March 16th, 2018

Get a Handle on Your Swivel Bipod — KMW Pod-Loc

KMW pod-lok lock bipod handle swivel

KMW Pod-Loc BipodIf you’ve ever used a Harris Swivel Bipod, you know that, without tools, it is difficult to put enough tension on the swivel locking knob to really lock the unit solid. And, if you do manage to get the knob really tight (perhaps by using pliers), it is difficult to loosen with fingers alone.

That was why Terry Cross and the folks at KMW Long Range Solutions invented the Pod-Loc™. This system replaces the knurled swivel tension knob with a push-button adjustable handle. Using the handle you can easily set the swivel tension at any level from loose to “rock solid”. And you can release tension to adjust the bipod to different terrain just as easily. The genuine KMW Pod-Loc™ retails for $24.99 at

KMW Podlock Pod-loc bipod swivel locking handle accessory

How to Build Your Own Bipod Swivel Locking System
While we use genuine KMW Pod-Locs on our rifles, readers on a tight budget, or who have a large collection of bipod-equipped rifles, can economize by putting together their own swivel locking systems from off-the-shelf components. You can buy suitable levers from This vendor offers a variety of appropriate handles, ranging in price from $7.00 to $10.00. So, by sourcing the parts, you can outfit three bipods with swivel adjusters for the cost of one Pod-Loc.

T-Nuts Bipod Handle lock

We recommend the Nylon/Stainless BPL/NS model ($7.70), but you may prefer the all-metal BPL-ZS ($8.50), or the shorter BPL-Micro model ($8.25). The compact Micro lock does not protrude past the body of the bipod, yet is still easily grasped. T-Nuts supplies one 3/16″ spacer with most of its bipod handles. T-Nuts handles are also available with a metric M6x1.0 thread for use with imported bipods such as Outers and Rockport.

Installation is Easy — With the Right Socket
To install a swivel locking system, first you’ll need a 1/4″ socket to remove the keeper nut from the threaded pivot rod. (During this process, you’ll need to keep pressure on the pivot rod retaining pin on the opposite side of the bipod.) Don’t try to remove the keeper nut with pliers or an open-end wrench. You really need the correct socket. Once that keeper nut is removed, then unscrew the knurled tension knob/ring. This is attached to the same threaded shaft as the keeper nut but you should be able to remove it without tools.

After the knurled tension ring is off, it is easy to put your handle on the bipod. First slip the 3/16″ spacer over the threaded pivot rod. Keeping finger pressure on the pivot rod retaining pin (on reverse side), then spin on the T-Nuts handle. Rotate the handle inwards until it firmly locks the bipod swivel mechanism. By pushing the button in the head of the handle, you can swing the handle left or right to set its position without altering the swivel tension.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tactical 1 Comment »
March 14th, 2018

The Remarkable Merkel RX Helix — German Straight-Pull Hunter

Merkel RX Helix straight-pull rifle

EDITOR: Our story on the Strasser RS14 straight-pull rifle created quite a stir. So, we thought we’d serve up another straight-pull feature — this time the German-crafted Merkel RX Helix. We shot the Helix a few years back during Media Day at the Range. One notable difference between the German Merkel and the Austrian Strasser is the bolt travel. During cycling, the Merkel bolt stays completely inside the action (see video below at 00:30). By contrast the Strasser bolt moves pretty far back, outside the action. For some folks that makes the Helix better for fast follow-up shots. All we can say is that Merkles and Strassers BOTH cycle way faster than conventional bolt-action rifles.

Merkel RX Helix Range Report

One of the most innovative rifles we have ever shot was the Merkel RX Helix, a very impressive piece of rifle engineering. Merkel claims the RX Helix is the fastest-cycling centerfire bolt action in the world. We can’t confirm that claim, but the Helix certainly cycles faster than any other centerfire bolt-gun this Editor has ever tried. (Yes, a Fortner biathlon action can be worked more rapidly, but that’s a rimfire). Both Jason and I really liked Merkel’s RX Helix. It balances well, the action is smooth, the wood is gorgeous, and the overall design thinking that went into this German-engineered take-down rifle is very impressive. The Helix’s universal-sized action lets you shoot anything from a .222 Rem to a .300 Win Mag with the same gun. And — get this — you can really swap barrels (and change bolt heads) in a couple of minutes with no tools, employing a dead-simple bolt-release lever concealed under the push-button-released removable forearm. (Watch VIDEO BELOW to see Barrel Swap procedure).

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifleRotary 7-Lug Bolt
While the RX Helix is a straight-pull rifle, it retains the strength and safety of a rotary bolt head with seven locking lugs that seat in a barrel extension. Unlike a Blaser, the RX Helix has a fully-enclosed action housing. That’s an important safety feature. Moreover, since the RX Helix employs a closed action, the bolt body doesn’t travel outside that action. This means the shooter can maintain his cheekweld with an eye on the target as he cycles the bolt.

The RX Helix’s linear (back and forth) bolt-handle motion is transmitted to the bolt head through a 1:2 ratio “transmission” gearing system. This allows smooth and fast cycling without the rotational or tipping movement found on other straight-pull, bolt-action rifles, such as the Blaser.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The Merkel linear-movement action cycles exceptionally fast, which allows for faster follow-up shots — a good thing if you’re hunting dangerous game. The RX Helix features a manual cocking lever on the tang and a direct trigger system. And here’s good news for southpaws — though Merkel does not make a dedicated left-hand version, lefties can very easily use their right hand to work the bolt while maintaining cheekweld. That may sound awkward, but with practice, it’s actually pretty efficient.

Fast, Easy Disassembly and Barrel Exchanges
The video below shows how the Helix can be disassembled (for cleaning or transport) in a matter of seconds WITHOUT TOOLS. The forearm slips off with the push of a button. A short lever on the left side of the action holds the barrel. Simply rotate the lever and the barrel (with bolt head) slips off. That’s it — in 30 seconds the rifle is apart, and you don’t even need an allen wrench as with a Blaser.

The RX Helix has a universal action length that covers calibers from .222 Rem to .300 Win Mag. Changing calibers (or chamberings) takes less than a minute with the appropriate barrel, bolt-head and magazine. Weaver rails are integrated into the action, and iron sights with three-dot rear and one-dot front fiber-optic inserts are standard.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The RX Helix is available with a standard black finish as well as four levels of design—Arabesque, Wild Boar, Spirit, and Deluxe. An all-carbon-fiber version is also available either with or without a carbon-wrapped barrel. The RX Helix comes in a wide range of popular calibers including .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg., 8×57 IS, 9.3×62, 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag. Barrel lengths vary according to caliber, and barrels, bolt-heads and magazines are available for caliber changes. sells the Merkel RX Helix with Grade 2 wood for $3,785.00.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 7 Comments »
February 22nd, 2018

The 20-Caliber Black Rifle — AR Chambered in 20 Practical

20 Practical AR uppers

The new .224 Valkyrie for AR15-platform rifles has garnered lots of attention lately. That new cartridge has gotten people thinking about the options for an AR shooter beyond the venerable .223 Remington (and 5.56x39mm NATO). While the .224 Valkyrie is good for shooting long heavy bullets (such as Sierra’s new 95gr SMK), there is a simpler, cheaper option for folks who favor “fast and light” — smaller, lower-mass bullets traveling at very high velocities. That option is the 20 Practical, which is simply a .223 Remington necked down to 20 caliber. This little cartridge can launch 40-grainers at over 3900 fps. That’s bookin’. This makes the 20 Practical a great choice for an AR-based varmint rifle.

20 Practical20 Practical Ultimate Varminter
A decade ago, as a “proof-of-concept”, created a 20 Practical AR15 Ultimate Varminter with a custom 20-caliber upper from Robert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises, LLC. That project rifle was ultra-accurate — every 5-shot group out of the gun was less than the size of a dime. That gun was auctioned off, but Robert Whitley continues to produce custom 20 Practical AR15 uppers. (The 20 Practical cartridge is simply the .223 Rem necked down to 20 caliber — you can use standard .223 brass and load with standard.223 Rem dies. Just swap in a smaller expander and use smaller neck bushings.)

Robert reports that the accuracy of the first 20 Practical AR15 was no fluke. After building six (6) more 20 Practical uppers, he tested them for accuracy and they all shot great. These uppers feature DPMS low-pro receivers with side charging handles. They are fitted with PacNor 1:11″ twist, three-groove stainless barrels.

20 Practical AR uppers

Robert reports: “We have been making more 20 Practical AR15 uppers and I have to say I am astounded by the accuracy of these things. For shooting little tiny groups out of an AR15 with bullets going 3500+ fps, it’s hard to beat the 20 Practical. Today I test-fired six more uppers, all with 11-twist barrels. Three of the uppers had 24″ barrels, two had 20″ barrels, and one had an 18″ barrel (we call it ‘Stubby’).

20 Practical Reamer print

In four of these uppers I shot re-sized Winchester brass using 25.3 grains of WC844 powder with Berger 40gr BTHP bullets loaded at 2.225″ OAL (about .015″ off the lands). WC844 is inexpensive military surplus powder that is nearly identical to H335. I tried three different primers and the choice did not seem to matter (CCI BR4, Rem 7 1/2s and Win Small Rifle — the old silver ones). All these four uppers shot great. Here is an animated GIF with targets from uppers #6, 10, and 11. All groups are mag-fed, 5-shot groups shot at 100 yards using a front rest and rear bag.”

Targets Shot with Three Different 20 Practical AR Uppers

20 Practical AR uppers

For more information visit, or contact Robert Whitley via email: rcw3 [at]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
February 21st, 2018

The King of 2 Miles Goes Hunting with His Daughter

Derek rodgers new mexico coyote varmint hunting oryx

Derek Rodgers is the current F-TR World Champion AND the reigning King of 2 Miles. He’s also a member of the Berger SWN-winning McMillan F-TR team. But when it comes to rifles, competition is only one of Derek’s interests. He’s also an avid hunter. He enjoys getting out in the back-country in his home state of New Mexico.

Derek rodgers new mexico coyote varmint hunting oryx

Recently Derek went coyote hunting with his daughter, Dereka. They spotted some ‘yotes, but the real treat was seeing Oryx, a long-horned species native to Africa. Some time ago, a herd of Oryx was transplanted to a “secret spot” in New Mexico not too far from Albuquerque. Permission to hunt the Oryx is hard to obtain, but possible.

Derek rodgers new mexico coyote varmint hunting oryx

SEE Wild Oryx In New Mexico — Watch Video on Facebook »

Derek and his daughter could not shoot Oryx on this occasion because the timing wasn’t right. But he noted: “Calling for coyotes can get exciting when your daughter has an oryx hunt just weeks away.” You can see the animals in the video below. Derek says: “It would have been a successful morning if this was March 1st [when Oryx hunting would be allowed with her tag].” Derek’s wife Hope tells us that “Oryx meat is delicious — much better than deer or elk.” Good luck to Dereka and her famous father next month.

Derek rodgers new mexico coyote varmint hunting oryx

Derek’s Coyote rifle (for this trip) was an AR-platform rig. Despite being a world-champion F-Class shooter, Derek had a number of coyote misses on this trip, which did NOT impress young Miss Dereka. It just shows that even the best can easily miss on a moving target.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »
February 20th, 2018

One Gun for Hunting AND Competition — Bergara B14 HMR

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

For the second year in the row, one of the more popular rifles at SHOT Show was the versatile Bergara’s B14 Hunting and Match Rifle (HMR). Designed for the tactical, PRS, and long-range hunting markets the HMR features an ergonomic, adjustable stock fitted with an internal aluminum sub-chassis. The stock is comfortable in a variety of positions, making it suitable for both hunting and practical shooting comps. The HMR is now offered in five chamberings: 22-250, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win, and .300 Win Mag. They all use AICS-compatible box magazines. We’re pleased that all HMRs are guaranteed to produce sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory match-grade ammunition. Weight, without optics, is 9.15 lbs, about one pound less than the Ruger Precision Rifle. MSRP is $1,150.00. That’s a good value, but we wish Bergara included a scope rail from the factory.

Watch Video Starting at 6:30 for Bergara B14 HMR (Showing Internal Chassis):

The Spanish-made HMR boasts a molded synthetic stock with built-in machined aluminum mini-chassis. This mini-chassis allows secure, repeatable bedding for Bergara’s B14 action, which features two-lug bolt with coned bolt-head. The Chrome-Moly Bergara barrels are threaded 5/8″ x 24 at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors. The HMR uses a precision-machined bottom metal and is designed to accept AICS-style magazines.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester
Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

The stock has a multi-stage textured finish, which looks good. Designed for both righties and lefties, the ambidextrous stock features an adjustable cheekpiece, and length of pull is adjustable with simple spacers. For slings and accessories, the HMR stock offers multiple flush cup QD mounts as well as multiple swivel studs for bipods and/or slings.

This should be an interesting addition to the line-up of factory rifles suitable for the PRS Series Production Class. But frankly, we think Bergara went too short with the barrels (or at least should offer longer barrels as options). In 6.5 Creedmoor, at 22″ you’re giving up 90 FPS or so compared to a 27″ (See Barrel Cut-Down Test). Additionally, we think most PRS competitors would prefer a different profile on the fore-end. Nonetheless for tactical guys who don’t like modular metal stocks, this is a pretty affordable option that can also work for hunting. NOTE: The new 6mm Creedmoor version does include a 26″ 1:8″-twist barrel. We like that. CLICK HERE for Bergara B14 HMR Owners Manual.

