March 19th, 2017

Tuner Basics: Guide to Selection and Use of Barrel Tuners

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

We’re starting to see barrel tuners employed in more competitive disciplines than ever — from 100 yards to 1000 yards. And even some varmint hunters are employing tuners or tuner/brakes now. This allows them to dial in accuracy with different loads (when shooting hundreds of rounds in a weekend). Here’s a quick over-view of the potential benefits of tuners.

Commentary by Mark Walker, Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager
This story originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog. Visit SierraBullets.com.

Some people love tuners and others hate them. I use them on my rifles and I’ve had more than one person ask me why on earth I would put one of those things on my barrel. I’ve even had a national long range champion tell me to unscrew it and throw it into Lake Erie on my next trip to the pits at Camp Perry. However, there are other shooters that swear by them and have many match wins to back it up.

It’s an indisputable fact that tuners do have an effect on a rifle’s accuracy, however how much is somewhat open for debate. The large heavy target barrels that we use for benchrest or F-class may not be affected as much by a tuner as a lighter weight sporter type barrel. Each barrel that I’ve installed a tuner on not only showed improvement in accuracy but also displayed a wider load window. The increased accuracy is because of the ability to adjust the tuner to the load, however I believe the wider load window is due to the added weight of the tuner slowing down the barrel vibrations. These are both very important aspects of having a very accurate rifle.

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

While better accuracy and a wider load window are two areas of improvement, I believe the most important feature of a tuner is the ability to adjust the tune during the middle of a match. This is especially important during matches where you must load all your ammo earlier and cannot make adjustments to the load during the match. If you happen to miss the load, instead of having to deal with a gun that isn’t shooting you can make an adjustment to the tuner and hopefully improve the accuracy of the rifle.

While I’ve laid out several ways that a tuner can help, there are also a few ways that tuners can cause problems. They add weight so if you are shooting a discipline that has weight limits on the rifle, you may not be able to install a tuner and still make weight. Sometimes, a barrel just doesn’t show improvement with a tuner installed. These are few and far between, but it is something to consider. If you make an adjustment to the tuner in a match, you need to make sure you move it in the right direction. Adjusting a tuner in the wrong direction can cause very large groups. And finally, if they aren’t tightened properly, tuners can come loose during firing which will cause a lot of problems as well.

As you can see, tuners have both positive and negative aspects. In my personal experience, the positives far outweigh the negatives so I will continue to use them on all of my competitive rifles. If you’ve been thinking about installing a tuner, hopefully some of the information that I’ve presented will help you make an informed decision.

Barrel Tuner

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
March 19th, 2017

WARNING: Ramshot Recalls Recent Lot of Hunter Powder

Western Powders Ramshot Hunter Powder overpressure recall safety exchange

Here is an important safety notice regarding Ramshot Hunter reloading powder. If you have any Ramshot Hunter powder with lot number 489, you should stop using it immediately. If you have loaded ammo with Hunter Powder lot number 489 you should NOT SHOOT this ammo. Use of this powder can result in HIGH PRESSURE loads that can cause injury or damage to your guns.

You can find the lot number on the rear of the package. This make appear one of two ways (see illustration). The lot number 489 may appear above code 080516 or as a long code 080516489.

If you have any lot number 489 Hunter powder, contact Western Powder by telephone at (406) 234-0422. The company will replace your powder for free with an approved lot of Ramshot Hunter.

Western Powders Ramshot Hunter Powder overpressure recall safety exchange

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading Post comment »
March 19th, 2017

Stunning Carbonia-Blued Colt Woodsman from NRA Museum

Accurateshooter.com john moses browning engraved colt woodsman series three third NRA museum
Photo courtesy NRA Museum Click Photo to View Larger Image

With today’s plastic-framed Glocks and Keltecs, aesthetics have been sacrificed on the altar of functionality. Not so in the early 20th century — in that period, the best firearm designers created guns that looked as good as they worked. One example is the classic Colt Woodsman. This design came from the legendary John Moses Browning and was later refined by Colt before the pistol’s introduction in 1915. The Colt Woodsman’s frame design evolved over time in three distinct series: Series One 1915–1947, Series Two 1947–1955, and Series Three 1955–1977. Shown above is a stunning Carbonia-blued and engraved Third Series model with ivory grips.

Engraved Colt Woodsman from NRA Museum
AccurateShooter NRA Museum Teddy RooseveltIn the NRA Museum’s Robert E. Petersen Gallery are many fine engraved arms. This Colt Woodsman .22 pistol is one of the Third Series guns that were made until 1977. Heavy barrels in either 4.5 or 6 inch lengths were offered in this variation. The Museum’s staff says: “We think the poised golden rattlesnake near the serial number is the [best] embellishment without putting down in any way the ivory grip panels or gold outline inlays.”

You can see this lovely Colt and countless other fine firearms at the NRA Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The Museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, and admission is free.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns Post comment »
March 18th, 2017

An American Icon — The M1 Garand Lives On…

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry
M1 Garand Springfield Armory July 1941 production. Facebook photo by Shinnosuke Tanaka.

My father carried a Garand in WWII. That was reason enough for me to want one. But I also loved the look, feel, and heft of this classic American battle rifle. And the unique “Ping” of the ejected en-bloc clip is music to the ears of Garand fans. Some folks own a Garand for the history, while others enjoy competing with this old war-horse. Around the country there are regular competition series for Garand shooters, and the CMP’s John C. Garand Match is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry every year. This year’s Perry Garand Match will be held Saturday, 22 July 2017.

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry

The CMP also has a John C. Garand Match each June as part of the D-Day Competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Here’s a video from the inaugural Talladega D-Day Event in 2015.

Watch Prone Stage from the Inaugural Talladega D-Day Match in 2015

M1 Garand Manual

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual, included with CMP rifles, is available for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen. I highly recommend it.”

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

M1 Garand Slow-Motion Shooting Video

What really happens when an M1 Garand fires the final round and the En-Bloc clip ejects with the distinctive “Ping”? Well thanks to ForgottenWeapons.com, you can see for yourself in super-slow-motion. The entire cycling process of a Garand has been captured using a high-speed camera running at 2000 frames per second (about sixty times normal rate). Watch the clip eject at the 00:27 time-mark. It makes an acrobatic exit, spinning 90° counter-clockwise and then tumbling end over end.

2000 frame per second video shows M1 Garand ejecting spent cartridges and En-bloc clip.

M1 Garand History

Jean Cantius Garand, also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953. At Springfield Armory Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round. It took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured.

John Jean C. Garand M1

Credit: NPS Photo, public domain

Permalink - Videos, Competition 2 Comments »
March 18th, 2017

Pro Bowl NFL Athlete Nails Nilgai Antelope with Suppressed Rifle

Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

In this excellent video from SilencerCo.com, NFL Pro Bowl Tackle Fletcher Cox works with LG Outfitters to stalk and harvest Nilgai Antelope using a suppressed rifle. “Nilgai are pretty special animals — they’re from India. Originally brought down by the King Ranch in the 1930s, they’ve just gone nomadic and they’re all over South Texas.” — Leeroy Gonzales, LG Outfitters.

Click below to watch the video.

“Hunting goes back to the way you approach things. You’ve gotta have a game plan.”

As all committed hunters know, the majority of the hunt is in the preparation. Selecting your gear, choosing the perfect location, waking up before dawn, posting up to patiently wait…

Fletcher Cox is all too familiar with putting time and effort into perfecting his craft and honing the execution. As a Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cox knows that dedication and practice make for the best possible outcome.

Fletcher Cox confirms his Zero before the hunt.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Only the split-second trigger pull is the actual act of the harvest. The rest? That’s the game plan. Here (1:42) Fletcher Cox makes a successful shot on a Nilgai: “We got meat on the ground boys…”

Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Cox’s rifle was fitted with a SilencerCo SWR Radius Rail-mounted Rangefinder.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Guide congratulates Fletcher on a successful hunt.
Fletcher Cox Silencerco Nilgai Antelope hunting Texas

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
March 18th, 2017

Tool Time: Sinclair Cartridge Case Neck Sorting Tool

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.com

He who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooterHow the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WB) is $59.99. The tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB) for $89.99. IMPORTANT: This tool requires caliber-specific Sinclair Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading Post comment »
March 17th, 2017

YHEC — Training the Next Generation of Hunters and Shooters

Youth Hunter Education Challenge Match

More new shooters. That’s what the shooting sports need to thrive. Today’s juniors are the future of our sport. Organized training programs teach youngsters safe firearms handling, marksmanship skills, and important life skills such as teamwork and goal attainment. One of the leading programs for young shooters is the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC). Designed to promote and encourage safe, lifelong hunting, the program has served over 1.2 million participants since inception in 1985.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge Match

The NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge program helps kids 18 and under to learn hunting, marksmanship, and safety skills. From rifle, bow, and muzzleloader shooting, to wildlife identification, map & compass orienteering and more, YHEC participants get hands-on training in eight skill areas. This is a great program for parents and kids who want to go on family hunts together.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge Match

Every year, the YHEC has a major national championship. Participants compete with a variety of firearms types (rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader), and do other skills challenges including archery and orienteering. This year’s YHEC National Championship takes place July 23-28, 2017 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. CLICK HERE for More Information.

This is an excellent video. Well worth watching, with impressive aerial photography.

Along with the YHEC Championship, the Whittington Center hosts many major matches each year. Founded in 1973, the Center offers ranges for every kind of shooting discipline, a firearms museum, guided and unguided hunts, plus an adventure camp for younger shooters. The Whittington Center has comfortable, modern cabins and RV camping zones for extended stays.

Article based on report in NRABlog.com.

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March 17th, 2017

Free Data Book Scoring App from Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of hauling around an old-fashioned Score Book and making entries with pencil and paper? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports has released a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad (Apple tablet). The price is right — just visit the iTunes store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional Creedmoor print Data Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your iPhone or tablet. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
Permalink Competition, New Product 1 Comment »
March 17th, 2017

Top Ten Reasons Why Shooting is Tougher than Basketball

hap rocketto march madness basketball Top 10 hoops tournament

We are in the midst of “March Madness” — the annual NCAA college basketball tournament. Here’s a clever piece by Hap Rocketto that examines the game of B-Ball and explains why shooting targets is actually more difficult than shooting hoops. This story originally appeared in the Hap’s Corner section of Pronematch.com. Hap is a rare talent in the gun world — a serious shooter who also has unique insights, and a great sense of humor. We recommend you visit Pronematch.com to enjoy the many other interesting Hap’s Corner postings.


by Hap Rocketto
I know shooting is tougher than basketball…. Come on, just how difficult is it for five tall guys to help each other toss a big ball into a basket? Granted basketball is more physically demanding than shooting a rifle, but I think that blasting a quarter-size group into the center of the target at 100 yards all by yourself is a far more difficult task than working as a team to dunk a ball.

Therefore, in the style of Late Night talk show host David Letterman, I have constructed a list of ten reasons why rifle shooting is tougher than basketball.

TOP TEN REASONS Why Rifle Shooting is Tougher Than Basketball

10. When you get tired in basketball the coach just calls time out and replaces you with someone fresh. Not so in shooting.

9. When’s the last time a basketball player had to make a shot with the sun in his eyes?

8. How often does a basketball player have a perfectly good shot blown out by the wind?

7. If a basketball player places a shot a little higher than intended, no problem. The backboard causes the ball to bounce into the basket. No such luck in shooting.

6. Rifle matches commonly run all day. When was the last time you saw a basketball game run more than an hour or so?

5. If you’re not making your shots in basketball, you can just pass the ball to someone who is hot. No such convenience in shooting.

4. Rifle bullets travel faster than the speed of sound (roughly 300 meters per second). Basketballs top out at around 15 meters per second.

3. A basketball player can shoot from anywhere on the court that is convenient and comfortable. All riflemen shoot from the same distance.

2. A basketball player may shoot as often as the opportunity arises and is not limited to the number of shots taken. A rifle match requires that each rifleman shoot the same number of record shots. If they shoot more than allowed, then a penalty follows.

1. And the Number One reason why shooting is tougher than basketball is that, if you miss a shot in basketball you, or a team mate, can just jump up, grab the ball, and try again. Try that in shooting.

The only real similarity between the two sports is that a competitor attempts to score points by shooting. In rifle it is through a hard-hold and easy squeeze in prone, sitting, kneeling and standing; while in basketball it is via hook shots, jump shots, lay-ups, or the dramatic, ever crowd-pleasing, slam dunk.

About the Author: Hap Rocketto is a Distinguished Rifleman with service and smallbore rifle, member of The Presidents Hundred, and the National Guard’s Chief’s 50. He is a National Smallbore Record holder, a member of the 1600 Club and the Connecticut Shooters’ Hall Of Fame. A historian of the shooting sports, his work appears in Shooting Sports USA, the late Precision Shooting Magazine, The Outdoor Message, the American Rifleman, the CMP website, and Pronematch.com.

Credit John Puol for finding this article and communicating with Hap Rocketto.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills Post comment »
March 16th, 2017

On the Level — Why You Need an Anti-Cant Device

anti-cant Device bubble level
This Holland Signature Series Level is reviewed in a SharpShootingUK Video.

Every serious shooter should have some kind of anti-cant device fitted to his or her rifle. When you tilt your rifle to one side or the other from shot to shot, even a little bit, this can alter your point of impact. Unless the direction and angle of tilt (or cant) is exactly the same for each shot, canting your rifle will open up your groups. And the effects of inconsistent cant* become more extreme the farther you shoot. READ MORE about rifle canting.

anti-cant Device bubble level
Jackson Hole Shooting Experience Instructional Video features scope-mounted Wheeler level.

In this video, Bryce Bergen of Long Range Shooters of Utah explains the key reasons you should fit a bubble level (anti-cant device, ACI) to your rifle. Bergen explains why inconsistent canting alters impact at long range. Bergen also offers tips on mounting your anti-cant device and working with bipods.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your bubble level. While there are fancy levels that cost more than $130.00, you can get a functional level for a tenth that cost. This Discovery scope level is CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with three diameters to fit scopes with 1″, 30mm, or 34mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $12.99 while the 30mm model is $13.95 and the large 34mm version is $15.95. This unit will do the job, and user reviews are very positive.

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

Scope-Mount Vs. Rail-Mounted Levels
Some “experts” recommend a scope-mounted bubble level rather than a rail-mounted level. The reason is that you can easily orient the position of a scope-mounted level. With the scope’s vertical cross-hair aligned with a plumb line, simply rotate the bubble level mount until the bubble is centered. It’s not so easy to adjust a rail-mounted level. If your rail is slightly off, or if the rail-mounted anti-cant device doesn’t sit perfectly horizontal when clamped on the rail, the bubble may not center in the view port.

anti-cant Device bubble level

Combo Anti-Cant + Angle Degree Indicator System
Flatline Ops sells a smart, scope-mounted leveling device with an optional vertical Strong Arm™ accessory for mounting an Angle-Degree-Indicator (ADI), which allows the shooter to make quick “true range” corrections for up-angle and down-angle shots.

anti-cant Device Flatline Ops

As a combined unit, the Accu/Level™ (fitted with Strong Arm and ADI) is a great set-up for the tactical shooter or long-range hunter. The bubble level rotates inward for protection, then kicks out to the left for easy visibility. The ADI is held in plain view on the left, under the bubble level. On LongRangeHunting.com, Jim See explains how the Accu/Level works in the field and how he employed the ACI during a hunt. CLICK HERE for Accu/Level™ Field Test.

We like the combined Level + ADI system that Flatline Ops has developed. But it is very expensive: The 30mm Accu/Level™ costs $139.99 and the Strong Arm (for ADI mounting) is $58.99. So you’ve got two hundred bucks invested before adding the $110.00 ADI. That’s a significant chunk of change that could be invested in your scope instead.

* By itself, canting the rifle does not hurt accuracy as long as the angle is exactly the same for every shot. Many sling/irons shooters, including David Tubb, cant their rifles. With scoped rifles, if you do prefer a cant, you should mount the scope so that the cross-hairs are plumb with your rifle at your preferred cant angle. You want that vertical cross-hair straight up and down always. The key is to never change the cant of your rifle from shot to shot.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 5 Comments »
March 16th, 2017

Invasion of the Minis — Compact Joystick Pedestal Rest from SEB

SEB Mini Bag carry pedestal front rest

The new SEB Mini joystick (coaxial) pedestal rest has been a huge success. Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang’s SEBRests.com team is shipping these out worldwide to meet demand. The great thing about the Mini is that it folds up into a small package, making it much easier to transport than a conventional coaxial front rest such as the Seb NEO or Farley. Shown above is an army of Minis getting ready to conquer the world (well at least the world of shooting).

Even though the Mini is compact and relatively light weight, it is very stable and gives up very little in performance to a full-sized joystick front rest such as the SEB NEO. At the Berger SW Nationals last month, our Systems Admin Jay Christopherson used a SEB Mini. Jay finished Second in F-Open Class just one point behind winner David Gosnell, thereby proving the SEB Mini is “competition ready”.

Jay reports: “I’m glad I had the SEB Mini — it worked great and was much easier to transport and carry from position to position.” Here’s a short video of Jay using the SEB Mini to drill a string of Xs with his .284 Winchester F-Open rifle.

New Carry Bag for SEB Mini
With the success of the SEB Mini, Seb Lambang has already started designing some new accessories. Here is a prototype carry package, the Mini Transporter. You can see this compact bag will hold a Mini even with big F-Class feet attached. Seb says: “I’m experimenting with soft case for Mini rest… Your thoughts?” We think Seb should certainly offer this case for sale. Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

SEB Mini Bag carry pedestal front rest

SEB Mini with large disc feet attached still fits in bag.
SEB Mini Bag carry pedestal front rest

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gear Review 4 Comments »
March 16th, 2017

Ringing Steel at 1500 Yards — With a Little Help from AB Kestrel

6.5 Creedmoor 1500 yards applied ballistics kestrelIt’s not easy to place a first shot on target at 1500 yards. You must measure the wind speed with precision, know your exact muzzle velocity, and have a sophisticated ballistics solver. In this short video from Ryansrangereport.com, the shooter manages a first-round hit on a steel silhouette at 1500 yards. He used a Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics software to figure out the trajectory for his 6.5 Creemoor rounds.

The Kestrel recorded a wind velocity, and the internal software calculated a solution of 17 Mils elevation (that’s 928 inches of drop) with 2.5 Mils windage. “Bang” — the shooter sends it, and 2.6 seconds later “Clang” he had a hit (flight time was 2.6 seconds). Bryan Litz observes: “This is the science of accuracy (in the form of an Applied Ballistics Kestrel) being put to good use at 1500 yards”.

Later in the video (1:05-1:15) the shooter places three rounds on steel at 1000 yards in just 10 seconds. The three shots all fall within 10″ or so — pretty impressive for rapid fire. The shooter reports: “[In my 6.5 Creedmoor] I’m using a 136gr Lapua Scenar L. This bullet has impressed me. It screams out of my barrel at 2940 fps and holds on all the way out to 1,500 yards.”

The rifle was built by Aaron Roberts of Roberts Precision Rifles (RPRifles.com). Chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it features a Leupold Mark VI 3-18x44mm scope.

Roberts Precision Rifles
19515 Wied Rd. Suite D
Spring, Texas 77388
Phone: 281-651-5593
Email: rprifles @ gmail.com

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
March 15th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Vintage Sniper and Tactical Matches

Talladega Vintage Sniper Match Shooting USA

We recommend you tune in to Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel tonight. Tonight’s episode features both a Vintage Sniper Rifle competition and the GAP Grind, one of the most popular tactical matches. The show airs at 9:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM Central, 7:30 PM MTN, and 6:30 PM Pacific.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Talladega

This week, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”

GAP Grind on Shooting USA

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen

Tonight’s Shooting USA episode also features the Bushnell GAP Grind, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. The Grind runs a Pro-Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with new shooter Jen Hodson. Even with the challenges, Jen had a great time at the GAP Grind. “I will definitely be back!” says Jen, shown here:

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.

On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 3 Comments »
March 15th, 2017

Oppressive California Gun Laws Spur Ammo Buying Sprees

California gun laws ammo ban online ammo sales purchase mail-order Wideners
Photo from Ault Ammo Depot.

Californians Buy Bulk Ammo Online While They Still Can

Californians are buying more ammunition, and in bigger, bulk quantities, according to data from online ammo retailer Wideners.com. In the two months since 2016’s General Election, Wideners.com’s online traffic from California is up a full fifty percent (50%). Nationwide traffic to the site has remained relatively static for the same period. And Widener’s sales are up dramatically for the most popular ammo types: 9mm Luger, .223 Rem (5.56×45), and .308 Win (7.62×51).

IMPENDING BAN on Mail-Order Ammo — Starting January 1, 2018, California gun owners will no longer be able to buy ammunition online. Only face-to-face ammo purchases will be allowed inside the state. Per Proposition 63, California will also require a background check for ammunition purchases, and ammo buyers must obtain a four-year purchaser’s license from the CA Department of Justice.

Online Ammunition ammo ban california ammo sales

“There’s been a massive influx of California hunters and sport shooters who are stocking up in the wake of California’s new laws”, reports Anne Taylor of Widener’s. “There’s not just increased interest, it’s clear the gun owners who are buying are buying in bulk. We’ve seen our average order weight go up in the past couple months. We expect this sort of rush will continue through the rest of the year.”

“We heard from a lot of customers in late December and early January who were confused about Prop 63,” Taylor said. “Many people seemed to think the background checks would start immediately.”

Percent Increase in Sales by Municipality:

Los Angeles Metro Area – 395%
San Francisco Metro Area – 417%
San Diego Metro Area – 161%
Sacramento Metro Area – 449%
Anaheim Metro Area – 264%
San Jose Metro Area – 233%

Note: Data based on IP Address of computer used to make purchase comparing the two-month period before and after 2016’s General Election. Municipalities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles already restrict online ammo purchases.

The biggest sales increase has been observed with .223 Rem/5.56×45 rifle ammunition, the most common cartridge type used in AR-platform rifles. In fact, .223/5.56 ammo sales in the eight weeks following the 2016 election were TWICE as great as in the preceding eight weeks.

Biggest jump in ammo sales has been for .223/5.56 ammo suitable for ARs.
AR-15 AR16 5.56 .223 Rem ammo ammunition Wideners

9mm ammo and .308 rifle ammo are also experiencing large gains from California buyers with increases of 60-80%. That’s notable becauses sales remain static in those calibers in the rest of the country. Overall, Widener’s sales data shows the average quantity purchased by Californians is up 20% in the two months following the 2016 election compared to the same time period before.

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March 15th, 2017

Harris Bipod Adapter for Flat-Bottomed Stocks

Harris #9 hb9 flat-bottom flat foreend stock adapter accurateshooter.com

Harris #9 hb9 flat-bottom flat foreend stock adapter accurateshooter.comFlat-bottomed stocks are great for benchrest shooting, but their geometry is not ideal for mounting conventional Harris bipods, which were originally designed for stocks with a curved underbelly. Long-time Forum member Mark S. wanted to know if there is a way to make a stud-mounted bipod more secure on a flat-bottomed stock: “I have started shooting some steel matches that require shooting from bipods. My best gun for the job is a 6BRX in a MBR benchrest stock. I have installed a stud, but the bipod is still wanting to turn sometimes. What do you use?”

Here’s a solution for Mark and others using Harris bipods on flat-bottomed stocks with studs. Get the Harris-made #9 (HB9) adapter. Costing just $22.12 (at Midsouth), the HB9 adapter provides an extended contact surface with pads, so the bipod will fit securely on your flat fore-end.The HB9 adapter also has a center cut-out for the swivel stud so the bipod adapter aligns properly on the underside of your stock:

Midsouth Shooters Supply sells the Harris #9 (HB9) flat-bottom stock adapter for $21.26, part number 053-9. CLICK HERE to order.

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March 14th, 2017

The Buzz from Nuremberg — Target Shooter Magazine IWA Report

IWA Outdoor Classics Show Nuremberg Germany TargetShooter.co.uk

Our friends at Targetshooter Magazine just returned from the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Germany. With 1455 exhibitors and over 45,530 attendees from around the globe, the IWA exhibition is a major event that rivals the USA’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

IWA Outdoor Classics Show Nuremberg Germany TargetShooter.co.uk

CLICK HERE for FULL IWA Show Report on TargetShooter.co.uk

Here are some highlights from TargetShooter’s IWA Trade Show Report:

Target Optics
Perhaps this is a good place to start, with the latest long-range March offering, the High Master. This is a superb 10-60x56mm scope with a 34mm tube and ED glass. I predict that this scope will once again set the bar for the serious F-Class shooter. Obviously you can’t assess a scope like this at an exhibition, but I hope Target Shooter will have one soon for a proper test.

March High master scope

Tactical Rifle
This year, Tikka decided it was time they got in on the act and staged a press seminar to launch their version – the T3x TAC A1. This one doesn’t go the full AR butt route but has a very nice folding stock and, in spite of this and a 24-inch barrel, keeps the weight down to a respectable 5.1 kg (11.24 lb). Tikka has a very large following and I suspect this one will be a great seller, especially in the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering with 10-shot magazine.

IWA Outdoor Classics Show Nuremberg Germany TargetShooter.co.uk

Actions
Another action which caught my eye was from a Canadian company called Ultimatum Precision. They had incorporated some really useful features into their ‘Rem footprint’ action and, being Canadian, it might be more accessible without all the American ITAR nonsense. It incorporates a three-lug, floating bolt-head design which means that caliber changes are a cinch, especially with the option of a barrel-nut fixing. It comes with a hard, black finish and will be offered in the usual bolt/port configurations.

IWA Outdoor Classics Show Nuremberg Germany TargetShooter.co.uk

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March 14th, 2017

The Insufferables — 7 Annoying Shootists You’ll Find at Matches

Here’s a very funny video that should put a smile on your face — especially if you’ve ever competed in action shooting events. This tongue-in-cheek video from the SuperSetCA team identifies seven (7) annoying/insufferable types of shooters you’ll find at shooting matches. You can’t help but chuckle watching this video. The satire is “dead on” — we’ve all met these kind of clowns at one time or another.

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Among the personality types lampooned by the video are the “way too serious” type, the completely unprepared type, the “Hollywood” show-off, the “always an excuse” type, and of course the “I’m too old for this” competitor. As a shooter past age sixty, this Editor might even fall into that category — at least when it comes to “run and gun” games. When I’m asked to gallop around a range carrying heavy gear, yes I’ve been known to mutter: “I’m too [insert swear word] old for this….”

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Here’s an extra challenge for you. According to the video’s producers, there are several TV and/or Movie references sprinkled throughout. Can you name them all (with run-times)? (Hint, look for Lethal Weapon and Matrix spoofs).

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March 14th, 2017

Gander Mountain Files for Chapter 11 As Prelude to Sale

Gander Mountain Company bankruptcy business sale

Want to go into retail? Here’s your chance! Gander Mountain Company (GMC) is going on the auction blocks. To facilitate a “going-concern sale” of the business, GMC has filed bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota. Gander Mountain plans to put the business up for sale, and will solicit bids prior to an auction in late April 2017. The company expects to submit the winning bid to the Bankruptcy Court for approval in early May and anticipates a closing of the sale by May 15, 2017.

As part of GMC’s reorganization, it plans to shut down 32 Gander Mountain retail stores. (SEE Locations). More info about Gander Mountain’s restructuring is available at Donlinerecano.com/gmc. Court filings and claims information are available at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court website, www.mnb.uscourts.gov.

Here are highlights from Gander Mountain’s official statement about the Bankruptcy:

Gander Mountain [states that], to maximize the opportunity to achieve a “going-concern” sale of its business, it and certain of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

This action is the result of an in-depth review of the company’s strategic options undertaken in recent months to preserve the value of the company and position it for long-term success. Like many retailers, Gander Mountain experienced challenging traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce.

The company’s strategic review yielded the following conclusions:

  • A narrowly focused and lower cost operating model is necessary to position the company for profitable growth;
  • The company does not have the financial capacity or time to reset its operations to fully implement the new model and, as a result;
  • The best available path forward is to sell the company on a going-concern basis.

The court’s protections will enable us to manage the sale process on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders. Gander Mountain is in active discussions with a number of parties interested in a going-concern sale and expects to solicit bids prior to an auction … in late April 2017. The company expects to submit the winning bid to the Court for approval in early May and anticipates a closing of the sale by May 15.

The company generally expects to conduct normal business operations during the pendency of its restructuring. Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place, retirement accounts are intact and protected. As a product of the company’s strategic review, 32 underperforming retail locations will begin a shutdown process in the next several weeks.

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March 13th, 2017

The Right Stuff — Chuck Yeager’s Beretta Model 1935 Pistol

Chuck Yeager Beretta 35 Gold Pistol Right Stuff Pilot General Cuban gift
Photo courtesy NRA Museum.

Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. Earlier this month the Museum displayed a very special Beretta pistol — a gold-plated .32 ACP belonging to legendary airman Chuck Yeager.

This engraved, gold-washed Beretta Model 1935 pistol was presented in 1950 to Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, U.S.A.F., by the Cuban Minister of Defense. (This was before Castro seized power in 1959). Three years before receiving the gun, in 1947, Yeager — piloting the Bell XS-1 — was the first person to successfully break the sound barrier. Yeager was one of the legendary airmen profiled in the book (and Hollywood movie) “The Right Stuff”.

Though this historic, elaborately-engraved sidearm is a “one-of-a-kind” treasure, the Beretta Model 1935 was actually produced in great numbers. Chambered in .32 ACP, more than 500,000 Beretta Model 1935s were made over a 32-year time-span.

You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseums.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum (at BassPro) in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.

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March 13th, 2017

Bargain Finder 78 — 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, 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. Whidden Gunworks — Barnard Actions on Sale (up to $445 Off)

Barnard action sale model P Whidden Gunworks

Barnard makes great actions, many of which come complete with superb two-stage triggers. For a long-range competition rifle, a Barnard action is a very good choice. And now you can save up to $445.00 on Barnard Precision actions, most including triggers. Prices have been slashed on a wide selection of Barnard actions. For example the model PL is on sale for $970.00, marked down from $1395.00. This is a great opportunity to save. We’re all familiar with the Model P, but check out other models. Potential customers may want to review detailed descriptions and action specs on the Barnard Precision website, www.Barnard.co.nz. NOTE: This sale is limited to inventory on hand, the actions listed below:

Barnard action sale model P Whidden Gunworks
Barnard Sale Tip by EdLongrange.

2. Cabela’s — SIG .45 ACP P220 40th Anniversary, $799.99

SIG Sauer P220 .45 cap pistol Cabela's gun of week special savings

Every serious gun guy should own a .45 ACP and at least one SIG Sauer pistol. Now you can combine both those “must haves” with an accurate, ultra-reliable SIG P220. This week, the deluxe P220 40th Anniversary model with threaded muzzle as is featured as Cabela’s “Gun of the Week” special. We’ve checked around the web, and this special P220 sells elsewhere for $1060-$1099, so this $799.99 Cabela’s special truly is an exceptional deal, saving you hundreds. This Editor owns two SIG pistols; I can attest that SIG handguns offer class-leading accuracy and reliability.

3. B&H — Kowa TSN-601 Angled Spotting Scope Body, $249.00

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $249.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is find for viewing mirage and spotters.

4. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

5. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $103.99

Lyman Case Prep Xpress Express Brass Reloading PrpeDeals Week Accurateshooter

The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. On sale at Amazon.com with $103.99 Prime pricing, this is a good deal. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress sells elsewhere for $130.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)

6. Amazon — Bushnell 1-4x24mm Scope for ARs, $119.99

Bushnell BDC scope .223 AR

The CMP and NRA now allow magnified optics (up to 4.5X max power) in service rifle matches. You can spend thousands on a high-end scope for your AR, but you just might find that a much cheaper optic will do the job. Consider the Bushnell 1-4x24mm riflescope with 0.1 Mil clicks and BDC reticle calibrated for .223/5.56 55-62 grain ammo. Right now at Amazon.com, you can get this 1-4x24mm Bushnell for just $111.99 with free shipping. That’s a steal — this scope sells elsewhere for up to $155.00. And actual scope owners tell us that this very affordable 1-4x24mm Bushnell holds its own vs. competitive optics costing 3-4 times as much.

7. Midsouth — 6.5mm 123gr Match Bullets, $20.49 per hundred

6.5mm Nosler seconds bullets 123 grain 6.5 Creedmoor

Do you shoot a mid-sized match cartridge, such as the 6.5×47 Lapua, or 6.5 Creedmoor? Then here’s a great deal. Right now you can get 123gr Nosler HPBT match bullets for just $20.49 per hundred. These are “factory seconds” with cosmetic blemishes, such as water spots. But they are otherwise fine bullets, and your targets will never notice the blemishes. Even if you currently shoot another brand of 6.5mm bullets, you should try these 123gr Noslers at just $20.49 per 100. That’s HALF the price of some other premium 120-130gr 6.5mm match bullets.

8. Midway USA — Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm Scope, $329.99

Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm riflescope scope tactical 1/4-MOA

Here’s a great deal on a versatile Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm scope that can be used for target work, varmint hunting, or even tactical games. This scope features XD (low dispersion) glass, side-focus parallax, and a 30mm maintube. It offers 1/4-MOA clicks with 65 MOA of elevation adjustment and side-focus parallax control. Two reticle choices are offered: 1) Dead-Hold BDC, and 2) Mil-DOT. Backed by Vortex’s VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty, this Viper is on sale for just $329.99 at MidwayUSA, with free shipping.

9. NRA & MidwayUSA — NRA Life Membership, $600.00

NRA Life Membership $600.00 Offer discount

Here’s the best deal going right now on an NRA Life Membership. This normally costs $1500.00, but if you CLICK HERE, you can get a life membership for just $600.00, thanks to an NRA/MidwayUSA promotion. You can also save on 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year NRA memberships. Note: This is a limited-time offer.

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