July 20th, 2017

Getting the Most Out of Your Progressive Press — PowerUser Tips

Ultimate Reloader Progressive Press Hornady
Blue, Red, Green — There are many Progressive Press options on the market…

When you need ammo fast — lots of ammo, it’s hard to beat a progressive reloading press for output. We use progressive presses to load handgun ammo and .223 Rem cartridges for varmint safaris. With good dies, and proper press set-up, today’s progressive presses can produce surprisingly uniform and accurate ammo. No, you won’t see Benchrest Hall-of-Famers loading PPC cartridges on progressives. However, if you need 1000 rounds for your next prairie dog adventure, you should consider getting a progressive. Below you can see a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP configured to load .308 Winchester in bulk.

Hornady .308 winchester lock-n-load progressive press

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article

ultimate reloader progressive

UltimateReloader.com has published helpful Tips to Optimize Progressive Rifle Loading. No matter whether you have a Red (Hornady), Green (RCBS), or Blue (Dillon) progressive, this article can help you load more efficiently and produce better results. Here are some highlights:

Proper Brass Prep
Just like a good paint job requires good prep work, great rifle ammo requires good brass prep. In order to make sure your rifle loading goes smoothly, make sure to perform the following brass prep steps:

  • Clean the brass (tumble, ultrasonic, etc.)
  • Inspect brass for cracks, deep dents, etc.
  • For military brass: de-prime, ream/swage primer pockets, size with small-base sizer die (small base usually optional).
  • Measure brass length — if too long, size and then trim.
  • Final inspection before loading.
  • Cleaning primer pockets may be something you’ll consider (I don’t clean primer pockets except for rare cases or match ammo).

Smooth and Steady Pace
Since you’re loading rifle ammunition on a progressive, you’re already saving a load of time, so there’s no need to rush things! Attention to detail is super-important for safety and for good results. Always keep an eye on powder level (goes down FAST) and what’s happening at each station.

The Right Press and Press Setup
Look for a heavy-duty, well-built press that will stand up to rifle loading. You’ll also want to make sure your powder measure will have the proper capacity (~25 grains for .223, ~50 grains for 308). If you are bulk reloading, ensure you have enough stations for sizing, charging, powder check, bullet feed, bullet seating, and (optional) bullet crimp.

More Ultimate Reloader Resources for Users of Progressive Presses:

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July 10th, 2017

Accuracy with Criterion Barrel and .308 Creedmoor Sports Ammo

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

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

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

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

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

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July 9th, 2017

Triple Threat — Laurie Holland Reviews Three Reloading Presses

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 Laurie Holland Reloading Press 3-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 here [with] twin steel links at the top end of the press dropping down to the moving parts. The Co-Ax incorporates a number of 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 also sees 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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July 5th, 2017

Rimfire Revolvers — Guide to Great .22 LR Wheelguns

Smith Wesson Model 617 wheelgun rimfire revolver

Don’t own a quality .22 LR wheelgun yet? Well start saving those pennies. Every serious gun aficionado should have a quality rimfire revolver. A rimfire wheelgun is also very good choice for a first handgun. Indeed, a strong argument could be made that a .22 LR revolver is THE best choice for a new shooter’s first handgun. A .22 LR revolver is easy to shoot, easy to maintain, and will last a lifetime.

TOP FIVE Reasons to Own a Rimfire Revolver:

  • 1. Rimfire .22 LR Ammunition is cheap, and now plentiful again.
  • 2. A good, full-size .22 LR revolver will be MORE ACCURATE than the vast majority of semi-auto rimfire handguns. 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. This gun can last a lifetime and then you can pass it 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 mount a scope on the top-strap.

TOP FIVE Rimfire Revolvers (Current Production)

1. Smith & Wesson Model 617, 6″ or 4″ BBL, $829.00 MSRP

Smith Wesson Model 617
10-Shot, Stainless Steel, 44.1 Oz. (6″ barrel), 39 Oz. (4″ barrel)

Smith Wesson model 617 4 inchSmith & Wesson’s Model 617, offered with either 6″ or 4″ barrels, is extremely accurate, with a very crisp trigger, and good sights. You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable K-Frame handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Your Editor has owned a 4″ ten-shot Model 617 for over 20 years, and it’s still going strong.

Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: 4″ 617 Demo Video.)

2. Ruger GP100 .22 LR, 5.5″ or 4″ BBL, $829.00 MSRP

Ruger GP-100 5.5
10-Shot, Stainless Steel, 42 Oz., 5.5″ Barrel

Ruger introduced the .22 LR GP100 two years ago. Since then, it has become a good seller. This 10-shot revolver with 5.5″ barrel has a comfortable grip and triple-locking cylinder (locked into the frame at the front, rear and bottom). Many shooters like the fact that the 5.5″-barrel GP100 carries its heft more to the rear than S&W’s 6″ 617. However, we’d give the edge to the 617’s trigger. NOTE: Davidson’s also has a limited edition GP100 with shorter 4″ barrel. This Davidson’s exclusive edition 4″ GP100 is handier to carry and balances better.

3. Smith & Wesson Model 17 Masterpiece, 6″ BBL, $989.00 MSRP

Smith Wesson Model 617 wheelgun rimfire revolver
6-Shot, Carbon (Blued) Steel, 39.9 Oz., 6″ Barrel

Smith & Wesson recently re-introduced its Model 17 Masterpiece revolver. This Blued 6-shot classic has been “re-released” with a retro-style grip. It still offers outstanding accuracy and a sweet trigger pull. For those who like the look of the original K-22 revolvers this can fill the bill. With a non-underlug 6″ barrel, this is 4.2 ounces lighter than the 6″ Model 617. The price, $989.00 MSRP, is pretty steep. It you look around you may be able to find an original K-22 for a few hundred dollars less. We’ve seen some decent examples on Gunbroker in the $700 range, but pristine K-22s are selling for over $1000 now.

4. Smith & Wesson Model 63, 3″ BBL, $769.00 MSRP

Smith Wesson Model 63 wheelgun .22 LR rimfire revolver
8-Shot, Stainless Steel, 25.8 Oz., 3″ barrel

The 8-Shot Smith & Wesson Model 63 may be one of the most versatile revolvers on the market. With a 3″ barrel, it balances well and is easy to hold. This makes this a great training pistol for a new shooter, even a junior or a lady with small hands. The latest 8-shot version offers nice big sights with fiber-optic front insert. While we consider this a great training and plinking handgun, it can also do double-duty for concealed carry. No the .22 LR won’t match the stopping power of a .357 Magnum, but better armed than not.

5. Ruger LCRx, 3″ BBL, $579.00 MSRP

Ruger LCRX LCR-X revolver polymer composite handgun .22LR rimfire
8-Shot, Steel/Aluminum/Polymer, 17.3 Oz., 3″ barrel

The new Ruger LCRx Revolver combines traditional wheelgun features with modern composite construction. The 3″ barrel and cylinder are steel. The “frame” housing the barrel and cylinder are aerospace-grade aluminum. The rear/lower section of the pistol, what Ruger calls the “fire control housing”, is made of polymer. This cuts weight and tames felt reoil. That fire control housing holds the hammer/trigger assemblies and provides a mount for the interchangeable grips. This is really a very innovative pistol. Thanks to its weight-saving features, Ruger’s LCRx is 8.5 ounces lighter than S&W’s Model 63, though both have 3″-long barrels.

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July 3rd, 2017

New Pierce 15.2 Ounce Featherweight Titanium Action

Pierce Engineering Titaniun action Ti Bolt featherweight action hunting rifle

When it comes to a “carry-around” hunting rifle, “light is right”. You don’t want to haul around unnecessary mass when you’re chasing game up and down mountains. When building an ultralight field rifle, it makes sense to prioritize the poundage — weight saved in the action, bottom metal, and stock can allow a heavier-contour barrel that may shoot better (and not heat up as quickly).

Now Pierce Engineering has developed a truly light-weight action, ideal for hunting rigs. The new Pierce Featherweight Titanium Action weighs just 15.2 ounces for the short action version. And the long action is barely more — just 16 ounces (one pound even). Pierce achieves this remarkable lightness with full Titanium construction — both action body AND bolt are super-high-grade Titanium.

Pierce Engineering Titaniun action Ti Bolt featherweight action hunting rifle

Pierce Engineering explains: “This fully Titanium action features a solid Titanium bolt. Utilizing a rare, high-grade Titanium ensures this action is built to last. This is not standard grade 5 Titanium; it is very strong and the hardness is 44-45 RC. Every Titanium bolt comes standard with a Black Nitride Finish that adds lubricity and prevents galling. We have tried many coatings and found this to be far superior than anything else that is out there. All the Titanium Bolts come with a threaded titanium handle and an aluminum teardrop knob.”

Featherweight Titanium Short Action: $1,785.00 | Featherweight Titanium Long Action: $1,835.00

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
July 2nd, 2017

Exhibition Grade F-Open Rifle from Master Class Stocks

Alex Sitman Master Class StocksAlex Sitman of Master Class Stocks in Pennsylvania is widely considered one of the finest rifle-stock craftsmen in the country, if not the world. Alex’s workmanship and dedication to excellence is top-of-the-line. Alex normally custom-fits each stock to his customer precisely. Many hours are dedicated to stock prep and inletting, and his bedding jobs are flawless. Each stock is exactingly hand-crafted with great attention to detail, and then the stock is “dressed” in the customer’s choice of finishes.

Doing all that takes time — a lot of time. That’s why Master Class Stocks has a long waiting list, and it can take months before a big job is completed. But when Alex is involved, you can count on the final product being a work of stock-making art. Here’s an example. Alex recently stocked an F-Class rifle using eye-popping, exhibition-grade Bastogne walnut. The wood was sourced from Cecil Fredi of GunstockBlanks.com. Alex says: “Cecil’s wood is some of the best I’ve ever used. This blank cost over $1000.00, but it was truly spectacular.” Since the blank was less than 3″ wide, Alex (with assistance from 8-time NRA High Power Champion Carl Bernosky) laminated on the 3″-wide forearm “wings” using spare wood left after the blank was cut. See how Alex and Carl carefully matched the grain of the wood on the forearm. And note how perfectly the adjustable cheek-piece is fitted. If you want a stock like this on your next rifle, contact Alex Sitman at Master Class Stocks, (814) 742-7868.

The Bastogne Beauty — More Construction Details
Eric Kennard tells us: “This rifle was built for Mike Dana in Florida. Kelbly’s did the metal work. [The action is a Stolle Panda F-Class.] Barrel by Brux. Chambering? 6mmBR of course! Mike added a March 10 x 60 scope. Let me tell you this is beyond a work of art! The fit is absolutely perfect! There is not one flaw in the wood-work. The pillar bedding is also perfect! Did you notice the ebony inserts? Or Alex’s custom trigger guard? Alex out did-himself this time. Most of us would not dare to shoot [this gun]!”

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
June 27th, 2017

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved Barrel Block Beast for K02M

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Report by Corbin Shell
Not long ago, I learned of the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) shoot held in Raton, NM and was fortunate enough to get an entry slot. I will be shooting with David Tubb, multi-time High Power and Long Range National Champion, on a team we call the “Second Amendment Cowboys”. Given such short notice, I scrambled to find the necessary components to build a suitable rifle for the event. I turned to longtime friend and owner of X-Treme Shooting Products (XTSP), Tom Myers, to see if he might have a suitable action. XTSP is known for its premium titanium rifle receivers, however XTSP also manufactures stainless actions. As luck would have it, Tom was completing a small run of .338 Lapua Magnum-sized stainless steel single-shot actions. Other components were sourced as quickly as possible and the building began in earnest.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Before acquiring the first component for this build I already knew who was going to perform the work, Doyle Anglin at Dixie Guns, inc.. Doyle’s attention to detail and rifle building knowledge is second to none! I came to Doyle with the idea of building a rifle to shoot in the King of 2 Miles match and his ears perked up. Once all the components were in hand Doyle began construction. Doyle was given free liberty to build whatever he felt best for the job given the time constraints and components that were readily available on such short notice. I cannot thank Doyle Anglin enough for the stellar job he did!

Rifle Builder: Doyle Anglin, Dixie Guns, doylebbang@windstream.net
1010 Hancock Bridge Road | Winder, GA 30680 | 706-654-8400 phone

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

KO2M .338 Lapua Magnum Improved — Rifle Components

— Custom laminated stock Doyle Anglin designed and created from scratch
— 10″-long aluminum barrel block designed and made by Doyle Anglin
— XTSP (X-Treme Shooting Products) PH420 stainless single shot receiver 1.450” diameter. PVD-coated receiver body. FNC-coated one piece bolt.
— XTSP +35 MOA and +60 MOA tapered Picatinny rails, PH420 stainless, PVD-coated
— XTSP two-stage trigger with safety
— Krieger 1:9.3″-twist barrel. 1.450” for 6.5” tapering to 1.100” at the muzzle. 33.5″ finished length
— Piercision Rifles 3/4×24 slab-sided, 5-port muzzle brake
— BAT stainless trigger guard
— Masterclass cheek piece with extended rods
— Masterclass butt plate hardware
— Duplin Bipod
— Spuhr +20.6 MOA one piece scope mount
— Ivey +175 MOA adjustable scope mount
— Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA-value scope (100 MOA of total travel)
— Geier & Bluhm 10 minute precision bubble level mounted to barrel block via extension rod
— Manson .338 Lapua Magnum Improved 30-degree reamer, .375” neck diameter

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Load Information
— Sierra 300 grain MatchKing, meplats trimmed and pointed, seated .010″ into lands*
— Hodgdon Retumbo Powder, 101 grains
— Peterson .338 Lapua Magnum brass
— Federal 215 primers
— Jim Carstenson custom reloading dies: inline seater, full-length bushing, neck bushing and threaded micrometer seating die

This load has achieved 3050fps with low single-digit SDs

Given the 12-pound barrel weight, Doyle strongly suggested a barrel block to offer additional support and increase rigidity. Doyle created a split ten-inch aluminum barrel block and mating steel plate that is inletted into the forend of the custom laminated stock. The 1:9.3″-twist Krieger barrel is epoxied into the barrel block as well as being held in place by the ten socket head cap screws. Two hardened and ground pins locate and index the barrel block onto the steel mating plate. The steel mating plate acts as the recoil lug which mates up to the cut on the reward section of the barrel block. The Krieger barrel is chambered with a 30-degree Lapua Magnum Improved reamer and throated accordingly, yielding a loaded round of approximately 4.000 inches.

The barrel is capped with a very effective Piercision Rifles 3/4×24 slab-sided, five port muzzle brake. The size proportions of the muzzle brake work well with the 1.100” muzzle diameter, however it will work on barrels up to 1.450″ in diameter.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Doyle Anglin worked his creative magic and constructed the multi-color laminated stock from a blank. The five inch fore-end allows the rifle to be utilized in a dual role — either benchrest or prone with bipod. The cheek piece hardware is from Master Class Stocks and is adjustable for cast on/off with preset elevation settings via half-moon shaped clips. The two-way adjustable butt plate hardware also comes from Alex Sitman at Master Class Stocks. The multi-colored laminate stock is clear-coated with special marine UV inhibitor paint. The glass smooth finish makes the wood appear wet and is extremely smooth to the touch.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Lots of Elevation on Tap with Angled Rails, Spuhr and Ivey Mounts
Topping off the rifle is either a +35 or +60 MOA X-Treme Shooting Products Picatinny scope rail. The receiver and scope rails are pinned for accurate repeatability when interchanging. Five 8×40 socket head cap screws firmly hold the scope rail in place. A SPUHR +20.6 MOA tapered, one-piece scope mount securely grasps the Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA scope. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the SPUHR scope mount! This is the only fixed scope mount that I will use going forward and a special thanks goes out to Ulf at SPUHR! The 35 MOA rail and 20.6 MOA SPUHR mount setup allows full utilization of the Sightron’s 100 MOA of internal travel. The second scope setup is comprised of an Ivey +175 MOA adjustable scope base and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm optic.

Scope in SPUHR mount shown below:
.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Scope in IVEY Mount with barrel block-mounted precision bubble level:
.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

When shooting extended long range (ELR) it is important that the scope’s crosshairs remains level. Should the crosshairs be canted it will induce impact shift which increases with the angle of cant and distance. The decision was made not to use any of the lesser quality/precision bubble levels that currently flood the market. These levels have poor resolution usually between one and two and a half (1-2.5) degrees. It must be noted that not all levels are created equal. The fine folks at Geier & Bluhm offered up a solution with a precision glass vial horizontal level with an accuracy of ten minutes. As a refresher, one degree is comprised of 60 minutes of angle. The level setup we chose for this rifle is, at minimum, six times more accurate than the best scope or picatinny level on the market. The 10 MOA bubble level sensitivity is just about perfect and does not create a situation of having to “chase” the bubble left and right when in position.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

A portable 150 MOA tall target was created to test both scope tracking and crosshair alignment. When testing at the local 100-yard range I got a lot of strange looks and a few inquiries as to why in the world was I shooting thirteen FEET above the aiming bullseye.

As the F-TR shooters have learned, it is very important that the rifle travel freely and repeatable under recoil. I turned to Ray Gross who custom made a rubber and Cordura shooting mat which the bipod rides on. This mat is of the same material and construction that most of the F-TR team is utilizing. The rubber durometer is correct so the rifle does not bounce or hop when fired. The bipod skis slide very easy on the Cordura-topped mat. A big thanks goes to Ray Gross for assisting with the mat setup. In addition, high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) tape was applied to the butt stock of the rifle. The HMWPE tape allows for extremely low friction between the butt stock and rear sand bag. This configuration tracks very well and slides rearward like it is on rails.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

As load development progressed I tested three different brands of projectiles. A ladder test was performed at 300 yards to determine where the node was with my barrel and powder combination. The rifle liked between 99-101 grains of Hodgdon Retumbo. I then proceeded to shooting ten shot groups at 1000 yards. In this rifle the Sierra 300gr Matchking was hands down the winner for smallest groups and the best elevation at 1000 yards. The load settled on is 101 grains of Retumbo and 300 grain Sierra Matchking. 500 Sierra bullets were measured base to ogive and the spread over the entire 500pc measured .003” with 490pc varying by .001”. Keep up the good work Sierra Bullets! A special thank you goes to John Whidden for generously allowing me to come to his shop and repoint the Sierra .338 projectiles and allowing me to test at his 1000 yard range.

Preparation for the King of 2 Miles match has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun! Next year’s rifle design is already in the works and should be an over the top build. Stay tuned to AccurateShooter.com for further details!


* The Sierra 300gr MatchKings were meplat-trimmed and pointed using the original pointing system made by Ferris Pendell for Jim Hardy. A big thank you goes out to John Whidden for allowing me to come to his shop and use the original bullet pointing system.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
June 27th, 2017

Smart Product: Custom-Fitted Cardboard Ammo Storage Boxes

Repackbox fitted cardboard ammo ammunition storage box printed labels

Here’s a smart product for folks who load and store large quantities of ammunition. With these white cardboard ammo boxes from Repackbox.com, you can store pistol, rifle, and shotshell ammo very inexpensively. A set of 30 boxes costs $13.95 ($0.47/box), while a 100-Box Bundle costs just $22.95. That works out to just $0.23 (twenty-three cents) per box — very cheap!

All boxes are Made in the USA of .024 thick, acid free, virgin card stock. The boxes are printed with Cartridge Type (Caliber), number of rounds enclosed, and an outlined box where a printed label can be placed. Included with each set are Blank Avery 5167 Labels which can be printed with load/bullet data or other info. The box kits even come with white gloves to keep your ammo grease-free. Order these ammo repack box kits from Repackbox.com.

There are many advantages to these cardboard boxes. They are inexpensive and they store ammo very efficiently, not using much space. You can arrange them in any orientation (unlike some plastic ammo carriers). We like these boxes for varmint safaris and other adventures when we’re transporting many hundreds of rounds of ammo. They are also a smart choice for bulk shotshell ammo, as they are much less expensive than plastic shotshell cases. For pistol shooting we still like see-through, plastic flip-top boxes at the range, but these white cardboard boxes are great for storing large quantities of pistol ammo produced on progressive presses. NOTE: These boxes do NOT have individual dividers between the cartridges. And no, the boxes are NOT waterproof — you’ll want to keep them in an ammo can on rainy days.

30-Box and 100-Box Kits are available for all these Pistol and Rifle Cartridge Types:

PISTOL Cartridges
.380 ACP
.38 SPL/.357 Magnum
9mm Luger
.40 S&W
10mm
.44 Magnum
.45 ACP
.45 Long Colt
RIFLE Cartridges
.223 Rem/5.56×45
.30 Carbine
30-30 Winchester
.303 Brit
7.62×39
.308 Win/7.62×51
7.62x54R
.30-06 Springfield

In addition, there are boxes for 12 gauge shotgun ammunition.
Repackbox fitted carboard ammo ammunition storage box printed labels

Repackbox fitted carboard ammo ammunition storage box printed labels

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June 25th, 2017

Monitor Barrel Heat with Pocket Infrared Thermometer

infrared thermometer

Monitor Barrel Heat with Pocket Infrared Gauges
You never want to run the barrel of a precision rifle too hot. Excessive barrel heat kills accuracy, increases copper fouling, and can cause rapid barrel throat wear. Over the years people have devised various means to cool their barrels — from electric fans to dunking in tubs of ice water.

But how do you know if your barrel is too hot? Consider a “non-contact” thermometer that reads your barrel’s “infrared signature”. The RadioShack or Kintrex pocket-sized, non-contact IR thermometers are ideal for shooters at the range or in the prairie dog fields. Both are handy and inexpensive — costing roughly twenty-five bucks ($25.00) for each device.

Pen-Sized Thermometers
Just 3.2″ long, and weighing a mere 1.3 ounces, the waterproof RadioShack and Kintrex thermometers are small enough to carry in your pocket, and will easily stow in any range bag/box. The Kintrex unit measures from -67 to 428 °F (-55 to 220 °C), while the cheaper RadioShack model measures from -27 to 230º F (-33º to 110º C). Kintrex is a respected manufacturer that also makes larger hand-held IR thermometers for industrial and shop applications. A little infrared thermometer like this is a gadget that every serious shooter should have. Given the cost of replacing barrels these days, can you afford NOT to have a temp gauge for your match or varmint barrel?

TECH TIP — How to Get More Consistent Readings
When using IR Themometers on shiny steel barrels, sometimes the polished surface throws off the beam, causing inconsistent readings. You can solve this problem by simply putting a piece of masking tape on the area where you take your reading. Some other folks use a grease pencil to create a non-reflective spot to read. Forum Member Jon B. says: “I used an Exergen infrared in the HVAC industry. Without the grease crayon they sold, you couldn’t get an accurate reading with shiny metals.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
June 21st, 2017

Get a 22-Gun Safe for Under $350.00 at Wally World

Walmart gun safe $344 Stack-On

We know some of our readers still don’t own a gun safe, even a small one. We’ll now there’s no excuse. Here’s a killer deal on a Stack-On gun vault at WalMart. This 22-gun safe can’t compare to a large, heavy-gauge $1500+ safe, but it will be worlds better than storing your firearms under the bed or in a closet. Bottom line, your firearms need to be locked up when not in use. Priced at just $344.97 this is a great deal. And the shipping charge is just another $9.99.

Measuring 55″ tall x 26.8″ wide x 17.6″ deep, this Stack-On safe is rated for 22 long guns up to 54″ tall. In reality, you’ll be lucky to fit a 13-14 scoped rifles comfortably in this safe, but that’s enough for many guys. This is also a good “second safe” for your loading room or bedroom.

CLICK HERE to Go to Product Description Page

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
June 20th, 2017

Tactical Twins: Micarta-Stocked PRS Rigs for SFC Brandon Green

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

What does a two-time High Power National Champion choose for PRS comps? A set of twins. Twin rifles that is. SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU is one of America’s best marksmen. He’s excelled in Service Rifle and High Power disciplines, and now he’s getting very serious about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Brandon recently took delivery of “Twins” — two impressive rifles optimized for PRS competition. Green told us: “The Twins are ready for business! The silver one is a 6XC and the black one is a 6.5×47 Lapua”. Both rifles feature Impact Precision actions (with AICS-type mags), 24″ Proof stainless barrels, and Fat Bastard muzzle brakes. Rifle work was done by Stuteville Precision (Wade Stuteville) and Exodus Rifles (Joe Walls).

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks
In the 6XC, Brandon runs Berger 105gr VLDs in Norma 6XC brass. For the 6.5×47 Lapua he shoots 140gr Berger Hybrids or 143gr Hornady ELD-Xs in Lapua brass. Both rifles have stainless steel Proof barrels, but the 6.5x47L has a matte black Cerakote finish.

Brandon loves his new Twins. He said he likes the “feel” of the guns with the Foundation stocks: “These rifles weigh around 17 pounds with optics. They feel very solid under recoil — without the ‘tuning fork’ vibration you can get with a metal-chassis gun. They feel like a good wood-stocked gun, but the material is stronger and more rigid than wood. I’ve heard that guys are having success with these Foundation stocks with the actions installed without pillars or conventional bedding.” Currently Brandon is running both guns without action-screw pillars. He did have one skim-bedded, but he doesn’t think that was really needed. “Both rifles hammer now”, Brandon tells us.

Green Runs Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm FFP scopes on both rifles:
SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

High-Tech Micarta Stock Material
At first glance, those stocks may look like wood, but they are actually a special “Micarta” material that is strong, durable, and stable. Micarta, often used for knife handles, is a “a brand name for composites of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic.” The stock-maker, Foundation Stocks, says Micarta offers some distinct advantages over laminated wood or conventional fiberglass: “The solid block of material gives us a dense, homogenous material that is absent of any voids or air pockets commonly found in composite stocks. The high compression strength of the material allows us to build an action/DBM specific stock that requires no bedding or pillars. The material is very durable and stable in extreme environments. We use advanced CAD software to design and model our stocks, working in conjunction with action manufacturers and rifle builders to provide exact fitment.”

Here is a close-up of a Foundation Stock showing the distinctive Micarta texture:
SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

Tactical Competition vs. NRA High Power Competition
Brandon says PRS competition is tough: “PRS can be pretty humbling, but it’s been a lot of fun and a great challenge. For a shooter (like me) with a Service Rifle/High Power background, the variations in stages combined with the time limits can be very challenging. And the unusual shooting positions put a new spin on things. PRS is definitely a different ball game, but I really enjoy it. After the National Championships this summer I hope to shoot three or four PRS matches in September and October.”

SFC Brandon Green 2015 High Power National Championship
SFC Brandon Green honored as the 2015 High Power National Champion.

Life before the Twins… Here is Brandon, with his previous PRS rig, at the MasterPiece Arms Precision Rifle Shootout, a PRS event at the CORE Shooting Solutions Range in Florida:

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tactical 12 Comments »
June 17th, 2017

Titan Modular Gun Vault from SnapSafe

modular bolt gun safe snapsafe Zanotti

snapsafe gunsafeGenerally you want the biggest, heaviest gunsafe you can afford. However, for many gun owners, a 1000+ pound behemoth is impractical. For those who relocate frequently for their jobs, or who live up many flights of stairs, it is more practical to have a safe that breaks down into separate pieces for transport. In our Guide to Gunsafes, we reviewed the Zanotti Safe, a quality modular safe that breaks down into smaller, lighter components. Now there is a another modular safe that competes with the Zanotti. Snapsafe’s Titan Modular Safe ships in three (3) flat boxes. Simply unpack the components and assemble the 330-lb. Titan on-site in about 30 minutes without tools.

Watch video to see how the SnapSafe Titan can be assembled without tools:

The SnapSafe™ Titan holds 12+ rifles, weighs 375 lbs. assembled, and measures 59” H x 22” W x 17.5”. Side panels are 9 gauge steel and the door is 3/16” steel secured by eight 1″-diameter chrome steel live locking bolts. SnapSafe claims that its patented structure can be stronger than conventional welded construction. You can choose either SecuRam™ Digital Lock or a mechanical lock. The Titan comes with fire-sealing gaskets lining the door frame. These gaskets, combined with ceramic wool blankets in the walls provide a claimed one hour of fire protection against temperatures up to 2300ºF.

SnapSafe sells its Titan 12+ long-gun capacity safe for $1249.00 delivered. There are also larger-capacity modular safes — the $1648.00 Super Titan (24 gun capacity), and the massive $1999.00 Super Titan XL (36 gun capacity). All prices include shipping to the lower 48 states.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review No Comments »
June 16th, 2017

Lithgow LA101 — Tack-Driving .22 LR Bolt Action from Australia

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock
Along with .22 LR, the LA101 is offered in .22 WMR and 17 HMR chamberings.

There’s an impressive bolt-action rimfire rifle built in Australia, the LA101 Crossover from Lithgow Arms. Imported by Legacy Sports Int’l, this relatively new rimfire rifle offers a smooth-running action, excellent accuracy, a crisp trigger, and a durable, Cerakote finish.

YouTube host 22Plinkster recently tested the LA101 in .22 LR, and found that it delivered very impressive accuracy. He recorded multiple “one-ragged-hole” groups at 50 yards (see video below). Even at 100 yards, the LA101 was shooting close to 1 MOA with relatively inexpensive ammo. This is an impressive rifle, as it should be, with a $1000+ price tag. MSRP is $1079.00 USD (synthetic), $1215.00 USD (laminate).

22Plinkster writes: “I have shot a lot of .22 LR bolt rifles in my day, but this one, is a nail driver!” After testing, he concluded that the LA101 was “the most accurate bolt rifle I own”. He reports the stock is very comfortable for off-hand shooting as well as bench work.

LA101 Crossover Features and Specifications
The Lithgow Arms LA101 Crossover features a 3-lug, 60°-throw action with rear-locking bolt. It is available in both right-hand and left-hand versions, with a very good factory trigger advertised at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg). Note — testers report report the trigger feels lighter. Choose between a fiberglass-reinforced polymer stock, Walnut, or laminated wood stocks. This rifle is offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. The .22-cal barrels are hammer-forged while the 17 HMR barrel is button-broached. Action and barrels are Cerakote finished. The Lithgow LA101 can use CZ 452/455 5-round and 10-round magazines.

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock

The LA101 is offered with choice of wood or synthetic stocks, all of which feature a straight, lower rear section that works well in rear bags:

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock

Here is another, lengthy LA101 review, done in Australia a couple years back. The reviewer field-tests a composite-stocked Lithgow LA101 with a wide variety of .22 LR ammunition. Warning: Starts with loud, annoying music — you may want to turn down your speakers:

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
June 14th, 2017

Make Your Own Lanolin-Based Case Lube

DIY yourself lanolin case lube lubricant One Shot Ultimate Reloader Gavin Gear 6.5 Guys

In the YouTube video embedded below, our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows who to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. As recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alchohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. You can make a pint of this home-brew Lanolin case lube for a fraction of the price of commercial aerosol spray lubes.

Complete Case Lube Instructions on UltimateReloader.com »

Gavin tells us: “Per the 65guys instructions, I ordered the same components and spray bottles, and these worked out great”:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

Gavin describes the exact mixing process on his Ultimate Reloader website. Gavin says this lube mix is a good complement to the Hornady One-Shot (pistol) and Dillon DCL (rifle) lubes he has used for pistol and rifle reloading sessions. CLICK HERE to read more.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
June 8th, 2017

Advanced Reloading: Sorting Brass by Neck-Wall Thickness

neck sorting tool case-neck Sinclair caliber neck tension

He who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, sorting your cases helps achieve more uniform neck tension and, thereby, more consistent bullet seating. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy.

Get Better Results with No-Turn Brass
We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video (May not load on mobile devices)

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHow the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with an optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without indicator (item 749-006-612WB) costs $59.99. Complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB), the tool costs $89.99. IMPORTANT: This tool requires caliber-specific Case Neck Pilots (sold separately).

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
June 7th, 2017

Five Red Dot Reflex Sights for Handguns

Vortex Sig Sauer Burris Bushnell Trijicon red dot reflex site heads up display Venom

Red Dot (aka “Reflex”) sights help pistol shooters hit their targets quickly. With these sights you simply place the dot on the target. Head alignment is not critical. These sights offer an open field of view, virtually no parallax, and eye relief is basically unlimited. You don’t have to worry about aligning front and rear sights — as long as you can see the red dot you’re good to go. The only real negative is that the red dot can be hard to see in very bright sunlight, and users with strong astigmatism may see a blurry or fuzzy image instead of a sharp dot.

As quoted in Outdoor Life, pistol champion Doug Koenig explains: “Red-dot sights are fast, superior in low light, and allow the shooter to simply focus on the target.” For those reasons competitive action pistol shooters can shoot faster with red dot sights. They definitely offer a “competitive advantage”, and that’s why iron sights guns run in a different class in most pistol matches.

The NRA Blog recently reviewed five (5) red dot sight systems for handguns. Red dots give let shooters focus on the target rather worry about sight alignment. In addition, red dots aid older shooters who often have trouble with close focusing. TIP: If you need reading glasses — a red dot can help.

READ FULL RED DOT Sight Review in NRABlog.com »

Sig Sauer Romeo 1 First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

SIG SAUER Romeo 1
SIG SAUER’s Romeo 1 open reflex sight is built with SIG’s twin adjustment springs that provide a “lock-less” zeroing system while maintaining zero. The sight body is CNC-machined from solid billet magnesium to be lightweight and strong, and its molded aspherical lens is bright and distortion-free. The Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC) system recalls the last brightness setting used, so you don’t have to remember those adjustments on your own.

Vortex red dot reflex site heads up display Venom

Vortex Venom
Vortex’s Venom reflex sight can be mounted on pistols with Picatinny rails, as well as tactical rifles and shotguns. The 3 MOA dot is easy to see in nearly any lighting conditions and allows users to shooting accurately at long ranges. Ultra-clear multi-coated lenses provide a wide field of view with sharp image quality, and brightness controls are easy to find and use, located on the left side of the unit. The Venom features 14-hour auto-shutdown to extend battery life, and the unit is built shockproof and waterproof to withstand harsh operational demands.

Vortex red dot reflex site heads up display Burris Fastfire III

Burris Fastfire III
Burris’ Fastfire III is one of the most versatile red dots on the market. In addition to the unlimited eye relief awarded by red dots, the Fastfire III features windage and elevation adjustments that don’t require the use of a proprietary or special tool – just a small flathead screwdriver is needed to make adjustments, and comes bundled. Battery access on the top of the sight makes it easier to change batteries, and the Fastfire III includes a battery warning indicator and eight-hour auto-shutoff to prolong battery service life.

Bushnell First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

Bushnell First Strike
Known for quality sights at great prices, Bushnell delivers again with the First Strike, one of the most affordable red dot sights available. Despite its affordability, the First Strike is well made, and an ideal candidate for use with smaller-caliber firearms, such as rimfire pistols. Like many other reflex sights, the First Strike mounts using the Picatinny rail system, so you’ll need to ensure your pistol either has a rail included or can facilitate a small mounting rail section. The First Strike is waterproof, shock-proof and fog-proof, and coated lenses ensure excellent light transmission, allowing easy target acquisition up to 100 yards — well beyond normal pistol range.

Trijicon First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

Trijicon RMR
Trijicon’s RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) sight is one of the most durable mini red dots available today. Produced from 7075-T6 aluminum to military specifications, the RMR is lightweight but strong, using a patented shape that absorbs impact and diverts stress away from the lens. The RMR is available in dual-illuminated, LED, and adjustable LED models with dot sizes from 1 to 13 MOA. The RMR is waterproof to 20 meters (66 feet), and boasts easy adjustment for windage and elevation.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, Optics 1 Comment »
June 7th, 2017

Smart Choice: CZ 455 for Rimfire Cross-Training

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Are you looking for a .22 LR Rimfire rifle that has the look and feel of a centerfire rig? Then check out the CZ 455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This gun, dubbed the “Varmint Tacticool” by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. And recently CZ added a Suppressor-Ready version fitted with a 16.5″ barrel and threaded muzzle.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

The original CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as an affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and stock profile of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $940.00 MSRP while the latest suppressor-ready Tacticool model lists for $549.00 MSRP. The $391.00 you save will buy a LOT of ammo (or a scope).

Tacticool Accuracy Demo — Nailing Match-Sticks at 30 Yards — Five for Five

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

At $940 MSRP, the CZ 455 Precision Trainer in Manners Stock is much more expensive.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
May 30th, 2017

Varminter.com Field Tests New Lead Free 17 WSM Ammo

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test
Photo Courtesy Varminter.com.

The team at Varminter.com just completed an extensive test of Winchester’s new LEAD FREE 17 WSM ammunition. During multiple sessions, Varminter.com shot the ammo using no less than nine different rifles. Four, 5-shot groups were shot with each rifle from the bench at 100 yards. Results were impressive. Average group size for a 1:9″-twist heavy barrel Savage B-Mag was a remarkable 0.5005 inches. Group size averages for seven of the eight other 17-cal rifles* ranged from 0.755 to 1.03 inches at 100 yards — pretty impressive for factory rimfire rigs. A LOT of time was invested in this test, and we recommend you read the full report on Varminter.com.

» READ FULL 17 WSM Lead-Free AMMO Review on Varminter.com

Fastest Rimfire Cartridge Ever
If you’re not familiar with this cartridge, the 17 WSM is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire round you can buy. It stomps the .22 LR, and even offers significantly better ballistics than the popular 17 HMR. This lead- free version is impressively flat-shooting. With a 100-yard zero, it drops only 4.3 inches at 200 yards. Compare that with a .22 LR which can drop 18 inches or more from 100 to 200 yards (based on 1150 fps MV).

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test

Zinc Replaces Lead in Winchester’s Eco-Friendly 17 WSM
For folks who live in areas where lead ammo is restricted, such as California, the arrival of this Lead Free 17 WSM is good news. Winchester’s new 17 WSM ammunition features a Zinc-cored, polymer-tipped 15-grain bullet with 0.118 G1 BC. The ammo is rated at a speedy 3300 FPS velocity. Winchester says that the zinc core and “thin alloy jacket with engineered sidewall profile” deliver “explosive fragmentation.”

