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 TheTruthAboutGuns.com.
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

Read FULL REVIEW on TheTruthAboutGuns.com »

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

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
November 18th, 2017

Wild Game Recipes for Thanksgiving from NRABlog.com

Thanksgiving recipes NRABlog.com

Looking for culinary inspiration for your holiday gatherings? The NRA Blog offers three special (and delicious) Wild Game Recipes for your family feasts: Honey Mustard Planked Wild Turkey Breast, Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Boar Roast with Black Truffle Sauce, and BBQ Brined Pigeon. These recipes come from some of the country’s best chefs, and they all seem mouth-watering. You’ll find a full list of ingredients plus step-by-step cooking tips.

One of the many advantages to hunting is the assortment of game you can gather that lasts for an extended period of time. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to stick with a whole turkey from the store and a ham hock.

We have three unique spins on wild game recipes that will suit your dining table perfectly. Even if you’re one of those hunters who enjoys a quick hunt the morning of Thanksgiving, these recipes will make your holiday more delicious than ever. — NRABlog.com

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
November 16th, 2017

Ammo Reference Book Covers 200+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 6. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 200+ cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). In this updated-for-2017 Sixth Edition, there are over 3,000 tables covering virtually every caliber and every load for all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the USA. Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Ammo & Ballistics 6 helps you select ammo for a hunt — quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various commercial ammo. This book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig.

Verified Book Purchaser Reviews
“Outstanding reference guide for shooters and ballistic enthusiasts alike. Has data on velocity, energy delivered, Taylor KO index, windage and elevation on numerous loadings for hundreds of calibers, with all this being preceded by a few pages on the science of ballistics and a few anecdotes. Good reads. Each cartridge has all dimensions labeled (i.e rim, case length, neck, etc.), and has an informative description of the cartridges history/relevance.” — S. Step, 2017

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 13th, 2017

Bargain Finder 112: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Dick’s Sporting Goods — Black Friday Gun Safe Sale

Black Friday Gun Safe Deal Dicks sporting goods

Need a Gun Safe? Head down to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Black Friday (11/25/2017). The giant, 64-gun Stack-On Sentinel vault will be marked down from $1499.99 to $699.98, a $800 savings, and a killer deal on a BIG vault! A medium-sized 24-gun safe will sell for just $399.98 — $300 off the regular price. NOTE, if you cannot wait until Black Friday, you can still save with pre-Black Friday sale pricing right now. You’ll pay more than on Black Friday, but there are still some significant savings. For example, right now you can get the Field & Stream Pro 36-gun safe for $699.98, marked down from $899.99.

NOTE: The Biggest Discounts (in the Red Advert above) are for Black Friday, 11/25/2017 ONLY! Lesser discounts apply now.

2. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $224.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $224.99, after RCBS $25.00 Rebate. Hell of a Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $249.99. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. The Natchez price is $70-$90 cheaper than many other vendors. Plus this Master Reloading Kit now qualifies for a $25.00 RCBS Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $224.99. That an amazing deal considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more…

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

3. Midsouth — Radians Moldable Earplugs, $10.88

Radians molded custom ear plugs

If you’re a shooter, you need hearing protection — serious hearing protection. Along with muffs and disposable foam plugs, custom molded hearing protection is an option. You can spend up to $100.00 per set for molded plugs at a gunshow or you can buy the Radian’s moldable plugs for $10.88 at Midsouth. If you follow the simple instructions, you can custom-mold these to our own ears in just 10 minutes. Many people feel this is the most secure and comfortable form of ear protection if you need hearing protection for many hours at a time. Five different colors are available. After molding, the units are washable, so they can be re-used many times. We recommend replacing the sets every few months.

4. Natchez — Weaver 36x40mm T-XR Scope. $339.99 w/Rebate

Radians molded custom ear plugs

If you read our recent report on fixed-power F-Class optics, you’ll know that a fixed-power scopes are not just for 100/200-yard centerfire Benchrest competition. These can be used for F-Class competition, varmint matches, rimfire BR, and air rifle matches. You give up some flexibility without the variable power, but the scope will be lighter, less expensive, and potentially more reliable. We do a lot of load development work with a Weaver 36X scope because it is “dead nuts” reliable. Right now the Weaver T-Series XR 36x40mm scope (Fine Cross-Hair + Dot) is just $369.99 at Natchez Shooter’s Supply. But it gets better — this side-parallax optic qualifies for a $30.00 Weaver Rebate PLUS you can get $20.00 off with Natchez Code DOT171110. So your total NET Cost is just $319.99. NOTE: You can get this XR scope with silver finish and FCH reticle for the same $369.99 price, with the same promotions.

5. CDNN — Savage 11/111 Rifle with Bushnell Scope, $349.99

Savage 11/111 Bushnell scope rebate sale package hunter hunting

Need a reliable sub-MOA hunting rifle? Here’s heck of a deal on rifle AND optic. Right now you can purchase a Savage model 11/111 for $349.99 after $100 mail-in rebate from Savage. And get this — that price includes a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. That’s right, you get a brand new Savage rifle plus a new Bushnell scope, all for $349.99 after rebate. Great Deal. Chose the Long Action model 111 or the Short Action model 11. Fifteen popular chamberings are offered, so you’re sure to find a caliber/cartridge that suits your hunting requirements. Choices are: .243 Win, .25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5×284 NORMA, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Federal, and .338 Win Mag.

6. Hornady — New 4DOF Mobile Ballistic App, FREE

Hornady Free Ballistic App


GET Apple iOS Version HERE | GET Android OS Version HERE

Hornady Ballistic Ballistics App Mobile 4DOF degrees of freedom aerodynamic jump Android Apple iOSHornady has released a new FREE Ballistic Calculator App for iOS (Apple) and Android OS. This new Mobile Ballistic App includes Hornady’s advanced 4DOF™ calculator as well as a standard BC (ballistic coefficient) calculator. The Hornady Ballistic Calculator App is Bluetooth-enabled so it can communicate with select wind meters.

The Hornady Ballistic App is FREE but you do need to supply an email address. We found the App downloaded quickly and installed easily. While the Mobile Ballistic App is new, Hornady has offered a web-based online 4DOF Ballistic App since August 2016.

7. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

8. CDNN — Ruger 9E 9mm Pistol, $279.99

Radians molded custom ear plugs

There have been some great deals on polymer-framed 9x19mm pistols lately, and this is one of the best. The Ruger 9E has won many converts from Glock ranks with its comfortable ergonomics, low bore axis, and unique reversible backstrap (flat or arched) that lets you quickly customize the grip size and feel. Another nice feature is the raked front sight for easier holstering. Right now you can get the Ruger 9E for just $279.99. That’s over $200 less than a Glock 19. And though the Glock costs way more, we actually prefer the Ruger’s grip angle, sights, and controls.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, $649.00

Mystery Deal of Week LRF Laser Rangefinder Amazon

Not too long ago, this big name, European-engineered item sold for $799.00 and offered best-in-class performance at that price. Now this same high-end product can be had for just $649.00 at Amazon. A key tool for hunters and tactical shooters, this compact, 6.4 oz. product offers great performance with the backing of a world-class manufacturer. If you like European electro-optics, this big-name product will help you get on target all the way out to 2000 yards. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 1 Comment »
November 10th, 2017

Program Helps Hunters Donate Food for the Needy

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

We support Hunters for the Hungry, a program that feeds needy families in the USA. Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) is an NRA program that gives back to communities by supplying meals throughout the country. The NRA works closely with state agencies that supervise meat donations. Since the program’s inception, Hunters for the Hungry has brought millions of pounds of venison to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks across the United States. This program has been in place for 24 years. In 2013, HFTH affiliates donated 2.6 million pounds of meat, equating to 10.3 million meals.

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

Hunt and Help Others
Many American hunters are able to harvest more than they can eat or share with friends and family. Through Hunters for the Hungry you can help share your bounty with those in need.

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

Donation Rules and Regulations
All donated game must be field dressed and legally harvested. Note that each state has different rules and regulations for donations, please check with your local drop off location prior to donating.


Questions? READ Hunters for the Hungry FAQ »

To learn more about Hunters for the Hungry, call (800) 492-4868 (option3) or email hservices@nrahq.org for more information.

Many hunters work with organizations dedicated to the cause of helping the hungry, such as Hunters for the Hungry, Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Hunt to Feed, and Buckmasters, among others. The game meat satisfies shelters’ need for nutritious food items. Dave Williams, who manages food resources for a Georgia food bank, said that “Deer venison is such a low-fat, high-protein item, agencies greatly appreciate getting it.” Another recent news report pointed out that one deer can feed up to 200 people. Ground venison is a versatile food, with cooks using it in pasta sauces, chili, tacos, meatloaf, burgers and other dishes.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
November 7th, 2017

Wall Poster Illustrates Hunting Cartridges and Game Species

game hunting species poster ammunition cartridge hunting ammo wall illustration
Click to View Large Size Poster.

Need something for the walls of your “man cave” or reloading room? The creators of the Cartridge Comparison Guide offer a nice poster showing 85 classic varmint and hunting cartridges. Along with cartridges (from 17 Mach2 all the way up to the 517 Nitro Express), this full-color 18″ x 24″ wall poster shows dozens of game animal types, including all the great African species. This unique Game & Ammo Hunting Poster opens reveals the range and breadth of game animals that can be hunted on the world stage, while providing a comprehensive sampling of proven cartridges for hunting these animals. Priced at $14.99, this poster was developed in cooperation with Hunter Education instructors.

In addition to the Game & Ammo Poster, ChamberIt.com offers 15 other large wall posters that display a variety of cartridge types. For example, the Rifleman’s Classic Poster, a full 38 inches wide and 27 inches tall, is the most comprehensive. This $15.99 poster displays 272 rifle cartridge types at true size (within 4/1000 of an inch). Cartridges shown range from .17 caliber all the way up to the big boomers (including some cannon shells). The Rifleman’s Classic Poster includes all American Standardized Rifle Cartridges (as of 2013) and many European rifle cartridges.

Rifleman’s Classic Poster
Big Bore Cartridge Comparison Guide Poster
Click to view large size poster.

Ammunition Performance Specifications Poster
There is also an interesting Ammo Performance Specs poster. This shows dozens of popular hunting cartridges with the velocity, energy, momentum and recoil for each cartridge displayed in a bar graph.

Ammo Ammunition Comparison Guide Poster

This shows the actual size of the Ammo Performance Poster as displayed on a wall.
Ammo Ammunition Comparison Guide Poster

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 3rd, 2017

Killer Deals on Leica Hunting Scopes — 50% OFF Sale

Leica ER5 Hunting scope riflescope sale discount 50% off

If you need a high-quality scope for your hunting rifle, here are some exceptional deals on premium European-designed optics from Leica, a world leader in optics technology. Right now at EuroOptic.com you can get top-quality Leica ER5 riflescopes for 50% off. For example the ER5 2-10x50mm scope with Plex reticle, normally $999.00 is now priced at just $499.00. CLICK HERE for ER5 Product Specs.

Leica ER5 Hunting scope riflescope sale discount 50% off

These Leica prices are so LOW and the scopes are selling so fast we wanted to let you guys know. Jason Baney helped get this site off the ground a decade ago (when we were 6mmBR.com). Now Jason works at EuroOptic.com. He called to let us know about this special sale on Leica hunting scopes.

Jason notes: “FYI, these are MADE-IN-USA and the turrets under the caps are appropriately marked and finger-adjustable to be able to dial up in the field. Also you can reset the zero on the turret by just lifting to disengage and then push it back down to lock in — very slick”. Learn More HERE.

Available models on sale are: ER5 2-10x50mm (4 reticles); ER5 3-15x56mm (4 reticles); ER5 4-20x50mm (2 reticles)

Leica ER5 Hunting scope riflescope sale discount 50% off

Leica ER5 Hunting scope riflescope sale discount 50% off

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 1 Comment »
November 2nd, 2017

Get FREE Classic Hunting Books as Downloadable PDFs

Free PDF hunting books Nitro Express Forum

Are you looking for some outdoors-oriented reading material? Do you enjoy classic hunting adventures from around the globe? Then log on to the NitroExpress.com Forum. There you’ll find links for literally hundreds of vintage hunting stories, and even complete books, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s classic African Game Trails and Good Hunting, plus the wonderful book African Campfires by Stewart E. White, one of Roosevelt’s close friends and hunting companions.

CLICK HERE for Hundreds of Vintage Hunting Books and Articles | Alternate Link

Theodore Roosevelt Good HuntingAmong the downloadable titles are The Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo (leaflet edition) by Lt.Col. J. H. Patterson, the true tale that inspired the Hollywood movie, The Ghost and the Darkness, staring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. The online version of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo book (right) is a shorter, 140-page edition created for Chicago’s Field Museum, which purchased the skins of the lions from Patterson and put them on display.

You’ll find scores of classic adventure tales, recounting hunts in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. You’ll doubtless find something of interest, whether it be Bear Hunting in BC, Chamois Hunting in Bavaria, Reindeer (Caribou) Hunting in Iceland, Jaguar Hunting in South America, or Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa. Hundreds of articles, all scanned from original texts and saved as PDFs, are available for downloading — and they are all free for the taking. Many of these works feature handsome original illustrations, as shown below.

Theodore Roosevelt Good Hunting

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 29th, 2017

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Thomas Haugland HuntingHunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2017

Father and Son Hunting Adventures — Rifle and Gear Options

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

One of the most memorable things a father and son can do is go hunting. Time spent in the field together builds bonds that last a lifetime. A young man will remember those special fall hunts he did with his Dad. And as he grows into maturity, that same young hunter will carry cherished memories forward all his life, along with an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

There are many elements to a successful hunt — location, game activity, weather, stalking skills, and yes, a little bit of luck. You can’t control the weather (or the whims of whitetails), but you can increase your odds of success with the right gear. Here are some items that will help a father and son on a hunting adventure this fall.

A Boy’s First Centerfire Hunting Rifle

We’ve found a great choice for a young man’s first centerfire rifle — at a great price. Right now the Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel is just $349.99 at Whittaker Guns. This special Youth model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull. Weighing under 5.7 pounds with a light-contour 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a young man to carry easily. Add a discounted scope, and you can have the whole rig for under $550.00 complete.

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Hunting gear 6.5 Grendel Howa Rifle Mini Action father son hunter huntingYes a young man could start off with a big .30-06 shooting 200-grain bullets. But we think it’s wise to begin with a smaller, lighter-recoiling caliber. There are countless cartridge choices, but the compact 6.5 Grendel offers a good balance of power and accuracy with moderate recoil. The 6.5 Grendel boasts ballistics superior to the venerable 30/30, so it is capable of taking whitetail deer and other medium-sized game. Recoil is milder than a 30-caliber, and the accuracy is excellent. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

Great Gear Items for a Father and Son Hunting Trip

Here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. If you have a family hunt planned, check out these useful items. The Remington pack carries both your rifle and your gear. The electronic muffs provide hearing protection while still allowing conversations. The walkie-talkies let you communicate with your base camp even miles away.

Remington Twin Mesa Day Pack

This comfortable Remington Pack provides lots of capacity on the inside, plus a special harness system for toting your rifle. That keeps your hands free for your rangefinder and binoculars. The pack is mesh-lined for comfort and has nicely padded hip belt and shoulder straps. Five outside pockets hold small items securely. Priced at $73.53 with free shipping, this pack is a good choice for a hunter’s carrying system.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

Motorola 2-way 22 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 21st, 2017

New Hornady 6.5 PRC — Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady has introduced a new Short Magnum cartridge, the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). This will be offered as factory ammo in both a “Match” version (with 147gr ELD) and a “Precision Hunter” version (with 143gr ELD-X bullet). Presumably, in the future, Hornady will offer 6.5 PRC brass separately for hand-loaders, but Hornady has no time-line for brass availability. However, you can get 6.5 PRC brass right now from GA Precision at $86.00 per 100 cases. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop this cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.”

The 6.5 PRC Match seems to be aimed at the PRS crowd and long-range tactical shooters. The product launch photo shows a tactical rifle and steel plate. Hornady says the 6.5 PRC was “designed to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, flat trajectory, and extended range performance in a sensibly-designed compact package. Utilizing moderate powder charges that result in repeatable accuracy, low recoil, and reasonable barrel life, the 6.5 PRC produces high velocities for target shooting with performance well beyond 1000 yards.”

“High Velocities”? Wait a minute — here’s the ballistics chart from Hornady’s 6.5 PRC page. It shows a muzzle velocity of 2910 FPS. That’s not much better than a 6.5 Creedmoor (which can push 140s over 2800 fps), so we wonder about this. You have to ask — what is the point? Is there anything this 6.5 PRC can do that the venerable 6.5-284 can’t do just as well or better — with a standard bolt face?

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge Hunter ELD-X

New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532”). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble?

Comment — Does This New 6.5 PRC Cartridge Fill a Need?
Honestly, we don’t get this. If you need more speed than a 6.5 Creedmoor and want to stick with a .264-diameter bullet, then shoot a .260 Rem or 6.5-284 using a standard bolt. This requires a magnum bolt face. The 6.5-284 is a barrel burner; the 6.5 PRC promises to be likewise. On the other hand it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

The 6.5 PRC clearly seems to be targeted at the PRS crowd. But we see many top PRS competitors moving DOWN in cartridge size, rather than up. Many PRS guys have stepped down from the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6mm Creedmoor, or even a 6mm Dasher. The benefit is less recoil, and cheaper bullets. Are there really many PRS shooters clamoring for a short magnum? We don’t think so.

We’ll see if this new 6.5 PRC cartridge catches on — maybe some PRS guys will want this for long-range side matches. Rifle makers currently chambering the 6.5 PRC include GA Precision, Gunwerks, PROOF Research, Stuteville Precision and Seekins Precision.

6.5 PRC Ammunition for Hunters — Also New for 2018
Hornady will also sell a version of 6.5 PRC ammo design for hunters. The Precision Hunter version, shown below, is loaded with the 143-grain ELD-X Bullet. Again, however, we really don’t know why any hunter would want to shoot this cartridge, when you already have so many good choices, such as the 6.5x55mm Swede, and the original .284 Winchester, both of which can use a standard bolt face.

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

If you have a hunting rifle with a magnum-size bolt, why not shoot the 7mm RSAUM or 7mm WSM? Barrel life is not really an issue for hunters, so the smaller case capacity of the 6.5 PRC is not really an advantage. Perhaps the veteran hunters among our readers can enlighten us, using the comments section. Would you build a hunting rifle chambered for the 6.5 PRC?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical 37 Comments »
October 17th, 2017

Cabela’s Offers Temp-Responsive, Color-Shifting Camo Gear

hunting clothing colorphase temp sensitive hunter camo camouflage

Wouldn’t it be great if hunting clothing could adapt itself to the environment, changing colors to match the season. Sound like science fiction? In fact, this technology actually exists. Read on to learn about a new technology for hunters — color-shifting camouflage clothing.

Cabela’s exclusive “ColorPhase” camo gear is temperature-sensitive. As the temperature declines, ColorPhase clothing migrates from greens to browns and then to grays. This is achieved with a special rapid-reacting, temp-sensitive die. According to Cabela’s, ColorPhase camo is printed with “rapid-change, temperature-activated dye.” Under normal conditions, ColorPhase camo will begin changing colors at 65deg; Fahrenheit. So, with the cooler temperatures in the late hunting season, the gear should better match the grays and browns that dominate late October and November This would allow hunters to better blend in with their surroundings. At least that’s the theory….

color change camo camouflage cabelas cabela'sWatch Video to Learn More about ColorPhase Camo Clothing

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
October 15th, 2017

Laminated Wood Stocks — Gallery of Guns

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope
GRS Laminated Stock from Norway (Imported by EuroOptic Ltd.)

