February 19th, 2020

New Barnard SMS Action from Whidden Gunworks

Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver
Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver

Whidden Gunworks has the long-awaited Barnard SMS action. This impressive new 3-lug Rem-footprint action is NOT just another Remington 700 clone, though it fits Rem-inletted stocks and chassis systems. The Barnard SMS is a high-quality, custom-grade action. With the 3-lug design, bolt handle lift is shorter and quicker than its top competitors. And the excellent trigger timing of the SMS provides a smooth, glass-like operation.

Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver

New Zealand-crafted Barnard actions, such as the venerable Model P, have been highly coveted in the competitive long range community based on their high quality, ease of maintenance, and superb performance. Here in the USA, customers have asked for the same Barnard quality in a format that allows the use of Rem 700-configured stocks, triggers, magazines, and other accessories. This new SMS action can be used for long-range competition, PRS, benchrest, silhouette, hunting — any application where Rem 700-type actions are popular.

This new SMS action works with the Rem 700-family accessories which are readily available on the market. No adapters or conversion blocks are necessary for this action. The Barnard SMS is a true drop-in fit with Rem 700-inletted stocks and chassis systems. Likewise magazines and triggers for the Remington 700 footprint fit and work 100% with the new Barnard SMS.

Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver
Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver

Whidden Gunworks states: “Sportsmen all over the world will agree to the unequaled and superb quality of Barnard actions. The internal parts are simple and robust. Disassembly and maintenance can be easily done in the field if needed quickly, returning your firearm back into service. Quality material and proper heat-treating methods ensure strength and longevity for a lifetime of use. The new Barnard SMS is a great new offering. For MORE INFO or to place your order today visit WhiddenGunworks.com. SMS Actions list at $1150.00.

Whidden Gunworks Barnard SMS Remington Rem 700 action receiver

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
February 19th, 2020

Five Great Gear Items for Serious Pistoleros

Jessie Harrison Pistol ammo aiming

While this site focuses primarily on accurate rifles, we know that most of our readers also own pistols (and many shoot them competitively). After rimfire pistols, probably the most popular handguns in America are 9mm semi-auto pistols. Here are five products we use with our favorite 9mm semi-autos — H&K P7M8 and SIG Sauer P226. You’ll find a great carry case, high-quality electronic muffs, a pistol “range station”, affordable 9mm ammo, and two cool training targets.

1. CaseCruzer Handgun Cases

CaseCruzer gun pistol case revolver magnum 6-pack 5-pack 4-pack 3-pack

A California company, CaseCruzer, makes the nicest multi-pistol hard cases we’ve ever seen. With capacities from 3 pistols to 6 pistols, these lockable range cases hold handguns securely in angled “quick-draw” slots. In addition to the molded pistol carriers, there are slots for magazines together with a separate compartment for muffs, ammo, and other accessories. Starting at $240.00 MSRP for the Quick Draw 3-Pack, these boxes are expensive, but they offer great protection with great usability. Water-tight and dust-proof, CaseCruzer cases are airline approved (ATA 300).Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the new benchrest, PRS, ELR, or hunting rifle (and thousands more on optics), how are you going to get it to the range or hunting grounds? It’s important to transport your valuable firearms in very high quality gun cases. Good padded soft cases can work, but for long-distance hauling (and all air transport), we recommend hard cases with quality foam inside.

2. Impact Pro Electronic Muffs 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath. That gives you serious hearing protection during live fire, with the ability to hear voices and converse.

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), an exceptional NRR. In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value — $49.69 on Amazon.com.

3. Range Station for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit

The Range Station combines an ammo compartment with a roll-out mat. Great idea. Some gun ranges only have concrete benches, or shooting stations with horizontal surfaces covered with dirt, powder residues, and other debris. You don’t want to put your $2000 Colt Python on that mess. The 12″x24″ Padded Gun Mat stays put on the counter-top and holds guns and gear. The case snaps to either the right or left side of the mat. Interior trays are sized for standard ammo boxes and magazines. Separate compartments hold smaller range gear such as rulers, target markers, and more. When finished, the mat can be rolled and stored neatly and compactly in the case, which fits most range bags. This handy Range Station is $29.99 on Amazon.

4. CCI Blazer 9x19mm (9mm Luger) Ammunition

Sellier Bellot Ammo ammunition 9mm luger 9x19mm

We have shot thousands of rounds of CCI Blazer Ammo through our 9mm Luger handguns. This ammo has proven reliable AND very cost effective. NOTE — the aluminum cases are not reloadable, but this ammo is so affordable, why bother to reload? Right now Midsouth Shooters is offering 50-ct boxes of 9mm Blazer ammo for $8.99 — just 18 cents per round. For a few bucks more, Brownells offers brass-cased 9mm CCI Blazer ammo priced at $11.49 for 50 rounds.

5. High Contrast Pistol Training Targets

pistol training target

Here are two of our favorite pistol targets. The Splatterburst 12″ x 12″ sight-in target works great for handguns in indoor ranges. Bullet holes appear as bright neon yellow halos. And the contrasting grid lines let you quickly estimate your group size. Each target has five diamonds, and the top of each diamond provides a precise aim point for your front sight. The 12″ Bullseye Pistol Diagnostic Target diagnoses common problems based on shot impact zones. While this target is designed for righties, left-handed shooters can use the target too. Just observe the opposite tips.

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February 18th, 2020

Tikka T3 and T3x — Value, Performance, Upgradability

Tikka T3 rifle Competition Machine Pre-Fit barrel Criterion

In a recent Forum thread, one member asked for recommendations for a factory rifle with a good action and trigger, under $600.00. Many respondents recommended a Tikka T3 (or newer T3X), and we concur. These won’t run with a $2500 custom, but for a hunting or varminting rig, they offer good bang for the buck with a very nice action. The last Tikka T3 we tried, a .308 Win with 24″ barrel, easily shot sub-MOA groups with factory ammo.

The original Tikka T3 and newer T3x actions are rigid, robust, and well-crafted. They cycle smoothly and have a short 75° bolt lift. The bolt features a Sako-style extractor, with angled-leading-edge bolt lugs for smooth lock-up. These T3/T3x rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle.

If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3/T3x is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at $569.00 for the T3X Lite version). The current T3x series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Tikka T3X UPR SHOT Show

We were impressed with the new Tikka T3x UPR rifle we saw at SHOT Show 2020 We liked the stock very much, and thought this was a very versatile gun that could be used for target shooting off bipod, hunting, even PRS, given its detachable magazine. The stock is very ergonomic and feels good. Tikka states the UPR’s stock “features an extra layer of carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass for increased rigidity and accuracy.”

Video Owner’s Review of standard model T3X with polymer stock:

Tikka T3 Upgrades — Barrels, Stocks, and Chassis Systems

Once you acquire a Tikka T3 there are many interesting upgrades available. First, you can improve accuracy and consistency with a pre-fit barrel from Criterion. There are also many chassis systems that fit Tikkas. In fact you can even get an Eliseo Chassis so you can shoot Palma matches F-TR competitions, or tactical/practical matches.

Criterion Pre-Fit Barrels for Tikka T3/T3x

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

We have always liked Tikka actions, and now there is a great re-barreling option for Tikka T3/T3x owners. Criterion Barrels Inc. (CBI), makers of “pre-fit” barrels for Savage, Remington, and Rem-clone actions, also crafts Tikka pre-fits. These pre-chambered barrels for Tikka T3 actions will be headspaced with a barrel nut, just like a Savage.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels
Click image for full-screen version

Tikka T3/T3x pre-fit barrels are sold through Solid Accuracy, a respected Texas-based outfit that sells high-end scopes, stocks, barrels and other rifle components. Price is $461-$485 with various contours and lengths available. Order HERE.

Competition Machine Chassis for Tikka T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

At SHOT Show, we saw some tactical shooters admiring the smooth Tikka T3 action and crisp trigger. They liked the action but they told us they wished they could get the T3 action in a configuration similar to the Ruger Precision Rifle. Well folks, there is a way to build a Tikka T3-based tactical/practical rig.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine offers a tubegun chassis for Tikka T3 actions in both Target and Tactical versions. The T3 kit is set up for AICS short action magazines. This is a “no gunsmithing” installation — no modifications to the action are required and the chassis kit works with the factory T3 trigger and safety. Along with the new Target and Tactical versions, a lower-cost Light-Weight Hunter T3 Chassis is also offered which accepts most AR-type buttstock assemblies.

Full Tactical Upgrade for Tikka T3

Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo

Tikkas are boring, nondescript hunting rifles right? Wrong. Check out this Tikka T3 tactical with “attitude”. For the British Shooting Show a while back, the folks at Osprey Rifles placed a Tikka T3 action into a modern modular chassis: “A standard factory Tikka T3 was fully Cerakoted and dropped into a Third Eye Tactical chassis stock which also had the Cerakote treatment.”

Click Photos to see full-screen version.
Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo

This T3 Chassis can be ordered through Osprey Rifles in the UK. The latest chassis stock system from Third Eye Tactical is currently available for both the Rem 700 short action and the Tikka T3.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
February 17th, 2020

Bargain Finder 230: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Primer SALE, 30-42% Off

primer sale

Finding primers is still tough and getting them on sale (at huge discounts) is even harder. But right now, for a limited time, you can save up to 42% on Major Brand primers at Sportsman’s Warehouse. All types of CCI, Federal, Remington, and Winchester primers are on sale, including hard-to-find Federal 205Ms and CCI 450s. And yes, pistol and shotshell primers are on sale too. These are GREAT prices — you should stock up now! NOTE: Some primers are limited to 10 boxes (1000 primers) per order.

2. Stocky’s — Special Edition Rem 700 Stocks, $228.88

remington stocks

The Remington 700 (and clones) collectively remain the number one receiver type on the market. If you’re looking to upgrade your Rem 700, Rem 7, or Rem clone, consider one of these Special Edition Remington 700™ Classic Deluxe Stocks from Stocky’s Stocks. They’re available in 14 colors/laminates, all with correct inletting for your Rem or Rem clone action. Stocky’s wood stocks are rugged and handsome.

3. Midsouth — .308 Win Berger Bullets+Brass Load Pack, $64.99

berger loader pack sale

For Palma and F-TR disciplines, the .308 Winchester remains the competitor’s cartridge of choice. If you need bullets and brass, check out these Berger Match Grade Loader Packs featuring Berger 155 grain .308 diameter VLDs and .308 Win ABM brass. (ABM stands for Applied Ballistics Munitions, which is now Berger Ammo). These 155gr Berger bullets are truly match grade and a smart choice for Palma work. At $64.99 for 100 bullets AND 100 pieces of brass, this is a great deal. You could pay a lot more than than just for premium brass. Plus this deal includes FREE Shipping.

4. MidwayUSA — 6.5 Creedmoor Remington 700 PCR, $699.99

remington pcr precison chassis rifle PRS sale

The new Remington Model 700 PCR (Precision Chassis Rifle) features a Rem 700 action in an aluminum chassis. This rifle features a free-floated 24″ 5R barrel with an aluminum handguard. The Magpul PRS Gen 3 stock adjusts for comb height and length of pull and the toe design works well in a rabbit-ear rear bag. Remington says these Model 700 PCRs are tested to yield sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. Right now this rifle, as chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, is discounted $200.00 to $699.99. That’s a fine deal for a capable precision/tactical rifle.

5. EuroOptic — Bushnell Nitro Scope Sale, Save Up to 54%

bushnell scope sale

Bushnell makes quality scopes with great features for very affordable prices. Right now EuroOptic offers Bushnell 4-16x44mm and 5-20x44mm Nitro scopes with savings up to 54%. These are rugged Mil/Mil FFP scopes with the excellent Deploy MRAD Reticle with 0.1 Mil clicks. Consider this — the 5-20X Nitro was a solid value at $649.99, and now it is just $299.00 — that’s a $350.00 savings! These is a good hunting/varminting scope with scratch-resistent EXO-coated lenses that repel water and dust.

6. Amazon — Rexbetti Digital Micrometer, $39.99

digital micrometer

We’ve listed deals on digital calipers, but the other important measuring device every hand-loader should have is a Digital Micrometer. These are critical for determining neck wall thickness and other dimensions not suitable for calipers. This Rexbetti Digital Micrometer is a nicely-crafted unit (for the price) that measures to 0.00005″/0.001 mm.

7. Cabela’s — Pelican Vault Handgun Cases, $29.97 and $49.97

pelican handgun case

Typical handgun cases are pretty flimsy with easy-to-defeat lock tabs and cheap foam. These Pelican Vaults are much higher quality, offering serious protection for your pistols. Right now Cabela’s is offering the V100 Small Handgun Case for $29.97 or the V200 Medium Handgun Case for $49.97. Both cases feature five layers of interior foam, are airline compliant, watertight, and have pressure relief valves. The V200 also features strong stainless steel locking hasps.

8. Brownells — Wipeout Foam Cleaner, $14.99

wipeout cleaner

Walking the firing line of the Berger SW Nationals this year, one cleaning product was mentioned over and over again and for good reason. Sharp Shoot R Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use bore cleaner that does a great job. We get best results with two applications of Wipe-Out after some wet patches. If you’re tired of long brushing sessions, give Wipe-Out a try — it really reduces brushing required. This is a great deal. The same 5 oz. can is $24.95 on Amazon.

9. Amazon — JMack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs 50ct, $6.49

soft foam earplugs

Week after week we talk about the importance of good hearing protection. With this deal, you can pick up a 50-pair (100 ct) supply of 32 dB NRR soft foam earplugs for only $6.49 — a 40% savings. These plugs are comfortable and have a very impressive Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). For under seven bucks, you can get some serious protection, with plenty of “pairs to spare” for your shooting buddies and friends.

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February 17th, 2020

The Art of Arms — Holland & Holland’s Engraved Masterpieces

Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

Here’s some eye candy for your Monday morning. We’re presenting some stunning Royal shotguns from Holland & Holland, a legendary British gun maker. These amazing arms, which cost as much as a luxury automobile, demonstrate that the “art of engraving” still thrives among a few elite gun-makers.

Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

What goes into a £77,500.00 ‘Royal’ model hand-crafted shotgun? Watch this remarkable video from Holland & Holland to find out. Filmed in the Holland & Holland factory, this nine-minute video shows all the key stages in the creation of H&H’s prized shotguns and rifles. The video shows barrel-making, stock checkering, metal engraving and more…

Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ Side-by-Side Shotgun

Holland & Holland Double Rifle with Fitted Case
Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

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February 16th, 2020

Double-Decker Shooting Ranges in USA, Switzerland, Netherlands

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before — a “double-decker” indoor shooting range. Lotus Gunworks of Jensen Beach, Florida, operates a super-sized twin-level indoor shooting range featuring a two-story-high steel funnel bullet trap. Nicknamed the Lotus 8/11 for the number of steel panels used to create it (eight panels on the bottom slope and 11 panels on the top slope), this version of Action Target’s Total Containment Trap is the first of its kind. “No one has ever seen a range like this before” noted Lotus Gunworks’ Robbie Abell.

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Abell came up with the two-story concept when it became clear that the new Lotus building in Jensen Beach was not wide enough for two side-by-side ranges AND a gun store. Necessity was the mother of invention… Lotus wanted at least two ranges, so the only option was to make a double-decker range where both levels shot into the same bullet trap.

Indoor ranges require ventilation to remove potentially hazardous dust and lead particles. The sheer size of the double-decker range presented a unique challenge, but Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation installed a system that can completely replace all the range air every 80 seconds.

Other Multi-Level Shooting Ranges

While the Lotus Range may have the first two-story bullet trap, it’s not really the first-ever double-decker indoor shooting range. Other multi-level ranges exist, they just don’t have the giant bullet trap. In fact, some of the multi-level ranges in Europe are bigger and even more sophisticated.

Brünig Indoor facility — Multi-Level Range Underground
Switzerland boats a popular shooting facility built completely underground. The large, deluxe Brünig Indoor facility includes a 300m underground range with multi-level shooting stations.

Brünig Indoor shooting range Tunnel Switzerland

This video shows centerfire rifle practice on the upper level of one of Brünig Indoor’s shooting tunnels:

Dutch Double-Decker Range
Here’s a Dutch Double-Decker Range. Check out Schietsportvereniging (SSV) Katwijk, a great twin-level range in Holland featuring electronic targets with displays at each shooting station (on both levels):

Holland SSV Katwijk

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February 16th, 2020

Target Dots — Buy ‘Em by the Thousand and Save

target dots sticker avery label flourescent dot labeloutfitters

Sometimes simpler is better when it comes to targets for fun shooting and load testing. While we normally use test targets from our Downloadable Target Page, it’s sometimes easier to just use brightly-colored “Hi-Viz” adhesive target dots.

Hi-Viz Stick-On Dots in Assorted Colors and Diameters
You can order 1″ target dots in bulk from Labeloutfitters.com. Many colors are available including fluorescent (hi-viz) Red, Green, Orange, and Yellow. These are bright and easy to see even in fading afternoon light. A pack of twenty (20) sheets (1260 dots total) costs just $5.97 (that works out to $4.74 per thousand). For the 1″-diameter stick-on dots you get 63 dots per sheet. Larger, 1.5″-diameter fluorescent dots are also available in 20-sheet packs for $5.97, with 24 large dots per sheet (480 dots total). If you want even bigger, 2″-diameter dots, sheets with 20 Hi-Viz dots per sheet are on sale for $5.97 per 20-pack (400 dots total).

Our friend Danny Reever really likes the bright dots from Label-Outfitters: “Ordered some of the 1″ dots from LabelOutfitters.com and received them in two days Priority Mail! Bought the fluorescent red,green, and yellow and they are really nice — especially for the price.”

If you prefer smaller, 3/4″-diameter circles, Amazon.com sells Avery packs with 1008 adhesive dots for just $4 to $7 per pack. Colors include Neon Red/Orange (item 5467), Neon Yellow (item 5470), Neon Green (item 5468), and Bright Blue (item 5461). We recommend the Neon Red/Orange for most uses, or the Neon Yellow dots for use on a black background. There is even a dispenser-box option with 1000 3/4″ dots on a roll in a box. Amazon.com also offers 3/4″ and 1″-diameter target pasters in 1000-dot rolls for $7-$10 per roll.

target dots sticker avery label flourescent dot labeloutfitters

Half-Inch Fluorescent Dots for 100-200 Yards
For close-range work, you may prefer 1/2″-diameter dots. Forum member Steve found a source for very small 1/2″ dots: Uline.com. The 1/2″ dots are available in a wide variety of colors including fluorescent Red, Pink, Yellow, and Green. Price is $12 for a roll of 1000 dots (item S-2063). Steve notes: “A 1/2″ circle at 300 yards is not quite entirely covered by Nightforce crosshairs at 42-power (I’d say 70% coverage). I.e., it seems easier to line up repeatedly than with the bigger (3/4″) circles, which I used to use. Note that, for me, neon green and neon orange work best on brown cardboard targets. Neon orange works well on white paper.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
February 15th, 2020

Great Guns: Smith & Wesson Model 617 Rimfire Revolver

Smith & Wesson 617

While Accurateshooter.com concentrates on high-accuracy rifles, we know that many of our readers enjoy handguns. We are often asked “What is your favorite handgun — Glock? HK? SIG Sauer?” The answer to that question may be surprising. This Editor’s favorite handgun, at least the one that gets shot most often, is a rimfire revolver — that’s right, a wheelgun.

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a .22 LR Smith & Wesson Model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun. What can we say about the Model 617? The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better.

Smith Wesson model 617 .22 LR Revolver handgun
S&W Model 617 now has a 10-round cylinder, but early models were six-shooters.

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull.

Smith & Wesson Model 617 Video Reviews
Here are three video reviews of the Smith & Wesson Model 617, both 4″-barrel and 6″-barrel versions. All three videos demonstrate the 617’s great accuracy. The reviewers concede that this handgun is pretty expensive, but all agree that the Model 617 will last a lifetime, and hold its value.

Hickok 45 Demos “Wonderful revolver”, a 4″ Model 617. See also Hickok 45 m617 Part 2:

Popular YouTube Host 22 Plinkster Tests Model 617 with 6″ Barrel:

22 Plinkster loves the Model 617, “one of [his] favorite revolvers in the whole entire world — a great choice”. He reports it “shoots straight [and] functions pretty much flawlessly” with nearly any .22 LR ammo. In this video, 22 Plinkster tests a wide variety of rimfire ammo types including CCI .22 LR Std Velocity, .22 Shorts, .22 LR Shotshells, .22 Stingers, .22 Super Colibri, and .22 LR tracers.

This Video Features the Smaller 4″-Barrel Model 617:

Other Rimfire Revolvers — from Ruger and S&W

If you’re considering a rimfire revolver but would like to see other options, read our Buyers Guide to Rimfire Revolvers. Along with the S&W Model 617, this covers the Ruger GP100 10-shot (5″ bbl), Ruger LCRx 8-shot (3″ bbl), Classic S&W Model 17 6-shot (blued 6″ bbl), and S&W Model 63 (3″ bbl).

TOP FIVE Reasons to Own a Rimfire Revolver:

1. Rimfire .22 LR Ammunition is once again plentiful and affordable. The revolver can shoot all kinds of rimfire ammo — even 22 Shorts.

2. A good, full-size .22 LR revolver will be MORE ACCURATE than the vast majority of semi-auto rimfire handguns. It will shoot all types of .22 rimfire ammo with no cycling issues. With no magazines to jam, a good wheelgun will also be more reliable than most self-loading rimfires.

3. A rimfire revolver can shoot tens of thousands of rounds, with just routine maintenance. The gun can last a lifetime and then be passed on to your kids.

4. On a S&W revolver, it is very easy to tune the pull weight. You can have a safe double-action pull with a very light, crisp single-action release.

5. It is easy to change grips and sights to suit your preference. You can also easily mount a scope on the top-strap.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Handguns No Comments »
February 9th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Seb’s Hammerhead Dual-Discipline Rifle

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

We first ran this story a few seasons back. Since then we’ve received many questions about this gun, so we thought we’d give readers another chance to learn about this truly innovative, switch-barrel “convertible” rifle. This gun works for both short-range (100/200) and long-range (500-1000 yd) benchrest matches.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

You interested in a truly innovative bench gun that can shoot both short-range and long-range matches? Check out Seb Lambang’s original “do-it-all” rifle. This switch-barrel rifle combined two very different chamberings: 6 PPC and .284 Winchester. With that caliber combo, Seb’s covered from 100 yards (LV/HV mode) all the way out to 1000 (LR Light Gun mode). But the dual chambering is not the rifle’s only trick feature. Exploiting the long-range benchrest rules on stock designs, Seb has fitted a 3″-wide, flat rear metal keel to the buttstock. That counter-balances his 30″-long 7mm barrel, improves tracking, and adds stability. Seb built the stock and smithing was done by Australian gunsmith David Kerr.

Detachable Hammerhead Wing Section Plus Fat-Bottom Keel
To further reduce torque and improve tracking, the stock features an 8″-wide, detachable fore-end fixture. This “hammerhead” fore-end section has extended “wings” on both sides, making the rifle super-stable. The hammerhead unit can be removed, leaving the stock 3″ wide for use in registered benchrest matches where 3″ is the maximum width. The photos below show Seb’s gun in .284 Win Long-Range (LR) Light Gun mode, complete with front wings and rear keel.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

Yes This Rig Shoots … In Both Configurations, Long-Range and Short
Seb has already used his switch-caliber, switch-barrel rig successfully in competition. Seb tells us: “The gun shot and tracked real well either in 6 PPC LV/HV mode or in .284 Win LG mode. I love it! Back in 2015, with this gun I placed Top 10 for the Two-Gun at the Harry Madden Championship in Brisbane, Australia just a few days ago and took the silver medal for the 500m Flyshoot with the .284 Win on the next day. So who says a switch-barrel rifle can’t (or doesn’t) work?” And get this, Seb finished the stock just four days before the Brisbane match. He glued-in the action the evening before the match and shot it the next day in competition. Pretty impressive we’d say….

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC

6 PPC and .284 Win Convertible Rifle Specifications
Action: Stolle Panda Short Action (glue-in plus front/rear alum. pillars), Right Bolt, Right Port, Right Eject, .473 bolt face.
LV/HV Weight: Rifle weighs 10.4 lbs in 6 PPC mode (no keel, no front wings).
LV/HV Barrel: Krieger 21.5″ OAL, 6mm (6 PPC, .270″ neck), 1:14″ twist.
Light Gun Weight: 15.5 lbs in .284 Mode with 3″ rear aluminum keel and 8″ fore-end attachment.
Light Gun Barrel: Maddco 30″ OAL, 7mm (.284 Win, .316″ neck), 1:9″ twist.
Metal: Home-made, one-piece scope base with +15 MOA scope rings.

Seb Lambang — Indonesian Innovator
Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang is the designer/builder of the innovative SEB Coaxial rests, some of the best joystick rests on the market. The SEB Mini is a remarkable design — very compact but solid enough to win F-Class matches. And the SEB Neo Rest has become the go-to choice for short-range and long-range benchrest. The NEO folds flat for transport, yet offers extended vertical and horizontal travel and a rest top that can adjust from roughly 2″ wide to over 6″ in width. This Editor uses a SEB Neo for both bench and F-Class shooting and it is my favorite joystick rest. Here’s a video review of the SEB Mini, filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix:

Seb is actually in the USA right now, competing at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). No he’s not shooting his radical Hammerhead at Ben Avery this year — he’s got a more conventional F-TR rig. He is shooting with the Int’l Pickup F-TR team coached by Dean Wheeler. In the 2/6/2020 Team Palma match, Seb finished with high score for his team, 438-9X.

ADDENDUM — Seb Succeeds at SWN in Sharpshooter Division:
Seb just posted this report from the Berger SW Nationals in Phoenix: “Proud to get first place in Sharpshooter Class in the Long Range Day 1 Aggregate. Super tough F-CLASS match against lots of the best shooters in the USA and some other countries. Thanks a bunch to my gunsmith Alex Wheeler who did a really great job, [providing a] super-smooth timed action. Thanks also to Tom Mousel who did a great job with the super-accurate ammo! Thanks to Will McCloskey for the best laminate wood rifle stock on the market. The rifle shoots GREAT. I really enjoy this match!”. Here is Seb on the firing line at Ben Avery. The rifle rests on the SEB Joy-Pod joystick bipod he created.

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC .308 Win F-TR SWN

[NOTE: The NRA has multiple divisions: High Master, Master, Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. The most elite level is High Master.]

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February 8th, 2020

Zediker Examines Long Range Shooting with AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 ar-15 long range

Looking to shoot an AR-platform rifle out past 500 yards? Then you should read two articles by AR guru Glen Zediker. Author of The New Competitive AR-15 and The Competitive AR15 Builders Guide, Zediker is an expert when it comes to AR-platform rifles. Glen believes ARs have excellent long-range capability, provided they are built to high standards, with good barrels.

Glen says: “a properly configured AR-15 is easily capable of good performance at 500+ yards. Good performance means it can hit a 1-foot-square target all the time. Competitive shooters can cut that standard in nearly half (the X-Ring on an MR1 600-yard NRA High Power Rifle target is 6 inches, and high X-counts are commonplace among more skilled shooters).”

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

Long Range AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

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

Long Rang AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

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

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

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

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

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
February 8th, 2020

What’s Hot at SHOT — GetZone Coverage of SHOT Show 2020

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifls video

Couldn’t make it to Las Vegas this year for SHOT Show 2020? Well thankfully there is extensive SHOT Show coverage on the internet — both on websites and on the YouTube platform. GetZone.com, a large gun industry media resource, has provided 24 video reports on new products — rifles, pistols, shotguns, optics, and accessories. The 2-3-minute product showcase videos include both booth coverage from the SHOT Show floor and product-in-action footage from Industry Day at the Range.

GetZone’s What’s Hot at SHOT 2020 features Ruger as title sponsor for the third straight year, in addition to the following sponsors:

ATN | Aero Precision | Crimson Trace | Daniel Defense | DeSantis Gunhide | European American Armory | FN America | Mossberg | Nighthawk Custom | Smith & Wesson | SureFire | Taurus | Thompson/Center

Here are Six Samples from GetZone’s What’s Hot at SHOT Feature. CLICK IMAGES to launch video reviews:

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

CLICK HERE »

GetZone Shot Show 2020 review product handguns rifle video

GetZone.com has grown into one of the largest video platforms for hunting, firearms, and shooting sports content. With YouTube and Facebook aggressively censoring Gun-related content, we are pleased to see GetZone.com providing a gun-friendly new media platform serving all shooting disciplines. GetZone.com states that it “promotes safe shooting, encourages responsible firearms ownership, and supports wildlife conservation across the globe.”

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February 7th, 2020

Redding Offers New Slant-Bed Concentricity Checker

new 
Redding Reloading slant bed concentricity gauge

Redding has a new tool that can make it easier to measure case neck and bullet run-out. Redding’s new Slant Bed Concentricity Gauge features a tilted, 4-point case support. The “Slant Bed” design moves the bearing surface down and away from the user, making case rotation easier. Redding explains: “Pushing down with the index finger is a natural movement as opposed to rolling on a flat which requires the movement of the entire arm. It improves both the ease of case rotation and the maintenance of proper alignment for reading.”

The orientation of the Dial Indicator also improves ergonomics. The fixed vertical indicator stand places the indicator face at the optimal sight angle of 30°, reducing the possibility of off-center readings. Precision stainless steel bearings provide single-point contact with the cartridge case. Bearing sliders on stainles guideways allow quick and easy linear adjustment for cartridge length.

Redding’s new Slant Bed tool is affordable — $124.19 with 1″ Dial Indicator. The tool ships set-up for right-handers, but quickly converts for left-hand use.

- Ergonomic Design — Ships complete with large 1″x.001″ dial indicator
– Fixed indicator position — Dliminates set-up errors
– Precision stainless steel bearings mounted on linear guideways accept cartridge sizes from .17 Hornet to .408 CheyTac.
– Supplied with non-skid rubber feet or use direct mounting holes
– Easily converted to left-hand arrangement

Redding Product Description:
The new Slant Bed Concentricity Gauge features a large, easy-to-read dial indicator which quickly mounts in a factory aligned base dead-on the centerline of the case. No additional indicator alignment is needed. The uniquely angled design of the slant bed also better positions the dial indicator for easier reading as opposed to older designs. Additionally, the Gauge can be transitioned from right-handed use to left-handed by using a provided set of mounting holes on the base. Simply remove the mount screws and transfer the working sections from one end to the other. Left-handed users no longer need to struggle to get accurate readings.

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February 6th, 2020

Interesting .22 LR Rimfire Handguns — New for 2020

Ruger lite rack LCP-II pistol rimfire .22 LR 22

At SHOT Show and Media Day at the range, hundreds of new pistols were on display. We were pleased to see a variety of new .22 LR rimfire choices. For training, fun plinking, and target work, a .22 LR pistol offers many advantages. First, the ammo is inexpensive — you can get decent ammo for under $3.00 a box these days. In addition, barrel life is excellent with the little .22 LR cartridge. Finally, .22 LR has very low recoil, and less noise than centerfire cartridges — though you should still always wear eye and ear protection when shooting rimfire handguns.

Here are five new-for-2020 .22 LR Handguns from Browning, Ruger, Keltec, and Glock. Though it appears to have some reliability issues, we included the new Glock 44, because many of our Forum members asked about this new handgun.

Browning Buck Mark Limited Edition Buck Mark Plus Vision

Browning Buck Mark Limited Edition Buck Mark Plus Vision .22 LR 22

This is a new Limited Edition of Browning’s classic Buck Mark semi-auto rimfire pistol. This features a ported barrel shroud. Along with the blue version shown, this new pistol is offered with a Red or Black finish. This Editor shot this Buck Mark Plus Vision Ltd. Edition on Range Day and were impressed. It balances well, has a great trigger, and was very accurate. See Full Review on GunsAmerica.com. With lots of close-up photos, the GunsAmerica Digest review provides very complete information on the Limited Edition Series Plus Vision Buck Mark.

Ruger Mark IV .22 LR with 10″ Barrel

Ruger Mk Mark IV 10-inch barrel pistol rimfire .22 LR 22

This new Ruger Mark IV has a serious sight radius — the 10-inch barrel is near twice the length of the Mark IV’s typical 5.5-inch barrel. Even Ruger’s Mark IV Hunter and Competition models only offer a 6.88″ barrel. These new 10″-barrel guns still use the standard Mark IV one-button takedown for quick and easy field-stripping. The upper receiver comes drilled and tapped to mount Weaver- or Picatinny-style rails for optics. These new long-barrel Mark IVs will be available soon from Guns.com.

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 LR Pistol

For SHOT Show 2020, Ruger introduced a new ultra-compact .22 LR pistol, the LCP II “Lite Rack”. This rimfire version of Ruger’s popular .380 ACP pocket pistol gets its name from the easy-to-charge slide. Initial testing shows this little rimfire has a decent trigger and good accuracy. With a 10+1 capacity, the Lite Rack .22 is very reliable, as you can see in this .22 Plinkster video. If you’re interested in a “Deep Cover” .22 LR carry pistol, the Lite Rack LCP II, with its $319.99 street price, may fit the bill.

Keltec P17 — Compact, Budget-Priced .22 LR Pistol

Keltec p17 .22 LR 22LR rimfire pistol handgun

Keltec’s new P17 rimfire pistol is lightweight, easy to handle, and features a fiber optic front sight and an adjustable rear. Priced at just $199.95 MSRP, the .22 LR P17 has 16+1 round capacity and ships with three, 16-round magazines. This is a small pistol — it weight just 14 ounces and OAL is 6.65″. Keltec states: “The new, affordable P17 pistol makes range days a lot less expensive and far more fun.” With low cost .22 LR ammo and a 16+1 capacity, this should be fun to shoot.

Glock 44 — Glock’s First-Ever .22 LR Handgun

Glock surprised the world with its new Glock 44, with a form factor similar to the Glock 19. Glock’s first rimfire handgun has a 4.02″ barrel and 7.28″ OAL so most G19 holsters will work with the G44. There is minimal muzzle flip, accuracy is good, and the trigger is decent. OK, that’s the good stuff. The negatives? There have been reliability issues with bulk-type, inexpensive .22 LR ammunition. Reviewer .22 Plinkster was disappointed with his G44. He had dozens of malfunctions with bulk .22 LR ammo (see 9:00 time-mark) and the gun shot high with normal sight alignment (9:20 time-mark). He says the new G44 needs further development: “I… had high hopes for the Glock 44 when it was released. Hopefully, Glock will remedy some of the issues with this handgun.” And in the Pew-Pew Tactical video below you’ll see a malfunction at 6:50. The reviewer stated: “I struggled with the rounds that were cheaper and lighter, but I didn’t struggle with hot stuff or the good stuff.” Lesson — if you are considering the G44, be sure to use quality, hotter .22 LR ammo such as CCI Mini-Mags.

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February 4th, 2020

Eliminate Copper “False Positives” with Aluminum Jags

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order these products from Dewey Mfg. or Brownells.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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February 3rd, 2020

Bargain Finder 228: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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. MidwayUSA Padded Shooting Mat, $74.99 on Sale

thick deluxe padded shooting mat MidwayUSA form padding

This padded MidwayUSA mat is much more comfortable than typical shooting mats. With 1.5″-thick high-density foam, this is way better for knees and elbows than typical roll-up mats. For your home range, this is a good choice. On sale now for $74.99, this thick mat folds into three sections. It stows flat and fits nicely in the back of a truck or SUV. Actual owner comments: “If you like to be COMFORTABLE … I can highly recommend it! Easy on the elbows. Easy on the knees. Easy on the belly. You can even kneel on it comfortably, even when the surface is rock-hard!”; “I tell you what … Do yourself a favor and spend the few extra dollars on this unit. Highly recommended.” MORE REVIEWS HERE.

2. EuroOptic — Leica 8×42 Geovid LRF Binoculars, $1150 Off

Leica rangefinder binoculars geovid 3000 HD-B 3200.com binoc

If you’re looking for outstanding glass plus great rangefinding capabilities, the Leica Geovids are among the best you can buy — at any price. Right now save over $1000 on the Leica 8×42 HD-B 3000 Geovids at EuroOptic. These are being marked down to $1799.00 because Leica has introduced a new “smart” Geovid 3200.com model that communicates with a Ballistic App. That new 8×42 Geovid 3200.com starts at $2949.00, so you can save big bucks by buying the previous model. Last year’s 10×42 Geovid is also on sale now for $2499.00.

3. Natchez — ChargeMaster Lite Powder Dispenser, $207.99

rcbs chargemaster lite

Precise powder dispensing is critical for accurate loads. Among the many electronic scale/dispensers on the market, RCBS’s ChargeMaster Lite is a very good choice. This week Natchez is selling the ChargeMaster Lite for only $199.99. That’s a great price — almost $40 cheaper than Amazon. Note: Natchez also offers $5 Shipping with $99+ orders through 2/4/2020 with Code FR200201.

4. Multiple Vendors — 20% Rebate on Federal and Speer Bullets

Federal Speer Bullet rebate 20% OFF

Now through the end of April, if you purchase at least $100 worth of Federal and/or Speer bullets you can get 20% of the purchase price back. Minimum purchase is $100.00. Maximum rebate of $100 per person or household. Note: The Rebate amount will be calculated on the product purchase price only — that does NOT include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. This Federal/Speer Rebate is valid for purchases made 02/01/2020 through 04/30/2020. View REBATE FORM.

5. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite, $99.99

Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite

Lots of people love wet-tumbling their brass in stainless pins but not everyone want to do it in a giant unit. We found a sweet deal on the Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite. Midsouth has this unit on sale for $99.99. This tumbler is small enough to fit on a counter but still big enough to hold 300 pieces of .223 Rem brass. For folks on a limited budget who want to start wet tumbling, this is a solid choice.

6. CDNN — Ruger American .30-06 Hunting Rifle, $319.99

ruger american rifle
ruger american rifle

Even with so many new cartridge types, the venerable .30-06 Springfield remains a trusted and effective hunting round. Moreover, you can find good .30-06 hunting ammo at most any sporting goods store. Whether you’re looking for an affordable hunting rifle or perhaps a first rifle for a family member, check out this .30-06 Ruger American Rifle with Wolf Camo finish. CDNN’s current sale price is just $319.99 — a great bargain. One recent comparison test declared the Ruger American the best entry-level hunting rifle, and Ruger offers a rock-solid warranty.

7. Sportsman’s Guide — Buck Mark Camper UFX Pistol, $299.99

browning buckmark .22 LR pistol Camper UFX

The Browning Buck Mark is a classic, and for good reason. These pistols are reliable, well-balanced, have a good trigger, and they are very accurate. And now you can get one for under $300.00. Sportsman’s Guide has the Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX with 5.5″ Barrel on sale for $299.99 ($284.99 member price). This Buckmark Camper UFX is a excellent value, especially for Club members who pay just $284.99.

8. MidwayUSA Dogtown Ammo, $21.25 for 50 rounds

midwayusa dogtown nosler .223 Rem ammo varmint ammunition

Dogtown Ammo, made with Nosler tipped FB bullets, offers great “bang for the buck” for .223 Rem shooters, particularly high-volume varminters. Right now get 50 rounds for just $21.24 (43¢/rd). Or order 200 rounds for $86.99 (42¢/rd). Forum member NDAE15MAN states: “This stuff shoots in all of my .223 Rem guns — 7/8″ to 1″ at 100 yards. Best kept secret for ammo. Shoot exact same groups as Black Hills.” NOTE: MidwayUSA also sells .204 Ruger Dogtown Ammo with 32gr tipped flat-base bullets.

9. Midsouth Shooters — 17 HMR V-Max 500 Round Brick, $89.99

17 hmr ammo

Here’s a great deal for varmint shooters with 17 HMR rifles. Midsouth has the Hornady 17 HMR brick of 500 for a low price of $89.99. That works out to just 18 cents per round — cheap enough that you can blast sage rats all days long and never worry about running out of ammo.

10. Amazon — Two Pairs Safety Eyewear, Cords, Covers, $13.50

safety shooting glasses

Eye protection is important! All you need is one case separation or blown primer to cause serious eye injury. Don’t take that risk. Plus the CMP has made Eye Protection mandatory for all CMP Pistol and Centerfire Rifle events. Here’s a great kit with TWO Sets of safety eyewear, each with a neck strap and carry bag. These feature ANSI Z87.1-rated lenses that are anti-fog and scratch-resistant. The lenses also block harmful UV rays. Get the full SuperLite and SuperClear Lens Technology Kit for just $13.50.

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February 3rd, 2020

Rear Sand Bag Tuning — Fill Levels, Sand Types, Bag Designs

With the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) taking place this week in Phoenix, we are reprising this discussing of rear bag designs and fill levels. By “tuning” your rear bag you can reduce hop on shot-firing and help your rifle track better. All that can translate to better scores, particularly with large-caliber rifles.

Tuning Your Rear Sand Bags

Over the years, noted gunsmith and a Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez has learned a few things about “tuning” rear sandbags for best performance. On his Facebook page, Speedy recently discussed how sand bag fill levels (hard vs. soft) can affect accuracy. Speedy says you don’t want to have both your front and rear sandbags filled up ultra-hard. One or the other bag needs to have some “give” to provide a shock-absorbing function (and prevent stock jump). And you want to tune your fill arrangements to match your shooting style. Free recoil shooters may need a different fill levels than bag squeezers (who a softer bag but harder ears).

SAND BAGS & HOW TO FILL THEM by Speedy Gonzalez

I was asked several times by competitors at the S.O.A. Matches and F-Class Nationals as to how I fill my sand bags for benchrest competition. Here is a copy of a reply I gave several years ago:

Back in the old days, Pat McMillan told me: “You can not have two bags filled so hard that you gun bounces on them in the process of firing round at your target, especially if you have a rig with a very flexible stock. The bags must be set up in a manner for them to absorb the initial shock of the firing pin moving forward and igniting the primer.

Then [they must] maintain their shape and absorb the second shock wave as well the rearward thrust and torque of the rifle. What happens to the rifle when this is not done? Well let me tell you. The rifles have a very bad tendency to jump and roll in the bags. This causes many of those wild, lost shots that one can’t explain.”

Here’s some Good General Advice for Bag Set-up:

1. You should not have TWO hard bags [i.e. both front AND rear] in your set-up.

2. Heavy sand magnifies these phenomena.

3. If you are a bag squeezer, pack ears hard and leave bag pliable enough to squeeze for the movement required. You may pack front bag as hard as rules permit.

4. Free recoil shooters pack both bags firm, but not so hard as to allow stock jump. Especially if you have a stock with a very flexible forearm.

5. We use play-ground sand, also know as silica sand. I sift mine to get any large impurities out then mix it with 25% to 50% with Harts parakeet gravel to the desired hardness that I am looking for. The bird gravel keeps the sand from packing itself into that solid as a brick state.

Speaking of bricks — another thing that happens when shooters employ that heavy zircon sand is the ears form a low spot under them from recoil and then tend to rock back and forth with the rifle causing many low shots to crop up. Edgewood makes an Edgewood/Speedy rear bag specially reinforced under the ears to eliminate this scenario.

General Thoughts about Bag Construction and Ear Materials
I do not like the solid double-stitched leather bottoms. While this seems like a good idea, I see more shooters have problems because of them. They tend to slide around the bench and or slide with the rifle on recoil. The standard Protektor with Cordura rabbit ears and an Otto ring bag with a Cordura front would be what I would suggest to the new shooter or one of the Edgewood / Speedy rear bags, these mimic the “Donut” and feature a ring of leather around the bottom circumference that keep the bottom from rocking on the bench or ground[.]

One last note –If you use the Cordura bags, keep them sprayed with a good silicon spray or “Rain-Ex”. This keeps them from getting sticky. — Speedy

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February 2nd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Nat’l Champion F-Open Rifle and Cerus Twin

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

With the Berger Southwest Nationals commencing this week, we thought our readers would appreciate a showcase of two impressive, state-of-the-art F-Open match rifles. The first, show above, is the .284 RAHM (40° .284 Win Imp) with which Brian Bowling captured the 2019 F-Class Open Division Long Range National Championship. The second rifle belongs to barrel-maker Bryan Blake. Like Bowling’s rifle, Blake’s rig features a low-profile Cerus stock, but with purple highlights. Both rifles have 6-groove, cut-rifled barrels from Blake Barrel & Rifle and both sport Nightforce scopes.

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

Twin World-Class F-Open Rifles

Report from Bryan Blake of Blake Barrel & Rifle
We had been producing gun barrels for about 1.5 years prior to the 2019 NRA Long Range F-Class Nationals. Brian Bowling started shooting our 7mm barrels in May of 2019. Bowling and I are both on the Rutland team, Team Cerus, which has seven members. Bowling and I received the first Cerus XL stocks from Cerus Rifleworks in August of 2018. The stock was a very straight design.

With our barrels, these F-Open rigs can shoot! In 2018, Brian Bowling and I had the only two clean scores for the first match at the 1000-yard team NRA Nationals. In spring of 2019, I worked with Will of Cerus Rifleworks to see if we could come up with a lower center of gravity design to enhance what was already the straightest stock out there. We developed the Cerus XR stock which features stepped metal rails on the fore-end. I cut my XL Cerus stock and designed the rail system attached to the sides of the fore-end. Bowling’s stock (with black rails) was the second XR in the shooting world. On his very first weekend match at 600 yards he shot a 200-20X with the new XR stock and Blake 7mm 1:8.5″-twist barrel. He was using Berger 184gr 7mm bullets.

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

In 2019, at the NRA F-Class Long-Range Nationals, Brian Bowling won the F-Open National Championsship with a strong performance. He finished with a ton of Xs, three points ahead of the second place competitor. Before Brian’s impressive victory, we were told by many top shooters that a 6-groove barrel has never won any F-Class Mational event, and hypothetically never would. Well with Brian Bowling’s excellent shooting and reloading capabilities, we achieved a feat many said couldn’t be done.

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

Bowling’s Championship-winning rifle features a Bat Model B action in the Cerus XR stock. His Blake barrel is chambered for the .284 RAHM wildcat cartridge. This is a 40-degree (40°) version of the .284 Winchester. The .284 RAHM has a straighter case body compared to the original .284 Win.

We built Bowling’s rifle, doing everything except the final clear finish. We can do that work, but were short on time for the Nationals last year. We are proud of the chambering work we do and the quality of our bedding jobs.

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

Bryan Blake’s F-Open Rifle — the Purple XR

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

The Purple XR-stocked gun I shoot was built in August of 2019, right before the 2019 NRA F-Class Nationals. The natural wood is complimented by highlights finished with a bright purple metallic epoxy resin that Will from Cerus dreamed up. For this rifle we mated a BAT 3LL action with Blake barrels (switch-barrel configuration). Up front the fore-end rails are painted purple “plum crazy” to match the purple resin. The purple XR is finished with automotive “high solids” clear-coat, and block-sanded for a smooth, flawless look.

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

Blake’s Rifle is a Switch Barrel — 7mm and .30 Caliber
This Purple XR was set up to be a switch barrel rig, with both a 7mm BBM and a .30 BBM*. These BBM wildcats are based on shortened and straightened .300 WSM with a 40-degree shoulder. On my purple XR rifle as well as Bowling’s rifle, we employ Nightforce optics and load Berger bullets. These are the only glass and projectiles we use in our rifles.

The Purple XR is extremely accurate. Check out this 2.6″ group, shot at 1000 yards during a club match at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona. Yes, that is 1/4-MOA at 1K! Many folks would be very happy with that group at 600 yards. At 1000 yards it is remarkable. No, the rifle can’t do that every time. But this does demonstrate that the Purple XR is a tack-driver. CLICK HERE to see a 3.9 inch, 15-shot group at 1000 yards on the F-Class target (150-15X).

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

Brian Bowling F-Class F-0pen Open National Champion Brian Blake Barrel Blake Machine .284 Winchester Win RAHM rifle competition

About Blake Barrel and Rifle — History and Barrel-Making Process
Blake Barrel and Rifle was re-launched in 2018. The business was actually started by my grandfather, Robert Blake, in 1966. In 1969 my grandfather stopped doing gunsmithing and making single-point cut-rifled barrels. He transitioned to doing industrial work, and less work for the public. After all those years he and my father, Dave Blake, kept the barrel-making equipment in storage. They kept the gun-drilling machines in the shop as they used them to drill long, deep holes in anything from aircraft parts to electric motor rotors.

In 2012 we got the diamond single-point, sine-bar rifling machine out of storage, along with the Pratt and Whitney double-spindle reaming machine. We then completely rebuilt and updated the equipment. We modified the gun-drill to be a counter-rotating drilling system. What that means is the drill spins at about 20% of the rotational speed, and the barrel at 80%. The counter-rotation keeps the drill on the center axis of the barrel more precisely than just rotating the barrel, or just rotating the drill. We are able to consistently drill holes in our barrel steel (primarily 416R) that at the end of a 33.25″ blank that is only .005″ off of center axis.

We then ream the barrels to be .0004″ below desired finish bore size. After the reaming process we mandrel-hone the bores to be .0001″ below finish bore size. This process eliminates reamer marks in the barrel bore. Therefore very minimal lapping is needed after rifling to remove any tooling marks. We then rifle the barrel to any twist rate we like. With a fine lap after rifling, the barrel has no tooling marks and all surface metal is flowing in the direction of the twist of the rifling.

* 7mm BBM stands for “Blake Bramley Magnum”. Dan Bramley and I developed that cartridge together in October of 2017. The .30 BBM is the “Blake Barrel Magnum”, which I developed in May of 2018.

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January 31st, 2020

SHOT Show 2020 Video Showcase — Notable New Products

Shot Show 2020 Alien pistol rimfire action Jerry Miculek

With miles of aisles and thousands of new products, the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas is a near-overwhelming circus. There is so much to see, with scores of new products from around the globe. For this story, we start off with the official SHOT Show 2020 Day 4 Highlights video, a revealing look at the SHOT Show experience. Following that you’ll find six videos covering notable new products. Check out new Berger bullets, a new custom rimfire action, plus the radical new $5000 Laugo Alien pistol.

New RimX Rimfire Action with Rem 700 Footprint

We are always interested in new custom rimfire actions. With the growth of the NRL22 rimfire series, and potent rimfire varmint cartridges such as the .17 HMR and .17 WSM, we think the interest in rimfire custom rifles is growing. This video features the new RimX rimfire action. This features a Remington 700 footprint so it can fit a wide variety of stocks made for Rem 700s and Rem clones. That allows PRS guys to cross-train with a rimfire rifle that duplicates the ergonomics and feel of their centerfire match rifle.

Shot Show 2020 rimX rimfire action .22 LR 17 hmr .17 WSM

This RimX action has some very cool features, such as interchangeable bolt heads so it can shoot .22 LR, .17 HMR, and (soon) .17 WSM. RimX action MSRP is $1150.00. Each bolt face features a non-protruding extraction system that allows for a flat breach face barrel to be installed without the need for timed extractor relief. This will make barrel interchangeability and installation easier than ever

Berger Bullets — New LR Hybrid Target and Hunting Bullets

At SHOT Show 2020, the big news from Berger Bullets was the arrival of new Berger Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullets and hunting bullets. Berger now offers some seriously big LRHT Bullet. Before the show, Berger annouced the 7mm 190gr LRHT. At SHOT on Tuesday Berger showcased two new High-BC .30-Caliber LRHTs — the new 208gr and 220gr projectiles. All these LRHTs feature formed meplats for ultra-consistent BCs. In addition Berger unveiled two new heavy-for-caliber hunting bullets: The 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite hunter and the .30 Cal 245gr EOL Elite hunter. In this video, Emil Praslick III explains the features of the new LRHT projectiles.

Laugo Arms Alien — Radical Low Bore Axis Pistol Priced at $5000

Laugo Arms states that its Alien pistol has the lowest bore axis of current semi-auto handguns. The barrel is fixed — it does not tilt-up like most semi-autos. Having shot the Alien at Industry Day on 1/20/20, we can confirm that the low bore axis does reduce muzzle flip, allowing very fast follow-up shots. With a fixed center rib, only the sides of the slide move back and forth. Initially only 500 Alien Special Editions will be offered, at the insane price of $5000.00 per pistol. You read that right — $5000 USD. Of course, in a year or two standard models should be available for a fraction of that cost.

This Alien pistol has been hailed as revolutionary. However, the Heckler & Koch P7 series of pistols had most of the Alien’s notable features way back in 1976 — 44 years ago. Like the Alien, the P7m8 and PSP featured a fixed barrel, low bore axis, and gas-delayed blowback operated slide. The HK P7s also had a unique squeeze cocker grip that eliminated the need for a manual safety.

H&K unveiled fixed barrel, low bore axis P7 pistol in 1976, 44 years ago. Production began in 1979.
HK P7m8 PSP

Nightforce Wedge Prism — Gain Elevation for ELR Shooting

The Nightforce Wedge Prism is offered in two variants, 50 MOA or 100 MOA, that install forward of the riflescope to increase the effective elevation travel. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the riflescope by a precise elevation value, which directly adds to the available elevation travel within the riflescope. The Wedge Prism is designed to work optimally with 56mm front objectives. Nightforce says you can position two Wedge Prisms in parallel for maximum effect — up to 200 MOA total. These NF Wedge Prisms are pricey — MSRP is $990.00 for either the 50 MOA or 100 MOA version.

Nightforce Wedge Prism optic ELR Elevation device

Annealing Made Perfect — AMP Mark 2 and New Automated Press

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com checked out the latest offerings from Annealing Made Perfect (AMP), the state-of-the-art microprocessor-controlled induction case annealer. AMP is a New Zealand company run by father and son team Alex and Matt Findlay. Alex has extensive experience in the firearms industry while Matt is a talented engineer and product designer. Along with the AMP Mark 2 and accessories, Alex and Matt showed an advanced, servo-motor bullet seating machine with pressure sensors.

Jerry Miculek with New Mossberg JM 940 Pro Shotgun

GunsAmerica.com Editor True Pierce met with legendary shooter Jerry Miculek at SHOT Show 2020. Jerry showed the notable features of his new scattergun, the JM 940 Pro. This shotgun features a clean-running gas system, nickel boron-coated internal parts, and a competition-level loading port, elevator, and follower. For more info, check out the full article on GunsAmerica.com.

mossberg jm 940 miculek shotgun

Bonus — Ryan Cleckner Chats about Gun University

The Gun University Website is a new resource for firearms news and technical information. We recently highlighted Gun University’s report on important ITAR rule changes that will affect firearms manufacturers, parts makers, and gunsmiths. One of the key contributors to Gun University is Ryan Cleckner, a former Army Ranger sniper instructor, attorney, and author of the Long-range Shooting Handbook. In this video Ryan talks about Gun University, his NSSF video series, and his ideas for growing the shooting sports.

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January 30th, 2020

Airline Travel With Rifles — Important Advice for Travelers

travel air berger SWN southwest nationals rifle transport
Berger SWN Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher

The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), 2020’s biggest centerfire rifle match west of the Mississippi, is coming up next week. We know that many of our regular readers will be flying to Phoenix to attend the SWN. Here are some travel tips from experts in the industry.

If you’ll be traveling by air in the days ahead, be careful when transporting firearms through airports. It is important that you comply with all Homeland Security, TSA, and Airline policies when transporting guns and ammunition. Following the rules will help ensure you (and your gear) make it to your destination without hassles, delays or (God forbid), confiscations.

berger SWN Air Travel FAA TSA rules

Good Advice from an Airport Police Officer
To help our readers comply with rules and regulations for air travel, we offer these guidelines, courtesy “Ron D.”, a member of our Shooters’ Forum. Before he retired, Ron D. served as a Police Officer assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Here Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics.

gun transport caseFirst, Ron explains that airport thieves can spot bags containing firearms no matter how they are packaged: “Don’t think you’re safe if your guns are placed in cases designed for golf clubs or trade show items. Baggage is X-Rayed now and cases are tagged with a special bar code if they contain firearms. It doesn’t take long for bad guys to figure out the bar coding for firearms.”

Carry-On Your Scopes and Expensive Items
Ron advises travelers to avoid placing very expensive items in checked baggage: “When traveling by air, carry on your rangefinder, spotting scope, rifle scope, medications, camera, etc. You would be surprised at the amount of people that carry-on jeans and shirts, but put expensive items in checked baggage. Better to loose three pairs of jeans than some expensive glass.”

Mark Bags to Avoid Confusion
Ron notes that carry-on bags are often lost because so many carry-on cases look the same. Ron reports: “People do accidentally remove the wrong bag repeatedly. I frequently heard the comment, ‘But it looks just like my bag’. When de-planing, keep an eye on what comes out of the overhead that your bag is in. It’s easy to get distracted by someone that has been sitting next to you the whole flight. I tie two streamers of red surveyors’ tape on my carry-on bag.” You can also use paint or decals to make your carry-on bag more distinctive.

General Advice for Air Travelers
Ron cautions: “Keep your hands on your items before boarding. One of the most often heard comments from theft victims was, ‘I just put my computer down for a minute while I was on the phone.’ Also, get to the baggage claim area quickly. If your family/friends can meet you there, so can the opportunists. Things do get lost in the claim area. Don’t be a Victim. Forewarned is forearmed.”

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case

Forum member David C., who will compete at the 2020 Berger SWN, offers this advice: “If you plan to fly with your rifle, a 55″-long case such as the Pelican 1770 may be too big and heavy. The 1770 is 36 pounds on its own and is quite unwieldly to move around. I would recommend going with a smaller case such as the Pelican 1720 with 42″-long interior. It weighs 19 pounds and if you separate your stock from the barreled action, everything fits just fine, as you can see below.” Editor: Note that you can also store a full-size spotting scope in the case along with your rifle:

travel air berger SWN southwest nationals rifle transport

Retired Airport Police Officer Ron D. advises: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country and arrive with a damaged rifle. Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Great Deals on Plano All-Weather Cases at Amazon

plano tactical rifle case

Match season has begun, and that means hauling gear either in cars or on planes. Either way you need good cases for your firearms. We found the Plano All Weather Gun Cases at bargain prices. These are well-built and designed to protect whatever you put in them for a third the cost of some other brands. No Plano cases are not as refined as Pelican or SKB cases, but if you’re on a tight budget, the Planos can do the job. Read this article for more information on Plano cases.

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January 29th, 2020

New WiFi and Rigid Teslong Borescopes Reviewed

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Teslong Borescopes Update — WiFi and Rigid Rod Versions
Product Report by F-Class John
Not more than a few months after the Teslong corded borescope hit the market to massive applause they’ve released a cordless WiFi-enabled corded version as well as a rigid rod model — two new models with important new features/functionality. When I originally reviewed the Teslong borescope I was blown away with the value, clarity, and ease of use. SEE Review HERE. That original Teslong really was a game changer in the borescope market. The large number of forum threads springing up since the Teslong release shows that that digital borescopes have finally found a large and enthusiastic customer base.

IMPORTANT: Guys — Watch the Videos!!! John does a great job showing the set-up and use of these Borescopes. You really need to WATCH THE VIDEOS! They show much more than we can illustrate with still images.

Teslong Rigid Borescope

Teslong WiFi Borescope

Teslong Basic Borescope

NOTE: The WiFi Teslong Borescope can also be ordered for $74.99 from the Teslong Webstore.

WiFi Teslong Works with SmartPhones and Tablets

Despite all the love people have shown for the original, plug-in Teslong borescope, one common complaint was that it could not be used with smartphones or small tablets. With that in mind, Teslong surprised the market with the release of a cordless WiFi version that works with just about any device that has a WiFi connection. The new WiFi unit, which is in very high demand, costs around $75, just $25 more than the original plug-in version. NOTE –YES this WiFi unit DOES work with both iOS (Apple) and Android smartphones and tablets. However, you may wish to try a couple different Apps.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

To use the WiFi Teslong, simply download Teslong’s viewer App, turn the unit on and connect to the Teslong WiFi in your device settings. While it does take a couple steps to connect each time, you are rewarded with a cordless version that can be used at home or the range equally well. Watch the video and you can see how the Wifi unit is set up and how it is used to inspect both a barrel and a sizing die. Do watch the video — it explains all. Along with live video feed, the WiFi control handle has a button to record still images.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Important — some guys had initial problems getting the WiFi image to display on their smartphones but that was normally just a software configuration issue. If you are patient, and follow the instructions, you should be fine. Some older guys had to enlist the aid of a 10-year-old grandkid. Note, as of 1/29/2020, the WiFi Version is temporarily out of stock on Amazon, but it can be ordered for $74.99 from the Teslong Webstore.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

New Teslong Rigid Rod Borescope

Along with the WiFi version, Teslong has also released a borescope with the lens mounted on the end of a rigid metal shaft — a configuration similar to classic optical borescopes such as the Hawkeye. This new “shafty” Teslong has the same electro-optical sensors, connectors, and adjustable light as the original Teslong. However, this new rigid rig now uses a solid rod instead of a flexible cable. Having a solid rod makes using the unit much easier since you’re not fighting the cable. The rod also makes rotating the unit inside the bore more intuitive as it lacks the cable spring back of the flexible version.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

Located on the borescope is an inch scale allowing the user to easily to measure how far into the bore they’ve gone for easy identification of any issues later. The whole unit comes in a nice heavy-duty cardboard tube that makes it easy to store and I can see it lasting as long as the unit itself.

Why choose the rigid Teslong? Importantly, the lack of a tethered cord allows you to rotate the unit more easily inside the barrel. Compared to the original corded Teslong, I did find that running the rigid borescope down the barrel without the mirror provided a larger view. That may be beneficial to some users. Overall, the optical clarity and definition remain excellent — certainly on par with the original unit.

Teslong endoscope borescope WiFi Android Ios camera video

General Teslong Borescope User Tips
The new Wifi and Rigid Teslong borescope share some basic features with the original plug-in, corded Teslong. All three devices feature a mirror on the end that screws on and has a jam nut to keep it in place and can be adjusted for focal length based on the caliber and they’re now including several extras in case of damage or loss. While they’ve always been good about replacing them free of charge there is a wait time, so the inclusion of extras is a nice bonus.

SUMMARY — Both WiFi and Rigid Teslong Borescopes Perform Well, Are Great Values
Overall these two new units are great additions to Teslong’s lineup giving users two great units to choose from. While most folks may gravitate to the WiFi version, I think there’s room for all three models (WiFi, Corded Plug-in, Rigid Plug-in).

Many people may find the corded or rigid versions more practical for around the house where they don’t necessarily need the cordless version and don’t want to worry about keeping it charged all the time. For any range use or out of town matches the WiFi with its smaller footprint and ability to work with any electronic device will probably make more sense and will help justify the additional cost. In the end, the amazing thing is that no matter which version you choose you’ll have a great borescope that will help improve your shooting.

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