Bergara B14 HMR Rifle Specifications:

Chamberings: 22-250 Rem, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag
Action Type: 2-lug action, sliding plate extractor, cone bolt nose and breech
Magazine: AICS style mag compatible – Includes one Magpul® PMAG AICS Magazine
Barrel Specs: 22-250 Rem (1:9″ twist; 24″), 6mm Creedmoor (1:8″ twist, 26″), 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8″ Twist, 22″); .308 Win (1:10″ twist, 20″), .300 Win Mag (1:10″ twist, 26″)
Mini-Chassis Material: 7075 T6 aluminum
Weight without scope: 9.15 pounds
MSRP: $1,150.00

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
February 18th, 2018

The Varminters’ Great Debate — Hold-Over vs. Crank Elevation

varmint scope IOR elevation hold-over prairie dog accuracy

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting AccurateShooter Varrmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View — Click Your Elevation Knob
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.”
– Gunamonth

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 4 Comments »
February 13th, 2018

Remington Pursues Bankruptcy to Reduce Massive Debt

Remington Outdoor Company files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cerberus Equity J.P. Morgan

Remington Outdoor Company Inc. (Remington) will file for Bankruptcy in the Delaware Federal Court. The North Carolina-based company is pursuing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to reduce its $950,000,000 in debt. According to Reuters, Remington hopes to work out an agreement with its creditors to write off about $700 million in debt obligations. That would permit Remington to sustain manufacturing operations and retain most of its work-force. In announcing the Bankruptcy filing, Remington executives stated that the company will continue to operate as usual during the bankruptcy proceedings.

(Reuters) – Remington Outdoor Company Inc., one of the largest U.S. makers of firearms, said on Monday it had reached a deal with its creditors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to slash its $950 million debtload. Remington said it will receive $145 million in bankruptcy financing to fund the company through the Chapter 11 process.

Cerberus Will Yield Control of Remington to Creditors
If the pending deal with creditors goes through as planned, Cerberus, the private equity group that currently controls Remington, will lose ownership of the company. Through the bankruptcy, according to Reuters: “the company’s creditors, which include Franklin Templeton Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management, will exchange their debt holdings for equity in the company.”

Two months ago, noted that Remington was considering Bankruptcy. Our report noted that an earnings decline left Remington few options. In early December, Fox News reported: ““The rifle and shotgun manufacturer’s third-quarter sales plunged 41% as demand for firearms dried up. That led Remington to report adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization that were 78% lower year over year. Over the first nine months of 2017, the company has produced a $60.5 million net loss, compared to a $19.1 million gain in the prior-year period. And with its credit rating in the trash bin, the future is bleak for ‘America’s oldest gunmaker’. Today, debt on the company’s books has ballooned to almost $1 billion[.]”

Remington Has a Storied History
Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in New York, Remington is the oldest continuously-operating gun manufacturer in the United States. Even with its present difficulties, Remington still sells more sporting rifles and shotguns than any other American company. Remington has developed more cartridges than any other U.S. company. And it is the only American company that sells firearms AND ammunition under its own name.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 13 Comments »
January 28th, 2018

Tune Your AR’s Cyclic Rate with Adjustable Gas Block

Wilson combat adjustable AR AR15 gas block

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could adjust the bolt cycling energy on your AR-platform rifle? Turn down the cycling rate for slow fire at the bench or varmint hunting. Crank up the energy for 3-Gun matches and rapid-fire disciplines. This IS possible with a handy accessory that fits on your barrel. Wilson Combat offers an Adjustable Lo-Profile AR Gas Block for direct gas impingement AR-type rifles. Wilson Combat’s adjustable gas block replaces a standard AR gas block and allows you to tune your AR’s gas system for smoother cycling and enhanced reliability. Wilson Combat explains: “Adjusting your rifle’s gas port will lower or increase your bolt’s cyclic rate. This tailors your rifle’s performance to your unique needs.”

A simple adjustment of the hex screw at the front of the block modulates the gas volume allowing you to tune your rifle’s function to your favorite loads. This is very handy when shooting non-standard AR calibers, unusual hand-loads, or suppressed rifles. Adjustable Gas Block systems are sold as complete kits starting at $74.95. Wilson Combat offers two diameters (.750″, .937″) and three lengths (Carbine Length, Mid-Length, & Rifle Length), so you can select the right dimensions for your rifle configuration and barrel diameter. The blocks are Chromoly steel with a Melonited finish.

ARs for Varmint Hunting — Slow Down Cycling for Better Results

AR Varmint Hunting adjustable gas block

If you like to use an AR on varmint hunts, you should get one of these adjustable gas blocks (or something similar). You’ll notice the benefits immediately. The bolt cycles slower and less energetically, so the gun doesn’t hop as much and your sight picture is more steady. You’ll definitely be able to see your hits/misses better. Second, you can “tune” the cycling so the brass ejects more gently and doesn’t kick out so far. If you are shooting prone with a buddy, the guy on the right won’t be getting hot brass in his face. It’s a win-win, and you’ll probably wish you slowed your AR’s cyclic rate years ago.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:00 Time-Mark in Video.

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January 27th, 2018

Super Slow Motion Video Reveals Hunting Bullet Performance

Federal has created an award-winning Bullet Breakdown Video (below) that demonstrates how various hunting bullets perform in ballistic gelatin. This and other videos are found on Federal Premium Ammunition’s YouTube Channel. The Bullet Breakdown Video features four bullet types used in Federal Ammo: Nosler Ballistic Tip; Sierra GameKing; Trophy Bonded Tip; and Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet. (Note: you may want to turn down the volume before playback.)

Federal’s high-resolution, slow-motion video-graphy helps demonstrate which loads are the best for specific uses. The ultra-slo-mo footage provides a detailed view of each bullet penetrating ballistic gelatin blocks. These blocks closely mimic animal tissue and clearly display performance characteristics.

“The Bullet Breakdown Video is a great tool for hunters trying to decide on ammunition type,” said Federal’s Jason Nash. “Properly preparing for the hunt is crucial-and not all bullets are made the same. The bullet is the one link between hunter and game and can be the difference between success and failure. This video helps show hunters how different bullet construction affects terminal performance[.]” For more info, visit

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
January 16th, 2018

Savage New Products — Adjustable Stocks, More Chamberings

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Savage Arms will launch more than two dozen new products at the 2018 SHOT Show, January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big news is the AccuFit stock system for the Model 110 rifle line. “Our new AccuFit System is designed to allow shooters to quickly adjust comb height and length-of-pull for a customized fit. This results in more consistent, more comfortable shooting”, says Beth Shimanski, Savage Senior Marketing Manager. These new Savages also feature the Accustock internal chassis with bedding block (see second video below).

AccuFit Adjustment System

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Accustock Embedded Chassis System

CLICK HERE for more videos showing new Savage Design and Engineering features.

More Chambering Options for Savage AR-Platform Rifles
Savage has added new chamberings for its MSR black rifle line-up. MSR 15 models will be newly offered in 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC. A 6mm Creedmoor version of the AR-10 platform MSR 10 Long Range has been added, and Savage will offer the hard-hitting .338 Federal chambering in the MSR Hunter rifle (along with 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win).

Savage 2018 New Product Highlights

Model 110 Storm with AccuFit: Features stainless steel action and barrel for adverse weather and conditions. Sixteen caliber and left-hand options.

Model 110 Long Range Hunter with AccuFit: Engineered for long-range shooting with a 26-inch barrel and muzzle brake. Nine caliber options, including 338 Lapua Magnum.

Model 110 Lightweight Storm: Easier to carry in field thanks to a lightweight stainless steel barrel and action. Length-of-pull is easily customized. Six caliber options.

AXIS II XP with New Stock: Popular package rifle with redesigned, ergonomic stock and Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 scope in full-size and compact models. Twenty caliber/configuration options.

MSR 15 Valkyrie: MSR 15 AR-type rifle chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. This new model features an adjustable gas block, furniture upgrades, and Elite Series Flat Dark Earth Cerakote finish.

MSR 15 Recon Long Range Precision: Equipped with alternate furniture options and chambered in all-new 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC.

MSR 10 Long Range in 6mm Creedmoor: AR-10 platform rifle design for long-range precision shooting. Chambered for the flat-shooting, modest-recoil 6mm Creedmoor cartridge.

MSR 10 Hunter in 338 Federal: Built specifically for hunters and chambered in the popular, hard-hitting .338 Federal.

B Series Compact and Left-hand: Extremely accurate bolt-action .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR options. Now available in compact and left-hand models.

A Series Pro Varmint: Semi-automatic options in .22 LR, .22 WMR and .17 HMR, all with Boyd’s Pro Varmint stock and 22-inch fluted, heavy barrel.

All of these new rifles, as well as more bolt-action and semi-auto centerfire and rimfire rifles, will be on display at SHOT Show Booth No. 14551. Most will be set up so visitors can handle the rifle and work trigger and bolt. To learn more about the new Savage rifles and their features, visit

Savage MSR 10 Long Range (6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win)

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 3 Comments »
January 13th, 2018

Bunny-Busting with Savage A17 in 17 HMR

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

There’s a nice article in the Western Powders Blog that any varminter will enjoy. In this hare-raising tale, gunwriter Jim Waddell explains how he used a self-loading Savage A17 rifle to take care of a serious jack-rabbit problem on a rancho in California. “[My friends] purchased a huge amount of acreage that had some existing alfalfa fields and [surrounding sagebrush]. Sagebrush is home to jack rabbits. Lots of jack rabbits. The previous owner of this property didn’t do any varmint or predator control[.] The ink wasn’t dry on the escrow papers before [my friends] started asking for help shooting rabbits. A problem in taking these critters is it has to be done at night when they come out to feed as they lay low in the bush during the daylight hours.”

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Savage A17 Comes to the Rescue
Initially Waddell and some friends took on the jack-rabbit hordes using Ruger 10/22s and a .44 Magnum Marlin lever gun. Neither option was ideal. The .44 Magnum just couldn’t keep up the desired shooting pace (it took too long to reload) ant the .22 LRs were too anemic. So Waddell decided to give the more potent 17 HMR a try. He acquired a Savage A17 and went back for a second bunny-busting session. He came away convinced that the 17 HMR cartridge in the modern semi-auto Savage works great for small varmint control.

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Waddell writes: “I wanted more than a .22 after seeing the problems my pals had with their [10/22] bullets not anchoring the rabbits. Armed with my new Savage A17 it was time to head back to the alfalfa fields. This time my hunting partner was Dan, my son-in-law from Seattle. We hunted for four nights. Each night was either raining, windy or both. My question about whether or not rabbits would be out in the weather was answered immediately. They were everywhere. As miserable as the weather was, we got all the shooting we wanted and that Savage rifle was up to the task. We got so many rabbits it was impossible to count.” CLICK HERE for the full account of Waddell’s jack-rabbit adventures on the California rancho. It’s worth a read. Here is a sample:

Wabbits, Wabbits Everywhere — Even Running Right at You
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a sea of rabbits as far as the lights would shine and when the light beams hit the bunnies, they became confused and as often as not, would run right at the lights so a good percentage of our shots were literally in spitting distance. It was also a new experience shooting at targets that are running TOWARD you. Most of us who’ve done much hunting for game or varmints have experienced moving targets but how many of those targets are coming at you?

Read Full Story on Western Powders Blog »

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
January 4th, 2018

More New-for-2018 Guns and Gear

Tikka T1X TAC A1 left left-hand tactical PRS Rifle

Tikka T1X TAC A1 left left-hand tactical PRS RifleOur recent “Sneak Previews” of new-for-2018 guns and shooting products have been very popular with our readers. Following on that, here are more New Rifles. These eight rifle selections (plus a new stock) were revealed in the 50-Page 2018 New Product Showcase in Shooting Industry Magazine’s January issue. This January Product Showcase, which you can access for free online, features products from 183 companies. And the December 2017 issue unveiled many more. Combined, the two Shooting Industry New Business Year editions have revealed new products from more than 240 brands.

CLICK HERE to SEE 50-Page 2018 NEW PRODUCT Showcase »

Here we spotlight some of the more interesting New-for-2018 Firearms and Accessories. All these products are found in Shooting Industry’s 2018 New Product Showcase.

New Tactical Rifles from Legacy International

Lithgow LA 105 Howa 1500 Bravo tactical rifle

Legacy Sports is offering two new tactical rifles, both well-suited for PRS matches and tac comps. The Lithgow LA105 (top, above) comes in both 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8″) and .308 Win (1:10″) chamberings, with 24″ barrels with Lithgow muzzle brakes. The new Howa Bravo (tan stock above), is offered with 20″, 24″, and 26″ barrels in three chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. The Howa 1500 action rides in a KRG Bravo Chassis with adjustable comb and adjustable LOP. We’re please to note this rig accepts AICS mags.

Mossberg MVP Precision — Affordable PRS Factory Class Rifle

Mossberg MVP Precision

The New Mossberg MVP Precision is another rifle targeting the PRS Crowd. It features an all-new chassis with a longer fore-end up front and a fully-adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock in the back. This should be popular. Every rifle comes with an LBA trigger, and 20″ or 24″ threaded and free-floated medium bull barrels are standard. The action features an oversize bolt handle with a Picatinny rail on top. Available chamberings include the 6.5 Creedmoor (no surprise) and 7.62×51 (.308 Win). Mossberg will also offer combo packages fitted with Vortex Viper HS-T riflescope.

New T1x Rimfire Rifle from Tikka — Plus a Lefty TAC A1

Tikka T1X .22 LR rimfire 17 HMR

Tikka is introducing a new Rimfire rifle, the Tikka T1x. It features a medium-contour 20″ barrel with threaded muzzle, 10-round detachable magazine, and a smooth bolt throw. This will be offered in Both .22 LR and .17 HMR. The rifle boasts the feel and balance of Tikka’s centerfire line, so this can serve as a nice small-bore option for fans of Tikka hunting rifles. MSRP for the T1X is $499.00.

Tikka T1X TAC A1 left left-hand tactical PRS Rifle

Tikka will also be introducing a 6.5 Creedmoor version of its popular T3X hunting rifle for 2018, along with a left-hand version of the Tikka TAC A1 Rifle, an impressive modular rig priced at $1999.00 to qualify for PRS factory class. South-paws should be happy.

New Rimfire Rig from Europe — Steyr’s Handsome Zephyr II

steyr Zephyr II Rimfire smallbore .22 LR 17 HMR .22 WMR

Steyr’s new Rimfire rifle, the Zephyr II, is offered in .22 LR, and .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. The Zephyr II features a classic European walnut stock with a Bavarian cheek piece, and nice checkering on the grips and handguard. We think this would make a good carry-around varminter, as we bet the Zephyr has good balance and excellent accuracy (based on our experience with other Steyrs). Zephyr II has a smooth-running action, tang safety, and cold-hammer-forged 19.7-inch barrel. Without scope, the Zephyr II weighs 5.8 lbs., including 5-rd detachable magazine.

AR with Proof Research Carbon Composite Barrels from LWRC International

AR10 AR15 Proof Research Carbon Barrel

You can’t have a SHOT Show without some interesting new Black Rifles. LWRC International (LWRCI) will unveil some new AR-platform rifles in interesting chamberings. The smaller IC-DI (AR15) line will be offered .223 Wylde and the impressive .224 Valkyrie chamberings, along with the typical 5.56 NATO. What really caught our eye, however, was the larger AR10-platform REPR model, shown above. This will be available in two new variants: 6.5 Creedmoor (all-steel barrel) and 6.5 Creedmoor with a PROOF Research carbon fiber composite barrel. Weighing just 9 lbs., the PROOF Research model is a full 2.8 lbs. lighter than the standard model. Each features an LWRCI tunable gas block, Monoforge upper receiver with integrated rail-base, and ambidextrous lower receiver controls.

Grayboe Ridgeback Stock — Innovative Tactical/Practical Design

Grayboe Ridgeback Stock CAD Drawing PRS

The Grayboe RIDGEBACK is a new stock specifically designed for PRS and tactical-style shooting. The Ridgeback is made of a solid, fiberglass epoxy material and features M-LOK sections built into the fore-end, a bubble level behind the action and an adjustable comb that can be re-positioned easily with one hand. NOTE: This preview shows a CAD rendering; production model may vary slightly.

New Savage 110 Models with Adjustable Stocks

Savage AccuStock AccuFit Adjustable stock internal Chassis

For 2018, Savage’s model 110 line-up boasts higher-quality, user-adjustable stocks. The all-new AccuFit system allows shooters to customize length of pull and comb height. The new AccuStock features a rigid chassis embedded in the stock. Savage has a full line of revamped 110s with these enhanced stocks. For example, the Savage 110 Long Range Hunter shown here features a 26″ barrel with brake, and is offered in six calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .308 Win, 300 WSM, and .338 Federal.

How To Carry All These New Rifles…
So how do you hold all these new-for-2018 rifles — and transport them safely back from SHOT Show? Here’s a recently-introduced product that can help — the CaseCruzer Mini 2N2 GunPOD:

CaseCruzer GunPOD rifle case

We love this thing — it will hold two rifles (up to 35″ OAL) and two handguns, plus mags and a whole lot more — muffs, ammo boxes, you name it. This CaseCruzer Mini 2N2 GunPOD is all you need to transport all your gear to a three-gun match. The case is airline-approved and even has wheels. It ain’t cheap though — MSRP is $535.00. There is also a larger version, the 3N3 GunPod (below) that holds THREE Rifles up to 41″ OAL plus three handguns. Priced at $582.00, the 3N3 holds more but it’s pretty heavy (29 lbs. empty). We like the versatility and sturdiness of these CaseCruzer GunPODs.

CaseCruzer GunPOD rifle case

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 4th, 2018

Compact Trauma Kit for Shooters and Hunters

Micro Traum Kit Now! Now shooting illustrated

Shooting Illustrated Magazine recently announced its annual Golden Bullseye Awards. To be honest, some of the selections were questionable, but one product did stand out — a compact, totable first-aid kit: the Micro Trauma Kit NOW! from Blue Force Gear (BFG).

The handy Micro Trauma Kit NOW! was named “Accessory of the Year” by Shooting Illustrated. Measuring 6″ x 3.5″ x 2″ and weighing just 3.3 ounces, this little kit is easily carried in a cargo pocket or strapped to a belt or pack. We think every shooter and hunter should have something like this. (But you may want to make your own to save money).

Reviewing the Micro Trauma Kit, Shooting Illustrated found it easy to carry and deploy: “Designed for law enforcement, hunters and a citizen’s EDC kit, the trauma kit is easily deployed with a single hand or finger, made easy through the use of the company’s BLIP pull tabs. Once the tabs are pulled, the two main components of the kit separate: the outer pouch [and] the organizer insert.”

Micro Trauma Kit Now!™ Overview

This Trauma Kit comes in two versions. The standard kit includes: hemostatic dressing, 4-inch emergency trauma dressing, six 9″ lengths of medical-grade tape, Tourni-Kwik compression tourniquet, plus a pair of heavy-duty medical gloves.

The advanced fill option includes: QuickClot combat gauze, two HyFin vent chest seals, a Cleer medical trauma bandage 4-inch flat pack, a decompression needle, six 2×9 sections of frog tape, a size 28 nasopharyngeal airway and a pair of medical gloves.”

Good Product, But Pricey — Consider Making Your Own
We think every shooter and hunter should keep a small trauma kit like this in their vehicle or range bag. Much as we like these Blue Force Gear Micro Trauma Kits, we think they are over-priced at $129.00 for the standard version and $200.00 for the advanced fill option. We suggest you inspect the kits on the Blue Force Gear website, and make a list of the contents. Then you can probably create your own similar kits for one third the cost. Amazon sells basic Trauma Kit fill sets for under $25.00. Shown below are the Micro Trauma Kit Advanced Fill Option contents:

Micro Trauma Kit NOW! Supplies for Advanced Fill Option:
Micro Traum Kit Now! Now shooting illustrated

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
January 2nd, 2018

CZ 455 .22 LR Rifle Ammo Comparison Test

CZ 455 American Ammo Test Cheaper Than Dirt smallbore rimfire
The CZ-455 is very affordable, with a $389.55 street price. File photo shows Leupold scope. A different CZ 455 with Vanguard scope was used in CTD ammo test.

How accurate can a sub-$400 rimfire rifle be with moderately priced .22 LR ammo? A lot better than you might expect. CTD Blog Tester Wilburn Roberts took a box-stock CZ 455 American and got 1.1 MOA accuracy with Eley Contact ammo, and 1.3 MOA accuracy with Fiocchi HV ammo. This was shooting from the bench with a $280 3-9x40mm scope and targets set at 50 yards. The actual Eley Contact 40gr average group size for three, 5-shot groups was 0.55″. That is pretty darn impressive for a very affordable rifle with no accurizing.

CZ 455 Test Results for TEN Different Ammo Types, Shooting Three 5-Shot Groups:

CZ 455 American Ammo Test Cheaper Than Dirt smallbore rimfire
Group sizes at 50 yards, listed in inches. The .55″ equates to 1.0506 MOA at 100 yards.

Tester Wilburn Roberts was impressed with the CZ 455’s accuracy: “This is an accurate rifle, and I realized this with the first group. The rifle was fired for accuracy at 50 yards. The accompanying table (above) lists some of my results.” Along with target ammo such as Eley Contact, Roberts tested several hunting loads, such as the CCI Velocitor and Winchester Super X, that “have given good results on game”, according to Roberts. Read Full CZ 455 Review.

No Mods Except Trigger Tuning
Notably, Roberts made no changes to his CZ 455 other than adjusting the factory trigger down to 2.5 pounds: “The trigger was smooth enough from the factory at 3.5 pounds. However, if the action is separated from the stock you may adjust the trigger. A small lock nut allows adjusting the trigger, and I was able to back it off to a crisp and clean 2.5 pounds.”

Roberts observed the CZ 455 was very well-made: “The 455 is a replacement for the proven 452 series. The rifle demonstrates first-class quality. The fit and finish are excellent. I was very impressed by what you cannot see — such as chamber dimensions and internal fit and finish. The wood … is nice in appearance, and the fit of the stock to the action is excellent. Inletting is flawless. The barrel channel and the trigger guard is where less-than-perfect fitting shows, but this rifle was flawless.”

CZ 455 Offered with Multi-Caliber Package: .22 LR and 17 HMR

CZ American Combo 17 HMR .22 WMR .22 LR

Wouldn’t it be great if a rimfire rifle could shoot both .22 LR and .17 HMR? Well, CZ offers just such a rig — the CZ 455 American Combo, a versatile switch-caliber rifle priced under $500.00. The American Combo (MSRP: $557.00) comes complete with both .22 LR and .17 HMR barrels, easily interchanged with an Allen wrench. As CZ explains: “The CZ 455 eliminates the need to spend the extra expense on a second rifle when you want to add another quality shooter to your rimfire battery”. For a bit more money, you can even purchase a .22 WMR barrel, making your CZ a triple-threat varmint-slayer.

As tested by, the CZ-455 has shown impressive accuracy in both .17 HMR and .22 LR versions. In fact, when tested the CZ 455 American Combo, the .17 HMR version delivered quarter-inch groups at 50 yards. That’s darn impressive accuracy!

This Video Shows How to Interchange Barrels on a CZ 455:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
December 30th, 2017

104 Years Young, Clyde Roberts is America’s Oldest Active Hunter

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting
Photo courtesy Meghan Marchetti/Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

You are as young as you feel. Virginian Clyde Roberts, widely regarded as America’s oldest active hunter, is 104 years of age. Now four years past the century mark, Clyde remains an active hunter who loves the outdoors. In fact Clyde has had a very successful season this year. American Hunter reports: “Roberts tagged three deer… during the 2017 Virginia season — a feat, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, only 6 percent of the state’s hunters accomplish.” On his latest hunt, with his son Mike by his side, Clyde harvested a large 8-point buck with his trusty .270 Win. That latest 8-pointer marks the 11th deer Clyde has taken since turning 100 years of age.”

Watch 2015 Video Interview with Clyde Roberts

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting
Photo courtesy Mike Roberts

2016 was a good year for Clyde as well. Last deer season, Clyde took the biggest buck of his life during an Election Day hunt with his granddaughter, Christin. It was also a solid 8-point buck, the largest animal Clyde has harvested in his 40-year hunting career. CLICK HERE for Christin Elliot’s account of her Muzzle-Loader hunt with her grandfather.

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting

Clyde Roberts Started Hunting After Retirement
Remarkably, Clyde didn’t start hunting until he retired about 40 years ago. Outdoor Hub reports: “Clyde’s son, Mike, reveals … that his father wasn’t always a hunter. He simply took it up as a hobby to pass time after retirement [at the age of 65]. Perhaps the best part about Mr. Robert’s hunting career, is that for decades he’s been reaping the benefits of a $5 lifetime hunting license he purchased from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries upon his retirement.”

Clyde has done well with his $5 lifetime hunting license, observing: “I suppose the State fish and game folks figured anyone retiring would not be around long enough for them to lose money. I have hunted and trapped on that $5 license for decades!”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
December 22nd, 2017

Blast from the Past — Hitting a Quarter at 800 Yards

t-dome birdog 6 BRDX diamondback Tennessee Junebug

This story first ran two years ago, but we’re bringing it back to give you guys a smile this Holiday week. Anyone interested in long range accuracy should enjoy this tale of an amazing 800-yard shot by a talented fellow nick-named “Junebug”…

If you were challenged to hit a quarter (i.e. a 25-cent piece) at 800 yards, how would you respond? Well here’s the story of a man who did take that challenge, and proceeded to put a bullet right through the quarter. Forum member Randy D., aka “Birdog”, provides this entertaining account of how his friend Junebug drilled a quarter at 800 yards one Tennessee evening….

t-dome birdog 6 BRDX diamondback Tennessee JunebugHitting a Quarter at 800 Yards

Story and photos by Birdog
A friend from Indy visited the DOME last summer and returned home telling stories of eggs at 800 yards. He called me back and said his friends did not believe it and wanted to know if I could hit a quarter out at 800 and mail it to him.

Well, I had finally got the time for that challenge last Sunday. My friend Junebug came over and I told him about a new challenge. Junebug is sort of like Voldoc and does not like to be told it can’t be done and set his sights on the quarter. George Clay had his sleeved 700 6XC with 115gr DTACs and Bug had his Diamondback 6 BRDX and 103gr Vapor Trail bullets.

Junebug and Shayne. The quarter was at back fence row on left of photo, 80 yards short of a half-mile
t-dome birdog 6 BRDX diamondback Tennessee Junebug

Early to mid-afternoon is not the time for precision 800-yard shooting as the mirage was terrible and the wind was gusting in the high humidity and 95 temps. We took a few shots and got close but no HIT.

I told Junebug to go home and load some shells and come back at 7:00 and I believed we could make it happen. After 7:00 pm is the best time to shoot as the mirage disappears and the wind goes to zero. We met again at 7:00 and had Shayne Halliburton as witness. I took a few shots then Junebug took a few zeroing shots on metal. He was not satisfied with the grouping so he switched brass.

He had some new Hydro-formed brass that had never been fired. He took three sighters on the metal plate and the first two made two little black spots that were touching. Followed with a third shot that almost touched the first two. Darkness was setting in and I told Bug he better try the quarter now. Through my March scope I could barely see the bright quarter and my 1/16th dot completely covered the quarter.

Junebug moved the Diamondback to the quarter and touched her off. A half second later the bright spot on the black paper was gone. I jumped up and did a dance and war hoop and the Bug jumped up for a high five. Now we hoped we could find the quarter. Luckily it jumped out in front of the backer less than five feet and Bug found it immediately.

t-dome birdog 6 BRDX diamondback Tennessee Junebug

Junebug’s Rifle Specifications
Stock: Zebra-painted stock (Shehane ST1000 we believe)
Action: Stiller Diamondback
Scope: March 10-60x52mm with 1/8 MOA clicks
Cartridge: 6mm BRDX (6mmBR Norma 40° Improved similar to Dasher)
Bullet: 103-grain Vapor Trail
Gunsmith: Barrel smithed by Tim Claunch, Memphis, Tennessee

For more information (including history of the Zebra rifle), view this Shooters’ Forum Thread. Credit Boyd Allen for finding this story in our 6mmBR and 6BR Improved Sub-Forum. T-DOME photo by Forum member George.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 5th, 2017

Custom 6-6.5×47 Varmint rifle with BAT Action and Krieger Barrel

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel

With all the noise lately about the 6.5 Creedmoor, it’s easy to forget that before we had the Creedmoor, we had another accurate, efficient mid-sized cartridge, the 6.5×47 Lapua. Just as the 6.5 Creedmoor inspired the 6mm Creedmoor, the 6.5×47 Lapua has been successfully necked-down to 6mm (.243) for a 6-6.5×47 variant. This has worked great in a number of roles — benchrest, varminting, and tactical/PRS. This article, from a few seasons back, shows how the 6-6.5×47 Lapua can be successfully packaged as an accurate, potent 6mm varminter.

The 6-6.5×47 Lapua for Precision Long-Range Varminting

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel
Report by Stan Stewart

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel6mm AI ‘Sellers Remorse’ Spurs New 6mm Project
After selling my 6mm Remington Ackley Improved a couple of years ago and wishing I had not, I thought about a new customer rifle for work on Prairie Dog towns and New York wood chucks at 600+ yards. I have a .223 AR and 22-250 for medium ranges but I missed my 6mm AI for long-range work. The 22-250 is a fine chambering, but it is hard on barrels, and I think the 6mms may have an accuracy edge out past 400 yards. Also, shooters today enjoy a vast collection of really great 6mm bullets. Barrel life and bullet ooptions were two main reasons I decided to build a 6mm rather that another .224-caliber gun. But the question remained — what 6mm chambering to choose? Although I missed my 6mm AI, I did not miss fire-forming the brass, so when I learned about the 6-6.5×47 Lapua, a wildcat case easily formed by necking down the parent 6.5×47 case, I thought this might be the answer.

I started doing serious research on the 6-6.5×47 Lapua. I received a lot of good advice from and other websites on the pros and cons of the new cartridge. Most reports were positive. I also talked to gunsmiths — quite a few recommended the new cartridge as well. Some of the cartridge attributes I liked were the small rifle primer, enough case capacity to efficiently reach 3700 fps with a 70gr bullet and 3400 fps with an 85-grain, without being terribly over-bore.

Most important was the 6-6.5×47’s reputation for inherent accuracy without being finicky like my 6mm AI (my experience). So, having chosen my cartridge, I started asking for gunsmith recommendations. Again the folks on the AccurateShooter Forum were very helpful. After many conversations I settled on Dave Bruno in Dayton, Pennsylvania. He was a good choice. After working with Dave on this project, I could not be happier. He was very helpful considering this was my first complete custom gun.

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel Dave Bruno

Putting Together the New Rig with Premium Components
From the get-go, I knew I wanted a BAT action and Krieger barrel. BAT Machine and Krieger Barrels enjoy a great reputation in the shooting industry. BATs are beautifully machined, smooth, and strong. Krieger cut-rifled barrels are known for dependable accuracy and long barrel life. While many 6-6.5×47 shooters choose a 8-twist barrel to shoot the 100-108gr bullets, I would be using smaller, varmint-weight bullets, so I selected a 1:10″-twist Krieger. This would allow me to shoot bullets from 60 grains up to 90 grains. Dave chambered the barrel with an 0.269″ neck and fluted the barrel to save weight. I also had Dave install a Vais muzzle brake. The Vais brake is more expensive than some others, but it is a proven product. Dave fitted the BAT with a 2 oz. Jewell trigger, mounted with a +20 MOA scope rail, then pillar-bedded the BAT into a McMillan Hunter-Class-style fiberglass stock. The scope is a 12-42x56mm Nightforce NSX, mounted in a set of Nightforce rings I hand-lapped for better contact.

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel

Berger Bullets 88gr varmint bullet 6-6.5x47 Lapua varmint rifleLoad Development for Varminting
I had selected a few powders and bullets recommended by other 6-6.5×47 shooters and started by seating all the bullets .005″ off the lands. The powders I selected were Varget, Vihtavuori N550, and Reloder 15.

I was very pleased with the 88gr Bergers. In initial testing, they grouped well and I was able to drive them to 3400 fps easily. As I wanted a gun for long-range varmint work, I was hoping the 10-twist barrel would provide enough stability for the heavier weight bullets. It did — the 10-twist worked great! I was able to shoot the lighter weight bullets very well and the 88s were superb. With a BC of 0.391, leaving the barrel at 3400 fps, these bullets were still traveling at 2600 fps at 600 yards!

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel

I did wonder how well the 88s would work on varmints given their small meplats (and limited expansion). A call to Berger reassured me the 88s should work fine on small varmints. The test came last summer when I made a trip to NY and got to visit my old Chuck hunting farms with my new rifle and old hunting buddy. The longest shot we had was only 300 yards, but the Berger 88s did great. None of the eight critters we nailed so much as wiggled after they were hit.

I did a lot of testing, recording group sizes for a variety of different bullets and powders. With all the data collected in a spreadsheet, I was able to “crunch the numbers”, and that helped me choose my preferred loads. By looking at the average group size for the individual bullets and powders, the data drew a clear picture of what the rifle shot best. Below is a chart showing comparative group sizes, arranged by both bullet type and powder brand.

6mm Creedmoor 6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint Rifle BAT action Krieger Barrel

READ Full Article with Bullet Chron Data and Accuracy Chart »

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 6 Comments »
December 1st, 2017

Free Zeiss Hunt App with Ballistics, Weather, and GPS Tagging

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

Hunters, here’s a great FREE mobile APP for Apple and Android devices. The new ZEISS Hunting App offers many practical functions: full-featured ballistics calculator, field notes with photo archive, compass function, GPS tagging for documentation of hunting experiences, and a detailed weather forecast service. The Hunting App is offered as a FREE download, in both English and German versions.

We are impressed at how this new App integrates multiple useful features — ballistics solver, compass, GPS tagging, hunt history. The “Field Notes” function can record a wide variety of info — you can save photos, record your shots and hits, log animal sightings during the hunt, and even plot game locations on a map. Zeiss explains: “This allows users to optimally record events, the game population in the hunting territory, and their own hunting experiences.” Shots can be tagged via GPS through the shooter’s and the target’s position, and then displayed on a map. The Field Notes hunt diary shows all entries in chronological order.

GET iOS Hunting App (iTunes) | GET Android Hunting App (Google)

KEY FEATURES: Ballistics Solver, GPS Tagging, Weather Forecast, Field Notes with Photos

Full-Featured Ballistics Solver
The integrated ballistic calculator allows hunters to easily customize the settings to suit their favorite cartridges. You can enter your own data, or choose bullet/cartridge info from a database containing over 7000 ammunition types from a variety of manufacturers. The ballistics solver can be programmed for for current weather conditions (temp/humidity), and the angle (inclination) of the shot.

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

Weather Functions
The weather tool offers a Five-Day Forecast, and you can choose multiple locations. In addition to the current location, users can also display the weather for their hunting areas of choice. The weather forecast includes temperature, precipitation, wind direction, wind speed, humidity, and air pressure. (Note: For precise ballistics solutions, you must input the ACTUAL conditions at your shooting location).

Hunt Log and Photos
The Field Notes function can do many things. You can log all your shots and hits, and you can plot game sightings during the hunt. Events can be augmented with photos and GPS data. With the Field Notes mapping function, you can even locate game populations in the hunting territory. A compass and automatic night mode round off the list of smart features.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
November 22nd, 2017

Strasser Straight-Pull Hunting Rifles Now Available in USA

Strasser RS14 rifle

There is a new straight-pull hunting rifle coming to the USA. No, it’s not a Blaser, it’s a Strasser, made in Austria (not Germany like the Blaser). The new Strasser RS-14 is a premium hunting rifle with some very remarkable features. The trigger exchanges as a module, without tools. The entire barrel assembly can be swapped out in five minutes — and you can easily change bolt head so this rifle can shoot everything from small varmint cartridges all the way up to .30-Caliber Magnums.

The new RS14 Evolution, specially designed for the U.S. market, is a straight-pull, bolt-action rifle that features a removable trigger pack and the ability to easily adjust trigger weight without tools.

Strasser RS14 rifle

The quick-change bolt face allows users to quickly and easily switch between small, standard, and magnum bolt face. It comes with an integrated Picatinny rail on the receiver. USA buyers will be offered two different RS-14 models, one with grade E Walnut stock or the Tahr model with a grey, laminate stock. The first 100 of each model will be serial numbered to signify a special edition just for America. This rifle is a premium product — we expect the asking price to be in the $2500.00 range. For orders and inquiries, contact the U.S. importer, International Firearms Corporation (IFC).

Click the image below to see LARGE Version
Strasser RS14 rifle

You’ll find a detailed review of the Strasser RS-14 on
Here are highlights:

“A user can swap Strasser’s barrel and bolt face in under five minutes to accommodate new calibers, from short-action plinkers like .223 Remington to full-belted magnum loads like .300 Win Mag. You can choose your favorite calibers and different barrel and muzzle profiles.

Straight pull bolts are the quickest to operate. A traditional bolt-action rifle requires four movements: up, back, forward, down. The RS-14 requires only two: straight back and forward. That ‘extra’ speed could make all the difference in the field…

The RS-14’s bolt is a thing of beauty. Perfectly machined with a satin-smooth finish, it glides back and forth in the action’s channel. The over-sized bolt handle gives the operator a large target to grab when reloading.”

Strasser RS14 rifle


Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
November 21st, 2017

High-Tech Gun Case with Protective Air-Chamber Cushioning

Air Armor Tech Rifle Case inflatable tactical gun carrier
The Air Armor Tech Long Gun Case (LGC) holds multiple firearms up to 52″ OAL. When deflated, the 8-lb LGC stows in a 18″ x 9″ diameter roll. The LGC easily holds two long rifles with optics. The LGC comes complete with internal tie-downs for rifle and pistol, plus external shoulder straps for field carry.

Here’s something new and clever — a gun case with inflatable air chambers to protect the rifle. This definitely could have benefits for hunters and tactical shooters. This new Air Armor Tech military-grade gun case was recently tested by American Rifleman magazine. This gun case was developed by Blaine “Rock” Tompkins, a retired fighter pilot.

Air Armor Tech Rifle Case inflatable tactical gun carrier

American Rifleman’s tester liked the product: “Typical foam-filled soft cases are inexpensive but don’t offer all that much padding. While hard cases provide more protection, they are bulky and take up a lot of storage space. Air Armor Tech’s inflatable gun cases … provide plenty of padding while being lightweight and easy to store. The three-pipe inflation system allows both of the 3-inch-thick (when fully inflated) air bladders to be quickly inflated.” Air Armor Tech offers two sizes, the Long Gun Case (LGC) that holds guns up to 52″ OAL, and the Mid-Length Gun Case (MLGC) that holds firearms up to 42″ OAL.

Air Armor Tech Rifle Case inflatable tactical gun carrier

Air Armor Tech’s cases aren’t cheap — the LGC is $549 while the smaller MLGC is $499 — but when you consider your investment in rifle and optics, maybe this makes sense, particularly for hunters. Inside the bag are twin air bladders (see photo above) that cushion your guns. When deflated, the Air Armor Tech case can be rolled into a something the size of a sleeping bag.

Here are three videos that show the Air Armor Tech case works — and how it even floats. This air-cushioned bag definitely offers added protection for expensive firearms and optics.

Air Armor Tech Gun Case Features

Air Armor Tech Case on River Trip

Air Armor Tech Extended Field Test Report

“Air Armor Tech sent me a military grade inflatable rifle case to review. I’ve been using it for a couple of months on hunting trips, trips to the range and just about anything else I take a rifle or shotgun to. After using it for months, I can state without hesitation that the Air Armor Tech rifle and shotgun case is the toughest, lightest, handiest and best-made rifle case I have ever owned. It also protects my long guns better than anything I have ever tried. Besides, it even floats.” — Gun Guy, 09/25/17

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