Some folks think of laminated stocks as modestly-priced, “low-tech” alternatives for varmint and hunting rifles. In fact, for shooting disciplines that do not demand ultra-light weight, good laminated stocks give up nothing in performance to the most sophisticated composite stocks. And with laminates, it is relatively easy to fine-tune fit and ergonomics to suit the individual shooter. Available in a wide choice of colors, laminated stocks can also be very handsome. In our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a thread showcasing laminated stocks. It’s worth viewing. There are many interesting designs, and a wide variety of rifles ranging from “walking varminters” to long-range prone rifles.

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

FalconPilot’s Shehane Tracker in Sierra Laminate with Clearcoat

Shehane African Obeche Wood Laminated Hunter by Cigarcop
Shehane African Obeche laminated wood hunting rifle 250AI

20 Practical Varminter (UK Custom posted by PNSE)

Prone Rifle by Carl Bernosky (posted by 1Shot)

F-Class (Special) by Alex Sitman (posted by J. DeKort)

Veteran’s Team Rifle #2 by Doan Trevor

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
October 10th, 2017

Hunting 101 — Checklist for Hunting Safety

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Are you a safe hunter? Go through this checklist to find out. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a helpful Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist was produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign which encourages hunters (and all firearm owners) to secure their firearms when not in use, and to focus on safe firearm handling and storage. The Hunting Safey Checklist helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.

colorado elk hunting winter hunter
Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Hunting is a time-honored tradition for many Americans, and the hunting season brings a wave of excitement and activity for all enthusiasts,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s also a good time of year to remind firearm owners about … safe and responsible gun handling and storage.”

Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist for Families

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 1st, 2017

Help for Hunters — Video Explains Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

It’s hunting season, and we know many readers will be pursuing a prize buck this fall. But how will your hunting load perform? That depends on shot placement, energy, and terminal ballistics.

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
September 30th, 2017

Suppressors — Why You Still Need Hearing Protection

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Silencer-equipped AR photo courtesy The Silencer Shop.

OK, you’ve paid the tax stamp and acquired your new suppressor (aka “silencer” or “moderator”). Do you still need to wear earplugs or muffs? Absolutely. Even with that expensive new “can”, your rifle could be generating over 140 decibels (dB) of noise — about the same as as an unmuffled 9mm pistol shot. That’s loud enough to create permanent hearing loss with repeated exposure.

Firearms Are Loud: 140 dB to 175 dB

Audiology group ASHA explains: “Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true. or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB


The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 29th, 2017

Hunting 101: How Hunters Can Stabilize Their Shooting Positions

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 28th, 2017

PT&G — Howa 1500 Barreled Actions with Trigger, $250.00

Howa 1500 Barreled Action HACT Trigger discount sale

GREAT DEAL — Complete Howa Barreled Actions (With Trigger) for $250.00
Howa makes excellent, smooth-running actions, and the Howa HACT 2-stage trigger is WAY better than most domestic factory triggers. Right now you can save big bucks on Howa 1500 barreled actions, complete with HACT trigger and trigger-guard. Pacific Tool & Gauge (PT&G) sourced a truckload of Howa barreled actions, which are now on sale. Available at $250.00 are: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250. All these chamberings are offered with either light- or heavy-barrel contours. There is no extra charge for factory camo finishes.

Guys, this is an incredible deal — you can get a complete high-quality barreled action for less than the cost of a custom barrel. If you’re looking to put together a varmint rifle project this is a great option — just add the stock and scope of your choice.

Howa 1500 Barreled Action HACT Trigger discount sale

These barreled actions would be great for custom hunting/varmint rifle projects — many have factory camo finishes. Howa barrels typically deliver easy sub-MOA accuracy (and often much better). NOTE: Some of these barreled actions may carry Weatherby or Nosler markings, but they were all made at the Howa factory in Japan.

Howa 1500 Barreled Actions Have Excellent 2-Stage Hact Triggers

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT TriggerPT&G’s Howa 1500 barreled actions feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. In our opinion, the HACT trigger is clearly superior to the trigger on the Ruger RPR, as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. And there is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »