Here’s a simple product that performs a very important function. Magazine Marker Bands from Faxon Firearms help you keep track of your AR- and AK-platform mags. Color-coded and marked with the cartridge type (5.56/.223, 7.62×39, 300 BLK), these bands help ensure you never load the wrong type of ammo into your semi-automatic rifle. Maybe you’re thinking “I’d never make that mistake” but remember Murphy’s law — “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The consequences of shooting the wrong type of ammunition in a rifle can be dire, if not catastrophic.
In addition to the safety benefits, these color bands also help you organize your magazines during transport and storage. If you have a variety of AR uppers in various calibers, it would be sensible to purchase a set of these color-coded bands. Price is $9.99 per set of ten (10) bands of one color (blue 5.56/.223, yellow 7.62×39, or red 300 BLK). Unfortunately, Faxon does not currently offer a “Mix and Match” option. So, if you want all three types, you’ll have to buy three different sets. That’s a bit annoying.
We’d like to see a marker band product like this for other types of magazines, including rimfire mags. We’ve seen varminters try to stuff a 17 HMR magazine into a 22LR and vice-versa. We’ve also seen shooters pick up the wrong Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) for their centerfire bolt guns. This can easily happen on a varmint hunt when you have multiple rifles in different calibers (such as .223 Rem and .204 Ruger).
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For many years, the Varmint Hunters Association (VHA) has produced an excellent print periodical, The Varmint Hunter Magazine. Along with hunting stories, the magazine features articles about precision reloading and methods for accurizing rifles. The Varmint Hunter Magazine is available by subscription, and you can also purchase back issues through the VHA Online Store.
Right now the VHA is offering two FREE digital editions of The Varmint Hunter Magazine. Can’t beat that price. Click the links below to view (or download) the latest Fall 2014 Edition (Issue #92) or the previous Summer 2014 Edition (Issue #91). These digital eZines can be read on your computer or by most mobile devices. But since these are complete magazines, it make take a minute or two to download the full PDF files (be patient).
Have some spare time on your hands? How would you like to read four YEARS of American Rifleman Magazine back-issues for FREE? That’s right, the past four years of the NRA’s popular magazine are available online in eZine format — and all the content is free. Just visit the American Rifleman Magazine Archive. You don’t need to be an NRA member, or pay for a subscription. The 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 archives are FREE. (NOTE: the most recent issue in this format is May 2013).
The eZine version of American Rifleman navigates like a conventional print magazine — so you start with an index at the front and you can flip pages from front-to-back. You can also navigate with thumbnails (on the left) and zoom in and out if you find items of interest. Those who prefer reading articles in a magazine-style format should enjoy the American Rifleman digital eZine archives.
How to Find Back Issues
After loading the eReader, to access back issues, click on the “Archive” icon in the upper left corner of the page, then chose a year (2013, 2013, 2011, or 2010) and then click on a particular issue. Here are samples from the March, April, and May 2013 digital editions of American Rifleman. As you can see, you can view full two-page spreads, just as with a print magazine. You can navigate by flipping pages, or by clicking on the thumbnails in the left column:
From May 2013 Issue (This issue also has articles about WWII rifles.)
From April 2013 Issue (Includes New Products for 2013.)
From March 2013 Issue (This Optical Glossary is extensive and useful.)
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After Colorado banned full-capacity magazines, Magpul Industries began looking for a more gun-friendly location. After considering various options, Magpul Industries has decided to move its manufacturing, distribution, and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company said it plans to lease a 58,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility while a new 100,000-square-foot facility is being completed in Cheyenne. Magpul also plans to move its corporate headquarters to Texas. Magpul Industries currently employs over 200 people in Colorado, contributing over $80 million annually to Colorado’s economy. Colorado can kiss that $80 million goodbye, as Magpul plans to move virtually all operations to Wyoming or Texas.
Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder, President, and CEO of Magpul Industries, said that Magpul had no choice but to leave when Colorado outlawed Magpul’s “core products”. The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that restricted the sale of firearms accessories — the core of Magpul’s business.
Magpul plans to transition 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado. “Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” explained Fitzpatrick, who added: “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”
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Run by Jeff Allen in Florida, CDI Precision Gunworks offers high-quality, mag-capable bottom metal for a wide variety of rifles and action types. The CDI bottom metal kits, priced at $209.00, feature an integrated trigger guard, mag-well, magazine release, and, of course, action-screw locations.
Most kits are designed for use with Accuracy International (AI) magazines, sold separately. These bottom metal kits are nicely finished and gunsmiths tell us that the fit is extremely good. CDI currently offers bottom metal kits for all these rifle/action types:
• Howa 1500 Short Action
• Howa 1500 Long Action
• FN-SPR Rifles (Also works on FN-PBR rifles)
• Remington 700 Short Action (.308, .300 WSM/7MM WSM, .223 mags work as well)
• Remington 700 Long Action (300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua, 338 CIP Mag box is available)
• Savage Short Action — (Both 4.275″ stagger-feed and newer 4.400″ Center feed)
• Savage Long Action (Call for Tech Data)
• Tikka T3 (Long and Short Action)
• Winchester Short Action (All Post 1964)
• Winchester Long Action, Short Box (.308 Win Length)
• Winchester Long Action Magnum Length (7MM Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag)
• Mauser 98 Large Ring action (.308 Win Mag box size)
Single-Shot Loading Blocks just $35.00
CDI has designed a single-shot loading block (SSLB) for use with CDI short action bottom metal kits. The SSLB lets you shoot your rifle in single-shot mode without a magazine. Simply place a round on the black cartridge-holder and close your bolt. This is a good set-up for load testing from the bench, or if you want to shoot very long bullets with a COAL greater than magazine length. CDI’s SSLB costs just $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping.
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The latest January 2013 issue of Shooting Industry Magazine is available now in a FREE online digital edition. To read the January issue — and sign up for a free subscription to the Shooting Industry all-digital edition — visit www.shootingindustry.com/digital-editions.
This January edition is a “must-read” for SHOT Show attendees. The January issue features a comprehensive directory of exhibitors with booth locations, plus an update on improvements for the 35th annual show.
In addition, you’ll find Part II of the 2013 New Product Showcase, which features hundreds of new firearms, optics, shooting accessories, reloading tools, and more. The hard copy January issue also provides a handy, pull-out floor map from the convention center. (No floor map in digital edition.)
Shooting Industry Magazine is an important resource for those headed to Las Vegas next week. Visit FMG at SHOT Show, booth #16327, to receive a free hard copy of the January issue of Shooting Industry Magazine, with floor map.
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If you’re looking for an affordable holiday gift for a shooting buddy or family member, a gift that will be appreciated month after month, consider a magazine subscription. Every month your buddy or relative will get something new in the mail — so it’s like sending a dozen gifts over the course of the year. Your Editor receives a couple magazine subscriptions that were gifts from my brother, and I really do look forward to the magazines’ arrival in my mailbox each month. And each time I open up a new issue of Nat Geo or Shooting Times I think, “Thanks Bro — that was a thoughtful gift — you made my day.”
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The Varmint Hunters Association (VHA) has a very cool feature on its VHA website — a virtual tour of the VHA 600-Yard Range and Clubhouse in Pierre, South Dakota. Special panorama software stiches together dozens of images, allowing you to “walk through” the range, from the Clubhouse lawn down to the 300-yard line. You can “pan” and “zoom” from any location, or you can use the quick-navigation menu to visit the Lobby, Gift Shop, Clubhouse lawn, 100-yard mark, or 300-yard mark. This fun virtual tour is truly the next best thing to being there. It would be great if similar virtual tours were available for other popular ranges such as Camp Perry (OH), Raton (NM), Deep Creek (MT), Sacramento Valley (CA), and Williamsport (PA).
After a few seconds, the virtual tour will start rotating (it can make you a bit dizzy). To stop movement, left-click with your mouse anywhere in the view-frame, or hit the “auto-rotate” control in the lower left (globe icon). Use the right/left arrows to move horizontally. Use the up/down arrows to tilt your view vertically — but be careful — hold the up-arrow a bit too long and you’ll be seeing nothing but blue sky. There are also plus/minus zoom controls. When the orange navigation box disappears, you’ll find the directional controls in the lower RIGHT hand corner. You can also restore the orange control box by clicking the left-most “Navigation Info” icon in the lower LEFT.
Note: If you want to visit the VHA range in person, during summer months it is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am through 5:00 pm, and by appointment on weekends.
FREE Digital Editions of Varmint Hunter Magazine
While you’re visiting the VHA website, you can also read the FREE Spring 2012 and Summer 2012 digital Editions of Varmint Hunter Magazine. Both the Spring 2012 and Summer 2012 issues contain dozens of informative articles about precision shooting and hunting. Even if you’re not a varmint hunter, you’ll learn something new about shooting in these magazines. CLICK HERE to read FREE Varmint Hunter Magazine Digital Editions.
Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, a group of Democratic U.S. Senators is seeking to slip a ban on full-capacity firearm magazines into the “Cybersecurity Act” (S. 3414) currently being considered in Congress: “The U.S. Senate will take up the ‘Cybersecurity Act’ starting Monday, July 30, but a group of Democrat Senators lead by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is looking to add an anti-gun amendment to the bill. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), joined Schumer in an effort to resurrect the failed 1994 magazine ban.”
The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) reports that: “Democrat anti-gunners could force a ‘Magazine Ban’ vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate as early as today [Monday, July 30, 2012]. They’re attempting to ban magazines used commonly for self-defense and sport shooting by burying an amendment deep inside the ‘Cybersecurity Act’ (S. 3414).” The NAGR recommends that concerned gun owners contact their U.S. Senators and ask them to OPPOSE S. 3414, the so-called “Cybersecurity Act”, and S.A. 2575, the Schumer “Magazine Ban” amendment.
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Target Shooter Magazine has released its web-based January 2012 Issue. The FREE January Issue features handy reloading guides (written by Laurie Holland) for two very popular cartridges: 6mmBR Norma, and .308 Winchester. If you shoot either of these chamberings, you should read these latest installments of Laurie Holland’s Handloading Bench series. For the January issue, Laurie also authored Sorting a Savage Part 1 which covers the Savage-actioned .223 Rem that Laurie shot in the European F-Class Championship. Savage shooters will find useful tuning tips.
Gear and Optics Reviews
Other good articles in January’s Target Shooter Magazine include a comprehensive review of the Lyman DPS 1200 III powder dispenser, and an excellent article about riflescopes by Gwyn Roberts. Gwyn explains the many choices in reticle design, and he discusses the pros and cons of adjustable front objectives vs. side-focus scopes.
If you haven’t sampled Target Shooter Magazine yet, you should. The hardware photography is high quality and there is something for everyone — from Benchresters to Tactical shooters. You can view the 92-page December issue for FREE at www.targetshooter.co.uk. Target shooter also has an iPad/iPhone friendly version that can be downloaded.
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New from Howa, is the Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger (HACT). This two-stage-style trigger system lightens the trigger pull weight, and reduces the amount of trigger creep. HACT trigger units will fit all Howa M-1500 rifles that were previously equipped with a three-position safety. The HACT trigger assembly is a completely redesigned trigger and sear unit with a lighter, two-stage-style trigger pull. HACT pull-weight range is 2.5 to 3.8 pounds; the factory default setting is 3 pounds.
Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”
HACT Retrofit Kit Coming in Mid-2012
The HACT trigger will eventually be available as a retrofit for existing Howa 1500 and Weatherby Vanguard Rifles. According to Legacy Sports Int’l Marketing VP Andy McCormick, the retrofit kits “should cost under $100.00 MSRP and should fit all Howa and Weatherby Vanguard short-action rifle with the current three-position safety… and that includes most of these rifles sold in the last 5 or 6 years”. Trigger Kits will be packaged with instructions. McCormick expects much interest in the HACT retrofit kit: “It’s a great two-stage trigger. I would say the HACT trigger kit will be available as a single accessory item by mid-summer 2012. Stay tuned to LegacySports.com for updates.”
Howa Detachable Magazine Kit, Just $98.00 Complete
The recently-introduced Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) Conversion Kit for Howa and Weatherby Vanguard rifles has proven extremely popular. This $98.00 kit includes new plastic floorplate and trigger housing plus either a 5-round or 10-round polymer magazine (as the customer prefers). The DBM Kit saves 1/4 lb. of weight as compared to hinged bottom metal. Made for target shooters and varmint hunters, these POLYMER BODY magazines allow you to turn your 4-round box magazine into a high-capacity DBM system. Conversion kits are currently available for .204, .223, 22-250, .243, 7mm-08, and .308 Win short action Howa rifles. These kits will also fit most late-model, short action Weatherby Vanguard Rifles.
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This past weekend we reported that the NBRSA approved the use of the Gonzales cartridge feeder in registered benchrest matches. This device, supported by an arm attached to the front rest, holds 6PPC cartridges close to the loading port on the left side of the action. Using a remote (red) cable activated by the left hand, the cartridge feeder drops one cartridge at a time directly into the action. Now, thanks to Rick Pollock of Benchrest.ca, we can show you close-up photos of the device, so you can see how it is positioned and supported. Note that the Gonzales device does not touch the gun.
Watch Video to See Speed-Feeder in Action
The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. Watch the video below to see how it works:
Photos courtesy Rick Pollock, Benchrest.ca.
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Get ready for a major new technology that could change the benchrest game. Carlos (Carlito) Gonzales, a benchrest shooter (and Professor of Engineering) from Argentina, has perfected a horizontal, external “floating” cartridge loader that can reliably feed PPC cartridges as fast as you can work the bolt.
We have received a report that Gonzales’s fast-feeding device has been approved by the NBRSA for use in benchrest matches. Pascal Fischbach told us: “I had an email September 17th from Gene Bukys, [stating] that the board of directors of the NBRSA approved the use of the ‘[Gonzales] manual cartridge feeder’ for use in NBRSA competitions.” [Editor’s note: We don’t yet know if the device is approved for all NBRSA benchrest matches, or just short-range matches.] Pascal added: “The device was presented at the delegates meeting of the WBC11 in France and approved for use during the World Championships. The next step for Carlito will be to market it. He is also willing to license the concept, plans, and methods to a machinist capable of manufacturing it in the USA.” See Discussion Thread.
External Horizontal Cartridge-Feeder
The Gonzales loading device is an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by an arm attached to the front rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works.
You push the button as soon as a spent cartridge ejects (watch Carlito’s left hand in the video above). It is a clever set-up that works very, very fast. The video shows Carlos running five cartridges through his action in just 9 seconds (time marker 00:31 – 00:40). That’s fast! On a repeat viewing focus on Carlito’s left hand to see how he works the push-button cartridge dispensing control.
Credit to Pascale Fischbach for sourcing this story and video link.
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The faster a benchrester can send his rounds down-range, the better his chances to complete his 5- or 10-shot group in the same conditions before a major change. Shooting fast is NOT always the best strategy, but many world records have been set using this technique. Even if you’re a “picker”, there are times when you’ll benefit from shooting fast. With current benchrest hardware you still have to manually load each cartridge, even if you have a drop-port action or if you have an ejector that kicks out the fired case. To speed up the loading process, benchrest shooters employ elevated loading blocks that place the cartridges inches away from the loading port. That speeds things up, but you still have to manually pluck your cartridge and stuff it in the action… until now. Get ready for a major new technology that could change the benchrest game.
External Horizontal Benchrest Magazine
Carlos Gonzales, a benchrest shooter (and Professor of Engineering) from Argentina, has perfected a horizontal, external “floating” magazine that can reliably feed PPC cartridges as fast as you can work the bolt. This is interesting because, in 2009, this Editor discussed an attached horizontal feeding tray with three different action makers. All of them dismissed the idea as impractical or too radical. Well guys, it looks like Carlos pulled it off.
The Gonzales “magazine” is actually an open-ended, covered metal tray situated on the left side of the action (but it does not touch the gun — it is supported by the rest). This feeds into the left-side loading port. The cases are gravity-fed, but the shooter has positive control over feeding. A cable with a push-button control runs from the magazine down to the rear foot of the pedestal rest. You just push the button to drop one cartridge from the magazine. We don’t know exactly how the cartridge is released in the magazine itself, but in the video below you can see how the push-button works.
You push the button as soon as a spent cartridge ejects (watch Carlos’s left hand in the video above). It is a clever set-up, and as you can see, the magazine system works very, very fast. The video shows Carlos running five cartridges through his action in just 9 seconds (time marker 00:31 – 00:40). That’s fast! On a repeat viewing focus on Carlos’s left hand to see how he works the push-button cartridge dispensing control.
Kudos to Carlos for his great new invention. According to Pascale Fishbach: “Everything Carlos makes is of extreme quality. The magazine loader will be available just after the world championships in France, where hopefully a couple of them should be put to work.”
Now the question remains… will the official benchrest “powers that be” allow this device, or will they, fearing change, say it is forbidden under current rules. We would like to see the Gonzales magazine ruled legal for both domestic (American) and International competition. But, we acknowledge that Carlos’s invention could raise the cost of competition. The Gonzales mag would be one more “go-fast” item that serious benchresters would have to purchase.
Credit to Pascale Fischbach for sourcing this story and video link.
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Pierce Engineering has just introduced its new Tactical Multi-flat action. This handsome design, crafted from chrome-moly steel, features a built-in 20-MOA rail and an integral recoil lug. The action was designed from the get-go to fit the Accuracy International chassis with no modification. With a 1/2″ flat on the bottom and 45° angled sides, the new Pierce Multi-flat short action drops right into the AI stock. Just bolt it in and shoot. The actions will cost $1295.00 and John Pierce is taking orders right now for delivery in two months.
John Pierce reports: “Our new Tactical Multi-flat action features a low-profile, 20-minute integral Picatinny rail and integral recoil lug. We made the action to drop into the Accuracy International modular stock utilizing AI’s magazines as well. Though this is a short action for .308 Win and similar-sized cartridges, the loading port is much longer than usual for better access and ejection. The current price is $1295.00, and that price includes a 30° coned bolt and/or spiral fluting if the customer desires those options.” John noted that the coned bolt option works well in Tac Comps: “I have a coned bolt on my own tactical rifle that I used at ASC. I found it picks up the rounds more smoothly from the magazine. At ASC, quite a few guys had feeding issues, but my action ran perfectly. The coned bolt works slick.” Actions will come finished with NIC CeraKote in customer’s choice of colors including: Matte Black, Titanium, OD, Sand, Brown, Gray, and Forest Green. (CLICK HERE for CeraKote color options).
Short Actions Will Be Followed By Long Actions Later This Year
Currently the new action will be available only in a short-action design. OAL is 8.050″, about the same as a Rem 700 short action if you include the thickness of the Rem’s recoil lug. The new actions will be made to order with a two-month lead time. After placing your order, you should get your new multi-flat action within about eight (8) weeks. Later this year, Pierce plans to release a larger Tactical Multi-flat action. This long action will work for cartridges such as the .30-06, .300 Win Mag, and 7mm Magnums.