August 5th, 2014

Gun Tech: Pads for Cleaning and Working on Your Rifles

We normally use a gun cradle when cleaning or adjusting our rifles. But there are situations, such as when working on a barreled action, when it’s nice to use a pad that lies flat. Many work pads are too small — they’re nothing more than oversize mouse pads. Here are three gun pads that are big enough to work well with rifles and/or barreled actions.

DryMate Gun Cleaning Pad
rifle Gun cleaning pad drymateThe Drymate Gun Cleaning Pad is a full 54″ wide x 16″. That’s four and a half FEET wide — longer than most rifles, so you have plenty of surface area for working. Conveniently, this product can be washed with soap and water. It is offered in three versions: Green, Blaze Orange, and Camo. We like the Blaze orange version because the bright color makes it easier to see small parts such as screws and springs.

rifle Gun cleaning pad drymate

rifle Gun cleaning pad drymate

Boyt Harness Counter Pad
The 48″ x 12″ Boyt Harness Counter Pad was originally designed more for display purposes than for serious work sessions, but we like this product. It is useful if you want to lay your gun on a bench to make small adjustments. The Boyt Counter Pad is nice and big, a full four feet from end to end. The back side is canvas while the top-size is a quilted cotton fabric. This product has received high praise from buyers. Here are actual owner reviews:

rifle Gun cleaning pad drymate

Expensive… but worth every penny. I bought three of them because I want to have at least one always around. I use one for a shooting bench or tailgate mat and another for my primary gun cleaning workbench mat. Awesome for both purposes. This one was perfect for my array of needs. — Joe D.

This mat is great for cleaning guns and keeping your surfaces clear of oil or solvent. The mat has plenty of space for a rifle or handgun and the padding is thick enough[.] I would definitely buy again and have recommended this to my friends and family. — Safety Guy

I bring this to the rifle range with me every time, to rest my rifle on the table without worrying about scratches. It fits nicely in my soft rifle case. One side is a tough canvas material that doesn’t show scratches, and the other side is a soft fleece material that protects the finish of your gun. — MACPSU


Hoppes Gun Cleaning Pad
The Hoppes Gun Cleaning Pad is 36″ wide x 12″. That’s big enough for many barreled actions (unless you have a really long barrel). This pad has a non-slip nylon backing, and Hoppes claims that the “Soft acrylic material absorbs 8 times its weight in fluids.” This Hoppes Cleaning Pad is very affordable. It costs just $8.39 at Amazon.com with free shipping for Prime members.

rifle Gun cleaning pad drymate
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 5th, 2014

Shooting Skirt with Pockets Holds Gear on your Tripod

Here’s a clever product from Good Shooting Sales & Service, a shop operated by National Smallbore Silhouette Champion Cathy Winstead-Severin and her husband Jim Severin. The Shooting Skirt, available in either Nylon Mesh or Cordura/Mesh for $32.00, is a cone-shaped, fabric gear-holder that fits around the top of a tripod. The Shooting Skirt has various pockets that can store score cards, timers, Walkie-Talkies, spotting boards, and other accessories. The Shooting Skirt even has a water bottle holder. (Note: the Cordura/Mesh combo version is out of stock, but the all-mesh version is in available.)

Tripod Gear Holder Skirt Tripod Gear Holder Skirt

We think the Shooting Skirt is a really clever product that can benefit varmint hunters as well as those who are scoring/spotting in shooting matches. For anyone who spends a lot of time working with a tripod in the field or at a range, the Shooting Skirt can be a very handy accessory.

Craft Your Own Custom Shooting Skirt — With High-Tech Options
What’s neat about this basic design is that it could be easily modified to suit your needs. If you (or the significant other) can run a sewing machine, you could make something similar, customized for the particular gear you use. You might add a pocket for a windmeter, or a special section to hold the lens caps for your spotting scope. Or, if you’re really clever, you could add a flexible solar panel to provide back-up power for your PDA, cell phone, or cameras.

Foldable Solar Power Panel

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July 28th, 2014

High Power National Championship — The Guns of Camp Perry

We are already half-way through the NRA High Power National Championship and SSG Shane Barnhart of the USAMU remains atop the leaderboard, with a score of 1193-64X out of a possible 1200 points. Barnhart shot a 595-28X during Sunday’s Navy Cup, Coast Guard Trophy, and Army Cup matches. Barnhart currently holds a three-point lead over second place SSG Brandon Green (1190-58X), the defending High Power National Champion. Like Barnhart, Green shoots for the USAMU. Kenneth Lankford leads the “any sight” (scopes allowed) division with 1191-54X.

High Power Hardware: The Guns of Perry

We thought our readers would like to see some of the ultra-accurate rifles campaigned by High Power competitors at Camp Perry. Both bolt-action and self-loading rifles are popular. Among bolt guns, Tubb 2000s and Eliseo tubeguns are popular. Semi-auto AR platform “Space Guns” offer some advantages (particularly during rapid-fire and for standing position), and are favored by many of the top marksmen. Many Camp Perry High Power competitors are also shooting less exotic AR service rifles.

Here is your current leader, SSG Shane Barnhart, with an AR Space Gun. Note the side charging handle and tall iron sight set-up.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

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

The modern AR Space Gun, scoped version. Note the side charging handle, and absence of forward assist. A block fitted under the handguard helps with the standing position. The scope is mounted on a “piggy-back” rail that extends forward of upper receiver’s built-in rail.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Look carefully — it appears that a separate fore-arm section is duct-taped to the red free-floated handguard. Perhaps this AR owner experienced some wiggle, and that’s why he seems puzzled?
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

A countdown timer is attached directly to this shooter’s Tubb 2000 rifle.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

This Service Rifle competitor shows how to get some “R & R” between relays.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing


All Photos courtesy NRA General Operations.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 4 Comments »
July 26th, 2014

SCATT MX-02 for High Power Shooters

The SCATT MX-02 is a revolutionary electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow recently tested this product, as fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle. Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and thereby shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Back in January, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Recently, we had the chance to test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its implications for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.

CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review.

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

Test Drive the MX-02 at Camp Perry
SCATT electronic training systems are currently on display at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Interested shooters can try out SCATT at Champion Shooters on Commercial Row, Building #1023B.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

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July 4th, 2014

Accurate Rifle as Art — “Old Glory”

Here’s a stunning rifle that’s perfect for the July 4th edition of the Daily Bulletin. Forum member CaptSurly from Florida posted his .223 Rem “Old Glory” in the Pride and Joy thread in our Forum. In that thread Forum members have posted photos of their favorite rifles. When we saw “Old Glory” for the first time, we knew this gun deserved more exposure.

223 Rem Benchrest

CaptSurly tells us: “Old Glory is the second custom rifle I had built. The first was another 223 built by Bobbie Hart. In choosing 223 it was the result, at the time, of the lack of any familiarity with the BR and PPC custom cartridges. Old Glory is one of a dozen custom rifles I own, 8 of which are built on Bat 6.5″ MF actions, all with Shehane Tracker stocks in 22 and 6mm PPC, 22, 6mm, and 30 BR, as well as 222s and 22-250s built on Rem 700 trued actions. The gunsmiths include: Leonard Baity, Dwight Scott, Kevin Rayhill, Bill Truitt and Doyle Anglin.”

223 Rem Benchrest

Old Glory is built on a trued Remington SS action. It sports a Shehane MBR Tracker stock, a 1:14″ twist Dan Lilja SS Barrel at 24″, a 1.5 oz. Jewell trigger, a Pacific Tool & Gauge (PTG) bolt, a Leupold 45×45 Competition scope, Davidson bases, and Kelby rings. The chambering is by Kevin Rayhill in Match .223 Rem Match with a .250″ neck. Kevin also pillar- and glass-bedded the action in the stock. The gun is shot with Lapua match brass (.0115″ neck thickness), Bart’s 52gr FB bullets and with Fed 205m match primers lighting off 25.0 grains of VV 133. The gun is very accurate.

223 Rem Benchrest

CaptSurly tells us: “Old Glory is not shot in organized competition, but competition in absentia. By that I mean I keep track of what is happening in organized competition through PS Magazine and through the IBS web site. Traveling to matches at long distances does not work for me. Extreme accuracy is my passion and I am rarely satisfied with my results regardless of how good they are and more often than not they are good. Old Glory is seldom shot beyond 50 yards due to the range availability here on the island. I shoot on the Florida Keys Shooting Club Range here on Key Largo, FL. While we have 50- and 100-yard ranges, the 100-yard range is available only on Monday afternoons, so I use same for shooting my PPCs and BRs.”

