November 24th, 2020

10 Shots in 0.289 MOA — Can Your Rifle Beat this XP-100 Pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun — a very nice bolt-action XP-100 pistol! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

Report by Boyd Allen
This story goes back a few seasons… this remarkable XP-100 pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest
ACAD drawing by Peter Gnanapragasam CC by SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Title Added.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
November 22nd, 2020

CMP Announces 2021 Program for Sale of Model 1911 Pistols

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

Military pistol collectors take note — you will soon be able to order classic military-issue Model 1911 pistol from the CMP. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will begin accepting orders to purchase CMP 1911 Type Pistols at the beginning of the new year. Orders will be accepted from January 4 to March 4, 2021. NOTE: All 1911 requests must be made through the mail. No 1911s will be available in CMP stores, and no in-store orders will be accepted. For CMP 1911 Pistol Order Forms and additional INFO CLICK HERE.

The CMP’s Historic Model 1911 Handguns
In 2018, the National Defense Authorization Act granted the first transfer of 1911s to the CMP for sale and distribution. Arguably one of the most iconic handguns ever produced, the M1911 served as the standard issue handgun for the U.S. Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985. The single-action, semi-automatic pistol uses .45 ACP rounds and is comprised of a comfortable, basic design.

New orders for CMP 1911s will not be accepted before January 4, 2021, or after March 4, 2021. Any packets received or postmarked outside of those dates will be discarded. Only one CMP 1911 order form per customer per envelope may be submitted. Those who have already purchased a CMP 1911 through the CMP RGN system or the Auction site will NOT be eligible to purchase a second 1911 at this time.

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

The Model 1911 Pistol — An American Classic
Designed by J.M. Browning, the M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

CMP 1911 Pistol Grades and Prices

Each pistol is inspected and test fired by the CMP before it is shipped. Prices for the 1911s are marked at fair market value, in accordance with CMP’s enabling legislation, at the following levels (shipping cost included):

    Service Grade, $1050: Pistol may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition. Pistols may contain commercial parts.

    Field Grade, $950: Pistol may exhibit minor rust, pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition. Pistols may contain commercial parts.

    Rack Grade, $850: Pistol will exhibit rust, pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistols may require minor work to return to issuable condition but are functional. Pistols may contain commercial parts.

    Auction Grade — Sales by auction. The condition of the auction pistol will be described when posted for auction.

Selection Priority Procedures
Since these firearms are in high demand, a Random Number Generator will be utilized to provide a list of names in sequential order. Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided by the Random Number Generator. When contacted, CMP 1911 customers will select their grade of pistol (Service, Field or Rack). Customers with higher generated numbers may have fewer grades from which to choose. When the allotment of 1911s is exhausted, the remaining orders will be held in the existing sequence for all future allotments of 1911s. For questions, call CMP 1911 customer service number at 256-770-4744 or send email to: cmp1911@thecmp.org.

Background Checks Are Mandatory
As part of the CMP’s enabling legislation to supply these firearms, all customers will be subject to and must be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), conducted through the FBI, to assure eligibility to purchase prior to shipment to a required Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, News No Comments »
November 20th, 2020

New SAAMI Cartridges: 277 SIG FURY, 6.5 WBY RPM, 6.8 Western

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specification 80000 psi

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc., (SAAMI), has announced the acceptance of three (3) new cartridges for SAAMI standardization: 1) 277 SIG FURY; 2) 6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum (WBY RPM); 3) 6.8 Western. While the 277 SIG FURY was developed originally for the U.S. Military, it should serve well for hunters, as will the new 6.5 Weatherby RPM and 6.8 Western. SAAMI has standardized the dimensions, max pressures, and load specs for all these three new cartridges.

277 SIG FURY from SIG Sauer

Developed by SIG SAUER for the U.S. Military, the 277 SIG FURY boasts a SAAMI maximum average pressure of 80,000 psi, driving a 135-grain bullet to 3,000+ fps. That 80K PSI pressure is WAY higher than almost all other cartridge types. To achieve these high pressures, the 277 FURY uses a hybrid case with a brass body and harder alloy metal case head. This design allows the cartridge to run very high pressures. Dan Horner of SIG Sauer told us: “When the handloaders get hold of this brass, it will be a game-changer for sure”. We envision this cartridge could be necked down to 6.5 mm and it would dramatically out-perform the 6.5 Creedmoor. And yes the official name of the cartridge is all caps “277 SIG FURY”.

LINK: 277 SIG FURY official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specfication 80000 psi

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specfication 80000 psi

6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum

Developed by Weatherby, the 6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum (WBY RPM) was introduced with a maximum average pressure of 65,000 psi, with a 140-grain bullet traveling at a velocity of 3,075 fps. The 6.5 WBY RPM offers signficantly higher velocities that most other 6.5mm cartridges, including the 6.5-284 and .265 Win Mag. SEE 6.5 Cartridge Comparison Table

LINK: 6.5 Weatherby RPM official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

6.5 weatherby rebated precision magnum cartridge WBY RPM SAAMI

6.8 Western from Winchester

Developed by Olin Winchester, the 6.8 Western was introduced with a maximum average pressure of 65,000 psi, with a .277-caliber 175-grain bullet traveling at a velocity of 2,840 fps. A shorter variant of the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) family, the new cartridge appears to be about .090″ shorter than the .270 WSM. It has the same 35-degree shoulder angle as the .270 WSM.

LINK: 6.8 Western official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

6.8 western rebated precision magnum cartridge western .270 wsm SAAMI

For additional information on these new cartridge designs and other recently accepted cartridge and chamber designs, visit SAAMI.org.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
November 19th, 2020

Hidden in Plain Sight — Storage Options for Long Guns and Pistols

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

When you want a firearm for home defense instantly available, you don’t necessarily want in burried in a large gunsafe in a remote section of your house. There are reasons you may want a rifle, pistol, or shotgun ready to be deployed quickly. One solution for this is the “hidden in plain sight” option. Using common household furniture or house features (such as vents and mirrors), you can stash a firearms where it can be quickly accessed, but no unwelcome visitor will suspect it is stored. This article presents some popular gun storage options.

Virginia-based Tactical Walls is a leader is specialized gun storage/concealment systems. This company offers a variety of USA-made furniture/decorative options for gun storage. There are mirror assemblies, sliding wooden flags, tables with hidden storage, bookcases, shelving units, and more. The General Manager of Tactical Walls is Dennis DeMille, formerly GM of Creedmoor Sports, and a talented marksman.

Creedmoor sports Tactical Walls Dennis Demille GM General Manager concealment

Dennis tells us: “Tactical Walls was the pioneer in concealing firearms in plain sight”. He says this company has great creativity and impressive production capabilities. View all Tactical Walls concealment gun storage options at TacticalWalls.com.

