May 27th, 2018

Brilliant Video From Beretta about Gun-Making

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Here’s a really great video about firearms crafting produced by Beretta, a legendary Italian gun-maker. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of most impressive videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of modern technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 11th, 2018

IWA Outdoor Classics — Highlights from “Euro SHOT Show”

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show
Here is a “birds-eye view” from IWA. Yes that’s a mini-blimp at lower left.

After SHOT Show in the USA, the IWA Outdoor Classics is the biggest gun/hunting/outdoor trade show in the world. The IWA event, held each spring in Nuremberg, Germany, concludes Monday, March 12 after a 4-day run in the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. This is a big event — 1562 exhibitors from around the globe are showcasing their products. IWA attendance, which has grown steadily, is expected to top 50,000 visitors this year.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Many beautiful custom hunting rifles are on display. Note the stunning wood and the elaborate metal-work on bolt and action. Don’t ask about the price…


CLICK HERE for 300+ More IWA Show Photos

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are a pair of Olympic-grade Steyr air pistols. Designed for one-handed shooting, these feature very ergonomic wood grips.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Toggle action biathlon rifles like this Anschutz captured medals at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Not the handy magazine storage on the fore-arm.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with displays of guns, optics, and hunting gear, the IWA show features workshop areas where skilled artisans practice their trades — you can see engraving, wood-carving, and other skills in action.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with match rifles and hunting rigs, there were some serious sniper rifles on display. Here a German lady gets behind a Steyr SSG M1, offered in 7.61×51 NATO and .338 Lapua Magnum.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Bling was the thing at some pistol booths. These colorful Strike One handguns are made by Arsenal Arms in Italy (more sedate colors are also offered). A Russian-Italian design collaboration, the Strike One uses a Bergmann barrel system which does not tilt (unlike the widely-used Browning system). This allows for an extremely low bore axis.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Multiple vendors had some beautifully-figured stock blanks on display. The most desirable Turkish Walnut blanks can cost thousands of dollars.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are some handsome Winchester Model 1866 (Yellowboy) rifles with highly-decorated receivers. This classic American design is now crafted in Italy by Uberti.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Major German rifle-makers Blaser, Mauser, and Sauer all had large, prominent displays at the IWA Show in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
December 5th, 2015

The Art of Gun-Making (High Tech and Human Tech)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Here’s an early Christmas present to our readers from Beretta — a really great video about gun-making. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of the best videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of ultra-modern manufacturing technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
December 17th, 2014

“Human Technology” — Superb Video from Beretta

If you do anything on our site today, watch this movie from Beretta, start to finish. Among the scores of videos we have featured in 2014, this movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is certainly a candidate for “Video of the Year”. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of ultra-modern manufacturing technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Quoting Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video will amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Beretta Human Technology videoZoom for Best Viewing

We strongly suggest you watch this excellent video in 720p or 1080p High-Definition, Full-Screen Mode. To do this, after starting the video, click the gear icon and select 1080p (or 720p if you have a slower connection). After setting the resolution, click the four-corner box to enter Full-Screen Mode. When you’ve finished watching the movie, click the “Esc” key to return to your normal browser screen.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
January 28th, 2013

Rear Sandbag Transport Caddy from Italy’s Varide Cicognani

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag ToteDoes your rear sand-bag get lumpy or lose its shape during transport? Are your bag ears starting to sag or get mis-aligned? Well the clever Italians have a solution for you.

Varide Cicognani, an Italian webstore specializing in competition shooting accessories, offers a cleverly-designed bag transport/storage caddy for rear sand-bags. Cicognani’s Portacuscino Model TFC-P is designed to keep your rear bag “in shape” during transport and storage. The TFC-P features aluminum top and bottom brackets, connected with threaded rods. A wedge under the top bracket fits between the bag ears. The top bracket has a convenient carry handle. The whole unit (not including bag) weighs just 13.4 ounces (680 grams). The price is € 49, or $65.99 at current exchange rates. For more information, visit www.VarideCicongnani.it.

Portacuscino modello TFC-P Sandbag Tote

Product Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
May 18th, 2012

Parker Wins Gold in 50m 3-Position Rifle at ISSF World Cup

SFC Jason Parker USA ShootingUSAMU shooter SFC Jason Parker, the 2011 Continental American Champion, won the 50m Three Position (3P) Rifle event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Rifle & Pistol World Cup in Milan, Italy. With an overall score of 1273.1 points, Parker topped runner-up Niccolò Campriani (Italy), by almost three points, earning the American soldier his fifth ISSF World Cup Gold medal. Jason apparently likes Italy — in 2001 SFC Parker won an ISSF World Cup Gold medal in Milan.

SFC Parker told reporters: “I won my first international medal ever here in Milan, so it’s great to be back on this podium. We have our national Olympic trials kicking off in a few days: the 2012 Olympic team will be decided there. It’s good to walk into the trials knowing that everything works fine, and that I can score well under pressure.”

Despite extremely windy conditions in Milan, SFC Parker shot a great match. Parket noted: “I am quite confident with the wind. I adjusted my sights with a couple of clicks and knew how to react. I had no problems.” Team USA shooting coach, Major Dave Johnson, praised Parker: “This was a vintage performance from Jason today. There wasn’t anything truly big or flashy about the way he shot, but he made no mistakes all day and was just very consistent.”

Watch Highlights from Mens’ 50m 3-Position in ISSF World Cup Milan

Twenty-one USA Shooting athletes, including 10 Olympians, are in Italy for their final International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup event before the London 2012 Olympic Games. The ISSF World Cup in Rifle and Pistol events continues tomorrow with Women’s 50m Three-Position Rifle, Women’s 25m Pistol and Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. Through three days of competition, the USA Shooting Team has earned three top-10 finishes following a sixth-place finish for Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) and a 10th-place finish by Jamie Gray (Lebanon, Pa.) in Women’s 10m Air Rifle.

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
May 14th, 2012

Randi Rogers Wins Ladies Division at 2012 IDPA European Cup

Team Comp-Tac’s Randi Rogers won the Women’s Division at the 2012 IDPA European Cup held April 27-29 in Calsivano, Italy. That makes it two Euro-Cup IDPA titles in a row for the talented young shooter, who formerly competed with Team Glock. With a final time of 198.07, Rogers finished first in Stock Service Pistol (SSP) Master class, securing her second straight IDPA Ladies’ European Cup Championship. Rogers also won both stage eight and nine with times of 12.87 and 6.20 respectively.

Randi Rogers IDPA 2012 European Cup

“This year’s IDPA European Cup really centered on standard shooting requirements. Many of the stages focused on one-hand shooting as well as difficult distance shots. The training I did before the match paid off and I couldn’t be happier to bring home the High Lady title for the second year in a row,” commented Rogers. Next up for Rogers will be the Bianchi Cup, scheduled for May 23 through 26 in Columbia, MO.

International Defensive Pistol Association has had an increased popularity the past couple of years with many Italian Nationals attending matches here in the United States as well as the shooters of Calsivano, Italy hosting their own sanctioned IDPA match for the second year in a row. Comp-Tac supported the IDPA European Cup by sending two members of Team Comp-Tac as well as sponsoring a stage at the 2012 IDPA European Cup.

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
December 15th, 2011

From Italy, with Holes — The Radical Ported CompBullet

An Italian company, CompBullet, has produced a radical new line of CNC-machined projectiles with a cavity in the bullet base connected to ports (holes) placed radially around the bullet’s circumference. Currently CompBullet offers six bullet types: 9mm (100 gr), .40 cal (155 gr), .44 Cal (200 gr), .45 Cal (200 gr), and .30 Caliber Rifle (125 gr). CompBullet’s pistol projectiles have one row of radial ports, while the longer rifle bullets have two rows, resembling the porting on a muzzle brake.

CompBullet Ported Bullets

Italy’s CompBullet makes many claims about its new, patented ported bullets. Supposedly the ported, cavity-base bullets go faster than conventional bullets, yet generate less recoil. CompBullet also claims that its radical projectiles produce less smoke and reduced flash on exiting the muzzle. We are skeptical of many of CompBullet’s claims. We also have some concerns about bullet integrity and potential safety issues — at least when used in high-velocity applications.

Velocity
Compbullet claims that gases exiting the radial ports “lubricate” the bullet as it travels down the bore, yielding enhanced velocity. However, if any gas is actually able to exit the holes while the bullet is in the rifling (it’s not clear that in-barrel venting really occurs), then this will simply serve to REDUCE the gas pressure pushing on the base of the bullet. If anything, the bullet should go slower than a conventional projectile, not faster.

CompBullet Ported Bullets

Jet Effect
CompBullet projectiles have a cylindrical cavity in the base. CompBullet claims that hot gases will shoot out the bottom of the bullet (like a rocket) and this increases velocity. But this runs contrary to the bullet-maker’s claim that the hot combustion gas moves forward and out the vents. But what, you might ask, if there are powder kernels that have migrated into the cavity and ignite inside the bullet? That might indeed cause gas to move both forward and rearward. However, the force of any rearward gas jet would be minimal compared to the main pressure flow pushing from behind, at least while the bullet is in the barrel.

Reader’s Comment: Hope the holes are small enough so the powder doesn’t fall out if the round is tipped over or something. It’s a good idea for custom salt and pepper shakers though!” –Josh

Recoil Reduction
Muzzle brakes reduce felt recoil and muzzle lift, on both pistols and rifles. However, they are attached to the gun. We’re not sure how gas blowing out the sides of a bullet is going to have any effect on recoil, because that action occurs after the bullet has left the muzzle. It IS possible that some in-barrel venting from the bullet’s ports may occur (if the ports aren’t blocked by the rifling), but that, as explained above, will only serve to reduce pressure pushing on the base of the bullet and hence reduce velocity. To the extent CompBullet projectiles deliver less felt recoil (if they do), it’s probably because they have lower velocity. If CompBullet projectiles actually fly faster (than do conventional bullets), that would be easy to demonstrate with chronograph tests. However, CompBullet provides NO CHRONOGRAPH DATA on its website. Without such data, we remain unconvinced.

Safety Issues
With a CompBullet projectile, there is the potential for powder to shift from the cartridge case into the bullet’s central cavity, prior to ignition. If this occurs, and the kernels inside the bullet do not fire off prior to the bullet leaving the barrel, there is the possibility of an explosive fragmentation of the bullet once it leaves the muzzle. We don’t know if this could actually happen, but there’s a word for a small, metal container filled with gunpowder — a grenade.

Bullet Integrity
A conventional jacketed bullet can fly apart when the combination of heat, friction, and spinning force stresses the bullet’s construction. With the CompBullet projectile, you have a bullet that is heated from the inside out, with numerous weakening holes drilled in the structure.

Accuracy
We discussed the effect of radial ports on a bullet with Bryan Litz, chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets. He said: “this ported bullet design is interesting, but I can’t see how it would have any usefulness for precision shooting. If flaming gas really jets out the ports, and the outflow of every port is not perfectly uniform, then this will quickly cause a reduction of bullet stability, which won’t help accuracy at all.” Bryan also wondered if drag from the gas out-flowing from the ports might slow down bullet spin-rate. With less rpm, spin-stabilization would be reduced. “Unstable bullets are not accurate”, Bryan added.

Flash Signature
There does appear to be some evidence of a smaller smoke “cloud” on bullet exit and a reduced flash signature, if the photos on the CompBullet website can be believed. We would like to see an actual comparison between conventional ammo and CompBullet ammo, using identical powder charges. CompBullet’s photos do not provide a comparison with ammo loaded with non-ported bullets. We cannot confirm that flash is reduced unless we can see photos of both ported and non-ported bullets, shot with the same powder loads, in the same lighting conditions. See sequence below with 9x21mm pistols:

CompBullet Ported Bullets

The inventor of the CompBullet ported projectile is Alain Della Savia, a IPSC Grand Master and 6-time Italian National Revolver Champion. He was inspired by the recoil reduction offered by ported handguns. He hoped to develop a new kind of ammo that had reduced recoil, while still satisfying the IPSC “power factor” requirements. His solution was to build ports in the bullets themselves, using CNC-machining methods: “After a year of experiences, [Alain] found the right balance between materials and internal compensation system inside the bullet.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 26 Comments »
February 11th, 2009

Modulo Masterpiece Portable Press — Pride of Italy

Credit this find to ace British benchrest shooter Vince Bottomley, United Kingdom 1K record-holder and publisher of the excellent Precision Rifle website.

Italian Taveggia Compact Press

Vince writes: “This beautiful compact press is made by an Italian company, BCM Europearms, run by Vittorio Taveggia. Vittorio builds some superb rifles but he also has a very useful range of accessories for accuracy aficionados. I’m sure you’ll be interested in Vittorio’s loading press — this is offered in several configurations for normal dies, Wilson-style hand-dies, or both. The press is superbly made. Vittorio also crafts very nice Weaver-style rings and bases. Again they are beautifully-finished and very strong. Vittorio also makes stocks and actions. At present, there is no UK importer for the press, but there could be very soon. If you are at all interested in any of the products please drop me an e-mail at vinceb [at] 6ppc.fsnet.co.uk and I’ll pass your interest onto the ‘soon to be’ UK importer.” The top photo shows the original Modulo Masterpiece version, which had three stations. There are other versions, as seen in the photo below.

Modulo Masterpiece Italy

Editor’s note: We don’t know of a US importer, but you can contact Vittorio directly. Information for his company in Torino, Italy is found on the BCM Europearms website. Send email to: info [at] info@bcmeuropearms.it.

Photo © Vince Bottomley, used by permission

Permalink New Product, Reloading 6 Comments »