April 19th, 2018

Complete 6.5×47 Benchrest Rifle Build — Start to Finish on Video

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Argyle, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
April 13th, 2018

Forum Member Carves Superb Maple Hunting Stock

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota
Believe it or not, this is the first stock Brett M. carved by hand. We’d say he did a darn good job!

AccurateShooter Forum member Brett M. from Minnesota (aka Spitfire_er) recently completed a handsome laminated maple gunstock. This beauty wasn’t produced with a stock duplicator. It was made the old-fashioned way — by hand. After laminating three sections, Brett carved the complete stock with hand tools. You can see the entire carving process, start to finish, in Brett’s time lapse video.

MUST-SEE time-lapse carving video. Every second is one minute in real time. This 15:54 video shows 15.9 hours of carving! Brett says the whole job took nearly 20 hours:

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett MinnesotaHandsome Maple Blank Was Lumber Yard Return!
Brett reports: “Here’s a stock I carved up over the past year or so. I found this wood as a return at a lumber yard about 7-8 years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was “That would make a nice stock!” I finally got around to finishing it a couple months ago.

I fit it around a 1917 Enfield in .338 WM that I purchased a while back. I usually do all the work on the receiver and barrel, but this one was done up in an OK fashion already.

This stock was almost completely made using hand tools over the course of about a year. This is a piece of laminated 1x8x1″ maple that was glued together. After it sat for about eight years, I finally got around to carving it up. This stock design/shape was from my own ideas and was carved as I went along. It turned out pretty good.”

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
April 12th, 2018

Finger-Painting to CNC Inletting — Inside Look at McMillan Stocks

McMillan Fiberglass stocks factory videosOK, admit it — you’ve always wondered how they get those color swirls and camo patterns in McMillan stocks. (You’ll be surprised at the answer). And how does McMillan manage to inlet stocks so precisely for so many different action types?

McMillan Stocks is one of the leading fiberglass stock producers, cranking out 8,000-10,000 stocks every year for hunters, target shooters, and members of the military. McMillan employs state-of-the-art, high-tech machinery. At the same time, many processes are still done by hand — such as applying colors to the stocks.

In the videos below, Kelly McMillan hosts Bob Beck of Extreme Outer Limits TV in a tour of the McMillan stock-making facility. We think all avid “gun guys” will be fascinated by these high-quality videos.

McMillan Custom Stock Production

The first video shows the stock-building operation from start to finish — You’ll see the lay-up, color application, molding, and “stuffing”. Watch carefully at 0:16 to see colors being applied.

(more…)

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April 11th, 2018

CMP Custom Shop Repairs and Upgrades Vintage Rifles

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

CMP Custom Shop Civilian Marksmanship ProgramThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) does more than run matches and sell surplus firearms. The CMP also operates a full-service Custom Shop in Anniston, Alabama that does maintenance, repair, and upgrading of USGI-issue rifles at a reasonable cost.

Since the fall of 2013, the CMP Custom Shop has offered repair, upgrade, gunsmithing and custom services for a wide range of U.S. Military rifles, specifically those issued in early eras. As well as regular repairs and troubleshooting, the CMP Custom Shop can upgrade, accurize, and refinish virtually all the rifle types sold by the CMP.

What Rifles Can the CMP Custom Shop Service?
The CMP Custom Shop will work on the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903/1903A3 Springfield, 1917 Enfield, and the Krag. The Custom Shop will also service Remington 40X, Mossberg 44, and H&R Model 12 rifles. CMP will NOT work on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles. For a list of services (with prices) visit the CMP Custom Shop webpage.

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

NOTE: Before you can send a rifle to the CMP Custom Shop you must be a customer on file in the CMP system. Customers must meet the same eligibility requirements as for CMP rifle purchases. Once qualified, you can purchase a rifle from the CMP and have the CMP Custom Shop make modifications to it prior to shipping.

CMP Custom Shop Can Work on USGI Rifles Purchased from Other Sources
The CMP Custom Shop can work on rifles that may have been purchased elsewhere as long as they were made by a USGI contractor. Some examples include: Springfield Armory (not Springfield Inc.), Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, International Harvester, Remington, Rock Island, Eddystone, Inland, Underwood, Rock-Ola, Quality Hardware, National Postal meter, Standard Products, IBM, Irwin-Pederson and Saginaw. NOTE: There are many NON-USGI copies of the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield and especially the M1 Carbine that CMP will be unable to work on.

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repair

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repairFor more information, call (256) 835-8455, x1113, or send email to customshop [at] thecmp.org. Shipping and Correspondence address for the CMP Custom Shop is:

CMP Custom Shop
1803 Coleman Rd
Anniston, AL 36207

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 7th, 2018

Universal Match Rifle System from Competition Machine

Eliseo Competition machine UMRS universal rifle system sling shooter Palma

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine is a very talented sling shooter. And Eliseo Tubeguns are used by many of the nation’s top Palma and Sling Discipline shooters. Gary has “raised the bar” with his latest Tubegun product which combines a tuned Pierce action with a modernized Eliseo chassis. Gary calls this the Universal Match Rifle System (UMRS). It can accept a variety of high-end triggers, including the Jewell and Bix’n Andy two-stage.

Gary tells us: “We’re very proud to announce our new Universal Match Rifle system, built around a special hand-tuned action made to our specifications by Pierce Engineering. The Universal Match Rifle system is crafted to the highest standards and has a full line of attachments that make it easily configured for the NRA Highpower, Long Range Prone/Palma or Precision Rifle disciplines. The Universal Match Rifle is available as a complete rifle in the chambering of your choice with your choice of a Jewell single stage or Bix’n Andy two stage trigger, it’s also available as a ‘builders kit’ where you can have your gunsmith fit the barrel and trigger of your choice. Please contact us with your questions about the UMRS, or to ask about delivery schedules and pricing”.

Eliseo Competition machine UMRS universal rifle system sling shooter Palma

The Eliseo UMRS has already proven itself in competition. At the recent 2018 Berger Southwest Nationals, Allen Thomas used his UMRS to win the Overall Grand Aggregate in Sling Division. Competition was fierce, with some great shooters including many sling aces from the United Kingdom.

Allen Thomas Berger SWN Eliseo UMRS Match Rifle System
SWN Sling Winner Allen Thomas (left) with Capstone Precision Group’s Bill Gravatt.

In this video, Gary Eliseo explains the features of his new Universal Match Rifle System. Gary builds the UMRS and other high-quality chassis systems at his Cottonwood, Arizona production facility. Visit GotXRing.com for more information on all Competition Machine products.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
April 7th, 2018

New Barrel Chambering Book by Gritters and Zeglin

Gordy Gritters Fred Zeglin barrel chambering gunsmith lathe book dvd

There is a new book, Chambering Rifles for Accuracy, that will benefit folks who want to understand the chambering process, and potentially learn to chamber a barrel on their own. We caution, however — you really need a skilled, hands-on mentor for this this task. For someone without a lot of machining experience, chambering can be tricky, and working with lathes can be dangerous to say the least.*

With those cautions stated, this book will help any gun-owner understand how chambering is done, and what to look for when assessing chambering work by commercial gunsmiths. Chambering Rifles for Accuracy is co-authored by Gordy Gritters and Fred Zeglin. The methods detailed in this book can be used equally well by gunsmiths in a professional shop, and by skilled, well-trained hobbyists working in a home workshop. The book costs $49.95 from Amazon.

Gordy Gritters is a highly-respected gunsmith and gunsmithing instructor. Gordy has built many match-winning competition rifles so he knows his stuff. Fred is a gunsmith, gunsmithing instructor, author, and is the owner of 4-D Reamer Rentals, so he is very knowledgeable on the use and care of reamers. Fred has extensive experience building high-accuracy hunting rifles.

Fred wrote the first half of the book, which covers what is needed to prepare for and chamber high-accuracy hunting barrels. Zeglin lists all the tools needed such as reamers, micrometer reamer stops, headspace gauges, and more.

Gordy wrote the second half of the book, which goes beyond basic chambering. Gordy covers setting up a lathe for chambering barrels through the headstock, various dialing-in methods commonly used, how to deal with curvature in rifle bores, and how to deal with reamer chatter (especially prevalent in 5R-type barrels). Then Gordy covers the entire dialing-in/threading/fitting/chambering/crowning process used to build a benchrest-quality rifle. Gordy also explaines how to ream custom chamber necks, and how to throat the chamber for specific bullets or for a specific purpose.

Gordy Gritters Fred Zeglin barrel chambering gunsmith lathe book dvd

Gordy Gritters also created an excellent DVD, “Chambering a Championship Match Barrel”. No other chambering video shows the entire chambering process step-by-step with the advanced, precision techniques used by master gunsmiths. Gordy has built several rifles that hold world records and have won National Championships. This is a professional 90-minute production from Grizzly Industrial. You can purchase this $69.95 DVD from Gordy’s website or from Grizzly Industrial.


*This Editor’s own uncle suffered a severe arm injury while working with a lathe. He was not an amateur — he had done lathe and mill work for over 40 years. But a shirt-sleeve caught in the spinning chuck. The results were horrific.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
April 5th, 2018

Old Meets New — Modern Modular Chassis for Swiss K31

Sureshot Armament group SAG K31 modular tactical chassis

You’ve never seen a Swiss K31 like this before…

The Sureshot Armament Group (SAG) has developed a modular aluminum chassis for the vintage, straight-pull Swiss K31 rifle. This chassis transforms an old classic into a modern, fast-cycling tactical rig. The SAG Lightweight K31 Rifle Chassis is CNC-Machined from aluminum. Hard anodized, it weighs just 2 lbs. 13 ounces. It offers adjustable cheek piece and butt-pad, with a three-inch LOP adjustment range. Believe it or not, installing a vintage K31 into this SAG stock is an easy bolt-on process. No modification of the K31 action is required.

The chassis-builder SAG states: “The main idea behind the SAG Lightweight K31 Rifle Chassis was to give the shooter …ergonomics of a Tube-gun but with lines of the classic rifle. The chassis ‘wraps’ the shooter around the rifle, moving bolt operation under the shooters cheek to allow the marksman to maintain cheek weld during the whole shooting series.” The chassis design also allows a more forward optics placement for better eye relief.

Sureshot Armament group SAG K31 modular tactical chassis

Sureshot Armament group SAG K31 modular tactical chassis

SAG Lightweight K31 Rifle Chassis Features:
CNC-Machined Aluminum with hard-anodized matte finish
Easy bolt-on installation to Swiss K31
Adjustable Cheek Piece (0-30mm)
Adjustable Buttpad to set LOP (11.5” – 14.5”)
KEYMOD Interface on fore-end and buttstock
Accepts any AR-type pistol grip
Overall chassis weight: 2 lbs. 13 oz. (1280 grams)
Chassis MSRP: €950 ($1163.00 USD)

Sureshot Armament group SAG K31 modular tactical chassis

About Switzerland’s Original Karabiner Model 1931 (K31)
The Karabiner Model 1931 (K31) is a magazine-fed, straight-pull bolt action rifle. It was the standard issue rifle of the Swiss armed forces from 1933 until 1958, though examples remained in service into the 1970s. It has a 6-round removable magazine, and is chambered for the 7.5×55mm Swiss Gewehrpatrone 1911 cartridge (aka GP 11).

Sureshot Armament group SAG K31 modular tactical chassis
Wiki Photo by Bouterolle, CC BY-SA 3.0

Although the K31 is a straight-pull carbine broadly based on previous Swiss “Schmidt–Rubin” service rifles and carbines, the K31 was not designed by Colonel Rudolf Schmidt (1832–1898) as he was not alive in 1931 to do so. Mechanical engineer Eduard Rubin (1846–1920) was the designer of the 7.5×55mm Swiss ammunition for which previous Swiss service rifles and the K31 are chambered. The Karabiner Model 1931 was a new design by the Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik in Bern, Switzerland under Colonel Adolf Furrer (1873–1958). The Karabiner Model 1931 replaced both the Model 1911 rifle and carbine and was gradually replaced by the Stgw 57 from 1958 onwards.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
March 28th, 2018

224 Valkyrie SAAMI “Blueprint” Now Available Online

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications spec

Plan to buy or build a 224 Valkyrie rifle this year? Well now you can get the official specifications for the new 224 Valkyrie cartridge and chamber. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), has released its official 224 Valkyrie “blueprint” which you can now download for your records. SAAMI approved the Federal Premium 224 Valkyrie as an official new cartridge this past January. The 224 Valkyrie’s SAAMI standards documents are now published and available to the industry as a whole, as well as to the public.

VIEW SAAMI 224 Valkyrie Cartridge Spec and Chamber Spec PDF

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications specSAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for cartridge and chamber designs, which are posted in the Specifications section of SAAMI’s website. All cartridge and chamber drawing documents are contained within the ANSI/SAAMI Standards and can be found on www.saami.org. The New SAAMI Cartridge Cartridge/Chamber Designs for 224 Valkyrie can be viewed here: http://www.saami.org/PDF/224-Valkyrie-Introduction.pdf.

About the 224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Federal Premium’s 224 Valkyrie is based on a 6.8 SPC case necked down to 22 caliber. The Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. The 224 Valkyrie offers flatter trajectories than other AR15 mag-friendly cartridges, including the 22 Nosler, .223 Rem, and 6.5 Grendel. With heavy projectiles, the 224 Valkyrie boasts impressive ballistics — it can stay supersonic past 1,300 yards. Plus it has roughly half the recoil of larger cartridges offering comparable ballistics, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor (see chart below).

.224 224 Valkyrie recoil ballistics 6.5 grendel creedmoor

SAAMI’s work creates standards for the cartridge, increasing safety, interchangeability, reliability, and quality for firearm manufacturers building rifles chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. Federal Premium Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink notes: “SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing [the 224 Valkyrie] within the industry”.

The Role of SAAMI in Creating Uniform Ammunition Standards
SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with creating and publishing industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality, as well as coordinating technical data. SAAMI’s Technical Committee, which consists of firearm and ammunition industry experts, reviewed the 224 Valkyrie submission over a period of about six months. The official cartridge name, maximum cartridge and minimum chamber dimensions, pressure limits, test equipment, and other characteristics are all considered and scrutinized during the process.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
March 11th, 2018

IWA Outdoor Classics — Highlights from “Euro SHOT Show”

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show
Here is a “birds-eye view” from IWA. Yes that’s a mini-blimp at lower left.

After SHOT Show in the USA, the IWA Outdoor Classics is the biggest gun/hunting/outdoor trade show in the world. The IWA event, held each spring in Nuremberg, Germany, concludes Monday, March 12 after a 4-day run in the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. This is a big event — 1562 exhibitors from around the globe are showcasing their products. IWA attendance, which has grown steadily, is expected to top 50,000 visitors this year.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Many beautiful custom hunting rifles are on display. Note the stunning wood and the elaborate metal-work on bolt and action. Don’t ask about the price…


CLICK HERE for 300+ More IWA Show Photos

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are a pair of Olympic-grade Steyr air pistols. Designed for one-handed shooting, these feature very ergonomic wood grips.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Toggle action biathlon rifles like this Anschutz captured medals at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Not the handy magazine storage on the fore-arm.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with displays of guns, optics, and hunting gear, the IWA show features workshop areas where skilled artisans practice their trades — you can see engraving, wood-carving, and other skills in action.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with match rifles and hunting rigs, there were some serious sniper rifles on display. Here a German lady gets behind a Steyr SSG M1, offered in 7.61×51 NATO and .338 Lapua Magnum.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Bling was the thing at some pistol booths. These colorful Strike One handguns are made by Arsenal Arms in Italy (more sedate colors are also offered). A Russian-Italian design collaboration, the Strike One uses a Bergmann barrel system which does not tilt (unlike the widely-used Browning system). This allows for an extremely low bore axis.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Multiple vendors had some beautifully-figured stock blanks on display. The most desirable Turkish Walnut blanks can cost thousands of dollars.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are some handsome Winchester Model 1866 (Yellowboy) rifles with highly-decorated receivers. This classic American design is now crafted in Italy by Uberti.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Major German rifle-makers Blaser, Mauser, and Sauer all had large, prominent displays at the IWA Show in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
March 10th, 2018

How to Make a Dummy Round — Greg Tannel Explains

Gre Tannel GreTan, Gre-Tan Rifles dummy round chambering gunsmith reamer chamber

How and Why to Create a Dummy Round
When you have a new custom rifle built, or a new barrel fitted to an existing rifle, it makes sense to create a dummy round. This should have your preferred brass and bullet types, with the bullet positioned at optimal seating depth. A proper dummy round helps the gunsmith set the freebore correctly for your cartridge, and also ensure the proper chamber dimensions.

Respected machinist, tool-maker, and gunsmith Greg Tannel of Gre-Tan Rifles explains: “I use the dummy round as a gauge to finish cut the neck diameter and throat length and diameter so you have [optimal] clearance on the loaded neck and the ogive of the bullet just touches the rifling.” He recommends setting bullet so the full diameter is just forward of the case’s neck-shoulder junction. “From there”, Greg says, “I can build you the chamber you want… with all the proper clearances”.

Greg Tannel has created a very helpful video showing how to create a dummy round. Greg explains how to measure and assemble the dummy and how it will be used during the barrel chambering process. Greg notes — the dummy round should have NO Primer and No powder. We strongly recommend that every rifle shooter watch this video. Even if you won’t need a new barrel any time soon, you can learn important things about freebore, leade and chamber geometry.

This has been a very popular video, with 244,000 views. Here are actual YouTube comments:

That is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. Thank you sir. — P. Pablo

Nice video. You do a very good job of making this easy for new reloaders to understand. I sure wish things like this were available when I started reloading and having custom rifles built. Once again, great job, and your work speaks for itself. — Brandon K.

Beautiful job explaining chambering clearances. — D. Giorgi

Another Cool Tool — The Stub Gauge

When you have your gunsmith chamber your barrel, you can also have him create a Stub Gauge, i.e. a cast-off barrel section chambered like your actual barrel. The stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Stub Gauge Gunsmithing chamber gage model barrel

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 8th, 2018

How NOT to Headspace a Barrel — Speedy’s Disturbing Discovery

Locktite Red barrel shoulder headspace Thomas Speedy Gonzales
This barrel’s shoulder was 0.025″ off the action because Red Locktite had been used on the threads.

Gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzales offered this interesting report about how NOT to headspace a barrel. Hopefully you never discover something like this…

“A good friend and customer sent this rig in for repair after FedEx damaged the rifle during inbound transport from another smith. After repairing the stock and rebedding it, I decided to re-polish the barrel to make the repair perfect. Well this just added insult to injury as the barrel did not want to come off. After a few choice words, the barrel finally broke free only to reveal something very disturbing. It seems the barrel had been ‘headspaced’ by using RED Loctite to hold it in place.” [Editor: That’s definitely NOT how barrels should be fitted.]

Speedy was not happy: “I hope the smith that did this sees the photos and realized what jeopardy he put my customer in or anyone who shot the rifle for that matter. When cleaned up, the shoulder on the barrel was over 0.0250″ (25 thousandths) away from the face of the receiver.” [Editor: That’s a lot in this business]. Check out the images below to see how much the barrel rotated further inward when cleaned up. The barrel spun in nearly another eighth-turn or more. Not good.

Locktite Red barrel shoulder headspace Thomas Speedy Gonzales

Locktite Red barrel shoulder headspace Thomas Speedy Gonzales

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 11 Comments »
March 4th, 2018

Valkyrie Velocity: Barrel Cut-Down Test with 60, 75, 90 grainers

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMKVelocity vs. barrel length — How much speed will I sacrifice with a shorter barrel? Hunters and competition shooters often ask that. Today we DO have solid answers to that question for many cartridge types thanks to Rifleshooter.com.

Rifleshooter.com has conducted a series of barrel cut-down tests for many popular chamberings: .223 Rem, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum and more. And recently Rifleshooter.com added the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge to the list, cutting a 28″ Shilen barrel down to 16.5″ in one-inch increments. Rifleshooter.com measured the .224 Valkyrie’s velocities at each barrel length with four different types of factory ammo.

For its .224 Valkyrie test, RifleShooter.com sourced a Shilen Match Barrel and fitted it to a Rem 700 short action employing a one-piece PT&G bolt with the required .440″ (SPC-sized) bolt-face. The barreled action rides in a MDT LSS-XL Gen 2 Chassis.

READ .224 Valkyrie Barrel Cut-Down Test on Rifleshooter.com »

Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s Editor, explained his test procedure:

“I gathered four different types of factory Federal 224 Valkyrie ammunition, the 90gr Sierra MatchKing (SMK), 90gr Fusion soft point (SP) (referred to a Fusion MSR), 75gr Total Metal Jacket (TMJ) and 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint (NBT). After a brief barrel break in and zero, I fired 5 rounds of each cartridge at each barrel length (except the 75 TMJ, I fired 4 rounds at each barrel length due to limited resources). I recorded the average muzzle velocity and standard deviation for each ammunition and barrel length combination and cut the barrel back 1 inch and repeated the process. I recorded barrel lengths from 28″ to 16.5″ (I try to save these barrels as finished 16″ tubes so they don’t go to waste).”

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The Heavy Bullet 90gr Ammo Lost about 21 FPS per Inch
How did the test turn out? You’ll find all the results summarized in helpful tables with inch-by-inch velocity and SD numbers. For the two, 90gr ammo samples, results were similar. The 90gr SMK ammo started at 2782 fps (28″), finishing at 2541 fps (16.5″). That’s a loss of 241 fps, or 20.96 fps average per inch of length. The ammo loaded with 90gr Fusion SPs started at 2797 fps (28″) and ended at 2561 fps (16.5″), a drop of 236 fps. That’s 20.5 fps loss per inch. NOTE: Ambient temperature during the test was 45° F. You could expect the overall velocities to be a bit higher during hotter summer months.

See 90gr SMK Velocity/Length Test Chart | See 90gr Fusion SP Velocity/Length Test Chart

.224 Valkyrie Velocity Cut-Down Test

With a the smaller bullets, the effect was even more dramatic. As you’d expect they started out faster. The ammo with 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tips (NBT), a good choice for varminters, started at 3395 fps (28″), and declined to 3065 fps (16.5), a total velocity drop of 330 fps. Average velocity loss was 28.7 fps per inch of barrel length. Rifleshooter.com also tested Federal 75gr TMJ ammo.

About the .224 Valkyrie Cartridge

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The new .224 Valkyrie was introduced late last year as a Hot Rod cartridge that will work in AR15s. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels:

.224 Valkyrie Federal Rifleshooter.com cut-down barrel

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington
The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

Image from Social Regressive .224 Valkyrie Youtube Video.

The new .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags.

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February 25th, 2018

The Cut-Rifling Process — A Short History and Demonstration

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

You’ve probably heard of cut-rifling, but did you know this process was invented in Germany nearly 500 years ago? Read on to learn more about how a cut-rifled barrel is made…

The cut-rifling process, used by leading barrel-makers such as Bartlein, Border, Brux, Krieger, and Obermeyer, can yield a very high-quality barrel with a long useful life. Cut-rifled barrels have been at the top in short- and long-range benchrest competition in recent years, and cut-rifled barrels have long been popular with F-Class and High Power shooters.

You may be surprised to learn that cut-rifling is probably the oldest method of rifling a barrel. Invented in Nuremberg around 1520, the cut-rifling technique creates spiral grooves in the barrel by removing steel using some form of cutter. In its traditional form, cut rifling may be described as a single-point cutting system using a “hook” cutter. The cutter rests in the cutter box, a hardened steel cylinder made so it will just fit the reamed barrel blank and which also contains the cutter raising mechanism.

Above is a computer animation of an older style, sine-bar cut-rifling machine. Some machine features have been simplified for the purposes of illustration, but the basic operation is correctly shown. No, the cut-rifling machines at Krieger don’t use a hand-crank, but the mechanical process shown in this video is very similar to the way cut-rifling is done with more modern machines.

Kolbe Border Barrels Firearms ID

Read About Cut-Rifling Process at Border-Barrels.com
To learn more about the barrel-making process, and cut-rifling in particular, visit FirearmsID.com. There you’ll find a “must-read” article by Dr. Geoffrey Kolbe: The Making of a Rifled Barrel. This article describes in detail how barrels are crafted, using both cut-rifling and button-rifling methods. Kolbe (past owner of Border Barrels) covers all the important processes: steel selection, hole drilling, hole reaming, and rifling (by various means). You’ll find a very extensive discussion of how rifling machines work. Here’s a short sample:

“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. About two thousand were built to satisfy the new demand for rifle barrels, but many were broken up after the war or sold to emerging third world countries building up their own arms industry.

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

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.

The techniques of cut rifling have not stood still since the end of the war though. Largely due to the efforts of Boots Obermeyer the design, manufacture and maintenance of the hook cutter and the cutter box have been refined and developed so that barrels of superb accuracy have come from his shop. Cut rifled barrel makers like John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Mark Chanlyn (Rocky Mountain Rifle Works) and Cliff Labounty (Labounty Precision Reboring)… learned much of their art from Boots Obermeyer, as did I.” — Geoffrey Kolbe

Video find by Boyd Allen. Archive photos from Border-Barrels.com. In June 2013, Birmingham Gunmakers Ltd. acquired Border Barrels. Dr. Geoffrey Kolbe has set up a new company called BBT Ltd. which produces chamber reamers and other gunsmithing tools and gauges. (Thanks to L. Holland for the Kolbe update).
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
February 16th, 2018

A Slice of (Barrel) Life — Inside Look at Barrel Erosion

So what does a “worn-out” barrel really look like? Tom Myers answered that question when he removed a 6.5-284 barrel and cut it down the middle to reveal throat wear. As you can see, there is a gap of about 5mm before the lands begin and you can see how the lands have thinned at the ends. (Note: even in a new barrel, there would be a section of freebore, so not all the 5mm gap represents wear.) There is actually just about 2mm of lands worn away. Tom notes: “Since I started out, I’ve chased the lands, moving out the seating depth .086″ (2.18 mm). I always seat to touch. My final touch dimension was 2.440″ with a Stoney Point .26 cal collet.”

Except for the 2mm of wear, the rifling otherwise looks decent, suggesting that setting back and rechambering this barrel could extend its useful life. Tom reports: “This was something I just thought I’d share if anyone was interested. I recently had to re-barrel my favorite prone rifle after its scores at 1,000 started to slip. I only ever shot Sierra 142gr MatchKings with VV N165 out of this barrel. It is a Hart and of course is button-rifled. I documented every round through the gun and got 2,300 over four years. Since I have the facilities, I used wire EDM (Electro Discharge Machining) to section the shot-out barrel in half. It was in amazingly good shape upon close inspection.”

Tom could have had this barrel set back, but he observed, “Lately I have had to increase powder charge to maintain 2,950 fps muzzle velocity. So to set it back would have only increased that problem. [And] I had a brand new 30″ Krieger all ready to screw on. I figured it was unlikely I’d get another full season on the old barrel, so I took it off.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
February 8th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Cut-Down Test — Velocity Per Inch Revealed

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

Rifleshooter.com does some great original research — providing “hard data” you can’t find anywhere else. Here are the eye-opening results of Rifleshooter.com’s 6.5 Creedmoor barrel cut-down test. You may be surprised at the results. Read on…

What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at Rifleshooter.com recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

» CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from Brownells.com.

Test Procedure
Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

» Read Full Story with All Test Results at Rifleshooter.com

The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns.

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many good powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.” Now that Lapua offers 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, the 6.5 Creedmoor is even more attractive.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
February 6th, 2018

Weakside Bolt Placement — The Competitive Advantages

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion, the reigning King of 2 Miles, and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Current King of 2 Miles (and F-TR World Champion) Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
February 4th, 2018

Forum Faves — Pride and Joy Rifles for February

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open KW Precision wood stock
Here is beautiful F-Open rig crafted by Forum member CigarCop of KW Precision LLC. It features a laminated wood stock with stunning figured walnut on the outside.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

New 600/1000 Benchrest Light Gun for Richard Schatz in 6 BRA

Alex Wheeler Pride Joy Richard Schatz Benchrest IBS

This blue benchrest rig was crafted by Alex Wheeler for ace benchrest competitor Richard Schatz, a past 600-yard IBS Shooter of the Year. Richard’s new 600/1000-yard Light Gun features a Krieger barrel chambered in 6 BRA (40° Ackley version of 6mmBR Norma). That Krieger is mated to a 1.550″ BAT B action, ignition-timed for smooth bolt close and increased accuracy. The trigger is the sophisticated Bix’n Andy. Schatz’s BAT is glued and screwed into a Wheeler LRB stock, with aluminum rails and adjustable metal “tracking rudder” on the toe of the stock. The rudder can be adjusted side to side to ensure optimal tracking, while the rudder’s vertical angle can be adjusted slightly with shims.

Hand-Crafted Thumbhole-Stocked Rifle Chambered in 6 PPC

Grimstod 6mm 6 PPC thumbhole wood stock Kelbly Panda

Forum Member Grimstod offered this handsome 6 PCC custom with a beautiful, hand-made thumbhole stock: “This was fully accurized with Premier Accuracy recoil lug installed. Really makes these shoot a lot better. It features a Kelbly Panda action with Hart barrel and glass bedding. Trigger fall was perfect to start and we have to give Ian Kelbly big thumbs up for making every action perfectly timed.” On top is a March competition scope. See more photos at www.premieraccuracy.com.

A Wicked Accurate Big Dawg in 28 Nosler

28 Nosler Benchrest Big Dawg

This 28 Nosler Benchrest rifle looks good and shoots even better — check out that 20-shot target shot at 200 yards! You can’t argue with that…

Alex Wheeler Pride Joy Richard Schatz Benchrest IBS

Belonging to Forum member LA50Shooter, this rig is chambered in 28 Nosler, with metal work by Gre-Tan Rifles. The action is a BAT Model “L” 1.650 Octagon with a 30 MOA scope rail, running a Jewell BR Trigger. The stock, from D&B Supply, is a Shehane Big Dawg Tracker with 5″ fore-end. Color scheme is “Field & Stream” Rutland laminate. This big rig boasts FOUR 34″ Benchmark barrels (1.5″ for seven inches tapering to 1.225″ at muzzle).

A Pair of Score Benchrest Beauties

benchrest for score 30 BR Kriger Nightforce March

Forum member JimPag showcased two new Benchrest-for-Score rifles. The rig on the left, smithed by Dwight Scott, features a Farley Black Widow RBLPRE (with Bix’n Andy trigger). It features Pistachio and Carbon Terry Leonard stock glued and screwed by Sid Goodling. The barrel is a Krieger 23.5″ chambered in 30BR with a Mike Ezell tuner. It’s topped with a Goodling-built 1-piece Davidson base and a Nightforce 42X Comp scope. The rifle on the right, smithed by Sid Goodling, features a Marsh Saguaro RBLPRE Action with Bix’n Andy trigger, and March 36-55X scope. This rifle boasts a rare Screwbean Mesquite and carbon stock by Terry Leonard. The 23″ Lilja bbl is chambered in 30 Thrasher with a Goodling tuner. (30 Thrasher is longer 30 BR case developed by Joe Entrekin). Jim also has two other barrels for this action in 30 BR and 6 BRAI. On top is a Sid Goodling-built one-piece Davidson base with a March 36-55X scope.

Rem 700 in Manners Stock — .284 Winchester for Hunting

Remington 700 Tom Manners STOCK U.S. Optics hunting rifle .284 Win Winchester

Here’s a Rem 700 enhanced with a Manners Elite TA stock and other upgrades. Forum Member NickB1075 says: “Here is a rifle I finished for hunting this year. It’s a bit heavy for New York woods carry but it just shoots great. Maybe I will have to get one of those fancy Proof Research barrels to lighten it up a bit.” Nick is running a Benchmark 1:8.5″-twist barrel chambered in .284 Win with 0.315 neck for shooting 150gr Barnes bullets. Nick added a Jewell trigger and on top is a U.S. Optics B10 Scope.

When Only the Biggest and Boldest Will Do — .50 BMG

.50 Fifty BMG Barnard Action Ordnance barrel muzzle brake

No “Pride and Joy” feature would be complete without a Big Boomer. This impressive .50 BMG, “61 inches of big bore goodness”, weighs a whopping 49 pounds (95 lbs. complete with case and accessories). This rifle’s proud owner, forum member 6MT, says everything on this black beast is jumbo-sized: “Yes, I can stick my finger clear through the ports in the muzzle brake!” The rifle boasts a U.S. Ordnance 31″ heavy-contour barrel fitted to Barnard GP action. The stock is a “Big Mac” from McMillan. No optics yet — 6MT says he is “looking at an ATACR 7-35x56mm with a Spuhr mount… As soon as my wallet recovers!”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 29th, 2018

Carbon Fiber for the Latest Generation of Rifles and Barrels

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

Gun-makers and barrel builders have adopted aerospace technology, using carbon fiber in their stocks and composite barrels. At SHOT Show 2018, we saw carbon applications on dozens of rifle brands. Some rifles sported full carbon stocks AND carbon-wrapped barrels. Others sported a carbon stock with steel barrel, or a carbon-wrapped barrel in a conventional stock. Carbon is definitely here to stay. This advanced material allows rifles to be lighter yet stronger. The advantages for the hunter in the field are real — a carbon-wrapped barrel can save quite a few pounds. Here are some of the most notable carbon applications we saw at SHOT Show.

Sako 85 Carbon Wolf

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

Possibly the best-looking carbon-stocked rifle at SHOT Show was the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf, featured in our Top Photo. New for 2018, this rifle features a full carbon composite stock, with the signature carbon fiber weave visible throughout. We found this new-for-2018 rig very ergonomic and nice to handle. The advanced-design RTW carbon fiber stock offers quick, push-button adjustments for comb height and LOP. Though not carbon-wrapped, the conventional 24″ blued steel barrel is fluted, reducing the overall weight of the rifle. Without optics, this rifle weighs well under 8 pounds. We were impressed by the Carbon Wolf, but choked on the steep $3600.00 MSRP. Street price will be lower — EuroOptic.com is listing a $3148.00 price for the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf.

The Firearm Blog says: “The stock features Soft Touch coating. Is is not at all slippery or loud like some carbon stocks can be. The barrels are factory threaded as well. Both the weight and the balance of the Carbon Wolf rifle felt perfect. I may have to add one to my Finnish rifle collection.” This is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, 7mm Mag, and .300 Win Mag.

Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

Nosler recently introduced the M48 Long-Range Carbon rifle with the addition of a PROOF Research, carbon fiber-wrapped, match-grade barrel that significantly reduces the overall weight of the rifle. The carbon-wrapped Proof barrel is mated to a trued M48 receiver and bedded in a Manners MCS-T carbon fiber-strengthened stock. Nosler says: “The Model 48 Long-Range Carbon is an excellent choice for mountain hunting, backcountry excursions and long range competition where weight is a concern.” Initially, this rifle will be offered for 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, .300 Win Mag, and 33 Nosler.

Christensen Arms TFM — Carbon Galore for 7.3-lb Rifle

Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle
Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

As you can see there’s a whole lot of carbon fiber in the Christensen Arms TFM rifle. With a carbon-wrapped barrel and full carbon-fiber stock, this handsome rig weighs just 7.3 pounds (short action) or 7.8 pounds (long action). The carbon-wrapped stainless barrel and fully-adjustable Aerograde carbon-fiber stock are mated to a precision-machined action via integrated carbon fiber pillars. In addition, the TFM includes an integrated, 20-MOA optics rail, detachable magazine, and a titanium side-port brake. Impressively, Christensen Arms guarantees 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy.

Manners Full-Carbon F-Class Stock

Manners F-Class Stock
Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

For many years now, Manners Composite Stocks has offered an ultra-stiff, Low-Profile ‘Fish Belly’ F-Class Stock. The shell is 100% carbon fiber with a very long, stiff fore-end. From the back of the action to the tip of the fore-end the stock measures 27″ long which is around 7 1/2″ longer than the Manners T4 stock. The idea is to provide a longer wheelbase to better balance the long, 30-32″ barrels favored by many F-Class competitors. The front half of the fore-end is very thin (from top to bottom) to achieve a low profile on the bags. Much thought has gone into controlling fore-end flex. The stock achieves greater vertical rigidity (less deflection under load) through an innovative “fish belly” design. The rounded undersection, like a canoe hull, strengthens the fore-end considerably.

Weatherby Mark V with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby Proof Research Carbon Barrel
Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby now offers rifles with Proof Research carbon fiber-wrapped barrels. The aerospace-grade carbon fiber in the Mark V Carbon barrel makes the barrel up to 64% lighter than traditional steel barrels of the same contour. Weatherby claims the carbon-fiber technology improves heat dissipation — so the barrel does not heat up as quickly with extended strings of fire. The 26” #4 contour carbon-wrapped barrel has a cut-rifled, hand-lapped 416R grade stainless steel core with a flush thread cap and 5/8-24 muzzle threads. It’s finished in tactical grey Cerakote. The Mark V Carbon carries Weatherby’s SUB-MOA (at 100 yards) accuracy guarantee when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

Carbon Edge from Fierce Firearms

Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Fierce Firearms also offers a long-range hunting rig with a carbon-wrapped barrel. This is an extremely light rig. Without scope or optional muzzle brake, the short-action version weighs just 6.4 pounds. It is available in Black/gray, Green/black and a variety of Camo finishes including Kryptec Highlander and Typhon patterns. All this lightweight tech doesn’t come cheap. The Carbon Edge retails for $3250.00 and a left-hand version is $250.00 more. Fierce does offer a 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy guarantee, which is something.

How Good Are Proof Research Barrels? — Commentary by Mike Davis

Over the past 15 years Davis Custom Rifle has installed barrels from most major barrel manufacturers. We are very fortunate to have such quality barrel makers. I think Proof Research falls into that top-of-the-line category. Proof Research carbon-wrapped steel barrels are super light-weight, yet offer rigidity and superb accuracy. I have used them for 22-250, 6mm/6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win builds and multiple long range hunting rifles in .280, .280 AI, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, 28 Nosler, and 30 Nosler. These builds with Proof Research barrels typically deliver quarter-MOA accuracy or better.

Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

The Proof Research technology allows us to build lighter rifles with outstanding accuracy, easy cleaning, and the ability to shoot long strings without point of impact shift. It’s not hard to understand why hunting rifles with these capabilities are in high demand. Combined with other light-weight components (such as Titanium actions), it’s not difficult to get these rifles down to 6.25 to 7 pounds total weight before optics.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 28th, 2018

Stunning New F-TR Rifle for James Crofts

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

A past F-TR National Champion, James “Jimmy” Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class competitors. And now this F-TR ace has a stunning new rifle in his arsenal. AccurateShooter Forum member CigarCop, head honcho of KW Precision LLC, recently completed a new F-TR rig for Crofts. This handsome, state-of-the-art rifle features top-tier components: Borden action, twin Brux barrels, Cerus RifleWorks F-TR Stock, and Jewell trigger, all resting on a wide-base Phoenix Bipod.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

James Jim Crofts f-class f-tr rifle brux borden cerus
James Crofts photo by Kent Reeve.

Have a good look at these photos below. Yes, envy is the appropriate reaction. With the smooth operation of the Borden action and the predictable accuracy of Brux barrels, we bet James’s new rig will shoot as good as it looks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

CigarCop actually chambered two barrels for James, with different fluting patterns — conventional linear flutes for one tube, and lines of staggered ovals for the other. Finished length for both barrels is 30″. Yes it looks cool, but the fluting was done mainly to save weight with the 30″-long lengths. CigarCop tells us the complete rifle, without scope and rings, weighs just under 15 pounds. Max allowed weight for an F-TR rifle, with scope, is 18.18 pounds (8.25 kg).

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

To learn more about this impressive F-TR rifle build by CigarCop, visit our AccurateShooter Forum and read KW Precision’s F-TR Gun-Building Thread. The stock was created on an automated CNC milling machine by Cerus Rifleworks.

James Crofts CigarCop KW Precision Cerus Walnut Laminated Stock Borden Brux fluted fluting Phoenix bipod

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 5 Comments »
January 27th, 2018

Weatherby to Wyoming — California Loses Another Business

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby Inc., a major name in the rifle business, is abandoning California, leaving the Golden State for friendlier climes in Wyoming. Based in Paso Robles, CA for many decades, Weatherby announced last week that it will relocate its production facilities and headquarters to Sheridan, Wyoming. The respected rifle manufacturer, founded in 1945, was welcomed by Wyoming state officials. In fact Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was present for Weatherby’s announcement, made at Shot Show 2018. By contrast, California’s state leaders, given their anti-gun bias, are no doubt happy to see Weatherby leave. The Democratic Party now controls both houses of California’s State Legislature, as well as the Governor’s office. Weatherby’s departure is just the latest exodus of a major firearms industry company from California. In the past year, Berger Bullets, now part of Capstone Precision Group, relocated from Southern California to Arizona.

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

“We wanted a place where we could retain a great workforce, and where our employees could live an outdoor lifestyle”, said Adam Weatherby, Chief Executive Officer. “We wanted to move to a state where we can grow into our brand. Wyoming means new opportunities. We are not interested in [just] maintaining — we are growing.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby Leaves Hostile Political Environment
Is Weatherby’s Wyoming move all about dollars and cents? Not entirely. California has become increasingly hostile to firearms manufacturers. TheFireamRack.com’s Dan Zimmerman observes: “[Weatherby] wanted to do business in a state that isn’t at war with the very products they make. A state that respects the Second Amendment and won’t try to claw back every single cent it can wring out of businesses located there. So Weatherby made the entirely rational choice to take their company to a place that values what they do.”

The Wyoming Business Council heralded Weatherby’s relocation: “The move is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million annually in payroll in the next five years.” Recognizing the benefits to Wyoming, Governor Matt Mead and the Business Council began recruiting Weatherby a year ago. Governor Mead declared: “Wyoming is a great place to do business and is excited to welcome Weatherby to Sheridan. For over 70 years, Weatherby has been an innovator in firearms design and manufacturing. The company will add to our manufacturing base and fit well with our diversification objectives.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby will locate its new production facility in Sheridan, Wyoming. Sheridan is a beautiful location in Northern Wyoming, a verdant plain with mountains to the West. Sheridan has just under 18,000 residents. But there will be another 100 or so soon. Local County10 News reports: “Sources shared with County 10 that Weatherby, located in California since the mid 1940s, has been considering locating in a state with a more favorable pro-firearms industry culture and citing a frustration with California’s tax structure.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Top Five Reasons Firearms Businesses Leave California

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY1. High California Taxes. California’s Corporate Tax Rate is 8.84% — among the highest in the nation. Wyoming, by contrast, has ZERO state corporate taxes. California Sales Tax starts at 8% while Wyoming Sales Tax ranges from 4-6%. California was ranked 48th overall (third worst) in Tax Climate by the Tax Foundation. Wyoming was rated Number One Overall (best). This ranking considers corporate tax, personal income tax, sales tax, and property tax.

2. High Cost of Living in California (all factors). It is expensive to live in California. One Cost-of-Living index rated Paso Robles, CA 144.5 compared to 101.8 for Sheridan, Wyoming (higher is worse). Another Cost of Living Calculator states that, including housing, Paso Robles, CA is 41.9% more expensive than Sheridan, WY. Ironically, howevever, median income in the two cities is not that different: $28,358.00 for Paso Robles (CA) vs. $26,491.00 for Sheridan (WY). Money definitely goes farther in Wyoming. In terms of buying power, one study suggests a $35,535/year salary in Sheridan, WY equates to a $50,000/year salary in Paso Robles, CA.

3. Bad Roads and Infrastructure in California. Among all states, California has the fourth worst roads in the country with 50% of roads in “poor condition”. In fact, the Los Angeles Regional area road system has been deemed the worst in the nation according to a Federal Highway Administration Report. By contrast, Wyoming’s highway system was ranked number one, best in the USA, in the 21st Annual Reason.org Highway Report. And this was despite the fact that state gas taxes per gallon are much less in Wyoming than in California*. California’s roads and infrastructure are only going to get worse as the population grows.

4. Anti-Business California State Government. California is now a one-party state, with the Democratic Party controlling the State Senate, State Assembly, AND the Governor’s office. This has created an anti-business governmental culture, with a left-leaning bias. California also has many more business regulations, and more restrictive gun and ammo laws. The situation is unlikely to change because there is undeniable evidence of massive voter fraud in California which favors Democratic candidates. For example, in Los Angeles County “the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age”, according to Judicial Watch. 10 other California counties have significantly more registered voters than voting-age citizens. (SOURCE: Judicial Watch Report.)

5. Out-of-Control California Housing Costs. Coastal counties in California have some of the highest average home prices in the country. The median home price in Paso Robles, CA is $486,100. By contrast, the median home price in Sheridan, WY is $217,100 — well under HALF the California price! And rental housing is cheaper in Wyoming too. Median Rent in Paso Robles, CA is $2150.00 per month, while Median Rent in Sheridan, WY is $1250.00 per month.


* All five of the top-ranked states for highway system performance (Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, South Carolina and Kansas) have state gasoline taxes at or below the national average. Source:
Los Angeles Times.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 7 Comments »