July 22nd, 2015

New Bald Eagle Acrylic Loading Blocks from Bullets.com

Bullets.com Acrylic Loading Blocks Pistol Rifle

High-quality loading blocks precisely sized for your cartridge types make the reloading process easier. Bullets.com now offers acrylic loading blocks that set new standards for this kind of product. Precision CNC-machined from solid acrylic, these beautiful loading blocks were designed by a member of the U.S. Shooting Team. Dimensions are ultra-precise and these blocks even have a primer recess in each hole so the cases sit perfectly. You can order blocks for a variety of rifle cartridge types: .223 Rem Family, .308 Win Family, .308 Tall (.30-06), RSAUM and WSM Magnum, Magnum Tall, .338 LM Family, .50 BMG. In addition, there are blocks for most popular pistol cartridges: .380/9mm, .38 SPL, .38 Super, .40 SW, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP. These blocks are affordable, starting at just $10.95.

Click photo to view full-screen image:
Bullets.com Acrylic Loading Blocks Pistol Rifle

Tech Insight — Acrylic Machining Process
The folks at Bullets.com tell us that machining acrylic is not as easy as it seems. Making precision blocks is a multi-stage process involving special equipment. Solid slabs are first machined flat so they are parallel. Then several custom cutters are employed to craft precisely-arranged holes with nice chamfers on each hole as well as the outside edge. Every hole bottom has a secondary primer pocket milled in so the primers do not contact the bottoms. The see-through blocks are finished to a nice sheen.

Permalink News 11 Comments »
July 22nd, 2015

How to Find Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

Permalink Tech Tip 2 Comments »
July 21st, 2015

New Ruger Precision Rifle Is a Game-Changer

Ruger Precision Rifle PRS tactical 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win

Ruger has introduced one of the most important factory rifles in years — the new Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). The new RPR features the three-lug (70° bolt throw) action from the Ruger American Rifle mounted in a modular chassis system with many innovative features, such as cam-lock buttstock adjustments, and a “universal” mag well. Even with a hammer-forged barrel, the gun is very accurate. Everybody who has shot this gun so far has been impressed. This is a smart design, well executed. We predict Ruger will sell a ton of these guns. The new RPR is logical step up for AR owners seeking better long-range accuracy (and easier maintenance).

CLICK HERE for Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) Spec Sheet | CLICK HERE for RPR Users’ Manual

Click photo for full-screen view:
Ruger Precision Rifle PRS tactical 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win

The RPR is currently offered in three chamberings with three different barrel lengths: .308 Win (20″ bbl, 1:10″-twist, 9.7 lbs); 6.5 Creedmoor (24″ bbl, 1:8″ twist, 10.6 lbs); and .243 Win (26″ bbl, 1:7.7″-twist, 11.0 lbs). All barrels are hammer-forged with 5R rifling, and are threaded 5/8″-24 at muzzle for brakes and suppressors. MSRP for all three models is $1399, so expect street price to be under $1200. You could pay that much for some tactical chassis systems by themselves, and then you’d still have to purchase action, barrel, and trigger!

So how does it shoot? Ruger designed the RPR to deliver sub-MOA 5-shot groups. At the media preview, using Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammo, test rifles shot well under 1 MOA, and in many cases closer to half-MOA. Frank Galli of Snipers’ Hide had a few three-shot groups in the twos. We would like to test this rifle with .308 Win hand-loads and a custom barrel — now THAT would be interesting…

Video Shows Features of Ruger Precision Rifle Receiver:

The lower receiver is CNC-machined from a 7075-T6 aluminum forging, Type III hard-anodized. The mag well front is contoured for bracing against shooting supports. The rifle even comes with a built-in +20 MOA tapered Picatinny scope rail. The trigger, unique to this gun, adjusts from 2.25 to 5 lbs. using a special tool that stows in the bolt shroud. The trigger has a Savage-type safety insert.

Ruger Precision Rifle PRS tactical 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win

The buttstock is fully adjustable with quick-adjust cams. But if you prefer a different style of buttstock, that’s do-able — the left-folding stock hinge is attached to an AR-style buffer tube, so the MPR will accept any AR-style stock. Likewise, you can attach any AR-compatible forearm to the RPR.

Ruger Precision Rifle PRS tactical 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win

Seven Patents Pending for RPR
Notably, Ruger has seven patents pending for this new rifle — that shows the design innovation packed into the RPR. Ruger is pursuing patents on the universal magazine latch system, dual barrel nut system, trigger system, dual-action stock cam levers, bolt body design and other features.

The RPR boasts a Universal Mag Well that works with front-latch AND side-latch mags.
Ruger Precision Rifle Frank Galli Snipers Hide Review AR15 PRS

Forum member Steven Blair notes the barrel attachment system is different than an AR: “It doesn’t incorporate a barrel extension, the bolt locks in the receiver. It does have a shoulder larger than the main barrel diameter that would require turning the full barrel length.”

Ruger Precision Rifle Frank Galli Snipers Hide Review AR15 PRS

Sniper’s Hide Boss Tests Ruger Precision Rifle
Frank Galli, head honcho of Snipers’ Hide, recently tested the 6.5 Creedmoor version of the RPR. Galli says the rifle offers excellent accuracy and an impressive feature set. Galli believes the RPR offers great value compared to a custom-built tactical rifle that could cost $3500 or more. Read Galli’s detailed review on the Sniper’s Hide website.

Click image to read Snipers’ Hide RPR Review…
Ruger Precision Rifle Frank Galli Snipers Hide Review AR15 PRS

Sniper’s Hide Boss Frank Galli reports:

This is a full-featured, precision rifle with an entry-level price tag. The feature list of this rifle is huge. I could probably write 1800 words and still not explain everything packed into this rifle. But suffice to say, it’s customizable. If you wanted to change the stock, use any AR15-capable stock, Magpul PRS, no problem. Want to change the fore-end, same thing, you can add any AR15 fore-end…. The only feature you cannot change is the trigger.

At distance, it’s easy to say, this rifle performs, in the video we [show] a 1/2 MOA Group at 850 yards on steel. The muzzle velocity with factory 140gr AMAX is 2810 fps out of this rifle.

This is the entry-level precision rifle that can put you in the mix of any precision rifle competition held anywhere in the US for under $2500 with scope. What is your excuse now?

Permalink News 12 Comments »
July 21st, 2015

6.5×47 Lapua — Accuracy to Spare for Tactical Applications

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

We recently published our comprehensive 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide, researched by the 6.5 Guys. In case you’ve been wondering what kind of accuracy is possible for a tactical-type rifle chambered for this mid-sized cartridge, check out this tack-driver built by gunsmith Ryan Pierce. That’s a mighty impressive 0.206″ five-shot group fired with Berger 140gr Hybrids using a Brux cut-rifled barrel. The powder was Hodgdon H4350, a very good choice for this cartridge.

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Ryan reports: “Here is a 6.5×47 I built for a customer. It features a trued Rem 700 action, Brux 1:8″ Rem varmint-contour barrel, Mcmillan thumbhole stock, Surgeon bottom metal, and 3-port muzzle brake. The customer’s preferred load is the same that has worked in the last couple dozen 6.5x47s I’ve built: 41.1-41.3 grains of H4350 with 140 hybrids .050″ off the lands. This should run about 2810-2815 fps from a 26″ barrel. The 3.128″ refers to length of a loaded round from the base to ogive including the Hornady ogive comparator tool.”

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 5 Comments »
July 21st, 2015

Big Unclaimed Special Order Sale Now at Midsouth

unclaimed special items sale midsouth shooters supply scope dies discount

Here’s a special savings opportunity from Midsouth Shooters Supply — save up to 60% on unclaimed special order items. From time to time, Midsouth’s customers request special order items but never claim them. To clear space for other inventory, Midsouth is running a blow-out sale on these items. If you’re looking for a super deal on dies, rings, and other gear, check out this Unclaimed Special Order Item Sale. Here are just a few examples of items at 30% off normal pricing:

AMMO: 6.5x55mm 100 Grain A-Max 20 Rounds (Closeout $28.90)
SCOPE: Leupold VX-2 4-12x50mm CDS Duplex Reticle Matte Finish (Closeout $374.50)
DIES: Forster 223 WSSM Full Length Die & Ultra Micrometer Seater Set (Closeout $67.92)
SCOPE MOUNT: Integrated 1″ Ring Mount Weatherby/Howa Short Action (Closeout $36.96)
KNIFE: Gerber Powerframe Serrated Knife (Closeout $14.91)

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics Post comment »
July 20th, 2015

Rattle Battle at Camp Perry

CMP Camp Perry Rattle Battle NTIT Infantry Trophy Team Match Video

The CMP’s National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) has been a staple at the National Matches since 1922. Also known as the “Rattle Battle,” the event is one of the most unique in the competitive rifling world — scoring is based on how many hits six-person teams can score on a bank of targets during a series of 50-second firing periods at four yardages. Teams begin the NTIT match with 384 rounds of ammunition, which they fire upon eight silhouette targets from 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards during successive 50-second periods. After each rapid-fire string, team members move forward (to the next-closest distance) carrying all equipment from firing line to firing line. The match emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire and good communication among teammates. The Rattle Battle is always an exciting competition for spectators to watch. View NTIT match results on the CMP website.

Watch CMP ‘Rattle Battle’ Video — 50 Seconds of Rapid Fire…


The video shows the California Grizzlies, one of the top junior squads. The lead photo shows the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Team in action during the NTIT match. See more in USAR “Rattle Battle” Video.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
July 20th, 2015

Custom 22-250 Varmint Rifle by Chad Dixon (LongRifles Inc.)

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesHere’s a great YouTube video that shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting. This is one of the best short videos of its kind on YouTube.

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink News Post comment »
July 19th, 2015

As Reactive Targets, Billiard Chalks Are Fun and Challenging

AccurateShooter Billiard Chalks targets

Reactive targets — whether balloons, steel gongs, or clay birds — always add fun to a range session. But precision shooters may want something more challenging (i.e. smaller) than a clay bird when shooting inside 300 yards. For a change of pace, try shooting at inexpensive pool cue chalks. Less than 1″ square, these will test your marksmanship skills.

Pool Cue Chalks — Cheap, Fun, Dramatic
If you’re looking for a small target that makes a nice big cloud of color when hit, try pool cue chalks — those little blue cubes you use to dust the end of billiard cues. Measuring about 7/8″ per side, billiard chalks make very challenging targets at 100 and 200 yards. When you hit them, if you nail the circular “dimple” in the middle, they disintegrate impressively, tossing blue “smoke” in all directions. Billiard chalks are inexpensive. You can buy a dozen chalks online for about $3.00 — just 25 cents each. And the prices drop with more quantity. One gross of chalks (that’s 144 pieces) costs just $19.95 at ozonebilliards.com.

To see actual hits on chalk at 100 and 200 yards, watch the video above. (WARNING: Soundtrack is loud and advertisement may play before movie.) The movie-maker, Phil of the Random Nuclear Strikes Blog, cautions that: “You’ll notice (in the video) that some of the hits are ‘wiffs’ instead of ‘poofs’. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the 1/2 inch dimple in the cube face. If you don’t put the bullet in that dimple, it’ll ‘wiff’ on you.”

Permalink - Videos, New Product 8 Comments »
July 19th, 2015

CMP Armorer Explains Garand Headspacing Procedures

M1 Garand head space

Garand matches are among the most popular and well-attended of the CMP competition disciplines. When obtained directly from the CMP, Garands are fun to shoot and affordable. However, with these classic battle rifles, you need to ensure that the headspace is set properly to ensure safe function and good brass life.

Garand WWII posterIn the archives of The FIRST SHOT, the CMP’s online magazine, CMP Armorer John McLean has written an excellent article entitled: “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Checking M1 Garand Head Space.” We recommend all Garand shooters read the article.

McClean explains: “Excessive headspace will cause the brass to stretch more than it should and increases the likelihood of a case failure. Insufficient headspace may contribute to slam fires, light strikes on primers, misfires and more wear on parts due to the additional force needed to chamber the rounds.”

Garand Head Space Gauges
McClean writes: “Both Forster and Clymer make fine gauges but we have found that there are differences between the two companies’ gauges that make the Clymer gauges best for use with the M1. The headspace that the original manufacturers of the M1 considered correct can be determined by checking new or nearly new rifles that we have here at CMP. With that information we have determined that Springfield Armory and the other manufacturers of the M1 used gauges that were very close to the Clymer dimensions… and therefore we use, and recommend using only the Clymer gauges.”

How to Check for Proper Headspace
In the article, McClean goes on to show how to properly use the “GO”, “NO GO”, and “FIELD” gauges. You’ll want to read the Complete Article. One of the important points McClean makes is that the ejector can affect headspace reading. Accordingly, “the bolt must be disassembled and the ejector removed, or clearance notches must be made on the headspace gauges so there will be no contact between the headspace gauges and the ejector.”

CLICK HERE to read COMPLETE ARTICLE….

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
July 19th, 2015

Clean Your Reloading Dies Before First Use

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. This short video from Hornady shows how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You an also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

Hornady Die cleaning

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 1 Comment »
July 18th, 2015

Janna Reeves Explains 3-Gun Competition in Videos

Janna Reeves Brownells 3-Gun multigun video strategie loading

Janna Reeves is one of the nation’s top female 3-gun competitors. In a series of videos produced for Brownells, Janna talks about the 3-Gun game, reviewing the latest trends in 3-Gun firearms and gear. Janna also provides stage-planning tips, offering winning strategies to employ in competition. Though these videos, Janna hopes to help novice shooters. In particular, Jenna hopes to encourage new lady shooters to get involved in 3-gun competition, a very fun and challenge sport.

In this action-oriented video, Janna walks through a 3-Gun course, explaining how to plan shots, movements, and reloads. Janna shares tips, tricks, and strategies that can improve your hit percentage and shave seconds off stage times. Janna offers specific advice on target transitions, loading on the move, and stage planning.

In this hardware-centric video, Janna explains how she set up her guns for competition and why she selects specific components and accessories. If you are just getting started in 3-Gun competition, this will help you choose firearms, holsters, ammo caddies, optics and accessories. Janna’s advice helps you get the most “bang for your buck” when assembling your

Permalink - Videos, Competition Post comment »
July 18th, 2015

SFC Keith Sanderson Wins 2015 NRA Pistol Championships

SFC Keith Sanderson NRA Pistol Championships

Report by Kyle Jillson from NRABlog.com.
SFC Keith Sanderson NRA Pistol ChampionshipsSergeant First Class (SFC) Keith Sanderson of the U.S. Army Reserve has been crowned the 2015 NRA National Pistol Champion. After six wet days at Camp Perry along the shores of Lake Erie, Sanderson unseated defending champion Brian Zins by 14 points – 2655 to 2641.

Sanderson, who served eight years in the Marine Corps and eight years in the U.S. Army, is a renowned sport shooter who holds an Olympic record and won an unprecedented three medals (gold, silver, and bronze) in three World Cups in 2009.

Wet Conditions at Camp Perry this Year
At Camp Perry, you can always expect a little rain to come off the lake, but the midwest is experiencing torrential storms this summer and parts of the range – especially along the firing line – became flooded ponds. This year some shooters even stuck “No Wake” signs in the larger puddles to keep attitudes light despite the muddy situation.

Some competitors wore rubber boots to help navigate the puddles.
SFC Keith Sanderson NRA Pistol Championships

Permalink Competition, Handguns Post comment »
July 18th, 2015

Swarovski Tech Blog Reveals How Scopes Work

The Swarovski Optik website features a blog with interesting technical articles. In the “On Target” series of blog stories, Swarovski has provided a handy explanation of how optics systems work, with exploded diagrams of rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars. CLICK HERE for Swarovski Optics Blog.

Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski


Accurateshooter.com optics rifle scope Swarovski

Scope Terminology
Focusing Lens
The focusing lens is an adjustable lens inside the optical system for focusing the image at different distances…. In the case of rifle scopes, apart from focusing, the focusing lens also facilitates parallax compensation.

Diopter Adjustment
For rifle scopes, the reticle can be focused using the diopter adjustment on the eyepiece, thereby correcting any visual impairment. [Editor’s Note: Movable eyepiece diopter adjustment is not offered on all rifle scopes. It is a useful feature on Swarovski and other premium scopes. This allows shooters who need eyeglasses to get a sharply focus image even without wearing corrective lenses. Of course shooters should always wear ANSI-certified eye protection. With the diopter, folks who need correction can use inexpensive, non-Rx safety eyewear instead of expensive prescription safety glasses.]

Reversal System
The purpose of the reversal system is to reverse the image by means of prisms in binoculars and telescopes, and lenses in rifle scopes….The lens reversal system is needed in rifle scopes to control the variable magnification and move the exit pupil[.]

Resource tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 17th, 2015

Bipod Basics — How to Pre-Load the Bipod Before the Shot

Accuracy-Tech.com Rich Bipod load

Shooting really well with a lightweight bipod requires good technique. One thing you want to do with most field-style bipods is to “pre-load” the bipod with forward pressure. In a helpful “how-to” article, Accuracy-Tech Blog Editor Rich offers some good advice on bipod technique, explaining how to pre-load your bipod before each shot. Hunters and practical/tactical shooters may want to read this article.*

Read Full “Loading a Bipod” Article on Accuracy-Tech.com

Rich explains: “The purpose of loading a bipod is to take any and all slack out of the shooter and rifle system. If the shooter … doesn’t have a solid position behind the rifle it will jump around more.” With good technique and a solid position, Rich explains, you should be able to tame the recoil pulse and eliminate the dread “bipod hop” which can force you to re-establish your position.

Rich offers two methods to load the bipod before each shot:

“Method number one is to get into position behind the gun, bring the stock up to your shoulder and relax. Then slowly, pressing off the tips of your big toes with your feet, shimmy your entire body as a unit forward slightly against the rifle. You don’t want to move it, you just want to put a little pressure against it.”

“The second method is to get into position, and then lift your chest up off the ground with the muscles in your back. You want to do a little sea otter impression here. As you lift your trunk up slightly, pull the rifle stock up into your shoulder pocket. Then as you relax push the gun forward in front of you but stop short of removing all the forward pressure against the rifle. If you push too far it won’t have any pressure against it. You don’t have to make large movements here, just a small lift, pull the rifle in, then relax back against the gun.”

Here’s a video of Rich shooting from bipod. You can see how his Atlas Bipod is pre-loaded. Watch how the gun recoils with no “bipod hop”. Rich shows very good form on the gun with smooth follow-though. Regarding follow-through, Rich says: “Don’t slap the trigger, don’t play gopher head[.] You want to remain motionless behind the rifle until the recoil impulse is over. If you lift your head between shots on the same target, you are hurting your chances of making a hit on subsequent shots.”

* The techniques recommended here are for lightweight, field-type bipods such as the Harris and Atlas models. You may want to use a completely different technique with large, wide-track F-TR and joystick bipods, allowing them to slide backwards on their sled feet during recoil.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical Post comment »
July 17th, 2015

Huge Thunderstorm Delayed Smallbore Nationals in Indiana

Rain Thunderstorm Bristol Indiana Smallbore Championship

“Après moi, le déluge.” Watch this video from rain-soaked Indiana. Yikes, that’s a lot of water coming down… with lightning bolts to boot. Major thunderstorms delayed shooting earlier this week at the NRA National Smallbore Championships in Bristol, Indiana. This year the Smallbore Championships were moved to Bristol to accommodate the World Fullbore Championships being held at Camp Perry. (Some competitors may be wishing the Smallbore events had been sent to a dryer venue.)

Click arrow to see one heck of a downpour (with lightning flashes) on July 13th…

Thankfully, weather conditions have improved during the course of the week, and competition proceded. Here are the scheduled matches for the remainder of the Smallbore Championships:

July 17 — Randle, Dewar, Fired Team Matches, Whistler Boy, and Mentor Match
July 18-19 — Conventional Any Sight Championship
July 20 — Metric Prone Practice
July 21-22 — Metric Prone Championship

Permalink News 2 Comments »
July 17th, 2015

New Gun Digest Bullet Selection Book Released

Massaro Bullet Selection book gun digest

Want to know how bonded hunting bullets are made, or why plastic tips make varmint bullets more “explosive”? Do you need help selecting a projectile for your next Elk hunt? Then you may want to pick up a copy of Understanding Ballistics: Complete Guide to Bullet Selection by Philip Massaro. Just released this month (July 2015), this new 272-page Gun Digest reference book covers bullets for hunting, competition, target shooting, and self-defense. Both print (paperback) and digital (Kindle) versions are available.

This handy guide includes detailed reviews of a vast variety of bullets in both factory-loaded and component form. The book covers all types of projectiles — solids, hard-cast, tipped, bonded, FMJ, round-nose, soft-tip, composite, jacketed, hollowpoint and more. Massaro help you pick the best bullets for everything from self-defense pistols to dangerous game rifles (and everything in between). There is extensive coverage of rimfire ammo and bullets. Notably, Massaro gives detailed descriptions of most of the popular bullets on the market today. He explains how they are designed and constructed, and how they will perform when they impact the intended target. Fully illustrated with hundreds of black/white images, this book is truly an “Encyclopedia of projectiles”. Massaro covers a host of bullet options, including more caliber/bullet combinations than any other comparable book on the subject.

FREE Preview on Amazon.com
You can PREVIEW this book on Amazon.com. Go to the Book Listing Page then click on “Look Inside” right above the cover photo. That will let you see about 30 pages from the book, including dozens of illustrations. Here is the Table of Contents:

Massaro Bullet Selection book gun digest

Permalink News Post comment »
July 16th, 2015

Barnes Calculates Ballistics Using Doppler Radar Speed Data

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

How do you build better (more precise) ammo drop tables? With radar, that’s how. Barnes Bullets is using Doppler Radar to develop the drop tables for its new Precision Match line of factory ammunition. The Doppler radar allows Barnes to determine actual velocities at hundreds of points along a bullet’s flight path. This provides a more complete view of the ballistics “behavior” of the bullet, particularly at long range. Using Doppler radar, Barnes has learned that neither the G1 nor G7 BC models are perfect. Barnes essentially builds a custom drag curve for each bullet using Doppler radar findings.

Use of Doppler Radar to Generate Trajectory Solutions

by Barnes Bullets, LLC
Typical trajectory tables are generated by measuring only two values: muzzle velocity, and either time-of-flight to a downrange target, or a second downrange velocity. Depending on the test facility where this data is gathered, that downrange target or chronograph may only be 100 to 300 yards from the muzzle. These values are used to calculate the Ballistic Coefficient (BC value) of the bullet, and the BC value is then referenced to a standardized drag curve such as G1 or G7 to generate the trajectory table.

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedomThis approach works reasonably well for the distances encountered in most hunting and target shooting conditions, but breaks down rapidly for long range work. It’s really an archaic approach based on artillery firings conducted in the late 1800s and computational techniques developed before the advent of modern computers.

There is a better approach which has been utilized by modern militaries around the world for many years to generate very precise firing solutions. Due to the sizeable investment required, it has been slow to make its way into the commercial market. This modern approach is to use a Doppler radar system to gather thousands of data points as a bullet flies downrange. This radar data is used to generate a bullet specific drag curve, and then fed into a modern 6 Degree of Freedom (DOF) [ballistics software program] to generate precise firing solutions and greatly increase first-round hit probability. (The 6 DOF software accounts for x, y, and z position along with the bullet’s pitch, yaw, and roll rates.)

Barnes has invested heavily in this modern approach. Our Doppler radar system can track bullets out to 1500 meters, recording the velocity and time of flight of that bullet every few feet along the flight path. Consider the graph below showing a bullet specific drag curve referenced to the more common G1 and G7 curves:

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

Neither of the standard curves is a particularly good match to our test bullet. In the legacy approach to generating a downrange trajectory table, the BC value is in effect a multiplier or a fudge factor that’s used to shift the drag curve of the test bullet to try and approximate one of the standard curves. This leads to heated arguments as to which of the standardized drag curves is a better fit, or if multiple BC values should be used to better approximate the standard curve (e.g., use one BC value when the velocity is between Mach 1 and Mach 2, and a different BC value when the velocity is between Mach 2 and Mach 3.) Barnes’ approach to creating trajectory tables is to generate bullet-specific drag curves, and use that data directly in a modern, state-of-the-art, 6 DOF ballistics program called Prodas to generate the firing solution.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
July 16th, 2015

Eye Protection — What You Need to Know

Eyewear Safety Eye Protection Glasses Guide

There is one subject as to which we should all be in agreement — the need to wear quality, protective eyewear whenever one uses a firearm. Sadly, it’s not uncommon, at the range, to see shooters wearing no eye protection, or wearing cheap, “dime-store” glasses that can shatter on impact.

This video from Luckygunner Labs shows what can happen with low-quality eyewear. When hit with pellets, the left lens came out and the right lens entered the eye socket!


Read Our Guide to Protective Eyewear

We’ve created a comprehensive Guide to Protective Eyewear. Forum member ChuckW2 told us: “That was the most important article that has ever been posted on this site. I am amazed how many people do not wear glasses while shooting or hunting. Great read….” If you haven’t done so already, read the story. We guarantee you’ll learn something new.

CLICK HERE to READ Comprehensive Eyewear Guide

The Eyewear Guide explains the safety standards that apply to protective eyewear and reviews the best lens materials currently available including Polycarbonate, Trivex™, and SR-91. You may not have heard of Trivex, but it is probably the best material out there right now — it’s tough, lightweight, and has better optical properties than Polycarbonate. SR-91 is a good choice for those who need a polarized lens. Our Eyewear Guide also includes a section by Danny Reever on Prescription Shooting Glasses. Danny discusses the available options in lens materials and has many helpful recommendations.

Along with our reviews of lens materials, tint properties, and frame design, we highlight a study done by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. 10 popular brands of eyewear were tested, with some very interesting results. The testers observed that price does not necessarily assure quality. Relatively inexpensive Bollé VX and Pyramex eyewear both worked better than some expensive brands.

On the other hand, don’t select eyewear simply because it’s cheap or easy to find. American Hunter editor Jeff Johnston observed: “It’s a mistake to assume that any plastic-lens sunglasses off the rack at the local 7-11 are made of polycarbonate and therefore are effective as shooting glasses—cheap plastics are not polycarbonates; in fact, wearing them could be worse than wearing nothing, as they can introduce sharp shards of plastic to your eyes in addition to the projectile(s) that caused them to break.”

Permalink News Post comment »
July 16th, 2015

Zeiss Summer Field Days Optics Rebates

Zeiss Rebate Summer binoculars Ballistics Reticle

We all know Zeiss makes good optics, and now you can save $50-$150 on Zeiss binoculars or Zeiss riflescopes. As part of the Zeiss Summer Field Days promotion, Zeiss is offering $50.00 cash back on select scopes and binoculars (and $150.00 on the Victory HD binos). Hunters may want to take advantage of this offer for the CONQUEST HD5, and Victory HT Scopes with RAPID-Z ballistic reticles. Those are nice optics. To claim the rebate, purchase eligible products between 7/1 and 8/31/2015 at any participating ZEISS Authorized Dealer, then visit the Zeiss Online Rebate Center to register your rebate. Be sure to save your product receipts.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
July 15th, 2015

From Russia with Love — Kirsten Tests SCATT Training System

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

“SCATT” — if you’re an Olympic Class air rifle or smallbore competitor you know what SCATT means. The Russian-made SCATT is a marksmanship training system with an electro-optical sensor that fits on the end of a barrel. The sensor “sees” the target and then tracks your muzzle movement relative to the center of the target, recording a “trace” that can be displayed on a computer. The latest SCATT MX-02 unit works for live-fire training as well as dry-fire training. To learn more about the SCATT electronic trainers, visit SCATTUSA.com.

Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss demonstrates the SCATT MX-02 electronic training system:

The system traces and records valuable information such as hold pattern, shot hold duration, follow-through, recoil pattern, and much more. The latest SCATT MX-02 systems can be used both indoors and outdoors up to 300 meters (and possibly more). READ FULL SCATT MX-02 TEST HERE.

SCATT traces reveal muzzle movements during the aiming process.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Review Video Electronic Trainging system test

Kirsten Joy Weiss, a top-level competitive position shooter, has tested the latest SCATT MX-02 training systtem. She put the MX-02 through its paces, and then produced an informative video that shows how it works. Click on the video above to see Kirsten use the MX-02 with her Anschütz rifle and other guns.

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

Kirsten was impressed with the SCATT MX-02 she tested:

“We live with tech woven into our every day, so if you had the chance to work with a computer to make you a better shooter — would you? Can a computer train you as well as your favorite coach or, dare to say, better than a human?”

Weiss says it’s like having a little coach with you recording your every move. “If R2D2 had a cousin who knew how to shoot,” Weiss quips, “his name would be the MX-02″.

The SCATT MX-02 can also be used with target pistols.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills Post comment »