The June, 2013 Edition of Target Shooter Magazine is now available online, in PDF format. This month’s issue contains gear reviews, match reports, and a feature on handloading for the .204 Ruger cartridge. As ever, Target Shooter boasts plenty of great, large-format photos. Optics get considerable play this month with a comparison test of spotting scopes by Richard Utting, and an in-depth review of the Vortex Razor HD 5-20x50mm riflescope by Chris Parkin. There’s plenty of great reading material this month — and it’s all free to read online. (Be patient while downloading the PDF file).
Laurie Holland has authored two major articles in the June issue of Target Shooter Magazine. First, Laurie reviews the latest “Mk. 2″ version of Seb Lambang’s joy-stick bipod. Laurie found that Seb’s new “Joy-Pod” was beautifully built and performs “as advertised”. Laurie writes: “The coarse leg adjustment using the ratchet lock is excellent, allowing quick and easy set-up. The overall stability was better than on the Mk.1 — provided I loaded the butt slightly to push the bi-pod forwards and take up the small amount of slack that shows in the mechanism/joystick-head. I thought the Mk.1 prototype was a winner/game-changer. The Mk.2 is a further and noticeable improvement on that.”
Laurie has also compiled a very authoritative feature story on reloading for the .204 Ruger cartridge. Laurie discusses the available brass, powder, and projectile options for this popular cartridge. Laurie also includes Ballistics tables so you can compare performance with various loads. If you own a .204 Ruger rifle, or plan to get one, Laurie’s .204 Ruger story is definitely a “Must-Read”. This is Part One of a two-part series by Holland.
Many of our readers travel far and wide during summer months, both on family vacations and to participate in shooting matches. When transporting firearms across state lines, it is vital to understand the laws and regulations that apply in each jurisdiction. Moreover, all of us need to stay informed about gun laws in our home states, since new laws are passed every year.
Indiana attorney Brian Ciyou has created an outstanding resource, Gun Laws by State (2013 Ed.) (GLBS), that explains firearms laws in all 50 states. Ciyou’s gun law treatise, available in both book and online (web) formats, covers state laws as well as key federal laws that apply in federal buildings, airports, National Parks, and school zones. There is a handy Reciprocity Map showing which states recognize concealed weapon permits issued in other jurisdictions. GLBS covers Reciprocal Carry for all 50 states, Constitutional Law, Federal Statutory Law, Use of Force, Criminal Provisions, Civil and Criminal Liability, Preemption, Federal Property Rules, and Interstate Transportation.
Amazingly, you can access all this important legal information for FREE on the GLBS website. Click on an interactive map to quickly review gun laws in any state. Navigation links provide quick access to particular topics, such as rules for Airline Travel, Amtrak, National Parks, and Federal properties. The web version of Gun Laws by State is updated regularly, and Ciyou even provides a GLBS Gun Laws Blog with current “news and views” on gun regulations nationwide. This Editor regularly references the Gun Laws by State website. I suggest readers bookmark the site, and consider buying the book if you frequently travel with firearms outside your home state. The printed book version costs $19.95, while a digital eBook is $9.95. Click here to purchase GLBS books and eBooks.
“Shooting Chrony” is a product name. “Shooting Chrony” should not describe (post-mortem) what you have been doing to your chronograph. Sooner or later all of us may make a mistake, and ventilate our chronograph. With luck, the bullet just “wings” your chronograph, and the damage is minor. But if you hit the unit smack dab in the middle, you may have to retire your chrono for good.
Recently, Forum member Jeff M. (aka “JRM850″) experienced a “low blow” that put his Shooting Chrony out of commission. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jeff started a Forum thread entitled Chronograph Not Picking Up Shots in Bright Sunlight Anymore. Looking at the photo below, the problem is obvious.
This was Jeff’s first chrono kill in 23 years of use, so we shouldn’t be too critical. Jeff explained: “I didn’t realize a friend was shifting from a 300-yard target to 100 yards.” The agent of destruction was a low-traveling 58gr V-Max running at 3415 fps. What happened? Well, when one is shooting at 300 yards, the trajectory will be higher than at 100 yards. We should say, however, that this may have been a low shot, or the 100-yard aiming point may have been placed lower to the ground (closer to the bottom of the target frame), as compared to the 300-yard aiming point.
Other Forum members offered some sarcastic responses:
Try it on an overcast day – it might work again.
It looks like the V-Max performed just about as advertised.
Aww…a little duct tape and some Super Glue and you’re good to go.
Double Check Your Aim Point and Trajectory BEFORE You Shoot
The lesson learned here is that you should never change targets (or aim points) without checking your bullet’s flight over the chronograph. We like to align the barrel so the bullet exits a good 6-8 inches above the electronics (check your manual for recommended shot height). In addition, we always boresight the barrel so we can see the actual target through the bore. Then, with gun UNLOADED, bolt removed and action clear, we look back down the barrel so we can see daylight through the bore, with the gun set on solid rests. If you look through the middle of the “V” formed by the sky screen supports and you can’t see light shining through the barrel’s bore, you probably have a set-up problem and you should re-align the rifle.
Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.
After you have used the laser boresighter to get the rifle centered up in the chrono’s “sweet spot”, confirm with a test shot or two (see photo). Even when using an in-chamber laser boresighter, it is not uncommon for the bullet’s actual point of impact to be different than the laser’s dot location.
Have you been struggling to find brass, powder, and (especially) primers? No luck finding rimfire ammunition or loaded ammo for your pistols or hunting rifles? Well, now there’s a free web-based search service that can help you find what you need. The service costs nothing and you don’t have to sign up to run searches.
GunBot.net employs “search bots” to scour the internet for available inventories of ammo, powder, primers, brass and magazines. GunBot.net checks the inventories of over sixty retailers, including leading vendors AmmoMan, Bass Pro, Brownells, Cabelas, Cheaper Than Dirt, Grizzly, JG Sales, Dan Killough, Midsouth Shooters Supply, Midway USA, Powder Valley, Rainier Arms, Sinclair Int’l, Sportsman’s Guide,, Wholesale Hunter, and Wideners.
Results can be sorted by price or time (most recent results first). You can even get email alerts notifying you when the product you need is available. (To get alerts, you must first log-in and create an account with GunBot.net. There is no charge for this service.) GunBot.net’s search spiders work constantly, so results are normally very current. Pages auto-refresh when new “matching items” are found.
Primers Found Efficiently with GunBot.net GunBot.net saves us time by instantly checking inventory at many dozens of online retailers. In May, we were looking high and low for large rifle magnum primers. Then a quick search with GunBot.net revealed that site sponsor Powder Valley, Inc. had some in stock. We placed our order and had the primers in our hands the next week. Here’s a screenshot showing primer inventories on June 17, 2013:
ThoseShirts.com offers a selection of T-shirts with pro-gun rights messages. Priced from $12.95 to $19.95, these shirts allow you to show your support for the Second Amendment. The shirts’ themes range from serious (“The Bill of Rights is not negotiable”), to sarcastic (“Less Flower Power… More Firepower”). Below are some of the more popular designs printed on the back of the 100% preshrunk heavyweight cotton shirts (some designs are front + back).
Today is Father’s Day, a special Sunday when we acknowledge our patriarchs and show our gratitude for all their hard work and sacrifice on our behalf, and the love they have shown us over the years. If you’re lucky, you’re reading this after having spent a day at the shooting range (or the local fishing hole, or golf course) with your Dad. The important thing is to get outside and do something you both enjoy together. If you haven’t finalized your Father’s Day planning, here are some suggestions:
1. Hand-wash and wax your father’s truck or car.
2. Clean your Dad’s rifles, or help him put together some handloads.
3. Take your dad out to a live music concert, go to a ball game, or maybe head down to the local fishin’ hole.
4. Go for a hike together or just a drive in the country.
5. Head down to Sears or the local hardware store and let you Dad pick out some new tools.
Whatever you choose to do with your father, use your time wisely. Turn off this computer, and go be with your father today. Do something with him that makes him smile. The time spent together is more important than any gift that comes in a box. And, if he lives far from you, give him a call and let him know how important he is to your life. Remind him of the old adage: “Good fathers make good sons”.
When my father, a disabled WW2 Army vet, passed away I received the flag that was draped on his coffin. On most days I fly one of those nylon flags that you can pick up at hardware or department stores. But on holidays, like today, and his birthday, Dad’s flag is out there snapping in the breeze on top of the pole. I find myself talking to him as it gets put up in the morning and comes down at sunset. Hope when the time comes one of my boys will fly my flag. — Bill Slattery Jr.
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass”! “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply, “We’re raising boys”. — Harmon Killebrew.
Thompson/Center Arms (T/C) has identified a condition that may cause the safety lever on certain ICON®, VENTURE™ and DIMENSION® rifles to bind, preventing the safety from becoming fully engaged. In this situation, closing the bolt may move the safety to the fire position. The rifle will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. Though there should be no risk of the gun going off by itself, T/C states: “Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking this action to recall the rifles so that the firearm can be inspected by our technicians to ensure that the safety lever functions as designed.”
This is a large-scale recall, not just a few rifles. This recall applies to all Icon, Venture, and Dimension rifles manufactured by Thompson/Center Arms prior to June 13, 2013. If you own a rifle affected by this recall, T/C recommends that you stop using the rifle and return it to T/C at once: “Because the safety of our customers is our utmost concern, we ask that you stop using your rifle until we have an opportunity to inspect the safety lever to ensure its proper function.”
To facilitate the inspection and repair, if necessary, of your rifle safety lever, contact Thompson/Center’s customer service department to receive instructions and a pre-paid shipping label for the return of your rifle to the factory. At no cost to the owner, T/C will repair the rifle and ship it back. For more information, visit www.tcarms.com. If you have any questions about this recall, contact Thompson/Center at (800) 713-0355.
Are you an NRA member? Think you have $2500 ArmsCare insurance coverage for your firearms, as a benefit of membership? Well there’s a catch. If you fail to ACTIVATE your NRA insurance, your claim will almost certainly be rejected if you suffer a loss. The NRA insurance webpage states:
“As a benefit provided by the National Rifle Association, [members] are automatically eligible for $2,500 ArmsCare Firearm Insurance. This firearms coverage … must be activated to take effect.”
Many NRA members are not aware of the activation requirement. That’s not surprising, as there’s no mention of this in many NRA membership solicitations. While the activation clause is disclosed in printed materials mailed to members, we bet that a large percentage of NRA members are not aware that their NRA insurance is essentially useless until “activated”. Just signing up for an NRA membership (and paying the dues) is not enough. You must activate the insurance or your claims can be rejected. Even if you have been a dues-paying NRA member for decades, you need to activate your insurance.
This is the real deal. Forum members (with current, active NRA memberships) have had 2013 gun loss claims rejected because they had not “activated” their NRA insurance. Don’t suffer the same fate. If you are an NRA member, you should activate your ArmsCare insurance right now. Don’t delay. Your NRA ArmsCare insurance won’t become effective until you activate it!
This item should make you guys smile. An anti-gun organization, StopNRA.org, has shot itself in the foot, figuratively speaking. The StopNRA group, which opposes the NRA and seeks to curtail Second Amendment freedoms, put up a reader poll on its StopNRA.org website. The poll asked: “Do you agree or disagree with NRA gun policies?” Well it turns out that over 71% of respondents AGREE with NRA policies. So, the anti-gun poll has back-fired, big time. View poll results here:
Swarovski Optik NA (Swarovski) has completely updated its website at www.swarovskioptik.com. The redesigned web page is divided into three main categories: hunting, nature, and travel & leisure. You’ll find in-depth product information with images, spec sheets and videos. There are easy-to-use, mobile-friendly links for Rifle Scopes, Spotting Scopes, Rangefinders (optronics), Binoculars, and Digiscoping Accessories. The enhanced site also features a Swarovski Blog with articles on optics products, hunting, and tech matters such as ballistics and lens technologies.
Caroline McDonald, Swarovksi Marketing Services Manager, tells us: “The redesign of the website will make it easier for our consumers and dealers to research and learn more about the Swarovski Optik brand and products.” The new website also incorporates an E-Shop, where consumers can purchase most Swarovski products directly, other than rifle scopes. Product descriptions include photo galleries and video clips. Here’s a video of the innovative Swarovski Modular ATX/STX Spotting Scope System:
Swarovski Ballistic Program
Swarovksi’s updated website includes an “Apps” section with software for mobile devices and smartphones. Swarovski currently offers a handy, FREE ballistic calculator App designed for use with Swarovski Distance Reticles or the Ballistic Turret. This App delivers two types of outputs. For Swaro scopes with long-distance reticles, the App generates aiming points. For Swaro scopes with ballistic-matched turrest, the App provides click values for various yardages and wind values. The App is available for iPhone, iPad, and for Android Devices.
Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns.
Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner.
Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage.
NSSF has pledged $1 million to provide firearms safety kits (with a gun lock) to gun owners nationwide. Several lock-distribution events will be announced in the coming weeks. Safety information will be provided through social media and the Project ChildSafe website. NSSF reminds us that firearms owners have many ways to safely store their firearms when not in use. Here are some of your options:
You may recall that Forum member Rodney Wagner (aka “Eggman”) shot a 0.349″ (50-2x) group at 600 yards to set two IBS records. This is the smallest 600-yard group in history. With his BAT-actioned Dasher, Rodney put five shots inside a dime at six hundred yards. This is one of the most amazing feats of shooting ever. And now the gun is gone. It was stolen, along with a second benchrest rifle. The combined value of the two guns is over $11,000, but the record gun is priceless.
Rodney’s Record-Setting Rifle Stolen — We Need Your Help
Over the weekend, Rodney Wagner had two valuable benchrest rifles stolen from his truck. Yes, the BAT-actioned Dasher that shot the historic 0.349″ 5-shot group was stolen, along with a second long-range Benchrest Rifle. The theft took place at a motel in Hendersonville, NC.
We request the help of our readers in recovering these two rifles for Rodney. Help us get the word out — talk to your shooting friends, post this story on other forums, link to it on Facebook. Insurance, if any is available at all, will only cover a small part of the loss. But we all know that this isn’t all about the money. You can’t just write a check and buy a rifle that shoots an 0.349″ group at 600 yards. Ironically, the thieves probably have no idea of the special nature of the guns they stole.
Stolen Rifle One: IBS Record-Setting 17-lb benchrest rifle. The BAT B action has serial number B778. It has a white, gray, and black Shehane ST-1000 fiberglass stock, and a Brux 6mm barrel chambered for the 6mm Dasher. A March 10-60x52mm scope (with tactical knobs) is fitted in Burris Signature rings on top. The action is a Right bolt, Left Port, Right Eject.
Stolen Rifle Two: IBS 17-lb Benchrest Rifle. Borden Rimrock action has serial number BR0253. It has a red and black Shehane ST-1000 fiberglass stock, and Brux 6mm barrel fitted with a VAIS muzzle brake. A March 10-60x52mm scope with tactical knobs was on top. We are still looking for photos of this rifle. It appears very similar to the first rifle, but with a red and black stock and a Rimrock action.
It does NOT appear that thieves were specifically targeting the record-setting rifle. The Hendersonville Police told us that another theft was reported at about the same time in the same neighborhood. They called this “an ordinary crime of opportunity”.
Folks, please keep your eyes out for these two rifles. These are distinctive guns — not what you’d see everyday at a pawn shop (or even at most gun ranges). Please tell other folks in the firearms community to be on the look-out. Also, the thieves might try to unload the two March 10-60X Scopes separately. Look for March Serial Numbers X341 and X291. You can use this link to point people to this story: http://bit.ly/14PtT5o.
If you have any information, please contact officer Peter Laite of the Hendersonville (NC) Police Department. Call 828-697-3025 or email: plaite [at] cityofhendersonville.org
$1000.00 Reward Offered
AccurateShooter.com will provide a Five Hundred Dollar ($500.00) reward to any individual who returns the two guns in undamaged condition or provides information that leads directly to the recovery of the two guns in undamaged condition.
In addition, Rodney Wagner will pay a $500.00 reward if the two rifles are recovered intact and undamaged. This makes the total reward $1000.00. That’s $500 from AccurateShooter.com, and $500 from Rodney Wagner.