June 17th, 2012

Great Father’s Day Gift: Custom Hitch Covers by John Niemi

Here’s a great gift for Father’s Day that any dad with a truck should appreciate. Forum member John Niemi crafts custom hitch covers that look like the end of a cartridge case, complete with head-stamp. Costing $70.50 (delivered), they are made out of solid brass with a stainless steel “primer”. The diameter of the brass is 4 inches and the engraved letters are about half an inch tall. The section that slides over the trailer hitch is aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about rust.

Niemi custom hitch cover Niemi custom hitch cover

The “headstamp” can include your favorite cartridge-maker and caliber (wildcats too!), or you can include the name of your business. John tells us: “I can engrave any text on one as long as there is enough room for it. Turn around time is usually less then a week after payment. I have sold many of these and everyone has been extremely happy with the quality and workmanship that I put into my product. These make great one-of-a-kind gifts.”

$70.50 Delivered in the USA
Niemi custom hitch coverThe current price for brass bullet hitch covers from John Niemi is $70.50 shipped anywhere in the USA. To order, send email to JohnNiemi [at] charter.net or call (503) 440-1954.

Forum member Wayne (aka WAMBO) ordered a custom hitch cover from John, featuring the 30/338 Lapua Improved wildcat he calls the 300 WAMBOMAG. Wayne reports: “The hitch cover is very well made. I’m impressed with the quality. Buy with confidence.”

We’ve seen John’s craftsmanship on many of these hitches, and we can confirm that the hitches are beautifully made, and make a handsome addition to any vehicle. If you order one (or more), be sure to mention you learned about the hitch covers on AccurateShooter.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
June 15th, 2012

Modular Low-Profile Competition Stocks from Wayne Young

Texas stock-maker Wayne Young has created an innovative modular stock. The fore-end side-plates bolt on to an aluminum sub-chassis so you can alter the width, or run an offset on either side of center. You can transform the stock from 3″ wide to 5″ wide in a couple minutes. Or, if you want to experiment with offset (i.e. having more fore-end width on one side of the barrel than the other side), you can simply remove a few bolts, and stack up the sideplates on one side.

Wayne's Gun Stocks

Wayne's Gun Stocks

The ability to quickly (and inexpensively) transform a stock from 3″ wide to 5″ wide is a definite plus for shooters who want to use the same rig in both F-Class and benchrest. You can run your rifle at max-legal 3″ width for F-Class, then bolt on additional fore-end “wings” to run at 5″ for bench competition. The 5″-wide stocks are now legal for 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest, at both IBS and NBRSA registered matches. Those folks who have tried out 5″-wide stocks on Light Guns have been impressed with the results. The extra width stabilizes the rifle on the bags, reducing perceived twist (torquing) and hop. There is less “Rocking and Rolling”. With the gun torquing less, the tracking during recoil normally shows an improvement as well. (But we should say that, even with the standard 3″ width, these stocks track great.)

Wayne's Gun Stocks

Video Demonstrates Superior Tracking
How does a Wayne Young stock track? Straight and true — with virtually no hop. You can see for yourself. In the video below, Wayne shoots a test rifle chambered in .284 Winchester, a popular F-Class cartridge. The load is a 175gr Berger XLD bullet pushed at 3010 fps by Reloder 17 powder. That’s a stout, fast load — the recoil force easily meets or exceeds a typical F-Open match load. To better demonstrate the gun’s handling characteristics, Wayne deliberately shoots the gun free-recoil style — without gripping hard or shouldering the stock*. As you can see, the gun recoils straight back. The forearm and buttstock also slide perfectly in the bags, without “grabbing”. (Note: In the video, the rifle’s front bag-rider section is aluminum without polymer “wings”. This particular gun was built with a wider aluminum channel to fit a large-diameter, straight-contour barrel).

Stock Specifications and Design Features
Finished stocks weigh approximately 7 pounds, 4 ounces. If needed, stocks can be lightened to just under 7 pounds. Overall length is 36″. Length of pull is adjustable from 13 to 13.75 inches with standard two-way adjustable butt pad. The main chassis is machined from billet 6061-T6 (Tee Six) aluminum, while the fore-end chassis section is 6063-T5 (Tee Five). The black side sections, fore-end plates, and buttstock lowers are CNC-machined from high-grade HDPE, a rugged, chemically-resistant polymer.

The chassis for round actions features a “V-Block” seating area. There is a flat configuration for Panda and Stiller flat-bottom actions. With either the round- or flat-bottom configuration, actions can be mounted directly on the 1.25″-square aluminum chassis, using supplied action bolts. (Skim bedding is optional.) No inletting, pillar-installation, or stock finishing (painting) is required. Just bolt your barreled action into the chassis and head to the range.

Wayne’s stocks come with two-way adjustable butt-plate, adjustable cheekpiece, trigger guard, and all fasteners. If you consider all that standard equipment and the fact that Wayne’s gunstocks require no inletting and no finishing, these stocks are attractively priced. Wayne’s F-Open/Benchrest Stock, with 3″ fore-end, costs $499.00 plus $25.00 S/H. There is also a $499.00 F-TR version with a fore-end set up for bipod attachment. (Wayne produces an integral, adjustable and removable F-TR bipod for $75.00.) Add $100.00 extra if you want the aluminum components hard-anodized. With long actions or Savage actions, there is an extra charge to configure the central chassis to fit. For more information visit WaynesGunstocks.com or call (210) 288-3063 from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

* If Wayne was shooting a .284 Win in an F-Class match, he would grip the gun and put some shoulder into it. But for demonstration purposes in the video, Wayne free-recoiled the rig so you can see how well it tracks with no holding or steering by the shooter.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
June 11th, 2012

Get $300.00 Gift Certificate with Purchase of AiR-15 Air Rifle

Creedmoor Sports offers an Air Rifle that mates an Olympic-quality Anschütz 8000-series barreled action (and Anschütz 5065 trigger) with AR15-style stock, chassis, and sights. This system, dubbed the AiR-15™ National Match Air Rifle, allows Service Rifle and High Power competitors to cross-train between centerfire matches and during the off-season. Although the rifle is supplied with a mock magazine (for correct off-hand ergonomics), the gun is a single-shot, using manual-fed 0.177 pellets.

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle Anschutz

Creedmoor sells the complete AiR-15 (including Anschütz 8001 barreled action) for $1850.00. The receiver sleeve, front sight housing, carry handle, and handguard are all machined from solid aluminum. The remaining components, such as the butt stock, pistol grip, sling swivels, front sight post, and rear sight are genuine Bushmaster parts.

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle Anschutz

Get $300.00 Gift Certificate with Purchase of AiR-15 Rifle
Right now if you buy an AiR-15, you can get a $300.00 Gift Certificate good on other Creedmoor Sports merchandise. That $300.00 certificate can be used to buy ammo, brass, dies, optics, pretty much anything in the Creedmoor Sports catalog. This is a super deal if you’ve been thinking about getting an Air Rifle. Please note — this is a LIMITED TIME offer. Also, the gift certificate cannot be used toward the purchase of the rifle. The $300.00 Gift Certificate will be attached to the AiR-15 NMAR packing slip.

Creedmoor Sports AR15 Air Rifle AnschutzBenefits of Air Rifle Cross-Training
Dennis DeMille, past Camp Perry Champion and Creedmoor Sports General Manager, believes Service Rifle and High Power shooters can greatly benefit from Air Rifle cross-training with the AiR-15 . Dennis tells us: “Look, you can shoot this in your basement in the dead of winter. The ergonomics are identical to the AR15. The sights, front and rear, are in exactly the same position. And by using Anschütz 8001 barreled actions and triggers, the system offers superb accuracy. The AR Air Rifle will deliver one-pellet-hole accuracy at 10 meters. I’ve visited the Anschütz factory. Every one of these barreled actions is tested and they all come with test targets verifying their accuracy.”

Dennis wanted to stress that practice with the AiR-15 can benefit even the best High Power shooters improve their scores. Dennis explained: “While this air rifle is capable of one-hole accuracy (at 10m), it is also very unforgiving of flaws in form or hold. Because the pellets are moving so slowly (about 575 ft/sec.), any mistake will move you out in the scoring ring. This air rifle will help you develop perfect trigger control, perfect follow-through, and perfect natural point of aim. Trust me — you can’t BS any part of your hold with an air rifle. I know if you train with an air rifle in the off season, your centerfire scores will improve.”

CMP NMARThe AiR-15 for CMP Air Rifle National Match Program
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has developed a National Match Air Rifle (NMAR) discipline consisting of High Power-style matches shot at reduced distances with air rifles. NMAR is a multi-faceted air rifle competition fired indoors or outdoors on 10-meter ranges. NMAR events simulate High Power rifle shooting and are fired on reduced-size High Power rifle targets. At the CMP’s NMAR tournaments, you can use sporter, precision or AR-type air rifles to shoot in 10-meter standing and three-position (prone, sitting and standing) courses of fire that simulate outdoor High Power rifle shooting.

Creedmoor Gift Certificate tip by EdLongrange. We welcome user submissions.
Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 8th, 2012

High-Tech Benchrest Stocks from Roy Hunter and Terry Leonard

James Mock spotted some impressive new benchrest stocks at the recent Super Shoot. James told us: “Your readers may be interested in pictures of some striking stocks I saw at the Super Shoot. The purple one on the left belongs to Greg King. It is an HV with BAT action that has been coated and features a maple/carbon fiber laminated stock by Terry Leonard. Terry stained it purple (under the epoxy) at the request of Greg. The tuner was made by Sid Goodling.”

Terry Leonard can be reached at (423) 323-9327. Terry told us that a stock like this (tinted or natural wood colors) would typically run $1250.00 to $1300.00.

Terry Leonard stock Roy Hunter Stock

James Mock also spotted a handsome Walnut composite stock made by Roy Hunter. James writes: “The rifle on the right belongs to Sid Goodling (that’s Sid holding it), and it also features a BAT action. The rifle is a Light Varmint with a composite stock made from Balsa, English Walnut, and Carbon Fiber. The creator of this beautiful stock is Roy Hunter. Sid told me that a custom stock like this from Roy would cost about $1150.00. This is in line with other wooden composite stocks.” NOTE: The barrel on Sid’s gun is 21.5″. It may appear short because Roy Hunter builds his stocks “about 2″ longer than standard” according to Goodling. For more information on this rifle, contact Sid Goodling at www.GoodlingRifles.com.

Terry Leonard stock Roy Hunter Stock

Stock-Maker Roy Hunter Learned to Work Wood as a Master Furniture Craftsman
Although Terry Leonard is well-known to the BR community, Roy Hunter is a newcomer to the stock-making trade. But make no mistake — Roy is a highly-skilled craftsman who knows how to create both functional and beautiful stocks. This man knows his wood — Roy is an experienced furniture-maker who specializes in classic furniture of the 1700s and 1800s. Roy Hunter can be reached by phone at: (410) 259-7944.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
June 8th, 2012

Hi-Lux Externally-Adjusting 8X Scope for Vintage Military Rifles

Last fall we announced that Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics would be adding an 8X Unertl-type scope to its William Malcolm Series of externally-adjusting riflescopes. Well, the wait is finally over folks. The Hi-Lux Malcolm 8X USMC-Sniper Scope is now in stock and on sale at Creedmoor Sports for $549.00. This should prove quite popular with Vintage Sniper Rifle Match competitors. The new USMC repro scope duplicates the original windage and elevation controls on the 50s/60s-era USMC scope — but the new Hi-Lux offers modern multi-coated lenses.

Hi-Lux Malcom USMC - Sniper Unertl 8x scope

Scopes of this design, with micrometer click external adjustment, were once favored by long range shooters. The Marine Corps utilized this style of externally-adjusting scope on sniper rifles during WWII, Korea, and the early stages of the Vietnam conflict. Today, a mint-condition, original USMC-marked scope can sell for as much as $5,000. And with the current interest in vintage sniper rifles, just a working standard model Unertl scope in good condition can still bring $2,000 or more.

With its $549.00 price at Creedmoor Sports, the Hi-Lux USMC-Sniper repro scope is far more affordable than a serviceable original. Like all Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics, the Wm. Malcolm USMC-Sniper model comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty. Each 8X USMC-Sniper repro scopes will be serial numbered — as were the original USMC models. Leatherwood/Hi-Lux also sells a variety of long-tube, external-adjusting scopes that are quite popular with BPCR shooters and vintage rifle fans.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
June 6th, 2012

State Dept. Policy Shift May Allow Return of So. Korean Garands

In 2009, to raise money for its defense budget, the Korean Defense Ministry announced plans to sell 87,000 M1 Garands to American collectors. Initially, it looked like there was a “green light” for the return of these historic arms, which were originally provided to South Korea by the American government. The rifles’ return was widely anticipated by American military rifle match shooters and gun collectors.

