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.
If you’re thinking of buying a Remington rifle, here’s a way to put forty bucks back in your pocket. Now through December 31, 2014, Remington is offering $40.00 cash back on Rem 700 SPS rifles, $40.00 cash back on Rem 783 rifles, and $35.00 cash back on Rem 700 ADL rifles. You can save even more on Remington brand shotguns. Big Green is currently offering $100.00 cash back on Versa Max (and Versa Max Sportsman) shotguns. That’s a pretty attractive offer. Click here for Rebate info.
In addition to cash back rebates on long gun purchases, Remington has a “free ammo” incentive for 1911-type handguns. Purchasers of Remington 1911 R1 pistols can receive four, 50-round boxes of Remington HTP .45 ACP ammo. (In some states, qualifying buyers will receive $100.00 cash back by mail in lieu of ammunition.)
Rebate Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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GRS Riflestocks is a Norwegian company that has built its reputation on intelligently-designed, high-quality laminated wood stocks. GRS wood stocks, for competition and hunting, are distributed in the USA by Kelbly’s. Ergonomics have always been a key feature in GRS designs, making GRS stocks very comfortable for the shooter.
CLICK IMAGE for Full-size Photo
GRS Aluminum Chassis Systems
Now GRS is moving into a new product area — developing an aluminum chassis system for long range applications. The first GRS metal stocks should be ready this month for European delivery (though it could take longer to export to USA). The new GRS metal chassis system will be offered for many popular actions:
Remington Short Action & Long Action
Sig Sauer SSG 3000/Sauer 200 STR
Howa Short Action & Long Action
Initially, these stocks will be right-hand only, though a left-hand version may be offered in 2015. GRS has not yet released any pricing details for its aluminum chassis systems.
Excellent Video Shows How GRS Stocks Are Made — Plus Shooting in Norway
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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We know you guys like exotic hardware, so today we pulled something very exotic from our featured rifle archives. We doubt that you have ever seen anything quite like this before. Gun-builder Richard King says: “I thought you might like to see my latest project. This is my personal gun, built the way I wanted it. I know it’s radical and some may not care for it. But it works.”
Report by Richard King (King’s Armory, Texas; ‘Kings X’ on our Forum)
This is pretty much an all-aluminum rifle. The action is a Kelbly F-Class with a Shilen stainless steel competition trigger. The scope is a 1″-tube Leupold 36X with a Tucker Conversion set in Jewell spherical bearing rings. The .223 barrel is Pac-Nor 3-groove, 1:6.5″-twist mounted in a “V”-type barrel block. The bipod has vertical adjustment only via a dovetail slide activated by a stick handle. It works like a joy-stick, but for vertical only. I adjust for windage by moving the rear sandbag.
The 30″ barrel is 1.250″ in diameter. With the barrel block forward, the vibrations should be at a low frequency. Instead of one long rod whipping, I now have two short rods (barrel haves) being dampened. This is my fourth barrel block gun. They work, but so does a good pillar-bedded action. I just do stuff a little different.
The vertical “keel” down the bottom of the stock stops the “spring” of a flat-bar stock. There is little, if any, noticeable flex before or during recoil. The long length of the stock, the fat barrel, and the forward-mounted barrel block work together to keep the gun from rising off the ground. BUT, remember this is a .223 Rem rifle. A .308 Win version might act very differently. I may try a .308-barreled action soon, just to see what happens. But I will stick with the .223 Rem as my choice for match shooting.
The offset scope idea came from a benchrest “rail” gun. In truth, the whole concept came from a rail gun — just adapted to being shot off a bipod. Sure it isn’t directly over the bore. It is about 1.5″ over to the left. So if you want the scope to be zeroed on the center of the target, you have to adjust for the offset. At 100 yards that is 1.5 MOA. But at 300 it is only 0.5 MOA, at 600 only a ¼-MOA, and at 1000 about 1 click on my scope.
What the offset DOES do for me is eliminate any cheek pressure. My cheek never touches the stock. Since this is only a .223 Rem, I don’t put and shoulder pressure behind it. And I don’t have a pistol grip to hang on to, but I do put my thumb behind the trigger guard and “pinch” the two-ounce trigger.
The offset scope placement could interfere with loading a dual-port action from the left. That’s not a problem for me as I set my spotting scope up on the left side very close to the rifle. I have plenty of time to reload from the right side while the target is in the pits being scored.
Again — this is my rifle. It is designed for my style of shooting. It is not meant to be a universal “fit all” for the general public. However, I will say the design is adaptable. I can easily convert the system to run in F-Open Class. I would drop a big-bore barreled action into the “V” block, slide on a heavier pre-zeroed scope and rings, add plates on the sides up front to bring the width to 3”, and maybe a recoil pad. It might be interesting to offset the wings up from to counter torque of the big bullets. But I would also have to offset the rear bag rider to get the gun to recoil straight back.
How the Gun Performs
I have had “T” to the range only twice for load development. It groups like my present barrel-blocked 223 F-TR gun. But it’s much easier to shoot and it only moves about 3/4” — straight back. I tried to build am omni-directional joy-stick bipod but I could not get all the side-to-side wiggle out of it. So I have set it up so it only moves up and down (horizontal movement is locked-out). As it works now, the joystick on the bipod lets me set elevation on the target quickly (with up/down adjustment). Then, to adjust for windage, I slide my rear bag side-to-side as needed. Once set, I just tickle the trigger and smile.
Gun Handling — Shoot It Like a Bench-Gun
I basically shoot the gun with no cheek or body contact. I don’t grip it, other than maybe a pinch on the trigger guard. The scope was offset to the left to help the shooter move off the gun and avoid the possibility of head/cheek contact with the stock.
VOICE FILE: Richard King Explains How He Shoots his ‘Texas-T’ Rifle:
CLICK PHOTOS to See Big Size
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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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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 email@example.com 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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