September 18th, 2016

Eye Dominance and Marksmanship — What You Need to Know

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Shooting Sports USA Eye dominanceDo you know which one of your eyes is dominant? It’s easy to determine eye dominance with a simple exercise. Pick an object about 6-10 feet away (a light switch or door knob works well). Make an “OK” sign with your right hand (see photo) and hold that about 18″ from your face. Now, with both eyes open, look through the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. Center the circle on the object, so you can see the object in the middle.

Now, here’s the important part — while still holding your hand up, centered on the object, first close your right eye. If you don’t see the object anymore, then your right eye is dominant. If you still see the object, then repeat the procedure with the left eye shut and right eye open. If you don’t see the object when your left eye (only) is closed, then you are left-eye dominant.

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe digital archives of Shooting Sports USA contain many interesting articles. A while back, Shooting Sports USA featured a “must-read” expert Symposium on Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, and Phil Hemphill.

Top Rifle Champions Talk About Eye Dominance:

David Tubb — 11-Time National High Power Champion
I keep both eyes open, always. Some use an opaque blinder in rifle or shotgun shooting. If you close your non-dominant eye, you will not get as good a sight picture. If your aiming eye is not your dominant eye, you have even more of a problem to overcome.

Lones Wigger — World, National and Olympic Champion Rifleman
Shooters should try to use the dominant eye unless the vision is impaired and the non-dominant eye has better vision. You should always shoot with both eyes open since this will allow the shooting eye to function properly.

Dennis DeMille — National Service Rifle Champion
I close my non-shooting eye initially. Once I pick up my sight picture, it’s not something I focus on. For those that use a patch, I recommend that they use something white to block their view, rather than cover the eye.

Bruce Piatt — 2015 World Shooting Championship Winner
Some shooters, especially those with nearly equal or cross-dominance, will naturally find themselves squinting one eye. When anyone does this, you are also closing your dominant eye to some extent and adding stress to your face.

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 27th, 2016

How (and Why) To Use Binoculars with a Tripod

Everybody knows that powerful spotting scopes work best when mounted to a stable tripod or otherwise secured to a steady mount. Yet when most folks use binoculars, they never even think of using a tripod, despite the fact that tripod adapters are available for many premium binoculars. A serious hunter should learn how to glass with tripod support. With binoculars offering more that 8X magnification, you can really benefit from a steady mount. In this article, Mark Boardman of Vortex Optics, an experienced hunter, explains the benefits of using a tripod with high-magnification binoculars.

Vortex Binoculars

READ FULL ARTICLE with More Tips for Hunters

Vortex Binoculars

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
August 8th, 2016

Leupold Files Federal Lawsuit Over Claimed Patent Violations

Leupold Stevens Nighforce Lightforce Lawsuit litigation Federal Court Oregon

Editor: The following statement was released by Leupold & Stevens Inc. on August 3, 2016. We publish the statement as it was released, without modification.

Leupold® Files Lawsuit Against Nightforce Over Patent Violations

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., has filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court of Oregon alleging patent violations by Lightforce U.S.A., doing business as Nightforce. In the suit, Leupold & Stevens, Inc., alleges that Nightforce is marketing and selling products that infringe on a variety of patents owned by Leupold & Stevens, Inc. and is seeking all available remedies.

The lawsuit is based on six patents for riflescope adjustments, internal optical mechanisms, and flip covers.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., has been pioneering riflescope and sporting optics technology since 1947, when it developed a non-fogging riflescope charged with nitrogen. Today, Leupold® has been granted over 151 patents and design registrations in 18 countries, representing Leupold’s continued commitment to innovation and development of sports optics. For more information on Leupold products, please visit us at www.leupold.com.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is committed to protecting its intellectual property and the innovations developed by its engineering and design teams.

Join the discussion on Facebook, www.facebook.com/LeupoldOptics, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LeupoldOptics or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/LeupoldOptics.

Founded in Oregon more than a century ago, Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a fifth generation, family owned company that designs, machines and assembles its riflescopes, mounting systems and tactical/Gold Ring® spotting scopes in the USA. The product lines include rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; mounting systems; and optical tools, accessories and Pro Gear.

Initial Response from Nightforce Optics
We contacted Nightforce Optics regarding the legal action commenced by Leupold. A spokesman for Nightforce provided this response: “We have investigated [Leupold’s] claims and we are confident there is no infringement. We look forward to full and fair competition with Leupold in the future.”

Permalink News, Optics 3 Comments »
July 14th, 2016

Dope for Your Scope — Handy Laminated Ballistics Card

JBM laminated ballistics card zak smith

Tactical ace Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms employs a simple, handy means to store his elevation and wind dift data — a laminated data card. To make one, first generate a come-up table, using one of the free online ballistics programs such as JBM Ballistics. You can also put the information in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word table and print it out. You want to keep it pretty small.

Above is a sample of a data card. For each distance, the card includes drop in inches, drop in MOA, drop in mils. It also shows drift for a 10-mph cross wind, expressed three ways–inches, MOA, and mils. Zak explained that “to save space… I printed data every 50 yards. For an actual data-card, I recommend printing data every 20 or 25 yards.” But Zak also advised that you’ll want to customize the card format to keep things simple: “The sample card has multiple sets of data to be more universal. But if you make your own data card, you can reduce the chance of a mistake by keeping it simple. Because I use scopes with MILS, my own card (photo below left) just has three items: range, wind, drop in MILS only.”

Once you have the card you can fold it in half and then have it laminated at a local office store or Kinko’s. You can keep this in your pocket, tape it to your stock, or tie the laminated card to your rifle. If you regularly shoot at both low and high elevations, you may want to create multiple cards (since your ballistics change with altitude). To learn more about ballistic tables and data cards, check out the excellent Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting–Part 1 article on Zak’s website. This article offers many other insights as well–including valuable tips on caliber and rifle selection.

ballistics data scope coverScope-Cover Mounted Ballistics Table
Another option is to place your ballistics card on the back of the front flip-up scope cover. This set-up is used by Forum member Greg C. (aka “Rem40X”). With your ‘come-up’ table on the flip-up cover you can check your windage and elevation drops easily without having to move out of shooting position.

Greg tells us: “Placing my trajectory table on the front scope cover has worked well for me for a couple of years and thought I’d share. It’s in plain view and not under my armpit. And the table is far enough away that my aging eyes can read it easily. To apply, just use clear tape on the front objective cover.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
July 6th, 2016

Minute of Angle (MOA) Explained by Informative Video

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink News No Comments »
May 2nd, 2016

Bargain Finder 33: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, which is on sale for $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supply. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you many want to add an additional large heavy press, but this will get the job done. This kit includes an RCBS Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Powder Trickler, Hand Priming Tool, Load Manual, Loading Tray, and more. It’s hard to beat this combination of tools for under $200.00.

2. CDNN Sports — Remington 597 for $149.99

CDNN Sports Remington 597 Sale

Looking for a “first rifle” for a family member? Consider this semi-auto Remington 597. It currently retails for just $149.99. That’s right, for under $150 you can get a reliable, self-feeding rimfire rifle that will provide years of fun for a young shooter. The 597 has a stock that’s sized right for both youngsters and adults. Receivers are dovetailed for standard rimfire rings and are also drilled and tapped to allow mounting of Weaver-style bases.

3. Grafs.com — Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press on SALE

Grafs Grafs.com Forster Co-Ax Co-axial reloading press Sale

If you’ve been patiently waiting to acquire a Forster Co-Ax® reloading press, now’s the time to strike. Grafs.com has Co-Ax presses on sale this week at $289.99. That includes shipping charges (with one flat $7.95 handling charge per order).

4. Grafs.com — NEW Nikon Wind Meter for SmartPhones, $28.99

Nikon spot on smart phone wind meter Ballistics App

Here’s a great new gadget for under $30.00. Nikon’s new Spot On™ Ballistic Wind Meter plugs directly into the headphone port on most popular smart phones. The Spot On Wind Meter reads both wind speed and direction and inputs the data directly into Nikon’s free Spot On Ballistics Mobile App (available for iOS and Android). This allows you to quickly determine and calculate wind drift corrections without needing a separate, dedicated wind meter. When not in use, the Nikon device easily fits in a pocket.

5. CDNN Sports — Browning Stainless .22 LR Buck Mark, $379.99

Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper UFX Pistol Handgun .22 LR 22 rimfire

Everyone needs a good .22 LR rimfire handgun, and the Browning Buck Mark is a classic. This stainless, bull barrel version is marked down this week to $379.99. That’s a very good price. Buckmarks, with their excellent triggers and great ergonomics, are fun to shoot and VERY accurate. This is a pistol you can keep for a life-time and pass on to your kids. Browning says: “Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
April 25th, 2016

Field Target Tip: How to Range Targets Using the Scope

Target Ranging, Range, Scope, Optic field target UK

This article appears courtesy Target Shooter magazine from the UK.

Field Target (FT) and Hunter Field Target (HFT) airgun disciplines are popular outdoor shooting sports that simulate the challenges of hunting small game. One of the unique aspects of FT competition is target range-finding using parallax and optical focus. (HFT is limited to lower power scopes, so this type of range-fiding is not used in HFT.) Range-finding is very important because the pellets shot by FT airguns drop rapidly once they leave the muzzle (pellets can drop roughly 5″ at 50 yards). If you don’t have your scope set to the correct distance, you’ll probably miss the target high or low.

FT competitors employ high-magnification (35-55X) scopes to sight targets placed from 10 to 55 yards (7.3 to 50m in the UK). Because these scopes have very short depth-of-field at high-magnification, the target will be out of focus unless you have the scope focus/parallax control set very precisely. But competitors can use this to their advantage — once the target is precisely focused, you have effectively established its distance from the shooter. FT scopes often have large-diameter wheels on the side parallax control so the focus can be set very precisely. You can then read marks placed on the scope to adjust the amount of elevation need to put the pellet on target.

To simplify the adjustment of elevation on FT rifles, competitors will place tapes on the windage knobs with marks that correspond to distances in 3-5 yard (or smaller) increments. These marks allow you to quickly spin your elevation to the setting matching the target range established with your focus/parallax control.

Field Target Accessories
There are a variety of specialized products for FT competitors that help you set up your scope for precise ranging. First, Compufoil offers a computer program, ScopeKnob, that lets you easily create accurate elevation knob tapes for your scope. ScopeKnob even comes with a built-in Ballistics Module that will calculate the pellet trajectory for you and plot range settings for your tape. Chairgun.com also offers ChairGunPRO, specialized airgun ballistics software that lets you simultaneously compare four different pellets, or different scope heights.

Field Target Scope knobIn the past, the A-Team offered replacement elevation knobs optimized for use with yardage marking tapes. These were offered in two versions, one which replaced the existing turret altogether and a second which clamped OVER the factory turret. Shown at right is the larger-diameter version in place over the factory turret. Unfortunately we don’t know a current source for this product, but this may help you crate something similar on your own.

Last but not least, Pyramid Air offers large-diameter parallax control wheels. According to Pyramid: “The enlarged sidewheel is the most popular FT scope accessory of all. It lets you put white artist’s tape around the rim to mark the actual distances at which the scope focuses”. A 6″ sidewheel provides over 18″ of space on which to inscribe yardage, and that means you can have a meaningful separation between 18 yards and 20 — where there is a huge parallax and trajectory difference. Though the ranges are already engraved on the rim of the wheel, field target competitors will measure them again on an actual range and write the markings on a strip of white artist’s tape.

Tips on Field Target Scope Set-Up
The creator’s of the A-Team knobs suggest taking your time when setting up a scope for Field Target competition: “We normally take from three to four hours preparing a scope to be mounted on a gun. We mark the scope in 1-yard increments from 9 to 40 yards, then to 55 yards by 3 or 5-yard increments depending on the scope being calibrated.”

Permalink Competition, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 21st, 2016

Leupold Now Offers Online Ordering for Custom Scope Dials

Leupold custom dial system

Leupold now offers easy online ordering for custom riflescope dials for your elevation turrets. A custom CDS dial lets you simply “dial the yardage” to have the correct elevation at distances near to far. For example, as shown below, if your target is at 550 yards, you simply dial 5.5 on the turret index. This is possible because the dial has been customized with the particular ballistics of your rifle and your load.

Leupold custom dial system

“Leupold engineers do all the hard work in the lab, making sure it’s easy and fast in the field,” said Rob Morrison, Leupold’s global marketing VP. “All the shooter has to do is provide us with ballistic information. From this simple data, a custom-calibrated dial is laser engraved for that specific load.”

Order Multiple Dials for Different Bullet Types
Leupolds’ custom CDS dials are tailored to the exact load used. With the ability to quickly change dials, it’s easy to set up several loads in a single rifle with a single riflescope. Transition from coyote loads to big game cartridges with a simple change of the dial. Or you can get different dials for different cartridges if you move your optic from one rifle to another. To order a CDS dial, call 1-800-LEUPOLD or visit Customshop.leupold.com/custom-dials and click on the appropriate dial for your riflescope.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 28th, 2016

Bargain Finder 28: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Major Brand Blem Bullets (.204 to .50 Cal)

Right now Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a big sale on Major Brand Blem Bullets. You can save 50% or more on a wide variety of bullet types and calibers. Whatever your preference — Poly Tips, BT Hollowpoints, Soft-Points — you’ll find something on sale. In all 42 types of bullets, from .22 to .50 caliber, are deeply discounted. Here are just a few of the great deals we found:

.204 (20 Cal) 45gr SP, $17.06 per 100
.224 (5.56 mm) 55gr SP, $9.53 per 100
.243 (6 mm) 87gr BTHP, $15.08 per 100
.264 (6.5 mm) 120gr Poly Tip, $18.54 per 100
.308 (7.62 mm) 195gr BTHP, $22.96 per 100
.338 (8.58mm) 225gr Poly Tip, $27.22 per 100

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $179.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetspeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

3. Bruno’s — Once-Used Nightforce Scopes, Save Hundreds

Bruno Shooters Nightforce competition scope sale optics

Bruno Shooters Supply currently offers six (6) Nightforce targets scopes that were used one-time-only at the Cactus Benchrest match. These were “previewed” for evaluation on a rifle but are virtually brand new. And yes they come with full factory warranty. Choose either the 15-55x52mm Comp model or the NEW fixed-power 42x44mm scope, with either Fine Cross Hair (FCH) or Target Dot Reticle. You can save some hundreds on these scopes. For example, the 15-55X scope is offered at $2125.00, compared to the $2352.00 normal price at other vendors. That’s a $227.00 savings.

4. CDNN Sports — Ruger American Ranch Rifle (Tan), $389.99

Ruger American Ranch Rifle 5.56 .223 223 Remington Varmint Bolt Action

Here’s a nice little varmint rifle from Ruger with some nice features at a very attractive price, $389.99. This .223 Rem rifle features a 16.5″ hammer-forged barrel barrel threaded 1/2″-28 at the muzzle for brake or suppressor. The action, which features a 70° three-lug bolt, and Picatinny-style scope rail, sits in an aluminum bedding block. The crisp trigger adjusts down to 3 pounds. With a weight (before optics) of 6.1 pounds, this is a handy carry-around varminter.

5. Natchez — 300 Rounds .45 ACP in Can, $69.99 After Rebate

Federal Premium .45 ACP REbate Ammo Can

The classic .45 ACP is probably our favorite handgun cartridge for target work. Inherently accurate, the .45 ACP delivers big, easy-to-see holes on the target. Right now you can get 300 rounds of quality American Eagle 230gr .45 ACP FMJ ammunition for just $69.99 after the Federal Premium MFG Rebate. This Natchez .45 ACP Ammo Deal includes a rugged, lockable Federal Premium plastic Ammo Can.

6. Cabelas.com — Lyman Power Case-Prep Tool, $20.89

Lyman Case Prep Driver Power Tool

This Lyman cordless power tool is now just $20.89, marked down from $39.99. That’s a steal for a tool that handles most case-prep chores. The high-torque rechargeable driver runs at the correct speed for deburring and chamfering. The accessories have hex shafts that snap in and out of the driver (much like with a cordless screwdriver). The kit includes the power unit and seven (7) accessories: two case neck brushes, two double-ended primer pocket tools (large and small), an outside 45° neck-chamfer tool, an inside 30° neck-chamfer tool, and a combo standard/phillips screw-driver bit. Grab one for $20.89 at Cabelas.com.

7. MidwayUSA — Padded Scoped Rifle Case, $24.99

MidwayUSA Padded Rifle Case Sale Scoped

This 48″-long, thickly-padded gun case will hold most tactical-style rifles and hunting rifles. At a fraction of the cost of a big, cumbersome drag bag, this case may be all you need. The heavy duty padding is over 1″ thick on both sides to protect your rifle and optics investment from rough handling. A large pocket will hold a couple boxes of ammo and other accessories. We like this bag much better than the typical gun-store soft cases. It offers much better padding and more room for large scopes. It is on sale this week at MidwayUSA for just $24.99 in four colors: black, tan, OD green, and gray. In addition to the 48″ case shown, 40″ and 44″ versions are available.

8. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’clock.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
March 18th, 2016

Breath, Relax … and Improve Your Vision

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 16th, 2016

Equipment Advice for Mid-Level Shooters from Bryan Litz

Mid-level equipment selection Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Are you looking to improve your long-range shooting? Doubtless you’ve been thinking about upgrading your rifle or optics, but wonder what to buy (and how to get the best “bang for your buck”). In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics offers “solid gold” advice on equipment selection for mid-level shooters (i.e. those who are somewhere between “newbie” and “Master of the Universe”). Bryan explains the logical first step is a barrel upgrade — a new tube from a top-barrel maker can make a huge difference. Then you should research the best factory ammo for your rifle, or get started in precision hand-loading. Bryan also offers advice on choosing a scope and optics accessories.

Equipment Upgrades: Barrel, Optics, Ammo by Bryan Litz
Every equipment element can be upgraded. You can run that factory rifle for a period of time, but the barrel eventually is going to be what holds you back. The twist rate probably won’t be fast enough to stabilize the high-BC bullets that you want to shoot at long range. So, the first thing you want to upgrade on your factory rifle is probably going to be the barrel. [With a new custom barrel] you’re going to get a fast twist rate, you’re going to get a chamber that’s optimized with a throat for your … bullet. And a good quality custom barrel is going to be easier to clean, won’t foul out as much, and it’s going to improve to overall accuracy and precision of your shooting. Barrel swaps are very common and routine thing for gunsmiths to do.

The next thing is improving your scope. If you don’t have a quality optic it’s going to hold you back. The job of the scope is to precisely and perfectly delineate [the target] within a half a degree (from 100 to 1000 yards is only a half a degree). The scope has got to put you on the money within that half a degree. So, it’s not a piece of equipment you want to go cheap on.

The other big factor is your ammunition. Getting into hand-loading is meticulous and it takes a long time to learn, but ultimately you’ll be making ammunition that is tailored for your rifle, and there simply won’t be anything better for your rifle than what you can develop through individual handloads.

So that’s typically the upgrade path: Get your factory rifle re-barreled, don’t skimp on a scope (or anything that attaches to it), improve your ammunition (whether by upgrading to better factory ammo or hand-loading on your own). All through this process is continuous learning… Once you have the best equipment (and it doesn’t get any better), the process of learning and education never ends. That is something you build on every single time you go to the range, and it’s what going to allow you to continually improve your skills.”

No matter what kind of rifle you shoot, whether it be an AR or a brenchrest rig, the principles are the same — develop a good load, learn the gun, hone your wind-reading skills, and practice in all conditions. Making a video of a practice session can help you identify and correct bad habits.
Bryan Litz mid-level equipment shooting skills ballistics

Bryan Litz says “don’t skimp on your scope”. Purchase a quality scope, rings, and scope level. Successful long-range shooting all begins with your view of the target.
Bryan Litz mid-level equipment shooting skills ballistics

Even with a top-of-the-line F-TR rig like this, you still have to practice diligently, putting in the “trigger time” needed to improve your game.
Bryan Litz

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
March 16th, 2016

Zeiss Conquest DL Hunting Scope — Leader in its Price Range

Zeiss DL Ginny Langton hunting scope Eurooptic.com

Looking for a very high-quality hunting scope that won’t break the bank? The German-crafted Zeiss Conquest DL has won many awards, yet it’s half the cost of super-premium European brands. For general performance, durability, and glass quality, many experts say the Conquest DL sets the “benchmark” for the “upper middle” end of riflescopes. Here is a very revealing review of the Conquest DL by British lady hunter Ginny Langton.

Ginny explains: “Even when the visibility has been bad, early in the morning, very cloudy and a bit foggy, the image is really clear and really bright… which has made for a much easier and clearer shot for me. I have found that using the [ASV bullet drop compensator] even when it’s bitterly cold is really straight-forward. Even when you’re fumbling around with gloves on, it’s very easy to find the buttons and the functionality of the scope is very, very good. The great thing about the DL scope is its versatility — I could use this scope all over the world.”

Zeiss DL Ginny Langton hunting scope Eurooptic.com

In a recent comparison review, gunwriter L.P. Brezny rated the 3-12x50mm Zeiss Conquest DL one of the best hunting scopes under $1000. Brezny states: “As a second option on my list of five top hunting scopes for big game that are under a grand stands the Zeiss Conquest DL Hunting Scope in 3x12x50mm. Here you have an illuminated reticle [extra cost], ultra-refined German glass, and a side focus knob with the Z-Plex reticle. In most cases what is in this optic, in terms of quality, is often found at a much higher price.” This German-made Conquest DL retails for $999.99 on Amazon.com (non-illuminated) or $1299.95 with illuminated reticle.

The entire Zeiss riflescope line is available from Europtic.com. Call (570) 368-3920 and ask for Jason Baney and request the best price. Tell Jason that AccurateShooter.com sent you.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 5 Comments »
March 14th, 2016

Bargain Finder 26: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Nosler .308 Match Monster Bullets, $119.99 for 500

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Midsouth Shooters Nosler Monster Match Bullets .308 Sale

Looking for high-quality, name-brand .308-caliber bullets? You won’t beat the price on these Nosler bullets from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Five options are offered: 155 grain, 168 grain, 168 grain (with cannelure), 170 grain, and 190 grain. The 155s and 168s are just $119.99 for FIVE HUNDRED bullets. The 170s cost $131.28/500 while the big 190s cost $137.74/500. Those are insanely good prices, any way you cut it. The price on the 168s works out to just $23.99 per hundred. You could easily pay $40.00 per hundred for bullets of this quality. These are not seconds or blems — the are quality Nosler-made bullets produced for Midsouth’s Match Monster bulk sales program.

2. Amazon.com — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Competition Scope

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

This 10-50X Sightron isn’t as good as a Nightforce 15-55X Competition scope, but it is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. At $968.05, the Sightron is nearly $1400 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $450 cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (compared to a 15-55X NF) will pay for a BAT or Kelbly action, with money left over.

3. Southern Shooters — 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Ruger American Rifle 17 HMR

With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. That’s right, Southern Shooters is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire, with 22″ barrel, for just $252.63. FFL required. For other vendors with this rifle, CLICK HERE.

4. Natchez Shooters Supply — Lyman Gen6 Scale/Dispenser

Free Shipping Lyman Powder Scale Dispenser ChargeMaster Natchez Gen6 deals of week AccurateShooter

Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, this Lyman Gen6 Powder System will automatically dispense and weigh powder charges. This unit features a touch screen, rapid warm-up, anti-static/anti-drift technology, and electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices. It’s a good deal at $205.99.

5. Grafs.com — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo $10.99 for 50 Rounds

Hornady Varmint Express 17 HMR ammo Grafs.com

This is one of the best prices we’ve seen in recent years on 17 HMR ammo. We really like the V-Max bullets in 17 HMR ammunition — you get excellent accuracy plus the tipped design is very effective on small varmints. Grafs.com is having a big ammo sale right now, so you can get this quality Hornady 17 HMR ammo for just $10.99 per 50-round box. You could easily pay $16.00/box at a local gunstore. This is a GREAT deal — stock up while you can.

6. CDNN — Walther PPX M1 9mm for $299.99

AccurateShooter Deals of week CDNN Investments pistol handgun sale Walther 9mm 9x19mm PPX discount bargain coupon

It may be ugly, but this Walther PPX M1 is a very good 9mm pistol. This Editor has shot the PPX and, IMHO, it has a better trigger than the Glock, better ergonomics, and better accuracy. Right now you can get this German-made Walther 9mm pistol for under $300.00 — about half the price of a new Glock. Interested? Then read this Walther PPX Review. It confirms what we’ve said — this is a good pistol.

7. Amazon — AR500 10″ Steel Gong and Rack, $69.99

Amazon AR500 steel gong rack plate chain long range target

We love reactive targets for shooting at 300 yards and beyond. You’ll find that, even with a premium spotting scope, it can be hard to spot small bullet holes in paper much past 350 yards (unless viewing conditions are perfect). With a reactive steel target, however, you get instant confirmation of a hit. This Viking 10″ AR500 Steel Gong is a good size for shooting at 400-500 yards. At 500 yards, the 10″ diameter of the gong works out to 2 MOA. For guys looking for a budget-priced hard steel target, this is a good deal — the gong system comes with everything you need: AR500 (armored) round steel plate, chain, fasteners, and support rack.

8. Cabelas.com — Lyman Power Case-Prep Tool

Lyman Case Prep Driver Power Tool

This handy, cordless power tool handles most case-prep chores. The high-torque rechargeable driver runs at the correct speed for deburring and chamfering. The accessories have hex shafts that snap in and out of the driver (much like with a cordless screwdriver). The kit includes the power unit and seven (7) accessories: two case neck brushes, two double-ended primer pocket tools (large and small), an outside 45° neck-chamfer tool, an inside 30° neck-chamfer tool, and a combo standard/phillips screw-driver bit. Regularly $39.99, this tool is on sale for just $24.88 at Cabelas.com.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
March 10th, 2016

IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show Wrap-Up from Germany

IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show 2016 Nuremberg Germany Safari
Photo courtesy NürnbergMesse.

The 2016 IWA Outdoor Classics trade show (aka “Euro SHOT Show”) is now history. The IWA event increases in popularity each year. In 2016 there were 1457 exhibitors with nearly 5000 products on display. The final 2016 attendance count is not complete but there were probably close to 44,000 visitors at the IWA show in Nuremberg, Germany. Last year, in 2015, there were 41,748 trade visitors from 122 countries. The video below shows highlights of the 2015 IWA Outdoor Classic event:

IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Wrap-Up Video

Many interesting new products were showcased at IWA this year. Here are some of the more innovative or noteworthy guns and shooting accessories on display in Nuremberg:

Anschutz 54.30 Smallbore Action and Rifle

CK Technology Bullet Traps Rubber granular

The new Anschutz 54.30 smallbore target barreled action features a threaded receiver and barrel — a change from the past (when barrels were pressed and pinned). The new 54.30 action has many other important design improvements. The loading port was moved 30mm rewards and was reduced in size by 18%, resulting in a more rigid receiver. The closer location of the loading port is more ergonomic, allowing less movement when in position. The weight of the firing pin was reduced, resulting in a velocity increase of the firing pin and a shorter lock-time. Anschutz also claims that a newly-designed barrel chamber improves overall accuracy. The new 54.30 match action can be installed into all available stocks which fit Anschutz round match actions such as the 1907 or 1913.

Dentler Basis Vario — Modular Rifle Scope Mounting System

Dentler VARIO basis modular scope mounting system

Dentler has introduced an interesting modular scope mounting system that allows you to quickly switch optics while retaining zero. The system offers many variations for scope height, optic type, and fore-aft position. Dentler claims this system offers 100% repeatable zeroes. Watch the video to see how the BASIS VARIO mounting system works.

CK Technology — Granular Rubber Bullet Trap

CK Technology Bullet Traps Rubber granular

This is a smart use of recycled rubber materials. CK Technology of Belgium has created a new bullet trap that uses small rubber beads to capture bullets. The granular bullet trap is made of rubber granulates placed on an inclined galvanized steel plate. It offers many advantages compared to traditional steel bullet traps– most importantly there is less pollution, reduced noise, and most importantly, bullets are captured intact so there are no ricochets. This system works for up to .50 caliber bullets, and can be installed indoors or outdoors. The CK bullet trap takes up less space than a conventional steel bullet trap — an advantage for indoor ranges.

SIUS AG — Color Touch-Screen Electronic Scoring Display

SIUS Touch Screen controller

SIUS AG is a leader in electronic scoring technology, and the new SA951 control/display unit represents the state of the art. The latest generation SA951 is designed for all types of pistols and rifles, centerfire, rimfire, and airguns. SIUS states the the SA951 is currently the only unit with ISSF Phase III approval for all types of firearms and airguns. The SA951 features a sharp 10.5-inch color touchscreen that permits the competitor to see his/her targets and easily navigate a variety of functions — all with the touch of a finger. Using the control menu and selecting programms and screens is easy, quick and intuitive. The control unit can also be operated via the remote control or the proven barcode scanner. This allows users the same kind of operation as with predecessor models SA931/SA941.

Korth Super Sport Revolver

Korth Super Sport Revolver Bianchi Cup

This is one serious wheelgun. The new Korth Super Sport Revolver is big and beefy with Picatinny-type rails on top and on both sides of the barrel. Chambered for .357 Magnum, this gun was designed for used in action matches such as the Bianchi Cup. Weighing a hefty 3.64 pounds (1.652 kg), the Korth Super Sport is over 11 inches long, without compensator. This gun has many innovative features, including: externally adjustable hammer spring, externally adjustable double-action cycle (with pressure point wheel), adjustable iron sights, and quick-change cylinder (for caliber change to .38 Special or 9mm Para). Here’s video of the gun being shot at the SHOT Show Media Day event in January.

Svensk Jaktvision PhoneCam Holder

Jaktvision svenks smartphone phonecam holder

Svensk Jaktvision of Sweden offers a handy product that mounts a smartphone above your rifle-scope. This product is designed for hunters who want to record their experience in the wild. But the system is also useful for marksmanship training. The top-mounted smartphone screen allows a coach/instructor to see how the rifle moves in the hands of the trainee. Watch the video to see how the Jaktvision PhoneCam holder can be employed in the field.

Permalink News No Comments »
March 3rd, 2016

TECH Tip: How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
February 12th, 2016

Getting Started in F-Class Competition (F-TR and F-Open)

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK has written an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Competition 4 Comments »
January 19th, 2016

Lyman BoreCam Review by Vince Bottomley

Lyman borecam Vince Bottomley Review Target Shooter Magazine

Lyman’s digital BoreCam is one of the hottest rifle/gunsmithing accessories on the market right now. The product sells out quickly whenever a vendor gets a few in stock. Make no mistake, this is a good product that works well, and, at around $300.00, is it affordable for most shooters. The BoreCam provides vital information about your bore and chamber, and has the ability to save images to an SD card.

Our British friend Vince Bottomley recently obtained a Lyman BoreCam and put it through its paces. Vince came away very impressed. He says it is an easy-to-use and very capable bore inspection tool at a fraction of the cost of a high-end optical borescope (such as the Hawkeye). Vince says serious shooters should definitely acquire one of these tools: “In my opinion, this product is one of the very best to come along in recent years and I predict that the demand for these [Lyman BoreCams] will be very heavy. I would advise you to place an order as quickly as possible if you want one.”

READ Full Review by Vince Bottomley for Target Shooter Magazine

Here are highlights from Vince’s review of the Lyman BoreCam: “If I were to replace my [Hawkeye optical borescope] today with another Hawkeye, it would cost me well over £700 – stick on a video adapter and we are looking at four figures. That’s what makes the new Lyman digital borescope so attractive – at around £250 including a monitor – it’s an absolute steal!

But £250 – with a video attachment and photo-capture facility – can this really be a useable borescope? Trust me it is! But what use is a borescope. Why do you need one? Well, whatever you shoot, the condition of your rifle’s bore is critical. And I’m not just talking about a bore that’s ‘shot-out’ – maybe you just aren’t cleaning it thoroughly. Or maybe some defect within the chamber or rifling is preventing your rifle delivering the kind of performance you expect. Even at £700, a borescope can be cost-effective – if it saves you the cost of just one new barrel.”

Lyman BoreCam Review Vince Bottomley

Vince explained how the BoreCam can quickly diagnose problems in a barrel: “A customer started to have difficulty chambering rounds in his 308 Target Rifle…. The borescope quickly revealed the problem – a hard ring of copper and carbon had built-up immediately in front of the chamber. When you use a bore-guide (and you always should do) it can sometimes ‘protect’ this first bit of the bore from the cleaning-brush. Although the rest of the bore was spotless, this tiny section was not. Once we knew where the problem was, it was simple matter to carefully clean it up.”

“A borescope will tell you if your cleaning regime is effective, or inspect for throat-erosion and the general condition of the rifling. In addition, it’s very useful to the gunsmith for inspecting newly-cut chambers – making sure they are free from scoring and other machining defects.” Vince also recommends using the BoreCam to inspect barrel crowns: “Tiny burrs can often be present on newly-cut crowns and even the minutest of damage to a crown… can play havoc with accuracy. For the serious shooter, you could say that a borescope is the equivalent of a doctor’s stethoscope.”

CLICK HERE to Read Full Review (with detailed Specs and more photos).

The Ugly Truth Revealed
Here are some inside-the-barrel photos Vince took with the Lyman BoreCam. Vince notes: “This barrel came out of the scrap-bin, but someone had actually been shooting this rifle before he finally gave up and came in for a new barrel. Shooting a barrel in this condition is really throwing good money down range! Buy a borescope and stop shooting long before your barrel gets into this state!”

Lyman BoreCam Video barrel photo

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 4 Comments »
January 18th, 2016

Bargain Finder 18: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Vortex Diamondback Scopes under $200.00

Vortex scopes are probably the most popular optics used by Precision Rifle Series competitors. The reason is that Vortex optics offer good performance and great value for money. Here’s a killer deal on mid-power variable Vortex scopes suitable for hunting or plinking rifles. The Vortex Diamondbacks are very rugged, and are supported by a no-BS Lifetime warranty.

2. Natchez — RCBS Special-5 Reloading Kit

Cabelas clearance case gun AR15

This kit is easily worth the $199.99 just for the press, primer tool, and powder measure (not to mention all the other stuff you get). We like the compact Reloader Special press as a secondary press for range use or special tasks such as bullet-pointing. This $199.99 RCBS Kit (which qualifies for a $10.00 RCBS Rebate) includes: Reloader Special-5 Press, Uniflow Powder Measure, RCBS Priming Tool, RCBS Loading Block, Deburring Tool, RCBS Powder Trickler, Powder Measure Stand, Funnel, and Nosler Loading Manual. Even if you already own a basic reloading press, this Kit is a great overall value.

3. MidwayUSA — Sierra BlitzKing Bullets, $105.99 for 500

MidwayUSA Sierra blitzking bullets

Varmint slayers rejoice. Here is a super deal on Sierra’s plastic-tipped BlitzKing bullets. Right now you can get 500 BlitzKing bullets for just $105.99. Get this low price on the .204-caliber 39gr boattail, or the .224-caliber 50- or 55-grain boattails. MidwayUSA also has other Sierra BlitzKing Bullets on sale, with big saving off the regular price. For example, the 6mm, 70gr BlitzKing is now just $134.99 for 500.

4. Cabela’s — Combo Tactical Hard Case and Soft Case Duo

Cabelas clearance case gun AR15

Get two (2) cases for the price of one. Here’s a sweet clearance deal from Cabelas.com. Right now you can get a tactical hard case PLUS a padded nylon soft case for just $79.88 (marked down from $119.99). The hard case measures 36″L x 13.25″W x 4.5″ on the inside. It features a high-density foam interior plus 4 steel external latches. The soft case features a water-resistant polyester shell and polyester lining.

5. MidwayUSA — Norma .22 LR Rimfire Ammo on Sale

MidwayUSA Norma .22 LR rimfire ammo Tac 22 Match 22

This Norma .22 LR rimfire ammo is good stuff. We’ve shot hundreds of rounds of the Tac-22 and it has performed well for cross-training and tactical rimfire games. We like this Norma rimfire ammo much better than the Remington and Federal bulk packs — and the price is very competitive. Right now MidwayUSA is offering 500-round boxes of Tac 22 for $59.95 (that’s just 12 cents a round).

6. Sportsman’s Guide — Henry AR-7 Packable Survival Rifle

MidwayUSA Norma .22 LR rimfire ammo Tac 22 Match 22

Here’s a unique item to add to your collection. The Henry AR-7 Survival rifle breaks down and stows in its own buttstock. Weighing just 3.5 pounds, this little semi-auto rimfire can perform pest-control duties for a farmer or rancher, or serve as a utility rifle carried in a truck or ATV. The cleverly-designed AR-7 is affordably priced at $227.99 ($216.59 for Sportsman’s Guide Club Members).

7. Amazon — Signature Zee Rings (with Pos-Align Inserts)

Amazon.com Burris Signature Zee Rings

Burris Signature Zees are our “go-to” rings for use with benchrest rifles. Right now Amazon has the 1″-diameter High Sig Zee rings on sale for $34.00 (Matte Black) or $38.00 (Nickel). Burris also offers medium height 1″-diameter Sig Zees. The 30mm Signature Zee rings are somewhat more expensive (about $50.00), but still well worth the price in our view. This Editor uses 30mm Signature Zee Rings for his personal 6mmBR rifle. The polymer inserts allow you to pre-load elevation, and also eliminate the need to lap your rings.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
January 14th, 2016

NEW 5-45x56mm Scope from Schmidt & Bender

Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm scope long range
Here’s a “spy photo” of the new scope. Price and release date are yet to be determined.

If you’ve been planning to purchase a premium, high-magnification, variable-power competition scope this year… you may want to hold off for a few weeks. We just learned that Schmidt & Bender will be introducing an all-new, “super-zoom” optic for 2016. Schmidt & Bender’s impressive new 5-45x56mm PM II High Power, offers a remarkable 9X zoom ratio. That makes it suitable for a wide variety of shooting disciplines. A tactical competitor can dial back to 5-power for a wide field of view on close-in targets. Or, for 1000-yard shooting, crank the scope all the way up to 45-power. S&B says the scope is intended for “tactical ultra-long-range shooting”. With its ultra-bright, ultra-sharp German glass, this new scope could also become popular with F-Class competitors — if it is priced reasonably. We called Schmidt & Bender USA, but we were informed that no further product details or pricing information could be released prior to SHOT Show.

In addition to the new 5-45X comp scope, Schmidt & Bender plans to introduce six other new scope models in 2016. There will be two Polar T96 models, a 3-12X and a 4-16X. The current 2.5-10X Polar T96 boasts an industry-leading 96% light transmission. S&B claims this is the “brightest low-light hunting scope in the world”. For 2016, S&B will also introduce two PM II models with digital reticle display features, the 3-27X and 5-25X “Digital BT” scopes. Finally, two new PM II “Ultra-Bright” scopes will be added to the lineup. We believe these will be a 3-12X and a 4-16X.

Permalink New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
January 9th, 2016

CMP Releases New 2016 Rulebooks

CMP Rules 2016 Rulebook service Rifle Changes
The most important 2016 CMP rule change allows 4.5X (max) optical sights for Service Rifle shooting.

The new 2016 rulebooks for CMP-governed Service Rifle, Pistol and CMP Games shooting events have just been released. There are some very important changes for 2016, including the authorization of scopes for Service Rifle competition. You can download the new Rulebooks for free with the links below. NOTE: The most important 2016 Rules changes are indicated with underlined text in the new Rulebooks.

Download: 2016 CMP Competition Rules for Service Rifle and Pistol (20th Edition).
Download: 2016 Competition Rules for CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Matches (4th Edition).

CMP Rules 2016 Rulebook service Rifle ChangesThe big rule changes in the 2016 CMP competition rules concern the modernization of CMP Service Rifle standards. Starting in 2016, Service Rifle competitors will be able to choose between service rifles with traditional metallic sights or rifles with telescopes with a maximum of 4.5X magnification. These scopes may be fixed-power or variable, with max 4.5 power zoom. This rule change was coordinated with a similar rule change adopted by the NRA.

The CMP states: “The decision to legalize optical sights on service rifles was taken after several years of discussion and a recognition that U.S. military personnel no longer use anything but optical sights on their military rifles. CMP Service Rifle rules have traditionally tried to keep abreast of military rifle and training developments so opening Service Rifle shooting to optical sights became an inevitable change. To quote one comment received by the CMP, “It is very difficult now to say that as-issued ‘AR-15 or M16′ does not include telescopes.”

Another major change in the CMP Service Rifle rules will allow the use of a much wider variety of M16/AR15-type rifles. Legal service rifles will no longer be restricted to rifles that rigidly comply with the M16 service rifle profile. Starting in 2016, Service Rifles can be any “M16 U. S. Service Rifle or a similar AR15 type commercial rifle that is derived from the M16 service rifle design” and that complies with these restrictions:

  • Chambered for the 5.56 x 45 mm (.223) NATO cartridge.
  • Designed or modified for semi-automatic fire only.
  • Have either a gas-impingement system or a piston-operated gas system.
  • Have a barrel that is no longer than 20 inches, or 21 5/8 inches if the barrel has a flash suppressor.
  • Must use the same upper receiver and barrel for the entire match.
  • Have a trigger pull of at least 4.5 pounds.
  • Quad rails or similar hand guards are permitted, but the front sling swivel location must be fixed at 13 ¼ inches (+/- ½ in.) ahead of the forward edge of the magazine well (8.0 inches on M4 configured rifles).
  • Use standard service magazines or commercial equivalents.
  • Have a fixed or collapsible butt-stock that may vary in length and even be adjusted between firing stages. Butt-plates or cheek-pieces may not, however, be adjustable.
  • Have a standard A1 or A2 pistol grip.
  • Extended bolt releases and mirror-image left-hand receivers will be permitted.

No Weight Limit For Service Rifles
Before issuing its new rules, the CMP solicited comments. A substantial majority of competitors’ comments supported allowing optical sights and the broadening of the Service Rifle rule. The one rule change that most shooters opposed was a proposed weight limit for Service Rifles with optical sights. After considering these comments, the CMP Rules Committee rejected the the Service Rifle weight limit proposal. Accordingly, in 2016, there will be no weight limits for Service Rifles, whether they have optical or metallic sights.

Iron Sights and Optics Will Compete in the Same Class
The CMP considered having optics-equipped Service Rifles in a separate classification. That idea was rejected. So, for 2016 there will be ONE CLASS for all Service Rifles (both iron-sighted and scoped). The CMP observed that “the arguments for having one unified competitor category competing together for EIC points and Distinguished Badges prevailed. Having separate categories and one Distinguished Badge would have created nightmare administrative challenges. Having two categories and separate Distinguished Rifleman Badges for optical and metallic sighted rifles would have become a formula for diminishing the prestige of the traditional Distinguished Rifleman Badge. The final CMP decision was to keep one strong, unified Service Rifle event instead of two smaller categories[.]”

Rule Change Concerning Malfunctions (No more Alibis)
Another major Service Rifle rule change will abolish allowing extra time or refires for malfunctions. This change will save time because malfunction refires effectively double the length of time needed for rapid-fire relays in big matches. The main reason for this change is to place more responsibility on competitors for having rifles and ammunition that function with complete reliability. Comments received by the CMP concerning this change showed that it is controversial, but a majority of shooters supported the change. One shooter wrote: “The elimination of “alibis” is long overdue. It was always most frustrating to me when it takes longer to shoot rapid fire than slow fire.”

Story Tip by Shiraz Balolia of Bullets.com. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News 8 Comments »