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May 22nd, 2022

Sunday GunDay: .284 Shehanes for F-Open Competition

7mm .285 shehane improved f-class f-open caliber cartridge chambering

High-BC 7mm Bullets7mm (.284) remains the caliber to beat in F-Class Open Division (though some shooters have had success with .30-Cal short magnums.) With a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr and 184gr bullets to competitive velocities.

The straight .284 Win is an excellent cartridge, quite capable of winning F-class matches. However, in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850 fps. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play.

The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with 30-32″ barrels using H4831sc, Vihtavuori N560, or Alliant Reloder 16. (That’s with a reasonably fast barrel. Some barrels are faster than others.)

Norm Harrold Won 2018 F-Class Open Division Nationals with .284 Shehane Rifle
F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Norm Harrold (above) won the 2018 USA F-Class Nationals shooting a .284 Shehane. Norm’s F-Open rig features a McMillan Kestros ZR stock and Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane, which has a bit more case capacity than a standard .284 Winchester. Norm loaded Berger 184gr 7mm bullets in Lapua brass. Norm revealed his load in an Erik Cortina YouTube Video.

F-Class shooter Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long-range round there is — bar none. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal Magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight .284, the .300 WSM, and the .300 Win Mag with less recoil. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

Amazing Accuracy When Fire-Forming .284 Shehane

7mm .285 shehane improved f-class f-open caliber cartridge chambering

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel! Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains: “Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fireforming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.”

Scotland’s Grant Taylor. who used the .284 Shehane to finish third at the 2009 F-Class Worlds in England says the .284 Shehane is “very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. [This] caliber… has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

.284 Shehane Showcase — Two Special F-Open Rifles

.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine
Jason Cohen’s “We the People” patriotic .284 Shehane F-Class rifle. This rig scored second place in its very first match, a 3×20 at 1000 yards in Wyoming.

Here’s another handsome .284 Shehane F-Open rifle. Owner Jason Cohen explained why he chose the .284 Shehane chambering: “The .284 Shehane has a proven record of accomplishments and that is why I have chosen it. I use Lapua brass (6.5-284 necked-up), CCI BR-2 primers, Hodgdon H4350 powder, and Berger 184gr bullets. All these components have been a successful combination that has worked flawlessly[.]”

The barrel is a Blake Machine 1:8″-twist finished at 32 inches. It was fitted to my action by Dale Woolum of Woolum Accuracy. Dale also threaded the barrel for a Woolum Accuracy tuner. This has proven to be a valuable tool in my load development.

The rifle began its life as a Will McClosky Cerus stock. This was sent that to Bryan Blake at Blake Machine. Jason noticed that Bryan had been adding aluminum rails to the front of Cerus stocks to lower the center of gravity and improve tracking. Jason asked Bryan to fit the stock with forearm rails, shown in the photo below. Bryan did all the stock work and fitted the action, rails, and RAD recoil pad.

.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine
.284 Winchester Shehane F-Open F-Class 7mm Berger Panda F-Class Blake Machine

The .284 Shehane — Accurate and Forgiving Wildcat
Jason explains why he selected the .284 Shehane chambering: “The .284 Shehane is amazing, very forgiving and not temperamental. Straight .284 or Shehane — you cannot go wrong. I run a 184gr Berger at about 2850 FPS and get great brass life in my other rifles. I usually start to consider tossing the brass around 15 firings. Primer pockets start to get a little looser and the brass seems to need more sizing than the newer brass with less firings.”

.284 Shehane Load Development
Load development for me starts with each new barrel. I screw on the new barrel, fire 25 rounds of whatever I have left over and then clean it. I push out to 600 yards and do a ladder test in round-robin format. I start 0.6 grains lower than my last charge that worked. I work up from that reduced charge weight in increments of 0.3 grains. The paper tells the rest of the story. Once I get something that works well at 600 yards I go back in work around that by 0.1 grains. After that I play a little with seating depth and look for a change. I will occasionally mess with the tuner and tighten things up if possible.

.284 Shehane Raffle Prize Rifle for Team USA

Blake machine Team USA Under-25 Katie Blakenship F-Class F-Open prize raffle rifle tickets Borden action

This stunning .284 Shehane rifle was constructed as a raffle prize to benefit Team USA members preparing for the F-Class World Championship. This eye-catching F-Open rifle was crafted by Blake Barrel and Rifle in Arizona. This prize rifle features all top-of-the-line components: Borden BRMXD Action, Cerus multi-laminate stock with forearm extension, R.A.D. recoil reduction system (hydraulic-damped buttpad), Bix ‘N Andy trigger, and Nightforce Competition scope. The stainless Blake barrel is chambered for the .284 Shehane wildcat, and sports an F-Class Products tuner on the end.

Blake machine Team USA Under-25 Katie Blakenship F-Class F-Open prize raffle rifle tickets Borden action

.284 Shehane Also Shines in 1K Benchrest Competition

The .284 Shehane has won in Benchrest as well as F-Class competition. In 2013, Henry Pasquet won the IBS 1000-Yard Nationals shooting a .284 Shehane. Henry’s Championship-winning rig is shown below. Note the 5″-wide fore-end which is not legal for F-Class. Henry also runs a combo tuner/muzzle-brake.

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship

.284 Shehane Henry Pasquet ibs 1000 yard championship


*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s”.

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May 22nd, 2022

Protect Expensive Optics with Fitted Neoprene Scope Covers

scopecoat scope optics protector cover neoprene padded

ScopeCoat Scope ProtectorWith the price of premium scopes approaching $3500.00 (and beyond), it’s more important than ever to provide extra protection for your expensive optics. ScopeCoat produces covers that shield scopes with a layer of neoprene rubber (wetsuit material) sandwiched between nylon. In addition to its basic covers, sold in a variety of sizes and colors, ScopeCoat has a line of heavy-duty 6mm-thick XP-6 covers that provide added security. CLICK HERE to review the full line of ScopeCoats on Amazon.

Triple-Thickness XP-6 Model for Added Protection
The XP-6 Flak Jacket™ is specifically designed for extra protection and durability. The 6mm-thick layer of neoprene is three times thicker than the standard ScopeCoat. XP-6 Flak Jackets are designed for tall turrets, with sizes that accommodate either two or three adjustment knobs (for both side-focus and front-focus parallax models). To shield an expensive NightForce, March, or Schmidt & Bender scope, this a good choice. XP-6 covers come in black color only, and are available for both rifle-scopes and spotting scopes.

ScopeCoat Scope ProtectorThe heavily padded XP-6 Flak Jacket is also offered in a Zippered version, shown at right. This is designed for removable optics that need protection when in storage. The full-length, zippered closure goes on quick-and-easy and provides more complete protection against dust, shock, and moisture. These quality XP-6 scope covers are available on Amazon for $23-$27.

Special Covers for Binos and Red-Dots
ScopeCoat offers many specialized products, including oversize covers for spotting scopes, protective “Bino-Bibs” for binoculars, rangefinder covers, even sleeves for small pistol scopes and red-dot optics. There are also custom-designed covers for the popular Eotech and Trijicon tactical optics.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
May 21st, 2022

Saturday at the Movies — CZ Rimfire Rifles in Review

CZ model 512 .22 LR  Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video 457 MTR Varmint

Every shooter should have a good rimfire rifle, both for fun shooting and for training. The .22 LR is very affordable to shoot, and the more potent .17 HMR and .22 WMR rounds also are great for small varmints out to 200 yards or so. Among the rimfire rifle makers, the Czech manufacturer CZ (Česká Zbrojovka) has been a world leader for many decades. In today’s Video round-up we feature a variety of CZ rimfire rifles including the the all-new CZ 457, the versatile CZ 455 VPT, and the classic CZ 452. We also include one semi-auto, the CZ 512 in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR).

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer in Manners Stock

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

CZ 455 TFB TV joel Varmint Precision trainerRimfire cross-training allows PRS competitors to build their skill sets without breaking the bank (or burning out barrels). One great .22 LR option for cross-training is offered by CZ, the Czech arms-maker. The TFBTV video below spotlights the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT), a smooth-running .22 LR bolt action. This factory rifle was designed specifically as a training tool for precision long-range competition. It boasts a Manners composite stock and 20.5 or 24-inch heavy barrel. The 0.866″-diameter tube is threaded and suppressor-ready. The model 455 VPT is mag-fed and comes with a crisp trigger that adjusts to two pounds. Street price is around $860. That’s pricey for a rimfire — but you’re getting a premium Manners stock that would cost $534 by itself.

Field Testing the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

New Generation CZ 457 with Upgrades

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas

The CZ 457 may be the most modular precision rimfire on the market. You can swap barrels and magazines easily. The interchangeable barrel feature is by far the best feature of the CZ 457. Want to shoot .22 WMR for varmint hunts then transition to a .22 LR for precision shooting? No problem — five minutes and four screws are all you need. The CZ 457 is also an excellent value — it’s WAY better than a 10/22 but a fraction of the cost of high-end custom rimfire rigs. In the second video below, the CZ 457 goes head to head

In this video, Josh of Pursuit of Accuracy drives nails at 100 yards with his CZ 457:

And here Josh comparison-tests his Lilja-barreled CZ 457 head-to-head with the much more expensive Vudoo V22. The results may surprise you.

CZ 457 MTR Varmint — Product Showcase and Review

We really like the relatively new CZ 457 Varmint MTR .22 LR rifle. Along with other CZ 457 models, the MTR (“Match Target Rifle) Varmint features a completely new action that runs very smoothly with shorter bolt throw. The new 457s also have an American-style, push-to-fire safety. The new-generation actions have been trimmed back nearly one-inch in length, and slab-sided to reduce the footprint and weight of the actions. CZ ditched the 90º bolt rotation of the past in favor of 60º rotation. This change provides more room between bolt handle and scope for easier cycling of rounds. It also allows for the use of scopes with larger ocular bell diameters and lower ring heights.

The well-designed MTR stock has good ergonomics and nice stippling on the grip and fore-end. We were pleased to note that, with the 457 series, CZ is once again offering steel magazines that are interchangeable with older 452/455 magazines.

Here our friends at Area 419 offer a side-by-side comparison between a $2300+ rifle with Vudoo V-22 action in Manners stock and the $752.00 CZ 457. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, the CZ wins hands down. However, the Vudoo V-22 does offer centerfire-style action cycle, which helps with training. It also can run Rem 700-compatible triggers.

CZ 452 — Classic Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifle

The CZ 452 is an affordable classic. It is ultra-reliable, easy to clean and maintain, and you’ll find very good examples on the used market for under $400. This is an excellent first rifle for a young family member. In this video, The TFB TV team tests a CZ 452-2E fitted with a suppressor. As the 452 series is being replaced, if you want to buy a new 2019 CZ 452, you’ll need to spend big bucks on the Grand Finale model: “Produced in limited quantity, the 452 Grand Finale (MSRP $1189.00) is a last hurrah to the venerable CZ 452. Built using the last 452 actions ever produced, on the original manual barrelling equipment and at the Brno workshop, the Grand Finale [features] hand-engraved scroll-work on the action, barrel, bottom metal and scope rings. The upgraded American walnut is trimmed with an ebony fore-end and grip cap.”

Semi-Auto CZ — Model 512 American in .22 Magnum Rimfire

The folks at Varminter.com are avid varmint hunters, who test varmint rigs in the real world, seeing how they perform in the varmint fields. Varminter.com was quite impressed with the CZ Model 512 American semi-auto .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) rifle. The testers found the Model 512 to be accurate, extremely reliable, and fun to shoot. Watch the video to field tests conducted in California. This self-loading rifle performed ultra-effective on California ground squirrels. Erik Mayer, Varminter.com’s publisher says: “The 22 Magnum (.22 WMR) is beginning to see a resurgence of sorts, as the rimfire ammunition becomes more readily available. Because of this, rifles like the CZ Model 512 have also begun to see a rise in interest again”. CLICK HERE for FULL REPORT with accuracy findings for multiple ammo types.

CZ model 512 .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video ground squirrel varmint hunting semi-auto

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May 17th, 2022

Three Press Comparison Test: Rock Chucker, Co-Ax, Summit

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target Shooter

“The press is the heart of the handloading operation, also traditionally the most expensive single tool employed…” — Laurie Holland

British competitive shooter Laurie Holland has reviewed three popular, single-stage reloading presses for Target Shooter Magazine (targetshooter.co.uk). Laurie bolted up a Forster Co-Ax, RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, and RCBS Summit to his reloading bench and put the three presses through their paces. These three machines are very different in design and operation. The venerable Rock Chucker is a classic heavy, cast-iron “O”- type press that offers lots of leverage for tough jobs. The smaller RCBS Summit press is an innovative “upside-down” design with a large center column and open front. It offers a small footprint and easy case access from the front. The Co-Ax is unique in many respects — dies slide in and out of the upper section which allows them to “float”. The cartridge case is held in the lower section by spring-loaded jaws rather than a conventional shell-holder.

READ Reloading Press Three-Way Comparison Review »

If you are considering purchasing any one of these three presses, you should read Laurie’s article start to finish. He reviews the pros and cons of each press, after processing three different brands of brass on each machine. He discusses ergonomics, easy of use, press leverage, smoothness, priming function, and (most importantly), the ability to produce straight ammo with low run-out. The review includes interesting data on case-neck run-out (TIR) for RWS, Federal, and Norma 7x57mm brass.

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target ShooterReview Quick Highlights:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
“My expectations of the antediluvian RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme’s performance weren’t over high to be honest as I mounted it in the place of the Summit. As soon as I sized the first of the stretched RWS cases though, I saw why this press has been such a long-running favorite. The workload was considerably reduced compared to the other two presses and doing 40-odd cases took no time at all with little sweat — it just eats hard-to-size brass.”

RCBS Summit Press
“Despite its massive build and long-stroke operating handle, [the Summit] took more sweat than I’d expected, even if it was somewhat less work than with the Co-Ax. Although the Summit is apparently massive, I noticed that the die platform would tilt fractionally under the heaviest strains[.] It is nevertheless a very pleasant press in use and bullet seating was a doddle — the few examples tried proving very concentric on checking them afterwards. The optional short handle would be valuable for this task.”

Forster Co-Ax
“[On the Co-Ax], the operating handle is above the machine, located centrally [with] twin steel links at the top end of the press dropping down to the moving parts. The Co-Ax incorporates [many] novel features, principally its automatic and multi-case compatible shell-holder assembly with spring-loaded sliding jaws, very neat spent primer arrangements that allow hardly any gritty residues to escape and foul the moving parts and, the snap-in/out die fitment that allows rapid changes and lets the die ‘float’ in relation to the case giving very concentric results. I own this press and it meets my handloading needs very well.”

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May 16th, 2022

Field Test Report on Savage A17 Rimfire in .17 HMR

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

One of our favorite cartridges for small varmints is the 17 HMR. Yes, the newer 17 WSM rimfire has better ballistics, but 17 HMR ammunition is considerably less expensive, and you have a much larger selection of rifles and pre-chambered aftermarket barrels. And out to 150 yards or so the 17 HMR is great on ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

If you are looking for a 17 HMR varmint rifle, one rig you should definitely consider is the Savage A17. Now that this model is offered with laminated stock options, you can get a fine little 17 HMR rifle for about $475.00. We do prefer the laminated stock A17s (both standard and thumbhole models) over the basic polymer-stocked version, priced at $440.00.

Savage A17 thumbhole stock

How does an A17 shoot? That question was answered a couple seasons back by Varminter.com in a First Hunt Report. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the semi-auto Savage A17 through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

“I [collected] as many versions of the currently available .17 HMR ammunition as I could get my hands on. I had already picked-up and tested the new CCI A17 ammunition, so I filled up my ammo safe with other CCI ammunition, as well as Hornady and Winchester, including the lead free 15.5 grain NTX versions, also from Hornady and Winchester. After spending some time at the bench, I saw that this rifle shot the CCI A17 ammunition best, with most groups hovering right around 1″ to 1.20″ at one hundred yards, and some of the other ammo choices in the 1.25″ to 1.50″ range. This was with a warm barrel and in-between cleanings during the break-in process.”

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Mayer found the A17 was easy to maintain: “I was very impressed by the ease of pulling the rifle apart for cleaning out in the field. Even with the scope mounted, I was able to quickly and easily remove the parts needed to give me complete access to the barrel through the breach, so cleaning was a breeze.”

A17 Reliability Lessons — Seat Those Rotary Magazines Correctly Folks
Some early A17 purchasers have noted occasional failures to feed. We believe this is because the magazine was not fully seated (and locked in place) in the firearm. The experience of Varminter.com’s Editor seems to confirm this. Mayer reports “As I began to shoot the rifle, I experienced what a few others have reported, with the magazine falling out while shooting. I quickly realized that I was not snapping the magazine into place every time. I found that popping in the magazine while the bolt was pulled, or locked back, resolved the issue. I did have a few failures to feed, but only on some of the older ammunition I was shooting, namely the first year Hornady ammo and the lead free ammo (which is about 3-4 years old). The newer ammo did not have any issues and functioned well, even while shooting some 10-round ‘mag-dumps’. The trigger is on the heavy side.”

A17 Reliability Shown in Video
The Savage A17 went through a very thorough manufacturer’s testing process before it was released to the market. In fact Savage put over 500,000 test rounds through A17 prototypes. When AccurateShooter.com tested the A17 at Media Day — it worked flawlessly, so long as you make sure the magazine is fully seated. We had zero issues, making us think that reported issues may be related to “driver error”; specifically not seating the magazine properly. Watch AccurateShooter.com video with rapid fire sequence.

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May 15th, 2022

Protect Firearms with Bore-Stores and 3-Layer Storage Bags

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes that fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 33″-barrelled Black Powder Rifle. Bore-Stores can be purchased for $9.97 – $29.97 from Borestores.com. For most scoped rifles, we recommend the 10″x46″ SCR-1 case. The Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises will also craft custom sizes on request. For a long-barreled F-Class or ELR rig you may need a custom length. Or you can remove the scope and use the 7″x60″ MUS-1 Musket Bore-Store.

Bore-Store Handgun Cases | Bore-Store Rifle Cases | Bore-Store Shotgun Cases

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do for long-term storage (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Even in warm summer months, humid air can leave moisture in the foam.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $19.99 — under seven bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

NOTE: If the Brownells bags are out of stock, consider the similar Dry-Packs 12″x65″ 3-layer gun storage bag. This features a handy Zip-lock closure and costs $16.99 on Amazon (see below).

Dry-Packs storage Gun Sacks

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May 14th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Safes — Features and Installation

Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Today’s Saturday Showcase covers gun safes. Every firearms owner should have a secure, quality gun safe with ample capacity. There are numerous choices in gun safes — but we have one key bit of advice — buy BIGGER than you think you need, because your gun collection will likely grow over time. Also you should consider the fire rating of your safe. There are other key factors to consider, such as wall thickness, lock type, shelf and storage layout, and humidity control. We recommend that all Bulletin readers read our detailed, Gun Safe Buyers Guide. This in-depth 9400-word article covers ALL these topics:

Anti-Corrosion
Budget Safes
Bolt Layout
Door Seals
Fire Proofing
Handgun Storage
Hinges
Humidity Control
Installation Tips
Interior Layout
Interior Lighting
Locks–Dial vs. Digital
Modular Safes
Rotary Racks
Size and Weight
Temperature Control
Wall Thickness
Water Proofing

Technical Features of Gun Safes — What You Need to Know

This is a very sensible, informative video that examines the technical features of gun safes. You’ll learn about the steel “gauge” or thickness, the different types of hinges, lock controls, and fire-proofing options. We think anyone contemplating purchase of a large home safe should watch this video, prepared by a respected safe retailer in Las Vegas.

Assembly of SnapSafe Titan XXL Double Door Modular Safe

In this video Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows the unpacking and assembly of a large, twin-door SnapSafe modular safe. This video shows how individual panels are assembled one by one, and how the twin doors are attached. Gavin also shows the process of installing the interior insulation panels which provide basic fire protection. Remarkably, this entire XXL modular safe can be put together with simple tools in less than an hour. SEE Full Article HERE.


Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Features of a Quality Safe under $1000

Even if you already have a safe, this video is well worth watching. The host shows a variety of accessories and upgrades that all gun safe owners should consider. The host explains why you should have a dehumidifier or Golden Rod. He also shows how to install handy interior lights that activate automatically when the door is opened.

The Gun Vault — The Next Step Beyond a Jumbo Gun Safe

If you have a very large gun collection and are building a new custom home, you may want to consider a Gun Vault. This is essentially a large, secure room, with a very heavy door and thick walls. In this interesting video, Atlas builds a large walk-in gun vault using the Gallow Tech Shelving System and a Fort Knox Gun Vault door.

After the Fire — What Actually Happens in a Burned Safe

In this video, the hosts open a “fireproof” gun safe that went through an actual house fire. See what happens when a gun safe that is supposed to be fireproof actually is exposed to a major fire. The results are surprising to say the least. This video shows that you need to do your homework before buying a “fireproof” safe. Understand how the fire rating systems work, and learn how the interior materials and construction make a big different in real world fire protection.

Mechanical Locks vs. Electronic Locks — What You Need to Know

One important decision when buying a gun safe is the choice of locking mechanism. Should you go with a mechanical lock or an electronic lock? There are pros and cons to both dial locks and e-locks, and as long as you get a quality lock, neither is a bad choice. To help you make your decision, This video explains the differences between the two, and reasons why you might choose one over the other.

How to Assemble a Modular Safe with Simple Tools

For gun owners who move frequently, or who may live in an upstairs apartment or condo, a modular safe makes sense. Steelhead Outdoors, based in Minnesota, offers three different safes: Nomad 26, 32, and Nomad 38. The video below shows how to assemble a Steelhead Outdoors Nomad series safe. If you have basic skills, these safes can be assembled easily in 60-90 minutes. Steelhead recommends having two people to do the job. The entire safe ships in four (4) boxes. Wrenches are included with the safe.

This time-lapse video shows the entire process of assembling the safe, start to finish.

Guide to Quick Access Handgun Safes

A quick access safe can keep your pistol secure, but also readily accessible. But not all of these devices are created equal. This video explains the features you need in a small pistol safe. The video also examines the pros and cons of seven different handgun safes. We recommend that you do NOT keep your handgun safe in plain view, such as on a bedside table. There are other locations where you still have quick access, without tempting home intruders.

Wireless Hygrometer Reports Temperature and Humidity Inside Safes

The Hornady Security® Wireless Hygrometer monitors temperature and humidity in real-time, all without opening the gun safe. The wireless hygrometer employs a remote sensor inside your safe, which measures temperature and humidity data. This data is then sent to an external base display. Wireless technology eliminates the need to open the safe and check the storage environment, preventing temperature and humidity spikes from the outside air.

The display features a large touchscreen that shows current high/low data from both the base and remote units in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The hygrometer pairs with Hornady Security’s in-safe dehumidifiers to combat oxidation-causing moisture.

Gun Safe Installation Recommendations

Every safe, when possible, should be anchored in place with heavy-duty fasteners. Ideally, use multiple bolts in the bottom of the safe, anchored to concrete or solid foundation. Choose the appropriate lag bolts or anchors for the material below your safe. If you can’t mount to the floor, bolt the safe to wall studs. You can locate the position of the studs with an inexpensive electronic “Stud Sensor” available at home supply stores.

Check the thickness of your safe floor. If the steel on the bottom of your safe is fairly thin, place a steel backing strip between the bolt heads and the safe bottom. (Large washers will work, but a backing strip is better.) Without such reinforcement, the bolt heads may pull right through thin-gauge steel if the safe is rocked, or levered from the bottom with a pry-bar.

Locate your safe in the corner of a room or in a recess that blocks access to one or more sides of the safe. On many gun safes, the steel on the top, sides, and rear is thinner than on the door. Blocking access to the sides makes it much more difficult to use power tools on the sides, where the safe is most vulnerable. It’s also wise to place the safe in a relatively tight space with limited room to maneuver. Anything that makes the safe harder to move helps deter would-be thieves.

Many people place their safe in a garage or basement. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but people also tend to store their tools in the same locations. Don’t store your power tools next to the safe. One safe-maker told us how a customer’s safe was defeated using the owners’ own cutting torch which was stored right next to the safe!

Inspect the area around the safe. Avoid locations where there are a lot of wood beams, paint cans, or other combustible material nearby. In the event of a serious house-fire, these items will fuel the flames, increasing the likelihood that items inside your safe will be heat-damaged. Chris Luchini, co-author of Rec.Gun’s Guide to Gun Safes, offers some practical advice: “Get an alarm system. If the burglars hear an alarm go off, they are less likely to stick round to finish the job. Alarms on both the house and the safe area are a good idea.”

