Digital editions of the four issues of SHOT Daily, the magazine printed each day of the SHOT Show, are available free in convenient Web eZine formats. Three web issues are available right now, and the fourth issue will be released later today (Friday, 1/20/17). You’ll find many product features plus articles that can benefit shooting club directors and range managers. Definitely check out the Day One Issue’s extensive coverage of new-for-2017 firearms. SHOT Daily is produced for NSSF by Bonnier Corp., publishers of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and many other magazines.
Highlights Day 1: New Savage MSR (AR type) rifles, New Firearm Roundup, Exhibitors.
Sierra Bullets has just released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.
Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.
Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.
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You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)
Don’t inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of bodacious black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.
Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.
Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.
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SEB Rests, producers of the SEB NEO rest and innovative JoyPod bipod, have released an all-new, portable tripod-base Co-Axial rest, the SEB Mini. This is a very impressive bit of engineering by Sebastian Lambang. Weighing about 12 pounds, the SEB Mini is easy to transport yet stable and versatile in the field. A joystick lever-arm allows the shooter to move the front head (with sandbag) in any direction with a smooth continuous motion. The Mini delivers about 30 MOA vertical travel by 45 MOA horizontal travel with the same smooth, fluid feel as the NEO rest.
The Mini is now in full production and testers in the USA and UK have returned very positive test results. The Mini combines the smooth controls of a full-size Co-Axial front rest, yet is much easier to transport. Based on reports from testers Dan Bramley and Vince Bottomley, we predict the Mini will become extremely popular with F-Open competitors as well as all shooters currently using pedestal-style front rests for recreational shooting or load testing. Price for the complete unit (with front bag) is $675.00 shipped in the lower 48 states.
Inventor Seb Lambang told us his design goals in creating the Mini, which was named after “Mini” his pet Chihuahua: “The Mini rest is designed to be simple, compact, and light. It has has equal smoothness and MOA travel as the larger NEO rest.”
The new SEB Mini is a joystick (coaxial) rest with a height-adjustable single center column fitted on a base with three foldable legs. The top can be rotated 360 degrees and locked securely by the two adjustable locking levers. The lowest setting is about 6.25″, the highest is just over 10″. The SEB Mini can be used for F-Class shooting, bench rest shooting, varmint shooting, or load development. The joystick handle is compatible with the SEB NEOs and MAX co-axial rests. The Mini ships complete with a one-piece front sandbag in the buyer’s choice of width.
12-lb carry weight
Large Footprint, yet very portable
Legs adjust with individual thumbwheels
Mariner Wheel offers 40mm of Vertical Adjustment
Measures 5″ x 7″ x 16.25″ when folded
Lowest height approx 6.25″, highest 10″ or more
Head can be rotated independent of base assembly (to assist alignment)
Head unit can be purchased separately and fitted to different tripod base.
SEB Mini REVIEW by Dan Bramley:
Sebastian Lambang, the creator of the ever-popular SEB NEO and SEB MAX co-axial front rest, was kind enough to send me a SEB Mini for review. The point of this review is to give a shooter’s perspective. I will just say that the adjustments and movements are plenty sufficient to shoot in F-Class in High Power and rimfire.
Positives: The SEB Mini has all of the fine craftsmanship of the NEO. The fit and finish is excellent. This thing is SOLID! When the screws are all locked down it does not budge. The engineering is excellent and well thought-out. It comes in at 12.0 lbs with sand in bag and ready to shoot. To me this weight appears to be optimal, light enough to travel with but heavy enough to be stable.
Shootability: For me shooting off the SEB Mini was no different than shooting off the SEB NEO. The fluid motion of the coaxial top and stability were consistant with the NEO. Set-up was quick and the ability to set it down in reasonably close alignment and release the clamps on the Acme screw to allow perfect rest alignment was a nice feature. Course adjustment was quick with the large mariner wheel and the joystick has the same size collet as the NEO for those who may have made custom joysticks.
I shot my rimfire off of it at first, on concrete, and it didn’t move at all. No surprise there. So I figured I would shoot my biggest rifle off of it in an attempt to punish this little “Mini”.
Conclusion: This thing is just awesome! It folds up quite compact and would likely fit in a bag, instead of a pelican case, for travel. I have often thought of shooting my open rifle off of a JoyPod when traveling by air but that requires a rail etc. for mounting. I would not hesitate to shoot off this Mini in competition.
