May 11th, 2017

New $600 Competition Primer Seater from Primal Rights

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

Seating primers is kind of a “dark art”. Many top shooters prefer to seat “by feel” using a hand tool. Others prefer bench-mounted tools that offer higher work-flow rates — with a good bench tool you can prime more cases in a given amount of time, plus it’s easier on the hands.

There have been many bench-mounted priming options — Forster has a tool, as does RCBS, and Lee. But there is a new player in the game — Primal Rights of South Dakota. And Primal Rights’ new Competition Primer Seater (CPS) may be the most precise bench priming tool yet offered to the public. It is certainly the most expensive. This patented tool costs $600.00! But the CPS delivers something special — superb, repeatable depth control, along with the ability to prime 1000 cases per hour. For some reloaders, that precision + productivity will justify the high price.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

The Primal Rights CPS is built like a Swiss watch — the machining is beautiful. It also uses some unique internal engineering to achieve a superb “feel” when priming. Unlike some other tools, it is also very easy to adjust — simply turn a wheel to adjust seating depth. You can see this in the photos — the word “Deeper” with the directional arrow.

Operation of Competition Primer System Shown in Video:

Key Features of the Primal Rights CPS, as stated by the manufacturer:

Speed with Precision: Some priming tools are very fast. Others are very precise. The CPS is the only priming tool to combine both features into a single unit. You can achieve seating depths accurate to within a thousandth of an inch, all while priming at a comfortable rate of over 20 cases per minute. At that pace you can easily prime over a thousand cases per hour.

Precision Primer Seating Depth Control: The CPS has a revolutionary adjustable shell holder system which allows you to raise and lower your case in relation to the priming rod. You can seat the primer deeper or shallower in .001″ increments. The adjustment mechanism has tactile and audible clicks to ensure you stay on your desired seating depth. One click = One thousandth of an inch adjustment.

Integrated Shuttle Feeding System: The CPS uses a manually-operated shuttle system to slide primers from the primer tube into position over the primer rod. This ensures that any jams or misaligned primers are easily and safely discovered by the operator.

Check Out Competition Primer Seater Gear Review on Rifleshooter.com
Our friend Bill at RifleShooter.com has just released a detailed review of Primal Rights’ bench-mounted priming tool. He was very impressed with the Primal Rights CPS, finding that it was fast to use yet very precise, with great feel: “The CPS uses a rotational drive system to seat primers. Unlike the lever systems you’ll normally encounter, this allows you better feel as the primer seats. The CPS is expensive. However, it is a solid tool. Amortize it over the time you’ll be reloading and it’ll be worth every cent. If you load a lot of precision ammunition and have the budget to support it, take a look at the CPS. I found it is a game changer. I wish I had one twenty years ago!” READ REVIEW.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

» Read Competition Primer Seater Review on Rifleshooter.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 18 Comments »
May 10th, 2017

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Laser RangeFinder Review

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

The new Sig Kilo 2400 ABS RangeFinder raises the bar among compact LRFs on the market. This unit offers class-leading ranging ability, combined with an Applied Ballistics solver, handy mobile App, and even a plug-in windmeter. If you are considering getting a new Laser Rangefinder (LRF), you should definitely consider the new Kilo 2400 ABS. With a $1499.00 price, this unit is not inexpensive. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any other compact LRF that offers better performance (or more sophisticated features) for the money. Here are highlights of a field test by Andy Backus of Longrangehunting.com. READ FULL FIELD TEST HERE.

— Claimed Ranging ability: Deer (1400 Yds), Trees (1800 Yds), Reflective Steel (2000 Yds).
— Syncs with iOS and Android smartphones via Mobile App (Bluetooth Compatible).
— Embedded Applied Ballistics Elite calculator with bullet database.
— Onboard temperature, air pressure, and humidity sensors.
— Display shows hold-over, wind direction/speed, density altitude, and shot angle.
— Scan mode refreshes at ultra-fast 4 times per second.
— Lumatic™ OLED display automatically calibrates brightness to changing light conditions.
— Lightweight magnesium housing with binoculars-style eyecup and diopter adjustment.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Sig Kilo 2400 OEM User Manual | Sig Kilo 2400 ABS App User Guide

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Field Report

by Andy Backus, Longrangehunting.com
The Kilo’s scan mode is outstanding and is an important reason that it outperforms other rangefinders. I can’t think of any reason not to always use it on scan mode. The results are instant. The fact that the Kilo’s laser seems to be perfectly lined up with its reticle is another reason for its outstanding ranging performance. I think the size of the circular reticle and corresponding beam divergence of the laser is just about perfect. Because of the outstanding scan mode, the fact that the beam is smaller than some other rangefinders does not mean that you can’t do a good job of ranging freehand. And the relatively small beam means that the max range outperforms most other rangefinders.

Cycling through the menu and making changes to the settings on the KILO 2400 rangefinder is fast, simple and intuitive. The options are easy to read and understand.

One other slight negative I noticed is that it is hard to feel the RANGE button being depressed when wearing gloves. I would prefer a more noticeable click when depressing it.

Using the Mobile App with Ballistic Solver

The Sig Kilo 2400 ABS comes complete with a mobile App featuring the Applied Ballistics solver. This allows you to create profiles for various rifles and loads. Once you create the profiles and provide ambient altitude, temperature, and wind values, the Kilo 2400 will give you a ballistics solution via its onboard display. To range a target and get a ballistic solution you simply push the RANGE button. The first number that appears in the rangefinder is line of sight distance followed two seconds later by your elevation holdover and two seconds later by your wind hold (in MOA or MIL). The KILO 2400 will continue to cycle through the three numbers every two seconds for 30 seconds.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Great Features for Hunter in the Field

The array of on-board sensors along with the built-in Applied Ballistics solver mean that the KILO 2400 is capable of providing an instant and very accurate ballistic solution including wind hold with the push of a single button out to very long range. As a long range hunter this is exactly what I want.

The automatic brightness adjustment on the KILO 2400 seems to work flawlessly. No matter the lighting conditions on the day I tested, the KILO’s display was perfectly visible.

You hold the RANGE button down to take advantage of the KILO 2400’s outstanding scan mode and its precise circular reticle displays at just the right brightness level for the lighting conditions. The first number you see displayed on the KILO 2400 is 637 yards and it climbs as the scan mode follows the buck walking away from you. You let go as he stops at 642 yards and the KILO 2400 instantly tells you to dial your scope turret to 11.2 MOA. It also tells you that for a 10 MPH, 90 degree cross-wind you should hold 2.4 minutes. You estimate the full wind value to be about 5 MPH so you’ll hold 1 1/4 minutes.

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

Syncing Features and Remote Laser Activation

When synced to the KILO 2400 via Bluetooth, the Mobile App displays real-time information from the rangefinder including the line-of-sight range, elevation hold-over, and wind correction. It also displays temperature, pressure, density altitude, energy at target, and velocity at target. You can also enter a specific wind speed on this screen and quickly sync it to the KILO 2400.

One other cool feature on this screen is the opportunity to remotely fire the rangefinder. I played around with this a little bit when I had the KILO 2400 mounted on a tripod and I was trying to get the absolute farthest range I could. By firing the rangefinder remotely there was absolutely no wiggle from pressing the RANGE button on the rangefinder.

Complete Kit with Key Accessories

The Sig Kilo 2400 ABS comes complete with a a nice carry case, tripod mount, and even wind-meter that plugs into your mobile device. You get all this…

Sig Kilo 2400 ABS Ballistics Laser Rangefinder Bluetooth

- Padded Ballistic Nylon Case
– TYR Water Resistant Molle Gear Bag
– Lanyard (Neck-strap)
- Wind Meter (plug-in for mobile device)
– One-Piece Machined Tripod Mount
– Sig Sauer Tactical Pen/Stylus
Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 3 Comments »
May 8th, 2017

Hot New Benchrest Gear from PMA Tool

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

Pat Reagin of PMA Tool took some cool new products to the range this past weekend. Look carefully at the photo above. That’s not a standard bag-holder on the SEB NEO rest, and that stylish black rear bag doesn’t look anything like an Edgewood or Protektor. The rifle is also sporting the new-generation Weaver 46x48mm T-Series XR Side-Focus Scope.

Lenzi Rear Sand Bag
Pat tells us: “We are now carrying rear bags made by Italian benchrester Alberto Lenzi. Made in Italy, these Lenzi bags are AWESOME! They are available for short range and one that is slighty taller for long range.” The Lenzi rear bags feature a big, 8″x6″ footprint with a thick, slightly concave base that sits very flat on the bench top. Lenzi bags are very stable with a reassuring “dead” feel on the bench. Guys who have tried this bag really like it. Pat says: “I can’t explain it, but the bag seems to absorb energy/recoil better than other bags — the gun tracks a little better and I get back on target really well.” CLICK HERE for more information: Lenzi Long Range Rear Bag | Lenzi Standard Rear Bag.

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

– Black leather with Cordura at stock contact points with blue stitching.
– 1/2″ flat between medium ears.
– Heavy 8″x6″ base with built-in “donut”.
– Weight about 15.5 lbs filled with heavy sand in bottom & white sand in ears.

Lenzi Replacement Top for SEB NEO Front Rest
A common complaint about the SEB NEO rest is the rest top, specifically the three-piece bag. This rest top made by Alberto Lenzi (an Italian benchrest shooter) addresses the issue by replacing the entire rest top. The rest top features a more conventional design and includes a traditional style front bag that conforms to IBS and NBRSA rules.

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

The Lenzi Top with Super-Slick Bag is $269.95, while the bag alone is $79.95. You can also get the Lenzi NEO Replacement Top with an Edgewood bag for $275.95. Finally there is a new Lenzi Cordura style bag that fits this system — you can special request that.

Weaver 46x48mm T-Series XR Benchrest Scope
Weaver’s new 46-power T-Series XR scope features a 30mm main tube with side parallax adjustment. Clicks are 1/8 MOA, with 44 MOA windage and elevation travel. Pat Reagin reports: “It’s clear enough. The clicks are a little mushy, but positive. Eye relief is great.”

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

Available reticles are Fine Crosshair (FCH) and 1/16 MOA Target Dot. Current “street price” is around $900. Amazon currently has the Target Dot Version for $898.99 with free shipping.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
May 7th, 2017

Replacement Trigger Springs Available for Major Brands

Ernie the Gunsmith remington tikka cz browning trigger springs

Ernie The Gunsmith Replacement Trigger Springs
Ernie Paull from California was an active competition shooter for many years. However, his eyesight has declined so he has turned his attention to providing components for shooters and gunsmiths. Through his Ernie the Gunsmith website, Paull sells a variety of useful products including gun trigger springs, pillar-bedding kits, Accu-Risers, and pillar installation tools. This Bulletin post focuses on Ernie’s trigger springs. Ernie offers springs for a wide variety of rifles: Browning (A-Bolt, A-Bolt 22), CZ (m452), Kimber, Remington (XR100, XCR, 7, 700, 722, 788, 7600 and more), Ruger (77, 77-22, LC6), Tikka (T-3), Weatherby (MK-V), and Winchester (M-70).

Springs start at just $6.95. Ernie also sells springs for the Rem-compatible Shilen Benchrest trigger, as well as Rem 700 ejector springs and trigger alignment springs. For Rem 700 rifles, Paull makes a spring that fits all Remington M-7 and M-700 triggers including the early X Mark-PRO triggers. Ernie says: “On average, installation of his Model-700 spring will reduce factory triggers’ weight of pull by 1½ to 2½ lbs with no other changes. The exact amount of creep, over-travel, and weight of pull are dependent upon the type and amount of tuning accomplished by your gunsmith.”

While there is more to a good trigger job (in most cases) than just a spring swap, you need to have the proper rate spring when adjusting trigger pull weight downwards. NOTE: For safety reasons, we recommend you consult a competent gunsmith before modifying factory triggers.

Why Replacement Springs are Better than Tweaked/Modified Springs
Ernie has observed that some gunsmiths try to lighten trigger pulls by modifying factory springs in questionable ways: “I have worked with gunsmiths in the past who, when the subject turned to trigger springs, preferred to clip them, grind them, heat them, bend them, smash them, or simply back out the weight of pull screw until there was no or almost no pressure on the spring. With any of these methods, you get a spring whose rate is rapidly rising as the trigger is pulled. As the trigger is released, the spring rate rapidly decreases as it approaches full or near-full extension. A more uniform weight of pull will be achieved when the trigger spring is compressed within its normal working range throughout the entire movement of the trigger. In the long run, the benefits of saved time, plus more uniform and reliable results, will more than offset the cost of these [replacement] springs. If you want a lighter trigger pull, you need a lighter trigger spring.”

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
May 6th, 2017

Optics Review: IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Scope

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Note: In this review, James Mock talks about his experience with an IOR Valdada 36X fixed power scope. A newer, slightly-modified version of this optic is now available. The current IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is just like the scope James reviews, except that the rear ocular lens is slightly smaller and the new version is about three ounces (3 oz.) lighter. All of Mock’s observations and comments otherwise apply to the current production model.

IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest Riflescope

Review by James Mock
For the past eight years I have been using the IOR Valdada 36x42mm Benchrest scope on my 6mm Dasher/6PPC switch barrel rifle. It has performed flawlessly during this time. Perhaps this may be the best 600-yard fixed power scope in existence. With the 1 MOA reticle one can judge the distance from sighter to point of aim very accurately. With this knowledge, he/she can either adjust the reticle to the point of aim or may use the hash marks for a definite aiming point. The 1/8th-MOA adjustments are positive and repeatable. There is a provision to set a “zero” after adjustments.

The lens in this scope may be its outstanding feature. The glass comes from Schott Glass Werkes of Germany, and in my opinion it is as good as one can buy. Another great feature is the spring that is set against the erector tube (this is similar to the system used by the Nightforce BR model). The photo below shows the housing containing that spring.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

Reticle Options — Fine Cross-Hair or MOA with Hash Marks
The IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope is offered with a fine cross-hair for those not wanting the MOA reticle. My choice is the MOA reticle with 1/8th-minute dot in the center.

Tested in Competition — This Scope’s a Winner
My first success using this scope was at the NBRSA Nationals at Desoto, Kansas in 2010. I won the 200-Yard Sporter Agg with a .1727. The scope performed flawlessly and I was lucky enough to pull the trigger at the right time. The following year I finished second behind Jeff Thompson III in the Sporter 200 at the NBRSA Nationals at Midland, Texas. Hall of Fame shooter Don Powell commented that my shooting had really improved since I switched to the Valdada. This scope is rock solid and it surely didn’t hurt my shooting.

IOR Valdada Benchrest 36X 36x42mm optic scope James Mock

I have not shot much short range Benchrest in the last few years, but I still use the Valdada in 300- and 600-Yard matches quite often. Its adjustments are crisp and accurate. The adjustments move the reticle 0.125 inches at 100 yards and therefore 0.75 inches at 600. Using the MOA reticle and the precise adjustments, one can determine the number of clicks needed by using the reticle to see how far off of the aiming point one is on the sighting gongs. If a person wants to “hold off” rather than adjust the scope, he/she can do so by using the hash marks for a definite aiming point.

Updates to IOR 36x42mm Scope — Slimmer and Trimmer
Since I got my IOR Valdada 36x42mm scope, there have been some changes made. My scope weighs about 25 ounces but the new one is about 3 ounces lighter. The folks at IOR (Valdada) got input from Bart Sauter and made the ocular (eyepiece) lens smaller and the scope lighter. Bart is now a distributor for Valdada and many in the Benchrest community are now using this fine scope. Billy Stevens won the Super Shoot and qualified for the World Team using the Valdada. If you are interested, please contact Val Leautu in Littleton, CO at 303-979-4578 or Bart Sauter at 270-879-4279.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
May 4th, 2017

Get Most Popular Ballistics App for iOS at Half Price

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPadNeed a top-notch Ballistics App for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod? Start with Ballistic AE, the number 1 (i.e. most installed) App for iOS systems. Ballistics AE (Advanced Edition) is the most popular iOS ballistics program for many good reasons. Full-featured and easy to use, Ballistics AE has been refined over many years, and it supplies rock-solid solutions derived from JBM Ballistics solver (created by James B. Millard). Unlike some other Apps, Ballistics AE is STABLE on iPhones (with various OS levels). What’s cool is that Ballistics AE is now on sale for $14.99, 50% off the regular $29.99 price.

We’ve used the Ballistic AE program on an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPad, and it performed well. Here are some of the features we liked:

  • 1. Mirrors output from online version of JBM Ballistics we often use for initial calculations.
  • 2. Controls are simple to use and (mostly) intuitive.
  • 3. Handy comparison feature lets you compare ballistics for different projectiles side by side.
  • 4. Advanced Wind Kit allows you to account for complex wind situations.
  • 5. Projectile and BC Database is very comprehensive.
  • 6. Software is regularly updated to match Apple OS changes.

Ballistic-AE for iPhone, iPad, iPod, $14.99 (Sale) | Ballistic for iPad, $14.99 (Sale)

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

Comprehensive Projectile Info and BCs
Ballistics AE has very complete data libraries. The program includes 5,000 projectiles, factory loads, military loads, and performance data points from leading manufacturers, military testing, and performance testing.

Ballistic Coefficient libraries include the latest commercial BC data, plus Applied Ballistics’ (Bryan Litz) custom G7 BCs, plus G7 military coefficients from Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

These Videos Explain How to Set Up and Use Ballistic AE:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
May 2nd, 2017

Supersized BAT Sighted at Bruno Shooters Supply

BAT 50 BMG Action

BAT .50 BMG Model EX– Now That’s an Action!, by GAS
A while back, I stopped into Bruno Shooters Supply for a jug of powder and looked into the display case where the new actions are kept. Amid the usual array of BAT Machine, Kelbly and other actions, there was something unlike any action I’d seen before — all I can call it is the BIG BAT (It’s officially the BAT Model EX 2.5). I wasn’t too surprised at the weight (a beefy 13.7 lbs.), but until you lift it it’s hard to appreciate how solid, chunky, hefty, massive (pick your favorite adjective) this thing really is. The action is a 2.5″-diameter, 12″-long BAT for the .50 BMG cartridge. It is simply the biggest, slickest custom action on the planet. In order to give you some sense of scale, I photographed the action alongside a conventional BAT action for short-range Benchrest shooting and I put a .220 Russian case and a .30-06 case into the picture. I’ve handled and fired other .50 BMG actions/rifles before, but this BAT puts them all to shame, as far as fit and finish go.

BAT 50 BMG Action

The action is actually quite conventional in design and execution. The bolt is fluted and has two front lugs with a conventional, although super-sized, firing pin assembly. Any Remington-style trigger will mount by way of a normal trigger hanger, allowing for simplified maintenance or replacement in the field. The loading port is 5.5″ long and the barrel threads are 1.5″ x 16 tpi — nothing about this beast is small! There is a conventional rocker-type bolt release on the left side of the receiver body and a recoil lug is built into the bottom of the receiver. In reality, the action is very similar to any other BAT except for the size and it adheres to all of BAT’s high standards for quality of design, manufacture, fit, finish and just plain good looks. Slide that bolt back and it feels as tight as a small Benchrest action!

BAT 50 BMG Action

Given the BIG BAT’s $3,125.00 sticker price (before options), not many of us will ever have the opportunity to own or shoot one of these beauties (I certainly won’t). However, it is nice to know they exist and can be bought and enjoyed in many places. CLICK HERE for BAT EX configuration options.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
May 1st, 2017

Exotic Wood F-Open Rig for the F-Class World Championships

Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action

Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez recently completed a stunning new F-Open rig for a customer competing at the 2017 F-Class World Championships held at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Canada.

The special laminated fancy wood stock was crafted by Will McCloskey of Cerus Rifleworks. Cerus mills its stocks with a super-precise, computer-controlled CNC machine. This provides ultra-exact dimensions/geometry for superior tracking. This stock features carbon upgrades — a carbon fiber bedding block and carbon fiber forearm tunnel. Speedy tells us: “The Borden action is conventionally bedded, then glued-in as per our benchrest rifles in order for the stock and barreled action to function as one unit. This feature also eliminates the possiblity of moisture entering into the receiver’s bedding area in a rain or high moisture event.”

The stock is made from multiple layers of exotic and fancy woods. On the outside is Bocote, a super-dense (extra heavy) exotic from Central America. Next comes Birds-eye Maple, while the core (centerline) layer is Wenge wood. Strengthening the laminate are carbon fiber stringers. A stock like this can be purchased for $799.00 plus $100 for the exotic wood upgrades.

Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action

Speedy F-Open Rifle Specifications:

Cerus Rifleworks stock with R.A.D.
Borden Accuracy BRMXD action
Flavio Farè trigger
Brux barrel with Erik Cortina Tuner
Nightforce Competition scope
SEB Mini Coaxial front Rest with F-Class Feet


Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action
The handsome, CNC-milled laminated Cerus stock features a R.A.D. Recoil Reduction System.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 11 Comments »
April 30th, 2017

Ruger Offers Integrally Suppressed Barrel for 10/22 Rifles

Integrally suppressed barrel .22 LR rimfire 10/22 takedown ISB Silent SR

Even seen an integrally suppressed rifle? Ruger offers this technology with its new Silent-SR ISB, a multi-baffle integrally suppressed barrel (ISB) for Ruger 10/22 takedown models. This system reduces sound levels to an average of 113.2 dB with standard velocity ammunition. That’s very impressive — consider that an unsuppressed .22 LR firearm can produce noise levels as high as 140 dB with standard velocity ammunition. That’s well above the threshold where irreversible hearing damage begins. (Source: NC Silencers).

Even if you are not interested in a suppressed rimfire rifle (or live in a state where suppressors are forbidden) we think you’ll be interested in Ruger’s technology. The Silent-SR employs a long, multi-element “baffle stack” that can be easily removed for cleaning.

Integrally suppressed barrel .22 LR rimfire 10/22 takedown ISB Silent SR

Watch Integrally Suppressed Barrel in Action. CLICK HERE to View Video on Ruger Site. Scroll to bottom of Ruger page after jump!
Integrally suppressed barrel .22 LR rimfire 10/22 takedown ISB Silent SR

Here’s what Ruger says about its new ISB (Integrally Suppressed Barrel) for the 10/22 Take-down:

The Silent-SR ISB quickly and easily assembles to any Ruger 10/22 Takedown or 22 Charger Takedown, and features an induction-hardened breech with cold hammer-forged barrel that provide easy takedown and accurate return-to-zero.

Reducing sound pressure levels of .22 LR to an average of 113.2 dB with standard velocity ammunition, a 10/22 Takedown rifle equipped with the Silent-SR ISB is as quiet as a bolt-action rifle with a thread-on silencer. The relatively long barrel of the Silent-SR ISB (compared to other integral suppressors) means the bullet generates energy near that of a 16″ gun for consistent, accurate and effective performance on target. The pushed-cone baffle geometry has been stretched to utilize the volume under the barrel maximizing suppression of the gunshot without disturbing the travel of the bullet.

Integrally suppressed barrel .22 LR rimfire 10/22 takedown ISB Silent SR

Disassembly for cleaning is as simple as separating the barrel from your firearm and loosening the Silent-SR ISB’s single assembly screw using the included 5/32″ hex key tool. Once loose, pull the screw to remove all six 17-4 stainless steel baffles, spacer and front cap free of the sleeve for cleaning. The sealed baffles keep the fouling away from the serialized sleeve, yet easily come apart even after thousands of rounds. Finished with Cerakote, the Silent-SR ISB is engineered and built for a lifetime of hard use without clogged ports, seized components or loss of suppression that often plague other integrally suppressed rimfire barrels.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
April 26th, 2017

Ultimate Large Rifle Primer Shoot-Out — 16 Types Tested

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Click Photo to read full test results in Target Shooter Magazine.

Mother of All LR Primer Tests
If you shoot a .308 Win, or any cartridge that uses a Large Rifle (LR) primer, you should read an important article by Laurie Holland in Target Shooter Magazine. Holland, a talented shooter from the UK, tested no less than sixteen (16) different large primer types using a custom F-TR target rifle shot from the bench. Laurie loaded .308 Win ammo* with 16 LR primer varieties and then tested for average velocity, ES/SD, and group size. This may be the most comprehensive and thorough LR primer test ever done. Here are the primer types tested:

1. CBC Magtech 9½
2. CCI 200 LR
3. CCI BR2 Match
4. CCI 250 Magnum
5. Federal 210
6. Federal 210M Match
7. Federal 215M Magnum Match
8. Fiocchi Large Rifle
9. Kynoch Large Rifle
10. Murom KVB-7 (PMC LR)
11. Norma Superflash LR
12. PMC LR Magnum
13. Remington 9½ LR
14. Remington 9½ M Magnum
15. Sellier & Bellot LR
16. Winchester WLR

LINK: READ Large Rifle Primer Test Complete (16 Primer Types)

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Test Rig: Osprey Rifles-built F-TR rifle with Savage PTA action, 32″ Bartlein 1:12″-twist ‘Heavy Palma’ barrel, and Dolphin Gun Company modular stock with an F-Open/Benchrest fore-end.

Some of Laurie’s results may surprise you. For example, would you guess that Sellier & Bellot primers had the lowest ES, by a significant margin? And get this, among ALL the primers tested, Rem 9½M Magnum primers produced the lowest velocity, while Rem 9½ LR (non-magnum) primers yielded the highest velocity. (The total velocity spread for all primers was 35 fps). That’s counter-intuitive and it’s odd that Rems were at opposite ends of the speed spectrum among ALL primers tested.

“The rationale for doing side-by-side tests is to see what effect primer choice has on ballistics, i.e. average velocities and MV consistency. There are a great many views on the subject, a few based on tests (including primer flame photography) but most apparently hearsay.” — Laurie Holland

Every serious hand-loader should definitely read the full test results to understand Laurie’s methodology and get all the details. This is an important test, with significant findings. But if you can’t spare the time right now, here are some highlights below:

Primer with Lowest Velocity: Remington 9½ M Magnum (2780 fps)
Primer with Highest Velocity: Remington 9½ LR (2815 fps)
Primer with Lowest ES/SD: Sellier & Bellot LR (12/3.1 fps)
Primer with Highest ES/SD: Remington 9½ M Magnum (47/14.0 fps)
Primer with Smallest Group Size: Remington 9½ LR (0.43″ average, three 5-shot groups)
Primer with Biggest Group Size: CBC Magtech 9½ (0.7″ average, three 5-shot groups)

Editor’s Comment: Laurie shot three, 5-shot groups at 100 yards with each primer type. The average group size for the top six primers varied by only 0.10″ (0.43″ to 0.53″), so one can’t conclude that one type is much better than another. Total group size variance (from best to worst) was 0.27″.

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

“The biggest surprise to me … came from an elderly (at least 10 years) lot of Czech Sellier & Bellot standard caps with an ES of 12 and SD of 3.1 fps, way below those of the nearest competitor. By contrast to the Fiocchis, they were an almost slack fit in the cases and this may have contributed to their consistent performance.” — Laurie Holland

NOTE: Values in chart are based on 15-Shot strings. The ES/SD numbers will therefore be higher than is typical with five-shot strings.

All ES/SD Values from 15-Shot Strings

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

Testing 16 primer types was a huge task — we commend Laurie for his hard work and thoroughness. This extensive test is an important contribution to the “knowledge base” of precision shooting. Laurie’s findings will doubtless influence many hand-loaders who hope to produce more consistent ammunition, or achieve better accuracy. Credit should also be given to Target Shooter Magazine for publishing the results. Well done gentlemen…


*Reloading method for Test Ammo: “Test batches consisted of 16 or 17 rounds for each primer, charges thrown by an RCBS ChargeMaster and checked on lab-quality electronic scales, adjusted if necessary to within ± 0.04gn, so any charge weight variation would be under 0.1 grain which equates here to 5 fps.”
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April 23rd, 2017

Rimfire Reactives — Spinners, Dueling Trees, Plate Racks & More

rimfire reactive steel target spinner dueling tree falling plates Volquartsen
An accurate, self-loading .22 LR rifle, such as this Volquartsen, is our gun of choice for speed shooting with rimfire reactive targets.

Reactive targets offer “instant gratification” — with every hit your target moves, spins, or falls. Shooting reactive targets with a rimfire rifle is fun AND affordable. Times are a-changin’ — rimfire ammo prices have dropped dramatically, so you can now get very good rimfire ammunition for just four bucks a box, such as Norma Tac-22. That works out to a mere eight cents a round. At that price, you can afford to shoot every weekend.

Rimfire Biathlon Target — Tons of Fun
RimfireSteel.com offers the unique Rimfire Steel Biathlon Target, a scaled-down Biathlon target designed for use at 50 feet for training and recreational shooting. This is one of our favorite rimfire targets. You can increase the level of challenge by moving it to 25 yards! Watch the video — it shows how to reset the five plates remotely with a lanyard.

Make Your Own Shooting Gallery with Reactive Rimfire Targets
For .22 LR fans, the folks at Action Target have created a whole series of steel rimfire targets. Much lighter than their centerfire counterparts, these rimfire targets are easier to transport and easier to set up. With this wide selection of reactive targets, you can create your own shooting gallery.


Rimfire Dueling Tree

Rimfire Spinning Jack

Rimfire Plate Rack

Rimfire Buffalo

In this video, Michael Bane reviews Action Target’s line of rimfire targets, which includes plate racks, spinners, dueling trees, and more. As Michael explains: “This line of targets is very well thought out. For example — dueling trees are a lot of fun. But a centerfire dueling tree weighs a lot, it’s hard to cart it around. A rimfire dueling tree is easy to set up, easy to carry around.”

New PT Target “Walks” When Hit
Action Target has just released a new reactive target that doesn’t even need a stand or base. The patent-pending PT Twist rests on the ground, and flops over or “walks” when hit. Constructed from a single piece of 3/16″-thick A514B steel, the PT Twist has no welds or bolts to break or ricochet. Watch the PT Twist in action:

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April 22nd, 2017

‘Pride and Joy’ Rifles Showcased in Shooters’ Forum


This stunning flame-painted PPC belongs to Chris from Australia. This rifle features a Stiller Viper action, Speedy (Robertson) BRX stock, and Maddco (Australian) 14-twist barrel chambered in 6PPC.

In our Shooters’ Forum you’ll find a thread in which readers can post photos of their “pride and joy” — their favorite rifle. You’ll find a wide range of guns, from “big boomers” to .17-caliber varminters. Here are some of our favorite entries in the “Pride and Joy” Gallery.

The Bear’s Barbed-Wire Barnard

BarryO, aka ‘the Blue-eyed Bear’, posted his beautiful 6mm Dasher, with its unique barbed wire 3D finish. (There’s a story behind that design.) This rifle was smithed by John King in Montana, with stock bedding work by Leo Anderson. The gun features a Barnard ‘P’ action (with trigger), and 28″ Broughton 5C fluted barrel with VAIS muzzle brake. The Barnard sits in a Tom Manners carbon fiber BR stock decorated with amazing graphics by Mad Shadow Custom Paint.

Sebastian’s Radical Swallowtail 6PPC

Sebastian Lambang is the designer and builder of SEB Coaxial Rests. He’s a smart, creative guy, so you knew when he designed a short-range benchrest stock it would be something special. It needed to be lightweight, yet very rigid. Using “out of the box” thinking, Seb employs a truss-style structure to provide great strength with minimal weight. The rear section is equally radical. There are two splayed “keels” in the rear, forming what this Editor calls a “swallowtail” rear design. Others have called it a “catamaran buttstock.” Below is a side-view of the prototype SEB stock before painting.

Brad’s 6CM Long-Range Match Rifle
Chad Dixon Surgeon 6CM Paint

Chambered in the 6mm Competition match cartridge, this handsome rig features a Surgeon RSR Action, Bartlein Barrel, and LRB stock. Barrel work was done by Chad Dixon at LongRifles, Inc. and paint by AT Custom Painting.

Varmint Special with Figured Walnut Stock
pride joy low boy gray yellow Dasher

Here’s a handsome varminter with a beautifully-figured walnut stock. This is one of three rifles Forum Member Dan Hall posted in the Pride and Joy thread.

A Trio of Pealescent Bench Guns
pride joy blue UK 7mm WSM

DixiePPC served up not one but THREE pretty bench rigs, all with pearlescent paint jobs. We’d be proud to own three eye-catching rifles like that. Click the image to see a full-screen version.

Zebra-Skinned Match Rifle
And here is Mark Walker’s amazing Zebra-skin BR rifle. With that wild-looking paint job, this rifle turns heads whenever Mark brings it to the range…

Anschutz BR rifle

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April 20th, 2017

Try NO-LEAD Cleaner for Barrels after Shooting Lead-Alloy Bullets

Suhl Rimfire Benchrest indoor cleaning
We have used NO-LEAD Cleaner in rimfire benchrest rifles similar to this modified Suhl 150-1. It helped restore accuracy with minimal brushing.

