May 3rd, 2019

Dime-Sized Groups All Day Long — Yeah, Right…

Dime size meme humor joke accuracy

We’ve all encountered those boastful guys at the range — you know, the ones who say their factory rifle will shoot “dime-sized groups all day long.” Well maybe they were actually telling the truth — it all depends on the size of the ten-cent piece. With the huge dime shown above, we think we could shoot “dime-sized groups all day long” — even with a pistol. After seeing this, one reader commented: “That’s great. So this means my groups are only around Quarter-sized!”

Credit Forum member DKhunt14 who started a thread with this humorous image in our Shooters’ Forum. Other Forum members gave examples of similar accuracy claims they’ve heard:

I ran into a local tactical guru a few years ago that topped any story I’ve ever heard yet. He claimed he could shoot a quarter-inch group every time at 300 yards — like no problem whatsoever. — IMMike

I had a guy tell me he dropped a doe at 420 yards with a M1 carbine, open sights. Never took a step. I’ll bet he also shot those dime-sized groups!– DJ Porter

Seems like we could substitute 1000-yard prairie dog (other small varmint) hits for dime-sized groups. They both happen “all day long”. — Dsandfort

Many folks come into my shop… and feel compelled to regale me with their life history with firearms. Head-shooting squirrels at 100 yards with a .22 short and iron sights, deer dropped at 500 yards with a .35 Rem, ground hogs taken with one shot across vast distances, etc. — and it would appear that every former SEAL, Marine or SF sniper lives in the general area. My Dad used to tell me that sometimes you just have to smile and nod a lot. Not always, but a lot.

I’m not a huge fan of Bass Pro Shop, but I DO appreciate Bass Pro’s motto: “Welcome hunters, fishermen and other liars.” Human nature can be so entertaining. — JLT

GET Your Own Giant DIME

By the way, if you want your own jumbo dime, Amazon.com offers 3″-diameter Roosevelt dimes for about eight bucks. These would be good for range accuracy challenges. You could tell a buddy you can “put five shots on a dime at 200 yards”. Then whip out this slightly oversize 3-incher and see his face.

These could also serve as “gag prizes” at club shooting matches — giveaways for folks who want to say they shot a group at 200 or 300 yards that could be “covered with a dime” … a 3″ dime that is!

Permalink Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
January 2nd, 2019

Accuracy Vs. Precision — They Are Not the Same Thing

Applied Ballistics Accuracy Precision
This image is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2.

The next time a shooter comes up to you at the range, and says: “My rifle shoots one-third MOA all day long”, challenge him to put a first-round hit on a 1/2 MOA plate at 1000 yards. There’s a difference between shooting small groups at close range (Precision) and “on-target” Accuracy at long range.

Article by Applied Ballistics, LLC
Just how much better is a 0.5 MOA rifle vs. a 1 MOA rifle? Is it worth chasing quarter-MOA if you have half-MOA rifle? This is an important question. If you look across Facebook you will find scores of shooters posting 1/3-MOA or 1/4-MOA shot groups [usually at 100 yards]. Some of those guys are spending countless hours trying to chase that golden quarter-MOA group.

Don’t take this statement the wrong way, having a good, consistent rifle is a key to success. But accuracy is extremely important to long range shooting. Having a precision (0.5 MOA) rifle, but not having put the time in to practice accuracy (hitting a 0.5 MOA plate first shot at 1000 yards) is counter-productive. [Editor: By this, we mean that you can have a rifle capable of shooting small groups at 100 yards, but you won’t see that gun’s full potential unless you can practice and perfect the skills of long-range shooting. Successful long range shooting demands more than precision alone.]

What if, your goal was to produce 5-shot, sub-half-MOA groups at 1000 yards instead of 100 yards? Think about how much more you would be including in the learning process, especially that all-important factor: managing the wind! Here is a good article that talks about Precision vs. Accuracy: Hitting Targets at Long Range.

This is not intended to say that precision is not important; rather it is intended to show that balance is important. You can use WEZ to do your own studies on this very subject, and it might be surprising to the shooter just how much you don’t gain by chasing precision over accuracy. Two books which cover this subject really well are Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting and Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2.

Here’s a stunning combination of Precision (small group) WITH accuracy (centered on target). Yep that’s ten shots at 1000 yards, all in the middle of the target:
Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy AND Precision

Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them!

Comments

“Accuracy with precision is the route for me. It is not an either/or game. If I have a precision rifle (0.25 MOA or less) and I practice to be accurate, then high scores will be the result — Jim Borden

“I would agree for PRS, hunting, and to a certain extent F-Class. However, for 1000-yard IBS benchrest competition, 0.5 MOA groups in good conditions will almost always loose the relay.” — James B

“Another thought is that [at 1000 yards] a 1 MOA gun with single-digit standard deviations [may] out shoot a 0.5 MOA rifle with standard deviations of 20+ fps.” — Beard Owens

“Both… you need both: Accuracy AND Precision. I competed in varmint matches — we shot small silhouettes at 600 yards. I started with a factory .260 Rem rifle that was 0.8 MOA on a good day. I typically hit 8-9 of 20 targets, but rarely nailed the small chickens — which had a hit zone just 4″ in diameter. I then started using a semi-custom 6mmBR rifle that could reliably deliver 1/4 MOA at 100 yards (honest). My hit count on the silhouettes zoomed to 15-18, and suddenly the chickens were going down. In that game — small targets at 600 yards — there was no substitute for precision.” — Paul McM

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 29th, 2018

Got Vertical Fliers? Check Your Firing Pin and Ignition System

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin
Top to bottom – Remington firing pin assembly with ISS, Tubb SpeedLock alloy-composite system without ISS (current versions have dual, opposite-wound springs), and Remington short action firing pin assembly without ISS.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly publishes technical articles on the USAMU Facebook page. One informative USAMU article covered mechanical issues and related ignition irregularities that can cause vertical fliers even with good ammunition in an otherwise excellent rifle. We highly recommend you read this article, which offers some important tech tips.

USAMU handloading hump day

Vertical Dispersion: Mechanical/Ignition Issues?

Poor or inconsistent ignition has long been known to be one of the “usual suspects” when one encounters vertical fliers that just shouldn’t be there. By having a sense of some of the basic principles involved, and a few basic areas to check, the shooter may avoid colsiderable frustration, not to mention time, expensive loading components and barrel wear.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pinIs your well-built rifle of high-quality components plagued with vertical fliers across more than 1-3 handload combinations? Consider the bedding, crown and scope/sight mounts. Are they correct? If so, then you might check for ignition issues before boldly undertaking an extensive, expensive, and quite possibly fruitless quest for the “magic handload”.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: While the author had been aware for many years that poor ignition should be considered and ruled out when dealing with vertical fliers in an otherwise-excellent rifle, actually seeing the problem and its almost instantaneous cure really drove the lesson home.

He was working with a “dot” rifle – a .22 LR match rifle that really stacked bullets into little piles at 50 yards and beyond. With one lot of ELEY Tenex, it produced consistent “bughole” groups at 50, but with another, selected lot of Tenex, similar groups were regularly ruined by single, vertical fliers that did not appear in other rifles. Rather than spending days burning up expensive, select ammunition looking for “magic lots”, he contacted a well-respected rimfire gunsmith and explained the situation.

Without so much as batting an eye, the highly-experienced ‘smith tore into the rifle’s action, and quickly found the cause(s) of the problem. He discovered a demonstrably weak firing pin spring, plus a chip out of the face of the firing pin where it contacted the cartridge rim.

After replacing and tuning the offending parts, the rifle immediately began shooting tiny, bughole groups with the previously “unacceptable” lot of Tenex. Centerfire rifles can also benefit from ensuring positive, consistent ignition. A wise riflesmith is literally worth his weight in gold!

So, what are some issues we as shooters can inspect in our rifles to help determine if ignition woes could be part of our problem? At the club level, ask yourself if that “experienced” Remington, Winchester 70, or even Springfield-based match bolt gun you’re using is still running its’ original 40-80 year-old factory striker spring? If so, a new replacement is cheap insurance against current or future problems. (And BTW, it might be best to stick to the normal, factory-spec spring weight. A super-powerful spring can cause vertical, just as a weak one one can.) Along with that, a routine check for proper firing-pin protrusion is a quick preventive measure that can rule out potential issues.

Other areas to consider are the centering and consistency of the firing pin’s operation in the bolt. Admittedly, with the increasing use of precision-machined custom actions, this is becoming less an issue every day. Below is the firing pin assembly from a custom BAT action:

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

However, particularly with factory actions, a very quick and easy check is to remove the bolt, let the firing pin go forward, and look at the firing pin tip through the firing pin hole. Is the tip off-center in the hole, and possibly striking it as it moves forward? Is the hole out-of-round or burred from being struck repeatedly? If so, a trip to the riflesmith is likely in order.

Similarly, machining issues in the bolt/firing pin system can lead to rough and erratic firing pin movement, in which the firing pin drags against an internal surface of the bolt. In high-quality rifles these issues are relatively rare, but not unheard-of, and it takes mere minutes to rule them out. It may be worthwhile to remove the cocking piece/firing pin/spring assembly and look for any unusual gouges, dings, peening, burrs or signs of abnormal wear.

This task is especially easy with Winchester 70s, Springfields, and the similar Mauser 98s, involving little more than the push of a button and unscrewing the cocking piece assembly. This is just one of the many reasons these tried-and-true actions have earned such a loyal following in the field, among hunters who must maintain their rifles away from a shop.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

Particularly with older rifles, watch for and remove excess grease (or even Cosmoline!) from both the firing pin assembly and inside the bolt. This can help improve firing pin speed and consistency. Other bolt-action designs may need a take-down tool or other measures.

As part of this inspection, AFTER ENSURING THE RIFLE IS UNLOADED, slowly cock the rifle, dry-fire, and repeat several times. Listen carefully near the action for inconsistency in the sounds it generates. Does the striker falling make the same sound each time? Do you hear or feel grinding upon operation? If so, where?

Be sure to check the operation of the cocking piece (bolt shroud), firing pin within the bolt shroud, the cocking piece cam and the rear of the bolt body where the cocking piece cam operates. As with our examination for abnormal wear marks discussed above, look for marks indicating roughness or a possible need for light polishing. Then, clean and lightly grease the bearing surfaces while you’re at it.

Remington 700 bolt shroud and cocking cam
Rem 700 bolt cocking cam

These are relatively easy checks that shooters can undertake to perform a preliminary inspection on their own. Other mechanical issues can also cause ignition issues, chiefly centered around the action of the trigger, sear and sear spring. If these are suspected, a trip to an experienced, qualified riflesmith for diagnosis is recommended. We hope you find this information helpful! Join us again next week, and in the meantime, enjoy the shooting sports safely!

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 21st, 2018

Amazing Rimfire Accuracy — 0.93″ 5-Shot Group at 200 Yards

Australia Australian SSAA Rimfire smallbore .22 LR Fly Shoot 200 yard record group accuracy Canberra Australia Eley Tenex

Australian John Lavaring recently shot a group at 200 yards that would make most centerfire shooters proud. The five-shot group, with all shots in the center 10-ring, measured just 0.93 inches. That works out to 0.44 MOA at 200 — mighty impressive for a .22 LR. Recorded at a Rimfire Fly Shoot benchrest event in Canberra, Australia, this 200-yard target set two new Australian SSAA National records! John was using ELEY Tenex ammunition.

Congratulations to John Lavaring for a spectacular demonstration of how well a rimfire rig can shoot — even at 200 yards. We rarely shoot our .22 LR rifles past 50 meters. Maybe it’s time to start a Rimfire ELR series, with targets at 200 or even 300 yards. What do you think of the Rimfire ELR idea? Leave comments below.

Australia Australian SSAA Rimfire smallbore .22 LR Fly Shoot 200 yard record group accuracy Canberra Australia Eley TenexAnschutz 54 Benchrest Rig
The rifle was a Anchutz model 54 Match in a custom benchrest stock. John’s record-setting rig features a barrel block, which you can see forward of the action. Scope is a Bausch & Lomb BR model. We don’t have the round count on Lavaring’s barrel, but good rimfire benchrest rifles can often get 10,000 rounds (or more) of accurate life.

Rimfire Ballistics at 200 Yards
Some folks may be wondering about .22 LR ballistics at 200 yards. Well, with a 25-yard zero, the 200-yard drop for John’s 40gr Tenex ammo is 54 inches, assuming 0.145 G1 BC and 1085 fps muzzle velocity per ELEY website. And at 200 yards, a 10 mph crosswind will push that little bullet 15.3 inches! We’re told the winds were pretty tricky when Lavary shot his record group. This makes his achievement all the more impressive — we have to admire John’s wind-reading ability.

This ELEY ammo has proven to be exceptionally accurate. Here is a short video showing TEN rounds of Tenex shot from a machine rest with target at 50 meters.

Ten Rounds ELEY Tenex at 50 meters:

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 7 Comments »
February 15th, 2018

Quarter-MOA, Half-MOA? How Much Precision Is Really Enough?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different shooting disciplines demand different levels of precision/accuracy. In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, has answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

Permalink Reloading 4 Comments »
March 22nd, 2016

Vertical Fliers? Poor Ignition May Be the Cause…

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin
Top to bottom – Remington firing pin assembly with ISS, Tubb SpeedLock alloy-composite system without ISS (current versions have dual, opposite-wound springs), and Remington short action firing pin assembly without ISS.

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. Last week’s “Handloading Hump Day” article covered mechanical issues and related ignition irregularities that can cause vertical fliers even with good ammunition in an otherwise excellent rifle. We highly recommend you read this article, which offers some important tech tips.

USAMU handloading hump day

Vertical Dispersion: Mechanical/Ignition Issues?

Poor or inconsistent ignition has long been known to be one of the “usual suspects” when one encounters vertical fliers that just shouldn’t be there. By having a sense of some of the basic principles involved, and a few basic areas to check, the shooter may avoid colsiderable frustration, not to mention time, expensive loading components and barrel wear.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pinIs your well-built rifle of high-quality components plagued with vertical fliers across more than 1-3 handload combinations? Consider the bedding, crown and scope/sight mounts. Are they correct? If so, then you might check for ignition issues before boldly undertaking an extensive, expensive, and quite possibly fruitless quest for the “magic handload”.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: While the author had been aware for many years that poor ignition should be considered and ruled out when dealing with vertical fliers in an otherwise-excellent rifle, actually seeing the problem and its almost instantaneous cure really drove the lesson home.

He was working with a “dot” rifle – a .22 LR match rifle that really stacked bullets into little piles at 50 yards and beyond. With one lot of ELEY Tenex, it produced consistent “bughole” groups at 50, but with another, selected lot of Tenex, similar groups were regularly ruined by single, vertical fliers that did not appear in other rifles. Rather than spending days burning up expensive, select ammunition looking for “magic lots”, he contacted a well-respected rimfire gunsmith and explained the situation.

Without so much as batting an eye, the highly-experienced ‘smith tore into the rifle’s action, and quickly found the cause(s) of the problem. He discovered a demonstrably weak firing pin spring, plus a chip out of the face of the firing pin where it contacted the cartridge rim.

After replacing and tuning the offending parts, the rifle immediately began shooting tiny, bughole groups with the previously “unacceptable” lot of Tenex. Centerfire rifles can also benefit from ensuring positive, consistent ignition. A wise riflesmith is literally worth his weight in gold!

So, what are some issues we as shooters can inspect in our rifles to help determine if ignition woes could be part of our problem? At the club level, ask yourself if that “experienced” Remington, Winchester 70, or even Springfield-based match bolt gun you’re using is still running its’ original 40-80 year-old factory striker spring? If so, a new replacement is cheap insurance against current or future problems. (And BTW, it might be best to stick to the normal, factory-spec spring weight. A super-powerful spring can cause vertical, just as a weak one one can.) Along with that, a routine check for proper firing-pin protrusion is a quick preventive measure that can rule out potential issues.

Other areas to consider are the centering and consistency of the firing pin’s operation in the bolt. Admittedly, with the increasing use of precision-machined custom actions, this is becoming less an issue every day. Below is the firing pin assembly from a custom BAT action:

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

However, particularly with factory actions, a very quick and easy check is to remove the bolt, let the firing pin go forward, and look at the firing pin tip through the firing pin hole. Is the tip off-center in the hole, and possibly striking it as it moves forward? Is the hole out-of-round or burred from being struck repeatedly? If so, a trip to the riflesmith is likely in order.

Similarly, machining issues in the bolt/firing pin system can lead to rough and erratic firing pin movement, in which the firing pin drags against an internal surface of the bolt. In high-quality rifles these issues are relatively rare, but not unheard-of, and it takes mere minutes to rule them out. It may be worthwhile to remove the cocking piece/firing pin/spring assembly and look for any unusual gouges, dings, peening, burrs or signs of abnormal wear.

This task is especially easy with Winchester 70s, Springfields, and the similar Mauser 98s, involving little more than the push of a button and unscrewing the cocking piece assembly. This is just one of the many reasons these tried-and-true actions have earned such a loyal following in the field, among hunters who must maintain their rifles away from a shop.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

Particularly with older rifles, watch for and remove excess grease (or even Cosmoline!) from both the firing pin assembly and inside the bolt. This can help improve firing pin speed and consistency. Other bolt-action designs may need a take-down tool or other measures.

As part of this inspection, AFTER ENSURING THE RIFLE IS UNLOADED, slowly cock the rifle, dry-fire, and repeat several times. Listen carefully near the action for inconsistency in the sounds it generates. Does the striker falling make the same sound each time? Do you hear or feel grinding upon operation? If so, where?

Be sure to check the operation of the cocking piece (bolt shroud), firing pin within the bolt shroud, the cocking piece cam and the rear of the bolt body where the cocking piece cam operates. As with our examination for abnormal wear marks discussed above, look for marks indicating roughness or a possible need for light polishing. Then, clean and lightly grease the bearing surfaces while you’re at it.

Remington 700 bolt shroud and cocking cam
Rem 700 bolt cocking cam

These are relatively easy checks that shooters can undertake to perform a preliminary inspection on their own. Other mechanical issues can also cause ignition issues, chiefly centered around the action of the trigger, sear and sear spring. If these are suspected, a trip to an experienced, qualified riflesmith for diagnosis is recommended. We hope you find this information helpful! Join us again next week, and in the meantime, enjoy the shooting sports safely!

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 29th, 2015

Bullet Concentricity and Related Issues

Sinclair concentricity 101 eccentricity run-out reloading plans

Sinclair International reloading toolsSinclair International has released an interesting article about Case Concentricity* and bullet “run-out”. This instructional article by Bob Kohl explains the reasons brass can exhibit poor concentricity, and why high bullet run-out can be detrimental to accuracy.

Concentricity, Bullet Alignment, and Accuracy by Bob Kohl
The purpose of loading your own ammo is to minimize all the variables that can affect accuracy and can be controlled with proper and conscientious handloading. Concentricity and bullet run-out are important when you’re loading for accuracy. Ideally, it’s important to strive to make each round the same as the one before it and the one after it. It’s a simple issue of uniformity.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 5 Comments »
June 28th, 2014

Cody’s ‘Glam-Tactical’ Curly Maple Precision Field Rifle by Russo

Forum member Cody H. (aka “Willys46″) provided this report on his new Russo-stocked 6-6.5×47 Rifle.

Joel Russo out of Harrisburg, PA is taking modern technology and new stock designs and mating them with Old World materials and craftsmanship. The result: rifles that shoot true and look seriously sharp. Russo got his start making laminated wood stocks for budget-minded tactical rifle shooters with his popular A5-L design. Motivated by his passion for woodworking and a mindset for detail, Russo has shifted his focus from the run-of-the-mill laminates to create shootable works of art in some of the most highly figured, beautiful, exotic and domestic woods. Russo has come to feel that if he as a craftsman is going to spend precious time creating something out of wood, it should be for something worthy of his personal investment.

Take, for example, a recent Russo stock that started its life as a highly figured piece of Curly Maple harvested in the Pacific Northwest. After CNC inletting, profiling, pillar- and glass-bedding, the stock was meticulously finished to showcase the wood’s beauty. This stunning stock was commissioned for my new 6-6.5×47 Precision Field Rifle [Editor: it’s just too pretty to be labeled ‘tactical’]. Have a look….


Rifle Specifications: Remington 700 short action with R&D Precision bottom metal. Bartlein Barrel (Sendero Contour). Joel Russo Stock in A3-5 pattern (A5 buttstock with A3 fore-end). Barrel chambering/fitting (6-6.5X47 Lapua) by Steve Kostanich.

How does it shoot? Cody reports: “I’ve had the rifle two weeks, and sent about 200 rounds down range so far. I could not be happier with the performance of the whole package. The 6-6.5×47 Lapua chambering really makes it a pleasure to shoot with its low recoil and accuracy potential. With the fitted muzzle brake, recoil is minimal. The ballistics of 105gr Berger hybrids at 3100 fps make the wind at 600 yards very manageable. As for the stock, the slimmer fore-end holds the bipod much nicer than my old A5L. The lighter weight also makes it more maneuverable in different shooting positions.”


NOTE: Hi-Rez Gallery images may take some time to load. Be patient — it’s worth the wait.


Cody Talks About His Rifle
and Joel Russo’s Work

Click Play Button to Hear Audio


Like any artist, Russo carefully considers where to begin. Deciding where the stock will be cut out of the wood blank can take days. He must determine where the forend and pistol grip will lay to be sure the true beauty of the wood will transfer to the stock design. After Russo cuts the rough pattern out of the blank, it’s off to the CNC mill for barrel and action inletting. The stock is almost completely inletted but still in the rough; enough material remains for Russo to hand-blend the wood and metal for that all-important fit and finish. Then it’s off to the duplicator, which cuts out the stock in the specified pattern.

With inletting completed, the action is pillar- and glass-bedded, then readied for final shaping. The tang/pistol grip area demands careful work for a perfect look and feel. It takes hours with files and rasps to get everything just right. Once material is removed it’s a done deal so patience with the tools is a must. Russo is a very painstaking woodworker, and as an artisan and champion shooter himself, he wants the tang to melt into the pistol grip for the perfect look and feel.

Once the major wood removal is complete, Russo begins surface sanding. To make the finish come out smooth and flat, a sanding block is a must. With the density change in figured wood, some sections will be softer and so material is removed more quickly, making for a very wavy finish. When Russo is satisfied with the final sanding he starts the finishing process.

Russo generally does a hand-rubbed TUNG Oil finish. Since this stock is for a tactical competition rifle, and I wanted to preserve the natural blond color of the Maple, a clear coat finish was in order. In all fairness the maple would look even better with a darker oil finish, which allows the deep grain and figure to come out, creating an almost 3-D effect. A hand rubbed oil finish can take months to be applied properly. The shorter application time was another advantage for this particular build.

Clear coat maintains the original color of the wood while being comparatively easy to apply with basic paint-spraying tools. If you scratch the surface, it’s a simple matter to buff it out just like you would a car door ding. After a numerous coats are applied then it is wet-sanded just like the finish on a classic hot rod. The finer the sandpaper grit, the shiner the finish. For the maple stock project, a higher-than-typical gloss finish was selected because the wood kept looking better the shiner it got. Want it shinier? All you have to do is invest a little more time in sanding and polishing. Sometimes Russo works his way to 6000 grit sandpaper.

Walk-Around Video Showing Beautiful Wood

After final wet-sanding of the clear-coat, the finished stock is one even a millionaire would be proud to shoot. With the advent of fiberglass composite materials and assembly-line production methods, there are fewer true craftsmen like Joel who can start with a block of wood and some metal and create a complete rifle. So it’s refreshing that wood artisans like Russo are keeping alive the craftsman tradition. To see more examples of Joel Russo’s work, visit www.RussoRifleStocks.com.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 3 Comments »
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.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, News 1 Comment »
April 1st, 2011

AccurateShooter.com Releases Definitive Precision Shooting Book

The Editors of AccurateShooter.com and a pantheon of legendary shooters have collaborated on a new book, Voodoo Accuracy, destined to become the definitive print resource for precision shooting. This new 666-page, full-color treatise compiles the wisdom of today’s greatest Hall of Fame and National Champion shooters. With the Voodoo knowledge of the world’s ‘top guns’ in your grasp, you can and will shoot more accurately no matter what your discipline.

Why do Voodoo? Sure you can spend hours, days, months, heck even a lifetime measuring stuff with calipers and trickling individual powder kernels, but you’re not going to win the big matches without access to the closely-guarded Voodoo secrets of the world’s master marksmen. Remember, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your reloading manuals!

For the first time ever, Voodoo Accuracy reveals the hidden shooting secrets of the greatest trigger-pullers of all time. Now you too can shoot like a legend! Find out how to win matches without ever practicing! Apply Voodoo reloading techniques with startling results! Voodoo Accuracy contains chapters on all major forms of competitive shooting, from 25m air rifle benchrest to ultra-long range tactical competitions. Whatever your sport — point-blank benchrest, High Power, F-class, Silhouette, Palma, Multi-Gun, Biathlon, 1000-yard Benchrest — you’ll find invaluable Voodoo insights that will transform your shooting abilities overnight. We guarantee it!

Voodoo Accuracy Chapter Highlights:

● Extreme Wind Calling — How to dope a hurricane.
● Barrel Break-In — Sure-fire 50-step, 1000-round method.
● Ogive Talkin’ — More incomprehensible Ballistology by Bryan Litz.
● Point-Blank Pointers — Feng Shui and the placement of Wind Flags.
● Why Weigh Charges? — How to throw perfect charges blind-folded.
● Powder Blending Basics — Have a BLAST with the Mix-Master method.
● For FTR, Size Matters — Six-foot-wide, servo-adjusting bipods by Danny Biggs.
● Hall of Fame Headgear — The effect of dorky hats on Group Size, by Tony Boyer.
● Barrel Tuning — Voodoo Methods demonstrated (results guaranteed non-repeatable).
● Tactical Gearfinder — Be the first on your block with the latest, overpriced Tacticool accessories.
● .30-06 — THE solution to everything, including the economy and Global Warming, by G. Salazar.
● Voodoo Annealing — How to anneal by instinct (worrying about time and temperature is for sissies).

Here’s a sample from our chapter on the Joys of Abrasives: “We all learned as kids that shiny is good. Well it is. And more shiny is even better. Why settle for a bore that has anything less than a mirror finish? Just do a quick high-pressure bead-blast down your bore, followed by few thousand strokes with JB, and your bore will be perfectly slick and shiny. And you won’t have to waste any more time with those annoying lands and grooves that trap carbon and copper. They’re gone for good! Polish your bore to a mirror finish for the ultimate in barrel cleanliness.”

Order Your Own Copy of Voodoo Accuracy
Voodoo Accuracy comes in a handsome, large-format hardback edition for $49.99. There is also a special, limited-run letterbox edition signed by Hall of Famers so legendary we can’t even mention their names here. The letterbox edition, limited to 250 copies, will cost $299.99. Think that’s too much? Well who can put a price on perfection? We guarantee that if you buy Voodoo Accuracy you’ll win early and often, feeding your self-esteem while reducing your shooting rivals to whimpering, broken shells of their former selves. Remember, as Charlie Sheen said, it’s all about “Winning”! If you want to run with the Big Dogs, and strut your stuff on top of the podium, order your copy of Voodoo Accuracy today!

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July 20th, 2008

Annual SoCal Tactical Match

Last week, the third annual Southern California Precision Rifle Competition (SCPRC) was held. This match takes place each year in July at the West End Gun Club, 20 minutes west of San Bernadino, CA. Match director Mark Archuleta, aka “Spaniard”, ran a great match, with a diverse and challenging course of fire. Mark reports: “This was our third SCPRC, and we had 34 shooters from all over the US.” Mark posted a match report in our FORUM with lots of photos. CLICK HERE to read Mark’s full report. Below are some pictorial highlights from the Match, with Mark’s commentary:

Vu Pham from Nor-Cal, shown below, hit both his cold bore shots on day 1 & 2. This year’s Day Two cold bore shot (CBS) reprised our 2006 CBS. There was a 3.5″ Clay pigeon set at about 325 yards, with roughly a 10° down angle. In 2006, 7 out of 22 shooters made the hit, this year 12 out of 34 shooters made the hit. Some folks don’t think that the 10°-15° slope makes a difference, but it does.

Below Phil demonstrates textbook bipod shooting: working the bolt, maintaining a solid cheek weld and keeping an eye on the next target. Good job Phil. [Editor’s Note: the “pucks” on the bipod legs are “PodPaws” from Zephyr Dynamics]

One of the stages was shot from a squatting position with rifle supported by saw-horses. This stage obviously favored the shorter guys.

The match included timed stages. The challenge was how to record times for multiple shooters. I purchased a timing system and did some modifications to it so each shooter had his own stop button. It worked great and I could shoot whole teams all at once. This made the lines move very fast. It’s will be a part of all my future matches, local and not so local. Below, just like on Jeopardy, Scott Cochran stops the clock.

At the request of Kurt Stone (LV Steel Targets), a standing stage was added. It’s not easy to shot a heavy tactical rifle off-hand! Here, representing the United States Marine Corp., is SSgt. Tony Palzkill — a real professional and a nice guy too.

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