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 14th, 2022

M1A Tech Tips and Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2022 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 15th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2022 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 7, 2022, the same weekend as the Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CLICK HERE for Online REGISTRATION. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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May 12th, 2022

Good Resources for Do-It-Yourself AR-Platform Rifle Projects

AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley
AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley

AR15 construction guideMany of our readers use AR-type rifles for Service Rifle matches, varmint hunting, 3-Gun competition, or defensive use. AR-platform rifles can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit the application. But if you plan to put together your own purpose-built AR rifle, how do you get started?

For AR Do-It-Yourselfers, we suggest reading the late Glen Zediker’s book, the Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide. Following on Zediker’s The Competitive AR15: Ultimate Technical Guide, the Builders Guide provides step-by-step instructions that will help non-professional “home builders” assemble a competitive match or varmint rifle. This book isn’t for everyone — you need some basic gun assembly experience and an aptitude for tools. But the Competitive AR-15 Builders’ Guide provides a complete list of the tools you’ll need for the job, and Zediker outlines all the procedures to build an AR-15 from start to finish.

One of our Forum members who purchased the AR-15 Builders Guide confirms it is a great resource: “Much like any of the books Mr. Zediker puts out this one is well thought-out and is a no nonsense approach to AR building. I can not stress how helpful this book is from beginner to expert level.”

Along with assembly methods, this book covers parts selection and preparation, not just hammers and pins. Creedmoor Sports explains: “Knowing how to get what you want, and be happy with the result, is truly the focus of this book. Doing it yourself gives you a huge advantage. The build will honestly have been done right, and you’ll know it! Little problems will have been fixed, function and performance enhancements will have been made, and the result is you’ll have a custom-grade rifle without paying custom-builder prices.” Other good resources for AR projects is Gunsmithing the AR: The Bench Manual, and the Building Your AR from Scratch DVD.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 10th, 2022

Varmint Cartridge Options and Tips for Novice Varmint Hunters

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6x47 6.5-284 22BR .204 Ruger
Here is one of Bill Reid’s 6mmBR (6BR) rigs. Like his Sako 6 PPC, this is exceptionally accurate.

AccurateShooter Forum member Bill White (aka “CT10Ring”) is a New Yorker who relocated to Idaho in his senior years. From his Idaho home, Bill enjoys long-range target shooting. But his favorite gun pastime is varmint hunting in nearby states — the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. Every year he loads up his truck and hits the road, often doing a grand circle route, visiting prairie dog havens in multiple states.

Bill has a large rifle collection, most of which see duty in the varmint fields of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Here are his key “take-aways” for his eight favorite varmint chamberings: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250, .22 BR, .22-243, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, and 6-6.5×47 Lapua (aka 6×47).

Eight Great Varmint Cartridge Types — .204, .224, .243 Calibers

.204 Ruger — This delivers great velocity with the little .20-caliber bullets, with mild recoil. The .204 Ruger easily reaches out to 400 yards, but heavier winds do move the tiny bullet around. Tremendous splat factor under 250 yards. I use Sierra 39gr bullets with IMR 8208 XBR in a Sako 75. Even now, .204 Ruger ammo is relatively easy to find.

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6x47 6.5-284 22BR .204 Ruger

.223 Remington — Probably the most popular centerfire rifle round in the USA, the .223 Rem offers inexpensive brass, and is a great choice for AR-15 owners. If you run short on ammo, you can find it nearly everywhere. I often bring one AR-15 and one .223 Rem bolt gun on varmint safaris. My Rem 700 5R 1:9″-twist barrel likes 53gr V-Max bullets.

.22 BR — My .22 BR is my first choice for most prairie dog missions. Accuracy is superb with necked-down 6mmBR Lapua brass — quarter-MOA and blazing fast. With the right twist rate, this chambering can shoot anything from 40gr FB bullets to 80gr VLDs. Load development is easy. Below is my .22 BR ammo for another varmint trip. I use 55gr Sierra BlitzKings with Varget in my 1:12″-twist Shilen-barreled rifle. 60gr Bergers are very accurate with a fairly flat trajectory for useful distances.

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6x47 6.5-284 22BR .204 Ruger

.22-250 Rem — A classic varmint cartridge, the .22-250 with 50gr V-Maxs delivers spectacular hits. If three P-Dogs happen to be lined up, I’ve witnessed one .22-250 shot take ‘em all out with a triple hit. I currently have five .22-250-chambered rifles: 3 Sako 75s, one Rem 700, and a single shot Nesika that shoots tiny groups. I favor the very deadly Berger 52gr Varmint HP. Making a custom .22-250? With a 1:8″-twist barrel you can use the full weight range of .22-cal bullets, while spinning the lighter bullets fast for “red mist” effect. Remember this cartridge can be a barrel burner. Don’t shoot too many rounds too quickly.

.22-243 Win — This wildcat is even more potent than the .22-250, delivering devastating results on P-Dogs. Run a .243 Win case slowly through a full-length .22-243 die, with plenty of lube to form the brass. I start with Lapua .243 Win brass. There can be some issues necking-down the brass. Watch for donuts forming at the neck-shoulder junction. I bought my .22-243 rifle not sure how it would perform. But now I love shooting it. My .22-243 delivers half-MOA groups with 41.0 grains RL-22 and Hornady 75gr Amax bullets. With those 75-grainers, it’s great in the wind and good to 600 yards easily.

6 PPC — You may consider the 6 PPC a benchrest competition cartridge only, requiring fire-forming. However I have an original Sako 75 single-shot 6 PPC rifle that I load with Sako-headstamp 6 PPC brass (see below) so no fire-forming is required. This Sako 75 came with a test target that measured 0.113″! With my 6 PPC Sako, I found that 58gr V-Maxs, pushed by Vihtavuori N133, are potent out to 300 yards. [Editor’s NOTE: As the Sako brass is no longer available, new 6 PPC shooters will need to fire-form their brass, or try to find Norma 6 PPC brass.]

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6PPC 6 PPC Sako 75 Ruger

6mmBR — The 6mmBR Norma (6BR) offers a nearly unbeatable combination of accuracy, efficiency, and tunability. With the 6BR and a fast twist barrel, you can shoot everything from 40gr flat-base bullets to the latest 105-110gr match bullets. I load Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N135, and Hornady 58, 65, and 75gr bullets for my Krieger 1:14″-twist HV barrel. While this cartridge is capable of long-range accuracy, I usually limit my 6BR shots to 350-400 yards.

6-6.5×47 Lapua — I have a nice 6-6.5×47 Lapua varmint rifle, with Surgeon action and Manners stock. I Cerakoted the barreled action and then bedded the action. Shown below is 6-6.5×47 ammo I loaded for testing. Note how I separated different bullets and powder loads into multiple, labeled bags. Hodgdon H4350 is a great choice for this cartridge — 39 grains H4350 with 105gr Amax was the winner here, but 88gr Bergers also shot well. This cartridge has tremendous “critter dismantling” abilities out to 600-700 yards.

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6x47 6.5-284 22BR .204 Ruger

Six Tips for Novice Long Range Varmint Hunters

Bill white varmint hunting North South Dakota Wyoming 6x47 6.5-284 22BR .204 Ruger

1. Take twice as much ammo you think you may need. The fields could be particularly rich, or, because of wind or other variables, you may have far more misses than expected.

2. When possible, set up with the wind at your back (or, alternatively, directly ahead). This will minimize the effect of cross-winds. Set up a stake with a ribbon to show wind direction.

3. Bring at least two rifles. Ideally one would be a low-recoil rifle with cheaper components for the closer shots. Then bring a rifle with higher-BC bullets for longer shots where wind is a bigger factor.

4. Check the weather before you head out. Prairie dogs like sunshine and calm conditions. If a cloudy, very blustery day is predicted, considering staying in town and cleaning the rifles.

5. Bring plenty of water on a trip. An adult male should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water (or other liquid) every day — more if it’s very hot or you are sweating a lot.

6. Preferably always hunt with a companion. If you do go out solo, have a Garmin inReach SatComm/GPS for emergencies if there is no cell coverage in your location.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 9th, 2022

Gun Price Bible — Blue Book of Gun Values, 43rd Edition

Blue Book of gun values

The 43rd Edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values was released last month. Purchase this popular price guide through Blue Book Publications for $54.95. Or order from order from Amazon for $61.17. The Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad is the leading gun valuation resource. There are now over 1.8 million copies in circulation worldwide. This book continues to be the “Bible” for buyers, sellers, collectors, and connoisseurs in the firearms industry.

Blue Book of gun values

Blue Book of Gun Values, 43rd Edition, April 2022

The 43rd Edition contains 2,528 pages covering over 1,900 manufacturers/trademarks, with almost 30,000 gun model descriptions, and over 180,000 values, with new-for-2022 data!

This 2022 43rd edition includes a new dedicated section on AR-15 manufacturers, making it easier to find these popular models. In addition there is an updated 64-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) which makes firearms grading even easier and more accurate. The 2022 Blue Book also features a Serialization Index to make finding serial number information even easier!

Review by Tom Gresham, Gun Talk Radio Host
“At some point, every gun owner asks the question, ‘What’s it worth?’ The leading reference for decades has been the Blue Book of Gun Values. Whether you are a seller, a buyer, a shopper, or just curious, this constantly-updated gold mine of research is your friend.”

Online Subscription Options
You can also access all the latest Blue Book gun pricing info via an Online Subscription. You can purchase a One-year subscription for $34.95, or you can get a monthly subscription, billed $3.95 per month recurring. For general subscription information, visit the Blue Book Online Subscription Page.

Features of the new Blue Book of Gun Values:
· Includes the new 2022 makes and models, with many new handguns and rifles, and important pricing updates.
· 2,528 Pages covering over 1,900 manufacturers and trademarks, with almost 30,000 gun model descriptions, with new section on AR-15 manufacturers.
· 180,000+ up-to-date values are provided — most complete resource in print.
· Important pricing updates on major trademark current, antique, and discontinued models, including Colt, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger.
· An 64-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) which makes firearms grading even easier and more accurate.
· More information, more values, more illustrations, and more history than any other gun price guide on the market.

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, News No Comments »
May 8th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: New Anschutz 1710 for NRL22 and PRS Rimfire

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

If you are looking to compete in NRL22 or PRS rimfire tactical matches, there is a new, turnkey solution that combines the legendary Anschutz 54 rimfire action with the excellent MDT ACC chassis. Called the Anschutz Model 1710, this new competition-ready rifle is capable of winning matches right out of the box. Creedmoor Sports recently received the first set of model 1710s in the USA. At our request, Creedmoor’s Brent Books and Wayne Dayberry field-tested a new model 1710. After confirming the elevation click values for various yardages, Brent put the Anschutz through its paces, showing its superb accuracy. FYI, this 1710 came with an impressive factory test target — 10 shots at 50 meters, all in a dime-sized circle.

Shooting at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship range, Brent ran a sequence of shots, hitting steel at 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 yards without a miss. You can see this 5-shot sequence, all in one continuous take (no edits), in the video below. As Brent observed, “it definitely shoots”. Then, later, Brent cranked in more elevation (21.1 MILs) and hit steel at 435 yards. Watch this all in the video — it’s impressive!

Anschutz 1710 at Talladega, Drilling Steel from 100 to 435 Yards

Watch Hits at 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 435 Yards

With RWS 100 .22 LR ammo, Brent drills hit after hit with no misses out to 300 yards.

“This video shows a run after we confirmed our dope. Brent Books and I are shooting an NRL22 match in two weeks. Although he has extensive smallbore and airgun experience, this will be his first match of this type. I thought it would be a good/fun exercise for him to run the plates fairly quickly and also showcase the performance of this rifle system at the same time on the video.” — Wayne Dayberry

Anschutz Model 1710 — Great Accuracy Right from the Start

Report by Wayne Dayberry
The Anschutz 1710 MDT ACC rifle system is purpose-built for smallbore tactical precision rifle competition. With its capabilities we went from from bore-sight to 300 yards in just 12 shots. We started with a factory-fresh .22 LR Anschutz 1710 in an MDT ACC Ghost Gray chassis. This rifle incorporates a 20-inch heavy profile threaded stainless barrel and the 5119 two-stage trigger. After a clean, lube, and inspection, we mounted up an Element 5-25x56mm First Focal Plane optic we already had in a set of rings and headed out to the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park. In addition to traditional target ranges, the CMP range has an unknown distance steel range with targets out to 600 yards. Due to a compressed schedule, we did not have time to follow the traditional zeroing and velocity-gathering processes, so we headed straight to the unknown distance steel range. This range has steel from 75 yards to 600 yards much like you would see in PRS and NRL type competitions.

Given the compressed timeframe, we didn’t follow the traditional steps one would normally take to do a break-in process, zero, collect data, and build out rifle dope. We were essentially doing all of that on a steel target range as we were putting the first rounds down the barrel while shooting this piece. At the same time, with a quality rifle system, and following a process, it worked out well as we were able to stretch out the capability of this rifle to 435 yards very quickly.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

Anschutz 1710 Components and Specifications:
The new Anschutz model 1710 is built with premium components top to bottom. It features an Anschutz Match 54 repeater action with blued receiver, Anschutz 5119 two-stage trigger, 20″ stainless steel barrel, and MDT ACC alloy chassis with built-in rails. The chassis is adjustable for LOP and cheek height.

Receiver: Scope mount attachment with 11mm rail and drilled and tapped
Barrel Length: 20″ stainless steel heavy barrel, no iron sights
Chamber: Optimized Match Chamber
Crown: Recessed Target Crown
Muzzle Diameter: 0.90″
Trigger: New 5119 Two-Stage Trigger
Trigger Weight Range: 4 oz. to 7.5 oz. (110 to 215g)
Trigger Weight: Adjusted to 6.35 oz. (180g)
Magazine Capacity: 10
Magazine Release: Extended
Rifle Weight without scope: 10 lbs., 10 oz.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis
This photo shows the Anschutz 1710 fitted with bipod and suppressor. The tripod clamps via the integral forearm ARCA rail.

Testing the Anschutz 1710 on Steel — Expedited Procedure

The closest steel on the Talladega range that day was 75 yards so we started from scratch at that distance. Brent was on the rifle, so I spotted and ran ballistics. After bore-sighting at 75 yards, and confirming zero on steel with a few rounds, we went to the ballistic solver to start a profile. For the RWS R100 ammunition we were running, I entered a G1 BC of .14 and a guess at the muzzle velocity of 1080 FPS. The call of 1.1 MILs for the 100-yard steel resulted in Brent’s shot landing .2 MILs high of center on the first round; we “confirmed” 0.9 MILs. We noted the impact and moved on to 150 yards.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

As I mentioned we were very short on time so the “confirmations” of our dope for our first pass were with a single shot and measuring in the reticle. That’s obviously not the normal process, but for us, it was good enough for this exercise, given the time we had. We were shooting on freshly-painted targets and getting excellent feedback to see POA / POI deviations and could easily measure this in the reticle, which helped. And we were shooting a top-of-the-line Anschutz which came with a confirmation test target showing a 10-shot group at 50 meters with all shots touching and within a circle the size of a dime. With a former NCAA All-American smallbore shooter running the gun, and this test target in hand, confidence was high.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

Moving to the 150-yard target, a call of 3.7 MILs hit 0.6 high on our first round so we measured and confirmed 3.1. We trued the muzzle velocity in the solver as we went. At 200 yards I called 6.0 MILs and the first round hit was .3 high. We measured and confirmed 5.7 MILs. 9.0 mils was the call at 250 yards and we hit just a bit high. After measuring, we confirmed 8.6 MILs. At 300 yards, Brent was holding about 1 mil wind as a storm started rolling in. I called 12.5 MILs elevation and the first round impact was near the top of the plate, and after measuring we confirmed a come up of 11.7 MILs.

The net result was this — we went from mounting the optic and bore-sighting, to making solid first-round impacts from 100 yards out to 300 yards, at each 50-yard increment, in just 12 rounds! That’s efficiency!

Stretching it out to 435 Yards on Steel
Later, we went on to make solid hits at 350 yards and 435 yards. I got on the gun and put two on top of each other at 350 yards — pretty cool. This just proved this gun is an absolute hammer. The 435-yard target was a bear target, which was quite a bit larger than the 12″ steel we were shooting in the video. Not a small target by any means, but we were shooting 435 yards with a rimfire rifle as a storm rolled in. I think between us, Brent and I hit 5 of 6 (at 435 yards) which was pretty good given the sporty conditions. Next stop… the 600-yard plates at the end of this range. That’s a come-up of about 36 Mils.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

Rimfire Maintenance — Tips from a Top Competitor
An NCAA All-American smallbore shooter, Brent Books knows a thing or two about rimfire rifles, and how to maintain optimal accuracy. Brent told us: “I shot on the rifle team at Jacksonville State University so 500 rounds a week was common through my Anschutz 2013. I’d clean my rifle at the end of each week before we travelled to a competition with a wet patch through the barrel, a few passes of the nylon brush (unscrewing the brush before pulling it back through), one more wet patch, and then dry patches until they came out clean. A bore guide was always used to protect my action from debris and to align the cleaning rod. After cleaning the barrel, I’d completely disassemble the bolt to clean and lube it, making sure the bolt would glide effortlessly in the action. After cleaning, I’d shoot a minimum of 50 rounds to foul the barrel with ammo I was using to compete.”

Anschutz Model 54 Action with 5119 Trigger

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

The Anschutz 1710 features the competition-proven Model 54 action, running a 10-round magazine. In the 1710, the safety-equipped action is fitted with an outstanding 5119 two-stage trigger that adjusts from 4 to 7.5 ounces. First released in 1954, Anschutz Match 54 action still represents a benchmark for smallbore rifles. Match rifles fitted with Model 54 actions have captured numerous World Championships and Olympic medals. These actions are smooth, consistent, and ultra-reliable, making them a great choice for multiple smallbore rifle disciplines. Anschutz boasts that this action has: “solid, extremely reliable construction [with] a functional safety that does not fail even under the most adverse conditions.”

MDT Adjustable Core Competition (ACC) Chassis

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

What’s so cool about the MDT ACC Chassis? MDT’s ACC chassis is optimized for NRL and PRS shooting formats, although it can be used in other disciplines. The ACC chassis design has been optimized with input from top PRS and NRL shooters. Key features include: full 17″ ARCA/RRS fore-end, flared magazine well, extended barricade stop, widened thumb shelf, adjustable cheek riser, adjustable length-of-pull, and adjustable MDT Vertical Grip Elite.

Anschutz 1710 .22 LR rimfire precision rifle creedmoor sports MDT chassis

The ACC boasts an integrated weight management system, allowing shooters to fine tune chassis weight and balance. Weights can be added to the buttstock, the fore-end interior or fore-end exterior. This allows the shooter to increase the chassis-only weight from 4.5 lbs up to 12.3 lbs. Complete with barreled action, scope, rings, bipod, and accessories, shooters can run 20+ lbs for the full rig.

The weight can be tuned without taking the barreled action out of the chassis. Internal fore-end weights can be inserted from the front of the fore-end and screwed in place, while external M-LOK-compatible weights can be easily attached on either side of the fore-end. This ACC weight-management system allows shooters to rapidly adjust the feel and recoil characteristics of their system.

Recommended Accessories

Creedmoor Sports stocks a large variety of products that can be used with the Anschutz 1710. Below you’ll find the Element Titan 5-25x56mm FFP MRAD scope, Soup Can Sandbag, and RWS R100 Ammunition used for the Anschutz 1710 testing featured here. Click each item below for more product information:

Element Titan 5-25x56mm Scope

titan ffp 5-25x56 scope PRS NRL

Creedmoor Soup Can Sandbag

titan soup can sandbag NRL

RWS .22 LR R100 Ammo

rws R100 .22 lr rimfire ammo

Creedmoor Sports

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical 2 Comments »
May 6th, 2022

Delta Optical Stryker 5-50x56mm HD Scope Field Test

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mock

Product Review By James Mock
There is an old adage when it comes to buying rifle scopes — one should “buy the best and cry once”. Generally it is true that we get what we pay for. However, we all like to get full value for our hard-earned dollars and it seems that we have several top-flight rifle scopes available to shooters today. Many of these top-tier scopes carry a premium price of $3000 or more. If one has champagne tastes and beer budget, must he/she settle for a second-tier scope?

The answer to the above is “not any more”. Check out the new Delta Stryker 5-50x56mm at under $1600.00 retail. A well known gunsmith told me that if someone made a scope with the quality of glass found in a Nightforce Competition and the reliable tracking plus ability to hold point of aim of the Kahles, they would have a winner. I have shot both of the above-mentioned scopes and they are great scopes. If one could get the best traits of both of these in one package and could get that optic at a good price (relative term), it would be great.

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mock

I may have found such a scope with the Delta Stryker 5-50x56mm long range scope, currently $1590.00 at SW Optics. Since I shoot mostly 600-yard matches, I requested the 5X-50X Stryker model with second focal plane (SFP) MOA reticle and 1/8-MOA adjustments. Here are the key features and specifications:

Delta Stryker 5-50x56mm Scope Specifications

Magnification: 5X-50X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56mm
Tube Diameter: 34mm
Reticle: DLS 3 MOA, Second Focal Plane
Maximum Elevation: 100 MOA
Maximum Windage: 50 MOA
Eye Relief: 89mm – 100mm
Diopter Range: -2D/+3D
Field of View: 16m @ 5X and 9.5m @ 50X

Parallax Adjustment: 10m to Infinity
Eye Relief: 89mm (3.5″) to 100mm (3.9″)
Length: 333mm (13.1″)
Weight: 1042g (2.3 lbs)
All Reticle Options: DLS-1, DLS-2, DLS-3
Warranty: 10 Years
Other features: Locking turrets, Zero Stop, Illumination Dot, Rotation Indicator for both windage and elevation

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mock

Gen 3 Delta Stryker Long Range Optic
Note: Shown above is Delta Stryker’s new Generation 3 offering. This incorporates features wanted by purchasers of earlier generation scopes. Delta has made some great improvements to this scope. Key Gen 3 upgrades are: 1) Indicator added to show the number of revolutions the turrets have been turned; 2) Locking turrets for both windage and elevation knobs; 3) Unique Zero Stop made of brass rather than plastic; 4) MILRAD models now have .05 mils per adjustment clicks; and 5) Parallax adjustment wheel was given much longer travel which benefits getting the fine adjustments needed.

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mock

Other features of this second focal plane (SFP) scope include Japanese ED glass, illuminated 1/10 MOA dot with 11 brightness settings, zero lock turrets, 1/8 MOA click values, and a 10 year warranty. There are three reticles offered in this 5X-50X model. The DLS-1 and DLS-2 reticles are MILRAD types, while the third DLS-3 reticle, the one I tested, is a MOA reticle with each hash mark subtending 1 MOA at 40 power.

Turrets Run Smoothly with Easy to Read Markings
The markings on the turrets are large and easy to read with 10 MOA per revolution. The center dot subtends 1/10th MOA. The illumination on this model illuminates only the dot. The Gen 3 comes with sunshade, hex wrench for adjustments of zero stop, scope caps, a tab for the power ring, an optional large parallax wheel, and glass lens cover. It has a 10-year warranty. When one turns the windage, elevation, parallax, or power change knobs, he or she realizes what a quality scope this is. All of the above adjustments could not be smoother if they were on ball bearings.

The objective lens is 56mm. The image produced by the ED glass in this scope is spectacular — equal to or better than many scopes costing twice as much. There is little of the dreaded “black ring” surrounding the image. The adjustments are very, very smooth and the clicks are positive and without the backlash evident in many scopes. This is very well thought-out scope and represents one of the great values available today.

DEVA Institute Tests Confirm High Light Transmission
Delta enlisted the services of the prestigious DEVA Institute in Germany for an independent evaluation. The Deva Institute gave the scope a thorough “going over”, determining that that the individual lens layer allowed 98% light transmission while the total system allowed 92%. The scope is also very tough and withstood 6500 Joules (~5054 ft-lbs) of recoil energy.

Field Test Results of Delta Stryker 5-50x56mm

My testing began on a cold January 29th, 2022. I designed a tall target with a vertical line drawn with a level and marked that line up 25 MOA in 5 MOA hash marks. I set up my rifle (Stiller Cobra) on the bench and leveled both the rifle and the scope’s crosshairs. The model that I am shooting has 1 MOA hash marks with a 1/10th MOA floating dot. This reticle is ideal for 600 and 1000 yard competition. The rifle is currently chambered in 6mm PPC and I tested with N133 and Bart’s Avenger BT bullets. I will change the barrel to a 6mm Dasher before the next 600-yard match.

Photo below shows the setup with tall target at a measured 100 yards. I measured 100 yards with a steel tape to make certain that I did not skew my results but shooting at a greater or less distance. I will do some more testing at this distance when the weather warms a bit.

Tall Target Test — 25 MOA Up and Back Down
For this test I created a target with two sighting points placed a measured 25 MOA apart. I shot a few rounds of old ammo to get a rough zero and then fired an initial sighter. After an adjustment, I fired the first test shot and it hit in the proper location (inside the lower circle). Then I adjusted the elevation up 25 MOA. I fired again and the bullet impact was VERY close to my measured +25 MOA hash mark. Then I cranked 25 MOA back down and fired. That drilled the third test shot in the original circle at virtually the exact original elevation. This confirmed the accuracy of the click values.

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mock

Below is a picture showing the impact with the 25 minutes dialed in the scope. Although it is not perfect, it is VERY good. This scope tracks very well. The picture below shows the great tracking at 25 minutes up.

delta optical stryker 5-50x56mm long range SFP MOA scope test review james mockPoint-of-Aim Test with Power Change
The final test done today was one in which I tested for shift in point of aim with power change. The first two rounds were fired at 40X, then I moved followed by one at 30X, another at 25X, then the final two rounds at 15X.

For each of the test magnification levels I had an aiming box on a vertical line. I started with 40X, then moved my point-of-aim down to the next box in sequence as I reduced the magnification level: 30X, 25X, and finally 15X. As you can see, the impact was very good at all the tested magnification levels.

Excellent Quality Image
Viewed through the Lenses

Delta Optical is located in Poland. The company’s devotion to excellence is very evident. The brightness and clarity of the Delta lenses is amazing and the scope has large internal lenses as demonstrated by the sight picture. The tunnel effect with the black ring surrounding the image is absent in this fine scope.

Let me add that on two occasions, I have tested with extreme mirage and this scope handles the mirage as well as any I have tested. After all of my shooting, I can say that this scope has passed the tests with flying colors.

SUMMARY — Excellent High-Magnification Optic and Great Value

I have previously named other scopes as being the best value in long range scopes, but I may have to reconsider that statement. For a scope as versatile as the Delta Stryker 5-50x56mm, the price is very reasonable ($1590.00 at SW Optics). There are scopes that cost $1000 more without the features of this offering. My testing will continue and there will be updates. I want to thank Mr. Grzegorz Matosek of Delta Optical. He made it possible for me to have this scope for testing.

My shooting partner, Kent Bennett, remarked recently when we were testing several guns at his range, that this scope is as clear as any [high-magnification optic] he has looked through.

I predict that this Delta 5-50x56mm scope will sell very well in the USA. When the word gets out about the features and overall quality of this instrument, I believe that long range shooters will want to try it. There are two USA importers with which I am familiar: SW Optics & Equipment (Arizona) and EDgun West (California). My prediction is that those who try this scope will not be disappointed with quality or price. — GOOD SHOOTING! — James Mock

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
May 6th, 2022

Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Performs Great in PRS Rifle

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Is factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition good enough to win a PRS or NRL competition? The answer is a resounding “YES” if we’re talking about Berger ammunition. Produced with Berger match bullets and premium Lapua brass, this Berger 6.5 ammunition demonstrated excellent accuracy, impressive velocity, and very good ES/SD numbers. When tested at 1000 yards with an MPA-stocked PRS rig with Rem 700 action, this ammo showed just half-MOA of vertical, and produced a group that would have been a 50-1X in F-Class competition. That’s quite impressive for a PRS rig.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

This ammo test was performed by our friend Erik Cortina from Texas. Erik is a top F-Class competitor who also shoots tactical matches (for fun and glory). Erik recently built a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a Remington 700 action. Though this rifle sports a top-shelf MPA chassis and premium Kahles scope, Erik calls this his “budget build” because it has a plain Rem 700 factory action rather than the elite Borden actions he normally runs. Erik’s actions of choice are the Borden Mountaineer for PRS and Borden BRM-XD for F-Class.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik posted: “Shot my budget 6.5 Creedmoor today with Berger Bullets factory ammo. I shot five rounds over the chrono to get speed. I used BC info from the box and it all lined up properly. I adjusted my ECTuner to tune load and it took just 15 shots to get it shooting well. It’s simple with good components.”

This Berger factory ammo features Berger 130gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets. The Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases have a large rifle primer. You can see this ammo displays good velocity with Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation rivaling good hand-loads.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brassCortina says the very accurate Brux barrel and razor-sharp 6-24x56mm Kahles scope help achieve this kind of outstanding performance at 1000 yards. Here are the key components for Erik’s latest PRS rig:

Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis
Brux Heavy Varmint 26-inch, 1:8″-twist barrel
Remington 700 Action (custom bolt knob)
ECTuner (by Erik Cortina)
Kahles 6-24x56mm MIL Scope
MPA 1-piece 30mm Scope Mount

Barrel Tuner by Erik Cortina — Fits Behind Muzzle Brake
This rifle features a barrel tuner designed and crafted by Erik Cortina. You can the ECTuner alone, or, as you can see, the ECTuner can be fitted BEHIND a muzzle brake. Erik tells us: “The ECTuner allowed me to tune the barrel to my ammo rather than tuning the ammo for barrel as is done when reloading. With the tuner, there is no need to try different brands of ammo as they can all be tuned to shoot as good as possible in my rifle.”

MPA Chassis Configuration Guide
Erik’s “budget” PRS rifle employs a MasterPiece Arms (MPA) BA Competition Chassis with Rapid Adjustment Technology (RAT). This MPA Arms Video shows how to set up an MPA Chassis to suit the owner:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
May 6th, 2022

Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide

pyramyd air airgun field target pnematic

We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and accessories. Steve Markwith’s comprehensive resource, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page book is now available for $12.95 (paperback) or $9.95 (Kindle).

Air Rifle book olympic

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free download
This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer

Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle.

Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.

Pyramyd Air has dozens of helpful videos about air rifles and air pistols.

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May 5th, 2022

For Varmints — Ruger Precision Rimfire in .17 HMR & .22 WMR

ruger precision rimfire 17 hmr .22 WMR rifle new.17 HMR and .22 WMR Options Enhance
Ruger Precision Rimfire for Varmint Work

Many readers may not know this, but the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle is available in two additional rimfire chamberings: .17 HMR and .22 WMR. While .22 LR ammo is considerably cheaper, .17 HMR and .22 WMR shoot flatter and deliver much more energy. This makes the Ruger rig way more suitable for varminting. In fact we think this .17 HMR transforms the Ruger Precision Rimfire into a very good “carry-around” varmint rifle. We really like the .17 HMR — it’s our favorite rimfire cartridge for small varmints out to 160 yards.

Both cartridge types, .17 HMR and .22 WMR, also offer higher velocities, less wind drift, and flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. This is a benefit when cross-training. You can shoot at more distant targets with considerably less elevation dialed in your scope. And the windage corrections will be less extreme.

Ruger says: “Faster, flatter and with high-performing bullets, .17 HMR and .22 WMR cartridges expand the capabilities of the Ruger Precision Rimfire platform. Like its .22 LR predecessor, these new magnum offerings maintain the same ergonomics, trigger and manual of arms as the larger centerfire Ruger Precision Rifle.”


Here’s an excellent video review of the .17 HMR Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle by YouTuber 22 Plinkster. The reviewer was impressed with the rifle’s accuracy with 17gr ammo.

Both Ruger Precision Rimfire rifles feature 18″ hammer-forged barrels threaded for muzzle devices, including the Ruger® Silent-SR®. The 15″ free-float handguard with Magpul M-LOK slots provides generous scope clearance and easy mounting of M-LOK-compatible rails and accessories.

ruger precision rimfire 17 hmr .22 WMR rifle new

Like its .22 LR version, the magnum Ruger Precision Rimfire models featured an adjustable bolt throw (that can emulate a centerfire action if desired), along with trigger that adjusts from 2.25 to 5 pounds. The .17 HMR and .22 WMR models ship with a 0 MOA Picatinny rail and one, 15-round BX-15 Magnum magazine or one, 9-round JMX-1 rotary magazine. The BX-15 Magnum is a natural pairing for the new Ruger Precision Rimfire in magnum calibers. It is also compatible with Ruger 77/17®, Ruger 77/22® and Ruger American® Rimfire rifles chambered in .17 HMR and .22 WMR.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 4th, 2022

Rimfire Varminting Adventure — Plus Free Varmint Target

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim SeeRimfire Varmint Adventure
Can you shoot prairie dogs with a .22 LR Rifle? The answer is yes, if you have an accurate rifle, know your drops, and keep your targets within a reasonable distance (inside 240 yards). While the .17 HMR and .17 WSM are much more potent, flat-shooting, and effective P-dog slayers, a talented marksman CAN get good results with a .22 LR rimfire rifle, as ace PRS shooter and gunsmith Jim See recently proved.

Posting on his Facebook Page on 7/9/2020, Jim wrote: “Took out the .22 LR for some LR prairie poodles, there were not many in this town, but it gave me a chance to get some impressive hits. Norma TAC-22 ammo put the smack down on a first-round hit, called head shots at 189 yards. The body-shot dog was a first-round kill at 240 yards. I had one more head shot with a second round hit at 163. The nice part about using the .22 Long Rifle ammo is the [critters] don’t spook too bad, so a follow-up shot with a correction is usually available to get a better wind hold.” Even unsuppressed, a .22 LR rimfire shot makes much less noise than a centerfire round.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

NOTE: The Norma TAC-22 .22 LR ammo used by Jim See offers great bang for the buck. It is quite affordable — a 50rd box is just $4.50 at Palmetto State Armory. Some lots have show outstanding accuracy. These target photos (below) come from Champion Shooters Supply which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” Jim says the TAC-22 ammo delivers 1″ groups at 100 yards in his rifle.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See
5-year-old Norma TAC-22 results. Current TAC-22 is on sale at $4.50/box at Palmetto State Armory.

Free Sierra Varmint Target — Prairie Enemy

Sierra Bullets has introduced a new line of loaded centerfire varmint ammunition, the Prairie Enemy series of cartridges. Sierra currently offers Prairie Enemy ammo for six cartridge types: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .224 Valkyrie, .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor. To celebrate this new ammo line, Sierra created a colorful Prairie Enemy P-Dog target. Click the image below to download the PDF target.


Click HERE to Download Target PDF »

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 4th, 2022

Make Your Own Mirage Shield from Low-Cost Venetian Blind

make your own mirage shield for rifle

make your own mirage shield for rifleWant to shoot better scores at your next match? Here’s a smart, inexpensive do-it-yourself project from the good folks at Criterion Barrels. For less than a dollar or two in materials, in just a few minutes you can create a handy, effective mirage shield, custom-fitted to your favorite rifle.

All precision shooters should be familiar with mirage, a form of optical distortion caused primarily by variations in air temperature. Savvy shooters will use mirage as a valuable tool when gauging wind speed and direction. Natural mirage is unavoidable, but there are many techniques designed to limit its influence in long-range marksmanship.

A form of mirage can be produced by the barrel itself. Heat rising from the barrel may distort sight picture through your optics, leading to erratic results. Mirage caused by barrel heat can be reduced dramatically by a simple, light-weight mirage shield.

How to Make a Mirage Shield

A mirage shield is an extremely cost-effective way to eliminate a commonly-encountered problem. Making your own mirage shield is easy. Using old venetian blind strips and common household materials and tools, you can construct your own mirage shield for under one dollar.

Materials Required:
1. Vertical PVC Venetian blind panel
2. Three 1”x1” pieces adhesive-backed Velcro
3. Ruler or tape measure
4. Scissors or box cutter
5. Pencil or marker

1. Measure the distance from the end of the receiver or rail to the crown of the barrel.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

2. Using a pencil and ruler, measure the same distance and mark an even line across the blind.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

3. Cut across the line using scissors or a box cutter, shortening the blind to the required length. (Remember, measure twice, cut once!)

4. Expose the adhesive backing on the loop side of the Velcro. Center and apply the Velcro strips on the barrel at regular intervals.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

5. Expose the adhesive backing of the fuzzy side of the Velcro.

6. Place the blind on the upper side of the barrel. Apply downward pressure. Once the Velcro has secured itself to the barrel, separate the two sides. Proceed to mold both sides of the Velcro to fit the contour of their respective surfaces.

7. Reaffix the blind. Barrel related mirage is now a thing of the past!

make your own mirage shield for rifle
NOTE: You can attach the Velcro on the opposite side of the blind if you want the blind to curve upwards. Some folks thinks that aids barrel cooling — it’s worth a try.

How to Remove and Re-Attach the Mirage Shield
Removal of your mirage shield is accomplished by simply removing the blind. You can un-install the Velcro by pulling off the strips and then gently removing any adhesive residue left behind using an appropriate solvent. (Simple cooking oil may do the job.) Caution: With fine, high-polish blued barrels, test any solvent on a non-visible section of the barrel. Before storing the gun, re-oil the barrel to remove active solvents and residual fingerprints.

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May 3rd, 2022

17 HMR for Prairie Dog Adventures — Good for Closer Ranges

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

We are coming into peak Prairie Dog season. For long shots you’ll definitely want a centerfire. We like the 20 Practical in an AR and a 22 BR/BRA in a bolt-action. That will have you covered out to 700 yards. But for shorter shots on small critters — say inside 150 yards — it makes sense to have an accurate 17 HMR rimfire rig. Today’s 17 HMRs are capable of surprising accuracy, rivaling a good centerfire rig, but with way less recoil and much lower cost per shot. And the 17 HMR offers more than double the velocity of a .22 LR — up to 2650 fps with a 17-grain bullet.

Top Shot former Champion Dustin Ellerman likes his Volquartsens, and we can see why. With one of his favorite 17 HMR rimfire varmint rigs, he’s seen some outstanding accuracy with CCI ammo. A few seasons back, on his Facebook page, Dustin reported: “Prepping for prairie dogs and I’m floored by this cold, sub-half-inch group shot with the Volquartsen Custom 17 HMR at 100 yards.” This thumbhole-stock rifle features a Bowers Group USS suppressor, and 3-12x56mm Meopta Scope. Dustin tried different types of CCI 17 HMR ammo. This small group was shot with CCI A17 ammo.

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

What’s the effective range of a 17 HMR on prairie dogs? You might be surprised. in 2015, Dustin took another Volquartsen 17 HMR on a Prairie Dog hunt in Wyoming. He was impressed with the rifle (shown below) and the little rimfire cartridge. Dustin says the effective range of the 17 HMR is farther than one might expect: “I made hits out to 300 yards. 200 yards was easy as long as the wind wasn’t too bad.”

Here’s the Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin used in Wyoming in 2015:
Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

After that 2015 P-Dog expedition, Dustin became a fan of the 17 HMR cartridge: “Never paid it much attention before now because the ammo is five times more expensive than .22 LR and I mostly target shoot. However, for prairie dogs, the 17 HMR is amazing!” Consider this — Hornady’s 17 HMR ammo pushes a 17gr V-Max bullet at 2550 fps, twice as fast as typical .22 LR rounds.

Prairie Dog Adventure with Savage A17

This video shows a successful Prairie Dog hunt. Watch and you’ll see hits out to 160 yards (00:50), proving the effective range of the 17 HMR cartridge. The host is shooting a Savage A17 semi-auto 17 HMR rifle in a Boyds laminated stock.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
May 3rd, 2022

Sightron Instant Savings ($80-$200) Now through June 30th

Sightron summer 2022 sale discount save

Sightron is now offering big discounts on popular scopes with its Summer Instant Savings Promotion. You can save up to $200.00 on select premium riflescopes: the S-TAC, SIII PLR, and S30 RDS. With Father’s Day and graduation just around the corner, now is a great time to save hundreds on some of Sightron’s most popular models. This instant rebate promotion kicked off May 1st and runs through June 30, 2022.

You can get these Sightron deals through an an authorized Sightron retailer, such as Creedmoor Sports, or you can order direct from Sightron, via the Summer Instant Savings Page.

Sightron summer 2022 sale discount save

SIGHTRON is offering up to $200 in savings on select premium riflescopes:

Save $200 on SIII PLR (Precision Long Range) — Designed for long-range target and competition shooting, the PLR series offers 6-24x50mm, 8-32x56mm, and 10-50x60mm models (shown below). All models employ a new optical design, Zact-7 Plus Revcoat multicoating technology, internal zero-stop, and illuminated reticles. Sightron SIII PLR scopes offer premium performance at an unbeatable price.


Sightron summer 2022 sale discount save

Save up to $120 on S-TAC — Excellent choice for hunting or competitive shooting, the S-TAC 3-16×42 and 4-12×50 riflescopes have the features you need to get on target and stay there. Available in SFP and FFP models, the S-TAC series features Zact-7 Revcoat multicoating technology applied to high-quality Japanese precision-ground glass for excellent, crisp, and clear color-corrected images.

Lifetime Warranty on All Sightron Scopes
All Sightron riflescopes are backed by a Lifetime Performance Guarantee that protects buyers. If you ever have an issue, Sightron’s skilled technicians will fix your scope or Sightron will replace it.

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