December 14th, 2017

Tuning Barrels for Enhanced Precision and Accuracy

Anschutz Tuner

When a shot is fired through it, a barrel will exhibit harmonics. Tuning these harmonics (the “waves” that propagate through the barrel) can alter point of impact and, if you’re lucky, reduce group size. Barrel tuners have been used successfully in rimfire benchrest for many years (see photo above). While there are competing theories as to how and why barrel tuners work on rimfire rifles, there is no question that the accuracy of some rimfire barrels can be improved with the addition of a tuner. By changing the position of weights at the end of the barrel, we’ve seen shooters shrink their average group size as well as adjust the “sweet spot” for different lots of rimfire ammo. On the other hand, tuners can be the source of great frustration; some installations may yield little or no benefit. A shooter may have to experiment with a variety of different tuner designs (and weights) to find the optimal configuration.

Gene Bukys Barrel Tuner 333smittyCenterfire Tuners–Still a Work in Progress
In centerfire benchrest competition, the vast majority of competitors do not use tuners, though a few short-range shooters such as Gene Bukys and Jackie Schmidt have enjoyed considerable success. Gene has won major championships with tuned rifles. In 2011 Gene won both the Super Shoot and World Benchrest Championship (WBC), and Gene recently set a new NBRSA Sporter Class Grand Agg Record.

Centerfire benchrest guns typically employ shorter barrels with a much fatter contour (larger diameter) than rimfire rifles. Because centerfire rounds produce much higher pressures and velocities that a 22LR, a centerfire barrel also exhibits much different vibration characteristics than a typical rimfire barrel. Nonetheless, there are pioneers working with centerfire tuners who believe that tuning may be the “next leap forward” in centerfire accuracy.

Shown below is a switch-barrel benchrest rifle built by Forum member Eddie W. of Texas. It features a dual-port Hall “M” action with a ShadeTree Engineering Tuner crafted by Butch Lambert. The gun is designed to take both a 6PPC barrel for group shooting and a 30BR barrel for score shooting. The gun was barreled by Wayne Shaw, and Eddie did the stock work himself. Eddie reports: “It is a very accurate rifle.”

Lambert Tuner

Will we see more tuners on centerfire rifles? Only time will tell. Some folks believe that, since one can easily adjust the loads shot by centerfire guns (by tinkering with the powder charge and seating depth), tuners have limited utility. On the other hand, tuner advocates such as Gene Beggs believe tuners can help keep your group sizes small even as conditions (temperature, humidity) change. Gene believes that, with an appropriate tuner, you can spend less time fiddling with the load specs (changing your powder charge) and instead “dial in” your sweet spot using the tuner.

Lambert Tuner

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 4th, 2017

Silhouette Star — The Amazing Cathy Winstead-Severin

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada
Photos courtesy Lapua and Adam Braverman

2017 USA Smallbore Silhouette Champion | 2017 USA High Power Silhouette Champion
2017 Canada Smallbore Silhouette Champion

We don’t know if there is an official “Lady Rifle Shooter of the Year”, but we would nominate Silhouette shooter Cathy Winstead-Severin, based on her amazing shooting so far this summer. Cathy has delivered some truly dominant performances recently. In mid-July, competing at the Ridgway Rifle Club in PA, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin won the 2017 Hunter Rifle NRA Smallbore Silhouette Championship. Cathy scored 110/120 to win her 20th NRA National Silhouette title. Then Cathy went on to win both the Standard and Hunter High Power Rifle Silhouette National Championships.

With those victories, Cathy completed a clean sweep of Smallbore (Rimfire) AND High Power (Centerfire) awards — a stunning achievement. Cathy was using Lapua cases, VihtaVuori powder, and a combination of Lapua and Berger bullets to win her 21st and 22nd National Silhouette Titles.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

More Glory Across the Border — Cathy Wins in Canada Too!
Less than three weeks after her wins at the USA National Silhouette Championships, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin ventured north and won the Canadian NFA National Smallbore Silhouette Championship. After the match she also hosted a very informative clinic for other shooters. Congratulations Cathy Winstead-Severin. You have our vote for Lady Shooter of the Year. We also thank Team Lapua for providing support for major Silhouette Championship events.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
August 26th, 2016

Reference Guide for Factory Ammo Includes 190+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 5. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 190 cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). There are over 1,400 tables with ballistics data for nearly all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the United States (as of 2013, the publication date). Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficient.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

This book can be helpful when choosing ammo for a hunt. You can quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various types of commercial ammo. In addition, this book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig, as you can compare factory load options.

Book Purchaser Reviews
“The data contained in this book is invaluable. If you don’t understand momentum vs. energy, MER and MEPBR, this book will help you gain an understanding. If you don’t know what the Taylor Knock Out (KO) Index is, this book will enlighten and inform.” — Daryl ID

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 20th, 2012

Fiocchi Issues Warning and Recall for 22-250 and .243 Win Ammo

ammunition recall Fiocchi 243 Win 22-250Fiocchi of America is recalling various lots of 22-250 Remington and .243 Winchester centerfire rifle ammunition. There is a serious safety issue affecting certain lots of Fiocchi ammo types: 22250B, 22250HVD, 243SPB, 243HSB, and 243SPD. The problem involves the loading of multiple bullets in a single cartridge. If you have any Fiocchi ammo from the affected product lots listed below you should return it immediately. The following ammunition products are affected by this recall:

ammunition recall Fiocchi 243 Win 22-250

Text of Fiocchi’s Recall Notice:

Through extensive evaluation Fiocchi has determined that the above lots of 22-250 and 243 may have been loaded with multiple bullets that can cause excessive pressure. This ammunition with multiple bullets may cause firearm damage rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of personal injury when fired. DO NOT USE THE ABOVE LISTED FIOCCHI 22-250 REM. OR 243 WIN. AMMUNITION OF SPECIFIED LOT NUMBERS. The ammunition lot number is black ink stamped inside one of the box end tuck flaps that you would open to remove the 20-round carrier.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the ITEM and LOT NUMBER. If the item number AND last three digits of the lot number match the above listed products, please return the ammunition to FIOCCHI of America via United Parcel Service (UPS) or FedEx Ground. Securely pack the ammo in a strong fiberboard box with packing materials to make it “snug” in the box. You will need an “LQ” label to ship the ammunition. To get the “LQ” label, [CLICK this LINK] or you can call the factory customer service directly at 417-449-1039 or email service@fiocchiusa.com prior to shipping. Affix the “LQ” label to the package with packing tape ensuring that all sides are adhered to the carton and ship to:

FIOCCHI OF AMERICA, INC., ATTN. Recall, 6930 N. FREMONT RD., OZARK, MO 65721

Fiocchi will provide replacement product upon receipt of your return. Please include your name, street address, phone number (required for return shipping), and email address with your return. Ammunition cannot be shipped to post office boxes.

This notice only applies to above listed Fiocchi 22-250 Rem. and 243 Win ammunition with the above lot numbers. If you have questions concerning this ammunition recall, please call customer service directly at 417-449-1039, write to the above address, email service@fiocchiusa.com, or visit our website, www.fiocchiusa.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »