracking, elevation travel, ergonomics, and reticle options. This video asked the question “Can a $400 scope hang with a much higher priced optic?” You might be surprised how well the Athlon actually did.

Kalibre 22 — High-End Tactical Optics Comparison

In this video, Todd Hodnett explains the pros and cons of different brands and types of scopes. Scopes tested include Horus, Leupold, Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender, and Vortex. He uses the scopes in the field, and actually does a pretty good job describing the pros and cons of each model.

Top 10 Reviews — Manufacturer Marketing Videos Compilation

This video covers ten different scope models, from budget to high-end. For the most part the scopes appear in cost order, with the more affordable optics first. This YouTube video is mostly pieced together from manufacturer marketing footage, but it does cover a wide variety of scope options.

Please note, the above video does has some actual review segments, but nearly all the content is provided by the scope makers. So the Top 10 rankings are somewhat arbitrary. Nonetheless it is handy to have ten scopes covered in a single video. In order of appearance, here are the ten scopes featured, with video time marks if you want to “fast forward” to particular models.

TEN Scopes In Order of Display
10. Burris Veracity Riflescope: 00:23
9. Vortex Viper PST Gen II Riflescope: 01:24
8. Nikon BLACK FX1000 Riflescope: 03:18
7. ATN X-Sight 4K PRO Riflescope: 04:29
6. Bushnell Engage™ Riflescope 06:00
5. Leica Magnus i Riflescope: 07:50
4. Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56mm F1 Riflescope: 08:29
3. Vanguard Endeavor RS IV Riflescope: 10:31
2. Leupold Mark 8 Riflescope: 12:33
1. Swarovski Z8i Riflescope: 14:21

Great Deals on Vortex Now
Looking for a great deal on a new scope? Leading vendor EuroOptic has a wide variety of Vortex Scopes at deeply discounted close-out prices now:

riflescope optic scope test video comparison review product movie

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 28th, 2019

Zediker Examines Long Range Shooting with AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 ar-15 long range

Looking to shoot an AR-platform rifle out past 500 yards? Then you should read two articles by AR guru Glen Zediker. Author of The New Competitive AR-15 and The Competitive AR15 Builders Guide, Zediker is an expert when it comes to AR-platform rifles. Glen believes ARs have excellent long-range capability, provided they are built to high standards, with good barrels. Glen says: “a properly configured AR-15 is easily capable of good performance at 500+ yards. Good performance means it can hit a 1-foot-square target all the time. Competitive shooters can cut that standard in nearly half (the X-Ring on an MR1 600-yard NRA High Power Rifle target is 6 inches, and high X-counts are commonplace among more skilled shooters).”

Published in the Cheaper than Dirt Shooter’s Log, Zediker’s articles first cover the history of the AR-15, and then explain how AR-platform accuracy can be optimized. Part One reviews the AR’s development as an accurate firearm, tracing its evolution from a Vietnam-era combat weapon to what is now a favored target rifle of High Power competitors. READ PART ONE.

Long Range AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Part Two discusses the specifics that make an AR accurate at 500 yards and beyond. Zediker talks about barrel configuration (profile and twist rate), bullet selection, floating handguards, and proper mounting of optics or iron sights. READ PART TWO.

Long Rang AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Here are some highlights from Long-Range AR-15 Part TWO:

Barrel Twist Rate
To stabilize anything longer than a 68- or 69-grain bullet, the barrel twist rate must be — at minimum– 1-in-8. Twist rates reflect how far the bullet travels along the lands or rifling to make one complete revolution. So, 1-in-8 (or 1-8, 1:8) means “one turn in eight inches.” I think it’s better to go a little faster in twist. There is nothing wrong with a 1:7 twist. The 90-grain bullets require a 1:6.5, and that is getting on the quick side. If you want to shoot Sierra 77s or equivalent, and certainly anything longer, 1:8 is necessary. By the way, it is bullet length, not weight, which constitutes the necessary twist rate to launch a stable bullet.

Optics Mounting
Correct optical sight positioning can be a challenge. With a flattop upper, I need a good inch additional forward extension at the muzzle side of the upper for the sight mount bases to avoid holding my head “back” to get the optimal view through the scope. A longer rail piece is necessary for my builds as a result.

Buttstock Length and Adjustment
An adjustable buttstock is valuable, and even more valuable if it’s well-designed. Mostly, a standard stock is too short, and the cheek area sits too low. Adding length helps a lot by itself. There are assemblies that replace the standard buttplate to allow for length and, usually, height and rotation adjustments for the buttpad. An elevation-adjustable cheekpiece is a big help to attain a solid position.

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
April 28th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: The Modern .308 Win F-TR Rifle

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod
A carpet is used up front for smoother tracking with the Joy-Pod’s flat, ski-style feet. The arms of the Joy-Pod were painted to match the stock. The rear bag features low-drag material on the ears.

On Sundays, we feature notable rifles that exhibit fine craftsmanship, quality components, and noteworthy shooting accessories. Today we are featuring an F-TR (F-Class Target Rifle) rig that showcases the types of components, and accessories used by top F-TR competitors — including a coaxial bipod and Labradar Chronograph. If you’re considering getting started in the F-TR game, take a close look at this modern F-TR build from Forum member DM.Oakes.

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod

Modern F-TR Rig with Borden Action, Krieger Barrel, and SEB Joy-Pod
This handsome .308 Win F-TR rig features a smooth-running Borden BRM action, 30-inch 1:10″-twist Krieger barrel, and an X-Ring Laminated Wood stock. Up front is a coaxial “Joy-Pod” joystick bipod. This is a state-of-the art, wide footprint bipod used by many competitors at the Worlds in Canada. The long joystick allows the “driver” to quickly adjust both elevation and windage in a smooth, continuous motion. The Joy-Pod can be adjusted so it will hold setting during the shot — you don’t have to “hard-hold” the joystick. Many shooters let the joystick slide through their fingers as the rifle moves back on recoil. With a little practice (and careful placement of the rear sand-bag), the tracking is excellent and you can slide the gun right back to point of aim after each shot.

Action: Borden BRM
Trigger: Blue-printed Jewell BR
Barrel: Krieger 30″ / 4-Groove / 1:10″ twist (.30 Cal)
Chamber: .308 Winchester with 0.170 Freebore
Stock: X-Ring Laminated F-Class
Scope: Nightforce 12-42x56mm Competition
Potential Name: Blue Thunder

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod
This F-TR rifle is shown during load testing with a LabRadar chronograph.

» Full LabRadar Field Test/Review by Ray Gross

If you are considering purchasing a LabRadar Chronograph system, we strongly suggest you read the very thorough and informative LabRadar Review by Ray Gross, past Captain of the USA F-TR team. Ray notes: “It takes me about 3 minutes to set up [my LabRadar] at the range. Because there are no downrange screens, I do not have to hold up other shooters on the range like I would when setting up a traditional chronograph. The convenience alone will mean that I will use it more often than my old chronograph. Every time I take it out, I enjoy it a little bit more.”

Bart Sauter Ray Gross LabRadar Benchrest Review Chronograph Bench tripod

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review 2 Comments »
April 27th, 2019

Cannon 72-Gun Safe for $749.99 Delivered

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

We know many of our readers have large firearms collections. If you’ve been collecting guns for a decade or more, chances are you’re running out of room in your gun safe. For guys who need a bigger safe, we’ve found a REALLY BIG GUN SAFE at a great price.

Right now CostCo is offering the Cannon CS72 Executive Series 72-Gun Safe for just $749.99 DELIVERED! That’s a great price for a HUGE safe with 43.8 cubic feet of internal space. This 649-pound behemoth measures 59″H x 45″W x 28″D and weight 696 pounds (over 1/3 of a ton!). This is built strong with 1″ thick composite door, six 1″-diameter locking bolts, and 60-minute fire rating (dual expandable fire seal).

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

Shipping Included in $749.99 Price!
This $749.99 price includes “Standard shipping via common carrier” to the lower 48 states. The estimated delivery time will be approximately 7 – 10 business days from the time of order. NOTE: This is a great value. You could easily pay $1600 or more for a safe this size from a typical local vendor.

Cannon CS72 Safe Features:

72 Gun capacity — 43.8 Cubic Feet
Exterior dimensions: 59″H x 45″W x 28″D
696-pound weight (0.348 Tons)
60 minute fire rating
UL-Listed Digital lock
Triple hard plate protect lock mechanism
Six 1″-diameter active locking bolts, 14-gauge Steel Body
Dual expandable fire seal — seal expands up 12 times its size
Warranty: Free repair/replacement after Fire, Burglary, or Natural Flood

Comment About Safe Weight:
At 696 pounds, this Cannon CS72 is a HEAVY Safe. That can be a one-time negative when you are moving the safe into your house or shop. However, Big and Heavy is a big plus when it comes to security. Thieves prefer to target safes that can be moved quickly with a dolly or hand cart. Bolt this safe to your floor and it isn’t going anywhere.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
April 26th, 2019

Download FREE Gun Publications This Month

FMG publications Guns American Handgunner magazine free download 6.5 Creedmoor Pistol Rifle
In connection with the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, FMG Publications is offering FREE downloads of the July issue of GUNS Magazine and July/August issue of American Handgunner.

Looking for some nice gun-centric reading material? Here’s a cool, FREE offer from FMG Publications. Right now you can access free digital editions of the latest issues of GUNS Magazine and Handgunner Magazine. Both these magazines offer interesting stories and great gun photography. But there IS a catch. To access these digital editions, you must enter some name and an email address first. If you respect your email privacy you can be creative and figure out a simple solution for that. Click the links below to download these two issues for free.

GUNS Magazine July 2019 | American Handgunner July/Aug 2019

Notable features in the GUNS Magazine July 2019 Issue include: 10/22 Collectibles (pp. 32-33), Ross Straight-Pull Rifle (pp. 34-35), T/C LRR 6.5 Creedmoor (pp. 44-48), Brownells BRN-10 Retro AR10 (pp. 50-52), Skinner Sights Bush Pilot .45-70 Survival Rifle (pp. 58-60), Eight Great Knives (pp. 60-62). Honest guys — there’s some good content here, worth reading.

FMG publications Guns American Handgunner magazine free download 6.5 Creedmoor Pistol Rifle

“NRA’s celebration of freedom reminds all of us how important the Second Amendment is. We’re excited to share in the celebration by exercising our First Amendment rights of freedom of the press. In this case, free downloads of gun press to NRA members and non-members alike,” announced FMG VP of Business Development Randy Molde.

FMG publications Guns American Handgunner magazine free download 6.5 Creedmoor Pistol Rifle

Among its feature highlights, American Handgunner’s July/August issue showcases one of Ruger Custom Shop’s debut offerings: The SR1911 Competition Pistol. Working closely with ace shooter Doug Koenig, the result is a beautifully fitted, accurate, easy-shooting American classic — built by a leading USA gun-maker.

Celebrate your rights with direct access to the free issue downloads by visiting https://bit.ly/2L3818n for American Handgunner and https://bit.ly/2IuTGiP for GUNS.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, News 2 Comments »
April 22nd, 2019

Frankford Arsenal Hand Priming Tool With Depth Adjustment

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Our friend Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC recently tested the depth-adjustable hand priming tool from Frankford Arsenal. This product, called the Platinum Series Perfect Seat Hand Primer has some unique features. Primer seating depth can be adjusted with a handy wheel in the tool’s center handgrip. Each “click” of the wheel moves the primer post .001″ (one one-thousandth of an inch). Additionally, the design of the case-holder allows quick and easy removal of a primed case. The unit ships with a full set of shell-holders to match all types of cases. Like many other hand priming units, the primers are loaded into a flip tray that attaches to the head of the tool.

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Here is Jim See’s quick review of the Frankford priming tool:

“The Frankford Arsenal perfect hand-priming tool is legit. The tool is built heavy and strong. The only plastic parts in it are the tray and lid. The [primer] seating depth adjustment… is simple and accurate. Easy to operate. I primed 1000 cases, averaging 23 per minute. I adjusted the depth of seating between two different lots of brass in seconds. The system seats primers easily with one hand operation. The cases slide out on their own after seating. Insert, seat, reach for a new case at the same time as you are operating the lever, case slides out and you are inserting the next piece.”

Overall, Jim was “Super impressed with the quality and the results. This thing is super smooth — way less pressure needed than my Lee or RCBS. It’s a lot faster too.” Jim add that one can switch from small to large primer posts in 10-15 seconds.

This Video Shows the Frankford Priming Tool in Operation:

Even with premium brass you may want to adjust your primer seating depth: “Every thing has a tolerance that is acceptable in manufacturing. If primer pocket depth has a .005″ tolerance and the primers themselves have a .002″ tolerance you can see why adjustments would be needed. In this case the two lots were manufactured on year apart. Could you expect them to be identical?”

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 21st, 2019

Sunday GunDay — Forum Fan Favorites

6 PPC flame paint nude forearm surprise killerpaint.com
This 6 PPC features a Nesika Extended ‘C’ action, Krieger 1:13.5″-twist LV barrel, Kelbly stock, and stunning paint by Mike Lavalle of killerpaint.com. For an eye-catching R-Rated paint surprise, Click HERE.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized firearms. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

30 BR Roy Hunter Curly Maple stock wood Bat action James Lederer barrel
Click image to view large, full-screen photo!

For this week’s Sunday GunDay we’ve selected fiver fan favorites from the Pride and Joy archives. First up is this custom 30 BR brought to you by ANSHUTER2013 and built by Dave Bruno. We were captivated by the clean lines and handsome looks of the Roy Hunter Curly Maple stock. Nestled in that stock is a BAT B action fronted by a 1:17″-twist James Lederer 24″ HV barrel. A Jewell trigger with fixed 42x44mm Nightforce scope round out this beauty.

6 PPC benchrest Seb NEO Lenzi bad Bat action Bix'N Andy Bartlein barrel
6 PPC benchrest Seb NEO Lenzi bad Bat action Bix'N Andy Bartlein barrel

This state-of-the-art 6 PPC boasts all top-tier components. And owner Wes R. shoots it with a superb rest/bag/pad set-up that inspires envy. This “Bughole 6 PPC” features a Bat DS action, Bix’N Andy trigger, with Bartlein 1:13.75″-twist barrel. The stock is a super-low-profile Scoville with carbon strengthening. The front rest is a SEB NEO, while in the rear is the new Lenzi sandbag. Folks tell us the Lenzi is super stable, which improves tracking from shot to shot. Note the timer attached to the front rest as well as the nice Edgewood leather bench “blanket” and arm-rest pad.

Eliseo R1 tube gun tubegun chassis F-Class F-Open .284 Winchester

Eliseo R1 tube gun tubegun chassis F-Class F-Open .284 Winchester

Forum Member Killick attached PickleForks to his handsome blue Eliseo R1 TubeGun now chambered in .284 Winchester, a top choice for the F-Open discipline. Killick explains: “Behold! An Eliseo R1 F-Classer. This started out as an R1 Long Range sling rifle (6XC) with a Borden TubeGun action. It is now rebarreled in .284 Win with Gary’s PickleFork fore-end adaptor. Props to Gary Eliseo at Competition Machine LLC.

.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock
.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock

Sometimes clean and simple is the way to go — particularly with a hunting rifle. WEATHERBYFAN’s 6.5 Creedmoor is built around a Stiller Predator single-shot action in a texturd, green Wildcat Var-Tac stock. The 1:8″-twist Bartlein barrel is finished at 28″. That’s pretty long for a hunting rig, but it delivers added velocity. Finishing off this nice rigle is a Zeiss 6-24x50mm optic. Sometimes less is more and this is a perfect example of that.

.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock
.308 Win Rifle Manners Stock

Our final offering is from Forum member 300_WHISPER. Completed just months ago by gunsmith CALEB85, this .308 Win rifle features a Bighorn TL3 action with a Bartlein M40 26″ 1:10″-twist barrel, and Manners TA Elite stock. Other components include Trigger Tech Special, Area 419 self-timing muzzle brake, and a Weaver Tactical 3-15x50mm FFP mil/mil optic. When test-fired by Caleb with ammo using Berger 175gr OTM Tactical bullets, this nice .308 Win delivered a 1.6″ 5-shot group at 400 yards. The owner says “It’s my dream rifle. I couldn’t be happier”.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 20th, 2019

Doug Koenig Makes His Mark in PRS Production Division

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 18-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he recently won two PRS matches in Production Division. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, was shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($4000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1100.00 typically ($795.00 at GrabAGun), so Koenig was shooting against competitors with rifles that cost nearly twice as much. That’s impressive.

Koenig Wins Production Class at two Spring PRS Matches
Koenig took home a pair of Production Division titles at this year’s WAR Rifles Shootout and MAP Spring Shootout Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches.

With a final score of 128.00 and a time of 58.51, team captain Doug Koenig took first place in Production Division at the WAR Rifle Shootout PRS match in Mount Victoria, MD. The WAR Rifle Shootout has a challenging 22-stage course of fire. Along with winning Production Division, Koenig also finished twelfth overall. “The tough course of fire and 15-25 mph winds at the War Rifle match were brutal, but my Precision Rifle, equipped with a Leupold VX-3i LRP and loaded with Hornady ammunition, continued to perform,” said Koenig.

Koenig then secured another Production Division win at the MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

According to PRS standards, Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration, and the retail price may not exceed $2,000.

Krieger Barrels Ruger Precision Rifles Pre-Fit Drop-In Chambered barrel RPR

Pre-Fit Barrel Options for the Ruger Precision Rifle
While PRS Production Division competitors like Koenig must stick with factory barrels, there’s no law that says you can’t upgrade your own RPR that’s not used in PRS matches. A barrel swap is probably the single best hardware upgrade you can make. A new custom barrel will improve inherent accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency. Krieger Barrels offers Pre-Fit barrels for the RPR in many popular chamberings including 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win. These “Drop-In Ready” barrels come finish-chambered and threaded to fit the Ruger action, with factory-spec muzzle threads. The Ruger barrel attachment system allows correct headspace with a pre-chambered barrel. Krieger explains: “Thanks to Ruger’s proprietary barrel nut design, a competent gunsmith will be able to swap out your barrel using an AR15 barrel wrench and proper headspace gauges.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 4 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

New Product: Barrel Blizzard Dual-Fan Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Keeping your barrel cool has many important benefits — it will definitely enhance barrel life and can help maintain accuracy over the course of long shooting sessions. Now there is a new way to quickly dissipate heat from your rifle barrel — Barrel Blizzard

The makers of BarrelCool have created a new dual-fan barrel cooling device, called the Barrel Blizzard. Each powerful fan moves 30 cubic feet of air per minute — that’s serious cooling power. This unit is powered by a common USB-style battery. The housing mounts easily to the barrel, and the twin fans can each be adjusted 360° to various angles (You can even use one to cool the gun and the second to cool the operator on a hot day). This should be available very soon at the introductory price of $74.99

Reduce Barrel Cooling Time from 45 Minutes to 10 Minutes
How well does the Barrel Blizzard work? The makers tell us: “Repeated tests show that the Barrel Blizzard cuts barrel cool-down times significantly. What might take 45 minutes, can often be reduced to less than 10 minutes. And if you combine the new Barrel Blizzard with BarrelCool, the in-chamber fan, you can get a hot barrel down to near-ambient temperature in approximately 5 minutes.”

Barrel Cool-Down Times for Barrel Blizzard Alone and Blizzard + BarrelCool
Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

We think this product will definitely be popular with varmint shooters in the summer months. Those guys may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. Many serious varminters bring along a couple spare rifles, so that they can swap rigs when one barrel heats up. With the Barrel Blizzard they may be able to keep shooting with minimal wait time, and no rifle change-outs. Byron Sumoba, one of the designers, notes: “With a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery. We are getting about 2.5 hours of continuous use out of a battery pack.”

Who can benefit from this product? The makers say this is “For the shooter wanting to drastically reduce their load development time at the range… or the varmint hunter looking to cool that barrel down and increase barrel life.”

Barrel Blizzard Can Also Cut Mirage
This system can also cut mirage, by reducing the hot air rising from your barrel. If a mirage band is not enough on hot days, you can just rotate one of the fans to send the flow down the barrel towards the muzzle. This will help reduce mirage coming off the barrel.

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