Forum member Brian V. (aka “Carbide”) wanted a new look for his “modern sporting rifle”. He was tired of looking at black plastic (or FDE, OD green) and aluminum components on his AR15. So he decided to fit wood “furniture” on the rifle. He ordered a wood butt-stock and fore-arm set made by Lucid, but he didn’t like the two-piece fore-arm of the Lucid stock set. He decided he could build something better than the commercially-available, Lucid-made wood fore-arm.
So Brian took his existing AR tubular fore-arm and epoxied a walnut sleeve to it. With a lathe, Brian then turned the walnut sleeve to his desired dimensions: 2.250″ diameter in back and 2.200″ diameter in front, so there’s a little taper. Brian says “I could have gone a little thinner.” The wood fore-end was then sanded and stained to match the Lucid-made rear section. Brian says “the stain is not quite a perfect match, but but it looks a lot better.”
Nightforce is bringing out a new 20-60X 80mm spotting scope that is significantly less expensive than its 82mm big brother, the 20-70X TS-82. The new TS-80 Hi-Def spotter is priced at $1595.00 MSRP compared to $2653.00 for the TS-82 (MAP “street price”). Yes, you heard that right, the new TS-80 is more than $1000.00 less expensive than its 82mm big brother. That’s a lot of hard-earned cash saved in return for the loss of just 10X magnification on the upper end. Both spotting scopes feature high-definition glass and easy-to-use, full-diameter focusing controls.
At its $1595.00 price point, the Nightforce TS-80 looks like a winner. It shares features we liked in the more expensive TS-82: Extra-low-Dispersion (ED) glass, easy-to-use zoom ring, built-in sunshade, and rubber armor on the entire body.
The TS-80 offers a lot of performance for the $1595.00 price. Most other current-production spotting scopes with comparable features and ED glass cost a lot more. Weight is 68 ounces (4 lbs., 4 oz.) — that’s fairly hefty. The TS-80 will focus from 20 feet to infinity, making it suitable for all shooting chores, even close-range pistol work. The mounting foot fits many quick-release tripods and accepts standard 1/4″ tripod screws. The TS-80 includes an integral, retractable sunshade for the front objective. Optional accessories include a protective sleeve and a fitted carrying case, shown below.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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You’ve heard the rumors of a new ultra-high BC 7mm bullet from Berger. Well the rumors are true. Berger is now delivering its new 195-grain 7mm Elite Hunter Bullet, part # 28550. This bullet boasts jaw-droping 0.755 G1 and 0.387 G7 Ballistic Coefficients. Those are stunningly high numbers. Compare that to 0.674 G1 and 0.345 G7 BCs for the previous BC king amoung 7mm projectiles, Berger’s own 180 gr Match Hybrid Target.
We’re certain the “orange box” 195gr Elite Hunter will soon see use by F-Open competitors. This ultra-high BC projectile could be a “game-changer” in long-range shooting when used in cartridges such as the 7mm RSAUM, 7mm WSM and even bigger 7mm magnums. Recommended barrel twist rate is 1:8.3″, with a stated “minimum” twist of 1:9.2″.
We ran some numbers through the JBM Ballistics program*, comparing the new 195-grainer with Berger’s popular 180gr Hybrid. The results were eye-opening. The projected drop is significantly less. Most importantly, this new 195gr bullet moves a LOT less in the wind at 1000 yards. This should translate into higher scores for F-Class shooters — that wide ‘9’ shot may stay in the ’10’ ring. In fact, based on the JBM trajectory calculation, with a 10 mph 90° crosswind, the 195gr bullet will have over SEVEN INCHES less wind drift at 1000 yards than the 180-grainer (46.0″ vs. 53.1″). That’s a big deal, a very big deal…
Drop at 800 yards: 135.5″
Windage at 800 yards: 28.0″
Drop at 800 yards: 140.9″
Windage at 800 yards: 32.2″
Drop at 1000 yards: 237.9″ Windage at 1000 yards: 46.0″
Drop at 1000 yards: 250.0″ Windage at 1000 yards: 53.1″
Drop at 1200 yards: 380.1″
Windage at 1200 yards: 69.6″
Drop at 1200 yards: 404.2″
Windage at 1200 yards: 81.2″
* Variables were set to 55.4° F, 1000′ elevation, standard Atmosphere at Altitude, 2950 fps muzzle velocity. You can use JBM Ballistics to compare at different MVs.
