The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot, the richest varmint shoot East of the Mississippi, is just days away. Now in its 35th year, the hugely popular Hickory Shoot will be held this upcoming Saturday, April 4, 2015 starting at 8:00 am. If you have any questions call Larry Willis of Bull’s Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948.
In years past over $7,000 worth of prizes and cash has been awarded. The normal course of fire is three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and other prizes. The basic entry fee is just $25.00 per gun. That’s cheap for a chance to win a bundle of cash, plus valuable prizes such as Shehane stocks and Nightforce optics. So get your best rifle, load up some ammo and head to the Hickory range located at 8216 Will Hudson Road, Lawndale NC 28090. The practice range will be open until 6:00 pm Tuesday-Thursday, but will close at 1:00 pm on Friday.
How to Get to the Hickory Shoot
Anatomy of a Hickory-Winning Rig — Brady’s Record-Setting 6BR
If you wonder what kind of rifle can win the big money at the Hickory Shoot, have a look at Terry Brady’s 42-lb 6BR. In 2010, Terry Brady won the Custom Class in the Hickory Shoot, setting an all-time record with a 99 score*. Terry was shooting a straight 6mmBR with 105gr Berger VLD bullets. His rifle looks “normal”, but it was actually purpose-built for Groundhog shoots, which have no weight limit in Custom Class. The fiberglass Shehane Tracker stock was stuffed with lead shot from stem to stern, so that the gun weighs nearly 42 pounds with optics. The Hickory winner, smithed by Mike Davis of Zionville, NC, featured a BAT DS action with a straight-contour, gain-twist Krieger barrel. The twist rate starts at 1:8.7″ and increases to 1:8.3″ at the muzzle. Terry was shooting a relatively moderate load of 30.5 grains Varget with Danzac-coated bullets. This load absolutely hammered, but Terry thinks the gun might shoot even better if the load was “hotted up a little.”
Minimal Recoil and Insane Accuracy at 500 yards
In the picture above you see the Hickory winner fitted with a 5″-wide front plate. This was crafted from aluminum by Gordy Gritters, and Terry said “it only adds a few ounces” to the gun. Mike Davis installed threaded anchors in the fore-end so the plate can be removed for events where forearm width is restricted to 3″. The plate is symmetrical, adding 1″ extra width on either side of the Shehane Tracker stock. Gordy can also craft a 5″ plate that offsets the rifle to one side or the other. Terry hasn’t experimented with an offset front bag-rider, but he thinks it might work well with a heavier-recoiling caliber. Terry actually shot most of the Hickory match without the front plate so he could use his regular 3″-wide front bag. Even with the plate removed, Terry’s Hickory-winning 6BR barely moves on the bags during recoil, according to Terry: “You just pull the trigger and with a little push you’re right back on target.” With this gun, Terry, his son Chris, Chris’s girlfriend Jessica, and Terry’s friend Ben Yarborough nailed an egg at 500 yards four times in a row. That’s impressive accuracy.
*The Hickory employs “worst-edge” scoring, meaning if you cut a scoring line you get the next lower score. One of Terry’s shots was right on the edge of the white and another was centered right between white and black at 3 o’clock. Accordingly he only received 27 points for each of the 300 and 500-yard stages. Under “best-edge” scoring, Terry would have scored even higher.
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In most parts of the country it’s still too early for a prairie dog safari. Spring has barely sprung, and the critters haven’t come out to play. If you are missing the fun of a prairie dog hunt, here’s an arcade-type shooting game that lets you blast the critters to your heart’s content. Just use your mouse to move the crosshair and click to shoot. A hit on a can is worth one point, a hit on a prairie dog is worth two.
Hint: Try re-centering the crosshair after each shot — that way you never have to move more than halfway across the screen when the p-dog pops up. Go to it and have fun!
WARNING: LOUD AUDIO with SHOOTING NOISES!! If you click on this link, a page will load and very loud audio starts running automatically. If you are at work, turn down your speakers!
NOTE: When the new page loads, if you click “Play Game” the loud talking will stop.
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This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog
Get the Sierra Bullets tech staff together and you have an impressive brain trust, with a vast amount of knowledge about all things shooting- and hunting-related. We asked a variety of Sierra Bullets staffers, all avid hunters, about their favorite hunting venues. Here are their answers to the question: “If you could hunt anything, anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you hunt?”
In a corner of the Blaser booth at the IWA show in Germany was a very special rifle — Blaser R8 Serial Number 100,000. This one-of-a-kind Blaser is blinged to the max, befitting its milestone status as the 100,000th R8. “Designed without compromise” this rifle features mind-blowing wood, and elaborate engraving. It is highly decorated with images of the Argali, a type of big-horned sheep.
CLICK Photo to See Large, Full-Screen Image (More Detail)
What’s in a number? Blaser tell us: “In serial number 100,000… Nothing short of perfection would be acceptable from the masters of wood and steel. Two internationally recognized artists were selected, each working in their unique mediums. Painter Rudi Kohl has drafted, in his signature style, a painstaking depiction of Argali, the king of wild sheep, in their natural habitat. Engraver Jürgen Göser was then responsible for implementation of the drafts. The master engraver went about his task in his usual manner, meticulously and with absolute attention to detail.” Skeletonized octagonal pistol grip cap and steel butt plate, inlayed with ebony, were then added to complete the frame.
This R8 has some interesting hardware. The barrel is a fluted octagonal tube, the first of its kind on a Blaser R8. Front and rear sights were custom-machined from billet to blend with the silhouette of the rifle. Both receiver and bolt housing were shaped and polished by hand.
Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Thinking about getting a Savage rifle? With the Save on a Savage Rebate you can save up to $100.00. Here’s how the promo works: Get a Savage Model 12 or 10/110 LE Series rifle and claim a $100 mail-in rebate, or choose any Model 25, Trophy Predator Hunter, or AXIS Heavy Barrel and get $50 back. Rimfire shooters who purchase any Mark ll, Model 93, 93R17 or B.MAG will be eligible for a $25 mail-in rebate. To qualify for the rebate, you must purchase the rifle before May 31, 2015, and submit a rebate form before June 30, 2015.
Read the Fine Print — Details of Offer
Firearms must be purchased between February 1, 2015 and May 31, 2015. Rebate coupon must be received by June 30, 2015. Trophy Hunter XP and Trophy Predator Hunter XP models eligible in U.S. only; Int’l Trophy Hunter XP and Int’l Trophy Predator Hunter XP models eligible in Canada only. This rebate of Federal Firearms Excise Tax is paid for the benefit of our vendee as a reduction in their original purchase price of the article. Offer valid in U.S. and Canada; U.S. funds only.
Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submission.
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In our Shooters’ Forum thread about Portable Shooting Benches, Forum member John H. of New Mexico (aka “Skratch”) showed off a nicely-crafted mobile shooting bench that he can haul with his ATV. This trailer-mounted, movable bench is built on a central tubular spine that also serves as the tongue for the trailer, which attaches to a standard hitch. The bench offers two (2) shooting positions so it works for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.
Up front, for storage, a surplus .50-Cal ammo can is secured to the trailer frame. The V-shaped middle section of the wood benchtop looks to be reinforced with a metal stiffener frame on the underside. The front section of the bench is supported by twin tubular uprights attached to the box-section axle housing. The two wooden bench-style seats (on left and right) ride on a cross-tube. At the ends of that cross-tube are adjustable legs for additional support.
Great Rig for New Mexico Varmint Hunting
There are plenty of great varmint hunting areas in Skratch’s home state of New Mexico — you’ll find some huge prairie dog fields there. But to get the best results on a varmint-hunting field session, you need a solid shooting station that can be easily hauled to new locations as needed. It looks like John (aka “Scratch”) has come up with an outstanding “War Wagon” for his New Mexico varmint safaris.
Nosler has just introduced a new cartridge, the 28 Nosler. This new 7mm hunting round delivers magnum-class velocities in a cartridge that fits a standard action. The 28 Nosler is capable of launching a 160gr Accubond at 3300 fps. The 28 Nosler uses the same parent case as the 26 Nosler, introduced in 2014. Designed for a maximum COAL of 3.340″, the 28 Nosler will operate in a standard action that is lighter (and more compact) than a magnum action.
The 28 Nosler offers serious knock-down power for the long-range hunter. The factory 185gr Accubond load retains over 2000 ft/lbs. of energy at 600 yards, and remains supersonic well past 1000 yards. Nosler factory ammo will be offered with 160gr and 185gr bullet-weight options.
Previewing the 28 Nosler:
For hand-loaders, Nosler will also offer 28 Nosler cartridge brass. It will be interesting to see whether some F-Class competition shooters experiment with the 28 Nosler (and heavy match bullets) as an alternative to the .284 Winchester or short magnums (WSM or RSAUM).
28 Nosler Ballistics
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Semi-auto 17 HMR — could this be the perfect light-recoiling fun gun and squirrel slayer? With its new A17, Savage has created a gun that should be hugely popular. If you like the Ruger 10/22, you’ll love the A17. It shoots a more powerful cartridge, and has a stronger action and a better trigger. With a beefy steel action that looks like it belongs on a centerfire, this gun is strong. With quality barrels (fitted, as you’d expect, with a barrel nut), the A17 is accurate. And with the capability to launch 17 HMR rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger this gun is a hoot to shoot. The ability to get a quick second shot (without disturbing the rifle by working the bolt) will be a game-changer in the varmint fields.
Watch Us Shoot the New A17 (Rapid-Fire at 1:50):
Star of the Show
Jason and I both felt that the star of this 2015 Industry Range Day was this modestly-priced little Savage A17 in 17 HMR. MSRP is $469.00 we were told. No one knows the “street price” yet but we expect that to be about $370.00. Both of us wanted to own one of these compact new rifles (Jason tried to buy one on the spot) — what does that tell you? With a strong steel action, the A17 is accurate, fun, and ultra-reliable.
Jason put the gun through three rapid fire drills — firing as fast as he could pull the trigger. We could not get the A17 to malfunction in any way. It just ripped through magazines like a sewing machine. Flawless operation. Bill Dermody of ATK says “this is one of the most thoroughly tested Savage rifles ever. We put over half a million test rounds through the rifle during development. That’s why it’s so reliable.”
The Magic Chicklet
Look below at the A17 bolt. The little black hardened metal piece (called a “chicklet” by the Savage engineers) is the secret ingredient. It works like a retracting lug, allowing the A17 to operate in delayed blow-back mode. That permits the A17 to function flawlessly with the energetic 17 HMR cartridge.
Optimized 17 HMR Ammo That’s 100 FPS Faster
CCI has developed new, higher-velocity 17 HMR ammo for the A17. Because Savage is now part of the ATK conglomerate, CCI is now Savage’s sister company. So, CCI and Savage cooperated during the development of the A17. CCI found a way to get more speed from the 17 HMR and Savage engineered an action and bolt that are strong enough to handle the new 17 HMR ammo, which runs 100 fps faster than other 17 HMR ammo on the market.
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Just another YouTube video … NOT. This video is a winner. If you want to see state-of-the-art 21st Century rifle-building, with advanced CNC milling operations, watch this clip. It shows how man and machine combine to create a fine custom rifle.
One of the best short features of its kind, this video shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the build are covered. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).
Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting.
For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.
Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.
Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.
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The Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) has renounced the use of its name and scoring system in conjunction with hunting programs that use captive deer and elk. “With the growth of the deer breeding and shooting industry, and modern marketing and selling of ‘shooter bucks’ raised in captivity and graded and sold using B&C scores, it was time to make this unauthorized use of our scoring system more widely known,” said B&C club president William A. Demmer.
The Idaho Statesman agrees: “The Boone and Crockett Club has reinforced its heritage as a conservation organization by banning the use of its name and scoring system for captive deer and elk advertised for or killed in canned hunts. It’s the right call for the club and an important step to separate trophy, free-ranging big-game animals taken by hunters under fair-chase conditions from captive animals manipulated to grow large antlers and shot in a controlled, captive environment.”
For nearly 100 years Boone and Crockett’s record books and B&C scores have been considered the gold standard for evaluating and verifying the trophy quantity of wild, native North American big game taken under fair chase conditions. With this resolution, ratified at Boone and Crockett’s 127th annual meeting this month, B&C is taking a firm stand against captive game hunting programs:
The Boone and Crockett Club scoring system exists to document the successful conservation of wild game animals in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club objects to and rejects any use of or reference to the Boone and Crockett Club or its scoring system in connection with antlers/horns grown by animals in captivity.
Through this official resolution, the Club reaffirms that no one is authorized to exploit this standard by using the B&C scoring system, name or logo in connection with captive animals. The Club strictly opposes any attempt to legitimize the trophy quality of pen-raised animals or put and take shooting operations by associating either with the Boone and Crockett Club.
About Boone and Crockett Club Scoring
The Boone and Crockett Club’s records program was established in 1906 as a way of detailing species once thought headed for extinction. In response to public interest generated by B&C’s National Collection of Heads and Horns in the 1920s, and increased hunting by the general public, the Club established an official measurement and scoring system for trophy big game. The National Collection and the measurement system were initially conceived to record species of North American big game thought to be vanishing. Club Members and others in the scientific community soon recognized that the system was an effective means of tracking the success of new conservation policies. Today, the B&C scoring system is used to collect data on free-ranging big game. These data reflect successful conservation efforts, population health and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife policies.
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You’re looking at the #1 product our readers have purchased at Amazon.com this month. And we’re not surprised. What outdoorsman would not want a thermos configured like an giant-sized shotgun shell? This is an ideal gift for the shooting enthusiast. Stansport offers shotshell-style thermal bottles in two sizes. The “12 gauge” bottle holds 25 ounces of liquid while the smaller “20 gauge” bottle carries 16 ounces. Both bottles feature a brass-colored screw-on top that doubles as a drinking cup. There is a second, gasket-sealed stopper with a quick-dispense feature. This allows you to pour the hot contents without needing to remove the screw-in stopper. That’s smart — one less item to drop on the ground.
These shotshell thermal cannisters are offered in four colors: Red, Black, Green, and Yellow (16 oz. only). All shotshell thermal bottles feature double-wall 18-8 stainless steel insulated construction with insulated cap. Prices for the red, 25-oz. version start at $27.31 on Amazon.com. (Other colors may cost more — also check for free shipping offers).
Shotshell Thermos Demo Video on YouTube
A hunter who owns one of these Shotshell Thermos bottles has posted a video of his bottle on YouTube. The video will give you an idea of the size of the cannister and how the outer cap/cup and inner stopper work. CLICK HERE to watch Shotshell Thermos Video.
Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.
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Smith & Wesson (S&W), has agreed to acquire Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. for $130.5 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in December. In acquiring Battenfeld, S&W will become an industry leading in the sales of hunting, shooting, and reloading tools and accessories. Battenfeld markets dozens of popular products such as Tipton gun vises, Frankford Arsenal tumblers, Caldwell shooting rests, and Goldenrod safe heaters.
Founded 22 years ago, Battenfeld Technologies has generated a largely organic* compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 18% (Since 2006). Based in a 145,000-square-foot facility in Columbia, Missouri, Battenfeld Technologies develops and sells shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, and gun cleaning supplies under several brands, including Caldwell, Frankford Arsenal, GoldenRod, Lockdown, Tipton, and Wheeler Engineering. Battenfeld grew rapidly by developing new products and by acquiring smaller accessories makers such as BOG-POD and GoldenRod.
Acquisition Helps S&W Expand Accessories Business with Strong Brand
James Debney, Smith & Wesson President and CEO, said, “Battenfeld Technologies… fits perfectly within our core firearm business. It also allows us to move more strongly into the hunting vertical as well as establish a strong platform for growth in our existing firearm accessories business[.] Battenfeld Technologies’ sophisticated sourcing and distribution infrastructure, should provide a solid framework for organic and inorganic growth as the new accessories division of Smith & Wesson. Our intention is that eventually all existing Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, and Thompson/Center Arms accessories will be housed within this new division.”
*Biz Terminology 101: Organic growth is the process of business expansion due to increasing overall customer base, increased output per customer or representative, new sales, or any combination of the above, as opposed to mergers and acquisitions, which are examples of inorganic growth.
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