December 20th, 2010

Holiday Stocking-Stuffers for Accurate Shooters

Christmas is less than a week away, so today we’re offering a selection of last-minute “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. So as not to bust your holiday budget, all of our selections are priced under $10.00. Despite their low price, many of these items are handy tools that you’ll use over and over again at the range and/or at your loading bench.

Tactical Xmas Stocking
But first things first — to hold our selected gifts, first you need a handsome Christmas stocking to stuff. What better option for a shooter than than a tactical Xmas stocking from LA Police Gear? On the outside are two mag pouches, a flash-light holder, and a pocket for toy guns. There is also a Velcro square where you can attach a large variety of Milspec Monkey Patches. Offered in tactical black or Desert Tan, these Christmas holster stockings retail for $13.99 each (patches sold separately). There is also a $10.99 version with just MOLLE straps (no external pouches). Be the envy of all your tacti-cool friends.

Gifts $1 to $5


Surveyors Tape
$1.99
Hood quick estimator group size gauge
Hood Kwik Estimator
$2.50
Edmunds bifocal Magnifier
Bifocal 3X/6X Magnifier
$2.95
Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade
Barrel Mirage Shade
$4.95

Surveyors’ Tape. You should always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive, Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape, attached to a stake or target frame, makes a great wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it.

Hood Kwik Estimator. Here’s a very handy tool to measure your 6mm groups. Bracket the group within the diverging lines of the Kwik Estimator and you’ll instantly get a good approximation of the actual group size. No more trips to the tool box for calipers. The inexpensive Kwik Estimator fits in a shirt pocket. (Thanks to Boyd Allen for this suggestion.)

Bifocal 3X/6X magnifier. This handy, inexpensive dual-power magnifier is always close at hand on our loading bench, because it helps with so many task. We use a compact magnifier to inspect bullet tips, to check brass chamfers, and inspect the internals of triggers and other parts. Priced at just $2.95, a magnifier like this (or the folding variety) is a “must-have” item for every hand-loader.

Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade. For high-volume varminters, and competitors who shoot fast in warm weather, a mirage shield is absolutely essential. This prevents hot air rising off the barrel from distorting the image in your scope. The aluminum Sinclair shield can be trimmed to fit, and comes with stick-on Velcro attachments. Two lengths are available: 18″ for short BR barrels, and 24″ for longer barrels.

Gifts $6 to $10


Dewey Crocogator
$6.50
Ballistol multi-purpose gun lube
Ballistol Aerosol Lube
$7.85
Sinclair Barrel Storage Bag
Sinclair Barrel Bag
$8.95

Sinclair Load Block
$9.95

Dewey Crocogator. The Crocogator tool, with knurled “teeth” at both ends, is simple, inexpensive, and compact. Yet nothing zips though primer-pocket gunk faster or better. Unlike some cutter-tipped primer pocket tools, the Crocogator removes the carbon quick and easy without shaving brass. One end is sized for large primer pockets, the other for small.

Ballistol Aerosol Lube. Ballistol is a versatile, non-toxic product with many uses in the reloading room. We have found it is ideal for lubricating cases for normal full-length sizing. It is clear, not gooey or chalky like other lubes. It is very, very slippery, yet is easy to apply and just as easy to wipe off. As you lube your cases, the Ballistol will also clean powder fouling off the case necks. For heavy-duty case forming and neck expansion, we’ll still use Imperial die wax, but for every-day case sizing, Ballistol is our first choice. It also helps prevent your dies from rusting and it even conditions leather. Ballistol is a favored bore cleaner for Black Powder shooters because it neutralizes acidic powder residues.

Sinclair Barrel Bag. If you run a switch-barrel rig, or take spare barrels to a big match, this simple but effective barrel bag will protect your valuable steel. The bag is moisture-resistant vinyl on the outside with a soft, quilted interior to protect the barrel’s finish and delicate crown. The 26″ bag costs $8.95, while a 31″ bag costs $9.50. Either way, it is cheap insurance for those priceless barrels.

Sinclair ‘Poly’ Loading Block. We’ve tried wood and injection-molded loading trays, and we like Sinclair’s white polyethylene loading blocks the best. They fit BR, .308, and 6.5-284 cases very well, with chamfered holes sized for the particular case you reload. The blocks are heavy enough to be stable on the bench, and the “dishwasher-friendly” material is easy to clean. The PBX model hold 50 cases, while the PLX version holds 25 cases with a tray for empties. There is also a heavy-duty model (08-4275) with an extra-thick 1″ base. Sinclair’s loading blocks are superior products at a fair price.

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December 13th, 2010

Great Gift Shirts from Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor SportsIf you’re looking for a modestly-priced holiday gift for a shooting buddy that is sure to bring him (or her) a smile, consider a shooting-theme T-shirt from Creedmoor Sports. Regularly priced at $12.95, these shirts are marked down to just $10.00 for the holidays. Creedmoor’s graphic T-shirts are emblazoned with clever messages such as: “Life’s Too Short to Shoot 9s”, and “X-Ring: The Only Six Inches That Matter”. There are also gift shirts for family members. Options include: “World’s Greatest DAD”, “Father of the World’s Greatest Kids”. There are more fashionable specialty shirts for the ladies: “Shoot Like a Girl … If You Can”, “Nothing Says Love Like a Girl and her AR-15″ (women’s shirts $18.00 on sale, normally $21.95). And for serious shooters who prefer to let their guns do the talking, there are simple designs with just an M16 or M1 Garand logo.

Long-Sleeve and Sweatshirt models also
These Creedmoor shirts are available in white or gray fabric. And, with most of Creedmoor’s graphic designs, you can get a long-sleeve T-shirt version for $2.00 extra, a crewneck sweatshirt version for $5.00 more, or a hooded sweatshirt version for $10.00 more. (Holiday discount pricing listed; regular prices are higher.)

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December 13th, 2008

Anschütz Laser Rifle Training System

It’s twelve days ’til Christmas, there’s snow on the ground and your rifles are packed away for the winter. How do you maintain that competitive edge through the slow winter months? The LaserPower training kit from Anschütz could be the answer. This is a complete system with a Laser-equiped rifle and a 5-target biathlon-style remote target station. “Shoot” the rifle, and if you aim correctly, green lights appear on the target station one by one after each shot. This is a set-up that both adult competitors and juniors can enjoy. If you’re looking for the “ultimate” Christmas gift for your kids, this might be it. The LaserPower rifle kit retails for $763.00 from NealJGuns.com. According to Anschütz, the LaserPower unit is not restricted by any firearms law so it can be used with kids as young as six years old. No FFL is required for purchase.

Anschutz laserpower rifle trainer

The unit features a 4.8-lb, laser-equipped rifle, with adjustable iron sights, an ambidextrous (right-hand or left-hand) hardwood stock, and a two-stage model 5066 trigger. In weight and dimensions, the LaserPower rifle is ideal for junior shooters, though it has been used successfully by adult biathletes for training. Below are two videos. The first video shows how the LaserPower system is assembled and operated. The second video shows the LaserPower in use at a European Biathlon training tournament.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

LaserPower LINKs
CLICK HERE for more LaserPower Videos
Download LaserPower English Language Brochure
Download LaserPower English Language Users’ Manual

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December 12th, 2008

Send Gifts to Troops with MILI-FRB Flat-Rate Box

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has a special program that lets you send a 12″x12″x6″ flat rate box to soldiers serving overseas with military APO/FPO addresses. The shipping cost is just $10.95, flat rate, no matter what the international destination. The boxes, labeled MILI-FRB, are available for FREE at your post office. The MILI-FRB box is quite a bit larger than the $10 domestic Flat-Rate box. With the MILI-FRB you don’t pay by weight, but the max weight for overseas shipment is 20 lbs. per box.

MILI-FRB soldier gift box

Desired Goods — Gum, Jerkey, Power Bars, Wet Wipes, Chew, and Magazines
What should you pack in the box? Soldiers polled say that they prefer “fun stuff” and consummables, rather than t-shirts, socks, and underwear. Don’t send chocolates as these will melt in the heat. Chewing gum, lifesavers, and other hard candies are popular. So are beef jerkey, granola bars, and power bars. Powdered drink mixes, such as kool-aid and Crystal Light Lemonade, are in high demand.

Among the most-requested items are “Wet Wipes” and/or “baby wipes”. These can be used for a quick clean-up in the field and are easy to tote in a field pack. The soldiers have also asked for chewing tobacco. Though not particularly healthy, tins of Skoal and Copenhagen are highly prized for trading purposes, even if your recipient doesn’t chew. The soldiers also like reading material. Outdoor magazines, car magazines, and gun/hunting magazines are prized. If you’ve got a stack of old shooting magazines… don’t toss ‘em, ship ‘em.

You can get the names of serving troops from National Guard offices, from the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), or from local military recruitment offices. Your Congressperson can also help you obtain the addresses of soldiers from your area who are billeted overseas.

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December 18th, 2007

NEW Hat Brim LED Lamps

Looking for the ultimate “stocking-stuffer” this Christmas? Here is a very clever new head-lamp that has been flying off the shelves this holiday season. The unit features five (5) bright LED bulbs and clips on to the brim of a cap, for hands-free illumination. Smart idea. This would be great to use both indoors (while reloading) and outdoors (for camping).

Here’s what one hunter had to say: “I found this light to be one of the best buys I have made in a long time. It is very easy to use, it always shines where you are looking and has a bright enough light to see for a long way. It is light and compact and is not prone to moving around like other clip on lights.” — L. Campbell, CA

If you read other User Reviews, the general consensus is that these LED brim lights are extremely useful and handy, and are a bargain. On the downside, users have noted that the clips that go over the brim can break easily. This seems to be a brand-specific problem. Some of these units have a more flexible high-quality polymer while others are made with a more brittle, cheaper plastic.

There are many different sources for these LED Brim Lights. You can even find a camo version with red lamps for stealth hunting. Price ranges from $3.99 to $21.99. The unit shown below costs $5.99 at Amazon.com.

For an extended review with better, larger photos, visit The-Gadgeteer.com.

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