Forum member Rick from Louisiana (aka RMulhern) has rigged up a fantastic target for long-range shooting. Rick, a long-time competitive Palma shooter, had a large 72″x72″ steel target fabricated with two separate center rings that are equivalent to the official paper Palma/Creedmoor target. He says he’s “shot a lot of Palma on that target, as well as lots of Black Powder Cartridge (BPCR) rounds”. The big steel target works great when Rick shoots his Sharps 45/110 BPCR at 800 to 1000 yards. The large steel background (painted white) helps Rick see and hear his hits. If you understand the high-arching trajectory of 500+ grain projectiles shot from a 45/110, you know it can take a few rounds to get Point of Impact dialed in.
Rick reports: “These are two of my favorite rifles to shoot: a M1874 Shiloh Sharps in caliber 45/110 (2 7/8) made in Big Timber, Montana by Kirk Bryan and family. The other is a 6.5×47 Lapua on a blue-printed M700 action with 1:8.5″-twist Krieger barrel and F5 McMillan Tactical stock. Many of the shooters that take up BPCR have a tendency to get away from their smokeless powder rifles in favor of the blackpowder game. Frankly I have the best of both worlds as I enjoy shooting both (smokeless and BPCR), although I must admit that I probably spend the majority of my time on the range with the Sharps rifles these days.” (Rick’s pretty good with his Sharps by the way — he recently shot a 95, 96, and 100 (clean) for 3×10 shots at 800 yards.)
Gongzilla: $1000 Worth of Steel with Three Plate Layers
Rick tells us: “Here’s the deal — everything is steel! The large plate is 72″x72″ and the black bull is 44″ diameter. The 20″-diameter central white bull is made from 1/2″-thick AR400 bull-dozer plating. That’s the same size as the regulation Palma/Creedmoor paper target. The white square and black bull are 3/8″-thick mild steel. Plates are off-set 2″ from each other. I welded a 2″ length of square tubing to the back of both plates and the bolt slides through and is attached to the large plate. I used 2 3/8″ upset tubing (oil field pipe) for the holder framing.” Rick says he invested about $1000.00 in metal for the target, but that was 15 years ago. Today the steel would be much more expensive.
Rick says the AR400 armor plate in the center bull is very strong: “You can shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at 200 yards and it won’t damage the center bull”. The mild steel works well for the cast bullets Rick uses with his Sharps 45/110. Also, Rick says the mild steel is rugged enough for 6.5mm and .308 hollowpoint match bullets, if you’re at least 500 yards away. However, Rick told us, “If I would make [the target] again, I would make the black bull AR400 as well. [That way] you would never have to worry about big dents or beating the plate up at any distance. The AR400 is very tough steel. You can shoot a Sierra or Lapua HP bullet and they will just splatter.”
Rick told us: “I built this target with off-set clanger plates. The white clanger is AR400. Bullets just splatter!” Does he worry about hitting the bolt head? Not at all. Rick says: “When I hit the bolt head, I break my arm patting myself on the back!”.
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Bullet sorting station — quilted Maple with marble tile inlay, created by JVW2008.
We have a master woodworker in our Shooters’ Forum, Jerry from Colorado (aka JVW2008). In a recent Forum thread, Jerry showcases multiple examples of his handiwork — various wood projects for the reloading room. Beautifully made, these one-of-a-kind custom cabinets and tool stands deserve to be on display in a museum.
Jerry’s creations exhibit exquisite craftsmanship and some very clever design features. What is your favorite item among the Jerry’s wood wonders shown here? You can reveal your favorites in the comment section below.
Throne for a Sartorius Analytical Balance
Jerry built this “Throne” for his ultra-precise Sartorius Entris force restoration scale, which is linked to a V2 Auto-Trickler. This is a true state-of-the-art powder measuring system on a beautiful base unit.
Cabinet for Balance Beam Scale
Here is an oak balance beam scale cabinet and weighing surface. Note the mulitiple tiers, side wings, and other smart design features.
