November 5th, 2017

TECH TIP: Beat Primer Craters by Bushing Firing Pin Holes

Greg Tannel Gre-Ten Bush Bushing Bolt Firing Pin Hole

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed. CLICK HERE.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

CLICK HERE for Gre-Tan Firing Pin Bushing Service INFO »

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $80.00, or $88.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. (After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” > “Bolt Work”, and you’ll see, in the lower left, a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. Click on that box.)

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin.
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems.
Price: $80.00 + $8.00 return shipping
Total Price: $88.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, or UPS (Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays). Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address.

Due to the high volume of work, turn around is 5 to 8 weeks on bushing a bolt. Three or more bolts will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 18th, 2017

Got Vertical Flyers? An Ignition Issue Could Be the Culprit

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin
Top to bottom – Remington firing pin assembly with ISS, Tubb SpeedLock alloy-composite system without ISS (current versions have dual, opposite-wound springs), and Remington short action firing pin assembly without ISS.

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. Last week’s “Handloading Hump Day” article covered mechanical issues and related ignition irregularities that can cause vertical fliers even with good ammunition in an otherwise excellent rifle. We highly recommend you read this article, which offers some important tech tips.

USAMU handloading hump day

Vertical Dispersion: Mechanical/Ignition Issues?

Poor or inconsistent ignition has long been known to be one of the “usual suspects” when one encounters vertical fliers that just shouldn’t be there. By having a sense of some of the basic principles involved, and a few basic areas to check, the shooter may avoid colsiderable frustration, not to mention time, expensive loading components and barrel wear.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pinIs your well-built rifle of high-quality components plagued with vertical fliers across more than 1-3 handload combinations? Consider the bedding, crown and scope/sight mounts. Are they correct? If so, then you might check for ignition issues before boldly undertaking an extensive, expensive, and quite possibly fruitless quest for the “magic handload”.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: While the author had been aware for many years that poor ignition should be considered and ruled out when dealing with vertical fliers in an otherwise-excellent rifle, actually seeing the problem and its almost instantaneous cure really drove the lesson home.

He was working with a “dot” rifle – a .22 LR match rifle that really stacked bullets into little piles at 50 yards and beyond. With one lot of ELEY Tenex, it produced consistent “bughole” groups at 50, but with another, selected lot of Tenex, similar groups were regularly ruined by single, vertical fliers that did not appear in other rifles. Rather than spending days burning up expensive, select ammunition looking for “magic lots”, he contacted a well-respected rimfire gunsmith and explained the situation.

Without so much as batting an eye, the highly-experienced ‘smith tore into the rifle’s action, and quickly found the cause(s) of the problem. He discovered a demonstrably weak firing pin spring, plus a chip out of the face of the firing pin where it contacted the cartridge rim.

After replacing and tuning the offending parts, the rifle immediately began shooting tiny, bughole groups with the previously “unacceptable” lot of Tenex. Centerfire rifles can also benefit from ensuring positive, consistent ignition. A wise riflesmith is literally worth his weight in gold!

So, what are some issues we as shooters can inspect in our rifles to help determine if ignition woes could be part of our problem? At the club level, ask yourself if that “experienced” Remington, Winchester 70, or even Springfield-based match bolt gun you’re using is still running its’ original 40-80 year-old factory striker spring? If so, a new replacement is cheap insurance against current or future problems. (And BTW, it might be best to stick to the normal, factory-spec spring weight. A super-powerful spring can cause vertical, just as a weak one one can.) Along with that, a routine check for proper firing-pin protrusion is a quick preventive measure that can rule out potential issues.

Other areas to consider are the centering and consistency of the firing pin’s operation in the bolt. Admittedly, with the increasing use of precision-machined custom actions, this is becoming less an issue every day. Below is the firing pin assembly from a custom BAT action:

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

However, particularly with factory actions, a very quick and easy check is to remove the bolt, let the firing pin go forward, and look at the firing pin tip through the firing pin hole. Is the tip off-center in the hole, and possibly striking it as it moves forward? Is the hole out-of-round or burred from being struck repeatedly? If so, a trip to the riflesmith is likely in order.

Similarly, machining issues in the bolt/firing pin system can lead to rough and erratic firing pin movement, in which the firing pin drags against an internal surface of the bolt. In high-quality rifles these issues are relatively rare, but not unheard-of, and it takes mere minutes to rule them out. It may be worthwhile to remove the cocking piece/firing pin/spring assembly and look for any unusual gouges, dings, peening, burrs or signs of abnormal wear.

This task is especially easy with Winchester 70s, Springfields, and the similar Mauser 98s, involving little more than the push of a button and unscrewing the cocking piece assembly. This is just one of the many reasons these tried-and-true actions have earned such a loyal following in the field, among hunters who must maintain their rifles away from a shop.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

Particularly with older rifles, watch for and remove excess grease (or even Cosmoline!) from both the firing pin assembly and inside the bolt. This can help improve firing pin speed and consistency. Other bolt-action designs may need a take-down tool or other measures.

As part of this inspection, AFTER ENSURING THE RIFLE IS UNLOADED, slowly cock the rifle, dry-fire, and repeat several times. Listen carefully near the action for inconsistency in the sounds it generates. Does the striker falling make the same sound each time? Do you hear or feel grinding upon operation? If so, where?

Be sure to check the operation of the cocking piece (bolt shroud), firing pin within the bolt shroud, the cocking piece cam and the rear of the bolt body where the cocking piece cam operates. As with our examination for abnormal wear marks discussed above, look for marks indicating roughness or a possible need for light polishing. Then, clean and lightly grease the bearing surfaces while you’re at it.

Remington 700 bolt shroud and cocking cam
Rem 700 bolt cocking cam

These are relatively easy checks that shooters can undertake to perform a preliminary inspection on their own. Other mechanical issues can also cause ignition issues, chiefly centered around the action of the trigger, sear and sear spring. If these are suspected, a trip to an experienced, qualified riflesmith for diagnosis is recommended. We hope you find this information helpful! Join us again next week, and in the meantime, enjoy the shooting sports safely!

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 22nd, 2016

Vertical Fliers? Poor Ignition May Be the Cause…

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin
Top to bottom – Remington firing pin assembly with ISS, Tubb SpeedLock alloy-composite system without ISS (current versions have dual, opposite-wound springs), and Remington short action firing pin assembly without ISS.

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. Last week’s “Handloading Hump Day” article covered mechanical issues and related ignition irregularities that can cause vertical fliers even with good ammunition in an otherwise excellent rifle. We highly recommend you read this article, which offers some important tech tips.

USAMU handloading hump day

Vertical Dispersion: Mechanical/Ignition Issues?

Poor or inconsistent ignition has long been known to be one of the “usual suspects” when one encounters vertical fliers that just shouldn’t be there. By having a sense of some of the basic principles involved, and a few basic areas to check, the shooter may avoid colsiderable frustration, not to mention time, expensive loading components and barrel wear.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pinIs your well-built rifle of high-quality components plagued with vertical fliers across more than 1-3 handload combinations? Consider the bedding, crown and scope/sight mounts. Are they correct? If so, then you might check for ignition issues before boldly undertaking an extensive, expensive, and quite possibly fruitless quest for the “magic handload”.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: While the author had been aware for many years that poor ignition should be considered and ruled out when dealing with vertical fliers in an otherwise-excellent rifle, actually seeing the problem and its almost instantaneous cure really drove the lesson home.

He was working with a “dot” rifle – a .22 LR match rifle that really stacked bullets into little piles at 50 yards and beyond. With one lot of ELEY Tenex, it produced consistent “bughole” groups at 50, but with another, selected lot of Tenex, similar groups were regularly ruined by single, vertical fliers that did not appear in other rifles. Rather than spending days burning up expensive, select ammunition looking for “magic lots”, he contacted a well-respected rimfire gunsmith and explained the situation.

Without so much as batting an eye, the highly-experienced ‘smith tore into the rifle’s action, and quickly found the cause(s) of the problem. He discovered a demonstrably weak firing pin spring, plus a chip out of the face of the firing pin where it contacted the cartridge rim.

After replacing and tuning the offending parts, the rifle immediately began shooting tiny, bughole groups with the previously “unacceptable” lot of Tenex. Centerfire rifles can also benefit from ensuring positive, consistent ignition. A wise riflesmith is literally worth his weight in gold!

So, what are some issues we as shooters can inspect in our rifles to help determine if ignition woes could be part of our problem? At the club level, ask yourself if that “experienced” Remington, Winchester 70, or even Springfield-based match bolt gun you’re using is still running its’ original 40-80 year-old factory striker spring? If so, a new replacement is cheap insurance against current or future problems. (And BTW, it might be best to stick to the normal, factory-spec spring weight. A super-powerful spring can cause vertical, just as a weak one one can.) Along with that, a routine check for proper firing-pin protrusion is a quick preventive measure that can rule out potential issues.

Other areas to consider are the centering and consistency of the firing pin’s operation in the bolt. Admittedly, with the increasing use of precision-machined custom actions, this is becoming less an issue every day. Below is the firing pin assembly from a custom BAT action:

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

However, particularly with factory actions, a very quick and easy check is to remove the bolt, let the firing pin go forward, and look at the firing pin tip through the firing pin hole. Is the tip off-center in the hole, and possibly striking it as it moves forward? Is the hole out-of-round or burred from being struck repeatedly? If so, a trip to the riflesmith is likely in order.

Similarly, machining issues in the bolt/firing pin system can lead to rough and erratic firing pin movement, in which the firing pin drags against an internal surface of the bolt. In high-quality rifles these issues are relatively rare, but not unheard-of, and it takes mere minutes to rule them out. It may be worthwhile to remove the cocking piece/firing pin/spring assembly and look for any unusual gouges, dings, peening, burrs or signs of abnormal wear.

This task is especially easy with Winchester 70s, Springfields, and the similar Mauser 98s, involving little more than the push of a button and unscrewing the cocking piece assembly. This is just one of the many reasons these tried-and-true actions have earned such a loyal following in the field, among hunters who must maintain their rifles away from a shop.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

Particularly with older rifles, watch for and remove excess grease (or even Cosmoline!) from both the firing pin assembly and inside the bolt. This can help improve firing pin speed and consistency. Other bolt-action designs may need a take-down tool or other measures.

As part of this inspection, AFTER ENSURING THE RIFLE IS UNLOADED, slowly cock the rifle, dry-fire, and repeat several times. Listen carefully near the action for inconsistency in the sounds it generates. Does the striker falling make the same sound each time? Do you hear or feel grinding upon operation? If so, where?

Be sure to check the operation of the cocking piece (bolt shroud), firing pin within the bolt shroud, the cocking piece cam and the rear of the bolt body where the cocking piece cam operates. As with our examination for abnormal wear marks discussed above, look for marks indicating roughness or a possible need for light polishing. Then, clean and lightly grease the bearing surfaces while you’re at it.

Remington 700 bolt shroud and cocking cam
Rem 700 bolt cocking cam

These are relatively easy checks that shooters can undertake to perform a preliminary inspection on their own. Other mechanical issues can also cause ignition issues, chiefly centered around the action of the trigger, sear and sear spring. If these are suspected, a trip to an experienced, qualified riflesmith for diagnosis is recommended. We hope you find this information helpful! Join us again next week, and in the meantime, enjoy the shooting sports safely!

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 30th, 2016

Primer Cratering Problem? Give Greg Tannel a Call…

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

CLICK HERE for Gre-Tan Firing Pin Bushing Service INFO

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $80.00, or $88.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. (After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” > “Bolt Work”, and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. Select “View Details”.)

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin.
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems.
Price: $80.00 + $8.00 return shipping
Total Price: $88.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, or UPS (Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays). Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address.

Due to the high volume of work, turn around is 5 to 8 weeks on bushing a bolt. Three or more bolts will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
December 5th, 2014

Remington Recalls Recently-Made Model 887 Shotguns

Remington is voluntarily recalling Remington Model 887 shotguns manufactured from December 1, 2013 to November 24, 2014. Remington has determined that some Remington Model 887 shotguns manufactured between December 19, 2013 and November 24, 2014 may exhibit a defect causing the firing pin to bind in the forward position within the bolt, which can result in an unintentional discharge when chambering a live round. Therefore, Remington is recalling ALL potentially affected products to fully inspect and repair. Remington has advised customers to immediately cease use of recalled shotguns and return them to Remington free of charge. The shotguns will be inspected, repaired, tested, and returned as soon as possible.

RECALLED: Remington Model 887 shotguns made from Dec. 1, 2013 to Nov. 24, 2014.

remington 887 shotgun recall

Owners of the recalled shotguns should not attempt to diagnose or repair the shotguns themselves. Remington has established a dedicated website and toll-free hotline to help Model 886 owners consumers determine whether their shotguns are subject to recall. Visit 887recall.remington.com or call 1-800-243-9700.

REMEDY/ACTION TO BE TAKEN: STOP USING YOUR SHOTGUN.
Any unintended discharge has the potential to cause injury or death. Immediately cease use of recalled shotguns and return them to Remington free of charge. Shotguns will be inspected, repaired, tested, and returned as soon as possible, at no cost to you. DO NOT attempt to diagnose or repair recalled shotguns yourself. For your safety, STOP USING YOUR SHOTGUN and immediately contact Remington.

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October 5th, 2014

Cure Craters With a Gre-Tan Firing Pin Bushing Job

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and his turnaround time is fast — usually 2-3 days (shop time). Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $87.00 including USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushing

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. (After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” > “Bolt Work”, and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. Select “View Details”.)

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin.
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems.
Price: $80.00 + $7.00 return shipping
Total Price: $87.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage, Sako, Kimber, Cooper, Nesika, Stiller, Bat, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, CZ, Ruger, Mauser, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, RPA Quadlite, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol. Note: There may be extra tooling charges for case-hardened style bolts (Mauser, CZ, and similar) .

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: ARs, Accuracy International, Desert Tactical Arms, Big Horn, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, UPS, Fed-Ex. What ever you prefer. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address. Turn around is normally 1 to 3 days shop time (plus shipping time). We usually do them the day that we get them in. Total cost is $87.00 for one bolt or $167.00 for two (this includes return shipping, priority mail.) Three or more will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate extra shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. Check, money order, or credit card is fine with us.

Permalink Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
February 3rd, 2014

Firearms Industry Challenges California Micro-Stamping Law

On January 9, 2014, the NSSF and SAAMI filed suit seeking to invalidate and enjoin California’s micro-stamping statute, which was codified in 2007, but not implemented until late in 2013. In the commentary below, NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane explains the reasons gun industry groups have filed suit to enjoin California’s micro-stamping requirement.

Manufacturers Now Acting — Second Amendment Rights Are in the Balance
by Larry Keane

It was inevitable given the unconstitutional and unworkable governmental overreach now under way in the State of California. Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., two of the most recognized names in American firearms manufacturing, have confirmed that they are being forced to stop selling new or improved models of semiautomatic handguns in California because it is simply impossible to comply with the state’s microstamping law. That law became effective last year and applies to all new models of pistols introduced to the California market. Read the Smith & Wesson Statement. Sturm, Ruger & Co. also said it will stop new sales there.

Microstamping New York

On Jan. 9, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of our respective members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law. NSSF and SAAMI are seeking to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of state law enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013, requiring that all semiautomatic pistols sold in the state not already on the California approved handgun roster contain unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.

Under this law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.

As I said when we announced this important legal challenge, there is simply no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree.

Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, NSSF and SAAMI are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.

In 2007, over our industry’s strenuous objections, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. We had called for a federal study of microstamping rather than a one-state mandate for this flawed, unreliable and easily defeated technology.

The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification despite the fact that peer-reviewed research proved microstamping does not work.

We predicted in 2007 that the passage of AB 1471 would lead to a de facto semiautomatic handgun ban. Now that the law has become effective, that ban has begun to roll forward.

See the NSSF Fast Facts on Microstamping for additional background.

The eyes of the nation are now turning to California. The national media has begun to take notice. This situation is not only about a consumer’s right to select the handguns with the latest features, or the aforementioned inability of manufacturers to comply with an unworkable law, the Constitutional, Second Amendment stakes are very high. You will want to stay tuned.

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January 13th, 2014

NSSF and SAAMI Sue to Block California Microstamping Policies

microstamping pistol identificationOn January 10, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of their members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law. NSSF and SAAMI seek to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of California state law enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013. These newly “activated” provisions of California law will effectively require that ALL future models of semi-auto pistols be microstamp-capable. Note — semi-auto handguns that are currently on California’s “approved” handgun roster will not be banned from sale. But guns introduced in the future cannot be sold in California unless they have microstamping technology. If gun makers cannot include such features in their future designs, the next generation of handguns will effectively be banned from sale in California.

Under California law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. “There is no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, we are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”

In 2007, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification. The DOJ’s certification notice has been attacked on the grounds that it is scientifically unsound, founded on little more than “wishful thinking”.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
January 18th, 2012

SHOT Show Report: New Actions from Stiller Precision

We dropped by the Stiller Precision Firearms SHOT Show booth to see the latest product roll-out from Jerry Stiller and his crew. Jerry showed off some of his hot new action designs, including the long-awaited Copperhead rimfire benchrest action. Along with two rimfire actions, Jerry unveiled his hot-selling P1000 Benchrest Action, and his new TAC30 AW bottom metal system for Rem-clone actions.

The advanced Copperhead rimfire BR action, “in development” for years, is finally a reality. This is a pure benchrest-quality action, built from the ground up to deliver the smallest groups with today’s rimfire ammo. The Copperhead’s innovative design features DUAL firing pins at 6 and 12 o-clock. This serves to make rimfire ignition as consistent as possible. This action also has an Anschutz-style feed ramp to aid feeding of single-shot rounds. Being very complex to manufacture, the Copperhead commands a fairly high pricetag — roughly $1300.00. For those in the highly competitive rimfire benchrest game, who demand the very best rimfire receiver available, the high price is can be justified by the action’s superior performance. Prototypes have already earned top places ijn many notable rimfire BR matches.

Along with the Copperhead, Stiller Precision offers a nicely-detailed, smooth-running 40x clone rimfire action that will fit any stocks inletted for the Remington 40 Rimfire rifles. This 40X Rem clone action is in stock and available know for about $950.00.

Yet another unique action from Stiller Precision is the Tac-30 AW. This is a Rem-footprint action made as a purpose-built tactical rifle foundation. It has beefy #8 screws for scope base attachment along with the ability to add rail pins to a picatinny rail to reduce the possibly of any screw failures. Along with that, it is specifically made to work in concert with Stiller’s detachable magazine bottom metal and Accuracy International AW magazines. The entire action, bottom metal and magazine combination is available for about $1,100.00. The AW magazine is superior to the standard AICS mag; the AW design is easier to load, and it holds ten rounds in a more compact (shorter) box.

Last but not least, Stiller showed us a P1000 action which is becoming more popular in the long range benchrest realm and is available in standard and magnum bolt faces for short and long action calibers. This dual-port action is only available in a right-bolt, left-port, right eject configuration. It is also available in 2 diameters – 1.350” and 1.550” in case weight is an issue. Interestingly, the P1000 is made to work without the standard recoil lug as you can see it has recesses cut in the bottom that will act as a recoil lug surface. Similar to other Stiller’s actions, the P1000 has a small size (0.068″ diameter) firing pin for enchanced accuracy.

Stiller Precision is working hard to catch up on existing orders as well as continuing to develop innovative, state-of-the-art actions for discerning customers. Most of the actions on display at SHOT show are in stock and ready to ship. In addition, Stiller hopes to resume production of his popular Viper and Diamondback actions in just a few months. Jerry cautions “be patient” if you are looking for a drop-port or other classic benchrest not currently in inventory.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »
September 24th, 2011

Steyr Arms Recalls 9mm M9-A1, C9-A1, AND S9-A1 Pistols

The following recall and safety notice was issued on September 20, 2011 by Steyr Arms. Apparently some Steyr 9mm pistols have an issue which could allow the firearm to discharge without a normal trigger pull. The affected serial numbers are listed below.

Steyr Pistol RecallSTEYR ARMS — SAFETY WARNING + RECALL NOTICE
STEYR M9-A1, C9-A1, AND S9-A1 PISTOLS

Steyr Arms, Inc. has determined a potential condition with the firing pins in a very limited number of 9mm Steyr M9-A1, C9-A1 and S9-A1 pistols that could possibly allow the pistol to fire without the trigger being pulled. Although Steyr Arms, Inc. has not received any reports of accidents or injuries, it is voluntarily initiating this recall to protect the safety of its customers because of the remote possibility of an unintentional discharge occurring.

The affected M9-A1 pistols bear serial numbers 3021926-3021928, 3021932-3021935, 3021946-3021955, 3021966-3021988, 3021990-3021993, 3021995-3022001, 3022003-3022005, 3024663-3024672, 3024683-3024688, 3024690-3024702, 3024704-4024712, 3024733-3024738, 3024741-3024742, 3024802-3024811, 3024852-3024871, 3024882-3024901, 3025299-3025308, 3025311, 3025313-3025333, 3025335-3025338, and 3025353-3025359.

The affected C9-A1 pistols bear serial numbers 3022128-3022145, 3022152, 3022169-3022171, 3022174, 3022176-3022178, 3022180-3022201, 3022203-3022218, and 3022845-3022854.

The affected S9-A1 pistols bear serial numbers 3022929-3022931, 3022933, 3022935-3022937, 3022975-3022977, 3022988-3022991, 3022993, 3022995-3022996, 3024146-3024175 and 3024354.

Only the M9-A1, C9-A1 and S9-A1 pistols with the serial numbers identified above are affected by this recall. If your pistol has a different serial number, it is not subject to the recall.

How to Respond to Recall
If you own a Steyr M9-A1, C9-A1 or S9-A1 pistol with a serial number identified as being affected by this recall, please do not load or fire your Steyr M9-A1, C9-A1 or S9-A1 pistol and contact us immediately to arrange to have the firing pin in your pistol replaced, free of charge, using the following steps:

Step 1 – Contact us at 205-655-8299 (Monday-Friday 8-5 Central Standard Time) or at www.steyrarms.com/contact and provide the model and serial number of your pistol.

Step 2 – After confirming that your pistol is subject to this recall, we will send you a prepaid overnight shipping box with instructions so that you can return your pistol to us, free of charge.

Step 3 – We will replace the firing pin in your pistol and return it to you overnight free of charge. We will make every effort to return your pistol to you within one week of receiving it.

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March 11th, 2011

Tannel Firing Pin Bushing Cures Primer Cratering

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and his turnaround time is fast — usually 2-3 days (shop time). Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $82.00 including USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushing

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. (After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” > “Bolt Work”, and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. Select “View Details”.)

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin.
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems.
Price: $75.00 + $7.00 return shipping
Total Price: $82.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage, Sako, Kimber, Cooper, Nesika, Stiller, Bat, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, CZ, Ruger, Mauser, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, RPA Quadlite, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol. Note: There may be extra tooling charges for case-hardened style bolts (Mauser, CZ, and similar) .

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: ARs, Accuracy International, Desert Tactical Arms, Big Horn, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, UPS, Fed-Ex. What ever you prefer. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address. Turn around is normally 1 to 3 days shop time (plus shipping time). We usually do them the day that we get them in. Total cost is $82.00 for one bolt or $157.00 for two (this includes return shipping, priority mail.) Three or more will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate extra shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. Check, money order, or credit card is fine with us.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 8 Comments »