November 18th, 2014
Tubegun Guru Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine will be offering a new finish option on his Eliseo chassis kits. Remarkably, this will be a true “custom camo” option, with hand-applied graphics. No two rifles will be exactly alike. Gary tells us: “My Daughter Tamira has joined us at the new shop in Arizona. She’s a gifted artist and has been doing great work on our custom paint jobs. I challenged her to come up with something original. She thought we could do something a little more unique than the cut stencil technique normally used with our Cerakote camo finishes. Needless to say, I was impressed with the outcome. We call her handiwork ‘Tamifleck’.” This combines a unique look with the rock hard durability of Cerakote. Each chassis finished with this special “Tamifleck” camo finish is truly one-of-a-kind.
“Tamifleck” camo is Competition Machine’s newest Cerakote finishing technique for its rifles and chassis kits. Each “Tamifleck” chassis is hand-painted by Tamira Eliseo.
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November 16th, 2014
Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “Ridgeway”) has created a handsome duo of 6mm Dashers for competitive benchrest and varmint matches in Pennsylvania. Both guns are built on Kelbly Panda RBLP actions, with Bartlein 8-twist barrels, and Shehane Laminated Tracker Stocks. However, the two rifles are not exact twins, as you can see. One, which we’ll call the Big Dasher, is built on a Shehane ST1000 Tracker stock. The other gun, the Small Dasher, sports Shehane’s “Baby Tracker” stock — a design used with great success by Richard Schatz. The Big Dasher, optimized for 1000-yard competition, also has a slightly longer freebore — 0.136″ vs. 0.104″ for the Small Dasher.
Chuck tells us: “I don’t get out shooting competition as much as I want due to time and family, but when I do compete, I shoot a Groundhog match at Southfork Rifle Club in Beaverdale, PA. Info on Southfork Club events can be found at Southforkrifleclub.com. The Southfork match is basically a 100-, 300- and 500-yard match with one sighter the entire match and 5 shots at each yardage for score. The Small Dasher, with the shorter ‘Baby Tracker’ stock, was set up for the Southfork Rifle Club’s ‘Light Unlimited’ class which has a 13.5-lb max weight.” (Editor: ‘unlimited’ is a misnomer for a weight-limited category.)
Chuck adds: “The Big Dasher with the heavy ST-1000 stock is set up for 1000-yard benchrest matches in Light Gun class. I hope to shoot a couple 1K matches with it at Reade Range in southwest Pennsylvania. I am still in load development for this rifle since it was just finished in January. One ironic thing is, it shoots the same load I’m shooting out of the lighter gun rather well. The only difference between the two chambers is the freebore is roughly thirty thousandths longer on the 1K gun (Large Dasher). I will also shoot this at Southfork in the ‘Heavy Unlimited’ class.”
|Specifications for the Dasher Duo:
Small Dasher (13.5-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with approximately .104 freebore and a .264 NK. (No way of knowing exactly since it freebore was done in a separate operation by Kelbly.) Components are: Shehane Baby Tracker stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ LV barrel at 26 ¾”, Kelbly Rings, Weaver T36, Jewell trigger. The barrel was chambered by Kelblys and the stock was bedded, glued and balanced by a shooting buddy (Forum Member johara1). I clear-coated the stock with auto urethane. Total weight is 13 lbs., 4 ounces.
Big Dasher (1K Light Gun, 17-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with a .136 freebore and .264 neck (PTG Reamer). Components are: Shehane ST-1000 stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ HV 5R barrel at 28″, Shehane +20-MOA rings, Nightforce NXS 12-42x56mm, Jewell trigger. The barrel work, pillar installation, and bedding was done by Dave Bruno. The stock was clear-coated by Chuck with auto urethane. Chuck also made the rear butt plate and balanced the rifle. Total weight: 16 lbs., 13 ounces.
Dasher Case-Forming: Neck-Turn then Fire-form with Bullets Hard in Lands
To fireform, I turn my cases down to fit the chamber and stop where the false shoulder makes snug contact with the chamber. Fire-forming rounds are loaded up with a 29-grain charge of H4895 or Varget and a 108gr Berger bullet seated hard into the lands about 0.020″ past initial contact with the rifling. It takes about three firings to make a nice clean Dasher case with a sharp shoulder. I anneal about every 3-4 firings. I have many cases that have about 10+ firings on them and they are still shooting well. The primer pockets are a little looser, but still hold a primer.
Both Dashers Group in the Ones at 100 Yards
My main bullet for both rifles is the 107gr Sierra MK, loaded with Reloder 15 powder, Lapua cases and CCI 450 primers. My main load for the Small Dasher is 33.0 grains of Reloder 15. This load shoots in the ones at 100 yards. For the Big Dasher, I’m still working on a load, although the same 33.0 grain load shoots in the ones in the heavier gun as well. I’m still looking for more velocity and my ‘max’ node. So far, I’ve gone well above 33.0 grains of RL 15 without pressure signs, but that load produces vertical at 100 yards, so I’m going to tinker with the load until I see pressure or it starts to shoot.
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November 13th, 2014
Avid Design sells a unique multi-tool designed expressly for rifles and shotguns. The $24.99 Gun Tool combines 18 of the most commonly used long gun tools in a compact package. The Gun Tool boasts three Torx wrenches (T20; T15; T10), two Allen hex drives (3/32″; 5/32″), and four screwdriver blades (1/8″ flat; 3/16″ flat; Phillips 1 & 2). In addition, there is a magnetic 3/16″ driver, a pin punch, and a stainless claw blade useful for opening shipping boxes or trimming target backers.
The most unique feature of the Gun Tool is a stepped, multi-size choke-tube wrench that fits six shotgun bores from .410 all the way up to 10 gauge (see photo below right). For active shotgunners, that provides great versatility in a small package.
Praise from Respected Reviewers
In 2012, the NRA’s American Hunter magazine awarded The Gun Tool their Golden Bullseye award in the “Gear of the Year” category. The Gun Tool has also been awarded an outstanding 100% approval rating and a full endorsement by the North American Hunting Club.
Noted gun journalist Jim Shepard wrote: “I’ve been playing with ‘The Gun Tool’… and I’ve found it to be a pretty promising device that really should find a place in lots of range bags. If you’re a long gun shooter, it has something you’ll eventually need in the way of a tightening/loosening/adjusting tool.” Jim cautions that the claw blade does not lock into place.
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November 13th, 2014
Winter storms are raging in many areas of the country right now, and we know that many of our readers are holed up inside. To help delay the onset of “cabin fever”, we’re offering some nice outdoor photos from Forum member Paul Fakenbridge (aka “Boltfluter”) up in Idaho.
One of Fakenbridge’s favorite rifles is a suppressed 22BR varminter with a 22″ barrel. All-up weight is 12 lbs. including bipod and suppressor. He uses this compact rifle on varmint excursions up in Idaho. Paul’s 22BR features a Rem short action in an H&S Precision PSS stock. The scope is a Leupold 12x40mm FX-3 (fixed power) in Warne Q/R rings. Paul notes: “In my .22BR the 75gr A-Maxes travel right at 3000 fps (with a 22″ barrel). My ‘go-to’ powder is IMR 8208 XBR with CCI 450 primers.” For those considering a build with a similar cartridge, Paul adds: “I think you will be pleasantly surprised.”
When he’s not hunting varmints, Boltfluter operates Pro-Precision Rifles, LLC which offers bolt fluting, bolt finishing, and barrel fluting (including AR15 barrels). Boltfluter also sells and installs bolt knobs and muzzle brakes. Shown below are two helical-fluted bolts with custom-machined bolt knobs. Very nice work by one of our Forum members…
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November 12th, 2014
Looking to shoot an AR-platform rifle out past 500 yards? Then you should read two recent articles by AR guru Glen Zediker. Author of The New Competitive AR-15 and The Competitive AR15 Builders Guide, Zediker is an expert when it comes to AR-platform rifles — he knows as much as any guy around. Glen believes ARs have excellent long-range capability, provided they are built to high standards, with good barrels. Glen says: “a properly configured AR-15 is easily capable of good performance at 500+ yards. Good performance means it can hit a 1-foot-square target all the time. Competitive shooters can cut that standard in nearly half (the X-Ring on an MR1 600-yard NRA High Power Rifle target is 6 inches, and high X-counts are commonplace among more skilled shooters).”
Published in the Cheaper than Dirt Shooter’s Log, Zediker’s pair of articles cover the history and upgrading of the AR-15. Part One reviews the AR’s development as an accurate firearm, tracing its evolution from a Vietnam-era combat weapon to what is now a favored target rifle of High Power competitors. READ PART ONE.
Part Two discusses the specifics that make an AR accurate at 500 yards and beyond. Zediker talks about barrel configuration (profile and twist rate), bullet selection, floating handguards, and proper mounting of optics or iron sights. READ PART TWO.
Here are some highlights from Long-Range AR-15 Part TWO:
Barrel Twist Rate
To stabilize anything longer than a 68- or 69-grain bullet, the barrel twist rate must be — at minimum– 1-in-8. Twist rates reflect how far the bullet travels along the lands or rifling to make one complete revolution. So, 1-in-8 (or 1-8, 1:8) means “one turn in eight inches.” I think it’s better to go a little faster in twist. There is nothing wrong with a 1:7 twist. The 90-grain bullets require a 1:6.5, and that is getting on the quick side. If you want to shoot Sierra 77s or equivalent, and certainly anything longer, 1:8 is necessary. By the way, it is bullet length, not weight, which constitutes the necessary twist rate to launch a stable bullet.
Correct optical sight positioning can be a challenge. With a flattop upper, I need a good inch additional forward extension at the muzzle side of the upper for the sight mount bases to avoid holding my head “back” to get the optimal view through the scope. A longer rail piece is necessary for my builds as a result.
Buttstock Length and Adjustment
An adjustable buttstock is valuable, and even more valuable if it’s well-designed. Mostly, a standard stock is too short, and the cheek area sits too low. Adding length helps a lot by itself. There are assemblies that replace the standard buttplate to allow for length and, usually, height and rotation adjustments for the buttpad. An elevation-adjustable cheekpiece is a big help to attain a solid position.
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November 10th, 2014
A Negligent Shooter Gets Lucky
Here we have a story so filled with negligent acts that I can only marvel that the shooter survived the experience. The photo and narrative were provided by the gunsmith who took in the repair job, my comments are in italics. It’s worth reading, we can’t get enough safety warnings in our hobby. — German Salazar, RiflemansJournal.com
Below is a sectioned barrel showing an 80gr Sierra that was fired in a .223 bolt action with a cleaning rod in the bore. Both the bullet and the rod are still in the bore.
This article originally appeared in German Salazar’s RiflemansJournal.com website.
Description of Incident (with Commentary)
The shooter had a stuck case in his .223 chamber. The stuck case was actually a loaded round that didn’t fire. It wouldn’t extract because it was a .222 case that got mixed in with his .223 brass. [He had loaded the wrong brass.] I saw the loaded round with an 80gr bullet in it and a light primer strike. Negligent Act #1: Wrong brass was mixed in with the brass being reloaded.
The shooter removed the stuck case with a 3-piece aluminum rod. Negligent Act #2: Hammering out a loaded round with a cleaning rod. People have been killed doing this as the round can fire and drive the cleaning rod right into you. I remember one such incident about 5 years ago, the shooter was pounding out a stuck round, the cleaning rod went right through him, he didn’t survive.
The shooter didn’t notice only two segments of the cleaning rod came out when he removed it. Negligent Act #3: If you put anything at all down the barrel of a rifle you’d better make darn sure you got it all out before doing anything else!
He then chambered another round and fired it. Negligent act #4: If you’ve had a barrel obstruction of any kind, and if you’ve put something in the barrel, look through the barrel before proceeding! Within the past two years I know of an incident in which a benchrest shooter was killed in exactly this manner. The pressure built up and the rifle bolt came out of the receiver and into his chest.
The shooter is ‘OK’, but did not escape unscathed. He said there was a huge explosion and after regaining his senses found he was bleeding heavily from his forehead. The blood was thick enough that it ran in his eyes and he couldn’t see. In his words “I thought I was going to die”.
He has what looks like a pretty deep cut about an inch long on the side of his head, right in line with his right eye starting where the eye socket turns out to the side of the skull. And no telling what he’s got in the way of brass particles embedded in his forehead.
He was shooting on private property, and was alone when this happened. Negligent Act #5: Don’t shoot alone! Accidents happen, this is just one more example. If we could predict accidents, we wouldn’t have them. Always shoot with at least one other person.
He managed to get the bleeding stopped, or at least under control, packed his car and drove himself home without seeking immediate medical attention. Negligent Act #6: This one could have cost him his life after being lucky enough to survive the incident. There’s no way to know what’s happened just after an incident like this. He should have been at a hospital getting checked for shrapnel in the head.
The rod and slug could not be driven out. Since the barrel had a high round count there was no point in trying to salvage it. Note that the aluminum rod is expanded to a tight fit in the bore for the first couple inches. The base of the bullet is a little over 2″ from the mouth of the chamber.
What we’ve seen here is negligence and an absolute indifference to the established rules of safe reloading and gun handling, from start to finish, capped off with the shooter’s foolish avoidance of medical treatment. This shooter is lucky to be alive, but he’s surely used up all his luck. Don’t assume you’ll be so fortunate.
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November 9th, 2014
One of the most unique and exotic rifles in the NRA Museum is the Szecsei & Fuchs Double Barrel Bolt Action Rifle. “This is the … most substantial bolt action rifle ever made,” said NRA Museums Senior Curator Philip Schreier. This unique double-barrel bolt-action rifle loads two cartridges at the same time. It is the world’s only repeating double rifle design. Incorporating titanium components to reduce weight, this .416 Remington Magnum rifle has an eight-shot capacity, feeding from a beautifully engraved massive magazine assembly mounted under the receiver. Hungarian inventor Joseph Szecsei developed this innovative design after being charged simultaneously by three elephants in 1989.
An engineering tour de force, this elaborately engraved rifle is also a work of art. On the action, and bottom metal are engraved images of the “Big Five” African game species: elephant, cape buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard. This rifle was recently featured on Curator’s Corner on the Outdoor Channel, and it now resides behind glass in the Robert E. Peterson Collection at the NRA Museum.
This amazing twin-barreled bolt-gun has a closing mechanism that locks two separate bolt bodies into the chambers of the right and left barrels. Yes there are two firing pins, two ejectors, two extractors, and two triggers. We’re not sure how one jumbo camming system closes two bolts — Perhaps one of our gunsmith readers can explain how this system works.
This Rifle Has TWO Barrels and TWO Bolts
Just $78,000 at “Half-off Pricing”
Shown here (above and below) is another Szecsei & Fuchs double bolt rifle chambered in .416 Remington. This example, without the “Big Five” animal engravings, sold a few years back on Gunbroker.com for $78,000. That astronomical sum is just half the original cost, according to the seller. This amazing double safari rifle has 22″ barrels and weighs 11.5 pounds.
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November 9th, 2014
Do-It-Yourself Joystick Rest — Jeff’s Labor of Love
Quite a few competitors chamber their own barrels, and a few construct their own stocks. But Jeff Godfrey takes the prize for do-it-yourself audacity — he built his own co-axial front rest from scratch. Sam Hall provides this report:
“Jeff, one of Piedmont Gun Club’s regulars, is a talented fabricator. He made one of the smoothest joystick rests that I have ever laid my hands on. Jeff’s home-built coaxial rest rivals the Farley and Seb Max. It will also handle a wide fore-end Heavy Gun. Constructing virtually every part of this rest from scratch, Jeff made his own co-axial to save money. You have to admire his ingenuity and his dedication. Jeff says it took him over 100 hours to make. He said there would be no way he could make another one for profit!”
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November 8th, 2014
Stiller’s Precision Firearms is now offering its new line of rear lug, benchrest-grade rimfire actions, the 2500X (single-shot) and the 2500XS (sporter class mag-fed). These actions have already performed superbly in competition (see below). These actions represent the state-of-the-art in rimfire receivers. Top rimfire benchrest shooters are building rifles around the new Stiller actions and the results have been very promising. These actions offer true benchrest-grade manufacturing tolerances plus a superior firing pin system that should allow greater shot-to-shot consistency. Expect fewer unexplained fliers with these Stiller actions compared with older, factory-based actions (such as the Rem 40X).
Stiller 2500X Rimfire Action
The 2500X is Stiller’s new rear lug rimfire benchrest action. This features an Anschutz-style loading ramp, center recoil slot, side bolt release, and a unique shroud/firing pin system for perfect alignment (and more consistent ignition). Unlike many rimfire actions, the 2500X has a trigger hanger for easy trigger maintenance. The 2500X’s body and bolt are crafted from 416R stainless steel with a nitride finish for smooth and trouble-free operation. The outside is OD ground after nitriding for precise tolerances and a distinctive two-tone look.
Stiller 2500SX Rimfire Sporter Action
The 2500XS is a rear lug rimfire benchrest action for the Sporter Class. The “XS” model features a Sako magazine and easy-to-use loading ramp. Like the 2500X, the “XS” has an advanced shroud/firing pin system, plus a trigger hanger for easy trigger maintenance. The bolt and body are nitrided, 416R stainless OD ground for a dimensionally precise, two-tone finish. This lightweight action is specifically designed for IR50/50 sporter class benchrest. It comes with one (1) magazine.
Proof of Performance — 2500X Action Shoots 250-25X
Mike Kuklis’s new rimfire BR rifle built on a Stiller 2500X action delivered an impressive 250-25X in competition last week. Mike drilled this superb 250-25X card at the Tuckertown BR Barn on the way to a 1000-86X match win. Credit J. Miller for the photos from Benchrest Central.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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November 3rd, 2014
Many 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 Zedicker’s New AR-15 Competitive Rifle (2008), 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.
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.”
The Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide is not available from most large book vendors. However, Creedmoor Sports has plenty of copies in stock (item BK-Builder, $34.95). To order, visit www.creedmoorsports.com or call 1-800-CREEDMOOR.
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November 1st, 2014
Many Remington 700 rifle owners swap out the factory trigger. This is not a difficult task, but you need to follow the proper procedure so you don’t damage any important parts during installation, and so that you don’t interfere with the operation of the bolt and safety. This Do-It-Yourself video from Brownells leads you through step by step how to safely and correctly replace your Remington 700 trigger. This installation video covers the common methods used to install most of the popular after-market Rem 700 triggers. Importantly, the video also shows how to function test after installation, and how to make sure your safety is working properly.
Many Rem 700 owners fit Timney triggers to their rifles.
Video find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 26th, 2014
Brownells is offering more than month of deals on AR-15 hardware. Brownells’s “Back In Black Rifle Event” features six weeks of special, discount pricing on AR-15 upper receiver parts kits and accessories. The event culminates with blowout specials on the official Black Rifle Friday Weekend (from Friday, November 28 through Cyber Monday, December 1st).
Each Monday, leading up to Black Rifle Friday, Brownells will unveil a new package that includes all the required parts (except for lower receiver) to build a different version of the AR-15. Every package will give customers significant savings compared to buying all the parts separately(and eliminate the chance of overlooking important items).
Customers can see a new AR-15 package every Monday, from now until November 24, by visiting the Black Rifle Event Page at Brownells.com.
In addition to the main sale on AR-15 components and tools, some weeks will feature specials on 1911 magazines and parts, as well as accessories for Remington 870 shotguns.
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