223 Rem Benchrest

223 Rem BenchrestArtwork by Killer Paint’s Mike Lavallee
The amazing paint job was done by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint Inc. in Snohomish, Washington. Mike is a featured artist on The Discovery Channel in his own right and in association with Monster Garage (Jesse James). Lavallee is famous for his “Tru-flames” paint effects.

Three of CaptSurly’s painted stocks currently appear on the Killer Paint web site gallery and Lavallee is currently working on two more stocks for CaptSurly and his wife — one will feature a tropical motif and the other will sport a buckskin motif.

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June 28th, 2014

Cody’s ‘Glam-Tactical’ Curly Maple Precision Field Rifle by Russo

Forum member Cody H. (aka “Willys46″) provided this report on his new Russo-stocked 6-6.5×47 Rifle.

Joel Russo out of Harrisburg, PA is taking modern technology and new stock designs and mating them with Old World materials and craftsmanship. The result: rifles that shoot true and look seriously sharp. Russo got his start making laminated wood stocks for budget-minded tactical rifle shooters with his popular A5-L design. Motivated by his passion for woodworking and a mindset for detail, Russo has shifted his focus from the run-of-the-mill laminates to create shootable works of art in some of the most highly figured, beautiful, exotic and domestic woods. Russo has come to feel that if he as a craftsman is going to spend precious time creating something out of wood, it should be for something worthy of his personal investment.

Take, for example, a recent Russo stock that started its life as a highly figured piece of Curly Maple harvested in the Pacific Northwest. After CNC inletting, profiling, pillar- and glass-bedding, the stock was meticulously finished to showcase the wood’s beauty. This stunning stock was commissioned for my new 6-6.5×47 Precision Field Rifle [Editor: it's just too pretty to be labeled 'tactical']. Have a look….


Rifle Specifications: Remington 700 short action with R&D Precision bottom metal. Bartlein Barrel (Sendero Contour). Joel Russo Stock in A3-5 pattern (A5 buttstock with A3 fore-end). Barrel chambering/fitting (6-6.5X47 Lapua) by Steve Kostanich.

How does it shoot? Cody reports: “I’ve had the rifle two weeks, and sent about 200 rounds down range so far. I could not be happier with the performance of the whole package. The 6-6.5×47 Lapua chambering really makes it a pleasure to shoot with its low recoil and accuracy potential. With the fitted muzzle brake, recoil is minimal. The ballistics of 105gr Berger hybrids at 3100 fps make the wind at 600 yards very manageable. As for the stock, the slimmer fore-end holds the bipod much nicer than my old A5L. The lighter weight also makes it more maneuverable in different shooting positions.”


NOTE: Hi-Rez Gallery images may take some time to load. Be patient — it’s worth the wait.


Cody Talks About His Rifle
and Joel Russo’s Work

Click Play Button to Hear Audio


Like any artist, Russo carefully considers where to begin. Deciding where the stock will be cut out of the wood blank can take days. He must determine where the forend and pistol grip will lay to be sure the true beauty of the wood will transfer to the stock design. After Russo cuts the rough pattern out of the blank, it’s off to the CNC mill for barrel and action inletting. The stock is almost completely inletted but still in the rough; enough material remains for Russo to hand-blend the wood and metal for that all-important fit and finish. Then it’s off to the duplicator, which cuts out the stock in the specified pattern.

With inletting completed, the action is pillar- and glass-bedded, then readied for final shaping. The tang/pistol grip area demands careful work for a perfect look and feel. It takes hours with files and rasps to get everything just right. Once material is removed it’s a done deal so patience with the tools is a must. Russo is a very painstaking woodworker, and as an artisan and champion shooter himself, he wants the tang to melt into the pistol grip for the perfect look and feel.

Once the major wood removal is complete, Russo begins surface sanding. To make the finish come out smooth and flat, a sanding block is a must. With the density change in figured wood, some sections will be softer and so material is removed more quickly, making for a very wavy finish. When Russo is satisfied with the final sanding he starts the finishing process.

Russo generally does a hand-rubbed TUNG Oil finish. Since this stock is for a tactical competition rifle, and I wanted to preserve the natural blond color of the Maple, a clear coat finish was in order. In all fairness the maple would look even better with a darker oil finish, which allows the deep grain and figure to come out, creating an almost 3-D effect. A hand rubbed oil finish can take months to be applied properly. The shorter application time was another advantage for this particular build.

Clear coat maintains the original color of the wood while being comparatively easy to apply with basic paint-spraying tools. If you scratch the surface, it’s a simple matter to buff it out just like you would a car door ding. After a numerous coats are applied then it is wet-sanded just like the finish on a classic hot rod. The finer the sandpaper grit, the shiner the finish. For the maple stock project, a higher-than-typical gloss finish was selected because the wood kept looking better the shiner it got. Want it shinier? All you have to do is invest a little more time in sanding and polishing. Sometimes Russo works his way to 6000 grit sandpaper.

Walk-Around Video Showing Beautiful Wood

After final wet-sanding of the clear-coat, the finished stock is one even a millionaire would be proud to shoot. With the advent of fiberglass composite materials and assembly-line production methods, there are fewer true craftsmen like Joel who can start with a block of wood and some metal and create a complete rifle. So it’s refreshing that wood artisans like Russo are keeping alive the craftsman tradition. To see more examples of Joel Russo’s work, visit www.RussoRifleStocks.com.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 3 Comments »
June 20th, 2014

SEB NEO Front Rest — Unique Features of This Co-Axial Design

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

Our friend Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang recently released some photos that illustrate the “inner workings” of his advanced SEB NEO Front Rest. If you’ve ever wondered how a joystick front rest works, and how the parts go together, study the photos below. In addition, for those who use a NEO rest in competition, Benchrest Champion Mike Ratigan offers some PRO USER Tips that will help you get the best results from your NEO.

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

Unique Features of the SEB NEO Front Rest:

  • Lots of Travel — 43 MOA Vertical and 48 MOA Horizontal via joystick alone. The NEO offers more joystick travel than any other coaxial rest.
  • Variable Joystick Movement — The NEO is the only rest that can be configured for reverse action mode. That means you can optionally set it to lower the rifle with an up movement of the joystick if you prefer. (Standard setting raises rifle with up joystick movement.)
  • Rack & Pinion Risers — The NEO has dual support columns with Rack & Pinion system, offering a very broad vertical adjustment range.
  • Optional Counter-Weights — The NEO comes standard with a spring-loaded top mechanism to help hold up the rifle. Optional counter-weights allow you to reduce spring “pre-load”. Many people feel the counter-weights also allow a smoother, less jerky movement.
  • Reversible Base — The NEO’s base can be set-up with either the long leg in the rear or the long leg in the front. Putting the long leg in front gives more room under the rifle.
  • NEO Packs Flat — The SEB NEO is easily dismantled for transport, and can pack nearly flat. This is a big advantage when traveling.

CLICK HERE for Complete SEB NEO Coaxial Rest Instructions (PDF File)

SEB NEO PRO TIPS from Mike Ratigan:

Counter-weight Function and Calibration: “With the Seb NEO, equipped with the optional static counter-weight, the shooter can calibrate the counter weight to the rifle weight. The counter-weight is used to hold up the rifle. Clamping pressure of the sliding plates is NOT used to hold up the rifle like other coaxial rests on the market today. Other coaxial rests apply enough clamping force to the rest top mechanism sliding plates to resist the downward movement of the top when the rifle weight sets on the rest. This one feature of the Seb NEO almost completely eliminates bullets falling out of the bottom of your groups because the rest moved (or falls) down when you fired the rifle. This function is very important.”

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

On Hand Position: “I try to keep the palm of my hand grounded to the bench at all times. To do this at the closer distances, the handle will be laying flat (bend to the side) while shooting on the bottom of the target. To move to the top up (for right-handed shooters) I rotate the handle counter clockwise, which [raises the top] while maintaining my palm grounded to the bench.”

On Front Bag Fill: “Give some coarse sand blasting sand a try with the small stuff screened out. This will help reduce compaction from daily use.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 2 Comments »
June 20th, 2014

Sack-Ups Fabric Roll-Up Pouches Hold Knives and Tools

Here’s a handy product with many uses for hunters and shooters. The Sack-Ups Knife Protector roll-up pouch is made from silicone-treated synthetic fabric. The pouch protects blades and tools while helping to prevent rust. (Since leather retains moisture, you don’t want to leave blades in leather sheaths.) While Sack-Ups roll pouches were designed for knives, they can be used to hold other shooting items, such as bolts, loading dies, or expensive tools. The synthetic fabric wicks away moisture. (Nonetheless, we recommend that steel items receive a light coat of a good corrosion-inhibiting oil before long-term storage.)

