.009″ — The Record That Stood for 40 Years.
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.
Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.* Read About .0077″ group HERE.
Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.
*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.
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In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an discussion about a range that was threatened with closure because rifle over-shoots were hitting a farm building over two miles from the firing line. One reader was skeptical of this, asking “how’s that possible — were these guys aiming at the stars?” Actually, you may be surprised. It doesn’t take much up-angle on a rifle to have a bullet land miles down-range. That’s why it’s so important that hunters and target shooters always orient their barrels in a safe direction (and angle). Shooters may not realize how much a small tilt of the barrel (above horizontal) can alter a bullet’s trajectory.
How many degrees of muzzle elevation do you think it would take to hit a barn at 3000 yards? Ten Degrees? Twenty Degrees? Actually the answer is much less — for a typical hunting cartridge, five to seven degrees of up-angle on the rifle is enough to create a trajectory that will have your bullet impacting at 3000 yards — that’s 1.7 miles away!
Five degrees isn’t much at all. Look at the diagram above. The angle actually displayed for the up-tilted rifle is a true 5.07 degrees (above horizontal). Using JBM Ballistics, we calculated 5.07° as the angle that would produce a 3000-yard impact with a 185gr .30-caliber bullet launched at 2850 fps MV. That would be a moderate “book load” for a .300 Win Mag deer rifle.
Here’s how we derived the angle value. Using Litz-derived BCs for a 185gr Berger Hunting VLD launched at 2850 fps, the drop at 3000 yards is 304.1 MOA (Minutes of Angle), assuming a 100-yard zero. This was calculated using a G7 BC with the JBM Ballistics Program. There are 60 MOA for each 1 degree of Angle. Thus, 304.1 MOA equals 5.068 degrees. So, that means that if you tilt up your muzzle just slightly over five degrees, your 185gr bullet (2850 fps MV) will impact 3000 yards down-range.
Figuring Trajectories with Different Bullets and MVs
If the bullet travels slower, or if you shoot a bullet with a lower BC, the angle elevation required for a 3000-yard impact goes up, but the principle is the same. Let’s say you have a 168gr HPBT MatchKing launched at 2750 fps MV from a .308 Winchester. (That’s a typical tactical load.) With a 100-yard zero, the total drop is 440.1 MOA, or 7.335 degrees. That’s more up-tilt than our example above, but seven degrees is still not that much, when you consider how a rifle might be handled during a negligent discharge. Think about a hunter getting into position for a prone shot. If careless, he could easily touch off the trigger with a muzzle up-angle of 10 degrees or more. Even when shooting from the bench, there is the possibility of discharging a rifle before the gun is leveled, sending the shot over the berm and, potentially, thousands of yards down-range.
Hopefully this article has shown folks that a very small amount of barrel elevation can make a huge difference in your bullet’s trajectory, and where it eventually lands. Nobody wants to put holes in a distant neighbor’s house, or worse yet, have the shot cause injury. Let’s go back to our original example of a 185gr bullet with a MV of 2850 fps. According to JBM, this projectile will still be traveling 687 fps at 3000 yards, with 193.7 ft/lbs of retained energy at that distance. That’s more than enough energy to be deadly.
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How would you like to “reach out and touch” someone 203 kilometers away (about 110 nautical miles)? Well America’s Navy may soon be able to do exactly that with an amazing new, high-tech weapon system. BAE Systems has developed (and successfully test-fired) an electro-magnetic rail gun that fires a 23-lb projectile at Mach 7 — (about 5300 mph or 7800 fps). This futuristic weapon can send its projectile 110 nautical miles (126 mi / 203 km), five times the range of the big 16″ guns on WWII-era battleships. This railgun has serious “knock-down” power — at Mach 7, that projectile carries a whopping 32 megajoules of energy. BreakingDefense.com says: “23 pounds ain’t heavy. But it sure hurts when it hits you going at seven times the speed of sound.”
Watch Video to See Navy Rail-Gun in Action:
The latest prototype of the railgun developed by defense contractor BAE, in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, can accelerate a projectile up to Mach 7 within 10 milliseconds. The gun uses no gunpowder to generate propelling force. Compared to an item on a smaller scale, the railgun projectiles resemble crossbow darts, except they deliver such massive Kinetic Energy they don’t need to carry explosive ordnance. The railgun can strike targets 110 nautical miles away.
To prepare a charge, the ship stores electricity in the pulsed power system. Next, an electric pulse is sent to the railgun, creating an electromagnetic force accelerating the projectile. Because of its extreme speed, the projectile eliminates the hazards of storing high explosives in the ship. Each shot costs about $25,000 — but that’s cheap compared to the price of a missile.
“It’s like a flux capacitor,” chief of Naval research Rear Admiral Mathias Winter said in a video posted by Reuters Friday. “You’re sitting here thinking about these next generation and futuristic ideas, and we’ve got scientists who have designed these, and it’s coming to life.”
The Electromagnetic Railgun Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) was initiated in 2005. The goal during Phase I was to produce a proof-of-concept demonstration at 32 mega-joule muzzle energy, develop launcher technology with adequate service life, develop reliable pulsed power technology, and assess component risk reduction for the projectile.
Phase II, which started in 2012, advanced the technology to demonstrate a repeatable-rate fire capability. Thermal-management techniques required for sustained firing rates will be developed for both the launcher system and the pulsed power system. The railgun will begin testing at sea in 2016.
John Weber, a 70-year-old from England, was given a metal mug by his grandfather in 1945. Though his grandfather had a “good eye” for antiques, John never thought the metal mug was worth much. He played with it as a child, and even used it as a target for his air rifle. The mug, assumed to be brass, has languished in a shoe box under Weber’s bed for decades.
Well, it turns out Weber’s old mug may be the world’s most expensive plinking target! The cup is actually made of solid gold, and is a rare, ancient artwork, crafted over 2300 years ago. The unusual mug, decorated with twin, opposite-facing female heads, was appraised with a value exceeding one-quarter million dollars ($250,000)!
According to news reports, Weber decided to have the old mug (thought to be brass) appraised when he moved from his house. He was shocked to learn that the mug is a Persian gold treasure, beaten out from a single sheet of gold before the time of Alexander the Great. Experts said the type of gold and the way the cup was hammered was “consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing” dating back to the third or fourth century BC. The Achaemenid Empire ruled most of the Middle East and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Could this cup be one of Alexander’s war trophies? What stories could it tell from the past 2300 years?
Ancient Gold Cup Brings $99,000 at Auction
The rare cup was sold at auction by Duke’s Auction house in southwest England in June, 2008. Though the Cup was valued much higher by experts, it only fetched £50,000, or roughly $99,000 U.S. Dollars (at 2008 exchange rates). John Webber said he was still very pleased with that result.
Forum member Rick from Louisiana (aka RMulhern) has rigged up a fantastic target for long-range shooting. Rick, a long-time competitive Palma shooter, had a large 72″x72″ steel target fabricated with two separate center rings that are equivalent to the official paper Palma/Creedmoor target. He says he’s “shot a lot of Palma on that target, as well as lots of Black Powder Cartridge (BPCR) rounds”. The big steel target works great when Rick shoots his Sharps 45/110 BPCR at 800 to 1000 yards. The large steel background (painted white) helps Rick see and hear his hits. If you understand the high-arching trajectory of 500+ grain projectiles shot from a 45/110, you know it can take a few rounds to get Point of Impact dialed in.
Rick reports: “These are two of my favorite rifles to shoot: a M1874 Shiloh Sharps in caliber 45/110 (2 7/8) made in Big Timber, Montana by Kirk Bryan and family. The other is a 6.5×47 Lapua on a blue-printed M700 action with 1:8.5″-twist Krieger barrel and F5 McMillan Tactical stock. Many of the shooters that take up BPCR have a tendency to get away from their smokeless powder rifles in favor of the blackpowder game. Frankly I have the best of both worlds as I enjoy shooting both (smokeless and BPCR), although I must admit that I probably spend the majority of my time on the range with the Sharps rifles these days.” (Rick’s pretty good with his Sharps by the way — he recently shot a 95, 96, and 100 (clean) for 3×10 shots at 800 yards.)
Gongzilla: $1000 Worth of Steel with Three Plate Layers
Rick tells us: “Here’s the deal — everything is steel! The large plate is 72″x72″ and the black bull is 44″ diameter. The 20″-diameter central white bull is made from 1/2″-thick AR400 bull-dozer plating. That’s the same size as the regulation Palma/Creedmoor paper target. The white square and black bull are 3/8″-thick mild steel. Plates are off-set 2″ from each other. I welded a 2″ length of square tubing to the back of both plates and the bolt slides through and is attached to the large plate. I used 2 3/8″ upset tubing (oil field pipe) for the holder framing.” Rick says he invested about $1000.00 in metal for the target, but that was 15 years ago. Today the steel would be much more expensive.
Rick says the AR400 armor plate in the center bull is very strong: “You can shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at 200 yards and it won’t damage the center bull”. The mild steel works well for the cast bullets Rick uses with his Sharps 45/110. Also, Rick says the mild steel is rugged enough for 6.5mm and .308 hollowpoint match bullets, if you’re at least 500 yards away. However, Rick told us, “If I would make [the target] again, I would make the black bull AR400 as well. [That way] you would never have to worry about big dents or beating the plate up at any distance. The AR400 is very tough steel. You can shoot a Sierra or Lapua HP bullet and they will just splatter.”
Rick told us: “I built this target with off-set clanger plates. The white clanger is AR400. Bullets just splatter!” Does he worry about hitting the bolt head? Not at all. Rick says: “When I hit the bolt head, I break my arm patting myself on the back!”.
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How would you like to be able to locate any rifle range in North America in a matter of seconds? That it now possible with the mobile Where To Shoot App, available FREE for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices.
The Where To Shoot App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code and find specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered. And once you locate a range with the App, you can call up a summary of range facilities and get driving directions to the range.
The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information in every U.S. state and Canadian province. Once you’ve location a place to shoot, the App helps you get directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.
Download the app via the links above or by visiting wheretoshoot.org on your mobile device.
The NSSF’s Where To Shoot mobile App has topped 100,000 downloads. The app, which rose to No. 4 on the Apple App Store’s list of free sports Apps, has been a hit with target shooters and gun owners nationwide.
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Brownells Inc., the 77-year-old, Iowa-based catalog/estore gun parts vendor is opening its first-ever retail store. The new retail outlet will operate in Grinnell, Iowa, adjacent to the Brownells’s large distribution center. The Grinnell retail store, the company’s first brick and mortar location, will sell firearms as well as a vast inventory of gun parts, reloading equipment, and shooting accessories. A grand opening event for the retail store is planned for Saturday, June 11, 2016. To learn more about Brownells’ new retail store call 641-236-0001 or visit www.Brownells.com/retail.
The new 7,000 square-foot retail store is attached to the 245,000 square-foot Brownells Distribution Center at 3006 Brownells Parkway in Grinnell, Iowa (just off I-80 at Mile Marker 182). The new retail shop will supplement the thriving Brownells.com webstore and mail-order catalog operations.
The new retail location will showcase 1,200 new and used firearms, plus a large selection of ammunition, optics, parts and accessories. The guns and gear will be presented in an upscale retail setting with wood accents and a taxidermy collection. Notably, customers who can’t find what they’re looking for on the shelves can easily order from the warehouse next door. Brownells promises that any of the nearly 100,000 firearms-related items will be delivered from warehouse to store in minutes.
“Our company has been family-owned and Iowa-based for 77 years,” said third-generation owner and CEO, Pete Brownell. “We’ve done business nationally and internationally for decades, but we’re excited to have an Iowa focus now with our retail store. What’s most unique about this store is that it’s located in the same walls as our distribution center. This equates to a fantastic customer experience and the best of both worlds; a beautiful retail store to transact and access to a huge selection of products unrivaled anywhere in the world.”
“One thing about Brownells that sets it apart from any other organization inside or outside the firearms industry is our return policy. Here’s how it is… it’s guaranteed forever. What this means is, if you buy [a product] from Brownells… whatever it is, it’s guaranteed forever. Not just lifetime, but forever.”
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The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Marksmanship will be an important part of the Rio Olympics. Nearly 400 top shooters from around the world will compete in rifle, pistol, and shotgun events. The shooting competitions will take place in a large, modern sports complex originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million. This complex, located within the Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio, offers roughly 30,000 square meters of improved areas on the 125,000 square meter site. Brazil’s Olympic Shooting Center (also known as the National Shooting Center) is an impressive facility. In size, scale, cost, and capabilities, Rio’s Shooting Center is without rival in the Southern Hemisphere.
Video Showcases Brazil’s Modern Olympic Shooting Center:
ISSF World Cup Underway at Shooting Center Now
If you want to learn more about the Olympic Shooting Center in Rio, there is an good article on the Shooting Sports USA website. This covers the history of Brazil’s Olympic shooting teams, and explains what competitors can expect this summer. Right now the Olympic Shooting Center is being used for the ISSF World Cup.
2016 Olympic Dress Rehearsal
“The 2016 Olympic Games this August will be one of the largest sporting events ever held. There will be another contest this year in the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro that will function as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the big show. On April 14-25, the Olympic Shooting Center will host the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. During the 11-day competition, 700 athletes from dozens of countries will showcase their skills at the biggest shooting sport event in Brazil before the Olympics.” — Read more at Shooting Sports USA
The 10th Annual Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at Camp Butner, North Carolina, April 29 through May 8, 2015. The Eastern CMP Games run April 29 through May 3, while the Creedmoor Cup Matches will follow the Eastern Games, May 4-8. Events will include a 4-Man Team Match, Creedmoor Cup Match and EIC Match. All interested shooters are invited to participate in this popular event, which includes: Rimfire Sporter Match, M16 Match, M1 Garand Match, Springfield Match, M1-Carbine Match, Vintage Military Match, Modern Military Match, Vintage Sniper Match, Pistol Matches and more.
There will also be skills training seesions throughout the week, including a High Power Shooting Clinic, Pistol Clinic, and GSM New Shooter Clinic. The free Team Remington High Power Shooting Clinic will offer instruction by some of the nation’s top High Power service rifle competitors. This will feature lectures, dry fire training, plus lots of hands-on coaching with a large squad of instructors. The Eastern CMP Games will also conduct a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). The SAFS instruction is geared toward new shooters, so no previous firearm experience is required.
The Vintage Sniper Match is a two-person team match, utilizing scoped rifles from the Korean War, World War II or earlier, upon sandbags. Teammates take turns as both shooter and spotter.
Garand-Springfield-Military New Shooter Clinic
The Garand-Springfield-Military (GSM) New Shooter Clinic is recommended for all new shooters to the CMP Games, as well as those who may not be firing, but simply would like to learn more about the events. The clinic includes classroom instruction, demonstrations and dry-fire position practice – all led by CMP GSM Master Instructors.
Great Place to Get Started in Competitive Shooting
The CMP Games matches are ideal events for shooters who have not participated in previous competitions. Shooters are permitted to coach or assist each other in these matches. Experienced shooters are encouraged to assist new shooters with positions, slings, loading and the rules.
To learn more about the Eastern CMP Games, email croguski [at] thecmp.org or call (888) 267-0796, extension 714. If you have questions about the Creedmoor Cup contact Dennis DeMille, demille [at] creedmoorsports.com or call (800) 273-3366 M-F, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Central Time.
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The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits extravaganza is just over one month away. This year, the NRA will hold its annual gathering May 19-22 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. This is a huge event with over 750 exhibitors in a 500,000 square-foot facility. The Exhibit Hall opens at 9:00 am on May 20th (Friday Morning).
This year’s NRA convention will feature a variety of special events, starting with the NRA Foundation Banquet on Thursday night, May 19th. The ever-popular NRA Country Jam kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 20th at Louisville’s Belvedere at Waterfront Park. The official NRA Members Meeting will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 in Freedom Hall at the Exposition Center. NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre, Chris W. Cox, and Allan Cors with address the membership. Many other seminars will be hosted over the course of the weekend. Purchase Event Tickets.
Rifles are manufactured in virtually every state in the country. Some states have only small “boutique” operations which produce a few dozen rifles annually. In other states, such as New York, where larger factories are located, hundreds of thousands of firearms are manufactured every year. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (BATFE) keeps track of gun manufacturing nationwide, cataloging production figures from all 50 states. State by state rifle production figures are listed in BATFE’s Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report. Shown below, in alphabetical order by state, are the top producing rifle-makers for each state.
We were surprised to find that in California, the nation’s most populous state (with 38 million residents), the leading gunmaker, Weatherby, only made 3563 rifles. Compare that with tiny New Hampshire where Ruger produced 636,073 rifles! Credit the American Rifleman for finding this state-specific list in the BATFE 2014 Annual Report. After the state is the number of rifles made by the top producer, followed by that company’s name.
TV Shopping networks typically sell jewelry, housewares, and clothing items. Now there’s a new TV shopping network that will sell firearms and shooting accessories. GunTV recently launched with shows airing on cable and satellite networks (and streamed live on GunTV.tv on the web). This video unveils GunTV’s mission and explains how guns and shooting sports merchandise will be sold:
GunTV presentations combine studio sessions with range time. The hosts begin, in studio, talking about a gun’s features. Next the show may feature range footage demonstrating the firearm. Then it’s back to the studio for the sales pitch. Finally, viewers can bid on the featured item(s). Non-firearms items may ship directly to buyers. However, all actual firearms are sent to an FFL dealer, which performs background checks and handles the required paperwork.
30 Cal Gal on GunTV
One of GunTV’s hosts is our friend Anette Wachter, creator of the 30CalGal.com website. Anette, a top-level Palma and multi-gun competitor, will be testing and reviewing products, as well as selling her signature 30CalGal line of custom jewelry.
Safety is emphasized in GunTV broadcasts. The show’s creators state: “GunTV offers education, information and safety regarding firearms in America[.] GunTV is proud to offer its consumer audience an exciting mix of unique content, a wide range of firearms and related products and services, educational information, resources and entertainment, all delivered via live broadcasting on satellite and cable systems and streaming on the Internet.”
Promotional Opportunities for Manufacturers
GunTV makes money two ways. First it takes a share of sale proceeds from items sold. In addition, it gets promotional fees from product makers. If you have a shooting-related product you want to see featured, you can advertise on GunTV. You can apply online using the Product Submission Application form. GunTV charges fees for its airtime segments and advertising spots and advertising spot production services.
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Guns are big money. In the past seven years, the dollars generated by the production and sales of guns and ammo have more than doubled. In fact, total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015, a 158% increase. Meanwhile the total number of gun industry full-time jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 288,000, a 73% increase in that period, according to a report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the industry’s trade association. Read NSSF Report HERE.
On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $43 billion in 2014 to $49.3 in 2015, a nearly 15 percent increase while total jobs increased from approximately 263,000 to almost 288,000, a 9 percent increase in the same period.
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “We have increased our direct workforce by about 21,000 in the last two years alone, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $50,000 in wages and benefits.”
The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2016 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.
The latest digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine offers a run-down of hot products at SHOT Show 2016. In this FREE April edition, you’ll find a SHOT Show in Review article, a “Show Stoppers” guide to Buyers’ favorites, a list of products you may have missed, as well as a 2016 New Product Showcase. For anyone interested in new shooting products, you really should read this special April issue cover to cover. This year’s SHOT Show, held January 19-22 in Las Vegas had more than 1600 exhibitors, with a record number of new products on display.
Show Stoppers from Las Vegas
One of the Show Stoppers highlights was a quad-barrel AR Kit. The new Multi-Caliber System (MCS) from Windham Weaponry offers plenty of bang for the buck. The kit comes with four different barrels: .223 Rem, 7.62x39mm, .300 Blackout, and 9mm Luger. The gun’s modular design makes it easy to change calibers by swapping barrels and magazine wells. (That’s right, you change the magwell to fit the caliber — a smart idea. That way you can run proper AK-style 7.62×39 magazines). One dealer stated: “You can get all four conversion kits in a hard-sided case at a decent prices. The fact you can change calibers so quickly is going to make this a big seller.”
New Product Showcase
Along with the Show Stoppers Guide, this April issue of Shooting Industry Magazine featured “Products You May Have Missed At SHOT Show” as well as a New Product Showcase. The Showcase highlights interesting new products from Benelli, Browning, Colt, Kimber, Nikon, McMillan, Nosler, Polycase, and many other leading brands.
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What can you do with $12,215.00? Well, you could buy a new Polaris RZR ATV, a really nice bass boat, 234 shares of Verizon, or 643 bottles of Jack Daniels Old #7. Or, if you are the U.S. Army, you can buy one (1) semi-auto sniper rifle, plus some spare parts. The U.S. Army announced recently that it will replace its M110 Knights Armament-made sniper rifle with a new, lighter 7.62×51 semi-auto rifle from Heckler and Koch. H&K will supply a slimmed-down variant of its G28 Rifle called the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS). The potential max contract value is $44,500,000 for up to 3,643 rifles (and spare parts). That works out to $12,215.21 per rifle*. At that price, it better be good.
The military says the G28 system is lighter and more compact than the 15.3-lb M110 produced by Knights Armament Company (KAC). The G28 is certainly more compact, given its 16.6″ barrel. But somebody seems to have forgotten that velocity is lost with a shorter barrel. A longer barrel will deliver significantly higher MV for better long-range ballistics. Nevertheless the Army thinks portability trumps ballistics: “Compared to the M110, the CSASS will be easier to carry, handle and maneuver in close-quarters combat. It will lighten the load for carrying over rough terrain for the longer-range ridgeline to ridgeline fight. These improvements will not sacrifice existing performance, accuracy or reliability.”
Hmmm… “Not sacrifice existing performance”? We’re not sure how that can be the case. The current KAC M110 Sniper Rifle (shown below) has a 20″ barrel. The basic G28 has 16.6″ (421 mm) barrel). Perhaps the final CSASS production version of the G28 will be fitted with a longer barrel?
Here’s what various sources report: “On 1 April 2016, the Army announced it had awarded Heckler and Koch a contract with a maximum value of $44.5 million as winner of the competition to replace the KAC M110. H&K is to produce 3,643 rifles. A goal of the effort was to give snipers a weapon that didn’t “stick out” as a sniper rifle; with a suppressor, the current M110 is 46.5″, that’s 13″ longer than the M4 carbine. A minimum of 30 CSASS units will be used for production qualification testing and operational testing over 24 months. H&K later confirmed that a modified G28 had indeed been selected as the CSASS rifle. The G28 is nearly 2.5″ shorter and 3 pounds lighter than the M110 (unloaded and without a suppressor) and will cost about $12,000 per rifle.”
Comment: We’re not so sure about this deal. $12.2K is a lot of money for a souped up AR10. The KAC M110, by all accounts, has performed well in combat and has a good reputation with sniper teams. When introduced, the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) won a U.S. Army award as one of the “Best 10 Inventions” of 2007. The M110 is highly acclaimed for its battlefield performance. If the military wanted a shorter rifle, it simply could have fitted a shorter barrel and a collapsible buttstock on existing M110s. That would have saved millions of dollars. But saving money is, apparently, not one of the Pentagon’s priorities these days.
* This HK firearm is sold as a CSASS system. Typically, the price per system unit will include optics, attachments, fitted hard case, and spares.
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On Saturday, April 16, the American Suppressor Association (ASA), in partnership with Brownells, will host the Iowa Suppressor Rally, a public suppressor shoot at the Big Springs Shooting Complex near Searsboro, Iowa. The event will celebrate the enactment of Iowa House File 2279, which legalized firearm suppressors in Iowa on March 31st. Rally organizers will provide all firearms, ammunition, and, of course, suppressors.
The rally is free and open to the public. All guns and ammo will be provided at the rally; attendees are asked to leave personal firearms at home or in their vehicles. The Rally will allow Iowans to sample firearms equipped with suppressors from Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), Dakota Silencer, Gemtech, Sig Sauer, Silencerco, and Yankee Hill Machine.
“After three years of hard work alongside the Iowa Firearms Coalition and the NRA, Iowans will finally be able to use suppressors to protect their hearing while enjoying the shooting sports,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA. “This rally [will] show the people of Iowa why we have all fought so hard to legalize suppressors in The Hawkeye State.”
“Iowans can now enjoy the same freedom as those in many other states and countries,” said Brownells CEO Pete Brownell. “I suffer from hearing loss myself. Being able to dampen the noise associated with firearms will help protect the hearing of all Iowans who shoot, including future generations of Iowa gun owners.”
Suppressors (obtained in accordance with Federal law) are now legal to own in the vast majority of American States. CLICK HERE to learn more about obtaining a suppressor.
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We first ran this eye-opening story two years ago. We’re republishing it today as a reminder that safety should always be a shooter’s #1 concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …
Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin.
This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.
.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!
Kaboom at Manatee!
A while back, Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).
Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”
Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”
The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.
The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.
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This past Saturday, April 2nd, the Hickory Groundhog Shoot was held in Vale, North Carolina. One of the nation’s most popular varmint competitions, the Hickory Shoot offers a host of valuable prizes. Here’s a report from Jonathan Trivette, who attended the Hickory Shoot for the first time this year.
A First-Timer’s Experience at the Hickory Shoot, by Jonathan Trivette
The Bullseye Groundhog Shoot, aka The Hickory Shoot, is one of the most unique groundhog shoots that I have ever attended. This event, held the first Saturday of April every year, is very well-organized — it runs like clockwork. This year was my first time attending this Shoot and I was impressed. There were 215 shooters and the match was over by 1:00 pm. After the main match they sell chances to shoot at an egg at 500 yards. Shooters that hit the egg receive a cash award and get their name on the Egg Hall of Fame Perpetual Trophy.
The shoot starts at 8:00 am and you are allowed to sign up the day prior and that morning until the match starts. The range is open the week prior to the match for practice so you can get familiar with the venue. The match has two classes: Custom (Open) and Factory. Entry fee is $25.00 per gun. The Custom Class permits any gun and caliber you would like to use and you can use most any type of rest. Some of the Custom Class guns can weigh 40 pounds or more. The Factory Class is limited to factory guns, and the only rest(s) you are allowed are bi-pods and sandbags. This year Clifton Odell won the Custom Class with a 95 score while Kevin Philbeck won the Factory Class with a 75 Score.
The scoring is done in a different fashion than what I am used to but it works and eliminates any debate as to shot score value. A shot must fall completely inside a scoring ring in order to count as that score — it cannot touch the next farther ring at all. [Editor: The Hickory employs “worst-edge” scoring, meaning if you cut a scoring line you get the next lower score.]
Back in 2010, father and son Terry Brady (L) and Chris Brady (R) topped the Custom Class:
In years past over $7,000 worth of prizes and cash has been awarded. The normal course of fire consists of three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and other prizes. The basic entry fee is just $25.00 per gun. That’s cheap for a chance to win a bundle of cash, plus valuable prizes such as Shehane stocks and Nightforce optics.
Hickory Shoot Course of Fire
The course of fire is three (3) shots at the groundhog target from the prone position at three different distances, 100, 300, and 500 yards. They do have a bench for handicapped shooters that can not get down in the prone position. Most competitors will shoot at the head at 100 yards because the points are higher. The other two distances that are normally shot are 300 yards and 500 yards.
Relays Run Like Clock-Work
The shoot is run very smoothly with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.
Acknowledging the Winners
At the prize ceremony Larry Willis presents the awards to the top shooters. He also acknowledges the Junior Shooters and even gives out prizes for best-looking male and female shooter and who drove the farthest. I had a chance to speak with Larry after everything was over on Saturday and you could tell that he really enjoys being able to put on this event for his fellow shooters. So whether you are looking to kick off your groundhog season or your summer shooting season, if you find yourself looking for something to do the first Saturday of April next year, make the trip to Vale, North Carolina for the annual Groundhog Shoot. The range is located at 8216 Will Hudson Road, Lawndale NC 28090.
Nielsen-Kellerman (NK), makers of Kestrel® Weather Meters, has launched a new website, www.KestrelBallistics.com. The new mobile-friendly site features a Schoolhouse section with a wide range of information for long-range shooters of all skill levels. There you’ll find “How-To” guides and technical articles by respected ballistics and firearms experts. Along with the Schoolhouse, and a resource section offering free downloads of technical manuals, NK’s new Ballistics website will feature a webstore where customers can purchase long-range shooting accessories such as scopes, range finders, weather vanes, and Kestrel weather/ballistics meters. Along with Kestrel products, the eStore will offer Bushnell optics, MagnetoSpeed chronographs, and Accuracy 1st Ballistic Solvers.
The Schoolhouse resource offers articles from Kestrel’s own experts as well as Kestrel’s industry partners Applied Ballistics and Accuracy 1st. The purpose of the Schoolhouse section is to provide up-to-date information about industry advances and new techniques, as well as to provide comprehensive, detailed “how-to” guides for owners of Kestrel Weather Meters and Ballistics Calculators. Shown below is the Schoolhouse section that explains how to set up a Kestrel.
“As Kestrel has progressed in the long-range shooting space, we have seen that there is a real thirst for knowledge among long-range shooters. Just as we never ship a product without ensuring that it will provide accurate, reliable information, we will ensure that KestrelBallistics.com only contains articles, advice and products that customers can rely on. We are truly enjoying expanding our customer offering in this area.” stated Nielsen-Kellerman CEO, Alix James. NK’s new Ballistics site provides information and resources that can benefit all long-range shooters, whether they are primarily interested in hunting, competitive, or tactical shooting.
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Federal Ammunition is releasing a new line of range ammunition with polymer-encased projectiles. American Eagle Syntech is the first range-specific factory-loaded ammunition designed to reduce fouling and extend barrel life with a high-tech polymer bullet coating plus specially-formulated clean-burning powders. The potential for reduced wear and fouling is real — when tested against conventional FMJ ammunition, Federal claims Syntech produced an average of 12% less barrel friction and 14% less heat. Also, since Syntech bullets lack a metal jacket, there is less chance of ricochets on steel targets. Initially, three (3) types of Syntech ammo will be offered: 9mm Luger (115 grain); 40 S&W (165 grain); and .45 ACP (230 grain).
For years this Editor has loaded his .45 ACP and .44 Mag handguns with polymer/moly matrix-coated bullets from Precision Bullets in Texas. Those poly/moly-encased lead bullets shot VERY accurately and I found that my barrels fouled much less than with conventional lead bullets. Likewise, there was much less cylinder fouling on my revolvers. If the American Syntech bullets work as well as those Precision bullets, I think the Syntech line will be a winner. Syntech bullets should benefit any shooter who frequents a range where lead ammo is not allowed.
Features & Benefits
• Polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet prevents metal-on-metal contact in the bore, eliminating copper and lead fouling, while extending barrel life.
• Exclusive primer formulation provides reliable, consistent ignition.
• Clean-burning propellants minimize residue and fouling.
• Significantly reduces the required frequency of cleaning.
• Absence of a copper jacket minimizes splash-back on steel targets.
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