April 30th, 2013

Nightforce’s First-Ever Spotting Scope, Plus New 2.5-10x42mm

Nightforce Optics will unveil new products at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits this upcoming Friday. The big news is an 82mm spotting scope — the first-ever spotter from Nightforce. We knew Nightforce was planning an important product launch, but frankly this announcement caught us by surprise — Nightforce has always been a riflescope company. This is new territory. Why is Nightforce rolling out a high-magnification spotting scope now? Kyle Brown, Nightforce’s Director of Sales and Marketing, explains: “Our customers have asked for many years when we would introduce a spotting scope. The answer was, ‘at a time when we could produce a spotting scope equivalent in performance and quality to Nightforce riflescopes.’ That time is now.”

Nightforce TS-82 spotting scope HD

The new TS-82™ Xtreme Hi-Def™ spotting scope features a large 82mm objective, plus high-quality, European-made APO Fluorite Glass. The “street price”, including a 20-70X eyepiece, should be $2522.00 ($2600 MSRP). Shown above is the straight-body version, but the TS-82 will also be offered with an angled body for the same price ($2522.00 including 20-70X eyepiece). Nightforce promises that, by the end of 2013, an optional wide-angle 30-60X eyepiece will be available. In addition, Nightforce plans to offer an accessory mount for attaching a red dot sight or a laser rangefinder. This is good news for long-range hunters — you can locate your target through the spotter and then instantly range distance-to-target with an LRF aligned precisely with the spotting scope lens. Nightforce will also offer a handy iPhone accessory mount for digiscoping.

At the NRA Meeting in Houston, Nightforce will also introduce a new, side-focus 2.5-10x42mm NXS riflescope. For years, the Nightforce 2.5-10x32mm NXS Compact has been a popular optic. The new Nightforce 2.5-10x42mm NXS Compact, with its larger objective, should be more effective in low light. Yet the scope is still fairly light-weight (19 oz.–20.5 oz.) and compact (11.9 inches in length). Expect “street price” to be around $1740.00.

Nightforce TS-82 spotting scope HD

The notable feature of the new 2.5-10x42mm NXS is its side parallax adjustment (25 yards to infinity). It’s unusual to find side parallax control on an optic with 10X max magnification. The new 2.5×10 also incorporates red or green reticle illumination with adjustable intensity settings. Six different reticles are available, including the new IHR™ (International Hunting Reticle). The 2.5-10x42mm is offered with .250 MOA Hi-Speed™ or .1 Mil-Radian adjustments on exposed turrets, or, alternately, enclosed (capped) turrets with .250 MOA clicks. For more information, visit NightforceOptics.com

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
April 29th, 2013

ISSC SPA 22/17 Straight-Pull Rimfire Rifles Coming in May

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifleISSC will soon be shipping its new SPA 22/17 series of rimfire rifles. These rifles all feature a fast, biathlon-style, Straight-Pull Action (SPA). This allows for rapid cycling without having to lift your head off the stock. Watch the video below and you can see how you can easily work the toggle action with thumb and two fingers. ISSC offers the SPA 22/17 in three popular rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. We think the 17 HMR version of this little rifle would be a great “carry-around” varmint rig. And the “Target” model, as chambered in .22 LR, seems ideal for the popular “Rimfire Tactical” game.

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle
ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

The Austrian-made SPA 22/17 is offered in three (3) different stock versions: Wood stock (with raised comb), Polymer sporter stock (with Snabel-style fore-end), and a “Target” model (with a folding, Accuracy International-style thumbhole stock). All variants come with 10-round magazines. The rifles are currently offered in three popular rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. The ISSC SPA 22/17 series of rifles is distributed in the USA through Legacy Sports International.

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

ISSC SPA 21/17 straight-pull rimfire rifle

We’re told that the first shipments of ISSC Spa 22/17 rifles should be arriving by mid-May, with larger shipments scheduled for June, 2013. We expect these rifles to be pretty popular, so you may want to get in line. Here’s a video from Legacy Sports showing how the straight-pull actions work:

ISSC is located in Ried, Austria. The company’s design and engineering work is accomplished at the company’s ESC subsidiary, located in Ulm, Germany.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 5 Comments »
April 28th, 2013

SEB Spreads the Joy — Gen II Joystick Bipods Arrive in USA

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

It was Christmas in April this weekend, as our new GEN II Joystick Bipod system arrived — thanks to Sebastian (Seb) Lambang of SEB Coaxial. We’re anxious to try this sophisticated new system on a variety of rifles, both small-bore and big-bore. Designed for F-TR shooters, we think the new Joystick bipod (aka “Joy-Pod”) may also prove popular with tactical shooters and varmint hunters who need a lightweight, yet easily-adjustable front support. Like his coaxial front rests, Lambang’s Joystick Bipod controls both horizontal (windage) and vertical (elevation) with a single control arm. In addition, the GEN II “Joy-Pod” offers cant adjustment with its tilting head.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Gross height can be easily adjusted on the vertical legs, both of which feature a column of precision-machined teeth (like on a jack), with a positive quick-adjust locking mechanism. The whole Joy-Pod system weighs about 21 ounces, and SEB even provides a handy nylon storage case.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

We’ll be field-testing our new Joy-Pod in the near future and we’ll let you know how it works. SEB is not soliciting advance orders just yet — as there may be some final mods on the production version. Price hasn’t been set yet, but it should be competitive with the popular F-TR wide-base bipods on the market. If you’re intrigued, you’ll find many more hi-rez product photos on Seb Lambang’s Facebook Page.

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Sebastian Lambang Joy-Pod F-TR bipod

Permalink Competition, New Product 5 Comments »
April 28th, 2013

New Sinclair ‘Heavy Varmint Rest’ — Also Competition Rest on Sale

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest HuntingSinclair Int’l announced that it will reveal a new heavy-duty Varmint Shooting Rest at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits next week. The new rest (photo right) features a beefy center post with large-diameter control knobs. There is a rest-top control for windage, and you can quickly adjust the 3-lobe bag to handle different rifles. Using the quick-release handles, slide the bag side-plates in and out for various forearm widths. Price has not yet been set. Geoff Esterline of Sinclair says: “A bunch of Sinclair folks will be there in Booth #3433 to talk shop with our customers. We’ll be unveiling our new Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest at the show. Attendees can enter a drawing to win one of three shooting rests. So drop by and sign up for your chance to win.”

Beefy Sinclair Competition Shooting Rest on SALE
In related news, Sinclair has put its popular Competition Shooting Rest on sale. The price has been marked down from $669.99 to $599.99. That’s a pretty good value compared to other high-end rests with this kind of quality and precision control systems.

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest Hunting

Here are some user comments from our Forum members:

Great rest. Easy to convert to left hand as well. — Geronimo Jim

I have one and really like it a lot. I’ve not encountered any issues with mine. — DReever

A friend has one, I have used it. All machining is top-notch like all Sinclair stuff. I prefer a joystick, but if I wanted a knob-type rest I would buy the Sinclair. Very nice having the elevation and windage knobs close to each other. — Zfastmalibu

The only thing I do not like about them is the horizontal adjustment pivots instead of going straight side to side… which can put the rear stock and rest in a little bit of a bind if you have to go far. I do like that the Sinclair is quite a bit heavier than the J.J. Loh rest. I think you would be plenty happy with [the Sinclair rest]. — Bozo 699

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
April 26th, 2013

Top F-TR Shooters Using 17-Ounce Duplin ‘Rorer Spec’ Bipod

Following our story on the Sinclair Int’l East Coast Fullbore Nationals, folks wanted to know about the bipods used by the winning F-TR squad, Team Sinclair. Some sharp-eyed readers noticed that three out of four Team Sinclair shooters were sporting a compact, parallel-arm bipod. This nice piece of kit is the ultra-light-weight (17 oz.) Rorer Spec Bipod produced by Duplin Rifles in North Carolina. The Rorer Spec Bipod is sturdy and easily-adjusted, yet it is one of the lightest wide-track bipods on the market.

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

Duplin Rifles — Rorer Spec Bipod
Weight: 1 pound, 1 oz. (17 oz.) | Finish: Clear- or black-Anodized Aluminum
Price: $350.00 delivered in USA | Options: Custom faceplates; Custom mount engraving ($35)

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

For more information, or to place an order, contact Duplin’s main man, Clint Cooper. You can send email to clint [at] duplinrifles.com or call 910-289-8217.

Duplin Rifles
4527 Hwy 117 South
Rose Hill, NC 28458

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 17 Comments »
April 24th, 2013

Forum Member Builds DIY F-Class Rifle and Belt-Drive Rest

This story first appeared last year. We’re featuring it again by popular request.
Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below to see large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle this weekend and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to .0001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
April 18th, 2013

New Brownells Personal Protection & Home Defense Catalog

Brownells has released its first-ever Personal Protection & Home Defense Catalog. This full-color, 64-page Catalog (issue #1) features the most popular accessories, parts, holsters, magazines, cleaning supplies, and ammunition for home defense and personal protection. Additionally, the “Preparedness” section features an array of compact flashlights, knives, multi-tools, first-aid kits and emergency bags, plus less-lethal devices like the C2 Taser, collapsible batons, and pepper spray.

To order the print version of the Personal Protection & Home Defense Catalog #1, visit Brownells’ Catalog Order Page, or call 800-741-0015. You can also access a fully-interactive, digital edition of the Catalog. CLICK HERE for Personal Protection/Home Defense Online Catalog.

Frank Brownell Receives Honor From American Custom Gunmakers Guild
Frank Brownell, longtime President and now Chairman of the Board of Brownells, Inc., was recognized by the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (ACGG) on Thursday, March 28, 2013, during the Brownells 7th Annual Gunsmith Conference & Career Fair.

Guild members surprised Brownell by presenting him with an Honorary Life Membership to the American Custom Gunmakers Guild. Brownell is the first and only non-craftsman to receive the prestigious award, according to the President of the ACGG, Michael Ullman.

“I was totally taken aback by this award,” said Frank Brownell. “I love the incredibly beautiful, functional guns the folks in the Guild build. Their craftsmanship is simply superb [and] their passion is creating these amazing works of art[.] I am deeply honored, and thank them all so very much.”

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
April 17th, 2013

Quality Bald Eagle Soft Case for Long-Barreled, Scoped Rifles

Our IT guy, Jay (aka ‘JayChris’ in the Forum) shoots F-Class with a 31.5″-barreled rifle. He wanted a quality soft-case that could protect his F-Class rifle and the large Nightforce 12-42 NSX scope on top. After looking at many options, Jay selected the Bald Eagle BE1021 Long Rifle Case. Jay tells us: “I just bought one of these, after seeing a couple guys with them at the range. They can easily handle a long prone or F-Class rifle and have good padding (similar to the Creedmoor case) and seem well-built. I also noticed a lot of the sling shooters showing up with them.” Bald Eagle offers this case design in two colors: black (BE1021) or red (BE1020). The BE1020/21 soft cases measure 55″ long by 13″ tall. There is a large, zippered compartment on both sides of the case.

Bald Eagle long scoped rifle soft case 55  inches BE1020

Amazon Buyer Review (by Gonzos):

This is a well-made, sturdy case for large rifles with a scope. Easily fits my 31-inch barreled F-Class rifle with a 12X42 Nightforce scope on it. I have no problems with it at all — in fact this is my third one. I wish the side pocket was full length (to hold a cleaning rod) but other than that it is perfect.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
April 15th, 2013

Superior’s Super-Sized Safe — For Really BIG Gun Collections

Bigger is Better?
Yes, size matters — at least when it comes to gun safes. Is your current safe bursting at the seams with your ever-growing firearms collection? Perhaps you need a little more vertical clearance for your Lahti L-39 or favorite Punt Gun? Well Superior Safe Co. has a solution for you — a humongous safe that stands 10-feet tall and weighs more than a pick-up truck. For reference, the young man in the picture, Greg from Pyramyd Air, is an honest 6’3″ tall.

Sized Right — For a 7-Footer
Now if you’re not an NBA center, the lock placement on this jumbo safe is not very practical. We note that the keypad is a good foot above Greg’s head, making access somewhat difficult for the “vertically challenged” customer. We’re not sure what Superior Safe hand in mind there — unless this mega-safe was really created for Shaquille O’Neal or Yao Ming. Still, Americans love big stuff — big cars, big houses, and, of course, big guns. At least if you purchase one of these monsters, you’ll have the peace of mind that a smash-and-grab thief can’t roll it away on a hand dolly. Superior Safe, which displayed this yellow giant at last year’s NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, explains that this is a “custom model” not on the normal price list — face it, if you need to ask about the price, you can’t afford it. Joking aside, if you really need this kind of capacity for a firearms collection (with a punt gun or Lahti), you’d be wise to consider a custom walk-in vault, built into a room in your house. (Safe photo courtesy Pyramyd Air.)

What is a Punt Gun?
A punt gun is an extremely large shotgun used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for shooting large numbers of waterfowl for commercial harvesting operations and private sport. Punt guns could have bore diameters exceeding 2 inches (51 mm) and fire over a pound of shot at a time. A single shot could kill over 50 waterfowl resting on the water’s surface. Punt guns were too big to hold so they were often mounted directly on the punts (boats) used for hunting, hence their name. Generally the gun was fixed to the punt, requiring the hunter to manuever the entire boat to aim the gun. Firing the gun often propelled the punt backwards from recoil. Sometimes fleets of punt gun-boats were used together. In the United States, this practice depleted stocks of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most states had banned the practice. In the United Kingdom, a 1995 survey showed fewer than 50 active punt guns still in use. UK law limits punt guns to a bore diameter of 1.75 inches (1 1/8 pounder). Learn more at Wikipedia.com.

Lahti L-39 photo, courtesy Gordon Greene, originally appeared in The Gun Zone.

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
April 14th, 2013

New 34th Edition of Blue Book of Gun Values Now Available

Blue Book Gun Values 2012 33rd EditionThe new 34th Edition Blue Book of Gun Values has just been released, and is available now for $29.38. The Blue Book of Gun Values, by S. P. Fjestad, is the top-selling book in our AccurateShooter Bookstore which operates through Amazon.com. The 34th Edition of the Blue Book has 2,408 pages, easily making it the highest page count of any firearms book currently in print. This resource includes nearly 1,500 gun manufacturers, almost 20,000 gun model descriptions, and over 175,000 prices!

Updated Products and Prices
New 2013 domestic and imported makes and models have been included. All gun values have been thoroughly updated for both modern and antique firearms, including the recent paramilitary style guns. Other features include the 80-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) and serialization and proofmark sections to help in identifying firearms. The Blue Book of Gun Values is the firearm industry’s most trusted reference book with over 1.5 million copies in print.

CLICK HERE to Order Blue Book 34th Edition

NEW!! CD-ROM and Online Version of Blue Book
The Blue Book’s Publisher now offers a CD-ROM version of the Blue Book of Gun Values. Priced at $34.95, this contains all the information from the printed version of the 34th Edition Blue Book of Gun Values as well as over 3,500 color images packed on an easy-to-use disc.

The Blue Book of Gun Values is now available as an online subscription for $34.95. The online subscription contains the entire database of the current Blue Book of Gun Values, but it also has many features not available with the printed version, including quarterly updates, over 2,500 firearm images, complete search abilities, and inventory capabilities. You can also get a combo package of book and online data access. If you purchase the book directly from the publishers for $44.95, for an additional $5.00 you can get a one-year online subscription. You must use discount code 34GUNSUB5 at checkout to receive the $5 subscription.

Learn About Blue Book of Gun Values NEW Online Database:

Nine-Part Video Guide for Blue Blue Users
To assist Blue Book readers, Blue Book Publications has created a nine-part instructional video series on YouTube. Part 1, the Introduction, provides an overview. Each of the other eight (8) short videos explains a key feature of the Blue Book of Gun Values and how to best utilize it. Watch one or more videos, according to your interests.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
April 11th, 2013

Bullet Sample Packs Save Money During Load Development

Sinclair Int’l now carries Bullet Sample Packs from Bullet Proof Samples LLC. These 12-bullet packs are available for Berger, Barnes, and Nosler bullets in popular weights, types, and calibers. With the sample packs, during load development, you can try out a variety of projectiles without investing in an entire box of each type. That’s smart. Sample packs range in price from $5.99 to $15.99 (for twelve bullets per pack). Most of the Berger bullet packs are priced under $10.00, with many in the $6-$7 range.

bullet samples

CLICK HERE for the Sinclair Int’l bullet sample pack webpage. (Once there, select Barnes, Berger, or Nosler). You’ll also find the sample packs on page six of the Sinclair Int’l print catalog. To place an order, or for additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit www.sinclairintl.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
April 10th, 2013

New Mauser M 12 Rifle to Be Distributed by Blaser USA

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifleEarlier this month we ran a story on the new Sauer 101 rifle. It turns out the Sauer 101 will be distributed in the U.S. by Blaser USA. Here’s more good news for hunters — we’ve learned that Blaser will be bringing another new German hunting rifle to the USA — the Mauser M 12. You’ll find specs and photos of the M 12 below. This is a rifle with a great heritage, superb build quality, plus some innovative features.

Both the Mauser M 12 and Sauer 101 rifles should be available at retailers in late April. To learn more, visit these websites: www.Mauser-m12.com and www.Sauer-101.com. For additional information on the Blaser line of products visit www.Blaser-USA.com.

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Specifications

  • Bolt Features: 6-lug bolt, 60° bolt lift, bolt lugs engage directly in barrel, side bolt release, bolt can be disassembled without tools.
  • Extraction: Dual, spring loaded-ejectors for positive extraction.
  • Trigger: Crisp 950 gram (2.09 lb.) trigger pull.
  • Magazine capacity: 5 + 1 (standard calibers), 4+1 (magnum calibers).
  • Barrel length: 22″ (standard calibers), 24.5″ (magnum calibers).
  • Overall length: 42″ (standard calibers), 44.3″ (magnum calibers).
  • Weight: 6 .75 lb (standard calibers), 7 lb (magnum calibers)
  • Chamberings: .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, 8×57 IS, 9,3×62 | 7 mm Rem Magnum, .300 Win Magnum, .338 Win Magnum.

Mauser Technical Features Video (Worth Watching!)

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Hunting Video

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
April 9th, 2013

Vu Pham Wins Match with New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Scope

Some times nice guys do finish first. Our buddy Vu Pham, co-founder of the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC) took top honors in the NCPPRC monthly tactical long range match on the 1000 yard range at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Shooting his .260 Remington in a McMillan A5 stock, built by Spartan Rifles, topped with a Bushnell 4-30x50mm from CS Tactical, Vu beat a competitive field on a breezy day that saw the top 6 shooters separated by only 15 points. The Course of Fire had 27 of the 50 rounds shot from 800 to 1000 yards, where the fast-switching winds at 1000 yards were the deciding factor in the outcome. Vu tells us: “This LR Match win has eluded me for seven years now with these guys. I’ve been in the top five quite a few times, but never took home the win. Our matches are so close these days that it usually comes down to one or two bad trigger presses or ‘blown’ wind calls to separate the Top 10 shooters.”

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

NCPPRC long range tactical matches are held the first Sunday of each month, and are open to anyone 18 or older. No membership in any organization is required. Registration is at Range 12 of the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center from 07:30 to 08:30 in the morning. Cost is $25. To learn more about the match visit the NCPPRC Long Range Match webpage.

New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Tactical Scope
Vu Pham was running an all-new Bushnell front focal plane 4.5-30x50mm XRS scope with an amazing 6.7 times zoom range. This 34mm-tube scope features Bushnell’s G2 DMR Reticle. For a scope offering 30X magnification, is it compact at 14″ OAL (only 3/4″ longer than the HDMR). The elevation turret provides 10 mils per revolution with a zero stop. The scope sells for $2149.00 at CS Tactical.

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

Vu liked the new Bushnell scope and, obviously, it performed well for him. Vu tells us: “I believe this optic just hit the market… and is still pretty new. After having a few days behind the Bushnell XRS 4.5-30, I believe this optic will be a very viable option for the tactical precision rifle game. One of my favorite features of this scope is the mil-based G2DMR reticle. It makes holding over (and holding for windage) fast and easy. I will be doing a full test and evaluation in the next week or two after I get more time behind the optic.” Mike Cecil with CS Tactical provided the scope for this T&E.” Mike notes: “This is not the 4-30 tactical that’s listed as an XRS in the Bushnell online catalog — that’s a 30mm in the 6500 series line. This 34mm-tube XRS is a whole new animal!”

Permalink Competition, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
April 6th, 2013

Target Shooter Magazine April Issue Features IWA Show Report

April Target Shooter Magazine

If you want to see the latest and greatest shooting hardware from the other side of the Atlantic, log on to Targetshooter.co.uk, and check out the recently-released April 2013 digital edition of Target Shooter Magazine. Now offered in an easy-to-read scrolling format, the April edition is a gear-head’s delight, with dozens of large photos showing new hardware on display at the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show. You’ll find full IWA show coverage, including coverage of some very exotic rifles and components that have yet to make it across the Atlantic. Target Shooter’s “man on the scene” at the IWA show was our friend Vince Bottomley, and he came away very impressed with many of the new products he saw on display.

April Target Shooter Magazine

April Target Shooter Magazine

Vince notes that the IWA show had more than 1200 exhibitors. That’s a big presence, even compared to the 1600 exhibitors at SHOT Show. IWA also had many of the larger European exhibitors who don’t exhibit in Vegas. Interestingly, Vince noted that “aluminum stocks are becoming the ‘industry standard’ — particularly for competition and tactical rifles. Thanks to… CNC machinery, these stocks are generally reasonably priced (often less than the fiberglass equivalent) and require little or no gunsmithing[.] In most cases, they also look superb, especially when anodized or Ceracoated. Even major manufacturers are offering aluminum-stocked rifles — check out Blaser, Steyr, Haenel, Zastava and of course Unique Alpine, Accuracy International, and Desert Tactical Arms.” There were also many interesting bipods, actions, and optics on display.

April Target Shooter Magazine

In addition to the IWA report by Vince Bottomley, the April edition of Target Shooter has a field test by Chris Parkin of the Savage Model 25 Lightweight Varminter, chambered in 17 Hornet. With a comfortable thumbhole stock, Savage’s Model 25 performed well and was ultra-silent as fitted with a suppressor. The April issue also spotlights a carbon-fiber-stocked beauty — the Ataman M2 Benchrest Air Rifle. This is the second of a two-part report by Carl Boswell.

April Target Shooter Magazine

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »
April 3rd, 2013

Whack Dasher Cases into Shape with Hornady Hydro-Form Die

Fire-forming improved cases can be time-consuming and expensive. Now with just a mallet, a Hornady hydro-forming die kit, and a little H20, you can form Dasher and other improved cartridge cases easily and safely. And you won’t consume costly bullets, powder, and primers, or use up precious barrel life.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Hornady hydro-forming die, water pressure does the job of blowing out the shoulders of your improved case. The process is relatively simple. Place a spent primer in the bottom of a new piece of brass. Fill the case with water, and then slip it into a special Hornady shell-holder with no hole in the middle. Then you run the case up into the forming die. Now comes the fun part. You gently insert a plunger (hydraulic ram) from the top, and give it three or four stiff whacks with a mallet (or better yet, a dead-blow hammer). Remove the plunger and you have a 95% formed case, ready to load.

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

Forum member Walter Queen (aka Queen_Stick) acquired a Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit through our Forum Classifieds. He used this to form 6mm Dasher cases. Walter tested to see how many mallet blows would be required to form his dasher cases. Using a regular mallet, four or five blows was the magic number (with a Dead-blow hammer, one can often do the job with three strong whacks). Shown below are test cases with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 (X) mallet strikes. Walter explained: “It helps to use a consistent yet aggressive swing with the mallet. I did a little test to show what’s happening to the case with each swing. The numbers on the cases refer to the number of swings with the mallet. The last case, with the ‘X’ on it, I actually hit it 10 times. The extra effort made no difference; anything beyond 5 swings is likely a waste of time!”

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

What’s the “happy face” case with the split shoulder? Well, as a test, Walter tried one older, work-hardened piece of brass. This split its shoulder on the third strike. Walter concluded: “You MUST have new brass, or freshly annealed brass. The ‘smiley case’ shows a split neck. For that case, on the third swing of the mallet the piston slammed down into the die and bottomed out [and] the water shot out of the split in the neck.”

Read More on RiflemansJournal.com
You can learn more about the hydro-forming process in a detailed article on German Salazar’s Rifleman’s Journal website. There, you’ll find more photos, and Walter provides helpful tips on how to hydro-form cases most efficiently (and with the least spilled H20). One tip is to “fill the cases with a syringe of some sort.”

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

Hornady supplies a shell holder made specifically for the hydro die; there’s no hole in the bottom of it. Just insert a spent primer into the primer pocket and you’re ready to go. The spent primer combined with the solid shell holder, keeps the water from seeping out of the primer pocket. The primer pushes out a little bit during this process, but it’s impossible for it to come out because of the way the shell holder is designed. The shell holder has a grove which allows the case to slide out of the shell holder even when the primer protrudes a bit.

How to Order Hydro-Forming Die Kits
Hydro-forming die kits, which include forming die, plunger, and special shell-holder can be ordered through the Hornady Custom Shop. Hornady can create a forming die kit for most popular cartridges, if you provide a die print or some full-formed sample cases. To order, contact Ben Syring at Hornady: 800-338-3220 (ext. 261) or bsyring [at] hornady.com. If you have an oddball wildcat, send Ben the specs for your chamber and three (3) pieces of fire-formed brass.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 3rd, 2013

Scores of New Products at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Next month, the Lone Star State hosts the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. From May 2-5, an estimated 550 companies will display their latest products across 445,000 square feet of space in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be scores of new guns and firearms accessories on display.

The editors of American Hunter magazine have prepared a handy “round-up” of the new-for-2013 products that will be exhibited next month in Houston, Texas.
CLICK HERE to read American Hunter’s 2013 New Product Guide.

NRA 2013 Meeting Products

Here are some of the New Products that will be on display at the NRA Meetings in Houston:

BARRETT: MRAD multi-caliber rifle (.338 LM, .300 WM, .308 Win).
BENELLI USA: New M2 Field shotgun variants.
BERETTA: New competition over/under shotguns, the 692 Sporting and XT, and DT11.
BERGARA USA: New line of “semi-custom” hunting and tactical rifles.
BROWNING: New AB3 A-Bolt with new bolt, action, trigger.
BUSHMASTER: 308 Hunter, Predator, Varminter rifles now have Magpul stocks.
CROSMAN: New AR-style air rifle (MSR77 NP), and MK-177 tactical pump pellet rifle.
CZ: New 455 rimfire bolt-actions –Tacticool, SST Varmint, and Varmint Thumbhole.
FNH USA: New FN SC 1 over/under target shotgun with 30″ barrel.
GAMO: New “Bull Whispers”, bull-barrel air rifles with NS-52 dampener to lower noise.
MOSSBERG: New pump-action shotguns wiht Harmonic Damper Technology to reduce perceived recoil.
NOSLER CUSTOM: New Model 48 Outfitter Rifle with custom action and hand-lapped ss barrel.
REMINGTON: New Model 783, low-priced bolt-action rifle with adjustable ‘Crossfire’ trigger.
RUGER: New 6-lb, compact American Rifle models in .243 and 7mm-08.
SAVAGE: New B-Mag 17 WSM rifle, chambered for the new .17 Win Super Mag rimfire cartridge.
SMITH & WESSON: New M&P 10 flat-top .308 Win AR-platform rifle with factory camo finish.
STEYR: Mannlicher Pro African rifle with new soft-finish composite stock that is quiet in bush.
THOMPSON/CENTER: New Venture Compact, with shorter barrel and composite stock with LOP spacers.
WEATHERBY: Upgraded Back Country Vanguard S2 rifle with Cerakote Tactical Grey metalwork.
WINCHESTER: “Ultimate Shadow” m70 bolt-action hunting rifles in stocks with rubberized surfaces.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
April 2nd, 2013

NEW Forster Products Catalog — Digital and Print Versions

Forster Products CatalogThe latest Forster Products Catalog is now available. If you haven’t received a copy yet, you can download a digital PDF version, or submit a request for a print catalog.

Just click one of the links below.

DOWNLOAD Forster Products Catalog (PDF)

REQUEST Forster Products PRINT Catalog

Report from Jim Jewell: “Having read through the New Forster Catalog, I am pleased to report that it is as great a pictorial guide to important concepts and techniques for precision reloading as you are likely to find. It is best of all free!”

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 1st, 2013

Berger Bullets Introduces Revolutionary Sonic Ripple Bullet

At the end of this year, Berger Bullets plans to introduce a new projectile that may truly be the most revolutionary bullet design since the advent of jacketed spitzers in the late 19th Century. Berger’s new bullet is unlike anything we have ever seen before. It features concentric curved ridges, or “ripples”, on the bearing surface. Tests show that this new projectile, dubbed the “Sonic Ripple Bullet”, has signficantly less drag than conventional bullets (no matter what their ogive configuration). In addition, the Sonic Ripple design provides increased stability at all velocities (allowing barrels with slower twist rates for a given bullet weight).

Berger Bullets Revolutionary Sonic Ripple Bullet

So, what does all this mean in practical terms? Well, compared to conventional bullets (of similar weight/size), the Sonic Ripple Bullet will shoot a flatter trajectory, buck the wind better, retain energy longer, and remain stable for a much longer distance. That’s big news for competitive shooters, tactical shooters, and long-range hunters.

Berger Bullets Revolutionary Sonic Ripple Bullet

Berger Bullets Revolutionary Sonic Ripple BulletThe Science of the Sonic Ripple Bullet Design
Bryan Litz, Ballistician for Berger Bullets, explains: “This radical leap forward in bullet design was made possible by advanced, new bullet-making technologies. The unusual bullet appearance is only part of the revolutionary ‘Sonic Ripple’ system. The curvilinear waves or ripples in the bullet jacket are designed to create a specific resonance when fired from a specially ‘tuned’ barrel system. The result is an optimization of the sonic wavefront created by the bullet as it travels through its trajectory. This wavefront optimization simultaneously reduces bullet drag while increasing bullet stability.”

In essence, the supersonic shock-wave is smoothed out, dramatically reducing secondary wave fronts. This is all good, as Bryan explains: “If all the internal ballistic requirements are met, the Sonic Ripple bullet exits the muzzle with a harmonically-stabilized launch dynamic. As a further benefit of the ripple design, tests show that the concentric ripples also enhance boundary layer airflow attachment on the bullet. This, in turn, dramatically reduces wake turbulence and attendant drag.”

The reduction of wake turbulence (combined with wavefront optimization) represents a “major breakthrough” which should increase projectile BC by at least 0.14 (on G7 scale), according to Bryan. But, we wondered, might the increased surface area associated with the ripples slow the bullet down in flight? Actually, no. Bryan explained: “Eddies in the boundary layer around the ripples actually lower skin friction drag which more than compensates for increased surface area, resulting in a net friction drag loss at all velocities — both supersonic and transonic.”

Berger Bullets Revolutionary Sonic Ripple Bullet

Sonic Ripple Bullets Available by the End of 2013
When will we see Sonic Ripple Bullets on dealers’ shelves? Maybe this year. Berger’s marketing department told us: “The Sonic Ripple technology is currently under development and is expected to mature enough for commercial application by late fall, 2013.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 25 Comments »
April 1st, 2013

Clean Your Barrels in Seconds with New Powered Bore-O-Matic

Are you tired of messing with cleaning rods, bore guides, stinky solvents, and messy JB patches? Can’t wait hours for bore-foam products to work? Well now there’s a new solution ideal for all pistol, shotgun, and rifle shooters. With the new Bore-O-Matic cleaning machine, you can clean your barrels in seconds. Remove copper, powder fouling, and even hard carbon in one ultra-fast operation. The Bore-O-Matic uses a self-deploying snake fitted with a bronze brush to instantly rout out all types of fouling. A powerful 0.5 horsepower electric motor spins the brush at 200 rpm as it snakes its way through your bore, eating away fouling, and leaving a “squeaky clean” interior finish in its wake.

Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner

The Bore-O-Matic is easy to use. Simply squirt your favorite solvent* in the barrel, fire up the motor, and let the Bore-O-Matic power its way down your barrel. In seconds you’ll have a perfectly clean bore. Since the Bore-O-Matic’s flexible drive shaft is plastic-coated, no harm can be done.

Bore-O-Matic inventor Tom Bugiardo says that the Bore-O-Matic is perfectly safe for your fine match barrels. “We’ve seen how top competitors brush their barrels like crazy, and frankly, we’re just doing the same thing, but with a motor to minimize the labor.” Additionally, Bugiardo says that the bronze brushes used on the Bore-O-Matic can’t possibly harm your bore. “We all know that bronze is softer than steel so there’s absolutely no risk”. Some potential buyers were worried about the rapidly-spinning bore brushes rounding off the edges of lands or damaging the crown. “Horse-pucky” says Bugiardo, “We’ve researched this extensively on internet gun forums, so we’re 100% confident that running a powered bronze brush at 200 rpm down your barrel can’t harm a thing. Trust us.”

Because the Bore-O-Matic spins as it runs down the bore, gyroscopic forces self-center the cleaning brush. So, no cumbersome (and expensive) bore guides are needed. “Just feed that puppy right down the barrel, and say ‘goodbye’ to barrel fouling forever”, says the inventor.

Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner

Along with the $189.99 benchtop Bore-O-Matic unit, a smaller $99.99 hand unit is available. When working in tight spaces, or when cleaning at the range, the battery-powered Bore-O-Matic “Hand-Jobber” is ideal. The Bore-O-Matic handheld unit conveniently fits in a range box and runs off long-lasting, rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries.
Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner
With the compact Bore-O-Matic “Hand-Jobber” you can also easily dip the attached cleaning brush in a tub of JB or Iosso bore cream. Bugiardo tells customers: “Slather that JB on your brush and run ‘er right in the muzzle if you want a mirror finish in your bore. Remember, nothing says ‘pride of ownership’ better than a bore that shines like a spit-polished diamond!”

Currently the Bore-O-Matic is available only from Bugiardo’s company, TB Plumbing Supplies, in Lizella, Georgia (no website yet). Bugiardo expects the product will soon catch on with shooters nationwide and it will be carried by major retailers and online webstores.


*With its high-speed rotary brush, the Bore-O-Matic is so efficient that you don’t need expensive, specialty solvents. Bugiardo uses a simple solution of Windex, Ammonia, Drano Gel, and baking soda. “Makes my barrels shine, inside and out”, Bugiardo says.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 14 Comments »
March 30th, 2013

Berger Launches Updated Web-Based Ballistics Calculator

Berger Bullets has released its “new and improved” Ballistics Calculator on the Berger Bullets website. Much work, and several weeks of testing, went into Berger’s new web-based ballistics calculator. But Berger is pleased to announce that the handy Balllistics Calculator is now up and running! CLICK HERE for Calculator.

How to Use Berger’s Ballistic Calculator
On the top of Berger’s home-page you’ll find a link that says “Ballistics”, with a drop-down menu for Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator and Ballistics Calculator. When using the Ballistics Calculator, the first element you’ll see is the bullet library. This convenient tool automatically fills in the bullet properties fields with the correct information when you select a bullet from the list.

Below, you will see the bullet properties fields are filled in with the 30 Cal 175gr VLD Berger Target Bullet information. You would then manually change the Gun Properties, Environment, Target, and the rest of the fields to correspond with the conditions you will be shooting under. After you have filled in all the variables properly, click “Calculate Range Card” to generate a ballistic solution showing your load’s trajectory, with come-up values at various distances.

Ballistics Calculator 2

Once the Calculator Results are given, you can print them out and take them with you to the range or on your hunt. Here is an example of the calculated results:

Ballistics Calculator 3

If you have questions about the Ballistics Calculator CLICK this link or use the contact info below. Berger also plans to release a mobile version of the Ballistics Calculator in the near future. This should work well on smart-phones and tablets, so watch for it!

Berger Bullets
Marketing and Shooter Services
Phone: 714-447-5422 (option 2)
M-F 8am to 4:30pm pst

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »