December 11th, 2017

.45 ACP Quick Guide — Reloading and 1911 Field Stripping

Do you shoot a .45 ACP? We love this short, fat cartridge because it is inherently accurate, it makes big, easy-to-see holes in paper, and because it it works so well in the classic 1911 series of pistols. It is hard to beat a good, tuned model 1911 when it comes to trigger pull/reset and natural pointing ability.

Once you get the hang of it, 1911-type pistols are also easy to field strip for cleaning. Here is a video showing how to disassemble and reassemble your model 1911:

Model 1911 Field Stripping and Reassembly

.45 ACP Ammunition Loading Guide

If you “roll your own” .45 ACP cartridges, there are many good powder choices. Our favorites are Vihtavuori N320, AA No. 5, and Hodgdon TiteGroup, but there are many other good choices. You’ll find these three recommended powders (plus seven others) in this .45 ACP Reloading Guide from Nosler:

Nosler .45 ACP 45 reloading guide 185 grain bullet

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 10th, 2017

December Feature Articles in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter
The latest issue of Shooting USA magazine has a detailed EIGHT-page feature on the Kestrel wind meter. This story covers the development of the Kestrel and explains the advanced technologies now offered with the hand-held Kestrel systems.

The eZine version of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) is available for free online. In the latest December 2017 issue you’ll find two excellent articles of interest to all serious rifle shooters. One covers the development of the Kestrel weather meter, which has evolved to serious levels of sophistication. Now premium Kestrels include built-in ballistic calculators and they can “talk” with mobile devices, sharing command functions and data. The second article covers shooting skills. In the first of a three-part series, Glen Zediker talks about NRA High Power rifle competition. Glen spotlights the skills you must master to move from the beginning level, Marksman, to higher levels.

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterKestrel Technology Today
The December SSUSA issue features the origin of ballistics-enabled Kestrel weather meters. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker covers the history of the Kestrel, and explains how more and more features were packed into the handheld device as it evolved. Today’s Kestrel is so much more than an impeller with wind speed/direction read-outs.

The impressive Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics software is the latest model of a product that revolutionized long-range shooting by combining ballistic computer and weather meter in one portable device. Shooters can select either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients, or to be even more specific they can select bullets from the Applied Ballistics custom curves library. With the Kestrel and its software, shooters can plot very precise trajectories, even to extreme long ranges.

READ Full Kestrel Technology Article in Shooting Sports USA »

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter


Shooting Sports USA Glen Zediker High PowerMarksman to High Master
High Power Rifle competition originally evolved from the U.S. military course of fire. Climbing the classification ranks in NRA High Power Rifle can be daunting — it requires focus, practice and commitment to move up the ladder from Marksman all the way to High Master.

In Glen Zediker’s three-part series, “Climbing the High Power Ladder”, Glen shares his tips for competitors that are looking to improve their skills beyond the intermediate level. The first installment focuses on stepping past Marksman classification to Sharpshooter. Read PART ONE HERE. In the months ahead, look for parts Two and Three in future SSUSA issues. These will cover the next stages in the climb: Expert, Master, High Master.

READ Full High Power Ladder Article in Shooting Sports USA »


Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterDVD Resource for High Power Training
If you’re serious about improving your High Power skill set, we suggest you view a DVD by David Tubb, 11-time National High Power Champion. David’s instructional DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any High Power or position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We can confirm that this video is packed with great information — novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.

David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.

If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition Post comment »
December 10th, 2017

Technoframes Gun & Ammo Cases — Ultimate Gifts for Gun Guys

technoframes gun case gold plexiglas Germany

What do you get for the shooter “who has everything”? How about a custom-crafted, laser-engraved ammo display case. Technoframes produces a series of ultra-sleek Ammo display units, and high-tech pistol racks. The CNC-machined display boxes, fitted to your choice of cartridge, look great. There are many varieties to choose from, including wood, metal, and Plexiglas. We like the fact that many of the boxes are lockable.


Technoframes’ impressive billet-aluminum pistol racks, with magazine-style gun holders (fitted with Neodymium magnets in their bases) put ordinary plastic or wire-framed racks to shame.

Last but not least, Technoframes also makes a plexiglas-sided gun transport box and a double-tiered, two-pistol/six-magazine gun display box with removable inner tray. These units look like they were produced by “M” for James Bond.

Technoframe gun box

Technoframes is the world’s leading producer of high-end CNC-machined ammo and handgun storage solutions. Along with display cases, Technoframes offers Snap Caps and historical replica ammunition. For more info, visit Technoframes.com.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns Post comment »
December 9th, 2017

Remington May Face Bankruptcy Reports Fox News

Remington Fox News Bankruptcy credit rating sales declines

There are tough times ahead for Remington. Fox News reports that: “Privately-held Remington Outdoor is now at risk of declaring bankruptcy after a collapse in sales and profits. Saddled with debt, the historic gun manufacturer is short on avenues for escape.” (LINK). Fox News adds:

“The rifle and shotgun manufacturer’s third-quarter sales plunged 41% as demand for firearms dried up. That led Remington to report adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization that were 78% lower year over year. Over the first nine months of 2017, the company has produced a $60.5 million net loss, compared to a $19.1 million gain in the prior-year period.

And with its credit rating in the trash bin, the future is bleak for ‘America’s oldest gunmaker’. Today, debt on the company’s books has ballooned to almost $1 billion[.]”

Read Full Remington Report on FoxBusiness.com »

Financial analysts report that Remington’s earnings decline will further harm the company’s already poor corporate credit rating. That means Remington must pay even higher interest rates to borrow money, further bleeding cash and decreasing profitability. This, in turn, accelerates the momentum towards filing bankruptcy. Fox explains: “With the firearms and ammunition manufacturer burning through cash as a result of falling sales, S&P expects it will undertake a restructuring within the next year.”

Other large American gun industry companies have seen their stock value drop dramatically this year. Vista Outdoor (Savage, RCBS, CCI etc.) is down 62% since December 9, 2016, while American Outdoor Brands (Smith & Wesson) has dropped 36%.

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

Remington Fox News Bankruptcy credit rating sales declines

The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. In 2016 Remington celebrated 200 years of history. American Rifleman TV explored the history of Remington Arms Company in a TV special which focuses on many of the company’s most noted firearms. Here is a preview:

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 24 Comments »
December 9th, 2017

Springfield Armory Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor M1A Rifles

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor craze goes one step further. Soon you can buy a Springfield M1A chambered for this mid-sized cartridge popularized by PRS shooters. Both bolt-action and AR-platform rifles chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor have been available for quite some time, but this is a new direction for the M1A, which has traditionally been chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO/.308 Winchester round. As chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, Springfield’s M1A should be easier on shooters’ shoulders. The 6.5 Creedmoor M1A has 28% less recoil than the .308 Winchester version.*

The new 6.5 Creedmoor M1A features a 22″ medium-contour, 1:8″-twist stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. The rifle comes with iron sights: .062 post front sight and .0520 aperture rear sight adjustable for ½ MOA windage and 1 MOA elevation. Springfield ships the rifle with a 2-stage trigger tuned to 4.5 – 5 pounds. A Springfield Armory Optics mount is available to fit a magnified optic, but, to be honest, we haven’t been very impressed with that mount.

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

Two stock options are offered: a basic black polymer stock (not recommended — it’s weak and flexy) or a deluxe “precision” stock with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable LOP. The deluxe precision stock, shown above, is much more rigid, and can be configured with front underside Picatinny rail (see video). Rifle Specs HERE.

With the basic polymer stock, the 6.5 Creedmoor weighs 11.4 pounds (unloaded) and has a $1985.00 MSRP. With the adjustable precision stock, the gun is a bit heavier and retails for $2045.00 in either matte black or Flat Dark Earth (FDE).

“Having a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber in the M1A lineup gives long-range shooters more choices with the precision and accuracy they require,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “They can choose the round they prefer…”, i.e. .308 Win or the 6.5 Creedmoor. Excellent factory ammo is available for both chamberings.

M1A Camp Perry 2009 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win Winchester
Photo of 2009 M1A Match at Camp Perry. Shooter is Nick Till, 2007 Service Rifle Champion.

If you are looking for a robust semi-auto rifle that has an interesting legacy (the M1A was derived from the U.S. Military’s M14), this new M1A may suit your tastes. Every year at Camp Perry, Springfield Armory sponsors a very popular M1A match which attracts marksmen from around the country. We can’t say for sure that the 6.5 Creedmoor M1As will be allowed in M1A matches, but we would expect they will, though perhaps competing in a separate division.

Springfield Armory M1A with Basic Polymer Stock
springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor


* Comparative Recoil Energy in ft-lbs based on 12-lb rifle with 142gr 6.5 Creedmoor at 2710 FPS vs. 175gr .308 Win at 2600 FPS. Powder charge weight 41.0 grains for 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 48.0 grains for .308 Win. Calculated with online Recoil Calculator.

Permalink New Product, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
December 9th, 2017

Bolt-Together Security — Zanotti Modular Gun Safe

Zanotti take-down gunsafes
The max weight of any Zanotti safe section is 175 pounds. This allows the safe to be installed more easily in upstairs rooms. It also makes the safe much easier to move to a new dwelling.

Gun Safe Arrives in Section — Bolt Together on Site
We bolt together bridges and pre-fab houses, so why not gunsafes? It fact there is a modular safe that ships in pieces and bolts together on site. Modular design allows a big, full-size safe to be transported much more easily than a conventional safe (that might weigh 1200 pounds or more). The Zanotti modular safe arrives in sections, none weighing more than 175 pounds. It is assembled in place, then can be dis-assembled when you need to move. The Zanotti is also well-suited for a gun-owner who lives in an apartment up many flights of stairs.

One Person Can Move All Sections with a Hand Dolly | Assemble in 30 Minutes with No Special Tools

Zanotti Gun safeZanotti Safes from 350 to 825 Pounds Assembled
Zanotti Armor safes are ideal for gun owners who need to move frequently or who live in a location where it is difficult to position a conventional safe. Zanotti safes arrive in three or four discrete shipping boxes. The safe is assembled by the owner, on site, in six steps. The heaviest component is the door, weighing 110 pounds in the 16-gun ZAI safe, and 175 pounds in the largest 52-gun ZAIII model. Five safe models are offered, ranging from 350 to 825 pounds assembled weight, without interior. Zanotti safes are popular with military personnel and others whose jobs force them to re-locate often. The safe can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools other than a hammer, and all you need is a hand dolly to move any component.

Guns Magazine reports: “The panels are interlocked by 3/8 inch, nickel-plated steel “L” shaped pins that slip into steel tubing sections welded to the interior surfaces of the panels. The slip fit is held to a tolerance of .003 inch, and the safes are completely assembled and hand-fitted at the factory to insure the panels will align properly. The body is made from 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch steel; the door from 3/16 inch steel; the locking bolts are 3/4 inch steel.” This is heavier gauge steel than you’ll find on most conventional gun safes.

Zanotti offers many deluxe interiors including a system of roll-out sliding drawers in the bottom of the safe. We think the sliding drawers are ideal for storing handguns and expensive items such as cameras and binoculars that you want to keep out of plain view. Mark Zanotti, the innovative creator of these modular safes, can also customize any interior to suit the customer’s particular needs.

To learn more about gunsafe features and fire-proofing, read our Gunsafe Buyers’ Guide.

Editor’s Note: For most applications, a conventional safe is probably still the best choice for most gun owners. Bolted down in place, a conventional safe with welded walls will provide the best security and a conventional safe can provide increased fire protection. Zanotti safes do not employ a separate layer of sheet-rock or ceramic fire lining. The Zanotti is a special product for gun-owners with special needs. The units are well-made and Zanotti offers many nice custom interior features that you won’t find even on much more expensive conventional safes.

Permalink New Product Post comment »
December 8th, 2017

Ten Great Gift Books for Precision Shooters

AccurateShooter Christmas Book List recommended shooting books
Rifle image from Dolphinguncompany.co.uk.

Christmas is coming soon. Books have always been popular holiday gifts. If you haven’t completed your holiday shopping, here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For shooting clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet.

Here Are TEN BOOKS Recommended for Serious Shooters:

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker, $27.99 (Softcover — Sale at Midsouth)

Glen Zediker’s latest book, Top-Grade Ammo, is a great resource for all hand-loaders — beginners through advanced. This 314-page guide covers every aspect of the reloading process — component sorting, priming, sizing, bullet seating and more. With 430 photos, Top-Grade Ammo is a richly-illustrated, step-by-step guide to producing high-quality handloads. Unlike many reloading books, Top-Grade Ammo is current and up-to-date, so it covers modern practices and the latest precision reloading tools. While Zediker focuses on producing match-grade ammo for competition, this book will also help novice reloaders on a budget. This book features a special “lay-flat” binding so it’s easy to use as a benchtop reference. To view Chapter List and sample pages visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Modern Advancements in LR Shooting
by Bryan Litz, $27.99 (Kindle), $41.95 (Hardcover)

If you’re a serious long-range shooter, consider adding this book to your library. Relying on extensive ballistics testing, Modern Advancements contains some fascinating research results, including the effects of twist rate on muzzle velocity, BC, and precision. Other sections detail the evolution of modern rifle, bullet, and optics designs. And there is an important comparison test of chronographs. Laser rangefinders and wind measurement devices are explained in detail by contributing author Nick Vitalbo. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the current “state of the art” in today’s shooting world. There is a ton of “hard science” in this book — not just opinions.

Practical Shooter’s Guide
by Marcus Blanchard, $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Softcover)

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Nancy Tompkins Long Range book Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting
by Nancy Tompkins, $45.00, (Hardcover, 2d Edition).

Nancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won five National Long-range Championships. Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Color pictures. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest Long Range Shooting Handbook
by Ryan Cleckner, $2.99 (Kindle), $22.46 (Softcover),

Ryan Cleckner is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in Cleckner’s popular NSSF video series. The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest The Book of Rifle Accuracy
by Tony Boyer, $34.50 (Softcover); $42.50 (Hardcover).

Tony Boyer, the most successful shooter in the history of short-range benchrest competition, shares many of his match-winning tips in this 323-page book. The book covers all aspect of the benchrest discipline: loading, windflags, rest set-up, addressing the rifle, and match strategies. This is a high-quality publication, filled with valuable insights. Every serious benchrest shooter should read Tony’s book. Boyer has dominated registered benchrest in a fashion that will never be duplicated, having amassed 142 U.S. Benchrest Hall of Fame points. The next closest shooter, Allie Euber, has 47 Hall of Fame points. This handsome, full-color book is 323 pages long, with color photos or color illustrations on nearly every page.

mike ratigan book Extreme Rifle Accuracy
by Mike Ratigan, $42.49 (Softcover)

This book should be on the shelf of every short-range benchrest shooter. (Shooters in other disciplines will find the book helpful as well.) Butch Lambert says Mike’s book is “far and away the best Benchrest book written. Very comprehensive, it touches on every aspect of our game.” Mike’s 368-page book is dedicated to getting the most from modern rifle accuracy equipment with an emphasis on shooting 100-200-300 yard group benchrest tournaments. This book covers the most popular hardware plus new equipment offerings are covered, including external mount scopes, actions, triggers, stocks, wind flags, and more. Also covered are rifle handling techniques, note taking, tuning, bullet selection, goals, and match strategies. Mike provides many tips that will help active competitors update their own competitive program.

David Tubb High Power Rifle The Rifle Shooter
by G. David Tubb, $34.95 (Softcover)

This book by 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb focuses on position shooting and High Power disciplines. Section One covers fundamentals: position points, natural point of aim, breathing, triggering mechanics and follow-through, sling selection and use, getting started, getting better, avoiding obstacles. Section Two covers mechanics of offhand, sitting, and prone positions. Section Three covers shooting skills, including wind reading and mental preparation. Section Four covers the technical side of shooting, with extensive disuctions of rifle design, load development, reloading barrel maintenance, and rifle fitting. We consider this book a “must-read” for any sling shooter, and there is plenty of good advice for F-Class shooters too.

Bullseye Midnd Raymond Prior Creedmoor Sports Bullseye Mind
(Mental Toughness for Sport Shooting)
by Dr. Raymond Prior, $14.00 (Softcover).

Having a Bullseye Mind means thinking in ways that create confidence and consistency, even under pressure. A “must-read” for competitive shooters, Bullseye Mind is a mental training book written specifically for the shooting sports. The book is well-organized, with handy highlighted lists and key “talking points”. Each chapter concludes with examples from a world-class shooters such as: Matt Emmons, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist; Vincent Hancock, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Jamie Corkish, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; Petra Zublasing, 2014 World Champion/ISSF Shooter of the Year; and Nicco Campriani, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2010 World Champion. This book has earned rave reviews from competitive shooters who found it really helped their “Mental Game”. One recent purchaser states: “This book is as though you had a coach in your back pocket…”

Cartridges of World 15th Edition Cartridges of the World (15th Edition)
by W. Todd Woddard, $19.99 (Kindle), $33.54 (Softcover)

Cartridges of the World (15th Edition, 2016), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 680-page reference contains illustrations and basic load data for over 1500 cartridges. If you load for a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition includes 50 new cartridges and boasts 1500+ photos. The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. In scope and level of detail, Cartridges of the World is the most complete cartridge reference guide in print. Cartridges of the World now includes a 64-page full-color section with feature articles.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
December 8th, 2017

Affordable Hard Cases for Valuable Rifles and Optics

gun fire plano hard case rifle scopeThis photo was taken from my driveway at 12:23 am on December 5th. The fire was one mile away. In the darkness I packed essentials and valuables, and prepared to leave my house to its fate.

This past week this Editor was near a major fire zone in California, a few hundred yards from the mandatory evacuation line. In preparation for the evacuation order, I packed my station wagon with important items, including some valuable rifles and scopes. When I finished loading, there was over $7000 worth of optics in the car — more than the blue-book value of the vehicle itself. That made me think carefully about gun cases and how one would want to transport high value, optics-equipped rifles both on the road and by air. Here are two gun cases that offer excellent protection at a very good price. Both these Plano cases are strong enough to survive rough airport baggage handlers, while cushioning your firearms in customizable, thick foam interiors. No they are NOT fire-proof, but they’ll help cradle your precious rifles and scopes while you get to a safe zone.

Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $112.74

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $115.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping for Amazon Prime members).

Exterior Dimensions: 54.625″ x 15.5″ x 6″
Interior Dimensions: 51.5″ x 12.63″ x 5.25″
Pluckable Interior Dimensions: 46″ x 10″
Features: Wheels, Secure Draw-Down Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

Plano 43″ All-Weather Tactical Gun Case (43″ Interior), $45.80

Plano rifle all weather tactical case bargain

This is one of the best available medium-sized, hard gun cases under $100.00. But with Amazon’s sale price now just $45.80 (with free Prime shipping), you can get TWO cases for under $100.00. MidwayUSA is also selling this case for $45.80, but shipping is extra. While designed for AR15s and tactical-style rifles, you can also fit longer-barreled rifles inside if you separate the barreled action from the stock (which, by the way, may be a good practice for airline travel.) This case is very tough and strong — offering protection like an SKB case for less than half the cost. The foam in the 43″-long interior is “pluckable” so it can be configured to fit your rifle. This case is a favorite with Amazon buyers, earning a full FIVE STARS with over 1600 buyer reviews. Here is a recent verified review: “Awesome case for the money $$. As good as other manufacturers wanting 4X the money. Highly recommend.” Strong enough for air travel, this case is pretty heavy for regular trips to the range. Consider the lighter-weight, top-opening Plano Air-Glide Case for basic transport of your rifle from home to the range.

Exterior Dimensions: 46″ x 16″ x 5.5″
Interior Dimensions: 43″ x 13″ x 5″
Features: Secure Draw-Down Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

Other Emergency Evacuation Tips
When you must leave your home in an emergency, you need to be able to collect key records and valuables quickly. I wasted time locating important documents in three different rooms. So, I recommend you have a small, totable fire-resistant safe for your most vital items. This could normally be kept inside a larger Gun Safe, but always ready to “grab and go”. Here are some of the items you’ll want to keep in the smaller safe/security box:

Passports and IDs
Birth Certificates
Medical Plan ID Cards
House Insurance Documents
Vehicle Titles/Registrations
Important Prescriptions
Recent Tax Returns
Cash and Travelers’ Checks
Valuable Jewelry/Watches
Family Photos
Flash Drive with Photos

I strongly recommend that you walk through your house and take photos of all the valuable furniture, electronics, and heirlooms. This will be proof for your insurance. Even better, make a video with your smartphone as you walk through the house. Narrate descriptions of your valuable possessions/furniture in each room. For example I have one antique desk that is worth more than my car. You need evidence of ownership and quality. If possible, copy these photos/video to a flash-drive, which is kept in your “getaway” file safe.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 3 Comments »
December 8th, 2017

House of Representatives Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 HR38 H.r. 38 house of representatives Senate
Photo courtesy NRA-ILA.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) in a 231-198 vote on Wednesday, December 6th. The legislation will next proceed to the U.S. Senate. If a joint version of the Bill is approved by both House and Senate, the new legislation would then go to the President for signature.

Story Based on Report by NRA-ILA.org
The National Rifle Association applauded House Members for passing the most far-reaching expansion of self-defense rights in modern American history. “This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”

Next Stop — the U.S. Senate
“This bill ensures that all law-abiding citizens in our great country can protect themselves in the manner they see fit without accidentally running afoul of the law. We now call on the Senate to take up and pass this critical legislation,” Cox concluded.

H.R. 38 — What This Legislation Does and Does Not Do
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 ensures that those Americans who can legally carry a concealed firearm in one state will legally be able to do so in every other state. It eliminates the confusing patchwork of state laws that have ensnared otherwise law-abiding gun owners.

While the bill allows recognition of concealed firearms permits from one state to the next (reciprocity), it does NOT create a federal licensing or registration system or establish national standards for concealed carry. Moreover, H.R. 38 will NOT override current state laws governing the time, place, and manner of carrying concealed weapons.

The bill also makes improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS. This bill incentivizes states and government agencies to update the NICS with legitimate records of prohibited persons.

Summary of H.R. 38 — Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
This bill amends the Federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone; and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in Federally-owned lands that are open to the public.

Permalink Handguns, News Post comment »
December 7th, 2017

Hardware and Rules for PRS Gas Gun Series

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

Ask most gun guys about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and they’ll tell you it’s a discipline for bolt-action “tactical” rifles. Yes that’s true, but PRS now has a “Gas Gun” series as well, and many local PRS-style matches also allow gas guns to compete in their own division.

Capitalizing on the success of the bolt-gun competitions, this year the PRS approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The inaugural 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series competition took place February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. This article explains the basics of the Gas Gun Series and offers some factory hardware options.

PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:

Gas Gun Series Basics — Interview with PRS President
Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman.

SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.

SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5X to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun Series Factory Firearm Options

While you can compete in the Gas Gun Series with an AR15, many Open Division competitors are favoring the larger AR10-platform rifles that can shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges. Both Savage and Smith & Wesson offer AR10-type rifles optimized for this competition.

Smith and Wesson M&P 10, 6.5 Creedmoor

gas gun series PRS

S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, the M&P 10 is a smart gas gun option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty. This rifle features a 2-Stage Match Trigger, Magpul MOE Stock, 15″ M-LOK handguard, and a 20″ barrel with 1:8″-twist 5R Rifling. MSRP is $2035.00.

Savage MSR-10 Long Range, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

gas gun series PRS

The updated Savage MSR-10 Long Range is available now in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Next month (January 2018), Savage will also release a 6mm Creedmoor version. This rifle features a Magpul PRS Gen3 Stock, Blackhawk 2-stage trigger, non-reciprocating side charging handle, and QPQ-treated heavy barrel (1:8″ twist for 6.5 Creedmoor; 1:10″ for .308 Win). MSRP for all chamberings is $2284.00.

New .224 Valkyrie for AR15 Platform
Another option would be the smaller AR15 chambered for the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. This brand new offering from Federal is basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .224 caliber. With the 90gr Sierra MatchKing, it offers ballistics comparable to a 6.5 Creedmoor, with less recoil.

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors developed the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.

Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber (.223/5.56). This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington chamberings only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.

Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors’ use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.

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December 7th, 2017

NRA Competition Classifications — What You Need to Know

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman
2014 NRA High Power Champion Joseph Hendricks

Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master, High Master — how are those classifications set up and how does one move up (or down) from one classification to another? These questions and more are answered by the NRA in a Shooting Sports USA article.

The purpose of the classification system is to allow competitors of the same relative ability to compete on a level playing field. That way relatively new or inexperienced shooters can compete in a class with others of the same skill levels, and be recognized. Likewise, the most skilled or successful shooters compete in the Master and High Master categories. But now and then a Marksman or Sharpshooter can indeed win a match outright or place in the top ten.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Does a Competitor Receive a Classification?
You begin the classification process by competing in a sanctioned, registered tournament. The match sponsor then sends the scores to the NRA within 30 days. If you are an NRA member, your NRA membership number is your classification ID. Non-NRA members are assigned a classification number.

Competitors may check their classification status at any time via the NRA Classification Page.

What are the Standards for Each Classification (Marksman, Sharpshooter etc.)?
Section 19 in each NRA Rule Book covers the classification rules for that discipline. This section includes the course-of-fire used for classification, number of shots required and the percentage for each class. For example, in High Power Rifle competition a minimum of 120 shots is required for the first classification card. The High Power performance-based classification levels are:

Marksman: Below 84 percent
Sharpshooter: 84-88.99 percent
Expert: 89-93.99 percent
Master: 94-96.99 percent
High Master: 97 percent or above

NOTE: After the initial High Power classification, an additional 240 shots will be required to reevaluate a classification — and each time thereafter.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Long Does the Classfication Card Remain Valid?
A classification card remains valid as long as the competitor competes in an NRA-sanctioned tournament at least once every three years (five years if the competitor holds a Master card). The date on all classification cards is the effective date, not an expiration date. You do NOT have to shoot three matches a year to maintain your classification (a common misconception).

Is an NRA Classification Card Required to Enter a Tournament?
NRA has no such rule, generally speaking. However, some tournament sponsors may require this as part of their local regulations. You may use a Temporary Score Record Book for your first few tournaments while awaiting your classification card. These books are free and are provided either by your tournament sponsor or by the NRA Competitive Shooting Division. Note that until you are classified, you must compete in the master class for your first few tournaments.

NOTE: Some high-level matches do require NRA membership. For example the 2016 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships Program stated: “Competitors who do not hold an NRA Official Classification, either in the type of competition being fired, or an Assigned Classification, will not be allowed to enter.”

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December 7th, 2017

The Winchester Model 52 That Shot 3000 Bullseyes in One Day

Samuel Sam Moore Calvin Coolidge 3000 Bullseye NRA Museums

Here’s a rifle that earned a Presidential medal. It has a unique heritage, having been used to shoot 3000 consecutive bulleyes in a single day. The year was 1926 and a high school shooter named Sam Moore hoped to set a record. With his trusty Winchester Model 52 rifle in hand, Moore fired 3,000 rounds downrange, only stopping when his rifle became too hot to hold and daylight was fading fast. But he had fired 3,000 consecutive bullseyes in NRA Junior Rifle competition (target at 50 feet). The event, which set a world record, received national attention.

Samuel Sam Moore Calvin Coolidge 3000 Bullseye NRA Museums Moore was summoned to Washington, DC on April 26, 1926 to meet President Calvin Coolidge. At the White House, President Coolidge presented Moore with a gold medal. The engraving on the back reads: “Presented to L.S. Moore by the President of the United States [on] behalf of the National Rifle Association. Junior Rifle Corps World Record — 3000 — consecutive bullseyes.”

Moore went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931, helped develop the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, served in WWII as a USMC aviator and maintained his interest in shooting until his passing in 1982. Moore’s rifle and engraved gold medal were donated to the National Firearms Museum by his son David.

Photos and story from NRA Museums Facebook Page

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December 6th, 2017

Rimfire Rigs for Tactical Cross-Training — McMillan A5-22

McMillan A5 A5-22 stock rimfire tactical cross-training

We believe in the benefits of rimfire cross-training. With a rimfire rifle that has the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire rig, you can practice more often and more affordably. You can get good rimfire ammo now for under $5.00/box (ten cents per round). Compare that to centerfire factory ammo at $1.40/round or handloads for about $0.70 (bullet, primer, powder, and brass depreciation). We know some successful PRS shooters who shoot five rimfire rounds in practice for every centerfire round.

McMillan A5 A5-22 stock rimfire tactical cross-training

For a tactical cross-trainer, you want a rimfire rig that feels like your centerfire rifle. McMillan now offers a stock that fits the bill. McMillan’s new A5-22 stock shares the same look and feel as McMillan’s popular A5 centerfire stock. The A5-22 is able to accommodate 10/22 type actions including KIDD 10-22 models with rear tang attachments. McMillan says: “The A5-22 is dimensionally the same as our standard A5 with some minor changes in the tang and floor plate areas. It is available in a fixed comb configuration or with an adjustable saddle-type cheek piece.”

While the new McMillan A5-22 stock was designed expressly for the Ruger 10/22 barreled action it can be inletted to fit other rimfire actions: KIDD 10-22, Volquartsen VCL (Sporter and Magnum), and Volquartsen WSM. With a basic inlet, the A5-22 costs $390.00. Uninletted (flat-top) version costs $338.00. Available options include cheekpiece, pad, studs, and rail.

Rimfire Cross-Training Resources

Quality Affordable Ammo for Rimfire Cross-Training

Rimfire Cross Training .22 LR Norma Tac-22 ammunition ammo

Looking for good, affordable .22 LR ammo for your rimfire training rifle? We suggest Norma’s Tac-22. This has shown very good accuracy in both bolt-action and self-loading rimfire rigs. The target photos above come from Champion Shooters Supply, which reports: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.”

Tac-22 ammo is available from many vendors. MidwayUSA currently offers it for $4.49 per 50rd box or $34.99 for 500 rounds. That’s just seven cents per round with the 500-count box — a great deal.

Rimfire Practice Targets

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

Rimfire Tactical Match

The Concept Behind the Rimfire Tactical Match
Many guys who shoot long-range tactical matches practice with .22 LR rifles of similar configuration. Rimfire ammo is way more affordable than centerfire, you do not need a big range facility, and shooting rimfire saves wear and tear on your centerfire rifle. Further, for learning how to read the wind, there really is no better training tool than a .22 LR, even as close as 50 yards. In California, various clubs have been running rimfire tactical matches for more than a decade now. Hit/miss reactive targets are typically placed from 50 to 150 yards. Some matches combine steel plates with bullseye paper targets so accuracy is important. An accurized 10/22 can be competitive in these matches.

Rimfire Tactical Series
A new .22 LR rimfire shooting discipline has been developed, copying the PRS series. The ELEY Practical Rimfire Challenge series matches are positional shooting events in field conditions out to 300 yards. You can use either a bolt-action or semi-auto .22 LR rimfire rifle. Much like PRS (Precision Rifle Series), competitors will shoot from a variety of positions: prone, strong/weak shoulders, standing, sitting, and kneeling. There will be shots from barricades, and movement from position to position during stages.

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December 6th, 2017

New-for-2018 Products and Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide

Industry Magazine December Product issue preview

SHOT Show Product Showcase 2015The free December Shooting Industry eZine includes a preview of the 2018 SHOT Show (pp. 44-46), detailing the week’s events and offerings at the industry’s mega trade show kicking off next month in Las Vegas. This December issue of Shooting Industry magazine also features Part I of the New Product Showcase (pages 52-71). This fully-illustrated 20-page Showcase features scores of new product offerings including handguns, long guns, ammunition, reloading tools, optics, accessories and more. If you want a preview of products to be released in las Vegas, check it out….

The December issue also features the Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide, an industry-wide directory of product sources. This 80-page directory lists manufacturers and distributors for all types of outdoor products, including guns, ammunition, optics, reloading tools, shooting accessories, archery equipment, knives, hunting gear and more.

SHOT Show Product Showcase 2015

Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide Lists Thousands of Companies
There is also a searchable, interactive version of the Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide. This convenient, easy-to-use web database lists 2500+ companies, complete with address, phone number(s), email, and website link. All the major precision shooting suppliers, such as Berger Bullets, Lapua, Hodgdon, Forster, Hornady, McMillan, Nightforce, Redding, Sierra etc. are listed. Access the Buyer’s Guide at http://sibuyersguide.com.

Click Below for Online Buyers’ Guide (2500+ Companies) »
SHOT Show 2016 December Product Showcase

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December 6th, 2017

House of Representatives Considers Carry Reciprocity Legislation

H.R. 38 HR38 concealed carry reciprocity

UPDATE (12/7/17): The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 6th passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) in a 231-198 vote. The legislation will next proceed to the U.S. Senate. If a joint version of the bill is approved by both houses, the law would then go to the President for signature.

“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”

Vote on H.R. 38 in House of Representatives
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) goes up for a vote in Congress today. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 6. The NRA-ILA has pushed for passage of this legislation: “Your fundamental right to keep and bear arms should not end at the state line. This bill would ensure that law-abiding citizens do not lose the ability to protect themselves when they travel from state to state. And it would ensure that anti-gun jurisdictions do not harass travelers for exercising their constitutional rights.”

While the bill allows recognition of concealed firearms permits from one state to the next (reciprocity), it does NOT create a federal licensing or registration system or establish national standards for concealed carry. Moreover, H.R. 38 will NOT override current state laws governing the time, place, and manner of carrying concealed weapons.

Summary of H.R. 38 — Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
This bill amends the Federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone; and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in Federally-owned lands that are open to the public.

Trends in Exercise of Concealed Carry Rights
The NRA-ILA states: “The last 30 years have seen a continual expansion of the right to carry concealed handguns for self-defense within the United States, even as the nationwide violent crime rate has plummeted during the same period. Every U.S. state now has a legal mechanism whereby its residents may carry concealed handguns, and 42 states and the District of Columbia broadly recognize a right of law-abiding citizens to do so.

The remaining eight states, however, treat the right to carry for self-defense as a privilege reserved for the elite, the connected, or those who can “prove” extraordinary circumstances to the licensing officials.”

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December 5th, 2017

Competition Hardware — The Modern F-Open Rifle

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Emil Kovan is one of the top F-Class shooters in the world. He won the 2014 United States F-Open Championship. Earlier this month Emil finished second in F-Open Division at the 2016 Canadian National F-Class Championship in Ontario. Emil actually tied Open-class winner Shiraz Balolia for overall score AND “V”-count, but Emil was awarded second on the tie-breaker.

The Anatomy of a Modern F-Class Open Rifle

Report by Emil Kovan
Kovan Match Rifles LLC, www.matchrifles.com

“What are the best components for an F-Open class rifle, and why?” That’s a question that I get asked all the time and will try to answer in this article. Two months ago, I was contacted by Duane, a gentleman I met at the 2015 F-Class Nationals. He was interested in building a rifle with the new Master Class Low Profile F-Open Stock, created by Carl Bernosky and Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks.

I have known Alex Sitman for many years, and use his stocks exclusively, but was not very familiar with his new Low Profile F-Open stock. After a brief conversation with Alex, I placed an order, and had the stock inletted and bedded at my shop in a month. My first impression was “Wow that’s a long stock” — the forearm is significantly longer than on the original Master Class F-Class prone stock. I bolted the barreled action in, and squeezed the end of the forearm and barrel together, the stock flexed a little bit, but not as much as other designs that I have tested. I think that’s due to having “more meat” in the receiver area. The full stock depth continues farther forward that on some other “low profile” designs. That makes the stock stiffer in the vertical plane, reducing the hinging effect forward of the action. The stock was finished in gloss black per the customer’s request. Interestingly, I found that the multiple layers of paint and clearcoat stiffened the stock up quite a bit.

CLICK IMAGE below for full-screen version
.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Low Center of Gravity Tames Torque
Compared to the original Master Class F-Open stock, the barrel sits about an inch lower. Lower center of gravity equals less torque, and that is very important when shooting heavy bullets in fast twist barrels. Another significant improvement is that the toe of the stock is flat and parallel to the forearm. I added a 3/4″ track rail in the rear, and milled the underside of the fore-end to create two parallel “rails” in the front to help the stock track better.

One of the biggest reasons why I like Master Class stocks, is the pistol grip. I don’t shoot “free recoil” and a comfortable pistol grip is super important to me when selecting a stock. The new Master Class Low Profile stock shares the same grip as the old model. This allows the stock to accommodate either a “hard hold” style or a more free-recoil style of shooting — whatever the rifle’s owner prefers. This design versatility is one reason I recommend Master Class stocks. Shooters may experiment with either shooting style to find what suits them best.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Cartridge Choice — A 40° .284 Win Improved
Duane decided to have the barrel chambered for my 284 KMR IMP (Improved) wildcat. What is .284 KMR IMP and why choose it over the straight .284 Winchester? Improved by definition means “made better”, I took a great cartridge, and modified it to increase capacity, reduce pressure, and increase brass life.

There are many “improved” variants of the original .284 Winchester: 7mm Walker, .284 Shehane, .284 Ackley and so on. My version, the 284 KMR IMP, shares the .010″ blown-out sidewalls of the .284 Shehane, but I have further increased the case capacity by changing the shoulder angle from 35 to 40 degrees. The 284 KMR IMP allows you to almost match magnum cartridge velocity in a standard-bolt-face action. If you want to run 180gr-class 7mm bullets over 2900 FPS, it is cheaper and more convenient to have a barrel chambered in 284 KMR IMP than to spend $650 for a magnum bolt.

Tuning Loads for the .284 Win Improved Cartridges
The 284 KMR IMP seems to have two nodes, one around 2820 fps and other at 2940 fps. My match load clocks at 2935 fps with single-digit ES. Note –I selected that load based on accuracy, NOT raw speed. A lot of novice (or hard-headed) shooters make the mistake to push their cartridges to the max, and disregard more accurate loads at lower velocity.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

The sport of F-Class is rapidly growing, and the equipment used is improving constantly. I remember that only few years ago, an F-Open rifle that could shoot sub-one-inch of vertical at 300 yards was considered competitive. Now, we are pursuing sub-one-inch vertical at 600 yards! It takes a great rifle to approach that goal, but it is also up to the shooter to learn and experiment as much as possible in order to achieve success.

Dies for an Improved .284 Win Cartridge
One of the biggest challenges in campaigning a wildcat cartridge has been obtaining great dies. When searching for custom dies, it almost seems like that the odds are stacked against us. The most common problem is wait-time — custom die orders can take months to be completed. Also, most custom die makers want you to send them two or three cases, each fire-formed three times. I find that funny because if could somehow properly size the cases for three fire-forming cycles, I would not need a sizing die.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Custom-made dies should size the case just right, but sometimes the die’s internal dimensions are slightly off, and this leads to problem number two: dies sizing too much (or even worse) too little. I had a one “custom” die that would not size the bottom of the case enough. This made the extraction of fired cases very difficult. I feel that the best option (if available) for shooters interested in wildcat chambers is to have their gunsmiths make the dies. I offer that die-making service in addition to barrel chambering.

BAT Machine “M” Action
Duane decided to use a BAT M action for this rifle, and I think that he could not have made a better choice. We are blessed with many good match-quality receivers: Barnard, BAT, Borden, Kelbly, Nesika, and Stiller just to mention a few. These are all very well-made and suitable for F-Class. Among BAT Machine Co.actions, I like BAT models M, MB, and 3LL best. I prefer these because because of their size (large bedding footprint) smoothness, timing, options available, and last but not least visual appearance.

Trigger: I recommend and use Jewell triggers. Other good options are: Kelbly, CG Jackson (good 2-Stage) Anschutz (best 2-Stage for Bat and Kelbly actions), Bix’N Andy, and David Tubb.

Barrel: Duane made another good choice here. He decided to go with a Brux 1:8.5″-twist, 4-groove cut-rifled barrel. If you look at the F-Class and Long Range benchrest equipment lists, you will see that cut-rifled barrels are currently dominating. Many records have been shot with both button-rifled, and cut-rifled barrels. I have shot both, and prefer cut-rifled barrels. I am not saying that button-rifled barrels are not capable of shooting as well as cut-rifled barrels, but on average, in my experience, four out of five cut-rifled barrels (from top makers) will shoot well, vs. three out of five buttoned barrels. YMMV, but this is what I’ve observed.

Brux Barrels is not the only company that produces very accurate cut-rifled barrels. We know that Krieger, Bartlein, Satern, and Hawk Hill Custom all make fine cut-rifled barrels as well.

Scope: Duane’s rifle was fitted with a Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope with DDR-2 reticle. This optic is ultra clear, reasonably lightweight (28 oz.), super reliable, and has 1/8 MOA clicks — what you want for long range F-Class competition. In this 15-55X NF model, I like the DDR-2 reticle best, because fine cross hairs (FCH) are hard to see in heavy mirage. The DDR-2 has a heavier horizontal line, with a center dot. March scopes are also very popular and very well-made.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Thanks for reading, and keep ‘em in the middle…

Emil Kovan F-Class competition bio photoEmil Kovan Competition History:

– 2014 F-Class Open National Champion

– 2016 F-Class Open Canadian Championship, Silver Medal (tied for first on score)

– 2015 F-Class Open National Championship, Silver Medal

– F-Class Open National Championship Teams, 2015, 2014, 2013, Shooting Team Member

– Over 15 wins in Regional and State Championships in Palma, F-TR, F-Open

– 2013 U.S. National Team Member

– 2017 U.S. National Development Team Member

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
December 5th, 2017

Ballistics Linguistics: Bullet “Caliber of Ogive” Defined

Sierra Caliber of Ogive Bullet Sierra BC geometry

This article, which originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog, provides a new terminology that helps describe the geometry of bullets. Once you understand the meaning of “Caliber(s) of Ogive”, you can quickly evaluate potential bullet performance by comparing listed Caliber of Ogive numeric values.

by Mark Walker, Sierra Bullets New Product Development Manager
During one of our recent product releases, we listed the “caliber of ogive” of the bullet in the product description. While some understood what that number meant, it appears that some are not aware of what the number is and why it is important. In a nutshell, the “caliber of ogive” number will tell you how sleek the front end of the bullet is. The higher the number is, the sleeker the bullet. It also makes it easy to compare the ogives of different caliber bullets. If you want to know if a certain .308 caliber bullet is sleeker than a 7mm bullet, simply compare their “caliber of ogive” numbers.

So exactly how do you figure “caliber of ogive”? If you look at the drawing of the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 (at top), you will see that the actual radius of the ogive is 2.240. If you take that 2.240 ogive radius and divide by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you would get 7.27 “calibers of ogive” (2.240 ÷ .308 = 7.27). (See top photo).

In a nutshell, the “caliber of ogive” number will tell you how sleek the front end of the bullet is. The higher the number is, the sleeker the bullet.

Next let’s look at the print (below) of our 6.5mm 142gr HPBT #1742 bullet for comparison. The actual radius of the ogive is 2.756. Like with the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275, if you divide 2.756 by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you get 10.44 “calibers of ogive”.

Sierra Caliber of Ogive Bullet Sierra BC geometry

As most people know, it has been determined through testing that the 6.5mm 142gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher ballistic coefficient than the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275. However by simply comparing the “caliber of ogive” number of each bullet you can easily see that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 is significantly sleeker than the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 even without firing a shot.

Some people would say why not just compare the actual ogive radius dimensions instead of using the “caliber of ogive” figure. If we were comparing only bullets of the exact same diameter, then that would be a reasonable thought process. However, that idea falls apart when you start trying to compare the ogives of bullets of different diameters. As you can see with the two bullets presented above, if we compare the actual ogive radius dimensions of both bullets the difference is not much at all.

However, once again, testing has shown that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher BC. The only way that this significant increase shows up, other than when we fire the bullets in testing, is by comparing the “caliber of ogive” measurement from both bullets.

Hopefully this will help explain what we mean when we talk about “caliber of ogive” and why it’s a handy number to use when comparing bullets. This information will help you to make an informed decision the next time you are in the market to buy bullets.

Sierra Bullets Caliber of Ogive Bullet BC SMK

Story tip from Grant Ubl. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 4th, 2017

Bargain Finder 115: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Brownells — Breech Lock Reloading Kit $99.99 with Code M3P

Lee Challenger Brownells Reloading Kit

Here’s a great holiday gift for a friend or family member getting started in hand-loading. The Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit includes Press (with quick change die system), Powder Measure, Scale, Priming Tool, Shell Holders, Reloading Tray, and Chamfer Tool. And you get all this for just $99.99 with discount code! Brownells’ current discounted Sale Price is $109.99, but you get $10.00 off with CODE M3P. That lowers your net cost to $99.99. Get the entire kit for under one hundred bucks. That’s a steal — this same kit sells for around $125.00 on Amazon.

2. PMA Tool — 10% Off Orders Plus Free Shipping

PMA Tool Micro Die Harrell's Reloading Tools 10% off free shipping

PMA Tool carries some of the very best products for precision reloaders. PMA offers Micro-Die Adjusters, superb case trimming tools, cleaning gear, as well as great products from Kelbly’s, Harrell’s Precision, and Lenzi. Right now you can save on a vast array of products PMA sells. The folks at PMA report: “The Christmas and New Year Holidays are here. Every once in a while it’s nice to give yourself a little something special. As a special thank you to you, our favorite customers, we are offering 10% off your entire order during the Holiday Season. Simply use the code YFVVB46UEWU upon checkout at pmatool.com to receive your 10% discount. We at PMA Tool are also offering FREE SHIPPING within the USA through the end of 2017.” Editor’s Note: PMA Tool carries many great products. If you are a serious benchrest or F-Class shooter, you should look carefully at PMA’s full product line. The Lenzi bags are superb for example, and PMA’s unique action cleaning tool is a perfect “stocking stuffer”.

3. CDNN Sports — Winchester XPR Rifle $279.99 after $100 Rebate

Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle Vias Camo CDNN Cabelas Rebate

Looking for a good hunting rifle at a great price? Check out this promotion for the Winchester XPR. This is a fine-handling rig with a smooth bolt and many chambering options. Right now at CDNN Sports the basic gray-stocked Winchester XPR is on sale for $379.99. But here’s the kicker, Winchester is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate. That drops your net cost to just $279.99. That’s an insanely good deal. You can also get the XPR in Vias Camo for $299.99 after rebate. Get Rebate Form HERE.

4. Browning — Big Rebates on Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols

Browning shotgun Christmas December Buckmark $100 Rebate

Browning is running a big promotion this month, with significant rebates on many popular Browning firearms. Save $100 on over/under and auto-loading shotguns, save $75 on Pump Shotguns, Centerfire Rifles, Rimfire Rifles and Rimfire Pistols. You can also save $50 on centerfire pistols. If you’ve been eyeing a Browning Buckmark .22LR Pistol, now is a great time. CLICK HERE for rebate details.

Browning shotgun Christmas December Buckmark $100 Rebate

5. Amazon — Steiner AZ830, 8×30 Binoculars, under $135

Steiner Military Marine 8x30 8x20mm AZ830 discount binoculars

Need a good set of rugged, affordable binoculars for hunting or varmint work? Then check out the Steiner AZ830 at $131.21. These are essentially identical to the respected Steiner 8×30 Military Marine binoculars which sell for around $230.00. The only differences are the color and the packaging. The AZ830s are a black “house brand” created for Amazon by Steiner. Other than the color (black vs. OD Green) everything is the same. Same bright glass, same auto focus system, some tough rubber armor, same rock solid Steiner Heritage Warranty. With these Steiner binoculars, once you adjust the eyepieces, everything from 20 yards to infinity is in focus. We highly recommend these AZ830 binoculars — the quick-focus system works really well in the field.

Specifications: 8X magnification, 30mm objective lenses, 20mm eye relief, 18 oz. weight, 6.8×2.4×4.6 inches. Auto-focusing design has sharp focus from 20 yards to infinity.

UPDATE: Sorry guys… Amazon’s price on the AZ830 has bounced between $116 and $136 in the last 48 hours. We really can’t keep up on the hourly price shifts. You can use CamelCamelCamel.com to track AZ830 price shifts in the days ahead.

6. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $34.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $34.99, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

7. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

8. MidwayUSA — 25% Off all 5.11 Gear and Apparel

MidwayUSA 5.11 gear clothing 25% Off sale

When you see the 5.11 logo, you may think “tactical trousers”. But 5.11 makes many other quality products including boots, backpacks, gun cases, range bags, camo gear, holsters, and even smartphone cases. Right now MidwayUSA has discounted its entire inventory of 5.11 products. You can save 25% on apparel, packs, gun cases and more.

9. MidwayUSA — Blaze Orange Hunting Vest, $5.00

MidwayUSA blaze orange hunting hunter vest pockets clearance sale

If you hunt, you need one of these. In fact, in some States, Hi-Viz orange gear is mandatory. Right now MidwayUSA is running a super clearance sale on the MidwayUSA Deluxe Blaze Orange Vest. You can now get this vest for just five bucks ($5.00). Available in L, XL, and XXL, this bright vest features two Cargo Pockets with snaps plus two Handwarmer Pockets. It is made with a quality YKK zipper and “Quiet Double Layer” fabric.

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December 4th, 2017

New Mountaineer Actions from Borden with Integral Lugs

Borden integral lug Mountaineer PRS action OVD bolt

Borden Accuracy produces outstanding actions, which are used by many top competitors in F-Class, LR Benchrest, and other disciplines. Now Borden is releasing some new “Mountaineer” actions which feature integral recoil lugs. The brand-new, multi-flat Mountaineer PRS has slab sides, while the Mountaineer RR is a cylindrical (round) action. Both actions are on sale now through December 22, 2017.

Borden Mountaineer PRS Action
Borden integral lug Mountaineer PRS action OVD boltBorden Accuracy is taking orders now for the new Mountaineer PRS action with integral lug. Intro pricing available now through 12/22/17 at 3:00 pm EST.

The introductory Mountaineer PRS actions will include OVD treatment on bolt and fluted aluminum shroud at no extra charge. These will be available in Short Action and Long action sizes. Medium length is also available but that requires Borden bottom metal. During the sale, the Mountaineer PRS with integral lug and multi-faceted shape and optional PVD-treated bolt and shroud will be $1345.00 UPS ground-shipped to FFL.

Borden Mountaineer RR Actions
Borden Accuracy is taking orders taking orders for the Mountaineer RR receivers with integral lug. We have an introductory sale on these now through 12/22/2017 at 3:00 pm EST. During the sale, the Mountaineer RR with integral lug and optional PVD-treated bolt and shroud will be $1295.00 shipped UPS ground to FFL. Expected delivery time will be 12 to 16 weeks. The Mountaineer RR with Integral LUG is pictured below.

Borden integral lug Mountaineer PRS action OVD bolt

For more information, visit BordenRifles.com, call 570-965-2505, or email info [at] bordenrifles.com.

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December 3rd, 2017

Howa How-To: Basics of Howa Rifles and Barrel-Swapping Tips

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com built this tactical rifle (top image) with a Howa 1500 action, Shilen barrel, and MDT chassis. Below is a factory Howa 1500 Multi-Cam rifle.

Many of our readers are thinking of purchasing a Howa rifle or barreled action. These feature smooth-running actions with a good two-stage HACT trigger. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of RifleShooter.com shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger, Shilen, or other quality brand.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by RifleShooter.com
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. AccurateShooter.com’s editor mentioned there’s been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

Howa Rifles — General Background
Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot. I’m running a Tract Optics Toric on it, these are solid little rifle scopes that offer great performance for the money.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. Rifleshooter.com says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Actions — Three Options
Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there area number of differences.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at Rifleshooter.com demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Remington Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

To learn more about Howa rifles and actions, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit Brownells.com.

To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit MDTTAC.com

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