Custom Arbor Press Base
Below is a handsome, well-designed base for K&M Arbor Press and Wilson dies. Look at the fitted recesses for the hand dies — very nice!
Jumbo Walnut/Maple Loading Block
And here is a beautiful 100-cartridge reloading block, crafted from Walnut over Maple. It’s impressive to see 100 cartridges all lined up like that!
To see more impressive wood projects by our Shooters’ Forum members, visit the Wood Working Ideas Forum Thread. Along with Jerry’s reloading toom wonders, you’ll see cleaning cradles, shooting benches, transport boxes, and much more. Check out this amazing inlaid rifle case crafted by Forum member Nando-AS for his son.
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If you couldn’t attend SHOT Show this past January, here’s the next best thing. Shooting Industry Magazine has released, in its April issue, a comprehensive guide to SHOT Show 2017. You’ll find a summary of the hottest new products, including dealers’s selections for potential top sellers of 2017.
Over 60 products are detailed in this issue’s expanded New Product Showcase (April issue pp. 40-53). This features many new rifles suitable for Tactical or PRS Competition as well as some interesting hunting/varmint rig. You’ll also find some
A second product feature, “SHOT Show Standouts”, highlights dealers’ top picks from a variety of categories. Black Hills’ new line of “Honey Badger” ammunition, eye-catching knives from Steel Will and a smartphone-synced thermal camera by are just a few of the newest products poised to potentially draw big sales. Lastly, a variety gun storage solutions are covered in this April edition in an Arms & Woman feature.
You can access all these product features on the Shooting Industry Digital Edition. CLICK HERE to launch the April Cover page, then navigate by flipping pages, just as with a print magazine. You’ll find the main SHOT Show Product Showcase starting on page 40.
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We know that many of our readers have never seen a “Hammerhead” benchrest stock before. This is a design with an extra wide section in the very front, tapering to a narrow width starting about 6″ back. When paired with a super-wide front sandbag, the hammerhead design provides added stability — just like having a wider track on a racing car. Some folks think mid-range and long-range benchrest stocks can only be 3″ wide. Not so — IBS and NBRSA rules now allow much wider fore-ends. While F-Class Open rules limit fore-end width to 3″ max, there is not such restriction on IBS or NBRSA Light Guns or Heavy Guns for 600- and 1000-yard competition. Here’s a 5″-wide Hammerhead design from Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T).
Ray Bowman of PR&T sent us some photos of another hammerhead benchrest rig. Ray reports: “Here’s another benchrest rifle that Precision Rifle & Tool crafted. The customer shot this rifle at the 2014 IBS 1000-yard Nationals in West Virginia.” This IBS Light Gun sports PR&T’s “Low Boy Hammer Head” stock in red/black laminate. Other components are a 6mm BRUX 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel, Borden BR Action, and a PR&T 20 MOA scope rail.
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Forty-five bucks for a 25-round reloading tray? No this is not a late April Fool’s Day story. The CNC wizards at MK Machining in Missouri have created what may be the world’s most high-tech tray. Milled from billet aluminum, these trays will last a lifetime, and they offer one big advantage — any powder over-spill simply fills the open gap between the top and bottom plates. That way you don’t have stray powder kernels collecting in the bottom of the cartridge holes.
The MK Reloading Trays come in four colors: Red Anodized ($44.99), Blue Anodized ($44.99), Black Anodized ($39.99), and Silver (Clear) Anodized ($34.99). The holes are sized for .308 Win-diameter cases, so they’ll work for 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, 7mm-08, and the entire .308 Win family. As shown below you can buy a Red and Blue pair and simply re-assemble them in a Red/Blue Sandwich style. We think that looks pretty cool.
For more information, or to order MK Reloading Trays, visit MKMachining.com.
However, the MK Machining Loading Tray definitely has more “bling appeal” and there are some advantages to the sandwich design. The aluminum is certainly more heat resistant than polymer. For guys who want a “Cadillac” tray on their bench, the MK Machining Trays may be worth the investment. We also think these might make nice prizes for a shooting match.
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Vortex Optics and Hornady have joined forces to create what may be the most remarkable new bullet technology in the past 20 years. Vortex has adapted a miniature video system to fit inside the tips of rifle bullets. The micro-sized camera/transmitter was originally developed for miniature spy drones. Vortex cleverly figured out to make these tiny little video cameras work when carried on a spinning projectile launched from a rifle.
The revolutionary bullet-cam is the equivalent of the camera in the nose of a “smart” bomb or missile, but micro-miniaturized. This new technology allows you to literally watch your bullet fly into the target. For long-range shots with extended flight times, the view is mesmerizing. Hunters should be very excited. With the Bullet-Cam, you can record the “shot of a lifetime” on a trophy hunt. One has to commend Vortex for achieving this electro-optical breakthrough. Kudos also to Hornady for incorporating the micro-optics into shootable ammunition.
Vortex Video Shows New Bullet-Cam in Action:
A live feed from the Bullet-Cam streams right to your device for instant viewing. Once the Bullet-Cam hits the target, recording stops and the video is automatically uploaded to the VTX Cloud where it can be shared to social media.
Software Indexing Magic Creates Stable, Viewable Image
How is the image viewable though the bullet is spinning at thousands of RPM? The answer is surprisingly simple — and achieved through software. The bullet RPM is referenced by a microprocessor, so the camera’s software simply snaps a picture of the target every few micro-seconds, when the target is in exactly the same orientation. The lens is spinning, but it only captures visual data once every rotation (i.e. image capture is rotationally-indexed). This “stream of stills” is then blended into the video feed. What the viewer sees is a stable movie as though the camera was mounted on a non-rotating, fin-stabilized projectile. This rotationally-sequenced image-capture process made the whole project possible. We’re told that the Pentagon was so impressed with the technology that it is looking to fit Bullet-Cams into a variety of spin-stabilized ordnance, including artillery shells and large-caliber (.50 BMG) sniper rounds.
Vortex Engineer Ian Klemm, a top F-TR shooter, helped develop the innovative Bullet-Cam. Ian says: “Our goal with … Vortex products is to allow our customers to see things clearly from all vantage points. When it comes to bullet impact though, shooters have had to relay on traditional optics to determine accuracy from long distances. We were determined to provide an additional point of view (POV) to improve precision and overall performance. [We want] shooters to have the most advanced tools in the industry, to achieve the most accurate shots. With the Bullet-Cam you will always know if you are way off or dead on.”
Ten Bucks Per Shot — Great for Hunters
Considering the technology involved, the Bullet-Cam product is suprisingly affordable. A box of ten (10) cam-equipped cartridges is only $99.99. So, for about ten bucks per shot, you can actually see your shots fly downrange and into the target. That’s something that’s never been possible with sporting ammunition. This new technology unlocks a whole new world for precision shooters. And for hunters — the Bullet-Cam literally allows you to record the shot of a lifetime on a trophy animal. You can then share that memorable experience via Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
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We’ve told fans of Hodgdon H4350 to give Alliant Reloder 16 (RL16) a try. In our tests, Reloder 16 has proven a very promising rival to H4350 for accuracy, low ES/SD, and temp stability.
Now you can get the advantages of Reloder 16 in a slower powder formulated for magnum cartridges — Reloder 26 (RL26). Alliant says RL26’s burn speed falls between that of Reloder® 22 and Reloder® 33. That means it’s slower than H4831 but faster than powders that would suit the .338 Lapua Magnum. Reloder 26 has a high bulk density that allows larger powder charges, and high velocities. RL26 also provides a consistent, controlled response to temperature changes.
We are hearing very good things about RL26 from friends and Forum members who are testing it with big calibers for Long Range applications. Accuracy is good and velocities are impressive. Alliant says RL26 “incorporates EI® technology to produce extremely high velocities in magnum cartridges”. In big magnums, shooters have reported gaining 100+ fps with RL26 compared to H1000 or Retumbo. And to our surprise some guys have even tried replacing H4350 with RL26 (in smaller cartridge types) and they have picked up meaningful velocities. We don’t think Alliant ever intended RL26 as a substitute for H4350, but if you’ve got the case capacity… it may be worth a try.
Alliant Reloder 26 Features
EI® technology delivers high velocities in magnum cartridges
Contains proprietary de-coppering additive
Controlled temperature stability
Excellent lot-to-lot consistency
Formulation contains no DNT or DBP
Made in Switzerland for Alliant Powder
Alliant’s Tech Expert Talks about Reloder 26
What are the characteristics of Reloder 26? That question was answered recently by Paul Furrier who works for ATK, the parent company of Alliant Powders. Posting in our Shooters’ Forum, Paul writes:
“Reloder 26 is produced in Switzerland by our extremely capable partner Nitrochemie. I have seen it stated that they [it is] made by Bofors, so that is incorrect. I have also noticed people are equating … Reloder 26 to Reloder 25. Reloder 26 is definitely slower burning than Reloder 25, so there shouldn’t be any confusion there either.”
Speed and More Speed with RL 26
Think of Reloder 26 as a high-velocity powder for big cartridges. Furrier explains: “Reloder 26 is produced with Nitrochemie’s latest generation EI® process technology. This is the same impregnation coating process used to produce Reloder 17, Reloder 33, and Reloder 50 for us, and it is fantastic. Reloder 26 [offers] great ballistic efficiency, high bulk density so you can get more of the slow powder into the case to harness the energy, and decent, predictable extreme temp response. Reloder 26 is not as flat at temps as the TZ or Australian materials, but it is very manageable, usually in the 0.5 fps/°F range (depending on the application). Just as important, the pressure increases at hot are very manageable. We are using quite a bit of this RL26 powder in our Federal factory ammo due to the fantastic ballistics and accuracy.” — Paul Furrier, ATK
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The new 38th Edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values is slated for release on April 1, 2017. You can currently pre-order the price guide through Amazon.com. The Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad is the leading gun valuation resource. There are now 1.6 million copies in circulation worldwide.
Blue Book of Gun Values, 38th Edition
Publication Date: April 1, 2017
2512 Pages with 30,000 gun descriptions, and 175,000+ Prices
Over 1500 Makes Covered
This new edition contains updated values for countless firearm types. 2017 makes and models have been included, along with important pricing updates on many current and discontinued models. This new edition contains significantly updated values and information reflecting changes in the gun industry.
· Important pricing updates on major trademark current, antique, and discontinued models, including Colt, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and Sturm Ruger.
· 2017 makes and models have been included, with many new handgun and rifle products from many manufacturers.
· 2,512 Pages of content includes nearly 1,500 manufacturers and trademarks, almost 30,000 gun model descriptions, and over 175,000 prices.
· More information, more values, and more history than any other guide on the market, by far!
Sample Page from Blue Book of Gun Values:
Review by Tom Gresham, Gun Talk Radio Host
“At some point, every gun owner asks the question, ‘What’s it worth?’ The leading reference for decades has been the Blue Book of Gun Values. Whether you are a seller, a buyer, a shopper, or just curious, this constantly-updated gold mine of research is your friend.”
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Running out of space in your gun safe? Here’s a clever product that will allow you to store more long guns in your current vault. The plastic Rifle Rods from Gun Storage Solutions slip in long-gun barrels and then grip the shelf above using Velcro pads. This allows you to nestle your rifles and shotguns much closer together than with the conventional racks provided with most gunsafes. The rods are offered in bright orange or basic black. We prefer the safety orange rods (shown above with the Velcro “receiver” shelf liner provided with the Rod Kit).
Rifles with narrow furniture (such as lever guns) can be placed very close together, saving lots of space. For benchrest or varmint rifles with wider fore-ends, you won’t benefit as much. Note that, in the photo above, all of the guns are fairly slim — none have wide fore-ends. Still we think these Rifle Rods could open up 12″ or more horizontal clearance in a medium-sized safe — that could easily allow you to store six (6) more guns in two rows, as shown.
Rifle Rod Kits Starting at $34.95
A kit with 10 Rifle Rods and loop fabric shelf liner costs $34.95 on Amazon.com, while the 20-Rod Kit with liner costs $69.95. That’s a lot cheaper than buying a new safe. A six-pack of additional black Rifle Rods costs $18.50 on Amazon. NOTE: To get the safety orange rods you may have to pay a few dollars more and order directly from Gun Storage Solutions.
WARNING: Always REMOVE Rod from barrel before taking gun to the range. Never place live ammunition in a gun with storage Rod in the barrel!
Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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We liked (and used) Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge before, and now it’s even better. Lyman has updated its pull gauge to be faster and more precise. The new gauge measures trigger pull weights from 1 ounce to 12 pounds with resolution of 0.1 ounces (2.8 grams). We think that anyone running match triggers below 2.5 pounds pull weight should have a gauge like this. Among the pull gauges on the market, we think the new Lyman unit now offers the best performance for the price — this gauge has a $59.95 MSRP, and expect to see it for under $50.00 when it is available. We like the new adjustable, 4-position rod which retracts into the gauge body.
Upgrades: More Precise Strain Gauge | Improved Grip Shape | Adjustable Rod Lengths
Lyman’s new, improved Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge is designed to be the fastest and most accurate trigger pull gauge available. State-of-the-art strain gauge technology allows for repeatable accuracy of 1/10 ounce (2.8 grams). The gauge features a large, easy-to-read LCD display and you can switch from ounces to grams with the push of a button. The gauge can also deliver a pull weight average of the last 10 readings. That’s very helpful, particularly when working with factory triggers that may not be very consistent.
The new model Trigger Pull Gauge features a solid, collapsible rod with four locking positions. Being able to adjust length makes it easier to use the gauge with a wide variety of firearms. The locking feature prevents the rod from flexing when applying pressure to the trigger. When not in use, the rod conveniently collapses into the gauge body, making the whole unit more compact. The new Trigger Pull Gauge comes in an internally-padded plastic case that can be easily stored in a drawer or on your work bench. The old-style Lyman gauge (shown below) had a limited rod-length adjustment range, and the rod needed to be removed to store the gauge in its soft case.
Compare Old-Style Lyman TriggerPull Gauge
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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 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.
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.
More CZ Rifle News from SHOT Show 2017
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Tired of hauling around an old-fashioned Score Book and making entries with pencil and paper? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports has released a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad (Apple tablet). The price is right — just visit the iTunes store to download the App for FREE.
Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional Creedmoor print Data Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your iPhone or tablet. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.
COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
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Our friends at Targetshooter Magazine just returned from the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Germany. With 1455 exhibitors and over 45,530 attendees from around the globe, the IWA exhibition is a major event that rivals the USA’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
Here are some highlights from TargetShooter’s IWA Trade Show Report:
Perhaps this is a good place to start, with the latest long-range March offering, the High Master. This is a superb 10-60x56mm scope with a 34mm tube and ED glass. I predict that this scope will once again set the bar for the serious F-Class shooter. Obviously you can’t assess a scope like this at an exhibition, but I hope Target Shooter will have one soon for a proper test.
This year, Tikka decided it was time they got in on the act and staged a press seminar to launch their version – the T3x TAC A1. This one doesn’t go the full AR butt route but has a very nice folding stock and, in spite of this and a 24-inch barrel, keeps the weight down to a respectable 5.1 kg (11.24 lb). Tikka has a very large following and I suspect this one will be a great seller, especially in the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering with 10-shot magazine.
Another action which caught my eye was from a Canadian company called Ultimatum Precision. They had incorporated some really useful features into their ‘Rem footprint’ action and, being Canadian, it might be more accessible without all the American ITAR nonsense. It incorporates a three-lug, floating bolt-head design which means that caliber changes are a cinch, especially with the option of a barrel-nut fixing. It comes with a hard, black finish and will be offered in the usual bolt/port configurations.
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Kruger of Germany produces match targets for the ISSF and major World Championships. Kruger’s quality control is second to none. Now officially-licensed NRA targets are available from Kruger Premium Targets in the USA. With elite competitions being decided by thousandths of an inch in shot placement, shouldn’t your club use the best-quality targets available? Kruger targets are made from premium-grade paper to permit precise, reliable measurements. For example, to ensure that target holes do not have irregular edges, Kruger’s NRA Air Rifle and Air Pistol targets are printed on machine-smoothed 210 gram board made from short-fiber materials. Mike Krei, Director of the NRA’s Competitive Shooting Division, has stated: “It is generally accepted that Kruger has the best heavy pulp target paper in the world and that directly relates to the excellent clean bullet holes which are essential for precise scoring.”
Kruger offers the full array of official NRA air rifle, air pistol, international pistol, and smallbore targets. In addition, Kruger sells photo-realistic Animal Targets, plus a cool series of Fun Targets for plinking and informal practice. Kruger targets can be ordered online through www.Kruger-US-Targets.com or you can call Kruger’s USA distributor, MK Tactical, at (503) 746-6816. MK Tactical is located in Hillsborough, OR.
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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.
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.
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.
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The NBRSA has liberalized its rules regarding front sandbags. Until this year, NBRSA rules required that benchrest competitors be able to lift their rifle fore-ends freely from the front bag. Accordingly, front bags could not “capture” the forearm or hold the gun down (i.e. keep it from rising). In order to meet this requirement, “legal” bags had straight sides that didn’t stand too far up.
Now the NBRSA rules have changed. You no longer have to be able to lift the gun up freely from the bag without interference. It’s now permissible to have a bag that offers some up/down retention. Check out this new bag from Edgewood Shooting Bags. Call “The EDGE”, it offers taller side sections that can hold the fore-arm in place and counter torque.
Edgewood’s designers state: “There are a couple of [NBRSA] rule changes for 2017. The change we found most intriguing was that the requirement of being able to lift your fore end freely from the front rest has been removed. So, we came up with a new design with super tall ears which will allow the innovators to push the envelope. Let’s see what you can do with these…”
We expect this new type of front bag will help stabilize short-range benchrest rifles, particularly in the 10.5-lb Sporter and Light Varmint classes. But we expect the biggest gains will be had with the big-caliber rifles used in Mid-Range and Long Range benchrest competition. In the 1000-yard game, heavy-recoiling 7mm and .30 caliber cartridges are popular with many shooters. These big guns generate considerable torque despite their ample weight. We predict these “super-sized” front bags will reduce both hop and rolling motion (torque) in the big guns.
We also expect that some varmint hunters will experiment with high-sided front bags that wrap around the fore-end. Such front bags may prove a real boon for guns with narrower, sporter-style fore-ends. And it would be interesting to see if this kind of tall-sided bag design will be incorporated into portable sandbags for the PRS game. We shall see…
Rule Change and Product Tip from EdLongrange. Product Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should probably be this week’s hour-long SHOT Show Special. Tonight, March 1, 2017, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage. Jim Scoutten’s team of gun journalists work hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2017. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s SHOT Show episode.
2017 SHOT Show Highlights: Savage MSR Rifles, GA Precision Tempest Action, Smith & Wesson M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor, Colt double-action Cobra, STI Match pistols and a whole lot more.
Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, March 1, 2016 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.
Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:30 PM; 1:00 AM (TH)
Central Time – 8:30 PM; Midnight (TH)
Mountain Time – 7:30 PM; 11:00 PM
Pacific Time – 6:30 PM; 10:00 PM
Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:
GA Precision Tempest Action
Colt Cobra Revolver
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0
Savage MSR 10
M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor
STI Int’l DVC Steel
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A full 54″ long inside, this Plano case will hold big rifles with 30-31″ barrels. This case is very sturdy, and will survive rough handling at airports. The case has tough latches, watertight seals, and wheels for easy transport. Right now this case is just $111.50 with Free Shipping for Amazon Prime members. This is the lowest price ever on Plano’s largest gun case.
One buyer confirms this Plano case will fit long match rifles: “It holds two 17-lb bench rifles with 30″ barrels. It is very heavily made — even more stout than a Pelican 1750. Only draw back is the weight with two guns, over 60 pounds. But for shipping guns to a match, even the airline baggage handlers couldn’t damage this case! Case is great for two long guns!” (Smitty)
Another certified buyer states: “I bought this case for a Savage 110BA .338 Lapua Magnum, and it’s so nice that I just bought a second one for a 50 BMG. There are very few rifle cases that will fit the larger rifles… and this is a great choice for the heavy caliber rifles with long barrels.” (Bruce L.)
Plano’s new Field Locker line of gun cases features reinforced construction, watertight seals, double-density foam, industrial draw-down latches and customizable inserts. These quality cases, engineered to military specifications, rival the protection offered by Pelican and SKB cases at less than half the price.
+ Cut to Fit Foam
+ Extra Wide Latches
+ Wheeled case for ease of transport
+ Cases designed to stack and interlock
+ Exterior 56.38″ x 18″ x 7.25″
+ Interior 54″ x 15″ x 6.38″
Model number#: 109540
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Does your Black Rifle have a sloppy upper/lower fit? That can be annoying; what’s more, loose fit can limit accuracy potential. Here’s a clever solution for poor-fitting AR-15 and AR-10 upper and lower receivers. The new JP MicroFit takedown pins can improve even the sloppiest ARs, providing a rock-solid upper/lower receiver fit.
MicroFit pins come in three sizes and two types: standard (“mean”), oversized, and undersized, with types for both front and rear of the receivers. The mean pins match standard takedown pin sizes while the over- and under-sized vary by slightly more than .001″ (+/-) from the standard diameter. NOTE: Although most poor-fitting receivers are loose, some are too tight. Very tight receivers, such as post-Cerakote, can be remedied with the undersized pins.
Shown is JP Enterprises’ PSC-12™ upper assembly with LRP-07™ lower assembly.
“An AR with a loose upper/lower receiver… will not reach its accuracy potential. That was the goal with our original JP Tension Pin, but MicroFit™ pins provide the same result without tool-assisted takedown. The MicroFit pins require no modification to the receiver. They simply replace your current pins”, stated JP Enterprises founder John Paul.
JP’s MicroFit pins feature a polished black finish with a hard, durable QPQ coating. This provides smooth insertion/removal plus excellent corrosion resistance. All pins feature a two-faceted punch or bullet capturing recess. This allows the user to apply force to the pins safely without risking scratching the receiver. JP’s MicroFit pins are sold as both as individual pins and as replacement sets.
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Thursday was TEAM DAY at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). In the Sling, F-TR, and F-Open classes, dozens of 4-person teams shot under coaches at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. The key difference between the team game and individual competition is that (for the most part) shooters function as trigger pullers only. Wind and elevation calls are typically made by the coaches, who sometimes even dial clicks for the shooters. In the above photo Bryan Litz is just about to click his shooter’s elevation turret.
This year the Scottish Thistle Team won the Sling division, lead by a strong 449-27X performance by Angus McLeod. The Hayes Rays of Sunshine Team finished second, six points back. In the highly competitive F-TR class, North by Southwest took the team title, with Da Bulls in second.
In the F-Open class, the Cluster Ducks (clever name) took the win, edging out second place The Longshots by a single point. Third in F-Open was Tex-Mex #1. Kudos to AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, our site systems manager, who lead 4th Place Team Lapua/Brux with a strong 448-25X. Jay keeps our servers running smoothly — and he’s a great shooter in his own right.
Here’s Team Krieger (foreground) getting ready on the 1000-yard line.
Anette Wachter (in chair) shot a 450-36X in the Team Match — not dropping a single point. Outstanding!
TEAM EVENT TOP THREE in SLING, F-OPEN, and F-TR
1st Place — Scotland Thistle 1786-100X
Angus McLeod, 449-29X
Sandy Walker, 447-27X
Ian Shaw, 445-24X
Michael Barlow, 445-21X
2nd Place — Hayes Rays of Sunshine 1780-97X
3rd Place — Sabine 1775-88X
NOTABLES: Annette Wachter, 450-36X (4th Place Team High)
1st Place — The Cluster Ducks 1789-100X
James Laney, 450-27X
Kevin Shepherd, 448-24X
Norman Harrold, 448-21X
Joe Meyer, 443-28X
2nd Place — The Longshots 1788-103X
3rd Place — Tex-Mex #1 1781-93X
NOTABLES: Jay Christopherson, 448-25X (4th Place Team High)
1st Place — North by Southwest 1773-74X
Daniel Lentz, 445-22X
Ian Klemm, 445-17X
Daniel Pohlabel, 443-18X
Ken Klemm, 440-17X
2nd Place — Da Bulls 1770-81X
3rd Place — Michigan F-TR Team 1764-85X
NOTABLES: Mike Plunkett 447-16X (4th Place Team High)
NEW F-OPEN TEAM Record: The Cluster Ducks set a new National Team Record for 800/900/1000 yards with their 1789-100X Score. In fact, the second-place Longshots also broke the previous 1786-104X record, set by Team Grizzly in 2014. Because the Cluster Ducks edged The Longshots by one point the Ducks will go down in the record books. But both teams can rightfully say they broke the then-current 1786-point F-Open record. Well done shooters!
Team Thunder-Struck from the Land Down Under brought along an inflatable mascot.
GUNS and GEAR HIGHLIGHTS
Interesting Competition Hardware at Ben Avery
Eliseo F-Class Chassis with Two-Piece Barrel Block
Christine Harris was shooting a new prototype Eliseo F-Class stock with a two-part barrel block. This is similar to the Eliseo F1 stock but the bolt-together barrel block allows easier exchange of barreled actions.
Stunning F-Open Rig from Cerus Rifleworks Cerus Rifleworks showed us a jaw-dropping new F-Open rifle. This is an amazing combination of beauty and advanced performance. The CNC-milled stock is stiff and straight, with tolerances that put most wood stocks to shame.
A Lady Soldier’s Coat and Rifle
This Monard shooting coat belongs to SSG Amanda Elsenboss, a shooter with the USAMU Team. The rifle features a Barnard action in what appears to be a classic Robertston Composites H&H-style prone stock. Nice hardware for a talented lady soldier.
Pair of ‘Pods
We saw many SEB Joy-Pods on the front end of F-TR rifles. These light-weight bipods offer quick and easy aiming via a joystick-controlled coaxial head. The large flat feet allow the rifle to move back smoothly on recoil, and then slide right back on target.
Gear-Hauler for Many Seasons
This cart has seen countless matches over the years. Those stickers are markers in time, recording decades of shooting matches in many venues. How many stickers can you identify?
Distinguished Rifleman’s Spotting Scope
The stories this old spotting scope could tell — how many targets has it seen over the years? The most important sticker, “Distinguished Rifleman”, bears witness to its owner’s skill and commitment to the sport.
Nightforce Optics Competition Scopes
Nightforce, a major sponsor of the Berger SW Nationals, had a variety of scopes mounted on viewing rigs. You could quickly compare one scope vs. another. We’d like to see more optics makers demo their scopes at major matches.
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