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November 27th, 2021

How to Inspect Your Barrel Crown with a Q-Tip

The last half-inch or so of your barrel is absolutely critical. Any damage (or abnormal wear) near the crown will cause a significant drop-off in accuracy. Here are ways you can check the end of your barrel, using a common Q-Tip.

Use Q-Tip for Barrel Inspection
To find out if you have a burr or damage to your crown, you can use an ordinary Q-tip cotton swab. Check the edges of the crown by pulling the Q-tip gently out past the edge of the crown. If you have a burr, it will “grab” the cotton and leave strands behind.

Larry Willis has another way to use a Q-Tip: “Here’s a neat trick that will surprise you with how well it works.” Just insert a Q-Tip into your barrel (like the picture below), and it will reflect enough light so that you can get a real good look at the last half inch of rifling and the crown of your barrel. In most cases you’ll find that this works much better than a flashlight. Larry tells us: “I’ve used this method about a jillion times. Q-Tips are handy to keep in your cleaning supplies anyway. This is a good way to judge approximately how well you are cleaning your barrel when you’re at the range. It’s also the best way to examine your barrel when you’re in the field.”

Larry Willis is the inventor of Innovative Technologies’ Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die. Larry explains how this die works, and offers other reloading tips on LarryWillis.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 24th, 2020

40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot Moved to June 6, 2020

Hickory Groundhog Shoot

More shooting match postponements caused by the Coronavirus…

The 40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020. Due to “stay-at-home” public health precautions, the North Carolina event has been re-scheduled for June 6, 2020. The hugely popular match will be going ahead — just a couple months further out. Organizers still expect a highly-attended event. 2020 will mimic 2019 in rules — one man, one rifle, and it’s expected that there will be no practice week (so make sure your distance come-ups are dead-on).

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

This being the 40th Anniversary of the event Larry Willis and the folks at BullsEye Sporting Goods came up with a few ideas to make the 40th more like a hunt than a F-class match. We’ll provide more details later. As in recent years, we expect the Hickory Shoot to be one of the biggest events of the year in the Southeast. 2018 had over 200 shooters, and Terry Brady’s long-standing match-record 99 score was tied. Then, last year, Jeff Godfrey (shown below) shot an amazing record-breaking 101 score in 2019. It takes a great shooter and a great rifle to drill a target like that…

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

Hickory groundhog shoot groundhogRelays Run Like Clock-Work
The Hickory Groundhog Shoot is run very efficiently, with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. The relays move through in rapid succession.

You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
May 5th, 2016

Check Your Crown’s Condition with a Q-Tip

The last half-inch or so of your barrel is absolutely critical. Any damage (or abnormal wear) near the crown will cause a significant drop-off in accuracy. Here are ways you can check the end of your barrel, using a common Q-Tip.

Use Q-Tip for Barrel Inspection
To find out if you have a burr or damage to your crown, you can use an ordinary Q-tip cotton swab. Check the edges of the crown by pulling the Q-tip gently out past the edge of the crown. If you have a burr, it will “grab” the cotton and leave strands behind.

Larry Willis has another way to use a Q-Tip: “Here’s a neat trick that will surprise you with how well it works.” Just insert a Q-Tip into your barrel (like the picture below), and it will reflect enough light so that you can get a real good look at the last half inch of rifling and the crown of your barrel. In most cases you’ll find that this works much better than a flashlight. Larry tells us: “I’ve used this method about a jillion times. Q-Tips are handy to keep in your cleaning supplies anyway. This is a good way to judge approximately how well you are cleaning your barrel when you’re at the range. It’s also the best way to examine your barrel when you’re in the field.”

Larry Willis is the inventor of Innovative Technologies’ Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die. Larry explains how this die works, and offers other reloading tips on LarryWillis.com.

Permalink Tech Tip 4 Comments »
April 13th, 2011

2011 Hickory Groundhog Shoot Match Report

The 2011 Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot at Vale, NC was a big success. Some 177 shooters vied for over $7,000 worth of prizes. The main course of fire was challenging, with three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and other prizes. For the primary three-yardage Groundhog match, there are two rifle classes: Custom Division and Factory Division. The match, one of the most popular varmint competitions in the country, is sponsored by Bulls-Eye Sporting Goods (Larry Willis, owner). The event is held every year on the first Saturday in April.

This year’s “Top Shot” at the Hickory was Randy Chappell. Shooting a 6 BRDX (we were told), Randy scored 90 points to win the Custom Division. Randy took home a new Nightforce NXS scope plus $300.00. Runner-up Robbie Roberts steered his 6BR to second place in Custom, earning him a Sightron Scope and $150.00 in cash. Finishing third in Custom Division was past Hickory winner Chris Brady, Terry Brady’s son. Chris, who also shot a 6BR, took home a Shehane Tracker stock and $50.00.

Hickory Groundhog Shoot Winners 2011

CUSTOM Division 1st Place, 90 points
Randy Chappell
2nd Place, 82 points
Robby Roberts
3rd Place, 80 points
Chris Brady
FACTORY Division 1st Place, 72 points
Greg Davis
2nd Place, 59 points
Jeff Godfrey
3rd Place, 59 points
Jason Elmosre

Rock River AR Wins Factory Division
There were some surprises this year in the Factory Division. While many folks expected a Savage 6BR or 6.5-284 to win, that wasn’t in the cards. This year a semi-auto ‘Black Rifle’ outshot all the factory bolt guns. Greg Davis scored 72 points with his .223 Rem Rock River AR15 to win the Factory division by a comfortable margin. The next best Factory shooters, Jeff Godfrey and Jason Elmore, both had identical 59-point totals. Godfrey was awarded second place over Elmore on a tie-breaker.

Rock River AR15

6mm BR BRDXChallenging Conditions on the Range
Conditions at the Hickory were pretty tough this year. Sam Hall, a past Hickory winner and IBS Shooter of the year explained: “It was difficult this year, with 20+ mph, gusty winds in the afternoon. This is a ‘no sighters’ match and I was having trouble with my cold bore zero. I wasn’t the only one.”

The 6 BRDX — The Best BR Improved Yet?
Shooting his new 6 BRDX, Sam finished eighth in Custom Division, with 73 points. Sam likes the 6 BRDX chambering, which is a 6BR Improved with a 40° shoulder, but with a longer neck than a BRX or Dasher. “I’m real happy with the BRDX… I think it is as accurate as a BRX or Dasher, but the brass is much easier to form. Randy Chappell told me the same thing. I think it has enough case capacity to hit the velocities we want. The BRDX was shooting ‘lights out’ earlier this year, but I think maybe my tune wasn’t right for the conditions at the Hickory.”

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »