October 6th, 2013

Carlito’s Way: High-Tech Benchrest Shooting in Argentina

This story has all the ingredients: exotic location, exotic hardware, cool POV video (with John Lee Hooker blues soundtrack), plus something you’ve probably never seen before — a gravity-fed cartridge caddy that loads a PPC round into a benchrest rig with the push of a button. Watch this video to see Benchrest in Argentina with some very cool equipment:


Soundtrack includes John Lee Hooker’s blues classic “Boom, Boom” (starting at 0:28).

This video was filmed by our friend, Frenchman Pascal Fischbach, during his recent visit to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, Pascal met with action-maker extraordinaire Carlos (“Carlito”) Gonzales, creator of the CG Thunderbolt action. The video shows Carlito shooting groups with his CG-actioned benchrest rifle and MCF (“Manual Cartridge Feed”) ammo caddy. Look for the push-button control at the 1:15″ time-mark. The five-shot groups, shown at 1:20″, are pretty impressive. Even more impressive is how flawlessly this trick cartridge-fedding system works.

About Carlito’s Benchrest Rifle
The rifle features Carlito’s CG thunderbolt action, in a low-profile carbon-fiber stock also made by Gonzales. Up front is a Bukys-style tuner. If you watch the video carefully, you may wonder “how do the cartridges get into the action?”, since you won’t see the shooter (Carlito) pulling rounds from a loading block. Well the secret is that metal contraption to the left of the gun. It is a gravity-fed caddy connected, via cable, to a hand control. After working the bolt to extract a fired case, the shooter can push a button and the next round drops down from the upper left into the left port/right eject action. Simply close the bolt and you’re ready to roll. For more information, visit Benchrest.com.ar or email casagonzalec [at] benchrest.com.ar .

CG thunderbolt action

External Horizontal Cartridge-Feeder
The Gonzales loading device is an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by an arm attached to the front rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works. This device has been approved for competition by USA and International benchrest sanctioning bodies.

Carlos Gonzales CG MCF manual cartridge feeder ammo loader caddy
Photo by Rich Pollock of Benchrest.ca

Carlos Gonzales CG MCF manual cartridge feeder ammo loader caddy

Video Shows Cable-Operated Cartridge Feeder in Action

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
September 18th, 2011

NBRSA Approves Quick-Loading Tray for Benchrest Competition

Get ready for a major new technology that could change the benchrest game. Carlos (Carlito) Gonzales, a benchrest shooter (and Professor of Engineering) from Argentina, has perfected a horizontal, external “floating” cartridge loader that can reliably feed PPC cartridges as fast as you can work the bolt.

We have received a report that Gonzales’s fast-feeding device has been approved by the NBRSA for use in benchrest matches. Pascal Fischbach told us: “I had an email September 17th from Gene Bukys, [stating] that the board of directors of the NBRSA approved the use of the ‘[Gonzales] manual cartridge feeder’ for use in NBRSA competitions.” [Editor’s note: We don’t yet know if the device is approved for all NBRSA benchrest matches, or just short-range matches.] Pascal added: “The device was presented at the delegates meeting of the WBC11 in France and approved for use during the World Championships. The next step for Carlito will be to market it. He is also willing to license the concept, plans, and methods to a machinist capable of manufacturing it in the USA.” See Discussion Thread.

External Horizontal Cartridge-Feeder
The Gonzales loading device is an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by an arm attached to the front rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works.

You push the button as soon as a spent cartridge ejects (watch Carlito’s left hand in the video above). It is a clever set-up that works very, very fast. The video shows Carlos running five cartridges through his action in just 9 seconds (time marker 00:31 – 00:40). That’s fast! On a repeat viewing focus on Carlito’s left hand to see how he works the push-button cartridge dispensing control.

Credit to Pascale Fischbach for sourcing this story and video link.
Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
June 21st, 2011

Radical New External Magazine Loader for Benchrest Rifles

The faster a benchrester can send his rounds down-range, the better his chances to complete his 5- or 10-shot group in the same conditions before a major change. Shooting fast is NOT always the best strategy, but many world records have been set using this technique. Even if you’re a “picker”, there are times when you’ll benefit from shooting fast. With current benchrest hardware you still have to manually load each cartridge, even if you have a drop-port action or if you have an ejector that kicks out the fired case. To speed up the loading process, benchrest shooters employ elevated loading blocks that place the cartridges inches away from the loading port. That speeds things up, but you still have to manually pluck your cartridge and stuff it in the action… until now. Get ready for a major new technology that could change the benchrest game.

External Horizontal Benchrest Magazine
Carlos Gonzales, a benchrest shooter (and Professor of Engineering) from Argentina, has perfected a horizontal, external “floating” magazine that can reliably feed PPC cartridges as fast as you can work the bolt. This is interesting because, in 2009, this Editor discussed an attached horizontal feeding tray with three different action makers. All of them dismissed the idea as impractical or too radical. Well guys, it looks like Carlos pulled it off.

The Gonzales “magazine” is actually an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by the rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works.

You push the button as soon as a spent cartridge ejects (watch Carlos’s left hand in the video above). It is a clever set-up, and as you can see, the magazine system works very, very fast. The video shows Carlos running five cartridges through his action in just 9 seconds (time marker 00:31 – 00:40). That’s fast! On a repeat viewing focus on Carlos’s left hand to see how he works the push-button cartridge dispensing control.

Kudos to Carlos for his great new invention. According to Pascale Fishbach: “Everything Carlos makes is of extreme quality. The magazine loader will be available just after the world championships in France, where hopefully a couple of them should be put to work.”

Now the question remains… will the official benchrest “powers that be” allow this device, or will they, fearing change, say it is forbidden under current rules. We would like to see the Gonzales magazine ruled legal for both domestic (American) and International competition. But, we acknowledge that Carlos’s invention could raise the cost of competition. The Gonzales mag would be one more “go-fast” item that serious benchresters would have to purchase.

Credit to Pascale Fischbach for sourcing this story and video link.
Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing 7 Comments »