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

The protective pouch has a flap over the top and tie cords to secure the pouch when it is rolled up. Available from Amazon.com (and other online vendors), the model 802 6-slot Sack-Ups Knife Pouch retails for about $14.00, while the 10-slot knife pouch costs $18.49 on Amazon.com . Larger 12-, and 18-slot Sack-Ups Roll-up Knife Pouches are also offered. For example, the model 801, shown below, holds a dozen knives or tools up to 5″ in length.

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
June 14th, 2014

Wireless Sensor Measures Temp and Humidity Inside Gun Safe

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensorHere’s a smart new product that monitors the temperature and humidity inside your gun safe — with a convenient LCD display unit located on the outside of the safe. You don’t need to string wires or cut a small hole in your safe — there are two separate components, one inside and one outside. The sensor unit (on the inside) communicates wirelessly with the display unit (on the outside).

The new GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer was designed to display the temp/humidity in your safe without the need to open the safe. NOTE: the wireless LCD display can show BOTH in-vault AND in-room humidity and temperature levels. You can attach the display to the vault door with its built-in magnet, or simply place the display unit on top of the safe using the handy flip-out kickstand. The unit costs just $20.89 at Amazon.com.

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor
Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer Specifications and Features:

  • Measures In-Vault and In-Room humidity from 20% to 95%.
  • Measures In-Vault temperature range from 14°F to 122°F.
  • Measures In-Room temperature range from -4°F to 158°F.
  • Records Min/Max temperature and humidity history.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 13th, 2014

Review of Ruger American Rifle — New Varmint Version

This month Ruger is introducing a new varmint version of its popular Ruger American Rifle (RAR). The RAR “Predator” model is offered in six (6) different chamberings: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. All have 22″ free-floated, medium-contour barrels except the .308 Win, which has an 18″ tube, making it a very handy truck gun.

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

Gun writer Ed Head got his hands on one of the new RAR Predator rifles, chambered in .223 Remington. He reviewed the Predator for the DownRange.TV blog. The reviewer liked the compact 6.62-pound rifle, which features a molded polymer stock and hammer-forged 1:8″ twist barrel. Ed Head liked the short-throw bolt, and he praised the crisp trigger. Accuracy, as tested, was not that impressive — 1.224″ on average at 100 yards. But the tester noted that some types of ammo shot much better than others. So, conceivably, with handloads, this gun could shoot well under 1 MOA. Shooting at steel targets, the tester “managed to shoot 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards, 2.5-inch groups at 200 yards, and 7-inch groups at 300 yards, all with the Lake City ammunition.”

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

CLICK HERE To Read Full Review of Ruger American Rifle Predator

Overall, reviewer Ed Head liked the Predator enough that he decided to purchase his test rifle: “I like this rifle and I’m going to buy it from Ruger. It will shoot ‘minute of squirrel’ at reasonable ranges and should do well on bigger critters — predators — out to 400 yards or more.”

Rifle Features

  • One-piece, 3-Lug 70° bolt with full-diameter bolt body and dual cocking cams.
  • Integral bedding block system that positively locates the receiver.
  • Action comes with factory-installed aluminum Weaver-style scope rail.
  • Two-position safety can lock trigger (but not bolt) to allow safe unloading.
  • Adjustable 3.5-lb Ruger Marksman trigger with Savage-style inner safety blade.
  • Barrel factory-threaded at muzzle for muzzle brakes, flash hiders, and/or suppressors.
  • Rotary magazines with 4- or 5-round capacity (depending on caliber). These magazines are a little tough to load correctly.

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
June 9th, 2014

Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Jacket — Great Fit with 29 Panels

Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat JacketEditor: Our friend Shawn McKenna is a talented High Power competitor. A few years back Shawn ordered a Monard custom-fitted shooting coat. He found the jacket helped him shoot higher scores with less fatigue. He liked Monard coats so much he decided to sell them. Here is his report.

By Shawn McKenna
For years and years, like most High Power shooters, I used an “off the rack” shooting jacket and thought I was happy with it. There may have been one or two adjustments the supplier would accommodate during ordering, but by and large it was like wearing a suit that you bought without the benefit of having it tailored.

I’m always looking to improve my scores, and in 2008 I set out to find a better shooting jacket. I happened across Monard during a web search and was surprised to learn that they took an astounding 19 different measurements during the fitting process. I thought, “This has to be much better than an off the rack coat.”

The custom coat that Monard offers to High Power shooters is called the “HP Ultimate” coat. Consisting of 29 different sections or panels, it offers customization of the composition, thickness and type of material used in each panel. And the 19 different measurements include separate right and left shoulder profiles and separate front and back profiles.

Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat Jacket

The measurements are entered into a computer program where the ratios between various points are checked against a historical database of similar measurements. Any ratios that fall outside these typical ranges are double-checked or re-measured before confirming the order to insure the fit is right the first time. This measuring process produces a custom-fit coat with the right balance of support and comfort in each position, be it for across the course, long range, or Palma shooting.

How to Get a Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat
Order Monard High Power Ultimate shooting jackets from McKenna Shooting Sports. Call Shawn McKenna personally at (719) 322-3127 to talk about options, measurements, and pricing.

Shawn says: “At first glance, the order form seems daunting. But don’t worry, I can guide you through each part of the order form and explain the many different options. I’m not just the owner of McKenna Shooting Sports and a Monard-trained rep, but an experienced rifle competitor who can explain the features desirable for across the course vs. prone shooting coats (i.e. higher arm orientation, shorter torso options for prone) as well as the many different choices within those two basic options.”

McKenna Shooting Sports, LLC
1826 E Platte Ave, Suite 110
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Ph: 719-322-3127
shawn [at] mckennasports.com

GET 10% OFF
Mention this Accurateshooter.com article and get 10% off of your order placed by June 30th. Also, see Shawn on Commercial Row at Camp Perry for 10% off Camp Perry orders.

Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat Jacket

Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat JacketTestimonials from Monard Customers:
“The level of support, fit and comfort of my Monard is far superior to anything else available. My old coat feels like a sweatshirt by comparison. Shooters have to try one to fully appreciate the difference. All the Monard shooters with whom I talk agree – there’s no going back once you get one.”
–Jeff Lindblom, 2013 Missouri State Champ (in photo)

“Shooting offhand in a Monard is a much-needed upgrade; the support in the lower back you get with a profile matching your lower back is great! While shooting prone it is comfortable and easy to buckle all the way down.”
–Laura Monturi, Colorado State Rifle team

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 2 Comments »
June 5th, 2014

Windmeter with Rotating Head Shows 90° Crosswind Values

The new-for-2014 Caldwell Crosswind Professional Wind Meter does much more than measure wind velocity. Along with Current Wind Speed, this device will measure and display: Average Wind Speed, Max Wind Gust, Temperature, Station Pressure, Barometric Pressure, Altitude, Density Altitude and even Wind Chill factor. Select among mph, ft/min, km/h, m/s, or knots for the wind speed units.

Caldwell crosswind wind meter

The swiveling impeller head (set parallel to barrel) allows you to determine an interpolated 90° crosswind value to use in your ballistics calculations. This eliminates a lot of guesswork.

You might say, “Why do I need a rotating head, I can just turn the whole wind meter to align the impeller axis with the wind?” Yes you can, but then you merely get a raw speed value, and you have to guesstimate the wind angle, and then calculate your actual windage correction based on the vector.

The rotating impeller ring on the Caldwell simplifies the job of calculating windage. The swivel head is designed to show an effective 90-degree crosswind value, no matter what the actual wind direction. Here’s how it works. Hold the unit with the display screen facing you. Then rotate the impeller head until it aligns with the barrel axis (bullet line of flight). The plastic shell surrounding the impeller is specifically designed so that the blades will spin faster or slower depending on the true wind angle. This allows the unit to estimate the effective 90-degree crosswind value (for your ballistics program). Pretty clever eh? See diagram to understand how this works:

Caldwell crosswind wind meter

This unit comes complete with rotating anemometer head, protective holster case, and one CR2032 battery. The unit has an auto “Power-Off” feature to preserve battery life. There is also a “Data Hold” function plus an LCD Backlight. NOTE: When figuring effective 90° crosswind values, Caldwell recommends using Average Wind Speed mode rather than Current Wind Speed.

Caldwell crosswind wind meter

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