February 26th, 2018

Field Expedient Hardware — The Lee Breech Lock Hand Press

Lee breech lock hand press kit
The Lee Hand Press Kit comes complete with: Breech Lock Hand Press, Ram Primer fittings, Powder Funnel, Case Lube, and one Breech Lock Quick Change Bushing.

The Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press is a useful addition to any reloader’s tool collection. This Hand Press allows you to resize brass or seat bullets while at the range or away from your loading room. No it won’t replace your Co-Ax or Rockchucker, but this is a handy piece of gear. And it’s very affordable. Midsouth Shooters’ Supply sells the Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press Kit, with everything shown above, for just $55.44. Or you can buy just the Hand Press by itself for $44.61 at Amazon.That’s a great deal.

While we don’t recommend the Hand Press for major full-length sizing chores, it does a good job seating bullets. This makes it a handy “field expedient” tool when doing load development at the range. For example you can experiment with seating depth by loading a batch of cartridges at home with the bullets deliberately seated long. Then, at the range, you can re-seat the bullets progressively shorter (in a series of rounds), until you find the optimal Cartridge OAL. Note: the maximum overall length cartridge the Lee Hand Press can accept is 3.650 inches.

The Hand Press is also great for decapping operations. Here’s a review from a verified buyer: “I mostly use it for decapping while watching TV, with a universal decapper die. Load a case, CLACK! Drop case, load another, CLACK! I can fly through them in comfort, reclined on the couch[.] Of course it is also useful for other operations. I wouldn’t love sizing large rifle cases with it, but if you’ve prepped your cases on a bigger press you could comfortably take it to the range for load development, one round at a time, working right there at the line instead of making a bunch of loads at home that you’ll have to disassemble later. It’s smaller and more lightweight than it looks and would be great for a zombie apocalypse bug-out bag.”

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February 24th, 2018

Complete NRA National Championships Schedule for 2018

NRA National Championship

Pick your passion — High Power, F-Class, Silhouette, Smallbore, Air Rifle, Pistol, Black Powder. The NRA runs National Championships for all these disciplines and more. Attending a National Championship event is a big commitment, but it’s worth it. You can meet new friends, test your mettle against the nation’s best, and record memories that can last a lifetime.

Mark your calendars boys and girls — here is the complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule. This includes the National High Power Championship, National F-Class Championship, Fullbore (Palma) Championship, and a 15 more major national events. The date and location are included for each listing. Click the link for each championship to go directly to the official NRA championship page for that particular discipline to get more information or to register. To get more information, visit compete.nra.org or send email to: comphelp@nrahq.org.

NRA National High Power Championships

Intercollegiate Pistol Championships
March 17-20 ― Fort Benning, GA

Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships
March 23-25 ― Fort Benning, GA

NRA World Action Pistol Championship
May 19-20 ― Hallsville, MO

NRA Bianchi Cup Action Pistol Championship
May 23-25 ― Hallsville, MO

National Muzzle Loading Championship
June 9-17 ― Bloomington, IL

National Air Gun Championship
June 14-19 ― Bloomington, IL

National High Power Rifle Championships
July 5-24 ― Edinburgh, IN

NRA Pistol Championship National

National Precision (Bullseye) Pistol Championships
July 9-13 ― Camp Perry, OH

National Silhouette Smallbore Rifle Championships
July 15-17 ― Raton, NM

National Smallbore Rifle Championships
July 19-30 ― Bristol, IN

National Small bore Championship

National Silhouette High Power Championships
July 19-21 ― Raton, NM

National Silhouette Cowboy Lever Action Rifle Championship
July 24-27 ― Raton, NM

National Silhouette Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Championship
July 30-August 3 ― Raton, NM

Fullbore Prone/Spirit of America National Championship
September 8-14 ― Raton, NM

NRA World Shooting Championship
September 13-15 ― Glengary, WV

National F-Class Championship
September 16-23 ― Raton, NM

National Police Shooting Championship
September 24-26 ― Albuquerque, NM

National Black Powder Target Rifle Championship
October 1-7 ― Raton, NM

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 24th, 2018

Lyman Safety Recall for Black Powder Rifles and Pistols

Lyman recall muzzle loader black powder rifle pistol musket

Lyman Products is voluntarily recalling Lyman black powder rifles and pistols made in 2017. If you purchased one of these items, stop using it, check the serial number, and follow Lyman’s Recall Directions.

This recall includes black powder rifles and pistols regardless of caliber (including Deerstalker, Great Plains, Great Plains Hunter, Trade Rifle, Plains Pistol, Black Powder Kits, and replacement barrels; excluding Percussion Left Hand Great Plains and Left Hand Great Plains Hunter models) manufactured from March 1, 2017 to December 22, 2017. Barrels with the serial number in the range of A595960–A599026 are subject to this recall. If you bought one of the affected arms last year (2017), do not load and/or shoot it — you need to contact Lyman Products.

Check Your Serial Number

Owners of Lyman black powder rifles and/or pistols acquired at any time in 2017 or 2018 should immediately check the serial number:

Lyman recall muzzle loader black powder rifle pistol musket

What To Do Next — Instructions from Lyman

If you have a muzzle-loader that is involved in this recall, as confirmed by the serial number, do NOT use the gun. Instead, contact the Lyman Customer Service Department by emailing customerservice@lymanproducts.com or by calling 800-225-9626 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. EST. You will be asked to provide your contact information, serial number, and either the part number or model to process the return. CLICK HERE for Lyman Recall INFO Page.

Upon receipt of the information provided to customer service, Lyman will send instructions and packaging to ship the product to Lyman for replacement at no cost to the customer. Lyman will provide a replacement barrel and tang with instructions or will replace the barrel and tang at Lyman and return the firearm. Please only return your rifle, pistol, or barrel and tang with the provided shipping tags and boxes. NOTE: Anyone outside the U.S.A. who is in possession of a black powder rifle or pistol within the recall range should contact your local distributor immediately.

Safety Recall Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 21st, 2018

CMP Offers $1000 College Scholarships to Young Shooters

CMP Scholarship

CMP ScholarshipThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites young men and women shooters to apply for CMP scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year. The CMP offers $1,000 one-year scholarships to current high school seniors. Since 2005, CMP has awarded over $1 million in scholarship grants. Last year, the CMP received a record-setting number of applications and awarded over $150,000 in scholarship money. Winning scholarship recipients came from JROTC programs, 4-H groups and other shooting clubs.

Don’t Delay — Scholarship Application Deadline is March 20, 2018

CMP Scholarships are based on merit. Selected individuals arehigh school seniors who are currently enrolled in a team or club that is participating in rifle or pistol marksmanship competitions. Applicants must provide rifle or pistol competition history, list of awards, and future goals in the shooting sports. Applicants must also provide academic GPA and an official high school transcript (3.0 Minimum GPA Required).

CMP Scholarship

Applications are Being Accepted Now for 2018-2019
The CMP is now taking scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 freshman college year. Scholarships are one-year awards that may be used to fund any accredited, post-secondary education or vocational program. (Note: Students planning to enroll in a military academy are not eligible).

CMP Scholarship Regulations | 2018-2019 Scholarship Application Form.

The deadline for CMP Scholarship Application is March 20, 2018. Learn more about the program at the CMP Website Scholarship Page. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Williams at 419-635-2141, ext. 709, or email kwilliams [@] thecmp.org.

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February 19th, 2018

SHOT Show Will Remain at Sands Expo Through 2027

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020

Bad news folks — SHOT Show will continue at the Sands Expo through the year 2027. That means nine (9) more years at this “dog” of a facility infamous for its inadequate parking, confusing floor plans, and nightmarish ingress/egress through the Venetian hotel. Oh and it’s hard not to think about the thousands of people who get sick every year attending SHOT Show at the Sands. If you have been there, you know what we’re talking about. So SHOT Show fans, steel yourselves for nine more years of the same sad situation.

Previously, NSSF, the show’s organizer, had agreed to keep SHOT Show at the Sands through 2025. Now they’ve contracted for two more years at this disappointing venue. That makes for NINE additional years of headaches, confusion, disorientation, and general discontent. Oh well…

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and Sands Expo have announced a two-year extension of their current agreement, which will keep the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show at the Sands Expo through 2027. With this two-year extension, we look forward to bringing SHOT Show — the city’s fifth largest trade show — back to these venues for years to come…” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer of NSSF, owner of the show.

Meanwhile the even bigger SEMA car show continues at the completely renovated, much easier-to-navigate Las Vegas Convention Center, where SHOT Show should be, in our opinion. There’s a reason SEMA is not at the Sands — those car guys are just not that dumb.

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020SHOT Show IMPACT $127 Million
SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world. In 2018, over 2000 companies exhibited at SHOT Show attracting over 60,000 attendees. The show is open to trade professionals only and not to the general public. The new agreement caps a big year for SHOT Show, which marked its 40th anniversary overall, 20th year in Las Vegas and ninth straight year at the Sands Expo.

According to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the overall economic impact of the 2018 SHOT Show to Las Vegas was $127.2 million, bringing the cumulative economic impact of the show to the city to $1.1 billion.

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February 18th, 2018

Winter Range Cowboy Action Event in Phoenix This Week

winter range ben avery phoenix

Earlier this month the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix hosted America’s top long-range shooters at the Berger SW Nationals. This upcoming week, 1000 cowboys and cowgirls take over Ben Avery during Winter Range, the SASS National Championship for Cowboy Action Shooting. Winter Range, which runs February 19-25, 2018, is the second largest Cowboy Action event of the year, after End of Trail, the annual Single Action Shooting Society World Championship held each year in Edgewood, New Mexico.

winter range ben avery phoenix

This video, produced a few seasons back by the Arizona Fish and Game Commission, covers the full Winter Range experience, including the main shooting competitions, the side matches, the Western costumes, the socializing, and more. Worth watching if you like action shooting or are just a fan of the Wild West.

winter range ben avery phoenix

Hundreds of cowboy action shooters, ages 12-80, will compete in multiple classifications based on age, and type/caliber of firearms. In addition, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters held the exciting Winter Championship in nearby Queen Creek, Arizona. The 3-day event, held February 14-17, drew more than 100 competitors mounted on horses. You’ll see this kind of action:

winter range ben avery phoenix

Cowboy Action Shooting requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns. Participants each have a registered cowboy shooting alias (such as “Deadeye Dave”), used in SASS events. Competitors, organized in “Posses”, shoot a series of multi-gun stages. This is a fun shooting sport that draws multiple generations of the same family. In addition to the primary competitions, Winter Range 2018 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast-draw contest, and nearly 100 vendors selling vintage-style clothing and “sundries”.

winter range ben avery phoenix

winter range ben avery phoenix

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February 15th, 2018

Save with 2018 Rebates on Guns and Gear

Gun gear reloading rebate optics burris

There a number of good rebate programs going on right now, but some conclude in just a few weeks. To take advantage of these deals you’ll need to start your shopping soon. Here are some current Rebate Programs for rifles, loading equipment, and shooting accessories. You can save up to $125.00 with these direct Rebate offers, or you can get bullets worth over $175.00 (500 count). The RCBS promo runs through 2/28/2018, while the Browning and Winchester rebates go through 3/31/2018. Hornady’s Get Loaded promotion is good all year

1. Browning Sales Tax Event — 10% Rebate

Browning Spring 2018 Sales Tax Rebate

When you buy a new Browning firearm at retail between February 1 and March 31, 2018, you can receive a rebate of 10% of the purchase price to reimburse you for your state sales tax. This applies to a wide range of Browning firearms including rifles, shotguns, and pistols. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2018

Get Rebate Form HERE
NOTE: Browning Rebates must be Redeemed Online

2. RCBS February 2018 Bucks or Bullets Promotion

Rcbs bucks bullets promotion Spring 2018 Rebate

Get Bucks or Bullets with purchase of Qualifying RCBS Products. This offers buyers a choice of money or bullets. You get a $10 Prepaid Card or 100 Free Bullets with: Qualifying Die Sets, Hand Priming Tool, Universal Hand Priming Tool, Trim Mate Case Prep Center, or a M500 Mechanical Scale. Alternatively, you can get a $50 Prepaid Card or 500 Free Bullets with: Rock Chucker Supreme Kit, Universal Case Prep Center, Explorer or Explorer Plus Kits, Pro Chucker 5 or 7, or an Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: February 28, 2018
Redemption Deadline: March 31, 2018

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE

3. Winchester Spring Warm-Up Rebates

Winchester Spring 2018 Rebate

Here’s a great deal if you are looking for a new hunting rifle. Purchase any NEW Winchester XPR rifle and receive $75 via mail-in rebate. With this promotion, you can buy a new XPR for just $264.99 after rebate. You can also save $25, $50, or $100 on qualifying Winchester shotguns.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2019

See Qualifying XPR Rifles HERE
Submit Rebate HERE

Hornady Get Loaded 2018 Rebate

Hornady Spring 2018 Rebate

Receive 100 or 500 Free Bullets when you purchase select Hornady Products. The 500 Free Bullets (worth up to $181.05) are available with purchase of one of these Lock-N-Load® products: Iron Press Kit, Classic Kit, Classic Kit Deluxe, Classic Kit with Auto Charge, Ammo Plant, AP Press, Case Prep Center, Deluxe Control Panel, or Hot Tub® Sonic Cleaner. NOTE: Hornady requires you to pay for return shipping on the bullets. You must submit a check for the shipping with your rebate form. No check, no bullets — got it?

Start Date: January 1, 2018
End Date: December 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: February 15, 2019

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE

RCBS Rebate Recommendation from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 13th, 2018

Remington Pursues Bankruptcy to Reduce Massive Debt

Remington Outdoor Company files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cerberus Equity J.P. Morgan

Remington Outdoor Company Inc. (Remington) will file for Bankruptcy in the Delaware Federal Court. The North Carolina-based company is pursuing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to reduce its $950,000,000 in debt. According to Reuters, Remington hopes to work out an agreement with its creditors to write off about $700 million in debt obligations. That would permit Remington to sustain manufacturing operations and retain most of its work-force. In announcing the Bankruptcy filing, Remington executives stated that the company will continue to operate as usual during the bankruptcy proceedings.

(Reuters) – Remington Outdoor Company Inc., one of the largest U.S. makers of firearms, said on Monday it had reached a deal with its creditors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to slash its $950 million debtload. Remington said it will receive $145 million in bankruptcy financing to fund the company through the Chapter 11 process.

Cerberus Will Yield Control of Remington to Creditors
If the pending deal with creditors goes through as planned, Cerberus, the private equity group that currently controls Remington, will lose ownership of the company. Through the bankruptcy, according to Reuters: “the company’s creditors, which include Franklin Templeton Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management, will exchange their debt holdings for equity in the company.”

Two months ago, AccurateShooter.com noted that Remington was considering Bankruptcy. Our report noted that an earnings decline left Remington few options. In early December, Fox News reported: ““The rifle and shotgun manufacturer’s third-quarter sales plunged 41% as demand for firearms dried up. That led Remington to report adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization that were 78% lower year over year. Over the first nine months of 2017, the company has produced a $60.5 million net loss, compared to a $19.1 million gain in the prior-year period. And with its credit rating in the trash bin, the future is bleak for ‘America’s oldest gunmaker’. Today, debt on the company’s books has ballooned to almost $1 billion[.]”

Remington Has a Storied History
Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in New York, Remington is the oldest continuously-operating gun manufacturer in the United States. Even with its present difficulties, Remington still sells more sporting rifles and shotguns than any other American company. Remington has developed more cartridges than any other U.S. company. And it is the only American company that sells firearms AND ammunition under its own name.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 13 Comments »
February 13th, 2018

National Records Now Recognized for CMP’s Travel Games Events

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program Travel Match Record

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will now be recognizing National Records attained at CMP Travel Games events. Now, outstanding scores will be recorded in the record book for all CMP Travel Games matches. The current listed National Record scores were established after compiling top scores from the following Games events and years:

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program Travel Match RecordOklahoma: 2012-2017
Eastern Games: 2007-2017
Talladega D-Day: 2015-2017
New England: 2016-2017
Western Games: 2005-2017
Talladega 600: 2015-2017

To view the new Travel Games National Records standards, click this link:

CMP Games Competition Rules

Special Travel Games National Record Certificates will be sent to the competitors that currently hold the Overall Travel Games National Records, with additional certificates awarded to those who break records in the future.

National Record scores for each individual match are listed under the match’s results in CMP’s Competitor Tracker – used to display result scores for Travel Games events. A full list of Overall National Records can be found by visiting the CMP Travel Games Homepage.

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February 12th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Looking Back at a Great Event

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher

The 2018 Berger SW Nationals are now history. The fun, action, challenges, and rewards now pass into memories. Once again, the Berger SWN was a great shooting match — a great way to advance your shooting skills, reconnect with old friends, and enjoy warm weather. If you are a serious long-range shooter, this is definitely one of the best-managed, most rewarding matches on the planet. In 2018 the match “sold out” in a matter of hours. If you plan to go next year, watch for the registration notices. You don’t want to be left out.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

2018 Berger Southwest Nationals Long Range Results

The SWN has three new individual champions. Congratulations to the three divisional Match Winners: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

The Berger SW Nationals are made possible through the principal support of Berger Bullets and Lapua, both part of the Capstone Precision Group, which also distributes Vihtavuori powder and SK Ammunition in the USA. Berger and Lapua both generously donated product prizes for 2018 SWN competitors.

Berger Southwest Nationals Berger Lapua Capstone

Today’s Champions… And Tomorrow’s New Talent

Here is the Sling Winner, Allen Thomas, with Bill Gravatt, President of Capstone Precision Group. (Bill was formerly the President of Sinclair International).

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Bob Sebold, of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden also won the individual F-Class SWN Title. He’s definitely one of the nation’s top F-Open pilots.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

There were a dozen or so talented juniors competing at the Berger SW Nationals. Some of the youngsters posted scores that would put the “old guys” to shame. We definitely expect to see some of these young shooters standing on the podium at future Berger SWN events. We asked them to strike a “cool pose” and the Harris boys delivered…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Berger SW Nationals Gallery — Parting Shots

Does this competitor know something we don’t know. Perhaps he is testing a new “Stealth” rifle stock from McMillan. Or maybe this is some kind of Zen body/mind melding practice. We do advocate “dry firing”, but that normally involves holding a real rifle…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Look carefully and you’ll see quite a lot reflected in this SWN competitor’s shooting eyewear. Can you identify the type of rifle?

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Michelle Gallagher — She’s probably smiling at an ‘X’ — or maybe she just nailed a tough wind call. The SW Nationals is a great event because of the hard work and dedication of talented folks like Michelle.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

Can you name all the pieces of hardware in this image? We see at least a dozen. Don’t forget the little items like the bubble level and mirage shield.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

How do you anchor a SEB MINI coaxial rest in under ten seconds? With MAXI feet of course! These over-size hooves belong to shooter Mark Fairbairn, a very tall, MAXI-sized Australian. Who needs to pound those F-Class feet into the ground with a mallet when you can simply “stand and deliver”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

We think some competitors came to Ben Avery just for the great Barbecue lunches — well that plus the great weather and the amazing prize table. Everyone goes home a winner in one way or another.

Berger Southwest Nationals food barbecue BBQ

Texas gunsmith Richard King showed us the biggest rifle action we’ve ever seen. This 13-lb monster is the BAT .50 BMG Action. Honestly it was HUGE — with the bolt fully extended it was the size of your forearm (to the finger tips). Richard joked “This weighs almost as much as an F-TR rifle (before optic) all by itself”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 3 Comments »
February 11th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Hail the Champions

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Today was the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Two 1000-yard individual matches were scheduled. But the weather gods did not cooperate. Sunday matches were cancelled due to high, gusty winds from the North-Northeast that made it very difficult to handle the large, wood target frames. With concern for the safety of pit workers, match organizers waited until 10:00 am, then canceled the matches. It was a disappointment for some, but all the competitors still enjoyed a great week at Ben Avery.

With the cancellation of Sunday matches, the three individual champions — Sling Division, F-TR, and F-Open have been decided based on the Friday and Saturday results. We congratulate the three new Champions: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

Team matches concluded yesterday, Saturday. In team competition, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden won the F-Open Division, while Team McMillan finished first in F-TR Division. In the Sling Division, Team USA National Hayes topped the field. Congratulations to the winning teams.

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Berger SW Nationals

Wicked Winds on Saturday Challenged Competitors
Saturday’s weather was not kind to shooters. Along with cloudy skies came wind — lots of it. The wind was veering, and gusty — with significant changes in velocity. It was hard to predict the cycles — if they could be called that. Erratic was more like it. Many shots were out in the 7 and 8 rings. One champion-level shooter told us: “That was ugly — I got my clock cleaned”. Another shooter said “I ran out of paper to hold off”. At one point, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) waited over 30 minutes to take a shot, hoping to get into a steady condition. The patience paid off. Team LBB shooter Jay Christopherson’s final shot (after the long wait) was a 10.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Above is a view from a spotting scope during the 1000-Yard Team Match on Saturday. During the course of the day, there were many 7s and 8s showing on the targets. One competitor said “the wind was so bad, I was holding off the frame”.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Team Lapua/Brux/Berger shot great in tough conditions on Saturday to win the F-Open Team competition. Second from left is Jay Chistopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Administrator. When he’s not shooting, Jay works hard to keep our Shooter’s Forum and content sites running smoothly.

The team announced: “Team Lapua-Brux-Borden pulled off a major win today at Berger SW Natinols. Conditions were very challenging but our wind coach was able to keep up with the conditions. Our rifles shot very flat which allowed us to rack up points and Xs. We have a great team and amazing sponsors: Lapua, Brux Barrels, Borden Actions, Cerus Rifleworks. Team members: Jay Christopherson, Eric Cortina, Steve Harp, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Bob Sebold. Notably, Bob Sebold also won the 2018 Berger SWN Individual F-Open title, making him a double champion.

Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

There couldn’t be a match without the dedication of the folks who work the pits. At the Berger SWN, competitors did pit duty, ferried by trailers, and there were also some volunteers.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Derek Rodgers, current F-TR World Champion, is no exception. His wife Hope Rodgers was on hand throughout the SWN to cheer on her husband.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

For many sling shooters, the Berger SWN is the second most important event of the year, right after the NRA Championships, held at Camp Perry (OH) and (now) Camp Atterbury (IN). Check out those patches.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Industry Report — Berger, Lapua and Capstone Precision Group

Last year Berger Bullets was acquired by the Nammo Lapua Group. Berger Bullets, along with Lapua Products, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder, are now distributed in the USA by the Capstone Precision Group. Berger will continue to offer its full line of bullets, plus Berger-branded Ammunition (formerly ABM Ammo). Likewise Lapua will continue to offer its superb caftridge brass, plus Lapua’s full line of bullets and loaded Ammunition. In this video, Capstone’s Director Bill Gravatt explains how Capstone is working to expand the availability of Lapua and Berger products. In addition, Eric Stecker explains how Berger Bullets can increase production significantly, now that Berger is operating in the large Nammo/Lapua facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Today is the last day of the Berger Southwest Nationals. After the cancellation of Sunday’s 1000-yard matches due to high winds, this year’s 2018 SWN concluded with the Award Presentations. We watched as scores of medals — along with heaps of cash and Berger bullets — were handed out. AccurateShooter.com also awarded prestigious Corinthian awards to Nancy Tompkins (Sling) and Rick Jensen (F-Class).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team McMillan was the top-performing F-TR squad at the Berger SW Nationals. The team includes many former members of the all-conquering Team Sinclair.

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 10th, 2018

Berger SWN 2018 — Friday Match and Gear Highlights

Berger SW Nationals John Whidden Palma F-TR
Reigning NRA National Long-Range Champion John Whidden in action on the 1000-yard line. John’s rifle features a centerfire action in an aluminum Anschutz small-bore stock.

There are now two more days left for the 2018 Berger SW Nationals, with the competition heating up. From this point on, all shooting will be at 1000 yards. Friday was challenging, with increasing wind velocities over the day. Shifts were harder to figure out, and some talented shooters dropped 8-10 points. Competition was fierce. In the sling division, our friend Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine came out on top via tie-breaker. Gary and Stuart Mackey shot identical scores on Friday at each distance: 150-8X, 150-7X, and 149-8X, both finishing with 449-23X. That’s as close as it gets.

One shot left… will that last bullet end up in the X-ring? We hope so…

Saturday Shooting — Team and Individual Competition at 1000
Today, Saturday 2/10/18, all shooting will be at 1000 yards, with both Individual and 4-person Team competition. The format calls for two, 20-shot matches for both individuals and teams. Good luck to all!

MATCH RESULTS: Complete Daily Scores and On-Going Match Standings are posted on the McMillan Fiberglass Stocks Facebook Page. Here are Top Five in each Division, at day’s end on Friday, 2/9/2018:

Top Five F-Open
Bob Sebold — 449-30X
Danny J. Biggs — 449-26X
Jay Christopherson — 448-28X
Stephen Potter — 448-23X
Ubaldino De Arellano — 448-23X
Top Five F-TR
Ellis Berry — 448-26X
Peter Johns — 448-25X
Philip Kelley Jr. — 448-21X
Doug Boyer — 447-27X
Greg Barkley — 447-23X
Top Five Sling
Gary Eliseo — 449-23X
Stuart Mackey — 449-23X
Bill Vaughn — 448-28X
Curtis Gordon — 448-23X
Nancy Tompkins — 447-30X

No Worries Mate — Mark Swaps Stocks in Mid-Match

Berger SW Nationals Mark Fairburn Australia  Palma F-TR

Australian Mark Fairbairn performed a “Quick Fix” during Thursday’s match. His F-Open rifle, in a conventional fiberglass stock, was giving him random vertical during one yardage: “I had a bit of a problem with elevation — the stock was hitting somewhere [causing vertical]. I was X-X-X then a shot popped up in the 9 ring with no good reason. So I figured I better put a new stock on it. I got my old aluminium stock I brought from Australia and quickly adjusted it to fit on the Stolle.” Right on the berm he swapped his barreled action into the metal stock of his own design. The clock was ticking… but the story had a happy ending. For the next yardage Mark shot a brilliant 150-7X, not dropping a point. So the “Quick Fix” did the trick. As they say Down Under — “Good on Ya, Mate!”

Patriotic Pair of Stars and Stripes F-Open Rigs

Berger Stars Stripes rifles SWN F-TR

There were two very patriotic F-Open rifles side-by-side on the firing line yesterday. These Stars and Stripes rigs were squadded right next to each other just by chance — but it made for a great show.

Like Father, Like Daughter — The Cortinas

Berger SW Nationals Erik Amber Cortina F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

Erik Cortina, member of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden, is one of the nation’s top F-Class shooters. But on Friday he was only the second-best Cortina at 1000 yards. Erik’s daughter, Amberleeana, posted a 147-7X to edge her Dad by 3 Xs (Erik scored 147-4X) from the 1000-yard line.

F-Class is for Everyone – All Ages, Guys AND Gals

Berger SW Nationals female shooter F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

F-Class is not just a man’s game. There were many lady shooters on the firing line, in both F-Open and F-TR Divisions. Some shooting instructors says females learn faster than their male counterparts, so they can excel quickly in the shooting sports.

Cool Gadget (Literally) — The BarrelCool Device

Barrel Cool F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

The clever BarrelCool is a dual-purpose device that serves as an Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) while cooling your barrel with a battery-powered fan. This is American ingenuity at its best.

Spotting Scope Support Arm Attached to Front Rest

Berger SW Nationals Richard King F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

Texas gunsmith Richard King of King’s Armory had a very clever set-up for his spotting scope. He has fabricated a support arm that holds the spotter very close to his rifle. With this configuration, Richard can view through the spotting scope without shifting his position on the rifle. This puts the spotting scope’s eyepiece just a few inches from his riflescope eyepiece so he can move easily from one optic to the other. This set-up also reduces the amount of gear Richard carries to the line. No separate spotting scope base, stand, or tripod is needed. This is a simple, elegant solution. We bet, with a little tinkering and design work, a similar system could be mounted to a SEB or Bald Eagle front rest

Labor of Love — Do-It-Yourself F-TR Stock Milled from Aluminum

Berger SW Nationals Erik Cortina F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

We saw many interesting F-TR rigs. Here’s an one-of-a-kind stock, machined from aluminum billet by shooter/owner Mark Roberts of Lone Star Tumblers. There are a ton of man-hours in this unique stock.

Bird’s Eye Ben Avery — A Look at the Range

If you’ve never visited the Ben Avery Facility north of Phoenix, Arizona, here is a video shot in 2016 that shows the 1000-yard range (including drone footage). The desert range at Ben Avery is something special — check out this “birds-eye view”. This video also includes an interview with Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion, King of 2 Miles, and the only man who who has earned both F-Open AND F-TR National titles.

Ben Avery by Air — We are repeating this 2016 video here because it has a great aerial view of the Mid Tompkins 1000-yard Range at Ben Avery

Erik Stecker of Berger Bullets visited the match Friday. Here he talks with members of Team Berger Bullets. Eric now oversees operations of Berger, as part of the Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori). That’s Walt Berger in the background in the red shirt.

Berger SW Nationals Capstone Precision Berger Bullets F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

There were plenty of smiles on the firing line — the Berger SW Nationals event offers great weather, great competition, great camaraderie, and a great prize table.

Berger SW Nationals Erik Cortina F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

Swap-Meet at Ben Avery
After the matches concluded on Friday, a Swap Meet was held in the Club House. There were some great bargains to be found. Can you name the past National Champions in the background of this photo?

Berger SW Nationals Swap Meet Nancy Tompkins James Crofts F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

Parting Shot: Glamtactical by Cerus Rifleworks

Berger SW Nationals Capstone Precision Berger Bullets F-Class Sling Palma F-TR

We spotted a stunning “Glamtactical” rig from Cerus Rifleworks in the Nightforce booth. Believe it or not, Cerus owner Will McCloskey found this stunning wood buried in a “bargain bin”, and snagged the highly-figured walnut blank for under $10. Steal of the year! This rifle features a carbon-wrapped barrel with muzzle brake.

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February 9th, 2018

Berger Southwest Nationals 2018 — Report from Ben Avery

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open
Thursday was Team Day at the Berger SWN. The rules called for four shooters. But one Aussie Team had a special mascot shooter to add team spirit.

Today, Friday, marks the third day of competition at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), with individual matches on the schedule. Today’s match will have a Palma format, with shooters competing individually at three yardages: 800, 900, and 1000. This is when it really gets tough — no wind coaches. Each shooter is on his or her own. Yesterday, Thursday, was a Team Day at Ben Avery, with four-person teams shooting at 800, 900, and 1000. We saw some familiar squads on the firing line, such as Team Berger Bullets, The X-Men, and Da Bulls, as well as new squads.

Individual Long-Range Competition starts today, Friday, at the Berger Southwest Nationals. The firing line is full — this match “sold out” early. Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.
Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

Click Image to see full-screen Panorama of 1000-yard firing line at Ben Avery.
Berger SW Nationals panorama Mid Tompkins range match

Full interim results for Thursday’s Team match are posted on the McMillan Fiberglass Stocks Facebook Page.

Thursday’s conditions were much calmer than the Wednesday (when winds were howling in the afternoon). It was very calm in the early morning but then the wind increased gradually during the day, becoming switchy. Many shooters told us the mirage was difficult to read. The sling division was tightly fought, with Scottish HPS Team and U.S. National Mrnak Team tied on points at 1779 at day’s end. The Scots finished first by X-count, 92 to 85. Finishing third was U.S.A. National Hayes Team, 1776-114X.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

In F-Open, the “Old Gentlemen” of Team Berger lead the way on Thursday, with a score of 1784-92X, followed by Team Lapua/Brux/Borden in second with 1782-101X. Tied on points in third place, but with fewer Xs, was Team Defiance at 1782-82X. This was a bit of a family affair as Scott Harris coached wife Christine and son Adrian, along with shooters John Moreali and Ben Steinsholdt. Larry Bartholome had top individual score, not dropping a point to finish “clean” at 450-21X. Next best was AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, with 449-31X.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

In F-TR, Team “Da Bulls” topped the field with 1762-66X, barely edging second-place Team McMillan which scored 1762-64X. The McMillan team was a powerhouse including current F-TR World Champion Derek Rodgers, and, as coach, former USA F-TR Team Captain Ray Gross.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open
The powerhouse Team McMillan F-TR squads featured serious talent. Left to right here, in their red jerseys, are Captain Paul Phillips, Derek Rodgers, and Coach Ray Gross.

One team featured a Father-Daughter Duo, with father Scott coaching Morgan, his talented daughter. Morgan tells us that competitive shooting has unlocked a new world for her. She has traveled to South Africa with her father to shoot in international matches. Shooting at the SWN is a highlight of her year: “I love the warm weather here — It’s snowing back home in New York”.

SWN VIDEO: Father coaches daughter in Thursday’s Team Match:

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

View from the pits at the Mid Tompkins Range at Ben Avery. Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.
Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

Kelly McMillan showed us a new F-Open competition stock, the Kestros with “Z-Rail”. This features a box-section aluminum extension on the fore-end. This allows a longer “wheelbase” on the stock, as well as a lower center of gravity. Kelly says his company is working may adapting this extension to include an bipod attachment rail. That way you could shoot the same stock in both F-TR and F-Open divisions.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

SWN VIDEO: Kelly McMillan talks about new McMillan and MCubed (M3) stocks in this video. Kelly plans to host his Taking Stock Radio Show on Friday, February 9, live from the Berger SWN. CLICK HERE for Kelly McMillan’s SWN Radio Show.

Listen to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Radio Show from Berger Southwest Nationals

Rekindle Old Friendships and Meet New Friends
Some shooters come to to the SW Nationals for the swag (the prize table is amazing). Others come for the sunshine (think warm 80-85° weather). And even more folks come to try out their shiny new toys and to test their skills against the nation’s best shooters.

But we’d say the number one reason most folks make the pilgrimage to Ben Avery every year is the camaraderie — the chance to connect with friends, rekindling connections that may go back decades. Fundamentally, then, the Berger SWN is about the people. For many of us, this is the only time of the year when we get a chance to meet fellow shooters from distant corners of the USA (and other nations).

Team Berger
Old Guys Rule — Team Berger topped the F-Open field in Thursday Team competition. NOTE: this photo shows 2017 team members.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Team Palma F-TR F-Class F-Open

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February 9th, 2018

Reactive Rimfire! Roundup of Fun Reactive Rimfire Targets

rimfire reactive steel target spinner dueling tree falling plates Volquartsen
An accurate, self-loading .22 LR rifle, such as this Volquartsen, is our gun of choice for speed shooting with rimfire reactive targets.

Reactive targets offer “instant gratification” — with every hit your target moves, spins, or falls. Shooting reactive targets with a rimfire rifle is fun AND affordable. Times are a-changin’ — rimfire ammo prices have dropped dramatically, so you can now get very good rimfire ammunition for just four bucks a box, such as Norma Tac-22. That works out to a mere eight cents a round. At that price, you can afford to shoot every weekend.

Rimfire Biathlon Target — Tons of Fun
RimfireSteel.com offers the unique Rimfire Steel Biathlon Target, a scaled-down Biathlon target designed for use at 50 feet for training and recreational shooting. This is one of our favorite rimfire targets. You can increase the level of challenge by moving it to 25 yards! Watch the video — it shows how to reset the five plates remotely with a lanyard.

Make Your Own Shooting Gallery with Reactive Rimfire Targets
For .22 LR fans, the folks at Action Target have created a whole series of steel rimfire targets. Much lighter than their centerfire counterparts, these rimfire targets are easier to transport and easier to set up. With this wide selection of reactive targets, you can create your own shooting gallery.

Rimfire Dueling Tree

Rimfire Spinning Jack

Rimfire Plate Rack

Rimfire Buffalo

In this video, Michael Bane reviews Action Target’s line of rimfire targets, which includes plate racks, spinners, dueling trees, and more. As Michael explains: “This line of targets is very well thought out. For example — dueling trees are a lot of fun. But a centerfire dueling tree weighs a lot, it’s hard to cart it around. A rimfire dueling tree is easy to set up, easy to carry around.”

New PT Target “Walks” When Hit
Action Target has just released a new reactive target that doesn’t even need a stand or base. The patent-pending PT Twist rests on the ground, and flops over or “walks” when hit. Constructed from a single piece of 3/16″-thick A514B steel, the PT Twist has no welds or bolts to break or ricochet. Watch the PT Twist in action:

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February 8th, 2018

Berger Southwest Nationals 2018 — Bigger and Better Than Ever

2018 Berger Southwest Nationals

The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) is the biggest and best long-range shooting event west of the Mississippi, and the best mid-winter event by far. And because it includes both F-Class and Sling (Palma) disciplines, the SWN attracts more top shooters than even the F-Class Nationals. You will find multiple National and even World Champions on the firing line. Combine the level of competition with warm Arizona weather and a massive prize table and you have a stellar event that is the highlight of any long-range shooter’s season.

Berger Southwest Nationals bullets ben avery phoenix arizona

This year’s Berger SWN is even more notable because Berger Bullets has relocated to Mesa, Arizona, so this is truly Berger’s “home match”. Berger moved to Arizona after the company was acquired by the Nammo Lapua group. Berger bullets are now distributed in the USA by the Missouri-based Capstone Precision Group, which also markets Lapua brass, bullets and ammo, SK Rimfire ammunition, and Vihtavuori powder.

Sling Shooters and F-Classers compete on the same firing line at the Berger SW Nationals. Sling competitors are on the left with F-TR and F-Open shooters on the right.

Berger SW Nationals

Berger SW Nationals F-Open

The Berger SWN has amazing awards. Here is one of the Native American-themed perpetual trophies.
Berger SW Nationals trophy Ghost Dancer

This year, as usual, the Berger SWN started off with a Shooters’ Clinic on Monday and Tuesday. Experts provided instruction on wind reading, match strategies, shooting technique and more. This initial clinic also affords SWN participants a chance to check out the Mid Tompkins Range at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility north of Phoenix, Arizona. This range can be challenging, no doubt, but the typical calm morning conditions have allowed records to be set here.

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Arizona

Yesterday, Wednesday, February 7, the 2018 SW Nationals competition phase began with the Mid-Range Match. F-Classers and sling shooters set-up on the firing line with targets 600 yards away. Wednesday turned out to be very tough, with very strong, gusty winds. Still there were some impressive performances. Mastering the tough conditions, Christine Harris shot 598-31X to win the F-Open division, beating all the male shooters, including many past National Champions. You Go Girl!

Here is the firing line for Wednesday’s 600-yard Match. Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.
SWN Sherri Jo Barrels 600 yard match

Full Results for Wednesday’s Mid-Range Match are published on the McMillan Facebook Page.

Berger SW Nationals 600-yard mid-range

Berger Southwest Nationals Wednesday

From here on it gets even tougher. Today, Thursday, there’s a four-man Team match with with 15 shots for record each at 800, 900 and 1000 yards. There will be three classes: Palma, F-Open (shot from rest), and F-TR (.223 Rem and .308 Win shot from bipod)

Here is AccurateShooter.com’s System Admin, who shot F-Open with Team Lapua/Brux/Borden on Thursday.
Jay Christopherson SWN Berger team Lapua

Berger Southwest Nationals bullets ben avery phoenix arizona

Warm Arizona Weather
Wonder warm weather is predicted for the whole week, It was 79° on Wednesday and temps in the low 80s are predicted for the rest of the week. We didn’t hear any complaints from the Canadians who fled ice and snow to shoot the match. It was sunny and warm in Arizona as promised. This is a great location for a shooting holiday, and you can even book a “dawn patrol” balloon ride near the Ben Avery range.

Berger SW Nationals

2018 Berger SWN Schedule of Events

Monday and Tueday, 5 and 6 February, 2018, 9:00 AM
Shooting Clinic: Clinic will include instruction in both classroom and live fire settings. Check in starts by 7:00 AM and instruction will start at 9:00 AM.

Wednesday, 7 February, 2018, 9:00 AM
Mid-Range Match – Three 20 shot matches at 600 yards. (Divisions: Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)

Thursday, 8 February 2018, 9:00 AM
4-Man Palma Team Match – 15 shots for record at each of 800, 900 and 1000 yards. (Divisions: Palma, F-Open, F-TR). NOTE: Practice available to those not shooting with a team.

Friday, 9 February 2018, 8:30 AM – Start of Grand Agg
Individual Palma Match – 15 shots for record at each of 800, 900 and 1000 yards. (Divisions: Palma, F-Open, F-TR). BONUS: Swap Meet – after conclusion of fire at 1000 yard line.

Saturday, 10 February 2018, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions: Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
4 Man Team Match – 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
— Banquet Dinner – Approximately 5:00 pm at Indoor Range.

Sunday, 11 February 2018, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
— Awards Ceremony at the Indoor Range.

View Larger Map

Competition Tips from Bryan Litz

To help competitors at the Berger SW Nationals, here are some smart tips from Bryan Litz. Bryan knows the Ben Avery range well. He won the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships there in 2015. And twice he has won the sling division at the Southwest Nationals. Here are wise words from Bryan:

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

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February 2nd, 2018

No More M4 — USMC Adopts H&K M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
Photo by USMC, public domain.

The U.S. Marine Corps will be adopting a new rifle to replace the M4 select-fire carbine. Designated the M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle), the new rifle is based on Heckler & Koch’s HK416, which looks like an AR, but runs with an internal gas piston system. The HK416 has been used by the German Army and some USA Special Operations units. This change-over has been in the works for some time, but the “protest period” has concluded, so now it is official.

The adoption of the M27 was announced at SHOT Show 2018. GunsAmerica reports: “H&K has officially received the contract for the USMC to replace the M4 carbines. The H&K model selected is the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a derivative of the famous H&K 416″. The U.S. Marine Corps initially planned to purchase 6,500 M27s to replace a portion of the M249 light machine guns employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. In December 2017, the Marine Corps revealed a decision to equip every Marine in an infantry squad with the M27, so this is a major change. (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

According to Wikipedia: “The M27 is a lightweight, magazine-fed 5.56mm, select-fire weapon based on the Heckler & Koch HK416. It features a gas-operated, short-stroke piston action with a rotating bolt and a free-floating barrel. The handguard has four MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for use with accessories and optics. The simpler gas-piston rifle system reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve malfunctions on the IAR compared with the M249 light machine gun.”

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
CLICK HERE for full-screen M27 Photo by Heckler & Koch.

As deployed, early versions of the IAR have done well in combat: “The IAR was initially fielded in December 2010. 1st Battalion 3rd Marines were deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with 84 IARs. Former SAW gunners initially did not like the M27, but appreciated it as time went on. It weighed 9 lb. loaded, compared to 22 lb. for an M249 — a significant difference when on 5-hour long missions. It also blended in with standard M16-style service rifles, making it difficult for enemy forces to identify the machine gunner. Marines issued with the M27 [report] it is friendlier to troops [than the M249] due to its cleaner, lightweight system having fewer moving parts and jams. IAR gunners consider the rifle-grade accuracy to be a huge improvement over the SAW, despite the loss of sustained firing.” (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

Heckler & Koch Expands American Production Center in Georgia
Heckler & Koch operates a production center in the state of Georgia, not far from Fort Benning. A $28.5 million expansion, started in 2017, is adding a new 50,000-square-foot factory in the Corporate Ridge Business Park. “HK’s new U.S. factory will make use of advanced manufacturing technologies and will be staffed by German and American engineers and technicians,” said Francisco Hidalgo, CEO of HK USA. GunsAmerica notes: “H&K USA will be designing and building guns directly for the U.S. market in the USA now. Now, we can look forward to weapons built specific to the U.S. market. [We] can’t wait to see the first one stamped ‘Made in Georgia’.” It is unknown when H&K will start delivering American-made M27s to the USMC.

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February 2nd, 2018

Scope Dope — Make Your Own Laminated Ballistics Card

laminated ballistics Card print-out

Tactical competitor Zak Smith stores his elevation and wind drift data on a handy laminated data card. To make one, first generate a come-up table, using one of the free online ballistics programs such as JBM Ballistics. You can also put the info in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word table and print it out.

Above is a sample of a data card. For each distance, the card includes drop in inches, drop in MOA, drop in Mils. It also shows drift for a 10-mph cross wind, expressed in inches, MOA, and mils. Zak explained that “to save space… I printed data every 50 yards. For an actual data-card, I recommend printing data every 20 or 25 yards.” But Zak also advised that you’ll want to customize the card format to keep things simple: “The sample card has multiple sets of data to be more universal. But if you make your own data card, you can reduce the chance of a mistake by keeping it simple.”

Once you have the card you can fold it in half and then have it laminated at a local office store or Kinko’s. Keep this in your pocket, tape it to your stock, or tie the laminated card to your rifle. If you regularly shoot at both low and high elevations, you may want to create multiple cards (since your ballistics change with altitude). To learn more about ballistic tables and data cards, check out the excellent “Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting–Part 1″ article on Zak’s website.

ballistics data scope coverScope-Cover Mounted Ballistics Table
Another option is to place your ballistics card on the back of the front flip-up scope cover. This set-up is used by Forum member Greg C. (aka “Rem40X”). With your ‘come-up’ table on the flip-up cover you can check your windage and elevation drops easily without having to move out of shooting position.

Greg tells us: “Placing my trajectory table on the front scope cover has worked well for me for a couple of years and thought I’d share. It’s in plain view and not under my armpit. And the table is far enough away that my aging eyes can read it easily. To apply, just use clear tape on the front objective cover.”

Links for JBM Ballistics Program

JBM Calculations Entry Page: www.jbmballistics.com/ballistics/calculators/calculators.shtml.

JBM Advanced Trajectory Calculator: www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi.

JBM Simple Trajectory Calculator: www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj_simp-5.1.cgi.

JBM Trajectory Cards (Come-up Table): http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmcard-5.1.cgi.

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January 31st, 2018

Safari Club Int’l Convention: January 31 – February 3 in Las Vegas

Safari Club International Convention

Didn’t get enough gun stuff in Sin City during SHOT Show? Then head back to Las Vegas, Nevada for the biggest hunting/safari show of the year. The 46th Annual Safari Club International (SCI) Hunters’ Convention kicks off today, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The big event runs through Saturday, February 3, 2018. Over 20,000 hunters and sportsmen are expected to attend this year. Ask any member who has attended the SCI Convention, and you will likely hear, “You have to go! It is the ultimate hunters’ market/showcase.”

Millions in Auction Items This Year
The SCI show is famed for its fund-raising auctions. At this year’s Convention, exotic firearms (valued up to $150,000), once-in-a-lifetime hunts, and fine collectibles will be auctioned. Net proceeds from the auctions are used by SCI to promote conservation and game management efforts worldwide. Here’s a past auction item, a Krieghoff Double Rifle valued at $84,000. This ‘Legends of the Hunt’ double rifle, chambered in .470 Nitro Express, was custom engraved by master engravers Michael Oke and Andreas Scholz. The stock is exhibition-grade Turkish walnut with ebony pistol grip and fore-end tip. There are gold barrel bands and gold accents on the express sight blades and double triggers.

Krieghoff .470 Nitro Express

Over 1000 Exhibitors from 33 Countries
This is a huge event, with over 1000 exhibitors from 33 countries and six continents. Notably, hundreds of top guides and outfitter services are showcased in the Outfitters Hall. The SCI convention also features many firearms manufacturers and custom gun builders. In the Gun Maker’s village prestigious European gun makers and engravers display their work.

World Heritage Rifle .375 H & H Safari Club international SCi

World Heritage Series Rifle #4 – Oceania
Donated By: Ryan Breeding Rifle-Maker
Valued at: $150,000.00

This unique, one-of-a-kind custom Magnum Mauser in .375 H & H — was created as the fourth rifle in the World Heritage Series. It is item SN009 in the Saturday Night auction.

The SCI convention boasts “the largest display of wildlife art at one venue anywhere in the world” according to Ammoland.com. This year the work of 50+ artists and 100+ taxidermists will be on display.

Namibia Hunting safari
Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.

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January 30th, 2018

It’s a Wrap — SHOT Show Summary and More New Products

Shot Show 2018 Sako AR10 Ligthgow LA105 TFB

Miles of Aisles and thousands of new products. SHOT Show, held each January in Las Vegas, is a near-overwhelming circus. There is so much to see, with new products from countless manufacturers, large and small. Here is the last official Highlights video from SHOT Show 2018. This 19-minute video provides a comprehensive summary of all there was to see and do at SHOT Show.

Weatherby Moves to Wyoming — Interview with Adam Weatherby

One of the biggest industry new items was Weatherby’s exodus from California. We reported this move in detail, explaining the TOP FIVE REASONS gun companies leave California. In this video, Weatherby President Adam Weatherby explains his company’s goals in relocating to Sheridan, Wyoming. Unlike California, Wyoming is a Second Amendment-friendly state. Plus Wyoming also has no state tax on corporate earnings (California is 8.84%):

Featured New Products — Video Previews

The Firearm Blog (TFB) had a large presence at SHOT Show, with multiple video teams covering Range Day and then the main event at the Sands Expo Center. Here are some TFB product highlight videos, showcasing interesting new products released at SHOT Show 2018 and/or Industry Day at the Range:

Lithgow LA105 Tactical Rifle from Australia

Australia’s Lithgow Arms has a new rifle for the PRS game. Called the LA-105 Woomera (named for an Aboriginal spear-throwing device), this is basically a Lithgow Arms LA102 barreled action in a Kinetic Research Group (KRG) chassis similar to the Whiskey-3 and X-Ray chassis systems. Initially, the LA105 Woomera will be released in two calibers, 6.5mm Creedmoor (1:8″ twist) and .308 Win (1:10″ twist). The barrel twist rates should stabilize High-BC match bullets. Thanks to the KRG chassis, the LA105 Woomera takes the popular AICS magazines, rather than the Tikka T3 magazines of its predecessor.

Click to View Full-Page Specifications (easier to read):
Lithgow LA105

Sako Carbon Fiber Stocks and New TRG 42 and 22

Sako has new, ultra-light carbon fiber stocks for the Sako 85 hunting rifle series. There are two carbon offerings, the CarbonLight and Carbon Wolf. The latter has cool push-button adjustments for comb height and length of pull. The Sako 85 Carbon Wolf features a nice ergonomic grip that’s very comfortable in the hand. We thought this was one of the nicest new stocks at the Show. At Industry Day at the Range, Sako also showcased new “AI” versions of the TRG 42 and 22 models. Both versions feature improved folding buttstocks, with adjustable cheekpiece and LOP. TRG tested the .338 Lapua TRG 42 on Industry Day at the Range.

Brownells Retro AR15 and AR10 Rifles

After testing Brownells’ Retro AR-15s at Industry Day at the Range, TFB’s Corey Wardrop checks out the new AR-10A and AR-10B at Brownell’s SHOT Show booth. Brownell’s 7.62x51mm AR10 is faithful to the original, with important upgrades. The BRN10B (“late style”) is also shown. For the keen-eyed, Gene Stoner makes an appearance in the background. CLICK HERE to view Brownell’s entire Retro AR line-up, both AR15 and AR10.

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January 30th, 2018

UPDATE: CMP Has Received 8000 Surplus M1911 Pistols

1911 surplus U.S. Army handgun pistol CMP sales report

Ever since Congress passed the 2018 Defense Authorization Act authorizing the U.S. Army to transfer surplus 1911 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship program, folks have wondered “When are we going to be able to buy these 1911s?” Well that day is growing closer. The CMP HAS received 8,000 pistols and is doing an inventory this week. But before the CMP can start selling the 1911s, it must first inspect/grade/repair and then test-fire the handguns. We’re figuring that sales are now still 4-6 months away. For more updates, visit the CMP 1911 Sale INFO page.

The CMP declared this week: “The CMP has been authorized to receive 8,000 1911 type pistols from the United States Army. The 1911s have been received by the CMP. A complete inventory will be conducted over the course of this week. The pistols will then be securely stored until the Army-approved 1911 building and armory infrastructure is completed. That completion is anticipated to be approximately 60 days from now. Once the 1911 armory is completed, inspection, grading, repair, and ultimately test firing of the pistols will begin.”

1911 surplus U.S. Army handgun pistol CMP sales report

Sales Process Explained
The CMP explained: “The CMP 1911 order packet will be posted 90 days prior to the order acceptance date and opening sales date. No orders will be accepted prior to that date. CMP customer service has been inundated with calls and emails concerning the 1911s and no further information is available at this time. The CMP will keep everyone posted as we move through this process.”

About The Civilian Marksmanship Program: The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States.

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