August 8th, 2012

Shotshell-Style Thermos Bottles — Perfect Gift for a Hunter

What outdoorsman would not want a thermos configured like an giant-sized shotgun shell? This is an ideal gift for the hunter who may be spending long hours in a cold blind or sitting in a tree stand. Stansport offers shotshell-style thermal bottles in two sizes. The “12 gauge” bottle holds 25 ounces of liquid while the smaller “20 gauge” bottle carries 16 ounces. Both bottles feature a faux brass screw-on top that doubles as a drinking cup. There is a second, gasket-sealed stopper with a quick-dispense feature. This allows you to pour the hot contents without needing to remove the screw-in stopper. We like that feature — that’s one less item to drop on the ground.

12ga Shotgun Shell Thermos — 25 oz.

Shotshell Thermos

Stansport 12 Gauge Shotshell Thermo Bottle-Red 25 oz. #8970-60

These shotshell thermal cannisters are offered in four colors: Red, Black, Green, and Yellow. All shotshell thermal bottles feature double-wall 18-8 stainless steel insulated construction with insulated cap. Prices for the red, 25-oz. version start at $25.50 on Amazon.com. (Other colors may cost more).

20ga Shotgun Shell Thermos — 16 oz.

Shotshell Thermos

Stansport 20 Gauge Shotshell Thermo Bottle-Black 16 oz. #8950-20

Shotshell Thermos Demo Video on YouTube
A hunter who owns one of these Shotshell Thermos bottles has posted a video of his bottle on YouTube. The video will give you an idea of the size of the cannister and how the outer cap/cup and inner stopper work. CLICK HERE to watch Shotshell Thermos Video.

Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.
Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
August 6th, 2012

New Benchrest Rig and CG M1 Action from Argentina

Our friend Pascal Fischbach from France offered us a sneak peak at the final production version of a new benchrest rig from Argentina. Pascal reports: “I’ll be in Buenos Aires soon and will meet Carlito Gonzales, maker of the CG M1 Thunderbolt benchrest rifle that performed so well at 2010 Supershoot and WBC10 last August in the hands of Dr. Cris Rando.” Pascal has ordered one of these rifles for the 2013 benchrest season. If you want more information about the CG M1 action or complete rifle, contact Pascal through his Facebook Page.

Gonzales Benchrest Action Thunderbolt CG M1

Gonzales Benchrest Action Thunderbolt CG M1

Gonzales Benchrest Action Thunderbolt CG M1

Pascal tell us: “The CG M1 action is a short, tight but smooth 3-Lug, Right Bolt, Left Port, Right Eject model. The receiver features a special 66mm-long tenon with threads in the center area and two bearing-centering areas on each side of the threads. Any gunsmith will be able to chamber additional barrels with the data and tools provided. This action offers strength and rigidity to enhance both accuracy and longevity. Carlito’s trigger is excellent — I recommend keeping it. The complete rifle will feature special quality rings that mate to the top of the receiver. Barrels can be chambered with your custom reamer or with CG’s conventional 6PPC reamer or even a PPC-AI chamber design (PT&G) that Carlitos realy likes. Price for the complete rifle will be very competitive.”

Gonzales Benchrest Action Thunderbolt CG M1

One reason this rifle performs so well is the innovative stock design. The fore-arm is very low profile in the front. At the back of the stock, an exaggerated Vee profile aids tracking and reduces vibration. Pascal says the stock tracks very straight for the first couple of inches during recoil, and the marked Vee in the rear makes it ride on the sides of the bag ears, not the bottom stitching. This helps quell vibration and improve damping. The carbon construction makes the stock “stout and stiff”.

Gonzales Benchrest Action Long-Range CG Gonzales Benchrest Action Long-Range CG
The fluted 3-Lug Bolt is extremely well-machined. The tang on the 2012 version has been shortened for weight reasons. There’s still plenty of bedding area on the main body.

Super-Sized Action Offered for Long-Range Rifles
For long-range shooters, Carlito Gonzales has also crafted a larger 600/1000m version of the CG M1 designed for bigger cartridges used in long-range competition. We don’t have any specifics on price or delivery date, but the action looks nice. The extended front section should provide excellent support for long, heavy barrels.

Gonzales Benchrest Action Long-Range CG

Gonzales Benchrest Action Long-Range CG

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
August 5th, 2012

Billet Aluminum Loading Blocks from Tom Sziler

Billet Aluminum Loading Block

Review by German Salazar, Contributing Editor
Tom Sziler, a very talented machinist and shooter, is now offering handsome billet aluminum loading blocks through CNCshooter.com. I recently bought a set and am very impressed with their quality. You can see I have the cartridge type engraved on my .30-06 block. Tom makes these in all case head sizes and will engrave just about anything you like on the side. Tom’s been a bit backlogged lately, but for a custom product, delivery was more than speedy. I received mine in about three weeks.

Billet Aluminum Loading Block

2011 Update (By AccurateShooter.com Editor)
Tom has recently expanded his line of CNC-milled loading blocks, which are sold through his website, CNCshooter.com. There are now four price levels for the 50-round blocks: $16.50 for .22LR blocks (Small); $28 for most centerfire cartridges (Standard); $31 for very large cartridges such as .338 Lapua, .45-70, etc. (Large); and $33 for BMG, CheyTac, etc. (Jumbo). Tom also offers an “economy” version of his 50-rd loading block for just $19.00. These are made to the same quality and precision as the original loading block; however, they are crafted from 3/4″ aluminum and have NO engraving.

New Products: 25-round Block and Range Tray
New this year from Tom is a smaller, 25-round loading block, priced at $17.50. This has the same basic design (with engraving) as the 50-rounder, but it is half the length (with half the capacity). This is perfect for low-quantity handloading. Some guys like to use the 25-round ammo block when shooting in competition. It makes for a quick, handy ammo caddy. But even better for competition is Tom’s new Range Tray shown below. It has a milled-out tray for empty brass or small parts. Price is $28.00 for most cartridges up to WSM head diameters.

If you order from Tom, add $5 for shipping up to 2 pieces, or $10 for 3-7 pieces. Loading blocks ship in USPS flat-rate boxes. Tom prefers to receive payment by way of U.S. Postal Money Order. Send money order, order specs and your shipping address to:

Tom Sziler
5521 W 110th Street, Ste 6
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
tom.sziler[at]gmail.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
August 2nd, 2012

Innovative Vertical-Feed Annealing Machine from Giraud Tool

This report was first published in 2011. Due to numerous requests, we are republishing the story. The time is right because the Giraud Annealer is currently on display on vendors’ row at Camp Perry. Doug Giraud will be at Perry through the morning of August 4th.

Doug Giraud of Giraud Tool Company has created a new bulk Cartridge Annealing Machine that uses an innovative vertical hopper feed. Giraud’s patent-pending design allows the machine to process as many as 700 .223 Rem cases with no hand-feeding required. The new Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer, using a single propane torch, will anneal most cases in 6-8 seconds (that dwell time will melt 750° Tempilaq inside the neck). Annealing dwell times can be adjusted using a simple rotary knob on the right side of the machine. During annealing, each case is rotated in the flame through the motion of a Trolley Plate which moves right to left under the case. At the left-most limit of Trolley Plate movement, each case drops vertically down for air cooling. CLICK HERE for Giraud Annealer Users’ Manual (PDF)

Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer

The Giraud annealer uses a large, V-shaped hopper to hold up to 700 .223 Rem cases or 450 .308 Win cases for annealing. You can switch from small cases to larger cases by swapping out the rotary Feeder Wheel below the hopper. Changing Feeder Wheels takes a couple minutes. Five available Feeder Wheels (with different size cartridge slots) let you anneal pretty much any size cartridge — from .17 Remington all the way up to .50 BMG. The common .223 Rem and .308-sized cases used by High Power shooters are served by the Red Feeder Wheel and Blue Feeder Wheel respectively. The Blue Wheel will also work with 6mmBR, .243 Win, and .30-06 cases. The three other Feeder Wheels are: Black (.300 Win Mag); Purple (WSM, RUM, RSAUM, Lapua and Norma Mags); and Green (.50 BMG). For the large mags you also need to switch to a wider Trolley Plate.

Watch Video to See Giraud Annealer in Action

Giraud Annealer Can Process Hundreds of Cases in One Session
The biggest advantage of this machine is its ability to run with minimal user “intervention”. Once you’ve determined the right dwell time for your cartridge type, you can stack hundreds of cases in the V-shaped hopper, turn on the torch and let the machine do its thing. With a typical 8-second dwell time, the Giraud annealing will process about 450 cases an hour. While other multi-torch annealing machines may be faster, Giraud prefers the single-torch design: “With a single torch, you can control total heat input over a longer time. You don’t over-cook the case in a half-second — you have a lot more leeway with a 6-9 second dwell time.”

Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer
Yes the case spins in the flame — the Trolley Plate running under the case rotates it. The user may wish to experiment with the speed control knob on the right side panel near the power switch. Typical annealing operations will require the cartridge cases to be positioned in the torch flame for between 6 and 9 seconds.

Much smart thinking went into the Giraud Annealer design. Doug Giraud tells us: “We went through a couple different ideas. Our key goal was to vertically stack a large quantity of cases that would self-feed. The automatic feeding capability of the machine means that the operator can perform another task while the machine is running. The user doesn’t have to load cases one by one. I would caution, however, that you don’t want to turn on the annealer and just walk out of the room… but you can be doing some other reloading task while the annealer is running nearby.”

Giraud wanted a machine that could process lots of cases cheaply and efficiently. The machine’s single torch is optimized to run on inexpensive propane gas. Doug says: “You can process 15,000 cases on a single $2.00 disposable propane bottle.” If the user wants faster processing, the torch is rated for MAP gas, but Doug cautions that, “with more heat, you’ll have to adjust the dwell time accordingly.”

Giraud Annealer Impresses High Power Shooters
The new Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer has already attracted considerable interest. Doug took some early production models to Camp Perry in 2011, and he immediately got orders for 50 machines. Doug told us: “The response from the High Power guys was amazing. There was a pent-up demand for a simple, robust annealer that can process hundreds of cases without having to feed them one by one, and that’s what we created. We’re selling these units as fast as we can build them.”

Giraud Annealers Cost $435.00 — Delivery in Six Weeks from Order Date
Doug has components for 100 more machines, and he’s producing them at a rate of 15 units per week. He’s been back-ordered, but if you order soon, Doug believes he can ship the Annealing machines in about six weeks from date of order. The basic price, with one Feeder Wheel and one Trolley Plate, is $435.00. Additional Feeder Wheels cost $20.00 while extra Trolley Plates are $10.00. For more information, visit GiraudTool.com. To place orders, call (281) 238-0844 Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm CST. You can also email doug [at] giraudtool.com.

Giraud Tool Company, Inc.
3803 Dawn Lane
Richmond, Texas 77406
281-238-0844 (orders)
281-232-0987 (fax)
Website: www.GiraudTool.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 6 Comments »
July 26th, 2012

New Modular Swarovski Spotting Scope: 65mm, 85mm, 95mm

Swarovski has just announced a truly revolutionary spotting scope system. Imagine a “normal” spotting scope sliced in half, with separate objective (front) units and separate eyepiece (rear) units. This way you can have both straight and angled viewing options, and you can select from three (3) different objectives (65mm, 85mm, 95mm), depending on the light-gathering and max magnification you need for the job (and the weight you’re willing to carry).

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting Scope

The new Swarovski Optik ATX/STX Modular Spotting Scope combines a straight (#49902) or angled (#49901) rear eyepiece module with any one of three front objective sections, the largest of which is a whopping 95mm. All three available objectives have coated HD lenses for high contrast, low chromatic aberration, and optimal light transmission. These lenses are bright, with excellent color fidelity.

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting Scope

Both eyepiece modules have extended-eye-relief ocular lenses, with a “field-flattener” lens design that provides high contrast and correct geometry all the way out to the edge of the image. The eyepiece modules deliver either 25-60X or 30-70X power depending on front module. NOTE: The eyepieces are built into the rear modules — they are non-removable and you can’t swap in a third-party eyepiece. However, digiscoping adapter can also be fitted in the rear.

Watch Video to See Product Features and Lens Modules Changed in Field

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting ScopeWith front and rear modules joined, the zooming and focusing rings are located right next to each other. This allows you to zoom quickly, and then easily fine-tune the focus without moving your hand. Centralizing both controls is smart because you don’t have to take your head away from the eyepiece to look for one control or the other. Your hand can stay in one position. We’ve always liked the large-diameter focus rings on Swarovski spotting scopes. Now, with the new modular Swarovski system, you get the advantage of a large-diameter, centralized zoom control as well.

Swarovski ATX Modular Spotting ScopeBig Money for Complete System
As you might expect, the Swarovski ATX/STX system commands a premium price. Either angled or straight eyepiece module is $2179.00 at EuroOptic.com. The 65mm front objective module is $879.00, but you’ll pay $1599.00 for the 85mm objective module. The biggest 95mm objective module costs $1899.00. So, for an angled rear module plus the jumbo 95mm objective, you’re looking at $4078.00 total. If you want BOTH rear modules AND the 95mm objective, you’ll need to pony up $6257.00! That’s got to be some kind of record for consumer spotting scopes. The minimum you can spend (for one rear module and 65mm objective), will be $3058.00, which is still pretty pricey. There are some significant advantages to this modular system though. For example, transport and storage is simplified, and we like the ability to choose the objective size based on the “mission”. You don’t need a 95mm objective to see bullet holes at 100 yards. But at long range, a bigger objective can be very useful.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
July 25th, 2012

New Wheel-Drive Concentricity Gauge from Accuracy One

Talented tool-maker Curt Knitt has designed a better mousetrap — a new Concentricity Gauge that makes it easier than ever to get fast, repeatable results when measuring case and bullet run-out (aka “eccentricity”). The breakthrough design feature is the large-diameter wheel which spins the case. With most other concentricity gauges you must rotate the case with your finger(s). Anyone who has tried this knows that it is difficult to get a full, 360° rotation of the case without disturbing the indicator. Typically you can get two-thirds of a rotation or so, but then you have to reposition your finger to complete the rotation. Moving your finger often causes the case to jiggle or move slightly, and more often than not, the dial indicator jumps a bit, interrupting your measurement. Been there, done that.

Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge

Drive Wheel Smoothly Spins Cases for Fast, Error-Free Readouts
With the new Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge from CTK Precision, the rubber-rimmed drive wheel has a much larger diameter than any cartridge case (7:1 diameter ratio on magnums). So, when you rotate the drive wheel just a half-turn or so (using knurled knob on the wheel axis), you can easily and smoothly turn the cartridge three (or more) full rotations. The drive wheel maintains a constant, even load on the case, so the case doesn’t wobble and the dial indicator gives a continuous, un-interrupted read-out. What’s more, clever cartridge support design geometry pulls the case back against the rim stop as you engage the drive wheel. This holds the case in position laterally during measurement. Morever, this allows very fast one-handed operation. You don’t have to hold the case down with your fingers while maintaining side force against the case rim stop.

Watch Video Showing Concentricity Gauge Used with Small and Large Cartridges

Accuracy One Concentricity GaugeThe Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge works with the full range of cartridges — everything from .22LR to .50 BMG. Adjusting the tool for different-length cases is incredibly easy, because the roller blocks (case supports) are held in place by magnets. You just slide the blocks to the desired position — no tools needed! The indicator stand is also held by magnets so it can slide to any position you want along the case body or bullet. And, the indicator can be moved to the front rail and rotated 90°. This way you can measure on the inside of the case neck.

Does this new design really work? Absolutely — it works brilliantly and it’s FAST. Watch the video and see for yourself. We could do two-rotation (720°) measurements on cases in a third the time it takes to do a one-rotation gauging operation with other tools. And the actual measuring operation can be done one-handed, leaving your free hand to pic up the next case (or bullet) to be measured. And yes, this tool can also measure bullet concentricity — measured from tip, ogive, bearing surface, and/or boatail.

Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge

1. Directional Drive Wheel pushes the cartridge or bullet into the stop for accurate, repeatable readings with equal pressure. The replaceable rubber drive ring will not harm cartridges or bullets.

2. Two-position bullet and cartridge stop.

3. Precision ball bearings provide friction-free movement.

4. Heavy steel base with E-coat finish and bolt-on rubber feet.

5. Indicator stand and roller blocks ride in machined slots and are held in place by N42 Neodymium magnets. This allows rapid, smooth, tool-free adjustments.

6. Indicator stand can be place in front OR rear machined slots. This allows for both internal and external measurements.

7. Fine-Adjustment Horizontal Indicator Stand allows very precise indicator angle/load adjustments.

8. Indicator Stand will accept horizontal indicators that are .350″ wide or narrower, and are 1.75″ to 2.25″ from the indicator contact point to the center of the main body.

9. Adjustable mechanical arm stop holds the arm up for one-handed operation.

10. Precision Drive Wheel has a 13:1 ratio for .22 rimfire, 7:1 for magnums, and 3.7:1 for 50BMG.

11. Concentricity Gauge accepts cartridges from .22LR rimfire to .50 BMG.

The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge is available from BulletTipping.com. Price for the unit, complete with quality horizontal indicator, is $325.00. Price, without indicator, is $280.00. The initial run of Concentricity Gauges is now in final production. Gauge sets should hit the market in 4 to 6 weeks. To place an advance order, fill out the PDF Order Form, or call (814) 684-5322. To learn more about setting up and using this new tool, read the Concentricity Gauge Instructions, and watch the video above.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 8 Comments »
July 20th, 2012

Sako Quad Rimfire Trainer — Buyer-Configurable Special Edition

Looking for the perfect rimfire training rifle, one that has the look, feel, and ergonomics of your favorite centerfire field/tactical rifle? Well here’s a unique opportunity. EuroOptic.com is putting together a special limited edition run of 49 Sako Quad rifles, configured exactly as the buyer specifies, with McMillan Stocks, Lilja Barrels, and Cerakoted Metal. There will only be 49 such rifles available, and the deadline to order is July 31, 2012. EuroOptic.com has a few offerings left, but it expects all 49 Special Edition Quads will be sold by the end of this month.

The Sako Quad was a great concept — one rimfire rifle with a quiver of barrels in different rimfire chamberings. However, many potential buyers didn’t need or want all four barrels. Many potential buyers liked the idea of the Quad as a rimfire trainer, but they wanted a rifle fitted with a full-size, fiberglass stock, so the gun would have the same ergonomics and feel as their centerfire bolt-guns. That would make it the ideal rimfire training rig.

Eurooptic.com Sako Quad

Eurooptic.com Sako QuadWell, this dream is now a reality. EuroOptic.com has decided to make a special limited run of 49 custom rimfire trainer rifles with premium components.

These Special Edition Quads will feature Sako Quad actions, McMillan fiberglass stocks, Lilja custom barrels, as well as quality third-party scope rails, triggerguards, and bolt knobs. The bedding and coating work will be done by GA Precision.

49 Special Quads — With McMillan Stocks, Lilja Barrels, and Cerakoted Metal
Each rifle will be “made to order” for the 49 lucky guys who sign up before orders close. The pre-order price (including ONE barrel, no optics) is $2195.00 + $30.00 for insured shipping in a hard card. Those who pre-order the rifles will be able to select the colors and special features they prefer. Buyers can chose among six (6) different McMillan stocks (with your choice of finish). Each rifle comes with one (1) .22 LR barrel. For an additional $350.00 per barrel, you can also order extra Lilja barrels chambered for any of these rimfire cartridges: .22 WMR, .17 HMR, or 17 Mach 2.

Each rifle will have the following standard features:

  • SAKO Quad receiver engraved with EuroOptic Logo and 1 of 49, 2 of 49 etc.
  • Lilja custom drop-in bull barrel in .22 LR. Other barrels/calibers can be added.
  • McMillan stock of your choice, bedded by GA Precision.
  • Cerakote metal color of your choice: Black, Desert Tan, Mil-Spec OD.
  • Picatinny +20 MOA scope rail by DIProducts.
  • Billet Aluminum trigger-guard by DIProducts.
  • KMW bolt knob.

You can choose from a variety of popular McMillan fiberglass stock designs. These include: A2, A3, A3-5, A5, HTG (M40), and Sako Varmint. The purchaser can also select the stock color/pattern. Click here to view some stock color options.

Additional Features (Extra-cost Options)

Threaded muzzle with cap — $125 per barrel
Coating of one additional barrel — $75.00
KMW cheekpiece installed — $150.00
Sling stud — $7.50 | Flush cup — $13.00
Limbsaver butt-pad — $23.00
Adjustable LOP with Spacer System — $116.00
2-way vertical butt-plate — $116.00
3-way butt-plate — $180.00
Saddle Cheekpiece — $116.00
Integral thumbwheel cheekpiece — $142.00
Anschutz fore-end rail — $53.00
Seekins fore-end PIC rail for bipod — $33.25

Ordering Instructions

To order, call EuroOptic at (570) 220-3159 or email: alex [at] eurooptic.com . When ordering, please specify McMillan stock model and color choice, as well as any extras you would like (including additional barrels), along with your choice of metal color. NOTE: Eurooptic.com requires a 25% non-refundable deposit for these rifles. Once the deposit is taken, the stock will be ordered as specified. The Quads are to be delivered by Sako in August 2012, and all 49 rifles should be completed before the end of 2012.

Eurooptic’s special pricing will continue until all 49 rifles are sold or until JULY 31st, whichever comes first. July 31st is the last day to pre-order a rifle to your spec. If any rifles remain unsold at that point they will be sold at normal price reflected on the Eurooptic.com website.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
July 17th, 2012

Monitor Balance Beam with Magnified Image on SmartPhone

If you use a balance-beam scale to weigh powder and reloading components, here’s a clever way to magnify the view of the beam tip. Of course you can use an old-fashioned magnifying glass, clamped in place, to upsize the view. But now there’s a parallax-free, electronic solution that works for anyone with an iPhone or Android OS smartphone.

Forum member Allan E. (aka “1066″) discovered that he could use the camera on his smartphone to display and magnify the image of a balance-beam tip. This works via a Magnifying Glass App you can download for free. Just turn on the smartphone, activate the Magnifying Glass App and zoom-in to suit your preference. Alan explains: “This saves those tired eyes. It’s much more accurate because there’s no parallax — the lens is directly in line with the pointer so we can see [the pointer] off the screen from any angle. It’s a much clearer view, and it costs nothing.”

You’ll need to fabricate some kind of stand or clamp for the phone. Allan created a smartphone mount with a bit of wire, rubber bands, and a bullet box. You can see the system working in the video below. (The video starts by showing a webcam + laptop balance-beam monitor system. The Smartphone system demo begins at the 1:30″ time-mark.)

Magnifying Glass Apps AndroidMagnifying Glass Apps for iPhones and Android Phones
There are numerous ‘magnifying glass’ programs for Apple and Android smartphones that use the built-in camera. Most include a zoom function and auto-focus. You might try a couple different Apps and see which works best for you. Some perform better in low light, while others resolve better. All of the following have 4-star or better user ratings:

Magnifying Glass App, (iBeam), Apple iPhone/iPod, $0.99.

Magnifying Glass App, (David Perry), Android OS, Free.

Magnifying Glass App, (Perun Labs), Android OS, Free.

Magnify App, (Appd Lab), Android OS, Free.

Ultra-Magnifier +, (zapDroid), Android OS, include Flashlight Function, Free.

Story find by Boyd Allen. We welcome readers submissions.
Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
July 17th, 2012

New Polymer AR15 Lower Receiver from ATI

ATI Omni AR15 lower polymerAmerican Tactical Imports (ATI) has introduced its new ATI Omni Lower Receiver, a multi-caliber AR15 lower made of reinforced polymer. Since it was designed to milspec dimensions, ATI claims the Omni polymer lower is compatible with most current AR15 lower parts kits, grips and stocks. ATI says the durable polymer material “can withstand harsh environments as well as everyday wear and tear.” The Omni lower will be available as either a stripped lower, OR a complete finished kit including all lower internal parts and collapsible stock. ATI claims the Omni lower has tested reliably with .22 LR, 5.56×45 (.223 Rem), and .410 but is “not recommended for larger calibers“.

ATI Omni AR15 lower polymer

The Omni stripped lower has an MSRP of just $49.95 while the complete finished kit has an MSRP of $129.95. The Omni lower comes in either black or dark earth colors. The .22LR version is available now. The .223 (5.56) version is slated for release in August, 2012, and a .410 version will be offered in the fall. To learn more about the ATI Omni Polymer AR15 lower, visit www.AmericanTactical.us.

Editor’s NOTE: This story is based on a press release by ATI. We have not examined or tested the product. Accordingly we can give no opinions as to fit/function, durability or safety. Likewise, we cannot venture an opinion as to whether the ATI Polymer lower would be legal in restrictive jurisdictions such as California. Nonetheless, this is an interesting technology that may prove useful in some applications. For example, the inexpensive ATI lower could work well with the Crosman MAR177 AR15 Airgun Upper, keeping total system cost down.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 8 Comments »
July 10th, 2012

New Saguaro Compact BR Action from Marsh Industries LLC

Product Preview by Boyd Allen
Saguaro Benchrest Action MarshMarsh Industries LLC of Cave Creek, Arizona, has just started production of its new “Saguaro” benchrest action. (Saguaro is the distinctive tall cactus plant found in the Southwest.) If the Saguaro action looks familiar, that’s by design. The idea was to produce a Panda-type action with 1 1/16″ removed from the middle to allow for reduced weight, and importantly, shorter bolt “draw” during cycling. In addition, Marsh Industries wanted smoother function and optimal accuracy. In that quest, Marsh crafted a state-of-the art striker assembly, configured specifically for short cartridges typically used for 100- and 200-yard benchrest matches.


The Saguaro action is like a Stolle Panda with 1 1/16″ removed from the middle.

Design and Testing of New Saguaro Action
After spending some time with “Doc” Marsh, (the owner of Marsh Industries), I must say that I am impressed with his new product. After learning what has gone into the design and production of these actions, and hearing how well Saguaro prototypes shot, this is one action I want to add to my collection.

Beneath the shiny exterior, the heart of any benchrest action is the striker assembly. Its specifications and adherence to tolerance are a formula that ultimately determines the potential of the action. Striker fall, weight, and spring rate, all work together to put the sharpest edge on accuracy, or if they are not right, result in run of the mill (for a benchrest action) accuracy, even if all the other details are perfectly executed. Rather than leave these details to the expertise of one person, several big names in the benchrest community were consulted about this part of the design. Intelligent input was received, and the design was improved from one prototype to the next. The final result is impressive to say the least. When the late prototype Saguaro was tested in a very good tunnel, using a rail-gun, the results were unequivocally outstanding. (Editor: This means the Saguaro action shot small enough groups to be “more than competitive” with any other hardware on the market.)


Saguaro Actions Can Use Barrels And Stocks Now Fitted to Pandas
The truth is that no one can quite put his finger on what makes the difference between a good action and a great action. Designs are created, actions built, they become parts of rifles, and only then is the truth revealed. Whether you believe that it was skill or luck, it would seem that the details that comprise this new action just happen to have the exact right stuff. For many of you, who already know how your barrels shoot on your rifles that have Panda actions, for the first time, a direct comparison is available. This is because Panda barrels fit Saguaro actions. So current Panda owners can remove one of their barrels, place it on a Saguaro-actioned rig, and see if the barrel shoots as good or better. That allows direct testing of one action vs. another.

You can use that closet full of barrels, on your new action, without modification, (and have a couple of more ounces toward that tuner that you have been waiting to try). For that matter, other than having to do a little filling in at the front of the action, you can replace your Panda with a Saguaro, and keep using the same stock. That offers a significant savings on a new build.


Saguaro Actions Start at $1050.00
For serious benchresters, an action that comes out of the box a potential winner is almost priceless. Saguaro actions will cost $1,200.00 polished, or $1,050.00 with a 400 grit finish. That’s reasonable given the build quality and performance. While you could pay a bit less for some other actions, if you are in the game to win, a less-than-competitive action isn’t worth owning (even if it is inexpensive).

Marsh Industries, LLC
7040 E. Lone Mt. Rd. North
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Email: info [at] marshindustriesllc.com
Phone: 480-699-2902 | Fax: 480-699-2397

And so there you have it — Part One of my report on a brand new action. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I will have a chance to do more than just cycle the bolt (felt good) and actually shoot a rifle built around one. Until then, I will have to content myself with trying out some of Bergers new Column bullets, and doing some more work with the slower but otherwise identical brother to the yet to be released Accurate LT 32 powder, some of that Canadian 2015, as soon as the temperatures get out of the triple digits on a day when the wind is suitable.

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July 9th, 2012

Colt 901 Modular Carbine Shoots Both .308 Win and .223 Rem

Colt Manufacturing Company (“Colt”) has finally released T&E versions of the long-promised Colt 901 “Modular Carbine” first revealed in 2011. This rifle shoots both .223 Rem and .308 Win cartridges using the SAME LOWER with different uppers. The Colt accomplishes this task by using a unique magwell insert, along with different mags and buffer assemblies. The 901 is very different than other AR variants which squeeze a short .30-caliber cartridge, such as the .300 AAC BLK, into a .223-length AR magazine. The Colt 901 shoots regular .308 Winchester cartridges, from .308-Win sized magazines. The key is the proprietary magwell insert, which allows standard 5.56×45 (.223 Rem) AR mags to fit inside the lower. To move from .308 to .223, once the insert is in place, you simply switch the buffer spring and buffer, and then attach your .223 Rem upper.

Colt 901 GunsAmerica.com ReviewGunsAmerica Review
You’ll find a detailed review and field test of the Colt 901 in the latest GunsAmerica Blog. The testers say the Colt 901 caliber-changing system works as advertised: “It can be adapted from .308/7.62, using standard P-Mags, to .223/5.56, using standard AR mags, and back again, in literally seconds. The design uses one proprietary part, and you have to swap out the recoil system. It is that simple, and it works fantastic…. What [Colt] did was to design a very simple part that adapts both the lug and the magazine size from one size upper to the other. The part itself is made from aluminum, and weighs exactly 3 ounces, including the captured steel push pin. It is simply an adapter, and its genius is in its simplicity.”

The GunsAmerica Review of the Colt 901 is worth reading if you’re interested in a dual-caliber AR. The review offers plenty of photos (zoomable to large size), with close-ups of the magwell insert and the buffer systems. In addition, the reviewers field-tested the Colt 901 with both .223 Rem and .308 Win uppers. Accuracy at 100 yards was not impressive (1.5″ group with the .308, about 2″ for the .223 version), but the reviewers believe the rifle could have shot better with a trigger upgrade.

Colt 901 Video from Military.com (2011 Unveiling)

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June 30th, 2012

Walther Goes It Alone — Ends Distribution Deal with S&W

German gun-maker Walther will be selling its own firearms in the USA, starting in 2013. Previously, Smith & Wesson distributed Walther firearms and accessories in the United States. Walther has decided to handle the marketing, distribution, sales, and servicing of its firearms in the USA through the newly-formed Walther Arms Inc., a subsidiary of the PW Group of Arnsberg, Germany. (PW owns both CARL WALTHER GmbH Sportwaffen and Umarex.) Starting January 1, 2013, Walther sales and marketing will be handled by Walther Arms Inc., with the exception of the Walther P22 and PK380 models, which Smith & Wesson will continue to sell and distribute through April 30, 2013.

Walther GmbH Smith Wesson

Walther GmbH Smith WessonWalther Will Continue to Build M&P22 Pistol
and Umarex Licenses Smith & Wesson Name

Though Walther will now import and distribute its own guns, Smith & Wesson will continue to manufacture the PPK for Walther Arms, Inc. and CARL WALTHER GmbH will continue to manufacture the M&P22 handgun for S&W. Additionally, Umarex will continue to license the Smith & Wesson brand for airgun products. “We are extremely thankful for the relationship we have had and will continue to have with the quality organization of Smith & Wesson,” said Wulf-Heinz Pflaumer, President of the PW Group, who added: “Smith & Wesson has been an outstanding partner.”

New Walther Arms Inc. Enterprise Will Be Based in Arkansas
Walther Arms will begin operations sharing a corporate campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Umarex USA, another company in the PW Group. “The new U.S.-based Walther Arms Inc. allows a more direct influence from the U.S. consumer’s wants and needs into our product development.” said Karl Heinz-Luther, V.P. of Sales & Marketing, CARL WALTHER GmbH. The President & CEO of Walther Arms will be Adam J. Blalock, who will also remain as President & CEO of Umarex USA. Blalock stated: “We will have a dedicated team focused on meeting the needs of U.S. consumers. We are very thankful for the many loyal Walther customers and we’re excited for the opportunity to serve them.” For more information visit www.carl-walther.de.

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