Take one look at Lyman’s new Bleacher Blocks, and you’ll say “That’s clever, why didn’t anyone think of that before?” These tiered (stepped) cartridge loading trays save space on your bench AND make it easier to select a particular cartridge from a full block. Each row is a different height for convenience.
Here’s what Lyman says about its innovative cartridge block design: “Just as bleachers allow people to see over those in front of them, our new loading blocks allow for easier handling of cases in and out of the loading block. Our stepped design allows you to easily grip a single case without jamming your fingers down into a group of cases like in traditional loading blocks, and allows for a smaller ‘footprint’ on your bench.”
We see many applications for this stepped cartridge holder. Use the different levels for sorting brass. Or, migrate the brass from top to bottom as you proceed through case prep stages. If you are assembling loads with different bullets for load testing, you could arrange the loaded rounds on different levels for easy recognition. (For example put V-Max loaded rounds on the top tier, and Blitz-King loaded rounds on the bottom tier). Or slice a Bleacher Block in the middle to make yourself twin 25-round stepped Cartridge Caddies.
Made of durable polymer, Bleacher Blocks are molded in three sizes to fit a variety of rifle cases. The smallest size (with 0.388″-diameter holes) fits .223 Rem-size case heads. The middle size (with 0.485″-diameter holes) fits .308 Win-size case heads. The biggest Bleacher Block has 0.565″-diameter recesses to accommodate belted magnum-size cases. All three cartridge block sizes hold fifty (50) rounds. Suggested retail price is $7.95 per block and Lyman expects to start shipping later this month.
Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Chart created with Ammoguide’s Visual Comparison Tool. Visit Ammoguide.com to learn more.
One of our forum members was looking for a very accurate, mid-sized 6.5mm cartridge for target working and coyote hunting. There are many great options including the 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, and Remington .260 (a 6.5-08). If you are considering the 6.5×47 you should read our 6.5×57 Cartridge Guide authored by the 6.5 Guys. This and other 6.5mm cartridges are covered in this introduction to 6.5 mm cartridges prepared by Eben Brown, President of Eabco.com.
Guide to 6.5mm Cartridges
by Eben Brown, EABCO.com, (E. Arthur Brown Co. Inc.)
The current popularity of 6.5mm cartridges in the USA has been a long time in coming. I won’t go into my opinions on why it took so long to catch on. The important thing is that it finally HAS caught on and we’re now so fortunate to have a wide selection of 6.5mm cartridges to choose from!
6.5mm Grendel – Developed by Alexander Arms for the AR15 and military M4 family of rifles. The Grendel fits the dimensional and functional requirements of these rifles while delivering better lethality and downrange performance. There are now similar cartridges from other rifle companies. We chamber for the Les Baer “264 LBC-AR”. Designed for velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 123gr bullets, it shoots the 140-grainers at about 2000 fps (for comparison purposes).
6.5mm BRM – Developed by E. Arthur Brown Company to give “Big Game Performance to Small Framed Rifles” — namely our Model 97D Rifle, TC Contender, and TC Encore. Velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 140gr bullets puts it just under the original 6.5×55 Swede performance.
6.5mm x 47 Lapua – Developed by Lapua specifically for international 300m shooting competitions (with some interest in long-range benchrest as well). Case capacity, body taper, shoulder angle, and small rifle primer are all features requested by top international shooters. You can expect velocities of 2500-2600+ with 140 gr bullets.
6.5mm Creedmoor – Developed by Hornady and Creedmoor Sports, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is designed for efficiency and function. Its shape reaches high velocities while maintaining standard .308 Winchester pressures and its overall length fits well with .308 Win length magazines. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700+ fps with 140gr bullets.
.260 Remington – Developed by Remington to compete with the 6.5mmx55 Swedish Mauser that was (finally) gaining popularity in 1996. By necking down the 7mm-08 Remington to 6.5mm (.264 cal), the .260 Remington was created. It fit the same short-action [receivers] that fit .308 Win, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, etc. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700 fps with 140gr bullets in the 260 .Remington.
[Editor’s Note: In the .260 Rem, try the Lapua 120gr Scenar-Ls and/or Berger 130gr VLDs for great accuracy and impressive speeds well over 2900 fps.]
6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser – This was the cartridge that started the 6.5mm craze in the USA. It is famous for having mild recoil, deadly lethality on even the biggest game animals, and superb accuracy potential. Original ballistics were in the 2500 fps range with 140gr bullets. Nowadays handloaders get 2600-2700+ fps.
[Editor’s Note: Tor from Scandinavia offers this bit of 6.5x55mm history: “Contrary to common belief, the 6.5×55 was not developed by Mauser, but was constructed by a joint Norwegian and Swedish military commission in 1891 and introduced as the standard military cartridge in both countries in 1894. Sweden chose to use the cartridge in a Mauser-based rifle, while Norway used the cartridge in the Krag rifles. This led to two different cartridges the 6.5×55 Krag and 6.5×55 Mauser — the only real difference being safe operating pressure.”]
6.5-284 Norma — This comes from necking the .284 Winchester down to .264 caliber. Norma standardized it for commercial ammo sales. The 6.5mm-284 was very popular for F-Class competition and High Power at 1,000 yards. However, many F-Class competitors have switched to the straight .284 Win for improved barrel life. 6.5-284 velocities run 3000-3100+ fps with 140gr bullets.
.264 Winchester Magnum – Developed by Winchester back in 1959, the .264 Win Mag never really caught on and may have delayed the ultimate acceptance of 6.5mm cartridges by US shooters (in my opinion). It missed the whole point and original advantage of 6.5 mm cartridges.
The Original 6.5mm Advantage
The special needs of long-range competition have skewed things a little. However the original advantages of 6.5mm cartridges — how deadly the 6.5mms are on game animals, how little recoil they produce, and how easy they are to shoot well — still hold true today.
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At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Natchez — 8.5-25x50mm Leupold VX-3 for $649.99
This is a heck of a deal. This Editor owns this very same Leupold 8.5-25x50mm VX-3 scope and I paid about a grand for it many years ago. The 25X max magnification is plenty for varmint hunting and most target work. If you don’t need 25X magnification, Natchez also sells the Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40mm scope for just $489.90. Both these optics are protected by Leupold’s famed lifetime warranty.
2. CDNN Sports — Remington 597 for $149.99
Looking for a “first rifle” for a family member?. Consider this semi=auto Remington 597. It currently retails for just $149.99. That’s right, for under $150 you can get a reliable, self-feeding rimfire rifle that will provide years of fun for a young shooter. The 597 has a stock that’s sized right for both youngsters and adults. Receivers are dovetailed for standard rimfire rings and are also drilled and tapped to allow mounting of Weaver-style bases.
3. Amazon.com — RCBS ChargeMaster for $289.99
Here’s a very good deal on the popular RCBS ChargeMaster combo scale/powder dispenser. This unit sells elsewhere for up to $389.00. You may want to act quickly as Amazon pricing changes frequently. We also saw this item on sale at MidwayUSA recently.
4. GunBuyer.com — Federal .22 LR Ammo, $24.99 for 325 Rds
Here you go — name-brand rimfire ammo for just 7.7 cents per round. Can’t complain about that price. According to Ammoseek.com, this is the least expensive name-brand .22 LR rimfire ammo you can buy. This Federal AutoMatch .22 LR rimfire ammo features a 40gr Lead RN projectile. It feeds well in semi-auto rifles as well as bolt guns.
Need bullets for an upcoming spring varmint safari? Midsouth has slashed prices on its Varmint Nightmare X-Treme (VNX) hollow-point bullets, in both .204 and .224 calibers. The .204-cal 34gr VNXs and .224-cal 34gr VNXs are just $45.52 for 500 bullets. (That works out to just $9.10 per hundred!) If you prefer a heavier .22-cal bullet, Midsouth sells 50gr VNX soft-points for $48.82/500, and 55gr VNX hollow-points for $51.50/500.
6. Grafs.com — Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press on SALE
If you’ve been patiently waiting to acquire a Forster Co-Ax® reloading press, now’s the time to strike. Grafs.com has Co-Ax presses on sale this week at $289.99. That includes shipping charges (with one flat $7.95 handling charge per order).
The Kahr CT9 is still one of the very best 9mm carry pistols around. We tried one at SHOT Show and spoke to Kahr’s President, Justin Moon. This gun has a better, smoother trigger pull than most other carry pistols. The grip is comfortable, and the exterior is very smooth and clean, with nothing to snag. If you need a 9mm pistol, this is a good gun at a great price.
8. Harbor Freight — 11-Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet, $159.99
This 27″-wide Roller Tool Cabinet makes a nice addition to any loading room or workspace. The 11 drawers will hold tools, reamers, dies, and spare parts. Larger items (such as tumbling media), can be placed on the lower shelf. Now through the end of February, this rolling cabinet is on SALE for just $159.99 with Super Coupon #74449393. Print out the coupon or ORDER ONLINE with Coupon pricing.
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Here are the schedules for some of the major USA rifle matches to be held in 2016. These items, as well as dozens of other regional/sectionals matches, are listed in Shooting Sports USA’s 2016 Competition Calendar. That 2016 Competition Calendar also provides basic information on 15 competitive shooting organizations, including USA Shooting, IDPA, IPSC, NBRSA, FCSA (.50 Cal), and more.
2016 NATIONAL RIFLE AND PISTOL CHAMPIONSHIPS — Camp Perry, Ohio
July 8-9: CMP Rimfire Sporter Clinic and Match
July 11-16: Pistol Matches
July 25-30: CMP High Power Rifle and Games Event
July 31-August 4: NRA High Power Rifle and Mid-Range Championship
August 5-9: NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championship
August 10-14: CMP Events (TBA)
NOTE: Online registration for National Championship will be available March 2016.
2016 NRA F-CLASS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS — Lodi, Wisconsin
September 23: MR Warm-Up Practice
September 24-27: MR Individual and Team Championships
September 27: LR Warm-Up Practice (PM)
September 28-October 1: LR Individual and Team Championships
Program and registration will be available by mid-April 2016. For information now, contact: Karin Liebetrau, 10890 Cornell Dr., Viola, WI 54664; Telephone: 608-345-7989; email: ekl @ mwt.net.
2016 NATIONAL SMALLBORE RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIP — Bristol, Indiana
July 10-14: Conventional Prone Championship
July 15-16: Conventional 3-Position Championship
July 17-18: Metric Position Smallbore Rifle Championship
The 2016 National Smallbore Rifle Championships (Metric Position and Conventional Prone/Position) will be held July 10-18, 2016. The Chief Wa-Ke’-De Range has 100 covered firing points. The Smallbore Championship Program should be viewable online starting March 1, 2016 and online registration will commence April 1, 2016. For more information contact HQ Moody, hmoody @ nrahq.org or Lois Wenzell at lwenzell @ nrahq.org.
2016 NATIONAL SILHOUETTE CHAMPIONSHIPS and BLACK POWDER TARGET RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIP — Raton, New Mexico
July 3-5: Smallbore
July 7-9: High Power
July 12-15: Cowboy Rifle
July 19-20: Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (Scope)
July 22-23: Black Powder Cartridge Rifle
July 25-30: Black Powder Target Rifle
Program and entry cards will be available April 1, 2016. Contact: NRA Silhouette Dept., 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 267-1474 or silhouette @ nrahq.org.
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This Wednesday (February 3, 2016), Shooting USA TV features the 2015 GAP Grind Pro-Am held at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, TN. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format with professional and amateur competitors vying for individual glory and team honors.
Here is Shooting USA Host John Scoutten (in Blue/White shirt)
Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).
GAP Grind Hardware Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, snapped these images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles at the 2014 GAP Grind. See more firearms images on Shelley’s Facebook Page.
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We hear there’s a bit of snow on the ground on the East Coast. Don’t fret — the white stuff doesn’t need to impede your shooting sports fun — if you take some inspiration from a pair of young Canadian lasses. These clever Canucks have managed to combine the quintessential Canadian sport, Ice Hockey, with skeet/trap shooting. This is just the thing to do with a good friend on a sunny winter’s day with snow still on the ground.
Watch Video — See Girl Shoot Clay Flung with Hockey Stick
Here’s how it works. A launcher is set up with a sheet of cardboard on a snow ramp. A clay pigeon is placed at the base of the ramp. Then the “flinger”, armed with a regulation hockey stick, sends the clay pigeon up the snow ramp and into the air. (Follow-through is important.) Then it’s just like regular skeet shooting. The shooter brings scattergun to bear and tries to hit the clay on the fly. With a good hit, it disintegrates in a black puff.
Kudos to Canada’s Danielle Bergen and her sharp-shooting friend for producing a great video. Overhead views were filmed with a camera-equipped flying drone.
Skockey in the Winter Olympics?
We wonder how this combo-sport was invented (large quantities of Molson Beer may have been involved we suppose). This new hybrid sport doesn’t have an official name yet. We suggest “Skockey” (“skeet” + “hockey”). Whatever you call it, we like this new sport. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Skockey in the Winter Olympics some day.
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Want to upgrade your AR’s trigger? Shooting USA and Brownells have created a video tutorial that shows how to remove a factory AR trigger and replace it with an upgrade. This video illustrates the procedures to follow and the tools you’ll need. Step-by-step, the video explains how to swap the factory trigger group for a self-contained ‘box style’ drop-in trigger module or a traditional (multi-part) trigger system with enhanced performance.
Many AR-15s come from the factory with a military-type trigger that has a long, gritty, heavy pull. Replacing that trigger is one of the best ways to improve your AR’s performance. You’ll be rewarded with a smoother pull, shorter take-up, and reduced pull weight. You will also have a choice between a single-stage and a dual-stage trigger.
The box-style, self-contained drop-in systems from companies like AR Gold, CMC, Timney, and Wilson Combat are the easiest to install. John Scoutten explains: “These self-contained systems … are very simple to install. In fact, all you do is remove the factory parts, drop in the whole system, replace your pins, and you’re done.” Conventional two-piece trigger groups are offered by DPMS, Geissele, JP Enterprises, and Rock River.
The key points of the video tutorial are also explained on the Shooting USA website with text and still pictures. Before you start your trigger project, review Shooting USA’s AR Trigger Upgrade Page. You’ll find helpful close-up photos on that page.
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Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. Recently the Museum displayed a trio of snakes — three very special Colt Pythons. From bottom to top, these three prized wheelguns are: Colt Python serial number 2, number 3, and number 5. And yes, that is the original box for Python #2 (at bottom). The museum says such low serial number guns were typically produced for a company executive or key members of the gun design team.
Loved for their beautiful finish, nice balance, and great trigger, Colt Pythons have proven to be excellent investments. Since the Colt Python was first introduced in 1955, Python prices have gone through the roof. A pristine, LNIB early-era Colt Python can now command $4000.00 or more. The Museum estimates the price of Pythons has risen 14,300% since 1955.
You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseums.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum (at BassPro) in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.
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Here’s a bit of Britain in blue — a 270-7mm WSM F-Classer belonging to Elwood in the UK.
One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your gun to the list.
1. Dasher LowBoy. CigarCop just completed a lovely 6mm Dasher in a yellow/gray laminated PR&T LowBoy stock. CigarCop did the stock inletting and finish work himself. Very nice work indeed.
2. Varmint Special. Here’s a handsome varminter with a beautifully-figured walnut stock. This is one of three rifles Forum Member Dan Hall posted this month.
3. 6mm Trifecta. DixiePPC served up not one but THREE pretty rifles, all with pearlescent paint jobs. Details of the three rigs are provided below. Click the image to see a full-screen version.
Top: 6 PPC for 10.5-lb NBRSA LV Class, 1:14″, .262″-necked SS Hart Barrel chambered and fitted by Doug Pascal, Pearl Black Kelbly Stock, RB/RP Blueprint & Trued 40X Short Action (Glued) with a Doug Pascal Bolt Release. This gun is a 1994 build by Doug Pascal of Craftsmith.
Middle: 6 PPC 13.5lb NBRSA HV Class, 1:14″, .262″-necked SS straight-countour Hart Barrel, Pearl White Kelbly Stock/Aluminum Butt Plate, RB/RP Stolle Panda Action (Glued). Kelbly Double Screw Rings. 1994 Vintage Leupold/Premier BR 36X. This gun is a 1992-vintage Kelbly build for NBRSA Unlimited Class.
Bottom: 6mmBR 17-lb IBS Light Gun Class, 28″, 1:8″, .268″-necked SS Bartlein 5R Barrel tipped with a SS Harrell Spiral Muzzle Brake, Pearl Rust Orange 90s-vintage Lee Six Stock with home made Aluminum Butt Plate, RB/RP Blueprinted and Trued 1995-Vintage 700 Short Action.
4. Simple Elegance. This is Chopper Duke’s handsome 6mm PPC. It features a Remington action in a classic older-style benchrest stock. We like the flawless pale-green finish. Subtle but nice.
5. (Nearly) Identical Duo. Here are a matching pair of customs from Forum member NHM16. He tells us: “I sold my two Savages I was using for F-Open, and had these two built in their place. One reason I upgraded was so I could have two (nearly) identical rifles. The nice thing about these rifles is that most everything interchanges, including the barrels.”
Here Are Specs for Both Guns:
— Panda F-Class action (LRBP, no ejector, 20 MOA dovetail scope base, one action is polished, the other unpolished so I could easily tell them apart).
— PR&T LowBoy stocks with adjustable buttplates, with vents on the side and the bottom.
— Both have Bartlein 32″ 7mm, 1:8″-twist, 5R barrels, chambered in 7mm Walker (basically a .284 Shehane with the addition of a 40 degree shoulder).
— Rifles were built by Richard King (“Kings X” in Forum) in Arlington, Texas, though I did the clear coating myself.
6. First Custom. Here is Forum member Barrys’s very first custom rifle, and it’s a nice one. It features a BAT Machine VR action, Krieger #17 heavy varmint contour, chambered for the 6mmBR Norma with 0.272″ neck. The stock is a Shehane Varmint Tracker with a Walnut-color laminated Obeche stock. On top is a Sightron SIII 8-32x56mm scope in BAT Machine rings.
7. Basic Black. David P. offered this F-TR rig: “A buddy of mine just finished up new rifle for NRA F-TR competition. This rifle is built on a Kelbly action, chambered in .308 Win with a custom, tight-neck match chamber. It’s sitting in a PR&T stock, with a Broughton 32″, 1:11″-twist 5C barrel. The rifle was chambered and built by Brian at Plainfield Precision in Shelby, NC.
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Craters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.
Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.
This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $80.00, or $88.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.
If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. (After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” > “Bolt Work”, and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. Select “View Details”.)
Firing Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel
Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin.
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems.
Price: $80.00 + $8.00 return shipping Total Price: $88.00
Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.
Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.
How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, or UPS (Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays). Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address.
Due to the high volume of work, turn around is 5 to 8 weeks on bushing a bolt. Three or more bolts will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.
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Readers often ask for a good, authoritative resource on doping the wind and reading mirage. Many Forum members recommended M.Sgt. Jim Owens’ Wind-Reading Guide. With 22 sets of wind charts, this is offered for $14.95 as a printed book or $12.95 in CD format. Owens’ Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques clearly explains how to gauge wind speeds and angles. Owens, a well-known High Power coach and creator of Jarheadtop.com, offers a simple system for ascertaining wind value based on speed and angle. The CD also explains how to read mirage — a vital skill for long-range shooters. In many situations, reading the mirage may be just as important as watching the wind flags. Owens’ $12.95 CD provides wind-reading strategies that can be applied by coaches as well as individual shooters.
As a separate product, Owens offers a Reading the Wind DVD for $29.95. This is different than the $12.95 CD. It is more like an interactive class.
Played straight through, the DVD offers about 75 minutes of instruction. M.Sgt. Owens says “You will learn more in an hour and fifteen minutes than the host learned in fifteen years in the Marine Corps shooting program. This is a wind class you can attend again and again. [It provides] a simple system for judging the speed, direction and value of the wind.” The DVD also covers mirage reading, wind strategies, bullet BC and more.
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In some parts of the country, hunters are now required to use lead-free bullets. Expect restrictions on lead-based ammo to become more widespread in the years to come. Recognizing this, Lapua has upgraded its line of Naturalis bullets. Fitted with a distinctive green polymer tip, Naturalis bullets employ lead-free 99% copper construction. A hollow cavity provides reliable, uniform expansion, and the solid copper bullet body offers excellent knock-down power and weight retention.
The latest lead-free Naturalis bullets boast less drag and enhanced expansion. These third-generation Naturalis projectiles have been streamlined for better aerodynamics. In addition, Lapua has lowered the velocity threshold for consistent expansion by roughly 100 fps. This significantly broadens the velocity range in which the bullets will reliably expand.
Naturalis bullets feature extremely high weight retention, as demonstrated in the video above. (Note: the video has graphic sequences showing game flesh). The mushrooming of the bullet starts immediately on impact. The expansion process is started by the green polymer “valve” at the tip of the bullet, leading the bullet to expand symmetrically and without fragmentation. Watch the video for a demonstration of Naturalis bullet performance in ballistic media and game animals.
Naturalis lead-free bullets are available as components for handloaders, or loaded into Lapua factory-made cartridges. The Naturalis bullet line ranges in weight from 90 grains (6mm) up to 250 grains (9.3 mm). Bullets are offered in most popular calibers: 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, .308 (7.62mm), 8mm, .338, and 9.3 mm. Naturalis bullets and factory ammo are available from major retailers such as Grafs.com.
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Guess what American gun-maker has been building guns for two centuries? That’s right, Remington Arms Company celebrates its 200th year in business in 2016. The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. Remington is America’s oldest gun maker and is still the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles. CLICK HERE for 200 facts about the 200-year-old company.
American Life in 1816
What was life like in America in 1816, two hundred years ago? This infographic offers some interesting facts. For example, average life expectancy was only 39 years, and a farm laborer earned just $12-$15 per month. Still want to go back to the “good old days”?
Click to Zoom Infographic:
Since 2007, Remington Arms has been part of the Remington Outdoors Group, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Remington recently opened a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama which produces Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) and Remington 1911 R1 pistols. Interestingly, Remington also operates America’s oldest factory that still makes its original product (guns). Remington has also developed or adopted more cartridges than any other gun-maker or ammunition manufacturer in the world. Here are some interesting facts about the Remington 700 rifle. Did you know that over 5,000,000 Rem 700s have been produced, in 56 different chamberings? Laid end to end, the five million Rem 700s could span the Atlantic ocean.
Remington 700 Fun Facts
200th Anniversary Remington 700 (Engraved, High-Grade $2399.00)
To celebrate its 200th Anniversary, Remington is releasing a special Bicentennial Series of “limited edition” rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Here is the 200th Year Anniversary Limited Edition Model 700, which features a high-grade stock with Fleur de Lis checkering, American-style engraving with gold inlay, and grip medallion. Remington will make no more than 2016 of these rifles, priced at $2399.00.
Any blade-aholics out there? Here’s a handy product we recommend for anyone with a sizeable collection of quality knives. The Sack-Ups Knife Protector roll-up pouch is made from silicone-treated synthetic fabric. The pouch protects blades and tools while helping to prevent rust. (Since leather retains moisture, you don’t want to leave blades in leather sheaths.) While Sack-Ups roll pouches were designed for knives, they can be used to hold other shooting items, such as bolts, loading dies, or expensive tools. The synthetic fabric wicks away moisture. (Nonetheless, we recommend that steel items receive a light coat of a good corrosion-inhibiting oil before long-term storage.)
TIP: You Can Use Sack-Ups to Store Loading Dies, Spare Gun Parts, and Steel Tools
The Berger Southwest Nationals event is less than two weeks away… so get your bags packed and ammo loaded boys and girls. The SW Nationals run February 9-14, 2016, kicking off on Tuesday the 9th with a shooting clinic.
Photo by Phil Kelley at Ben Avery Range.
This prestigious rifle competition, hosted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, outside Phoenix, Arizona, draws top F-Class and sling shooters from around the country. The Berger SW Nationals event is the premier long-range match of the year in the Western United States. Over 360 shooters have already registered for the SWN. NOTE: there are a few spots left. To register, go to the Berger SWN Entry Page.
To help you prepare for the Berger SW Nationals, here are some competition tips from Bryan Litz. Bryan knows the Ben Avery range well. He won the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships there last year. 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.
Competition TIP FOUR. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.
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F-Class shooting (both F-Open and F-TR) is one of the fastest-growing forms of rifle competition. Each season many new shooters hit the line and attendance at the big matches increases every year. But if you’re new to the game, you may ask “Where can I shoot an F-Class match?”. Well, Forum member Rod V. (aka Nodak7mm) has compiled a useful list of 112 ranges throughout the USA where F-Class matches are held. With venues from Alabama to Wyoming — you should find an F-Class program not too far from home. The list, in Excel spreadsheet format, provides range locations and weblinks (where available). Click the link below to download the F-Class Range List (.xls file):
Note — this list, now in its 19th Revision, is augmented regularly, but info is still being gathered. No claim is made that the list is comprehensive. But it still covers the the lion’s share of the important F-Class venues nationwide. If you know of a range that should be added to the list, please post the location on our F-Class Range List Forum thread. Rod will update the list as new range info is received. Rod writes: “Range information is wanted and welcomed. I would like your help on collecting specific info on Clubs/Ranges where known F-Class matches are held.” Here’s a partial sample from Rod’s list:
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One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are our recommendations — six titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.
Good Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.
Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.
If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Ben Stoeger’s new-for-2013 Practical Pistol Book. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion and a member of the USA Team at the 2011 World Pistol Championships. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s new Shooting book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.
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Here’s your chance to win $50,000 and become a TV star. The Outdoor Channel’s new television show, American Marksman, showcases a series of shooting competitions leading to a big-money National Championship. American Marksman gives amateur shooters the chance to win cash, gear and fame. The top shooter will win $50,000 and earn the title of “American Marksman”.
The competition begins with local qualifiers starting in March 2016 at locations across the country. There will be three stages: local qualifying matches, regional championships, and a National Championship. The entire process will be filmed for later broadcast on the Outdoor Channel beginning in December 2016. The nine regional championships will be revealed as locations are finalized.
“If you ever wanted to enter a shooting competition and thought it was too intimidating or too expensive – then this is your chance to show the world what you’ve got,” said producer Michael Bane, Outdoor Channel. “For only $20 at the local level, you get the chance to try to qualify with other amateurs in a relaxed, safe environment and the best of you will meet in a … National Championship with TV cameras rolling. The person who earns the title of ‘American Marksman’ walks away with $50,000.”
How to Participate: To get involved in the American Marksman competition, you can Register Now at AmericanMarksman.com. You need to have your own .22 LR gun and 50 rounds of ammo for the local qualifier (you can rent a gun from the local range if needed). American Marksman will provide firearms and ammo for the Regional and National championships, should you advance. NOTE: American Marksman is an amateur-only event series with strict eligibility guidelines.
Where to Compete: The local qualifying rounds begin in March, 2016 at nearly 200 ranges in 47 states. CLICK HERE for a list of Participating Ranges, which can be sorted by state.
“The local qualifying level is designed not only to appeal to more seasoned shooters, but also to attract new people into the shooting sports by offering a low-cost and less intimidating way to get involved in competition,” explained show Producer Michael Bane.
Competition Categories: American Marksman offers four categories of competition: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Junior (12-16) and Military/Law Enforcement. Pick the category that fits you. At the National Championship, the best shooters from each of the categories will be pitted against each other to compete for $50K and the “American Marksman” title.
Course of Fire: Each round will feature .22 LR rimfire courses of fire. As the competitors progress, they will be challenged with different calibers, targets and courses of fire. Advancing shooters will go to one of nine regional championships, which begin in June and proceed through August with the National Championship taking place in early 2017.
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OK guys, you probably want to keep this page confidential. Your spouse probably doesn’t want to be reminded about all the times you ignored the “Honey Do” list and headed off to the range instead. And she certainly doesn’t want to know how much you spend every year on your gun hobby.
Answer these two polls to see how dedicated (or should we say “obsessed”) a gun guy you really are. Once you vote you can see how your shooting (and spending) habits compare to other readers. Full results display after you select an answer and click the “Vote” button.
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The rifle cartridge money clip is a real product from ReleaseMeCreations.com. You can, of course, make your own cartridge money clip with a Dremel tool for free.
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One of our Forum readers complained that his 6mm jags fit very tight with patches, making it difficult to apply much solvent. The problem with a tight-fitting patch is that the solvent gets squeezed off in the first few inches. You can switch to a smaller jag, or a bore mop, but there is an even better way to get an ample amount of solvent in your bore — just spray it in with a “wash bottle”. This is an inexpensive plastic bottle with an L-shaped dispensing neck, tapered at the end. You can either just plug the breech and spray from the muzzle end (where most copper fouling is), or, alternately, put the wash bottle neck directly in the chamber and spray forward. When spraying from the chamber forward, you may need to use a rubber O-Ring to seal off the action… depending on the bore size and the particular wash bottle’s neck spout diameter.
Bottle Solvent Application Great for Smaller Bores
Using wet patches or wet brushes is an inefficient way to really saturate the tight bores of 17s, 20s, and 22s. Even with a cotton bore mop, most of the solvent will be squeezed out before it gets to the end of the bore, where most copper fouling occurs. For these smaller 17, 20, and 22-caliber bores, you can just take the “wash bottle” and stick the tapered nozzle right in the chamber. The tapered end will press fit in the throat, sealing off the chamber. With the barrel slightly nose-down, give the bottle a couple good squirts until the solvent mists out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, this will put more solvent in the bore than a half-dozen wet patches.
A solvent-filled wash bottle is also handy for wetting your brushes. It’s much easier to saturate a bore brush (without spilling solvent on your stock), by using the wash bottle. You can get wash bottles from USPlastic.com, Amazon.com, or lab supply stores.
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