March 5th, 2012

Modular Zanotti Safes Offer Easy Installation

We’ve received inquiries from readers who are looking for a gunsafe that is big and strong but can be broken down and transported more easily that a typical 800 to 1200-lb safe. One product that fits the bill is the Zanotti modular safe. It arrives in sections, none weighing more than 170 pounds. It is assembled in place, then can be dis-assembled when you need to move. The Zanotti is also well-suited for a gun-owner who lives in an apartment up many flights of stairs.

Zanotti take-down gunsafes

Zanotti Gun safeZanotti Armor safes are ideal for gun owners who need to move frequently or who live in a location where it is difficult to position a conventional safe. Zanotti safes arrive in three or four discrete shipping boxes. The safe is assembled by the owner, on site, in six steps. The heaviest component is the door, weighing 110 pounds in the 16-gun ZAI safe, and 175 pounds in the largest 52-gun ZAIII model. Five safe models are offered, ranging from 350 to 925 pounds assembled weight, without interior. Zanotti safes are popular with military personnel and others whose jobs force them to re-locate often. The safe can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools other than a hammer, and all you need is a hand dolly to move any component.

Guns Magazine reports: “The panels are interlocked by 3/8 inch, nickel-plated steel “L” shaped pins that slip into steel tubing sections welded to the interior surfaces of the panels. The slip fit is held to a tolerance of .003 inch, and the safes are completely assembled and hand-fitted at the factory to insure the panels will align properly. The body is made from 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch steel; the door from 3/16 inch steel; the locking bolts are 3/4 inch steel.” This is heavier gauge steel than you’ll find on most conventional gun safes.

Zanotti offers many deluxe interiors including a system of roll-out sliding drawers in the bottom of the safe. We think the sliding drawers are ideal for storing handguns and expensive items such as cameras and binoculars that you want to keep out of plain view. Mark Zanotti, the innovative creator of these modular safes, can also customize any interior to suit the customer’s particular needs.

Editor’s Note: For most applications, a conventional safe is still the best choice. Bolted in place, a conventional safe with welded walls will provide the best security and a conventional safe can provide increased fire protection. Zanotti safes do not employ a separate layer of sheet-rock or ceramic fire lining. The Zanotti is a special product for gun-owners with special needs. The units are well-made and Zanotti offers many nice custom interior features that you won’t find even on much more expensive conventional safes.

To learn more about gunsafe features and fire-proofing, read our Gunsafe Buyers’ Guide.

Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
February 29th, 2012

Vast Encylopedia of Guns Offered on DVD

How’d you like to own the most comprehensive resource on guns ever created, an interactive database with information on over 50,000 firearms? If that sounds intriguing, check out the $39.95 Firearms Guide on DVD (2d Edition) from Impressum Media.

Think of this as a digital encyclopedia of guns — the mother of all gun reference guides. The sheer amount of information is mind-boggling. The Firearms Guide covers over 50,000 models of firearms, airguns, and ammo from 425 manufacturers. Products are illustrated with 27,000 high-res color photos, plus 1,550+ schematics with parts lists for 130 gun-makers. If you’re a gunsmith or armorer, you’ll want to buy this DVD, just to have the searchable schematics with part numbers handy.

If you are a gun collector, or just an information junkie, you’ll find this DVD to be an invaluable resource. The DVD’s scope is truly worldwide, with coverage of gun makers in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa and Asia as well as North America. With the DVD’s search capability you can search by gun caliber, manufacturer, and key features (e.g. “.223 Rem, Colt, folding stock”). There are 14 different search criteria — this allows you to “drill down” precisely to find the gun you want in seconds. Shown below are typical profiles of listed products:

There are some cool bonus features that significantly enhance the $39.95 DVD:

  • 500 Printable Targets: game animals, silhouettes, crosshairs, sight-ins, fun targets.
  • FFL Locator – Searchable database of over 60,000 gun dealers in the USA with contact info.
  • US-EU Ammo Caliber Chart: Cartridge equivalency charts identify the correct domestic equivalent of European ammo.

Editors’ Comment: We were amazed with the sheer volume of data on this disk. It’s nice to be able to view the entire line of guns from major manufacturers (such as Ruger, Sako, Savage, and Sauer), along with products from “boutique” arms-makers. On the other hand, the vast majority of entries are mass production items. You won’t find many of the custom-built precision rifles that readers of this site prefer to own and shoot. Nonetheless, we enjoy being able to quickly see an entire product line, search a particular gun, and then access parts lists for repairs. I’ve got a .22LR Marlin Model 39A with a busted buckhorn rear sight, and I was able to find a replacement sight fixture in a matter of seconds. The FFL directory is handy and, as Gun Blast said in its review of this product: “The DVD is worth the price for the target images alone”.

Disclosure: Impressum Media provided a review copy of the DVD at no charge.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
February 26th, 2012

Gear Review: Compact Combo Press from the Harrell Brothers

If you’re looking for a solid, beautifully fabricated loading press that can do double-duty at home AND at the range, consider the Combo Press from Harrell’s Precision, run by brothers Lynwood and Walter Harrell. Though it is very compact, it has plenty of leverage to full-length-size cases. The Harrell’s Combo Press works BOTH as an arbor press and as a standard press that functions with shell-holder and conventional screw-in dies. The arbor section on the left is tall enough to hold a Wilson micrometer-top seater. The threaded die section on the right has enough clearance for .308-sized cases.

