September 14th, 2012

Alliant Black MZ Wins Field & Stream ‘Best of the Best’ Award

Black MZ Powder AlliantBlack Powder Cartridge Rifles (BPCR) typically fire cartridges with large capacity — 70 grains or more of the ‘holy black’. For a variety of reasons, BPCR shooters may want to use a black powder substitute when training, hunting, or when competing in matches that allow substitutes. The problem with most smokeless propellants is that they are designed to operate at much higher pressure levels and they don’t fill the case well when loaded to black powder pressure levels. (There are some exceptions).

Allian Black MZ Wins Field & Stream Award
Alliant Powder has developed a new black powder substitute that works well in black powder cartridge rifles and in muzzle-loaders. Alliant’s new Black MZ is an innovative, non-corrosive black powder substitute that resists moisture and reduces cleaning time.

Alliant claims that Black MZ “burns cleaner for less residue and easier cleaning” and that Black MZ can deliver “better velocities at lower pressures.” In fact, Black MZ performs so well that it was recently awarded Field & Stream’s “Best of the Best” award in its product category.

BPCRField & Stream reports: “[Black MZ] performed so well… that the test team was able to fire muzzleloaders repeatedly without any cleaning. And when a patch was run through the barrel, there was far less fouling than is normally seen. The loose grains also can be packed tightly, producing great energy results while maintaining low barrel pressure.” Alliant states that: “Moisture resistant and virtually non-corrosive, Black MZ replicates black powder performance without the ignition headaches and cleaning hassles common to traditional black powder use.”

Alliant Brand Director Rick Stoeckel declares: “We are excited to win the Best of the Best from Field & Stream. We strive to provide the best products for our consumers, and this recognition reaffirms the effectiveness of Black MZ” [for both muzzle-loaders and Black Powder Cartridge Rifles].

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
September 14th, 2012

Beyond .50 BMG — The Jumbo .950 JDJ

Are you bored with your “whimpy” .50 BMG? Looking for something with a little more punch? Well J.D. Jones and his team at SSK Industries have created a truly big boomer — the .950 JDJ. As its name implies, rifles chambered for the cartridge have a bore diameter of 0.950″ (24.13 mm). This would normally make such rifles “destructive devices” under the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA). However, SSK obtained a “Sporting Use” exemption allowing the rifles to be sold without special restrictions as destructive devices. CLICK HERE to watch .950 JDJ being fired.

.950 JDJ Specifications
Rifle Cost: $8000.00
Ammunition Cost: $40.00 per round
Projectile Weight: 3,600 grains (more than half a pound)
Rifle Weight: Between 80 and 120 pounds
Muzzle Energy: 38,685 ft/lbs (52,450 Joules)
Momentum: 154.1 Newton-seconds

As crafted by SSK Industries, .950 JDJ rifles use McMillan stocks and very large-diameter Krieger barrels fitted with a massive 18.2-lb muzzle brakes. The ammo produced by SSK features solid 3,600 grain bullets and CNC-machined cartridge brass. It is also possible (through a lot of work), to use a 20mm cannon casing shortened and necked-down.The primer pocket is swaged out to accept a .50 cal machine gun primer. That 3,600 grain bullet is just massive — it weighs more than half a pound. The cartridge propels its 3,600 grain bullet at approximately 2,200 fps. This yields a muzzle energy of 38,685 ft-lbs and a momentum of 154.1 Newton-seconds. The energy on target (knock-down power) is comparable to WWI-era tank rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 23 Comments »
September 13th, 2012

New Flex-Arm Mount for Sure Feed Ammo Caddies

A few days ago we featured Tim Sellar’s new Double-stack Sure Feed Ammo Caddy. No sooner had we revealed Tim’s double-stacker, than we got a call from Tim saying that he was developing a new flex-arm support for his gravity-fed ammo caddies. The advantage of the flex arm is that it allows the vertical position of the caddy to be adjusted for different guns (or different shooter positions). In addition, the arm raises the caddy up off the bench, clearing space for the operation of a joystick on a coaxial front rest.

Tim explains: “At the IBS 1000-yard nationals in West Virginia this year I had a lot of requests for a flex-arm type caddy. Here’s the first prototype — the paint just dried this morning. It works great especially for the joy-stick type rest. This opens up space for the arm movement. The example in the photo has a bracket attaching the flex-arm to the rest. I can fabricate any mount specified. I also plan to offer a magnetic base for the caddy flex-arm for use with ferrous metal front rests.”

Sure Feed Flex Arm Caddy

Tim hasn’t announced a price for the flex-arm option yet: “The price is still being worked out. I will announce it after some anodizing and aluminum estimates come in. Production should start early January next year”. For more information on Sure Feed Ammo Caddies contact Tim in Texas:

Sure Feed Ammo Caddies (Tim Sellars)
4704 Redondo Street
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Phone: (817) 581-7665 (cell)
eMail: sel248 [at] aol.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
September 13th, 2012

Rifle Cover for Rainy-Day Shooting

When shooting, it’s important to keep moisture out of your barrel and action, and it’s also wise to keep your optics dry. When storm clouds are threatening and you’re on the firing line waiting for your relay to start, you want to keep those raindrops off your equipment. Here’s a smart $20.00 product that can protect your expensive optics while keeping moisture and dust out of your rifle’s innards. Produced by Oregon’s CenterShot Engineering, the Rifle Cover is made from 420 Denier Nylon with a waterproof urethane backing. The basic size will fit a rifle up to 52″ in length, but you can order custom sizes (bigger or smaller).

Centershot Engineering Rifle Cover

For F-Class shooters, this is a great accessory for those rainy, misty, or foggy days while you’re waiting between relays. Or, a Varmint hunter can slip the cover on during a short rain squall, rather than lug his rifle all the way back to the truck or club-house. To order, visit www.censhot.com, call (503) 622-3815, or write: Center Shot Engineering, 26810 E. Elk Park Rd., Welches, OR 97067. The regular price is $20.00. Ask for pricing on different colors and sizes.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
September 11th, 2012

FNH Introduces TBM Conversion Kit for SPR Rifles

FNH has released a “TBM” upgrade kit for owners of FNH SPR rifles with the standard .308-size, 4-round DBM magazine assembly. This kits lets current SPR owners utilize the TBM (tactical box magazine) assembly with 5- and 10-round magazines. This easy-to-install kit provides SPR owners with an ambidextrous mag release, along with the ability to use larger-capacity box magazines.

FNH TBM Kit

This $449.00 Kit comes with new trigger guard/bottom metal, both 5-round and 10-round TBM magazines, new action screws and instructions. For SPRs with box mags, this is a drop-in, no-gunsmithing upgrade that does not require gun modification or fitting to the rifle. (TSRs or PBRs with DBM equipment might require fitting by a gunsmith). Retrofit on SPRs can be accomplished in minutes with common tools (torque wrench required). Kits are available now through the FNH USA E-Store, Brownells, and Midway USA (item number 62655-01, MSRP $449).

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
September 10th, 2012

New Double-Stack Sure Feed Ammo Caddy by Tim Sellars

On his Facebook Page, Gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzales featured the Sure Feed cartridge caddy by Tim Sellars. This device works well, and Tim can customize the height to fit your rifle and rest elevation. Speedy reports: “Here’s the new double-stack Sure Feed made by Tim Sellars out of Ft. Worth, Texas. This is one he made for me for my PPC. Each column holds 10 rounds plus five additional hole on the side for sighters or for holding a different test load. Tim makes these for all calibers and work great if you need to dump rounds down-range fast. Each consecutive round slides out and goes directly into the chamber without having to orient it into the correct position.”

To order a Sure Feed Cartridge Caddy (either the original single-stack or the new double-stack model), send email to sel248 [at] aol.com, or call Tim at 817-581-7665, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Speedy adds: “Tim is very accommodating and will build just about whatever [size caddy] you want.” Single-column caddies are $85.00 (short) and $95.00 (tall). Call for prices on the double-stack models.

Sure Feed Ammo Caddies
Tim Sellars – Sure Feed
4704 Redondo Street
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Phone: (817) 581-7665 (cell)
eMail: sel248 [at] aol.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
September 10th, 2012

Gun Trader’s Guide (34th Edition) Just Released

Gun Trader 34th EditionThe new, 34th Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide has just been released. This fully-illustrated resource features current market values for thousands of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Along with the Blue Blue of Gun Values, the Gun Trader’s Guide is one of the two definitive resources on gun prices. If you buy or sell firearms, the Gun Traders’ Guide is a must-have item that will pay for itself. Over two million copies of the Gun Trader’s Guide have been sold to date. Order soon to be one of the first to own the new 34th Edition. Amazon’s price is $18.64 with free shipping for combined orders over $25.00.

You can order the Gun Trader’s Guide (34th Ed.), the Blue Book of Gun Values and other popular firearms and shooting books through the AccurateShooter Bookstore. To save you time, we’ve collected the best books on shooting, reloading, hunting, and gunsmithing all in one location. Ordering, secure billing, and shipping are all handled efficiently by Amazon.com.

Permalink New Product No Comments »
September 9th, 2012

Digital Scale Comparison: GemPro 500, AY123, Sartorius GD503

This article first appeared in 2011.
JayChris, AccurateShooter.com’s IT “guru”, has tested three different digital scales. The first is the relatively inexpensive ($150.00) GemPro 500, the second was the $333.00 Sartorius AY123, which is very similar to the Denver Instrument MXX123 and Acculab-123. Lastly, JayChris tested his $1225.00 Sartorius GD503 lab scale. The 3-way comparison test produced interesting findings. We learned that the AY123 had some serious shortcomings when used to weigh powder. The GemPro 500 performed well for the price, but was quite a bit slower than the big GD503. In speed of response, accuracy of measurement, resistance to drift, and overall reliability, the GD503 was the clear winner in our comparison. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. CLICK HERE for GD503 Review with Videos.

digital scales GD503, AY124, GemPro 500 250

BATTLE of the BALANCES

Three-Way Comparison Test: GemPro 500, Sartorius AY123, Sartorius GD503
Testing Report by JayChris
Precision Weighing Balances, www.balances.com, an authorized Sartorius Distributor, shipped me an AY123 (same as Denver MXX123, Acculab 123, etc.) along with a high-end GD503 force restoration scale. I had purchased the GD503, while the AY123 was a loaner for this comparison test. I included in this test a GemPro 500 scale that I already had. My key objective in this comparison test was to test each scale for measurement drift over time. We wanted to see if the displayed weight of a given object (here a certified test weight), would change over time, or with repeated measurements.

The first test was a “quick” test, where I measured the same weight ten (10) times, in the same order, about every 30 seconds or so. I did this at about the same speed as weighing out powder, maybe a bit slower. This took about 5 or 6 minutes. The second test was more-or-less an overnight test, where I measured the same weight in lengthening intervals, starting every 10 minutes, then every 30, then every 60, and so on. You can see the time series on the included graphs.

digital scales GD503, AY124, GemPro 500 250

TEST SETUP:
– I used the same 100 GRAM Sartorius certified check weight for every test (see photo). Note: 100 GRAMS = 1543.233 GRAINS
– I calibrated each scale within 30 seconds of each other before starting the test.
– I tare’d each scale within a few seconds of each other
– All three scales are connected to the same line conditioning PDU and are located in the same environment (right next to each other)

Measurement Resolution and Display Increments
– The Sartorius AY123 measures to the nearest hundredth of a grain (.00). Increments are in 0.02 grain divisions, i.e. the nearest two hundredth of a grain.
– The Sartorius GD503 measures to the nearest thousandth of a grain (.000). Increments are in 0.005 grain divisions, i.e. the nearest five thousandth of a grain.
– The GemPro 500 measures to the nearest half-tenth of a grain (.05).

NOTE: When weighing powder, I weigh to the nearest .05 grain so any of these provide adequate (or more-than) resolution.

FIRST SERIES Quick Test:

digital scales GD503, AY124, GemPro 500 250

* X-axis is weighing series iteration

SECOND SERIES Time-based:

digital scales GD503, AY124, GemPro 500 250

* X-axis is a time series in minutes-from-0.

THIRD SERIES AY123 “Stable” vs. “Unstable”:

digital scales GD503, AY124, GemPro 500 250

* X-axis is a weighing series iteration

This is a test of the AY123 in “Stable” vs. “Unstable” environment mode. The GD503 was used for comparison. I ran this test to compare the AY123 in “Stable” conditions mode (default) vs. “Unstable” conditions mode, based on anecdotal reports that the “Unstable” mode produces more consistent results. I did not find that to be so. In addition, I found that the weighing time for the “Unstable” mode was extremely slow — taking nearly 5 – 7 seconds per instance to complete a measurement. It then takes a few seconds to return to zero. In the AY123’s default “Stable” mode, it takes a second or so. Based on my testing then, there is no advantage to running the AY123 (or similar clones) in the “unstable mood”. It will simply slow you down.

Observations and Conclusions
Overall, the GD503 was the most consistent, never varying more than .005 (five-thousandths) of a grain, which is about ten times less drift than the next closest scale. The GemPro was “close” behind, never varying more than .05 of a grain. The AY123 was consistently variable and lost significant resolution over time. It was difficult to plot the AY123 results because it rarely settled at a weight for longer than a few seconds — it would routinely come up with a different weight every few seconds, varying by as much as .04 of a grain. I selected the first reading it “settled” on as the “official” reading.

The one thing this test does NOT demonstrate is trickling — our previous Review of the GD503 has a video that shows that nicely. The GD503 gives you near instantaneous read-outs when trickling. By contrast, both the AY123 and GemPro 500 require a “trickle-and-wait-for-update” plan. The GD503 is really dramatically better in its ability to return a “final” weight very quickly. This allows efficient trickling. CLICK HERE for GD503 Review with Videos.

[UPDATE: One of our readers observed that there is a setting which can make the AY123 more responsive (and accurate) when trickling charges: “Note that the video shows the 123 jumping as powder is added. The reason is the scale is in the default setting, which is for single weightings. When changed to ‘Filling’ mode, the scale reacts very quickly, and in my case accurately. Trickling is easy in the ‘Filling’ mode. My experience is that the AY123 is an excellent scale, but is sensitive to environmental factors. The GD503 is way better and is also way more expensive.” — Matt P.]

GemPro 500 Performed Well — Drift Was Usually Minimal and Charges Settle Fairly Quickly
I’ve used the GemPro 500 for quite a while now and have found it to be fairly reliable. However, over one previous loading session I have seen it drift as much as .150 of a grain. I had to go back and re-weigh charges because of this. Therefore, I tend to tare it every five (5) weighings or so which is probably overkill based on one case. I’ve not had that problem since so I am guessing something happened environmentally (maybe I bumped it or something). Overall, the GemPro is not overly sensitive to environment and settles fairly quickly and reliably.

Charges Weighed by SD503 Have More Consistent Velocities, with lower SDs
I’ve loaded a few hundred rounds with the GD503 now. I have not found it to drift more than .010 of a grain in that time. So, now, I only tend to tare it once at the beginning of a load session. I have gotten extremely consistent velocities from charges loaded with this scale, with single-digit standard deviations. By contrast, previously, my best efforts usually resulted in standard deviations (SDs) in the low teens.

Based on my experience testing the AY123, I would not choose this scale to load powder with. The readings are just too variable. The slightest environment factors (breathing, hand movement, etc.) cause large changes in results. I tried to load some rounds using this scale (backed by my GD503 to verify) and I couldn’t do better than a few tenths of a grain, and that was with considerable effort. The Sartorius AY123 is really the wrong tool for the job when it comes to measuring powder.

Thanks to Precision Weighing Balances for providing the AY123 for comparison. The other two scales, the GemPro 500 and GD503, I purchased on my own nickel. [Editor’s Note: When purchased in 2011, Jay’s GD503 cost approximately $900.00. The current 2012 price at Balances.com is $1225.00.] All three of these digital scales can be purchased through the Precision Weighing Balances webstore:

GemPro 250 | GemPro 500 |AY-123 |GD503

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 8 Comments »
September 7th, 2012

Folding Gear Hauler Is Great for Big Matches

The Spirit of America Match (SOA) and F-Class National Championship Match are both scheduled this month at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. The SOA Match starts September 9th (this upcoming Sunday), while the F-Class Nationals kick off September 17th. Over the next couple of weeks, hundreds of shooters will be hauling tons of gear to the Raton firing lines (and back again). Carrying all that hardware by hand quickly gets tiring. Accordingly, you’ll see a variety of range carts, converted strollers, and other two-, three-, and four-wheeled haulers used by competitors to tote their gear.

Folding Wagon Holds 150 Pounds of Gear
If you’re looking for an affordable, light-weight gear hauler, consider the $79.95 Mac Sports Folding Wagon from Creedmoor Sports. With a load capacity of 150 pounds, this cleverly-designed folding wagon is great for transporting all your shooting gear to and from the firing line. The Mac Sports Folding Wagon opens up to 37″ x 21″ x 23″, large enough to hold shooting mats, front pedestal rests, spotting scope stands, ammo boxes and more.

mac sports folding wagon

mac sports folding wagonFolding Wagon Stows Easily in Vehicle
The wagon folds up in seconds for convenient storage in its own carry bag. When collapsed, the Mac Sports Folding Wagon fits easily into a small car trunk. It weighs just 26 pounds (unloaded), but its steel frame allows it to carry nearly six times its own weight in gear (150-lb load capacity). When you’re not shooting, the wagon is also great for small hauling jobs around the yard. CLICK HERE to order from Creedmoor Sports (green, $79.95). Target.com and some Target retail stores also offer the Max Sports Folding Wagon for $79.99 in red or green livery.

Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, New Product 3 Comments »
September 4th, 2012

New Ammo Boxes from MTM Case-Gard with Mechanical Hinges

After our recent post on ammo boxes for benchrest-sized cartridges, Forum Member Dave Berg let us know that MTM Case-Gard has introduced a new series of R-50 Ammo Boxes with mechanical hinges. The new mechanical hinge on the improved MTM R-50 series box allows the box lid to open fully and lay flat, providing unimpeded access to your rounds. This is smart — no longer will shooters have to struggle with a box lid that wants to spring back over your ammo.

MTM Case-Gard R 50 Series Ammo Box

For some guys this makes the MTM R-50-series ammo boxes easier to use both on the bench and at the range. Dave notes: “The new and improved MTM RS-S-50… has a real mechanical hinge that just flops the lid back out of the way. The dimensions are virtually identical to the 512. [The RS-S-50 box is] tall enough that long-seated 6mm 108gr bullets will just fit and the walls between the compartments are high enough the empties can’t jump out.” The new MTM R-50 series are made from tough UV-resistant polypropylene that won’t crack. The mechanical hinge is warranteed for 25 years. The MTM CaseGuard R-50 series is offered in eight (8) sizes to fit everything from 17 Hornet all the way up to .375 Rem Ultra-Mag. For .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, and .223 Rem shooters, get the RS-50 box. For 22-250, 22BR, 6PPC, 6mmBR, 30BR, and 7.62×39, you should order the RS-S-50 box, shown below. For other rifle cartridge types, CLICK HERE for Chart showing the right-size MTM box.

MTM Case-Gard R 50 Series Ammo Box

Consumer NOTE: Some online vendors still may still have older-inventory MTM R-50 series Ammo Boxes with the older-style lid attachment. The newer, hinged version shares the same product names, for example RS-50 and RS-S-50, so you’ll need to ask for the newer versions when ordering. (NOTE: The two-tone boxes all have the new hinges.) When shopping online, you may see extended product codes, such as “RS50-24″, and “RS50-16T”. The suffixes are box color codes, “-24″ referring to blue, and “-16T” referring to green/black, with “T” for two-tone. The RS-50 series comes in four (4) color options, each with its own suffix.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
September 3rd, 2012

Got Backup? Get 16 Gig Flash Drive for under $10.00

Flash USB DriveDo you have important documents and data on your computer — items such as tax returns, home inventories, and your precious reloading logs? Well, if you haven’t backed up these critical files, you should do so right away. Computer hard drives in your computer can fail at any time — often without warning. If you want to back up your most important data files, you can “burn” them to CD, but that can be somewhat time-consuming, and if you have very large files, they may not fit easily on a conventional CD.

Small, Portable, Affordable USB Flash Drives
One quick and easy form of back-up is to use a flash memory stick. These small USB devices, about the size of a pack of gum, are easy to use and cost less than ever. Just plug the drive into a USB port and copy your files to it (drag and drop or copy and paste). A 4 gigabyte flash drive can be purchased for around $5.00 while an 8-gig drive is less than $7. You can get a full 16 gigs of storage for under $10.00 these days.


Above are some good options from Amazon. We’ve selected SanDisk and Transcend flash drives. We have found both these brands to be very reliable. (We use Transcend Flash Cards in all our digital cameras). One word of caution — be sure to test the integrity of your files after you have copied them to a flash drive. Also store the drives in a cool, safe place, away from powerful electrical sources or magnetic fields. It is a good idea to update your backups every month or so, on a regular schedule.

Disclosure: A small percentage of Amazon sales helps fund our IT support program.
Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 2 Comments »
August 28th, 2012

Berger Bullets Reloading Manual Officially Released

Berger 2012 Reloading ManualBerger Bullets just announced the completion of the first-ever Berger Bullets Reloading Manual (1st Ed.). This $29.00, 829-page manual will be available to the public starting in October, 2012. Eric Stecker notes: “Our team worked very hard to create a thorough manual which gives the shooter everything they come to expect from a reloading manual, along with several extra items we hope the shooters will find interesting and useful. We spent a considerable amount of time putting together loads for seventy-one different cartridges. The majority of powders used to develop the loads for each cartridge were selected due to the fact that they result in 90% or higher fill ratio. It is generally believed that powders which have a fill ratio over 90% will perform best in a given case, since the powder will not be moving around as much in the case.”

The new Berger Manual includes many informative technical articles. Noted Editor John Barsness tackles the subject of Lot to Lot Powder Variations with skill and experience. He provides the shooter with a much greater understanding of why loading manuals do not list the same loads from manual to manual, yet are more consistent than shooters might think. Other technical sections written by Ballistician Bryan Litz include: G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients, Form Factor: A Useful Analysis Tool, and The Effects of Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO).

With new rifle shooters in mind, the manual also spotlights ten different types of rifle-shooting activities, each explained by an expert in that discipline/activity. Among these ten activity-focus segments, Short Range Benchrest is covered by Walt Berger, High Power and Across the Course Competition is explained by Sherri Jo Gallagher, while Nancy Tompkins wrote the Palma, Long Range & Fullbore segment. Precision Hunting is covered by John Burns.

Berger Reloading ManualThere are several other informational sections that will enhance readers’ understanding of reloading techniques and the shooting sports. This includes everything from Handloading Basics for new and novice shooters, to an article on Statistics for Handloading for more advanced shooters looking to better understand their work processes and thereby improve their results on the target.

Another interesting feature in the Manual is a profile of company founder Walt Berger. This segment, tracking back to 1920s and 1930s, explains how Walt overcame great odds and built a successful enterprise when almost everyone around him was convinced he would fail.

Overall, this book represents a massive amount of work by numerous individuals over many years. Eric Stecker explains: “One of the reasons it took so long to complete this manual is because we wanted to include as much good information as we could provide. It is my opinion that we have succeeded in this effort and I am proud that we are ready to provide a quality loading manual which will help rifle shooters at all levels.”

Collector-Edition Signed Copies Available for Pre-Order
The retail price is $29.00. Berger is accepting pre-orders for the Reloading Manuals, which will begin shipping in October. The first 3,000 manuals have been signed by Walt Berger, Eric Stecker, Bryan Litz and Michelle Gallagher. Bryan Litz tells us: “Walt, Eric, Michelle and I spent many hours last week signing 3,000 copies of the book. We went through many boxes of Sharpies… it was quite the task!” To place an advance book order, call 714-447-5422 or CLICK HERE for Berger’s Online Shopping Cart.

Berger Bullets Reloading Manual

Permalink - Articles, New Product, News 8 Comments »
August 25th, 2012

V-Block, Composite Rifle Stocks from John Whidden

Whidden Composite Works StocksJohn Whidden, multi-time NRA Long-Range Champion, runs a stock-building enterprise, Whidden Composite Works. This is a sister operation to Whidden Gunworks, which crafts V-Blocks and other specialized gun components and reloading tools. John Whidden’s stock-making business, the Composite Works, is producing a series of high-quality, V-Block-equipped stocks using state-of-the-art composite construction. The first two stock designs, the models 105 and 140, are general-purpose stocks that will work for everything from Elk hunting to tactical comps. Both models are currently available in multiple color choices: Desert Sand, Forest Green, Flecked Black, Silver, and Custom Mix. Other colors may be offered in the future.

The Whidden Composites model 105 has a familiar hunting rifle profile. The model 140 is designed as a hunting stock incorporating tactical features for shooters who prefer a more vertical strong-hand grip. Both include the Whidden V-Block (in configurations for right-handed short and long actions based on the Rem 700 bolt pattern), three installed sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad.

Model 105 Offers Hunters a Familiar Design with Enhanced Rigidity and V-Block
The Whidden 105, priced at $360.00, is shaped along the lines of a classic North American hunting rifle. But under the skin it is a greatly enhanced platform. Solid-core construction gives a solid feel that is often absent on lesser synthetic/plastic stocks. The V-Block system is integrated, the composites used increase stiffness, and the material is impervious to weather. The V-Block system allows the owner to easily use multiple barreled actions in the same stock.

Whidden Composite Works Stocks

Model 140 Provides Improved Ergonomics for Prone and Tactical Shooters
The Whidden 140 offers the ergonomic advantages of a vertical grip and raised comb for eye-scope-target (EST) alignment. For many shooters, the vertical grip feels more natural in prone position, and allows a very solid “hard hold” for a heavier-recoiling caliber. The semi-beavertail fore-end will rest solidly on sandbags, while the radiused edges still allow for comfortable grip and carrying. Whidden model 140 stocks are available for $400 in Desert Sand, Forest Green, and Flecked Black.

Whidden Composite Works Stocks

Model 175 Whidden Stock Design
In addition to the models 105 and 140, John produces a model 175 stock featuring an (optional) adjustable cheekpiece and other enhancements favored by tactical, prone, and F-Class competitors. The basic model 175 stock includes the V-Block, three sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad. Options include Foreend Rail, Adjustable Cheek Piece, and Butt Spacers. Model 175 stocks start at $549.00 plus shipping. For more information on the Whidden models 105, 140, and 175, visit Whidden Composite Works or call (229) 686-1860.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
August 24th, 2012

CMP Offers Scoring App for iPhones and iPads

CMP iphone scoring appThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has developed a handy iPhone App to be used for scoring CMP Matches. The CMP’s program for Apple smart phones and iPads is called, appropriately, iPhone App – CMP. This new App’s easy to use interface allows quick recording of a shooter’s score after each string. The CMP App also calculates your shooting percentages automatically throughout the event. In addition, the shooter can enter notes or record wind, temp and other conditions in a notes field.

This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and is now the official mobile App for keeping score at CMP-sponsored shooting events. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the iPhone App – CMP are donated to the CMP. This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this software are donated to the CMP.

The CMP App must be ordered through Apple’s iTunes store and you need iTunes software on your computer to download. Here is the direct product link:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cmp/

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
August 23rd, 2012

SEB Donates MAX Front Rest for IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Prize

Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang of SEB Coaxial is donating the first-of-its-kind production MAX rest as a prize for the IBS 1000-yard Nationals. This is a very generous donation, as the standard MAX front rest will retail for over $1000, and this special prize edition features a special “high-bling” fully polished base. The match directors will determine whether the rest will be awarded to the overall Two-Gun champion or whether, instead, the rest is offered as a door prize, giving all match attendees a chance at winnning.

SEB MAX front rest

SEB MAX front rest

SEB MAX front rest

The SEB MAX rest employs a counter-balancer design with tuned weights on a forward facing shaft. This allows the MAX to work smoothly with guns up to 110 pounds overall. Seb notes: “I will send the rest with a set of counterweights (with various slip-on ‘rings’, to accept gun weights ranging from 40 to 110 pounds). I will also include an ammo-holder set and clock-holder as well.” The complete MAX rest weighs about 44 pounds.

Seb hopes to get feedback on the MAX rest from shooters attending the IBS 1000-yard Nationals: “Any shooters [at the 1K IBS Nationals] can try the rest and I would love to hear how it works and what you think. Or just put your gun on the rest top/front bag, ‘play’ the joystick, adjust the slip-on rings back & forth, use the appropriate ring(s). You will easily determine the correct weight/ring positions once you try the rest. With the correct ‘tuned’ counterweight, the force required to push the joystick upward is the same as the force needed to push downward. And no matter how heavy your gun, with the correct counter-balance weight, the force needed to move the joystick should be the same …effortless.”

SEB MAX front rest

The highly-polished prize-model MAX rest in the top photos is a one-of-a-kind, the first to be delivered to North America. Regular production starts soon. Seb tells us: “I will start to build the production MAX rests on first week of September, to be finished around late November-mid Dec 2012. I’m preparing 75 units on this run. About 40 units will be going to the USA, about 20 or more will be going to Australia.” Contact your SEB dealer for pricing and information.

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August 23rd, 2012

Pendleton Safes Offers Free Shipping through October 15

Pendleton round safe

Pendleton round safeIf you live out in the country, far away from a major safe manufacturer or distributor, you know that shipping fees can significantly increase the complete, installed cost of a large gun safe. Here’s an offer that could save you hundreds of dollars on a large, high-capacity safe.

Now through October 15, 2012, Pendleton Safes (of of Loganville, GA) is offering FREE Shipping on all safe orders shipped to the lower 48 United States. This offer is available on any size safe, and is available directly to the public. For complete details, visit www.pendletonsafes.com, email info [at] pendletonsafes.com, or call 770-466-6181.

About Pendleton Safes
Pendleton Safes is an American manufacture of custom-built gun safes. Pendleton has pioneered some noteworthy design features. Pendleton specializes in cylindrical safes with curved walls. This design resists attacks, and it also allows the safe to be fitted with a permanent carousel-style gun storage system (see photo on right). The carousel provides fast access to your firearms — up to 40 long guns and 54 pistols in the largest Pendleton safes. Pendleton can even equip safes with motor-driven carousels. Built-in LED lighting is also available. We strongly recommend equipping any safe you own with interior lighting.

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August 21st, 2012

Round RPA Action Released — V-Block Compatible

RPA Round Action

Rangemaster Precision Arms (RPA), based in the UK, has released a new round-bodied action that employs the proven engineering of the four-lug RPA Quadlock Action. The new RPA Round Action works just like the original multi-flat Quadlock, but the round body design is more versatile. RPA explains: “By popular demand, we developed and released the new RPA “Round” Quadlock action. After consulting our target user group, it was decided that we should design a Quadlock with the ability to be ‘V-bedded’ into the stock for ease of maintanence and change.” The RPA round action is offered for both standard and magnum cartridges. Price (in the UK) is £864.00, including trigger set to 0.5kg or 1.5kg. That’s $1364.00 USD at current exchange rates. CLICK HERE for more information.

RPA Round Action


Rangemaster Precision Arms
P.O. Box 441, Tonbridge
Kent, TN9 9DZ, United Kingdom
info [at] rangemasterprecisionarms.com
Tel: +44 (0) 845 880 3222

Permalink New Product 1 Comment »
August 14th, 2012

DVDs Show How to Cast Bullets for Rifles and Handguns

We’ve done some bullet casting in the past, both for handgun bullets, and the large, heavy (400gr+) projectiles used with Black Powder Cartridge Rifles. We can say, unequivocally, that newbies should seek out the assistance of a skilled, experienced mentor, who is familiar with the important safety procedures that must be employed. Working with molten lead can be dangerous. And it also takes some skill to get good results (without visible casting flaws), particularly with very large bullets.

That said, there are valuable resources that can help you get started with the casting process. Wolfe Publishing offers two DVDs that cover the bullet casting process from start to finish. Bullet Casting 101 takes you through the basics: showing you how to choose the correct alloy for your application, prep molds, maintain the optimal temperatures, and lube and size bullets. The important steps are laid out clearly. In addition, Bullet Casting 101 helps you select the right equipment and preferred molds for your particular application. (To create uniform rifle bullets that shoot accurately, you really do need high-quality molds.)

Casting Bullets Handgun

Casting Bullets HandgunWolfe Publishing offers a companion DVD, Casting Premium Bullets for Handguns, that covers more advanced techniques for high-volume pistol bullet production. This DVD covers both single cavity molds and multiple-cavity “gang” molds. (Gang molds can be frustrating at first; it is harder to maintain perfect temp control and mold separation is more complex). The DVD also reveals the sources of most common casting flaws, and explains how to detect cracks, voids and other problems.

You’ll save considerable time and effort if you really understand how to avoid common mistakes before you start pouring lead. And you’ll get the best results if you learn how to “blend” the optimal alloy for the job. Maintaining the right mold temperature is also critical for good results. These topics and more are covered in these two DVDs, priced at $16.99 each from Sinclair International.

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August 14th, 2012

Cartridge Comparison Guide Covers Hundreds of Cartridges

Cartridge Comparison GuideA unique, comprehensive Cartridge Comparison Guide is now available as both a spiral-bound book and as an online database. The Cartridge Comparision Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency.

Both print and web versions of the Cartridge Comparison Guide provide data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Charts provide cartridge ballistics including downrange energy. The Cartridge Comparison Guide offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, Wound Channel Characteristics and more.

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Book Costs $24.99 — Online Access is $10.00 with FREE Trial
The Cartridge Comparison Guide book version costs $23.99 plus shipping and tax. Accessing the web-based version requires a $10.00 subscription, but Chamberlain offers a 2-Day free online trial membership. A portion of the proceeds of book purchases go to support Paralyzed Veterans of America. CLICK HERE to order the book, subscribe to the online service, or sign up for the free trial.

Cartridge Comparison GuideGreat Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the “right cartridge for the job.” According to Chamberlain: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments, etc.” Chamberlain adds: “I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot.”

Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.

cartridge poster

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
August 13th, 2012

Barnes, Berger, Nosler Bullets Now Offered in Sample Packs

Bullet Proof SamplesBullet Proof Samples now offers 12-count packs of big-name bullets. This lets you try out many different bullet types without forking out big bucks for larger 50-ct or 100-ct boxes. Currently, Bullet Proof Samples offers projectiles from Barnes, Berger Bullets, and Nosler. The sample packs range in price from $5.49 (for 22-cal varmint bullets) to $15.99 (for a .30-Cal Barnes LRX). The Berger Bullets sample packs run $6.49 to $10.49, with the larger 7mm and 30-cal bullets at the upper end of the range. On a per-bullet cost basis, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a “normal” 100-ct box, but the sample packs let you “test before you invest.”

Bullet Proof SamplesBerger’s Michelle Gallagher tells us: “We receive frequent feedback from shooters who are looking for bullets in small pack quantities so that they can test different bullets without the expense of buying full boxes. We’re pleased to be associated with the launch of Bullet Proof Samples. This is a new company who has done an exceptional job of addressing that concern. Bullets are packaged in blister packs, so they can be clearly seen. Each pack contains 12 bullets. They will be offering Nosler, Barnes and Berger in a variety of weights and calibers.

This effort will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Rifleman and will launch officially this week. Bullet Proof Samples is not a Berger Bullets LLC company, but we are supportive of their efforts and believe that they will be addressing a need in the shooting community that is presently unavailable.”

Story idea by EdLongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 6 Comments »