Magpul caused a stir with its surprise introduction of an advanced stock for Rem 700 actions. Now Magpul has followed that with a product that could be even more successful — a tactical-style reinforced polymer stock for the popular Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle.
Priced at just $139.95, Magpul’s new Hunter X-22 stock features tactical styling and adjustable ergonomics. Like Magpul’s Hunter 700 stock for the Rem 700, the new X-22 stock offers adjustable length-of-pull (LOP) via spacers, plus adjustable comb height via optional Cheek Riser Kits. To ensure compatibility with all Ruger 10/22s, the Magpul X-22 stock features an innovative reversible barrel tray that fits heavy bull barrels as with as thinner, factory-contour barrels. Fitted with M-LOK accessory slots and a rubber buttpad, Magpul’s new Hunter X-22 will be offered in four colors: Black, Gray, Dark Earth (Tan), Olive Drab (Green). See all four colors below:
You have to love it when a prototype product not only performs well, but actually wins a match. For some time, Criterion Barrels has been working on a match-grade barrel for vintage Lee-Enfield rifles. It looks like they got things right…
Over the Easter weekend the New Zealand Service Rifle Association held its annual national service rifle competition. Coming first in the Classic Bolt Action class was Wellington’s Nicole McKee shooting a Lee-Enfield with a new, prototype Criterion barrel. Nicole’s rifle was built by her husband Duncan, a vintage rifle expert who specializes in accurizing the No. 4 and SMLE actions. Nicole’s .303 British handloads featured Hornady 174gr FMJ Boattail bullets (SKU: 3131) pushed by 47.0 grains of ADI 2209 (H4350). ADI 2209 has become the top go-to powder for .303 British shooters in New Zealand.
Reactive targets are fun — a nice change of pace compared to punching paper. We know many guys like busting clay birds with rifles at 300 yards and beyond. This is good training for a varmint safari, as a clay pigeon is roughly the same size as a well-fed prairie dog. However, clays make better rifle targets if you can get them up off the ground. When placed on a berm they don’t shatter as dramatically. Birchwood Casey has a new product that makes “clay-busting” more fun.
The new Rigid™ Clay Holder Stand from Birchwood Casey features an A-frame design that sets up quickly and easily. The stand is constructed of heavy cardboard and should withstand multiple trips to the range. The die-cut holes will hold eight standard size clay targets on one side and four on the other. The Rigid Clay Holder Stand folds flat for easy storage and transport and comes packaged with three sheets of Shoot-N-C® 1″, 2″ and 3″ targets. Birchwood Casey’s clay target holder sells for a suggested retail price of $7.60. (At that prices you can afford to buy a few spares.)
Gunsmith Darrell Holland has invented an interesting upgrade to the RCBS Auto Bench Priming Tool. If your hand starts to hurt after priming dozens of cases with a hand-held, squeeze-type priming tool, you may want to consider Holland’s invention, which he calls the “Perfect Primer Seater” (PPS).
Holland basically has modified the RCBS lever, adding a precise crush control and a means of measuring depth with a gauge. He claims this gives “an EXACT primer seating depth based on primer pocket depth and primer thickness”. With Holland’s PPS, primer seating depth is controlled with a rotating wheel that limits lever travel in precise gradations. You can buy the complete priming system for $215.00, or, if you already own the RCBS Auto Prime tool, you can purchase an adapter kit (with base, arm, adjuster, and gauge etc.) for $120.00. To order, visit Hollandguns.com then click on “Reloading Equipment”.
A California company, CaseCruzer, makes the nicest multi-pistol hard cases we’ve ever seen. With capacities from 3 pistols to 6 pistols, these lockable range cases hold handguns securely in angled “quick-draw” slots. In addition to the molded pistol carriers, there are slots for magazines together with a separate compartment for muffs, ammo, and other accessories. Starting at $240.00 MSRP for the Quick Draw 3-Pack, these boxes are expensive, but they offer great protection with great usability. Water-tight and dust-proof, CaseCruzer cases are airline approved (ATA 300).
Over the years, noted gunsmith and a Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez has learned a few things about “tuning” rear sandbags for best performance. On his Facebook page, Speedy recently discussed how sand bag fill levels (hard vs. soft) can affect accuracy. Speedy says you don’t want to have both your front and rear sandbags filled up ultra-hard. One or the other bag needs to have some “give” to provide a shock-absorbing function (and prevent stock jump).
SAND BAGS & HOW TO FILL THEMby Speedy Gonzalez
I was asked several times by competitors at the S.O.A. Matches and F-Class Nationals as to how I fill my sand bags for benchrest competition. Here is a copy of a reply I gave several years ago:
Back in the old days, about the time Fred Flintstone was still alive, I worked for Pat McMillan for free, from time to time to learn all his secrets. One day little Speedy was filling some new sand bags out behind Pat’s shop, stuffing them with more sand than Taco Bell put beans in their Burritos. When Pat stepped out the back door and inquired as to what in the hell was I doing packing them there bags the way I was.
I looked up at him with eyes like a kid with his hands in a cookie jar. My reply must have sounded like Homer Simpson “Doooh”. Finally I said “I don’t know, Boss. I just thought you were supposed to fill these babies up and go shoot. I got that ‘You dumb bastard look’ from Pat and I knew it was lecture time. This was what he told me:
You can not have two bags filled so hard that you gun bounces on them in the process of firing round at your target, especially if you have a rig with a very flexible stock. The bags must be set up in a manner for them to absorb the initial shock of the firing pin moving forward and igniting the primer. Then [they must] maintain their shape and absorb the second shock wave as well the rearward thrust and torque of the rifle. What happens to the rifle when this is not done? Well let me tell you. The rifles have a very bad tendency to jump and roll in the bags. This causes many of those wild, lost shots that one can’t explain.
Charles Huckaba, Ken Terrell, Larry Baggett, Ralph Stewart and some of us Texas shooters talk about this phenomena quite often. We have all agreed that:
1: You can not have two hard bags [i.e. both front AND rear] in your set-up.
2: Heavy sand magnifies these phenomena.
3: If you are a bag squeezer, pack ears hard and leave bag pliable enough to squeeze for the movement required. You may pack front bag as hard as rules permit.
4: Free recoil shooters pack both bags firm, but not so hard as to allow stock jump. Especially if you have a stock with a very flexible forearm.
5: We use play-ground sand, also know as silica sand. I sift mine to get any large impurities out then mix it with 25% to 50% with Harts parakeet gravel to the desired hardness that I am looking for. The bird gravel keeps the sand from packing itself into that solid as a brick state.
Speaking of bricks — another thing that happens when shooters employ that heavy zircon sand is the ears form a low spot under them from recoil and then tend to rock back and forth with the rifle causing many low shots to crop up. Edgewood makes an Edgewood/Speedy rear bag specially reinforced under the ears to eliminate this scenario.
One last note –If you use the Cordura bags keep them sprayed with a good silicon spray or “Rain-Ex”. This keeps them from getting sticky. Hey guys, try that and see if it helps. — Speedy
P.S.: I do not like the solid double-stitched leather bottoms. While this seems like a good idea, I see more shooters have problems because of them. They tend to slide around the bench and or slide with the rifle on recoil. The standard Protektor with Cordura rabbit ears and an Otto ring bag with a Cordura front would be what I would suggest to the new shooter or one of the Edgewood / Speedy rear bags, these mimic the “Donut” and feature a ring of leather around the bottom circumference that keep the bottom from rocking on the bench or ground if that is where you reside these days…
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Here’s a smart, versatile new product — a large-size rifle case that does double-duty as a shooting mat. Uncle Mike’s Long Range Tactical Bag quickly and easily converts to a 78″ shooting mat. Measuring 50″ in length, with a 15″-tall main compartment, this bag is big enough to handle most tactical and F-TR rifles with optics and Harris-type bipods attached. A 30″ flip-out forward section includes a front load strap that allows shooters to pre-load the bipod legs while shooting prone.
The Long Range Shooting bag has four self-adjusting magazine pockets, which will hold magazine sizes from .223/5.56mm to .308/7.62mm. Conveniently, this new 50″-long soft case will fit inside the popular Pelican model 1750 hard case (for those situations where you need greater protection).
Fits Long-Range and Tactical rifles up to 49″ in length
Fold out front section has bi-pod front load strap
Four self-adjusting magazine pockets
Fits inside a Pelican 1750 hard case
Tough 1000D nylon with waterproof backing
Opens up into 30″ x 78″ shooting mat
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Sporter Chronograph Kit includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.
Magnetospeed has just introduced a new bayonet-style chronograph that is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $399.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The new Sporter Chronograph will cost just $189.00. It offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chronograph kit was designed to be used on barrels from 1/2 inch up to 1 inch in diameter. In can also accommodate muzzle brakes and flash hiders up to 2.7 inches in length. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.”
See $189.00 Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video
MagnetoSpeed Sporter features
Simple, one-button cycling display (shows recent shot velocity and statistics).
Three sensitivity settings for fine-tuning.
Easy access battery compartment, with 9V Battery included.
Integral, quick-attachment system, with metal buckle, nylon strap, screw-in tensioner, and dual V-block spacers (thick and thin).
Bayonet works with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.
Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?
A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen. If you need to go really fat (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.
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Here’s a clever new product from Birchwood Casey, makers of Shoot-N-C targets. The innovative, spring-loaded “Belly Dancer” target moves when hit. This does the duty of a gong at a fraction of the weight and cost. The Belly Dancer is handy, easy to transport, and affordable ($34.07 at Amazon.com). What’s the down-side? Well, eventually you’re going to hit those springs and they will need replacement. Also, while the polymer target zone can withstand hundreds of shots, it will not last forever.
Ground Strike “Belly Dancer” Target
The new Belly Dancer Target employs springs to move back and forth when hit. The 9.5″ x 6.5″ yellow target section is made from a self-healing polymer that can withstand hundreds of hits. Designed for use with any caliber from .22 up, this Belly Dancer target doesn’t “clang” like a gong but the waiving motion indicates a hit. Shoot the neon-yellow gong-shaped head by itself or add stick-on 6″ Bullseye targets for precision work. This Belly Dancer target system works well as long as the ground is relatively soft. In rocky areas you may have trouble inserting the support shafts. But we still like this new product. It’s great for rifle practice at 300-600 yards.
Belly Dancer Target Features
– Yellow Hit Zone measures 9.5″ high and 6.5″ wide.
- Metal stand is 14″ high.
- Rated for all calibers and firearms.
- Long-last technology handles hundreds of rounds.
- Includes twelve 6″-Diameter Shoot•N•C Targets.
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Our Irish Friend Enda Walsh has been working overtime on a new project, and it’s a beauty. Enda has produced some stunning wood stocks for long-range F-Class applications, and now he’s come up with a new design for the short-range rimfire game. Enda’s new stock combines an ergonomic, prone-style grip area with a stiff, carbon-reinforced fore-end. The very front of the stock features “winglets” for smooth bag-riding. Believe it or not, this stock weighs under two pounds!
Enda tells us: “This Benchrest stock was the most time-consuming job I’ve done in a while as there was a two-pound weight limit. I used black walnut and carbon fiber to achieve a very strong yet lightweight stock. The stock features a lacquer finish and the .22LR Anschütz action was pillar-bedded into the stock. I’m delighted to have ended up with a stock weight of one pound, 15 ounces.”
About Enda Walsh, Master Stock-Maker
There are few master craftsmen who can create a truly “bespoke” wood stock customized for the owner. Ireland’s Enda Walsh is one such talent. Through Custom & Precision Rifles Ireland, Enda creates high-quality stocks for hunters, prone shooters, and F-class competitors. Enda first started building stocks in 2001 for himself and friends, and grew the business over time. Enda explains: “Demand gradually increased until in 2009 the decision was taken to make it my full-time occupation. My goal with my business is to manufacture precise custom rifle stocks to the highest standard, tailored in every detail to best serve the shooters requirements.” Enda adds: “I started Guns Stocks Ireland (now Custom & Precision Rifles Ireland) to produce custom, individually-tailored gunstocks. I build from hand casts so your gun is genuinely an extension of your arm.”
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Gear Reviewby Germán A. Salazar, Contributing Editor
Reloading at the range with an arbor press and Wilson dies is my preferred method of load development. I’ve had a chance to test and evaluate the Arbor Press from 21st Century Shooting. I have to say I’m very favorably impressed by it.
An arbor press’ basic function is simple enough: exert sufficient downward pressure on the die to either size the case neck or seat the bullet depending on which die is in use. It isn’t a mechanically challenging function. So why do we use an arbor press and what should be look for in one? Consistent operation, sensitive feel, quality of design and machining are the hallmarks of a good arbor press and this one from 21st Century comes away with good marks in all areas.
For my initial session with the press, I seated 72 bullets in .30-06 cases, another 70 in .308 cases and neck sized a handful of cases (just for evaluation since I prefer to full-length size). The design of the actuating arm, which angles slightly away from the press was very convenient, allowing me to operate it with less jostling of the press because my fingers weren’t bumping into the press head as they sometimes do with my previous press that has the handle parallel to the press head. That’s a nice touch and shows the press was designed by someone who has used these things.
The press uses a relatively light return spring which materially aids the feel of seating pressure. I prefer this to a heavier return spring which would reduce the feel that I really look for in an arbor press. For someone who uses very heavy neck tension this might not be a big concern, but because I usually use 0.001″ to 0.002″ neck tension, the ability to detect small levels of variance in seating pressure is important to me.
High Quality Machining and Parts Finishing
Every part of the 21st Century press reflects careful thought and skilled machining. The knurled wheel for adjusting the height of the press head is a distinct improvement over the plastic hardware store knobs seen on many presses.
The aluminum press head itself is nicely anodized, the steel base well blued and the shaft nicely polished. Even the decapping base (photo at left) reflects careful design as well as precise machining. Overall, the press gives a look and feel of quality and is a welcome addition to my range reloading setup.
Editors’ Note: The designer of the 21st Century Arbor Press has decades of tool-making experience, and he has designed tools for many “big-name” companies. 21st Century stands behind the product with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser. The Arbor Press is currently offered in four different versions, with two post heights (8.5″ or 10.5″), and two baseplate sizes (small 3″ x 4″ or large 4″ x 5″). Prices start at $94.99 for the 8.5″ post and small baseplate. CLICK HERE for more info.
Trijicon has introduced a new line of Second Focal Plane scopes with illuminated reticles. Trijicon’s new AccuPower™ riflescope series includes four models. The smallest AccuPower, well-suited for short-range hunting and 3-Gun Games, is the 1-4×24mm. Next up is a general purpose 3-9×40mm. For hunting and sporting use there are a 2.5-10×56mm and a 4-16×50mm with bigger objectives for better low-light performance. All these four models offer either 1/4-MOA or 0.1 Mil clicks. AccuPower scopes feature aluminum scope tubes, multi-coated lenses, and application-specific illuminated reticles. The 3-9x40mm has a 1″-diameter tube while the other models have 30mm tubes.
The AccuPower series incorporates a hybrid black chrome/etch and fill illuminated reticle system available in red or green, with eleven (11) brightness settings. Notably, there is an “off” feature between each brightness setting.
Four reticle choices are offered: MOA reticle, MIL-square reticle, Duplex crosshair, and the popular competition Segmented Circle crosshair with BDC capabilities.
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Remington has introduced the brand new RM380, an ultra-small DAO .380 ACP carry pistol. This alloy-framed gun weighs just 12.2 ounces (unloaded), and is very compact, measuring 5.25 inches long. Capacity with flush-base magazine is 6+1, and Remington plans to offer a 7-round magazine with a pinky extension. Because it is hammer-fired, the RM380 has second-strike capability. There is no manual safety.
The RM380 is different that many small .380 ACP pistols in using a locking breech rather than a straight blow-back action. Remington claims this reduces perceived recoil. At a media preview hosted at the Arizona Gunsite Academy, pre-production models were tested. Those examples proved reliable, running extended strings (100+ rounds) without failure. However, testers commented on the long, very heavy, 7.9-pound trigger pull.
The new 36th edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values has just been released, and is now available through Amazon.com. The Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad is the leading gun valuation resource. Remarkably there are now 1.6 million copies in circulation worldwide.
Blue Book of Gun Values, 36th Edition
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
2512 Pages with 20,000 gun descriptions, and 175,000+ Prices
Nearly 1500 Makes Covered
This new edition contains updated values for countless firearm types. New-for-2015 makes and models have also been included, along with updated values on discontinued and antique firearms.
CD-ROM, Mobile App, Web Database
You can purchase the 36th Edition of the Blue Book in CD-ROM format. Moreover, all the data in the 36th Edition is now available via Mobile App, or a paid web subscription. To subscribe, get the App, or buy the CD-Rom, visit Bluebookofgunvalues.com.
Features of the new Blue Book of Gun Values:
· Important pricing updates on major trademark current, antique, and discontinued models, including Colt, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and Sturm Ruger.
· Double action revolvers from both Colt AND Smith & Wesson have fluctuated significantly.
· 2,512 Pages of content covering nearly 1,500 manufacturers and trademarks, almost 20,000 gun model descriptions, and over 175,000 prices.
· More information, more values, and more history than any other guide on the market, by far!
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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Ruger 10/22 owners should cheer. Victor Company USA has finally started shipping its new Titan 1022 stock for Ruger’s popular 10/22. We like Victor’s new stock, and we think it will be a great for tactical rimfire matches and cross-training. We bet a lot of varmint shooters will grab one of these Titan 1022 stocks as well. At just $169.99, it’s quite affordable. (MSRP is $189.99, but Victor Company’s website currently shows “Introductory Pricing” of $169.99.)
CLICK Image for full-screen version
Victor’s Titan 1022 Precision Rimfire Stock features a vertical-style grip and a wide, beavertail forearm with molded nibs for enhanced grip (max barrel diameter is 0.920″). In the rear, the buttstock features a cut-out for the user’s off hand with a deeper “keel” for riding the bags. With “Introductory Pricing” of just $169.99, the stock is available in two colors: Flat Dark Earth (above) or Matte Black (below). A Ruger 10/22 never looked so good. Visit www.victorcompanyusa.com for more details.
Victor Company 1022 Precision Rimfire Stock (CLICK photo for full-size image.)
Cross-training with a .22 LR
Shooters can improve their centerfire skills by cross-training with a .22LR rimfire rifle. In terms of wind drift, shooting a .22LR at 150 yards is equivalent to shooting a .308 at 330 yards. (See Chart)
.22 LR vs. .308, Distances for Equal 10 MPH Wind Drift
This table shows the corresponding distances at which a 10 mph full-value crosswind pushes a .22 LR bullet and .308 projectile roughly the same amount. Values are based on 0.130 BC for a 40gr .22 LR bullet, and 0.496 BC for 175gr .308 bullet.
22 LR 40gr 1050 fps
50 yd Wind 1.0″
75 yd Wind 2.2″
100 yd Wind 3.8″
125 yd Wind 5.8″
150 yd Wind 8.2″
175 yd Wind 11.0″
200 yd Wind 14.3″
.308 Win 175gr 2650 fps
130 yd Wind 1.07″
180 yd Wind 2.15″
230 yd Wind 3.68″
280 yd Wind 5.63″
330 yd Wind 7.98″
380 yd Wind 10.71″
440 yd Wind 14.56″
Along with the training benefits, rimfires are fun to shoot, with less noise, less recoil, and a much lower cost per shot. If you like competition, many clubs around the country offer rimfire tactical matches, or something similar (multi-distance matches shot from a variety of positions). With paper and/or reactive targets from 25 to 150 yards, tactical rimfire matches are fun and challenging.
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