Vince Bottomley Tests the New Seb Mini
Our friend Vince Bottomley acquired a Seb Mini and had a chance to test it out in competition at the Diggle Range in the UK. Vince was very impressed with the Mini, which he says is very solid and smooth running, yet easy to set up. Vince used his new Mini to win a match, proving the unit is “competition-ready”: “When you do a range test like this, it’s always great if you can post a decent result and I’m pleased to be able to report that I won Open Class….”
Vince liked the smooth operation and broad windage/elevation adjustment range offered by the Mini:
“The joystick offers plenty of movement at 600 yards so staying on target throughout the shoot was no problem and, more importantly, I could swing onto my competitors’ targets as a final wind-check. Each of the three legs has its own ‘angle’ adjustment — enabling you to obtain a steady, level set-up on the most uneven of firing-points. The center pedestal can be raised and lowered using a mariner wheel and of course, there is the familiar joystick adjustment.”
Vince said it was easy to level the Mini and align the head with his rear bag: “Drop it on the point, then level the bubble using the leg-adjuster thumb-screws (photo right). Because the screws are at the pivot point they move the legs very quickly — as opposed to screwing the feet to level a NEO. Wind up the mariner wheel to get on target, nip up the locking levers and the rest is perfectly aligned, thanks to the swiveling head.”
Vince also liked the fact that the Mini is significantly lighter than a SEB NEO rest, but still stable because it has a wide footprint. See the comparison photo below.
Vince tells us that the Mini is truly easy to transport: “I’ve fixed a strap to my Mini so, by slinging it over my shoulder, I can carry rifle, mat and back-bag with ease — so that’s a big ‘plus’ right off.”
Conclusion: “The SEB Mini lived up to expectations and ticked all the boxes –lighter to carry, easy to set up, plenty of adjustment, very stable. Thank you Seb… You have a winner here!” — Vince Bottomley
Product Information from SEB Rests:
The complete SEB Mini includes Head unit, foldable legs, fore-end stop, aluminum bag bracket (with bubble level), joystick, leveling screws, and front bag. The base features three foldable legs, each of which can be adjusted/tilted for elevation via a thumb screw. We recommend setting the base/legs in the highest position initially, then lowering each leg via the thumb screws.
The Mini is offered in three (3) configurations. The complete Mini with base and foldable legs is $675.00. Option 2 is the Mini without the foldable legs for $550.00. This could work for customers who may wish to fit the top to a solid base plate. Option 3, at $500.00, includes just the head unit with center post, mariner wheel and needle thrust bearing. Option 3 could suit customers who already have a Bald Eagle or Caldwell base with 1″ diameter center hole/post. However some machining may be required.
Net weight approx. 5.5 kilograms (12 lbs)
Top can be rotated 360° and locked securely in any position
Measures 5″ x 7″ x 16.25″ when folded
Joystick is compatible with SEB NEO, MAX and JoyPod
Lowest height approx 6.25″, highest 10″ or more
Foldable legs can be individually adjusted up/down with thumb screws
Extra wide footprint, leveling screws are about 17 inches apart
Ambidextrous, and can be used either “Up for Up” or “Up for Down”
Made from 6061 and 7075 aircraft grade aluminum
Head has removable fore-end stop
Standard fold-able base for traveling with tiltable legs
Comes with standard one-piece 3″-wide front bag 3″ wide (Optional bags*: 2-1/4″, wide sporter (for 1.5″-2″ stock), narrow sporter (for 1″-1.5″ stock)
For more information, visit SEBRests.com. The USA dealer is Ernie Bishop:
We may see a big change in how sound suppressors are regulated in the future, if new legislation from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) becomes law. On January 10, 2017, Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC) and Rep. John “Judge” Carter (TX) introduced H.R. 367, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). This law would remove suppressors (aka “moderators”) from National Firearms Act (NFA) control, eliminating requirements of extensive paperwork, and purchase of a tax stamp. If the Hearing Protection Act becomes law, suppressors could be purchased through an FFL (after a NICS background check), just like a normal, non-NFA firearm. This would make suppressors more affordable in the 42 states where suppressors are legal to own. What’s more, the new legislation includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchased a suppressor after Oct. 22, 2015.
Suppressors function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a baffled chamber. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges.
“Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss after years of shooting, and yet the tool necessary to reduce such loss is onerously regulated and taxed. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act would allow people easier access to suppressors, which would help them to better protect their hearing.”
Guns.com explained how the Hearing Protection Act will change current law: “Since 1934, the federal government has treated devices designed to muffle or suppress the report of firearms as Title II devices that required registration under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and mandated transfers that included a $200 tax stamp. The Duncan-Carter bill would repeal this requirement and treat suppressors as firearms — which would allow them to be transferred through any regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.”
This video discusses an earlier version of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 3799:
“For the past five years, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has worked alongside the state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses in the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, the American Suppressor Association, and many other partners at the state level to normalize the use of suppressors throughout the nation,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. A similar bill was introduced last year by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ) but that legislation never made it out of committee.
If you have purchased a suppressor in the last year, the HPA could put money back in your pocket. As drafted, the HPA also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchased a suppressor after October 22, 2015.
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OK guys, you probably want to keep this page confidential. Your spouse probably doesn’t want to be reminded about all the times you ignored the “Honey Do” list and headed off to the range instead. And she certainly doesn’t want to know how much you spend every year on your gun hobby.
Answer these two polls to see how dedicated (or should we say “obsessed”) a gun guy you really are. Once you vote you can see how your shooting (and spending) habits compare to other readers. Full results display after you select an answer and click the “Vote” button.
Click to vote in our current Readers’ polls.
Click “View Results” to see what other readers have selected.
The rifle cartridge money clip is a real product from ReleaseMeCreations.com. You can, of course, make your own cartridge money clip with a Dremel tool for free.
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Headed to SHOT Show in ten days? Then you should download the FREE SHOT Show Mobile App. Available for all mobile devices, this App really makes it easier to plan your SHOT Show schedule, and navigate the floor of the Sands Convention Center. The 2017 SHOT Show Mobile App is now available for download on Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones and devices. Apple users will find the app in the App Store, Android users will find their version in the Google Play Store. Windows users can access via the WEB Dashboard. Learn more about the SHOT Show 2017 App at SHOTmobile.com.
Handy Interactive Map
The App includes an interactive map that can direct you from your current location to your next destination. Arrange your meetings with a handy scheduling calendar. And you can search for any SHOT exhibitor by name or product category. In addition, the App lists major show events as well as important new products.
The Free SHOT Show App lets you do some very cool things with your smartphone. You can contact exhibitors directly through the App to request appointments or callbacks. You can take notes while visiting a vendor’s booth or attending a seminar. Of course you can schedule your agenda, and see an entire day’s events in a glance. But perhaps the best function of all is the “Smart Route”. This allows you to create the most efficient point to point route from one booth location to another.
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Berger Bullets is becoming part of the Nammo Group, joining Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK Ammo. This is big news, as it combines one of America’s leading bullet-makers with a major global enterprise that produces superior loaded ammunition, powder, bullets, and brass. This is potentially a boon for shooters as Nammo’s resources will help Berger increase production capacity, expand its line of products (including loaded ammunition), develop new bullet types, and invest in new, advanced machinery that should increase output and efficiency. In addition, we do expect to see new lines of loaded ammo combining Lapua brass with Berger match bullets. That combo will be tough to beat. Overall, this is a very positive development for Berger which will be able to call upon Nammo’s engineering expertise and advanced production technologies. It’s also a great thing for shooters, who can expect improved availability of the most popular Berger projectiles.
Berger Will Be Leaving California
As part of the acquisition of Berger Bullets by the Nammo Group, Berger plans to relocate its operations, moving its factory from the current Fullerton, California location. Berger will definitely be leaving California in the future.
Eric Stecker, Berger’s President, says the exact timing of the move has not yet been set, nor has the location been chosen. Arizona is high on the list of potential sites, but Berger is considering other states as well. Once the new factory location is determined, Eric says he expects the move to be completed “by December 2018 at the latest”.
In this exclusive AccurateShooter.com interview, Berger President Eric Stecker talks about Nammo’s acquisition of Berger Bullets and explains how that will bring about important positive changes, including increased production capability.
Notice from Berger Bullets
We take great pride and tremendous pleasure in announcing that Berger Bullets has joined forces with the Nammo Group. This Norwegian/Finnish corporation control many premium brands including Lapua (Brass, Bullets, Ammo), Vihtavuori Powder, and SK Rimfire Ammunition.
The joining of Berger Bullets with these world renowned, premium brands ushers in a new era of quality, performance and product availability for the discerning shooter. Today, under the Nammo Group ownership, we join three other companies that share a strong passion and commitment to precision shooting performance. We are very excited to join forces with these premium quality brands, which are committed to precision and quality.
Nammo Resources Will Help Berger Grow
The Nammo Group brings to Berger Bullets a level of support that is rivaled by few and bested by none. Nammo will support us in many areas including production capability expansion, advanced engineering, innovative product development, and the opportunity to share technology between all of these top quality brands.
Our immediate goal is to significantly improve the availability of Berger products. Throughout our history the demand for Berger Bullets has exceeded our capacity even as we’ve grown our output capabilities numerous multiples over the last few decades. Our first obligation to our customers is to improve the availability while we remain committed to our highest level of quality in the industry. Much of what has made Berger Bullets successful will remain unchanged. Bryan Litz is developing more great bullets for Berger and our technicians will still be answering your emails and calls.
Our website will remain at www.BergerBullets.com and all methods of contacts will remain the same for now. As we run across any changes, we’ll make sure we keep you updated on our website and through emails. So please, keep your information current on your email subscription and we promise to keep you posted.
The Nammo Group, www.Nammo.com, supplies high performance products to the aerospace & defense industry. Its core businesses are military and commercial ammunition; shoulder-fired systems; rocket motors; and demilitarization services. Nammo has 2,100 employees located in 12 countries.
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We were impressed when we first saw the new MEC Marksman press. Created by the makers of the popular MEC shotshell reloading systems, the new Marksman combines a sturdy cast-iron frame with a modern open-front design. With a $225.00 MSRP it is more expensive than an RCBS Rock Chucker, but it offers some distinct advantages — such as the open front plus a floating shell-holder system.
Our friend Gavin Gear got his hands on a MEC Marksman press and put it through its paces. He came away impressed with the product, saying it delivers excellent performance, and has many impressive features. Gavin tells us: “Cast iron tools and machines are a lifetime investment. The made-in-USA MEC Marksman features ductile cast-iron construction, an open-front frame design for easy cartridge access, a new floating shell-holder design with a unique retention system, and ambidextrous handle setup.”
Gavin liked the Marksman’s system for holding spent primers. A tray sits behind the ram to catch spent primers exiting from a hole near the bottom of the ram. This is more foolproof than the plastic primer cups on some other single-stage presses. Expect less spent primer “spillage”.
The Marksman is sold as a stand-alone unit. However MEC also offers a very nice steel mount/riser for the Marksman. Gavin tested the Marksman with this riser, and he says it was sturdy and well-built. Gavin liked the riser. He said that elevating the Markman press up above the benchtop made it easier to handle cases and to operate the handle. You also get extra left- and right-side die-holders.
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Kelly McMillan, CEO of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, is a featured guest on Gun Freedom Radio this week. In this episode, streamed live via SoundCloud, you can hear Kelly’s take on a number of topics, including how banks discriminate against firearms businesses, new developments in the gun industry, the impact of the November election, and how to bring new shooters into the sport.
Kelly’s interview starts at the three-minute mark of GunFreedomRadio EP71 Hour 2: Better, Stronger, Faster. Kelly notes: “The show is called Gun Freedom Radio, and host Cheryl Todd is a tremendous activist for Second Amendment issues and gun ownership. You can listen to the show with the link below. I am at the start of the second hour if you just want to listen to that portion.”
Guests: Kelly McMillan, CEO of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, located in Phoenix Arizona. If you hunt, or compete in shooting sports, you know the McMillan name has been synonymous with Top Tier quality and design. This is a family business, an American Dream success story.
NEW Kelly McMillan Voice of America Radio Show
Starting new week, January 13, 2017, Kelly McMillan will be hosting his very own Voice of America Radio show, Taking Stock with Kelly McMillan. Tune in on Friday, January 13th, 11:00 am Phoenix time on the Voice of America Sports Channel.
Kelly encourages listeners to submit topics for the show, or submit questions you’d like to have answered by Kelly. Submit questions/comments via McMillan’s Facebook page.
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Happy New Year to all our readers worldwide, and especially the nearly 34,000 members of our AccurateShooter Forum. We hope 2017 brings you happiness in your lives and success in your endeavors. And we wish for small groups, good scores, and successful hunts in the New Year.
We upgraded our site in the beginning of 2016, making our Forum mobile-friendly with new faster, more modern software. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our feature articles, our Daily Bulletin, our match reports, and our Free Forum Classifieds. The formula seems to be working — our audience is bigger than ever and it just keeps growing, with over 550,000+ unique users visiting the site every month.
Forum Membership Grows 14% in 2016
Our Shooters’ Forum grew significantly in 2016. Our membership grew by over 14% as Forum ranks swelled to nearly 34,000 members! More people are successfully buying and selling in our FREE Forum Classifieds section than ever before. Remember, user donations help make our Free Classifieds possible.
Join our Shooters’ Forum Community — 34,000 Strong
Site is Modern and Mobile-Friendly!
We need your support. For over 13 years the site has relied largely on volunteer efforts by dedicated shooters. But as the site grows, serving a larger audience, we need the assistance of freelance writers and video producers, plus help from expert computer and software techs. Those guys don’t work for glory alone.
Consider this — what do you pay for a couple of movie tickets these days? Maybe 20 bucks for 90 minutes of escapism. For around two bucks a month ($20-$25 per year) you can help this site provide a YEAR’s worth of info, tests, tech tips, bargains, and shooting news.
In the past quarter of 2016 about 190 site users have donated. We thank all those who have generously contributed. But that still leaves tens of thousands of users who access the site regularly without contributing. With more donations we can deliver more premium content and offer more services to our members.
Here’s our proposal. First, if you have used our FREE Classifieds to successfully sell your rifles or shooting gear, consider sending in $10.00 from your sale proceeds. Second, for those who use the site regularly, consider donating $20 for the year. That will help us sustain our operations, for the cost of couple of movie tickets (or one large pizza).
How to Contribute
Making a donation to the site is simple and easy. Just click on the orange “Donate” button at right. If you have a credit card, you don’t need a Paypal account to contribute. Any sum is welcome — with $20 the average annual donation.
Help Support this Site by Making a Secure Donation.
If you don’t like Paypal, you can send a check. Make the check payable to our “Answerman” Jeff Williams. Please list your Forum Log-In Name (if any), and mail the check to:
P.O. Box 240
Solon Springs, WI 54873
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It’s wintertime, the season of cold and damp. If you want your fine firearms to remain pristine and rust-free through the winter months, it’s wise to protect then while they are stored in a safe. You should protect blued surface with a rust-blocker. In addition, we recommend storing guns in protective sleeves. Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.
These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.
Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.
Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.
Here’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.
Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.
Remember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.
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Here’s an stunning highlight reel created by Bullet Theory Films, a Los Angeles-based production company that specializes in capturing action that is too quick for the human eye to see. Using ultra-high-speed cameras, these talented film-makers have captured blindingly fast phenomena — things that happen in micro-seconds. The resulting video imagery can be used for R&D, scientific analysis, product marketing, or (of course) entertainment.
We recommend you watch this video full-screen in High-Definition:
This impressive slo-mo “sizzle reel” features many notable sequences, including:
00:18: .45 ACP leaving m1911 muzzle
00:27: Rifle bullet penetrating barrier with explosive ejecta
00:33: M1A cycling 7.62×51 cartridges
00:38: Pistol bullet disintegrating on steel
00:40: Huge muzzle flame from 12ga shotgun and lead shot on steel
00:45: 5.56 bullet in ballistics gelatin with secondary explosion
01:07: Handgun flame ring from muzzle
01:11: Massive shotgun blast with slug in midair
About the Film-Makers
Bullet Theory Films Co-Founders Matt Novello and Matt Drake first met on the set of History Channel’s highly successful competition reality show TOP SHOT. Throughout five seasons, the show set a benchmark in the art of capturing firearms and live ammunition in action, which has yet to be surpassed.
Utilizing the latest digital high speed technology, Bullet Theory Films offers a full range of production services; from concept development, to the final delivery of your vision. For more information, visit BulletTheoryFilms.com.
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Do you have a family member who has recently acquired his or her first firearm? Do you have friends or neighbors who keep firearms in a home with small children? It is important to know and practice the principles of firearms safety, ALL the time. Here are two well-written gun safety manuals in printable PDF format. All firearms owners, even experienced hunters and competitors, can benefit from reviewing these resources from time to time. And new gun owners, in particular, should take the time to read both these guides. The Remington Safety Manual includes the “Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety”. Here’s the First Commandment:
Click Image to Download Printable PDF Versions:
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Here is the original Sierra manufacturing facility in Whittier, CA.
Sierra Bullets — How It Got Started
Report Based on Story by Carroll Pilant, Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager
What became Sierra Bullets started in the late 1940s in a Quonset hut in California. In 1947, three aircraft machinists, Frank Snow, Jim Spivey, and Loren Harbor, rented machine space to produce rivets for the aircraft industry along with fishing rod guides and rifle front sight ramps. In the post-WWII years, sport shooting was becoming hugely popular, but quality ammunition was in short supply. For shooting enthusiasts, reloading was the solution to the ammo supply shortage. Snow, Spivey, and Harbor recognized this, creating Sierra Bullets to help fill the void. Before long, they were selling a 53-grain match bullet to the Hollywood Gun Shop. These bullets are still in production today as the Sierra #1400 53-grain MatchKing.
A few years later, an accomplished competitive shooter named Martin Hull joined Sierra. Hull helped develop new bullet types and served as manager of Sierra’s ballistics laboratory for nearly 20 years. With Hull’s help, Sierra’s output grew rapidly. The California company outgrew several locations before it moved to a large facility in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 1963.
New Owners and New President in the Late Sixties
In 1968, the Leisure Group bought Sierra Bullets. Other Leisure Group companies included Lyman Reloading, High Standard Manufacturing Company, Yard Man, Thompson Sprinkler Systems, Flexible Flyer Sleds, and Dodge Trophies (Which made the Oscar and Rose Bowl Game trophies).
Soon after purchasing Sierra, the Leisure Group hired Robert Hayden as President and General Manager. Hayden was a mechanical engineer who had worked for Remington Arms. Hayden remained the president of Sierra for 42 years, retiring in 2012 when Pat Daly became president.
Sierra Moves to Missouri
In 1990, Sierra relocated to Sedalia, Missouri, where the company remains today. Sierra Bullets now employs over 100 people including five full-time ballistic technicians who answer daily reloading and firearms questions by both phone and e-mail.
The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs
All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.
A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.
After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.
The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.
Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.
After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 33,500 Forum Members. This marks our 12th Christmas “in business”, and the site keeps growing each year. AccurateShooter.com (and 6mmBR.com) are now accessed by over 550,000 visitors every month. Part of the reason for that success is the knowledge, experience, and technical expertise that our contributing writers (and expert consultants) share with other shooters.
Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out with the site. Number one is Jay Christopherson, who performs “mission-critical” work as our information systems manager and Forum Admin. Jay, who is also a talented competitive shooter, has enabled us to maintain modern, high-speed servers, with smart security protections. Jay deserves our thanks for all his hard work, invaluable expertise, and dedication. Thanks also go to Jeff Williams, our “Answerman” who fields miscellaneous questions from our readers. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our good buddy (and designated trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. Special thanks go to the 6.5 Guys, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, who contributed SHOT Show videos and regular gear reports. I also want to recognize our correspondents, including Bryan Litz, Vince Bottomley, German S., Jason Baney, Emil Kovan, John Whidden, Mark LaFevers, James Mock, Tony Chow, Gavin Gear and others. And we must acknowledge Boyd Allen and EdLongRange who tirelessly supply story leads for the Daily Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed much time and effort.
Thanks to Site Supporters and Sponsors
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have made donations (large or small) to the site this year. User support is very important. Donations help us provide key services for our readership. We also want to express our appreciation for our many commercial sponsors — from large vendors such as Midsouth Shooters Supply, Bruno Shooters Supply, and Powder Valley to important product-makers such as Berger Bullets, Krieger Barrels, Lapua, and Schmidt & Bender. We’re grateful to all our sponsors and advertisers. In particular, I want to acknowledge Shiraz Balolia, a great friend of the shooting sports, and a gifted marksman in his own right. Shiraz has provided key support for this site though his companies Bullets.com and Grizzly Industrial. We are all part of a very special community here at AccurateShooter.com — and we appreciate your support!
Here’s a target for the holidays that can provide some fun at the range. This Christmas Tree Target was created by Sierra Bullets for a 2013 contest. This contest is now over, but you can still have fun with the target. This tree target is designed to be shot at 15 yards with pistol, or at 100 yards with rifle. Start with the big circles, and then work your way down to the small circles (7,8,9,10) as you build your confidence. Shoot the gifts for bonus points. For extra challenge (with a real accurate rifle), try working your way back to the top, aiming for the X-marks in the circles and finishing with the small, inset star at the top. Have fun!
CLICK HERE for printable PDF version of this target. NOTE: The contest is OVER, so ignore information on the PDF about submitting targets — that’s from back in 2013.
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If you will be flying with firearms this winter, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms and/or ammunition.
You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it start to finish. In addition, before your trip, you should check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.
Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:
1. All firearms* must be declared to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
The term firearm includes:
– Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
– The frame or receiver of any such weapon.
– Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.
– Any destructive device.
2. The firearm must be unloaded. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 – “A loaded firearm means a firearm that has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.”
3. The firearm must be in a hard-sided container that is locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft.
4. If firearms are not properly declared or packaged, TSA will provide the checked bag to law enforcement for resolution with the airline. If the issue is resolved, law enforcement will release the bag to TSA so screening may be completed.
5. TSA must resolve all alarms in checked baggage. If a locked container containing a firearm alarms, TSA will contact the airline, who will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner and advise the passenger to go to the screening location. If contact is not made, the container will not be placed on the aircraft.
6. If a locked container alarms during screening and is not marked as containing a declared firearm, TSA will cut the lock in order to resolve the alarm.
7. Travelers should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation.
8. Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
9. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
10. Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.
11. TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.
12. Rifle scopes are not prohibited in carry-on bags and do not need to be in the hard-sided, locked checked bag.
Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.
Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.
*Please see, United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44 for information about firearm definitions.
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Many of our favorite vendors have announced special holiday sales for the Christmas Weekend, or through the end of the year. With special discount codes you can save up to $30.00 off your order. In addition, Midsouth Shooters Supply is running its incredible End of Year Clearance (E.O.Y.C.) Sale. Now through the end of the year, prices are lowered as we approach the end of 2016. Eventually prices will be 77% off. But if you wait too long, the items you want may be sold.
Midsouth Shooters Supply End of Year Clearance Sale
You will find some amazing deals at Midsouth Shooters Supply in the next week. Now through December 31st, Midsouth is slashing prices on special items. The deals get better with time…but if you wait too long, someone else may grab the item(s) you want. We suggest you check back daily.
MidwayUSA — Promo Codes for Up to $30.00 Off
Use the following codes to save up to $30 with purchases of in-stock, qualifying products at MidwayUSA.com. Use Code 10SANTA16 for orders over $100; Code 20SANTA16 for orders over $200; and Code 30SANTA16 for orders over $300.00.
Bruno Shooters Supply — FREE Shipping With Order over $100
Now through the end of the year, Bruno Shooters Supply is offering FREE shipping with all orders over $100.00. In addition, Bruno’s has a number of special items on sale. For example you can save $100.00 on the purchase of BAT Actions.
Precision Reloading — $10 Off with Code LIGHTS
With orders over $100.00 at Precision Reloading, you can save $10 with Code LIGHTS. In addition, now through the end of the year, Hazmat Fees are just $15.00 per shipment. That discounted Hazmat rate could save you $20-$25 when purchasing powder or primers.
Creedmoor Sports — FREE Shipping on Orders over $49.87
Creedmoor Sports has slashed prices on all items in its Bargain Bunker, including popular Creedmoor Rifle and pistol ammo. In addition, now through the end of the year, you can get FREE Shipping with all orders over $49.87. Use Code CHR4987.
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By Bill Brassard for NSSF
‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is almost here). As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?
The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.
The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. More than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.
Though there’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend that lives in your home state, some states (such as California) require you to transfer the gun through a local firearms dealer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun.
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store, buying it on your own and giving it to, say your father, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate from that retailer and giving it to Dad as his present. That way he’ll get the exact gun he wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase.
You can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms.
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even inter-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.
About the National Shooting Sports Foundation
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
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