October 14th, 2019

Learn All About the Cut Rifling Process — Watch Krieger Video

Krieger Barrels Cut Rifling Cut-Rifled Barreling

How Krieger Builds Barrels

This video shows the process of cut-rifled barrel-making by Krieger Barrels, one of the world’s best barrel manufacturers. Krieger cut-rifled barrels have set numerous world records and are favored by many top shooters. The video show the huge, complex machines used — bore-drilling equipment and hydraulic riflers. You can also see how barrels are contoured, polished, and inspected.

For anyone interested in accurate rifles, this is absolutely a “must-watch” video. Watch blanks being cryogenically treated, then drilled and lathe-turned. Next comes the big stuff — the massive rifling machines that single-point-cut the rifling in a precise, time-consuming process. Following that you can see barrels being contoured, polished, and inspected (with air gauge and bore-scope). There is even a sequence showing chambers being cut.

Click Arrow to Watch Krieger Barrels Video:

Here is a time-line of the important barrel-making processes shown in the video. You may want to use the “Pause” button, or repeat some segments to get a better look at particular operations. The numbers on the left represent playback minutes and seconds.

Krieger Barrel-Making Processes Shown in Video:

00:24 – Cryogenic treatment of steel blanks
00:38 – Pre-contour Barrels on CNC lathe
01:14 – Drilling Barrels
01:28 – Finish Turning on CNC lathe
01:40 – Reaming
01:50 – Cut Rifling
02:12 – Hand Lapping
02:25 – Cut Rifling
02:40 – Finish Lapping
02:55 – Outside Contour Inspection
03:10 – Engraving
03:22 – Polish
03:50 – Fluting
03:56 – Chambering
04:16 – Final Inspection

Krieger Barrels

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

“At the start of World War Two, Pratt & Whitney developed a new, ‘B’ series of hydraulically-powered rifling machines, which were in fact two machines on the same bed. They weighed in at three tons and required the concrete floors now generally seen in workshops by this time. Very few of these hydraulic machines subsequently became available on the surplus market and now it is these machines which are sought after and used by barrel makers like John Krieger and ‘Boots’ Obermeyer. In fact, there are probably less of the ‘B’ series hydraulic riflers around today than of the older ‘Sine Bar’ universal riflers.” — Geoffrey Kolbe, Border Barrels.

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October 8th, 2019

Heat Build-Up and Firing Rate Can Kill a Barrel Prematurely

barrel life test rapid fire cooling

Can sustained rapid-fire shooting with no cool-down period wear out a quality barrel more quickly? The answer is “Yes” according to Forum member LCazador, who did an interesting comparison test with two .243 Winchester barrels. He started off with two, identical, match-grade HV taper stainless barrels. Both were NEW at the start of testing, and LCazador shot the same load through each: 95gr match bullets with 38 grains of Hodgdon Varget. After giving both barrels the same, gentle 20-round break-in, 300 rounds were then fired through each barrel — in very different ways. Barrel condition and wear were monitored with a borescope.

Barrel One — Slow Fire, Cool Down Periods, Cleaning Every 50 Rounds
At the end of the 300-round test, Barrel One looked brand new. There was none of the severe fire cracking found in Barrel Two. This barrel was shot no more than 10 times without a cool down and firing was done at a much slower pace. Cleaning for this barrel was done every 50 shots.

Barrel Two — Fast Firing, No Waiting, Cleaning Every 100 Rounds
The second barrel, which received hard use and minimal cleaning, was severely damaged with severe fire cracking at the leade and throat. As a result, the barrel had to be re-chambered. This barrel was shot 100 rounds at time without cleaning and was shot up to 20 times in succession without a cool down.

LESSON LEARNED — Heat Kills Barrel Life
Don’t let your barrel get too hot, and keep it clean. One afternoon can ruin a barrel!

Hawkeye Borescope imageMonitoring Barrel Wear with Borescope
Some folks worry too much about what their borescopes reveal — many barrels do not have to be “squeaky clean” to perform well. In fact some barrels run better after ten or more fouling shots. However, a borescope can be very helpful when your barrel starts losing accuracy for no apparent reason. Forum member FdShuster writes:

“A borescope is a positive way of backing up your suspicions when the rifle starts to throw an occasional (soon followed by more frequent) wild shot. Using the scope is also an excellent way to determine that the cause is barrel wear and not simply a need for a concentrated cleaning session to remove built up copper and more importantly, carbon fouling.

I’ve had a few barrels that gave every indication of being shot out. But I ‘scoped them out and found the cause to be nothing more than requiring a good cleaning. They then returned to their usual performance. There’s no guessing involved when you are able to get ‘up close and personal’ using the scope. The borescope also provides an excellent view of the all-important condition of the crown. My borescope is one of the most valuable investments I’ve ever made.”

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October 6th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Chris Nichols’s 600-Yard Light and Heavy Guns

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris Nichols with potential world record (1.297″ 4-Target Agg) Heavy Gun Targets!

Report by Bart Sauter, Bart’s Custom Bullets
Chris Nichols is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the game. This 2019 season he compiled one of the most impressive mid-range benchrest seasons ever. Check out the stats — Chris’s nine-match, Two-Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) for the year is 1.983″! That’s under two inches average at 600 for 72 record targets fired in competition. Many 600-yard shooters aspire to shoot a single, 4-target Agg that measures 1.983″, but doing that for 72 targets is amazing!

And of the nine matches Chris shot, he took SIX Overall Two-Gun wins — a 67% win ratio. And in the process Chris also shot what is possibly the smallest 4-target Heavy Gun Agg ever recorded — 1.297 inches. Hey readers — that Agg works out to 0.206 MOA average group size — well under quarter-MOA for four, 5-shot groups at 0.34 MILES (600 yards)!

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris with 0.665″ group at 600 yards. This is the smallest HG group fired in the IBS in 2019.

The Equipment: 6mm Dasher Light Gun and Heavy Gun
Chris likes to run 1.550 stainless steel Bat “B” actions, Jewell triggers, Brux or Bartlein barrels. He prefers wooden stocks as he feels they produce a better resonance for Long Range rifles. Chris has his own stock design crafted by Johnny Byers. Imagine a Wheeler LRB stock front half mated with an McMillan ST 1000 rear section and you have Chris’ stock! It features a Wheeler-type, 4″-wide fore-end with an ST 1000 low-comb profile in the back. Both Light Gun and Heavy Gun sport Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scopes mounted with Harrell’s double screw tall rings. Chris does NOT use either muzzle brake or tuner.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Here is Chris at his home range with his Light Gun (17 lbs. max).

Chris Nichols’s Heavy Gun is a true heavy coming in at around 42 pounds. It was responsible for the HG Agg of 1.297″ (potential new world record). His season-long aggregate with his Heavy Gun was 1.861″ for 36 targets! This rifle has similar components as his Light Gun, except the barreled action rides in a barrel block in a McMillan HBR 50 BMG stock.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Both rifles ride a top of a Sinclair competition rest with a Protector DR Flat Top rear bag. When Chris goes to HG gun he simply switches tops (made by Daniel Greenlaw) on his front rest to accommodate the larger forend. As Chris says ,” This keeps things simple and exactly the same. ” Just the way he likes it.

Reloading for the 6mm Dasher
Chris’s load choice for both LG and HG is Hodgdon Varget pushing 105gr Berger VLDs. He uses CCI 450 primers, seated with an old Lee hand primer. When it comes to reloading, Chris likes to keep things as simple as possible. “If people saw me reloading they’d probably laugh!” Chris revealed that he doesn’t anneal or clean his cases. He just sprays them down with Hornady One Shot Case Lube, resizes, then runs a brush down the necks, and cleans the primer pockets. The only cleaning his cases get is when he wipes the lube off of them. Chris WILL trim and chamfer as needed.

Chris says seating consistency is critical — he uses a K&M Arbor press with force dial indicator. I asked if there were certain numbers he looks for when seating. Chris replied, “I’m only concerned with consistency and not a certain number, 5 pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. I take what the brass gives me.”

Tuning the 6mm Dasher for Record-Setting Accuracy
I asked Chris what was special about his Dasher and how he kept it tuned and so competitive? His reply is something all shooters should pay careful attention to: “[Success] starts with having a good reamer, bullets and barrels. But more than that, it’s KNOWING your Cartridge, KNOWING your bullets, and KNOWING your barrels! I’ve shot it so much I just know what to do. I’m comfortable with it. I know how to get it to shoot and when it’s not, I have a pretty good idea how to get it back in tune. Once you know your equipment, then you can learn how to get the most out of it.”

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Chris has a range at his house and he tunes at 300 yards. He looks for consistent, 300-yard 5-shot groups of 0.600″ or less! He wants to see nice round groups! Not groups with four in and one out or vertical strings. Chris starts by finding “touch” (to the lands) then he moves the bullets .002″ off the lands and begins tuning. Chris has found that usually somewhere around .008-.012″ off the lands is where his Berger 105gr VLDs shot best. I asked Chris what’s the biggest factor contributing to his success? He said, one big thing was that he can do his own work. That’s a huge advantage.

Look for Accuracy First, Velocity Second
Early on Chris had it in his mind that for a 6mm Dasher to shoot best he needed to achieve a certain velocity range — 2990 to 3030 FPS. The problem was he wasn’t paying attention to what the target was telling him. He’d get to the speed he was looking for but the accuracy wasn’t there. Once he started slowing the speeds down and giving the barrel what it wanted, then the accuracy came! Also with the slower speeds came better consistency.

Chris Nichols’s Tuning Tips for 6mm Dasher:

• Take consistency over speed.
• Only change one thing at a time and run it to the ground.
• Every barrel is a little different, so give it what it wants.
• Pay attention to what your target is telling you.
• Don’t be afraid to REDUCE your powder load.

Chris Nichols’s Advice for New Shooters
Chris says the best thing a new shooter can do is align themselves with knowledgeable people, and if they will talk, listen! Next, be ready to buy the best equipment or be ready to buy it twice. Chris also says: “Don’t cheap-out on sighters. Sighters need to be just as good as your record rounds.”

In the Beginning — Learning the 600-yard Benchrest Game
Chris’s shooting career began in 2012. His first win came in 2014. He was shooting beside guys like Sam Hall, Larry Isenhour, Mike Hanes, Jeff Godfrey James Coffey, and Chad Jenkins, who are very tough competition indeed. He said when he won he was ecstatic and he’ll never forget it! That first trophy had him feeling like he’d just won the Nationals! Chris shot a 6BR for the first two years of his career, before switching to the 6 Dasher. I asked him why he switched? He said, “guys were starting to shoot the Dasher and winning with it!”

I asked Chris if he had a mentor and he said, “not really”. He learned by watching the guys who consistently finished Top 5 at matches and occasionally asked them a question. Not two questions, just one! Chris didn’t want to push his luck by asking too much. Then Chris would take that information and test it and apply it to his own shooting. Chris says, “he learned mainly by the ‘school of hard-knocks’. The good thing about learning that way is it sticks with you!”

Chris Nichols 2019 600-Yard Win List and Statistics

(more…)

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October 4th, 2019

Genesis of PRS Rifle — Modeling, Milling, Manufacturing Video

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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October 4th, 2019

Definitive Book for AR-Platform Gear-A-Holics

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest
Photo Courtesy Cabela’s Gun Sports

Kevin Muramatsu’s black rifle book, the Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15, is a great resource for fans of AR-platform rifles. All the AR options you can imagine are covered: suppressors, premium barrels, adjustable stocks, free-float handguards, ergonomic grips, buffer systems, tactical lights and much more. Those planning an AR rifle build will find application-specific suggestions for 3-Gun, Service Rifle, High Power (Space Gun), Hunting, and Self-Defense use.

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest

Firearms expert Muramatsu offers advice on choosing the right stock/barrel/optics configuration for your particular game. He also discusses the wide variety of options for slings, grips, magazines and other accessories. With over 520 photos, the book includes a large photo gallery of customized ARs, and includes bonus coverage of the FAL and other “tactical” firearms. The Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15 is available from Amazon.com for $20.13, and a Kindle eBook version is offered for $14.99. The book is also sold by Barnes & Noble, and most other major booksellers.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
October 3rd, 2019

FREE Books! Download Free Classic Gun & Hunting Titles

download free gun books

Free Classic Shooting BooksIn today’s economy, Free is good. Here’s a list of classic, older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list includes many classic treatises on marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle, and The Gun and its Development (9th Ed.), by William Wellington Greener.

In the list below, the title link will take you to the Google Books page for each book. You can read the entire book online, or you can download it to your computer as a PDF file* and save it (or print it). You can also create your own Google Library and save the books there for access from any computer.

The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.

Irish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.

The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 pages.

Suggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.

Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pages.

Manual for Rifle Practice: Including Suggestions for Practice at Long Range, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.

How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pages.

Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.

Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Springfield 1903 rifle U.S. Army

*To download a book, first click the title from the list above. Then, once you’re at the Google book site, look for the icon that looks like a gear in the upper right-hand corner. Click that and a pull-down menu will appear. Select “Download PDF” from the menu — this will bring up a security question to make sure you are a human. Respond to the security question correctly and your normal download prompt will appear. Choose a location to hold your new e-book, and click “save”.
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September 29th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Five “Frankenguns” from our Forum

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR spare parts

What’s a “Frankengun”? Well it’s a one-of-a-kind rifle that has been pieced together from a variety of different parts and components. It might be a little bit Bolt Gun mixed with a little bit AR-15. Or it might feature some home-made components unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We’ve selected these four Frankengun rifles from a current thread in our Shooters’ Forum.

Frankengun #1 — The EXO (as in Exo-Skeleton)

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member jm850 calls this tube-framed wonder the EXO (as in “exo-skeleton”). He says: “This is a prototype I designed around a few core concepts that stick out to me on a traditional configuration. Eliminating stresses, lowering recoil moment, and improved barrel cooling. I’m really happy with it so far.”

The EXO is a very unique rifle. We’ve never seen anything like this since the late Shelley Davidson’s famous Tinkertoy Rifle, a brilliantly innovative 30BR that actually won matches. The Tinkertoy, shown below, was truely radical, but it worked ! Could this have been an inspiration for jrm850’s EXO rifle?

Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Frankengun #2 — Moosberg MVG in LSS Stock with BipodeXt

Exo skeleton biponeXt frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member BallisticXLR has created something very weird to say the least. It started out as a basic, bone-stock Mossberg MVP Varmint in .223 Rem. Then the transformation began: “I replaced everything except the receiver. It now has an LSS stock, PSG-1 grip from DPMS, XLR butt stock, PT&G lug and barrel nut, Columbia River Arms 26″ barrel with Sonoran coral snake Cerakote, A2 flash hider, Timney and Jard triggers (depending on what I’m doing), and a USO B17 which is now a USO 3.8-22×44.” That long extension tube under the chassis is a BipodeXt from Accuracy Solutions.

Frankengun #3 — A Chassis Rig in 25 Creedmoor

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

This Frankengun belongs to Forum member Geraldgee. This “black and blue” rig features a mag-fed Kelbly Atlas action in a McCree’s Precision G10 Chassis. The barrel is a Bartlein Rem Varmint Contour, 1:7.5″-twist 4 Groove, chambered for the 25 Creedmoor. There are some interesting .25-Cal bullets coming on the market now. You can make the brass by expanding 6mm Creedmoor, or necking down 6.5 Creedmoor.

Frankengun #4 — MDT Chassis, Fore-end Whittled by Spook

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Here’s a real collection of odds and ends, but Forum member Spook says it shoots well, and is a great example of “Left-over parts made useful again”. This mix-n-match Frankengun features a Remington M7 action with PT&G bolt. The barrel is a stainless Pac-Nor chambered in 6mm SLR. The barreled action is carried in an MDT Chassis with rear folding buttstock. Up front is something unusual, a Delrin fore-end that owner Spook “whittled in the mill”.

Frankengun #5 — 6.5×47 in Accuracy Int’l Stock

6.5x57 Accuracy International Krieger barrel
CLICK photo for full-screen version.

Forum member CT10Ring kicked off the Frankengun thread with this rifle. It’s actually not that shocking, but you rarely see a BAT action in an Accuracy International stock. The BAT VR action is mated to an AI Mag and set up in an AI folding stock. On top is an “old school” Nightforce Benchrest scope. The barrel is a very heavy Krieger chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua. CT10Ring say the barrel alone weighs about 9 pounds, and the gun “shoots better than [he] can”.

Post Pictures of Your Frankenguns in our Forum
So do you have a favorite Frankengun resting in your gun safe? If you do, visit our Shooters’ Forum and post a description and some photos in the Frankengun thread.

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

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September 17th, 2019

Old Benchrest Rifle Gets New Life as 6BR Ackley with Tuner

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Updating a 20+ Year-Old Benchrest Rifle

by James Mock
After owning three different rifles with BAT actions, I have become a loyal fan of BAT Machine quality and customer service. Back in 2009, I traded my BAT/Scoville for the BAT/Leonard that I currently shoot. This rifle has a long history and Terry Leonard told me that “Old 87″ (as I have named it) was one of the earlier BATs that he stocked. He wrapped the stock in fiberglass and used 2-part epoxy back then. I must say that this rifle has held up remarkably well since it dates back to the 1990s. The action is a RB/LP/RE octagon Model B with .308 bolt-face.

Rifle Has Multiple Barrels for Multiple Disciplines
With this gun, I have shot several barrels of different calibers (.22 PPC, .22 PPC-short .095, 6mm PPC, 6XC, 6mm Dasher, .30BR, and will soon have a 6 BR-AI). It has been an exceptionally accurate rifle in several disciplines. In the hands of previous owners, it earned several Hall-of-Fame (HOF) points, and a “middle-of-the-pack” shooter (me) even received a HOF point with this rifle.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

For most of its life, Old 87 served as a short range benchrest rifle, but I have used it for the last few years as a 600-yard rifle with the 6mm Dasher barrel. I was lucky enough to earn the Shooter of the Year award at the Prince Memorial Range in Louisiana for 2016.

After shooting my two Dasher barrels for last eight years, I have noticed a drop-off in accuracy at 600 yards. A decision had to be made — get a new barrel or sell the rifle and retire from competition. I will be 74 years old in six months and my competition days are limited due mainly to a chronic neck problem. After mulling over the decision to retire or not, I decided to give Old 87 one more year. Here is the story of how we upgraded the old war-horse.

Old 87 REBORN — Upgrading with New Components

I prefer cut-rifled barrels with four lands and grooves and have had success with .236 bore diameters and 1:8″ twist in long range rifles. I searched for barrels meeting those parameters and found a suitable BRUX at Bugholes.com (Southern Precision Rifles).

The 6BR-AI Option — Easy Fire Forming
I thought about having Billy Stevens chamber it for the Dasher, but decided to try something new. There seems to be a lot of interest in the 6BR-AI and I said, “Why not?” Well, I bought a shortened Dasher die from Harrell’s and will use my Wilson Dasher seating die. Bart Sauter was kind enough to let me use his reamer for chambering.

Fitting a New Roller-Type Cocking Piece on Older BAT Action
Since I was into the project this deep, I called Mike Ezell and ordered one of his Tungsten powder-dampened tuners. Since Old 87 had thousands of rounds since the firing pin spring has been replaced, I decided that it was probably needed. Well, I got to thinking (very dangerous) and asked Daryle Thom if it would be feasible to put a roller-type cocking piece and a new firing pin spring on such an old action.

The folks at BAT are very accommodating and they said that it would be no problem with such a conversion. While my bolt was in Idaho, the barrel with Ezell tuner arrived and I could not shoot it. However, my friend Jeff Turner loaned me his BAT bolt to see if it would work. Although the rifles differ in age by 15 or more years, the borrowed bolt worked perfectly in my rifle. This is a testimony to the great machine work performed at BAT Machine.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

New Bolt Roller Tail-Piece Makes a Big Difference in Cocking Effort
With the borrowed bolt I managed to fire-form 50 rounds and get them ready for our 600-yard match on September 16. The folks at BAT quickly fixed my bolt by replacing the mainspring and ejector spring, polishing the ejector, and replacing the tail-piece with their roller type. Pictured below is this tail piece that makes a remarkable difference in the force needed to cock the action. It is amazing what this little wheel can do… even when placed in a 20+ year old action.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Working with the Ezell Barrel Tuner — Small Increments Work Best
Also, I would like to congratulate Mike Ezell on his new tuner which contains powdered Tungsten. It is easy to set up and Mike will help a buyer get maximum effectiveness from the unit. Just give him a call. Below is a picture of the tuner. I was lucky enough to have some time to “play” with it before the match.

Talking about the tuner, Mike writes: “Our new barrel tuners…
PDT stands for particle dampening technology. The science is there, we just applied it to a barrel tuner. The advantages are a wider tune window and more efficient control of barrel harmonics…in a tuner design that actually looks good.”

Mike advised me to set the tuner by turning it all the way into the shoulder and then come out to zero or the second time zero comes up if there is not at least half of a turn between the shoulder and the first zero. It is best to start with a proven load and adjust the tuner from that load. As unlikely as it seems, a rifle can go from a good tune to a very poor tune with only 5 marks (.005”) and vice versa.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Mike cautions those who use his tuner to NOT make adjustments which are too large. As a matter of fact, he recommends adjustments of .001 inch at a time. Ezell’s tuners are screwed onto the barrel with .900” by 32 threads per inch and has 32 marks on the circumference of the tuner. Therefore, each mark moves the tuner in or out by .001 inch. There are three set screws with Teflon tips which provide friction for the tuner on the threads. Do not tighten the screws so tight as they damage the fine threads.

If you want the smoothest bolt possible for your BAT, call or e-mail Daryle or Bruce Thom at BAT Machine and discuss your needs with them. I am sure glad that I did. If you want a state-of-the-Art tuner for your barrel, give Mike Ezell a call or visit his Ezell Custom Rifles Facebook Page.
— Good shooting, James Mock

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September 15th, 2019

How to Clear-Coat Laminated Wood Stocks

Laminated wood stocks offer an excellent combination of price and performance, and they can be obtained in a myriad of styles to suit your discipline — hunting, benchrest, tactical, silhouette, or high power. Laminated stocks can be a little trickier to finish compared to a hardwood such as walnut, as laminates are often delivered in bright or highly contrasting colors. Traditional wood finishes can alter the colors. Also, filling the pores in laminated stocks is an issue.

Automotive clear-coat products have become popular for finishing laminated wood stocks because they won’t alter the stock’s colors, and the clear-coat provides a durable weather-resistant finish. Clear-coat is also easy to “touch up” and it fills pores better than some other alternatives. Mike Ricklefs has written a comprehensive article on stock painting that includes a special section on clear-coating over laminated woods. If you want to clear-coat a stock, Mike’s article is a must-read!

In that Stock Painting Article, Mike offers these tips:

1. When finishing laminated stocks with clear-coat, you need to prepare the wood carefully, and build up quite a few thin layers one at a time. Begin by sanding, with progressively finer paper, all the way to 400 grit. Certain laminated stocks are so rough when they come from the stock-maker, that you may have to be very aggressive at first. But be careful with angles and the edges of flats. You don’t want to round these off as you sand.

2. After sanding, use compressed air to blow out all dust from the pores of the wood. This is very important to avoid a “muddy” looking finish. If you don’t blow the dust out with air before spraying the clear it will migrate out as you apply the clear. Also, after each sanding session, clean your painting area to remove excess dust. I also wet down the floor of my spray booth to keep the dust down.

3. Some painters recommended using a filler to close the pores. That’s one technique, but the filler can detract from the clarity of the final finish. Rather than use a pore-filling sealer, I use a high solids or “build” clear for the initial applications. This is slightly thicker than “finish” clear and does a good job of sealing the pores. Three (3) fairly heavy coats of “build” clear are applied. If you get a thick spot or a run in the finish at this point, it is not the end of the world but this does create more sanding work.”

There is a helpful thread in our Shooters’ Forum that discusses the use of clear-coating on laminated stocks. Member BHoges offered this advice: “Stick with Diamont, Glassurit, and Spies. If anyone has questions, I painted cars for a long time.”

Clear-coat Laminated woodForum member Preacher, whose bolt-action pistol is shown at right, states: “I buy my two-part clear-coat from the local NAPA dealer. They recommended Crossfire mixed 4:1. I really like the end results. There are six coats on that stock that were sanded down to bare wood for the first two, and then 600 wet-sanded for the other four coats. Two to three coats would be sufficient if the pores were filled first, but I would rather fill ‘em with the clear as it seems to make it appear deeper and I have the time to devote to it. I have PPG’s Deltron DC 3000 clear-coat on a few stocks of mine, but I like the NAPA better price wise, and it seems to hold up just as good as the Deltron.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
September 13th, 2019

Yes Muzzle Brakes Need Regular Cleaning!

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Many hunters and precision rifle competitors use muzzle brakes because these ported devices reduce felt recoil significantly. That make s real difference getting back on target for quick follow-up shots. While many rifle owners appreciate the benefits of muzzle brakes, they may also neglect their brakes, allowing hard carbon and powder residue to build up. Not good. You should regularly clean your muzzle brake to remove fouling and carbon build-up.

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

As Mark Edgreen posted: “Carbon build up on the crown and in the brake is a recipe for poor accuracy.” And another gunsmith reported that customers complained about guns that “shot out way too early” but they only needed to have the brakes cleaned.

Gunsmith and PRS/NRL competitor Jim See recently reminded his Facebook Fans about the importance of cleaning muzzle brakes: “How many times do I have to say it? You need to maintain your rifles. Clean your muzzle brakes people!”. Jim, who runs Elite Accuracy LLC, notes that hard carbon build-up in brakes can definitely harm accuracy. Look at this example:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Muzzle Brake Cleaning Methods
There are various methods for cleaning a brake, we list a variety of techniques, but we would start with NON-corrosive ultrasound. You’ll want to remove the muzzle device before doing these tasks.

1. Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine with cleaning solution. This may be the most efficient method: “I place my brake in the ultrasonic cleaner. Shiney as new.” (Jim Moseley).
2. Spray with commercial Carb Cleaner and brush. Then apply anti-corrosion coating.
3. Soak in half hydrogen peroxide and half vinegar. Suggestion: “Let sit over night and carbon melts off. Brush remaining carbon off, rinse and put the brake back on.” Apply anti-corrosive before mounting.
4. Soak in 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and brush. (Be sure to apply anti-corrosion coating, such as Eezox, after soaking).
5. Tumble in liquid solution with stainless pins. Comment: “Comes out slightly faded, but perfectly clean on stainless, non-painted brakes though.” Warning — extended tumbling could affect threads of screw-on brakes. Also, tumbling can possibly harm painted or Cerakote finishes.
6. For extreme cases, soak in CLR. Then brush and apply anti-corrosive before re-mounting.

Gunsmithing Tip: By fitting the muzzle brake so that the barrel crown is slightly forward, it is easier to wipe carbon fouling off the end of the barrel. See photo:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

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September 10th, 2019

Brownells Now Offers Live Chats with Gun Guru Product Experts

gun guru Brownells chat customer service

Brownells just made it easier to get product questions answered, and to find the items you want on the Brownells website at Brownells.com. Customers can now consult live with a Brownells Gun Guru Product Expert. In addition to giving product advice, the Gun Gurus can help customers with account issues, give information about previous orders, and handle most customer concerns.

Starting Monday, September 9, customers can click on the CHAT icon at the top of the website to be connected with a Gun Guru Product Expert.

gun guru Brownells chat customer service

gun guru Brownells chat customer servicePop-Up Gun Guru Chat Window
There is also a floating chat button on the right side of the page (see photo at right). And, after 30 seconds or so a Gun Guru invitation window will pop up. NOTE: We found that if you click on the CHAT icon at the top of the page you must fill in your name and address. However, if you respond to the floating pop-up Chat Window you do NOT have to enter name and email. We think it’s easier to just use the pop-up window.

Gun Guru Product Expert Chat is available on Brownells.com Monday through Friday, 7:30 am until midnight (CT), and on weekends 8:00 am until 5:00 pm (CT).

When you start a chat, a chat window opens with a small photo of the Gun Guru. This person will be either a Brownells Gun Tech (an actual trained gunsmith) or a vetted firearms enthusiast who can offer advice on product categories for which they are most familiar.

“The mission of the Gun Guru Product Experts will be to help educate customers on products and give recommendations, so customers can make informed decisions,” said Ted Somers, Brownells Director of Customer Experience.

Telephone Customer Service is Still Available at 1-800-741-0015
While Brownells Gun Techs will participate in Gun Guru Product Expert chat online, customers with more technical questions can still call 1-800-741-0015 and ask to speak with a Brownells Gun Tech during regular business hours.

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September 3rd, 2019

Black Rifle Trigger Fest — AR15 and AR10 Triggers Reviewed

AR15 AR10 Trigger Geissele Timney Elftmann 2-stage ALG Defense modularTrigger images from PrimaryArms.com, which sells all the triggers reviewed here: Geissele, Elftmann, Timney, and ALG Defense.

Are you thinking of upgrading the trigger system for your AR-platform rifle? There are dozens of options available, from $45 up to $300. Thankfully, Brownells has created video reviews of some of the more popular AR trigger options from Timney, Geissele, and ALG Defense. And we included a video review of the highly-regarded Elftmann Match Trigger. If you want the best solution for Service Rifle competition, you might favor the Geissele. For ease of installation, it’s hard to beat the Timney, a “drop-in” module. Like the Timney, the super-smooth Elftman is a drop-in module. At $249.00 it’s pricey, but it is one of the best AR triggers out there. If you’re on a tight budget, the best “bang for your buck” may be the “Perfected Mil-Spec” ALG which starts at around $45.00.

Multiple AR Triggers, including the Elftmann and Geissele, Are Reviewed in this Video

Though pricey ($249.00 at PrimaryArms.com), we really like the Elftmann AR trigger. It combines the best of both worlds — the precision and smoothness of the Geissele with the Timney’s ease of installation. This single stage trigger is user-adjustable from 2.75 to 4 pounds pull weight. It is offered with either straight or curved trigger blade. Primary Arms says: “The amazingly short take-up, glass-rod crisp break and [near-zero] over-travel can be compared to the finest custom 1911 triggers.”

Geissele Enhanced Two-Stage Trigger

Geissele makes a variety of quality AR trigger sets both single-stage and two-stage. Many High Power competitors like the two-stage Geissele trigger. This delivers a repeatable, controlled pull through the first stage with a very clean break in the second stage. The Super Dynamic Enhanced Trigger, shown above, features a distinctive, trigger blade. Reviewer Thomas Conroy says: “The flat surface is very easy to press against. Both stages are light and very distinct.”

Timney Drop-In Trigger Module

This trigger module is available for both the AR15 and the AR10 platform (see above video). Timney triggers are easy to install and come with multiple pin size and pull-weight options. Reviewer Thomas Conroy confirms that the single-stage Timney “breaks cleanly and crisply. This trigger is modular, meaning that the trigger, sear, hammer, and spring are all encased in a bright, shiny yellow aluminum housing.”

ALG Defense Trigger — Higher-Quality Basic AR Trigger

According to Thomas Conroy, ALG triggers “are the perfected version of the standard, non-adjustable mil-spec original trigger. They have the same geometry, but are made to higher quality standards, and come with … hardened and smoothed-out sear contact surface to eliminate all grittiness.” These are also offered in a nickle-boron coated version. Available for under $45.00, the ALG is a well-made, low-cost option for shooters who want a better factory-type trigger system.

For More Information about These Triggers
Learn more about Geissele, Timney and ALG triggers, plus two more AR trigger options (CMMG and Rock River Arms) in a Trigger Comparison Review by Thomas Conroy on Ammoland.com.

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August 27th, 2019

Cutting .338 LM Barrel from 30″ to 17″ — Velocity Loss Revealed!

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

With Randy Wise’s recent record-setting ELR performance with a .338 Lapua Magnum Savage rifle, we thought our readers might be interested in a .338 LM velocity test conducted by our friend Bill Marr, Editor of Rifleshooter.com.

READ FULL .338 Lapua Magnum Barrel Cut-down Velocity TEST »

782 custom gunworks ltdA couple seasons back, Bill did a fascinating barrel cut-down test on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle. Bill, a skilled gunsmith who runs 782 Custom Gunworks, cut down the barrel from 30″ to 17″ in one-inch increments. During the cut-down process, Marr measured velocities at each barrel length, shooting four rounds after each cut. As you’d expect, there was a huge change in velocity from long to short. Speeds were measured at the muzzle with a Magnetospeed barrel-mounted chronograph.

If you’re looking for max velocity with the .338 LM, go long. With 250-grain Sierra MK bullets, the peak velocity Bill measured was 2942 FPS at the full, 30-inch length. This decreased pretty steadily down to 2547 GPS at the shortest 17″ length. That’s an average decrease of 30.4 FPS per inch from 30″ to 17″.

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

Bill also tested 300-grain Sierra MatchKings. This is interesting because Randy Wise ran 300-grain bullets (Berger Hybrids) in a 26″ factory barrel for his ELR record. Peak velocity was 2833 FPS at 30″, 2799 FPS at 26″, and 2492 FPS at the shortest 17″ length. Interestingly, velocity at 29″ was higher than at 30″ for the 300-grainers. Bill notes: “The 300 SMK load showed a slight increase from 30 to 29″. I’ve recorded this in other tests and it seems to be more common with a heavier load. I suspect it is primarily due to the small sample sizes being used along with the relative proximity of muzzle velocities in adjacent lengths.”

At each new (shorter) barrel length, velocity was measured with a MagnetoSpeed chronograph using two different loads, 250gr SMKs with H4831sc and 300gr SMKs with Retumbo. Four shots were fired at each length with each load, a total of 112 rounds.

Load #1: 250gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, CCI #250 primer, H4831SC, OAL 3.720″.
Load #2: 300gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, Win WLRM primer, Retumbo, OAL 3.720″.

.338 LM Barrel Cut-Down Test Results Summary

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

.338 Lapua Magnum with 250gr Sierra MatchKings
After shortening the barrel from 30″ to 17″, total velocity reduction for the 250-grainers was 395 FPS, an average loss of 30.4 FPS per 1″ cut. The amount of velocity loss per inch rose as the barrel got shorter, with the biggest speed reduction, a loss of 55 FPS, coming with the cut from 18″ to 17″.

Start Velocity: 2942 FPS | End Velocity: 2547 FPS | Average Loss Per Inch: 30.4 FPS

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 25th, 2019

No ChiCom Gun Parts for You! Big Customs Seizure in CA Port

Border Protection Customs U.S. China Chinese import gun parts AR AR16 black rifle components

Border Protection Customs U.S. China Chinese import gun parts AR AR16 black rifle componentsThe AR15 is America’s rifle, right? Well it is apparently China’s rifle too, at least when it comes to replacement stocks, buffers, hand-guards and other spare parts/accessories. It seems China’s factories have been churning out plenty of Black Rifle components. Only one problem — U.S. Federal government policies ban importation of many types of gun parts from China. Washington has an embargo on Chinese-made gun components.

Because of these import restrictions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents recently seized over 52,000 illegal gun parts. ABC News reported: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday that [it] seized a total of $378,225 worth of firearms parts in violation of the Chinese Arms Embargo. [Seized items] included sights, stocks, muzzles, brakes, buffer kits, and grips which arrived in three shipments from China.” Many of the seized items were for AR-platform Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), but other types of gun parts and accessories were seized also.

See Full Story with Video Report HERE »

“This seizure is an exceptional example of CBP officers and import specialists vigilance, commitment and keen focus in enforcing complex arms embargo regulations,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Field Operations Director in Los Angeles.

Three Shipments of Gun Parts Were Seized at the Port of Long Beach in California:
Border Protection Customs U.S. China Chinese import gun parts AR AR16 black rifle components

The products were seized at the Port of Long Beach in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. This is a major entry point for a wide variety of products from China, Japan, and other Pacific Rim countries.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News, Tactical No Comments »
August 24th, 2019

Lyman Higher-Rez BoreCam Review by UltimateReloader.com

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

Our friend Gavin of UltimateReloader.com has a new tool — the second generation Lyman Borecam. This upgraded version features higher-resolution 300K output so you can better see details inside your barrel. This digital borescope can also be used to inspect the interior of dies and other tools. Illumination, via LED, is adjustable. Record still images with the push of a button. The screen resolution for the latest Lyman Borecam is now 640×480, roughly 300,000 pixels (300K).

CLICK HERE for Full UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Review »

Gavin created a very thorough 15-minute video putting the Lyman Borecam through its paces. He uses it to scope a number of firearm barrels as well as some reloading dies. If you are considering buying a Borecam or other borescoping device, you should definitely watch this video. We have included time references to make it easier to “fast forward” to the subjects you want to see:

Lyman Borecam Video Timeline
1. 1:15 — Lyman Borecam Unboxing (All Components)
2. 4:00 — Shilen Match Barrel Blank Inspection (Brand New Barrel)
3. 6:16 — Thompson Center Compass .223 Rem Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
4. 9:08 — Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Mag Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
5. 10:30 — Glock 20 Polygonal Rifling Barrel Inspectino (Used Barrel)
6. 11:45 — M1911 Barrel Inspection (Defective Barrel with Bulge in Chamber)
7. 13:12 — Sizing Die Internal Inspections (Lee .223 Rem, Redding 300 BLK)

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

The Lyman Borecam comes complete with everything you need. Shown in photo are:

1. Borecam Wand (includes handle, rod, mirror, and digital lens/camera) with length indication scale. An inch scale runs the full length of the rod. That tells you where the lens is positioned inside the bore. Note the wand scale marks when recording screen captures.
2. Borecam Digital Display. The 600×480 display can record stills with included 128MB SD Card. A USB SD Card adapter is included.
3. Borecam Mirror Protector and cleaning kit.
4. AC Power Adapter (not shown, international plug adapters included).

UltimateReloader offers Three Key Tips for the Lyman Borecam:

— First, before you start, make sure the mirror is clear and free of dirt, lint, or solvents.
— Use the Up and Down Arrows to adjust the illumination to suit your barrel.
— Experiment with how close you hold the mirror to the bore wall. This affects both brightness and focus.

YouTube Viewer Comments on UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Video:

“Great review, Gavin. Your video capture of the display looks better than what they show in Lyman’s own product video.”

“Price is getting low enough to think I need one on the short ‘To Buy’ list. Have some milsurp rifles with horrid bores that should be very interesting to view. Don’t waste $$ on those $20 things on Amazon, I did and thoroughly wasted my money.”

Improved Lyman Second Generation Borecam

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

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August 22nd, 2019

The Hazards of Old Ammo — Watch Out for Internal Corrosion!

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion
Above is a 26-year-old hand-loaded .300 Winchester Magnum case that failed to fire. After the misfire, the shooter used an inertial (impact) bullet puller to pull the bullet. In the process the case-neck sheared off.

Here’s a cautionary tale from the Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook group. This real-world example explains why you should be cautious of old ammunition. Here serious internal corrosion was discovered.

Old Ammunition — Why You Should Be Careful

Commentary by Tactical Rifle Shooters
The subject often comes up as to whether it is safe to shoot old ammunition. Historically my answer has always been yes, since over the years I have shot military surplus ammo dating back to World War II (1939-1945) and never had a problem. With over 40 years in competitive shooting, I’ve also had boxes of factory ammo that were 30+ years old and all worked flawlessly.

But I had an interesting experience this week shooting some .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag) that I had loaded for competition with Reloder 22 back in 1993. I was breaking in a new barrel so just shooting any old ammo that I had. Of the 20 rounds, 15 shot perfectly, three had a fraction of a second hang-fire, and two didn’t shoot at all.

SMART TIP: If you have old ammunition, pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

So I pulled the bullets using a hammer-type impact (inertial) bullet puller. What I found was verdigris-like corrosion inside the necks, with one neck completely separating. One reason for this could be that dissimilar metals (copper and brass) can set up a reaction resulting in corrosion. Like I said, this is the first time I’ve seen this, but will definitely be more aware when shooting old hand-loads in the future.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Above is one of the 26-year-old reloaded .300 WinMag cartridges which had failed to fire. To check the internal condition, the bullet was removed using an impact (inertial) bullet puller. Note the verdigris-like corrosion and crack in neck.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Here’s a close-up of the same .300 Winchester Magnum hand-load from 1993 showing serious corrosion inside the neck. (This was a fail-to-fire.) The powder was Alliant Reloder 22. If you have old ammo, it wouldn’t hurt to pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

CREDIT Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook Group for this Ammo Tech Tip and photos.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 21st, 2019

Ruger Offers Integrally Suppressed Barrel for 10/22 Platform

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

We bet you’ve never seen anything quite like this before — a rimfire rifle with an integrally suppressed barrel assembly. Ruger offers this technology with its Silent-SR ISB, a multi-baffle integrally suppressed barrel (ISB) for Ruger 10/22 takedown models. This system reduces sound levels to an average of 113.2 dB with standard velocity ammunition. That’s very impressive — consider that an unsuppressed .22 LR firearm can produce noise levels as high as 140 dB with standard velocity ammunition. That’s well above the threshold where irreversible hearing damage begins. (Source: NC Silencers).

Available only as an aftermarket accessory and subject to an NFA tax stamp, the ISB is an integrally suppressed replacement barrel designed for use with any of the company’s numerous takedown-capable rimfire models (the 10/22 Takedown and 10/22 Takedown Lite rifles and the 22 Charger Takedown pistol) MSRP for the Silent-SR ISB is $629.00.

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

How well does the ISB work? The system was tested by American Rifleman in May 2019. The testers noted that sound reduction varied considerably with ammo types. Also: “Point-of-impact shift between the factory barrel and the ISB was considerable … so plan for some re-zeroing when switching between the two”.

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

Even if you are not interested in a suppressed rimfire rifle (or live in a state where suppressors are forbidden) we think you’ll be interested in Ruger’s technology. Here’s what Ruger says about its ISB (Integrally Suppressed Barrel) for the 10/22 Take-down:

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

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

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

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August 20th, 2019

Zediker Book Helps with Build-You-Own AR-15 Projects

AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley

AR15 construction guideMany of our readers use AR-type rifles for Service Rifle matches, varmint hunting, 3-Gun competition, or defensive use. AR-platform rifles can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit the application. But if you plan to put together your own purpose-built AR rifle, how do you get started?

For AR Do-It-Yourselfers, we suggest reading Glen Zedicker’s book, the Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide. Following on Zedicker’s The Competitive AR15: Ultimate Technical Guide, the Builders Guide provides step-by-step instructions that will help non-professional “home builders” assemble a competitive match or varmint rifle. This book isn’t for everyone — you need some basic gun assembly experience and an aptitude for tools. But the AR-15 Builders’ Guide provides a complete list of the tools you’ll need for the job, and Zedicker outlines all the procedures to build an AR-15 from start to finish.

One of our Forum members who purchased the AR-15 Builders Guide confirms it is a great resource: “Much like any of the books Mr. Zediker puts out this one is well thought-out and is a no nonsense approach to AR building. I can not stress how helpful this book is from beginner to expert level.”

Along with assembly methods, this book covers parts selection and preparation, not just hammers and pins. Creedmoor Sports explains: “Knowing how to get what you want, and be happy with the result, is truly the focus of this book. Doing it yourself gives you a huge advantage. The build will honestly have been done right, and you’ll know it! Little problems will have been fixed, function and performance enhancements will have been made, and the result is you’ll have a custom-grade rifle without paying custom-builder prices.” Other good resources for AR projects is Gunsmithing the AR: The Bench Manual, and the Building Your AR from Scratch DVD.

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August 18th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: New 33XC Rifle for Reigning King of 2 Miles

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global PrecisionNew Cartridge, New Rifle for the King
Paul Phillips is the reigning King of 2 Miles. The founder of the Global Precision Group, Paul is one of the top ELR marksmen on the planet. He has also been a team-mate of past K02M winners.

Paul recently put together a new rifle for the 25-lb max, .338 caliber-or-under ELR Class. This is chambered for the 33XC, an efficient new cartridge devised by 11-time National HP Champion David Tubb. With promising initial testing at 500 yards, it looks like Paul’s 33XC project will be a success. The rifle’s first match will be the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship, to be held August 21-23, 2019 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul reports: “The 33XC is ready for the NRA ELR Nationals. I have tested loads from 3100-3450 FPS and and will settle on a load around 3250 FPS [which is] my most accurate load so far. The Peterson Cartridge brass is really working well.”

Paul states he would like to look for a higher node from 3300-3400 GPS: “Next stop is with the Applied Ballistics LLC mobile labratory and radar testing with a PDM for the Nationals.” Paul cautions: “I encourage everyone to start low and work up. Every chamber, barrel, and components are a little different.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

During initial testing, Paul’s 33XC put three shots in 0.27″ at 100. Then, at 500 yards, the rifle produced a 3-shot group around 1/3-MOA with just 1.22 inches of vertical. That’s pretty impressive for early testing. Paul will also be trying some Berger bullets soon. When he determines the most accurate load, Phillips will stretch the rifle’s legs, shooting out to 2500 yards and beyond.

Quote: “The Cutting Edge Bullets are not the highest BC but they are very stable and consistent at ELR (sub-sonic) ranges and that’s the most important factor in finding the best ELR bullet. I actually test all my bullets at sub-sonic speeds to make sure they are consistent and stable. Finding a good load at 500 yards is just the first part. The real test is shooting them at sub-sonic speeds and see how consistently they group. This is what gives you the highest percentage to impact at 2 miles and beyond.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision
CLICK Image for full-screen version.

This rifle features a BAT action mated to a 34″ Bartlein barrel chambered for David Tubb’s new 33XC cartridge. Paul Phillips is currently running Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer solid bullets. Paul notes: “I also have a .338 Lapua Magnum barrel and 300gr Berger bullets for the restricted class in France.” Paul gave special thanks to Alex Wheeler for doing the metal work and Alex Sitman for doing the bedding.

Rifle Component List
Action: BAT Machine CTH dual-port action
Trigger: Bullet Central Bix’N Andy
Barrel: Bartlein 1:8″-twist barrel (34″)
Chambering: 33XC for Peterson brass
Stock: McMillan A6 Super Mag, Bedding Alex Sitman
Scope: Nightforce Optics 7-35x56mm F1 ATACR.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles

33XC Load Components
Cartridge Brass: 33XC by Peterson Cartridge
Bullets: Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer Bullets
Powder: Vihtavuori

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul Phillips notes: “Alex Sitman has been bedding rifles stocks for most of his life. I believe that [bedding] is a very important … to keep consistent accuracy and repeatable zeros after traveling all over the globe.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Even with the TacomHQ Charlie Tarac scope prism in place, the rifle makes the 25-pound weight limit with Duplin Rifles bipod. Paul says: “I love it when a plan comes together!! I’m under by 2 ounces!”

About the 33XC (eXtra Capacity) Cartridge
David Tubb invented the 33XC cartridge because he thought the CheyTac cases were too much trouble — requiring a larger action, oversize presses, and ultra-expensive dies. The 33XC was designed to fit .338 Lapua Magnum-size actions and use normal reloading presses.

The 33XC (eXtra Capacity) has 137.5 grains of H2O capacity with over 125 grains of usable powder capacity while leaving the 0.393″ neck unfilled for bullet seating.

The 33XC has a .338 Lapua Magnum lineage. Think of it as a better, 35°-shoulder .338 LM. David explains: “The 33XC uses standard reloading dies along with a 7/8″ x 14 TPI reloading press. There is no fire-forming — all case ‘improving’ has already been done with a production case that has 20 grains more powder capacity, 35-degree shoulder, and longer neck compared to a .338 Lapua Magnum. This puts the various .338 Lapua wildcats and the Rem Ultra Mag Improved into the ‘also ran’ category. They simply can’t compete with the velocities attainable with the 33XC.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

The 33XC is based off of a .580″ bolt head. Tubb states that “A fired case will extract with little effort when using a properly-polished chamber with a maximum powder charge after resizing with the Superior Shooting Systems FL sizing die.” Tubb’s 33XC die reaches the case head which is important for accuracy. Peterson Cartridge produces the 33XC brass for Superior Shooting Systems. This high-quality brass costs $115 for 50 cases (or $2.30 per case), and can be purchased directly from Superior Shooting Systems.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
August 17th, 2019

Truing a Rem 700 Action — RifleShooter.com Shows the Process

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizingYou may have heard the phrase “blueprinting an action”, but do you know what that really means? Do you know what operations are done to an action during the blueprinting process? To help you understand, gunsmith Bill Marr of RifleShooter.com has created a helpful article showing a Rem 700 blueprinting job start to finish. This article spotlights how the procedures can be done with manual tools. Bill, who runs 782 Custom Gunworks Ltd., can also perform many of these operations with modern automated machinery. In fact, Bill has written a follow-up article on Truing a Rem 700 receiver with a Lathe.

READ Full Action Blueprinting Article HERE with 30+ Photos »

READ Blueprinting Rem 700 Action with Lathe Article HERE »

Bill explains: “Blue-printing, or truing a rifle action, ensures the receiver face, threads, lugs, bolt lugs, and bolt face are square to the center line of the receiver.” In Bill’s informative article, Bill shows how he blueprints a Remington 700 short action receiver with .308 Win bolt face. He covers the following procedures step by step:

Action Disassembly
Ream Minor Diameter of Receiver Threads
Square the Receiver Lugs
Square the Face of the Receiver
Lap the Bolt Lugs
Square the Bolt Face

Bill employed a variety of tools from Brownells to complete the blueprinting job, including: Remington 700 Armorer’s Kit; Manson Receiver Accurizing Kit; Bolt Lapping Kit; Bolt Face Truing Tool; Manson Receiver Ring Facing Cutter; Multi-Vise with Jaw Pads; Silicone Carbide Abrasive; and Do-Drill Cutting Oil.

Highlights from the Rifleshooter.com article:

1. Chasing the Threads

We use the bushings to guide the receiver tap. This chases the threads and ensures they are square.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

2. Truing the Receiver Face

Using the receiver facing tool, the front of the receiver is trued. The tool is placed over the tap and turned by hand. We used Do Drill to lubricate it.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

3. Lapping the Lugs

The bolt lapping tool screws into the front of the action and applies rearward pressure on the bolt face. A little bit of lapping compound is placed on the front of the receiver lugs. The bolt handle is then raised and lowered repeatedly. Note — it is critical that we do not get any lapping compound on any other surfaces.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

4. Truing the Bolt Face

On this bolt, the central part of the bolt face was low. After the truing operation, this Rem 700 bolt face is now completely square to the action.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

IMPORTANT: Rifleshooter.com states: “This article highlights our project and is presented for information purposes only. This provides an overview of the process and should not be attempted without the guidance and supervision of an experienced gunsmith“.

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