March 21st, 2018

New, Affordable FX1000 FFP Tactical Scopes from Nikon

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Nikon has a new line of First Focal Plane (FFP) riflescopes designed for tactical and PRS shooters. The very affordable BLACK FX1000 series includes 4-16×50mm and 6-24×50mm variants, with the choice of FX-MOA or FX-MRAD reticles. The FX1000 line features 30mm main body tube, high speed 10 MIL or 25 MOA turrets (with nice, tactile clicks), integral zero stop, and Nikon No Fault Lifetime Repair/Replacement on the entire riflescope. Most important thing — all FX1000 scope are under $800.

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Burris, Bushnell, and Vortex should be concerned. We expect that Nikon will be stealing market share with the new, sub-$800 FX1000 line-up. This is solid choice for PRS production class, which is limited to $3000.00 total for rifle AND optic.

This Video Shows the Key Features of Nikon FX1000 Series FFP Scopes

Nikon offers 4-16×50mm and 6-24×50mm FX1000 models. The 4-16×50mm scopes provide 90 MOA/25 MRAD elevation adjustment range while the 6-24×50mm optics provide 60 MOA/17 MRAD elevation.

The BLACK FX1000 riflescopes are built on 30mm tubes from aircraft grade aluminum alloy with Type-III hard anodizing for ruggedness and durability. Waterproof, fog-proof and shock-proof, all BLACK FX1000 models are backed by Nikon’s lifetime, No Fault repair/replacement policy.

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Nikon FX1000 tactical scope

  • FX1000 4-16x50SF FX-MOA (MSRP $649.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF FX-MRAD (MSRP $649.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MOA (MSRP $749.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MRAD (MSRP $749.95)
  • FX1000 6-24x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MOA (MSRP $799.95)
  • FX1000 6-24x50SF Matte Illuminated Reticle FX-MRAD (MSRP $799.95)
  • Here the 6.5 Guys interview Jeremy Bentham, a PRS Competitor who helped design the New FX1000 series scopes:

    Nikon’s new FX1000 optics feature “high-speed” turrets (10 Mil or 25 MOA) with nice, tactile clicks. PRS shooter Jeremy Bentham designed the new reticles which are clear and easy-to-use. The 4-16x50mm model is $649.95 while the 6-24x50mm is $799.95 MSRP. These represent outstanding value for a big name, life-time warranty product.

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
    March 20th, 2018

    Collapsible Meopta Spotting Scope — The Compact Option

    Meoptia TGA 75 75mm spotting scope

    Here’s an interesting spotting scope for hunters and tactical shooters — or anyone who needs a high-magnification field telescope that takes up minimal space. The new TGA 75 collapsible spotting scope is just 9.8 inches when collapsed with eyepiece removed. That about the size of a 20 oz. soda bottle. The classic draw-tube design extends to 14.8 inches when deployed. Engineered for hunters, the Meopta TGA 75 features a 75mm objective lens with proprietary MeoShieldTM coating. The shockproof, water-resistant TGA 75 can be mounted on a tripod but it can also be supported on a tree limb or field pack.

    The TGA 75 boasts a rubber-armored, lightweight aluminum body. Three interchangeable eyepieces are offered: 30X WA-R (wide angle ranging), 30X WA (wide angle), or 20-60X zoom. The TGA 75 body only is $899.95 MSRP, while the three eyepieces are each priced at $399.95 MSRP.

    “The compact TGA 75 spotting scope is ideal for hunters on the move and especially popular with those who pack into remote areas,” said Randy Garrison, Director of Meopta USA Sport Optics. “Size, weight and optical performance are important, and the TGA 75 delivers on all fronts.”

    Meopta logoMeopta TGA 75 Spotting Scope Specifications:
    Objective Lens (mm): 75mm
    Lens Coatings: MeoBright, MeoShield
    Length w/o eyepiece (in): 14.8 in
    Weight w/o eyepiece (oz): 44.1 oz
    Close Focus (ft): 13.9 ft
    Chassis material: Magnesium alloy
    Armor: Full rubber armor
    Tripod thread: 1/4 – 20
    Diopter Correction: +/- 5

    Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
    March 17th, 2018

    .224 Valkyrie Load Data for 52gr to 95gr Bullets from Sierra

    224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

    If you own an AR, you’ve probably heard of the hot, new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. Basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22, the Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. With Sierra’s remarkable new 95-grain MatchKing, this gives the little Valkyrie long-range performance that can rival some much larger cartridge types. Sierra Bullets states: “The [Valkyrie] case length is shorter than the 223 Remington affording the use of heavier match-grade bullets with very long ogives and high ballistic coefficients. This offers … super-sonic velocities at ranges greater than the .223 Remington and the 6.5 Grendel can achieve at magazine length”.

    If you’re considering a .224 Valkyrie, you’re in luck — Sierra Bullets has just released comprehensive LOAD DATA for this new cartridge. Sierra has published loads for a broad range of bullet weights from 52 grains all the way up to 95 grains. Loads for 20 bullet types and 22 powders* are listed.

    DOWNLOAD Complete Sierra .224 Valkyrie LOAD DATA PDF »

    Shown below is Sierra’s load data for bullet weights from 77 grains to 90 grains. Values in green indicate MAXIMUM loads — use CAUTION. NOTE: This is only a partial sample, less than a third of the data Sierra has published. Download Sierra’s Full 4-page PDF to view all the data, including load information for Sierra’s new 95gr .224-caliber MatchKing with claimed 0.600 G1 BC.

    Sierra Bullets Load Data for .224 Valkyrie (Partial Sample)

    224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

    224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

    224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

    The new .224 Valkyrie was introduced late last year as a Hot Rod cartridge that will work in AR15s. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels:

    .224 Valkyrie Federal cut-down barrel

    * All the following powders were tested, but not all for each bullet weight: Accurate 2520, Accurate XMR 2495, Accurate 4064, Hodgdon AR Comp, Hodgdon Benchmark, Hodgdon CFE 223, Hodgdon H335, Hodgdon H380, Hodgdon H4895, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4064, IMR 4166, IMR 8208 XBR, Power Pro 2000 MR, Power Pro Varmint, Ramshot Big Game, Ramshot TAC, Reloder 10X, Reloder 15, Reloder 17, Vihtavuori N540, Winchester 760.

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
    March 14th, 2018

    2018 SHOT Show on Shooting USA TV

    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter

    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 14, 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 2018. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s 2018 SHOT Show episode.

    2018 SHOT Show Highlights: Ruger Precision Rimfire, Sig P365, M1A in 6.5 Creedmoor, MR-10 Bolt Action Comp Rifle, Colt Competition 1911, and a whole lot more.

