February 5th, 2013

Handy Charts Identify Correct Ammo Boxes for your Cartridge

MTM Ammo BoxesMost of our readers know that MTM Case-Gard offers a vast selection of ammo boxes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. However, with such a wide inventory of box styles and sizes, it can be difficult, at first, to select the right box for your particular cartridge and carrying needs. MTM has now simplified that task by publishing comprehensive Ammo Box Charts on its website. Just log on to the Box Charts Page, and select Rifle, Handgun, or Shotshell boxes. That will open a large chart listing cartridge types, small to large, in the left column. Pick your cartridge and you will see all the storage options. MTM even codes the entries so you can see if a box allows Tip Up AND Tip Down storage, Tip Down only, or Tip Up only. For most popular rifle cartridges, there are 20-round, 50-round, and 100-round cases. Below is the first part of the Rifle Ammo Box Chart. The entire chart is four pages long.

MTM Ammo Boxes

Rifle Ammo Box Chart (All) PDF | Handgun Ammo Box Chart (All) PDF | Shotshell Box Chart (All)

New MTM Ammo Belt Pouch
MTM has also introduced a handy product that should work great for rimfire shooters. The new MTM Ammo Belt Pouch conveniently holds 100 rounds (two boxes) of .22LR rimfire ammo. With a sturdy snap latch and heavy-duty belt clip, all you have to do is pour out the ammo, then clip the pouch on your belt or jeans pocket. The Belt Pouch is also handy for saving fired centerfire brass.

Suggested retail for MTM’s Ammo Belt Pouch is a modest $4.95. However, Grafs.com currently sells the item for $3.59 (Prod. #MTMABP). Designed to hold a 100 rounds of 22 long rifles. Holds: .22 Long rifle, 22 Magnum, 22 Short, 17 Win Super Mag, 17 HMR, 17 Mach 2, Pellets, and BBs.

mtm belt pouch

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February 4th, 2013

New Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting Book Available Now

Nancy’s book is finally shipping! The updated Second Edition of Nancy Tompkins’ book, Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting, is now in stock and can be ordered from RifleShootingbyNancy.com. Price is $45.00 including shipping in USA, or $59.00 with shipping in Canada (overseas price is $68.00).

The Second Edition is bigger and better than ever. The new, 382-page Second Edition features color photos, and the book is now a hardback for greater durability. The Second Edition contains a new section on F-Class shooting and you’ll find new and updated information throughout the book. Nancy, the first woman to win the NRA National High Power Championship, is one of the greatest competitive rifle shooters in history. In her book she shares insights that can assist rifle shooters of all levels, in a wide range of disciplines. You’ll learn about shooting fundamentals, wind/mirage reading, body positioning, sling use, gear selection, match preparation, visualization techniques, and much, much more. The book also includes sections by Middleton Tompkins on reloading, equipment, and building a Palma rifle.
CLICK HERE for Complete Topic List by Chapter.

Nancy Tompkins long range rifle shooting book

Nancy Tompkins — A Truly Legendary Rifle Shoter
Nancy Tompkins has been shooting competitively for over 38 years. She has won the National Long Range Championships 4 times (1986, 1997, 1999 and 2003), the across-the-course National High Power Championships (1998), the Metric Smallbore Nationals (2012) and the Fullbore Nationals (2012).

Nancy has also been the Wimbledon Cup winner (1993) and a 7-time Leech Cup winner (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012). She has won both team and individual medals in the World Championships and has been on seven Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

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February 3rd, 2013

Recommended Bullet Casting Book from Cast Bullet Association

Forum member Roy Bertalotto has found a great print resource for cast bullet shooters. Roy, who runs the RVB Precision website, has started casting his own bullets. Roy tells us: “I recently joined the Cast Bullet Association (CBA) as I’ve discovered the great hobby of casting my own bullets for long range ‘Buffalo Shoots’ and Cowboy Action Shooting.” Roy says he found the information he needed in the CBA’s own guide to bullet casting: “The CBA offers a fantastic 496-page book, mostly prepared by members, on absolutely everything you’d ever want to know and more about bullet casting.”

Cast Bullet Association Book

Cast Bullets For Beginner and Expert (Second Edition) is a collection of articles from serious cast bullet shooters, covering every subject imaginable. Compiled by Joe Brennan, this new edition has updated information. This Second Edition is now available for $29.95 with free shipping in the USA.

You can order this book online, or send a $29.95 check to:
Eunice Birmley, CBA Director of Services, 47 Pinon, Cimarron, NM 87714

Cast Bullet Association Book

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 1 Comment »
February 2nd, 2013

Gear Review: Bald Eagle (Grizzly) 20″ Range Bag

Bald Eagle Range BagI have been looking for a bag that can securely carry a large spotting scope as well as chronograph hardware, wind meter, and camera gear — all the extra stuff I typically take to the range in addition to the essential cleaning and shooting products that go in my regular range kit. The folks at Grizzly Industrial told me to check out their new 20″ Range Bag by Bald Eagle. These 20″ Range Bags, are very versatile and well-made. With eyepiece removed, my jumbo-sized Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope fit perfectly inside the padded central compartment. At the same time I could haul ALL the peripherals for my PVM-21 chronograph, plus a camera, wind meter, spare Pentax eyepiece, AND a netbook computer. Without the netbook, there is room for four pistols along the side channels. If you don’t need to pack a large spotting scope, the main compartment could easily hold 3 more pistols in Bore-Store socks, plus holsters, ammo boxes, and earmuffs.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Good Gear AccurateShooter.comWatch the video to see how much stuff will fit in this bag. NOTE: If you carry a tripod or windflag stand using the straps under the case lid, be sure to position the foam padding carefully to prevent any direct contact with a spotting scope in the main compartment. Overall, the 20″ Range Bag is a remarkably capable gear-hauler. With the nicely-padded interior it will safely carry expensive items such as laser rangefinders, and binoculars. There is also a slash pocket on the rear side (not shown in video) that will hold thin items such as target stickers and shooting log-books. The 20″ Range Bag is offered in four (4) different colors: Red, Black, Green, and Camo. Price is $59.95 for solid colors and $61.95 for camo.

Grizzly Bald Eagle 20

Smaller, 15″ Range Bag Offered Also
Grizzly also sells more compact, 15″-wide Bald Eagle Range Bags. There are six (6) color choices for the 15″ Range Bag: Red, Black, Navy Blue, Green, Hot Pink (for ladies), and Camo. Solid colors cost $45.00, while the Camo Bag costs a couple dollars more ($46.95). If you don’t need to haul a spotting scope, you may prefer the smaller version. The 15″ version still offers lot of carrying capacity — it’s big enough to hold ammo, muffs, target stickers, and much more.

Grizzly Range Bag 15" Camo

REVIEW Disclosure: Grizzly Industrial provided the 20″ Range Bag for testing and evaluation.

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February 1st, 2013

NEW Sizing Dies and Micrometer Seaters from Whidden Gunworks

There is a new player in the field of elite die-makers: Whidden Gunworks. John Whidden’s Georgia-based company is producing outstanding full-length sizing dies and micrometer-top seater dies for 7/8-14 thread presses. The dies look great, work great, and produce very straight and accurate ammo. The Whidden dies are finished beautifully inside and out. They are priced competitively and they are available for popular “extreme accuracy” cartridges such as the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6mmBRX, 6 Dasher, 6XC, 6.5×47, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .308 Win (and more). If you are looking for a die set for your new precision rifle, you should definitely check out the Whidden dies. Two-die set, FL Sizer and Micrometer-top Seater, costs $184.99. Sizer die alone is $74.99, while Seater die alone is $109.99.

Many of our Forum members have started using Whidden dies — and they are reporting very positive results. I personally own and use a set of Whidden dies, and I am very, very impressed with them. Here’s my report:


Editor’s Report on Whidden Dies
AccurateShooter.com good gearI have a set of Whidden Gunworks dies for my personal 6BRDX (a chambering similar to 6 Dasher but with longer neck). The dies are excellent and they produce very straight ammo. My loaded rounds (made with a Whidden bushing-type FL sizer and Whidden micrometer-top seater) are showing less than .0015″ run-out measured on the bullet, with the majority closer to .001″ run-out. (This is with Lapua Scenar L bullets, which have great jacket uniformity and concentricity.)

One thing I immediately noticed about the Whidden seater die is that there is a very close correspondence between the seater “hash marks” and true changes in seating depth. By this I mean when you dial a value change of 10 on the micrometer scale, you get very close to a .010″ change in seating depth. It is not perfect, but it is definitely more precise than most other micrometer-top seater dies I’ve used (both hand dies and 7/8-14 thread screw-in types).

Whidden diesCartridges loaded with my Whidden sizer and seater dies have proved very accurate. My 6BRDX is shooting in the mid-ones for five shots at 100 yards. I also have a micrometer-top Wilson inline seater die that was custom-bored with my chamber reamer. As far as I can tell, the ammo loaded with the screw-in Whidden seater is every bit as accurate as rounds loaded with the Wilson die using an arbor press. Additionally, with the Whidden micrometer die, I can hold extremely tight tolerances on base-to-bullet-ogive lengths.

In the past, with my 6mmBR, I favored an inline die because I thought it offered better control over seating depth. But given how well the Whidden seater works, I’m not sure I’d gain anything with my Wilson hand die. At least when used with a quality Harrell’s benchrest press, the Whidden seater gives up little or nothing to the hand die, and that’s big news in my experience.

Whidden Gunworks die

You will like the look and feel of these Whidden dies. The finish inside and out is very, very good — the dies have a quality feel and run very smoothly. Both the sizer and seater have a fluted section — this offers a better “grip” when you’re screwing in the dies. The outside of the seater has a smooth, gloss-anodized finish — it exudes quality. The markings on the seater’s micrometer ring are crisp and very legible, with large, high-contrast white-on-black lines and numbers.

One other very cool feature of the Whidden sizing dies is that custom-sized tapered expanders will soon be offered. Whidden plans to offer expanders in .0005″ (one-half thousandth) increments. This is great if you have, say, a .265 bushing and a .266 bushing but you want just a little less neck tension than the .265 offers. With the tapered expander, I can use a 0.265 bushing followed by an 0.2655 expander — allowing more precise control of neck “grip”.


Whidden Gunworks Sizing Die Seater

Whidden Die Features

  • Die Dimensions well-matched to PT&G reamers used for match chambers.
  • Sizing dies spec’d for easy chambering and extraction without overworking brass.
  • All sizers include shoulder datum collar to measure shoulder “bump” and headspace.
  • Neck bushing or no-neck bushing configurations.
  • Bushing dies use standard Redding/Wilson type bushings.
  • Neck diameter of non-bushing FL sizers can be set to customer specification.
  • Extended threads on short cartridge sizer dies such as BRs.
  • Coming soon: custom expander balls (in half-thousandth increments) to adjust neck tension and provide minimum working of the case neck.
  • Seater: Floating sleeve on micrometer seater enhances concentricity of loaded rounds.
  • Seater: Large, high-contrast markings for easy adjustment.

Custom Dies for Wildcats or Your Cartridge

  • Custom-made for your wildcat or standard cartridge.
  • Can work from fired brass or a chamber drawing to match your chamber exactly.
  • Neck-bushing die, or no-bushing die with neck diameter bored to customer specification.

Whidden Gunworks Sizing Die SeaterAvailable Die Sets
Here is the current caliber list. Micrometer seaters are available in all calibers listed below except 22BR and 22 BRX.

Full-Length Sizer with Bushings
22 BR (No Seater Die)
22 BRX (No Seater Die)
6mm PPC
6mm BR
6mm BRDX
6mm BRX
6mm Dasher
6mm SLR
6mm XC
6×47 Lapua
.243 Win
6.5×47 Lapua
.260 Rem
6.5-284
.284 Win
7mm Shehane
.308 Win
.338 Edge

Full-Length Sizer (Non-Bushing)
22 BR
6MM BR
.243 Win
6×47 Lapua
.260 Rem
6.5 Creedmoor
6.5×47 Lapua
.308 Win

Whidden Gunworks Sizing Die Seater

John Whidden Talks about Sizers, Seaters, and Expanders

Whidden Gunworks Sizing Die SeaterThere are two sides to our die business. First we are stocking dies in many calibers that are of interest to those who visit this website (such as the 6PPC, 6mm Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua, .260 Rem, 7mm Shehane, .308 Winchester). These dies are a good fit to the “match chamber” reamers and very few people with these calibers should have to have “Pure Custom” dies made. We have both sizers and micrometer-top seaters ready to go for the many cartridge types listed above. The sizer dies will include a shoulder datum collar that makes it easy to measure shoulder “bump” during the full-length sizing process. This is important to control headspace precisely.

On the “Pure Custom” side, we have a huge amount of flexibility. We can make one-of-a-kind sizers and seaters for wildcats in a short period of time and at an excellent price. We can work with the customer to make full-length sizers, neck sizers, shoulder bump dies, small base dies, or most anything else they can need. We can of course provide micrometer-top seaters for these cartridges as well. We can make non-bushing sizers with specific neck inside diameters tailored to customer specifications.

We will also be offering custom-sized expanders. These expanders will fit our dies as well as Redding dies. Our tapered expanders will be available in .0005” (one-half thousandth) increments for the common calibers. In our shop we have had excellent results using expanders in the dies as long as the expanders provided the correct amount of neck tension and didn’t overwork the brass. Expanders have gotten a bad reputation in recent years but we find them to be excellent tools when the same precision is applied to their use that careful handloaders apply to the rest of their process. Expanders can be most valuable for those who choose not to neck-turn their brass (because the expander pushes neckwall variations to the outside).

One last thing — many gunsmiths with their own wildcats (or “specialty” chambers) have asked us to provide dies for their customers. We gladly do batches of custom dies and encourage gunsmiths to contact us. — John Whidden

For more information visit WhiddenGunworks.com or call (229) 686-1911.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 7 Comments »
January 30th, 2013

New Loaded Ammunition from McMillan Group Int’l

McMillan Group International (McMillan) has added three new lines of ammunition: Extreme Velocity ammo (optimized for long range), McMillan Precision ammo (match quality for hunting), and McMillan Tactical ammo. All three new types of ammo are loaded with premium bullets. McMillan claims that its precision cartridge-loading methods ensure: “better concentricity, better uniformity of velocity, [and] better uniformity of pressure”. Along with these three NEW ammo types, McMillan already offers African Dangerous Game ammunition (ADG).

McMillan Ammunition Extreme Tactical Hunting

McMillan Extreme Velocity Ammunition — Long Range
McMillan’s Extreme Velocity (ExVel) ammunition utilizes high-BC Berger Bullets exclusively. Powders are selected for High FPS and low ES to minimize vertical spread at long range. ExVel ammo was designed with input from Bob Beck of Extreme Outer Limits TV.

Cartridge List: 22-250, 243 Win, 6.5×284 Norma, 7mm EOL Ultra Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 7mm Rem Ultra Mag, .300 EOL Ultra Mag,.300 Win Mag, 300 Rem Ultra Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum.

McMillan Precision Ammunition — Hunting
In its new Precision line, McMillan offers traditional hunting cartridge types. Barnes LRX, TSX, and TTSX bullets with excellent accuracy AND strong terminal performance are used. All critical cartridge measurements are held to precision tolerances and Powders are selected for consistent velocity. Each round is hand inspected.

Cartridge List: .243 Win, 270 WSM, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, 30-378, .300 RUM, .300 WSM, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag.

McMillan Tactical Ammunition
McMillan’s Tactical ammunition offers .308, .300 WM, .338 LM, and 50 BMG cartridges loaded to “match-quality standards”. Bullets are carefully selected for mission-specific applications and powders are selected for low ES to minimize vertical spread at extreme long ranges. Each round is hand inspected.

Cartridge List: .308 Subsonic, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum, 50 BMG.

For more information on McMillan ammunition, visit www.McMillanusa.com. To order, call McMillan toll-free at 877-365-6148.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
January 29th, 2013

First Look: NEW Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot ShowAt SHOT Show we checked out the all-new, side-focus 15-55x52mm Competition™ Scope from Nightforce Optics. This comes in both Silver finish and Matte Black. The black version looks like an NXS. The silver looks good but the finish is pretty shiny and contrasts with the black controls (some folks will like that, others won’t). We worked the knobs and side-parallax controls. The clicks are positive and the dial resistance seems just about right (very similar to an NXS). The ED (low-dispersion) glass in the new 15-55X provides high contrast, low chromatic aberration, and 92% light transmission. And this scope is a LOT lighter than the current 12-42x56mm — nearly half a pound less! The new 15-55x52mm sells for $2231.00.

Watch Video to See NF 15-55x52mm Competition Scope (and B.E.A.S.T. sneak preview.)

Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show

The big news is that, with a weight of just 27.8 ounces, the new 15-55X Nightforce Competition Scope is 24% lighter than the NF 12-42×56 Benchrest model, and 20% lighter than the NF 12-42×56 NXS. Like the NXS series, the new Competition scope offers side parallax adjustment; and, it will focus from 25 yards to infinity, making it suitable for rimfire and airgun shooting as well as centerfire competition. The turrets provide positive and repeatable .125 MOA (eighth-minute-of-angle) clicks. Each rotation provides 5 MOA of adjustment. And we’re pleased to see that the Competition Scope offers a full 60 MOA of travel — for both windage and elevation. That’s impressive. We’re pleased to see the new scope offers a fast-focus, European-style diopter eyepiece (photo below right). Two reticles will be offered initially: the CTR-1 (fine crosshair with target dot) and DDR (double dot with hold markers). You can see the reticles in the video above.

Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long to get a 15-55x52mm Comp Scope. Nightforce says it will start shipping in mid-February. CLICK HERE for more information.

Nightforce Competition 15-55x52mm scope Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope 2013 Shot Show
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January 28th, 2013

Rear Sandbag Transport Caddy from Italy’s Varide Cicognani

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag ToteDoes your rear sand-bag get lumpy or lose its shape during transport? Are your bag ears starting to sag or get mis-aligned? Well the clever Italians have a solution for you.

Varide Cicognani, an Italian webstore specializing in competition shooting accessories, offers a cleverly-designed bag transport/storage caddy for rear sand-bags. Cicognani’s Portacuscino Model TFC-P is designed to keep your rear bag “in shape” during transport and storage. The TFC-P features aluminum top and bottom brackets, connected with threaded rods. A wedge under the top bracket fits between the bag ears. The top bracket has a convenient carry handle. The whole unit (not including bag) weighs just 13.4 ounces (680 grams). The price is € 49, or $65.99 at current exchange rates. For more information, visit www.VarideCicongnani.it.

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Product Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
January 26th, 2013

New Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Kit for Tikka T3 Actions

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine is now offering a tube-gun chassis kit for the Tikka T3 action. This T3 Chassis Kit is the latest design in Gary’s Light Weight Hunter Series. The T3 kit will initially be right-hand only, and will fit AICS short action magazines. This is a “no gunsmithing” installation — no modifications to the action are required and the chassis kit works with the factory T3 trigger and safety.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3Tikka’s T3 action is rigid and robust. It cycles smoothly and has a short 75° bolt lift. The T3 features a Sako-style extractor, with angled-leading-edge bolt lugs for smooth lock-up. The T3 action can be installed in Gary’s Chassis Kit with either a recoil disc (and bolts) or glue-in action mounting. The Chassis Kit is designed to accept AR15 buttstocks.

Eliseo’s current T3 Chassis Kit handles short-action cartridges only — for now. Gary is considering bringing out a version with a long-action-length magwell if there is sufficient demand.

Price is $685.00. This includes a rugged Cerakote finish. Tikka T3 action and AICS 5-round or 10-round magazines sold separately. For more info, visit GotXRing.com, call 714-630-5734, or send email to: spraynandprayn [at] gmail.com . CLICK HERE for order page.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 7 Comments »
January 25th, 2013

MEDIA Day Shoot: New MR762A1 LRP .308 from Heckler & Koch

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

There were many semi-auto “tactical” rifles on display at MEDIA Day 2013, but one that caught our eye was the new MR762A1 LRP from Heckler & Koch (HK). The HK MR762A1 LRP (“Long Range Package”) looks similar to the H&K G28 rifle, Germany’s new Designated Marksman Rifle. But the G28 has a steel upper receiver, unlike the MR762A1, which evolved from the HK 417.

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

Bedecked with quad rails up front, this black and tan rifle screams “tactical”, yet it is surprisingly comfortable to shoot. The grip is comfortable in the hand and the thick rubber buttpad on the adjustable buttstock did a good job of mitigating recoil. Jason said the trigger was crisp and the gun was very accurate. With a gas-piston system (rather than direct gas impingement), this rifle runs very clean. The proprietary, polymer HK magazine worked perfectly with zero feeding issues. We liked these better than the metal mags we’ve tried on other makers’ AR10-type systems.

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

The MR762A1 is a direct descendent of the HK416/417 series, only in a semi-automatic rifle configuration developed for civilian users. The MR762A1 LRP employs the same HK proprietary gas piston operating system found on current HK rifles and carbines, using a “pusher” rod in place of the gas tube in the original M16/AR15/AR10 design. According to HK, the op-rod design “virtually eliminates malfunctions common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. The MR762A1 stays cleaner, reducing heat transfer to the bolt and bolt carrier, and drastically reducing wear and tear on other critical components.”

HK Heckler Kock MR762A1 LRP

The MR762A1 uses the same 10- and 20-round translucent polymer box magazines made for the HK417; a 5-round magazine is also under development. Additional accessories and add-ons for the LRP variant of the MR762A1 include an ERGO Pistol Grip from Falcon Industries, the same Blue Force Gear sling used on the HK M27 IAR supplied to the USMC, and an OTIS cleaning kit. The rifle package, complete with one 20-rd mag and one 10-rd mag, is shipped ready to use with the scope attached in a 42″-long Model 1720 Pelican case.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
January 25th, 2013

Taming the Beast: McMillan’s Hydraulic 50 BMG Recoil Reducer

McMillan Recoil Reduction

At MEDIA Day 2013, we checked out McMillan’s interesting hydraulic recoil mitigation system for the TAC-50 tactical rifle. Named the TAC-50 A1-R2, this shock-absorbing device reduces the peak recoil from the 50 BMG cartridge by approximately 90 percent (90%). Additional recoil reduction is provided by the proprietary muzzle brake offered on the TAC-50 A1-R2.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

The heart of the new TAC-50 A1-R2 recoil mitigation system is a proprietary hydraulic piston in the buttstock. As the rifle is fired, the piston compresses, softening the recoil by lowering the peak recoil force and spreading out the recoil over several milliseconds. The sensation for the shooter is that of a long push, rather than a violent punch.

Without the R2 recoil mitigation system, the peak recoil from a 50 BMG cartridge is approximately 7,500 lbs. of force. From start to finish, the recoil lasts 1 millisecond in a machine rest. With the R2 system, the peak recoil is only approximately 520 lbs. of force. What’s more, the force is spread out over 6 milliseconds. While the total recoil energy is roughly the same, the hydraulic piston lowers the perception of recoil dramatically for a shooter by lowering the peak force and spreading the recoil out over time.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

McMillan developed the new R2 system in partnership with customers using the TAC-50 weapons system. Extensive testing with electronic load sensors and high speed photography documented the recoil mitigation. The result is a 50-Caliber rifle that is significantly more comfortable to shoot.

McMillan hydraulic recoil reducer

Story Tip by Ed LongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
January 24th, 2013

Forster Products’ New Datum Dial Ammo Measurement System

Forster Products Datum dial ammuntion measurement system

At SHOT Show we checked out a versatile and well-designed new tool from Forster Products — the new Datum Dial Ammunition Measurement System. This handy device measures a variety of important dimensions: 1) cartridge headspace from base of case to shoulder datum; 2) cartridge length from base of case to bullet ogive; 3) bullet base to bullet ogive; and 4) bullet bearing surface (requires two tools).

The complete Datum Dial Kit consists of a dial-holder mount and three precision machined dials. The mount clamps to your sliding-jaw calipers. The mount holds a black ring or one of two supplied gold rings. The black ring has 5 precision-diameter holes that let you check headspace (on shoulder datum) for nearly all modern cartridge types.

Swap in one of two available gold rings to measure to bullet ogive index points. The two gold dials (five holes each) give you 10 different bullet diameter choices, covering the vast majority of common pistol and rifle bullet sizes. This lets you measure both base of bullet to ogive and base of cartridge case to bullet ogive. We really like this dual functionality, as it allows you to quickly sort bullets, plus you can measure your loaded rounds as they come out of the seating die. I have found that accuracy is enhanced when you maintain close base-to-ogive tolerances on your loaded rounds.

Watch Video to See Datum Dial Features and Functions

Replace a Bin Full of Comparator Inserts
It is important to understand that the Datum Dial system replaces a comparator body and a complete set of caliber-specific comparator inserts. You no longer need a box full of inserts, with one for each caliber that you load. The Datum Dial Complete Kit includes: One dial-holder mount (which clamps on your calipers), one black headspace dial, two (2) gold bullet diameter dials, and a plastic storage box. The Datum Dial Kit is available right now. MSRP is $157.00, and “street price” should be $20 or so lower. Additional dials or caliper jaw mounts are sold separately.

Forster Products Datum dial ammuntion measurement system

Permalink New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 24th, 2013

Kahles 10-50x56mm Scope with Centerline Parallax Control

Kahles K 1050 scope

At SHOT Show we got a “first look” at the new Kahles K-1050, a 10-50x56mm scope with unique, centerline parallax control. This is a very interesting new high-magnification competition scope. Kahles’s patented centerline parallax control allows the marksman to adjust windage, elevation, AND parallax all with ONE HAND. If you’re in prone position, for example, you simply reach forward with your right hand to dial windage, then slide your hand to the central turret to dial elevation and, finally, set the parallax by adjusting a separate concentric ring.

Watch Video to See Kahles K-1050 Features and Centerline Parallax Control

NOTE: The big-diameter metal ring is OPTIONAL. You can remove the big metal ring and still adjust parallax (from centerline) using a smaller, built-in control ring on the top turret.

Kahles K 1050 scope

Kahles K 1050 scopeDesigned for benchrest and field target use, this scope has a 30mm main tube, 55 MOA elevation, and 1/8-MOA clicks. There are three (3) total turret revolutions. The turret “Rev Count” is displayed with a clever red-and-white striped “barber pole” button in the center of the top turret. One red stripe indicates REV 1, red + white indicates REV 2, and red + white + red indicates REV 3. It’s simple, but it works.

The new K-1050 also features a nice European-style +/- diopter control on the eyepiece. If you have less that perfect vision, this allows you to get a sharp target image even without eyeglasses.

We liked the scope. The glass was bright and sharp, and the clicks were positive and precise. Competition shooters have shown great interest in the new K-1050, and Kahles plans to bring the new scope to the USA by mid-summer 2013. Price is expected to be around $2800.00 USD.

Kahles K 1050 scope

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 23rd, 2013

New 6.5mm Scenar Ls from Lapua — .30-Caliber Ls Coming Soon

Lapua Scenar L BulletsAt SHOT Show 2013, Lapua announced it was expanding its line-up of Scenar L projectiles to include two new 6.5mm bullets and three new .30-caliber Scenar Ls. We applaud this news. This Editor has tested 6mm Scenar L bullets in his own rifles, and they have proven to be some of the most consistent bullets we have ever measured. The Scenar Ls also shot great in 8-twist barrels from Brux, Krieger, and PacNor.

Two New 6.5mm Scenar Ls
Guys with .260 Rem, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5-284 rifles have been eagerly awaiting the new 6.5mm Scenar Ls. These will be offered in two weights: 120 grains and 136 grains.

Scenar Ls in .30 Caliber
Lapua will release three new .30-Caliber Scenar L bullets. Along with a new 155gr Palma bullet (GB 552), Lapua will offer a 175gr Scenar L (GB 550), plus a 220gr heavy-weight Scenar L (GB 551). In magnum and short magnum chamberings, the 220-grainers should prove very effective in Long Range comps.

What Makes the Scenar Ls So Good
While all Lapua Scenar bullets are made to exacting standards, Lapua “raised the bar” with its Scanar L series. Scenar L bullets feature closer weight tolerances, tighter jacket wall concentricity standards, and greater uniformity in every dimension. Building bullets this good isn’t easy — you have to get everything right — from the gilding metal cup, to the lead wire and jacket forming, core-jacket assembly, and finally boat-tail pressing and nose-tipping. To build L-series bullets to such high standards, Lapua had to adopt new manufacturing procedures, and install proprietary new machines and advanced instrumentation never seen before in bullet production. Lapua also took its already high quality control standards and kicked them up a notch.

Lapua Scenar L BulletsNew 6.5mm Scenar Ls — First Look
At SHOT Show, Lapua unveiled its much-awaited new 6.5mm (.264 caliber) Lapua Scenar L bullets. There are two (2) new 6.5mm Scenar Ls: a 120gr tangent ogive design and a 136gr multi-ogive design. These are both all-new bullets, though the new 120gr Scenar L bears a “family resemblance” to the current (and very accurate) 123gr standard Scenar. One look at the new 136-grainer, and you can see that this is NOT just a “tweak” of the popular 139gr standard Scenar. The new 136gr Scenar L has a streamlined secant-ogive shape that blends into a more conventional tangent ogive as the bullet approaches full diameter. This dual-ogive design enhances the bullet’s BC, making it more slippery. That should translate to less drop and less drift at long range.

These new 6.5-caliber Scenar Ls should hit the market very soon. Check with Grafs.com for availability. As soon as we can get our hands on Lapua’s new 120s and 136s we will test them in a 6.5×47 Lapua bench gun and see how they perform. The .30-Cal 175gr and 220gr Scenar-Ls should arrive by late spring according to Kevin Thomas of Lapua. Kevin is a member of our Forum and he can answer your questions about the entire line-up of Lapua projectiles, along with Lapua cartridge brass.

Lapua Scenar L Bullets

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 7 Comments »
January 23rd, 2013

SHOT Show Report: ‘Pimped’ Turnbull TAR-10 Sells for $136,024

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

A “pimped-out” Turnbull Manufacturing TAR-10 (AR 10-platform) rifle shattered the all-time SHOT Show Auction record with a high bid of $136,024.00. Proceeds from the auction conducted last week will go to support the NSSF’s Hunting Heritage Trust. This unique Turnbull TAR-10, chambered in .308 Winchester, has features rarely seen on an AR-style rifle: color case-hardening, hand engraving, gold inlay, and select walnut “furniture”. The upper and lower are made from 8620 carbon steel that has been color case-hardened with the Turnbull bone charcoal process.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

The gun has been elaborately engraved by Adams and Adams, with extensive gold inlay. The butt-stock, fore-end, and pistol grip are select fancy walnut.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

“We did our best to make this a very special rifle and we had hopes of beating the all-time record of $83,025.00, but we never imagined the bidding would surpass $100,000 and then soar to more than $136,000.00,” commented Doug Turnbull.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

“Our objective in creating the TAR-10 was to show that the AR platform is more than just a military rifle. We wanted to emphasize that these types of rifles can be made to look like any other custom rifle in terms of appeal,” commented Turnbull. The rifle, as sold, was equipped with a Zeiss 1.5-6x42mm Victory HT scope. Regular production Turnbull TAR-10 rifles will be the same as this special SHOT Show rifle minus the elaborate engraving and presentation-grade wood.

Turbull TAR-10 Heritage

Permalink New Product, News 8 Comments »
January 22nd, 2013

SHOT Show Report: New RCBS Summit Single-Stage Press

The new RCBS Summit Press attracted a lot of attention when we first revealed it in the Daily Bulletin earlier this month. Readers wanted to know how well this radical new design really worked. To answer that question, we headed to the RCBS booth at SHOT Show 2013. There our buddy Kent Sakamoto gave us complete run-down on the new Summit. With the Summit, unlike other presses, the case does not move. As you can see in the video, the reloading die comes DOWN to the case.

The Summit’s open-front design is definitely a plus, and we really like the fact that all press operations take place ABOVE the benchtop. There are no linkages running below the bench, which lets you use the Summit on a bench with cabinet-style drawers. The Summit press is definitely beefy. With its massive center column, the design operates smoothly with no flexing issues. RCBS says the Summit has no more head flex than the classic “O”-design RockChucker.

The new Summit Press features a rugged cast-iron frame with all-steel linkages. The handle can be switched from right to left side (good for southpaws), and the open-front design provides good access, facilitating quick die changes. The 4.5-inch opening allows you to work with tall cases. Beneath the shell-holder is a spent primer catcher. The press will accept larger bushings for oversize 1-inch dies. Street Price in the new Summit Press is about $220.00 (optional Short Handle is another $19.95).


RCBS Summit Reloading PressRCBS Summit Press Features:

• Bench-top operation
• Massive 2-inch diameter ram
• Ambidextrous handle
• Compound leverage
• 4.50-inch operating window
• Spent primer catcher
• Full frontal access
• Accepts bushings for 1″ die bodies
• Press adapter bushing
• Zerk lubrication fitting
• Made in USA


RCBS Summit Press

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
January 21st, 2013

SHOT Show Report: Accuracy International PSR Rifle System

Accuracy International PSR sniper system

How would you like a modular precision rifle that can shoot .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Win rounds — all from the same action and chassis? And how would you like to be able to swap calibers in the field (with barrel and bolt change-outs) with just a couple simple hand tools? This kind of rifle system is not just a pipe-dream. Accuracy International’s PSR Rifle system is truly three guns in one, and it’s now in production. Watch the video to see the features of this advanced modular rifle.

Scott Seigmund, V.P. of Accuracy International (North America), gave us a run-down on the features of AI’s new PSR (Precision Sniper Rifle) modular system. By changing barrels, bolts, and magazines, the gun can shoot three different cartridge types. All the equipment (including bipod, optics, extra bolts, barrels, and mags) are carried in AI’s fitted “deployment” box.


If the full $17,200 three-barrel system is not enough for you, and you need something even more exotic — AI offers a special take-down version of the PSR rifle. Scott showed us a complete .338 LM rifle (with 20″ barrel) stowed in a transport box smaller than a typical carry-on case. Scott said the price on the take-down system has not yet been set.

Accuracy International PSR sniper system

Permalink - Videos, New Product 13 Comments »
January 20th, 2013

Kelbly’s Unveils KTS Stock, 1-8x24mm March, and GRS Stocks

Kelbly.com .338 Lapua Magnum

New Jumbo .338 LM-sized Action and New KTS “Tactical” Stock
At SHOT Show 2013, Kelbly’s showcased a pair of impressive .338 Lapua Magnum rifles. One of these guns featured the beefy new .338 LM repeater action, fitted into Kelbly’s new KTS stock (top rifle in photo above). The KTS stock shares the long wheelbase of Kelbly’s popular 1000-yard benchrest stock. The particular KTS in the above photo features a 2.5″ rounded forearm, adjustable cheekpiece, and butthook cut-away on the bottom of the buttstock. Kelbly’s website states: “The Kelbly KTS stock is designed for long-range competition and tactical shooting. The KTS stock is based off of our 1M stock. It is available in right- or left-handed models. The KTS is extremely adaptable — we can install an adjustable cheek piece, a 3-way butt pad, a butt hook, or a beaver tail front end (2.5″ wide). The standard configuration is just like the 1M stock, the previously listed options must be requested.”

Kelbly KTS

Personally, I found the wrist/grip shape on the KTS stock much more comfortable than the very fat, blocky grips found on some “tactical” stocks. If you are thinking about buying a McMillan or a Manners “tactical” stock, you should give this new Kelbly KTS consideration as well.

New 1-8x24mm FFP from March
What’s new from March this year? We didn’t see any new high-magnification scopes, but Kelbly’s rolled out an all-new March 1-8x24mm tactical scope. This First Focal Plane scope should be ideal for three-gun competition. The new March 1-8x24mm should also appeal to hunters who want a bright, compact scope with a true 1-power viewing option plus ranging capability.

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

Kelbly’s is now importing the beautifully-crafted GRS laminated stocks from Norway. Featuring an ergonomic grip, these GRS stocks come complete with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. For decades, Kelbly’s has been a respected source for quality fiberglass stocks. Now, as the GRS importer, Kelbly’s will offer some of the nicest laminated wood stocks on the market. Although final pricing has yet to be set, Kelbly’s expects GRS stocks to cost $600.00 to $700.00. We think this is competitive price range when you consider that GRS stocks come standard with adjustable hardware and no final clear-coating is needed.

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 20th, 2013

Vortex Optics Spotting Scopes and New FFP 2.5-10X for 2013

Having heard many good things about Vortex spotting scopes from our readers and Forum members, on Day 1 of SHOT Show we headed over to the Vortex Optics booth. On display was the entire line-up of Vortex Viper and Razor spotting scopes (both HD and non-HD), with objective diameters ranging from 50mm to 85mm. We know that the 85mm Razor HD has been very popular with our readers, as it offers excellent “bang for the buck”. This spotter runs $1599.00 complete with 20-60 power eyepiece. That’s about half the cost of the big name Euro-brand spotting scopes with comparable objectives. Making the Razor HD even more attractive this year is the availability of a new 18X/23X long-eye-relief eyepiece for Vortex’s flagship spotting scope.

Vortex PSD Viper FFP 2.5-10 scope

For 2013, Vortex has added much-requested 65mm and 50mm models to its Razor HD line of spotting scopes. This is good news for guys who prefer a lighter, more compact spotting scope, or who don’t need the extra light-gathering power of a big 85mm objective. The 65mm and 50mm Vortex Razor HD models should be available by mid-spring 2013, and they will be priced quite a bit lower than their 85mm big brother shown above.

Watch Video to See Vortex Spotting Scopes and NEW 2.5-10X FFP Tactical Scope

Watch Factory Video on Vortex Razor 85mm HD Spotting Scope


After reviewing Vortex’s spotting scopes, we checked out an all-new, compact first focal plane scope from Vortex that we predict will be very popular with three-gun and tactical shooters. The New Vortex Viper PSD 2.5-10x32mm tactical scope features an FFP design. This enables rapid ranging with the provided reticles at all magnification levels. This scope with be offered with mil-based clicks and EBR-1 milrad reticle, or with MOA-based clicks and a EBR-1 reticle with MOA-based subtensions. We were also pleased to learn that Vortex will add a 6-24x50mm model to its Viper HS riflescope line.

Vortex PSD Viper FFP 2.5-10 scope

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 19th, 2013

17 Win Super Mag Rimfire from Winchester — Field Report

17 Winchester Super Magnum Win Super Mag Rimfire

At Media Day we test-fired the new 3000 FPS rimfire ammunition from Winchester. Shooting the new 17 Win Super Mag ammo from a pre-production Savage B.MAG rifle (more on that later) and a Browning m1885 falling block, we were able to shoot sub-minute-of-angle groups with a pretty primitive front rest and lumpy rear bag. So far, then, it appears the ammo is pretty darn accurate for a mass-produced rimfire cartridge. Savage has promised to send us a B.MAG rifle for further testing. Watch the video below for more details on this new cartridge.

.17 Winchester Super Magnum RimfireNew 3000 FPS Rimfire Round
Winchester has announced a new, high-velocity 17-caliber rimfire cartridge, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (aka .17 Win Super Mag). The .17 Win Super Mag will initially be offered in three bullet types: 20gr plastic tip (Varmint HV), 25gr plastic tip (Varmint HE), and a 20gr JHP (Super-X). The 20-grain varieties boast a 3000 FPS muzzle velocity, earning honors as the fastest Rimfire ammo ever made.

.17 Winchester Super Mag Specifications Symbol Sub Brand Bullet Weight Muzzle Velocity
S17W20 Varmint HV 20-gr Plastic Tip 3,000 fps
S17W25 Varmint HE 25-gr Plastic Tip 2,600 fps
X17W20 Super-X 20-gr JHP 3,000 fps

Winchester claims that all .17 Win Super Mag ammo types shoot much flatter than the .22 Win Mag and .17 HMR, while delivering more than 150 percent more energy than both. In addition, the .17 Win Super Mag “bucks the wind” better than any other rimfire ammo — exhibiting significant less horizontal drift at extended ranges. The ammunition should be available at Winchester dealers by April 2013.

17 Winchester Super Magnum Win Super Mag Rimfire

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 3 Comments »