March 26th, 2017

The Czech Connection — CZ’s Rifle Offerings for 2017


6.5 Guys SHOT Show 2017 Video at CZ Booth

CZ offers good “bang for the buck” in both rimfire and centerfire rifle line-ups. We’ve always liked the CZ 455 rimfire rifles — especially as fitted in Manners stocks. For 2017, CZ has introduced some interesting new options including a great looking new Model 557 Varmint rifle. Here we’ve embedded a couple videos that cover the new offerings. New CZ 2017 Firearms LINK.

New Model 557 Varmint
The new CZ Model 557 Varmint rifle features a new, ergonomic stock with a heavy contour 25.6″ barrel. The newly-designed walnut stock features a palm swell, laser-cut stippling, and a flat fore-end. This makes the rifle excellent for shooting off a bench with a front rest. The 557 Varmint is chambered in .308 Win or .243 Win. We suspect most purchasers will get the .243 Win version for use in the varmint fields. Note however, the 6mm barrel has a 1:10″ twist so you can’t shoot the heavier 95 to 110-grain 6mm bullets. Potentially, the .308 Win version could be a budget F-TR rifle, with the right bipod set-up up front. The 1:10″ twist of the .30-Cal barrel allows it to shoot bullets up to about 200 grains, making it suitable for long-range competitions.

CZ Rifle model 557 Varmint .308 Win .243 Win

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer
The 455 Precision Trainer was designed to provide the same look and feel as a full-size tactical rifle while allowing for more economical training. Using a Manners Composite T4 stock, the Precision Trainer wears a new camouflage paint scheme this year. The stock itself has multiple layers of carbon fiber and fiberglass hand-laid in high temperature epoxy resins. This rifle is known for good accuracy, making it a good choice for target work as well as rimfire tactical games. This is offered in both 20″ and 24″ barrel versions. The 24-inch model has a heavy barrel that tapers to the muzzle, differing from the standard .866″-diameter Varmint barrel profile.

CZ Rifle 455 Tactical trainer

NEW .30-Caliber Model 527
The new Suppressor-Ready Model 527 is equally happy shooting steel or taking down hogs. Chambered in .300 Blackout or 7.62×39mm, it’s got enough knock-down power for small to medium-sized game at shorter ranges. Built on a short .223-length action, the CZ 527 features a classic American pattern stock, a sporter-weight, hammer-forged barrel, a single set trigger, and a recessed target crown. Made to be used with optics, the American version ships with 1″ steel scope rings.

CZ Rifle model 557 Varmint .308 Win .243 Win

More CZ Rifle News from SHOT Show 2017

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 24th, 2017

Spring Has Sprung & Varmints Await — 5 Items for Varminters

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog
This custom war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

It’s officially Spring — the Vernal Equinox took place this Monday March 20, 2017. For many shooters, the coming of Spring means that it’s time to head out to the varmint fields. Here are five items that can help ensure successful spring varmint adventures.

Five Great Products for Varmint Shooters

1. BarrelCool In-Action Fan

Busy Varmint shooters may expend hundreds of rounds in a day. That’s tough on barrels. One way to extend your round count is to use the ingenious BarrelCool device. This little yellow gadget fits in your action with a blower tube that goes into the chamber. A small electric fan blows cooling air through the barrel. It really works — folks who’ve purchased the Barrel Cool and run temp strips on their barrel say the BarrelCool can significantly reduce the time it takes to cool down a hot barrel.

barrelcool cool fan empty Chamber indicator

In the past, folks have tried various methods to cool barrels: water flushed through the bore, CO2 tanks, even battery-operated fish pumps. BarrelCool is a simpler, less costly, and much handier solution. Priced at $34.99, this small device can potentially can save you money by extending barrel life. To see how Barrelcool works, visit BarrelCool.com. There you’ll find video demos of BarrelCool units in both bolt-action and AR-type rifles.

2. Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag Sandbag

On most varmint hunts we spend most of the time shooting from a portable bench with a pedestal-type rest (we like the SEB Mini). But it’s nice having a big, heavy X-Type sandbag rig also. These four-chamber designs, such as the Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, allow shooting from a truck hood or any flat surface. Some rifles with narrow fore-ends really benefit from the firm “hug” provided by these “butterfly” style sandbags. We like the 15″ Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, currently $53.10 at Amazon. Durable and well-made, it will provide years of service. Forum member Stoner24mkiv likes a Bulls Bag for shooting from a vehicle. He also suggests: “[take] an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. Bring a Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.”

Bulls Bag sandbag varmint rest front

3. Scope with Built-In Laser Rangefinder

The Burris Eliminator III is an impressive piece of electro-optical technology. With a push of a button, a built-in laser rangefinder senses the distance to your target and the Eliminator’s microprocessor instantly calculates the required hold-over based on your load’s ballistics. The calculated aiming point is then displayed in the reticle with an illuminated red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the red dot on the target and make the shot. Easy as that. If you are working a large prairie dog field and constantly moving near to far and back again, this scope is really handy. Laze, adjust aim with the dot, and squeeze the trigger. Its that simple. We’ve used this scope out to 500 yards on small steel targets and it worked flawlessly.

Burris Eliminator III laser optic Scope

4. Bulk .22 Cal Varmint Bullets — Under $50.00 for 500

Right now Midsouth Shooters’ Supply is running a special on Varmint Nightmare XTreme Bullets. Available in both hollow point (HP) and lead-tip soft point (SP) styles, you can get these bullets for under $50.00 for 500. The .224 55gr Flat Base Soft Point variety is on sale this week for just $42.92 for 500 bullets (that works out to just $8.58 per hundred). We’ve loaded these in .223 Rem, 22 Dasher, and 22-250 cartridges and they worked well (considering the really low price).

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog

5. Low-Fouling Power for High-Volume Varmint Loads

For high-shot-count varmint safaris, you want a clean-burning powder that minimizes barrel fouling. While there are many great powders for the .223 Rem, we like Hodgdon CFE 223 for our high-volume varmint loads. This powder really seems to keep barrels cleaner. Originally developed for U.S. rapid-fire military systems, CFE 223 incorporates a proprietary chemistry named “Copper Fouling Eraser”. Based on tests with extended shot strings, Hodgdon claims that, by using CFE™223, match shooters, varmint hunters, and AR shooters can maintain accuracy for longer periods, with less barrel-cleaning time. You may want to check it out.

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
March 21st, 2017

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 www.FederalPremium.com.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
March 18th, 2017

Pro Bowl NFL Athlete Nails Nilgai Antelope with Suppressed Rifle

Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

In this excellent video from SilencerCo.com, NFL Pro Bowl Tackle Fletcher Cox works with LG Outfitters to stalk and harvest Nilgai Antelope using a suppressed rifle. “Nilgai are pretty special animals — they’re from India. Originally brought down by the King Ranch in the 1930s, they’ve just gone nomadic and they’re all over South Texas.” — Leeroy Gonzales, LG Outfitters.

Click below to watch the video.

“Hunting goes back to the way you approach things. You’ve gotta have a game plan.”

As all committed hunters know, the majority of the hunt is in the preparation. Selecting your gear, choosing the perfect location, waking up before dawn, posting up to patiently wait…

Fletcher Cox is all too familiar with putting time and effort into perfecting his craft and honing the execution. As a Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cox knows that dedication and practice make for the best possible outcome.

Fletcher Cox confirms his Zero before the hunt.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Only the split-second trigger pull is the actual act of the harvest. The rest? That’s the game plan. Here (1:42) Fletcher Cox makes a successful shot on a Nilgai: “We got meat on the ground boys…”

Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Cox’s rifle was fitted with a SilencerCo SWR Radius Rail-mounted Rangefinder.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Guide congratulates Fletcher on a successful hunt.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
March 13th, 2017

Secretary Zinke Signs Orders Supporting Hunters and Anglers

Secretary Interior Ryan Zinke Day One Washington
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs orders. Photo courtesy Ducks Unlimited.

On his first official day as the 52nd Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ryan Zinke issued his first two secretarial orders benefitting the sportsmen and outdoor communities. Zinke invited various members from the sportsmen’s community for the signing ceremony of the secretarial orders that help expand public land access, as well as opportunities to hunt, fish and recreate across the country.

“Today’s actions by Secretary Zinke are a clear indication that sportsmen and women around the country will have a voice at the Department of Interior,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “Providing places for all Americans to hunt, fish and recreate is vitally important, as hunters and anglers are North America’s greatest conservationists. I want to thank Secretary Zinke for his strong commitment and look forward to working with him in his new capacity at the Department of Interior.”

Order 3346 overturns the lead ammunition and fishing tackle ban on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities, but does not apply to waterfowl hunting. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting since 1991, and Secretary Zinke’s orders do not affect waterfowl hunters on public lands. The second order, 3347, directs bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded. The order also requests the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

Secretary Ryan Zinke, who hails from Montana, is an NRA member and an avid outdoorsman. He served as a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008, retiring at the rank of commander.
Secretary Interior Ryan Zinke Day One Washington

Secretary Zinke was confirmed with bipartisan support by the Senate on March 1, 2017 with a vote of 68 to 31. Before joining the Department of Interior, Zinke was elected to Congress in January 2014 after a 22-year career with the U.S. Navy. During his term as U.S. Representative from Montana, he has served as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and has been a strong advocate of keeping public lands open to public use.

Story based on Ducks Unlimited press release.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
March 4th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo from Norma Tested in Ruger Precision Rifle

Gavin Gear 6.5 Norma Ammunition Scirocco II

Quality Factory Ammo for 6.5 Creedmoor

by Gavin Gear, UltimateReloader.com
Norma is known for its high-quality brass and ammunition. I’ve used Norma brass for precision reloading in calibers like .30-06 with great results. Recently, I saw that Norma had announced a new addition to their Professional Hunter lineup of ammunition: in 6.5 Creedmoor! I thought I should try some out with the Ruger Precision Rifle, and that’s what I’ll cover in this post.

As you saw in the video, this ammunition behaves more like match ammunition than it does hunting ammunition — I really wish it was deer season! Here are the chronograph results:

This article comes from the Midsouth Shooters Blog. You’ll find other helpful gear reviews, reloading tips, and technical articles at www.MSSBlog.com.

With an SD of 13.7 FPS, this ammunition is very consistent in terms of velocity. It’s not surprising that the first four shots went into a .5″ group. This new ammunition is built around the Swift Scirocco II 6.5mm Bullet, and here’s more info about this precision-oriented hunting projectile:

Technical Information

  • Caliber: 264, 6.5mm
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.264
  • Bullet Weight: 130 Grains
  • Bullet Length: 1.350″
  • Bullet Style: Polymer Tip Spitzer Boat Tail
  • Bullet Coating: Non-Coated

Ballistics Information:

  • Sectional Density: .266
  • Ballistic Coefficient:.571

Gavin Gear 6.5 Norma Ammunition Scirocco II

This is certainly a great choice of ammunition if you are hunting medium game with a rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Can’t wait to sit down again with this ammunition to see if I can get that 3/8″ 5-shot group I know this ammo is capable of! If you want to try this Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Professional Hunter ammo yourself, you can purchase this excellent ammunition at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

Check out the Ultimate Reloader site HERE for more reviews, how-to’s, and much more!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »
March 3rd, 2017

IWA (Euro SHOT Show) Kicks Off Today in Germany

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2015

The IWA Outdoor Classics trade show, aka “Euro SHOT Show”, opened today, March 3rd, in Nuremberg, Germany. For the next four days (March 3-6), 1455 exhibitors will show their products at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. This is a hugely popular event — last year’s IWA Outdoor Classics trade show attracted 45,530 trade visitors from 115 countries, and attendance should be even higher this year. IWA is Europe’s biggest combined trade show for the hunting, shooting, and civilian/military security industries. And this year, IWA Outdoor Classics was coordinated with EnforceTac, a two-day Law Enforcment/Security trade show held in Nuremberg March 1-2, 2017.

Click Image below for FREE IWA Trade Show App:
IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017


IWA Exhibitor List | IWA Product List | IWA Special Events

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2017

IWA even features an indoor Archery Range. For many years, the Archery Range has been a popular gathering place where exhibitors and visitors can practice their skills and learn about the latest archery products up close and personal.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show Nuremberg Germany 2015

About the IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show
What is now the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show began 44 years ago as Germany’s national product show for gunsmiths and gun retailers. That product show started modestly in 1973 with less than 100 exhibitors. Over the past four decades IWA Outdoor Classics has grown into a massive event, drawing the major players in the hunting, security, and shooting sports industries. In the firearm universe, the IWA event is second only to America’s SHOT Show in importance.

2016 IWA Show Highlights:

Photos courtesy NürnbergMesse.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 2 Comments »
February 27th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor — Norma’s Cartridge of the Month

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
6.5 Creedmoor (right) shown with .308 Win (left) and .243 Win (center) for comparison.

Though most popular for competition applications (PRS and XTC), the 6.5 Creedmoor is also a capable hunting cartridge. This month Norma spotlights the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and outlines the game-harvesting capabilities of Norma 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammunition.

Origins of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Dave Emary, senior engineer at Hornady, asked fellow competitive shooters about their “wish list” for a mid-sized round with long-range potential. It needed to offer efficiency, good ballistics, fine accuracy, and reliable feeding from a magazine. To achieve these goals, Emary necked the .30 T/C to .264 caliber (6.5 mm). The shoulder on this case is well to the rear, so long bullets with high ballistic coefficients can be used in short actions. The efficient Creedmoor case and its modest powder charge deliver hard hits on big game while keeping recoil modest.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge

Hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor

by Wayne van Zwoll
I learned about the 6.5 Creedmoor by way of a rifle from Todd Seyfert at Magnum Research. The Remington 700 action wears a carbon-fiber barrel with a Krieger stainless core. GreyBull Precision added a stock and a modified 4.5-14X Leupold scope. Its 1/3-minute elevation dial is calibrated specifically for 130-grain boat-tail spitzers at Creedmoor velocities. “Spin the elevation dial to the distance in yards, and aim dead-on.” said GreyBull’s Don Ward. Prone with a sling, I was soon banging steel at 500 yards.

By the charts, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a superb cartridge for deer-size game. But I caught only a late elk season with this new rifle. The 6.5×55 and .260 had taken elk for me; surely the Creedmoor would as well. Alas, the close shot I’d wanted, to ensure precise bullet placement, didn’t come. When on the final evening Don and I spied a bull far off, there was no approach. “Your call,” he shrugged. “The air is dead-still.” I snugged the sling, prone, and dialed to the yardage. Ribs spot-lit by a sinking sun, the bull paused. Craaack! The animal spun, sprinted and fell. That shot was twice as long as any I’d ever attempted at elk.

Whitetail hunting with a Ruger 77, then a trip to sub-Saharan Africa with a T/C Icon, kept the 6.5 Creedmoor in my ammo pouch. The T/C dropped a Vaal Rhebok at 250 yards, in stiff wind (photo below). Shorter pokes on a variety of game produced consistently quick kills. I found the Creedmoor’s limit with an eland.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
A high ballistic coefficient helped a Creedmoor bullet slice stiff wind 250 yards to this Vaal Rhebok.

Since then, I’ve seen several animals brought to bag by the 6.5 Creedmoor. And I’ve used it in a variety of rifles on paper and steel targets to 1,200 yards. It has become one of my favorite cartridges for deer-size game. Its mild report and recoil make it easy to shoot accurately. It seems an inherently accurate cartridge too. I’ve punched half-minute groups from production-class rifles. The proliferation of hunting loads for the 6.5 Creedmoor includes none better than Norma’s 130-grain Scirocco. This sleek, polymer-nose bullet, with its 15° boat-tail and a G1 ballistic coefficient over .550, flies very flat. In expansion and penetration tests, it opens reliably down to 1,750 fps, and drives straight and deep. A bonded bullet, it stays in one piece after high-speed impact, routinely retaining more than 80 percent of its original weight.

READ FULL 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge of the Month Article >>>

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, News 4 Comments »
February 24th, 2017

Great Deal on Vias Camo Winchester XPR Hunters

Winchester XPR rifle tactical deal Vias camo

Here’s a very sweet deal on a handsome Winchester hunting rig with detachable box mag. Right now Cabelas.com is offering $170.00 off a Winchester XPR. Plus there’s a $50.00 Mail-in Rebate. That reduces your net cost for the rifle to $349.99. That’s a great deal for a rifle with a smooth bolt action (with 60° lift), nice trigger, and detachable box magazine. This XPR is offered is a wide variety of chamberings including: .243 Win, 7mm-08, .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM. The rifle has nice controls — two-position safety, bolt-release button, and cocking indicator. The action comes drilled and tapped for scope mounts. GO TO DEAL PAGE.

  • Button-rifled, free-floating steel barrel with recessed target crown
  • Smooth nickel-Teflon-coated bolt
  • Vias camouflage composite stock with textured panels
  • M.O.A. adjustable trigger system

QUICK REVIEW: We’ve shot this rifle, and we like it much better than most entry-level hunting rigs from other USA manufacturers. The ergos are good, the action runs smoothly and feeds reliably. A verified buyer states: “No frills hunting rifle that is extremely accurate. Winchester wanted their piece of the pie in the entry level rifle market and they seemed to nail this one. Shoots sub-MOA with cheap factory ammo. I would put this a step ahead of the Ruger American and the Savage Axis and a step below the Tikka T3, but it’s also cheaper than the T3.” We agree 100% with that assessment. If you’re looking for a basic hunting rig, this is a very good buy at $349.99 (after rebate).

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
February 20th, 2017

NRA Annual Convention in Atlanta, April 27-30, 2017

NRA Annual Meetings convention exhibits Atlanta Georgia

The 146th National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia from April 27-30, 2017. This four-day event will be attended by over 80,000 patriots, feature 800+ exhibitors, and include a jam-packed schedule of seminars, workshops, special events and celebrity meet and greets. In and around the convention hall there will be 15 acres of firearms, shooting and hunting gear, and other exhibits. There will also be an on-site airgun range. For more information, including event tickets, visit www.nraam.org.

If you haven’t attended the NRA Convention before, this 2016 video offers a preview:

CLICK HERE for Exhibitor List and Booth Locations

There will be nearly 700 Exhibitors displays products at the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. You can see products from big name companies such as Berger Bullets, Leupold, Nightforce, Nosler, Redding, Remington, Ruger, Savage, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. You can also meet with top hunting guides and outfitters.

CLICK HERE for a Full Schedule of Events

The National NRA Foundation Banquet will be held April 27th in the Thomas Murphy Ballroom, Georgia World Congress Center Building ‘B’. The NRA-ILA Leadership Forum is slated for April 28th in Hall A3, Georgia World Congress Center. With the recent changes in the American national leadership, the ILA Forum should be popular this year.

Hank Williams Concert
Lifetime NRA member and multi-Platinum hit-maker and outdoor enthusiast Hank Williams Jr. will take the stage at the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Saturday, April 29th! This is always a sell out event, so don’t wait to buy your tickets.

Location of NRA Annual Meetings in Atlanta:

Firearms Policy for the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings
During the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in accordance with Georgia law. However, firearms are not allowed in the remainder of the CNN Center, including the food court and shops. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
February 11th, 2017

Preacher’s ‘Axe Job’ — Crafting a Gunstock with Hand Tools

hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint
A little work with the hand axe, after a trip through the band saw…

A while back, Forum member Preacher crafted a nice varmint rifle for fellow Forum member Dave 0. (aka “Waskawood”). But rather than buy an off-the-shelf stock, Preacher crafted this stock all by hand, starting from a laminated blank panel. He calls this stock project his “Axe Job”.

CLICK for Full-size Photo
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

This stock is being used on a prairie dog rifle, chambered for a 17-caliber wildcat, the 17 VHA, which is based on an H&K 4.6x30mm parent case. With about nine grains of 300 MP pistol powder, the 17 VHA drives 20-grainers at about 3850 fps. (SEE details at end of article).

The ‘Axe Job’

Report by Preacher
I like carving with the laminates because all the lines are right there in front of my eyes, so it’s easy to follow along and get it just right, until it’s pleasing to the eye. I never use a template, I just keep checking the lines as I go along. I have all the needed equipment to power build one of these, but I really enjoy the time spent on the hand work. From start to completely ready-to-install, I’ll have about six (6) weeks into one of these stock projects. A lot of that is drying time for the clear coats.

The majority of the laminated blank panels I use for my gunstocks are purchased directly from Cousineau Wood Products or from Rutply.com. You have to buy at least four full panels at a time, all the same color, but that will yield eight (8) stocks. Seems like I have a little over $150.00 in a blank large enough to start making a full-sized, benchrest-style stock.

A little work with a chisel…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A little work with a rasp. (Before I was rich and famous and could afford really good rasps, I used a good old horse shoe rasp.)
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A little more work with the chisel…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Preacher’s Advice on Carving Your Own Stock
The one main advantage of being older that dirt, and tormented with MS the past 40 years, is lots of free time to enjoy what ever I can do these days, as long as I can set down to do it, and I can make a lot of wood chips setting down.

Any one can do this if they have the time to devote to it. All it takes is time and a good eye for details. I made a lot of firewood over the years, until I got the hang of it. Most all those problems were inletting, and screw hole spacing. Get those right the first time and you’re on your way….

A little more work with the rasp…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A few coats of Auto clear has it about buttoned up…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Micro 17 VHA Wildcat
Here’s the finished rifle built by Preacher for Dave, using the ‘Axe Job’ stock. Dave tells us: “Preacher chambered the rifle for the 17 VHA, a wildcat based on the H&K 4.6x30mm MP7 PDW case necked down to 17 caliber. There are numerous articles in the Varmint Hunter’s Magazine about it. This efficient little round shoots 20gr ballistic tips at 3850+ fps. That’s not too shabby for ‘nine point something’ grains of pistol powder.”

“My intentions for my 17 VHA rifle are to plop down in the middle of a PD town with my swivel bench and shoot prairie dogs. I also thought it would be a nice platform to test the accuracy of the cartridge. If I like the little round as well as I think, I plan to build a more practical rifle that I can carry. I really want to thank Preacher for his patience with me through this project, as it was my first custom build.”

hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
February 5th, 2017

New Legislation Could Help States Use Fed Money for Gun Ranges

Target marksmanship training support act H.R. 788 Congress NSSF shooting range legislation
H.R. 788 will help States build and maintain shooting ranges with Federal funding assistance.

Federal Legislation has been introduced that will help build and maintain shooting ranges. H.R. 788, the Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2017, was introduced in Congress by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and a bipartisan group of 23 co-sponsors. The provisions of H.R. 788 will help States fund public shooting ranges with Federal Firearms Excise tax revenues.

“This legislation [H.R. 788] would provide state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight-in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses, and for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.”

Since 1937 almost $11 billion has been raised for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition. States are permitted to use some of those funds for hunter education courses and for public shooting ranges under a restrictive formula that has largely discouraged state agencies from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. H.R. 788 will help states use Pittman Robertson revenues by increasing the limit on Federal funding of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent State-supplied funding, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also allow Federal Excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

In addition, the legislation would limit frivolous lawsuits arising from the use of Federal land for target practice and encourage Federal agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities for maintenance of ranges on federal lands.

Pittman-Robertson gun range funding

Story by NRAHuntersRights.org and NRAblog.com
Shown above is the Belfast Wildlife Area rifle range in Kindards, SC. Belfast was the first public, unmanned shooting range opened and paid for completely with funds raised by NRA Grants and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program … an act made possible through Pittman-Robertson grants. Several other state Natural Resource Departments have followed suit.

Legislative History: The Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act was previously introduced as H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act (Title II), and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in the last Congress, as well as a stand-alone bill H.R. 2463 in the 113th Congress.

Photo Credit: Top photo shows Mainville Sportsman Club (PA) and Union Co. Sportmen’s Club (PA), both sites of IBS Matches.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
February 5th, 2017

NRA Whittington Center Video — What a Place to Shoot…

NRA Whittington Center New Mexico

If you’ve never visited the NRA Whittington Center outside Raton, New Mexico, it is well worth a visit. This new HD video shows the features of this unique facility where marksmen can shoot from 10 yards to two miles. Drone video footage gives you a “birds eye view” of the scenery and the ranges.

This is an excellent video. Well worth watching, with impressive aerial photography.

The Whittington Center hosts many major matches each year. Along with the training and range facilities, the Whittington Center has comfortable, modern cabins and RV camping zones for extended stays. Founded in 1973, the Center offers ranges for every kind of shooting discipline, along with a shotgun center, firearms museum, specialized firearms training, guided and unguided hunts, plus an adventure camp for younger shooters.

NRA Whittington Center New Mexico

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February 3rd, 2017

Safari Club International Convention Underway in Las Vegas

Safari Club International Convention

The 45th Annual Safari Club International (SCI) Convention is underway now at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big event opened February 1st, and concludes Saturday the 4th. Over 20,000 hunters and sportsmen are expected to attend this year.

$10 Million in Auction Items This Year
The SCI show is famed for its fund-raising auctions. At this year’s Convention, over $10 million worth of exotic firearms, once-in-a-lifetime hunts, and fine collectibles will be auctioned. Net proceeds from the auctions are used by SCI to promote conservation and game management efforts worldwide. Here’s a past auction item, a Krieghoff Double Rifle valued at $84,000. This ‘Legends of the Hunt’ double rifle, chambered in .470 Nitro Express, is custom engraved by master engravers Michael Oke and Andreas Scholz. The stock is exhibition-grade Turkish walnut with ebony pistol grip and fore-end tip. There are gold barrel bands and gold accents on the express sight blades and double triggers.

Krieghoff .470 Nitro Express

Over 1000 Exhibitors from 33 Countries
This is a huge event, with over 1000 exhibitors from 33 countries and six continents. Notably, hundreds of top guides and outfitter services are showcased in the Outfitters Hall. The SCI convention also features many firearms manufacturers and custom gun builders. In the Gun Maker’s village prestigious European gun makers and engravers display their work.

The SCI convention boasts “the largest display of wildlife art at one venue anywhere in the world” according to Ammoland.com. The work of 55 artists and 110 taxidermists will be on display.

Hunt of a Lifetime — What Would You Hunt and Where?

A couple seasons back, Sierra Bullets asked its staffers about their dream hunting destinations. The Sierra techs, all avid hunters, were polled 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?”

Photo courtesy Kirabo Safaris, South Africa
Africa Hunting Sierra Bullets

Africa topped the list of “dream hunting locations” by a landslide. Canada and Alaska were both picked twice, with other destinations each favored by one staffer:

Africa 6 votes (Kudu, Eland, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Plains Game)
Canada 2 votes (Moose, Black Bear)
Alaska 2 votes (Dall Sheep)
Wyoming 1 vote (Antelope)
US Rocky Mountains 1 vote (Elk)
Argentina 1 votes (Doves)
Australia 1 vote (Non-specific)

Carroll Pilant (Ballistics Technician): “Back to Africa for kudu and eland.”

Rich Machholz (Ballistic Technician): “African Cape Buffalo with my longtime friend Lloyd in Zimbabwee.”

Tommy Todd (Chief Ballistician): “Free Range African plains game”

Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.
Namibia Hunting safari

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January 29th, 2017

Great American Outdoor Show February 4-12 in PA

The Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) is the world’s largest consumer showcase of firearms, hunting products, fishing equipment, and outdoor gear. Starting February 2, 2017, the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania hosts the big Outdoor Show for nine (9) full days. This is a huge event, with 650,000 square feet of guns, gear andmore. If you’re into shooting, hunting, or fishing and live in the Northeast, you should try to attend. Adult Tickets start at $14.00 and you can get FREE Admission with purchase of an NRA Membership

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania1,000+ Exhibitor Booths
New Firearms from Leading Gun-Makers
500+ Outfitters and Charterers
200+ Outdoor Seminars

Attendees can visit over 1,000 exhibitor booths featuring firearms, hunting gear, camping equipment, fishing tackle, archery products, and even boats and RVs. The booths cover 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! In addition, the giant Outfitter Hall at the Great American Outdoor Show, one of the largest in the country, hosts nearly 500 outfitters, boat captains, and charterers.

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania

Over 200 Seminars Hosted by Outdoor Experts and Noted Guides
The 2017 Great American Outdoor Show will feature more than 200 seminars from leading outdoors experts, covering hunting, birds of prey, self-defense tactics and strategies, fishing demos from angling experts, and much more. This year’s notable presentations will include:

  • Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey: From Vietnam to Hollywood
  • Jim Shockey – Big Game Hunting Worldwide
  • Cole McCulloch – Long Range Hunting & Shooting Principles
  • Alan Probst – Coyote Trapping Techniques
  • Rick Fetrow – Venison Processing
  • Ashley Van Houten – Proper Fletching Techniques

For the full Outdoor Show Seminar schedule and list of exhibitors, visit GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org. The Show’s website also list celebrity appearances and special events, which will include the NRA Country Concert with Dustin Lynch and Granger Smith, fundraising dinners, archery competitions, product demos, and much more!

SHOW HOURS AND DATES
Saturday, Feb 4: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, Feb 5: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Monday-Friday, Feb 6-10: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday, Feb 11: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, Feb 12: 10:00am – 5:00pm

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January 27th, 2017

Pint-Sized Power — the 3000 FPS 17 Win Super Mag Rimfire

17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire WSM Varminter.com

At SHOT Show 2017, we had the chance to chat extensively with Eric Mayer, head honcho of Varminter.com. An avid shooter and hunter, Eric loves small, efficient cartridges. Eric told us his current favorite rimfire cartridge is the 17 WSM. “Winchester has continued to improve this cartridge since its introduction. We are seeing very good accuracy now, and performance is impressive in the varmint fields”. Eric notes that the 3000 fps 17 WSM 20-grain ammo (photo above) delivers way more punch downrange than a typical 17 HMR load. In this article, you’ll find the highlights of Varminter.com’s review of the 17 WSM round in the Ruger 77/17 cartridge.

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

The 17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire (aka Win Super Mag or WSM) is the fastest, most potent modern rimfire round you can buy. This cartridge, which uses a modified nail gun casing, drives 20gr bullets at 3000 fps. The 17 WSM offers superior ballistics to all .22 rimfires, and is a clear step ahead of the 17 HMR. That makes this round a potential “game-changer” in the varmint fields. To gauge the capabilities of the 17 WSM, Varminter.com tested the cartridge in the new Ruger 77/17 bolt-action rifle. Click HERE for Varminter.com Ruger 77/17, 17 WSM Review.

17 WSM shoots faster than the 17 HMR, so the 20gr bullets don’t drift as much in the wind:
17 Win Super Mag Rimfire Magnum Ruger 77/18 Varminter.com review

Varminter.com reports: “The much-anticipated Ruger 77/17 chambered in the 17 Winchester Super Magnum (17WSM) has been released. Our Review Editor, William Chambers, put it through a full range test with all four currently-available ammunition loads. Afterwards, he took it on a short groundhog hunt[.] We put a lot of rounds through the guns we test, at targets, through chronographs and out in the field. This report includes all currently available 17 WSM ammunition and a sneak peek of the really nice Nikon Prostaff 5 riflescope.” READ REVIEW.

As part of its review, Varminter.com tested four different types of 17 WSM ammo for accuracy: American Eagle (20gr V-Max); Hornady (20gr V-Max), Winchester HV (20gr V-Max); Winchester HE (25gr V-Max). In the little Ruger, which suffered from a very heavy trigger, the most accurate ammo, by far, was the American Eagle, with an average 5-shot group size of 1.135 MOA at 100 yards. The Winchester HV was the worst, with a 2.304 MOA average for three, 5-shot groups. CLICK HERE for full accuracy test results.

After accuracy testing, Varminter.com Review Editor Chambers took the Ruger 77/17 on a Groundhog hunt in Northern Ohio. Chambers was successful, bagging this ‘hog’ at 127 yards. The American Eagle 17 WSM ammo did quick work — the groundhog dropped without a twitch (watch video).

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
January 26th, 2017

Last-Minute FWS Order on Lead Ammo and Tackle Issued

NWS National Wildlife services ammo ban lead tackle

On January 19, 2017, the last day of the Obama Administration, Daniel Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), issued a surprise Director’s Order calling for a ban on traditional ammunition and tackle in National Wildlife Refuges. FWS Director’s Order No. 219, issued on January 19th, directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to phase in a ban on the use of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle for all activities on National Wildlife Refuge lands and waters. According to the NRA, this last-minute “unilateral action was taken without scientific evidence to support it and without consulting state fish and wildlife agencies.”

In response to this eleventh-hour “back-stabbing” by the FWS, the National Rifle Association (NRA) yesterday called on the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Congressman Ryan Zinke (R. Montana) as Secretary of the Interior. The FWS operates under the Department of the Interior. Presumably, FWS Director’s Order no. 219 would not have been issued if Zinke was in charge of the Interior Department. Hopefully Zinke can reverse the damage done, once he is confirmed as Secretary.

NWS National Wildlife services ammo ban lead tackle
Photo courtesy NRAILA.org

“It is more important than ever that we have a Secretary of the Interior who respects the Second Amendment and will stand up for our rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Congressman Ryan Zinke. The NRA looks forward to working with the Trump administration to reverse this government overreach.”

Operative Provisions of FWS Director’s Order No. 219:

Sec. 5 What steps will the Service take to phase in the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle?

a. The Service will continue to support targeted research to understand the human, fish, and wildlife health benefits of using nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle.

b. The Service will continue to work with states and other partners on education efforts regarding the benefits and effectiveness of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle.

c. To ensure the public experiences a consistent approach to nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle requirements, over the next 24 months, each Regional Director, in coordination with relevant Assistant Directors, should work with individual states, regional state fish and wildlife associations, and tribes to identify opportunities to expand existing state, Federal, or tribal requirements for use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on Service lands, waters and facilities.

i. Where states have enacted nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle requirements for certain forms of hunting and fishing on state lands such requirements should be expanded to national wildlife refuges in those states through amendments to state or Service regulations, as appropriate.

ii. Where states have enacted nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle requirements for certain forms of hunting and fishing that apply to state, private, and Federal lands throughout their states, Regions should ensure these requirements are enacted and enforced on Service lands, waters, and facilities in those states.

iii. Where individual Federal land units administered by other Federal agencies including the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense, or other agencies, have enacted requirements for the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle, Regions should adopt such requirements on Service lands, waters and facilities in the same states as those units through amendments to Service hunting and fishing regulations, as appropriate.

iv. Where individual tribes have enacted requirements for the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle, the Regions should adopt such requirements on Service lands, waters and facilities in the same states as those tribal lands through amendments to Service hunting and fishing regulations, in consultation with the appropriate tribe and state.

d. When available information indicates negative impacts of lead ammunition or fish tackle on sensitive, vulnerable or Service trust resources, the appropriate Regional Director, in coordination with the appropriate Assistant Director(s), will take steps to expeditiously require the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle to the fullest extent practical under Service jurisdiction to benefit such species or resources.

e. The Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, in consultation with National Flyway Councils and individual states, will establish a process to phase in a requirement for the use of nontoxic ammunition for recreational hunting of mourning doves and other upland game birds.

Sec. 6 When is this Order effective? This Order is effective immediately. It remains in effect until we incorporate it into the Fish and Wildlife Service Manual, or until we amend, supersede, or revoke it, whichever comes first. If we do not amend, supersede, or revoke it, the provisions of this Order will terminate on July 31, 2018.

[Signed] Daniel M. Ashe, DIRECTOR

Date: January 19, 2017

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January 25th, 2017

22 Nosler — More Details, Load Data — And a Bit of History

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

At SHOT Show 2017, Nosler showcased a new .22-caliber cartridge designed for AR-platform rifles. Called the 22 Nosler, the new cartridge resembles a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22 caliber. Comparing Nosler’s ammo specs with Hodgdon load data, it looks like the 22 Nosler can deliver about 250-300 fps more velocity than the standard .223 Rem cartridge. That’s significant for varminters looking for higher performance from an AR15-type rifle. With a 55-grain bullet, highest possible velocity is 3500+ fps with a max load of Hodgdon CFE 223 powder, based on this Nosler Load Chart:

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

MORE LOAD DATA for 22 Nosler (Click tabs after jump)

22 Nosler LOAD PDFs:
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-55gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-64gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-69gr-70gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-77gr.pdf

Nosler will produce 22 Nosler ammunition in various bullet weights, starting with 55 grain and 77 grain. To run the 22 Nosler, an AR owner will need a new upper and 6.8 SPC type magazines. This video explains how to convert your AR-platform rifle to run the 22 Nosler.

“Everything Old Is New Again…”

Examining the 22 Nosler cartridge, our friend Grant Ubl had a case of “deja vu”. He thinks the new 22 Nosler bears a striking resemblance to a wildcat from the 1960s: “The .22 Nosler looks like a throwback to the 1963-vintage .224 Winchester E5 experimental cartridge, right down to the rebated rim.” Here is an old Winchester print:

Another poster said this cartridge resembles the “.220 Thunderbolt” a wildcat devised by John Scandale in 2004. Posting on Facebook, Mr. Scandale said the designs were very similar. According to Keystone Accuracy, the .220 Thunderbolt’s “design origin came from the now largely popular 6mm Hagar in its infancy stage back in 2003.” While it looks very similar to a 6.8 SPC necked to .224, the .220 Thunderbolt is different because the 6mm Hagar brass is 0.100″ longer than 6.8 SPC. Read History of .220 Thunderbolt.

Neck-up the 22 Nosler to .25 Caliber?

Dan Z. has inspected in the 22 Nosler ammunition and he’d like to see a .25 Caliber version. On Facebook, Dan posted: “I got my hands on some of the ammo a couple weeks ago. It does look like a .223 that has its body diameter expanded to that of a 6.8. Consequently, it is longer than the 6.8 overall and in the body. I necked a piece of fired brass to 6.8 and it looked like it would provide some improvement in velocity. A more interesting idea might be to neck it to .25 as a .250 Savage performance clone in an AR-15 platform.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 8 Comments »
January 25th, 2017

Hornady Offers Reloading Clinics at Safari Club Int’l Convention

hornady reloading clinic SCI Safari Club

Hornady® Manufacturing is sponsoring free reloading clinics on Thursday, February 2, 2017, during the Safari Club International (SCI) Convention in Las Vegas, NV. The clinics will include introductory and advanced reloading techniques. Hornady reloading specialist, Ben Syring, is the instructor for both classes. The clinics are free-of-charge, but participant space is available on a first-come first-served basis.The clinics will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Lagoon Room A:

Hornady Reloading Clinic Schedule/Descriptions
Thursday, February 2, 2017 – Mandalay Bay, Lagoon Room A

Intro to Reloading Clinic, 9:30-11:00 p.m., discusses basic rifle and pistol reloading techniques, with an overview of the Hornady Classic reloading kit.

Advanced Reloading Clinic, 12:00-2:00 p.m., focuses on advanced techniques, with demonstrations of Hornady® precision tools including the headspace gauge, concentricity tool, and more.

SCI Convention Draws 18,000 Visitors
Widely considered as one of the premiere hunting-related events in the country, the Safari Club International Convention takes place February 1-4, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Vegas, and features “six continents under one roof,” where attendees can book hunts, converse with hunting and shooting celebrities, and shop for the latest in hunting tools and equipment. The convention covers 650,000 square feet of exhibit space, and draws approximately 18,000 visitors from around the world.

For further information regarding Hornady® products visit www.Hornady.com.

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January 24th, 2017

Shooting Skills: Reading the Wind When Hunting

Norway Hunting Snow

Thomas Haugland, a Shooters’ Forum member from Norway, is a long-range target shooter and hunter. He has created an interesting video showing how to gauge wind velocities by watching trees, grass, and other natural vegetation. The video commentary is in English, but the units of wind speed (and distance) are metric. Haugland explains: “This is not a full tutorial, but rather a short heads-up to make you draw the lines between the dots yourself”. Here are some conversions that will help when watching the video:

.5 m/s = 1.1 mph | 1 m/s = 2.2 mph | 2 m/s = 4.5 mph
3 m/s = 6.7 mph | 4 m/s = 8.9 mph | 5 m/s =11.2 mph

More Interesting Videos from Norway
There are many other interesting videos on Haugland’s YouTube Channel, including Game Stalking, Precision Reloading, and Tips on how to use a Mildot Reticle on a scope with MOA-based clicks.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »