Report by John Morgan-Hosey
Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) is a shooting sport in the United Kingdom shot with bolt action rifles and ‘Straight-Pull’ derivatives of semi-auto centerfire rifles. Why do the UK shooters use manual-operating versions of popular self-loaders? Well, that’s because of legal restrictions. Civilian ownership of semi-auto centerfire rifles was banned in the United Kingdom in 1987.
Give credit to the ingenuity of competitive shooters in the UK. The ban on semi-autos has not stopped shooters from adapting modern rifles such as the AR15. In fact, CSR is the UK NRA’s fastest growing shooting discipline. There are four classes for competitors:
1. Historic Class — Vintage Rifles, mostly Lee Enfields with iron sights.
2. Iron Sights Class — all non-Historic Rifles with Iron (open) sights.
3. Practical Optic Class — Rifles with bipods (and scopes 4.5X or greater magnification).
4. Service Optic Class — Rifles without bipods (and scopes with no more than 4.5X power).
Surprisingly, shooters in the Service Optic Class dominate these matches. So you don’t need a high-magnification scope or a bipod to do well. The most popular rifles are modified AR-platform rifles. These are set-up in the UK with no gas system to ensure they comply with our laws. Side-charger cocking handles are fitted to allow the rifles to be operated easily while in the shooting position. You can see in the photo above a modified AR with the Union Jack on the buttstock. Notice the bolt handle on the right. This opens and closes the bolt.
This video clip shows the side-charging ARs in use.
Note the side bolt handle that cycles the action on this non-semi-auto AR.
Here shooters advance 100 yards to engage the targets at the next firing line.
Dave Wylde Sets Impressive Record at the Civilian Service Rifle League Match.
The last matches in the 2014/15 CSR League took place on Sunday, 5 April. With final places in all four classes up for grabs, the fine weather and light winds made for some impressive scores, none more so than Dave Wylde in Service Optic Division. Dave scored a mighty impressive 246 (of a possible 250) in the PM Match. Breaking 235 is tough enough and scoring over 240 a rarity with the match includes standing snap shooting at 100 yards, a sitting rapid at 200 yards, and prone snap shooting at 300 yards with and two run downs to raise the shooters heart rate.
The most popular class, Service Optic, had Peter Cottrell retaining the trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a score of 993. Adam Chapman pushed him hard all season to finish a close second on 987 points, with Bill Ellis, one of the most consistent CSR shooters, third with 972.
Civilian Service Rifle Grows in Popularity
As CSR continues to grow in popularity, the sale of ‘Straight-Pull’ AR-platform rifles is increasing year after year. Accordingly, the United Kingdom NRA is allocation more range space at the Bisley National Shooting Centre to accomodate the increasing number of competitors.
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On April 9, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) adopted regulations to ban the use of traditional lead-component ammunition for all hunting in the state by July 1, 2019. The Daily Caller reports: “In a unanimous vote, the Commission opted to phase out lead bullets, which hunters’ groups are calling a de-facto ban on hunting in the state.” The new regulations will be implemented in multiple phases, starting with the 2015 hunting season. These tough new regulations were issued pursuant to legislation passed in 2013 by the California legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is worried that California-style ammo bans will be adopted in other states. To some observers, California’s ban on lead-based ammunition was designed more to reduce gun sales and halt hunting than it was ever intended to help the environment. The NSSF has shown that the elimination of traditional lead ammo will do little, if anything to improve the environment in any meaningful way. What such bans WILL do is raise the cost of ammo and make it more difficult to hunt. The NSSF explains: “Anti-hunting groups use the supposed harm caused by traditional ammunition as a wedge issue to further their ultimate political agenda of banning hunting across the country.” The NSSF has provided the real facts via an infographic and the YouTube video embedded below.
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Sporter Chronograph Kit includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.
Magnetospeed has just introduced a new bayonet-style chronograph that is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $399.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The new Sporter Chronograph will cost just $189.00. It offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chronograph kit was designed to be used on barrels from 1/2 inch up to 1 inch in diameter. In can also accommodate muzzle brakes and flash hiders up to 2.7 inches in length. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.”
See $189.00 Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video
MagnetoSpeed Sporter features
Simple, one-button cycling display (shows recent shot velocity and statistics).
Three sensitivity settings for fine-tuning.
Easy access battery compartment, with 9V Battery included.
Integral, quick-attachment system, with metal buckle, nylon strap, screw-in tensioner, and dual V-block spacers (thick and thin).
Bayonet works with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.
Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?
A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen. If you need to go really fat (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.
Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
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Want to win fifty thousand bucks? That’s possible if you sign up for the 2015 Trijicon Shooting Challenge. Registration just opened for this multi-gun mega-event, one of the richest shooting matches in American history. We’re talking serious money here… shooters will be competing for over $100,000 in match cash, and over $200,000 in prize table awards. The first prize is $50,000. And get this — you don’t even have to bring ammo. The match sponsors provide all the guns and ammunition for the event.
Competitors need to be versatile. This is a multi-gun event with pistol, rifle, shotgun, and combined arm segments. There will be divisions for ladies and men, juniors and adults. The entry fees are substantial, $395.00 for adults, $195.00 for juniors, but remember the ammo is free. The match will be held October 21-24, 2015 at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Kentucky. Click HERE to REGISTER.
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R. Lee Ermey, aka the “Gunny”, has a new Television Show on the Outdoor Channel. We’ll be tuning in to GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey when it debuts April 15, 2015 (yep, Tax Day). Ermey has an impressive resume — An 11-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and active High Power competitor, the Gunny has appeared in numerous feature films and has also starred in critically-acclaimed TV series on HBO, TNT, Showtime and History Channel.
The all-new, half-hour series produced features weapons and weapons technology – past, present, and future. While consulting with top experts, Ermey will demonstrate both historic weapons and modern high-tech firearms and military gadgets. The Gunny also test-drives a variety of weaponized vehicles, such as a Tomcar TM5 with an M249 S.A.W. mounted on it.
Watch Show Preview Trailer
In the show Ermey will be assisted by knowledgeable experts including Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Grady Powell, retired U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant, and our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss, ace rifle shooter and host of the popular Sharp Shots YouTube Channel.
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This is the kind of family-friendly, “feel-good” story we like. Texan Richard King created a rimfire benchrest rifle using a classic Martini Mark III smallbore action. He fitted the gun with a new flat, wide forearm and a new buttstock, allowing the gun to sit steady on the bags and track smoothly. The narrow action was also fitted with a cantilevered top rail to hold a high-magnification scope.
Here is Vicki King, with Martini Mark III and her trophy.
But here’s the best part. Richard provided this updated classic to his wife Vicki, who proceded to win a rimfire benchrest match (Vintage class) with the old Martini. Richard reports: “Here is my lovely wife with her High Overall Vintage trophy. That is a Martini Mark III that I re-stocked in walnut for 50-yard, .22-caliber benchrest matches. It’s great to have her shooting with me again.” FYI, last summer Richard and Vicki celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!
Bravo Richard — kudos to you AND to your lovely bride. It’s great to see a couple shooting together. It’s also great to see a classic rifle brought back to the winner’s circle with some inspired stock-work and other upgrades.
Here is Richard King, with his handiwork — an updated Martini Mark III smallbore rifle.
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In a major victory for firearms and ammunition retailers, a Federal District Court in Colorado has thrown out a Brady Center-backed lawsuit arising out of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting. The Federal Court ruled that: “The federal and state immunity statutes prohibit the claims of liability for the sales of ammunition in this case.” If you are involved in sales of guns or ammunition, whether as a distributor or retailer, we strongly recommend you read the entire U.S. District Court decision by Richard P. Matsch, Senior District Judge. The Judge’s memorandum cites many important principles of law. CLICK HERE for Dismissal Order.
The case, Phillips v. Lucky Gunner, was brought by the parents of an Aurora shooting victim against several web-based businesses from whom the shooter, James Holmes, purchased materials. The plaintiffs sued two web-based ammo vendors, Lucky Gunner LLC and The Sportsman’s Guide, as well as suppliers of various tactical gear.
Brady Center lawyers representing the family members alleged that the Internet business practices of the FFLs did not include “reasonable safeguards” to prevent persons such as Holmes from purchasing their respective products.
The court found that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) as well as a Colorado preemption statute required dismissal of the Brady Center’s lawsuit. In dismissing this action, the court followed legal precedents that have consistently found the PLCAA to be constitutional.
Highlights of Court Decision:
The ammunition sellers are also protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7901 et seq. (“PLCAA”). Enacted in 2005, the PLCAA generally prohibits claims against firearms and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers for damages and injunctive relief arising from the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearms and ammunition, unless the suit falls within one of six enumerated exceptions. 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901–7903.
The Colorado legislature specifically limited suits against ammunition sellers to those where the plaintiff requests “damages” for relief, except in a product liability action which includes “any remedy.” Section 13-21-504.5(1). Subsection (2) precludes liability of the ammunition sellers for the actions of Holmes in any type of action. The plaintiffs’ claims of negligence, negligent entrustment and public nuisance based on the sales of ammunition to Holmes are barred and “shall” be dismissed. C.R.S. § 13-21-504.5(3).
Here’s a clever new product from Birchwood Casey, makers of Shoot-N-C targets. The innovative, spring-loaded “Belly Dancer” target moves when hit. This does the duty of a gong at a fraction of the weight and cost. The Belly Dancer is handy, easy to transport, and affordable ($34.07 at Amazon.com). What’s the down-side? Well, eventually you’re going to hit those springs and they will need replacement. Also, while the polymer target zone can withstand hundreds of shots, it will not last forever.
Ground Strike “Belly Dancer” Target
The new Belly Dancer Target employs springs to move back and forth when hit. The 9.5″ x 6.5″ yellow target section is made from a self-healing polymer that can withstand hundreds of hits. Designed for use with any caliber from .22 up, this Belly Dancer target doesn’t “clang” like a gong but the waiving motion indicates a hit. Shoot the neon-yellow gong-shaped head by itself or add stick-on 6″ Bullseye targets for precision work. This Belly Dancer target system works well as long as the ground is relatively soft. In rocky areas you may have trouble inserting the support shafts. But we still like this new product. It’s great for rifle practice at 300-600 yards.
Belly Dancer Target Features
– Yellow Hit Zone measures 9.5″ high and 6.5″ wide.
- Metal stand is 14″ high.
- Rated for all calibers and firearms.
- Long-last technology handles hundreds of rounds.
- Includes twelve 6″-Diameter Shoot•N•C Targets.
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The NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits is underway in Nashville. 550 vendors and organizations have exhibits at the big NRA Show this year. All totaled there are nine acres of guns and gear on display. Here are images from the Exhibit Hall at the Music City Center.
Stuff to Do on Saturday at the NRA Meeting:
NRA Freedom Festival presented by Beretta
8:00am – 6:00pm, 5th Avenue
Jam out with rising country music stars all weekend at this free block party right outside the Music City Center. Today’s lineup includes Jacob Davis, Radio Romance, Tim Dugger, and seven other up-and-coming artists.
Wall of Guns
8:00am – 6:00pm, Main concourse
The NRA Foundation’s popular gun give-away is back for another year. Sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms, Kel-Tec, and Kimber, the Wall of Guns features more than 70 different makes and models. A winner is selected for every 100 $20 tickets that are sold.
Seminars, Workshops & Special Presentations
Various times and locations on the 2nd floor
Learn the basics of the popular 3-Gun shooting sport, the best way to cook wild game, different methods for concealed carry, take a Refuse To Be A Victim course, hear the history of sniping in the First World War, and so much more.
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Our Irish Friend Enda Walsh has been working overtime on a new project, and it’s a beauty. Enda has produced some stunning wood stocks for long-range F-Class applications, and now he’s come up with a new design for the short-range rimfire game. Enda’s new stock combines an ergonomic, prone-style grip area with a stiff, carbon-reinforced fore-end. The very front of the stock features “winglets” for smooth bag-riding. Believe it or not, this stock weighs under two pounds!
Enda tells us: “This Benchrest stock was the most time-consuming job I’ve done in a while as there was a two-pound weight limit. I used black walnut and carbon fiber to achieve a very strong yet lightweight stock. The stock features a lacquer finish and the .22LR Anschütz action was pillar-bedded into the stock. I’m delighted to have ended up with a stock weight of one pound, 15 ounces.”
About Enda Walsh, Master Stock-Maker
There are few master craftsmen who can create a truly “bespoke” wood stock customized for the owner. Ireland’s Enda Walsh is one such talent. Through Custom & Precision Rifles Ireland, Enda creates high-quality stocks for hunters, prone shooters, and F-class competitors. Enda first started building stocks in 2001 for himself and friends, and grew the business over time. Enda explains: “Demand gradually increased until in 2009 the decision was taken to make it my full-time occupation. My goal with my business is to manufacture precise custom rifle stocks to the highest standard, tailored in every detail to best serve the shooters requirements.” Enda adds: “I started Guns Stocks Ireland (now Custom & Precision Rifles Ireland) to produce custom, individually-tailored gunstocks. I build from hand casts so your gun is genuinely an extension of your arm.”
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Gear Reviewby Germán A. Salazar, Contributing Editor
Reloading at the range with an arbor press and Wilson dies is my preferred method of load development. I’ve had a chance to test and evaluate the Arbor Press from 21st Century Shooting. I have to say I’m very favorably impressed by it.
An arbor press’ basic function is simple enough: exert sufficient downward pressure on the die to either size the case neck or seat the bullet depending on which die is in use. It isn’t a mechanically challenging function. So why do we use an arbor press and what should be look for in one? Consistent operation, sensitive feel, quality of design and machining are the hallmarks of a good arbor press and this one from 21st Century comes away with good marks in all areas.
For my initial session with the press, I seated 72 bullets in .30-06 cases, another 70 in .308 cases and neck sized a handful of cases (just for evaluation since I prefer to full-length size). The design of the actuating arm, which angles slightly away from the press was very convenient, allowing me to operate it with less jostling of the press because my fingers weren’t bumping into the press head as they sometimes do with my previous press that has the handle parallel to the press head. That’s a nice touch and shows the press was designed by someone who has used these things.
The press uses a relatively light return spring which materially aids the feel of seating pressure. I prefer this to a heavier return spring which would reduce the feel that I really look for in an arbor press. For someone who uses very heavy neck tension this might not be a big concern, but because I usually use 0.001″ to 0.002″ neck tension, the ability to detect small levels of variance in seating pressure is important to me.
High Quality Machining and Parts Finishing
Every part of the 21st Century press reflects careful thought and skilled machining. The knurled wheel for adjusting the height of the press head is a distinct improvement over the plastic hardware store knobs seen on many presses.
The aluminum press head itself is nicely anodized, the steel base well blued and the shaft nicely polished. Even the decapping base (photo at left) reflects careful design as well as precise machining. Overall, the press gives a look and feel of quality and is a welcome addition to my range reloading setup.
Editors’ Note: The designer of the 21st Century Arbor Press has decades of tool-making experience, and he has designed tools for many “big-name” companies. 21st Century stands behind the product with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser. The Arbor Press is currently offered in four different versions, with two post heights (8.5″ or 10.5″), and two baseplate sizes (small 3″ x 4″ or large 4″ x 5″). Prices start at $94.99 for the 8.5″ post and small baseplate. CLICK HERE for more info.
The Exhibit Hall doors opened this morning at the NRA’s 144th Annual Meetings & Exhibits. For the past few days workers have been hustling night and day to set up the large booths and exhibits. Today, industry reps and NRA Members get down to business in the convention center. This year the Show is hosted in at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Appropriately, on Friday afternoon, show visitors were treated to an outdoor Country Music Jam.
Another Thursday highlight was the appearance of the “Gun Gurus”, the experts from the NRA Firearms Museum. Thursday afternoon, nearly 30 lucky individuals took the stage for a special spot on Outdoor Channel’s Gun Gurus. They brought with them historic and collectible firearms to be reviewed by the Gun Gurus. “It’s been a few year since we’ve held an evaluation at the Annual Meeting,” said NRA Museums Senior Curator Philip Schreier. “After seeing the firearms at this year’s event … it was well worth the wait.”
Big Show Requires a Big Effort
Hundreds of companies will showcase their products in Nashville. NRABlog.com editor Lars Dalseide explains what it takes to put on a show of this scale: “When members arrive here in Nashville for the NRA’s 144th Annual Meetings & Exhibits, most will make way for the famed Exhibit Hall. What they’re going to see is the finished product, but it takes a lot to get there.”
Lars notes: “The more impressive the booth the more time and manpower it takes to assemble. One to two to three days worth of carpeting and constructing and a good deal of sweat goes into the final product. Some are put together by the vendors and some by local crews here in Nashville. Either way, someone went through a great deal of effort to make it all possible.”
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