Berger Bullets just announced the completion of the first-ever Berger Bullets Reloading Manual (1st Ed.). This $29.00, 829-page manual will be available to the public starting in October, 2012. Eric Stecker notes: “Our team worked very hard to create a thorough manual which gives the shooter everything they come to expect from a reloading manual, along with several extra items we hope the shooters will find interesting and useful. We spent a considerable amount of time putting together loads for seventy-one different cartridges. The majority of powders used to develop the loads for each cartridge were selected due to the fact that they result in 90% or higher fill ratio. It is generally believed that powders which have a fill ratio over 90% will perform best in a given case, since the powder will not be moving around as much in the case.”
The new Berger Manual includes many informative technical articles. Noted Editor John Barsness tackles the subject of Lot to Lot Powder Variations with skill and experience. He provides the shooter with a much greater understanding of why loading manuals do not list the same loads from manual to manual, yet are more consistent than shooters might think. Other technical sections written by Ballistician Bryan Litz include: G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients, Form Factor: A Useful Analysis Tool, and The Effects of Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO).
With new rifle shooters in mind, the manual also spotlights ten different types of rifle-shooting activities, each explained by an expert in that discipline/activity. Among these ten activity-focus segments, Short Range Benchrest is covered by Walt Berger, High Power and Across the Course Competition is explained by Sherri Jo Gallagher, while Nancy Tompkins wrote the Palma, Long Range & Fullbore segment. Precision Hunting is covered by John Burns.
There are several other informational sections that will enhance readers’ understanding of reloading techniques and the shooting sports. This includes everything from Handloading Basics for new and novice shooters, to an article on Statistics for Handloading for more advanced shooters looking to better understand their work processes and thereby improve their results on the target.
Another interesting feature in the Manual is a profile of company founder Walt Berger. This segment, tracking back to 1920s and 1930s, explains how Walt overcame great odds and built a successful enterprise when almost everyone around him was convinced he would fail.
Overall, this book represents a massive amount of work by numerous individuals over many years. Eric Stecker explains: “One of the reasons it took so long to complete this manual is because we wanted to include as much good information as we could provide. It is my opinion that we have succeeded in this effort and I am proud that we are ready to provide a quality loading manual which will help rifle shooters at all levels.”
Collector-Edition Signed Copies Available for Pre-Order
The retail price is $29.00. Berger is accepting pre-orders for the Reloading Manuals, which will begin shipping in October. The first 3,000 manuals have been signed by Walt Berger, Eric Stecker, Bryan Litz and Michelle Gallagher. Bryan Litz tells us: “Walt, Eric, Michelle and I spent many hours last week signing 3,000 copies of the book. We went through many boxes of Sharpies… it was quite the task!” To place an advance book order, call 714-447-5422 or CLICK HERE for Berger’s Online Shopping Cart.
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John Whidden, multi-time NRA Long-Range Champion, runs a stock-building enterprise, Whidden Composite Works. This is a sister operation to Whidden Gunworks, which crafts V-Blocks and other specialized gun components and reloading tools. John Whidden’s stock-making business, the Composite Works, is producing a series of high-quality, V-Block-equipped stocks using state-of-the-art composite construction. The first two stock designs, the models 105 and 140, are general-purpose stocks that will work for everything from Elk hunting to tactical comps. Both models are currently available in multiple color choices: Desert Sand, Forest Green, Flecked Black, Silver, and Custom Mix. Other colors may be offered in the future.
The Whidden Composites model 105 has a familiar hunting rifle profile. The model 140 is designed as a hunting stock incorporating tactical features for shooters who prefer a more vertical strong-hand grip. Both include the Whidden V-Block (in configurations for right-handed short and long actions based on the Rem 700 bolt pattern), three installed sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad.
Model 105 Offers Hunters a Familiar Design with Enhanced Rigidity and V-Block
The Whidden 105, priced at $360.00, is shaped along the lines of a classic North American hunting rifle. But under the skin it is a greatly enhanced platform. Solid-core construction gives a solid feel that is often absent on lesser synthetic/plastic stocks. The V-Block system is integrated, the composites used increase stiffness, and the material is impervious to weather. The V-Block system allows the owner to easily use multiple barreled actions in the same stock.
Model 140 Provides Improved Ergonomics for Prone and Tactical Shooters
The Whidden 140 offers the ergonomic advantages of a vertical grip and raised comb for eye-scope-target (EST) alignment. For many shooters, the vertical grip feels more natural in prone position, and allows a very solid “hard hold” for a heavier-recoiling caliber. The semi-beavertail fore-end will rest solidly on sandbags, while the radiused edges still allow for comfortable grip and carrying. Whidden model 140 stocks are available for $400 in Desert Sand, Forest Green, and Flecked Black.
Model 175 Whidden Stock Design
In addition to the models 105 and 140, John produces a model 175 stock featuring an (optional) adjustable cheekpiece and other enhancements favored by tactical, prone, and F-Class competitors. The basic model 175 stock includes the V-Block, three sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad. Options include Foreend Rail, Adjustable Cheek Piece, and Butt Spacers. Model 175 stocks start at $549.00 plus shipping. For more information on the Whidden models 105, 140, and 175, visit Whidden Composite Works or call (229) 686-1860.
