November 28th, 2017

World Benchrest Shooting Championship in New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo courtesy Australia WBC 2017 Team

The World Benchrest Shooting Championship (WBC) was held in New Zealand earlier this month. The 14th WBC was conducted November 7-11, 2017 at the Packers Creek Range, Nelson, New Zealand. The match was hosted by the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association on behalf of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation (WBSF). There were 76 competitors from 14 nations. Many competitors said this was one of the prettiest ranges they had ever seen. The Kiwi hosts put on a great event in a beautiful South Island shooting venue.

There were both individual and team awards. The Australian Benchrest Team 1 took top honors in the Two-Gun Team Match. Congrats to the Aussies, who had a great team effort to post a winning 0.283212 Agg. Finishing Second in the Two-Gun Overall was Team US1 with 0.286112. The 4-Man US1 Squad also won the Heavy Varmint Team Competition with a 0.270162 Agg, while the US2 foursome won the Light Varmint Team title with a 0.290925 Agg.

Standing atop the podium (center) are the four members of Team Australia 1, winners of the 2017 WBSF Team Championship:
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

Championship Organizer Graeme Smith said that the Championship got away to a cracking start with Kiwi shooter Greg Couper winning the Light Varmint Small Group contest with a Group of .076, just over the current world record. Overall the day was won by American Wayne Campbell, who was in hot form having recently won the USA Nationals. Day 2 provided the only new World Record shot at the Championship with Australia’s Steve Sori shooting a new Small Group record at 200 yards of 0.138, well under the existing WBSF record of .160. Mike Conry of the USA led the field for the day. The next two days followed the previous pattern with Wayne Campbell taking the Heavy Varmint 100-yard contest and Mike Conry the 200-yard event. The most sought-after medals were for the Two-Gun Aggregate, covering four days of competition. Mike Conry dominated the field, winning the Gold Medal, followed by Wayne Campbell taking Silver, and David Kerr of Australia earning Bronze.

In short-range benchrest, final standings can turn on a few thousands of an inch, so groups must be measured with great precision.
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo Courtesy AMP Annealing.

Shooting in Paradise…
The Packers Creek Range outside Nelson is a lovely shooting venue.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

The “top gun” at the match was American Mike Conry from Texas. Mike won the Heavy Varmint Grand Agg as well as the Two Gun Overall Aggregate. Mike received glory, medals, and most importantly, a new AMP Annealing machine from the New Zealand-based manufacturer, AMP Annealing. AMP’s President, Alex Findlay told us: “Mike Conry was definitely the dominant shooter. By the end of the awards he was just about weighed down with all the medals around his neck.”

WBC 2017 Equipment List | WBC 2017 Teams 2-Gun Aggregate Results | WBC Match Results

U.S. shooters filled the podium for the 200-yard Heavy Varmint. Winner Mike Conry (0.2458), flanked by Gene Bukys (R) and Ed Adams (L). Conry was also top individual shooter at the 2017 WBC, winning the Two-Gun Overall, as well as the HV Grand Agg.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Top Individual Winners at 2017 World Benchrest Championships
Two-Gun First Place: Mike Conry (USA) – 0.2597
Two-Gun Second Place: Wayne Campbell (USA) – 0.2655
Two-Gun Third Place: David Kerr (AUS) – 0.2795
Two-Gun Fourth Place: Mitchell Tallar (AUS) – 0.2813
Two-Gun Fifth Place: Larry Costa (USA) – 0.2833

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world recordAussie Steve Sori Sets Record
There were some ultra-small groups shot at the match. Shown below is an amazing 200-yard 5-shot Light Varmint Group shot by Australian Steve Sori. This tiny 0.138 group is a pending new World Benchrest Shooting Federation Record. Steve’s LV rig featured a BAT action, 1:13.5″-twist Krieger barrel, Scoville stock, and March High Master 48X scope. The cartridge was the 6PPC (of course), with Bart’s 68gr Bullets pushed by N133 and Federal 205m primers in Lapua Brass. Bullet-maker Bart Sauter is a Forum Member — its’ great to see his bullets perform so well at the WBC.

While this was an internationally-sanctioned match, the yardages shot were 100 yards and 200 yards. This was NOT a Metric Match with targets at 100m and 200m.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Record Target and Range Photos courtesy Team Australia WBC 2017 Facebook Page.

American competitor Wayne Campbell watches a 100-yard Heavy Varmint Relay.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Shooters from 14 nations came to New Zealand’s South Island to compete. Match Director Graeme Smith said the weather for New Zealand spring time could hardly been better with one wet day in 10 (including the practice days).
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

The reloading tent was full of equipment. In this discipline, most shooters load at the match between relays. That enables them to tune their loads to the conditions.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Parting Shot — Little Emily Has Fun in New Zealand

Emily, an English schoolgirl, traveled with Team UK to help her father Bruce Lenton who was shooting in the competition. Emily provided updates on social media during the match. Emily does shoot benchrest matches (Read Story), but she was not shooting for Team UK on this trip.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Vince Bottomley reports: “Emily was a huge hit over in NZ — she was given the honor of hoisting the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony, she drove the target changer’s buggy, did some impressive shirt-swapping.” Here she is wearing a Team Canada Jersey — a bit big for pint-size Emily.

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September 22nd, 2017

The Science of Annealing — Facts Uncovered, Myths Busted

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

The science behind annealing during the manufacture of new cases is well-established. What happens after that, when we repeatedly reload and anneal those same cases, has always been somewhat of a “dark art”. To help separate scientific fact from fiction, the creators of the Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealer machine have conducted detailed studies of cartridge brass. The AMP Team’s studies offer some remarkable insights, while disproving a number of myths about annealing. Will annealing tighten your groups? The evidence of these studies shows it could.

The test results are fascinating. The team compared brands of brass, sectioning brass to examine both alloy composition and thickness from case mouth to case-head (bottom). They also examined how carbon build-up affects next tension. And they determined how brass changes over multiple loading cycles. They even did a series of bullet-pull tests to analyze factors affecting neck tension. Here are some of the key subjects in the reports:

Brand by Brand Analysis — How the cartridge brass alloy varies among different manufacturers.
Bullet Release and Neck Tension — Tensile Bullet-Pull tests show factors affecting neck tension.
Neck Tension and Carbon — How carbon build-up inside the neck affects “neck tension”.
SS Tumbling and Hardness – How tumbling with stainless media affects brass hardness.
Case Cleaning (Ultrasound and Tumbling) — How case cleaning affects annealing.
Multiple Loadings — How brass performs when annealed every reload over 10+ cycles.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

You really should read the reports — there are some fascinating revelations. The AMP team made longitudinal sections of various cases to show different case wall thicknesses and head geometry. These examples also show how the hardness of the case varies from the case mouth to the case-head. Both virgin and used, annealed cases were examined.

Bullet-Pull Tests — Using advanced tensile test equipment, AMP experimented with different combinations of dies, reloading sequences, and neck hardness to ascertain the best practice.
Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Carbon Inside Your Case-Necks May Be a GOOD Thing
AMP’s testers found carbon in necks can be beneficial: “Even with identical interference fit and neck hardness, as the carbon layer increased (microscopically), the force to draw the bullet decreased. It would appear the carbon acted as a lubricant. Interestingly, the [pull force] standard deviation also improved, i.e. the case to case variation in the force required to draw the bullets decreased.”*

Read the Full Test Reports

The AMP team’s objectives were to clarify some misconceptions on just what annealing does and does not do, and also to establish the best practices for consistent results. They have consulted with three independent certified metallurgy laboratories to produce some definitive information. So far, the Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports have been released. The studies include a report on the general physical properties of cartridge brass, including grain structures, hardness scales, time/temperature annealing information, and what can cause de-zincification.

The FULL REPORTS, including comprehensive appendices, are found here:

Stage One: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/40/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Stage Two: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/42/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Examining Different Brands of Brass — What the Tests Revealed

Is Lapua brass harder than Norma? Is Lake City better than Remington? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in AMP’s annealing studies. One of the key findings in Stage 2 of Amp’s research is that brass from different manufacturers does vary in the distribution of material in the walls of the case.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Stage Two Conclusions:

— Different brands of the same cartridge cases can require different annealing power settings due to differing case wall thickness in the neck and shoulder region. The greater the mass of brass to be annealed, the greater the power requirement. Lot to lot variation within the same brand can occur for the same reason.

— The bushing die used in this set of tensile bullet pull tests gave significantly more consistent results than the standard neck die with expander ball.

— Cases should be annealed every reload in order to get the best repeatability.

Case Variations: Brand to Brand, and Lot to Lot

Here is a sample from AMP’s test report:

Analyzing Different Brands of Brass
In our Stage One report, we demonstrated that there is insufficient variation in alloy composition between brands to account for the variations we experience when annealing different brands of the same cartridge case. We therefore sought to confirm that it is the mass of brass to be annealed which accounts for the difference. Below are sectioned samples of four different brands of .223 Remington cases.

Both the Lapua and Norma neck walls are 314* microns (0.01236”) at the mouth. The Lapua neck wall thickens to 348 microns at the junction of the neck and shoulder, and the Norma neck thickens to 325 microns. Through the shoulder, however, the walls of both cases thicken to 370 – 380 microns. Once past the shoulder, they both taper back to 314 microns, before starting to thicken again, moving towards the case head.

The Lapua case requires AMP Program 47 to anneal correctly. It is the heaviest of the four cases tested through the shoulder region. The Norma case, which is only slightly lighter through the same region, needs Program 43.

The Remington case is very similar to the Lapua and Norma cases in the neck region, but it actually thins fractionally through the shoulder and front section of the body. The AMP program setting for Remington 223R is P32.

The Lake City case is the thinnest throughout of all four samples. It only requires Program 28.

The above samples clearly demonstrate that the mass of brass to be annealed is critical to the power requirement for correct annealing.

To see how the AMP Induction Annealing Machine works, watch this video:

* However, in Stage Two of AMP testing, the testers experimented with clean, carbon-free necks with dry lube. There was some indication of greater tensile pull consistency with dry-lube, but AMP plans to do more testing.

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November 30th, 2016

Barnard Actions on Sale at Whidden Gunworks

Barnard Action Sale F-Class Competition Palma Repeater Whidden Gunworks John

Barnard makes great actions, many of which come complete with superb two-stage triggers. For a long-range competition rifle, a Barnard action is a very good choice. And now you can save up to $150.00 on Barnard Precision actions, complete with trigger. Our friend, 4-Time National Long-Range Champion John Whidden, decided to offer a special Holiday Promotion for shooters. A wide selection of Barnard actions have been discounted 10% (ten percent). This is a great opportunity to save money.

Whidden Gunworks has many Barnard actions on sale. These include repeater actions and actions that will fit large magnums — so there’s something for every application. John Whidden tells us: “As a part of this sale, Whidden Gunworks is offering $50 off barrel installations for any in-stock action sold. We have in-stock barrels from both Bartlein and Lilja. If you hurry, there is time to have your barrel installed on your new action by Christmas!”

This sale is limited to the models shown below and the inventory on hand:

Barnard Action Sale F-Class Competition Palma Repeater Whidden Gunworks John

Barnard Action Q & A with John Whidden

Q: In addition to the Model P, What Other Actions Does Barnard Produce?

Whidden: Many shooters familiar with the Barnard Model P, but we now carry six (6) other Barnard actions. These include the PC action with multiple bolt/port options, the Model SM repeater (with Rem 700 footprint), and the PLM which is a perfect fit for the big .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

Q: What Are the Key Features of Barnard Actions?

Whidden: Barnard actions have won a reputation for accuracy, robustness, and exceptional straightness and quality in manufacture. Their design is very rigid and stiff. The three-lug bolt gives a short bolt-lift. These qualities are available in the full line of of Barnard actions. The fact that many models include the excellent Barnard trigger make them a good value among custom actions.

Q: What Barnard Actions Do You Recommend for Particular Disciplines?

Whidden: For those interested in F-Class and Long Range Benchrest shooting styles the Model PC is very attractive. The PC is the same size and footprint as the familiar Model P except that the PC offers different bolt/port configurations. Available in the PC are right bolt/left port, left bolt/right port, and dual ports. The Model S and SM actions will accept Remington pattern triggers and fit into stocks inletted for the Rem 700. This gives PRS shooters the chance to have a superb action with a three-lug configuration for their use. The PL and PLM are sized for the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge and wildcats based on that case-head size.

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November 9th, 2016

6.5 Guys Talk about PRS, Reloading, Match Strategies and more…

65guys.com 6.5 Guys PRS Tactical Ed mobley steve lawrence

Gearlocker.nz, a New Zealand outdoor sports website, recently interviewed our friends Ed and Steve, aka the “6.5 Guys”. In this Gearlocker Video Interview, Ed and Steve cover many topics including Precision Rifle Series matches, gear selection, and effective hand-loading techniques. Kerry, the creator of Gearlocker.nz, writes: “The 6.5 Guys are Steve and Ed, two guys who decided to start documenting their progress in long-range practical precision shooting. They have built a dedicated following on YouTube and Facebook. Consistently putting out high-quality content [covering] their equipment choices and use, the 6.5 Guys have created a fantastic resource for anyone involved in shooting.”

Click image below to watch 6.5 Guys interview on Gearlocker.nz:
6.5 Guys Interview Gearlocker New Zealand

Who are the 6.5 Guys? They are Steve (left) and Ed (right), a pair of avid shooters based in the Pacific Northwest. They have released dozens of helpful videos on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

6.5 guys 65guy.com annealing video YouTube shooting

You can check out the 6.5 Guys’ website at www.65Guys.com. Below is a sample from one of the 6.5 Guys’ best articles — Five Tips on getting started in practical/tactical matches.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills [and gear] are necessary to compete in a match?”

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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September 20th, 2016

3D Metal Printed Rimfire Receiver from New Zealand

Rimfire .22 LR Receiver action 3D Printer Printing custom action New Zealand 40X PT&G

Here’s something truly innovative — a 3D-printed metal rimfire receiver!

Forum member Marcos G. (aka MFP_BOP) has designed and created his own rimfire action. But it’s not machined or forged. This new action was created with a 3D sintered metal printer. A 3D modeler by profession, Marcos has the requisite skill set and access to a very high-tech (and expensive) metal printer. As printed, the actual receiver is shown below. It has just been sent out to be age-hardened to 40 HRC, after which final finish work (e.g. cleaning up tenon threads) will be done. To learn more about this 3D-printing project, read this FORUM Thread.

Rimfire .22 LR Receiver action 3D Printer Printing custom action New Zealand 40X PT&G

When most of us think of 3D printing, we think of small plastic parts — nothing as strong as steel. But there are 3D printers that employ sintered metal to build complex metal components. Marcus says the receiver he’s created should have “stated yield and tensile strength similar to investment casting.” The material used for the action is 15-5 PH® Stainless Steel (in sintered form).

The action was designed to use a PT&G 40X rimfire bolt. Marcos notes that “There is an extraction cam inside of the action, something that would be very hard or impossible to do by regular machining and/or EDM.”

Born in Brazil, Marcos now lives in New Zealand. He tell us that: “New Zealand is a very gun-friendly country. I just need my A-CAT license to make [a receiver.]” So there are no special legal restrictions (as might apply in the USA). The printer is EOS270 laser metal sintering machine. Marcos says: “The current price for one of those machines is in five figures, but I am 99.99% sure that in 5-7 years this technology will be readily available to anyone.”

As designed, the receiver was 1.4″ in diameter. Marcos reports it came out of the printer at 1.403″. The designed boltway is .690″ and it came out .687″. Marcos notes: “I haven’t noticed any warping. The threads are rough, really! Interior and exterior finishes are really good though, probably because of the way it’s been printed: upside down (must have gone through tumbling afterwards). I will have to run some taps and single-point-cut the tenon threads to clean them up.”

Rimfire .22 LR Receiver action 3D Printer Printing custom action New Zealand 40X PT&G

Marcos says the actual printing process took a lot of time: “I should have asked how long it took to be printed!” But consider this, the 7″-long receiver is created in layers only 20 microns thick, so you can understand why the process took so long.

Reasons to Print a Rimfire Receiver
Marcos 3D-printed his own action basically to save money: “Some may be asking why I printed this receiver. Here’s a little history… I tried different ways to bring a Stiller 2500X action into New Zealand. The final price to my door was NZ $3000.00 (about $2195.00 USD). Designing and making one would be way cheaper, but I felt nobody here could machine the internal abutments with precision. Also printing was still a little cheaper and printing offered the chance to put in it all details I wanted — such as M4 threads, internal cam, and fillets.”

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June 27th, 2016

AMP Induction Annealing Machine Review by Bill Gravatt

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealing Machine Review

Review by Bill Gravatt
Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product TestI had been following the progress of Alex and Matt Findlay with Annealing Made Perfect for almost three years as they pursued making the best annealing product for the private reloading market. The short explanation of why we anneal brass is to return the brass to a softer and consistent hardness after the brass has work-hardened from repetitive firing and sizing. As the President/co-owner of Sinclair International for over 21 years I saw a lot of products come through our doors that annealed brass but these products always seemed like they had very little supportive data and research behind them. Most of them were based on some type of torch system. The New Zealand-based father/son team of Alex and Matt spent these past three years addressing the challenging questions about annealing:

- What is the correct temperature to reach when annealing?
– How long should you take to get to that temp and how long should you remain there?
– How frequently should you anneal?
– Can you ruin your expensive brass?
– How do we make the process repeatable for the handloader?
– How do you accurately measure the case hardness?

They worked closely with the Electrical Engineering Department at the local University of Technology and invested a lot of capital into detailed metallurgical research. Their decision to use induction heating was because of its repeatability and the ability to reach exacting and consistent temperatures. Induction annealing is achieved by placing the cartridge in a magnetic field thereby inducing eddy currents within the brass and heating the brass without contacting the brass physically. To learn more, I suggest you visit the AmpAnnealing.com website. It is very informative.

Why should you anneal? If you are just a casual reloader, than annealing isn’t necessary but if you a serious wildcatter or competitive shooter you may want to consider it. More and more competitive shooters anneal their cases (not necessarily for adding life to the cases) to achieve more consistent pressures and velocities.

My first favorable impression was received by just opening the extremely well-packed shipping box. You could tell these guys take a great deal of pride in their product. The unit comes with three cartridge-specific pilots (you decide on which pilots), a shellholder collet, a power cord, a thorough, well-written, easy to follow instruction manual, and a USB cord for future software updates.

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

This machine is so easy to use that I was up and running within a few minutes. All I had to supply was the shells, the correct shell-holder and an aluminum pan to drop the hot cases into. I started annealing some unturned .308 Winchester cases (Lapua headstamp) that had four firings. First I screwed the pilot for .308 cases (#11) into the machine, placed my .308 shellholder into the supplied shellholder/collet and turned the power on. The display fired up right away and soon registered the program level that the machine was set to.

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

Since the machine uses induction heating, you need to set the heating level for the correct setting for the brass you are using. The alloy being used isn’t as important as the thickness or amount of brass in the neck and shoulder region. For example, Lapua and Norma have more brass in that area so the setting would be higher for these brands than Winchester brass. Also, if you have neck-turned brass, the setting would be reduced from the standard setting because there would be less mass in the air gap.

This manufacturer-produced video shows how the AMP annealing machine operates:

The settings are obtained by referring to the “Settings” section on the AMP website and are broken out by cartridge, brand, standard unturned cases, and then neck-turned cases with various amounts of wall thickness removed. A great service that AMP provides to the handloader is that you can send sample cases of your brass to them (U.S. location in Wolcott, Indiana) and they will test the hardness for you and send you the exact setting for your specific lot of brass.

My setting for unturned Lapua .308 Winchester brass was “92”. The buttons on the front of the machine allow you to adjust the setting quickly. After you set the program number, the setting is locked in after the first use until you change it again. I placed the first case in the shellholder, lowered the assembly down through the pilot and into position. I then hit the start button which illuminated immediately and then about 6 to 7 seconds later, the light went off signaling that heating was completed.

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

Now, be aware, these cases are extremely hot. I lifted the case out using the shellholder/collet and then dropped it into my aluminum pan. I then placed another case into the holder, put it into the machine and then repeated the process. Once I got the coordination down, I did 100 .308 Win cases in about 24 minutes. I did some 6mmBR cases later (Lapua) and annealed 100 cases in about 15 minutes at the “75” setting. I found myself raising my shop stool a little higher than normal so I was at a comfortable height in relationship to the top of the machine. Very easy to do — I actually had a student do a few cases with me and she had no problem at all following the instructions.

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

Annealing Made Perfect New Zealand Anneal Annealer Induction Review Pilot Findlay Bill Gravatt Gear Review Product Test

There is a thermal cut-off that prevents the machine from overheating. Depending on the setting, this can occur after 20 to 35 minutes of continuous use. When this has occurred, simply leave the machine on and the fans will cool it down so you can resume annealing. This isn’t surprising considering the amount of heat being generated.

All in all, I found this machine extremely easy to setup and operate. Now, does it work? I have test batches of brass that I am going to run over the chronograph in 10-round strings. I plan on running at least 10 strings of annealed brass and 10 strings of unannealed brass out of the same lot, same number of reloadings/firings and out of the same gun. I plan on alternating annealed strings and unannealed strings with a cooling off period every 20 rounds. When I do testing, I have my wife pre-label my batches as Batch A and B so I won’t know what rounds I am shooting until I get back from the range. I’ll make the results available as soon as I can. My expectation is that velocities will be more consistent based on my understanding of the lab results that the Findlays have achieved with their Annealing Made Perfect machine. For more information, visit their website at AmpAnnealing.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 7 Comments »
March 25th, 2016

Easter Special on Nathan Foster Hunting and Shooting Books

Book Bundle

There’s a chap in New Zealand who has produced some of the most valuable (and well-researched) books on hunting you can buy. Nathan Foster’s Long Range Hunting series of books is a gold mine for rifle shooters seeking verified, first-hand knowledge of the performance of hunting cartridges, plus expert “how-to” advice on field skills, stalking, marksmanship, and ballistics.

Right now, Foster’s company, Terminal Ballistics Research (TBR), is offering Easter Special discounts on its most popular book titles. For starters, as a Easter weekend promotion, you can get 15% off the Practical Guide To Long Range Shooting in paperback or eBook format. This book is chock-full of information that will benefit competition marksmen as well as long-range hunters. You’ll find good advice on use of BDC and Mil-dot reticles, plus extensive sections on ballistics.

Book Bundle

Other TBR books by Nathan Foster are on sale as well:

Tools Book Bundle

Save 10% on the Two-Book Tools Bundle, which combines The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles and The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges. USA paperback book price is just $53.95 for the package.

Book Bundle

Skills Book Bundle

Save 15% on the Three-Book Skills Bundle, which combines The Practical Guide to Long Range Shooting, Bolt Action Rifle Accurizing & Maintenance, plus The Practical Guide to Reloading. All three titles are $89.95 in paperback format, or $76.50 in eBook format.

Book Bundle

CLICK HERE for Other Nathan Foster Hunting & Shooting Books
CLICK HERE for Nathan Foster Hunting/Shooting Videos on YouTube

Book Bundle

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August 26th, 2015

Advanced Barrel Block F-Class Stock from New Zealand

True-flite trueflite barnard action new zealand barrel block F-Class F-Open

Here’s an interesting new F-Class Barrel Block Stock from True-Flite NZ Ltd. in Gisborne, New Zealand. This innovative design features a fore-arm barrel block that clamps around the barrel, allowing the action to free-float. We like the way a wood lower section (with pistol grip) is mated to the metal “spine” of the chassis. That creates a nice look and feel.

True-flite trueflite barnard action new zealand barrel block F-Class F-Open

The folks at True-Flite state: “This stock has been designed by Steve Mann, and was developed in house here at True-Flite. Utilizing a 150mm barrel block, which clamps the barrel into the stock (allowing the action to free float), enables us to fit large, full-profile barrels, and still keep under the 10 kg weight restriction when running a Nightforce scope. This stock tracks like a demon, making it a very competitive rig.”

While this chassis is designed for the New Zealand-made Barnard actions, it can also work with other round actions. Target Shooter Magazine notes: “The great thing is, because the action is unstressed, you can get away with using … a Remington — rather than forking out for a custom action.”

Barnard Model P Action from New Zealand
Here’s a Barnard Model P action, which was originally developed in 1982. These three-lug actions are very smooth. They are popular with Palma rifle shooters and F-Class shooters. Designed for the Palma or long-range shooter, the Model P Single shot action is available in right-hand or true left-hand configuration (with other bolt/port configurations in the Model PC).

True-flite trueflite barnard action new zealand barrel block F-Class F-Open

The bolt carries three forward locking lugs, is equipped with a Sako-style extractor and can be supplied to accept any case rim up to 0.534″(standard magnum rim). The Bolt undergoes finish machining after hardening, and is hand-lapped to its mating receiver. The receiver is 4340 chrome/moly/nickel steel, through-hardened to 38 RC and finish-machined after surface hardening to ensure concentricity.

Credit Target Shooter Magazine for the top photo.
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June 6th, 2015

Tikka T3 — Video Reviews from New Zealand and Scotland

Tikka T3 Review new zealand hunting scotland varmint rifle

The Tikka T3 rifle is very popular with hunters around the globe — for good reason. These rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3 is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at less than $580.00 for the T3 Lite version). The T3 series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Here are two good Tikka T3 video reviews, the first from New Zealand, the second from Scotland. Both reviewers are experienced hunters who explain why the T3 is well-suited for hunting applications. In the first video, Mitch of BushBrothersNZ reviews a T3 with polymer stock and stainless barrel chambered for the .270 Win. Mitch focuses on the T3’s controls and functions, with particular attention to the operation of trigger, safety, and bolt.

(more…)

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April 25th, 2015

Yank Barrel-Maker Helps Lady Win NZ Vintage Rifle Title

.303 British Lee Enfield Criterion barrel New Zealand Service Rifle No. 4

You have to love it when a prototype product not only performs well, but actually wins a match. For some time, Criterion Barrels has been working on a match-grade barrel for vintage Lee-Enfield rifles. It looks like they got things right…

Over the Easter weekend the New Zealand Service Rifle Association held its annual national service rifle competition. Coming first in the Classic Bolt Action class was Wellington’s Nicole McKee shooting a Lee-Enfield with a new, prototype Criterion barrel. Nicole’s rifle was built by her husband Duncan, a vintage rifle expert who specializes in accurizing the No. 4 and SMLE actions. Nicole’s .303 British handloads featured Hornady 174gr FMJ Boattail bullets (SKU: 3131) pushed by 47.0 grains of ADI 2209 (H4350). ADI 2209 has become the top go-to powder for .303 British shooters in New Zealand.

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November 18th, 2013

NEW Book: The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges

Nathan Foster Practical Guide Long Range Hunting CartridgesIf you really want to learn about long-range hunting, listen to a pro, a man like Nathan Foster who has spent a life-time in the field. Nathan has just released a new book: The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges. You can trust what Nathan says. He has spent decades in the wild, harvesting over 7500 head of game. Nathan’s richly-illustrated, 415-page resource guides you through the process of choosing the best cartridge and projectile(s) for your hunts. The book begins by explaining the key principles of of long-range hunting. Then Nathan examines the pros and cons of various cartridges so that the reader can select the best cartridge and projectile to get the job done.

Nathan is truly a hunting expert. Nathan has spent thousands of hours in the field and he knows the subject cold. Unlike some outdoor writers, Nathan doesn’t pull punches — he tells the unvarnished truth about what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what Nathan says about his new book:

After many months of writing, it is now done, 415 pages of research, each bullet repeat-tested in the field, my research scrutinized by veterinarian surgeons [and] industry peers. It was truly an immense undertaking.

Nathan Foster Practical Guide Long Range Hunting CartridgesFor several years, I have received two types of email. The first question is which is the right rifle for me? The second question is which is the right cartridge? My first book dealt with the accurate rifle. This second book deals with long range hunting cartridge selection. I firmly believe that there has been a huge gap in education regarding optimal long range hunting cartridge performance. In many instances, both hunters and bullet manufacturers do not understand what’s required to achieve goals. Many times, the wrong tools are used for long range hunting. This book seeks to remedy these problems.

In the Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, I start with the fundamentals of game killing — but from the perspective of the long range hunter (also encountering close range shots). This section is not politically correct in any way, as after the study of anatomy, I explore worst case scenarios in as much depth as ideal shot placement.

The second section of the book is a study of projectile design. I wanted to get right down to the finer details of the long range hunting bullet in this section, exploring manufacturers, manufacturing techniques, and ways in which the end user can perform preliminary testing as well as bullet modifications.

The third section explains how to select a long range hunting cartridge. The system I have used here is based on a selection method I developed over the years to help clients worldwide. This method takes individual circumstances into consideration rather than a one size fits all approach. It is a system that relies on plain common sense based on research.

The fourth section of the book is the cartridge section. Cartridge information is presented in a set format with Pro/Con summary tables. In many instances I have included my own load notes. I have also included notes regarding how to approach close range shots with each of our long range cartridges.

Book Buyer Comment: “Nathan has ‘hit it out of the park’ with his 2nd book, The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges! This is definitely the ‘go-to’ manual for decision-making for hunters around the world. Where else can you fine such a wealth of information on bullet selection for a particular cartridge based on the weight of the animal you intend to pursue. This allows the hunter to make an educated decision on the best cartridge for a particular game species or to load that round, up or down, to cover a variety of game species in their location.” — Jim Moseley, North Carolina, USA


Nathan Foster Practical Guide Long Range Hunting CartridgesAbout the Author: New Zealander Nathan Foster lives and breathes what he teaches. An expert in the field of terminal ballistics, Nathan has taken over 7500 head of game, and has field-tested a vast number of cartridges and projectiles. Nathan’s first book, The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles, is widely recognized as one of the best books ever published on the subject. The new book goes into greater detail on specific cartridges. Nathan’s website includes an outstanding online cartridge knowledge base with over 60 detailed cartridge profiles. CLICK HERE for Cartridge INFO.

Nathan runs Terminal Ballistics Research, a small company in Taranaki, New Zealand, that conducts cartridge and projectile performance research. Nathan also operates a long-range shooting school. Nathan is also the creator of MatchGrade Bedding Products.

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May 6th, 2011

Barnard Precision Unveils New, Updated Website

Fans of high-grade precision hardware should log on to the all-new Barnard Precision NZ Ltd. website. Barnard’s new site is easy to navigate, and you’ll find plenty of eye candy — large-size, high-quality photos. Many handsome Barnard-actioned rifles are showcased, including rifles belonging to AccurateShooter.com FORUM members. And of course there are complete, detailed specs (with weights and dimensions) for all the Barnard rifle actions.

Barnard model P action website

The new site showcases Barnard’s full line of actions, plus complete rifles, and accessories such as V-blocks and sight bases. For more than 18 years Barnard Precision has crafted some of the highest-quality actions available, and now there are more options than ever, in both Barnard P-type actions and Rem footprint actions. Click the links below to see particular action variants:

Barnard Action Types: Barnard model P action website

Barnard Offers Complete .338 Lapua Tactical Rifle — the Mighty Model ’10’
One of the highlights on the new Barnard web site is the new Barnard ’10’ Rifle. If you’re interested in a serious, heavy-caliber Tactical rig, the Model ’10’ is very appealing. The Model ’10’ is designed around the .338 Lapua case and Accuracy International 5-shot magazine.

Barnard model 10 .338 Lapua

The Model ’10’ chassis is constructed predominantly from billet 6061 aluminum, with heavy-duty, marine-grade anodizing. It can be fitted with either a Right-Hand or Left-Hand Barnard .338 actions. Both the cheekpiece and the butt plate are adjustable, and the Model ’10’ also has a combo rear buttspike/bag rider.

Story tip from Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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December 26th, 2009

HUNTX3 — New Digital Hunting Magazine Debuts on Web

Huntx3 magazineHUNTX3, a new all-digital hunting magazine, launched this week. You’ll find a full-featured website at HuntX3.com. There you can access gear reviews, videos, news feeds, and popular articles. But that’s just the beginning. The “heart” of HUNTX3 is a flash-based, interactive e-Zine that displays like a conventional print magazine with “double-truck” layouts, flip-page navigation, and full-page ads. The e-Zine even has embedded video and audio — and all content is FREE.

As a rule, we generally don’t favor these print-magazine mimicking formats. They take a long time to load, and seem less reader-friendly than conventional web pages. On the other hand, HUNTX3’s e-Zine layout allows for large photos, and impressive two-page spreads.

The premier issue of HUNTX3 Digital Magazine features many articles of interest for bow-hunters and big game hunters. There are excellent stories about elk hunting in Utah, Red Stag hunting in New Zealand, and Dall Sheep hunting in the Canadian Yukon.

Huntx3 Magazine

High-Tech Hunt Planning with Google Earth
HUNTX3’s premier issue also includes a fascinating article by Toxie Givens explaining how to use Google Earth satellite photos to monitor game stands and plan a deer hunt. The article shows how you can define club boundaries, and plot the location of feeding stations, deer stands, and trail cameras. Using Google Earth, you can even mark locations where game has been taken in the past, link trail cam photos, and superimpose current weather conditions.

Givens explains: “I keep a record of the location where every deer is taken… for every year we have been hunting. This is great information to see where the most successful areas are on the club. Using Google Earth you can get the Weather Radar superimposed on your location. Furthermore Google Earth is capable of geo-caching [trail camera] photos to GPS points.”

Huntx3 Magazine

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November 14th, 2008

Americans Dominate World Action Pistol Championship

The Yanks won most of the hardware at the recent recent NRA World Action Pistol Championship held at the Hamilton Pistol Club in New Zealand. Doug Koenig took first place in Open Class with an impressive 1920-181X. Carl Bernosky (2008 Camp Perry High Power Rifle Champion) was a close second with 1920-175X, Carl’s highest-ever score in this event. Carl Bernosky and Bruce Piatt secured the team championship. Competing for the USA amongst six other teams, Carl and Bruce will proudly keep the title for two years. Carl’s teammate Bruce Piatt won the Iron Man Match. He is now a two-time “Iron Man” World champion, and four-time Iron Man National Champion. Vance Schmid of the USA won the Metallic Sights class, edging out Piatt (2nd Place), and the legendary Jerry Miculek (3rd place).

NRA World Pistol Championship

Carl Bernosky is one of the few humans on the planet capable of winning national and international Championships in both pistol AND rifle disciplines. One can certainly make the argument that Carl is one of the greatest all-around marksmen who ever lived. This year, at Camp Perry, OH, Carl won the Overall National High Power Championship for the second year in a row. That marked 9 National Championships in 14 tries for Bernosky. Although Carl obviously enjoys both pistol and rifle disciplines, he says that rifle shooting is more challenging: “Camp Perry is a lot more difficult to compete in than…[the NRA] Bianchi Cup. You’re out here [at Perry] shooting an 8-hour work day. You’ll be shooting 60 shots in an hour. With the Bianchi Cup, you’ll shoot 10 shots in 60 seconds, and then you’ll be done for the day.”

Carl Bernosky

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October 29th, 2008

New Zealand Hosts NRA World Action Pistol Championships

From November 5-8, Hamilton, New Zealand will host the 6th Annual NRA World Action Pistol Championships. This major event will draw hundreds of top shooters from around the globe. The 2008 World Action Pistol Championships will be held in conjunction with the Kiwi Cup Action Pistol Championships at Hamilton Pistol Club. This is the second time that the Hamilton Pistol Club has hosted this prestigious event, which has been held previously twice in Australia, and twice in the USA. The NRA World Action Pistol Championships is an aggregate match with four traditional events: Falling Plates, Barricade, Practical, and Moving Target. For more information, visit the World Action Pistol Championships website, www.WAPC2008.com.

Located 80 miles south of Auckland, Hamilton is becoming known as a hub for action sports. In addition to the World Action Pistol Championships, Hamilton will host the V8 Supercars Street Race, World Rally Championships, and 2010 World Rowing Champs. The Waikoto River, shown in the photo below, runs through the heart of the city of Hamilton.

Hamilton New Zealand

Background on Shooting Sports in New Zealand
New Zealand is a remarkable country, a land of great natural beauty. The island nation is similar in size to California … but with about 30,000,000 fewer people! Nice eh? If you combined the natural terrain of Oregon, California, and the Colorado Rockies, doubled the coastline, and then eliminated smog, urban sprawl, and traffic jams, that’s a good description of New Zealand.

Though small in size, New Zealand has a very active community of sport shooters and hunters. While Australia has imposed draconian restrictions on self-loading pistols and rifles, New Zealanders still retain the ability to own most types of firearms, including semi-automatics. In fact, New Zealand has fewer restrictions on “Black Rifles” than do many American states.

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September 26th, 2008

Barnard 6.5×47 Shines at 600 Yards

Benchrest accuracy from a Barnard? You Betcha! In a recent 600-yard benchrest match in Ojai, California, the powder-blue 6.5×47 Barnard shown below delivered an impressive 1.5″ five-shot group to set small group for the match. The gun has shot well under 1/4-MOA at shorter ranges during testing. Owned by SoCal shooter Bill H., the gun was smithed by Mac Tilton of MT Guns in Santa Barbara, CA. Mac says, “even with that long barrel, the gun balances well on the bags in the Mastin stock.” Owner Bill is delighted with the gun’s performance, telling us “this rig really demonstrates how accurate the 6.5×47 cartridge can be.” Bill was shooting Lapua 6.5×47 brass with Lapua 123gr Scenar bullets, Reloder 15 powder, and CCI BR4 primers.

Key Components from Down-Under
The rifle features a Barnard model “P” three-lug action, Barnard target trigger, Mastin F-Class laminated stock (with painted finish), and a 32″ heavy-contour True-Flite barrel. Both action and barrel are products of New Zealand, while the Mastin stock was crafted in Australia. For a better look at this handsome rifle, CLICK THIS LINK for a supersized photo.


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