July 15th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 199: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Tombstone Tactical — Ruger Hawkeye LR Target Rifle, $924.39

“Ruger

If you thought the Ruger Precision Rifle was an impressive rifle for the money, then check out the new Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target. It features a 2-stage target trigger, rugged one-piece stainless steel bolt, and ships with one AI-Style five-round magazine and a 26″ barrel. These rifles have earned high praise in early tests. You can also grab one in 300 Win Mag or 6.5 PRC for a little more. If you’re in the market for an affordable, long range rifle this deserves a good look.

2. March Optics — Retirement Sale, 35% Off All Scopes in Stock

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder March Optics 30% Off discount sale

March Optics delivers some of the most advanced (and unique) optics technology on the planet. But those top-of-the-line March scopes were always a big investment. But now, you can get superb, ultra-premium March scopes for 35% Off. Shiraz Balolia, President of March Optics USA, has decided to stop retailing optics. As a result, March scopes are now being discounted 35% — that’s a huge savings. This sale pricing applies to ALL March scopes, limited to stock in hand. Here are some of the deals:

1. Genesis Extreme Long Range Scope, $4517.50 (marked down from $6950.00)
2. 10-60x56mm High Master Tactical Turrets MTR-1, $2,567.50 (marked down from $4195.00)
3. 8-80x56mm Tactical Turrets MTR-4, $2,388.75 (marked down from $3675.00)
4. 5-50x56mm Tactical Turrets Illuminated MTR-1, $2,567.60 (marked down from $3,950.00)
5. 5-40x56mm FFP Tactical Turrets FMA-2, $2,388.75 (marked down from $3675.00)
6. 3-24x52mm FFP Tactical Turrets Illuminated FML-T1, $2,388.75 (marked down from $3675.00)
7. 2.5-25x52mm Tactical Turrets Illuminated MTR-3, $2,388.75 (marked down from $3675.00)

3. Brownells — Prime Time Blowout, Contest and Sale

Brownells rifle contest giveaway prime blowout sale

Brownells is running a big Prime Time Blowout Sale this week, July 15-19, 2019. For 5 days, Monday through Friday, Brownells will give away a new rifle away each day. More importantly (since the chances of winning are slim), Brownells is offering huge savings on guns, barreled actions, tools, ammo and more. Here are just a few of the great deals:

Brownells BRN-22 Rimfire Barreled Receiver, $124.99 ($30 Off)
Howas 6mm Creedmoor Hvy Barreled Action, $429.99 ($115 Off)
Vortex Razor GenII HD Scopes, up to $500 Off
Norma Tac-223 Ammo 55gr Ammo, $149.99 ($50 Off)

4. Midway USA — Lyman Case Trim Xpress, $111.99

lyman case trim xpress

Among dedicated case trimmers, Lyman’s impressive new Case Trim Xpress, delivers top-tier performance for the price. This well-designed machine comes with a host of bushings to fit most common calibers. The carbide cutter head precisely adjusts in .001″ increments using an easy-to-operate knurled adjustment wheel. Our tests comfirm this unit trims cases quickly and accurately. To see a video of the Case Trim Xpres action, check out our recent Lyman Case Trim Xpress Review.

5. Amazon — Chapman Tool Sets, $45-$109

chapman tool sets

If you shoot, then you need tools to fix, clean, or maintain your guns. And often you’ll need a combination of hex, phillips, and flat heads to do the job right. Whether you’re just starting out or have a bag full of odds and ends and want to start over, one of the best things you can buy is a Chapman Tool Set. These are quality made-in-USA tools that should last a lifetime. Our Deals Editor uses Chapman tools himself and recommends them. Pick any kit you like and the beauty is that you can add pieces later and it all fits inside a handy, compact case.

6. EuroOptic — Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24x50mm, $299.99

vortex strike eagle

Vortex makes a great product and offers one of the best warranties in the business. So when we saw the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24x50mm scope for only $299.99 we had to feature it. It has a great 6 times zoom range and features Vortex’s popular EBR-4 MOA reticle. If you are looking for a SFP MOA-based scope for varminting or practical matches, this is a very good offering for the price — a real bargain.

7. OpticsPlanet — Birchwood Casey Deluxe Cleaning Rod Sale

birchwood casey cleaning rods

Shooters know that cleaning your guns properly is vital but many of us struggle with old, bent, or worn-out cleaning rods. Head over to OpticsPlanet and grab one of these Birchwood Casey Deluxe Cleaning Rods on sale for as low as $8.89! That’s 38% off the regular price. These rods are well made, coated for protection, and have free-floating handles. With these low prices, you don’t have any excuse for not cleaning your rifles. At under $9 per rod for the .22 and .27 Cal versions, you may want to buy 3 or 4 and keep a couple in your vehicle as spares.

8. Amazon — MTM Cleaning Rod Case, $22.89

mtm cleaning rod case discount

With those Birchwood Casey Cleaning Rods on Sale for under $9 each you might as well grab 3 or 4 rods. And this nice bright, red MTM cleaning rod case with hold all those four rods, along with lots of cleaning supplies. There are special compartments inside the case for cleaning patches of various sizes. This case protects your rods both at home and while traveling. With this handy, durable case you can stop worrying about bending or breaking those important cleaning rods.

9. Amazon — Range Station for Pistol Shooters, $29.99

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit

The Range Station combines an ammo compartment with a roll-out mat. Some gun ranges only have concrete benches, or shooting stations with horizontal surfaces covered with dirt, powder residues, and other debris. You don’t want to put your $2000 blued Colt Python on that mess. The 12″x24″ Padded Gun Mat stays put on the counter-top and holds guns and gear. The case snaps to either the right or left side of the mat. Interior trays are sized for standard ammo boxes and magazines. Separate compartments hold smaller range gear such as rulers, pens, target markers, and more. When finished, the mat can be rolled and stored neatly and compactly in the case. Buy now for $29.99 at Amazon.

10. Amazon — Browning Steady Ready Stool, $33.00

browning stool

Portable stools are useful for just about any shooting activity. They are popular with hunters and varminters. They also make life so much easier at matches when you’re spotting for a buddy or team-mate. Though we all know how useful portable seating can be, at matches we still see many fellows asking to borrow a stool or just sitting on the ground. Don’t be that guy — grab one of these easy-to-transport Browning camping stools for under $35.00. It has a durable camo fabric with non-slip seat, and includes an insulated cooler beneath the seat to keep your beverages/lunch cool.

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
December 20th, 2018

Hang Your Cleaning Rods with Fishing Rod Racks

Fishing Rod Rack Cleaning RodsForum member Nodak7mm has discovered an ideal way to store your rifle cleaning rods in your garage or loading room. Using inexpensive Berkley Horizontal Fishing Rod Racks, Nodak7mm has secured a half-dozen Dewey rods on the back of a door. You could also mount the racks along a wall or on the side of a storage cabinet. This installation takes up minimal space and the Berkley Racks cost just $8.15 per set at Walmart or $7.50 at Amazon. If you prefer wood, Amazon also sells a pine 6-rod wall rack for $24.99.

Nodak7mm explains: “I was moving some fishing poles around and ended up with an extra pair of Fishing Rod wall racks. I said to myself, ‘I bet this would hold my Dewey cleaning rods’. I mounted the pair on the inside of a closet door in my man cave and put my cleaning rods in it. It works like a charm and is far cheaper than a specially-made rack that only lets the rods hang. One can even slam the door with the rods mounted and they stay put. This rod rack set… is made by a nationally recognized name and does a great job of holding the cleaning rods securely and safely.” These are inexpensive and are easy to mount to a door or wood cabinet.

Stow Your Cleaning Rods on Your Gun Safe
Another option is to make a rod set with a magnetic backing strip. This can be affixed to the sides of your gun safe or steel storage cabinet. Here is a home-made, magnet-affixed cleaning rod holder made by Forum Member “BobM”. This smart installation works great. CLICK HERE for more information.

magnetic rack gun cleaning rod gun safe

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 24th, 2018

Cleaning Rod Bore Guide for 17 HMR Rifles

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide
The Bertalotto 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide is actually made from aluminum arrow shafts.

When Hornady (and CCI) developed the 17 HMR cartridge, they really hit a home-run. And the rifle manufacturers quickly marketed some nice rifles to chamber this 17-cal rimfire round. But unlike .22 LR rifles which, typically, require very little cleaning, 17 HMRs demand frequent bore cleaning to maintain good accuracy. That’s because 17 HMRs shoot copper-jacketed bullets at 2550 fps velocities.

17-Cal Bore Guides — The Challenge
The problem is, it’s hard to find a well-designed, quality bore guide for 17-caliber rimfire rifles. With many 17 HMR (and 17 Mach 2) rifles, you encounter mechanical interference when you try to use a standard bore guide to protect the delicate chamber edge and the bottle neck area of the chamber. A fixed ejector is in the way. On many 17 HMR rifles, this little “shark fin” ejector is right in line with the chamber and is fixed — it doesn’t retract. Therefore the kind of bore guide you might use for centerfire rifles won’t work in 17 HMRs — it will hang up on the ejector.

Polymer bore guides exist for this type of action, but they are typically open-bottom designs that do not enter and seal the chamber. These open-bottom designs don’t protect the delicate chamber edge or the bottleneck area of the chamber, and they also allow some seepage of solvents out of the chamber. That’s why Roy Bertalotto created his RVB Precision Bore Guide for 17 HMR rifles. The 7075 aluminum tube on his Bore Guide is thin enough to pass by the ejector, yet it is extremely rigid. (Photos below.)

Roy explains: “My bore guide is made of 7075 anodized aluminum tubing, which is totally unaffected by any type of cleaning solution. One end is swagged down to fit completely into the chamber of a 17 HMR rifle. This guides your cleaning rod perfectly to the bore without touching the chamber walls or front edge of the chamber. The tight fit of the bore guide in the chamber also stops cleaning solvents from getting into the action, magazine, and trigger housing.” (Editor: Solvent seepage can do damage. We had a 17 Mach 2 rifle that rusted internally because solvents leaked past an open-bottom bore guide.)

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide

Using the RVB 17 HMR Guide – Once the bore guide is in place, slide the supplied aluminum bushing over the tube, and gently push the bushing into the rear of the action. This centers the guide rod in the action to keep the guide rod tube aligned. Once the guide rod and bushing are in place, you can use a 17-caliber cleaning rod* with patches and/or brushes to clean the barrel. Use the rod normally, but make sure your patches are quite small and don’t apply too much pressure as these small-diameter rods can kink if you try to force over-size patches down the bore.

The RVB Precision 17 HMR Bore Guide costs $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping. To order, email Roy Bertalotto via rvb100 [at] comcast.net. Roy will then send you shipping/payment details.

Roy tells us: “Yes, I make the bore guides out of 1616 aluminum arrow shafts. The only material on earth that fits EXACTLY what is needed. I buy the shaft material as simple tubing from Easton. It is hard anodized, the perfect wall thickness and doesn’t look too bad either.”

* NOTE: You really do need a dedicated .17-cal cleaning rod for this job. Most other rods are too fat to pass through the barrel. Dewey Mfg. makes a decent 17-caliber cleaning rod that is reasonably stiff and doesn’t kink too readily. It is available in 7″, 11″, 18″, 26″, and 36″ lengths, either bare stainless steel or with a nylon coating. For use with the Bertalotto Bore Guide, we prefer the nylon-coated version, in either 26″ or 36″ lengths, depending on barrel length.

Dewey 17 cal caliber bore guide

If you have a high comb on your rifle, you may need extra length to avoid interference with the rod handle. Use this formula to determine correct rod length: Length of barrel + action or breech rod guide length + 2-3″ clearance + high comb if applicable = total rod length needed.

There are other quality 17-cal cleaning rods, but we’ve used the Dewey and it functioned well. The nylon coating cleaned easily and was gentle on the throat and crown. You should clean the coating before and after each use to ensure it does not embed grit or other contaminants.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
June 7th, 2017

New Hi-Viz Orange Cleaning Rod Guides from Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports Cleaning Rod Bore Guide Orange PVC Delrin O-Ring Seal

Here’s a new product we like — Creedmoor’s extra-long, fitted Cleaning Rod Guides (aka Bore Guides) that offer a port for adding solvent. We like the distinctive bright orange color. That helps you quickly identify your rifle on crowded cleaning bench.

Why a Rod Guide Is Needed for Proper Bore Cleaning
A good Cleaning Rod Guide ensures that your brushes and jags are centered in your bore, so you don’t get uneven wear in your throat. Moreover the guides protect the action raceways, blocking liquids and debris from entering the trigger group. The port helps you add solvent without making a mess or spilling on a fine stock finish.

The orange Creedmoor Cleaning Rod Guides have some nice features. They are long enough so that you can avoid removing larger optics and include a port to apply solvent. The O-ring at the front provides an additional seal for the chamber. These Rod Guides are designed for specific action types and chamberings for proper alignment. Creedmoor’s Bore guides cost $24.95. That’s quite a bit less than some other vendors’ fitted cleaning rod guides. Current offering are:

Rem 700: .222, .243, 6.5 Creedmoor, .280, .300, .308
Tubb Rifle: 6.5 Creedmoor
Ruger Precision Rifle: 6.5 Creedmoor
AR Platform: AR-10, AR-15

TIP: When using any cleaning rod guide, you should cover the rear of the stock with a towel to prevent any solvent from touching the stock. Solvents can harm find wood, painted, and hydro-dipped finishes.

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 7th, 2017

Your Worst Nightmare: Catastrophic .338 Lapua Magnum Kaboom

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction
Click to zoom image

We first ran this story a couple years back. We’re republishing it today as a reminder to our readers that safety should be their paramount concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info on the ‘Hide.

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and over four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
April 8th, 2016

Big-Bore Blast: .338 Lapua Magnum Cleaning Rod Kaboom

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

We first ran this eye-opening story two years ago. We’re republishing it today as a reminder that safety should always be a shooter’s #1 concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin.

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom at Manatee!
A while back, Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 3rd, 2015

New Bore Guide Products from 21st Century Shooting

Chamber-specific bore guide off barrel solvent chamber seal 21st Century Shooting John Perkins

It’s important to use a good-fitting bore-guide whenever you clean your barrel. A good bore-guide will keep solvents out of your action and help your cleaning rods run straight and true.

Not all bore guides are created equal. Some offer a sloppy fit and/or fail to seal your chamber effectively. 21st Century Shooting has changed all that with a new generation of chamber-specific Bore Guides. These have a close fit (with O-rings) to seal your chamber completely. The design is intelligent — these bore guides are long enough to extend well past the end of your scope, while the minimal rod diameter provides sufficient clearance for most combs. Priced at $49.99, these high-tech guide rods are custom crafted to fit many popular chamberings: 220 Swift, 223 Rem, 22-250, 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, 6×47, 6-284, 6mm Shehane, 243 WSM, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5-284, 6.5 Shehane, 6.5 WSM, 25-06, 270 WSM, .284 Win, 7mm Shehane, 7mm WSM, 30 BR, 308 Win, 30-06, 300 WSM.

Chamber-specific bore guide off barrel solvent chamber seal 21st Century Shooting John Perkins

Email John [at] 21stcenturyshooting.com to ask about your application. These chamber-specific guide rods are designed fit actions with BAT bolts or Rem 700-style bolts (Borden, Kelblys, Ruger, Savage).


In addition to the new chamber-specific Guide Rods, 21st Century just released a clever new product for shooters who regularly swap barrels (or who need to clean dismounted barrels). If you have a switch-barrel rig, check out 21st Century’s new Barrel Off Bore Guides. Like the full-length 21st Century bore guides, these are manufactured specifically for your chamber, for a perfect fit. These chamber-specific “Barrel Off” bore guides cost $19.99.

Chamber-specific bore guide off barrel solvent chamber seal 21st Century Shooting John Perkins

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2015

Mystery of the Vibrating Cleaning Rod…

Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager Mark Walker recently acquired a barrel with canted lands. It turns out he needed to modify his bore-cleaning methods. His brushes and patches were not following the rifling… and he was well on his way to ruining his barrel before he figured out the solution. Read about Mark’s interesting (and puzzling) experience. This article first appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Lessons Learned (The Canted Land Mystery)
by Mark Walker
Sometimes when you have done something so often, you take for granted that it will work for all equipment. In this case, I had used my cleaning process and equipment for years with no problems however a new barrel on a rifle caused me to rethink how I clean.

Last year, the barrel on my mid-range benchrest rifle decided to give up the ghost. After doing some research and asking fellow shooters, I decided to purchase a barrel that had rifling with “canted” lands. The barrel arrived and after looking it over, everything looked great.

Threading and chambering went very well with the barrel indicating in very straight and cutting very smoothly. After torqueing the barrel to the action, I went about loading some ammunition to break the barrel in with. At the range, the barrel shot as good as any I have ever had. Even with loads that were thrown together with no tuning whatsoever.

During the break in, I would clean the barrel after every five shots or so just because that’s what everyone says to do. The barrel cleaned up extremely well, however I noticed that the first patches down a dirty barrel would cause the cleaning rod to vibrate as I pushed them down the tube. That was something that I had never experienced before so I was a little concerned….

After looking at the barrel with a bore scope, everything looked clean and no indication of what might have caused the vibration in the rod. I did notice some surface marks in the bore that traveled perpendicular with the bore. Usually when a barrel is lapped, all marks follow the rifling twist so these marks parallel to the bore where another phenomenon that I had never seen before. The mystery was getting deeper.

After another range session where the barrel shot lights out, I brought it home to clean it as before. The first patches down the barrel again caused the strange vibration in the rod. After stopping and thinking about the vibration and the strange marks in the bore, I checked the bearings in cleaning rod handle to make sure it was spinning freely and everything seemed to be in working order. I then decided to mark the cleaning rod to make sure it was actually turning when it went down the barrel. Bingo — this revealed the problem.

When the first patch went down the barrel and the rod didn’t even attempt to turn, the light bulb went on. The patches and even the bronze brushes were simply skipping over the tops of the rifling and not following the rifling at all. I tried tighter patches and larger brushes, but the only thing that seemed to fix the problem was pushing them down the bore as slowly as possible while watching the mark on the rod to make sure it was turning. Had I continued to clean as I normally do, I surely would have ruined the barrel!

Once I figured out the problem, the barrel shot great and my cleaning process worked just like every other barrel I have ever owned except for having to go slow with the rod. This just goes to show that even though you may have done something a thousand times before, you should always be aware of what your equipment is telling you.

Sierra Bullets

Permalink Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 16th, 2014

Dewey Mfg. Offers Aluminum Jags

Aluminum jag Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. is now producing a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its new aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $4.95 aluminum jags and $3.50 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order from Dewey Mfg. or Sinclair Int’l.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Permalink New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
February 24th, 2014

Cleaning Rod in Barrel Causes Catastrophic .338 LM Kaboom!

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info on the ‘Hide.

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Click to zoom image
Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and over four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

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October 1st, 2013

Tipton Cleaning Rod Wall Racks for Under $10.00

Here’s a handy, affordable product that will help you organize gear in your reloading room or “man cave”. Tipton’s new Cleaning Rod Rack (Tipton #100335) can accommodate up to six rods with various size handles. The wall-mounted Rod Rack also has horizontal studs on either end for additional accessories. These are useful for hanging the Tico Tool shotgun cleaning wands that stow in a tube with a plastic hook on the top.

Tipton Cleaning Rod Racks come complete with mounting screws (and screw slots are molded-in). You’ll find Tipton Cleaning Rod racks for under $10.00 at most vendors. They are $7.99 at Cabelas.com, while Amazon.com offers the racks for just $7.99 with free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.

Tipton Cleaning Rod Rack 100335

Tipton Cleaning Rod Rack 100335

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February 2nd, 2013

$10 Rack System Holds Six Cleaning Rods Securely

Fishing Rod Rack Cleaning RodsForum member Nodak7mm has discovered an ideal way to store your rifle cleaning rods in your garage or loading room. Using inexpensive Berkley Fishing Rod Racks, Nodak7mm has secured a half-dozen Dewey rods on the back of a door. You could also mount the racks along a wall or on the side of a storage cabinet. This installation takes up minimal space and the Berkley Racks cost just $9.96 per set at Walmart. If you prefer wood, Wally World also sells a nice lacquered pine 6-rod wall rack for $17.54.

Nodak7mm explains: “I was moving some fishing poles around and ended up with an extra pair of Fishing Rod wall racks. I said to myself, ‘I bet this would hold my Dewey cleaning rods’. I mounted the pair on the inside of a closet door in my man cave and put my cleaning rods in it. It works like a charm and is far cheaper than a specially-made rack that only lets the rods hang. One can even slam the door with the rods mounted and they stay put. This rod rack set is found at almost any decent fishing tackle store, is made by a nationally recognized name and does a great job of holding the cleaning rods securely and safely. Best thing about them is the pair only costs $10 or less.”

Permalink Gear Review 3 Comments »
February 1st, 2013

Cleaning Rod Storage Case Sets from Benchrite.com

Benchrite cleaning rod case caddyMany of our readers have quite a bit of money invested in premium cleaning rods. When you carry your rods to the range, you want to keep them protected so they don’t get warped, kinked or damaged. Benchrite.com, a supplier of benchrest gear and precision shooting supplies, offers very sturdy and nicely-crafted cleaning rod cases made from stainless tubing. You can purchase a single rod case, but we expect most shooters will prefer the Benchrite 2-rod or 3-rod case sets. These handy systems combine multiple rod-cases in 2-rod or 3-rod portable transport caddies that store your rods securely in your vehicle or on the bench.

Benchrite cleaning rod case caddy

Benchrite cleaning rod case caddy

Benchrite’s two-rod and three-rod case sets are set up for specific rod brands and styles, but rod brands or styles may be mixed in the set on special order with no difference in pricing. Stainless rod tubes are 48″ long and will accommodate 44″ rods with a jag or brush attached. Benchrite rod cases employ a collet method to securely hold the rods in the tubes — no thumb screws, rubber bands, or hold-down blocks. For $24.00, Benchrite also offers a padded, vinyl carry bag that fits the three-rod sets perfectly.

Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 11th, 2012

Dewey Offers Aluminum Jags and Aluminum-Tipped Rods

For decades shooters have used brass jags attached to brass-tipped cleaning rods. These work effectively. But there is one problem. Many bore solvents will react with the brass metal to give “false positives”. You can get bluish-green patches even when there is no copper fouling in your bore.

To solve this problem DeweyRods.com offers a full line of aluminum jags, aluminum brush adapters, and nylon-coated cleaning rods with aluminum tips. Dewey explains: “Ammonia-based solvents attack copper & brass but also leave your patches a blue-green color so you are never sure if your bore is truly clean of copper. Our aircraft-grade aluminum has the same hardness of brass, it will not embed impurities or harm your bore, and ammonia will not attack it.” As shown below, along with caliber-specific aluminum jags (center), Dewey now offers aluminum thread adaptors (left) and aluminum-shaft brushes (right).

Dewey Aluminum Jags

New Dewey ‘Copper Eliminator’ Cleaning Rods
These new rods have the same nylon coating and handle assembly as Dewey’s standard coated rods, but they feature a chemical-resistant, 8/32 female-threaded, aluminum ferrule. No brush adapters are required. Each rod is supplied with a male-threaded aluminum jag. Dewey charges $39.95 for these rods, but you may find them slightly cheaper at other vendors.

Dewey Copper Eliminator Cleaning Rod

Copper Eliminator Rods are currently offered in two diameters (.22-.26 Cal, or .27+ Cal), and three lengths: 36″, 40″, 44″. Listed rod lengths do NOT include handle assembly. One last note: Dewey cautions users to avoid TM Solution, because this solvent may harm Dewey’s nylon rod-coatings.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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August 10th, 2012

RVB Precision Cleaning Rod Bore Guide for 17 HMR Rifles

When Hornady (and CCI) developed the 17 HMR cartridge, they really hit a homerun. And the rifle manufacturers quickly marketed some nice rifles to chamber this 17-cal rimfire round. But unlike .22 LR rifles which, typically, require very little cleaning, 17 HMRs demand frequent bore cleaning to maintain good accuracy. That’s because 17 HMRs shoot copper-jacketed bullets at 2550 fps velocities.

17-Cal Bore Guides — The Challenge
The problem is, it’s hard to find a well-designed, quality bore guide for 17-caliber rimfire rifles. With many 17 HMR (and 17 Mach 2) rifles, you encounter mechanical interference when you try to use a standard bore guide to protect the delicate chamber edge and the bottle neck area of the chamber. A fixed ejector is in the way. On many 17 HMR rifles, this little “shark fin” ejector is right in line with the chamber and is fixed — it doesn’t retract. Therefore the kind of bore guide you might use for centerfire rifles won’t work in 17 HMRs — it will hang up on the ejector.

Polymer bore guides exist for this type of action, but they are typically open-bottom designs that do not enter and seal the chamber. These open-bottom designs don’t protect the delicate chamber edge or the bottleneck area of the chamber, and they also allow some seepage of solvents out of the chamber. That’s why Roy Bertalotto created his RVB Precision Bore Guide for 17 HMR rifles. The 7075 aluminum tube on his Bore Guide is thin enough to pass by the ejector, yet it is extremely rigid. (Photos below.)

Roy explains: “My bore guide is made of 7075 anodized aluminum tubing, which is totally unaffected by any type of cleaning solution. One end is swagged down to fit completely into the chamber of a 17 HMR rifle. This guides your cleaning rod perfectly to the bore without touching the chamber walls or front edge of the chamber. The tight fit of the bore guide in the chamber also stops cleaning solvents from getting into the action, magazine, and trigger housing.” (Editor: Solvent seepage can do damage. We had a 17 Mach 2 rifle that rusted internally because solvents leaked past an open-bottom bore guide.)

Using the RVB 17 HMR Guide – Once the bore guide is in place, slide the supplied aluminum bushing over the tube, and gently push the bushing into the rear of the action. This centers the guide rod in the action to keep the guide rod tube aligned. Once the guide rod and bushing are in place, you can use a 17-caliber cleaning rod* with patches and/or brushes to clean the barrel. Use the rod normally, but make sure your patches are quite small and don’t apply too much pressure as these small-diameter rods can kink if you try to force over-size patches down the bore.

The RVB Precision 17 HMR Bore Guide costs $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping. To order, email Roy Bertalotto via rvb100 [at] comcast.net. Roy will then send you shipping/payment details.

* NOTE: You really do need a dedicated .17-cal cleaning rod for this job. Most other rods are too fat to pass through the barrel. Dewey Mfg. makes a decent 17-caliber cleaning rod that is reasonably stiff and doesn’t kink too readily. It is available sizes from 7″ to 36″, either bare stainless or with a nylon coating. We prefer the nylon-coated version, in either 26″ or 36″ lengths, depending on barrel length.

Dewey 17 cal caliber bore guide

If you have a high comb on your rifle, you may need extra length to avoid interference with the rod handle. Use this formula to determine correct rod length: Length of barrel + action or breech rod guide length + 2-3″ clearance + high comb if applicable = total rod length needed.

There are other quality 17-cal cleaning rods, but we’ve used the Dewey and it functioned well. The nylon coating cleaned easily and was gentle on the throat and crown. You should clean the coating before and after each use to ensure it does not embed grit or other contaminants.

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August 20th, 2010

New, Affordable V-Stix Coated Cleaning Rods at Grafs.com

Bore-Tech has released a new line of coated cleaning rods. Bore-Tech’s new V-STIX cleaning rods feature a free-floating ball-bearing handle, a durable, long-lasting shaft coating, and steel cores that resist bending and bowing. Priced at about $28.00 each, the rods are affordable, and we like the handle shape, and the fact that the handles are different colors for different calibers. Right now Grafs.com carries V-STIX rods in multiple lengths, and three rifle bore sizes: 17-20 caliber, 22-26 caliber, and 27-50 Caliber. For a long-barreled 6mm bolt gun, we recommend the 40″ or 44″ V-STIX. These V-STIX are $3-4 cheaper less than Dewey rods, and the V-STIX are way less expensive than Pro Shot rods.

Bore-Tech Vstix cleaning rods

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