    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter

    Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
    Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, March 14, 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 – 9:00 PM
    Central Time – 8:00 PM
    Mountain Time – Check Listings
    Pacific Time – 9:00 PM

    Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:

    Ruger Precision Rimfire
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter
    S&W 686 Performance Center
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
    Colt Competition 1911
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
    Springfield M1A 6.5 Creedmoor
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
    Remington M870 Magfed
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
    JP Ent. MR-10 Tactical Bolt Gun
    Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
    Sig Sauer 9mm P365
    Sig P365 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
    Glock GEN5 Model 19X
    Glock 19X 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
    Permalink - Videos, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
    March 12th, 2018

    FREE Bushnell Ballistics App with Applied Ballistics Software

    Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

    Bushnell has released a FREE new Ballistics App powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite Engine. The new Bushnell Ballistics App easily calculates ballistic solutions for any popular cartridge type once you input velocity, BC, and atmospherics. The App features trusty Applied Ballistics bullet data, and it can even pull in atmospheric data from web weather sources. This allows you to calculate hold-overs and make precise wind corrections. The App is offered in both iOS and Android OS versions.

    “The new Bushnell Ballistics App is powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite engine, the most trusted ballistics data-cruncher in the industry,” said Bushnell Marketing Manager Matt Rice. “This App allows users to easily build and modify gun profiles and build range cards to calculate firing solutions based on their specific scope and ammunition choices. All of our Bushnell scopes and reticles have been pre-loaded [in the App].”

    Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

    The Bushnell App features AB Connect, a live library of G1/G7 data, plus the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library with 740+ pre-loaded bullet profiles. The Bushnell scope library features 150+ scopes and 30 reticle options. Atmospheric data can be updated manually or directly from the internet (when connected). Angle range compensation is also calculated. Gun profile management provides up to five saved profiles with reticle-based firing solutions. A multiple target feature saves up to five targets. Range cards can be shared or printed using the Email Range Card Function.

    The FREE App works on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is available on Google Play and the App Store. It is optimized for Bushnell riflescopes and reticles, but is compatible with all optics. Once downloaded, the App functions off the grid — no cell service required.

    “The new Bushnell Ballistic App puts the power of long-range, first-shot accuracy into the hands of any shooter,” Rice said. “it was designed to perform in any condition and to offer our consumers true value, with features that far exceed the price — which, in this case, is free!”

    Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills No Comments »
    March 11th, 2018

    IWA Outdoor Classics — Highlights from “Euro SHOT Show”

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show
    Here is a “birds-eye view” from IWA. Yes that’s a mini-blimp at lower left.

    After SHOT Show in the USA, the IWA Outdoor Classics is the biggest gun/hunting/outdoor trade show in the world. The IWA event, held each spring in Nuremberg, Germany, concludes Monday, March 12 after a 4-day run in the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. This is a big event — 1562 exhibitors from around the globe are showcasing their products. IWA attendance, which has grown steadily, is expected to top 50,000 visitors this year.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Many beautiful custom hunting rifles are on display. Note the stunning wood and the elaborate metal-work on bolt and action. Don’t ask about the price…

    CLICK HERE for 300+ More IWA Show Photos

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Here are a pair of Olympic-grade Steyr air pistols. Designed for one-handed shooting, these feature very ergonomic wood grips.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Toggle action biathlon rifles like this Anschutz captured medals at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Not the handy magazine storage on the fore-arm.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Along with displays of guns, optics, and hunting gear, the IWA show features workshop areas where skilled artisans practice their trades — you can see engraving, wood-carving, and other skills in action.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Along with match rifles and hunting rigs, there were some serious sniper rifles on display. Here a German lady gets behind a Steyr SSG M1, offered in 7.61×51 NATO and .338 Lapua Magnum.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Bling was the thing at some pistol booths. These colorful Strike One handguns are made by Arsenal Arms in Italy (more sedate colors are also offered). A Russian-Italian design collaboration, the Strike One uses a Bergmann barrel system which does not tilt (unlike the widely-used Browning system). This allows for an extremely low bore axis.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Multiple vendors had some beautifully-figured stock blanks on display. The most desirable Turkish Walnut blanks can cost thousands of dollars.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Here are some handsome Winchester Model 1866 (Yellowboy) rifles with highly-decorated receivers. This classic American design is now crafted in Italy by Uberti.

    IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

    Major German rifle-makers Blaser, Mauser, and Sauer all had large, prominent displays at the IWA Show in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

    Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
    March 11th, 2018

    6.5 Guys 2018 Great Gear Give-Away — Enter to Win

    6.5 Guys 65guys gear give-away contest prize facebook shot show
    With the support of these sponsors, the 6.5 Guys have collected over $10,000 worth of prizes.

    Here is your chance to win some great prizes, including a Bergara B14 Rifle, Defiance Action, Nikon FX1000 Scope, Manners Stock, KRG Chassis, and over 30 more great products. All combined, these prizes are worth over $10,000. All prizes will be given away to visitors to the 6.5 Guys Facebook page who comment on the 6.5 Guys’ SHOT Show videos. No purchase necessary. Winners will be selected next Saturday, March 17, 2018. NOTE: Readers don’t hesitate. This is a great opportunity. For some of the prizes there are less than 80 commenting entrants now, so your chances are very good indeed!

    How To Enter in the Prize Contest — Quick Summary
    1. Go to 6.5 Guys Facebook Page.
    2. Watch one or more linked 6.5 Guys SHOT Show Videos.
    3. Comment on the Videos on Facebook, and tell two Facebook Friends.

    The more videos you comment upon, the better your chances of winning!

    6.5 Guys 65guys gear give-away contest prize facebook shot show

    To qualify to be selected in each random drawing for a prize, participants must complete the following tasks for each vendor promotion. First, “Like” the 6.5 Guys Facebook page and the vendor’s Facebook page. Second, leave a comment on the original 6.5 Guys’ post for the vendor’s SHOT Show prize promotion that includes a hashtag “shout out” to the donating company. Finally, you are asked to tag two friends on Facebook that could also benefit from the prize(s).

    Everyone should be sure their LIKES and COMMENTS are within the original post(s) on the 6.5 Guys’ Facebook in order to qualify to enter the drawing(s). That’s it. For details on what products will be available to win and how to participate in each drawing, refer to the instructions on each of the SHOT Show videos on the 6.5 Guys’ Facebook page.

    6.5 Guys 65guys gear give-away contest prize facebook shot show

    6.5 Guys 65guys gear give-away contest prize facebook shot show

    Full Prize List — Over $10,000 Worth of Products

    Athlon Optics
    ARES BTR 4.5-27×50 MIL/MIL Rifle Scope

    Vudoo Gun Works
    Two – $400 discounts toward a V-22 Barreled Action

    BR-4 Bipod

    Annealing Made Perfect
    50% discount for AMP Annealer with Aztec upgrade
    AMP Mate cartridge-autoloading accessory

    Bergara Rifles
    Bergara B-14 Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor

    David Tubb – HSSS
    Two – Tubb T7T Trigger

    Defiance Machine
    Defiance Action of the winners choice (up to $1500 MSRP)

    GA Precision
    Bartlein barrel with chambering and installation

    Kestrel Ballistics
    Kestrel Elite 5700

    Kinetic Research Group
    KRG Bravo Chassis with Spigot attachment

    Legacy Sports International
    Howa 1500 Mini Action rifle in 6.5 Grendel

    Two T1000 Target hit Indicators

    Manners Composite Stocks
    Manners Stock of winner’s choice

    Masterpiece Arms
    MPA Hybrid Chassis

    Modular Driven Technologies
    MDT LSS-XL Gen2 Chassis with MDT 10 Round Magazine

    Mile High Shooting Accessories
    $500 gift certificate towards the purchase of an AI product
    Two Traust Shooting Bags

    FX1000 6-24x50mm SF, Illuminated MRAD Rifle Scope
    RANGEX 4K Laser Range Finder

    Phone Skope
    Three – Phone Skopes

    Rifles Only
    50% discount of the Rifles Only signature Precision Rifle 1 & 2 Course

    Seekins Precision
    Scope mount or rings of winner’s choice

    Two – SS Loophole Slings

    Spuhr Mount of winner’s choice

    Tab Gear
    PRS Sling
    Two Large Rear Bags
    Two Small rear bags

    Thunder Beast Arms
    TBA 22 suppressor

    Vortex Optics
    HD Razor Gen 2 Rifle Scope

    XLR Industries
    XLR Envy Chassis Package

    6.5 Guys 65guys gear give-away contest prize facebook shot show

    All prizes will be awarded through a series of random drawings to take place during a Facebook live event to be held on Saturday, March 17th 2018 at 5:00 PM Pacific. Participants must be 18 years of age and reside in the USA. To learn more about prizes and how to participate in each drawing, refer to the detailed instructions on each of the SHOT Show videos on the 6.5 Guys’ Facebook page.

    Fine print: 6.5 Guys, LLC reserves the right to modify the product description at any time for clarity or for any other reason deemed necessary. 6.5 Guys is coordinating the random selection of winners for each promotional drawing and will provide the winners’ contact information to each vendor for fulfillment of prizes. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including those pertaining to the transfer of firearms, NFA items and ITAR regulated items, is the responsibility of the winner and the vendor. 6.5 Guys LLC does not provide any express or implied product warranties or endorsements of any type.
    Permalink - Videos, New Product, News, Tactical No Comments »
    March 9th, 2018

    March Releases New Genesis ELR Scope with 400 MOA Elevation

    march genesis ELR 400 moa scope optic
    CLICK HERE to see full screen version with much larger print. SEE BIG PHOTO.

    March Scopes (from DEON in Japan) has unveiled a remarkable new riflescope, the likes of which has never been seen before. The new Genesis ELR Scope has more elevation travel than has ever been packed into a scope before — 400 Minutes of Angle. That’s four or even five times as much as most other optics. This will allow the Genesis to get you on target, with no special external mounts, at three miles with a .416 magnum cartridge*.

    CLICK HERE for March Genesis 6-60x56mm Brochure PDF »

    For other popular cartridges/calibers, this is the range you can shoot and still have sufficient elevation travel with the Genesis. This is with the built-in elevation alone, no need for adjustable mounts, tilting rails, or prism systems:

    .224 Cal to 2450 yards** | .308 Win to 2950 yards | .338 Lapua Magnum to 4000 yards

    Take a good look — we bet you’ve never seen anything like this before (Big PHOTO). The new Genesis was unveiled at the IWA trade show in Germany this morning. The video below shows the Genesis being unveiled by Mr. Fumio Shimizu of Deon Optics and UK/Euro Distributor Gary Costello. Thanks to Vince Bottomley of for the report from IWA.

    NOTE: Click the Speaker Icon to hear audio.

    How Much? Global Price for the March Genesis isn’t finalized yet, but March USA just took the first order at $5000.00 USD, without accessories. March expects to start shipping in four (4) months.

    Claimed to be effective up to three miles with popular large, magnum ELR cartridges, the New Genesis sets a new benchmark in the Optics field. This won’t be cheap — posting on Facebook, a March representative said the the price is “still to be determined” but will be “approximately $5000 to $6000″. One of our Forum members just placed the first order in North America, and was told the base price (without accessories) was $5000.00 plus $50.00 shipping.

    march genesis ELR 400 moa scope optic

    The All New March Genesis 6-60x50mm ELR Rifle Scope

    The new March Genesis represents a revolution in scope technology/design — the dawn of a new era for ELR (extreme long range) shooting. The Genesis concept began in late 2016 when a group of world-class shooters asked for a scope that could be used effectively at ranges of two miles and beyond…

    The chief engineers of DEON Optical Design took on the challenge and produced several prototype designs, tested extensively on three continents. Eventually DEON produced a truly ground-breaking optic — a new beginning in scope design.
 The Genesis ELR rifle scope offers up to 400 MOA of elevation, which will allow the shooter to shoot from 10 yards out to 3 miles*.

    The unique design of the Genesis allows the shooter to always see through the central part of the lens, producing clarity, definition, and minimal chromatic aberration. This holds true even on 400 MOA! On other scopes, when the extremes of elevation are used, you won’t get the same performance — you may seen distortion and darkening. Also incorporated into Genesis is the proven DEON ‘High Master’ lens system — super ED lenses with high-refractive glass offering very high resolution and natural colour right to the edge of the image.

    March Genesis 6-60x56mm Specifications:

    – 400 MOA of total elevation travel with Zero-set feature (300 up, 100 down)
    — 6-60X Power First Focal Plane (Highest FFP zoom ratio and magnification sold)
    — 150 MOA of total windage travel (75 MOA left and right)
    — 50 MOA per turn, 1/4 MOA clicks

    — Wide-angle eyepiece with 25 degrees apparent field of view
    — Eye relief 67-82mm and exit pupil 3.3mm at 6X to 0.93mm
 at 60X
    — Six-step illumination module with on/off clicks
    — Integral Picatinny mounting-points on the main frame.
    — High Master ED lens system with 56mm objective.

    — Side-Focus Parallax from 10 yards to infinity.
    — FMA-MT MOA-based Reticle for ELR (MIL-based reticle coming later)
Central gimble system and slider bearings with main frame (worldwide patents pending)

    — Weight 1.5 Kg

    * March says there is 3 mile range with a “.416 Cheytac”. Well, there is a recognized .416 Barrett cartridge and a .408 Cheytac. March says the .416 Cheytac is a “special wildcat … developed due to licensing needs for Norway.”

    ** March lists “.224 Cal”. We assume this refers to the .223 Remington cartridge, but it could be something completely different, such as a 22 Nosler, or .224 Valkyrie.

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, News 13 Comments »
    March 8th, 2018

    eBook Edition of Zeglin’s ‘Wildcat Cartridges’ Now Available

    Zegline Wildcat Cartridges ManualFred Zeglin has released a Kindle eBook edition of his popular book Wildcat Cartridges — Reloader’s Handbook of Wildcat Cartridge Design. Gunsmith/author Zeglin explains: “The print edition of Wildcat Cartridges has gone out of print. We have plans to produce a second edition, but that is currently on the back burner. Demand of this book has remained strong so the decision to offer the first edition in a e-book format was made.” The Kindle eBook edition retails for $9.99 on You can preview a FREE SAMPLE of the book to “try before you buy”.

    CLICK HERE to Read FREE eBook Sample from Zeglin’s Wildcat Cartridges

    This is more than just a history of cartridges. Dimensional drawings and loading data accompany many of the cartridge descriptions. More recent and popular designs are included as well as the “classic” older wildcats. There are chapters about important cartridge designers like P.O. Ackley, Jerry Gebby, Rocky Gibbs, and Charles Newton. (The hardback edition of the book contains 288 pages of stories, illustrations, instructions, and data.)

    Gunwriter Wayne Van Zwoll says Zeglin’s book is a valuable resource: “Fred has illustrated his book well, with neat line drawings and photos you probably won’t find anywhere else. It’s a rare technical treatise that draws you in with illustration, or that keeps you with an easy flow of chat that, were it lifted from print, might pop up at any gun counter or handloading bench. Fred Zeglin has done well with this book, giving wildcatters – indeed, all rifle enthusiasts – an overview of a culture often mentioned but little explored on the page.”

    Writing about the 2005 Print Edition of Wildcat Cartridges, Big Bore Journal declared: “This is a fantastic book on American wildcats, US loads and much more. A must have for wildcatters and gunsmiths.”

    About the Author
    An award-winning writer, Fred Zeglin operates Z-Hat Custom, and Hawk Cartridges. Fred has taught classes for the NRA Gunsmithing Schools in Colorado and Oklahoma. He served as production manager for McGowen Precision Barrels for a time, and was a tech advisor for 4D Reamer Rentals. To learn more about Z-Hat and Fred’s Wildcat Cartridges eBook, contact:

    Z-Hat Custom Inc.
    Fred Zeglin
    432 E. Idaho St., Suite C420
    Kalispell, MT 59901

    Permalink - Articles, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
    March 7th, 2018

    New Kahles K525i Scope for PRS and Tactical Comps

    Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

    PRS guys — check this out. Kahles has just announced a 5-25X First Focal Plane optic that should be a class leader. If you are thinking of upgrading your tactical scope this year, the new Kahles K525i should definitely be on any “short list” of ultra-premium optics. We predict this will be one of the top-performing tactical scopes on the market. Unfortunately, it will also be one of the most expensive. Kahles lists the K525i at €3,300.00 Euros. That’s $4,093.58 at current exchange rates! You can buy a pair of pretty nice tactical rifles for that. Hopefully Kahles will consider dropping the price a bit for the American market. Don’t know how many PRS guys are willing to fork over four grand for a scope.

    Thankfully, it looks like the true “street price” in the USA will be a lot lower. is now taking pre-orders for the K525i at $3,299.00 USD — that’s a lot different than the €3,300.00 Euro MSRP. Kahles says the scopes should start arriving in summer 2018.

    Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000

    Kahles FFP Tactical 5-25 powder scope Vortex Nightforce $4000This scope is available in both Mil and MOA versions. Click values are 0.1 MIL, or 1/4 MOA. A variety of illuminated, First Focal Plane (FFP) reticles are offered: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK. Notably the parallax control is coaxial with the elevation turret (meaning it is centrally mounted). You adjust parallax by rotating a large-diameter control that runs around the base of the elevation turret. We know that south-paws really like that feature.

    Kahles also offers two windage configurations. You can have the windage mounted on either side — on the left side for right-handed shooters or on the right side for left-hand shooters. The windage knob also features a patented “Twist Guard” rotating end cover, which is easy to control while preventing accidental windage rotation.

    Manufacturer’s Product Description
    K527i features: Maximum optical performance-field of vision, contrast and picture quality, Exceptional repeat accuracy, precise and clearly defined turret mechanism 0.1 MIL or 1⁄4 MOA, side adjustment left or right, Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret, patented TWIST GUARD windage, precise illuminated reticles in the first focal plane and large adjustment range.

    “The big brother of ultrashort K318i is the new flagship of KAHLES in the field of tactical riflescopes. It combines … maximum optical performance and highest precision with unique handling and ergonomics. The rugged K525i, with its practical magnification range, has been developed for tactical use and long distances.”

    .: Maximum optical performance — field of vision, contrast, and picture quality
    .: Exceptional repeat accuracy
    .: Precise and clearly-defined click mechanism 0.1 MIL, MRAD or ¼ MOA
    .: Side adjustment left or right
    .: Parallax wheel integrated in the elevation turret (patented) for 20m – infinity
    .: Innovative, patented TWIST GUARD windage
    .: Precise illuminated reticles in first focal plane: SKMR3, SKMR, MSR2, Mil4+, MOAK
    .: Large adjustment range with 2.9m (E) and 1.3m (W) at 100m
    .: Zero Stop

    Permalink New Product, Optics, Tactical 7 Comments »
    March 6th, 2018

    New High-Quality Portable Press from EVO Engineering

    Vince Bottomley EVO reloading compact press review UK England

    If you don’t own a good portable press yet, you should get one. A quality portable press lets you load precision ammo at the range, streamlining the load development process. In addition, a small portable press can serve as a second, light-duty press in your main loading room. For example, you might dedicate the compact press to de-capping duties or bullet seating.

    There is a new portable press on the market, the EVO, crafted in the UK. Our English friend Vince Bottomley got one of the first EVO presses and he found it impressive. Comparing it to the respected Harrell’s Precision Compact Press, Vince found that the EVO has some advantages. The EVO is definitely beefier and has some upgraded elements, such as a bronze ram bushing and steel linkage arms.

    EVO Press Notable Features

    1. The EVO press ram column moves in a bronze bushing. By contrast the Harrell’s ram runs through the CNC-machined body of the press.

    2. The EVO’s mounting system (where it clamps onto the bench) is an integral part of the press-body, rather than a separate screw-on unit with the Harrells press.

    3. The EVO press features sturdy, steel connecting arms. The Harrell’s compact press has aluminum linkage arms. That said, the aluminum is more than adequate — Vince notes his Harrell’s press has served him well for over 20 years.

    We recommend you read the full review on Vince provides many more photos which show the EVO press components in detail. See Bushing Photo.

    READ Full EVO Compact Press Review on »

    EVO Press Handles Wide Range of Cartridge Types
    When viewed from the side, you can see that the new EVO is beefier than the Harrell’s press throughout the press “body” and lever arm base. The EVO is bigger and stronger. On the other hand, the Harrell’s press is lighter and easier to pack, and the clamping system can be detached.

    Vince Bottomley EVO reloading compact press review UK England

    Vince tells us: “The EVO is a ‘one size fits all’ press that will do a .308 Win or larger case (that’s a .284 in the photo)”. Vince concludes the EVO may be more versatile than the Harrell’s press. The Harrell’s Compact Reloading Press comes in three different sizes: “a really small one (left above) specifically for the benchresters’ 6PPC cartridge, a medium one for .308-sized cases, and a larger version which will take a 2.9 inch Magnum case”.

    Though it has the capacity to run larger cases, Vince cautions: “please, don’t think of using your little benchrest press for all your re-sizing — stick to a Rock Chucker or what have you for your general reloading and keep the EVO for on-range reloading or as a secondary bench press.” The EVO press is available from Fox Firearms for just under £200 (about $280 USD). You can contact Fox Firearms via email: irvingfox1234 [at]

    Vince Bottomley EVO reloading compact press review UK England
    The Harrell’s Compact Press is smaller and less expensive than the $280.00 EVO. It can also be purchased in three different sizes.

    Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
    March 1st, 2018

    Capture Video Through Your Scope with Skoped Vision Adapter

    Rifle scope riflescope smartphone video mount attachment phone holder through lens

    Wouldn’t it be cool if you could record what you see through your riflescope, without interfering with the normal view through the eyepiece (ocular)? That is now possible with a new, scope-mounted accessory from Phone Skope. The new Skoped Vision Adapter ($149.95 MSRP) holds your smart-phone on the right side of the riflescope. The “shooter’s eye view” through the scope ocular is NOT obstructed. This way you can video a hunt, or a target shooting session. Watch this video to see how it works.

    Rifle scope riflescope smartphone video mount attachment phone holder through lens

    Ed Mobley of checked out the new Skoped Vision riflescope adapter at SHOT Show. In this 6.5 Guys video, the Skoped Vision product feature starts at the 1:50 time-mark:

    Ed asked the Phone Skope Sales Rep about recoil and G-forces. No one wants to harm an expensive smart-phone. The Sale Rep said that today’s smart-phones are pretty tough, so no problems have been encountered: “We have tested on 7mm, .300 Win Mag. We haven’t had any issues with recoil or damage to the phone. So it looks very promising.”

    The Skoped Vision riflescope adapter should be available by early summer 2018. Phone Skope says the adapter will sell for $149.95. The Skoped Vision adapter mates with a regular Phone Skope smart-phone holder which costs about $50.00. So your total price will be roughly $200.00.

    Rifle scope riflescope smartphone video mount attachment phone holder through lens

    Rifle scope riflescope smartphone video mount attachment phone holder through lens

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
    February 28th, 2018

    Creedmoor Sports Seeks Ideas for New Products

    Creedmoor Sports Product customer plan invention

    Do you have a smart idea for a new shooting-related product? Or have you figured out how to improve/enhance a popular item already on the market? If so, Creedmoor Sports wants your product ideas. Creedmoor Sports invites its customers to conceive the next great Creedmoor Sports product. Many of Creedmoor’s most creative ideas come from shooters who are out using products every day and know how to make them better. That’s why Creedmoor Sports wants to hear from you. You can email your ideas to: shoot [at]

    Dennis DeMille, Creedmoor’s V.P. of Operations, tells us: “We love it when a customer calls or emails us with an idea. If the idea has merit we will immediately try to put it into play. If a soft-good (such as clothing) we try to take it from idea to sample within a couple days. The idea is walked back to our designer, it’s cut and sewn on the spot in our Anniston, Alabama facility and we start testing. If a hard-good (such as a metal product), we start designing the product on our mill and lathe and see what it would take to bring to market.”

    Success Stories of Customer-Inspired Products
    Creedmoor Sports products based on customer “bright ideas” have included the handy Scope Kennel. Made with a top strap for easy rifle carry, it serves to protect a rifle scope.

    Creedmoor Sports Product customer plan invention

    Another customer-suggested product is Creedmoor’s Quad-Fold Shooting Mat. This thickly-padded mat provides a comfortable, stable base for elbows and knees. When folded, it measures just 2.5″ x 19″ x 29″. The new Bench and Field Shooting Mat is another customer-inspired product. This unique mat is designed to work both on the ground and on a shooting bench. Check it out HERE.

    NEW! First-Ever Reloading Catalog from Creedmoor Sports (Print and Digital)
    Just this week, Creedmoor Sports released its first-ever Reloading Catalog. Equipment lines include Redding, Forster, L.E. Wilson, Hornady, RCBS and many more. Many additional component suppliers have been either added or enhanced including Berger, Lapua, Sierra, Hornady, and Nosler.

    Creedmoor Sports Product customer plan invention

    “We get calls and emails every day asking us to carry more reloading supplies. We decided it was time to make the investment into adding equipment that our customers demand. We didn’t want to jump into the reloading game without extensive research on what brands and philosophy that would set us apart from larger suppliers. We feel our mix of equipment, components and technical will satisfy everyone from the beginner to the expert.” Says Greg Kantorovich, President, Creedmoor Sports.

    About Creedmoor Sports
    Creedmoor Sports has been serving the competition/precision rifle shooting community since 1979 — nearly four decades. Creedmoor Sport’s key mission has been to supply great products that help shooters win at every level of competition. For more information, visit and the Creedmoor Sports Facebook page. Also check out the Creedmoor INFOZone for helpful Video Tips on shooting and reloading.

    Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
    February 27th, 2018

    Lyman Borecam Video Review by

    Lyman Borecam Video Shilen Match Barrel

    Our friend Gavin of has a new tool — the second generation Lyman Borecam. This upgraded version features higher-resolution 300K output so you can better see details inside your barrel. This digital borescope can also be used to inspect the interior of dies and other tools. Illumination, via LED, is adjustable. Record still images with the push of a button. The screen resolution for the latest Lyman Borecam is now 640×480, roughly 300,000 pixels (300K).

    CLICK HERE for Full UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Review »

    Gavin created a very thorough 15-minute video putting the Lyman Borecam through its paces. He uses it to scope a number of firearm barrels as well as some reloading dies. If you are considering buying a Borecam or other borescoping device, you should definitely watch this video. We have included time references to make it easier to “fast forward” to the subjects you want to see:

    Lyman Borecam Video Timeline
    1. 1:15 — Lyman Borecam Unboxing (All Components)
    2. 4:00 — Shilen Match Barrel Blank Inspection (Brand New Barrel)
    3. 6:16 — Thompson Center Compass .223 Rem Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
    4. 9:08 — Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Mag Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
    5. 10:30 — Glock 20 Polygonal Rifling Barrel Inspectino (Used Barrel)
    6. 11:45 — M1911 Barrel Inspection (Defective Barrel with Bulge in Chamber)
    7. 13:12 — Sizing Die Internal Inspections (Lee .223 Rem, Redding 300 BLK)

    Lyman Borecam Video Shilen Match Barrel

    The Lyman Borecam comes complete with everything you need. Shown in photo are:

    1. Borecam Wand (includes handle, rod, mirror, and digital lens/camera) with length indication scale. An inch scale runs the full length of the rod. That tells you where the lens is positioned inside the bore. Note the wand scale marks when recording screen captures.
    2. Borecam Digital Display. The 600×480 display can record stills with included 128MB SD Card. A USB SD Card adapter is included.
    3. Borecam Mirror Protector and cleaning kit.
    4. AC Power Adapter (not shown, international plug adapters included).

    UltimateReloader offers three key tips for the Lyman Borecam:

    — First, before you start, make sure the mirror is clear and free of dirt, lint, or solvents.
    — Use the Up and Down Arrows to adjust the illumination to suit your barrel.
    — Experiment with how close you hold the mirror to the wall of the bore. This affects both brightness and focus.

    YouTube Viewer Comments on UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Video:

    “Great review, Gavin. Your video capture of the display looks better than what they show in Lyman’s own product video.”

    “Price is getting low enough to think I need one on the short ‘To Buy’ list. Have some milsurp rifles with horrid bores that should be very interesting to view. Don’t waste $$ on those $20 things on Amazon, I did and thoroughly wasted my money.”

    NEW and IMPROVED — Lyman Higher Rez Borecam

    Lyman Borecam Video Shilen Match Barrel

    Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
    February 17th, 2018

    Howa 1500-Series Rifles for National Rifle League

    Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

    Here’s important news for tactical shooters. There’s a rival to the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the National Rifle League (NRL). And now the NRL has a major rifle sponsor — Howa. This Japanese rifle-maker will support the NRL’s 2018 season as Official Factory Rifle Sponsor. Good choice. We’ve shot Howa 1500-series rifles, and we know they offer excellent performance for the price. You can buy a complete Howa tactical rig, such as the KRG Bravo, or get a barreled action and put it into a variety of third-party modular stocks. Plus Criterion Barrels now offers Pre-Fit barrels in a variety of chamberings for Howa 1500 actions.

    Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

    For 2018, the NRL will host 15 Precision Rifle matches, and the NRL 2018 Championships will be on October 19th – 21st in Idaho. There Howa will provide valuable prizes for top competitors. CLICK HERE for more information on the NRL 2018 match schedule.

    Howa 1500 hact 2-stage triggerNational Rifle League Upcoming Spring Matches

    Absolute Zero Sniper Match
    North Carolina, February 23-25, 2018

    Bighorn Steel Classic
    Nebraska, March 2-4, 2018

    Monster Lake Mayhem
    Wyoming, April 6-8, 2018

    Owen’s Armory Battle Royale
    Arizona, April 27-29, 2018

    JC Steel Target Challenge
    Washington, May 4-6, 2018

    Silent Night by Butch’s
    Oklahoma, May 25-26, 2018

    Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

    Howa 1500 Rifles and Actions — Good Stuff
    Howa Machinery has been exporting sporting rifles for more than four decades since its first unit shipped in 1967. The Howa Model 1500 boast a smooth-running action and a fine two-stage HACT trigger (that’s a lot better than the standard trigger in most other factory rifles). For 2018, Howa is moving into the tactical/practical Precision market with a full line of competition ready rifles.

    Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

    “We are very excited to be a part of the National Rifle League for 2018. We had the opportunity to be a part of a few matches in 2017 and the response was amazing. We view the NRL as an opportunity to connect with precision rifle shooters all around the country and share our passion for bolt-action rifles and the competition camaraderie.” Stated Mathew Hornback of Howa USA.

    Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

    Travis Ishida, NRL President, noted “how capable these Howa rifles are for our style of shooting. The new Howa competition-ready rifles offer a sub-MOA guarantee out of the box[.] I am truly excited to have Howa supporting the NRL and to see them perform this year.”

    Permalink New Product, Tactical 2 Comments »
    February 3rd, 2018

    2018 Product Lines — Savage, Bergara, Legacy Sports Int’l

    6.5 Guys Shot show 2018 savage, bergara, howa

    Our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys seemed to be everywhere at SHOT Show. With tripods and cameras slung over their shoulders, Ed and Steve worked marathon hours, recording no less than 43 SHOT Show videos. They found all sorts of new and interesting products. They visited notable optics makers including March, Nightforce, Nikon, and Vortex. They interviewed major players in the PRS/Tactical Game including George Gardner of G.A. Precision, Tom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks, and Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide. And the 6.5 Guys also covered mainstream, large-volume rifle makers. That will be our focus here today, as we present the 6.5 Guys’ coverage of three key, long-arms builders or importers — Bergara, Legacy International, and Savage Arms.

    Savage Arms — New Options for Precision Shooters

    Savage Accufit 2018 products

    We own a couple Savage rifles, so we know Savage centerfire rifles can deliver surprisingly good accuracy for the price. It is not unusual for Savage rifles in some chamberings to shoot 0.7 MOA right out of the box. And the barrel nut system allows you to easily swap in an aftermarket custom barrel to get even more accuracy. Here the 6.5 Guys look at Savage’s new-for-2018 offerings, including the Stealth Evolution and the long-action Model 110 BA with GRS stock. A new chambering has been added — the 6.5 PRC.

    Bergara — Becoming a Player in the American Market

    Bergara match rifle PRS, internal chassis

    We have been impressed with Bergara’s development as a brand in the last few years. Bergara, a Spanish company, is serious about becoming a player in the American market. The company has listened to American shooters, building hunting and tactical rifles with key features valued by American customers. Bergara rifles offer a nice combination of comfortable ergonomics with some advanced engineering, such as the B14’s internal metal chassis. In this video, the 6.5 Guys look at the latest rifle offerings from Bergara.

    Legacy Sports International — Howa and Lithgow Arms

    Bergara match rifle PRS, internal chassis

    Legacy Sports Int’l is the importer/distributor for a number of rifle manufacturers, including Howa, Lithgow Arms, and Citadel. In this video, Ed looks at the Howa KRG Bravo chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. This features the smooth-running Howa 1500 action with 2-Stage HACT Trigger, set in a Kinetic Research Group modular chassis. Priced at $1279.00 MSRP with sub-MOA guarantee, it is definitely a serious contender in the PRS Factory Class. Anyone looking at a Ruger Precision Rifle should also consider this Howa.

    Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
    February 2nd, 2018

    F-TR TIP — Make a More Stable, Lower-Friction Front Bipod Pad

    F-Class F-TR bipod front support pad platform

    The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) is coming up next week at Ben Avery in Phoenix. Many of the nation’s top F-Class shooters will be there. Here are some tips that can help F-TR shooters competing at the SWN. These suggestions will also benefit any F-TR shooter who is looking for a more stable set-up under his bipod, and easier adjustment of the vertical when using a Phoenix-style (non-joystick) bipod.

    How to Set up a Stable Front Pad for Your F-TR Bipod

    To get peak performance from your F-TR rig, you need good support under the bipod. You want the base to be firm, but you also want a smooth, low-friction surface so the bipod feet can slide properly. Some guys just shoot off a carpet or a slab of wood with some rubber on top. There is a better way.

    Forum member PBike shows how a three-element front set-up offers the best of both worlds — a firm platform with low-friction top. PBike’s set-up has three elements. Layer 1 is a thick rubber mat. Layer 2 is a steel plate with thin neoprene glued top and bottom. Layer 3, on which the bipod feet rest, is a thin neoprene door-mat with a low-friction surface, like the top of a MousePad. The video below shows how the three layers are arranged.

    Pbike explains that, under F-TR rules, “You can use any series of pads or plates, so long as they are flat and do not include [tracking channels/slots] for the bipod feet”. The plate can be 12″ fore and aft, and the overall width may not extend more than 2″ beyond the bipod feet on either side.

    F-Class F-TR bipod front support pad platform

    F-Class F-TR bipod front support pad platform

    F-TR Bipod Support Components (Bottom to Top)
    LAYER ONE (bottom): Thick Rubber Pad, such as a heavy doormat
    LAYER TWO (middle) Steel Plate, approximately 12″ x 24″, with attached neoprene
    LAYER THREE (top): Neoprene Upper pad (slick upper surface like a MousePad)

    NOTE, if the surface is not level, you can use wood shims to level the surface both left to right and front to back. The shims slide under the lowest pad. With a small saw, these can be trimmed so they don’t extend past the pad’s dimensions, maintaining compliance with F-Class rules.

    The Phoenix bipod is an excellent product, but some folks like to run their rifles lower for better tracking and less hop. This can be accomplished with the PBike Aetkinz Engineering Lowering Kit. That Kit lowers the entire assembly 1.7 inches. For more information contact Pbike257 [at]

    Phoenix Bipod “Rear Drive” and Steering Kit

    F-TR rifle stock fore-ends are getting longer, allowing competitors to mount their bipods further forward. This longer “wheelbase” can deliver more stability, less hop, and better tracking. There’s a problem, however — if the bipod is attached way out front, it can be difficult to reach the bipod’s elevation controls. Some shooters grab the back end of the ski foot to adjust the rifle’s lateral position, but that doesn’t help with vertical.

    F-Class F-TR bipod front support pad platform

    PBike has developed a new accessory that lets you adjust the Bipod’s Mariner wheel easily and precisely. Basically this is a rotating, anodized aluminum tube that extends rearward. It has a 90° gear drive that replaces the Mariner wheel, allowing vertical adjustment by rotating the tube clockwise or counter-clockwise. See how it works in this video, starting at 1:40:

    Pbike explains: “This is a really comfortable way to shoot. With this handle I can adjust for elevation and I can also steer the rifle fore and aft, left/right — anywhere I need to. I can make minute adjustments up and down, as needed, with the knurled handle.”

    Video Suggestion by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
    Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
    February 2nd, 2018

    No More M4 — USMC Adopts H&K M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

    USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
    Photo by USMC, public domain.

    The U.S. Marine Corps will be adopting a new rifle to replace the M4 select-fire carbine. Designated the M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle), the new rifle is based on Heckler & Koch’s HK416, which looks like an AR, but runs with an internal gas piston system. The HK416 has been used by the German Army and some USA Special Operations units. This change-over has been in the works for some time, but the “protest period” has concluded, so now it is official.

    The adoption of the M27 was announced at SHOT Show 2018. GunsAmerica reports: “H&K has officially received the contract for the USMC to replace the M4 carbines. The H&K model selected is the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a derivative of the famous H&K 416″. The U.S. Marine Corps initially planned to purchase 6,500 M27s to replace a portion of the M249 light machine guns employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. In December 2017, the Marine Corps revealed a decision to equip every Marine in an infantry squad with the M27, so this is a major change. (Source:

    According to Wikipedia: “The M27 is a lightweight, magazine-fed 5.56mm, select-fire weapon based on the Heckler & Koch HK416. It features a gas-operated, short-stroke piston action with a rotating bolt and a free-floating barrel. The handguard has four MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for use with accessories and optics. The simpler gas-piston rifle system reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve malfunctions on the IAR compared with the M249 light machine gun.”

    USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
    CLICK HERE for full-screen M27 Photo by Heckler & Koch.

    As deployed, early versions of the IAR have done well in combat: “The IAR was initially fielded in December 2010. 1st Battalion 3rd Marines were deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with 84 IARs. Former SAW gunners initially did not like the M27, but appreciated it as time went on. It weighed 9 lb. loaded, compared to 22 lb. for an M249 — a significant difference when on 5-hour long missions. It also blended in with standard M16-style service rifles, making it difficult for enemy forces to identify the machine gunner. Marines issued with the M27 [report] it is friendlier to troops [than the M249] due to its cleaner, lightweight system having fewer moving parts and jams. IAR gunners consider the rifle-grade accuracy to be a huge improvement over the SAW, despite the loss of sustained firing.” (Source:

    Heckler & Koch Expands American Production Center in Georgia
    Heckler & Koch operates a production center in the state of Georgia, not far from Fort Benning. A $28.5 million expansion, started in 2017, is adding a new 50,000-square-foot factory in the Corporate Ridge Business Park. “HK’s new U.S. factory will make use of advanced manufacturing technologies and will be staffed by German and American engineers and technicians,” said Francisco Hidalgo, CEO of HK USA. GunsAmerica notes: “H&K USA will be designing and building guns directly for the U.S. market in the USA now. Now, we can look forward to weapons built specific to the U.S. market. [We] can’t wait to see the first one stamped ‘Made in Georgia’.” It is unknown when H&K will start delivering American-made M27s to the USMC.

    Permalink New Product, News 14 Comments »
    January 30th, 2018

    It’s a Wrap — SHOT Show Summary and More New Products

    Shot Show 2018 Sako AR10 Ligthgow LA105 TFB

    Miles of Aisles and thousands of new products. SHOT Show, held each January in Las Vegas, is a near-overwhelming circus. There is so much to see, with new products from countless manufacturers, large and small. Here is the last official Highlights video from SHOT Show 2018. This 19-minute video provides a comprehensive summary of all there was to see and do at SHOT Show.

    Weatherby Moves to Wyoming — Interview with Adam Weatherby

    One of the biggest industry new items was Weatherby’s exodus from California. We reported this move in detail, explaining the TOP FIVE REASONS gun companies leave California. In this video, Weatherby President Adam Weatherby explains his company’s goals in relocating to Sheridan, Wyoming. Unlike California, Wyoming is a Second Amendment-friendly state. Plus Wyoming also has no state tax on corporate earnings (California is 8.84%):

    Featured New Products — Video Previews

    The Firearm Blog (TFB) had a large presence at SHOT Show, with multiple video teams covering Range Day and then the main event at the Sands Expo Center. Here are some TFB product highlight videos, showcasing interesting new products released at SHOT Show 2018 and/or Industry Day at the Range:

    Lithgow LA105 Tactical Rifle from Australia

    Australia’s Lithgow Arms has a new rifle for the PRS game. Called the LA-105 Woomera (named for an Aboriginal spear-throwing device), this is basically a Lithgow Arms LA102 barreled action in a Kinetic Research Group (KRG) chassis similar to the Whiskey-3 and X-Ray chassis systems. Initially, the LA105 Woomera will be released in two calibers, 6.5mm Creedmoor (1:8″ twist) and .308 Win (1:10″ twist). The barrel twist rates should stabilize High-BC match bullets. Thanks to the KRG chassis, the LA105 Woomera takes the popular AICS magazines, rather than the Tikka T3 magazines of its predecessor.

    Click to View Full-Page Specifications (easier to read):
    Lithgow LA105

    Sako Carbon Fiber Stocks and New TRG 42 and 22

    Sako has new, ultra-light carbon fiber stocks for the Sako 85 hunting rifle series. There are two carbon offerings, the CarbonLight and Carbon Wolf. The latter has cool push-button adjustments for comb height and length of pull. The Sako 85 Carbon Wolf features a nice ergonomic grip that’s very comfortable in the hand. We thought this was one of the nicest new stocks at the Show. At Industry Day at the Range, Sako also showcased new “AI” versions of the TRG 42 and 22 models. Both versions feature improved folding buttstocks, with adjustable cheekpiece and LOP. TRG tested the .338 Lapua TRG 42 on Industry Day at the Range.

    Brownells Retro AR15 and AR10 Rifles

    After testing Brownells’ Retro AR-15s at Industry Day at the Range, TFB’s Corey Wardrop checks out the new AR-10A and AR-10B at Brownell’s SHOT Show booth. Brownell’s 7.62x51mm AR10 is faithful to the original, with important upgrades. The BRN10B (“late style”) is also shown. For the keen-eyed, Gene Stoner makes an appearance in the background. CLICK HERE to view Brownell’s entire Retro AR line-up, both AR15 and AR10.

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
    January 29th, 2018

    Carbon Fiber for the Latest Generation of Rifles and Barrels

    Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

    Gun-makers and barrel builders have adopted aerospace technology, using carbon fiber in their stocks and composite barrels. At SHOT Show 2018, we saw carbon applications on dozens of rifle brands. Some rifles sported full carbon stocks AND carbon-wrapped barrels. Others sported a carbon stock with steel barrel, or a carbon-wrapped barrel in a conventional stock. Carbon is definitely here to stay. This advanced material allows rifles to be lighter yet stronger. The advantages for the hunter in the field are real — a carbon-wrapped barrel can save quite a few pounds. Here are some of the most notable carbon applications we saw at SHOT Show.

    Sako 85 Carbon Wolf

    Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

    Possibly the best-looking carbon-stocked rifle at SHOT Show was the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf, featured in our Top Photo. New for 2018, this rifle features a full carbon composite stock, with the signature carbon fiber weave visible throughout. We found this new-for-2018 rig very ergonomic and nice to handle. The advanced-design RTW carbon fiber stock offers quick, push-button adjustments for comb height and LOP. Though not carbon-wrapped, the conventional 24″ blued steel barrel is fluted, reducing the overall weight of the rifle. Without optics, this rifle weighs well under 8 pounds. We were impressed by the Carbon Wolf, but choked on the steep $3600.00 MSRP. Street price will be lower — is listing a $3148.00 price for the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf.

    The Firearm Blog says: “The stock features Soft Touch coating. Is is not at all slippery or loud like some carbon stocks can be. The barrels are factory threaded as well. Both the weight and the balance of the Carbon Wolf rifle felt perfect. I may have to add one to my Finnish rifle collection.” This is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, 7mm Mag, and .300 Win Mag.

    Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

    Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

    Nosler recently introduced the M48 Long-Range Carbon rifle with the addition of a PROOF Research, carbon fiber-wrapped, match-grade barrel that significantly reduces the overall weight of the rifle. The carbon-wrapped Proof barrel is mated to a trued M48 receiver and bedded in a Manners MCS-T carbon fiber-strengthened stock. Nosler says: “The Model 48 Long-Range Carbon is an excellent choice for mountain hunting, backcountry excursions and long range competition where weight is a concern.” Initially, this rifle will be offered for 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, .300 Win Mag, and 33 Nosler.

    Christensen Arms TFM — Carbon Galore for 7.3-lb Rifle

    Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle
    Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

    As you can see there’s a whole lot of carbon fiber in the Christensen Arms TFM rifle. With a carbon-wrapped barrel and full carbon-fiber stock, this handsome rig weighs just 7.3 pounds (short action) or 7.8 pounds (long action). The carbon-wrapped stainless barrel and fully-adjustable Aerograde carbon-fiber stock are mated to a precision-machined action via integrated carbon fiber pillars. In addition, the TFM includes an integrated, 20-MOA optics rail, detachable magazine, and a titanium side-port brake. Impressively, Christensen Arms guarantees 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy.

    Manners Full-Carbon F-Class Stock

    Manners F-Class Stock
    Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

    For many years now, Manners Composite Stocks has offered an ultra-stiff, Low-Profile ‘Fish Belly’ F-Class Stock. The shell is 100% carbon fiber with a very long, stiff fore-end. From the back of the action to the tip of the fore-end the stock measures 27″ long which is around 7 1/2″ longer than the Manners T4 stock. The idea is to provide a longer wheelbase to better balance the long, 30-32″ barrels favored by many F-Class competitors. The front half of the fore-end is very thin (from top to bottom) to achieve a low profile on the bags. Much thought has gone into controlling fore-end flex. The stock achieves greater vertical rigidity (less deflection under load) through an innovative “fish belly” design. The rounded undersection, like a canoe hull, strengthens the fore-end considerably.

    Weatherby Mark V with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

    Weatherby Proof Research Carbon Barrel
    Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

    Weatherby now offers rifles with Proof Research carbon fiber-wrapped barrels. The aerospace-grade carbon fiber in the Mark V Carbon barrel makes the barrel up to 64% lighter than traditional steel barrels of the same contour. Weatherby claims the carbon-fiber technology improves heat dissipation — so the barrel does not heat up as quickly with extended strings of fire. The 26” #4 contour carbon-wrapped barrel has a cut-rifled, hand-lapped 416R grade stainless steel core with a flush thread cap and 5/8-24 muzzle threads. It’s finished in tactical grey Cerakote. The Mark V Carbon carries Weatherby’s SUB-MOA (at 100 yards) accuracy guarantee when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

    Carbon Edge from Fierce Firearms

    Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

    Fierce Firearms also offers a long-range hunting rig with a carbon-wrapped barrel. This is an extremely light rig. Without scope or optional muzzle brake, the short-action version weighs just 6.4 pounds. It is available in Black/gray, Green/black and a variety of Camo finishes including Kryptec Highlander and Typhon patterns. All this lightweight tech doesn’t come cheap. The Carbon Edge retails for $3250.00 and a left-hand version is $250.00 more. Fierce does offer a 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy guarantee, which is something.

    How Good Are Proof Research Barrels? — Commentary by Mike Davis

    Over the past 15 years Davis Custom Rifle has installed barrels from most major barrel manufacturers. We are very fortunate to have such quality barrel makers. I think Proof Research falls into that top-of-the-line category. Proof Research carbon-wrapped steel barrels are super light-weight, yet offer rigidity and superb accuracy. I have used them for 22-250, 6mm/6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win builds and multiple long range hunting rifles in .280, .280 AI, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, 28 Nosler, and 30 Nosler. These builds with Proof Research barrels typically deliver quarter-MOA accuracy or better.

    Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

    The Proof Research technology allows us to build lighter rifles with outstanding accuracy, easy cleaning, and the ability to shoot long strings without point of impact shift. It’s not hard to understand why hunting rifles with these capabilities are in high demand. Combined with other light-weight components (such as Titanium actions), it’s not difficult to get these rifles down to 6.25 to 7 pounds total weight before optics.

    Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, Tech Tip 3 Comments »