We know you guys like taking photos of your rifles at the range. And, if you’re selling a rifle, scope, front rest, or rear bag, you need good photos to post in our Forum classifieds. Here’s a basic photography tip that can help you produce dramatically better photos. Use your camera’s ability to add “fill flash” even in daylight.
There’s plenty of light on a bright day. But bright light also means strong shadows. The shadows can leave parts of your subject literally in the dark. Daylight flash will help fill in those dark spots. In addition, if you are on a covered firing area, and want to include the range in your photo, you can benefit from using flash. This will prevent the foreground subject from being too dark while the downrange background is much too bright.
Photo without Flash
The photo above was taken without flash. As you can see, the rifle is too dark so details are lost. At the same time, the background (downrange) is over-exposed and washed out. The second photo below is taken with daylight flash. The difference is dramatic. Now you can see details of the rifle, while the background is exposed properly. Note how much easier it is to see the the targets downrange and the colors of the front rest. NOTE: these two photos were taken at the same time — just seconds apart.
Photo with Daylight “Fill-Flash”
Be sure to click on the larger versions of each photo.
How to Activate Daylight Flash
Most digital cameras have daylight flash capability. Some cameras have a separate setting for “auto fill flash”. On other cameras, you’ll have to set the camera to aperture priority and stop down the aperture to force the flash to fire. Read your camera’s manual. On many Canons, a menu that lets you set the “flash output”. For “fill flash” we like to set the flash at 30% to 50% output. This fills in the shadows sufficiently without “killing contrast” or creating too much reflection on shiny metal. Below is a photo taken with 30% flash output. Note the rich colors and how the exposure is balanced between foreground and background. Without flash the sky and target area would be “washed out”.
Here’s another tip for Canon owners. If you like deep, rich colors, use the “Vivid” setting in the effects menu. This punches up saturation and contrast.
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Breaking News: SPC Hall Wins Camp Perry 3-P Championship
Port Clinton, Ohio – With a final score of 2383-171x, Specialist Joseph Hall of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit captured the 2013 NRA Smallbore 3-Position Rifle title in Camp Perry, Ohio. Besting fellow U.S. Army Marksmanship teammate Jason Parker by a total of three points, this is Hall’s first overall title at the National Championships.
The Smallbore 3-Position Championships consists of two separate phases — Metallic Sights and Any Sights. During each phase, shooters fire their smallbore rifles from the standing, kneeling, and prone positions. Out of a possible 2,400 points, Hall dropped a mere 17 points.
Story based on report by Lars Dalseide forNRABlog
The first match this Friday (19 July) at the NRA National Smallbore 3-Position Championships in Camp Perry was one for the history books. The first match, shot prone with “any sights”, ended in three-way perfection. For not only were three shooters tied for first, they were tied with a perfect score of 400-40X (“X” is a bullseye).
“Not something you see every year,” said Match Director H.Q. Moody. “Not something you see for a lot of years.” Perfect scores meant there was a chance to chase the National Record. All you have to do is keep hitting bulls until you miss. Nothing like carving your name into a little bit of NRA history, aye? For one of these three shooters — Reya Kempley, Joseph Hall (of the USAMU), and Michael McPhail — immortality was in reach.
But the weather gods intervened. As Kempley, Hall and McPhail got ready for the the shoot-off — lightning struck, quite literally. As lightning flashed and thunder roared, the shoot-off was delayed. With officials calling for a fifteen minute break, rangemasters, spectators and staff scattered for shelter. When the match resumed (Kempley barely made it to the line in time), the three competitors went at it. All three had early misses (nines instead of tens), so there would be no new record. Kemply was off her game, finishing third, but the two men finished with identical 199-19X scores — just one shot off perfect.
Hall was awarded the match by application of an NRA tie-breaker rule — on the basis that Hall’s one “miss” (i.e. not scoring a bullseye 10X) occurred earlier in the shoot-off’s record string than did the single “miss” by McPhail. The thinking behind this rule is that it is more difficult to shoot consecutive 10Xs later in the match.
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Most competitive shooters are pretty good about bore cleaning (some may even clean their bores too aggressively). However, we’ve found that many shooters neglect the chamber area and the bolt lug recesses. It’s too easy to clean the bore, slip out the guide rod and say “I’m done.” Sinclair Int’l explains why it’s important to clean the action interior: “Shooters use a lot of grease and oil on their bolts to reduce friction and to prevent wear[.] Unfortunately, both of these compounds attract grit, powder and primer residues. Cleaning your receiver is especially critical [with] custom actions where the fit between the action and bolt is held to very tight tolerances. Routine cleaning of the action will prevent unnecessary wear on the bolt body, locking lugs, and the action raceways/guide rails. Frequent action cleaning is also essential to keeping the trigger area free of debris which can cause trigger hang-ups and failures.” Below, we present action cleaning advice from Sinclair’s Reloading Press Newsletter.
Cleaning the Chamber
Combustion by-products, lubricants, and solvent residues can collect in your chamber. Severe build-up of grease and carbon can interfere with chambering. Also some solvents will promote corrosion. You need to keep your chambers clean.
1) Install a clean cotton mop of the correct size on the end of a chamber rod and insert the mop into the chamber. Rotate the mop several times to remove any brush bristles left behind and any excess solvent that was between the rod guide snout and the end of the chamber. Make sure the chamber is dry. Prior to storing a rifle you can oil the chamber but make sure the oil is removed prior to firing the rifle.
2) Alternatively, install an old bore brush on a chamber rod, overlap a couple of patches on the brush bristles, and wrap them around the brush completely. Then insert the patch-covered brush into the chamber while rotating it to remove the excess solvent and debris. Push it firmly into the neck area of the chamber. A similar method is to pierce a large patch on the end of the brush loop and insert it into the action, again rotating the brush as you push the patch up against the breech.
Cleaning the Lug Recess Area
The action lug recess area is one of the dirtiest places on a bolt-action rifle. To properly clean this area, always use a tool designed for the task, such as the $21.50 Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool (part # ACT1) which is part of the Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool Kit (now on sale for $29.99, part #ACT2).
1) Insert a cotton roll or cleaning felt into your lug recess cleaning tool and wet both ends and the face of the cotton roll/felt with solvent.
2) Insert the tool into the action and push it forward until it is positioned fully in the lug recess area and rotate the tool head several times. Then reverse the rotation for another few turns. While rotating the tool move it slightly in and out to cover the entire recess area and to also clean the breech face.
3) Remove the tool from the action and inspect the surface of the felt or cotton roll. If there is quite a bit of residue on both sides of the felt/roll, then repeat with another wet felt/roll.
4) When you feel the recess area is completely clean, insert a dry cotton roll into the tool and rotate the tool head to remove any remaining solvent and debris. If necessary, use a second dry cotton roll.
5) You can follow this step up with another pass of a mop or patches into the chamber to get any debris or solvent that pushed forward out of the lug recess area.
When you buy a new Winchester firearm at retail between April 15 and April 30, 2013, you can receive a rebate of up to 8% of the purchase price to reimburse you for the state sales tax. That’s just like putting the sales tax right back in your pocket. See your Winchester dealer for more info. Starting April 15, 2013, you can download Rebate Forms at Winchesterguns.com. This offer is valid only on the consumer retail purchase of a new Winchester firearm purchased between April 15, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
Here’s an example: If you spend $1,000 on a new Winchester rifle or shotgun, and you pay an 8% sales tax, you’ll get an $80 reimbursement from Winchester Repeating Arms. To qualify for your sales tax reimbursement (up to a maximum refund of 8% of the purchase price as determined by the sales tax paid at time of purchase as documented by your dated sales receipt). If you live in a state with no sales tax you should submit your coupon (with valid purchase information) for special consideration.
Here’s the Fine Print: The Sales Tax Rebate Coupon must be filled out completely and returned to Winchester Repeating Arms with the supporting documents as listed, postmarked no later than midnight May 15, 2013.
Winchester Repeating Arms employees, Winchester Repeating Arms sales representatives, authorized Winchester Repeating Arms dealers and their sales staff, and members of their immediate families are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one offer per person. Offer valid in the United States only. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States.
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Story based on report by By Kyle Jillson forNRABlog.com West Virginia University (WVU) won its 15th NCAA Rifle Title this past weekend. The WVU Montaineers, the winningest team in NCAA Rifle competition history, finished with a final score of 4679 out of 4800 (combined air rifle and smallbore scores). The Mountaineers overcame a one-shot smallbore deficit and outshot the field in air rifle, scoring 2363. The WVU Mountaineers’ 4679 final point total is the second-highest in NCAA Rifle Championship history, bettered only by Kentucky’s 4,700 in 2011. Kentucky, always near the top, finish second this year with a 4670 score, while defending champ TCU took third with an aggregate score of 4,664.
WVU’s Petra Zublasing Wins both Smallbore and Air Rifle Titles
On a rifle team with many skilled shooters, WV’s Petra Zublasing proved to be the “best of the best”. At the 2013 Championships, Zublasing dominated the competition, winning both the Smallbore and Air Rifle individual events. Hailing from Appiano, Italy, Zublasing won the Mountaineers’ first Individual Smallbore Rifle Championship since 1997. After winning the smallbore event in a close match, in the air rifle competition she shot a 598 (99-100-100-100-100-99) — two points shy of a perfect score. That remarkable performance gave Petra the win, completing Zublasing’s sweep of the 2013 individual championships. Zublasing is the first shooter to win both NCAA titles at one championship since Alaska-Fairbanks’ Matthew Emmons took the victories in 2001. “Winning an individual title in both guns is just great, but I’m most happy that the team won,” says Zublasing.
Over the summer Zublasing shot for Italy in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It was an eye opening experience she explained: “After the Olympics, I realized I actually like shooting. I don’t do this because I have to or because I’m good at it. I actually enjoy it and try to help everyone else realize they should just have fun.”
Watch Interview with Petra Zublasing
National Championship Celebration at WVU Coliseum on Monday, March 11th
West Virginia University fans are invited to attend a celebration for the national-champion rifle team Monday, March 11, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in the Jerry West Lounge at the WVU Coliseum. Mountaineers Shooting Team members and team coach Jon Hammond will be available to greet fans and pose for photos. Fans can also take pictures with the team’s 15th NCAA Rifle Championships trophy.
West Virginia Squad Features Shooters from Many Nations
WVU Coach Jon Hammond, a Scot who still competes with Great Britain’s national team, has built the nation’s top shooting program by recruiting top young shooters from around the world. (Hammon himself shot for WVU during the 2002-2003 season.) The Mountaineer’s squad features talented shooters from both sides of the Atlantic. 2013 National Air Rifle and Smallbore champion Petra Zublasing is from Appiano, Italy. Sophomore Meelis Kiisk is from Paide, Estonia. Sophomore Maren Prediger is from Petersaurach, Germany. Freshman Garrett Spurgeon is from Canton, Missouri, Sophomore Taylor Ciotala is from Pasadena, Maryland, and Sophomore Thomas Kyanko, is from Wellsburg, West Virginia.
In leading her team to victory in 2013, Zublasing followed in the footsteps of another great foreign-born shooter, WVU All-American and Italian native Nicco Campriani. This talented young man, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 3-P 50-meter event, literally re-wrote the record-books during his two collegiate seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) with West Virginia.
“Nicco changed the level of shooting in U.S. [Collegiate rifle competition],” Hammond said. “He came over here and started shooting world-record scores — 590 and 600 in air rifle, which really hadn’t been done before. That raised the bar for us.”
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SHOT Show 2013 kicks off in two weeks in Las Vegas. One of our top priorities is to talk with the bullet makers from Berger, Hornady, Lapua, and Nosler.
At SHOT Show 2012 we chatted with Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz about Berger’s popular line of Hybrid bullets. Berger now offers a wide range of Hybrids in multiple calibers and weights. In fact, for .30-Caliber shooters, Berger now offers six different Hybrid match bullets, with weights from 155 grains up to 230 grains. New .338 Cal Tactical Hybrids were released in 2012 and big .375 Cal, and .408 Cal Hybrids are in the works (read more below).
Bryan tells us: “The hybrid design is Berger’s solution to the age old problem of precision vs. ease of use. This design is making life easier for handloaders as well as providing opportunities for commercial ammo loaders who need to offer a high performance round that also shoots precisely in many rifles with various chamber/throat configurations.”
For those not familiar with Hybrid bullets, the Hybrid design blends two common bullet nose shapes on the front section of the bullet (from the tip to the start of the bearing surface). Most of the curved section of the bullet has a Secant (VLD-style) ogive for low drag. This then blends in a Tangent-style ogive curve further back, where the bullet first contacts the rifling. The Tangent section makes seating depth less critical to accuracy, so the Hybrid bullet can shoot well through a range of seating depths, even though it has a very high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).
In the video we asked Bryan for recommended seating depths for 7mm and .30-Caliber Hybrid bullets. Bryan advises that, as a starting point, Hybrid bullets be seated .015″ (fifteen thousandths) off the lands in most barrels. Watch the video for more tips how to optimize your loads with Hybrid bullets.
Berger is Developing New Large-Caliber and Hunting Hybrids
In related news, Berger announced that it will be offering a series of .338-caliber Hybrids. First Berger is reintroducing the Gen 1 .338 Cal, 300gr Hybrid bullet in Berger’s Hunting line. Berger will also be making a 250gr Hybrid Hunting bullet using the same type of jacket as the original Gen 1 300gr Hybrid bullet. In addition, Berger has released a .338 Cal 250gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet, along with a 300gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical projectile.
More big bullets are on the drawing board. Our source says “.375 Caliber and then .408 Caliber are the next new calibers to be made at Berger”. These are in the design phase, and Berger needs to build a new machine, so the .375s and .408s will not be available until 2013 at the earliest.
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Why are there 7000 records? Start with the fact that there are a host of different NRA disciplines: Air Pistol, Action Pistol, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Fullbore, just to name a few. Within each discipline there may be records for metallic sight, any sight, rapid fire, slow fire, prone, standing, and other variations. And then there may be separate records for indoor, outdoor, distance, and number of shots fired. Then add team records on top of the individual records. Finally, there are separate records for all the NRA classifications: Open, Civilian, Service, Woman, Junior, Senior, Police, and so on….
The task of validating and registering so many different records is daunting. And the work never stops. Consider this — the NRA sanctions 11,000 tournaments each year. This means that new record claims are being submitted throughout the year.
Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? Starting in 2010, after a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Shilen returned to the rifle manufacturing market. After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).
The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.
Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.
Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches.
There has been a strong demand for Shilen’s barreled actions and complete rifles. Accordingly, the waiting period is two to four months for complete rifles, a bit less for barreled actions. But some chamberings can be had much more quickly (if Shilen has a pre-chambered barrel in current inventory). If you’re interested, call (972) 875-5318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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Nosler has announced that they will be giving away three Nosler rifles, starting with a Model 48 Trophy Grade™ Rifle chambered in .243 Winchester. This award-winning rifle will be topped with a Leupold VX-2, 4-12x40mm scope. Retail value of the Model 48 rifle, by itself, is $1995.00.
To enter the Nosler Sweepstakes go to the Nosler Facebook Page, and click the “LIKE” icon. Then complete the official entry form by clicking the bright orange “Sweepstakes” tab and providing the required information. Entrants are encouraged to enter daily and to “share” with friends to receive bonus entries. For more details and to sign up, visit Nosler’s Facebook Sweepstakes Page.
How to Avoid Being Spammed
If you enter the Sweepstakes, Nosler will capture your email address. But when entering the contest, you can “Opt Out”, declining to receive future promotional emails. Also be aware that, when you “Like” a company on Facebook you will, by default, start receiving Facebook updates from that company which may appear in your Facebook Feed. You can block those company updates manually within Facebook, or you could later “un-Like” the company to turn off the updates.
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In our Shooters’ Forum you’ll find a thread in which readers can post photos of their “pride and joy” — their favorite rifle. You’ll find a wide range of guns, from “big boomers” to .17-caliber varminters. Here are some of our favorite entries in the “Pride and Joy” Gallery.
Brad’s 6CM Long-Range Match Rifle
Chambered in the 6mm Competition match cartridge, this handsome rig features a Surgeon RSR Action, Bartlein Barrel, and LRB stock. Barrel work was done by Chad Dixon at LongRifles, Inc. and paint by AT Custom Painting. Brad says: “If you need a custom paint job, Adam is your man. His work is amazing and prices can’t be beat.”
The Bear’s Barbed-Wire Barnard
BarryO, aka ‘the Blue-eyed Bear’, posted his beautiful 6mm Dasher, with its unique barbed wire 3D finish. (There’s a story behind that design.) This rifle was smithed by John King in Montana, with stock bedding work by Leo Anderson. The gun features a Barnard ‘P’ action (with trigger), and 28″ Broughton 5C fluted barrel with VAIS muzzle brake. The Barnard sits in a Tom Manners carbon fiber BR stock decorated with amazing graphics by Mad Shadow Custom Paint.
Sebastian’s Radical Swallowtail 6PPC
Sebastian Lambang is the designer and builder of SEB Coaxial Rests. He’s a smart, creative guy, so you knew when he designed a short-range benchrest stock it would be something special. It needed to be lightweight, yet very rigid. Using “out of the box” thinking, Seb employs a truss-style structure to provide great strength with minimal weight. The rear section is equally radical. There are two splayed “keels” in the rear, forming what this Editor calls a “swallowtail” rear design. Others have called it a “catamaran buttstock.” Below is a side-view of the prototype SEB stock before painting.
Flaming PPC from Oz
ChrisT, a diesel fitter from Australia, submitted this image of his stunning flame-painted PPC. Whoever did those flames is a true artist — the gun really looks like it’s on fire. This rifle features a Stiller Viper action, Speedy (Robertson) BRX stock, and Maddco (Australian) 14-twist barrel chambered in 6PPC.
And here are a couple more cool BR rifles posted on the Forum. First, from Walter in Belguim, is the “Lion of Flanders”, an Anschutz BR 250, with Kelbly’s stock and matching SEB front rest. Walter did the paintwork himself:
And here is Mark Walker’s amazing Zebra-skin BR rifle. Now that will turn heads on any bench:
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Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (Ruger) must be doing something right. Ruger’s manufacturing plants are running at full capacity, yet it still can’t keep up with demand for its pistols and rifles. Ruger recently announced that, for the first quarter 2012, the Company has received orders for more than one million units.. That will outstrip Ruger’s production capacity. Therefore, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.
Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments:
• The Company’s Retailer Programs that were offered from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 were very successful and generated significant orders from retailers to independent wholesale distributors for Ruger firearms.
• Year-to-date, the independent wholesale distributors placed orders with the Company for more than one million Ruger firearms.
• Despite the Company’s continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.
• The Company expects to resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May 2012.
New Guns Have Been Well-Received
Ruger has seen its fortunes rise in the past few years with the successful introduction of small, compact self-loading pistols. These are very popular with Americans looking for a “carry” pistol for self defense. In addition, demand for rifles has increased with Ruger’s recent introduction of its value-priced Ruger American Rifle (RAR), a bolt gun with many modern features such as a barrel nut (like Savage) and side bolt release (like Tikka). With a street price of just $379.60, the basic, synthetic-stocked RAR is a value-leader in the market, just like the Ruger 10/22, which continues to sell in great numbers.
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Are factory rifles really more accurate than ever? This question is examined in the December issue of SHOT Business. In this issue you’ll also find a good discussion of modern bullet design. In his article Whatever Happened to Bad Bullets?, author David E. Petzal explores why and how bullet performance has improved in recent years. You’ll find plenty of other interesting content in SHOT Business magazine, including numerous gear reviews, retail selling advice, recent news briefs, ATF Q&A, and much more.
The latest issue of SHOT Business magazine is now available for FREE online. You can either read the feature stories in a conventional web layout at Shotbusiness.com, or view the magazine-style ePaper version. This takes longer to load, but you can see larger photos, and flip from page to page like a conventional print magazine.
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