However, in March of 2010, the State Department blocked importation of the South Korean M1 Garands based on the expressed fear that the rifles would fall into the wrong hands. According to FoxNews.com, a State Department spokesman said that: “The transfer of such a large number of weapons … could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

State Department Apparently Will No Longer Block Return of South Korean Garands
It looks like the State Department may have reversed itself. In response to pressure from Senator Jon Tester of Montana, the State Department now says that it will allow South Korea to return the rifles, once a qualified importer is selected. Sen. Tester’s office asserts that “the rifles will be sold in the U.S. through the Civilian Marksmanship Program” (CMP), which has sold many thousands of other surplus M1 Garands.

Sen. Tester declared: “From World War II to Korea and Vietnam, M1 Garand rifles played a crucial role in history. These American-made firearms will always be valued as collector’s items, and law-abiding Americans have the right to keep them under our Constitution’s Second Amendment. I’m glad the State Department listened to my concerns and those of America’s gun collectors.”

South Korean M1 Garand CMP

CMP States It Will NOT Sell Commercially Imported Garands
Senator Tester’s office has said the CMP will sell the Korean Garands. However, if the South Korean Garands are imported commercially, and NOT simply returned to the U.S. Army, it appears that these rifles would not be able to be sold or distributed by the CMP. Orest Michaels, CMP Chief Operating Officer, explained that the CMP would not re-sell commercially imported rifles:

“The CMP is not a firearms importer and we would not have any involvement of any kind in anything that may happen with these Korean rifles and carbines if they were ‘sold’ to an importer. The only way any rifle or carbine from any country can find its way to the CMP is if the country returns ‘loaned’ rifles back to the U.S. Army — at no cost to the U.S.[.] When that happens, the CMP ‘may’ possibly receive some of those rifles. Korea does not plan on returning (repatriating) any rifles to the U.S. Army, but plans to ‘sell’ these rifles to an importer. According to the recent news and rumors, the U.S. State Dept. has agreed to allow Korea to sell the rifles, even though the U.S. Army claimed the rifles and carbines should be returned to the U.S. Army at no cost. CMP will not have any involvement in this.” Michaels added: “There is no need to wait for the Korean Garands to make a purchase. CMP has plenty of M1 Garands for sale now.”

We commend the State Department for reversing its misguided policy blocking return of these historic arms. We wonder if this reversal can be attributed in large part to Tester’s efforts in Washington. After the State Department blocked the rifle’s sale in 2010, Tester drafted legislation blocking Executive-branch interference with importation of American-made guns that were originally provided to a foreign government. Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, also led efforts in the U.S. Senate to block U.S. funding to promote the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
June 5th, 2012

ORNL Builds Reticle-Compensating Sight with Laser Barrel Sensor

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a system that uses lasers and fiber optics to measure very small changes (deflections) in a rifle barrel. These deflections are recorded with laser sensors, and then algorithms are used to compute the resultant changes in bullet trajectory. Using computer-calculated trajectories, the digital sighting system’s “virtual” reticle automatically adjusts to compensate for barrel deflection, as well as changing environmental conditions. The microprocessor-controlled digital reticle can adjust to 1/1000th of a Minute of Angle (MOA). That makes it far more precise than any conventional riflescope reticle.

ORNL Barrel Sensor with Compensating Reticle
Shown below is a laboratory prototype of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor. This system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically makes the necessary corrections. The system was developed by a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Slobodan Rajic, shown in the photo.

Oak Ridge Barrel sensorThe Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor takes the guesswork out of shooting by shifting the burden of knowing the relative position between the barrel and the weapon sight axes from the shooter to an electronic sensor. The system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically realigns the moving reticle, or crosshairs, with the true position of the barrel, or bore axis.

“When a weapon is sighted in, the aim point and bullet point of impact coincide,” Rajic said. “However, in the field, anything that comes into contact with the barrel can cause perturbation of the barrel and induce errors.”

With modern high-caliber rifles boasting ranges of up to two miles, even very small barrel disruptions can cause a shooter to miss by a wide margin. That makes this technology indispensable from a marksman’s perspective, Rajic said.

From a technological standpoint, the approach is straightforward. ORNL starts with fluted barrels (the flutes play a key role). With the ORNL technology, glass optical fibers are placed into the flutes. The sensor system contains a laser diode that sends a signal beam into the optical fibers parallel to the bore axis of the barrel.

“The optical fibers are designed to split the laser beam twice, sending one beam along the top of the rifle barrel and another light beam along the side of the barrel,” Rajic said. “Thus, we can measure both the vertical and horizontal barrel deflection.”

Through a combination of algorithms, optics and additional sensor inputs, the system can take into account distance and other factors affecting the bullet trajectory. Ultimately, the whole optical/laser/digital system provides the shooter with crosshairs that automatically adjust for conditions in real time.

A Compensating Reticle with 1/1000 MOA Precision
Skeptics of electronic sighting systems have complained that the resolution of a digital rifle-sight is too crude to allow precise aiming. There simply aren’t enough pixels on a viewscreen to allow ultra-precise aiming at long-range targets, shooters have said. In fairness, the existing commercially-available digital rifle sighting systems HAVE been crude — with a lo-rez screens like you might find in a portable GPS.

Well you can forget all that. ORCL has achieved a break-through in digital sighting. The bar has been raised — by an order of magnitude. The resolution of ORNL’s digital, sensor-informed Compensating Reticle is 125 times better than that of traditional target reticles, which can normally be adjusted by one-eighth Minute of Angle (MOA) (at best). Now get this — the ORNL sensor can sense angular displacement and shift the reticle by 1/1,000th of a minute of angle. While this system is expensive, and designed (at this point) for the military, this technology could eventually benefit sport shooters. A decade from now, we would not be surprised if long-range civilian shooters commonly use electronically-enhanced optics, with digital reticles that automatically compensate for bullet drop (and maybe even windage).

ORNL scientists are also working on technology that could yield much more precise and accurate plots of bullet trajectories. We will no longer have to rely on “guesstimated” data inputs, and certain assumptions about bullet drag factors. Rajic and colleagues are developing a laser-based, bullet tracking system that would record plot the bullet’s actual flight path while the bullet is in the air. In other words, this tracking system would be able to plot the bullet’s true trajectory from muzzle to target. That is much differerent than current ballistic “solvers” which merely draw a predicted arc based on muzzle velocity, wind and temp inputs, and a reference BC value.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multi-program science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Over 3000 scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and new technology in key areas of science, energy, the environment, and national security.

Permalink - Articles, New Product, Optics 7 Comments »
June 3rd, 2012

New Elesio H1 Rimfire Tubegun Kit from Competition Machine

Gary Elesio of Competition Machine has come up with a new product for smallbore shooters. Gary has a new H1 Tubegun Chassis for the Hall custom rimfire action, a very high-quality, single-shot action that can be fitted with a Jewell trigger. The new H1 Chassis, like other Elesio tubegun kits, features a fully-adjustable skeleton-style stock, and a tubular forearm. The forearm can be rotated so a sling-shooter can “dial in” the best angle for his hand-stop. We think this new H1 action should be popular with rimfire prone and position shooters who are looking for an affordable, all-American alternative to expensive European match rifles. Below is a “sneak peek” at Elesio’s new H1. This shows the H1 receiver housing fitted with a Picatinny-style rail. MSRP for the H1 has yet to be announced.

Elesio H1 rimfire chassis

About the Hall Action
The $1075.00 Hall action is a high-quality, custom-crafted design built to benchrest standards. The action is 1 3/8″ diameter by 7 ” long and is made of 416 stainless steel, with heat-treated, tool steel locking lugs. The action features an Anschutz-type feed ramp, and it comes with a trigger housing which uses 40X Remington-type triggers (Jewell Remington triggers will work). The Hall action is currently available with either right or left port, but only right bolt.

Hall rimfire Action

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product 8 Comments »
June 2nd, 2012

Stan Ware’s Radical Short-Necked Wolfpup for Hunter Benchrest

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesStan Ware of SGR Custom Rifles, is one of the finest gunsmiths with whom we’ve worked. He’s also a talented shooter and an innovative wildcatter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. Most recently, in June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.”

Currently there are no production sizing dies for the Wolfpup. Stan uses two dies to size his fired brass: “I use a 30 BR bushing full-length die after each firing, but that doesn’t size the bottom half of the case. But I can shoot the brass four or five times with no problems.” After four to five firings Stan hits the bottom of the brass with a modified 6mmBR body die. Stan hogged out the top half of the body die so it doesn’t contact the top of the brass. For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

If You Want a Wolfpup Rifle
Stan has received a number of requests to chamber Wolfpups for Hunter Benchrest shooters, and he will be building some for next season. Stan charges $300.00 for chambering, crowning, and headspacing a barrel. He also sells Wilson micrometer-top seater dies, customized for the Wolfpup, for about $110.00. If there is sufficient demand, he may start producing “one-pass” full-length sizing dies for the cartridge. Stan can also build complete benchrest, hunting, and long-range rifles in your choice of calibers. Visit SGRCustomRifles.com, or call (507) 274-5649.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

About the Illustrated Gunstock
You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware, SGR Custom Rifles.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
June 1st, 2012

6mm HAGAR Hornady Brass Arrives — Varminters Take Note

6mm Hagar Hornady brass AR-X EnterprisesHere’s good news for AR shooters looking for a 6mm option. 6mm HAGAR brass is now available from Hornady, and it looks like this brass is quite good. Those of you who follow the National Matches at Camp Perry know that Carl Bernosky won multiple National High Power Championships shooting the 6mm HAGAR cartridge from an AR Platform rifle. The 6mm HAGAR was derived from the 30 Remington cartridge, and it has the same case head diameter as the 6.8 SPC, also a 30 Remington derivative.

The 30°-shoulder 6mm HAGAR is just about the longest 6mm cartridge that can be loaded in a two-column AR15 magazine and still feed reliably. The advantage of the 6mm HAGAR is that it offers enough “boiler room” to drive 6mm bullets to impressive velocities, yet it can still fit and function well in AR mags. But note, if you are restrained to a mag-length COAL, you can pretty much rule out using 95-108 grain bullets, because they would have to be seated too deep in the HAGAR case. That actually means that the “advantage” of the 6mm HAGAR’s case capacity is lost to some degree — at least when using long, heavy bullets. On the other hand, when loaded with shorter varmint and hunting bullets, such as Hornady’s 75gr V-Max, you can load to 2.260″ mag length and use nearly all of the HAGAR’s case capacity.

For this reason, we think the 6mm HAGAR may ultimately prove more popular with varminters than with the High Power crowd (at least those who do not want to modify their mags to allow heavy 6mm bullets to be seated longer.) If you’re using shorter bullets, you can fill up the HAGAR case and drive 60-75 grain projectiles at serious velocities.

6mm Hagar Hornady brass ARX Enterprises

6mm Hagar Hornady brass AR-X Enterprises6mm HAGAR Basics
The 6mm HAGAR uses a 6.8 SPC AR-15 bolt and 6.8 SPC magazines and a conventional upper receiver, barrel extension, and bolt carrier assembly. Typically this cartridge has been used for varminting, hunting, and High Power competition. We think the 6mm HAGAR should be a kick-ass cartridge for varminters shooting ARs with shorter varmint bullets.

On the other hand, because the 1.775″-long HAGAR case takes up so much space in an AR magazine, the 100-108gr bullets aren’t well-suited for mag-fed 6mm HAGAR applications (unless the mags are modified). These same 100-108 grainers DO work well in single-load situations provided the chamber is properly throated for such bullets.

NOTE: Some High Power shooters have slotted AR mags to allow loading of long bullets up to 2.340″ max, i.e. beyond normal mag length. See modified magazine at right.

Hornady’s 6mm HAGAR Brass Is Shipping Now
Until recently, 6mm HAGAR brass was hard to obtain. Cases could be formed from 30 Rem brass, but this was a tedious, time-consuming process. Now, however, quality 6mm HAGAR brass is available from Hornady. An initial run of 150,000 pieces of 6mm HAGAR brass was produced. Vendors who got some of the first run of HAGAR brass include AR-X Enterprises LLC (Robert Whitley) and Creedmoor Sports.

Robert Whitley reports: “We’ve received our first shipment of factory 6mm HAGAR brass from Hornady. This Hornady 6mm HAGAR brass is hard at the base but well annealed at the neck. The brass has a small primer pocket and a small flash hole. All of these features enable the brass to hold pressures well and to remain serviceable and usable for multiple re-loadings. Internal H20 capacity of the brass case is right around 37.0 – 37.5 grains of water weight. With its larger case capacity the 6mm HAGAR can accurately push the bigger 105gr to 108gr bullets in the range of 2800 fps (when these bullets are seated long and single-loaded, not mag-fed). However, because of its rather long case length (1.775″) relative to max mag-fed cartridge OAL of 2.260″, the 6mm HAGAR may work best with the smaller and lighter 6mm bullets (75gr and under).” [Editor: Do the math ... 2.260" minus 1.775" leaves only 0.485" clearance for a bullet to extend beyond the case mouth.]

Loading Long Bullets to Mag-Limited 2.260″ COAL Is Neither Practical Nor Wise:*

6mm HAGAR Magazine length

6mm HAGAR Brass, Dies, Mags and Complete Uppers Offered
Along with 6mm HAGAR brass (at $84.00 per hundred), ARX Enterprises has 6mm HAGAR dies, and magazines. ARX Enterprises is also building complete match and varmint AR-platform uppers chambered for the 6mm HAGAR. You can find out about all these products on Robert Whitley’s 6mm HAGAR web page. To order 6mm HAGAR uppers, die sets, brass, magazines and related products contact:

AR-X Enterprises, LLC (Attn: Robert Whitley)
199 North Broad Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-8789
e-mail: rcw3 [at] erols.com

*Left = 75gr Hornady V-Max at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is .243″.)
Left Center = Berger 100gr BT at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .225″.)
Right Center = Sierra 107gr MatchKing at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .222″.)
Right = Hornady 105gr A-Max at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .225″.)
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 7 Comments »
May 30th, 2012

New 350gr .375-Caliber MatchKing from Sierra

Sierra MatchKing SMK .375 caliberSierra Bullets has just announced a new .375-caliber, 350 grain HPBT bullet — the latest in Sierra’s MatchKing line of projectile. Designed for custom long-range applications, this 350-grainer is the largest MatchKing Sierra produces, and it offers a jaw-dropping 0.805 G1 BC (at 2,200+ fps).

With that impressively high BC, the new .375-caliber MatchKing should “buck the wind” very well at long range. The new bullet features an 11-caliber ogive, and 9-degree boat tail. Sierra says the overall shape is “forgiving” to tune and should work well at a variety of seating depths. These bullets will be available in 50-count boxes (stock #9350T), or bulk boxes of 500 bullets (stock #9350).

Sierra MatchKing SMK .375 caliber

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »
May 30th, 2012

New Redding Powder Measure for Small Varmint Cartridges

Redding 10X Powder MeasureRedding is releasing a dedicated small-case powder measure with a charge weight range of 1 to 25 grains. This specialized Model 10X powder measure should work well for small varmint cartridges such as the .221 Fireball, .20 Vartarg, and the 17 Hornet. The powder cavity and micrometer settings put the charge for a 17 Hornet right in the middle of the powder measure’s capacity — the most accurate part of its range. That’s good news for small rifle cartridge reloaders.

In addition, 17 Fireball and 17 Hornet shooters will be pleased to not that Redding has introduced a 17-caliber drop tube adapter that fits the small-diameter necks of these compact varmint cartridges. With this 17-cal adapter (Redding part #03817), you can throw charges directly into 17-caliber cartridge brass, without the need for separate small-neck funnels.

Features of New Redding 10x Powder Measure:

• Micrometer-controlled powder metering chamber
• Hemispherical Cup for smoother operation
• Cast iron and hard chrome construction
• Positive metering chamber lock
• Adjustable powder baffle

The 17 Hornet is based on the venerable rimmed .22 Hornet case. However, the case is not just necked-down from .22 caliber. The case designers reduced body taper, moved the shoulder, and changed the shoulder angle to 25°. This effectively modernized the old .22 Hornet case, improving efficiency while retaining the max OAL, so that the 17 Hornet can work in any action big enough for the .22 Hornet. Hornady’s “Superformance” 17 Hornet loaded ammo is designed to push a 20gr bullet at an impressive 3650 fps.

Hornady 17 Hornet Ammunition

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »