February 3rd, 2017

Safari Club International Convention Underway in Las Vegas

Safari Club International Convention

The 45th Annual Safari Club International (SCI) Convention is underway now at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big event opened February 1st, and concludes Saturday the 4th. Over 20,000 hunters and sportsmen are expected to attend this year.

$10 Million in Auction Items This Year
The SCI show is famed for its fund-raising auctions. At this year’s Convention, over $10 million worth of exotic firearms, once-in-a-lifetime hunts, and fine collectibles will be auctioned. Net proceeds from the auctions are used by SCI to promote conservation and game management efforts worldwide. Here’s a past auction item, a Krieghoff Double Rifle valued at $84,000. This ‘Legends of the Hunt’ double rifle, chambered in .470 Nitro Express, is custom engraved by master engravers Michael Oke and Andreas Scholz. The stock is exhibition-grade Turkish walnut with ebony pistol grip and fore-end tip. There are gold barrel bands and gold accents on the express sight blades and double triggers.

Krieghoff .470 Nitro Express

Over 1000 Exhibitors from 33 Countries
This is a huge event, with over 1000 exhibitors from 33 countries and six continents. Notably, hundreds of top guides and outfitter services are showcased in the Outfitters Hall. The SCI convention also features many firearms manufacturers and custom gun builders. In the Gun Maker’s village prestigious European gun makers and engravers display their work.

The SCI convention boasts “the largest display of wildlife art at one venue anywhere in the world” according to Ammoland.com. The work of 55 artists and 110 taxidermists will be on display.

Hunt of a Lifetime — What Would You Hunt and Where?

A couple seasons back, Sierra Bullets asked its staffers about their dream hunting destinations. The Sierra techs, all avid hunters, were polled about their favorite hunting venues. Here are their answers to the question: “If you could hunt anything, anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you hunt?”

Photo courtesy Kirabo Safaris, South Africa
Africa Hunting Sierra Bullets

Africa topped the list of “dream hunting locations” by a landslide. Canada and Alaska were both picked twice, with other destinations each favored by one staffer:

Africa 6 votes (Kudu, Eland, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Plains Game)
Canada 2 votes (Moose, Black Bear)
Alaska 2 votes (Dall Sheep)
Wyoming 1 vote (Antelope)
US Rocky Mountains 1 vote (Elk)
Argentina 1 votes (Doves)
Australia 1 vote (Non-specific)

Carroll Pilant (Ballistics Technician): “Back to Africa for kudu and eland.”

Rich Machholz (Ballistic Technician): “African Cape Buffalo with my longtime friend Lloyd in Zimbabwee.”

Tommy Todd (Chief Ballistician): “Free Range African plains game”

Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.
Namibia Hunting safari

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January 29th, 2017

Great American Outdoor Show February 4-12 in PA

The Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) is the world’s largest consumer showcase of firearms, hunting products, fishing equipment, and outdoor gear. Starting February 2, 2017, the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania hosts the big Outdoor Show for nine (9) full days. This is a huge event, with 650,000 square feet of guns, gear andmore. If you’re into shooting, hunting, or fishing and live in the Northeast, you should try to attend. Adult Tickets start at $14.00 and you can get FREE Admission with purchase of an NRA Membership

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania1,000+ Exhibitor Booths
New Firearms from Leading Gun-Makers
500+ Outfitters and Charterers
200+ Outdoor Seminars

Attendees can visit over 1,000 exhibitor booths featuring firearms, hunting gear, camping equipment, fishing tackle, archery products, and even boats and RVs. The booths cover 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! In addition, the giant Outfitter Hall at the Great American Outdoor Show, one of the largest in the country, hosts nearly 500 outfitters, boat captains, and charterers.

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania

Over 200 Seminars Hosted by Outdoor Experts and Noted Guides
The 2017 Great American Outdoor Show will feature more than 200 seminars from leading outdoors experts, covering hunting, birds of prey, self-defense tactics and strategies, fishing demos from angling experts, and much more. This year’s notable presentations will include:

  • Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey: From Vietnam to Hollywood
  • Jim Shockey – Big Game Hunting Worldwide
  • Cole McCulloch – Long Range Hunting & Shooting Principles
  • Alan Probst – Coyote Trapping Techniques
  • Rick Fetrow – Venison Processing
  • Ashley Van Houten – Proper Fletching Techniques

For the full Outdoor Show Seminar schedule and list of exhibitors, visit GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org. The Show’s website also list celebrity appearances and special events, which will include the NRA Country Concert with Dustin Lynch and Granger Smith, fundraising dinners, archery competitions, product demos, and much more!

SHOW HOURS AND DATES
Saturday, Feb 4: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, Feb 5: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Monday-Friday, Feb 6-10: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday, Feb 11: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, Feb 12: 10:00am – 5:00pm

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January 25th, 2017

Hornady Offers Reloading Clinics at Safari Club Int’l Convention

hornady reloading clinic SCI Safari Club

Hornady® Manufacturing is sponsoring free reloading clinics on Thursday, February 2, 2017, during the Safari Club International (SCI) Convention in Las Vegas, NV. The clinics will include introductory and advanced reloading techniques. Hornady reloading specialist, Ben Syring, is the instructor for both classes. The clinics are free-of-charge, but participant space is available on a first-come first-served basis.The clinics will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Lagoon Room A:

Hornady Reloading Clinic Schedule/Descriptions
Thursday, February 2, 2017 – Mandalay Bay, Lagoon Room A

Intro to Reloading Clinic, 9:30-11:00 p.m., discusses basic rifle and pistol reloading techniques, with an overview of the Hornady Classic reloading kit.

Advanced Reloading Clinic, 12:00-2:00 p.m., focuses on advanced techniques, with demonstrations of Hornady® precision tools including the headspace gauge, concentricity tool, and more.

SCI Convention Draws 18,000 Visitors
Widely considered as one of the premiere hunting-related events in the country, the Safari Club International Convention takes place February 1-4, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Vegas, and features “six continents under one roof,” where attendees can book hunts, converse with hunting and shooting celebrities, and shop for the latest in hunting tools and equipment. The convention covers 650,000 square feet of exhibit space, and draws approximately 18,000 visitors from around the world.

For further information regarding Hornady® products visit www.Hornady.com.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading No Comments »
January 24th, 2017

Shooting Skills: Reading the Wind When Hunting

Norway Hunting Snow

Thomas Haugland, a Shooters’ Forum member from Norway, is a long-range target shooter and hunter. He has created an interesting video showing how to gauge wind velocities by watching trees, grass, and other natural vegetation. The video commentary is in English, but the units of wind speed (and distance) are metric. Haugland explains: “This is not a full tutorial, but rather a short heads-up to make you draw the lines between the dots yourself”. Here are some conversions that will help when watching the video:

.5 m/s = 1.1 mph | 1 m/s = 2.2 mph | 2 m/s = 4.5 mph
3 m/s = 6.7 mph | 4 m/s = 8.9 mph | 5 m/s =11.2 mph

More Interesting Videos from Norway
There are many other interesting videos on Haugland’s YouTube Channel, including Game Stalking, Precision Reloading, and Tips on how to use a Mildot Reticle on a scope with MOA-based clicks.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
January 11th, 2017

Leupold Offers VX-3i “Long Range Precision” Optics

Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Leupold has released three new VX-3i scopes for precision shooters. The new VX-3i LRP (“Long Range Precision”) series of scopes offer impressive features at affordable price points. There are three new LRP models: 4.5-14x50mm, 6.5-20x50mm, and 8.5-25x50mm. The “3i” in the model names indicates a three-times zoom ratio.

Both front focal plane (FFP) and rear focal plane VX-3i LRP models will be offered. All VX-3i LRP scopes come with a removable throw lever on the zoom ring. The big, knurled turrets are easy to manipulate and feature an elevation zero stop. You can choose either quarter-MOA or 1/10th MIL clicks, and the reticles are matched to the click values — MOA/MOA or mil/mil.

Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Several popular reticle options are available, including MOA-based Impact-29 MOA, Impact-32 MOA and T-MOA®; or the mil-based TMR® and the new Leupold CCH (Combat Competition Hunter) reticle. The Leupold CCH is a grid-based reticle providing holdovers and wind holds in mils. That should prove popular with tactical marksmen and PRS competitors.

For target work at 400+ yards we like the 8.5-25x50mm LRP:
Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Competing with Vortex and Bushnell for the Tactical Market
We see these VX-3i scopes as direct competition for the Vortex and Bushnell scopes now favored by many tactical and PRS shooters. Leupold’s goal was to build a scope with the features customers want at affordable prices. Tim Lesser, Leupold’s VP of product development, explains: “The VX-3i LRP [optics line] is a high-end, long-range riflescope that’s within most people’s budget, be it for PRS, long-range target shooting or even hunting.”

Permalink New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
January 3rd, 2017

New Bergara B14 HMR Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

Bergera Rifles has introduced a new rifle designed for the tactical, PRS, and long-range hunting markets. Bergara’s new B14 Series Hunting and Match Rifle (HMR) features an ergonomic, adjustable stock fitted with an internal aluminum sub-chassis. Initially, the HMR will be offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings, fed with AICS-compatible box magazines. We’re pleased that all HMRs are guaranteed to produce sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory match-grade ammunition. Weight, without optics, is 9.15 lbs, about one pound less than the Ruger Precision Rifle. MSRP is $1,150.00.

The Spanish-made HMR boasts a molded synthetic stock with built-in machined aluminum mini-chassis. This mini-chassis allows secure, repeatable bedding for Bergara’s B14 action, which features two-lug bolt wtih coned bolt-head. The Chrome-Moly Bergara barrels are threaded 5/8″ x 24 at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors. The HMR uses a precision-machined bottom metal and is designed to accept AICS-style magazines.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

The stock has a multi-stage textured finish, which looks good. Designed for both righties and lefties, the ambidextrous stock features an adjustable cheekpiece, and length of pull is adjustable with simple spacers. For slings and accessories, the HMR stock offers multiple flush cup QD mounts as well as multiple swivel studs for bipods and/or slings.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

This should be an interesting addition to the line-up of factory rifles suitable for the PRS Series Production Class. But frankly, we think Bergara went too short with the barrels (or at least should offer longer barrels as options). In 6.5 Creedmoor, at 22″ you’re giving up 90 FPS or so compared to a 27″ (See Barrel Cut-Down Test). Additionally, we think most PRS competitors would prefer a different profile on the fore-end. Nonetheless for tactical guys who don’t like modular metal stocks, this is an interesting (and pretty affordable) new offering.

Bergara B14 HMR Rifle Specifications:

Chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester
Action Type: 2-lug action, sliding plate extractor, cone bolt nose and breech
Magazine: AICS style mag compatible – Includes one Magpul® PMAG AICS Magazine
Barrel Specs: 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8″ Twist, 22″); .308 Win (1:10″ twist; 20″)
Mini-Chassis Material: 7075 T6 aluminum
Weight without scope: 9.15 pounds
MSRP: $1,150.00

Learn more about Bergara rifles in this SHOT Show Video by the 6.5 Guys

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December 18th, 2016

Wall Poster Illustrates Hunting Cartridges and Game Species

Need something for the walls of your “man cave” or reloading room? The creators of the Cartridge Comparison Guide offer a very cool poster showing 85 classic varmint and hunting cartridges. Along with cartridges (from 17 Mach2 all the way up to the 517 Nitro Express), this full-color 18″ x 24″ wall poster shows dozens of game animal types, including all the great African species. This unique Game & Ammo Hunting Poster opens reveals the range and breadth of game animals that can be hunted on the world stage, while providing a comprehensive sampling of proven cartridges for hunting these animals. Priced at $11.95, this poster was developed in cooperation with Hunter Education instructors to develop a superior teaching tool.

Click to View Large Size Poster:
game hunting species poster ammunition cartridge hunting ammo wall illustration

(more…)

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November 28th, 2016

Hunting Safety Checklist — A Good Reminder Before Any Hunt

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Are you a safe hunter? Go through this checklist to find out. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a helpful Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist was produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign which encourages hunters (and all firearm owners) to secure their firearms when not in use, and to focus on safe firearm handling and storage. The Hunting Safey Checklist helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.

“Hunting is a time-honored tradition for many Americans, and the hunting season brings a wave of excitement and activity for all enthusiasts,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s also a good time of year to remind firearm owners about … safe and responsible gun handling and storage.”

Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist for Families

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

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November 25th, 2016

Norway Adventure with .338 Lapua Magnum

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

As a holiday treat for our readers, we are reprising a video feature about hunting in Norway. After watching this video, you may want to head off to Vesterålen in northern Norway…

This is one of the finest shooting videos we’ve ever seen. Set in the scenic Vesterålen archipelago of northern Norway, this high-quality 15-minute video is part Nat Geo travelog, part ballistics lesson, part gear review. We wish we had the opportunity to join Ulf Lindroth and Thomas Haugland on their remarkable shooting adventure. This video was originally created for Great Britain’s Fieldsports TV Channel.

This is an outstanding video, recommended for anyone interested in long-range hunting.

Long range shooters Lindroth and Haugland traveled to the Arctic Circle to field test a new .338 LM Blaser R8 (in GRS stock) fitted with a Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm scope. (Ammo is Norma-brand .338 Lapua Magnum). The video shows how they confirm the ballistics of the Norma factory ammo in the Blaser R8 rifle system.

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf and Thomas initially test out the system confirming drop at multiple yardages, and then use the rifle for practical accuracy. Ulf says: “If you know your hunting will demand a long shot, and you want to push the limit but still be sure to make the first-shot kill… If you want to do an ethical hunt, if you want to push that limit, you have to do [this kind of testing].”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf Lindroth (above) observed: “We shot [at 808 meters] observed the misses, clicked our way into the target, and now we have the true drop at that distance… in this air pressure, in this temperature. From there we can start working to find our TRUE trajectory. And when we have THAT… we can get serious about some target shooting.”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 2 Comments »
November 24th, 2016

Wild Game Recipes for Thanksgiving from NRABlog.com

Thanksgiving recipes NRABlog.com

Looking for culinary inspiration for your holiday gatherings? The NRA Blog offers three special (and delicious) Wild Game Recipes for your family feasts: Honey Mustard Planked Wild Turkey Breast, Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Boar Roast with Black Truffle Sauce, and BBQ Brined Pigeon. These recipes come from some of the country’s best chefs, and they all seem mouth-watering. You’ll find a full list of ingredients plus step-by-step cooking tips.

One of the many advantages to hunting is the assortment of game you can gather that lasts for an extended period of time. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to stick with a whole turkey from the store and a ham hock.

We have three unique spins on wild game recipes that will suit your dining table perfectly. Even if you’re one of those hunters who enjoys a quick hunt the morning of Thanksgiving, these recipes will make your holiday more delicious than ever. — NRABlog.com

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November 14th, 2016

SAKO Factory Tour in Finland — And Tests For Hunters

Beretta Factory SAKO Tour Finland

Beretta, makers of fine shotguns, rifles, and pistols, also owns Finnish rifle-maker SAKO. In this article, which first appeared in the Beretta Blog, hunting guide Mia Anstine writes about her visit to the Sako factory and her live-fire shooting test to secure her hunting permit. CLICK HERE for full story.

Visting the SAKO Factory in Finland, by Mia Anstine
What a joy to wake up in Finland and prepare for a tour of Sako. I enjoyed a European breakfast with a view of downtown Helsinki. Shortly I joined the hosts and writer’s group, and we boarded the bus for a ride to Riihimaki, to the manufacturing facility.

Sako built its original manufacturing facility during World War I. To this day they still utilize the original buildings but have also grown over the years to include larger production areas and updated equipment.

Video shows Sako Rifle-Making and Hunting in Finland’s Backcountry (worth watching):

Beretta Holding’s acquisition of the Sako company brought additional opportunity for growth. The company added state-of-the-art machinery which has aided in increased production. However, they’ve still maintained their signature quality-built products by keeping the human element integrated throughout the production line.

After a quick tour of the Sako facility, we headed to the shooting range. We shot a number or Sako and Tikka rifles, but first, we sighted in our hunting rifles in preparation for a brown bear and moose hunt. I would be hunting with a Sako model 85 Hunter chambered in 9.3 mm. (Editor: For fans of this big 0.366 caliber, Sako offers both 9.3x62mm and 9.3x66mm Sako chamberings).

Beretta Factory SAKO Tour Finland

Hunters Must Pass Marksmanship Tests
To hunt bear in Finland, you must first pass a hunting test as well as shooting test. The timed, live-fire event [requires] five rounds in the kill zone of a brown bear at 100 meters. Of course, the ever-courteous Finns had ladies go first, so I felt more than a bit of pressure, and I know I shot a bit faster than necessary. Regardless, I cycled rounds and passed with ease.

Next, we headed to a different bay at the shooting range where we experienced the hunting test from days of old. In this test, we shot from standing position at a moose target. First, we shot three rounds in the kill zone, from 100 meters, and then three at the moose target as it raced by, from right-to-left and left-to-right, at 20 kilometers per hour. While this test is no longer required, it was a pleasure to try our hands at it.

CLICK HERE for full story on BERETTA BLOG

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
November 13th, 2016

Ten Great Hunting Books

Favorite Hunting books Hemingway Roosevelt Leopold Hunter Amazon.com

Recommended Books about Hunting
There’s no shortage of good hunting-related reading material. Here are some of the best books written about hunting. You can find all these titles on Amazon.com. Many are offered in eBook format as well as printed versions. Click on the link(s) below to preview a sample from each book.



Favorite Hunting books Hemingway Roosevelt Leopold Hunter Amazon.comHemingway on Hunting by Ernest Hemingway.

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz.

Meditations on Hunting by Jose Ortega y Gasset.

Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail by Theodore Roosevelt (illustrations by Frederic Remington).

Greatest Hunting Stories Ever Told by Lamar Underwood (Editor).

It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It by Bill Heavey.

The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food by Jackson Landers.

American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America by Willie Robertson and William Doyle.

Whitetail Nation: My Season in Pursuit of the Monster Buck by Peter Bodo.

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
November 13th, 2016

Hunting Tip: How to Plot Your Cold Bore Point of Impact

Commonly, hunters won’t have the ability to fire one or two fouling shots before heading out on a hunt. Therefore it’s important that a hunter understands how his rifle shoots with a “cold bore shot”. Both the point of impact (and possibly velocity), may be different with a cold bore than with a barrel that has been warmed and fouled with a series of shots. In this video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), you’ll learn how to determine your cold bore point of impact (POI) for a rifle that just been cleaned, as well as the cold bore POI with a barrel that has already been “fouled in”.

SGT Joe Hein of the USAMU shows how to plot cold bore POI with both a clean bore and a fouled bore. Note that the “cold bore” shot from a fouled barrel was closer to the follow-up shots than the cold bore shot from a clean barrel. This is typical of many factory barrels. SGT Hein provides a simple way to understand your rifle’s cold bore performance. Hein’s advice can keep you from missing that long range shot at that big buck on opening day. A little time spent on the range before that critical first shot will help ensure you have meat in the freezer this season.

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October 31st, 2016

Position Shooting Tips for Hunters — How to Stabilize Your Shot

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

Team USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In this excellent short video from the USAMU, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

Last but not least, McPhail shows some clever treestand tricks. McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. (That would be the left arm for a right-handed shooter). This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand. The second half of the video shows how this works.

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October 29th, 2016

NSSF Video Shows Sitting, Kneeling, and Standing Positions

When hunting or when competing in a field tactical match, you need to be able to shoot from a variety of positions. While the prone position is normally the most stable, hunters (and tactical marksmen) will encounter situations that demand the ability to shoot from a higher position.

In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, explains how to shoot from sitting, kneeling, and standing positions. Cleckner demonstrates both rested and non-rested variations of these three positions. Cleckner explains: “When you’re out hunting, often times you’re going to have grass or obstacles in your way, so [prone is] not practical — you’re going to have to get higher up off the ground. However, the problem with getting higher off the ground is that you are less stable. As a rule, the closer we are to the ground, the more stable we are… so we are going to [encounter] problems as we get taller up. I’m going to teach you some tricks to get you as stable as possible….”

Cleckner demonstrates the proper kneeling/sitting/standing body positions and he shows how to use your sling for extra support. This video also demonstrates the use of “field expedient” rests that provide a front support point for the rifle. Both hunters and field tactical shooters should find this 7-minute video very informative, and well worth watching.

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October 24th, 2016

Leupold Introduces Hand-Held Thermal Optic for Hunters

Leupold stevens hunting hunter Thermal Optic Imager LTO heat source spotter

The new Leupold Thermal Optics (LTO) Tracker is a hand-held, heat-detection device designed as a multi-purpose hunting tool for game observation and game recovery. A high-performance thermal spotter, the LTO Tracker can detect heat sources out to 600 yards. The advanced thermal imaging engine fires up in less than three seconds and offers fast 30hz frame rates.

The hand-held unit features a 20-degree field of view and 6x digital zoom. Five different thermal filters provide multiple viewing options. The LTO’s CR123 lithium battery provides more than 10 hours of continuous use. A user-controlled reticle allow the user to quickly pinpoint a game animal or other thermal source. MSRP for the LTO Tracker is $874.99.

Leupold stevens hunting hunter Thermal Optic Imager LTO heat source spotter

Use LTO Thermal to Track Animals and Guide your Hunt
From checking your ingress path to your stand, to helping track wounded animals, the LTO Thermal can perform many tasks. Hunters can use the LTO Tracker to spot their quarry’s heat trail and efficiently recover the downed animal. Using the LTO Thermal, hunters can also plan their walk to their stand or blind with minimal risk of scaring off game. Where legal, varmint or feral hog hunters can use the LTO Tracker to identify their quarry, leading to more successful hunts.

“We see thermal as a vital tool in any hunter’s kit, just like binoculars or laser rangefinders,” said Tim Lesser, vice president of product development for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “For observation and recovering downed game, the LTO Tracker will help hunters find success in the field.”

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
October 14th, 2016

Help for Hunters — Video Explains Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

It’s hunting season, and we know many readers will be pursuing a prize buck this fall. But how will your hunting load perform? That depends on shot placement, energy, and terminal ballistics.

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

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October 9th, 2016

John Nosler — Pioneer in Advanced Bullet Design

RIP John A. Nosler

John Nosler lived 97 years, passing in 2010. During his long lifetime, John was an iconic figure in the shooting world. Considered a true pioneer in bullet and ammunition design, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s. Born on April 4, 1913 in Brawley, California, John built his business from scratch. He founded his bullet company in 1948, and was considered to be one of the great innovators whose designs literally created the premium bullet category and influenced ammunition manufacturers worldwide.

Moose-Hunt Inspires Partition Bullet Design
While hunting in Canada, John experienced a bullet failure on the hide of a mud-caked bull moose. He then began developing a revolutionary new projectile, which he called the “Partition”, because of the barrier that separated the bullet into two sections. One year later, John and a friend traveled back to British Columbia with his new Partition bullets, which were designed to provide deep penetration and expansion. The men bagged two moose with two shots, and the rest is history.

Nosler Partition Bullet John Nosler

In recognition of his contribution to the shooting sports industry, John was the unanimous choice for the inaugural 2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. The award was the highlight of a long and fruitful career. Even though he officially retired in 1988 when his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Joan Nosler purchased the company, John still managed to come to the office on a daily basis until his health declined.

Today, John’s son Bob Nosler still presides over the company as president and CEO of Nosler, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Along with bullets, the company now produces cartridge brass, loaded ammunition, and hunting rifles.

To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. CLICK HERE to hear a short John Nosler audio clip or to order the book from the author.

John Nosler remained an avid hunter and shooter even late in life. Gary Lewis recalled that, at age 92, John Nosler attended the opening of a new shooting range outside Bend, Oregon. Even in his nineties, Nosler managed to drill two shots inside nine inches at 1000 yards. John Nosler leaves a legacy that will benefit hunters and shooters’ nationwide. The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program which instructs novices in safe rifle handling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 6th, 2016

Nikon Offers World’s First Rangefinder with Vibration Reduction

Vibration Reduction Image stabilization Laser Rangefinder Monach VR hunting hunter

It’s about darn time … that somebody offered vibration damping in a laser rangefinder (LRF). This “anti-shake” technology has been available in binoculars for years, but now it’s finally available for a laser rangefinder — thanks to Nikon. Nikon’s new MONARCH 7i VR Laser Rangefinder is the world’s first LRF with automated vibration compensation. Nikon’s VR (Vibration Reduction) technology reduces the effect of external vibrations caused by shaking and hand movements. The system steadies the image seen through the 6X viewfinder, while simultaneously aligning/steadying the irradiated laser beam for faster, more precise ranging.

“Vibrations of the image in the viewfinder caused by hand movement (sinusoidal waves) are reduced to approximately one-fifth (or less) based on Nikon’s measurement standards. With the push of a button you’ve just made the world stand still for a fast, precise distance measurement.”

Vibration Reduction Image stabilization Laser Rangefinder Monach VR hunting hunter

Nikon says its VR technology will “reduce optical vibrations by nearly 80%“. The VR system stabilizes the viewed image AND simultaneously aligns the image with the activated laser beam. This delivers a “rock-solid” view of your target for faster, more precise ranging. Hunters will find that the target mark on the rangefinder remains much more stable, so you can range more quickly and efficiently. Watch this video to see how VR technology works:

Comment: VR technology IS a big deal for the hunter in the field. Bottom line — this anti-shake technology will let hunters range faster and range distant targets more reliably. The difference when ranging small game at long ranges is quite noticeable. Right now Nikon is the only company offering VR technology in rangefinders, but we expect other LRF-makers to follow suit. Surprisingly, the MONARCH 7i VR Laser Rangefinder is quite affordable. MSRP is $399.95.

Instant-On VR Functionality
The VR Function begins immediately when the laser rangefinder is on, meaning there is no extra time spent trying to toggle between settings. Holding down the ranging button allows the user to continuously scan for 8 seconds. A fast measurement is received (in approximately half a second), regardless of the distance, thanks to Nikon’s Hyper Read technology. The MONARCH 7i VR has an effective measurement range of 8-1000 yards and displays measurements in .1-yard increments. In addition, the Nikon’s ID (Incline/Decline) Technology compensates for uphill or downhill shooting angles by providing the true horizontal distance for your ballistics solver.

Vibration Reduction Image stabilization Laser Rangefinder Monach VR hunting hunter

The MONARCH 7i VR represents a major step in hunting technology by helping alleviate the difficulty of keeping the rangefinder steady enough to range distant objects. This issue is partially due to the compact size of most laser rangefinders, which makes it challenging to brace it against a solid object, such as a tree or the edge of a deer stand. The rangefinder’s small size, combined with a strong wind, unbalanced position, physical exertion or just plain-old “buck fever” can make it virtually impossible to hold the target mark of the rangefinder on target and keep it still long enough to get a distance reading. VR changes all that, and we commend Nikon for making this technology available to sportsmen.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Optics No Comments »
September 25th, 2016

Shilen Actions, Barreled Actions, and Complete Rifles

Shilen Actions Complete rifles barrel nut Savage Remage

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches. For more info, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »