Proper eye protection is ‘must-have’ gear for shooting sports. In addition to providing reliable impact protection, good shooting glasses should be comfortable, fog-free, and not interfere with your preferred hearing protection. Those who require corrective lenses also need to consider the various options available. In a recent episode of their Weekly Gear Review, the 6.5 Guys discuss a variety of shooting glasses they have tried, including examples from DeCot, Oakley, and Wiley-X. Ed and Steve outline the key considerations when choosing eye protection, and then review practical aspects of eyewear design and construction that enhance comfort and functionality in the field.
The 6.5 Guys (Ed and Steve) offer a number of smart tips consider safety eyewear, helping you select the most effective safety glasses at an affordable price. Here are the 6.5 Guys’ KEY Take-aways when choosing shooting glasses, including prescription eyewear:
Key Things To Consider When Choosing Eye Protection
1. Avoid polarized lenses or lenses that reduce light transmission significantly (except for action shooting in very bright conditions with large, close targets).
2. Avoid frame designs that interfere with prone shooting.
3. Avoid designs that easily fog.
4. Avoid frame designs with thicker temples that are uncomfortable to wear underneath hearing protection.
5. Select lenses with an appropriate degree of ballistic protection. CLICK HERE to learn more about eyewear safety standards.
6. When you get your prescription, be sure your ophthalmologist includes the interpupillary distance. This is a critical measurement particularly for heavier prescriptions.
7. If you have a complicated prescription select a vendor who will actually spend time with you to address any concerns.
Safety First — Your Eyes Are Irreplaceable
Accurate shooting begins and ends with the human eye. Your career as a marksman could be cut short if you don’t use good eye protection every time you go to the range and/or handle a firearm.
Every year, 1,000,000 people suffer serious eye injuries. Shooting is hazardous; it is estimated that there are 30,000 firearms-related eye injuries each year (if you include paintball sports.) After paintball, general hunting accidents comprise most firearms-related eye injuries.
Quality eye protection need not be expensive. You can find comfortable, ANSI Z87.1-certified shooting glasses for under $10.00.
If you select shooting glasses carefully, and ensure that your eyewear is safety-certified, inexpensive shooting glasses can perform very well. But you need to avoid cheap, soft-plastic lenses that claim “impact resistance” without satisfying a testing standard.
Here’s a great deal for you tactical guys out there. Now through January 2, 2017, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is offering $125.00 off its popular A5 Stock. And what’s more, you can even get FREE Shipping: “Take $125 off your purchase of the McMillan A5 – Standard Stock in our online retail store and receive free shipping! Use promo code: HOLIDAYSALE16 . Supplies are limited. Offer is only valid for the online retail store. Hurry, this offer ends Monday, January 2, 2017.”
DROP IN READY FOR:
— Right hand Remington 700 short or long action.
— BDL hinged floor plate or Badger M5 Detachable Box Magazine.
— Remington varmint/sendero/tactical/5R barrel.
On McMillan’s A5 Standard Page, you can select your desired variation of the A5 — select color, action length, inletting type and more. NOTE: Offer is only valid for the online retail store. Free shipping applies to orders in the Continental USA.
McMillan A5 Sale tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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A good sling is a vital accessory for a hunting or tactical rifle. Along with enabling over-the-shoulder carry, a good “tactical” sling will also provide support for shooting from hasty or improvised shooting positions. In fact, in many tactical/practical precision matches there will be at least one positional shooting stage or a stage where only a sling may be used for support (that means no bipod, no tripod, no sandbags, and no shooting sticks). The 6.5 Guys, Ed and Steve, recommend tactical slings that allow quick set-up and easy adjustment. The best slings allow shooters to quickly slip into them and then make rapid fine-tuning adjustments to build a stable shooting position.
Six Tactical/Practical Slings are Reviewed in this Video:
In this episode, Ed and Steve provide an overview and compare/contrast different designs and the functionality of six popular slings from these suppliers: Armageddon Gear, Tab Gear, Rifles Only, Hard Target Interdiction, Short Action Precision, and Accuracy International.
To learn more about tactical/practical shooting disciplines, or to access more shooting gear/accessories reviews by Ed and Steve, visit 65guys.com and subscribe to the 6.5 Guys’ YouTube Channel.
Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Keystone Sporting Arms has created a new rimfire rifle that shares the looks and ergonomics of the Accuracy International AICS. Keystone’s new Crickett Precision Rifle (CPR) is a single-shot .22 LR bolt action rifle that uses the barreled action from the Crickett series of rifles. Trigger pull weight is 2.5-3.0 pounds. The AICS Classic-style stock is ambidextrous, but only a right bolt, right port version of the CPR is offered at this time, model KSA2150. Stock length of pull is adjustable (via spacers) from 11.5 to 13.5 inches, and there is an adjustable cheek-piece.
The Crickett Precision Rifle should be available in January 2017 and retail for approximately $310.00. This small .22 LR bolt action should appeal to Accuracy International fans who want a rimfire rifle for low-cost cross-training. This could also be a good first rifle for a young shooter. And if Dad owns a real Accuracy Int’l AICS rifle, the little AI clone would be a fun rimfire rig for son or daughter. That way the youngster(s) could shoot a smaller version of their parent’s rifle. Like father, like son (or daughter)!
Reader Boyd Allen likes this little rifle, which has a length of pull suitable for younger shooters: “I like seeing parents taking their kid(s) to the range, developing the next generation of shooters. For the price of what some guys spend on a set of fancy rings, you can purchase this little rifle and a youngster can enjoy shooting a rimfire that looks like the real-deal tactical rigs used by the ‘Big Boys’. That’s how you capture a kid’s interest.”
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Kelly McMillan with his lastest creation — the “ELR Beast”.
The design team at McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is working on a new heavy-duty stock for the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game. This beefy gunstock is designed to handle the heavy torque and recoil of big-caliber cartridges such as the .408 Cheytac and .50 BMG. The stock is also designed to balance the ultra-long barrels favored by ELR shooters and King of 2 Mile competitors. Shown above is the boss-man himself, Kelly McMillan, with the new ELR stock prototype. Kelly calls this “the ELR Beast”. Note how the cheekpiece is slotted to allow unimpeded movement of the extra-long bolt.
Kelly tells us: “Making headway on the ELR Beast. Using Paul Phillips’s barrel and action we have been able to make some progress in both the design and the cosmetics of the stock. I am pleased with where we are at this time. As is, this set up weighs 46 pounds, I suspect we can get this stock to weigh between 8 and 9 pounds maximum, and maybe 5 pounds minimum.”
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We call them “black rifles”, but that shouldn’t refer to all the carbon and gunk on the inside. AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too much oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier will be less of a burden.
Here is a good video that explains AR-15 Cleaning and Maintenance. In this 30-minute NSSF video, Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp discusses the proper way to clean and maintain the AR-15 carbine. Very knowledgeable, Trapp provides rock-solid advice for AR owners. Along with cleaning producedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.
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Three leading steel target manufacturers are running some very exciting sales promotions this weekend. Customers can save 25% to 35% on quality steel targets from MGM Targets, ShootSteel.com, and X-SteelTargets.com. With a big order, you can also get FREE shipping from each of these target markers. If you want to get steel targets at bargain prices, don’t delay — these promotions expire soon.
MGM Targets — 25% Off Everything
MGM Targets is one of the leading steel target producers on the planet. MGM offers a huge variety of targets, from simple steel gongs to elaborate shooting arrays and spinning targets. Now through Tuesday, November 29th, MGM targets is offering 25% Off its in-stock target inventory (except for cardboard and Sportsman Series targets). In addition, you can get FREE Shipping on orders of $250.00 or more. For orders placed before Midnight on 11/29/2016, MGM guarantees delivery by Christmas. A reactive MGM target could be a great Xmas gift item for a shooter in the family. Promo pricing is good through end of day, November 29, 2016.
The Real Deal of Steel — Why You Need Some Steel Options
We love steel targets for a variety of applications. Even if you prefer shooting paper at long range, setting up a gong at your target distance lets you quickly confirm your zero. Hearing the reassuring “clang” as you hit the steel confirms that you’ll be on paper. If you are a tactical or PRS shooter, you’ll be shooting steel at your matches, so it makes perfect sense to have steel practice targets. Last but not least, reactive steel targets are great for novice shooters as they provide “instant gratification” when one scores a hit.
ShootSteel.com 28% Off Everything
ShootSteel.com has put almost all its entire steel target inventory on sale at 28% Off. Use Code “28OFF” for that deal. In addition, a variety of Blowout Steel Targets will be offered at huge savings — 33.8% Off. Use Code “CyberMonday” for these exceptionally-priced Blowout items. ShootSteel.com also offers FREE Shipping on orders over $199.00. Offers can’t be combined, orders will not be combined. Don’t delay — the sale runs through the end of day Monday, November 28th (CyberMonday).
X-Steel Targets 25% Off Everything
X-Steel Targets is running a great sale this weekend, with nearly its whole line of Steel targets priced at 25% Off. Use Code “Black16″ during checkout to get the 25% Off pricing. In addition, X-Steel Targets has a host of Bargain Bin items at up to 35% Off regular price. Different items will be added to the Bargain Bin each day. NOTE: The Bargain Bin items are in limited supply. Once they are gone, they are gone. X-Steel Targets also offers FREE Shipping on orders over $250.00. This offer expires on 11/28/2016 at 11:59 pm.
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How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…
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Kevin Muramatsu’s black rifle book, the Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15, is a great resource for fans of AR-platform rifles. All the AR options you can imagine are covered: suppressors, premium barrels, adjustable stocks, free-float handguards, ergonomic grips, buffer systems, tactical lights and much more. Those planning an AR rifle build will find application-specific suggestions for 3-Gun, Service Rifle, High Power (Space Gun), Hunting, and Self-Defense use.
Firearms expert Muramatsu offers advice on choosing the right stock/barrel/optics configuration for your particular game. He also discusses the wide variety of options for slings, grips, magazines and other accessories. With over 520 photos, the book includes a large photo gallery of customized ARs, and includes bonus coverage of the FAL and other “tactical” firearms. The Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15 is available from Amazon.com for $21.87, and a Kindle eBook version is offered for $14.99. The book is also sold by Barnes & Noble, and most other major booksellers.
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Gearlocker.nz, a New Zealand outdoor sports website, recently interviewed our friends Ed and Steve, aka the “6.5 Guys”. In this Gearlocker Video Interview, Ed and Steve cover many topics including Precision Rifle Series matches, gear selection, and effective hand-loading techniques. Kerry, the creator of Gearlocker.nz, writes: “The 6.5 Guys are Steve and Ed, two guys who decided to start documenting their progress in long-range practical precision shooting. They have built a dedicated following on YouTube and Facebook. Consistently putting out high-quality content [covering] their equipment choices and use, the 6.5 Guys have created a fantastic resource for anyone involved in shooting.”
Who are the 6.5 Guys? They are Steve (left) and Ed (right), a pair of avid shooters based in the Pacific Northwest. They have released dozens of helpful videos on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.
You can check out the 6.5 Guys’ website at www.65Guys.com. Below is a sample from one of the 6.5 Guys’ best articles — Five Tips on getting started in practical/tactical matches.
We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills [and gear] are necessary to compete in a match?”
TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go
First you need to start by finding a match to attend. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule.
Can’t make it to SHOT Show in January? Well CLICK HERE for a sneak preview of new products that will be on display at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. Shown below are some interesting new products we liked. You’ll find 100+ new products online in the SHOT Show New Product Center. Here are four that caught our attention:
Bighorn Arms Action with Interchangeable Bolt Head
This new action from Bighorn Arms has many interesting features. It boasts a floating, interchangeable bolt head, plus a patent-pending enclosed mechanical ejector. It also offers tool-less bolt disassembly, and a Savage small shank is available for a Remage-type setup. With this versatile system you can swap bolt head and barrel in minutes. That’s great for varminters who heat up barrels quickly. It also lets competitors swap calibers easily. An F-TR shooter could compete with a .308 Win but train with less-expensive .223 Rem. This new action is machined after heat-treating, then precision ground (not turned) for best strength and dimensional accuracy. The bolt handle and body are crafted from one piece of 4130 chromoly steel. NOTE: This action can be ordered as AICS and AW magazine compatible, or AICS-only for a stiffer action. Price: $1325.00.
Matrix Side-Charging AR Upper (Non-Reciprocating)
This patent-pending product from Matrix Arms eliminates the conventional rear charging-handle on ARs. It provides an easy-to-operate charging handle on the left side of the upper. Available in 5.56x45mm and 9mm Luger, the patent-pending Matrix Arms side-charging upper allows the use of a standard 5.56 bolt carrier group without modifications. Note this design does NOT reciprocate (move back and forth) like the charging handle on an AK47. Once you use the handle to chamber the first round, the handle doesn’t move. The Matrix upper also offers a protective sleeve to eliminate dust or debris in harsh conditions. Price: $299.00 (upper receiver only); $599.00 (complete upper with barrel + handguard).
Ritter & Stark Modular Tactical Rifle
There’s a new long-range precision tactical rifle from Ritter & Stark (R&S) of Austria. The new SX-1 Modular Tactical Rifle (MTR) is designed to allow rapid barrel changes for three chamberings: .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. Notably, the scope rail is mounted on the barrel itself, and the bolt locks directly into the barrel. This patented system allows scope, rail, and barrel to be swapped out as one integrated assembly, which should definitely help maintain zero when barrels are exchanged. Price: $5555.00.
TekMat Long Gun Cleaning Kit with Roll-Up Mat
Now this is smart! TekMat’s 28-Piece Universal Rifle/Shotgun Cleaning Kit rolls up in its own fitted cleaning mat. You get brushes, jags, and slotted tips to clean everything from .22 caliber to a .45 caliber, along with 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. Also included is an aluminum tool handle, four brass rods, two cotton brushes, cotton patches, solvent and gun oil. All parts have a labeled location on the mat and elastic bands hold everything in place. The kit easily rolls up and fits inside the included carry bag. TekMat cleaning mats feature a soft, durable, and stain resistant thermoplastic polyester cleaning surface. Price: $59.95.
Are you looking for a .22 LR Rimfire rifle that has the look and feel of a centerfire rig? Then check out the CZ 455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool Suppressor Ready by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. It comes with a short 16.5″ barrel with threaded muzzle for easy installation of a “can” (suppressor or sound moderator).
The original CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as an affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and stock profile of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $940.00 MSRP while the latest suppressor-ready ‘Tacticool’ model lists for $549.00 MSRP. The $391.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).
We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.
Twin-Barrel CZ-455: Shoot .22 LR and 17 HMR with Same Rifle
CZ also offers a versitile twin-caliber CZ-455. The CZ-455 American Combo comes from the factory with two (2) fitted barrels, one in .22 LR and the other in 17 HMR. This effectively gives you two rifles for not much more than the cost of a .22 LR rig. And the 17 HMR cartridge really extends your effective range on varmint hunts.
Switching barrels is easy — simply remove the two action screws to release the barreled action then loosen two set screws that retain the barrel. No need to worry about headspace — the barrels are pre-fit and drop-in. The video below shows how the barrel exchange system works.
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If you want to see the world’s best multi-gun shooters in action, head to Henderson, Nevada this weekend. Henderson’s Pro Gun Club hosts the 2016 SureFire World Multi-Gun Championships, a challenging day + night, high-round-count match with 16 fast and furious stages. Earlier this week fun matches were held at Henderson, but the main event kicks off Friday, October 21st and runs through Sunday, October 23rd. The main match, with 16 grueling stages, is a real test of shooter and equipment. This unique match combines various Multi-Gun and 3-Gun competition shooting styles, with stages influenced by USPSA Nationals stages, speed stages, outlaw stages, large Ironman-style stages, open-terrain stages, and even low-light night stages (as shown below).
With an extensive prize table and some of the top competitors in the world, this will be one of the most important multi-gun matches of the year. For more match information, visit www.Surefirewmg.com. Match photos and results will be posted on the Surefire Multi-Gun Championship Facebook Page.
While this is an impressive photo of Matt Loganbill shooting last year’s night stage, Surefire lights might actually do a better job illuminating the stage.
Here are two stage maps for this year. Note the number and variety of targets! CLICK to ZOOM.
Ammo A-Plenty — 780 Rounds To Be Fired By Each Competitor Over Course of 16 Stages
The 2016 course of fire includes sixteen (16) stages. All three guns will be used on almost all the stages, except for the night stages. There will be plenty of ammo sent down range this year. Each competitor will be shooting roughly 780 rounds of rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammo:
Rifle: 260 rifle rounds, some 50-yard shots and a spinner. In addition there will be 20 rounds of rifle over the berms with two shots past 350 yards. Pistol: 280 pistol rounds, but there will be many paper and steel options. Shotgun: 200 normal shotgun rounds, plus 15-20 slugs.
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There is a new tactical action from Canada with some very interesting features. The innovative U300 Bolt Action from Ultimatum Precision features a Rem 700 footprint and three-lug bolt with 60° bolt lift (like a Barnard). The floating bolt head is quickly removable, so you can swap to a different rim size in a few minutes. Another interesting feature is a special “Battery Safety”. The firing pin can only protrude from the bolt face if the lugs are locked and in battery. This ensures that if the bolt head is not properly installed, the rifle does not fire.
The black Cerakoted U300 action is strong and tough — the 4340 steel is hard-nitrided for surface durability. The action-maker says the hard nitride and Cerakote coatings improve wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, and hardness. The U300 action fits AICS-compatible detachable box magazines.
Designed for Savage-type Barrel Nuts
The Ultimatum U300 system was design to accept a barrel nut so “pre-fit” barrels (configured for the U300 bolt) can be easily installed (or swapped) by the owner with no gunsmithing required. The U300 uses standard 1-1/16″ x 16 Remington 700 tenon threads, so it can fit pre-chambered barrels with Remington-style threading. NOTE: Barrels headspaced properly by a smith can also be mounted conventionally without a nut. The user can choose the system he prefers.
Ultimatum U300 Action features:
· Removable Floating 3-Lug Bolt Head
· 5/16″ Integrated Recoil Lug
· Battery Safety
· 20 MOA Picatinny rail, secured with six #8-40 bolts and two pins
· 4340 Steel with Hard Nitride Finish and Cerakote.
· Compatible with AICS-style magazines
Ultimatum Precision has started shipping the first U300 short actions. Suggested MSRP starts at $998.00 U.S. Dollars. The action-maker plans to release both a long action model and a .338-specific model later this year. Ultimatum Precision is located in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, with a subsidiary in Washington state, USA. For more info, visit www.UltimatumPrecision.com.
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When we first ran this story a couple years ago, it proved immensely popular with our readers. In case you missed it the first time around, check out what can be done with a factory Savage 110 BA at extreme long range — 1760 yards (one mile). Shooter Mark Dalzell did a great job with the video, which features multiple camera views so you can see the shooter and the target at the same time. Enjoy!
This video by Mark Dalzell demonstrates the long-range capabilities of the Savage 110 BA chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. Mark took his “BadAss” rig out to the southwest Nevada desert just north of Jean Dry Lakes. He placed a 2’x3′ target way, way out there — a full mile (1760 yards) away. At that range, flight time to target was 3.75 seconds! Sighting with a Nightforce 5-22x50mm NXS scope, Mark needed a few shots to get on target, but eventually made multiple hits, using 67 MOA of elevation and 2.25 MOA left windage. You can view the hits starting at 1:56 time-mark on the video. (Mark had a second camera set up closer to the target — this displays frame in frame in the video, and if you watch carefully you can see the strikes.) The ammo was HSM 250gr HPBT match with a 3.600″ COAL. The shooting was done at 8:13 in the morning, with clear conditions, very light winds. Temp was 57°, humidity 24.5, Density Altitude 3666. Video soundtrack is La Grange by ZZ Top.
LISTEN TO MARK TALK about One Mile Shooting:
CLICK Play Button to hear Mark Dalzell TALK about his .338 LM Savage 110 BA and how he scored hits at 1760 yards.
Good Shooting Mark. That’s darn good for a factory rifle. You also had the elevation dialed in real close before the firing started! That shows a good knowledge of your ammo’s long-range ballistics. We also noticed how effective that muzzle brake was. Recoil looked about the same as an un-braked .308 Win.
If you thought Mark’s 1760-yard shooting was impressive, Mark has produced another video that shows a session at even greater distances — out to 2300 yards. Watch Mark Dalzell Shoot at 2300 Yards.
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PrecisionRifleBlog.com recently reviewed several video-based rifle training DVD sets. While instructional DVDs will never replace live “hands-on” training, they can be cost-effective ways to sharpen your skills. Watched periodically, these training DVDs can help reinforce the fundamentals.
PRB’s Editor Cal Zant has purchased several rifle training DVDs over the years. His recent Precision Rifle Blog DVD review looks at four different options:
Long Range Made Easy, Two-Volume Set, from Accuracy 1st The Art Of The Precision Rifle, with Todd Hodnett (Magpul Dynamics) Putting Rounds On Target, with Bryan Litz (Applied Ballistics) Rifles Only — Precision Rifle Instructional DVDs, with Jacob Bynum
Cal reports that each of these four titles offers a slightly different approach, with each instructor displaying his own focus, based on his background and expertise.
Accuracy 1st’s Long Range Made Easy Two-Volume Set seemed to win PRB’s Editor’s Choice Award. The tagline on the DVD is: “Go from basic to advanced with the guy that has trained our best military snipers for the past 10 years.” That’s a pretty good description. Todd Hodnett is the primary instructor, and Bryan Litz joins him in several segments.
It’s the best of both worlds. Todd Hodnett’s pragmatic “the-bullet-cannot-lie” approach (field-proven by hundreds of the world’s best snipers), is combined with Bryan Litz’s engineering approach and vast knowledge of external ballistics verified with carefully recorded live-fire experiments. The two styles complement each other well, and provide an extremely well-rounded and comprehensive overview.
The DVD set is split into two volumes, each of which includes two discs. All together there are almost four hours of instruction from the most respected guys in the industry. And they cover a lot of ground — you’d never be able to cover this much in a one- or two-day live class. Plus with the DVD you can easily repeat an important point, and watch the whole program more than once.
Cal paid $76.95 out-of-pocket for the Long Range Made Easy, Vol. 1 & 2 Bundle, so his review wasn’t a paid advertisement. He thought this set provides a ton of value, and could help a lot of shooters. Here are key topics covered in Long Range Made Easy:
■ Advice for Gear Purchases
■ Optimal Gun Setup
■ Technique for Position
■ Simple & Quick Wind Formula
■ Using the Applied Ballistics Kestrel
■ Truing Ballistic Algorithms, Drag Scale Factoring, and Custom Drag Models
■ WEZ Analysis
■ Wind Course
If you’re new to the long range game, or you’ve been doing it for a few years and want to learn directly from some of the most sought-after instructors in the world, then check out Cal’s write-up over at PrecisionRifleBlog.com. CLICK HERE for PRB Review of Training DVDs.
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Bryan Litz, 2016 F-TR National Mid-Range Champion, tried his hand at a new discipline recently — tactical shooting. Bryan competed in the Guardian Match, a PRS-type competition hosted by the Marksmanship Training Center in Lake City, Michigan. Though the course of fire was new to Bryan, he did very well indeed, finishing second overall in his first-ever Tactical Match.
Bryan said PRS-type tactical shooting is “totally different” than F-TR competition: “I think the biggest difference (from F-TR) are the time constraints. The time pressure’s totally different. We had just 25 seconds to do one short-range stage, and other stages are 90 seconds, 120 seconds….”
Bryan added: “You’ve got to know your dope for the first shot — no sighters. F-TR is more deliberate, precision-based. This [tactical game] is about accuracy to be sure, but there’s even athleticism — if you’re not flexible, you’re just straight up not going to be able to aim at some of these targets.”
Bryan, who first achieved great success in sling-shooting disciplines, said that tactical matches, with their multiple “on the clock” stages, offer new challenges: “This was a way different experience than I’m used to, mostly due to time pressure and awkward shooting positions. But I enjoyed the problem- solving element. Fellow shooters were very helpful and generous with advice.” Posting on Facebook, former USAMU coach Emil Praslick offered this sarcastic advice: “You need more Velcro and camouflage. That is what is preventing you from winning.”
During his match Brian shot in multiple locations, with a variety of target types, including steel and IPSC movers. There were some unusual challenges including a “Tree-Stand Hunter” stage, and a stage that required moving “Around, Over, and Under a Vehicle” as you can see…
Before the match, Bryan practiced from a tripod, but he wasn’t sure about the best technique: “Seriously, what kind of groups are considered ‘good’ from a position like this? Does 2 MOA suck?” Here’s the recommended technique (from Gunny N.): “Anchor the sling to the front of the rifle but not the back. Wrap sling around leg or center post of the tripod. Place your off hand on the wrap and twist it to tighten up. That will apply down pressure on the forearm. Your shoulder will apply down pressure on butt stock. You’ll tighten groups 25-50%.”
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Weatherby has a new modular rifle for PRS comps and other tactical disciplines. Called the Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC), this rifle features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle can be campaigned in the PRS “Production Class”, which limits complete rifles to $2000.00 without optics. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.
Weatherby says its Vanguard Modular Chassis tactical rifle is very accurate. To back that claim, Weatherby offers a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee — Weatherby guarantees the rifle will shoot .99” or smaller 3-shot groups at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition.
Near Half-MOA Accuracy with Factory Ammo
It turns out Weatherby’s accuracy claims are conservative. This tactical rifle is closer to a half-MOA rig than a 1-MOA gun. American Rifleman recently tested a .308 Win version of this rifle and recorded really stellar accuracy — close to half-MOA. What’s more, this rifle is not fussy — with a 1:10″-twist barrel it proved very accurate with six different types of factory ammo.
In fact, the rifle delivered near-half-inch 5-shot groups with two types of Hornady factory ammo, and the worst group (of six ammo types) was 0.76″, still very impressive for factory fodder. With good hand-loads this gun could go well under half-MOA (for five shots).
Vanguard Modular Chassis FIVE-SHOT Test Groups with Factory Ammo:
0.53 inches | Hornady 168gr Match BTHP (2718 fps)
0.55 inches | Hornady 155gr Steel Match (2612 fps)
0.57 inches | Black Hills 168gr BTHP (2608 fps)
0.66 inches | Federal Premium 168gr MatchKing BTHP (2659 fps)
0.70 inches | Hornady 155gr American Gunner (2697 fps)
0.76 inches | Black Hills 175gr BTHP (2603 fps)
NOTE: Group sizes are for 5-shot groups shot from bench at 100 yards with Caldwell pedestal rest and rear sandbag. Pentax Lightseeker 6-24x50mm scope. Velocities in FPS from PACT Chronograph.
The accuracy testing was done by gunwriter Mike Detty, who notes: “My single best group was fired with Hornady’s Match 168-gr. BTHP ammunition. Five shots measured just slightly more than a half-inch. Hornady’s 155-gr. Steel Match ammo wasn’t far behind with a group of .55″. Also accounting for the small groups is the VMC’s wonderful trigger. It is a two-stage affair and the first stage has about 3/8” take up with about a pound of pressure until it reaches the second stage where another 1 ¾ lbs. was required to break the shot.”
PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.]
Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.
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For a prone shooter, particularly on dusty, dirty or sandy ground, muzzle blast is a major bummer. Muzzle blast can be very disturbing — not just for the trigger-puller but for persons on either side of the gun as well. Some muzzle brakes send a huge shockwave back towards the shooter, and others send blast towards the ground, kicking dirt and debris into the prone shooter’s face. If there was a way to illustrate those factors — shockwave and debris — that might help shooters select one brake design over another.
Cal Zant at PrecisionRifleBlog.com applied a unique blend of creativity and resourcefulness to try to answer that question for 20+ muzzle brakes. Using high-speed photography and household products, he captured the blast pattern of 20+ different brake designs for easy side-by-side comparison. Can you figure out how Cal managed to show muzzle brake blasts so clearly? His “hi-viz” solution, revealed in the article, is very clever. See the eye-opening results for 20+ brakes, with illustrative photos, by visiting the Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Ground Signature Test Page.
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When doing load development for any rifle, it’s nice to be able to shoot from the bench with a stable front pedestal rest. Unfortunately, rifles with narrow fore-ends and ARs with tubular handguards can be somewhat wobbly on front bags. The solution is to attach a forward bag-rider to your rifle. This provides a nice, wide and flat base that sits securely in a benchrest-style front sandbag. A wide bag-rider helps prevent the gun from rocking, steadies your aim, and improves tracking. If you’re handy with tools, you can craft your own bag-rider from metal, wood, or Delrin, but there’s an easier option. Whidden Gunworks offers a nicely-engineered “bolt-on” front plate that will enhance the bench-rested accuracy of any rifle with an accessory rail on the forearm.
The Whidden Track Plate fits securely in the forearm accessory rail on prone, cross-the-course, and Palma rifles. These guns typically have a narrow and/or rounded fore-end so they rock and wobble when used with a front pedestal rest. The TrackPlate cures that. Once installed it provides a rock-solid, 2.9″-wide platform that mates perfectly with a benchrest-type front sandbag. This gives sling-shooters maximum stability when testing loads or zeroing their sights or scope. Plus you can now shoot F-Class competitively with a prone gun.
The Track Plate is light-weight, has catamaran-style runners to aid tracking and prevent rocking, and can be easily stowed in a range bag. The machined aluminum Track Plate fits BOTH Anschutz-style and American-style recessed forearm rails.
The Track Plate is available from Whidden Gunworks for $40.99 or from Champion’s Choice for $40.00 (item W29P). Plate designer (and National LR Rifle Champion) John Whidden says: “The Plate is great for any rifle with a rail whether it ís smallbore, centerfire, or an air gun. Now you can try F-Class with your favorite prone rifle: the Plate has a perfect low-drag finish for riding a rest or sandbags and is competition legal in all dimensions.”
Front Bag-Rider for AR-15s from EGW
Similar to the Whidden Track Plate is a 3″-wide Delrin bag-rider from Evolution Gun Works (EGW). This was developed expressly to fit the fore-ends of AR15-type rifles with round float tubes. The EGW front bag-rider attaches to a front sling swivel stud anchor. That allows it to mount as easily as a Harris bipod — no rail needed! Just unscrew the swivel stud, put the front bag-rider in place and attach one hex-head machine screw. The front bag-rider is contoured to match the handguard profile so it fits securely with no wobble. Overall, it is a slick system. Front and rear bag-riders can be attached in a couple of minutes. The Delrin blocks slide easily in the bags and make the gun ultra-stable. The gun tracks straight back. The front bag-rider comes in two (2) variants, a $39.99 radiused version (item 32141) that attaches via swivel stud, and a $49.99 version (item 32143) that mounts via a Picatinny-style rail.
EGW AR Front Bag-Rider System
EGW Picatinny Rail-Attached Front Bag-Rider
EGW Rear Bag-Rider for AR Buttstocks
EGW also offers a REAR bag-rider that attaches via the sling swivel anchor. The EGW AR Rear Bag-Rider accessory (item 32142), designed to work with A2-style buttstocks, sells separately for $39.99. This rear bag-rider provides a longer, straight “keel” that works very well in rear sandbags, giving the rifle more stability, and improving the tracking.
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