February 22nd, 2015

CZ 455 Rimfire for Tactical Cross-Training

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” by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. And recently CZ added a Suppressor-Ready version fitted with a 16.5″ barrel and threaded muzzle.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

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).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

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.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

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February 16th, 2015

Your Worst Nightmare: Catastrophic .338 Lapua Magnum Kaboom

We first ran this story one year ago. We’re republishing it today as a reminder to our readers that safety should be their paramount concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info on the ‘Hide.

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Click to zoom image
Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and over four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

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January 21st, 2015

SHOT Day One — A Look Inside

Opening day at SHOT Show is always overwhelming. Tens of thousands of visitors fill the Sands Convention Center. The rows of booths seem endless. Here are a few quick highlights from Day One.

So many booths, so many people. Yes it can boggle the mind…
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

Shilen had barrels galore on display (including AR barrels). Shilen also showcased triggers.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

Handsome F-Class and Benchrest rifles were featured at Kelbly’s booth.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

Labradar. Yes it is real. Yes it is FCC-approved. We’re told the first units should ship by mid-spring.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

Bill Wiseman builds the massive text fixtures used by Remington, Sig Sauer, Lapua, and other big companies. This former USMC armorer is world renowned for the quality of his testing rigs.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

Like father, like daughter. Steve Dahlke runs Criterion Barrels with expert help from his uber-smart daughter Stephanie, a talented young engineer.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

QuickLOAD software has been updated with data for new powders, including Alliant and IMR powders.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

The folks at Timney Triggers found a way to attract booth visitors — chocolate treats with Timney graphics. Yummy.
Shot show las vegas gun industry day 1

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January 6th, 2015

NEW Multi-Gun Binders for Handgun Storage and Transport

handgun binder

handgun binderGun Binders for Safes and More
Here’s a new way to store handguns in your safe — no racks required. These handy Multi-Gun binders hold up to three handguns (two regular size and one compact), along with magazines. Stack the binders vertically or horizontally in your safe. And at around 12” tall, they’ll easily fit on most gun safe shelves. Customizable I.D. sleeves on the binder spines allow you to identify the contents. That way its easy to locate the gun you want quickly. You don’t have to sort through unmarked bags or boxes.

Use Binders for Handgun Transport Also
Binder exteriors are tough, ballistic polyester. Soft interior pockets cushion and protect your pistols. Heavy-duty, lockable zippers run around the binder, securing all the contents. With their lockable zippers, these binders can do double-duty as discrete gun cases for transport to the range.

handgun binder

Important Long-Term Storage Tip
The polyesters used in soft gun cases can retain moisture. We recommend you treat your handguns with an anti-corrosion product such as Eezox or Corrosion-X before putting them in these binders for extended storage. Also we specifically caution against storing handguns in foam-lined plastic boxes, such as the small Doskocil cases. These can be rust magnets.

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January 5th, 2015

Good News — Far Fewer Fatal Gun Accidents Than Ever

More guns, fewer fatal accidents — that’s the “take-away” from a report recently published by the National Shorting Sports Foundation (NSSF). We’re pleased to see that efforts to increase firearms safety are working. Even though the ranks of gun-owners have grown dramatically, the rate of unintentional firearms fatalities (per 100,000 persons) has dropped to an all-time low.

There has been a huge decrease in accidental gun-related fatalities over the last century (measured as a percentage of the population). NSSF reports: “The 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS accidental fatality data shows the lowest number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities per year ever reported (going back to 1903)”. As Dean Weingarten of Gun Watch explains: “The accidental fatal firearm rate has dropped by 94% since we started keeping statistics, even though the total number of firearms per capita has likely at least doubled. You need to look at the rates — accidental firearm fatalities per 100,000 population — to see the stunning reduction in the last century.”

Accidental Firearms deaths NSSF

Only 0.4% of unintentional fatalities now involve firearms. The biggest killer, to our surprise, is poisoning, which accounts for 28.4% of accidental deaths. Motor vehicles, not unexpectedly, rank second at 27.3% (see chart below). Even suffocation, at 4.9%, accounts for 12 times more unintentional deaths than firearms.

Accidental Firearms deaths NSSF

GET NSSF REPORT HERE: DOWNLOAD NSSF Firearms-related Industry Safety Report.

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December 7th, 2014

Leviathan Benchrest Stock from McMillan — the Super 50 BR

We’re reluctant to call this a mere gun-stock. After all it’s more the size of a kayak, and it weighs about as much. This monster, McMillan’s new 50 Cal Benchrest stock, measures a whopping 44 inches long and weighs 18 pounds in heavy configuration. McMillan calls this beast the “Super 50 BR”, but other possible names come to mind: “Dreadnought”, “Leviathan”, “Blue Whale”. This monster benchrest stock will be offered in either 3.5″- or 5″-wide versions for $990 uninletted or $1200 with a full inlet.

Go BIG — Click to See Full-Screen Image:
McMillan fiberglass stock 50 caliber super BR HBR

McMillan previously offered a 50-cal Benchrest stock, but the new Super 50 BR represents a major upgrade over its predecessor. The new stock is stronger, more stable, and it should track better because the tail and forearm now feature precisely machined metal lower bag-riding surfaces. McMillan explains: “The primary feature of this new .50 caliber benchrest stock are machined aluminum shoes on the bottom of the forearm and buttstock that are machined true to each other and to the action.” The forearm shoe (or plate) is available in either a 3.5” width or a 5” width, while the forearm itself is about 20 ¾” long from the front of a McMillan .50 caliber action. This stock has a minimum weight of about 9 lbs. as a light gun stock and a maximum weight of about 18 lbs. as a heavy gun stock. A fully ambidextrous design, the Super 50 BR stock may be used in either right-hand or left-hand configuration (with appropriate inletting).

For comparison purposes, here is McMillan’s previous 50 HBR stock. Constructed of fiberglass with fill, you can see it lacks the signature front and rear machined metal sections that distinguish the Super 50 BR. This earlier version was good, but the Super 50 BR represents a major improvement in stiffness, geometry, and tracking ability.

McMillan fiberglass stock 50 caliber super BR HBR

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome Reader Submissions.
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November 5th, 2014

Magazine Marker Bands — Simple But Effective

Magazine ID band bracelet ringHere’s a simple product that performs a very important function. Magazine Marker Bands from Faxon Firearms help you keep track of your AR- and AK-platform mags. Color-coded and marked with the cartridge type (5.56/.223, 7.62×39, 300 BLK), these bands help ensure you never load the wrong type of ammo into your semi-automatic rifle. Maybe you’re thinking “I’d never make that mistake” but remember Murphy’s law — “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The consequences of shooting the wrong type of ammunition in a rifle can be dire, if not catastrophic.

In addition to the safety benefits, these color bands also help you organize your magazines during transport and storage. If you have a variety of AR uppers in various calibers, it would be sensible to purchase a set of these color-coded bands. Price is $9.99 per set of ten (10) bands of one color (blue 5.56/.223, yellow 7.62×39, or red 300 BLK). Unfortunately, Faxon does not currently offer a “Mix and Match” option. So, if you want all three types, you’ll have to buy three different sets. That’s a bit annoying.

Magazine ID band bracelet ring

We’d like to see a marker band product like this for other types of magazines, including rimfire mags. We’ve seen varminters try to stuff a 17 HMR magazine into a 22LR and vice-versa. We’ve also seen shooters pick up the wrong Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) for their centerfire bolt guns. This can easily happen on a varmint hunt when you have multiple rifles in different calibers (such as .223 Rem and .204 Ruger).

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October 24th, 2014

Buying a First Handgun — The Rational Wheelgun Option

In recent years, the ranks of first-time handgun buyers have grown dramatically. Thousands upon thousands of Americans are purchasing their first-ever pistol. With so many handgun options available these days (from derringers to Desert Eagles) many first-time buyers have trouble making a choice.

A close relative recently contacted this Editor. Wanting to get started in handgunning, he sought my advice on purchasing his first handgun. “Should I get a Glock?”, he asked. “No” was my response. “Well how about an M&P?” he inquired. “Better ergos” I said, “but ‘No’ is still my reply.” “OK, how about a KelTec, they’re cheap…” “Absolutely not”, I replied.

I could tell he was getting annoyed, when he said “OK, Mr. know-it-all, so what handgun should I get?” Calmly, I replied: “Get a .22-caliber rimfire revolver. You will never out-grow it. You will learn sight alignment and trigger control. You can practice with inexpensive ammunition. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. If you get a Smith & Wesson, you will keep the gun for the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever.”

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson model 617 4 inchFirst Handgun Choice — A very good choice for a first handgun is a Smith & Wesson .22 LR revolver, such as the S&W model 617. The model 617 is extremely accurate, with a very crisp trigger (in single-action mode), and good sights.

You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)

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October 18th, 2014

Set Up Your Own 10m Indoor Air Rifle Range

Air Rifle Range BackstopIn another month or two many Eastern and snow-belt shooting ranges halt operations for the winter. If you’re an avid rifleman who enjoys shooting regularly, the dark days of winter can bring withdrawal pains. The closure of outdoor ranges can mean months of forced inactivity… unless you have an all-weather indoor shooting solution.

Some clubs maintain their own indoor air rifle ranges where you can continue to shoot and train throughout the winter. If there are no such facilities nearby, Creedmoor Sports now offers a great solution for those who want to shoot indoors — even in your own basement or garage.

Creedmoor’s patented 10m Air Gun Range provides a target holder and a curtain-type backstop capable of stopping pellets with a muzzle velocity up to 600 fps. The target boxes can be positioned at various heights for prone, kneeling, and standing. Creedmoor says the hardened steel target boxes provide 100% containment for any pellet passing through the target.

The 10M Air Gun Range is available either in a 3-station configuration for $1514.00 (item 3AGR), or as a one-station (single-point) range for $325.00 (item AGR-SINGLE). Creedmoor’s Air Gun Range is a proven, heavy duty product — the only Air Rifle target system ever tested and approved by the U.S. Military. This system is currently being used in more than 600 schools nationwide, as well as the new CMP shooting facility in Alabama. The 3-station range easily dis-assembles for transport and storage, fitting inside a 34″ x 10″ x 8″ carry duffle.

curtain1401

The Portable Air Gun Range comes with a durable curtain/ backstop that sets up quickly and easily. The curtain provides ample stopping power for air pellets. However, this is NOT to be used with high-energy pneumatic hunting rifles (such as the .357 Benjamin Rogue) or rimfire or centerfire rounds. This is for standard airguns only. That could be a $100 Crosman, or a $3600.00 Model 9003 S2 Anschutz:

Air Rifle anschutz

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June 3rd, 2014

Tactical Bible — Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values (5th Ed.)

Looking for an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on “tactical” bolt guns, AR-platform rifles, and defensive-style shotguns? Then check out this 500+ page book by “Blue Book” author S.P. Fjestad. The new 5th Edition of the Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values is the most complete reference book for tactical rifles, handguns, and shotguns. The 5th Edition, published in April 2014, features both new and older tactical guns with detailed model descriptions and current MSRP. All values have been updated to reflect current market conditions.

Tactical Rifles Firearms Values pricing blue book Fjestad

Book Has Glossary and Manufacturers Index
This unique resource includes an updated tactical glossary defining tactical terms with helpful links and illustrations. The book also includes updated directories of firearms, gear, optics, and accessory manufacturers with complete contact information. Almost 200 AR-15 manufacturers and trademarks are covered. Most of the information contained in this 5th Edition of the Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values is not available anywhere else. Author/publisher S.P. Fjestad is an expert on collectible antique and modern firearms. His best selling Blue Book of Gun Values, the industry standard reference source, has over 1 million copies in circulation worldwide.

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April 20th, 2014

Embrace Hope this Easter Sunday

We wish you have the chance to spend this Easter Sunday with your family and loved ones. Perhaps take the time to contemplate the blessings we all have, despite the many challenges in today’s world. In Christian theology, this day marks resurrection and rebirth.

For all of us, regardless of creed, this day carries a message of hope and the possibility of a better world in the future. In an Easter Sunday message from the Vatican some years ago, Pope Benedict XVI declared: “At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of poverty… of growing fears over the future, it is urgent to rediscover grounds for hope.”

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February 4th, 2014

Durable Polymer Target Bottles Survive Hundreds of Hits

Here’s something we haven’t seen before — shatter-proof, reusable bottle-shaped targets that you can blast over and over again (unlike real glass bottles). These would be fun for pistol plinking, and would be pretty challenging for rifle shooters at 300 yards and beyond.

Shatter-Proof, High-density, Recyclable Polymer Target Bottles from NRA Store
Report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.com.

NRA's Reusable, Shatterproof Bottle Targets Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and all that’s left now is a heap of glass bottles ready for target practice. Unfortunately, real glass is only good for one shot, and the shards can be dangerous. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bottle you could shoot repeatedly, WITHOUT any of the mess? Well, the NRA Store has exactly that!

The NRA Reusable, Shatterproof Bottle Targets are just what the name implies — tough and reusable. Whether you’re plinking with your .22 or packing a punch with a .30 caliber rifle, these targets will survive hundreds of direct hits.

Built from high-density, recyclable polymer, each target in the six-pack is rated to withstand around 300 rounds. That’s 1,800 rounds for the whole set! Every pack include six polymer bottles in various bright, vivid colors. Each set of bottles includes nine feet of rope, allowing you to stage these targets in countless different ways.

You can order these polymer target bottles online. Visit the NRAstore.com to pick up a set of NRA
Bottle Targets
. The price is $39.95 for six bottles, carrier pack, and rope.

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