One of the best features of the Combo Press from Harrell’s Precision is its sturdy clamp. This mounts solidly to a wood loading bench or table top. It also has enough vertical clearance between the jaws to work with most range benches. Forum member Boyd Allen has written a detailed review of the Harrell’s press, with additional photos by Paal Erik Jensen of Norway. The Harrell’s Precision Combo press retails for $295.00. That’s pretty pricey, but consider that it can replace BOTH an arbor press and a standard press. CLICK HERE to read full COMBO PRESS REVIEW

Combo Press Has Plenty of Power to Bump Shoulders
This Editor has loaded ammo with this press and I can say it performed well. It actually bumped shoulders on fired 6BR brass more easily than a larger cast-iron press we have in our loading area. I attribute that to the fact that the threads for the die are very precise and the shell-holder seats firmly on the ram, with no slip. Seating with a hand die (on the left side of the press) yields repeatable results, although I have to say I get better “feel” with a good Arbor press, such as those made by 21st Century, K&M, or Sinclair Int’l. I also like the availability of the seating Force Gauge on the K&M Arbor.

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
February 8th, 2012

The $49.99 DIY Range Cart — Courtesy Harbor Freight

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart CRC-1Some High Power shooters on the Forum asked about carts for carrying their gear to the range. You can certainly purchase a factory-made, purpose-built cart that folds up and has all the bells and whistles. The Creedmoor Sports CRC-1 (photo right) is a proven, quality product that works great. You’ll find these used by top shooters at Camp Perry. But the Creedmoor CRC-1 cart costs $499.95.

For a tenth that price ($49.99), plus a few dollars more for do-it-yourself enhancements, you can have a heavy-duty cart that will haul all your gear just fine, though it doesn’t fold up.

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $49.99. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. Do note — this cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

As sold, the Harbor Freight Welding Cart isn’t quite ready for range use. But it’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. I also suggest bolting/welding on extra spacers on the most forward underside edge of the bottom so that, at rest, the cart tilts slightly back. This ensures rifles and gear won’t flop forward. (A bit of extra lift also keeps the bottom plate out of the dirt and gravel.)

How to Upgrade Welding Cart for Range Use
Get a block of hard foam rubber. Cut keyhole slots in the rubber to grip the barrel and umbrella/scope stands. Mount the rubber block to the cross piece with self-tapping screws, or drill a horizontal channel in the rubber so the whole block fits over the cross-tube. On the lowest leading edge of the welding cart box (at ground level, front), fit a block of wood 2″ high (you can also fabricate metal extensions). This will make the cart lean back a little more, which helps stabilize the contents on sloping terrain.

You’ll want to enclose the sides of the bottom box area so small items don’t fall out. You can tack-weld aluminum side-plates if you want a fancy appearance. I prefer to just cut sheet plastic from a home improvement store. These plastic panels can be attached with screws or even zip-ties around tubing.

Run the plastic side panels up high enough that stuff like hats and muffs don’t fall out. After transport you can transfer ammo boxes and small items to the upper box (attached to the back side of the cross-tube).

The hardest component to find may be the hard rubber blocks for the barrel keeper, but you can also make a barrel-holding block out of wood, with some carpet to protect the barrels. The nice thing about the rubber is that it can be cut to snap over the barrels so you don’t need straps. Likewise, you can drill a hole transversely through the rubber, then slot it from the bottom and it will slide over the horizontal tubing with no fasteners needed.

Comment: This cart is heavy and it takes up a lot of space. You’ll need a station wagon, SUV or pickup truck to haul it around. But it’s cheap. The money you save on a range cart could pay for a new Krieger or Bartlein barrel, AND some new brass. Those things (new barrel and brass) will likely improve your scores more than having a fancy $500.00 range cart.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product 10 Comments »
January 20th, 2012

SHOT Show: Match Air Rifles and Full-Auto Pneumatics

At the Pyramyd Air booth we ogled high-end competition air rifles from Feinwerkbau and Anschutz. These are Olympic-grade rigs, with prices (for the Anschutz) approaching four grand fully outfitted with all the accessories, plus premium sights. It’s obvious the Germans take accuracy very seriously when it comes to airgun engineering.

New Full-Auto Pneumatic Rifles from Evanix
We were quite surprised to see a full-auto offering among the many new products on display. Evanix of South Korea is now producing a pair of self-loading, pre-charged pneumatic air rifles that can shoot in either semi-auto or full-auto modes. When running full auto, the electronically-controlled servo breach can cycle pellets at the equivalent of 400 rounds per minute. We’re not sure why full auto capability is needed, but this certainly offers a new experience for the air gun crowd. An airgun is definitely the cheapest way to go if you have a hankering for “hosing down targets” (quoting the AirGun Reporter video below). We do like the self-loading feature for general plinking and “fun gun” use, and the 2.5-lb trigger is decent for bench use. The Evanix Conquest sells for $1699.99. Being a brand new product, the Conquest is not yet in stock but Pyramyd is taking pre-orders now. To see how the Conquest operates in full-auto mode, watch the video below.

Evanix Conquest Air Rifle

Evanix Conquest (AirGun Reporter Sponsored Video)

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 2 Comments »
January 20th, 2012

SHOT Show: Tips on Using QuickLOAD Reloading Software

At SHOT Show, we had the chance to meet with German software engineer Hartmut Broemel, creator of QuickLOAD software. This software program, while not a substitute for conventional load manuals, allows shooters to evaluate a wide range of powders and bullets, comparing potential loads on the basis of predicted pressures, velocities, load density and projectile in-barrel time.

CLICK HERE for Full QuickLOAD Review

We took the opportunity, in the video below, to explain some of the fine points of QuickLOAD for our members. QuickLOAD, sold by Neconos.com, helps reloaders understand how changing variables can affect pressures and velocities. It can predict the effect of changes in ambient temperature, bullet seating depth, and barrel length.

In the video below we explain how to adjust the program for true case capacity, bullet seating into the lands, and other important factors. If you are a new QuickLOAD user, or are contemplating buying the $152.95 program, you should watch the video. The program isn’t perfect, but it can accelerate the load development process, and it can save you money by narrowing down the list of appropriate powders for your cartridge.

No other product currently available to serious reloaders offers as much predictive power as QuickLOAD, and you’ll find your money well spent just for the vast collection of data on bullets and cartridges. With a couple mouse-clicks you can instantly get the specifications of hundreds of bullets and cartridges. Likewise, in a matter of seconds, you can compare load density for a half-dozen powders, or compare the projected velocities of one cartridge versus another.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 5 Comments »
January 17th, 2012

SHOT Show Media Day — Firing Off the Bulldog 1877 Gatling Gun

Our 2012 SHOT Show Media day adventure kicked off with some serious firepower. After arriving at the Boulder City Rifle range and signing the obligatory legal release forms, Jason Baney and I made a beeline for the Colt shooting bay where an amazing Bulldog 1877 repro Gatling Gun was on display. These fully-functional, authentic replicas are crafted by the Bulldog company for Colt. You can buy one if you have a cool $50,000.00 to spend. You heard it right — fifty thousand dollars.

Jason is friends with Gatling project director John Buhay, who let both of us send some 45-70 rounds downrange. While the Bulldog Gatling can dispense a prodigious amount of lead in a few seconds (rate of fire determined by how fast the operator cranks), this firearm is not considered an NFA machine gun. Because an advancement of the crank is required for each shot to be fired, this Gatling is not subject to the severe restrictions imposed on Class III arms. You can purchase a Bulldog Gatling, so long as you would otherwise qualify to legally own a long gun.

Three things surprised me about this Gatling. First was the stunning appearance of the unit. It is beautifully machined and every polished metal component shown like gold in the morning sun. The stability of the unit was also surprising. Because the Bulldog is so big and heavy, it barely bobbles as it sends round after round through its five barrels. And surprisingly little force is required to work those barrels. The crank spins easily. I could see how a trained team of Gatling operators could, back in the 19th century, burn through thousands of rounds of ammunition in a few minutes.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 2 Comments »
January 14th, 2012

Videos Show Functions of Hornady Concentricity Gauge

UltimateReloader.com created an informative video that shows how to use the new Hornady Lock-N-Load Concentricity Gauge and Ammo Straightener. This tool can measure run-out on both the bullet and on the case-necks. Run-out is deviation from the cartridge centerline axis. Too much run-out, i.e. poor concentricity, can reduce accuracy, although when you seat bullets into the lands, a certain amount of bullet self-straightening can take place.

Hornady Concentricity Gauge

Hornady Tool Supports Cartridge on Both Ends
The new Hornady Concentricity Tool supports the case at two ends. As a result, the Hornady Tool will tend to yield lower run-out figures than a tool such as the Sinclair concentricity checker which supports the cartridge on the case body alone, giving the bullet unrestricted movement as the case body is rotated. As UltimateReloader explains: “Each measurement tool measures run-out differently, so you’ll need to factor that into your goals for your own match ammunition.”

YouTube Preview Image

Bullet ‘Straightening’ with Hornady Concentricity Tool
The Hornady Tool can be used to push seated bullets to one side or the other, reducing measured run-out. The Hornady tool has a threaded pusher that side-loads the bullet. As you screw the pusher inwards in you can see the run-out on the dial indicator decrease. That straightening process is shown in the Hornady-produced video below, at the 25-second mark. In Sinclair Intl’s Reloading Press blog, Pete Petros reports: “It can take a little bit of trial and error to get this just right, but it does work.”

YouTube Preview Image

Is Bullet Straightening Really That Effective?
This bullet straightening procedure, whether done with the Hornady tool or other device, is a somewhat controversial technique. Some folks say that straightening bullets simply transfers run-out back down to the case neck. Petros notes: “One concern that comes up is what are you doing to the neck of the case in terms of neck tension.”

On the other hand, many shooters claim their ammo shoots better after they straightened rounds which initially showed excessive run-out. One Hornady Concentricity Tool user writes: “The straightening feature on the Hornady tool makes bullet/case concentricity easy to correct and after using this tool, I wouldn’t be without one. Variations on [my] cast bullets have gone .020″ and when straightened, I can get down to below .001″. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s possible to make every round straight. At the 100-yard range yesterday using my straightened rounds … five-shot groups averaged .500. Before I would always have flyers and now I can see why this time I didn’t have any flyers. Straight rounds produce more consistent groups!”. Read more.

Bullet straightening with the Hornady Tool or other devices can certainly make a difference in run-out that shows up on the dial. Whether that improvement in perceived concentricity actually produces better accuracy remains an open question. Using high-quality dies with good bullets, seated in good, straight brass, you should be able to load ammo with very low run-out from the get-go. It may be better to try to achieve low run-out during your normal loading process rather than rely on the “band-aid” of bullet straightening as a last resort. On the other hand, if you are starting with factory-loaded ammo, re-aligning bullets in the case-necks may be a useful exercise. We invite our readers to comment on their experiences with bullet straightening. Has the straightening process worked for you?

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 7 Comments »
January 3rd, 2012

Kenton Offers Custom-Calibrated Windage and Elevation Knobs

Kenton Calibrated Windage KnobHere’s something that can save you lots of time and aggravation on a varminting trip. This little $110 gizmo is great for varmint hunters and any one who needs to make a quick shot in shifty wind conditions. Instead of the traditional 1/4-MOA hash marks, the Kenton windage turret features markers corresponding to the wind drift your ammo will encounter at various distances (with 10 mph full value winds). You just dial the distance.

Custom-Calibrated Windage Knobs
Kenton Industries’ Tuned Windage Compensator (TWC) has built-in windage marks for 10 mph cross-winds at 100-1000 yards. How do they do that? Well the knobs are calibrated either for specific calibers/loads, or they can make custom knobs using your observed field data. The knobs can compensate for various wind speeds (2-20 mph) and angles (15°- 90°), by applying some simple conversion ratios. As a general rule, with a “full-value”, i.e. 90°, crosswind, the wind drift will go up or down in direct proportion to the change in windspeed. That means, for example, a 10 mph crosswind will push the bullet twice as much sideways as a 5 mph crosswind.

Two versions of Kenton’s TWC knobs are offered. The $109.95 TWC #1 features calculated ballistics for standardized factory ammo for the caliber and barrel length you specify. The $109.95 TWC #2 feature customized windage settings based on bullet BC, environmental conditions, elevation, and ballistic information you provide.

Custom Elevation Knobs
Kenton also makes a $109.95 elevation-compensating TTC knob, that can be customized to your rifle. With this elevation turret, yardages are marked in 50-yard increments, and you can literally just “dial in your distance”. However, to work effectively the TTC knob must be tailored to a particular load (velocity and bullet). Moreover, actual bullet drop will differ with changes in altitude, temperature, and shooting angle — so it’s not as simple as it sounds, and you may need multiple knobs if you shoot a variety of loads. Kenton offers it TTC #1 model calibrated for standardized factory ammo. The TTC #2 is calibrated out to the maximum effective range of your cartridge based on bullet type, muzzle velocity, altitude, and temperature. Select the type of yardage format to be used. The #2 is recommended for wildcatters or for those who want to adjust to specific conditions. Lastly, a TTC #3 elevation knob is offered that relies on the purchaser’s actual recorded drop data from the field. The TTC #3 elevation knob will be calibrated based on the click-value or MOA you provide for each 50-yard increment.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 2 Comments »
December 28th, 2011

Radetec Offers ‘SpeedShot’ Automatic Round-Counting System

Radetec Shot Counter

Rade Tecnologías SL, through its USA subsidiary Radetec, has developed a fired-shot counting system for pistols and long guns that offers immediate benefits for soldiers and LEO personnel. Down the road, we envision how an automatic shot-counting system could benefit Multi-Gun and High Power competitors. Firing one shot too few in a course of fire can lose a match, and firing one too many can have the same result — or worse yet, a DSQ.

Two Display Options for Pistols
Radetec Shot CounterRadetec’s SpeedShot shot-count system employs a sensor in a special, dedicated magazine which outputs to either a digital or LED light display. Both the numeric display and color-changing LED light indicate rounds left in the magazine. For pistols, Radetec will market custom grips which incorporate the shot-counter display modules. Currently, Radetec systems are available for Beretta, Glock, Smith & Wesson M & P, and 1911-platform pistols. The digital-numeric display on these grips indicates the actual number of rounds left in the magazine. The total number of rounds fired can also be accessed.

The SpeedShot counting system is powered by a 5-year lithium battery. Pistol systems feature special Radetec grips with embedded electronics for each make/model of firearm, one magazine, and a user’s manual. MSRP is $160 for either the digital-numeric model or the LED display version.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
December 25th, 2011

21st Century’s Impressive New Concentricity Gauge

21st Century Shooting’s all-new Concentricity Gauge looks like a winner. The cartridge case rides on four spinning rollers that allow smooth turning movement with low drag. These rollers are far superior to a set of V-Block supports, or even some ball-type supports.

The amount of eccentricity (run-out) is measured with a high-quality horizontal dial test indicator. In this application, a horizontal indicator works better than the typical vertical dial indicator with spring-loaded shaft used in most other concentricity gauges. We think that, with 21st Century’s new Concentricity Gauge, you can measure cases faster, with less effort, and greater repeatability. In addition, this device can measure the INSIDE of the case neck, not just the OUTSIDE.

Overall, this is a very impressive new tool that is unquestionably superior to many other Concentricity Gauges on the market. Given the capabilities of this device, the price is reasonable: $169.00 including Horizontal Indicator. The Gauge by itself costs $125.00, while the Indicator alone sells for $59.00.

Click Photos below to view larger Images

Why the New 21st Century Concentricity Gauge Works So Well
21st Century explains the advantages of its new design: “At 21st Century Shooting, our goal to modernize an industry that has seen little change over the years. The new concentricity gauge is a perfect example. Most conventional concentricity gauges use what is called a height indicator gauge (Dial Indicator with vertical shaft). Although economical, this type of gauge was not intended for the purpose of measuring rotating diameters. The vertical-style indicator can produce inaccuracies due to indicator rod flex and bounce.

Our new Concentricity Gauge uses a horizontal dial test indicator. This type of gauge was designed specifically for checking rotating diameters and in fact is exactly the type of gauge used in the machining industry for decades to measure run out — the very thing that we as hand loaders are striving to minimize or eliminate.

Additionally, our new gauge uses Stainless Steel turning rollers as opposed to fixed bearings or V-block style case supports. You will especially appreciate the roller supports that glide on linear guide-ways. Plus, with a simple push of a button you can adjust the case support base width. No tools are needed to move the base on the built-in guide-ways.”

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 7th, 2011

New Tactical Advantage Cleaner from the Makers of Wipe-Out

Tactical Advantage bore and gun cleaning semi-autosSharp Shoot R™ Precision Products, the makers of Wipe-Out foam bore cleaner, has a new cleaning product designed for ARs and other semi-autos that tend to run dirty and accumulate carbon. Sharp Shoot R’s new Tactical Advantage™ is a very carbon-aggressive bore cleaner that will remove copper fouling as well as powder fouling with a minimum of effort. Run it on a patch (or nylon brush) to dissolve carbon and copper fouling in the bore. Mix it 50/50 with water and spray it on the bolt, muzzle brake, and other parts which accumulate soot and carbon in regular use.

When sprayed on bolt carriers, bolts, and brakes, Tactical Advantage will dissolve carbon on contact — without ammonia or acids in the formula. In fact the chemistry in Tactical Advantage actually protects metal from corrosion after it cleans.

Terry Paul, Sharp Shoot R’s owner and chemistry wizard, says that: “Tactical Advantage has been designed to be a maximum-strength product. In our testing we found that Tactical Advantage was capable of dissolving more fouling faster than any product currently on the market. We developed this product with the aid and consultation of competitive shooters, gunsmiths, barrel makers, and tactical firearms manufacturers. The R&D team produced a revolutionary new type catalyst that provides exceptional cleaning power.” We’ve heard similar claims about many other gun cleaners, but Tactical Advantage has some interesting properties:

Tactical Advantage bore and gun cleaning semi-autos

  • Tactical Advantage is odorless, and contains NO ACID and NO AMMONIA.
  • Tactical Advantage is safe for all steels (both stainless and carbon) and all metal plating (including chrome-lined barrels).
  • Tactical Advantage is harmless to modern gunstock finishes on wood, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. (However, it is not for use on shellac, varnish, or oil finishes.)
  • Tactical Advantage cannot gum or leave behind solids that render the firearm useless.
  • Tactical Advantage is effective on copper fouling, and it aggressively dissolves carbon fouling on contact.

Tactical Advantage — Suggested Cleaning Procedures

Bore Cleaning — With the breach open, apply into the barrel with a patch or nylon brush which has been wetted with the solution. Place the firearm down horizontally on the bench. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes. Put a clean cotton patch on a good jag and push through the bore. Or run two strokes through the bore with a nylon brush and Tactical Advantage will produce a thick lather. Allow it to set as per original instructions for faster results.

Bore Swabbing During Matches — You can use Tactical Advantage as a barrel swab in between relays or between shot strings to remove powder fouling and begin the job of dissolving carbon and copper. This method is a quick solution that works for High Power shooters who have limited time to clean their firearms between relays.

Parts Cleaning — Mix Tactical Advantage 50/50 with water in a spray bottle. Spray dirty parts fouled with powder residue or carbon. Use same method for muzzle brakes and suppressors.

Tactical Advantage costs $15.99 (MSRP) for a 8 oz. plastic bottle that will clean as many guns as two cans of Wipe-Out foam. Get Tactical Advantage from major vendors, or order direct from:

Sharp Shoot R Precision Products®
P.O. Box 171
Paola, Kansas
email: getinfo [at] sharpshootr.com
phone: 785-883-4444

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome readers submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
December 5th, 2011

Forum Member Slays Prairie Dog at 1032 Yards with 20BR Savage

In our latest AccurateShooter.com feature story, we cover the quest of Forum member VolDoc to nail a Prairie Dog at 1000+ yards with a .20-caliber rifle. If you’re a fan of the “Terrific 20s”, or have an interest in ultra-long-range varminting, you’ll enjoy this story. VolDoc, a dentist by trade, is a seasoned Prairie Dog Hunter who has made many trips to the P-Dog fields in Colorado with his hunting buddies. But until recently he had never managed to nail a P-Dog at 1000 yards with a .20-caliber rifle. Nor, as far as we can determine, had any one else. But VolDoc did it — accomplishing a verified Prairie Dog kill at 1032 yards, possibly the longest recorded with a .20-Caliber rifle.

READ VolDoc’s .20-Cal 1000-Yard Prairie Dog Quest Article

Voldoc Savage 20BR 1000 yard Prairie Dog

Modified Hart-Barreled 20BR Savage Does the Job
Shooting Prairie Dogs at extreme long range takes highly specialized equipment. To make his 1032-yard kill shot, VolDoc used a modified Dual-Port Savage chambered in 20 BR. The stock was geometrically-uniformed and pillar-bedded by smith Kevin Rayhill, who fitted a 28″ Hart barrel with a Rayhill muzzle brake. VolDoc loaded his 20BR with 55gr Berger BT LR Varmint bullets (0.381 G1 BC) pushed by a stout charge of Hodgdon Varget.

Voldoc 20BR Savage Rayhill

It took good conditions, and patience to make the successful 1000+ yard shot. Voldoc explains:

“We were out on the Colorado prairie at daylight and the conditions were perfect. The sunrise was at my back and we had about a 10 mph tailwind. I looked through my Leica Geovid Rangefinder Binos and the Prairie Dogs were out for breakfast. I quickly ranged the targets and found a group at about 1,050 yards.

My first shot was very, very close. I added about four clicks up and a couple of clicks left for windage and let another go. That shot threw dirt all over, but the dog didn’t even flinch. On the fourth shot, I saw the dog go belly up and kick its final throws. My quest for the 20-Caliber 1,000-yard Prairie Dog had become a reality. We confirmed the distance with our lasers at 1,032 yards.”

Voldoc Savage 20BR 1000 yard Prairie Dog

Voldoc’s Accurate Arsenal
In our report on VolDoc’s successful 1K Prairie Dog quest, we spotlighted two of VolDoc’s other accurate varmint guns. First, fans of fine wood will love VolDoc’s switch-barrel, drop-port Stiller Diamondback rifle. The wood on this gun is stunning. The custom stock was crafted from 40-year-old English Walnut to match the profile of a Shehane ST-1000. The rifle has three barrels with three different chamberings: 6BR Brux 1:8″-twist HV; 6BRX Krieger 1:8″-twist HV, and 6mm Dasher Krieger 1:8.5″-twist fluted straight contour (no taper). The scope is a Nightforce 12-42x56mm, with 2DD reticle.

Voldoc Diamondback Dasher Drop-Port

VolDoc’s “Go-To” Prairie Dog Rifle — Big Orange Crush Dasher
Next, check out VolDoc’s “Big Orange Crush” rifle. This features a stainless Nesika ‘J’ action in a painted fiberglass Shehane ST-1000 stock. Originally a 6BR, the gun is now chambered as a 6mm Dasher with a .271″ no-turn neck. The barrel is a 1:12″-twist Krieger fited with Vais muzzle brake. Big Orange Crush shoots 87gr V-Maxs into bugholes at 3,400 fps, according to VolDoc. He tells us that “The barrel now has more than 3,000 rounds down the tube and exhibits little throat fire-cracking and no loss of accuracy. I can’t explain why, it just hasn’t deteriorated yet. This rifle is my best-ever ‘go-to’ Prairie Dog rifle.”

Voldoc 6mm Dasher Nesika Varmint Rifle 12-twist

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 30th, 2011

Dan Wesson Clone Revolvers — Now THAT’s a BB Gun

As a fan of the classic big-frame Dan Wesson revolvers, this editor did a double-take when I saw the latest addition to Pyramyd Air’s line of BB guns. Pyramyd Air now sells four very authentic-looking, metal-framed CO2-powered BB Revolvers, marked “Dan Wesson”, with the distinctive “DW” logo on the grip. These BB-shooting revolvers are offered in four different barrel lengths: 2.5″, 4.0″, 6.0″, and 8.0″. The revolvers are loaded by placing .177 BBs in mock cartridge shells, which fit into the chambers of the swing-out cylinder — just like on a real revolver. Max velocity, for the 6″-barrel version, is 426 fps. These BB guns are handsome and they have the feel and heft of the real thing. The 4″ version weighs 1.94 pounds, while the 6″ version weighs 2.21 pounds.

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver$119.99 — Your Choice of Size and Finish
All four sizes (2.5″, 4″, 6″, 8″) cost just $119.99 each. Take your pick — either silver finish or black (but not all sizes available in both colors). The Dan Wesson BB revolvers come with adjustable rear sights. An owner-installable, Weaver-type scope rail is packaged with each revolver to allow use of Red-Dot scopes or other optics. A speedloader and six “cartridges” (shown above) are also included with each revolver. To see how the CO2 cartridge fits in the gun, check out the Airgun Academy Dan Wesson Review.

Dan Wesson BB gun revolver

If you’re interested in the Dan Wesson BB Revolvers, visit PyramydAir.com or call (888) 262-GUNS (4867). Note, quantities are limited. While you’re shopping at Pyramyd Air, you can use Coupon Code AirgunsNov30-2011 to save 10% on purchases. This Code expires 12/6/2011 and cannot be combined with other offers.

Pyramyd Air Discount code

We expect these guns will be popular for indoor training, and for fun plinking outdoors. We also predict Dan Wesson collectors may snap them up to add to their collection. Unfortunately, you need to purchase a different BB revolver for each barrel length. The real centerfire Dan Wesson revolvers featured a unique interchangeable barrel system with barrels threaded on both ends inside metal shrouds. Buyers could order one frame with multiple barrel/shroud assemblies. Dan Wesson even sold multi-barrel “Pistol Packs” in a fitted metal case. These Pistol Packs, if complete with all barrels and accessories, are highly prized by gun collectors today.

Pyramyd Air Discount code

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
November 27th, 2011

Review of Vortex PST 4-16x50mm FFP Mildot Scope

Mike of CS Tactical has released a good video review of the Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 FFP (first focal plane) rifle scope. Mike praised many of the scope’s features, and he believes it is a good value for the money (about $850.00 street price.)

The Viper PST 4-16×50 PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) FFP riflescope offers a lot of features for the money, including low-dispersion XD Glass, glass-etched illuminated reticle, ArmorTeck scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coatings, and a zero-stop turret system. Vortex delivers all this with a street price around $850.00. The hard-anodized one-piece 30mm tube, machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, offers ample adjustment — 21 millirads both elevation and windage. First Focal Plane subtensions remain consistent throughout the magnification range — that’s important if you use the scope to range objects at unknown distances. Vortex claims its argon-filled scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof (O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the tube). The 4-16×50 PST comes fully equipped with 4-inch sunshade, CR2032 battery, and CRS shims.

Vortex 4-16x50mm First Focal Plane Scope

Vortex 4-16x50mm PST Specifications
Magnification: 4-16X
Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Eye Relief: 4 inches
Field of View: 27.4-7.4 feet/100 yards
Tube Size: 30 mm
Turret Style: Tall Uncapped – CSR Zero Stop
Reticle: Milrad type in First Focal Plane (FFP)
Adjustment Graduation: 0.1 mrad
Max Elevation Adjustment: 21 mrads
Max Windage Adjustment: 21 mrads
Parallax Setting: 50 yards to infinity
Length: 13.7 inches
Weight: 22 ounces

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 2 Comments »
November 18th, 2011

Seb’s Wild 6 PPC + .284 Win Fat-Bottom Hammerhead Convertible

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

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

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

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

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

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

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

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC

Seb Lambang — Indonesian Innovator
If you don’t know already, Seb Lambang is the designer/builder of the innovative SEB Coaxial rests. These are some of the best joystick rests on the market. The latest version, the SEB Neo Rest, is a brilliant design that folds flat for transport, yet offers extended vertical and horizontal travel and a rest top that can adjust from roughly 2″ wide to over 6″ in width. This Editor uses a SEB Neo for both bench and F-Class shooting and it is my favorite joystick rest. Rest in photos is a SEB Neo MAX.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
November 14th, 2011

New Sinclair Height-Adjusting F-Class Bipod (3rd Generation)

Sinclair Int’l has started shipping its new, improved “3rd Gen” F-Class bipods. These are nearly a pound lighter than before, but just as stable. The key new feature is an optional, central rotary height adjustment. This was successfully tested by Danny Biggs, who won some big matches with a prototype height-adjusting bipod. While the new bipod is designed for F-TR competition, Sinclair’s wide-base bipods have also been used successfully by some F-Open Class competitors, and they have been popular with varmint hunters. Two versions of the new “3rd Gen” bipod are offered. The basic version, without central height adjustment, is currently in-stock for $199.95. The deluxe version, with central quick-adjust height control, can be pre-ordered for $249.95.

3rd generation sinclair f-class bipod height adjusting

Sinclair tells us: “The Sinclair F-Class Bipod was designed with input from many of our customers, including members of Team Sinclair. The new third generation Sinclair F-Class Bipod is offered with an optional quick-adjust elevation knob. Made from 7075 T6 aluminum, the 3rd gen bipod is lighter yet more rigid — nearly a full pound less than the previous generation.” The latest F-Class Bipod now also includes handy laser-etched height markings on the adjustable legs.

Popular features of Sinclair’s previous F-Class bipod designs have been retained, notes Sinclair: “The bipod locking feature enables you to adjust rifle cant quickly and easily. The bipod can be mounted to the rifle’s sling swivel stud in just a few seconds with the captured, hardened pin system. Two tensioning knobs then pull the stock against heavy, low-compression felt pads for a movement-free mount.”

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
November 8th, 2011

New .22 LR Rimfire Version of Classic M1 Carbine

Here’s a new product that would be a great starter rifle for kids and a perfect training rifle for CMP M1 Carbine matches. Legacy Sports recently announced their new Citadel M-1.22 rifle, a .22 LR rimfire clone of the legendary M1 Carbine (which was chambered in .30 Carbine, essentially a rimless version of the .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge). Size, weight, and balance of the Citadel M-1.22 are very similar to the real thing. Legacy’s new rendition is set up to shoot the popular, inexpensive .22 LR round. The new Citadel M-1.22 rifle is made in Italy by Chiappa Firearms (Armi Sport). The rimfire M-1.22 features a blow-back action, an 18″-long, 1:16″ twist barrel, fixed front sight and adjustable rear sight. It will come with 10-round magazines, in either a wood stock version at $391.00 (item #CIR22M1W) or synthetic stock version at $331.00 (item #CIR22M1S).

M-1.22 M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

We think the M-1.22 will be a popular Christmas gift item and, as noted already, it is an ideal “cross-training” firearm for CMP Carbine Match competitors. Learn more about the new Citadel M-1.22 at the LegacySports website. In the near future, M-1.22 rifles can be purchased through GalleryofGuns.com.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

CMP M1 Carbine Matches — Growing in Popularity
The CMP M1 Carbine Match is part of the CMP Games program that already includes Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches. “As-issued” U. S. Military M1 Carbines are fired over a 45-shot course of fire at 100 yards on either the old military “A” target (or the SR target, if A targets prove to be too difficult to obtain). The course includes 5 sighters and 10 shots for record prone slow fire in 15 minutes, a 10-shot rapid fire prone series in 60 seconds, a 10-shot rapid fire sitting series in 60 seconds and 10 shots slow fire standing in 10 minutes. An M1 Carbine Match was fired during the National Matches in the early 1950s, and now is back. As a CMP Games event, it also can now be conducted as a CMP-sanctioned competition.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 6 Comments »
October 23rd, 2011

Review of Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning System

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review

YouTube Preview Image

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass. Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. In addition, the full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done. The illustration below shows how to access the article from our new home page. Note that you can click on other featured articles as well.

AccurateShooter.com Stainless Media

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 12 Comments »
October 18th, 2011

New Tikka T3 Sporters in Stock at EuroOptic.com

Tikka has started to import its new T3 Sporter, which features an ergonomic, laminated stock, detachable magazine, adjustable cheekpiece and a nice, stiff action with integral dovetail and side bolt-release. The trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. The T3 Sporter will be produced with 20″ or 24″ barrels in a variety of popular chamberings: .222 Rem*, .223 Rem, 6.5×55 SE, .260 Rem, .308 WIN. We expect this rifle to be popular with tactical shooters and club-level match shooters who want a versatile rifle that can be used for hunting as well as target shooting. The stock is similar to the ISU “standard rifle” design used for 300m position shooting. As you’d expect, it works in all positions: prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing.

CLICK HERE for T3 Sporter Technical Specifications Page (PDF file).

T3 Is Accurate With Smooth-Working Action
We first saw the new Tikka T3 Sporter in January, at the SHOT Show Media Day. The gun we sampled had a nice trigger, smooth bolt, and shot quite accurately with factory ammo. Watch the video below for an overview of the T3 Sporter. The Tikka T3 Sporter was developed in co-operation With Finnish hunting and sport shooting organizations. The design goal was to create a rifle that performs in competition, but can also be used for hunting. The ergonomic stock features an adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate (length of pull can be changed with spacers). An integral rail allows placement of hand-stops, bipod mounts, and attachments so the rifle can be carried with a double-sling, biathlon style. T3 Sporter weight (without scope) is 9 lbs. with 20″ barrel, or 9.7 lbs. with 24″ barrel.

EuroOptic.com Has T3 Sporters in Stock
EuroOptic.com has T3 Sporter inventory in stock now, priced at $1695.00. Not all variants have arrived yet*, but we’ve been told that the following models are available: .308 Win 24″ barrel, .308 Win 20″ barrel, 6.5×55 24″ barrel, 6.5×55 20″ barrel, .260 Rem 20″ barrel. 20″ barrels are threaded with a cap (18×1 metric) while the 24″ barrels are unthreaded. View details on EuroOptic’s T3 Sporter Page (NOTE: EuroOptic’s web site may not show the latest inventory, so call (507) 220-3159 for availability.)

*Beretta, Tikka’s parent company, controls T3 Sporter imports. EuroOptic.com informed us that it “ordered all the versions we could from Beretta, but no .222 Rem was available in the USA at this time.” So, for the near term at least, it appears that the .222 Rem will be limited to the European market.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 9 Comments »