Our “master fabricator” Mark LaFevers has installed some of the CG Mod 22 triggers from X-Treme Shooting Products. This is an excellent Two-stage Trigger for the Remington 700 type actions. Though advertised as a “drop-in”, Mark found some stock fitting was required when installing this unit in a wood stock. Here is Mark’s brief report.
CG Mod 22 Trigger Installation Tips
Having already installed a CG X-Treme trigger in my Borden-action Eliseo tube gun, I was looking forward to the same easy installation and adjustment process on a friend’s Remington 22-250 in a laminate varminter stock. Where there were no fit issues in the aluminum Eliseo stock, I had to relieve a fair amount of wood at the tang end of the laminate stock inletting. While not difficult, this took a little more time than I had anticipated, using a 3/8″ square file.
The end result was just as satisfying, a two-stage trigger fully independently adjustable with outstanding feel and sensitivity. The adjustment instructions for the CG Mod 22 trigger from X-Treme Shooting Products are clear and easy to follow.
I like to set the length of travel of the first stage long enough to define pulling up to the end of it clearly, with the second stage set just heavy enough that you don’t pull into it accidentally before you are ready. The trigger breaks very cleanly, helping to make the shot either on paper or hunting. It’s nice to find a two-stage trigger with this kind of precise adjustment that also has a safety — an important feature for a hunting gun.
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If you’ve been considering the new Nightforce SHV scope for a hunting application, head over to LongRangeHunting.com. There you’ll find an in-depth field test of the 4-14x56mm SHV by Nicholas Gebhart. This is a very thorough review — Gebhardt checks every feature of the scope and comparison tests the SHV against the more costly Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50mm. Gebhardt even put the SHV scope in his freezer for a weekend to ensure there was no fogging.
Overall, Gebhardt was very pleased with the SHV: “Optical clarity, image brightness, contrast and resolution were all extremely good.” The tester also liked the MOAR reticle in his scope. He didn’t think it was too “busy” though he thought the hold-over lines would benefit from numbers: “Nightforce’s MOAR was easy to use and provided a clear sight picture for engaging small targets. The line thickness is perfect for both precise shot placement and visibility. My personal preference however would be for the even hash marks to be numbered for the entire lower portion of the reticle.” Gebhart noted that the SHV’s side parallax knob had yardage marking numbers that proved accurate (and handy to use) — most other scopes just have lines.
Nightforce SHV vs. Nighforce NXS
How did the new SHV stack up against the NXS in a side-by-side comparison? Gebhardt was impressed with the $995.00 SHV, saying it held its own with the pricier NXS model: “I took about 30 minutes to evaluate the optics of the SHV and see how it compared to an older Nightforce NXS 3.5-15X50. Both of these scopes are made in Japan but given the price differential, I expected to see some difference in the optical quality. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any optical difference between the two except for a very slight possibility of a brighter image with the SHV.”
Nicholas Gebhardt has been an active hunter primarily pursuing mule deer, antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs since he was old enough to legally hunt. Nicholas is also a precision rifle competitor and a Captain in the Montana National Guard.
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This new tool trims cases quickly, with precision control over case length via a micrometer-type dial. The folks at ACT Tactical have developed an easy-to-use compact case trimmer called the TRIM-IT. Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum, this sturdy case trimmer comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee. The $97.50 TRIM-IT features a micrometer that’s built into the unit itself. Caliber-specific inserts (called “Caliber Dies”) index off the case shoulder.
The TRIM-IT can work with any hand-drill or drill press. Once you get the hang of it, you can trim a case in 7-8 seconds — that gives you a production rate of 400+ cases per hour. The TRIM-IT delivers repeatable precision to plus/minus one-thousandth. This unit also holds its cut-length setting, unlike some other trimmers which require frequent adjustment.
The basic unit ships with two caliber dies, for .223 and .308. Other listed caliber dies include 6.8 SPC, .300 BLK, .30-06, 30-30 Win, 300 Win Mag, 7MM REM, 7.62x54R, and 8MM Mauser. Other cartridge types can be custom-ordered from EZTrimit.com. To change dies, simply loosen the set screw on the TRIM-IT, take the caliber die out, add another one, and tighten the screw — quick and easy.
The built-in micrometer is great. The handy dial gives you a positive, repeatable length setting quickly — no fiddling with locking rings or spacers. Once you get the ring set properly, the cut lengths are consistent from the first case to the last. Expect your case OAL spread to be about +/- .001″ (starting with full-length-sized cases with uniform rim to shoulder lengths). For more information, email sales [at] eztrimit.com or call (562) 602-0080. You can see how the Trim-It device works in the video below.
Video Shows Trim-it Set-Up and Operation
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We know you guys like do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. And we also know that our readers like anything that helps a rifle sit more securely in the bags, and track better on recoil. Here’s a little accessory you can make yourself for pennies that will help rifles with conventional (non-benchrest) stocks ride the rear bag better.
This DIY Bag-Rider is simple in design and easy to make. The invention of Forum member Bill L. (aka “Nomad47″), this is simply a short section of PVC pipe attached to the bottom of a wood stock with a couple of screws. The back half of the PVC tube is cut at an angle to match the lower profile of the stock. Nomad47 painted the PVC Bag-Rider black for sex appeal, but that’s not really necessary.
In the top photo you can see Nomad47′s bagrider attached to a Savage varminter. In the bottom photo, the PVC bag-rider tube is fitted to an F-TR style rig with a green, laminated thumbhole stock. This rifle also features a Savage action with a custom barrel and “wide-track” bipod. (Note: to be legal in F-Class competition, the muzzle brake would have to be removed.)
To learn more about this PVC Bag-Rider and other similar gadgets for the rear of your stock, read this Forum Thread.
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We’ve always liked the capacious, durable range boxes from MTM-Casegard. And now there’s a special “Tactical” version for AR shooters. This detachable-lid Tactical Range Box features a magwell-filling “action block insert” to support your AR securely during cleaning. Magwell posts like this have been used for years by AR gunsmiths. It’s a fast and convenient way to secure an AR.
The Tactical Range Box also comes with two adjustable cradles that will support most conventional bolt-action rifles and lever guns. These plastic cradles are gentle on fancy stocks, and they can be removed and stowed in the bottom of the box during transport.
The Tactical Range Box uses a two-piece design. The removable top storage compartment holds oils, solvents, brushes, patches, and small accessories. Unlatch the top box to reveal a large, deep storage area that will hold tools, earmuffs, ammo boxes and other larger items. MTM Range Boxes are big enough to hold pretty much everything you need at the range, except your front rest and rear sandbag. Midsouth Shooters Supply offers the MTM Tactical Range Box (item 008-TRB40) for just $39.85. Like MTM’s standard Shooting Range Box, the Tactical Range Box is well-built and much less flexy than generic plastic tool-boxes. Check out the features of this range box in the video below.
For more info, contact MTM® Molded Products at (937) 890-7461 or visit MTMCase-gard.com.
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If you shoot Service Rifle, or use a .223 Rem at medium to long range, you should read J. Guthrie’s ShootingTimes.com review of Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 ammunition. Originally developed for military applications, this very accurate ammo is now available for civilians to purchase. It uses a special Sierra 77gr MatchKing bullet with cannelure. Black Hills did extensive testing to develop this ammunition, shooting over 250,000 test rounds with various propellants and projectiles. Eventually, the Sierra 77gr MK bullet was chosen, with a powder that delivers 2750 fps MV (from a 20″ barrel).
Sierra’s 77-grain bullet delivered great accuracy at long range. Guthrie explains: “Several bullets were used during the development process, including the 73-grain Berger, 77-grain Sierra MatchKing, and 77-grain Nosler HPBT. Black Hills finally settled on the MatchKing when Sierra agreed to put a cannelure on the bullet. In test fixtures Sierra’s bullet proved slightly more accurate. Accuracy was exceptional, certainly an improvement over M855 [military 5.56x45mm ammunition].”
Guthrie’s article explains that this ammo design started off as target ammunition developed for the USAMU. That was followed by a 1999 request from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division for a round that would work with a suppressed, short-barrel M16 variant. Over the years, as Black Hills produced more ammo for the U.S. military, this ammunition continued to be improved. Guthrie notes: “The name changed with each modification. MK 262 Mod 0 was adopted in 2002, Mod 1 came along in 2003 with the cannelure, and an improvement to temperature sensitivity came along in 2005.”
According to Black Hills President James Hoffman, the MK 262 ammo “developed a cult following… so [in 2011] we started offering it to the public. The only difference is the packaging — it is the exact same ammunition as is delivered to the U.S. Military — loaded to the exact same specs”. The commercial version is sold in black/red 50-count boxes labeled “5.56mm 77 GR OTM”. The exact same ammo is issued to American war-fighters in 20-round, brown cardboard boxes labeled “5.56mm SPECIAL BALL, LR MK 262 MOD 1.”
Field Test of Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 Ammunition
About J. Guthrie: Last April, at the much-too-young age of 37 years, outdoor writer J. Guthrie passed away in his sleep, leaving a wife and two young children. Field & Stream noted: “Guthrie was already a major player and a pro’s pro, but he wanted to be more. He wanted to be a Gun Writer in the old style. It’s a terrible loss for all of us that his run was cut so short.”
Story idea from Grant Guess. We welcome reader submissions.
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Looking for a tough, heavy-duty gun case for under $100? Check out this Plano All-Weather Rifle Case for $72.15. It shares many features of a much more expensive Pelican case at a fraction of the price. An O-Ring runs all around the lid, providing dust protection and a watertight seal. The bottom-level foam is pre-configured into little cubes, so you can easily customize the case for your rifle (no “hot-knife” work required). The interior size is 43″ x 13″ x 5″. That’s big enough for most tactical rifles. For long-barreled competition rifles, you will want to detach the barreled action from the stock — and then place them in two different slots (one for the stock, one for the barreled action.) We’ve transported long-barreled F-Open rifles in cases like this — just separate the rifle into two parts first.
Click Photo to Zoom
This Plano All-Weather Case offers a lot of value for the money. A similar, 44″-long Pelican model 1720 case retails for about $200.00. The Plano offers most of the same capabilities of the Pelican, for about one-third the price. Both cases are watertight (with O-Ring seal), both cases have pressure release valves, and both cases have strong “gorilla-proof” outer shells. Note: For just $63.15 Plano also offers a smaller All-Weather Tactical Case with a 40″x16″x5.5″ interior. (Plano gun case prices are subject to change and do not include shipping.)
Here are comments from actual owners/purchasers of the Plano Tactical case:
This gun case is everything I expected. Latches very securely and is durable enough to handle laying in the bed of my truck bouncing down a dirt road. The foam is nice because it allows for almost exact shaping to your rifle and accessories. I plan on ordering 3 more. You can’t beat this price. — Coach
The absolute best without busting my wallet. NOTHING wrong with this case….nothing. Clamps are solid and do not slip open when bumped. Key locks are ordinary but if someone wants in, they will find a way….we all know this. I padlock where any hole is available. I own three for different rifles and I will order more if needed. You will not go wrong with owning this model/price gun case. Satisfied! — SF67n2
I was looking for a case for my Sig 556 Patrol SWAT and was considering Pelican cases. I found this on Amazon and thought I would take a chance. It is absolutely incredible. It has the pressure relief valve and a quality latching system- not difficult to open, but not weak either. I laid out my gear and pulled the foam and could not be happier. Considering I paid $76 w/free 2-day shipping there is absolutely no way to have made a better choice. The newer version has Yellow or Red trim, but I love the Blackout Tactical look of this case — grab them while you can. – SigFreak
Plano All-Weather Tactical Rifle Case Features
Key-Locks on Latches
Pressure Relief Valve
Allows Easy Customizing
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Wouldn’t it be nice to dispense with patches and jags when cleaning your guns? The folks at Super Brush, LLC, had the same idea, so they invented Bore-tips® swabs. These reusable foam “mops” provide 360° of contact with the bore, reaching both the grooves and the lands. Bore-tips thread onto standard cleaning rods. They are offered in a variety of sizes, from .22 Caliber up to 12 Gauge. Rifle Bore-tips come in .22 (5.56mm), .243 (6mm), and .308 (7.62mm) diameters.
We saw samples of this new product for the first time at the Berger SWN. We’re intrigued. The product may be useful for some applications, particularly pistols and shotguns which require minimal brushing. For rifles they do a good job of applying solvents because they hold more liquid than a patch. However, you probably won’t want to abandon your jags and patches. Sometimes a tight-fitting patch is still the best tool for the job. Patches are cheap and it’s easier to discard a used patch, rather than fuss with cleaning foam swabs. But for shotguns (and lightly used pistols), these things make sense.
Bore-tips® Claimed Benefits:
• Each tip is reusable and can be cleaned with solvents or soap and water.
• Tough and fiber-free, Bore-tips will not shed or leave lint behind as cotton will.
• FAST PATCHLESS CLEANING — solves the shortcomings of the jag and patch.
• Foam fills the lands and grooves of the rifling, not sliding over the top like a patch.
• Quick threading on a standard 8-32 cleaning rod. Shotgun sizes use a 5/16 x 27 rod.
• Can be used with most commercially available solvents and oils.
How to Use Bore-tips®
Use a Bore-tip to apply solvent to the barrel. After allowing the solvent time to work, brush the bore to break up any fouling. Next use a clean Bore-tip to push the fouling out the bore. When the now dirty Bore-tip clears the bore, wet it with a little solvent and then squeeze it with an absorbent rag or paper towel, this will blot the dirt off. After blotting the Bore-tip should be clean enough to continue using to remove the fouling until you are finished cleaning. When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your barrel, use a clean Bore-tip to dry the bore.
Click for Full-Screen Images
How to Clean Bore-tips®
For faster cleaning, apply mineral spirits to the Bore-tip and squeeze/blot into an absorbent rag or paper towel. When the Bore-tip is clean, let dry and reuse. Using soap and water, squeeze to blot out any excess solvent or dirt. Next, wash the Bore-tip with a grease-cutting soap and warm water. Once clean, rinse then let dry completely. See cleaning video below:
Bore-Tips Foam Swab Cleaning Demonstration
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At the Berger Southwest Nationals, innovative F-Class hardware was on display. In F-TR, bipods are continuing to evolve, with new variations at every match. (We saw the Flex bipod in action and it operates very differently than anything else out there). But with F-TR bipods and F-Open front rests having evolved to such a high level, the weak link in the rifle support chain may now be at the rear.
In both F-TR and F-Open, it seems that shooters are turning their attention rearward — devising new ways to stabilize (and elevate) the rear sandbags. We saw a variety of “sub-platforms” designed to give rear bags more lateral stability, and also raise the bags up off the ground. A few shooters have moved away from a conventional rear sandbag to a hybrid support that almost looks more like a front bag attached to a rigid block. Here are a couple rear bag set-ups we saw at Ben Avery in Phoenix. These should give you guys some ideas:
Check out this simple but effective Do-It-Yourself rear rest. The “base” is a large, flat piece of particle board. Above that is a sizable block of wood with carpet tacked to the base. It appears that the carpet may be affixed to small velcro squares on the flat base. The most clever feature is on top. A V-style leather front bag has been adapted to support the rear of the rifle. This solution looks both effective and affordable.
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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, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $22.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.
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.
Here’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 $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.
Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (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.
Remember, 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.
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While at SHOT Show, I visited nearly all the major pistol manufacturers, and tried out their latest polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols. To my dismay, these pistols (from a half-dozen different makers), all had one thing in common — really unpleasant triggers. The triggers were mushy, “sproingy” (my term), with a heavy (and sometimes rough) “stagey” pull that was not consistent through the pull cycle. Trying one gun after another, my reaction was always: “Yep, another awful trigger”. Most of the striker-fired guns also had a sloppy slide to frame fit, so they clanked around as they cycled. I’m sure they would function reliably, but I felt I was sampling staple guns, not fine firearms.
In Search of A Better Trigger
Disheartened, I left the main exhibit hall and descended to level one. There, like a beacon, I saw the STI logo, and ranks of metal-framed, hammer-fired pistols. I picked one up. I worked the slide — it operated oh-so-smoothly, like it was on ball bearings. The grip safety functioned perfectly when I wrapped my hand on the grip — no conscious pressure was required and I didn’t feel an uncomfortable bump in the web of my hand. The safety just did its job effortlessly.
I asked an STI rep if I could dry-fire the pistol. “Go right ahead” he said. The first thing I noticed was that the take-up was smooth — butter smooth. There was no grittiness, and the take-up pull was constant. When you got to the break point, resistance increased, and at just about 3 pounds of pressure, the hammer fell with a precise release. No staginess (rising/falling pull weight), no “sproingy” feel (like a cheap coil spring compressing and then snapping), just even pressure and “click” the hammer falls. This was trigger heaven, compared to striker-fired trigger hell.
As I was at the STI booth, a young fellow came up next to me. I noticed, from his name badge, that he was from Austria, home of the Glock. He said “You know I have had Glocks for years. Then one day I said ‘Why am I doing this to myself, why am I putting up with this?’. The triggers are scheiße — I can’t stand them, and the grip shape is wrong. So I sold my Glocks and bought one of these [an STI] and now I am very happy.” He held up an STI and said “Now this is how a pistol should be made!” I smiled and said, “Isn’t it ironic that it has been more than 100 years since John Moses Browning invented the 1911, and his design still works so well?”
Here are two of the STI Pistols on display at SHOT Show. They are both built to very high quality standards, and they both have smooth-running slides and crisp, near-perfect triggers.
STI Target Master
The Target Master is built on STI’s 1911 Government-length frame with 30 lpi checkering on the front strap. The safety controls are STI ambidextrous thumb safeties and STI high rise, knuckle-relief beavertail grip safety. The 6″ slide features a lowered and flared ejection port, tri-level adjustable sights, and STI front and rear cocking serrations. The barrel is a 6.0″, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Target Master comes standard with a STI two-piece steel guide rod, Commander-style hammer and patented STI Int’l trigger system. The STI Target Master ships with one 1911 Magazine.
STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the circumference of the grip.
Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge ships with one 126mm magazine.
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Here’s a smart product from MTM Case-Gard, new for 2014. You get a rugged, polypropylene plastic ammo carrier, complete with a matched set of 100-round ammo boxes for a particular caliber (e.g. 9mm, 45 ACP, or .223 Rem). This is a slick, intelligent way to transport ammo to the range.
We like these new MTM plastic ammo carriers better than military surplus metal ammo cans, which have sharp edges, finger-pinching clasps, and rust far too easily. MTM’s ammo carriers are much lighter than milsurp ammo cans, and they have an enhanced O-Ring seal system for a superior water-resistant seal. All plastic, the MTM ammo carriers can never rust. They have easy-to-shut dual latches, double locking tabs for padlocks, and convenient built-in stacking ridges molded into the lids. Overall, the MTM ammo carrier is a superior, more user-friendly design compared to conventional metal ammo cans. And the combo set, with fitted 100-round boxes, gives double protection to your precious ammunition.
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