Forum member Tom Sziler is running a holiday sale on his customized, billet-aluminum, CNC-machined loading blocks. Machined from solid 6061 billet aluminum, these blocks are sized 3.5-4 inches wide, one inch thick (top to bottom), and 6.6-8.5 inches long. (Sizes varying slightly with cartridge type.) You’ll find more information on Tom’s website CNCShooter.com. To order, contact Tom by sending email to tom.sziler (at) gmail.com . NOTE: To guarantee delivery by Christmas, order/payment must be received by November 30th. Payment can be made by check, money order, or PayPal (3% extra).
Tom explains: “The blocks hold 50 rounds of ANY caliber you want them made for. Engraving is included on your block at no extra charge, and each block has 4 rubber feet to prevent sliding and damage to the block or work surface. The round typically sits .75″ deep in the block, holding it very securely and with no excessive rattle.”
Tom adds: “These are not ‘universal’ blocks, but rather are precision-milled on CNC machines to a tight tolerance and excellent surface finish. They are heavy, sturdy, and durable. These are by far the highest-quality loading/range blocks on the market today. For those who don’t need engraving, I offer ‘economy’ blocks for a reduced cost. These blocks are exactly the same as the standard blocks, except they do not have engraving and are .75” thick.”
Blocks with Tray, Sorting Blocks, and High-Volume Loading Blocks
Tom offers a variety of other products for reloaders. These include: 25-round blocks with a tray, bullet sorting blocks, full-length accessory trays, 100-round loading blocks, and 169-round high capacity loading blocks. Below is the 25-round block with tray. (This also works as an ammo caddy.)
Quantity Pricing for 2012 Holiday Sale:
1. QTY 1-5 will receive a 10% discount from the normal price.
2. QTY 6+ will receive lowest possible pricing (listed below).
3. QTY 16+ Free shipping in addition to the discounts in chart.
5521 W 110th Street, Ste 6
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
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Caron Forensics produces a modular, rapid-access gun storage system that can place your defensive arms “at the ready”. Caron’s RAD (“Rapid Access Defense”) storage units are specifically designed for the fast presentation of defensive weapons in both home and office environments. RAD units come in two sizes: a 2-foot-long model, RAD2, and a 4-foot model, RAD4. They are surface-mounted horizontally or vertically, ideally in a concealed location, such as a bedroom closet, or office store-room. RAD lockers can store defensive weapons safely away from both children and thieves, while still providing gun owners with quick access. Download RAD Gun Locker Descriptive Flyer.
Watch RAD Product Demo Video
Weapon mounts clip to the twin rails inside RAD lockers. Accessories designed to hold weapons (such as the magnetic clip) have a protective plastic or foam coating. There are rubber-coated rifle/shotgun hooks, plus specific mounts for handguns, flash-lights, holsters and other items.
RAD cabinets feature a strong key-lock latch to keep unauthorized persons out. A unique gas spring deployment system opens the cabinet with a short pull, enabling the use of both hands to quickly access multiple tactical items.
EDITOR’s Comment: Of course, RAD units are NOT designed to replace a large, heavy-walled gun safe to store a collection of firearms and other valuables. RAD units provide only basic security (and fast access) for one or two defensive arms in a home, garage, or office.
One nice thing about the RAD2 is you could mount it on a wall with a false conduit and a “High Voltage” sticker. A would-be thief would never think it was a gun locker.
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Last week we featured a cool video put together by Forum Member Mark Dalzell (aka “MDSlammer”). The video shows Mark and a couple of his shooting buddies engaging a steel target at 2300 yards (1.3 miles). In order to see both hits and misses at that extreme range, Mark assembled a target-cam system that broadcasts multiple video cam feeds wirelessly to a receiver on the firing line. Down-range, Mark positioned a high-gain antenna. This was key — without the antenna the system’s useful range was less than 1000 yards. But with the hi-gain antenna Mark gets very clear signals from 2300 yards.
Mark’s video was very popular with our readers. Quite a few guys asked for technical details so they could start assembling a similar system. To explain the components and set-up of his 2300-yard target cam system, Mark has made a 10-minute video that shows the equipment and explains how all the gear is hooked up. Mark system uses a KW7305 2.4 Ghz, 8-channel A/V transmitter/receiver kit ($269.00), powered by Li-Ion batteries ($125.00 with charger) that offer about 3 hours of run-time. The video camera was a Panasonic HDC SD-60 with 35X zoom ($350.00). The antenna is a 2.4 Ghz 24 DBI Grid unit (model # HG2424EG-NG), that cost just $45.00 plus another $29.00 for cabling. To see how this all functions at long range, watch the video below.
Watch This 10-Minute Video to See Components of 2300-yard Target-Cam System
While Mark positioned his hi-gain antenna downrange near the target, you can, alternatively, set the hi-gain antenna at the firing line and point it downrange at the transmitter. Mark says that either configuration will work, as long as the hi-gain antenna is aimed carefully. You also need to elevate both Transmitter and Receiver antennas. Mark mounted his receiver on top of a 10-foot-tall Century C-Stand near the shooting station. From there he could watch bullet impacts on his 7″ Marshall color monitor placed on a portable bench.
Mark tells us the whole system was affordable (under $1100.00 for everything including monitor and antenna), and it was easy to set up. Mark encourages readers who’ve been thinking about building a similar system for their long range shooting sessions: “The hardware is not difficult to configure… if I can do it, anyone certainly can.”
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There are few master craftsmen who can create a truly “bespoke” wood stock customized for the owner. Ireland’s Enda Walsh is one such talent. Through Gun Stocks Ireland, Enda creates high-quality stocks for hunters, prone shooters, and F-class competitors. Enda first started building stocks in 2001 for himself and friends, and grew the business over a decade. Enda explains: “Demand gradually increased until in 2009 the decision was taken to make it my full-time occupation. In 2010 I obtained my RFD licence and haven’t looked back. My goal with Guns Stocks Ireland is to manufacture precise custom rifle stocks to the highest standard, tailored in every detail to best serve the shooters requirements.” Enda adds: “I started Gun Stocks Ireland to produce custom, individually-tailored gunstocks. I build from hand casts so your gun is genuinely an extension of your arm.”
Walsh offers many stock designs, including a wide variety of thumb-hole and vertical grip stocks. Many of these feature hand-relieved grip areas customized for each guns’ owner. The hand-grip section literally fits the shooter “like a glove”. How does Enda create an ergonomically perfect grip for each customer? He actually makes a casting of the customer’s hand: “I send customers a hand cast kit so the shooter can make a plaster cast with his hand in shooting position. Done correctly there will be no tension in the shooter’s hand no matter how tight a hold is employed.” Enda’s stocks aren’t cheap, but they are a good value considering the amount of expert labor involved. Typical price for a fitted, bedded, and finished fully-adjustable F-Class stock is 1500 Euros.
Enda’s stocks, as you can see from the photos, are labors of love. Each stock may require up to 80 hours of work from start to finish. That includes fitting of special features, such as adjustable buttplate, adjustable cheek-piece, and a unique bag-rider that adjusts up and down for elevation control and rifle balance. We think the adjustable bag-rider is a great idea that American stock-makers should emulate.
Vertically Adjustable Bag Rider Permits Easy Elevation Adjustment
“For F-Open shooters the benefit of the [adjustable] bag runner is it allows precise elevation adjustments shot to shot without having to reach forward to adjust the front rest, taking the shooter out of his natural position. For ‘bag squeezers’ it eliminates the variable settlement during a shot causing vertical variances. The adjustable bag runner allows elevation changes to be dialed in easily and precisely with one hand.” — Enda Walsh
This is a .308 Win Savage in a fully adjustable F-TR stock. This rifle always performs well at the LRRAI shoots in Castlemaine Rifle & Pistol Range.
Enda Walsh Shoots What He Builds
Enda Walsh is a very talented shooter as well as a master stock-maker. He recently won a Silver Medal at 1000 yards at the 2012 European F-Class Championships at Bisley. He also shared a team Gold Medal at 1000 yards, shooting with an Irish F-TR team, and making wind calls as well.
Enda says: “I was very happy to take a silver at Bisley this year. This was my first trip to Bisley and first Euro Championships. The experience gave me some ideas on how to improve things for next year….”
Hornady has announced new products for 2013. These include a number of new bullets, along with new loaded rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammunition. Perhaps most interesting for precision reloaders is Hornady’s new jumbo Ultrasonic Cleaning machine (MSRP $658.33). Featuring a 9-liter capacity, the new Hornady Hot Tub™ is long enough to accommodate and clean a 16-inch AR-15 upper. Along with its large capacity, the Hot Tub has many advanced features.
New Large-Size Ultra-Sonic Cleaning Machine — the Hot Tub™
For 2013, Hornady will be offering a new, jumbo-sized ultra-sonic cleaning machine that can handle big parts and accessories. In addition to having four (4) transducers, there is also a heating element that enhances cleaning action. Hornady says that “the microjet action of the Hornady® Hot Tub™ removes carbon residue and other debris from cartridge cases, gun parts and other metal equipment.” We know that ultra-sonic cleaning works well on cartridge cases, provided you have a good machine, a suitable solution, and run the machine for an appropriate time.
The new Hot Tub is well-equipped out of the box. One 1.7 quart inner tank comes with the unit and can be used in the main tank for cleaning multiple smaller batches or to use separate solutions at the same time. Additional inner tanks can be purchased separately. Hanging cords have been integrated into the design to allow large objects to take full advantage of the ultrasonic energy. Additionally, the Hot Tub® features integrated drain pans in the lids, a small parts basket, a degas function and five (5) temperature settings from 100-140°F.
Watch Video to See Hornady Hot Tub Ultra-Sonic Cleaning Machine in Action
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Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? Starting in 2010, after a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Shilen returned to the rifle manufacturing market. After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).
The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.
Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.
Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches.
There has been a strong demand for Shilen’s barreled actions and complete rifles. Accordingly, the waiting period is two to four months for complete rifles, a bit less for barreled actions. But some chamberings can be had much more quickly (if Shilen has a pre-chambered barrel in current inventory). If you’re interested, call (972) 875-5318 or email email@example.com for more info.
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At the recent Int’l Sniper Competition Awards Ceremony at Ft. Benning, GA, Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) unveiled a modular rifle chassis customized for the Army Sniper Association (ASA). These specially-engraved APO SABER-FORSST Chassis Systems will be sold exclusively through the Army Sniper Association. Proceeds from chassis sales will help benefit Sniper Association activities. Bob Mahar, President of the Army Sniper Association, explains: “The [Association’s] partnership with Ashbury will help us grow the Sniper Association, contribute to the Silent Warrior Memorial construction and commit additional funding to the SSG. Eric Caban Fallen Sniper Fund.” Ashbury Precision also recently raffled off two SABER Enhanced Factory Rifles to raise money for the Fallen Sniper fund.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance Chassis System (Turn Audio volume down at work.)
The customized SABER modular rifle chassis designed for the Army Sniper Association is based on APO’s very popular MOD-0 chassis platform with the addition of important features:
Hand-Tool Adjustable (HTA) Folding Stock with Limbsaver Recoil Pad.
ERGO Hand Grip with adjustable Grip to Trigger Distance.
DBM with Ambidextrous Magazine Release.
SuperSport Tactical Alloy Fore-End with Bipod Stud.
12″ Picatinny Side Accessory Rails and 8 Sling Swivel Attachment Points.
“We have configured the Army Sniper Association’s Modular Rifle Chassis around the two most popular rifles around”, says Morris Peterson, President of Ashbury Int’l Group. These are “the Remington short action and long action[.] Now shooters can make their existing or new Remington bolt-action rifles functionally modular and more comfortable to shoot accurately.” For those shooters with an M24-styled rifle based on a Rem M700 long action, but chambered for the .308 Win cartridge, APO has just introduced the RLA-A3 option offering a 5-round or 10-round detachable magazine. A wide range of SABER modular rifle chassis accessories are available from Ashbury Precision Ordnance.
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The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is an American classic — one of the great, iconic .22LR target pistols. Accurate, well-balanced and built-to-last, model 41s have been in production for over 50 years. The Model 41 remains one of the most accurate pistols ever produced by Smith & Wesson. Now the Model 41 has been updated for the 21st Century, with the introduction of a new Performance Center “optics-ready” version. The new Model 41 PC has an integral Picatinny Rail mount for optics, plus adjustable target sights, with a distinctive skeletonized and removable front blade sight.
This full-size, 10-shot .22LR pistol features a carbon steel frame and slide along with a 5.5-inch barrel. Measuring 10.5 inches in overall length, the Model 41 PC has an unloaded weight of 41 ounces.
Across the top of the slide, the Performance Center Model 41 sports an integral Picatinny-style equipment rail for easy installation of optics. Other standard features include an external thumb safety on the left side of the frame, custom wood target grips, and a blued finish. The Performance Center Model 41 is covered by Smith & Wesson’s lifetime service policy. To learn more about the optics-ready Model 41 PC and other new Performance Center guns, visit www.smith-wesson.com
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Our friend Sebastian Lambang, creator of the SEB Coaxial rests and the new SEB Joystick Bipod, recently visited Great Britain to participate in the European F-Class Championships. While in the UK, Seb visited the famous (infamous?) Diggle Range, as well as London Towne. Seb was hosted by Brit shooters Brian Fox and our buddy Vince Bottomley (who writes for the TargetShooter Magazine).
Shooting in the UK Report by Sebastian Lambang
After flying from Surabaya to Manchester airport, Brian Fox picked up my wife Lily and me on Oct. 26 morning. We then went straight to Diggle Hotel. Saturday I shot the 800-yard match at Diggle Range and Sunday I shot the 300m ‘Tactical’ Match.
Monday to Wednesday morning Lily and I did sight-seeing in London. Then we went to Bisley by train. I got a little practice time on Thursday then shot the individual match on Friday and Saturday. The team match was on Sunday but I didn’t shoot it since a friend took us to his house.
Bisley Was Cold and Conditions Were Hard to Read
I think I didn’t do very well in the Europeans. Probably because this was my first-ever F-class match, and the temps were too low for me. I was told also that Bisley is hard to shoot, the wind flags pointing ‘everywhere’, and I wasn’t sure what I should I watch to judge the conditions. I can’t trust the wind-flags, I couldn’t see mirage most of the time to help to determine the hold off. However I really liked the Championship event and enjoyed the shooting. Congrats to Lee Tomlinson (F-Open Winner, 459.30), Tim Stewart (F-TR Winner, 439.23) and Great Britain’s victorious F-Open and F-TR teams.
Vince Bottomley supplied a rifle for me to use at the Championships. Vince is a great guy indeed, he helped me with the rifle, the loads etc., and most of all he spent three full days with me while I was shooting the match. I can’t thank him enough.
Testing the New SEB Joystick Bipod
AccurateShooter: How did the new Joystick Bipod Work?
Seb: Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to try the bipod myself. But Thursday afternoon several Spanish shooters tried the bipod on their gun and they said that the bipod works fine and their shots went into the spot they want. I tried a few rounds with their gun but the impacts were not as expected … probably because I shot their F-TR .308 gun free recoil. [Editor: Even with ski-type bipod feet, you will usually benefit by having a pretty firm grip on the gun — not a death hold — but contact with the gun at multiple points.]
AccurateShooter: When will the bipod go on sale? Is the design finalized?
Seb: I still need to perfect the legs of the bipod, I think. I will probably make two models, one with compactness in mind and one other with the lightest legs possible. The MAX rest is in production currently, and then I’ll make another 200 NEO rests for the people on the waiting list. After that we could probably start bipod production. I do hope that the bipod can be ready for sale sometime in mid-2013. The first batch would be 100 units. If my prediction is correct, all 100 units will be sold or spoken for.
AccurateShooter: How much will the production version of the Joystick Bipod cost?
Seb: Still not sure, but it should be around $350-$400 in the USA. The most expensive part is the coaxial unit. According to Brian Fox, the bipod attracted a lot of attention/interest during the match and if I had a dozen units with me, we might have sold them all at the match.
Great Visit to the UK
I really enjoyed my visit to the UK, especially visiting with Brian Fox (he is a great guy and genuine indeed!) and meeting fellow shooters from other European countries. I learned a bit from the F-class shoot and I think the bug has bitten me. It’s also nice to see a sea of SEB rests at the Bisley range in the F-Open Class.
I send my thanks to all the people I met during my visit. It is great to make new friends, and I’m happy to be a part of this great group of shooters.
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Lars Dalseide, editor of the NRAblog, found a cool new product for pistol shooters and 3-Gun competitors. The new NRA Handgunner Backpack provides a convenient transport solution for your pistols, magazines, and assorted range gear. This product offers all the carrying capacity of a large range bag, in a design that, when worn on your back, leaves your hands free to haul long-gun cases, target frames, spotting scopes, or other bulky hardware. Measuring 17″ wide, 22″ high and 9″ deep, the pack has plenty of room for your gear.
Quad-Pistol Gear Hauler
The cleverly-designed Handgunner Backpack carries up to four pistols. Undo the zipper, slide out the compartment, place your pistols in one of the four foam gun cradles. Store your magazines in a zip-up side pocket with six (6) individual mag sleeves. There are also specially designed compartments for ammo boxes, muffs, protective eyewear, target stapler, and more. You’ll find handy embroidered patches showing the right spot for each gear item.
Lars tells us this pack is comfortable and sturdy. The shoulder staps and the rear back panel feature moisture-wicking padding. To keep the rain out, the pack comes with a waterproof cover. And the pack won’t collapse when you set it on a bench — it is designed to stand up on its own.
We’re impressed with the design and features of this pack. A lot of smart thinking went into its design. As you might expect though, because the Handgunner Backpack has so many features, it’s not cheap. This specialized backpack sells for $119.95 at the the NRA Online Store. We don’t think that’s too much, considering what this pack can do. This could be a sweet Xmas gift for the pistolero or 3-Gun shooter in the family. If you are running a shooting match, the Handgunner Backpack would make a great prize — way more useful than a walnut plaque.
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ArmaLite has just introduced its latest bolt-action rifle, the new AR-30A1. Armalite’s AR-30A1 is available in .300 Win Magnum (24″ barrel) and .338 Lapua Magnum (26″ barrel). Both the .300 WM and .338 LM are offered in two versions: Standard and Target. The Target versions feature an adjustable stock, plus an extended Picatinny rail running forward of the action.
On the surface, the AR-30A1 bears a family resemblance to its predecessor, the AR-30. But, the AR-30A1 actually shares few components from the AR-30: grip, buttpad, trigger, and a few small parts. All other components are new and/or improved. Armalite claims that the new AR30-A1 has better ergonomics, versatility, reliability, and ease of use.
Features of all versions of the new AR-30A1:
Muzzle brake threads are suppressor industry standard (5/8 x 24 for the 300 WM and 3/4 x 24 for the 338 LM). Many suppressors can be attached without an adaptor.
The bolt-mounted safety mechanism locks the firing pin to the rear. This design is stronger and more secure than a sear- or trigger-blocking safety.
Cheek-piece supports contain integral cleaning rod guides to prevent bore damage.
Multiple sling installation locations allow simultaneous use of a sling and a bipod. Rear sling swivel can be moved to either left or right side.
The entire buttstock assembly can be quickly and easily removed with only one allen wrench. Standard and target buttstocks are interchangeable on any receiver.
Here’s a cool product for some fun plinking with the kids. Matterhorn Innovations produces the unique ReVersa Target, a heavy paperboard target with large bullseyes on the front, plus pre-cut tabs for clay pigeons on the reverse side. You can start with the black & white side for precision work, and then flip the target over and blast away at a dozen clay birds held in individual tabbed pockets. ReVersa targets cost $4.99 each at Brownells.com. That price does NOT include the wire target-holders shown in the photos — those sell separately for $19.99.
We expect most ReVersa target buyers will use these 2′ x 3′ cardboard sheets inside 200 yards. However we think the ReVersa targets would also be useful for long-range shooters who want to try reactive targets for a change. We often shoot at clay pigeons at long range, but we either have to set them on the berm, or tape them one by one to a cardboard backer. With the ReVersa target, you can easily position a dozen clays up off the ground where they are more visible. Buyers have been happy with these jumbo-sized, double-sided targets — user feedback on Brownells.com has been all positive.
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Wow. If James Bond shot F-TR, we think this is what he might use. You’re looking at the radical new Steve Jennings stock for F-TR competition. This skeletonized stock is crafted to fit the Barnard action. As you can see, there is no conventional fore-arm. Instead a carbon fiber tube extends forward of the action. At the front end of the tube, a fixture hold the beefy, forward-angled, girder-style bipod legs. These legs adjust to two heights, for prone or bench shooting. Large Delrin cylinders at the bottom of the legs provide stability and help resist bipod hop. Cost of the Jennings stock, including bipod legs and bag-rider assembly, is $700.00 at Chesebro Rifles.
The rear bag-rider, which adjusts for height, is also carried by a carbon-fiber tube that runs from the bottom of the pistol grip back to the buttplate. The bag-rider is attached via an eccentric fixture. This way, as you spin it in and out, the vertical position changes. This allows you to get the elevation centered -up on the target, but this system is not designed for fast changes “on the fly”. Small changes in elevation are made by squeezing the bag.
Mark Chesebro also offers a complete rifle built around the new Jennings stock. Built with a Barnard Action, Trueflite (NZ) barrel, and Barnard trigger, a complete Jennings F-TR rifle costs $2500.00. For more information on the Steve Jennings F-TR stock, or complete rifles built with this stock, visit ChesebroRifles.com or call (805) 280-5311. We hope to get our hands on one of these rigs for testing very soon!
EDITOR’s COMMENT: Now it would be great if Seb Lambang’s joystick bipod head could somehow be adapted to this rig, with the joystick running under the carbon fiber “fore-end”, but still using the forward-angled Jennings girder-style legs and oversize “Coke-Can” bipod feet. That could definitely be a James Bond-worthy F-TR rig.
Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Gary Eliseo’s Tubegun chassis kits, long favored by High Power and prone sling-shooters, are now being used in increasing numbers by F-Class shooters, particularly F-TR competitors shooting from bipod. Here’s good news for the F-TR crew. Gary Eliseo has announced that his B1 and R1 Competition Shooting Stuff (CSS) Chassis kits will now be available with DUAL PORTS, by special order. This allows a right-handed F-TR shooter to load with left hand, with the fired case ejecting on the right. For more information visit www.GotXRing.com or call Gary at (714) 630-5734.
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After we ran a story on the New Mexico War Wagon, readers wanted more details about this well-designed mobile shooting bench belonging to Forum member John H. (aka “Skratch”).
John told us: “My brother-in-law and I built this mobile bench a few years ago. The axle, wheels and tire are a tag axle from a small Chevy car, obtained from a salvage yard for about $35-$40 a decade ago. The tubular frame is drill stem, while the bench-top and seats are 3/4′” plywood. Under the plywood we fitted rails so we can slide our target stand under the benchtop for secure travel. The total cost for everything (including storage box) was about $250-$300.”
We set the bench and seat heights so that, with adults, the rifle sets straight level to the shoulder. For the smaller ‘younguns’ we just use a sofa pillow to raise them up. (Yes, adjustable seat heights would be great.) The ammo box holds our rifle rest, sand bags, spotting scope, and miscellaneous gear. Options are a couple of lawn chairs, and a cooler of brew (for after the shooting is done).
Click on image frames to see full-size photos
Some readers wanted to know how John’s War Wagon is positioned in the field and if it is ever detached from John’s ATV. John answers: “We do unhook the 4-wheeler for target-checking unless we have an extra along which is usually the case. That way we can level the table front to rear. We have an umbrella from a patio table to provide shade on extra warm days.”
Potential Modifications and Upgrades to the War Wagon
When our buddy Mark LaFevers (AccurateShooter.com’s chief fabricator), saw the war wagon, he was impressed. Mark, a professional welder by trade, is now thinking about building a similar rig — with some enhancements. Mark told us: “The thing I like best about the design is the simplicity. It has enough features to get the job done without any frills, bells and whistles. There is always the danger as one adds items that seem like they would be desirable, that the unit becomes too complex and loses its fun aspect. Still, I would try adding a few things.
I like how the builder has added stabilizers at the seat locations. For areas with steep or uneven terrain , I would consider adding a trailer tongue jack to be able to level front to rear, or disconnect from the ATV to go check targets. I would also consider not hard-fastening the bench-top to the frame, but rather mounting it with screw-jacks to be able to level it independently from the frame, both crosswise and lengthwise. Being able to level the benchtop may not be necessary in flat prairie country, but it would be helpful on hilly or uneven terrain.
I would also make the seat height-adjustable. That would accommodate different shooter body sizes and shapes. Height could be adjusted with a threaded seat column, which you can buy cheaply online. You could even mount a slider to allow front-to-rear seat movement. This would allow you to move back for longer rifles and forward for smaller rifles or Encore-style pistols.
Of course, there are other possible “creature comfort” options. If you really wanted to “pimp your ride”, you could include an umbrella stand, gimbaled beer holder, the mandatory water-misters, and a mobile sound system….
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Here’s good news for folks looking for another domestic source of cartridge brass. Federal Premium, the folks who make Federal Gold Medal match ammo, is now offering new, virgin, unprimed cartridge brass for a variety of rifle and pistol cartridge types. The new Federal Premium brass will be sold by Sinclair International, Grafs.com and other popular retailers. Sinclair has Federal brass in stock now for the most popular rifle cartridges, including .223 Rem, .243 Win, .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM and seven more cartridge types (13 rifle brass types total — see chart below).
Federal’s new brass for reloaders starts at $25.99 for fifty (50) cases of .308 Win Brass. The equivalent of $51.98 per hundred cases, that’s pretty affordable. However, note that some types of Federal brass are much more expensive. For example, Federal’s .300 WSM brass costs $43.99 for fifty (50) cases at Sinclair. Click Here for Federal Premium Brass at Sinclair.
Sinclair Int’l notes: “Federal ammunition has long been prized for its reliability, consistency, and quality. But the only way to get Federal brass for reloads was to save your spent shells or scrounge them off the range – until now. Pristine, unfired, properly head-stamped Federal brass for popular rifle cartridges is now available from the manufacturer, and we’re pleased to offer it.”
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome submissions from readers.
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In our Shooters’ Forum thread about Portable Shooting Benches, Forum member John H. of New Mexico (aka “Skratch”) showed off a nicely-crafted mobile shooting bench that he can haul with his ATV. This trailer-mounted, movable bench is built on a central tubular spine that also serves as the tongue for the trailer, which attaches to a standard hitch. The bench offers two (2) shooting positions so it works for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.
Up front, for storage, a surplus .50-Cal ammo can is secured to the trailer frame. The V-shaped middle section of the wood benchtop looks to be reinforced with a metal stiffener frame on the underside. The front section of the bench is supported by twin tubular uprights attached to the box-section axle housing. The two wooden bench-style seats (on left and right) ride on a cross-tube. At the ends of that cross-tube are adjustable legs for additional support.
Great Rig for New Mexico Varmint Hunting
There are plenty of great varmint hunting areas in Skratch’s home state of New Mexico — you’ll find some huge prairie dog fields there. But to get the best results on a varmint-hunting field session, you need a solid shooting station that can be easily hauled to new locations as needed. It looks like John (aka “Scratch”) has come up with an outstanding “War Wagon” for his New Mexico varmint safaris.
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As we reported a few weeks ago, Bryan Litz has written a new book, Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting. We know many readers have pre-ordered Bryan’s latest book. Here’s the good news. Bryan reports that most pre-orders for the new book shipped yesterday, and the rest will go out today.
We asked Bryan to explain the differences between his original Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting resource book and the new Accuracy and Precision book. Here is Bryan’s explanation…
The first book, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, covers the elements of long range shooting and explains how all the various mechanisms of external ballistics affect trajectories. It’s also the book that contains detailed drawings, BC and stability data for hundreds of bullets.
The new book, Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting explains the impact of external ballistic effects in terms of “hit percentage”. For example, if you choose to ignore Coriolis Effect in your ballistic solution, how much will your hit percentage be reduced on a 10″ target at 1000 yards? How about a 5″ target at 500 yards? How much would your hit percentage be improved on a 15″ target at 1200 yards if you reduce wind uncertainty from +/-3 mph to +/-2 mph?
There are also numerous performance comparisons between different classes of cartridges. For example: how much higher is hit percentage for a .338 Lapua Magnum than a .308 Winchester for common environments and targets?
The new book identifies accuracy and precision effects and defines their effects separately. Did you ever wonder why it’s so easy to shoot a 10 inch GROUP at 1000 yards, but how difficult it is to HIT A 10″ TARGET at 1000 yards on the first shot? Shooting a 10 inch group is precision, but centering the group is a challenge of accuracy.
It’s quite common for long range shooters to focus 90% of their effort on the precision aspect, and only 10% on accuracy. To actually hit targets, you need a balance of accuracy and precision, with accuracy becoming increasingly more important as range is extended. — Bryan Litz
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Sebastian (Seb) Lambang of SEB Coaxial, a brilliant designer and fabricator, has created an ingenious joystick bipod. The first coaxial bipod we’ve ever seen, Seb’s new bipod is a superb example of creative design and smart engineering. This unit gives F-TR and other bipod shooters precise, one-handed control of both windage and elevation. Seb’s innovative joystick bipod is yet one more example of the innovative, advanced engineering we’ve come to expect from his company. We think this guy could be building Formula 1 cars if he set his mind to it. We are fortunate that Seb loves shooting, so he applies his talent to designing and building great new products for the shooting sports.
Seb tells us: “I just finished a prototype joystick bipod, i.e. a bipod with joystick (coaxial) elevation and windage control. This patent-pending bipod is my newest project/invention. As far as I know, there is no one that makes this type of bipod… so it’s probably the only one in the world.” We already know some shooters who want to order Seb’s joystick bipod, but Seb cautions: “It’s not for sale yet. It’s still in prototype step. There is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.”
Seb will test and refine the design in the next couple of months before production starts. But Seb is quite satisfied with the design so far: “The rigidity, ease and comfort of use, and compactness, are already OK in my opinion.” Folks in Europe will be able to see the design very soon. The first real-world test of Seb’s new joystick bipod will be at the European F-Class Championship, slated for November 2-3 in the UK. Seb notes: “I won’t be shooting F-TR in the match, but I will ask some fellow F-TR shooters at the Bisley range to test it, and provide feedback.” Seb invites Daily Bulletin readers to look at the photos and provide comments or suggestions on design enhancements.
At the lowest setting with the adjustable legs, the SEB bipod is approximately 6″ tall. At the highest setting, the unit is about 9″ tall. To smooth upward movement of the rifle, Seb designed the coaxial head with “built-in uplift”. The joystick itself is about 10″ long, with a collet-type head. When folded, the new SEB Bipod is relatively compact, about 9″ long x 5″ wide x 2″ thick. Most parts are made from aircraft grade 7000 series aluminum. The current weight of the prototype is 26 ounces (740 grams). Seb is working on reducing weight for the production models.
Joystick Function and Adjustment Range
As with SEB Coaxial front rests, the joystick function is user-selectable. The joystick handle can operate either ‘up for up’ or ‘up for down’, simply by reversing the unit and the joystick. The bipod’s effective windage and elevation range* is approximately 38 MOA horizontal (windage) and 16 MOA vertical (elevation). Seb explains: “That’s not as much as my other rests, but for F-Class use it should be adequate. The finer the adjustment, the better on the target and the smoother the joystick operation. It’s like using a scope with 1/8 MOA adjustment rather than 1/4 MOA.”
*True vertical travel is about 32 MOA but in the field the rifle stock will limit how far you can lift the joysticK. Note also that the adjustment range varies with your set-up geometry. The shorter the distance between the rear bag and the bipod, the greater the travel in MOA. This means that if you extend the distance between rear bag and bipod, you will lose some MOA travel.
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Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in NRAblog
Earlier this month, junior air rifle shooters from Georgia faced off against counterparts in Germany during an “internet match” that allowed both teams to keep track of their opponents scores in real-time. The two teams were 4,000 miles apart, but they competed simultaneously, with scores from both countries posted instantly (in both venues) via internet connections.
Each shooter was ranked and paired against the corresponding member of the opposing team – like golf’s Ryder Cup. Instead of a team aggregate determining the outcome, countries earned points for beating their opponents.
The US team was set up at the Ole Mill Range in Griffin, Georgia, while their German opponents were shooting from from Untergrombach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in southern Germany. American and German teams, separated by 4,000 miles and a six hour time difference, came together on a fall day to shoot a fun match between one another – simultaneously. Instead of waiting for results from one another and shooting on different days, it was great to see the two groups work out schedules that allowed competition as if they were all at the same range.
Instead of a normal 60-shot standing match, the two ranges agreed to tweak the rules to the head-to-head format for a little international fun. All shooters still shot in the same relay with scores reported as they came in and “wins” were counted after each pair had finished.
How did the US team fare? I’m sure they’ve seen better days. Outshot in all but one match, the United States lost to Germany 3-1. Despite the defeat, this match was a great example of the shooting sport’s international strength. This “internet match” opened all kinds of doors for future matches between not only different countries, but different states within the USA. The ease of communication through computers can really help the shooting sports expand with a web of competitions the world over.
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