June 14th, 2014

BAT Machine Launches Updated, Full-Featured Website

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

BAT Machine recently launched a completely updated and upgraded website at www.batmachine.com. The new website is much easier to navigate, and the site features more and better photos.

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Click on the Actions Pull-Down Menu for detailed descriptions of all the action types with zoomable images. There is also a helpful Action Selection Guide that can help you chose the right configuration for your next rifle build. And BAT fans can now purchase BAT rings, tools, parts, and logo gear through a secure BAT online store.

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Helpful “How-To” Maintenance Videos from BAT
BAT’s revamped website features an impressive new Video Archive. There you’ll find many informative videos about bolts, ejectors, action maintenance, and other technical matters. Here are two examples:

How to Grease and Maintain Your BAT Action and Bolt:

How to Remove (and Re-Install) Firing Pin Assembly:

More Helpful Information on the New BAT Website
One thing that people might easily miss is the large spreadsheet that details the specs of all BAT Machine actions. To download that .xlsx spreadsheet to your hard drive, Right Click (and “Save As”) this link: ACTION CONFIGURATION PART LIST. After opening the spreadsheet, on the “ACTION” worksheet, you’ll find action model, body shape, weight, bolt faces available, and tenon spec among several other items. Note that there are two worksheet tabs (look down at the bottom left). Use these spreadsheet tabs to switch between “Action” and “Accessories”.

Also, on the BAT website FAQ page, you’ll find prints for barrel tenon machining, firing pin sizes, torque specs, and tons of other very helpful info. This is well worth a look. — ELR Researcher.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen and EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 13th, 2010

Hall Breaks IBS Records with 0.686″ (50 pt.) Group at 600 Yards

On June 12, 2010, at the Piedmont Range in Rutherfordton, NC, Sam Hall, shooting a 6mm Dasher, set TWO new pending IBS 600-yard world records with a stunning 0.686″ five-shot group. The group was centered up in the Ten Ring for 50 points with two doubles! This group should give Sam both the single target IBS Light Gun small group record AND the Light Gun score record. Sam’s 0.686″ beats Paul Wagoner’s 0.711″ previous small-group record set in 2008 with a 6 BRX. Larry Isenhour previously held the IBS score record with a 50-3X (0.944″) group shot in August, 2007, also with a 6 BRX. NOTE: Sam had only one X, but the official tie-breaker for the score record is group size, not X-count. Therefore, if approved, Sam’s 0.686″ group establishes both new group size and score records. (We wish the IBS had some other official recognition for high X-count.)

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Record-Setting Chambering, Load, and Hardware
Sam was shooting a 6mm Dasher with 32.0 grains of Norma 203B powder, Berger 105gr VLD bullets (unpointed), CCI 450 primers and Lapua brass, neck turned to 0.266″ for a 0.268″-necked chamber. Regarding the choice of powder, Sam says Reloder 15 gives the same accuracy and speed as 203B but he “just happed to have 8 pounds of [203B] and decided to use it in this rifle.” Interestingly, Sam was jumping his 105s about forty thousandths. That’s right, .040″ OFF the lands. The record gun has a BAT MB action, Shehane Tracker stock, and Krieger 29″, .237″ bore, 1:8″ twist HV barrel.

Here is Sam’s report from Piedmont:

Shooting the Record — Conditions and Strategy
The afternoon was slightly overcast with mild mirage. Winds were running left to right at approximately 5 mph. During the afternoon I noticed the wind would stay in one direction for several minutes then would make a complete reversal. On my record round I had made four (4) shots when I noticed the wind picking up in intensity slightly from left to right. I knew this because I saw my wind flag Daisy wheels start spinning faster. For the fifth shot I held left one inch from my previous four shots and let it fly. I was shooting the string as fast as I could and stay smooth. I was expecting a reversal because the wind has stayed constant for too long — it was about time for a reversal.

Evidently holding off was smart — otherwise the group might have been a 1.686″! This year I have been concentrating on learning more on wind and mirage reading. This game is getting more competitive every year. I figure the only way I can stay ahead is to work on my wind reading. If you don’t read the wind, you are eventually going to get bit.

About my Light Gun
I was shooting a BAT 1.550″ round, dual-port MB action with non-fluted bolt. The stock is a Shehane fiberglass ST-1000, pillar-bedded by Tom Meredith. Tom epoxied lead shot in the butt to bring it up to 16.94 lbs. with a Leupold 40x competition scope. The barrel is a 29″, 8-twist, .237″, HV contour Krieger with a Vais muzzle brake. This barrel, purchased three years ago from Brunos, came off the Terry Leonard-stocked rifle that earned me a lot of Shooter of the Year (SOY) points in 2009. It has about 700 rounds on it. It started life as a 6BR, but my reamer had gotten dull and left a rough chamber. So I gave the barrel to Mike Davis and told him this was a perfect excuse for me to try a 6mm Dasher. The barrel is now chambered as a 6mm Dasher with a .268″ neck with .124 freebore, the same as my Maxi-Tracker 6 Dasher.

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Load Details — Yes I Was Jumping Berger VLDs a Country Mile
Last year, I could not get the Berger 105 VLDs to shoot like I wanted in this barrel, so I used Berger 108 BTs, jumped .015″. After last season, I tried the 105 VLDs again. I think they have a slight advantage in the wind compared to the 108s. But again the 105s would not shoot well at 600 jammed in the rifling as I normally do. I noticed this barrel was shooting better off the rifling. I kept backing the bullets off the rifling. I found a sweet spot 40 thousandths off the rifling. The gun was shooting 1 to 1.5 inch groups pretty consistently at 600 yards at my home range. The day I shot the record was the first time I had shot this load and rifle in competition. I believe it is a keeper! — Sam Hall

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
October 3rd, 2009

NBRSA 100/200 Nationals Final Results

The final results have been tallied for the 2009 NBRSA 100/200 Yard Benchrest (Group) Nationals. This was an epoch event, with numerous potential records set, including a stunning 0.093 by Tom Libby in the 200-yard Sporter Match. (Target photo below, courtesy James Mock.) Exceptionally good conditions produced phenomenal scores, with dozens of Teen Aggs in some events. Jack Neary won the Two-Gun Grand with an impressive 0.1788 Agg. Tony Boyer, runner-up to Neary in the Two-Gun, took the Three-Gun Grand with an 0.1995 and Boyer won the Four-Gun Grand as well with an 0.2038. Other top shooters, by class, are listed below.

Sporter Grand LV Grand HV Grand UnLTD Grand
Jack Neary, 0.1846
Gary Ocock, 0.1846
Mike Ratigan, 0.1872
Tony Boyer, 0.1661
Jack Neary, 0.1731
Tim Courtney, 0.1805
Bob Scarborough, 0.2160
Mike Ratigan, 0.2166
Lowell Hottenstein, 0.2244
Tony Boyer, 2.165
Jeff Summers, 2.300
Mike Conry, 2.363

Tom Libby Sporter PPC

Click Here for Complete Match Results and Standings

Tom Libby Sporter RecordHottenstein Bullets were HOT
A quick glance at the official equipment list shows some remarkable trends. First, Lowell Hottenstein’s bullets were indeed the “Hot” ticket. The majority of Top 10 finishers in every bag gun class used Lowell’s bullets. In fact, in both LV and HV classes, 8 of the top 10 shooters used Hottensteins. That’s 80% Top 10 usage in the most competitive classes — a remarkable showing for one bullet-maker.

As for powder, Vihtavuori N133 was still favored by the vast majority of shooters… but watch out for Hodgdon’s new 8208 XBR powder. (More on that in a separate report).

Cut-Rifled Barrels and BAT Actions
Bartlein and Krieger cut-rifled barrels completely dominated the match. In Sporter, Light Varmint, AND Heavy Varmint Classes ALL of the Top 20 shooters used either a Bartlein or a Krieger. You read that right, in ALL the bag gun classes, nobody cracked the Top 20 without either a Bartlein or Krieger. Is the button-rifled barrel “obsolete” in short-range benchrest?

BAT, BAT, and more BAT. A BAT Machine action was in EVERY Light Varmint rifle in the Top 20. 100%. Among Heavy Varmint rigs, 16 out of the Top 20 used BATs (there were two Pandas, a Stolle Teddy and One Farley). Again, that’s remarkable dominance by a single action-maker. There was more diversity among Top 20 Sporters, but BAT still had 10/20 or 50%.

Light Varmint Top 20 Equipment List
Light Varmint Equipment List

Heavy Varmint Top 20 Equipment List
Heavy Varmint Equipment List

Sporter Top 20 Equipment List
Light Varmint Equipment List

Permalink News 1 Comment »
February 19th, 2009

New Project Rifle — Our 6-6.5×47 + 6.5×47 Switch-Barrel

After much anticipation, we finally rolled out our latest project gun, a Bat-actioned 6-6.5×47/6.5×47 Lapua switch-barrel benchrest rifle. Equipped with two (2) Bartlein 30″ 5R barrels, the gun was designed to compete in a variety of disciplines: F-Class, Varmint Matches (Silhouette + Paper), and 600- and 1000-yard Benchrest.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle

The gun was built to a 17-lb. weight limit, with the goal of achieving the maximum possible accuracy with this pair of cartridges. We chose two identical, 30″ Bartlein barrels so we could evaluate the relative performance of the 6.5×47 and its necked-down 6mm version, holding as many variables constant as possible. Both barrels were chambered by ace gunsmith Mark King with tight-tolerance, no-turn necks.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle.
Sightron provided the SIII 8-32×56 30mm scope, shown mounted in Burris Signature Zee Rings.

The rifle, two years in the making, features top-of-the-line components. The action is a BAT multi-flat MB, with a +20MOA Weaver-style rail on top. As the action was originally intended to be used in an F-Class rifle, the loading port was enlarged at the BAT factory to load full-length .284 Winchester rounds.

Baer laminated stockThe stock design is unique. It started as a Bruce Baer MB Tooley style, but we added some custom design upgrades. The sides of the fore-end are square (like a McMillan edge), and the underside of the fore-end has been relieved in the middle, creating two “rails”. The rear flat, on the underside of the buttstock, is 1.25″ wide, with a channel cut in the middle (to reduce drag, and to ensure that the bag tracks in the ears rather than on the center stitching.)

The stock was expertly inletted, pillar-bedded, and finished by Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks. Alex put much time and effort into ensuring that the geometry was square throughout, with straight, parallel tracking surfaces. The BAT MB action has an extended front section, to allow for additional bedding surface. The MB action employs a three-action screw design. Sitman installed pillars for all three action screws then carefully bedded the entire action. Alex, one of the best stock-workers in the world, did a great job on this rifle.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle

Rifle Will Provide Load Data for New Cartridge Guide
This rifle was originally conceived as a match-grade test bed for the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge and its wildcat cousin the 6-6.5×47. Jason Baney will test different powders and bullets in the rifle, to develop reliable load data for an upcoming 6.5×47/6-6.5×47 Cartridge Guide. And yes, we will be trying H4350, Reloder 17, and the relatively new Hodgdon Hybrid 100V. Jason will test a variety of flat-base and boat-tail bullets in both 6mm and 6.5mm.

Pet Loads Wanted for 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47 Cartridge Guide
While Jason will generate load data for our planned 6-6.5×47/6.5×47 Cartridge Guide, we recognize that one rifle (even with two barrels) can’t provide all the key info. Each gun has its powder/bullet preferences, so we want to offer a broad sampling of load data for the new Cartridge Guide. That’s where you, our readers, can help.

If you shoot the 6-6.5×47 or 6.5×47 Lapua, and have developed some really great loads, share them with us. We can then include more data in our planned load charts. Send your “pet loads” to mailbox@6mmBR.com. Be sure to include: Powder Brand, Charge Weight, Primer Type, Bullet Brand and weight, and the OAL or known seating depth. We also request that you list the type of action, barrel length, and contour. Chron data is also important. Include the tested Muzzle Velocity, Extreme Spread (ES), and Standard Deviation (SD) if possible. It’s helpful if you can provide a short summary of your load, such as “Great 600-yard accuracy, near max, works best with light neck tension, low ES/SD.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 5 Comments »