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The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has developed a handy iPhone App to be used for scoring CMP Matches. The CMP’s program for Apple smart phones and iPads is called, appropriately, iPhone App – CMP. This new App’s easy to use interface allows quick recording of a shooter’s score after each string. The CMP App also calculates your shooting percentages automatically throughout the event. In addition, the shooter can enter notes or record wind, temp and other conditions in a notes field.
This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and is now the official mobile App for keeping score at CMP-sponsored shooting events. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the iPhone App – CMP are donated to the CMP. This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this software are donated to the CMP.
Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang of SEB Coaxial is donating the first-of-its-kind production MAX rest as a prize for the IBS 1000-yard Nationals. This is a very generous donation, as the standard MAX front rest will retail for over $1000, and this special prize edition features a special “high-bling” fully polished base. The match directors will determine whether the rest will be awarded to the overall Two-Gun champion or whether, instead, the rest is offered as a door prize, giving all match attendees a chance at winnning.
The SEB MAX rest employs a counter-balancer design with tuned weights on a forward facing shaft. This allows the MAX to work smoothly with guns up to 110 pounds overall. Seb notes: “I will send the rest with a set of counterweights (with various slip-on ‘rings’, to accept gun weights ranging from 40 to 110 pounds). I will also include an ammo-holder set and clock-holder as well.” The complete MAX rest weighs about 44 pounds.
Seb hopes to get feedback on the MAX rest from shooters attending the IBS 1000-yard Nationals: “Any shooters [at the 1K IBS Nationals] can try the rest and I would love to hear how it works and what you think. Or just put your gun on the rest top/front bag, ‘play’ the joystick, adjust the slip-on rings back & forth, use the appropriate ring(s). You will easily determine the correct weight/ring positions once you try the rest. With the correct ‘tuned’ counterweight, the force required to push the joystick upward is the same as the force needed to push downward. And no matter how heavy your gun, with the correct counter-balance weight, the force needed to move the joystick should be the same …effortless.”
The highly-polished prize-model MAX rest in the top photos is a one-of-a-kind, the first to be delivered to North America. Regular production starts soon. Seb tells us: “I will start to build the production MAX rests on first week of September, to be finished around late November-mid Dec 2012. I’m preparing 75 units on this run. About 40 units will be going to the USA, about 20 or more will be going to Australia.” Contact your SEB dealer for pricing and information.
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If you live out in the country, far away from a major safe manufacturer or distributor, you know that shipping fees can significantly increase the complete, installed cost of a large gun safe. Here’s an offer that could save you hundreds of dollars on a large, high-capacity safe.
Now through October 15, 2012, Pendleton Safes (of of Loganville, GA) is offering FREE Shipping on all safe orders shipped to the lower 48 United States. This offer is available on any size safe, and is available directly to the public. For complete details, visit www.pendletonsafes.com, email info [at] pendletonsafes.com, or call 770-466-6181.
About Pendleton Safes
Pendleton Safes is an American manufacture of custom-built gun safes. Pendleton has pioneered some noteworthy design features. Pendleton specializes in cylindrical safes with curved walls. This design resists attacks, and it also allows the safe to be fitted with a permanent carousel-style gun storage system (see photo on right). The carousel provides fast access to your firearms — up to 40 long guns and 54 pistols in the largest Pendleton safes. Pendleton can even equip safes with motor-driven carousels. Built-in LED lighting is also available. We strongly recommend equipping any safe you own with interior lighting.
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Rangemaster Precision Arms (RPA), based in the UK, has released a new round-bodied action that employs the proven engineering of the four-lug RPA Quadlock Action. The new RPA Round Action works just like the original multi-flat Quadlock, but the round body design is more versatile. RPA explains: “By popular demand, we developed and released the new RPA “Round” Quadlock action. After consulting our target user group, it was decided that we should design a Quadlock with the ability to be ‘V-bedded’ into the stock for ease of maintanence and change.” The RPA round action is offered for both standard and magnum cartridges. Price (in the UK) is £864.00, including trigger set to 0.5kg or 1.5kg. That’s $1364.00 USD at current exchange rates. CLICK HERE for more information.
We’ve done some bullet casting in the past, both for handgun bullets, and the large, heavy (400gr+) projectiles used with Black Powder Cartridge Rifles. We can say, unequivocally, that newbies should seek out the assistance of a skilled, experienced mentor, who is familiar with the important safety procedures that must be employed. Working with molten lead can be dangerous. And it also takes some skill to get good results (without visible casting flaws), particularly with very large bullets.
That said, there are valuable resources that can help you get started with the casting process. Wolfe Publishing offers two DVDs that cover the bullet casting process from start to finish. Bullet Casting 101 takes you through the basics: showing you how to choose the correct alloy for your application, prep molds, maintain the optimal temperatures, and lube and size bullets. The important steps are laid out clearly. In addition, Bullet Casting 101 helps you select the right equipment and preferred molds for your particular application. (To create uniform rifle bullets that shoot accurately, you really do need high-quality molds.)
Wolfe Publishing offers a companion DVD, Casting Premium Bullets for Handguns, that covers more advanced techniques for high-volume pistol bullet production. This DVD covers both single cavity molds and multiple-cavity “gang” molds. (Gang molds can be frustrating at first; it is harder to maintain perfect temp control and mold separation is more complex). The DVD also reveals the sources of most common casting flaws, and explains how to detect cracks, voids and other problems.
You’ll save considerable time and effort if you really understand how to avoid common mistakes before you start pouring lead. And you’ll get the best results if you learn how to “blend” the optimal alloy for the job. Maintaining the right mold temperature is also critical for good results. These topics and more are covered in these two DVDs, priced at $16.99 each from Sinclair International.
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A unique, comprehensive Cartridge Comparison Guide is now available as both a spiral-bound book and as an online database. The Cartridge Comparision Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency.
Both print and web versions of the Cartridge Comparison Guide provide data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Charts provide cartridge ballistics including downrange energy. The Cartridge Comparison Guide offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, Wound Channel Characteristics and more.
Book Costs $24.99 — Online Access is $10.00 with FREE Trial
The Cartridge Comparison Guide book version costs $23.99 plus shipping and tax. Accessing the web-based version requires a $10.00 subscription, but Chamberlain offers a 2-Day free online trial membership. A portion of the proceeds of book purchases go to support Paralyzed Veterans of America. CLICK HERE to order the book, subscribe to the online service, or sign up for the free trial.
Great Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the “right cartridge for the job.” According to Chamberlain: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments, etc.” Chamberlain adds: “I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot.”
Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.
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Bullet Proof Samples now offers 12-count packs of big-name bullets. This lets you try out many different bullet types without forking out big bucks for larger 50-ct or 100-ct boxes. Currently, Bullet Proof Samples offers projectiles from Barnes, Berger Bullets, and Nosler. The sample packs range in price from $5.49 (for 22-cal varmint bullets) to $15.99 (for a .30-Cal Barnes LRX). The Berger Bullets sample packs run $6.49 to $10.49, with the larger 7mm and 30-cal bullets at the upper end of the range. On a per-bullet cost basis, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a “normal” 100-ct box, but the sample packs let you “test before you invest.”
Berger’s Michelle Gallagher tells us: “We receive frequent feedback from shooters who are looking for bullets in small pack quantities so that they can test different bullets without the expense of buying full boxes. We’re pleased to be associated with the launch of Bullet Proof Samples. This is a new company who has done an exceptional job of addressing that concern. Bullets are packaged in blister packs, so they can be clearly seen. Each pack contains 12 bullets. They will be offering Nosler, Barnes and Berger in a variety of weights and calibers.
This effort will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Rifleman and will launch officially this week. Bullet Proof Samples is not a Berger Bullets LLC company, but we are supportive of their efforts and believe that they will be addressing a need in the shooting community that is presently unavailable.”
Story idea by EdLongrange.
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When Hornady (and CCI) developed the 17 HMR cartridge, they really hit a homerun. And the rifle manufacturers quickly marketed some nice rifles to chamber this 17-cal rimfire round. But unlike .22 LR rifles which, typically, require very little cleaning, 17 HMRs demand frequent bore cleaning to maintain good accuracy. That’s because 17 HMRs shoot copper-jacketed bullets at 2550 fps velocities.
17-Cal Bore Guides — The Challenge
The problem is, it’s hard to find a well-designed, quality bore guide for 17-caliber rimfire rifles. With many 17 HMR (and 17 Mach 2) rifles, you encounter mechanical interference when you try to use a standard bore guide to protect the delicate chamber edge and the bottle neck area of the chamber. A fixed ejector is in the way. On many 17 HMR rifles, this little “shark fin” ejector is right in line with the chamber and is fixed — it doesn’t retract. Therefore the kind of bore guide you might use for centerfire rifles won’t work in 17 HMRs — it will hang up on the ejector.
Polymer bore guides exist for this type of action, but they are typically open-bottom designs that do not enter and seal the chamber. These open-bottom designs don’t protect the delicate chamber edge or the bottleneck area of the chamber, and they also allow some seepage of solvents out of the chamber. That’s why Roy Bertalotto created his RVB Precision Bore Guide for 17 HMR rifles. The 7075 aluminum tube on his Bore Guide is thin enough to pass by the ejector, yet it is extremely rigid. (Photos below.)
Roy explains: “My bore guide is made of 7075 anodized aluminum tubing, which is totally unaffected by any type of cleaning solution. One end is swagged down to fit completely into the chamber of a 17 HMR rifle. This guides your cleaning rod perfectly to the bore without touching the chamber walls or front edge of the chamber. The tight fit of the bore guide in the chamber also stops cleaning solvents from getting into the action, magazine, and trigger housing.” (Editor: Solvent seepage can do damage. We had a 17 Mach 2 rifle that rusted internally because solvents leaked past an open-bottom bore guide.)
Using the RVB 17 HMR Guide – Once the bore guide is in place, slide the supplied aluminum bushing over the tube, and gently push the bushing into the rear of the action. This centers the guide rod in the action to keep the guide rod tube aligned. Once the guide rod and bushing are in place, you can use a 17-caliber cleaning rod* with patches and/or brushes to clean the barrel. Use the rod normally, but make sure your patches are quite small and don’t apply too much pressure as these small-diameter rods can kink if you try to force over-size patches down the bore.
The RVB Precision 17 HMR Bore Guide costs $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping. To order, email Roy Bertalotto via rvb100 [at] comcast.net. Roy will then send you shipping/payment details.
* NOTE: You really do need a dedicated .17-cal cleaning rod for this job. Most other rods are too fat to pass through the barrel. Dewey Mfg. makes a decent 17-caliber cleaning rod that is reasonably stiff and doesn’t kink too readily. It is available sizes from 7″ to 36″, either bare stainless or with a nylon coating. We prefer the nylon-coated version, in either 26″ or 36″ lengths, depending on barrel length.
If you have a high comb on your rifle, you may need extra length to avoid interference with the rod handle. Use this formula to determine correct rod length: Length of barrel + action or breech rod guide length + 2-3″ clearance + high comb if applicable = total rod length needed.
There are other quality 17-cal cleaning rods, but we’ve used the Dewey and it functioned well. The nylon coating cleaned easily and was gentle on the throat and crown. You should clean the coating before and after each use to ensure it does not embed grit or other contaminants.
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Some clever F-Class competitors, such as Forum Member Peter White, have fitted remote flexible-drive-shaft windage controls to their front rests. This allows you to easily adjust windage with the twist of a knob without leaving your shooting position. Until recently, if you wanted a flex-drive windage system on your rest you had to fabricate it yourself.
Now you can enjoy the advantages of remote flex-drive windage adjustment in a ready-made product. Bald Eagle Precision Products has introduced a trio of front rests with “factory” flex-drive windage controls. There are three (3) models. The model BE1006 boasts a heavy, cast-iron slingshot-style base with heavy-duty 1/2″ x 13 TPI threaded feet. Weight is 20 pounds without front bag. This heavyweight model BE1006 should be popular with F-Classers shooting the 7mm and magnum calibers, as the added mass provides great stability.
The slingshot base design has a longer rear leg, bringing the windage control closer to the shooter’s hand. Bald Eagle’s model BE1005, shown below, shares the clever slingshot design of the ME1006 along with remote windage adjustment, but the BE1005’s base is cast aluminum. This drops total weight to 11 pounds (without front bag), making the BE1005 easier to carry than its heavyweight cousin. The aluminum-based BE1005 saves you 9 pounds compared to the BE1006.
The third new Bald Eagle front rest, model BE1004, features a more conventional triangle pedestal design. Like the model BE1005, it has a cast aluminum base, and weighs 11 pounds without front bag. All three Bald Eagle rests, BE1004, BE1005, and BE1006 can be equipped with over-size disc-type feet (item BE1007) for greater stability in soft or soggy ground.
SEB-Made Bags with MicroFiber Tops Available for Bald Eagle Rest
Bald Eagle offers high-quality front bags to fit its line of front rests. These bags are crafted by SEB and feature a low-friction, smooth microfiber surface. We have used SEB front bags with micro-fiber tops and we think they are some of the best available. The microfiber allows your rifle to slide easily without powders, silicon sprays, or other surface lubricants. Having two fill spouts, the front bags are also easy to fill to the firmness level your gun prefers. The front bags measure 4-5/8″ wide by 1-3/4″ tall, and come in three configurations: 3″ wide for F-Class and Benchrest; 2-1/4″ wide for medium-wide flat forearms; and a 3″ radius for sporter/hunting stocks.
All Three Bald Eagle Rests, Front Bags, F-Class Feet, and other accessories can be purchased from Grizzly Industrial and other retailers nationwide. Here are “street prices” of the three rests, as sold on Grizzly.com:
BE1006 is priced at $475.00 but has an introductory sale price of $425.00. BE1005 is priced at $450.00 but has an introductory sale price of $399.95. BE1004 is priced at $450.00 but has an introductory sale price of $399.95.
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Burris is expanding its line of Eliminator range-finding Laserscopes. Burris is rolling out three new Laserscope models: 4-16x50mm Eliminator III, plus 4-12x42mm Eliminator II, and 3.5-10x40mm Eliminator. The innovative Eliminator technology, first introduced in the original 4-12x42mm model, combines a variable-power zoom optic with a built-in Laser RangeFinder. The range-finder calculates the distance to your target, and then displays a red dot range-corrected hold-over point. Just put the dot on your target and pull the trigger. You don’t have to spin your elevation knob.
New Eliminator III Ranges at All Powers
The new top-of-the-line 4-16x50mm Eliminator III is slimmer and less bulky than the original Eliminator. The Eliminator III features a new X96 reticle that will range at any magnification, and it offers a more sophisticated ballistics solver. With the Eliminator III you can now enter BOTH the bullet drop at 750 yards PLUS the ballistic coefficient (BC) for the specific bullet you are using.
The Eliminator III’s X96 reticle also incorporates a new windage compensation system of dots that show lateral hold-off points. By using the dots, you can compensate for wind-drift without dialing the windage knob. The digital readout displays a 10 MPH Wind Value as a “Dot Value” for the shooter’s specific cartridge at the indicated range. Suggested retail price for the new Eliminator III is $1,499.00.
Eliminator II Features Angle Compensation and Remote Activation Switch
The new 4-12x42mm Eliminator II laserscope features the X38 reticle. Burris claims the Eliminator II can range to 999 yards, but we suspect that’s optimistic. We are pleased that the new Eliminator II comes standard with angle compensation that helps hunters make uphill and downhill shots. The Eliminator II comes equipped with a remote activation switch that can be attached to the firearm’s forearm or the scope’s objective bell. Like the other Eliminators, you can program the ballistics solver for different guns/loads. Suggested retail price for the Eliminator II is $999.00.
The new Eliminator 3.5-10x40mm is similar in design to the original Eliminator. The 3.5-10x40mm ranges out to 800 yards, with a ballistics solver you can program for any gun/load. The 3.5-10X Eliminator must be set to 10x power when ranging targets or trophies. Suggested retail price is $799.00.
$100.00 Rebate on First Gen 4-12x42mm Eliminator Laserscope
The original Eliminator 4-12x42mm was the first affordable laser rangefinding riflescope, and now there is a $100 rebate on the first-generation 4-12x42mm Eliminator, making it even easier to fit within your budget. Visit www.BurrisOptics.com for more information.
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What outdoorsman would not want a thermos configured like an giant-sized shotgun shell? This is an ideal gift for the hunter who may be spending long hours in a cold blind or sitting in a tree stand. Stansport offers shotshell-style thermal bottles in two sizes. The “12 gauge” bottle holds 25 ounces of liquid while the smaller “20 gauge” bottle carries 16 ounces. Both bottles feature a faux brass screw-on top that doubles as a drinking cup. There is a second, gasket-sealed stopper with a quick-dispense feature. This allows you to pour the hot contents without needing to remove the screw-in stopper. We like that feature — that’s one less item to drop on the ground.
These shotshell thermal cannisters are offered in four colors: Red, Black, Green, and Yellow. All shotshell thermal bottles feature double-wall 18-8 stainless steel insulated construction with insulated cap. Prices for the red, 25-oz. version start at $25.50 on Amazon.com. (Other colors may cost more).
Shotshell Thermos Demo Video on YouTube
A hunter who owns one of these Shotshell Thermos bottles has posted a video of his bottle on YouTube. The video will give you an idea of the size of the cannister and how the outer cap/cup and inner stopper work. CLICK HERE to watch Shotshell Thermos Video.
Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.
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Our friend Pascal Fischbach from France offered us a sneak peak at the final production version of a new benchrest rig from Argentina. Pascal reports: “I’ll be in Buenos Aires soon and will meet Carlito Gonzales, maker of the CG M1 Thunderbolt benchrest rifle that performed so well at 2010 Supershoot and WBC10 last August in the hands of Dr. Cris Rando.” Pascal has ordered one of these rifles for the 2013 benchrest season. If you want more information about the CG M1 action or complete rifle, contact Pascal through his Facebook Page.
Pascal tell us: “The CG M1 action is a short, tight but smooth 3-Lug, Right Bolt, Left Port, Right Eject model. The receiver features a special 66mm-long tenon with threads in the center area and two bearing-centering areas on each side of the threads. Any gunsmith will be able to chamber additional barrels with the data and tools provided. This action offers strength and rigidity to enhance both accuracy and longevity. Carlito’s trigger is excellent — I recommend keeping it. The complete rifle will feature special quality rings that mate to the top of the receiver. Barrels can be chambered with your custom reamer or with CG’s conventional 6PPC reamer or even a PPC-AI chamber design (PT&G) that Carlitos realy likes. Price for the complete rifle will be very competitive.”
One reason this rifle performs so well is the innovative stock design. The fore-arm is very low profile in the front. At the back of the stock, an exaggerated Vee profile aids tracking and reduces vibration. Pascal says the stock tracks very straight for the first couple of inches during recoil, and the marked Vee in the rear makes it ride on the sides of the bag ears, not the bottom stitching. This helps quell vibration and improve damping. The carbon construction makes the stock “stout and stiff”.
The fluted 3-Lug Bolt is extremely well-machined.
The tang on the 2012 version has been shortened for weight reasons. There’s still plenty of bedding area on the main body.
Super-Sized Action Offered for Long-Range Rifles
For long-range shooters, Carlito Gonzales has also crafted a larger 600/1000m version of the CG M1 designed for bigger cartridges used in long-range competition. We don’t have any specifics on price or delivery date, but the action looks nice. The extended front section should provide excellent support for long, heavy barrels.
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Review by German Salazar, Contributing Editor Tom Sziler, a very talented machinist and shooter, is now offering handsome billet aluminum loading blocks through CNCshooter.com. I recently bought a set and am very impressed with their quality. You can see I have the cartridge type engraved on my .30-06 block. Tom makes these in all case head sizes and will engrave just about anything you like on the side. Tom’s been a bit backlogged lately, but for a custom product, delivery was more than speedy. I received mine in about three weeks.
2011 Update (By AccurateShooter.com Editor)
Tom has recently expanded his line of CNC-milled loading blocks, which are sold through his website, CNCshooter.com. There are now four price levels for the 50-round blocks: $16.50 for .22LR blocks (Small); $28 for most centerfire cartridges (Standard); $31 for very large cartridges such as .338 Lapua, .45-70, etc. (Large); and $33 for BMG, CheyTac, etc. (Jumbo). Tom also offers an “economy” version of his 50-rd loading block for just $19.00. These are made to the same quality and precision as the original loading block; however, they are crafted from 3/4″ aluminum and have NO engraving.
New Products: 25-round Block and Range Tray
New this year from Tom is a smaller, 25-round loading block, priced at $17.50. This has the same basic design (with engraving) as the 50-rounder, but it is half the length (with half the capacity). This is perfect for low-quantity handloading. Some guys like to use the 25-round ammo block when shooting in competition. It makes for a quick, handy ammo caddy. But even better for competition is Tom’s new Range Tray shown below. It has a milled-out tray for empty brass or small parts. Price is $28.00 for most cartridges up to WSM head diameters.
If you order from Tom, add $5 for shipping up to 2 pieces, or $10 for 3-7 pieces. Loading blocks ship in USPS flat-rate boxes. Tom prefers to receive payment by way of U.S. Postal Money Order. Send money order, order specs and your shipping address to:
5521 W 110th Street, Ste 6
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
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This report was first published in 2011. Due to numerous requests, we are republishing the story. The time is right because the Giraud Annealer is currently on display on vendors’ row at Camp Perry. Doug Giraud will be at Perry through the morning of August 4th.
Doug Giraud of Giraud Tool Company has created a new bulk Cartridge Annealing Machine that uses an innovative vertical hopper feed. Giraud’s patent-pending design allows the machine to process as many as 700 .223 Rem cases with no hand-feeding required. The new Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer, using a single propane torch, will anneal most cases in 6-8 seconds (that dwell time will melt 750° Tempilaq inside the neck). Annealing dwell times can be adjusted using a simple rotary knob on the right side of the machine. During annealing, each case is rotated in the flame through the motion of a Trolley Plate which moves right to left under the case. At the left-most limit of Trolley Plate movement, each case drops vertically down for air cooling. CLICK HERE for Giraud Annealer Users’ Manual (PDF)
The Giraud annealer uses a large, V-shaped hopper to hold up to 700 .223 Rem cases or 450 .308 Win cases for annealing. You can switch from small cases to larger cases by swapping out the rotary Feeder Wheel below the hopper. Changing Feeder Wheels takes a couple minutes. Five available Feeder Wheels (with different size cartridge slots) let you anneal pretty much any size cartridge — from .17 Remington all the way up to .50 BMG. The common .223 Rem and .308-sized cases used by High Power shooters are served by the Red Feeder Wheel and Blue Feeder Wheel respectively. The Blue Wheel will also work with 6mmBR, .243 Win, and .30-06 cases. The three other Feeder Wheels are: Black (.300 Win Mag); Purple (WSM, RUM, RSAUM, Lapua and Norma Mags); and Green (.50 BMG). For the large mags you also need to switch to a wider Trolley Plate.
Watch Video to See Giraud Annealer in Action
Giraud Annealer Can Process Hundreds of Cases in One Session
The biggest advantage of this machine is its ability to run with minimal user “intervention”. Once you’ve determined the right dwell time for your cartridge type, you can stack hundreds of cases in the V-shaped hopper, turn on the torch and let the machine do its thing. With a typical 8-second dwell time, the Giraud annealing will process about 450 cases an hour. While other multi-torch annealing machines may be faster, Giraud prefers the single-torch design: “With a single torch, you can control total heat input over a longer time. You don’t over-cook the case in a half-second — you have a lot more leeway with a 6-9 second dwell time.”
Yes the case spins in the flame — the Trolley Plate running under the case rotates it. The user may wish to experiment with the speed control knob on the right side panel near the power switch. Typical annealing operations will require the cartridge cases to be positioned in the torch flame for between 6 and 9 seconds.
Much smart thinking went into the Giraud Annealer design. Doug Giraud tells us: “We went through a couple different ideas. Our key goal was to vertically stack a large quantity of cases that would self-feed. The automatic feeding capability of the machine means that the operator can perform another task while the machine is running. The user doesn’t have to load cases one by one. I would caution, however, that you don’t want to turn on the annealer and just walk out of the room… but you can be doing some other reloading task while the annealer is running nearby.”
Giraud wanted a machine that could process lots of cases cheaply and efficiently. The machine’s single torch is optimized to run on inexpensive propane gas. Doug says: “You can process 15,000 cases on a single $2.00 disposable propane bottle.” If the user wants faster processing, the torch is rated for MAP gas, but Doug cautions that, “with more heat, you’ll have to adjust the dwell time accordingly.”
Giraud Annealer Impresses High Power Shooters
The new Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer has already attracted considerable interest. Doug took some early production models to Camp Perry in 2011, and he immediately got orders for 50 machines. Doug told us: “The response from the High Power guys was amazing. There was a pent-up demand for a simple, robust annealer that can process hundreds of cases without having to feed them one by one, and that’s what we created. We’re selling these units as fast as we can build them.”
Giraud Annealers Cost $435.00 — Delivery in Six Weeks from Order Date
Doug has components for 100 more machines, and he’s producing them at a rate of 15 units per week. He’s been back-ordered, but if you order soon, Doug believes he can ship the Annealing machines in about six weeks from date of order. The basic price, with one Feeder Wheel and one Trolley Plate, is $435.00. Additional Feeder Wheels cost $20.00 while extra Trolley Plates are $10.00. For more information, visit GiraudTool.com. To place orders, call (281) 238-0844 Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm CST. You can also email doug [at] giraudtool.com.
Giraud Tool Company, Inc.
3803 Dawn Lane
Richmond, Texas 77406
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Swarovski has just announced a truly revolutionary spotting scope system. Imagine a “normal” spotting scope sliced in half, with separate objective (front) units and separate eyepiece (rear) units. This way you can have both straight and angled viewing options, and you can select from three (3) different objectives (65mm, 85mm, 95mm), depending on the light-gathering and max magnification you need for the job (and the weight you’re willing to carry).
The new Swarovski Optik ATX/STX Modular Spotting Scope combines a straight (#49902) or angled (#49901) rear eyepiece module with any one of three front objective sections, the largest of which is a whopping 95mm. All three available objectives have coated HD lenses for high contrast, low chromatic aberration, and optimal light transmission. These lenses are bright, with excellent color fidelity.
Both eyepiece modules have extended-eye-relief ocular lenses, with a “field-flattener” lens design that provides high contrast and correct geometry all the way out to the edge of the image. The eyepiece modules deliver either 25-60X or 30-70X power depending on front module. NOTE: The eyepieces are built into the rear modules — they are non-removable and you can’t swap in a third-party eyepiece. However, digiscoping adapter can also be fitted in the rear.
Watch Video to See Product Features and Lens Modules Changed in Field
With front and rear modules joined, the zooming and focusing rings are located right next to each other. This allows you to zoom quickly, and then easily fine-tune the focus without moving your hand. Centralizing both controls is smart because you don’t have to take your head away from the eyepiece to look for one control or the other. Your hand can stay in one position. We’ve always liked the large-diameter focus rings on Swarovski spotting scopes. Now, with the new modular Swarovski system, you get the advantage of a large-diameter, centralized zoom control as well.
Big Money for Complete System
As you might expect, the Swarovski ATX/STX system commands a premium price. Either angled or straight eyepiece module is $2179.00 at EuroOptic.com. The 65mm front objective module is $879.00, but you’ll pay $1599.00 for the 85mm objective module. The biggest 95mm objective module costs $1899.00. So, for an angled rear module plus the jumbo 95mm objective, you’re looking at $4078.00 total. If you want BOTH rear modules AND the 95mm objective, you’ll need to pony up $6257.00! That’s got to be some kind of record for consumer spotting scopes. The minimum you can spend (for one rear module and 65mm objective), will be $3058.00, which is still pretty pricey. There are some significant advantages to this modular system though. For example, transport and storage is simplified, and we like the ability to choose the objective size based on the “mission”. You don’t need a 95mm objective to see bullet holes at 100 yards. But at long range, a bigger objective can be very useful.
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Talented tool-maker Curt Knitt has designed a better mousetrap — a new Concentricity Gauge that makes it easier than ever to get fast, repeatable results when measuring case and bullet run-out (aka “eccentricity”). The breakthrough design feature is the large-diameter wheel which spins the case. With most other concentricity gauges you must rotate the case with your finger(s). Anyone who has tried this knows that it is difficult to get a full, 360° rotation of the case without disturbing the indicator. Typically you can get two-thirds of a rotation or so, but then you have to reposition your finger to complete the rotation. Moving your finger often causes the case to jiggle or move slightly, and more often than not, the dial indicator jumps a bit, interrupting your measurement. Been there, done that.
Drive Wheel Smoothly Spins Cases for Fast, Error-Free Readouts
With the new Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge from CTK Precision, the rubber-rimmed drive wheel has a much larger diameter than any cartridge case (7:1 diameter ratio on magnums). So, when you rotate the drive wheel just a half-turn or so (using knurled knob on the wheel axis), you can easily and smoothly turn the cartridge three (or more) full rotations. The drive wheel maintains a constant, even load on the case, so the case doesn’t wobble and the dial indicator gives a continuous, un-interrupted read-out. What’s more, clever cartridge support design geometry pulls the case back against the rim stop as you engage the drive wheel. This holds the case in position laterally during measurement. Morever, this allows very fast one-handed operation. You don’t have to hold the case down with your fingers while maintaining side force against the case rim stop.
Watch Video Showing Concentricity Gauge Used with Small and Large Cartridges
The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge works with the full range of cartridges — everything from .22LR to .50 BMG. Adjusting the tool for different-length cases is incredibly easy, because the roller blocks (case supports) are held in place by magnets. You just slide the blocks to the desired position — no tools needed! The indicator stand is also held by magnets so it can slide to any position you want along the case body or bullet. And, the indicator can be moved to the front rail and rotated 90°. This way you can measure on the inside of the case neck.
Does this new design really work? Absolutely — it works brilliantly and it’s FAST. Watch the video and see for yourself. We could do two-rotation (720°) measurements on cases in a third the time it takes to do a one-rotation gauging operation with other tools. And the actual measuring operation can be done one-handed, leaving your free hand to pic up the next case (or bullet) to be measured. And yes, this tool can also measure bullet concentricity — measured from tip, ogive, bearing surface, and/or boatail.
1. Directional Drive Wheel pushes the cartridge or bullet into the stop for accurate, repeatable readings with equal pressure. The replaceable rubber drive ring will not harm cartridges or bullets.
2. Two-position bullet and cartridge stop.
3. Precision ball bearings provide friction-free movement.
4. Heavy steel base with E-coat finish and bolt-on rubber feet.
5. Indicator stand and roller blocks ride in machined slots and are held in place by N42 Neodymium magnets. This allows rapid, smooth, tool-free adjustments.
6. Indicator stand can be place in front OR rear machined slots. This allows for both internal and external measurements.
7. Fine-Adjustment Horizontal Indicator Stand allows very precise indicator angle/load adjustments.
8. Indicator Stand will accept horizontal indicators that are .350″ wide or narrower, and are 1.75″ to 2.25″ from the indicator contact point to the center of the main body.
9. Adjustable mechanical arm stop holds the arm up for one-handed operation.
10. Precision Drive Wheel has a 13:1 ratio for .22 rimfire, 7:1 for magnums, and 3.7:1 for 50BMG.
11. Concentricity Gauge accepts cartridges from .22LR rimfire to .50 BMG.
The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge is available from BulletTipping.com. Price for the unit, complete with quality horizontal indicator, is $325.00. Price, without indicator, is $280.00. The initial run of Concentricity Gauges is now in final production. Gauge sets should hit the market in 4 to 6 weeks. To place an advance order, fill out the PDF Order Form, or call (814) 684-5322. To learn more about setting up and using this new tool, read the Concentricity Gauge Instructions, and watch the video above.
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Looking for the perfect rimfire training rifle, one that has the look, feel, and ergonomics of your favorite centerfire field/tactical rifle? Well here’s a unique opportunity. EuroOptic.com is putting together a special limited edition run of 49 Sako Quad rifles, configured exactly as the buyer specifies, with McMillan Stocks, Lilja Barrels, and Cerakoted Metal. There will only be 49 such rifles available, and the deadline to order is July 31, 2012. EuroOptic.com has a few offerings left, but it expects all 49 Special Edition Quads will be sold by the end of this month.
The Sako Quad was a great concept — one rimfire rifle with a quiver of barrels in different rimfire chamberings. However, many potential buyers didn’t need or want all four barrels. Many potential buyers liked the idea of the Quad as a rimfire trainer, but they wanted a rifle fitted with a full-size, fiberglass stock, so the gun would have the same ergonomics and feel as their centerfire bolt-guns. That would make it the ideal rimfire training rig.
Well, this dream is now a reality. EuroOptic.com has decided to make a special limited run of 49 custom rimfire trainer rifles with premium components.
These Special Edition Quads will feature Sako Quad actions, McMillan fiberglass stocks, Lilja custom barrels, as well as quality third-party scope rails, triggerguards, and bolt knobs. The bedding and coating work will be done by GA Precision.
49 Special Quads — With McMillan Stocks, Lilja Barrels, and Cerakoted Metal
Each rifle will be “made to order” for the 49 lucky guys who sign up before orders close. The pre-order price (including ONE barrel, no optics) is $2195.00 + $30.00 for insured shipping in a hard card. Those who pre-order the rifles will be able to select the colors and special features they prefer. Buyers can chose among six (6) different McMillan stocks (with your choice of finish). Each rifle comes with one (1) .22 LR barrel. For an additional $350.00 per barrel, you can also order extra Lilja barrels chambered for any of these rimfire cartridges: .22 WMR, .17 HMR, or 17 Mach 2.
Each rifle will have the following standard features:
SAKO Quad receiver engraved with EuroOptic Logo and 1 of 49, 2 of 49 etc.
Lilja custom drop-in bull barrel in .22 LR. Other barrels/calibers can be added.
McMillan stock of your choice, bedded by GA Precision.
Cerakote metal color of your choice: Black, Desert Tan, Mil-Spec OD.
Picatinny +20 MOA scope rail by DIProducts.
Billet Aluminum trigger-guard by DIProducts.
KMW bolt knob.
You can choose from a variety of popular McMillan fiberglass stock designs. These include: A2, A3, A3-5, A5, HTG (M40), and Sako Varmint. The purchaser can also select the stock color/pattern. Click here to view some stock color options.
Additional Features (Extra-cost Options)
Threaded muzzle with cap — $125 per barrel
Coating of one additional barrel — $75.00
KMW cheekpiece installed — $150.00
Sling stud — $7.50 | Flush cup — $13.00
Limbsaver butt-pad — $23.00
Adjustable LOP with Spacer System — $116.00
2-way vertical butt-plate — $116.00
3-way butt-plate — $180.00
Saddle Cheekpiece — $116.00
Integral thumbwheel cheekpiece — $142.00
Anschutz fore-end rail — $53.00
Seekins fore-end PIC rail for bipod — $33.25
To order, call EuroOptic at (570) 220-3159 or email: alex [at] eurooptic.com . When ordering, please specify McMillan stock model and color choice, as well as any extras you would like (including additional barrels), along with your choice of metal color. NOTE: Eurooptic.com requires a 25% non-refundable deposit for these rifles. Once the deposit is taken, the stock will be ordered as specified. The Quads are to be delivered by Sako in August 2012, and all 49 rifles should be completed before the end of 2012.
Eurooptic’s special pricing will continue until all 49 rifles are sold or until JULY 31st, whichever comes first. July 31st is the last day to pre-order a rifle to your spec. If any rifles remain unsold at that point they will be sold at normal price reflected on the Eurooptic.com website.
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If you use a balance-beam scale to weigh powder and reloading components, here’s a clever way to magnify the view of the beam tip. Of course you can use an old-fashioned magnifying glass, clamped in place, to upsize the view. But now there’s a parallax-free, electronic solution that works for anyone with an iPhone or Android OS smartphone.
Forum member Allan E. (aka “1066”) discovered that he could use the camera on his smartphone to display and magnify the image of a balance-beam tip. This works via a Magnifying Glass App you can download for free. Just turn on the smartphone, activate the Magnifying Glass App and zoom-in to suit your preference. Alan explains: “This saves those tired eyes. It’s much more accurate because there’s no parallax — the lens is directly in line with the pointer so we can see [the pointer] off the screen from any angle. It’s a much clearer view, and it costs nothing.”
You’ll need to fabricate some kind of stand or clamp for the phone. Allan created a smartphone mount with a bit of wire, rubber bands, and a bullet box. You can see the system working in the video below. (The video starts by showing a webcam + laptop balance-beam monitor system. The Smartphone system demo begins at the 1:30″ time-mark.)
Magnifying Glass Apps for iPhones and Android Phones
There are numerous ‘magnifying glass’ programs for Apple and Android smartphones that use the built-in camera. Most include a zoom function and auto-focus. You might try a couple different Apps and see which works best for you. Some perform better in low light, while others resolve better. All of the following have 4-star or better user ratings: