July 11th, 2012

A Day at the ‘Dasher Dome’ with Birdog and Voldoc

Report by Birdog
Forum member John S. aka “Voldoc”, came over Sunday to check the elevation come-ups on his new March scope. At my home range, dubbed the ‘Dasher Dome’, we had either a gong or paper target at 100-yard intervals to 800 yards. Voldoc wanted to check his ballistic chart against real world conditions. Voldoc will use this test to verify his come-ups for a “quick-view” BDC tape that will be applied to his elevation turret. He was running his “go to”, tried and true “red mist load”, an 87gr Hornady V-Max. The rifle was a Nesika-action 6mm Dasher with 1:12″-twist HV-contour Krieger. Doc has doubles with this combination out to 700 yards and many kills past 1,000. [Editor’s Note: We featured Voldoc’s varmint rifles in our Tennessee Triple Threat story, a Gun of the Week article on this site. Notably, Voldoc made a 1,000-yard plus prarie dog kill with a 20BR shooting 55gr Bergers.]

Dasher Dome Voldoc

My ‘Dasher Dome’ is a good place for testing. Dirt berms have just been completed at 100, 300, 600, 700, an 780 yards. Voldoc started at 100 and shot at 100-yard intervals recording his elevation at each interval. His ballistic chart was within a click or two at each distance. When he reached 780 yards, he repeated the test at each distance down to 300 yards. Dead on!

Dasher Dome Voldoc

BDC Turret Tape XterminatorCustom BDC Turret Tapes
Doc already has ballistics tapes fitted to his Nightforce-equipped rigs. But Doc’s new Dasher has a March so he need to confirm the come-ups. The tapes, made by Forum member Dominic (aka “Xterminator”), show rotation clicks for various yardages. There are versions for both standard and “High-Speed” Nightforce turrets, as well as some other scope brands. For more info, send email to: media-banc [at] videotron.ca . Learn more about Dominic’s custom come-up tapes in this Forum Thread.

Doc at the ‘Dome’

Confirmed results at 780 yards
Sub-Quarter MOA group on Steel Prairie Dog

The photo at right confirms that VolDoc has his zeroes confirmed at 780 yards. Look closely. That’s about a 1.5″ center-mass group on ‘Chico’ the prairie dog (lower right). Nice Shooting Doc! Chico’s buddy, ‘Chuckie’ the steel ground-hog, took many hits. Show in photo are three hits in the throat zone.

Good Friends, Good Rifles Make for the Best of Times
Birdog reports: “Overall, this was a great way to spent a Sunday. Temps reached 103° F, but Doc got to the ‘Dasher Dome’ at 5:30 a.m. and we beat the heat. After testing was completed, we walked two miles with temps in the 90s. What can I say — good friends, good BRs — this was the best of times!

Rangefinders

Birdog Dasher Dome

Serious Rangefinders:
Very high-quality laser rangefinders permitted the shooters to confirm target distances with great precision. Birdog uses a Vectronix LRF while Voldoc uses a Leica GeoVid rangefinding binoculars.

Rangefinders

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 10th, 2012

New Saguaro Compact BR Action from Marsh Industries LLC

Product Preview by Boyd Allen
Saguaro Benchrest Action MarshMarsh Industries LLC of Cave Creek, Arizona, has just started production of its new “Saguaro” benchrest action. (Saguaro is the distinctive tall cactus plant found in the Southwest.) If the Saguaro action looks familiar, that’s by design. The idea was to produce a Panda-type action with 1 1/16″ removed from the middle to allow for reduced weight, and importantly, shorter bolt “draw” during cycling. In addition, Marsh Industries wanted smoother function and optimal accuracy. In that quest, Marsh crafted a state-of-the art striker assembly, configured specifically for short cartridges typically used for 100- and 200-yard benchrest matches.


The Saguaro action is like a Stolle Panda with 1 1/16″ removed from the middle.

Design and Testing of New Saguaro Action
After spending some time with “Doc” Marsh, (the owner of Marsh Industries), I must say that I am impressed with his new product. After learning what has gone into the design and production of these actions, and hearing how well Saguaro prototypes shot, this is one action I want to add to my collection.

Beneath the shiny exterior, the heart of any benchrest action is the striker assembly. Its specifications and adherence to tolerance are a formula that ultimately determines the potential of the action. Striker fall, weight, and spring rate, all work together to put the sharpest edge on accuracy, or if they are not right, result in run of the mill (for a benchrest action) accuracy, even if all the other details are perfectly executed. Rather than leave these details to the expertise of one person, several big names in the benchrest community were consulted about this part of the design. Intelligent input was received, and the design was improved from one prototype to the next. The final result is impressive to say the least. When the late prototype Saguaro was tested in a very good tunnel, using a rail-gun, the results were unequivocally outstanding. (Editor: This means the Saguaro action shot small enough groups to be “more than competitive” with any other hardware on the market.)


Saguaro Actions Can Use Barrels And Stocks Now Fitted to Pandas
The truth is that no one can quite put his finger on what makes the difference between a good action and a great action. Designs are created, actions built, they become parts of rifles, and only then is the truth revealed. Whether you believe that it was skill or luck, it would seem that the details that comprise this new action just happen to have the exact right stuff. For many of you, who already know how your barrels shoot on your rifles that have Panda actions, for the first time, a direct comparison is available. This is because Panda barrels fit Saguaro actions. So current Panda owners can remove one of their barrels, place it on a Saguaro-actioned rig, and see if the barrel shoots as good or better. That allows direct testing of one action vs. another.

You can use that closet full of barrels, on your new action, without modification, (and have a couple of more ounces toward that tuner that you have been waiting to try). For that matter, other than having to do a little filling in at the front of the action, you can replace your Panda with a Saguaro, and keep using the same stock. That offers a significant savings on a new build.


Saguaro Actions Start at $1050.00
For serious benchresters, an action that comes out of the box a potential winner is almost priceless. Saguaro actions will cost $1,200.00 polished, or $1,050.00 with a 400 grit finish. That’s reasonable given the build quality and performance. While you could pay a bit less for some other actions, if you are in the game to win, a less-than-competitive action isn’t worth owning (even if it is inexpensive).

Marsh Industries, LLC
7040 E. Lone Mt. Rd. North
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Email: info [at] marshindustriesllc.com
Phone: 480-699-2902 | Fax: 480-699-2397

And so there you have it — Part One of my report on a brand new action. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I will have a chance to do more than just cycle the bolt (felt good) and actually shoot a rifle built around one. Until then, I will have to content myself with trying out some of Bergers new Column bullets, and doing some more work with the slower but otherwise identical brother to the yet to be released Accurate LT 32 powder, some of that Canadian 2015, as soon as the temperatures get out of the triple digits on a day when the wind is suitable.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
July 6th, 2012

Truck-Vaults Provide Secure Storage for Expensive Arms

A custom, high-end Benchrest, F-Class, or High Power rifle can cost upwards of $4000.00. Some of the latest scopes (March, Schmidt & Bender) cost $2000-$2800 by themselves. If you’re transporting three or four “ultimate rifles” with premium scopes to the range, you could be hauling $16,000 worth of firearms. Bring along a rangefinder, Co-Axial rest, spotting scope, and chronograph, and that could push the total closer to $20,000.

How do you safeguard that kind of investment (without driving around in a Brinks armored truck)? One of the best storage systems available is the Truck-Vault, built in Washington state. Truck-vaults are custom-fitted, locking storage cabinets that fit in a Pick-up truck bed, SUV, or station wagon. Various designs are available, including a waterproof “Extreme Series.” Both single-drawer and multi-draw layouts are offered with lengths up to 60″ overall, and top-load capacity of 2000 pounds. A variety of interior configurations are available.

For transporting scoped match rifles, we suggest Truck-Vault’s “Magnum Line”, which has two drawers with 10.5″ of vertical clearance. This offers two primary sliding compartments (on roller casters), plus smaller storage boxes where you can keep valuable gear securely out of sight.

Truck-Vault Video Showing Break-In Attempt

Truck-Vaults carry a big price-tag. SUV models start at $1355.00, but expect to pay closer to $2000.00 for a unit with all the bells and whistles. Balance that cost against the value of the all firearms and accessories you are transporting. If you spend much time on the road with a pricey collection of guns, optics, and accessories, a Truck-Vault may be a wise investment. This editor first saw a Truck-Vault on a Chevy Suburban belonging to an Arizona gunsmith who does a lot of work for the military. It was not unusual for him to haul $50,000 worth of Class III weapons. For him, the Truck-Vault was an essential security feature. For more info, visit TruckVault.com or call (800) 967-8107.

Permalink Gear Review 4 Comments »
July 4th, 2012

STOKBOOT Shields Stock from Solvents and Scratches

Benchrest shooter Bill Gammon offers a nice product that helps prevent solvents and oils from marring the finish of a fine wood stock, or a painted fiberglass stock. The STOKBOOT also prevents solvents from softening the bedding, while guarding against nicks and scratches. Gammon’s STOKBOOT fits over the rifle stock during cleaning of the barrel. The quilt on the outside soaks up the solvent before it reaches the stock and holds it until it evaporates. A twin layer of vinyl on the inside stops any solvents from getting through, but Gammon cautions that you should not leave the STOKBOOT on overnight, because solvents could soak through. The basic colors are Red, Wine, Black, Blue, and Green. Typical retail price is about $17.00.

Gammon Stokboot

Gammon explains how he came up with the STOKBOOT: “My wife Barbara and I started this business in 1992 as a means to support a very expensive sport, namely Bench Rest. My wife had been in the sewing business for many years. Her experience included sewing, layout, cutting, and management, so it was only logical that the next step was opening our own business. I had complained about having to use a rag over my stock to prevent solvents that I was using from ruining the paint job on the stock, and also seeping into the bedding area and softening up the bedding. So between her expertise in the sewing world and my practical knowledge, we came up with our first STOKBOOT.”

Gammon Stokboot

Gammon sells wholesale only. His STOKBOOTs are available through popular retail vendors including: Accuracy Arms, Borden Rifles, Bruno Shooters Supply, Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply, Sinclair International. European dealers are: Reloading Solutions (UK), and Heinz Henke (Germany).

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
June 19th, 2012

Gear Review: EVO F-TR Bipod from Third Eye Tactical

Review by Alan de Lacy of F-TR Ireland
EVO Leisure (the makers of Third Eye Tactical products) provided four brand-new EVO F-TR bipods for review and testing. When we collected the bipods from Stuart Anselm of Osprey Rifles, the European and Worldwide exporter of Third Eye Tactical products, I was struck by the lightness of the bipods. Carrying four bipods under one arm, I noted how light, neat, and tidy they were.

Osprey EVO F-TR Bipod Ireland

Build-quality is excellent, as one might expect from a Third Eye Tactical product. Manufactured from what appears to be hard-anodized CNC-machined solid aluminum parts — each element appears to have been machined from solid billet aluminum. No pressed- or sintered-aluminum parts here!

Osprey EVO F-TR Bipod IrelandThese EVO-FTR bipods are available in two colors: A very tacticool satin black and a nice satin gray. The finish appears to be hard-anodized, rather than painted or powder-coated. Milled from solid aluminum, the structural integrity is retained, while reducing the weight, by machining out sections of the aluminum to form a “honey-comb” or lattice-structure within the leg elements, on the underside.

Vertical adjustment is by way of a capstan turn-wheel, readily accessible from the prone position (even for those with short arms). The vertical adjustment is fast yet positive. When set, there doesn’t appear to have any play or backlash. The aluminum feet are decent-sized, 75mm-long curved sled-feet, finished to match the bipod.

Attachment to the rifle is by way of an aluminum mounting-block which fits quickly and neatly to a standard Universal Rail. Securing the mount is by way of a PodLoc-type lever and fixing is positive and secure. Also available from Osprey Rifles is a mount for a standard-sized QD sling-stud. The adjustment for cant is also easily provided by way of a Podloc lever and has a wide range. Again, this can be operated and adjusted while in the prone position.

EVO F-TR Bipod Specifications:

  • Overall Weight (including attachment): A fraction under 1.75 lbs. (800 grams)
  • Lowest Height (Ground-to-Underside-Rail): 13.5cm (5.3 inches)
  • Maximum Spread-of-Feet (at Lowest Setting): 48cm (18.9 inches)
  • Highest Height (Ground-to-Underside-Rail): 25cm (9.8 inches)
  • Minimum Spread-of-Feet (at Highest Setting): 36.5cm (14.3 inches)

Osprey EVO F-TR Bipod Ireland

Field-Testing at Long Range
To provide two qualified opinions and to ensure that the new bipods were truly put through their paces, the reviewer, Alan de Lacy, was duly assisted by his regular F-TR team-mate and shooting-buddy, Adrian Casey. After some initial short-range bench-testing completed, we headed out to the 1000-yard Firing Line for the serious field-test. As F-TR shooters, we were shooting prone from-the-ground at 1000 yards onto the standard ICFRA F-Class 800-1000 yard target. The .308 Win rifles used in the range-test were a factory Sako TRG-22 (with a custom 32″ barrel) and a Savage 12 FTR (with custom 32″ barrel and stock). Both rifles had Anschutz-type UIT Universal accessory rails to which the bipods were attached. Both rifles are tried and tested in national and international competitions.

Osprey EVO F-TR Bipod Ireland

Adjustment (Range and Ease of Use) – The range of vertical adjustment is excellent as is the speed with which the EVO can be adjusted. A couple of quick rotations (3 or 4) of the capstan-wheel and the cross-hairs were on the target. No more time-consuming fiddling to bring the cross-hairs out of the vegetation or down from the clouds! While the vertical adjustment is as fast and extensive as we’ve seen on any F/TR bipod, the capstan-wheel also allows for a surprisingly welcome amount of fine-tuning of the vertical point-of-aim. The fine-tune vertical adjustment is positive and solid. Both guns stayed in position and the scopes’ point-of-aim did not falter once during the entire range-day.

Solidity – Throughout the day’s shooting, the rifles remain solidly planted in position. Any initial misgivings we may have had about a small amount of slack and looseness “in-the-hand” were dispelled once the ‘pods were fitted onto the rifles and weight of the guns loaded onto the bipods. Set-up on the firing point, the bipods (and the rifles) were rock-solid.

Tracking – Over the day, both shooters fired the equivalent of roughly three details each, all at 1000 yards, with over 100 rounds sent down-range. Rifle tracking and the guns’ return-to-battery were exceptional. “What I like best about this bipod is it tracks like it’s on rails”, commented tester Adrian.

Summary
Craig Coote of Third Eye Tactical, with design input from 2011 Euro F-Class FTR Champion Stuart Anselm, has produced one of the best bipods we have had the pleasure of using. Adrian was so impressed with the one he tested, he wouldn’t hand it back! While there are indeed lighter bipods and there are cheaper bipods, we think the EVO F-TR bipod has set a benchmark in terms of build-quality, adjustment, and ease of use. This bipod, while aimed squarely toward the F-Class F-TR market, would be equally at home on any range and in other disciplines. Everyone who has tested and inspected this new bipod is convinced that we’ve found a cost-effective, performance-for-weight optimized, great-tracking and great-looking new piece of equipment.

A more detailed version of this review originally appeared on the F-TR Ireland Facebook Page.
CLICK HERE to read full review with more field test information and shooter comments.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
June 17th, 2012

Great Father’s Day Gift: Custom Hitch Covers by John Niemi

Here’s a great gift for Father’s Day that any dad with a truck should appreciate. Forum member John Niemi crafts custom hitch covers that look like the end of a cartridge case, complete with head-stamp. Costing $70.50 (delivered), they are made out of solid brass with a stainless steel “primer”. The diameter of the brass is 4 inches and the engraved letters are about half an inch tall. The section that slides over the trailer hitch is aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about rust.

Niemi custom hitch cover Niemi custom hitch cover

The “headstamp” can include your favorite cartridge-maker and caliber (wildcats too!), or you can include the name of your business. John tells us: “I can engrave any text on one as long as there is enough room for it. Turn around time is usually less then a week after payment. I have sold many of these and everyone has been extremely happy with the quality and workmanship that I put into my product. These make great one-of-a-kind gifts.”

$70.50 Delivered in the USA
Niemi custom hitch coverThe current price for brass bullet hitch covers from John Niemi is $70.50 shipped anywhere in the USA. To order, send email to JohnNiemi [at] charter.net or call (503) 440-1954.

Forum member Wayne (aka WAMBO) ordered a custom hitch cover from John, featuring the 30/338 Lapua Improved wildcat he calls the 300 WAMBOMAG. Wayne reports: “The hitch cover is very well made. I’m impressed with the quality. Buy with confidence.”

We’ve seen John’s craftsmanship on many of these hitches, and we can confirm that the hitches are beautifully made, and make a handsome addition to any vehicle. If you order one (or more), be sure to mention you learned about the hitch covers on AccurateShooter.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
June 10th, 2012

Keep Your Ammo Cool in Insulated Multi-Purpose Carry Pack

It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

NorChill Cooler bagInsulated Case Does Double-Duty
Standard plastic coolers work fine, but if you don’t want to borrow the family’s food carriers, consider this Norchill insulated Cooler Bag. When not used to keep your ammo cool, the 7″ wide x 12″ high x 14″ long small Norchill Bag doubles as a gear carrier. Norchill bags feature dual-temp insulation and a waterproof inner liner. With side-zip compartments, Norchill Cooler Bags are more versatile than typical plastic coolers. These Norchill cooler bags are soft, collapsible and can be rolled up to fit into your carry on luggage. When not in use for ammo, they can be used to as a suitcase, or carry bag for cameras, optics, and electronic gear.

Norchill Bags come in three sizes and a variety of colors. Price starts at $39.99 for the small bag (12-can capacity) is $39.99. The 10″x12″x18″ medium bag has double the capacity (24 cans) and costs $49.99. There is also a jumbo 48-can capacity bag, 13″x13″x21″. But this is probably more capacity than you’d ever need.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 2 Comments »
June 3rd, 2012

FREE Shooting Bench Plans — Eleven Do-It-Yourself Designs

Building your own portable shooting bench is a great winter do-it-yourself project. You can build a sturdy bench for well under $100 in materials. Compare that to some deluxe factory-built benches which may cost $450.00 or more.

A wide assortment of home-built shooting bench designs have been featured on the internet. Renovation Headquarters has put together a web page with plans for eleven (11) different shooting benches. Each bench is illustrated with a photo and link to FREE Plans and building instructions. You’ll find all-wood designs as well as benches that combine a wood top with a metal sub-frame or legs.

CLICK HERE for Shooting Bench FREE Plans Webpage

Among Renovation HQ’s eleven featured shooting benches, here are four designs we liked:

Larry Willis Shooting Bench

Sandwiched Plywood top, 1.5″ Galvanized Pipe Legs

Missouri Hillbilly’s
All-Wood Bench

3/4″ ACX Plywood with 4×6 Beams and Legs

Manuel Ferran’s
Steel Shooting Bench

Steel (welded) legs and frame, painted plywood top. Folds flat.

Bill Clarke’s
Basic Shooting Bench

Restaurant table Cast Metal Pedestal Base, plywood top.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
May 30th, 2012

Jim Crofts’ New Savage F-Class Rig with PR&T Walnut Stock

Forum member Jim Crofts (aka “VA Jim”) is one of the nation’s top F-TR shooters. He finished first at the Berger Southwest Nationals, and just this past weekend Jim won the F-TR class at the “Remember the Brave” match at Quantico. Jim has also won numerous regional and club F-TR matches.


Recently Jim commissioned a new .308 Win rifle with a premium barrel and fancy wood stock. Perhaps surprisingly, Jim started with the model 12 target action that came with a Savage factory F/TR rifle. The action is supported in the new gun with a Whidden Gunworks aluminum V-block. Jim observed “I liked the action, and have no problems with the Accutrigger so it made sense to stick with the action I had and save $1000.00 or more vs. a custom action.” Jim did dress up the action a bit. He told us: “The action and barrel nut were polished — just me and a buffer wheel.” Jim also added an extended “tactical” bolt handle from Sharp Shooter Supply. This provides extra leverage according to Jim.

Jim’s new rifle was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool, LLC (PR&T) using a PR&T stock with custom wood. The rifle with which Jim won the Berger SW Nationals shares this same PR&T F-TR stock design, and Jim decided to stick with a winner. Jim explained that the PR&T F-TR stock “is one of the most forgiving out there. It’s got the long fore-end on it that lets you get the bipod out there and that really allows the rifle to recoil in a straight line.” The stock for Jim’s new rig is made of hand laminated, highly-figured west coast Black Walnut with two layers of strong, straight-grain East Coast American Walnut. Augmenting the beauty of the natural figure, twelve layers of clear-coat were applied to the stock, with careful sanding between coats. The buttplate, adjustable cheekpiece hardware, and +30 MOA scope base were all supplied by PR&T.

Jim Crofts Lined Up Behind his New F-TR Rig

Doubtless you’ve noticed the fancy fluting on the 30.5″ Brux Barrel. This “Chain Link” fluting was done by the barrel-maker (Brux) as an extra-cost option. It does look distinctive and it may provide some enhanced cooling benefits (but Jim admits “it’s mainly for looks”). This 1:11″-twist barrel is chambered in .308 Winchester, with the throat set up for Berger 185gr and 200gr Hybrid bullets. Note that Jim decided to retain the Savage barrel nut, even though this is a custom barrel. Jim says: “The Brux barrels shoot great… they clean up well, I get very little copper out of the Brux barrel.”

Jim Crofts Talks About His Savage
F-TR Rifle and PR&T Stock

Click Button to Hear Audio

Jim uses a height-adjustable Phoenix Precision bipod with sled-type feet. This suits Jim’s shooting style very well. Jim is a “handshake holder”, who employs “firm contact with the shoulder”. In the audio clip above, Jim explains: “I shoot with a tight grip. I like to keep this thing up in my shoulder… that helps me control the tracking of the rifle. If I do my part this rifle will definitely keep ‘em in the ten ring (most of the time) out to 1000 yards.”

Savage FTR Crofts targetMeticulous Reloading Yields Great Accuracy
Jim loads Varget powder in Lapua Brass with Berger 180gr and 200gr bullets. He hasn’t shot the new gun in competition yet, but in testing at 100 yards it delivered “multiple five-shot groups that could each be covered by a dime.” Jim’s meticulous brass prep contributes to that excellent accuracy. Using a Benchsource annealing machine, Jim anneals his brass after every firing. He has noticed that the regular annealing makes bullet seating more consistent. “I use a K&M arbor with the seating-force gauge. Both by feel, and by monitoring the gauge, you can definitely tell that the bullets seat more consistently if you anneal the cases regularly.” Jim also cleans his brass with stainless media after every firing.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 11 Comments »
May 22nd, 2012

New PD Cartridge Caddy with Integrated Countdown Timer

F-Classer Kenny Adams was spotted at the recent Tennessee NRA Regional using the new patent-pending PD Products LLC On-Time Cartridge Caddy. This $95.00 gadget is the creation of ace pistolsmith and “casual” High Power competitor, Paul Liebenberg of Pistol Dynamics. The On-Time Caddy combines 25 cartridge slots with a countdown timer so the shooter can keep track of time while accessing his ammo. No one knows if the new Caddy had anything to do with Kenny’s one-point win over Danny Biggs at the Tennessee match, but Paul figures it has to be worth at least one point per match, so the inventor is shamelessly taking credit for Kenny’s win.

PD On-Time Cartridge Caddy Integrated timer

PD On-Time Cartridge Caddy Integrated timerThe PD On-Time Cartridge Caddy is entirely CNC-machined from aluminum and acrylic (clear or colored) and is available for all cartridges commonly used by High Power and F-Class shooters. The angled-face integrated timer lets you manage time and handle ammo without shifting from the shooting position.

The PD Cartridge Caddy is not a one-size-fits-all product. With its smaller rim diameter, the.223 Rem requires a dedicated tray. However certain trays can hold multiple cartridge types (with common case diameters). For example the .308 Caddy also works with .243 Win, 6.5X47 Lapua, .260 Rem. There is a special tray designed for the 6mmBR, 30BR, and Dasher. And there is tray for the larger-diameter 7mm WSM and RSAUM. The top photo above shows Kenny with 7mm RSAUM rounds in his PD Caddy.

PD On-Time Cartridge Caddy Integrated timer

PD Cartridge Caddies are available now at an introductory price of $95.00. To order, send email to info@pistoldynamics.com, or call Pistol Dynamics at 321-733-1266. There is a lifetime guarantee on the machined part and a one-year warrantee on the timer.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
May 19th, 2012

Gear Review: Action Cleaning Tool Kit from PMA Tool

PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit Review by Danny Reever
I’ve been playing with the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit for about a month now. 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.”

PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit

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 $45.95 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 $45.95 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): $45.95
Lug Recess Tool Only (includes 4 Cleaning Discs): $35.95
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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May 13th, 2012

Lothar Walther UltraLight Barrels — Less Heat, Half the Weight

We’re excited when major barrel-makers offer new technologies that promise worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s new Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert said. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter (except Savage) and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 15 Comments »
May 12th, 2012

New Ultra-Wide SEB MAX Front Joystick Rest Revealed

Sebastian Lambang, creator of the original SEB Coaxial Rest and the SEB NEO Rest, has a new product in the works. Seb has modified and upgraded his superb NEO rest, so that it can handle heavy, long-range benchrest rifles with ultra-wide forearms. Seb calls his super-sized front rest the SEB “MAX”. As you can see in the photo below, the MAX looks like a NEO but with a wider stance and more substantial rest top. Spring rates are optimized to handle rifle weights up to 45kg (99 pounds), using appropriate counterweights. Seb hopes to complete production of fifty (50) SEB MAX rests by late August 2012.

SEB Max front rest

MAX Rests Use Counter-Weights to Handle Very Heavy Rifles
When configured for use with true Heavy Guns, SEB MAX rests will be supplied with adjustable counter-balance weights in load-specific sizes. For example, a 1.8-lb counter-weight is used for a 40-lb gun, a 2.3-lb counter-weight is used for a a 60-lb gun, while a 2.6-lb counter-weight is fitted for a 70-lb gun. The basic counter-weight can be augmented with additional steel sections. Seb tells us: “The basic ‘default’ counter-weight is a 1″-diameter shaft, about 7″ long. Additional 2.5″-diameter SS ‘rings’ can be fitted on the main shaft to balance the action. When people order the MAX, they must provide the weight of their gun. I will then craft the appropriate ‘rings’ in various sizes to properly balance the weight of the customer’s particular gun and thereby make the action smooth to operate.”

Watch SEB MAX Prototype Used by Stuart Elliot
In this video, Aussie Stuart Elliot uses a prototype SEB MAX with his .300 Win Mag Heavy Gun at a 1K benchrest match in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart, who runs BRT Shooters Supply, recently won the Australian 500m Fly Shoot Nationals shooting a .300 Win Mag.

New SEB MAX Rest Based on Successful NEO Rest Design
Below is the standard SEB NEO rest. The MAX is wider and will hold a rig up to 45kg. The MAX represents an evolution of the original NEO design. As anyone who has had the pleasure of using one knows, the NEO is very smooth to operate and has a huge range of vertical and horizontal travel. In addition, the NEO can be quickly dis-assembled to store flat. The new SEB MAX can likewise be dis-assembled for easier storage and transport. Photo by R.J.Hamilton.

SEB NEO front joystick rest

Sebastian Lambang has a website at www.SebCoax.com, but you won’t find info on the SEB MAX there yet. If you have specific questions, send email to: sebastianlambang [at] yahoo.com.
For USA price list and to place orders, please contact:

Ernie Bishop
306 West Flying Circle Drive
Gillette, WY 82716
ernieemily [at] yahoo.com
Phone: (307) 257-7431

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May 12th, 2012

New ZCORR Anti-Corrosion Softcase

ZCORR Products has introduced a new Anti-Corrosion Softcase with a built-in, vacuum-sealable VCI corrosion-barrier bag providing airtight and waterproof protection for firearms. The 42″-long main gun compartment houses a VCI storage bag that clips into the softcase. ZCORR’s clip-in system lets you secure a second long-gun bag when two-gun transport is needed. Double-gun capacity is a plus because these cases are expensive — MSRP is $249.00. That’s ten times the cost of some basic soft-skin (fabric and foam) rifle carriers.

Zcorr Rifle Softcase VPI

Zcorr Rifle Softcase VPIZCORR’s reinforced VCI bags are sturdy, being made from the same tough VCI material used in the popular ZCORR long-term storage bags. The clip-in VIC bags are designed to withstand frequent inserting/removing of firearms. ZCORR claims: “With repeated use, such as one to two shooting sessions per week, the VCI vacuum bag will last at least five years and longer with less use. After five to ten years of use customers can simply replace the VCI bag by unclipping it from the softcase and installing a replacement.”

While we like the idea of a soft guncase with serious built-in corrosion protection, it’s too bad that the case is only 42″ long. That size will hold ARs, and some short tactical bolt-guns, but it’s way too short for typical precision match rifles. At least the ZCORR Softcase offers additional compartments for handguns and accessories. There is an 11”x35” front compartment for handguns and magazines. Other shooting accessories can be stowed in two extra pockets measuring 9″×12” and 9″×9″ respectively.

Zcorr Rifle Softcase VPI

COMMENT: For $249.00 one can get a quality, full-length hard-case and three or four 54″-long vacuum-sealable Vapor Phase Corrosion Inhibitor (VpCI) bags, big enough to hold a long match rifle with room to spare. A hard case with 54″ bags woud be a better solution for most precision rifle shooters than this first-generation ZCORR Softcase. Hopefully ZCORR will get the message that its current Anti-Corrosion Softcase is undersized (for bolt guns) and over-priced.

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May 10th, 2012

3rd Edition of Firearms Guide DVD — Bigger and Better

With information on over 55,000 firearms, the Firearms Guide is the most comprehensive resource on guns ever created. And now it’s bigger and better than ever. The updated 3rd Edition of the Firearms Guide is now available on DVD for $39.95 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 55,000 models of firearms, airguns, and ammo from 500 manufacturers. Products are illustrated with 36,000 high-res color photos, plus 3,000+ schematics with parts lists for 268 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:

  • 3,000+ detailed, zoomable schematics from 268 manufacturers.
  • 500 Printable Targets: game animals, silhouettes, crosshairs, sight-ins, fun targets.
  • FFL Locator – Searchable database of over 62,000 gun dealers in the USA with contact info.
  • US-EU Ammo Caliber Chart: Cartridge equivalency charts identify the correct domestic equivalent of European ammo.
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May 9th, 2012

Composite Barrel Technology from Teludyne Tech Industries

straightjacket teludyne composite barrelTeludyne Tech Industries manufactures a unique sleeved barrel system which, Teludyne claims, offers significant advantages over conventional steel barrels. Teludyne’s StraightJacket® Barrel System features a three-part composite construction. In the center is a conventional, relatively thin-contour steel barrel. Around that is fitted a 1.25″-diameter metal sleeve (shroud) running from action to muzzle. In the “gap” between the inner steel barrel and the outer sleeve, Teludyne pumps in a proprietary media. This lightweight fill material provides rigidity with reduced weight, and it also helps to transfer heat away from the inner barrel tube. The outer sleeve can be aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium — as the customer specifies. (Titanium offers an impressive combination of strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance).

straightjacket teludyne composite barrel

Teludyne claims that a composite StraightJacket barrel is as stiff as an equivalent-diameter large-contour steel barrel, but much lighter in weight. Teludyne declares: “By pressure-fitting our thin-walled machine tubing onto your barrel and then filling the void with our proprietary media creating a new monolithic structure, we retain the necessary flexibility but add the accuracy-enhancing rigidity.”

straightjacket teludyne composite barrel

The StraightJacket system has been around for a few years, and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been testing Teludyne barrel prototypes on a variety of platforms. There have been some promising tests that show improved accuracy over long strings of fire. This has been attributed to enhanced barrel cooling. Teludyne also claims StraightJacket barrels are more accurate than conventional barrels — at least conventional factory-grade barrels. That may be a stretch. However there is some hard evidence that a composite barrel can maintain good accuracy for more shots because the composite design sheds heat better.

straightjacket teludyne composite barrelYou can read more about StraightJacket barrels in the GunsAmerica Blog. Testers for GunsAmerica saw improved accuracy in Savage and Sako .30-06 rifles which were retro-fitted with composite barrels. With StraightJacket barrels installed, Both rifles fired impressive 5-shot groups at 500 yards: “Target after target … came back on both rifles with both guns shooting into an inch to an inch and a half at 500 yards, and it didn’t seem to matter how many rounds of standard Hornady [ammo] we put through the guns. In total, [the tester] shot 160 rounds through two guns … most at 500 yards in light to no wind on a 90° Florida day.” If those results can be believed, Teludyne may be on to something. Groups in the 1.5″ range at 500 yards are competitive with quality benchrest rigs, yet the test rifles were “box-stock” except for the composite barrels.

Fitting a StraightJacket Barrel to your Rifle
Teludyne StraightJacket barrels can be fitted to most common bolt-action rifles along with AK series rifles. Also dedicated complete uppers are offered for AR platform rifles. Send your gun to Teludyne in South Carolina and Teludyne will install the composite barrel and ship your rifle back to you about four weeks later. Centerfire bolt-action prices start at $649.00 for steel or aluminum outer sleeves. Rimfire installations cost $699.00. Titanium-shrouded barrel systems are $799.00 installed. These prices include a removable, threaded muzzle brake.

StraightJacket Barrels for Biathletes
Our friends Lanny and Tracy Barnes, Team USA Biathletes, have used Teludyne composite barrels successfully in international competition. The ‘Twin Biathletes’ have endorsed the product: “We have had outstanding groups [with the StraightJacket Barrel System] and it didn’t seem like the cold had an effect on them at all. Our first races were in Canada where it was -15 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. While everyone else’s groups seem to spread open off of the paper, we were laying the shots down right on top of each other. After the races Tracy flew right over to Italy and the race officials were really impressed with how it shot. Your Straightjackets are really turning heads. We are excited to make history this winter and in the next Olympics in 2014. Thanks — Tracy and Lanny Barnes.” This Editor talked with Lanny at SHOT Show and she confirmed that the barrel really seems to work for her discipline. She called it her “secret weapon”. The composite barrel saves weight (over a similar-diameter all-steel barrel), and it seems to be less affected by hot/cold cycles encountered during biathlon events.

Permalink Gear Review 7 Comments »
April 28th, 2012

Colt’s New M2012-CLR Competition Bolt Gun with Cooper Action

At the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Colt Firearms introduced a new bolt-action “Competition Rifle”, the M2012-CLR. Assembled by Cooper Firearms for Colt, the M2012 features a Colt metal chassis with tubular forearm, and a Cooper Arms repeater action. The M2012 rifles on display were chambered in .308 Winchester with fluted 1:10″ twist stainless barrels fitted with Surefire muzzle brakes. The bolt is a three-lug design with a Sako-style extractor. Trigger is a Timney set at 3 pounds — pretty high for a “competition” rifle. Though the barrel is only 22″, the M2012 is fairly heavy. Weight without optics is 13.2 pounds. Given the weight and short barrel, we think Colt is marketing this more for tactical shooters, rather than actual High Power or F-TR competitors.

Colt M2012 CLR rifle
Photo by Nick Leghorn, courtesy Nick Leghorn and TheTruthAboutGuns.com.

MORE PHOTOS — Large Size
Large photo showing two M2012 rifles (full view) (From Military Arms Channel Blog.)

Large photo showing right side of receiver (close-up) (From Military Arms Channel Blog.)

Large photo showing left side of Receiver with Colt and Cooper Firearms markings (close-up)

According to the GDI Engineering website, Colt’s M2012 “appear[s] to have been built on Cooper’s Model 54 action, which features a two-position safety to the right of the bolt. [Features] include an integral 25-MOA Picatinny base and the Colt-specific chassis and stock. The single-stack detachable magazines are from Accuracy International.”

Hefty Price for Colt’s M2012-CLR
MSRP for the new M2012-CLR is $3799.00. Colt’s asking price is approximately $1300.00 more than the price of an Eliseo RTS Tubegun Chassis ($1020.00) with a Rem-clone custom action ($900.00) and a Krieger barrel ($550.00 chambered). The RTS features a 5-way adjustable buttstock, easily removed without tools. The Colt M2012 offers adjustable Length of Pull (LOP) and adjustable cheekpiece height. The M2012’s skeleton buttstock is bolted to the main chassis, requiring an Allen wrench to remove.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 9 Comments »
April 8th, 2012

Tote Your SEB NEO Rest in Fitted Pelican Storm IM2450 Case

Seb Lambang NEO Coaxial restForum member Ed L. (aka itchyTF) owns one of the beautifully-crafted SEB NEO front joystick rests. These units are in short supply — creator Seb Lambang can’t keep up with demand. Anyone lucky enough to own a SEB NEO would naturally would want to keep it in perfect condition, and Ed is no exception. Ed put together a system to cradle and protect his SEB NEO during transport and storage. Ed tells us: “I decided to give my NEO its own home. I only wanted to remove the leg before storage so I decided on an empty Pelican Storm IM2450 case and added my own foam. This IM2450 case is a little wider than it needs to be, but I couldn’t find anything closer and still fit the other dimensions. The blue and white foam is more rigid than the typical gray foam. The Allen wrenches are placed in the rear piece of white foam.”

Ed found the Pelican Storm IM2450 case on the internet for $103 with free shipping. This same case is sold as the Hardigg IM2450 Storm Case. All-up weight, with the SEB NEO rest in the case, is 32 pounds. CLICK Thumbnails below to view larger images.

SEB NEO rest transport pelican box

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April 8th, 2012

Creedmoor Sports Releases New 2012 Catalog

Creedmoor Sports recently released its new 2012 catalog — with 2011 NRA High Power Champion Carl Bernosky on the cover. Last year Carl won his NINTH National High Power Championship*. There is both a traditional print version of the new Creedmoor catalog, as well as a new digital version online. In the online digital catalog, you can flip the pages just like a real catalog, view page thumbnails, and easily print out catalog pages for future reference.

In the new Creedmoor Catalog, we found some cool products you guys may not have seen before. Of course this is just a small sample of the thousands of items in the current catalog.

Malcolm Hi-Lux M73G2 Rifle Scope
Item HL-M73G21, $399.95
Modern repro vintage-style scope ideal for Vintage Sniper Rifle Matches. If you shoot a 1903 Springfield or old Mauser in the sniper matches this is just what you need. Fine cross-hair reticle with multi-coated lenses. The M73G2 features internal 1/2-MOA per click elevation and windage adjustment, with 60 clicks (30 MOA) per full turn. Total adjustment for both Elevation and Windage is 50 MOA each, i.e, 25 MOA up and down and 25 MOA left and right from the reticle’s centered position.

Blank Eyepiece
Item C1038, $6.95
This semi-opaque eye-shield clips on your shooting eyewear on either right or left side. This allows you to shoot with both eyes open, reducing eyestrain and fatigue. For cross-dominant shooters who don’t want to hold their rifle or pistol with their weak-side hand, this device can be very helpful.

Holland’s Scope Level
Item HOL-LEVEL, $49.95
There are many leveling devices on the market, but we think this is one of the best designs yet (when mounted properly). The T-6 aluminum alloy level fits on your scope tube, with the bubble level set to the side for easy viewing when in firing position. The unit, offered in 1 inch, 30mm, and 34mm sizes, can be flipped so you can place the bubble on either the right side or left side. This unit is easier to see with your left eye than levels mounting in the center of the scope.

The Score Keeper and Pit Puller (by Jim Owens)
Item JOSKPP, $11.95 (Book on CD/DVD)
Can you explain the 11 Hit Rule, the Excessive Hits Rule, the Insufficient Hits Rule, and what to do for a withdrawn target? If not, and you compete in High Power matches, you need this DVD. This useful resource can help match directors and score keepers, and it is an effective training tool for new pit workers. The DVD features over 300 color slides and shows scoring situations from both the Pit Puller’s POV and the Score Keeper’s POV.

Anschütz Shaker Pellet Box
Item AHG-1001, $19.95
With this handy item airgun shooters can sort, count and arrange pellets. This is the best set-up for holding 100 match pellets in rows, and protected from damage. (It’s easy to ding the tails of pellets, which can really harm accuracy.) To quickly fill the box, just pour some pellets into the box, press down on the side tabs, and shake gently back and forth. If you sort pellets by weight (or other criteria), you can also place the pellets individually.

*Bernosky has won the High Power Championship in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1992, 2000, 2007, 2008, and 2011. *In 1981 Carl won the Match Rifle division, but D.I. Boyd, a Service Rifle shooter, had the highest overall Aggregate.
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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.

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