September 15th, 2021

Triangle Patches — Patented Design for More Efficient Cleaning

Rigel BoreSmith Brush Patch Jag Pyramid Triangle patches

Product innovation is all about “building a better mousetrap”, or in this case, building a better bore-cleaning patch. A real smart guy, Shane Smith, has invented a triangular patch that earned a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a utility patent for BoreSmith’s Triangle Patch™. This unique cleaning patch was designed by Shane Smith, a mathematician/physicist who employed his scientific and firearms knowledge to create innovative bore-cleaning products.

BoreSmith’s clever Triangle Patch™ (aka Pyramid Patch) presents more cleaning surface area to the bore wall than does a conventional square or round patch (of equivalent size). At the same time, the unique geometry makes Triangle Patches much less likely to jam in the barrel. This is because the notches in the sides of the triangle allow the patch to sit more uniformly on the jag (without bunching up). In addition, the Pyramid patch is must less likely to jam due to pleating. One reason conventional patches get stuck is unwanted 5-layer pleating. The special notches in the Pyramid patch remove all or most 5-layer pleating. As a result the patch does not bunch up and this also reduces rod bowing. SEE Triangle Patches HERE.

The Triangle patch can be used with a standard jag but works best when paired with BoreSmith’s patented dual-diameter JagBrush. There are FOUR sizes: 17-20 Caliber, 22-27 Caliber, 27-35 Caliber, and 35-58 Caliber.

Triangle Patch Function and Geometry Explained (See 1:18 time-mark):

NOTE: Despite what you may see in this video, you should ALWAYS insert brushes and patches from the chamber end first, using a fitted cleaning rod bore guide. With bolt-action rifles, NEVER insert a cleaning rod (with brush or jag) in through the muzzle. This may damage the delicate crown of your barrel.

The Triangle Patches work great with Boresmith’s patented dual-diameter bore brushes:

Triangle triangular patches boresmith
Triangle triangular patches boresmith

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September 14th, 2021

Yes You Need to Clean Muzzle Brakes — Here’s How to Do It

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Many hunters and precision rifle competitors use muzzle brakes because these ported devices reduce felt recoil significantly. That make s real difference getting back on target for quick follow-up shots. While many rifle owners appreciate the benefits of muzzle brakes, they may also neglect their brakes, allowing hard carbon and powder residue to build up. Not good. You should regularly clean your muzzle brake to remove fouling and carbon build-up.

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

As Mark Edgreen posted: “Carbon build up on the crown and in the brake is a recipe for poor accuracy.” And another gunsmith reported that customers complained about guns that “shot out way too early” but they only needed to have the brakes cleaned.

Gunsmith and PRS/NRL competitor Jim See recently reminded his Facebook Fans about the importance of cleaning muzzle brakes: “How many times do I have to say it? You need to maintain your rifles. Clean your muzzle brakes people!”. Jim, who runs Elite Accuracy LLC, notes that hard carbon build-up in brakes can definitely harm accuracy. Look at this example:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Muzzle Brake Cleaning Methods
There are various methods for cleaning a brake, we list a variety of techniques, but we would start with NON-corrosive ultrasound. You’ll want to remove the muzzle device before doing these tasks.

1. Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine with cleaning solution. This may be the most efficient method: “I place my brake in the ultrasonic cleaner. Shiney as new.” (Jim Moseley).

2. Spray with commercial Carb Cleaner and brush. Then apply anti-corrosion coating.

3. Soak in half hydrogen peroxide and half vinegar. Suggestion: “Let sit over night and carbon melts off. Brush remaining carbon off, rinse and put the brake back on.” Apply anti-corrosive before mounting.

4. Soak in 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and brush. (Be sure to apply anti-corrosion coating, such as Eezox, after soaking).

5. Tumble in liquid solution with stainless pins. Comment: “Comes out slightly faded, but perfectly clean on stainless, non-painted brakes though.” Warning — do NOT do this with threaded brakes — tumbling could affect threads of screw-on brakes. Also, tumbling can harm painted or Cerakote finishes.

Gunsmithing Tip: By fitting the muzzle brake so that the barrel crown is slightly forward, it is easier to wipe carbon fouling off the end of the barrel. See photo:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

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September 14th, 2021

Mobile Power Sources for SmartPhones, Tablets, & LabRadars

LabRadar FosPower USB Battery pack charnging LED

Today’s precision shooter is connected. He or she is likely to bring a number of electronic items to the range, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, Kestrel, LabRadar chronograph, and more. These digital devices all require electricity to operate. Unfortunately, most ranges don’t include convenient charging stations for your gadgets. Therefore you need to bring battery back-up. Here are three good options, with storage capacities from 10200 mAh to 42000 mAh. The first unit is fully weather-proof, so it is good for hunters and tactical shooters exposed to the elements. The largest power pack, with AC outlet, is quite versatile and works well on car-camping trips.

1. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $29.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $29.99 with FREE Shipping for Prime members.

2. EasyAcc 20000 mAh Battery Pack with Fast Charging, $42.99

USB

If you want to charge multiple devices, such as a tablet and a LabRadar, you need serious capacity. The EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Notably, this $42.99 Battery Pack charges faster than most other 20K packs. It has two power input ports, allowing it to fully charge in 6-7 hours. (We have another 20000 mAh battery unit that takes over 16 hours to fully charge!). This unit will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 four times or an iPad Mini two times. Note, 78% of Amazon purchasers rated this unit Five Stars (with 13% Four-Star reviews).

3. Jackery 240Wh USB, 110v AC, 12v DC Power Station, $199.99

USB

Many folks have asked us “How can I use a laptop, chronograph, or electronic powder dispenser that requires 110 volt AC power when I’m at the range?” Sure you can take power from your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter jack, but you’ll still need a very long cable and a 12 volt to 110 volt step-up transformer. If you run a cable from the parking lot to the bench or shooting bay you’ll have to leave a window open in your vehicle and fellow shooters can trip over the long cord.

A better solution is to get a portable, combo USB + 110 volt + 12 volt power unit. This versatile 240Wh Jackery Power Station will drive a 110v device, 12v units, PLUS charge a USB tablet and cellphone, all at the same time. You can run a LabRadar for DAYS with this advanced Lithium Ion power-pack. It will also power CPAP machines and other 12v devices. One nice feature is rapid charging. Before your range session or camping trip, plug this into the wall. It will get fully charged in about 3.5 hours from a 110v outlet. Also this unit can recharge from a paired Jackery solar panel ($179.99 sold separately, see below). By itself (without solar panel) the Jackery portable power source is $199.99 on Amazon. See Jackery Product Store.

USB

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September 14th, 2021

Super Slow Motion Video Reveals Hunting Bullet Performance

Hunting season is coming soon in many parts of the nation. If you’re thinking about what bullets to use for your annual game hunt, you’ll find some VERY valuable information here. Federal has created an award-winning Bullet Breakdown Video (below) that demonstrates how various hunting bullets perform in ballistic gelatin. This and other videos are found on Federal Premium Ammunition’s YouTube Channel. The Bullet Breakdown Video features four bullet types used in Federal Ammo: Nosler Ballistic Tip; Sierra GameKing; Trophy Bonded Tip; and Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet.


NOTE: You may want to lower the video sound level before playback.

Federal’s high-resolution, slow-motion video-graphy helps demonstrate which loads are the best for specific uses. The ultra-slo-mo footage provides a detailed view of each bullet penetrating ballistic gelatin blocks. These blocks closely mimic animal tissue and clearly display performance characteristics.

“The Bullet Breakdown Video is a great tool for hunters trying to decide on ammunition type,” said Federal’s Jason Nash. “Properly preparing for the hunt is crucial-and not all bullets are made the same. The bullet is the one link between hunter and game and can be the difference between success and failure. This video helps show hunters how different bullet construction affects terminal performance[.]” For more info, visit www.FederalPremium.com.

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September 13th, 2021

Bargain Finder 312: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Warehouse — $50 Off Ruger American Rifles

ruger american rifle sale
$50 Off Ruger hunting rifles — wide variety of styles and chamberings

All Ruger American rifles are $50 OFF this week at Sportsman’s Warehouse. These Ruger rifles can often shoot MOA or better with factory ammo — making them more than adequate for deer hunting. A wide selection of Ruger American rifles are ON SALE including Predator, Hunter, Compact, Ranch Rifle, and Go Wild Camo models. Most include a Picatinny scope rail. There is a huge choice of chamberings: .22-250, .243 Win, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08, .308 Win, .30-06, .300 WSM, .350 Legend and others. If you need a new hunting rifle check out this Ruger sale.

2. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $399.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
Kit includes press, powder measure, scale, manual and many tools

Everything you see above can be yours for just $399.99. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $399.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. This is good starter kit for any reloader, with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

3. Midsouth — Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press, $47.66

lee hand press
Great value — versatile press, good for bullet seating at range

A good hand press is worth having. Whether seating bullets at the range or doing repetitive tasks at home while watching TV, a hand press can be very useful. One very affordable choice is the Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press. With its breech lock system, you can quickly and easily swap dies. And you can efficiently deprime fired brass with this tool’s built-in primer catcher. Here’s a video from F-Class John showing how you can use the hand press for bullet seating.

4. Midsouth — Match Monster .30 Cal bullets, 500ct $149.99

monster bullets sale
Under $30 per hundred for very good .308 168gr BTHP bullets

With current shortages, it’s been hard to find decent .30-caliber target bullets at a reasonable price. Here’s a good deal for you — Midsouth has Match Monster .30 Cal 168gr BTHP Bullets on Sale. Get a 500-ct box for only $149.99. That’s just $29.98 per hundred! These are “match quality” bullets so you can practice effectively with your .308 Win or .30-06 without breaking the bank.

5. Sportsman’s WHSE — Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotter, $799.99

vortex razor scope
Very good spotter for the price with outstanding warranty

Vortex has updated its top-of-the-line Razor HD spotting scope, changing from an small-knob focus system to a single large focus ring. Now get the previous model Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotting Scope at a huge discount. The $799.99 sale price is $800 less than the current 27-60x85mm Razor HD ($1599.00 on Amazon) — that’s HALF the price! This two-tone $799.99 spotter features premium High Definition (HD) glass for excellent sharpness/resolution with minimal chromatic aberration (color fringing). Exterior lenses are protected by ArmorTek – a scratch-resistant compound that repels oil, dirt, and fingerprints. Verified purchaser reviews have been very positive: “Great spotting scope at a great price”.

6. Graf & Sons — Cutting Edge Monolithic Bullets

cutting edge bullets
Superb solid copper bullets favored by top ELR competitors

Here is a great bullet option for ELR shooters, and hunters who are required to use lead-free projectiles. Grafs.com has the excellent Cutting Edge Bullets on sale now. These are lathe-turned, solid copper precision bullets. Cutting Edge Bullets feature a patented SealTite™ band (slightly larger than caliber diameter) which can help reduce gas blow-by and reduce copper fouling. IMPORTANT: These Cutting Edge Bullets are LEAD FREE so can be used in areas like California which ban hunting with bullets that contain lead. Please note that inventory is very limited for some bullet calibers/weights, so you should act soon.

7. Amazon — McJ Tools Ultimate Lock Rings 6-Pack, $34.99

mcj ultimate lock rings
Good rings are easy to adjust — custom wrench is handy

If you have dies from various die-makers, you probably have many different types of die lock rings, and some are annoying to adjust. Some of them are too small to grip and others lock in a way that can damage threads. You can standardize your rings with McJ Tools Reloading Ultimate Lock Ring set. Each pack comes with six (6) rings, a tailored steel wrench, a Hex key, and two (2) extra set screws so you’ll have everything you need. This system allows you to set your dies up and then tighten them down or easily remove them with the custom wrench without losing your setting.

8. Amazon — Frankford Universal Bullet Seating Die, $65.99

frankford arsenal universal seating die
Smart new Die System simplifies loading multiple cartridge types

Are you tired of buying another expensive seating die every time you try a new cartridge type? With the unique Frankford Arsenal Universal Bullet Seating Die you can have one die that loads multiple cartridge types. This clever bullet seating system includes 3 different stems and 9 sleeves allowing you to seat .224 to .338-caliber bullets with this one multi-caliber tool. Forum members using this system have praised it. NOTE: the universal seating die comes with the .308-caliber sleeve pre-installed. The other 8 sleeves are provided in the box.

9. MidwayUSA — Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit with Mat, $31.99

avid AR5 ar-15 cleaning kit mat tool kit sale
Great accessory for AR15s, cleaning kit and mat with diagrams

We can recommend the Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit/Smart Mat for all AR owners. This includes a large, padded, oil-resistant mat with printed AR parts diagrams and a built-in parts tray. The tool kit, in zippered pouch, has key tools needed to disassemble and clean your AR. The kit also includes the Real Avid Field Guide. At $31.99, this combo set costs less than the Real Avid Cleaning Kit by itself.

10. Amazon — Gun Swabs and Patch Combo, $14.49

cleaning patches
Handy Combo Pack — 600 patches for barrels and 400 swabs

Cleaning patches are a necessity in our sport, and swabs can be very useful. Swabs can clean out the gunk from deep inside your actions and efficiently place lube in tight places. Amazon currently offers a great combo kit with 600 Gun Patches and 400 6″ Gun Swabs. This kit will help you clean barrels and actions.

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September 13th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Model 648 — Impressive .22 WMR Wheelgun

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

We love Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers. We have put thousands of rounds through S&W Model 617 revolvers, with 4″ and 6″ barrels. These stainless .22 LR handguns are accurate, superbly reliable, and they hold their value. In general we’ve found that Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers may be less fussy with ammo, and more trouble-free than typical semi-auto rimfires. Bottom line, we feel that everyone should have an S&W rimfire wheelgun in their collection.

Along with its .22 LR wheelguns, S&W now offers another very impressive Rimfire Revolver option — the “revived” Model 648 in .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire). This stainless Model 648 brings a more powerful cartridge to S&W rimfire revolver fans.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6Built on S&W’s medium K-frame, the 8-round Model 648 is designed for small game hunting and target shooting. The .22 WMR is definitely a much more potent varmint cartridge than the .22 LR. You have more downrange energy plus a flatter trajectory. While the 648 does not come with an integral scope rail, it is not difficult to mount red dot or optical sights to this wheelgun.

The Model 648 revolver is built on a stainless steel medium K-frame and includes black synthetic finger groove grips, a black patridge front sight, and adjustable rear sight. This impressive revolver features a full underlug six-inch barrel, eight-round capacity, and is available with an MSRP of $749.

Model 648 History and Features

According to Guns.com: “The K-frame .22 WMR-caliber Model 648 first appeared in Big Blue’s lineup in 1989 sporting a full-lug barrel and stainless steel construction. Retired since 2005, the newest generation of the Model still brings a 6-inch barrel to the party, which translates to a very commanding 11.1-inch overall length. Weight is 46.2-ounces in the eight-shot .22 Mag, making the gun attractive for both those looking to fill pots and smoke targets.” Shown below is a vintage Model 648.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

Jan Mladek, General Manager of Smith & Wesson General Manager Jan Mladek reports: “The Model 648 is back in production to satisfy the needs of handgun owners who are looking to achieve greater distance while hunting or target shooting. With a full underlug, six-inch barrel and a patridge front sight, the Model 648 has been designed … to boost accuracy at longer distances. While we currently offer .22 Magnum revolvers in both our J-frame and Classics line, we are excited to add this new .22 Magnum revolver to the modern K-frame lineup.”

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September 13th, 2021

NRA Releases 2022 Nat’l Matches Schedule for Camp Atterbury

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The 2022 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships will be held July 15 through August 22, 2022 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. A provisional calendar for next summer has been released, which we publish below so our readers can start their planning.

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The 2022 NRA Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Atterbury will start with OTC (Over the Course) High Power Rifle competition. This is unlike 2021 when the Nationals at Atterbury started with Smallbore events. In 2022 the Smallbore cycle runs from July 28 through August 10. Some competitors have lamented that this overlaps with the Long Range Championship (July 20 – August 4), so shooters will have to choose one or the other. The 1-Mile ELR Match returns to the National Matches Calendar after being dropped in 2021.

OTC Events and Championship: 15-21 July, 2022
Precision Pistol Championship: 17-24 July, 2022
Mid-Range Championship: 23-28 July, 2022
Long Range Championship: 30 July – 4 August, 2022
Smallbore Nationals: 28 July – 10 August, 2022
Extreme Long Range 1-Mile Shoot: 5-7 August, 2022

The 2022 NRA High Power Across the Course, Mid-Range, and Long Range Championships will be fired on the ranges of Camp Atterbury. Matches will begin on July 15 and run through August 4. This year the NRA revives the Extreme Long Range Challenge, which will run August 5-7. All registrations are through the NRA Competition Portal.

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana


CLICK HERE to View Full Screen Calendar PDF »

NOTE: The F-Class Nationals, to our knowledge, will NOT be held at Camp Atterbury in 2022. We’ve been informed that the probable venue will be the Ben Avery Range in Arizona, with probable dates in late October 2022.

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September 12th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: John Whidden’s New .223 Rem Palma Rifle

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem for Long Range Palma, by John Whidden (5-Time Nat’l LR Champion)
We’ve seen quite an amount of interest in recent years in .223s for Long Range Palma shooting. Yes, the .223 Remington is a pretty light cartridge for long range use, but the specific rules of Palma shooting make it a choice worth considering.

Back in 2019, the Int’l Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA), the international governing body for Palma shooting, made a rule change allowing .223 Rem rifles to use bullets of less than 91 grains. Previously the rule allowed the use of bullets less than 81 grains in the .223 Rem, and we have long had the popular option of .308s shooting bullets less than 156 grains. These heavier bullets such as the 85.5gr Berger LR Hybrid and 90gr Berger VLD make the .223s quite competitive in the wind with the old standby .308 Winchester. The .223 does hold the obvious advantage of much lower recoil than the .308. [Editor: The reduced recoil is quite noticeable in the video below where John is shooting his .223 Rem rifle.]

John Whidden Shoots .223 Rem Palma Rifle with 90gr Berger VLDs

Watch video at 00:25 and you’ll see the recoil of Whidden’s .223 Rem Palma rifle is significantly less than a .308 Win Palma rig. John joked: “With the .223 Rem there is just a pop and a wiggle after the shot.”

.223 Rem Palma Rifle — Barnard Action, Tec-Hro Stock

The Barnard P action imported by Whidden Gunworks is the foundation for many winning Palma rifles. As soon as our USA shooters returned from the New Zealand Palma match in 2019 they were immediately requesting bolts to convert their actions to .223 Remington.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Given all of this interest in the .223 Rem, I decided to build one myself and see if all of these theories about wind performance held water. Starting with my Barnard P action, I worked with Tec-Hro in Germany to use one of their Fanatic stocks for the project. The Fanatic is a modern aluminum stock suitable for prone or Three Position use. The stock uses adapter blocks to work with a wide variety of rimfire actions such as Anschutz, Walther, and Feinwerkbau. As far as I know we were the first to test it out for centerfire use. After shooting the stock with my .308 Win barreled action installed to refine a few details and ensure the stock would stand up to recoil, I then mounted my .223 Rem barreled action and went to the range.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Prior to my range visit a decision was made concerning bullets and twist rate. After discussion with Mark Buettgen at Bartlein Barrels I ordered two barrels — a 1:7″-twist and also a 1:6.25″-twist. Mark was looking for some data using the Sierra 90gr MatchKing bullet and we expected that the faster twist rate might give the best success with that MatchKing bullet. When the barrels arrived they were chambered and installed on the rifle.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
John uses a Warner rear adjustable sight with a Centra front sight.

Fast Twist-Rate Barrels for Long .223-Caliber Bullet
First up the 1:6.25″-twist barrel was installed and testing commenced. The barrel shot extremely well right out of the gate. All loads used Lapua brass and Vihtavuori N140 powder. I tested the Berger 85.5gr and 90gr bullets as well as Sierra 90gr and 95gr bullets. Testing with the 6.25-twist barrel went well with both of the Berger bullets looking especially good. Later the 1:7″-twist barrel was mounted and tested.

While both barrels were very accurate we decided that the 1:6.25″-twist barrel outshined the 1:7″-twist tube. Now we all know that some barrels are just a little more accurate than others. With such a small sample of data here (just two barrels) I’m not saying that a 1:6.25″-twist is decidedly better. In fact we have a number of customers shooting 7-twist barrels who are shooting them very well. With this particular rifle however, the 6.25-twist seems to be the more accurate of the two.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem Load Development for Palma Competition

The load I settled on is Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N140 powder, and Berger 90 grain VLDs which I moly-coat. I soft-seat the bullets into the lands with only .001″ neck tension or a little less.

Why the Berger 90gr VLD? The secret sauce is that the 90gr VLD is much superior in the wind after we point it up with the Whidden Pointing Die. The 85.5gr Hybrid bullet comes from Berger with this treatment already done while the 90gr VLD does not. When the 90-grainer is pointed up, the wind drift is a few percent better than the 85.5, given the velocities that I feel comfortable achieving with the rifle.

I settled on 2840 fps for the 90gr VLD and 2880 fps for the 85.5gr Hybrid from a 32″ barrel. When pointed up, the 90-grainer shoots flatter to 1000 yards by 1 MOA which indicates a G7 BC of .289 in my combination. Wind Drift in a 10 mph direct crosswind at 1000 yards is 70.8″ with this 90gr combination compared to 76.8″ for the 85.5gr load.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreTesting in Competition — at Camp Perry
This past August 2021 at the CMP Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry I finally had the chance to shoot the rifle on a big stage. Winds that day were from almost directly 12:00 to about 1:30 switching headwinds. Velocity was around 8-10 mph meaning not the easiest or the hardest of conditions. I managed a third place finish in the Palma match. That proves the .223 Rem is definitely competitive in elite Palma events.

.223 Rem Performance in the Wind
My sense of the .223 Rem’s wind performance was that it was in line with the performance I’d expect from my .308 Win Palma gun. Of course the lack of recoil made the .223 Rem much easier to shoot well.

How to Order a Rifle Like This
Whidden Gunworks can build a rifle like this for Palma competitors who want to move to .223 Rem. John tells us: “We’ve built a number of these combinations of the Barnard P action, Tec-Hro Fanatic stock, and Bartlein barrel. They all shoot incredibly well and the ergonomics are top notch. One of the good points is that the current price of $3875.00 (without sights) makes it a bargain for a top-tier Palma rifle.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreAbout John Whidden
5-Time National Long Range Champion

John Whidden is founder and owner of Whidden Gunworks and a lifelong competitive shooter. Major shooting accomplishments include being a 5-Time U.S. National Long Range Champion, winner of the Australia National Queen’s Prize, and member of three USA Palma Teams. John is currently active in Long Range Highpower, 300 Meter Prone, and Smallbore prone events. John tells us that one secret of his success is having top equipment: “The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks stands ready to help with your shooting and reloading needs. Whidden Gunworks specializes in custom bolt action rifles, reloading dies, other reloading tools, and reloading components. Well known for match-grade custom rifles and high-quality reloading dies, Whidden Gunworks’ growing lineup includes components from Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK rimfire ammunition. Learn more by visiting www.WhiddenGunworks.com.

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September 12th, 2021

Efficient 4-Shot Sight-in Procedure for Hunting Rifles

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Hunting season is starting soon. We know many readers have acquired a new hunting rifles, or perhaps are using new ammo or a new optic. If you’ve got new gear, you’ll want to sight-in and zero your hunting rig properly. Here’s how…

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair (reticle) on the first shot location. Be sure NOT to move your rifle while clicking.

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire SHOT ONE. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. Use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the SECOND SHOT. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a THIRD SHOT with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

Don’t Rush the Process
One more important point comes from reader Bruce: “DO NOT rush the procedure. Hunting rifles need a cold zero. When you go for a walk in the weeds for that freezer-filler with a hat-rack your FIRST (and likely ONLY) shot will be from a COLD barrel. Bambi is not going to hang around while you fire warming shots”.

This Video Shows the Process Described Above:

Fouling Shots and Cold Bore Condition
If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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September 12th, 2021

The Rifle Patriarch — 48 Years of Service to Youth Shooting

Norris Diefenderfer shooting coach maryland retires Chambersburg

CMP Report submitted by George Kuhne, Everett Junior Rifle Club
Norris Diefenderfer, a long-time coach with the Antietam Junior Rifle Club from Hagerstown, Maryland, is retiring after coaching junior athletes for nearly 50 years. Diefenderfer, now 85 years of age, started his coaching career in May of 1973 when the leader of the Washington County, Maryland, 4-H rifle club became ill and was unable to find a replacement. Norris stepped in to fill the role. Now, 48 years later, after coaching hundreds of talented young shooters, Norris is retiring.

Norris Diefenderfer shooting coach maryland retires Chambersburg
Norris delivering instruction to his shooters on the standing position. Norris was adamant about teaching a standing shooting position that does not put unnecessary stress on the spine.

Norris Diefenderfer shooting coach maryland retires Chambersburg
Norris (left, seated) with his team members at the 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry. Norris brought his first group of juniors to the National Matches at Camp Perry in 1982, starting a tradition that has continued since.

77 of Diefenderfer’s Shooters Have Received Division 1 College Scholarships
This summer, at the 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry, Norris decided to retire after 48 years of coaching. He leaves a legacy of dedication to hundreds of young athletes, including 77 who have gone on to receive Division 1 college shooting scholarships. These scholarships total in the millions of dollars and have made education possible for a number of individuals who may not have attended college without them. Several of his athletes have also gone on to All-American honors at the collegiate level.

Initially, the 4-H rifle club only met through the summer months, with their season culminating at the annual 4-H rifle match. As time passed, Norris became interested in getting his juniors involved in additional matches. He acquired the ability to use the nearby Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club range in Pennsylvania and held weekly practices, alternating between smallbore and air rifle. Once a month, the young athletes would shoot a college-format match consisting of a course of fire of 60-shot 3P (three position) smallbore along with 60-shot standing air rifle.

During the summer months Norris moved his practices to the North American Rod & Gun Club in Hagerstown, Maryland, for outdoor shooting at 50 yards — maintaining a personal philosophy that shooting outdoors helped make for better indoor results. Norris also directed week-long smallbore summer camps at the Hagerstown Club.

Norris Diefenderfer shooting coach maryland retires Chambersburg
This photo is from a report on 2013 Antietam summer smallbore camp lead by Norris Diefenderfer and rifle Coach Kelley of the U.S. Naval Academy. CLICK HERE for a full report with more photos.

Upon his retirement from employment in 1996, Norris renamed the club the Antietam Junior Rifle Club. His junior athletes began traveling to several matches outside of their club like the state Junior Olympic Rifle Competition (JORC), the National Rifle Association (NRA) sectionals, the Palmyra Invitational and some open collegiate matches.

Diefenderfer’s successful teaching methods have been shared with coaches for many other training programs. He stresses shooting positions that are fundamentally sound and safe for the juniors, avoiding the all-too-often occurring back and spine issues that can occur from poor training. His sense of humor and warm, encouraging demeanor with his athletes will be greatly missed.

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September 11th, 2021

Remembering the 9/11 Attack after Twenty Years

Remembrance 9/11 attack world trade center
Image from Creedmoor Sports

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” — Ronald Reagan

Today marks the 20th anniversary of a tragic day in American history. Much like December 7th, 9/11 remains a “date which will live in infamy”. On this 11th day of September 2021, we think it is good for Americans to honor the sacrifice of the first responders who went to the World Trade Center (WTC) and who lost their lives. And we must remember all those who died as the towers collapsed. It is also a good time to remember those key values for which this nation stands — freedom, liberty, and justice for all. In a modern world where media sources and politicians seek to divide Americans and create hostility, the shared memory of 9/11 can perhaps serve to unite us.

Forum member Charlie NC posted: “Everybody remembers where they were when the attacks happened, and the emotions they felt. God bless the victims who died that day, and those who followed in the pursuit of justice. But at a terrible time our country was more united than at any other point in my lifetime. Hopefully may we regain that harmony again under better circumstances.”

Remembrance from 20 Years Ago — Days Before the Attack
Forum member David Joe was in New York City in September 20 years ago. David had actually been in the World Trade Center with his family just a few days before the attack. Here is his perspective on how the tragedy of 9/11 has changed life in America…

Twenty Years Ago at the World Trade Center…
Twenty years and a week ago, my wife, son, and unborn daughter spent five hours at the World Trade Center. We ate, took pictures everywhere, watched the tilting platform movie, pressed souvenir pennies, went to the top, talked to the employees and watched birthday flowers being delivered up the escalator to one of them. And that’s what we first thought about on the morning of 9/11…

Remembrance 9/11 attack world trade center

By the evening of 9/11, I knew the world was different, and always would be. In all the years that have gone by, families like mine eventually travelled again, grew up and recognized at least once a year, the magnitude of the events of that day. Some think about it all the time and became more vigilant, and that is certainly, I hope, good.

Other families were directly involved daily in preventing terrorism from coming home again. Thousands of families lost relatives that day, and many more in the years after.

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September 11th, 2021

Pyramyd Air Backyard Brawl 2021 Contest — Free Targets

Pyramyd Air Backyard Brawl video silhouette airgun contest video

Pyramyd Air is running a great contest right now — the Backyard Brawl. There will be $7,000 in CASH PRIZES. Four Grand Prize winners will each get $1000.00. But act soon — the entry deadline is September 15, 2019, just a few days away.

Backyard Brawl Information | Backyard Brawl Official Rules

Pyramyd Air Backyard Brawl video silhouette airgun contest video

This Backyard Brawl contest is a bit unusual. To enter you need to shoot a set of mini silhouettes and then make a video. The silhouette targets are free with code BRAWL21 (you just pay for shipping). Once you receive the targets, knock ‘em down with your airgun, and upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo. You MUST upload a video to be entered in the contest. Make sure the title includes “Pyramyd Air Backyard Brawl” and put this link in the description: https://www.pyramydair.com/bb.

Pyramyd Air Backyard Brawl video silhouette airgun contest video

How to Enter Backyard Brawl Contest
Order Air Venturi Airgun Slynger Metal Silhouette Targets, FREE with promo code BRAWL21 (just pay shipping). Then upload a video of you shooting the targets with an air rifle or air pistol. Limit one entry per person. Contest ends September 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on/around the week of October 1st, 2021.

Backyard Brawl Contestant Videos
Here are two videos uploaded by past Backyard Brawl contest entrants. You’ll see some pretty good shooting with interesting airguns. Can you make a more entertaining video?


Here Matt Coulter shoots a .22 Caliber Royale with JSP Express Jumbo pellets at about 580 fps.


In this video, UpNorthAirGunner shoots a Benjamin Marauder .177 Field & Target, a Broom-Handle Mauser clone full-auto BB Pistol, and a Seneca “Dragon Claw” .50 caliber air rifle.

How to Enter Backyard Brawl and How to Get Your Four FREE Mini Silhouette Targets

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September 11th, 2021

Do You REALLY Know MilliRadians? Intro to Mils and Mildots

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian | 1 Milliradian = 0.0573 degrees.

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 360 degrees = 2 x Pi (symbol π) Radians. That means 1 Radian is about 57.3 degrees. 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian. Thus 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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September 10th, 2021

Gone in SIX Seconds — The Brutal Truth of Short Barrel Life

Stopwatch barrel life

This thought-provoking article has been one of the most popular Daily Bulletin features in recent years. We are republishing this story today for readers who may have missed it the first time around…

Here’s a little known fact that may startle most readers, even experienced gunsmiths: your barrel wears out in a matter of seconds. The useful life of a typical match barrel, in terms of actual bullet-in-barrel time, is only a few seconds. How can that be, you ask? Well you need to look at the actual time that bullets spend traveling through the bore during the barrel’s useful life. (Hint: it’s not very long).

Bullet-Time-in-Barrel Calculations
If a bullet flies at 3000 fps, it will pass through a 24″ (two-foot) barrel in 1/1500th of a second. If you have a useful barrel life of 3000 rounds, that would translate to just two seconds of actual bullet-in-barrel operating time.

Ah, but it’s not that simple. Your bullet starts at zero velocity and then accelerates as it passes through the bore, so the projectile’s average velocity is not the same as the 3000 fps muzzle velocity. So how long does a centerfire bullet (with 3000 fps MV) typically stay in the bore? The answer is about .002 seconds. This number was calculated by Varmint Al, who is a really smart engineer dude who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a government think tank that develops neutron bombs, fusion reactors and other simple stuff.

On his Barrel Tuner page, Varmint Al figured out that the amount of time a bullet spends in a barrel during firing is under .002 seconds. Al writes: “The approximate time that it takes a 3300 fps muzzle velocity bullet to exit the barrel, assuming a constant acceleration, is 0.0011 seconds. Actual exit times would be longer since the bullet is not under constant acceleration.”

We’ll use the .002 number for our calculations here, knowing that the exact number depends on barrel length and muzzle velocity. But .002 is a good average that errs, if anything, on the side of more barrel operating life rather than less.

So, if a bullet spends .002 seconds in the barrel during each shot, and you get 3000 rounds of accurate barrel life, how much actual firing time does the barrel deliver before it loses accuracy? That’s simple math: 3000 x .002 seconds = 6 seconds.

Stopwatch barrel lifeGone in Six Seconds. Want to Cry Now?
Six seconds. That’s how long your barrel actually functions (in terms of bullet-in-barrel shot time) before it “goes south”. Yes, we know some barrels last longer than 3000 rounds. On the other hand, plenty of .243 Win and 6.5-284 barrels lose accuracy in 1500 rounds or less. If your barrel loses accuracy at the 1500-round mark, then it only worked for three seconds! Of course, if you are shooting a “long-lived” .308 Win that goes 5000 rounds before losing accuracy, then you get a whopping TEN seconds of barrel life. Anyway you look at it, a rifle barrel has very little longevity, when you consider actual firing time.

People already lament the high cost of replacing barrels. Now that you know how short-lived barrels really are, you can complain even louder. Of course our analysis does give you even more of an excuse to buy a nice new Bartlein, Krieger, Shilen etc. barrel for that fine rifle of yours.

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September 10th, 2021

David Chipman Withdrawn as Nominee for ATF Director

ATF David Chipman Nomination BATFE Second Amendment Foundation

Recognizing that a confirmation vote was likely to fail, the Biden White House has retracted the nomination of David Chipman to head the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). An aggressive anti-gunner, Chipman has advocated the banning of AR-15s and other popular semi-auto rifles. There were concerns about the handling of his own, issued firearms when he worked for the ATF, and his statements as a paid anti-gun activist were extreme and worrisome. Chipman is currently a paid gun control lobbyist who has worked for Bloomberg’s Everytown, as well as the gun control groups Brady United and Giffords Law Center.

Sen. Mitch McConnell was pleased that the Biden Administration retracted the “terrible nomination of David Chipman”. McConnell noted that it was “absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ Constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”

Sen. Steve Daines concurred: “I’ve been opposed to David Chipman leading the ATF from the start. He’s an anti-Second Amendment, gun-grabbing radical that should not lead the agency that regulates firearms.”

“The defeat of David Chipman is a victory for all Americans who value the right of self-defense,” said Young Americans for Liberty spokesman Eric Brakey, who added: “Chipman has called for a total ban on private ownership of commonly-owned firearms — like the AR-15[.] President Biden should have never nominated this rabid activist on the payroll of Bloomberg-funded anti-gun groups to lead the ATF in the first place.” And the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb stated: “This is a great grassroots victory for the Second Amendment.”

Immediately following Chipman’s nomination, Gottlieb said it had the smell of political patronage to the Giffords Law Center gun control lobbying group. He also accurately portrayed the nomination as a declaration of war on gun owners’ rights. “We predicted Joe Biden’s pick would ignite a political firestorm, and it did”, Gottlieb recalled. “The President has been so wrong on so many issues, and the Chipman nomination ranks right up there[.]”

Gottlieb continued: “We’re proud of the grassroots effort to defeat this foolish Biden scheme to put an acknowledged extremist gun ban advocate in charge of ATF[.] This is a major defeat for the billionaire elitists who bankroll the gun prohibition movement.”

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms declared that the withdrawal of anti-gun lobbyist David Chipman’s nomination to head the ATF is “a much-deserved defeat for the gun prohibition lobby and Joe Biden”.

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September 10th, 2021

3.2 Million New Gun Owners in 2021 — NSSF Survey Estimates

NSSF new gun owners survey 2021 first half

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently surveyed firearm retailers nationwide. Based on this survey, the NSSF estimates that over 3.2 million people purchased a firearm for the first time during the first half of 2021. The survey was conducted to learn the buying habits of firearm purchasers during the first six months of 2021. Respondents indicated that 33.2% of customers, or 3,247,351, purchased a firearm for the first time, based on June’s total of nearly 9.8 million background checks for a gun sale.

New Gun Owners Create Massive Demand for Ammo Production
The fact that we have millions of new gun owners is a major cause of the continuing ammo shortage. Consider this — if those 3.2 million new gun owners each purchase just two, 50rd boxes of ammunition, that is 320,000,000 rounds that must be produced to meet the new demand.

“This survey shows that there is a continuing demand signal for firearms from the American public,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “We witnessed each month background check figures associated with a gun sale that are second only to those we saw in last year’s record-breaking totals. These survey results show not only is there a strong and healthy appetite from first-time gun buyers but that there is still room to grow. We are encouraged by the sustained interest in lawful and responsible gun ownership as well as by the manufacturing base which has been challenged to meet this remarkable demand.”

NSSF new gun owners survey 2021 first half

More Women and More Diversity Among Gun Owners
Survey results showed that in the first six months of 2021 there was a significant increase in the percentage of buyers who were female, compared to the period before the Pandemic. In addition, the percentage of gun buyers who were African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American increased significantly. So the ranks of USA gun owners are becoming significantly more diverse, and women are making up an ever-growing share of gun owners.

Training Resources for New Gun Owners

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

In response to the record number of first-time gun buyers in 2020-21, the NRA’s Education & Training Division is offering five Online Gun Safety Courses that can be completely online at home. The five NRA Online Gun Safety Courses ARE:

1. Gun Safety Seminar
2. NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course — Distance Learning
3. NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course — Distance Learning
4. NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course — Distance Learning
5. NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course — Distance Learning

Each course, lasting from one to eight hours, is available online at NRAInstructors.org. To Access the 0nline training options, first CLICK HERE. Then under the Heading “DISTANCE LEARNING”, you will see options. CLICK the small gray box at the left of the title to select the course. IMPORTANT — Next you MUST SCROLL to the bottom of the NRA webpage to SEARCH. Select your state or Zip code, then you will get a list of the moderated online courses in your area.

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September 9th, 2021

Headspace Basics — What You Need to Know

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip Video, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge. If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Problems Caused by Too Much Headspace
Excessive headspace issues can include: light primer strikes, failure to fire, bulged/blown cases, case separations, split shoulders, or unseated primers after firing. Case ruptures caused by excessive headspace can lead to catastrophic failures causing serious injury. That is why headspace is such an important measurement.

Problems Cause by Too Little Headspace
Insufficent (or excessively tight) headspace can prevent the firearm from going into battery, resulting in failure to fire or deformation of the cartridge case. Various feeding and functioning problems can be caused by cases with too little headspace, even if a round can be chambered (with effort).

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

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September 9th, 2021

Top Shooters Teach Marksmanship at Camp Perry Nat’l Matches

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

This article recognizes the efforts of military men and women who teach others shooting skills and preserve the proud traditions of American marksmanship.

The National Matches at Camp Perry, a staple in the marksmanship world for over 100 years, include many excellent training clinics taught by military teams as well as CMP instructors. The CMP offers an entire lineup of educational courses for those new to the sport and those eager to develop their skills. The types of rifle and pistol courses span from junior to adult, competitive to maintenance and everything in between. Along with classes taught by CMP staffers, other courses are taught by military personnel, including many past and current National Champions and record-holders.

Small Arms Firing School Led by 3-Time Nat’l HP Champion SSG Brandon Green
This year, the Small Arms Firing School was directed by many top-flight marksmen from a number of military teams. The rifle classroom portion was led by the USAMU’s SFC Brandon Green (shown below), a 3-Time National High Power Champion who holds multiple national records including a perfect score in the President’s Rifle event.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The 2021 Rifle Small Arms Firing School helped train over 250 individuals on the range.

Out on the line, world-class shooters such as SSG Amanda Elsenboss and MAJ Samuel Freeman, the 2021 winner of the President’s Rifle Match, brought their knowledge and experience into one-on-one training with participants. Elsenboss is one of America’s greatest shooters. She recently won the 2021 National High Power Championship at Camp Atterbury, after winning the National Long-Range Championship in 2019.

“Having those world-class shooters serve as instructors is an honor and one the students should remember always”, Cooper added.

U.S. Marine Corps Junior Clinic
The Marine Corps junior clinic, guided by MAJ Martinez (USMC Shooting Team Officer), is always a big hit with up-and-coming young rifle shooters. CMP Training Manager Steve Cooper noted: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic young people, who revere the Marine Corps Shooting Team, come out and take advantage of the instruction at this year’s clinic.”

The 3-day clinic includes more advanced training beyond fundamentals, including weather conditions, how to read wind, equipment use, shooting positions, and rulebook standards. Juniors in the clinic spend one day in the classroom, followed by two days of live-fire on the range at 200, 300, and 600 yards.

Marine corps junior clinic CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

“We talk to them and try to understand them, what they struggle with as individuals and their process,” Cooper said of the USMC’s training technique. “We try to give them tiny, little fixes to what they already have going on.”

GySgt Daniel Rhodes, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Rifle Team, helped lead instruction on the firing line in 2021. Rhodes was pleased with the turnout of around 80 juniors. Rhodes explained that around 25 percent of the juniors in the clinic were first-timers.

Team CMP Advanced High Power Clinic:
Led by members of Team CMP (the organization’s own competitive High Power squad) the Advanced High Power Clinic offers more complex instruction in service rifle competition techniques using classroom and range discussion. Though the class traditionally only utilizes dry-fire training on the range, in 2021, a 600-yard live-fire portion was added.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The Advanced High Power Clinic, led by Team CMP members including Bob Gil (above), provides advanced training on wind reading, mental management and more.

With 65 individuals signed up, the course was broken into groups headed by Sara Rozanski, James Fox, Nick Till, Danny Arnold, Robert Taylor and Bob Gil — all experienced and award-winning marksmen. Each focused on a specific area, such as wind reading, mental management and positioning.

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September 9th, 2021

Mental Preparation for Shooting Competitions

randi rogers mental preparation

Randi Rogers is one of best female action shooters in the world. Randi has captured over 60 World and National Titles in seven different shooting disciplines for pistol, shotgun, and rifle. From her early wins in the world of Cowboy Action Shooting, to bringing home a Gold Medal from the 2011 IPSC World Shot in Greece, Randi is a winner. Competing as ‘Holy Terror’, Randi has won the ladies’ division at the SASS Cowboy Action World Championships so many times, they might as well retire the Ladies’ Trophy with her name on it. Randi, who started shooting at age 11, now competes in several disciplines including Cowboy Action Shooting, USPSA, Steel Challenge, IDPA, IPSC, and NRA Action Pistol. When Randi is not on the road or in the office (where she serves as Comp-Tac’s Marketing/Sales Manager), there’s a good chance you’ll find Randi on the range preparing for the next match. In this article from RandiRogersShooting.com, Randi talks about the “mental game” and how she gets ready for a big match.

randi rogers mental preparation


Preparing Mentally for a Shooting Competition by Randi Rogers

As I head to [a major match] I have a lot of tasks to complete. One of the most important [tasks] is preparing mentally. For an experienced shooter, the mental part of shooting is more important than knowing how to pull a trigger. The mind is an amazing thing and if you/it believes something, your mind will override all the skills you have. Example: if you think that you are bad at throwing a ball you will throw the ball badly.

Over the years I have formed a few techniques to help myself with my mental game:

1. Make Peace with your Current Skills. When I get on the plane is when my mental preperation really starts. This is when I decide that I am ready to shoot, confident in my skills and can achive the goals I set for myself. From this point forward I make peace with my shooting and tell myself that if I follow my plan I will achive my goals. There is no longer any time for me to become a better shooter.

2. Set a Goal and a Plan. When I attend a shooting competition I have a goal in mind and a plan for how I want to get there. This varies on what shooting sport it is. I may have the goal that I want to place in the top half of the shooters in my division. In order to achieve that goal I may have decided that I need to concentrate on accuracy. When you set goals and plans they need to reflect all of the work you have been doing. For instance, it does not make sense to say “I will win everything” if you haven’t practiced in four years. It is important to set achievable but still challenging goals.

3. Stay Positive! Whenever you set goals or “talk” to yourself mentally it is important to stay away from negative commands and negative words. I don’t tell myself “Don’t Miss,” because this is a negative command. It is like telling a child “Don’t spill the milk.” What are they going to do? Spill the milk.

4. Stick to the Plan. As I get ready and start competing in the match sometimes my mental voice goes haywire saying things like, “that wasn’t fast enough,” “that was a huge mistake,” “look how fast they are,” “they are going to beat you” and so on. It is hard but you have to banish these thoughts. You can’t change your plan now, there is nothing that you can do to suddenly become a better shooter. Instead think of your goal and plan and repeat it to yourself over and over again. For instance, “I am going to finish in the top half of my division and I am going to shoot accurately.”

As I head into a major competition my mental plan is to [remember] “Sights” and “Stay Aggressive.” I want to make sure I am remembering to look at my sights and shoot accurately, but I also want to make sure that I am not getting lazy. I need to move and shoot as fast as possible while still making my hits. As for my goal, I will keep that a secret for now.

5. Work on your Weak Points On her Facebook Page, Randi posted: “Fun fact — when I first started shooting, my left hand was so weak that the gun would jam up every single shot. So my grandfather made me shoot for a week straight with nothing but support hand. To this day I never sweat support hand stages even if they are limited!”

Have a great next match and remember Rise to the Challenge! — Randi Rogers, Team Ruger

Watch Randi Speed Through a Cowboy Action Competition Stage

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September 8th, 2021

Norma Ammo Now Available Direct from NormaShooting.com

norma ammo ammunition direct sales factory online free shipping

Good news for rimfire and centerfire shooters. Norma is now selling ammunition direct through its website at very competitive prices. What’s more you get FREE Shipping on all orders over $50, plus free insurance with all orders. A wide variety of ammunition is available now at NormaShooting.com. Norma states that Norma ammunition’s official online store, NormaShooting.com has both centerfire and rimfire ammunition “in stock, ready to ship” and “whether you need ammunition for target practice, hunting purposes or defensive measures, there is plenty of ammo for sale at Norma Shooting.”

Here are examples of current Norma ammo deals, in stock as of 9:00 am ET on September 8, 2021:

Norma 9mm Luger, 124gr FMJ, $19.99/50 rounds (Range and Training Ammo)
Norma TAC-22 Rimfire Ammunition, .22 LR 40gr, $79.99/500 rounds ($7.99/box or $0.16/rd)
Norma Whitetail 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr Softpoint, $29.99/20rds (Hunting Ammo)
.30-06 Springfield 150gr Softpoint, $31.99/20 rds (Hunting Ammo)

CLICK HERE for All Norma Ammunition In-Stock »

The Norma TAC-22 rimfire ammunition is very good. Here is an example of accuracy with a lot from 2017. Photo from Champion Shooters Supply. Groups shot with Anschutz 1913 match rifle at 50 yards.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR Champion shooter supply

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