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test

*The ninth rifle, a Savage BMAG with original thin-contour barrel, was the “odd man out”. Accuracy was mediocre, averaging 1.763 inches.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 29th, 2017

CMP Custom Shop Repairs and Upgrades Vintage Rifles

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

CMP Custom Shop Civilian Marksmanship ProgramThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) does more than run matches and sell surplus firearms. The CMP also operates a full-service Custom Shop in Anniston, Alabama that does maintenance, repair, and upgrading of USGI-issue rifles at a reasonable cost.

Since the fall of 2013, the CMP Custom Shop has offered repair, upgrade, gunsmithing and custom services for a wide range of U.S. Military rifles, specifically those issued in early eras. As well as regular repairs and troubleshooting, the CMP Custom Shop can upgrade, accurize, and refinish virtually all the rifle types sold by the CMP.

What Rifles Can the CMP Custom Shop Service?
The CMP Custom Shop will work on the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903/1903A3 Springfield, 1917 Enfield, and the Krag. The Custom Shop will also service Remington 40X, Mossberg 44, and H&R Model 12 rifles. CMP will NOT work on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles. For a list of services (with prices) visit the CMP Custom Shop webpage.

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

NOTE: Before you can send a rifle to the CMP Custom Shop you must be a customer on file in the CMP system. Customers must meet the same eligibility requirements as for CMP rifle purchases. Once qualified, you can purchase a rifle from the CMP and have the CMP Custom Shop make modifications to it prior to shipping.

CMP Custom Shop Can Work on USGI Rifles Purchased from Other Sources
The CMP Custom Shop can work on rifles that may have been purchased elsewhere as long as they were made by a USGI contractor. Some examples include: Springfield Armory (not Springfield Inc.), Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, International Harvester, Remington, Rock Island, Eddystone, Inland, Underwood, Rock-Ola, Quality Hardware, National Postal meter, Standard Products, IBM, Irwin-Pederson and Saginaw. NOTE: There are many NON-USGI copies of the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield and especially the M1 Carbine that CMP will be unable to work on.

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repair

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repairFor more information, call (256) 835-8455, x1113, or send email to customshop [at] thecmp.org. Shipping and Correspondence address for the CMP Custom Shop is:

CMP Custom Shop
1803 Coleman Rd
Anniston, AL 36207

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
May 28th, 2017

The Fixed Power Option — Save Thousands on a Comp Scope

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax
The 46x48mm side-parallax Weaver XR (matte black) costs less than $900.00 on Amazon.

With the cost of some high-end, high-magnification zoom scopes climbing well past the $3000-dollar mark, some shooters are considering a return to fixed-power optics. These are still quite popular in the short-range Benchrest game where weight is “mission critical” and the need to view mirage at lower power is not so critical. But now we are seeing some F-Class competitors considering fixed-power scopes — primarily for the increased reliability and huge cost savings. The $2000+ you can save (compared to a $3000+ Zoom) could buy a custom action, trigger, and premium barrel!

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallax

One scope to consider is Weaver’s latest T-Series 46X target scope with side-focus parallax control. With a street price around $900.00, the new Weaver T-Series XR 46x48mm scope offers a lot of bang for the buck compared to the pricey zoom scopes. Compared to the older T-36, this new 46-power XR scope offers more magnification, more elevation, a larger front objective (48mm vs. 40mm), and a larger 30mm main tube (compared to 1″ for the old T-36). The new XR 46X Weaver also features side-focus parallax control. That’s a big change. You could instantly spot a classic Weaver T-36 by the adjustable front objective with its knurled ring and yardage markings. The T-Series XR 46X (as well as the new XR 24X and XR 36X) have the parallax control on the left side of the main tube (photo below).

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxWe have looked through the new Weaver 46X scope and it is very sharp. Brightness is good — it seems comparable with a Leupold 45x45mm Competition (but that was on a bright, sunny day). Initial tests show the clicks to be tactile and positive, but we haven’t had a chance to do a full “box test” to confirm tracking. Weaver claims the new XR series scopes will focus down to 50 feet, but with the 46X we had some questions about its extreme close-focus capability. If you’re shooting beyond 50 yards, the focus should be fine.

The new T-Series 46X XR is offered with two reticle choices, a fine cross-hair (FCH), or FCH with 1/16th MOA dot. Both reticles are well-suited for benchrest work. You can find the new 46X Weaver for under $900.00. That’s way more than the old T-36, but it undercuts Leupold fixed-power competition scopes by hundreds of dollars.

Weaver XR series target scope side focus parallaxOther Side-Focuc 36X T-Series XR Scopes with Side-Focus and 1″ Tubes
The new 46-power XR scope is the star of the XR line-up. Designed to go head-to-head with Leupold’s 45X Competition scope, the 46X Weaver XR offers a modern 30mm main-tube and large (48mm) front objective. If you don’t need the bigger tube and larger objective, but still want side-focus parallax control, Weaver offers two other new XR scopes — a 36x40mm and a 24x40mm. These both retail for under $630.00.

Older T-Series Weavers for Under $450.00
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t need 46-power magnification and side parallax control, you may want to consider the older 36-power T-series Weavers. These adjustable front-objective Weaver “Tees” enjoy a good reputation for reliability. They’re not a bright as the XR models, but you can now purchase the older T-series scopes with adjustable front objectives for well under $450.00 in both black finish and silver finish. For benchrest shooting at a fixed distance, side-focus is not necessary; adjustable front objectives work just fine. Just set and forget.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »