July 26th, 2014

SCATT MX-02 for High Power Shooters

The SCATT MX-02 is a revolutionary electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow recently tested this product, as fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle. Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and thereby shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Back in January, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Recently, we had the chance to test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its implications for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.

CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review.

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

Test Drive the MX-02 at Camp Perry
SCATT electronic training systems are currently on display at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Interested shooters can try out SCATT at Champion Shooters on Commercial Row, Building #1023B.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Gear Review, New Product Post comment »
July 26th, 2014

Jerry Miculek Shoots Original, Full-Auto AR-10 from the Fifties

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10′s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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July 26th, 2014

Coefficient Conundrum: G1 vs. G7, Which BC Should You Use

The better, up-to-date ballistics programs let you select either G1 or G7 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) values when calculating a trajectory. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. You’ve probably seen that G7 values are numerically lower than G1 values for the same bullet (typically). But that doesn’t mean you should select a G1 value simply because it is higher.

Some readers are not quite sure about the difference between G1 and G7 models. One forum member wrote us: “I went on the JBM Ballistics website to use the web-based Trajectory Calculator and when I got to the part that gives you a choice to choose between G1 and G7 BC, I was stumped. What determines how, or which one to use?”

The simple answer to that is the G1 value normally works better for shorter flat-based bullets, while the G7 value should work better for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — Which Is Right for You?
G1 and G7 refer both refer to aerodynamic drag models based on particular “standard projectile” shapes. The G1 shape looks like a flat-based bullet. The G7 shape is quite different, and better approximates the geometry of a modern long-range bullet. So, when choosing your drag model, G1 is preferrable for flat-based bullets, while G7 is ordinarily a “better fit” for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 G7 Ballistic coefficients

Drag Models — G7 is better than G1 for Long-Range Bullets
Many ballistics programs still offer only the default G1 drag model. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, believes the G7 standard is preferrable for long-range, low-drag bullets: “Part of the reason there is so much ‘slop’ in advertised BCs is because they’re referenced to the G1 standard which is very speed sensitive. The G7 standard is more appropriate for long range bullets. Here’s the results of my testing on two low-drag, long-range boat-tail bullets, so you can see how the G1 and G7 Ballistic coefficients compare:

G1 BCs, averaged between 1500 fps and 3000 fps:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.659 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.645 lb/in²

The reason the BC for the JLK is less is mostly because the meplat was significantly larger on the particular lot that I tested (0.075″ vs 0.059″; see attached drawings).

For bullets like these, it’s much better to use the G7 standard. The following BCs are referenced to the G7 standard, and are constant for all speeds.

G7 BCs:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.337 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.330 lb/in²

Many modern ballistics programs, including the free online JBM Ballistics Program, are able to use BCs referenced to G7 standards. When available, these BCs are more appropriate for long range bullets, according to Bryan.

[Editor's NOTE: BCs are normally reported simply as an 0.XXX number. The lb/in² tag applies to all BCs, but is commonly left off for simplicity.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
July 25th, 2014

How to Use Press-Mounted Bullet-Pulling Tools

In our Shooters’ Forum, a member recently noted that he needed to pull down (disassemble) some ammunition that was loaded incorrectly by one of his shooting buddies. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerHornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in this video:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obsructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading Post comment »
July 25th, 2014

Get Up-to-Date Match Results from Camp Perry

The NRA maintains a webpage with the latest results for all the National rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Click any of the links below to launch a page with match-by-match results. Once you navigate to the appropriate results page, click the particular match title (or 3-digit match number) to open a table with ranked lists of competitors with their scores. For example, the National High Power Rifle Championship is Match number 400.

CLICK for MATCH RESULTS

Over $25,000 Worth of Prizes at 2014 NRA Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield M1A Match was held Wednesday July 24, 2014. Sponsored by Springfield Armory, this popular event features big-money payouts and valuable hardware prizes. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded, with categories for shooters of all skill levels. There was a big turn-out for the event. Competitors were treated to bright, sunny skies yesterday. Here are photos from the match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Permalink Competition, News Post comment »
July 25th, 2014

Hodgdon Goes Hollywood, Releasing How-To Reloading Videos

Hodgdon Reloading Center VideoHodgdon Powder Company (Hodgdon) has released three new professionally produced how-to videos on its popular Reloading Data Center. These 3.5 minute videos present rifle, pistol, and shotshell reloading basics in an easy-to-understand,step-by-step format. These mobile-friendly, informative videos can also be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.

To watch the reloading videos go to the Reloading Data Center at hodgdon.com. Click to the right/left of the displayed video to switch between pistol, rifle, and shotgun videos. Or, for your convenience, we have embedded the Rifle and Pistol videos here. Just click to watch!

Click to Watch Hodgdon Rifle Reloading Video:

Click to Watch Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Video:

In addition to the new videos, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center (RDC) provides a wealth of information on Hodgdon®, IMR®, and Winchester® propellants. Along with reliable load data, you’ll find explanations of reloading basics, safety procedures, plus answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Hodgdon Reloading Center Video

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 3 Comments »
July 24th, 2014

Kevin Nevius of Team Lapua Wins Smallbore Prone Championship

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.com
Kevin Nevius is the 2014 NRA smallbore prone National Champion. It’s not the first time Nevius has won the NRA Smallbore Prone Rifle crown. A phenomenal prone shooter, Nevius has now secured multiple National Titles. That may be surprising notion given Kevin’s relatively late start in the sport of competitive shooting.

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

“My brother got me into long range varmint hunting and I started building my own guns very early,” Nevius told Dan Holmes in an earlier Pronematch.com interview. “I had a hunting friend who shot indoor smallbore who started me in three position and I was hooked.”

With a practically perfect score of 4799-390X, Nevius beat out second and third place shooters by two points … on the final day of the Conventional Championships. The 2014 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships wrap up this weekend with Metric Prone. Will we have another new 2014 smallbore champion or will there finally be a repeat? Stay Tuned.

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

Kevin Nevius, 2014 Smallbore Prone National Champion

“He showed his steel,” said Assistant Match Director Victoria Croft. “On the last day, the final relay, when it really counted, he didn’t miss a shot.”

kevin nevius Lapua rimfire, smallbore championship

Kevin Nevius file photo from Southeastern Michigan Northern Ohio High Masters Shooting Club.

Permalink Competition 5 Comments »
July 24th, 2014

New Caldwell Brass-Catcher Mounts on AR Picatinny Rails

Hate chasing brass ejected from your AR platform rifle? Well here’s a clever new accessory — a brass catcher that mounts easily to the Picatinny rail on top of your upper receiver. There are other types of brass-catching rigs on the market, but this is one of the best products we’ve seen for ARs with Picatinny rails. Caldwell’s AR Pic Rail Brass Catcher mounts easily with a quick-detach aluminum clamp. Both the clamp and wire frame are adjustable so they won’t interfere with your scope or scope mounts.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

We like the quick-detach feature. This lets you quickly check and/or clear your chamber, or inspect the bolt. The bag itself, made from heat-resistant mesh fabric, will hold approximately one hundred .223 Rem cartridge cases. And here’s another nice feature — the bag has a zipper on the bottom so you can quickly dump your spent brass without having to remove the brass-catcher from your rifle.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

Brass Catcher Features:

- Captures fired casings before they hit the ground.

- Quick-detach system mounts securely — no fumbling with straps.

- Compatible with most Picatinny rail-equipped AR-10s as well.

- Heat-resistant mesh bag holds 100 pieces of brass.

- Fully adjustable — can be placed at any point on Picatinny rail.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

If you shoot an AR and reload your own ammo, you should get some kind of brass-catching device. With a $39.19 “street price” ($49.99 MSRP), this is one of the more affordable options. Once you use a rig like this and no longer have to pick up brass from the ground, you may get spoiled. Moreover, a brass-catcher like this will earn you “Brownie Points” with other shooters at your range who no longer have to dodge your hot brass.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product Post comment »
July 23rd, 2014

Sinclair Full-Length Sizing Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. With a hunting load, shoulder bumping may only be required every 4-5 loading cycles. Short-range benchrest shooters, running higher pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. High Power shooters with gas guns generally full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Sinclair Die Shims

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments.

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.”

Sinclair Die ShimsSinclair Int’l offers a 7-piece set of Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s $12.49 Die Shim Kit (item 22400) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

Permalink Reloading 8 Comments »
July 23rd, 2014

Historic President’s Match at Camp Perry

The President’s Rifle Match is a notable rifle competition that is steeped in history. This match was first held in 1878. The top shooter at the 2014 President’s Rifle Match Final was SGT Augustus Dunfey of Phenix City, Alabama. A member of the USAMU squad, Dunfey posted an Aggregate score of 393-14X. Reigning National High Power Champion Brandon Green, also of the USAMU, finished second with 388-15X. High Junior was Nash Neubauer firing a 383-8X. Interestingly. Neubauer’s 383-8X score was good for 6th place overall, beating 94 other shooters, including many military team members. Great shooting Nash! High Senior was Richard Zolnowsky with 376-14X.

Dunfey USAMU President's Match

CLICK HERE for Results of President’s Match and Other National Trophy Matches.

Origins of the President’s Match
The National Rifle Association’s President’s Match was instituted in 1878, as the American Military Rifle Championship Match. In 1884, the name was changed to the President’s Match for the Military Rifle Championship of the United States. It was fired at Creedmoor, New York until 1891. In 1895, it was reintroduced at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Today, the match is held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Dunfey USAMU President's MatchThe President’s Match was patterned after an event for British Volunteers called the Queen’s Match. That British competition was started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain to increase the ability of Britain’s marksmen following the Crimean War.

The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Theodore Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

After a hiatus in the 1930s and 1940s, The President’s Match was reinstated in 1957 at the National Matches as “The President’s Hundred.” The 100 top-scoring competitors in the President’s Match were singled out for special recognition.

CLICK HERE for history of the President’s Match.

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July 23rd, 2014

Beretta Will Move All Manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee

Goodbye Maryland, Hello Tennessee. Due to passage of restrictive laws in Maryland, Beretta will move all gun-making operations to Tennessee. On July 22, Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced that it will move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.

“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store, or even import into the State products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the State”, declared Jeff Cooper, Beretta U.S.A.’s General Manager.

“While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent…to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility“, Cooper added.

The transition of production from Beretta U.S.A.’s Maryland facility to the Tennessee facility will not occur until 2015 and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta U.S.A.’s production of the U.S. Armed Forces M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek, Maryland facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.

Beretta U.S.A. anticipates that the Gallatin, Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 employees during the next five years. Beretta U.S.A. has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland facility.

About Beretta
Beretta, established in 1526, traces its roots through 16 generations of continuous family ownership. Firearms bearing the Beretta name have been sold for almost 500 years. Beretta U.S.A. was founded in 1977 and supplies the standard sidearm to the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, Beretta manufactures and markets a complete line of firearms, accessories, and apparel.

Permalink News 7 Comments »
July 22nd, 2014

Huge Inventory Reduction Sale of RCBS Products at Bullets.com

Bullets.com has launched a huge closeout on its entire RCBS inventory. Here’s a great opportunity to save big bucks on high-quality RCBS tools and reloading accessories, including RCBS Chargemasters and even RCBS Rockchucker presses. The folks at Bullets.com report: “We have slashed prices to levels at or below cost on hundreds of items.” Guys — take note: this is a unique opportunity to pick up some great gear at truly rock-bottom prices. In fact the deals are so good that your Editor plans to purchase a couple presses, a powder measure stand, and some accessories for my RCBS 2000 progressive press. I really don’t think you can beat these prices… and remember this is an inventory close-out sale, limited to stock on hand. When it’s gone, it’s gone. So don’t say we didn’t warn you!

RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

GO to RCBS Sale at Bullets.com

Closeout items include:
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction saleReloading Presses
Electronic Powder Measures
Reloading Kits
Digital and Beam Scales
Tumblers
Ultrasonic Cleaners
Sizing and Seating Dies
Shell Holders
Bullet Casting Kits
Case Prep Tools and much more.

Here Are Some of the RCBS Presses on Sale:
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

Get RCBS Factory Rebates
In connection with this Bullets.com SALE, you can save even more with RCBS factory rebates. If you spend $50.00 you can get a $10.00 rebate. If you spend at least $300.00 on RCBS products you can save $50.00. These rebates are good through 12/31/2014. CLICK HERE for details.

Click for Detals
RCBS Rebate Bullets.com inventory reduction sale

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