How to Get Berger’s 195gr Elite Hunter Bullets
These bullets are so new you won’t find them on the Berger Bullets website yet. And few vendors have them in their inventory. Most of the early production runs have been “spoken for” via pre-orders. But you can send an email to Berger via this CONTACT PAGE. Otherwise you can phone Berger, Mon-Fri, at 714-441-7200. Please try the email option first.
Here’s an interesting new F-Class Barrel Block Stock from True-Flite NZ Ltd. in Gisborne, New Zealand. This innovative design features a fore-arm barrel block that clamps around the barrel, allowing the action to free-float. We like the way a wood lower section (with pistol grip) is mated to the metal “spine” of the chassis. That creates a nice look and feel.
The folks at True-Flite state: “This stock has been designed by Steve Mann, and was developed in house here at True-Flite. Utilizing a 150mm barrel block, which clamps the barrel into the stock (allowing the action to free float), enables us to fit large, full-profile barrels, and still keep under the 10 kg weight restriction when running a Nightforce scope. This stock tracks like a demon, making it a very competitive rig.”
While this chassis is designed for the New Zealand-made Barnard actions, it can also work with other round actions. Target Shooter Magazine notes: “The great thing is, because the action is unstressed, you can get away with using … a Remington — rather than forking out for a custom action.”
Barnard Model P Action from New Zealand
Here’s a Barnard Model P action, which was originally developed in 1982. These three-lug actions are very smooth. They are popular with Palma rifle shooters and F-Class shooters. Designed for the Palma or long-range shooter, the Model P Single shot action is available in right-hand or true left-hand configuration (with other bolt/port configurations in the Model PC).
The bolt carries three forward locking lugs, is equipped with a Sako-style extractor and can be supplied to accept any case rim up to 0.534″(standard magnum rim). The Bolt undergoes finish machining after hardening, and is hand-lapped to its mating receiver. The receiver is 4340 chrome/moly/nickel steel, through-hardened to 38 RC and finish-machined after surface hardening to ensure concentricity.
Note, this is a limited-time offer with Free Solution (August 2015).
So, what do you do with wet cartridge brass after ultrasonic cleaning or wet-tumbling with stainless media? Most of us just dump the brass into a plastic strainer or a colander, shake the casings a little to get the water out, then let the brass air-dry on a tray. We don’t recommend drying brass in a hot oven. If, by mistake, you leave your brass in the oven too long (or set the temp too high), you may slow-anneal your brass, which can end up weakening the brass.
If you can’t wait for your brass to air-dry naturally, there is another solution. Frankford Arsenel now offers a brass dryer that can dry up to 1000 pieces of .223 Rem brass or 2000 pieces of 9mm pistol brass. Yes, here’s yet another gadget for your man cave/reloading center. This unit employs forced air convection heating to dry brass quickly without water spots. This “Platinum Series” Brass Dryer features five (5) removable drying trays so you can dry different types of brass (without mixing) at the same time. Frankford says the max air temperature in the machine is about 160° F — that won’t over-cook your brass. And the “forced air flow” system distributes heat evenly.
Frankford Arsenal Brass Dryer Features
Specifically designed to dry brass after Rotary Wet-Tumbling or Ultrasonic cleaning.
Vented trays provide optimal airflow to minimize drying time.
Top-mounted fan, circulates up to 160°F air to quickly dry the brass inside and out.
Five (5) removable trays easily dry up to 1,000 pieces of .223 brass in less than 1 hour.
Free Cleaning Solution with Frankford Arsenal Brass Dryer
Currently, Grafs.com is offering a FREE 30-oz. bottle of Ultrasonic Brass Solution with every Brass Dryer unit sold. A $15.99 value, the solution goes a long way — you mix it at a 40:1 ratio with water. And, Frankford Arsenal claims: “Our Cleaning Solutions are so strong that they can be used for multiple cleaning cycles before having to mix new solution”.
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New S1 and S5 Knurled Dials can be user-installed in place of older Leupold turret caps.
Leupold & Stevens makes good scopes, but the standard turrets with screw-on caps are inconvenient for some users. It’s too easy to misplace the caps. Also the standard turrets are not the easiest to grip, particularly with gloved hands. To improve the “gripability” of its scope turrets, Leupold now offers new S1 and S5 screw-on knurled dials that fit in place of the cap covers. These aluminum dials offer large, knurled surfaces that are easy to grip, even when wearing gloves. “These screw-on dials mean no more lost caps or the need for a coin to make adjustments in the field,” said Tim Lesser, Leupold’s Product Development Director. The S1 is for MOA scopes while the S5 is for MIL scopes.
The S1 and S5 dials simply replace Leupold’s screw-on turret caps, so the user can install these easily without tools. It is NOT necessary to send your scope(s) back to the factory. Just remove the caps on your windage and elevation turrets, and screw the knurled dials in their place. The S1/S5 dials automatically align with the adjustment slot and securely tighten down. These dials are interchangeable between different riflescopes in the field. MSRP is $50 per dial set (either S1 or S5).
The S1 dial is engraved in ¼-MOA increments while the S5 (for mil-based turrets) is marked in 0.1 MIL. Both come with a locking zero stop and can be equipped with the Custom Dial System® (CDS) through the Leupold Custom Shop. The Leupold S1 and S5 dials are compatible with most Leupold riflescopes with click adjustments, with the exception of the VX-1 series and older riflescopes with friction adjustments. For those with bullet-drop-compensating reticles, the S1 and S5 are completely compatible. The screw on dials are covered by Leupold’s full lifetime guarantee.
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Every week Brownells Merchandise Manager Paul Levy hosts a video featuring new products. We’ve seen these vid clips before, but three products in this week’s video really caught our attention. We like the new MTM Ammo Crate, and the new Durablue coating offers a great option for gun-owners who want a traditional-looking finish that is also durable. And for AR-10 owners, the gold-tone Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier group promises smoother running with easier cleaning.
Products featured in this week’s video include:
MTM Ammo Crate. Wide, flat polymer box features O-ring seal for water resistance, and stackable shape for convenient storage. Integral handle makes for easy transport. Holds up to 85 lbs. of ammo, magazines, and any other type of supplies or gear. Available in 4½”- and 7¼”-deep models.
Titanium Nitride is an extremely robust, durable coating, and now it’s available on an AR-10 bolt carrier group. The new Prime Weaponry .308AR Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier Group drops into AR-10 type .308 AR uppers. The tough gold-tone finish resists wear and corrosion, plus the slick surface speeds up the cleaning process.
Duracoat DuraBlue is a new spray-on coating that provides a deep, glossy finish like traditional bluing but without the worry of rust, scratches, or high cost. DuraBlue comes in an aerosol can or liquid form (for application with sprayer) in both glossy black and traditional blue. DuraBlue can be used on on all kinds of metal, even stainless steel and aluminum.
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Believe it or not, legendary German gun-maker Walther Arms has never produced a .45 ACP pistol. Until now that is. You see Walther just announced that it will (finally) build a handgun, the .45 ACP PPQ, chambered for the classic .45 ACP cartridge. John Moses Browning would approve.
The striker-fired, polymer-framed .45 ACP PPQ boasts a smooth, 5.6-lb trigger with a 0.4″ normal travel and a 0.1″ reset. The 4.25-inch barrel features polygonal rifling (like HK barrels). Both slide and barrel have a hard Tenifer finish (like Glocks). The new .45 ACP PPQ includes ambidextrous controls, slide serrations, and front Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. The pistol holds 12 rounds and is equipped with three internal safeties. Overall length is 7.4 inches, and width is 1.3 inches.
Walther Arms’ VP of Sales and Marketing, Cyndi Flannigan, states: “This new caliber and product offering is a benchmark for Walther and the PPQ. We have built it to the same exacting German standards that deliver the ultimate home defense and personal protection firearm.” The new M2 .45 ACP PPQ pistol is expected to ship to dealers in early October, 2015.
Click photo for full-screen version:
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There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad (or steel wool) to smooth the edge of the cut. The $17.49 Forster chamfer tool, shown below, is a nicely-made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers.
Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs just $10.45 at MidsouthShooterssupply.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.
Sinclair International offers a 28° carbide chamferer with many handy features (and sharp blades). The $29.99 Sinclair Carbide VLD Case Mouth Chamfering Tool will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. This tool features a removable 28° carbide cutter mounted in the green plastic Sinclair handle. NOTE: A hex-shaft cutter head power adapter can be purchased separately for $14.99 (Sinclair item 749-002-488WS). This can be chucked in a power screwdriver or used with the Sinclair Case Prep Power Center when doing large volumes of cases.
K&M makes a depth-adjustable, inside-neck chamferer (“Controlled Depth Tapered Reaper”) with ultra-sharp cutting flutes. The latest version, which costs $45.00 at KMShooting.com, features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. In addition, the tool has a newly-designed handle, improved depth-stop fingers, plus a new set-screw adjustment for precise cutter depth control. We caution, even with all the depth-control features, if you are not very careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Lyman.
One last thing to note — tools like the K&M and the Sinclair chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers. That is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though — so long as you make a smooth cut.
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Forum member Alex W. (aka “zfastmalibu”) came up with a clever adaptation of an item you may already have on your kitchen counter. By drilling a few strategically-placed holes in a wood knife-holding block, Alex created a handy, 20-round ammo holder for the bench. We’re not sure the wife will appreciate the new holes in her kitchen accessory, but we think this is a smart invention. Alex asked fellow Forum members: “What do you think, is there a market for it?” We think there is. Of course, with a ruler and an electric drill you could probably make your own version easily enough.
Get a Solid Wood Knife Block for under $25.00 Beechwood Knife blocks can be purchase for under $25.00 through Amazon.com. They are also available in solid walnut wood ($29.99), cherry wood ($29.99), and Bamboo wood ($29.99).
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Birchwood Casey has released an innovative Solid-Film Lubricant Pen that may be useful for some gun applications where conventional oils and greases are not appropriate. The Pen dispenses MLP Solid Film Lubricant, a semi-permanent, lacquer-like coating containing molybdenum disulfide (MoS 2) and corrosion-inhibiting elements.
Using the Pen, a low-friction lubricant coating can easily be applied to various friction points to reduce wear. Common application points on AR-style rifles include: charging handle, take-down pins, inside of bolt carrier, and mag well.
We can also see a use for this product on buttstock adjusting points, bipod joints/hinges, sling swivels — wherever a non-greasy lubricant can aid function. NOTE: We do not recommend this product for lubrication of bolt lugs on bolt-action rifles — we still think a high-quality grease-type lubricant is best for bolt-lug applications and other high-load points.
This Video shows where to apply Dry Film Lubricant on an AR-type rifle.
Birchwood Casey’s MLP Solid Lubricant Pen meets Mil-Spec requirements. The formula creates a tough, low-friction coating that helps prevent corrosion, galling, and seizing. IMPORTANT: after application, you should allow the dry-film coating to DRY for at least 6 hours before use.
Birchwood Casey claims that: “Once applied, MLP Solid Film Lubricant is virtually unaffected by atmospheric and fretting corrosion, solvents, acids, oils and degreasers. MLP Solid Film Lubricant operates at temperatures ranging from -320° to +300° degrees F.”
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At SHOT Show 2015 Bullets.com President Shiraz Balolia signed a contract with Norma to produce a large quantity of ultra-high-quality .284 Winchester and 6mm Dasher brass. The .284 Win brass is now in the USA and it is very good indeed. Now .284 Win and .284 Shehane shooters have a true premium product, without having to neck-up 6.5-284 brass. In addition, special enhanced quality-control measures were employed by Norma (as a condition of the Bullets.com contract) to ensure this brass is very uniform and very long-lasting. Expect the primer pockets to stay tight for a long time, even with stout loads.
This custom-made .284 Winchester Brass from Norma is double-drawn for body consistency and the heads are double-stamped for longer primer pocket life. This “special run” brass, created exclusively for Bullets.com, is produced to extremely high tolerances from high-grade raw materials.
Bullets.com President Shiraz Balolia (left) and Norma Managing Director Paul-Erik Toivo sign contract for ultra-high-grade Norma brass.
Check it out on our website: http://bit.ly/1KpiVh2
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McMillan Stocks has released an updated version of its .50-Cal benchrest stock. The new Super 50 BR features an extended-length “wheelbase” with machined aluminum lower surfaces for stiffness and improved tracking. In the video below, Kelly McMillan reviews the features of the new Super 50 BR:
The notable features of the new Super 50 benchrest stock are machined aluminum shoes on the bottom of the forearm and buttstock. These are machined true to each other for perfect alignment in the bags. The removable forearm shoe is available in either a 3.5” or 5” width. This is significant. Kelly McMillan explains: “You’ll be able to shoot this same stock in different classes just by changing the forearm shoe, and that’s something you can do in a match if you want.”
Engineered to be Super-Strong with Minimal Flex
With the interlocking design of the foreand (with 90° blocks that interlock with the aluminum shoe), this is a very rigid stock. In fact, Kelly says: “We’ve molded several 90° angles [into the fiberglass section] that actually increases the stiffness in addition to the stiffness that the aluminum offers. We think this is probably the stiffest fore-end on any stock that we’ve ever made.”
This Super 50 BR stock is approximately 44” long and has a forearm about 20.75” long from the front of the action. And if that’s not long enough, the forward “shoe” can be machined up to 6″ longer to extend the “wheelbase” even further. This stock has a minimum weight of about 9 pounds in Light Gun configuration and a max weight of about 18 pounds (for the stock itself) as a Heavy Gun stock. The Super 50 BR is an ambidextrous design that may be inletted and used both right and left-handed.
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It’s important to use a good-fitting bore-guide whenever you clean your barrel. A good bore-guide will keep solvents out of your action and help your cleaning rods run straight and true.
Not all bore guides are created equal. Some offer a sloppy fit and/or fail to seal your chamber effectively. 21st Century Shooting has changed all that with a new generation of chamber-specific Bore Guides. These have a close fit (with O-rings) to seal your chamber completely. The design is intelligent — these bore guides are long enough to extend well past the end of your scope, while the minimal rod diameter provides sufficient clearance for most combs. Priced at $49.99, these high-tech guide rods are custom crafted to fit many popular chamberings: 220 Swift, 223 Rem, 22-250, 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, 6×47, 6-284, 6mm Shehane, 243 WSM, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5-284, 6.5 Shehane, 6.5 WSM, 25-06, 270 WSM, .284 Win, 7mm Shehane, 7mm WSM, 30 BR, 308 Win, 30-06, 300 WSM.
Email John [at] 21stcenturyshooting.com to ask about your application. These chamber-specific guide rods are designed fit actions with BAT bolts or Rem 700-style bolts (Borden, Kelblys, Ruger, Savage).
In addition to the new chamber-specific Guide Rods, 21st Century just released a clever new product for shooters who regularly swap barrels (or who need to clean dismounted barrels). If you have a switch-barrel rig, check out 21st Century’s new Barrel Off Bore Guides. Like the full-length 21st Century bore guides, these are manufactured specifically for your chamber, for a perfect fit. These chamber-specific “Barrel Off” bore guides cost $19.99.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Warner Tool Company (WTC) has introduced a new series of “Flat Line” ultra-high-BC bullets. These sleek, lathe-turned solids are some of the most perfectly-streamlined projectiles ever sold. The Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of Flat Line projectiles are as much as 20% higher than other match bullets of similar caliber and weight. For example, the .30-caliber 200gr Flat Line bullet has a claimed G1 BC of 0.780. Compare that to 0.555 for the Sierra 200gr MatchKing and 0.622 for the Berger 200gr Hybrid.
The new Flat Line bullets all show extremely high Ballistic Coefficients for their weights:
WTC also claims that Flat Line bullets can be launched at faster velocities than other bullets of similar caliber and weight. In its marketing materials, WTC says that Flat Line bullets deliver “Higher velocities when compared with projectiles in its weight class [and] much higher velocity when compared with projectiles of similar BC.” For example, WTC claims that “the 155.5gr .30-caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet [with] the BC of a 185-200gr bullet.” It will be interesting to see if these claims can be verified in field tests.
Here are comparative G1 BCs for a variety of large .30-caliber bullets:
Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog has obtained some early-production Flat Line bullets from their designer, Josh Kunz. Zant has written a lengthy article explaining the design and features of the new Flat Line bullets. If you are considering ordering some of these new lathe-turned solids, you should definitely read Zant’s report.
These bullets were designed by Aerospace engineer Josh Kunz using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate supersonic air flow around the bullets. Through the use of advanced modeling and precision CNC machining, Kunz has developed extremely uniform, ballistically “slippery” bullets that fly faster and flatter than other projectiles of similar weight/caliber.
Premium Pricing: Flat Line Bullets Cost $125 to $165 per Hundred
These new Flat Line solid bullets are pricey. The 155s cost $1.25 per bullet and the price goes up from there. If you need large quantities of projectiles for a week-long match, the cost can be daunting. One hundred fifty of the 200-grainers will set you back $435.00! Here is a price list for the new Flat Line bullets. All quantities are in boxes of 50. Pricing is introductory and subject to change.
.30 Cal 155 grain
$62.50 per 50-ct box ($1.25 per bullet)
.30 Cal 180 grain
$67.50 per 50-ct box ($1.35 per bullet)
.30 Cal 200 grain
$72.50 per 50-ct box ($1.45 per bullet)
.338 Cal 255 grain
$82.50 per 50-ct box ($1.65 per bullet)
Is the cost worth it? When you look at the overall expense of attending a major match, and the fact that the top places in big matches are sometimes are decided by a single point (or X-Count), some competitors will spend the extra money for these ultra-high BC solids.
The new F1 Chassis System from Competition Machine is now in production. This straight-line, all-metal chassis with ultra-low bore axis is optimized for F-Class competition. Designer/builder Gary Eliseo tell us that Competition Machine is now accepting F1 Chassis orders for fall 2015 delivery. To order or if you have questions, email Gary via his website contact page.
Gary tells us: “The new F1 Chassis System, designed specifically for F-Open class, has already begun to rack up awards. The system has several innovations that make it an excellent choice for your next build.” F1 Chassis has many design features that improve tracking and tame torque effect:
Low COG — Super low rider fore-end keeps the center of gravity as low as possible
Long Wheelbase — The long separation from front of stock to rear bag-rider improves tracking and reduces the tendency to jump or twist (torque).
Adjustable Offset — The bag-rider section of the fore-end can be adjusted left to right. This adjustable horizontal offset allows you to choose if you want the fore-end offset left, right or center.
Adaptable to All Shooters — The F1 Chassis System features adjustable length of pull, buttplate drop, and cheekpiece height.
Unique Bonded Barrel Block™ System
Stress is the enemy of accuracy. For this reason the F1 Chassis system features a “zero stress” barrel mounting system which uses a barrel block securely bonded to the barrel (with an epoxy-type adhesive). This allows the action to float, relieving all stress from the threaded joint between the barrel and action and all flexing of the action. With this unique “floating action” design, the F1 chassis is compatible with ANY round rifle action. Replacement barrel blocks are available so you can run multiple barreled actions with your F1 chassis. When it’s time to replace the barrel, the barrel block can be “unbonded” and adapted to a new, same-diameter barrel.
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USA F-TR Team Captain has a new competition rifle, which features the brand new McMillan F-TR stock. Ray is very pleased… “It’s like Christmas”, he says. The reduced mass of the new McMillan stock helps F-TR shooters “make weight” more easily. Ray tells us:
“This McMillan stock really changes the weight budget. Kelly McMillan updated his three-way buttplate design to make it substantially lighter and the stock itself has a very light fill. Fully assembled, with a 29″ HV-contour barrel (.900″ at muzzle), Duplin bipod, and Nightforce NXS scope, the rig is about 10 ounces under weight. Switch to a Nightforce Competition scope and it will be 14-15 ounces under.” Ray says he could run a slightly longer barrel and still make weight.
Initially, Ray will install a Jewell trigger in the rifle, but he hopes to try out a Bix ‘N Andy trigger in the future. Made in Austria, the advanced Bix ‘N Andy trigger (shown below), features ball bearing internals for an ultra-smooth, creep-free pull and very short lock time.
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First revealed at SHOT Show 2014, the Steyr SSG Carbon is finally making its way to America. It took Steyr 16 months to fill a large quantity of LEO orders, but now the innovative Steyr SSG Carbon should be available throughout the USA for $3695.00 MSRP. That sounds pretty expensive, but this is a very sophisticated rifle.
Here’s a very cool video — worth watching full-screen in HD.
The SSG Carbon is based on Steyr’s SBS action (with a +20 MOA rail on top). This gun features the same crisp, adjustable single-stage trigger used in the vaunted SSG 08. The rifle has a hammer-forged, four-groove 1:10″-twist barrel (20″ or 22.4″) chambered for the .308 Winchester. The SSG Carbon rifle offers excellent ergos, with adjustable cheek piece, adjustable butt plate, and an integrated adjustable rear mono-pod. But the real selling point for this rifle is the stock — a carbon stock built like a Formula 1 car chassis.
Chipped Carbon Stock Construction
Unlike conventional carbon-fiber stocks made from woven carbon fabric, the SSG Carbon’s stock is made using the same “chipped-carbon” Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) construction used to create load-bearing structures in Formula 1 racecars and high-performance aircraft. The SSG Carbon’s chipped-carbon flakes combine thermally with the binding agent to form the SMC for a distinctive appearance to the stock. The carbon chips interlock with each other to create a “tension net” that is superior to steel, at a fraction of the weight of steel or even aluminum. Steyr claims that the SMC stock material absorbs recoil better than wood, metal, fiberglass or other synthetics.
Steyr SSG Carbon Features
Caliber: .308 Winchester
Magazine type/capacity: Polymer double-stack detachable box/10 rounds
Safety: 3+1 Position Safety
Trigger type: Single-stage, 3 lb. 8 oz. pull-weight
Stock material/type: SMC carbon fiber
Length of pull: 14.25 inches minimum (adjustable with 0.33″ inserts)
Comb adjustments: 0.5 inches longitudinal; 0.133 inch lateral (rotationally adjustable)
Drop at heel: +1.07 to -3.8 inches vertical adjustment
Pistol grip: Polymer with interchangeable rubber inserts
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Reactive targets — whether balloons, steel gongs, or clay birds — always add fun to a range session. But precision shooters may want something more challenging (i.e. smaller) than a clay bird when shooting inside 300 yards. For a change of pace, try shooting at inexpensive pool cue chalks. Less than 1″ square, these will test your marksmanship skills.
Pool Cue Chalks — Cheap, Fun, Dramatic
If you’re looking for a small target that makes a nice big cloud of color when hit, try pool cue chalks — those little blue cubes you use to dust the end of billiard cues. Measuring about 7/8″ per side, billiard chalks make very challenging targets at 100 and 200 yards. When you hit them, if you nail the circular “dimple” in the middle, they disintegrate impressively, tossing blue “smoke” in all directions. Billiard chalks are inexpensive. You can buy a dozen chalks online for about $3.00 — just 25 cents each. And the prices drop with more quantity. One gross of chalks (that’s 144 pieces) costs just $19.95 at ozonebilliards.com.
To see actual hits on chalk at 100 and 200 yards, watch the video above. (WARNING: Soundtrack is loud and advertisement may play before movie.) The movie-maker, Phil of the Random Nuclear Strikes Blog, cautions that: “You’ll notice (in the video) that some of the hits are ‘wiffs’ instead of ‘poofs’. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the 1/2 inch dimple in the cube face. If you don’t put the bullet in that dimple, it’ll ‘wiff’ on you.”
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Here’s a handy new item, particularly if you load large quantities of bulk ammo for a variety of firearms. Lyman’s new Ammo Checkers check the diameters of reloaded rounds and factory ammo, so you can quickly confirm that your ammo fits a standard chamber. Just drop your loaded rounds in the Ammo Checker, and if the round fits into the gauge, it will fit in the gun’s chamber.
Lyman Ammo Checkers are multi-caliber — each orange block checks six or eight different cartridge types, with each caliber/cartridge name engraved on the gauge. Ammo Checkers are machined to SAAMI minimum chamber dimensions from solid blocks of 6061 T6 aluminum. Ammo Checkers are available in three versions covering most common handgun and rifle calibers:
Why Use a Case Gauge?
We find that case gauges like the Lyman Ammo Checker are particularly useful for handgun reloaders using progressive presses. The chambers of many popular semi-auto pistols are partly unsupported. This allows the case to swell in the bottom quarter. The case may not be sized adequately by your sizing die, which can lead to misfeeds or malfunctions.
Additionally, if you have loaded a large quantity of ammo for a semi-auto rifle such as an AR15, it’s not a bad idea to check your cartridges before you load them into your magazines. All you need is one mis-sized round to cause a stoppage. That will ruin your day if you are competing in a Service Rifle match or 3-Gun event.
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