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 »
March 29th, 2013

New Sauer 101 Hunting Rifle from J.P. Sauer & Sohn

J.P. Sauer & Sohn has released an all-new hunting rifle, the Sauer 101. This new rifle features a six-lug bolt that locks directly into the barrel, along with a new, sophisticated safety system that positively blocks the firing pin. The Sauer 101 also has a patented “Ever-Rest” bedding system featuring a metal block surrounding the front action screw. The Sauer 101 comes with either a black synthetic stock (“Classic XT”), or a quality walnut stock (“Classic”). MSRP has not been revealed, but the Sauer 101 is designed to fall in the “mid-class price range”, making it much more affordable than the Sauer 202. CLICK HERE to visit Sauer 101 dedicated website.

Sauer 101 hunting rifle
Sauer 101 hunting rifle

Sauer 101 Features
Smooth-running bolt with 60° lift
6-lug bolt locks directly into the barrel
Dual ejectors provide reliable 90° extraction
Safety system directly blocks firing pin
Crisp 2-lb trigger pull
22″ barrel for standard calibers
24″ barrel for Magnums
Adjustable open sights optional

Sauer 101 Technical Features Video (with Amazing Computer-Generated 3D Animations)
Sauer has provided some fantastic 3D-style cutaway animations that show the features of the new rifle. You can see 3D “exploded” renderings of all the gun’s components. As well, the animation shows the function of the safety system, the six-lug bolt, and the dual-ejector system. Watch this video!

Sauer 101 hunting rifle

Barrel Attachment Technology
Sauer boasts that the barrel is heat-pressed into the receiver, with the bolt locking up directly into the barrel. That may sound good, but in reality, this engineering solution makes it extremely difficult to fit a new after-market barrel to the gun. We talked with two highly-respected custom gunsmiths. Both agreed that it would be “very difficult to find a smith who would tackle the task of re-barreling this gun (starting with a barrel blank).” One smith observed that “machining the lug recesses directly into the barrel is not a procedure that 95% of gunsmiths are capable of doing.” So, when your Sauer 101 barrel wears out (or if you want to change calibers), presumably you have to send the gun back to the factory.

Sauer 101 hunting rifle
Sauer 101 hunting rifle

Chamberings Offered
Standard calibers: 22-250 Rem. .243 Win, 6.5×55, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06, 8x57IS, 9.3×62
Magnum calibers: 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag

Sauer 101 Intro Video (1 Minute)

Sauer 101 Pros:
1. The safety system looks very robust and sophisticated. The Sauer 101 features an integral firing pin block that allows firing only after the bolt has been fully locked into battery. That’s smart engineering.
2. Crisp, two-pound trigger pull is very nice for a factory rifle. Sauer claims trigger has “zero creep”.
3. Sauer 101 Accepts Remington 700 long action scope base mounts.
4. Stock is ambidextrous — good for both righties and lefties.

Sauer 101 Cons:
1. The pressed-in “Heat-Lock” barrel attachment system is not “gunsmith friendly”. And, because the lug recesses are inside the barrel, it will be difficult to fit after-market barrels. The machining required is much different than simply drilling a chamber as is done with “pre-fit” threaded barrels.
2. The sling swivel stud is positioned on the front of the Schnabel fore-end. To fit a Harris bipod, the owner will have to add a stud further back, or make an adapter for the forward-facing swivel stud.
3. No factory muzzle brake option.
4. No factory rail option for mounting scope rings.
5. No provision for adjusting length of pull (fixed at 14.4 inches).

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 10 Comments »
March 29th, 2013

New Spring-Tester Tool from Secure Firearm Products

Secure Products gun pistol spring testerSecure Firearm Products (SFP) has introduced a new Spring Tester that measures the “pull weight” of a wide variety of springs used in handguns and rifles. With this new Spring Tester you can measure recoil springs, mainsprings, firing pin springs, and much more. The SFP Spring Tester comes with a digital scale. The complete Spring Tester kit (Model # 11490-SR-D) retails for $40.99.

The Spring Tester, which comes complete with a compact digital pull-weight scale, is simple to use. Just insert the spring on bolt, insert that assembly in the red tool housing, then attach the coupler and scale. Pull until proper compression length* is achieved, and record your reading. Note: the Spring Tester Tool is marked with a line at 1.625″ which is the Mil-Spec compression length of a 1911 recoil spring. The SFP Spring Tester currently ships with an adapter that lets you test small springs such as mainsprings, firing pin springs or other small springs used in pistols, rifles or revolvers.

*NOTE: The appropriate compression length varies with the spring and the application. You may need to get this compression length specification from the manufacturer.

SFP Spring Tester Demo Video

Why do you need a spring tester? SFP’s David Surgi explains: “It’s important to be able to sort and organize all of them properly and know that when a spring needs replacing, that you are putting in the right one with the proper tension.” Dan Kidder of Sportsman’s Warehouse concurs: “The Spring Tester from SFP gave me the ability to take a drawer full of recoil, main springs, firing pin springs and others, and easily identify their tension. I no longer have to try to label springs or worry about them getting in the wrong spot.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
March 24th, 2013

New Prostaff 5 Scopes: 4X Zoom Ratio with Constant Eye Relief

Nikon has introduced an all-new line-up of affordable riflescopes for hunters and varmint shooters. The new Nikon ProStaff 5 Series of scopes feature four times zoom range and a bright new optical system. With their fully multi-coated lenses, ProStaff 5 riflescopes provide up to 95% light transmission. That’s great for hunters working at dawn and dusk. (Some ProStaff 5s also have illuminated reticles). All ProStaff 5 scope models are waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
Nikon Prostaff 4 rifle scope

To View ProStaff 5 Scopes, Click this Link and then SORT by “NEWEST” in display.

The ProStaff 5 line-up of scopes ranges from 2.5-10X to 4.5-18X with a variety of reticle options including NikoPlex, BDC, Fine Crosshair with dot, and Mil-Dot. Some ProStaff 5 scopes have an illuminated reticle with five intensity levels of red or green. A rheostat dimmer is located on the side focus knob for easy adjustment. All ProStaff 5 scopes now offer spring-loaded, instant zero-reset turrets. This makes your return-to-zero fast and foolproof in the field. (To set your zero, just sight-in as usual, then lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob, rotate to “zero,” and re-engage.)

Nikon Prostaff 4 rifle scope

ProStaff 5 series scopes were designed with a constant (and generous) four inches of eye relief. If you’ve ever had to move your head back and forth as you changed magnification levels, you know that constant eye relief is a big deal with very real practical benefits in the field. The new ProStaff 5 scopes also feature a quick-focus eyepiece, to allow any shooter to easily bring the reticle into focus.

Nikon Prostaff 4 rifle scope

Nikon ProStaff 5 Scopes

Part # Model Reticle MSRP
6735 2.5-10×40 Nikoplex $269.95
6736 2.5-10×40 BDC $279.95
6737 2.5-10×40 (silver) BDC $289.95
6738 2.5-10×50 Nikoplex $369.95
6739 2.5-10×50 BDC $379.95
6740 3.5-14×40 SF Nikoplex $349.95
6741 3.5-14×40 SF BDC $359.95
6742 3.5-14×40 SF (silver) BDC $369.95
6743 3.5-14×40 SF Mildot $359.95
6744 3.5-14×50 SF Nikoplex $449.95
Part # Model Reticle MSRP
6745 3.5-14×50 SF BDC $459.95
6750 3.5-14×50 SF Illuminated Nikoplex $569.95
6751 3.5-14×50 SF Illuminated BDC $579.95
6746 4.5-18×40 SF Nikoplex $449.95
6747 4.5-18×40 SF BDC $459.95
6748 4.5-18×40 SF Mildot $459.95
6749 4.5-18×40 SF Fine Crosshair with Dot $459.95
6752 4.5-18×40 SF Illuminated BDC $579.95
6753 4.5-18×40 SF Illuminated Nikoplex $569.95
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 23rd, 2013

Canadian F-TR Rifle in Dolphin Aluminum Chassis from UK

Canadian Fred Harvey of Star Shooter Precision recently posted photos of an interesting metal-stocked F-TR rifle, fitted with a Star Shooter CF-SS Bipod with carbon-fiber legs. This handsome .308 Winchester rifle features a Barnard S action, 30″ Krieger barrel (1:11.25″ twist), and aluminum stock/chassis from Dolphin Gun Company in the UK.

The all-up weight of this rig, including the Star Shooter bipod and mounting rail is 17 pounds, 15 ounces. (F-TR weight limit is 8.25 kgs, approx. 18.15 pounds). Gunsmith was Ian Robertson.

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

Dolphin Gun Company Aluminum F-TR/Tactical Rifle Stock

Dolphin’s modular, CNC-crafted F-TR/Tactical stocks are fully adjustable. Fore-ends are interchangeable and the pistol grip even adjusts for length of pull. Dolphin offers single shot and repeater inlets for Rem 700-style actions, Barnard S & SM actions, RPA Quadlite actions, plus BAT VR and Savage actions. Three types of fore-ends are available: short tactical style, long F-TR style, and a wide F-Open style. Repeater versions accept AI magazines. Dolphin claims the repeaters “feed faultlessly with any action fitted”. The aluminum Dolphin F-TR/Tactical stock comes with an adjustable buttplate fitted with Morgan Recoil pad. The bag-rider height also adjusts. These stocks sell for £630 (about $960 USD) with either Dura-coat or hard-anodized finish. A variety of anodizing colors are offered.

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

CLICK HERE for other Dolphin Rifle Company Stocks.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
March 23rd, 2013

PMA Tool Now Carries High-Quality Bob Pastor Barrel Vise

PMA ToolIf you do home gunsmithing or swap barrels frequently, you need a good barrel vise. PMA Tool is now carrying a quality 6061 Aluminum barrel vise, with spring-loaded clamps and a durable, baked-on powdercoat finish.

PMA’s Pat Reagin tells us: “These Deluxe Barrel Vises are made by our friend Bob ‘The Viper’ Pastor. Bob’s barrel vises feature hardened bolts and nuts along with fully-captured return springs. The return springs prevent the top of the vise from flopping around, making inserting and removing barrels from the vise much quicker and easier.” This feature, along with the non-slip powdercoat finish, protects your barrels from scratches and, importantly, protects the crown of the muzzle. Pat says: “You will not find a higher quality barrel vise with these features anywhere.” Price for the Pastor barrel vise, machined from 6061 Aluminum, is $60.95. CLICK HERE to order.

PMA Tool barrel vise Pastor Viper

Product tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
March 21st, 2013

Mirage Shields — Not Just for Benchresters Anymore

AccurateShooter Mirage ShieldMirage shields really do help you hit your targets more reliably. Novice shooters may wonder “Why does that guy have a venetian blind attached to his barrel?” Here’s why. As the barrel gets hot, the heat from the barrel rises up, cooking and distorting the air directly in front of the scope’s front lens. In essense, the rifle creates its own nasty visual mirage, right in the worst possible place. You can have a $4000.00 custom rifle and a $2500.00 scope but if the air in front of your scope is distorted, it can literally move your apparent point of aim on the target relative to your cross-hairs, causing you to miss the shot.

As our friend Boyd Allen observed: “Varminters should use mirage shields. Think about it. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in a fancy varmint rifle and quality scope. You may have spent hundreds of dollars traveling to the varmint fields and spent dozens of hours loading up your ammo. Without a mirage shield on your barrel, once that barrel gets hot, you WILL get mirage effects that can make you miss a shot.”

So, we’ve established you need a mirage shield to shoot your best when the barrel gets hot. You can make your own shield from a scrap blind, or purchase a ready-made plastic or aluminum shield. Sinclair Int’l offers 2″-wide, white mirage shields in 18″ (#06-7200) or 24″ (#06-7300) lengths for $4.95. Shotmaster 10X offers a variety of Patterned Mirage Shields, starting at $6.00. These include a Patriotic theme and even Tiger Stripes:

ShotMaster 10X mirage shields

Camo Mirage Shields for Tactical Shooters and Hunters
Though tactical shooters should use mirage shields for long-distance, slow-fire stages, for the most part, tactical shooters don’t bother. One reason is that mirage shields CAN detach if you’re crawling around in the bush. However, for many tactical shooting situations, a mirage shield IS both practical and recommended. And now, for the first time, tactical shooters can get mirage shields in camo patterns to match their rifles. These camo shields should also be popular with varminters and long-range hunters.

ShotMaster 10X mirage shields

At the request of AccurateShooter.com, Shotmaster 10X created a line of camo-pattern mirage shields (see above). Made of 2″-wide aluminum strips, these are available in 18″, 20″, and 24″ lengths. The camo-pattern shields come complete with Velcro attachments, and start at $8.50 for the 18″ length. The 20″ models are $9.50, while 24″ shields are $11.00.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 9 Comments »
March 20th, 2013

New Traditions™ Brass-Cased, Weighted Training Cartridges

dummy cartridge, snap cap, training roundsTraditions™ Performance Firearms is bringing out a complete line of dummy training cartridges. These will meet SAAMI specs for dimensions, and the dummies are weighted so they handle just like the real thing. Training cartridges will be offered for all firearms types: Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun. Forty different rifle cartridge types — everything from .17 Rem to 50 BMG — will be for sale later this year. Yes there is .22LR, but unfortunately, the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6XC, 6.5-284, and .284 Win are not yet in the line-up.

dummy cartridge, snap cap, training roundsTraditions™ Training Cartridges are the only training cartridges available that meet all SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufactures Institute) specifications for dummy ammunition. The Training Cartridges are weighted like real ammunition so they have the same feel when practicing. These training cartridges are intended for function testing, dry-firing, malfunction drills, and teaching demonstrations.

Traditions™ precision Training Cartridges have durable brass cases and rims so they won’t degrade like plastic dummies. Precision-assembled, these are available in over 60 chamberings and shotgun gauges. For most of the common rifle calibers, these training cartridges cost about $10 for a pack of two (2) dummy rounds. For more information or to view Traditions™ complete line of products, go to TraditionsFirearms.com, or call 1-860-388-4656.

Traditions Training Cartridge Types for Rifles
.17 Rem
.204 Ruger
.22LR
.22 Hornet
.222 Rem
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
.223 WSSM
6mm Rem
.243 Winchester
.243 WSSM
.257 Roberts
.25 WSSM
.25-06 Rem
.260 Rem
6.5×55 Swedish
6.8 Rem SPC
.270 Winchester
270 WSM
7mm-08
7mm WSM
7mm Rem Mag
7×57 Mauser
.303 British
.30 Carbine
.30-30 Winchester
7.62×39
.308 Winchester
300 WSM
.30-06 Spr
.300 Rem UM
300 Win Mag
8×57 Mauser
.338 Rem UM
.338 Winchester Mag
35 Whelen
.375 H&H
.458 Win Magnum
.45-70
50 BMG
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
March 14th, 2013

Monster BAT Discovered at Bruno’s

BAT .50 BMG — Now That’s an Action!, by GAS
A while back, I stopped into Bruno Shooters Supply for a jug of powder and looked into the display case where the new actions are kept. Amid the usual array of BAT Machine, Stolle and other actions, there was something unlike any action I’d seen before — all I can call it is the BIG BAT. I wasn’t too surprised at the weight (a beefy 13.7 lbs.), but until you lift it it’s hard to appreciate how solid, chunky, hefty, massive (pick your favorite adjective) this thing really is. The action is a 2.5″-diameter, 12″-long BAT for the .50 BMG cartridge. It is simply the biggest, slickest custom action on the planet. In order to give you some sense of scale, I photographed the action alongside a conventional BAT action for short-range Benchrest shooting and I put a .220 Russian case and a .30-06 case into the picture. I’ve handled and fired other .50 BMG actions/rifles before, but this BAT puts them all to shame, as far as fit and finish go.

BAT 50 BMG Action

BAT 50 BMG Action

The action is actually quite conventional in design and execution. The bolt is fluted and has two front lugs with a conventional, although super-sized, firing pin assembly. Any Remington-style trigger will mount by way of a normal trigger hanger, allowing for simplified maintenance or replacement in the field. The loading port is 5.5″ long and the barrel threads are 1.5″ x 16 tpi — nothing about this beast is small! There is a conventional rocker-type bolt release on the left side of the receiver body and a recoil lug is built into the bottom of the receiver. In reality, the action is very similar to any other BAT except for the size and it adheres to all of BAT’s high standards for quality of design, manufacture, fit, finish and just plain good looks. Slide that bolt back and it feels as tight as a small Benchrest action!

Given the BIG BAT’s $3,285.00 sticker price (2011 pricing), not many of us will ever have the opportunity to own or shoot one of these beauties (I certainly won’t). However, it is nice to know they exist and can be bought and enjoyed in many places.

BAT 50 BMG Action

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
March 13th, 2013

NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits: May 3-5 in Houston, Texas

NRA Meetings and Exhibits

NRA Meetings and ExhibitsMark your calendars for May 3-5, 2013. Those are the dates for the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits, to be held this year in Houston, Texas.

As ever, there will be plenty to see and do at the NRA National Meetings/Exhibits. There will be seminars, celebrity appearances, and priceless collections of firearms. Virtually all the major gunmakers in the country should have their latest products on display. In fact, there will be over 550 exhibitors whose displays will cover 400,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. In addition to fireams, you can see knives, wildlife art, shooting accessories, hunting gear, ATVs, and much more. You’ll even find an airgun range on site where you can shoot air rifles provided by Pyramyd Air.

NRA Meetings and Exhibits

Photo from Previous NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.
Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
March 12th, 2013

CZ Offers New CZ-455 Varmint ‘Tacticool’ Rifle

CZ has introduced a new version of the CZ-455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This new gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. The new CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as a affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and “feel” of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $899.00 MSRP while the new ‘Tacticool’ model lists for just $522.00 MSRP. The $377.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 12th, 2013

Lapua .260 Rem Brass Proves Very Uniform

If you have a rifle chambered in .260 Remington, you may be wondering if the Lapua .260 Brass is worth the money compared to domestic-made brass. Well, the answer is “yes” if you demand consistent weight and dimensional uniformity (including neckwall thickness).

Mike Harpster of Dead Center Sports took the time to weigh and measure Lapua .260 Rem brass. His test show this brass to be extremely uniform. Weight variance was less than one (1) grain in a 20-case sample. And case neckwall thickness was very consistent.

Report by Mike Harpster: Lapua .260 Rem Brass Test Results (with Comparisons)
I pulled twenty (20) pieces randomly from one Lapua box to do some measurements. I weighed them on my Mettler-Toledo digital lab scale and here are the individual weights of each case. Remarkably, the Lapua brass had less than one grain total weight variance among all 20 cases!

While checking the Lapua brass I remembered I had just received some Winchester brand .308 brass, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two brands. I again pulled 20 cases at random from a bag of 50 and repeated the same measurements. The results are shown in the right half of the table below.

Weight Variance Lapua .260 Rem Brass vs. Winchester .308 Brass

LAPUA .260 Rem Brass Winchester .308 Win Brass
Average: 172.20 grains
ES: 0.94 grains
SD: 0.259
Average: 158.49 grains
ES: 2.64 grains
SD: 0.678

Lapua Brass Further Inspection
With sample Lapua .260 Rem cases, I also measured the neck wall thickness in four places with calipers, not the most accurate method but I feel confident that the thickness did not vary more than .001″ over the 20 cases (.0145-.0155). The inside diameter of the neck measured .260 which would give .004 of neck tension out of the box. I visually checked the flash holes and I did not find any flakes of brass or burrs inside, the holes were round and centered.

Winchester Brass Further Inspection
The flash holes on the majority of the Winchester brass were not round or centered and they had large burrs inside. The neck wall thickness was pretty consistent, varying only .0015″ (.0125″ – .014″). As you can see in the photo (right) many of the Winchester cases were badly dented while the Lapua brass showed very few minor dents. The annealing on the necks of the Lapua brass was clearly evident while the Winchester showed no signs of being annealed. [Editor’s note: Winchester tumble-polishes its brass before shipping — so you would not notice annealing coloration if annealing had been done.]

I have never done these measurements on any other brass so I don’t know how they compare, but I am very impressed with the overall quality of the Lapua .260 brass. If they prove to hold up to the repeated firings I get from my Lapua 6BR brass I believe .260 shooters wil be very happy.

Mike Harpster — Dead Center Sports
105 Sunrise Drive
Spring Mills, PA 16875
phone: 814-571-4655
www.deadcentersports.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 12 Comments »
March 5th, 2013

Seb Unveils Lighter Yet Stronger GEN 2 Joystick Bipod

Seb Lambang of SEB Coaxial has revealed the GEN 2 version of his revolutionary joystick bipod (aka “Joy-Pod”). The latest version is lighter yet more rigid. The GEN 2 design features a longer handle plus built-in cant adjustment. Seb’s first-generation Joy-Pod was tested last year in Great Britain. Laurie Holland has been testing a modified version of the GEN 1 design, and he reports that it is working great.

Seb Lambang Sebcoax joystick coaxial bipod

Seb Lambang Sebcoax joystick coaxial bipodThe GEN 2 design incorporates lessons learned with the first prototype. It offers more reach and less weight. A clamp on each leg allows for easy coarse height adjustment.

Importantly, the head unit now allows +/- 14° of cant adjustment. This allows the shooter to fine-tune the cant of his rifle to suit the terrain, or his preferred rifle orientation. Currently cant is adjusted with a screw on the Joy-Pod head unit, but the production version will adjust cant via a handy locking lever.

Lighter Yet Stronger Design
Seb tells us: “The GEN 2 design weighs just 20.6 ounces (584 grams) — very light for a joystick bipod — yet the new design is more rigid than my first prototype. This new design can accept about 50 pounds of weight with almost no flex.”

Seb Lambang Sebcoax joystick coaxial bipod

Seb has experimented with a variety of bipod configurations, including an offset design (shown below) with asymmetrical arms. One horizontal arm is longer than the other. This moves the rifle’s mass to one side (so it is not centered between the two feet). The goal of the offset design is to counter torque and rocking when the gun is fired. Will the offset design work? No one really knows yet.

Seb Lambang Sebcoax joystick coaxial bipod

Seb plans to offer a variety of feet/sled options — including round bases, plastic runners, and aluminum cone-style bases with spikes. In addition, at our request, Seb may experiment with large, cylindrical style feet, like those used on the Jennings chassis with integral bipod.

Seb’s joystick bipod is still in the prototype stage, so no price has been set yet. However, Seb hopes to have production versions available before the end of 2013. Perhaps a few pre-production units may be ready in time for the F-Class Worlds in Raton, NM in August.

Seb Lambang Sebcoax joystick coaxial bipod

Permalink Competition, New Product 3 Comments »
March 3rd, 2013

MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat for $49.99

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $49.99, through the end of March, 2013. That’s 51% off the regular $102.99 price. This mat is bigger and better than MidwayUSA’s original shooting mat, with many enhancements. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″ and the padding is thicker. There is a zippered pocket on the front extension flap to hold ammo or log book. The rubberized contact areas are tan now (rather than black) so they don’t get so hot in the sun. And the designers added webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load the ‘pod with forward pressure. MidwayUSA has done a good job improving a mat that was already a good deal for the money. At $49.99 on sale (through 3/31/2013), this Pro Series mat is a great deal.

MidwayUSA pro series shooting mat

MidwayUSA pro series shooting mat

MidwayUSA Buyer Reviews:

Five Stars: Great upgrades to the original. It’s bigger in every direction, and the padding is twice as thick. The new knee and elbow pads won’t get as hot as the black material on the old one did, and the new material is “grippier” than the old stuff too. The bi-pod stop is a nice touch if you shoot F-T/R. — Bob M., Missouri, 10/6/2010.

Five Stars: As a competitive shooter my mat is important. The mat I replaced had been with me for about twenty years. It had been with me through the famous weather at Camp Perry, the winds and sand of Grayling 1000 yard matches. My Midway mat arrived shiny and new, full of stuffing, stiff and green. At my next match I found I liked the feel of the mat, it has handles! The rocks and sand on the firing line were not as sharp. The rubber is well-placed. It has proven to be rugged and quite up to the task. I am seeing more Midway mats at matches. A good thing. — Tom, Michigan, 12/26/2012.

Four Stars: I purchased this mat for a 2-day Appleseed event this fall. Good overall quality and more than wide and long enough for my frame. The only drawback and reason for me giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is that the padding is insufficient when placed on top of a rocky surface. I wasn’t looking for a sleeping mat mind you, but you feel every single rock underneath the mat when shooting prone (especially on the elbows), kneeling and when transitioning between positions. Best to use another pad underneath if you are using it on a rocky surface. Most of the other mats out there have the same drawbacks so this is still a great choice at a very decent price. — Chris S., Illinois, 1/6/2013.

Five Stars: This is a great mat for the money. It’s larger, thicker, and stickier than my old one. I could use larger knee area friction pads, but that’s the only complaint. The elbow area is huge and that’s what’s best. Much cooler in the sun, too. Rolls up and rolls out easy. The double-adjustable carry strap has built in loops I use for carrying a rolled up foul weather cover. The fold-out front fly is large and useful. This is a good looking, hard working mat. — Steve R., Illinois, 10/11/2010

This product has 4.3 star average with 53 user reviews.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
February 28th, 2013

PennDOT Now Offers Customized NRA-Themed License Plates

In California, you can get a “Save the Whales” custom license plate. Meanwhile in the great state of Pennsylvania, you can now get a handsome, custom plate that helps raise money for the shooting sports. Thanks to Friends of NRA committees throughout Pennsylvania, PennDOT now offers NRA-specialized license plates. The Keystone State joins a growing list of states with NRA-themed plates. Revenues from the plates (after PennDOT takes its share) will help fund NRA Foundation programs.

NRA license plate Pennsylvania

Proceeds go to the NRA Foundation, the country’s leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports. Since its inception in 1990, the NRA Foundation has awarded more than $140 million in grants. Grants awarded by the foundation provide essential program funding for youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety, and much more.

NRA license plate Pennsylvania

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
February 24th, 2013

Coonan Semi-Auto Pistol Shoots .357 Magnum Cartridge

Coonan Inc. offers an interesting new handgun, a single-stack semi-auto that fires the .357 Magnum rimmed cartridge. Though the Coonan pistol is similar in appearance to a m1911, it has a linkless barrel, and a pivoting trigger. To feed the rimmed cartridges smoothly, Coonin employs a proprietary magazine with an “articulated follower”. This gun is available in both standard and compensated versions. With these Coonan pistols you can shoot a very powerful defensive round that has a much higher velocity and up to 80% more energy than a .45 ACP. You can also shoot .38 Specials (with a different spring).

Coonan .357 mag pistol

The .357 Magnum is a very effective self-defense round, offering much higher velocity and energy than the .45 ACP. Consider this, the Coonan can launch 180gr Corbon .357 Mag ammo at 1288 FPS. At that MV, the 180gr bullet delivers 663 ft-lbs of energy. By comparison, a .45 ACP round with a 230gr FMJ running 850 FPS delivers just 359 ft-lbs of energy (at the muzzle). That’s a huge difference — the .357 Magnum delivers nearly 80% more energy (calculated at the muzzle).

Coonan .357 mag pistol

The “Coonan Classic” .357 Magnum with 5″ uncompensated barrel starts at $1375.00. For $99.99 more you can get a 5.7″ threaded barrel. For $249.99 more you can get the compensated version. Many other options are offered, such as Black Duracote finish with laser-etched black aluminum grips ($299.99 extra). The gun in the video below features the Digital Camo Duracoat package with milled black aluminum grips ($549.99 extra).

American Rifleman Reviews Coonan .357 Magnum Pistol

READ Full Review of Coonan Classic .357 Magnum in American Rifleman

“The .357 Magnum cartridge was developed for a revolver where it could headspace off the rim. Traditionally, feeding of rimmed center-fire cartridges is problematic in box-magazine-fed firearms. That problem, however, has been addressed well with the Coonan. The cartridges are staggered, with the rim of each cartridge in front of the one below it in the magazine.”

“Although the Coonan’s gripframe is larger than that of a standard M1911 … even those with average-size hands had no trouble reaching the trigger.”

“We function-tested the pistol with several different .357 Mag loads, with bullet weights from 125 grains to 180 grains. It ran well with most, but did not function properly with reduced-power ‘personal defense’ ammunition. When the gun was fed full-power .357 Mag ammunition designed for handguns, it ran fine.”

Coonan .357 mag pistol

Coonan Pistol Shoots .38 Special Also
While the Coonan pistol is designed to run with .357 Magnum ammo, the manufacturer says the guns will also shoot .38 Special and .38 +P ammunition, provided a different spring is used. Coonan provides a 10-lb spring for use with .38 Spl ammo. This is used in place of the 22-lb standard spring. (Spring exchange procedure is shown in Video above.) Coonan cautions: “A 10-pound spring is supplied with the firearm for use with .38 Special ammunition. We recommend using .38 +P or .38 Special ammunition. The firearm may not cycle with .38 Special ammunition until broken in (approximately 200 rounds).”

Permalink - Videos, New Product 3 Comments »