October 10th, 2013

Get 69 Years of Gun Digest Annuals on DVD for Just $59.99

gun digest DVD collection 1944 2013 disc archiveNeed reading material on the cheap? How about sixty-nine (69) YEARS of Gun Digest articles for just $59.99. That’s not a misprint. Gun Digest is now offering a 3-disc DVD set containing sixty-nine years of Gun Digest archives — over 3000 articles in all. This massive Gun Digest digital collection includes all 69 Annual Editions of Gun Digest, complete with gun values, firearm reviews, collecting tips, and buying guides. You get 69 years of gun history in one spot. As one buyer notes: “You could never find these old issues anywhere else and you get the 2012 and 2013 digest in the set as an additional incentive.”

The Gun Digest 3-DVD set includes each Annual Edition of Gun Digest by Year (1944-2013) in PDF Format. This collection includes Test Fire gun reviews, articles on shooting, hunting, gun collecting, gunsmithing, optics and more. Here’s a sample: Elmer Keith’s classic article on the .44 Magnum

gun digest DVD collection 1944 2013 disc archive Three Discs VS. Sixteen Feet of Shelf Space

This DVD collection is a treasure trove, as another purchaser of the 3-DVD set explains: “You can occasionally find older editions of this iconic tome, used of course, but nowhere will you get all 69 issues from the start of publication through the 2013 edition in digital form. They are all here… for your reference and enjoyment.” By contrast, 69 years worth of “the print version would require 16 feet or so of shelving.”

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October 10th, 2013

Wind Box Shelters Scales When Reloading at Outdoor Ranges

Shooters who reload at the range, during the course of benchrest matches, or during load development sessions, can benefit from having a portable scale to weigh charges. Even if you throw charges, using click values, a scale allows you to double-check the accuracy of your throws. In addition, having a scale handy lets you weigh and sort components during load development.

Many reloaders prefer “old-fashioned” balance beam scales for range use. They are relatively inexpensive and simple to use. With a beam scale, unlike electronic scales, you don’t have to worry about weak batteries or finding AC power. The problem when using any scale at an outdoor range is wind. Wind can cause powder to blow out of the pan and even a light breeze can actually cause a beam scale to perform erratically.

Beat the Breezes with a Wind Box for your Scale
Forum member Boyd Allen has come up with a smart solution for reloaders who use scales outdoors — a windproof scale enclosure, aka “Wind Box”. This is something that can easily be built at home with common tools. Boyd explains: “Many guys have good set-ups for loading at the range, with clamping mounts for powder measure and press. But they lack a good enclosure for a scale. This is vitally important with beam scales because they have a lot of surface area to catch the wind. With much wind at all, the beam can oscillate to the point that is not really very usable. While a low-profile electronic scale may be less wind-sensitive, breezes DO affect weight read-outs on digital scales. And of course you always have the issue of blowing powder particles.”

Wind box range reloading

Boyd Allen has used his Wind Box successfully for many seasons. He explains: “Some time ago, I got this idea, and was fortunate enough to have a friend, Ed Hellam, who liked the idea well enough to build us both one. He did a fine job, but since this was the prototype there was at least one lesson to learn. The original viewing pane was Plexiglass, and I discovered that it would hold enough static charge to throw the scale off 0.1 grains, so another friend, Bob Smith, modified my Wind Box, replacing the Plexiglass with a tempered glass faceplate. Thank you Ed and Bob….

The essence of the idea is to have a scale set up in a box with a clear cover that can be opened and closed. On one side the trickler handle/control emerges through a ‘just big enough’ hole. You raise the cover, add a sub-target-weight thrown charge to the pan, and then close the cover. With the cover secure, the set-up is protected from the wind, and you can now trickle up to your desired charge. It works very well. The scale in the photo is an old Ohaus that I picked up. It is actually more sensitive than my RCBS 10-10 and works fine. You can adapt this Wind Box design to any beam scale, or portable electronic scale. Simply adjust the dimensions to fit your particular scale and trickler.”

Wind box range reloading

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October 7th, 2013

New Bushnell Scope Has BDC Reticle Calibrated for .22 LR Ammo

Bushnell .22 LR BDC rifle scope 3-7x32Here’s a new scope that may be well-suited for short-range varmint hunting (for smaller critters) and for rimfire tactical matches. Bushnell has released a new, affordable 2-7x32mm variable rifle scope with a Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle configured for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Anyone who has shot the .22 LR past 50 yards knows that this round drops a lot in a short distance. The “Drop Zone” BDC reticle, with multiple aiming points out to 125 yards, helps you stay on target. The reticle is calibrated for 38-40 grain, .22 LR high-velocity loads, with a 50-yard zero. This new scope, part of Bushnell’s AR line of scopes, features a 1″ main tube, target-style turrets, and side-focus parallax adjustment. MSRP is $149.99, but web vendors have lower prices. Amazon.com sells the scope for $131.23 with free shipping for Prime Members.

Bushnell .22 LR BDC rifle scope 3-7x32
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October 6th, 2013

Carlito’s Way: High-Tech Benchrest Shooting in Argentina

This story has all the ingredients: exotic location, exotic hardware, cool POV video (with John Lee Hooker blues soundtrack), plus something you’ve probably never seen before — a gravity-fed cartridge caddy that loads a PPC round into a benchrest rig with the push of a button. Watch this video to see Benchrest in Argentina with some very cool equipment:


Soundtrack includes John Lee Hooker’s blues classic “Boom, Boom” (starting at 0:28).

This video was filmed by our friend, Frenchman Pascal Fischbach, during his recent visit to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, Pascal met with action-maker extraordinaire Carlos (“Carlito”) Gonzales, creator of the CG Thunderbolt action. The video shows Carlito shooting groups with his CG-actioned benchrest rifle and MCF (“Manual Cartridge Feed”) ammo caddy. Look for the push-button control at the 1:15″ time-mark. The five-shot groups, shown at 1:20″, are pretty impressive. Even more impressive is how flawlessly this trick cartridge-fedding system works.

About Carlito’s Benchrest Rifle
The rifle features Carlito’s CG thunderbolt action, in a low-profile carbon-fiber stock also made by Gonzales. Up front is a Bukys-style tuner. If you watch the video carefully, you may wonder “how do the cartridges get into the action?”, since you won’t see the shooter (Carlito) pulling rounds from a loading block. Well the secret is that metal contraption to the left of the gun. It is a gravity-fed caddy connected, via cable, to a hand control. After working the bolt to extract a fired case, the shooter can push a button and the next round drops down from the upper left into the left port/right eject action. Simply close the bolt and you’re ready to roll. For more information, visit Benchrest.com.ar or email casagonzalec [at] benchrest.com.ar .

CG thunderbolt action

External Horizontal Cartridge-Feeder
The Gonzales loading device is an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by an arm attached to the front rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works. This device has been approved for competition by USA and International benchrest sanctioning bodies.

Carlos Gonzales CG MCF manual cartridge feeder ammo loader caddy
Photo by Rich Pollock of Benchrest.ca

Carlos Gonzales CG MCF manual cartridge feeder ammo loader caddy

Video Shows Cable-Operated Cartridge Feeder in Action

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October 4th, 2013

Pohlabel FLEX Bipod Struts Its Stuff at Raton

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/rMany styles of bipods were used by F-TR shooters at the F-Class U.S. Nationals and World Championships recently held in Raton, NM. Most featured angled arms — either left/right arms or parallel pairs of arms on either side. With such designs, vertical height is controlled by adjusting the angle of the arms (and hence the distance between the feet). Widen the track and the gun goes down; narrow the track and the gun goes up. One bipod design, Dan Pohlabel’s FLEX Bipod, was very different than the norm. On the FLEX, there are no angled arms — the main blade is a solid piece of metal. Each leg has independent control for height via adjustable “feet” on either ends of the main piece. A ratcheting locking lever controls the cant.

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

Click photo below for full-screen version
raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

Monte Milanuk, who tested an early version of the FLEX Bipod, explains: “The FLEX bipod is a very simple design — no Mariner’s wheel for vertical adjustment, no joystick head, no changing width as it goes up and down. And the FLEX bipod is very light (as are most, these days), but also very durable. An added bonus is that it breaks down very flat for airline travel. Once I take the feet off, remove the ratchet lever (with screw), the whole bipod nestles very nicely in the bottom layer of foam in my gun case (with cuts for the head etc. in the foam). If someone bashes the case hard enough to damage what is essentially a plate of spring steel, then I’ve got bigger worries.”

Monte likes the FLEX Bipod, but notes that it works best if you lean into the gun when shooting: “Not everyone wants a bipod that slides around like a hog on ice. Some people manage to get things tracking straight back and forth, almost like it was constrained by a front rest. Personally, I have a hard time doing that in a repeatable fashion. While the FLEX Bipod shoots quite well with a [loose] hold, it was designed for those of us who like to ‘lean’ into the gun a bit. Quite literally, the idea is that you get the feet to dig in slightly, and push against the rifle butt with your shoulder and the bipod will ‘flex’ or bow forward slightly. It is one of those things that sounds wonky until you try it. It may take a few times to get a feel for it, but once you do, it is surprisingly repeatable.”

The FLEX bipod’s designer, Dan Pohlabel, offers these instructions:
The bipod feet are shipped loose. Note there is a left foot and a right foot. Determine the balance point of your rifle and mount the bipod approximately two inches forward of that point. You may want to move it further forward after shooting. Experiment with its placement to minimize movement of the bipod. When setting up, first grab each foot and ‘dig’ them in to the shooting surface, dirt, gravel, grass, carpet — it doesn’t matter. After making sure each foot has a hold, raise or lower the bipod to your target and use the cant adjustment to level your rifle. Loading the bipod with your shoulder is the preferred method of position. For more info, visit Kreativ-Solutions.com or email flex-bipods [at] kreativ-solutions.com .

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

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October 3rd, 2013

Prototype ‘Big Wheel’ Farley Co-Axial Rest for F-Open Competition

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalezAt the F-Class Nationals in Raton, we saw a wide variety of front rests being used by F-Open shooters. One that caught our eye was a new prototype Farley Coaxial rest brought to the match by our friend Speedy Gonzalez. This one-of-a-kind Farley features a big wheel on the side for gross elevation adjustment, plus an extended locking arm. These two upgrades make the rest easier to use from the prone position. Up front is a new L-shaped Delrin forearm stop (Speedy say this would be black in the production version). Special large-diameter feet with extended “anchor shafts” complete the package. (See bottom photo.) Speedy used this rest at the Nationals and did very well, finishing second in the Master division, and in the top 15 overall among all Open-class shooters.

CLICK Photos Below to See Full-Screen Version.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

Speedy says the folks at Farley hope to market the Big Wheel Coaxial with these F-Class upgrades by the end of 2013. Some of the items should be available for purchase separately, as upgrades to current Farley rests. Sorry, no pricing is available at this time.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

The rest also sported a new Edgewood front bag with the new light-colored, super-slick bag material. Along with the new bag fabric, Speedy explained that there are subtle changes to the bag design and construction so that it holds its shape better and doesn’t “plump up” in the middle.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

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October 2nd, 2013

Lothar Walther Bi-Metal Barrels Are Lighter, and Shed Heat Better

Less weight plus better heat dissipation — Sound good? Here is an innovative barrel technology that promises worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

The barrels come pre-chambered in your choice of caliber/cartridge, from .22LR up to .338 Lapua Magnum. Walther chambers the barrel — but a gunsmith is still required to finish the shoulder so that the headspace is set correctly for your action. These barrels are not inexpensive. A typical bi-metal Walther Barrel runs $850.00 – $875.00, for barrel lengths from 22″ to 30″. Threading for a muzzle brake or suppressor (if desired) is normally included in that price.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert believes. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »
October 1st, 2013

Survival Tube Offers Fire-Starter, Knife-Sharpener, and Paracord

survival tool tube fire-starter striker fireHunting season is here. That means many of you will be heading off into the woods. Along with your rifle and ammo, it’s wise to carry some basic survival gear on your hunt. The NRA has just introduced a cleverly-designed multi-function Survival Tube that fits in a pocket.

This new product combines a fire-starter with a knife sharpener. The NRA Survival Tube’s magnesium fire starter and steel striker can produce sparks in the wettest and windiest conditions. The easy-to-use, diamond-encrusted knife sharpener keeps hunting blades sharp. No one wants a dull knife on a hunting or camping trip. The Survival Tube is wrapped with six feet of 550 paracord, and the lanyard gives you another 31 inches of paracord. The NRA Survival Tube stows easily, or it can be hooked to a backpack loop. Price for this useful product is $19.95 at the NRA Store. That’s not bad, but remember that a $0.99 disposable lighter will start fires just fine in most conditions.

survival tool tube fire-starter striker fire

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October 1st, 2013

Tipton Cleaning Rod Wall Racks for Under $10.00

Here’s a handy, affordable product that will help you organize gear in your reloading room or “man cave”. Tipton’s new Cleaning Rod Rack (Tipton #100335) can accommodate up to six rods with various size handles. The wall-mounted Rod Rack also has horizontal studs on either end for additional accessories. These are useful for hanging the Tico Tool shotgun cleaning wands that stow in a tube with a plastic hook on the top.

Tipton Cleaning Rod Racks come complete with mounting screws (and screw slots are molded-in). You’ll find Tipton Cleaning Rod racks for under $10.00 at most vendors. They are $7.99 at Cabelas.com, while Amazon.com offers the racks for just $7.99 with free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.

Tipton Cleaning Rod Rack 100335

Tipton Cleaning Rod Rack 100335

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September 30th, 2013

New ISSF Bullseye Scoring App for Android Devices

Here’s a handy, new smart-phone App for competitive shooters. The ISSF Target Tracker App uses the touch-screen on your Android smart-phone so you can record shot positions during practice sessions or matches. Since the user inputs the shot position this will work with both old-fashioned paper targets as well as the newer electronic targets. This software automatically shows the correct target configuration for the discipline you select. Three-position shooters can create separate scoring categories for kneeling, prone, and standing. Sighters can be recorded separately from record shots.

The Target Tracker App for Android OS is now available for $9.99 through the Google Play App Store. NOTE: This Android Target Tracker App has many features not yet available for the iPhone. The App developer plans to release an updated iOS (Apple) version in a month or two.

target tracker issf app android

Description of Application
The Target Tracker is a unique application for your Android devices which provides a powerful training aid for your ISSF-style shooting training, matches, and finals sessions. The application utilizes the touch screen features of the Smartphone, allowing you to record the position of each shot as it is fired during your practice session or match. It also keeps track of the time elapsed between shots, and helps you analyze this time to show what shooting pace produces your best results. You can select from several shooting disciplines, including 10m Air Rifle, 10m Air Pistol, 50m Rifle and Standard pistol 25 and 50m, and 300m Rifle. Each discipline records the shots on the correct target design with proper shot size. The application complies with the latest ISSF regulations for Match and Finals.

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September 26th, 2013

New Spectre Octagon Actions from Stiller’s Precision Firearms

Stiller Precision spectre specter tactical octagon action stainlessStiller’s Precision Firearms (www.viperactions.com) has introduced a new line of billet stainless Octagon actions, dubbed the Spectre series. Designed primarily for tactical use, Stiller’s new Spectre Actions can also be used for long range hunting. Offered in .308 short action, .308 long action, and Magnum sizes, the black oxide-coated, octagonal Spectres feature a +20 MOA angled Picatinny rail milled into the receiver body.

MSRP for all Stiller Spectre actions is $1295.00 (price does not include separate, pinned recoil lug). Short-action Spectres are available right now, while the long-action and magnum versions should be in stock by December, 2013. To order, visit ViperActions.com or call 972-429-5000.

Stiller Precision spectre specter tactical octagon action stainless

Spectres Designed to Fit Rem 700 Inlets with Minor Mods
The Spectres should fit most stocks designed for Rem 700-type actions (with minor modifications). Stiller’s Precision explains: “Spectres are octagonal stainless steel replacements for the Remington 700 series actions. The Spectre will fit most chassis including the Accuracy International series as a drop in replacement for the Remington 700 series actions. In standard stocks some minor inletting will be needed to clear the corners of the octagon.”

Stiller Precision spectre specter tactical octagon action stainless

The short actions have .223 and .308 bolt-faces, while Spectre long actions have .308 or magnum bolt-faces. The .223 bolt uses the Sako-style extractor, while the others use a modified M16-type extractor. Spectre actions are only available with a straight handle. All tactical actions feature a one-piece-from-billet bolt and a screw-on knob. The standard bolt finish is black Iron Nitride QPQ (very durable).

Spectres Will Work with AI and AICS Magazines
Short-action Spectres have a magazine cutout for Accuracy International double stack magazines. They also work well with centerfeed-style detachable magazines such as the AICS. Stiller’s Precision offers detachable bottom metal systems that utilize both magazines. The short action Spectre will NOT function with the BDL [hinged floor plate] style magazine. The long Spectres have the standard Remington 700 style magazine cutout for either AICS style centerfeed detachable magazines or the BDL-style (hinged floor plate) magazine.

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September 26th, 2013

Colt Offers Precision Bolt-Action Rifles with Cooper Actions

Colt Mfg. Co. (Colt) is bringing out two new bolt-action rifles with actions from Cooper Firearms of Montana. (So maybe we should call these “Colpers” or “Coolts”?) Two different versions of the new Colt M2012 solid-stocked bolt-action rifles have been announced: a .308 Win with a Manners composite stock (MT308T), and a laminated stock version chambered in either .308 Win (LT308G) or .260 Remington (LT260G). All versions feature fluted barrels, detachable box magazines, and single-stage Timney triggers. All new M2012 MTs and LTs ship with signed, numbered, and dated Colt test targets.

These rifles will be pricey for a factory rifle. The M2012MT308T in .308 Winchester carries a $3,195.00 MSRP. That puts you pretty close to the cost of a custom tactical build. The laminated-stock LT versions list for $2,795.00, making those considerably more affordable. So what do you get for your money with a M2012 bolt-action “Coolt”?

The M2012MT308T features a 1:10″-twist, 22″ fluted stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. All-up weight, even with the lightweight Manners carbon/fiberglass composite stock, is 10.25 pounds. Overall length is 44″, making the rifle fairly compact, good for tactical games and hunting.

The laminated LT models (offered in .308 Win or .260 Rem), weigh just 8.5 pounds, making them nearly two pounds lighter than the Manners-stocked models. We presume the weight saving comes from the use of lighter-contour barrels. The LT308G features a 22″ chrome-moly 1:10″-twist fluted barrel, while the LT260G sports a 22″ chrome-moly 1:8″-twist fluted barrel. This enables the .260 version to shoot popular 138-142 grain 6.5mm match bullets. Again, muzzle brakes come fitted to the laminated guns, just like the composite-stock variant.

Will these new Cooper-actioned rifles find favor with shooters? We think that depends on how well they shoot. Given the asking prices ($2,795 for Laminated, $3,195.00 for Composite) these rifles are close in price to a gunsmith-built, custom rig with a super-premium barrel. Such a custom should deliver 1/2-MOA or better. Can the M2012 “Coolts” match that? Hard to say…

These new Colt M2012s might be a decent starter platform for an F-TR rifle, but the fore-arm is pretty short (for optimal bipod use) and the shooter might need to retro-fit some kind of raised cheekpiece for prone shooting. It may be that the real market for these rifles will be hunters who want the security of a factory warranty, in a product that is a step-up from a basic Remington 700, Howa, or Savage.

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
September 25th, 2013

NEW CFE Pistol Reduced-Fouling Pistol Powder from Hodgdon

hodgdon cfe pistol 223 reduced copper fouling erraser powderFollowing the success of CFE 223, Hodgdon Powder Company has released a new addition to the CFE (“Copper Fouling Eraser”) line of propellants. Hodgdon’s new CFE™ Pistol, a general purpose handgun powder, is designed to deliver less copper fouling. CFE Pistol is a spherical (ball) powder that meters very well. Hodgdon hopes to have CFE Pistol available in January 2014.

When CFE 223 rifle powder was first introduced, people were skeptical about claims that CFE reduced copper fouling in barrels. In fact, field reports from our Forum members indicate that CFE 223 does deliver on the promise of reduced copper fouling. Our readers also found CFE 223 to be very accurate in a variety of cartridge types. Hopefully CFE PISTOL will perform as well in handguns.

hodgdon cfe pistol 223 reduced copper fouling erraser powderThe secret to CFE products’ reduced copper fouling is a proprietary “Copper Fouling Eraser” chemistry developed for U.S. rapid-fire military systems. Better living (and less cleaning) through chemistry, as they say. Hodgdon states: “Whatever your game is… you will benefit significantly with longer periods of top accuracy with less barrel cleaning time and minimal muzzle flash.”

Load data for CFE Pistol should be available on Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center starting in December 2013. Hodgdon plans to provide over 100 available loads for 15 pistol cartridges, and 37 bullet weights. Load data will be offered for 9mm Luger, 38 Super, 40 S&W, .45 ACP and many other cartridge types. To find out more, visit Hodgdon.com, see Hodgdon’s upcoming 2014 Annual Manual, or call Hodgdon at 913-362-9455.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 8 Comments »
September 23rd, 2013

Self-Healing Reactive Targets from Champion

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targetsDo you enjoy plinking with rimfire rifles and shooting reactive targets with handguns? Champion has developed a series of fun targets that tilt, spin, hop, or roll when hit. Made from a “self-healing” rubber-like polymer, Champion’s DuraSeal Targets can be hit dozens of times before they need to be replaced. (If you shoot only rimfire, they might last 200 rounds or more.) Along with the varmint spinners, we like Champion’s weighted wobble targets. These are offered in both a bowling pin shape and a sphere on a post (photo right). When you hit these targets they rock back and forth and side to side. Weights in the round bottom then bring the target back to an upright position.

Champion also offers “bouncing balls” and a 3D Star targets that hop and roll when shot. These make good long-range tactical rifle targets. The lifespan is not that great with large heavy bullets, but one of the ball or star targets should survive many dozens of hits with a .223 Rem or 6mmBR.

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targets

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targets

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September 20th, 2013

New Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine from RCBS

Using ultrasound in a liquid solution, you can clean your cartridge brass inside and out. Ultrasonic cleaning is nothing new — we described this process years ago. But with the increased cost of brass, more and more shooters are turning to this effective process to get their cases clean.

Now RCBS offers an affordable Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine with some great features. The new RCBS machine boasts a 3-liter capacty, user-friendly keypad, and a built-in 100-watt heater with four settings. The unit also includes a handy drain valve and drain tube.

Ultrasonic cleaning works fast, without the long processing time (and dust) of conventional tumbling. Cleaning cases with ultrasonic machines has become very popular, as the ultrasonic process reliably removes caked-on carbon and grime from brass cases inside and out, even in the primer pocket. We do recommend that, after ultrasonic cleaning, you consider using a dry neck lube to restore lubricity to your necks for the first and second firings.

The new RCBS ultrasonic cleaner features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. ‘Street Price’ for the RCBS ultrasonic machine is under $150.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $50 purchase or $50 off $300.00 purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

RCBS ultrasonic cleaner cash rebate discount

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September 17th, 2013

Pin-Adjustable Barrett ExRings Offer Two MOA Elevation Settings

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinnyBarrett offers an innovative scope ring set that adjusts to two different MOA elevations through the use of variable-position cross-pins in the rear ring. Barrett’s Pin-Lock® ExRings allow a dual-setting +MOA taper by placing the adjustment pin in one of two locations. To change settings, simply remove the rear pin from one hole and insert it into the other (after loosening side locking bolts*). There are multiple ExRing versions: 30mm with 15/40 MOA settings (#66850), 30mm with 20/30 MOA settings (#66858), and 34mm with 20/30 MOA settings (#66870).

Barrett says the lower 15 or 20 MOA settings are commonly used with canted rails while the higher 30 or 40 MOA settings are for flat rails. Once an elevation setting is selected and the ring’s cross bolts are torqued to specification, Barrett ExRings become a rock-solid mount with the MOA “pre-load” angle best suited to your application. NOTE: Rings come factory preset at the lower MOA setting. CLICK HERE for Barrett ExRing Mounting Instructions (PDF).

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinny

These rings are ideal for extreme long-range shooting, offering a huge amount of elevation “pre-load” that allows the shooter to keep his scope in the middle of its elevation range. We’re not aware of any other ring system that allows a quick, repeatable change from 15 MOA preload to 40 MOA (and vice versa), or even from 20 to 30 MOA. The system will work with a wide variety of installations. ExRings will work on both flat and tapered m1913 Picatinny-type rails, and there should be enough clearance for scopes with front objectives up to 70mm in diameter. ExRings are made from tough, T-6 aluminum, hard-anodized to 60 HRC specs. A special “Zero-Gap” clamping system provides a very secure mount.

Barrett ExRings® (Extended Range Scope Rings) Key Features:

• Maximizes the riflescope’s internal elevation adjustment.
• ZERO-GAP offers wider clamping area and maximizes “scope grip”.
• ZERO BACKLASH tongue and groove interface.
• High Strength Aircraft-grade 7075 T6 aluminum.
• 2.5 times lighter than steel.
• Heat-treated steel cross bolt and captured nut for increased strength.
• Hard Anodized with a 60 HRC (Rockwell C scale).
• Both 30mm diameter and 34mm diameter available.
• BORS compatible.

ExRings Prove Themselves in Long-Range Competition
You’ll find an extensive review of the Barrett ExRings on Australian Long Range Shooter Magazine. The creator of that website, Norm Nelson, mounted Barrett Pin-Lock 15-40 MOA adjustable rings on his 7mm F-Open rig. He then proceeded to use that rifle (with ExRings) to win the 2013 Australian Long-Range Championship. Here are Norm’s comments:

Barrett pin-lock pin lock extended range rings Exrings MOA preload angle picatinny“I used [the ExRings] to great effect to win the Australian Long Range F-Class Open competition earlier this year. They enabled me to use a higher magnification scope at the 1200-yard range. I have since bought a second pair and run them on my .375 Cheytac to shoot way out yonder.

The operation and fitting of these rings is quite easy and they provide a strong mounting solution for long range rifles that need an extra bit of elevation. Once mounted to the rail the ring top halves are removed and the side locking plates are loosened. At this time the rear adjustable adjustable pin can be removed if desired and placed into either [MOA position].

These are solid rings designed to withstand the recoil of the big Barrett rifles. In the testing I have done so far, I have not noticed any movement of these rings and would be surprised if I did given their build design and quality.”

*HOW to CHANGE ExRing MOA SETTINGS
Barrett recommends changing the MOA setting after scope is installed on rifle.

1. Remove the two side locking bolts from the rear ring and loosen the two side locking bolts from the front ring using the T27 Torx® end of the supplied L-wrench.
2. Use a 1/8″ pin punch to remove the adjustment pin from the rear ring.
3. Align the corresponding pin hole locations, insert and tap the adjustment pin flush using a pin punch.
4. Tighten all four side locking bolts to 50 inch/lbs or 5.6Nm

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September 14th, 2013

Criterion Barrels Opens New Facility in Germantown, Wisconsin

Criterion barrelsCriterion Barrels, producer of high-quality, button-rifled barrels (with a heritage of barrel-making from Krieger barrels) has opened a large new production facility in Germantown, Wisconsin. Over the past year, Criterion has hired many new skilled technicians to work in the new 72,000 square-foot facility, and new high-tech machinery is on its way.

Criterion reports: “To successfully meet with the recent industry-wide surge in demand, we have increased our production levels with the intent of fulfilling orders in the timeliest possible manner. To meet these manufacturing goals while simultaneously fulfilling our commitment to produce of some of the finest quality rifle barrels available, Criterion has successfully relocated its operations to a new 72,000 square-foot production facility. The phased transition from our Richfield workspace to the now fully-operational Germantown building was completed in November of last year.

Criterion has increased the number of its production personnel by more than 75% over the course of the last year… The purchase of new machinery will also serve to complete orders in a more efficient manner, allowing for improved material handling and reduced turnaround times[.] [R]est assured that Criterion Barrels, Inc. will continue to make all possible efforts toward streamlining and expanding our production potential while retaining the level of quality and precision that our customers have come to expect from our barrels.”

Criterion barrels

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September 13th, 2013

Remington Wins $79.7 Million USSOCOM Sniper Rifle Contract

remington PSR contract sniper rifleThe United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded the Remington Defense Division of Remington Arms Company, LLC (“Remington”) – a $79.7 million dollar Firm Fixed-Priced contract to provide up to 5,150 Precision Sniper Rifles (“PSR”) and 4.6 million rounds of precision ammunition. This is a major business win for Remington Defense, which already captured the U.S. Army’s $28M contract for 3,600 XM2010 enhanced sniper rifle systems. The value of the PSR and XM2010 contracts combined approaches $108,000,000 — that’s some serious money.

remington PSR contract sniper rifle

The PSR is a modular sniper system with the ability to shoot multiple calibers with barrels of various lengths. It will be delivered as a complete package, with multiple barrels, magazines, muzzle brakes, and suppressors. Remington Defense will utilize two other FGI companies in the production process. Barnes Bullets will produce ammunition and Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) will manufacture muzzle brakes and suppressors.

The rifles delivered to USSOCOM will be very similar to the Remington Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR) Remington originally developed for the PSR contract competition. The MSR featured a beefy titanium receiver with the ability to handle multiple chamberings up to .338 Lapua Magnum. The MSR was designed from the ground up as a switch-barrel rig, with a floating handguard, and folding, adjustable buttstock. The whole system is modular. By exchanging bolt-face, barrel, and magazine, the gun can switch from .308 Win (7.62×51), to 300 Win Mag, to .338 Norma Mag, and to .338 Lapua Mag.

“We are proud to provide our military Special Operations Forces with top-of-the-line technology,” said George Kollitides II, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Group and Remington Arms. “This award not only represents a new era in precision sniper systems, but also proves that an American manufacturing company can … provide best in class weapons, ammunition, and suppressors to our troops defending freedom around the globe.”

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September 12th, 2013

New Ripcord from Otis Features Rubber Core and Nomex Cover

otis technologies logo ripcord boresnakeFor barrel cleaning, we recommend high-quality one-piece cleaning rods, with fitted cleaning-rod bore guides, and top-quality jags or brushes. However, in some situations, long cleaning rods and bore guides just aren’t practical. Hunters, who can’t pack long, one-piece cleaning rods, can benefit from an “field-expedient” solution that cleans barrels quickly and easily

For those situations where you can only bring a minimum of cleaning gear, Otis Technologies offers the NEW Ripcord breech-to-muzzle cleaning cord. The Ripcord is composed of heat-resistant Nomex fibers braided over a molded rubberized core/cable combo, with a helix-style cord profile for better cleaning.

otis ripcord barrel pull cord cleaner

Otis Rip Cord Features

  • Breech-to-Muzzle function (pulls gunk out, not back into action).
  • 10″-long section of aggressive cleaning surface.
  • Helix shape engages rifling through the barrel.
  • Rubber core pushes outward for better swab contact.
  • Nomex® fibers act as brush to loosen and patch to capture fouling.
  • Equipped with 8-32 threaded ends to fit all Otis cleaning components.

otis ripcord barrel pull cord cleaner

How the Ripcord Does Its Job
Otis explains how the ripcord works: “The Nomex material acts as both a brush to loosen and a patch to capture fouling particles. The molded rubberized core keeps the Nomex cleaning surface pressed against the bore and the helix shape helps engage the rifling throughout the length of the barrel. The Ripcord is simple and easy to use — just insert the longer, narrower end in the chamber and then pull it through from Breech-to-Muzzle. Because of the rigidity of the Ripcord™, there is no need to gravity feed it through the barrel.” The Ripcord retails for $14.99 and is currently available in .22/.223 caliber, .308 caliber/7.62mm, 9mm, and .45 caliber, with other calibers coming soon.

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September 8th, 2013

Gun Trader’s Guide (35th Edition) Just Released

Gun Trader 35th EditionThe new, 35th Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide has just been released. This fully-illustrated resource features current market values for thousands of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. This 35th Edition, now with over 1000 photographs, boasts one hundred new entries since last year’s edition. Along with the Blue Blue of Gun Values, the Gun Trader’s Guide is one of the two definitive resources on gun prices. If you buy or sell firearms, the Gun Traders’ Guide is a must-have item that will pay for itself. Over two million copies of the Gun Trader’s Guide have been sold to date. Order soon to be one of the first to own the new 35th Edition. Amazon’s price is $22.97.

New this year is a Kindle Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide to Rifles. Packed with 608 pages of material, this eBook edition of the Guide can be viewed on a Kindle, iPad, laptop, or your home computer. Introductory price is just $16.47, with release slated for September 13, 2013. You can pre-order now via Amazon.com.

Get Books Fast from Amazon.com
You can order the Gun Trader’s Guide, the Blue Book of Gun Values and other popular firearms and shooting books through the AccurateShooter Bookstore. To save you time, we’ve collected the best books on shooting, reloading, hunting, and gunsmithing all in one location. Ordering, secure billing, and shipping are all handled efficiently by Amazon.com.

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