March 2nd, 2014
Jere’s something new for you AR fans — an AR15 with laminated wood furniture. At SHOT Show 2014, Windham Weaponry introduced the VEX (Varmint Exterminator) Wood Stock line of rifles. Windham calls its first VEX model the “Pepper”, for the gray/black tones of the laminated stock. This should work better on the bags than conventional ARs. Up front, the handguard is wider on the underside (with a flared profile similar to the beavertail fore-ends on Cooper rifles). The buttstock has a dropped section at the rear for riding a sandbag. The $1480.00 VEX rifle features a 20″, 1:8″-twist fluted stainless barrel. Designed for scoped use, the A4-type flattop upper comes with optics riser blocks. There’s a Pic rail up front if you want to add a front iron sight.
Click to zoom photo
CLICK HERE to Download PDF Version of this Spec Sheet.
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March 1st, 2014
It’s not easy to place a first shot on target at 1500 yards. You must measure the wind speed with precision, know your exact muzzle velocity, and have a sophisticated ballistics solver. In this short video from Ryansrangereport.com, the shooter manages a first-round hit on a steel silhouette at 1500 yards. He used a Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics software to figure out the trajectory for his 6.5 Creemoor rounds.
The Kestrel recorded a wind velocity, and the internal software calculated a solution of 17 Mils elevation (that’s 928 inches of drop) with 2.5 Mils windage. “Bang” — the shooter sends it, and 2.6 seconds later “Clang” he had a hit (flight time was 2.6 seconds). Bryan Litz observes: “This is the science of accuracy (in the form of an Applied Ballistics Kestrel) being put to good use at 1500 yards”.
Later in the video (1:05-1:15) the shooter places three rounds on steel at 1000 yards in just 10 seconds. The three shots all fall within 10″ or so — pretty impressive for rapid fire. The shooter reports: “[In my 6.5 Creedmoor] I’m using a 136gr Lapua Scenar L. This bullet has impressed me. It screams out of my barrel at 2940 fps and holds on all the way out to 1,500 yards.”
The rifle was built by Aaron Roberts of Roberts Precision Rifles (RPRifles.com). Chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it features a Leupold Mark VI 3-18x44mm scope.
Roberts Precision Rifles
19515 Wied Rd. Suite D
Spring, Texas 77388
Email: rprifles @ gmail.com
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March 1st, 2014
Looking for quality, name-brand projectiles at a bargain price? Then check out the Hornady Bulk Bullets Specials at Grafs.com. Currently, Grafs.com has a variety of popular Hornady rifle and pistol bullets on sale. Get one hundred 75gr .224-caliber BTHP bullets for just $16.99 (Item #HRN2279B). If you favor .30-caliber cartridges, you can get one hundred 110gr FMJ bullets for $18.99 (Item #HRN3017B).
Your Editor just ordered some .45-caliber 185gr SWCs for his S&W 1911. These .451-diameter Hornady-made FMJ bullets are $19.89 per 100 bullets (Item #HRN45137B). Round-nose 230gr .45-caliber FMJ bullets are also offered for $22.39. If you shoot a 9mm pistol, you can order 147gr FMJ bulk bullets for just $15.99 per 100 (Item #HRN35597B). These prices are comparable with the cost of cast lead bullets from other vendors. When you consider that many indoor ranges no longer allow non-jacketed lead bullets, you may want to get some Hornady bulk bullets from Grafs.com while supplies last. NOTE: the stated prices include shipping after one flat handling fee of $7.95 per order.
Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 1st, 2014
Many of our Forum members shoot an “improved” 6mmBR cartridge. This might be a 30°-shoulder 6mm BRX, or a 40°-shoulder 6mm Dasher, or the 6mm BRDX, which is very similar to the Dasher, but with a slightly longer neck. This Editor shoots a 6mm BRDX and has found it very accurate, and maybe a bit easier to fire-form than a standard Dasher. Speaking of fire-forming, in our Shooters’ Forum, we often see questions about fire-forming BRX/Dasher brass. For those who need a large number of BRX or Dasher cases, one option to consider is using pistol powder in a dedicated fire-forming barrel. Here’s an explanation of how this process can work.
Forum member Skeeter has a 6mm Dasher falling block varmint rifle. The Dasher case is based on the 6mm BR Norma cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and out to 40°. This gives the Dasher roughly 3.5 grains added capacity compared to the standard 6BR.
A few seasons back, Skeeter needed to form 300 cases for varmint holiday. Skeeter decided to fire-form his brass without bullets. This method avoids barrel wear and saves on components. There are various ways to do this, but Skeeter chose a method using pistol/shotgun powder, some tissue to hold the powder in place, Cream of Wheat filled to within an 1/8″ of top of the neck, and a “plug” of tissue paper to hold it all in place. Shown below are cases filled with a pistol/shotgun powder charge topped with Cream of Wheat and then a tissue paper plug.
To ensure the case headspaced firmly in his Dasher chamber, Skeeter created a “false shoulder” where the new neck-shoulder junction would be after fire-forming. After chamfering his case mouths, Skeeter necked up all his cases with a 0.257″ mandrel (one caliber oversized). Then he used a bushing neck-sizing die to bring the top half of the neck back down to 0.267″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. The photo below shows how the false shoulder is created.
After creating the false shoulder, Skeeter chambered the cases in his rifle to ensure he could close the bolt and that he had a good “crush fit” on the false shoulder, ensuring proper headspace. All went well.
The next step was determining the optimal load of pistol powder. Among a variety of powders available, Skeeter chose Hodgdon Titewad as it is relatively inexpensive and burns clean. The goal was to find just the right amount of Titewad that would blow the shoulder forward sufficiently. Skeeter wanted to minimize the amount of powder used and work at a pressure that was safe for his falling block action.
Working incrementally, Skeeter started at 5.0 grains of Titewad, working up in 0.5 grain increments. As you can see, the 5.0 grain charge blew the shoulder forward, but left it a hemispherical shape. At about 7.0 grains of Titewad, the edge of the shoulder and case body was shaping up. Skeeter decided that 8.5 grains of Titewad was the “sweet spot”. He tried higher charges, but the shoulder didn’t really form up any better. It will take another firing or two, with a normal match load of rifle powder and a bullet seated, to really sharpen up the shoulders. Be sure to click on the “View Larger Image” link to get a good view of the cases.
The process proved to be a success. Skeeter now has hundreds of fire-formed Dasher cases and he hasn’t had to put one bullet through his nice, new match-grade barrel. The “bulletless” Cream of Wheat method allowed him to fire-form in a tight-necked barrel without neck-turning the brass first. The only step now remaining is to turn the newly Dasher-length necks down about .0025″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. (To have no-turn necks he would need an 0.271″ or 0.272″ chamber).
Skeeter didn’t lose a single case: “As for the fire-forming loads, I had zero split cases and no signs of pressure in 325 cases fire-formed. Nor did I have any misfires or any that disbursed COW into the action of the firearm. So the COW method really worked out great for me and saved me a lot of money in powder and bullets.” To learn more about the COW fire-forming process, read this Dasher Fire-Forming Forum Thread.
Skeeter did have a fire-forming barrel, but it was reamed with a .269 chamber like his 10-twist Krieger “good” barrel. If he fire-formed with bullets, he would have to turn all 300 necks to .267″ BEFORE fire-forming so that loaded rounds would fit in the chamber. Judging just how far to turn is problematic. There’s no need to turn the lower part of the neck that will eventually become shoulder–but how far down the neck to turn is the issue. By fire-forming without bullets now he only has to turn about half the original neck length, and he knows exactly how far to go.
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February 28th, 2014
Do you like scary movies? This video will send chills up and down your spine. But it’s not about Space Aliens, or slime monsters — it’s about two-legged creatures that appear out of nowhere… while you’re shooting. Watch this video carefully. Something happens at 0.38″ that will make your heart race. Warning: Adult language — Not suitable for playback at work.
Why You Must Always, Always Be Careful When Shooting on Public Lands…
LESSON Learned: Always be aware of your backstop and beyond. If there is any possibility of someone venturing into the “danger zone”, mark off the target area, and designate a person to watch the area around the target. That designated spotter should instantly call a halt to shooting if any person or vehicle appears. It is also a good idea to place warning signs, but don’t count on these to be headed.
This video was filmed on BLM land out in the Nevada desert. In such public areas, one must be very careful about shooting. There may be hikers, bikers, explorers, and horse-riders nearby. An offroad motorcyclist might be moving at 65 miles an hour. At that speed he’ll cover 32 yards in just one second! With that possibility, you really have to be ultra-careful. To be forewarned of potential risks, you need to watch way out to the left and right, not just focus on the backstop and the bullet’s flight path.
The shooting area shown above is located on BLM land. All BLM rules and regulations apply. Remember it is everyone’s desert so always think “safety first”. The video-maker, JFComfort (aka “Joe”), explains: “We do the majority of our shooting on BLM land surrounding the Las Vegas Valley. We have found shooting in small groups in the desert works well for us. We have spent a lot of time out there in the past. I advise you not to shoot alone and be very mindful of off-road enthusiasts. Guys on quads, dirt bikes, and Rhinos seem to pop out of nowhere. Also keep a close eye out for other shooters, not everyone is safe, respectful and courteous.”
Story idea by EdLongrange. Photos and video courtesy SinCityPrecision.com.
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February 28th, 2014
Federal Premium has a new online Ballistics Calculator. This free program can determine the trajectory for any rifle or handgun load, and even save your ballistics solutions for future reference. This is handy if you shoot Federal ammunition, because all Federal ammo types are included in the built-in database, with BCs and velocities. That makes it very easy to get a ballistics solution for Federal factory ammo — simply enter the caliber and bullet type/weight and the solver fills in the BC and velocity for you.
Federal’s Ballistics Calculator can also be used for handloaded ammo with non-Federal components. However, you can only use a G1 BC and Federal’s solver is not as sophisticated as some others. We still recommend JBM Ballistics or the new Applied Ballistics Online Solver. These both offer both G1 and G7 and extensive databases of field-derived BCs for hundreds of bullets. The Federal Ballistics Calculator only has BC numbers for factory-made Federal ammunition.
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February 28th, 2014
Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA BLog
At the NRA’s 127 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Charlton Heston was elected President of the National Rifle Association. A World War II veteran, Oscar-winning actor, and heralded civil rights activist, Heston led the NRA for an unprecedented six years.
An icon to supporters of the Second Amendment, his address at the 2000 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a flintlock rifle raised above his head, still brings chills to this day:
So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands’.
The stamp is set to be released on April 11, 2014. Designated as a Forever® stamp, it will cover the cost of sending any First Class letter from now until the end of time.
Earlier this week, the United States Postal Service announced that the face of John Charles ‘Charlton Heston’ Carter would grace the 18th stamp in their Legends of Hollywood collection:
With his chiseled jaw, compelling baritone voice, and muscular physique, Charlton Heston (1923-2008) seemed perfectly at home leading a cast of thousands. The 18th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series salutes an actor who portrayed presidents and prophets, Moses and Michelangelo[.] This stamp features a color portrait based on a photograph taken by the actor’s wife, Lydia Clarke Heston. The Charlton Heston stamp is being issued in sheets of 20 self-adhesive Forever® stamps.
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February 27th, 2014
Looking for authentic U.S. Military Specification Standards (MIL-STD) for gun parts, safety products, or other hardware? Log on to EverySpec.com. This website provides FREE access to the complete archive of U.S. Government spec sheets and technical manuals. You can quickly access and download thousands of public domain U.S. Government documents. For example, we searched for “Picatinny” and came up with MIL-STD-1913 “Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail for Small Arms Weapons”. With one click we downloaded the file as a PDF. Then a search for “M118″ yielded the engineering drawing for 7.62×51 M118 LR Match ammo. Pretty cool.
Using EverySpec.com is fast and easy. And everything you find and save is FREE. Search as often as you like — there are no limits on search requests or downloads. You can either search by keyword, or Federal Supply Class Code (FSC). CLICK HERE for a complete list of FSCs for all products.
Here are FSCs for a few common product types. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of other FSCs — for everything from Office Supplies (FSC 7510) to Nuclear Projectiles (FSC 1110).
1095 — Miscellaneous Weapons (incl. Knives)
1240 — Optical Sighting and Ranging Equipment
1395 — Miscellaneous Ammunition (incl. Small Arms)
3455 — Cutting Tools for Machine Tools
6140 — Batteries, Rechargeable
6230 — Electric Portable Lighting Equipment
7640 — Maps, Atlases, Charts and Globes
8340 — Tents and Tarpaulins
8405 — Outerwear, Mens
Credit Gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzales for finding this resource. Thanks Speedy!
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February 27th, 2014
We had to share this inspiring photograph (below) of SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher. As well as being a highly-trained Army parachutist, Sherri is one of America’s top shooters. In 2010 Sherri Jo won the NRA National High Power Championship. She was only the second lady in history to become the National High Power Champion (the first was Sherri’s mother, Nancy Tompkins).
Also in 2010, Sherri was named the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, the first female soldier to be so honored. This award is given to the top soldier at the U.S. Army’s Annual Best Warrior competition.
SGT Gallagher is currently a proud member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. In that role, she gets to do fun stuff like this…
SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher
In 2010, SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher became the first U.S. military shooter since 1987 to win the Nat’l High Power Rifle Championship. She was only the second woman ever to win — the first being her mother, Nancy Tompkins.
Sherri’s family is legendary in U.S. shooting competition. She spent her childhood summers touring shooting competitions with her parents, Mid and Nancy, both competitive shooters. Sherri’s sister Michelle Gallagher is also a top-level long-range shooter, with many titles to her credit. “My family is always there for me — we are really close,” Gallagher said. “I am who I am today because of my family. We have so much fun and live life that way.”
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February 27th, 2014
Nikon has just announced its Mount ‘Em Up Promotion, which runs now through March 31, 2014. Here’s how it works: If you buy a qualifying Nikon scope, you can get a free scope mount worth up to one hundred bucks. Get an AR-specific Nikon scope mount with purchase of select M-223, P-223 or P-300 BLK AR riflescopes. “Year after year the Mount ‘Em Up promotion continues to be a favorite among our customers,” said Nikon General Manager Jon Allen. For more info, visit NikonPromo.com.
|FREE M-223 XR mount ($99.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:
Product # and Model
16300 1-4×20 M-223 Point Blank
16301 1-4×20 M-223 BDC 600
16302 2-8×32 M-223 Nikoplex
16303 2-8×32 M-223 BDC 600
16304 3-12×42 M-223 Nikoplex
16305 3-12×42 M-223 BDC 6000
|FREE P-Series Mount ($49.95 value)
with these NIKON riflescopes:
Product # Model
8496 3×32 P-223 BDC Carbine
8497 3-9×40 P-223 BDC 600
6797 2-7×32 P-300 BLK BDC Supersub
Like all Nikon riflescopes, every model featured in the Mount ‘Em Up promotion is optimized for use with Spot On™ Ballistic Match Technology. This provides users with exact aiming points on the BDC reticle for any load or ammunition at a specified range. Get free Spot On ballistics solutions online at NikonSportOptics.com/spoton. You can also order Spot On Custom turrets calibrated by Nikon for your load.
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February 26th, 2014
What kind of 200-yard accuracy can you get in an enclosed, underground test range? Would you believe 0.162 MOA at 200 yards with a .338? Have a look at these test targets from Sierra Bullets. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing to ensure that Sierra projectiles perform as promised, with repeatable accuracy. Sierra tests bullets in its own underground test complex. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, privately-owned underground bullet test facility in the world.
Day in and day out, various bullet types are tested using a big collection of barreled actions. These barreled actions are clamped in stout, return-to-battery test fixtures. These big, heavy test fixtures provide near-perfect repeatability (with no human-induced holding or aiming errors).
Sierra Bullets 10-Shot Groups at 200 yards
Check out these 10-shot test groups shot at the Sierra Test Range at 200 yards. Note that the numbers listed on each sample are actual measurements in inches. To convert to MOA, cut those numbers in half (to be more precise, divide by 2.094, which is 1 MOA at 200 yards). For example, the 0.340″ middle group works out to 0.162 MOA at 200 yards.
Scan-Verified 0.162 MOA Accuracy at 200 Yards
To verify the accuracy of Sierra’s measurements, we measured the middle (.338 caliber) 10-shot group with our On-Target Group Measurement software. We registered a group size reading of 0.339″ — within one-thousandth of the Sierra measurement*. The calculated group size in MOA (Minute of Angle) is 0.162. That’s amazingly good for ten rounds of big .338 caliber bullets. A FIVE-shot 0.162 MOA group at 200 would be considered excellent at any benchrest match. But remember this target has TEN shots. The current, one-target IBS world record for ten shots at 200 yards is 0.245″, set by Ed Watson in 1999.
Bevy of Barreled Actions for Bullet Testing
Sierra Bullets uses dozens of barreled actions for testing bullets in its enclosed, 200-yard test range. Each barrel has its own logbook to track the barrel’s usage.
Click Photo to Zoom
*Note, there were ten (10) shots in the group, but for simplicity we are only displaying five (5) shot circles. Adding more circles won’t change the measurement because the two most distant shots, which determine group size, ARE included.
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February 26th, 2014
Accurate, modular, and supremely versatile, the AR15 is America’s favorite semi-auto rifle. But let’s face it, the AR is a maintenance hog. The AR’s gas tube blows carbon and soot right into the middle of the bolt assembly where it cakes on to the metal. The AR bolt also has many tiny parts, and small recesses, which must be cleaned regularly. This author has seen numerous ARs fail simply because there was gunk (dried lube, carbon, brass shavings) in the ejector slot or extractor spring recess.
A Clean AR is a Happy AR — Whether You Run ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’
There are various schools of thought when it comes to maintaining an AR. Some folks prefer to run their AR “dry” with minimal lube on the lugs and friction surfaces. Other shooters prefer to run their ARs “wet”, with lots of lube. But whatever your preference, you need to clean your AR regularly. And nothing is more important than the AR’s bolt/carrier assembly. Because it is involved in feeding, firing, and extracting, the AR-15 bolt/carrier assembly can be considered the most critical portion of the AR-15 from a maintenance standpoint.
Bolt Take-Down Guide on Top Quark Blog
The editor of the Top Quark Blog has created an excellent illustrated AR15 Bolt Take-Down Guide that shows how to disassemble an AR15 bolt and carrier for regular cleaning. Even if you’re an experienced AR15 shooter, you can learn something from this page (sample at right), and you may want to bookmark it for future reference. The photos are large and clear and there are helpful hints for each step of the process.
The author knows his stuff and offers some important insights. For example, he notes that “Extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher-strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. ‘Normal’ springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.”
There is one notable oversight on this page — the author doesn’t cover disassembly and cleaning of the ejector assembly. This is actually quite important. A few small brass shavings, combined with carbon and lube in the ejector slot, WILL cause malfunctions. In fact, when this editor is called to diagnose problem ARs, the first things I look at (after swapping magazines) are the ejector recess and the slot for the extractor. Clogged ejectors are responsible for fail-to-ejects and other jams. It is essential that you keep the ejector hole clean. Old, gooey lube residues mixed with carbon and tiny brass shavings in the ejector recess will create all sorts of problems. As shown in the diagram below, it is simple to remove the ejector (#6) and ejector spring (#5), by drifting the ejector retaining pin (#4).
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