Fine Firearms Furniture with Slide-Open Table Top
Here’s something that will teach unwanted guests some “table manners”. We’ve seen handguns hidden in books, and stowed behind faux baseboard vents, but this hand-crafted, slide-open table takes the cake. We doubt that anyone could sit down at this table and suspect that a shotgun, scoped rifle, two pistols and a knife were stored securely inside. There’s an arsenal hiding in there!

furniture table top sliding concealment gun safe vault secure

To access the guns under the sliding table-top, first you flip down a wood trap-door on the side. That exposes a key-lock which unlatches the interleaved left and right table segments. These slide open horizontally on metal tracks, exposing the full arsenal underneath. This “table vault” is a very clever design, built with fine craftsmanship. You can purchase this table from the maker for $1799.00.

Hidden in Plain Sight — Guide Gear Vent Pistol Locker

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

This clever “imposter vent” should fool any unwanted visitors. This Guide Gear Hide-A-Gun vent storage unit is just $34.99 on Amazon. NOTE: This will require installation in the wall, with attachment to studs.

Decorative Storage — Patriot Flag Concealment Unit

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

This handsome triangular wood box has hidden storage for a firearm and/or valuables. It is $39.95 at MidwayUSA or $49.99 on Amazon. You may want to bolt this down to a shelf for extra security.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News No Comments »
November 17th, 2020

Precision Load Development Target — And Printing Tips

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

We created the above target a decade ago. Since then it has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular as a load development target, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your reticle cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so that our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the red diamonds intact for precise aiming. CLICK HERE to download Load Dev target.

We also use these two targets for load development and precision practice.
The circle dot target can also be used for informal rimfire competition at 50 yards.
Right-Click Each Target to Download Printable PDFs.

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target


GET 50 More FREE Targets on AccurateShooter Target Page »

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrestHow to Print Your Targets
Most of us have access to a printer at home or at work. That means you can print your own targets. You’ll find hundreds of free target designs online, including dozens of downloadable targets on our AccurateShooter.com Target Page. If you’re feeling creative, you can design your own target with a computer drawing program such as MS Paint.

Paper Stock Is Important
If you want your self-printed targets to show shots cleanly (and not rip when it gets windy), you should use quality paper stock. We recommend card stock — the kind of thick paper used for business cards. Card stock is available in both 65-lb and 110-lb weights in a variety of colors. We generally print black on white. But you might experiment with bright orange or yellow sheets. Forum Member ShootDots report: “They sell cardstock at Fed-Ex Kinko! I use either Orange or Yellow. That makes it easy to see the bullet holes clearly.” NOTE: Test before you use the 110-lb Cardstock. On some printers, with the heavier 110-lb card stock, you will need to have the paper exit through the rear for a straighter run.

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrest

Here are some Target-Printing Tips from our Forum members:

“Staples sells a 67-lb heavy stock that I have settled on. I use the light grey or light blue, either of these are easy on the eyes on bright days. I have used the 110-lb card stock as well and it works fine. It’s just a little easier to print the lighter stuff.” (JBarnwell)

“Cardstock, as mentioned, works great for showing bullet holes as it doesn’t tear or rip like the thin, lightweight 20-lb paper. I’ve never had a problem with cardstock feeding in the printer, just don’t stick too many sheets in there. If I need three targets, I load only three card stock sheets”. (MEMilanuk)

“20-lb bond works pretty well for me if I use a spray adhesive and stick the entire back of the paper’s surface to the backer board.” (Lapua40X)

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 15th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: French 6-6.5×47 F-Classer for Aliénore

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Today’s Sunday GunDay Story is a unique and beautiful F-Class rifle from France. This handsome rifle was first featured in our Gun of the Week Archives. This rifle was a gift from husband to wife. Because this is such a unique rifle, with a great back-story, we are reprising this “French Connection” rifle once again.

Europe has a number of capable custom arms makers, and in this article we feature one of them, Christian Salva of Toulouse, France. Here we spotlight an ultra-accurate and handsome 6-6.5×47 Lapua F-Class rifle. Built for a lady, the rifle exhibits flawless craftmanship to match its superior performance.


Alie Gets Her Gun — Thanks to Husband Aurélien

Photos and text by LONASSAC, translation by T.J.E., NRA UK
Aliénore, a charming young French lady, shares her passion for short- and long-range shooting with her husband, Aurélien. Aurélien already owns a 6mmBR PGM Ultima Ratio rifle and decided to have a rifle built for his wife so that they could shoot together. They therefore turned for help to the Christian Salva workshop, located in Toulouse in the south of France, close to their home.

SALVA Walnut Stock–Gorgeous Wood, and Great Ergonomics
Aliénore chose a superb, perfectly-grained French walnut blank for the stock. The stock is a single, solid piece of walnut, with a waxed finish to show off its fine figuring. The stock design is optimized for F-Class, prone and Bench Rest shooting. The fore-end is flat and 3.35″ (85mm) wide, slightly wider than the common 3″ used on most benchrest rifles. On the underside of the forearm is a rail to take a Parker-Hall or a Versa Pod-type bipod. The trigger guard is a custom, light alloy SALVA design. The butt plate is Anschütz-type. It adjusts vertically and can be rotated on its horizontal axis. The cheek piece is adjustable for height only — all that is needed.

Aliénore selected the F-Class Target Rifle from Christian Salva’s range of rifles, which is the one best suited to the type of shooting she wanted to do. Their club’s rifle range, near their home, goes out to 600 meters (See photos above). Unfortunately, as is usual in France, the range does not have a target pit. Members shoot prone using front benchrest-style rests, as in F-Class. The problem is that, without a proper target trench, it’s not possible have individual shots spotted and marked (as would be done in American High Power matches). However, with a good scope, in good light, shot-holes can be seen at 400m, and sometimes even at 600m — but this is rare.

When this rifle was crafted, Christian Salva was one of the few gunsmiths in France who manufactures complete rifles from front sight to butt-plate. With the sole exception of the barrel, he constructs the whole rifle, including action, bolt, trigger and stock. He also does all the bedding and chambering himself. Everything is done to his customer’s specification which, of course, can only be achieved in a small and highly specialized business.

General Rifle Specifications
The rifle was built on a SALVA hexagonal long range action with a flat base, which is set in a highly-figured French walnut stock using a bedding block. The gun is 49″ (125 cm) overall, and weighs 9 kg (about 20 lbs.), including scope. The barrel is 29″ (74cm) long, and a straight 1.22″ (31mm) in diameter. Given the weight and size of the barrel, the decision was made to secure the barreled action into the stock with a bedding block. On top of the action is an angled Picatinny rail with 20-MOA built-in to allow long-range shooting without using up the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle is currently fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scope held in alloy rings.

Details of SALVA Action
The rifle features a light Dural alloy right bolt, right port, single-shot action treated and coated with a champagne-color surface hardener. The action is hexagonal in shape (normal for a French action), with a flat base for improved bedding. On this particular gun, however, the action is floated, with the barreled action secured by the long barrel block. Take a good look at the photo below. Yes, the action on is fully-floated — the barrel block secures the barreled action into the wood stock. This is similar to some Benchreast heavy guns.

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Christian Salva produces his actions from scratch, employing high-tech machinery, including CNC multi-axis mills. The advanced design allows the action to be very strong as well as light. The SALVA action is very thick and sturdy, in spite of its weight being reduced to a minimum. It can chamber cartridges from the 6mmBR size up to magnum calibers such as the 300 Win Mag. A treated steel insert is screwed into the front of the action. This is threaded to receive the barrel and machined to receive the locking lugs of the bolt. The threaded section is especially long (36mm with a 1.5mm thread) so as to ensure proper rigidity for the unit. Where the bolt lever closes, a steel insert, screwed into place with a BTR screw, prevents the steel bolt lever from wearing the softer Dural alloy of the action.

Tri-Lug Bolt with Extractor and Ejector in Lugs
The cylindrical all-steel bolt has a diameter of 0.906″ (23mm) and three (3) front locking lugs. The bolt design has BOTH extractor and ejector placed in locking lugs. Salva’s goal, in engineering the position and operation of both extractor and ejector, was to reduce side pressure on the cartridge. The extractor is designed to hold a cartridge case in place with minimal lateral displacement. The ejector is also built into one of the three lugs. [Editor’s Note: Many modern benchrest actions, such as the Stolle Panda, Stiller Viper, and some BATs employ an extractor in the lug. This is also a feature on Savage bolts and push-feed Model 70 Winchesters. However, these bolts do not have the ejector in a lug as well.]

Remarkably, the ejector has no spring, unlike most bolt designs. It should be noted that this springless ejector is designed to eliminate side pressure when chambering a round, thus keeping the round concentric in the chamber. The ejector is mechanical and will eject the case if the shooter pulls the bolt all the way back. If the shooter prefers to extract the case by hand, one simply pulls the bolt part way back. The 1.5″ (38mm) bolt lever is fairly short, but it has an oversize 30mm polymer knob to facilitate the opening and closing of the bolt.

French Gun, German Barrel — a 29″ Lothar Walther
On Aliénore’s rifle, the barrel is the only component not manufactured by SALVA in Toulouse. For the barrel, Christian Salva chose a stainless Lothar Walther, 6-groove barrel, with a 1:8″-twist for handling 105gr bullets. The muzzle is milled with an 11º slope so as to handle boat-tail VLD bullets. This German-made Walther tube has a 1.22″ (31mm) straight contour and is 29″ (74mm) in length. This long, non-tapered barrel is heavy enough that Salva decided to mount it with an alloy bedding block, about 8″ long (20 cm). Ten Allen-head screws clamp the block to the barrel, while the lower section of the bedding block is secured to the wood stock with eight screws and bedding compound.

Proprietary SALVA Trigger
The trigger is also manufactured by SALVA in its entirety, from Christian’s own design. Overall trigger pull weight adjusts from 50-250 grams (1.8 oz. – 8.8 oz.). The SALVA trigger can also adjust for: Longitudinal trigger position (Length of Pull); Over-travel; Main travel; Second-stage pressure; and Sear engagement.

Cartridge and Load Info
The rifle is chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua. Aurélien starts with Lapua 6.5×47 cases. These are then necked-down to 6mm and neck-sized with a .265″ bushing. The necks are turned very slightly, to ensure neckwall uniformity, and achieve a consistent grip on the bullet. Aurélien loads Berger 105gr VLD bullets, pushed by Vihtavuori N160 powder and small magnum primers. His preferred load is 38.2 grains of N160 with a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 2.732″ (69.40 mm). With this load, muzzle velocity is 2854 fps (870 meters per second) chronographed one meter from the muzzle. [Editor’s note–this is a very mild load. The 6-6.5×47 can drive 105-grainers over 3100 fps.]

How the Rifle Shoots

Smooth Function + Great Accuracy
When firing using a front rest, the recoil of a 9 kg, 6-6.5×47 Lapua rifle is minimal and ideal for a lady. The operation of the rifle is trouble-free, even if a few rounds were initially a bit stiff on loading for the first time. Thereafter everything sorted itself out very nicely. The action of the bolt is solid and one can feel that everything is very snug and that the tolerances are properly tight.

The versatile trigger rivals the best benchrest triggers, with the additional bonus of a single- or two-stage operation. That said, with a minimum pull-weight of 50 grams (1.8 oz.) perhaps the term “two-stage” is not the best description, since it is difficult to detect a let-off point at that weight. The trigger can be set to be a very light, single-stage let-off.

The rifle is fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR model scope. This high-magnification optic enables the shooter to see his/her bullet holes at 400 meters in good light. This is very useful when it comes to adjusting for wind. The stock’s adjustability and ergonomics allow the shooter to feel comfortable using this rifle. The Anschütz butt-plate and easily-adjustable height of the cheek piece help in that regard.

This rifle has demonstrated some impressive accuracy. Below is a group shot by Aurélien at 400 meters (437.4 yards) on C200 targets. Using OnTarget group measuring software, we calculated this 5-shot group at 0.555″ or 0.121 MOA. That’s remarkable for a gun shooting long, VLD-style bullets. At 100 meters the rifle has yielded “one-ragged hole” groups.

alie rifle 6-6.5x47 accuracy

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 14th, 2020

Building Rifles with Howa 1500 Barreled Actions — Expert Advice

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

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

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

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

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

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

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

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

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

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

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November 13th, 2020

Criterion Barrel — Great Accuracy with Creedmoor Sports Ammo

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Superb Accuracy with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel and Creedmoor Sports Ammo
Check out that 0.188″ group. Can you believe that was shot with factory .308 Win ammo? A while back our friends at Criterion Barrels tested some .308 ammo from Creedmoor Sports. This was loaded with Lapua’s 175gr Scenar HPBT bullet in Lapua brass. The results speak for themselves. Any time factory ammo can shoot inside quarter-MOA, that’s impressive. This ammo was used in a “Rem/Age” project rifle. That term refers to a Remington action rifle that has been re-barreled with a pre-fit Criterion barrel. The new barrel is secured with a Savage-style barrel nut. Hence the term “Rem/Age” or “Rem-Age”.

shooting target accurateshooter load developmentCriterion posted: “I think we may have a new favorite factory match load for the nitrided Rem/Age build.” Another reader added: “[Creedmoor’s] 175 Scenar .308 ammunition is top notch.” FYI, this group was shot on our load development target, which you can download for free from our Targets Page.

Why do Criterion barrels shoot so well? One reason is that Criterion’s barrel steel is carefully stress-relieved. In the photo below, Criterion Rack 1A (aka the “Coffin”) has been loaded with barrel blanks — made ready for the stress-relieving process.

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Working with Pre-Fit Barrels
While they may require the purchase of some additional tools and a bit of a learning curve to install, using Rem/Age pre-fit barrels offer advantages over gunsmith chambering and barrel-fitting. In this video, 8541 Tactical explains how to install a Criterion 6.5 Creedmoor “pre-fit” barrel. You save money and time — you don’t have to wait for a gunsmith to chamber the barrel. While Criterion recommends that a competent gunsmith oversee the pre-fit installation, if you understand the use of go/no-go gauges and you have a barrel vise and action wrench set up to remove the original barrel, putting on a pre-fit barrel CAN be a DIY project. You don’t have to pack up your rifle to ship it off to a smith.

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November 12th, 2020

AutoTrickler V3 Tips — Set-up, Optimization, Maintenance

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

Top rifle competitors use the AutoTrickler system because it offers a superior combination of speed and precision in dispensing powder loads. With an AutoTrickler fitted to a compatible lab-grade magnetic force restoration scale, you can achieve single-grain weight consistency with your hand-loads. That kind of load weight uniformity does help deliver low ES/SD that translates to reduced vertical at long range. Adam MacDonald’s AutoTrickler system is so good that it can truly be called a “game-changer” in the precision handloading world.

As good as the AutoTrickler may be, there are some simple ways to keep it functioning better, or to improve your productivity. Here are three videos by F-Class John that provide very helpful tips for AutoTrickler owners. The first video shows general set-up and installation. The second video shows a simple but brilliant trick to speed up the process — use two identical powder measure cups shaved to be the EXACT same weight. In third video, F-Class John shows important maintenance tips to keep your AutoTrickler components running smoothly and quietly.

AutoTrickler V3 — General Set-Up and Operational Advice

In this video, John offers some general advice for setting-up the AutoTrickler system. He explains how you can get the machine optimized. For example he notes that you want to set the initial drop weight (from the powder measure) in an optimal range: “When you set the original drop you need it to be about 1 to 1.5 grains below. Some people set it too close to the final weight they want and it actually doesn’t let the trickler unit work as efficiently, consistently and accurately as it will if you start 1 to 1.5 grains low.”

John also explains how to hook up the cords and how to position the trickler unit. John places his AutoTrickler on a 30-lb piece of granite, with a thin polymer “anti-static” pad on top. John also uses a line conditioner and grounding wire to provide the best electrical flow to the scale and trickler. Interestingly, the granite was an inexpensive “surplus” piece taken from a kitchen top installation.

John also shows how the angle of the trickler unit can be adjusted. Another smart tip involves marking the white trickler tube belt bushing. That makes it is easier to discern slow movement and determine when the trickler is completely stopped.

If you own an AutoTrickler or plan to purchase one, we definitely recommend you watch this entire video.

Are you experience chattering when powder is dispensed? John also explains (3:20 – 5:30 time mark) how to replace a small rubber “wiper” part in the dispenser unit. This can help prevent chattering or kernel-cutting as the powder charge drops into the pan from above.

Use Two Identical-Weight Powder Cups to Load Faster

In this second video, F-Class John shows how you can use TWO identical powder cups to speed up your reloading. This is a VERY clever and relatively inexpensive upgrade. You can use 600-grit wet sandpaper to make the weight of the twin cups absolutely identical. John says: “I just lightly sanded the bottom of these until they both weighed exactly the same on my scale.” He can now use one cup to load a case while the other cup is receiving the next powder charge.

AutoTrickler V3 General Maintenance Tips

If you have been running an AutoTrickler for quite some time, you have probably noticed some noise or vibration. This video shows some very simple maintenance procedures that will have your AutoTrickler running great again. F-Class John reveals some components that can get dirty or worn after considerable use. The video identifies the items that may require a cleaning or adjusting. In the video John shows how to do those tasks quickly and easily.

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

In the last three minutes of the above video John shows an important process involving the trickler unit motor. The motor’s attachment screws tend to loosen slightly over time. After removing the pulley drive wheel, you want to gently tension the four Phillips screws. Then reattach the wheel and drive belt. Doing this simple process should reduce unwanted vibration.

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

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November 12th, 2020

Get FREE Data Book Scoring App for Android and iOS (Apple)

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of carrying old-fashioned paper Score Books? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports offers a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations/scores using an Android device or Apple iPhone or iPad. The price is right — FREE! Just visit the iTunes store or Google Play Store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional, spiral-bound print-format Creedmoor Rifle Data/Score Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your mobile device. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

Download HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

Download HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
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November 11th, 2020

Revolver Showdown — Miculek Shoots S&W, Colt, & Ruger

Jerry Miculek smith wesson colt python wheelgun ruger revolver showdown
Hornady sponsored shooter Jerry Miculek — Yamil Sued Photo.

If you are considering acquiring a revolver for fun shooting, self-defense, or competition, you should definitely watch this YouTube video. In this 23-minute presentation, legendary shooter Jerry Miculek puts three .357/.38 SPL wheelguns through their paces. Jerry, one of the greatest revolver shooters in history, hosts a “Revolver Showdown” with three popular wheelguns: 1) S&W L frame (3″ bbl); 2) Colt Python (6″ bbl); and 3) Ruger Speed Six (2.75″ bbl).

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Plus, L-Frame, 7-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Colt Python (Nickel), 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 6″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Ruger Speed Six, 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt RugerTesting at 10 Yards and 50 Yards
In the video, Jerry shoots all three revolvers rapid-fire, double-action at 10 yards. Then he shoots the three guns single-action, slow-fire at 50 yards (starting at time mark 7:19).

After his range session, Jerry examines nine medium frame revolvers, comparing and contrasting design features. Jerry considers these factors:

1. Accuracy
2. Balance and Handling
3. Speed and Sureness of Trigger Return (watch video at 3:45″ re Colt.)
4. Reliability
5. Barrel Twist Rate
6. Strength of Construction/Durability

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November 10th, 2020

New Single-Shot Actions & Target Rifles from Vudoo Gun Works

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Here’s big news for .22 LR rimfire benchrest competitors and smallbore F-Class shooters. Vudoo Gun Works is now offering precision single-shot rimfire actions, and complete Benchrest/F-Class style target rifles. Vudoo will be selling the new V-22S Single Shot Action, the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS 0.7-2.8 oz. trigger, and complete single-shot target rifles with benchrest and F-Class-style modern low-profile stocks. With a Rem 700 footprint, the V22-S action can also be used for smallbore silhouette and prone rigs. That’s good news for .22 LR competitors in many disciplines.

About The Vudoo V-22S Single-Shot Action
The all-new V-22S action was designed for optimal function in single-shot applications. The action has a three-lug bolt, six o’clock ignition, and the bolt can be dis-assembled without tools. Vudoo claims the action’s 60-degree bolt lift is “the smoothest and lightest of any three-lug [rimfire] design on the market”. The V-22S will be offered in various configurations: right bolt/right port, right bolt/left port, left bolt/left port and left bolt/right port. There is an integral 11mm dovetail mount and optional 0, 20, 30, or 40-MOA Picatinny rails. Another first for this type of action is a complete color-coded mainspring kit with mainsprings ranging from 13 to 18-pound force. The action is currently priced at $1405.00 MSRP.

Vudoo Gun Works V-22S Action Features
Rem 700 Short Action Footprint
Rem 700 Pinned Trigger Interface
Three Lug, 60-Degree Bolt Throw
Six O’Clock Ignition — Vertical Sear Fire Control
Tool-less Bolt Assembly/Disassembly
Color-Coded Mainspring Kit (13-18 lbs.)
Integral 11mm Dovetail Mount
Picatinny Rail 0, 20, 30 or 40 MOA

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Trigger Options — Flavio Fare BR-VS or your Choice of Rem-Compatible Triggers
A newly-designed fire control system yields precise, consistent ignition thanks to the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS Trigger. Vudoo Gun Works teamed up with Flavio Fare to co-develop a trigger for the new fire control system. The BR-VS Trigger adjusts from .7 to 2.8 ounces with heavier pull weight ranges coming soon. [Editor: We have talked to folks who have tried this new trigger and they say it is outstanding.] If you prefer a different trigger, a 60-degree cocking piece will be available as an option.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Complete Rifles Starting at $2800.00
Vudoo Gun Works will offer complete single-shot target rifles with three different match stocks: McMillan Kestros, McMillan Edge, Grayboe Renegade SS. These rifles will be fitted with the new BR-VS trigger, or other trigger of your choice. Complete rifle price ranges from $2800 to $3450 depending on options.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallboreVudoo Designer Talks about V22-S Action
Mike Bush, Design Engineer and Co-Founder of Vudoo Gun Works told us: “The V-22S is a ground-up Gen 3 design, which is where the tool-less bolt assembly/disassembly started. We rolled this design backwards into what are our current Gen 2 Repeater actions and we couldn’t wait to get the new Single-Shot out and in the hands of competitors, target shooters and those with a general passion for rimfire”.

Mike says the design really works: “I’ve not seen a system that offers better concentric alignment, repeatability and smoothness of operation… add to this, the six o’clock ignition and our new Vudoo/Flavio Trigger, and I think you’re going to see big differences downrange.”

More Details about the V22-S Action
Some folks have asked whether Vudoo’s new action is devived from the Remington 40X rimfire action. Vudoo states: “The V22-S departs from the 40X in that the 40X was a full size center fire receiver converted to handle the diminutive .22LR cartridge. The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint. The V-22 has a very unique control-round-feed protocol. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. [So] the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that would damage it in any way. We all know how susceptible the soft lead of the .22 LR is to accuracy degrading damage and minor nicks during the chambering process. It is eliminated in the V-22’s geometry.”

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November 10th, 2020

Collectible Firearms — Five Factors That Determine Value

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

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

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

Read Full Gun Collecting Article on NRABlog.com »

1. Make and Model

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

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

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

2. Condition (and Originality)

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

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

3. Rarity

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

4. History

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

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

5. Art (Decorative Embellishment)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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November 9th, 2020

Handgun Safes — Video Reviews of 20 Small Security Safes

handgun pistol revolver gunsafe safe vault quick access gunsafe portable home security

A good, quick-access safe can keep your handgun secure, but also readily accessible. There many factors to consider when buying a small, rapid-access pistol safe: reliability, locking mechanism type, case metal strength/thickness, need for battery, ease of installation, internal capacity, built-in lighting, attack resistance, and overall quality. If you are considering getting a small safe for handguns, we recommend you watch all three videos below. Each shares some valuable observations, and it’s good to have three different reviewers covering wide selection of pistol safes with many different features.

Seven Quick-Access Handgun Safes Reviewed by Lucky Gunner

Not all small handgun safes are created equal. In this 11-minute video, Lucky Gunner reviewer Chris talks about what to look for in a small pistol safe, setting out the pros and cons of the seven safes with which he has done “hands on” testing.

Fort Knox Original Pistol Box
Fort Knox handgun safes feature 10-gauge Uni-body construction and reliable Simplex mechanical locking mechanism. Low-tech but reliable. The vertical lid FTK-PB Pistol Box is $257.00 at Amazon.

handgun pistol revolver gunsafe safe vault quick access gunsafe portable home security

V-Line Hide-Away Two-gun Pistol Safe
The V-Line safe with Simplex mechanical lock and slide-out drawer holds two handguns. Sold with mounting bracket, this is designed for under-tabletop or under-shelf installation. It is $272.76 on Amazon.

ShotLock Handgun 200M Solo-Vault
Shotlock’s 200M safe with slide-out drawer, reliable mechanical lock, and mounting plate costs $165.75 on Amazon. Also available is an electronic version for $134.99 on Amazon.

Vaultek VT20i Biometric Pistol Safe
This is a modern two-handgun safe with electronic lock and Biometric (fingerprint scan) instant-access system. Crafted of 16-gauge steel, the VT20i has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. $269.99 on Amazon.

Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP
The Hornady RAPiD 2600KP safe offers very fast RFID access for a modest $151.86 on Amazon. This small safe meets TSA requirements for handgun storage in checked luggage. Good choice for travel.

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe
This is a basic safe with electronic locking mechanism. Just 4.5″ high, it can store in a drawer easily. Good value at $97.93 on Amazon.

GunVault MicroVault XL
A top-seller for many years, the Gunvault Microvault XL is offered in standard ($169.99) and Biometric MVB1000 versions. There have been some negative reviews of the $299.99 biometric version.

Smart Advice for Handgun Safes from AccurateShooter
With any small pistol safe, there are some important points to remember.

1. Keep the safe out of plain view — Don’t place it on top of a bedside table. Burglars often go straight to the bedroom looking for valuables. We recommend attaching your pistol safe to a secure surface using bolts. Or use a steel cable.
2. With electronic handgun safes, you should change/charge the batteries regularly. It is pointless to have a self-defense pistol in a safe you can’t open because the battery is dead. Electronic safes should always have back-up key-locks.
3. Don’t put important valuables such as car keys, credit cards, and jewelry in compact pistol safes. Even when screwed down, these small safes are known targets for thieves.
4. Remember the KISS principle. Some of the latest pistol safes are WiFi enabled so they can talk to a smart-phone APP. This may provide entertainment for tech types, but simpler may be better. You want a safe that will open/close without WiFi and without a battery.

handgun pistol revolver gunsafe safe vault quick access gunsafe portable home security

Ten Handgun Safes Reviewed by Survival Gear

This video is titled “TOP 10 Best Gun Safe”, but it should be more accurately titled “10 Pistol Safes”. None of these safes will hold a long-gun, and most will hold just two handguns. The largest safe reviewed, the Vaultek MX high-capacity, will hold six pistols on the lower level, and a couple more on the upper, internal shelf. This is a well-made, professionally-produced video that shows “hands-on” operation of 10 safes.

SentrySafe QAP1E Handgun Safe with digital keypad. Top-opening gas-strut supported lid. Circular key override. Single pistol safe $107.11 on Amazon. Larger model with 2-gun capacity and interior light $169.99 on Amazon.

GunBox 2.0 “Smart” Motion Sensor Gun Safe. Modern exterior design. Safe has audible motion alarm that sounds if moved. $299.99 from Gunbox.com.

Titan Pistol Vault Safe with mechanical, push-button lock, 14-gauge steel with mounting brackets for vehicle or home installation. $379.00 on Amazon.

handgun pistol revolver gunsafe safe vault quick access gunsafe portable home security

Vaultek VT10i Biometric Smart Pistol Safe with Auto-Open Lid and Rechargeable Battery and backlit keypad, $244.99 on Amazon.

Verifi Smart.Safe. Worth a look if you want a Biometric pistol safe. This has the largest and only FBI-certified fingerprint sensor. There is back-up key access, but no keypad. User reviews are good so far. $329.99 on Amazon.

BILLCONCH Biometric Gun Safe. This offers four access modes: keypad, biometric, phone App, and keyed entry. User reviews have been good. If you want a biometric safe on a budget, this is a logical choice for just $139.99 on Amazon.

handgun pistol revolver gunsafe safe vault quick access gunsafe portable home security

Vaultek MX WiFi High Capacity Smart Handgun Safe. Auto-open Door and rechargeable battery. This 15″x 11.5″x 11.6″ safe can hold up to 8 handguns on two levels. Available as Biometric ($559.99 on Amazon or non-Biometric $489.99 on Amazon.

Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault Biometric handgun safe. We like the large Liberty gunsafes and this is a new Biometric safe that holds up to 15 fingerprint codes. $219.99 on Amazon.

Handgun Safes for Bedside at Home — Pew Pew Tactical Reviews

A rapid-access bedside safe is a great way to keep your pistol secure, but also readily available, close at hand. Not all rapid-access pistol safes are created equal, however. In this video, John of Pew Pew Tactical explains what to look for in a small pistol safe, and points out the pros and cons of the four safes tested:

Fort Knox FTK-PB Simplex Pistol Box
Strong case, reliable no-battery locking system. Very good safe, but expensive ($257.00 on Amazon).

Vaultek Electronic Pistol Safes
Multiple styles, thin profile, 5-button electronic ($139.99 on Amazon), or Biometric VT10i + 5-button ($244.99 on Amazon), both with rechargeable batteries.

GunVault SpeedVault Handgun Safe
Designed for vertical mount under desk on vehicle, One gun only, requires batteries, $121.00 on Amazon

GunVault NanoVault Handgun Safe
Small, thin, lightweight — designed for travel or vehicle use. Simple combination lock. Not recommended for home. $56.38 on Amazon.

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November 9th, 2020

Bargain Finder 268: 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. Palmetto — Tactical 12ga Shotgun, Two Stocks + Case, $599.99

12ga gauge tactical shotgun thumbhole stock discount
With 2 stocks and 2 barrels, this is like having two different 12ga shotguns

12ga gauge tactical shotgun thumbhole stock discountTactical shotguns have been hot sellers in 2020, given the social unrest and need to safeguard home and business. Here is a great shotgun deal. The Black Aces Tactical Pro Series X package features 2 barrels, 2 stocks, and multiple choke tubes. You even get a special fitted carry case. This Pro Series shotgun’s components include: 18.5″ and 24″ Barrels (with 3 chokes included); Standard Full Stock; Additional 6-Position, Side-Folding Tactical Stock; 4+1 standard capacity, +2 extension, and +6 extension. The receiver features Hi-Viz sights and Picatinny rail.

2. Natchez — RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $394.99

rcbs rebel master loading kit
Good value for everything you need, hard to find right now

With the high price of ammo, more people than ever are loading their own ammo. A good basic package is the RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit. On sale for $394.99 at Natchez, this RCBS Package features pretty much all you need to load rifle and pistol ammo: Rebel single-stage Press, Uniflow-III Powder Measure, digital scale, hand priming tool, powder funnel, powder trickler, hex key set, accessory handle with case neck brushes, primer pocket brushes, deburring tool, loading block, and case lube. You even get a Speer Reloading Manual. NOTE: You can buy this same Rebel Master Kit for $399.99 at Cabelas.com.

3. Precision Reloading — VihtaVuori Powder In-Stock

vihtavuori powder
These powders deliver winning ammo in many disciplines

Popular powders remain in high demand and hard to find. But Precision Reloading has the excellent Vihtavuori line of powders in stock right now for immediate shipping. You can find nearly every VihtaVuori powder in stock including the harder-to-find N133, N150, and N165 and lots of others. We use clean-burning VV for our pistol loads, and N133 remains the #1 choice of short-range benchrest competitors. Grab some VV powder now while supplies last.

4. Midway USA — Walker Razor Muffs with Walkie-Talkie, $59.99

walker razor headphones
Dual-function electronic muffs — great for range communications

Electronic earmuffs protect your hearing while allowing you to hear range commands. With these special Walker Walkit-Talkie muffs you also get long-range communication capabilities. That’s great as you can talk to folks in the pits or friends on a different section of your shooting club. The Walker Razor Slim Low Profile Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 23dB) with Free Walkie Talkie comes with a walkie talkie function that allows you to communicate with other FRS radios. That lets you give range commands or talk with friends without the need for a second radio. You get two-for-one functionality all for just $59.99. This is a GREAT deal.

5. EuroOptic — Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale, Up To 54% off

bushnell tactical scope sale
Huge Discounts for excellent Tactical scopes for ARs, PRS, Hunting

Picking up a great scope for a steal of a price isn’t always easy but we have one of those deals for you. Check out the Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale over at EuroOptic where there’s a small but mighty selection of scopes at prices up to 54% off. These are great scopes at very attracive prices (up to $750 off) so grab one now before they’re gone.

6. Amazon — Large Digital Display Timer, $12.95

shooting timer
Use in Matches — Count-Down or Count-UP, handy big buttons

If you shoot in a discipline with time limits, or you time your firing strings during practice, having a reliable and easy-to-read timer is critical. One of our favorite timers is this very affordable Digital Display Timer with both count-up and count-down functions. It boasts an easy-to-read display and LARGE buttons making it perfect for F-Class, Palma, and other matches. This timer comes with both a built-in stand AND a strong magnet so you can position the timer conveniently.

7. Amazon — Tactical Shooting Bags, $23.99

shooting bags
Versatile 2-Bag Combo set, ready for your choice of filling

To shoot accurately, you want good front and rear support for your rifle. Sandbags offer an affordable support solution that is also easy to transport. Front sandbags are good for sighting in hunting rifles and they are very handy for tactical matches. Check out this Tactical Shooting Bag Set from East TN. Outfitters. For a bargain $23.99 price, you get BOTH front and rear bags. The front bag features handy bullet loops and Molle Web straps. These bags come ready to fill with anything from sand to plastic BBs.

8. Natchez — Bushnell 2.5-10x44mm SFP Scope + Knife, $189.99

bushnell scope sale
Great Deal PLUS nice hunting knife with 5 blades

The Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10×44 SFP 30mm Rifle Scope is a solid, reliable optic. And right now if you purchase this riflescope for just $189.99 you get a FREE Havalon hunting knife. This Bushnell Nitro optic features good light transmission and EXO Barrier lens coating that repels water, oil, dust, debris and scratches. Buyers have given this scope very good reviews: “This [scope] is way better than I expected for the money. I liked it so well I ordered another one.” Not only do you get the scope at nearly half off but you also get a free set of Havalon knives with FIVE replaceable blades.

9. Amazon — Tipton Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rods, From $23.99

tipton cleaning rods
Buy 2 or 3 at this price — durable and nice handles

Rifle shooters all need good cleaning rods with appropriate dimensions for their barrel length(s). If you need a new cleaning rod, check out the Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods. We own and use these rods, which feature a carbon fiber shaft and multiple bearings for smooth operation. Available in multiple lengths and calibers, you’ll certainly find one that fits your long guns. When shopping on Amazon, use the “SELECT” button to choose your preferred length, from 12″ to 50″. We like the 44″ version for barrels up to 30″. NOTE: Some sizes are cheaper at MidwayUSA.com so check both vendors before you order.

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November 8th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Nat’l Champ .308 Win

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Story based on Report by Bryan Blake, Blake Machine Company
Here’s the gold medal-winning .308 Win rifle of the 2020 F-TR National Mid-Range Champion, Andy Cyr. Arizona native Cyr won the F-TR Mid-Range Championship with an impressive score of 1761-72X out of a possible 1800 points. At this three-day Mid-Range event at Ben Avery in Phoenix, all 180 rounds were shot at 600 yards. Andrew delivered a convincing victory, winning by NINE points over runner-up James Crofts, a past national champion himself. We congratulate Andrew on his impressive win. And today’s Sunday GunDay feature examines the details of Andrew’s impressive .308 Win F-TR rifle.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Cyr Overcame Incredibly Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
After Day One of the Mid-Range Nationals, Andy was in 5th place. Andy made up some serious ground on the next two days despite winds that were well into the 20 MPH+ range. In fact, many experienced shooters took misses (not hitting the scoring ring) because the winds were so fierce. Interestingly, Andy’s 1761-72X score beat all but eight F-Open shooters.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Andrew Cyr’s .308 Win F-TR rifle during load development and accuracy testing.

F-TR Mid-Range Championship-Winning .308 Win Rifle Specifications:
Blake Barrel and Rifle 32″ .30 Caliber, 1:11″-twist barrel with custom specs
McMillan XIT Stock (lightened with ports on butt area)
Borden BRM Action
Kahles K1050 10-50x56mm Scope
Phoenix Bipod with F-Class Products lowering kit and skeleton legs

Andrew Cyr’s Championship-winning F-TR rifle was built by Phoenix-based Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) in 2018. Interestingly, this rifle was originally built for Andy’s daughter Jessica. The rifle was used by Andy a few months later. The rifle features a severely-lightened XIT stock with the grip smoothed out. Andy was actually the first customer of Blake Barrel and Rifle back in 2018. He has always been willing to try out new rifling profiles, twist rates, and barrel configurations as recommended by BBR.

Bryan Blake tells us: “Many customers demand exact specs and there is no way of changing their mind, even if it is factual-based. With Andy he was always willing to try new things, some things didn’t work well, but some things worked very well, just like the barrel used to win the Nationals.” Andy preferred a heavier barrel in the chamber area than most TR shooters. The shank diameter is 1.350″ rather than 1.250″. What this does is keep as much material around the chamber, which is the hottest area of the barrel. That way the barrel is less affected by heat over a string of fire, since the heat can be dissipated into a larger area.

Andy used a 32″ barrel, a length not commonly used in F-TR anymore. Most are running 30″ or even 28″ now. Many folks think a shorter barrel is more accurate so these competitors do not use a 32″ barrel. Well as you can see by his results, Andrew’s 32″ tube shot great. The extra length was NOT a handicap. We should remember that longer barrels can normally produce higher velocities than shorter barrels or deliver equivalent speeds with less pressure.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Many people also believe that a 1:9-10″ twist is needed to shoot 200-grain class bullets out of a .308 Win accurately. However, Andy took the advice of Blake Barrel and Rifle, and went with a 1:11″-twist Blake cut-rifled barrel. Many would say this twist is too slow, and some online calculators say a 1:11″-twist won’t fully stabilize 200-grain bullets. Obviously this is also not the case. Andy’s 11-twist and Berger 200-grain Hybrid bullets (NOT 200.20X bullets) work very well with this combination. NOTE: Andy uses an F-Class Products barrel tuner to tune his load. He will sometimes even alter tune between relays to compensate for changing barometric conditions.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Winning .308 Win Load — Lapua Palma Brass, VV N550, CCI 450s, Berger 200gr Hybrids
Andy Cyr took the Mid-Range title loading Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, Berger 200gr Hybrids, and Lapua .308 Win Palma brass. Andy does not push his bullets very fast and finds a big accuracy node at the mid-2600 FPS range. He jumps his bullets .015″ off the lands. One thing Andy consistently does is test, test, test. He will test different powders, charge weights, seating depths nearly every time he is at the range. He will shoot a different load for each string to see what works best.

Profile of 2020 F-TR Mid-Range National Champion — Andrew Cyr
Father and Daughter Compete Together

Andy started shooting F-Class in 2012 to help him shoot better in the PRS series. He hoped to learn to read the wind better and get more experience in long-range shooting in general. After shooting F-Class he was hooked and found he enjoyed it more than PRS. Andy and his daughter Jessica have shot many state matches together, with both of them shooting F-TR. Jessica owned the Mid-Range 20-shot woman’s Aggregate record for years with a score of 200-11X. Interestingly Andy shot his very first clean at 1000 yards at the Nationals in Raton, NM in 2018 with a score of 200-11X also. This year Andy started using a spotting scope to help read mirage and it has helped him tremendously he reports.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

The “Master” Beat the “High Masters”
Andy is currently classified in Mid-Range as a Master for F-Class, not yet High Master. Even after winning the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals, the most prestigious F-Class match of the year, he is still classified as a Master. Andy’s 1761-72X score works out to 97.8% of a perfect 1800. But the requirement for F-Class High Master is 98%. That just shows you how tough the conditions were at Ben Avery this year. But still the Master beat ALL the High Masters — if you look at the score sheet above, all the other Top 10 F-TR competitors were High Masters. Impressive. And we believe Andy is the first Arizona resident to ever win a national F-Class Championship in either F-Open or F-TR.

About Blake Barrel and Rifle
Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) has been in business since 2018. BBR built the rifle that Brian Bowling used to win the 2019 F-Open National Championship. And now another ultra-accurate BBR-built rifle has won the 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Bryan Blake tells us that Blake Barrel and Rifle has recently upgraded BBR’s rifle barrel building equipment. There are advanced CNC lapping machines, CNC bore-honing machines, and all-new, proprietary rifling cutter designs that no one else in the barrel business uses.

Blake Barrel and Rifle produces cut-rifled, 6-groove barrels with a unique rifling profile no other barrel manufacturer is using. Blake barrels have an impressive winning record in recent major competitions — earning National Championships, plus many match wins and podium performances. Bryan Blake tells us that “The time and quality control spend on Blake barrels is second to none and the proof in the results.” For more information, visit Blakebarrel.com.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action


Blake Barrel and Rifle | Blake Machine Company

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November 8th, 2020

Marksmanship 101: Optimal Finger Placement on Trigger

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

You can spend thousands on a rifle, but that expensive hardware won’t perform at its best if you have poor trigger technique. One key element of precision shooting is trigger control. Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss has produced a good video that shows how to refine your trigger technique for better accuracy. In this video, Kirsten talks about the actual placement of a shooter’s index finger on the trigger. It is important to have the finger positioned optimally. Otherwise you can pull the shot slightly left or slightly right.

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

Effects of Incorrect Finger Placements
You want to place the trigger shoe between the end of your finger and the first joint. If you place the trigger on the very tip of you finger you’ll tend to push the rear of the rifle to the left when engaging the trigger, causing shots to go right (for a right-handed shooter). On the other hand, if you put the trigger in the crease (first joint), you’ll tend to bring the rear of the rifle to the right, causing shots to fall left. This is illustrated below for a right-handed shooter.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

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November 8th, 2020

Inside Neck Chamfer Tools — A Bevy of Options and Angles

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p
Shown is the Redding Model 15-P Competition Piloted Inside Chamfering Tool with pilot rod that centers in the case flash hole. Also shown is a Forster 45° Rocket Tool.

There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad (or steel wool) to smooth the edge of the cut. The Forster chamfer tool, shown below, is a nicely-made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers. It costs $20.99 at Brownells.com.

forster rocket 45 degree neck chamferer chamfer tool

Redding sells a handy piloted chamfering tool with a 15° inside cutting angle and removable accessory handle. This Redding Model 15-P chamferer works really well, so long as you have consistent case OALs. The pilot rod (which indexes in the flash hole) is adjustable for different cartridge types (from very short to very long). This ensures the concentricity of the inside neck chamfer to the case mouth. This quality tool works with cases from .22 to .45 Caliber.

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p

Sinclair International offers a 28° carbide chamferer with many handy features (and sharp blades). The $28.99 Sinclair Carbide VLD Case Mouth Chamfering Tool will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. This tool features a removable 28° carbide cutter mounted in the green plastic Sinclair handle. NOTE: A hex-shaft cutter head power adapter can be purchased separately for $14.99 (Sinclair item 749-002-488WS). This can be chucked in a power screwdriver or used with dedicated power drives when doing large volumes of cases.

Neck inside chamfer chamferer case neck tool

Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs just $11.54 at MidsouthShooterssupply.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.

K&M makes a depth-adjustable, inside-neck chamferer (“Controlled Depth Tapered Reaper”) with ultra-sharp cutting flutes. The latest version, which costs $53.25 at KMShooting.com, features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. In addition, the tool has a newly-designed handle, improved depth-stop fingers, plus a new set-screw adjustment for precise cutter depth control. We caution, even with all the depth-control features, if you are not careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Redding 15-P.

K & M K&M neck chamferer reamer controlled depth

One last thing to note — tools like the K&M and the Sinclair chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers. That is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though — so long as you make a smooth cut.

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November 7th, 2020

MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono — Great Performance and Value

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

If you have been waiting to purchase a chronograph… now is a great time to buy. You can get the affordable MagnetoSpeed Sporter for under $160.00! You can set up this device in a few minutes, and you never have to go downrange to fiddle with a tripod or fuss with wires. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is simple and effective — a no-hassle solution.

See MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video

We’re impressed by the Sporter chrono, as are other shooters — this unit is very popular. Like the MagnetoSpeed V3, the Sporter faithfully records shots, even in complete darkness. Shot strings are recorded digitally and can be transferred to a smart phone via MagnetoSpeed’s XFR accessory (and Apps).

The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chrono is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $379.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The Sporter Chronograph costs just $159.99 at MidwayUSA (see below) and $179.00 at Amazon.

The Magnetospeed Sporter offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.” The Sporter Chronograph Kit (shown above) includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.

Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?

A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen.. If you have a really fat barrel (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

The Sporter Chrono attaches quickly and easily. It has a 3.5-foot-long cord, and will work with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

Magnetospeed sporter MidwayUSA chron chronograph

This post essentially puts twenty bucks in your pocket if you need a chronograph. You see the MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono typically costs around $180.00 from most vendors. But right now MidwayUSA is running a special — the true “shopping cart price” is $159.99. That’s $20.00 cheaper than Midway’s regular $179.99 price, and $19.00 cheaper than the lowest price we found anywhere else. But this special “Shopping Cart Discount” may not last long, so you may want to act quickly. We confirmed Midway’s $159.99 price on the morning of November 7, 2020.

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November 5th, 2020

Cool Tool — 21st Century Shooting Sand Bag Filler

21st Century Sand bag filler tool F-Class John

Are you tired of struggling to fill your rear sandbags and other sand-filled shooting supports? With a conventional plastic funnel it can be difficult to get the bags filled to full capacity. It’s also time-consuming and awkward to keep pouring sand into a small funnel top.

21st Century Shooting has a solution — a tool that makes it WAY easier to fill all types of sandbags and sand-filled shooting rests, including PRS bags, Bulls Bags, and X-Bags. The 21st Century Sand Bag Filler has a large transparent bottle that holds a lot of sand. This attaches to a nicely-machined threaded grip section that feeds the sand into a small-diameter insert tube. This smaller tube easily fits in the small fill-ports of sandbags. The small tube also allows you to steer the sand flow to the corners of your bags to get a more even, uniform fill.

This video from F-Class John shows how to use the 21st Century Sand Bag Filler. John explains how to fill the sand bottle, than shows how to efficiently fill an Edgewood Dead-bottom bag with sand. John was impressed. At the 2:26 mark John notes: “This is pretty ‘kick ass’ … It is just sucking up the sand into this bag… that is fast”. John is sold on this tool: “I’ve got some giant SEB and Protektor bags. Before I had this tool, I’ve used any number of methods in the past and it’s probably taken me a good hour to pack a bag properly.” Now John says he can fill a big bag in a fraction of the time.

21st Century Sand bag filler tool F-Class John

Along with benchrest rear bags, such as the new SEB Premium Bigfoot shown above, there are many other sand-filled support bags. Shown below are some popular bags. The Uncle Bud Bulls Bag has long been a favorite of varmint shooters. It’s very stable but does require a LOT of sand. The 21st Century tool will dramatically shorten filling time for a big Bulls Bag or X-Bag.

21st Century Sand bag filler tool F-Class John

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