NO-lead brushless lead remover Wipe-out Sharp Shoot-rMade by the same folks that created Wipe-Out™, and Carb-Out™, the NO-LEAD Brushless Lead Remover™ really works. Honest. If you are an active rimfire shooter, or if you shoot cast lead-alloy bullets in centerfire rifles and pistols, you should try this product. We now use NO-LEAD in our rimfire benchrest rifles, and in some centerfire guns that receive a steady diet of soft-alloy cast bullets (90%+ lead). (With rimfire guns, you don’t need to use NO-LEAD very often — maybe every 300-400 rounds unless you have a real fouler of a barrel.)

If you’ve got stubborn lead fouling in a rimfire barrel, or on a pistol’s muzzle brake/compensator, you should definitely give this stuff a try. We don’t know how but it does soften lead deposits. The manufacturer says you don’t need brushes, but we found that a bit of brushing (after NO-LEAD application) can help remove more serious lead build-up.

Frankly we were surprised to find a lead solvent that really works. We have tried a half-dozen or more other lead “cleaners” that promise to dissolve lead and most of them, we discovered, are nearly useless. There’s a reason for that, as the lead alloys used in bullets don’t react to typical petrochemical-based solvents. It took the Wipe-Out chemists over five years to perfect a new water-based solution that really does dissolve lead.

NO-LEAD Cleaning Procedure — Read Carefully
NO-LEAD Lead Remover is a clear, red gel that is easy to apply. Just swab it in your bore (or on muzzle brakes) with wet patches or bore mop and let it sit for a few minutes. (The manufacturer says you can leave the NO-LEAD for up to 20 minutes, but that long of a dwell time does not seem necessary with our rimfire barrels.) When it contacts lead it will start to foam and you’ll see that the NO-LEAD solvent turns a pastel pink when it dissolves lead. The pink comes from the formation of lead oxide. After the recommended dwell time, simply patch out the dissolved lead deposits (you can also use a nylon brush for stubborn lead build-up).

NOTE: After cleaning, it is very important that you get all the NO-LEAD out of your barrel, and neutralize it. We recommend following the application of NO-Lead with Wipe-out or Patch-Out to neutralize the NO-LEAD, clear the bore, and remove residual carbon and copper fouling. If you don’t have Wipe-Out or Patch-out, flush the barrel thoroughly with Rubbing Alcohol or even a solution of Dawn dish detergent — then re-oil the bore.

Be Sure to Neutralize NO-LEAD After Use
Remember that N0-LEAD is a strong, slightly acidic chemical that needs to be neutralized after use. If you leave it on a nice, blued barrel for too long, it can harm the bluing. NO-LEAD will remove all the surface oils from the barrel bore. For this reason it is recommended that you neutralize NO-LEAD with Wipe-Out, or Patch-Out, which both contain effective corrosion inhibitors. If you don’t have those products, once you’ve flushed the NO-LEAD with something like rubbing alcohol, then follow with a gun oil. Caution: A petroleum-based gun oil will NOT, by itself, neutralize NO-LEAD. You need to neutralize first, then apply the corrosion inhibitor (or do it all in one step with Wipe-Out or Patch-Out).

Where to Buy NO-LEAD Lead Remover
NO-LEAD Lead Remover costs $15.99 for an 8 oz. squeeze bottle with a flip-top spout. This product is sold directly by Sharp Shoot R Precision Products, www.Sharpshootr.com, or you can purchase NO-LEAD through many other online vendors. For more information, send an email via the Sharp Shoot-R Contact Form or or contact Sharp Shoot-R at (785) 883-4444. You can ask for Terry Paul, Sharp Shoot-R’s owner and the master chemist who developed the NO-LEAD formula.

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April 18th, 2017

Tough Brass — Peterson .308 Win Brass Strong After 32 Firings

Peterson Cartridge Brass .308 Winchester torture test range accuracy IMR 4064 Sierra 155 Palma bullet
Here are five Peterson .308 Win casings after 32 loading/firing cycles (31 at SAAMI max). The brass remained intact, with no cracks. The circles below the shoulders are markings from pressure testing.

This story comes from the Peterson Cartridge website.

Torture Testing Peterson .308 Win Brass — 32 Load Cycles

Recently Peterson’s ballistician had some extra time in his schedule, and asked what he should work on next. He was told, “Just for the heck of it, see how many times you can fire our .308s before you experience failure.” So that’s what he set out to do.

He took five casings out of inventory and loaded them at SAAMI max pressure, which is the pressure we use for all of our longevity testing. It is a hot load, and he did the firing out of Peterson’s Universal Receiver. This way he could measure pressures and velocities each shot. He shot all five, 20 times. (It takes a long time to do that. Load five casings. Shoot five times. Back into the lab to reload, back into the indoor range to shoot, back into the lab, and so forth.)

After 20 firings with no sign of case deterioration, Peterson’s tester asked if he should keep going. “Sure, let’s see how long these can go”, was the reply. So he shot them five more times. Same result. All casings still in good shape. We told him to keep going. He shot each of them six more times. At this point each of the five casings had been fired 31 times. After several days of this the casings were still in good shape but “ballistician fatigue” was setting in. Finally he said, “Let me take these cases to an outdoor range and see how they do for accuracy.” The Peterson team agreed.

Five Shots at 100 Yards after 32 Load Cycles:

Peterson Cartridge Brass .308 Winchester torture test range accuracy IMR 4064 Sierra 155 Palma bullet

For the 32nd firing, the cases were loaded with a somewhat lighter load, and then tested for accuracy. The test rifle was a Tikka T-3 bolt action, with a 20 inch, 1:11″-twist barrel. After 32 firings the primer pockets had opened about 0.002″ (two-thousandths) but were still tight enough for further use. There were no cracks or signs of head separation. The tester put five shots in three holes at 100 yards. The group was 1.5 inches for the five shots, on a somewhat windy day.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 17th, 2017

MEGA Gong — All-Steel 72″x72″ Triple-Element “Gongzilla”

1000 yard steel bullseye target

Rick Mulhern GongzillaForum member Rick from Louisiana (aka RMulhern) has rigged up a fantastic target for long-range shooting. Rick, a long-time competitive Palma shooter, had a large 72″x72″ steel target fabricated with two separate center rings that are equivalent to the official paper Palma/Creedmoor target. He says he’s “shot a lot of Palma on that target, as well as lots of Black Powder Cartridge (BPCR) rounds”. The big steel target works great when Rick shoots his Sharps 45/110 BPCR at 800 to 1000 yards. The large steel background (painted white) helps Rick see and hear his hits. If you understand the high-arching trajectory of 500+ grain projectiles shot from a 45/110, you know it can take a few rounds to get Point of Impact dialed in.

Rick reports: “These are two of my favorite rifles to shoot: a M1874 Shiloh Sharps in caliber 45/110 (2 7/8) made in Big Timber, Montana by Kirk Bryan and family. The other is a 6.5×47 Lapua on a blue-printed M700 action with 1:8.5″-twist Krieger barrel and F5 McMillan Tactical stock. Many of the shooters that take up BPCR have a tendency to get away from their smokeless powder rifles in favor of the blackpowder game. Frankly I have the best of both worlds as I enjoy shooting both (smokeless and BPCR), although I must admit that I probably spend the majority of my time on the range with the Sharps rifles these days.” (Rick’s pretty good with his Sharps by the way — he recently shot a 95, 96, and 100 (clean) for 3×10 shots at 800 yards.)

Gongzilla: $1000 Worth of Steel with Three Plate Layers
Rick tells us: “Here’s the deal — everything is steel! The large plate is 72″x72″ and the black bull is 44″ diameter. The 20″-diameter central white bull is made from 1/2″-thick AR400 bull-dozer plating. That’s the same size as the regulation Palma/Creedmoor paper target. The white square and black bull are 3/8″-thick mild steel. Plates are off-set 2″ from each other. I welded a 2″ length of square tubing to the back of both plates and the bolt slides through and is attached to the large plate. I used 2 3/8″ upset tubing (oil field pipe) for the holder framing.” Rick says he invested about $1000.00 in metal for the target, but that was 15 years ago. Today the steel would be much more expensive.

1000 yard steel bullseye target

Rick says the AR400 armor plate in the center bull is very strong: “You can shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at 200 yards and it won’t damage the center bull”. The mild steel works well for the cast bullets Rick uses with his Sharps 45/110. Also, Rick says the mild steel is rugged enough for 6.5mm and .308 hollowpoint match bullets, if you’re at least 500 yards away. However, Rick told us, “If I would make [the target] again, I would make the black bull AR400 as well. [That way] you would never have to worry about big dents or beating the plate up at any distance. The AR400 is very tough steel. You can shoot a Sierra or Lapua HP bullet and they will just splatter.”

Rick told us: “I built this target with off-set clanger plates. The white clanger is AR400. Bullets just splatter!” Does he worry about hitting the bolt head? Not at all. Rick says: “When I hit the bolt head, I break my arm patting myself on the back!”.

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April 14th, 2017

Gear Review: PMA Action Cleaning Tool

PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit

A few years back our friend Danny Reever acquired the PMA Action Cleaning tool. He’s now used it for many seasons and it’s still working great. If you shoot a precision rifle, it deserves to have a clean action and lug recess area. This handy tool speeds up the cleaning process, letting you do a more thorough job in less time.

PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit Review by Danny Reever
I’ve been using the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit for quite some time. Previously, I used one of the old style (round knob) Sinclair action-cleaning tools with cylindrical cotton rolls. With the Sinclair tool, I was pretty satisfied that I was getting my actions reasonably clean. But, as I explain below, I think the newer PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit is easier to use, and possibly achieves better results.

PMA Tool Kit Extensively Tested with Many Action Types
PMA tried a variety of options before finalizing the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit. PMA explains that several shooters did a lot of testing “with various sizes of die-cut foam, patches, felts and cotton rolls with various bolt action types (BAT two- and three-Lug, Kelblys, Halls, Remingtons, Winchesters and Savages). [Testers all agreed] that the foam disc is far superior to felts and cotton rolls [and] we decided to include two different sizes of foam discs.”

The PMA Action-Cleaning Tool uses round foam discs in two included sizes: 1″ diameter and 1.25″ diameter. Both size discs can be used alone, or with a 3″ patch wrapped around them. The handles of the tools are CNC-machined blue-anodized aluminum with a silicone sleeve for grip. The PMA tool handles are a bit longer than those of my old Sinclair action-cleaning tool. I like the added handle length, and I find the design of the handle easier to use compared to the old-style round knobs.

The PMA tools are quality items. They are an improvement over my older Sinclair action-cleaning set-up. But do the PMA tools they actually clean the action better or easier than the old style cotton rolls? Well, based on my experience, the answer is a definite “maybe”.

Comparison Testing — Cotton Rolls vs. PMA Foam Discs (with and without patches)
Starting with the old-style cotton roll system, I cleaned my actions to a level I considered “clean” in the past. I then tried the included PMA foam discs. I found that, for my Remington-style actions, the larger 1.25″-diameter disc seemed to work better than the smaller 1″-diameter disc. Wrapping the larger disc with a 3″ patch definitely brought out more crud from my previously cleaned actions than the old style cotton rolls. Well, you might ask, what if you wrap the old-style cotton roll with a patch? Yes that will remove more crud too, but perhaps not as much as the PMA system. Moreover you would have to buy both cotton rolls AND 3″ patches. Not many places sell the cotton rolls.

Is it worth plunking down the $49.95 for the complete PMA system? Well, if you want to upgrade to a quality-made tool with better handles the answer is yes. Is getting that last bit of crud out of your action every time you clean it that important to you? You have to decide that for yourself. From my own perspective, I was due for an upgrade so the answer was easy. I like the PMA system, especially the new improved handles. Also, with the PMA system I don’t have to fool around with a tiny Allen screw to secure the cotton rolls — that was annoying. So my final take on the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit is that it is a good product with some real advantages over other action-cleaning systems.

PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit

PMA Tool charges $49.95 for the complete Action Cleaning Tool Kit that includes a chamber cleaning handle and cotton swab. PMA offers the lug recess action cleaning tool by itself with four foam cleaning discs and five 3″ patches. Cleaning discs are also available separately in your choice of 1″- and 1.25″-diameter in a five pack.

Action Cleaning Tool Kit (complete): $49.95
Lug Recess Tool Only (includes 4 Cleaning Discs): $38.95
Chamber Swab Tool (includes Cotton Chamber Swab): $14.95
Additional 1″ Cleaning Discs: $4.95
Additional 1.25″ Cleaning Discs: $4.95

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April 13th, 2017

Digital Level Is Handy Tool for Your Range Kit

Here’s a cool product that can help you level your front rest and rear bag, level your scope, align your target frame, and perform a myriad of tasks around the house. The Digital AngleCube (aka Electronic Level and Protractor Gauge) is basically a high-tech level that gives you exact angular read-outs to within 0.2 degrees. That’s a lot more precise than any bubble level.

Numerous Shooting-Related Applications
For you position shooters who like to run angled sights, this tool will help you set the rear sight and front tower to exactly the same angle. For High Power guys with 3-way and 4-way adjustable buttstocks, this digital angle gauge can help you quickly and precisely set buttstock angle and cast-off. Even tactical shooters and long-range hunters can use this device to confirm exact shot angle, with greater precision than a plastic protractor or even an expensive Angle Degree Indicator (ADI). Heck you can even use the thing as an anti-cant device (if you don’t mind the extra weight). We’re sure that our clever readers can find even more uses for a digital angle read-out tool.

The AngleCube Digital Level sells on Amazon.com for $29.95. It comes with magnets on the sides so you can attach the tool to any ferrous metal surface for a “hands-free” reading. You can find similar devices in hardware and home improvement stores. One of these square, magnet-equipped electronic protractor/levels is made by INSIZE. The illustration below shows how the INSIZE gauge can be used in the field.

Story Sourced by Edlongrange.
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April 11th, 2017

Trigger Options for AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

AR-platform rifles are fun and versatile, but the standard, mil-spec triggers leave much to be desired. They tend to be gritty, with creep and heavy pull weight. One of the easiest, most effective AR upgrades is a trigger group swap. An improved fire control group makes a huge difference. There are many aftermarket trigger options for the AR platform rifles. Choose single-stage or two-stage, either standard trigger assembly or unitized “drop-in” trigger, such as those made by Timney or Triggertech.

Read Full AR Trigger Article in NRA Blog HERE »

AR15 Space Gun trigger
When upgraded with a precision trigger and match barrel, AR-platform rigs work great in NRA High Power competitions (Photo from NRA Blog, at Camp Perry).

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stageTwo-Stage vs. Single-Stage Triggers
Two-stage triggers have two separate movements. The first stage offers a light, spring-loaded pressure that works against the shooter’s pull until stopping at the second stage – this is called “take-up”. If there is no spring pressure, it is known as “slack”. Should the shooter continue to pull the trigger once he’s arrived at the second stage, the mechanism will operate like a single-stage trigger from there until engaging the sear and firing the gun. Good trigger reset requires the shooter to keep pressure on the trigger, even during reset, to minimize movement of the muzzle.

Single-stage triggers feature no take-up or slack, as they begin engaging the sear as soon as the shooter begins pulling the trigger. Some competitive shooters prefer the two-stage trigger because of the feedback it provides during its first stage, while other shooters, including those using their rifle in tactical scenarios, may want the surety of a single-stage trigger, ready to engage and fire once their finger is inside the trigger guard. Regardless of preference, a good trigger will feature minimal creep and should be free of grittiness, providing a smooth, even break.

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

Drop-In Trigger Assembly vs. Standard Trigger Group
Once you decide between a single-stage or two-stage trigger, you can choose between standard and drop-in trigger groups. Standard trigger groups feature all the fire control group parts separated, and need to be pieced together and installed much like a mil-spec trigger, while drop-in trigger are pre-assembled and contained within a casing that simply drops in to the receiver and accepts the pins, hence the name.

After-Market Trigger Comparison

Some shooters prefer drop-in triggers due to the ease of installation, while others opt for standard groups so they can access the components individually for cleaning adjustment or replacement. If one piece of a drop-in trigger fails, you’ll need to either replace the entire unit or send it to the manufacturer for repair, whereas you may be able to simply replace the broken component of a standard trigger without needing a whole new trigger set.

Trigger Terminology — “Creep”, “Stacking”, “Overtravel”
“Creep” or “travel” is the distance the trigger moves between the end of take-up and when the trigger breaks to fire the fun. Too much creep can affect accuracy, but no creep can be unsafe, as the shooter may not be prepared to fire. “Stacking” occurs when the trigger weight actually increases during travel — this shouldn’t happen. Lastly, “overtravel” is the distance the trigger continues moving back after the gun fires.

This article is based on a longer story in the NRA Blog.

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March 28th, 2017

Store More Guns in Your Safe with Rifle Rod Kits

Gun Storage Solutions Rifle Rod Kit

Running out of space in your gun safe? Here’s a clever product that will allow you to store more long guns in your current vault. The plastic Rifle Rods from Gun Storage Solutions slip in long-gun barrels and then grip the shelf above using Velcro pads. This allows you to nestle your rifles and shotguns much closer together than with the conventional racks provided with most gunsafes. The rods are offered in bright orange or basic black. We prefer the safety orange rods (shown above with the Velcro “receiver” shelf liner provided with the Rod Kit).

Gun Storage Solutions Rifle Rod Kit

Rifles with narrow furniture (such as lever guns) can be placed very close together, saving lots of space. For benchrest or varmint rifles with wider fore-ends, you won’t benefit as much. Note that, in the photo above, all of the guns are fairly slim — none have wide fore-ends. Still we think these Rifle Rods could open up 12″ or more horizontal clearance in a medium-sized safe — that could easily allow you to store six (6) more guns in two rows, as shown.

Rifle Rod Kits Starting at $34.95
A kit with 10 Rifle Rods and loop fabric shelf liner costs $34.95 on Amazon.com, while the 20-Rod Kit with liner costs $69.95. That’s a lot cheaper than buying a new safe. A six-pack of additional black Rifle Rods costs $18.50 on Amazon. NOTE: To get the safety orange rods you may have to pay a few dollars more and order directly from Gun Storage Solutions.

WARNING: Always REMOVE Rod from barrel before taking gun to the range. Never place live ammunition in a gun with storage Rod in the barrel!

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 27th, 2017

NEW Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge Coming Soon

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

We liked (and used) Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge before, and now it’s even better. Lyman has updated its pull gauge to be faster and more precise. The new gauge measures trigger pull weights from 1 ounce to 12 pounds with resolution of 0.1 ounces (2.8 grams). We think that anyone running match triggers below 2.5 pounds pull weight should have a gauge like this. Among the pull gauges on the market, we think the new Lyman unit now offers the best performance for the price — this gauge has a $59.95 MSRP, and expect to see it for under $50.00 when it is available. We like the new adjustable, 4-position rod which retracts into the gauge body.

Upgrades: More Precise Strain Gauge | Improved Grip Shape | Adjustable Rod Lengths

Lyman’s new, improved Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge is designed to be the fastest and most accurate trigger pull gauge available. State-of-the-art strain gauge technology allows for repeatable accuracy of 1/10 ounce (2.8 grams). The gauge features a large, easy-to-read LCD display and you can switch from ounces to grams with the push of a button. The gauge can also deliver a pull weight average of the last 10 readings. That’s very helpful, particularly when working with factory triggers that may not be very consistent.

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

The new model Trigger Pull Gauge features a solid, collapsible rod with four locking positions. Being able to adjust length makes it easier to use the gauge with a wide variety of firearms. The locking feature prevents the rod from flexing when applying pressure to the trigger. When not in use, the rod conveniently collapses into the gauge body, making the whole unit more compact. The new Trigger Pull Gauge comes in an internally-padded plastic case that can be easily stored in a drawer or on your work bench. The old-style Lyman gauge (shown below) had a limited rod-length adjustment range, and the rod needed to be removed to store the gauge in its soft case.

Compare Old-Style Lyman TriggerPull Gauge

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

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